[Return]
Archived Thread

File 127053410399.jpg - (603.17KB , 700x995 , 7829461.jpg ) [iqdb]
26979 No. 26979
…Is Kana still angry at me? I hope not. If she is, then I should try to correct that, right?

The rose still held in my hand, I head toward the kitchen. If she’s around, she’s probably in there, right? On my way there, I see Ellen and Kotohime chatting animatedly off to the side, with the latter holding up Sokrates in her arms and petting it absentmindedly as it struggles in her hold, yowling loudly. Those two really seem to get along with each other, don’t they? Maybe it’s because they’re more or less on the same wavelength?

As I step past them, Ellen notices me over Kotohime’s shoulder, and energetically waves at me. Following her gaze, Kotohime turns around and sees me as well, and does likewise, though she nearly drops Sokrates to the floor in the process, freedom narrowly denied to it. Smiling, I wave back at them as I continue to walk off to the kitchen.

Stepping inside, I flick on the light switch, looking around. Damn, she’s not here. Where could she have disappeared to? Just in case, I try calling her name out loud, but receive no answer. She is still mad at me, isn’t she?

I stride out of the kitchen, flicking the light switch back off and passing by the two cloud-headed girls again. Next, I head to my room, to see if she’s there. I turn the door handle and walk inside, groping around for the switch to the lights and flicking it on once I find it. No one…? With a frown, I walk further inside.

“Kana,” I say out loud. “Are you in here?”

The door suddenly shuts behind me with a bang, startling me into a jump. I whirl around to face the door, and see Kana standing there with a dull frown. She remains there silently, her arms crossed together, waiting for me to say something. Before I can even get out one word, though, she turns around on her heels, her back facing me.

“I’m really, really angry, master,” she says in a flat voice.

“…Well, sorry for making you angry,” I say, looking away. It’s not like I really had a choice in the matter, though. I couldn’t just leave her there to die like that, even if she is a vampire, and it’s not like I could refuse Elly and Yuuka when they would just persuade me by force if I denied that girl’s stay here.

She stays silent for a few seconds, before she lets out a short snort, which turns to a snicker as she turns around with a grin on her face.

“…I’m just kidding, master,” she says, giggling into one hand. “I’m not mad. Not really, anyway.”

“Glad to hear it,” I say, grinning along with her. “Oh, wait!” I suddenly remember the rose I’m still holding in my hand, holding it out toward her. “…Here, this is for you.”

I’m not a very romantic guy, so I don’t really know how I should be giving a flower to a girl, like how to lead up to it or the words I should choose while I’m presenting it to her, so I’ll just do it like this. Besides, Kana’s pretty unorthodox herself, right?

“A rose?” Kana says, looking at it with an expression of wonder and curiosity. “…This is the first time I’ve seen one this close.”

She takes the rose from me, looking at it like it’s an alien thing to her as she holds it up in various angles. Finally, she looks back at me, and asks in a quiet, almost disbelieving voice. “This is… for me?”

“Yeah.”

“Haah…” she breathes out, closing her eyes. A smile—gentle and serene, instead of the devilishly mischievous one that I’m so used to by now—plays upon her face, and she grips the rose with both hands, clutching it closer to herself. “…That’s adorable, master. It really is, you know that?”

“W-wha…”

Flustered, I look away again, scratching at one of my burning cheeks. That’s… that’s really not fair at all, saying something like that all of a sudden. Averting my gaze from her, I hear her let out another giggle before the quiet scene is interrupted by the slamming open of the door. Startled again, I look to the doorway and see Elly standing there, her face reddened from the heat of the bath, presumably, with her wet hair clinging to her face.

“Hey you,” she calls to me, as Kana backs away out of her line of sight. “Lend me a shirt. A really big one.”

“What? Why?”

“Because Kurumi needs something to wear. Duh,” she says, tapping her foot impatiently with a scowl. She turns her head to Kana, and addresses her, “Oh, her clothes need to be washed, so could you get on that?”

The ghostly girl gives her an icy glare, not saying a word to her as she steps toward the wall, phasing through it and disappearing from my view. Elly stares after her as she leaves.

“The hell’s her problem?”

“Give her your clothes,” I say.

“No,” she replies immediately. “I don’t want giant holes on the back of my clothes.”

What is she… oh, right, the wings.

“And you think I do?”

“You have plenty of spares, don’t you? Come on, are you saying she should just walk around naked?”

[ ] Ugh, whatever.
[ ] Yes.

>> No. 26980
[x] Ugh, whatever.
-[x] But she's responsible for buying Kurumi more clothes.
>> No. 26982
[x] Ugh, whatever.
-[x] But she's responsible for buying Kurumi more clothes.
>> No. 26983
[x] "Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 26987
[x] Ugh, whatever.
-[x] But she's responsible for buying Kurumi more clothes.

Guess who is going to pay for that.
>> No. 26988
[x] "Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 26989
[x] "Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 26990
[x] "Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 26991
Sorry for my rusty English, and my grammars errors. My vote:

[XGive her something you don't wear anymore

- [X]"Here're a shirt and trousers too. She can keep them, I'll give you some money too, but in the future you'll be the one who will be buying her clothes. I'll be not able to maintain all of you at this rate forever."
>> No. 26992
[x] Ugh, whatever.
-[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
--[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 26993
Goddamnit, way to ruin a moment.
>Flustered, I look away again, scratching at one of my burning cheeks. That’s… that’s really not fair at all, saying something like that all of a sudden.
It's like our MC is the girl of the relationship. Which is... unorthodox, somewhat.
Just like those two, actually.
>> No. 26995
[x] "Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 26996
[x] "Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 26998
[X] Yes.
[X] "She's a bat, remember? I haven't seen many bats with clothes aside from that one guy with the mask."

Kurumi can stay a bat until we go shopping or whatever for her.
>> No. 27003
{"Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
- {Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
-- {"Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."}}}
>> No. 27014
>“You have plenty of spares, don’t you? Come on, are you saying she should just walk around naked?”
[X] Yes.
No more complicated write ins. Let's keep it simple.
>> No. 27019
[x] Yes
-[x] "Honestly, I don't see why not."
>> No. 27020
>>27014
>>27019
You monsters. Not even giving Touhous clothes.
>> No. 27023
>You monsters
[X] Yes.
>> No. 27025
[] yes
[] ignore her ramblings, then toss her a shirt
>> No. 27028
[x] "Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 27029
[X] Yes.

Be the bigger man here.
>> No. 27033
[X] Yes.
[X] "She's a bat, remember? I haven't seen many bats with clothes aside from that one guy with the mask."
>> No. 27036
[x] Ugh, whatever.
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 27043
[ø] Yes
Interrupting my Kana moment? Elly, that was not cool.
>> No. 27045
[x] "Never ask a question that way if you don't want an unpleasantly honest answer."
[x] Toss her something you don't wear much anymore and/or don't have any deep fondness for.
[x] "Here's A shirt. You want to keep her, you're buying the rest of her clothes."
>> No. 27067
“Never ask a question that way if you don’t want an unpleasantly honest answer,” I say in a dry tone of voice, snorting.

Elly rolls her eyes, shrugging her shoulders as I reach for my closet, tugging the door open and digging through my neatly organized and folded (which would be thanks to Kana) clothes. She’s divided the t-shirts into one stack and button-up shirts in another. I figure it would probably be easier to put on the latter for a winged girl like her, so my hands reach for that stack, searching for the article of clothing that I value the least and thus would not care whether it’s torn to shreds or whatever. Choosing a dress shirt that probably used to fit me a lot better when I had more weight, I toss it over to Elly, who catches it in one hand and drapes it over her arm.

“Here’s a shirt,” I say, wagging a finger at her. “But you’re going to buy the rest of her clothes, if you want to keep her.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

She turns around and starts to retreat from the room. Before she closes the door, however, I remember something I wanted to ask her.

“Hey, wait.”

“…what?” she asks, poking her head back in the room, raising an eyebrow curiously.

“How was work today?”

She immediately frowns, and falls into silence for a moment before opening the door and stepping inside again, her arms folded together crossly. “It was terrible,” she says darkly, scowling. “Bunch of little shits running around yelling and crying and grabbing at me from everywhere. I totally hate brats like that.”

“…You didn’t get fired or anything on the first day, did you?” I voice my worry.

No,” she huffs. “But that bitch of a head supervisor pulled me aside and started giving me trouble because I yelled at this one kid that kept wandering off somewhere!”

“W-well…” I mumble, cringing as I take a step back. “You’ll, uh, you’ll get used to it…?” Uncertainly, I say.

“No, I won’t,” she declares, her voice breaking slightly. She raises her hand to her face, covering her eyes as she continues to speak, beginning to tremble. “I hate this. This is so humiliating…! I can’t believe—I can’t believe I went from a gatekeeper to a babysitter!”

I frown, not knowing what to say. She continues to shake, her chest heaving up and down as she lets out hiccups. She’s showing such a weak side to me right now, even though that’s something I’ve noticed her to despise so strongly. She must be embarrassed as hell right now, but it looks like the emotions are just pouring out and she can’t manage to stop now that she’s letting it all go.

“And it’s all your fault!” she nearly shrieks, pointing an accusatory finger at me. “Everything bad that’s happened is all your fault! You got me that job at that stupid daycare, I got hurt saving your worthless ass, and—and worst of all, I had to be saved by a stupid, cowardly, useless human like you!”

She slumps weakly, crouching down as the shirt draped on her arm falls to the floor. Furiously wiping at her wet eyes with the back of her hands, she lets out a broken wail.

“This sucks,” she laments, sobbing between words. “I want to go home…!”

“H-hey, don’t cry…”

“I’m not crying, shut up!”

“Elly? Do you have anything for me to wear yet?”

I look to the doorway, and see Kurumi peering inside. The vampire girl’s face lights up with a startled surprise when she sees Elly crouching on the floor, who continues to cry into her arms as her shoulders jerk up and down with every breath. Hurriedly, she steps inside—wearing nothing more than a bath towel covering her front, and only her front—and gives me a scathing glance.

“Did you make her cry?” she accuses me with a scowl, though a good deal of wonder is mixed in with her tone as well.

“N-no, I didn’t really…”

“I’m not crying, shut up!”

[ ] Try to comfort her.
[ ] Leave her to the others.
[ ] Just let her cry it out.
>> No. 27069
[X] Try to comfort her.
-[X] By holding her while you let her cry it out.
--[X] "In the past few days I have started receiving predictions of own death, been attacked by monsters, been saved by women who at first threatened their way into my home, and had to worry about supporting those women along with several others who do not appear to have the means or inclination to support themselves. You are all probably the best thing that has happened to me in years. I have held it together in spite of that."
---"You're absolutely right that you're tougher than me, Elly, so suck it up. I know you well enough to know you can do that."
>> No. 27070
>>27069
[x] Try to comfort her.
-[x] By holding her while you let her cry it out.
--[x] "In the past few days I have started receiving predictions of own death, been attacked by monsters, been saved by women who at first threatened their way into my home, and had to worry about supporting those women along with several others who do not appear to have the means or inclination to support themselves. You are all probably the best thing that has happened to me in years. I have held it together in spite of that."
---"You're absolutely right that you're tougher than me, Elly, so suck it up. I know you well enough to know you can do that."
Hmmmmm, that is kind of too much at once. But gotta start somewhere.
She isn't such a bad person as she wants people to think.
>> No. 27071
[x] Try to comfort her.
>> No. 27072
[x] Try to comfort her.

I'm not sure if the write-in would cheer her up. It is not like she is having a problem with us being unhappy; she really couldn't care less about how we feel.
>> No. 27073
[x] Try to comfort her.

We gotta get her a job at a security company or something.
>> No. 27077
[x] Try to comfort her.
Damn it Elly, you just so not honest. Now guilty creeps over.
>> No. 27079
[] This is your home, for now.
>> No. 27084
[x]You're absolutely right that you're tougher than me, Elly, so suck it up. I know you well enough to know you can do that.
-[x] If you'd like we can look out for a guard job for you. I'm sure that, after seeing your strength, anyone would want to hire you.
>> No. 27085
[ ] Just let her cry it out.

She needs it. Crying can be good sommetimes.
>> No. 27087
{Try to comfort her.
- {By holding her while you let her cry it out.}}
>> No. 27088
[ø] Try to comfort her.
-[ø] By holding her while you let her cry it out.
>> No. 27100
>>27069
Kinda want to vote for this. Elly most likely doesn't want to be held by the protagonist, let alone be comforted by him.

I think she'd take advice, though, even if she wouldn't admit to doing so.

I'm just not sure on all the wording.
>> No. 27135
[x] Leave her to cry it out, comfort her first.
-[x] "Ok, the truth is out. Elly might not have told you before, but I am completely made out of onions. Yes, that's right. And thus, she is tearing up uncontrollably. Kana doesn't tear up because she is a ghost. And ghosts aren't effected by onions."

That should get Kurumi out.

-[x] Suggest both of you leaving the room so Elly can be alone. Before you leave tell her...
--[x] "You're strong Elly. Too strong to let a bunch of kids get in your way and certainly too strong to have someone like me saving you."

If that calms her down a little.

-[x] Extend your arm to her.
--[x] "You probably wouldn't want to. But if you really need someone to talk to, I'll always listen."

idunnolol
>> No. 27147
[X] Try to comfort her.
-[X] By holding her while you let her cry it out.
>> No. 27148
[X] Try to comfort her.
-[X] By holding her while you let her cry it out.
-[X] Try to get Kurumi out of there, too.
--[X] "Okay, the truth is out. Elly might not have told you before, but I am made entirely of onions. Yes, that's right. And thus, she is tearing up uncontrollably. Kana doesn't tear up because she is a ghost. And ghosts aren't affected by onions."

That write-in is too good not to vote for in some fashion.
>> No. 27160
File 127096401838.png - (136.64KB , 500x500 , 5496299.png ) [iqdb]
27160
Oh god what do I do I am not good at this how can I get her to stop crying what if Yuuka hears and she thinks I’m the one who made her cry no wait what if everyone thinks I’m the one who made her cry and they think I’m a huge jerk and why is she crying in the first place why did she pick my room to cry in of all things goddamn it why do I have to deal with this shit.

“Uh…”

I step forward, hesitantly pointing a hand to her and opening my mouth as if to say something, though with my mind as scrambled as it is right now it’s difficult to find anything to say. Awkwardly, I place a hand on her shoulder.

“H-hey, it’s nothing to cry about, right…?”

Violently, she flings my hand away from her shoulder. “Don’t touch me!”

She dampens her sleeves with her still-flowing tears as she wipes at her eyes. Her shoulders give a shudder as she lets out a hiccup. Her voice comes out in a high-pitched, almost inaudible whine as her body continues to give a jerk.

Shit, what am I even supposed to do?

I look up at Kurumi, forgetting for a moment that she’s almost completely naked at the moment. Needless to say, I nearly do a double-take when I’m reminded of that fact. Well, less nearly and more like I fall back on my ass. She stands next to me, stooping over Elly with only that towel draped over the front of her nude body. Sort of like a naked apr—no, now’s not the time to be thinking about stuff like that. She doesn’t seem to be embarrassed at all. Is she an exhibitionist, or does she simply have no shame?

Unfortunately, I don’t think she really has any idea what to do either, as she just looks on at Elly with an uncomfortable expression on her face, frowning hard but not really doing anything to comfort her either. Instead, she looks to me with pleading eyes. Hey, she’s your friend! Don’t ask me to do something! Shouldn’t you be the one to stem her tears?

Sighing, I kneel down next to Elly. With all the grace that would be expected of a guy that has never really held a girl close to him before, I clumsily attempt to wrap my arms around her slender body. She resists me at first, trying to squirm out of the way, but I persist this time, pushing the palms of my hands and bringing her closer to me. She relents, and buries her face into my chest, letting out a broken wail. She hugs me really tight—almost painfully so, I think my ribs are on the verge of cracking!—and dries her tears on my shirt. Unsure of how to follow it up, I pat her on the back as she just lets everything out.

“It’ll get better, I promise,” I say in what I hope is a soothing tone of voice. “As long as you’re alive, you’ll be able to go back home, right?”

She draws away from my shirt, her eyes red and swollen from the crying. I don’t know if it’s because she’s showing her more vulnerable side, but she looks… almost child-like, crying against me like this.

Sniffling, she looks up at me and asks in a low whisper, “…R-really? You think so…?”

“Y-yeah.” Probably.

She slowly loosens her hold on me, and grabs fistfuls of my shirt with her hands, using it as a towel to wipe her moist eyes and cheeks with.

And then she blows her nose on it.

...

“…and if you don’t forget that this ever happened…”

Elly draws a line across her neck with her thumb as she grits her teeth and lets out a grating sound like ‘kggghhhhhck!’ while giving me a thuggish glare.

This may sound cruel, but I think I liked her better when she was crying.

Next to her watching the scene innocently is her vampire friend, now wearing the dress shirt I’d agreed to give to her. As expected, it’s way too big for her, and fits very loosely around her small body, the sleeves going far past her hands and the bottom of the shirt covering just down to her thighs. She’s got this weird, ears-wide grin on her face, and she’s staring at me rather peculiarly. Is it… admiration? Or curiosity? I can’t tell.

Well, either way, she’s wearing only a shirt and a pair of borrowed panties. I don’t know whether to say ‘life is good’ or not right now.

“Yeah, whatever,” I say dismissively as I change into a new t-shirt, having thrown the one I was wearing into the washing bin. Honestly, that’s like the third shirt that’s gotten dirty in just two days! “So hey, I need to talk to everyone, so can you get them to gather in the living room?”

And by everyone I actually really mean just Yuuka, since she’s kind of like these two’s leader. To be perfectly honest, I kind of doubt that Kotohime or Ellen have anything really useful to contribute to the upcoming discussion—though I could easily be mistaken—and to my knowledge I don’t think Kana really cares about what’s been going on, she’s never really been keen to talk about all this.

Elly flinches, looking uneasy. “Er, now?”

“Why not now?”

She frowns. “Because Yuuka’s already gone to bed. You don’t want to wake her up less than three hours after she’s fallen asleep.”

Kurumi eagerly shakes her head. “Oh no no no, you really don’t want to.”

Uh… really? I mean, I know she’s a bit of a heavy sleeper and retires to rest early, but is it really that much of a bad idea…? This is really important, though. Still, my stomach turns a bit when I imagine the possibilities resulting from waking a cranky youkai…

[ ] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!
[ ] Dare you to do it.
>> No. 27161
[X] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!

A flower is sleeping.
>> No. 27162
>>26993
It's Touhou; there's always a good chance that the girl wears the pants.

[x] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!

Now I need to check things more often now...
>> No. 27165
[x] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!
So it is just Elly and the others. Might as well explain things to her and talk about what to do next.
>> No. 27166
[x] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!
Going to have to procrastinate.
>> No. 27171
[x] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!
>> No. 27184
[ ] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!
>> No. 27185
Wait, isn't option "Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!" is a subliminal message for Lion to procrastinate?
>> No. 27191
>>27185

Maybe, but it is either that or a bad end.

[x] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!
>> No. 27192
[ø] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!
>> No. 27194
>>27191
it's not a sure fire bad end, but I doubt the chances are all that good.
>> No. 27197
[x] Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate!

Let sleeping sunflowers lie.
>> No. 27208
[B] Dare you to do it.
>> No. 27214
[x] Wait until later.
[x] But write up a note for her so that she'll see it when she wakes up, and knows that things need to be discussed ASAP. Maybe give her a bit of a teaser.

Procrastinate is an evil, evil word.

And I definitely don't think we should discount Kotohime or Ellen. They're both hit-or-miss as far as whether or not they'll be helpful, but they shouldn't be disregarded. I'd almost say Kurumi should be, but she's got that whole came-earlier thing going on.

Anyway, we probably can have some Kana time after these two bugger off. Maybe.

Or at least some Ellen time, which is Fine Too.
>> No. 27228
>>27191

Geez, stop being afraid. How ironic that the only one with a penis in the house is too much of a pussy.

You guys worry too much about bad ends. In a simple, peaceful situation like this, a bad end is very unlikely. yes, Yuuka is strong and somewhat violent, and may have threatened the MC before, but that was to advance the plot (more like, to start the plot).

It may also be a good chance to impose the MC's presence in his own house, and put some manly spirit into him.

[AT] Dare you to do it.
>> No. 27229
>>27228
Agreed.

[x] Dare you to do it.

Man up and do it.
>> No. 27236
>>27228
It's Yuuka, someone who if provoked badly will splatter whoever across the walls. And what better way to do that than waking her up early?
>> No. 27238
>>27228
There is a difference between being manly and suicidial.
>It may also be a good chance to impose the MC's presence in his own house, and put some manly spirit into him.
This has always been a running gag.

You don't need to worry about him being powerless at the moment, he will do many manly things in the future. Plus, he already did a few manly acts already.
>> No. 27240
“Ah, whatever,” I say, shrugging it all off. There’s always tomorrow, right? Since there’s no point in discussing this when the ‘leader’ isn’t present, might as well push it until next morning, I guess. “We’ll just have to talk about it tomorrow, then. Can you tell her about it when she wakes up?”

“Alright then,” Elly says immediately.

I frown. “You don’t sound like you care much about this.”

“I don’t like to think too deeply about things much,” she replies as she shrugs her own shoulders. “Keep everything simple and live an easy life, that’s just how I do things. If you’re going to tell me anything, then all I need to know is who and where the one responsible for all this mess is, so I can go kill ‘em for putting me through this crap.”

She really does have a one-track mind, doesn’t she? Still, that means that’s one less thinking head to rely on.

Then, what about her friend?

I look to the vampire girl standing next to her, who jumps when she sees my gaze fix on her. She looks back at me curiously, blinking rapidly and cocking her head to the side, her mouth hanging open slightly with her sharp fangs showing.

…Right, I don’t think I can count on her either.

Why am I surrounded by women who are violent, insane, negligent, or otherwise completely unreliable? Or any combinations of the features listed thus far?

Well, too late to cry about my situation now, I guess. The tears have all dried up already.

“…Master.”

The three of us present all jump at the sudden intrusion, and Kurumi visibly leaps back in shock, pointing behind me. Turning about, I see Kana poking her head out from the wall behind me. She secures her hat by its brim with one gloved hand as the rest of her body pulls itself out from the wall, stepping into the room.

“Dinner is ready,” she says with an insincere smile toward the three of us, lifting her skirt in a polite curtsy. With cold eyes that clash with her smile, she turns her gaze to the vampire girl, who cringes a little and moves to hide behind me. “…I hope it will be to the liking of our new guest.”

Without another word, she turns around and steps through the wall again, vanishing. Glancing at Elly, I see a sour expression on her face as she looks over to Kurumi, who emerges from behind me and lets out a breath of relief.

“Who was that?” she wonders out aloud. “She creeps me out.”

“Don’t mind her,” Elly says dismissively. “There’s something wrong with that girl.”

You’re not one to talk.

I step out of my room, and the two girls behind me follow. Making my way to the dining/living room, I see that Ellen and Kotohime are already settled down at opposite ends of the dining table. I pull up a chair next to the latter, while the other two take seats next to the former.

“Wow, looks good!” Kurumi says enthusiastically, looking at her plate.

“Do you really even need to eat?” I ask her, curious. “Don’t you only feed on blood or something.”

She picks up her pair of chopsticks. “That doesn’t me I can’t eat normal stuff.”

“Oh!” Kotohime suddenly exclaims, eyeing the pair of chopsticks in the vampire’s hand. Enthusiastically, she leans in closer and asks, “Can we trade chopsticks?”

“…Huh?”

“I like the ones you have,” she says, holding up her own pair of chopsticks. “These are very nice too, but I like those better.”

“Um, what?”

“Yours are so pretty,” Kotohime says, her eyes focused completely on the objects of her admiration. “I mean, these are pretty good too, but not as good as those. You get me, right?”

Kurumi looks confusedly at the strange girl addressing her, then looks to Elly for help, who only sniggers and barely restrains herself from laughing out loud, then to Ellen, who’s too busy eating to even notice her, and then to me. I can only offer her a shrug as consolation.

“Uh… sure,” she finally says uneasily, handing the chopsticks over to Kotohime, who receives it gleefully in exchange for her pair. Under her breath, I hear her mutter, “…but it’s just chopsticks. What’s the difference?”

“I assure you that you did not make the wrong choice,” Kotohime says sagely, nodding her head as she grasps the chopsticks in her hands dearly, clasped between her palms. “And I sincerely hope you will treat that pair just as lovingly as you would have these.”

What? We are still talking about chopsticks, right?

“What makes those better?” I decide to ask out of curiosity, though I suspect that the reason will only end up confusing me even more.

She thrusts the chopsticks toward me, held horizontally in her hand. “Because these have flower markings! See, don’t the patterns look sort of like the ones on my clothes?”

Looking closer, I do see a similarity between the flower patterns on her kimono and the markings on the chopsticks. Five petals with a single point as the center. That’s… actually a pretty normal reason to like the design better, but still, who cares about something like that?

Well, I guess she does.

And if something small like that makes her happy, then that’s just as well, I suppose.

Mrow~…

I hear a disgruntled meow from below, and see Sokrates wandering nearby, sulking as it watches us eat. Ellen turns around alerted by its cry and gets up out of the chair. Before it can escape the scene and bound off to somewhere else, she scoops it up in her arms.

“Sokrates says he’s hungry too,” she says, fondly stroking the cat’s head as she returns to her seat.

Mroooow~

Sokrates lets out another yowl, as if to agree with what its master just said.

…Huh, that’s right. So far, that cat’s been eating leftover food, hasn’t it? Is that healthy, for a cat? I mean, should I go out and buy some cat food for it or something? Maybe a litter box for it, too?

Pfft, yeah right. Why should I give it luxuries when all it gives me is an attitude?

---

After finishing dinner, I retreat back to my room, shutting the door behind me. I feel beat. Lately, why is it that I feel exhausted all the time? Well, probably has something to do with all the crap I’ve been through lately, but still, it’s a bit too jarring to suddenly be thrown out of my comfortable if unfulfilling lifestyle into one full of troubles.

I lie back on my bed, closing my eyes. I’ve got a lot to think about as well. Senpai… damn, who would’ve thought he’d make it that big? Tch, kind of pisses me off, thinking about it. I know I should be happy for his sake, but still…

I open my eyes.

And I find myself in a completely unrecognizable room.

Immediately, I jump up, looking around in alarm. The bed I’m sitting on is no longer the one I’m always used to sleeping in; no, it’s quite a bit bigger, the sheets are thick and pure white rather than the mess I’m familiar with, and the frame is sleeker and more elegant in design.

I leap up to my feet, and I’m met with the sound of the wooden floor creaking beneath me. Wait, wooden floor? That can’t be right. Where the hell am I?

I take a look around the room alien to me, taking in its sights. There’s no light in here. I look up at the ceiling, and it’s completely bare, devoid of any light fixtures. The only source of light is the pale moonlight shining through a closed window nearby. The wallpaper carries a dull, depressingly gray color that bathes the room in melancholy. The only other furniture in the room is an antique bookcase, filled with many tattered looking texts, titled in a language you don’t understand, and a wooden desk, with a comfortable looking chair sitting around nearby.

Cautiously, I walk toward the door leading out of the room. It, too, is old fashioned, made from what looks to me like high-quality wood, with a polished brass handle. No matter how I look at it, this room gives off a very… Western feel.

I place my hand on the handle, tugging at it. But it doesn’t budge at all. I think it’s locked.

[ ] Try to force it open.
[ ] Wait around.
>> No. 27242
[x] Try to force it open.
Go crazy.
>> No. 27243
[x] Knock.
>> No. 27247
[x] Knock.

Anyone else think that this might be (K)Ana's room?
>> No. 27248
[x] Knock.
>> No. 27249
[x] Knock.
>> No. 27251
[x] Try to force it open.
>> No. 27252
[x] Knock.
>>27247
That's exactly what I was thinking.
>> No. 27254
>“That doesn’t me I can’t eat normal stuff.”

you mean "mean" right?

[x] Knock.

in b4 no write-ins.
>> No. 27255
[x] Knock.
Knock knock.
>> No. 27256
[x]break open door
>> No. 27257
[X] Try to force it open.

Kung-fu kick style! Let the rage out!
>> No. 27258
[ ] Try to force it open.
>> No. 27259
[x] Knock.
>> No. 27263
[X] Try to force it open.

We're inside a room. Why would we knock before going out into the hallway?
>> No. 27265
[B] Try to force it open.
>> No. 27274
[X] Try to force it open.
>> No. 27275
[ø] Knock
>>27263
because this write-in is so weird that it might just work.
>> No. 27338
[X] Knock.
>> No. 27340
[X] Knock.

Err.. ok.
>> No. 27342
[X] Try to force it open.

Sometimes I wonder about you, Anon.
>> No. 27347
[X] Knock.
Sometimes we wonder about you as well.
>> No. 27353
[X] Try to force it open.

Remilia~ Kick!
>> No. 27364
File 12713997257.jpg - (544.82KB , 800x800 , 2317443.jpg ) [iqdb]
27364
…It’s one of those doors that lock from the outside, so there’s no way I can get it to open. I’m not keen on the idea of trying to kick or tackle the door down either; I’m not sure I could even if I tried, because the door, as antique as it looks, seems pretty damn sturdy. Probably, the only thing I’d end up breaking would be my own bones, and that’s just not good at all.

So I reach out and knock on the door, rapping on the smooth wooden surface with my knuckles. I admit, it’s not exactly the most sensible thing to do at the moment, but what else can I do when I’ve suddenly been transported into an unknown location?

I wait.

And I wait.

Impatiently, I begin tapping my foot as I stand in front of the door, hoping for any kind of change in the situation, like the door handle slowly turning open or the creak of a wooden board sounding out from beyond the door. But it’s for nothing; there’s absolutely no movement other than my own, no sound other than my own breathing.

…Damn, what the hell do I do now?

Not knowing what to do next, I aimlessly wander around the somewhat spacious room I’m inside. It doesn’t seem to be kept very well-maintained, as there’s a layer of dust covering the desk and shelves. Walking over to the window, I throw them open, peering out into the night sky. What greets me isn’t the scene of the urban city, but a different one entirely; outside, I can see trees standing tall, all clustered together. Where…? I don’t recognize this place at all!

Moving away from the window, I walk back to the bed, taking a seat on its soft, cushiony surface with a sigh. This is just too strange.

..Hmm, yeah, I don’t even have the energy to act freaked out right now.

A soft giggle echoes throughout the room.

“You’re taking this rather well, master,” Kana’s voice whispers into my ear.

Her gloved hand slowly touches down on my shoulder as she gently descends behind me, pressing her body against my back. Without batting an eye, I look toward her and give her a grin.

“I guess I’m getting used to it.”

“Oh, that’s not good,” she says with a frown, sounding mock-hurt. “That’s not good at all. You should really indulge me sometimes, master. Otherwise, I’ll feel… inadequate.”

“Where are we, anyway?”

“Where indeed?” she replies with a mysterious smile, prying away from me as she gently floats up and away from the bed, her hands folded together behind her back.

Gently gliding through the air in front of me, she gives a cute twirl around before facing me again with her arms outstretched.

She smiles mysteriously. “It might be a difference place entirely, or we might still be in your room.”

“…Huh?”

“But I won’t tell you which, you know. Yahaha…” She places a finger to her lips, whispering just loud enough for me to hear. “It’s more interesting to keep you in the dark about it, master.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I say, though I’m unsure. “How can this be my room?”

She giggles again. “You’d be surprised by how much people shape their world through their perception, master.”

What? What’s that mean?

Taking in the confused look on my face with a certain amount of satisfaction, she turns her back to me as she descends to the floor, walking forward with silent steps.

“Things that others can’t see, hear, or feel. Things unique to the perception of the one beholding them,” she says, continuing to walk, even as she reaches the wall. She disappears through it, but her voice still echoes throughout the room. “Yes. Though they may not be tangible things, to the eyes that can see them, to the ears that can hear them, and to the hands that can touch them, they are real.”

My eyes dart to the side of the room when I see movement there, and my jaw drops open slightly when I see Kana’s head emerge from the wall; only, she’s walking on the wall as though it were the floor, her body and her clothes completely unaffected by gravity as she paces along the wall.

“The mind makes them real,” she continues to talk in that subdued, hauntingly detached voice. “The belief that something is there forces the eyes to see what really isn’t, the ears to hear that which did not sound, and the body to feel what it shouldn’t be able to.”

Kana reaches the end of one wall, and sinks into it once more, disappearing for a short time before emerging from the other side of the wall, walking along its surface. She sinks through the wall at her feet, and emerges from the ceiling, continuing to completely defy gravity as she stands on its surface as though it’s me who’s upside-down.

She giggles. “And through the mind, one can ignore vital needs like hunger, thirst, and sleep. The human mind is really a very powerful thing, isn’t it?”

Once more, she disappears from view by sinking through the surface of the room. A pair of arms wraps itself around my neck from behind, and I can feel Kana’s soft body cuddling up against my back again.

“A wakeful dream,” she whispers into my ear. “And like a dream, something that no one else can share with you.”

Silence.

I look down, not knowing what to say. That’s… what is she talking about? Hallucinations? Am I hallucinating right now…?

“But master,” she whispers again, her voice just barely audible. “…where do those dreams go when you awake from them? Do they simply vanish, or do they linger behind?”

[ ]
>> No. 27368
Like an episode of Outer Limits.

I would suggest trying to walk on the wall or something but that is probably not what she wants to make us see.
>> No. 27377
File 127143929960.jpg - (48.93KB , 435x462 , jump_the_shark.jpg ) [iqdb]
27377
Fuck it.

{"...Nothing can ever truly vanish. If you want to see something, or someone, badly enough they'll appear right in front of you. Like you, right now."
- {Kiss her.}}

I've been thinking about this for about an hour and a half now, and all that's coming out is this little voice saying 'Kana route Kana route Kana route Kana route Kana route' so there it is.

Pic maybe related.
>> No. 27378
[x]"...Nothing can ever truly vanish. If you want to see something, or someone, badly enough they'll appear right in front of you. Like you, right now."
-[x]Kiss her.

I'd add in something about how dreams leave strong impressions, but I can't really work it in nicely.

>Kana Route
I have no problems with that.
>> No. 27379
[X] "I guess... they're still there, aren't they? Just waiting for a mind to make them real again."
[X] "I... think I'd like this dream to be real."
[X] Kiss her.

Adding some variety to the write-in pool. It's a little cheesy, but hey.
>> No. 27392
[x]"...Nothing can ever truly vanish. If you want to see something, or someone, badly enough they'll appear right in front of you. Like you, right now."
-[x]Kiss her.
>> No. 27394
[X] "I guess... they're still there, aren't they? Just waiting for a mind to make them real again."
[X] "I... think I'd like this dream to be real."
>> No. 27395
[x]"...Nothing can ever truly vanish. If you want to see something, or someone, badly enough they'll appear right in front of you. Like you, right now."
-[x]Kiss her.
>> No. 27396
Man fuck those Kanafags, I want a route for... er...

-[x]Kiss her.
>> No. 27402
>>27396
Can't think of anybody else, can you?
Because nobody else is a better choice than Kana.

[x]"...Nothing can ever truly vanish. If you want to see something, or someone, badly enough they'll appear right in front of you. Like you, right now."
-[x]Kiss her.
>> No. 27404
[x]"...Nothing can ever truly vanish. If you want to see something, or someone, badly enough they'll appear right in front of you. Like you, right now."
-[x]Kiss her.

Oh yes please! Go for it!
>> No. 27409
File 127155442290.jpg - (104.82KB , 680x480 , kana ana.jpg ) [iqdb]
27409
I don’t understand. Why is she asking me this…? Where do dreams go? I’ve… never thought about something like that before. I’ve never had to. Something as immaterial as a dream, I never bothered to consider it. Most of the time, I can’t even remember what I was dreaming about when I wake up in the morning. Just… how am I supposed to answer something like that?

I hang my head in silence, trying to think of something to say. It’s no good. I’m drawing a total blank here. I wish I had something deep and profound to reply to her with, but really, I’ve got nothing at all. While I’m contemplating this, I feel the slender arms around my neck move down to my waist, as Kana presses herself even further against my back, resting her head on one of my shoulders.

It’s driving me crazy, having her so close like this. My cheeks burn bright red, and my poor heart is strains itself to keep beating at its presently rapid rate. It’s so distracting that I can’t even concentrate on trying to think of which words to choose. But at the same time, it feels so wonderful. I haven’t known an embrace like this since…

…That’s right. I don’t know what to say. But I do know what I want.

I don’t want her to disappear.

“…No, nothing can ever really vanish,” I begin to speak, meekly and a little unsure at first, though a growing confidence slowly enables me to speak at a higher voice. “Even if you wake up from a dream, you can still see that dream again, right? That is, if you truly want to see it again…”

I don’t know what I’m saying or even if it makes sense, but I just keep talking anyway, because I’m afraid to stop.

“Kana,” I call her name, turning my head to look at her. She raises her gaze to meet mine, our heads only a couple of inches apart from one another. “If this is a dream, then I’d like for it to last forever.”

She smiles, caressing my cheek with her hand. “…Do you really mean that, master?”

My answer isn’t in the form of words. Slowly, I close my eyes. Heart beating furiously, I lean in close—so close that I can feel her short breaths on my face as the tips of our noses nearly touch. I can’t think of anything but her right now. Kana. Kana. Kana. Kana. Kana…

But our lips don’t meet.

She raises a finger and presses it against my lips, stopping me. Surprised, I open my eyes as she pushes herself away from me gently with a devilish, mischievous grin. She closes her eyes for a brief moment as she shakes her head, the one arm still wrapped around my waist releasing me as she floats up into the air as Kana once again hovers before me.

Goddamn it.

“…Master, would you like to know what this place is?” she asks me as she lands on the floor noiselessly, her hands folded together behind her once more. As she continues to speak, she makes a waving gesture toward the open windows, and to my great surprise, sunlight begins to shine in through the opening, illuminating the once-darkened room. “It’s a wonderful vacation home.”

She stops, looking toward the door. She reaches out with her hand and gives a push, and the door immediately springs open. But even with the sunlight shining in through the open windows, I can’t make out what’s beyond the doorway; all I can see is total darkness, unable to be penetrated by even a single ray of light.

“Kana…?” I mutter as I stand up from the bed, taking a step toward her.

“Do you remember Miss Ana’s request?” she asks, twisting about to face me. “What she desired to see the most.”

“Um…”

“The sea,” she answers for me, putting on a crooked smile. “She wanted to see the sea, and her parents agreed to grant that request. That’s why… they came here, when summer finally arrived.”

She turns again, facing the door. Taking a hold of the brim of her hat, she lifts it from her head, and hugs it very tightly, very fondly, to herself before lightly tossing it toward the doorway. The hat spins through the air, before being swallowed up by the darkness beyond the open door. Straightening herself, she lowers her head and waits in silence.

And then a girl steps into the room.

A beautiful young brunette, with long, flowing hair that almost seems blonde when exposed to the rays of the sun. Wearing a silky, elaborate red dress, she twirls about happily as she enters the room, pressing a wide brimmed hat with a ribbon adorning it—Kana’s hat—down on her head as she lets out a joyous yet completely silent laugh, the hem of her skirt whirling at her feet.

“Miss Ana was very happy,” Kana says, watching the girl with a distant smile. “She would finally be able to witness the beautiful scene of the sea. To watch the tides draw in and out, to hear the cries of seagulls as they fly overhead, and to smell the scent the summer breeze carries.”

The girl—Miss Ana, I presume—smiles happily as she walks about the room inside, looking around with excitement just like a child at an amusement park. Out of curiosity, I move toward her, reaching out with a hand. She takes no notice of me and… she passes through me, completely intangible, to go on to sit down on the bed. She lifts the hat from her head, and just as Kana had done before, she fondly clutches it to herself.

So, this is just an illusion…?

“She received a lovely hat from her mother, one that could shield her from the harsh rays of the sun.”

I look toward the open door again, and two more figures step inside. One of them is a tall, well-built man, wearing regal clothing and holding a classy gentleman’s walking stick in his hand as he steps inside. At his side is a lady, wearing clothes befitting of one and following the gentleman obediently. Ana’s father and mother…?

But their faces are completely featureless.

The faceless gentleman walks over to his daughter, and reaching out with one large hand, he places it on top of her head, gently stroking it. The lady also walks over to the girl, taking the hat from her hands and placing it on top of the girl’s head. Lovingly, the lady carefully adjusts the hat on her head, and taking a step back, claps her hands together as the girl lets out a laugh that is, once again, without sound.

“She was so very excited that she wanted to go to the beach right away, while her condition was still good.

…But,”

The light shining into the room from the window begins to wane, growing fainter and redder in color as the sun begins to set. As for the girl sitting on the bed, she suddenly begins to cough into her mouth, as her parents worriedly crowd around her. Her already pale skin seems to grow even whiter, to the point where it’s ashen. Taking a hold of her by the shoulders, her father gently allows her to rest on the bed, while her mother covers her convulsing body with a thick blanket. Her mother reaches for the girl’s hat, which had fallen from the girl’s head when she had began her fit of coughing, and places it on top of the desk.

“She suddenly became very ill again, and so once again, she was confined to her bed.”

Dusk turns to night as the gentleman and the lady leave the room, closing the door behind them. Struggling with great effort, the young girl attempts to sit up from the bed, her weak body trembling with the exertion needed to move, trying to lift her head, though she fails and slumps back down onto her pillow.

“Her condition did not improve, and so her father, frightened for the life of his child, decided to call in for a doctor. Thus he set out on a carriage, along with his wife. The nearest apothecary was only a couple hours away, after all. Miss Ana was a patient girl. She would wait for her parents’ return.”

The young girl closes her eyes, seemingly drifting asleep. Moments later, sunlight fills the room again, and the girl’s eyes flutter awake. She sits up in her bed, looking about the room with searching eyes.

“…But they weren’t there in the morning, as they had promised they would be.”

With a crestfallen look, Ana lies back down on her bed, looking up at the ceiling with her eyes wide open. They remain open, completely unblinking, as morning becomes noon and noon transforms into evening, before finally turning to night once more. A small cough escapes her lips as she continues to watch the ceiling with that hollow gaze.

“They never returned.

She wondered if something had happened to them.”

Raising herself from the bed again, Ana reaches across toward the desk, grabbing the hat sitting there. With a worried expression, she clutches the brim of her hat with her slender fingers, holding it tightly to her heart.

“’Maybe they had an accident on the way back,’ she worried.”

Her fingers clench tighter on the fabric.

“What really happened to them, she did not know. Maybe they had become involved in a crash in their carriage and died. Or… maybe

‘Maybe they’ve abandoned me,’ thought the girl.”

The girl’s eyes seem dead, her face completely devoid of any sort of expression as she sits there, still holding dearly onto that hat gifted to her by her mother. Drops of tears begin rolling down from her eyes, each little bead illuminated by the glow of the moonlight. The girl remains completely still as the sun rises once more before succumbing to the night again.

“But it didn’t matter either way. Because whether her mother and father were dead, or if they had finally grown tired of caring for her…

She was alone.

Completely alone.

Here, she had neither the love nor the care of her parents.

She had no servants who would feed or clothe her.

The nearest human contacts were much too far away for her frail body to make the trip to.

Abandoned, forsaken, and forgotten, she remained alone in this dreary prison disguised as a wonderful mansion. She was robbed of the one thing, the only thing she had ever truly wanted to do in life—and soon that would be taken from her as well.

She knew it.

She had been left to die.”

Kana, who had been standing off to the side thus far, stirs into movement, gliding over to the girl still sitting up in her bed, clutching onto her hat. She looks down at the girl, who slowly lifts her chin to return the gaze, though she gives no other reaction. Bending slightly, Kana raises her hand to the girl’s cheek, lovingly stroking it.

“And so she began to hate the world that had thrown her away.”

And as she says this, the vision of the girl in the bed begins to become transparent and faint. Her image slowly fades away from view, and the hat she’s holding in her hands gently drops to the surface of the bed. Without pause, Kana sweeps it up in her hand, and places it on top of her own head again.

For a while, we remain silent, as Kana stands there with her back turned to me, looking out the open windows next to the bed. Finally, she turns around to me with her head lowered so that I can’t make out her expression, and slowly approaches me as I stand there, transfixed. She lowers the brim of her hat over her eyes, hiding them as she raises her chin to show me a melancholic smile.

And suddenly, she leans in, standing on the tip of her toes as she wraps her arms around my body. Her lips make their way to my ear, and she whispers into it.

                             ”I don’t want to disappear from your heart.”

---

I open my eyes, and find myself in my own bed, small beads of sweat rolling down my face as I gasp for breath. It… feels like I’ve just run a marathon or something.

Immediately, I take a look around. This is my room alright. From a glance at the window, I can tell that it’s still definitely night; and pretty late at that, since it’s a lot darker now than it was before all that happened. I don’t see Kana around, though. Where… did she go?

Shaking my head and feeling slightly disoriented, I fumble my way to my door, and tug it open. I need to go wipe this sweat off. Blinking as my eyes adjust themselves to the dark, I grope a path to the bathroom, and stepping inside, I flick on the light switch. Drying my sweaty face with a towel, I toss it into a wash bin before stepping back out.

Out in the hallway, something catches my attention. The door to the room next to mine’s been left ajar. That would be the room Elly and Ellen are staying in. But beyond the door, I can see a small, greenish light illuminating a corner of the room. Carefully, I step toward the door. It’s not just light, either. From just outside the door, I can hear someone muttering inside. Because they’re speaking in a low whisper, I can’t make out who the voice belongs to.

[ ] Head inside.
[ ] Go to bed.
>> No. 27411
[x] Go to bed.

Oh Kana, that's nearly impossible, even if we wanted to, which we don't.

I don't think we should go mucking about; last thing we need is an angry Elly. And we have a meeting to arrange in the morning once Yuuka gets up.
>> No. 27412
[ø] Head inside.
“And so she began to hate the world that had thrown her away.”
;_;
>> No. 27413
[X] Go inside.

The green light is probably Ellen's magic; leaving it alone is just asking for trouble.
>> No. 27414
[x] Investigate.
Everyone all right in here?

Ka(aaawwwwwwwwww)na is the best.

I was really worried about that spoilered text.
>> No. 27417
[x] Head inside.
>> No. 27418
[X] Head inside.
>> No. 27419
[x] Head inside.
What could possibly go wrong?
>> No. 27422
>>27419
Whenever someone asks that, too much. I'll wait and see how this choice turns out, hopefully it won't hinder things too badly.
>> No. 27423
[x] Head inside.
>> No. 27424
[x] Investigate.

That was brilliant, that was fucking brilliant Lion.
>> No. 27425
[X] Go inside.
That was really sad. But heartwarming at the end.
>> No. 27427
{Head inside.}
>> No. 27432
[x] Investigate.

Kana will never disappear from my heart.
>> No. 27436
File 127168448467.png - (19.45KB , 300x309 , redrage.png ) [iqdb]
27436
[x] Investigate.
But in stealth mode.

>”I don’t want to disappear from your heart.”
Damn it Kana, you.. you..!
>> No. 27438
[x] Go to bed.
>> No. 27450
>>27436

Teased?

[x] Investigate.
>> No. 27501
Goddamn, Lion. This may be slowpoke, but bravo.

[x] Head inside.
>> No. 27505
File 127208887412.jpg - (26.50KB , 1006x605 , BH.jpg ) [iqdb]
27505
Here's a layout of home sweet home.

------

You know, somehow I get this feeling that if I just leave this as it is, I’m going to end up regretting it in the morning. Call it a hunch or simple paranoia, but I’ve spent long enough in this world turned upside-down enough to speak from experience, and now that my curiosity’s been piqued, I can’t stop this urge to head inside and investigate this mysterious light. It is an obligation. A duty of mine, as the man of this household.

It is most certainly not because I want to take a peek at the girls’ sleeping forms.

Quietly, I lightly shove the door open, cringing at the sound of the wooden frame creaking as it gently swings open, allowing more of that green light to peer out the doorway. Very eerie; the way it bathes the room in that creepy luminescence is unsettling. It sort of resembles looking through night-vision goggles, only I’m not wearing goggles. Obviously.

Holding my breath, in fear of the sound of air traveling out of my nostrils giving me away, I silently tip-toe my way inside. Looking over the floor, I see Elly (dressed in a nightgown now) and Kurumi (still wearing only that shirt) sprawled out over a single futon together, sharing it. They… uh, they look pretty comfortable, with the latter hugging the former around the midriff and burying her face into her chest while Elly’s got her legs locked tightly around her back, just beneath her folded wings.

They must be pretty comfortable with each other to be sleeping like that. I wonder if they’re… No, probably not.

But isn’t this also where Ellen sleeps? Where is—oh, duh! Of course she would be the source of the strange light! Why, there she is, sitting in the corner of the room, a green glow radiating from her palm. What’s she doing up so late at night? She’s still a kid; she should be getting plenty of rest and sleep, right?

…Huh?

What is she doing?

Sitting against the wall, the girl is pouring over a small notebook held in one hand—the one that I saw her taking out before when she demonstrated magic to me—while holding up her other hand, from which the source of the green light shines, illuminating the pages of the notebook held in her primary hand.

Curious, I step just a little closer for a better look at her. Squatting down, I watch her as her eyes traverse the pages, darting from side to side like she’s just skimming through all the pages. As she does, however, her small mouth flutters open and shut rapidly, mouthing words as she continues to flip through the pages. I can’t read lips, so I have no idea what she’s saying, but even if I could, I doubt I could keep up; they’re moving way too fast to follow.

“…Ellen?” I speak out, trying to catch her attention.

She ignores me completely, focused totally on the little notebook in her hand as her lips continue to mouth words that can’t be heard. Just what is in there, anyway? Notes for potions? Incantations for spells? Maybe there’s some kind of a spirit possessing the notebook or something?

“Hey, Ellen,” I call her name again, raising my voice a little. “Ellen!”

Not a stir, nor an acknowledging glance. It’s like she can’t hear me at all. Something’s wrong here. Her eyes look unfocused, even as they glide over the pages of the notebook. Like she’s in a trance, the little witch continues to mutter soundless words, the pages of the notebook turning by themselves without the aid of her fingers.

“…Ellen…”

I place a hand on her head, hoping to get a response this time.

…But it’s no use. It’s like she can’t even feel my touch at all. Like her conscious has been whisked away to a completely different world than the one I’m in. I… wonder what I should do. Should I just leave her alone, or try to bring her back?

[ ] It’s just a little light reading.
[ ] Something’s wrong.
>> No. 27506
[X] Something’s wrong.

Never know unless you try.
>> No. 27507
I'm going to assume this is some sort of study-trance, and that breaking it probably won't help Ellen very much. God knows she's spacy enough as it is.

Too bad we can't ask the cat.

[x] It’s just a little light reading.

IF it really is harmless, I can just see this biting us in the ass in so many ways when things go FUBAR; specifically Elly and Kurumi flipping the fuck out and getting pissed off at the protagonist for walking in.
>> No. 27510
[x] It’s just a little ligh... something’s wrong.
[x] Wait and see.
>> No. 27511
[X] It’s just a little light reading.
[X] Ask her about it in the morning.
>> No. 27512
[X] It’s just a little light reading.
-[X] Probably...
[X] Go find the cat. Maybe he knows.
>> No. 27513
>>27512
This... may actually be a good idea. Even if our protagonist doesn't acknowledge the fact that the cat talked, even non-magical pets know their owner's habits well enough to understand when something's wrong.

[X] It’s just a little light reading.
-[X] Probably...
[X] Go find the cat. Maybe he knows.
>> No. 27514
[X] It’s just a little light reading.
-[X] Probably...
[X] Go find the cat. Maybe he knows.
>> No. 27515
[x] It’s just a little light reading.
-[x] Probably...
[x] Go find the cat. Maybe he knows.
Better
>> No. 27517
[X] Something’s wrong.
After that talk, don't blame for being paranoid.
>> No. 27519
[X] It’s just a little light reading.
-[X] Probably...
[X] Go find the cat. Maybe he knows.
>> No. 27522
[X] It’s just a little light reading.
-[X] Probably...
[X] Go find the cat. Maybe he knows.
>> No. 27523
[X] Something’s wrong.
>> No. 27524
[B] It’s just a little light reading.
>> No. 27528
[X] It’s just a little light reading.
-[X] Probably...
[X] Go find the cat. Maybe he knows.
>> No. 27534
>[X] Go find the cat. Maybe he knows.

...do you guys really think the cat will say anything at all? The only reason he ever said anything was to throw the MC off balance, refusing to give him any normalcynormality he desires to have again in his life.
>> No. 27536
I-it’s just a little light reading she’s doing, isn’t it? Nothing to worry about… I hope. I can’t help but feel uneasy just leaving her this way, though. The way she’s absolutely transfixed on the contents of that little notebook’s pages, with no care for anything else around her, is kind of disturbing, somehow. But well, it’s probably a witch thing that I wouldn’t be able to understand, seeing as I am neither witch nor warlock and thus am unfamiliar with their ways and stuff.

Mrow~

I jump at the sudden yowl, swinging my head around wildly to locate the source. Goddamn it, cat, you scared the crap out of me. Sokrates lies about lazily on its front, its head supported on top of its forepaws. With eyes that glow a piercing green in the dark, the light from its owner’s hand reflecting off their surface, the cat watches me silently. Shit, even the cat is being creepy at this hour. Annoyed, I reach out and give it a light bop on the head. Dumb cat.

Ah, wait a minute.

Maybe I can just ask the cat what Ellen’s up to? I mean, I wouldn’t really be all that surprised if it could talk. Say that the voice that I heard back then wasn’t just my imagination; it had to have been from the cat, since there was no one else in the room at the time, right? With that in my, I scoot around to face the cat, lowering my head to stare at it intensely.

“Hey cat,” I begin with a tense voice.

Sokrates shifts its gaze up to me, acknowledging my opener with a twitch of its ears.

I point at the girl sitting next to me. “What’s your master doing?”

It slowly, sluggishly, stands up on all fours. Closing its eyes, it opens its mouth wide. Ohhh, is it going to speak? Is it trying to speak after all? Oh, wait, no, it’s just yawning. With sly, slinking movements, the cat spins about in place before curling up on the floor, making a point to face away from me. Damn it, this cat really pisses me off.

With a finger, I jab at its back. “Damn it, don’t go to sleep. I need you to tell me what the hell’s going on! Like, is this normal or what?”

The cat lifts its head and looks at me with narrowed eyes, as if to tell me to go away. Looking away again, it raises a paw to its mouth and cleans it with its tongue, pointedly ignoring me. Damn it, this cat seriously pisses me off!

Grabbing it by the top of the head, I force it to look at me as I lean closer to its face, scowling as hard as I can. “Listen, cat,” I begin threateningly, my voice much deeper than it is usually. “I know you can talk, so say something you little—”

It pulls its head out of my hand and bites down on my fingers.

“Ow!”

Shit, I didn’t even know that cats bite! I tug my hand free of its small jaw, seething with rage against the little mess of fur that’s left teeth marks on my fingers. Alright, you wanna go? I’m not liable for any charges of animal cruelty, you little—! Hyah, take that! And that—fuckdammit, my hand! Hah! Uraaaaagh!

…the hell am I playing around with this cat for? Damn it, that’s like the third time I threw down with this thing.

Holding the squirming feline at arm’s length away from me by the scruff of its neck, I rub at the fresh scratches on my face while breathing in through my teeth, cursing under my breath. For such a lazy cat, it sure is fast. Well, it ain’t gonna tell me anything, so I should probably just bugger off and leave Ellen to whatever she’s doing now…

“…Hey, what the hell are you doing in here?”

Not now, I’m trying to pacify this cat here—Oh shit.

“Wait please I can explain—!”

---

…Well, I’ve gone and pissed off Elly again. I seem to be doing that almost every day. I don’t know what to think of her, honestly; ever since that encounter with that monster, she’s been kind of chummy at rare intervals while still just as prone to telling me off. Is she what people would call a tsundere? Pfft, hahaha. Yeah right. I can’t imagine her playing an actual tsundere role at all.

Rinsing my mouth with water, I wash off the toothbrush under the sink before sticking it back in the cup along with all the other toothbrushes before reaching for the nearby bath towel, drying my face and hands. It’s late, so I’m going straight to bed after this.

Flicking the switch to the bathroom off, I head for my room. Not bothering to light the room as I enter, I let myself topple on top of the bed with a tired sigh, turning to my back. It’s not until you hit the hay that you feel just how tired you are, and now a wave of exhaustion is washing over me.

…Zzzz…

I’m so tired that I’m snoring even before I’m asleep!

Wait a minute, that can’t be true.

…Zzzzz.

I sit up in my bed, listening closely. I can definitely hear someone snoring. The walls between rooms are pretty thick, so it can’t be from the next room over, which means it’s got to be from my own room. Blindly, I look around, though I don’t see anyone… But I can definitely hear the snoring coming from somewhere close. Under the bed? Getting up from the mattress, I kneel down on one need, lowering my head to stare underneath the bed frame. No, no one’s there… but it’s still definitely—

A brass handle catches my eye, located at the side of the wooden frame holding the mattress up. Huh, never noticed that before. Out of curiosity, I tug at it, though the resistance is a bit more than I anticipated. With both hands, I yank on the brass handle, and a part of the wood comes open. A… a drawer? I didn’t even know my bed had a drawer underneath it!

And of course, the culprit of the snoring lies inside. None other than Kotohime, lying there cradled up in a fetal position with a peaceful expression on her delicate face. No one else would be weird enough to sleep in a place like this. Given a choice between a traveling case and a comfy couch, I’m sure she’d choose to sleep in the case every time.

And the sad part of this is that I don’t know if I’m exaggerating or not.

She must have wandered in while I was over in the other room. Wait, come to think of it, how did she even pull the drawer back into the bed while she was inside it? While asleep? …You know what, I’m not even going to put any more thought into that. Tomorrow morning I’m probably going to wake up with a bad headache anyway, so I don’t want to exacerbate that by having a headache now.

But seriously, this girl needs to stop sleeping wherever she wishes.

[ ] Push the drawer back in.
[ ] Wake her up.
>> No. 27537
{X} Push the drawer back in.
>> No. 27538
[X] Push the drawer back in.

Yup.
>> No. 27539
[x] Push the drawer back in.

Remember when Kyon's sister packed herself into his bag? We need to get Kotohime a large duffel bag or something. She'd fucking love it.
>> No. 27540
[x] Push the drawer back in.
>> No. 27541
[x] Push the drawer back in.
>> No. 27544
[x] Push the drawer back in.
>> No. 27545
[ø] Push the drawer back in.
Ahaha, what.
>> No. 27546
[x] Push the drawer back in.

let her sleep here.
>> No. 27547
[x] Push the drawer back in.

It's too late for us to be dealing with this. Wow that idea didn't go over too well.
>> No. 27549
[x] Push the drawer back in.

I'm predicting a big misunderstanding coming from this, somehow.
>> No. 27550
[X] Push the drawer back in.

Okay.
>> No. 27551
[X] Push the drawer back in.
>> No. 27552
[x] Push the drawer back in.
Waking her up is a tall order. Even if she wakes up, she'll probable relocate to a more compromising location.
>> No. 27553
>>27539
This
[x] Push the drawer back in.
>> No. 27561
>>27552
Silly anon, you should know better than to say such things when I'm around!

[X]Wake her up.

Tide, piss, ect.
>> No. 27562
You're all doing it wrong.

[x] Tape the drawer shut.
>> No. 27564
…But it’s gonna too much of a pain in the ass to wake her up. She’s a pretty heavy sleeper from what I remember, and I don’t think it’d be possible for me to talk sense into her. She definitely doesn’t have the same mentality as normal people. The insane cannot understand the sane, right? It’s too late to be dealing with her right now anyway. I want to go to sleep.

With a final glance at the girl lying in the drawer and a quick, annoyed flick on her forehead, which she doesn’t seem to notice at all, I shove the drawer back in under the bed. Vaguely, I wonder if she’ll still be there when I wake up in the morning. Come to think of it, can she even get out on her own? Oh hell, if she managed to get in there, then she can get out on her own. And if she can’t I guess I can just let her out.

Standing back up, I flop back down on the surface of the bed, letting out another tired sigh. Today certainly felt longer than any other day. A lot happened, but at least I didn’t have to run from anything today. Fuck, I could really have done without the chair to the head, though. It’s a miracle that I didn’t black out instantly. And I’ve pushed a lot of things off until tomorrow, too. I still need to tell Yuuka and the others about that bastard S, and ugh, I guess I fill in that hacker on it too. Goddamn it, I have so much shit to do when I wake up and I’m not even properly empl—

Bump!

My eyes fly open as the bed gives a small shake. Somewhere beneath me, I hear a small, muffled whimper, and then silence.

…Anyway. I was going to go to sleep, so I should just do that and forget about all my troubles for the time being. It’ll certainly help me rest easier. I close my eyes again with a sigh, placing a hand over them and running it down my face as I slowly drift off into the land of dreams…

---

It doesn’t surprise me all that much when I wake up somewhere different.

I have a feeling that there’s nothing that could really do that at this point. The recent events have really bolstered my ability to remain calm in situations that would have had me panicked only days before. However, I am not exactly proud or appreciative of that development. Rather, it makes me feel like I’m going insane along with the world I live in. It is a very unsettling discovery.

But not quite as unsettling as where I’ve ended up.

Looking around me, I see only a vast expanse of whiteness. You ever see a movie or a TV show where a character ends up somewhere completely white with no apparent floor or ceiling? It’s kind of like that, sort of. I always did wonder how it feels to be in one of those places, and now I get to experience it!

It’s not exactly the most exciting sensation I’ve ever felt. It feels a bit trippy to take a look around, though. There’s no floor that I can see, but I feel weight pushing against the bottom of my feet, so there’s definitely a floor that I can touch, even if it’s not visible to my sight. I’ve got this feeling like I’m going to fall if I lift even one of my feet, and it’s kind of nauseating.

“That’s a funny look you have on your face.”

Without lifting my feet from the floor whatever the hell I’m standing on, I turn to face the voice. As it turns out, the owner of the voice is a bespectacled, “mature” woman with long, black hair tied in a high ponytail, garbed in a blouse, a skirt, and a blazer. Very… office lady-like, to sum it up. In fact, she’s even sitting in one of those wheeled office chairs, seated comfortably with her stockings-covered legs crossed.

“Who…”

“Belle,” she interrupts me immediately. “Not that it matters if you know who I am, but for the duration of this meeting, you may call me by that name.”

“That doesn’t really tell me who—!”

“Shut up, you’re being noisy.”

Even in my dreams I have to put up with unreasonable women?

‘Belle’ brings one hand to her mouth. Her long nails are painted blood red. With a bemused tone of voice, she speaks, “So, you’re part of Sariel’s game.”

Sariel?

“Hahahahaha, it’s always so amusing, to see the helplessness of humans. They never have any idea what’s going on,” the woman says with a giggle, narrowing her eyes maliciously. “Poor little things. It’s your kind’s destiny to be controlled by us.”

“…Hey.”

“Shut up, I’m still talking.”

Gah…

“Anyway, seems you’re a pretty big piece in Sariel’s game, as insignificant in function as you may be,” she continues, examining her nails while whirling around from side-to-side like a child in that rotating chair of hers. “You know, sort of like a king in chess. It’s useless by itself but it’s still the most important piece. Not that you’re very kingly in any aspect, from what I can see. Still, if you’ve been targeted by Sariel, then that means there has to be something unusual about you…”

…This woman is good at pissing people off. I get that feeling somehow.

“There are things going on beyond your understanding, boy. Far, far, far beyond,” Belle continues with a smug smirk, her hands folded into each other diabolically with her elbows resting on the armrests of her chair. “The world Sariel wishes to create is an impossible dream, but it will serve as the basis for my own, far more sensible one.”

“…Why are you telling me this if you know I won’t understand?”

“Hmm? Why, for the sake of flaunting, of course. It’s almost like a second nature to us. Besides, you won’t remember any of this when you wake up, so it doesn’t hurt to feed my own ego for a bit,” she says casually. “Oh, but I suppose there was one other reason. I wanted to warn you about something, and this part, you will remember: You would do well not to place too much trust in Sariel’s words. Angels cannot lie directly, but they have means of getting around that.”

“A-angel?”

Is she talking about that hermaphrodite or whatever the fuck S is supposed to be? Of course she has to be. So, by new era, this Sariel wanted to create his/her own world? But can’t he/she already do that with that dimensional whatsitcalled? Damn it, this lady was right. This is hopelessly beyond my understanding here.

“But I wouldn’t worry too much,” she says with a shrug. “Sariel looks up to the sky all the time and can never see what’s in front. I always thought that angel was unfit to be one of the enforcers. But that just mean it’s easier for me to work without anyone noticing, so I suppose I should give thanks.”

So… what, are you some kind of a secret agent working in the background?

“You know, in the future, I might have a business proposition for you. If you manage to stay alive until then, that is, hmhmhm…”

I can’t help but shudder at that disturbing chuckle. If I manage to stay alive? Ugh, so ultimately I’m just being reminded of how much danger my life has been and will go through. I don’t like this dream.

Belle snaps her fingers, and immediately blinks out of sight.

---

November 8, Sunday



I wake up with something weighing down on my stomach. Sitting up, I see Kotohime spread out on her back on the bed with me, her legs dangling off the edge of the mattress and her head resting on my belly. For a minute, I just lie there silently, staring at the ceiling and wondering why the hell she’s in my room before recalling the events of last night. Ah, so she managed to get out after all.

I have this feeling like I had a really important dream about something, and it’s bothering me. The only thing that I can recall is that it had something to do with angels being liars or something close to that. Also, I have this burning desire to plant a fist in the stomach of an office girl, which probably isn’t a very healthy urge.

“Ah…”

A sleepy exclamation. Not from me, but from the only other person in the room.

“…This isn’t my room.”

“It isn’t.”

“…And you’re not a pillow.”

“I’m not.”



“So if you realize that, could you please get off?”

Wordlessly, Kotohime does so, stifling a yawn. Seems sometime during the night, her hair ribbon came loose, because her long red locks are sticking up here and there in every which way. I’d diagnose her condition as a serious case of bed hair. Sitting up, I watch her as she rubs at her eyes, clearly in no real hurry.

“It’s unladylike to spend a night in a man’s room…” she mumbles drowsily.

“This isn’t the first time.”

“This is a very troubling paradox,” she says, nodding sagely. “I am a princess, and yet I have done something unladylike.”

“Are you sure you’re a princess?”

She smiles, connecting the sleeves of her kimono together, shifting around so that she’s sitting on her knees. Certainly, that is a traditional seating position for a lady, but it’s kind of offset by her messy hair and the current state of the bed she’s seated on.

“Of course I’m a princess. It’s in my name: Kotohime. The characters for princess are…”

I hold up a hand to stop her. “No, that’s fine. I know how to spell it. But doesn’t that literally make you a princess in name only?”

“Does it?” she asks curiously, swaying her head to the side. “But everyone calls me a princess.”

“…who’s ‘everyone’?”

“Everyone back at the human village,” she says, as if I’d know what she’s referring to. “Whenever I walked by, they’d drop their voices and say, ‘look, it’s the princess!’ or something like that.”

Aren’t they mocking you, then?

“But you’re not an actual princess, are you?”

“Hm… maybe not.”

I can never get a straight answer out of her.

But a moment later, she suddenly claps her hands together. “Ah, but Papa was a really important figure in the village. He was the magistrate, and he said he had a lot of influence there. Papa would always tell me not to shame the family, because we were one of the closest things to nobility there, along with the Hieda family.”

So… she really was sort of like a princess, then?

“Eh? What are you doing?” Kotohime asks in a puzzled voice.

“Genuflecting in the face of your higher status,” I say, bent low in supplication.

Hell. It’s pretty early in the morning, so I’m allowed to do silly things if I feel like it as well.

“Ahahaha, oh, you!”

Giggling softly, she playfully gives me an admonishing tap on the head. Her slender hand runs its fingers through my hair, and comes to rest on my scalp, petting me like a… well, pe—

Ah.

A shock runs through my body.

Surprised, I look up. Kotohime still sits there with a smile, apparently not aware of what’s happening to me. Her hand continues to rub the top of my head.

My vision begins to distort itself.

I can see color. I can see a multitude of colors in everything. I see endless specks and particles of color everywhere. It’s scattered in the air, the bed, the floor, the walls, the ceiling, my own body, Kotohime… everything is covered in millions—no, much more than that—an infinite number of tints and shades of every color imaginable. Everything that can be seen, and everything that shouldn’t be seen, are all coated in layers and layers and layers and fills me with feelings that are indescribable by any currently existing words and—

w h a t ’  s   h a p p e n i n g ?

g o i n g  i n s a n e .

I let out a sudden gasp for breath as Kotohime lifts her hand away, as though I had been holding my breath for the duration of the minute. She blinks curiously as I stare up at her, my body trembling. My vision returned to normal, I breathe heavily, trying to make sense of what just happened. What the… what the hell was that just now? What the hell was I seeing?

“What’s wrong?” the girl asks, her eyes widened in a mix of surprise and interest.

…That acid trip started the moment she touched me. So was that… that thing because of her? No, she seems pretty clueless about it, so what the hell was the cause of that? My brain’s throbbing with a sharp, constant ache. Damn it, I don’t want to go through that again. It felt like my mind was being fragmented into millions and millions of shards. With my vision like that, it was impossible to even think straight. Felt like someone was trying to cram everything they could in my head.

But, well, there’s only one way to make sure what the cause of that was.

[ ] Grab her hand.
[ ] “No, it’s nothing.”
>> No. 27566
[x] Grab her hand.
You just have to love that nutty girl. Anyway, this made me curious. Maybe try to figure out what was going on and how this could help you in the little game with the office lady and the angel.
You did not collect all those Touhous for nothing. Making them all work together or at least help you will be a real challenge.
>> No. 27568
[x] “No, it’s nothing.”
>> No. 27569
We touched Kotohime while flying away during the police chase without any ill effects, didn't we? I wonder if the timing here wasn't just a coincidence.

[X] Grab her hand.

In before hilarious misunderstandings when Kana comes to wake us up.
>> No. 27570
[ ] Grab her hand.

Is it bad that I still have no clue who Kotohime is?
>> No. 27571
I'm wondering who the office lady is. Bel-something. Sounds possibly Hebrew.
>> No. 27572
>>27570
Yes.
>> No. 27575
Was Kotohime always this adorable?

[X] Grab her hand.
>> No. 27576
>>27575
Dunno but her kookiness was cute in away; different than Ellen's cute kooky though. She'd be the younger but not littlest sister.
>> No. 27577
[X] Grab her hand.

This is going to end with someone walking in and misunderstanding, isn't it?
>> No. 27580
[x] Grab her hand.
>> No. 27581
[ ] “No, it’s nothing.”

Against the tiiiiiiiiide.
>> No. 27585
[x] Grab her hand.
>> No. 27588
[x] Grab her hand.
>> No. 27590
[B] “No, it’s nothing.”
>> No. 27591
[ø] Grab her hand.
>> No. 27593
[x] Grab her hand.
>> No. 27602
File 127269383179.jpg - (157.57KB , 282x450 , 574174f44193d003b5582356f627787b.jpg ) [iqdb]
27602
I have to touch her again. Immediately. Right this moment. I have a desperate need to make physical contact with this girl sitting on my bed, with her hair all messy and disheveled and the outer layer of her kimono loose and nearly falling off her shoulders. No I am not listening to myself think, why do you ask?

Silently making up my mind, my hand shoots out and catches her in a grasp, eliciting a surprised gasp from the girl. With a scowl, I squeeze her hand in my own, pulling it toward me. My long, clumsy fingers feel around the surface of her soft palm. Hmm. Nope. Doesn’t seem to be happening. Maybe I need to do something different?

“Um, what are you doing?” Kotohime asks me, puzzled as she stares at our united hands.

Be quiet for a while, dear. I’m in the middle of a scientific investigation. Sort of. Well, I’m not sure science really has anything to do with it, but whatever. It is the exploration of my curiosity as to whether bodily contact between us resulted in that… whatever the fuck it was that I saw just a few seconds ago.

My lips set in a deep frown, I lift up her hand. Maybe I need to touch it to my head again. She lets out a cute little yelp as I grab her wrist with my other hand, releasing her from the grip of my other one. Slowly lowering her arm, I let her hand rest on my head again. Still nothing. Damn it, was it just a coincidence or something? Maybe I should let it sit there for a bit.

“You’re weird.”

Like you should tell anyone that.

“Or…” she mumbles, “Do you like having your head rubbed?”

Huh?

She smiles brightly, wresting her hand out of my own before bringing it down on my head again gently. While humming a tune, she begins to rub the top of my head, sliding her fingers in between the locks of my hair again as she pets me. Ah, you know, I have to admit, this feels kind of nice. Sort of soothing, really. Wait, what the hell, why am I letting a kid like her pet me like a little kid?

A little annoyed, I glance at her as I grab her by the wrist again, carefully moving it away from the top of my head. Ready to chew her out, I open my mouth, but I find myself closing it when I see the expression on her face.

She seems kind of… sad, somehow. Her eyes seem to be staring past me—not at something behind me, but almost like I’m not even there. Her lips are still twisted in a smile, which is kind of unsettling considering how it clashes with the rest of her expression. Like this, she seems… a little older, sort of. More mature.

“…Um…”

But what could have caused that change from earlier? It was like… like I was seeing everything in every possible perspective at once, rendering what would normally be recognizable in my regular vision into something that I can’t comprehend at all. It was… very strange, and I had problems just trying to process everything at once. But as horrible and disorienting that was, it was… eerily beautiful, somehow, to see the world in that state.

“…oh my…”

I snap out of my train of thought, shaking my head to clear away the images of that hauntingly impressive delusion. Yeah, that’s all it was. A delusion. So let’s not worry about that now until it really becomes a problem. Focusing on the here and now, I see Kotohime looking away from me, her hand somehow having ended up clenched tight in my own again. Her face carrying a luminescent blush to it, with her free hand she continually draws a circle on the surface of the mattress.

“Y-you mustn’t do this,” she says, touching that same hand to her cheek and shaking her head with a low “kyaa~”

U-ugh. That’s a pretty innocent reaction.

“N-no, you don’t understand,” I say, letting go of her hand and raising them up to the ceiling. “I wasn’t really trying to do anything just now.”

“You weren’t?”

“I wasn’t.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

She nods. “Okay.”

…huh, that was easy.

Kotohime suddenly sniffs the air, her slim form perking up instantaneously. With a pleased smile, she notes, “Ohh, I think it’s time for breakfast~!”

I think this is the third time I’ve said this but: Are you a dog?

Hastily, she scrambles out of bed, picking up that yellow ribbon of hers from the floor where it lay. She ties her hair back as she stands from the mattress, and hurries to the door, opening it, stepping outside, and shutting it in less than a second. Half a second later, the door opens again, and Kotohime peers in.

“Ah, thank you for putting up with me during the night,” she says, clapping her hands together again. “I learned a lot.”

What the hell does that even mean?

With a flighty giggle, she shuts the door again, leaving me alone in the room. Hmm. I should probably go grab breakfast too, huh. That is, if Kotohime’ sense of scent is reliable. But I’m hesitant to really rely on anything that belongs to her, really.

Come to think of it, Ellen was pretty strange last night, too. Is she okay?

[ ] Check the computer.
[ ] Check on Ellen’s room.
[ ] Go to the living room.
>> No. 27603
[x] Check on Ellen’s room.

The computer can wait, and I think Kotohime looked into our mind somehow, since i think that was the cause of that occurrence.
>> No. 27604
[x] Check on Ellen’s room.
[x] Check the computer.
[x] Go to the living room.

In that order.

Please?
>> No. 27605
[x] Go to the living room.
Maybe Kotohime is more than a nutcase. Underneath is a pretty normal girl after all.
>> No. 27606
[X] Check on Ellen’s room.
[X] Go to the living room.

Computer will wait; Fluffy and breakfast won't.
>> No. 27607
[X] Check on Ellen’s room.
[X] Go to the living room.
>> No. 27611
[ø] Check on Ellen’s room.
[ø] Go to the living room.
>> No. 27612
{Check on Ellen.}
{Go to the living room.}
>> No. 27619
[X] Check on Ellen’s room.
[X] Go to the living room.
>> No. 27621
[X] Check on Ellen’s room.
[X] Go to the living room.
>> No. 27624
[X] Check on Ellen’s room.
[X] Go to the living room.

Well guys, looks like Kotohime has found our porn.
>> No. 27626
…Yeah, I’d better go check on her. It would help put my mind at ease, or something. Stretching my tired limbs, I let out an audible yawn as I stand up from the bed. Wiping a trickle of saliva from my mouth on the back of my hand, I massage the back of my neck as I take sluggish steps toward the door. Letting out another yawn, I yank the door open to take a step outside my room. Ugh, my joints feel so stiff. I really hope I’m not getting old before my time or anything due to stress or anything like that.

Turning right, I walk down the hallway leading to the different rooms. Turning right again, I face the door that leads to the room Ellen and the other girls sleep in. Taking hold of the door knob, I push the door open. I probably should have knocked before I opened the door, but hell, I don’t hear anyone screaming at me, so I guess I’m fine, probably.

The first thing I notice when I head inside the room is how dark it is. The curtains have been closed, blocking out the sunlight. I’m left wondering why until the obvious conclusion hits me; Kurumi is a vampire, after all. She does have that thing where she has to avoid sunlight or she dies or turns to ashes or whatever, so I guess it’d only make sense to keep the curtains shut. Fumbling around in the dark, I grope the wall nearby for a light switch, and finding it, I flick it on.

Ah, geez. That Elly didn’t even bother to roll up her bedroll. It’s just lying on the floor in a real haphazard state. I mean, not that I really bother to make the bed, but she should at least do that, right? Then again, I guess it is kind of pointless, since we do have a personal maid cleaning things with… telekinesis or some kind of ghost trick or whatever she uses to make objects move without touching it. Still, it kind of annoys me.

It seems Ellen’s still sleeping, all curled up in her blanket. Aw, how cute. Treading lightly, I step over the futon, pillow, and tossed aside blanket in my path as I approach the sleeping form of the girl, crouching down next to her. She seems to be in a pretty deep sleep from the look of it, her fluffy golden hair bunched up around her head. Reaching out with a hand, I smile as I place it on her forehead, giving it a gentle pat. Well, it seems she’s alright, anyway.

A movement catches my eye. Sokrates crawls out from underneath the blanket, staring at me. Its slit pupils centered on me, the cat lies down on its forearms, watching me with its glowing eyes. Kind of creepy, really. With my other hand, I wave toward it, trying to shoo it off, but it’s not even fazed. It just stays there and stares at me in silence. Damn cat, it’s trying to piss me off first thing in the morning, isn’t it?

Well, anyway, I’m relieved. It doesn’t seem like there was anything to really worry about. Anyway, should I just leave her be, or wake her up for breakfast?

[ ] Wake her up.
[ ] Leave her to her slumber.
>> No. 27627
[x] Leave her to her slumber.

Let sleeping fluffy-heads lie.
>> No. 27628
[x] Leave her to her slumber.
>> No. 27629
[X] Leave her to her slumber.

Do not want cat attack.
>> No. 27630
[x] Leave her to her slumber.
-[x] Try to make sure there's some breakfast for her left over.
>> No. 27631
[x] Leave her to her slumber.
Let the little angel sleep.
>> No. 27632
She doesn't seem okay to me. I'm sure the cat would agree with me if it could talk,

[x] Wake her up, gently.
>> No. 27633
[x] Leave her to her slumber.
>> No. 27634
[x] Wake her up.
>> No. 27635
I'm sure a lot of you have noticed this, but I don't think anyone actually said it yet:
MC is Kyon
>> No. 27636
[x] Leave her to her slumber.
>> No. 27637
[x] Leave her to her slumber.

>>27635
A NEET Kyon.
>> No. 27638
>>27635
I'm getting pretty goddamn sick of every deadpan male lead who deals with weird women automatically being labelled "Kyon". Thus why, even though I noticed the similarities, I have refrained from making such a statement.
>> No. 27641
>>27638
Speaking of which, isn't Kyon real name Kyo? The local translation say it is but... I dunno.
>> No. 27642
>>27641
It's never said what his real name is, just that folks in his family call him Kyon and somehow it stuck at his school.
>> No. 27644
I’ll just leave her to sleep, then. I don’t really want to have to wake her up when she looks so tired. Besides, I have this feeling that her cat’s gonna attack me if I so much as lay a finger on her. Or at least, that’s the impression I’m getting so far, anyway. With a placating smile, I reach out and stroke the little cat’s head. It watches my hand with cautious eyes, but allows me to pet it for a bit, not budging from its spot on the floor.

With one last glance at the sleeping girl, I slap a hand against a knee as I push myself off of the ground, giving my neck a few cracks to clear the stiff feeling there. Stretching my arms up again behind my head, I head toward the open doorway and flick the lights off, walking past the open door and into the hallway to make my way to the living room.

It still feels like it’s dark out, but that’s probably because all the curtains have been shut. I guess for the duration of that vampire’s stay here, I’m gonna have to get used to keeping the lights on. I don’t really care all that much, but that just means that much of a hit to the electricity bill. I sure hope these girls are willing to accommodate their stay. It’s not like I’m rich.

When I arrive, it seems Yuuka’s already finished eating her share of breakfast, as she’s seated comfortably on the couch, still in her sleepwear. She seems well-rested enough, judging by how calmly she’s enjoying a morning cup of tea. Certainly doesn’t look like much of a heavy sleeper at first glance, though as Elly and Kurumi tried to convince me yesterday, she must be quite a violent sight when she’s cranky.

“Morning,” I say in greeting as I approach the dining table.

I get a few nods of acknowledgement from the other residents here. Elly’s still in her nightgown as well, scratching at her empty plate with her fork, carrying a dull expression on her face. Kurumi’s still eating, but she’s changed back into the clothes I saw her in when I first met her; guess Kana must’ve done the laundries already. And, well, Kotohime’s just kind of there, quietly finishing her plate.

“Good morning, master,” Kana says, approaching me with a fixed smile.

“Ah, hey.”

With what happened between us yesterday, I find it hard to talk to her. What am I supposed to say after seeing something like that? If that girl I saw yesterday, if that girl was Kana when she was still among the living, then what can I say to her that would… I dunno, comfort her? I can’t think of anything, that’s why… it’s hard. I guess, though, the best thing to do is to pretend none of it happened, and just carry on as normal.

I take a seat in an empty chair, and with a flourish, Kana carries a plate topped with food to me without touching it. A fork and a sheet of napkin follows after the plate, settling themselves next to it on the surface of the table before me. With a heavy sigh, I pick up the fork and start on breakfast



Pushing away the empty plate, I turn around in my chair, staring at Yuuka, who seems fixated on the TV. I look around the living room once more, still trying to get used to the introduction of all the flowers and greenery. Damn, if there were just a few more pots and vases around, this’d look like the inside of a flower shop. Or an indoor garden. Seriously, why is it that a youkai like her is so fond of flowers? Shouldn’t she be like… going around stomping on them and eating babies or something?

Ah, wait, that just reminded me of something really important.

“Hey, Yuuka,” I call out to her, catching her attention.

“What?” she replies without looking at me.

“That S guy appeared to me yesterday.”

Everyone’s eyes—except for Kurumi and Kotohime’s, so by everyone I really mean just Yuuka and Elly—suddenly fix their gazes on me, making me squirm a little in my chair. Yuuka gives me a harsh, scrutinizing look for a few seconds in silence, as if evaluating whether I’m telling the truth or not.

“…Did you now?”

“Y-yeah.”

“Huh? Huh? What’s going on?” Kurumi asks, not understanding at all as she looks back and forth between me and Yuuka. “S? Who’s that?”

Yuuka stands up from the couch, her teacup still held delicately in her hand. Without delay, she marches over to the table, setting the cup down on the table before folding her arms together and facing me. “So? Care to tell us what happened?”

I relate to them as much as I can remember of the encounter with that androgynous angel.

“Sounds like a freak,” Elly says with a disgusted tone of voice.

“W-wait, I’m still lost,” Kurumi says, frowning. “So… that angel can predict people’s deaths? How can he do that?”

“Who knows,” Yuuka says with a snort. “But it seems to me with ‘irregular’ this, ‘irregular’ that… seems to me like this angel really is targeting you for death.”

“Right?” I say with a frown.

“Hm… by irregulars, does he mean us?” she mumbles to herself, raising one hand to her chin. Her glare suddenly turns to me. “…or is there something special about you?”

“Nope, sorry to disappoint, but I’m pretty normal.”

“Are you sure?” she asks, dead serious.

“Pretty sure, yeah.”

“Alright then, let’s leave that aside for now. As for that new world the angel talked about, I’m sure he wants to merge this world with Gensokyo. But what could he possibly gain from doing something like that?”

“Heeey, Yuukarin,” Elly suddenly interjects, catching her attention, “Didn’t you say once you fought some girl with six wings? Isn’t this angel the same girl?”

“I did fight someone like that before,” Yuuka says with a nod. “But from the description of the other one, I doubt it. That woman from Makai… she had a fairly large rack, so it’s probably not the same person if this other angel’s as flat as he says.”

T-that’s how you’re identifying them?

“By the way,” Yuuka says, turning to me again. “How goes the search? Have you found the next victim yet?”

Oh shit, I completely forgot.



…And so, I’m back to searching for this elusive Kurosawa. Damn it, I don’t even know anyone named Kurosawa personally, so it’s not like I’ve got any leads. From how even a search on the internet gave back no results, this Kurosawa guy must be pretty mundane and insignificant, so that’s only going to make my job harder. At this point, I’m almost ready to just give up. Just how am I supposed to pinpoint one specific guy in the middle of a bustling city with only a name to go by?

I stop by my room to check for any new messages from either S or that hacker. Actually, it kind of pisses me off to keep referring to S by an initial, so from now on I’m going to call them Savior, or something like that. It pains me to call him that, but I guess it’s more appropriate than Shitbag. But anyway, nothing new from either of them, which means that the hacker hasn’t found any dirt on Kurosawa either.

Maybe I should try something new. Obviously, it’s beyond me to find that guy on my own, but what if I asked other people for help?

[ ] Don’t involve anyone else in this.
[ ] Ask for help
--- [ ] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
--- [ ] It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?
>> No. 27645
File 12728679596.jpg - (463.69KB , 700x1057 , LeafyShinki.jpg ) [iqdb]
27645
>“I did fight someone like that before,” Yuuka says with a nod. “But from the description of the other one, I doubt it. That woman from Makai… she had a fairly large rack, so it’s probably not the same person if this other angel’s as flat as he says.”

Shinki~

And an excuse to post this and being safe.

[x] Ask for help
--- [x] It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?

Well she'd be one to help even if we don't find him there.
>> No. 27647
[X] Ask for help
--- [X] It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?
>> No. 27648
[ ] Ask for help
--- [ ] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
>> No. 27651
[x] Ask for help
--- [x] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
>> No. 27652
[x] Ask for help
--- [x] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
A bro is really missing in this story.
>> No. 27653
[X] Ask for help
--- [X] It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?

As much as I'd like to bro it up, I think this will be more effective.
>> No. 27654
[x] Ask for help
--- [x] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
>> No. 27655
[x] Ask for help
--- [x] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
You know what this story needs? More Sempai.

Also, is it just me, or does Sariel look alot like the bastard child of Assassin and Sephiroth?
>> No. 27656
[X] Ask for help
--- [X] It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?

Now that he knows this mess involves angels, he might as well head to somewhere that deals with stuff like that.
>> No. 27657
[x] Ask for help
--- [x] It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?
>> No. 27659
{Ask for help
- {It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?}}
>> No. 27660
[X] Ask for help
--- [X] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
--- [X] It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?

Did we ever even look at his card? Easy way to confirm whether or not he's Kurosawa. Hell, we could call him, and ask him if he knows anybody. We could do it on our way to the church, even.
>> No. 27666
[x] Ask for help
--- [x] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
Let's see if he can help us.
>> No. 27668
[x] Ask for help
--- [x] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.
--- [x] It’s Sunday, so Rei’s got to be at the church. Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?

I can't help but idort as well. Too bad we don't have a cell phone (although how we don't have a cell phone in fucking Japan is beyond me), because then we could call him on the way to church.
>> No. 27669
[x] Ask for help
--- [x] Senpai. He’s in business now, so maybe he happens to know the guy.

Inb4 senpai is the guy.
>> No. 27670
File 127311202192.jpg - (1.41MB , 1600x1600 , 3c719f70f005c1db7052e33856443488.jpg ) [iqdb]
27670
You know, if this whole mess involves an angel, I should probably go to that one place that’s all about them. Like I said before, I’m not very big on religion, whether it’s Shinto, or Buddhism, or Christianity, so my knowledge on that field is pretty limited. Possibly I might even be able to find out a thing or two about that angel, whoever he/she is.

If I had a cell phone, I’d be able to give Senpai a ring on the way to the church, but that’s unfortunately not the case. Actually, I do have a cell phone, but it hasn’t been in service for several years. My parents used to pay for it, back when I was still in high school. When I decided to move out, they really took my words to heart and ceased the payments. Having few friends at the time of graduation and even fewer I kept in touch with after, I never really bothered to renew the contract, because I figured I could get by without one.

Changing out of my shorts and into a pair of jeans, I buckle up the belt and head out of my room and into the hallway. Turning left, I make my way to the front door. For a moment or two, I wonder whether I should tell the others where I’m going or not. Nah, I don’t feel like explaining. Besides, it’s not as though I’ll be gone for that long.

Opening up the metal door, I take a step into the outside world, covering my eyes with my arm. It’s a sunny day, but it’s just about the end of autumn, so it’s not as though it’s scorching hot outside. On the contrary, the temperature’s pretty okay. A bit breezy, but otherwise it’s pleasant weather.

Climbing down the staircase covered with dark rust, I touch down onto the concrete floor below. Now, do I remember the way to that church? I think I do. I might. Maybe I should go back upstairs and fetch that brochure that Rei woman handed to me? It had a map on it. Nah, I’m already down here, might as well go jog my memory or something.

Remembering just the vague direction toward the church, I walk out into the streets, following the sidewalk. Now if I remember correctly, I just need to turn at the corner there, go straight, and then turn… left, I think?

…Huh?

I come to a stop when a small girl darts out from between two buildings in front of me. It’s that same girl from the other day, the one carrying that thick-looking book in her arms. Turning her head this way, she gives me a brief glance before whirling about in the other direction and skipping off.

“H-hey, wait!” I cry out, reaching a hand after her. “Stop!”

She knows something about all this. Otherwise she wouldn’t have blathered on about a wonderland or whatever she talked about before. Besides, there’s definitely something strange about that girl. Why couldn’t Yuuka see her?

Without hesitation, I give chase after the little girl. But damn, she’s quick! How can she run so fast with the short legs of a kid!? I…I can’t keep up with a kid? Shit, stop running so fast, you’re being destructive to my pride as a man here!

Not that there’s been much of that lately.

Up ahead, the girl sharply turns the corner of a building as I follow after her, disappearing from view. My breathing’s already ragged and unsteady from the short run. Really gotta kick the smoking habit. Whirling about the corner in pursuit, I rush forward and—

“Oh crap!”

And I crash into a young woman who happened to be there just around that building. With a startled yelp, she falls back, while I barely manage to stay standing. Panting, I look up, and see the child just up ahead, glancing back for just a moment before disappearing behind another building. Damn.

“Sorry about that,” I say with a grimace, reaching down with my hand to offer it to the girl.

The girl winces a bit, but ignores the hand offered to her as she stands up on her own, dusting herself off. “…It’s alright.”

I withdraw my hand, and take a better look at the girl. Haven’t I seen her before? Short blonde hair, a pale, almost unhealthy looking countenance. Almost like a doll—oh wait! I remember now! I’ve met her before, at the church. She was the girl working on those handmade dolls.

“If you’ll excuse me…” she says, turning away.

“Ah, hey, wait for a sec.”

She stops, turning back around. “…Yes?”

“You know a woman named Rei, don’t you?” I ask her. They interacted together, and they seemed familiar with each other, even. “Do you know if she’s going to be at the church today?”

“Yes, she will,” she says with a small nod. “I’m on my way there, in fact.”

“Right, right. Uh, you don’t mind if I follow you, right? I want to talk to her about something.”

She surveys me with caution, looking me over for a second or two. Is she trying to assess my intentions? Well, I guess I do seem pretty strange like this. At worst, I might even seem like some kind of a stalker.

Finally, she nods again. “That’s fine.”

Immediately, she turns around again and starts walking. Damn, not very talkative, is she? Sighing, I slip my hands into my pockets and walk after her. Judging from her appearance, she doesn’t seem to be a native here either. Why have I been running into so many foreigners lately? Shrugging the thought off, I keep my mouth shut, following her example, and silently follow the girl as she leads me to the church.

In no time at all, we’re standing at the same bench we shared for a while the last time we met. The girl stops, and points to the church nearby. “There it is. Miss Rei is probably already inside.”

“Yeah, thanks…”

More than a few people are already heading inside the heavy-looking doors of the church building. I didn’t know we had so many Christians in the area. Rubbing the back of my neck, feeling a little anxious about going in with all those people, I’m naturally startled when a loud voice interrupts my thought.

“Ahahaha! Look, Mai!”

From the direction of the church, a girl dressed in a black vest and a skirt approaches, followed close behind by a girl clothed in a pure-white dress. A black bowler hat with a white ribbon decorating it adorns the top of the loud girl’s head, as she hurries on over.

“Never thought I’d see you with a guy,” she says with a snigger, stopping just short of a few feet and facing the other blonde girl. “Crybaby Alice landed herself a boyfriend?”

Alice spares the girl only a weary stare and an unmotivated shake of the head as a response before greeting the two girls. “…Hello, Mai, Yuki.”

Yuki frowns, looking noticeably put-off by the lack of any real reaction to her tease. Sulking a little, she grumbles something as she retreats back, leaving her silent friend to return the greeting with a simple wave. Mai glances at me briefly, and for a moment, her icy eyes fixate on me before she turns to Yuki, leaning forward and whispering something in her ear.

“Oh yeah,” she says. “Hey, Alice, do you know where Luize’s gone? We’re kind of short on hands here.”

“She went to go sightseeing.”

“Again? Dammit, she’s always doing that,” Yuki grumbles.

Mai leans forward again and whispers something else.

“Sara?” Yuki says in response, her frown only growing harder. “No way. She’s already on usher duty, remember?”

“We’ll figure something out,” Alice replies, not looking too concerned… about whatever problems they might be facing, because I honestly don’t know. Do they work here?

“Anyway, who’s this schmuck?” Yuki asks, not-at-all-politely pointing at me.

S-schmuck? Oh come on, it’s not at all justified to call someone you barely met a schmuck! Hold on a minute, I’ve seen these two before, too. These girls were at the church the last time I was here, weren’t they? Yeah… I remember, I bumped into the loud one, and she was just as rude then as she is now. But they also seemed familiar with Rei, so…

“I’m, uh, I’m here to talk to Miss Rei,” I say awkwardly.

“You want to talk to the Teach?” Yuki says, looking at me with suspicion. “What’re you, her stalker or something?”

Teach…? Is she a teacher?

“N-no, I just…”

She snickers. “Pfft, just joking. Don’t get all bent out of shape, Mister.”

Mai tugs on her friend’s sleeve, catching her attention again. With a very faint, almost inaudible voice she says, “…She’s not in yet…

“Well, you heard her. Or maybe you didn’t. You need to speak up a little, Mai. Anyway, she’s not in yet, so you’re gonna have to wait around.”

Apparently tired of the conversation, Alice walks past the two girls, heading for the church. Yuki watches her cold expression as she strides past her, frowning again.

“Tch,” Yuki clicks her tongue with dissatisfaction. “She’s no fun anymore.”

Mai lets out a short, shrill giggle, the corners of her lips twitching just slightly into a suppressed smirk.

[ ] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.
[ ] Talk to Yuki and Mai. Maybe you can learn a few things about Rei and this church?
[ ] Leave.

------

When I started writing, the option to visit the church had already won. I probably should have called the vote, but eh.

You'll get a chance to meet up with Senpai in the afternoon, anyway.
>> No. 27671
[x] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.
>> No. 27672
[x] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.

Interesting... either Alice can change states or there's two Alices here. I figured that Alice would like some normal company to talk to.
>> No. 27673
[x] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.
Finally! Alice Margerine!
>> No. 27674
[x] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.
An Alice is fine too
>> No. 27675
I'm guessing both Alii are different creations of Shinki.

...And it's really creepy that there would be so damn many Touhoes attending a Christian church.
Especially since all of said Touhoes appear to be from Makai.

...In before Rei is Shinki.
>> No. 27676
[x] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.
>> No. 27677
[x] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.
>> No. 27678
[x] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.
>> No. 27680
[x] Talk to Yuki and Mai. Maybe you can learn a few things about Rei and this church?

Okay, Yuki's a jerk, but this church is all kinds of odd, and Yuki seems willing to talk. Sort of.
>> No. 27681
>>27675
Well... The Makai inhabitants appear to be more derived from Judeo-Christian myths than the explicitly folklore/native religion/Buddhist sources of most Touhous. Shinki herself is pretty obviously Lucifer.
>> No. 27684
>>27681
>The Makai inhabitants appear to be more derived from Judeo-Christian myths than the explicitly folklore/native religion/Buddhist sources of most Touhous

Sariel - ('Command of God') is one of the archangels mainly from Judaic tradition. Sariel is sometimes identified with Ariel, Metatron, Uriel, and Saraqael. In 1 Enoch, he is one of the four holy archangels who is "of eternity and trembling". In Kabbalistic lore, he is one of seven angels of the earth. Origen identified Sariel as one of seven angels who are primordial powers. In Gnosticism, Sariel is invoked for his protective powers.

Like Metatron, Sariel is a prince of presence and like Raphael, an angel of healing. He is also a benevolent angel of death, (one of a few). Sariel was sent to retrieve the soul of Moses. It is said that Moses received all his knowledge from Sariel, (although Zazagel is credited also with giving Moses his knowledge).

In Cabala he is one of the seven angels that rule the earth.
>> No. 27685
[X] Follow after Alice. You might as well wait inside the church.
>> No. 27687
File 127329015014.png - (163.33KB , 800x600 , 8985008.png ) [iqdb]
27687
…I don’t think I really want to stay here with these girls. The loud one is kind of an unfriendly jerk, and I get the feeling that I won’t gain anything from talking with her. She doesn’t exactly seem like a very helpful type of person. Her friend, on the other hand, kind of creeps me out, with how she just stands there without saying anything, speaking only in whispers and just staring at me.

“R-right, thanks…” I say with a shaking, uneasy voice, already attempting to escape from their company. “I’ll just wait inside.”

“Really? Not gonna stick around here?” Yuki says, raising her arms and folded her hands behind her head as she lets out a bored sigh. “Man, this church stuff is a lot more boring than I thought it would be, and I already thought it was pretty boring!”

There’s something particular about the way she said that. I can’t quite explain it, though, but it’s definitely a little odd.

“How long ‘til the teach gets here, anyway?” Yuki turns to her friend, her hands still glued behind her head.

…Maybe thirty minutes… or so…

“Damn, that’s gonna be a while, then,” Yuki says with a huff, her hands at her waist as she kicks at the grass beneath her feet. “Ah, whatever. Let’s go eat something.”

…Well, they don’t seem interested in keeping me around, so that’s just as well. With one last curious glance at the pair, I hurry in the direction of the church, jogging to catch up with that Alice girl’s brisk walking pace. She’s not very talkative either, but she’s better company than those two.

“Uh… hey,” I try to strike up a conversation as I walk behind her. “Are those two friends of yours?”

“Acquaintances.”

Um, wow, quick answer. I’m guessing she doesn’t really get along with them.

She steps past the open doors of the church building, and I follow in after her. I’m a little unused to old-fashioned Western architecture like this, so I can’t help but take a look around everywhere. This place looks pretty old, with scratches in the paint and chips in the wood. I wonder how old this building is?

Just up ahead is a grand-looking set of doors, about as twice as tall as an average man. In front of it stands a short girl with pink hair that’s tied off to the side. Leaning against the wooden doors, she stands there with one leg crossed over the other, snickering as she turns the pages of what seems to be a volume of manga.

Walking up to her, Alice snatches the manga out of the shorter girl’s hands. “And what do you think you’re doing?”

“Ah, hey, give that back!” the girl protests, jumping up to try to snatch the volume back as Alice dangles it in her hand just out of reach. “Give that back, Alice! I was just getting to the good part! Darn it, just because you’re a little taller than me now!”

Coldly, Alice replies, “You have your duties to attend to, don’t you, Sara?”

“Not fair! You never make Luize do anything!”

“That’s because Luize is unreliable to begin with.”

“Well I—” Sara starts, before her eyes suddenly widen and she stops herself, looking up at Alice in a different light. “Does that mean you… think I’m reliable?”

“Huh?” Alice seems taken back by the question, looking at a loss for words for an instant before regaining her composure, clearing her throat. “I… suppose.”

“Heehee~” Sara giggles, a faint blush rising to her cheeks as she wobbles sideways a little, covering her mouth with her hands. “I was praised~!”

“Well if you don’t want to be thought of as unreliable, then hurry up and attend to your duties."

Sara frowns, her good mood spoiled slightly. “It’s not like I need to do anything anyway—Oh!”

Seems she’s just barely noticed me.

“Who the heck is that?” Sara says with curiosity, sounding a little excited as she sticks her head out a little to take a better look this way.

“Just a visitor,” Alice says dismissively. “It’s not odd to have a visitor at a church, now is it?”

“Oh. Oh, right, right, right,” Sara nods vigorously. “Erm, I should go find a seat for him, right?”

“Would you?”

“Alright, but give that back already!”

“Don’t goof off again,” Alice says as she lowers the hand holding up the manga volume, handing it back to the girl.

“Roger,” Sara says as she eagerly takes the volume into her arms, turning around and pushing the door behind open before hurrying inside.

“…Was she the usher?” I say, slowly approaching Alice. I heard those two outside mention a “Sara,” too…

Alice whirls around, her lips pursed and unmoving. With cautious eyes, she scans the area thoroughly, her eyes darting every which way. Just as I’m about to ask what she’s looking for, she suddenly steps forward, grabbing the front of my shirt and yanking me forward. She looks up at my face with a scowl, her gaze fixed.

“You had better stay away from this place,” she whispers under her breath.

Wha…

The sound of the wooden doors creaking open again is the cue for her to let go of me, shoving me back as she turns around.

What the hell was that? Was that a… was that a threat? Goddamn it, I thought I’d finally ended my streak of running into unreasonable women, and she goes and does something like that? What the hell did I even do to deserve something like that?

“Alright, I found a free seat!” Sara sees, sticking her head out of a small opening between the double-doors, her side-ponytail dangling in the air. “Come on in, I’ll guide you there.”

Alice steps back, clearing the way for me to enter the open doorway as Sara pulls back the wooden door, wide enough for a person to pass. With a frown, I give Alice an apprehensive look as I walk past her. She ignores my gaze, her expression unchanging. What is she thinking…? What did she mean by what she said?

“I’m Sara Brownie,” the pink-haired girl says cheerfully to me as I approach her. “I’m the usher. You know, they say being the usher is a privilege. That’s how much everyone here count on me, see?”

“Uh, right,” I say, nodding awkwardly.

Well, at least she seems pretty friendly.

“Anyway, there are a few free spots over there, so just follow me.”

Silently, I do so, following behind the short usher. I take a look around the room; looks like there are some people gathered here already. Some are talking to each other while others seem to be pouring over their bibles. Not much activity going on, in any case. I guess the sermon isn’t going to start for a while.

“Here, sit anywhere on this row,” Sara says, stopping and turning to me as she gestures toward a pew on her left.

Mumbling a thanks, I walk past her, seating myself at the end of the pew. That quiet girl Mai said Miss Rei wouldn’t be here for another half hour or so, so I might be waiting for a while here. Sara gives a nod and a grin, and hurries toward the wooden doors, heading out again.

A few minutes later, I hear the wooden door creak open, and turning my head around, I see Alice stepping inside. Holding onto a woven basket in her hand, she briskly walks down the middle aisle, stopping when she reaches my row and taking a seat on the other end of the pew. Setting the basket down to the side, she takes out what seems to be an unfinished doll as well as a needle, beginning to work on it without so much as a glance over at me.

[ ] Wait in silence.
[ ] Talk to her.
---[ ] Ask what she meant before.
---[ ] Ask about her apparent hobby.
---[ ] Ask about the church and its members.
>> No. 27688
[x] Talk to her, or write in notes if you have to, since she apparently wants to keep things quiet and unnoticed.
---[x] Ask what she meant before.
---[x] If she's trying to warn you away, as opposed to trying to scare you away, ask about the church and its members. Something seems a little off, doesn't it?
>> No. 27689
[x] Talk to her, or write in notes if you have to, since she apparently wants to keep things quiet and unnoticed.
---[x] Ask what she meant before.
---[x] If she's trying to warn you away, as opposed to trying to scare you away, ask about the church and its members. Something seems a little off, doesn't it?
---[x] Remark offhandedly with the word Gensokyo, if she's related to them mess, she will most certainly react.
>> No. 27690
[x] Wait in silence.
>> No. 27692
[x] Talk to her.
---[x] Ask what she meant before.
---[x] Ask about her apparent hobby.
>> No. 27693
[x] Wait in silence.
>> No. 27694
[x] Wait in silence.
>> No. 27695
[x] Talk to her.
---[x] Ask what she meant before.
---[x] Ask about her apparent hobby.
---[x] Ask about her and the church.
>> No. 27696
[x] Talk to her, or write in notes if you have to, since she apparently wants to keep things quiet and unnoticed.
---[x] Ask what she meant before.
---[x] If she's trying to warn you away, as opposed to trying to scare you away, ask about the church and its members. Something seems a little off, doesn't it?
>> No. 27701
File 127346047699.jpg - (11.43KB , 230x150 , sal4.jpg ) [iqdb]
27701
Aww c'mon it's not that bad, we're just as friendly as any other faith in this prodigious world...
>> No. 27702
[x] Talk to her, or write in notes if you have to, since she apparently wants to keep things quiet and unnoticed.
---[x] Ask what she meant before.
---[x] If she's trying to warn you away, as opposed to trying to scare you away, ask about the church and its members. Something seems a little off, doesn't it?
>> No. 27704
Hesitant to call out to her, I try to think of a way to grab her attention and talk to her without attracting gazes from other people. Would I look too sleazy if I slid over in my seat to try to talk to a teenage girl? I mean, I don’t want people to get the wrong idea or anything, like that I’m trying to pick up on a girl in a place or worship or something stupid like that…

Oh, and from her behavior it seemed like… she didn’t want to be seen or heard saying something like that to me, so there must be a reason behind that, too. I mean, there’s probably something funny going on with this church. There’s something… off about their behavior. I mean, the usher outside seems pretty normal, all things considered, but even then there’s something bothering me about her, and let’s not even get into how odd the other two girls and Alice herself are.

Troubled, I fake an awkward cough. I lean back in my seat, looking up at the stained glass window. Not sure what it’s supposed to be, but that’s probably supposed to be some kind of a famous religious image. In any case, it just looks like a bunch of colored shapes to me, so it’s not very interesting. Pretty, though.

“S-say…” I finally manage to begin, keeping my voice low enough so that only Alice can hear me, I hope. “What did you mean earlier?”

Alice doesn’t even bother to stop the quick movements of her hand as she gives a reply, not looking at me. “What do you mean?”

“You… you know, just before we entered, you said something to me.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

That reply sounds so cold that I think I could freeze over from the words alone. Frowning, I try not to let my gaze linger on her for too long, lest someone notice. I knew she wasn’t going to be the best company in the world, but does she have to end every conversation mere seconds after they start? It makes me feel unwelcome.

Come to think of it, I probably am. I’m not even planning to stick around for the sermon. I’m just here to ask that Rei some questions.

“R-right,” I nod absentmindedly, deciding it’s probably best to drop the subject.

If it’s something she doesn’t want to talk about, or can’t talk about, then I can’t do anything about it. Pestering her won’t amount to anything, and we don’t really have any means of discrete communication in a place like this. Rather, a better idea would be to ask some normal questions for a change. Things that would be ordinary conversation topics.

“So, do you work here?”

“No,” she says, placing the doll she’s working on down on her lap and sticking the needle into it as she looks up at me, finally meeting my gaze again. “We’re just volunteer workers, that’s all.”

“Ah… I see. Erm, is it because you need community hours for your school or something? I heard it’s a requirement in some places now.”

She looks at me blankly for a second or two, looking slightly confused. She recovers quickly, however, and speaks in that cold and distant tone of voice. “No. Let’s just say we… have a lot of free time. Free time we’re willing to dedicate to service of this church.”

“Oh, I see… So then, um, Miss Rei is also a volunteer, right?”

“She’s the one who urged us to work here in the first place,” she says punctually, picking up her doll and pulling out the needle, beginning her work on it again. “She’s a little odd, admittedly, but please forgive any inconveniences she may give you. She means well. She really does.”

“Oh, oh no, she hasn’t troubled me at all.”

Well, aside from pestering me about staying for the sermon, but she doesn’t seem too odd, even if some of her views seem a little… unorthodox, I think? She’s fairly normal and not a bitch, so I’m pretty cool with her.

“Ahhhh, Alice. I had no idea you felt that way about me~!”

I jump, as does Alice, and as I turn my head to the side, I see Rei reaching out from behind where Alice is sitting, wrapping her arms around her neck tightly while giving her an awkward looking hug from a standing position, a lock of her platinum blonde hair energetically rising up into the air.

“Wha—!” Alice exclaims, flustered. Immediately she tries to disentangle herself away. “Lemme go!”

“So, you decided to come after all,” Rei says with an eager smile as she turns to look at me, winking. “You’re here for the sermon, right? Right?”

[ ] Keep dreaming.
[ ] Uh, sure.
>> No. 27705
[X] Keep dreaming.

We're very busying, handling illegal immigrants and such.
>> No. 27706
[X] Keep dreaming.
>> No. 27707
[x] Keep dreaming.
Never was one for such things
>> No. 27708
[x] Uh, sure.

Wonder if Shiki's around here?
>> No. 27709
[x] Uh, sure.
Maybe Kurosawa is a church-goer?

Rei would probably say something odd. How long would a sermon take anyway?
>> No. 27710
[X] Sorry, someone's life is on the line.
>> No. 27711
[x] Uh, sure
>> No. 27712
[x] Keep dreaming.
>> No. 27713
[x] Uh, sure.
>> No. 27715
[X] Uh, sure.

I get the impression there is more to her than meets the eye, and I get the same impression about her sermons.
>> No. 27723
[X] Uh, sure.

>>27675
>...In before Rei is Shinki.
>>27704
>a lock of her platinum blonde hair energetically rising up into the air.
Way to guess 'em.
>> No. 27733
>>27723
Oh man, I completely missed that. I just felt she was she was too important to be an OC, and everybody else seemed to respect her.
>> No. 27742
[x] Keep dreaming.

Lets skip the boring bits, shall we? We do have a life to save, after all
>> No. 27743
[x] Keep dreaming.

We do have a life to save, after all.
>> No. 27744
>>27742

>Implying a sermon of Shinki's will be boring.
>Implying that hearing her out won't improve chances of her helping better.
>> No. 27746
[x] Uh, sure.

I'm interested.
>> No. 27747
[B] Uh, sure.
>> No. 27748
[X]Uh, sure.
>> No. 27749
[AHOGE] Uh, sure.

Call me interested.
>> No. 27750
[<3] Uh, sure.
>> No. 27752
[x] Keep dreaming.
>> No. 27756
And one more for the autosage.