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28472 No. 28472
Guess who had to delete the thread due to accidently mixing up the subject and name fields at first?

---

[x] Stealthily fabulous

This isn't some playing matter. This is no game. You aren't going to just run down there and ask what's up, because whatever is up might very well be up to kicking your ass. Many things try to, although you are pretty good at keeping your ass un-kicked. Yes, this is no game.
But that doesn't mean you can't treat it like one!

You drop into a crouch. Videogames have taught you that crouching and walking slowly makes you turn transparent, which will be very handy.
You slick back your hair with your hand, also. If you get seen plan B can be to seduce your way out. Or something. Hopefully whatever it is is female (a safe bet), and all too ready to succumb to your manly charms (that's a safe bet too, right? ...right?)
Yeah. That's about how your plan goes.

You slowly walk up the hill, keeping yourself low to the ground and eminently good-looking.
Upon nearing the top you keep over it, making sure not to touch the ground or make any noises or anything that might give you away.

Down on the other side is a large group of fairies, sitting around on the grass. One fairy stands in front of them, wearing colorful pink robes over a white dress and carrying a small bundle of oversized sunflowers. In front of her is a large stone with a book laid out on it, perhaps as some sort of pulpit. The 'pulpit' seems to be the center of a web of deep cracks like the one you saw.
She seems to be reading from the book. Now that you are closer, you can actually hear what she is saying.

"...and the lord did tell his prophet to share the joyous news, and she went forth, crying 'It is spring!'"

The fairies in the audience cry out "It is spring!", sounding a bit more enthusiastic (and significantly more on-time) than they were before.

"But the people were not pleased, and attacked the prophet with danmaku bullets and lasers. She endured their attacks, endured their hostility, endured for the sake of us, for the sake of our Lord Spring!"

There is cheering.

"And now we must do our part, to insure that Lord Spring is pleased, and that spring comes again!"

A deadly hush. This is serious shit.

"First, we need... icecream! Lots of it!"

More cheering.
Well, as much as standing around watching some fairy cult / icecream party go on, you have important nothing to do. This seeems like an incredibly dangerous group. If you go there, you might get brainfreeze!
You turn around to lea- oh hello there. There is now a fairy standing behind you, looking at you curiously. Her skin is a lifeless white, and her clothes and hair are similarly pale. There is a halo over her head, oddly enough.

"Hello."

"Whoa there! Were you waiting for me to turn around before you say anything?"

She nods. "Why are you transparent?"

Huh? It really worked?

"Oh. I meant, why are you crouching?"

"Well, that's because I enjoy crouching. It's good exercise... or something."

"I see." She crouches also. "I see why you like this. It's fun. It makes me feel transparent, too."

You start crouch-walking back down the hill. "I have to go now, so... see ya!"

"Won't you meet my friends?" She grabs your hand and starts pulling you in the opposite direction.

She's taking you toward those fairies? Goddamn railroading. You won't have any of this. "I must have you know that I am deathly afraid of icecream!"

"Huh?" She gives you a confused look. "No you're not."

"How did you see through my deception?"

An utterly serious look is on her face. "Nobody hates icecream."

"Okay, yeah, you have me there, but I still don't want to go-" She yanks you over the hill. Dammit. You let the man tell you what to do!

The fairy behind the pulpit turns. "Oh, West, welcome back!" She notices you. "An intruder?"

So now it comes to step 2. Quickly, you need an excuse. Your fabulosity will save you! "I'm not so much an intruder as an extruder." Uh. "Want me to take off my shirt?" You take a sexy pose.

The fairy stands there, staring at you. Nobody moves, or says a word. Your line... kind of worked. West, meanwhile, walks off to the group, unperturbed. Speaking of, West is an odd name for a fairy. You thought that witches were named after cardinal directions! It's a total break from tradition.

She seems to recover, and points at you theatrically. "An extruder, then! Guards, sieze him!" A number of enthusiastic-looking fairies run forward, as she mutters "I've always wanted to say that" to herself.
The fairies charge at you. Two circle around, the others go straight for you.

There's quite a few of them. But they are moving so straightforwardly...
You duck under a lunge, and the fairy rams straight into one of her fellows who was trying to flank. You twirl your cane around as you do, catching another fairy by her feet and flipping her into the air. You immediately straighten and hold out your arm, and the limb catches the surprised fairy as she falls. She crumples around your arm with a flexibility of body that would be unusual for a human, but isn't too strange for a creature like a fairy.
Well, now you have a fairy draped around your arm like a towel. If only you had a butler outfit on the look would be complete, but you'll have to make do.

You sidestep the fourth fairy's mad charge and raise your arm, and with your fairy drape out of the way she suddenly sees that you just 'happen' to have your cane held at head level in her path.
That's that. You discard your fairy now that you are done playing butler-cum-toreador with her as a flag, and idly point your cane back at the fairy high priestess or whatever.

You're not too sure about the words, but you have to admit that that there was a little fabulous.

"The extruder is more powerful than I thought." She waves to one of the fairies off by the side, who immediately takes off.

"You really thought that such linear attacks could work against the youkai of travel?"

"You might have defeated my normal underlings, but how will you do... against my elites?" She picks up her book, and strikes a pose with it. "From the four corners of Gensokyo, the greatest of fairies assemble... come to me, my loyal Knights of Spring!" She really sounds like she is having fun here, you have to admit.

Four fairies step up, two to each side of her.

"South!" A blonde fairy in an armored dress with a lance steps forward.

"East!" A fairy with... bunny ears, oddly enough, wearing a pink dress under samurai-looking armor and wielding a bamboo spear steps forward.

"West!" The fairy from before steps forward, now in a suit of rusty armor, and wielding what looks like a long, jagged needle or quill tied to a stick. You wonder how she changed so fast.

"North!" A black-haired fairy without any sort of armor steps forward. She seems to be quite confident though, and is carrying a plain-looking trident.

"These courageous knights fight in the name of our Lord, and his prophet! Know that you face the greatest of fairies!" They all pose.

Right now. "I know that you had a nice intro, and I really don't want to ruin it, but are you really the greatest fairies? I am pretty sure that ice fairy who lives by the misty lake is the strongest."

She slumps. "Oh, fine, the next-greatest fairies!" And, once again, recovers. "But the four of them, with their powers combined..."

"Can summon Captain Planet?"

"What? No, they can just kick your ass!" She pauses, looking annoyed that her little speech was interrupted. "Well, what are you waiting for. Kick his ass!"

Four ordinary fairies come up, each one leading one of those... things. The weird big fuzz-ball things that you see floating around sometimes. Even in your journeys, these things sometimes attack you. Each one has a saddle, and each one is mounted by one of the fairy knights.

They spur on their mounts (so to speak... none of them has spurs), and the fuzzballs take to the air.
Well now. This is kind of more like it, honestly. You give the four of them an appraising eye.

...It looks like West is the strongest of the four. That spear she has is definitely magic in some way. It feels like something you would find in Makai or Chireiden. It's most definitely not a top-class magic weapon, though.
In all honesty, they don't look all that tough. They are much stronger than normal fairies, but hardly the strongest fairies you have met either. You have no doubt that any person in the Temple could take on one of them, although all four at once might overwhelm Nazrin or Kogasa.

So, this seems like a battle you don't need to take seriously, or worry about. Therefore, maybe you should try to make it fun.
You wonder how they will try to engage you. It might be a spellcard battle, but often enough fairies don't bother declaring those. Instead they just start throwing danmaku.
Of course, it's not like it matters what they do. You have no doubt that you hold the mobility advantage, so if you really wanted you could probably just spit on them over and over and eventually win without getting touched.
You would rather not, though. It would take a while and, if your assessment about their power is wrong it would be dangerous. For your ass, apparently. You've seen Eientei far too much lately.

[ ] Eh. A danmaku match would work.
[ ] They seem to be geared up for jousting. Why not joust back?
[ ] Challenge them to a swordfight. None of them have swords, but you don't have one either, so it's fair.
[ ] You should go with whatever form of combat they try to engage you in. They've gotta know what's most fun, right?
[ ] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.
[ ] Does it even have to be a fight?
-[ ] Try to talk them out of fighting.
-[ ] Try to bribe them.
-[ ] Try to talk them into fighting each other.
[ ] Write-in.

---

There is a fifth Knight of Spring also. Her name is Dennis. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to make it in time. Missed the bus.

>>28415

Unfortunately, no. This is just a vaguely similar idea I've had for a long time.
One of the first ideas I had, actually, just never had a chance to use it until now.
So I suppose in that respect it's a good thing that the Oni Church option never won, since otherwise I probably wouldn't be able to use this without it feeling like a re-hash.

>> No. 28473
[x]Take off your shirt.
-Once that is done, proceed to: [x] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.
>> No. 28474
[x] Take off your shirt.
[x] Challenge them to a swordfight. None of them have swords, but you don't have one either, so it's fair.

None of them will be able to handle our glorious body and flawless logic.
>> No. 28476
[Q] Take off your shirt.
[Q] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.

I'm hoping we're still in human form for this. Monster form would probably just creep them out.
>> No. 28478
[Q] Take off your shirt.
[Q] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.
>> No. 28479
[X] You should go with whatever form of combat they try to engage you in. They've gotta know what's most fun, right?
[X] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.
>> No. 28481
[X] Take off your shirt.
[X] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.
also, my obligatory addendum:
[X] Try not to hurt the Kedamas
>> No. 28483
[x] Eh. A danmaku match would work.
>> No. 28484
The Crusade of Spring!

I wonder if this will be a full-blown Incident, or just a more extensive encounter... His prize from Yukari's party was just to be a player character once if I remember it right.
>> No. 28485
>There is a fifth Knight of Spring also. Her name is Dennis. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to make it in time. Missed the bus.

But there are no buses in Gensokyou... Cirno has proven it mathematically...
>> No. 28488
>>28485
Unfortunately, few fairies are able to follow Cirno's proofs.
>> No. 28490
>>28484
That was the circus incident that he was the PC of.

This is more like a small interlude he stumbled upon.
>> No. 28494
[x] You should go with whatever form of combat they try to engage you in. They've gotta know what's most fun, right?
Go with the flow.
>> No. 28495
File 127823151589.jpg - (39.93KB , 800x441 , not appearing.jpg ) [iqdb]
28495
[x] Take off your shirt.
[x] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.

>There is a fifth Knight of Spring also. Her name is Dennis. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to make it in time. Missed the bus.
>> No. 28498
[X] Take off your shirt.
[X] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.

Spam Teleport.
>> No. 28500
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBE6E7dAU0I
This should be related.
>> No. 28535
[X] Take off your shirt.
[X] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.
>> No. 28537
[X] Does it even have to be a fight?
-[X] Try to talk them into fighting each other.
Hilarity ensues. And teleporting takes too much of his power.
>> No. 28539
>And teleporting takes too much of his power.

Not necessarily. There's been a decent enough timeskip since the last arc, and it's been stated that he's been practicing his powers, primarily the teleportation. While that's not to say he can keep it up indefinitely, or over very long distance, he's likely good enough to at least have a significant edge from it.
>> No. 28554
File 127844022259.png - (474.93KB , 450x1325 , noncanon.png ) [iqdb]
28554
[X] Take off your shirt.
[X] It doesn't matter what you do if you teleport enough. Scientifically proven fact.

Now, you might not be a hotshot at strategy. Or tactics. Whichever of those two words is applicable in this situation. You are good enough at figuring out danmaku patterns as they unfold, but that couldn't be a rare skill, could it? After all, how else could Reimu and Marisa and such beat up people they have never fought against before so easily?
However, they're fairies. You can go wild.

Besides, you have something better on your side than mere tactics. Strategy. Stractics.
SCIENCE!

Surveys have shown that teleporting fucking rocks. Conclusively proved. A bajillion standard deviations away from sucking. Who cares what you do if you are zipping around like nightcrawler on speed? You have killed people before without attacking once. They just gaze upon your flickering form and have epileptic seizures. Untrue fact!

While you ruminate on that fact, the blonde one charges you with her lance held out. South? Whatever, who cares, it's ass-kicking o'clock and you're all out of bubble gum, so it's time to get this over with.
Your eyes meet hers as she nears. Her lance approaches your stomach and then passes through the air behind you. You smile to the other three as the fairy crashes into the hill, behind you. Only the one with black hair is looking at you; the other two are still moving their eyes away from where you were standing a moment ago.

You shake your head sadly. "She must be pretty bad at jousting to miss like that."

West gives you a blank look. "So you can teleport."

"I don't know," you appear right in front of her, "what you are," you appear behind her as she launches a bright white danmaku bullet forward, "talking about." She thrusts the stick backwards, but meets open air. You smile at her from the stone pulpit.

That fairy priestess backs away in surprise, but then recovers and holds her hands out. You whip out your cane and dreamily walk off, knocking her hands aside in the process. A thick spray of danmaku goes wide.
That rabbit fairy charges at you. As she moves, a bunch of... faint circles appear around her. You can't quite make them out. They begin spinning and firing out red and blue danmaku bullets as they go.

Huh. Surprisingly dangerous. She hadn't pegged you as anything special. It's the mount, you think. She can concentrate on using a danmaku pattern while the mount is flying her forward. And of course, there's the spear.
You aren't feeling up to that, so you just teleport back to the hill. From here the bullets are easy to dodge. In fact, she is putting her own teammates in danger more than anything.

Out of the corner of your eye, you see South finally pull her lance out of the hill. You whip your cane over and nail her with a short stream of yellow danmaku.
That black-haired one charges you, but you hold out your free hand and give a little yank and her weapon materializes in your hand. You then lazily sidestep and the she harmlessly charges past you.

"Now that I have a weapon, I can joust back, okay? That's just fair, right?" You ready the trident in two hands, scanning for threats. Unfortunately, there seems to be a surprising amount of danmaku in the air now, and you seem to have lost West and the others. The bunny must still be firing, for some reason.
Wait, two hands? You pat yourself down.

...where'd your cane go?
Bah, that black-haired one (North?) must have taken it as she went by. You'll have to recover it later.

"You... might have beaten me so far... but taste my special ability!" You wheel around, to find South prone on the ground, pointing at you with a fingertip. "Yellow!"

"Huh?"

"That's your favorite color, right?"

"I guess." Seriously now. "What kind of special ability is that?"

She smiles. You reflexively teleport forward as a giant barbed needle snakes out from behind and pierces the air at neck-level.

You turn around again, to see West standing there. She cooly draws back her spear, as her fuzzball mount floats to a halt.

"A distraction, then?" So the bunny made enough danmaku to make it hard to see, the blonde drew your attention, and the spooky one charged you from behind. Surprisingly clever for fairies. You kind of wonder what the black-haired one is doing-
You teleport to the side, avoiding an elbow that parts the air with enough power to actually make a sound. However, the black-haired one then does a half-turn and lashes out with the cane, tripping you. You teleport straight up and swing the trident around, but she has already retreated.
Well, not like a trident swing would do much. Not used to weapons you have to stab with and stuff.

You quickly right yourself and touch down onto the ground. "I take it back, you guys are pretty impressive." You bring a hand up to your chest. "Time to get serious." And then, for no apparent reason, you rip your shirt off.
You stare at the torn shirt in your hands. "I, uh, probably should have teleported that off. Instead of just pulling it like that."
Instead, you settle on teleporting the ruined shirt. Better late than never, right?

The danmaku has stopped. West is eyeing you with the faintest hint of wariness, and East (that's the bunny, right?) has gotten back into rank. North seems to have vanished, and South is too busy tasting the grass to fight. Her mount is currently hopping around in a panic or something, unnerved despite it's undoubtably extensive amount of training. By easily-bored fairies with little experience in dealing with animals in any organized fashion.

You ready the trident again. "So, now that I have my, uh, jousting outfit on, anybody up for a joust?"

West nods uncertainly. "I did not know that jousting outfits were like that. I will try my best despite not having one." You consider telling her that she is just one ruined shirt away from a 'jousting outfit' but that would be kind of like hitting on her and you don't want to have to stoop to hitting on fairies. For one, if you ever told anyone that you were dating someone of the fey persuasion, they would just think you had come out of the closet.

She spurs her mighty steed on, and you fly forward also. Too bad you don't know how to ride puffballs, since you are pretty sure that you are supposed to be mounted for jousting. Oh well.

You hit her in the armor with the trident, and because of your longer arms you are able to teleport backwards before her spear can reach you. She sails back, her weapon falling from her hands. You have to fly to the side to avoid getting hit by her out-of-control mount, though.
Maybe you should switch out this trident for the spear? It looked like a pretty kickass spear. You teleport under it and hold up your hands to catch it.

Your hands snap back, and you leap backwards. The moment before the spear touched your skin, you got a horrible feeling. The crude spear clatters to the ground.
West picks herself off the floor, and walks over to her spear. "My spear is made from one of the needles of the needle mountain. For someone living, it is very unpleasant to touch."

"So that's why it looks magic to me." You rub your hands, a bit uncomfortable.

She nods.

"I suppose I'll have to live with this trident then." It's better for nonlethal takedowns than any sort of damned hellspear, anyway.

She holds out her hand, and her mount returns to her. She resaddles. "This time, I will not be taken down as easily."

You glance up. Ah, yes, it's about time.
You shake your head. "No, I think you will." You lunge forward, thrusting with the trident. And at that exact moment, your discarded shirt flutters down onto her head.

She wildly strikes forward with her spear, but you have already veered to the side. You knock her straight off her fuzzball again, leap over the thing, and continue to press forward until she is pressed into the dirt, her neck between two points of the trident.

You hit her with a danmaku bullet at point-blank, and pull out the trident. Her body wavers and turns into a ghostly white flame, leaving behind only the armor. One more to go.
The bunny takes one look at you, and at how easily you beat the person who was apparently their strongest member, and bolts.

You take a look around. The fairy priestess looks pretty scared now, and most of the other fairies have ran also.
You've done pretty well, then. "I suppose that's that."

You are knocked to the ground, and pinned there between two metal prongs, just like how you had beaten the zombie fairy.
That won't work on you, though. You kick backwards and then teleport back, and hold out your trident to meet-

The black-haired fairy leans around, grinning at you, having not been so much as staggered by your kick. She holds her trident again. You look down at the trident in your hands, to find that you are holding your cane again.
You... can't imagine how she could have switched your weapons so fast. Actually, you feel a kind of familiar magic.

The fairy turns around, with luxurious slowness, still grinning. Her wings waver and change, and her clothes reshape.
Nue gives you a nod. "Pretty good."

Huh the what now? "I... didn't expect to see you... here." Okay, you managed to not say anything stupid. You are honestly a bit embarassed that you didn't see through that disguise earlier.

"What, you really didn't figure it out until I transformed back?"

"I did. I was just... playing along." You feel yourself begin to recover, regain steam. "I didn't want to blow your cover. It could jeopardize your mission. I'm not Robert Novak or anything."

"Yeah, nice story. I should be thankful that you never outed me to those dangerous fairies, huh?"

"They were pretty dangerous, yes. Or would have been for humans. And quite fairlylike. Arguably fairylike, at least. So they definitely fit the description of dangerous fairies by extrapolation." You frown. "That still doesn't answer the question of why you are here, though."

"You never actually asked me that."

"Really?" You think back. "Huh. I suppose not. Well, why are you here?"

She shakes her head sadly. "Do you really need to ask? I'm here because infiltrating these fairies looked fun."

"A noble reason."

"There are no nobler." She starts off towards the cowering priestess. "Now it seems like there's no more infiltrating to be done. How does investigation sound?"

"You haven't done that already?"

"Nah. Was having too much fun doing the disguising and lying and suchlike. Winning their trust, specifically so that I could later betray them for fun."

"I am glad you are my friend."

She laughs. "There's no way I could betray you, pal. With how powerful you've been getting, I would have no chance. No way I could catch you when you run, with all the teleporting." All joking aside, you are pretty sure that Nue isn't just doing some extremely long setup for betraying you. Pretty sure. Despite her love of keeping secrets for the sake of keeping secrets, and her occasionally cruel taste in pranks, she isn't that bad. Doubting her would be a disservice, really. Well, actually, she might find it gratifying, but you are doing alright so far.

"My display impressed you?"

"It was a very impressive display, yes. Your teleportation is getting quite refined. If you don't look where you are going better, though, you are going to end up teleporting into a danmaku bullet some day."

"Hey, I always keep a sharp eye out on the happenstances!"

"Which is why a bunch of fairies tricked you, right."

"That's different. I'm looking at the big picture." You spread out your hands. "But fairies are small, so they don't fit there."

"So what fairies do don't matter in your worldview?"

"Yes. That's what it's like to you also, right?"

"That sounds about right." She stops in front of the stone pulpit and leans over. When she pulls back, she is carrying the priestess by the neck of her dress.

"Hey, don't be too mean. She just tried to... capture me. Or kill me. Or something. I think in the excitement their orders got mixed up, anyway. Happens to any fairy leader."

"I wasn't planning on hurting her. I just like carrying fairies, see?" She hefts the terrified fairy up into the infamous 'princess carry'. "Barrels of fun. Buckets of fun, even. They are dropping from the ceiling and spewing down fun on unwary travelers, even." She pauses. "And those travelers... are you and me." She hands over the fairy. "Here's your share of the fun, okay?"

You accept the fairy. You aren't entirely sure what this has to do with investigating, any more, but on the other hand you don't feel like rushing Nue. "So, these barrels of fun."

"Buckets."

"Right, right, buckets. What exactly do they have to do with investigating?" Apparently you are rushing her after all. Huh.

"Nothing, really. I just figured you would appreciate the metaphor. The outside world is full of buckets, right?"

"I... suppose. There are a large number of buckets, although by-density Gensokyo might actually be a greater haven for buckets than the outside world."

"Yeah, alright, let's start the interrogation." She walks up and looms over the fairy in your arms, who cringes. "What's going on, why did you start a cult, why do you attack passerbys, etc etc."

"You aren't really feeling this, are you?" She doesn't respond. "Okay, let me do it instead."
You drop the fairy onto the ground. "So, it seems you have a nice little cult set up here."

She nods uncertainly.

"Don't think about running, there is no way you can outrun me... got it?" She nods again. "Right. Well, I'll just ask you a few questions, and then I'll let you go." You clear your throat. "First... what gave you the idea of starting this cult?" You figure that would be the most informative question. This might just be her idea of an elaborate joke, but you wouldn't be too surprised if it was the result of someone else's manpulation. Fairies aren't quite known for their cleverness.

She gulps. "I... I was given a sign by Lord Spring."

"Really now." You glance over at Nue, who shrugs.

"Yes! A sign! From the clear blue sky! I knew in an instant it was one of the legendary stones of Spring!"

"And that's why you wanted to get icecream?"

"Lord Spring... operates in... mysterious ways?" She looks a bit sheepish.

"Yeah, whatever. That's about all I want to know. You can go now." You don't really care why they tried to kill you. Maybe you would be more curious if they weren't fairies, and if they had done a better job. You were barely even scratched.

She hops into the air. "My armies of Spring will crush you! Just you wait!"

You fish some money out of your wallet. "If I give you some icecream money will you please not crush me any?"

She stops mid-dramatic-gesture and nods eagerly. You hand her the money and she flies off, in the direction of the human village.
You turn back to Nue. "So, what was that about a stone of Spring?"

"That's the first I've heard of it."

"You would think that if it was such an important thing, she would have been lecturing about it."

"Hey, I've been in the Temple for so long, I just tune lectures out without even realizing it. I've mastered the art of nodding and acting like I am listening."

"That sounds like a handy skill." You look around. "So, stone of Spring, stone of Spring... could it be this thing?" You look back at the pulpit.

"That might be it. It seems fairly magical to me... to a fairy it must be quite impressive." She leans over, examining the large stone.

You get a good look at it too. It's a very regularly-shaped boulder. About five times the size of your head, perhaps. It is shaped sort of like a cut diamond, and (now that you are looking at it closer), it seems to have some kind of twisty rope around it. Those little zig-zag paper tassles fall from the rope, like you see on Reimu's stick. You are pretty sure those have some symbolic significance in Japanese mysticism, but you don't quite remember what. Something about sealing, you think? Your initial assumption that the thing got here by being dropped into the ground from a height looks correct. It's thrust into the ground pretty hard, and there is no way a fairy could be strong enough to do this.

"Come look at this." You glance back up, to see Nue leafing through the book on the stone. That fairy priestess must have left it behind.

You sidle over and look at the pages. They are covered in meaningless squiggles, and after a few pages even that stops. "Well, you can hardly expect a fairy to have the patience to write a book."

Nue closes the book. "So, what now?"

"You don't recognize that thing, whatever it is?"

"Well, she probably made up the idea of 'stones of Spring'. This thing is familiar, but I can't quite place it, sorry."

"Eh, it's alright. We can just go ask-" Wingbeats. You pause, and then turn back.

"Here I am to save the day!" Cirno triumphantly flies down, grinning confidently.

Nue holds out her hands apologetically. "Too late. Show's over. Come back tomorrow."

"Oh, okay." She flies off.

You watch Cirno as she flies off. "Er, anyway, as I was saying... we can just go ask someone."

"Byakuren probably knows."

"There are other who will, surely. Byakuren might not like how we dealt with those fairies."

"True enough."

[ ] Go to the Temple.
-[ ] But don't ask Byakuren, ask someone else.
[ ] Go to the Human Village...
-[ ] ...to ask the schoolteacher.
-[ ] ...to ask the child.
[ ] Go to Kourindou.
[ ] Go to Hakurei Shrine.
-[ ] But you don't want to talk to Reimu. Suika might know, instead.
[ ] (Write-in.)

(Options)
[ ] Pick up Kogasa before doing the asking.
[ ] While you are going to ___ to ask about the stone, you might as well...
-[ ] (Write-in. Remember to make it an activity appropriate to the location, i.e. donating to Hakurei Shrine or browsing the markets in the Human Village.)
[ ] Before you leave this place, make sure all of the fuzzballs are okay.
[ ] (Write-in.)
>> No. 28555
[x] Go to the Temple.
[x] Pick up Kogasa before doing the asking.

Who better to ask about sealing than someone that was sealed?

Well, Reimu probably. Kogasa is in the temple though so Byakuren wins.
>> No. 28556
>>28555
[x] Go to the Temple.
[x] Pick up Kogasa before doing the asking.
Sounds legit. Besides, he hasn't damaged permanently any fairy so...
>> No. 28558
[x] Go to the Temple.
[x] Pick up Kogasa before doing the asking.
>> No. 28565
[x] Go to the Temple.
[x] Pick up Kogasa before doing the asking.

Has SWR already happened in this timeline?
>> No. 28566
I just have to say, this update had me giggling like a maniac the whole way through. It was barrels of fun. Buckets, even.
>> No. 28567
>>28565

One can only assume so, since Hisoutensoku has also happened IIRC.
>> No. 28568
>>28565
>>28567

Not sure about Hisoutensoku, but Tenshi showed up at Yukari's festival/party/contest (don't remember actually seeing Iku outside the reader commentaries) so SWR is definitely in, even putting aside the fact that if it wasn't the Underground and Myouren Temple people wouldn't be there at all as it predates them.

Hisoutensoku and Double Spoiler are the ones up for grabs as far as I can tell. The only 'new' character in Hisou was the giant catfish, which was just a dream of Meiling's anyway. Double Spoiler brings in Hatate, but I can't recall seeing her as of yet.
>> No. 28570
[ ] Go to the Temple.
[ ] Pick up Kogasa before doing the asking.
[ ] In case Byakuren somehow doesn't know, head to the Shrine. And donate.
>> No. 28575
I just want to say that the OP pic is adorable.
>> No. 28582
>>28575
http://danbooru.donmai.us/post/show/324466/
for to be having a translation. not that the dialogue is all that complex, but it just adds to the cuteness.
>> No. 28591
>>28568
One of the characters (I don't remember who) mentioned Hisoutensoku during Yukari's festival, I believe.

Hatate tried to interview MC after he finished getting beat up by Gioia, but was gapped by Yukari for calling her an old lady.

So, both Hisoutensoku's and Double Spoiler's events have taken place in this timeline.
>> No. 28616
[Q] Go to the Human Village...
-[Q] ...to ask the schoolteacher.

If it happened a while ago, she'll know.
>> No. 28618
[X] Pick up Kogasa before doing the asking
[X] Go to the Human Village...
-[X] ...to ask the Child.

THP needs Akyu badly.
>> No. 28639
File 127873094316.jpg - (279.60KB , 849x1188 , nuewhyisyourheadsobig.jpg ) [iqdb]
28639
[x] Go to the Temple.
[x] Pick up Kogasa before doing the asking.

"Well, despite that, I think Byakuren is our best bet. I was careful to not do any real damage to the fairies, and it was all in self-defense anyway."

"You could have just run."

"That would have been boring. But if she asks let's tell her that I felt that stopping them was my civic duty, okay?"

"Civic duty. Alright, I'll try to put on a straight face."

"Hey, those fairies were definitely a menace to society."

"They seemed pretty harmless to me, but I'll take your word for it."

"They tried to kill me!"

"I think that speaks well for their sense of civic duty." She manages to hold a straight face for about five seconds before laughing. "Nah. Let's go talk to Byakuren, I suppose she won't have too much problem with this affair."

---

It's only once you reach the Temple that you realize that Byakuren would be busy about now. If your sense of time is right, it should be at the tail-end of one of the Temple's sessions. Judging by the fact that there are no people leaving the Temple, either there are around ten minutes to go, or your guess is utterly wrong.
Nue continues in without you. "We have some time, right?"

You hesitantly nod. "I think ten minutes?"

"That sounds right. Not the way you said it, of course. It sounded like you had no idea what time it was. But it does agree with my estimate, so it's definitely right."

"Every day I am surprised you grace me with your splended presence." You follow her in. "What do you propose we do for the next ten minutes?"

"Beats me. I was going to ask you."

"Oh? Don't you have some perfect idea for what to do with your time?"

"I did, but then you beat the crap out of all of those fairies and freed up my schedule."

"I'm sorry for not lying down and letting them kill me."

"If you had done that, I might have stopped them. Not a very fun turn of events."

"'Might have'?"

"But more importantly, that still would have blown my cover."

"Oh, then I am sorry for accidently walking into a place where you secretly were." Wait. "Couldn't you just keep them from killing me without blowing your cover? Use some tricks to make it seem like you kill me or something while really letting me escape?"

"That sounds like a lot of effort to go through for you."

"Gee, thanks."

She slaps you on the back. "C'mon, let's celebrate the fact that you escaped multiple hypothetical deaths! What kind of party do you want?"

"Actually, I was thinking that I might go visit Kogasa. See if she wants to come, once we figure out where that stone was from."

"She's sure to have some great idea for a celebration. She's really the life of the party, as we both know."

"Not sure we are going to have time for a party. We only have ten minutes to kill."

"Not ten minutes anymore."

"Oh, right, talking takes time." Roleplaying games and basically any manga about fighting have all mislead you. "Let's go, then."

---

"Kogasa? Are you in there?"

"Mm-hm."

You enter Kogasa's room, to find that she is currently playing with Mazin. You aren't entirely sure where Kogasa got that name. Maybe Nue suggested it, or one of Kogasa's youkai acquaintances. Many youkai seem to have a knack for picking names in languages they don't know how to speak. Like that bug, or that one with the colorful beanie.
Kogasa seems to be playing dress-up with it. At least she is subjecting something else to her strange obsession with wanting people to put on dresses, regardless of their gender. Her skill at picking out outfits is slowly improving, though.
Also, very cute.

Mazin is sitting at a little table (Kogasa got Shou to make it, you recall), drinking from an empty teacup, with its umbrella on the other end of the table. The umbrella also has a teacup. You can only guess at the context. It could just be a normal tea party, but for all you know the umbrella just caused an incident and Mazin played the role of incident-solver and now they are having the customary post-incident tea party.

"Having fun?"

She nods.

Nue edges in. "You seem to really like that thing."

"He wants to be played with." Coming from someone else that would sound fanciful, but Kogasa probably means it in a very literal sense. "When he was stolen from his original home, it was like being abandoned."

"We might be going on an adventure or something. Want to come?"

"Once Mazin is done drinking his tea." She has the teddy bear take another sip.

"And how long will that be?"

Nue shoots you an entirely serious (and probably entirely insincere) look. "You don't hurry tea."

"He just finished." Kogasa stands up, and tucks Mazin into her bed. She puts the little umbrella next to it, over the covers. "So, where are we going?"

"I'm not sure yet."

Nue shrugs. "We were going to ask Byakuren. Her superior knowledge of geology is sure to help us."

"Okay."

The three of you leave the room, rather leisurely. No reason to hurry, since there is still a little time left.

"By the way."

"Yes?" You turn to Kogasa.

"Why are you shirtless?"

...
"Uh, damn. I am, aren't I?"

The karakasa nods solemnly.

Nue laughs. "That's his jousting outfit."

"I see."

"Yeah, I rip my shirt off every time I want to joust." Technically true.

"That's a good point, though. I mean, I'm not complaining about it or anything, but shouldn't you put on a new shirt before you meet up with Byakuren?"

"Nue, Nue. How many months have you known me? You should know by now that if I end up in some embarassing outfit for some reason, I end up having to stick with it for the rest of the day. It's my fate, I think."

"So you aren't going to try to do anything about it?"

"I would end up having to run around naked if I tried to defy fate like that, probably."

"I'm not so sure about that."

"If I walk to my room to get a change of outfits, it'll probably suddenly be struck by a meteor. Or another one of those rocks. Or something. Not going to risk it."

"Eh, suit yourself."

"Shouldn't you talk to Remilia about that?" Kogasa looks concerned.

"What, have her try to remove the fate? I get the feeling she would laugh her ass off. Maybe I could talk to that spinny one, though..."

"I still think you are just taking a series of coincidences and chalking them up to fate, thus stopping your struggle and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy."

"You're really one to talk about superstition, Nue."

"Exactly! I know all about this stuff! Making humans act illogically is my job!"

"Oh, fine, I'll get a change of outfits. If it'll make you happy." You stomp off to your room. Nue and Kogasa both follow you, though... didn't you just say you were going to change?

You open the door and walk inside. A quick look through your closet...

"...I had totally forgotten. Today is laundry day. All of my spare outfits are being cleaned."

Silence.

Nue is the first one to speak. "You probably shouldnt've torn your shirt off, then."

"Hey, I wasn't thinking about that at the time! I was just thinking about how awesome it would be if I ripped my shirt off." You pause. "Maybe. I can't actually quite remember why I decided to do that, by now."

"You did it because you were about to joust." So earnest.

"Right. Thanks, Kogasa."

"Do you want one of my blouses?"

"I don't think it would fit. Anyway, blue isn't my color."

More silence.

---

"Oh? Nue, you are back? And I see you brought Kogasa and... why aren't you wearing a shirt?"

"It's a long story."

"Ah. I heard you had a question for me." She is taking this with a great deal of patience.

You start. "Again, it's a long story, but I found an odd stone while taking a walk." No reason to mention the fairies.

"An odd stone?" She pulls out her scroll.

"It was..." You struggle to come up with a description.

Nue, luckily, decides to help out. "It was about so big," she gestures with her wings, "of a very regular shape, and it had a band of shimenawa ropes around it. I could tell there was some magic power inside."

You nod. "It was embedded into the ground, and surrounded by cracks. It was like it had been thrust into the ground, or dropped from a height."

She thinks for a moment. "That does sound familiar... let me look this up..." She unrolls the scroll and then puts her hand on a specific rune. After a moment she nods. "Yes, I thought so. It is probably a Keystone."

"Keystone?"

"A celestial artifact used to suppress earthquakes." She frowns. "A Keystone of the size you described would be excessive for a small earthquake. But there were no large earthquakes lately. If there were, the Dragon Palace would have sent a messenger to warn Gensokyo."

"What does that mean?" Kogasa is looking curious now.

"I'm not sure. I would call it a sign of wrongdoing, but to accuse Bhava-Agra of something like that... my my, this sounds like a problem."

"We were thinking of going to investigate more after we learned what the stone was."

"Yes, that is probably a good idea. Holy items like Keystones shouldn't be used irresponsibly."

"Yay! An adventure!"

"Please do not do anything rash. Remember compassion."

"Will do." You walk out. "C'mon. Nue, Kogasa. Let's go visit Bhava-Agra or whatever."

---

"So, uh, where is Bhava-Agra anyway?"

"You are only asking this now?"

"Hey, it's your fault for making the person who doesn't know where he's going lead."

"I didn't make you lead. You kind of lead yourself into the position."

"Oh, whatever. Do you know?"

"Well, it's..." Nue gets a hesitant look on her face. "...up, I think?"

"So, what, we just fly up?"

"Going to the former hell is about going down, so I figure going to Bhava-Agra is about going up."

"Look, if you two keep arguing, I am going to turn this damn car around!"

Nue gives you a sour look. "Did you just refer to yourself in the second person? To tell yourself to stop arguing?"

You sigh. "Eh, sorry. I just am so not used to being lost that having it happen is making me irritable."

"You don't have to apologize for using the second person. I still love ya." She laughs. "Come on, let's stop complaining or moping or whatever and figure out what to do."

You glance back. Kogasa is beginning to look a little bored. Yes, it's probably time to hurry up the pace. "We could ask for directions. Maybe go back to Byakuren."

"She hasn't been here for too long. It's possible she doesn't know."

"True." Thinking about it, you faintly remember hearing something about an incident involving a celestial happening before Byakuren was unsealed. You might have even seen a celestial at that party, you can hardly remember anymore. So many faces there and all.
But, regardless, if there was an incident involving Bhava-Agra, it might be better to ask someone involved. Reimu, probably. You might want to talk to someone who is nicer to you, though.
That isn't the only way, of course. Maybe Bhava-Agra really is 'up'. "Do you have any suggestions?"

"Reimu?"

"No."

"Yukari?"

"Oh god no."

"Sanae?"

"Do you want to upset Kogasa? Jeeze, what's with these horrible choices."

"Seriously, though, I think Marisa or Alice would be good. They are relatively nice, and they both seem like the kind of people who would know."

"Okay." You turn back. "Kogasa, are you okay with this?"

She nods. "Alice is nice. Marisa is okay also."

"Then let's go. They both live in the forest of magic, right?"

---

"Well, Alice doesn't seem to be home."

"What clued you in? The fact that she didn't answer after you spent several minutes knocking?"

"That was part of it, yes. I was considering spending a full ten minutes knocking, but then I considered you guy's feelings."

"Oh, thanks."

"Well, do you know where Marisa lives?"

"Not offhand."

"I do!"

"Oh. You lead then, Kogasa." Sometimes you forget that Kogasa has lived in Gensokyo for longer than you or Nue.

"I don't think it's very far from here. It should be... that way."

---

The three of you stand in front of a house in a small clearing in the forest. It looks like it might have been a handsome building once, before several fires and an explosion or two.

"This does seem to be Marisa's house."

"From what I have heard of her... yes. It looks suitably disheveled."

Kogasa walks up to the door and knocks. "Marisa! Marisa!"

There is no response for a moment, and then a yell from inside. "Give me a minute!"

"How much are you willing to bet she was sleeping? She seems like the kind of person who would ruin her own sleep schedule."

"Maybe she was taking a bath!"

"I think she was getting busy."

"Nue!"

"No, seriously. She has how many people lusting after her? She could fully secure a powerful ally with the right choice of girlfriend. She would just need to keep it a secret, so as to not make all of the other stalkers form a lynch mob or something."

"That's... rather coldly practical of you."

"Aw, you're too kind." She laughs.

"Would Marisa really be willing to go through all of the upkeep that would require?"

"Would I what?" You almost jump. Marisa apparently managed to open the door without any of you hearing. "I don't pay much in the way of upkeep, if that's what your asking. Second rule to living a happy life is to never buy anything that you have to pay a monthly fee for."

Okay, this has you curious. "What's the first rule?"

"Never pay for anything, period."

"...and the third rule?"

"Never stick anything larger than yer hand into your body."

"Did you find that out first-hand, or...?"

"Look, should I let you get a pen and some paper so you can take notes?"

"No, I was just curious."

"So, then, why are you here?"

Suddenly, you realize that you accidently made a pun a few sentences ago. While you are busy chuckling at your own accidental, rather mediocre pun, Nue steps in for you. "Do you know how to go to Bhava-Agra?"

"Oh, sure. You just have to go up."

"Seriously?"

"I told you!" Nue looks triumphant.

"No, I am pretty sure you were guessing at random and just got it right by accident."

"The end result is the same, so for all you know I just am bad at explaining myself."

"Whatever you say."

"Is that all?"

Kogasa raises her hand. "What were you doing when we knocked?"

"Huh?" Marisa looks a bit surprised. "I was about to take a bath."

You take a closer look at her. She definitely put her clothes on in a hurry. She put that M-apron on upside-down, for instance. Unless this is really Warisa.
You shrug. "That explanation makes perfect sense, and I will not question it further."

Nue nods. "Obviously, she was going to take a bath because she was so sweaty." You taste the air. Marisa does smell pretty sweaty, yes.

"That's it, yes." Marisa sounds a bit nervous. "So, uh, go into the sky. I reccomend climbing youkai mountain if you want to go to Bhava-Agra. Bye." She retreats back into her house and slams the door.

"She sounded like she was in a hurry."

Nue grins. "I bet she left the water running and was worried her house might explode."

"That's what happens when you leave the gas running, not the water."

"Hey, I don't claim to speak for Marisa's choice in utility providers."

"Yeah, whatever. Let's go to... youkai mountain..." It occurs to you that this might be a problem.

---

"Now. Let's go over the plan again."

"We've gone over it three times so far."

"I just want to be sure."

"Fine, fine."

"Okay. We sneak up the mountain. You disguise us as Tengu so we can avoid their patrols. Once we reach the shrine..."

"...you will go ahead as we sneak. I will follow with Kogasa."

"Right. And what do you do if we are spotted by Sanae?"

"I grab Sanae and run."

"Okay, you have it down."

"Did we really need to make a plan and drill it? This is all stuff I would be doing anyway."

"It gives me a false sense of being in control of the situation, so that once it inevitably goes wrong I will panic more."

"That's a good thing?"

"Not really."

"I can't fault you for your honesty, I suppose."

"Let's go in, then."

The three of you start up the mountain. Nue turns back as she flies. "What type of Tengu do you want to be, Kogasa?"

Kogasa thinks for a moment. "Wolf."

"Okay. And you?"

You shrug. "Does it really matter?"

"You can be another wolf. I'll be a crow tengu and do all of the talking if we are stopped, okay?"

"Okay."

...wait, did Nue just decide something on the fly? Your plan must really suck, if she needs to do stuff like that.

---

You manage to climb the entire mountain without seeing any Tengu. You aren't entirely sure if this was because nobody noticed your group, or because a patrol tengu was fooled by the disguises and didn't bother getting close enough to check in person.
Either way, you find yourself far above Tengu territory. You have never actually come this high before. It's entirely possible that Moriya Shrine might have jobs for you, but the bother of dealing with the Tengu every time dissuaded you. You suppose they would get used to it after a while, but... still, Sanae lives here also. She can get a little too friendly.

And it's Sanae that you are afraid of now. She is currently sweeping just outside the Shrine.
You motion Kogasa and Nue to follow. You think that these bushes should be enough to keep her from seeing them moving.

They creep towards you. Kogasa is looking nervous already. C'mon, contain your fear, little umbrella...

An amulet thuds into the ground in front of you. Sanae's voice rings out. "Who goes there?" She's striking what she must probably think is a cool pose.

You turn backwards, slowly. Kogasa has frozen up, and Nue looks a bit frustrated. You whisper, "Go. I'll hold her off."

Nue shakes her head, then shoves Kogasa into your arms. "No. I got an idea. You handle Kogasa." And then her form shimmers, and in a momement she looks like a short, green-haired fairy.

You sure hope she knows what she is doing. You build up energy. If you do it just right, you can probably teleport yourself and Kogasa without Sanae sensing the spell. You should wait until she is distracted just to be safe, though.
You put your arm over Kogasa's shoulder. She looks like she is about to panic.

Nue rises up from the bush. "Greetings. I am the fairy of the shrub." She pulls out two amulets. One is a normal-looking one, and the other is yellow. The amulet that Sanae threw is still in the ground, so those must both be fakes. "Which of these did you drop? This normal Ofuda, or this golden ofuda?"

Sanae's entire face lights up. "I know this one!" She switches to a sly look. "It's the normal Ofuda!"

This seems like a good time. You teleport yourself and Kogasa to the side of the shrine, in a place that you judge Sanae won't be able to see.

In the distance, you hear Nue go on. "For your honesty, I will give you both."

"Yay!"

After a minute, a large snake slithers to the two of you. It shimmers, and turns into Nue.
She shudders. "That was close."

"Yeah." And then turn back to Kogasa. "Are you alright?"

She nods slowly.

"Alright. Let's go on, before we get into another close call like that one."

Nue has frozen. Oh, wonderful.

You turn around. Suwako is crouched behind you, cocking her head curiously. "What are you people doing here?"

"Just passing through."

"And where would you visit from here?"

You look around. "Bhava-Agra. It's around here, right? Do you have a staircase or something?"

"If you want to visit Bhava-Agra from here, just fly up. It's a bit further up from here."

"Okay, thanks."

She hops into the ground, and then pops out behind Kogasa. The umbrella cringes. "You don't need to be that scared of Sanae, you know."

"But... but..."

Suwako sighs. "Auuu... you aren't going to listen to me, are you?"

Nue harumphs. "Please don't try acting cutesy. You aren't fooling anyone."

"Brave words, youkai." The look on Suwako's hat is now a bit... sharper. It makes you wonder what she looks like when she is really angry. Thinking about that... kind of makes you glad you lost the hat you got in the festival, actually.

"Hmph. And a froggy like you is calling me brave?"

This is just what you need. "I hate to interrupt this great conversation you are having, but how are we supposed to fly up? Sanae is bound to see three flying people going up."

"I would disguise us as birds, but I think Sanae is beginning to learn to see through my disguises."

"That's my girl for you. You've snuck up here to prank her once too often."

You raise one eyebrow. Your most sophisticated look of surprise. "This is the first I have heard of this."

"Does it surprise you?"

"Not at all."

Suwako sighs. "Look, I'll distract Sane. You people go ahead."

"Okay, thanks."

Suwako hops up on top of the shrine, and then off into the front.

"Sanae! Want to play a game?"

"Ah! Honored Suwako-"

"Oh, you don't need to be so formal with me! Come here, you good girl!"

A lot of laughing and stuff. You look at Nue, who shrugs. "Let's go."

---

"Well, damn. It really was up."

Nue shushes you. "They don't appreciate that kind of language here, kid."

"I really feel better now." It's true. Being lost was an... unpleasant feelings. It's rather odd, since you have never felt all that frustrated by being lost before.
Now that you have reached Bhava-Agra, though, and know the way to it, you can feel the tension drain from your body. "Do you feel better, Kogasa?"

She nods energetically. "I didn't like it there."

"Well, now that we are in celestialville, let's find a celestial."

You look around. This place is... pretty empty. A lot of clouds, some simple buildings, and a few unhurried figures. Obviously celestials have simple tastes.

Well, might as well try one. "Hey, you!" Oh, right, politeness. "Hello, good sir!"

The man opens his eyes. Was he napping, out in the middle of that cloud? "Hello."

"So, do you know anything about keystones?" You lean forward and waggle your eyebrows, so he knows that you can be trusted with this presumably-sensitive information. Eyebrow-waggling is the universal symbol for being able to keep secrets.

"Keystones? The Hinanai clan is in charge of them."

"Okay, thanks. I'll leave you to your nap."

He nods slowly and closes his eyes again. Nice enough, you suppose.
You walk back to Nue and Kogasa. "We should talk to the Hinanai Clan about keystones, he said."

"Did he say where the Hinanai Clan is located?"

"...I forgot to ask."

---

"Hey, they have a pretty nice pad."

"From what that other celestial said, Lord Hinanai is pretty important." Nue surveys the building. "I wonder if we should knock, or if he won't mind us just walking in."

"Hey, Kogasa, what do you say we go surprise a celestial?"

"That sounds like fun!"

"Okay, so entering we gooooooh shit!" You teleport yourself to the side as a small keystone slams into the ground (cloud? cloudground?) beside you.

A girl with long blue hair and a sword with a blade of glowing red light strides out of the building. "You taint this holy place with your presence, youkai!"

"Hey, we're here on business."

"Quite." Nue nods. "We want to know if-"

You hold out your hand. "I've got this." You lean forward again, and get to eyebrow waggling. "What do you know about Keystones, kid?"

"Keystones?" She looks confused for a moment, and then realization dawns on her. "Oh, do you mean that keystone I dropped onto Gensokyo for fun a few days ago?"

"Probably."

"Great! It worked!" She pulls out her sword, and points it at you. "Another lowly youkai comes to try to punish me! Do your worst, you fiend!"

You appraise your foe. That dress she is wearing is quite colorful, on inspection. That doesn't have much to do with her power level or anything, but you feel it's important to note.
Although... "Hey, Nue, I thought that celestials were supposed to live simple lives."

"I think one of the requirements to being one is achieving enlightenment, yes."

"Then what's with that dress? It's pretty extravigant."

"Garish, I say."

"I don't think it's too bad."

"So says Mr. Crossdresser."

"Hey! That was only once, and it was just because Kogasa made me!" Oh, wait, Kogasa is here. But she seems to be busy trying to sneak up on the celestial. You won't let your eyes fall on her, then.

"You know you liked it."

"Wait. Aren't you going to try to punish me?" The celestial is still standing there, still holding her sword out.

You turn to her. "Ssh. We're talking." And then you return your attention to Nue. "Okay, fine, I might have liked it a little bit, but that still doesn't mean I'm a crossdresser."

"Ahaha, you don't need to get so defensive! I thought you looked cute in it!"

"Really?"

"PAY ATTENTION TO ME!" The celestial stomps, but you ignore her.

"Yeah. You got the look right. It helps that you lost a lot of your body hair after a while. I've heard that human techniques for removing body hair are very painful."

The celestial growls in frustration, and then spins around and trips Kogasa. She pulls her sword up, and then swings it down...

...to meet empty air. You materialize back where you were standing before, now carrying Kogasa in your arms.

She looks up with a little admiration. "Wow, that was pretty cool!"

"Thanks." You gently let her down, and then nudge Nue. "It looks like she really does want to have her ass kicked."

"Yes, it does seem to be that way." Nue brandishes her trident with one hand, while turning the other hand into a reptilian claw.
You can't have people threatening Kogasa like that. It looks like Nue agrees.

The celestial smiles, and then lunges forward with her sword.
Well, gee, you are being attacked by a crazy lady with a lightsaber. You would be more intimidated if it wasn't for the fact that Nue is by your side, and Kogasa has got your back.

[ ] Make it quick.
[ ] Do it safely.
[ ] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.
[ ] (Write-in.)

(If you win.)
[ ] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.
[ ] Get her to say why she was screwing around with keystones.
-[ ] Lie when reporting this back to Byakuren, to make you sound better.
[ ] Tour Bhava-Agra some. It can't all be boring, right?
[ ] (Write-in.)

---

If you look really hard, you can see the point at which I was about to put in a vote, and then said "screw it" and just kept on writing.
Anyway, this is an example of another update that started out short in my head but got longer and longer as my muse kept throwing obstacles at the poor MC.
>> No. 28640
[x] Make it good for her, if you know what I mean.
- Also, fabulous~. Always fabulous.

Once that's done:

[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.
- He will clearly be pleased with the fabulous company his daughter keeps.
>> No. 28644
[x] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.
Bitch tried to harm Kogasa, completely unforgivable.

(If you win.)
[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.
>> No. 28645
>that one with the colorful beanie.

Phobe?

[x] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.

[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.
-[x] in the process try to find out why anyways and if there's a future threat.
>> No. 28646
[x] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.

[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.

As the youkai of travel we are weak to being lost? I can't really imagine that coming up too often though.
>> No. 28648
[x] Make it quick.

[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.
[x] Tour Bhava-Agra some. It can't all be boring, right?
>> No. 28649
[x] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.

[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.
>> No. 28650
[X] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.
[X] Get her to say why she was screwing around with keystones.
[X] Lie when reporting this back to Byakuren, to make you sound better.
>> No. 28651
[x] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.
- Also, fabulous~. Always fabulous.

[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.
>> No. 28652
[Q] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.

[Q] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.

Hahaha, wonderful~
>> No. 28653
[x] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.
[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling
>> No. 28654
Now that I think of it, didn't we actually meet Tenshi directly at Yukari's festival? She tried to get us to kick her (after we kicked roommate-guy), but we escaped as that had weirded us out.
>> No. 28655
You can hardly expect the main character to remember every person he has ever met.
Alternate answer: you can hardly expect the author to remember every person who has been written into the story already.

If I keep responding like that, someone needs to make a 'templates like that are forbidden' joke.
>> No. 28658
[x] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.

[x] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.
[x] Tour Bhava-Agra some. It can't all be boring, right?

Hooray for Phobe-mention and phrase-borrowing!

...And I have a question for you, Author Person.
Put in a dress, how convincing a trap is the protagonist, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being Joseph trying to sneak into the Nazi base in Mexico in JJBA part 2, and 10 being Jun Watarase)?
>> No. 28664
[x] Do it safely.
And when we win
[x] Get her to say why she was screwing around with keystones.
Then go.
[x] Tour Bhava-Agra some. It can't all be boring, right?
MC has a habit of being reckless when its not necessary. This tends to end up with Kogasa getting hurt. As for Tenshi, while a brat, she is actually pretty strong. Even with numbers on our side, I would rather not take the chance.
Sage because I'm late for voting and this wont do a damn thing.
>> No. 28677
File 127915684796.jpg - (208.78KB , 600x1251 , nofevahPLEASENOFEVAH.jpg ) [iqdb]
28677
>>28658

5 or 6, I'd say. He has no body hair besides the hair on his head (and scales if he wants to, though that would only help him blend in at a furry convention), and has a rather unexceptional physique. He wouldn't be too convincing 'passively', but if he was actively trying to appear female he could put off a fairly convincing act to someone who doesn't know him. It helps that people almost expect youkai to have eccentric appearances. The biggest problem would be his voice.

---

[X] Show her why nobody messes with your favorite umbrella.

[X] Maybe there is some higher authority you can bring her to? She's probably not Lord Hinanai, you get the feeling.

You duck under one sword slash, and Nue knocks the celestial away midway through a second attack. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this prevents you from coming up with anything suitably witty to think. Not even something irreverant and/or whimsical. Hopefully you'll be able to manage somehow.
Instead, you settle for a quick sweep with your leg. She isn't tripped, but she is forced to move back some more.

Okay, you have some space. Time to stop taking this fight seriously. You'll probably be more successful that way, anyway.
Ahem.

So, does this angel or whatever think she can mess with your umbrella? It might have been to get your attention, but there are better ways to do that. Or, perhaps not, since it sure got your attention.
Either way, though, you'll show her what it's liked to be messed with.

You lean on your cane. "Do you want to see a magic trick?"

Both Nue and the celestial look at you. The latter looks confused, but Nue definitely knows you are up to something. No answer.

"I'll take that as a yes." You raise your free hand. "Now you see me..." You lower it. "And now you don't."

You teleport behind your foe. "Now you hear me..." you whisper into her ear. She turns, but you have already gone.

"And now you won't!" As she turns back forward, she is hit in the side of the head by your cane. There's a sharp bang, and she is thrown flying.

You land beside Nue and grimace. "I think I overdid it."

"Really? Because she barely looks hurt at all."

"And I put all of my strength into that too, huh." Well, your strong suit was never physical combat. You even put several danmaku bullets into that swing, though.

"And it looks like you used a truly unreasonable amount of energy to do that, also."

"Hey, I'm an artist. That magic trick, that was art. You don't tell a painter that he was wasting perfectly good paint that could be used to paint fences or houses. You don't really need my help, anyway."

"Is that really what you think?"

"Yes." The two of you stare at each other for a moment. She is giving you an intense glare.

"Good, because that's basically what I was thinking also." She charges forward and tackles the celestial back to the floor. This is when they will begin wrestling, you think. Woo, cat fight!
She raises her hands- both fully changed into heavy, scaly claw, with wicked-sharp talons. And then begins swinging.
Blood begins flying into the air.
Uh. Okay, this isn't the kind of cat fight you wanted to see.

You quickly cover Kogasa's eyes. She's too young to see this kind of stuff. "Nue, don't you think you're overdoing this?"

Nue doesn't even pause from the attack. "She's a celestial. A beating like this is barely anything."

"Still, isn't there, like, the spellcard system in place for a reason?"

Nue glances back at you. "Stop being a stick in the mud-" She is then kicked off by her opponent.

Well, it appears she was keeping up a constant offensive at the shortest possible range for a reason. Probably to keep her opponent from being able to use that sword. Eh.

Nue backs off as her opponent stands up. Nue is panting for breath. The celestial is also panting, but blushing at the same time. She doesn't seem to mind the thick lacerations covering her chest.

The celestial sighs happily. "This is making up for that time you refused to hit me."

"Huh? I'm pretty sure I've never met you before."

"What was that?" She shakes her head, straining to hear. It looks like your magic trick worked after all. One of the small touches in that doomed fight with Gioia that impressed you was the great effectuality of setting off huge, noisy impacts right next to someone's ears.

You begin to speak up. "I have never met you before."

"It was at the festival. You said you would kick me."

"Does she seem familiar to you, Nue? I would think I would remember someone this distinct." You let take your hands off of Kogasa's eyes. "It's probably safe for you to watch now."

"I never did introduce myself, did I?" The celestial sticks her sword into the ground and makes a sweeping gesture with her other hand. "I am Tenshi Hinanai, daughter of the heavens!"

"Tenshi... Tenshi..." Nue thinks for a moment. "Oh! I remember hearing about you."

"That's more like it!" Tenshi fistpumps.

"I've heard you're quite the freak. So, you celestial who adores the strange! Die from the terror of this unidentified flying object!" That's a nice line. Maybe a bit overdramatic though. You wonder if she came up with it on the spot or what.

Tenshi is interrupted mid-celebration by a thrown trident to the face. As she reels backwards, Nue draws a card.
This is probably your cue to step in to help. If Nue is going for spellcards, you might as well ensure that the battle ends right here. Not the most... satisfying of revenge, but you're not entirely sure if you were happy with the direction Nue was taking this whole thing. Also, it seemed like Tenshi was enjoying it, so maybe this will be for the best.
You draw a card of your own.

"Grudge Bow: The Bow of Genzanmi Yorimasa!" "Borrowed Power: Grudge Bow!"

There is a brilliant storm of lasers. Tenshi is pummeled from two directions, as you both fire notstop barrages of danmaku. The air crackles and wavers, and the clouds (which are somehow as strong as solid earth) are pummeled and blackened.
You were not activating the spellcard at full power. For this level of destruction, Nue must have put a lot of power into her one.

After a bit, the spells end. You land gracefully, avoiding the pillar of smoke. You whip the card up to your mouth, and blow away the thin whisp of smoke.

You look at the smoldering crater. What the hell were those clouds made of anyway. Are they just floating rocks dolled up to look like clouds? Or maybe some magical thingamajig so the celestials can live in their little houses and not have to fly everywhere.
You nod. "I think we're in the clear. Nobody could have survived that."

Nue sighs. She straightens up, and then intones in a loud, deliberate voice, "That's good, because I have only two days until I retire from the force."

Tenshi leaps out of the smoke toward Nue, swinging her sword. Her face is flushed with happiness.

You teleport beside her and hold out your leg. She prompty flies headfirst into Nue's waiting embrace.
And Nue whirls her around several times, faster and faster, before throwing her out into the air. You teleport up, and kick her straight down as she passes. She lands headfirst into the ground, not having even had a chance to finish that sword swing.

Kogasa walks up to Tenshi. "Are you done?"

You take Tenshi's sword from her twitching hand and teleport it down to the Ancient City. "I am now."

Nue gives Tenshi a satisfied look. "Those things I did to your insides should be kicking in right now..." Tenshi turns her head, and gives a weak smile. She tries to pull herself up, but seems to be unable to find the strength to. "Yeah, and stay down."

"That was pretty vicious."

"Eh." Nue walks away. "I had to work out my anger somehow."

"From that encounter with Suwako?"

"Probably." She takes a few deep breaths. "This... isn't the kind of attitude a youkai in this era needs."

"Hey, you've been doing pretty well so far. I think the pranking is just fine."

"It's more fun also, really." She prods Tenshi's hand. "Though I must admit being able to cut loose a little bit like that was satisfying."

"Convenient that she didn't ask for a spellcard duel. It's almost like she wanted to be beaten up." You blink. "Wait. Isn't that exactly what she wanted?"

You both stare at Tenshi.

"Suddenly, I feel a lot less satisfied."

"I feel dirty."

"What's going on?"

"I'll tell you when you are older, kid."

"All I know is that we're all happy, so we should make up and go have fun together!"

"Maybe afterwards. But for now, we have a job to do." You lean over Tenshi and begin to waggle your eyebrows.

Nue pushes your head away. "Stop that eyebrow thing. Seriously. It's not funny anymore."

"But I'm not trying to be funny!"

"More... ah! More!" Your head snaps back. Tenshi has pulled herself off of the ground.

"Your insides should be basically liquid by now."

"You are disarmed. What, do you want us to just break all pretenses and just start whacking you now? Because I don't feel like it anymore." Also, the spellcard, the nonstop teleporting, and that teleporting her sword a long distance thing... took a bit more of your energy than you would want to admit.

She holds out one hand, and there is a rumbling. After a moment, a hole is punched through the cloud beside her, and her sword is once again within her grasp.
You hope that nobody happened to be in a straight line between Tenshi and where you had sent the sword, because if so they would be pretty dead now.

"If you don't give me... aah!" She doubles over halfway through the process of getting onto her feet again. "Aah! I'm not nearly through yet!" She holds out her sword, which begins to spin in front of her. "Scarlet Weather Rhapsody of All Humankind!"

She rises into the air, and begins gathering energy. Looks like the kind of attack where you are temporarily immobile, but fire a big-ass laser.

Your course of action is clear. You grab Nue in one arm and Kogasa in the other, and fly away.

"H-hey! Come back!"

"Yeah. No. Bye!"

Nue sticks out her tongue.

You ignore Tenshi's screeching as you fly off to a safe distance. "She hadn't declared a duel, so there was basically no reason to stick there and take her attack."

"I applaud your creative thinking. But did you really have to carry me? I can fly on my own."

"I..." You realize you still have one arm around Kogasa, and the other around Nue. You awkwardly let them go. "I thought it would be most dramatic if I didn't say anything."

"Oh, I'll drop it."

"...when did you shapeshift her insides or whatever, anyway?"

"Please. I was in direct physical contact with her for how much of the fight?"

"Right. Uh, what should we do when she is done?"

Kogasa is quick to answer. "We should prepare a surprise!"

It appears that conventional tactics, as in 'attack the other person until they give up', aren't working. All you are saying is give Kogasa's approach a chance. "Okay. Let's get at it, then."

---

"Didn't they go this way?" Tenshi looks around, and sees another celestial. She quietly walks up to the celestial. "Have you seen three youkai- HAAA!" She slashes down, and Nue catches the sword in her hand. The disguise melts away. "You need to learn to blend in better, youkai!"

Nue nods her head solemnly. "It wasn't a very good disguise, no." She lets go of the sword.

"I was looking for just a bit of fun earlier, but I'm mad now!"

"I see."

"So call the other two over, unless you want to get crushed! This daughter of the heavens is no longer going to go easy on you!"

"Too late."

"Too late?" With a wet slurping sound, a giant tongue runs up Tenshi's back. She shudders, and in that moment her sword is snatched away by someone just out of her view.

She angrily spins around to meet Kogasa, who gives her a little wave. And then Nue grabs her from behind, and a swarm of snakes quickly slither out and wrap around her like ropes.
Within moments the celestial is bound head-to-toe by the snakes, which rapidly turn into thick metal wire.

You teleport back beside Nue, gingerly holding the sword. It's a very powerful artifact, you can tell, and not one that you would have any chance of being able to use. The most you can do is try to keep her from recalling it, and even then you aren't sure how long you can keep it up.
So therefore, it's time for a bit of decisive action. "Tenshi, how about we go meet Lord Hinanai?"

"I- what?"

"I'm sure he would be interested in hearing how you are using the celestial keystones."

"Wait! I promised I would be good last time-"

"Well, maybe you will keep your promises next time."

The snakes finally fully transform and settle. Nue steps back, eyeing her handiwork. She nods after a moment. "I think it will hold."

"Okay. Let's go. Kogasa, do you want to lead?" No reason not too. She didn't have much chance to play during that battle. It was mostly you and Nue.

"Okay!"

---

Kogasa doesn't bother knocking. She just opens the door, and lets you in. Tenshi doesn't complain, largely because of the gag Nue installed.

It's not too long before you find Lord Hinanai. He's an imposing-looking man with blue hair and red eyes. Which suggests that Tenshi's looks are either genetic or the result of becoming a celestial. Not that that is very important.
He narrows his eyes. "I see you have tied up my daughter."

You nod. "That has, in fact, occured."

"I would want to ask you why."

You need to handle this right. That would normally mean that you would want to leave it to Nue, who doesn't have your talent for slipping up in conversations, but she doesn't seem to be in a good mood right now so you should go ahead.
"Well, we came here to ask about some... questionable deployment of keystones in Gensokyo. And then she started throwing stones at us and shit. So we kicked her ass and did a little bit of snake-bondage." Okay, you'll give that 5/10, all things considered. Not a gold-star performance, but eh.

He sighs. "Was there another earthquake?"

"No, I just found a large keystone embedded into the ground for no apparent reason."

He gives you a long stare. "I can tell that you are not lying." He seems to loosen up some. "I will order a recount of keystones. Talk to me again in, say, ten minutes. And," he turns to Tenshi, his gaze hardening, "if it is true that you are abusing our family's resources again..."
Aren't celestials supposed to be carefree?
...if your daughter was like Tenshi you would have a hard time maintaining a carefree attitude also, you guess.

"C'mon. Kogasa, Nue. Let's go waste ten minutes."

"I will send you a messenger once the recount is completed. I might have something small to ask of you, I am afraid."

---

"Do you know if there's anything good in Bhava-Agra?"

"I dunno, it seems boring to me!"

"I can see why Tenshi gets so bored." Nue looks around. "Everything here is so relaxed."

"They do have some good schtuff here." A slurred voice. All three of you turn, to see... Suika? What's she doing here?

"Good stuff?"

Suika holds out a bottle. "Their sake issa real thing." She takes a long swig from the bottle, and then wipes off her mouth. "Real good." She holds out the bottle again. "Either of you wan' any?"

"Not really." Not sure how much you would want Oni germs. They have got to be real strong things, right?

"Maybe later. I'm on 'a job' now." Nue all but does air-quotes.

"No thank you."

"Suit yerselves." She tries to take another swig but misses, so she shrugs and breaks the entire bottle on her forehead. And then begins licking the alcohol as it drips down.

"So, uh, what are you doing here?"

"Whazzit look like I'm doing?"

"Drinking?"

"Yeah! These celelestialels never workup the nerve to kick me out!" She tries to kick for emphasis, but ends up falling on her face.
Wait, didn't she still have glass shards there? Oni are hardcore, it looks like.

A long silence. Suika seems happy to lie facefirst on the ground, in a small puddle of alcohol. You think you hear her slurping.

"I guess I'll... leave you to that." You begin walking away.

"Give me regards to Reimu." Nue waves. That doesn't seem like a good idea to you, but it sounds like Nue was joking.

"Bye!" Kogasa waves also.

---

"So, uh, Lord Hinanai, what about the count?"

"There is indeed one keystone missing. A large one, as you said, though not one of the giant ones or pillars."

"You said you needed us?"

"Our second menial errand of the day," Nue mumbles.

"Yes. I want you to check to see if the Dragon Palace's records are the same as ours. Tenshi swears there was an earthquake predicted on the day she dropped the keystone."

"Well, I would teleport over there, but I'm not entirely sure where the Dragon Palace is."

"Hm." He thinks for a moment. "I will call one of their messengers over then."

"Wait. Why do you even need me then?"

"Yes, this seems like a good idea." He nods. "A messenger of the dragon palace will arrive shortly, to the north of this house. Go meet her, please."

You shoot Nue a glance. She looks confused as you are. Kogasa, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be listening.

---

"So, uh, what do you think is going on?"

"Maybe it's some kind of test of character? I've heard that celestials are big on those."

"So do we pass by following his orders, or calling out his bullshit?"

"I figure it's 50-50 either so."

"So won't the best solution be to do both?"

You both turn to Kogasa.

"That... sounds like it could work."

"That sounds way more fun than just doing one."

"What do messengers from dragon palace look like?"

"Look for an oarfish."

You look around. Nope, no oarfish flying around in the sky. There is a lady with a frilly pink shawl though.
She turns towards you and immediately flies over.

"You have a worried air about you."

"I'm looking for oarfish. Seen any?"

"I saw some oarfish earlier, but I passed them by."

"Oh, that's too bad. I was looking for an oarfish. Oh wait you are the oarfish why was I insinuating otherwise with dubiously solicited dialogue duh."

"You see the shawl?" Nue points. "That's enough to quality her as an oarfish youkai. It's like how Nazrin has mouse ears and a tail and that's it, and Ran has a bunch of tails and maybe fox ears under that hat also."

"I see."

"And what do you need of this messenger?" The woman moves her lidded eyes between you and Nue. All joking aside, now that you pay more attention she does feel kind of fishy. Okay maybe not all joking was aside there. Speaking of, 'fishy' is an odd phrase. What is it about fish that is suspicious? You've heard it claimed that 'fishy' refers to the smell of fish going bad, much like how you might say 'something stinks' when you think something is amiss. That would make sense. However, that would mean that one of fishkind's biggest contributions to the English language would be a postmortem contribution, sadly enough. Hard on the fish, though admittedly the little bastards make it hard to feel sorry for them. If they wanted people to like them they would look cuter. They just aren't trying, damnit!

Nue glances at you, and after seeing that no answer seems to be forthcoming, she replys herself. "We need to know if there were any earthquakes predicted recently."

"Ah. Is there more trouble with Eldest Daughter?"

You snap back to reality. "Maybe? If that is what you call Tenshi."

"I see. Well, there was a prediction two days ago for a small earthquake. It was prevented, however."

"Okay. Thanks for, uh, your time." This was pretty lame. "Probably should have gone to the Dragon Palace though. It would have been more amusing."

"I'm sorry, but the Dragon Palace does not admit visitors. The last time we did, there were too many complaints." She shrugs, in a rather sinuous way. The shawl moves along with the motion, like it was part of her body. Might very well be. "It appears that people do not like that 'day inside, hundred years outside' thing nearly as much as our market research suggested." They should have asked Rip van Winkle for his opinion before making a decision.

"Not allowed to go there? That sounds like a challenge to me."

"Please do not view it as a challenge."

"Okay, fine, you can have it your way."

"Do you need anything else of this messenger?"

"I got nothin'." You look around. "Either of you have anything you want to know?"

"I'm happier off not knowing this stuff."

"Where does rain come from?"

"The Dragon God subcontracts Kanako for that."

"Wooow!"

"Any other questions?"

"No, I think we're okay."

"Then let this humble messenger of the Dragon Palace take her leave." She raises one hand to the sky, in some kind of John Travolta pose, and is suddenly struck by lightning. You wince, and when you look back she is gone.

"That is not a very humble exit."

"I do admit it was pretty stylish."

"In a flashy way."

"So, we are supposed to take this news back to Lord Hinanai."

"And then we go back to the Temple, because I am pretty sick of this damn place."

---

"What did you learn, child?"

"There was an earthquake on the given day, but it was a small one."

"I see. That matches our records." He thinks for a moment. "We have been going on a campaign of stopping some earthquakes and letting others happen, see, since employing a keystone causes stress to build up under the earth. Using such a large keystone for a small earthquake like that is truly wasteful at best, and counterproductive at worst."

"Ah." Okay, time for part two. "But why did you need us to ask?"

"Our records aren't perfect. We have a surprising lack of good record-keepers in Bhava-Agra. I wonder why?" It's because these people are all carefree loons, apparently.

"No, I mean, why did you need us? You called a messenger over, couldn't she just report straight to you?"

"Oh, I hadn't thought of that."

"Wha- but, I am pretty sure I- gah!"

"No harm done, no harm done. It did not take much of your time, correct? You can go now, I will handle the rest of this matter." He happily shooes the three of you out, before Nue even has a chance to open her mouth.

..."Well, that was pretty lame."

"Yes."

"Not coming back to Bhava-Agra."

"Agreed."

"I thought he was nice!"

"Yes, but... oh, let's just go, Kogasa." You put your hand around her shoulder. "I'll teleport you, so we don't need to pass by Moriya Shrine again."

"Thank you."

---

Byakuren looks up from her meditation. "You are back. How did it go?"

"Fairly well."

"It was fun!"

"It sucked."

"And what did you learn?"

"The keystones were misused, but the person responsible is being punished. Again."

"Bhava-Agra is really lame. Utter bullshit."

"Nue!"

"It's true!"

Byakuren shakes her head amusedly. "I should probably not find this funny."

"Probably not. But Nue's done good today, so that should make up for it... right, Kogasa?"

"Yeah! She helped protect me from Tenshi!"

"I can let it slide. Now, about that misuse of keystones..."

---

You take a swipe with the knife, hitting the ankles of the assassin. Even if you can't beat her... even if you can't stop her, you can at least delay her until help arrives.
Sakuya, help!

---

You slowly open your eyes. That was a good nap, really, despite the dream. With fall beginning, the high temperatures of summer are beginning to depart. You aren't really feeling it now, but logic suggests that once winter arrives you should begin to feel quite lethargic. Therefore, you are getting a head start.
Maybe you shouldn't take naps in the middle of the road, though. A curious fairy is looming over you, but runs away when she sees that you are now awake. It's good there are no automobiles in Gensokyo, or you might have woken up as roadkill.
You get up, stretching luxuriously.

You look at the scene around you, at the dead leaves falling. The scenery in Gensokyo is so beautiful, really. A very good place to live your new, long life in. Of course, you don't need to live here. You can enter and leave whenever you want, though it's enough of a hassle that you have not really felt the inclination to do so, yet. You doubt you will anytime soon.
But enough thinking idle thoughts. You should get a move on. You're blocking the road.
There's still plenty of time left in the day. Maybe you could go see if anyone has a letter for you to deliver? In your travels you have been neglecting your business a bit, and you should probably step up your game.
Of course, you could just return to the Temple. You have hardly been letting your friends go lonely, but more time with them never hurts. There might very well be something amusing going on there, also. You never know.
You suppose that if you got a letter, depending on the destination, you might pick up Kogasa and Nue for a walk when delivering it, but... oh, you really shouldn't think too hard on such a simple matter. It really isn't good for your health. Or rather, for your safety.

[ ] Return to the Temple.
[ ] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.

---

So yeah. I'm not entirely sure where the fight went. It sure didn't go the way I had planned it to go.

Also, I just realized that that kind of blue place that the fight against Tenshi takes place in is probably supposed to be Bhava-Agra. Maybe. So my randomly-chosen depiction of the ground being made of clouds and stuff was inaccurate. Oops. Maybe I should have read the game's script closer.
>> No. 28679
[x] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.
>> No. 28680
>So yeah. I'm not entirely sure where the fight went. It sure didn't go the way I had planned it to go.

That's fine. Like you said earlier, it's pretty much writing improv that you do. You do a good job of it; I grin every time.

[x] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.
>> No. 28681
[x] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.

Oh Tenchi, if you're so bored then why don't you take up drinking with Suika?
>> No. 28682
[x] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.
>> No. 28683
[X] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.
>> No. 28684
[x] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.

I love the CYOA dream sequences.
>> No. 28686
[X] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.

>So yeah. I'm not entirely sure where the fight went. It sure didn't go the way I had planned it to go.

The fight? AWESOME

Not sure what it says of me, but my favorite bit was Nue's "two days to retirement" ploy.
>> No. 28688
>Maybe you shouldn't take naps in the middle of the road, though. A curious fairy is looming over you,
"You sure like to sleep in funny places, miss mister."
>> No. 28689
Also, yeah, teleporting has helped his fight style a lot. Much cooler.
>> No. 28699
[x] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.
>> No. 28728
[Q] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.

These updates are the highlight of my week.
>> No. 28736
File 127941260056.jpg - (136.81KB , 640x480 , youwillneverbethisawesomesorry.jpg ) [iqdb]
28736
[x] Go see if anyone has a letter to deliver.

You could do with some money. And some more walking wouldn't hurt, either. In fact, delivering a letter sounds like quite a nice idea.
You stretch your legs. You then take to the air, thus negating any purpose to the exercise of leg-stretching.

So, letters. Letters. Who's got the letters?
You have a few regular customers. Koishi and Flandre come to mind immediately. However, you aren't sure if you want to visit the Scarlet Devil Mansion again so soon, since Remilia surely knows your indirect involvement in that disastrous sleepover by now. You should play it safe and give her another month or so, at least.
Koishi, of course, lives a far-ass distance away. Also, she would probably want to send a letter to the Manor, which you want to avoid for those aforementioned reasons.
You have some other semi-regulars. Alice sometimes corresponds with Shinki, and that's a possibility. However, she is in the habit of writing long letters infrequently, rather than constant correspondance, and it's probably too soon for her next big letter.
Once or twice Suika has had a letter also, to send down to the Ancient City or up to Bhava-Agra or such. You get the feeling that if she wants to talk to someone far away she mostly just goes there, though, and then uses that as an excuse for a party. Oni business is serious business. And by business you mean revelry.
Sometimes someone at the Temple has a letter, also. However, when that happens, you usually hear about it during a meal. No need to go asking around.
Of course, there is also the occasional letter you can pick up at the human village. However, ordinary people rarely need to send letters to exotic places like Makai or Chireiden.
There is that imports/exports business you had going, of course, which you haven't quite gotten the capital to restart yet. It was doing pretty well, also, so you should really consider working on starting it up again.

Right. That's your goal, so you are going to go out there and deliver a letter and make some money to work towards it!

Closest to your current position is... oh, who cares, you can teleport.

---

You land at the Hakurei Shrine. Not your first choice, except in the sense that you have come here first. So you suppose it is your first choice, actually.
Maybe Suika or... even Reimu has a letter? You wouldn't be too surprised. And hopefully Reimu is nice and laid back, since it's been a while since there was an Incident.

And there she is, out on the porch. She stares at you lazily. "I hope you don't expect me to bring out tea."

"But isn't that just politeness?" You walk up to her.

"I don't feel like moving right now." She slowly sips her cup of tea.

"Building up energy for the next time you have to fly around and beat youkai up for no real reason?"

"Something like that." Her eyes narrow. "What are you here for? If you've fallen in love with me or something, get in line. I think there's a spot between that annoying youkai in the tuxedo and Yukari."

"What, you're going to allow me to skip in line? I'm honored." You take a seat in midair. Sure, it is in no way more relaxing than standing, but it looks cool.

"I'm feeling generous today."

"Ah, but no, I just want to know if you have any letters that you want delivered."

"Not really, no." She finishes off the tea.

"Does Suika?"

"How should I know? I tune her out, mostly. Not that it's hard, what with how she is incoherently drunk half hte time."

"Well, I suppose I'll go check."

"She is currently on the roof, I think." Reimu puts the cup down, and closes her eyes. "Unless you are here for worship, can you please leave me be? I really need to savor these moments of quiet."
You nod, and fly up to the roof.

You've been mostly avoiding Reimu, so that came as a surprise. You've never seen her so... laid-back. You do get the feeling that she is still nobody to cross, though, even in this lazy season.
Does this make Reimu the Sherlock Holmes of Incidents? Would Marisa be Watson?
...you wonder if she is a junkie. You aren't sure if Gensokyo has the industries to produce enough drugs to support a junkie population, though Yukari would probably happily act as an enabler.

Ah, there's Suika. She seems to be asleep.
Wake a sleeping Oni in case she has a letter to deliver.
No thank you.

You fly back down, and toss a bit of money into the donation box before leaving. Last time it worked pretty well, so you figure that you might as well throw in the occasional token donation.

---

So by process of elimination, you find yourself at Alice's door. A very short process of elimination. Maybe you'll get lucky.
The bad thing about this whole vigilante postman deal is that the work is infrequent and unpredictable. At least that imports/exports merchant thing you had going was something you did on your terms.

But it never hurts to ask around, you suppose. Alice pays pretty well, and it is generally a good idea to get on the good side of local powermongers. Well, Alice isn't really that powerful, but Shinki is basically the power in Makai. You've heard something about an angel of death who sounds pretty powerful and lives there also, but never met him or her. Then again, you always stick to Pandaemonium. The rural towns like Esoteria don't hold much appeal to you. Maybe if they had banannas.

You knock on the door. "I'm coming!"

Alice opens the door. She seems mildly surprised to see you.

"Hey."

"Hello."

"Just stopping by to see if you have any letters to deliver."

"Come in, come in, I'll put the tea on."

"Huh? Okay." Well, now you are getting that cup of tea you didn't really want that Reimu shortchanged you for. Or something.

You follow her inside. Dolls hurry around, preparing a table for you.
You take a seat. Alice sits on the opposite end of the table, smiling pleasantly but vacantly. Her fingers are twitching, ever so slightly. Controlling the dolls, or so you have been told.

Time drags on just long enough to be awkward, perhaps a bit creepy, when the dolls come back with tea and snacks.
You look at your cup. Eh, might as well drink a little.

"So, how have you been doing?"

"Okay, I guess. Why are you asking?"

"Good, good." She elegantly takes a sip of tea. "I trust Nue and Kogasa have been doing well also?"

You are feeling kind of an undercurrent of nervousness here. "Seriously, why are you asking all of this?"

"No reason." She goes on, apparently not noticing that you didn't answer her question. "I have been doing well, also. Marisa is always a pain to work with, but I manage."

"I see."

A silence. You drink some more tea, and look down at the snacks. Eh, might as well have a few.

"I, ah, heard you are here to see if I have a letter to deliver?"

"Ooh, are these shortbread cookies?" Om nom nom nom. Hell yes they are! "Oh, right, yeah. Got a letter?"

"Well, I, ah... I have a letter for you." She waggles a finger, and a doll flies over. It deposits a letter on the table. "I had been, uh, meaning to find you to ask you to deliver this for a while. So you saved me some work."

"Oh, you know me. Nothing stops me, rain, sleet, or lack of knowledge about the existance of the letter." You smile reassuringly, though the effect is damaged by the cookie crumbs in your mouth.

"That's good to hear. Deliver this letter, then. I'm okay if you take your time, but please deliver it within the next week or so. I'll pay well."

"Thanks for the food." You stand up and take the letter. "I won't monopolize your time any more. I'll go see to getting this delivered, I guess."

"Thank you." She stands and curtsies. You feel a bit of the tension drain from the atmosphere.

You walk out of her house, examining the letter. You wonder why she was so nervous about giving this to you? Maybe she's just had a bad day?

"To Kazami Yuuka, Garden of the Sun, Gensokyo"

...well, fuck.

---

You see Shou outside the Temple, repairing a hole in the wall.

Might as well make being doomed be fun also. You run up to the enterance, flailing your arms around. "Gang way, gang way! Man with a death sentence coming through!"

She grabs you by the arm as you pass. "Please don't shout that inside. You might alarm Byakuren."

"Oh, sorry."

She lets go. "Why are you so 'doomed', anyway?"

You hold up the letter. "I agreed to deliver this before actually reading who it was to."

She looks at the letter, and slowly nods. "And your word is your bond, is it? Well, I've never been able to get you to stop with words. You take far too much after Nue for that, really. So instead I will just wish you luck."
She sets down the hammer, and says a few quick prayers.

Coming from an avatar of a god of luck, that means a lot. Or maybe, coming from a woman who somehow manages to keep losing her most valuable possessions despite every effort to the contrary, that makes you worried. One of the two.
"Thank you."

"Now go inside, and don't mention this to Byakuren. If something bad happens she can learn in time to save you, but I don't want her worrying about it beforehand."

"That's surprisingly dishonest of you."

"I am not an unreasonable woman, and you are not a man who is likely to trapped in a bad situation."

"Yes, I am far too good at running away for that to happen." You walk in. "Now, if you excuse me, I need to go think about how to do this without getting killed."

She nods and goes back to the repairs. Or tries to. She seems to belatedly notice that her hammer is gone, and starts to look around frantically for it.
You wonder how she gets any work done, like that. Probably through that special brand of unending guilt-fueled diligence she has.

---

You find Nue and Kogasa in Kogasa's room. Or, rather, you find two Kogasas in Kogasa's room. Unless Karakasa reproduce by binary fission, you assume that one of them is probably Nue in disguise.

"Hey, Kogasas."

"Hello!" They both answer, at the exact same time.

"Scoop!" You hold out your hand. "Nue is a fag!"

"That's not a nice thing to say!" "Really?"

You grab the one who didn't protest. "You can shapeshift back now."

"Damn." The second purple umbrella shifts back into a trident, as Nue returns to her normal human form. "I slipped character there."

"Yeah, the real Kogasa values her friends too much to hear them insulted." You point at Kogasa. "Exhibit A."

"What's exhibit B?"

You point at Kogasa again.

"Ah."

Kogasa hugs you. "You're back early."

"I had a nice nap, yes."

"I was hoping you would be away longer. We had a good surprise planned out." Nue gets comfortable on Kogasa's bed.

"If you want I can leave and come back in and pretend to be surprised."

"Smartass." She shoots you an accusing stare. "If you did that, I would pretend to be angry at your deception and pretend to kick your ass, got it?"

"Ahaha, I pity the person who tries to pity you."

"I'm a proud youkai. I guess I can handle this civilization shit if I have to, but don't ask me to like it."

"You have to respect humanity's capacity for coming up with the weird and wonderful, though."

"A capacity which is thoroughly discouraged by civilization."

"If it didn't exist, though, you wouldn't either."

"I don't see the problem here. I dislike civilization, but I like humans."

"You like humans?"

"I like to toy with them. That's about the same thing, right?"

"You have me there."

Kogasa leans over. "You don't like civilization? What about me?"

"Huh?"

"Aren't umbrellas part of civilization?"

"Yeah! Aren't umbrellas part of civilization?" You lean in towards Nue. "Are you saying you don't like Kogasa?"

"No, but-"

You grab Nue with one arm and Kogasa with the other, and pull them together. "Now hug and make up!"

Kogasa hugs Nue. "I'm not mad at you."

"I'm- I mean..." Nue gives up and accepts the hug.
After a bit, Kogasa lets go. Nue leans back, and shoots you a glare full of equal parts annoyance and pride. "You win this round."

"I look forward to dueling with you again."

Nue quickly regains her cool. "So, what are you here for?"

You hold out the letter. "Professional pride."

"You are hardly a professional mailman. More of an amateur."

"Semi-professional pride, then. Look, just read the address on this envelope."

"...Huh, that is troublesome."

"That's what I thought. I need to think of some way to deliver this safely and securely. I suppose I could just teleport it in, but then it might not get read. And that would be violating my professional... I mean, semi-professional pride, if this presumably important letter wasn't delivered."

"And you figured we could help?"

"I'm not asking for you two to come with me. I wouldn't want to put Kogasa in any more danger, for one." You take a seat on the floor. "But you are very clever, Nue, and you aren't lacking your own moments of insight, Kogasa." You look at them in turn. "Maybe we can come up with some plan, between the three of us?"

Nue rocks back and forth on the bed. "I think I have an idea already, actually."

"Me too!" Kogasa smiles.

"My, two ideas already?"

"I think with the right disguise, you could get into the Garden of the Sun quite safely." Nue nods. "Of course, I won't be hurt if you go with whatever Kogasa's idea is. She wouldn't just say she has an idea for fun."

"I really do have an idea!... but the idea could be fun, yes. I think I know someone who might be able to help you in getting into the Garden of the Sun safely!"

You think for a moment. "So I need to pick, huh? Well, I guess I'll go with..."

[ ] "...Nue's plan. A disguise sounds like a good idea." (But why do you get the feeling this will involve something illegal?)
[ ] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)
[ ] "...the third option. I have my own plan, now!" (Write-in.)

---

Short update, unfortunately. So I tried to get it out "fast". As in, I spent a few days working on my other project, and then was like "holy shit I should be writing this" and wrote it in a few hours.
Also, most of the characters in UFO refer to Byakuren as Hijiri. And by "most" I mean "all". It's too late for me to change the in-story speech patterns without it seeming weird, though, so I guess I'll have to live with eveyrone calling her "Byakuren" and feeling a little bad whenever it happens.
Why do these things bother me so much?
>> No. 28737
[Q] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)

Mima?
>> No. 28738
[x] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help."
There's really someone who can pacify her? I'm currious now.


>You find Nue and Kogasa in Kogasa's room. Or, rather, you find two Kogasas in Kogasa's room. Unless Karakasa reproduce by binary fission, you assume that one of them is probably Nue in disguise.
>"Hey, Kogasas."
>"Hello!" They both answer, at the exact same time.
>"Scoop!" You hold out your hand. "Nue is a fag!"
>"That's not a nice thing to say!" "Really?"
>You grab the one who didn't protest. "You can shapeshift back now."
>"Damn." The second purple umbrella shifts back into a trident, as Nue returns to her normal human form. "I slipped character there."
>"Yeah, the real Kogasa values her friends too much to hear them insulted." You point at Kogasa. "Exhibit A."
>"What's exhibit B?"
>You point at Kogasa again.

Damn this is pure gold. You're really getting better.
>> No. 28739
[x] "...the third option. I have my own plan, now!"
[x] Use Bilateral Location(or whatever spell card it was that made a clone). Have the Clone politely wait at the border of the Sunflower field and hope Yuuka notices without attacking on sight. The real you will stay as far away as possible.
--[x] Don't give the Clone the letter, no use letting it get sparked too.


Even if the clone dies horribly, as long as Yuuka knows about the letter then we can just teleport it in later.
>> No. 28740
[x] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)

I'm drawing a blank here. Maybe a gardener/florist from the human village?
>> No. 28745
[x] "...the third option. I have my own plan, now!"
- Strut in like a man.
- Seduce Yuuka.
- When that fails, teleport out, but leave the letter.
- If that doesn't fail, deliver the letter, then continue with the seducing.

Genius plan. ❤
>> No. 28746
>youwillneverbethisawesomesorry.jpg
I can't believe nobody thought to make that comparison before now.

[X] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)
>> No. 28747
[X] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)

This, as I want to know who (or at least, who Kogasa THINKS) can get Yuuka to be calm.
>> No. 28753
[x] "...the third option. I have my own plan, now!"
- Strut in like a man.
- Seduce Yuuka.
- When that fails, teleport out, but leave the letter.
- If that doesn't fail, deliver the letter, then continue with the seducing.

I am fully okay with this plan, and not because I'm a Yuuka fan or anything. It just seems fitting.
>> No. 28754
[X] "...Nue's plan. A disguise sounds like a good idea." (But why do you get the feeling this will involve something illegal?)

Am I the only one who thinks this plan would be absolutely hilarious if pulled off?
>> No. 28758
[x] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)
Gut feeling says we will be talking with Wriggle very soon.
>> No. 28767
[x] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)

Get the youkai who got her tits signed by Yuuka in The Game to pacify her. It cannot possibly fail.
>> No. 28802
[x] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)
>> No. 28804
File 127995800022.jpg - (153.37KB , 850x850 , missnotappearinginthisupdate.jpg ) [iqdb]
28804
[X] "...Kogasa's plan. We could use some more help." (But is there anyone who can really pacify that flower youkai?)

"...your plan, Kogasa. This isn't something we should go into half-cocked, so if there is someone with some expertise in this field I would be happy to hear."

"Expertise in this field? The field of not pissing off Yuuka?"

"I figure it would be important for some people. People who have a good chance of coming in contact with Yuuka. Like, any florists in the human village, for instance... I assume there are some, I can't honestly remember as of now."

"All right! I'll go arrange this with my contacts! Be back in a bit!" Kogasa runs out, full of energy.

"Her... contacts?"

"Beats me."

"Does she have some spy network or something?"

"If she does, I'm proud of her."

"Maybe she just considers acquaintances 'contacts'."

"Cute, but not as prideworthy."

"So, uh, what are we going to do while she is off contacting contacts?"

"Let's raid Shou's underwear."

"I don't like this plan."

---

You end up raiding Shou's underwear.
You have absolutely no comments on it. You were in protest of this course of actions the entire time, of course, but somehow still ended up going along with Nue. You will protect the confidentiality of Shou's loins, at least. Or at least the things that get near them on a daily basis.
You wonder where she gets pagoda-print underwear though. It's not like there are any novelty clothing services in Gensokyo like there are on the internet. Er, wait, oops, you just vowed to not comment on that stuff.

It does buy enough time for Kogasa to go meet up with her spy network or whatever, though. The two of you are waiting outside the Temple when she arrives, even, so apparently Nue is either much better at time management than you had ever thought, or just got damn lucky this time.

Kogasa waves as she lands, and you return the wave. "Did you get in contact? With whomever."

She nods. "Yes! I have two stops for you! One of them is going to prepare, so we'll go to the Misty Lake first!"

"The lake?" Nue raises her eyebrows. "Cirno? Not who I was expecting."

"Follow me!" She happily flies off.

The two of you follow. You lean over to Nue, and whisper, "This could have gone a lot faster if she had just brought us with her the first time."

"She probably wants to keep it a surprise or something."

"Of course."

You fly a bit faster for a moment, to catch up with Kogasa. "So, why Cirno?"

"It's a long story, and we're not too far away, so let's just find out once we get there!"

And, indeed, the Misty Lake isn't all that far away. Kogasa is definitely taking the two of you there fast, though. She seems so excited about the whole thing, so it makes sense.

When you set down, there's a green fairy waiting for you. She is vaguely familiar. A bit player, if you will.

"Dai!"

"Hello, Kogasa." The fairy seems kind of tired, but friendly. She kind of gives you the impression of a patient friend who has to put up with a lot. "Is this the person you said was coming?"

"Yes! Is Cirno ready?"

"Almost." Dai turns towards the shoreline. "She said she would be ready after her next round of making art."

Might as well clear this up. "What does Cirno have to do with Yuuka?"

"I'm wondering that too." Nue glances around, and then continues more quietly. "Is it for some... illicit reason?"

"I don't know what you mean, miss." There's a shattering sound, and an angry ribbit sound. Or maybe it's a 'kero'. It's hard to tell. Dai ignores it, anyway. "Just, a while back, they were teammates in this tag-team wrestling tournament."

"Oh? How did it go?"

"They were beaten by Sanae and Suwako."

"Oh."

Nue frowns. "Sounds like utter bullshit."

"By the end of the match, Yuuka's swimsuit was covered in blood. She was getting pretty scary."

"Actually, scratch that. Sounds like something I'd want to see."

"She isn't always scary?"

"I've heard that sometimes she is just creepy and polite." Dai nods hesitantly. "If you wanna meet her, I would hope she is acting like that."

"Yes, that would be nice."

Cirno saunters over, looking satisfied. She stretches, but only with one arm. The other looks to be broken.

"How did it go?"

"It was great, Dai. I invented a new type of art. I call it..." She pauses, thinking. "A still life."

"I think that's already a type of art."

"They have already started using my term? I'm a genius!"

Nue gives Cirno a level stare. "I hope it was worth sacrificing your arm for."

"My arm?" She looks down. "Oh. Yeah, it broke. But for the strongest," she pauses for a moment, and then looks at you, "that's me, by the way. But for the strongest, it will regenerate in no time flat!"

"I thought all fairies had uncommonly good regeneration?"

"No, it's because I am the strongest. Next question!"

"Ooh, ooh, pick me!" Kogasa raises her hand, and Cirno aknowledges her. "I don't get a chance to see someone so famous much, so I was wondering..."

"Well, I have my agent, of course." Cirno pats Dai on the shoulder. "What is it you wanted to know?"

"How would you react if-" Kogasa leaps forward, screaming.
Cirno falls over backwards, raising her hands in self-defense.

Kogasa stops an inch in front of Cirno's face. "Boo!"

Cirno is stuck in a position of shock. You lean over to Nue. "She's getting better at shocks, anyway."

"It's a start."

Cirno stands up slowly, and begins to laugh. "A-haha. Of course, I was able to see that you weren't a threat. Due to my tactical genius. Which was why I didn't attack you."

"So that's why you froze up, huh?"

"Y-yes."

"You looked nervous to me. Not at all chill."

"I had to..." Cirno seems stumped.

Dai takes over for her. "Of course Cirno has to think of Kogasa's feelings too!"

"Yeah, that!"

"I do admit, that performance deserved appreciation." You nod towards Kogasa. "It was a pretty good..." Wait for it, wait for it. "...icebreaker." YeaH!!!!!!!!

Cirno looks nonplussed. "I wasn't broken! I'm the strongest!"

"It's a figure of speech."

Actually in retrospect that was kind of the opposite of an icebreaker. But nobody knows what you were talking about apparently so nobody will call you out on it. More than they already have anyway.

This is mildly awkward. "So, uh, you going to come with us? To whomever the next person is. I could use the help of the strongest. Or something."

"Y-yes. You better hope this is more fun than freezing frogs. I mean," A look of intense concentration passes over her face, "more... productive to the world of art... than my... hydro-amphibian sculptures are."

"I am sure that delivering a letter to Yuuka Kazami will be very productive to the world of art. Come on, let's go... Kogasa, if you will."

She looks a bit embarassed, perhaps at how much she derailed the scene. "Let's go."

The group takes to the air, leaving Dai behind. Cirno turns around dramatically. "You better be waiting for me when I come back, Dai!"

"I'll have your favorite food ready!"

Yes, Cirno is definitely doomed. You glance at her. "What is your favorite food, anyway?"

"Ice cream."

"Of course."

You wonder why Dai is really staying behind. She might be planning to relax and take it easy while Cirno is away. Or maybe she just is too scared to come to see Yuuka. Well, whatever the reason, it's probably for the best. More people means more targets that Yuuka might prioritize over you, but you get the feeling that if your little procession gets too large it will be nothing but detrimental.
Although, thinking about it, they might not all follow you into the Garden. Probably not Nue, although you wouldn't be too surprised if she snuck in under disguise to watch, and hopefully not Kogasa. If this plan of hers involves her coming in, you'll have to tell her to please skip that part. You don't want to risk another... unpleasant memory like last time.

Cirno seems to be trying to take the lead. She is just behind Kogasa now. You and Nue are taking up the rear, meanwhile.

"Cirno seems differently from how I faintly remember her."

"Maybe she's trying to go upscale. She seemed pretty serious about that stupid frozen frog stuff she does."

"But why would she suddenly have a change of heart like that?"

"I bet she thought long and hard and realized just how insignificant she is, in the scheme of things, and decided to achieve immortality through cultural achievement- ahahahahaaa, seriously, I have no clue."

"God forbid that someone actually goes through some great personal change and comes out a more mature person."

"Yeah, I know, right?"

"Because, maybe-"

"Listen, kid. Youkai are creatures of stagnation, and that applies doubly to fairies. Everything that makes a fairy of this age different from a fairy of a thousand years ago... every single difference is because of humans forcing them to change."

"And there aren't enough humans in Gensokyo to force Cirno to change much more?"

"We have some pretty dynamic youkai here, like me. But that's about the story, yes."

"Are you really all that dynamic?"

"I- what?"

"I know that you've changed a lot, but hasn't it all been due to humans also? Thinking over things during that long imprisonment that was forced on you? And also due to the ideals of Byakuren Hijiri, who is a former human?"

"Well, I... can we please not talk about this?"

"Okay, okay." Something she doesn't want to think about? "I didn't want to upset you or anything."

"It's okay." She doesn't look too sure. "I know you don't mean ill. I even have to talk you into stuff like counterfeiting or robbing people for fun and stuff."

"Sometimes you don't."

"Hey, if you were a boring guy, I wouldn't hang out with you nearly as much!" She turns back forward. "It looks like we're almost there."

"The forest of magic?"

"I would assume that's where we are going to, anyway."

The two of you go silent. Kogasa begins to go in for a landing in front of you two.

You think about that conversation. Perhaps it's a matter of pride? Or some kind of old-fashioned attitude she has yet to quite shake?
...you feel like you owe her too much to keep digging into this issue, even if it's just in your head.

You hurry into the forest. Waiting for you there is a boy with green hair, wearing a trenchcoat, fedora, and sunglasses. Little antennae poke out of the hat. Behind him are several giant ants, carrying various boxes.

Kogasa almost bounces up. Looks like she's recovered from that embarassment. "Are you ready?"

"Yes. I have everything here." He gestures to the ants, which put down the boxes and leave. He leans over to one and opens it, then hands the contents to you.
It seems to be a sunflower in a pot. Wait, this thing is made of plastic. You turn it around. It... has sunglasses and a guitar?

"So, uh, what am I supposed to do with this?"

He ignores you, and opens another box. He hands Cirno the contents; a bouquet of flowers.

"Not sunflowers?" Kogasa is examining the bouquet in Cirno's hands. They are indeed not sunflowers, you see. You couldn't really identify the specific species though.

"Too risky. Might give the wrong message." The boy opens up another box, and begins rustling through thick padding. He pulls out a small crystal perfume bottle, and gently hands it to you. "Apply this before meeting with Yuuka."

"Apply how?"

"It's a perfume. If you really need to know how to use it, ask one of your friends." He leans over to the last box, but pauses. He looks back at you for a moment, and then slowly nods. "Actually, you won't be needing that..." One of the ants comes out again and carries it away.

He walks up to you, and opens his trenchcoat. Okay, not flashing you, the inside pockets are just full of stuff. Also, he apparently has a cape on under the trenchcoat. Sure, why not?

He begins pulling flowers out of the pockets, and sticking them at various points in your clothing. You can hear Nue snickering in the background.
After a few minutes of that, he steps back to survey his handiwork, and nods. "I think I got the balance right."

"So, what, is my feng shui right now?"

"I believe this is enough to keep Yuuka neutral, though I would still be careful if I was you."

"So, the bouquet, the perfume, the... animatronic flower, I think that is, the flowers in my clothes... hey, wait a second, are you trying to prepare me for a meeting with Yuuka, or are you trying to set me up on a date here?"

"Hmph, as if I would agree to that."

"Hey, wouldn't carrying around dead flowers just anger Yuuka?" Nue has gone from laughing at you to looking curious.

"Oh, about that. I've preserved them so they aren't dead yet. If you value your life I would reccomend keeping them watered after this."

"Yay, more responsibilities."

"Any more questions?"

By now you are getting kind of sick of all of this preparing. You are getting a bit antsy to go, perhaps. Get it? Antsy?
...right. You shake your head. "Kogasa? Nue?"

Nue shrugs, and Kogasa shakes her head. Good.

Cirno, on the other hand, suddenly has a look of realization on her face. "Hey! You're Wrigglun, right?"

"You... didn't realize that before?"

"What's with that hat! And the coat! Are you trying to trick me? Well, it's not working!"

"I wasn't trying to trick-"

"Well, good, because it didn't work!"

"Right, Cirno, nice astute observation there. Let's get going, wouldn't want to keep Yuuka waiting." Ah, wait, a question. You turn to the boy. "Oh, are you coming?"

"No."

"Is it because you are scared of Yuuka, or you don't want to associate with me in front of her, or what?"

"I have no reason to tell you."

"Well, depending on the answer, I would have either lost a lot of confidence, or been forced to applaud your capacity for being coldly logical. But it's your loss, I guess." You motion to the others. "Let's not take up any more of this boy's time, then."

"I'm not a-"

"See you around." You wave. "Thanks for the stuff."

---

You stand in front of the Garden of the Sun. You do admit you have rushed into this a bit, perhaps out of a desire to get it over with. But that is neither here or now.
The flowers stare at you, mockingly. Well, maybe. They don't have faces, so you can't tell. But you bet that their nonexistant flower faces are showing you nothing but scorn. Nonexistant scorn.

Kogasa gives you a worried look, but you smile back with mock confidence. You don't want to make her worry.
You know Nue has seen through your act, but she says nothing. There is no doubt in your mind that she is going to secretly tail you, and she very well might step in if things go wrong.
Or she might very well not. You don't exactly need help when it comes to running, and she knows it. In fact, yes, it would definitely be better if she didn't step in. Unless something happened to keep you from teleporting.
No, don't worry about this any more. That's the whole point of going ahead to do things, to minimize the time you spend agonizing over what might happen.

You wave goodbye to Kogasa and Nue, and continue on in. Cirno follows you, looking on with mild interest as you apply the perfume. The scent is... you can't quite place it, but it's fairly floral. There's a faint hint of something you can't recognize, though.
You kind of regret trying to smell that perfume so thoroughly. Your tongue feels kind of sticky now. Ick.

"Why do you want to see Yuuka?"

You turn back to Cirno. She has an air of detached curiosity now. Like she is taking this situation very lightly, and is just bored enough to start up a conversation.
Sure, why not. "I have a letter for her. I would show you, but I don't want to drop this plant."

"Bah, we don't need these things. I'm sure I can keep her in check by myself!" She throws the bouquet to the ground.

"Whoah, whoah there, pick it up please!" You don't want to put all of that effort that poor boy went to to randomly stick flowers everywhere to waste. "I know you are one mean-ass customer, but could you please carry the flowers anyway? For, uh, aesthetic reasons."

"Fine." She picks the bouquet up again, pouting a bit.

You survey the field of flowers. They are doing quite well, really. Is it normal for sunflowers to still be like this during fall? Or is that because this field is the domain of a powerful youkai?
Where is she, anyway? This is a pretty big place, and you aren't sure if she has a house she lives in to look for or whatever.
Ah well, you'll find her eventually. Unless she is out somewhere else, you guess.

"I still don't see why I need these flowers."

"You can't abandon the plan. Seriously. That's just... bad planning. I guess." Cirno doesn't seem to be too convinced, but she doesn't complain again, so you leave her be.

Speaking of plans, though... you have a companion of dubious use, and all of these accessories which you sure hope will work, but you don't really know how you yourself should behave.
Maybe you should make a little plan of your own? And hope that Cirno doesn't mess it all up.

[ ] Be polite.
[ ] Be honest.

[ ] Be helpful.
[ ] Be wary.

[ ] Make the visit as short as possible.
-[ ] Try to leave before she reads the letter, in case it makes her angry or something.
-[ ] Read the letter yourself, and make that decision based on the contents.
[ ] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
-[ ] ...but leave if she begins to get creepy.

[ ] Try to keep Cirno out of trouble.
[ ] Try to distance yourself from Cirno.

[ ] (Write-in.)

---

It is a good thing that I got that last update out 'early', because this update is 'late'.
I think. It's not like I have a calendar set up or anything.

As far as the options go, I didn't include any options for being purposefully rude to Yuuka. Because you probably wouldn't pick them anyway.
If you really want to call flowers stupid and scream profanities into her face, do it as a write-in.
>> No. 28805
[x]Be polite
[x]Be honest
>> No. 28806
[x] Be polite.
[x] Be helpful.
[x] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
-[x] ...but leave if she begins to get creepy.
[x] Try to keep Cirno out of trouble.

I liked how you refered TTD and That Yuuka comic series (The one with the dancing fake flowers) But that mean we'd see a Peach tree somewhere?
>> No. 28807
[X] Be polite.
[X] Be wary.
[x] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
-[x] ...but leave if she begins to get creepy.
[X] Try to distance yourself from Cirno.
>> No. 28809
>"I don't know what you mean, miss." There's a shattering sound, and an angry ribbit sound. Or maybe it's a 'kero'. It's hard to tell. Dai ignores it, anyway. "Just, a while back, they were teammates in this tag-team wrestling tournament."

>"Oh? How did it go?"

>"They were beaten by Sanae and Suwako."

>"Oh."

>Nue frowns. "Sounds like utter bullshit."

You are my hero. I will build a shrine to you, a great temple whereupon vestal virgins shall praise your name for all eternity.
>> No. 28810
[X] Be polite.
[X] Be wary.
[x] Make the visit as short as possible.
-[x] Read the letter yourself, and make that decision based on the contents.
[X] Try to distance yourself from Cirno.

>boy

Isn't it sad, Wriggle?
>> No. 28811
[x] Be polite.
[x] Be helpful.
[x] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
[x] Try to keep Cirno out of trouble.

Man, he really got nue with that talk about humans. It was deep (but not derp) GJ!
>> No. 28812
[X] Be polite.
[X] Be wary.
[x] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
-[x] ...but leave if she begins to get creepy.
[X] Try to distance yourself from Cirno.

Yuuka knows Cirno and should be able to tolerate her.

Hopefully.
>> No. 28814
[X] Be polite.
[X] Be helpful.
[ ] Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

[X] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
-[X] ...but leave if she begins to get creepy.
[X] Try to keep Cirno out of trouble.
>> No. 28815
[x] Be polite.
[x] Be wary.
[x] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
-[x] ...but leave if she begins to get creepy.
[x] Try to distance yourself from Cirno.
>> No. 28816
>>28814
>[ ] Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
Guess I'm not the only one who thought of that.
>> No. 28817
[X] Be polite.
[X] Be helpful.
[x] Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

[X] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
-[X] ...but leave if she begins to get creepy.
[X] Try to keep Cirno out of trouble.
>> No. 28836
[X] Be polite
[X] Be wary..
[X] Be Efficient.
-[X] Make the visit as short as possible.
--[X] Try to leave before she reads the letter, in case it makes her angry or something.
-[X] Try to keep Cirno out of trouble.

Just because we want to not end up in pieces doesn't mean we need to use Cirno as a Decoy.
>> No. 28870
File 128047162893.jpg - (102.49KB , 575x300 , doyouevenneedadoor.jpg ) [iqdb]
28870
[X] Be polite
[X] Be wary.
[x] Stay as long as she seems to want you to.
-[x] ...but leave if she begins to get creepy.
[X] Try to keep Cirno out of trouble.

Well, obviously you want to be very polite with Yuuka. Nothing good could come out of speaking your mind. Unless you are a person like Tenshi, who enjoys getting hurt. Politeness is the grease that keeps the wheels of civilization running, after all. The effusion in society's knee. The lettuce in the BLT of human relations.
On the other hand, you will definitely need to be on your guard. Politeness is not armor enough, and though these flowers hopefully will give you some measure of protection, it is best to have multiple fallback precautions. Just ask any competant person who has ever designed a nuclear reactor. Not those chumps in Starfleet though, who manage to design spaceships that go up like firecrackers the moment they get damaged. Well, you are a main character (maybe? You sure hope so anyway) so you hopefully won't suddenly explode the moment your social deflector fields go down in Yuuka's presence.
Of course, in the sake of politeness, you won't just deliver the message and run. Besides, that might put Cirno at risk, and you'd rather not get her in trouble just to act as a decoy for you. She does have the 'dummy' part down to be a crash test dummy, you do admit, but she isn't a yellow human-sized doll and you have no particular interest in seeing her crash. There's no particular reason to stick around if Yuuka starts getting dangerous, though. When things get rough, you get out of there, that's what you always say. Or always do now that you can instantly teleport at will.
And yes, you'll try to keep Cirno from pissing off Yuuka. It's a decision you feel like you might regret, but you also might end up regretting it later if she gets temporarily killed on your account. Although, with those faces she keeps making at you, maybe you wouldn't be sad to see her go after all.

So, in summary. Be polite, stay there until you have a good reason to leave, and try to minimize the amount of trouble you get into in the most direct way possible. It's the logical plan, really.
It sounds a bit tedious though. Sticking around for so long while on guard sounds pretty tiring, really. However, it might also be exhilarating. Who knows?

"Mister?"

"Huh?"

"I said, mister, Yuuka is right ahead!"

"Really?"

"You were all glassy-eyed though and you didn't hear me the last three times."

"Oh, sorry."

"Seriously, you're so stupid."

You take a closer look. You don't see anything out of the ordinary. Just... a hell of a lot of sunflowers all around. "How can you tell?"

"Well, it's because you weren't answering-"

"I mean, how can you tell she's just ahead?"

"Oh. I'm the strongest, so of course I can!"

"I didn't ask you why. I asked you how."

"Uhhh. I dunno how."

Maybe being a nature spirit makes her better able to sense other nature spirits? Or maybe she has known Yuuka for longer than you?
Or maybe she isn't ahead and Cirno is just making it up.

You take a few steps in that direction, and suddenly it hits you. Not realization, mind. You still have no idea how Cirno sensed Yuuka.
However, from this distance, you can sense her too. There's no way in hell Cirno is more sensitive then you are, that would be so lame, but even then you can sense Yuuka from here.
It's not due to some special sensing power you have. You don't have any, beyond the natural magic sensitivity common among youkai. No, the magic is noticable here... a normal human might even be able to sense it, in some subconcious way. This field is the place of power of a greater youkai, and this part of the field is where the power is currently concentrated.
It's not often you sense so much magic in a passive setting. There is a subtle undercurrent of magic in the Temple, for instance, but it's something you are used to. And besides, Byakuren is far more subtle than Yuuka. Even then, though, this is more power than you expected. For it to be this noticable from beyond visual range... either Yuuka is really performing more strongly than when you last met her, or she has become stronger.
So now you know that Yuuka is ahead, yes, and not just out of an unreliable fairy's mouth. Furthermore, you know she is at least a little riled up, otherwise she wouldn't be concentrating any power. You think. You are pretty new to this whole magic business, in the grand scheme of things.

Great deduction, Sherlock. Now how about you man up and actually move your two feet and walk over there, huh?

You walk forward, with a sudden reluctance, and Cirno follows. Her lack of hesitation would be refreshing if you were paying more attention to her.

---

You find Yuuka in the field, sitting at a table. The table is light, round, and ornate, and quite old-looking. If she doesn't have a house, you wonder where she keeps it. Maybe this table is just in this spot all the time?
You idly note that the table legs, and the legs of the chair she is sitting on, all are carefully positioned to avoid touching any flowers. She has her parasol open, but the sun isn't very strong at this time of year, so there isn't much reason for it. It's more a fashion accessory right now.

She is having tea, but that's where the resemblance to a friendly tea party begins and ends. At the other side of the table sits Zenovia, and the two of them seem to be staring daggers at each other.

You walk up, and neither of them seems to so much as notice you. Tension is thick on the air, yet neither of them says a single word.

You hesitantly pull out a letter. "Letter for you, Miss Kazami."

She looks around, distractedly, and seems to notice you for the first time. "A letter? From whom?"

"Alice Margatroid." You put the letter on the table. "I am not sure what the subject is, though."

Zenovia is looking at you by now, also. She does not comment, however, and she looks more distracted than interested.

Yuuka narrows her eyes. You notice that her eyes keep flickering to the plastic flower you have in your other hand. "I will read it later. For now... as long as you are here, you can help me entertain my honored guest." Something taps you in the back of your leg. You look down, to see that there is now a chair beneath you. Where did that come from? Did a flower push it your way? "You will take a seat."

You take a seat, and notice that Cirno has a chair also. It's a bit tall for her, though, and she has to fly a little bit to get up on it.

"So, uh, what's Zenovia doing here?" Wait, politeness. "Also, thank you. For the chair."

"I don't know."

"I will ask her, then." You turn to Zenovia. "What are you doing here, if you don't mind me aspen?"

"Do I need a reason, a reason to visit my inferiors?"

"This seems like a very dangerous attitude you have."

"My lineage and power put me above other nymphs, but this impudent one does not recognize that!"

"I'm pretty sure she's not a nymph."

"Nonsense. I know a nymph when I see one, see one, and she is definitely a nymph, ignorant one."

"Right-o." You turn back to Yuuka. "She is here based on a wacky misunderstanding, and doesn't trust my word enough for me to clear it up."

"My, my. A misunderstanding, is it..." Yuuka sits back. "The flowers like her, so I will hold off for now."

You glance to the side, and Cirno is looking at you with a bit of curiosity. "Wow, you were saying some pretty weird things."

"Yes, I do seem to be witness to many a wacky hijink, of that I am certain."

"I mean, to that other lady."

"Oh, yeah. It's all Greek to me." Hm. "By the way, that was a pun, but it doesn't translate at all so I wonder why I even bothered."

"I understood it!"

"I'll take your word for that." Yuuka sniffs. You look back. She is smelling the air.

She slowly nods. "Wriggle set you up to this, didn't she?"

"Yes." It's basically the other way around, but maybe it's safer to just agree with her.

"I see. She always thinks that she can control me. She has something of an overinflated ego, doesn't she?"

"I was getting that impression."

"I am in a good mood, so I will forgive you for your tresspass, anyway." God bless you and your stupid flower arrangement, Wriggle. She smiles at you, and the smile has only a hint of menace. "Since you can speak her language, could you please tell her to be more... polite, when visiting me?"

"Can do." You turn to Zenovia. "Yuuka wants you to be more polite. I'm not sure what you've done that's impolite, since you two can't even speak the same language, so I guess she wants you to make your body language nicer or something."

"What foolishness, foolishness. I am being quite nice to her, given her impudence."

You turn back to Yuuka. "Okay, she isn't agreeing. She seems to think you are a nymph or inferior status or something. Do you have any... generic youkai secret handshake or something you could use to prove you aren't a nymph?"

"You shouldn't ask questions that you already know the answer to."

"Wait, there really is a secret handshake?"

"Of course not." She smiles, but this one is a bit more strained. Okay, need to be more careful, make fewer jokes. Don't do anything out of line.

"Yuuka! Let's play!" Cirno looks bored now. Uh-oh.

"Of course." Yuuka stands up slowly, and extends her hand. "Let's play our favorite game."

You almost leap to your feet. "Please don't kill her-"

"Catch." Yuuka grabs Cirno by the hand and, in one tremendous swing, throws her into the air. Your head snaps up. Up-up-up the fairy goes, at least three hundred feet straight up before she starts falling back down.

Yuuka holds out her arms, and catches Cirno as she falls. Cirno squeals and giggles, waving her arms. "That's so fun!" Yuuka smiles.

Zenovia makes an annoyed sound. She stands up shakily. "Such foolish ones are going to give me a headache."

She reaches down to scoot the chair in, and her hand is impaled by a folded-up parasol. Yuuka gives Zenovia a cold look. "I have no idea what you said there, but it sounded rude. That's the last straw."

The impaled hand turns into wood, and then crumbles into dust. Zenovia steps back, entirely uninjured, an unearthly aura flaring into existance around her body. You begin to feel the air around you shift, as the magic in the air begins to solidify into a border.

You walk up to Cirno, who is eagerly watching the two of them. You tap her on the shoulder, and give her a small smile when she looks up. "Don't you think this is dangerous?"

"I'm not scared!"

"Yes, but I'm scared for you." You grab her by the shoulder, and the two of you appear a good few hundred feet away. Moments later, you can see the first exchange of spells happen in the distance, judging by the flickering and flashing lights.

"Aw, come on, let me go!"

"It's not polite to interrupt a duel, you know." You let go of her shoulder anyway, and take a seat on the ground.

She begins to fly back, but then hesitates and stops. "I guess I'll stay here, then. I wouldn't want Miss Yuuka to have to worry about trying to impress me!"

"Sure, if that's a good enough reason for you." There's a rumbling and a crash like thunder, and twin lances of brilliant light shine in the sky ahead. You ignore it.

Hm. There's a kind of hissing sound... looking closer, there's a snake slithering across the ground in your direction, coming from where you last were.
A moment later, Nue is getting up off the ground. She turns around to give a quick, distasteful look to the battle.

"Such wastefulness."

"I thought you would like it. Battles based on misunderstandings, that is. Isn't that kind of stuff your thing?"

"Well, it sounds nice, but then on the way back I had to graze the tree-bullets and giant lasers and flowers and shit and it got me in a bad mood."

"You sure do look pretty bad."

"Thanks." Nue rolls her eyes. "You were definitely being polite to Yuuka. What, am I not worth it?"

"Hey, I don't generally worry about you flipping out and killing me."

"Oh, a real complement for once. More or less, anyway."

"Ah, but seriously, it appears I have some spare time. Once Yuuka wins... or loses, I guess, I should go back and make sure she hasn't forgotten about the letter."

"You sure are dedicated."

"Yes, it appears so." You look at Cirno. "I would toss you into the air and stuff, help you pass the time, but I'm not sure if I am strong enough."

"What are we going to do, then?" Cirno is beginning to look annoyed. "I came here because it sounded exciting, not to run away from fights!"

"Actually, I could probably do the flinging." Nue stretches her arms. "I think I'm at least a bit stronger than that wuss there."

"Okay, lady, let's do this!" Cirno braces herself, and a strong-looking tentacle wraps around her.
Nue begins spinning Cirno around faster and faster, until Cirno is a circular blur going around her head. She leans backwards, tilting the spinning Cirno, and lets go. Cirno is flung into the air like a meteor.

Her arm returns to a normal human form. She massages her shoulder, wincing a bit. "I think I overdid it."

"That's a bit harder than Yuuka did it. Then again, she didn't spend as much time winding up."

"Yeah, I can't hope to compete with her monstrous strength effortlessly."

She holds out her arms, and Cirno falls into them. She lets Cirno down, and the fairy begins to dizzily teeter around on the grass.

Nue winces. You walk up to her and examine her arm. "Why did you have to use your arm? Couldn't you have picked up Cirno with one of those wings?"

"They aren't as strong. They don't have as many of my shoulder muscles working for them, I guess you could say."

"I see." You wonder what those wings are good for. Shredding people who get behind her? Well, if she ever becomes a farmer, she won't have any lack of ways to reap wheat.

"Bah, I try to do a good deed and end up with a sore shoulder." Nue glances at Cirno, who has fallen over. The fairy doesn't seem to be unhappy, though. Rather, she seems to enjoy being dizzy. Perhaps hobbies like this explain her intelligence? "That damn fairy is much heavier than she looks."

"It's all of the icecream, I bet. That can be really fattening, especially if you are the type who eats it right out of the carton."

"I have no idea what her eating habits are. Actually, I'm not sure if fairies need to eat in the first place."

"Shouldn't you know these things?"

"Come on, fairies have never interested me. So simple-minded, they are no challenge at all. And they don't even taste good."

"...do you know that from personal experience?"

She nods. "It was mostly an accident. I met a fairy who was tall and had a nice figure, and had an ordinary hair color and facial features and such, and I got confused and thought she was human."

"I... see."

"It happens!"

You'll take her word for it. You have no real experience in that matter. Nor do you wish to gain any, really. "How long do you think the battle will take?"

"Between those two? It will probably be a while, unless something unusual happens."

"I was afraid of that."

Cirno gets up, finally. "We can play a game!"

---

You spend nearly ten minutes just relaxing. Soon enough Kogasa comes over, apparently sent word by Nue. Nothing really of note happens, though you do get more insight into Cirno's opinion on fast-moving stuff and cheap thrills. Namely, that she likes them, but perhaps not as much as she likes freezing things. Now all you need to do is find a rollercoaster built out of ice and you will have the perfect Cirno distractor.
But now, it looks like the battle is over. The lightshow has stopped, and there is no longer any rumbling or other dramatic sound effect. So you bid Nue and Kogasa farewell again, and drag the punch-drunk Cirno back to ground zero.

You approach hesitantly. It doesn't really matter which of them won. You don't think either of them would attack you on sight. You're pretty sure, anyway. Well, that perfume is worn off now, so Yuuka might not be as friendly. But you don't expect to be here for that much longer anyway. At this point you really need to just make sure that Yuuka reads the damn letter. She sure seemed to have forgotten about it the moment after you delivered the thing. You wanted to stay for as long as she put up with you to be polite, but you think that the random battle might have put a bit of a damper on that attitude.

You reach the table, to find Yuuka there, alone. In fact, you don't see the table anymore. It was probably tossed away by a stray shot at some point. Yuuka is staring at a tree, looking mildly annoyed. You don't quite remember there being a tree in this field. Presumably Zenovia used magic to make it grow, for some reason.
Yuuka gives the tree a solid kick, and in an instant it withers away into ash, with is dispersed in moments.

"I take it you won."

"She ran when it became obvious I was winning." Yuuka pops open her parasol, and then notices that the thing is torn and bent. She closes it again and taps the tip of it on the ground, and it rapidly returns to pristine condition. "She grew a tree and then walked into it and vanished. My, and I thought I knew all the nature magic tricks."

You hardly need special tricks to run away from Yuuka. Fitness and a little luck will suffice. You know that from experience.

"Er, I came to say, can you please read the letter? In case Alice wants a reply."

"My, I had totally forgotten." She looks around, presumably for the letter. You think you last left it on the table... shit. "And it seems to have been lost. What a shame. I apologize for that moment of... unruliness."

"Er, apology accepted." She sounded sincere enough. If it wasn't for the fact that your last meeting with her involved stabbing, you might even think she was pretty cool. Maybe the stabbing is just a misunderstanding. Maybe it's, like, the way she greets people?
Probably not.

"And after that disagreement, I am beginning to feel a bit tired." She yawns.

"Er, can you please hold on for just a bit?" You leap up into the air. She doesn't seem interested in trying to retrieve the letter, so you are damn well going to have to do it for her.
Hm. You motion towards Cirno. "Hey, I bet you can't find that lost letter faster than I can."

"You're on!"

Better safe than sorry. "By the way if you freeze it you are disqualified."

"Don't worry, I know restraint!" She winks, and flies off.
Great. You take off also, looking for the letter.

Or rather, looking for the table. If the table was blown away, the letter couldn't have gone too far from it. It's not like paper is very aerodynamic. It might have fallen off while the table was moving, but that would just be a matter of examining a straight line between the approximate area Yuuka is in and the downed table.

So given that, you should probably go relatively high. The table is large-ish and white, so it should be fairly visible from the air.

---

Five minutes of searching later, you have found nothing. Or rather, you found a large fragment of white wooden table, but nothing else. What the hell happened to that thing? Was it blown up? Did the letter survive?
The only reason you found such a thing was because you abandoned looking for the table from the air, and came down to the ground to comb it more thoroughly. Now that you are examining this more carefully, there are deep grooves in the ground, and scorch marks, and all kinds of other signs of damage. They definitely had a high-powered fight going on around here.
Oddly enough, there are sunflowers growing straight out of these wounds in the earth. They are by no means old damage, many of them are still cooling, so it appears that Yuuka is using magic to speed the healing of the earth. Perhaps she doesn't even need to consciously do it, and the flowers just regrow and reclaim the damage on their own, spurred on by her mere proximity. Well, with what little you know about the Garden of the Sun, it should come as no surprise that it is an unusual place. It is the dwelling of a very powerful youkai, after all.

With a hissing sound, a snake slithers up to you. It deposits, in your hand, a letter. And then it slithers off.

...thanks, Nue! You say that this counts as a win in your race to beat Cirno in finding the letter, in the fine tradition of the don't ask, don't tell policy. Not the one used by the military, but the one where Cirno has no reason to ask if a third party stepped in, and you see no reason to tell her. You know, the one you just made up for the sole purpose of this joke.

You saunter on over to Yuuka. Where is Cirno, now- oh, there she is, hard at work with a shovel made of ice, digging into the ground.

"Hey, Cirnoff. I got the letter first."

"That's just because I let you win!"

"Yeah, whatever." You hand the letter to Yuuka. It's slightly tattered, but in surprisingly good condition.

"Thank you." She accepts the letter with an impassive look, and examines the envelope for a moment. She then slits the envelope open with a finger. You... didn't think her fingers were that sharp, but whatever. She takes out the letter, and reads it.

Er, what to do now? You look at Cirno, who has gone back to digging. Well, okay, she can do what she wants.
Wait.
Is this something that will piss off Yuuka?

You go on over, and whisper to Cirno, "Hey, do you think Yuuka will like this?"

"If she doesn't look it she would have objected before!"

...that's a surprisingly good point. "Okay, carry on." You walk back to Yuuka.

She folds the letter back up, and puts it back in the envelope. She then tosses it to the floor. She gives you a pleasant smile. "I will consider writing a reply." She yawns again. "My, but it is getting quite late for me. You know, I have been having a hard time waking up at the right time lately. I used to have a clock to help me with that, but I left it at home."

"So, go back home and get it?"

"I am so dreadfully tired."

Wait, is she asking you to get the damn clock? Actually it might be a good idea to just ask this. "Er, do you want me to get it for you?"

"That would be nice, yes."

Seriously now. You are how high level now? You are like level a billion and you have fought off killer shrine maidens, killer vampires, and killer clowns, and this damn woman wants you to do a damn fetch quest? Well okay admittedly all of those previous examples were battles where you got your ass kicked but still you are above this crap!
On the other hand, fetch quests are basically your job. That is a pretty compelling argument towards getting this damn thing over with so she can gather up all of the generosity in her withered little flower youkai heart and write a damn reply letter for you to deliver.

...does Alice even want a response? Did she tell you if she did? You don't remember anymore.

[ ] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?
[ ] Just leave. You delivered the letter, job over.
[ ] Maybe you could persuade Yuuka to change her mind on this matter?
-[ ] An idea for how would be helpful. (Write-in.)
[ ] Write-in.

---

I apologize if anyone has brought this up already, but... she has been alive for a long time, she has a lot of knowledge and experience, she occasionally grows a new body... Akyuu is secretly a time lord! There is no other explanation!
>> No. 28871
Damn, totally forgot to make a joke about "have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

Sorry for letting you guys down.
>> No. 28872
[x] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?

Stay on her good side, we might get tricked into doing this again.
>> No. 28873
[x] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?
[x] Pick up the letter if she isn't looking.

So curious.
>> No. 28875
>"It's all of the icecream, I bet. That can be really fattening, especially if you are the type who eats it right out of the carton."
Ted ;_;

[x] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?
>> No. 28876
File 128049068270.jpg - (144.91KB , 1064x798 , 1280450527111.jpg ) [iqdb]
28876
>>28870
[x] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?
GOOD DEEDS
KINDA
>> No. 28877
[Q] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?

We have a fucking teleport.
>> No. 28879
>Yuuka holds out her arms, and catches Cirno as she falls. Cirno squeals and giggles, waving her arms. "That's so fun!" Yuuka smiles.
D'awww.

>She nods. "It was mostly an accident. I met a fairy who was tall and had a nice figure, and had an ordinary hair color and facial features and such, and I got confused and thought she was human."
See, this is why you always check for the Adam's apple wings before you... eat someone.

[X] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?
>> No. 28885
[x] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?
And than it turns into a full incident.
>> No. 28890
[x] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?

Enjoying this we are
>> No. 28949
File 128090776124.jpg - (595.18KB , 640x905 , randomtranscribedsoundeffects.jpg ) [iqdb]
28949
[x] Go and get the stupid watch or whatever. It can't take too long, right?

"Okay, fine, I'll get the watch." She smiles back at you. "Good job at subtly hinting that you wanted me to do this, by the way." Shit, that's not polite. Need to add something to transform this statement into a polite yet firm commentary on her actions. "Thank you." Okay, good enough.

You should probably leave quickly in case she is insulted. There's no point in trying to gauge her expression or anything, it won't work. "Cirno, want to come with me?"

Cirno is now lying belly-first on the ground, resting her chin on the earth. She shakes it, sending a shower of frozen stems of blackened grass to either side. "This isn't a task worthy of the strongest."

"Right, whatever." You put the plastic fake flower thing on the ground. Don't really need it anymore, hopefully. You then quickly hurry away, not even looking back. You suppose that one positive thing about this stupid errand is that, noob quest or no, it is giving you some time away from Yuuka. Plus you guess it's currying her favor and such also. Not that huge of a plus to you, though. Murasa may like curry, but you don't. Er, that is to say, you don't plan on visiting Yuuka much anyway.
Hm. So all you need to do is find a watch, right? A timepiece.
You wonder what kind of clock Yuuka uses. Will it be flower-themed? Will it be big and imposing? Hell, anything that Yuuka owns has got to count as imposing, simply by association.
Big and imposing would be a pain though. If you go there and find the only clock in her house is a grandfather clock or something, you will be so pissed. You're not a moving guy, you are a mailman! Or, amateur mailman, anyway. It seems like a minor distinction to make, but if a bunch of people dressed in red arrived at your house while it was on fire, you would appreciate the distinction between 'firefighter' and 'guy who puts out fires for fun'. Messenger, perhaps, to be safe? It's a more neutral word.

It occurs to you at this point that Yuuka never told you where her house is, and you never asked.
Hm.

This could make a good practical test, then.
You reach for a small pouch by your side, and pull out a handful of quills and old fountain pens. With your other hand, you produce a card.
Ever since that incident with trying to find your way to Bhava-Agra alone (or, rather, with Kogasa and Nue, but that's a minor detail, right?), you have tried to think of ways to avoid getting into that situation again. Since, say, asking for directions by the person who tells you to go somewhere has apparently never occured to you before, you decided to develop a more automated approach.
You first learned to teleport by imitating your teleportation spellcards. You first learned to produce nonspell patterns by analyzing how you felt when using offensive spellcards. Perhaps, the line of thought went, you can learn to not get lost by making a not-getting-lost spellcard?

So you went out to try to produce a spellcard with a very specific effect. And here it is, in your hands. You haven't actually used it yet, since what point is getting a magic spell to tell you how to get to a place when you already know the route?
Hopefully this thing doesn't just blow up in you face. That would suck, and would also make perfect sense, given it's a spellcard. And spellcards are meant as attacks and such. Maybe if you were actually a magician, you would be able to just directly develop a spell, without going through this inefficient and roundabout process.
But oh well. You hold up the card. "Travel Sign: Cartographerrata!"

The pens and quills fly out of your hand. Blank white rectangles of light wink into existance in the air around you, and to each goes a single writing implement. At once they all begin to scribble and write, draw and annotate. Maps begin to take shape, written in brilliant black ink on murky white sheets of magic.

You look from map to map. Eientei? You don't need a map to get there. Hakurei Shrine? That's one of the few scarier places in Gensokyo than the Garden of the Sun, thank you very much. Detroit? ...you really need to figure out on what criteria this spell picks maps.
Mugenkan? Somehow you know it's this one. Perhaps it's the spell telling you it has found the right map, or perhaps it's just your instincts. Either way... you reach out your hand towards that map, and all of the others fade away. The excess pens and quills clatter to the ground, and the ink evaporates in midair.
You look at the map, noting your position (handily marked in red ink), and the route you will need to take.

Okay, you have it memorized. You let the spell break, and that map vanish.

And then you carefully gather up all of the writing implements, put them back in the pouch, and go forth. That spell... you don't understand how it works, and it's makes a little bit of a mess, but it's better than being lost. A middling success, you suppose.

So. Apparently Mugenkan is halfway between reality and the world of dreams. Furthermore, it is apparently possible to walk there. Or fly, which you will do due to it being faster. Or, so the labels on the map had you believe. You don't think the maps can lie to you. Well, maybe if you ended up picking a silly purposefully-inaccurate novelty map by mistake.
It's a shame that just seeing a location in a map isn't good enough to let you teleport there. Well, you could try to teleport there, but not safely.
Teleportation safety is a serious matter. Every year, more than sixteen people die due to teleporting into walls. Don't let one of them be you.

You fly as fast as you can, going along the route you have memorized. You get the feeling that Yuuka wouldn't be happy if you dawdled. Once you get there you can teleport back, so this shouldn't be too bad.
On the way you pass a rather icky lake, but it's only a fleeting visit. Not somewhere you would want to stay, though. Even if you were a vampire or something, it seems absolutely tacky. Like a rapper with a car made entirely out of bling and hydraulics.

And soon enough, you come up to a mansion. Presumably Mugenkan. You've seen a lot of mansions in the last few months, and this one isn't very striking. Seen one, seen 'em all. Your personal favorite was the Palace of Earth Spirits. The stained glass was quite pretty. This one is just mediocre. Scarlet Devil Mansion lite.
Look, it even has a gatekeeper!

And she's sleeping, too! Holy shit, it really is Scarlet Devil Mansion lite!

Well, it's best to let sleeping gatekeepers lie. You try to tiptoe past...

You jump back. An impractically-shaped scythe blade thuds into the dirt in front of you.

The woman gives you a look that is fierce, if a little desperate.

"Hey, it's be nice if you let me go inside."

"Yuuka told me to not let anyone get inside. And you're an anyone, so you aren't getting in."

"Really? Not anyone? Like, hypothetically, if Yuuka herself came here, you wouldn't let her in?"

"Well, no, but that's... not something I have... had to put to the test..."

"...how long ago did she leave?"

"Maybe... five to ten years ago?"

"And she has never come back since?"

"N-no."

"And you are... still guarding this place?"

"For when she returns!"

"What if I said that I was here on an errand from her? She forgot her clock or whatever."

"I don't believe you! If she needed something she would have come back for it herself, I just know it!"

"Look, you've got to face it, you've been abandoned. Forgotten. Tossed aside like a stylishly-dressed used tissue." You have to admit she does have a pretty nice thing going on in the outfits front. Well, or she would if she was a society lady, anyway.

"Never! The shadow of doubt has never even entered my mind!" She seems to be trying to convince herself, as much as she is trying to convince you. "I will never give up! Never! Look, I even have Yuuka's name tattooed onto my-"

You hold out your hands. "Whoah, whoah there. Calm down. I know you're not bad-looking, but I'm not interested in seeing your butt. Your charm is as much the dress sense as the clothes. Like the fancy gold foil wrapper on a chocolate."

"...I was about to say 'arm'."

"Oh. You can show me your arm if you want, I guess. I'm okay with it. You have my permission."

"No, I don't think I feel like it, anymore." She slumps down, against the wall.

Oh, sweet, depression-based victory. "Well, I'll just be going inside now!" You skip on forward.

"Hey, when did I say I would let you in?" She holds out the scythe again. "I'm just tired. That's all. No other problems, no, nope. Chipper as can be." She nods slowly. "I like guarding this mansion. Yes. I like it. It's a very nice place. Very quiet. Meditative."

You slowly step back. Doesn't seem like she is going to let you pass. You might be able to crack open those emotional problems via some cutting, laser-guided words of mass destruction, but that would take time. And taxpayer dollars. Same thing with a danmaku duel for entry.
No, you are going to do this the direct way. "Well, I'll go then."

"Hey- don't go, I'm so lo- I mean, yeah, and stay out!"

You walk off, and then the moment you leave sight range of her you turn back and approach the mansion from another angle.

Windows, windows... ah, there's a promising-looking window. You carefully fly up and look through it, and then teleport yourself inside. Maybe you should figure out some way to see through walls, in the future? It sounds like a complicated feat, but it could be useful. For, uh, all kinds of non-voyeurism-related purposes. Like, say... breaking and entering? No, that's not much better than voyeurism...

Well, now time to find your way around this place. You wonder where she left that clock... or what it looks like. Hopefully it's one of those things where you will know it when you see it...

---

Well, this place is fairly big, but it's not really anything special. The main problem is that you don't know where she would keep the clock.

Hm. Well, logically, she said that she wanted it because she used it to wake up at the right time. Or something. So wouldn't it be in the bedroom?
There are multiple bedrooms in here, though. In fact, an entire hallway. You guess that Yuuka would own the best one.
On the other hand, though, she owns a frikkin mansion and never even visits it, so maybe your common sense deductions won't apply to her.

You begin to examine these bedrooms. They all seem to be... empty and barren? Guest rooms, maybe.
In fact, there doesn't seem to be any non-guest room? Oh, wait, you missed one.

The moment you open that last door, you know it's the right room. Unlike the other rooms, which were definitely unused, this room looks lived-in. Lots of pink and red, actually. There are some dresses hung up in the closet which are in that red tartan-ish pattern Yuuka's dress is in, so this is definitely her stuff. Also some cute pink nightclothes. You notice that some of them are in a smaller size than Yuuka, however. Maybe she just doesn't throw away clothes once they no longer fit? You wonder how many hundreds of years these clothes go back, given how slowly youkai age...
Really, the impression you are getting from this room is that Yuuka left one day, and nobody has touched it since. There is a sort of messiness, but it's a very static messiness. However, there isn't any dust... maybe there are servants here who have been specifically preserving the room exactly as-is, or maybe the dust is just too scared to settle on the possessions of Yuuka Kazami. You aren't sure. Either way, being in here feels a bit like being in some ancient sealed tomb. Just, uh, pinker. You wouldn't be too surprised if you saw Hello Kitty stuff here (the only emblems you see, however, are flowers, appropriately enough).
And there is, in fact, a clock here. It's carelessly left under a bedsheet, so it takes you a bit to find, but once you do there's no missing the damn thing. You're not entirely sure how to describe it. It's... a very large pocket-watch? It's oversized to the point that you wonder if Yuuka got it at a novelty store.
Also, it is very pink. Pink-rimmed, and with a pink chain. It is no longer ticking, however. Probably going to need some winding, but Yuuka can take care of that issue, at least.

You walk out of the room, shaking the unsettling feeling away. Well, it was sure more pleasant than unearthing some Pharaoh's tomb, and you are pretty sure that you don't have some ancient Egyptian curse on you now. Pretty sure.

Thinking about it, this is the only room that gives any feeling of being lived-in, even if it is very definitely not something that has been used recently. Does that mean that that gatekeeper just sleeps outside? Or maybe in a special gatekeeper's dwelling outside the main building or something.
Either way, kind of pathetic.

Anyway, time to teleport away from this place and never think about it again.

---

You appear back in the Garden of the Sun. You find Yuuka there, watching the little animatronic flower shake and 'play' that little guitar it has.

You dust yourself off, and walk up to Yuuka. She doesn't look at you, so you cough and then hold out the 'watch'. She calmly takes it out of your hands.

"There. Got your clock for you. I would have cleaned it too, but it wasn't dirty." You pause. "That is the right one, right?" You probably should have taken some time to memorize a location in that place better, just in case you need to teleport back.

"Yes, it is." She nods, and then begins to wind it. "Thank you."

"Right, can you write a reply?"

"Oh, I already did." She hands you the letter.

"W-wait, so I didn't need to take that stupid walk after all?"

"I trust it was not too much trouble?"

"Your stupid gatekeeper tried to stop me from getting in! Of course, I got past her easy, but still."

"Ah, she is still guarding Mugenkan? How loyal."

"But my point still stands! I have important things to do, like slack!" Wait, you are getting a bit too honest there. Need to remember politeness.

"My my. I was trusting in your word when you said you would get it for me. And you are getting mad because of it?"

"I... okay, fine. Thanks for the letter." You stash it away quickly. "Ah, by the way, why is the watch that big?"

"There truly are mysterious things like that, aren't there?" She begins to walk off. "I thank you for your aid. Now, please leave me to my rest."

...that wasn't an answer. Oh well. You don't care too much. You are mostly happy she ignored that outburst. And it's not an important issue anyway. Maybe she just secretly wants to be like Flavor Flav or something.

Hm. Where's your own loyal yet stupid temporary party member? You should be going now, and you wouldn't want her to get lost or something. "Hey, Cirno-"

Oh, there she is. Asleep. Okay, this doesn't seem like a safe place to sleep, but you don't want to wake her up. She is so peaceful when she is asleep. It almost lets you forget how annoying she can be otherwise.
You'll leave her be. You quietly fly off. That is the nice thing to do in this situation, right? Not like she will catch a chill due to lack of a blanket or anything. If anything if you try to carry her, she might find you uncomfortably warm.
Okay actually that's a lie, you are kind of cold-blooded. You would do much more damage to yourself that way.

Eh. Just leaving is the easy way. No need to think much more. Adios, Cirno!

---

"Hey Kogasa!"

"Hi!" She runs up to you, and the two of you hug. Flowers fall out of your clothing from the impact.

"I hope you didn't get too bored."

"No, you didn't keep me waiting for too long." She smiles.

"Hm. Where's Nue?"

"She hasn't returned yet. She had left to shadow you, right?"

"She's by no means slow. Do you think she could have gotten into any trouble while stalking me?"

"I dunno, she's really strong."

"Yeah. If she ran into anything that could trouble her, it definitely wouldn't be a quiet attack. I would hear it."

"Weird."

"Yeah. Well, maybe she is just taking her time. Or is waiting to surprise us or something. Let's go on to Alice's, okay?"

"Okay!"

---

You knock on the door, and soon enough Alice responds. She comes out herself this time, and it's a good thing because otherwise Kogasa's surprise would have been wasted.

You walk in after Kogasa, and help Alice off of the floor. "Ah, sorry about that, she gets excitable."

"It's okay, it's okay. I... did you deliver the letter?"

"Yeah." You pull out Yuuka's letter. "And she gave you a response, also."

Alice takes it from your hands, and quickly tears open the envelope. She takes a seat on a nearby chair and begins nervously reading the letter. A team of dolls fly up carrying a tea set (that's fast!), but they almost spill it. It seems like Alice's control is wavering.

You and Kogasa take seats. You begin to drink the tea, and eat some of the snacks. It feels nice to be in comfort after having to be in proximity of someone like Yuuka. Or rather, it would if this tea is good, but it isn't. Alice is definitely not all pulled-together right now.

She pounds the letter into the table with her palm, growling in frustration. The sudden vibration makes Kogasa drop her tea, and within moments a doll hurries by with a rag to clean up the spill.

"Er, I take it the reply wasn't good?"

Alice grits her teeth. "How could she lose it?"

"Lose what?"

"I've gotten over her stealing the damn thing from me, but now that someone has gone and used it... I just know that nothing good is going to come of it. And it turns out that Yuuka doesn't even know who has the spell now?" She stands up abruptly, and begins pacing. "And I just know that in her next letter, mother will be very nice to me, but will think deep down that I am the one responsible, too..."

This is needlessly cryptic. You nudge Kogasa. "You have any idea what she is talking about?"

"Nuh-uh."

"Well, neither do I. And she doesn't seem to be in a mood to talk now."

"...oh, I can't stand the thought of this... what am I going to do, what am I going to do..."

"Right. Let's just leave her to this, then." You motion for Kogasa to leave quietly. Of course, the best time to motion for someone to leave quietly is right after speaking your intentions aloud.
So the two of you leave, anyway. A few of the dolls bow to you on the way out. How nice.

---

"Where is Nue? She had all kinds of great chances to surprise us already."

You shrug. "Maybe the best time to surprise us would be at a bad time to surprise us? To increase the surprise, at being at such a surprisingly bad time. Since we expect her to pick good times to... oh, you know what I am getting at, right?"

Kogasa nods slowly. "I think I-"

"You bastard!"

The two of you spin around. Nue comes to a stop in the air behind you, panting heavily.

"Er, can you elaborate on that comment? Is this the good kind of bastard or the bad kind of bastard?"

"It took me a good five minutes to find a crack large enough to slither through. And by the time I found where you had went in the mansion, you had already teleported away!"

Oh, right. You did kind of teleport back. And Nue can't teleport, so she had to fly all of the way back. Right.

"And then when I got back to the Garden of the Sun, you had already left! And then when I got to Alice's house, I found you had been there and left also! Couldn't you stay in one place for longer, let me catch up?"

Kogasa hurries up to Nue and hugs her. "Calm down!" She holds the hug for a bit, and Nue still looks angry but does nothing to resist. "You know he didn't mean bad things. He's a little stupid..."

"Hey!"

"...but he doesn't want to hurt you!" She lets go of Nue, whose breathing has slowed. "So lets all be friends again, okay?"

"...I know. I shouldn't be this mad. It's just kind of frustrating."

You give her a pat on the shoulder, yourself. "I'm sorry about it. I take teleportation for granted so much now..."

"It's... okay. I forgive you, I guess. You didn't ask to be shadowed anyway."

"You were only doing it for my own good. Maybe. Or maybe you were doing it for your own perverse enjoyment, I won't judge."

She laughs a little. "Oh, never change, will you?"

A certain sharp retort comes to mind, about how 'never changing' is a very youkai-like attitude.
This is neither the time nor the place for that. You keep silent instead, and just smile.

---

The seasons wait for no mortal, and eventually winter comes to Gensokyo. The cold is especially biting this year, or at least in your opinion. You never remember feeling so... lethargic, so slowed-down before in the U.S., anyway.
The chill puts a great damper on people's enthusiasm, and many odd things happen without much ado. There are reports of strange shadows coming from the mountains, and of magic items going missing. Even more surprisingly, word has it that Marisa has nothing to do with either of those things. Everyone is simply unwilling to investigate, due to staying at home under the kotatsu that everyone seem to be pulling out.

The temperature changes the dynamic in the Temple, anyway. People are moving out much less now. You yourself are basically stuck inside, and during one especially eventful excursion for a midnight snack you ended up learning more about what Shou does when she thinks everyone else is asleep than you ever wanted to know in your life.
Nazrin has showed a remarkable drop in activity. In fact, she seems to be sleeping most of the time now, curled up snugly somewhere with dozens and dozens of her mice, in a scene that is somehow both disgusting and strangely appetizing. Maybe winter is her time of rest, to hibernate and make up for her hard with for the rest of the year? Scurrying around everywhere like that must be very tiring.
There are still worshippers, since the Temple is quite close to the village, but from day one you have had a detachment from the ordinary human lifestyle in Gensokyo. These normal men and women have nothing that interests you. The other visitors to the Temple have definitely dried up, which is a bit sad. Tacita has stopped coming, citing the difficulty involved in finding boots that are shaped for hooves (some nature spirit she is). And as for other familiar faces... well, Tacita was basically the only person you know who doesn't live in the Temple but regularly visits it anyway. Most of the youkai of Gensokyo are happy enough to stick to their own haunts, and you get the feeling that many of them are offput by Byakuren's almost overbearing idealism anyway.
It's not like you are too unhappy, anyway. The season is by itself unpleasant, but the company is quite good. The people in the Temple are on the whole tolerable. You much prefer it to living in the dorms, anyway. Of course, you get along with some of the people better, and some of them are practically nonentities (looking at you, Ichirin- all fluff and no filling), but they are all basically nice people.
Okay, you could make a pretty good argument for Nue not being a nice person. But, on the other hand, you could also give a pretty good punch to the jaw of someone who insults Nue to your face, dammit. Insulting Nue to her face is your job, and you aren't going to tolerate anyone else doing it!
Thinking about it, in this weather there is only one resident who regularly leaves the Temple. That bastard of a former roommate.

That's a good thing, though. You get to see less of him, that way. Are you curious as to what he does with his time? Not at all. It's a blessing that you do not wish to question, on the off chance that investigating might cause the waveform to collapse and stick that asshole into a perminant state of attendance. You just might dig too curiously and too deep, and in the darkness of Gensokyo you might awaken... a spoiled but mostly harmless annoyance who grates you the wrong way.

Really, you just want to rest, right now. You close your eyes again, and let yourself drift back off to-

"Hey! Hey!" Your blanket-cocoon is shaking. Your eyes flutter open. It's Kogasa. Damn, and you were just about to sleep too. You didn't even have a chance to have some sort of highly referential yet ultimately irrelevant dream sequence.

"Are you awake?"

You lethargically nod.

"Do you want to do something?"

You find the energy within yourself to open your mouth and speak. "Depends on... what... something... is."

"Aw, come on, you've been no fun so far this winter!"

"Don't blame me, blame the weather." You feel your heartrate go back up to full speed. Is it a bad thing if your heart rate drops while sleeping? You've noticed it happen recently, but it hasn't killed you yet, so it's probably A-OK. "I do admit today is an especially lazy day, though."

"Yeah, it is. And that's why I want to do something!"

"Ironclad arguments there. As I said, what something?"

"I want to take a trip to the village!"

"Getting bored of the Temple?"

"A little. But mostly, I'm getting curious about what that man you are always so angry at is doing!"

"What's to be curious about? He's probably out schmoozing up the ladies and getting free samples. Of non-lady-related things. Maybe food."

"Yeah, but it sounds like more fun than yet another game of Monopoly." You aren't entirely sure where the Monopoly board the Temple has came from. Maybe Nazrin picked it up in Kourindou? It has been kind of a godsend, though, even if Kogasa is a bit miffed at there being no umbrella piece (she ends up going with the timble, mostly).

"Hey, what's this I hear about snooping and meddling?" It sounds like Nue's voice, although there are several Tengu who could easily fit that line too.

"Let me guess, you will hear about Kogasa's intentions to go stalk my ex-roommate and immediately think it is a good idea, and then the two of you will slowly but inevitably pressure me into going along even though I am feeling quite comfortable here, thank you very much." You pause for breath. "I'll just cut the chase short and agree to do it now."

"Oh, that does sound like fun. Thank you for preemptively agreeing to do it also."

By the way, that thing you thought earlier about not wanting to question what that bastard wants to do with his time? All joking aside, if it's something Kogasa is curious about, you guess you are willing to give it a spin after all.
The bigger problem at this point is how the hell you are going to leave the Temple.

[ ] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.
[ ] Magic. There is probably some magic spell that can keep you warm. And don't you live in the same household as a Great Magician?
[ ] Tauntaun option. (Noo, you bastards, Keine doesn't deserve that!)
[ ] Man it out.
[ ] You could probably pick up something very warm if you teleported to Hell for a jiffy.
[ ] (Write-in.)

---

My habit of writing scenes as they come to mind leads the narrative in all kinds of unexpected directions. Sadly, it seems that 95% of my character development is done by these sorts of accidents of writing.

Isn't it odd how the MC totally forgot that he was the one who bought the monopoly board? It is totally odd. It is almost as thought the author forgot about it also, and only just now looked it up and didn't feel like changing those sentences. This kind of thing happens a lot, and by that I mean it never happens and I am a perfect writer in every way.

Unrelated, but I just read the first chapter of Wild and Horned Hermit. Hopefully it will avoid the problems SSiB had.
>> No. 28951
A) Cirno has no chance of getting a cold: A) Ice Fairy and B) Idiot

B) Shadows, magic items disappearing? It's too late for SSiB.

[x] Magic. There is probably some magic spell that can keep you warm. And don't you live in the same household as a Great Magician?

I'd have thought up a "fly in one warm huddle" but I'm not sure how well that'd work out for various reasons.
>> No. 28953
[X] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.
>> No. 28957
[x] You could probably pick up something very warm if you teleported to Hell for a jiffy.

An Elis is fine too.

>Sadly, it seems that 95% of my character development is done by these sorts of accidents of writing.
It was sort of like that when I wrote, too. And that seemed to have turned out pretty well, so don't worry about it too much.

>Hopefully it will avoid the problems SSiB had.
Well, it's already avoided the biggest problem, namely being drawn by fucking Aki Eda.
>> No. 28958
>>28957
Also Kasan's first showing proved to be nice without A) being overpowered and B) upstaging the existing characters.

she comes off as an old friend that just came back into town.
>> No. 28961
[x] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.

Blanket Missile
>> No. 28962
[x] You could probably pick up something very warm if you teleported to Hell for a jiffy.
The 'logic' on this choice is remarkable
>> No. 28964
[x] Go out in nothing but a fundoshi because you are a man's man and everyone will be impressed by your pure manliness.
>> No. 28965
[Q] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.

Good plan all around.
>> No. 28967
[x] You could probably pick up something very warm if you teleported to Hell for a jiffy.
>> No. 28971
[x] You could probably pick up something very warm if you teleported to Hell for a jiffy.
>> No. 28972
[x] You could probably pick up something very warm if you teleported to Hell for a jiffy.
>> No. 28973
[X] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.
>> No. 28974
File 128094879751.jpg - (41.73KB , 818x547 , the fuck you say.jpg ) [iqdb]
28974
>Even if you were a vampire or something, it seems absolutely tacky. Like a rapper with a car made entirely out of bling and hydraulics.

[X] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.
>> No. 28975
File 128094940983.jpg - (388.47KB , 337x925 , monopoly.jpg ) [iqdb]
28975
>Monopoly

[x] You could probably pick up something very warm if you teleported to Hell for a jiffy.
>> No. 28977
[X] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.

So what if we look weird doing it? We are a snake. This is for our health.
>> No. 28980
Why is everyone against asking Byakuren for a warmth spell?
>> No. 28981
[X] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.
>> No. 28986
>>28980
Because that would be simple and logical.

BORING.
>> No. 28987
>>28980
Mainly because we find the idea of flying around in a cocoon of blankets more amusing.
>> No. 29015
File 128133718660.jpg - (214.83KB , 740x900 , teachercanweeatcirno.jpg ) [iqdb]
29015
[X] There's no law that says that you can't fly around outside wrapped up in a dozen blankets.

"Well, if we are going to go, let's get this over with and go." You stand up gingerly, trying to simultaneously stretch your legs and keep the blankets from coming off. It doesn't work too well; one of them comes off in the process.
You can tell Nue is trying not to laugh. You should comment on this, cut the head off this snake before it can devour all of your apples and grow to be really long and get a high score and stuff.
...ugh. That metaphor managed to simultaneously be both gross and geeky. You should be more careful with your mental monologues, lest you unleash some horrible metaphor plague on Gensokyo and cause everyone to symbolically die.
Well, anyway, speakin' time. "And what do you think is so funny, Nue?" That line would have had more of an impact if she hadn't calmed down by the time you said it. Oh well.

"The whole look you have going on. It's like you are a caterpillar who is getting really impatient about this whole chrysalizing business."

"Oh, sure. Looking nice and presentable is nice and all, but I'd much rather look stupid than freeze to death."

"Fine, fine. You can go out looking like some kind of blanket monster, scaring small children and... actually, yeah, that sounds like fun, let's do it."

"Hey, it's not like there's any law that says I can't wear blankets."

"Besides the law of common sense, that is?"

"Hey, it's not that stupid."

"Come on, didn't you humans invent winter coats and such for these situations?"

"Oh!" Kogasa runs off.

You would watch her go, but you can't really turn much with all of these blankets on. "Not nearly enough padding. Now, come on, give me a hand here in securing these things so they don't fall off."

Nue sighs and leans over to pick up the fallen blanket. She wraps it around you, and then dozens of hissing snakes slither out of her arm and wrap around you. Maybe. You can't exactly see her arm very well, due to all of these blankets obscuring your vision.
They settle down and turn into ropes, like that trick she used with Tenshi earlier. Now the blankets do feel quite secure. "Thanks, Nue."

"It was nothing. Now, the real trick will be figuring out how to sneak with you puffed out like a rainbow marshmallow."

"I'm back!" Kogasa runs back up, holding your winter coat. Oh, right, that thing. You bought in preparation for the winter season, but found that even with the thick fur lining it was far too light for you. Cost a fair bit also, what a shame.
She tries to fit the coat over you, but it doesn't fit. After a bit she gives up and puts it on you like a cape, tying the arms together in front of your neck. "Now it can be happy too!" She hops back, and then turns around again. "I need to tuck Mazin in. I don't want him to catch a cold. Be right back!" And she runs off again.

"So, you don't have anything to prepare, Nue?"

"Nope. I don't have any... stuffed animal constituents to please, or huge bundles of clothing to put on. This is a pretty ordinary Gensokyo winter, after all. Much more bitter than the ones in Japan due to all of the elementals living here, but nothing too special by my standards."

"It's pretty damn cold in my opinion."

"That's just because you are cold-blooded. It's an unfortunate weakness, but really the whole process of becoming a youkai worked far better than I had expected it to, so I say you shouldn't complain too much."

"But... I'm not complaining."

"It feels like you are complaining. Through your actions. Those are very... whiny blankets... I got a bit carried away there, I admit."

"Eh, it's okay."

"You know, I wonder if these travel powers were something you always had? Some humans have latent magic abilities, and becoming a youkai is an unusual way to tap one, but it's also unusual for humans-turned-youkai to get actual conceptual domains."

"This again? I was a normal person before I came to Gensokyo. Okay, I was a magic-obsessed, head-in-the-clouds, socially-awkward burgeoning polyglot, but as far as people with those qualifications go I was really ordinary!"

"There are a lot of people like that in the outside world?"

"...probably. There are a lot of people there."

"Seriously, though, latent magic talents aren't that rare. I don't think so, anyway. Your roommate is one of those kinds of people, I think. There's no other way he could get so powerful so fast on his own."

"I suppose." You try to shrug, since this topic is getting a bit tiring, but you can't really do that in this getup. "I guess having some latent travel-powers might explain how I was able to break through the border to begin with."

"It makes sense, yes."

"Why do you care so much anyway?"

"I don't care that much. Although..." She thinks for a moment. "If really were an extrordinary human from the start, it means my first impression of you was right after all."

"Oh, so it's a self-esteem thing? Gotcha."

"Hey! Don't patronize me."

"I'm ready to go!" Kogasa skips in, now wearing her winter coat. It's actually pretty nice, and fits her color scheme well. You aren't sure when she got it, really.

You glance back at Nue. "Let's just drop the subject."

"...okay."

You slowly raise your hand. "It seems like I'm ready too, so let's go, Kogasa!"

---

The trip to the village is short and uneventful. The Temple is quite close to the place, after all, and the path to the Temple is cleared of snow. The worshippers have to get there somehow, of course.
Not like the three of you use the path. Flying is so much easier, especially when you are dressed like the very colorful child of a gay union of the Michelin Man and a pupating caterpillar. You got all of the blankets that were available, without considering that they were all different colors. Of course, the color isn't the problem is it, it's the bulk. So why do you keep fixating on the color?

You land in the Human Village, and immediately people are giving you odd looks. Gotta set this straight if you are going to sneak any. You clear your throat, and then go on in your most authoritative voice, "Pay no attention to the man in the blanket-cocoon!"

It doesn't work. Furthermore, nobody even seems to get the reference. Damn, you can't even say this was one out of two. It was zero out of two.
After a bit, though, people stop being interested. Perhaps they realize that they are damn cold and decide to get back to doing whatever it is they are doing outside quickly and going back home. You don't blame them.

However, one person does seem to have business for you. She is vaguely familiar. Not her face, mind, it's the amazing hat.
She looks from you to Nue to Kogasa. "And what is your business here?"

Huh. You probably should have come up with a cover story. Actually, Nue probably should have, this kind of stuff is her specialty, so you will blame her in this instance.

Luckily, she speaks up before you can blow the situation out of proportions. "We are just visiting the village. Is it your business to know more?"

"I am in charge of protecting this village, so yes. It is my business."

You shudder. You are already colder than you were when you left the village. These blankets trap the heat to your body, but they don't do a perfect job. And they don't produce more heat either. Perhaps you should have gotten some spell to do that? No, then you would just be out here in constant fear of the thing switching off and all of the heat evaporating at once. "Do we look like a threat? I can barely stand this cold. I don't think I could go on a rampage even if I wanted to."

"That is true. However, it also makes your visit more suspicious."

Nue rolls her eyes. "How about we go somewhere indoors and heated and discuss this? If you are going to keep talking about this, I don't want him to freeze to death."

"Very well."

---

You hurry into the room, eager to absorb more warmth. "Your home is quite well-heated, miss."

"Ah, I know someone who is very good at this kind of thing."

"I see."

Kogasa runs around, looking at the various scrolls affixed to the walls with a great deal of curiosity.
Nue, on the other hand, looks annoyed to be here. Perhaps that might concern you more at other times, but right now you only care about the welcome warmth in here. Hopefully, when stalking that bastard, he'll have the courtesy to go indoors often.

The woman comes back into the room after a moment, with tea. You would probably like Gensokyo a lot more if you liked tea more. Everyone wants you to drink the stuff, it's a bit annoying. Oh well, it's not all too bad, and you'll probably learn to like it eventually.

She puts the tray down on the table, and sits. Nue sits, and you follow suit. You can't do that annoying kneeling sit thing at the moment due to being a bit too bundled up, so you kind of plop down instead.

"I believe you three live at Myoren Temple?"

"Yes." Nue nods. "And, of course, Byakuren would get very mad if she learned we were getting into trouble."

"So, of course, you won't be doing anything problematic... right?" A pointed question.

"Perish the thought."

That wasn't quite a direct answer. But, honestly, you aren't sure what the difficulty is. "Why is this so suspicious? I am no stranger to the Human Village."

"No, and I am not worried about you. I am not particularly worried about Kogasa, either, since I know her well enough."

"So I'm the problem after all, huh?"

"I apologize for my paranoia, but I believe that it is justified."

You are beginning to feel nice and comfortably warm again. "What, is this a tough season for youkai?"

"Not particularly, unless you are scared of Cirno. No, it was just that I was robbed lately."

"What was taken?" Kogasa looks concerned.

"The Three Sacred Treasures." The woman pauses, and turns to you. "Now, I am not sure if that means anything to you, but they are very important items."

Nue looks mildly surprised. "Oh, the humans in Japan thought those things were very important. How did you end up with them?"

"It is a long story."

You think. "Aren't those the imperial regalia of Japan? That seems like a set of items someone would notice go missing."

"As I said, it is a long story. Although, if it is any consolation, I only owned two of the three treasures. I am not entirely sure who had the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi."

"I'm not sure if I would call that consolation. I wasn't distraught. I suppose it is a bit less unlikely then, though. Maybe."

"Regardless, I still want to know why you people are here."

You glance at Nue, who looks to be weighing her options. Now, someone else might not realize that, but you've seen her plan enough times to be able to tell.
Maybe you should handle this yourself. This might be a situation where honesty is justified. You admit you don't know her all that well, but this woman doesn't seem like the type you could lie to without consequences.
You lean forward. "Actually, we are here to check up on a specific person."

"A specific person?"

"Yeah. He lives at the Temple too, and comes to the village often. Do I have to give you his name or something, or do you know who I am talking about?"

She thinks for a moment. "No, I think I know who you are talking about."

You look over to the side. Nue is giving you a skeptical look, presumably at this tactic. It would be best if she 'played along' to the truth, so to speak. She quickly goes back to a neutral expression, as if reading your thoughts. "Anyway, I usually am thankful when the bas- the man goes out to town, but I've decided to follow him this time." Perhaps not entirely the truth, but close enough.

"And do you have a reason for this? Or is it just for the joy of stalking?"

"I was getting to that, geeze. I just am suspicious about how he spends his time. He's been told off before for using his tricks in town."

"His tricks?" She looks confused. "I... feel like I am forgetting something." She scowls.

"Is that normal for you? I mean, uh, forgetting things. Or are you someone with good memory or what? ...why do you look so concerned?"

She grimaces at you, and shakes her head. "No, it's not normal. I don't think it's anything dangerous, but... I'll let you go do that. Just avoid committing any crimes and I will ignore it this once."

"Hey, thanks." You gingerly lean over to shake her hand. You have to be careful, to avoid knocking the teacups off the table. She complies after a moment of confusion. You look over and Nue and Kogasa. "Are the two of you ready to go out again?"

"I think so, yes!"

"Inside, outside... it's all the same to me."

"Too bad, because I want to enjoy the heat for a little longer." You lean back as much as you can, trying to get a bit more comfortable. "Damn cold out there."

The woman slips out as Kogasa begins to lean back and forth in impatience. "This place isn't bad, but it's not exciting either!" You do agree with her that this schoolteacher or whatever does not have the most exciting room you have seen. Perhaps if you were a big history and/or antiques buff.

"I won't be too long. Just give me a bit, okay?"

"Okay."

Nue stands up. "As long as we are waiting around here doing nothing of importance, do either of you have any idea where in the village that guy would be?"

"Nope!"

"Probably somewhere with a lot of people? Maybe."

"Well, that sure narrows it down."

The woman runs back in with a few old-looking blankets, and adds them to your cocoon. "Return them later."

"Oh, thanks." You stand up. "I'll try to remember. For now, I'll get my two friends here out of your hair." She already has plenty in her hair with that silly hat.

"Remember, avoid doing anything illegal!"

"More illegal than stalking?"

"Use your judgement!"

"Okay."

---

You walk out of the building. Those extra blankets are helping, but this still won't last too long. It will suffice for the searching though, especially if you search indoors too.
Nue walks to your side. She is silent for a moment, just walking by you, and then once the three of you have gone a decent distance from the building, she speaks up. "Taking all of the credit, huh?"

"You already have strikes by your name, and I don't want Kogasa tangled up in anything. On the off chance that that woman reports this to the Temple and Byakuren decides what we are doing is wrong, I would rather take the blame."

"It's nice of you to make a sacrifice like that. Carefully calculated to be very low-risk, that is."

"Aw, shucks."

Kogasa runs ahead. "Let's go search somewhere!"

It's kind of weird how this became more of a searching thing than a stalking thing, but whatever. You guess the stalking comes later.
For now, you need to figure out where you are going.

[ ] He might be in the market. Or at least inside a store or something.
[ ] There have got to be some taverns around here, right?
[ ] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.
[ ] (Write-in.)

---

Just a sidenote, but I kind of assume that by this point most major characters know the names of the MC and the MC's roommate, probably due to day-to-day life during the timeskips... just somehow nobody ever says them.
>> No. 29016
[x] There have got to be some taverns around here, right?
>> No. 29017
[X] There have got to be some taverns around here, right?

Tavern=people+cooking=WARM!
>> No. 29018
[x] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.

Time for a little breaking and entering.
>> No. 29019
[x] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.
He's a regular casanova, so I guess he's trying to get into someone pants.
>> No. 29021
[Q] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.

He seems to have used one of his little memory tricks on Keine. That doesn't bode well.
>> No. 29022
>She wraps it around you, and then dozens of hissing snakes slither out of her arm and wrap around you.
Nue hug~

[X] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.
>> No. 29024
[x] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.
>> No. 29028
[x] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.

That bastard is probably failing to pick up Touhous.

He might be trying to collect the treasures to become King of Gensokyo, though.
>> No. 29030
[x] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.
>> No. 29035
File 128139395259.jpg - (635.09KB , 960x669 , lol.jpg ) [iqdb]
29035
>You can tell Nue is trying not to laugh. You should comment on this, cut the head off this snake before it can devour all of your apples and grow to be really long and get a high score and stuff.

Fucking lol'd
>> No. 29038
File 128140039071.jpg - (352.04KB , 400x1050 , peace in earth or the earth in pieces.jpg ) [iqdb]
29038
[x] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.
-[x] Make a mental note of kicking his ass once and for all.

Memory games against Keine? Fucking Keine? The one who writes and rewrites history? That bastard is going down. Headbutt style.
We better find and pick a piece of him before the werecow puts the pieces together and starts to break him down, piece by piece. Pieceful as she may be, you don't want to piece her off.
I'd rather have the MC take his sweet time but, whatever, we play with the pieces we have.
>> No. 29040
>>29035
Apples?

Fuck that.

IT ATE NUMBERS.

QBASIC FOREVER.
>> No. 29087
[x] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.
>> No. 29089
File 128176202977.jpg - (150.54KB , 700x700 , welldamnspoiledthesurprise.jpg ) [iqdb]
29089
[Q] Maybe he's visiting somebody's house? Somebody besides that teacher woman, of course.

"Actually, thinking about it, he might not be in a well-populated location after all. Like, the marketplace... he's still human, so he can't just ignore this cold." You shiver. You really shouldn't remind yourself about the cold. "So we should try somewhere indoors to start."

"You are just saying this because you don't like the cold."

"Am not." Nue has you figured out. "He might be in a tavern or something, but I have a hunch that he might be in someone's house?"

"And where did that hunch come from?"

"Maybe he's trying to seduce someone? I don't know. Still, if we are wrong, we can check a tavern next."

"And what do you want us to do? Break into people's houses over and over until we happen to find one with him inside?" Nue's voice takes on a disapproving tone.

"Er... I guess?"

"Sounds like fun to me. Let's do it."

"Can we be scary and surprising while doing it?"

"Of course, Kogasa. As long as we are breaking and entering we might as well scare the random villagers half to death in the process too."

"Hey, that doesn't sound very nice."

"Too late to have second thoughts! Let's go!"

---

"Boo!"

"Aaaagh! A... a blanket monster!" The man tries to scramble backwards, but there is another person behind him. "Aaaaaaah!"

You grab him by the collar. "Hey, have you seen a certain annoying bastard? About this tall, blonde hair, loves freeloading?"

"N-no? Please don't eat me!"

"Oh, okay. Bye!" You wave and then walk out. Kogasa follows, jovially sticking out her tongue.

You meet Nue outside. She seems a bit... damp.

"Did you... mistake a river for a house or something?"

"No, you idiot, a startled woman spilled a cup of tea on me."

"Must have been a very large cup of tea to get you that wet."

"She then proceeded to spill the rest of the tea set on me."

"That doesn't sound pleasant."

"I like to think I was being remarkably patient with her, all things considered."

"So I guess you haven't had any luck?"

"Yes. I haven't found him yet." She leans past you and looks at Kogasa. "And even though Kogasa looks happy enough... I'm guessing that since you asked that, you haven't found him yet either."

"Maybe I just asked you that so I could say that I have found him, and rub it in your face."

"If you tried to do that you would regret it, you know." She playfully puts an arm around your shoulder. As if these blankets weren't getting stained enough by the snow, now you have to add tea?

"Well, I haven't found him, so our relationship has once again avoided being irreparably damaged."

"Good to hear."

Kogasa runs ahead. "This next house is really big! Let's all go in together!"

"Sure, why not." You follow her, as laconically and smoothly as a man who is bundled up in a nearly spherical ball of blankets can manage.

"This will be the seventh house we have gone to, right?"

"Hopefully it will be the last. If too many people complain Keine might end up talking to Byakuren about this after all."

"Hurry up!"

You and Nue hurry up.

---

"This place is familiar."

"You sure you aren't just having flashbacks to the last three or four mansions you have been to?" Three or four? You think for a second. That red place, Mugenkan, the Palace of the Earth Spirits... three. Nue's guess was within tolerance.

"Hey, this isn't really a mansion. Or at least not a western-style one like most of the random ones lying around Gensokyo seem to be."

"Well, I bet you could ask the servant who came out to meet us. Instead of just ignoring him."

"What an absurd idea." You turn to the servant. "What is this place, anyway?"

"Ah, honored youkai, it is the home of-"

"Don't care, time to go further in!" You jog past him, into the manor or whatever.

"That wasn't nice!" Kogasa catches up, frowning at you.

"Hey, he was the one who came to meet us outside the damn place. I don't like the outside this time of year."

"He was only doing his job!"

"I'll send him a greeting card and some flowers later, okay? Right now we are busy having an exciting domestic adventure, so you will excuse me if I am brusque to the NPCs."

"The whats?"

"Don't worry about it, I'm just being obtuse."

A small cloud of bats fly past you, and form into Nue. "Sorry, servant was trying to stop me. Had to bail on him somehow."

"Wait, bats? I thought you did snakes mostly. Are you some kind of... secret vampire?"

"Hey, bats are public domain."

"Seriously, what claim do you have on bats?"

"They're creatures of the night, creatures of ill omen and mystery. Or at least to humans."

"Creatures of the night. Still a vampire thing. I'm sorry, but you aren't convincing me."

"The night? I am the night!"

"Whoah there, Batman, don't get in a tizzy."

"I found him!" Kogasa runs back up. Wait, back? She left without you noticing?

"Oh. Uh, good work, Private Tatara."

Nue shushes you. "Now it's sneakysneaky time so you better shut up and help us be hard to notice, fluffball."

"Yes ma'am!" You proceed to shut up in the most ostentatious and loud manner possible.

---

Three sets of eyes peek out from the hallway, one after the other. The first and lowest is framed by blue hair, admist which the one blue eye seems to vanish. The other eye, red as a ruby, stands in stark contrast.
The second set of eyes, the one at middle-height, is blue also. These eyes are between a few shocks of mostly-unkept yellow hair, and a great many blankets of various colors.
The third set of eyes, highest up, are red. They have a chaotic look in them, and are accompanied by black hair. The hair would be much more intimidating if it was adorned with some sort of silly hat, though. This is Gensokyo, after all.

You grimace. Why is there even a random mirror in this parlor? It is so going to give you three away.
However, it looks like the two people in here are busy, so maybe they won't notice you looking in... or your reflections. Or the slight clacking noises Kogasa's sandals are making (she should really get some boots for winter.)

"Wait, Nue, since when were you taller than me?"

"Shapeshifter."

"Oh, right."

That bastard leans over in front of a writing table, balancing precariously with one leg on the ground and one hand on the table. He seems to be holding a very animated, albeit one-sided, conversation. Although he is keeping the volume level fairly low, though. Maybe out of concern for others... or maybe he's developing a cold or something, who knows.
Sitting down at the table is a familiar-looking young girl with short purple hair, a flower inside said short purple hair, and an annoyed face under said short purple hair. She seems to be trying to write in an old-fashioned looking scroll with a brush, with very little success.

"AQn! AQn!" How does he even pronounce that? "Do you have any more stories?"

"I have already told you every folktale, every bit of history I thought you might find interesting. Can you please let me have a moment of peace here?"

"There has got to be more than that. Seriously, with all of the people who live here-"

"...and spend most of their time living routines."

"Don't you have anything?" He pauses. "Ah. How was your day today, then? Did you... did you do anything exciting today?"

The girl reaches down below her desk, and pulls out a pair of ancient-looking headphones, decorated with red ribbons. She very pointedly puts them on, and you can hear music start.

That bastard leans in closer. "What kind of music is that?"

She ignores him for a moment before responding. "FM synth."

"Huh?"

"I am something of a connoisseur." She reaches under the table, and the sound gets louder.

He hops back. "Fine. I give up. This wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be." He seems distant for a moment. "Sorry for bugging you or something. I'll leave now." He turns around.

Shit! He's definitely going to see you three at this rate!
You panic, and expend a bit of power in the most subtle way you can.

Somehow, you end up clinging to the ceiling, Kogasa ends up standing behind a lamp, and Nue ends up... buried upside-down into the floorboards, almost shoulder-deep. Oops.
Amazing, he doesn't notice the spell going off. Or the fact that Nue is currently squirming around. And her dress has pooled on the floor and- you look away. No, not going to dig yourself any further into this hole. Or whatever.

Akyu does notice, but she doesn't say anything. She looks up and sees you, then gives you an exhausted look.

All is silent for a bit as he leaves. Besides Nue's muffled curses, that is.

You let go of the ceiling and land nimbly on the ground. Or you try to, anyway. You are quite well-padded though, so the fall isn't bad at all.

Akyu turns off the music, and takes the headphones off. "If you are here to eat me, be warned that I am very mean with a calligraphy brush."

"Huh? What good will that do?"

"It was a joke." There's a cracking sound as Nue finally pulls herself out of the floor. She glares at you, shrugging off broken pieces of wood. "I would appreciate it if you paid for the damages to my floor."

"Oh. Uh, sorry."

"It would have taken months of allowance money, you know." She pauses, and turns to Kogasa. "You can come out now."

"I'm a lamp!"

"Kogasa," you turn to her also. "He left. It's okay for you to stop hiding."

"Oh, okay."

"I sure hope you have a good explanation for this."

"Whoah Nue! One annoyed person at a time!" Nue continues to glare at you. You laugh sheepishly. "Okay, I guess the little girl can wait."

"Go on."

"I..." Honesty would serve you best here. She seems annoyed now, but a joke will definitely make her graduate from peeved to pissed. You wouldn't like her when she is mad. "I paniced and tried to teleport all three of us at once before he could see us and almost got it right?"

"Such a glass-half-full point of view." She continues glaring. "Talk to the chronicler."

"Huh?"

"You wouldn't want to keep her waiting, would you?" That was a bit of a nasty tone, Nue! Please don't be mad!

"O-okay." You turn to her. "Uh, don't mind us, we are just here to clumsily stalk that guy."

"I see."

She doesn't seem to be too mad, actually. Maybe you came at a good time. Not good as in a time she would want you to come, but good as in a time when she was too tired to complain. "What was he doing here, anyway?"

"He asked me to tell him stories. I obliged at first, but he definitely outstayed his welcome."

"He never struck me as the scholastic type..."

"I'm not sure. He seemed desperate, almost, but he also didn't seem very interested in the stories."

You glance back. Nue is currently fuming, and Kogasa is frantically running around, alternating between hugging Nue and patting the floor comfortingly. Okay, looks like things are under control-ish back there. "How much do those floorboards cost?"

"I'm not entirely sure. I will have to have to call in workmen, and have an estimate made..."

"Uh, I'm really sorry about all this. I should have been more careful when I teleported..."

"Oh well, at least it will be an interesting story to record..."

You aren't sure how much you like this mix-up being recorded into a history scroll. On the other hand, if it makes her less unhappy about the whole thing it would be much better in the short-term.
Short-term. Probably best to think to the short-term, and leave the long-term stuff for after winter.

"Right, give me one second." You walk back to Nue, who has sat down cross-legged on the floor. "Er, sorry about teleporting you into the floor..."

She ignores you. Kogasa runs up and hugs her again, with enough force to make Nue rock back and forth for a moment before settling. Kogasa then hops up and returns to comforting the floor.

This entire situation seems mildly surreal. "Are... are you alright?"

She continues to ignore you. "Right... I'll... I'll give you some more time. I really am sorry, though, please forgive me!" You run back to AQn.

"You seem to be in a bad situation."

"This kind of thing happens to me often." As an afterthought, you hold up your hands. "No, I don't teleport people into solid objects often, this was the first time, and I'm lucky it happened to someone tough like Nue and not someone squishy like a normal human. I was talking about making silly mistakes."

"I see. And, going back to our earlier subject, why are you stalking that man?"

"We were wondering what he is up to. I was thinking he might have been doing bad stuff."

"Like breaking other people's floors?"

"Yeah, like that."

Another awkward silence. "So, uh, nice headphones."

"Thank you. I used to use my gramaphone, but when I found this pair in Kourindou I knew I wanted them."

"Did you add the... bows yourself?"

"No, Rinnosuke had. I think he knows his target audience quite well."

"I see." Another silence. "I'll go check on Nue again."

You make the very short trek over to Nue. She looks calmer now. "Are you feeling better now?"

She nods slowly. Sweet! What they said about washed pots never boiling is true! (Nue doesn't take very many baths, see.)

"I really am sorry about teleporting you into a solid object."

"Good."

Okay, that's a reasonably productive response to your apology. "Want to continue stalking that bastard and pretend this never happened?"

Another slow nod.

"Alright." You turn to Kogasa, who is giving Nue a concerned look. "Let's go now. Repression will work like a jiff, alright?"

"I've heard repression isn't healthy!"

"Eh, we can un-repress later and deal with our issues if it becomes a problem."

"If... if you say so!"

Nue stands up also, looking calm now.

You feel a sensation of weight leaving your shoulders. Actually, no, you feel the exact opposite. You look up, to see Akyuu has attached another blanket to you. "For some reason I felt the need to." She grins cheekily.

"Uh, thanks. I'll return them... maybe when I come to pay for those floorboards?"

"Fair enough."

"Well, we should be going now." You get up, and gesture to your two companions. Your group begins to head out.

You wave to AQn. "Please forget this ever happened!"

"No can do!" She cheerily waves back as the three of you leave.

---

"So, the trail is still hot, yes?"

You snicker. "Hot. Nothing out here is hot."

"Oh, quiet, you." Nue slaps you lightly. But with all the blankets you don't so much feel it as hear it. "It won't be too hard to track him, from here on out." She gestures to some fresh tracks in the snow. "So let's keep going before he goes too far."

You begin to follow Nue as she follows the tracks.

You should probably be careful here... you catch up to her. "Er, were you being serious about repressing that memory?"

"Not really, no offense."

"No offense?"

"Wait, I thought you wanted me to forget it because it was your dumbass mistake?"

"Uh, I... I thought it was traumatic to you?"

"Oh, come on. It was just... people for the next hundred generations will know what color panties I was wearing today. No... big deal..."

"Want to go back there and make sure she isn't able to write anything-"

"No, I don't think murdering the Child of Miare will do much. Let's just concentrate on this, okay?"

Well, she definitely has an issue about this. You don't think it has to do with the clothing, though. Maybe it's how undignified that moment was?
Ah well. What's done is done. You can't do anything about it anymore. Besides, like, damage control and stuff. And you've already apologized, so...

Maybe you should concentrate on the matter at hand.

[ ] Stalk him sneakily.
[ ] Stalk him openly.
[ ] Stalk him fun-ly. (Is that a real word?)
>> No. 29090
[X] Stalk him fun-ly. (Is that a real word?)

If anything it may cheer up Nue a bit if we succeed this way. Or even if we fail, hypothetically.
>> No. 29091
>How does he even pronounce that?
I'll do you one better: how did we hear him saying it without learning how he pronounces it?

[X] Stalk him fun-ly.
>> No. 29092
>>29091
The MC was watching the closed-captioning, and not paying attention to the audio.
>> No. 29093
[X] Stalk him fun-ly. (Is that a real word? It is now.)

Hmm, we definitely need to make this up to Nue somehow.
>> No. 29094
[x] Stalk him fun-ly fabulously
Nue and Kogasa should love it.
>> No. 29095
[x] Stalk him sneakily.
>> No. 29096
>>29092
The magic spells that is set to let non-japanese people understand everything have QUALITY subtitles and audio.

>"For some reason I felt the need to." She grins cheekily.
>"No can do!" She cheerily waves back as the three of you leave.
Surprisingly charming.
Also? Nue is too concentrated in that Youkai pride thing. You'd think that living with Byakuren...
>> No. 29097
Forgot my vote.
[x] Stalk him fabulously
>> No. 29098
[x] Stalk him fabulously

I'm not sure how fabulous we can be while wrapped in blankets, though.
>> No. 29099
[x] Stalk him fabulously

>I'm not sure how fabulous we can be while wrapped in blankets, though.

Fabulous enough!
>> No. 29100
[X] Stalk him fun-ly. (Is that a real word? It is now.)
>> No. 29102
[Q] Stalk him fun-ly. (Is that a real word?)

Eh, why not. The world's too serious as it is.
>> No. 29109
[x] Stalk him fabulously

Do it. No questions asked.
>> No. 29111
[x] Stalk him fabulously
>> No. 29154
[X] Stalk him fun-ly. (Is that a real word?)
>> No. 29155
[x] Stalk him fabulously
>> No. 29177
File 128236920256.jpg - (35.28KB , 282x495 , kogasayoudontbatheinit.jpg ) [iqdb]
29177
Reposted to fix a single minor typo that was bugging me. I am sure it is full of other typos that I didn't notice.

[x] Stalk him fabulously

In all honesty, by now it probably doesn't matter how you stalk him. If you do it stealthily it would work fine, but you could also probably chase after him yelling at the top of your lungs and you would still track him down. Now that you have a lock on his position, so to speak, there isn't any way he could run. You can teleport, right? He can't out-run teleportation. So therefore, you should prioritize other things in your strategy.
Namely, Nue. She was pretty peeved a bit ago, so maybe you should tailor this stalking experience to be fun. Or, maybe, to be fabulous.
You clap your hands. The effect would probably be more invorigating if you weren't that padded, though. You don't so much as make a clapping sound, and Nue probably didn't even notice. "Alright girls I've got a plan! If we're going to stalk this guy, we better do it fabulously!" You try to give your best Richard Simmons impression, but you have to admit that you don't know enough about the man to pull it off. Of course, Nue and Kogasa wouldn't get it anyway, so maybe you should just drop that line of thought.

"Fabulously?" Kogasa looks intrigued by this remarkable new concept.

"That's right! Fabulously! We should do this with style and panache and stuff! It'll be fun, I swear."

"Style?" Nue scoffs. "I think it's a bit too late for you to be stylish. Unless you want to freeze."

"Hey, blankets are stylish. I have this whole... Linus appeal down pat. I swear!"

"I don't buy it."

"Fine. Maybe it's too late for me. Who knows? But you two still have it left in you!" You run over behind Kogasa. "Look at Kogasa! She has this cute winter coat and it matches her color scheme and everything! Quite nice, overall. It goes with the umbrella decently also." Kogasa giggles. You move on to Nue. "And you're not too bad yourself. You have that... short skirt and stockings thing going on. Rather simplistic compared to some people's outfits also. And those silly shoes with red bows on them. Also a red bow on the... what is it with you and red bows?"

"I... modeled this outfit after the clothes I found while flying around Gensokyo."

"You designed your own custom outfit for a form you didn't intend people to see?"

"I was kind of caught up in the joy of not being stuck in a boring cave. Flying around, playing with shapes and colors... it was intoxicating after so many centuries of sensory deprivation."

"And you picked the most girly way possible to do it also. Namely, fashion design."

"Hey, it's an important skill to have if you want to fit in in Gensokyo. Have you seen how these people dress?"

"I've been here for months. And I am pretty sure I am not blind, too, so yes, I have seen." You quickly turn your head around and look at some things. Nope, not blind. You weren't all bark and no bite in that earlier statement, which is nice. Being called out as a liar is never fun. Not that you would know, of course.

"Seriously, unless I wanted to pretend to be a normal human, wearing a simple outfit would make me stand out."

"And, of course, you don't want anyone to think you are normal."

"It's sometimes necessary, but I never enjoy it. It's not very hard to take on the disguise of a normal person anyway, so I hardly need to practice."

"Okay, we are getting off-topic. Suffice to say that it's not too late for us to all be fabulous, but if we don't get a fucking move on right now it will be too late to catch that bastard."

"You have no-one to blame for that but yourself, you know." Nue starts on ahead. "For stopping us mid-chase to talk about your sudden interest in fashion design."

"Hey, men sometimes have these urges! You wouldn't understand!"

"What kind of urges?" Kogasa looks curious.

"Well, to... uh... joust and, you know, go to barbecues."

"What's a barbecue?"

"It's where some people... grill meat... outdoors?" You aren't entirely sure yourself, honestly. It's some kind of meat-grilling party or something. And special sauces are involved, right? You've been to them before, but you haven't stopped to think about them enough to wonder what separates one from a gathering where people happen to grill meat. Or... maybe there isn't?
With such pressing issues as these it is little wonder you have a hard time getting anything meaningful done!

"You look so thoughtful. Do you miss barbecues?"

"Well, I missed... figuring out... what they are? That didn't come out nearly as clever as I figured it would. Uh, not really, no."

"But you said that that was one of the urges men have."

"Kogasa," you grab her by the shoulders, "if you want to learn about real factual things, don't listen to me. I have no idea what the hell I am talking about most of the time."

"O-okay. Should I listen to you about not listening to you?"

"Use your best judgement to find out."

"I think that's him ahead." Nue points. That bastard is in the marketplace, rather idly looking at those few wares that are still out in this snow.

"Quick," you whisper, "everyone pose! Stealthy poses!" You take your best spy-pose, a kind of 'frozen mid-creeping' pose. Kogasa quickly folds up her umbrella and holds it in front of her, and stands stock-straight. Nue gives you an exasperated look, and then balances on one foot, with her hands held up into the air, like some cheesy movie martial artist. You can't help but think she is mocking you.

"Now, we all have to get into sight range, while maintaining these poses." You begin creeping. "Try to hide behind an object which fits your profile. Uh, the umbrella doesn't count Kogasa, sorry, it's obviously your umbrella."

After a few moments, you all have found suitably ridiculous hiding places. Hopefully if he does stumble upon the three of you, he will think you all are a very odd and very sudden statue-garden and go on.

The rat bastard examines an old-looking radiator. "How much is this?" You can barely hear him. He is talking quietly. Unenthusiastically. Also, the fact that your head is covered in blankets isn't helping your hearing-ability.

"For you? It's free."

He picks up the radiator. You can get a better look at it now. It's an electric radiator, and while it is old, it looks to be in decent condition. Most definitely not manufactured in Gensokyo. You thought that Rinnosuke had cornered the market of imported goods from the outside?
Then again, you have also heard that Rinnosuke has no business sense at all. Maybe this merchant decided to buy some underpriced useful things from Kourindou and then resell them for more?

The bastard stares at the thing for a bit, and then puts the radiator back and walks off.
Towards you.

"Act natural!" You hiss.

Nue glances at you. "Try not to teleport me into the floor this time," she shoots back.

You weren't planning on teleporting anyone this time. You will do this with... fabulosity, instead. What's the verb form of fabulosity? Fabulate? You aren't even sure if fabulosity is a word, much less fabulation. Well, whatever the process is called, it has a much lower chance of accidently humiliating Nue. Except perhaps if she is humiliated by your shaky grasp of your own first language. Shaky like a man on a rickety ladder, the ladder in this case representing the language and the man representing you. Or like one of those vibrating dildos, the dildo representing... you don't want to continue that analogy.

Your roommate walks through your group without noticing the three of you. He then seems to see you in all of your multicolored glory out of the corner of his eye, and does a double-take.

"Uh, hello. What are you three doing here?"

"Posing, apparently." Nue finally gives up on the whole pose. She held it for an admirable amount of time, all things considered.

"They were very nice poses, I guess."

"It's a good workout." You stretch a little bit, feeling embarassed.

He doesn't look to be too concerned about this, not that the surprise has worn off. "Hey, want to go for a drink?"

"I wouldn't want to leave Kogasa behind-"

"She's here too?" He turns around, to see Kogasa hiding behind her umbrella. She helpfully lowers the umbrella and waves. "Oh, hey, didn't see you there. Yeah, she can come too."

"I'm not sure if she's old enough to drink-"

"I am old enough!" Kogasa stomps over. "I drink all kinds of things! Like water and fruit juice!"

"I meant alcohol."

"Oh, I can drink that too. I'm good with liquids."

"Well, if you say so. I guess I can come along for a drink?"

"Great. There's this tavern in town that's pretty good. They have sake of course, but also some imported drinks also if that's your taste."

"I see." You aren't entirely sure what's going on at this point, but you suppose you can't object to free drinks.

"Let's go then."

You try to follow as fabulously as you can.

---

"-and then we went back to the present day, using my power of course, except they mixed up the past-me and the present-me! So they caused some kind of crazy paradox! Can you believe it?"

You shake your head. No, you cannot believe it.

Nue laughs. "Good, because I just made it up. Hey, this stuff is pretty good..." She takes another long swig.

You drink some of your own drink. It's not bad, you suppose, and you are feeling warmer now, but that doesn't alleviate your confusion. How did you end up in this situation? That bastard isn't exactly stupid, you don't think. You can't imagine that he really bought that lame explanation. So why is he treating you all to a drink?
Well, for one, he is only treating you in the sense that you aren't paying. It isn't quite the same considering that he isn't paying either. The bartender just gives him alcohol without even thinking to ask for payment. So you suppose that it isn't costing him anything, so it's not quite as heroic. But still, you have concealed your biggest actions against the guy, but you've never quite tried to hide how you don't like him.
You suppose he is generally kind of friendly to you, albeit unendearing. So maybe this wasn't weird at all.
Ah hell. Thinking about this stuff is too hard. You finish off the drink.

In the corner of your eye, Kogasa tries to down another small cup of sake, and misses her mouth entirely. She does not seem to hold her alcohol well. She seems to be enjoying herself though. You doubt she intended to go out drinking when she proposed this, but this is fun too. And it's not like you didn't do some sweet, grade-A stalking to get here. What better way to cap off your chain of embarassing failures than by drinking yourself blind?
You turn your attention to that bastard. He seems kind of morose for someone getting all the free drinks he wants. Well, he's probably used to it by now.

He notices your attention, and sighs. "I'm feeling pretty down today."

"Despite all of the free booze?"

"Despite all of the free booze." He stares at the drink.

Maybe you should just ask him about this stuff. You aren't sure if he has ever directly lied to you, thinking about it. "I've heard some odd things about you?"

"Yeah?" This just seems to make him even more morose.

"I happened to talk to... that teacher woman, I don't remember her name. And she seemed to barely remember you." You don't remember exactly what she said about him by now. Probably due to you being drunk. But you remember it was real chilling stuff, or at least chilling in that it confirmed your vague suspicions that he is up to No Good.

"What, no amusing stories about me?"

"No. I thought that was odd. I know you are a guy with a lot of presence."

"I..." He thinks for a moment. "Oh, damn. Yeah, I think I know. It must have been bowling night. People tend to forget about me really easily whenever I get into trouble."

"They have a bowling alley here?"

"No. That's what I meant by causing trouble."

"Oh."

You aren't really sure you buy this thing about it just be some passive thing he doesn't even control. It's some application of his power, right?
You... still have yet to figure out what his power is, though. Maybe this is just some passive aspect of his power? Or maybe he doesn't control it very well?
Even if he can fuck with people like that by accident, it's still his fault. He knows about it, it looks like, so if he didn't want it to happen he could just be more careful.
Whew, you almost gave him a break there. Crisis averted.

He sighs. "Hey, man. Do you miss football?"

"Huh?"

"Only a few people here have even heard of the sport. There definitely aren't any teams or anything."

"No, not really. Gensokyo doesn't have the population to support multiple sports teams, really."

"Well, I've heard we have soccer teams. But their definition of soccer is different than ours."

"Oh? What's it like?" This is the first you have heard of it. Still, your interest is more a polite interest than a real interest. Soccer has little appeal to you.

Kogasa pops up. "I saw a match once! It was scary!" She is slurring a little.

"Really?"

"Yeah... the world blew up at one point in the match." She waves around excitedly.

"I think I would have noticed if the world had blown up."

She gives a dizzy smile. She looks like she is about to answer, and then suddenly like she is about to vomit. She runs off.

"Er, yeah, I don't miss football." You'll let Kogasa go vomit on her own. Generally you don't want someone to be there to comfort you while throwing up, so you think she will forgive your lack of attentiveness.

"Well, do you miss TV?"

"Miss TV? We're in a land of fantasy and adventure! I might as well be living in the TV!"

"Not a bit?"

"Well, I guess I miss my favorite gameshows. But when my yearning grows too strong, I can just stop over by Camilla's place in Pandaemonium and watch her TV." The programming in Makai is sure... different. You don't watch anything but the gameshows (and they only have one gameshow you know of), but you do see the commercials. Lots of demonic skin care products and home workout sets, and ads for 'Fenghuang University', some commercial school. The ads show all of these happy demons looking studious and hardworking, and talk about getting education to get your dream job. Looks like an utter ripoff, and you advized Camilla as such. You guess that they have those in Makai as well as in real life?
The show after Who Wants to be An Archduke of Hell is some Law and Order spinoff set in Pandaemonium or something like that. Shinki dammit they need to stop making spinoffs of that show.

He goes quiet, and returns his attention to his drink. Okay, whatever.
Kogasa returns, so you should see if she's alright.

Yup. Looks alright. A bit pale, but that should pass soon enough. You think.
She sits down next to... Flandre Scarlet?

Shitshitshitshitoh wait that's just Nue shapeshifted. She notices your rapidly changing expression after a second, and grins at you. Clever girl.

"...I miss it all."
You turn back. That bastard is still staring at his drink. "Miss what?" You don't really care too much, at this point. This drink is pretty good, you should focus on it.

"The stuff we were just talking about. TV, and football, and... all that other stuff."

"Oh."

"I'm getting bored with what Gensokyo has to offer."

"Uh-huh."

"I know that I haven't been using my powers responsibly. I know I shouldn't be using them for all these selfish things. And they mean nothing in the end!" He's no longer paying attention to you now. Fitting, since you are barely paying attention to him. "I just... I want..."

"Go on."

"I want to go home!" He almost yells. One or two people look your way oddly, but you are too busy chugging alcohol to care.

"Right."

"Help me with this, man!" He grabs you by the shoulders. "Please?"

"Sure... wait, what?" You mentally rewind.

[ ] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.
[ ] He's not going anywhere.
[ ] (Write-in.)
>> No. 29178
[X] Tell him he should contact Yukari or Reimu.

Helping him get home seems like the right thing to do, given that he's bored here and that could just cause trouble later. Plus Yukari would be able to get him home safely, whereas we might not be able to return from outside the Barrier. Can't risk leaving Nue and Kogasa over this guy.
>> No. 29179
[x] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.

I feel kind of sorry for him. Does that make me a bad person?
>> No. 29183
[x] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.
-[x] Reimu or Yukari would know best about it.

weird... you'd think he'd love it since if he didn't get out of hand he could be living a nice life... but hey this is our chance to get rid of him for good and thus clear the way to Kogasa and Nue.
>> No. 29184
[x] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.
-[x] Reimu or Yukari would know best about it.

Well, shit. It would be awesome to get the faggot out of our Gensokyo, but helping him while doing it is a little much. Maybe we can get Reimu and Yukari to drop him off in the middle of Siberia or something.
>> No. 29185
>Shinki dammit they need to stop making spinoffs of that show.
Well, it is Hell, after all. All you need is CSI Hokkai after that and you've filled your torment quota for the whole day.

[X] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.
- [X] Reimu or Yukari would know best about it.
>> No. 29187
[x] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.
>> No. 29188
>>29186
That's a tricky thing doing that to a person as opposed to a sword. And if the MC teleports him into a wall or mountain... I'd think him and us would feel guilt about it.

And I don't think dealing with Yukari or Reimu would be that hard... there's the matter of "trouble prevention"
>> No. 29190
[x] He's not going anywhere.
That bastard is an okay guy, and this story would not be the same without him. But since I'm pissing against the tide...
Goodbye, bastard. I will miss you.
>> No. 29192
[Q] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.

I'm pretty sure we can just walk out through the border if we wanted to. That bastard isn't strong enough to pose any difficulty in transport, or so I'd assume.

And hey, there's a chance this all breaks down with a big montage of people who actually want him to stay, and the status quo remains.
>> No. 29193
[x] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.
Hakurei border, the final frontier.
>> No. 29199
>>29192
I somehow doubt that... that means the border is doing a terrible job. Reimu's seal on Makai is nothing compared to this. And it'd be better to inform one of the two so they don't overreact to what side effects there are.
>> No. 29200
[x] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.
>> No. 29201
>>29199
Alright, you convinced me.

[x] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.
- [X] Reimu or Yukari would know best about it.
>> No. 29208
File 128246333436.png - (454.39KB , 533x854 , itsWINTERdumpass.png ) [iqdb]
29208
[x] It would be nice to get this guy out of your hair once and for all.

"Please, man."

"So you want me to help you leave Gensokyo?"

"I know you can do it! You helped that archeologist woman leave also."

"You are heavier than she was, though. Er, I mean, your power is heavier." You would blame the alcohol for how you are stumbling over your words, but that would be stupid because this shit happens to you all the goddamn time. "I mean, it's harder to bring... powerful-er people over..."

"Yeah, I know that." He frowns. "I was figuring I could help you out or something. My help has gotta count for something, right?"

"And what do you know about the subtle nuances of short-circuiting magical barriers?"

"Uh, nothing?"

"About as much as I do then. Just checking." You don't know how to do it, you just do it.

"What, do you think you couldn't do it?"

"I'm not sure. I might be able to."

Nue drops in, a bit woozily. She is back to her normal form by now. "Why don't you ask Yukari for help?"

"Ahaha, nice joke there, Nue."

"Seriously, she seems to get along with you well. You could probably convince her to give you a hand."

"That seems like a good idea." That bastard nods.

"I'd rather not do that." You, on the other hand, shake your head. "Not unless I have to." You shake your head again for emphasis. "She scares me a bit."

Nue grins widely. "Well, we can go ask Reimu then, she knows a lot about the border also."

Now you know she is trolling you. "I'd rather go ask Yukari."

"It's settled then!"

"No, I'm going to try it myself first."

"Oh, fine." Nue gives you a dismissive wave. "If you're too chicken to go ask Yukari~"

"What? Are you calling me a coward for wanting to try this myself?"

"No, I'm calling you a chicken."

"There's a difference?"

"I eat chickens." Her grin becomes a great deal more pointy.

You roll your eyes. "I didn't know you wanted me that bad."

She laughs. "Oh, you have it your way. Tell me when you want to go on your next ill-advised quest. I'm going to go drink more." And she walks off.

You roommate speaks up again, now that your little sidetracked conversation is over. "Do you think you can do it?"

You shrug. "I might be able to. I'll try, anyway. And if it doesn't work," you grimace, "I guess I'll go ask Yukari for help or something."

You pause. "I almost expected her to just drop by the moment I said that."

"That would be pretty sick."

"I'm not sure what you meant by that."

"I'm... I don't know either." He downs another drink. "I'm ready to go any time, but you probably aren't ready now."

"Not really. I'll begin looking into it tomorrow."

"Okay."

You look back to your drink.

"...thanks, man."

---

After getting back to the Temple, Nue seemed to be in a much better mood. You guess she must have had fun during the outing, or at least gotten drunk enough to genuinely forget the whole floor mishap.

You look into breaching the barrier again. It's something you have a fair bit of experience in. Well, compared to everyone else in Gensokyo besides Yukari, anyway. Moving someone with so much magical power over is a daunting challenge, especially in such a way that the bastard doesn't end up stuck in a mountain or twenty thousand leagues under the sea. You wouldn't want to have a death-by-communist octopus on your conscience.
In the end, you manage to help the man return to the normal world by yourself. It is not an exciting process. It is not a triumphant success. It works, sure, but it's nothing to brag about. You've done it before, not on that scale, sure, but you've done it before, and you have grown since then.
No, what it is, is damn tiring. The last time you tried this it was during nice weather. This time it's cold as anything, and you end up resting in the Temple for almost a week.
That's basically what you had been doing all winter, sure. But this time you have Kogasa (and Byakuren) nursing you back to health. So it turns out A-OK.

Nothing more of note happens that winter. That was essentially your only outing the entire season. You don't like winter. This has been established quite well so far.
Eventually Nazrin returns the blankets that people loaned you. You entirely forgot about that thing, probably because of the drinking excursion, but Shou happens to notice the unfamiliar blankets while doing a routine chore. As for that historian's floor... you have no idea. Soon after Nazrin returned the blankets a sizeable amount of money vanished from your wallet. Given the fact that you never got chewed out on ruining some poor sap's floor and never taking responsibility, you have to assume the theft was related.

Once spring came around, so did it's fairy-herald. She found herself greeted, to her utter confusion, by an alarming number of cultists who were all but worshipping her feet. You have to say that after that brutal winter you were tempted to join them.

Near the end of winter, as Gensokyo regained its warmth, you decided to start on your rounds again. There are all sorts of costs to make up for; some of them floor-related, yes, but not all. You travel to Chireiden, to find a lack of work. Or rather, a lack of customer. According to Satori, Koishi left Chireiden a month ago. Satori was not concerned at first, as Koishi is wont to leave to wander, but she has yet to come back.
You travel to the Scarlet Devil Mansion, to find Flandre had gone missing also. At about the same time.
The obvious conclusion? They eloped!
With the loss of such valuable customers on your mind, you agreed to aid in the search.
But they were never found. Eventually the search was brought to Reimu, who reported that an unusual fluctuation in the border had happened within the last month.
When asked for comment, Yukari claimed that she hadn't been watching the border hard enough, and someone broke a hole in it. The look on her face, though, said that she let it happen on purpose because it looked like it would be hilarious.
How unfortunate. How are you going to make money without demonic lesbian love poetry to shuttle back and forth?

Perhaps if you had some way to turn the agitation of fairies into money you would be able to make up for it, because several weeks later Cirno went into a panic. After several hours of attacking travelers asking them to guide her to "Daidarabotchi", Reimu finally came over to beat her up.
You have to wonder what Cirno was hoping to accomplish by challenging townsfolk on errands to danmaku battles. Maybe she learned how to behave during an incident by watching Reimu?

But really, you had nothing to do for most of the period. Running a few letters around and making not nearly as much money as you wanted, swearing to yourself that you would restart that importing/exporting business some day, doing a little light training, hanging around the Temple and heckling people... it's nice, but not noteworthy.
There are all sorts of things you have yet to figure out about Gensokyo, honestly. Minor things, like how that schoolteacher's hat stays on, or how Reimu doesn't starve (probably due to food her various stalkers give her to try to win her over, now that you think about it). More relevant issues, like why Kogasa is so scared of Sanae. And some more recent things, like this string of disappearances and thefts and giant shadows and serial murders.
Okay you made that last one up, but still. Crazy shit is afoot. And nobody cares.

---

Case in point? You're lying here, on the grass in front of the Temple, staring at the clouds. You couldn't care less about what those shadows are about or what eldrich glue keeps that lunchbox hat on or why that furniture restorer keeps paying Reimu's tab, because damn is the weather fine.

"That one looks like an eggplant!"

"Really, Kogasa? It looks like a cloud to me."

"How can a cloud look like a cloud? That's so boring!"

"Very easily, if you must know. It's like how apples tend to look like apples, and tend not to look like, say, durians. And if your apples smell like durians, you know something is wrong." You lazily wave your hand in the general direction of the sky. "Clouds are just the same way."

"I see."

"Kogasa, you sweet little umbrella. I know you have enough room in your naively generous heart to put up with me, but it would be best if you called bullshit whenever I said something stupid."

"But if your apples smell like durians it really is bad!"

"Well, okay, that piece of advice was not entirely invalid, I will admit. Not very practical, but still valid." You sit up, and turn to Kogasa. "You need to make more opinions of your own! Live life and learn your own lessons, that are applicable to you!"

"But... I have my own opinions! Nobody agrees with me on surprising people!"

"Well, you..." Nue thinks Kogasa doesn't go far enough, and you bet that Byakuren would prefer it if Kogasa were more of a model citizen like Shou. Of couse, nobody with a heart could hate Kogasa for such small things... but still, you have to give her that one. "...okay, I guess you're right." You lie back down, with a thwumph. "Seriously. I try to be wise and adviceful just once, and I can't even come up with good insight."

"I don't mind, really."

"Thanks."

The two of you go silent for a bit.

You raise your hand slowly, and point to a cloud. "That one looks like a wine bottle."

"No way, it's a vacuum cleaner."

"Wait, wait, how do you even know what a vacuum cleaner is?"

"Hey~y!" Whoah holy shit since where did Nue's upside-down head come from?

"If you want me to take you to my leader, I'm sorry, she is busy meditating right now."

"I'm not sure what tired reference that was, but I'll give you the benifit of a doubt and assume it's something flattering." She throws herself to the ground, off to your side. "Care if I join in?"

"Well, we're just watching clouds. There's no need to ask permission, nobody owns the clouds."

"What about Ichirin?"

"Who?" You laugh. "I sure hope she's not standing behind me right now."

Nue turns her head. "Nope. You're clear." She stretches out a bit. "So, what do you cloud watchers do for fun?"

"Watch clouds? It's not like this is our job."

"I'm waiting for it to rain!"

"Really?"

Nue yawns. "You know, speaking of jobs, couldn't you be out making money?"

"Couldn't you?"

"Fair enough. I suppose I can't expect a career slacker like you to do any real work."

"Doesn't that make you my senior in slacking? VP of slacking, perhaps?"

"No, when I do it, it's because I am a proud and independent youkai."

"I see."

"Have you been here all day?"

"We came here after breakfast, so I guess so."

"I love days like this!"

"Me too. Way better than that shitty winter."

"What happens when you need to use the bathroom?"

"Well, I guess I go right here." You shrug. "Well, seriously, I haven't needed to yet. It's only been a few hours, and I digest things slowly. Why in the world did you bring it up?"

"I thought it would give you a wonderful opportunity to make a joke. Maybe something about how you need to use the bathroom right now? I don't know, I'm not the jokester."

"Please, potty humor? I know I'm young compared to you, but I'm no giggling preteen." You have to wonder about her tastes, honestly. Well, everyone makes mistakes, you guess. Even in humor, you must sadly admit. It's not anything... odd.
Odd. Something is odd. You hop to your feet.

"Wait, do you really have to go? I mean, I suppose that sort of 'say one thing and do then do the exact opposite' joke is like you, but-"

You hold out your hand. "No, something is off. A feeling of magic in the air."

You look around. Kogasa is dozing off to one side, and Nue is going on the alert on the other. There isn't any obvious threat nearby, though.

"Magic in the air? This is Gensokyo, it's not weird." She concentrates more. "Actually, yes, there is a fair bit. Like a spell being prepared? It doesn't feel hostile though. Maybe we should-"

And then three dazzling hexagonal pillars of light descend from the sky, and each of you vanish in a flash of blinding light.

---

Your vision returns in splotches. You look around, disoriented. You seem to be in some sort of high-tech headquarters type of place with a shrine theme. Or perhaps a cheap set.
Computers line the room, blinking with colored lights. Most of them are decorated with various tassles and sacred ropes.

As you dazedly look around, you see there are other people like you here. Confused and smoking slightly, that is. Nue and Kogasa, of course, but also Marisa, Reimu, and Sanae.
Nue is instantly on guard, while Kogasa is still shaking herself awake. Reimu is sitting on the floor, staring in annoyance at half a teacup. Apparently the teleport was aligned just a little bit wrong. Marisa is, for some reason, in her underwear, and wearing a number of mushrooms in her hair. Her face is black with soot and a little bit red with what appears to be congealed blood.
And Sanae looks around the room, her confusion rapidly lessening and making way for a palpable euphoria.

In the center of the room is a pedestal, surrounded by a (presumably protective) tube of thick glass. On the pedestal is a familiar hat, staring at you with unblinking eyes.

A modulated voice rings out. "You are wondering why I have called you here."

You nod, slowly. "Yes, I a-."
Sanae almost leaps. "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Nue looks more grim than you feel, although you suppose you can't be sure without seeing yourself. "Yes."
Kogasa mumbles something like "yes", though it might have also been any number of other, more similar words.
Reimu gives the hat a stony glare, but doesn't answer.
Marisa, apparently not realizing how ridiculous she looks, shrugs. "No, but ya got me right before my house exploded, so I'm not complaining."

"A grave threat has come to Gensokyo. In our hour of need, I have called you six to be a special force to combat this ancient foe. I have called you here, to be Miracleteam☆Moriya!"

[ ] What the hell.
[ ] What is this I don't even.
[ ] What a great idea!
[ ] What, do you just expect me to play along with this?
[ ] What is love? (The car is at the mechanics, you'll have to wait for later.)
>> No. 29209
[ ] What is this I don't even.
>> No. 29210
[X] What is this I don't even.
>> No. 29211
[X] What is this I don't even.
>> No. 29212
[X] What is this I don't even.

I really don't.
>> No. 29216
[x] What is this I don't even.
Dibs on the red suit.
>> No. 29217
[Q] What is this I don't even.

Red? Screw you, man. We're yellow.

Also, that bastard just... disappeared? Just like that? I'm disappointed.
>> No. 29219
[X] What is this I don't even.

Sanae probably gets to be green, that bastard.
>> No. 29220
[x] Dibs on the red suit. Reimu can just get the white one.
>> No. 29221
>>29217
You know, I was going to point out that Yellow is normally a girl, but given our protagonist's propensity for being forced into dresses, it kind of fits.
>> No. 29222
[x] What the hell.
>> No. 29223
>>29221
Really? I recall in the original Sentai series the first Power Rangers was based on, Yellow was a guy. But I'm no expert on this.
>> No. 29224
[X] What is this I don't even.
>> No. 29225
>>29223
Oddly enough, it seems that Yellow is usually a guy in the Super Sentai series and usually a girl in the Power Rangers series. Given that we're in Gensokyo, I guess that's +1 masculinity for us.
>> No. 29226
Who do you think the 6th man will be? Since I think at this rate, Sanae'll be red.

That is unless we end up going the SR team route Ala Combattier V/Voltes V.
>> No. 29240
>>29226
Reimu is red, Kogasa is blue or green, Sanae is blue or green, Nue is Black, and we fight Marisa for Yellow (the loser takes pink).
>> No. 29242
[x] What is this I don't even.
>> No. 29249
Nude Ranger?
>> No. 29288
File 128306057084.jpg - (462.76KB , 817x1000 , thisrobothastoomanybuttonsandmonitors.jpg ) [iqdb]
29288
[X] What is this I don't even.

What. What in the world is going on?

You stand there, kind of stunned, as the voice goes on.

"The six of you will given special power bands, as mark of your station."

"Wow. Do we get a giant robot too?" Sanae sure looks excited.

"Yes. You get to have a giant robot."

"Ooh, ooh, can I be the leader?" She deserves it, probably. At least she seems to know what is going on.

"Yes."

"Yesssss." Sanae fistpumps, and then turns to the others. "Okay, team, listen up, because here's the plan." She nods, and begins to walk back and forth excitedly. "We all have to follow our roles carefully, or else we will only find defeat!"

"You!" She spins around and points at Reimu. "You are the second-in-command who acts as my foil! Your job is to oppose everything I say, but loyally back me up in every fight anyway!"
Reimu nods, but still looks pretty pissed.

"You!" She points at Marisa. "You are the tough one with a heart of gold! You aren't tall enough for the role, but oh well. Your job is to overpower the enemy, but not so much that me or Reimu are outstaged!"

Marisa nods, much more happily than Reimu. "Sounds like my style."

"I know, right?" Sanae laughs.

"Except for that last part. But I'll just pretend you didn't say that."

"Remember, it's very important for you to follow your role!" After getting no objection to that vague statement, Sanae then turns again. "You!" She points at Kogasa, who cringes in fear. "You are the smart one! You are meek and uncertain in combat, but are valuable to the team anyway because of all of the unspecified smart person things you know!" Where in the world did she get that idea?
Kogasa is too scared to reply.

"You!" She points at you. Oh hell. "You are the moral support. You know, the heart of the team."

"Whoah, whoah, why me?"

"Because you're the only guy." She turns to Nue. "And you're the mysterious sixth one who may or may not be our ally, but appears and help us when things get dire anyway!"

"But... but I'm here already. I could just join you from the start."

"No, you have to wait until we have almost lost to come and help us, giving us just enough of a boost to finally beat the enemy."

"Bah." Nue scowls. "I have to get the role with the least action, huh."

"Hey, at least you get to be a hero!" You point to yourself. "I have to be the chick."

"I think it suits you."

"Shut up."

A compartment opens up in the base of the tube, and six metal rings pop out. "Warriors of justice, come and retrieve your power bands!"
You guess you'll do what the nice voice tells you to.

The six of you shuffle over with various degrees of enthusiasm.
On closer inspection, each ring has a small gem on it, with a symbol.

"Which of these things is mine?"

"This one has a broom emblem on it. I think it's for you, Marisa."

"How do we wear these?"

"I think you are supposed to wear them as bracelets."

Might as well take this one. "This one is too thin for me to wear."

Nue snatches it out of your hand. "That's because it's my one." Oh, it had a UFO on it. You should have paid attention to those details before picking one.

"Which one is my one, then?"

"It's probably the one with the snake."

"Okay." Oh, hey, it fits. "Looks like that was it."

Kogasa looks too scared to get close, so you pick up the one with the umbrella emblem and give it to her.
It looks like everyone has their trendy metal bracelets now.

"Now, Miracleteam☆Moriya! You must suit up and go out to fight!"

"How?"

"You press the gem on the power band and say 'Miracle On'!" That last part is in English. Suwako The voice has... questionable pronunciation. This will be interesting.

"Miracle On!" Everyone yells more or less at once, although Kogasa is about a second off.

There is a storm of light and color.

The lightshow seems pretty excessive, Because when it clears, all that has changed are your clothes. You don't feel any stronger or anything.
You think that was probably some form of creation magic, or perhaps teleportation applied subtly enough for you to not be able to sense it.

You examine your outfit. It's a ridiculous tight spandex number, with a silly helmet and a twisty rope belt. Your shoulders have shiny, mirrorlike reflective pauldrons, and there is a snake emblem on your chest.
Also, the thing is pink. Goddamit.

Nue notices you, and laughs out loud. She is in a similar outfit, except black and with a UFO emblem.

The others don't seem to care about your color scheme as much, though. Reimu is in red and with a ying-yang emblem, Marisa is in yellow and with a broom emblem, Sanae is in green and with a five-pointed star emblem, and Kogasa is purple and with an umbrella emblem. Also, very scared-looking.

"What's so funny, Nue?" Maybe if you ignore it it will go away.
Er, the color, that is. You don't think it would help your dignity much if your clothes vanished.

"Oh, nothing. It's a shame you didn't get yellow, but luckily you got the second-best color."

"The second best color?"

"Oh, the second best color for you."

"And that is?"

"Oh, that's no fun. If you don't want to play at all, go talk to Kogasa."

"I would appreciate not being reminded about this outfit, so yes. I will go talk to Kogasa."

You go over to Kogasa.

"Hey, you okay?"

She nods, but you can tell she is faking it.

"It's going to be okay, alright? I'll make sure Sanae doesn't do anything bad." You aren't really sure why Kogasa is scared of Sanae though. If you did, it would help you keep Sanae from being scary.
Of course, asking Kogasa about it right now seems like a bad idea.

"I-if you say so."

"Look, I don't think it will be very long for the others to... do whatever it is they are doing." What is everyone else doing? You are talking, of course, but taking a random break between transforming and rolling out seems odd. They can't just be admiring these silly outfits, even if the things do have mirror-shoulders.

"What in the world do you think you are doing?" A cold voice. You look away from Kogasa, to see Reimu glaring daggers at Sanae, who appears to be... trying to undress her?

"The leader is always red! So, as leader, I need your outfit!"

"If you don't take your hands off my body in the next three seconds you'll regret it. Three."

"Reimu, please?"

"Two."

"Pleeeeeeease?"

"One." Reimu flicks her wrist, and suddenly is holding a handful of sharp-looking needles.

"Okay, okay!" Sanae backs off, and Reimu immediately relaxes.

The voice rumbles out once more. "Now that you are all acclimated, you must leave soon. Please wait a moment for the teleportation spell to warm up."

Everyone around you tenses up. It looks like nobody really liked how that teleport felt.
Sanae gives Reimu's outfit a longing glance before lowering her helmet's visor.
Oh, hey, you can do that? If the visor keeps that needlessly flashy teleport from blinding you, you should try it too.

Before you have a chance to try to lower the visor, the entire room is enveloped in light.

---

You roll on the floor, clutching your face. "My eyes! My overly sensitive eyes! They burn!" You then hop onto your feet. "Actually, it's not too bad. It looks like they turned up the dimmer this time."
You take a look around. "So, uh, what did I miss while rolling around on the ground?"

Reimu shoots you an annoyed glance. "Four seconds of nothing. Now stop wasting your breath, unless you want people to be staring at you."

"Oh, good point."

You appear to be in the Great Youkai Forest, on the foothills of Youkai Mountain.

There is a tall man fighting several white wolf tengu, probably one of the patrols. He is tall and has an olive complexion. His physique is muscular, but not the excessive musculature of a body-builder. In one hand he has a spear. On the other arm he has a bronze round shield.
He is clean-shaven, but his hair is curled and oily. Stray clumps of hair stand up in odd ways from his head, almost like snakes. You are pretty sure this man is no gorgon, though. Oddly enough, he is wearing a modern business suit.

With one mighty sweep of his spear, he sends all of the tengu flying. Upon landing they all run off in terror.

He seems to notice you now. He turns his weapons towards you, and growls. When his eyes meet yours, you feel yourself tensing again. Your mind is suddenly full of apprehension, and you feel your self itching to leave, to teleport yourself away and not come back.
You know enough to tell that this is some sort of magical compulsion, and not a 'true reaction'. Dude isn't too scary. You outnumber him six to one.

He charges at you, jabbing with the spear. He holds the shield out in front of him too, although you aren't entirely sure what he is hoping to accomplish using such a directional defense against someone who can teleport.
Or maybe he doesn't know you can teleport. You teleport away just to be safe.

He gives you a look that honestly seems a little disappointed, before lunging at Reimu instead. Yeah, you are too busy being "the chick" to be useful to the team. Sorry guys.

He fights the others for a while. Namely, Reimu, Sanae, and Marisa. Kogasa is kind of hanging back, looking scared, and Nue isn't here. Apparently that 'only coming to help when the others are in danger' thing was serious. So serious that Nue wasn't actually teleported in yet. Or maybe was a good girl and left of her own accord after arriving... pfft, good girl, you've got a good girl here and she is fighting using the silliest, most overacted kung-fu moves you have ever seen. You aren't sure why she isn't just using magic like Marisa or scary throwing things like Reimu.
Well, you can't help but feel a little detached from this. Probably because you teleported out of the fight and am now watching it from on top of a nearby tree.

After a bit of inconclusive fighting, the man steps back. "Five on one is hardly fair, even if two of you are cowards." He waves an arm, and from your vantage point you can see some movement in the distance.

Three people come up to him. They are all shirtless and dressed in bronze helmets and... wait, are those guys spartan warriors? They look like spartan warriors. You didn't know there even were spartan warriors anymore. Maybe they are just cosplayers?
No, why would this guy call a bunch of cosplayers to help him? It would make no sense. Unless they are warrior cosplayers.

So anyway, they proceed to join in the fight. Maybe you should go down there and help. Reimu probably isn't in any danger, she seems to live a charmed life when it comes to avoiding major injury, but Kogasa might get impaled. Again.

Oh, hey, there's a fourth guy. Maybe you should take him. Oddly enough, instead of the old Greek gear the others have, he is in futuristic-looking green armor and has some weird-looking laser sword. Definitely a cosplayer. He'll be a good warmup.

You teleport down in front of him, and after a moment of surprise he lunges.
You dodge the sword slash, and are about to retaliate before you realize you are unarmed. Now, they probably expect you to fight with martial arts, but screw that. You hold out your hand and concentrate for a moment, and your cane flickers into your grip. Also, the guy nearly beheads you. Maybe you should retreat before doing that... eh.
You do a legsweep with the cane, but he avoids it. You then kick, and he blocks it with the sword. Ack! That hurt! That laser sword must be made of real lasers, it's pretty hot!

As you stand there wincing at the pain in your foot, he lunges again. Going in for the kill?
You won't have that. You appear behind him, and at the very end of his lunge you jab him in the small of the back with the tip of your cane. He falls facefirst into the ground.
You step on his right hand, and grind your foot back and forth.

...ain't working. Wait, he has an armored gauntlet on, of course it doesn't. You lean over and tap his hand, and the gauntlet jumps a foot to the left.
Okay, now you grind your foot on his hand, making sure to keep him from getting up. After a bit you manage to get him to drop his sword, and you pick it up yourself.

Sweet, free laser sword. It'll look nice hanging on the wall of your room or something. You turn to the other spartans. Time to go kick some ass with your new laser swor- oh come on, it turned off. What, does it not like you?

Okay, time to go kick ass with a frikkin handle. Jeeze.

Hm, who to start with?
Maybe that guy who is fighting Kogasa. She is parrying spear thrusts with her umbrella, you can see, but it looks like she got the toughest guy. Not this pansy you picked.

So you teleport behind him and whack him in the back of the neck with this shiny new handle. You're pretty sure hitting someone on the back of the neck causes instant unconciousness.
Doesn't work. Damn Hollywood movies giving you unrealistic expectations about fighting. What, will you next find out that automatic weapons don't have unlimited ammo?
Or maybe this guy is really just that tough. He might be some type of... spartan youkai or something. You won't judge. You've seen weirder things.

So you just do a legsweep with the cane. Conveniently enough he kicks backwards at the same time, so you end up catching him with one leg on the ground, and he falls over almost comically. Okay, you got kicked in the chest so it's not too fortunate, but eh.

"Doing okay, Kogasa?"

She nods. "I... I'm okay."

"Good. Hopefully the others will be able to handle the rest-" You quickly look around. All of the other spartans seem to have been dispatched already. All... two other of them. One of them is stuck to a tree, covered in hundreds of amulets. Only his mouth is free of coverings. The other seems to be lying, dazed, in a long scorch mark on the floor. That was probably Marisa. "Well, it looks like they have already been taken care of. Since I doubt you are interested in fighting that big guy, I'll just stick back here and make sure nobody else gets to you. Okay?"

"Okay." She seems a bit happier now.

"Right. Let's just wait until he gives up fighting and grows to a giant size or something, so we have a reason to call out the giant robot." You get the feeling something like that will happen. Maybe he'll call in a giant monster instead, or will bring in his own giant robot. But something like that has got to happen.

"Bah! This is going nowhere! Time to bring out... my giant robot!" Okay it was your third guess. Not too bad, you suppose.

You feel a tingle of magic. He stands back, and there is a deep rumbling. In front of him, Reimu stands disinterestedly, Marisa looks curious, and Sanae is nearly trembling with excitement. Figures.

There is a huge collumn of smoke and ash, and inside it a large humanoid shape forms. The smoke clears, and now he is standing in front of a giant human-like robot. One of it's hands is empty; the other ends in some kind of chaingun, and has a large shield strapped to the side. On it's back it has a long, elaborate spear, and on it's hip it has a giant robot-sized double-bladed shortsword or something. You notice that it's helmet has odd protusions on it, perhaps modeled after the man's hair. Probably custom-made for him.
He tenses and with an enormous burst of strength he jumps and lands on the open cockpit door on the front of the mech. He steps inside and the thing is sealed.
It strikes you that you probably could have teleported into that mech and closed the door before he could get to it. Eh.

Sanae takes a step back, and holds out her arm in some ridiculous pose. You notice that her movements are exaggerated, almost to a ridiculous extent. There's just something unnatural about them. "HQ, we need our mech here right now!"

A voice crackes in the headset of your helmet. Presumably in the headsets of everyone else's helmets also. "It's on the way. Just hang tight for a moment."

Luckily enough, just like team Moriya had let the man summon his mech in peace, the man seems to be fine to wait here for Sanae's mech to come also. How nice of him.

There is a sudden whirring noise, and a strong wind picks up. You glance back, to see a giant robot descending from the sky on some sort of rocket boots. There isn't any jet trail or anything, so it's definitely not actual rockets. Maybe some sort of wind magic. Good thing too, because you would hate to be blasted by superheated exhaust every time this thing is inevitably called down onto you.
After a few moments of dramatic descending it lands. The ground shakes a little bit at that, even as slowed-down the descent was.

The mech's main chassis looks to be golden-colored (or perhaps bronze-colored, or some other yellowish metal... you shouldn't be a stickler for details here), with a red chest plate, black shoulders, and a black triangle in the lower region that gives you the impression of a black robo-thong. It has a kind of circle thing behind its head, and a spike on either side. It's a... distinctive head, but not one that is easy to describe. If this was a person and not a giant robot that could stomp you into dust in a second flat you would call it an ugly mofo.

"It's not a combining mech? ...oh well." Sanae sounds mildly disappointed.

A hatch on it's chest opens, and... it's a pretty big hatch. It could fit five people inside, and it looks like there is indeed room enough inside for five or six people. If it didn't it would be kind of pathetic. The remaining people would just have to stand on the sidelines and watch.
You grab Kogasa's hand and, after a moment, teleport her there. Sanae still manages to be the first one inside, though, since she started flying up the moment the hatch opens.

It doesn't take very long at all for everyone to get inside. The seats inside are color-coded, so there is very little confusion.
The hatch closes on it's own. A cheery artificial voic speaks up. "AI unit Ruukoto online. New hardware detected: USB war mech control core. Installing drivers... complete. Welcome, operator of Hisou Tensoku." Monitors light up all around the cockpit, and controls hum online.
This all looks... very complex.

"Wait a second." Reimu sounds confused. "Ruukoto? Aren't you in my storage closet?"

"Negative, What was that?."

"'What was that?'" That was an odd turn of phrase.

"Ruukoto asked me what my name was but I wasn't really paying attention." Reimu shrugs.

"Oh."

Sanae looks around at the various controls excitedly. "So, AI, what kind of-"

"Transmission incoming. Establishing connection."

HQ's voice crackles over the mech's internal speakers. "That enemy robot in front of you, it's a next-generation custom-made mech, 'Terrorlord Metus'!" A picture of the enemy mech appears on the monitors.

"Ooh!" Sanae is almost squealing with glee. She doesn't even seem to mind that she just got cut off mid-sentence. Well, she was probably going to ask about something related to this anyway, so...

"It doesn't have any special weak points, so all I can tell you to do is fight as hard as you can. Good luck, warriors of justice!"

"Alright team!" Sanae turns around. "We've got to work together to beat this enemy! If we aren't perfectly in synch, we will never win! So let's believe in the power of friendship!"

Seems like a very lukewarm friendship, if you could even call it that. The only other person who seems enthusiastic is Marisa.

So, uh, time to figure out the controls. You have this stick, and this panel of buttons, and... wait, why does this thing even need six sets of controls? Wouldn't it be a lot easier if a single person controlled everything, or perhaps there was one person for the body and one person for the weapons and subsystems? This seems like an uneededly complex system. Unless... these controls don't do anything. They aren't labeled.
So, not only did Suwako that voice expect somebody who has never been trained in mech piloting to jump into a mech and kick ass, she expected six people to do that? Or five, since Nue still hasn't shown up.

The... controls must be very intuitive though, because everyone starts pressing buttons and pulling levers, and Hisou Tensoku actually manages to start moving in a coherent way. If a bit jerky.
Even Kogasa seems to be getting into it a little. Perhaps the shiny buttons are taking her mind off how she is in close physical proximity to Sanae. Or maybe she looks at these buttons and realizes they want to be pushed, so she is pushing them to be nice. Who knows.

Hisou Tensoku goes in for a clumsy punch, and Metus easily blocks it with it's shield. It pulls out the spear, and steps back.

"You're not going anywhere!" Sanae rips the control sticks forward, and Hisou Tensoku charges. Metus begins firing it's chaingun, but the bullets seem to barely scratch the Moriya mech. It holds out the spear, though, and Sanae jerks backwards with the impact.
Great, she's been in the mech for maybe a minute and she has already run headfirst into a spear. Well, it didn't seem to be that significant damage-wise.

You look at this one screen of readouts. It has a wireframe model of the mech, and it's mostly green with a little yellow around the chest. Hey, it's like in Starcraft! You know how to read these. "It... looks like we weren't hurt too much."

"Terrorlord Metus might stab us, but he can't stab our passion!" Speak for yourself, lady.

Sanae charges again, and the Terrorlord holds out it's spear again. But this time Reimu makes a few deft movements with her hands, and Hisou Tensoku pushes the speartip to the left and ducks to the right as it charges. Looks like she is getting the hang of the controls.
Metus quickly drops the spear and draws it's sword, but it is too late to ward off the attack. Sanae punches Metus in the robo-face, but you make the mech stand back before Metus can cut the hell out of Hisou Tensoku.

Metus leans over to pick up the spear, and Sanae lunges again. She needs to learn some more tactics.
But it was a feint! Metus twists mid-lean and swings it's sword, and scores a deep cut on Hisou Tensoku. Hisou Tensoku reels back, and Metus retrieves it's spear.

Metus steps back again, and you look at the readouts. "Not looking as good now. Hisou Tensoku has a red line on it's chestular area. A bit below the cockpit. It was a good slash."

"We must defeat him quickly!"

"Yeah, let's work on that."

You probably should keep the enemy at a range. It has powerful close-range attacks, and nobody here is too good at controlling a giant hunk of steel yet. That chaingun might as well be firing confetti for how much it hurts Histentensoku, anyway.
You're not sure if Hisou Tensoku has any ranged weapons, though.

"I wonder what this red button does."
You glance over. Kogasa is looking at a particularly tempting button. "Press it and find out."

Kogasa presses the button, and Hisou Tensoku sprouts a rather alarming number of missiles. They then proceed to fire off one by one. Nice!

Sanae nods. "Good going, Kogasa!" Kogasa flinches a bit.

But the missles aren't doing too much. Metus has held it's shield forward, and the thing seems to have enlarged. It's blocking the missiles handily.
Right before Hisou Tensoku is out of missiles, though, Marisa makes it sidestep. The last missile therefore is sent flying at an angle, and manages to just go around the shield. The explosion sends Metus reeling.

"Nice thinking, Marisa! Now, let's hit him while he is off-balance!"

So Sanae... charges again. She manages to get a solid hit in, but Metus then recovers and lands another hit with the sword. On the legs, this time.
Hisou Tensoku stumbles back, unsteadily.

"Not looking good. I don't think we can afford to take any more hits."

Sanae experimentally tests the mech's legs.

"Also, please stop charging. With the condition the legs are in, you will probably just end up tripping."

"What else will we do then?"

Reimu snorts. "Maybe you could wait for him to attack and counter-attack. Like he has been doing this entire time."

"Such a low strategy... but it just might work!" Sanae moves Hisou Tensoku into some stance that is presumably meant to facilitate counter-attacking. You're not sure how. Maybe she should leave this to someone more knowledgable in close-quarters combat?
Well, nobody else seems to be nearly as eager to control this mech as she is.

Metus circles Hisou Tensoku, firing it's chaingun for a bit. However, after it becomes clear that this isn't doing anything and that Hisou Tensoku isn't going to just charge again, the Terrorlord seems to just give up and switch to the spear. It approaches cautiously and jabs with the spear at the edge of it's range.

Reimu deftly manipulates Hisou Tensoku's hands. She grabs the spear by it's tip and yanks it out of Metus's grip, causing Metus to almost fall over.
However, the foe closes in with a step and does a shield bash.

Hisou Tensoku is knocked back. Kogasa presses the missile button again, and that forces the enemy to take a few steps back and defend.
But it's not looking good.

"Miracleteam☆Moriya." Nue's voice?

Sanae turns Hisou Tensoku's head. Now, a fair distance uphill, you see a big chimaerical creature. The body of a tiger, the head of an ape, a tail like a snake... that's that form Nue likes taking. The Nue form. She doesn't fit inside buildings very well like that though, and has a hard time sneaking, so she mostly reserves the form for messing around outside. Sometimes startling humans. The normal stuff.
Right now, though, there is a giant hexagonal wooden collumn strapped to her back. The wood is painted red, however, and either end of the thing is capped off with golden metal. Again, probably not real gold.

Sanae gasps and slams her hand onto the control panel, perhaps a bit too hard. Kogasa flinches at the noise. "Moriya Black!"

Nue leaps over Hisou Tensoku, and drops the pillar in midair. Reimu has enough presence of mind to catch it.
She lands on the other end of the mech. "You looked like you could use a little help." Despite how she was complaining earlier, you get the feeling she is sort of enjoying this role. Perhaps HQ let her watch Sanae pathetically flail at the mech before she came in.

The AI's voice speaks up. "Mega-Onbashira activated." The pillar pops open a bit, so that you can see small cracks between the plates. Perhaps it wasn't made of wood after all. There looks to be something inside that is glowing very brightly.

"Do we have any finishing moves now?" Marisa sounds curious.

"Special attack protocols loaded." One of the previously-unused monitors turns on. This one is next to Marisa.
There look to be several things on it.

Marisa examines the list. "Oh, that one looks good... ah, but... I can't decide! Hey, first person to call out a final attack, I'll pick that."

This sounds like your chance to do something besides look at a little screen and chastize Sanae about how much the mech has been getting beaten up.

[ ] Mishaguji Buster.
[ ] Froggy Punch.
[ ] Onbashira Beam.
[ ] (Write-in. Make your own attack!)
>> No. 29289
Oh my, 'chastize'. How xtreem of me.
>> No. 29290
[ ] Froggy Punch.

[x] Erupting Frog Finger.
>> No. 29291
[X] Sexy Beam.
>> No. 29292
What the fuck am I reading.
>> No. 29293
[Q] Sexy Beam.

>>29292

You are reading a rather faithful sentai/mecha shows. With actor commentary.
>> No. 29294
[X] Sexy Froggy Beam.
>> No. 29295
[x] Erupting Frog Finger.
Oh god this whole scene is hilarious. Thanks writefag, this shit is making my day.
>> No. 29296
[X] Sexy Froggy Beam.
This shit's good!
>> No. 29297
[X] Sexy Beam.
>> No. 29298
[X] Sexy Beam.
>> No. 29299
[X] Sexy Froggy Beam.
>> No. 29301
[X] Sexy Beam.
>> No. 29302
[x] Erupting Frog Finger.
>> No. 29303
[X] Sexy Froggy Beam.

Now Suwako and Etna are the same person.
>> No. 29349
File 128392260678.jpg - (1.02MB , 969x1400 , thisishowsanaecookstoo.jpg ) [iqdb]
29349
[X] Sexy Beam.

You quickly take stock of the readout. Okay, there are some normal-souding attacks there and such, but... okay, you'll go with that one, it sounds amusing.

"Sexy Beam!"

"Huh?" Sanae can't quite see the monitor, you think.

"Okay, one Sexy Beam, comin' right up!" Marisa clears her throat, and tenses up.

"Take this! Sexy Beeeeeeeeeam!" Marisa pushes a button, with quite a bit more flair than is required to just push buttons.

The mech immediately springs into action. Marisa, meanwhile, looks a bit unhappy. "It's not nearly as satisfying when all I have to do is push a button."

Reimu sits back. "What does Sexy Beam even involve?"

You shrug. "I guess we find out now."

A panel flips open on the mech's chest. Behind that armored plate lies a glowing green heart.

Sanae begins to manipulate the controls. You're not sure why. Is this process even interactive? And if it is, how does she know what to do?

She slams the pillar onto the ground, and the top pops open. An ornate key pops out, with a heart-shaped head.
The key glows, and seems to have a lot of magic about it. You think that the process of removing it charged it will all of the collumn's stored magic.
She takes it and sticks it in.

...now that you think of it, this whole process is mildly freudian. So when the heart-shaped thing shoots out a big heart-shaped laser beam, you can't but help think that it represents something else. You would rather not dwell on what.
Who in the world came up with the idea for this attack? Some kind of idiot? It's not even very sexy! It just shoots a heart. Unless the person watching it has some kind of giant robot fetish you guess, in which case it could indeed be quite sexy. Again, you would rather not dwell on it. Or rather you shouldn't, for your own peace of mind.
The enemy mech explodes in a giant heart-shape. And by giant, you mean giant. The heart is at least a few hundred feet tall. It would be visible from orbit, except for the fact that you are pretty sure that Gensokyo isn't visible from orbit period. It only stays as a heart for a few moments, though, the shape dispersing as the bright pink light weakens.
Hisou Tensoku takes what Sanae must think is a seductive pose. That or a victory pose.

Goddamn dirty mind. Ruining the final blow for you. You barely even noticed it happen, you were so distracted!

The (pink) smoke clears. The enemy mech looks unhurt. Damn!

"What did you really think that attack was going to accomplish?" The enemy mech slowly lowers it's shield, and you hear it's pilot's voice broadcast out.

It draws it's sword, and points it. "If you are done fighting like cowards, I'll show you..." The Terrorlord's sword slashes down-

And stops midslash. Suddenly, the eyes of the mech stop glowing, and the humming of it's engine, so subtle that you had not noticed them until their absence, stop. It falls to it's knees, suddenly out of energy.

Ruukuto speaks up again. "Reactor damage detected in enemy mech. Warning, detonation imminent. Please stay clear."

The speakers start up again. "...curses. I won't forget thi-" The mech suddenly pulses with light, pouring out from every gap in it's metal plating. It grows very hot, so much that even at this distance, while you are inside Hisou Tensoku, you can feel it a bit.

Sanae steps the mech back and poses Hisou Tensoku again, this time in a more triumphant pose. Nue lands to the side and roars.

The enemy mech blows up, and there is a huge discharge of magic. A pillar of light ascends into the sky, and disperses.

After a moment, all that remains is a scorched circle on the ground.
Well, and all of the craters from stray missile impacts, and cracked trees from the wrestling, and so on. But the ecological damage is fairly low all things considered, really.

"We did it, team!" Sanae starts cheering.

Marisa is fairly pumped again, and Reimu seems satisfied, if not happy. Kogasa even looks triumphant. You have to admit you are feeling okay yourself. It wasn't exactly the best giant robot fight ever, not that you have anything to compare it to, but it was pretty fun.

"Now, let's go back to base." She quickly manipulates a control, and the cockpit pops open.
Everyone leaves the robot. Outside, you meet up with Nue. She has returned to her human form.

"What about turning the thing off?" Reimu gestures back at Hisou Tensoku, which indeed does still seem to be activated.

Your helmet's headset comes on again. "Don't worry, HQ will take care of it." Hisou Tensoku crosses it's arms. There is a rumbling and it shoots off into the sky, on those same rocket boots.
You watch it more carefully this time. After a certain distance up it simply vanishes, in a burst of magic.
That teleportation magic... you've been feeling it a lot lately.

"So, uh, I assume that those onibashira are single-use." You gesture at the discarded onibashira.

Nue shrugs. "I was just given it, not told anything about how to use it."

"Maybe you should carry it back, to be safe."

"Screw you. That thing is really bulky."

You move on to Kogasa. "So, it looked like you had fun."

"I wasn't having fun at first, but then I got into it."

You pat her on the shoulder. "As long as we are for some reason being forced to do this, we might as well enjoy it."

"Y-yeah! That does sound like a good idea!" She smiles at you.

Nue is a fair bit behind. You should probably get everyone together before making any further enjoyment-related plans. Or, well, everyone who matters anyway. "Give me a sec to corral Nue over here. Maybe we can go out to eat after this..." You go back to Nue, grab her, and drag her over. Over to Kogasa, and over her protests, both are pretty accurate.

"And why are you dragging me around against my will?"

"It's a hobby of mine. Uh, I mean, we should stick together as a group."

You gesture at Kogasa, who is looking happy, if a bit uneasy. "We should go and do something fun after this. Or, at least, something fun that doesn't involve getting scowled at by Reimu the entire time."

"Sure, why not." Nue shrugs, and the two of you catch up to Kogasa.

And then Sanae leans over and throws her arm over Kogasa's shoulder. Kogasa turns to you, and it takes her a moment to realize it wasn't you.

Sanae doesn't seem to notice Kogasa's mounting discomfort. "You did pretty good, Kogasa."

Kogasa nearly jumps at the voice, and she definitely shrieks.

Nue hops up and pushes Sanae off Kogasa. You grab Kogasa as she staggers back.

Nue narrows in on Sanae, a bit angrily. "Can't you tell that you are making her uncomfortable," she hisses.

"I- I just want to be her friend!"

"Yeah, well it doesn't seem to be working. If you keep freaking her out like that, I'll-"

"Nue!" You grab her by the shoulder with the arm you aren't using to hug Kogasa. "I don't think this is the right time to escalate the situation."

"Bah, fine." She backs off.

"O... okay, I'll try to be more careful, Miss Alien." Nue growls a little. There's a little staredown, but the two of them break off and go in opposite directions.

"It'll be alright." You think Kogasa is calm again.
Damn, you really wish you knew why Kogasa is so scared of Sanae. Non-specific comforting phrases seem to be working, but it seems like a very suboptimal solution.

Marisa saunters up. "You people seem to have problems."

"I have a problem." Nue points at Sanae.

"Eh, I don't get it. She's not as fun to joke with as Reimu, but Sanae ain't bad." Wait, fun to joke with? Are you talking about the same Reimu? Or is this joking one-sided? This begs more questions than it answers! Marisa leans in. "Look, you karakasa, did Sanae do bad stuff to you when she beat you, back during that Treasure Ship incident?"

You roll your eyes, behind the helmet. Speaking of, you still need to figure out how to close the visor. "Bad stuff like rob or seduce her?"

"Uh... there are honest bad things, like robbery and arson, and there are bad bad things, like rape and torture. I can't stand for those bad bad things!"

"I... I don't want to talk about it." Kogasa sniffs.

"So, was it rape, or was it torture?" Marisa leans in a bit closer.

"I... I..."

You push Marisa back. "You aren't helping."

"Okay, okay. I guess I was being kinda distressing." She walks off, and then stops. "You probably should go down to Chireiden, though. Satori could sort this problem up real quick. Of course, you would be violating all kinds of treaties by visiting the underground since yer a surface youkai, but..."

"You know those treaties were called off since the formation of Chireiden power company." Why hello there Reimu where did you come from.

"I was tryin' to make it sound more tempting."

"Oh, so the idea of breaking ancient treaties is something that excites you?"

Marisa laughs sheepishly. "Eheheh, you know how I am."

You shrug. "Well, I'm glad that you aren't a diplomat, Marisa. I'll, uh, keep that in mind. But for now, I think Kogasa needs some alone time."
No reason to give people time to retort. You proceed to give Kogasa some alone time by way of a little teleportin'.

You shouldn't leave Nue in the lurch, though. "I'll let you calm down here. I'll come back the moment I know what is going on back there, okay?"

She nods.

"I'll be ba-" You return to that area in the foothills "-ck, baby."
Er, you messed up the timing there. Oh well.

Nue is glaring at Sanae, who doesn't seem to notice. They have both turned at your arrival, though.

"Hey, just stopping by to figure out what's going on here."

"We're done for the day." Nue walks up to you.

"We did beat the bad guy, so I guess so." Sanae sounds thoughtful. "But, if you think that wasn't enough..." Suddenly, she returns to enthusiastic. "I know! We can have a slumber party!"

"Uh, no thanks." You then turn to Nue. "I'll take you to Kogasa now. Unless, uh, you really want to be at that sleepover."

"Hell no."

Sanae seems a bit disappointed. "Okay. I'll see you next time bad guys come."

You prepare the teleport. Going to be a bit tougher to move Nue...

As you do, you see Marisa approach Sanae. "If it makes ya feel better, I'll go to the sleepover."

"Yay! Can you ask Reimu to come too?"

"I'll try, but that bitch is stubborn as a mule sometimes."

Really now, Marisa. It sounded more playful than malicious, but... well, you teleport away before you can hear if Reimu has something to say about that.

"So, what now?" Nue looks over Kogasa, who is calming down.

"I'm not sure what I want to do." You don't blame Kogasa. Today has been a confusing day so far. "It was fun, but also... scary. I don't know what I want to do, after that."

You should probably suggest something. Someone with initiative would be useful at this point.

[ ] You should probably do some investigations. No use just standing here being confused.
-[ ] Maybe you could try to trace the teleports or something?
-[ ] Maybe you could see if anyone else in Youkai Mountain has a better idea what is going on?
-[ ] Maybe you could try to ID that 'bad guy'?
-[ ] (Write-in.)
[ ] You should do something fun.
-[ ] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
--[ ] You aren't sure if that eel place is open this time of day. Maybe, though.
--[ ] That chicken place probably is.
--[ ] You know some good diners in Makai...
--[ ] (Write-in.)
[ ] You should just make sure Kogasa is okay. Stay around the temple. Stuff like that.
[ ] Hey, Nue is able to make decisions too.
[ ] (Write-in.)
>> No. 29350
[ ]Ask Nue if she wants to do anything
if not
[ ]Check wallet
[ ] Buy takeout at Makai
[ ] Return to the temple and have a meal with everyone.

Food makes anyone happy, or at least less grumpy/sad.
>> No. 29351
[x] You should do something fun.
-[x] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
--[x] You aren't sure if that eel place is open this time of day. Maybe, though.

This should be a fun place to be.
>> No. 29352
[x] You should do something fun.
-[x] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
--[x] You know some good diners in Makai...

More Makai! We can investigate later.
>> No. 29353
[x] You should do something fun.
-[x] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
-[x] There might be some interesting places underground.
>> No. 29355
[x] You should probably do some investigations. No use just standing here being confused.
-[x] Maybe you could try to trace the teleports or something?
It's his specialty so...
>> No. 29357
[x] Buy takeout at Makai
[x] Return to the temple and have a meal with everyone.
This will be a good way to wind down after today. I'm sure everyone will love hearing about the good deeds he did today, while enjoying delicious exotic food.
>> No. 29359
[x] You should do something fun.
-[x] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
--[x] You know some good diners in Makai...
>> No. 29360
[Q] You should probably do some investigations. No use just standing here being confused.
-[Q] Maybe you could try to trace the teleports or something?

Transport Detective.
>> No. 29364
How're we supposed to take Nue to Makai? We have trouble transferring those weaker than us, let alone stronger.

[x] You should do something fun.
-[x] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
--[x] You know some good diners in Makai...

ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT
>> No. 29376
[x] You should do something fun.
-[x] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
--[x] You know some good diners in Makai...
>> No. 29394
[x] You should do something fun.
-[x] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
--[x] You know some good diners in Makai...
>> No. 29420
File 128479379372.png - (794.87KB , 1300x1818 , makaiisinsanaesfridge.png ) [iqdb]
29420
[x] You should do something fun.
-[x] You said something about eating out earlier, right?
--[x] You know some good diners in Makai...

You quickly weigh your options. You could try doing some quick investigation. This soon after the events, it would be pretty easy for you to track the teleports. No matter how carefully they were made, a teleport this fresh would probably leave some trace you could examine.
Probably. You've never actually tried tracing a teleport before, but it doesn't sound too hard. This is the kind of thing you are safe trusting your instincts for. Well, your instincts plus a bit of careful, rational thought at most.

However.

You get the feeling that wasn't the last friendship-themed giant robot battle you will participate in (god that statement sounds stupid, even in your head). You'll have more chances to do a bit of good, old fashioned detective work later. Kogasa is upset right now.

That bears repeating. Kogasa is upset right now. Kogasa is upset right now. Kogasa is upset right now.
It doesn't matter what words you stress. It's important shit, any way you slice it.

You promised to take her out to eat earlier. Maybe that will help make her feel better.
Of course, she has been to most of the normal places by now. You imagine it has something to do with being bad at hunting food on her own, but good at making cute faces at food vendors. Or something.
Regardless, you want this to be something really interesting. Come to think of it, there is basically nobody in Gensokyo who has dined in Makai. Well, okay, Yukari probably has, but Yukari doesn't really count.
But you. You can give Kogasa this opportunity.

On the other hand, maybe you could pop over and get some takeout? It would let you share the food with everyone in the Temple.
But, isn't an important factor in dining the ambiance? Would getting takeout make the Makai food less of an experience? You're not sure. It is less 'flavorful' to get Chinese takeout than to go to a real genuine Americanized Chinese restaurant, you will admit.
You don't want to miscalculate and make a mistake. You would rather err to the side of caution than risk a disaster. Takeout is an idea for another day, perhaps, but not today.

Okay. You have a plan now. You should put it into motion as quickly as possible.

You walk up to Kogasa and pat her on the shoulder. "Hey, want to go out to eat now?"

"Okay. Where?"

"Hm. Have you ever been to Makai?"

"No."

"Well, want to try some of the cuisine there?"

"Okay." She nods.

"Well, we might as well go there right away. No sense sitting here feeling sorry for ourselves."

"Yeah, I suppose so!"

"Now, I don't want to rain on your parade here..." Nue pauses. "Okay, Kogasa would like that, but that's besides the point. What am I supposed to do?"

"You can come too."

"Yeah! Come with us, Nue!"

"Well, how am I supposed to get there? Can you pull me across the Makai seal?"

"Uh." You scratch your head. "I... I guess not?"

"I thought so." She shrugs. "You can go without me."

"Aw."

"Do you want me to bring you leftovers?"

"Leftovers are only fun when they are mysterious. I know what the food in Makai is like. Eating it cold holds no allure for me."

"Okay... wait, how do you know what the food in Makai is like?"

"You were importing it for a while. Or have you already forgotten about your own business endeavors?"

"I... wow, yeah, I had totally forgotten. I still need to restart that business again. It was pretty good money while it lasted." You really do need to restart that business. You keep telling yourself to, and never find the time to. It was good money. Not like there are that many other options for someone with no interest in being a farmer and no technical skills, anyway. Maybe you could go into peoples basements, kill rats, and then sell the tails to NPC merchants?
Nah. Not many people in Gensokyo have basements.

"Well, if you need any counterfeit money to get you back on your feet for it, ask me."

"I'm not sure if it's a good idea to use counterfeit money as capital for starting a business."

"It sounds totally resonable to me. You just make sure that by the time people realize the mistake, they can't stop your business anymore."

"I'm still not sure about this."

"You can even pay it to them again in real money later, once they find out. Come on, it's just buying on credit, except without their permission. That's okay, right?"

"I... why are we even talking about this?"

"Because I like wasting your time. You should probably go on your date with Kogasa before I decide to waste your time some more."

Date? Is that what she thinks?
Actually, it is kind of like a date. Bringing a girl you are fond of out for a fancy dinner. You really shouldn't think of it as a date, though, or else you might have to turn yourself in to the Sex Offender registry afterwards out of shame.
Well, Gensokyo doesn't have one. You guess you could go out and make sure it gets published in the next edition of Perfect Memento in Strictest Sense. "Human friendship level: High (Extra-Special-High if you are underaged.)"
Bah. Kogasa isn't that childlike. You should stop falsely accusing yourself. You don't want to end up in one of those 'world's dumbest criminals' books.

You look down. Actually, there's another matter. "...do you know how to take these silly outfits off?"

"Beats me."

"I'll just try stuff at random, then. Here goes." You tap the gem on the bracelet again, and yell "Miracle Off!"
Surprisingly enough, it works. Even has the same overly flashy lightshow. The others follow suit.

"Okay. We should go then, Kogasa."

"Have fun without us, Nue!"

"Yeah. You two enjoy Makai, alright? I have somethings I need to look into, anyway." A black cloud gathers and disperses, and Nue is gone.

You put your hand on Kogasa's shoulder again. "Let me set up a teleport..."

---

The two of you stand on a hill in this dark land, overlooking the city. It was the closest dramatic-looking place you could find. Luckily, teleportation means that you can afford to go out of your way for silly things like this.

"Woow, this place is blue."

"And red."

"And red too, yes!"

"And when you put the two colors together..."

Kogasa cocks her head curiously. "I don't follow."

"What, don't you know any elementary color theory?"

"No."

"Oh. Yeah, I guess unless you went to school... uh, nevermind then." You cough. "I'll admit Pandaemonium is pretty from above, but it's more interesting once you get inside."

"Lead the way, then!"

You take her hand, and fly down to the city.
Okay, you should take her to market street. No need to show off the burned-out abandoned districts. They are nothing but depressing. Maybe doubly for her. Can houses succumb to loneliness and become tsukumogami? You honestly aren't sure.

You land without issue. Luckily you have clearance to fly in Makai airspace. You would hate to be shot down by thrown swords or something.
You do have Shinki's favor, of course, what with all of the letter carrying.
Actually, speaking of, maybe you should check up with Shinki after dining here to see if she has anything she wants delivered.

"So, Kogasa, this is market street. I... gather it was not always the market street, but was made into it after the original was destroyed."

One of the demons waves at you, and you wave back. You are relatively well-known here, since Makai has a fairly active media and you are one of the sole sources of contact with Gensokyo they have. You try to keep it to a minimum, though. Luckily you are very proficient at avoiding interviews when you want to.

"Wow, there are a lot of demons here."

"Yeah. This is where they all come from. Or something." You shrug. "Makai in general, I mean. Not Pandaemonium in specific. Well, I guess since Shinki lives in Pandaemonium, and Shinki makes all of the demons manually, they really do all come from Pandaemonium. Eh."
Actually, are there any demons from outside Makai? You're not really sure. Is Shinki a demon, or just a powerful youkai?
If this is the birthplace of demons, Shinki picked a good name for the capital. John Milton would approve. Of course it goes totally against what the stuffy ol' Bible says about demons but if you cared about that kind of stuff you would have had an aneurysm months ago.

"So where's the food?"

"Oh, there are places all around here. Pandaemonium has good open-air cafes... surprisingly enough. You would think they would have learned their lesson about not standing under a roof the first time giant lasers rained down and burned the entire city to the ground. Well, okay, a lot of it survived, and I guess that if you are trapped indoors during a fire it's just as bad, but..." Kogasa's stomach grumbles. "...I'll stop talking now."

Kogasa's stomach grumbles. She looks down. "Take me to a good one."

"Okay. Any preferences as to the kind of food? They have a lot of different stuff over here, though not much meat."

"Surprise me." She sticks out her tongue.

"Of course. Follow me."

---

"Ooh, the tables have umbrellas over them!"

"Yes, I thought you'd like that." It's a pretty basic design for outdoor tables in an open-air cafe, but whatever. You can somehow take credit for it anyway.

A demon waitress comes around and hands you two menus, as you sit down. You ended up going for a restaurant with native Makai cuisine.

"What's this dish?"

She points something out on the menu. "I... I honestly have no idea. I've never tried it."

"I'll order it then!"

It's the most expensive thing on the menu, you notice. "Okay, sure."

You have enough of Makai's currency for this meal, at least. You might as well order something decent too. Might as well pick something else you've never tried too. You can justify it to yourself that you could export these things later if they are tasty. Or something.

The waitress comes back, and the two of you order your food.
Perhaps if you knew more about food, were more of a food conniseur, you would describe the food qualitatively. Perhaps if you were more of a mathematician, were better at counting, you would describe the food quantitatively. At your present level of expertise, though, all you can really say is that the food is tasty.
You think that Kogasa's food is good too, but you aren't an expert at judging facial expressions either. She does say that the food is good, which is a decent hint, but whatever.

---

"Is your stomache full?"

"Yep!"

"Are you feeling better?"

"I think so."

"Alright. Want to make a quick visit to Shinki?"

"I dunno."

"It might be your only chance to surprise a Demon Goddess."

"Unless you bring me to Makai again."

"...unless I do that, yes."

"Okay, let's go."

"Good. I wanted to check to see if she has any letters to send anyway."

You start marching off to the castle, but there's a yank at your collar.

"Should you really be talking about surprising Shinki so loudly?"

"Ah, maybe not..." You turn around. "Maidperson! I mean, Yumeko! I didn't know you were there, standing directly behind me, listening in on my conversation!"

"I wasn't. I have... very good hearing, though. I will not permit anyone to surprise Shinki."

"Shouldn't you be bugging-" Wait, you shouldn't draw her attention to Kogasa. You shut your mouth.

"Shouldn't be bugging whom?" She draws a sword and waggles it at Kogasa, without so much as turning around. Kogasa pauses mid-sneak.

"Okay, probably too late to do anything silly. I'll just go on an entirely non-surprise-related visit to Shinki. Let's go, Kogasa." You sprint up to Kogasa before either of them can react, grab her, and teleport to right in front of Shinki's office.

"No surprises?" Kogasa looks sad.

Okay, you probably have a little bit of time to talk frankly before Yumeko catches up. "No, no. This is our chance to execute plan 'say that we aren't going to surprise Shinki and then do it anyway.'"

"Ooh, like psychological warfare?"

"Uh, wait, aren't you going to complain about me lying to Yumeko there?"

"About... wait, you lied to Yumeko! That's not nice!"

"Jeeze, what, did the food make you sleepy?"

"It's so confusing when you zip me around like that!"

"Sorry." You pat her on the head. "Come on, let's sneak in."

You quietly crack the door open, and then sneak in, being careful to not make any noise.
Kogasa follows suit.

Okay, there's Shinki's writing desk. And... actually, she isn't even here.

You slump. "Damn. Not in her office? Where could she be?"

"Mistress Shinki is currently taking a bath."

"O-oh, hi again, Yumeko."

"Hi again, miss maid!"

"I appreciate your upfrontness... or, rather, your inability to lie convincingly, but if you persist in trying to burst in on Shinki while she is bathing I will kill you where you stand."

"Hey, I didn't know she was in the bath!"

"And now you do know, so you will stay put while she finishes."

"Fine, fine."

Yumeko is about to say something else, but then there is a ringing sound. She pulls out a very gothic-looking cellphone.

"Hello, yes. ...an emergency? What is it? ...out of Mr. Bubble? I..." She thinks for a moment. "We have another bottle in storage. I will bring it to you right away." She closes the phone. "I will be back soon." And then flies off.

"Mr Bubble?"

"So Shinki likes bubble baths, huh." Wait wait, better question. "Why can't she just use her godlike powers to create another bottle?"

"Maybe... maybe that would be cheating?"

You shrug. "Your guess is as good as mine. So, uh, want to go poking around-"

You get poked. You turn around, and see Yumeko behind you again. "I would reccomend abandoning that train of thought."

"That was fast."

"The bath supplies are stored close to the bathroom, obviously." She puts the sword back. "Now, Shinki will see you after the bath. Please wait warmly without getting into any mischief."

"Wait... warmly?"

"It's a figure of speech."

"So, uh..." Yumeko eyes you suspiciously. "Want to play, uh, I spy?"

---

After a rather uncomfortable wait, you find yourself back in Shinki's office. She sits down on her chair contentedly, in the same dress/robe thing as always. It looks nice and freshly laundered though.

"It's been a while since I last saw you."

"Yes, it has." You take a seat. Kogasa sticks near you but doesn't sit. Normally she would probably be considering surprise options by this point, but Yumeko made her policy on tricksy karakasa very clear.

"Was something keeping you from visiting? Or did you just forget? I have had to delay my normal letter."

"My, you've gotten so used to my services, haven't you?" You chuckle. "Well, sorry. I spent the entire few months holed up in Myoren Temple. Far too cold outside during winter for me to function comfortably."

"Oh, I see." She turns. "And you have brought another person this time?"

"Yes. Introducing the new friend... Kogasa."

She smiles, but then goes back to pacing back and forth. Maybe she is coming up with all kinds of exciting surprise ideas and is jittery because she can't use them? Or is just trying to let out some energy? Eh, who knows.

"A karakasa? My, we don't see many here in Makai. Partly because the rain is far too caustic. The umbrellas simply melt."

"R-really?"

"No, no, I was joking." Shinki laughs. "It wouldn't be nice of me to make a world that hostile for my children to live in."

"Ah, I hate to interrupt, but speaking of children... do you have your letter prepared, or should I wait?"

"Oh, yes. I've been worried for a while, so I will definitely want to send a letter."

"Worried?"

"Oh, she's going into a rebellious phase, I just know it. Maybe I should have been clued in earlier from how she left home and such, but now I know for sure. Using that spell, even when I told her specifically to never use it..."

"That spell?"

"Well, I had come into possession of a few powerful spellbooks about a thousand years ago. I was meaning to figure out how some of the more interesting pieces of ancient magic on them worked, but I never got around to it. Never was able to find the energy or spare time." She waves a hand dismissively. "You know how tiring managing the politics and infrastructure of an empire is."

"Not... really?"

"Well, whenever I tried to set aside a weekend for it, a disaster would come up, or there would be some loud party going and I just wouldn't have the heart to tell them to quiet down, or Yumeko would just be too cute and I would get distracted... oh, by the way, I have pictures of her from when she was going through her blue period. She was so adorable then."

"Not really interested in paintings."

"Oh, I'm getting off-topic, aren't I? Well, anyway, Alice tried to use one of those books to fight Reimu. She restricted herself to the known spells during that fight, though. I had thought she would have the sense to avoid the spells I had marked off as dangerous, but apparently not."

"Wait, this sounds familiar." You pause for a second. "I distinctly remember, last time I visited Alice, hearing her worry about how you were going to blame her for something? Yuuka stole something from her, apparently? And then Yuuka lost it? She didn't really give me much info."

"So if this really is related, as potentially dangerous spell is in the hands of an unknown sorceror somewhere in Gensokyo?"

You shrug. "This sounds like some serious shit. I'm busy with all of the giant robots at the moment, though."

"I'm busy with the giant robots too!"

"Yeah, Kogasa too. It's a group effort."

"Giant robots? ...well, I won't pry. I won't ask you to look into this if you don't want to, either. I am not sure if you could do anything. I do not think the spell was fully cast. If it was, everyone in Gensokyo would probably know, assuming it is dangerous."

"But you don't know enough about where the caster was to just sic me on them, huh?" You shrug again. "Well, if it does become a problem, there are plenty of people more qualified at this stuff than I am anyway. I'll leave it to them. I think I'll stick to delivering letters, thank you very much."

She pulls out a piece of paper, and after a snap of her fingers it is full of writing. She folds it up and puts it in an envelope, and then hands it to you. "I won't hold you any longer." You accept the letter, and she turns to Kogasa. "I hope I wasn't boring you too much, dear."

"No, you were talking about interesting stuff. Just I don't know much about it, so I can't say much about it!"

"Well, I hope you enjoy whatever is left of your stay in Makai."

"Thanks. Pandaemonium is pretty! Except for the burned-out parts."

Shinki winces. "Ah, yes. They are a bit of an eyesore, yes."

"It's pretty otherwise!"

"Thank you."

---

"So, Kogasa, do you want to visit anywhere else in Pandaemonium? Maybe we could go visit Camilla?"

"Hm. I wanted to earlier, but after that meal and all of the waiting and walking around in that palace, I am feeling sleepy now."

"Okay, we can go back home." Camilla can wait another day.

"I'll want to go back sometime. This place is cool."

"Yeah, it is." You grab her hand again. "I'll take the quick route instead of the scenic route this time. Give me a second to think out this teleports..."

---

When you arrive at the Temple again, you find an orb of light waiting outside.

"Did you have fun in Makai?"

"Yeah!" Kogasa runs up and hugs Nue. It's weird to see someone hug a ball of light. Nue switches back to human form midway through, though, perhaps out of unconcious concern for your feelings.

Nue turns to you. "So, are you going to be a killjoy and go to bed immediately?"

"Nah, I have a letter to deliver." You wave the letter. "Then I will go to bed."

"I swear, you have the most un-youkai-like sleep schedule ever."

"Well excuuuuse me, princess!" Ahaha okay that just confused her, but it made you feel better. "Anyway, you and Kogasa can catch up while I go on this letter round, okay? I'm sure that lots of exciting things happened during lunch." You wave, and then teleport out before either of them has a chance to object.

Okay. Just need to give this letter to Alice, and maybe deliver a reply. Should be easy and not eventful in the slightest.

---

It ends up being easy and not eventful in the slightest, miraculously enough.
You deliver the letter to Alice, she freaks out for a while, and sends a reply. You get some cash. You go back to the Temple and immediately go to bed, frustrating all of the people who are undoubtably dying to talk to you. Hey, you need your beauty sleep, there's no way around it!

If you are going to do well tomorrow, you will need this night's sleep. Or... afternoon and night's sleep, really. These robot battles probably get really tiring if you have to fight the tough enemies. What with all of the yelling you have to do to make your robot use the best attacks.

---

Some days, you are happy and drunk. Boisterous and hale.
But today you are sad. In mourning of your booze stash, taken from you so young (the length of ownership, that is... the vintages were of a good age).
You scream your anger to the heavens. Curse out those hippies, those tossers, those... 'tossers' is the only British insult you know.
Oh well. You'll have to just deal with it.

---

You nearly jump out of bed, full of rage and sorrow.
Oh... it was just a dream. You haven't had many vivid dreams like that lately. It's odd. It's almost like you only get dreams like that when you are participating in a noteworthy event that spans multiple days.
You stumble towards food. You are going to want to be ready and fast. Don't want the giant robots to take you by surprise.

You are up so early, in fact, that Shou isn't here yet. So you stare at the table impotently for about half an hour until she finally arrives. Cooking is for girls (and also worldly, practical people... a pox on them).

"Oh, good timin... g." You turn to her. It wasn't really good timing, since you've been sitting here hungry for half an hour, but at this point 'now' seems like a sufficient time. "I'm pretty hungry."

"Couldn't you prepare food for yourself?" She quickly sets the table, and then hops over to the kitchen.

"Hey, you won't catch me doing any real work around here."

"Unfortunately not." You hear her doing... cooking things in there. Turning on the oven, taking out a pan... is today omlette day? "I suppose keeping Nue out of trouble is work enough, though."

"I really don't keep her out of trouble. I more go along with it and then don't... tell... you... uh, pretend I didn't say that."

"I'm hardly clueless. I know what you have been up to. But even then, Nue's mischief-making has slowed down since you came here."

"So you've set the bar low when judging her behavior?"

"Very low."

A lull in the conversation. Maybe you should come up with something witty. It's hard when you are hungry, though.

"Yet you set the bar high for your own behavior. That doesn't seem fair. Stop discriminating against yourself."

"That's only true in comparison to Nue. She just doesn't know what duty is." Shou comes into the room with a tray of food.

"I do know what duty is. I just told it to fuck itself and went on with my life."

Shou doesn't even react to the fact that Nue managed to sneak up behind her. "You decided to get up early too, I take it?"

"I heard someone saying my name. Of course I came."

"Weren't you talking smack about my sleep schedule earlier?"

"That's true. It's hypocritical of me to say that and then get up early. I'll remedy that, then." Nue falls onto the floor and lies on her trident, which shimmers and becomes a pillow.

"That seems... can you even sleep like that?"

She cracks her eyes open momentarily. "I'll be fine. Don't mind me."

"Okay, I'll go back to being a loudmouth, then."

You look down at the food. Omelettes after all! Your guess was right. "Actually, change of plan. I will be too busy stuffing my face with food to be loud."

You proceed to stuff your face with food. Shou goes back into the kitchen.

After a bit she comes back, and takes a seat. She pulls out a newspaper and begins reading as she eats breakfast.

Mmm. Okay, you're pretty full now. That was a good omelette. Shou, on the other hand, is taking her time. She has produced another newspaper. "This is interesting."

"What is?"

She stands up and brings the newspapers to you. Both of them have big front-page stories about the giant robot battles. One of them actually has a picture of the entire team, suited up, posing. When... when did they take that? You don't remember posing like that during the battle. Nue is even there. Well, maybe you just did that at some point and forgot. The entire event had a kind of haze of confusion around it, to you.

You glance over them. They look like basic enough sensationalist crap to you. "What's so interesting? I bet that fight was visible for miles. Only the shitties newspapers wouldn't cover it."

"The Tengu seem to be very knowledgable about this."

"It happened right on their front yard. Of course they saw a lot."

"And they are very excited."

"It was a giant flashy battle involving giant robots."

"And both of them have promised to soon get exclusive interviews with the people involved."

"It- wait, what?"

"Yes, I thought you would be concerned."

"How did you know I took place in that? I never told you, and I doubt Nue did either." Admittedly Kogasa might have, but maybe not.

"Soon after you, Kogasa, and Nue vanished in a very flashy fashion, Byakuren examined the traces of the teleport spell. She said it sent you to somewhere around Youkai Mountain. It seemed like an interesting 'coincidence' to me. Thanks for confirming my theory, by the way."

"Bah."

"Also, you are still wearing the same bracelet you had on in that one team picture."

"I... I did forget to take that off, I will admit. Well, okay, you got me. But you had all of those advantages in figuring it out. But I'm not too worried about getting tracked down by the Tengu."

"You should be. I don't think they wouldn't promise exclusive interviews if they didn't think they could get them."

"So you think they know more than they let on?"

"I have a suspicion, yes." She takes the newspapers from you. "Anyway, I shall go back to reading these. That article on- hi, Murasa, take a seat, sorry, the omelettes aren't curry-flavored- that article about some new Kappa cleaning device looks promising." Oh, is that what that picture of a vacuum cleaner was about?

Murasa gives Shou a sour look. "The omelettes are never curry-flavored."

Curry-flavored omelettes? While you are pondering that, Shou returns to her seat.

"Good morning!"

Shou looks up from her paper again. "Oh, good morning, Kogasa."

Kogasa sits down at the table, and looks at the omelette. "Do you have any more of the purple ketchup?" Oh god, that bottle of novelty purple ketchup that Nazrin got from Kourindou?

"Oh, yes, let me get it." Shou gets up and hurries off towards the kitchen.

And trips on Nue, who you had already forgotten was lying on the floor.

She lands on you. And not in the sexy harem anime way where you somehow end up groping her by accident after the fall. Your heads collide in a rather painful manner. A pagoda soars off into the air and almost crashes into the ground, but Nazrin enters the room just in time to save it with a diving catch.

Murasa helps Shou up, and you sit back, nursing what you sure hope isn't a concussion.
That kind of sucked. And Nue didn't so much as wake up... you are so going to bitch about this once she does, and she is so going to laugh it off.

Kogasa runs up and asks you if you are okay.

You, a little dazed, open your mouth to answer.

There is a flash of brilliant light.

---

If Cirno had been there, they would have played 'eye spy' instead.
What is the native cuisine of Makai like? ...beats me if I know. I'm worried that if I try to give any actual details it would end up sounding stupid.
>> No. 29421
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29421
You find yourself back at Miracleteam☆Moriya HQ, lying on the ground, with your mouth still open. Smooth. You probably look like an idiot right now.
Kogasa is still standing over you, looking both concerned and surprised. She seems to have been moved a bit closer to you during the transport, and now her karakasa half's tongue is pressing on your forehead. Even smoother.

Kogasa recovers after a moment, and withdraws the tongue... but really, she more ends up just licking your face. You feel cold chills run down your spine. This feels a little gross. It's not even something you could talk about! If you said 'man, it feels weird when an umbrella licks you', most people will be like 'what the hell kind of drugs are you on'.

Sanae claps her hands, and looks around. Of course she is the one who is raring to go. No surprise. "Alright team, is everyone ready?"

You take a look around too. Marisa is in an undershirt and panties (and, oddly enough, her pointy hat). She looks around sleepily.
Reimu is sitting cross-legged on the ground, cupping her hands to hold empty air. A full cup of tea floats in midair a foot to her right for a moment before falling onto the ground and shattering. Again with the tea? Is the teleport operator or whatever trying to spite her?
Kogasa and you are in the aforementioned vaguely embarassing situation.
And Nue is...

Sanae's eyes widen, and she runs foreward and tackle-hugs the sad-looking lumpy blue creature with green hair. "Yay! I loved Chrono Trigger!"
She breaks off the hug after a little bit. The little blue thing barely reacts. "Now, where is Miss Alien?" Sanae looks around again, but after a moment realization dawns on her face. "Hey... it couldn't be... you've finally shown me your true form, Miss Alien, and your alien race looks exactly like the Nus from Chrono Trigger?"

Nue quickly returns to her true form. "Damn, I don't know what I was trying to accomplish with that disguise, but whatever it was I definitely didn't succeed."

"Aw, it was a disguise. Okay, don't worry, Miss Alien, I'll figure out your real form! I know that you can't tell me because of your space-laws, but I'll figure it out on my own, you can count on it! And then I can be the human ambassador to your home planet!"

"Oh, whatever. Go ahead with your weird fantasies, I don't care anymore." Nue takes a seat, a bit disgustedly.

Sanae rubs her hands together in excitement, but also looks a little apologetic. A conflict between being a sci-fi fanatic and being a good girl? "I'm sorry I called you all here so early, but I just couldn't wait! So I called HQ and told them to bring us here early!"

The 'mysterious' voice rumbles out of the tube. "And it's a good thing you did, Moriya Green. The next enemy has come earlier than we could have predicted."

"Where is the enemy?" Sanae quickly steps in to take charge. Nobody complains. Perhaps because you and Nue don't care, Kogasa won't speak up to Sanae, Marisa is still only half-awake, and Reimu looks to be trying very hard to stay calm.

"They are attacking the Human Village this time! I will be deploying magic barriers to keep the village from being hurt by collateral damage, but the barriers won't last forever. You absolutely must win, Miracleteam☆Moriya!"

"Alright, team, suit up!" Everyone activates their suits more or less on time, except Marisa.

Reimu sighs, walks up to Marisa, and hits her with her gohei until Marisa wakes up enough to suit up.

Nue stands up and stretches. "Can I please participate this time?"

"Okay."

"Well, at least there's a little good news."

---

The group appears on the main road leading up to the Human Village.

A tall, burly man stands in front of the Human Village, staring forward with a little consternation. You can sense a powerful magic barrier in the air. The man looks like he could take the barrier down if he really focused himself, though. He is muscular and fierce, with wild black hair and a beard, and burning red eyes. He kind of reminds you of the last guy, actually. Are they related? He even has a helmet, shield, and sword.
Beside him stands a woman, who looks rather annoyed. She is fairly attractive, but you can sense she isn't very trustworthy. Perhaps you have an enhanced instinct for sensing those kinds of things after living with Nue for so long.
Keine is standing on the other side of the barrier, her eyes closed and her arms raised. There is no-one else in view; persumably all of the normal people are hiding indoors. Dozens of scrolls float in the air, in a constant state of rolling and unrolling. Great phantasmal wheels turn behind her. Okay you think she's probably using some kind of magic. Seems like a safe bet.

"Stop right there, fiend!" Sanae takes a heroic pose.

The man looks back at her, and you quickly avoid making eye contact. If he really is related to that last guy you probably don't want to meet his eyes. He glances at her for a moment and then turns back, unconcernedly.

The human village shimmers and then vanishes. In its place stands an empty field, wild and untouched by mankind.
Keine lets her arms drop, and all of the scrolls fall to the floor. Mokou ambles out, picks up the scrolls, winds them up, puts them neatly back on the floor, and then unconcernedly walks off. Keine, meanwhile, goes crosslegged. You can see her energy focus onto the barrier, now.

The man now turns for real, and draws his sword. The woman by his side doesn't draw any weapons, but looks to be ready to fight now also. "It looks like I have to fight you before I can move on to this village. So be it. I've been looking for a good slaughter, anyway."

"The only thing that will get slaughtered is your dignity!"

Okay, it sounds to you like this banter will go on for a bit more. Time to examine those spells up close. This stuff is pretty nifty. You walk through the barrier, and up to where the village was.
It's... yes, it's still there, but it feels kind of out of phase with reality. If you wanted you could touch it, but that's probably-

Wait what's that sound?
Shit, they started fighting while you were busy examining this barrier and stuff? Shitshitshit that's not fair, they should have waited for you to be finished. Exchanged a few more rounds of trash talk!

You teleport back across the barrier, into the fray.
You need a plan and quick. You don't think that just standing around watching the others fight is going to work as well this time. But the others started without you, so it'd probably be best to back one of them up.

[ ] Kogasa.
-[ ] Make sure she stays out of trouble.
-[ ] Make sure she has fun.
[ ] Nue.
-[ ] Make sure she doesn't go too far.
-[ ] Make sure she makes up for the poor showing last time.
[ ] Sanae.
-[ ] Make sure she doesn't get too into it.
-[ ] Make sure she is able to rally the troops.
>> No. 29422
>"Damn, I don't know what I was trying to accomplish with that disguise, but whatever it was I definitely didn't succeed."
I think we're rubbing off on her.

[X] Kogasa.
-[X] Make sure she has fun.

The Nue options just seem patronizing to me. (Really, so do the Kogasa options, but she doesn't seem to mind being patronized a little.)
>> No. 29424
[x] Sanae.
-[x] Make sure she is able to rally the troops.
I couldn't care less about Sanae, but we gotta get everyone in the mood, so we can be a real team, and have fun doing it.
>> No. 29426
[Q] Kogasa.
-[Q] Make sure she has fun.

Because in the end, that's what it all boils down to.
>> No. 29427
[X] Kogasa.
-[X] Make sure she has fun.
>> No. 29430
[x] Sanae.
-[x] Make sure she is able to rally the troops.
>> No. 29431
[X] Kogasa.
-[X] Make sure she has fun.

Besides, she's probably our weakest link, so she could always use the support.
>> No. 29433
[X] Kogasa.
-[X] Make sure she has fun.
>> No. 29434
[n] Nue.
-[u] Make sure she makes up for the poor showing last time.

Nue needs olev too.
>> No. 29436
[X] Kogasa.
-[X] Make sure she has fun.
>> No. 29443
[X] Nue
-[X] Make sure she makes up for the poor showing last time.
>> No. 29445
[X] Nue
-[X] Make sure she makes up for the poor showing last time.
>> No. 29446
[X] Nue
-[X] Make sure she makes up for the poor showing last time.
>> No. 29448
[x] Sanae.
-[x] Make sure she can lower the excitement and become an effective leader.
-[x] If not possible, do it yourself.
>> No. 29454
[X] Kogasa.
-[X] Make sure she has fun.
>> No. 29542
File 128630697539.jpg - (161.28KB , 850x774 , WHOTHEHELLDOYOUTHINKIAMPUNCH.jpg ) [iqdb]
29542
[Q] Kogasa.
-[Q] Make sure she has fun.

You should focus on Kogasa again. Really, Nue can do fine on her own. She is competant. More competant than you, easily, except when it comes to teleportation or other specialty subjects. Kogasa, on the other hand, is in much more 'danger' here.
Well, she isn't likely to die or anything, but you think she is likely to get scared by Sanae. Again.

This should be a fun event. So you will go and make sure Kogasa has a good time!
Okay. You have an intention. Now you need a plan. If you were doing this for Nue you would want to be subtle, since somehow you doubt she would enjoy being patronized. But Kogasa doesn't mind as much. Perhaps it has to do with being used to being used by humans?
...that came out wrong. Actually, yes, time to abandon this line of thought before it inevitably comes out even wronger. You'll just figure something out on the fly.

Which one is Kogasa fighting? You should probably, like, distract them so she can do a surprise or something.
Looks like she is fighting that woman. Or, well, swinging her umbrella-half around and failing to land a solid hit. Yes, you should probably go help.

You jog up and draw back your cane. Some good old-fashioned caning will distract this woman.

She glances at you and clicks her teeth. "Another one of these idiots?" You launch a powerful swing with your cane. This should get her attention, though she will probably block it or something.
She laughs. "You go play with your friend." And then she idly waggles a finger. You feel the muscles in your arm contract unexpectedly, and the cane jerks to the side mid-swing. You hit Kogasa square on the head.

"Shit! Sorry, Kogasa!" You drop the cane, and quickly inspect her. She is nursing her head, but looks to be mostly unhurt. "It looks like our enemy here can redirect attacks or something."

"You're no fun." The woman makes a slight motion with her wrist, and Kogasa suddenly snaps into a bow, headbutting you in the groin in the process. "You are supposed to not explain yourself clearly and end up getting into a fight with your friend."

You would make some kind of witty reply, but you are currently blinded by the extreme pain.

Kogasa has recovered enough to realize what is up, though. "Ah! I didn't mean to headbutt you there!"

"'s... 's okay," you manage.

"Seriously, you people are boring." The woman makes a full circle with her pointer finger. And then is knocked face-first into the ground. The roundhouse kick you involuntarily begin to execute ends as fast as it begins, and you end up falling over.
Nue stabs the woman through the chest with her trident, and then leans on the tip. She glances over at you, and her expression turns kind of exasperated when she sees the sorry heap of youkai in front of her.

There's a bang, and a cloud of dust. Marisa picks herself out of the long furrow suddenly in the ground, and dusts her regulation spandex outfit off. "Hey, you guys doing oka- whoah, you guys really must suck."

"Sh- shudub" is all you can manage.

"I got tired of watching those two bumble around falling for her tricks." Nue stamps on the woman's head a few more times.

"You sure you didn't kill her?" Marisa glances down at the sprawled body, looking only mildly unconcerned.

"Pretty sure. Reasonably sure, anyway. Unless she is just a human magician or something... eh."

"Whaddubout me?" You pull yourself off the floor, rolling Kogasa off your back in the process. "Care how I 'm doin... g?" You have to pause to hack up some dirt. Damn, that really was ignoble. You have to try harder.

"You're a fairly tough guy, so I have no reason to worry." There's a small explosion, and Marisa glances back at the battle with that swarthy dude. "Oh, wait, I should get back to fighting." She runs back there.

Nue wanders over and helps you up, and then helps Kogasa up. "You two can go fight the other guy now if you want."

"You aren't going to?"

"Of course I'm going to! I am just saying that it would be okay if you didn't."

"I think I wanna breather," Kogasa wheezes.

"I'll sit it out with her, then." You sit back down.

"Okay. Better be ready once we get to the giant robot stage." She jumps off.

You turn to Kogasa. "Sorry again about hitting you."

"You didn't mean to. I think. I know I didn't mean to."

"Yeah." You pause. "So I guess this hasn't been much fun so far."

"Not really."

Hm. You should think of something... "Hey, why don't we try to think of some kind of sneak-attack plan?"

"For when we are in the giant robot?"

"Yeah."

Kogasa frowns. "It's very big."

"It is."

"I don't know how you can sneak up on someone if you are that big."

"You don't have to sneak to do a surprise attack. Maybe we could use some kind of smoke screen and blindside the enemy."

"Ooh, or we could use some big shiny laser attack and then attack while the enemy is distracted!"

"Oh, hey, that sounds like a good idea. It'll keep Marisa happy also."

There's an explosion in the distance, and a sword embeds itself into the ground by your feet. Looks like the sword that guy was holding.
Maybe you could take it? ...eh, you are happy enough with your cane. Plus if you do take it something will probably keep you from being able to use it. Like that laser sword.

...what did you do with the laser sword, anyway? You don't remember putting it down or storing it or anything. It's probably lying in some ditch somewhere in the Great Youkai Forest, forgotten. Poor laser sword. Never got to be used by a jedi or anything.

Anyway, there's now some shouting going on. Sounds like plot advancement. You stand up, a bit after Kogasa.

The man is standing there, looking a bit pissed. And a bit singed.
The others have all backed off. You can see power radiating off this guy... either he is preparing an attack, or he is just using magic to temporarily hold them off.

"I see that I won't win this way. Maybe if my ally was less flaky," he seems especially annoyed about that, "I wouldn't have to do this, but..." He holds up his hand, and there's a rumbling noise. A geyser of bloody soot erupts from the ground (right in front of the human village, too! You imagine this will be a pain to clean), and a dark shape forms inside it.
With a puff of rancid air the geyser stops, and the giant robot inside is revealed. It looks similar to the last one, but bulkier. It lacks the silly hair-hat of the other one, and instead has a lion-like helmet. In one hand it has a notched, jagged, perhaps even slightly bent sword. The metal of the sword is splattered with blood. Considering that if this mech had gone around slaughtering people it would have been in the news, you have to imagine the blood was conjured magically in order to make the sword scarier. In its other hand it has a round shield. This looks heavier and more perminant than the one Metus had.
So this one looks to be a less balanced mech. No obvious ranged weapons, only one melee weapon. It probably is a lot stronger, though, and tougher. That's your analysis, anyway.

The man looks up and nods appreciatively. "Now that's what I'm talking about!"

"Why do you have to be the one with the giant robot?" The woman, you now notice, seems to be okay again. She has stood up again, anyway, and begun to walk over towards the man.

The man scoffs. "You didn't have to come, woman."

"You say that, remembering what happened the last time someone failed to invite me to an event like this?"

Nue's trident is still sticking out of that woman's back, you now notice. Nue seems to have noticed that at about the same time. "Hey, give me my trident back!"

"How about no?" The woman reaches back and pulls the trident out, and then sticks it into the ground. "Finders keepers and all that."

Nue twitches a finger, and the trident lifts itself out of the ground. It flies back towards Nue. The woman glances at it, though, and the thing is deflected in mid-air and embeds itself a foot into the ground where Reimu was standing a moment ago.

You nudge Nue. "I don't think she is going to let you have your trident again."

"Ugh, it looks that way. Remind me to make the giant robot stomp on her."

"Can do."

Annoying distractions out of the way, the man jumps up into the robot's cockpit. The woman, meanwhile, shrugs and sits back. She takes out a yellow apple and begins to idly munch on it.

Sanae turns. "Guys, it's time to call our giant robot." As if it wasn't obvious. "Hisou Tensoku!"
Sanae crosses her arms. There's a huge burst of wind, and Hisou Tensoku lands behind her, its arms crossed.
Okay you have to admit that was a bit cool.

The team quickly jumps inside, perhaps eager to get it over with. That's more or less how you are feeling, anyway. This is some kind of crazy tightrope act, avoiding any dialogue options that will result in lowering your approval rating with Kogasa. Or whatever abstraction you should be using to understand this relationship shit.

The cockpit slides closed, and various displays begin to light up. "AI unit Ruukoto online. Welcome, operator of Hisou Tensoku." The controls hum online, and everyone gets their hands over their controls. Faster than last time, due to not being as utterly inexperienced this time.
Nue does look a bit confused, but she will probably figure it out fast enough. If not, the team got by with a mere five pilots last time, and can probably do so again.

"Can you patch us through with HQ?" Sanae looks over the readouts.

"Establishing connection..."

There is a moment of static, and then HQ speaks up. "It looks like Hisou Tensoku made it over there smoothly again."

Reimu rolls her eyes. "If it hadn't, we wouldn't be using this robot thing's transmittor, right?"

"Of course. Now, I just got information on your current opponent."

"It looks kind of scary."

"It is scary, Moriya Purple. Now, pipe down, you'll want to hear this before it attacks." She clears her throat. "That is 'Horrorlord Timor', another custom job. It is more heavily armored than the last robot you fought, and has better close-range capability, but much less long-range capability. Mechs like this are only given to ace pilots, so don't get cocky over your last victory."

"Gotcha. We'll try our best, HQ!" Sanae turns back. "Now, team, lets take out this enemy!"

"Er, I have a question." You raise your hand. "What's with all of the rust and blood on that Horrorlord mech? Is it just to look scary?"

"I imagine so. They want you to be intimidated."

"Okay, just checking. You can go back to anxiously watching a bunch of teenagers with attitude fight for you. Instead of, say, trained giant robot pilots." Well okay Nue isn't a teenager, and Kogasa isn't a teenager, and... hell, Reimu probably isn't a teenager either, she's probably in her early twenties or something, just you'd rather not ask her. In fact, it's entirely possible that no-one here is a teenager. Yeah, that was a pretty inaccurate remark, all things considered.

"But I am a trained giant robot pilot!"

"...you are, Sanae? I mean, Moriya Green."

"Whoah, you had a giant robot all along and never told me?" Marisa looks hurt.

"I've been doing image training all my life," Sanae pouts.

"I hate to be the voice of reason," Nue interjects, "but we should probably be focusing on the giant robot charging at us."

You aren't entirely sure who does it, because after that interjection everyone uses their controls at once, but Hisou Tensoku manages to hop back just in time to avoid being cut in half by a charging sword-slash.

"Let's take this guy down!" Sanae slams her controls forward, pulling Hisou Tensoku into a charge.

Reimu sighs. "Try not to get the robot destroyed. I want Ruukuto back after this." She seems to have produced a cup of tea somehow, and takes a sip.

"But you haven't turned her on for years."

"Shut up, Marisa. I had just forgotten about her."

"Don't worry about me!" Sanae winks.
And then her hand slips, and Hisou Tensoku swaggers to the side. Directly into a sword slash.
There is a sickening scraping sound, and a deep gash is drawn into Hisou Tensoku's left arm.
Probably. All you have to go by is this readout, and that part of it turned red. You relay this fact posthaste.

Reimu quickly makes Hisou Tensoku pull back, deftly warding off a followup blow with a quick arm movement. "Don't worry about you, huh." She miraculously managed to put down her tea fast enough to take control of the mech in a split-second without spilling a drop, you notice.

"I... I'm not sure how that happened! I thought my grip was..."

Reimu rolls her eyes. "I'll take control for a little bit, if you don't mind."

You turn to Nue. "Well, now that Reimu has control, we don't need to do anything, do we?"

"Ahaha. Probably not, no. Just to be safe you should keep staring at that little screen and yelling whenever something flashes red. In case we don't notice the mech getting bashed."

"Happy to help." The mech shakes as it takes a glancing hit from the enemy's sword, striking the left hand. Time to help! "Hey guys, hey guys, we just got hit. Not very hard though."

"I..." Reimu grunts as she guides Hisou Tensoku into a punch to Timor's robosolarplexus. "...noticed, thank you."

The Horrorlord staggers back, sparking slightly from the damage, but quickly takes a stance.

There is a moment of tense standoff, which is interrupted by the crackling radio. "Miracleteam☆Moriya! We have another onbashira ready. And you look like you need it!" You look at the left arm on the readout. It's entirely red now. It looks like that last hit was made in order to totally disable the left arm. Tricksy. "Sit tight!"

There's a sudden whistling sound, and another onbashira slams into the ground next to Hisou Tensoku. Reimu picks it up with Hisou Tensoku's right hand and hefts it experimentally.

"Mega-Onbashira activated." The onbashira pops open slightly, giving you another glimpse into whatever crazy magic stuff is inside.

"Can I please control the mech again?" Sanae gives her best puppy-dog eyes to Reimu. "Pleeease?"

"Oh, fine. It looks like the enemy is taking us seriously now, though, so be careful."

"Okay, team!" Sanae makes Hisou Tensoku take a step back. "We only have one shot at this, so listen up! I'm going to dash at the enemy and attack him. Miss Alien, do some of your alien stuff to help obscure our approach. Marisa, I want you to launch a finishing strike on him when we get at point-blank!"

"Alien stuff," Nue mutters, "alien stuff... fine, I'll do it."

You raise your hand. "What about me?"

"You're our valuable emotional support."

"...fine." At least you have a job, unlike Reimu or Kogasa.

"Let's do this!" Sanae brings Hisou Tensoku into a dead run, holding the onbashira back. As Hisou Tensoku charges, it is surrounded by a thickening black cloud.
You glance to the side. Nue is concentrating.
Even with the black cloud, the enemy has no real trouble blocking the direct onbashira jab. It's a pretty predictable attack. However, Sanae then does a leg sweep, and that knocks Timor off it's feet.
And Hisou Tensoku too. It crashes to the ground, overbalanced after the leg sweep. You get the feeling Sanae did not quite have that result in mind.

She jabs the onbashira forward, but through the haze of the black cloud you see the Horrorlord bringing it's shield up. The onbashira clashes with the shield, but it hit the rim and not the center. It slips past the enemy mech.
Sanae has a deathly look of concentration. "Toryaaaaa!" She forces the onbashira back, pushing Timor's shield away. The onbashira slams into the side of the enemy. However, the end of the onbashira is out past the enemy. You think that any finishing move that could be used with no arm motion would probably fire out the end of the onbashira, so...

Sanae seems to realize it too. She pulls the onbashira back, and tries to bring Hisou Tensoku to it's feet. But her hand slips again, and Hisou Tensoku falls onto it's back. The entire cockpit shakes, and Nue sputters. The black cloud begins to rapidly, albeit unevenly, dissipate.

Horrorlord Timor leaps to it's feet and, in the same motion, steps in for a slash.
And steps straight into the end of the onbashira. The last splotch of the black cloud evaporates: the part directly between the onbashira and the enemy.

"Marisa! Now!" Sanae yells.

Marisa is already pressing a button, however. "Eat this! Onbashira Beam!"

The end of the onbashira pops off, and searing light pours out. It grows even brighter, and then a split-second later there is a blast of white-hot light. It lances out of the onbashira and pierces the enemy straight through the chest. A deep vibration moves through the cockpit of Hisou Tensoku. The force of firing off such a beam causes the onbashira to crumple like an empty coke can that was hit by a hammer, and shoots the thing onto the ground behind Hisou Tensoku with such force that Sanae might as well have not been holding onto the thing.

But even then, the Horrorlord is able to finish it's attack. A deep slash to the lower body of Hisou Tensoku. However, not nearly as deep as it could have been, because the force of the beam is enough to catapult the mech away halfway through.

The Horrorlord slams into the barrier in front of the village. The poor thing, already wavering from the force of the beam, simply shatters entirely. Keine has to scramble out of the way to avoid being flattened by the falling mech, which slams into the ground with a bang and a small-scale dust explosion.

Hisou Tensoku staggers back, as Sanae's hands twitch. "I can't feel my hands."

Reimu yawns. "That barely worked. I almost had to actually do something to help."

"I, I thought I was going to do better. But at least it did work..." Sanae looks troubled.

Marisa can't contain her amusement anymore. She laughs. "Hisou Tensoku you magnificent robot, I read your manual! Now I just need to get one of those onbashira for my own use..."

"Please try not to rob the shrine," Sanae says, almost instinctively.

"Too late. How did you think I got my hands on Hisou Tensoku's manual?"

You raise your hand again. "Actually, thinking about it. That woman I fought before the fight had this trick where she momentarily took control of your muscles and made you screw up your attacks. She probably was doing this to you. I, uh, should have mentioned that earlier."

"...really?" Sanae looks relieved. "So it wasn't me screwing up. It was just a devious ploy by the enemy to break our morale! Thanks, Moriya Pink!"

...it occurs to you that you just played the role of emotional support. Goddamn, she was right. You aren't sure how this makes you feel.

Nue stretches. "Think that will finish it off?"

"Enemy mech Horrorlord Timor is projected to be reduced to 17.4% capacity."
Inside he slowly-thinning cloud of dust and soot, you can see the Horrlord unsteadily standing up.

Sanae cheers. "So we finish it off with a punch!" Kogasa looks eager with anticipation.

Sanae pulls Hisou Tensoku into a run, once again. Kogasa begins manipulating her set of controls also, but it doesn't seem to do anything. You think that anything she does overrides the actions of the other pilots.
It occurs to you, at this point, that you never actually told anyone else about your plan to let Kogasa take the final blow.
It's probably too late now. Sanae is too focused to notice Kogasa uselessly trying to control the mech.

...screw too late.

You cheer also, but suddenly your arm twitches and smacks Sanae straight in the face. Her hands are thrown off the controls.

Suddenly Kogasa has control of Hisou Tensoku, and she brings the mech into a jump. It soars over the head of the Horrorlord, and lands with surprising nimbleness behind it.

The enemy mech begins to turn. It must be reacting to the sound of the landing. It is, however, too late.

Kogasa yells "boo!" and punches Horrorlord Timor in the back of the head with what must be every last bit of energy in Hisou Tensoku.

Timor is flung forward and slides across the ground, leaving a deep furrow. The giant sword, flung out of the hand of its owner, crashes into the road, and the shield ends up flattening a tree.

"Reactor damage detected in enemy mech. Warning, detonation imminent. Please stay clear."

The enemy mech twitches once or twice, and then suddenly siezes up. The giant hole in it's abdomen begins to glow with light, and the entire body of the mech begins to shake and shudder. Then it explodes rather spectacularly, into twin fireballs; one red and one green. A humanoid figure leaps out in front of it (from the perspective of the vanished village, anyway), arms spread. Great wings of fire sprout from her back, and with them she manages to block most of the explosion. Good thing, too, because Keine has yet to get the barrier back up.
A giant collumn of light erupts from the mech and shoots into the sky, and a moment later everything is gone. The only remaining evidence of the fight is a smoking crater that extends a fair distance into where the Human Village would be if it wasn't vanished, a whole lot of ground deformation before there from the simple motions of the giant robot fight, and... two smoking objects in the crater? Now you are curious.

You teleport out of the mech. The others can leave the normal way, you are getting a head start.
>> No. 29543
File 128630704235.jpg - (99.42KB , 1044x1556 , theHORROR.jpg ) [iqdb]
29543
Yes, there are two things in here. Thingies. Shinies. Well, they aren't that shiny, you suppose. Some kind of rough stone bead, and an old-looking mirror. You pick them up and look at them.
They don't look too special. Except for the fact that they are merely warm despite coming out of a giant explosion. Also the fact that they are strongly magically charged. And... well, they aren't normal at all, really.

"You might want to give those to Keine."

You wheel around. Hey, it's that fire-wings lady. You say lady because, while she isn't exactly the most feminine person, her shirt is currently hanging in scorched tatters. But you firmly focus your gaze at her face.
Now what was her name? "Oh, hey, it's... Kaguya?"

"What? No!" That phoenix girl accidently spits out a bloody tooth. "My-"

Hm. You don't talk to this dame much. "Miss yakitori lady?"

"Okay, I do sell yakitori, but it's not my name." She takes a weary look around. "Do you want me to just tell you my name?"

Right, Kaguya was her enemy, she sells yakitori, you've been to her stand a few times... you think you remember her name now. "No, I got this. Mokou... Lorelei!"

"What? Since when did I marry my business rival?"

"Oh, you got married?" Keine limps up, dragging a scorched scroll. "That was rather... sudden."

"No, I didn't!" Mokou is rapidly losing her cool. "This stupid guy just can't remember my name!"

You hand the two thingies over to Keine. "These were in the crater."

"The Yasakani-no-Magatama... the Yata-no-Kagami... where did you get these?"

"I said they were lying in the crater."

She rubs her ears. "Sorry. I was deafened a little by all of the explosions."

"Oh, okay." Wait a second. "If you didn't know they were here, why did you walk all the way over here while injured?"

"To check if Moko-tan is alright, of course."

"I'm always alight, you dummy!" Mokou grabs Keine and picks her up. "You're the one who isn't immortal. I'll go take you back to your house, okay?"

"Oh my, Moko-tan, how romantic." Keine giggles.

"Ugh. You must have hit your head or something." Mokou glances at you. "If there's another giant robot fight outside Human Village, please try not to throw the enemy towards the village. This was my good shirt."

"I wasn't the person aiming that attack."

"Then tell them. Whatever. I've got to get Keine to her house before she decides it's a good idea to try to molest me in public, no time to talk."

"Oh, what a good idea."

"...I shouldn't've said anything." Mokou flies off, quite quickly.

The air shimmers, and the human village phases back into reality. Next to you a house appears, and promptly drops into the crater.

Whatever. You'll quickly be a good samatarian here, and then hurry on to the post-battle party or whatever pronto.
You walk up to the house and knock on the door. "You need any help in there?"

"No thank you." The person inside sounds dizzy.

"Okay. Just checking." You glance back at Hisou Tensoku. Everyone else seems to have disembarked.
You teleport over there.

---

"Moriya Yellow! There you are!"

"Oh. Hi, Sanae. I mean, Moriya Green."

"Want to come over to the after-battle sleepover?"

"I'll, uh, think about it."

"Okay!"

You walk off, and she waves. She seems to be in fairly good spirits. But for all you know it's a show of false confidence. Eh.

Oh hey, Nue. Time for your own after-battle sleepover. Except it's not a sleepover, but instead it's talking to Nue.

You amble over, and she quickly notices you. Or rather, it looks like she was looking for you.

"How are you feeling?"

"Since when have you cared about feelings?"

"Since... oh, shut up, I'm just showing some concern. Is there anything wrong with that?"

"Not really." You stretch. How are you feeling, anyway? "I feel really happy and I'm not entirely sure why." That works. You aren't quite at the clapping-your-hand level yet, admittedly, but it is still enough to note.

Nue smirks. You can't see her face from this angle because of her helmet, but you just know she is smirking. "Happy enough to forget that you have the pink outfit?"

"...fuck you."

"My, how polite." She chuckles. "Anyway, back to the topic at hand, may I hazard a guess?"

"Hazard a guess?"

"As to why you are oh so happy."

"Ah. Go ahead. As long as the guess is hilarious, wacky, or, as the case may be, zany."

"Right. Well, may I assume that the reason you are happy is that you got a chance to deck Sanae?"

"My, but that wasn't me. That was that mean lady causing me to lose control."

"She sure did it at a convenient time, huh? Well, I'm not here to judge you. Punching Sanae in the face would make me happy too."

"It was more of a slap. Er, I mean, you're a horrible person, Nue."

"And what does the pot call the kettle?"

"...black? Nue, I don't think you can use that figure of speech that way."

"I try to use one of your English idioms and you chide me for it? Such a critic." She sighs overdramatically. "You must teach me English at some point. I can only learn so much from spying on Remi's Jazzercise tapes."

"...huh? Jazzer- you know what, forget it. New question. Why do you even need to know English?"

"Maybe it will help me understand those incomprehensible puns you always make."

"No comment. I'll think about it, I guess."

Nue blinks. "Wait. Speaking about that mean ol' lady who so obviously made you accidently hit Sanae... what happened to her?"

"Uh."

"I mean, we never actually saw her- wait, didn't I tell you to remind me to stomp on her?"

"Uh. Yes. But I forgot to."

"And doesn't she still have my trident?"

"...I think so, yes."

"So what are you standing around there for? Go find her!"

"Aren't you... going to help? It's your trident."

"And I lost it saving your sorry ass. Nah, I'll help. You just teleport around and look for a woman with three puncture wounds in her chest. I'll take to the air and look."

"Okay."

You begin teleporting around.

Not here, not here... "Whoops, sorry Marisa, didn't notice you were lying on the floor there."

"I wasn't until you appeared over me."

"Sorry, no time to talk, trident hunting." You port away again.

This would go faster if you tried to think where she would hide. Obviously, she wouldn't want to be stomped on, or hit by excess attacks. However, she would also need to be able to see Hisou Tensoku to do that trick.
...or does she? She was doing it to people inside Hisou Tensoku, and it's not like the cockpit is transparent. So...

Hm. There's a- oh, it looks like Nue has found her, nevermind. You port up.

"Give me back my trident?"

"Where was the please?"

"Fine, please give me back my trident."

"Fuck you and the chimaera you rode in on. You aren't getting anything." The woman takes the trident, raises her knee, and breaks it over her knee.
Or rather, you teleport it out of her hands a split-second before impact. She ends up kneeing herself in the face.

"Here." You hand Nue the trident.

"Thank you." She points the trident at the now rather red-faced woman, who hops back. "I don't know what kind of youkai or god you are, but it really doesn't matter now. If you piss me off any more you are going to be the one scrambling to apologize."

"Oh, who cares. I'm through with this shitty place." She tosses an apple core to the ground, and then walks off. After a moment she pauses and turns around. "Hey. I think I'm going to mess with that Malaclypse guy's head some more. If you want you can come along."

"Really?"

"No. Fuck you." She goes back to walking off. In the direction of Hakurei Shrine, you notice. Presumably to leave Gensokyo? Or maybe just to find another place to be pissy and annoying. Well, doesn't matter to you.

Nue shrugs. "That was a rather irrelevant interlude."

"Yeah. She didn't even have a giant robot."

"Maybe I should make a PMS joke."

"Go ahead. I won't be offended. I'm thick-skinned enough to tolerate all that human reproductive cycle stuff."

"Aw. But it's not fun if you aren't offended."

"If you want I can pretend to be offended. Punch you a few times in retaliation while yelling at you to shut up."

"Okay."

"Hah. I always suspected you were a pervert."

"Shut up shut up shut up shut up." You lack twin tails, though, so the line comes out pretty emotionless.

"Coming on to me pretty hard, huh?"

"Fuck this tsundere shit."

"Oh, is that what it's called?"

"...wait, how do you know about character archetypes in anime?"

"Sanae is watching tapes of that stuff all the time. It's hard not to listen when trying to spy on her."

"Er. Is this what you were talking about when you said you were going to go 'investigate' yesterday?"

"What? No. I was doing some actual investigating."

"Uh-huh."

"I was investigating the shit out of things. Really!"

"Well, what did you learn?"

"The Tengu know more about this than they are letting on. They... actually, thinking about the Tengu, we might not want to sit around here for too long. There will probably be reporters on the scene."

"Some investigating that was. I knew about that stuff already." From Shou, but you aren't going to let proper attribution of source take the thunder out of your pagoda.

"Really? Why weren't you evacuating the scene then? Do you want to be caught on the scene with that ridiculous pink outfit?"

"Uh." That's a good question. "Totally unrelated to what you just said, let's grab Kogasa and scram."

You teleport over to Kogasa before she can answer. "Hey, you doing okay?"

"Yeah! Thanks for letting me get that big surprise in! It was fun!"

"What do you want to do now?" She gives you a curious look.

Nue walks up behind you. "I think I might go snoop around the Human Village now that Keine is too tired to police it. I'm not that sold on the plan though, so if you have a better idea..."

Well. You could stick around here and try to trace the teleport. You considered it earlier. This would be a good chance to.
Of course, with what you heard in the papers this morning, this place will be crawling with nosy Tengu pretty soon. Unless all of the newspapers were lying about trying to get interviews.

Or... maybe you could take Sanae up on that offer of a sleepover after all. You would normally never consider it, but she seemed kind of down. Might be partially your fault also, due to earlier. Or it might be due to all of the wacky 'accidents' that didn't involve you. While Sanae is a pain at high morale, she might be a menace to the team's safety at low morale.
At least it doesn't look like you need to worry about Kogasa. She seems pretty happy. And Nue is doing decently too.

[ ] Trace the teleport spell.
-[ ] Try to avoid any reporters.
-[ ] What's the harm in a little self-promotion?
[ ] Go to Sanae's sleepover.
-[ ] Bring Kogasa along.
-[ ] Bring Nue along.

---

The main character's memory span is inversly proportional to how sporadically I work on an update, it seems.

Wow, college starting again is really slowing me down, huh?
Well, there are some good side-effects. If it wasn't for the long delays I probably wouldn't have remembered to include a fairly important plot detail in this update.
I might as well put this out now, then. As of now I have the rest of the run of this adventure planned. That is, I actually have an end in mind now. It will suitably cap off this story. Or it will jump the shark. Even with planning I'm more or less flying by the seat of my pants here.
I'm honestly not sure why I didn't mention this before, since I have had this planned since the end of the Circus arc. Oh well.

I have another story in planning for after this. As a challenge to myself I am trying to make it be as different from this one as I possibly can. I will not give any other details, so that if someone else makes something like it in the interval, everyone can accuse me of being a ripoff.
>> No. 29544
[x] Trace the teleport spell.
-[x] What's the harm in a little self-promotion?
We need to stop ignoring the plot hook sooner or later.
>> No. 29547
[x] Trace the teleport spell.
-[x] What's the harm in a little self-promotion?

Okay okay take the bait.
>> No. 29548
[x] Trace the teleport spell.
-[x] What's the harm in a little self-promotion?

Rumor spreading option is a go.
>> No. 29549
[x] Trace the teleport spell.
-[x] What's the harm in a little self-promotion?

>As a challenge to myself I am trying to make it be as different from this one as I possibly can.

Aw, but I like this.
>> No. 29550
>>29549
Sorry. I just think that, after this story is over, I'll be ready for something entirely different. I've written nearly 230 thousand words for this (not counting voting options, author's notes, replies to comments, etc), and who knows how many are left? Depends on how long this other stuff I have planned out takes, I suppose.
At the very least I'd want to not use 2nd person again. If I had to restart this story, I'd definitely go with 1st person. For a story like this, it would have made more sense. Ah well, live and learn.
>> No. 29551
>>29550
This story will never be over.
Our exploits with Nue and Kogasa shall continue on forever.

Please?
>> No. 29552
this story could easily work for a occasional chapter format unless you're planning on going into a fuller plot mode with actual romance progression. Both Kogasa and Nue all the way
>> No. 29553
[Q] Trace the teleport spell.
-[Q] Try to avoid any reporters.
>> No. 29554
[x] Trace the teleport spell.
-[x] Try to avoid any reporters.
You know, I was convinced about this super sentai shit, but I'm really enjoying it. Guess punching sanae or being halfway useful had a lot to do with that.
>> No. 29556
>>29551
>>29552
There's one thing I started this story thinking: when this story ends, I want it to be because the story ended, not because I lost interest. That's my problem with a "goes on forever" kind of idea.
I suppose I could have the occasional mini-arc after the ending, when I get ideas. Given my rate of updating at the moment, I'll still have plenty of time to adjust my plans and such.
>> No. 29559
[x] Go to Sanae's sleepover.
>> No. 29560
[X] Trace the teleport spell.
-[X] What's the harm in a little self-promotion?

We really should do something nice for Sanae soon, though. She's getting a chance to live her life's dream and it turns out she kinda sucks at it; that's gotta be a downer.
>> No. 29561
[x] Trace the teleport spell.
-[x] Try to avoid any reporters.
>> No. 29575
>>29550
Since you don't have a name, please make sure to keep inexplicably using government email addresses so we know it's you.
>> No. 29576
>>29560
Yeah, I guess you're right.
>> No. 29578
>>29575
Well, it's been a while since I last used a government address. I kind of ran out of good ones, and a lot of agencies don't make their address public in order to keep out spambots anyway.
But okay.
>> No. 29618
I just thought of something. 'Stupid', as Ran calls him, is the Youkai of Travel.

Would this, by any chance, include time travel?
>> No. 29630
>>29618
He can travel forward in time at the rate of 1 second per second.
Any more than that... maybe once he is as old beautiful as Yukari.
>> No. 29814
You still alive secret government writefag?
>> No. 29815
Yes. Update is delayed as always by my government work. Or the school year. Either-or.
Update size is ~31k characters and rising. I wonder if my inexcusable tardiness is why the updates keep getting so large lately? Eh.

Anyway, I hope to have some more time to work today, maybe even enough to finish the damn thing. We shall see.
>> No. 29829
>>29815
Somewhat infrequent updates balanced by being really really long. Sounds like fair enough compensation to me.
>> No. 29835
File 128876180384.jpg - (258.43KB , 800x860 , balloonsmakekogasacry.jpg ) [iqdb]
29835
>>29829
Up to 47k characters now. Jesus christ this wasn't even supposed to be a long update or anything how the hell did this happen.
Definitely not going to get the last two scenes done tonight, sorry. Hopefully tomorrow will be enough for that, unless even more scenes appear as I am writing.
>> No. 29837
>>29835

You know, I'm starting to think that you're actually Palingenesianon in disguise, what with the massive walls for updates.
>> No. 29856
File 128889895437.jpg - (75.00KB , 551x558 , thatisasmallwrench.jpg ) [iqdb]
29856
>>29837
Thanks for the complement, but I'm not that wallsy.

[x] Trace the teleport spell.
-[x] What's the harm in a little self-promotion?

"Snooping sounds like a pretty good idea, actually. I think I will snoop around that... smoking crater, and try to figure out where they were teleporting to. Interested in coming with me?"

"Not really. I don't really care who we are fighting, honestly. I do think it will be great fun to see what people think about it, though."

"Kogasa?"

"That sounds boring. I think I'll go visit Yuugi."

"Oh, it's been a while since you last visited her, right. Tell her I say hi."

Nue removes her costume. You and Kogasa do so also.
That thing is a bit awkward. It feels nice to not have a helmet on again.

"I'm going to go say bye to the others. You two can stay here... unless you want to come, I guess."

"No, go ahead."

"Alright." You head off towards Sanae, who is currently talking to Marisa.

"Heey peepz what is up? Also, sorry about falling onto you back there, Marisa."

"It's okay. I've had worse."

"Do you want to come to the sleepover?"

"Didn't you already ask me about that?"

"I thought you came back to tell me."

"Fair enough." You cough. "Sorry, Sanae, but I don't think I am going to attend your sleepover."

"Aw, why?"

Maybe if you think on her level, you will be able to satisfy her. "See, it's... I have a mission. A spy mission."

"R-really?"

"If you never see me again, it's because I've died."

"That sounds so cool! Can I come?"

"Sorry, Sanae, but this is a solo mission."

"But I could help you! Spying isn't my specialty, but I like to think that all of that time I spent admiring Solid Snake's ass has prepared me at least a little!"

"No, Sanae. This is something I must do alone." You need a reason. Quick, what's the first cliche that comes to mind? "I am going to infiltrate the base of the one-eyed man who killed my father!"

"Oh, I see! It's personal. I'll pray for your success. And that means a lot, because I'm a miracle worker!"

"Thank you, Sanae. I'm not a miracle worker, but I'll pray for the success of your sleepover all the same."

You bow a little. "Now, if you will excuse me..." And then you begin to walk away.

Marisa follows you, however. "That was a bullshit excuse."

"Hey, I'm busy."

"I know you're not very close to Sanae. I'm not either. But isn't it mean to give her the cold shoulder over and over like that?"

"As I said, I'm busy. I guess I can come to the sleepover next time or whatever. You're doing well enough so far keeping her company? I think you came last time."

"Yes, but... me and Sanae alone in her room... every night I do this it's increasing the chance that someone might kill Sanae out of jealousy."

"Uh-huh."

"I'm hot stuff! I've got to use my status responsibly!"

"With a great bod comes great responsibility?" Okay saying that Marisa has a 'great bod' is a biiiit of a stretch, but that won't get in the way of a good quip.

"Basically yes. I've got to use my pimpin'-ness for the force of good." You're pretty sure she is the one bullshitting now.

"Uh-huh."

"It's the power of love!"

"I better leave quickly, then, before someone decides I'm a romantic rival also. I'll try to keep my schedule free next time, okay?" You teleport back to Nue before Marisa can do more then nod.

You take a quick look at the two. Nue is looking amused, while Kogasa is looking a little bored. Maybe you should be quick here, let Kogasa leave. "Okay, said my goodbyes, etc etc."

"Spy mission, huh."

"You know me. I'm a regular James Bond here. I've lost track of the times I've had to escape from ridiculous death traps."

"I see."

"Shark tanks aren't very hard to slip out of if you can teleport, admittedly."

"Well, good luck on your spy mission. I would hate to have to have to disavow you, if you are caught."

"Thank you." You grin. "Well, all joking aside, it shouldn't be too interesting. You'll probably have more fun visiting Yuugi than I will poking at some crater, Kogasa."

Kogasa thinks for a moment. "If it's fun I'll tell you all about it when I get back."

"That sounds like a plan."

Nue blinks, and turns to Kogasa. "Maybe you should ask Yuugi about this giant robot stuff when you visit. Just in case. At the very least I bet an oni would love a chance to wrestle a giant robot."

"Ooh, that does sound like fun! It would surprise the next bad guy a whole lot! But wouldn't it also make them mad?"

"Ugh, probably. You know, that first time, HQ specifically told me not to fight the other giant robot. Supposedly for my own safety... where the hell is my cred, huh? I'm a goddamn shapeshifter. I could turn into one of those big lizards from that one outsider movie."

"Godzilla? I think there is only one Godzilla."

"Then why are there a bunch of different ones who only look a little similar? Is this Godzilla also a shapeshifter?"

"No, I think they just redesigned the costume over time. Er, I think there is only one Godzilla, plot-wise? My Godzilla lore is pretty weak."

"That's besides the point. The point is that I could turn into some huge kick-ass monster and beat the crap out of one of these giant robots. Probably."

"Maybe after this is over we can persuade HQ to let you fight Hisou Tensoku in the world's largest cage match. For now, though, you should probably content yourself with just helping to pilot it."

"Yeah, you're right. It's still a shame, though. I so rarely get real reasons to take a big form. I sometimes feel so cramped in this human body."

"At least you can fit through doorways in it."

"Hmph. Speak for yourself. It took me weeks to get used to doors. Used to keep clipping them with my wings."

"Um, I'll leave you two to your converation. Bye." Kogasa flies off.

"Oh! Have fun! Don't drink unless you really..." She's already out of hearing range. "...want to..." You turn to Nue. "I sure hope she doesn't come back plastered."

Nue sighs. "Knowing what little I know about oni... she probably will. Well, I'll let you stew on that while looking at the crater. I think I'll go infiltrate human society some more." She closes her eyes, and her body shimmers. Her clothes become more rustic, and her wings shrivel up and vanish. When she opens her eyes again, they are brown. "Do you think I look normal enough?"

"Nah. You need blue hair. Also, more frills."

"Oh, shut up." Nue walks off, nonchalantly. She glances back. "Try not to somehow end up in a dress."

"What, do you think that investigating spell residue will transform my pants?"

"Maybe there will be a teleportation accident. I don't know."

"Meh. I'll try not to, I suppose."

She laughs, and then continues on. She is really acting too cool to fit in. If you were her you would act a bit more shaken up. After the events of today, if you were a normal human you would be a bit confused and scared.
But you're not going to tell her how to practice her own hobbies. Instead, you are going to go poke at a crater and pretend that you know how to trace teleports. Hopefully your powers of make-believe will be up for the task.

You blink over to the crater.
So... this thing is a pretty serious scar in the earth.
You wonder what they are going to do about it. It's going to really get in the way of village life, what with it being right next to the village and all. You think it took out some farmland, even. You weren't really paying attention to what this patch of land looked like before the explosion, though.

Hm. This is going to be harder than it would have been last time. Last time, there was just a teleportation spell. But this time, the teleportation spell happened right after a large magical explosion. There's going to be a lot of ambient magic getting in the way of the teleport.
You'll need to really get down to it, then. Investigate hard. You think you're up to it.

The robot used to be in the center of this crater, right? And the teleport was fairly tightly-bound, so any traces of it would be near the robot. So you should go to the center of the crater.
You fly over to it, then. You were already almost there, since if you are going to a big round landmark, somewhere near the center is the most natural place to go anyway.

You plant your hand on the ground. Quite warm. Not nearly as warm as you would have thought given the intensity of the explosion, though. Well, it was a magical explosion, so maybe it was more kinetic force than heat. Or whatever.
You concentrate on your senses. You've always been able to sense magic to some degree. It probably comes with being part magic, now. You think it's a totally new sense, one that humans don't naturally have. However, to you, it is linked to your sight. Maybe you are using the visual center in your brain to process information that isn't really visual? Admittedly, this is a fairly 'natural way' of doing these things. A human magician who wants to sense magic will probably do it via sight too. So your tools are probably up to the job, anyway.
You just need to worry about expertise.

...there is a great deal of magic here, yes. It's quite complex, since it came from two separate items at the same time. The energy from each is somewhat different, and they don't quite blend together. Perhaps that was why the robot exploded in the first place; the two power sources didn't quite work together right, and whatever systems used to make them cooperate were damaged by Hisou Tensoku's finishing blow.
But even given the vast quantity of magic lying around here, it doesn't take you more than a few minutes of puzzling over the ground to begin to notice the residue of the teleport. It looks like a lot of energy went into the teleport, too. It was teleporting a vast object, so that makes sense.
It also looks like the teleport wasn't quite as efficient as your teleports. Again, makes sense; unless some kind of Total Recall shit is going on and you did the teleporting yourself and then wiped your memories, the teleporting definitely wasn't done by the King of Teleportation.
That's you, by the way.

So now you just need to figure out where this teleport goes to. There's a lot of energy here, and the more you look at the teleport the more you begin to see patterns in it.
It... kind of makes sense, but... actually, you need a reference.

You quickly fly out of the crater, and then teleport a few times, making sure to use more energy than needed. And then look around.
Good, you left some magic residue. It shouldn't take too long for you to figure out what the pattern is. You aren't an expert at this kind of magic detective-ing, but the residue from the big teleport should last an hour, easy. So you should dig in, then.
You poke the ground a few times. So, this teleport went to there...

"Ayayayayayaya! What are you doing?"

You turn around, being careful to not show your surprise. "Ah... it's you. Uh. Crow lady."

"Aya Shameimaru, reporter for the bunbunmaru. Looking for witnesses for the recent..." She pauses, as if looking for the right word. "...events here, and guess what I see?"

"What do you see?"

"A witness. You, that is."

"Why did you pick me? Why not one of the villagers?"

"You can teleport, right? You could have gotten to the scene in an instant to watch."

"You still could have asked one of the villagers."

"They were all cowering in their houses."

"Why did you assume I saw the battle? I could have come to investigate after the fact."

"You're a pretty suspicious guy, you know."

You stop poking the ground. "How do you figure?"

"You were doing some kind of teleport thing earlier. Is that a new dance? Maybe some outside-world dance?"

"What, you think normal humans on the outside dance by teleporting?"

"That's besides the point. You're getting me off-track. I need to get the news... pronto. Before anyone else." She raises one finger. "So, did you see the battle, or are you just wasting my time?" Why did she raise that finger? She didn't say anything... finger-raising worthy.

"Well, you are the one wasting my time, but okay." Actually, maybe this is a good thing. An opportunity to increase your street cred. Or, uh, Moriya Pink's street cred. Or whatever. "I did see it, anyway."

"Good." She takes out her notebook seemingly instantly. "Tell me what you saw."

"Well, there was a pretty short scuffle between the silly rainbow-colored spandex people and the other people. And then they got into two big robots and punched each other for a while, and then one of them blew up right next to the village."

"Can you... go into more detail?" She has yet to write anything. Presumably she already could have guessed that much.

"Yes."

There is a short silence.

"Will you go into more detail?"

"It sounds kind of like a pain, but... fine, if you want." You were intending to go into more detail from the start, of course. But there's no reason to let her know that. Can't come across as too eager, it will be suspicious. Rightfully so, admittedly.
You cough. "Okay, so the rainbrow brite rangers were out here-"

"'Rainbow brite rangers'? Is that a new name for them?" Her pen pauses mid-stroke.

"Yes, in the sense that I just made it up off the top of my head. It's a nickname. I need to refer to them by a nickname because I do not know what they are really called. Well, anyway, they were fighting these two people. This big tough-looking guy with a sword and shield and stuff, and this bitchy-looking woman with an apple. Oh, they also had clothing, they weren't nudists or anything."

Crowlady snaps off a quick question. "What kind of clothing?" It sounds like she is beginning to get into a groove.

"I wasn't quite paying attention. Er, I think Roman-ish stuff. Or maybe Greek-ish."

"And what is a 'Roman-ish or maybe Greek-ish' outfit like?"

"It has, uh, white robes, and, uh... togas, and... look, is this really important?"

"I guess not. Can you describe them better? I owe it to my readers to provide a good description of these dangerous criminals."

"Not sure if they were criminals, but okay. The guy was big and tall and muscular and had freaky magic eyes."

"Freaky magic eyes?"

"You'd know if you looked him in the eye. It makes you very scared or something."

"How do you know this? You were watching from far away, right?"

"Uh. Well, I. It works over a long distance. And I was watching his eyes because... I don't remember anymore."

"And the woman?"

"Right, the woman. She looked like... a... you know, I don't remember at all. She was kind of hot, I guess. I can't remember more. Just ask someone what a hot lady looks like. Do you know any lesbians or any men? No, of course you know some lesbians. Just ask them for a description."

"And that will describe her?"

"Maybe? I don't know. Just throwing out ideas here. Anyway, I can at least tell you that I last saw her leave towards Hakurei Shrine, for what it's worth. Getting a bit ahead of myself with that one though."

"That's enough information about her. Anyway, the two groups fought?"

"Yeah. Mostly punches and kicks and martial arts stuff like that, very little danmaku. The rainbow brite in pink was the most impressive, incapacitating the woman almost singlehandedly. Anyway, it wasn't a very long fight. Both sides summoned their giant robots soon and started duking out as giant robots."

"What were the robots like?"

"One was big and gold and... uh... with a spiky hat and... don't you know what they look like? They were like super visible. As you can tell I don't have the best eye for fine details."

"Very large fine details."

"Yes, even very large ones can sometimes escape my eagle eyes. Now, as I was saying, they were fighting. Hisou Tensoku kept messing up it's attacks just by a smidgeon, and ended up pretty badly damaged. It got a big pillar thing, and then tried some attack where it summoned a-" You realize that if you mention the black cloud, it might become obvious that Nue is on the team. If, uh, the fact that a nue appeared the first battle didn't already give it away. "It summoned a smokescreen and got into close range, and when the smokescreen cleared it got a clear shot and used some beam attack to badly hurt Horrorlord Timor."

"Horrorlord Timor? You know what the other mech is called?"

"It had a name tag." Okay managed not to stumble over that one, at least. "So yeah, they then punched it and the thing just blew up on the spot. Would have destroyed the village, but a big grilled chicken came up and took the brunt of the explosion."

"Mystia? I'll have to finally publish that obituary I prepared for her. Just replace all mentions of 'Yuyuko' with 'explosion', and..."

"No, Mokou."

"Oh, then there won't be any obituaries." Crowlady looks a bit disappointed.

"Well, maybe the guy who was in the giant robot died."

"He will be missed dearly." She pauses. "Wait, if the robot exploded, how did the lady who was with him leave for Hakurei Shrine?"

"Oh, she didn't get in the robot. She just hung out watching the fight."

"I see. Any other observations?"

"The one in pink was the most manly one of them." You blink. "Uh, by default, I suppose. But still."

"Duly noted."

"Do you need any-" she flies off before you can so much as finish your sentence.
Well, she obviously didn't need any more information. Maybe she saw a juicier scoop pass by or something. Good thing too, you can't let the teleport traces cool too much.
So, you should get back to figuring them out. You should hurry a bit too, probably.

---

You think you've gotten a pretty good handle on this teleport. Like, you know where it leads to. That general method for evaluating teleport traces works. You think. It's pretty slow, though, and not nearly as exciting as it first sounds like, so maybe if you plan to do this more often you should make a spell to automate the process.
You guess that you don't really know where it leads to in a concrete sense, though. It's more like you know where it leads to in relation to here.
Which should be... underground, you think. It's in the direction of youkai mountain, also. Maybe under the mountain... maybe even in one of those tunnels to the Ancient City? There would be enough open space in the cavern that houses the Ancient City to store a giant robot or two, though you don't think that the destination is quite that far down. You could use some magic to try to pinpoint the specific location, anyway.
Or you could just teleport there. Which is the way easier way that is also much more fun and satisfies your sense of curiosity instantly.

So you do that. You offset yourself a bit so that you don't accidentally end up inside the burned-out husk of the robot or something like that.

You resolve in your new location. It is... probably underground, yes.
It looks like some kind of hangar. It appears to be carved out of solid stone.
Perhaps it was a natural cave that was enlarged and made very regular and rectangular-ish? You can't really tell for certain, but it's not that important really.

The entire place is lit by electric lights hanging from the (quite high) ceiling. They illuminate the vast space of the hangar (albeit a bit dimly), showing various machines strewn around.
In the distance you can see figures moving and working with the machines, but none are near where you teleported in.

So... this is presumably where the giant robots are made? Or repaired? Or maybe they are being captured after their defeat and broken down for reverse-engineering? Some of those machines in the distance definitely could be giant robots, or at least pieces of them. You don't have a very clear view from here, though.

Maybe you should find one of the workers here. Get him or her to talk.
You stride in the direction of the nearest person you can see...
...something feels off.

You look down.

Instead of your pants, you are now wearing a long skirt. Quite a fetching one actually, if you do say so yourself, but not quite your style.

Teleportation accident, huh? Hilarious, Nue, hilarious. You need to remember to prank her back later.
The sad thing is that you almost didn't notice. What does this say about your life?
Oh well, no use dwelling on minor stuff like this. You are used to this shit. Nue would have to do something much more seriouser to phase you. Maybe if she planted a seed of non-identification on you set to give you bunny ears?
Almost unconsciously, your hand reaches up and pats the top of your head. No irregularities in shape. Well, that's a small blessing.

Oh well. You continue on.

Said nearest person you can see is, now that you are in visual range, wearing a red and pink dress, an odd red hat on red hair, and has a traffic sign slung over her back, held by a padlocked chain. An... odd choice of outfit, given she is working with some machine.
It looks like some kind of motor. It's in very bad condition.

Given the fact that it's next to the smoking lower half of a giant robot, which is broken to the point of unrecognizability, you have to assume that it is part of the giant robot you just beat the shit out of. Well, everyone else beat the shit out of while you played 'moral support'.
There are various other machines on the floor around the thing, and several half-built scaffoldings. It looks like a bunch of people started to prepare to dismantle this, but then left to do other things midway through the preparations. Or maybe this woman is doing it alone, and just got tired of making scaffolding and decided to start picking at one of the leg's actuators or whatever.

She does not look up from her work, but does seem to notice your approach. "Halt." She waves a sign at you. Despite the fact that she is working on an oily machine without wearing gloves, her hands are entirely clean.

You stop in place. "Okay, okay. ...wait, 'Employees must wash their hands.'? Wouldn't a stop sign make more sense?" Also if she can magically keep her hands from getting dirty (what kind of lame power is that?), she doesn't even need to wash her hands after using the bathroom. Poor sign is getting double-dissed.

"I left my stop sign at home. I got this one from the restrooms."

"Oh, okay." You go back to walking.

"W- you can still move?" She finally looks up from the motor. Red eyes. Real original color scheme you have going there, lady.

"Yeah. Haven't you heard of 'not obeying commands'? It's all the rage in the outside world, nowadays."

"I mean... hm." She puts down the wrench and steps up to you. "I see. Spacial restrictions aren't going to work on you."

"They generally don't, no. If by spacial restrictions you mean... things that keep me from moving. Which you probably do."

"I see. Keeping you out sounds like more work than it's worth, then. Don't touch anything, though."

"Yeah, yeah, I promise."

A humming becomes audible, in the distance.

She rolls her eyes. "Now I can rest safely. I guess it'll be safe to take a damn crossdressing human like you at his word, eh?" But you aren't exactly a human. Or a crossdre-... okay, but this point, you probably qualify as a crossdresser, if only by way of repeated 'accidents'.

There's a sudden commotion. A kappa runs up to the red woman, in near-hysterics. You can tell he is a kappa because of his blue and green outfit, full of various pouches and toolbelts and whatever. You haven't met many Kappa, mostly seen them in passing, but from what you have seen you get the impression they all dress like that. "Miss..." he pauses, panting. "Miss Kawashiro, the mana reactor has gone out of control!" That slowly-rising hum suddenly takes on an ominous tone.

"Oh for cucumber's sake... you two stay put, I'll handle it." She tears off in the direction the kappa ran from.

You look down at the kappa. He is pretty short, young-ish-looking, and overall nonthreatening. Looks like an underling. Safe to ignore, you would say, but you suppose you might be able to pump him from info. "So. What kind of stuff do you people do here?"

"Why should I tell you?"

"I... er, status report, minion! You must not be so rude to your employer's auditor!"

"That's a pretty pathetic act."

You hear the red woman's voice in the distance, yelling authoritatively. "I forbid you from exploding!" The rising hum abruptly stops.

Bah, source of panic removed. This kappa is out of the frying pan. You'll have to lay on the heat and become the fire, or else he won't be sufficiently grilled for him to spill the beans. "Your superior will hear about this!"

"Seriously, what are you hoping to accomplish?"

"...well, I was hoping that you would say something like 'there's no way you work for XYZcorp'."

"That's sad."

"It's probably Moriya Shrine, anyway."

"Where did you get that idea?"

"This hangar should be somewhere below Youkai Mountain, if my rough estimate is right. You are a kappa, and given the contents of this hangar I bet most of the other workers here are too. There's no way you could do this without Moriya Shrine knowing. ...besides, this kind of stuff is always a Moriya Shrine conspiracy."

"Why would the gods of Moriya Shrine sponsor robots attacking Gensokyo?"

"I don't know. You tell me."

You twirl your cane, and switch to your youkai form (it's been so long since you have had a reason to do that, thinking about it). He seems to realize, for the first time, that you could beat him to a pulp without expending any effort at all. Or at least, the look on his face suggests this.
You are interrupted by an explosion directly behind you.
You spin around, to see another kappa behind you. She has a blue dress on, a bulky backpack, and a green hat. You notice that she is wearing a key on a lanyard around her neck. Maybe locks and keys are considered fashionable by kappa? Like the oni are fond of manacles and chains. She looks vaguely familiar, anyway. Maybe one of those people you met at that party and then forgot about. "Don't pick on my research assistants!"

You hear the other kappa scampering away behind you. You could fight this newcomer, who looks more powerful than the other kappa. Or, you could just grab the weakling and teleport out.
Yeah, screw having a confrontation.

You teleport to the running kappa, at the same time as returning to human form. You're more comfortable that way.

Or, rather, you try. It ain't working. Well, okay, you do look human again. It would kind of suck if you got mode-locked or something. But the teleport fizzles.

The other kappa smiles. "I see you have noticed my MK. 2 Dimensional Interference Generator! It's Nitori Quality™, so you better just give up on trying to teleport!"

That sounds like a bluff to you. A false show of confidence, to keep you from just overwhelming her anti-teleportation thingie. "Yeah, well screw you." You try to teleport away again.
Nope.
You try harder.
Still nope.

Maybe she wasn't bluffingOH GOD MISSILES DODGE DODGE DODGE

Shit. It looks like you might have to actually fight for once instead of just randomly teleport around.
Eh, sounds like too much work.
You hold up your hands. "Heeey, can't we talk this out?"

"Okay." She stops shooting missiles at you.

...

That really worked?
Sweet!

"I'm, uh, sorry for trying to beat up one of your employees."

"He's not an employee."

"Really?"

"He's a grad student."

"What's the difference?"

"I don't need to pay him."

"I see." Time to move up the totem pole. The totem pole of... interrogation. Or something. "Hey, what is it you people do here?"

"We make and repair giant robots."

"Thanks, I hadn't noticed."

"I've always wanted to try something like this!" She skips up to the foot of the robot being repaired. "I've never had such resources before, though. Of course, we Kappa often make plans like this, but they rarely get past the design phase. To actually be able to work with such magnificent machines... even repairing one is an honor, let alone getting to design one! The technology is so amazing..."

"So, uh, who do you make the giant robots on behalf of?"

"Oh, you must meet our current weapons consultant!" She grabs you by the arm and drags you off.

Great. Maybe you should have asked someone who didn't care about their job the lowdown. She doesn't even seem to be listening to you anymore.

She drags you past a variety of broken machines. Some of them have a kappa or two watching them, and many are actually smoking. The pieces of the mech you just destroyed?

You come to a large... thing.
>> No. 29857
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29857
A giant sphere, with tentacles and wings. It is black, and the wings are purple and the tentacles are green, to be precise. A mildly odd color scheme.
It has several panels open on it, revealing that despite the organic-looking exterior it is a machine inside. Several thick tubes are connected to such open ports.
There is a crease across the middle of the sphere, and just below that is a capital Omega in red.

In front of it is a woman with brown hair done in two braids. She is wearing a hat that you can't quite describe. These are the only parts of her appearance that stand out to you, a sure sign that you are quite used to Gensokyo by now. She glances up from her clipboard when she hears the kappa coming. "Oh, Nitori. Don't worry. After I'm done here I'll check the main weapons on... wait, are you escorting an unauthorized person around the facility?"

"I'm giving him a guided tour. Oh, hey, want to show him your personal project?"

"I will, I will. Evil Eye Omega, activate anti-intruder routine!"

There is a rising humming. A halo of blinding white light fades into existance over the sphere, and with a leathery sound the sphere opens. It's an... eyeball?
The eye looks at you, and you feel a tingling feeling. A faint halo of light appears around you and converges into a point.
You jump backwards as fast as you can, as an intense explosion erupts from where you were just standing. The thing is pure white, and you note that the floor touched by it is instantly reduced to molten state. However, the explosion itself leaves no dust, and you see that Nitori is totally unharmed. It looks like the thing was 'shaped' so that none of the blast was pointing towards Nitori?
You can see why this woman is a weapons consultant. That was very tightly-controlled for such an intense weapon.

However, you shouldn't stick around and give her more of a chance to show why she is a weapons consultant. Considering that the thing was connected to the facility by a series of tubes, you imagine it will be unable to chase you if you run.
So running it is.

Well, okay, flying it is. You fly off, dodging and weaving to avoid the explosions.

It isn't long before you get out of her maximum range.
She needs to make those explosions faster. Or make the thing lead the shots. You didn't even need to teleport there. And that's a good thing, because you can't teleport.

...or can you? You are quite a bit away from Nitori, so maybe you are out of range of the anti-teleportation thingie?

One way to find out. You concentrate and-

"Sorry about that!" Nitori fades into visibility beside you. It's kind of pretty, actually, blue and shimmering. However, it also scares the hell out of you, and it takes all of your collectedness and cool to not fall over. Despite her statement, she doesn't sound sorry at all. She sounds very, very eager, and that's probably a much better reason to be scared than any fancy cloaking device. "I guess I probably shouldn't be showing you around- are you all right you look alright okay- let's go look at the less critical stuff now maybe the leg actuators I've been dying to show those off for a while now they're quite a clever design wait maybe my sister is done have you met her she has been working on ironing out power source compatability issues-"
At some point during that long, rambling run-on sentence she grabbed you by the arm again and started running. Like, not walking fast, but literally running. She doesn't even seem to notice that you didn't have time to start running also, and you find yourself being dragged across the ground. You quickly fly for a moment to get off the floor, and then drop into a run also.

At least she is being nice and fast... that's good, right? You were kind of worried she would stand around talking to you forever, with how enthusiastic she was, but instead you will just have to put up with getting dragged around.
Dragged around to people who try to kill you.
Wait.
That's not good at all, right? It's not good when people try to kill you. You have a doctor's note saying that you should avoid getting killed. It's from Doctor Yagokoro. Also it's not real because you just made it up. But it doesn't need to be real in order to illustrate the issue: you would rather not be killed. It's bad for you.

She slows down after a distance, and points at a machine that is currently crawling with Kappa. "That's one of our greatest creations for this project. Well, I say greatest, but it's the greatest in effect, not in effort. It was surprisingly easy to harness this particular power source..."

"Ah, Miss Kawashiro!" One of the kappa walks up. "The mana reactor is under control again."

Nitori nods. "Good. Do you know why it was going to explode?"

"Maybe? We think it was caused by the spell reacting to the ambient magic."

"Try putting some more insulation on, then."

"That's what we are doing now. But we aren't sure it will solve the problem."

"I'd say it's close enough for a rush job. Oh, if only we had enough time to properly complete the reactor..."

"It is a shame, yes."

"Well, I'm busy now, but I'll have the Ultor cannon ready for installation by 20:00 at the latest."

"I see." The other kappa seems to notice you for the first time. "Oh, a human. Going to have shirikodama tonight, Miss Kawashiro?" Given that the kappa winked, you have to assume that last part was a joke. Or perhaps a euphemism. You don't remember what a shirikodama is, which would affect your assessment.

"Huh?" Nitori confusedly cocks her head.

"I didn't know you were into crossdressers, either..." He looks at your dress.

You slowly raise your hand. "I would like to volunteer a correction at this point. Namely, I am not a human." You just play one on TV.

"Shirikodama's still good- oh, forget it, it wasn't a very funny joke anyway."

"Also, I would say that I'm not a crossdresser, but there seems to be pretty damning evidence against that claim right now so I'll abstain from making it."

He shrugs. "Hey, it doesn't matter to me. Maybe it's some outside human-"

"I'm not a human."

"Okay, outside not-human fashion trend you are imitating."

"Let's just drop this, okay?"

"Yeah, yeah. I need to get back to work."

"You have fun doing your... kappa things." He returns to the mana reactor. "No comments all of a sudden, Nitori?"

"I didn't have anything to contribute to the conversation. I don't know much about outsider cultural trends."

"This isn't really a cultural trend... oh, who cares." You begin walking off. "We should get going to the next stop on your little guided tour, before the awkwardness reaches critical mass and blows this entire hangar up."

"Okay. Next we should go check out... well, how about let's check out our biggest work?" She begins hurrying forward, without so much as waiting for an answer. Not quite running this time, but definitely walking fast.

"Biggest work?"

"The most powerful machine we have had a chance to work on here. It's what the mana reactor is intended for."

This sounds like it could be useful information. "Interesting."

"Tell me about it! It has some truly clever engineering involved, if I do say so myself. For instance, the..." She pauses thoughtfully, although without slowing down her stride. "The... you know, I'm not sure how to explain it. How about I'll just show it to you once we get there?"

"Alright."

She still seems excited, but also a bit frustrated now by her sudden inarticulateness. It is a bit annoying when you find yourself at a loss for words, so you sympathize somewhat. It tends to happen to you when you really need to convince someone.
So instead, you look at the scenery as you pass by. You are currently passing through an area with several rows of tall shelves, housing small trinkets and doodads.
That suggests to you that maybe this place was not specifically made for this task. A lot of these things, you can't imagine them being useful for giant robot maintenance. There are even some familiar items here, many of which look to be half-disassembled. Cell phones, pistols, automatic pencil sharpeners, all kinds of stuff.

Ooh, is that a spy camera of some kind on that shelf?
Hm. It looks like an easily-concealable video camera.
You must have it.

Just think of all of the things you could do with it! You could introduce Kogasa to the joys of Candid Camera! You could keep tabs on Reimu to make some sort of Miko Early Warning System! You could spy on people as they change do all kinds of other highly responsible and constructive things!

Nitori is looking at you. You do seem to have stopped walking, and amazingly enough she noticed and didn't just walk off without you. You clear your throat. "Uh, Nitori, why are you carrying around a teleportation inhibitor anyway?"

"It's a result of some of our recent research into large-scale teleportation. We have made some breakthroughs in the mechanics behind teleportation. I made this as a proof-of-concept. Thanks for helping me test it, by the way."

As she talks, you subtly snake your hand to the camera. "So, uh, what would have happened if it hadn't worked?" And you graaaaaab-
The muscles in your hand sieze up. No matter how hard you try you can't grab the camera.
Well, shit, it looks like the [S]voyeurism[/U] surveillance isn't going to happen after all.

"Oh, I'm quite sure the inhibitor worked. I just wasn't sure what it would do to people who attempted to teleport. It's supposed to harmlessly prevent them, but if it hadn't worked right you might have come out on the other end as an unrecognizable pile of mush."

"Well, it's a good thing it worked then." You quickly retract your hand, before she notices your attempted theft.

"It is nice when a device works as intended." You continue walking again, and so does she after a moment.

"If that is your philosophy, maybe I should become an attorney."

"I don't think that would go over well in Gensokyo."

"There are some things just too vile, even for the youkai of this land of illusion, huh." As if you are one to talk about vileness, making such a vilely cliche joke there.

"I'm not sure if vile is the right- ah! Mitori!"

It seems you have come into view of that red woman from earlier. Nitori runs up to her.
She seems to be taking a break or something. She is drinking something out of a cup, anyway. She sitting next to a running machine, which seems to be some kind of power generator. Given the thick cables leading from it, some of which lead up to the ceiling, you imagine it probably powers the lights and such of this place. The generator is producing a kind of annoying hum.

So, Mitori. If she some kind of Bizzarro world counterpart of Nitori? It would explain the red outfit and the somewhat unenthusiastic demeanor. But, uh, not the traffic signs.
This 'Mitori' (it even sounds like the name of a superhero's clone, seriously), ignores Nitori and looks at you. "Didn't I tell you to not go any farther?"

"You said it would be too much work to stop me."

"I also said to stay put." She puts down the cup. "So you think you can wander around here, spying on our work."

"Well, I have been wandering around and peeping shit up, so yes. Yes, I evidently can do that."

"Hmph. How about this. I forbid you from looking at anything in this lab." Suddenly your eyes close. "There, I should have done that from the beginning."

"Why didn't you?" You point your head at where you hope she is, and shoot the most inquisitive glance you can with eyes closed.

"It sounded a bit drastic at the time. I figured you would get the hint and leave. Obviously I gave a piece of human scum like you a bit too much credit."

"Well you didn't sound like you cared too much to me, but okay, I can accept it was a communication misunderstanding."

"Why are you by the generator, anyway?" Nitori sounds curious. "With your tools, also. But it hasn't been malfunctioning." You didn't see her carrying any tools around back when you could see, so you'll have to take Nitori's word for it this time.

"After the Mana Reactor almost melted down, I decided to check this one also. I am not feeling particularly confident about the state of kappa engineering at the moment."

"If you say so." Nitori doesn't sound very happy.

"Nitori, why were you leading this guy around?"

"I was giving him a tour. You know how it is, where you just want to talk about what you are working on?"

"Go talk to a wall, you idiotic kappa. I swear, ever since you began to get over your social anxieties, you have gotten even stupider."

Nitori runs off, crying. Or something. You can't see what is going on, and you can't hear that well over the hum of the machine, so you are kind of assuming.

"Now, you human idiot. Scram."

"And what if I don't?"

"Well, I could forbid you from breathing, but that would get me shrine maiden'd. So instead I would just have to use my awesome danmaku prowess to beat the crap out of you."

"Sheesh, sheesh, I get it. Okay, leaving."

You teleport out.

---

You materialize in your room, back in the Temple.
You can open your eyes again. Sweet! Keeping your eyes closed for a while can be kind of uncomfortable. In multiple ways.

So, what now?
How much time has passed? Is it lunch time yet? You're not really sure.
You are kind of hungry, though.

Well, nothing is keeping you from having a snack, even if it isn't really lunch.
You wander off, in search of food.

---

A few hours later, Kogasa returns. Apparently she ended up eating at Yuugi's.
That is about all you get out of her, given that she returns utterly blitzed.
At least she had a good time. Probably.

Nue, on the other hand, doesn't return that day. Who knows what is taking her so long.
Maybe the villagers captured her?

As if. She probably just got sidetracked and forgot to come back.

You get plenty of rest, and plan carefully, so that when you are teleported to HQ next, you are ready for it and not accidently in some compromising or embarassing position. You even remember to change out of that dress and back into your normal pants! You were half expecting to forget about that.

The others seem to be getting used to this also. Reimu is calm this time, and must have finished her tea already because she is not carrying any. Nue is nonchalant, if a bit dirty. Sanae is, of course, hyper-excited. Even Kogasa is awake and alert, after taking a 'sailor's hangover cure' Murasa provided. You think it actually more alcohol, since you don't know of any other popular nautical hangover cures, but it seems to have worked so you can't complain.
Marisa is the only one who doesn't look at all prepared. Her hair is frazzled and she is still in her nightclothes. Presumably she slept in after that sleepover or whatever, but what kind of person sleeps in till 1?

Zordon Moriya or whatever is ready too, of course. "Miracleteam☆Moriya! Big trouble! It seems like the enemy is done sending subordinates in, and the enemy boss has come to do the job himself!"

"Oh no!" Sanae leaps forward. "What is his target?"

"Moriya Shrine. He wants to defeat us outright. If he does, there will be no one left to stop him, and Gensokyo will be his!"

You yawn. "Well, that doesn't sound good."

"Because of the critical importance of this battle, we will supply you with a Mega-Onbashira from the start. It will be a little bit till we are ready then. I suggest you spent that time getting ready, yourselves."

"Okay, team." Sanae turns back to the rest of you. "You all get ready to go. We will need to be... super ready for this!"

After that, she approaches you. "How did your sneaking mission go?" She sounds a bit concerned.

"Oh, er. Well, I'm not dead, right, so obviously it went pretty well, right?"

"Did you catch that one-legged man who killed your father?"

"One-eyed, and yes. It turned out it was farmer Jenkins all along, and he really did it to scare everyone away while he got the Nazi gold."

"That doesn't sound like a very superspy kind of enemy to beat."

"It turned out to not be much of a superspy mission, in the end. You can never know. It's so hard to fully read those secret messages before they self-destruct, you know?"

"Ooh, those things are so cool."

"Yeah, but they hurt like hell if they go off when you are trying to read the fine print. Now, you should probably get ready, okay? As our leader you have to be extra-ready, you know?"

"Indeed." She walks off, determined-esque.

Nue sidles up to you. "Mr. Bond, I found out some interesting things when snooping around the village yesterday." Elsewhere in the room, it looks like Sanae has begun doing stretches, Reimu is still drinking tea, and Marisa is accosting Kogasa. Well, you don't think Marisa is going to do anything bad to Kogasa, so you can focus on Nue for now.

"Oh?"

"Well, did you wonder why nobody was outside during the attack?"

"I guess I figured it was luck."

"It seems like there had been rumors recently that a major youkai attack was going to happen yesterday. Nobody could say for sure where they first heard it, but that was the reason that nobody was out at that time of day. Everyone was on-guard and they were quick to retreat into the town when the enemy came."

"Interesting. Anything else?"

"Well, apparently Moriya Shrine has pledged to repair the damage from the fight. That's fair enough, because we caused a lot of it."

"And I doubt those guys we were fighting would want to help repair the village, so... that's nice to know, I suppose."

"It means I don't have to do any boring repair work, so I'm happy."

"Did it take you all day to find that out?"

"I got, uh, distracted for a while."

"I see."

"Did you find anything?"

"I discovered quite a bit. I'll tell you later, though, it looks like Sanae is about ready to give a speech."

"Okay."

Sanae clears her throat loudly. She has once again taken up position in front of the tube thingie.

"Miracleteam☆Moriya! This will be our final battle. If we beat their leader, they will crumble. But their aim is the same. They want to beat us and destroy HQ. We cannot let them. We are the last line of defense for Gensokyo against these invaders! We must work together, heart and soul, and if we do we are sure to win!"

Meh, not a very good speech. You clap anyway, to be polite.
The only person who looks really inspired is Marisa. You get the impression Marisa is easy to excite, though, so it's not much of an accomplishment.

"Now." Sanae poses dramatically. "Suit up, it's go time!"

---

The six of you are transported in front of the shrine.
This time the teleportation was done very well. Bright enough to be suitably flashy, but not enough to be distracting or disorienting. The technique of whoever is doing that is definitely improving.

There doesn't seem to be anything wrong at first.
However, before any of you comments on this, the enemy comes into view.

He is a very powerful man. Muscular and fierce, he is clad in finely-made armor or gold (or perhaps unusual shiny bronze) and an elaborate helmet of the same. The armor glows with an inner light, and is obviously magical or supernatural in some way. Trailing behind his armor is a slightly ragged purple cape, matching the trim of his armor. Yet despite such decorative aspects to his armor, he has the look of a dangerous man, merely dressing in a fancy way. The purple seems to be the only noble thing about him, judging him solely by his appearance (you shallow person you).
Behind him are the two previous foes you have fought. The way they are following him, it is clear that they are his subordinates. They are being quite deferential.

You quickly glance at his eyes. Nope, no weird eye powers or anything.
He looks back at you. Despite not having any weird eye powers, meeting his eyes made you a bit nervous. Maybe it's how this guy looks like he could snap you like a twig, and is flanked by two other guys who could probably do that also if you stood still.

Sanae steps forward. "Stop right there, villain!"

The man stops walking. "Oh? And what will you do if I don't?"

"Then Miracleteam☆Moriya will make you stop!"

"Fighting words, huh." The man grins nastily. "I could do with a good fight." One of the men behind him hands him a spear, and he breaks into a dead run. Reimu yanks Sanae backwards, out of the way of a powerful-looking spear jab.

The other two men take out their respective weapons.

You know what. You are going to do the exact opposite of what you normally do. Instead of focusing on the chaff and letting everyone else fight the main badguy of this fight, maybe you should focus your attention on the big man.
You teleport behind him, and hit him with your cane. He doesn't even seem to notice. You didn't get a good hit in, admittedly. Hit the armor instead of the body.
Maybe you should try agai- you teleport away to avoid a sword jab. Oh right, the other two guys are still pretty close.

Nue and Kogasa step in to fight that guy, the one with the sword, and Marisa and Reimu take on the other one.
So it's you and Sanae fighting the enemy boss?

...you are kind of screwed here. Sanae isn't really much of a martial artist, from what you know.

You teleport in front of him, and lash out with another quick swipe. He easily blocks it and returns with a shield bash, which you teleport away from. It probably wouldn'tve hurt you, but you can't be too cautious.
Sanae charges forward and kicks, and you have to teleport beside the guy and grab his hand to keep him from skewering her with his spear.

You divert your attention for just a moment. You need to communicate with Sanae, at least a little. "I'll try to create an opening!" And, after cleverly giving away your plan directly in front of the enemy, you start teleporting around him, raining him with quick blows in an attempt to force him to attack your or something.
It fails utterly. He just ignores you.

You opt to fire a bit of danmaku at point-blank instead.

His armor absorbs it.

Uh.

New plan: delay him until the others are done beating up their opponents.
You should pretend to keep trying to create an opening, though. Somehow you don't think Sanae would like this new plan... and who knows, maybe you will make him produce an opening.

He lunges at Sanae again, and you simply push her out of the way. You briefly consider tripping him, but you would probably just hurt your legs. He has shiny metal greaves on. Shiny stuff is more effective, everyone knows that.

You teleport in front of him, fire a single danmaku bullet towards an opening in his armor (actually his helmet, to be less inaccurate), and teleport away again. He effortlessly moves just enough to let the armor take the bullet for him, though.
Yeah, as if that was going to work.

He stomps the ground, and the stone path shakes. You are suddenly thrown off-balance, and he takes that chance to punch you. It's a good thing you were too close for him to spear you, because that could have been nasty.
The punch was bad enough as it was. You teleport back, and spit out a bit of blood. It'll regenerate, of course, but this guy isn't pulling his punches. Literally.

Maybe you could try something dirty? Again, literally.
You hop to the dirt beside the path, and kick at it. You then teleport the resulting cloud of dirt around his face. "Like my... dirty trick?" You laugh a bit to yourself, and he quickly clears the ground between the two of you and punches you again.

Uh. Maybe you shouldn't crack jokes. It isn't working out too hot.
Of course, you only tried it once. That's hardly a large enough sample size to get any sort of real conclusion.

You teleport into the air above him. "I said, 'Look out, it's the Nemean Lion,' but he said 'Name Ian? But he already has a name, and it's not Lion.' And then the Nemean Lion ate him." You pause for a second. Okay, you told a joke, and he didn't punch you. He looks more confused than anything. Maybe it was the fact that you always forget that puns stop making sense when you translate them from English. Or perhaps it's the fact that that was a shitty pun.

On the other hand, it actually did make him pause. You teleport behind him. "Don't fall... behind, now!" And then you teleport away. Again, you didn't get punched (although he did try to punch you there, admittedly).
So, conclusion: telling jokes/puns does not make you get punched. That first one must have been an outlier or something. You barely remember anything from statistics.
That basically means that you can laugh as much as you want and you'll be fine.

So you start laughing.
He punches you again. And then Sanae gets him in the head with a flying kick.

That... actually worked, kind of. He doesn't look too hurt, but it at least made him stumble forward for a moment.
That's sort of a victory, right? You give Sanae a thumbs up after you stop being doubled over in pain. And then you teleport away before he knees you.
You aren't sure how much you like these victories though. You get punched, what, three or four times or something in order to let Sanae kick him once, and he doesn't seem to be hurting at all.
So back to not really trying to find openings.

You teleport around him for a bit, doing tricksy-looking stuff, but really making sure he can't hit you.

After a bit, Reimu comes up. At first you assume that means she has won her fight, but a quick look to the side reveals that her enemy was merely weakened, and is now being held at a standstill by Marisa.
So Reimu can recognize when you and Sanae need help. Well, she is nothing if not competant. "I didn't know you cared."

"Your fight wasn't going anywhere." She makes a few quick swipes with her gohei (she has it on her this time? You can't remember if she was carrying it the last two times), neatly parrying a spear thrust and hitting him. She pulls out a handful of needles.
Hm. Now his attentions are full on Reimu. You can see Sanae preparing for another attack of opportunity.
Well, maybe you can also. You ready your cane for a good whuppin'...

There! Reimu forces him to bring up his shield, blocking a wave of purifying needles, and you and Sanae strike him in the back at once. Again, it doesn't really hurt him... you get the feeling that you would need to be a much stronger youkai to really hurt him through that armor... but it does cause him to stumble.
And Reimu jabs him with the gohei, and then brings out a big stone yin-yang orb from nowhere. She hits him on the head with it.
You teleport above her and stomp on the orb a moment afterwards, this blow causing his helmet to ring like a bell.

You then teleport to the side, quickly strip off your shoes, and start rubbing your feet in the dirt. Maybe touching the youkai-exterminating yin-yang orb with your youkai feet wasn't a very good idea.
Uh, dirt isn't doing anything to sooth your feet. Maybe if you had some water?
Well, you are right next to a lake- there's a loud clang. Oh, right, the fight. You got a bit distracted there.

The guy is standing back now, and the yin-yang orb clatters to the floor. It looks like Reimu threw it at him, and he blocked it with his shield.
He nods. "That was okay, I guess. Not nearly as much bloodshed as I wanted. But I'm not here for that kind of battle..." he holds up his spear, and points it at the sky. "I'm here for this kind!"
There's a loud rumble, and a giant robot lands behind him. It looks like it just jumped here. It straightens up, to... an impressive height. It's a good head or two taller than the last two you fought, you would judge. Heavily armored and in gold colors, obviously modeled after the man's armor. It even has a spear and a shield, like his. The spear especially looks suspect. You can feel a great deal of power in it, and it has some odd bumps near the base. Perhaps it has some special systems in it?

Sanae lacks your hesitation, however, and has already called in Hisou Tensoku. You notice that the mech already has an onbashira. "I was waiting for this part!" She jumps into the cockpit, but takes a pose on the enterance to it before taking a seat. "Miracleteam☆Moriya! To me!"
Everyone else leaps, flies, or teleports up into the cockpit in short order. It's actually pretty cool, although if you had practiced it the thing probably would not have involved Kogasa bumping into Marisa in midair.
It looks like all three of the enemy guys got into the enemy mech; so this one is a three-seater, eh?

The cockpit door seals.

"AI unit Ruukoto online. Welcome, operator of Hisou Tensoku." Everyone takes hold of their controls the moment the things go online, which is a good thing because the enemy wastes no time in attacking.

"Transmission incoming. Establishing connection."
"This one is 'War God Mars'. I don't have much data on it, but it's powerful. Expect it to have special attacks also."

"Do you have any advice for us this time?" Sanae wrenches Hisou Tensoku's arms, thrusting the speartip it had grabbed to the side.

"Start praying. This is going to take a miracle." HQ's voice crackles away.

Just as advised, Sanae begins praying. You think you hear Kanako's name in there, but she's doing it quietly.
Reimu fends off the spear-thrusts in the meantime, but it is taking all of her concentration to do so.

Itlooks like this is going to be the hardest giant robot fight yet, and likely the last. A fight against a mech which is unequivocably better than yours. A battle to decide the fate of Gensokyo (apparently).

And you approach it, approach this important fight, with...
[ ] ...excitement.
[ ] ...seriousness.
[ ] ...caution.
[ ] ...suspicion.
>> No. 29859
[X] ...seriousness.

Ok... I think I've got the idea now.

The Greco-Roman pantheon is making an attack on Gensokyo for some reason or another, and the local gods (aka Moriya Shrine) are resisting. Probably Hephaestus/Vulcan making the giant robots for their side. Naming scheme there with Timor as the Roman equivalent of Phobos, and Mars is Ares of course.

... provided we realize this in-character (which we should sooner or later, being a mythology buff), we should look for Tacita...
>> No. 29861
[X] ...seriousness.
He has a lot of potential as a fighter, even with all those bad jokes.
As for the robot, I still think it's a Moriya Shrine conspiracy to make Sanae feel more important. As a japanese teenager, she probably loves super sentai series.
>> No. 29862
[X] ...seriousness.
>> No. 29864
[x] ...Excitement.
This is it! The final battle, two destined enemies locked in fatal combat, with the fate of the entire world on the line!

Burning with excitement here. Eagerly awaiting the next update.
>> No. 29869
[x] ...seriousness.

ONE OF YOU WILL DIE
>> No. 29873
[X] ...seriousness.

I think it's a set up by the gods so Sanae could have some fun.
>> No. 29956
[X] ...seriousness.

No reason to not be serious for once.
>> No. 29959
[X] ...excitement.

I think Sanae has the right idea. Because this was made for her.
>> No. 30174
So how's that update coming along?