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29631 No. 29631
“Kill and kill until you’re killed. That's the philosophy of a youkai who hunts.”

>> No. 29632
(http://tindeck.com/listen/mgyt)

Reaching into the box, I lift the system up from it, bringing it up to my chest. Taking a deep breath, I blow off the dust it’s collected since I stashed it away, scattering them to the air. Kurumi, watching me with curious eyes, breathes in a bit too much of the dust, and lets out a small sneeze, though it sounds more like a mouse squeak than a sneeze. Is she faking it or something? Well, whatever, the last thing to complain about a person should be about how they sneeze.

“Hey, Yuuka,” I call out to her, keeping the console out of her view for now. “You mind if I take over the TV for a bit?”

“Not really,” she answers in a drawn out, bored voice. “...I was getting bored, anyway. There’s nothing good on in the morning. Do all of you humans care so much about the news? Back in Gensokyo, I never even subscribed to a newspaper. If anything interesting ever happened, everyone would know right away, and if they wanted to, get involved.”

“Well, not everything here is that convenient, as I’m sure you realize by now,” I say while moving in front of the TV with the videogame console in my hands, setting it down on the floor.

Returning to the box, I take out all the cords and the controller that had been stored away along with the system, carrying them in my hands as I crawl over to the console to set it all up. Once the system’s been connected to the TV and the nearby power outlet, I sit back to wonder what kind of game I should insert first. Well, you can’t beat the classics, right? So let’s go with the classic game. Moving over to the box one last time, I withdraw the game I’ve got in mind, blowing on the end of the cartridge to get any dust out before inserting it into the console and turning it on.

“What are you doing?” Yuuka asks me as I sit down next to her again, the controller in my hands.

This is a game,” I say with a grin, pointing to the television, where the title screen’s popped up. “The kind of games that we humans play in the 21st... no, wait, I guess it would be in the 20th century.”

I hand the controller over to her as the first level begins.

“All you have to do is make the on-screen character reach the end of the level. It should be pretty simple, right?”

She stares at the sprite depicting the player character, holding the controller in her hands. “...Is that all I have to do?”

“Yeah.”

Yuuka makes a stern expression with her face, and then points her finger to the TV. “You there, get to the end of the level. And if you don’t hurry up, I’ll make sure you regret it.”

“No, no, you don’t shout orders at him,” I say, suppressing a snicker. To be honest, the reason I didn’t really elaborate on how to play is because I figured she’d do something like this.

“Really?” she says, raising an eyebrow. “It’s how I make Elly and Kurumi do things for me.”

“Threats lose their effectiveness when the other person can’t hear you,” I say, permitting myself to let out a small laugh. “...And anyway, it’s just a videogame character. Alright, to play this, you need to press this button to move and this button to jump...”

“How do you fly?” she bursts in with a question in the middle of my explanation, looking puzzled.

“You can’t,” I say, frowning.

“Why not?”

“Because he’s a human.”

“What a weak human, then.”

I place a hand on my head, pausing for just a second to let out a somewhat frustrated sigh before speaking, “...Like I just said before, don’t expect things to be the same over here as it is over there. I don’t know if the humans in your world can fly or shoot fire out of their ass, but we can’t do any of that here.”

“Humans usually can’t jump twice their own height,” she says, pointing at the screen where the protagonist is doing just that.

“Well that’s different,” I say, shrugging my shoulders. “...And it’s all completely unimportant, so would you let me finish?”

She rolls her eyes, suggesting that she’s not satisfied, but since I don’t really care, I go on explaining how to play the game while she nods along like she’s only half-listening to what I’m saying. Honestly, she’s a little infuriating to deal with even when she’s keeping quiet, just by her attitude and how she acts.

“...Anyway, you got all that?”

She nods, staring at the television screen. She holds the controller in her hand properly, with her thumbs hovering over the d-pad and the buttons. Looking down at her hands, she presses right on the d-pad to move her character to the right, but stops after just a moment, staring at the screen and not touching a single button, even as the first enemy of the level slowly begins waddling over to the player character.

“What are you doing? Jump on it and kill it,” I say while watching.

But she doesn’t budge, only watching as the enemy bumps into the player character, sending him into his death throes. She only watches the screen with a vague look of... what is it, interest? Amusement? Maybe... even thoughtfulness? It’s certainly not a face one usually makes while playing a game like this.

“...What a powerless existence,” she seems to say to herself, whispering just loud enough that I can hear it from next to her.

“...Huh?” I say dumbly, turning to look at her.

Not taking her eyes off the screen, she leans back on the sofa. “It’s a powerless existence, being unable to do anything without input from others. Whether they live or die is something governed by those that are higher than they. Isn’t that quite pitiable?”

“Uh, they’re just videogame characters.”

“Weren’t you telling me just now not to look down on humans as if they were things?” she says, smirking once again.

“That’s different,” I say stubbornly. “Characters in a game aren’t people. They’re just a bunch of pixels and lines of code.”

“And humans are just flesh, bone, and blood.”

“No we’re not,” I say, getting agitated again. “We’re more than that.”

“Not in the eyes of youkai,” she says, lifting up one leg over the other and crossing them together, getting comfortable. “...No matter which world we live in, those who are strong judge those who lack their power to be of less worth. It’s the same with these characters, isn’t it? Because they lack the qualities you judge to be of merit, they’re ‘just game characters,’ and never consider what they may feel and think.”

“And I’m saying they can’t think or feel,” I say exasperatedly. “They’re just games. They’re not even real!”

Her smirk grows wider, and she almost looks like she’s having the time of her life as she watches my expression grow more and more frustrated. “There you go again, saying something as thoughtless as that without consideration for their feelings. If you want to say things like that, you have no right to be offended when I talk down about humans, you know.”

Covering my eyes with my hand, I lift my chin up to face the ceiling, holding in a scream of frustration and attempting to keep my voice calm and steady as I speak to her, “...So you’re saying that the videogame characters can think and feel?”

“Nope. Of course they can’t,” she says immediately.

...

My hand twitches a bit as I lower it from my face, feeling the controller being tossed into my lap. Yuuka walks past my vision, and after she’s passed by, I see the television screen displaying the end of the first level, fireworks going up to congratulate the player. Turning to Yuuka, I see her grabbing her parasol from where it’s leaning against the wall as she heads toward the front door.

“I don’t think human games suit me very well after all,” she makes a remark before heading off.

She... I, she... ugh! She was stringing me along just for laughs, wasn’t she? Damn it...

I pick up the controller, letting out a sigh. Since I went through the trouble of setting it up, I might as well... oh wait. I turn to the side, and hold out the controller to Kurumi, who’s been watching with a fixated interest ever since I thought up the idea, “...Wanna play?”

She shakes her head, holding up her hands. “Uh, that’s okay. I think I’d rather just watch.”

Shrugging, I begin playing the game while the vampire girl climbs up on to the sofa, taking the recently vacated seat.

------

...By the time I’ve gotten tired of the game, it’s already noon. Leaving the controller in the hands of Kurumi, who seemed much more eager to play after watching the play session for quite a while, I stand up from the sofa, stretching my tired limbs. Well, I still have a whole day ahead of me, free of worries, at least until tomorrow, anyway. What should I do?

[ ] Go visit the daycare.
[ ] Take a walk in the park.
[ ] Work and/or rest in your room.
>> No. 29633
So Lion's taken to musical updates now? Nice.

[X] Work and/or rest in your room.
Because really, he probably needs it. He's been both neglecting his job, and he's been overworking himself on this 'hero' business and managing his roommates. I don't he's taken a single break since before that disaster of a rescue attempt, which really shook him up.

Elly said she can handle checking up on Renko, so we should trust her, and random encounter option will probably lead to stress, seeing how those tend to go.

...besides, this is the only option that could possibly lead to Kana interaction.
>> No. 29634
>Yuuka makes a stern expression with her face, and then points her finger to the TV. “You there, get to the end of the level. And if you don’t hurry up, I’ll make sure you regret it.”
So moe!
>Leaving the controller in the hands of Kurumi, who seemed much more eager to play

[x] Take a walk in the park.
Walking in the Park is relaxing and who says we will encounter some monsters or something stress making?
>> No. 29635
[ ] Talk to Kana.
>> No. 29636
[ ] Work and/or rest in your room.
We should probably let our other allies know about this plan posthaste.

Also, Yuuka must have impressive hand-eye coordination to be able to effortlessly beat a video game without having ever played a game before. The ability to mentally translate button presses into a game avatar's actions is really something we take for granted, but I would think it would be hard for someone with exactly no prior experience.
>> No. 29637
[X] Work and/or rest in your room.
>> No. 29638
[X] Work and/or rest in your room.

Introduce them to the original Legend of Zelda next.
>> No. 29639
>>29636
I mean even for experienced players a different button configuration can throw them off for a while.
>> No. 29640
[z] Go visit the daycare.
Reconnaissance time.
>> No. 29641
[x] Work and/or rest in your room.

You have a work, hikkikomori. Do it.

On other hand, what's with Yuuka?
>> No. 29642
>>29639
it was Mario...

level 1

be more concerning if she couldn't
>> No. 29643
[x] >>29641

>>29642
She might have timed it so she'd get the fireworks perhaps?
>> No. 29644
[x] Go visit the daycare.

Just in time to see Elly being dragged out of there by the police for harrassing a child.
>> No. 29646
I was four years old when I cleared 1-1 for the first time. For a youkai with infinitely better reflexes than a human, it shouldn't be a surprise, in spite of her own incredulity.

[x] Take a walk in the park.

Elly told us not to go to the daycare. Let her handle it. She's the most productive member of the household at the moment; stay off her back.

The 'job' is so damn irrelevant compared to what's happening; it's not like it's enriching or that there's any future in it, and money doesn't appear so much of a concern. Hell, Elly probably makes more at the daycare. We're much more useful at information gathering.
>> No. 29647
[X] Work and/or rest in your room.
>> No. 29648
[X] Work and/or rest in your room.

Works for me~!
>> No. 29649
[X] Rest in your room.
>> No. 29656
[x] Take a walk in the park.
>> No. 29664
I’m tired. My mind is tired, and my body is tired. You could even say I’m completely worn out, because that’s how tired I am, if I were to describe it myself. So, as planned, I’m not taking even a single step outside this house if I can help it. In fact, even thinking about how tired I am has worn me out even further, so I sink back into the sofa for a second, letting out a weary sigh as I massage my eyelids with my hands.

“You look just like an old man, doing that,” Kurumi says with a straight face, glancing away from her game for a second.

“How rude,” I say, annoyed. “I’m not even twenty-five yet, you know. I’m still at the prime time of my life.”

“Really?” she says, looking like I’ve dropped a bombshell of a news on her, her eyes widened exaggeratedly, though I can’t tell if she’s just acting or if she’s genuinely that surprised. “You looked older. Like, you have wrinkles on your brow.”

“I don’t,” I say firmly, in spite of my hand unconsciously moving over to my brow in worry. “And if I do, it’s all you guys’ fault. Damn, I’m seriously going to grow old before my time if this sort of stuff keeps up.”

“Is that a white hair I see?”

“What? Seriously?” I nearly panic while looking around for a reflective surface to see myself in, worriedly combing down my hair.

“Kidding, kidding,” she says, giggling.

“...Very funny,” I say in a dry tone of voice, formulating my revenge. I wait for a few seconds for her to return to her game, waiting a few seconds more so she won’t suspect me, then point to the screen. “You know, you can find a secret area with five lives if you jump down that pit.”

“Huh, really?” she says, absorbed into the game.

Without answering, I get up from the couch, strolling toward the hallway that leads to the bedrooms. Sure enough, I hear the little game over jingle play behind me.

“Ah! Ahhh! H-hey!”

I suppress a snicker. Wow, that girl is a bit gullible, isn’t she?

---

Closing the door to my room behind me, I throw myself onto my bed, letting out a sigh of comfort instead of fatigue this time as I stretch all my limbs. Relaxing on the bed, I close my eyes, staying like that for I don’t know how exactly long.

It’s nice to have peace and quiet like that for a while, but eventually, I grow tired of the tedium, and get up from the bed, walking over to the computer. My mind’s rested well enough, so I might as well crank out a bit more work. The deadline’s approaching soon, after all. Cracking my fingers before setting them down on the keyboard, I get down to work.

...

The keys clatter as I punch in the last few characters of the designated goal I’ve set for myself. It’s late afternoon by the time I’ve reached it, but I managed it fairly quick enough. I’m almost through with the work I was assigned, and it shouldn’t take more than three hours to finish what’s left. Feeling good about myself, I lean back in my chair, my arms folded above my head.

“Finally done~” I say to myself, basking in that feeling of accomplishment you get when you complete something.

Clap, clap, clap~

“Very good, master.”

(http://www.tindeck.com/listen/mmob)

“Gah!” I let out a yelp of surprise, not expecting anyone to have been in the room with me. Nearly falling out of my chair as I swerve it around, I see Kana, sitting on my bed with a pleasant smile on her face. “Damn it, you scared me...”

“Oh?” Her smile grows a bit more mischievous now, widening slightly as she speaks. “Isn’t that good? That means I’m doing a proper job as a ghost, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, you’re absolutely terrifying.”

“Ooooooh,” she lets out her impression of a ghoulish wail, lifting up her arms with her hands limp in front of her in a cartoonish ghost pose, even going so far as to complete the image by conjuring up a pair of will-o’-wisps to hang in midair by her head. “I envy your life~”

“It’s really nothing to envy,” I say, shaking my head.

She lets out a small giggle into a gloved hand, waving away the blue flames hovering around her with the other, extinguishing them as they come in contact with her.

“...So, um,” I start awkwardly, rubbing the back of my neck. “About what we were talking about yesterday...”

Kana frowns, speaking in a rather flat tone of voice, “...Oh, you still want to talk about that.”

“Well I’m worried,” I say in my defense. “What did that girl mean by her words? You never answered me.”

“You care an awful lot about what she said,” she says, her tone returning to the light, pleasant one she always uses. “...but maybe she just said that to trouble you? I really don’t know what she was getting at, so it seems that way to me.”

“She doesn’t seem like someone who would do--”

“But you don’t know, do you?” Kana immediately cuts me off, still maintaining that tone of forced politeness. “You can’t say something like that until you really do know for sure. Especially about someone you’ve only met once. Are you that confident in your judge of character, master?”

“I never really said I--”

“You aren’t,” she cuts me off again, standing up from the bed now and leaning forward. Her voice, so forcedly polite and sweet that it almost scares me to hear it, never once falters as she speaks. “...So then, you can’t really trust that girl to tell you the truth, right? You wouldn’t trust her word over mine, would you, master?”

“Ah, geez, you’re asking too many questions...” I say, wheeling my chair back.

[ ] “Alright, alright, I’ll drop it already.”
[ ] “...Are you hiding something?”
>> No. 29666
[x] “...Are you hiding something?”

How many times are we going to let her change the subject?

Press.
>> No. 29667
[x] “...Are you hiding something?”
I'd usually just trust her, but she has changed subjects one too many times.
>> No. 29668
[x] “...Are you hiding something?”
Girls are hiding.
>> No. 29669
[x] “...Are you hiding something?”
>> No. 29670
[x] “...Are you hiding something?”

I'm a little afraid of what's going on... But curiosity is stronger than fear.
>> No. 29671
>I wait for a few seconds for her to return to her game, waiting a few seconds more so she won’t suspect me, then point to the screen. “You know, you can find a secret area with five lives if you jump down that pit.”

>“Huh, really?” she says, absorbed into the game.

>Without answering, I get up from the couch, strolling toward the hallway that leads to the bedrooms. Sure enough, I hear the little game over jingle play behind me.

>“Ah! Ahhh! H-hey!”

>I suppress a snicker. Wow, that girl is a bit gullible, isn’t she?

There is something adorably dickish about this.
>> No. 29672
It reminds me of that one time I convinced someone that alt-f4 was a cheat code in the computer game he was playing.
Isn't it fun to do stuff like that?
>> No. 29674
>>29672
Or like the time i sent my friend a trojan and told him it was a new game and moved his mouse, deleted things and closed programs.
He was scared shitless.
>> No. 29684
>>29674

That's not dickish, that's being an asshole.
>> No. 29686
[x] “...Are you hiding something?”

hmm...
>> No. 29701
[x] "I trust you, Kana, as much as I can - but we don't know each other well enough, do we? Not enough for this to really be mutual."
[x] "I know you're hiding things from me. Everyone has a few secrets they don't want known, after all. Even me."
[x] "I'd like to get to know you better. I'd like it if you knew a bit more about me. Sometimes it feels as if we're still perfect strangers, and I want to remedy that. I want you to be able to confide in me as I wish to confide in you."
[x] "When you're ready to fully put your trust in me, I'll be waiting. Maybe then I can fully put my trust in you."
[x] "I-I like you... I wouldn't want anything to get in the way of our friendship."

Last part is debatable.

Sorry if this sounds like a jumbled mess; my brain is still half asleep.
>> No. 29703
[x] "I trust you, Kana, as much as I can - but we don't know each other well enough, do we? Not enough for this to really be mutual."
[x] "I know you're hiding things from me. Everyone has a few secrets they don't want known, after all. Even me."
[x] "I'd like to get to know you better. I'd like it if you knew a bit more about me. Sometimes it feels as if we're still perfect strangers, and I want to remedy that. I want you to be able to confide in me as I wish to confide in you."
[x] "When you're ready to fully put your trust in me, I'll be waiting. Maybe then I can fully put my trust in you."
[x] "B-But don't think I like you or anything, stupid. It's j-just that I think it's useful to get to know the person taking care of the house a-and, uh... Get out, Geez!"
[x] Throw a pillow at her.
>> No. 29705
[x] "I trust you, Kana, as much as I can - but we don't know each other well enough, do we? Not enough for this to really be mutual."
[x] "I know you're hiding things from me. Everyone has a few secrets they don't want known, after all. Even me."
[x] "I'd like to get to know you better. I'd like it if you knew a bit more about me. Sometimes it feels as if we're still perfect strangers, and I want to remedy that. I want you to be able to confide in me as I wish to confide in you."
[x] "When you're ready to fully put your trust in me, I'll be waiting. Maybe then I can fully put my trust in you."
[X] "You can take as much time as you need to think about it. I'll listen whenever you're ready."
>> No. 29706
[x] "I trust you, Kana, as much as I can - but we don't know each other well enough, do we? Not enough for this to really be mutual."
[x] "I know you're hiding things from me. Everyone has a few secrets they don't want known, after all. Even me."
[x] "I'd like to get to know you better. I'd like it if you knew a bit more about me. Sometimes it feels as if we're still perfect strangers, and I want to remedy that. I want you to be able to confide in me as I wish to confide in you."
[x] "When you're ready to fully put your trust in me, I'll be waiting. Maybe then I can fully put my trust in you."
[x] "B-But don't think I like you or anything, stupid. It's j-just that I think it's useful to get to know the person taking care of the house a-and, uh... Get out, Geez!"
[x] Throw a pillow at her.
>> No. 29707
File 128788448528.jpg - (24.46KB , 448x336 , 10102929.jpg ) [iqdb]
29707
“...What are you hiding from me?” I finally ask after a moment of silence, looking at her with a face as solemn as I can make it, keeping my voice firm but not critical or harsh. “This isn’t about whether I trust who over who or anything like that. I’m asking because you act all... weird whenever I get anywhere close to this subject. I’m concerned, that’s all, so why don’t you tell me?”

Kana pauses, taking a step away as she folds her arms together behind her, her body fidgeting around as if cornered against something. Her expression tells me she’s troubled by something, like she’s undergoing some sort of internal conflict, debating against herself. Finally, she leans forward, and puts on a cheerful face.

“Master, have you ever had a dream?” she asks.

“Eh? A dream?” I repeat after her, not expecting the question. “H-hey, aren’t you changing the subject here...?”

(http://tindeck.com/listen/frfr)

“Right, a dream,” she says, drawing back and nodding, completely ignoring my last accusation as she turns away to the window. “A dream that you can’t remember, because it’s so far-off and distant, but still, you know it to have been a very wonderful dream.”

“I-I guess...?” I say dumbly.

“It’s a terrible thing,” she says with a harsh laugh, lowering her chin and staring down at the floor. “You feel like you’ve lost something precious, something that was surely of importance to you, but you don’t know what it was that you’ve lost. You can’t replace it. You can’t even console yourself because you don’t know how.”

I bite my lower lip, at a loss for words.

“Or maybe...” Kana begins again, raising her arms and gripping the brim of her hat with both hands, readjusting it on her head. “...Maybe you’ve never been dreaming in the first place. You only remember what it’s like.”

What... is that supposed to mean?

“Master, have you ever had an imaginary friend?” she asks suddenly.

“A what?” I say, baffled by the sudden change of subject yet again.

“An imaginary friend,” she repeats, turning around and walking past me.

As she walks by me, the world around me begins to change. The view of my room appears to whirl around before my eyes, spinning around at a high speed, making me feel sick. I close my eyes, shutting out the whirling sensation. When I open them again, I find myself standing inside a dusty room of antique, Western design. I remember this place... it was that girl’s room.

“Miss Ana had one,” Kana said, turning around to look at me with a smile. She’s not wearing her hat anymore. “Maybe she wanted someone to talk to in order to stave off the madness that comes with solitude, or maybe it’s because she was already mad to begin with, but one day, while living alone, she began talking to someone.”

I look over to the feathery bed, seeing that brunette girl sitting there, her blankets pulled up to her waist, a ribboned hat resting on top of her head. She’s looking to Kana, and her mouth is moving at a rapid pace, almost like she’s animatedly chatting with her, although I can’t hear anything coming from her. She looks like she’s carrying a one-sided conversation with the air, a happy, blissful expression on her face.

“The name of her friend was Miss Canaveral,” Kana says, slowly walking over to the apparition of the girl and holding out her hand, which the girl takes, pushing aside her blanket and standing up from the bed. “Miss Canaveral was a very capable maid, who always made sure she ate right and dressed correctly, and would dance and sing together with her.”

Walking together, Kana brings the girl in front of a mirror, seating her down in a wooden chair that rests in front of it. The girl takes off her hat, letting it sit on her lap. The maid picks up a brush from the table before her, moving behind the seated girl and beginning to comb her hair, sweeping her fingers through the light-brown locks with a very gentle smile.

“Miss Ana became very happy again,” Kana says in a light voice, continuing to brush the girl’s hair absentmindedly. In the mirror, I see that girl’s expressions as she continues to flap her mouth, and in those reflections, I see the faces of a normal girl, talking happily with a friend. “She didn’t need anyone other than Miss Canaveral, and Miss Canaveral didn’t need anyone other than her.”

She sets the brush back down on the table, and excitedly, the girl stands up from the chair. Holding her hat in her hands, she presents it to the maid, who bows her head. The girl moves her hands, and places the hat on the maid’s head. The girl takes a step back, looking at the maid, and then smiles sweetly, clapping her hands together.

“How pretty,” I hear her say, returning to silence as she giggles soundlessly.

She freezes in place, and Kana watches her for a few seconds, her smile becoming slightly strained as her gloved hands clench at the front of her apron. She relaxes, however, and then turns to me again, once again folding her arms behind her back and walking past me again. The world before me begins to whirl around again, and I close my eyes before dizziness can overcome me. When I open them again, I find myself back in my room.

Kana’s standing in the middle of the room, her back facing me. She doesn’t say anything, but looks more like she’s waiting for me to say something.

“...Kana, are you...?” I begin.

“Master,” she says, silencing me. “...There are some things about a person that you must figure out on your own, because they won’t tell you.”

“I...”

“I already know you don’t want to do that, master,” she says, turning around with an unreadable smile. “You are quite a shallow person, after all.”

Am I... shallow?

Because I don’t want to understand the way other people think, because I can’t figure out anything about a person by myself... does that make me a shallow person?

“It’s fine if you are, though,” she says, shrugging her shoulders. “...Whether you’re a shallow person or not, I don’t really care. It’s only that... I find it a little funny.”

“What is?”

“Do you remember what I’ve told you about how ghosts and spirits are receptive to emotions, master?” she asks, smiling pleasantly again. “...I just found it interesting that so many interesting people have gathered here, but you don’t seem to realize it.”

“Well of course I know,” I say in defense, frowning. “I mean, there are youkai and a witch, and a prin--”

“That’s not what I meant at all, master,” Kana says, smiling wider still. “That’s why I’m saying you’re a shallow person.”

“What...?”

“I wonder if you’ll ever realize what I mean?” she says, turning around and facing the open window once again. Lowering her head, she shakes it. “...You won’t. Not as you are now. But maybe you might be able to. Whether you do or not is, as I’ve said before, really none of my concern, and it’s something I’m only mildly interested in. I’m sorry to trouble you, master.”

Turning around and giving me a curtsy, lifting her apron, she promptly sinks into the floor, putting herself out of my sight. Seated in my chair, I stare at the space she was in, still in a stunned silence. Shallow... well, I suppose I might be. I have no interest in understanding other people, so I guess it would only be right to be called shallow when I’m unwilling to plunge myself in something as deep as mutual understanding.

...Am I feeling a little ashamed of that now? Maybe, just a bit.

When those thoughts pass from me, however, I feel some frustration; she’s just changed the subject again, going into something else without answering my question at all... or, did she? Was there something in her story that I could gleam something from? Something that would help me understand her better, to understand who or what she really is. If I were able to figure that out, would I then know the meaning behind the words that Muse left me with?

Melancholically, I shake my head to clear out my thoughts. Heaving a sigh, I get up from my chair, stretching my arms up with a yawn. It’s almost dinner-time, so Elly should be back from her job soon, if she isn’t already. What should I do to pass the time during the evening?

[ ] Go talk to Elly
[ ] Check on Ellen’s room.
[ ] Make sure Kotohime isn’t up to something troublesome.
[ ] Go out into the living room.
[ ] Go for a leisurely stroll.
[ ] Try giving Senpai a call.
[ ] Take a nap.
>> No. 29708
[X] Go talk to Elly

Poor Kana. But he'll leave you too, in time.

(I suppose this is a question as to _why_ the Touhous had decided to gather at his house, of all the houses?)
>> No. 29710
[X] Go talk to Elly
>> No. 29712
[X] Try giving Senpai a call.
[X] Ask about the company.
[X] Maybe get in some time at a range.

I think i'm about as confused as the MC now.
>> No. 29713
[x] Go talk to Elly
>> No. 29714
[x] Go talk to Elly

This has the most likely chance of something productive occurring.

Also, I'm going to have to ask for the source on the mp3.
>> No. 29715
Acting like she has the emotional fragility of a child, then mercilessly savaging someone's character. I can understand how they say ghosts drive people to suicide.

[x] Go talk to Elly

I think if we want to find out why they were all drawn to this place, we should start with the first link in the chain. Even though Elly probably doesn't know, she may be able to advise us on how to approach Yuka with the question.

Even if that's not the whole truth, I expect Yuka's response will be: 'You're the first I came across who never left his home; I guessed not many would care if I had to kill you.'
>> No. 29716
“Do you remember what I’ve told you about how ghosts and spirits are receptive to emotions, master?” she asks, smiling pleasantly again.

--->
I can feel that same, familiar wrongness in the air that I sense every time we end up in this Closed Boundary or whatever that angel calls it, but… there’s something different about what I’m feeling right now. It’s not the same. It’s completely new to me, and at the same time, it’s very familiar. I feel like I can recognize this feeling. Is it… fear? It feels like fear, and at the same time, it’s not the same feeling of fear that I know. Could it be…?

Is this someone else’s fear?

---------------

Hmmmm
>> No. 29717
[X] Go talk to Elly

Suddenly that dream sequence he had in the last thread is starting to sound a lot more relevant.
>> No. 29718
[X] Go talk to Elly
>> No. 29720
>>29716
Wait, are you trying to imply that the MC (who we really need a nickname for) is a spirit?

...Well, I can't say that I don't see it, and there has to be something special about him to give him empathetic powers, but I'm withholding judgment for now..
>> No. 29722
>>29714
http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm12231612
Grabbed it off of here.
>> No. 29723
>...Well, I can't say that I don't see it, and there has to be something special about him to give him empathetic powers, but I'm withholding judgment for now..

He has met normal people and talked with them, including his friend and the police officers, so I don't think he's a spirit in the standard sense.

In Gensokyo lore, spirits are more about affecting others' emotions, not reading them. At least, Yuyuko, the Prismrivers, and Youmu have never displayed such faculties.

He sounds more like a satori, which if true would be suggestive as to why he's walled himself up so much. But he doesn't have the right equipment for that
(if you know what I mean).
>> No. 29732
I wonder what happened with that one girl that now works at the shrine. As Sempai thinks her dumping the MC caused him to end up like this.
>> No. 29739
>>29732
That is a good point.

Huh.
>> No. 29749
>>29732

You mean Hirano?
>> No. 29767
[X] Go talk to Elly

She's a bro. A slightly tsundere bro, but a bro all the same. Need some chill time after the heavy stuff.

>>29708
>Poor Kana. But he'll leave you too, in time.

No. Never. This love is forever, man.
>> No. 29770
>>29749
Ha... haha, oh wow.
>> No. 29776
File 128833166657.jpg - (53.59KB , 450x630 , s_eri_.jpg ) [iqdb]
29776
Of course, I should go greet Elly if she’s back from work. Tomorrow’s the day the big things are going down, and I want to be sure that we’ve got all the right info so we’re not caught completely unaware this time. And, well, it wouldn’t hurt to be a little friendly to her, either, since we’re living together anyway. Cracking my neck, I exit my room, quietly closing its door behind me before heading toward the living room.

While on the way there, I cast a brief glance at the front door, particularly at the steps where everyone’s shoes are resting. Surveying those shoes for a moment, it seems that while Elly’s back, Yuuka hasn’t returned yet from her excursion outside. Though I know that Yuuka can probably handle herself, I can’t help but feel slightly concerned. What is she doing outside, anyway? Well, whatever, it’s not like there’s anything to be worried about if it’s her, anyway. Despite her... er, rather obviously sadistic nature, she’s been pretty sensible so far.

Walking into the living room, I look to the couch. Kurumi’s seated comfortably in it, leaned back against it. Actually, she seems to be dozing off a bit, the videogame controller still held in her hands. Honestly, she always seems so vulnerable. If it weren’t for the pair of leathery wings at her back and those scary fangs of hers, I don’t think I’d be able to think of her as anything more than just a slightly ditzy teenage kid.

Now, looking to the kitchen, it doesn’t really surprise me to find the lights on. That’s where I go to next, stepping onto the cold floor tiles. Predictably, Elly’s standing there leaning against one of the counters while taking a long chug from a can when I walk in.

(http://tindeck.com/listen/wuex)

“Raiding the fridge again, huh?” I say.

“What’s that,” she says, in a slightly annoyed tone. “It’s not ‘raiding the fridge.’ It’s a ‘well-earned drink after a hard day of work.’ You got that?”

“I won’t argue with it,” I say, opening up the fridge to grab a drink for myself as well. I move myself over next to her, leaning against the same counter. Flipping the tab open, I decide to greet her properly, “...Anyway, welcome home. How was work?”

“Terrible, but I guess it was less terrible than before,” she says absentmindedly while I take a quick swig from my can. “...I still don’t like kids, though. I don’t know how to deal with them at all. I don’t have any experience with them.”

“None at all?” I say, a bit surprised.

“How would I?” she says, scoffing somewhat disdainfully. “Most youkai don’t. The majority of us don’t usually even have a family in the first place. For a lot of us, we just came to be one day, and we’ve always been alone since the day we were ‘born,’ relying on only ourselves to survive. We don’t know the first thing about rearing a young, and we don’t really care to find out, either.”

“I see, I guess that makes sense,” I say, nodding solemnly. “...I guess youkai have it hard, too?”

“Don’t pity us,” she says sharply, the look in her eyes becoming dangerous for just an instant.

“I won’t.”

“Good,” she says, huffing as she looks away, drinking from her can.

Standing there and sipping from my can, I debate with myself on what would be a good time to bring up the kid...

“...We really have lost our place here,” Elly whispers to herself.

“Huh?” I turn my head to her, looking at her quizzically.

She ignores me, staring straight ahead while continuing to drink from her can. She shakes the can, pressing an ear against it to check if there are still any drops left inside, and then, satisfied, she tosses it into the garbage can at the corner of the kitchen. Dusting off her hands, she lets them rest on the counter and turns to me again.

“Anyway, you want to know about that Renko kid, right?” she asks, not waiting for an answer before beginning to run her mouth again. “Like we thought, it seems like that weird little girl is the one you’re looking for, the one that’s going to get attacked. I asked her if she was coming tomorrow, and she said yeah, so finding her in time won’t be a problem.”

“...It really is a kid this time,” I say, disgust evident in my voice. “I don’t get it. What could anyone possibly accomplish by murdering a little kid like that?”

Elly shrugs her shoulders. “Hell if I know. I just know that I need to kill whatever’s coming after the brat. Anyway, that’s about it, so I’m going to go ahead and do nothing for a good, long while.”

“You really are an unbelievable slacker.”

“Look who’s talking,” she says as she walks past me, exiting the kitchen.

“...She didn’t put even a little thought into it,” I find myself complaining out loud, muttering to no one in particular. “Killing this, killing that. It’s like all she thinks about is just killing things.”

“She isn’t normally like that, though.”

“Gah,” I utter out in surprise again, turning my head to look in the direction of the voice. At the doorway of the kitchen I see Kurumi, who’s covering her mouth as she yawns, her eyes watering up. “When did you wake up?”

“Just now,” she says, rubbing away the moisture in her eyes. “...Anyway, Elly isn’t normally like that. She’s usually nice.”

“...Nice? Really?” I say, finding that a bit hard to believe.

“It feels like she’s... um, what’s the word?” she crosses her arms together, thinking for a bit before continuing to speak, “...Overcompensating? Or something like that, anyway.”

...Huh.

---

While walking back to my room past the front steps, I stop when I hear the heavy metal door opening up. Entering from the open doorway is Yuuka, an empty woven basket hanging off one of her arms. She slips her feet out of her shoes, bending over and picking them up to arrange them neatly along with the other shoes. Standing back up, she runs a hand through her hair, letting out what sounds like a worn-out sigh.

“Where have you been all this time?” I ask, curious.

“Who knows?” she replies carelessly.

“...Obviously, you do,” I say, frowning.

She shrugs her shoulders, walking past me. That’s when I notice. I hear some curious sounds, the timing matching with the movements of Yuuka’s skirt as she walks. A bunch of... jingling? It’s like she’s got pockets full of coins... is that what she’s been doing outside? Making money? But how? Immediately, my mind goes to the... more unsavory method of making money as a woman, but I dismiss it quickly. She’s got too much dignity and not nearly enough need to resort to that. So, then...

“Were you selling flowers or something?” I ask, looking at the basket she’s holding.

“Good guess,” she says, raising her brows.

“...Really?” I say somewhat skeptically. “You mean people actually bought from you?”

“I suppose they did,” she says.

...Wow, from the sound of all that jingling, she must have made quite the amount, too. Were there really that many people who needed to buy flowers? I kind of doubt it. Well, I suppose if one didn’t know about her personality, people might be very easily charmed into buying flowers they don’t need from her. From what I gather, she can just make flowers out of magic... that must be awfully convenient for her.

---

Some time after dinner, I return from a smoking break outside, locking the front door behind me while taking off my slippers. At the corner of my vision, I see Kotohime bent over one of the giant pots Yuuka brought in to decorate with flowers, her hands pressed against her knees for support. She’s looking at the flowers with great concentration, a very faint, almost unconscious smile on her face. It might be just my imagination, but she seems... somehow worn out?

“What’re you doing?” I ask, strolling over toward her.

“Ah,” she says as she turns her body to face me, folding her hands over her waist and bowing politely. Her movements are slow, and deliberate. Almost sluggish. “Good evening.”

“Uh, yeah, good evening,” I say, returning the bow, which makes me feel a bit silly.

She straightens up, and folds her hands together in front of her, her less obvious half-smile widening into the usual one I see on her all the time. With a delicate tone to her speech, she says, “These flowers are surely very beautiful, aren’t they?”

“I... suppose?” I say, rubbing the back of my head.

“...Yes, they are very beautiful indeed,” she says weakly.

Is something wrong with her? Her eyes are only halfway open, her pupils unfocused.

“Why can’t you... see it...” she whispers.

Her eyelids drift shut all the way, and seemingly losing all strength in her legs, she begins to fall. Startled, I move forward, and her head falls against my chest. The weight of her body leaning on mine is only slight at first, but soon I feel the rest of it as I reach around her with an arm, slowly squatting down while supporting the girl’s back.

“Hey, what’s wrong...?” I ask, alarmed.

There is no answer, and from looking down at her face, it’s evident that she’s unconscious. Or rather, judging by the calm, peaceful expression on her face and her steady breathing, it seems more like she’s fallen asleep. But... all of a sudden just like that? There isn’t something wrong with her health or anything, is there?

[ ] Try to wake her up.
[ ] Let her rest on your bed.
---[ ] She's just tired.
---[ ] Consult A.
>> No. 29777
[x] Let her rest on your bed.
---[x] She's just tired.
---[x] Consult A.
>> No. 29780
File 128834991532.png - (2.27KB , 207x196 , A.png ) [iqdb]
29780
[z] Let her rest on your bed.
---[z] She's just tired.
---[z] Consult A.
>> No. 29781
[x] Let her rest on your bed.
---[x] Consult A.

I think it's either "she's just tired" or either "consult A".
>> No. 29782
[ ] Let her rest on your bed.
---[ ] Consult A.
>> No. 29783
[x] Try to wake her up.
Weird.
>> No. 29784
[X] Let her rest on your bed.
---[X] Consult A.

(I wonder what we cant see?)
>> No. 29786
[X] Let her rest on your bed.
---[X] Consult A.
>> No. 29787
[x] Let her rest on your bed.
---[x] Consult A.
>> No. 29788
[X] Let her rest on your bed.
-[X] Consult A.

>>29784
Maybe she has a crush on us.~ No, probably not.

Seriously though, remember that acid trip we went on when we touched her, and how she freaked out at us right after the disaster of a rescue? Something tells me that they're relevant.
>> No. 29789
he should have corrected himself, Kurumi if not for her wings would be mistaken for a particularly 'healthy' teenage girl.

I think Kurumi hinted at Elly basically overcompensating in the wake of living in the real world and how some guy is in the mix, possibly hogging time with Yuuka.
>> No. 29793
[x] Let her rest on your bed.
-[x] Consult A.
-[x] Mention all her weird-- as in, weirder than normal --behavior.
-[x] Mention the crazy Saya-esque freakout moment.
>> No. 29800
[x] Let her rest on your bed.
-[x] Consult A.
-[x] Mention all her weird-- as in, weirder than normal --behavior.
-[x] Mention the crazy Saya-esque freakout moment.

Sounds good to me.
>> No. 29809
[x] Let her rest on your bed.
-[x] Consult /a/.
-[x] Mention all her weird-- as in, weirder than normal --behavior.
-[x] Mention the crazy Saya-esque freakout moment.
>> No. 29844
(http://tindeck.com/listen/ydco)

...Well, even if I don’t know what’s wrong with her, I can’t just leave her like this. I slip my other arm beneath the girl’s legs, supporting her by the back of her knees. Taking a deep breath and holding it as I put power to my legs, I lift her up in my arms, adjusting the one holding her back so her head doesn’t droop back. Slowly turning around, I head for my room, facing the door. Hoisting the unconscious girl up a little so she doesn’t slip out of my arms, I awkwardly turn the door knob and head inside.

Navigating the dark room by memory, I walk over to the bed, and gently lower Kotohime onto it, taking a step back to take a slight breather before walking over to the entrance of the room to flick the light switch on. With the room lit up, I walk back to the bed, looking down at its occupant’s face. No change from before. She looks like she’s peacefully sleeping. So, then, was she just really tired?

No, I can’t just dismiss it as something as simple as that. There might be something seriously wrong with her. Anxious, I bring a thumb to my lips, biting the tip of it in worry. Is it because of what happened two days ago, when she hit her head...? If there was, why would it suddenly act up now? Or, maybe it’s unrelated? Maybe it just happens to her? I wouldn’t know. I haven’t really spent that much time with her...

But there is someone that has, isn’t there? If there is something wrong with her, then the best person to ask is the person who claimed to have known her since she was a child. Making up my mind, I hurry over to my computer, sinking into my chair and placing my hands on the keyboard.

...

>And she just collapsed all of a sudden.
A.> I see.
>Is there something I should know about her?
A.> Well, it’s not really something to worry about.
A.> It’s nothing out of the unusual for her, anyway.
>What’s that mean?
A.> It’s her narcolepsy.
>Narcolepsy?
A.> Are you familiar with it?
>I’ve heard of it.
A.> I don’t presume to say I’m all that familiar with medical science
A.> it’s not really my field
A.> so you’ll have to bear with me if you find my explanation inadequate.
A.> but, to put it simply, it’s a sleeping disorder where an individual feels a sudden, irresistible need to sleep.
A.> It really depends on the person, but even if they’re usually well-rested, they may feel extreme fatigue at random times of the day.
A.> Narcoleptics are also more likely to be subject to automatic behavior during REM-sleep.
A.> Sleepwalking, basically.

...Narcolepsy? Automatic behavior? Now that I think about it, in the past few days, I kept finding her taking a nap in odd locations of the house, and she is always walking in her sleep, and never seems to remember doing so at all... Could all that have been because of this condition of hers?

No, that can’t be all that’s wrong with her. The images I see when I touch her... just what are those?

>Is there anything else about her that I should know?

For a long time, there is no response from A, the white cursor on the window blinking in and out as I wait for a reply. Anxiously, I keep my eyes fixed on the screen. This silence is probably already enough to determine that there’s something else wrong with her; it’s only a matter of whether that fact will be hidden from me or not. Finally, she sends a reply, but I know from just a glance that it tells me nothing, because it consists of only a single word.

A.> No.

Scowling, I close the program, shutting off the monitor and walking over to the bed again. I run a hand through my hair as I stare down at the girl lying on my bed, sleeping without a care in the world. Honestly, she’s probably been the biggest bag of trouble I’ve had to deal with in this house, even though she probably doesn’t mean to be.

Still, I find it hard to begrudge her for it, and leaning forward, I lift her head from the mattress, slipping in my pillow underneath it. Heading over to the foot of the bed, I unfold the blanket sitting there, draping it over the girl’s body. It looks like I’ll be sleeping on the couch yet again. Before I go, though, I curl my middle-finger against my thumb, giving the girl a light flick on the forehead. She shifts a little in her sleep, but otherwise shows no sign of awakening.

“What am I going to do with you...?” I mutter an unheard complaint.

Shaking my head, I turn my body around, switching off the lights before heading out into the hall.

---

November 12, Thursday

---

4:50 PM.

Pressing the release on the side of the pistol grip, I catch the magazine that slides out of the bottom of the gun. Holding it in one hand, I count the bullets already loaded into that magazine. Four. Counting the one already loaded into the gun’s chamber, then that makes five shots in total. I only have five shots with this thing before it becomes a useless hunk of junk, and it’s not like I can go out and buy more ammo.

I guess that’s not really too big of a deal, though. If things turn out for the best, I might not even have to use this thing, and even if I have to, I kind of doubt it would really make much of a difference, to be honest. The only way I can hit anything is if they’re standing still at ten meters away or less, and the bullets just bounced off the last monster I fired it at. In fact, if I were to be caught outside carrying this, I’d be in a whole lot of trouble, so I’m thinking it might be better to just leave it here.

Well, just in case, I guess I should bring it with me. With a grim frown, I slide the magazine back into the gun, and making sure the safety is still on, I shove it into the pocket of my pants, which is thankfully deep enough so that no part of the gun is sticking outside. It still leaves a rather suspicious bulge in my pocket, though, so I’ll have to wear a long shirt to cover it up. Reaching into my dresser, I take out a crinkled dress shirt, putting it on like a jacket over my shirt.

With my preparations complete, I walk out of the room. Opening the door, I see Yuuka leaning against the wall opposite my room, her arms folded together. She looks at me with that never-perturbed, calm demeanor I’ve yet to see break. I’m probably completely the opposite here; I can feel my heart beating at a faster-than-average pace, and parts of my body have gone slightly numb with anticipation. And of course, she notices.

“You look tense.”

“Of course I am,” I say, my tone shaking a bit. “...We’re about to go up against monsters, you know? How can I not be tense?”

“I think you should relax a little,” she says, idly playing with her hair. “It’s not as if you’ll be the one doing the fighting.”

“Even so, I’m still putting my life on the line, aren’t I?”

“Hmm...” she raises her eyebrows, looking at me, the movement of her fingers, formerly curling a lock of hair around it, coming to a stop. “Why are you getting involved in the first place? There isn’t anything you can do to help, since we know where the ‘victim’ is this time. In fact, you’ll probably just get in the way. It’d be better if you just stayed home.”

“I realize that,” I say, biting the inside of my mouth. “...But it just feels wrong not to. So, sorry if I do end up getting in the way, but I can’t let you all go without me.”

She watches me for a bit, and then her lips curl into a bemused smirk as she lets out a snort. “...If you said you wouldn’t go, I wouldn’t bother with this whole thing anyway. Well then, I believe everyone else is ready at the entrance, so why don’t you go and give a rousing speech, Leader?”

I just shake my head at her, deepening my frown. Her smirk, on the other hand, grows a bit wider instead, and she follows behind my steps as I head toward the entrance. Crowded around it, I see the other girls: Ellen, with her cat sitting on one shoulder, Kotohime, dressed in an outfit that resembles a modern police officer uniform but with a skirt, and... someone wearing an overly large, hooded coat that covers them from head-to-toe...? Who the hell is that?

“Are we all set?” a high, familiar voice comes from the hooded person.

Finally, I realize that it’s Kurumi. Oh, that’s right. The sun is still out, and it’s kind of harmful to vampires, isn’t it?

“Y-yeah, we’re about ready,” I say, nodding. “...Um, is it alright for you? Won’t it be hard to fight like that?”

“She’ll be fine,” Yuuka says dismissively, standing at my side now. “...There’s no actual sunlight in that other world, so she won’t need to cover up there.”

“Right, right,” I say, nodding. “Um, anyway. We’d get a lot of strange looks going outside in a huge group like this, so we’ll split up so we don’t attract too much attention. Since I’m the one who knows where the daycare is, I’ll take the lead.”

“Sir, yes, sir!” Kotohime pipes up with a cheerful, overeager salute. “We’ll follow right behind you, Commander, sir!”

“Oi, oi,” I say, throwing up my hands. “Are you trying to be a police officer or a military officer?”

She smiles mysteriously in response, still saluting.

“Um, where are we going?” Ellen asks, blinking her eyes curiously while looking around.

“Eh, you don’t know?” I ask, glancing her way. “Didn’t I tell everyone what was going down today on Tuesday...? We had a big meeting about it and all.”

She folds her arms together, tilting her head to the side and looking like she’s really trying to recall it. “...Fuwaah, I don’t really remember it very well...”

“Erm, well, we’re going to a daycare Elly’s working at right now, you see...” I say, rubbing the back of my head. “To save a girl who’s going to be attacked today.”

“Oh...”

“So, how are we going to split up?” Kurumi asks.

“I think you’d better stay by yourself,” Yuuka says to her. “You look strange enough already without anyone hanging around you.”

“What? I’m going alone?” she says, sounding disappointed.

...Not to be mean, but Yuuka’s kind of got a point.

“So then, Leader,” she turns to face me. “There are four of us. That means we can split into pairs. Why don’t you decide this one?”

So, it’s up to me, then? I’ll go with...

[ ] Yuuka.
[ ] Ellen.
[ ] Kotohime.
>> No. 29845
[x] Ellen.
>> No. 29846
Narcolepsy. The only legal way of obtaining GHB.

The music really adds a lot, by the way.

[x] Yuuka.

Yuuka is the one most likely to be intercepted by the Twins. And if we're with the Twins, they'll likely ignore us and focus on Yuuka, like last time. That might not be so with anyone else. From her description, there's no real way of defeating them, so we'll want to waste as few people as possible fighting them.

On the other hand, if killing them can slow them down long enough to escape, we might be able to surprise one or both with a bullet to the head, then we might be able have Yuuka on hand when the mechanical monster appears, which could be a game-winner.
>> No. 29847
[x] Ellen.
Not really sure. Kotohime would probably be best with Yuuka, she can take care of herself and maybe she can support her.
I worry about Ellen more, not like we can help. I am sure the enemies probably got tougher too and leveled up a bit.
>> No. 29848
>>29846

I support this.

[x] Yuuka
>> No. 29850
[x] Ellen.
>> No. 29851
[ ] Ellen.
>> No. 29852
Yuuka
>> No. 29853
[x] Ellen.
>> No. 29854
[x] Ellen.
>> No. 29860
[x] Yuuka
>> No. 29863
[x] Ellen
Going with Yuuka would be the worst, as Yuuka would have to concentrate on protecting us from the Twins. Yuuka and Kotohime would probably be our best bet. With Yuuka attacking, and Kotohime erecting barriers, they should make short work of them. Assuming, of course, that the Twins even make an appearance.
>> No. 29865
[x] Ellen
>> No. 29870
Although we haven't really seen what she can do, I don't feel as if we can rely on Ellen to save our ass if/when the time comes we find ourselves in danger. It'll be more balanced if the two weakest links aren't on the same team.

[x] Kotohime.

At least this way, if we're in a safe enough position to do so, we can break off so that Kotohime can assist the others in fighting while we find a nice safe place to hide, run away with the target, or aim our gun as back-up.
>> No. 29871
1) Remember that the twins are apparently fucking immortal. There will probably be no "making short work of them."

2) The hunter-killer thing was probably only there because of Kurosawa's relation to CC, and was there only to fetch or dispose of him. I do not think it will put in an appearance this time. Granted, this is all speculation, but it's as good a guess as any.

3) We should probably assign someone to keep watch over Renko herself. Unless that's going to be us, of course.

4) At some point, we need to call A. on her bullshit. He has every right to ask for information, given how fucking creep-ass that was. If she's going to be hanging around, it would behoove him greatly to know the risks and dangers she presents.
>> No. 29872
>>29871
Oh, and

[x] Kotohime
>> No. 29874
>>29871
A knows more about Kotohime than she's telling us, that long pause before a mere "No" is VERY suspicious.
>> No. 29876
>>29872
Why do i always read Kotomine.
>> No. 29877
>>29876

You're not the only one.
>> No. 29878
File 128898652265.jpg - (73.08KB , 592x779 , kirei.jpg ) [iqdb]
29878
>>29876
>>29877
>> No. 29882
>>29878
Is that edited?
>> No. 29887
File 128902473039.png - (27.41KB , 442x450 , 5115155.png ) [iqdb]
29887
“Alright then. Ellen, you’re with me,” I say, looking to her and jerking a thumb toward myself. “We’ll hang around by the daycare building until it’s time for us to save the girl. And as soon as we find her when we get sent over to that other world, I want you to use your magic to put her to sleep, alright?”

“Fueh?”

The blonde girl stares at me with wide eyes showing slight confusion, but nevertheless, she nods vigorously. Almost too vigorously, in fact, as the motion of her body nearly causes the cat hanging onto her shoulder to slip off. Sokrates the cat, letting out a low yowl in complaint, climbs its way back up to a secure place on the girl’s shoulder, staring at me with its lazy, drooping eyes.

“So, I’m with her, then,” Yuuka says with a voice that’s tinged with slight discomfort, glancing sideways at the uniform-donned girl. The woman turns away, shaking her head a little before letting out a sigh. She reaches down, grabbing the pinkish-white parasol leaning against the wall. “...Well, let’s get going then.”

“Do I really have to go alone?” Kurumi whines. “Yuukaaaaa. I’m going to die of loneliness.”

“If you were going to die of that so easily you would have done so earlier,” Yuuka says with a cool tone of voice, using the parasol in her hand as a cane as she taps her foot against the floor.

The vampire girl lets out a ‘hmph’ as a reply. She might have come off as pouting cutely if she wasn’t wearing an outfit that concealed her face and as a result made her look like a very intimidating, very dangerous person. As it stands right now, it just feels plain weird to be hearing that tone of voice from this figure.

“Let’s do our best today~” Kotohime says, clapping her hands together with a cheerful look, not showing any sort of nervousness or fear of what’s coming up. “Right, Commander?”

“I’m not a commander.”

“Colonel!”

“Not a colonel, either.”

“Lieutenant Major!”

“That’s not even a real rank,” I say, covering up my laugh with a snort, coughing into the back of my hand to mask my style. I’ll never get how she manages to have such a bright disposition in the face of things like this, but it at least makes me feel a bit better myself. “Alright, let’s move out.”

Turning away from the front door, I see Kana standing there with her hands folded on top of her apron. Seeing me, she does a graceful curtsy. “I’ll have dinner ready by the time you come back. Good luck out there.”

“Yeah, thanks,” I say, nodding.

And, taking the lead, I open the metal door and head out into the city.

---

While walking down the city, I reach into my pocket—the one that isn’t concealing a gun—and withdraw my cell phone, glancing at the screen. The time reads 5:07 PM, which means I still have plenty of time to spare until the predicted attack is supposed to happen. I turn my head and look back behind me, looking at the two specks in the distance that are Yuuka and Kotohime, both of them moving at a very leisurely pace. I can’t even see Kurumi anymore, so she must be even further behind.

I slip the phone back into my pocket, continuing to walk down the street with Ellen at my side. Rubbing the back of my neck, I glance sideways at the girl. She seems the same as ever; in obliviously good spirits, adding a bit of a skip to her steps as she follows me.

“I’ve been wondering a bit, but...” I start, catching her attention.

“Fueh?”

“You’re a witch, right? You know magic?”

She nods.

“So, do you know any offensive magic? Like... do you know how to fight, basically.”

“Fuwah...” she exhales as she raises her hands to her mouth, covering it, looking a bit unconfident. “I know some basic combat spells, but I don’t really like fighting, so I don’t specialize in offensive magic...”

“Well, I guess that’s not surprising...” I say, extending my hand to the top of my own hair and ruffling it in slight frustration. So, our firepower isn’t that much greater than last time, basically. I wonder if this really will turn out well? “...Don’t worry about it. It’ll work out somehow, probably.”

She looks a bit apologetic, but nods.

Not too long afterwards, we reach the daycare building. The kids aren’t outside on the playground today, which means they must be inside the building itself. Checking the time again, I find it to be 5:20 PM, which means there are ten minutes left until the attack. Now, more than ever, I begin to feel nervous and frightful. Even with the meticulous meeting we held two days ago, I’m not confident that the metal monster can be defeated...

...No use worrying about it now, though. It’s a bit late now that we’re already all the way out here. Well, I have ten minutes to kill. What should I do during that time?

[ ] Head inside.
[ ] Stay out here.
>> No. 29888
[x] Head inside

I can see it biting us in the ass no matter what we do, so let's find her, first.

Also, crazy, sudden idea: Sariel is using the protagonist to track down the people he hates-- presumably "People with special abilities" -- and uses him as a beacon to find them, once he goes out to warn them or protect them. It didn't work on the first guy, because he killed himself. He had people watching the protagonist, so he track him, but for all the others, he has only a name.
Plenty of holes in this, and probably way off, but still.

And unrelated, but: what's Senpai's name, again? Wasn't it casually dropped at some point?
>> No. 29891
File 128902738520.jpg - (113.51KB , 640x905 , kotohime asakura ellen kana.jpg ) [iqdb]
29891
>“Well, I guess that’s not surprising...” I say, extending my hand to the top of my own hair and ruffling it in slight frustration. So, our firepower isn’t that much greater than last time, basically. I wonder if this really will turn out well? “...Don’t worry about it. It’ll work out somehow, probably.”

>She looks a bit apologetic, but nods.

Just past due for an awesome moment, is all.

[x] Head inside.

It's what we planned on, wasn't it? Maybe we can get something meaningful out of the girl before we put her in a magic coma.

And I don't know if this was mentioned before, but one of the few PC-98 characters who might be expected to know how to use a computer and send text messages is Rikako Asakura, and likewise she might be expected to maintain independence, and even support others, like Meira.

She and Kotohime are both Dim Dream characters, which might help explain knowing each other.
>> No. 29892
>“Fueh?”
“Fuwah...”
Just too cute. We have to watch out for her so that she won't get hurt.

[x] Head inside
No use wasting time. Let's get the girl and look that nothings happens to her.
>> No. 29895
>Let's get the girl and look that nothings happens to her.

Yeah, because the daycare people will totally let some stranger pickup a girl they're supposed to be taking care of. And how do you suppose they'll react when her actual caretakers show up? Elly can only do so much.

Not voting yet because maybe we could pass off going inside as going to visit Elly.
>> No. 29896
[z] Head inside

Heaven or Hell. Lets Rock.
>> No. 29897
[x] Head inside
We get inside, use magic to make everyone fall sleep and get outside. Simple,
>> No. 29898
>>29895
We can worry about the minor details later. There is a little girl we have to save!
>> No. 29899
>And unrelated, but: what's Senpai's name, again? Wasn't it casually dropped at some point?

I don't know, but that keeps making me think of Ciel.
>> No. 29902
>>29899
>Ciel
Man, if only. ...Then again, given that Sariel would probably have screwed with her mind... Maybe that wouldn't be so cool.

>>29891
I think that was who we generally assumed A was, yes.
>> No. 29907
[ ] Head inside.

Yeah. It might suck latter..but its the right thing to do.
>> No. 29928
Well, as long as we’re here, we might as well head inside.

“Let’s go in,” I say to Ellen, pointing at the open door to the building.

She vigorously nods without complaint; once again with so much energy that poor Sokrates has to hang for its dear life on her shoulder, its claws dragging against the fabric of her dress as the cat comes close to sliding off. I head toward the open doorway, with the girl following close by me, entering the building together.

Of course, the first thing that greets us when we’re inside is the reception desk. The woman sitting in the chair behind it gives us a strange look, and clears her throat loudly to make sure we head straight for the desk rather than past it. As I step up to the desk, she gives me, especially, a scrutinizing once-over, before speaking in a prompt and business-like tone of voice.

“Are you here to pick up a child?”

“Er, no, not exactly,” I say.

She narrows her eyes suspiciously. “Okay, then, what are you here for?”

“Actually, I need to speak with one of the employees here.”

The receptionist raises an eyebrow. “...Who do you need to speak to?”

“Her name’s Elly.”

“Oh, the new girl,” the receptionist says, nodding. “...Well, I suppose if it’s for just a bit it’s okay. You can’t take the cat in, though,” she hastily adds, looking past my shoulder to address the girl standing behind me. “Some of the kids are allergic.”

“Fueeh...” Ellen frowns, but nevertheless steps up to the table, prying the cat off her shoulder. “...Sorry, Sokrates. You’ll have to stay here for a bit.”

“I’ll take care of it,” the receptionist says, holding out her hands to receive the cat, which is as always, acting lazy and uncaring, even letting out a yawn.

Having made it past her, we head further inside the building, to the indoor playground for the children. The floor is covered in cushy rubber mats now, to prevent kids from getting hurt if they fall down while playing around. On the floor, a mess of toys like around, ranging from toy cars to dolls or building blocks. I don’t remember too much of when I was a kid, but I think I spent a lot of time in a daycare when I was a toddler as well, so the sight isn’t unfamiliar to me.

Now, let’s see, Elly would be...

(http://www.tindeck.com/listen/wuex)


“Deadly Finishing Strike, Phoenix Ranger J Final Beeeaaaaaam Attaaaaaaaaaack!”

...standing over there with her arms raised up in front of her chest in an awkward pose while screaming out a ridiculous attack name, surrounded by a gang of giggling brats.

“...Yo, Phoenix Ranger,” I call out to her, smirking.

She turns her head this way, and stares straight at me. Immediately her expression goes blank, and her face turns ashen white for a moment. She stands there frozen for about a half-second, and though her expression remains the same way, the shade of her skin goes from pale to bright red in almost an instant. Weakly, she lowers her arms and her head, quietly tipping the brim of her hat over her eyes, and then walks over to me amidst the curious stares of the children.

Her body snaps straight, her movements stiff and rigid as she looks up this way. She raises a hand and opens her mouth, but it closes just as quickly as it flew open, and her arm just droops down, like it’s being drained of energy. Her face, still glowing brightly red, finally settles down to a cold white.

“You didn’t see that,” she says, barely audible, with her voice flat and monotone. Taking a deep breath while her eyes remain fixed open, unblinking, she repeats, “You didn’t see that.”

“Phoenix Ranger, right? You’ve been watching that show recen—gurk!”

Elly reaches forward and grabs me by the collar, yanking me forward all of a sudden. She then shoves me back, before yanking at me again, close to throttling me as she shakes me back and forth with an expression of calm completely mismatched with her actions.

“Listen,” she says even in the middle of tossing me back and forth, “I’m only doing this because I get paid. I get paid for pretending to be nice to kids. And pretending to be nice to kids means I’ve got to play around with them. So, let’s make it so you never saw that, alright? Let’s make it that way, got it?”

Grabbing her wrists, I pry her hands off my shirt, standing firm. “Alright, alright, don’t get so worked up over it. I’ll pretend I didn’t see that.”

“Good,” she says, her expression finally relaxing. “...Anyway, what are you doing here?” She looks aside from me, and finally notices Ellen standing there as well. “Oh, and you’ve brought little Miss Fluffy, too!”

Before she can get away, Elly quickly walks up behind her, throwing her arms around the girl and resting her chin on the top of her head.

“Fuwah!” the poor girl cries out in surprise.

“You haven’t forgotten already have you?” I say while straightening out my collar. “Remember what’s going to happen today?”

“Oh, right,” she says, her eyes widening in understanding, “...Is it already that time? So, then, the attack’s going to happen soon?”

“We’re about seven minutes to it, yeah,” I say, checking the phone once more.

“Well, the kid’s here,” Elly says, turning her head and looking at a corner of the playroom. “So finding her isn’t going to be a problem at all, I wouldn’t think.”

I follow her gaze, and see the girl, squatted down on the mat by herself, isolated from the other children running around and screaming... Usami Renko, wasn’t it? She seems to be pre-occupied, drawing with crayons on a sketchbook for children.

“I tried to talk with her a bit, but,” the woman next to me begins, frowning. “...That kid just seriously freaks me out. I don’t know exactly what it is, but there’s something unnerving about her eyes... just the way she looks at you is kind of creepy.”

I nod in agreement. “...Yeah, there’s definitely something a little off about the kid.”

After a moment of consideration, I start forward, walking toward the kid. Standing behind the little girl, I look over her shoulder, at the sketchbook she’s scribbling on. She pauses for a moment when she notices my shadow looming over her, but resumes her scribbling a moment afterward. It’s a picture of the sky... specifically, the night sky. There’s the moon, and the tiny little specks for the stars...

(http://tindeck.com/listen/khwm)

“Hi, mister from the other day,” a small voice comes from the child, although she doesn’t turn around.

“Hey,” I casually respond. “Is that interesting?”

“Not really,” the kid says. “There’s just nothing else to do.”

“Do you like stars?”

“I don’t really like them or hate them,” she says, turning her head around to gaze at me. I shrink back a little unconsciously, meeting the kid’s eyes. Elly was right, there really is something strikingly disturbing about her gaze. “...But they’re interesting.”

“Then, that means you like them, right?”

“No,” she shakes her head, not blinking. “They’re interesting, but I don’t like them or hate them.”

“What’s so interesting about them?”

“I can tell a lot from looking up at the sky,” she says enigmatically. “...At least, that’s what I think.”

...This kid, I get the feeling she’s at least a decade beyond her years.

“Like what time it is, and where I am.”

“...uh, what?”

“Like what time it is, and where I am,” the kid repeats herself, her head drooping to the side slightly. “The time by looking at the stars, and where I am by looking at the moon. Is that strange?”

...What is she talking about? Hold on a minute... now I remember! She also had this creepy thing where she’d always get the time right down to the second... is that what she’s talking about? But, what does she mean, ‘by looking at the stars and the moon?’ There’s no way she’d be able to figure out things like that by just looking up.

Maybe... it’s something similar to my empathic ability...?

“Hold on,” I say, a frown growing. “So you can tell the time just by looking at the stars?”

She nods.

“But it was daytime when I met you. There were no stars.”

“The sun is a star,” she says bluntly.

I-I...

Well, fuck. I think I want to kill myself now.

I open my mouth, trying to think of something to say, only to end up drawing a blank. Shaking my head as the kid returns to her drawing, I straighten up my body, turning to walk away, when all of a sudden I feel a wave of unease wash over me. I freeze on the spot, for just a second, before turning my head wildly around, looking at every inch of the building interior. There’s not a soul to be seen, save for four people in this room; Ellen, Elly, this girl, and myself.

It’s begun.
>> No. 29929
File 128938193116.png - (1.55MB , 761x1046 , 06bbff87dab238e09d121eb3816cee93.png ) [iqdb]
29929
(http://tindeck.com/listen/xwti)

After I’ve realized what’s going on, I can feel that strange sensation returning to me; I can sense the thoughts of others, and where they are, approximate to my own location. In the room, I can sense Elly and Ellen’s “unease,” and Renko’s “confusion,” even without having to turn my gaze to look at their state of being. Just outside the building, I can sense three others, all moving closer to here with every passing moment; those must be Yuuka, Kurumi, and Kotohime. There’s also someone else in the building, but who? The monster...? Ahh, whatever!

“Ellen!” I call out to her, trying my best to keep my voice from shaking. “Hurry!”

She nods, and hurries right on over, kneeling in front of the girl, who looks at her with wide, questioning eyes. The blonde witch looks at her apologetically as she raises her hands in front of the girl’s face, “Sorry, but...”

Ellen flickers her hands forward, outstretching her fingers, and a barrage of pink, circular energy seem to shoot out from her palms. They pass through the girl harmlessly, drifting out past the back of the girl’s head and dissipating into nothing further out, but it seems to work its magic well, as almost instantly, her eyes begin drooping, until she begins to go limp. Before she slumps onto the floor, I grab hold of the kid, lifting her up in my arms.

“Let’s go,” I say to the others. “We can’t coop up in here, or we might end up getting laid out like last time. We have to get to an open place outside.”

“Got it,” Elly says, both hands firmly gripping her curved scythe, the handle of which rests on the back of her neck. “Alright, let’s go. Stay behind me.”

She darts forward, and I follow after her with the girl safe in my arms, while Ellen tags along behind to cover my back (or at least, I hope that’s what she’s doing.) While we’re running toward the entrance to the daycare, my attention is immediately drawn to the left. I can sense something coming, though it’s a bit faint, but...

“Elly, they’re coming from the left!”

As if on cue, the wall a little left to us ahead crumbles down completely destroyed, and standing behind the rubble is a monstrous form, barely humanoid, with a hunched stance like a gorilla’s. It stands at around ten feet tall, with enormous, meaty arms and thick-looking gray skin. Unlike the monster we encountered last time, though, it seems completely organic, with no trace of armor on its body anywhere. Actually, it looks almost identical to the first monster that attacked me.

“Die!” Elly shrieks, whirling her scythe around above her head as the monster rushes toward us.

She chucks the scythe like it’s a huge boomerang and it goes flying in an arc, catching the monster in the middle of its leap toward us. The scythe cuts it down like wheat, cleaving it in two instantly and letting the halves fall to the ground before returning to its owner. Apparently not satisfied with that, Elly leaps up, descending down on the head of the fallen torso and crushing it under a foot

“Was that really necessary!?” I yell at her.

“Just being careful,” she responds, turning to me. “The last one I cut in half came chasing after us, remember?”

Point. Anyway...

“Behind you!”

She smirks, and turns around, bisecting another of the hammerhand that had been trying to sneak up on her, this time, from top to bottom. I grit my teeth, concentrating on my ability so hard my head feels like it’s going to burst. These things, for whatever reason, are a lot harder to pick up than the others. It’s almost like they don’t think at all, acting only on instinct rather than emotions...

...! There’s one coming from behind...!?

I turn around, and see a hammerhand charging at me, to my horror. Freeing one hand and holding Renko with the other, I clumsily fumble for my gun, but in my panic, I can’t seem to pull it out of my pocket! Shit, not good...

There’s a small little “pew” sound coming from the side, and in the next moment, there’s a heart on the monster’s head. No, not on the head, but embedded in. There’s a heart-shaped projectile, stuck to the monster’s head by the point, which stops its charge momentarily. In the very instant following its brief stun, a dozen of the same heart projectiles shoot out and bury themselves into the monster, and it falls to the floor, made into a pincushion by a bunch of pink hearts.

“Good job, Fluff!” Elly calls.

I look to my side, and see Ellen making a double ‘v’ sign with her hands, smiling at me. Calming my nerves a bit, I flash her a thumb-up before turning and heading for the entrance again.

“There’re a lot of them outside,” I say, grimacing. A lot of them are getting wiped out, though. Probably by Yuuka, since she’s just about having the fun of her life at the moment.

“These guys are small fries. I can mow them down in no time at all,” Elly says with a cocky smirk. “Now this is more like it! I haven’t felt like this in a long time! I can handle a hundred of these punks. Let’s just go outside and kill them all.”

Before I can tell her otherwise, she runs out the entrance of the daycare, out into the streets. I let out a groan of frustration, but since that was where I was headed anyway, I have no choice but to follow after her. It’s fine if she wants to fight them, but if she gets herself in too deep with a bloated head, she might end up losing it.

“Sokrates!” Ellen cries out happily by the reception desk.

Well, I guess the cat got transported in here with us. So that was the fifth person in the building.

As soon as we’re outside, I hear the sound of shit getting wrecked. Looking around for the source of the noise, I see Yuuka standing on the sidewalk with a relaxed expression, holding her parasol with the tip parallel to the ground like it’s a rifle. The scenery in front of her is a trashed up mess. Kotohime and Kurumi are both standing next to her, the latter having shed her coat.

“Oh, you made it outside,” Yuuka greets us, before casually turning the point of her parasol to the side, causing an alarmed Kurumi to quickly drop to her knees before a blast of light shoots out from the tip, over the girl’s head and past her, incinerating a hammerhand in an instant. “Tell me you didn’t lose to these things.”

“Of course not!” Kurumi says, the top of her head practically sizzling from the heat of the blast. “The thing we fought was way tougher and way scarier than these guys!”

“I see, that’s too bad,” Yuuka says, and I can feel that she really is a bit disappointed. “...I wouldn’t mind if it showed up this time, too. I’d like to kill it.”

“Stop joking around,” I say angrily, hoisting up the girl I’m carrying so as to hold her a bit more securely. “It’s good that it hasn’t shown up, isn’t it? That means this girl won’t have to die.”

She ignores me, and directs her parasol in front of her, quickly sniping yet another of the monsters without effort. The other two don’t even have to do anything, other than occasionally getting out of the way when Yuuka needs to aim at something behind them. I almost feel sorry for the hammerhand guys; they can’t even get close enough to take a swing.

Somewhere close by, I also sense a new individual. My heart sinks for a moment, but I manage to keep calm, focusing on that individual’s thoughts. They’re feeling... bewilderment at something, and then... respect and admiration, and finally, frustration and anger...? Who the hell is this?

“Late to the party,” Yuuka remarks, drawing my attention. As I’m about to ask her what she means by that, she opens her mouth to cut me off, “I saw that samurai woman lurking about just now.”

Oh, so then I guess she must have figured we didn’t need her help.

...

“...I don’t feel any more of those things,” I say, after a minute passes by with no activity.

“Boring,” Yuuka says, scowling as she finally lowers her parasol. “Did they finish sending all of their trash at us?”

“I think we’re done here,” I say, breathing easy and letting myself relax a little. My arms are getting a bit tired, carrying this kid. “...Well, that really wasn’t so bad, was it? Now we just need to put the kid back in the day—”

...Something changes.

I can’t say what, exactly, but it feels like there’s been a change. I think the others felt it, too, because all of them are “puzzled,” in the exact same way that I am. But, judging by the lack of people around, and the fact that I can still feel the thoughts of others, we’re not back in the real world yet. But, there’s also nothing different about this world. So, just what is it that I felt just now...?

“Ugh...!?”

Yuuka suddenly grunts, reaches down to open up her parasol, and lifts it up to cover herself with it like a shield. And not a moment too soon, as almost immediately a glowing orb comes speeding down from up in the air, striking against the parasol and causing a small explosion. It burns a few holes into the parasol itself, and with gritted teeth, Yuuka tosses it aside, discarding it.

“...It’s playtime again,” a sickeningly sweet voice comes from above, descending on us.
>> No. 29930
File 12893819826.png - (513.48KB , 1048x722 , 14e63b8dc9e6fad77d895c0d72f5e308.png ) [iqdb]
29930
(http://tindeck.com/listen/ibnf)

...Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh GOD no.

And of course, who else would grace us with their presence but the insane, murderous bitch twins? Well, fuck, isn’t this just perfect. Just when I thought everything had gone well enough, these two come down and are now going to shit everything up. We were so goddamned close, so goddamned close to pulling this off without a hitch!

The angel and the maid touch down on the ruined pavement. The angel stands there with her arms folded together and a smug smirk on her detestable face, while her more passive but equally demonic younger twin sister stands next to her, her head lowered toward the ground demurely.

“Won’t you play a game with us today as well? Last time, we had such fun together, didn’t we...” the older of the twins says in a sing-song voice. “...Yuuka.”

“It wasn’t fun at all,” Yuuka says in an agitated voice “I absolutely hate stubborn things that refuse to die when they should.”

“Ahaha, too bad for you,” the angel’s smirk grows wider and even more malicious. “Because my sister and I are having quite a lot of fun! Isn’t that right, Mugetsu?”

“Huh...?” the younger twin says, almost as if snapping out of a daze. She raises a hand and touches it to her forehead. Unconsciously, she seems to rub at the frilled cuffs on her wrists, shaking her head absentmindedly before turning to gaze at her sister and speaking in a submissive tone of voice. “O-oh, right.”

...Something seems off about the younger one this time. It’s difficult to read, though, even with my ability. Somehow, it feels like the older one has... much more presence right now; her presence feels so strong than in comparison, her sister’s is so weak, so I can’t tell what it is that she’s thinking, or why she’s acting like this, in spite of what she tried to do to us last time. What is it... hesitation?

“...Go,” Yuuka whispers to us. “Get away from here as far as you can.”

“You’re going to fight them again...?” I ask incredulously.

“There’s nothing else to do, is there?” she says, annoyed, as she looks toward me with none of the calm, infuriatingly bemused attitude she holds against me all the time. “If you stay you’ll end up getting caught in the crossfire. You’ll be in the way, so get lost.”

[ ] Do as Yuuka says. Get yourself and everyone else out of here.
[ ] Try to reason with the twins. Why are they doing this...?
>> No. 29931
I'm not going to vote yet, but whatever we choose, I want to remind everyone that we're still holding Renko.
>> No. 29932
[x]Command Ellen, Elly, Kotohime and Kurumi to attack the younger.
-[x]Tactical retreat.

Yuuka can't deal with the twins alone. Not only are they about equal in strength, but they won't die. If we split divisions to better counter their might, we stand a better chance of incapacitating them, or running out the timer with less injuries on our side.
>> No. 29933
[x]Command Ellen, Elly, Kotohime and Kurumi to attack the younger.
-[x]Tactical retreat.

Sounds good. Maybe we can keep the youngest busy.
But if it doesn't work as expected, let's run away and protect the target.
>> No. 29934
[x]Command Ellen, Elly, Kotohime and Kurumi to hold off the younger.
-[x]Tactical retreat.
>> No. 29935
>Her face, still glowing brightly red, finally settles down to a cold white.
Even in this situation it was well worth seeing this.
>What is it... hesitation?
>>29932
>>29933
I am not sure if we should attack her. Maybe we could try to reason with her because it seems that she is not feeling right with what is going on. Is it not okay for her to attack Children or had a change of heart suddenly?

It is worth a try as she will probably not be fighting with everything she has for a while unless we provoke her into doing so. An avoided fight or cutting down their fighting power in half is better and less people will be harmed.
And I am not sure it is the best idea to send everyone off and retreat alone without knowing what or who else is out there.

[x] Try to reason with the younger. Why are they doing this...?
>> No. 29936
>>29935
>>What is it... hesitation?

This is precisely why we should strike while the iron is hot. Trying to talk sense into her is dangerous. She is far more likely to listen to her sister than to us, and her sister most assuredly will not listen to reason.

>I am not sure it is the best idea to retreat alone

Neither am I, to be honest. I'm going to go with his intuition and abilities though, which say there is nothing around except for the twins and our group.
>> No. 29937
I'm not sure how to vote in this situation, but as for the twins, it seems almost as though the younger isn't exactly willing to be here.

Perhaps she's being controlled somehow?

The frilled cuffs maybe?

And with the older sister having such an overwhelming 'presence' and the younger having almost none, this seems reasonable to me. Almost as though her self or will is being subverted by the older.

Not sure about this theory, and not certain how it effects the votes, but...
>> No. 29938
>This is precisely why we should strike while the iron is hot. Trying to talk sense into her is dangerous. She is far more likely to listen to her sister than to us, and her sister most assuredly will not listen to reason.

While she is not sure on what to do it would be best try and reason with her than instead attack her too. If she sees that her sister is in trouble or if we hurt her it will all be in vain and she will come into the fight with her full power.
There are two things we could do: Try to reason with her and convince her to stop or make her a weak part of the fight and use the confusion among them to strike them down easier.
I would like to avoid dirty play but if the first does not work the second will do too.

The main goal is to get everyone out there alive. If we can convince them to stop or at least reason with them and find out more it would be better.

>Neither am I, to be honest.
Telling everyone to go and fight and you run away alone somewhere into this strange world where who knows what could lurk around the next corner is plain suicidal.
>I'm going to go with his intuition and abilities though, which say there is nothing around except for the twins and our group.
He can barely sense them. I wouldn't really trust him that much. As you saw someething can pop out of nowhere just like we saw earlier.
>> No. 29939
>>29938
>Try to reason with her and convince her to stop

MC isn't particularly savvy with words, there is next to no chance of convincing the younger to sit out, especially when we don't even know why she is hesitating. When diplomacy fails, there is going to be a fight, and I'm still of the belief that her sister will convince her that they are in the right, at which case they will come at us full-power.

>Telling everyone to go and fight and you run away alone somewhere into this strange world where who knows what could lurk around the next corner is plain suicidal.
See >>28691
>I thought the scene of ruin underground was bad, but what I’m seeing up here is catastrophic.
>From what I can tell, the whole city is like this…

Being at ground zero when the fight starts is worse than suicidal.

>He can barely sense them.
He can sense them well enough to immediately tell where they are coming from, and from a certain distance. Assuming, of course, that there is any more left to run from.
>> No. 29941
[x] Command Elly, Kotohime and Kurumi to hold off the younger.
-[x] Tactical retreat with Ellen.

Just in case.
>> No. 29942
[x] Command Elly, Kotohime and Kurumi to hold off the younger.
-[x] Tactical retreat with Ellen.
>> No. 29943
[x] Command Elly, Kotohime and Kurumi to hold off the younger.
-[x] Tactical retreat with Ellen.
>> No. 29945
[X] Have Kotohime, Ellen, and Kurumi take Renko to safety.
[X] Try to reason with the younger sister.
-[X] If that doesn't seem to work, take Elly and run the hell away.
--[X] Assuming she doesn't want to stay and fight too, at least.

That first part is especially important. We're still carrying Renko people. Don't forget our entire mission. Don't have the attention span of a goldfish.

And for those of you who want to fight, Yuuka flat-out told us to stay out of it. Trying to talk Mugetsu out of it is already risky enough to risk her ire. I'd rather not push it.

As for party arrangements, Kotohime is our barrier maiden, so she's pretty much required to protect Renko and Ellen. Kurumi's there so that they're not offenseless. Elly I want to stick with us so we're not the one almost completely defenseless.
>> No. 29946
>>29945
>[x] Have Kotohime, Ellen, and Kurumi take Renko to safety.
>Take Renko to safety

This line in specific. We are operating under the assumption that they are here to ensure Renko dies. Our only other altercation with them was explained as "human hunting," so this is a fair assumption. You wish to take away their fun and than try and reason them out of it, when our character isn't particularly verbose, and has no idea why she is hesitating in the first place? Fat chance man, that would take a considerable skill in bullshitting.
>> No. 29949
>>29946
You claim that that is putting Renko into danger when >>29941 involves putting her into either Ground Zero or into the hands of the one person who can't protect her (us)? Really?

Even if they do try to go after her, don't forget that Yuuka's here. You know, the one that managed to fight them to a standstill, despite being one-against-two and the sisters apparently being almost as immortal as Kaguya and Mokou. Assuming she's even halfway-competent, she should be able to hold off at least one of them, and if she's more than halfway competent, the one she'll hold up will be Gengetsu, who is presumably the stronger of the two and therefore the one more likely to catch Yuuka's interest.

And you don't have to be eloquent to play upon one's hesitation and doubts. "Why are you hesitating?" "Is something wrong?" "Are you really having fun?"
>> No. 29950
>>29949
>into the hands of the one person who can't protect her
The best defense is a good offense. With absolutely everyone rocking their shit, I am completely positive that they will not be coming after us. As for Ground Zero, that is the entire point of tactically retreating. We will be running away the moment we are sure that everyone listens to our command.

>Yuuka here...fought to a standstill...two-against-one

Yuuka only managed to force them into a draw, and she suffered injuries for it. That is not our goal, nor what we should strive to. We want Yuuka on tap every time we enter this place, so our combat force is stronger. By some fluke the twins got here late this time, (I assume its because we actually knew where the person was this time), but the next time we don't want to repeat the events like we did with Kurosawa.

>don't have to be eloquent to play upon one's hesitation and doubts.
You do when there is someone who you trust a lot more than your enemy discouraging that line of thought.
>> No. 29951
>>29942 here, I am changing my vote too
[x] Command Elly, Kurumi to hold off the younger.
[x] Run the fuck away with Ellen and Kotohime.
>> No. 29952
>>29939
Well, I stated my reasons and there is nothing more to do.
I am still sure we could talk the younger out of fighting and getting her on our side and end the fight early and without any serious damage.
>Being at ground zero when the fight starts is worse than suicidal.
It could be worse. He could be all alone wandering around here. Without any Ally close by.
>He can sense them well enough to immediately tell where they are coming from, and from a certain distance. Assuming, of course, that there is any more left to run from.
He may be able to sense where they come from but from actually fleeing from them it really does not help at all. Plus, it is plain stupid to assume things. Last time there were more and I highly doubt the Enemy was just standing around doing nothing instead of leveling up and getting a few more monsters in their team.
>> No. 29953
Now that I think about it, what happened to Meira?
>> No. 29954
>>29952
>I am still sure we could talk the younger out of fighting
I disagree completely. It's clear we will not convince each other on this point. Agree to disagree?

>He could be all alone wandering around here. Without any Ally close by.
A fair point. Just as equally, he could be completely safe away from that battle. Not only do his powers support this, but even Yuuka tells us to run away alone.

>leveling up and getting a few more monsters in their team.
The monsters were ludicrously weak this time. Also
>it is plain stupid to assume things.
>> No. 29955
The best option might be to at least try to talk Mugetsu out of it, but expect and prepare for the possibility of it failing. Worst case scenario, Gengetsu really doesn't like us trying to convince her sister that attacking humans isn't fun, which would at least give us good reason to believe that Mugetsu might be being brainwashed.

And Kotohime should be focused on defending Renko with her barrier no matter what our strategy is. From what we've seen, she's a protector, not a warrior.
>> No. 29957
[x] Do as Yuuka says. Get yourself and everyone else out of here.

I'm not seeing any benefit to attacking them or talking to them. As Yuuka said, there's no way to keep them down, and it looks like some kind of fucked up, one-sided obsession on Mugetsu's part. Even interfering might result in them going after you, or Renko, just to take a dig at her.

I want to play suicidal idiot hero and dig into Yuka's backstory as much as anyone, but a little kid's life is in our hands here. Yuka doesn't need anyone's help, and according to Yuka's description the twins aren't exactly in any lasting danger here. If we want to solve that problem, it's going to have to be on our own time, out in public, not here on a battlefield.
>> No. 29958
[x] Do as Yuuka says. Get yourself and everyone else out of here.
-[x] Have Elly stay to back Yuuka up.
>> No. 29960
[x] Do as Yuuka says. Get yourself and everyone else out of here.
-[x] Have Elly stay to back Yuuka up.
>> No. 29961
[X] Have Kotohime, Ellen, and Kurumi take Renko to safety.
[X] Try to reason with the younger sister.
-[X] If that doesn't seem to work, take Elly and run the hell away.
--[X] Assuming she doesn't want to stay and fight too, at least.

Seems like a good plan.
>> No. 29962
Hey, just thought of something this might parallel.

In Sengoku Rance, the Gigai duels. Only Kentarou can fight him, and anyone else will die. Neither party is severely injured as long as the one character who can actually fight does so. Maybe this works the same way?

[x] Do as Yuuka says. Get yourself and everyone else out of here.
>> No. 29970
[x] Have Kotohime, Ellen, and Kurumi take Renko to safety.
[x] Try to reason with the younger sister.
-[x] If that doesn't seem to work, take Elly and run the hell away.
--[x] Assuming she doesn't want to stay and fight too, at least.

It's either time to prove you were wrong about being able to understand other people, or be proved right with sickening, painful finality.

Also of note: if Meira was in the area, then that means she is possibly always shadowing us.

...Does anyone recall if A. is still getting the death announcement emails?
>> No. 29972
[x] Do as Yuuka says. Get yourself and everyone else out of here.

>>29932
>>29933
>>29934
Do you guys realize that you are sending a bunch of level threes to take on an Extra Midboss that DOESN'T DIE? It's not like we can hope to take them out before they retaliate; in such a situation they are lucky to not end up as pulp, and even in the best case they'll just get in the way.
>> No. 29973
One other thing: I don't know if anyone else is having trouble remembering which of the 'getsus is which, so...

Mugetsu is:
-the "younger" twin
-working at a maid cafe on Saturdays
-the "maid" (battle form)

Gengetsu is:
-the "older" twin
-working as an office lady
-apparently lying about something she said in >>27909 or >>27844
-going by the name of "Mikazuki"
-the "angel" (battle form)
-apparently unaware, in the normal world, of any of the shit she does during these Killing Times (unless she was lying.)

ALSO KIND OF IMPORTANT
>>29946
>We are operating under the assumption that they are here to ensure Renko dies. Our only other altercation with them was explained as "human hunting," so this is a fair assumption.
This seems like a VERY good thing to keep in mind, as far as determining what the hell is up with them (do remember that this is apparently the "Twins" arc).
If you can point out the update where this was said, I'd be grateful. I'm kind of lazy and tired, and don't want to go rummaging about through old posts at this hour.
>> No. 29974
>>29973
Ah, I happened to have it open. I will be a bastard and NOT delete and re-edit my post because I am seriously about to pass out. Anyway, it was said at >>28400. However, right after that, she shot at the protagonist and Kotohime (both human, as well), so maybe they're not necessarily here for Renko.
>> No. 29975
>>29972
>that you are sending a bunch of level threes to take on an Extra Midboss that DOESN'T DIE?

This sentence means nothing. Kogasa is an Extra stage midboss.

The twins aren't ludicrously strong. They have to gang up on Yuuka to even stand a chance. Split apart, and with one hesitating in battle, their fighting prowess will be cut in more than half. Are you seriously telling me that Elly and the others cannot match a single one of them? Have some more faith in our friends.
>> No. 29977
>>29975
Not him, but what bugs me the most about that write-in is that you're having Kotohime fight with the sturdy Youkai rather than protect us squishy humans, when it's been shown that barriers and protection is kind of her thing. I mean come on now.

And someone, not sure if it's you, say that running away might provoke her into attacking, because we don't know what's got her so hung up. The same could be said for that write-in too. Hell, it would probably apply moreso. Who would you be more willing to attack? The person trying to run away, or the person trying to shoot you in the face?
>> No. 29978
>when it's been shown that barriers and protection is kind of her thing.

I knew I should have posted this a couple of days ago, to refute this thinking. You are wrong. Simple as that.

Reread this scene right here.
>>28510

Kotohime is the one who decisively ends that fight. She can fight toe-to-toe with them. She is a lot more competent than people think.

>Who would you be more willing to attack?
I'm not sure you understand the purpose of my write-in. Let me spell it out. Mugetsu is unsure and hesitant. I do not believe we can talk her out of it. Instead of futilely trying to convince her to see our side, I wish to strike at her while she is undecided, so that we might gain the advantage.
>> No. 29979
>Kogasa is an Extra stage midboss.
...Because the viewer wouldn't see it coming. Power of surprise, yo.

>>29978
And what happens if they decide to throw a stray bullet or ten in our direction? Kotohime may be a better fighter, but she's still the only one of us who can block an unexpected hit without diving into it head on.

Actually, does she have to actively keep a barrier up, because if she can put one up around us that's strong enough to hold up long enough for the others to notice we're being attacked, I wouldn't mind having her put one up and then entering the fight (assuming we're entering the fight in the first place).

From what Yuuka said, either the two are durable as fuck, or they somehow obtained the Hourai Elixir or something similar. If it's the former, then I doubt a surprise attack would be that much of a setback. If it's the latter, then it doesn't matter how great an advantage we get, because we will never beat them without great expense.
>> No. 29980
>>29979
>And what happens if they decide to throw a stray bullet or ten in our direction?

Then they get ripped to shreds for taking their attention off the battle.

>does she have to actively keep a barrier up?
>She raises an arm up, pointing at the monster before her with her index finger. With that never changing smile plastered to her face, she draws a circle in the air with that finger. At the same time, beyond the glass-like barrier, a swirling dark mass appears out of thin air just above Spider-Kurosawa.

This line suggests she doesn't. Verdicts still out on it though.

>we will never beat them without great expense.

I can't remember specifically what Yuuka said, nor can I find the post in specific, so I'm running on the assumption that they can be beaten/killed. Perhaps it just takes more damage than Yuuka can put out while fighting them at once?
>> No. 29981
[X] Do as Yuuka says. Get yourself and everyone else out of here.

>>29980
>I can't remember specifically what Yuuka said, nor can I find the post in specific, so I'm running on the assumption that they can be beaten/killed. Perhaps it just takes more damage than Yuuka can put out while fighting them at once?
Reread >>29588.
>“No matter what I did, they wouldn’t stay dead. I crushed their bones, ran them through, smashed in their heads, ripped their limbs off, cut them apart like hunks of meat, and even completely, utterly vaporized their bodies at one point, but none of it would stick. That’s why I was having such a hard time against them. Honestly, the nerve of some people, not staying dead when they’re killed.”
There is no way to stop them, only delay them. And reasoning with one won't stop the other.
>> No. 29983
>>29980
Dude, this is Touhou. Danmaku isn't restricted to one direction. Everyone worth their salt can fire it out in every direction without having to divert any attention from the enemies in front of them.

Case in point: Gengetsu Rape Time.
>> No. 30019
>>29975
Err, Hello? Did you miss the part about how they DON'T DIE? I don't care how powerful Elly or anyone else is, they are not as powerful as Yuuka, and if they are not as powerful as Yuuka, they will be worse than useless in this battle.

Let me repeat again, they DON'T DIE! They are like Ubered Heavies. You can stall them, you can distract them, but you certainly can't Zerg rush them! Why are we even playing this game? THEY DON'T DIE, DAMNIT.
>> No. 30029
>>30019
>DONT DIE DURR HURR
Save your inappropriate rage for another time. I am entirely aware that they do not die. However, saying that all of our allies save Yuuka cannot match them is ridiculous in the extreme.

>Ubered Heavies.
Like a ubered Heavy, they can be distracted and incapacitated. We currently have a multitude of methods at our disposal of beating them. We can have Ellen somehow put them to sleep, or we can simply fight them until this world ends and win via time-out. I am confident that either can be accomplished. We can even attempt to talk them out of it, though my stance on that is pretty clear.
>> No. 30031
>We can have Ellen somehow put them to sleep
Pfft status effects never work on bosses. Don't you play RPGs?

>we can simply fight them until this world ends and win via time-out
Yeeeahh about that:
>I can’t say what, exactly, but it feels like there’s been a change. I think the others felt it, too, because all of them are “puzzled,” in the exact same way that I am. But, judging by the lack of people around, and the fact that I can still feel the thoughts of others, we’re not back in the real world yet. But, there’s also nothing different about this world. So, just what is it that I felt just now...?
It's implied that they created this world. I doubt that they'd let it vanish so easily.

It all boils down to one thing: We know nothing about the twins except that they're tenacious as cockroaches. Fighting them could stall them enough to squeak by, or it could easily provoke them from playing around to fighting seriously, making the situation go from really bad to much much worse.
>> No. 30032
>>30031
>Pfft status effects never work on bosses. Don't you play RPGs?

Making your decisions on that basis is beyond retarded. There is nothing that suggests we cannot use Ellens spell to put them asleep.

>It's implied that they created this world.

No it isnt. The world is still the same as it was before that strange puzzled feeling passed over. If the twins did anything, it isn't important to the situation at hand.

>We know nothing about the twins

We know that they will deny any involvement when asked outside of this frozen world. We know that they are here to kill us. That alone is reason enough to attack them. We need to get answers on this shit, and they aren't forthcoming. So we kick their ass' and make them tell us.
>> No. 30034
>Making your decisions on that basis is beyond retarded. There is nothing that suggests we cannot use Ellens spell to put them asleep.
You... you took that seriously? I... I am suddenly a lot less confident in your confidence.

>We know that they will deny any involvement when asked outside of this frozen world.
Can we prove that they're intentionally denying it? They're from a dream world. For all we know, their real life counterparts might genuinely think that these are just some weird dreams they're having.

>That alone is reason enough to attack them.
From the way Gengetsu is acting, they're toying with us right now. For all we know, they could've been toying with Yuuka too.

I repeat, we know next to nothing about them. Understand that, no matter what the right option is, we're currently being forced to run on assumptions. That is never a situation to be confident in.
>> No. 30036
>>30034
>You... you took that seriously? I... I am suddenly a lot less confident in your confidence.

My apologies, but wordplay is hard to convey on the internet. You easily could have been serious.

>might genuinely think that these are just some weird dreams they're having.

The thought had crossed my mind also. The only way we can confirm this is seeing what happens to the twins once the frozen world ends.

>From the way Gengetsu is acting, they're toying with us right now. For all we know, they could've been toying with Yuuka too.

It could be. Or it could just be pre-battle banter. As Yuuka would certainly mention if they were just fucking around in the previous fight, I'm going with the latter.
>> No. 30047
>>30029
Look, at the end of the day, the fact that they are immortal means that there really isn't alot we can do about them, and certainly nothing that can be done by zerg rushing them. Your entire method about sending all available party members at them can only acheive two things:
1) Take them out quickly before they can retaliate
2) Keep them busy until a plan get be worked out/while you run away

The problem is that since they DON'T DIE, period, taking them out quickly doesn't work. There is certainly no indication that Ellen's Sleep spell would even affect them, and putting all our available resources on a plan that may or may not work is stupid in the extreme. Furthermore, you have seen the kind of destruction they wrought on in the last battle. What exactly do you think Elly, Kurumi and Kotohime can do against opponents that wreck the entire city in three minutes? You know, apart from being liabilities for Yuuka to shield against.

There is a major difference between trusting in the abilities of our friends and sending them out to die.
>> No. 30051
>>30047
Oh boy, here we go again.

>1) Take them out quickly before they can retaliate
Note that take them out can mean incapacitating them. This is the desired outcome.

>2) Keep them busy.
Acceptable.

>no indication that Ellen's Sleep spell would even affect them
There is also no indication that it wont.

>putting all our available resources on a plan that may or may not work is stupid
That's what confidence is for.

>What exactly do you think Elly, Kurumi and Kotohime can do against opponents that wreck the entire city in three minutes?
I think they can win. You seem convinced that the twins are some insurmountable gods of battle. They are not. Both of them went against Yuuka, and by her account, were repeatedly and messily killed. It goes without saying that split apart, they will not be as much of a threat, and our lesser fighters will be able to take them.

But hey, if you want a repeat of the Kurosawa incident, just keep having Yuuka fight them alone.
>> No. 30053
>>30051
Define "incapacitate". Note in your definition that Yuuka claimed to have crushed, dismembered, beheaded, cut to pieces, smashed, and other such items in the short time she was fighting them, when it seems that the amount of time it takes to 'reassemble' themselves is nearly 0, as Yuuka never was able to pull away long enough to rejoin the group until the twins left on their own accord.

Not the guy you're replying to, but your plan does seem to rely too much on unknown variables which, worst case scenario, may end up killing us all.
>> No. 30054
>>30051
The Kurosawa incident was caused by more some mechanical beasty coming down upon us due to the man's dealings with the company. We don't have that worry since Renko's just a little girl.

The problem are the twins and if Yuuka could fend them off decently enough last time, then she could do so this time, especially with the maid sister acting out of it.

Sending Elly to help isn't a bad idea, but trying to do an all out attack with some folks not suited for it, such as Ellen, is just stupid.

Folks are assuming the twin's are interested in the kid, they're not; they want a good fight out of Yuuka, that's all.
>> No. 30055
How the hell do you expect a sleep spell to affect beings native to a dream world?
>> No. 30056
>>30053
>Define "incapacitate".
Putting them into a state where they will not be able to bring us harm, and are in our control.

>unknown variables
There are too many unknown variables in this entire situation to definitively choose one "right" option. I believe it is better to act with courage and conviction, and force some answers out of them, instead of merely running away, or futilely trying to negotiate.

>>30054
>mechanical beasty coming down upon us due to the man's dealings with the company
There is no way of knowing that. It could just as easily attack us next time, for no correlated reason.

>Yuuka could fend them off decently enough last time, then she could do so this time
You seem to be forgetting the fact that this isn't our goal. We do not want to sacrifice Yuuka to fight them every time we enter the frozen world. That path only invites ruin, when we encounter another monster like Mecha-arm monster.

>do an all out attack with some folks not suited for it, such as Ellen, is just stupid.
Some could argue that with Kotohime's spacey and forgetful personality, she isn't suitable for fighting. They would be wrong, of course. I trust Ellen is the same.

>>30055
Its magic I aint gotta explain shit.jpg

This is starting to drag out, can we all agree to drop it? I trust that Lion will put out something satisfactory for all in a couple of days.
>> No. 30061
>>Some could argue that with Kotohime's spacey and forgetful personality, she isn't suitable for fighting. They would be wrong, of course. I trust Ellen is the same.

She just admitted two post ago that she doesn't have any appreciable fighting skills. Just because Kotohime can fight despite her personality doesn't mean that Ellen can do the same. For that matter, Kotohime isn't particularly strong anyway. Definitely not strong enough to take on Mugetsu.
>> No. 30070
>>30056
That's impossible as Yuuka noted that they came back really quickly, even from being vaporized. You know, shit that would incapacitate Mokou and Kaguya for a time. Until we get to the root of the problem, they will always be a pain.

And you're the one assuming all sorts of shit.

And if we went with your retarded ass idea there'll be fatalities at best and a nigh-total party kill bad end at worst.

>>30061
Yep, too bad some people don't read all the details.
>> No. 30074
[B] Do as Yuuka says. Get yourself and everyone else out of here.
>> No. 30075
[X] Try to reason with the twins. Why are they doing this...?

Normally I would be inclined to listen to Yuuka, and take the opportunity to escape, but...

Between the nature of the protagonist's powers, Kana's criticism of him in their last encounter, Yuuka's criticism of his selfishness, and a number of other factors in the story, I would wager that the real character arc of the protagonist is to grow from being self-centered to being someone who understands others. Furthermore, I suspect the nature of his power requires some evolution of his character if we want him to be able to make full use of his abilities. The first step in finding answers is asking questions, and right now we need a lot of answers.

Now, in fairness, the odds of convincing the sisters to back down are probably not excellent. But is that really what our goal should be while battling them? Incapacitating them is right out - Yuuka was unable to keep them down even after atomizing them; at the same time, however, fleeing leaves us nothing to go off of next time they attack. Whether we fight or we run, we end up standing still.

I submit that what we want to do is learn about them. Will they divulge everything to us? Certainly not. Can we glean something from the way they react to us? Quite probably. With the younger sister's presence so weak, this presents a unique opportunity in which they are in some ways slightly more vulnerable.

There are a lot of unknowns in this situation. We have no idea what their goals are, nor what side they play. We may be in for some surprises if more enemies show up - they might have issues with those enemies themselves, they may not care, they may be allied. 2 out of 3 isn't too bad for us. At the very least, they seem to love fighting, so we may be able to use that. Would other enemies even approach during a battle between these two and Yuuka?

Well, there's a lot to keep track of right now. Our priority should be to keep Renko safe. I'm not confident we can do that with our forces split - if worse comes to worst in this situation, then at least we have Yuuka, who held them off last time, and back up. We should be able to pull this one out. Especially in their strange state.
>> No. 30076
[x] Try to reason with the twins. Why are they doing this...?
>> No. 30078
>I submit that what we want to do is learn about them. Will they divulge everything to us? Certainly not. Can we glean something from the way they react to us? Quite probably. With the younger sister's presence so weak, this presents a unique opportunity in which they are in some ways slightly more vulnerable.

My theory is that they deny their actions in the other world because they genuinely don't remember or maybe because they think it's a dream. They have been able to integrate themselves here so easily because they're truly native to the outside world. Their only interaction with Touhou characters has been in the Extra Stage of Lotus Land Story, apparently in a dream world, which I posit they go to when they sleep. And the same thing that happened that kicked out Yuka and co prevented them from visiting that dream place. Notice that it's night time now?
>> No. 30079
[x] Try to reason with the twins. Why are they doing this...?

Yeah, sending the ones with us to fight them won't help at all. In fact, Yuuka would probably have to hold back, due to the probable collateral damage that would arise from her normal method of total target annihilation.

Remember all that damage at the previous fight? Most of that was likely Yuuka.
>> No. 30080
>>30075
Why didn't you show up earlier? I'm convinced. Changing >>29945 to

[x] Try to reason with the twins. Why are they doing this...?
>> No. 30081
[x] Try to reason with the twins. Why are they doing this...?
>> No. 30084
Go ahead and count my vote at >>29970 as something more or less like >>30075. He says more or less what I've been feeling for a while, now.
>> No. 30098
File 129015031432.png - (1.43MB , 2006x2766 , 12713053.png ) [iqdb]
30098
I want to do as she says and run away, as far away from these two as I possibly can. But, I find myself unable to budge an inch, almost as if my feet are glued to the ground. When I finally lift a foot to take a step away from the pair, it moves forward instead, my body following its movement toward the twins. I’m scared. I’m terrified. But right now, my curiosity is overcoming my fear.

“Why are you doing this...?” I say aloud, more incredulous than venomous, the stillness of the air carrying my voice despite its low volume. “What did we ever do to you? Is this fun? Is it fun to try to kill people for no reason beyond that? Is... is that your only excuse?”

(http://tindeck.com/listen/pmlt)

The twin wearing the maid outfit appears to shrink back a little, hearing my words. Her face is downcast, and her eyes are wide open and unblinking as they gaze down at the ground. Her body even seems to shake a little. The elder twin casts an aside glance at her sister, and folding her arms together haughtily, she walks forward, directing her attention to me as she walks to her sister’s side.

“...And what’s wrong with that?” she asks with a sneer plastered on her face. “Your lives have absolutely no worth to me beyond what little entertainment you can provide when I kill you all. After all, that’s all you’re good for. That’s your purpose here. To provide us with fun.”

Unbelievable...

Still looking at me, she reaches out with her arms, wrapping them around her unresponsive sister, embracing her and allowing her to rest her head on her breast, stroking the back of her head. The younger twin – Mugetsu, I think – slowly reciprocates the embrace, raising her chin to look up at her sister’s face while her head is still being stroked.

“Sis...ter...” she whispers out.

She is... being reassured. Becoming more confident. And yet, although the state of her emotions becomes clearer, her presence seems to grow weaker still, while that of her sister becomes more imposing, almost like... like she’s draining her of it. What on earth does this mean...?

“That’s right,” the elder twin whispers back. “All you need is me. Nothing else. Everything in this world exists for our sake, isn’t that right? So... let’s have some fun.”

Again, Mugetsu rubs at the frilly cuffs on her wrists, and then she pulls herself out of her sister’s grip. She turns to face me, her expression blank at first, and then her lips curl in a vicious, arrogant smirk.

“Yes, you’re right,” she says, giggling softly, malevolently.

“Get out of here, now!” Yuuka shouts out.

“...O-okay, I got it! Be careful, though,” I manage to stutter out, pausing for a moment to gulp as I look down to take a glance at the girl I’m carrying in my arms; she’s still soundly asleep for the time being, and it doesn’t look like she’s going to wake up anytime soon, which is a good thing. “Alright, we’re gone!”

Turning in a direction away from the twin sisters, I begin running, the fatigue of my arms completely forgotten as a constant jolt seems to run through my body, my heart pounding like crazy as I move my legs as fast as I can, just blindly running forward. Distantly, I can hear other footsteps accompanying me, letting me now that I’m not the only one getting the hell out of there even through the daze I’m experiencing.

I turn my head back, looking behind me. The twins haven’t moved from their positions. They aren’t even giving us the time of day as they face Yuuka. That’s good. That at least means they’re not coming after us. So then, right now, what we need to do is run the fuck away and then maybe find somewhere to take shelter. Last time those three rumbled the entire topside was ruined as far as the eye could see, so we need to put as much distance between us as is possible.

Elly runs up to my side, easily keeping up with me even though I’m running as fast as I can. She looks at me with an apprehensive expression on her face, speaking to me, “H-hey, are we going to leave Yuuka by herself?”

“We don’t have a choice!” I manage to huff out in-between gasps for breath. Behind me, I can already hear the sounds of a fierce battle ringing out in the still, empty air. “Do you want to get involved in that!?”

Out of the corner of my eyes, I see the woman take a look behind her, wince a little, and then hurriedly shake her head in clear refusal once turns her head to me once again. “...Hell no, I don’t want to be anywhere near that.”

“Go Yuuka, go!” Kurumi shouts while gliding forward, her head turned back with her hands cupped around her mouth to magnify her voice.

“Wait!” a third voice comes from behind.

Something grips the back of my shirt, forcing me to slow down. Completely winded from the sprint, I turn around to see Kotohime clenching a fistful of my clothes, breathing slightly hard from the running. She looks at me with a curious expression.

“...Why are we running?” she asks in a dazed voice.

“Oh come on,” I say, exasperated as I take deep gasps for breath. “Obviously because if we stay, we’re going to end up getting killed!”

“No, I know that,” she says, shaking her head. “I mean, why are we running?”

“The hell is she talking about?” Elly asks.

Kotohime lets go of my shirt, touching the tips of her fingers together. “...Wouldn’t it be easier and faster to fly?”

Oh, duh.

---

There’s no wind in this place, so it’s a bit strange to feel nothing as the cloud beneath me soars through the air, with me clinging onto it with one hand as tightly as I can, the other wrapped around the child seated on my lap. Too scared to look below me, I keep my gaze fixed on the figure seated in front of my, staring at the red ponytail dangling at her back. A resounding crash sounds out through the area, and I look back behind me, seeing a towering building in the distance begin collapsing unto itself.

“...This is insane,” I mutter to myself.

“Eh? What is?” Kotohime asks, looking back at me.

“Gah, hey, look ahead of you when you drive!”

“So how far are we going, anyway?” Elly asks, flying next to us.

“I think we should be far enough,” I say, looking about the area, though I get chilled by the realization of just how high I’m up in the air now. Facing Kotohime’s back again, I say, “Kotohime, land us here.”

“Roger~” she says cheerfully, as the cloud we’re riding begins to descend down to the streets.

The other girls lower the altitude of their flight, following us on our way down. Once we’re safely hovering over the concrete pavements, I swing a leg, carefully getting off the cotton-like mount and feeling relieved at the touch of the solid ground on my feet. Kotohime follows me soon after, and her cloud mount literally poofs into nothing, disappearing in a quick puff of smoke.

“Fuwah... what happens now?”

“...I don’t know,” I admit, frowning. “I guess... we wait until we’re in the clear?”

“Sounds boring,” Elly says, kicking at the ground.

Off in the distance, another of the buildings crumbles.

“It’s better than the alternative.”

Even from this far away from those three, I get nervous just watching the buildings fall down one by one. At this distance, it’s a bit hard to sense those three, but it doesn’t seem like Yuuka is losing, although she certainly seems a little frustrated, to say the least.

Shaking my head to let go of my concentration on those three, I close my eyes, scrunching up my face in order to focus my thoughts. The one I sensed before, the one that was probably A’s samurai partner (or at least, that’s who I hope it is), seems to be heading to our location, but she’s moving at a careful pace, and nowhere near us right now.

“...Hey,” Kurumi says, shaking my shoulder. “I hear someone.”

“You’re hearing things. Now be quiet, I’m trying to focus here,” I say to her, brushing her hand away. If someone were close enough for their footsteps to be heard, I would have sensed them by now.

“No, I hear it too,” Elly says.

I open my eyes, looking around. I don’t see anyone... but it doesn’t seem likely that both Kurumi and Elly would be mistaken about what they heard. But if that’s the case, then why is it that I can’t sense anyone else, aside from us and the samurai woman...? Biting my lip, I look about the group. Elly and Kurumi seem a bit tense, the latter’s wings all curled up and ready to spring out at any moment, while Kotohime and Ellen seem cheerfully oblivious as always, although they’re looking around, puzzled, like I am right now.

(http://tindeck.com/listen/kmwg)

“Evening!” a friendly voice rings out from behind us. “Good evening. Salutations. Hello!”

Instantly, everyone whips about, Kurumi readying her claws while Elly has a firm grip on her scythe. Standing in the middle of the road is a single man, wearing a white, neatly tucked in dress shirt and a pair of brown trousers. Slim and tall in figure, he has long, blonde hair tied up behind him in a ponytail, with a good-natured freckled face and a pair of slim spectacles resting on the bridge of his nose.

“Who the hell...” I find myself saying out aloud.

“Whoa, now, that thing looks dangerous,” the man holds up his hands in front of him, stepping back a bit with his eyes set on the scythe that Elly’s carrying. Lowering his hands, he turns his head towards me, smiling in a friendly, disarming way. “Don’t worry. I’m only here to talk. I’m an ally, you see. I’m just a human, like you.”

...Just a human? But... I can’t feel anything from him. Absolutely nothing at all.

“Anyway, first of all, let me offer you thanks. You’ve done well to rescue that child,” he says, starting to step forward.

“Stay right there or I’ll cut you in half,” Elly snarls at him.

He stops, and frowns, but does as told, turning back to me. “...Anyway, I’m sure you must be suspicious of me, but I’m here to save that child as well.”

“Save...?”

“Sure,” he says, rubbing his hands together. “You got the e-mail, right?”

He knows about it...?

“Your face tells me you did,” he says, his grin widening a bit, looking almost goofy. “So then, you must know that that child is still in danger, right? And we don’t know if she’s going to be safe even if she survives past today. So, I’d like to take her under our protection, you see. Otherwise, she might just end up dying, and that would be terrible!”

“Protection?” I repeat after him, bewildered. “Who the hell are you? And what’s with this ‘our’? Who are you even with?”

“Oh, that’s a lot of difficult questions,” he says, letting out an exaggerated sigh while pocketing one hand. “But I understand. You must be confused. Well, let’s just say I’m a member of a certain group. They call me Sylphid. Silly thing to be known by, I know, but it fits well enough. Anyway, we’re working to save those targeted by the e-mails, and we achieve this by putting them under our protection. Does all this make sense to you now?”

...There’s something really annoying about the way this guy’s treating me.

“Now, you understand, right?” he says, beginning to step forward again with open arms.

Kurumi immediately lets out a cat-like hiss, keeping him at bay.

“...I really wish you’d do something about your pets,” he says, frowning again.

What!?” Elly cries out, enraged.

“Anyway, so, you understand, right? I think it would be in the girl’s best interests for you to give her to us,” ‘Sylphid’ continues to talk, ignoring the murderous intent being directed at him by the scythe-carrying youkai, acting as if she isn’t even there. “Oh, that’s right. Weren’t you also targeted? In that case, you can even come with us, and you’ll be safe there. Join us. There’s only so much you can do alone.”

[ ] Maybe you should consider it...?
[ ] No way.
[ ] Ask something first. (write-in)
>> No. 30099
[X] "If you're trying to save people targeted by the e-mails, where were you the two times I was attacked, or when they got Kurosawa?"
[X] "And why save us? I doubt anyone would do this out of altruism."

Anyone would think this is all a little too convenient.

Also, Sylphid is the first boss of Samidare.
>> No. 30100
[x] Maybe you should consider it...?

It wouldn't hurt to consider what he has to say. He seems congenial enough, and he is seemingly trying to do right. The fact he didn't attack us when we were caught-unawares goes a long way in my book.
>> No. 30101
>In that case, you can even come with us, and you’ll be safe there. Join us.

Ahahahaha. No.

[X] "If you're trying to save people targeted by the e-mails, where were you the two times I was attacked, or when they got the other guy?"
-[X] "And just so you know, I'm not about to buy any talk about not being able to find or get there in time. You just managed to find us, after all."

let's not give names. Even though Kurosawa is dead, I still don't trust in doing so.
>> No. 30102
[x] "Maybe you think this high-pressure sales tactics bullshit is supposed to convince me, but mister, you are full of it. The fact that you're using them makes you reek of either desperation or sociopathy, and both are bad news."
[x] "If you can't level with me, we've got nothing to talk about. And honestly, right now, everything about you screams 'fake unlikeable asshole.'"
[x] >>30099
[x] Stay on guard and watch out for any sudden moves.

The idea here is to either get him to be honest, or expose his sham so far that he drops the act and attacks. He just seems like a huge glad-handing creep.

But yeah. Who or what is Sylphid, and what's Samidare about? Got a wiki somewhere?
>> No. 30103
>“...I really wish you’d do something about your pets,” he says, frowning again.
>...Just a human? But... I can’t feel anything from him. Absolutely nothing at all.
This guy is way too haughty and slippery. Every word and gestures he makes just screams fake and don't trust him. Plus, it is way too quiet.

[x] "If you're trying to save people targeted by the e-mails, where were you the two times I was attacked, or when they got Kurosawa?"
[x] "And why save us? I doubt anyone would do this out of altruism."
[x] Get Kurumi to scan the surrounding area for a possible ambush or movements. He probably did not come alone and the last thing you want is more surprises.
[x] Gesture Elly to keep a close eye on 'Sylphid' and subdue or incapacitate him if he tries to do something.
[x] Ask Ellen to prepare some protective Magic.

Group planning time. While the MC keeps him busy with talking he plans the actions for the party. Elly keeps a close eye on him, Kurumi will look and hear if she can find someone else out there, Ellen boost our defense and Kotohime.... well i don't know what she can do.
If he is really coming in peace then nothing will happen and we can go over with planning on how to best get out of there.

>>30102
http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Samidare:_Characters
>> No. 30104
[x] No way.
This option is simpler.
>> No. 30105
Man, "Dance Of Witches/Witch's Ball ~ Magus" is such a great song.

[X] "If you're trying to save people targeted by the e-mails, where were you the two times I was attacked, or when they got Kurosawa?"
[X] "And why save us? I doubt anyone would do this out of altruism."
[X] Get Kurumi to scan the surrounding area for a possible ambush or movements. He probably did not come alone and the last thing you want is more surprises.
[X] Gesture Elly to keep a close eye on 'Sylphid' and subdue or incapacitate him if he tries to do something.
[X] Ask Ellen to prepare some protective Magic.

Even if I were to ignore the fact that MC can't read his mind, I still wouldn't trust this guy with a dime.
>> No. 30106
[x] No way.

I smell something fishy.
>> No. 30107
[x] "If you're trying to save people targeted by the e-mails, where were you the two times I was attacked, or when they got Kurosawa?"
[x] No way.
>> No. 30108
[x] No way.
>> No. 30109
[X] "If you're trying to save people targeted by the e-mails, where were you the two times I was attacked, or when they got Kurosawa?"
[X] "And why save us? I doubt anyone would do this out of altruism."
[X] Get Kurumi to scan the surrounding area for a possible ambush or movements. He probably did not come alone and the last thing you want is more surprises.
[X] Gesture Elly to keep a close eye on 'Sylphid' and subdue or incapacitate him if he tries to do something.
[X] Ask Ellen to prepare some protective Magic.
>> No. 30114
I broke out into a grin as soon as I heard Magical Girl's Crusade.

>>30099

I seem to recall a Sylph something-or-other in SSG's dialog.
>> No. 30115
[x] No way.

At the very least he's lying about being human. He's a biomechanical construct; that's why you can't read his emotions. That he won't tell you anything about his organization despite makes him completely transparent.
>> No. 30117
>>30115
Unless they're responsible for that detection ability.
>> No. 30118
[ ] Maybe you should consider it...? Or at least appear to.

(they are not on the up and up, but we also have a number of ace's in our holes..so I think getting him talking as much as possible is good.

I think revealing our position now, would be stupid.

Do what ever keeps him talking.
>> No. 30129
[x] No way.
>> No. 30130
[x] >>30118
>> No. 30132
[x] No way.

It's pretty clear that he's not here to help, by his attitude and the way he treated the others. And frankly, I doubt he's going to reveal anything worthwhile. Will he even be open to discussion? Last thing we want is being ambushed.

First of all, not even the previous target received a mail. It's impossible for him to know about it. And if he's not with Sariel, then he's with the group targetting people.

Starting to think the Cactus is the group making the constructs too... If he called the others pets, then he may know about them and have youkais classified into something like research subject for future weapons.
>> No. 30133
>>30132
>Starting to think the Cactus is the group making the constructs

Wasn't that obvious? They eventually make VIVIT.
>> No. 30134
>>30133
>Wasn't that obvious? Senpai will eventually make VIVIT.
Probably something like that.
>> No. 30135
File 129049937622.jpg - (466.96KB , 1000x1000 , 14423382.jpg ) [iqdb]
30135
No way, I can’t just trust this guy. Not only is he still not willing to reveal everything to me but all the things he’s said, the slippery gestures he’s made, and even that stupid-looking, goofy grin on his face that looks so exaggerated to the point where it’s obviously fake betray him as a thoroughly untrustworthy person.

There’s also the fact that I can’t seem to sense his emotions at all, which leaves me feeling uneasy about what he really is, or even if he’s real. For all I know, he could be... some kind of an illusion I’m seeing. Although there’s a lot I don’t know about this Sylphid guy, I know enough to know that I shouldn’t just blindly believe in what he says.

That said, this could be a rare chance to really find out more about the situation, and who or what this guy is backed up by. Answers to the questions that have been plaguing my mind recently are precious resources that I could really use right about now.

“If you were ‘saving’ people from those e-mails, why didn’t you come for me, or any of the others, before?” I ask him, taking a cautious step away from the man. As an immediate afterthought, I also say, “And just so you know, I’m not going to buy that you just couldn’t find us.”

“Well, well,” he says, his smile becoming a bit more troubled as he pushes up his glasses with one hand. “First question you ask and it’s a difficult one. It would take a while to explain our little situation. Although, if you were to come with us, I’m sure the answer would be made clear immediately.”

“Why don’t you still give it a try?”

“Hm, well...” he says, pushing up his glasses again, “...Let’s just say our group had our hands tied at those times. That’s really all I’m allowed to disclose to you at this point in time, but I will say that we gave it our best effort to help you. It’s not as though we can be around all the time, right? It’s understandable if there are a few we can’t help.”

Understandable? That’s my life you’re talking so trivially about, asshole.

“You think that would be a good enough excuse?” I say, getting a bit more daring.

“Oh, I’m sure it’s not,” he says, holding up his hands and shaking his head. “...but like I said, if you were to come with us, all would be made clear.”

“Alright, fine, let’s say I accept that,” I say, grinding my teeth. This guy... he’s really pissing me off with his constant slipping out of giving a solid answer “Why would you do this? Why save others? You can’t expect me to believe you’re doing this just out of altruism.”

“Good question!” he says with a toothy smile, showing off his bleached white teeth. “Why do this indeed? But is it really that hard to believe that we’re doing this out of concern for those being targeted? You should really have more faith in people. We really do care about those we’re trying to save, you know. Their lives are very important to us, you see. How about you, then? Why bother saving people? I’m sure it must be because you care about their lives as well, right?”

“I...!”

“Anyway,” he cuts me off, rubbing his hands together again. “Are you satisfied now? No, of course you wouldn’t be. But like I said before, you’ll understand everything if you come with me. The girl will be safe with us, and you’ll be safe with us, and all those who’re targeted later on will be safe with us. That doesn’t sound bad, right? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Come on.”

He steps forward, and outstretches a hand toward me. I stare at his open palm, then back up at his face, and then, having made up my mind, I say...

“No.”

Sylphid frowns, and retracts his hand. He sighs dejectedly as he pockets one hand, and for a minute, he looks genuinely disappointed. The next second, however, that cheerful, goofy grin is back on his unwelcome visage, and he speaks with that same salesman-like tone of voice as before as he looks to me once again.

“So, would that be a refusal to cooperate with us?”

“That’s right. There’s too much I don’t know about you to even consider going with you.”

“Well then, that makes this a bit easier,” he says, chuckling to himself as he brings a hand to his glasses, gripping it in his hand and slowly taking it off. He crushes it in his hand, and casually discards it, and then, with a happy smile, he says, “I kill all of your girls and then take you with me by force.”

(http://tindeck.com/listen/hozi)

Sensing danger, I immediately turn behind me, whirling around so fast that the girls standing directly at my back, Kotohime and Ellen, are taken aback. Not thinking too straight, concerned only with the thought of safety for the girl in my arms, I shove her toward Kotohime, yelling urgently to her, “Get her away from here!”

“R-roger!”

“F-fuwah... O-okay!”

It’s not until they soar away that I realize that I probably should have told them to take me with them.

“Hoh,” Sylphid smirks, watching the girls escape. “Well, that’s fine. I only need to bring in one of you, anyway.”

“You won’t get the chance,” Elly snarls again with a scowl, staring down at the man. She’s been sitting on her anger for a while now, being surprisingly patient as I shot questions at the guy, but now that he’s displaying open hostility she’s released those restraints on herself. “You think I belong to this loser? Hah! Let’s see you try to kill me!”

“You should really train your dog not to bark,” Sylphid says, keeping that good-natured smile on his face. “It’s a public nuisance.”

That’s the boiling point.

“Don’t mess with me you son of a...!”

Incensed, Elly raises her scythe, and dashes at the man.

“Elly, wait, don’t rush in!” I call out after her.

She’s not listening. All she’s seeing right now must be the man standing there, taunting her and treating her like she’s not even a person. The man that’s grinning stupidly like he just got a salary raise even in spite of the scythe-wielding maniac that’s rushing at him. The man who calmly raises a hand to point his palm toward the woman as she gets within striking range of her scythe, aiming to take his head off with the first swing.

A blast of what looks like pale blue lightning shoots out of the man’s palm.

It strikes Elly dead-on, and there’s an instant where she completely freezes up mid-slash as the electricity runs its course throughout her body. And then, as if in slow-motion, she drops her arms, and the scythe falls out of her hands, dropping with a few metallic clanks to the ground. The momentum of her body, which seemed to have frozen over when she was struck, carries her toward the man, who catches her in his arms before she falls over, her body going completely limp.

“Elly!” Kurumi shouts out, alarmed. She grits her teeth, showing her sharp fangs, and coils up to leap at the man.

“I’d advise you not to do that,” the man calls out to her, quickly turning Elly around so that she’s facing us, wrapping an arm around her neck and holding her by the jaw to keep her head up.

Her eyes are open, but glazed over, like she’s unconscious. Her fingers are twitching oddly, but the rest of her body seems inactive. She’s helpless, and that’s what Sylphid is counting on as he holds her facing against us. The hand that had been kept in his pocket withdraws to reveal itself wrapped around a revolver, which she holds against the side of Elly’s head.

His smiling face appears to grow darker, “I’d really advise you not to do that. This one can’t survive a fatal wound to the head, can it?”

“You dirty, lying, cheating... You... you human!” the vampire girl yells out.

“Let her go!” I yell out.

“You’re not exactly presenting a convincing argument for me to do so,” he says, and now I’m sure of it, that smile of his is just... completely sadistic and malevolent.

Damn it, Elly... why’d you have to run in like an idiot!?

“Oh, but that reminds me,” Sylphid says, still holding the unconscious Elly hostage. “I think now would be a good time to test the effects on this thing.”

He pockets the gun, and Kurumi leans forward, ready to spring again, but seeing this, he moves the hand holding Elly’s jaw down to her throat, giving it a tight squeeze as he calls out to us, “Don’t think about doing anything. I can just as easily kill her with only my hand, too.”

Kurumi backs off, not willing to risk finding out if he’s bluffing or not, and I can’t blame her. I’ve got one hand in my pocket, clutched tightly around my own gun, too hesitant to draw it in case he goes through with his threat. Damn it, what am I supposed to do...?

He withdraws a syringe from his pocket, filled completely with some red glowing substance, bringing the needle to his mouth to uncap it with his teeth. And then, without batting an eye, he stabs the needle into the side of Elly’s neck, injecting all of the red substance into her. Her fingers twitch and struggle like crazy, and even her body starts to shake again, but there’s no change to her dazed, unconscious expression. Sylphid tosses away the needle and lets go of Elly, shoving her in the back and sending her crumpling to the ground.

“You...!” I cry out, pulling the gun out of my pocket and pointing at him. “What the fuck did you just give her!?”

A bang sounds out, and I freeze, scared half to death. There’s a hole in the concrete at my feet, and the smoke coming out of the barrel of the revolver that Sylphid has drawn from his pocket faster than my eyes could follow tells me that he came very close to shooting me in the leg, deliberately missing.

“A gift,” Sylphid says, raising his gun and pointing the barrel to the sky. “I gave it the gift of evolutionary progress. Not that I would expect much from garbage, third-rate race like hers, but I wanted to observe its effects a little. It doesn’t seem to be working, though, so maybe I’ll clean up right here and now.”

“No you won’t!” Kurumi yells out, springing forward.

Two bangs from the gun this time, and two rips appear in each of Kurumi’s large, outstretched wings. She falls to the ground, flat on her face. Not letting the injury keep her down for long, she hastens to scramble back up on her feet, rising up to her knees, but three more bangs resound throughout the silence, and spots of blood appear on her back, the back of her thigh, and on one of her shoulders, and she shrieks in pain.

“Kurumi!”

“It’s physical conditioning,” Sylphid says with a bright smile, turning to me as he swings out the cylinder on his revolver, the spent cartridges falling to the ground. He reaches into his pocket and withdraws a speed loader, and begins inserting it into the cylinder.

Finally, I squeeze the trigger of my gun. If I get him while he’s reloading, then...!

Bang, bang, and bang. I fire three bullets at him, hoping desperately that one of them will hit.

“Heh.”

Without even moving, a thin bubble-like field surrounds him. The bullets fired from my gun hit against the field, their velocity completely drained from them the moment they make contact with the barrier, remaining completely and utterly still in the air. The field disappears from sight shortly afterwards, and the bullets that had been suspended fall to the ground.

“You should just come with me,” Sylphid says, swinging the cylinder of the revolver back into place. “You don’t have a hope of surviving if you continue to resist me, you know. If you keep being so uncooperative, I might decide to just kill you and bring that little girl back with me instead.”

“What... what the hell are you?” I say, breathless.

“The same as you,” he says.

Kurumi, still in pain, reaches toward Sylphid with her good shoulder, clutching at his pant leg as she tries in vain to stand up. Noticing this, the man looks down at her, and points his freshly reloaded revolver at her, aiming the barrel directly at her head. “This one is a bit tenacious, isn’t it?”

He begins to pull back on the trigger, and the hammer of the gun draws back, ready to strike.

A figure blurs behind him, only barely visible in my eyes. That figure swings something—I think it’s a sword?—at Sylphid just as his gun is about to fire. His eyes widen as he turns around, holding up an arm in defense. There’s a loud clank! as the blade of the sword strikes against the man’s arm, and... wait, what? A clank...?

“Uh...!?”

The assailant—the samurai woman who had been shadowing us since we had to fight off that swarm of monsters—gasps, just as surprised as I am to see her sword being repelled by a man’s bare arm. Not losing her composure, however, she follows through with the swing, moving quickly as her feet touch the ground.

Sylphid begins leveling the gun in his hand toward his attacker, smoothly, almost casually, but she acts faster than he does, and before he can point the barrel at her, she ducks, reaches into one of her wide sleeves, and withdraws a multitude of colorful beads, held between the sides of her fingers as she flings them forward. The beads give off an eerie glow as they sail through the air, looking like little dots of red, blue, yellow, and green, flying at the man’s face.

They explode.

Like small little bombs, the beads shatter in midair, engulfing themselves in small and noiseless but nonetheless powerful explosions, giving off an intense, colorful light. Struggling to keep my eyes open amidst the blinding shine, I make out Meira’s figure moving quickly against the source of the light. She lifts Kurumi, who was lying near Sylphid’s feet, and slings her over one shoulder, before quickly leaping back to a safe distance away from the man, all in the space of the few seconds that the explosion lasts.

But...

“That was a nice trick,” Sylphid says with an unperturbed smile, lowering his arm. His clothes look singed, but they’re the only part of him that seems at all worse for the wear. “A samurai, are you? I’m afraid this would be the first time I’ve seen one personally. Nice to meet you!”

Meira keeps silently, cautiously watching the man as she continues to backpedal toward me. Not taking her eyes off her opponent, she drops Kurumi on the asphalt without any sort of gentleness, and quickly moves that hand to the hilt of her sword once more.

“You...” she begins in a low tone, narrowing her eyes at the man. “You are no human. What are you? A youkai?”

“I’m a human,” he responds, holding out his arms. “A human who’s evolved.”

Evolved...? Wasn’t he saying something about evolution earlier, too?

“Anyway, I’m assuming those were the only things up your sleeve,” he says, beginning to walk forward without fear. “...So, unless you have anything else to show me, I think you had best start trying not to die.”

“Tsk,” Meira bites her lip, gripping her sword a little tighter as she raises the blade in the man’s direction, her eyes completely focused on the gun in his hand.


His grin turning into a smirk again, he calmly raises his revolver toward us as he continues to advance. I know from watching her fight with Yuuka that this samurai woman is fast—almost blindingly so, to me. But is she fast enough to dodge a bullet? That seems to be the question on her mind as well. She feels apprehensiveness and maybe even a little fear. She had been relying on that first strike to be the last, but it didn’t take. The man’s finger begins tightening around the trigger of his gun; it’s do or die!

A barrage of pink crosses flies over my head from behind, and Sylphid’s face shows shock for a moment as he hastily takes a few steps back, moving just enough distance to avoid the projectiles as half a dozen of those sharp crosses stab into the ground he was standing on, one after another. Wait, I recognize those things...!

“Wha...?” I say aloud in surprise as the air beside me begins rippling. “Is that...?”

(http://tindeck.com/listen/vjhh)

Sure enough, a silver haired child steps out of the rippling air, black cape swishing ominously about her, her empty gray eyes staring down directly at the man standing across from us without blinking.

“Muse?”

She holds out a hand to me without turning her body around. On the top of her palm, I can see a single coin resting there. I stare at it in a daze until I realize that she’s repaying me for the 500 yen I lent her before. With a shaking hand, I reach out and take it from her, and she lowers her arm, beginning her stride toward the man.

“You,” she says, pointing a finger at the man. “You are coming with me.”

“And... who might you be?” Sylphid says with a frown, looking a little genuinely dismayed for the first time.

“That detail does not matter,” Muse says coolly, and raises one hand toward the sky. A black, solid cross adorned with a single red jewel in its center appears in her grip. “What matters is that you will be coming with me, whether you wish for it or not.”

“You’re threatening me?” he replies, smirking.

“Is that not what you were also doing?” the girl replies, drawing back her hand and limply tossing the cross in front of her, where it hangs in midair, unassisted. “If you believe that such a conduct is acceptable for yourself, then you have no right to complain when others treat you with the same behavior, is that not correct?”

“You are an interesting little girl,” he laughs.

“And now you have offended me,” Muse says, snapping her fingers.

The cross floating in front of her vanishes.

A much larger cross—of the same design as the first cross—appears behind Sylphid. Before he can even do anything, the man’s arms snap back, and his legs bind themselves together. The cross at his back lifts itself up into the air, and Sylphid flies up along with it, as if he’s really crucified on it. His face shows alarm as he struggles to move his limbs, but all of them seem tightly bound and unable to move as the “little girl” continues to advance toward him.

“You need not fear death, I will not hit your vitals,” she says, drawing an arm back. Whitish-pink energy gathers in her hand, forming into the shape of a spear as she holds it like a readied javelin. “My aim is impeccable. Although I estimate that there would be a 5% chance of instant death from the pain. But most likely you will not die.”

“Well, this doesn’t appear good,” Sylphid says in a dry tone of voice, his expression completely blank.

Muse hurls the spear in her hand, and it goes straight through one side of the crucified Sylphid and comes out of the other. He doesn’t scream in pain, but his body seems to react to the hit, twisting and jerking soundlessly, struggling against the cross’s bindings. Finally released from it, he falls to the ground, unmoving, and the cross that held him fades from view, reappearing in its miniature form in front of its owner, who takes it into her hand.

She walks toward the fallen, still figure of the man, but suddenly, she stops, and then takes a few retreating steps as the man begins to stand up.

“That hurt quite a bit,” he says, one hand holding the section of his body the spear went through, blood seeping into his dress shirt. Smiling cheerfully again, he looks at me and says, “Well, you seem to be quite a lucky guy. For today, I think I’ll fall back.”

And then, taking a step backward, he vanishes into thin air. Muse stares at the place where he was standing with a sulking look on her otherwise unreadable face, and lowers her chin, whispering to herself, “...You will not escape me.”

She walks forward, distorting the space in front of her, and disappears from this place.

“....who was that fellow?” Meira says, finally lowering her guard.

I stare down at the coin in my palm. Whether it was her intention to or not, without her, everything might have been lost today. Shaking my head, I let out a sigh, pocketing the single coin. Beside me, Kurumi finally seems to be in good enough shape to stand up again, letting out a groan.

“...Is it over?”

“I hope so,” I say.

“What about Elly?”

Oh! I almost forgot about her in the middle of all this. I turn my head toward where she was lying unconscious, and to my relief, I see her, just beginning to stand up again. Weakly, she gets up on her feet, her back turned toward the rest of us. Her movements seem a bit sluggish and slow, but it must be because she’s still recover...ing?

“Elly?” I call out toward her.

She doesn’t respond.

And I can’t feel her. I can’t read her emotions anymore. It’s almost like she’s... she’s the same as that guy earlier.

[ ] Try to snap her out of it.
[ ] Stay away from her.
>> No. 30136
[x] Try to snap her out of it.
>> No. 30137
[x] Try to snap her out of it.

Like I would abandon Elly, just cause some smug motherfucker hit her with some weird drug.

And another ridiculously powerful organization turns up. We need to step up our shit, lest we get fucked over every time we try and save someone.
>> No. 30140
[X] Try to snap her out of it.

Don't even have to think about it.
>> No. 30141
[x] Try to snap her out of it.

Weeeeell, fuck.

>>30134
...Oh god, with the maid fetish and everything. Holy fuck, I think you're right.
>> No. 30142
[x] Try to snap her out of it.
>> No. 30143
[x] Try to snap her out of it.

Like we're going to leave her.
>> No. 30144
[x] Try to snap her out of it.

We seriously need to find a way to deal with the sisters now... We need Yuuka with us if we're always beaten down by someone new.
>> No. 30145
Poor Elly, being the most hurt one again.
>> No. 30146
[x] Try to snap her out of it.

>We need Yuuka with us if we're always beaten down by someone new
It would be easier to get somehow stronger instead of always counting on her. She has her hands full dealing with the most powerful people. Might as well get strong enough to deal with other strong enemies.
>> No. 30147
[x] Try to snap her out of it.

Why is Muse so awesome?
>> No. 30150
>>30146
Good luck with that then. I can see Elly doing that after another big defeat, but the others... How can they even do it in the first place?

Also, I'm tired of them playing with us. I want to see Yuuka playing with them for once.

Beside, Gengetsu may claim to not know what we're talking about, but it's clear there's something wrong with Mugetsu. We'll have to investigate that eventually.

Also, for the purpose of the choice... I just thought it was odd since we all know what we'll choose, but as I look at the opening of this thread... What are the chances Elly will turn violent and decapitate us with a surprise attack?
>> No. 30151
[x] Try to snap her out of it.
>> No. 30152
>>30150
High, very high, most likely next update. Whatever he gave her will not make her more friendly.
It will either come down to maker her regain her senses or kill her before she kill everyone else.
>> No. 30153
>>30152
What I meant is if we're going to hit a dead end next update. Being nice already killed us before (remember church bad end). Now? We'll be too close to evade an attack.
>> No. 30154
>>30150
>What are the chances Elly will turn violent and decapitate us with a surprise attack?

Why would he turn one of your friends into a monster who kills unselectively if he needed to take you alive?

If anything, you should be the least in danger among your party of sudden decapitation.
>> No. 30156
>>30154
Actually, he need either us or Renko, so...

On that note, what do you think will happen with her? We can't exactly bring her with us to protect her at all times...
>> No. 30157
[x] Stay away from her.

I would totally abandon Elly if some inhuman motherfucker was talking about evolution and injected her with a weird drug.
>> No. 30158
>>30156
>On that note, what do you think will happen with her? We can't exactly bring her with us to protect her at all times...

She should be in no danger in the normal world. Even if we don't assume that Muse didn't follow this Sylphid chucklefuck and wreck his shit, he seems constrained to act only in the alternate world. Otherwise he could have followed us (if we assume he found us because of the destruction Yuka was wrecking, and hadn't been following us for longer than that) and then kidnap us or the girl in the normal world when we're alone.

We don't know what other resources that group has. At least the robot, or robot armor, that almost wiped us out isn't operating in the normal world.

Consider the reliability of the information in the emails and the conflict with Sylphid's apparent directive to capture either the MC or the girl alive. Renko might never have been a target for assassination, and rather the email is not some kind of nuanced altruism but rather a means to deprive an enemy of a useful resource.

The evolution drug is meant for humans, who Sylphid claims are superior to youkai. However, the humans he's looking for are not entirely normal humans. Renko has a time-telling ability and the MC is a weak empath. I'd bet that Kurosawa was the same, but something went wrong and he had to be disposed of.

The Twins of course either have no memory in the normal world, or they aren't even targeting her to begin with.
>> No. 30159
[x] Try to snap her out of it.

Elly is not an acceptable loss.
>> No. 30172
[x] Stay away from her.

And now we're facing Übermenschen? This gets better and better.
>> No. 30199
File 129136015781.jpg - (96.58KB , 500x666 , 13716551.jpg ) [iqdb]
30199
Oh, what the hell. This isn’t the time to be noticing that. I don’t even know how this power of mine really works, so I shouldn’t dwell on it for long. I begin to take a step toward her, gradually going from a walk to a jog as I hurry on over to the woman, now standing straight with her back turned toward the rest of us. I slow back down to a walk when I’m within a few feet of her, opening my mouth to call out to her again.

“Hey, are you alright?” I ask, concerned.

(http://www.tindeck.com/listen/zfmu)

“I’m fine. I’m just fine,” Elly says in response, her voice noticeably more high pitched than her usual tone, sounding like she’s trying to force herself to speak cheerfully. She reaches up with her hands, gripping the brims of her hat as she straightens it on her head. “I’m completely fine.”

I bite my lip, leaning forward to try to look over her shoulder at her face. “You don’t feel strange or anything? That guy, he injected something inside you...”

“I told you,” comes an immediately reply, sounding almost impatient as she continues to speak. In contrast with her words, though, her voice seems to be becoming strained and laborious, “I feel fine. I feel... normal. I feel so normal right now that it hurts.”

She gives a sudden jerk, her upper body arching back for a moment and twitching violently before she relaxes again, now standing slightly hunched forward, like she’s feeling sick and about to hurl.

“Elly!”

Startled, I call out her name as I start toward her, but before I can take a step, she raises an arm, showing me the back of her hand to gesture me to stop. Elly then raises her other arm, flattening the top of her hat with a hand as she shakes her head, seemingly to clear her thoughts. She raises her chin, staring up at the sky with one hand still on her hat.

“...Hey,” she begins, her voice much darker and drier this time. “Why do you live?”

I blink, taken back by the question. “Huh?”

“Why are you alive? For what reason do you live?”

I grimace. “....Now isn’t really the time for that sort of question, is it?”

“You don’t know, do you?” she continues on despite not receiving an answer, lowering her gaze to the ground. Her body shakes as she giggles, and soon, she turns her head skyward again, letting out a sigh before speaking out, “...I know exactly what I live for. What I’m supposed to do.”

“Elly, what are you talki--”

“Shut up, human.”

In a flash, she turns around, her scythe in her hand. I feel a rush of wind, and when I next blink, I see the head of the scythe at my throat, and as I stare down at it, my body frozen in shock and fear, I realize for the first time that both the outer and the inner edges of the scythe blade are lethally bladed. Sharply taking in a breath, I stare along the handle of the blade, then to the arm holding it, and finally to the face of the woman dangling my life over my eyes. One thing, above all else, stands out as I gaze at the blonde.

Her once golden eyes have turned completely red.

“Elly!?” I call out her name again, frightfully. “What’s... what’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing,” she says, her red eyes remaining unblinking even as she smiles oh so unpleasantly at me while staring me down. “...I told you. I feel normal. I’m completely fine. It’s just that I regained my sanity at last.”

“Your... sanity...?”

Her smile widens. “Yes. I don’t know how many years I’ve been insane, but I’ve finally become sane again.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean, Elly? This isn’t funny! Cut this crap out an--”

I immediately stop when I feel the blade pressing itself against my skin. A warm trickle of blood begins running down my neck. When I discover that realization, I begin to feel a small, burning pain on the surface of my throat. It’s a superficial wound, deep just enough to break the skin -- not much worse than a paper cut, really -- but it’s enough to shut me up.

“I know it’s not funny,” she says, continuing to smile. “And I think I might still be just a little insane, because there’s a nagging part in my head that keeps telling me to stop, but my body just doesn’t seem to want to listen to it.”

Damn it, what did that bastard do to her? Was it some kind of a brainwashing drug or something? What did he say... evolution? Damn, damn, damn. Whatever it was, that must be what’s fucking with her mind right now, but what am I supposed to do now?

Elly draws the scythe back, readying it for a swing. I stumble backwards, falling on my ass and miraculously just managing to avoid being bisected as the blade swings over my head, hitting the ground with enough force to drive its point deep into the concrete. The woman gazes at the crack in the road, gripping the scythe with both hands as she prepares it tug it out of the ground. With a shaking hand, I point the gun in my hand toward her. She looks over to me, noticing it, and simply gives me a smile.

“Go ahead,” she says. “It’s only normal.”

[ ] Shoot her.
[ ] Don’t.
>> No. 30200
[x] Shoot her.
>> No. 30201
[X] Don’t.
>> No. 30202
[X] Don’t.

She says she is "normal" now. And in my eyes she is not.
She also says shooting her would be normal now. And I think it is not.
Looks like Elly's sense for normal and crazy got turned around, so we have to do the exact opposite of whatever she tells us.
>> No. 30203
[X] Don’t.

Same music as the dream sequence. Interesting.
>> No. 30204
[x] Don’t.
No. She is not a Monster. After all the things they have been through she is a comrade and already a friend. Whatever he did to her we have to make her regain her senses.
>> No. 30205
[x] Don't
>> No. 30206
[x] Don’t.
>> No. 30207
[x] Don’t.
>> No. 30208
[x] Don't.
>> No. 30209
Oh, so she thinks she's a 'youkai' again?

Well, then I can't see surviving this by validating her stereotypes about humans and youkai.

[x] Don’t.

She could just see this as a typical 'freeze' prey response and kill us. Or she could get frustrated by the apparent lack of terror and kill us.

On the other hand I can't see the bullets doing very much, and I think we're more likely to be saved by one of our cohorts if we don't respond with violence. Kurumi is injured and kind of a flake, but Meira, even if she isn't our closest ally, probably doesn't tolerate youkai-on-human violence as a matter of principle.
>> No. 30210
[x] Dont shoot

>I feel so normal right now that it hurts.

Whatever bullshit state "normal" is right now, we can infer that she doesn't really like it. Continuing to do "normal" actions with her would thus be counter intuitive. Besides, even if she is injected with some faggot serum, even if she just tried to take our head off, I would never turn on Phoenix Ranger.
>> No. 30211
[x] Don’t.
>> No. 30212
[ ] Shoot her.

So Elly has recovered her old self, frmo before she met Yuuka? It's the only thing I can theorize right now, remembering she was thinking "kill her" when the MC discovered his power. I can only assume that this Elly is the original Elly, the one who was beaten by Yuuka and turned into a submissive youkai.

In other words, she won't spare the MC.
>> No. 30213
[ ] Shoot her.

I think that last line is just Preadator Elly messing with us.
>> No. 30214
Wonderful choice of BGM, Lion.

[ø] Don’t.
and pray that either Kurumi/Meira or someone will stop Elly.
>> No. 30215
[X] Don’t.
>> No. 30218
[x] Shoot.

Somehow, I don't think an amazing display of the Power of Friendship is going to stop her.

Also, anyone getting JDATE vibes from her "I was insane before but now I'm completely sane" thing?
>> No. 30219
[X] Don’t.
>> No. 30220
>>30218

We will be using the power of empathy, this cannot fail.
>> No. 30221
Holy fuck. No words can describe how much I want to kill her. She's not the only one who can do a complete 360 change.

[x] Shoot her.
>> No. 30222
>>30221

You do realize that rotating a full 360* will cause you to be right back where you started, right?

[X]Don't

Elly saying she's 'normal' after getting injected with some kind of crap-laden cocktail that we know next to nothing about designed to do who-knows-what to a person? Give me a break. Call me stupid, but I'm not about to give up on Elly like that.
>> No. 30223
[x]Shoot Her

It's not gonna kill her, anyways, but half-heartedness will just get us killed
>> No. 30224
>>30222
That's the joke.
>> No. 30225
[X] Don’t.

It's not normal, Elly. It's not normal to kill your friends.

Given the... hollowness, for lack of a better word, brought on by the use of the drug; the same emptiness being present in Sylphid; the talk from Elly about knowing what she lives for; and the similar talk from Sylphid about evolution; my best guess is that the drug works by doing something like taking the "humanness" or "youkainess" of an individual and amping it up to eleven. Shunts them into running entirely on racial instinct, and lets their bodies act at the limit of their abilities. Of course, since evolution actually works through adaptation to circumstance rather than just taking what you already have and enhancing it, that would make the evolution talk from Sylphid actually complete bunk. Not that it would be shocking if he were full of shit.

That's only a cursory guess at what the drug does from what little we have to go on, of course.

Regardless, between that guess and the much more visible struggle Elly seems to be having with herself, I think it would be most sensible not to solidify whatever sense of "normalness" the drug is trying to force on her. Shooting her would only make the drug's hold on her firmer.

But more importantly than that, you don't shoot your best friend.
>> No. 30226
>>30225
>you don't shoot your best friend.

Elly, his best friend? Really? She sure doesn't seem to feel that way, even before the drug. The "best" part, I mean; not quesitoning the friendship bit.

And I would like for you to think about this: would the real Elly want him to let her current self do as she pleases and kill him, or would she rather have him incapacitate her for now, and most importantly, survive?
>> No. 30227
>>30226
Well to be fair, outside of Elly, our only friend is pretty much Sempai. Kana's the love interest, and people tend to make a distinction between bestfriend and girlfriend; and as for the others, Kotohime, Ellen, and Kurumi are more like acquaintances, despite living in our house, and Yuuka isn't even that.
>> No. 30228
>>30226
I agree with you on the best part. But they are friends and she cares at least a bit about him. If not she would just have let him die a few times already.
>would the real Elly want him to let her current self do as she pleases and kill him
I am not sure what Elly would want him to do. But shooting her would be a desperation act and only fuel the current Ellys logic that Humans got to be killed. If she reverted to pre Yuuka then it is not a good idea to ask for this.

>there’s a nagging part in my head that keeps telling me to stop, but my body just doesn’t seem to want to listen to it
We have to try and reach that part in her mind. It will not be easy but she put her life on the line for him and nearly died because of that. Now it should be his time to do the same and bring her back.
You don't shoot and abandon your friends in time of need.
>> No. 30278
You know what would be crazy? If the Seihou stuff was somehow related to Hellsinker.

THE UNNAMED 771 is moe~
>> No. 30282
File 129186992292.png - (9.66KB , 429x410 , 1281142048151.png ) [iqdb]
30282
>>30278
>> No. 30286
File 129191288326.jpg - (61.37KB , 848x480 , Guuwark.jpg ) [iqdb]
30286
>>30278
>> No. 30293
File 129195942598.jpg - (42.46KB , 480x640 , void(0).jpg ) [iqdb]
30293
>>30286
Look at Minogame! She's like a Touhou from a dark and frill-less world.
>> No. 30294
File 129196464290.jpg - (370.87KB , 1300x1100 , 13192563.jpg ) [iqdb]
30294
I don’t know what’s happened to her.

And I don’t know what that syringe she was injected contained.

Right now, all I know is that she’s trying to kill me.

Her hands, tightly clenched around the handle of her scythe, struggle to free the blade from its concrete trapping. She’s doing her very best right now, to pull out that scythe and drive its lethal point into me, to disembowel my body and cut off my head. Even though I can’t sense her emotions, I can still almost feel the overwhelming killing intention she’s directing toward me, and I don’t think that’s thanks to any special power.

So, to avoid being killed, I should kill her--or attempt to--and right now, with my gun pointed at her at such a close range, I can do it. No matter how much of a lousy shot I am, there’s no way I can miss at this distance. I have two bullets left. If even one of them can hit her in the head, I can put her down, at least for a little while.

But it’s no good.

Why is it? I can’t shoot her. As I breathe heavily, my brain screaming in desperation for the oxygen it lacks, I try to figure out why it is that I can’t seem to just squeeze the trigger. My hand is shaking too much; if I fire now I’ll end up missing. Yes, that must be why. That’s why I’m not willing to shoot right now, because if I do, I’ll just miss. I need to... I just need to steady my aim so I can stop her from killing me.

Elly’s freed her scythe now, raising it up into the air. She gazes down at me with those hollow red eyes, staring at me with a look of apathy. She swings the scythe through the air, bringing it back to ready for another swing; at an angle like that, if she swings straight, the blade would cut straight through my neck, killing me within seconds. I have to shoot her before she can swing. I need to do it now.

But I can’t.

There’s no way I could shoot at her.

I lower my hand, continuing to stare up at the woman. I don’t really know what to expect. My mind feels blank as I gaze up at her. Should I be preparing for death? Should I be praying that she would snap out of it? Should I turn my head around and try to call for the others to help me? I just don’t know what to do.

Elly freezes, her eyes fixed on my hand. She remains in that stance, her arm still ready to take my head off at any given moment, but she refrains from doing so, at least for the moment. Her red eyes slowly turn back to my face, and her mouth twists into a bitter scowl.

“You’re always like that,” she mutters in a low voice, and she slowly lowers her arm. “I hate that about you. Treating me like you’re my friend. Treating me like I mean something to you. Always dumping your pity on me, when I never asked for any of that. I hate it all. All of it. It drives me insane, thinking of how humiliating that is.”

Relaxing slightly, I lift my body higher, still staring up at her and managing to open my mouth, which feels terribly dry right now, “E-Elly...?”

“So just die for my peace of mind!”

Her arm snaps up, raising the scythe before driving it down, the tip of the blade aimed straight at me. My body fails to even raise an arm in defense, completely unable to react. My eyes are still wide open, and the world seems to slow down as I watch the blade descend toward me. A figure jumps in the path, and with the sound of a metallic clash, deflects the blade away.

“Get out of here!” the deep voice of a woman barks at me, belonging to the swordswoman who just narrowly managed to save my life.

Beyond Meira, I see a black blur dart behind Elly, who’s still adjusting from the deflected swing of her scythe, forcing her strength against the rod to gain control of it again. Her scowl turns into a vicious snarl, and she prepares to strike again, letting one hand go to attack one-handedly with the sickle. As she starts forward, though, a pair of arms slips themselves under her arms and wrap around her shoulders, pinning her in a nelson hold.

. “Elly, what’s wrong with you!” Kurumi’s shrill voice comes from behind her, sounding panicked. “Snap out of it already!”

“Don’t get in my way!” she growls, struggling to free herself.

Meira holds her sword at the ready, pointing the tip toward the pair of girls before rushing forward. Elly turns her face forward, noticing the samurai’s advance, and flings her arm forward, tossing the scythe at the woman. Surprised, Meira holds up her blade to block the incoming sickle, nearly thrown off her balance from the force behind it as the blades clash again.

In the meantime, Elly elbows Kurumi in the gut, weakening her hold, and forcefully detaches herself from her. Holding her side, Kurumi looks at Elly with a pained expression as the latter rushes forward, kicking her in the chest and sending her flying a few feet.

“All of you...” she mutters in between sharp intakes of breath. She holds out her arm, the discarded scythe flying into her hand, which she catches easily even without looking at it. “Stop getting in my way. I’ll kill you. I’ll kill all of you.”

I begin to stand up, my heart pounding like crazy. In front of me, Meira stands there in silence, observing Elly carefully with her sword raised.

“She’s completely out of control,” she says, not taking her eyes off the youkai. “We have to kill her now. You realize that as well, don’t you?”

“Don’t,” I say immediately.

“E-Elly...” Kurumi says weakly as she begins to stand back up, wiping blood from her mouth with the back of her hand. She looks with sad eyes at the scythe-carrying woman. “Stop it, please! You didn’t used to be like this...!”

“Shut up!” Elly snaps, lifting up one foot and stomping the ground. The ground beneath her cracks into pieces. “What do you know about how I used to be! This is how I should be! This is what I’m alive for, and nothing else! Ugh...!”

Without warning, she doubles over. One of her hands begins twitching as she brings it up to clutch at her head. She begins to writhe around, tossing her head about like she’s suffering from a terrible headache. But, what’s more peculiar is what’s happening around her. A red aura seems to be gathering around her body, even as she trembles and jerks.

“Elly?” Kurumi calls her name.

“Ah,” I gasp.

I can feel her.

But this is different. I can feel so much coming from her that trying to focus on her makes my brain feel like it’s going to overload and explode. There’s just too much she’s releasing to put any word to what’s going on through her mind right now. But still, it’s not an unfamiliar feeling. I’ve felt the same thing before. It was when...

It was when Kurosawa transformed before my eyes.

She finally settles down, and raises her head. The red aura around her has stopped growing in size now, but it continues to dance about her body, as if a roaring flame has overtaken her. Her expression is truly hollow now, and her eyes glow in a hauntingly beautiful color of blood. She says nothing, and merely turns to Kurumi.

Die,” she says in an echoing voice.

(http://tindeck.com/listen/fgfj)

The pieces of the broken concrete at her feet lift themselves, unaided physically, into the air, floating about Elly’s body. They freeze in place, and with ridiculous speed, launch themselves forward as projectiles, headed toward the vampire girl. She’s shocked at first, but before they hit her, she leaps out of the way, moving so fast she appears to blink out of my vision. The pieces of the ground mercilessly hit the ground, breaking off into pieces.

Kurumi crouches as she lands elsewhere, staring at the concrete pieces with an open mouth. But she has no time to relax as Elly rushes at her, swinging her scythe horizontally in an attempt to take off her head. The vampire girl ducks down, just barely managing to dodging the slash and losing a few strands of hair in doing so.

“I’m sorry, Elly!” she cries out as she plunges her hand forward.

Her claws dig into Elly’s body, entering from her lower abdomen and emerging out her back. Blood soaks her hand and splatters on the streets. Kurumi looks up at the woman, one of her fangs biting so hard into her lip that it’s begun to bleed. That was... was that enough to stop her?

No it wasn’t.

Elly spares the girl not even a few seconds before gripping the wrist of the hand impaled through her body and forcefully pulling it out of her. As Kurumi looks up at her in shock, she lets go of that wrist, pulling her hand back and backhanding her hard. The young vampire girl tumbles to the side, rolling several times before coming to a stop. She quickly lifts herself back up, though, one hand holding the reddened, bloodied cheek she’d been hit in.

The gaping wound in Elly’s body fixes itself in short order, new flesh growing and filling the hole in a matter of seconds.

She’s never healed that fast.

“...Do you still think we shouldn’t kill her?” Meira asks me.

Isn’t there any way to stop her? To stop her... without killing her.

I look at the flame-like aura dancing about her body.

“Won’t you help me?”

A voice calls out to me.

“...Come closer...”

[ ] Try to stop her yourself.
[ ] Leave her to the others.
>> No. 30295
[X] Try to stop her yourself.

The others are going to try to kill her, and in the end that is unacceptable no matter the outcome - in the one scenario Elly dies, and in the other she kills them, and probably us shortly thereafter.

It seems like this thing moved in phases. First it locked up all her emotions, and now she's overflowing with more than she can handle. Considering the sharp increase in power she has had, and the transformation Kurosawa underwent, it's fair to say that emotions probably play a strong role in whatever this process is. We can use that.

We can feel her again, even if it's chaotic and difficult to sort out, and that's a start. We may have to burn some time weeding out all the things she feels right at this moment, but it's the only shot we've got at saving her right now.

We're the only ones who can do this. So let's do it.
>> No. 30296
[X] Try to stop her yourself.
>> No. 30298
[x] Leave her to the others.

I don't believe that the others will attempt to kill her. We already told Meira that we don't wish her death, and there is little to no chance that Kurumi can/will kill her.

On our part, there is no telling what "Try to stop her yourself" entails. Are we trying to persuade her? Are we going to empathize her out of it? Are we going to shoot her? There's no telling with a vague choice like that, and little to no chance of success. We have no idea what is wrong with her, and we are running on gut instinct here. That's not something you bet your life on, when you are ultimately powerless.

As much as I don't like it, I think we need to sit this one out, and wait for Yuuka to come slap her back into place.
>> No. 30299
>I hate that about you. Treating me like you’re my friend. Treating me like I mean something to you. Always dumping your pity on me, when I never asked for any of that. I hate it all. All of it. It drives me insane, thinking of how humiliating that is.

Poor girl. She is really not used to someone treating her well. Or at least to have a friend or someone who cares for her. It must have confused her, stirred up some emotions she did not know. The drug turned those emotions into rage and confusion, telling her that this is the best and only way.

>What do you know about how I used to be! This is how I should be! This is what I’m alive for, and nothing else! Ugh...!

This may be how she used to be. But not anymore, she changed and is someone else now. Even now she is trying to fight it somehow.

>It was when Kurosawa transformed before my eyes.

This is it. If we go and leave her to the others now they will just kill each other. Elly will die and some of ours too. She is a friend already, someone who saved his life and you can't just abadon her now. We failed with Kurosawa but not this time.

[x] Respond to the voice.
[x] Try to stop her yourself.

We should find out what it is about that voice that calls out to us. Maybe this could be a key to awaken his talent or give an option in how to save her. The others will be able to hold her off for a minute until you are done and be able to concentrate on her.
>> No. 30300
[ø] Respond to the voice.
[ø] Try to stop her yourself.

So it was the doing of that unlikeable fucker's group's doing which turned Kurosawa into that monster. Just what are they trying to achieve, I wonder?
>> No. 30301
>>30300
Considering he know about the e-mails, he's probably on Sariel's side.

[x] Respond to the voice.
[x] Try to stop her yourself.

I cannot see leaving it to others end in any good way. The battle is already going very badly, being a bit suicidal will probably not change things much.
>> No. 30302
[x] Respond to the voice.
[x] Try to stop her yourself.
>> No. 30303
[x] Respond to the voice.
[x] Try to stop her yourself.
>> No. 30304
[x] Respond to the voice.
[x] Try to stop her yourself.
>> No. 30306
[x] Leave her to the others.

I don't even think it's possible to kill her as she is now. At best we're buying time for Yuka to incapacitate the twins and rescue. If there's anyone capable of snapping her out of this, and taking her down nonlethally if that doesn't work, it's Yuka.
>> No. 30309
[x] Try to stop her yourself.

Maybe we can turn emotional sensing into emotional manipulation, but I think I'm praying for a miracle that won't come.

>>30306
>At best we're buying time for Yuka to incapacitate the twins and rescue.
...You didn't read this story OR any of the discussion very closely, did you?
>> No. 30311
[ ] Try to stop her yourself.

God, we need Yuuka, but she's probably still busy with the sisters.
>> No. 30312
[x] Respond to the voice.
[x] Try to stop her yourself.

>>30306
>>30311
We always need her, and she is never around when we do. With the type of enemies we are facing, we practically need her to get anything done in the sealed zone. With the Twins up an around, she is going to need to take care everytime another incident starts, which forces up to rely on our other fighters to take care of anyone else that pops up in the meantime. And considering our track record, this isn't working out for us.

This needs to be remedied. Soon, if not now.
>> No. 30313
>At best we're buying time for Yuka to incapacitate the twins and rescue.
She will be busy with the twins until everything is over. Even if she were to somehow shake them off they would find us and kill everyone in a few seconds.

Yuuka is not an option in this fight. She is busy herself and has no help to spare. She would rather need help herself. Which is why we should find a way to somehow get stronger so we can at least fight our own battles without getting killed like last time. There will not always be someone around to save our sorry ass like this time. And it looks like the time has come now.

Kurumi will proably not fight with everything she has, Meira is an unknown and Kotohime and Ellen are not gonna be much help here. Either he finds some way to do something or the situation will quickly go from worse to worst.