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File 122376521494.jpg - (8.84KB , 350x263 , room101.jpg ) [iqdb]
21279 No. 21279
[First, Bedroom 101]
[Second, the dead-end door]
[Third, Wine Cellar B]
[Don’t open the iron-clad door]

You shake the fear and horror away from you and concentrate on the choice at hand. That iron-riveted door simply reeks of danger, and you want no part in it. You’ve got enough impending danger on your hands already without having to worry about such a blatantly obvious disaster; it’s reinforced for a good reason, and you don’t really want to find out what.

Of the three remaining doors, the bedroom marked “101” seems the most promising. It’s right next to other, perfectly normal rooms, and though there’s obviously something worth hiding, perhaps it won’t be as shocking as what you might uncover in other places. Wine Cellar B just has an uncanny feeling to it. Why would a mansion that already has one more-than-adequate wine room build a second? You assume that either it’s a false name designed to fool you, or there must be some pretty potent wine behind that door. The room at the dead end intrigues you, but you guess it’s in this supposed place of honor for a reason. Best to simply try the most common option first, to get a feel for what might await you down here. That is, if your key even works.

As your dying footsteps echo through the deserted cellar, your mind wanders back to the matter of your keys. “A tool to aid you on your path towards Hell,” the voice said. Did the voice mean Hell as in pain and suffering, Hell as in death, or just Hell as an annoyed placeholder word? Neither one can mean anything good for you, unless…wait, you have an idea. This place is called the Scarlet Devil Mansion; devils live in Hell, right? It might just be a clever play on words, but perhaps “Hell” is where the devil in “Scarlet Devil” comes from. It’s a long shot, but for now, it makes sense, and you don’t mind rolling with it.

Already on the topic, your brain almost sub-consciously begins to analyze other parts of those whispers in the night. “…the events have made her displeased,” the voice said. Who is her? There’s plenty of “hers” in this mansion, basically anyone besides you or Nathaniel. But who would be displeased the most by you getting skewered by Cirno? Cirno herself might be displeased, and she was certainly sad enough afterwards. Meiling…would she like you enough to become “displeased” if you got hurt? You doubt it. Patchouli might have been annoyed with having to heal you, just as Sakuya might have been annoyed having to take care of you. Remilia obviously isn’t happy with it, she said so herself during dinner. Gah, you just don’t have enough information!

“Do what I cannot, what she will not, what they dare not.” There’s that elusive “she” again, and now a “they” has joined the mix. Does “they” mean the residents of the mansion, or is it someone more specific? Could there be multiple people in your life trying to achieve something around you?

“The one who saves us all.” Why would you need to save someone, and who is the “all” you need to save? Is it the mansion? Gensokyo? The world?

This is getting you nowhere. You’ve been standing outside Room 101 for minutes now and haven’t even touched the doorknob yet. Time to put away intangible thoughts and focus on something real. Your right hand is on one of your mystery keys, your left on the doorknob. You’re drawing the key closer to the lock. It’s almost there….

You stop. You pull the key back, and then politely knock on the wood of the door. Wait, what? No answer, so you knock a second time. Why are you doing this? Still no answer; third time’s a charm, and you continue rapping on the door. Guess no one’s home. You’re insane, knocking on random doors in the middle of a dusty basement; why would anyone lock themselves in a room down here? You finally insert the key into the lock.

It doesn’t fit.

But the second key does.

The door creaks open, and you peer inside before actually crossing the threshold. Like the rooms around it, it is a bedroom…or at least it used to be once upon a time. Nearly everything that can be broken is broken, and somehow even a few things that can’t. Piles of splintered wood lay strewn about the floor; what might have been a chair here, what might have been a dresser there. A full-length mirror lies shattered in millions of pieces, the frame only half-erect itself. The bed is tipped onto one side, its metal frame badly twisted, and stuffing pours out of the deflated mattress like the disemboweled organs of some dead animal. Even the walls themselves bears deep dents and gashes, as if some monstrous beast was given free reign upon them. Somehow, a single lamp on the floor remains intact, casting unnatural shadows across the room’s interior.

But the room is not unoccupied.

A single figure rests upon a torn seat cushion at the back of the room. The lighting makes it difficult to see clearly, but there’s enough illumination for an initial observation. It looks humanoid, but it is hunched over in a very animalistic way, and the ripped shroud it wears obscures the finer features of its body. Lank hair streams over the drooped head, obscuring its face, hair that is a hauntingly pale grey, streaked with remnants of a sandy blonde. A lump protrudes where a human’s back should be, small enough to be some kind of physical deformity, but large enough to be decidedly unnatural. Though its feet are curled up underneath it, you notice a few fingers protruding from the tattered sleeves of its garment: curled, tense digits with long fingernails, though the skin appears to be human enough. Its breathing is slow and labored, and you hear a slight tinkling as its body heaves up and down; it is chained to the wall at its neck and wrists.

The creature seems not to notice your presence, because it remains seated and immobile, possibly due to its bonds. You peak your head in just a little further, trying to get a better look. Suddenly you hear a voice; the creature is speaking, possibly to you. It is a dreary and despairing voice, high in pitch like a child’s. The words sound so tired, so pitiful, and yet you think carry just an ounce of hope in them.

“Are you the answer to my prayers?”

[ ] “Yes”
[ ] “No”
[ ] “???” (Write in your words)
[ ] Say nothing, close the door and leave
[ ] Say nothing, but remain there

====================

No, the attached picture is not what this guest looks like. 'Tis just a random image found lying about.

>>21263
I have always done well in respecting my elders, and shall still not fail to do so. Regardless, I have not been drinking, and in fact have not even tasted a drop of alcohol before aside from communion wine, which I do not exactly place in the same domain.

>>21265
I doubt that will help me greatly, for the reasons stated above.

>>21273
So much for my old score of unintentional references. Having never played or seen any of the Silent Hill series, I believe this brings my tally up to one-for-five. I really need to stop doing that.

Also, I have just noticed this humorous post on another board: >>>/others/10034. Perhaps this story is the originator, no?

>> No. 21280
[X] "I don't believe in answered prayers. Answered prayers lead to happy endings, and there are no such things as happy endings."
[X] "Things just happen, and sometimes people end up feeling happy about it and sometimes people end up feeling sad."
>> No. 21281
[x] "...Maybe?"
[x] "What have you been praying for?"
>> No. 21282
File 122376794095.jpg - (315.96KB , 941x1043 , nope.jpg ) [iqdb]
21282
Anon stolen from an old HY thread.
>> No. 21283
Fuck. The very first door we open turns out to be Flandre.
>> No. 21284
[x] Speak softly, "God willing, my child. At the very least, I will be your confessor."
[x] Step fully into the room and lock the door behind you.
[x] Pull over something salvageable to serve as a chair and sit before the creature with the lamp at your back. "What is your name, girl?"

Flandre probably means prayers literally here, and considering that she's a vampire, that would mean she maintains a child's view of religion. That hope in her voice means she's looking for some kind of savior, so you'd do well to imitate the kind of authority figure a child considers inviolable.

They wouldn't have bothered to chain her like this if she could just break out of it. You're in more danger of dying from Sakuya discovering you than from being killed by Flandre herself.
>> No. 21285
>>21283

Well, with a name like bedroom 101 nobody should've been expecting anything other than trouble.
>> No. 21287
File 122376981623.png - (35.26KB , 850x1181 , 1522216.png ) [iqdb]
21287
Tread carefully anon, lord knows that she was praying for. Of course you'd assume she's praying for freedom or to be with her sister. She may very well be praying for someone to kill her and end her misery. Better yet, praying for something new to break. Asking would be prudent, but it doesn't have the determination that's demanded.

I'd vote, but everytime I try to come up with something it comes out as "[X] Hug"
>> No. 21288
[x] "Maybe just a little bit, for a little while."
[x] Brush off some of the dust, hug.
>> No. 21302
[x] Speak softly, "God willing, my child. At the very least, I will be your confessor."
[x] Step fully into the room and lock the door behind you.
[x] Pull over something salvageable to serve as a chair and sit before the creature with the lamp at your back. "What is your name, girl?"

I like this one, but I quite dislike that words escape me as to why I like it. Always makes me look like a mindless bandwagoner.
>> No. 21306
[x] Speak softly, "God willing, my child. At the very least, I will be your confessor."
[x] Step fully into the room and lock the door behind you.
[x] Pull over something salvageable to serve as a chair and sit before the creature with the lamp at your back. "What is your name, girl?"

This writein calls out to me. As does most other well written writeins.

But something about the first line throws me off.
>> No. 21307
File 122378250944.jpg - (371.76KB , 660x605 , 847897.jpg ) [iqdb]
21307
Funny thought occurred to me. Maybe we are. We've got this over-arching theory that explains the situation, but we've got this follow-up question as to whether we're the most recent in a long line of tragedies or if we're special and will put an end to this. Pardon if I ramble about this point, I didn't read the meta-info stuff U.N. Owen posted (but I really wanted to). Anyway, let's take a positive approach and say that we are special and can end this. Now, how would a person capable of stopping this end up in the mansion? Of everyone in the mansion, only the Scarlet sisters (maybe Patchouli too) have the kind of hax powers to influence such a thing. I doubt it's Remilia subconciously wishing for this to end and manipulating fate to accomplish this. But what about Flandre's ability to destroy anything? I perused PMiSS, and Flandre's "anything" is as vague as Yukari's "boundaries." So, what if she used her ability to summon the one weakness in whatever this whole process/cycle/situation is through her prayers?

Of course, this could be debunked by a) Flandre praying for something else, b) a different interpretation of Flandre's abilities, c)whether we're "the one" or the guy that will set it up, d) Flandre isn't nearly as central to the story as this supposes, or most of all e) the underlying theory is incorrect.

Too bad none of this should be considered into the protagonist's thought process. Oh well, it gives me an opportunity to post more Flandre pics.
>> No. 21308
>>21306
I know, I think it's the 'my.' Read the first line with: "God willing, child. At the very least, I will be your confessor." It's a little more natural for the character, but if we lapse into the mannerisms of the priest from our hometown in a fit of nostalgia (or some such), it would make more sense.
I think it's a reasonable write-in. I like 'will' instead of 'can'; it's more determined. 'Confessor' is a little awkward, but I can't think of a better synonym. It's a bit of a side-step, but at least we're taking the initiative and displaying compassion.

I just hope she doesn't freak out, enter mind-fuck mode, and eat our throat in the process.

WORTH CONSIDERING: >>19638
Read the note at the end of the post, the response to 19632.
>> No. 21309
>>21308
THATS IT! The 'my' was throwing me off. In any case, now that you mention the Priest bit, it does sound a lot better.
>> No. 21314
>>21310
>That would be very Higurashi. Now I have it stuck in my head...etc. etc.

Apologies if I sound overbearing, but if you would, could you please refrain from discussing Higurashi plot points for the moment? Despite what I said earlier, I actually have only seen the first arc of the first show thus far (as well as the first arc of the second show; a long story I do not wish to retell at the time). As I am watching it with friends at a slow pace, it will be some weeks before I finish, and I would like the suspense of the plot to remain as fresh as possible. I am thoroughly enjoying the show, and hope that this enjoyment may continue for a long while.

I will not lie when I say that the show in question has given me an idea or two concerning my own story, and I hope that it may give me more in the future. However, do not expect Higurashi knowledge to get you a free ride through this story; my plot twists are my own, and no other.
>> No. 21315
>>21314

Okay, post deleted. Higurashi discussion is henceforth verboten.

Whatever keeps you updating.
>> No. 21317
>>21315
Response purged, but Higurashi still baffles me. Spoilers for people that don't hang in 4chan all day. Moe, go crazy, everyone dies, repeat ad nauseum. How is this still a viable form of entertainment?
>> No. 21318
>>21317

Yeah, that and QUALITY were about the only things that came to mind before I, you know, actually watched the fucking show.
>> No. 21319
Why the fuck is everyone assuming this is Flandre?
>> No. 21320
>>21319

Because there's a child-shaped figure with a child's voice and something growing out of its back that makes a sound like that of crystals tinkling together locked in Remilia's basement, specifically by the hands and neck (as to prevent crushing and biting specifically), in a bedroom that screams "destruction"?
>> No. 21321
>>21319

Maybe it's a super old Marisa
>> No. 21322
>>21320
The clinking sound is from the chains around the figure's wrists and neck. I'd imagine the thing on the figure's back would be much larger if it was Flandre's wings.

Either way, my vote is for:
[x] Speak softly, "God willing, my child. At the very least, I will be your confessor."
>> No. 21323
[x] Speak softly, "At the very least, I will be your confessor."
[x] Step fully into the room and lock the door behind you.
[x] Pull over something salvageable to serve as a chair and sit before the creature with the lamp at your back. "What is your name, girl?"

I am not entirely sure that mentioning God is a good idea under the circumstances.
Nor is calling her a child.
>> No. 21324
>>21323
>I am not entirely sure that mentioning God is a good idea under the circumstances.

But she's asking if you're the answer to her prayers, so yeah!

You ignore her question at your own peril.
>> No. 21325
>>21322
>I'd imagine the thing on the figure's back would be much larger if it was Flandre's wings.

Given her posture, it's likely they lie flush against her back under her shroud, giving her the appearance of a hunchback.

And since Flan's wings are unnatural, so they could have been bound in any position.
>> No. 21330
>'Confessor' is a little awkward…
>The 'my' was throwing me off

I agree, and shall change the phrase slightly to accommodate.

====================

[Speak softly, "God willing, my child. At the very least, I will be your confessor."]
[Step fully into the room and lock the door behind you.]
[Pull over something salvageable to serve as a chair and sit before the creature with the lamp at your back. "What is your name, girl?"]

Whatever this thing is, it needs help. It’s chained and bound in a locked door the master key won’t open, hidden at the bottom of the mansion. With just a little imagination, it’s not very hard to see yourself in its position, trapped by the unknown forces that continue to chill your soul. You’re not exactly sure what it needs, but the least you can do right now is just listen to what it has to say.

You respond to it in a soft, tender voice. “God willing, child, God willing. At the very least, you can confess your troubles to me.” You think it symbolic to mention “God” in your response, considering the question related to prayer.

Stepping inside the room, you close the door behind you and lock it, just in case someone from upstairs tries to interrupt the situation. Pulling over a block-like shape that might have been a dresser drawer in the past, you slide up to the creature and sit down. From this distance you can tell that it’s smaller than you, but perhaps large enough to be a human child. It still doesn’t move or raise it’s head, but it’s next phrase seems to contain just a tad more optimism than before.

“Could you, move closer please? I can’t hear you very well.”

You oblige it, scooting your makeshift seat up to within a meter of the cloaked prisoner. The links of chain surrounding it must be at least a centimeter in diameter, and are violently bolted to the wall with thick iron plates. Obviously this thing’s captor doesn’t want it moving around. But what matter of creature is it? It sounds human enough, and even looks it, but the other oddities surrounding its form make you think that it could another youkai, one not quite so pleasant to the eyes as someone like Cirno or Remilia.

“What is you name, child?” you ask it. The voice it speaks with sounds feminine enough that you want to say “girl” rather than child, but it’s simply too pre-pubescent for you to tell if it’s male or female. Plus, you’d rather not offend it, so you decide to hedge your bets and hope it’s name will give you it’s gender as well. You really get annoyed with having to call living, thinking creatures “it”.

“My…name?” It shifts its head slightly, enough for you to see it’s small lips moving from beneath the tangle of hair. “I…forget. I don’t think I have one right now.” So much for that plan.

“Well, but who are you? What are you doing in a place like this?”

It shrugs it’s shoulders wearily. “No one. I’m just…nobody. But I’m going to escape. Can…can you help me?”

It’s not a very difficult question for you to answer. Cirno was in a much better state than this poor creature is, and you agreed to help her; why shouldn’t you help this thing too? Who knows, maybe just a little compassion and friendship will go longer than you can imagine. It might tell you secrets about this place, like who put it there and who not to trust.

“Sure, I mean, I’ll do what I can. What do you need?”

“Just…just stay right here for a while.” With it’s left hand you see it drag the chains slowly across the floor, reaching for a tarnished old goblet resting next to it. As it grabs a hold of the cup, you get a better look at it’s hand. It’s almost human, but not quite. The nails are too thick and pointed, and it’s far too wrinkled and bent. The hand is quivering as it clenches hard around the cup and moves it towards the floor in front of it.

It raises it’s head up just enough for it to see your face, though its own is still partially obscured by its unnaturally grey hair. From the little you can see, it looks extremely sunken and sad, like an old soul remembering the “good ol’ days”. As it speaks again, you can see a row of pointed teeth in it’s mouth.

“I just…I just hope that…that this is what I have to do.”

You see nothing happen. One instant, you are both sitting there, quietly, sharing each other’s company. The next instant, the creature’s right hand is raised in the air, glistening, and your throat is gushing blood from a clean slice across the neck.

The hand clamps down around your shoulder like a steel vice as the other one raises the goblet to the river of crimson flowing down your chest. The goblet fills to the brim, and red splashes fall onto the floor as it raises the chalice to it’s lips…and drinks your blood.

The goblet returns to your neck a second time, and a third, your life slowly draining onto the ground and into this thing’s mouth. You try and move, but your limbs are sluggish and non-responsive as burning hot agony flows though your body in place of blood. You begin to slump over, head growing dizzy and clouded. The goblet clatters to the ground, bathed in scarlet, and the creature moves its hand from your shoulder to its bonds. With a metallic snap it breaks the massive chains as if they were sticks. You eyes film over as you see it rise from the ground, and a single red eye gazes down upon you…wet with tears?

“I’m…sorry. I’m so, I’m so sorry,” it tells you, your vision black and your ears failing fast. “I had to…I can’t take it anymore…Please, please forgive me.”

You hear the padding of footsteps and the clinking of loose chains as the creature runs away, leaving you alone and dying. The pain slowly fades from your body as your brain begins to shut down and your heart ceases to beat. You can think of only one thing before your mind disappears into the unknown:

“Vampires. Accuracy of said superstition: six point two three percent.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now weary traveler, rest your head,
For unlike me, you’re utterly dead.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

>> No. 21331
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…

But it is not yet time for you.

====================

The creature seems not to notice your presence, because it remains seated and immobile, possibly due to its bonds. You peak your head in just a little further, trying to get a better look. Suddenly you hear a voice; the creature is speaking, possibly to you. It is a dreary and despairing voice, high in pitch like a child’s. The words sound so tired, so pitiful, and yet you think carry just an ounce of hope in them.

“Are you the answer to my prayers?”

[ ] “Yes”
[ ] “No”
[ ] “???” (Write in your words)
[ ] Say nothing, close the door and leave
[ ] Say nothing, but remain there

====================

I did wonder how long it would take before you found a way to die. Sometimes I expected sooner, other times later. In either case, not a poor showing before your first death; I commend you. Also, I apologize for any posting errors that might have occurred here; my internet connection was being most troublesome and sluggish during the uploading process, and was not aided by the fact that there were more than a few typos I wished to fix, thus forcing me to delete and re-upload these posts.

>>21282
Replace “No” with “Yes”, and I think you might have it.

>>21315
Thank you for your consideration. I suppose a little discussion is fine if you wish, but just remember to spoiler tag anything potentially revealing; not just for me, but for others who wish to watch the show without detriment. I shall keep you updated on my current progress for your benefit. At the moment I have watched up to episode five (the first show of the second arc).
>> No. 21332
[x] "The thing with prayers is, they'll never be answered with what you want. But sometimes you'll get what you need."
>> No. 21333
[X] "I don't believe in answered prayers. Answered prayers lead to happy endings, and there are no such things as happy endings."
[X] "Things just happen, and sometimes people end up feeling happy about it and sometimes people end up feeling sad."
>> No. 21335
File 122384208690.jpg - (334.85KB , 700x500 , 1151608.jpg ) [iqdb]
21335
Eh heh heh. That was a pretty good Bad End. It makes sense: undue compassion and anon's ignorance of her vampiric nature. Meant well, but approached the situation without nearly enough information. At least it didn't jump out of nowhere like the near death experience with Cirno.

Hard to come up with an answer that doesn't use info gained from dying. Pondering.
>> No. 21336
[X] Say nothing, but remain there.

Also, not to burst people's bubbles, but this is almost certainly not Flandre herself. We've felt her presence already.

Which raises the question of who, or what, it is...
>> No. 21337
“All prayers are answered if we are willing to admit that sometimes the answer is "no”

[x] “No”

Btw, excellent story U.N Owen, I jumped on late, but I read each thread entirely with only minimal breaks. Keep up the good stuff.
>> No. 21338
File 122384553291.jpg - (313.75KB , 941x1043 , maybe.jpg ) [iqdb]
21338
I chuckled, and then it made me think. Seconding >>21337
>> No. 21339
You know, I'm still at the middle of the last thread, and I can't believe you all faggots refused to enjoy a good night of fun (and more importantly, of SEX) with Meiling. I lost all will to continue reading after that.

Fucking faggots.
>> No. 21340
>“I’m…sorry. I’m so, I’m so sorry,” it tells you, your vision black and your ears failing fast. “I had to…I can’t take it anymore…Please, please forgive me.”

The creature is in an uncontrollable bloodlust; it doesn't really want to kill you. What we need is for her to reveal that she's a vampire, leave, and discover the blood stores in Wine Cellar B and let her drink to satiation. That's the only way we'll be able to get anything out of her without her killing us.

[X] "No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, creature?"
>> No. 21341
>>21339

And nothing of value was lost.
>> No. 21342
File 122384644823.jpg - (24.29KB , 410x272 , 2779489776_953331049f_o.jpg ) [iqdb]
21342
>>21339
>> No. 21343
>>21340
>>“Could you, move closer please? I can’t hear you very well.”
There is some danger in conversing with it. Try to engage, and it will inveriably try to draw us closer. I appreciate your sentiment, but consider: it is imprisoned for a reason (either a good one or a bad one). We'd be better of understanding why, trying to resolve it, and then free it. Then again, letting it lose would introduce some interesting chaos into the mansion. But we might get killed for that too.
>> No. 21345
[X] I'm just a traveller who was invited to stay in this mansion.
[X] Remain where you are.

Telling the Nameless Prisoner why we are here might take the conversation to how did they end up imprisoned (maybe they were a previous guest?). Show some sympathy, but be cautious and try to get as much information on the mansion and its inhabitants as possible.
After that I think we should try to help the Nameless Prisoner, like >>21340 said. If it's true that our fate is becoming Remilia's bloodbag, we'll need as many allies as we can get.
>> No. 21347
[x] "No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, creature?"
>> No. 21348
Setting this thing free seems to satisfy the conditions: “Do what I cannot, what she will not, what they dare not.”
>> No. 21362
[x] "No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, creature?"
>> No. 21364
[x] "No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, creature?"
>> No. 21372
[o] "No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, creature?"

bandwagon
>> No. 21374
Wait, why are we saying "creature"?

[x] "No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, child?"
>> No. 21375
>>21341Sex with Meiling was lost.
>> No. 21376
[o] "No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, creature?"
>> No. 21377
>>21374

Because we don't know what it is. Hopefully this appellation will incense it to tell us.
>> No. 21378
Annoying news I bring to you today. My week is marred by three exams and a large lab report on the side, all of which require my immediate attention. I will attempt to make what time I can for writing, but in all probability you will not see another update until tomorrow evening. The possibility may present itself for an earlier update tonight, but in either case, you will have to exercise patience while I deal with these pressing matters.

>>21337
New readers are always a welcome addition. I thank you for the time you have given my tale.

>>21338
This works as well.
>> No. 21387
["No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, creature?"]

Whatever this thing is, it needs help. It’s chained and bound in a locked door the master key won’t open, hidden at the bottom of the mansion. But wait…that’s exactly the reason why you should be careful! You’ve got no idea what this thing is, what it wants, or why it’s chained here. An innocent, despairing voice is no reason to go answering questions you don’t understand; it could just as easily be an enemy as a friend. Still, outright rejecting the thing could anger it and alert the mansion, or any other number of things you’d rather not have happen. You want to help it out of pity, but there’s no telling if you can, or what will happen if you do. If only you hand more information…but will the thing give it to you?

“No, but I may be able to provide the means. What is it you pray for, creature?"

“Salvation,” it replies sorrowfully.

“Of what kind?”

It doesn’t respond, unsure of what to say. You’d assume “salvation from these chains” or “salvation from these walls” would roll off the tongue quickly for it, but silence is all it can muster. Then again, you’ve got no idea what kind of hell it’s been through to land in here. Perhaps what it really wants is “salvation from this life”.

Finally it answers you, somewhat. “I…I thought I knew. But I never know anything anymore. Thinking hurts too much now.”

You let its words fade into a dying echo though the basement, then ask another question, slowly, treading carefully around this mysterious creature.

“Do you have a name?”

“My…name?” It shifts its head slightly, enough for you to see a small chin from beneath the tangle of hair, though its face is still obscured. “I…I did once. But I…that’s not my name anymore. I forget what…what it is now.”

“Well, do you at least know who you are? Could you tell me that?”

It slumps down into an actual sitting position, and the folds of its cloak rearrange themselves so that you can see it’s hands and feet. From this distance they look human enough, but there’s just a little something…wrong. Its appendages are curled in a very odd way, and the nails are long and pointed, almost like claws. With its right hand it traces patterns in the dust on the floor, while its left is clenched in a fist. It pounds the first into the ground, nearly obscuring what it whispers.

“…Monster.”

It begins to look at its own hands and feet, feeling around its face despairingly, all the while chanting that ominous word, “monster…monster…monster.” It’s voice slowly increases in volume and speed, and it shakes its head back and forth, as if it doesn’t want to believe the words that it’s saying. The creature’s fists pound against the floor again in rhythm with its speech, growing harder and harder until it’s outright punching the stone.

‘MONSTER!!”

It seems to have snapped. It leaps up and begins to flail about wildly, yanking at its chains in vain and hurling anything within arms reach against the wall, crying out in despair and rage. It’s not very big—probably the size of a human child—but its lunacy is as large an any madman’s you’ve ever seen. The lump on it’s back moves strangely, as if it’s alive, but it remains covered by the torn clothes. You cower behind the door as bits and pieces of debris fly towards you, but because you still want to see what’s happening, you leave just of enough of your head exposed to get smashed by a flying goblet. You clutch your forehead and feel a small cut open up, wet with blood.

“The…the blood.”

It has stopped making random movements, but the creature is still shaking madly as it looks at you. For the first time, its hair is pushed back enough for you to see part of the face. The mouth is gasping for breath, and the teeth are unnatural: sharp like an animal’s, but straight and uniform like a human’s. Two teeth protrude out longer than the rest, making it look like some kind of viper. You can’t see the right eye, but the left is as scarlet as Remilia’s, and full of insanity to boot. That thing is a monster.

It slowly walks towards you, straining against the chains it obviously knows are there. It reaches out and grasps for you hopelessly, red eye fixated on your temple.

“The blood…the blood is, strength. The, the blood is strength. The blood…the blood is…The blood is the life!”

The chains rattle with the creature’s desperate lunges to reach you, more than half the room’s length away. You shy away from it, ready to shut the door and run within an instant if this continues. The situation has crossed past the point of curiosity; you’re in danger now.

The thing suddenly stops in mid-grab, as if frozen. The eye you can see swivels around in it’s socket, looking at the scene not with madness, but with terror. It slowly backs away from you, afraid of something you can’t understand. What is it? Does it see something you don’t? You look around the room, but there’s nothing out of the ordinary you didn’t notice before. Behind you? No, the hallway is completely empty. Why is it retreating?

It curls into a little ball on its ripped cushion, shivering in fear. “G-g-get away from me,” it replies, its voice returning to a childlike innocence. “Before I try…try t-to hurt you.”

You’re confused. That thing wanted to rip your head off ten seconds ago, why is it telling you to leave? You don’t feel right just leaving without accomplishing anything, nor does it feel right to leave the creature in this state. You have to at least try.

“What about your salvation?” you ask.

It looks at you again, pitiably. Its answer is marred by a lisp that it didn’t have before. Odd.

“Thalvathion? It’th…it’th, I remember now. It’th not my thalvathion.”

“Then whose is it?”

“D-don’t, don’t try and thave me…You can’t…You can’t thave me. Y-you, you have to thave her!

“But who is she? Who do I have to save?!” Your voice is full of passion. This could be it! This could be the answer you’ve been waiting for!

“Th-th-Thithter. Y-you have to…thave Big Thithter.”

Big Sister? You’re almost there…just one more push to the truth. “Big Sister” is good, a lot clearer than you’ve gotten before, but you need a name…a concrete name to base your ideas on; otherwise you’ll just slip back into the unconfirmed speculation that you’ve been in for hours. Just one more question…one more…

“Little one…who is your big sister?”

It’s voice has grown increasingly quiet, and you have to inch closer into the room to make out what it’s trying to say. And then you hear it. A name.

“Thcarlet. Big Thithter Thcerlet.”

“Remilia? Your big sister is Remilia Scarlet?!”

It doesn’t answer your final question, and simply rocks back and forth in place, muttering incomprehensible things to itself. It seems to have fallen back into a world all its own, oblivious to the real world around it. You doubt you’ll be able to get much more out of this poor thing now.

[ ] Sometimes, you have to make your own path (Write-in only)

====================

With the long-awaited return of Hungry Youkai finally nigh, it is unknown to me how much board traffic may change. I have heard rumors, nay, legends, of how Hungry Youkai can turn the entire site to him when his words grace the presence of the boards, leaving every other thread but a wasteland. I know not what to believe, but I know this: as long as you keep voting, I shall keep writing.
>> No. 21388
>I have heard rumors, nay, legends, of how Hungry Youkai can turn the entire site to him when his words grace the presence of the boards, leaving every other thread but a wasteland.

No joke. There were zero posts on /th/ for nearly seven minutes hours after HY reappeared, other than those in his thread.

Deferring my vote because I'm no good at write-ins.
>> No. 21389
>>21388
Agreed. That cat can shut shit down, probably moreso now than ever before. Six posts in as many hours? The average across the site is now once every other day (charitably speaking). I mean, you said we might get our next update tomorrow despite exams and a lab (ugh...), and I was relieved that you're still one of the quick ones.

Well, votes. I reserve my right to reneg since these are gut level reactions to the situation.

[X] "You have my word; I will do everything I can to bring salvation to your big sister and you"
Pretty sure she can't hear us, but I want to express our new-found conviction: as long as a child is left to suffer like this, we will endeavor with every fiber of our being to bring (heh heh) "justice" to this situation.
[X] Close the door. Sit down and slump with your back next to it.
Let's compose ourselves for a bit.
[X] Wine Cellar B
Saving dead end for last, reinforced corridor for when we have something to protect ourselves with.
>> No. 21390
[ ] "I can't make any promises, but I will try. For her, and for you. I'll see you later, little one."
[ ] Leave for now, make sure to lock the door.

Sure, she's clearly dangerously and violently insane, and for all you know far beyond any hope of rehabilitation, but if you can't look at such a pitiful thing living in such conditions and pleading like it was without feeling a great swell of pity and a desire to do whatever you can to help it, you have absolutely no heart.
Shame we couldn't even establish gender. Then we could at least call her "Little Sister". It wouldn't be much, but it would do until we could learn her name and address her properly.

Not sure if anyone would feel up to continue exploring after something like that. Discovering your hostess has an insane younger sibling locked away in the basement is kind of a big discovery, and might warrant going back to your room to properly digest this new turn of events.

Or, you could press your luck, keep poking around down there, and see what ELSE they're keeping behind locked doors. Don't be surprised if a chained-up psychotic child turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg, though.
>> No. 21391
[x] Leave.
[x] What are you, the star of some fairy tale? There are no witty parting words to say, no dashing heroics to carry out. You're just you, and you can do no more.
>> No. 21392
>It looks at you again, pitiably. Its answer is marred by a lisp that it didn’t have before. Odd.

She's biting the inside of her mouth to still her bloodlust.

I want to give her some token as proof we'll come back for her. Something breakable to show us just how much she can control herself.

[♱] Your words may not get through to her, but you must try, even if only for the purposes of convincing yourself: "I can't promise you salvation, but I can promise that I won't forget you."
[♱] "As proof, I'm going to leave something here with you. Something precious." Take the golden flower out of your pocket. "It is a symbol. To me, it is Trust; to him, Justice; to her, Desire; and to you... perhaps Hope. Keep it hidden and whole, and I will be back for it." Drop it just within reach of the chains, carefully.
[♱] Leave for now, make sure to lock the door.
[♱] Wine Cellar B

There. Now when it comes time to deliver justice upon this household, we'll know where to find it.
>> No. 21393
[X] "I see."
[X] Close and lock the door, move on to Wine Cellar B.

Well, that was interesting.
>> No. 21396
File 122396085260.jpg - (301.63KB , 827x620 , 63a47506be16e30738809a2e0da46671.jpg ) [iqdb]
21396
No. 21392

You have my vote ...

I would like to assume that this creature is indeed Flandre, but I don't want to jump to conclusions in case I'm wrong ...
>> No. 21398
>>21396
Flandre doesn't know where her food comes from or even how to drink blood properly and couldn't be chained up if she didn't want to be. She also knows her name. If this is her, it is a massive departure from canon, and as Mr. Owen has not taken such an extremely liberal interpretation with any other character I find it unlikely he would do so here. There is also the matter of the strange presence we felt after first passing the basement door, which likely WAS Flandre, and the reinforced door, which seems likely to lead to the real Flandre's room (and is decidedly odd and out of place if this is Flandre here.) It is not wise to call anything impossible, but I find it extremely unlikely that this is Flan.
>> No. 21399
>>21398

Now U.N.Owen will spend time he could've been using to write the story to instead rebut this post at length. I pray before then that someone else refutes it for him; I find myself too staggered by its hubris to write the scathing, lengthy reply it warrants.

If you are a troll, then 11/10, congratulations good sir, and I want to shit in your heart.
>> No. 21400
>>21398
>Flandre doesn't know where her food comes from
Actually, that's not too clear.

EoSD profile:
>Flandre has always been fed with cooked dishes, so she doesn't know how to properly attack a human. Whenever she tries to attack a human, she fusses too much and blows them away without leaving a spot of blood.
>Perhaps she can't tell that her daily meals are made from living humans.

EoSD Extra (Reimu):
>Flandre: Let me guess. You're a human?
>Reimu: That's right.
>Flandre: You're not trying to trick me, right? I've never seen humans as anything else but a drink.

If this is Flandre, they must have stopped feeding her and weakened her enough to suppress her destructive ability. Also, freaking out about being a "monster" and trying to stop herself from harming humans are both very out of place, unless she somehow came to the realization that living off human blood was morally wrong, much like in >>19220 The Wanderer From Hell. It could just be a very different set of circumstances.
>> No. 21401
I DON'T KNOW WHICH TO VOTE FOR
>> No. 21402
[x] "I can't make any promises, but I will try."
[x] Leave for now, make sure to lock the door.
[x] Move on to Wine Cellar B.

U. N. Owen probably didn't mean "B" as a pun but...did you know that Remilia's favorite blood type is B?
>> No. 21403
[x] Your words may not get through to her, but you must try, even if only for the purposes of convincing yourself: "I can't promise you salvation, but I can promise that I won't forget you."
[x] "As proof, I'm going to leave something here with you. Something precious." Take the golden flower out of your pocket. "It is a symbol. To me, it is Trust; to him, Justice; to her, Desire; and to you... perhaps Hope. Keep it hidden and whole, and I will be back for it." Drop it just within reach of the chains, carefully.
[x] Leave for now, make sure to lock the door.

Channeling Mr. Nathaniel here, but not in a bad way. We'd do well to give one of the many macguffins that burden our pockets a purpose.
>> No. 21414
>>21398
There's no indication of when this story takes place in relation to the events of EoSD. I've never been able to clear EoSD extra; is Flandre always let out at the end, or is that just a fanon thing? If not, it's possible that she was locked up after EoSD extra and not set free. For her not being chained up if she doesn't want to be, she is obviously in a very weakened state. Again, she could've forgotten her name over the years it's been since EoSD extra.

Of course all this falls apart if she is canonically let out after extra. I wish I was better at the damn games.
>> No. 21417
>>"I can't promise you salvation, but I can promise that I won't forget you."

I like the rest of the write-in, but can someone clarify this? Is this something where we file this little memory away and occasionally recall "Oh hey, there's a kid locked away in the basement. That's pretty weird" or something to constantly brood upon and try to resolve (just like the mysterious messages and items, Cirno, Meiling, the spectacles, spell cards, imminent death, Nathaniel, etc.)? Somewhere in between? Enlighten me.
>> No. 21418
>>21417
>I like the rest of the write-in, but can someone clarify this? Is this something where we file this little memory away and occasionally recall "Oh hey, there's a kid locked away in the basement. That's pretty weird" or something to constantly brood upon and try to resolve (just like the mysterious messages and items, Cirno, Meiling, the spectacles, spell cards, imminent death, Nathaniel, etc.)? Somewhere in between? Enlighten me

You are right in that taken alone, without giving the flower, it would be a meaningless conceit.

But if we have something to get back from her, something we attribute a meaning to, we'll be reminded of her plight every time think of what the symbol refers to, ostensibly "Trust" here. This incenses the protagonist to action because, as the old chestnut goes, Trust is a two-way street: Flan must keep the flower safe and trust you to come back for it; you must trust that Flan will do so and that you can keep your promise.

This is not be a frivolous gesture or something born of a flash of inspiration. The protagonist has already given thought to what it represents:
>Keep the items; put them in your pocket. They are meaningful, though in what way remains to be seen.

As an aside, this deals with the flower but leaves the scarlet ribbons. We might be able to deal with them as an allegory to the Red String of Fate, if we can't find a more appropriate, situational use for them.
>> No. 21420
[X] Your words may not get through to her, but you must try, even if only for the purposes of convincing yourself: "I can't promise you salvation, but I can promise that I won't forget you."
[X] "As proof, I'm going to leave something here with you. Something precious." Take the golden flower out of your pocket. "It is a symbol. To me, it is Trust; to him, Justice; to her, Desire; and to you... perhaps Hope. Keep it hidden and whole, and I will be back for it." Drop it just within reach of the chains, carefully.
[X] Leave for now, make sure to lock the door.
[X] Wine Cellar B
>> No. 21421
>>21392
You have my sword, and my vote.
>>21398
Good Sir Owen most certainly has some explaining to do, if this indeed is his representation of Flandre. I do not disagree with the writing's quality, though, as it is of high value.
And additionally, just in case:
[X] Wear the spectacles while exploring down here. Who knows what secrets may be seen through them, otherwise unseen?
>> No. 21423
x] Your words may not get through to her, but you must try, even if only for the purposes of convincing yourself: "I can't promise you salvation, but I can promise that I won't forget you."
[x] "As proof, I'm going to leave something here with you. Something precious." Take the golden flower out of your pocket. "It is a symbol. To me, it is Trust; to him, Justice; to her, Desire; and to you... perhaps Hope. Keep it hidden and whole, and I will be back for it." Drop it just within reach of the chains, carefully.
[x] Leave for now, make sure to lock the door.
>> No. 21424
>>21414

Hmmm... didn't Patchy say she used Eientei medicene on us? That would limit it to after the events in IN.
>> No. 21426
>>21424
That just gives another lower bound for the time frame. I was thinking more like years after EoSD extra. I don't recall any mention of Reimu or Marisa, so it could theoretically even be a hundred years after EoSD (Sakuya has time hax to avoid aging, probably). I didn't think it was possible to take place before EoSD, simply because there's no scarlet mist. From my understanding, she moved to Gensokyo and almost immediately let out the mist.

My basic assumption was this; Reimu/Marisa meets Flandre, but instead of being let out as is seen in most doujins, she is instead locked up MORE and is deliberately weakened so she can't escape (hence the horrible state she's in), and has been down there for however many years, anywhere from 0.1 to 100.

So. What does happen after Flandre is defeated in Extra mode?
>> No. 21433
The aftermath of my “exam season” has left me unable to muster a segment tonight, but I shall bring one forth tomorrow morning after sleep rejuvenates me. While I see discussion pertaining to questions left unanswered, I am simply too weary to form a comprehensible response at the moment. Rest is what I must do right now. Not write.
>> No. 21435
File 122404291127.jpg - (564.92KB , 1025x768 , 828339.jpg ) [iqdb]
21435
>>21433
Dammit. Anyway, I hope your exams went fine.
Looking forward to piping hot updates.
>> No. 21437
>>21426
I'd have assumed that this was prior to the investigation by Reimu, who would have come in and laid down the law, as she typically does.

Maybe, then, this is on the Marisa route: Yeah, the place got torn up bad after the black-white careened through, but since there was none of Reimu saying "Step out of line and I will come down here and fuck everyone's shit up" and instead just Marisa breaking windows and making a mess of their pots and pans and going "cool mansion bro," then maybe after she was gone and they cleaned up, Remi & Co. continued business as usual.

Or not, I don't know. I never played EoSD.
>> No. 21444
>>21426
Then again, patchouli didn't know about rockets except through magazines that have come through the border. Meaning the mansion has been severely out of loop for quite a while.
Either they did a time jump when the mansion moved, or they laid low after they arrived to gensokyo.
>> No. 21445
>>21426

Considering that in canon, Flandre has been seen outside of the mansion after the Scarlet Mist incident, I'd say no, she's probably not locked up still, or at least has ways of getting out.

Not only did she leave the mansion to destroy a meteor that was going to hit it, but she also had time to do an interview with Aya on the subject.

The way I look at it, Flandre kinda gets a raw deal in doujin works and cyoas, theres really nothing to indicate she's psychotic, or at least *still* pychotic in canon. The single piece of evidence we have is the fact that she's been in the basement for many years. For all we know, Remi is just a childish bitch. Which, come to think of it, is canon.
>> No. 21446
>>21445
I think Flandre could very well be still quite insane, officially. It's just that so many of the other characters are ALSO crazy in some way that Flan's own craziness isn't as noticeable.
>> No. 21447
["I can't promise you salvation, but I can promise that I won't forget you. As proof, I'm going to leave something here with you. Something precious."]
[Take the golden flower out of your pocket. Drop it just within reach of the chains, carefully.]
["It is a symbol. To me, it is Trust; to him, Justice; to her, Desire; and to you... perhaps Hope. Keep it hidden and whole, and I will be back for it."]
[Leave for now, make sure to lock the door.]
[Wine Cellar B]

It’s no understatement to say you’re thoroughly confused right now. This “thing” is actually Remilia’s sibling? With a phrase like “big sister Scarlet”, there’s really no other option; all signs thus far have pointed to the fact that you’ve already met all the inhabitants of the mansion. But then again…This creature is a different part of the equation. No one mentioned it whatsoever in any of your discussions, yet here it sits, alone and seemingly helpless. There’s no telling what, or who, might still be hidden down in this basement. Just how much are the mansion’s residents keeping from you?

You look at it again: just a pitiful curled-up ball of a thing, like a frightened dog. It’s dangerous…But it’s also in danger itself. It said not to help it, but you just can’t leave it like this. You doubt that freeing it will be possible without some kind of revelation on your part, but perhaps you can simply work at understanding it better. In its current condition you doubt that’s possible, but you can still set the first tentative blocks of friendship. Your words may not get through to it, but you have to try, even if only for the purposes of convincing yourself

"I can't promise you salvation, little one, but I can promise that I won't forget you. As proof, I'm going to leave something here with you. Something precious."

You gently remove the flower of gold from your pocket. You still don’t know if it really means anything worthwhile, but in either case, it’s going to mean something different now. You carefully inch forwards in the room and place it on the ground, within chain’s length of the creature, and then slowly back away.

“It will be a symbol. To me, it means Trust; to him, Justice; to her, desire; and to you…perhaps it is Hope. Keep it safe, keep it whole, and I will be back for it someday.”

There is no sign that the thing notices your gesture of friendship, and there’s no reason to keep waiting for it to do so. You walk back out into the hallway and slowly sweep the door shut, remembering to lock it before you go.

What? That word has been pounding at your mind for the last five minutes. What is that thing? What is its name? What is its gender? What does it want? What it its problem? What is its past? What is “salvation”? What did I just do? What do I do now? You want answers, not questions, but you seem to gain ten of the latter for every one of the former. So far the only thing you’ve gained from the experience in room 101 is this: there’s a thing chained up in the mansion basement, it seems to have some kind of mood disorder, and it wants you to save “big sister Scarlet” from some unknown problem. Not a lot to go on.

As you tap your fingers against your leg in thought, you realize that the big questions are not “what” but “why”. Why is it chained up, why is it scared, why does it want you to save Big Sister? All these “whats” are merely side effects of the “whys”, and though “what” is tough to find out without asking straight questions, you have a feeling that “why” could be within your reach if the thing is willing to open up to you. You shake your head; continuously referring to it as “creature”, “thing”, and “it” as if it’s an animal. The words it said prove that it has intelligence and a mind…perhaps even a soul with the way it talked about prayer, salvation, and compassion. Is it a human? Is it a youkai? Or could it even be something different, some horrible experiment gone wrong and left to rot?

But then there’s Remilia. Of all the people around this manor, Remilia must certainly be the closest in ties to the figure in the bedroom. “Sister Scarlet” is the obvious giveaway, but there’s another, more subtle reason as well. If Remilia is the mistress of the mansion, she more or less controls whatever happens within her walls. It is her kingdom, and she is its queen, its Empress. The secrets in the basement are her secrets, even if she herself isn’t directly responsible. Ultimately, every question and fear you carry in your heart must in some way be connected to her, or at least through her.

And yet…you’re supposed to save her. Whatever the reason, whatever the consequences, the little chained thing values its sister’s salvation over its own. Why? It’s easy to think that she has some troubling problem in her life that would warrant such a need for salvation, but discovering what is a totally different mountain to climb, and you’re already busy climbing three or four others. Despite that…who do you trust more? Remilia acts cordial on the outside, but visibly carries out questionable actions, and invisibly hides many others. The creature, on the other hand, is fettered not by its reluctance to share information, but seemingly by its own fragile mind. Is it even possible to choose between one that is kind yet secretive, and another that is true yet unreliable? Or do you even have to choose? Saving one could mean saving both in the end.

(For every question…)
>> No. 21448
(…there is an answer.)

It seems every time you start thinking about your life here you just end up thinking in circles. It helps you to try and sort out the troubles if life, but it feels as if sorting is all you can ever do. For now you decide to just keep the locked door in your mind, and press onwards.

Wine Cellar B was next on your list of places to go, but within minutes the option is unfortunately crossed off your list. Despite your best efforts, none of your keys will open the lock on the door (not even the small saw-type key; should you even bother trying to use it anymore?). Dejected, you move on to the dead-end passageway and begin to test you luck. Seems you’ve still got some left: the other key next to Room 101’s causes the lock to click open. You move to open the door and venture into yet another unexplored land.

Wait. Is this really what you want to do? The last door you opened didn’t exactly turn out the way you had planned, and there’s a feeling in your gut that says this door won’t be any better. You’ve certainly had enough excitement for one night, and leaving now while you’re still whole and sane might not be the worst possible choice. Just like with your basement door reasoning, you have the tools to get back down here at any time. Perhaps you could just forage around for some supplies from the storerooms, or even go upstairs now.

Still, where’s the fun in that? If you’re ninety percent of the way already, why not go for one hundred? Room 101 wasn’t pleasant, true enough, but you survived, and with any luck you might be on the way to making an ally in this crazy place because of it. Opportunity could lurk right behind this door, if you only have the courage to turn the knob.

[ ] Open the door and go inside
[ ] Open the door and peek inside
[ ] Relock the door and walk away; forage for supplies (describe items you wish to look for)
[ ] Relock the door and walk away; try the iron door instead
[ ] Relock the door and walk away; go back upstairs (write in your destination)
[ ] A different idea? (Write-ins are always an option)

====================

Rather than trying to pick out all the little questions and suppositions some of you might have for me at this time, I will instead open up discussion between us directly. Those of you who wish to ask me something pertaining to the story may do so at this time. For the consideration of others, please place spoiler tags around your inquiries; I am sure there are several readers who do not wish to have their mind burdened with additional trains of thought.

I will give answers as best I can (also within spoiler tags, of course), but please remember that I cannot always provide exactly what you want, and in some cases I cannot provide you with anything. There may be good reasons why you should be left in the dark upon some matters…
>> No. 21449
[ ] Open the door and go inside
>> No. 21450
[X] Open the door and go inside

All the way, let's see if this door leads to the lake.
>> No. 21451
[X] Open the door and go inside
>> No. 21452
[x] Open the door and go inside

Curiosity won't kill the cat every time it tries to poke something.
Go for it.
>> No. 21453
[x] Open the door and go inside

No regrets.
>> No. 21454
[X] Open the door and go inside

Questions:
How much, if at all, are you attempting to remain consistent with Touhou canon?

How would you prefer the information we gain from bad ends be used?

>> No. 21455
[X] Open the door and go inside

unanimous vote is unanimous, so far atleast
>> No. 21456
[X] Open the door and peek inside

Unless you have the memory and attention-span of a gnat, I would think the experience in room 101 would make you at least exercise some caution when continuing to poke around in a place you know you probably aren't supposed to be in.
>> No. 21457
Once again, possible meta-knowledge lies ahead for those of you who do not wish to be burdened by such things. Ye hath been warned.

>>21454

Inqury #1:
How much, if at all, are you attempting to remain consistent with Touhou canon?

Reply #1:
For the most part, I am trying to veer towards canon rather than away from it, and will remain within the established order if it bears no detriment to the story. However, there are some cases here and there where “canon law” simply falls short of my vision for this story’s tone and style, and ultimately the power of the story takes precedence over the power of canon. While I am not going to blatantly stray from pre-existing facts of the Touhouverse, I may re-interpret things in ways that could be considered “unconventional” while still staying within the bounds of canon law. Basically, I will ride canon before I stretch it, stretch it before I bend it, and bend it before I break it, but if a lower “level” of deviation is insufficient for a particular situation, I will move to a higher one without qualm.

Inqury #2:
How would you prefer the information we gain from bad ends be used?

Reply #2:
I will be fairly lenient upon this field. Treat all the events after the “death choice” as if they are out-of-character meta-knowledge. The guest knows nothing about them and never will, but you still do. I cannot erase the knowledge from your minds, so rather than force you to “forget” it happened, I will let you use the information however you see fit. Exercise reserve when doing so however; you may know that an action will cause death, but you still may not know why it does. Over-assumptions using meta-knowledge can hurt as much as they help if you are not careful.

Overall Statement:
Never be too quick to judge a situation that seems to make no sense. If need be, assume the perspective of someone who knows nothing about Touhou at all when reading. In the most extreme case, ignore everything except the words of the story itself.

While a unanimous vote is simple to count, it is still not simple to write. As I have a social gathering tonight that lasts a number of hours, I will put forth my best efforts to present you with a new segment before I leave.
>> No. 21458
>I will put forth my best efforts to present you with a new segment before I leave.

Hooray!
>> No. 21461
[Open the door and go inside]

No sense going back when you’re this close already. After all, curiosity only kills the cat sometimes. You close your eyes with determination and open the door. It’s extremely heavy and thick, and despite the fact that you have the key, you almost can’t get the door open due to it’s immense weight. You grit your teeth and pull hard, really leaning into the absurd work of simply opening a door. After what must be half a minute, you pry the thing open and step inside.

There’s no light inside the door, and the hallway lamps don’t reach far enough for you to see anything. You can feel a wall on both sides of the door in front of you; another hallway? No, can’t be; after two meters the walls turn out into a wide area that is wrapped in shadows for the time being. You feel around the alcove for a lamp or something you can use to see. Your fingers fumble upon some kind of small latch, and you inadvertently flip it upwards in your search.

Instantly the room is bathed with light, and you’re blinded by the startling presence of illumination. What is this, more magic? Did that latch trigger some kind of magical flare to ward off intruders? You quickly fall on your knees and throw your hands up against your eyes, hoping that whatever just happened isn’t detrimental to your health. After a few seconds you blink a few times, and your eyes begin to readjust to the now well-lit room. Good, you weren’t blinded after all. But…where are you?

The room you are standing in appears to be some kind of lounge or sitting room, two stories high, and looks just as well-kept and well-crafted as any of the rooms on the first floor. Why would this kind of room be in the basement, and locked with a special key? The room is fairly large, but not overbearing like any of the dining rooms or ball rooms upstairs. The first thing your eyes fall upon, however, is the lights. Around the walls and ceiling there are small globes that give off a whitish-yellow light, fastened to a metal fixture and partially covered with frosted glass domes. Some kind of magic light balls, perhaps? Except, no, they don’t look mystic enough to be magical; they seem almost man-made. If you squint you can see that the globe is actually made of transparent glass with a shining white coil inside. Definitely man-made, but what is it?

Wait, you remember hearing about this a while back. Some scientist or inventor person back in England had made some kind of light-producing tube using…what was it, inconsistent filling mints? What was his name again…Edison? No, wait, Swan? You can’t remember all the details; the fact that you can remember anything from the town’s local gossip is impressive enough for you. Whatever it was about, this room seems to be using them for a light source. As long as you can see, you’re fine with it.

You walk a few steps inside to get a better view of the room. It seems to be divided off into separate little areas, each with a dynamic range of items. In one far corner of the room you can see three bookshelves shoved together into a “U” shape with lots of silky purple cushions in the middle. Books and papers are scattered all around the area in no particular order, and at least a dozen are open in a clump off to one side. Next to the shelves there’s a simple red writing desk with notes and sketches scattered on top of it, and even more scribbles hang on the nearby walls and litter the floor with clutter.

As you sweep past the desk you see a small staircase next to the wall, and your eyes follow it upwards into an interesting sight. The top part of the back wall juts out into a large loft a full story tall, which this staircase leads to. The loft is currently obscured from view by a thick red velvet curtain, and it is under this loft that the bookcases and desk sit. Quite a quaint design for a room, but it does save space.

Circling around to the right corner of the room, you see a large circular table that is low to the ground, with cushions circling it instead of chairs. Interesting design; looks like you sit on the ground instead of seats. Next to it is a shining black grand piano, and other miscellaneous musical instruments are scattered in an untidy pile beside it, as well as a large cupboard. The sheet music on the stand reads, “Septette in F: Queen’s Elegy,” and looks dizzyingly complex to you, though you couldn’t play an instrument to save your life. In the final corner of the room rest cabinets and dressers of various sizes, some of the doors partially open to reveal lumpy shapes that could be clothes or blankets. Also of note is that there are two other doors in this room, one set in the center of both walls not supporting the loft.

Though there seem to be a lot of different objects in this room, the one thing which draws them all together is an odd kind of “chaotic order” which is applied to everything. It seems like someone was trying to keep the place clean and tidy, and some of the original order yet remains, but they gave up halfway and left things messy as they were. It’s not a wreck by any means—in fact it’s a lot better than average—and yet…it’s just something you can feel without seeing or understanding.

You’re not going to let your mind get bogged down with fears and uncertainties right now, no matter how much your subconscious wants to. It looks like no one’s in the room, so you’re free to check things out as you wish. There’s plenty to look at, and you’ve got enough time to do so.

For now, choose up to three areas to investigate, and choose the order:
[ ] The bookshelves and open books
[ ] The writing desk and scattered papers
[ ] The staircase and loft
[ ] The music corner
[ ] The miscellaneous cabinets and dressers
[ ] The door to the left (this will default to your last action)
[ ] The door to the right (this will default to you last action)

Or:
[ ] You’ve seen what you wanted to; just leave now (input next destination)
>> No. 21462
>>21461
[X] The bookshelves and open books
What are the books about; what language are they in?
[X] The writing desk and scattered papers
Same as above
[X] The door to the right (this will default to you last action)
How deep does this rabbit hole go?

>>The sheet music on the stand reads, “Septette in F: Queen’s Elegy,” and looks dizzyingly complex to you

OH U
>> No. 21463
[1] The bookshelves and open books
[2] The writing desk and scattered papers
[3] The miscellaneous cabinets and dressers
>> No. 21472
[X] The bookshelves and open books.
Most obvious. Knowledge is what we came looking for.
[X] The writing desk and scattered papers.
Ditto.
[X] And lastly, the staircase and loft.
Too intriguing to not explore them. Aren't we in the basement?
>> No. 21474
[x] The bookshelves and open books
[x] The writing desk and scattered papers
[x] The staircase and loft

For now
>> No. 21480
[x] The writing desk and scattered papers
[x] The bookshelves and open books
[x] Lastly, the staircase and loft

Is this Koakuma's room?
>> No. 21484
>>21480

Patchouli's room?

I mean she IS Flandres tutor and being so close would be sensible, right?
>> No. 21486
[x] The writing desk and scattered papers
Whatcha workin' on?

[x] The bookshelves and open books
Whatcha readin'?

[x] The miscellaneous cabinets and dressers
Whatcha got in he-- ooh! More stuff!

[x] Lastly, the staircase and loft
Whatcha got up here?


>>21462
I confess that you have left me behind, unable to find my way.
>> No. 21487
>>21484

But Patch sleeps in the library so yeah.
>> No. 21488
[X] The writing desk and scattered papers
[X] The bookshelves and open books
[X] Lastly, the staircase and loft
>> No. 21492
[First, the bookshelves and open books]
[Second, the writing desk and scattered papers]
[Then, the staircase and loft]

No reason not to simply check things out in the order you first saw them. And anyways, the books and papers feel like they will tell the largest story here. What is being read here, and what is being written…It’s a look into the mind of the last person in this room. The books are being “used” and the papers are being “created”, two-thirds of Nathaniel’s world view right there in the open. You don’t exactly like that you’ve begun to think like him, though; it could be a sign that your resolve to hold onto your mind is failing. There was a reason you told him that you don’t believe in his view of the Earth, and that reason becomes moot the minute you start seeing things like he does. You shove the notion out of your head and kneel down inside the bookcases.

The violet cushions carpeting this area of the ground are plush and comfortable, so thickly layered that you can’t even feel the ground when you rest upon them, and yet they provide a wonderful reading surface if you position yourself correctly. You take a look at the spines of some of the open books on the ground, and are interested to see the odd range of subjects displayed here. Three books all appear to be the Bible in different languages: one in English, one that’s probably French, and a third with strange characters you can’t understand at all. From what you can tell, they are all currently open to the same chapter, Job 41. You read a few verses from the English text; it’s a passage describing a powerful beast called the leviathan, which sounds an awful lot like some kind of dragon to you. Next to these books lie some kind of complex medical journal, two philosophy books, a large tome full of poetry in different languages, and several chapter books you don’t recognize: Paradise Lost by Milton, Dracula by Stoker, Eldest by Paolini, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by Lewis, Frankenstein by Shelly, and [u]God’s Debris[/i] by Adams. Glancing at the dates on the inside cover, you cringe as you discover, not unexpectedly, that some of these books shouldn’t exist for decades to come. You glance at the open pages of a few of them, but the situations presented in the books are completely out of context for you, and you learn nothing of value. It might be interesting to just relax and read one later; you keep that in mind.

What’s odd is that scattered amidst these strange tomes are a few children’s picture books and elementary primers. Why would such sophisticated books lie alongside such simplistic texts for little kids? The books are either in French or something else you can’t understand. You take a stab at puzzling out the plot of one of them, but oddly enough the pictures don’t quite lend themselves well enough to describing the story sans words.

Setting the books aside, you look at the miscellaneous paper strewn around the cushions. They appear to be pages torn straight out of books themselves, with numerous illegible annotations in different hands. Come to think of it, practically every book on the cushions here have handwriting in the margins of some kind, and sketches and diagrams to boot. Obviously someone really likes to jot down their ideas.

You begin to observe the subjects on the shelves themselves. There’s a dynamic range of subjects in just the English books alone: history, politics, philosophy, mathematics, biology, religion, and even more down-to-earth topics like cooking, gardening, and leisure games. Works of fiction are prominent here as well, and by the looks of the titles, in practically every genre you can think of. The books appear to be sorted in no particular order that you can see, and those of different topics and languages are simply meshed together seemingly without thought.

So then, what to make of all these books…From the looks of things, whoever was here last is obviously intelligent, a great deal more than you, and with all these annotations as well, they’re using that intelligence to push the envelope even more. The children’s books could easily be a simple method of comparison, or the mystery person might have been using their advanced intellect to analyze these “simple” books in elaborate ways. Or, who knows, this might just be a community area where multiple people can read whatever they want, and someone forgot to put their books back is all.

(Never judge a book…)
>> No. 21493
(…by it’s cover.)

Satisfied with the literature for now, you move on to the writing desk and adjoining area. One glance at the papers can tell you that the owner of these sheets is a firm believer in writing down everything and anything that comes to mind, regardless of quality or relevance. Pages upon pages are filled with scribbled notes of God knows what, and the size of the letters changes as much as the legibility does. You manage to pick out a segment that you can actually read, miraculously enough, though it means little to you.

“…always wondering, world passage history in the past, cant remember much. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? I don’t like Hell, sounds bad and not good. Why is the woman angry? Someone spilled the tea, too bad. Tea is okay. Tea. T. T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T…”

The ranks of “T” fill the remainder of the page, growing larger and larger towards the bottom of the page. You push the page aside and look at some of the other papers. There’s not just text here; dozens of sketches lie on the desk and floor as well. Some of them are pretty good, others are horrible, and some are just scribbles. There’s lot of different things drawn here—flowers, animals, people, architecture, portraits of room interiors—but what seems to take up the majority of them are what look like dragons. Reptilian creatures with bat-like wings and fiery flames twist around in myriads of different forms, some like the natural lizard shape you normally think of, while others look almost human. None of it makes any sense to you right now.

So far the books have been a useful experience, and the papers less so. You reason that the loft upstairs is going to fall somewhere in the middle (if this were a perfectly equal world, which it isn’t). You walk up the small staircase into the room-within-a-room, and take a look around. It’s fairly dark; for some reason the room’s lights aren’t present in this area, and the curtain blocks out any incoming light. There’s still just enough illumination to see from the stairwell opening, and there’s really not a whole lot to see anyways. You are standing amidst a sea of large shapes covered with blankets. You tap one experimentally, and notice that it feels soft like cotton. More purple cushions, perhaps? It’s too dark to make out exactly what they are, so you decide to leave them be for now. On the far side of the loft rests a gigantic bed, easily three meters on a side if not more. The covers and pillows look extremely comfortable even with the poor lighting, and they appear to be in disarray, as if someone got up out of it without refolding the sheets afterwards. A small window rests at the top of the wall, and displays the starry night sky. Looks like this room is tall enough to just barely poke out of the basement.

Wait, a bed? If there’s a bed here, this must be a bedroom. From the looks of things, the occupant isn’t here right now, but from the wadded-up sheets on the bed you can assume that occupant might return at any time. You certainly don’t want to get caught trespassing in another’s room, and doubly so when you remember that the room was locked before you got here. There’s still things to see here, and questions to be answered, but are those answers worth getting caught over?

[ ] Stay here, look at the rest of the room
[ ] Leave now, before it’s too late (state your next destination)
[ ] Leave soon, but check out one more thing first (input thing to check as well as destination)

There sure are a lot of random items in this room. Do you want any of them?
[ ] Take an item or two (specify what)
[ ] Grab everything you can get your hands on!
[ ] Leave them be.

====================

The following statement has been blacked out only because it is irrelevant to the story as a whole, and is just something I wish to say on a whim. Feel free to ignore it as pointless rambling.

Anyone here who has watched and enjoyed the anime Kaiji should seriously consider viewing the similar show Akagi, or vice versa, as both are created by the same writer. I found Akagi to be just as amazing and powerful as Kaiji was, even more-so as a matter of fact. You will not be remiss in giving it some thought.
>> No. 21494
>>21493

NANTOKANARE!
>> No. 21496
[x] Stay here, look at the rest of the room
[x] Take Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Dracula because there may be annotations that give away the Scarlets are vampires.

It looks like this room was being used by Flandre or whoever is tutoring Flan. The presence of the children's books, the erratic shelving, schizophrenic writing, and the dragon fixation all point to her. Since apparently Flan is having a "time-out" right now in another room, I think we can assume no one will be using this place for a while.

If both of these rooms are Flan's, it explains why the two keys are on the same ring, and means the cabinet or safe that the modern key opens is likely around here. Whatever it guards would be connected to Flandre—e.g., Lävatein.
>> No. 21497
[x] check dust.
[x] if there's some on the open books/letters, stay, otherwise leave.
[x] Take an item or two (Dracula by Stoker and Paradise Lost by Milton)

Check if there's been anyone around lately, if not, then we probably don't need to worry about someone arriving anytime soon. The two books seem the most likely ones to explain about Remilia, since the only thing that makes sense is that this room used to be Remilias study as well as flandres playroom, hence the diversity in content.

As Remilia thinks herself as a descendant of dracula, that book should explain about her a bit, as does Paradise lost which depicts mans fall from paradise due to the rebellious fallen angel, satan.
>> No. 21498
[X] Leave now, but check out the music corner first.

This is probably Flandre's or Remilia's (old?) room. I don't see Patchouli flipping out and writing TTTTTTTTTTTT.
>> No. 21499
[x] Check for dust.
[x] Leave now, but check out the music corner firs.
[x] Take an item or two (Dracula by Stoker and Paradise Lost by Milton)
[x] Return to your room.

Better not risk getting turned into ashes...or worse.
>> No. 21500
>>21498
>>21499

You guys aren't at all interested in what's behind either of those two doors?

>[ ] The door to the left (this will default to your last action)
>[ ] The door to the right (this will default to you last action)
>> No. 21510
[ ] Stay here, look at the rest of the room
[ ] Take an item or two (specify what)-Dracula and God's Debris.
>> No. 21513
Hm. Wonder if Nathaniel is here to kill Flandre?
>> No. 21515
[x] Stay here, look at the rest of the room
[x] Leave them be.
>> No. 21518
>>21513

Wait, what? Explanation please, I want to hear the reasoning behind this. Sounds like it could be interesting.
>> No. 21521
>>21518

It's mostly a feverborne thought, but here's the basic jist -

Nataniel's rant about Creators, Users, and Destroyers - he flat out states the world does not need Destroyers. And what is Flandre?

His rant about justice during the break in the game - and the fact you have access to the mansion, and he wants you to keep an eye out for certain things. (I'll have to re-read it though.)

Along the same lines, he's pretty damn skilled and quick with a knife for a tinkerer.
>> No. 21522
>>21521
>Nataniel's rant about Creators, Users, and Destroyers - he flat out states the world does not need Destroyers. And what is Flandre?

That's only the one side of her. At other times:
>What is being read here, and what is being written…It’s a look into the mind of the last person in this room. The books are being “used” and the papers are being “created”, two-thirds of Nathaniel’s world view right there in the open.

He wouldn't have given us the keys to Flan's room when he could've just taken the master key from us and then had complete access to her quarters himself.
>> No. 21525
Flan having two rooms, one where everything is destroyed, and one where nothing is, suggests that this is a cyclic thing for her, and one that happens in a predictable fashion, like severe manic-depression. At the least, I don't think she's been or will be locked in that one room indefinitely.

There is a technique used to calm animals who tend to go into periodic rages, like elephants, where they starve the animal in order to bring it out of the destructive mood, where if left alone they might injure themselves, their handlers, and other animals. Similarly, diets that induce ketosis (which in nature is usually the result of starvation, rather than a select diet) have been used as non-pharmacologic mood stabilizers in humans.

Her uncontrollable bloodlust and atrophied appearance (e.g., some of her blonde hair turning gray) suggests that she is being starved purposefully, and that if she were not, she would indeed be able to break her bonds on her own, just as she did after killing us.

The triple-reinforced room is probably where she's put when she goes out of control, or is about to go out of control, but has not yet weakened enough to be shackled in the side bedroom—a kind of holding tank. If that's so, it's empty, so we shouldn't be afraid to open it, if only to lend further support to this theory.
>> No. 21526
[ ] Stay here, look at the rest of the room
[ ] Leave them be.
>> No. 21527
File 122421523410.jpg - (63.29KB , 433x450 , 1766949.jpg ) [iqdb]
21527
>>21522
>>He wouldn't have given us the keys to Flan's room when he could've just taken the master key from us and then had complete access to her quarters himself.

Where are you getting this from? The post where we got the keys is >>19823
The person giving us the keys knows Remilia's temperment, knows the circumstances underlying this whole situation, has knowledge of/access to our current residence (we're not dreaming: if you can feel your eyeballs rolling around in their sockets, are aware of your physical condition, and are in command of your mental faculties, you're (semi-)concious), knows what we've done since we entered the mansion, has access to such keys, and is in possession of something sharp and/or pointed to elicit the observation that there is "something sharp against your neck..."

How is this person not Sakuya? [Theory Time: Start] A person who obviously can't directly go against her mistress, regardless of how wrong she may believe the situation is, but is in the perfect position to enable/manipulate third parties into doing what she cannot? Freakout with Cirno = concern over losing a potential prospect. Before we started carrying around the spectacles, there would be nothing stopping Sakuya from planting all of the hints and items we have received hence far. Outside of a new construct by UNOwen (not out of the realm of possibility), Sakuya is the best candidate for mysterious benefactor... which, personally speaking, sucks because I was pulling for Patchouli.[Theory Time: Stop]

[Theory Time: Continue]The room we're in? Remilia's personal study. “Septette in F: Queen’s Elegy,” = "Septette for the Dead Princess." Seriously, listen to Remi's theme from EoSD and imagine trying to perform it on the piano. Like the man wrote, it would be "dizzyingly complex." What's troublesome under this assumption are the children's books in French. My notion is that Remilia, with some level of frequency, reads these books to the imprisoned Flandre; either in an attempt to draw out her "sanity," or to assuage her own guilt about locking away her little sister. Assuming this is correct (admittedly a long shot), what happens when she goes to read to her and finds little sister is clutching the golden hair ornament last in possession of the gate guard you sent as a reward to the latest guest?[Theory Time: End]
>> No. 21528
>Flan having two rooms, one where everything is destroyed, and one where nothing is, suggests that this is a cyclic thing for her, and one that happens in a predictable fashion, like severe manic-depression.
Problem with that is that she forgot her name, remember? That would suggest being captive for a long period of time, likely without human [vampire] contact.
>> No. 21530
>>21527

Uh, those are some... interesting theories.
>> No. 21531
>>21528

No, I think that's more than covered by the extreme physical and mental fatigue, if not the mood-related psychosis.
>> No. 21550
When are we going to find someone? I want some dialogue dammit, there's too much monologues and descriptions right now.
>> No. 21551
>>21550

Speak for yourself.
>> No. 21553
>...and [u]God’s Debris[/i] by Adams.

Apologies for this glaring, glaring typo on my part. I try to proofread my postings as best I can, at least to the point where errors do not come out and slap you in the face, but I can never be truly sure text formatting is correct until I post it, and simple errors like the one above are easy to miss. Yet another reminder that I am but a learned idiot, trying desperately to act smart while completely missing the obvious things in life.

The polls are quite close at the moment, and my writing time is limited today, so I shall let this vote continue for a while longer. If chance should have a definite winner appear by the time I have completed my morning classes, you may yet see a new part of the story before 2 P.M. Eastern American Time, but I for one would not hold my breath on the matter. Expect the update to occur later this evening.
>> No. 21554
[♱] Stay here, look at the rest of the room
[♱] Take an item or two (specify what): Dracula and one other book.
[♱] Then, open the door on the left.
>> No. 21556
>>21551

I am.
>> No. 21562
[Stay here, look at the rest of the room]
[Take Dracula by Stoker and Paradise Lost by Milton]

You’re getting a bit jumpy here. It’s possible that whoever stays in this room just didn’t make their bed when they got up this morning; it’s no indication of them returning soon. But that raises a good question: just whose room is it? You doubt Meiling would have a room so far removed from her guard post, and for some reason this room just doesn’t seem like it belongs to Sakuya, though you’ve got nothing to back that up. The books and writings could indicate Patchouli’s domain, except for the seemingly detached style of the ink on the papers. Remilia’s room, then? It’s certainly big enough for someone with her ego, though perhaps not as ostentatious as you’d expect from her personal “lair”. It might very well be Nathaniel’s room for all you know, but that guess is even more far-fetched than Sakuya’s. But whoever’s room it is, aren’t most of the mansion residents still preoccupied upstairs? You should still have some time left to explore safely.

Returning down to ground level, you check out the music corner. You can pick out a few instruments from the pile that you recognize—trumpet, flute, mandolin, clarinet—and the rest don’t seem too far-fetched, but you can’t put names to them. Some of them are shining and polished like they were bought yesterday, while others are tarnished and brown with age. Both new and old instruments seem to have more than a few dents in them; you guess whoever keeps them is either somewhat clumsy or just plain careless. The nearby cabinet has a few more miscellaneous instruments and a whole lot of sheet music, files upon files of them. You can pick out a few titles you recognize (somehow “God Save The Queen” worked it’s way in here), but most are unknown to you, not surprising considering how very little you know about “cultured” music to begin with. You’ve no idea whether most of them are difficult or not; they’re just a bunch of black dots in your eyes.

Music is nice to listen to, but since you can’t play worth a lick, you move away from the piano’s area after not much time has passed. You start rummaging though the miscellaneous dressers and cabinets in the final corner. There’s lots of random junk in here, things that would seem to just get shoved aside when you’d have to clean a room. Spare clothes, assorted books, pens, silverware, some common toys, personal hygenie items, buttons, colored glass, the list goes on and on. There’s only one thing that seems interesting: a thick leather pack with solid stitching and brass buckles. It’s pretty big, over a meter tall and half as wide, and seems to be packed to the brim with something. You drag it out onto the floor and open it up curiously.

Jackpot. This is what you’ve been hoping to find ever since you came down the basement steps. The pack is full of “practical” items for the aspiring adventurer, and a lot of other things that look mysterious, but still feel useful.

In the leather pack you find:
+ A set of lockpicks. All the shapes and sizes you’d need to open any barrier.
+ A small metal box that feels lighter than it looks. It’s locked with a strange jagged keyhole.
+ Two bundles containing seven sticks of dynamite each.
+ A strange black tube about the size of a small log. There’s a seam in the center.
+ A finely polished automatic lighter. When did they get this small?
+ An odd contraption that looks like a metal glove combined with a conical drill.
+ A sheathed set of eight throwing knives. Not unlike the ones Sakuya used this morning.
+ Two massive knives as long as your forearm. Slightly curved and very deadly.
+ A strangely-shaped weapon that looks like a cross between a rifle and a crossbow.
+ Six metal frames full of ten crossbow bolts each.
+ A large, angular pistol. You’ve never seen anything of this design before. Where’d the revolving chamber go?

You’ve got no idea where these things came from, who they belong to, or why they’d be in a cupboard full of rubbish, but any one of these things could find a use for you, or at least most of them could. You sling the entire bag over your shoulder; it’s cumbersome and more than a little heavy. Now might not be the best time to carry it around, so you set it back down. Filled with a rush of success upon finding so many useful objects, you can’t help but grab a book or two from the cushions: Dracula and Paradise Lost, to be exact. The choice is fairly arbitrary, but reading material will be nice to have, and who knows, you might learn something interesting from the annotations.

There’s not much else to look at in this room, so you peek into the door on the left-hand side of the room. Just a walk-in closet full of fancy clothes and shoes, most of them women’s clothes by the look of it. You’re about to close the door—clothes are hardly interesting to you—but something hanging on the wall catches your eye enough to step inside and observe it.

It’s a sword.

You guess the length is just under a meter long from tip to pommel. The sheath is brown as a nut and polished to a mirror shine, fastened with silvery steel clasps. Rather than a simple cross-guard, this sword has in its place an ornately-carved red dragon with wings outstretched, its head facing the sword point and tail twisting around the grip. Two tiny emeralds are set for the eyes, and the miniscule horns and claws look like they might be made of diamond. The pommel is a golden circle with a sparkling ruby the size of a large cherry set in the center. As you gaze at the weapon, you notice a short silver plaque running along the center of the sheath near the dragon. Engraved in it is a single world: EQUITAS.

Now here’s a truly odd sight. What would a fine sword like this be doing in some woman’s clothes closet? You experimentally remove it from it’s hanger and see that it’s definitely not just ornamental; the blade is a pearly silver-white, and the edge is razor sharp. Though it’s a bit longer than the short sword you’re used to, it feels good in your hands. You might be happy just leaving the room with this sword alone, but there’s plenty of other things you’d like to take as well.

As you return to the central room, sword in hand, a pang of guilt stabs at your heart. Isn’t this wrong? Isn’t this stealing? This is obviously someone else’s room, and most likely it belongs to someone who lives in this mansion. Do you really think you can hide your theft for very long? You suppose you might feign innocence for a while by claiming you didn’t know they belonged to someone, but ultimately you won’t win any points if you’re caught. And yet…Holding the items from that pack in your hands made you feel safe, secure, strong, something you haven’t really felt in a long time. With them, you can become the master of your own destiny. And that feeling may just be worth the risk of taking these godsends with you when you leave.

Items, items, everywhere, but what are you to think?
[ ] Don’t take anything; stealing is wrong
[ ] Just take the books
[ ] Take multiple things (state what)
[ ] Take it all!

After that matter is resolved…
[ ] You still haven’t visited the room on the right yet. Do so.
[ ] Leave now while you’re ahead; go straight to your room.
[ ] Leave now while you’re ahead; go somewhere else? (specify destination)
>> No. 21563
[ ] Don’t take anything; stealing is wrong

I want to take some weapons, at the very least, but I can't morally justify stealing. I'm sorry.

[ ] Leave now while you’re ahead; go straight to your room.
>> No. 21565
Most of these items were likely stolen from previous victims of the mansion, and we're only borrowing them anyway.

Now that we're pretty sure this is Flan's room, we can always return to play with most of this stuff later. There's no way to hide all of this stuff, so we want to take only what we need or can hide easily. Sakuya might look the other way re: most of this stuff, but any weapons are going to result in a confrontation.

[x] Open the small metal box with the small saw-toothed key.
[x] Take multiple things:
+ Whatever was inside the small metal box.
+ A set of lockpicks.
+ A finely polished automatic lighter.
+ A large, angular pistol.
+ The books.
+ One of the throwing knives.
+ One stick of dynamite.
[x] You still haven’t visited the room on the right yet. Do so.
>> No. 21566
>Most of these items were likely stolen from previous victims of the mansion

But you don't KNOW that.
>> No. 21567
>>21566

No, but it's a pretty good guess, considering our own possessions were taken from us upon entry.
>> No. 21568
[x] Open the small metal box with the small saw-toothed key.
[x] Take multiple things:
+ Whatever was inside the small metal box.
+ A set of lockpicks.
+ A finely polished automatic lighter.
+ A large, angular pistol.
+ The books.
+ One of the throwing knives.
+ One stick of dynamite.
[x] You still haven’t visited the room on the right yet. Do so.
>> No. 21569
>>21562
[X] Take multiple things (state what)
[+] A set of lockpicks. All the shapes and sizes you’d need to open any barrier.
[+] A small metal box that feels lighter than it looks. It’s locked with a strange jagged keyhole.
[+] Two bundles containing seven sticks of dynamite each.
[+] A finely polished automatic lighter. When did they get this small?
[+] A sheathed set of eight throwing knives. Not unlike the ones Sakuya used this morning.
[+] The books
[+] The sword

Logic: take everything that makes sense, leave the rest in the leather case. Stealing? I readily admit that stealing for personal profit is wrong. But for survival in a building/world where the current residents are certainly not going to be left wanting absent these items? I can justify putting them to better use. Pocket what can be pocketed, lash the sword to our belt, fashion a sack out of a blanket for the rest. Leave it near the main door.

Then
[X] You still haven’t visited the room on the right yet. Do so.

If it's not too late, another question:
The last couple updates have involved present sense interpretations of the situation. The most recent is a fine example: while we feel empowered by the discovery of these tools, we also feel guilty about taking them and putting them to use. First, these observations may be "hints" to the participants about possible consequences. Second, these emotions could just be things to consider when making our decisions. Finally, they could be something in between. I'm leaning towards the last since a decision ultimately has to be made and all decisions have consequences. In this story, I read in a bias for "consideration" over "consequence." I base this assumption on how much you've impressed upon us the notion that (absent silly meta-knowledge) the character=us and vice versa. My question is: how correct am I in my understanding of how present sense interpretations of the character should be considered? Reject this without question if you hesitate. If that's the case, though, you have seriously got turn ramp your update schedule up to 11. Also reject it if it's too vague: I rewrote this several times to remove trollish and personal interpretation of various CYOAs when describing vote interpretation.
>> No. 21570
[x] Open the small metal box with the small saw-toothed key.
[x] Take multiple things:
+ Whatever was inside the small metal box.
+ A set of lockpicks.
+ A finely polished automatic lighter.
+ A large, angular pistol.
+ The books.
+ One of the throwing knives.
+ One stick of dynamite.
[x] You still haven’t visited the room on the right yet. Do so.
>> No. 21574
>+ A set of lockpicks. All the shapes and sizes you’d need to open any barrier.
Definitely useful, and very small.
>+ A small metal box that feels lighter than it looks. It’s locked with a strange jagged keyhole.
A mystery box could be anything!
>- Two bundles containing seven sticks of dynamite each.
What would we need dynamite for? There's no way we could set off dynamite without drawing attention to ourselves.
>? A strange black tube about the size of a small log. There’s a seam in the center.
Don't know what the fuck this is.
>+ A finely polished automatic lighter. When did they get this small?
Man should never be without fire. Also small and easily concealed.
>? An odd contraption that looks like a metal glove combined with a conical drill.
What?
>+ A sheathed set of eight throwing knives. Not unlike the ones Sakuya used this morning.
Can we throw knives? Even if we can't, at least they can be concealed, unlike most of the other weapons. We should have some way of defending ourselves.
>- Two massive knives as long as your forearm. Slightly curved and very deadly.
>- Sword
Too difficult or impossible to conceal. If we can't walk around with them, what's the point?
>- A strangely-shaped weapon that looks like a cross between a rifle and a crossbow.
>- Six metal frames full of ten crossbow bolts each.
No way. Impossible to conceal, and manual reloading is not good for personal combat, except maybe against a group of slow-moving enemies.
>? A large, angular pistol. You’ve never seen anything of this design before. Where’d the revolving chamber go?
Has it been sitting in here loaded, or are there no bullets for it at all? Can we figure out how the safety works, both so we can actually fire it, and so it doesn't go off while we're carrying it? This would be great for a modern character, but for our time-traveling hero it's unreliable at best.

[x] Take multiple things (state what)
+ Books
+ Lockpicks
+ Lighter
+ Throwing knives
? Small metal box
[x] Attempt to open the small metal box; if it can't be opened, leave it.

Most of these will help us survive, and can be justified as a necessary precaution in a place where most people can use magic. If we have the key to the box, then someone meant for us to open it. The books...we were bored?
>> No. 21587
[x] Open the small metal box with the small saw-toothed key.
[x] Take multiple things:
+ Whatever was inside the small metal box.
+ A finely polished automatic lighter.
+ The books.
+ One of the throwing knives.
[x] You still haven’t visited the room on the right yet. Do so.

The small modern key may fit in the lock of the metal box, it's worth a shot.
The lighter can be of use, and it's easy to conceal, as are the throwing knifes.
As for the books, might as well read them once we have some free time for ourselves.
>> No. 21595
>? A strange black tube about the size of a small log. There’s a seam in the center.
A pencil case, perhaps?
>> No. 21596
>>21569

This answer is not exactly meta-knowledge per-se, and those of you who wish to know a little of my thought patterns might do well to read it and the corresponding question.

While I admit I do not completely understand your question, I think I have the idea of it, and will try to answer as best I can.

I am trying to aim for your second possibility, so you are somewhat correct. The character thinks about both sides of the coin because I want the reader to see both sides as well. Portraying any situation one way or the other feels to me like I am forcing you down a certain path, and this I am trying not to do (though I am guilty of it anyways on occasion). He is your character, and you should treat him as you wish. Make him brave and fearless, kind and compassionate, or cold and aloof as you see fit.

I actually have a long-term plan for characterizing this adventurer. If I start to see a trend towards a specific type of action--for example, the character making a lot of bold moves despite the risk--I will start to write his thoughts in a more brave fashion. Likewise, if you vote for a lot of compassionate interactions with other characters, I will veer him towards seeing the good in people rather than the bad. Character personality has a huge impact on how the story progresses in between the voting choices, and I do not want to impact it too much without knowing that the readers wish to travel down that path.

However, I will admit that I have not been keeping very good track of every single vote, and the thought patterns behind it. It is entirely possible that the votes have already gravitated towards a specific type of personality, and I simply haven’t picked up on it yet. I will do my best to review the past choices you have made, and see just what trends I might find, if any.

There was a particularly intriguing post on a previous page which has a rather interesting perspective on character interpretation, but I cannot seem to find it right now. If I do, I shall link it posthaste.
>> No. 21600
>>21596

ETA next update?
>> No. 21601
>>21600
I am partaking in a lengthy carpentry project today, which will take the majority of the afternoon. An update can be expected between the hours of seven and ten P.M. Eastern American Time.

Also, to Mr. >>21569, in regards to this: "If that's the case, though, you have seriously got turn ramp your update schedule up to 11," I answer you thus: Trying to speed up my schedule is something I simply cannot do. While I do have enough free time, it is oddly placed throughout the week in a random manner. On average it takes roughly two to three hours for me to write a standard-length segment, and I cannot feasibly average over one update a day with that time constraint, nor will I compromise by purposely shortening the segments. I must also take into account that it takes approximately an entire day to receive enough votes for a proper majority to emerge.
>> No. 21621
[Open the small metal box with the small saw-toothed key; take what’s inside]
[Take the books, the lockpicks, the lighter, the pistol, a single dynamite stick, and a single throwing knife. Leave the rest]
[You still haven’t visited the room on the right yet. Do so.]

There’s really no reason to take everything here; doing so is just asking to get caught. However, you think you can probably get away with taking a few of the little things. You pocket the lockpick set and the silvery lighter, then carefully remove a single stick of dynamite from the bundle of seven and set it aside; you’ve heard enough stories about dynamite to know that it’s extremely dangerous even when it’s not lit. Wrapping it in a spare piece of cloth you found in one of the nearby drawers, you carefully put it in one of your chest pockets. You’d be remiss if you didn’t take advantage of the weapons as well, so you pick up the odd pistol and unsheathe a single knife from the set of eight. You’ve only shot a pistol once before in your life, and you don’t even know how this weird one works, but a small, long-range weapon like that could come in handy, even as just a last resort.

Putting everything else back into the leather sack, you are now left looking at the small box. It’s no use trying to pry it open by force, and without a key it’s worthless to you. It’s such a strange keyhole, really; so very thin and crooked, you don’t think any key in the world could even fit into such a lock, let alone try and open it. You can only image what the required key looks like…

Wait…no, could it be possible? There’s no way, it’d be too…it couldn’t possibly, could it? You blankly take out your enigmatic ring of keys and look at that little third one closely. The side is flat and grooved, just like the keyhole! You think you might just start believing in God if this key just so happens to open this box, because there couldn’t possibly be another way that this would work. You insert the bit of metal into the hole; it fits perfectly, and you hear a little clicking as it moves all the way in. Holding your breath, you turn your wrist one way, then the other. And the box opens.

Impossible. A one-in-a-million chance! You pump your fist and utter a silent “Yes!” as you look inside the box. There’s a small, soft cushion on the top, which you peel back. Wedged between two other cushions is, of all things, a small crystal vial with an azure rubber stopper. You carefully remove the vial from the box and take a better look at it. There’s some kind of pearly liquid inside of it that shimmers and shines as you tilt the bottle. It’s not very much; you doubt if it would even fill a teacup to the brim. Tied to the neck of the vial are two notes. One is typewritten, while the second is handwritten. The first reads:

Batch 3, 698-072441-H, 50 mL. Yagokoro, Eirin.

The second appears to be some kind of poem:

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.


The poem means nothing to you, but you’ve heard the name “Eirin Yagokoro” before. Wasn’t she the one who made that medicine to heal you? It appears that this vial may contain yet another one of her concoctions. You’re not stupid enough to drink it, but you stow it away in your pocket nonetheless; it’s small enough to take out of the room, and let’s face it, you can’t get that lucky with a key and not take what it gives you! Putting the box back as well, you return the entire leather case to the cupboard. Though it pains you to do it, you reluctantly return the sword to its wall-hanger as well. It’s far too big to go unnoticed if you move it, and you have a feeling that it could easily be noticed missing. You take one last look at the sheathe before you close the door. “EQUITAS.” For some reason the word sounds…familiar, but you don’t know where you might have heard it from.

You look around the bedroom once more. Still empty save for yourself; you’re in the clear. You decide to try your luck just one more time and see what’s in the last unopened door. The hinges squeak and groan as the door opens, and you grit your teeth hoping no one heard them. Quite a stupid fear, really; who is there to hear you down in the basement? The room is dark and silent, so you flick out the lighter (more like “your” lighter now) and let its tiny flame reveal the room’s interior to you. Though it takes some time, you think this is yet another bedroom. It’s much more the size of a normal room, and much more simply furnished too. You don’t really notice anything that distinguishes this room from any other bedroom; there’s a few books here and there, and a chess set and deck of cards on the table, but it really seems quite common to you. Perhaps this is a sort of guest room. But then again, since when is a guest room adjacent to another’s bedroom?

You don’t really feel in the mood to discover anything hidden in this area, so you return the lighter to your pocket and move back to the central area. As least, you try to; along the way back through the small room you trip up on some furniture and lose your bearings. You feel around the area until you find the door, though it’s tough without a light source. Wait…shouldn’t light be streaming though the door from the master bedroom?

You freeze. From what you can tell, you’re looking into the big bedroom, but the lights are all gone now. Only one dim hall light is visible through the main door, and part of it is blocked by a dark shape. A shape that is moving.

“Little thief, where aaaarre you? I know you’re hee-eere!” The voice is female, and speaks with a mocking sing-song voice that is extremely creepy when you’re surrounded by the darkness. It sounds a lot like Remilia.

[ ] Stay put right where you are. Don’t move an inch.
[ ] Slowly and quietly sneak back into the small bedroom; try to hide.
[ ] Try and sneak to the exit door undetected.
[ ] Give up; you’ve been caught. Make up some excuse.
[ ] Give up; you’ve been caught. Plead for forgiveness.
[ ] Try and outwit your opponent. Move around sneakily and make distracting noises; you might make it out with your opponent none the wiser. (Votes of “MARCO!” will not be honored, amusing though it might be)
[ ] You cannot be discovered! Attack the voice! (choose a weapon(s) to fight with!)
[ ] The situation is dire. Special action is called for. (write in your option)
>> No. 21622
>“The magic of ages gone by, torn out of time and given as a gift. The soul wishes to return to days of old, happier times under better circumstances. Present this card to the heavens with a purpose, and the magic shall flow upon you. Fate, which was once set in stone, shall unravel behind you, giving what all desire, but few receive: a second chance. Worry not about when you will return, for this has been preordained by the fate you make for yourself. Worry instead about how you will act when you do.”

[x] "B-borrowing! Not stealing!"
[x] ...Did you just say that out loud?
[x] Take that first card out, raise it toward the ceiling, and declare: "First Wish 「Fate of the Past」!"

>It sounds a lot like Remilia.

The easiest way to be let off the hook by Remilia is to entertain her.
>> No. 21623
[X] The best way to look as though you belong somewhere is to act as if you do. Greet the voice, and act as if your presence here was the most natural thing in the world. Should you be questioned, reply good-naturedly that you were simply exploring the mansion, as you were bade to do, and are not stealing anything. Apologize for your intrusion if need be.

But most of all, believe the above. Falseness will be detected, no doubt... but is it not true? How can a guest that does not leave steal from their host? Were you not given the keys to these doors and that box by someone who wished for you to open them? (Well, you need not mention this part - but you must believe it.)
>> No. 21624
I told you we shouldn't have stolen anything, but noooooooo.
>> No. 21627
[X] The best way to look as though you belong somewhere is to act as if you do. Greet the voice, and act as if your presence here was the most natural thing in the world. Should you be questioned, reply good-naturedly that you were simply exploring the mansion, as you were bade to do, and are not stealing anything. Apologize for your intrusion if need be.

That works.
>> No. 21629
[♱] Take that first card out, raise it toward the ceiling, and whisper: "First Wish 「Fate of the Past」!"
[♱] Assuming that does something, bolt out of the room while she's distracted.

Amusing or not, she will punish you if she catches you, so try not to let her hear your voice. This way you keep your ill-gotten booty, introduce yourself to the wonderful world of danmaku, and don't get your privileges (such the master key) taken away from you.

It might also be a bad idea to show yourself so soon after she ordered Meiling to entertain you. Rather, that will give you an alibi: Remilia wouldn't be able to question your whereabouts during this time without bringing up the unsavory topic of her whoring out Meiling to you.

Even if the danmaku gives off enough light to make you out partially, you'll at least have the benefit of changing into a different set of clothes from the ones you were wearing earlier. When you get back to your room, you'll want to change into the ones you were wearing earlier and hide the ones you're wearing now.
>> No. 21631
The spellcard sounds like it can reverse fate itself for one event. It would be rather a waste to use it here.
>> No. 21635
>>21631

You're falling into the "too good to use" trap. For when thy need arises... we have two more, the last of which is totally blank and could be used to mimic either of the former. Without a sure shot here we can lose at the most, our life, and at the least, the stolen items (including the vial, the most MacGuffiny item yet), with room in between to have all of our spellcards taken from us, as well as every other possibly useful trinket in our possession. Isn't all of that worth one single megalixir?

And don't read too much into the spellcard descriptions. ZUN agreed, it's just danmaku.
>> No. 21637
I am afraid I must appear to quench the fire before it rises too high. I said nothing at first because I did not expect you to try and use one of the mystery cards so soon. Despite what they look like and feel like, these three things are not spellcards. Perhaps they were created in a spellcard’s image, or perhaps their creator wished to play a practical joke; the true reason remains to be seen. Regardless, you will not be shooting any danmaku with them now, or ever.

>>21631 has the right idea, but I will refrain from saying much more at this moment. If further discrepancies arise, I may be forced to reveal the full story behind these items rather than have you waste them needlessly; they are extremely important in the long run. “Use them once…Use them well.”
>> No. 21639
[X] The best way to look as though you belong somewhere is to act as if you do. Greet the voice, and act as if your presence here was the most natural thing in the world. Should you be questioned, reply good-naturedly that you were simply exploring the mansion, as you were bade to do, and are not stealing anything. Apologize for your intrusion if need be.

Christ people, let's not use the Mysterious Card That Will Save Our Asses From Something Just About Equal To Death now.
>> No. 21640
>>21637

That is uncharacteristically irresponsible of you, U.N.Owen.
>> No. 21641
>are not stealing anything

Except, you know, we put things that weren't ours into our sack.

That, I believe, is stealing, no matter how you slice it.
>> No. 21644
>>21641

Ah ha, but in that same line of thought, it's not really "our" sack is it? Or it is, and that the very act of possessing made it "ours" as it now does so for all these other objects in "our" possession?
>> No. 21646
>>You're falling into the "too good to use" trap.

Except, generally the whole reason for falling into the trap is because you KNOW what a particular item does, and so want to save it for some future event where it might be even more helpful than it would now.

Not wanting to use an item because you don't know for certain exactly what it does, how it works, or really anything else concrete about it isn't quite the same thing.

One behavior comes from a sort of hoarder/packrat mentality, while the other is more rooted in a sense of caution.
>> No. 21647
>>21644
Die.
>> No. 21653
>>21637
What?! How is this not important? I've come late to the show, but to me using the "undo button" is the most reasonable response yet. Consider the following: we've been caught stealing by the mistress of the mansion in a room we shouldn't be able to get into, we're operating with the meager knowledge gleaned from a single evening's worth of interaction with the residents of the mansion, every single personal observation hence far has produced additional questions of increasing complexity (as well as portents of imminent death), we're in the presence of someone who has displayed blatant disregard for a person's dignity and honor (let alone the fact that we have the evidence of our theft and third party intervention on our person), and there is simply no indication that we have the faculties to outsmart our opponent in a venue outside of a card game. I'm surprised our counterpart didn't void his bowels the moment the Remilia-sounding person began speaking.

tl;dr there is nothing we can hang our hat on that says we aren't thoroughly fucked in this situation.

If the card really can reverse fate, what better time than now? If I'm misunderstanding the story, please enlighten me to the more positiver interpretation! I beg you!

Self sage since this is a non-vote. I honestly have no idea what vote makes sense in this situation.
>> No. 21654
Well, for one thing, we shouldn't be using the card until we actually know what's going on. At least wait and see if we are actually going to get bad ended. In this case, the situation isn't even all that bad. Remi sounds cheerful, she's not in DIE THIEF mode, and we can more than likely talk our way out of this with nothing more than a few stern words and dirty looks at worst. Hell, she might be nice, this is an opportunity for some one on one chat with her. We're not stealing, we just found some interesting things lying around here and decided to borrow them and take them back to our room.

The cards in general are best saved for emergencies. REAL emergencies. Snow End emergencies. They're not too good to use ever, I'm sure we'll blow them on something stupid eventually since Anon is like that, but because Remi caught us snooping in a room that may or may not even be in use? Come on. Reversing fate wouldn't even help us here, it'd probably return us to before entering the room and we don't get to keep the serum vial etc etc.
>> No. 21657
[x] "Meow."
[x] Light that stick of dynamite and toss it near the door. Make a break for it after the explosion.

That first part to make her bust out laughing and distract her. She'll be fucking livid when she comes to, but for the time being she can't know it was you who did it.
>> No. 21669
>>21657
Except that the moment that stick goes off, sakuya's going to stop time and investigate the source of the sound it generates... and she'll most likely see you.
>> No. 21672
[X] The best way to look as though you belong somewhere is to act as if you do. Greet the voice, and act as if your presence here was the most natural thing in the world. Should you be questioned, reply good-naturedly that you were simply exploring the mansion, as you were bade to do, and are not stealing anything. Apologize for your intrusion if need be.
>> No. 21681
>>21654
The whole "stealing" bit I can see trying to talk your way out of, but how do you suppose we can explain the fact we're doing it in a room that we should not be capable of even being in?

We may have been given a master key to the mansion, but the fact that there are some doors that even it can't open strongly suggests there are some places we are NOT supposed to be in.
>> No. 21683
Am I the only one who thinks that the serum we just acquired was the Hourai Elixir? In canon, there were only two batches made, one for Kaguya herself, and another to bribe humans into keeping quiet(which was intercepted by and consumed by Mokou). Assuming Eirin herself has not consumed the elixir, we very well may have found the third.
Speculation aside, time for voting.
[X] The best way to look as though you belong somewhere is to act as if you do. Greet the voice, and act as if your presence here was the most natural thing in the world. Should you be questioned, reply good-naturedly that you were simply exploring the mansion, as you were bade to do, and are not stealing anything. Apologize for your intrusion if need be.
I do want to see the following worked in though, somehow:
[X] "Meow."
>> No. 21686
>>21683
I think it might be just the opposite, actually. Rather than being something meant to make someone mortal become incapable of dying, perhaps it's meant to make something immortal able to die. Perhaps in case a certain vampire grows tired of living and finally wants to move on, or perhaps in case another becomes too much to handle and must be subdued in a more permanent fashion?
>> No. 21689
File 122444694039.jpg - (370.54KB , 700x875 , 50a855c47ec61f3738d60477d5161eed.jpg ) [iqdb]
21689
[x] Give up; you’ve been caught. Bluff your way out.

If this is Remilia, hiding will make you seem more guilty, plus she's a Vampire, can't she see in the dark? The only chance you have is to give yourself up and use some humor to make light of the fact that you're in a room that you aren't supposed to be in.

However, DO NOT use the dynamite, we are in the basement of a very large mansion. EVERYONE is going to hear/feel it go off and maybe investigate, heck even if it was just Sakuya the chances of you getting back to your room safely are near zero.
>> No. 21690
>>21683

I thought that too when I read
>>Batch 3, 698-072441-H, 50 mL. Yagokoro, Eirin.
but when I read the poem I thought more along the lines of >>21686.
>> No. 21694
[X] The best way to look as though you belong somewhere is to act as if you do. Greet the voice, and act as if your presence here was the most natural thing in the world. Should you be questioned, reply good-naturedly that you were simply exploring the mansion, as you were bade to do, and are not stealing anything. Apologize for your intrusion if need be.
>> No. 21695
>>21686
Then again, it might be Hourai elixir Remilia ordered from Eirin, for Sakuya.
Considering how selfish Remilia is, i wouldn't wonder if she fed that to sakuya forcibly or secretly (it IS only 50ml)...
...though why she hasn't done so yet remains a mystery.
>> No. 21696
File 122445749866.gif - (8.11KB , 259x326 , justice.gif ) [iqdb]
21696
>>21695
Or, perhaps it does something else entirely, like turning whoever drinks it into the ultimate weapon or something. Or, in Meiling's case, the Ultimate Gate Guard.
>> No. 21697
>>21696
The question remains though: Why hasn't it been used already?
>> No. 21699
>>21697
Well, that's why I'm leaning towards the idea that it's not meant for keeping someone alive. Keeping something locked in a box, which is in turned kept in a locked room makes it seem almost like something to be used as a "last resort".

Although, if I were to guess, it's possible that if it were the Elixir and it was meant for Sakuya, perhaps it has not been used out of at least some respect for her wishes to remain human, and not given to her in secret because it would only be a matter of time before she figured out the truth and would never forgive Remilia after she did.

Of course, that doesn't seem like something someone like Remilia would be concerned with, but that could just be due to there being much more to her than what we've seen and think we know about her already.

As seemingly cruel and inhumane keeping someone locked away and alone in some basement room is, it's curious as to why Remilia would keep someone so clearly insane and dangerous alive at all, isn't it? Is she just a sadistic bitch, or does she have some deep attachment to the poor creature in Room 101 that compels her to keep it alive?

I'm guessing these sorts of questions are among the many that we're going to have to try to answer before this is all over, should we manage to live that long.
>> No. 21700
>>21699
I don't think it's going to be possible to answer any questions like we've been trying. Any attempt leads to five more questions. Instead, we should expose every single mystery and question in the mansion. After we do that, all that are left to be found are answers!
>> No. 21701
> [The best way to look as though you belong somewhere is to act as if you do. Greet the voice, and act as if your presence here was the most natural thing in the world. Should you be questioned, reply good-naturedly that you were simply exploring the mansion, as you were bade to do, and are not stealing anything. Apologize for your intrusion if need be.]

This option has won, and will be written within a few hours. However, I am going to take a short break to view a classic film I have not before seen, which I hope will give me both entertainment and inspiration: The Silence of The Lambs. I have heard many good things about it, and if it stimulates my mind like I hope it will, good things may come your way within these pages. And by good, I of course mean bad. But a very good bad.

>>21657
This idea was extremely laugh-worthy on my end, and I commend you for it. While I must admit it would have extremely deviated from the style of the story, it would have been a riot to write the dialog for.

”Oh, what’s this? Little kitty likes to play with fireworks?”
>> No. 21704
>”Oh, what’s this? Little kitty likes to play with fireworks?”

:awesome:
>> No. 21706
>>21701
>This idea was extremely laugh-worthy on my end, and I commend you for it. While I must admit it would have extremely deviated from the style of the story, it would have been a riot to write the dialog for.

Do you think she'd call us a "cat burglar"?

I'd be all for deleting my previous vote if I thought something like that would fly.
>> No. 21712
File 122447070986.jpg - (171.67KB , 438x480 , proffbadass1081699zk9.jpg ) [iqdb]
21712
>>21701
>>if it stimulates my mind like I hope it will, good things may come your way within these pages. And by good, I of course mean bad. But a very good bad.
>> No. 21727
[The best way to look as though you belong somewhere is to act as if you do. Greet the voice, and act as if your presence here was the most natural thing in the world. Should you be questioned, reply good-naturedly that you were simply exploring the mansion, as you were bade to do, and are not stealing anything. Apologize for your intrusion if need be.]

Running won’t work. Hiding won’t work. Fighting won’t work. Sneaking could work, but in a basement as silent as this there’s no way you could keep quiet enough to slip past undetected. There’s really only one thing to do: act innocent. You were told that you could explore the mansion, which is technically what you’re doing right now, isn’t it? No one told you specifically where you couldn’t go, or what you couldn’t touch, so if you simply act like you’ve done nothing wrong, you should be fine.

“I’m right here, miss,” you announce, sounding surprised but not afraid. “What brings you down here this evening?”

She returns the question with one of her own, but her voice is suddenly speaking over your shoulder; you didn’t even see her move. You shiver as her words float into you ear, still maintaining that little musical chime to them. She can see you; she knows where you are.

“No, not me. What are you doing here?”

“Merely exploring around the basement. I trust I am allowed to do so?”

Her voice moves again, this time from above you. It’s haunting how she can shift so quickly without even making any noise.

“Mmm, basements can be scary places, can’t they? Are you sure you’re not afraid?”

“It’ll take a little more than some ominous hallways and dark rooms to frighten me, Miss Scarlet.”

“Fear?” You finally see a light open up in front of you about half the room away, but you wish you didn’t. Two eyes are staring back at you, luminous red eyes shaped like a beast’s. With every word the eyes draw closer to you, bobbing every so slightly as if their owner is actually stalking towards you.

Everyone is scared of something. Scared of new things…scared of new places…scared of new people…scared of pain…scared of death…I wonder what makes you scared? Little boy walking around all alone in the dark house, can’t see where he’s going. Creeping things all around him, going to catch him.”

The eyes are staring right into yours now, not two centimeters from your face. They…they don’t look human at all, not even at a glance. A delicate hand clenches around your throat ever so slightly, your nerves and your reason too high strung to try and bolt away. You can feel sharp fingernails begin to press against your neck, biting into you like teeth.

“I bet you’re scared now.”

Scared? There’s no word in the dictionary for what you’re feeling right now. Scared, terrified, confused, panicked, insane…your emotions go in too many directions for any word to encompass, let alone something as trivial as “scared”. You don’t dare speak or move an inch. She has you completely in her power, a half-second away from squeezing the life out of you. She must know of your forced intrusion, and your snooping; she might even know about your visit to the poor thing in Room 101. You pushed the envelope too far, and now you’re going to pay for it…with your life.

“Meow!”

It’s the last word your ears ever hear before…wait, meow? And why is the pressure on your neck gone? And what happened to the red eyes? You put a hand to your throat carefully, but there’s nothing there except your own flesh, veins pumping blood and adrenaline through every inch of your body just like they should. You can hear padded footsteps on the soft carpet around you, circling in front of your position.

“Little cat likes to explore new secret places, doesn’t he? Little cat found a special key just for him, meow. But little cat shouldn’t be here, should he? Little cat is supposed to stay in his room and behave like a good kitty. Meow! I bet the little cat even found shiny new toys to play with! Little toys for a little kitty! Kitty found a picking tool, a flame-in-a-box, a boom stick, a funny gun, and a stabbity, didn’t he?”

How did, how did she know? How could she possibly sneak into the room and know what you stole in the short time you were occupied past the other door? And furthermore, because this is really starting to confuse you, what’s with the cat language? She’s mocking you, you know it! Her voice doesn’t sound serious at all. What’s she playing at? If she’s going to punish you, why hasn’t she done it yet? Could you be in the clear?

A forceful hand yanks the two books you’ve been carrying up until now out of your loose grasp. “Little kitties don’t know how to read. Little girls do.”

Do you even dare to speak? Should you just wait until she stops being sarcastic? You’d feel a lot more comfortable thinking about this conversation if there was any light, but it’s still as dark as the starless night sky in here. Before you have time to even contemplate uttering a word, you see a small spark. There’s a small violet glow off to your right side, which crackles with miniature lightning inside an invisible sphere.

“Keep what you’ve found. Keep it safe. And please, leave me alone for now.”

Whoever spoke those words didn’t sound at all like Remilia. The voice was still female, and still childlike, but softer and much more humble. It carried an understanding, a depth of meaning that you’ve never heard Remilia exhibit. You doubt if Remilia could even fake such a philosophical tone if she tried. And there was another thing. Please. Remilia has never said please, not even once. Just who is this?

A sudden light blinds you momentarily; those blasted incontinent fill-mens bulbs again? By the time you can see again, there’s no one else in the room. No Remilia, no Sakuya, no Patchouli, No Meiling…no one. You don’t waste any time in booking it out of there and shutting the door (why does it have to be so bloody heavy?). Whatever just happened, you want to put as much distance between you and “it” as possible.

[ ] Write-in option only

====================

>>21683
>I do want to see the [Meow!] worked in though, somehow.
This honorable mention is honorably honorable, and thus shall be honored with honor. Now if you will excuse me, I am afraid I have lost my thesaurus…

>>21712
Non-Professor U. N. Owen smiles upon the use of the word “malarkey!”
>> No. 21729
[ ] That was kind of dickish.
[ ] Well, we were being sort of dickish, too, stealing like that.
[ ] Well, dickery for dickery, I guess.
[ ] Time to get back to my room and regroup.
>> No. 21735
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21735
>>21727
Oh blistering Hell, I hope to the heavens I'm wrong. I always wondered why the fuck there were a handful of Flandre images that had inexplicable clones involved.

"Oh hey! I shattered my little sister's ego into managagle chunks; don't worry, don't worry too much... they're not entirely lethal if you get to know them."

Anyway, we've been given permission to keep what we've found as long as we get out of there quick. That said...

[X] Grab the sword
[X] Extinguish the 'lights'
[X] Relock the room
[X] Go back to your room, lock the door, and retire for the night.

The fact that the sword felt so good draws me to it as a last minute addition to the things we've found. That said, our basement crawling adventures are done for now.
>> No. 21736
[X] That's enough tempting fate and unexpected encounters for one night. Head back to your room to inspect your spoils.

Interesting that she didn't correct us when we addressed her as "Miss Scarlet" and yet judging from her voice and the way she spoke it's possibly NOT Remilia.
Perhaps it's whoever we felt watching us when we passed up investigating the open door to the basement the first time, perhaps they were watching us since we came in, hence why they know exactly what we found and took.

Whoever it is, she seems at least a bit eccentric, if not downright crazy, though not to the degree that the one in Room 101 clearly was.

Can't help but wonder just how many more Scarlets are down there, though if the past two encounters are any indication, whoever we might meet behind the remaining door is probably someone we'd wish we hadn't.
>> No. 21744
[X] That's enough tempting fate and unexpected encounters for one night. Head back to your room to inspect your spoils.

>>21735
The reason for those images would be that flandre has a spellcard where she multiplys into four. How that spellcard manifests itself in this story?
no idea, it could be that flandre is in a permanent state of multiplication, with each clone possessing a different mindset, or perhaps she's suffering from multiple personality syndrome, though i'm unsure what happened to the chains.

Or either one of these two is NOT flandre, and we have a third vampire about again.
Or remilia felt childish and wanted to play around with us.
Or something else that i just haven't thought of yet...
...as a sidenote, koakuma has red eyes as well, doesn't she?
>> No. 21752
[x] That's enough tempting fate and unexpected encounters for one night. Head back to your room to inspect your spoils.

>“Keep what you’ve found. Keep it safe. And please, leave me alone for now.”

Pretty sure this is Flandre talking here.
>> No. 21756
[x] That's enough tempting fate and unexpected encounters for one night. Head back to your room to inspect your spoils.
>> No. 21757
Shame we had to leave so quickly. I'm almost curious as to what would have happened if we had at least said "goodbye" and made some mention about if the kitty might come and visit again sometime.

She did ask us to leave her alone "for now", so I can't help but wonder she was just being extremely polite, or if she perhaps wouldn't object to having Mr. Kitty come back to see her at some later time. Of course, being sure to knock next time, rather than inviting himself in.
>> No. 21759
[That's enough tempting fate and unexpected encounters for one night. Head back to your room to inspect your spoils.]

You don’t want to think about this basement. You don’t want to think about the prisoner of Room 101. You don’t want to think about the strange bedroom and the strange woman who talked to you within it. You don’t want to think about who she could have been, or couldn’t possibly be, or if there could even have been more than one person in there at the end. You just want to get back to you room, a place where you can at least try to feel alone. You did what you came to do: you explored the cellar and answered some questions. There’s no reason to stay down here any longer.

Locking the thick door behind you, you jog down the stone corridors to the stairwell you entered from; no sense trying to find out where the other steps lead just yet. As before, you lock the basement door behind you, and once again tiptoe carefully through the halls to your room, avoiding any possible contact with passersby. You still haven’t forgotten that most of the mansion, or at least Remilia, is probably expecting you to be doing unmentionable things to Meiling right about now, and the less they know the better. Of course, if that really was Remilia in the basement, you might as well just give up trying now. The return trip is fortunately problem-free, and you lock your door from the inside. Time to review just what you managed to whisk away from your basement escapades.

The lockpick set looks like a very wide and large flick-knife, with thirteen different metal picks that flip out and clip in place. It’s too bad you don’t have a clue how to use them, because it looks with enough skill a locked door is essentially meaningless with this in your hands. Still useful to keep on hand, though, and perhaps you could teach yourself a new skill with some of your free time. You set them aside and look at the lighter. It’s small and square, the exterior polished to a silvery mirror shine. The size puzzles you greatly; all the lighters you’ve ever seen are at least five times this size, and very clunky to work besides. The dynamite and throwing knife are really nothing spectacular from what you can see; bland, but they’ll get the job done. The knife seems to have a more friendly shine to it than normal steel would; perhaps a special alloy?

Now for the tough stuff. You look at the odd handgun intently. You can see some of the basic components a pistol should have—barrel, trigger, hammer—but you have no idea where to load the bullets. The grip of the gun is hollow and empty; could that be where you load the rounds? You resist the urge to try and fire it; a gunshot is in no way a good idea if you’re trying to keep a low profile. Guess it’s not nearly as useful as you’d wish.

Before you have a chance to look at the crystal vial again, you sense the familiar cold waves of the spectacles calling you. Sakuya messing with time again, hmm? You’re going to have to get used to thi-wait…If she walks in here while time is stopped, she’s going to see all you possessions lying on the floor on full display! You frantically scoop everything you own into the first pocket you can find on your person, and only just manage to slip away the knife before the spectacles warm up again and you hear a sharp rapping at the door.

“Yes, I’m here. Who is it?” you ask.

Sakuya’s voice responds through the door, though she does not open it. Her reply is curt. “Lady Remilia demands your immediate presence in the library. I am to escort you at once.”

Demands? That doesn’t sound too promising. What does she want with you now? You don’t want to seem suspicious, so you waste no time in opening the door. Ms. Izayoi betrays no indication of what Remilia wants, and only motions you to follow her. As the two of you walk, you try and break the ice by asking a simple question.

“May I ask what the mistress wants with me?”

The maid does not look behind her as she answers. “She did not specify, only that she wished for no delay.” It’s obvious that you are not meant to have any foreknowledge of this new development, and make no efforts to talk for the rest of the journey. While you are more than a little anxious about this sudden summons, not to mention a tad frightened, you can’t help but also feel some intrigue. After all, this will be the first time you’ve really gone into the library and had a good look at the interior. Sakuya wastes no time in entering the large doors and walking inside, and though you’d really like to browse at your leisure, you’ll have to be content with quick glances.

Unlike many other rooms you’ve experienced in this mansion, the overwhelming factor of the library is not size but volume. There are giant, thick bookshelves as far as you can see, rising what must be twenty meters or more into the air, all of them packed to the brim with paper knowledge in every shape and size possible. Unlike what you would normally assume for any large storage area, the shelves are not arranged in parallel, but instead angle away in both directions. Furthermore, you quickly notice that not all the shelves are the same height, and they deviate seemingly at random anywhere from twenty meters to two. As your footsteps echo through the vast repository, you can hear momentary grinding sounds in the distance, like the sound of wood on wood.

You try and stay focused on Sakuya for fear of getting lost, but something in one of the aisles catches you eye. As first you think it’s just another maid, but she’s dressed differently, more in black than white, and with long red hair similar to Meiling’s, something none of the other maids have had thus far. There’s no time for a second glance, however, as Sakuya turns a corner and you increase your stride to catch up.

After what feels like ages the head maid finally stops and turns around, motioning a hand inwards towards the aisle she is next to. You enter cautiously to find Remilia occupied in perusing the books at her eye level. You approach slowly, saying nothing, waiting for her to acknowledge your presence. As she picks a book out from the shelf and flips through its pages, she addresses you from out of nowhere.

“So…How are we enjoying our prize tonight?”

Not good. Not good at all.

[ ] Lie.
[ ] Tell the truth.
[ ] Say nothing.
[ ] Deflect the question.
A good write-in is critical at this juncture!

====================

>>21735
>I always wondered why the fuck there were a handful of Flandre images that had inexplicable clones involved.

>>21744
>The reason for those images would be that flandre has a spellcard where she multiplys into four. How that spellcard manifests itself in this story? No idea…

While a most interesting theory on the workings of Taboo, 「Four Of A Kind」, I am afraid that Mystia has already been using that mode of thought for some time now to characterize Flandre Scarlet. Now what kind of writer would I be to so blatantly copy another’s idea? An intriguing thought, nevertheless.
>> No. 21760
[X] Tell the truth. "Quite well, thank you. I quite enjoyed being able to cheer her up."
>> No. 21763
I can't think of anything better, so i'll go along with this unless something better comes up. It is definately along the right lines, though.
[X] Tell the truth. "Quite well, thank you. I quite enjoyed being able to cheer her up."
>> No. 21764
>>21696
>justice.gif
Well, at least Nathaniel will be happy to know we've found this.

>>21735
I'm still wondering that, but you're most likely right. It would fit with U.N. Owen's comment in Afterthought.
>> No. 21765
[X] Tell the truth. "Quite well, thank you. I quite enjoyed being able to cheer her up."

Not sure how well this will go over. It could be that we'll be interpreted as "enjoying" her in a way other than we mean, which might or might not be good for us, but not nearly as bad as if we had intentionally made it sound like we did something we didn't.
If she suspects that we weren't spending our evening with our "prize" however, Remilia might question us as to what we WERE doing, then.

>>You resist the urge to try and fire it; a gunshot is in no way a good idea if you’re trying to keep a low profile. Guess it’s not nearly as useful as you’d wish.

Waaaaaaaaaait a minute...

>>A strange black tube about the size of a small log. There’s a seam in the center.

Could this be a suppressor?
>> No. 21766
>>21765
Possibly, but the gun in general is not much use to us unless we find some bullets for it.
>> No. 21767
[x] Tell the truth. "Quite well, thank you. I quite enjoyed being able to cheer her up."
>> No. 21768
[X] Tell the truth. "You said that i'll be given a 'suitable' gift, and I must say that I'm offended that you think me brutish enough to 'enjoy' someone who's clearly being forced. I might be a simple man, with simple tastes, but that doesn't make me a rapist as well."

A bit confrontational, but meiling really was in shambles, and i still find it curious that remilia thought THAT was a proper gift for us...
>> No. 21769
[X] Tell the truth. "You said that i'll be given a 'suitable' gift, and I must say that I'm offended that you think me brutish enough to 'enjoy' someone who's clearly being forced. I might be a simple man, with simple tastes, but that doesn't make me a rapist as well."

deleted my earlier post and changing to this
>> No. 21770
>>A bit confrontational, but meiling really was in shambles, and i still find it curious that remilia thought THAT was a proper gift for us...

True, it does make you wonder just what kind of person she takes you for.
>> No. 21772
[x] Tell the truth. "You said that i'll be given a 'suitable' gift, and I must say that I'm offended that you think me brutish enough to 'enjoy' someone who's clearly being forced. I might be a simple man, with simple tastes, but that doesn't make me a rapist as well."

Remilia, what were you thinking!?
>> No. 21774
>[x] Tell the truth. "You said that i'll be given a 'suitable' gift, and I must say that I'm offended that you think me brutish enough to 'enjoy' someone who's clearly being forced. I might be a simple man, with simple tastes, but that doesn't make me a rapist as well."

To which Remilia responds, lying through her teeth: "What are you talking about?"

And Meiling is brought before you and forced to "confess" that she made the whole story up in a clumsy effort to seduce you. The crying girl is cuffed upside the head and told to kneel and beg your forgiveness. Remilia tells you not to worry—that Meiling will be appropriately punished for her indiscretion.

You don't feel any better.

Now how many of you are really willing to pay the price for rebuffing the "charity" of Remilia Scarlet?

[x] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[x] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."
>> No. 21775
>>21774
Crap.

[x] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[x] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."

We did bring the ribbons in case of something like this, after all.
>> No. 21776
Well, if UN Owen didn't have the idea to do something like that already, he does now. We know there are lasting consequences for the answer, or otherwise he wouldn't have stressed how a write-in is "critical".

[x] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[x] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."

You're deflecting the question with a remark that could be interpreted in a number of different ways, and yet the ribbons confirm that Meiling did in fact follow her orders. I don't think you'll do better than that.
>> No. 21777
[x] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[x] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."

What they said
>> No. 21778
>>21759
[X] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[X] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."

Ah ha!
>> No. 21779
>>21778
brilliant. I jump on board this train.
[X] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[X] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."
>> No. 21780
[x] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[x] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."

Vote changan' gaems.
>> No. 21781
[x] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[x] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."
>> No. 21782
[x] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[x] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."
>> No. 21783
[x] Pull the ribbons out from your pocket, letting them dangle between your fingers.
[x] "I'll say this: Sometimes a gift is more beautiful when it's still in its wrappings."

You have my axe.