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24451 No. 24451
The last thread isn’t quite dead yet, but the Sage of Death shall soon approach it, and considering my limited time for writing in the next few days, I’d rather not have an autosaged thread limping around in case some heated discussion flares up.

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

[Deep breaths, calm down. Panicking solves nothing. Inhale 4 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, exhale 6 seconds, hold it for 2. Repeat until reasonably calm.]
[Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.]
[Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!]
[If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.]

You try to remain calm. The only way you can win is to think straight, and the only way to think straight is to remain calm. You breathe in and out deeply, watching the candle flicker next to you. In, out, in, out. You slow your breaths even more, holding them for a few seconds before exhaling gradually. Your rapid heartbeat slows, your twitching limbs relax, your shivers subside. That’s better. In, out, in, out.

With a more composed head, you begin to really inspect this device. It’s almost maddeningly simple: A few metal posts connected to the back and side of your chair angle inwards, supporting the gruesome spike with solid rigidity. When you look closely at it, you can see the spike is actually threaded like a shallow drill: easy to slide in, but tough to slide out. Another set of posts hold a small hollow cylinder a few centimeters behind the spike. The cylinder houses the infamous “pin”, one end splaying out close to you like a rough spoon, easily gripped with your mouth if you tried. The wires are threaded through a hole on the other side of the pin like a needle’s eye, and a second glance shows that the wires are actually very tight. If this device functions exactly like Flandre said, it would only take a short tug on the pin to jerk the wires, thus freeing you from your captivity.

There’s got to be a way to break the system. No device, no matter how well-engineered, is foolproof. You inch your head this way and that, testing your mobility. It’s not very good; seems that the back of the chair curves inwards just enough to prevent you from trying anything extravagant. You shake your limbs and twist your hands and feet, trying to pop the wires free with your frenzied motions, but to no avail. Maybe, if you just tilted your head…No, no good. The spike is already too close to your eye, hindering any fancy thoughts. And if you try to turn your head as you push forwards, having the drill graze your skin rather than your eye, your mouth won’t be nearly close enough to pull the pin. It’s no good; no matter how many plans you think of, Flandre’s death-chair is just one step ahead of you every time.

The candle is unfortunately a fast burning one, and though you doubt more than ten minutes have passed you by, the candle is already half as tall as it used to be. Too much longer and you’ll be back to the pitch blackness you once had, and then you might not be able to find the pin even if you did sacrifice your eye. No, no, don’t think like that; the pin’s right there, it’s just a few centimeters out of reach straight ahead. All you have to do is tilt forwards, clench your teeth around the protrusion, and…and…

The fear tries to creep back into you. You can’t imagine what the pain of losing an eye must feel like. Worse, the psychological pain of yourself being the one who removes it! You have the power to go or stop, sacrifice or stagnate. If it wasn’t up to you, if someone else would just forcibly push your head into the awaiting embrace of those cold iron spirals…but it’s you, only you. Until help arrives, it’s just you…

Help. Help has to come. It must! Nathaniel and Cirno, they must be coming for you. They can make it through their games, you know they can. Nathaniel has to have hidden reserves of courage within him; he couldn’t stand up to Flandre and you like that if he didn’t. He says he’s faced death before, too many times in fact. This shouldn’t be any different; he can do it, he’ll come for you. And Cirno…the strongest fairy, the strongest youkai ever. She’s gone to any lengths to prove how strong she really is; not just physically, but even mentally. She’s been dead-set on protecting you all this time, surely she’ll come barreling though that hallway any second now.

This gives you an idea. Light or no light, you should still be able to scry, right? You can tell at a glance just how bad off the other two are. If only you could communicate rather than just watch…but there’s no time for that now. Nathaniel first. Focus, focus, see him there, in your mind. See through his eyes…

Nathaniel views a small room not unlike yours, except this one also has a heavy iron door on it. He looks down at a table, twiddling his thumbs nervously. So his arms are free, that’s good to see. But what’s that on the table? You see first a small vial of liquid, pearly-white, that looks very much like the one you found in the locked box. No, wait, it’s the same one! So Flandre went through your pockets, did she? You wonder just what she took from you, and from Nathaniel for that matter. Also resting on the table is a silver chalice filled with red wine, and a similar chalice filled with water tinted ever so slightly green. No, not wine. It’s too opaque, too red, too…thick. It has to be blood. A candle rests on the table, must stouter and longer-lasting than yours, just within Nathaniel’s reach. A string rests in the middle of his vision which trails down off the table, separating into the seven fuses on a bundle of dynamite, the same bundle you saw before in Flandre’s room.

This game…what could the goal of this game be? The door has no latch or handle that you (or rather, Nathaniel) can see, but as far as you can tell Nathaniel is not bound or restrained in any other way. Obviously the dynamite is strong enough to blow the door wide open, but with the size of the room being what it is, he would surely die instantly if that were to happen. How can he win, then? Does the answer rest within the liquids lolling about so unassumingly on the table before him? You don’t doubt Flandre must have told Nathaniel something to the tune of what the liquids did, but without that information yourself, his situation is a total enigma to you. However, it seems he won’t be rescuing you any time soon. Your spirits fall a little.

Your thoughts and focus now turn towards Cirno, who presents you with a much more frightening view of the world. Her vision jerks madly around as she jumps to and fro inside a claustrophobic tunnel, releasing streams of icicles into the darkness. The light in her area is somehow bright enough to reveal…gaaahh! What in the bloody world is that?!

(It’s…)

>> No. 24452
(…a trap!)

Cirno appears to be fighting some pale-colored creature, short and bipedal, with vicious claws and burning eyes. On its back is a chaos of appendages, some demented combination of bat, bird, and insect wings. If you could hear anything out of Cirno’s ears, you’d expect the creature to be emitting blood-curdling shrieks as Cirno’s flurry of ice opens up rivers of crimson from its body. The pale beast is not slowed, however, and releases either balls of danmaku of balls of lightning—you can’t tell which—and neither can you tell if Cirno dodges the attack. Within seconds the creature’s wounds have already closed up and the icy darts shatter away like dust, but Cirno doesn’t wait for another counterattack. You see her palm shoot outwards—her hand is drizzled with spots of blood—and the monstrosity becomes crystallized inside a statue of ice. As she clenches her fist together, the statue shatters into pieces of clear ice, white snow, and red blood. She walks up to the creature and observes the carnage. You can made out a clawed hand here, a feathery stump there, and a piece of the head that once was alive only ten seconds ago. In death it looks human, even female, but you can’t just so easily forget what it was in life.

Cirno’s left side becomes blurred with something red—blood?—and she brushes in away. In her right hand she now holds a sepia-toned picture, bent and torn with too many years of viewing and re-viewing. It’s a picture of three men and one beast standing together in a street, smiling happily. Just a common, friendly photograph to them apparently. Not so much to you.

Standing in the back row is a strange creature, as tall and half again as the men in front of it. Its face and head look very much like the dragons you’ve seen in books before, but it appears to have the proportions of a well-muscled human. It is a very serious face, full of age and wisdom; a face that you would expect to speak very little, but say very much.

The man to the right is dressed in slick pants and a thin jacket, both very dark but not exactly black, his arms folded in front of him confidently. His hair is most definitely black, though, and appears to be both messy and straight at the same time somehow. The way he stands—leaned back slightly with his crossed arms posed just so, a little smirk on his face—simply emanates bravado, style, and ego, all those features that a “Number-One Guy” would probably have.

A third figure in the front-center is more of a boy, not even coming up to the shoulders of the dark-clad man. Dressed in a loose shirt with a hood attached and baggy slacks, he has his hands in his pockets, looking very meek, but still full of childish spirit. His face…no, that can’t be! His face is a perfect double of Adam’s. An Adam without wings, without fangs, and without two-colored eyes (even without a color picture you can tell they’re the same hue), but Adam nonetheless. Seeing him in this picture makes your brain skip a few measures, and you can barely keep your focus on Cirno’s eyes. This must have been taken before Adam became a vampire somehow. But what is Adam doing in this picture? And how does Cirno have it?

The fourth man, though, on the left…a single second of looking at his face is all it takes to make you completely lose focus of Cirno and return you to your own miserable state, the candle on the wall little more than a burning pile of mush, now. This man has no outstanding qualities to speak of—simple pants and leather jacket, kind face, tangled hair—but his presence jars you like you’ve never been jarred before in your life. Your heart literally stops in your chest from the extreme shock, and a wave of cold sweat emanates from your body like a ghostly aura.

The fourth man…is Nathaniel.

Not possible. Not possible! NOT POSSIBLE!! Nathaniel…and Adam…together, in the same picture, what must have been years ago. There’s no explanation…no reason for them to be in the same picture. Has to be fake, this can’t be real, this can’t be happening, why are they together, why didn’t he say anything, what does it mean what does it mean what does it mean?!

The candle’s wick glows for a few seconds, then winks out completely, leaving you in the complete and utter darkness. No light, no sound, no nothing. Nathaniel’s trapped in a room, unmoving, practically in a stalemate with the dynamite. Cirno is fighting for her life against who knows what kinds of monsters, and she’s hurt. She said fairies just reincarnate if they die, but if she’s not been healing her cuts lately, that might not matter any more. Nathaniel needs you…Cirno needs you…but you need Cirno. She’s at least alive and free, and any minute she might comes rushing down that hallway, bloodied and bruised, yes, but still alive. Or…she might die before she reaches you. Could you live with that?

You have to get out of here, you have to get out now! Your friends need you! There must be a way, what can you do that you haven’t tried? Danmaku, yes, danmaku might push the pin out if you shoot it enough, right? It causes humans pain and can rip clothing, why shouldn’t it push a small pin? You know this might sting, but it’ll be far better than losing an eye. You concentrate on a very small, very solid beam of bullets, generate it a meter away from your face, and then fire. The bullets slap at your face like fat raindrops in a storm, but you have to press hard, you have to, it has to be strong to push the pin. More bullets, more force, more! Push! Your face burns with pain, but you grit your teeth and never let up. The bonds remain tight as ever, but any second now, any second now they’ll pop free. You can go rescue Cirno with both eyes still intact, find Nathaniel, then bloody well leave this hellhole behind. Any second now…any second now…

You lose focus several minutes later, the burning agony of a hundred thousands bullets in the face too much to bear. Despair begins to set in, and you’re too tired to swat it away. You are as much of a prisoner now as you were when you woke up. Flandre locked up your salvation, then handed you a double-edged sword as a key. You have no candle, no Nathaniel, maybe no Cirno, and possibly no hope. All you have is a few memories, a few worthless questions, Flandre’s insane rules…

…And one right eye.

[ ] Wait right here. Help will come. Cirno is on her way to save you!
[ ] The spike…it hungers for the jellies of your eye. Slake its thirst.
[ ] …isn’t there anything you can do? (Write-in)

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

>>24433
>I thought up a rant on how we must show Flandre compassion after this, and think we should, but consideration on that can be held in reserve for awhile. I also started sounding like Nathaniel. hm.
Despite your hatred for him, he’s getting to you. Justice prevails.

>>24439
I am sorry that thanks are the only words I can give you. ‘Tis been an honor traveling through this story with you, and with every compliment like this I receive, my resolve grows stronger. I am happy you put me in such high regard, and will endeavor to not disappoint in these dark times.

>>24441
>I like the idea if only because it draws a more sympathetic picture of her, motivated by loneliness rather than mere sadism.
You have no idea what motivates Flandre Scarlet to action. In fact, neither do I. This story is a journey for me as much as you in finding the truth about Flandre Scarlet. She is a being who has hidden her true reasons deep, and the search has not been easy for me. I admit that I once forgot who she was and what she meant during this story…but I have now since remembered. May God have mercy on her soul.
>> No. 24453
So how is our access to our inventory?
>> No. 24454
[x] The spike…it hungers for the jellies of your eye. Slake its thirst.

Bitches love the eyepatch.
>> No. 24456
Hmm..
> Your hands and feet are numb from a lack of blood flow, due to the vice-like leather straps which bind your arms, legs, and chest to the chair.
> danmaku might push the pin out if you shoot it enough, right? It causes humans pain and can rip clothing

>leather straps
>rip clothing

[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.

Well, it's worth a shot at least.
>> No. 24457
[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
>> No. 24458
[X] Try using danmaku on the straps.

[X] If that fails... …isn’t there anything you can do? Where is Flandre? You saw through her eyes once. You can do so again. And maybe you can do more than that...
>> No. 24459
No matter what, we can't lose an eye.
Our power, scrying, requires the use of sight; therefore, our eyes are our greatest assets.

What are our options?
We can try to come up with something clever, but if it doesn't work we'll have wasted precious time.
Well, trying to tear leather straps seems reasonable.

[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
>> No. 24460
[x] Bite a piece of string off your shirt, use your tongue to weave together a whip and Indiana Jones style catch that pin and pull with your tongue! Macgyver style!

Just kidding.

[x] The spike…it hungers for the jellies of your eye. Slake its thirst...do it for Cirno.

She wants to learn something!? Fine! Now that we know Cirno won't be needing our extra eye to escape we don't need it either! We'll show Flandre what it means to be friends!

...ugh, I think I might skip the next post though...
>> No. 24461
[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.

I'm going to be pissed if it turns out the only way to progress is to lose our eye.
>> No. 24462
>[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
What exactly is the rationale for doing this when it didn't work on the pin?
>> No. 24464
>>24462
The pin is metal.
The straps are leather.

It's better than gouging our eye out, which solves nothing and means giving in to this "game".
>> No. 24465
>>24462
Danmaku rips clothing. Leather is often used as a material in clothing.
>> No. 24466
>>24453
And how would we reach any of it?
>> No. 24467
File 122931871685.png - (357.38KB , 475x750 , 203561.png ) [iqdb]
24467
>>24459
But if we're down an eye, then that broken pair of glasses will fit just right, so yeah!

One too many libations to be making a decision of this calibre tonight. Good thing the exams grant us respite for a while, this probably won't be an easy decision. My slightly inebriated notion is to adopt a Spartan philosophy to the present situation and be thankful that the gods saw fit to grace us with a spare.

Pic related.

Nathaniel's test, though, that got me pondering. The challenge is to get out, and he is presented with three choices, just like us. I get the impression that his choices are a little more tricky than ours. The chalice of hemoglobin is probably Flandre's blood (hence the bloody arm, lending some credence to my suspicions regarding what our eye extractor has been basted in), the vial is either Hourai Elixir/Anti-Hourai Elixir (did we ever get a concensus on that?), the green tinted liquid probably isn't water.
I initially thought the candle was connected to the fuse, so the options were to drink one of the chalices, use the other to dowse the candle, or suicide by stuff-in-vial. My assumption was Nathaniel has to have been around for an unnaturally long while if he still appears the same age in a time worn photo with pre-vampire Adam.
But, the more I ponder, the more his game intrigues me. Assuming the vial is Hourai Elixir batch 3 (1 and 2 being taken by Kaguya and Eirin), what's the difference between the vial and the blood? Well, both offer the healing capabilities to survive several packs of dynamite (I think), but why choose being Flandre's thrall when you can have the benefit without the control? My wager is that there's still a chance of dying as a vampire's thrall. Someone can slay you or your master; something to that effect. With the Hourai Elixir, you've moved beyond humanity, a timeless existence (stealing from Harker here) cursed to experience eternity. The third glass? My guess it's youkai juice: turns you into something that's not quite human, probably more than a little feral too. Yes, you'll live through a big ass explosion, and the sweet release of death eventually awaits you, but you are thoroughly not human anymore. Therefore
Nathaniel's Game: the only way to get out of this room is with the dynamite surrounding the room (or if someone can let you out, like us). Each of these choices will let you survive the blast. Pick one or die. I think she's asking Nathaniel to sacrifice his humanity to get out: live forever with no exception with the elixir, survive the explosion (just barely) with a chance of dying but as a youkai, or live with chance of dying but as her thrall. All guess work, but regardless of specifics it's probably a mind fuck of that level for a guy like Nat. Our game is probably a "derp" moment for him.
I suspect Cirno's game follows the same progression (regression?), but why she was given that photo completely boggles the mind.

So, anyway... what are the chances that this CYOA is a Touhou/Cthulhu mythos cross-over?
>> No. 24469
Maybe that's the whole jist of this?

The blood...notice how Flandre didn't give any blood to Cirno, probably the only one among us that can't turn into a vampire and instead of a trap like test, she simply gave Cirno something to distract her.

Maybe...maybe she wants us to take the blood by our own decisions...even if we didn't intend to? Get more vampires seeing as how the Scarlets are the only remaining ones in the world?

Like Adam?
>> No. 24470
>>24467

Hm, you sir raise a good hypothesis, it would seem that Flandre has fashioned this game to reflect the intelligence of the players. Cirno was given a task that would test her strength, Nathaniel was given a task to test his mental fortitude, and we were given a task to test the very fiber of our being. I'm still for trying danmaku on the straps, but it may delay the inevitable ...
>> No. 24471
Whatever happens, once we're free I've got half a mind to use the prize (Equitas) to mete out justice on Flandre.

Unfortunately, I think playing vampire hunter out of vengeance is pretty out of character, and it probably won't fly with you old softies anyway.
>> No. 24472
>>24471
>Whatever happens, once we're free I've got half a mind to use the prize (Equitas) to mete out justice on Flandre.

If Cirno ends up dying, then this is the only option as far as I'm concerned.
>> No. 24473
>>24470
>I'm still for trying danmaku on the straps, but it may delay the inevitable ...

Yeah, that's my read on things. U.N. Owen has crafted this so that someone has to resolve to make some kind of monumentally difficult choice. We've got a notion of what it entails for Nathaniel, and it probably applies to Cirno as well. I don't doubt that if we wait long enough one of them will make the choice and end up saving us. However, Nathaniel's is probably an order of magnitude more difficult than ours and... I simply don't want Cirno to have to make that choice.

Guh, can someone rewrite the eye option into something that doesn't sound like a 4chan meme?

>>24472
Agreed.
>> No. 24474
[ ]Scry the blue angel. The one who will strive.


[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
>> No. 24476
[X]You have two eyes for a reason, loosing one is not going to kill you.
>> No. 24477
Considering the choices we've been given, waiting could be an option since Cirno seems to have thoroughly destroyed that beast, it would be prudent to scry again to see what she is doing, if she must fight other monsters then we should definitely factor that into our decision. As much as I am opposed to losing an eye, losing Cirno is unacceptable. We got her into this mess, we could have let her sleep peacefully in our room. If her life is in danger, and all we have to do sacrifice an eye, then so be it.

Would it be possible to somehow avoid damaging the eye entirely and just bloody up the socket around it?
>> No. 24478
[X]You have two eyes for a reason, losing one is not going to kill you.

Yes
>> No. 24479
[X]You have two eyes for a reason, loosing one is not going to kill you.

>If her life is in danger, and all we have to do sacrifice an eye, then so be it.

Agreed
>> No. 24480
On one hand, I'm inclined to suggest we muster some danmaku as a makeshift light source, and just take the plunge. Cirno needs medical attention, and we might want to hurry if we want to find Nathaniel in one piece instead of several.

On the other hand, what guarantee is there that the device works exactly as Flandre says it does? If we skewer our eye and find ourselves still stuck in that chair despite pulling that pin with all our might, boy won't our face ever be red.

Still, assuming we all survive this little ordeal, at least Nathaniel can never call our trustworthiness into question ever again. Of course, assuming we all get out he will be the least of our worries by that point.

Someone is bound to be curious as to why we're short an eye, and odds are they won't be happy to hear the answer.
>> No. 24481
[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
>> No. 24482
[X] Try using danmaku on the straps.
[X] If that doesn't work...you have two eyes for a reason, losing one is not going to kill you.
>> No. 24483
[X]You have two eyes for a reason, loosing one is not going to kill you.
>> No. 24485
[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
[x] Pssh we got impaled by an Icicle Fall from The Strongest! What's one metal spike?

In regard to Nathan's test... I'd venture the choices are Hourai's eternal life at the cost of his sanity (lol big loss there), undeath with flandre's blood at the cost of his humanity (is he even human?), and... dunno, water mixed The Ooze to turn him into a Ninja Turtle.
>+ A strange black tube about the size of a small log. There’s a seam in the center.

I was gonna say that the last choice was suicide at the cost of his dignity but the dynamite option would kill him anyway.
>> No. 24486
Leather is much thicker than normal cloth. And those straps are designed to restrain a struggling victim so they must be pretty tough. I think we'd be wasting our time trying to break them.

So I think it's better to sacrifice one eye.

[X]You have two eyes for a reason, loosing one is not going to kill you.
>> No. 24487
>>24480
Agreed on all accounts, especially on not wanting to wait any longer. The last update doesn't say if our stream of bullets provide any illumination, but I assume they do. Queue some up as a makeshift candle and do it.

[X]You have two eyes for a reason, loosing one is not going to kill you.

I hope there's an awesome eye-patch at the end of all this.
>> No. 24488
>[X]You have two eyes for a reason, loosing one is not going to kill you.

Yes, but some fates are worse than death.

Note that Cirno and Nathaniel are not the only ones who might help us. Sakuya should eventually notice that we're missing, just as she did when she interrupted yesterday. Adam too might help us.

[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
[x] Scry the other residents of the mansion before you do something rash.
>> No. 24489
[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
>> No. 24490
>>24488
Good point. The other residents would surely have taken notice that Nathaniel, Cirno and Mr. Farmer is missing. It's worth a shot.

[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
[x] Scry the other residents of the mansion before you do something rash.
>> No. 24494
I wonder about Nathaniel, and if his twiddling his thumbs is not due to his trying to decide what to do, but due to him having already decided what to do. Namely, do nothing, and wait.

He knows about our scrying ability, and so must be aware there's at least a chance we know about his current predicament. It could be that he's holding off on acting in the hopes that we can get to him and open the door before he's forced to pick his poison or get blown to bits.

Or not.

[X] Try using danmaku on the straps.
[X] Scry the other residents of the mansion before you do something rash.
[X] If no help appears to be coming, do something rash.
[X] Take the plunge.
>> No. 24495
[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
[x] Scry the other residents of the mansion before you do something rash.
[x] Scry Cirno one more time.
We may be delaying the inevitable here, but I also am very suspicious of Flandre's blood on the drill, U.N. Owen gave a key hint when he described how the blood reacted when it fell on our pants, if vampire blood were to enter our bloodstream, who knows what would happen. Thus I think we should put off impaling our eye until we know there is no way someone is coming to save us and we know that Cirno is in imminent, grave danger,
>> No. 24496
Adam might have been put through the same game we are in right now.

If he took the plunge and and stabbed his eye with the needle, that may explain the different eye colors.
>> No. 24498
[X] Try using danmaku on the straps.
[X] Scry the other residents of the mansion before you do something rash.
[X] If no help appears to be coming, do something rash.
[X]You have two eyes for a reason, loosing one is not going to kill you.

or

[X]Use a wish to get the hell out of this fucking chair already!
>> No. 24499
[x] Scry Flandre.
[x] Try using danmaku on the straps.
[x] Scry the other residents of the mansion before you do something rash.

Worth trying, might tell us more about what she's up to, or if she has anything else planned. The needle...I can't see that being anything other than a horrible bad end, or worse.
>> No. 24500
>>24476
>loosing one is not going to kill you
Well, technically, you're right. Loosening an eyeball to pop it out of its socket wouldn't kill us, probably, and in fact, it might even work!

...if we knew how to do that. But we don't. Also, now that I've mocked you at length:
>losing
Fixed. Learn the fucking difference.
>> No. 24503
>>24496
All the more reason not to take the plunge.
>> No. 24504
Let me get this straight: Cirno is injured and being hunted by monsters. Nathaniel is about to be blown to kingdom come. We're presented with the option of waiting passively or living through gruesome disfigurement while potentially saving the lives of our friends...

...now is an appropriate time to wonder what Remilia is having for breakfast and what illegible language Patchouli is reading?

I'm genuinely curious: what aspect of the last two updates lend themselves to creative problem solving? We're immobile, blind, and painfully aware that our fellow game-players are in fatal peril. What part of this situation lends credence to trying to find an alternative solution? Convince me, please.
>> No. 24505
>>24504
>Nathaniel is about to be blown to kingdom come.
Might. The trap could be anything, including nothing.
>> No. 24506
>>24504
It's precisely because there seems to be no other option that it lends itself to creative problem solving.

This game's only objective, and in fact the only explicitly-stated "rule" is for us to get out of the chair. That's it. We were told a means to that end, but nothing was said about it being the ONLY way, nor that there was any restriction on how we are allowed to escape.

As pointed out before, the fact that Flandre left us indicates she isn't interested in the means, but the result.

Besides, the most obvious solution isn't necessarily the best one, and may in fact serve more as a distraction from other possibilities. Even if all options are unpleasant in some ways, some are bound to be relatively better than others. Better to cut your ear off rather than have a drill pierce your brain, or break your foot rather than saw it completely off, right?

I don't think there's much chance of getting out of this little game unscathed, but we could still try to minimize the damage.
>> No. 24507
Already voted, but reiterating. Under no circumstances should we agree to Flandre's terms and poke our eye out. Playing along with her is what got us into this mess in the first place. Seeing Cirno in danger hurts, but if we stab our own eye out we're not going to be in any position to help her. We're a scryer. That's our talent, that's what we can do. Let's put it to good use.
>> No. 24509
70+ posts with one update? Awesome
>> No. 24510
I knew making a new thread was a good idea. Take that, people who think you shouldn't start a new CYOA topic until the old one is autosaged and the voters have to scroll down half a page to discuss the finer points of the story while in a decaying thread!

My first two exams felt like they went quite well in retrospect, though one can never really tell until the concrete scores are presented before one's eyes. The amount of studying I need for today's academic examination is low, therefore I think I will be able to grace you will an update before too long, and in fact a good part of it is already written. Pending swift voting speed, I should also be able to pen another update later tonight.

The volume of discussion and voting here is quite amazing. I hope the next update will reflect that; it's turning out to be a three-post wall already, and might even be the longest update yet again. There's a lot of points I want to fine-tune in it, however, so...I don't know, please wait warmly until it is ready, or something like that.
>> No. 24511
I'm leaning towards either impaling (and using reverse scrying to make sure Flandre can feel our own pain) or using a wish myself. Since people want something else for this thing though, I'll propose this :

[x] Scry through Cirno's eyes, and throw out as much danmaku as you can supporting her. Remote danmaku as you will.
>> No. 24512
>>24510
>it's turning out to be a three-post wall already, and might even be the longest update yet again.

OH god i can hardly wait.
>> No. 24517
From what I have counted, the important votes stand thus:
8 votes for only piecing your eye to reach the pin.
8 votes for only using danmaku on the straps.
2 votes for using danmaku on the straps, and then piercing your eye if that fails.
4 votes for using danmaku on the straps, and then scrying mansion residents if that fails.
2 votes for using danmaku on the straps, scrying mansion residents if that fails, and then piercing your eye if everything fails.

This adds up to exactly 12 votes for eventually piercing the eye, and exactly 12 votes for using danmaku without eventually piercing your eye. However, the one thing both voting parties seem to be in agreement on is that Cirno is in peril, and tarrying longer may make her situation worse. Thus, though the decision is a hard one for me to make, I shall write the next segment based on the following statement, which I hope expresses the wishes of both parties: Cirno is in danger, but so are you. Attempt everything you can think of, as fast as you can think of it, but if absolute push comes to absolute shove, better to lose an eye to save Cirno then to wait in shackles and potentially lose her.

As expected, this is the longest update I have made by far, spanning a gratuitous 3,710 words. Normally I don’t exactly like making such long updates—too long without voter input makes me feel like I’m railroading the story’s progress—but this scenario lent itself to a lot of dialog needed for dramatic build-up. I expect comments to now start flooding in about how I should have chose this or that, but the votes were tied, and sometimes I have to make a choice. Life continues.

>>24456
That is a magnificent idea. I commend you for your ingenious plan.

>>24460
>[x] Bite a piece of string off your shirt, use your tongue to weave together a whip and Indiana Jones style catch that pin and pull with your tongue! Macgyver style!
I don’t think even MacGyver could pull that off.

>...ugh, I think I might skip the next post though...
Not really, just four or five paragraphs. You can see it coming.

>>24467
Great analysis here; rational conclusions based on given information. I like it. Not telling you if it’s right, though.

>So, anyway... what are the chances that this CYOA is a Touhou/Cthulhu mythos cross-over?
Not very high.

>>24469
Mwahahaha? Evil, suspenseful laughing is not my forte.

>>24473
>Guh, can someone rewrite the eye option into something that doesn't sound like a 4chan meme?
I was unaware that it was; I just thought it sounded ominous and gross. I’ve never visited 4chan myself, so I wouldn’t know.

>>24495
>Thus I think we should put off impaling our eye until we know there is no way someone is coming to save us and we know that Cirno is in imminent, grave danger.
Not a bad idea. Let’s try that.

>>24505
>Might. The trap could be anything, including nothing.
Now hold on just one minute! A red herring is a red herring, but, a trap could be anything! It could even be a red herring! I always wanted a red herring…

…I apologize for that.


And so, without further adieu, I give you…Wall.
>> No. 24518
[Try using danmaku on the straps.]
[Scry the other residents of the mansion before you do something rash.]
[Scry Cirno one more time.]
[If no help appears to be coming…you have two eyes for a reason, losing one is not going to kill you.]

Can’t…no, can’t, can’t give in. Flandre’s insane. Her rules are insane. Lose an eye, or stay here and rot? You refuse to submit to her game. This situation she’s put you into, it’s more than just winning or losing; lives are at stake here. You might win, but if Cirno or Nathaniel dies in the process, you might as well have lost. No, no! Don’t think about it, it’s not going to happen, you’ll all get out of this! Somehow…You wish you knew how.

Your face burns and screams for relief from the self-inflicted danmaku you just shot at it, all for nothing. Bah, danmaku…what good is something if it looks pretty but does nothing else? At least it can give you some momentary light while it’s active; makes things a bit less spooky. You try and set some bullets around you like magical candles, but focusing them like that is something you’ve never tried before. You can slow their speed down, but right now with your mind thoroughly exhausted, they last for only three or four seconds before waltzing off into a wall to die.

Waaaaitaminute. Danmaku…rip clothing…clothing…does leather count as “clothing?” Your bonds are most definitely made of leather, and though it’s thick, it’s definitely weaker than metal. Could you burn through it with danmaku? No time to waste; you summon up all the concentration you can muster from the dark recesses of your mind, pouring it into a fierce silver-gold beam of magical light directed at your right wrist. The color subconsciously morphs into a flurry of red-orange and yellow, as if the appearance of fire will burn the leather away any faster; a completely worthless gesture, but you don’t care right now. Cirno’s counting on you, you have to get out quickly. More bullets join the stream, widening it, solidifying it, until the entire strap and most of your right hand is engulfed in fiery danmaku, endeavoring valiantly to eat away at the thick strap. You hard burns like it’s literally on fire, but the more pain you’re in means the faster this gets over with. Must go faster, must go faster, go go go go go! Go!! Burn! BURN!!

No good. Hopeless. Pitiful. Less than a joke. The leather appears to have been roughed up slightly, but it’s as thick as ever. You could probably spend over an hour on this one alone, and you realize in crushing despair that you’d have to burn through two other straps as well to free your arm enough to pull the pin. Three hours, four hours, five hours…Cirno can’t last that long. Why did you say yes to Flandre, why for the love of everything good in this world did you say yes?! An instant death turning to ash would be a joy compared to this; no worries, no fears, just a simple, easy passing. Might have even been painless.

But you’re alive. Nathaniel’s alive. Cirno’s alive. And because you’re still alive, you can’t die yet, not yet! Someone has to come, anyone! You must have been out for hours; the mansion residents must be wondering where you are by now, right? Remilia might not exactly like you, but she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to lose you; all it would take was a simple word and Sakuya could stop time or something, spending days searching for you in a matter of minutes, perhaps even seconds! You wonder…what are they doing now? One quick scry might change everything.

You waste precious minutes of your time and Cirno’s in the eyes of others; searching, understanding, hoping…fearing. With each look into a resident’s eyes you frantically analyze their positions, their apparent movements, anything that could be used to help save you.

Meiling paces back and forth in front of the mansion gate, slowly. No, wait, not in front of the gate, behind it. She seems to always keep one eye on the mansion doors itself, and another eye always sweeping the pristine grounds in front of it. The sky above her is dark and picturesque, with hundreds of sparkling stars twinkling in the heavens. Her view does nothing abnormal in the short time you peek into her world, and time is at a premium. She’s not looking for you; merely doing her job. A small disappointment, but there are others who can help you. Must move on.

Patchouli’s world is black and shapeless, the colorless void you’ve taken to believe is the world of sleep. Why is she sleeping at a time like this? Wouldn’t she start wondering why Nathaniel hasn’t come into the library today, after spending the last week of his life there?! How can you just rest while the fate of others remains uncertain?! No, calm down, calm down. She might have spent the entire day looking up and down for you, and merely is taking a small nap now to replenish herself. Regardless, she’s not looking now. Faster…must move on.

Sakuya…is doing laundry?! She meticulously folds gigantic squares of crimson bedsheets on a large table, her motions fluid and unwavering. Laundry, when guests of the mansion are missing? What’s wrong with you woman?! You can stop time! You made an entire day of training last no time at all, you can spend a little effort to look for the honored guests of your mistress! Lives are as stake, and you’re folding clothes?! No, calm. Remain calm. Quickly.

Remilia looks out across the peaceful lake you saw the first night here, waves of water happily bouncing in the moonlight. From this perspective you can’t tell if she’s in the mansion or not; she might just as easily be on the opposite shoreline with the island not in view. This…This is not the time to be enjoying the view! Have you no heart?! Even for a vampire, do you not care about your guests? Will you lose your entertainment so easily? What are you doing? What is anyone in this bloody mansion doing?!

They don’t care. None of them…None of them care. Patchouli’s sleeping, Sakuya’s doing laundry, Remilia’s wasting time sight-seeing…none of them are looking for you. But why? Wouldn’t they at least try to find you? Or…maybe, maybe they already tried, and gave up? An even worse thought creeps into your mind: they know where you are, but leave you here despite the fact. No, no, that’s a lie! This is Flandre, just Flandre! No, Adam! Quickly, where is Adam, where is he? Please have your lisp; please, please be yourself. Adam…

His world is a monochromatic blur of grey, brown, and black, but as you focus closer you can make out tunnels. Lots of tunnels. Tunnels just like the one you’re at the end of. You don’t believe it! He’s…he’s down here right now, looking for you! Wait, does Flandre know he’s here? Why would she let him try and find you? Perhaps, is he…is he playing her game too?

Your entire world is in Adam’s eyes right now. He moves slowly through the dark caverns, but with a definite purpose. You can see him step over the dead remains of more of those pale things Cirno was fighting, glancing at them for only a second or two. He must be getting close, now. Please, Adam…find Cirno. Help her. Save her!

(Save the fairy…)
>> No. 24520
(…save the world.)

And there she is. She’s leaning against the cavern wall, ten meters away, resting and looking at something in her hands; that photograph, maybe? Her dress has been reduced to mere shreds, not even covering her decency anymore, and she’s soaked in blood from head to toe, so much so that you can’t tell if the blood is that of her or that of the monsters. Yes, Adam, good boy, you found her! He approaches even slower now—you can imagine him tiptoeing across the gritty cave floor—until he’s right up next to her. She appears to not see him yet. He reaches out a clawed hand…wait, his claws weren’t that long before, were they? Or that sharp? A single tap on her shoulder makes Cirno instantly jump into a ready position, and Adam appears to retreat several paces in an instant. She looks around everywhere for the source of the tap, yet still can’t seem to find Adam, though he stands right in front of her. Come on, stop playing games! Just call out to her already!

There…yes, yes! She’s seen him now. She’s talking rapidly; what you wouldn’t give to hear what they’re saying! There are pauses in the speech where Adam might offer up a response, but Cirno’s face has been cemented in fear ever since Adam first saw her, making reading the conversation impossible. There’s a long pause in Cirno’s words, and she backs up slowly, shaking her head in disbelief. She…she shoots at Adam with a dense beam of ice, but he deftly dodges out of the way, creeping closer to Cirno. She freezes his hand right in front of him, and he breaks it off like dry wax. No, what…why are you doing this? Cirno! Adam! He…no. Please, no! Don’t do this! Adam draws back his cruel hand and begins slashing at the fairy with ludicrous speed; it’s a wonder Cirno can retreat fast enough to not get hit. She obscures his face with powdered snow…and you can’t take this anymore.

He’s attacking Cirno. Your Cirno, your maid, your friend. His friend. And he’s running at her like a wild beast. Why…why does this have to happen? Why her? Why him? Flandre…she, she must be controlling him or something. Making the game more “interesting” for you all. That demented little witch, why do you do this to us?! Life’s not a game, and souls aren’t playing pieces to be traded and sacrificed! Why…why can’t you understand even that?

But…no one…no one’s coming for you. Alone…so alone…so quiet, so dark. No friends to save you. No tricks to save yourself. You, y-you…you have to follow the rules.

…You have to. Cirno needs you; Nathaniel just as much—

No, no, there must be another way! You don’t have to play be her rules!

…You’ve tried every other way. You know what you have to do. It’s right in front of you—

This is madness! You can’t do this! You won’t!

…This is the only way out. Flandre planned it this way, she planned everything—

Cirno can make it! She destroyed a score of creatures, and she’ll destroy hundreds more to save you! She can fight Adam, she can win! She’s the strongest; the one who can save you all!

…She’s hurt. Dying. Adam’s too strong, too strong. She’ll fight until she falls to pieces, and then there will be no Cirno; only a memory—

Nathaniel! Those liquids must be magic potions, something to help him! Just drink one and blow the door already! Stop being mysterious and start helping, you worthless piece of dung!

…No hope. No hope. It’s you; she wants you to save them. You’ve got the easiest job out of all of them. No tricks. No fights. Just an eye—

Demented! Sick! Who could remove their own eye from its socket?

…You’ve got two. You’ll still be able to see—

That’s not winning! Either way Flandre wins! You’re not thinking hard enough; there’s another way!

…This is the only way—

The pain will be unbearable! You’ll bleed out!

…That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger—

You’re a scryer! What good are you if you can’t see?!

…Just do it. There’s no more time—

Cirno’s coming for you!

…You’ve waited too long already—

There’s another way out!

…You’re going to do it—

No!!

…Yes.

Using circling white danmaku for a light, you take in everything you need from the device. The spike is there. The pin behind it. You can judge exactly how far ahead you’ll have to lean to grab it. You’re going to bite down hard; can’t screw this up, not now. One shot; you’ll do it in one shot. In, then out. No hesitation.

Your limbs shake uncontrollably in their bonds; you’d imagine they’d rattle right out of their sockets if you weren’t strapped down. Deep breaths, deep breaths…it’ll be okay. It’ll be okay. You’ll have to staunch the bleeding first thing once you’re free. You shirt will do just fine. Deep breaths. Calm down now…you can do this. You’re going to count down from ten. No hesitation.

Ten—Please, dear God, don’t let this hurt too badly. Nine—Cirno, please be alive. Eight—Nathaniel better thank you for this. Seven—Maybe you won’t feel anything at all. Six—Flandre, someone needs to open your eyes with a spike. Five—Your breaths become ragged and tense. Four—Cirno… Three—Please someone come stop you stop this madness your eye please stop anyone come please pleasepleaseplease…

You don’t wait for the other numbers.

Oh please let it stop, it hurts! IT HURTS!! The bloody spike swiftly penetrates your cornea and iris, digging deep into the pupil before lodging itself in the jellies of the vitreous humor. The right half of your world explodes violently in red for an instant of instants before ceasing to exist completely, dipping your body into liquid agony. Painpainpainpain stop let it stop it take it offffffffffffff, IT HURTS!! You can feel it inside of you, eating you, defiling you, shifting around with every twitch, every breath, every scream. It’s enjoying this. Dear God why you why pain burning agony come to this feel it moving drilling killing drilldrilldrill painpainpain Cirno help someooaaaaAAAAHHHHGGGGCHH!!!

(I am now tearing the eyes out of your skull…)
>> No. 24521
(…manually.)

The pin! Where, is, the, pin?! Your teeth and tongue lash mindlessly in front of you, seeking the sharp taste of metal even as the sharp metal above tastes you. Blood eye painpain hurts so bad stop stop pin where pin hurts on fire cold fire help pin pin help HHEAAALLLPPFFFHHHGGG!! You force the smooth drill deeper still into the wet gelatin of your eye, its ruined fluids acting as the perfect lubrication for the spike’s perverse pleasure. Can’t find where is pain stop pain drill kill no pin where where WHEAARRRRAAAWWHHH!!

There! Your tongue tastes the bite of cold iron as your teeth clamp down on the pin’s protrusion. Pull pullpullpull let it be over please Lord God let it stop pain stop hurting stop comeon comeon Cirno coming eye pull pin pull pain pull pain full painful PAAAAAAIIIEEEENNNUUGGHH!! You can’t even see anymore; you’ve long since lost the focus for danmaku. The spike…it sucks you in, drinks you up, exploring the soft, massacred socket of your eye without reserve, without emotion, without mercy. Pull all be over soon pull please work Flandre sane insane hurts hurts spike pin pull free be free Cirno SSSCCIIIEERRRNOOOOOOOHH!!

With one, horrible, mad jerk you draw your head back, your mouth wrapped around the pin for dear life. A metallic warble touches your ears as the wires running to your bonds are pulled free and begin to dangle limply in defeat from the iron bars. A second, less audible noise runs alongside it: the sickening “thhhuuck” of an eye’s corpse being wrenched from its socket, and the glutinous “plip plip plip” of optic matter falling onto your clothes: your eye still crying, even in torturous death.

You spit out the pin in disgust and slide out from under the cruel frame which scarred you so. Ripping off a clean piece of your shirt, you wad it up and daub at your ruined socket, still sending nerve-wracking pain through your head. Blood and watery humor ooze down your face, congealing into a sick substance like smashed cherries across your cheek. It hurts, it huuurrrttsss. But it’s over. It’s all over. Striking up some more danmaku for light, you see behind the chair for the first time, and notice a large table laid out for you with various items, the room much deeper than you first thought. A chalice of water, which you quickly use to wash away the filth from your socket and rinse the various lingering tastes from your mouth. Cotton wadding and gauze bandages, which you apply to your face to stop the bleeding. A small torch wrapped in oilcloth. And an array of other items, which you look over carefully. Padding yourself over, you realize that Flandre took everything you had on you, even your large coat. The only things you possess now are the items on this table:

+ A shiny automatic lighter. Lights the way in darkness.
+ An old torch. Rustic, but it’ll serve you just fine.
+ An empty silver chalice. There used to be water in this.
+ Your thick diary. There’s far too many disquieting adventures in here…
+ A throwing knife. The blade shines with a silver hue.
+ Two massive knives as long as your forearm. Slightly curved and very deadly.
+ A strangely-shaped weapon that looks like a mix between a rifle and a crossbow.
+ Six metal frames full of ten crossbow bolts each.
+ An angular pistol. There’s a single bullet in the chamber.
+ Three mystical cards. They must hold some hidden power.
+ Three danmaku spell cards:
1) Wood Sign, 「Sprout’s Awakening」
2) Moon Sign, 「Silver Sickle」
3) Harvest Sign, 「First Harvest」

The items which you yourself don’t own are instantly recognized as a smattering of the things you found in the sack in Flandre’s room. Without your coat, your ability to carry things will be severely limited, and there’s no way you can bring all of this with you. You decide to pick up the throwing knife, the lighter, and the six different cards for starters (they’re small enough to not be a bother), stuffing the knife into your belt and the rest in separate pockets. However, as you look at those odd “not danmaku” cards, you notice that they’ve changed. They still look the same as before, but now all three have complete messages on them:

First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
“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.”

Second Wish, 「Fate of the Future」.
“The magic of ages yet to come, torn out of time and given as a gift. The soul wishes to advance to days of new, hopeful times full of knowledge and wisdom. Present this card to the heavens with a purpose, and the magic shall flow upon you. Fate, which has yet to be set in stone, shall unravel before you, giving what all desire, but few receive: a glimpse at the world of tomorrow. Worry not about what you will see, for this has been preordained by the fate you make for yourself. Worry instead about how you will act once to do.”

Third Wish, 「Fate of the Present」.
“The magic of ages still at hand, torn out of time and given as a gift. The soul wishes to advance to days of now, troubled times with many emotions. Present this card to the heavens with a purpose, and the magic shall flow upon you. Fate, which even now is being set in stone, shall unravel beside you, giving what all desire, but few receive: the power to change a life. Worry much about what you will change, for this has not been preordained by the fate you make for yourself. Worry still about what will happen once you do.”

Wishes…these things can definitely aid you if they work like you think they should. So long as you know when the right time is to use them…But that’s not the issue right now. Right now Cirno’s life is at stake. Nathaniel can wait; Cirno can’t. Looking at the table quickly, you ponder on what items would be the most prudent for you to take with you.

[ ] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.
[ ] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space
[ ] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (it’s too big for a pocket).
[ ] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space.
[ ] Both of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take both hands to carry or all your belt space.
[ ] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[ ] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand.
[ ] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (carrying it in a pocket may be inadvisable).

Also…
[ ] Go slow through the tunnels. You need to keep a level head, and there could be more creatures ready to attack you.
[ ] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.
[ ] Book it! Cirno won’t last much longer against Adam; she needs your help now!
>> No. 24523
[x] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.
[x] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space.
[x] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space
[x] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (it’s too big for a pocket).
[x] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

So you now have a torch in one hand, a knife in the other. Your belt has your diary and a chalice. The chalice might be useful for Nathaniel and the diary is because I don't think we should simply leave it behind...

Danmaku cards are all in your pocket.

Let's get ready to dance!
>> No. 24524
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space. (Hold in hand.)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier.
[X] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (On belt.)
[X] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (On belt.)
[X] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space. (Hold in hand.)

[X] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

Without knowing where Cirno exactly is, nor how large these tunnels will be, we can't afford to go slowly, but we can't just recklessly charge forward either, in case there are other things lurking down here waiting to attack.
The fact that Adam has been sent after Cirno perhaps means that all the other "playmates" in her game have been eliminated, but there's a chance one or two could still be somewhere around.

As for our items, I figure whatever we're holding can be quickly dropped should we need to use the rifle-bow, and although it will be slower to aim with the added weight of the reload frames, we don't know how much we might need to use it, and the last thing we need is to suddenly run out of ammo. The knife could be useful, although more for cutting something should we need to, rather than as a weapon. The chalice and diary might not be at all useful, but better to take them with us just in case anyway. We don't know if we'll be back down here after the game is over, after all.
And, of course, the torch is an obvious must. Unless we want to try to focus enough to maintain some danmaku for light, (and good luck focusing on anything with the big, gaping, bleeding hole in your face) then we're going to need SOMETHING to provide light down here..
>> No. 24525
First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
“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.”

Redo action, What action and when is not revealed

Second Wish, 「Fate of the Future」.
“The magic of ages yet to come, torn out of time and given as a gift. The soul wishes to advance to days of new, hopeful times full of knowledge and wisdom. Present this card to the heavens with a purpose, and the magic shall flow upon you. Fate, which has yet to be set in stone, shall unravel before you, giving what all desire, but few receive: a glimpse at the world of tomorrow. Worry not about what you will see, for this has been preordained by the fate you make for yourself. Worry instead about how you will act once to do.”

See a certain spot in the future. What happens is not revealed

Third Wish, 「Fate of the Present」.
“The magic of ages still at hand, torn out of time and given as a gift. The soul wishes to advance to days of now, troubled times with many emotions. Present this card to the heavens with a purpose, and the magic shall flow upon you. Fate, which even now is being set in stone, shall unravel beside you, giving what all desire, but few receive: the power to change a life. Worry much about what you will change, for this has not been preordained by the fate you make for yourself. Worry still about what will happen once you do.”

Change a situation entirely, But not in ways you might expect.
>> No. 24527
>>24524

You know, I just thought of something...we need both hands to aim with the rifle bow.

In a panicked situation, we'll drop the torch...

If the torch goes out?

That rifle will suck major balls.

So my guess is that the rifle is definitly not made for the Book it and run option...because at least with the other two, we might get lucky and manage to sneak up on an...oh wait, the torch...shoot.
>> No. 24528
[x] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry.
[x] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[x] Two of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier.
[x] Your diary, for posterity. This will take half your belt space (it’s too big for a pocket).
[x] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take half your belt space (carrying it in a pocket may be inadvisable).
[x] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

You can always drop the torch; it won't go out like the lighter would. You can fire a crossbow with one hand, it just takes two to reload. The long knives are redundant when we have the throwing knife, and we're less certain they're silvered. The pistol is for an emergency, or as a secret weapon: Most are going to think there's no bullets in the gun, and that we only carrying it around out of ignorance. The diary because it's one of the few things that is truly our own.
>> No. 24531
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space. (Hold in hand.)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier.
[X] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (On belt.)
[X] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (On belt.)
[X] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space. (Hold in hand.)

[X] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.
>> No. 24532
[x] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[x] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand.
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space. (Hold in hand.)
[x] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space.
[x] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (carrying it in a pocket may be inadvisable).
[x] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

The general idea with this is to carry the torch in one hand while keeping one hand on the rifle-bow, so we can drop the torch and switch quickly, if we need to. The knife goes on the belt as backup.

As for the pistol, remember the idea that the chair thing is what made Adam what he is? We need a way to kill ourselves quickly if we start to turn on Cirno as Adam has, the pistol fulfills that need.

Oh, and fuck the diary. It’s just a book, and lives are at stake. Flandre probably left it just so we’d be torn about giving it up or taking something useful.
>> No. 24533
I really, really, really want to cave Flandre's head in with a baseball bat right now.

Really badly.

The whole sociopathic-madman-that-doesn't-understand-emotions-or-moral-values schtick has always rubbed me really wrong, and now more than ever. But no, everyone's going to be nice and forgiving to her, because we're nice! Awwwwww.

I'm pissing into the tide, I'm sure, but I want it known here and now: I want Flandre to suffer. It's time we stopped dealing with her on her terms. Look where that got us. Failing that, she needs to be put down, like a rabid dog.

>>24471
>>24472
Good to see fellow angryfags.
>> No. 24534
[ ] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (it’s too big for a pocket).
[ ] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space.
[ ] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[ ] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. Attach them to the crossbow.
[x] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.


The crossbow is ideal in our situation since the pistol only has one bullet and we definitely do not want to get stuck in close combat with a dragon like Adam. But we don't know how fast Adam is, we may only get one shot anyway, so having a knife is a necessity in this situation.
I'm tempted to choose the torch, but using up ALL of our belt space with one item isn't ideal, though the diary has little practical value, it could be replaced with another knife for dual-wielding, or we could take the chalice.
Also, we would want to keep the element of surprise here, the torch would give us away early. I'm up for shooting first and asking questions later since Adam is clearly attacking Cirno here.
>> No. 24535
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space. (Hold in hand.)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier.
[X] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (On belt.)
[X] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (On belt.)
[X] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space. (Hold in hand.)

[X] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.


I suppose as long as we get a replacement, it ought to do. Spike lost an eye, after all, and he did just fine.
>> No. 24536
So, the swag we found way back when were props for the game? Curiously unaccounted for:
>A set of lockpicks. All the shapes and sizes you’d need to open any barrier.
>A strange black tube about the size of a small log. There’s a seam in the center.
>An odd contraption that looks like a metal glove combined with a conical drill.

Also; fuck. Cotton wadding and gauze bandages already prepared? Eyeball ruination is just the start of the game? What the hell does that even accomplish? Can't have our intrepid hero(?) traipsing about a pitch-black catacomb filled with monsters and vampires with two good eyes now can we? That's just poor sport right there.

Also, regarding torch/crossbow dilemma: even if you drop the torch to hold and reload the crossbow, you still have danmaku right? Light up the area with some bullets if the torch needs to get disposed of in a hurry. That would probably be a more sound combat strategy anyway: fill the air with danmaku to obscure your position and the flight of the bolts. Works against you too in a sense, obscuring the target a bit, but at least you're not being caught unawares and you control the bullets. Maybe create a concentrated stream into a target's facial area as a make shift flashbang? We're not in it for elegance and art anymore, anything goes.

ITT: unconventional danmaku applications
>> No. 24537
File 122945312097.jpg - (700.04KB , 1200x1500 , c3c871193fe63edf4c0efd947532a3a6.jpg ) [iqdb]
24537
>>24533
>>24533
Oh yes, by all means let's try to kill the centuries-old psychotic vampire who aside from being naturally faster and stronger than us, also possesses the unavoidable and unbeatable ability to destroy ANYTHING she wants.

Nevermind that said vampire happens to be the little sister of the mistress of the mansion we are a guest at, who aside from also being faster, stronger, and far more powerful than us, happens to have at her beck and call a time-manipulating maid with a fondness for knives and a martial artist youkai who could likely shatter every bone in our body with just her pinky finger, and would most likely not take kindly to the notion of her guest so much as attempting to harm her little sister, let alone actually accomplishing it and surviving.

Good luck with that.
>> No. 24539
>>24537
Farmer Boy vs the whole Mansion. Now that sounds like a plan. And who says that Equitas will work on her anyway.
>> No. 24540
>>24533
First "angryfag" here. You have my axe. Or my crossbow, rather.

[x] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space.
[x] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[x] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. Attach them to the crossbow.
[x] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take half your belt space (carrying it in a pocket may be inadvisable).
[x] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

Ranged weaponry is a must. Even if the pistol is a waste of space that could be used for an invaluable combat item like a diary, one shot is still one shot.
>> No. 24541
>>2453
>I'm pissing into the tide, I'm sure, but I want it known here and now: I want Flandre to suffer. It's time we stopped dealing with her on her terms. Look where that got us. Failing that, she needs to be put down, like a rabid dog.

I don't want Flandre to suffer in the same way that I don't want an animal to suffer, and "animal" is appropriate because her mind seems to operate on so different a level from others that I would hesitate to even call her a person. What is important is to stop her from causing any more suffering to others whom we do consider person, and if that means killing her or inflicting suffering on her, then so be it.
>> No. 24542
>>24537
Sakuya and Remilia aren't present concerns.
And since when has the vampire hunter been more powerful than the vampire? The trick is usually in the magical items you bring along/find in the dungeon. Equitas is obviously a magic sword. If nothing else, it's worth a try, you, you... vampire apologist!
>> No. 24543
>>24541
This is more along the lines of my thinking. She's like a rabid dog.
>> No. 24544
Why do you think I proposed trying to beam our own pain into her brain? It's what she wanted, right? Besides, we might have to do something like that to get out - if she doesn't know pain, then she'll have no mental defense against pain, espically the pain of losing an eye.

That, and it would take awhile for anyone to figure out you did it, considering she'll have no obvious wounds and they might not figure out reverse-scrying even exists.
>> No. 24547
File 122945479869.jpg - (60.60KB , 500x500 , 97014fa907452c80492f5595106b1bf8.jpg ) [iqdb]
24547
>>24542
Of course they're not present concerns. Our present concern is, as I pointed out, the centuries-old psychotic vampire that can DESTROY ANYTHING AT WILL.

Flandre isn't some rabid animal to be put down. She's not even a monster to be slain. With her power, she's more like a force of nature itself. Unstoppable, amoral, and completely without mercy.

In the unlikely event you actually somehow manage to accomplish what would be akin to slaying a hurricane, THEN Remilia and Sakuya would be a concern.
>> No. 24555
>>24547
>With her power, she's more like a force of nature itself. Unstoppable, amoral, and completely without mercy.

You seem to be confusing Flandre with Yuka.

Flandre is powerful, yes, but she's definitely a vampire, and therefore, decidedly unnatural. She is merciless, yes, excepting the instances where she isn't. She is not amoral, as she has shown herself capable of regret. She is afraid of spears and rain and sunlight. She is not entirely undeserving of pity, but far too dangerous to let run wild. The kind of thing you'd keep locked in your basement for a few hundred years.
>> No. 24558
[x] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.
[x] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space.
[x] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space
[x] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (it’s too big for a pocket).
[x] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

I'll go with this as well as


[x] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[x] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand.

I don't think carrying around the gun is that great an idea since it'll be pretty useless after we take that first shot and I'd rather use the rifle for that shot frankly and still have the chalice just in case Nathaniel needs it.

And pistol whiping Adam or those little critters sounds like a bad idea.
>> No. 24559
>>24555

Well, I was being a bit too general, I think. To be more precise, I believe THIS Flandre is like some unstoppable force of nature with the power she possesses.

Flandre as we've usually seen her, is like a highly excitable and energetic child who just so happens to wield some terrifyingly destructive power. Like a child who found their dad's gun, but lacks the knowledge and wisdom to know how it should or should not be used, in a way. When something is destroyed, like the Risk board or those piano keys, it's not really out of any intentional desire to destroy them, it's just what happens when something that dangerous is in the hands of someone like that. Her power in that state seems used more out of carelessness than any genuine malice.

THIS Flandre, on the other hand, is practically a different person. She's smarter, more lucid, and in general seems to be in far greater control of herself and her abilities. If the previous Flan was a careless child with a gun, this Flandre is far more trained child with a gun. Someone who knows enough about what they can do and how to do it, that when something happens it's more than likely not an accident. While the other Flan would easily blow us all up, this one had more than enough control and restraint to merely knock us unconscious. Aside from upsetting her, the worst we had to worry about from the other Flandre was her killing us by accident. If this Flandre kills us, however, it will be because she wants us to die. And considering her power, if she wants you dead there is nothing you can do to stop it.

>>She is merciless, yes, excepting the instances where she isn't.
>>She is not amoral, as she has shown herself capable of regret.
Excepting, of course, the instances where she isn't.

"Jigsaw Mode" Flandre, the one who put us in that chair, I do not think feels much, if any regret for her actions. As she said herself, she doesn't understand "right" or "wrong" or pain or death. She lacks a sense of empathy.
The thing is, I don't think it's that she doesn't understand or feel these things, but that she CAN'T.

We know we can understand "right" and "wrong" and feel regret and remorse from the things she does, we saw it ourselves when she apologized to Adam. The problem is, that part of her mind that allows her to do that, that makes her aware of everything she has done and know whether it's good or bad, is more often than not buried under the heaps of crazy that make up the rest of Flan's psyche. It took some slight shock from the sight of those glasses to bring that little piece up to the forefront, and even then it was only temporary before it once again sank back into the abyss.

Some of you may hate her, but I actually feel sorry for Flandre here. Imagine what it must be like to commit horrible acts in a fit of madness, in a state where you aren't truly yourself and your actions aren't truly your own, and when you regain sanity realize what you've done.
Now, extend that realization to while the acts are actually being committed. Seeing things you don't want to see, doing things you don't want to do, hurting people you don't want to hurt, and all the while powerless to stop yourself.
>> No. 24568
>>24559
Well, if we cannot help or save her somehow we have to kill her for good. I doubt she would want to live on a life like that, hurting and killing people she cares for with only a drop of Sanity remaining.
Remilia probably couldn't bring herself to kill her own sister and locked her up for all eternity instead. Either find a solution or end her suffering.
Killing her would bring us in a dangerous situation with Remilia and co.... and i am not a fan of such an action. It would be more like if there really are no other options left, with the back against the wall. But what must be done must be done.
>> No. 24578
Dammit, we should have scryed Flandre.

At least we've possibly avoided infection from her blood, since we completely lost the eye. Hopefully our ability to see through others' eyes doesn't rely on us having eyes of our own.

>>24525
>What action and when is not revealed
The "with a purpose" part strongly implies that we get to choose how the wish is aimed.

>>24544
>beam our own pain into her brain
Why do you keep saying this? Have we felt any sensation besides vision when we scryed people? Even if we could reverse-scry, it wouldn't work like that.

>>24559
>that part of her mind that allows her to do that, that makes her aware of everything she has done and know whether it's good or bad, is more often than not buried under the heaps of crazy that make up the rest of Flan's psyche.
>Seeing things you don't want to see, doing things you don't want to do, hurting people you don't want to hurt, and all the while powerless to stop yourself.
But is that little piece of morality "herself", or is the rest of it "herself"?
>> No. 24588
[x] Your diary, for posterity. (1/2 belt)
[x] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. (left hand)
[x] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. (1/2 belt)
[x] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. (right hand)
[x] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. (shoulder, until firing it needed whereupon we drop the things in our hands)
[x] Two of the rifle-bow reload frames. (attached to the sides of the rifle-bow)

Analysis: We can hold one of the large knives and the torch, and drop both if we need to get at the crossbow. The crossbow doesn't hold any better use over the knife besides reloading and distance - there is no indication the bolts have been silvered for use against supernatural creatures. I don't want to trust a limited-ammo weapon as our primary one, nor do I want to trust our melee to a single knife that is intended to be thrown.

This way, we also have both of the odd puzzle pieces - the diary and the chalice. The diary doesn't seem like much of a puzzle-piece unless Flandre decided to write us a message in it. The chalice may be a red herring since Flandre can't predict us having learned of Nathaniel's predicament while in our current room so to draw the connection between our cup and his. It may serve another purpose, or no purpose at all. With this configuration, we have either and both, at the cost of dropping a large knife when we don't need it.

Basically, when we want to grab one thing or another, we DROP something on the ground; that also means that we PICK things up if we need them/when we move.

I can't stress enough how much I think we'll be needing a secondary weapon if we empty the rifle-crossbows ammunition!

[x] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

We have no clue where we are going through these tunnels. For all we know they lead to a miniature labyrinth or simple multiple junctions. Briskly walking, for speed, and for caution.
>> No. 24589
>>24559
>If this Flandre kills us, however, it will be because she wants us to die. And considering her power, if she wants you dead there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Whether it's loyalty to her sister, or whether she truly can be defeated, punished, and pacified by Remilia, Sakuya, or Patchouli, we do not know at the present juncture, but there must be some functional limit to her power. Otherwise, she could not be kept in the basement, and yea the Scarlet Devil Mansion would not even be standing.
>> No. 24591
>>24578
>At least we've possibly avoided infection from her blood, since we completely lost the eye.

It doesn't work that way. Those blood vessels in your eye are (necessarily) connected to blood vessels in the rest of your body. Vampire blood poisoning is still a very real possibility.
>> No. 24592
File 122948614583.jpg - (202.91KB , 800x600 , 2407600.jpg ) [iqdb]
24592
Surprised no one has commented on the actual update yet. Ah well, good job on crafting a thoroughly disturbing moment of Touhou fandom. I was wincing and twisting in my chair the entire time but I got through it. It's probably the trauma of the post that I feel no anxiety about a test tomorrow, so... thanks for that?

From his behavior, Adam probably doesn't have his lisp right now. Looks like he's behaving like when he Bad Ended us; he absolutely loses it when there's blood to be had. We're going to be maimed by him if we meet (though part of me wants to, if only to test his lisp with "Say now Shibboleth")

I'm not so upset with Flandre as I am confused. Granted, that's not really much of a change, I'd thought something regarding her motivations would have revealed themselves by now, but no, not so much. Remorseful and cruel, mature and childish, wise and naive, cunning and simple, greedy and... Well, she's just plain greedy, obsessive, and selfish. I guess that's something I've learned: she apparently has no ability to empathize. She's the only person in her world (probably gets it from her sister if you ask me), everything else are toys and pets. She can't understand another person's feelings, opinions, or points of view.

Huh, that's a thought: when you can only see one aspect (yours) of something and you have no ability to compare and contrast it with anything else, you can't define it. PMiSS entry for Yukari:
>As you know, everything is built upon the existence of boundaries.
>If there was no water surface, there could be no lake.
>If there were no boundaries, everything would probably exist as a single enormous object.
If there's only one thing, that which you perceive, you can't conceptualize it because there's nothing it isn't. You can't understand (or appreciate) life without knowing about death. How can you understand death without experiencing or empathizing with a person who has lost someone?

tl;dr - I needed a post to justify posting more Flandre pictures.
>> No. 24593
>>24589
You say that as if she couldn't possibly leave the basement of her own free will, and yet the fact we found the door to the basement open at least once, and the fact she could so easily blow the door to her room to pieces there's nothing really barring her from going upstairs if she chose to. As for not demolishing the mansion itself, why would she? It's her home. Her room is in fairly good condition, all things considered. If it looked more like what the interior of Room 101 looked like, I could see a reason for questioning why she doesn't level the mansion.

Looking back at what Flandre said not too long ago:
>>I can’t go outside and ask people; Sister Remilia won’t let me. So I stay inside. I stay down here.

The way she says it makes it sound as if she remains in the basement more by choice, and it's only when it comes to going outside that someone else is stopping her. As to how that is accomplished, well, we really don't know that much about the relationship between the sisters yet, do we?

However, none of this points to there being any actual limitation to her ability to destroy, and barring there being some reason for her ti lie about this sort of thing, I am inclined to trust what Nathaniel told us he heard from Patchy.
>>This is only second-handed information from Patchouli, mind, but from what she’s told me, there is no countermeasure. You can’t defend against it, you can’t make it weaker, you can’t do a thing to prevent the impending total destruction.

Of course, that makes the question as to why she is where she is, why she would listen to Remilia (or anyone, for that matter), all the more interesting.
>> No. 24594
Oh god that update made my right eye twitch involuntarily.

I think I might be a bit sick.
>> No. 24603
[Carry the torch and the knife in your hands]
[Stuff the diary and the chalice in your belt]
[Sling the rifle-bow over your shoulder. Take two reloads and latch them to it]
[Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to save Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.]

That rifle-bow, crossbow, gun-bow thing: it looks like it could send out some serious kick. You’ve only got a rudimentary idea on how it works (pull the trigger?), but you know enough to know when something looks impressive, and this is definitely impressing you. That pistol is dead weight with only one bullet in it, but you’ve got plenty of ammo for this weapon here. You sling it over your shoulder by the leather strap attached to it, then look at the frames of bolts. They’re obviously reloads, though you don’t quite know how to work them yet. No time to learn, though; you find a built-in set of clips attached to the barrel of the weapon and hook a bolt rack onto either side, making the weapon heavy but balanced and still very usable.

Your diary; that you need to keep. You don’t care that it’ll be taking up precious space; some things in life are more important than force of arms, even in a life or death situation. You loosen your belt a bit and cinch it up around the diary, balancing it on the lip of your pocket for support. The chalice soon follows; you don’t really know why you’re bringing it, but a drinking utensil might be useful down the road, and you saw a similar one in Nathaniel’s room. Perhaps they’re connected somehow?

The torch and one of the large knives go into your hands; the grip of the short blade feels good to hold. No fancy dragons or magic justice-blades or anything like that, just a good piece of steel, the way a weapon is meant to be. Lighting the torch with your lighter, you sweep the area one last time for anything you might have missed. That bloody iron contraption…the remains of your eye still ooze from the tip of the spike. Though your head and torso is still awash with pain, seeing your ruined eye like that sends a new twinge up your spine. Flandre…she’s going to pay for this. Somehow.

No more time to waste. Cirno. You need to find Cirno. You take off down the tunnel at a trot. Not a run, not a walk, and certainly not a creep; just a hefty pace that’s the right mixture of speed and caution. Those pale winged creatures might still be afoot, and they enacted quite a toll on poor Cirno; you certainly wouldn’t last long against one, not if they seem to heal instantly. You’d like to avoid battle, even if it means taking detours. Then again, you’ve got no idea where Cirno is, or what this mess of caverns even looks like. Must keep moving.

The tunnels are low and unshapely: lopsided circles of space amidst damp grey-brown rock, not more than two meters in diameter most of the time. Your torch provides the only light in this dark, otherworldly place. You wonder where this place even is. Underneath the mansion? Maybe even so deep, it’s underneath the lake itself! The passageways do not fork nearly as much as you suspected them to, and you take arbitrary directions each time, making a mental note of which turn you took. Despite all your hurried movement and your previous screams of agony, the only sounds are the crackling of the torch, the slapping of your shoes, and your labored breathing. You see nothing strange, hear nothing strange, and feel nothing strange except for the pain of wrenching out your own eyeball, and the crusting of blood against your cheek.

What is your game, Flandre Scarlet? What do you really want? What are you really thinking about? Your thoughts focus on Flandre, only on Flandre. You can’t keep thinking about Cirno, about how she must be losing to Adam, about how she’s—No! Flandre! There is only Flandre in your mind right now. She is the cause of all this. And you want to know why. None of this “I don’t understand” malarkey; you want a real answer.

She’s insane. But it’s like she’s multiple kinds of insane. First the kind that knows nothing and smiles like an idiot, then the kind that knows just enough to get into trouble and drag other people down with her. Why? Why did she change? The crystals, the crystals must mean everything. Purple is intelligence of some kind? But it’s still not kindness. And green…green is also a contributing factor to her lucid ability to condemn you. Heh, you wonder if her wings came with an instruction manual: The 7 Mood Crystals are Their Meanings, by I. M. Ensaine.

Insanity, though…can you blame an insane person for being insane? Can you truly blame them for what they do because their mind isn’t the same as yours? You have no idea how her brain works, how she views the world. You didn’t judge her before, when she was just being an insane friendly child, why should you judge her now that she’s being an insane less-than-friendly adult? On the inside, her brain could be screaming right now, crying, shivering in a corner, unable to stop herself from destroying everyone and everything around her. For all you know, she’s a victim here along with you, trapped in this game she made herself.

But no…No, it’s not that simple, is it? If she’s smart enough to plan out this demonic game, she should be smart enough to understand that it’s wrong. Very wrong. No one can grow up knowing knowledge like that and not gain some wisdom along with it, a little taste of morality and ethics, something. She has to know, in some part of her fractured brain, that what she’s doing is wrong.

But then if she knows, why continue? She must be like some kind of animal, some ravenous dog or somesuch. They act on instinct, on impulse. It gives the illusion of logic sometimes, even strategy, but in the end it’s just reaction to stimuli. Their minds are primitive, just like the mind of an insane person might be. And you don’t begrudge a dog for doing wrong, you don’t try to teach it the difference between “good” and “evil”. No, you punish it. You let it know that this way will bring you pain, and this way will stop the pain.

Punishment. You’re weak, when Flandre is strong. You’re slow, when Flandre is fast. You’re ungifted, when Flandre has the magic of ultimate destruction. And yet, you want to try and punish her. You want to make her suffer, to make her feel everything you’ve felt, everything that Cirno’s feeling right now, everything that every lost soul has that played her game ever felt in who knows how many years here. It’s cruel, it’s heartless, it’s unlike you, yes, but you can’t get the thought out of your head. Justice…you want justice. You want retribution. Not simple vengeance; no, you’ll not stoop so low as that. You just want her to understand what she’s putting people through. And if she can’t understand, then…Then you should try and stop her.

Your grip on the torch tightens in frustration. There’s too much to think about, to much to consider…How can one girl be so complex, so completely unknown? Was she always unknown, or was there a time…a time when she was normal? Before insanity, before vampirism, before ultimate destruction…A time when she was nothing more than the plucky, energetic child you see on the outside.

(Nothing witty to say…)
>> No. 24604
(…this time.)

You slow down your jogging to look at the floor. Blood. Fresh blood. You bite your lip in anticipation; you must be getting close. Your pace slows to a fast walk as you follow the blood trail, your knife hand at the ready. Soon you begin to pass the torn corpses of those creatures Cirno was fighting, and you finally get a good look at them. You reel backwards in horror as your realize that they are…they were, humans, or perhaps fairies. The proportions are too close to be mistaken. Though their hands and feet are twisted claws, their mouths are full of horrible teeth, and their backs are a mass of fairy wings, bat wings, and feathered wings, you can’t mistake the face when you see it up close. Who did this to them? What did this to them?

As the density of dead bodies increases, you slow down even more, trying to mask the light of the torch behind your back. Only now do you realize that you have no plan for rescuing Cirno once you get to her. Adam, as a vampire and dragon combined, must surely be stronger than you and Cirno combined. Your only chance may be for one of you to get in a sneak attack while his back is turned…unless he’s smart and keeps his back to the walls. Your aim with the rifle-bow might not be that good; should you just stick to the knife? He must be fast; fast enough to dodge flying crossbow bolts? Will he listen to reason? Could you try to blind him with danmaku? Should you just snuff out the torch now and use the less obtrusive lighter for illumination? What if—

You’ve arrived. The torch’s light make judging distance difficult, but you’d say about ten to fifteen meters. Adam stands angled with the wall, back mostly to you, his giant wings pressed against him like a deep crimson cape. His hands appear to be encased in some kind of metal claw-like weapons, and they’re stained with blood. Cirno lies on the ground in front of him, an uniform mass of scarlet save for her blue hair. She’s…she’s not moving.

You shift into a crouched position, arguing with yourself between dropping everything to fire the rifle-bow, throwing your small knife, running at him with the big one, or any number of other options. As you sit there, preparing, Adam speaks to you very calmly, without turning around.

“I know you’re there.”

[ ] Write-in only.

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

I promised that I wouldn’t reveal any information about this story on IRC unless I also revealed it here, and I am a man of my word. Though I did not say anything extremely important, I did mention a few things here and there. Here is the list that I can remember:

+ In a roundabout way I said that trying to use danmaku on the wires themselves would not have broken them, as they were woven steel, and anyways the point of the wires was to be pulled, not cut.
+ I will be holding a question-and-answer segment at the conclusion of this tale, for everything I didn’t answer that’s still eating away at your mind, and other miscellaneous stuff.
+ I mentioned that I’ve been thinking about a story plot for something else since about October, but I said nothing else other than it might be /th/ related.
+ I promised IRC (and now you here as well) that I will finish “Cirno’s Last Stand” by Christmas.

“Ataisai” on the chat also had some interesting analysis that I was privileged to hear. Perhaps if you ask him, he might reveal it here for you to see; I’ll not divulge it, as the analysis is not mine.

You might as well ignore my proposed exam week update schedule now; I didn’t follow it anyways.

While I have read all your posts in detail, I’d rather not dig myself into a hole by commenting on them at length, lest I reveal too much about things which should be kept secret. Excellent analysis as always; emotion too, that’s nice to see. I hope you keep both.

>>24536
>ITT: unconventional danmaku applications
This ain’t yo’ daddy’s danmaku, boy! This be MacGyver’s danmaku!

>>24537
I imagined this post being read by Yahtzee Croshaw. And it was good.

>>24547
Flandre Scarlet is here to rock you like a hurricane.

>>24592
>>24594
>Ah well, good job on crafting a thoroughly disturbing moment of Touhou fandom. I was wincing and twisting in my chair the entire time but I got through it. It's probably the trauma of the post that I feel no anxiety about a test tomorrow, so... thanks for that?
> Oh god that update made my right eye twitch involuntarily. I think I might be a bit sick.
Thank you; I do what I can. Other people have memorable H-scenes. I have this.
>> No. 24605
>Maybe even so deep, it’s underneath the lake itself!
inb4everything
>> No. 24606
File 12295345633.png - (77.34KB , 579x1552 , 1228210612464.png ) [iqdb]
24606
>Cirno lies on the ground in front of him, an uniform mass of scarlet save for her blue hair. She’s…she’s not moving.


FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
>> No. 24609
Good lord, this is huge.

>>24536
...Yes, where the hell did those items go?

Also, I fully support your combat tactics, should we need them. Please add the following to the winning vote:

[x] Regarding torch/crossbow dilemma: even if you drop the torch to hold and reload the crossbow, you still have danmaku right? Light up the area with some bullets if the torch needs to get disposed of in a hurry.
[x] Fill the air with danmaku to obscure your position and the flight of the bolts.
[x] Maybe create a concentrated stream into a target's facial area as a makeshift flashbang? We're not in it for elegance and art anymore, anything goes.

>>24451
>but the Sage of Death shall soon approach it,
Wait, Komachi visits THP?

>>24520
>Nine―Cirno, please be alive.
I have seen what was done here.

>Six―Flandre, someone needs to open your eyes with a spike.
Good... good... Let the hate flow through you...

>>24537
What.
I was talking about how I myself, as a reader, desired to cave her head in.

>>24532
>Oh, and fuck the diary.
Yes! Let's leave behind the diary which this story is possibly named for.
Awesome plan.

>>24547
>accomplish what would be akin to slaying a hurricane,
...That's one badass mental image you've given me.

>>24559
>"Jigsaw Mode" Flandre,
Actually, she's more like a Flandsaw.

>>24578
>Dammit, we should have scryed Flandre.
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

>>24593
>but from what she’s told me, there is no countermeasure. You can’t defend against it, you can’t make it weaker, you can’t do a thing to prevent the impending total destruction.
...I wonder if the bloodied spike means no regenerating the eye?

When this ordeal is over, we should look into some spell involving creating an ocular construct or something. If it's at least related to sight or scrying, I think we'll have a better chance at believing in it happening-- and thus, making it happen.

>>24603
>Was she always unknown,
Of course. After all, U.N. Owen Was Her.
In before thatsthejoke.png

Also, Owen, if Cirno is dead, I'm not reading any more. I'm not sure I could take the loss after you've built her up so much.

>>24604
>“Ataisai” on the chat also had some interesting analysis that I was privileged to hear. Perhaps if you ask him, he might reveal it here for you to see; I’ll not divulge it, as the analysis is not mine.
Okay.
Three things, changed somewhat from what I wrote originally:

1) Nathaniel's Past
a) I suddenly realized why Nathaniel was so full of conviction about the existence of dragons. My thought that this was either hazily reminiscent of a furry's faith in their own idiocy, or (then) more likely, was merely a dramatic, hotblooded act for Flandre's benefit, was wrong. He was speaking pure, clear, honest truth, and from experience: He was in the damned PHOTO with one.
b) Didn't Nathaniel refer to a friend or an associate when he talked about entering/finding Gensokyo? It might be a long shot, but it could very likely be that the other guy in the photo was said person.
c) I've been pondering, even before-- but especially after -- Nathaniel spoke in Latin to Ran, if he belongs/belonged to some order of knights or secret society, in a daVinci-Code-esque 'last group of guardians' way. That's just a thought, but did anyone else get those kinds of vibes from him?
d) I still have yet to hear a good reason why nobody else thought it was worth commenting on how Sakuya's shit-list strongly implies --if not outright SAYS-- that this is not Nathaniel's first time at the mansion.

2) Flandre's Blood
I wonder if Flandre's blood (on the spike) was meant as a way to mark us. Even if it somehow didn't get into our bloodstream, it is on our pants. Now, what exactly the nature of the mark might be...
a) The first idea I could think of was that it's a tracking device for Adam (and likely herself as well), who can probably pick out the scent of Flandre's blood like a beacon, much the same way that you can pick out the sounds that make up your name even in the middle of a crowd, because you're so attuned to them. Having been attuned to Flandre's blood for probably a very long time, Adam could recognize it easily.
b) The other thought was that perhaps it's meant as a ward against Adam, like as a mark of ownership or something. ...At best, this claim would be a metaphorical one. At worst, it's literal, because her blood will vampirize us. ...I really hope it's not that, but hey, what better way to learn emotions than to get them fresh from your new slave-toy-thing?

3) Something halfway silly but it seemed interesting at the time. Skip it if you want.
Ever think that Flandre's "MY EMOTIONS ARE DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAD" bawwwwfest would sound a lot more believable if she were doing it out of genuine curious interest in learning how people act and feel, rather than playing the pity card and saying that this is the only way she can learn, or whatever nonsense she spoke? I had a flashback to Firefly (and then a bit later, to Shin Angyo Onshi) the instant I thought this, and now I can't stop seeing Flandre leaning close as she bloodies the spike next to Farmer Anon, and saying in a creaky voice, "Tell me... are you familiar with the works of Shan Yu...?"
>> No. 24610
File 12295386421.jpg - (88.89KB , 500x500 , danmaku500.jpg ) [iqdb]
24610
>>24604
>she’s not moving
;_;

[X] Slow approach
[X] "Say now Shibboleth"
[X] "What have you done to her?"
When we have a better gauge of distance and Adam's proximity to Cirno
[X] Drop torch and knife
[X] Aim crossbow at Adam
[X] Queue danmaku barrage

The answer will determine our action. If there's a lisp, we can talk, if not... shit. I don't think we're in a position to be bargaining over her safe release with an (admittedly) insane dragon vampire child. A stand up fight is no good and leaving Cirno there is unacceptable. Personally speaking, I think the best thing we can hope for is a dash and grab with the element of surprise afforded by an overwhelming amount of danmaku in an enclosed area and a crossbow bolt or three. Bolts will hopefully force him to move, maybe even wound him (HA!), the danmaku will obscure our position and movement, and we still have that 'flashbang' option. Danmaku bullets feels like a hard rain hitting you, right? Having a hundred bright little raindrops beamed into your corneas probably would be an unpleasant and unsettling experience.
Plan of action if it goes down: aim crossbow, spam danmaku in the heaviest, brightest pattern possible, fire crossbow, dash for Cirno, grab, flee. Flashbang is trump card.

>>24608
>Nat's past
I definitely think he not only believes in dragons, he knows about on a first name basis. I mentioned it before, but when we were warning Nat about Adam's lisp, he chuckled that he had an associate that used to talk like that. Lo and behold, they show up in a photo together.
>> No. 24611
[x] ”Adam?! Oh, thank god it’s you, I need-“
[x] Throw your knife at him mid-sentence
[x] Regarding torch/crossbow dilemma: even if you drop the torch to hold and reload the crossbow, you still have danmaku right? Light up the area with some bullets if the torch needs to get disposed of in a hurry.
[x] Fill the air with danmaku to obscure your position and the flight of the bolts.
[x] Maybe create a concentrated stream into a target's facial area as a makeshift flashbang? We're not in it for elegance and art anymore, anything goes.

Adam is faster and stronger than we are. Before this update I figured our best chance of taking him down was a surprise attack while he was distracted fighting Cirno. Clearly that plan is no longer possible, but perhaps we can still get in a good hit by throwing him off a little.
>> No. 24612
File 122953934196.png - (19.82KB , 500x600 , 1192721059795.png ) [iqdb]
24612
>>24610
>When we have a better gauge of distance and Adam's proximity to Cirno
Also, before I get shit about it: http://www.losteye.com/depthper.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_perception
We're only at a slight disadvantage. Just remember: eyeseye on the prize.
>> No. 24613
>>24610
>The answer will determine our action. If there's a lisp, we can talk, if not... shit.
We already know that he currently lacks the lisp.
>“I know you’re there.”
>> No. 24616
Looks like the element of surprise has been completely lost, now it's us against a crazed dragon/vampire with freakin' lightning claws. He has better speed, strength, defense, AND regenerative abilities. We won't stand a prayer in close combat, the best we can do is blitzkrieg the little bastard with our danmaku and force him to dodge with our crossbow (preferably away from Cirno) while we rush forward and pick up Cirno, then we get out of there as fast as our little legs can carry us.

We need to get Cirno out of the mansion ASAP, it's been fun, but this is too much for our little friend. I'd go as far as to say that the mansion itself has something to do with her fairy abilities being messed up.

Also, the beasts she slew are former fairies, we NEED to make sure she doesn't end up turning into one of them. And if she does, we're using a card of fate to change it.

I'll put off voting until we have a good variety of write-ins to choose from.
>> No. 24618
>>24613
>We already know that he currently lacks the lisp.
>>“I know you’re there.”
I could be wrong, but I think we've been told he only lisps the "ess" sound, and turns it into a "thh" sound. There were no esses in his sentence here; we're still in the dark.
>> No. 24619
>Looks like the element of surprise has been completely lost
Perhaps not.
>“I know you’re there.”
He knows we are here, but he may not know exactly where we are.
>> No. 24623
[X] "Hello, Adam. I wish I could say I was glad to see you, but, you know."
[X] "If you would kindly step away so I can take my injured friend out of here, I would really appreciate it. Please."

I'd rather it not come down to any sort of combat, for multiple reasons. We aren't a fighter, despite our armament, and if there's any chance at all we can break through whatever influence Flandre has on Adam long enough to get Cirno and Nathaniel out of here, then so much the better.
>> No. 24630
[X] "Hello, Adam. I wish I could say I was glad to see you, but, you know."
[X] "If you would kindly step away so I can take my injured friend out of here, I would really appreciate it. Please."


Perfect. Some pre fight badass talk. First look after her Condition then we can take care of him.
>> No. 24639
>>24613

Perhaps, but we also don't know how sharp his senses are. He could pinpoint our position if we talk to him, but he could do the same if we move any more. The situation calls for us to be cautious, but our rage is certainly justified, we just can't let it blind us. We could try talking to him, but how can you reason with an insane person? Either way, I'm still waiting for a good write-in.
>> No. 24640
>>He could pinpoint our position if we talk to him, but he could do the same if we move any more.

You realize he doesn't need to do anything to pinpoint our position, right? We're standing in a dark tunnel with a freaking torch in our hands, we've got blood on us from both Flandre and the gaping hole formerly occupied by our eye, and unless we've suddenly become a ninja I seriously doubt we've been moving around completely silently. Even if he didn't turn around to see us, he could probably very easily hear and smell us coming before we even spotted him.

Of course, even without the torch he could still see us.
>>She looks around everywhere for the source of the tap, yet still can’t seem to find Adam, though he stands right in front of her.
Much like Flandre in our first encounter, he can clearly see rather well in the dark.

This is exactly why trying to fight him is a losing proposition for us. Aside from ranged attacks, he has the advantage over us in virtually every way. Considering he's already shown himself capable of killing us while basically unarmed and chained to a wall, I don't think our odds have improved any now that he's unrestrained and armed.

I figure the only way we're getting out of this is to either appeal to his reason and whatever of his true self is inside to fight Flan's influence long enough for us to get Cirno and ourselves away from him, or we somehow distract or incapacitate him long enough to do so, hoping in either case that whatever we do lasts long enough that we don't have him come chasing after us while we still have to find and rescue Nathaniel.
>> No. 24641
[x] "Hello, Adam. I'm sorry it's come to this. Maybe had I had followed your advice about Flandre, I wouldn't have lost an eye, you wouldn't be standing over my maidservant's corpse, and whom I'm guessing by that photograph is our mutual friend, Mr. Nathaniel, wouldn't be trapped in a cell right now and forced to choose between death and two equally undesirable forms of immortality."
[x] Let the knife drop and level the crossbow at him with one hand as you're speaking. Keep the torch in the other hand.

If we can arouse his curiosity maybe we can get him to stop playing Flandre's game. Neither he nor Flan should know of our ability to scry, so likely it hasn't been accounted for in the design of the game. What I'm guessing here is that rather than direct mind control, Flandre let Adam know that Nathaniel was here (or at least somebody from his past), but told him that he'll have to hunt down other guests in order to get clues, meaning that the photograph was not really meant for Cirno, but for him.

The crossbow is just to let Adam know you're aware that he's a danger to you at the moment and that you won't be wasting either of your time with incredulity. The torch is so he can identify you when he turns around as well as being able to see that you really have lost an eye.
>> No. 24642
>>24640

Hahaha, good point my friend. I think I overlooked that part of the text.
>> No. 24643
>>24641
>>Mr. Nathaniel, wouldn't be trapped in a cell right now and forced to choose between death and two equally undesirable forms of immortality.

And what reason does Mr. Farmer have for even suspecting any of Nathaniel's beverage options would grant immortality? All he knows is that one chalice has blood in it, and if the assumption is that it's Flandre's, then that might grant some form of immortality.
The vial from the locked box, though? Does our protagonist know enough about the person who made it to even suspect what it might be, or what it might do?
>> No. 24644
>>24643
Assuming that the drink is the Hourai Elixer is metagaming (and not necessarily true, of course). However, we do know that our medicine came from Eientei, and it is obvious that whatever is in there is something that will save him but at a terrible price. Like how the vampire blood will save him. Or how the pin saved us.
>> No. 24646
>>24641
>What I'm guessing here is that rather than direct mind control, Flandre let Adam know that Nathaniel was here (or at least somebody from his past), but told him that he'll have to hunt down other guests in order to get clues, meaning that the photograph was not really meant for Cirno, but for him.
Oh! Excellent notion, that. It would explain Cirno having that photograph. Maybe her part of the game is keeping the photograph safe or in her possession until some condition is met? Certainly in keeping with the "challenge" of these games; hers is easy to understand, but execution is incredibly difficult.
I like the idea of the write-in. I think it might work and it would be a great way to test your idea on Adam's motivations, but I'd agree that Nat's name drop is a bit too meta-y. Maybe edit the comment about immortality to something like "wouldn't be trapped in a cell right now and forced to make a choice that probably isn't nearly as benign as picking a drink for the night. Before he gets blown up, that is" ? I dunno, your write-in, I've had my say already and sticking to it before otherwise convinced. But this plus the >>24609 caveat sounds good. Might be a little too wordy for some one that just got their eye ripped out, but adrenaline does some crazy shit.
>> No. 24647
>>24643
>Does our protagonist know enough about the person who made it to even suspect what it might be, or what it might do?

You haven't been reading closely enough. The farmer knows there is an elixir or immortality from what Remilia said during dinner, as well that its effects were somehow undesirable, and also that Remilia had it or at least was capable of acquiring it.

Regardless, the purpose of Nathaniel''s game is clear even without knowing what is in any of the vials, and enough to make an assumption out of. More important than actually being right here is to convince Adam that we hold knowledge he isn't privy to, so that he will be hesitant to attack us.
>> No. 24648
>but I'd agree that Nat's name drop is a bit too meta-y

What? Why?
>> No. 24649
It occurs to me that whether or not Adam is sane right now might not even matter. If he’s insane then we need to kill him before he kills us. If he is sane and he killed Cirno, then we need to kill him for it. The only way Adam and The Farmer are both going to survive this confrontation is if Cirno does as well, and well…
>she’s not moving
>> No. 24650
>>24649
Thinking in the now is all well and good, but try to consider the consequences of our actions, here.
If we kill Adam, we'll probably piss off Flandre, and she'll want to kill us.
If we kill Flandre, we'll probably piss off Remilia, and she will want to kill us.

Even if Remilia doesn't find out, we still have to get out of the mansion itself, and with Sakuya guarding the interior, and Meiling clearly keeping watch for anyone coming outside, and so we'd probably have to get through them.

That's not taking into account at all what might happen if Nathaniel finds out about Adam, and that we killed him.
Granted, we don't know about their exact relationship, but considering this is a man who swore he would kill us if we broke any of his things, I can't imagine him treating us killing someone he knew any more lightly.

Killing is not the solution to our problems in this place, not when it winds up creating even more problems as a result.

Besides, even if Cirno is dead, remember we still have a trump card or three up our sleeve.
>> No. 24651
>>24648
In the context in which it is ultimately used: the choices of immortality or death. I thought the revised bit would have clarified what I thought was too much, but whatever.
I think we can make an informed guess about the red liquid: blood, probably Flandre's. But the Hourai elixir is a stretch. We know about Eirin and her marvelous immortality elixir from our first dinner conversation, and that the note regarding the vial had Eirin's name on it. But the "Batch 3" on the note means nothing to farmboy, and I don't think we've really reached a consensus as to what it really is Hourai or Anti-Hourai based on the little poem.
If you want farmboy to assume that the vial contains some Hourai elixir, well, okay. Seems natural to the players what it (probably) is considering the context into which the events of IN cast it in. But for farmboy, it's far more of a stretch. My read on the character is he wouldn't have made the connection.

Well, you know, that's just like, my opinion, man.
>> No. 24654
>>24650
>If we kill Adam, we'll probably piss off Flandre, and she'll want to kill us.

If she orchestrated Cirno's death, then any excuse to kill her will work for me.
>> No. 24656
>>24654
I think you're missing the point, here, not to mention completely ignoring the fact that killing Adam, let alone Flandre, is highly unlikely for us in the first place.

If you were to kill any resident of the mansion, especially the sibling of its mistress, you would be make an enemy of everyone there. As stacked as the odds would be against us just facing one resident, everyone after our head at once would mean there's virtually zero chance of us getting out of that place alive. Game Over, man. Game Over.

If Cirno is dead, and keep in mind we don't even know for certain that she is yet, embarking on some crusade of revenge is not going to help matters. We would just become one more corpse on the pile, one more life claimed by the "game" of the mansion. You can't help anyone when you're dead.

We have our wishes. We have whatever is in that flask in Nathaniel's game, if we can get to him and it before he drinks it or they're both blown to pieces. For all we know, Patchy might even know a way to help her, if we can just get her back upstairs.
As long as we're alive, as long as we have options available to us, even if we have to struggle to find them first, we need to make use of them. Revenge won't help anyone, won't fix anything, and won't accomplish anything beyond speeding us to an unpleasant and quite painful demise.

It amazes me that, for all his spouting of moralfaggotry from time to time, that Anon can have a surprisingly vindictive streak about him.
I know it can be chalked up to different posters with different views, but still, it still seems rather surreal to go from one story where Anon is raging over not being able to chow down on Mokou's liver, and then look at a different story where Anon is practically lecturing youkai on how bad and wrong it is to eat people.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
>> No. 24657
Frankly, all this talk of killing Flandre or Adam or whoever seems like a lot of misplaced blame, if you ask me.

If you really want to kill the one responsible for Cirno's current state, that I suggest we march right back to that room we were in, pick up the pistol we left there, and put the one bullet it holds straight through our skull.

When you come right down to it, who is REALLY responsible for Cirno being hurt right now? Who is responsible for her being here at all? Who is the one who brought her into this mansion, had her become our maid, and chose to have her follow along with us all this way, even knowing of the risks involved?

We knew this would be risky, dangerous, even life-threatening. We saw glimpses of what Adam and Flandre were capable of up to this point, and yet even knowing Cirno's healing, and thus her immortality, was probably not a working anymore, we brought her down here.

We could have chosen not to, you know. We could have left her to sleep while we went to meet Nathaniel. We could have told her to stay upstairs, or even wait just outside Flan's room while we went in, in case anything went wrong and we needed help.

Nathaniel chose to come down with us of his own free will, he actually stood to gain something from taking this risk, and he was the first to accept Flandre's game.

Cirno had no such stake in coming down, nothing to gain from being in such a dangerous place. Even if she wanted to come with us, if we told her not to, she would have had to comply.

Flandre is not the cause of this, Anon, she is merely the effect. If you really want someone to blame, you need only look into a mirror.
>> No. 24659
>>24657
But the mirror reflects nothing.
>> No. 24661
>>24659
What a tweest!
>> No. 24662
I don't think attacking Adam is a good idea. He is aware of our presence, so surprise attacks probably won't work. Besides, he could kill us 10 times before we even had the time to aim our weapon at him.

Then there's the picture with Adam, Nate and the unknown dragon-man. What could the relationship between Nathaniel and Adam be? Were they friends? Relatives? If those two know each other maybe we can take it to our advantage.

I think we should try to reason with Adam, tell him to stop playing Flandre's game, and that our friend Nathaniel is trapped somewhere around here. In a best case scenario, he snaps out of it and helps us free Nate. If not, we get a Bad End and try something else.

[X] Show yourself.
[X] "Why... why did you attack Cirno?"
[X] "Did Flandre force you to play her sick little game, too?"
[X] Tell him that we are all being manipulated by Flandre, and that the only way we can win her game is to stop playing by her rules.
[X] Tell him that we saw the picture Cirno was holding. Ask him if he knows a man named Nathaniel. If Adam recognizes the name, tell him that Nathaniel is trapped somewhere around here and that we must help him.
>> No. 24664
‘Tis slightly difficult to count this “election” when there are so few votes, and with differing wordings, but I did what I could. I’m rushing this update a little because my current plan is to marathon some anime with a few friends all day, and we’re starting at noon Eastern American Time (GMT -5 hours, or server time +3 hours, whichever you prefer).

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

[General plan: remain cautious and remain ready, but use words first. You’re no match for Adam in a fight.]
["Hello, Adam. I wish I could say I was glad to see you, but, you know."]
["If you would kindly step away so I can take my injured friend out of here, I would really appreciate it. Please."]

Brilliant. Just bloody brilliant. The element of surprise you were hoping for has been lost, and that puts you at a serious disadvantage. Adam could tear you through like a paper bag, and though you don’t know just how fast he is, or how quick his reactions are, you’re betting they’re pretty good, and definitely better than yours. You had planned on using danmaku to distract him—in fact, you still plan to—but once you start shooting, there’s no going back. Your primary concern right now is Cirno’s life, not your own. If she’s still alive (dear God, please let her still be alive!), fighting Adam won’t save her any quicker. You need to talk with him. Try to reason with him. Even without his lisp he’s more reasonable than Flandre, and certainly not as prone to flying off the handle. If he’ll listen to you, perhaps you can strike a bargain. If not…well, at least you tried.

You set your knife on the ground and stand up, keeping your right hand positioned close to the rifle-bow in case the worst should happen. You deem it best to speak first before trying to approach him.

“Hello, Adam,” you answer emotionlessly. “I would say I’m glad to see you but…well, I guess you know why I’m not.”

“Mmm,” he mumbles back at you. The bleeding lump on the ground stirs a bit at the sound of your voice; she’s still alive! Cirno speaks in a weak, tortured voice, impossible to hear if it wasn’t for the deathly silence of this crypt-like carven.

“…m-m-m-iss, ter-r…st-ooo-piidd…”

She emits a rasping cough that’s thick with blood. You can’t bear this any longer. Taking a bold step towards Adam, you speak firmly to him. “Adam, I—“

“I’m not going to fight you,” he interrupts, turning his head to face you. His visage…it’s almost as pitiful as Cirno’s, even without the look of near-death on it. His eyes are sad and dark, his face long, and though he’s spattered with blood, there is no malice in his voice. “Cirno’s game is over, and if you’re standing here, that means yours is too.” He points to your missing eye with an unnatural bladed hand. Up close and steady you see that his weapon is a metal glove with sharp, elongated fingers, giving him the deadliness of a fistful of knives while still maintaining the flexibility of his hand. “My part in this is done.”

You hesitate for a few seconds, then dash the last several meters to Cirno’s side, dropping the torch on the ground next to you. She’s…it’s…you can’t look away, though you desperately want to; how deep you want to. Having to see her like this…it’s worse than even tearing out your own eye; you should know. Her clothes can’t even be called shreds anymore; she is instead clothed with her own blood that shimmers in the torchlight like wine. Innumerable gashes and slices corrupt her once-perfect skin, unable to heal for reasons no one yet knows. Her wings lie shattered to bits around her, and…uggh; one of her small breasts has been torn straight out of her body, the wound bubbling with red foam as she tries to breathe through a punctured lung. And her face…no, don’t look away, she needs you. Four gruesome red claw marks drag across the left side of her head, so much worse than the visual equivalent of nails on a blackboard. Her left eyelid is closed right now, but from the looks of things, she wouldn’t have much of an eye if she opened it. Her right eye is open only a small crack, enough to see you. She barely manages a horribly weak smile, the left side of her mouth permanently drawn upwards from the slash.

“…h-iie,” she whispers, voice gurgling with blood and saliva. Cirno…

“Hi,” you respond, caressing her good cheek with your shaking hand. “I…I’m sorry I’m late.”

“s-s’ok-k-kaayy…” She tries to move her fingers to point at something, but her hand flops hopelessly to the side. “…ey-y-ye?”

“Don’t worry about it; I’ve got another,” you reply softly. What can you do, what can you do?! There’s no way you can bandage her up and expect that to be good enough; she’s too far past simple gauze and tape now. She needs healing; magical healing. It’s the only thing that will save her now. You turn to Adam, who is crouching on the ground, looking at something that’s not you. He did this to her; he brought her to death’s door…and he doesn’t even care. He’s distracted right now; you could take your small knife, jab it into his spine, slit his throat. It looks like it’s made of silver when you view it right; isn’t silver supposed to kill werewolves? You wonder how it would work on vampires…

No! He said he wouldn’t fight you; why should you fight him? Even if you do actually kill him somehow (unlikely), you’d have to deal with Flandre’s wrath, and Remilia’s wrath still if you killed her. Patchouli, she could heal Cirno. She has to! But you’d never make it in time, not if you had to carry her body like this. She’d never make it. But if Adam went to get her…

“Adam,” you beg. “I know you probably can’t or whatever…but, please, can you get help? Cirno needs healing; she needs Patchouli. Please, I’m begging you…get Patchouli. I’ll do anything! Please!”

He doesn’t seem to hear you, and his movements are painfully slow to watch. He picks something up off of the ground; that photograph again? He looks at it intently, confused.

“This picture,” he nearly whispers to himself. “Where…where did this picture come from?”

You shouldn’t tell him; you shouldn’t even know that Cirno had it. But you’re not thinking rationally right now; anything to make the conversation go faster. “Cirno had it. I don’t know where she got it. Adam, that’s…that’s you in the picture, isn’t it? With Nathaniel?”

He runs a bladed hand across the paper softly, thinking. “I…I remember this picture. I, I thought I forgot it, but…” he trails off, eyes immersed in the world of yesterday. “Who’s Nathaniel?” he asks out of the blue.

“Nathaniel? He’s the one in the picture, right? The one next to the man in the dark clothes.”

He shakes his head. “N-no, no, that’s…I, I remember his name. It’s…John. That’s John. He’s my friend.”

(Alas, poor John…)
>> No. 24665
(…I knew him, dear Cirno.)

John? Either some guy named John somewhere in the universe has the exact same face as Nathaniel and just happens to be in a picture with another strange person who’s hitting just a little too close to home right now…or Nathaniel gave you a false name. Whatever, you don’t care anymore.

“Well, ‘John’, if that’s his name, is in this mansion right now. He’s been here for days, fixing some watch of his. Actually, no…” you don’t care; let Adam know you can scry. You’ve got more important things to worry about right now. “No, he’s not just in the mansion; he’s down here, in these tunnels, Adam. He’s trapped in some room with dynamite and blood in a cup and I don’t know what else. He’s playing Flandre’s sick game, just like you and me. And I don’t think he’s winning.”

Adam’s eyes grow wide, and he staggers backwards with this new information, falling onto the ground and mumbling crazily to himself as he curls into a ball. “John…here? In the mansion? Playing the game? No…no, no, no…nononononogetoutofmyhead! GET OUT OF MY HEAD! FLANDRE! GET YOUR LUNATIC RED EYES OUT OF MY HEEAAAAAAD!!” He thrashes about like mad, slashing at the air and punching the wall in an insane rage; just like that time back in Room 101. You want to step back, try and get out of range, but Cirno’s still here. You have to protect her, no matter what.

Adam shoots off down the tunnel in lunacy, screaming “HEEERRROOOOOO!!” at the top of his lungs, the voice echoing through the dark corridors for what seems like an eternity.

Your focus immediately returns to Cirno, who has given up on trying to keep her eye open, and her breathing has slowed. “Cirno, just…just hang in there. It’ll be all right; Adam, he’s…” You hate yourself for it, for lying through your teeth, but you haven’t experienced this before in your life. How do you know what to say and what not to say? “He’s going to get help. You just, hold on…just, j-just…”

You can’t stop the tears from flowing down your face; clear on one side, red on the other. Why? Why did Cirno have to be the one to die? Why not Nathanel, or Flandre, or Adam, or you? Why did it have to be her? She…she didn’t do anything wrong. She just wanted to have some fun. Play a few jokes, laugh a little. Prove her willpower to others who looked down on her. And now…now she’ll never get to do any of that again. A magical fairy…an immortal fairy…a part of nature itself…and she’s going to die.

“…e-ey-emm-m, s-s…soh-oh, ohr-ree,” Cirno stutters, her words more painful for you to hear than for her to speak.

“Why?” you ask, your tears falling onto her delicate, broken frame. “You d-didn’t do…anything wrong. I’m the one who’s sorry. I, I should have been…should have been faster, should have g-gotten here on time.”

“…Ey-yee-e wah-s-s-sunt-t…str, stro-on-ong, een-nuf-f-f.”

You shake you head in continued defiance, feeling the life slipping out of her hand even as you hold it close to your heart in yours. “No. No, you were strong enough. More than enough. You’re The Strongest. That’s why…That’s why you, you can’t die, Cirno. I won’t let you die. I, I wont…let you die.”

[ ] There is a time for everything…A time to be born and a time to die…a time to kill and a time to heal…

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

You should be able to solve this.
>> No. 24666
[x] Ecclesiastes 3:1-20

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

>> No. 24667
File 122961548350.jpg - (13.54KB , 476x352 , 1228532890684.jpg ) [iqdb]
24667
>> No. 24668
>U.N.Owen

I don't like you anymore. ;_;

And, unfortunatly, I am not able to solve that, so this is my vote:
[X] There is a time for everything…A time to be born and a time to die…a time to kill and a time to heal…

Cirno... ;_;
>> No. 24669
I think now is the time to use one of our wishes. And this time we should escape our trap right away, find Cirno quickly before Adam does, and finally get Adam to our side by telling him about our mutual friend 'John'.

[X] Use First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
>> No. 24670
[x] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.

>“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.”
>> No. 24671
[x] Use First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
>> No. 24672
[x] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.

Hm, makes me wonder. U.N.Owen, did you plan on having Cirno tagging along like this since the beggining, or was she supposed to be a secondary character?
>> No. 24673
[x] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
>> No. 24674
>>24665
[X] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」

I think there may be an argument to be made that, given the text of its description, Third Wish could be better in this situation. However, Third Wish seems to be tailored to a far more grievous situation where jumping back a few choices won't do any good at all. So First Wish it is.
>The soul wishes to return to days of old, happier times under better circumstances.
Yup
>Present this card to the heavens with a purpose
Save Cirno
>Worry not about when you will return, for this has been preordained by the fate you make for yourself
If "when you will return" is 15 seconds ago, I'm dropping this story.
>Fate, which was once set in stone, shall unravel behind you, giving what all desire, but few receive: a second chance.
Yes please.
>Worry instead about how you will act when you do.
See, now I'm wondering where (when?) we're gonna get flung back to. The start of the game? The decision to play the game? Outside Flandre's room? Waking up this morning? Entering the mansion? Furthermore, will we remember everything that occured between now and then?
>> No. 24675
File 122962017319.jpg - (157.75KB , 455x610 , 50df9e5569cf50caa080db01aa1264eb.jpg ) [iqdb]
24675
[x] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.

...
>> No. 24677
Well that was pointless.

[x] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
>> No. 24678
>See, now I'm wondering where (when?) we're gonna get flung back to.

The most likely time I can think of, considering our goal, is just before we duel Cirno, thereby forcing us to make the decision to be her friend or keep her safe. It also will invariably end with her almost completely written out of the story, which makes me sad because she was my favorite character here.
>> No. 24679
[x] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」

Well, this has gone to hell at a rapid pace.
Let's hope this thing really does fling us backwards in time...
...Because this could just fling us backwards in time as our present self, so instead of just backing up x choices, we'd have to affect things from the shadows in order to avoid a paradox, ie. us meeting ourselves.

>GET OUT OF MY HEAD! FLANDRE! GET YOUR LUNATIC RED EYES OUT OF MY HEEAAAAAAD!!
Although i'm tempted to call the juggernaut reference, i'm more curious of the "RED EYES" part, could it be that Flandre also possesses scrying capabilities similar to ours, just vastly more powerful? That would certainly explain her near omniscience back when she went all rainbow on us.
Also, that would explain how she's supposed to be watching the game unravel even when she's not here.
>> No. 24680
>>24678
>The most likely time I can think of, considering our goal, is just before we duel Cirno, thereby forcing us to make the decision to be her friend or keep her safe. It also will invariably end with her almost completely written out of the story, which makes me sad because she was my favorite character here.

The idea is poetic, but a false dilemma, for two reasons.

1) We can't necessarily keep Cirno safe by keeping her at arms-length. She had already been losing her ability to regenerate, and given how Sakuya seemed to enjoy throwing knives at her, it'd only be a matter of time before she winds up a pincushion.

2) We may yet keep her safe by keeping her close to us. Cirno died here for one very simple reason: You ignored Adam's advice and volunteered the both of you to play Flandre's "game". And before that point there were any number of other options to avoid it from happening: Having her occupy herself with maid duties instead of going down to the basement with you and Nathaniel, making sure Adam was awake before you went, telling Nathaniel to get the sword back on his own--there are so many points at where a chance decision could change your "fate" drastically.
>> No. 24681
>>24674
I would say due to

>The soul wishes to return to days of old, happier times under better circumstances.

and that Cirno is about to die, not that long ago when we had a good time with Cirno and she was smiling and happy.
Maybe about the time when she was crying and afraid to die and we cheered her up and gave her the bed.

>Worry not about when you will return, for this has been preordained by the fate you make for yourself.

Maybe we can direct it somehow with thinking of a specific moment that we wish to return to.

A write in for where and when exactly we wish to return to would be great now.
>> No. 24682
>He shakes his head. “N-no, no, that’s…I, I remember his name. It’s…John. That’s John. He’s my friend.”
But John dies at the end.
>> No. 24683
>>24682
And then John was a zombie.
>> No. 24685
[x] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.

I'd refuse to give up if there was a chance at all to find an answer...
>> No. 24686
...Damn, I should have voted earlier. Even perhaps if it wouldn't have made a difference here, the elimination of laziness at the least is a positive thing. Even better, the reversal of fate.

[X] With Ecclesiastes 3:1-20 coming to mind, for some reason...
[X] "All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again... Not today."
[X] Use First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
>> No. 24688
>>24682
Oh you

>>24680
>Cirno died here for one very simple reason: You ignored Adam's advice and volunteered the both of you to play Flandre's "game".
Eh, you're probably right, but I'm not feeling it. Maybe I'm desensitized to anon making dumb choices, but accepting Flandre's invitation to play her game never felt like one. If anything, I've felt railroaded since we ad-libbed a response to Adam being asleep: a casual mention of dragons got Equitas back into Nat's possession and suddenly this game choice was presented? It comes down to whether you thought we had a say in that matter: I don't think we did, because what means do we have to stop Flandre from doing what she wants?
Storywise, it's pretty clever: sprinkle in some tasty little bits of information, present the readers to a couple one-sided/futile decisions, and culminate with a result that, outside of a massively bizarre shift in voting right now, demands the use of our well known "reset button." It lets us bounce out of this whole mess without the ordeal actually having any ramifications aside from giving us new information and characterization to play with. It's like a cut-scene in a video game.

If First Wish doesn't work like that, or we end up back in the chair, my notion is shot to hell.
>> No. 24695
>>24680
The way the choice's post was worded, it doesn't seem like Cirno decided to play because we had; or, rather, if that was the case then it wasn't focused upon. You can make the argument that even if Cirno had said nothing, if she were NOT participating in the game, Flandre would have ended-up having to incapacitate her anyway, but there doesn't seem to be that causal relationship built into the ice fairy's wording.

I, for one, didn't see this as a "do you want to play a game?" question. Choosing the game was, undoubtedly, dangerous; but, it didn't look like saying "No" would have been safe at all either and, depending on how it played-out, could have in fact been more immediately fatal.
>> No. 24697
>>24688
>I don't think we did, because what means do we have to stop Flandre from doing what she wants?

The only thing we've ever had, being in the good graces of her sister. What did us in here I think was that we gave Flandre an excuse to play with, and break, her sister's toys.

Think of how Flandre is going to frame it to her sister: The farmer snuck into a room he wasn't (and knew he wasn't) supposed to have the keys to and met Flandre and Adam because of this, both of whom clearly identified themselves as dangerous. The farmer goes back into the basement again, to have a secret discussion with his new maidservant, then willingly socializes with Adam and Flandre more properly, and is given clear warnings by Adam about how to and how not to act around Flandre. After he is "saved" by the chance arrival of the head maid, once again, the farmer, with foreknowledge of both Adam and Flandre's powers and insanity, willingly went back into the basement (this time dragging another important with him, after another secret discussion), in order to take something from her. He then proceed to insult her and agreed to play one of her games in recompense, against the prior advice of Adam. The little sister played this game because she is interested in the array of behaviors and emotions which her older sister prevents her from ever learning by locking her in a basement (or least it was under these pretenses).

With that perspective in mind, how could it be helped? The little sister is just doing as she always does, and even a farmer should know and understand the allegory of the Scorpion and the Frog.
>> No. 24698
[X] First Wish, 「Fate of the Past].

I think I'm beginning to see why Cirno had that photograph, and why we had those weapons laid out for us to find after we won our game.

Each of us had our own specific game to play, and our own set of "rules" on how we were to play it and win. However, while the nature of the games may differ, and with them certain rules, I believe one constant among them was that waiting for help from the others was a valid option. More than that, I think it's practically required if every player is to survive.

And that is where the items left for each of us came in.

Our game, as stated by Flandre and then supported by what Adam said, was simply for us to get out of the chair. That's it. Once we did, we had won, and our game was over.
Flandre was even courteous enough to leave a means to clean our wound and patch ourselves up, and a light source to allow us to see as we made our way out of the tunnels.
So then, what were the weapons for? There's a chance they were left to give us a means of defending ourselves should we run into any stragglers from Cirno's game she had not killed, sure, but I think it goes beyond that.

We were meant to go after Cirno and help her.

Had we not hesitated, wasted time scrying the residents of the mansion and seeing how none of them were doing anything, or trying in vain to use danmaku to erode our restraints or release us, we might have been able to patch up our socket, arm ourselves, and make our way to Cirno before she got too badly injured, possibly even before Adam got to her to finish the job.

However, I think while we were meant to aid her in killing those creatures, we were NOT meant to help her fight Adam.
For that matter, I don't think Cirno was meant to fight Adam either, even though he was clearly sent to fight and kill her.

Cirno's game was clearly based around fighting for her life, but if all there was to it was that there would be no reason for her to have that picture, is there?
The way her game was meant to go, I think, was for her to genuinely fight until all the creatures were dead and Adam came after her. From that point on, fighting is not what she was supposed to do. If it was, she was already at enough of a disadvantage, and coupled with the injuries she already had, there was no way she could possibly ever win against him.
The thing is, these sorts of "games" are not meant to be unwinnable. If fighting was not the way to win against Adam, then there must be some other means of doing so. That, I believe, is where the photograph came in.

Just as our game required us to do something difficult, and destroy our eye to escape, Cirno's game also required her to do something difficult for her; using her head and fighting with brains rather than brawn.

If we put our two games together, then this is the way I see things playing out.

We take the plunge, lose our eye, get out of the chair, patch up our socket, grab what items and weapons we can, and then book it to Cirno's location (wherever it may be), help her take out anything after her, and then when Adam shows up avoid his attacks long enough to get him to see the picture. Then, we tell him about "Nathaniel" (or whoever he really is) being down here and also playing a game, and that should be the end of Cirno's game.

As for where things go from there, who knows?
>> No. 24699
>>24695
Agreed. It didn't feel like a question that involved agreeing to or declining her offer.
>Yes…you will play my game, won’t you?
I can hear it in my head. You know how your voice gets a little high at the end of asking a question? I doubt that little inflection was present. It was a statement, she was asking if we understood that we were going to play her game.

>>24698
Each part of the game connects with the others? Not a bad idea. While ours was gruesome, it was straightforward. Flandre told us the goal of our game was to get out, and to get out we needed to fuck up our eye and pull the pin. We did, so we... won? I dunno, but Adam did say our part in the game was done. But if we're done, why did we get loaded down with all that weaponry? I think you're right that at that point we become Cirno's backup for whatever the objective of her game is. Considering the interconnections, maybe she has to deliver the picture to Nat?
>> No. 24701
>As for where things go from there, who knows?

Well, there is the matter of Nathaniel's game. Following your analysis of the game, Nathaniel's is the opposite of ours. He's presented with a number of options to escape, all with irreversible consequences, when the reality is that all he has to do is wait for help. No one is relying on him in his own mind (he washed his hands clean of us in front of Flandre earlier), and he has all the time in the world to make a decision, if at all. However, since relying on others is so terribly difficult for Nathaniel, this becomes a race against time for us.
>> No. 24702
>>24699
>It was a statement, she was asking if we understood that we were going to play her game.

Ah, but since we did not understand what her game was, our answer should in that case still have been "no" shouldn't it?
>> No. 24704
>>24702
How I see it:
"You're going to play my game, do you understand?"
"No"
"Alright, let clarify myself: you are going to play my game."
"Wha...?"
Gamed
~fin~
>> No. 24705
>>24704

Well maybe had that happened, Anon's concerns over being "railroaded" would be justified, but as it now it's hard to see it as anything other than hand-wringing.
>> No. 24706
>>24698

I thought that the speed option would determine if we would find Cirno in time. Slow and cautious? Cirno is dead. Cautious, but not slow? What we got. Fast and reckless? Either find Cirno in time to help her agains Adam, or getting killed by something on the way.
>> No. 24707
So this game basically requires each of the players to go against their nature.

The ponderous farmer has to be swift and reckless.
Cirno has to use her brain, and present the picture to Adam.
Adam has to shake free of his insanity, without explicit permission by Flandre.
Nathaniel has to rely on others.

What a curious concoction this game is.

[x] Use First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
>> No. 24708
From >>24698 to >>24707 , these are some stunningly good insights! Now only to reverse our mistake...
>> No. 24709
[x]Try magic out of desperation
[x]At least wait to see the conclusion of Flandre's game, then...
[x]Use first wish, fate of the past

It may bu a useless gesture, but we can at least try our magic. Patchouli just said our proficiency was in scrying, not that we were limited to it. Just like how we can create Danmaku, it seems magic is a force based on belief. If there were any situation in which we would strongly believe in a certain result or action to happen through our will, now would be that time. Maybe we could even link it to our area of proficiency. A really longshot idea of scrying through Cirno's eyes and looking at her own reflection coming from our eyes then willing her wounds to heal(seeing her reflection recovering). Like I said, it's a very longshot idea trying to push the extent of our ability. The other Touhou characters with abstract abilities can pull off some pretty amazing feats and Patchouli did hint that the uses of magic were limited only by the casters imagination. On that same note, maybe we can suggest Cirno putting herself into a cryogenic sleep to preserve her in a semiliving state?

In case we still end up in a similar situation, maybe we should see the conclusion to this game and at least get some answers from Flandre that would benefit us. At the very least we can find out more information about Nathaniel and Adam that we could use when we use our first wish. The more prepared we are when we use it, the better chance we have of shifting fate more in our direction.
>> No. 24713
>>24709
>On that same note, maybe we can suggest Cirno putting herself into a cryogenic sleep to preserve her in a semiliving state?
Gosh this sure reminds me of something.
>you hear Cirno murmuring something frantically as a strangely comfortable chill sweeps over you.
>"Only one out of three, only one out of three, only one out of three..."

[x] Try magic out of desperation, then...
[x] Use First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」.
>> No. 24716
[Use First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」]

This…this can’t be. This isn’t happening! No! Cirno’s eyes grow hazy and unfocused; you’re losing her. Your mind races with thoughts, your head unable to contain them. Something, anything! Anything at all to save her! You pick up each and every thing you have, searching for a solution. There has to be a solution…has to be…Cirno, she can’t die! She can’t!

The rifle-bow? A weapon. Worthless. You throw it away in rage.

Your torch? Cauterizing the wounds won’t work; not enough time, not enough time!

The silver knife? Another bloody weapon that you hurl at the wall in frustration.

The chalice? You have no magic potion for her to drink. The cup clatters across the ground.

Your journal? Useless papers, useless!

Danmaku spell cards? A lot of good danmaku has done you; if only you hadn’t wasted so much time with it, you might have made it to Cirno in time!

Your…wishes?

Your wishes.

The cards shake in your bloodstained hands. These…these can save her. They have magic…wishes…wishes you need granted. Future is worthless; you don’t need to look ahead. Present is worthless; you don’t want to change a life, you want to save it! Past…”a second chance.” Yes, yes! A second chance…a chance to fix everything, to save Cirno, to change this all!

You look into Cirno’s slit of an eye, unsure if she can see you or not; no, she’s not dead, she’s not dead! Your tears change from tears of sadness to tears of joy and back again every second. You stroke Cirno’s face, hoping, dreaming…wishing.

“I’m going to fix this, Cirno. I’m going to fix it all.”

With that, you stand up and focus hard, whether you need to or not. The past…you need to go back to a time when you can still save Cirno. A time when you can still make the choice. Please…please, let this work. Snapping your wrist back and lifting the card up in front of you, you fill your voice with all the emotions you’re feeling right this instant. Love, hate, fear, anger, loss, confusion, sadness, vengeance, justice…

“First Wish! Fate of The Past!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A voice? It comes from nowhere…and everywhere. It is male…female…genderless…chaotic. It emanates from outside your body, and inside it, and against it, and with it.

”What is it you wish for?

You don’t speak. You think. You feel. “I wish for a second chance…to save the life of Cirno the fairy.”

A pause. ”The fairy’s life requires saving in more ways than one. Fairies are deathless, yet die every day. Eternal, yet shorter than a fleeting glance. Infinite, yet so very defined. Do you know what it will take to save this life?

Do you? To save her life, you need to be better…faster…smarter. But what does it really mean…to “save” a life? To give them hope? To give them a future? To love them? Lead them? Can you do all of that?

No. But you can try.

“Yes.”

Another pause, longer now. ”Fate rests in the hands of the few. Those who possess it may not even understand it. Your fate is your own…and not your own. To ask for change is simple…to change it is complex. You, mortal, who has lived but the blinking of an eye, will not understand why fate will happen as it does now.

“Your wish is granted.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Where are you? You can’t move; you’re sitting down. Fate? Who was talking just now? It feels cold. You can see with both eyes. Both eyes.

You’re back in the iron chair, the spike peering into your right eye, but not attacking yet. The candle…the candle’s still at full height. It’s…you…you’re in the past. But, what?

You still remember. How you scryed everyone, and learned nothing. How you burned danmaku into the chair, and failed. How you…your eye. How you picked up your weapons and ran. Cirno…she was there, on the ground, dying in your arms, and you had nothing to do for her, nothing to say…except to try again.

The Wish of The Past sent you back in time. Back to right after Flandre left, it seems. Back when Cirno was still fighting those twisted fairies, before, before…No, don’t think about that now. She’s not dead yet. Not yet! You still have time; plenty of time. And you’re not going to waste it now. No one gets a second chance at their mistakes; not one. And your not going to waste the one you’ve been given. First things first, unfortunately. You stare down the bloodied tip of the spike with revenge in your heart and fire in your eyes.

It doesn’t hurt so much this time around.

After you bandage yourself up as before, you look at the table. Everything is there, just as it used to be. Except…no, something’s changed. The cards. 「Fate of the Past」 isn’t there anymore. Present and Future still exist, but Past simply isn’t there on the table.

You remember what you took before, and waste no time in picking them up again. They were rational choices back then, and the situation hasn’t changed. Or, wait…has it? You know now what Adam is capable of, and what constant battles with those monster fairies will do to Cirno. You know too much, but you still know too little. This time, you’re not just going to save Cirno; you’re going to help her, to fight with her, to keep her alive. And when Adam comes…well, let’s hope he’ll listen to words. You set your assorted weapons and large possessions back down, and think this through. Perhaps…yes. Perhaps you should bring something different this time.

[ ] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.
[ ] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space
[ ] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (it’s too big for a pocket).
[ ] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space.
[ ] Both of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take both hands to carry or all your belt space.
[ ] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[ ] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand.
[ ] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (carrying it in a pocket may be inadvisable).

Also…
[ ] Go slow through the tunnels. You need to keep a level head, and there could be fairy creatures ready to attack you.
[ ] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to reach Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.
[ ] Book it! The faster you reach Cirno, to more chance you have to keep her alive!

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

Only a small update this morning, I’m afraid. Yesterday’s anime marathon took a bit more out of me that I would have liked, and my mind is a bit distracted right now. I promise to write more this afternoon, once my final exam is complete. How I long for Christmas break…
>> No. 24717
[ ] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.(hand)
[ ] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[ ] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space. (hand)
[ ] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload. (put on the back)
[ ] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand. (attach two on the bow thing)
[X] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).

The pistol? Yes, the pistol too. It can't be dodged that easily, and even one bullet should be enough to make Adam stop for a moment while we try something else, like taking the rifle-bow from our back and loading it.

[ ] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to reach Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

This time there are more monsters alive. But I dunno, really. But...what if we save Nathaniel first and use him to stop Adam? But there is still the trouble of finding him...
>> No. 24720
[x] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry.
[x] Your diary, for posterity. This will take half your belt space.
[x] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take half your belt space.
[x] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload.
[x] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier.
[x] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry.
[x] Book it! The faster you reach Cirno, to more chance you have to keep her alive!

We know where we're going, and even if we do become engaged in fighting, the sound of you fighting is going to serve to bring your presence to Cirno and Adam's attention, which is what we want. With the proper weapons setup, we should be able to reach either of them with time to spare.

We get one shot with the pistol before dropping it in case we're jumped and grappled, where it's more effective than an unwieldy knife and where we'd switch to Sakuya's knife anyway. More importantly, we can threaten Adam with it immediately, rather than having to drop stuff and prepare. So yeah, don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

The chalice may not be useless; it can be filled with our own blood and given to Adam to sate his bloodlust.

The torch is necessary to find our way, but in a firefight it can be dropped without it going out (assuming it's soaked in tar pitch), or thrown as a distraction, and danmaku used to light the hall long enough to let off a crossbow bolt.

>>24713
>"Only one out of three, only one out of three, only one out of three..."

FFFFFFFFFFFFFF
>> No. 24721
[x] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.
[x] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space
[x] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (it’s too big for a pocket).
[x] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space.
Also…
[x] Book it! Cirno won’t last much longer against Adam; she needs your help now!

This time, let's not bring a large heavy object that only fires one bolt before reloading. We saw how Cirno faired using her barrage of icicles. What makes us think that a single reload weapon will fend off a horde of enemies.
All we need to do is either miss, or hit just one in the bunch before the rest will be within melee distance from what we saw. If we do run into those things, a confrontation is the last thing we can afford. At best we defend ourselves while still moving. Attempting to at least deflect the attacks with the heavy knife and torch(fire is good) and maybe even use the momentum to throw us forward towards our goal.

On a similar note, does mystic farmer have a time frame of how long it took to reach Cirno?
If we can afford it, maybe we could make finding Nathaniel's room our second goal.(Really wish we did that before time jumping.)Our first objective though is to get to Cirno in time. When we do confront Adam, name dropping "John needs help!" may stop him in his tracks. We can proceed to the picture from there too.
>> No. 24722
>>Attempting to at least deflect the attacks with the heavy knife and torch(fire is good) and maybe even use the momentum to throw us forward towards our goal.

I meant to say large knife there. Probably a little hefty but not so much as the rifle bow.
>> No. 24725
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.(hand)
[X] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[X] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space. (hand)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload. (put on the back)
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand. (attach two on the bow thing)
[X] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[X] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to reach Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.
>> No. 24729
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.(hand)
[X] Both of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take both hands to carry or all your belt space. (hand, belt)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload. (put on the back)
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand. (attach two on the bow thing)
[X] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[x] Book it! Cirno won’t last much longer against Adam; she needs your help now!

Fuck the diary. Sure, it's great for writing down our thoughts and reflecting on past events, but why focus on the past when you need to focus on the present? Cirno's in trouble, this should override any sentimentality that could screw us over. Even if we don't get it now, once Nathaniel and Cirno are safe we should be able to. Priorities, people.
>> No. 24730
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.(hand)
[X] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[X] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space. (hand)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload. (put on the back)
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand. (attach two on the bow thing)
[X] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[X] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to reach Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

I'm with the last guy, although I'll be pissed if it turns out we need that chalice...
>> No. 24732
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.(hand)
[X] Both of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take both hands to carry or all your belt space. (hand, belt)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload. (put on the back)
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand. (attach two on the bow thing)
[X] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[x] Book it! Cirno won’t last much longer against Adam; she needs your help now!
>> No. 24733
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.(hand)
[X] Both of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take both hands to carry or all your belt space. (hand, belt)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload. (put on the back)
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand. (attach two on the bow thing)
[X] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[x] Book it! Cirno won’t last much longer against Adam; she needs your help now!
>> No. 24734
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.(hand)
[X] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[x] The chalice, for whatever need comes up. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (hand)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload. (put on the back)
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand. (attach two on the bow thing)
[X] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[X] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to reach Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

If we're forced into close combat with any of these beasts it's gonna be game over. It would be better to strike from a distance. The pistol seems like a good idea as a last resort. We're going to have to find out exactly what Cirno's game is too.
>> No. 24742
[X] The torch, for illumination or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or all your belt space.(hand)
[X] Your diary, for posterity. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[X] One of the large knives, as weapons or as a tool. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space. (hand)
[X] The rifle-bow, as a weapon. It has a leather strap so you can sling it across your shoulder, but it will take both hands to fire and reload. (put on the back)
[X] Some of the rifle-bow reload frames. It looks like the weapon has latches for two extra frames on the side without sacrificing functionality, but it will make the weapon heavier. Or, you could carry one frame in a hand. (attach two on the bow thing)
[X] The pistol, as a weapon or a last resort. This will take one hand to carry or half your belt space (belt).
[X] Take a brisk pace through the tunnels. Speed is essential to reach Cirno, but not at the expense of caution.

No way am I going to book it down these dark cold corridors. Cirno won't get much help if I die running into a beast's path or something now will she?
>> No. 24753
File 122974692325.jpg - (238.36KB , 647x900 , ElegantFlandre.jpg ) [iqdb]
24753
I regret to inform you that there will be no new updates until tomorrow night. I have taken too much leisure time for myself, and now must spend my remaining free time packing and cleaning up my room rather than writing. Many apologies for this oversight, but at the same time, I do need my rest every now and again, and I just can't find the concentration to write tonight. Provided the status back home is not too overbearing, I shall endeavor to write and read much during my three-week break. Perhaps, with luck and speedy voting, I may be able to adopt a regular twice-a-day updating schedule, but I won't get too far ahead of myself just yet.

As a small gift meant to placate, you may view at your pleasure this intriguing picture of Flandre.
>> No. 24756
>>24753
Take your time Owen, we won't die if you take yourself a day off to fix things.
You bring us an great story every day, keep up the good work.
>> No. 24757
File 122977448631.jpg - (354.62KB , 1024x768 , 1157078308829.jpg ) [iqdb]
24757
>>24753
Here's one better suited for our current dilemma.
>> No. 24758
>>24757
>flandrewithfarmer.jpg
>> No. 24772
>>24753
Is this by Jeff? It looks like it.
>> No. 24774
>>24772
Artist's name is Felis Ovum.
>> No. 24779
[Carry the torch and the knife in your hands]
[Stuff the diary and the pistol in your belt]
[Sling the rifle-bow over your shoulder. Take two reloads and latch them to it]
[Book it! The faster you reach Cirno, to more chance you have to keep her alive!]

The bright flame of the torch goes out before you, probing the tunnels ahead for danger as you dash through the dark corridors, battle knife in hand. Though you have a good time frame for the events that are about to happen—no, the events that once happened—time is still your enemy, and you’ll take no chances anymore. The rifle-bow knocks uncomfortably on your back with every step you take, its heavy weight slowing you down ever so slightly, but even a slight detriment feels horrible to you.

You’ve memorized all too well the paths you took to reach Cirno the last time. Right, right, left, center, second from left; the path became ingrained into your mind the moment you witnessed Adam standing over her cor—no! She wasn’t dead, she’s not dead now! Get to her…get to her…it’s not too late. The absence of monster fairies still irks you. She must have killed twenty, even forty of them before reaching Adam; if they’re not dead, then where are they? Shouldn’t they be crawling around these tunnels like mad? You’ve got no time right now to curse your good luck. Must press on—

A shriek and a pressure against your leg causes you to stumble to the ground, a twisted fairy from behind grabbing at your foot with sharp nails. You spin around quickly and brandish your long knife, sending the creature reeling backwards, a hand to its now-bleeding face. You don’t have time for this, not now! Have to get to Cirno, have to! You lash out a few more precautionary swipes at its torso and legs, trying to incapacitate it, then continue down the tunnels without stopping. If scrying Cirno told you anything, it’s that these things heal fast, and you might have only bought yourself five seconds. With your luck, you’ll have just alerted the entire pack.

You have to be getting close to where you found Cirno before; where is she? Would she have moved very far from her last stand? Did your rushed presence change things? Did you take a wrong turn in your haste? Cirno, Cirno! Where are you? Panic grips you as the images of her death flash before your eyes. Are you really changing anything? Is this merely a second chance to see her die once again? Perhaps…perhaps the cards are just a joke. A trick played on foolish minds to give them false hope before tearing it away from them. Maybe…maybe fate doesn’t merely change with the dealing of a card, even a magical one. Maybe this is all just a dream, a dream you’ll wake up from to find Cirno’s dead body wrapped around your arms, before Adam opens—

A stinging pain hits your back as you trip onto the ground from the impact, your spine burning with hurt. A familiar growling shriek slaps your ears as the demon fairy catches up to you, her wounds healed and her eyes full of animal fury. You try to shove the torch into her face, but she dances back in either anticipation or fear. Those claws…if she’s ready for you, you can’t risk close combat. You drop your knife and torch to the ground, grabbing up the bolt-firing rifle instead. Taking quick aim, you prepare to unleash a dual attack of danmaku and crossbow bolts.

A slash from behind you knocks your aim off, and you finger slips on the trigger, sending an errant shaft of metal spinning uselessly against the stone walls. A second fairy from behind? You let the weapon fall to the side, its supporting string biting into your neck, and reach for the knife. No good; the monster blinds your one-sided vision with bright, painful light; danmaku or true magic, you can’t tell. Pinned on both sides by ravenous foes, your weapons scattered just out of reach, these will be your final moments. Your thoughts fly to Cirno, to Nathaniel, to Adam, to Flandre. All the people you wanted to save, and will now never be able to.

Heavy weights thud against your body as your foes charge into you from both sides, slamming you into the ground. Your good eye shoved into the ground, you can only imagine what horrible bloodlust your body is about to satiate for these soulless beasts. A cold and angular feeling fills your side as the bite of sharp numbness floods your arm. You can feel yourself being jerked upwards into a forced standing position; some new method of death, perhaps? Two cool, blue eyes look into your single one, and then all goes black…

…As you are drawn into a heartfelt hug?

Cirno…Cirno! Her tiny hands and familiar crystal wings in yours confirm it. She’s, she’s alive! You hug her back with joy, so very glad for her to simply still be alive. Better judgment quickly sinks in, and you release her, moving to pick up your weapons once more. You see the frozen forms of your two slain opponents toppled on the floor next to your feet, their eyes still open in immobile fury and madness.

“What happened to your eye?!” Cirno asks anxiously, wiping a little blood off of her cheek where your bandage leaked onto her skin.

You cover the bandage with your hand subconsciously. “It’s…it’s nothing, Cirno. Flandre’s game, that’s all. I’m fine. Really, I’m all right. I’m here to help you fight these…these things.”

Cirno casts a sad gaze on the broken fairies. “They’re, uhmm, they’re fairies, just like me. But I guess, I guess Flandre did somethin’ to ‘em, made ‘em all vampirey and stuff. I…I don’t want to kill them.”

You place a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry. We can get through this. What did Flandre tell you? What’s the game you have to play? What are the rules?”

She tries to look at your face while still avoiding your missing eye, and fails miserably, opting to look at the walls instead. “I, I have a choice. She showed me the way out of these tunnels. She…she said all I had to do was fight a few of her…her ‘toys’ to get out. But if I wanted to save you and Nat in the Hat, I’d have to fight more. Lots more. And then she gave me this.” She shows you the picture you saw before, with Nathaniel, Adam, the dragon-man, and the confident man. She points a small finger at the unknown man, and stutters a bit as she continues to talk.

“R-Remember how she told me, told me that someone would come for me? Someone who’d make a-all my dreams come true? She said this is the guy. Isaac. That’s his name. She said I had to figure out the, the best way to find ‘im. And then, then she just left me, all alone.”

(Isaac…)
>> No. 24782
>Cirno…Cirno! Her tiny hands and familiar crystal wings in yours confirm it. She’s, she’s alive! You hug her back with joy, so very glad for her to simply still be alive. Better judgment quickly sinks in, and you release her, moving to pick up your weapons once more. You see the frozen forms of your two slain opponents toppled on the floor next to your feet, their eyes still open in immobile fury and madness.

Icicle in one hand, Mr. Stupid in the other, saving the day.
>> No. 24783
>>24779
“R-Remember how she told me, told me that someone would come for me? Someone who’d make a-all my dreams come true? She said this is the guy. Isaac. That’s his name. She said I had to figure out the, the best way to find ‘im. And then, then she just left me, all alone.”

>>24255
>“Hold on, Cirno…I’m coming for you.”

Hmm?

Site is too weird right now; voting later.
>> No. 24784
After reading this update, I'm personally hoping that Isaac is either a lie or already dead. I'd really rather not get another original character up in here in addition to Adam and Nathaniel. The possibility that we are Isaac is also a bit of a wallbanger for me, due to the fact that I LIKE the Farmer being just some random guy who showed up by chance. It'll be kind of lame if it turns out it was our destiny or something to come and help Cirno.

Still, it seems like only half the update got posted, so I'm probably overreacting a bit here.
>> No. 24785
>>24774
Who also does guro. Well, I was at least half-right.
>> No. 24787
>She said this is the guy. Isaac. That’s his name.
Newton? There's certainly his Law of cooling, but that's something Cirno should know by default, since it's practically just "Something cools faster the bigger the temperature difference between it and it's surroundings"
It could also be Asimov, or related to his works, but lacking any knowledge of those leaves me in the dark to why he in particular would help Cirno.

Anyway, if this is not a cruel joke by Flandre, and Adams real name isn't Isaac, it wouldn't be really funny to add another original character at this point of the story.
>> No. 24788
I apologize; the site was being annoying and timing out my connection whenever I tried to post something last night. Since it looks like the update got on the site anyways, I'll try to post the other portion now.

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

(…where art thou?)

“Isaac.” The man who will “make all of Cirno’s dreams come true,” and he just so happens to be in the same picture as Nathaniel and Adam? Seems a little too good to be true. But in either case, you’re beginning to understand the situation now. All three of your games intertwine together. Individually, you all have the power to leave and save yourselves. But together, it’s easier. Cirno could leave the caverns to save her own life for a better chance to see Isaac while still alive, or she could brave the flood of monsters down here to rescue the man in the same picture as her “savoir”, who might know how to unite the two (you’re still skeptical on that, though). Nathaniel’s (or it is John’s?) odd drinks most likely save him from a direct dynamite blast, but you fear at some unknown cost. He could take the risk, or wait for another to save him. And you…either Nathaniel/John or Cirno could have reached you and freed you easily from your chair, or you could have done what you already did: spent an eye to free yourself, and join the battle for the lives of the other two. Flandre…she’s insane, but you can’t deny that her game is smart.

You don’t have any more time to wait; those fairies will be here any minute. You quickly explain the situation to Cirno. “Cirno, listen. Nathaniel’s trapped in a room down here, and I have a feeling that he won’t be able to get out by himself. We need to find him, but the problem is, Adam’s down here too, and he’s not going to be very friendly. I think…I think Flandre’s controlling him to kill us or something.”

Her eyes grow wide, but she adopts a stalwart face. “Hmph! She’s not playing fair at all! Adam’s scary and all vampired, that’s like cheating! But The Strongest gots to win. So you’d better help me, right?”

You nod with confidence, though you actually have very little. “Right. Let’s do this.”

You fiddle with the rifle-bow for a while, getting a feel for how it reloads. Seems that there’s a sliding grip on the front you pull back to load another bolt into the chamber from the full frame of ten. It’s an odd system, but very efficient for quick shooting, making it not too much slower than an actual rifle. You experiment with shoving a new frame into the chamber in case you expend all ten bolts during battle, not wanting to be taking by surprise. You can hear the echoing cries of more vampirized fairies coming closer. Time to set the stage for your combat.

[ ] Fight side-by-side with Cirno; the two of you shall be an impassible wall.
[ ] Fight back-to-back with Cirno; you shall both guard each other.
[ ] Fight out in front of Cirno; you are her shield, and her offense is more valuable that yours.
[ ] Just run away; try and find Nathaniel (John?) quickly, only engaging enemies you have to.
[ ] A different strategy? (Write-in)

And as for weapons…
[ ] Keep a hold or your torch and knife for short-range combat.
[ ] Fire the rifle-bow for long-range combat.
[ ] Switch between your weapons as needed; slower, but more versatile.
[ ] A different strategy? (Write-in)
>> No. 24793
[x] Fight side-by-side with Cirno; the two of you shall be an impassible wall.
[x] Fire the rifle-bow and danmaku for long-range combat.

You call down the thunder, and I'll reap the whirlwind.
>> No. 24794
[x] Fight side-by-side with Cirno; the two of you shall be an impassible wall.
[x] Switch between your weapons as needed; slower, but more versatile.
>> No. 24796
This rifle-bow thing reminds me of the Railway rifle in Fallout 3.
>> No. 24797
[ ] Fight back-to-back with Cirno; you shall both guard each other.
[ ] Switch between your weapons as needed; slower, but more versatile.

A rifle-bow won't be very useful when the enemy has grabed your face. But don't use the pistol yet.
>> No. 24799
>>24784
>>24787
The man know as Isaac will not be making an appearance in A Scarlet-Stained Memoir. I’m aware that two original characters may already be pushing it. Your concerns do not fall upon deaf ears, I assure you. Please remember them during the question and answer segment I will be holding at the end of the story; your input will be most appreciated by me.
>> No. 24800
>>24796

From the description it just sounds like a repeating crossbow.
>> No. 24810
[x] Fight side-by-side with Cirno; the two of you shall be an impassible wall.
[x] Fire the rifle-bow and danmaku for long-range combat.
>> No. 24828
File 122991100794.jpg - (37.94KB , 435x580 , hiro.jpg ) [iqdb]
24828
>>24779
>“R-Remember how she told me, told me that someone would come for me? Someone who’d make a-all my dreams come true? She said this is the guy. Isaac. That’s his name. She said I had to figure out the, the best way to find ‘im. And then, then she just left me, all alone.”
Mista Esaac?!
>> No. 24833
Even though there’s not a lot of votes up right now, the site’s downtime has caused much too long of a gap in updates, and I need to get my mind back into ASSM soon before I forget it. I’ll start writing later this evening with whatever votes I’ve got at the time, and hopefully we can all get back to our regularly-scheduled programming afterwards.

However, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve made quite a bit more progress on your Christmas present during the server switch (or whatever it was), and it will be ready in time for the holiday.
>> No. 24838
[Fight side-by-side with Cirno; the two of you shall be an impassible wall.]
[Switch between your weapons as needed; slower, but more versatile.]

You set the torch and diary on the ground—in different locations of course—thrusting the long knife into your belt and clutching the rifle-bow tightly. You’re prepared to do whatever it takes to keep Cirno alive this time. Bow, knife, pistol, you’re ready to use anything. You stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Cirno, her presence oddly comforting to you in this dark area. With this position you know exactly what’s coming for Cirno, and together the two of you should be able to stop anything that comes close. Your back is open, true, but hopefully these passageways don’t loop around each other too much. And if they do…well, at least one ally is better than none.

“All right, Mr. Stupid, you ready for this?” Cirno asks confidently.

“As ready as I’m going to be, which’ll never be ready enough unfortunately,” you reply.

She cracks her knuckles together and smiles. “That’s why I’m helpin’ ya, though! Right, so you shoot that thingy-thing at ‘em whenever you want, and that should slow ‘em down enough for me to freeze them solid! It’ll be easy!”

You nod nervously, lofting the rifle-bow into a ready position. The banshee-like yells grow louder and louder, grating on your nerves. How can Cirno be so confident about all this? She knows she might die for good at any time. What’s giving her so much courage now? Whatever it is, you hope she’s got some left over for you.

And then the onslaught begins. One of the rabid fairies comes into view of the firelight, snarling at either you or Cirno, you can’t tell. It’s form is completely naked, but you’ve no time to admire whether a mindless monster is well-endowed or not. Within a split second Cirno’s already filled it with icicles and frozen it solid, your loosed bolt piercing a hole into the now-chilled head. A second jumps past its deceased cousin, and Cirno deals with it the same way as you reload your weapon with a click-click from the slider. The frozen forms of your opponents block your view, so you’re taken by surprise as they burst to pieces at the hands of three more ravenous fairies, their movements a marvel to behold; how could they possibly move so quickly without tripping over each other? You pierce a bolt through the chest of one, Cirno does the same with a bolt of ice to another, and barely has time to manifest a small shield of ice before the third one jumps on her. Without thinking you let the rifle fall from your hands, draw your knife, and begin hacking at the creature’s throat. “Cut if off, it’ll regenerate if you don’t, cut it all off,” you think to yourself as the resistance of flesh on steel slowly falls away and the head of your adversary flops to the ground, the body fighting futilely for a few seconds more before falling limp.

The two fairies from before have jumped back into the fight, and you slash wildly with the knife at any face-type region you can find, holding them off briefly while Cirno does her part and freezes them into a state where they soon shatter to pieces at your knife. A wayward slash was landed on your arm, and blood now runs freely into your knife hand. You quickly switch back to the rifle-bow and reload once more while you have the time.

It’s madness. Your world becomes a sea of colors and shapes rather than actual, distinguishable things. Blue ice. Red blood. Grey bolts. Pale faces. Silver blades. Pink breasts. White snow. Brown rock. Black air. You fire the rifle into faces and chests indiscriminately, the inertia of the bolts buying Cirno the half-second she needs to turn a vampirized fairy into shards of frozen flesh. A creature worms behind you and rakes at your back, only to have it’s face caved in by the butt of your gun, followed by an arrow through the brain. Cirno throws globes of ice at your assailants to buy time like a bowling ball and ninepins. For every one you destroy, two take it’s place, your line being pushed back again and again simply from the sheer mounds of corpses choking the tunnel’s throat.

How long have you been fighting? One minute? Two? An hour? How many have you killed? Ten? Twenty? A hundred? How much of your blood has been shed? Half a liter? A whole liter? Counting and numbers mean nothing to you now. This world you’ve stumbled into has no methods, no logic, no right or wrong, and no truth but one: To live, you must kill. To live longer, you must kill more.

You feel a hand shaking you, and a voice calling out. You don’t hear the voice, and can only lash out at the hand with your knife. Must kill. Must kill all to save Cirno. Kill all to save yourself. Can’t stop. Can’t stop. Kill. Not stop ‘until all dead. All dead.

“Mr. Stupid! Snap out of it! We’re done, stop it! You’re hurting me, stop!”

You fall on the ground, your knife-hand a block of ice, still clutching the gore-splattered weapon. Cirno…you attacked Cirno! She’s covered with much less blood than you, but she currently curls her hand around a deep cut on her wrist. You…you did that. And you didn’t even know it. What…what just happened? How many did you kill? How much blood did you spill to save your own?

“Are you all right, Mr. Stupid?” Cirno asks you, stretching out her good hand to you non-frozen one. “You went kinda crazy back there. You were scaring me for a while, you know?”

You still can’t believe what just happened, though you find your lips saying something like, “Sorry; fighting for my life; makes you do crazy things.” Killing…murdering…was this murder? No, self-defense. You would have died unless you killed them. They were just monsters, monsters without brains, right? But…they, they were fairies once, though. Vampirized, tortured, probably experimented on brutally, but still fairies, like Cirno. Cirno definitely has a mind and soul…did they? You can’t think; can’t reason, can’t philosophize. You just want to sleep. Sleep, yes…sleep sounds nice. Your limbs shake as your right hand limply lets go of your knife and you lean against both Cirno and the wall at the same time. Your breathing becomes ragged and wavering, and you’re vaguely aware of something soft on your face; Cirno’s hand, maybe?

“Hello mister; hello Cirno.”

In the failing light of your torch you can barely make out Adam’s emotionless face in the darkness. Cirno immediately stands in between you and him.

“No! You don’t get to eat him! I’m his maid-person, I gots to protect him! Leave him alone!”

Adam shakes his head and points a metal-encased finger at her. “I didn’t come for him. I came for you.”

[ ] Put yourself between Cirno and Adam; he doesn’t get to eat her either!
[ ] You can make the shot from this distance; draw your pistol. Bang.
[ ] You can make the shot from this distance; lift the rifle. Thwip.
[ ] You can make the shot from this distance; pull your silver knife. Thunk.
[ ] Don’t just do something; stand there!
[ ] Don’t just stand there; do something! (Write-in what)

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

>>24828
You have combined the plucky, optimistic Hiro Nakamura (easily my favorite Heroes character) with the plucky, optimistic Cirno (easily one of my favorite Touhou characters). Words cannot express how “d’awwww” I am feeling right now.
>> No. 24839
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.
>> No. 24841
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.
>> No. 24845
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.
>> No. 24848
Shouldn't Cirno come up with that?

[X] "Cirno, didn't Flandre give you something? I think it belongs to someone else, to someone in front of us"
>> No. 24849
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.
>> No. 24850
>>24848
Good point.

[x] "Cirno, didn't Flandre give you something?
>> No. 24851
I see nothing wrong with these.
[X] "Cirno, didn't Flandre give you something? I think it belongs to someone else, to someone in front of us."
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.

Perhaps with the 'without Cirno dead' part, who knows.
>> No. 24854
[X] "Cirno, didn't Flandre give you something? I think it belongs to someone else, to someone in front of us."
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.
>> No. 24855
[X] "Cirno, didn't Flandre give you something? I think it belongs to someone else, to someone in front of us."
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.
>> No. 24856
[X] "Cirno, didn't Flandre give you something? I think it belongs to someone else, to someone in front of us."
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.
>> No. 24862
[x] "Cirno, didn't Flandre give you something? I think it belongs to someone else, to someone in front of us."
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.
>> No. 24864
Hey U.N.Owen, you said you were reading RAN on /others/, didn't you? I take it you read only until thread seven, since the eighth was deleted and it isn't on the archive yet. Am I right?

So, I've uploaded what I have of the last thread before it's deletion, a .txt file and a .mht file (open with IE).

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?yyjdfyomyjt

Consider it my christmas gift to you. I'd post this on the seventh RAN thread too, but it's like all threads have suddenly vanished.
>> No. 24865
[x] Don’t just stand there; do something! Show Adam the picture and tell him Nathaniel/John is down there as well. Just like last time but without the problem of Cirno being dead.

Merry Christmas Owen
>> No. 24870
>>24864
>>but it's like all threads have suddenly vanished.

Blankfag gave up and left the site for good.
>> No. 24874
>>24870

You just have to drive the spike deeper, don't you?
>> No. 24876
>>24864
Here's all of Blankfag's stuff: RaAN 1-8, Tangle, and Wanderer from Hell.

http://www.mediafire.com/?d47jl2he2se
>> No. 24877
File 123018766896.jpg - (235.03KB , 725x1000 , 2512207.jpg ) [iqdb]
24877
>>24874
...and deeper still...
>> No. 24878
File 123018778144.jpg - (485.22KB , 951x639 , 2493540.jpg ) [iqdb]
24878
>>24877
...if only to kill this thread~
>> No. 24879
File 123018798683.jpg - (267.86KB , 700x730 , 2461126.jpg ) [iqdb]
24879
>>24878
~and force a new one.

Merry Christmas, one and all.