[Return]
Archived thread

File 12411941625.png - (290.97KB , 320x240 , mugen0eu5.png ) [iqdb]
27988 No. 27988
If you've seen us around, you'll notice it's unusual of us to start a thread.

If you haven't...

Hi, I'm Tesla. This is my partner, Dunefag.

What's starting here is something that's been in development for... a while. Updates may be slow at times because the storyline and sometimes the writing is collaborative, but hopefully it won't be too much of a problem. This may seem confusing at first, but it'll all make sense in time, we promise.

Well, let's get started then.

---

There's a figure rolling around on the floor. Who is that? Are they hurt? You can't tell if they're writing in agony or in mirth. They're making sounds, very small ones. Whimpers or giggles? You inch a little closer, there's something here and the person might need your help. You start talking to them as you get closer.

"Hello? Are you alright?"

---

>> No. 27989
>>27988

So, what were you doing?

You don't recognize your surroundings, nor do you recognize the two people in front of you. Do you know them? All this unfamiliarity is part of having your condition. They seem agitated. Is something happening? You're inside a building of some sort, and those two figures in front of you are directly in front of a wall.

The first to address you is the man on the right. You don't recognize him, but that doesn't indicate whether you should know him or not. He holds out his hands as if to try and calm you down.

"Just wait a second, man. What do you intend to do with that?" Well, he seems to know you. Wait, you're holding a sword? When did you pick it up? Whose is it? Is it yours? No point asking him these questions, or the person on the left either. You have to know more about them before you do. You turn her eyes at her, and she seems to notice.

"Wait! Don't do anything! Listen to me!" You nod at her, it might give you some more information. "I- I know you can't remember anything, so wait. I can't explain everything now, but I've been helping you over the past few days. People have been trying to use you, but I want to help. Will you trust me?" You look at the man, to see how he reacts.

Oddly enough, he's smiling. "Magnificent actress, isn't she? She's right, people have been trying to use you. She's one of them."

"Don't listen to-"

The man interrupts, unholstering a pistol. "Now why don't you let R here say his piece?" Keeping his weapon aimed at the floor, he continues. "I keep telling you, over and over again, do not trust her! I have forced you to write it down, but I don't know if that'll help if she's had the chance to get to those or trick you into writing that over yourself." You flinch. How much does he know? "Oh, yeah! Take a look at those notes in your pocket. I bet you got some of us. Hope they're not too descriptive if you want to look at them, situation seems a bit... impatient."

"Wait! Don't listen to him! This man has tricked you!"

"And so I did! You always got a share, though! I never used you!"

"Please listen to me! Trust me!"

The man seems to be addressing the woman to his right now. "Aw, you make me sick! Least I'm honest! Sure I tricked him, never hung him out to dry! You watch out for the guys you work with!"

"You're a slanderer! I would never use someone!"

"You really expect me to believe that?" He looks at you. "Oh. Right. Listen, we both know about your condition, so you don't have any clarifying to do. Introductions are pretty useless at this point, so you have to make a decision fast. Remember I was saying the situation was a little impatient? Someone's closing in on this building, and they won't take long. You've got thinking to do, but I suggest you be quick about it."

"Please come to your senses! Don't hurt me!"

"How funny. Nothing about calming down or not hurting the other guy. You think there isn't something behind that?"

"He's trying to make you suspicious of me! Please believe me!"

That's it. You steel yourself and hold the weapon tighter. You've had enough. Even so, who do you trust?

[ ] Kill him.
[ ] Kill her.
[ ] Kill them both.
[ ] Drop the blade, step back. You have to sort this out.
>> No. 27992
[x] Keep the blade, step back. You have to sort this out

No point in giving up a perfectly good weapon.
>> No. 27993
[+] Kill him.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And do you know what I don’t like about most of Anon’s journeys?

He doesn’t have a spine.

He takes the easy way out. He hedges his bets. He doesn’t want to commit until he knows all the information. Well you know what? That doesn’t always work. Sometimes you have to move quickly with what you believe in, even when the choice is hard to make. Sometimes you have to make choices and live with the consequences.

You see two people standing before you. Both claim that the other one is false, and that they are the one you should trust. Obviously, one of them is lying. But which one? For this, you do not listen to their words. You listen to their tone and their ideas. The man is talking offensively, the woman defensively. He’s pointing a loaded finger at the woman, and trying to vilify himself by pointing half a finger back at him as well. She is saying little and pleading for her life, saying “Please!” nearly every time. Do you see a “please” out of the man’s mouth? Not a one.

Their ways of convincing you are quite different. The woman begs, the man antagonizes. He gives you all these reasons why you shouldn’t trust her and trust him instead. He’s quite presumptuous, don’t you think? He’s forcing an awful lot on you all at once without any explanation. I don’t trust him.

Now, the woman made a request at the beginning. “Wait! Don't do anything! Listen to me!” Normally I’d be all for trusting her and not jumping to rash action. But there’s a problem: the man has a gun out and ready. If you side with the girl and don’t retaliate, he can get the jump on you in half a second if he wants to. You have to act, and act now. Remove the threat.

So, as I pray…Limited blade-work.

==========

Glad to see you’ve finally started writing, you two. Let us see where this shall go…
>> No. 27994
[X] Kill him.

Aside from Owen's rationale, I just don't like the way this guy presents himself. He seems far too slimy for my tastes.

Pick a side. It'll be more interesting.
>> No. 27995
[x] Kill him.

>>27993

What happened to SHOES?
>> No. 27996
[x] Kill him.
>> No. 27997
Oh wasn't there a puzzle, where one out of two <some mythological creatures> hold <some mythological artifact>. Except one of them always tells the truth, and the other one always lies. And you only had one question to ask, you had to outsmart that mechanic.

[] Ask one of them, if the other one is telling the truth.

Wait, that doesn't work.
[x] Kill him.
>> No. 27998
>>27995
As I've said before, SHOES! is not just my story. Me and about 5 of my other friends are writing it together, updating in no particular order whenever we feel like it. I've been bogged down with end-of-the-year exams and haven't had time to write. After this week, we'll see how things turn out.

You can also whine to: Mystia, Kedama, Taboo, Suzanne, and UnknownYoukai if you need an additional SHOES! fix. I am not the sole purveyor of the story.
>> No. 27999
[x] Kill them both.

They've both admitted to using us. I don't trust either.
>> No. 28000
>>27997
If one always lies, couldn't you just ask them what color shirt you're wearing?
>> No. 28001
>>27997

Actually, the solution in that scenario is to ask either one of the <mythological creatures> which <mythological creature> the other <mythological creature> would say holds the <mythological artifact>. Then you claim it from the <mythological creature> that isn't given as an answer.

Asking if the other was telling the truth wouldn't work.
>> No. 28002
>>28000

Wouldn't tell you which one had the artifact, just which one lies. With the one question spent there would be no way to figure out which one had the artifact.
>> No. 28003
[x] Kill him.
>> No. 28006
>>Someone's closing in on this building, and they won't take long.

[x] We can sort this out later. Right now, you should all escape.

Why kill either of them when it's in everyone's best interest to leave together? If the situation is about to turn dangerous, the extra help will be good to have. At the very least, we know that the man won't attempt to kill us right now; if that's what he was after, he could've done it while we were getting our bearings (although I guess we technically still are.) The woman is apparently unarmed, and if she is concealing a weapon, she hasn't tried to use it on us yet, which puts her in the same boat as the other guy.

The way I see it, the worst case scenario would be if one of them kills the other. And given our current predicament, it wouldn't be wise for us to trust either of them, so it doesn't matter either way.
>> No. 28007
>>28006

Oh, and a quick addendum:

[x] Make it clear that you don't particularly care for either of them.

...'Cuz I don't.
>> No. 28008
>>27993
>HI I'M A WRITEFAG I'LL BE HIJACKING YOUR STORY NOW.

[x] Why would you kill either of your valuable hostages?
>> No. 28009
File 124121166337.jpg - (13.21KB , 300x170 , teddy.jpg ) [iqdb]
28009
Leonard you don't know what's going on!

[X] Kill him.
>> No. 28011
>>27988 I just go by Dune now, Tesla~

And hello everyone, i'm glad to see that you're already beginning this story on a good note (In terms of activity, anyway... paranoiaUp(1); ) ! I'd just like to let you guys know that if anyone has any questions relating to the story, either of us can probably answer it so long as it isn't too invasive about things you must find for yourselves. I hope you enjoy it and continue to stick with us, and have fun!
>> No. 28012
>>28009

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of this movie (how could you not?)
>> No. 28013
>>28009
>>28012
Tesla: I knew someone was going to think of this. Just knew it.

===

[x] Kill him.

You quickly flick your eyes between them, taking both of them in sight. You don't even know who they are, but the man's words, his strange appeal to reason, his accusation and aggressive logic...

You don't trust him.

Instantly you lunge toward him, and run him through in the abdomen. You're not sure if it's fatal, but if it isn't he's badly hurt at least. His eyes widen in surprise, but he looks down at you and then smiles as if amused.

"Well, I guess I understand... I must've said it wrong." You release the sword, and he looks down at where you struck him. "Well, you were always of a peculiar character. Some people change a lot, but you're the only one I knew who could change every minute. I might still have a chance at you..."

You look at him accusingly, unsure of what you're to do now. He puts his gun back in its holster, and places his hands over his wounds. “Now, I suppose, is a good time for questions now that you've acted. I'd suggest taking a look around, establishing context... ugh... and... asking yourself questions based on that, heh heh heh.” He slumps a little, but keeps talking. “Questions like: where the hell did the girl go?”

You look around. The woman you'd confronted is nowhere to be seen. There isn't a trace of her anywhere.

“There, you see? Well, we haven't got so long to wait for what's next.” He presses one hand against one of his wounds and clasps the other around the sword, pulling it out and dropping it on the floor. “Damn... this is a pain that is going to linger.” You start hearing something beating on the door to the chamber you're in. “Well, best... brace yourself, heh heh... ha ha ha ha...”

Laughing, the man collapses.

---
>> No. 28014
You walk into the building, you guess it to be some sort of bar. Sitting down at the counter and ordering something to drink, you take a sip and exhale. You're not sure where it is you are, but that's not your concern. Your notes said this was the place, and what motive was there to distrust them? You just have to find some lodgings and decide where to go from there. Someone to your right seems interested in you, though.

"My, a new face! That's quite rare around here." You ignore him for the moment, but he doesn't seem discouraged. "Come on, be a little friendlier! You won't get around much if you're cold to everyone..."

"Do I know you?" You try not to sound too antisocial when you say that, but think it came out like that anyway.

"I don't know. Should you?" Oh, he's in a playful mood. That or he's just that kind of guy. Best explain it then.

"I don't know. See, it's this condition I have. It's a bit rare, but it happens."

"What is it?"

"Anterograde amnesia. It's not like retrograde amnesia," you continue, pleased he's interested, "in that I can remember everything up to a certain point. After that, any new memories just fade over time."

"Gee, that must suck. So you know who you are and where you're from and all that, but can't after some time? Do you know what you want to do?"

"Yes." A curt reply, but it'll do.

"Alright, so if you don't mind me asking, who are you? Wait," he says, holding his hand up, "something comes before that."

"Yeah, who are you?" He seems shifty.

"Pleased to meet you; Roland Bix, but it sounds best if you pronounce it in German. So, let's hear what you want me to call you."

[ ] Well? What's your name?
>> No. 28016
>There's a figure rolling around on the floor. Who is that? Are they hurt? You can't tell if they're writing in agony or in mirth. They're making sounds, very small ones. Whimpers or giggles? You inch a little closer, there's something here and the person might need your help. You start talking to them as you get closer.

>"Hello? Are you alright?"

. . .
God. Dammit.
>> No. 28017
[X] "Carl"
>> No. 28018
[X] Inconnuit San Lune

Pitching the absurd name first, baby.

On another note, anterograde amnesia is going to make this all very difficult.
>> No. 28019
>>28013

Satisfied, Owen?
>> No. 28020
[x] Sam Jenkins.

Why the fuck not?
Let's go all the way.
>> No. 28021
>>28009
>>28012
>>28013
>>28020

For those of you who don't know what the hell we're talking about, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memento_(film)
>> No. 28022
[x] Sam Jenkins.
>> No. 28028
[x] Sam Jenkins.

No idea who that is but let's continue without wasting time.
>> No. 28049
>>28048

Holy shit slowze.
>> No. 28052
[x] Sammy Jenkis
>> No. 28064
>>28052
>>[ ] Sammy Jenkis

Meh. I'd rather twist it a bit, if only for the tiny bit of cleverness that it makes me feel.

[x] Sam Jenkins.
>> No. 28068
John Jenkis brother of Sammy Jenkis
>> No. 28072
[ze] Sam Jenkins.
>> No. 28075
[x] Whatever.
>> No. 28160
[ ] LEROOOOOY JEEENKINS
>> No. 28198
>>28160

I was waiting for someone to make this oh-so-original-and-clever reference.

That was bad and you should feel bad.
>> No. 28252
[x] Sam Jenkins

“Sam... Jenkins, huh? Alright. So what are you here for?”

“I'm here on holiday, to enjoy the scenery.”

“Well, yeah, but... why are you really here?”

You turn and face your drink, take a pull on it and then answer. “I probably couldn't tell you how I got here. All I know is someone said I should come here, and to look for someone.” You take the note you followed, which was bunched up in your hand, and then show it to him. “You know where I could find this person?”

The man takes the note and studies it. You hadn't taken a close look at him before, but observe him now. He wears a white Oxford shirt, untucked, with the button at the collar undone; beneath that he has long, dark blue pants and a pair of boots that seem to fit him snugly. Hooked on his right hip is a long holster for a pistol; you can't tell how long it is but it's somewhere between seven and nine inches without counting the butt of the gun sticking out. He has short black hair and grayish blue eyes, and his complexion seems European. As you analyze him, he draws his gaze from the note and looks you over curiously; he then hands it back to you and speaks good-naturedly.

“Yeah. I know her, actually, so I can help you there. Don't know where she is right now... well, I could show you in the right direction or help you look. There was something I intended to ask her, anyway.” He hands the note back to you, and you study it. It seems to be written on some unusual form of paper... you're not sure why it strikes you as odd, but it seems a little traditional or old. You look at the name: Keine... Kamishirasawa, huh? Strange.

You put the note back in your pocket. “Alright. Just let me finish this, then.” The man nods, and turns back forwards.

You take the opportunity to have a look around, but what you see is a little confusing. The building you're in seems Japanese, and the occupants are, generally, dressed in a very traditional manner save for the one you just met. One of the occupants, a short girl drinking from a gourd, seems to be wearing a pair of horns, but no one pays her any mind so you figure you won't either. Finishing up your drink, you pull out your wallet but are stopped by the bartender.

“That's okay. I can tell you've just arrived, and an outsider like you probably doesn't carry any local money around. We'll talk about it whenever you come around again, but for now don't worry about it.”

You don't understand at all, what does he mean by 'outsider' and why wouldn't you be carrying any local money? Still, you thank him and leave it alone.

The man who identified himself as 'Roland Bix' gets up, pays for his drink and walks out with you in tow. Once outside, he pops out a pair of old-fashioned, circular sunglasses tinted blue and puts them on, then turning his head to face you.

“So how do we go about this? I'm going to go look for miss Keine now, so you could come along, or I could just show you in the right direction if you prefer to do things by yourself. Which sounds better to you?”

[ ] Go with him. Finding this person should be easier with him, and you think having someone she knows around would be good.
[ ] No, you'll find her by yourself.
>> No. 28258
>>One of the occupants, a short girl drinking from a gourd, seems to be wearing a pair of horns, but no one pays her any mind so you figure you won't either.

Wow, what an easygoing guy~
It's better than freaking out about it every time we see her, I guess.
(Even though that would be pretty funny.)

[x] Go with him. Finding this person should be easier with him, and you think having someone she knows around would be good.

Despite the description, I keep imagining this guy as Teddy... which only increases my urge to roll with him.
>> No. 28280
>>28008
You don't pay attention to the way I vote much, do you? I don't just vote, I analyze. Sometimes I analyze a bit too hard. And anyways, it's not like I did a write-in; I voted for something that was offered, something that the author(s) was/were prepared to write when they gave us those options. Besides, I'm too sporadic in my votes to actually hijack anything besides my own stories.

>>28019
It's not a matter of satisfaction. What happened happened, and I was prepared for it to happen. I'm just one voter; if you don't think my ideas are good, don't vote for them.

[+] Go with him. Finding this person should be easier with him, and you think having someone she knows around would be good.

Sounds like a plan.
>> No. 28297
>>28280

To be fair, Owen, you made an arguement in favor of your vote. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you are a tripfag and a writefag. You carry a substantial reputation (especially here in /sdm/) and can throw the weight of ethos around all you want-- even if you don't realize it. It's not just your reasoning that can influence Anon's decicision; many people (including myself) saw your vote and explanation, and then immediately went, "Oh, Owen is writing. Maybe I should vote for this." In the end, I voted for something different, but I'd be lying if I said that your opinion wasn't taken into greater consideration just because it was yours. Maybe I was alone in this, but I should think I'm not that different from the average voter here.
I'm not blaming you for anything. I certainly wouldn't fault you for defending your own stance.
But... just think about it.
>> No. 28359
While waiting for the next votes in order to continue, we figured this was a good time to go over game mechanics. There are a few things that separate this from most games (as you might have guessed) so here's a couple things you'll want to know.

Firstly, the timeline is broken. You might have already noticed this, but we're using this to iterate a few things regarding that. Though certain things that happened at one point have happened before and after others, actions still have consequence. Good write-ins, if you conceive them, are encouraged! In addition, temporal paradoxes such as bad ends can still logically exist, but you'll see why this is later.

Also, since the protagonist is an anterograde amnesiac, there is the system of notes. Notes are used to identify people (through physical description and so such), record events, write down things you have to do, etc. At any point in time you can write down a note for something, but keep in mind that having too many or writing down contradictory statements may confuse you in the future.

Also, the various choices you make and the MC's interactions with the characters will cause said characters to feel or think a certain way about him, and so how these work out is (almost) entirely up to you and your imagination.

If there's anything else, we'll let you know as we go along. For now, keep voting and we'll put in an update once we decide the votes closed. Have fun!
>> No. 28361
>>28297
You can't tell him to not argue his vote like everyone else can, just because you worship him and don't think about what he says. Quit being starstruck.
>> No. 28363
[ze] No, you'll find her by yourself.

Fuck him

We will ask a hobo.
>> No. 28386
>>28361

I didn't.
Read more carefully.
I only asked that it be taken into consideration.
>> No. 28389
>>28297
I know, I know. Explaining my reasoning is easy for me; explaining myself is hard, and I screwed up there. Everything you said has gone through my mind before, and probably was when I posted that first vote. Words have power, and it seems that my words have more. I don’t try to abuse it, but when I post lame crap like >>28280 I come off like that, or come of like I don’t know a thing. I apologize if I offended anyone. Perhaps I should consider voting triples every now and again; let the words speak for themselves.

And sorry I’m late in getting back to you.
>> No. 28390
>voting triples

You shouldn't votespam. And multivoting isn't always the answer.
>> No. 28392
>>28390

Bugger; that's a typo. I meant "tripless", as in anonymously. Amazing what one missing letter can do to a statement.
>> No. 28393
>>28390
>>28392

I lol'd.
>> No. 28421
Tesla: Well, we didn't like cutting it there, but updates have to be put in at a decent pace.

===

“Right.” He says, turning back. “Well, let's get going. I know where to start looking, but who knows where she's at now.” He starts to walk down the path, and you follow. “By the way,” he says, “you don't know where you are, do you?”

“No.” You don't think he's making fun of you, but look at him critically.

“Well, I'll tell you, since it's a bit hard to swallow. You've walked into Gensokyo, which, to put it briefly, is a region of the world sealed away from the rest of it through a sort of barrier. A pocket world, if you will.” You walk up closer, to hear him more clearly. “In it are lots of things that would usually be perceived as strange, maybe even impossible- fairies, magic, if you're familiar with the concept of youkai, those too. It's been closed off for a while now, so in many regards Gensokyo has stayed behind on things like science and technology... well, on a large scale.” He stops at a building, and looks into it through a window. You get in next to him and do the same, finding the building's inside is devoid of people.

He turns to walk off, and you follow him. “I'm telling you this now because this is a concept you'll be facing quite a lot. Besides the fact that you're here, and that people will talk about these things like they're nothing. I suppose, in a sense, they are, but this can still throw you off. Ah, wait a second.” He approaches a bystander, presumably to ask them where this “Keine” person is. After a second of conversation you don't catch, he walks back to you, thanking them.

“Here, we've got a lead on where she might be. Come along.” You pull out a pad of notes and a pen, starting to take notes on what he said. Let's see... Gensokyo... cut off from the world... technologically backward (somewhat)... inhabited by magical beings. “What else?” You ask.

“Well, hm. Oh, remember that though there is a human population, it's relatively small compared to that of youkai. Keep in mind that a lot of individuals are potentially hostile, even if they might not seem it, and-”

He's interrupted by a large black blur that zooms in front of you both and stops. Getting up from a crouching position, it reveals itself to be a woman, seemingly young, wearing a white blouse, black skirt and tokin hat. What most strikes you are her red eyes, but... well, after the description of this place you're not really sure what to expect.

“Hello!” She exclaims, smiling brightly. “How are you doing today?”

Roland seems annoyed by this person. Does he know her? “Hello, Aya.” Apparently so.

She smiles at him, but doesn't say anything for a second. “Um... Whatcha doing?”

“Oh, it's nothing that would make a good article. Don't know if it'll interest you.”

“Don't be like that. Tell me.”

“I'm just looking for the village guardian.”

“Mm, I see. Hey, who's he?” She points at you. You jerk a bit in surprise, since you hadn't expected to be addressed. You hesitate to get your bearings, then answer.

“I'm Sam Jenkins.”

“Sam Jenkins? Is he an outsider?” She turns back to Roland.

“Yeah.”

“I suppose you have some company then!” She turns back to you, quickly pulling out some paper and something to write with. “How did you get here? When did you arrive? Where are you from?”

Roland interrupts her. “Ease up, he can't remember anything.”

This 'Aya' seems greatly excited by hearing that. “Oh, cool! Then how much can you remember? Is it possible that...” She assails you with a flurry of questions, speaking faster and faster until she's impossible to understand. At one point, she just cuts off, and looks at you as if expecting you to answer.

Instead, you try to shrug her off. “Finished?”

She sighs. “Yeah... Well, I think I'll ask around about you first before I get to asking you personally. Expect me! Oh, and by the way...” she shoves a newspaper into your hands. “Tell me what you think! See you!” She flies off, too fast for you to notice her passing until she's gone.

Roland shrugs. “Well, that's it for now. Come along, we still need to find miss Keine.”

---
>> No. 28424
You're walking down a hall, of impressive size. Wait. You stop, unsure of what you're doing. You take a look at the notes in your hand, they should probably remind you of what you're supposed to be doing... the first has a hand-drawn map of a supposed “Scarlet Devil Mansion”. Well, that's probably where you are, but you don't have a way of telling where you are inside it. You take the second note, which tell you to be in “the library” by... 6:30.

You check your watch. That's an hour from now. Taking a look at yet another note in your hands, which has a pen clipped to it, bears a set of directions with some being crossed out. Ah, there it is. You take the note and pick up where you left off, following the listed directions and crossing them out as you complete each step.

You have to stop and admire the sheer size of the place. Resuming your pace, you begin to appreciate the intricacy of the decoration... though another thing you notice is the predominant appearance of the color red. Well, you suppose the place may get its name from that, but still...

On the way, though, your thoughts are interrupted by sounds coming out from behind one of the closed doors. You can't hear what they are, but out of curiosity you get closer to it and listen. They seem to be voices, but you can't hear what they're saying. You lean against the door, pressing your ear against it. The voices are too muffled for you to make out any characteristics, but you think you can hear the words now.

“...getting complicated.”

“Well, what do you mean?”

“The situation keeps getting more precarious. Events get more and more convoluted, and it can be tough to tell who's being honest and who isn't. Besides,” the voice continues, “you know as well as I people have designs that they're trying to execute in here.”

“Hardly anything could happen in these walls I wouldn't know about.”

“I'll need you to look closely, then. We have to keep things under control, and for that we need you on the ball.”

“What is it you're asking of me, exactly?”

“...No one can afford to stay uninvolved now, especially not you. I'm confident I have you as an ally, but you need to go into this
with both eyes open. A few people under this roof have got things they're not telling anyone... and some of them have their sleeves full of lies and tricks. Now that this has started... there's no going back. Not until it's over.

“...Are you prepared to go through with this, things as they are?”


A long, pregnant pause.

“Yes.”

Silence.

“Good. I knew I could count on you.”

Those words seem to hang in the air, until the second voice speaks again.

“...As you said, on to the next step. Where do we go from here?”

“Well, let's see. First, we have to make sure we can't be heard...”


Prompted by that last phrase, you pry yourself off of the door and continue to follow the directions you wrote down. You have no idea whether they were going to check the door or not, but they didn't sound like they were expecting to be overheard- or that they'd be pleased to find that they were.

Still, what could one make of all this? You couldn't recognize the voices... no, you couldn't even identify anything about them. They hinted at things like deceit and plotting, but you wouldn't know where to start...

As you're thinking, you come across a sort of lobby or lounge. In it are some chairs, a coffee table... There's a cup of tea, complete with a saucer, sitting on the table with a small pot, and a brown leather coat hangs off the back of one of the chairs. In another, a woman with black hair, matching black skirt and white blouse is sitting, reading a rather large book. She seems to notice you, however, and waves at you. You wave back, you guess you're supposed to know her. She's sitting at an angle away from the table... if you tilt your head to the right just a little, you could almost see up her-

Something hits your forehead with impressive force, which combined with your unpreparedness sends you backwards, reeling, before you fall on your back, looking up. The woman walks over to you, looks down at you, and smiles before picking her book back up and walking over to her seat. She drops down into it, sips her tea and opens her book, seemingly looking for a lost page. After a few moments, she seems to be reading again.

You get up, nursing your aching head, and bid farewell to the woman before walking out of the room and continuing to follow the directions you wrote for this “library”. On the way there, however you start pondering what to write for all the things you've seen. It didn't sound like anything to take lightly, but you can't make heads or tails of it. Writing down anything about everyone is pretty dangerous, too, since you could get something wrong, and it wouldn't do if you distrusted everyone. No, that would just strand you...

“Sam!” Huh?

“Saaaaaaam!!!” A child's voice?

“SAAAAAAAAAM!!!!” The voice, elated, is now very close. Suddenly, you're knocked off your feet and into a wall. Seriously... you need to start paying more attention. Being thrown around like this so suddenly, twice, isn't fun at all. You reel a little, before you're knocked off your feet again and pinned to the ground.

Above you is a little girl, which you can't see much of since she's so close. She's blonde, wearing a poofy hat with a red ribbon in it, and has burning red eyes that are staring directly into yours.

It's probably just a feeling, but you feel a little put off by what's going on behind them.

“Come on, let's play! Let's play a game! It'll be fun, I bet! I was bored, so I came to look for you. You're always lots of fun, you know! Come on~!” With that last remark, she starts forcefully shaking you by the shoulders. She's surprisingly strong, for her size.

“Oh, I don't know. I've got to go somewhere, you know...”

“Oh, don't worry about that! You'll get there in time, I promise!” You're not sure if you can argue... you do have about an hour, after all.

“Well... I'm not sure...”

“That's not fun.” The girl is pouting. “You're mean, Sam. Don't you want to play?” She seems annoyed. Perhaps it's a feeling or instinctual, but now you're feeling like you're in danger. “I go around for a long time, looking for you, and you don't want to play?” You can't tell what she's going to do, exactly, but her mood isn't turning for the better.

“You're a bad person, Sam!” She seems to be getting sad, out of her frustration. “Can't we play, just a little? You won't be late, I'll help you make sure. I can read the clock and everything!” She waves her arms around a little before grabbing you by the shoulders again. “Please?”

You're not sure what, but you feel you should do something. Your sinking feeling is getting worse.

[ ] It's okay, you'll play. 6:30 is an hour away, after all. 
[ ] You can't play right now, you've got to be somewhere. You'll promise to play later. 
[ ] No, you have to go. 
[ ] Something else? (Write-in)
>> No. 28426
[x] "It'll depend on what we play and how long. I've got an appointment in the library at 6:30."
>> No. 28429
[x] "It'll depend on what we play and how long. I've got an appointment in the library at 6:30."
>> No. 28435
[x] "It'll depend on what we play and how long. I've got an appointment in the library at 6:30."

must be nice, playing with flandre without fear...
>> No. 28450
[x] "It'll depend on what we play and how long. I've got an appointment in the library at 6:30."

Seems reasonable.
>> No. 28608
Tremendously sorry about the lapse, work's been insane. Update coming in tomorrow.
>> No. 28609
>>28608

hooray!
>> No. 28618
“It'll depend on what we play and how long. I've got an appointment in the library at 6:30."

“Oh! Oh, it won't take long, don't worry! Come on!” She sits next to you, allowing you to get up, but then grabs your wrist and starts tugging on your arm. “Come on~...”

She's quite persuasive, isn't she? You let yourself be led along for now, but ask her as you move along. At the same time, you're working to slow yourself down in case she talks about something that would make it difficult to get to your appointment.

“What were you thinking of? I only have an hour, you know.”

“I can't tell you~! It's a surprise, a surprise! You like surprises, don't you? I like surprises...”

You cut her off, for some reason you're thinking she's going to go on if you don't stop her. “Of course. But how long is it going to take?”

“I already told you it won't take too long. Why are you asking questions that I already answered? If I already answered them then-”

“Okay, okay. Let's go.” You put the note for the appointment in one of your side pockets, to have close at hand in case this takes long enough for you to forget about it. Though you make it a point not to try and catch up to her, she compensates by moving faster and continuing to pull. You keep wondering exactly what is with this girl, but you're not going to go out and ask her. Besides demonstrating physical strength she shouldn't have, her presence is pretty imposing.

And those wings... you have no idea what's with them, but you're not about to ask either.

She seems to get in better and better spirits as you continue forward, skipping and humming to herself. You have no idea where she's taking you, but you could probably find your way back... if not by that map you've got, then probably by asking. Instead of focusing on that, however, you focus on your surroundings... the hallways you're passing through are huge, along with the rooms that are sometimes in the middle of a few. Everything is elaborately decorated; the doors, the furniture, the walls, everything. Suddenly, though, the girl opens a door installed into an otherwise normal wall, revealing a large staircase that leads down.

She hesitates before continuing and you take the opportunity to take a look down before she keeps going... you can't see the bottom. It does put you on edge, your heartbeat rising accordingly, but the girl's started moving again before you know it. You take a deep breath to control yourself; whatever's down there couldn't be too bad, could it?

Right?

---
>> No. 28619
You’re inside a building, walking down a few halls. There’s a man walking ahead of you, he’s relatively tall and is wearing long blue pants with an Oxford shirt he has untucked. There’s a holster at his belt, an impressively long pistol is placed in it. He’s walking ahead of you, so for now you just keep to following him around. He doesn’t object, maybe he’s supposed to be leading you.

While walking, you can’t help but admire the grandeur of the place you are in. The halls wind in apparently endless patterns, with elaborate decorations over the walls and on small pieces of furniture strewn about. Occasionally a maid walks by carting something along the ground, though you don’t go as far as to investigate what they’re carrying you do take some time to observe them, but the only thing strange about them is that some apparent arcs resembling wings protrude from their backs. The man in front of you doesn’t seem to bother with them, so you guess you’ll just ask about them later. The two of you come up to a large wooden door, and he stops to face you.

“Remember anything?” He definitely knows you, if he knows about your condition.

“No.”

“Already?! This ‘condition’ of yours is something I’ll have to get used to. To sum it up, I’m Roland Bix, you’re here to inquire about getting a room in the mansion you’re in, and I’ll vouch for you but first you have to talk to the mistress. This is what you’re about to do.”

“Name? Anything I need to know?”

“Remilia Scarlet, but as for what you’d need to know there’s enough for you to forget where we started by the time we’re done. As a result, just remember this: she’s extremely playful and thinks a bit like a child, and whatever it is, try to keep her happy as long as it’s possible. If she throws a tantrum, chances are it’s over for you.” He points at you and puts more emphasis in his voice, steeling it somewhat. “This I’m serious about. She could kill you on a whim, really. However”, he says, lightening up, “don’t be nervous. I know that’s hard, but it should help if you’re relaxed.”

Maybe you should take his word for it. No way to know, to be honest. One last thing is on your mind, though, and resolving it might help. You walk towards the door, but pause and turn to face him before opening it. “What’s the most important thing I need to know?”

He smiles, and begins speaking with a playful tone. “Now the world is so full of a number of things I’m sure we should all be as happy as… but are we?” His tone becomes more serious, but it rises gradually and his smile remains. “No. Definitely no. Positively no! Decidedly no!” It drops again. “Uh-uh.”

What the hell is this guy saying?!

“Short people,” he begins, bringing his index finger up, “have long faces. And long people have short faces. Big people have little humor, and little people have no humor at all.” He brings his hand back down, and he currently sports a grin. “Well, that’s not exactly right. But the main message behind the rest of that speech is what you should keep in mind. In you go, keeping her waiting isn’t the best idea.”

If you manage to keep remembering things by the next time you see him, you’ll have to tell him to not be so cryptic again.

[ ] Go in there. No better first meeting than with a cordial greeting, after all.
[ ] ...Someone who could kill on a whim? Enter reluctantly, yet try to hide your fear.
[ ] Be really careful. If she's that dangerous you'll have to tread lightly, so try to be polite and don't talk unless you're addressed.

Also,

[ ] Just go in. Won't do to keep her waiting.
[ ] You're a little nervous going in by yourself. Does he really have to stay outside?

[ ] How else could you approach this? (write-in, acceptable for both choices)
>> No. 28627
[x] Go in there. No better first meeting than with a cordial greeting, after all.
[x] Just go in. Won't do to keep her waiting.
[x] Wait, is this the first time you've done this? Ask.
>> No. 28628
[x] Go in there. No better first meeting than with a cordial greeting, after all.
[x] Just go in. Won't do to keep her waiting.
[x] Wait, is this the first time you've done this? Ask.
>> No. 28629
[x] Go in there. No better first meeting than with a cordial greeting, after all.
[x] Just go in. Won't do to keep her waiting.
[x] Wait, is this the first time you've done this? Ask.
>> No. 28636
[x] Go in there. No better first meeting than with a cordial greeting, after all.
[x] Just go in. Won't do to keep her waiting.
[x] Wait, is this the first time you've done this? Ask.

Logical choice.
>> No. 28651
>>28392 >>28389

Actually, don't do that. We care about you, and now that you aren't writing anything we barely see you around. We miss you man.

So, if you're going to vote, then vote with your trip on. But if you're going to vote and explain why you vote for something like in >>27993 then you can consider voting tripless
>> No. 28652
Hey, the man in the beggining. Is he...he is Roland, isn't him? God damnit, we've killed the guy that helped us/we will kill the guy helping us.
>> No. 28653
>God damnit, we've killed the guy that helped us/we will kill the guy helping us.
>helped us

Don't be so sure.
>> No. 28654
>>28653

He seems to have helped until now. Whenever may "now" be.
>> No. 28708
So... you're going to meet the mistress of the mansion to appeal for housing, her name is Remilia Scarlet, and to keep in mind that she's very playful and thinks a little childishly? Okay. You can handle that. Still, what the guy said after that kind of threw you off. All you do is ask what the most important thing to bear in mind is and he starts on happiness and people and humor. You think it might've meant something, but you're not going to bother.

Well, no sense to keep her waiting then. You slowly pull the door open, having to do so with both hands and by leaning back due to its size, and start to walk in. No. Wait. Before that, there's something you have to ask. Turning back to the man who led you to the door, you ask him with your voice turned down a little.

“Wait, have I done this before?”

He smiles.

“No, you haven't. She knows you're here and why, but you haven't met her yet. Best make a good impression then, heh heh heh!”

You walk in, regarding him a bit strangely. Seriously, what's with him?

The hall you enter is huge, far larger than any of the halls you'd seen before this happened. You stop and look around; large red banners are placed on the walls, tables fit for huge galas are placed in a regular pattern around the room, leaving a clear space in the center. Dim lights gently illuminate the room, dotted over the walls... they don't seem bright enough to be electric, but are still a bit too bright to be candles. Gas lamps? No, that doesn't seem right either. You might ask about them later, but you keep moving as you look around.

As you're walking, you stop to consider just how powerful this person must be. To think that they command a mansion of this size... not to mention you'd seen a great deal of servants along the way (now there's another object of curiosity; those arcs on their backs were peculiar, and they all seemed pretty shy). You look around, taking in all the sights, and it leaves no doubt in your mind that this place really is, easily, one of the larger structures you've been in. Still, this is only the inside, so you're not sure as to whether the rest of the building is this size or whether it's an illusion. Turning again to the layout of the floor, you take note again of the tables, all circular, laid out in a sort of ring pattern along the outside. It leaves a sort of open space in the middle, which you figure could be for events.

In the clearing in the middle, however, is a sole chair.

It's then you remember, of course, what you were there for. Cautiously, but trying not to look too reserved, you approach the chair. It's tall, taller than you, but you don't see anyone- oh, wait, yes you do. A little girl, in a pink dress and matching hat, looks up at you from in it. You don't think much of her, and proceed to ask her where this miss Scarlet is.

Before you can start, however, you notice her eyes. Red, fixating, focused eyes that you find a bit unnerving. Taking a close look, they seem to emanate a presence that states, very clearly, that she's in charge... of course. This must be her. She has short blue hair and something you can't make out on her back (partly since you're not yet willing to lean to the side to get a better look), and is quite noticeably short. Cute red ribbons are laced onto her shoes. However, you do your best to keep from looking too much and focus on starting a conversation.

“Good day, miss Scarlet.” You're not exactly sure what time it is given there aren't any windows and you're not going to look at your watch with her looking (everything counts), so hopefully you haven't made a mistake. Still, you try your best to seem unflinching and give a sort of determined air, while of course remaining amicable.

She's visibly taken aback, maybe because you approached as decisively as you did. Still, she seems amused and her smile widens a little, so maybe it wasn't that bad a decision. “Good day.”

There's an awkward pause after that, so you try and break the ice a little. “I'm Sam Jenkins, and I'm here to...”

“Ah, so it's you. Yes, I heard... you were looking for residence here?”

“In short, yes.”

“Hm... Come closer, I can't see you over there.” You oblige, walking until you're directly in front of her and shifting a bit so that the lights can show your face a little better. “Good. There. So what brings you here?”

Here? Does she mean to the mansion or where it's- where is this, anyway?

“Um... I don't know.”

She giggles, but doesn't do anything otherwise. “Well, I understand. But what do you mean? How did you get here?”

“I don't remember. It's a form of amnesia, my memories just fade over time.”

“Oh, I see then. So... before anything else, is there something you'd like to know?”

[ ] What to ask? Write-in.
>> No. 28721
>>28708

[x] "No, I can't really think of anything."
>> No. 28738
[x] "Have we met before?"
>> No. 28841
[x] "Have we met before?"

p.s. conejo!!!!!!!
>> No. 29070
Tesla: Well, here we are. We realize things have been very confusing, but from here on out they should be a little easier to understand.
Dune: And now to our scheduled broadcast...

===

You can't think of anything at first, but something suddenly comes to mind. “Have we... met before?”

“I wonder, I wonder... I don't think so, but do you know? Oh, wait, no, you don't, hm... Well, no, I believe not.

“Still, that's not to say I haven't, is it? Perhaps I have and don't recognize you now, or maybe I just didn't know about it. One would think we didn't because we don't remember it, but sense perception is fallacious... and memory, even in the best of cases, isn't perfect either.” She starts to look around, moving her foot in an up-and-down motion that would tap on the ground if her legs were long enough to reach it. “No matter how sure you are of just about anything, there's really very little you could know for sure... especially if it comes to experience. To my knowledge, though, we haven't met, so I suppose it's best to assume we haven't, and whether we have or not would make no difference.” She smiles. “But that doesn't mean I don't know about you, you know.”

“Um...” You really don't know what to say, and start trying to think of something to say, quickly. Fortunately, miss Scarlet breaks the silence and saves you the trouble.

“Well, you said you had amnesia. How could I know what you're up to? It's not like I can just let you in without knowing anything about you, can I? Things could go wrong for me... if they do, they just as easily might go wrong for you.” To emphasize her point, she extends two bat wings, jutting from her back, that you hadn't noticed. Involuntarily, you take a step back. Wings? What?! You eye them nervously as your heart rate and breathing speed up, accompanied by a sense of dread.

“Oh, don't worry, you'll be quite all right if you don't do anything bad.” She folds the wings back into place. “But is there anyone I could ask to know more about you? I really could be a much better hostess if I knew something...”

You think it over. Is there anyone you know she might be familiar with? You don't recall seeing anyone else recently, except for... well, the person who led you here might help.

“Actually... I don't know, but there's one person who might help. He's the one that brought me here, I think, and might still be outside...” You turn your head in the direction of the door, you came in, in the same position you left it. The girl speaks again, though, and you turn to pay attention to her.

“Oh, I think I know him. White dress shirt, blue pants, strange gun, right? I'll ask him next time I see him. Don't worry, you can stay here. I'll make sure you have a room assigned to you quickly.”

“Thank you, miss Scarlet, I appreciate it.”

“Call me Remilia.”

“Thank you, Remilia. If there's notihing else, I suppose I'll go.”

“Alright. Let me know if you need anything.”

As if you'll remember. You turn and move back towards the door, moving through it and shutting it as you reach the other side. You find the man who led you to this place waiting for you, leaning against the wall and reading a small book held in one hand. It takes a second for him to notice you.

“Well, how'd it go?”

“Good enough. I don't know what she thinks yet, but I've managed to get her permission to stay here at least.”

“Mm. Well, let's go.”

“One second, have to write something down.”

If she's the mistress of this mansion it'll be quite important to make sure you can recognize her, so you pull your notes out of your pocket and write down one describing her.

-Remilia Scarlet
Red eyes, short blue hair
Wears a pink dress and poofy hat, has bat wings
Mistress of the mansion, noticeably short
Acts a little childish


You don't write anything besides that, given you didn't get much of an idea as to whether she could be trusted or anything like that and you didn't get such a great idea of what her personality was like. Turning to the man, you nod at him. He nods back, and starts walking off the way you came but turns at a nearer bend. You follow him, despite having no idea where you're going. Partly to satisfy your curiosity and partly to start a conversation, you ask him a question.

[ ] “So... where are we going?”
[ ] “How long have you been here?”
[ ] “Are there any other guests here besides me?”
>> No. 29076
[x] “Are there any other guests here besides me and you?”
>> No. 29178
“Are there any guests here besides me and you?”

The man who'd been leading you slows, and looks back at you. “Wait, she said-” Then his expression changes completely, and he smiles slyly. “You're perceptive. But to answer your question,” he says, turning back, “yes there are. Another two, but let me go over them.”

“The first you've met before, I think you wrote something down about her. She's native to the area, a newspaper writer, and apparently decided to stick around because there was good potential for a news story or something like that. Make of her what you will, but I don't really get along with her.

“The second, as far as I know, you haven't met yet. His name's Martin Freeland, don't know how long he's been here and haven't seen him much. I hear he can be confused with me because he has a similar complexion; but that's besides the point. If I were in your shoes, though, I wouldn't trust him. He's struck me as... shady, I suppose.”

So there's a newspaper writer you've met before, and a supposed 'Martin Freeland', who this guy says you shouldn't trust (not that you know if his word means much). Well, you'll take note once you see them then.

You start up the conversation again. “Well, where are we heading now?” He might or might not know where your room is, and you're still wary of him.

“Oh, we're heading back outside.”

“Are we going somewhere? Hang on, didn't I just get here?” Well, you don't know how consistent he is so if both of those were true it still wouldn't surprise you.

“Oh, no, not at all. Gateguard asked to see you again, seemed to think you were amusing. Figured I'd oblige her since there's something else I'll have to get to anyway.”

So you keep following him. How he navigates this place is beyond you, it seems like a maze for rats.

Except a lot larger and more ornate, you guess.

“Ah, but I will have to see you later. Need your help with something later, so if I don't go to fetch you look for me or something. I guess it isn't urgent, but if we could get over a couple things sooner it'd be nice.”As he says this, you walk into a lobby of sorts. Just how many rooms this size can a single building have? It's almost nonsensical.

As you pass by, though, you notice another figure in a maid outfit, who's much taller than the ones you've seen so far. She turns to look at you, a little quizzically, but her expression betraying little emotion overall. Roland raises his hand, greeting her silently, and she nods in his direction. She turns back to her respective task, apparently she was dusting something; at the same time Roland turns to a larger pair of doors, which seemingly lead outside.

Apparently they're the mansion's main doors. Comparatively, they're far larger than many of the doors you've seen, and there's some light leaking in from outside. Roland pushes one of them open and steps out, walking into a garden outside that's apparently walled in.

---

You're among a large collection of people... what are you doing? Where is this? The buildings around suggest this is a sort of village, though the clearing in between them seems unusually large. Maybe it's a town center or something. A few of the individuals are looking at you, but most of them seem to be focusing instead on a person ahead of you. Unlike the rest of the people around, he's dressed in a Western fashion. He approaches someone else, who'd been conversing with someone, and waits as she finishes whatever exchange she had. She immediately whirls around to see him (which you guess must be due to the idea that he was quite blatantly waiting for her to finish), and he pulls off his sunglasses in order to talk to her.

“Good day, Keine-sensei.” Customary to Eastern tradition, he bows.

She returns the gesture. “Mr. Bix.” You take the opportunity to look at her a little more closely. Blue dress, short white sleeves, red ribbon at the bottom of the collar (it's bad if your eyes linger there, though, pleasant as the prospect is)... just what is with that hat of hers? Seems to resemble some sort of building.

“How are you doing today?”

“I'm quite well. How about you?”

“Walking and talking. So has anything of interest happened lately?”

“Ah, yes, regarding that...” She looks around as if to check for listeners, but she's interrupted.

“First, actually, there's someone you have to meet. Apparently he's been directed to you, so before anything I guess it's best to see what to do about him.” He gestures to you. So he meant you?

Well, it's probably a good way to find out what's happening. You approach the two, who look at you expectantly.

[ ] Introduce yourself. Won't do to just stand there.
[ ] Let Bix do the talking for you. He seems to know this person.
[ ] Before anything else, ask who they are.
[ ] Anything else you can do? Write-in.
>> No. 29179
[x] Introduce yourself. Won't do to just stand there.
- [x] "My name is Sam Jenkins, a guest of the... [search through your note cards if necessary or look to Roland if necessary]. I have this condition."
- [x] Once the woman identifies herself, write down a brief note on her, with the defining physical characteristic being her "lunchbox hat".
>> No. 29226
[~] Introduce yourself. Won't do to just stand there.
- [z] "My name is Sam Jenkins, a guest of the... [search through your note cards if necessary or look to Roland if necessary]. I have this condition."
- [e] Once the woman identifies herself, write down a brief note on her, with the defining physical characteristic being her "lunchbox hat".
>> No. 29227
[x] Introduce yourself. Won't do to just stand there.
- [x] "My name is Sam Jenkins, a guest of the... [search through your note cards if necessary or look to Roland if necessary]. I have this condition."
- [x] Once the woman identifies herself, write down a brief note on her, with the defining physical characteristic being her "lunchbox hat".
>> No. 29348
Tesla: I'm going through finals right now, but we'll write when I have a moment. Like right now for instance.
===
You're not sure who they are, even if you should know them, but either way it won't do to just stand there. They seem to be expecting you to do something. A little slowly, you introduce yourself.

“My name is Sam Jenkins, here to...” You check your notes for help, but the man who introduced you cuts in to help. Both you and the woman look at him as he explains.

“Well, we're not sure what brought him around here. I met him earlier today, stopping in for a drink with a note to find you; that's about everything we know.”

The woman looks at him quizzically, and then back at you as if studying you. She composes herself, however, and bows.

“It's nice to meet you, Mr. Jenkins.” A little clusmily, you return the bow.

“You too, miss...”

“Kamishirasawa.” You're not sure exactly how you came off, but whatever it was she pays it no mind. You take a few seconds to write a note describing her, jotting down her more important characteristics.

-Keine Kamishirasawa
Brown eyes, silver hair with highlights
Blue dress, short white sleeves


You'll write in her profession later. Ah, wait, you forgot the most important detail.

Lunchbox hat

Sure you'll never understand it by just reading the note, but there's no way you'd mistake that statement whenever you might see her. Pocketing your new reference, you move on to explain your predicament.

“I have this condition. It's called anterograde amnesia, and basically it means that any new memories fade over time. So I couldn't tell you who told me to find you or how I got here. Sorry.”

“No,” she says, giving a sincere smile. “It's fine. Do you know anything else?”

Bix just shrugs, and you keep looking through your notes. Ah, there it is. You take a note that says to find her and hand it to her. She reads it once, and then frowns in thought. She hands it back to you, and you look it over; besides saying that you should find her, there's something there for her to read once you handed it to her.

It says that you'd been found walking around near the border (whatever the hell that is), and that you seemingly had no direction in mind. Well, that does make sense, given you wouldn't know what you were doing if you hadn't written it down. That's odd, though... something about you moving across it unusually quietly that should be looked into. Then something about how whoever wrote the note was too busy to deal with it and that you would need a place to stay. Hm, wonder who that was.

“So, Keine-sensei, what do you think?” The man seemingly interrupts her thoughts, but she doesn't seem the least bit put off by it.

“Well,” she says, smiling and looking at you again, “first of all we need to find a place for him to stay. I could probably arrange something, but I don't know how long it would take. Can you think of anything?”

“I could probably drag him over to the mansion I've been staying at. The mistress there has been asking me to try and find more guests with which to amuse her with, anyway.”

“Are you sure he'll be alright?”

“Of course. Look at me, I'm still alive, right?”

“You're different.”

“I am?”

Keine looks at him through half-closed, nonbelieving eyes. Bix just rolls his own, conceding some sort of point. They both turn back to you.

“Well, there are two ways to go about this,” Bix says. “Either's fine. Keine could probably arrange somewhere for you to stay in the village, but oh- wait a minute...”

“What is it?” You ask. Since it's you that's being discussed, you should have at least some say.

“First we have to find out how we're going to look at his case. I figure I can take him to Patchouli, see what she says.” Who? And how is that someone's name? You feel you might never get the hang of this.

“How would that help?” Keine, inadvertently, leaves you out again.

“Here, one second. I'll tell you, but let's move aside for a sec.” Bix moves off while looking around, taking her along. They have a quiet exchange off behind one of the buildings, which you move next to in order to keep track of them. You can't hear them, but you could eavesdrop if you tried.

[ ] Listen in. This could be important.
[ ] No, it's their business. They'll tell you what you need to know later.
[ ] Write-in (you know you want to)
>> No. 29350
[X] ...
[X] ...Wait.
[X] ...What is this place?
[X] Where am I?
>> No. 29351
[d] ...
[a] ...Wait.
[z] ...What is this place?
[e] Where am I?
>> No. 29797
Tesla: Finals over. Here we go again...

===

You stand against this building, waiting for something to happen. You don't know what is supposed to or how long it'll take, but the- hm, maybe you were supposed to do something. But if so, then...

Wait a second. Where are you? You don't recognize this place at all. It's pretty hot and also rather humid, but your surroundings don't seem familiar at all. Where is this? What are you doing here? You're next to a building, and in front of it, a bit away from you, is a crowd composed of oddly dressed people milling about. Why are the dressed like that? That doesn't help at all! Where is this?!

But if you were that far away from them, you must've been trying to hide from them. No, that's not enough. You must have been trying to get away! Where's the best way to keep going? You look around, quickly, to try and determine the best way to leave, and find that beyond the building where you're standing is a forest of sorts. Of course, that must be it. You walk over cautiously, to make sure you're not followed.

When you reach the end of the building, though, you find another two people conversing behind it. One of them is dressed oddly, the second in a style that's a little more familiar, but since he is wearing a dress shirt in weather like this and with relatively casual pants still strikes you as odd. He seemed to be talking but stops immediately, glaring at you disapprovingly. His companion, wearing a blue dress and a hat that seems to resemble a lunchbox, turns to look at you and then gives you a look with a similar intention. They probably didn't want you to hear what they were talking about, but it should be okay given you didn't hear any of it. You hope they know so, anyway.

Then it strikes you you should be getting away from them too. You have no idea where this is or who they are, so it's best to play it safe and get away from them in case they're unfriendly. Turning away from them, you sprint into the woods as their voices call after you.

“Oh, now, hell no...” The voice is masculine, so you assume it's the one of the man you saw in Western attire.

“No, wait, it's dangerous!” That must be the woman's voice. Well, you can't take her word for it, she might be trying to trick you.

“I guess I'll just take him to the mansion then, he seems headed in the right direction. See ya, Keine-sensei!” The male voice bids farewell before you start hearing footsteps coming after you. Subsequently, you do your best to stay away from them.

As you start going into the forest, the foliage grows thicker and you do your best to run through the more difficult parts. You swerve between them and duck under low branches, leaping over hedges and ditches and running through small spaces whenever they are provided. You don't look back to see your pursuer, since you can hear his boots strike the ground. Despite your efforts, he seems to be getting no further away.

Rather, he seems to be gaining on you.

You redouble your efforts to get away, but it then occurs to you to try and slow him down. If you threw something- no, picking something up might slow you down enough for him to catch you. What if you kicked some dirt up as you ran- well, you don't think you could do enough of that to get it in his eyes or something. If you flicked a passing branch into him- ah, that might work.

As you run, you grab a low branch and push it to the side, letting it go after you clear it. You hear it spring back, but it doesn't seem to hit so you'll have to try again. You go for another branch, and that one doesn't work either. Maybe he's too far away...

You wait for the footsteps to get closer, and try the trick a third time. The branch springs back, and you hear it strike. Your pursuer cries out and gives an audible curse you can't understand. He stops running for a split second, and you take the opportunity to switch direction in order to lose him. Stopping to catch you breath, you hide behind a tree. Slowly, so that you're not noticed, you turn to look at where you think he might be.

He's there, but he's already regained his composure. He runs his eyes around his surroundings, slowly, so you duck behind the tree. Turning again, he seems to have stopped looking and is instead standing very still with his head tilted slightly. Is he listening for you?

Suddenly, he seems to have a realization and looks past the trees at the sky. He quickly steals a glance at his wrist, where you assume he's got a watch since you can't tell from here, and becomes visibly irritated.

”Agh! Verdammt!” He says irritatedly as he tightly closes a fist in frustration. He proceeds to do a combination of looking and listening for you again, though you stay behind the tree and do your best to muffle the sound of your breathing. Still, you take a look at the sky; what's got him in such a fit? It's orange, so the sun's almost gone down... hm. He seems to not want to be out here at night, but you can't really imagine why.

---
>> No. 29798
You're in a dark room, impressively spacious. What's over here? How did you get here? You look around for other people, but there's no one else. Well, if there's no one to ask, you'd best familiarize yourself with the surroundings. Slowly, you take a look around to get an idea of the place, but don't recognize it even if it does seem kind of familiar. Have you been here before?

The room, along with the space it provides, feels damp and a little cold. The decoration is ornate but sparse, and the limits are drawn by large and imposing stone walls. There are no windows, so lighting is provided by a series of lights that you can't quite distinguish from here. They seem electric, but don't provide much light, so they could be something else. The sparse lighting leaves long shadows across the floor, which is carpeted in red, and there are various objects lying about. Child's toys? Hm.

You walk around with no real aim in mind. If there was someone else you could find out about where you are or what you're doing there, but there's no one... Ah, perhaps your notes could be of some use. Taking a look through them, the only one that says anything about what you're supposed to do says that you should be in some library at 6:30. Taking a look at your watch... Yeah, you've got time. Fifty minutes... no, closer to forty-five. There's also a set of directions to the library, but they've got some lines crossed out.

Ah, now you understand. Those were crossed out as they were completed in case you forgot things as you followed them, so you wouldn't restart. You take a look at the latest line, which says to take a left at the end of the hall. So then- wait. You're not in a hallway. There isn't a hallway that you can see from here, either. So then where are you? Seems you're lost or you've been thrown off course, but by what you don't know.

So you take a look around. There's a bed, which is ornate and large, with a pair of side desks and each one with a few thin books stacked on top of them. Aside from the various child's toys strewn about, there's a couple boxes on the floor, and up against the wall are some closets which currently stand closed. There isn't much decoration, but though the room extends further the lighting makes it difficult to see things that are so far away. You also notice a few doors- maybe this room is part of a complex.

After taking a few steps in a circle, you sigh. Just looking around doesn't seem to give much input, so you need to take a closer look. Still, where should you look first?

[ ] Look under the bed.
[ ] Look in the closets.
[ ] What about those books on the desks?
[ ] Those boxes might have something in them.
[ ] Maybe you should take a look outside.

If citing multiple choices, state their order. Write-ins are good, as usual.
>> No. 29805
[X] Look under the bed.
>> No. 29850
Took me long enough to get back to speed with this after all the hate I caused on the first vote. Sorry it took so long, Tes and Dune. Time to redeem myself...

[+] Look in the closets

Because everyone hides under the bed when playing Hide-N-Seek. Flandre's a clever girl; she'd hide in the closet!
>> No. 29922
Update by tomorrow. Votes are tied, so if there isn't a resolution the next post will combine them in order of submission.
>> No. 29923
[+] Look in the closets
>> No. 29998
Tesla: Sorry about the delays, we're back.

Again.

===

Well, it's pretty obvious you need to look for clues, but you have no idea where to start. The books on the shelf probably don't have any hints, or at least one's you'd recognize, and it's pretty doubtful the boxes will have anything of interest in them. Looking outside shouldn't give you much of a clue either, if you have no clue where you are to begin with it might just confuse you more.

You look over at the bed, maybe there? No, that doesn't make much sense. Rather...

You walk over to the closets and look at the first of them. It's a little decorated but not very ornate, and it is quite large. Well, whatever's in here might give you a clue of some sort... After pausing for a second, you grab the doors and swing them open.

It's empty... Well, not “empty” so much as there being nothing out of place in it. Some clothes hung up, as you might expect, and some toys laying inside (just how many are there?). Well, move on to the next one then.

And that one is devoid of clues or anything of interest also. Wouldn't you know... Well, there are a few more, but it's unlikely you'll find anything in them. You move onto them anyway, opening the next one.

“Uwa~!” The squeal from inside is enough to send you falling backward from surprise, pausing to sit up and rub your aching back before looking up at its source. Inside the closet is a little girl, wearing a red dress and hat adorned with a ribbon, looking down at you excitedly. She speaks too quickly for it to be intelligible, but you can make out something about how you found her. You take a moment to get your bearings, but lose them again as she leaps down and hugs you. You return the hug, a little nervously, and get back up as she lets you go. She's already at it again, but this time you can understand her a little better.

“Come on! Come on! Let's go, Sam!” Well, seems she knows you. That's a start. “Let's play something else!” She's tugging at your arm now, apparently she wants to play a game.

“Well, what do you want to play?” She starts to walk briskly towards one of the doors while dragging you along, ignoring you completely. Damn, she wasn't listening. Still, you think you can tell what's going on... sort of. You were playing hide-and-seek with this girl, who seems to know you, and now she's off to do something else with you in tow... wait, if she knows you, you probably have a note on her. You pluck the papers out of your pocket and begin to shuffle through them with the hand she isn't holding, being careful not to drop any.

She opens one of the doors as she walks through it, and continues through it until reaching a fork in it. After taking a look in both directions, she takes to the left, dragging you along. She seems to have a clear idea of where she's going, which is just as well since it going anywhere has a chance of giving some information you could use. The halls are dimly lit, and unlike the room you left there isn't any decoration... it seems to be constructed entirely of stone. Are you underground?

After a while, you manage to find a note that matches her description. The low and flickering light makes it difficult to read, but you can make it out well enough.

-Flandre Scarlet
Red eyes, blond hair in a side-tail
Wears a red vest, red skirt, pink shirt and poofy hat
Hidden from view, childish mind
Pretend you don't mind the wings


Well, you hadn't taken a close look at them, figuring they were just some sort of strange ornament. Looking at them more closely, they seem attached, and the fact that they don't even look like living material is very unsettling. If you've written in your notes not to care, or at least seem not to, it's best to do. You probably put that there for a reason... in any case, you figure it's better to take a look around and try to determine where you stand, so looking at this 'Flandre' in front of you when she isn't helping is not going to get you anywhere. Rather, you turn to the surroundings and try to see where you're going.

She continues down the halls, and whenever there is a choice repeats the process of closely looking at each route before taking one. She stops suddenly at a simple bend, however, and turns to you. She doesn't say anything, but just holds a finger up to her lips as a gesture of silence. You nod in response, and she tiptoes her way to the end of the hall- that is, a staircase leading upwards. You'd ask her where it went, but she'd probably get annoyed if you said anything.
As you follow her up, you see that it doesn't end in a door- rather, a sort of... damn, what was the word? A trapdoor. She finally lets go of you as you approach the top, and gently opens it before taking a look outside. Nursing your wrist, you move up next to her and position yourself next to her to take a look yourself.

Above the door is a corridor between shelves of books. You really can't see anything else; the bookshelves are gargantuan and their ends are blocked out by more of them. There are a few muffled sounds in the distance, but everything is still where you're at. Since you can't see anyone, you climb out to get a better look. Maybe this was the place your note referred to?

"No, wai-!" Flandre seems to realize she hasn't lowered her volume, giggles with her hand over her mouth and speaks more quietly. "They can't see us yet."

“Don't worry, there's no one here.” You turn to look around before she answers, though you can see that one of the walls is a little closer on one of the sides through the gap to your left; the shelves themselves are too high for you to see past since you're right between them. Just what Flandre had in mind bringing you here is something you can't know for sure, but you feel she might be wanting to surprise someone if she's trying to remain undetected.

Turning back, you look at the trapdoor to find your companion looking indecisively at the two ends. Wait, she wanted to come here and now doesn't know what to do now that she's made it? Well, you're not so surprised, even though you figure you should be. Well... if she doesn't know, it gives you a window to try and figure things out.

[ ] Go right, deeper into the room. If there's something of interest it'll probably be nearer the center.
[ ] Go left, towards the wall. It's just a hunch, but you feel that there's something nearby over there.
[ ] Ask Flandre where this is.
[ ] Ask Flandre who she's looking for.
[ ] Look at the books.
[ ] Something else? (write-in)
>> No. 29999
[X] Look at the books
>> No. 30001
[+] Ask Flandre who she's looking for.

Flandre's memory is an equal-opportunity rememberer. Accepting applications now. Openings are limited and going fast. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Not available in all states. Your mileage may vary.
>> No. 30077
Tesla: Well, can't wait for a consensus so the votes were mixed. I honestly don't know how I should be reacting to this...

===

Well, if this place is stocked with books it's probably best to take a look at them to get a better idea of the place. You approach one of the shelves, taking a second to look at it before looking more closely.

It's huge. The thing seems to be several stories tall, but it just might be your impression from being directly beneath it... no. It's definitely that high. Just how would anyone be able to get enough books to fill up one shelf of these... not to mention that there are so damn many of them. It's truly beyond your comprehension, but you realize that thinking about it will get you nowhere. Instead, as you intended, you walk towards the shelf and pick out one of the books. It's pretty thin, and the covers and binding are black. You flip it over in your hand, then look at the front cover, which have two lines of text in gold print:

La vida es sueño
Pedro Calderón de la Barca


Oh, wonderful. It's foreign so you can't understand a thing. Just what you were missing, right? You move to put it back in its place, but then... well, should you care? To avoid picking it out again by accident, you toss it over your shoulder and turn back to the shelf. Picking out a significantly thicker book this time, a hardcover in purple, you weigh it in your hands and then turn to the front of it.

...You can't even comprehend the lettering. Just what is this place? You toss that one over your shoulder also. Reaching to try one last time, you finally see one with words you can understand. Still, the meaning of the title is rather unclear to you.

Esoteric Candy Encyclopedia

Before you can speculate, though, Flandre squeals in excitement from somewhere behind you; apparently she's forgotten her original intention.

“Wow! I didn't know Miss Patchouli had this book!”

You turn around to see her holding the black book you'd plucked out of the shelf, leafing through it with zeal. She stops occasionally, reading a few lines at a time before flipping to a completely different part of it.

If she knows it, there's still some hope. “What book is that, Flandre?”

“Oh, it's Life is a Dream. I always liked it a lot...” She trails off. Gradually, she seems less and less like the little girl of your first impression... the expression in her face is more pensive, and her eyes turn from playful and glancing to analytical and focused. “I'm not sure what it is about it, exactly, but... I guess it makes me feel certain things. Like someone... no, it's okay. I know you can't remember anything, Sam.” She does? “So it's okay if you don't know what I'm talking about.” You're thrown off by the sudden change in her demeanor. You feel you should break the silence, but can't come up with anything to say... damn, it's at times like these you wish you could remember certain things. If you knew how to react to this sort of thing, maybe you could help.

You try to get her train of thought back to your purpose here, maybe it'll get her mind off whatever it was. “Well, Flandre, who were you trying to find?”

“Eh? Ah, um...” She looks up, scratching her chin. “Oh, that's right. I think I was here to scare Miss Patchouli, but it could also be to get her assistant... or was it? I think so, but what about the girl who comes here and visits? I don't know if she's here, but if she is then I could scare her too. Or... is it only possible to scare one? Maybe they're too far apart for them to notice that something happens to someone else, or maybe Marisa will come and distract them...?”

Maybe you should interrupt her. Now that you know why you're here, doing something should be in order. Maybe you'll have some fun, but still...

[ ] Look for someone (who?)
[ ] Just go in a direction (specify)
[ ] “Actually, Flandre, could you read me some of that book?”

It's possible to choose more than one, but keep in mind that the more options you choose the less focus each one gets. Write-in doctrine is the usual.
>> No. 30079
[ ] “Actually, Flandre, could you read me some of that book?”
>> No. 30080
[X] “Actually, Flandre, could you read me some of that book?”
>> No. 30187
“Actually, Flandre, could you read me some of that book?”

“Eh? Ah... okay.” She opens it up near the beginning and leafs back to near the first page, and as she does so begins talking. “It's about this prince (it's in... Poland, I think? Maybe it was the Grand Duchy of Moscow? No way, no. It was, um... I'll check...), where the king, his dad, hears a prophecy that he'll do something really bad. So he puts his son, Segismundo, into a tower and gives him a tutor, waiting for him to grow up in there. There's lots to it, and I always end up thinking when I read it, but there are few monologues that get me more than others...”

Her more serious demeanor is back. She seems... a little more adult like this. A little more stable, maybe, but overall just... older, maybe wiser. You have a feeling that that's so, maybe it's subconscious, but along with it you get a nagging feeling she's not necessarily stable at all. Agh, this is so confusing...!

“Ah, here it is, this is my favorite one. Segismundo is in the tower, because he hasn't been let out yet, and he's talking about what being cooped up in there is like. Hm...” She gets up, standing tall, and proceeds to stretch while shaking out those wings of hers (you had been ignoring them happily, but looks like they're going to be bothering you again). “Let's see... it should be...”

She extends an arm decisively, and begins to read.

[New thread coming up. About time, eh?]
>> No. 30188
>>30187

Still not autosage dude.
>> No. 30189
>>30187

Threads reach autosage when they reach 200 replies.
>> No. 30196
>>30188
>>30189

Guess you're right. I need to pay more attention... well, post's coming up in a bit.
>> No. 30197
“O miserable me, and o unhappy!
Hurry, heavens, I intend,
since you treat me so,
what crime I committed
against you, having been born.
Although if I was born, I understand
what crime I have committed;
your justice and rigor
has had much cause,
as the greatest crime
of man is to have been born.
I would only wish to know
to hurry my understanding
-leaving aside, heavens,
the crime of having been born-,
what more could I offend you,
to punish me more?
Weren't all the others born themselves?
Well if all others were born,
what privileges did they have
that I never enjoyed myself?
A bird is born, and with the adornments
that give it great beauty,
it is barely a flower of feathers,
or an arrangement with wings,
when it cuts the ethereal halls
with speed,
refusing the comfort
of the nest it leaves calmly;
and I, having more of a soul,
have less freedom to myself?
A brute is born, and with the skin
that draws beautiful spots,
he barely is a sign of stars
-thanks to the skilled brush-,
when, daring and cruel,
human necessity
teaches him to have cruelty,
monster of his labyrinth;
and I, with greater instinct,
have less freedom to myself?
A fish is born, which doesn't breathe,
devoid of lavers and mud,
and it sees itself, barely a vessel of scales
over the waves,
when it spins to all places,
measuring the immensity
of such capacity
as the cold core gives it;
and I, with more reason,
have less freedom to myself?
A stream is born, a snake
loosed between flowers,
and barely a serpent of silver,
breaks between flowers,
when a musician celebrates
the mercy of flowers
that give majesty
to the open field as it flees;
and I, having more life,
have less freedom to myself?
In arriving to this passion,
a volcano, an Etna,
would wish to remove from the chest
pieces of the heart.
What law, justice or reason
knows to deny men
privileges so soft
exception so elementary,
that God has given to a crystal,
a fish, a brute and a bird?”

There is silence for some time, while she stays standing; she seems to be thinking already. Gently, she lowers her arm and closes the book. It's so quiet you hardly even notice, this is an incredible shift from her earlier self. Her eyes seem unfocused, somehow distant. "Those words seem to resonate with me, for some reason." Another pause. She brings her hand up to her head and places her fingers on her forehead lightly. "It's like- like they mean something to me they can't mean to anyone else... as if they were written knowing what I felt..." She turns to look at you, but then looks back down. She didn't seem to really be seeing you.

“Well, let's head out, hm? We'll do something! It'll be fun, I bet~!” Though she seems to have reverted back to her self from earlier, almost as if nothing had happened... the expression in her eyes belies her appearance. She's clearly got the words in her mind. She turns to walk off and you follow for a few paces, before stopping. She turns to look at you expectantly “Hm? What is it?”

But if the words resonate with her so deeply, she must identify with them somehow. Maybe she feels imprisoned? But how...

Wait- that basement, she lived there, right? Could it be... even so, what can you do?

[ ] Talk to her (what to say?)
[ ] Comfort her physically (specify how – hug, hair ruffle, etc)
[ ] Try to distract her. If she has some fun, maybe she'll get her mind off of this...
[ ] It's nothing, just follow her.
[ ] What else? (write-in)
>> No. 30198
[X] Try to distract her. If she has some fun, maybe she'll get her mind off of this...
>> No. 30199
[x] "Hey. I... understand. Well, not in the sense that I know exactly what you feel, but I think I have a pretty good hunch. So, before I forget this, again..."
[x] Comfort her physically - Hug her.
[x] Smile. "So, you said you wanted to go out and do something fun?" You remember still having some spare time before your appointment, so why not try to cheer the girl up as long as you still remember what you're doing.
[x] Try to distract her. If she has some fun, maybe she'll get her mind off of this...
>> No. 30211
The girl sees something in you she identifies with, or else she wouldn't have gone to the trouble of reading it to you.

[x] "Maybe he did? Know how you feel, I mean. He had to have great passion and imagination to create the story and the details of all its characters, or else he never could have penned the words. He must also have felt sad at times too, since this world magnificent world he created would only to ever seem to be paper. He was, as all men I think, a prisoner of a sort, bounded by the limits of sensation, capacity, lifespan, and physical boundary. Even so, he could go on because he thought this life had meaning. And it did, clearly: The story he created reaches through the seemingly impassible boundaries of life and death and of countless years & miles to touch the mind of you here and now, someone who he could never ever meet in person. It's wondrous really, how much larger our lives can be than they seem. The reason I too can go on, chatting with you as I am now, is that I can be fairly certain the actions I take now will extend far beyond the boundary of my own hobbled recollection. In ways I think it's a feeling all people can identify with, but it's also important to realize how short-sighted a worldview it encompasses, and how tragic it would be to become a prisoner of it."
[x] If she gives you a blank response: "...I did tell you about my condition, right?"
>> No. 30268
[x] "Maybe he did? Know how you feel, I mean. He had to have great passion and imagination to create the story and the details of all its characters, or else he never could have penned the words. He must also have felt sad at times too, since this world magnificent world he created would only to ever seem to be paper. He was, as all men I think, a prisoner of a sort, bounded by the limits of sensation, capacity, lifespan, and physical boundary. Even so, he could go on because he thought this life had meaning. And it did, clearly: The story he created reaches through the seemingly impassible boundaries of life and death and of countless years & miles to touch the mind of you here and now, someone who he could never ever meet in person. It's wondrous really, how much larger our lives can be than they seem. The reason I too can go on, chatting with you as I am now, is that I can be fairly certain the actions I take now will extend far beyond the boundary of my own hobbled recollection. In ways I think it's a feeling all people can identify with, but it's also important to realize how short-sighted a worldview it encompasses, and how tragic it would be to become a prisoner of it."
[x] If she gives you a blank response: "...I did tell you about my condition, right?"
>> No. 30282
[x] "Maybe he did? Know how you feel, I mean. He had to have great passion and imagination to create the story and the details of all its characters, or else he never could have penned the words. He must also have felt sad at times too, since this world magnificent world he created would only to ever seem to be paper. He was, as all men I think, a prisoner of a sort, bounded by the limits of sensation, capacity, lifespan, and physical boundary. Even so, he could go on because he thought this life had meaning. And it did, clearly: The story he created reaches through the seemingly impassible boundaries of life and death and of countless years & miles to touch the mind of you here and now, someone who he could never ever meet in person. It's wondrous really, how much larger our lives can be than they seem. The reason I too can go on, chatting with you as I am now, is that I can be fairly certain the actions I take now will extend far beyond the boundary of my own hobbled recollection. In ways I think it's a feeling all people can identify with, but it's also important to realize how short-sighted a worldview it encompasses, and how tragic it would be to become a prisoner of it."
[x] If she gives you a blank response: "...I did tell you about my condition, right?"
>> No. 30311
[z] "Maybe he did? Know how you feel, I mean. He had to have great passion and imagination to create the story and the details of all its characters, or else he never could have penned the words. He must also have felt sad at times too, since this world magnificent world he created would only to ever seem to be paper. He was, as all men I think, a prisoner of a sort, bounded by the limits of sensation, capacity, lifespan, and physical boundary. Even so, he could go on because he thought this life had meaning. And it did, clearly: The story he created reaches through the seemingly impassible boundaries of life and death and of countless years & miles to touch the mind of you here and now, someone who he could never ever meet in person. It's wondrous really, how much larger our lives can be than they seem. The reason I too can go on, chatting with you as I am now, is that I can be fairly certain the actions I take now will extend far beyond the boundary of my own hobbled recollection. In ways I think it's a feeling all people can identify with, but it's also important to realize how short-sighted a worldview it encompasses, and how tragic it would be to become a prisoner of it."
[e] If she gives you a blank response: "...I did tell you about my condition, right?"
>> No. 30333
Tesla: Alright, another post after having screwed something up.
It's like a comedy of errors, except I'm the one making all the mistakes! Anyway, here we go now.

===

“Maybe he did?”

“Huh?” She looks at you curiously, either not knowing what you're talking about or pretending she doesn't know.

“Know what you feel, I mean.”

She looks down at the ground, looking downcast. Silently, she lazily kicks at the floor as if she doesn't know what to say. Maybe you should continue. No turning back now, anyway, maybe it'll help.

“He had to have great passion and imagination to create the story and the details of all its characters, or else he never could have penned the words. He must also have felt sad at times too, since this magnificent world he created would only to ever seem to be paper.” By now, the words are almost coming by themselves. It's a little odd, but you know very well you haven't got so long... you figure you should speak your mind while you still can. You move a little closer as you speak, and slowly rest a hand on her shoulder. She looks up at you, but doesn't shy away.

“He was, as all men I think, a prisoner of a sort, bounded by the limits of sensation, capacity, lifespan, and physical boundary.” She seems to perk up a little at the word 'prisoner', but reverts to her earlier state in a few seconds. “Even so, he could go on because he thought this life had meaning. And it did, clearly: The story he created reaches through the seemingly impassible boundaries of life and death and of countless years and miles to touch the mind of you here and now, someone who he could never ever meet in person.” She looks back down, seemingly given plenty to think about, but you continue anyway.

“...It's wondrous really, how much larger our lives can be than they seem. The reason I too can go on, chatting with you as I am now, is that I can be fairly certain the actions I take now will extend far beyond the boundary of my own hobbled recollection. In ways I think it's a feeling all people can identify with, but it's also important to realize how short-sighted a worldview it encompasses, and how tragic it would be to become a prisoner of it."

She looks back up at you, blankly, her face giving a show of confusion while her eyes suggest she understands. Well, you never really know, so you ask her. “...I did tell you about my condition, right?” She inches towards you after that, surprisingly quickly for someone her size, and wraps her arms around your lower torso. Seems she can't reach much higher. She presses her head into your stomach, speaking a little softly but with a voice laden with emotion.

“You always tell me... always.” She doesn't put any strength into her arms, and you just stand there with no idea what to do. Again? Well, maybe you should talk about it some more. You're interrupted just before you start, however, and she speaks instead.

“I'm glad you can listen to this, Sam... I don't know lots of people who can hear it and... well... listen to it... well, lots of them won't even hear it at all.”

“I guess... maybe it's only if it can really mean something to them. I guess I can identify with the idea of the prison, a little...”

“Your memory, right?”

“Yeah. It's... a little like there's a wall chasing after me. An impenetrable wall, a boundary that keeps all the things I know, all my experiences, the people I've met... just out of my reach.”

“Like... a prisoner of... your own mind?”

You stop and consider for a second.

“I guess it's a way of looking at it, but... it doesn't really feel like that at all.” The conversation stops there, mostly because you're out of ideas and you figure Flandre might be also. Eventually, she lets go and looks up at you again. She looks nothing like her earlier self, still with her serious demeanor, but looks... a little better somehow. She smiles at you, but though it's still playful it's more mischevious than innocent.

“Come on, then, let's go scare someone.” She turns and starts tiptoeing to one of the ends of the bookcase, and you follow her while doing your best to keep silent. This library is enormous, and you don't know whether or not Flandre has any idea where she's going, but you follow her if only to humor her. In not so long, however, you come across a person.

Well... a 'person' maybe, given she has nonhuman attributes. She holds a stack of books in her arms while looking alternately at two routes offered by the furniture. Is she lost? While looking intently you notice that she's probably going to be there for a while, coming to no decision, but also... a closer look at her figure. It's truly very impressive, the curves aren't very noticeable from here but hold your attention while you try to make them out more clearly...

”BOO!”

“Wah!” You and Flandre cry out simultaneously, having been surprised from behind. Turning immediately reveals a young woman in a white shirt and black skirt, with black hair, laughing at you while pointing erratically. She's trying to talk, but can't say anything since she's laughing so hard.

How to react? There are a few ways, aren't there...

[ ] Wait for her to finish, then talk.
[ ] Try to get her to calm down first.
[ ] Ignore her, turn back.

And also:

[ ] Alright, she got you. Be good-humored about it.
[ ] She's had her laugh. Be stern when talking, but don't look too put off.
[ ] That wasn't nice! Be annoyed about it.

Write-in doctrine stands. You know, the usual.
>> No. 30335
That was sweet.

[x] Wait for her to finish, then talk.
[x] She's had her laugh. Be stern when talking, but don't look too put off.

Ayayayayaya
>> No. 30423
[X] Try to get her to calm down first.

[X] Alright, she got you. Be good-humored about it.

ITs only fair, we were about to do the same thing, but if we dont calm her down our trap will be ruined.
>> No. 30424
[X] "Um..."
[X] You're a bit confused and alarmed. Who is this girl? Why'd she shout all of a sudden?
>> No. 30426
[X] "Um..."
[X] You're a bit confused and alarmed. Who is this girl? Why'd she shout all of a sudden?
>> No. 30435
Going on hiatus soon, so doing our best to make this next update special (or something). There would be a choice in the middle, but since our time is counted in hours it'll be better if you make it now; you'll see what it means in a bit.

[ ] Grey
[ ] Blue
[ ] Green
[ ] Pink
[ ] Purple
[ ] White
>> No. 30440
[x] Green.
>> No. 30444
[X] Green
>> No. 30446
“Um...”

You eye the girl nervously, though she doesn't change her demeanor a single bit and keeps laughing. Her arm moves from pointing at you to holding her stomach, and after a while she starts to calm down. She changes from laughter to heavy breathing for a bit, but then laughs a little more. After that, she inhales deeply and stretches out her back. Immediately afterwards, she looks at you and seems to supress another laugh. You compose yourself so as to not amuse her, and she seems to calm down enough with that.

“So, who are you?” Best to start there, maybe she knows you.

“Aw, what, you still can't remember me?” The girl pouts, crossing her arms at you.

“Of course not, don't you-”

“I'm kidding! I'm kidding, take it easy. But to start with, you know me. I don't know whether or not you've written me down, but you've met me before. Besides, we met out in the hall a little while back, didn't we? Ah- sorry. Well, we met out in the hall maybe... how long's it been? I don't know, maybe twenty minutes ago. Probably longer, I can't tell time too well when I'm reading.”

“Reading?”

“Yeah, I was reading something. So... what brings you here this early, eh? Your poor little heart couldn't stand such distance from the sweet and charming librarian for long?”

“Eh, what? What are you-” She puts her finger up to indicate she wants to say something, so you hold back.

“Kidding. Knowing your companion, she probably came here and dragged you along. What for I can't say, but right now I could tell pretty easily that you were planning to scare the poor librarian's assistant. Course, when it turned out someone surprised you instead it was that much more unexpected!” She laughs. “Both of your expressions were priceless. But now might be a good time to see Patchouli, she's expecting a visit from you at some point.”

“Really?” You look through your notes to see if you can find anything on the matter, and one of your notes seems to concur. “Well, looks like you're right. Still, how did you know that?”

“Caught her mumbling a little. Said she had to have me booted out of the library by the time you got here.” She giggles with her hand over her mouth, but brings it back down. “She doesn't like me, I'm always getting in her way. Well, delaying it might not be the best idea; she probably knows you're already here.”

“Er... how?”

“She can tell whenever someone gets in here. If you want I'll explain it later. Go on ahead, I'll keep your companion busy; she should be in... that direction.” She points at one of the gaps between the bookshelves, leading deeper into the room.

“Eh?” Flandre cuts in. “But we were having fun!”

“I'll find something for us to do, Flandre. You know I have a knack for that, right?”

Flandre thinks it over, looking down while humming and resting her chin on her fist. She's cute.

“Okay!” Well, that was easy. “But!” She turns and points to you, in a way that would seem accusing if she were bigger. “You have to promise to play again, Sam! Okay?”

“Yeah, I promise.” Once you've said so, Flandre cheers and then follows after the girl, who walks away. You turn and review your notes, maybe you did have her written down.

You come across a note describing someone like who you saw. White blouse, black skirt, black hair... eh, hold on. The note says something about a tokin hat, but you don't recall seeing anything like that on her. No, she wasn't wearing anything on her head. Is this the same person? Well, probably; you couldn't blame her for deciding not to wear a hat just once, whatever the reason might have been. The note describes some red eyes... well, you didn't really take note. Whatever, it's probably this newspaper writer.

Before you know it, the gap that she'd pointed you towards leads you directly to a clearing in the shelves. There's a table there, and a few couches. In one is a woman clad in purple, with her nose in a book that you'd think would be too cumbersome to hold. She seems to take no notice of you. Walking closer, you try to decide whether or not to take a seat in one of the couches, but the purple lady suddenly puts down her book and addresses you.

“You're early.”

You turn, wondering how to answer. Answer her, greet her, what? Realizing you're taking time to react, you get nervous. She speaks again, though, so for now you'll listen.

(...)
>> No. 30447
“Sit.” As you do so, she begins. “Do you know why you're here?”

You shake your head, and she talks some. “There is an artifact here you have been investigating. It was found very recently, and though there are a few ways to understand it you seem to be well suited to interact with it. Usually an investigation like this one would not go beyond curiosity, but you seemed to have an unusual interest in the item so I have let you investigate it some. From what you have told me you have made significant progress and felt near completion of an interface with the object; the reason I have scheduled this meeting is that I wish to observe you once you manage to do so.” She waves her hand, and an object levitates from the table. Slowly it floats over to you, where you pick it from the air to take a better look at it.

It's a looking glass, styled as though it were from the nineteenth century. The surface clearly reflects you in it, after concluding you need a shave you turn to this Patchouli and listen to her explanation.

“From what you have said over time and investigations conducted by myself and another guest of the mistress, a man I think you know, it has been concluded this is a device for recalling the memories of people who have handled it. It can be assumed it can only load the accumulated memories up to the point of having been handled since it does not maintain permanent connections with those who touch it. If you succeed, I cannot say whose memories you will obtain or how such things are governed, nor can I tell you whether there is any difference in the memories of humans such as the mistress's guest and the head maid or youkai such as myself, or even that of faries... such information is only readily available after interface has been achieved. It is also important to note that there is a great variety of individuals known to have handled this. To my knowledge it has been handled by myself, Roland (the guest), my assistant, fairy maids of this mansion, the mistress, the head maid and, of course, yourself. It would only work to assume, however, that there is an innumerable amount of possible handlers given the origins of this aren't clear.”

...What? At least half of that went over your head. But... interact with it? Well, if it is magical, it probably makes sense to try and focus on it or something. Closing your eyes, you try and bring your attention to the looking glass in your lap.

You come to think of green. Passive, comfortable... at the same time firm and determined. Rolling sheets of it, no... just its presence. Suddenly, though, it turns into something where you don't see anything of the tone.

---
>> No. 30448
You stand looking over the edge of a wooden wall, carefully observing an open field level with its edge. It's uneven and strewn with objects that can't be easily discerned from here, but you're not focusing on them. You're looking a little further out ahead, but there's nothing there for now. You continue to look, though, even if your mind starts wandering you'll notice if something's wrong and it won't do to get completely distracted while in a role as important as this one. There's little dust right now, and you can see relatively clearly, but it's a little quiet. It's always nice to be able to rest in times like this... you kill time as you can, but the brief moments of excitement you get are nerve-wracking and more than enough.

A friend of yours nudges you and interrupts your thoughts. “Rollo, grenades.”

Ah, that's right, the case is to the right. You pick up a couple and pass them to him, along with the remark: “Have fun.”

There's no real fun to have yet, though. That'll come later, it's been like that for the past two years or so. Remembering that you haven't already, you proceed to load up a few magazines spent in the last engagement. You'll be needing those sometime, and it gets sooner with each passing second. The detachable box types you use are a little more difficult to work with than most of your compatriots' stripper clips, but you have no problem with it. The greater capacity and full automatic capability you have has definite advantages over the standard bolt-action fare. Still, it didn't come without disadvantages; you needed to modify the firing mechanism to take mud and humidity and have to use non-standard ammunition, but you think it's worth it.

You start hearing faint whistling. Ah, damn, seems you were just in time. You quickly turn and sound the alert. “Incoming!” Others immediately pass on the message and everyone starts scrambling for cover. You aren't exeunt from the practice, though you keep an eye on the front in case someone starts something before this is over. Shells start falling in the general vicinity of the trench, very few fall inside but some fall close by, and you manage to get into the nearest bunker without too much difficulty. As you take a look outside, you see a shell make a direct hit and cause part of the trenchline to collapse. Oh well, guess you'll have to rebuild that.

The bombardment eventually ends, and everyone waits to see if it starts up again. It doesn't, as far as you can tell, but no one is taking the initiative to move outside and man their positions again. There isn't an order for it either, so everyone stays inside for the time being.

It's then that a friend of yours makes an observation. “They're coming.” He says.

“What is it?” You ask him. It's not uncommon for him to be right about these things, but you still want to know.

“An officer just gave the order to fix bayonets. They'll be loading rifles in a few seconds. We have to move.” Most of this you know, but he said it clearly enough for the less experienced to hear it also. As you accompany everyone in doing so, you can't help but wonder how this man has such a sharp ear. After an artillery bombardment, at that. You start by looking over the lip of your trench, then pulling straight back to work the bolt on your rifle. Some close by follow your example, working the rotating bolts on theirs. You don't fix a bayonet onto your weapon, though a few do after someone else who's been around for some time does so. It seems to have only been a few seconds before men start rising up out of the other trench, and you draw a bead on one of the ones from the rearward lines. The psychological effect of being able to get ones that are behind others- as opposed to just the ones in front- is quite impressive.

You start by shooting one in one of the lines to the back, the spent casing automatically ejected off to the side and no longer considered. Shit, though... that's a lot of men. They'll definitely make it here. You leave no-man's-land to the machine-gunners and ready yourself for when they drop into the trench.

You didn't expect a man to come leaping in, unarmed, and start attacking soldiers brutally with seemingly superhuman ability. He slams them into the sides of the trench, kicks them with enough force to send them backward, and seems too fast for anyone to draw aim on him. Well, you've got other problems to deal with first. You turn to those still trying to get across the field, but notice they're still a ways away. Well, then you can focus on this man, seems he made it faster than the others. Ah, no, there are a few with him.

You set up a small trap for them. They're moving through the trench, having some apparent confidence that others won't try and aim for them, but are being cautious about making turns. These are at least somewhat experienced, they seem to know the trick of hiding machine guns behind bends in trenches. The ones at the front all seem to have Browning semi-automatic shotguns, so you'll have to be ready for them and take them out while they're far away. As for that other one, you're not sure about him. He keeps at his routine of attacking with his inexplicable speed and strength, not even seeming human...

(...)
>> No. 30449
Ah, that's it. You understand. Quickly you move through, passing the curve nearest those in front, a small group of two or three. You take aim at them, but they get ready to run at you for when you've spent a round. You take aim, move a lever on the gun just a little and pull the trigger. The fact you end up shooting a volley of rounds at them with a rifle seems to surprise them greatly, but you've hit each two or three times so they shouldn't be a threat even if you haven't killed them. Next you wait for the other one, the one who's following them. He definitely isn't human, but that's fine. You already know how to deal with him.

Odd, though... You never thought you'd see his kind again. You'd been convinced for years those like him were too sparse to come up again, in particular here of all places... Besides, male ones were a rarity.

You take an old knife that had been given to you during your training as a kid, and stash it in your right sleeve. Right after that you sling your rifle over your shoulder, and wait for the man to come by. As he moves into your field of sight, you move up in order to face him.

“Finally one courageous enough to stand in front of me!” He laughs with a booming, powerful voice. “I appreciate the gesture, but I don't think it'll do you much good. You should turn and run while you still can.”

You know a little English, so you can answer him. “No, Englishman, thank you. You would likely just kill me when I turned my back, no?”

He just laughs some more. “You're smart. So you're standing up to me?”

You just frown a bit. “You're annoying. Who are you anyway?” Most of his kind tends to be quite mindless and inhuman. Shame to see he doesn't seem all that different... heh.

“Me? I'm just a soldier. All for king and country.” However, he quickly loses his amused look. “But you're boring. So I'll just finish with you and move on.”

Just for future reference, you ask him: “Were you called up or did you volunteer?”

“Hm? I volunteered. It should make no difference to you, though.”

“Why not? How many of you are volunteers should govern whether you're actually worth my time.”

Anger flashes in his eyes. “Worth your time?! As if you could destroy us in the first place!” Good, he's irritable.

You hear the voice of someone you know, from a bit behind you. “Rohedler!” He yells. “Get back!” You understand his concern, but he doesn't know why you're up here. The man tries to take advantage of your distraction by lunging for you, but you're already ready. Instantly you flick the silver knife out of your sleeve and draw it up in an arc, holding it parallel to your fingers.

It puts a large cut in his outstretched arm, which he stops to look at. “What...? No knife should cut me like this...” Before he moves again, you slash up again with the blade outwards, then step behind him and let it flip in the air before grabbing it and taking it down to your left hip, tearing a large gash in his back as you do so. He quickly turns to look at you, eyes wide with surprise and some fear. “No...” He starts, sounding incredulous. “You're a hunter?!”

“I'm just a soldier for the Empire. What difference is there when it comes to you?” You flick the knife to a normal stance again, blade outwards and down low, moving it forward.

He spins around to face you again, aiming a kick for your chest. Deftly you step to the side, but he follows up with a punch aimed for your jaw. You lean back to avoid it, but it's coming with a lot of force and he's moving with it. You rest your hands on the floor of the trench and use them to roll backwards away from his attack, giving him a distracting kick to the jaw as you do so.

Once your feet hit the trench floor again, you crouch down into a defensive stance and dodge his attacks while getting in short stabs. Slowly, his offensive grows slower... more sporadic... less coordinated. After he gives an opening again, you swat his arm out of the way and hold your knife up to his neck. Aside from the surprise of being overpowered by you, he seems to finally experience the prospect of being killed.

He holds out an arm, as if he were trying to keep you away or dissuade you. “No... Don't... I don't want to die!” Others with him have stopped to look at him, his fear seeming to affect them also. You pause a little before continuing.

“You should have been prepared for it, if you volunteered.”

Quicker than he can react, you take your knife across his neck and quickly drive it in the side of his head and back out again. Following through, you twist your arm inwards and place it in his heart, pushing with your left hand also so as to knock him against the wall. You don't really like tobacco, but decide to scare his comrades by taking his cigarette and drawing a long pull on it before exhaling a cloud of smoke as you toss it over the wall. You turn to face them, bringing your rifle back to bear, and ask them in their native English:

“Who is next?”

They begin to run in fear, but you'll leave them to your fellow soldiers. You turn to wait for the incoming troops, who have almost arrived. They seem demoralized by the trek and the sight of some of their comrades running, so you should be able to stop this assault without too much difficulty. You'll probably counterattack after that, though; up and over, across the 100 meter stretch to their line. Here you go again.
>> No. 30450
---

That... was a bit surreal.

“...Well, did it work?” The woman clad in purple returns you to reality.

“Yeah.” You stand up, unsure as to what you saw. Just who was this, anyway? And does it mean anything for you to have seen that? Admittedly, it was a little like seeing a film, except... with all of your senses. You turn to excuse yourself, but then look to Patchouli inquisitively.

“Go ahead, you've served your purpose here. I'll call you back to describe what you saw, but for now I have everything I need to know.” Nodding, you turn off and walk back through the library. It's too much to take in at once, so you try and put it out of mind. For what seems a long time, you walk around the library and try to ignore it, though it doesn't seem to let go. You start hearing something... a little faint, but it's the sound of pieces of metal crashing against each other. Like... swords? Knives? No, they're a bit too fast. At the same time, you hear the sound of a pile of books coming down from further inside.

[ ] Investigate the books.
[ ] Investigate the metal sounds.
[ ] Ignore it all, keep going...
>> No. 30451
[X] Ignore it all, keep going...
>> No. 30452
[X] Investigate the books.
>> No. 30469
>>30448
>A friend of yours nudges you and interrupts your thoughts. “Rollo, grenades.”

I saw what you did there.

>“Who is next?”

Fucking awesome.

Soldier Sakuya in WW2 on the Allies' side killing Nazi vampires? That's just the way it should be.

[x] Investigate the metal sounds.

This isn't the kind of thing we'll be able to file away for later. Use the knowledge while you have access to it to increase friendship points. You haven't talked much with so important a member of the household anyway.
>> No. 30473
[x] Investigate the metal sounds.

Well, fine.
>> No. 30505
[x] Investigate the metal sounds.
>> No. 30851
Alright, hiatus almost over. I'll be back in full by tomorrow (got some traveling to do) so expect updates to start coming again in a little while.

While I'm at it, though, I'd like to take a second to thank everyone who's been reading this story up until now. We (I think I can speak for Dune also) are quite pleased to write for you all and it helps to know our work is appreciated, so a word of appreciation out to readers... update in not so long. Until then, I must say it is good to be back.
>> No. 30852
>>30851
Hooray!
>> No. 30983
Tesla: Finally. These few days were hell in getting our things in order, but here we are. While we don't know how easily updates will come in, we've set the show on the road. Let's see here...

===

You decide to investigate the metallic sounds. The books probably don't mean much in a place like this, and it should help take your mind off things. You turn and walk down the direction the sounds come from, thinking as you go.

It was a little much to take in... and whether it means anything is a different matter altogether. Reasonably, it wouldn't make much sense for it to be of any importance- all that seemed to be in a setting with nothing to do with... whatever this place is. You can't shake the feeling that that had some importance though, if maybe a hidden one...

The sounds themselves get much clearer as you approach them. The impression doesn't change: it's bits of metal crashing against each other, over and again, though there's no real pattern to it. A few clashes, then nothing. One or two strikes, a pause, a prolonged series of sounds, and then another pause. It does sound like blades, but for it to be this fast there would have to be quite a few people. Is there a fight here?

The sounds take you to a clearing in the books, but there's nothing there. Some knives are stuck in the ground, though. Picking one up, you examine it.

It's very well made. The blade, which looks extremely sharp, is double-edged, and though the design is simple there are some ornaments put into it. It's got a wide hilt and long grip, supporting it on one finger you balance it on the flat side of the hilt. Turning it over in your hands, you find no markings on it.

Your thoughts are interrupted by a person slamming into the ground at high speed. They land in a crouching position and hesitate for a second before looking up, then dart backwards in a blur of blue and white. Another person lands just where they were a second ago, looking around and fixing her eyes on you before darting after the first. You didn't get a close look at either of them, but they're probably the source of all these noises.

The first one rebounds off of a bookshelf and darts forward again, holding a pair of knives. Maybe the one you were holding came from this person? The second draws their own, and the two pass by each other in the air with a series of metallic clashes as they strike for each other. One of them goes to the ground and rolls on it, while the other one stops in midair and turns towards their opponent.

The first takes a look around and seems to notice you for the first time, eyes fixing on you briefly before turning back to the fight. They run forward with their knives drawn low while their opponent throws some of their own at them; the first deflects them and then lunges at their opponent. After a particularly loud clash, the two again fly away and turn to face each other. In the brief pause, you get a closer look at them.

The first is a man with short black hair, blue pants, a dress shirt and a pistol at his waist. In each of his hands is a knife with a handguard... unusual in that you can't really see the edge of the blade. Are those stilettos? His eyes shift slightly every few seconds, but mostly they're focused on his opponent. He seems to have no distractions while facing her, and runs toward her with the tips of his weapons forward.

The second is a woman wearing a western maid uniform. With silver hair and blue eyes (a clear blue when compared to the man's grayish ones), she has an air of resolute, unspoken authority. She touches down on the ground, then jumps toward the man with her knives cutting arcs in the air.

The two meet and begin to exchange blows, both trying to get past their opponent's guard through their own means. The woman brings her knives in from all sorts of angles and draws all degrees of lines and arcs in the air, while her opponent keeps his in close and strikes with much greater force. They don't seem to be leaving any openings or advancing, but persist on the offensive. After maybe a second that seemed to take an eternity, the woman takes a step backwards while her opponent moves forward after her.

A frame of sight goes from your vision many times in a row, and each time the position of the woman changes. First she goes directly behind him, then to his side, then above him, then to the side again, then to the front, to the other side... each time she strikes once or twice before switching angles completely, but her opponent flips and twirls his weapons while shifting his footing and moving his arms fast enough to block all of them. Both of them... that's way too fast. How can they be moving at that speed with that sort of precision? It makes no sense.

Instantly the woman changes her strategy, opting instead to try and overwhelm her opponent from directly in front. He blocks her attacks continuously for about a second, but then jumps backwards onto his hands and propels himself further. The woman responds by throwing a barrage of knives at him, but he runs to the side and strafes around her in a circle while keeping the throwing knives half a step behind him. The woman, after maybe three seconds, pauses to draw a group of knives several times the size of the last few and tosses them all at him; he responds by jumping through them and they embed themselves into the bookshelf behind him. Oddly enough, they all seem to have missed the books.

And again, the two face each other directly and attack for each other's guard. The woman trying to overwhelm the man's guard while he tries to break hers, neither gives an inch. It draws out...

One second.

Two seconds.

Three seconds.

Before the fourth second finishes it's over.

(...)
>> No. 30984
The man's guard falters, and while the first cut that reaches him does little his opponent takes advantage of the gap and exploits it, drawing his arms apart with carefully calculated blows and putting many cuts into the front of his shirt. The man staggers backward once, then falls.

It takes a second, but you notice him breathing after that. He starts speaking, but doesn't get up.

“Well, Sakuya, you've won.” He takes a deep breath to slow himself. “Again.”

What?

The woman stows the knives in her hands in an unseen pocket, closes her eyes and nods. “You've improved.” There's no emotion to her voice.

“Thanks. I've been working at that, so it's nice that it pays off.” The man props himself up on his shoulders, taking a look at you. “Hey there, Sam. When'd you get here?”

“Not so long ago, I just arrived.”

“Hm. I noticed you there, but didn't see you arrive. What brings you here?”

“I heard the noises and got curious.”

“Well, that explains it. Most people don't come around when Sakuya and I are having a sparring match, but your case is... easily justified.” His expression turns a bit surprised for a second, as if he took a little shock from his own words. “Sorry, I didn't mean any offense. But anyway, what did you think?”

That takes you by surprise. It takes you maybe a moment, but in the end you give him an honest answer. “I don't know.”

“That's alright. These aren't for show anyway.” He brings his legs up over him and then vaults onto his feet, carrying on heedless of the cuts in his shirt. “Still, I think I know what got me this time. Unusual for you to attack at the handguards, Sakuya.” He turns to the woman which he'd been fighting. “Usually you're trying to brush the spike to knock my hand's balance off.”

The woman simply nods. Instantly you sense a gap in your perception and all the knives on the ground and the shelves disappear; at the same time she's standing in front of you and holding out her hand expectantly. You diligently place the knife you picked up in her hand and she pockets it, walking back to her original location. Then something occurs to you: “Wait. Handguards?”

“Ah, that's right. Here, take a look.” The man tosses one of his weapons to you and you scramble to catch it, eventually securing it between your hands. The brass-colored handguard rests itself on the hilt and the bottom of the grip and the weapon's blade is round, with a little emblem stamped in just above the hilt. You turn up to look at the man, who pockets his other one and explains. “That's a trench spike. I made these myself, but they're based on the American M1917 from back in the day. Most distinctive is the lack of an edge, but weapons like these were never suitable for cutting.” He walks up and takes it back from you, tucking it away somewhere you can't see.

He turns. “Well, I'd better mosey on. Thanks again, Sakuya, see you in a bit.”

“Where are you going?”

“Can't walk around with my shirt like this, not to mention you gave me a couple cuts. So I'm going to go fix that.”

“My apologies, I didn't mean to-”

“It's fine. Keeps me on edge, so it's better in a way.” Chuckling, he turns his head back. “Besides, since when did you care what happened to me?”

The woman whirls away from him and scoffs, turning her nose up.

---

It's a bright day outside today. The grass under your feet is soft and accommodates you nicely, not to mention the air has a fresh scent to it and the flowers add a hint of color to the open spaces. There are walls around you and a large building behind you, but the lack of a roof above your head is... relieving, for some reason. You take a deep breath, then start walking.

Looking at you inquisitively is a man in a white dress shirt. He addresses you once you take a look at him, so you figure you should know him.

“Well, I've got to go now. I'll be entrusting you to the gateguard up here, though I'll be seeing you again later. Gotta get my stuff together... might take a shower or something while I'm at it. Come along...” He walks off towards a gate in the wall, you follow him.

“Gateguard? Who?”

“That girl over there in the green. Oi!” He calls out. ”Meiling!”

”Ah! Xiaoping!”

Huh?

A woman peeks out from behind one of the ends of the gate, smiling. She waves. Your companion waves back, and after coming closer begins to exchange a few words with her. The conversation is completely incomprehensible to you... is that Chinese?

The person who brought you here turns back and starts to walk off. “Well, I'm outta here. See you when I see you.” You turn your attention to the woman, who smiles warmly and has a welcoming appearance about her overall. Her aqua eyes scan you curiously, she seems to be waiting for you to start the conversation.

What to say?

[ ] Compose a starting phrase and/or set of things to talk about. In terms of game mechanics, anything goes.
>> No. 30994
[+] “Hello, Ms…Meiling, is it? The name’s Sam Jenkins. Sorry if I’m a little out of it; I have trouble remembering things.”
[+] “So my, uhh, ‘friend’ back there, you know him? How’d you two meet?”
[+] If you get the chance, fish around in your notebook for information on “Meiling” and whoever that other guy was. See how much you’re supposed to know.

Glad to have you two back; the SDM’s been struggling to stay alive lately, it seems. With the return of you and Princess Tepes, maybe we’ll stop sucking for a change.

And for the record, I still don’t regret voting to kill Roland in the first post (if that was indeed Roland). There’s just something about him I don’t like. I think it’s that he’s just too…calm, about everything. Too smug. The vaguely inappropriate timing of his jokes doesn’t help either.

My two cents. Can’t spend much with that these days.
>> No. 30995
[+] “Hello, Ms…Meiling, is it? The name’s Sam Jenkins. Sorry if I’m a little out of it; I have trouble remembering things.”
[+] “So my, uhh, ‘friend’ back there, you know him? How’d you two meet?”
[+] If you get the chance, fish around in your notebook for information on “Meiling” and whoever that other guy was. See how much you’re supposed to know.
>> No. 31130
Tesla: Finally! Let's see how the new site does.

...Again, sorry this took so long.

===

“Hello, Ms…Meiling, is it?”

The woman smiles and nods, and you take the opportunity to continue.

“The name’s Sam Jenkins. Sorry if I’m a little out of it; I have trouble remembering things.”

Meiling answers with a clear and ringing voice, cocking her head in confusion. “That's alright. I didn't hear much about that when we first met, so I'm still a bit curious.” Her speech is punctuated by little movements and gestures, tilting her head, shifting her weight and moving around in sync with her inflection.

“Ah...” You're not sure how to explain it, and you look around nervously. “Well...”

She seems to notice your discomfort as her expression turns to show some concern, but it quickly fades as she gently grabs your arm and leads you through the gate to outside the wall. “Here,” she says, “Come on out. It's more comfortable here.”

You follow her out but stop right outside the gate to look at the scenery. Just... where is this? The piece of land you stand on heads directly into a lake, which goes out for a long distance; on the other side there's a forest and further shapes appear in the distance. Mountains? Aside from the building behind you, there's hardly any signs of civilization that you can see from here. The woman notices your interest and lets you look, letting go of your arm. The day is rather bright, though there are a few clouds scattered about, and the landscape is dotted with little things flying around that you can't discern from where you're standing. Truly a beautiful landscape, though you can't even begin to guess where you are.

You stand for a while to look at it, and Meiling offers no objections; eventually, however, the silence becomes awkward.

“Um...” You start. The woman turns to look at you expectantly, though you haven't really thought of a way to continue the conversation. After a few more seconds, something comes to mind.

“So my, uhh, ‘friend’ back there, you know him?”

“Oh, yes. He's been here for a while.”

“How'd you two meet?”

“The mistress took him as a guest a few weeks ago, and he spends some of his time outside. Somehow I found he speaks Chinese, so we talk from time to time. You should know him, though, he brought you here.”

You know him? Pulling your papers out of your pocket, you check to see if you can find anything on Meiling or the person who brought you here. Meiling you find quite easily, and read through the card.

-Hong Meiling
Tall, long red hair
Wears a green uniform and matching cap
Gateguard of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.


Ah, so that's it. You turn to address Meiling again. “Well, I think I have a better idea of who you are. So you talk to that man whenever he comes out here? What's he like?”

“His name's Li Xiaoping. Well, that's what I call him at least; I've heard other people call him something else.” She laughs. “He looks Western, so they're probably closer to the right one. Ah, but now that I think of it-” She leans against the wall, her eyes turning to the ground. “I don't know why he's here. He says something about it from time to time, but most people don't stay here as long as he has.” Her expression seems to display something between pensiveness and confusion, but it's difficult to discern. “And he takes things very much in stride for an outsider, too. He's given some indication of what he's here for, but I don't know much.” She shrugs, and you figure you'll leave it at that.

“So what's it like out here? Seems peaceful.” You hope that should restart the conversation.

“Peaceful, sure, but mostly it's boring. Nothing happens most of the time, so being out here and waiting for something to attack is, well, monotonous. Especially since there's no one else out here.” She takes off her cap and twirls it around on a finger before putting it back on her head.

“Don't people come and visit you?”

“Hm... well, sort of. I mean, Xiaoping stops by on his way out, or comes out here to run or train from time to time, and Sakuya comes out to check on how I'm doing, but no one really comes by just to visit. It's usually pretty lonely out here.”

“Oh. I see.”

“Don't look so low about it, it isn't that bad.” She looks at you while smiling strangely, you guess your expression suggested a little more sympathy than you would've hoped. “And what about you? You haven't really told me about this memory issue of yours in depth.”

“Ah, I hadn't? Well, you see...” You take the time to give an explanation of your condition, though you don't dwell on it too much. Once you're done, you take a look to see how she reacted.

She's looking straight at the grass, a little dejected. “That's really sad...” She starts. “I don't know how you could do that. I mean... have no idea of where you are, who you've met, what you just did... like... you could see your best friend or an enemy and not even know you've seen them before.” A pause. “What's the last thing you remember?”

That catches you off guard. Thinking about it, you're not sure. “I think it was... a dream. It's a little hazy, but I can remember it a little.”

“...Was it a good dream?”

No, not really. You can vaguely remember the feeling and don't like the memory of it. Claustrophobic, paranoid, with a sense of impending despair...

“Yeah. It was a good dream.”

After that you're contented to sit in silence. A long and pregnant pause takes over as you lean against the wall and listen to the wind while looking out at the landscape. Meiling doesn't say anything this time either, but again, it turns awkward after some time.

“By the way, Meiling...”

“Hm?”

[ ] “I'm still a little curious about Xiaoping.”
[ ] “You mentioned a mistress of the mansion at one point, who's that?”
[ ] “Does anyone from outside ever come and visit?”
[ ] “Who is this 'Sakuya' you were talking about?”
[ ] “You haven't told me much about yourself, now that I think of it.”
[ ] “It's nothing, never mind.”

Ask no more than two, write-ins work also. If ending conversation, choose from the following:
[ ] Stay there, it's relaxing.
[ ] Take a walk, come back later.
[ ] Go back into the mansion.
>> No. 31133
[x] “You mentioned a mistress of the mansion at one point, who's that?”
[x] “Who is this 'Sakuya' you were talking about?”
>> No. 31135
[+] “I'm still a little curious about Xiaoping. He acts like we're old friends or something; what's he like?”
[+] "So, do you have any idea why I'm in this mansion to begin with?"
[+] End conversation; Stay there, it's relaxing.

Just a minor note; choosing options that leave you alone for an extended period of time (like taking a walk) should probably be avoided, so that you don't find yourself lost and clueless at the worst time. Probably stating the obvious, but whatever.
>> No. 31136
[x] “I'm still a little curious about Xiaoping. He acts like we're old friends or something; what's he like?”
[x] "So, do you have any idea why I'm in this mansion to begin with?"
[x] End conversation; Stay there, it's relaxing.

Don't want to suddenly blank out and trip into the lake or anything.
>> No. 31142
[x] “I'm still a little curious about Xiaoping. He acts like we're old friends or something; what's he like?”
[x] "So, do you have any idea why I'm in this mansion to begin with?"
[x] End conversation; Stay there, it's relaxing.
>> No. 31274
Tesla: In advance, sorry if this seems a little short.

===

“I'm still a little curious about Xiaoping. He acts like we're old friends or something; what's he like?”

Meiling thinks for a second. “He's pretty friendly, generally. I guess he acts like that a little, though I can't think of why. Then again, though...” Her eyes turn up as if she's remembering something. “It's better like that. I saw him get angry once.” A nervous laugh. “I'd rather not see it again. Most of the time, though, he's rather amicable and won't hurt anyone unless he has a reason. Still... his humor can be a little dark, too.”

“Hm. So what has he told you about the reason he's here?”

“I don't know much about that, sorry. From what he's said, though, he's stayed for a very specific reason... said he was looking for something and that it would be best- though not really necessary- for him to do it quietly.”

“I see. Wait- something or someone?”

Meiling looks left and right by shifting her eyes, and then smiles with her index finger over her lips.

You shrug and proceed with the next thing you were thinking of. “So, do you have any idea why I'm in this mansion to begin with?”

Meiling brings her arms up in a gesture which simply shows she doesn't know. She's quick to elaborate on it, however. “You were brought in by Xiaoping. As far as I know he did it as a small favor for the mistress, but didn't understand just what she had in mind- there's a good chance she was just curious but you can never tell with her.”

So you've been brought here as a guest? Hm. The mistress seems to have motives difficult to discern, so of course it's strange to think of what interests her. Was she just bored, or does she want something from you? Not that anything you could offer comes to mind straight away.

Meling goes on. “It's good for you to be here, though. It's dangerous out there for someone from the outside world, and it'll be safer if you stay here. The mistress doesn't seem to have much confidence in your survivability, either.”

Outside world? The way she says it makes it sound like you should be familiar with it, so you start looking through your papers again to see if you can find a note about it. One says you're in some place called Gensokyo... cut off from the world... technologically backward (somewhat)... inhabited by magical beings. Well, that helps a little. Aside from that... “Wait. What?”

Meiling takes a careful look around, turning her head left, right, and even up. Once she seems confident others won't hear, she leans in close and whispers in your ear. Not an uncomfortable feeling, all in all.

“I'm not supposed to let you out unless you have an escort.”

She then turns back and resumes looking at the landscape, but laughs a little. “Don't worry, they said the same thing about Xiaoping for a while.” Shrugging, you lean against the wall and join her, deciding to leave it at that.

Hm, it's nice out here. It's rather hot outside, but luckily there's a cloud in front of the sun so it isn't bearing down on you very heavily. A breeze picks up and you decide to sit down, leaning the back of your head against the wall and shutting your eyes. The grass is soft underneath you and takes your weight rather comfortably, and with all that your breathing slows and becomes steadier.

If you chose, you could probably fall asleep here. Still, someone might want you for something... doesn't sound too likely, though.

[ ] Have a nap.
[ ] No, you should stay awake. Get up and walk around.
[ ] Do something before you go to sleep.
[ ] No, there's something you have to take care of.

If doing something, specify what. Policy on write-ins is the same.
>> No. 31293
[ ] No, you should stay awake. Get up and walk around.
>> No. 31295
[x] No, you should stay awake. Get up and walk around.
>> No. 31382
No, it's best for you to stay up. Coming to a stand, you stretch your back and open your eyes. It's very tranquil and relaxing, but even if you stand around you might fall asleep. You figure taking a walk should help you a little, even if it's just to give yourself some distraction. You start pacing, going back into the gate and deciding to go for the garden.

Meiling calls after you. “Ah, are you going?”

“I'll be back in a minute.”

“Oh, okay.” Meiling watches you as you go, but turns back to the outside after a while.

Taking a stroll amid all the plants, you take a look around. The garden is tended nicely, though there isn't a particular pattern; it seems that the plants have been allowed to grow wherever they pleased and then taken care of. It's mostly grass, though there are flowers here and there, and the lack of bushes or trees gives it an open feeling similar to what's outside the wall. You stop a second to take a look at the building, if the notes are right the 'Scarlet Devil Mansion'.

It's huge. Not so large so as to seem imposing, but huge nonetheless. Most of the house has been made a bright red (a little odd for the decorative style, which seems rather familiar), and all of the windows seem to have been closed. A large clock tower juts up from the superstructure. You can't quite figure out what it's doing so far removed from everything else, but it probably isn't so important. You could ask if you get curious, anyway.

Turning back down, you resume your walk. Moving around the mansion you take a look upwards, watching cloud formations as they move. Seems a little choppy; the clouds move briskly towards where you saw the mountains in the distance. You figure you'll take a walk outside the wall when you come back to the gate; the wall's blocking your view. The building projects a rather large shadow around the back, though that's probably because of its height. You keep going into it, paying it no mind.

Wait, was something there?

You turn your head to where you think you saw something- right next to the mansion, behind one of the supports. There's nothing there. You walk a little towards it, turn to the side a little for a different perspective, but still nothing. Turning forwards again, you resume your walk.

Then you notice it again. It doesn't move when you turn to focus on it, so you can get a better look. Moving towards it slowly, you notice it isn't an object but a person; a little taller than you, it appears to be male and wears a black shirt and blue jeans, hands in its pockets. It turns to face you and you stop, but it doesn't say anything. Figuring they won't, you start the conversation.

“Who are you?” Usually a simple greeting will do the job, but you have a bad feeling about this guy.

“Who are you?” The man pauses, then chuckles. “Don't worry, I'll answer the question. You expect my name, don't you? It's strange how important that can be. It's difficult to tell just how much it means... you could say it's just a tag for association, a moniker for a variable to give it distinction... but even then, the variable is easily questioned also. Is it the person, their psychology, perhaps even them and their ancestry?”

You look at him, puzzled. He seems amused by your confusion.

“If it will console you, I go by Martin. Martin Freeland.”

“What are you doing here?”

“You're very direct.”

“That's not important.”

“Really? Does it not also influence how I react to you?”

Before you answer, he keeps going. “I'm here either to help or to mislead; maybe even both. To you, at least. How I do it is my concern, but you'll see me from time to time.”

You still can't make much sense of what he's saying. “Help or mislead me? What for?”

“There is only so much I can tell you at a time, but it is elemental for you to realize something. I don't know whether you've already noticed or not, but some people here have objectives that they are trying to carry out. I do not think it would be important for you to know, except that in this case... you might be important for some of the means they have prepared to achieve their ends.”

“What do you mean?”

“There are some people within these walls- and perhaps some without- that intend to use your abilities to achieve some of their objectives. So look closely and be careful. But in addition,” he pauses for emphasis. “It's even more important for you to realize that they're not all the same. Some want to use you and discard you, and others are willing to help... distinguishing between the two is your work to do and may ultimately save you, failure to do so may leave you friendless. Here in particular, fending for yourself against everyone else is... difficult, to say the least.”

You take a few seconds to go over what he said. There are people here who want to use your abilities? Wait. “Abilities?”

“You'll find out.”

“Why are you telling me all this?”

“You need to know.”

“How do you know all this? What are you trying to do?”

“That's also my concern.” He pulls his hands out of his pockets. “I am sorry, but this is all we have time for now. You will see me again when I think you need to.” He takes two quick steps around you, and stands directly behind you; you clearly feel an impact on the right side of your head and... not much else. The ground rushes up to meet you.

“Sir!”

What?

“Sam!”

This isn't quite like waking up; your consciousness is going up and down and you have a pulsing headache.

“Sam!”

You open your eyes a little and move your hand to shield them from the light; as your vision clears you get a view of Meiling, who's crouched down and looking over you with concern.

“Are you alright, Sam? What happened?”

“Meiling...” She gives a small smile upon hearing that, gently helping you to a sitting position before the pain in your head flares. You grunt and bring a hand to the side of your head. She seems worried, but you keep going. “...How long was I out?”

“Not very long. You left to take a short walk, but then you were gone for a few minutes so I decided to check on you and found you like this.”

You nod slowly, and then move to get up. Meiling probably has to get back to her post. You start walking again, your head gradually clearing.

“Would you like to lean on me?” You nod, although you could probably walk by yourself you still haven't recovered. Meiling drapes one of your arms over her shoulders and reaches around to support you, taking care to let you stand on your own. The two of you walk out towards the front gate and your mind eventually clears up. You could probably walk rather easily, but it's probably better not to shun Meiling's efforts to help... not to mention you're rather comfortable already. Still, what's happened bothers you a little. What to do?

[ ] Leave this behind you. It's a bit overwhelming.
[ ] Give some thought to what you were told by this 'Martin Freeland'.
[ ] Just rest. Right now doesn't seem the time for that.

Secondly,

[ ] Tell Meiling about what happened, see what she thinks.
[ ] Keep quiet about it, write a note.

It's probably unnecessary for us to state protocols in this case.
>> No. 31407
[x] Give some thought to what you were told by this 'Martin Freeland'.
[x] Keep quiet about it, write a note.

While Meiling is most likely one of the nice ones, I think we should find out more about both Martin and things around here before opening our mouths.
>> No. 31408
[x] Give some thought to what you were told by this 'Martin Freeland'.
[x] Keep quiet about it, write a note.
>> No. 31409
[+] Give some thought to what you were told by this 'Martin Freeland'.
[+] Keep quiet about it, write a note.
[+] If you ever get some quiet time to yourself, read your notebook front to back. See just how much you're supposed to know right now.

The last one if only to see how much our brain is "hiding" from us right now. Also because if we keep doing this enough times, we might start to patch together a definite timeline based on what's in there and what's not. Perhaps it'd be wise to start remarking the time and date each note is made as well? Every piece of information could be helpful in the long run.

I know, I'm grasping at straws. I tend to do that.
>> No. 31825
It's a lot to take in at once, but it's probably best to give some thought to what you were told by this Freeland. Let's see... thinking back, he mentioned...

Well, a lot of things. But maybe some were more important. You specifically remember him talking about why he was here, he said he was around to help or mislead you. Well, that's quite ridiculous in first light, he should know, right? He probably either intends to do one of the two, but which isn't something that comes quite easily. Based on what he said he seemed to be trying to help, but he could be trying to gain your trust and upset it later on. Thinking about this should get you nowhere, so you move to the next point...

Meling slowly guides you over to the gate again, making sure to walk slowly.

...He also said that there were people in the mansion who intended to take advantage of some abilities of yours to achieve some objective that they wee trying to accomplish. Now that's probably something that needs some time for you to think about, isn't it? Some of them, he said, were willing to help you and the rest wouldn't care about leaving you stranded. Considering this place was apparently filled by magical beings, though... winding up friendless and with no lack of enemies is something you should avoid if you can help it.

Still supported by Meiling, you walk back through the gate and again reach the outside. The sunlight seems somehow hollow this time around.

What's most confusing is the abilities he said you had. You can't really think of anything you could do than most people couldn't, not to mention your condition left you at a tremendous disadvantage when compared to most people. If it's a skill or something you know... well, you can't think of anything, but it could be something you picked up after you got your condition. Not that it makes much sense... learning anything in the long term wouldn't be possible for you at least in a conscious sense since memory of what you've done or off the skill would be gone moments after you got it. It could be, but doesn't seem too likely.

Meling leads you back over to the wall, slowly you release yourself from her grasp and lean on it.

Or maybe it's something inherent... but in that case you wouldn't know anything about it either. And as far back as you can remember, there wasn't really anything that distinguished you from other people in that sense. You had your virtues and flaws, no doubt, just like anybody else, but what Martin Freeland was talking about seemed to suggest an ability that you had that other people simply didn't. It's tough to think of yourself as someone with any such ability...

If he's right, though, whatever people are trying to accomplish might make them rather dangerous if they need you to achieve those goals. He did seem to suggest that they might go to unpleasant lengths in order to use your abilities to their benefit, so maybe it's best to take a good look at what goals each of them might have and who might be interested in in a sort of reciprocity.

You slowly slide down, Meiling does the same to your right and leans against the wall.

Perhaps now is a good time to take a look at all of your notes... You seem to have a moment to spare, and if you're going to give much thought to what each person has in mind it's probably best to take a look at what you know. As for Meiling... you could probably talk to her about this, but it's impossible to know what role she plays here and it might not be too great an idea to act before you know. You'll just write a note once you finish this to remind yourself, until then...

You open your notebook, running your eyes across each line of text.

Currently in a place called Gensokyo. Physically cut off from the rest of the world through a barrier (pocket world?). Somewhat technologically backward, inhabited by magical beings including faries and youkai.

-Keine Kamishirasawa
Brown eyes, silver hair with highlights
Blue dress, short white sleeves
Lunchbox hat

-Roland Bix
Relatively tall, short black hair
Tends to wear a white Oxford shirt and blue pants
Uses a large handgun
European complexion

-Aya Shameimaru
Red eyes, semi-long black hair
Wears a white blouse, black skirt and tokin hat
Newspaper writer
A little shifty?

-Hong Meiling
Tall, long red hair
Wears a green uniform and matching cap
Gateguard of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

-Remilia Scarlet
Red eyes, short blue hair
Wears a pink dress and poofy hat, has bat wings
Mistress of the mansion, noticeably short
Acts a little childish


Well, all put together they don't tell you much. They only seem to compile where you are and who you've met, with no real indication of what each of them means to you. The man who brought you here seems to match the description of Roland Bix, so that's probably him- Meiling did mention that other people called him something besides Xiaoping, after all. So, from what she told you, you can piece together that he brought you to this mansion and that you seem to be planning to stay here. That's simple enough, but what Freeland told you suggests that people are hoping to use your “abilities” to their advantage and perhaps even manipulate you to achieve it. The implications are of course quite unsettling... they might even have brought you here to begin with. Observing people so you know who to trust is definitely important, so you write down a note to add to all the others.

It's possible that others are trying to use abilities of yours to their advantage; take note of who you can trust and remember that some people are willing to help you.

That should cover it, you reckon it has enough information in it to have a good enough understanding of what Martin Freeland told you so as to act on it. For now, though... it's probably best to let it be. You don't have enough information to determine where Meiling falls into place and haven't really seen anyone else, so making analyses at this point shouldn't do any good. Instead, you relax and lean back against the wall, closing your eyes.

Once again, it's incredibly relaxing out here. The breeze, the grass, the sun... it's all overwhelmingly peaceful. You find yourself drifting off again, but this time you don't do anything. Eventually you relax a bit too much and fall to the side, but you're stopped from keeling over by an object directly beside you. It's quite comfortable, too, you figure you might stay here...

Leaning against Meiling, you drift off to sleep.

---

We would put up the entire post at once, but we're late enough as it is. Second half coming as soon as work will allow, which shouldn't be too far off.
>> No. 31885
Tesla: Sorry we're this late, stuff came up but we're still here. Working to speed up, but we're (clearly) not quite there yet.
Dune: I too must apologize for our lateness, since it is in part my fault as well. My apologies for our recently very busy schedules, and thank you for sticking with us!
Tesla: Well, what he said works too.

===

Damn, it's hard to see anything when it's this dark out.

Wait, where are you? It's difficult to tell, so you sit down to look at your surroundings and get your bearings.

Well, you're sitting on some grass and can vaguely tell that you're surrounded by some trees, so that means you're outside. Just where exactly or what you're doing this far out this late isn't something that should come as easily. You'd probably check your notes for something that would indicate any of these, but the light's too low. Besides, you'd been crouching; it's possible you were trying to keep unnoticed by something or another.

Your suspicions are reinforced by approaching footsteps, and you quickly duck so as to take precaution. Looking over from behind a tree, you notice a tall and thin figure walking with its sight to the ground. It seems to be headed vaguely in your direction, but weaves through the trees as though it's following something. Occasionally it stops and takes a slow look around before continuing.

You can't tell what it is from here. It certainly looks human enough- and apparently possesses a male complexion-, though it's impossible to see much detail from this distance. The silohuette becomes a little clearer as it gets closer, but a silvery glint from its hip keeps getting your attention. Seems a little familiar, though you can't really figure out why.

You cut your thinking short as the figure turns its head in your direction. It stops for a while and then takes a brisk pace directly for you. You turn and move quickly to the side, trying your best to do so quietly. He definitely seems to be follwing you, and if you were hiding from him it's probably best to keep it that way- whatever the reason, it's safer. Listening for him, it seems he hasn't sped up his pace at all, so you keep going though you're definitely reassured.

You crouch and crawl underneath a hedge, doing your best to avoid brushing against them or making any other sound; it’s probably lucky that there’s dirt underneath them instead of grass. Taking care to lift your arms and legs up completely as you go, you move beneath them until you come to the other side. You wouldn’t think much of it, but apparently you just came across a clearing. You stand and slowly walk into it to take a closer look; though you try to walk quietly you figure the hedge should obscure you from sight. So, what now? Keep going? Wait and see if he loses you? Well, you should probably see if you can find any light to read your notes with.

“Oh, what a surprise.” A young, childish voice sounds out from somewhere. You whirl around to where you think it came from, but there’s nothing there.

“I never thought you would come in here this easily. In fact, I thought I would even have to lure you!” The voice is taunting, with a very clear lilt.

You feel a whiff at your neck, but whetever it is is gone again when you turn. “What’s your name? You smell good…”

What the hell? More imporantly, what to do?

[ ] Lash out, see if you can hit it.
[ ] Call for help.
[ ] Run towards the guy who was following you, he might serve as a distraction.
[ ] Run the way you were going, the man following you probably won’t help.
[ ] Freeze, think for a bit.
[ ] What else could you do? (write-in, of course)
>> No. 31886
Hm, seems the trip is wrong. Probably a confusion, we should have it rectified by the next post.
>> No. 31888
[x] Run towards the guy who was following you, he might serve as a distraction.
>> No. 31900
[x] "You smell pretty good yourself."
[x] "I'll tell you my name if you tell me yours."
>> No. 31901
[x] Run towards the guy who was following you, he might serve as a distraction.
>> No. 31911
File 125411150875.jpg - (97.00KB , 284x269 , McCoy.jpg ) [iqdb]
31911
>> No. 31923
>>31911
This was a lot funnier before people started posting it on every story with more than 2 days of no updates.
>> No. 31924
>>31923
This shit was never funny.
>> No. 31925
>>31924

Actually, it was. >>31923 got it right, though. People are declaring stories dead without even waiting for a proper amount of time.
>> No. 31937
File 125420212742.jpg - (239.86KB , 1920x806 , twokhd0974.jpg ) [iqdb]
31937
>>31925
I'm sorry, Doctor. I don't have time to discuss this logically.
>> No. 31971
>>31911
Tesla: A bit preemptive, isn't it?
Though it is a good reminder that we need to speed up writing...

===

You have to get out of here. Whatever it is is hostile, and you'd rather not stick around and wait for it to attack. Still, if you run in any direction it still has only you to focus on, unless... You turn and run in the direction you came, hoping the man who was following you is still there. If whatever's following you attacks him instead it should give you a window of opportunity to get away. You try and dive under the bush, but a small, strong hand grabs your shoulder and pulls you back before slamming you onto your back. Fortunately it seems you haven't hit your head, but looking around doesn't reveal much.

That is, of course, until you get a better look at your assailant. Female, small, with features that are difficult to distinguish. Some feral features, dark hair, a small dress- it looks like a little girl, and certainly seems to match the voice you'd heard, but aside from that doesn't look anything like what you would expect to overpower you so easily. Its grin reveals sharp fangs, and its eyes open wide but tough to see with the light.

“Hm, no, I can't let you get away.” It giggles. “Don't try, it'll just make this longer and harder for you. What's over there, anyway? Is there someone that'll help you?” It stands on your arms, pressing down on them, and looks at the bush as though she was seeing through it. “Yoo-hoo!” She calls into the bush. “Is there anyone there? Your friend needs help, I think! Aren't you gonna help?” There is no answer, and nothing seems to move in response to her action. She turns back down to you, looking you directly in the eyes with a predatory gaze.

“See? No one's coming to help you.” You turn your head to one side and the other, trying to find something, anything, with which to defend yourself, anywhere to go, someone else... nothing. It's just you and her out here, and there's no way you can win. Still, you feel you might have one last resort... focus... focus...

Your opponent crouches, raising her hand to strike. You have to think of something fast, or-

It happens far too fast for you to notice. A blur, a small squeak of discomfort, and all the weight is off you. Realizing you'd shut them, you open your eyes.

Above you is the person who had followed you, standing on the ground right next to you and with his gaze intently focused off to the side. Following it, you find the girl who had kept you down, rubbing her side with her hand twice and then bringing it forward along with the other in a gesture that seems to imitate claws. She growls and then lunges for him, at a speed you would think someone like her incapable of. She's been quite adept at surprising you up till now, though. The man ducks, spins and gives her a back kick that sends her off course; she lands, spins and turns to face him again.

Lights seem to gather around the girl; she seems to focus for a second and then directs them against her opponent. They change shape as they fly, reminding you of darts. He jumps forward and rolls on the ground once, stopping crouched on one knee and with one hand ahead of him.

BOOM

The pistol in his hand releases a bright flash from the muzzle and a tremendous sound, not at all like the sharp crack you'd expect from a handgun. A little glint travels through the air next to the gun- probably a spent casing- and you divert your attention to the girl.

Wait, he shot her?

She's moved back a little, her face contorted with shock. Her left hand goes to her chest before she holds it up in front of her face, as if looking at it in the moonlight. “No way... how...?” Her speech is quiet and goes through clenched teeth, she's clearly in pain. Her expression slowly changes, and you can see pure rancor in her eyes before she lunges for him, yelling with rage.

BOOM

Her head whips back and she goes limp, falling to the ground and tumbling uselessly before coming to a halt. She doesn't stir. The man stands up, holstering his pistol, and adjusts his collar before walking over to inspect the girl. Keeping his hand on his gun, he scans her carefully; his hand then goes off his gun and he walks back over to you.

“You alright? Here,” He extends his hand, offering to help you up. “Let's go. You had me worried for a second there.”

[ ] Let him help you up.
[ ] Get up on your own.

and

[ ] Thank him; he might have just saved your life.
[ ] Even if this man helped, or perhaps saved you, you can't trust him! You were originally running for some reason, after all...
[ ] Say nothing.
[ ] ...What the hell just happened?
[ ] Wait, how else to think of this? (write-in)
>> No. 31973
[X] Get up on your own.
[X] ...What the hell just happened?
>> No. 31974
[x] Get up on your own.
[x] Does this guy look like anyone you're supposed to know? Check notes.
[x] What the hell just happened? Don't go anywhere with him until you have an explanation.
>> No. 31975
[X] Get up on your own.
[X] ...What the hell just happened?
>> No. 31976
[x] Get up on your own.
[x] Does this guy look like anyone you're supposed to know? Check notes.
[x] What the hell just happened? Don't go anywhere with him until you have an explanation.
>> No. 32008
[x] Get up on your own.
[x] Does this guy look like anyone you're supposed to know? Check notes.
[x] What the hell just happened? Don't go anywhere with him until you have an explanation.
>> No. 32019
[~] Get up on your own.
[ℤ] Does this guy look like anyone you're supposed to know? Check notes.
[ℯ] What the hell just happened? Don't go anywhere with him until you have an explanation.
>> No. 32069
Tesla: Dammit, we're behind schedule again. Sorry about this, I've been having some serious trouble but hopefully I can clear it soon enough.
(...And it turns out the post had an error in it. Corrected version.)

---

You slowly get up; first supporting yourself on your elbows and then pushing yourself to your feet, ignoring his hand. He leaves it extended for about a second, then shrugs with his hands up and pockets them. "Well, not much beyond that then. Shall we?"

"Wait," you answer. "Not yet."

You pull your notes out of your pocket to see if you can find annything in them pertaining to whoever this is. Fortunately the moon's bright enough to use as a reading light, even if you would be straining a little; you pull each note out and take a look at it.

Currently in a place called Gensokyo. Physically cut off from the rest of the world through a barrier (pocket world?). Somewhat technologically backward, inhabited by magical beings including faries and youkai.

-Keine Kamishirasawa
Brown eyes, silver hair with highlights
Blue dress, short white sleeves
Lunchbox hat

Hm, so seemingly there's nothing on him. Well, you think so given you can't find anything about a collared shirt or a gun or anything that even indicates a man. Strange... he acts like he knows you.

"Well, let's go. Probably best to keep on the move for now, we'll stop and rest when we find a suitable spot for that." He turns to walk, but you stop him.

"No."

He turns back. "Hm?"

"I don't know what happened, and I'm not going anywhere until I get an explanation." He just shot the girl and acts like it's nothing! You need a second to evaluate him, and given how he's acting he probably won't stop to explain before leading you off if you let him.

He looks at you, as if contemplating whether or not to talk. You glare at him, making sure to try and give him an expression that says he won't manage to dissuade you. After a moment he sighs, turns back entirely and crosses his arms.

"Well, let's see. What just attacked you was a youkai. I think you wrote down that you could find those here?"

You're surprised by what he knows, but do your best to hide it. "Something like that, yes."

"Right. This was a relatively minor youkai, which generally wouldn't be much to worry about provided you know how to deal with them. Most humans from here are well enough versed in that, but I digress."

"Does that include you?"

"Huh?"

"Are you one of the people from here?"

"Ah, no, I'm from the outside. Anyway, youkai are notorious due to their habit of attacking humans and eating them."

You're not sure you could contain your surprise at what he just said. "Eating them?"

"Sounds strange, but yeah. This one had just that intention; it attacked you in an attempt to kill you and eat you. If it was one of the more sadistic or conceited ones, it might've done both at the same time."

You turn to look at the corpse of the girl again, seeing it in a new light. It was going to do that to you?

He keeps talking. "Anyway, in order to prevent that from happening I moved in when it had stopped expecting someone to come for you and killed it." You're not sure what to think about that; he still just shot someone and, from what he's saying, certainly doesn't seem very concerned about it. That does bring another point to mind, though.

"Before we move on. These creatures are magical, right? So how could you have shot it and killed it just like that?"

"Ah, good point. Here, take a look." He unholsters his pistol again, holding it in front of you in a way that the moonlight gives a good view of its details. The design looks rather traditional, but it's remarkably long; the metal pieces have an almost mirrorlike sheen and the grip is covered entirely in what seems to be black rubber. "This is my personal modification of the AMT Hardballer Longslide, a variant of the 1911A1 that's out of production now. The only differences in the original were a stainless steel build and extended barrel and slide, and a few other things like a loaded chamber indicator and adjustable sights, but I made some more specifically for hunting supernatural creatures. The design looks pretty much the same from the outside, but the differences are actually pretty extensive. Let's see here..."

He pinches the gun along its slide with his thumb and forefinger, tapping the gun on various points from the outside as he describes the changes. "The original had problems with galling- meaning parts welded together through friction- so some of the components have electrolytic nickel plating. It also had trouble feeding anything other than hardball ammo, so the feeding ramp has been modified. Silver is a material with good properties for the work this is put to, so first of all most of the rounds I have on me are silver jacketed and tungsten cored; also, several parts of the mechanism are chrome-plated sliver, like the trigger, hammer and firing pin, and the slide is pure silver. Kind of a pain to use a special cleaning substance for that, but it works well enough.

"The rounds are of a much higher pressure than most of the caliber, so the barrel is reinforced and the recoil springs are stronger; and on top of that there are several rounds that are... a little more special. I added a magazine cutoff to load them right in if I need them. Hm... what else... oh, and I expanded the magazine to hold 9 rounds instead of 7. Now," he holsters the pistol again and looks at you, smiling. "How much of that went over your head?"

You blink, but regain your composure and shrug to show you have no intent to answer. “This and you're from the outside? What makes you this good at fighting the creatures that are so common here and so rare out there?”

“The key there is rare. They're there, not nonexistent. And fighting the dangerous ones is my job, in a sense.” He turns back, and starts walking. “Anyway, what I've just told you is probably more than what you were looking for, right? Let's get going. As you might guess, staying here could be a little dangerous.”

“Just one second.” He stops again, and you take a blank note before proceeding to write on it. One more thing comes to mind, though. “What's your name?”

“Roland Bix will do.”

You take a long look at him, and then make a short note based on what you can see.

-Roland Bix
Relatively tall, short black hair
Tends to wear a white Oxford shirt and blue pants
Uses a large handgun

Pocketing it, you proceed to follow him. “So... you said it's your job to fight these things?”

“Not yet. I might tell you more later.”

“Hm.” You continue after him, but not long after you figure you should say something else. It could be one of a few things...

[ ] Press him about his supposed 'job'.
[ ] Ask him more about himself. (specify what)
[ ] Ask him how he got here.
[ ] Ask him where you're going now.
[ ] See if you can lose him again. You must have been running for some reason...
[ ] Ask him something else. (what?)
>> No. 32070
[ ] Ask him where you're going now.
>> No. 32071
[ ] Ask him how he got here.
[ ] Ask him where you're going now.
>> No. 32073
[x] Ask him how he got here.
[x] Ask him where you're going now.
>> No. 32074
[x] Ask him how he got here.
[x] Ask him where you're going now.

Kath-man-du~
>> No. 32118
Tesla: Behind schedule, again... Been having quite a time with a combination of work and personal things, but we're not done yet.

===

Right. While you're going, might as well ask him. You're pretty curious.

"So... How did you get here?"

"Hm?" He seems pretty amused by your question but doesn't give too much away. "I could say I got here the same way you did."

You're a little confused, so you gesture for him to continue.

"I was on the outside, minding some of my business, and then chance brought me to a fault in the border which I walked through without knowing what was happening. What happened when I got inside is a little different from your case, but since I don't know the whole story I can't tell by how much."

Hm. You don't think that explained too much, but you have another question so you'll get back to that later. "Where are we going now?"

"Ah. Good thing you asked, I forgot to tell you about that. Where you're going is the Scarlet Devil Mansion, a western-style building that's past the forest we're going through. We went a little off course earlier, but we should get there soon enough. I think so, at least..."

He isn't very reassuring. Still, the name Scarlet Devil Mansion seriously puts you on edge. It could just be a name, but what if there's something there that deserves the title? Then again, he doesn't seem so spooked by the idea... You put your concerns to the back of your mind and ask him something else. "Why are we heading there?"

"I've been staying there for a while now. I figured it would be eaisiest to get you a place there, and though I could probably have settled for getting you a place in the human village if you would have preferred it... how do I put this... hm. You ran into the forest and in the direction of the mansion before I could stop you. I ran in to chase after you so you wouldn't get yourself killed, and... well, I think you understand."

Yeah, that you do. You don't say anything, though.

"I don't know whether we'll have to stop and rest before getting there, depends on how you're doing. And how is that?"

"Before I answer, tell me more about how you got here."

"Still? Um... let's see... I couldn't really tell when I walked into the border, but I did start noticing a few strange things. For instance, I ran into a few hostiles before going into someone I could actually talk to. Luck, I guess, but I didn't run into anything too dangerous so that's probably good. Anyway, the first person I ran into is someone you met earlier, the village guardian. She took me to the village, to help me get my bearings, but she seemed a little surprised at how much I knew about youkai and things like that already... from what I could tell, something else was bothering her, but she never did say what.”

A pause. “And... from there?”

“Well, she started looking for a place I could stay in the village, kinda similar to what I told you about. The mistress of the mansion we're headed for, someone I suppose you'll meet in a little while, happened to be stopping by since she had nothing to do- or something like that, hell, I don't fucking know- and apparently my attire caught her attention. She offered me a place in her mansion, and I accepted though I was advised otherwise by both the guardian and some bystanders. Since then, I've been staying there, particularly since both her mansion and Gensokyo in general should be of much help in finding something I'm looking for.”

“Something you're looking for?”

“Pretty much, yes. There's only so much I'm willing to tell you in a single sitting, though.”

So he won't tell you what he's after. Maybe you should make a note to ask him later. That might not be the best of ideas, but if you don't write it down you probably won't remember...

“Ah, here's a spot. So, you tell me; should we keep going or stop here for a rest? I know you might want to get out of here as soon as you can, but if you're worn out it'll be better for us to stop. Your call.”

You take a look around. He seems to have found a small pocket in the forest next to a ravine, though you don't really know how comfortable that might be. Then again, you are a little short of breath...

[ ] Stop here for a while.
[ ] Just take a short break.
[ ] Keep going. You really don't think you have that much time to spare, with all those things running around...

and

[ ] Ask him something else.
[ ] Leave it at that, write a note.

Write-in policy applies to both, if asking something else detail what.
>> No. 32119
[ ] Keep going. You really don't think you have that much time to spare, with all those things running around...
[ ] Leave it at that, write a note.
>> No. 32122
[ ] Keep going. You really don't think you have that much time to spare, with all those things running around...
[ ] Leave it at that, write a note.
>> No. 32123
[ ] Keep going. You really don't think you have that much time to spare, with all those things running around...
[ ] Leave it at that, write a note.
>> No. 32124
[x] Keep going. You really don't think you have that much time to spare, with all those things running around...
[x] Leave it at that, write a note.

Dem thangs
>> No. 32171
>>32118

“Let's keep going.”

“You sure? You look a little worn out.”

“The sooner we get out of here, the better. I don't want to run into any more of those.”

The man starts walking again. “If you say so. Keep pace with me, getting separated again would be bad.”

Well, that goes without saying. You walk after him, weaving through the trees and taking care not to slip on anything slick or trip over roots. It takes a lot of work to see ahead of you with the low light- especially since the foliage does an excellent job of blocking most of the moonlight- and you're practically jumping over most of the obstacles. Were mushrooms supposed to be that big? You're breathing a little hard, your throat is dry, a pain starts to well in your chest, but you keep going. Better that than run into a youkai again.

Ah, before it slips your mind you should take a note of asking this Roland what he's after. Pulling out a piece of paper and resting it against your palm, you try and write on it as carefully as you can while you walk, one letter at a time. You can't really tell if what you wrote is clear or even legible, but in order to keep moving there isn't much else you can do.

You don't talk at all for the rest of the trip, and neither does your guide. You're a little grateful, actually; with the state you feel you're in you don't think you really could anyway. The trees give way to a much larger clearing than anything you've seen thus far, even containing an entire lake. Beyond that, you can't see any more trees like the ones you've been trying to go through... seems you've definitively gotten out. You plop down on the grass, which is rather thin this close to the water's edge, and breathe deep a few times to get your breath back. Roland doesn't seem bothered at all, and lets you be while he takes a look around.

“Well, that should be all. Ready to come along?”

“Where?”

“The mansion's just over there. See it?” He points at a structure across a lake, which is no more than a silohuette but angular enough to be artificial. “We'll have to get across the water to get there.”

“And how do you intend to do that?”

“Well, there are a couple options. I can't fly, and it seems that you can't either, so we can circle around back or leave it up to ingenuity. What do you think?”

“How long would it take to go around back?”

He opens his mouth to answer, but before he finishes a large black shadow swoops down and lands between you two, accompanied by a loud gust of wind. Instantly Roland draws his weapon and aims it at the shadow, who stands tall and ignores it completely.

“Yoo-hoo! Miss me?”

Just as quickly, he relaxes and then casually returns his pistol to its holster. The new arrival regards him for a second, but turns and is suddenly much more interested in you. From the proximity with which you're being studied, you can make things out more clearly. It's female, with semi-long black hair, and wears a white blouse and tokin hat along with something orange that's tough to make out. Though you could probably identify it if you tried, you find it hard to avoid looking directly at her eyes. Completely red, they're a little unsettling. Is this another youkai?

“Hi, Aya.” Roland doesn't seem to react violently or speak with hostility, but he doesn't sound particularly pleased to see her. From reading your notes a few minutes ago, you don't have anything on her, so you have no idea whether you're supposed to know her or not. She quickly turns to address him, but then turns back to you.

“Hello, Roland. Brought your friend along for a stroll?”

“Meh, close enough. Not commenting is probably the only way to get you to think of it with a reasonable level of drama.”

“Tch.” She quickly wipes any trace of annoyance from her face and proceeds to talk to you, a bright smile on her face. “So, remember me?”

You close your eyes and shake your head; you have no idea whether she was joking or knows about your condition, so best to remain a little ambiguous in disposition even though you're telling the truth.

“Ah, it's for real!”

“What?” Sounds like she means your condition.

“You really can't remember anything! I wonder about all the things you've done...” She tugs on your arm, getting you to your feet. “Come on, come on. You owe me an interview, remember?”

You do? Doesn't sound too bad, but there are a few ways to answer.

[ ] Sure, you'll answer her questions.
[ ] Not yet. First you have to get over to the mansion, then you'll answer.
[ ] Ask Roland for his view, maybe he has a clearer idea of what she's up to.
[ ] You have no business with her. Your concern is to get to the mansion, and you're not interested in an interview.
>> No. 32173
[ ] You have no business with her. Your concern is to get to the mansion, and you're not interested in an interview.
>> No. 32174
[X] You have no business with her. Your concern is to get to the mansion, and you're not interested in an interview.
>> No. 32175
[x] Not yet. First you have to get over to the mansion, then you'll answer.
-[x] Check your notes about Aya.

Wouldn't hurt to double check that and having Aya tag along for a bit would keep the group safe.
>> No. 32187
“No.”

The woman addressing you looks confused. “Huh? What do you mean, no?”

“I've got no business with you.”

She seems to get angry rather quickly. “What do you mean, you don't have business with me?! Don't just blow me off like that!” She taps her foot angrily. “You agreed to give me an interview, and I'm not giving up until I get it!”

Did you really agree to that? As might be expected, you don't even remember meeting her... Still, you don't think she's being completely honest. You did check your notes a few minutes ago, after all, and you think you would've written something like that down. Still... nothing, not even on her. Who is she, anyway?

Well, best not ask her, seems she's not in such a great mood. You start to walk over to the edge of the lake to see how you might get across, but your way and view are quickly blocked by the woman. “Don't just ignore me either! I'm talking to you!” She seems to get more riled up every second, though Roland doesn't seem to pay it much mind and observes you both without much movement or gesture.

Well, if you continue to sound unassuming she'll just keep pressuring you. “Listen, right now my first concern is getting over there,” you say, pointing towards the building, “to that mansion. I don't have the time for talk right now, especially since someone just tried to kill me and eat me, and unless you're going to help I'd rather not increase my chances of something trying that again by standing around.”

Your assailant seems to calm down a little, but you can't read her expression in this light. At the very least, she stops pressuring you; she turns away from you as if to shun you and says nothing. She does, however, mumble something in an annoyed voice. Walking over to the edge of the water, you take a look across the lake. You don't see any sort of bridge or a boat on this side of the lake, but you might be able to get across if you think of something. Not that it would be easy, though; from the moon's reflection you can tell the water goes on for a distance that's nearly incalculable. Fortunately, though, it's very calm, so if you did find a way to move across it it probably wouldn't be too hard.

Then again, it might be safer to just walk. You would take a few hours, maybe, but assuming you could reach the mansion from the ground on the other side of the lake you at least have a secure way of getting there. You don't really like the idea of staying out here much longer, but it might be a better idea overall than taking chances out on the water. And if Roland kept around you you'd be at least somewhat safe, he did seem to deal with the one that tried to kill you easily enough. In all cases, the most baffling thing is what to do about the new arrival, but that can be dealt with once you've decided on something.

“Roland, what do you think? Can you think of a way to get across, or should we walk?”

“You mean getting across the lake? It's a gamble, but...”

“I'll get you across! No problem!” The woman has whirled with unbelievable speed and revitalized intention, facing you and speaking cheerfully again. “I'll just pick you up, and fly you right over!”

Pick you up and fly you over? Now that you think of it, she did get here doing something like that. “You-”

“Provided,” she adds, leaning in close, “you give me that interview.”

You stop to think. “Well, what about Roland?”

“Oh, he'll be fine on his own. Besides, it's late at night, and as much experience as he might have humans like you can get sleepy.”

You turn to look at him, who shrugs while scanning the edge of the forest. “Up to you. Careful, though, I'm not sure how carefully she'll handle you.”

“What?” She turns and looks at him, seemingly getting annoyed again. He turns his head to face her, and responds with a voice carrying a hint of amusement.

“You talked about me like I wasn't here. I can do the same, right?”

You feel this might escalate if you don't interrupt.

[ ] You'll find some way to go across the water. It's shorter, and might be a bit more reliable than being flown over.
[ ] ...Fine, you'll accept the interview if she flies you over. (If you want, set additional conditions.)
[ ] As long as it might take, it's safest to go around. You'll walk.
[ ] No, you'll have to think of something else. (Write-in)
>> No. 32188
>>32187

[x] Fuck it. You'll swim across.
>> No. 32189
[x] Fuck it. You'll swim across.
>> No. 32190
[x] Fuck it. You'll swim across.
>> No. 32191
[x] ...Fine, you'll accept the interview if she flies you over.
-[x] Perhaps ask her about notes on other residents (comparing and such)

Yeah I'm in a 'pissing against the tide' mood today.

And isn't it sad, Aya?
>> No. 32192
[ ] As long as it might take, it's safest to go around. You'll walk.
>> No. 32193
>>32192
We'll have one of our memory hiccups and get lost.
>> No. 32194
[x] Fuck it. You'll swim across.
oh god
>> No. 32267
Tesla: We realize, again, this can be a bit confusing. In this case, though, it won't take long for it to make sense, so don't worry about that.

And again, thanks for bearing with us until now. We know this can be a bit problematic.

===

Oh, fuck it.

There's no reason to keep listening to all this. There's a tremendous sense of drollery to the argument, and for the most part it's just getting on your nerves. You've got to come to a decision by yourself if you want this to end. Besides, you can't take too long if you want to get to that building anytime soon. Going around would take a long while, and your memories might fade on the way there; getting across the lake is faster but you're not sure how to go over it. Flying would force you to discuss some more, so no help there.

You don't really even take the time to think about it. If you can't make it over you could always swim back, and at the very least you'll get something done when it comes to moving. You stretch a bit to make sure you don't get cramps on the way there, not something that would be very nice in the middle of a lake. Both Roland and the woman seem a bit too engrossed in their own argument to notice, so while they're in their own matters you briskly walk over to the lake and then walk in. The water slowly comes further up as you walk in so apparently there's no immediate shelf, but as you progress the water starts to work against your steps and reaches further up your legs.

Goddamn, it's cold! You'd willed yourself to ignore it at first, but it's absolutely frigid. Delaying it any longer would probably just make it worse, so you take the chance to crouch and start to swim. The splashes you make seem to be enough to draw the attention of your accompaniment, given they both call after you.

“What the fuck?! You can't be serious!”

“No! What do you think you're doing?”

They both seem kinda agitated. No sense turning back, though; you put more strength into your swim. The water's temperature is starting to drain at your muscles, though... maybe this was a worse idea than you thought.

“What should we do?”

“Just do something! Why are you even asking?”

“I can't fly, remember?”

“Oh, yeah.”

A few seconds later, a pair of hands grab at your sides. You thrash to get away from them, but they scramble to get a grip on you.

“Come on! Stop or you'll get hurt! And then I won't get...”

You start to struggle with more force, and somewhere in between your concentration and the noise you bring up you can no longer make out the words. Your priority is to get across, even without her.

After a while you notice that she's no longer grappling you. You calm down, and move your head up.

You're submerged completely. Not only that, are you sinking further? You lash out to find the surface, but nothing. No, it's even worse. You don't even know where up is. You try to scramble in a direction, any direction, but you don't have the strength to go against the current. Whether you're going down, or up, or sideways, you're at the water's mercy. Slowly you try your best to grasp the water... nothing. Your chest and throat are agonizing... not quite in pain, but you can tell you need to breathe. All you want to do is get out of there... somehow... You try opening your eyes, but shut them as tight as you can after they immediately turn to sting unbearably. You struggle as hard as you can, but you can tell you're moving slowly. You grasp with your hands. Something... something...

---

PRINT: Notice

ERR CLASS 4
//Subject established a spatiotemporal paradox

“Eh? What's it printing, R?”

“One second.”

SEQ0(B)
//Reinitializing

“N, someone made a paradox. Now to fix it, I guess.”

“I wonder what happened.”

SEQ1
//Establishing planar matrix

1SUB1
//Searching

1SUB2
//Found, establishing position

1SUB3
//Establishing limits, finalizing matrix

“Right, found it. Let's see what happened.”

SEQ2
//Establishing planar link

2SUB1
//Locating

2SUB2
//Establishing target area

2SUB3
//Creating link between points, opening observation

“He did what?! Hahahahaha!”

“Don't poke fun, N.”

“Oh, come on. He had to have seen this coming!”

“Maybe, but for now we have to get things back in order.”

SEQ3
//Establishing parallels

“So what's the way to go?”

“Simple. Events got mixed up, so we'll replace them.”

“Oh, right. Find where the right ones happened and lay one universe over another.”

“Just that.”

“Hm. Well, after you.”

SEQ5
//Converging matrix, overlaying planes

---

“...Roland, what do you think? Can you think of a way to get across, or should we walk?”

“You mean getting across the lake? It's a gamble, but...”

“I'll get you across! No problem!” The woman has whirled with unbelievable speed and revitalized intention, facing you and speaking cheerfully again. “I'll just pick you up, and fly you right over!” All of this sound pretty familiar. Something seems off, too... You can't tell what. Like it's in the air or something.

Well, back to what you were focusing on. Picking you up... she did get here doing something like that, didn't she?. “You're saying you'll fly me over there, just like that? What's the catch?”

“All you have to do is give me that interview. It's a good deal, isn't it?”

You stop to think. “Well, what about Roland?”

“Oh, he'll be fine on his own. Besides, it's late at night, and as much experience as he might have humans like you can get sleepy.”

You turn to look at him, who shrugs while scanning the edge of the forest. “Up to you. Careful, though, I'm not sure how carefully she'll handle you. If you go in the water, I'm sure you can guess it would be pretty bad.”

“What?” She turns and looks at him, seemingly getting annoyed again. He turns his head to face her, and responds with a voice carrying a hint of amusement.

“You talked about me like I wasn't here. Can't I?”

You feel this might escalate if you don't interrupt. Still, something feels strange...

[ ] You'll find some way to go across the water. It's shorter, and might be a bit more reliable than being flown over.
[ ] ...Fine, you'll accept the interview if she flies you over. (If you want, set additional conditions.)
[ ] As long as it might take, it's safest to go around. You'll walk.
[ ] No, you'll have to think of something else. (Write-in)
>> No. 32268
>[x] Fuck it. You'll swim across.
FORD THE RIVER
>> No. 32269
[x] ...Fine, you'll accept the interview if she flies you over.
-[x] Perhaps ask her about notes on other residents (comparing and such)

you idiots I'd thought you'd see this coming, god it's like reading DoLF1 all over again!

That and Aya has the most information in Gensokyo behind 1-2 other people, why not get some from her?
>> No. 32271
[x] ...Fine, you'll accept the interview if she flies you over.
-[x] Perhaps ask her about notes on other residents (comparing and such)

Water bodies are anon's number one enemy.
>> No. 32272
[x] ...Fine, you'll accept the interview if she flies you over.
-[x] Perhaps ask her about notes on other residents (comparing and such)
>> No. 32413
Well, formal apologies about the pause there; work mounted and I needed the week to clear my head. Back in a couple days or so.
>> No. 32521
Tesla: Took even longer than I expected (I really didn't expect to be assailed with work over vacation), but we're moving again. Thanks again to all readers.

===

Hm...

Well, even if you'd rather not deal with her it'll get you over faster.

“Fine, I'll take the interview. Just get me over there.”

“Right! One passenger flight coming right up!”

Roland seems annoyed, but doesn't say anything regarding that. “Your choice. I'll see you on the other side, I hope.” Hey, he doesn't have to make you nervous about this. Before you can object, though, your help has already moved in behind you and grabbed you beneath the arms. She hoists you into the air without saying anything, the ground quickly leaving beneath you.

Surprisingly, even though you're moving at high speed and clearly feel your weight trying to hold you down as you accelerate, there's nothing like the wind you would expect. Directly around you it seems quite calm, which is, well... surprising is the best word you can think of. It's not unwelcome, though, and after a few seconds you realize it gives you an opportunity to talk.

“Hold up. I expect you to answer some questions too.”

“Me? But I'm the one-”

“Besides that.” She really needed you to explain that? “Nothing too much, I just want to know about the place I'm going. People who live there and so such.”

“Hm~? I only visit every once in a while, so I'll tell you what I know. People, hm...” She smiles, then continuing. “Not exactly. Well, let me think...”

“The mistress of the house I hardly see. She's a little vampire, about the size of a child, who behaves just like one. It's hard to tell what she's thinking, but sorry I can't be of much help.”

At that point you realize you've already arrived, touching upon the ground- surprisingly roughly. Moving forwards a bit faster than you expected, you first fall flat on your face and then tumble two or three times. Coming to a stop, your left knee starts to ache and the laughter behind you becomes clear enough for you to notice. Gee, thanks, huh?You climb to your feet, ignoring the pain in your leg and taking a look around.

The mansion seems much bigger up close, but the wall isn't too high. Interesting place, but you don't feel like analyzing it and turn back to the woman. She's no longer laughing, but the corners of her mouth keep twitching as though she's going to start again. You turn back, and she walks up.

“Sorry, sorry. Where was I? There's the girl sleeping over there, who guards the place, and then a few people in a huge library inside.”

“Library?”

“Yeah, it's huuuge! You have no idea! I've only been there a few times, though, so I haven't read things from there. A friend of mine stops by every now and then, I hear she causes trouble. The person from here I see most often is the head maid, since she leaves for shopping and such, but you should make your own impression. She's pretty scary, all stoic all the time. To be honest, it's why we haven't gone through yet.”

“The maid?”

“She'll attack if you're not too careful. There's also a girl down in the basement, but I won't tell you about her since you're not supposed to know she's there. It would be bad for you to meet her, anyway; I usually avoid her if I can. She's dangerous.”

Hm. You can't make notes right now, though, given the light is so low... “Would you mind writing all of that down later?”

“Oh, no worries, I have every bit of it written down already! I'll get it for you when I stop by my house.”

Best to leave it at that then.

“So! Now I get to interview you, right?”

“It's my end of the bargain, after all. How long is this going to take?”

“Oh, it's going to take a while... with all I have for you, we might keep talking until that Roland arrives. Best for him to introduce you to the house, he seems to get along with the mistress really well.”

Strange. Does she mean anything by that?

“So, first question: If you can't remember things except for a few moments at a time, how can you tell how pent up your urges should be?”

Eh?!

---
>> No. 32522
Slowly, you start moving. How long have you been out? Though you open your eyes just a bit, you quickly shut them again. It looks like it's early afternoon, and with no clouds in the way the sun bears down on you with a lot of force. Squinting at first, you start moving your joints, which feel weighted and stiff, from the crouching position you were in to try and move to a sitting one. Feeling a sort of presence by your side, you find a woman, asleep, leaning on you. Who's she?

“Ah, there you are. Finally awake, I see.”

You turn to find a man, with a glass in his hand, leaning on the wall to your left and looking at you. Should you know him?

“How're you feeling? From my own experience, sleeping like that is pretty uncomfortable.” Well, he certainly got that right. Trying to push the woman off so you can stand, however, elicits a grunt and a lazy series of swats at you. The man chuckles, but says nothing.

Deciding to leave getting this woman off, whoever she is, for later, you turn to him and start to talk. “So... what are you doing here?”

“Came to pick you up. Don't know how much you have written down, but there's something I could use your help with. It might take a few tries, I don't know yet, but at the very least we can get started now. I'll wait until you're ready.”

Right, so back to the woman who's leaning on you. Even if the guy knows about your condition, considering he knows about the notes you write, it might look a bit strange if you ask who she is; instead, you do your best to push her off without waking her up. Once you think you've got it, you stand up and start to walk, as best as your joints allow. She falls over.

Before you can think about whether to prop her back up or leave her be, she starts moving again. Obviously tired and dazed, the woman looks up at you and the man from a face-down position on the ground, though it's like she's looking through you. Eventually you can see her waking up a little more, and along with it her thinking becomes clear enough to speak.

“Mornin'... Sam... Xiao...ping...” Her head bobs down significantly, but she catches herself and starts getting up. Seems, comparatively, you're not in such bad shape.

“Good day, Meiling.” Ah, that's her name? Well, apparently you're supposed to know her... She gets up, leaning against the wall, and smiles before stretching and getting to a more solid position on her feet. She looks at you curiously, so you answer as you can.

“Meiling, right?”

She turns to a frown and then starts, as if realizing something. Her expression turns melancholy. “You really can't remember anything...” Well, so she knows. You decide to leave the talking to the man, turning to him.

“Well, We've got some business right now, so I'll be taking off. Would you like me to drop him off again later?”

Meiling nods, looking down at the ground.

“Then we'll be back. Come along, Sam.”

You take to follow him, and he leads you into the mansion the wall surrounds. The place is... absolutely huge, but for some reason you're not very surprised. Oh, well, it isn't so important.

[ ] Check your notes, see who this guy is.
[ ] Ask the man where you're going and what you're doing.
[ ] Why was the woman so sad? Maybe you should give it some thought.
[ ] Why was the woman so sad? Maybe he has an idea.

You know the works, write-ins do fine too.
>> No. 32523
[ ] Check your notes, see who this guy is.
>> No. 32531
[X] Check your notes, see who this guy is.
>> No. 32533
[x] Why was the woman so sad? Maybe you should give it some thought.
>> No. 32606
Right, so who is this guy? You take a look through your notes to get an idea, you should probably have something written down if you know him. It takes a few tries, but you eventually find a note that matches his description. Hm... White untucked dress shirt... blue pants...

-Roland Bix
Relatively tall, short black hair
Tends to wear a white Oxford shirt and blue pants
Uses a large handgun
European complexion


Right. Gives you a name, and all, but not much else. Tough to work with him when you don't know much, but at the very least you have an idea of who he is. The handgun is a nice addition to the note, too... best to know it's there even if you have no clue what would make him use it.

“Roland Bix, right?”

“Yeah, that'll do.” Sounds cryptic, maybe a bit subversive, but something makes you unsurprised about it. You probably do know him, huh? You chuckle a little but he either doesn't notice or pays it no mind. You run a little more through the notes you have... a bit on a place called Gensokyo, which is easy enough to assimilate, and a few other people... there is one more note that catches your attention, though.

It's possible that others are trying to use abilities of yours to their advantage; take note of who you can trust and remember that some people are willing to help you.

That instantly puts you on edge. Ability? Well, you can't think of anything immediately, but it makes it incredibly important to know just what people are up to. Since you know him, this one too... except how to ask him?

“Er... where are we going?” Well, it's to start; you didn't really think it through even if it is easy for him to dodge it.

“I set up a fun little device somewhere in the mansion, so we're going there.”

Doesn't sound fun at all.

“What's with that face? Sorry I'm scary.” Yeah, that too. “But anyway, there's something I have pending, and I think you can help. Hope you don't mind, but in the end it's your choice; it'll just be safer if you decide to help me. Well, for me that is. Wouldn't do anything if you refused.” This would probably make you nervous, but right now it's annoying- wait. He said he needed your help? You take another look at the note.

It's possible that others are trying to use abilities of yours to their advantage; take note of who you can trust and remember that some people are willing to help you.

It's probably important to figure out where this guy stands. He said he wouldn't do anything if you decided to refuse, but you don't know if you can believe that or what he would do if you decided to help. It's a lot to consider at once...

“Where are you taking me? What do you want to do? Why do you need me?” You voice all these questions just as they fly at you, in quick succession and more unsettling as they go.

He stops and faces you, with a practiced and calming look in his eyes (you think the crystalline blue makes it easier for him to pull it off). “Easy, easy. Alright, what do you want to ask?”

“What do you want to do?”

He takes a look around, coming back to face you. “Only so much I can say here, but I guess this is safe enough; I need your help looking for something. It's important.”

“What?”

“Not yet, telling you that here is a risk. I need your help in finding something, and you in particular should be able to help. I can't ask you with finality-”

Both of you are taken aback by an explosion in what sounds like an adjacent hall. What the hell?!

[ ] Alright, calm down and clear your head.
[ ] Panic.

If calming down,

[ ] Carefully move in the direction of the sound. Best to know what that is.
[ ] Move away from the sound as you can. Probably something dangerous.
[ ] Stay close to the man leading you. Whatever his intentions, he's less likely to hurt you than what that is. Not to mention the gun...
[ ] No, there must be something else. (write-in)
>> No. 32630
[x] All right, calm down and clear your head.
[x] Carefully move in the direction of the sound. Best to know what that is.

Not sure if this is the smartest move. Anyone else?
>> No. 32634
[x] All right, calm down and clear your head.
[x] Carefully move in the direction of the sound. Best to know what that is.
>> No. 32638
[x] Alright, calm down and clear your head.
[x] Stay close to the man leading you. Whatever his intentions, he's less likely to hurt you than what that is. Not to mention the gun...

I don't think Roland will be trying to bump us off anytime soon.

Poor Meiling, I think she misses us.
>> No. 32851
You quickly fire up, wondering just what to do. Is it dangerous? Sounds it, but... you don't know what it is! You should get out of here, if you don't-

No, no, if you panic it'll make things worse. You take a couple of deep breaths to slow your racing heart... hm. It's probably dangerous, but if you run you won't know just what it is and might make things worse for yourself. If you approach, you'll have an idea, but you'll have to do it carefully... oh, well.

You take a look at the man in front of you, who's taken to a sort of combat stance. He's left his glass, unfinished, on a nearby table, and currently holds a large pistol in his hands instead. He walks slowly towards the source of the sound, but you move in front of him and look around the corner.

There's nothing there. Looking in the other direction reveals- oh. A little girl? Strange... who's she? You don't know if you should know her or not, so you quickly dart to the other side of the hall and look around from there. She hasn't taken notice of you, and walks around almost casually. Didn't she hear the explosion? Now that you think of it, though... there isn't a commotion. It's actually quite quiet. Just what-

“Hello, hello? Who's there, I wonder~?”

You decide to stop and listen. Seeing what she does is probably rather important... besides, those wings of hers (if they can even be called that) put you on edge.

“Come on, get out from back there. I found you, so come out.”

Oh, shit. She's looking at you! You glance back to the man, but he's gone. Oh, wait, no. He's behind you. Gesturing with his head into the hallway, he seems to indicate you should comply. Slowly, you walk out and face the girl.

“Who are you?” Okay, so you don't know her.

“My name's Sam Jenkins. You?”

She ignores you completely, repeating the words a few times as if trying to get a feel for them “Sam Jenkins... Sam... Jenkins...” She stays quiet after that, but speaks up again after a moment. “What are you doing here?”

You can't really think of an answer. You were just following the other guy, who said he wanted your help with something? Along those lines, at least. She keeps going before you can say anything, walking up and poking your head twice. “Hello? Are you awake in there?”

“What?”

“Uwa!” She leaps away from you in surprise. What's with her? She's starting to talk again, but by now you've lost interest. You look around for the source of the explosion, it's probably-

“HEY! I'M TALKING TO YOU!” The girl's disposition has changed entirely, and now she's managed to get to a point where she's... quite frightening. Well she did get your attention again, didn't she... Well, best answer her calmly to avoid her getting any angrier.

“Sorry, sorry. Did you need something?”

“Um...” She starts thinking, but apparently gets nowhere. “Um...”

[ ] Wait for her to catch her train of thought.
[ ] Ask her what she was doing, maybe that'll get her out of her confusion.
[ ] You still don't know who she is, so before you go on you should ask.
[ ] Keep looking for the source of the sound from earlier. Can't have been this girl.
[ ] Turn back to the corner, see what this Roland thinks.
[ ] A different approach? (specify)
>> No. 32852
[x] You still don't know who she is, so before you go on you should ask.
>> No. 32859
[X] Wait for her to catch her train of thought.

What does she want? I'm starting to get interested.
>> No. 32865
[x] wait for her to cath her trin of thought. It will be far more interesting if you allow her to finish whatever she has to say
>> No. 32867
[x] You still don't know who she is, so before you go on you should ask.
>> No. 33671
Tesla: Finally. Took way too long, again, but things piled up and I wanted to make sure I got this right. Been waiting to post this since the beginning of the story, really, so I hope it works.

Votes were combined to an extent due to the tie.

===

Erm... right. Doesn't look like she's getting anywhere, but you'll give her a second to think. No point in trying to interrupt her if she hasn't made sense of her thoughts, either, right?

“Um...” She's... getting somewhere, right?

“Er...” Nope.

“Eh... Ah...” You're not sure what's going on, but she might be thinking in a loop. She doesn't seem to be getting any nearer to a conclusion, so it ma actually be best to interrupt. Let's see... you still don't know her name, right? Best start there.

“Well-”

“OH YEAH!” Her sudden realization and the volume she uses to declare it almost make you wince in surprise, but she quickly seems to revert. “That's right. I-er-um... I forgot.”

You start again. “Well, what's your name?”

She stands tall to the height that she can muster, and tries speaking formally. “Flandre. Flandre Scarlet.” The change is so sudden you're forced to suppress a laugh. The girl seems confused, but you continue before she can question what you're doing. Also, you'd rather her not get angry again.

“Well, Flandre-” Wait. What were you going to ask her? If you ask her if she needs something she might lapse again, so... “There was a loud noise very near here. Do you know anything about it?” Best be to the point about this.

“Er... A loud noise? Well, there was something in my way and I got rid of it, but besides that...” You're getting nowhere. You know that for a fact now. Turning to the man who accompanied you, you- wait. He's not there.

Oh, yes he is. He was just hidden pretty well. He peeks out, gesturing you to continue. What's he after, anyway?

“Well, let's forget about that. What brought you around here?” Frankly, difficult to think of what else to say to someone you (seemingly) have never seen before.

“I was bored, so I took a walk. I know I'm not supposed to, but I was bored... bored...”

“Wait. If you're not supposed to and you know it, why do it anyway?”

Her demeanor doesn't change, but you can tell her intent does an about face. “Are you going to tell me to go back down?” Her eyes, her tone of voice- you just feel the atmosphere changed completely. And you don't like the feeling she suddenly gives you.

“No. No, I won't.” It isn't your job to enforce this girl's behavior. You think it isn't, anyway. Why would someone like you ever get a job like that? You'd let things like this slip all the time.

“Okay. Good.” She seems to calm down, but you can still feel a strange intent from her. A little like... a willingness to harm, but more like some holds are just not there. Doing your best to ignore it, you press on.

“So you aren't doing anything in particular.”

“Nope.”

...That's it? Nothing to build on? Your thoughts are cut short by a poke to your shoulder. Turning, you face the person who led you here. You briefly swivel back to look at Flandre, who regards him as if she expects him to be boring.

“Well, we'd best get moving. Still got some business to take care of before the day ends.”

“But he seems fun...” Flandre looks a little disappointed, but you can't tell much from looking at her again.

“Well, he'll go and visit you.” The man turns to you, clearly expecting an assent. “Right?”

You shrug. “Sure.” Not much else you can do in this situation, anyway.

“I'll explain things to you in a second. Besides that-” Flandre interrupts him by suddenly widening her eyes and darting off down the hall you just traversed in the opposite direction. A few seconds later a woman, with silver hair and in a western maid outfit, appears directly in front of you. You recoil in surprise and bump into a wall, but that Roland just points in the direction that the little girl took and the woman disappears again. What the fuck?

“I'll explain as we go along then. Follow me.” You do as he says, but you're still wary of him. “Put simply, the woman you saw has an ability to halt time and move freely within a stopped frame. It's simple as that, for the purposes at hand.” You feel you should really react more to what he's saying, but it seems credible for some reason, and something else is on your mind.

“So... you needed my help with something?”

“That's right. Just a few doors down, actually.” You decide to keep quiet until then. Talking more probably won't help at all. A few halls more and he stops in front of a door, which has a sort of metal plaque with some writing emblazoned into it; he opens the door too quick for you to read it. He looks around once, then leads you inside.

You take a look around as you walk into the room, seeing various things strewn about and an impressive amount of desks; some of them have tools built into them. You notice a rifle placed on a set of hooks on the wall, above a desk with various small parts on it and a few tools. Several larger machines, which you'd guess to be for making specific things out of metal, wood, and other materials, are also placed up against the wall in no particular order but . Glass cases hold various things which seem to be collector's items of some sort- knives, helmets, photographs- but nothing in them really seems to catch your eye. Of course, you don't know why you're there, either.

“It's really not all that much, but it's comfortable enough to live and work in. Take a look around, I have to get a lock open for us to keep going.”

You do, and you take a closer look in the place. A German-style helmet with white sun emblems within blue circles, a long grey trenchcoat, neatly folded; most of this seems to be war memorabilia, and moving on to the photos you see some pictures of people in uniform. Looking over them briefly, you take a look to see what's taking the man so long to finish what he's doing. He's standing over on one edge of the room, next to a locked door, seemingly tinkering with the mechanism. If he's got this room to himself, though, why would he lock a door that only goes further in? Odd, but maybe it's stranger that he looks so much like one of the guys on the pictures.

Huh? You look over the first two you see, comparing the still, black-and-white faces in the pictures to the real, fully moving one off to the side. They look almost identical. Turning to analyze the pictures again, you can't discern much but try to figure out what's going on at least.

The first has an old-fashioned building in the background, with some men in uniforms and others wearing black suits and top hats. In the foreground are four men in military garb, with helmets tipped with metal spikes. The third one, counting from left to right, is the one that looks like Roland most. In black ink, the photo has Kaiser Wilhelm Institut für Chemie, 1911 written across the front. 1911? That should be impossible, right?

The other is of six men, wearing a completely different uniform, in the middle of a field and with what looks like a city behind them. Two of them are holding up a South Korean flag (the one on the right is the only one you seem to recognize, looking like this Roland), and one other is holding up a sign with 대한민국 소유권 written on it. This one only has a year on it: 1950.

He interrupts your thoughts, however. “Ah, here it is. Let's go.” You hear him start to walk in and stop; turning to look at him reveals he's looking at you inquisitively. “Hey, you coming?”

“Just one thing.” You walk over, holding the two pictures. “What are these, why are you in them, and what's with the years written on them?”

“Huh?” He looks genuinely confused. “Let me see those.” He takes one in each hand and looks at them intently, but only for a second. “You're kidding, right? These look nothing like me! Do you honestly think I'd keep my hair like that? Come on!” He laughs and then puts the pictures on a nearby counter. “Now, are you coming or are you going to claim I was in Vietnam next?”

If that actually is him in the pictures, there's no way it'd be easy to get that out of him. You'll just go along with him for now.
He leads you into a larger toom with a huge device in the middle of it. The machine is unrecognizable, and has several panels of controls and gauges. The machine is a brass color, and spans a good portion of the room. It's amazing, but you have no idea what it is. He saves you the trouble of asking. “This is a machine to cause planar displacement and overlay. It's used to, in essence, move between different versions of reality.”

You don't know whether to believe him, so you ask him a little thing to test him. “Where could you get a thing like this?”

“Brussels,” he says, “1927.” An instant response, but a doubtful one. Does he mean that's when it was made? Designed? He builds on it immediately, though, leaving you no room to interrupt. “An... associate and I built this to start moving between different planes, rather than just looking through them. Usually only things like light and radio waves make it, but this was our first device that could send massive particles through them- and through that, solid, liquid, gaseous objects, including but not limited to air, papers, trinkets and people.”

“Planes?”

“I never told you, huh? Well, then I guess now I will. Listen up!” He's gesturing a lot, as if preparing to give you a long speech.

“Well, let's start by summing up your experience. Your experience, which is compiled through memory and reason, is all just drawn from your sensory perception, right? From this you construct your model of reality. The whole nature of this isn't completely clear- there is the argument that you recognize an existing one and others which say it's completely made by you, among others- but the whole point is that you just take your concept of what your life and existence are and consist of, physically at least, from what you percieve. Anything spiritual and rational is just the latter- rational. External influences can help, but if you ask me aren't really as conclusive.

“I digress. The point is that your experience creates your model of reality and that with this model you provide your explanation of the phenomena which surround you. Changing the model can be easy or difficult, depending on who you are, what you've experienced and been taught, but new factors have to be thrown in if something contradicting your model appears; this is just so that it can continue to effectively explain the universe that you're in.

“But what if I told you that even if your model to explain your universe is right it still isn't enough to encompass all of physical reality? Around the time we built this machine quantum physics were being laid out, individuals like Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr and such were bringing this concept out bringing the way people saw things into even further question than Einstein's theories of relativity and the laws of thermodynamics had done just years earlier. We'd been playing with spacetime for some time before that- but that isn't something related to what I'm trying to explain.

“What I've come to call 'planes' are different versions of the same reality. It's strange for me to be able to move through them so effectively, honestly, when I can't say we understand them completely or even significantly. There are a few possibilities. For instance, take the amount of dimensions of the environment you live in. There are a few ways to look at that, but the space itself seems to have three and other factors can be counted in as different dimensions which can result in a model with a few. However, think of the possibilities which arise when spacetime, on a quantum level, may have more than ten dimensions in its spatial-temporal properties alone! Is it possible that these or ones beyond these even may manage to manifest a different reality within the same universe, maybe even in the same location?

“Yes,” he says, looking significantly calmer, arms crossed and nodding sagely; “yes, it is. Is that the only explanation? No,” he says, shaking his head, “no, it isn't. There are a few more ways to look at it.”

...He really likes the sound of his voice, eh?

“For instance, take into account the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. All this model does is state that there is not one universe but a myriad of them; a multiverse, if you will. These 'planes' I'm talking about could just as easily be similar cases and different manifestations of reality in different universes, after all, according to this if an event doesn't happen in one universe then it's extremely likely or even dead certain it will in another. Am I just moving between different universes? I could.

“But say the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct, though there is only one universe. This can be the case. If it's finite, it's possible, considering its size, for similar events in one location to take place almost in parallel in another place. If it's infinite, then it may as well become a certainty. If you give an event, no matter how unlikely, the possibility to manifest itself an infinity of times then there is no doubt it will occur. This means I could just be moving between locations in the same universe and set of dimensions. It doesn't look like it from what I've seen, but is it possible this is happening instead? Well, sure it is.”

What the hell? You're not sure you're even following what he's saying anymore.

“Or none of this could be real and it's possible it's all just my delusion. It's really unlikely if you ask me, but there isn't much you can know for sure. All this theory can be really vexing, though, and it's possible that even some things seeming unthinkable can be the case. If it's possible for events to resolve because a conscious entity sees it, then is it possible for an event to manifest because one considered the possibility of its existence? Not only that, it's applicable even to this one here! I'm from this named 'plane' (mind you, Gensokyo is not a plane of its own), so is it possible I've simply been conjured by a thinking entity? It is, but the same is true for you.

“But how far can this go? Perhaps others are seeing what you are. Far distant eyes may look out through yours, far distant ears may hear with yours. Your subconscious could be inhabited by a swarm of minds which simply consider the possibility of your existence, or perhaps a projection of such; maybe even ones that discuss among themselves!. Or maybe it's just one mind. Maybe it's my case. How the hell can we consciously know?! The minds of others may see with my perspective and feel with my hands the same as they may with yours. If it's possible, does that make it a certainty? No, it doesn't. But some interpretations of the structure of reality say it could be so.”

...People perceiving things through your head? What the fuck?

“So what of these different 'planes'? Do they mean something? Not if you don't interact with them. Visualizing it may be enough for that to happen, or maybe they're seeking you out! Heh-heh-heh! So what gives? Can these be completely different ones in themselves, and can ones bearing similarity to ours be found easily? Well, it depends on the method, but together with what I'm trying to get back I found one that makes it so.”

He moves over to his machine, pulling a few levers and moving a few switches. Parts on it start moving, brass-colored gears, crystal cylinders, other devices you can't recognize- begin to move, whirring, humming, quickening. The machine eventually begins to refract light in the shape of a portal of sorts, on a platform in its center and the center of the room.

“Let me show you what I mean. Even Gensokyo has its own slew of possibilities and planes. For instance, I've been keeping track of a few, so let me show them to you.”
Like a lens, the portal of pure light begins to show familiar shapes (though there are quite a few you don't think you could name) from different angles as if you were watching a film.

“Don't walk in there, I haven't set it up to move massive material. All these are different possible manifestations circling around a series of events which, from what I've found, mostly remain constant in a few of their aspects but not even in this case remain so. A little variation here and there, some with qualities which seem rare at least in other cases- for instance, the plane we're in now, the one you and I are native to, is the only one I've seen with a situation like ours, or even a version of you or me. In different ones, you or I could've taken on different occupations, gone through different experiences... we might even be constructed differently, maybe even of the opposite gender. It can be pleasant to visualize these things, I hear, but after seeing so many I'm not so sure...

“Take, for instance, this one. A nondescript outsider falls into Gensokyo without explicable reason and starts moving from place to place while in it. Or this one, where the soul of a dead man made its way through and began to possess individuals on this side of the border. Or this one, where a person wound up in the middle of the nearby forest only to juggle survival and the emotions of those around him- including three of the opposite persuasion which showed some interest in him. Even in the mansion we inhabit now, there are variants, planes and manifest possibilities.” As he mentions each example, he hits a different button which moves gauges, numbers, pins, wheels, buttons and levers all at once but to a different pattern each time.

“There are ones such as this one, where someone came in garbed as a vampire hunter, though he was nothing of the sort, and set out to not only find out about the mansion but to help fix what was wrong in it. Or this one, where a young man was pulled from his location thousands of kilometers away to find himself here and surrounded by mechanisms which he couldn't understand but sought to explore. Or this one, where there's some guy whose most notable quality is if you ask me the negligence he bears toward his gun. He never, as far as I've seen, cleaned or even bothered to oil it; a 7.65mm C96 like tht can probably take it but I've caught myself half-hoping it'll jam on him for showing such a lack of respect to his things. There are ones for different areas, even ones for completely different settings! I've found a few... two, in particular, which seem to have versions of individuals within a modern setting resembling the outside seemingly converging around one individual and his school, and another of a world oddly resemblant to the outside but completely airborne. Even one which seems to have events in parallel to those in the outside while having versions of individuals that should be here now put there decades earlier in a different setting!” He laughs. “It truly is quite a strange phenomenon. Exploring it, however, has led to my predicament. This machine's original design is obsolete, but improvements over time have kept it up to date. I, with the help of what I'm looking for, can now move across planes with little difficulty, particularly with improvements made to this machine; however, a couple of years ago it seems it was caught in a rift. I did eventually manage to find she was well, but neither where it was in the folds exactly nor how to keep a machine like this one stable enough to retrieve it before it collapsed or destroyed itself.

“This,” he says, smiling and pointing at you, “is where you come in. Your abilities, should you choose to help me, would help keep this machine stable long enough to locate it and pull it back.” He brings his arm back down. “I think you see, generally, what I'm trying to do and how I intend to do so.” He smiles, turns and shrugs. “But what's the point of making speeches to you anyway? You're just going to forget them.”

You feel you're a bit too confused now to be worrying about that.

“Anyway, here's the thing. I need your help with this, I'll be blunt about that. Question is whether you're willing to provide it or not. We won't get started until later, but for... certain reasons I recommend you choose whether you'll help me or not sooner rather than later. I don't mean to put pressure on you, but it's best we solve this now.”

What to do?

[ ] Alright, you'll help.
[ ] No, you refuse.
[ ] If you're going to help, you need to know a few things first. Assent, but only if he answers to some questions.

-[ ] Ask him about himself.
-[ ] Ask what he's looking for.
-[ ] How do other people here play into this?
-[ ] Ask about the pictures.

[ ] Wait, you didn't understand. Could he explain one of the things he said more thoroughly? (specify just what you want clarified)

You can choose more than one so long as they don't contradict; write-ins, as usual, are just fine.
>> No. 33672
Talk about getting rather meta... I think i've seen most of the classic stories get referenced, perhaps even TALE in Eientei. Definitely a major thinking moment...
>> No. 33673
Obligatory request for someone to clarify what all was referenced; I caught several on my own, but there are a few i can't quite put my finger on.
>> No. 33740
>>33673
I don't know about the war photos, but I'll take a shot at the others, starting from "“Take, for instance, this one."
MiG or WUiG
Flight
LA
HY's EoSD
No idea (but maybe ASSM?)
Server Test: SDM (?)
IPF, Gensokyo High, or GA:SD (?)
Captain Rex
No idea (LA:AG?)
>> No. 34017
[x] If you're going to help, you need to know a few things first. Assent, but only if he answers to some questions.
-[x] What are the risks?
-[x] Why 'me', the man who needs notes to remember anything?
-[x] Ask what he's looking for.
-[x] How do other people here play into this?
>> No. 34287
You can't go ahead with this just yet. Quite simply, you don't know enough.

“Before I make a decision, there are some things I have to know.” That should be clear enough.

He seems to think for a second, turning his eyes up and holding his chin in his hand. Turning back down, he gives a smile that's strangely cordial. “Alright, that's fair. What would you like to know?”

“What are the risks?”

“Of helping me?”

“Right.”

“Well, there are two sides to that. The first, which I think you're talking about, is about the planes. Well, to keep being straightforward, it depends on whether or not you're immersed in the rift yourself. The three ways this could go wrong, probably, are for the machine to destroy itself before we make it, in which case nothing would happen to you, for one or both of us to be caught in a rift in time, which is what caused this... problem, and for the rift itself to collapse. Getting caught in a rift means that a new one has to be made to connect it to a plane so that whatever's in it can be pulled out, but I don't know what would happen if the rift collapsed.”

He's still being annoyingly cryptic. “Simplify that.” Best to avoid confusion about this.

“In the second case, you'll be caught in between planes and will have to be pulled out. In the last, I don't know what'll happen.

“Bear in mind, though, your main role here would be to help minimize risks, so it isn't too much of a concern.”

Seems simple enough.

“The second risk is you're joining up with me. Not everyone would like that. Can't say exactly why, and I wouldn't know whether they'd do anything or how far they would go, but you might upset people who don't like me.”

Well, you'll have to think about that. Before you ask more on the subject, though, you still don't know why he needs you specifically. “Alright. Why me?”

“I don't follow.”

“Why do you need help from me, who needs notes to remember things by himself?”

“Well, simply put, you have some abilities that are best suited to this. I can tell you don't know you have them, or at least you don't remember; but,” he taps the side of his head, next to his left eye. “I can tell just by looking. Fact of the matter is you're suited for the job. Is that all you needed?”

“What are you after?” No two ways around that.

“That's a good question. I don't think it'll make sense if I don't tell you a few things about myself, so for the sake of clarity I'll start there. First of all, there's something in that I haven't told you before now, but I think it might be important. As you can guess, Li Xiaoping is not my real given name, but neither is Roland Bix.

“My real name is R.”

“R?”

“Just that. Family tradition to give members names a single character long. Mine's R. Roland Bix is an alias I've used to make things easier; even when it's not necessary to hide an identity, you have to admit it's easier for people to accept.” Well, maybe. He continues, not giving you space to answer. “That's all besides the point, though. After all you were interested in knowing what I'm after. Well, it's not so much something as... someone. I don't feel too comfortable going into detail, so I think I'll tell you when it's done. Can you live with that?”

You shrug. For now it's best to move on to your other questions, and if you press him you might not get more out of him.

“Alright. How do other people here play into this?”

“Ah...” He chuckles. “Good you thought of that. Well, at first glance there isn't much, but if you go a bit further there's more to it. Like I said, there are some people that might frown upon you helping me out. I'll tell you what I know. You know that reporter that's been hanging around here, the one I don't get along with?”

“No.”

“Figures. Well, you can write it down if you want. Point is, as far as I can tell she's got plans that go against mine, and I think they involve you.”

“What plans?”

“Can't say. I don't know enough to state anything, so if I go any further it's speculation. From what I can see, though, it looks like she's not alone in that plan of hers. That's about as far as I can say, sorry I can't be of much help. Is there anything else you needed to know?”

You give it some thought. “No, I think that's all I needed.”

“So have you got an answer?”

You pause, thinking again. “Sure. I'll help.”

He looks like that really cheers him up, unable to contain a grin. “Well, that'll be all for now then. I'll see you again when I need you, sound fair?”

“Sure.”

“Come on, I'll show you out.” He shuts the machine down completely, which gradually slows to a halt, and gets back onto the floor before walking back to the door. You follow, not saying anything. Going back through the room, you notice the cases, artifacts and pictures again. Maybe you should ask about this later... you still don't know if it means anything. “I guess that's it for now. Later.” You walk out just before he shuts the door; as you walk off you start hearing mechanical sounds from in the room. Nothing like the brass machine he's got in the back, though.

Well, now what?

[ ] Look around to see if you can find someone.
[ ] Use the new time to think about what you just saw.
[ ] Just stroll aimlessly.
[ ] See if you can find a room that's interesting. With the size of this place, there should be something around...
>> No. 34288
[x] Look around to see if you can find someone.
>> No. 34290
[x] Look around to see if you can find someone.
>> No. 34325
[x] Look around to see if you can find someone.
>> No. 34752
FINALLY. I've been swamped with work for weeks on end and haven't gotten a decent night of sleep since January, but finally it's back. Now, let's see where we left off...

===

[x]Look around to see if you can find someone.

Right, well.

It's probably best to look for someone; no point in wandering aimlessly. Besides anything they might tell you, you could use something to get your mind off what you just saw. You're feeling pretty tired, too; must have been quite a day, especially since this whole machine and the planes and whatever the hell else this R was talking about would've accounted for quite a day to begin with.

...Still, you have no idea where you should go. Where the hell is everyone? This place is huge, with doors lining up almost everything in the halls and yet you can't see a single person around. Continuing forward, you listen to see if you can hear anything; it's as good a direction as any other. There doesn't seem to be any sound...

No, wait. Yes there is. A voice is humming a slow tune further on ahead. You begin to jog in the direction of the voice, no sense delaying given you could forget everything on the way there.

The voice becomes gradually more distinct, though by no means is it strong. It's high, like that of a girl. Doesn't sound familiar at all, but that's no surprise.

The halls lead out into a larger room with several dining tables, all of which have tablecloths but are otherwise bare. There aren't any occupants at any of them, save for a small figure sitting in one of them and with its back to you. You can't tell too much from here, but it seems to be female as it's wearing a dress, with bat wings coming out of the back that for some reason don't surprise you. Maybe you've seen her before. The girl interrupts her humming, turning to regard you at first with an expression of curiosity and then with a mischievous smile.

“Sam, Sam. What a coincidence... please, come join me.” She gestures to a chair opposite her on the table, lifting a teacup with her other hand and sipping at it. Well, she knows you, you can tell that much; the details are lost. As you go, you look for a card that matches her description. Halfway to the chair she indicated, you find one.

-Remilia Scarlet
Red eyes, short blue hair
Wears a pink dress and poofy hat, has bat wings
Mistress of the mansion, noticeably short
Acts a little childish


Well, it's certainly some help at least. The note states the girl in front of you is the mistress of some mansion, which is very likely to be the building you're in now if you think about it. Well, best be respectful in case that's true. Quietly, you walk over to the chair she indicated and sit in it.

“Oh, please don't be so reserved. You're my guest here, after all.”

“Of course.” Even though you answer like that, you don't change your dispostion.

“So, Sam. Have you enjoyed your stay here?”

“Yes, thank you. I've had a nice time.”

“Good to hear. What have you been up to?”

“Um, well...” Frankly, you don't think it's best to talk about the experience you just had with this R. Ah, that's right. As you think of an answer you modify the letter with his name on it, adding the name he just gave you.

-Roland Bix (R)
Relatively tall, short black hair
Tends to wear a white Oxford shirt and blue pants
Uses a large handgun
European complexion[/i]

“Well, here and there. I've spent time with different people in here, generally getting a feel for the place.” It's a gamble to say so; to be honest you have absolutely no idea how long you've been here. If it turns out you've been here for a few weeks or even days, you'll have to think fast.

“Oh, I see.” Ah, what a relief. She seems to notice you relax, however as she continues: “Don't worry, I won't ask for details. If I recall, you might not remember enough to give them.” She definitely knows you, if she knows that much. “Now, would you like something? Coffee? Tea?”

“Oh, no.”

“Please, don't be modest. Sakuya!” She calls out with her free hand cupped to one side of her mouth. “Geez, where is she? She's been harder to get a hold of recently. Hey, Sakuya!” As if in response, a woman materializes right next to her. She seems to take little notice, instead turning to chastise the new arrival. “Sakuya, where have you been? I need you to be quicker, you know!” Now that you think of it, didn't you see her earlier in the hallway?

“I'm very sorry, mistress.” Whatever her trick was must be routine if they're brushing it off like this.

“You should be more careful, you know. If you keep this up I just might have to punish you~...” The woman in the maid outfit seems much more unnerved at that, but is quick to change the subject.

“What did you need, mistress?”

“Ah, of course. Please get the guest... erm... what would you like?”

“Er, some coffee, if you would.” Good as anything else you can think of.

“A cup of coffee. As for your punishment, we'll discuss that on some other occasion.” The girl's back to her mischievous smile, though by now it looks a lot more evil.

“Er- I'll be right back, mistress.” The woman is now visibly nervous, though she does her best to keep her composure.

“Don't change the subject, now.” The woman just disappears again in response, leaving a full cup of coffee on the table in front of you. Deciding to ignore the exchange for now, you sip at it.

“So, what were we discussing? Were we on any particular subject.”

“Uh, no, I don't think so.”

“I see. Well, I'm glad you've enjoyed your time here. In any case, I think it's very convenient that you've dropped by; I hoped to have a good conversation with you about several things.”

“What do you mean?”

“There are a few things I hoped to ask you. Even though you've been staying in my home, I haven't had the opportunity to talk to you about several things. And believe me, they are... important things.”

“Ask away.” You've got nothing against that, though you don't know how much help you could give her.

“Good, good, we're off to a nice start. First of all, I wanted to let you know that we have a room selected for you. Whenever you need to find it, just ask Sakuya to show you.”

“Thank you, that's very kind of you.”

“Oh, but that's not why we're talking now. There are several other maters that we need to look over.”

“Such as?”

“First of all, I wanted to ask you about the news reporter who's staying here. Has she had a conversation with you that you recall, or has she ever asked your help for anything?”

Hm, not that you know of. “I don't think so, but I can't say whether she has or hasn't. I think she's a little shifty, though.” That's what the note you had about some news reporter said, anyway.

“Ah, just a little.” Remilia giggles before continuing. “Alright, alright. Has anyone else approached you for help with anything, of any sort?”

Damn, you were hoping she wouldn't ask that. “Well...”

“Who?” Her disposition is much more serious. Something tells you that if you don't respond you're in trouble, and not the kind that's easy to get out of.

“That Roland.” Still, you don't feel you should tell her anything, for some reason... feigning ignorance might not be the best course of action, but it's the quickest thing that comes to mind. As a half-truth, it should also be more passable. “However, I don't really understand what it is he wants me to do.”

“Do you know what he's after?”

“No, I don't. Sorry.”

“Oh, never mind that, I suppose he can be difficult to understand at times, that Teuton...”

“Teuton?”

“Never mind, never mind; let's move on. How many people have you met while you were here?”

“Ah, let me take a look.” Pulling out your notes, you list them off. “There's that Roland, the news reporter, a gateguard by the name of Meiling and a woman with a... lunchbox hat. That's all I know, though I may have seen others and not written them down.”

“That's okay, it's all I needed to know. Before I let you go on your way, there is one more thing.”

“Er, yes?”

“I need you to visit a specific room of the house later on. No need to write it down; I'll have you sent down there when the time is right. You don't mind, do you?”

“Oh, not at all.” You do find it a bit unsettling, but it's probably better not to dwell on that.

“Of course, of course. Well, thank you for your time, ask me or Sakuya should you need anything.” You just nod in response, keeping quiet. For a while, you just sit and sip at your coffee while the mistress drinks her tea. Well after you've lost track of time, though it doesn't seem that long, she gets up and proceeds to walk off. “My apologies, but I have certain business to attend to. I expect to see you later.”

“Ah- right, right.” You stay sitting for a while, but get up to walk again. No point in staying there. Returning to the hall, you take to walking again. The halls really do seem the same; furniture and ornate decorations everywhere while creatures in maid outfits shuffle past you as if in some hurry. Well, nothing too special in any of them-

Wait, what was that?

Turning your head back, you notice a small silvery panel leaning against a corner between two halls, one of which ends in another large set of doors- just, unbelievably, even more so. Before passing by there, you decide to take a look at whatever the thing is. Approaching it, it seems to be rather ornate and focusing on a flat and central surface... a looking glass?

More unnerving, however, is that there's someone else in it. The angle obscures the face, but you can see a pair of blue jeans and a black shirt. Before you turn to regard the new presence, it speaks with a voice that's strikingly familiar.

“Ah, good, you're here. I wanted another talk with you.”

---
>> No. 34753
“Hey, are you alright?”

Huh? Who's that?

A woman regards you as if through a lens, looking at you through deep blue eyes framed by braids of silver hair.

“I'm sorry, who are you?”

“Are you feeling alright? We just spoke.” Ah, your memories must have faded again.

“I'm sorry, I have trouble remembering things, a condition. Some of my memories fade over time.”

The woman looks at you as though confused, but then a sort of realization dawns in her eyes and she returns to regarding the books in the wall-sized shelves.

“Pay it no heed, then.” You just keep quiet at that, no need to answer when you should be getting your bearings again. You seem to be in some sort of library, though by all standards the library is absolutely monstrous and the proportions unfathomable. You sense a gap in your perception and suddenly find the woman crouched on the ground, using a rag that wasn't there before to clean something off of the ground. It only takes her a second, as almost immediately thereafter there's another gap and she's standing in front of you again as if she hadn't done any of that at all. Right...

“You have not eaten yet, have you?”

“I'm sorry?”

“Have you eaten?” You don't know, but you feel surprisingly hungry. It really seems like you haven't, but either way you could probably use some food.

“No, sorry.”

“Very well, follow me.” She begins to walk off with carefully measured steps that make for a brisk pace, forcing you to trot at first to catch up with her. Pulling out your cards as you go along, you find one matching her description closely enough for you to think it's her. It states:

-Sakuya Izayoi
Average height, thin complexion, silver hair
Wears a Western maid outfit
Skilled in the use of knives


The last statement is a little vague, but you think you have a much better idea of who she is now. Wherever she's taking you is a long way off, considering the size of the building you're in, and you'll probably have the opportunity to strike up a conversation while you go. Still, what to discuss?

[ ] Ask her if she was around for whatever happened before your memory cut out, and if so for her to explain what happened. Best to know, especially at a time like this.
[ ] Where's she taking you, exactly?
[ ] How did she manage that trick earlier on? You're still a bit confused about that.
[ ] Something else? (specify)
[ ] No, just keep quiet. You don't want to bother her.
>> No. 34756
[x] Ask her if she was around for whatever happened before your memory cut out, and if so for her to explain what happened. Best to know, especially at a time like this.
[x] Where's she taking you, exactly?

>Average height, thin complexion, silver hair
Complexion is used in terms of skin tone and type, for general Builds, Build or frame would be better.
>> No. 34761
[x] Ask her if she was around for whatever happened before your memory cut out, and if so for her to explain what happened. Best to know, especially at a time like this.
[x] Where's she taking you, exactly?

I VERY CONFUSE
>> No. 34802
[x] Ask her if she was around for whatever happened before your memory cut out, and if so for her to explain what happened. Best to know, especially at a time like this.
[x] Where's she taking you, exactly?
>> No. 35525
Tesla: Goodness, finally. I realize this happens often, but sorry about the delay. Certain things got in the way, several times.

>>34756
Thanks for catching that. Good thing you noticed, I'll make sure to keep this in mind.

>>34761
I... can no longer tell if that's good or bad.

Well, here we go again.

===

“Actually, can I ask you something?”

“Certainly. What do you need?”

“Were you around for the last things that happened? My condition, see...”

“I know.”

“Well... can you tell me what happened?”

“We were just speaking about-” She seems to stop herself and think for a few seconds. “We were speaking about how you had arrived in the library.”

“Erm... what did I answer?”

“You said you had been called here by Lady Patchouli. You did not say why.”

“Oh, I see.” The two of you continue to move along the halls, and you don't bother to question her direction as she seems very sure of where she's going. You, by contrast, don't even remember being in the place. Come to think of it, where is she taking you? “Wait, there is one more thing.”

“What is it?” She stops and gives you a sidelong glance, which could just be analytical but feels chillingly scanning.

“Uh... Where are you taking me, exactly?”

“Oh, that's all? I decided that the best place for you to eat was the nearest dining hall. Do you have a different preference?”

“No, that sounds fine.” For some reason, the idea that the place is large enough to have several dining halls doesn't strike you as particularly surprising. You consider asking how long you've been around, but thinking about it, it isn't really that important.

The halls pass by one after another, to be honest rather uneventfully. You feel, for some reason, that you've grown used to this. Some woman in a white blouse, black skirt and red hat skips by without much regard for her surroundings; you think you catch the woman guiding you looking at her askance for an instant, but it's gone so quick you can't tell if it was even there. Just before you turn a corner, you think you see someone in a brown jacket, with a short black skirt or black shorts- you can't tell this far away- take a turn on the other end of the hall. Well, that's got to be someone too, but you leave it be.

All of a sudden, you seem to arrive. The woman guiding you stops by one of the tables and renders the table set with several dishes just as you blink, taking out the chair facing the food and invites you to occupy it by opening her hand towards it. You do just as suggested and start in immediately; seems you were hungrier than you thought.

Well, that gives you a bit to think over what's going on. You don't think you know enough to review what you know yet, so best focus on the meal, but there's a lot you feel is sort of out of place. You feel familiar with the place you're in, but there's no telling just where it is; then again, you might have it written down. Hopefully you've got something on the rest of the people you saw; you don't think you should take a look just yet, though. If you tried you could probably track them down, provided they don't move too quick...

Oddly, though, you get the feeling you're being looked at from somewhere. You can't tell just what it is or where it's coming from, but you feel that you're being scrutinized very closely. You're not sure if you had this feeling before or not, but it's very strong now. It puts you on edge, but you decide to let it pass as there's probably not much you can do about it even if there is someone there.

...And you're finished. Honestly, you're kind of surprised; being rather distracted you didn't notice as you ate just about everything that was in front of you. You're still a bit hungry, but you should be able to hold out. You take a deep breath and lean against the back of the chair, considering what to do next.

[ ] Go back to that library.
[ ] Look for the woman in the white blouse.
[ ] Look for whoever that was in the brown jacket.
[ ] Try to see if you can find a way outside.
[ ] Sit and review all of your notes, best make sure you know what's going on.
>> No. 35526
[x] Sit and review all of your notes, best make sure you know what's going on.
>> No. 35538
[x] Sit and review all of your notes, best make sure you know what's going on
>> No. 35968
Hm. Well, best to review your notes; they'll give you the best clue of what's going on. Pulling them out, you take a look at them again; the one you'd seen earlier is at the front.

-Sakuya Izayoi
Average height, thin build, silver hair
Wears a Western maid outfit
Skilled in the use of knives


Moving past that, you see a few others on your location before those that detail people you know. You look over those again; no surprises, and from your gut feeling nothing new. Leaving the rest on the table in front of you, you get to looking at the notes you have to try and match them up with everyone else you've seen.

“Hey there! What's new, you?” You're interrupted by a sonorous, sing-song voice. Turning to face it, a cherubic figure more or less bounds off of the walls before stopping directly in front of you. The figure in the jacket from earlier, she looks at you with eyes that look like they're amused by everything they detect. You take the opportunity to take a close look; white blouse, black skirt, some sort of flight jacket- “Sorry, that isn't new at all. You've got to try harder.” She leans down to look you in the eye, and you promptly avert your gaze.

“So, what are you doing here?” You figure you'll change the subject.

“Oh, that Patchouli kicked me out of her library again. Usually she tells me she's trying to read, but she didn't say anything this time! I think it was maybe her asthma again...”

You move on, eager to leave that behind. If she dwells on it, you don't think you'll get anywhere. “So you're not doing anything now?”

“Eh? Ah, no. Why, did you have an idea?” She lightly emphasizes the word 'you' in that sentence, but not enough to make it suggestive.

“Not particularly.” You get up and stretch, going back to shuffling through your notes. Hm, wrong ones, these are the ones about the place and the mansion... where are the others- huh? You left them right there, they couldn'tve... unless... you look around for the girl, hpoing she hasn't just pulled a prank on you.

Well, there she goes. You see her calmly walking off as if nothing's wrong, but for some reason you know- you know for certain- that she just took those notes. You instantly break into a run to get them back, and she oddly enough doesn't run to get away but turns to regard you with a look on her face that's reminiscent of, as it's said, the cat that ate the canary. Except she clearly feels not even an ounce of culpability.

“Yes~?” She's clearly enjoying herself.

“Give me my notes back.” You extend your hand, ready to insist.

“Sure.” She just puts the notes into it. You expected her to play innocent a little and try and get some more out of it, but she seems to be having much more fun with the expression on your face. She breaks into laughter, then moves along and gives your shirt a tug as she goes. With nothing else, you move along and read through them again.

-Remilia Scarlet

-Roland Bix ( R )

-Hong Meiling

-Aya Shameimaru

-Keine Kamishirasawa

-Patchouli Knowledge

-Flandre Scarlet


And a couple others. There's one with a black skirt and white blouse, but-

“Ah, here we are.”

“Huh?”

The woman opens a door in the wall, nearly nondescript but for bolts and hinges that are heavily reinforced. “In here.” She walks inside and you follow, leading to a narrow set of stairs that leads almost directly downwards. It feels like they're slickened by moisture, so you take careful steps while leaning against the wall to keep from falling. Your companion, however, seems to find sure footing without effort as she goes.

You automatically lower your voice to keep it from echoing. “There is just one thing I was curious about, though...”

“What's that?”

“In my notes it hadn't said how long I'd been here, just where I was. I've got this condition, see, that-”

“Oh, I know about that one already. I think it's been a couple weeks, though you should ask someone who lives here.”

“Like?”

“Oh, there's one you'll meet again in a minute. You're expected, after all.”

You follow her for what seems like a few minutes, but probably was a lot less. She stops, turns back to you (though the light's gone down so much you notice partly from her outline) and speaks again in that same playful tone. “Well, do what you like from here. You probably won't be getting out without help, now willya?” What?! “But getting it should be pretty easy. Laters!” You feel her hand quickly dart into one of your back pockets before she takes off in some other direction, going a little forward and then taking a bend in the tunnel. Following her wouldn't be so easy... after a few seconds you can no longer hear her.

Well, what now?

[ ] Stay where you are.
[ ] Go in the direction she used to leave, see if you can get any clues.
[ ] Wander around and see what you find.
[ ] Anything else? (write-in, both instead of and in addition to work fine)
>> No. 35970
[x] Check your pocket to see if she took anything or put anything in it. Then head in the direction she left from, see if you can't find any clues.
>> No. 35983
[x] Check your pocket to see if she took anything or put anything in it. Then head in the direction she left from, see if you can't find any clues.

Not sure about this, but it'll do for the moment. Maybe.
>> No. 35996
Well, best to start from where you're standing. First, you suppose, is to check your pocket; she might have taken something or put in something else. Well, if she took something you might not know, except that- ah, there's some papers in there. Taking them out, you put them in your hand to take a closer look. There are two; one's much smaller than the other. Turning them over you can see that each has something written on it, but the light's too low to be able to see it from where you're standing. You walk over beneath one of the light sources on the wall, which helps just enough to read it if you strain your eyes. The first has only one line of text, written in an unfamiliar hand:

Forgot this one. Ha!

The other has a few lines, which are all in your handwriting but a red ink you wouldn't generally use. Where'd that come from?

-N
Average height, shoulder-length black hair, brown eyes
White blouse (no buttons), black skirt, bomber jacket


The rest isn't written in strongly enough for you to see in this light. You throw the first note one to the floor and put the other in your pocket with the rest. Well, that actually does explain a lot of what you've just seen. You close your eyes and rub them several times to rest them, and then proceed to take another look around. The place appears to be a network of tunnels, which are considerably spacious but nothing in the face of the halls and rooms you've just seen upstairs. There are probably several routes you could take from here, but no way you could ever tell which leads where until you took them. Since there's no noise or light to indicate where something's happening, you choose to follow the path that woman took. May at least provide a clue, which is more than you can say for any of the others.

You break into a jog down the corridor she used to leave, though by all intents and purposes she's gone. This particular corridor doesn't seem like it's so different than any others, but as you jog you look around to see whether or not you can find anything. Something that she might've left behind, or anything that might indicate what's next.

Oh, wait, there's a light in one of the corridors that branches off. You're running too quick to stop yourself in time so you pass it by without getting a good look, but from the looks of it it was a dim glow- a colored one, but you couldn't tell much. You stop yourself and double back into that hall, approaching it at a walking pace. It doesn't move from there, but as you get closer a few things become easy to distinguish. There seem to be a series of lights, generally of different colors, arranged into two semilinear groups. There might be something else there, but the wall lights go out just before it so you can't distinguish. You approach slowly and cautiously, past the light, though you calm down as you approach since it doesn't seem to react. Strange...

Suddenly everything is different. The wall lights around you come back on, but so strongly you can't see for a second. Once your eyes adjust, there is something in front of you you hadn't seen. A figure, which looks up at you with maddened red eyes as the lights, attached to its back, flashed wildly. It speaks in a voice that reverbates from the walls, in comprehensible albeit heavily accented English.

”I am your tomb, the opposite of your destiny; better make sure you run faster than me!”

Instinctively you turn and run. You don't know how fast you're going but it isn't enough. Your feet noisily slam against the hard ground, and though your soles promptly begin to ache you do your best to ignore it. You feel your legs begin to burn, your breathing becomes ragged and your heart is pumping furiously, but you still don't stop. How long has it been? You can't tell. You turn to find the figure is following you calmly, hovering just above the ground and keeping pace with you effortlessly as it looks at you amusedly with those frightful eyes. You almost scream in panic, except you can't. You've got to do something... something...

[ ] Keep running, put everything into it.
[ ] Turn and run in the opposite direction.
[ ] Call for help, there should be someone else.
[ ] Attack the figure.
[ ] Give up, stop.
[ ] What else? (write-in)
>> No. 35998
She...

...I can't believer she did that.

I can't believe she did that.

We can't even do anything back. We've probably forgotten, by now.
>> No. 36000
[x] Call for help, there should be someone else.
>> No. 36019
[x] Give up, stop.
>> No. 36048
[x] Attack the figure.

Oh goddammit.

I don't really even know what I should be choosing, and I know I'm not helping by picking yet another option, making it a 1-1-1 tie.

Why don't more people read this?
>> No. 36049
>>36048
Slow updates in a slow board, and its quirks lower its mass appeal.
>> No. 36050
[x] Attack the figure.
>> No. 36254
Keeping pace with us sounds like it (she?) doesn't really want to catch us, not yet at least.

If it's really out to kill us, and merely playing with its food, attacking will probably just get us killed. If it's just messing/playing with us, the attack will not be appreciated.

Let us put this "network of tunnels" to good use, and avoid ambiguity then.

[X] Switchbacks. Take random paths, see if you can break line of sight with your pursuer.
[X] If at all possible, use your time out of sight (spare seconds) to find a hiding place.

The second assumes a large number of turns and optional routes in a small area, which may or may not exist.
>> No. 36387
>>36254
I am down with this.

[x] Switchbacks. Take random paths, see if you can break line of sight with your pursuer.
[x] If at all possible, use your time out of sight (spare seconds) to find a hiding place.
>> No. 36391
[x] Call for help, there should be someone else.

You know, sometimes in a set of choices there are no bad ones other than write ins.
>> No. 39689
Tesla: Well, break's over. Before we get started again, though, I figure I owe an explanation.

Frankly, by the time the post previous to this one came around I was having some trouble writing, and the delay started with a three-way tie between votes that... never really got resolved (for the record, the final choice was established as the first one to have gotten to two votes, though I did try to incorporate the others a tad). After that finals came around, and a lot of other things joined together to make what were basically the shittiest two months I've had in a few years. I wasn't able to get around to writing during this whole ordeal, so that's the gist of it. Dune... Dune just went along with it, I guess.

But we're finally here. I have to say it's good to be back; I doubt I've been missed much, but I enjoy this too much to just drop it. Thanks for reading this past year, and now, on with the show.

===

Just running won't get you any further away. You need to do something different... something...

It's the first thing you think of. It's insane, but there's nothing else you can do; the figure is easily keeping up with you- you can tell there's little effort because it's laughing- and if you keep running it should continue with it. There's no point if you stop, so... only one choice left.

You do your best to stop yourself, first braking with your legs and then turning around. You extend one arm, arcing it around so as to swing it into your pursuer.

It only takes one second, in which you're filled with a strange sort of dread. It's not that you're scared of what this figure could do- you certainly are, but that's not it. It's more of having no idea what'll happen... the uncertainty itself is what bothers you up until the figure's impact against your arm ends your reverie.

“Uwa!” The little thing makes a surprised noise just as it hits against your arm, but you can't tell anything else since you're dragged along with her. You tumble across the floor and are stopped when one of your flailing legs hits against a wall, but even then it takes a few seconds to figure things out again. You're lying face up on the floor, but there's no sign of- right! What happened to that thing that was chasing you? You quickly scramble to a sitting position and try to find it, but it's apparently gone. Suddenly, you realize that there's laughter resonating in the halls. You look around for anything, but apparently you're alone again. Still, that laughter isn't quite the same...

You very nearly jump out of your skin when a hand clamps down on your forearm, but looking up you simply find the woman from earlier.

“Now, now, that wasn't very nice.” She's whispering, so you have to strain yourself to hear her clearly. “Actually, that... was pretty impressive. Commendable, except...” She holds a finger up for silence, and you keep quiet to listen. Coming through the halls again is the figure's voice, or at least you assume so... It doesn't sound ill-intentioned anymore; now it just sounds upset. Also, it's talking in Japanese. Hadn't it talked in English before?

“Meanie... Sam, you meanie...”

“Hear that?” You nod. “Well, all that really means is that she's upset. She's been more stable lately, but I don't know whether to try and help or try and leave...” You look around, but the light's too low. What's around you? You can hardly see, and for now you should find someplace to hide, provided you get some seconds to spare. But to see...

Wait, how did the light- huh? It's brighter all of a sudden, but you can't tell where that's from. You raise your hand to see where the shadows are going, only to discover that the light's origin, formless and without substance, sits just above the palm of your hand.

Did you do this?

“Whoa, neat trick.” Your companion, whoever she is, looks on. She looks much less confused than you probably do, her expression instead saying something like 'I'm impressed'. “How'd you do that?”

“I...” How did you do that? You didn't know you could do anything by thinking, let alone... “I don't know, I...”

“Oh, who cares? Let's get going!” Your companion keeps her voice down, but she still sounds way too enthusiastic about it. As she pulls you along, you figure it's good that at least she didn't pry into it. You decide to run ahead, taking erratic turns while you hold your hand in front of you. The halls are much bigger than you originally thought, but there doesn't seem to be a good place to hide... if you can't find one, you'll just have to keep running. You don't know just how close your pursuer, whoever she is, is, so you keep going, and going, until you think you can't run any more. The place seems immense, but you decide not to ask and instead are just grateful for the space it affords you to flee.

Wait, why can you only hear your own footsteps? You turn to look around for the woman who should be following you, but before you get a good look your forward foot knocks into something and you're sent tumbling along the ground. You lie on the ground, holding your head, but then go completely still so you won't make noise. Your eyes are closed, but you listen closely to find out what's going on.

Laughter rings in your ears, simultaneously sounding at two different pitches. You open your eyes and look up- it's dark again so it's harder to see, but the lights on the walls are enough for you to tell that both the figure that was chasing you and the woman who was following you stand by you, and that the laughter is coming from them. You sit up and look at the palm of your hand... the light's gone now, but where did that come from? You don't remember being able to do any of this before, and even if you learned later you have no idea how you would remember... you look blankly back up at the two, who promptly calm down.

“What was all this?”

The woman in the jacket answers you. “Oh, this? We played a game with you! It was fun, wasn't it?” She says the last turning to the figure, who you can now get a better look at. The lights seem to still be attached to her back, though they aren't flashing anymore and... you hadn't noticed, but she's awfully short. The figure nods vigorously, looking very pleased with herself.

“A game? The whole thing was a prank?”

The jacketed woman answers you again. “Um... mostly. You did something in the middle that kinda caught us off guard, but the idea was to scare you, you know? We made it!”

“Something in the middle? You mean when I-”

“Now, now, don't bring that up.”

“But-” The woman's expression turns serious, suddenly shooting a threateningly stern gaze at you. It's probably better not to mention it, then.

You try and start again. “What now?”

The smaller figure cuts in. “Oh, I know, I know! There are lots of games we can play, lots! We've got lots of time, too!” You have a sinking feeling about this, but don't say anything about it yet. The woman in the jacket lowers her hand to help you up, but you swat it out of the way and proceed to get onto your feet yourself. The woman holds her hand and pouts, as if upset, but you can tell she's really just playing.

“Geez, you really are a meanie!”

---
>> No. 39690
You're standing in a large hallway, facing a man wearing a black shirt and jeans who's leaning on the wall. He's looking at you as if he's waiting for you to say something, but you can tell he's got a few things on the tip of his tongue.

“...Huh?” You don't know what's going on, and it probably won't be good if you pretend you do.

“Oh, it's nothing that will take up too much of your time. I just want to have a talk with you.”

“Why? Wait, who are you?”

“The name's Martin Freeland. We've met before, but you're not supposed to know me.”

What?

“Um... okay. Why?”

“There are a few things that you need to know. It's about... why you're here.”

This seems interesting. Wait, there's something beforehand. You reach into your pocket to get your notes out, but he raises his hand and talks again before you finish. “Don't bother. You're in the Scarlet Devil Mansion, a mansion belonging to a vampire by the name of Remilia Scarlet. The building is in a region called Gensokyo, which has been separated from the rest of the world by a sort of preternatural border.” For some reason, none of what he says comes as a surprise, and even though it sounds impossible it seems plausible somehow.

“Now, do you know why you got here?”

“No. I don't even know how I got here.”

“That was by chance.” That's all? Doesn't that contradict what he said? “But there's more to it. This time I won't bother to ask. There are several things in this mansion that drew you into it, and perhaps the most important of them is the mistress of the mansion herself.

“The mistress has an... ability, I'll call it. She has the ability to manipulate what's known as fate, and though one can interpret just how it operates several ways it's generally understood to allow her to see and control how events turn out. The second is Miss Scarlet's little sister, who lives in the basement of this very same mansion.” This, in contrast, is very surprising compared to what he just told you.

He goes on. “Suffice to say she's extremely dangerous, and is being kept there because of her instability. Now, if the mistress has the ability to manipulate her sister's fate, why can't she do it so that her sister becomes less dangerous, and can finally go outside? You'd think it would be better for her. But why doesn't she if she can?”

He seems to be waiting for you to say something. “I don't know.”

“It's more complicated than just that. To use some... old ideas, think of it as something like a clock.”

“A clock.”

“Things as a whole. Like movements in clockwork, one event, a cause, leads inexorably to another, which is the effect or consequence. And much like a clock, the key to make something one wants happen is to line up a set of causes that would lead to that result.”

You nod, but you're not sure you get it.

“In this case- in hindsight, specifically- her sister needs some external influence that would help her in this regard. But how could she find it?” He takes a moment, then breathes deeply and continues. “There were lots of possibilities, but what ultimately happened was to that she drew in outsiders with an... affinity for magic, or perhaps ones who had come into contact with it. A few made it past the border thanks to this pull, and some then came to the mansion, but none of them seemed to help. Up to a point.”

“What do you mean by that?” Thankfully, he's being rather clear, but every now and then he says something strange.

“One that could help appeared.”

“With the whole stability issue?”

“Not directly, no. But he had a name.”

“Whose?”

The man grins before continuing. “Sam... may I call you Sam?”

“Sure, whatever.”

“Sam, you are far too intelligent for me to have to tell you that.”

Realization quickly dawns on you. “But how could I-”

“No need for me to tell you anything else for now, Sam. Like I said last time we met, I'll tell you things that you need to know- but remember, it's as you need to know them. And... oh, I almost forgot. Here's a little something that you might be able to make some use of.” The figure walks over behind you, picking up an old-fashioned looking glass that was leaning against the side of the hall and presenting it to you. “This was found in the mansion recently and no one knows where it came from; do note, I do mean no one. I don't either. Thought it would look good on your wall.” You take it, looking it over. Doesn't look like it's too far out of the ordinary, but you get a strange feeling about it. “And that, as is said, is that. Do take care, Sam; remember that one should be careful regarding who they trust.” The man turns and walks off, giving you a wave as he goes. You call after him a few times but he doesn't answer, disappearing behind a door after a few moments.

You look down at the looking glass in your arms, and then take a look around. What now?

[ ] Walk in the direction this Freeland used to leave, see what you find.
[ ] Tinker with the glass, see if it does anything (pick a color).
[ ] Try to go outside.
[ ] Wander around, see what you find.
>> No. 39694
[x] Tinker with the glass, see if it does anything (Red).

Glad to see this is back.
>> No. 39867
Bumping up so I'm not the only voter. Plenty of people read /sdm/ dammit.
>> No. 39870
[X] Tinker with the glass, see if it does anything (pink).
>> No. 39917
[x] Walk in the direction this Freeland used to leave, see what you find.

Perhaps we'll find a swift and painful death!