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File 124826247891.jpg - (326.51KB , 1209x1740 , kazuki.jpg ) [iqdb]
30613 No. 30613
The air tonight is colder than I thought it would be, and that's just the way I like it.

I know she's underestimating me; I'm doing this to prove a point.

She flies closer to the hill. I still don't move, quietly eyeing her as she makes a show of her power. The wind gusts, ringing in my ears, the sheer force almost enough to blow me away. Almost.

She continues to draw closer, taking her time. I imagine she's practiced this sort of thing; intimidation and mind games. Two can play at that game. She raises her arms and energy cascades between them; and with that she launches an overwhelming burst of danmaku. The air ripples around it as it falls upon me.

Change.

The surge of power becomes nothing as it breaks on me like a wave, a single massive blast scattered into countless insignificant ones. It tingles on my skin like a spring rain as the harmless nimbus blows past.

I stopped wondering if fairy can become youkai a long time ago. I don't doubt everyone started the way I did. Instead I focus on the task at hand. Without stopping to see if she's surprised, I fan my wings behind me in a great wave and take to the air. The air roars in my ears as I go faster, and faster, and I wake up in my warm comfortable bed in the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

"Subconscious," I grumble aloud, "You're getting ahead of yourself."

It's been a week since I learned my power. Sitting up, I stretch my shoulders where my wings should be. They still haven't grown back yet. I think that's part of the dream thing. I miss flying. The other thing is that, apparently, dream-me is some form of superpower. I still don't know the first thing about my power. I think the anticipation and excitement is getting to me.

I've had that dream a couple times--it's a little bit different each night but it's generally about the same. I never get a good look at who I'm fighting. Sitting back, I rub my eyes and try to think. Most of the details are already fading away, but I can remember the wings clearly. My wings were...

[ ]



And here we go again. Many thanks go to Giddy for the fantastic drawing of Kazuki.

>> No. 30614
[X] Really strange. Big cylinders of...I want to say metal, but they were too light for that. Light and warm. And fast!

Motherfucking jetpack fairy.
>> No. 30615
>>30614
[X] Not that.
>> No. 30616
[ ] One of kind. Seven spike-like wings, each having a colour from the rainbow. They float behind my back in a hemisphere-like manner. When I'm on my fastest, all of them will turn white.
>> No. 30617
[X] Some bizarre mixture of flesh and machine, retractable chains that vibrate and float. In the wind, spread to their limits, they almost resemble a beetle's.
>> No. 30618
[X] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.
>> No. 30620
[X] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.
>> No. 30621
ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 30622
[x] Huge
>> No. 30629
[x] Perfectly normal fairy wings

Fuck this unique snowflake crap.
>> No. 30631
[x] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.

Genius vote is genius
>> No. 30632
>[X] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.

You know the end result is that Kazuki will grow a pair of dusty, almost immaterial wings, right?

Huh.

[X] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.

Something like, maybe Flan already destroyed his wings so thoroughly with her ability that this is the best Kazuki's body can do to cope? He'll still be able to fly, but his wings will always be a reminder of what happened.
>> No. 30633
[x] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.
>> No. 30634
>>30632

Badass.

[X] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.
>> No. 30635
[X] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.
>> No. 30636
File 12482867011.jpg - (62.52KB , 238x238 , yuukawhat.jpg ) [iqdb]
30636
{X} Perfectly normal fairy wings.
>> No. 30637
[x] Perfectly normal fairy wings
>> No. 30638
[x] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.
>> No. 30639
[x] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.
>> No. 30640
File 124829413229.jpg - (105.17KB , 661x854 , b2wingu.jpg ) [iqdb]
30640
GODDAMNIT of all the times to lose what shitty internet I have.
[x] Image
>> No. 30642
>>30640
[X] Not that either.
>> No. 30643
[X] normal fairy wangs
>> No. 30644
File 124831022287.jpg - (109.34KB , 576x396 , Icanseeforever.jpg ) [iqdb]
30644
Haha, oh wow. Kansas Fairy it is.

>[X] Dust in the wind. All they are is dust in the wind.

...Dust. They seemed formless and void, but with each movement they caught dust from the air like dew on a spider web. And with longer sweeps, glowing particles spiraled through them like the stuff of galaxies. Their length fluctuated with the intensity of their motion, spreading farther as they moved.

With a sigh I feel where my wings should be again. I hope they grow back soon. I test my knee before sliding out of the bed. I'd thought when I finally kicked the bucket it would get better, but no such luck. Oh well.

...Oh! Today is the day I vowed to get started on learning about my power, and how to fight. And more importantly, I still don't know exactly how I want to do that. I've been thinking about my options.

[ ] I can try and ask Patchouli to teach me magic.
[ ] I can do some research on how other fairies got strong.
[ ] Remilia has been around a long time. Maybe she can help me find a tutor.
[ ] I can start from the bottom with what I know already and go pester weak youkai or the like.
[ ] I could ask Reimu to teach me about the Spellcard System.
[ ] I could try to learn danmaku, plain and simple.
[ ] I've heard that there are magical items and things that I could use. I could go take a trip to that human village and look around.
[ ] Meiling can teach me martial arts.
[ ] Actually, forget fighting. I'll get really, really good at evading
[ ] Other
>> No. 30645
[ ] Meiling can teach me martial arts.
>> No. 30647
[ze] I can try to ask Marisa to teach me magic.

She owes us big time, right? And if she has the freakin' Kusanagi lying around she probably has other magical items and things we can use...
>> No. 30648
[X] I can do some research on how other fairies got strong.
>> No. 30649
[ ] Meiling can teach me martial arts.
>> No. 30650
{X} I can try to ask Marisa to teach me magic.
>> No. 30651
[x] Meiling can teach me martial arts.
>> No. 30652
{X} I can try to ask Marisa to teach me magic.
I Like this, but if marisa is no go, patchouli is good too
>> No. 30653
[x] Meiling can teach me martial arts.
>> No. 30654
[ze] Actually, forget fighting. I'll get really, really good at evading.

>>30647
Stop using that, dammit.
>> No. 30655
[x] Meiling can teach me martial arts.
>> No. 30656
[x] I can try to ask Marisa to teach me magic.

This should be fun.
>> No. 30657
[x] Actually, forget fighting. I'll get really, really good at evading.

Not a style that I'd stick with, but a good place to start. Speed is far more valuable than strength.
>> No. 30658
[X] Meiling can teach me martial arts.
>> No. 30659
[x] Actually, forget fighting. I'll get really, really good at evading.
>> No. 30686
>[ ] I can try and ask Patchouli to teach me magic.

Sounds boring. Patch and fairies go together like water and oil.

>[ ] I can do some research on how other fairies got strong.

This could be interesting. The fairy trio, Cirno, and Daiyousei definitely could deserve some play in this story. Likely they improved by doing.

>[ ] Remilia has been around a long time. Maybe she can help me find a tutor.

Just one of the other residents. Or Flandre.

>[ ] I can start from the bottom with what I know already and go pester weak youkai or the like.

Bleh. We'll get better at danmaku at best.

>[ ] I could ask Reimu to teach me about the Spellcard System.

We should learn to danmaku before attempting that.

>[ ] I could try to learn danmaku, plain and simple.

Except we hate danmaku.

>[ ] I've heard that there are magical items and things that I could use. I could go take a trip to that human village and look around.

This is how humans get better at doing things. Constant change. Plus I'd like to see how villagers react to a fairy that's not as dumb as a box of hammers.

>[ ] Meiling can teach me martial arts.

We should continue this, if only to have something reliable to fall back on, since we're probably not going to learn danmaku.

>[ ] Actually, forget fighting. I'll get really, really good at evading

It goes against our idiom. We are Change. Evasion or any other form of inviolability is the prevention of change. Yeah, you might get good at it, like most fairies are of running away, but you'll never reach Touhou-level evasion--you won't be getting Reimu's smaller hitbox.

[x] I can try to ask Marisa to teach me transmutation magic. An 'ordinary witch' should be able to turn people into toads, right?

Transmutation, which is the magic of change. Relies on experimentation more than book study, and she conducts a lot of them. Marisa also does a lot of her own compounding for magic sources and experiments, which itself more dynamic than relying on one's innate magic stores. Finally, expedience: Marisa, with some instruction but a lot of hard work and guts, has come to rival beings hundreds or even thousands of years older in the course of less than two decades.
>> No. 30687
[X] Meiling can teach me martial arts.

>>30686
>The fairy trio, Cirno, and Daiyousei
ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 30691
Sorry about the delays, folks. More stuff happening and things occurring. With anything resembling luck there should be a fairly sizable update soon. Again, thanks for reading.
>> No. 30710
File 124871309347.jpg - (51.60KB , 851x480 , Muck You Too.jpg ) [iqdb]
30710
>[X] I can try and ask Patc^H^H^H^HMarisa to teach me magic.
>[X] Meiling can teach me martial arts.

The image of throwing an opponent three times my size over a shoulder competes fiercely with the image of me slinging spells and setting other people on fire for a solid minute, and I honestly can't decide which I like more. So I'll do both. I bet I could find a way to combine them. Time to get started.

I haven't spoken to Patchouli since I moved in (read: Gathered the books I've deposited here and there at my hidey-holes around the lake), but Remilia assured me she would try and speak to her on my behalf. Guess I'm about to find out.

I make my way back to the library, giving a few friendly nods to the maids I pass. In the time they've had, they've done a great job fixing the place up. When I reach the library door I brace myself--everyone has warned me that Patchouli takes some getting to know even for them. And I have my own experience on top of that.

There's a little brass bell on the inside of the door. You're supposed to announce yourself with it. Talk about finicky. The bell is also human height. I'm not. Oh dear. One bell. Fairly only. No wings. Final Destination.

Ring!

Ringring!

Ringringringringringring!

"Once was quite enough, thank you," remarks the librarian from entirely too nearby.

Thump. Ow.

"I was stuck. It's not my fault you're all six-foot-giraffe."

She raises an eyebrow as I pick myself up. "Quite. So then what do you want? I'm aware you've been offered a home here, but this is still my library."

"Well, actually I came to see you. I wanted to ask if you could teach me to use magic."

She eyes me severely. "You wouldn't be the first fairy with that idea. Even assuming you can learn, you would have to demonstrate the ethic to commit. Magic is not for dabblers."

Well, she didn't outright refuse, that's something. And I can't help but note she seems entirely willing to teach. Or at least not at all opposed. Maybe she's not all bad after all.

"Magic is a vast, complicated field of ability," Patchouli goes on. "I specialize in traditional elemental magic--wood, fire, earth, metal, water, as well as the celestial bodies. Their interactions, conflicts, and combinations provide infinite adaptability and application. While not for everyone, its versatility does the trick for me." Well okay, that sounds fairly...

"If you are going to learn under me you will need to be formally introduced. I am Patchouli Knowledge, and this is my library, Voile. This place is my home, and that of my familiar, Koakuma." Wait...

"A familiar? Does that fall into the element magic?" I'm trying to figure this out. I honestly never really thought about it, but now I'm curious.

"Not as such--while the elemental system is my specialty it is not the only discipline I am acquainted with, and a great many fundamentals are shared between them."

"So what exactly is a familiar?"

"A familiar is a magical being, summoned or empowered and producing a symbiotic link with their master. They are bonded both physically and spiritually. The familiar is imbued with magic and in turn provides some boon. They are...unique, with a relationship closer than family, that ca...what?"

Don't say it. Don't say it. Don't say it.

"So it sounds like you've been getting very 'familiar' with Koakuma, then."



"You know, Kazuki," Koakuma says as she combs the last of the soot out of my hair, "for someone who hates being set on fire so much you sure seem to go out of your way to provoke it."

"Totally worth it. She was just...going on about it and it sort of popped into my head and I couldn't stop snickering."

"Worth it or no," she says with a grin, "I don't think I'm going to be able to calm her down for a while."

"So now would be a bad time to ask if I can borrow some books?" I ask, completely straight-faced. She cracks and giggles.

"Yes, now would be a bad time. I think getting her to teach you magic is right out, though I'm sure you knew that."

"That's okay. I was actually thinking of asking that Marisa girl."

"That may be a good idea. Reimu's visiting today. You can ask her where she lives."

"She is? Great!"

[ ] Go see Reimu straightaway
[ ] Talk to Meiling about those martial arts lessons first.
[ ] Other
>> No. 30711
{X} Go see Reimu straightaway
>> No. 30712
[X] Talk to Meiling about those sleeping martial arts lessons first.
>> No. 30713
[x] Go see Reimu straightaway
>> No. 30714
[Q] Go see Reimu straightaway

Whynot?
>> No. 30715
[X] Talk to Meiling about those martial arts lessons first.
>> No. 30716
[x] Go see Reimu straightaway
>> No. 30717
[x] Go see Reimu straightaway

Meiling will still be there later. And always.
>> No. 30718
[ze] Talk to Meiling about those martial arts lessons first.

Meiling is superior.
>> No. 30719
[x] Go see Reimu straightaway

We're a busy fairy on a busy schedule
>> No. 30732
[x] Go see Reimu straightaway.

Asking Meiling shouldn't be that hard afterwards. Reimu visiting isn't a common occurrence.

>>30686
But I think it might be a bit too presumpous to assume that Kazuki'd hate Danmaku that badly. Since it's not as if he has a irrational hatred for Reimu who was the one who shot at him.

That and Danmaku is a type of magic; and if Kazuki hated it so much it wouldn't even be an option.

And I think Remilia has a set of spell card rules somewhere.

And Marisa and Meiling could easily teach him it. (Since danmaku's never a main area of study but a side area to many)
>> No. 30735
File 12489570586.jpg - (243.04KB , 600x600 , Red-whites.jpg ) [iqdb]
30735
>[X] Go see Reimu straightaway

Meiling will be there. Reimu may live a long way away--at least from the far side of the lake, maybe even more.


"So she's seeing Remi, I'd guess?" She nods. "Best get a move on, then. Thanks, Koakuma."

"Any time," she replies as she helps me off the chair.

"Really? Because I was thinking of going in and mixing up Patchouli's card catalogue..."

She laughs. "Okay, not any time. Shoo."

It's still only late morning, so Reimu probably won't be leaving for a little while. Still, I hustle out to an upstairs window to get a good look, and like I thought, they're down in a garden. I've got my leg halfway out the window pane before it hits me. Oh right. No wings. Dammit.

Well you try remembering it after having them for a few hundred years. ...Oh, Reimu's seen me. She waves. Sheepishly I return the favor, and then pull myself inside and make my way downstairs. She meets me at the door outside, grinning.

"Forgot that y--"

"Yes. Shut up." She pats me on the head and leads me back to where Remilia is sitting, Sakuya shading her from the daylight with that fancy parasol.

"Good morning, Kazuki. How did you sleep?" The lady stirs her tea as Sakuya gives another one of her little bows.

"On my stomach. Good, I slept fine. Finally getting used to having a bed."

"I am glad you like it. Please, have a seat." I pull up a chair beside Reimu, who's already splayed over one herself.

"Tea?" The head maid is already holding the kettle in her other hand.

"No thanks. Though I wouldn't mind an apple." I'm not that hungry, I just wanted an excuse to see her do that thing again, and--there. Apple, sliced into eights and neatly arranged on a plate. With a nod of thanks I grab one.

"Oh, that reminds me." Reimu sits up and reaches into a pocket. "I got this for you--or, well, Marisa made it, my idea." She hands me an envelope. Curious, I open it and read.


...


...


"..."

"Formal Declaration of Apology for Setting you on Fire."

"It's notarized."

"Yep."

"Is there even a notary within a hundred miles?"

She just grins. Remilia chuckles.

"I'm getting this framed. Oh, speaking of Marisa--I wanted to ask, Reimu, where does she live? I want to learn how to use magic from her."

Remilia, mercifully, remains silent about my conflicts with Patchouli.

"Marisa lives in a forest a good ways away...It's on the other side from my shrine. It's not too far, but there's forest between here and there, and then more on the other side where she lives. Not too many youkai, but..."

"...But between losing my wings and not really knowing how to fight I'll probably want to go with you, yeah."

"Well, I only just got here. If you don't mind waiting, I want to hang out a bit more."

"Sure."

"If you want, though, there's a fairly well-kept path to a human village you could reach. I could meet you there later. Whenever we go, I could also take you by the shrine for a while, since it's on the way."

[ ] That sounds great. I'll go look around and you can come find me!
[ ] I want to get going. I'll risk the youkai.
[ ] Actually, I'm okay with staying with the two of you here.
[ ] I can wait a while. While I'm here I can go _________
[ ] The shrine sounds fun.
[ ] Priorities. When we go let's go straight to Marisa's.
[ ] Other
>> No. 30736
[X] I can wait a while. While I'm here I can go talk to Meiling about those martial arts lessons.
>> No. 30738
[X] I can wait a while. While I'm here I can go talk to Meiling about those martial arts lessons.
>> No. 30739
[x] I can wait a while. While I'm here I can go see Meiling. Gotta toughen up so you can make the trip on your own someday.
[x] The shrine sounds fun. Have you been there before?

Hoping for a Mima random encounter.
>> No. 30742
[X] I can wait a while. While I'm here I can go talk to Meiling about those martial arts lessons.
>> No. 30743
[X] I can wait a while. While I'm here I can go talk to Meiling about those martial arts lessons.
>> No. 30745
[x] I can wait a while. While I'm here I can go see Meiling. Gotta toughen up so you can make the trip on your own someday.
[x] The shrine sounds fun. Have you been there before?
>> No. 30747
File 124898984835.jpg - (115.30KB , 520x738 , MeilingSensei.jpg ) [iqdb]
30747
>[X] I can wait a while. While I'm here I can go talk to Meiling about those martial arts lessons.

"Okay, I had something I wanted to do anyway. Maybe we can see your shrine, I dunno yet. If you need me I'll be at the front gate!" With that I'm off.

Meiling looks a lot better, though the gate is still not entirely fixed. I guess it's really more for show than anything. Well, until last week. She's balancing on one foot on one of the gateposts, eyes closed.

"Hello, Kazuki!" She hops down and gives me a big smile.

"Hey. What were you doing up there?"

"Sleeping." Okay. I won't ask.

"Hey, I wanted to ask. Could you teach me to fight?"

"I've been teaching you to fight since we first met." Huh?

"Let me show you. Go into one of your Tai Chi routines. But do it faster."

I start from a bow and sweep out my leg, half crescent, then extend my arm...

"Faster."

..Quickly bring the other to my hip and slide my other leg forward, then lash out...

"Faster."

Half-circle turn, bring my arm across to the opposite shoulder and repeat the motion. Soon it all blends together and I finally understand.

"Good form." Meiling says as I come to the end of the move. "I knew one day you'd want me to teach you more, so I got you started with the basics. And you've already mastered them. Balance, stance, movement, everything you really need to learn any form." I feel a slow grin spreading as she crouches and pats my shoulder.

"Given your size and relative strength, I would suggest you learn a defensive art. I think you should try Shaolin. But I know a great many styles and I can teach you any of them--or more than one. But we'll start with just one."

I nod. "I'll be leaving with Reimu soon anyway..."

"That's okay, I don't want you to start right away. Keep practicing the Tai Chi I've already taught you at faster speed. Think about what style you'd like to learn."

With that we fall into practicing together, and I marvel at how martial the art really is here.

I've thought about it. I think I want to learn...

[ ] Shaolin, like she suggested.
[ ] Actually, I'm not sure yet.
[ ] Other

Note: Your author used to do some martial arts, particularly Shaolin, but is by no means any more than an interested dabbler. Don't expect great realism if you vote for something I'm unfamiliar with. That said, pick something you like, I can always wiki the basics.
>> No. 30748
[X] Hokuto Shinken

Obligatory.
>> No. 30750
[x] Sambo
Redirection, Blocking, Countering, changing attacks into openings.
>> No. 30752
[X] Aikido, Aikijutsu, Ba Gua. Whichever one's good.

Small size, defensive art? Aikido is perfect for Kazuki. It's completely defensive, it uses the attacker's own energy in combination with one's ki to throw them off-balance and render them harmless (while refraining from harming them), and fits with the theme of being an element of change, seeing as you're manipulating the direction of energies.
>> No. 30753
>>30752

Would it be any use in an air fight though? I wouldn't think that grappling moves would be very useful if you ever had to fight in mid-air.
>> No. 30754
>>30753
If your opponent is in the air and fighting with melee, at least in this context, she is either A: Stupid, or B: Meiling. That's what the magic is for.
>> No. 30755
>>30749
>>30751

You guys realize that "kungfu" (or "wushu," since we are talking with China herself) is a generic term used to describe martial arts, right? It's not a style.

[X] Aikido, Aikijutsu, Ba Gua. Whichever one's good.
>> No. 30756
[ ] Shaolin, like she suggested.
>> No. 30757
[X] Jeet Kune Do.
>> No. 30758
i suggest a combination of two...

[x] Insult fighting (a'la Monkey Island)
[x] Ti Kwan Leep (faux martial art comprising of only one move - Boot To The Head)

It can only end well.
>> No. 30759
[x] Shaolin, like she suggested.
>> No. 30760
[Q] Aikido, Aikijutsu, Ba Gua. Whichever one's good.
>> No. 30761
[x] Shaolin, like she suggested.
>> No. 30762
[x] Shaolin, like she suggested.
>> No. 30763
>>30748

I doubt Meiling knows that... maybe EX Meiling perhaps.

[X] Shaolin, like she suggested.

It's a good start.
>> No. 30764
[X] Shaolin, like she suggested.

Shaolin Fairy.
>> No. 30765
[ze] Aikido
Kazuki Murphy
>> No. 30767
[x] Shaolin, like she suggested.

No capoeira?
>> No. 30768
File 124904440117.jpg - (513.94KB , 1000x750 , Strongest.jpg ) [iqdb]
30768
>[X] Shaolin, like she suggested.

"You'd know best," I decide. "Let's start with Shaolin."

"Great!" She beams. "Shaolin is the 'art of the circle.' It's all about redirection, blocking, and countering. You won't really do a lot of hitting first, but you won't need to. Anyone who thinks they'll catch you up close is in for a surprise." That sounds good. A lot of youkai I've run into prefer to be up close and personal.

We keep working on the Tai Chi, and she breaks down what she's taught me again to fundamentals, pointing out which I'll be using more, which movements are important. I have to applaud her cleverness in how she taught me. I'm lucky to have her.

It's probably been an hour when Meiling suddenly stands up and looks into the distance.

"Oh, dear."

"What? What is it?"

"An intruder. I'm sorry, Kazuki, I'm going to have to take care of this."

"No, I under...wait. Is that?" Oh for--

It's Cirno.

"No, let me try and handle it. I've dealt with her before."

She frowns. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah. It's not like you can't take her if she won't change her mind."


She's still a ways off, so I start walking out from the gate. I throw her an exaggerated wave to make sure she sees me, and sure enough, her altitude drops, and the temperature with it.

"Oh," she says, "It's you."

"Yep. Where's Dai today?"

Cirno flutters over the ground rather than landing. "She didn't wanna come."

Of course I know the answer, but the trick to dealing with Cirno is to play along.

"She didn't? How come?"

"'cause I'm gonna go through that gate while it's broke and you don't have any wings."

"...What?"

She points. "Your wings."

Augh. She noticed. I try to ignore her fluttering around behind me looking at my back while I think of how I can try to keep her out of trouble. "I...got in a fight."

[ ] "A big, nasty fight! The people in that mansion are super-strong!"
[ ] "That mansion's boring. You don't wanna bother."
[ ] Try and tick her off. Distract her. Better you than anyone else.
[ ] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
[ ] Other
>> No. 30769
[x] Tell her Reimu and marisa beat you up. And since Cirno is so big and strong and awesome, would she go get revenge for you and all the other fairies Reimu and Marisa beat up?

Because the best way to deal with a problem is to make it someone elses problem.
>> No. 30770
[x] Tell her Reimu and marisa beat you up. And since Cirno is so big and strong and awesome, would she go get revenge for you and all the other fairies Reimu and Marisa beat up?

Brilliant.
>> No. 30771
ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 30772
[X] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
>> No. 30773
[X] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
>> No. 30774
[x] Tell her Reimu and marisa beat you up. And since Cirno is so big and strong and awesome, would she go get revenge for you and all the other fairies Reimu and Marisa beat up?
>> No. 30775
{X} Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
>> No. 30776
[X] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
>> No. 30777
[x] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
>> No. 30778
[Q] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
>> No. 30779
[x] Punch her in the -face-.
>> No. 30781
[X] Mansion is boring option

I think this might dissuade her the best since she wouldn't bother with a boring place, and if you said people there are super strong, that'd just egg her on into attacking.
>> No. 30784
[X] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.


Distract and redirect her motivation to something else!

Will the strongest help a fellow fairy to the human village? Or will she ignore him in pursuit of... whatever?
>> No. 30787
[X] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
>> No. 30788
[z] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.
[e] If all else fails, point out that your wings didn't come back after reincarnation when you were in a fight with somebody in the mansion, and then to think for a moment what that would mean if that same person used that power on Cirno herself.

Something like that.
>> No. 30790
>>30788
If you somehow imply that Cirno might lose, you'll only make her that much mroe determined. The "please escort me to the village, since you're so much more powerful than me" will probably work better. It strokes her ego.
>> No. 30798
Wait, why would we go to the human village?

>If you need me I'll be at the front gate!" With that I'm off.
>> No. 30811
Ffffffffff...

So yeah, a bad week which made writing next to impossible gave way to a hardware failure on my computer that sealed the deal.

TL;DR watch this spot, hopefully I can have things running again in short order.
>> No. 30828
File 124980251066.jpg - (107.77KB , 600x800 , AM NOT.jpg ) [iqdb]
30828
Delays, delays...

>[X] Just keep talking, maybe she'll lose her train of thought.

This is going to be tricky. Cirno's stubborn. If I just tell her not to go, she's sure to. On the other hand, I can try to distract her, but if Reimu shows up while I'm fast-talking her, there's gonna be another scrap.

"Yeah, a fight--quit poking me, they're gone." She's not gonna listen. Sigh. "Forget it. Look, the fight wasn't something--It wasn't like normal."

"Well maybe that's because you can't do danmaku," she says, tugging the back of my shirt collar and looking down my back. I know she's not trying to get me angry...probably, but she's starting to get to me.

"Even still, though. But hey, speaking of, I--ow--was gonna ask you about yours."

She stops poking and prodding. For about a second. "Mine? I make ice and then I shoot it." Fluttering over me, Cirno drums her fingers on the top of my head while she thinks. If that's what you can call it.

"No, I got that, I mean, how do you make the ice and make it fly?" I figure if I'm keeping her busy I might as well ask something I'd meant to anyway. I duck to one side in reaction to her tapping, another step further away from the mansion.

"I dunno, I just want it to happen and I do it." She scratches her head.

"Can you teac--Can you show me?" Aside from being on the receiving end during a couple spats, I've never really seen Cirno in action.

I hear the air snap and crackle as water condenses around the rapidly growing icicle. It wavers in the air a moment before shattering against a nearby tree at high speed.

"Wow, impressive." I mean that, too. It was coo--neat to see. "And when you freeze things?"

"Sure." I can tell she's feeling proud. I watch intently as the ice still lingering on the tree begins to grow outward and stretch across the trunk, producing an icy shell. As it spreads farther I can see the exertion on Cirno's face, brows furrowed and chewing her lip.

"So you've got power over ice. How do you do it?"

She gives me a look. "I really don't understand what you're saying. I just want it and it happens."

Man, this isn't helping. "Well... I just recently learned my power, and, um. I really don't know how to use it yet."

"Ooooooh?" There's a terse moment of silence. ...And then she starts laughing.

"You can't use your power! You can't use your power, you can't do danmaku, and now you you can't even fly!" She slaps my back where my wings should be. "You can't do anything! You're like, the worst fairy ever!"

She is really, really starting to get to me.

[ ] I'm more mature than her, I can act like it. Let it go.
[ ] See how much you like it when I do it!
[ ] Forget this. Let her do what she wants.
[ ] Other
>> No. 30829
File 124982503455.png - (10.55KB , 262x389 , falcon.png ) [iqdb]
30829
[X] See how much you like it when I do it!

GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE
>> No. 30832
[X ] I'm more mature than her, I can act like it. Let it go.

Don't sink to her level, you unlike her actually gotten Reimu to APOLOGIZE. (quite a feat for another Touhou character)

And in time you will be the strongest.
>> No. 30833
[X ] I'm more mature than her, I can act like it. Let it go.
>> No. 30834
[X ] I'm more mature than her, I can act like it. Let it go.
>> No. 30835
{X} I'm more mature than her, I can act like it. Let it go.
>> No. 30836
[x] See how much you like it when I do it!

He marched after Reimu when she lit him up with danmaku like he was Nemesis incarnate. I don't think this is the kind of slight he'd take sitting down.

Besides, the thought of the Fairy pulling on Cirno's cheeks and making her say 'uncle' is amusing.
>> No. 30837
[x] See how much you like it when I do it!

Fairy rage building in 3..2..1..
>> No. 30838
>>30836

Reimu's a human, Cirno's something of an overpowered brat among fairies. Retaliating would be sinking to her level.

And I doubt Reimu would be inclined to apologize to bratty fairies.
>> No. 30840
>>30838
On the other hand, the protagonist is getting mocked for losing the use of one of his basic (for a fairy) bodily functions.
It's like rolling a guy without arms down a hill only not as horrible(ly funny).
>> No. 30841
[X] I'm more mature than her, I can act like it. Let it go.
>> No. 30842
[ze] I'm more mature than her, I can act like it. Let it go.
>> No. 30843
[X] See how much you like it when I do it!
>> No. 30845
File 124987626928.jpg - (71.85KB , 400x600 , Dream of Kings.jpg ) [iqdb]
30845
>[X] I'm more mature than her, I can act like it. Let it go. `

Deep breaths. You're trying to keep her out of trouble, because she sure can't do it herself. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone, especially Cirno, Kazuki. Okay.

I raise my hand and... pat her on the head. It feels pleasantly cool and helps the last of the heat in my cheeks ebb away.

"That's a matter of opinion." I feel better now. I know she doesn't know any better. She doesn't mean any harm.

She slowly stops laughing and peers intensely at me. "...I'm making fun of you."

"I know." I keep ruffling her hair. This is way more therapeutic than it has any right to be.

"You're really weird, Kazuki." She slowly touches down, finally.

"Yep." Disarmed her with that--I think she likes the hair thing. "C'mon. I want you to meet someone."

Meiling--or That Gate Guard, according to Cirno, waves at us as we head back. Cirno starts for the gate, but I carefully explain to her that since I'm not as strong as she is I need to learn from her. And, like I told her, "Who better to help me than the greatest fairy on Scarlet Lake?" She rather liked that. Meiling gives me a knowing smile. I found my sparring partner.


A few hours of falls and trips and steps later finds the two of us resting against the wall, panting. Even Meiling looks a little tired. I'm exhausted, but I've at least done this for a long time. Cirno's totally out of it. Mumbling something about 'only weird fairies here' and 'nothing worth it in there anyway,' she curls up and slowly lets her head fall into Meiling's lap. Her eyelids droop, and a few seconds later and she's asleep.

We sit side by side in content silence, resting. I'm not sure how long, but I don't really care. I'm proud of me. And very sleepy, now. I let myself drift off for a little nap...


I'm gently shaken awake. I don't think it's been too long, but the sun is just starting to take an orange hue as it sets. Reimu puts a finger to her lips and gently picks me up, careful not to wake Cirno. She looks a lot cuter when she's sleeping. Or less ready to raise hell, anyway.

"That looks very comfortable," Reimu whispers to Meiling. She hasn't moved from when I went to sleep, resting with her arms folded, eyes closed.

"She's nice and cool," she replies. I nod.

"Meiling, can you ask her to tell Daiyousei I said hello?" She nods. "Thanks. See you soon."

With a little adjustment, I'm more-or-less comfortable resting on Reimu's back. I don't weigh much but I'm sure flying with a passenger will slow her down. Still, she doesn't complain as she takes to the air. I instinctively lower my head a little to avoid drag. I miss my wings.

"That was a smart trick," she says once we're on our way. "Tiring her out like that."

"With Cirno it's just a matter of letting her have her way. She's a pain but I have to admit, in my own way I'm fond of her." It's true. Even if I want to throttle her sometimes.

"Think she's going to remember any of those lessons today?"

I laugh. "Hell no."

The lake glimmers beneath us as the shadows stretch in the setting sun. Soon, we're past it and the stars are out. I see the human village I visit from higher than I usually fly. The lights are very pretty from up here.

"So," Reimu asks, "you look pretty tired still. Do you want to stay at my shrine, or go right to Marisa's tonight?"

[ ] I'm all worn out. Let's see her in the morning.
[ ] I'm not that tired. I'll get a second wind, let's go to Marisa's.
[ ] Other
>> No. 30846
[X] I'm all worn out. Let's see her in the morning. (With possibility of something happening on the way to bed.)
>> No. 30847
File 124988384256.jpg - (28.56KB , 400x590 , abide.jpg ) [iqdb]
30847
>"That's a matter of opinion." I feel better now. I know she doesn't know any better. She doesn't mean any harm.


[x] I'm all worn out. Let's see her in the morning.

Old Fairy needs his beauty sleep.
>> No. 30848
[x] I'm all worn out. Let's see her in the morning.
>> No. 30849
[x] I'm all worn out. Let's see her in the morning.
>> No. 30850
{X} I'm all worn out. Let's see her in the morning.
>> No. 30912
File 125025994981.jpg - (113.52KB , 800x635 , snooze button.jpg ) [iqdb]
30912
>[x] I'm all worn out. Let's see her in the morning.

There's no hiding my yawn. "Les'...lehs' stop at the shrine, yeah."

I can't see her face, but she sounds amused. "Alright. You can sleep, but if you drool on me I'm throwing you off."

"Over the lake?"

"No promises."

The rest of the trip doesn't take long. I keep myself awake by sticking my head out and getting a little breeze on my face. Her shrine isn't too far away from the lake, as it turns out--the forest, and then some fields. A thin ribbon of road snakes underneath us, stretching from below the forest's edge and onward out of sight. Reimu slowly draws closer to the ground, does that mean...?

Wait, up ahead. I can only just make out the gate. We're here.

It's...smaller than I expected. Situated atop a hill, a long stone stair runs to the gate. Beyond that is a--the--building. A well, the shrine proper, and in the distance, a small, still pond. Past that, yet another forest.

"Okay," Reimu says as she lands, "Off. I need to stretch." I clamber down unevenly onto the cool stones as she rubs her shoulders.

"It's nice and pretty."

"But smaller than you expected?" She gives me a knowing glance.

"...Yeah, actually. I mean, I figured if I'd heard of it it would be pretty big."

"I get that a lot. Let me go put on some tea."

The walk around the grounds doesn't take long. Sipping green tea, we look over the pond. Both of us suck at small talk. Reimu feeds a pet turtle.

"...So I guess I should get out an extra futon. And, do you want something to eat? I ate with Reimu, but..."

"No, I don't eat much. And, Reimu, until last week I slept on the ground outdoors. The floor mats will be fine."

"Oh, good. I hate having to go diving into the shed." ...Man, she's lazy.


It doesn't take me too long to fall asleep. I'm still adjusting to the bed at the Mansion, so the floor is sort of closer to what I'm used to. The nap I took was only just long enough to tire me out...

Is it someone new?

Huh?

Oh, this is a surprise.

What? Am I--

Yes.

Who are--

Tugging at the corner of my mind I can feel something--else. It's strange, a being of feelings and impulses, nothing I can grasp. A wry smile, a sharp tongue. Something clever, something shifty. It 'feels' feminine, and... old. It feels pensive. It feels... like it's studying me like a bug.

Lightning is the rapid release of electricity in the air.

What...?

Electricity moves from areas of positive charge to areas of negative charge.

Electricity? Positive, negative, wh--

Negative moves to positive. Positive moves to negative. Change the charge, and if there's enough electricity in the air...

CRACK! I hear the thunder in my mind, echoing and rolling through me. I feel this strange... I can't describe it. Like...anticipation. Like what I felt before Remilia spoke with me over dinner.

Storm clouds, where warm and cool air meet and mix. I can see it; cloud meets cloud and dances, and in them I see flickers of light--flickers of change. And suddenly I--

Could I...?

Negative to positive. Positive to negative. It's just like throwing a switch.

What are you...?

A little revolution, now and then, can be a good thing. Sleep, little fairy.



...Waugh! I bolt upright. I'm at the shrine. It's morning.

What was that...?

[ ] Go find Reimu. I wanna talk about it.
[ ] I need to think about that dream. What did it mean...?
[ ] Forget it, for now.
[ ] Other
>> No. 30914
File 125026097296.png - (124.85KB , 540x675 , your author is a moron.png ) [iqdb]
30914
>>30913
>She must be really talented if she can eat with herself.
This is why I shouldn't write tired. Remi. I meant Remi.
>> No. 30916
[Q] I need to think about that dream. What did it mean...?

Nice application of power. Lightning fairy~
>> No. 30917
[x] I need to think about that dream. What did it mean...?
>> No. 30918
[X] Go find Reimu. I wanna talk about it. Explain if needed that Remilia mentioned to you something about "change"

I wonder if this means we'd be running into Iku.
>> No. 30919
[x] I need to think about that dream. What did it mean...?
>> No. 30920
[x] I need to think about that dream. What did it mean...?
>> No. 30941
[x] I need to think about that dream. What did it mean...?
>> No. 30951
File 12504222971.jpg - (137.42KB , 1024x768 , make a splash.jpg ) [iqdb]
30951
>[X] I need to think about that dream. What did it mean...?

...I can tell Reimu later if I need to. Right now I just want to puzzle that whole thing out. It's not hard to sneak out onto the grounds. The grass is cool with dew and fog hovers over the pond. Kinda reminds me of home, Sitting at the edge, I gather up a couple of stones to skip while I think.

Plink-plink-plunk. Two skips.
Lightning is electricity, everyone knew that. But there's positive and negative lightning? There's positive and negative electricity? I... think I can do something with this. But I need to learn more. Might have to dare Voile again.

Plink-plink-plink-plunk. Three skips.
What's that feeling I keep having? I don't know how to phrase it. I definitely don't know how to explain it. It feels like there's a tightness in my chest and I have boundless energy, and I need to get up and run around. I feel nervous and excited and happy all at once, and there's this feeling in--in the air itself. Like something's gonna happen.

Plunk. That was a bad skip, there.
And what, exactly, was that voice? My subconscious again? For once I didn't have the dream again, and... the details are already fading. I don't remember seeing much of anything. Just that... voice. Thing. Was it someone else? I don't even know if I recognized the voice, I "felt" it more than heard it. Maybe I'm just crazy.

Plink-plink-plink-plink... wow, I think I cleared the pond with that one.
I look down at my hand. The stones feel prickly. My hand tingles. It's something about this place.

I watch the stones bounce and jink, one way, and then another, as they cut their way across the water. The ripples bloom, make little ripples of their own, and then settle again. I'm--getting that feeling again. I wonder.

Change... How do you use change? How do I make something change? Wanting it, Cirno said. The stones tingle even more. It almost hurts! But, wait, is it...?

I stand up. I toss the stone up and down a few times, watching it trace a little arc in the air. I wind up... toss. My throw's not bad, but I've done better.

Skipping a stone needs a good, smooth, flat rock. You need to throw it just so, and then it'll bounce off the surface of the water instead of sinking. The trick's in the throw, and the trajectory.

Plink!

It bounces left.

Plink!

It bounces right.

Plink!

It's slowing down. On the next skip it's going to--

There, now! Now! Change! Change!

Change!

...



Plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink...

"If you hit Genji, you're a dead fairy." Wagh! Reimu startles me--and the stone finally drops and sinks into the pond. "...What were you doing?"

"Perpetual skipping stone."

"I see. Truly, you have become power incarnate."

"Hey, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single skip." I punctuate my sentence by hucking another stone and starting another endless circuit around the pond. "But really, this is the first thing I've been able to figure out how to do. When it hits the water I can redirect it and it keeps going."

"That's actually neat," she says as she sits next to me. "I think it's enough to work with to get you some spellcards. Marisa will probably tell you a bit about 'em. She uses them herself. Want some breakfast?"

[ ] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
[ ] I'm too excited to sit. Let's just go to Marisa's!
[ ] Hold on, didn't she make the spellcard system? Who better to explain?
[ ] Other
>> No. 30952
{X} Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
>> No. 30953
[X] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
[X] Hold on, didn't she make the spellcard system? Who better to explain it. Over breakfast.
>> No. 30954
[X] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
[X] Hold on, didn't she make the spellcard system? Who better to explain it. Over breakfast.

Sounds good.
>> No. 30957
[X] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
[X] Hold on, didn't she make the spellcard system? Who better to explain it. Over breakfast.
>> No. 30958
[X] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
[X] Hold on, didn't she make the spellcard system? Who better to explain it. Over breakfast.
>> No. 30959
[X] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
[X] Hold on, didn't she make the spellcard system? Who better to explain it. Over breakfast.
But if we're a fairy of change, why don't we try to get Komachi to teach us.
>> No. 30960
>>30959

There's two problems: She'd have to be awake, and actually wanting to do some work.

That and most living folks avoid the Higan area.
>> No. 30985
>>30960
They do? The last time I played PoFV the area was downright infested with fairies.
>> No. 30992
>>30985

Most likely native fairies (since Cirno when she was in the area was assumed she wanted to commit suicide)
>> No. 30997
[Q] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
[Q] Hold on, didn't she make the spellcard system? Who better to explain it. Over breakfast.

Awesome application of power.
>> No. 30998
[X] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great! But only if physics are somehow tweaked during breakfast.
>> No. 31013
File 125196709023.jpg - (138.79KB , 1000x750 , I do declare.jpg ) [iqdb]
31013
We're back! And away we go!

>[X] Tweaking physics' nose makes me a hungry fairy. Breakfast sounds great!
>[X] Hold on, didn't she make the spellcard system? Who better to explain?

"Breakfast sounds good. Though you're not getting out of an explanation."

Reimu sighs. "Dammit. All right, c'mon."

Rice? For breakfast? Well, it's impolite to ask... I feel a bit awkward, but hey, it's better than going hungry. Reimu calmly sips her tea, like always.

"So, the spellcard system," she says. "If you want to get that, you need the poor-man's history of danmaku. It all ties together." Huh. Maybe that's why she didn't want to tell it.

"The Hakureis are in charge of the barriers around Gensokyo. One of them is what makes danmaku. I've taken to calling it the Great Hakurei Barrier. How it does it is complicated. What it does is easy--make attacks nonlethal."

That's... bizarre. "How does it decide what an 'attack' is?"

"That's the complicated part. You can have people like that maid tossing knives without getting anyone killed. Problem is, it reduces the hazard, it doesn't remove it. So if someone really wants you dead, eventually they'll be able to do it."

"But for battles..."

"But for battles, it turns deathmatches into simple, harmless duels. It's not perfect and there's a lot to it, but reducing damage is what it does."

"Okay... and the spellcard system?"

"Was mine. It's sort of a step to--well, what it does is put everyone on a mostly-equal footing. The other thing about danmaku is that anyone can do it--technically," she adds hastily, noting the look on my face.

"What I mean is, there's some learning to do, but once you know what to do, being able to make it happen is just a matter of willpower."

"Kind of like learning a martial art?" I ask, shortly before burning my tongue on my tea.

"Exactly. What the spellcards do is 'store' danmaku and make it easy to discharge. I make a few 'basic' ones, Marisa helps with those sometimes, a few people can produce them for people. But youkai, experienced users, or little guys like you--" she points for effect, "Can make their own."

My ears perk a little. "For real? Like what?"

"All kinds of things. Whatever you can do. Using one you've made after is just taking it out and 'declaring' it. I've heard from youkai it's just like triggering an innate power."

[ ] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"
[ ] I want to know more of the details of danmaku and spellcards.
[ ] Let's get to Marisa's early.
[ ] Other
>> No. 31014
[x] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"
>> No. 31018
>>31013
[X] I want to know more of the details of danmaku and spellcards.
>> No. 31020
[x] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"
>> No. 31022
[x] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"
>> No. 31063
[x] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"
>> No. 31066
[X] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"

Looks like a heavy vote for this one.
>> No. 31067
[ze] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"

>Rice? For breakfast?
Oh you.
>> No. 31080
[x] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"
>> No. 31089
[x] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"
>> No. 31095
File 125214645866.gif - (19.72KB , 700x400 , mumblemumble five more minutes.gif ) [iqdb]
31095
>[X] "You said something about spellcards being 'a step' to something. What were you going to say?"

We sit there together in silence. Reimu drinks her tea. I chew another mouthful of rice.

"Hey Reimu?"

"Yeah?"

"What were you going to say there?"

She sighs. "A step to equality between youkai and humans. It's a long, complicated story and I'd really prefer not to talk about it. Okay?"

She seems really bothered. Not that I asked, but about the issue. I won't press it, even if I'm curious. "Sure, sorry."

"It's no problem. Now, can I ask you something?"

"All right, shoot."

"...Why in the hell are you keeping that rock?"

I grin and toss the skipping stone of destiny up and down.

"Figured I'd hold on to it as a keepsake. It's sort of the first thing I figured out how to use my power with."

"Wouldn't that be the first rock I saw you skipping?"

"Yes, but now that one's at the bottom of the pond and if you tell anyone else I'll lie."

Reimu chokes on her tea (I love making her do that). "Okay, your terrible secret is safe with me." I've finished my breakfast, so I stand up and stretch my legs. She follows, still nursing her drink, and we go out to look at the early morning shrine.

"So, perpetual skipping stones, huh?"

"That's about the size of it." I don't care if it's silly, I feel a little proud.

"So can I try?" She grabs the stone.

"W-wait, hey hey hey!"

Plunk.


...



"Okay, so this stone..."





Reimu goes about tending her shrine, telling me it won't be long. I spend the time stretching and doing some more Tai Chi. If I want to be good at this, I need to make a habit of it. I watch the sun rise and feel the brisk air as I force myself to move with almost lazy grace through my routine. Between an excellent morning, a good night's sleep, and knowing today may mark a turning point in my long life, I'm excited and eager. I feel great.

"Ready to go, kiddo?" Reimu finally asks.

"Let's get a move on."

The flight feels like it takes ages (STILL no wings), as we glide over meadows, a little farmland, and then, trees. They stretch out below. Maybe it's because we're fairly close to the ground, but the treeline goes on past my vision. This is a pretty big forest. It's a good thing Reimu knows where we're going, because this all looks the same to me. At long last, she dips and I can see a thin trail of white smoke rising from a clearing. That's got to be it.

Marisa's house looks small from the outside. Of course, it's flanked on all sides by trees twice its height. I guess that's one of the reasons they call it the forest of magic. I hop off Reimu's back, stumble a little, and check the urge to beat feet for the door. After she stretches (really slowly), Reimu finally follows me to the cottage doorstep and knocks.

I hear movement from inside, a little clattering and shuffling, before the door opens inward. Minus her hat, Marisa looks a lot shorter.

"Hey, it's Reimu. You're up early."

"Yeah, not for long. I'm goin' back to sleep after I drop this little guy off."

Marisa looks past her at me. I grin a little and wave. I was so excited to get here, now I feel all awkward.

"Heyyy, it's the apple picker."

Augh. "You heard about that, huh?" Guess it propagated amongst the maids from the first two and spread.

"Yep! So what's the story there?"

"Well, when I was young..."
>[ ] "There was an orchard."
>[ ] "And I used to live there, in secret, for ages. But the farmer caught me one day..."
>[ ] "And I was passing by."
>[ ] "I was starving after months of roaming."
>[ ] "I was on the run, being chased by a youkai."
>[ ] "One day I met an old man traveling the road, and he asked for my help."
>[ ] "I didn't know it, but he was really..."
>[ ] "A rich merchant."
>[ ] "A king."
>[ ] "Some sort of youkai or spirit."
>[ ] "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
>[ ] "And I helped keep her out of trouble."
>[ ] "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."
>[ ] "I fell in with a traveling caravan of performers after a debt, and they had me look for marks in the crowd."
>[ ] "But I didn't want to steal."
>[ ] "But I didn't want them to get away with it."
>[ ] "It was a lot of fun!"
>[ ] "But of course I got caught."
>[ ] "And I caught another pickpocket!"
>[ ] "Can I tell you later?
>[ ] "I really don't want to talk about it right now."
>[ ] Other

Feel free to write your own. If it fits, it's in. Have fun with this one, guys.
>> No. 31096
[x] "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
[x] "And I helped keep her out of trouble."

Sounds like a nice enough tale.
>> No. 31099
[x] "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
-[x] "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."
>> No. 31101
>>31095
[x] "There was an orchard."
[x] "And I used to live there, in secret, for ages. But the farmer caught me one day...

...And she was all like, HEY YOU and I was all like AW CRAP and I was all, h crap she' going to launch me into the stratosphere with that trowel. But she gave me a job instead. See, she usually harvested the apples with her daughter and son-in-law but her daughter'd just had a baby and on top of that the farmer - she was getting over a really crappy illness and her doctor was all 'blah blah blah stay off your feet look at me I'm so prissy'. ...According to the farmer, I mean, I never met the doctor. So anyway, the farmer looks at me and she's all, well, if you're gonna live here you can't just freeload so she got me to help her with the harvest. Least awesome story EVER. Also, I discovered that the word 'hard' applied to cider means 'drink too much and you'll feel like someone dumped a steamroller on you tomorrow morning'."

Silence.

Marisa snickers. "Least epic story ever."

"Hey, I never said it was real cool."
>> No. 31102
[x] "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
-[x] "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."
>> No. 31103
[ ] "There was an orchard."
[ ] "And I used to live there, in secret, for ages. But the farmer caught me one day..."
[ ] "So I had to go. And eventually..."
[ ] "I was starving after months of roaming."
[ ] "I had one apple left, which I was saving."
[ ] "One night I came across this fairy girl I knew. She'd found something to drink..."
[ ] "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."
[ ] "But I didn't want him to get away with it."
[ ] "I brained him in the head with my last good apple. Threw it so hard, it practically exploded on impact."
[ ] "He was very irate and drunk. I ran, and he chased me off into the night."
[ ] "Lost him in the middle of a forest. Hope he got what was coming to him."
>> No. 31104
[x] "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
[x] "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."
>> No. 31105
>[ ] "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
>[ ] "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."

I'm lost, what does this have to do with picking apples?
>> No. 31106
>>31105

He picked apples and threw them at the person trying to take advantage of her. Or something.
>> No. 31107
{X} "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
{X} "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."
>> No. 31110
[x] "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
[x] "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."

>>31106
I've got it. We are going to tell an elaborate and heartrending story of tragedy and self-sacrifice, and an hour later Reimu will realize there was nothing in it about apples or picking.

That, or we pull one of these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaggy_dog_story#Pun
>> No. 31112
[X] "I fell in with a traveling caravan of performers after a debt, and they had me look for marks in the crowd."
[X] "And I caught another pickpocket!"
>> No. 31187
File 125245142299.jpg - (95.29KB , 638x900 , cozy not small.jpg ) [iqdb]
31187
>[x] "There was a fairy girl I knew. One night she'd found something to drink..."
>[X] "And there was someone trying to take advantage of her."

With a sigh I resign myself. I can tell I'm not getting out of this one without an explanation.

"Okay, well. When I was young, I knew this other fairy. Still know her, actually, but--well, her name's Clover.

"Clover spent most of her time watching the road near the lake. I think that's where she lived. Anyway, for the most part fairies keep to themselves, the occasional prank aside, so she'd hide whenever people were coming.

"So one day a wagon was going by, on its way to the human village. She said she heard it creaking from a mile off, it was so weighed down. Anyway, that wagon hits a bump in the road, and a big barrel falls off the back. It keeps going. And of course, Clover finds it..."

Reimu interrupts. "And it was filled with apples?"

"No, no, it was a cask of applejack." Marisa adds.

Sigh. "No and no. Are you two going to keep trying to guess?"

"Probably, yeah."

"Kinda!"

"Duly noted. Well, you were close, it was alcohol. Strong stuff, too. Clover rolled it right off that road and to the side of the lake. So, you have a very sociable creature and a big cask of whiskey. Naturally, she got a bunch of fairies together and that evening we all had a party."

Reimu and Marisa exchange glances.

"...What? Oh come on, we're fairies, not children. I'm older than both of you combined."

"But you're teeny," observes Marisa (you're no giant either, miss compensatory hat), "It can't take much alcohol to put you guys out."

"Mm. Hence the problem and the name."

"You got drunk and climbed an apple tr--"

"No! Well yes, but no! What happened was Clover got drunk."

"Didn't you? Didn't everyone?"

"Not then. I was a bit worried, so I held off. See, I've known her for a long time. Clover's a good girl, but she lacks restraint and um..." I wave my hand as I try to find the word.

"...Common sense?" Ventures Reimu.

"Yeah, something like that. You give someone like her a big barrel of booze and something could go so badly. So I kept my eye on things and sure enough, Clover's three sheets to the wind before sundown.

"But then I saw her and Summerfree stumbling off towards someplace more private..."

Reimu interrupts. Again. "Summerfree? That's a kind of apple, isn't it?"

"Yeah," Marisa adds. "So you punched him out and that's how you became the applepicker?"

"No, dammit!" I snap, "Do you want to hear the story or not?

"Summerfree'd had a few too. He's not a bad guy, really, but--I knew Clover. She wanted to be married someday. She wanted to save herself."

"Marriage?" Reimu asks, sounding genuinely perplexed. "A fairy wanted to get married?"

"Don't most little girls? Look, one way or another, I knew Clover, and I knew she'd regret it. So I followed them, and... well, made a pest of myself."

"So what happened?" Marisa stops leaning against her doorframe and leans in a little.

"Well, we had a calm, polite discussion and they agreed that--what do you think? They were drunk, I was ruining Summerfree's good time. He was ready to strangle me--not that he could have caught me, soused as he was. But, well, long and short of it was, I killed the mood and Clover stalked off for another drink. Which promptly laid her out flat. With her asleep, that was that."

"...I don't get it." Reimu says. "How did you get the name, then?"

"Well, as the party was ending and everyone was sobering up a little, they see me sitting up watching Clover and..." I redden a bit. I feel kind of embarrassed. "Well, they hear about what happened with Summerfree and started making cracks about how I stopped Clover from 'having her apple picked.' And, well, it grew in the telling, suddenly I'm a 'virtuous fae defending chastity' and they gave me the nickname applepicker."

Marisa bursts out laughing. I feel even more embarrassed. "I didn't know fairies liked irony that much."

Reimu is smirking too. "So you got your name by being a prude?"

"Hey, shut up. You asked." This is why I hate telling this story...


Clover awoke and promptly wished she hadn't. The early-morning birds were making her head vibrate. The too-damn-bright morning sun darkened (mercifully). Massaging her temples, the fairy groaned.

"Hey." Clover opened her eyes. Sitting on his knees beside the barrel, blue eyes rimmed by dark circles, was Kazuki.

"'Zuki? What're you... what time izzit? Where's everyone?" Her mouth felt full of cotton laced in the pure hatred, with a dash of the tears of small children.

"This is why they call it the morning after. Everyone crawled home." He shifted, and the sun blinded Clover again.

"Gaaaah... how much did I have?"

"Too much. Just like last time." With a groan, Clover rolled over... and then it occurred to her.

"...'zuki, did you stay up 'n watch me?"

"Mmhmm."

"Did you stay up and watch me all night?"

"Mmhmm."

"I...thanks."

"You don't have to thank me," he said as he grabbed a nearby tin cup, "just let me have my turn now." With that he leaned halfway into the (mostly) empty barrel, and had himself a drink.



...but I can't help but grin a little when I do.

"So!" I shout a little too loudly, rubbing the back of my neck, "Marisa, I want to learn how to use magic!"

She's still grinning. "I think I can swing that."

"Right," Reimu mutters, rubbing her eyes, "I'm off. See you later." With that she takes back to the air.

"See ya, Reimu." Marisa tosses a wave and then turns to me. "Well, c'mon in."

The inside of Marisa's is warm and cluttered, with every available surface strewn with books, bottles, papers, and all kinds of things here and there. ...It occurs to me that Marisa might want to know my power. Maybe it will help her figure out what best to teach me.

[ ] Tell her. Why keep it a secret?
[ ] Don't tell her. I like keeping it between me and Remilia, at least for now.
>> No. 31189
[x] Tell her at least what you showed Reimu, just say you figured out power might be related to change.

Reimu seen some of our power in action, and if we can show Reimu it, we can show Marisa. And Remilia wasn't too precise on it. But I think it might be a wise idea to leave Remilia's involvement until later on.

As for opinion of the post; it's nice.
>> No. 31191
[X] Tell her. Why keep it a secret?
>> No. 31193
[x] Tell her at least what you showed Reimu, just say you figured out power might be related to change.
>> No. 31206
[x] Tell her at least what you showed Reimu, just say you figured out power might be related to change.
>> No. 31208
[x] Tell her at least what you showed Reimu, just say you figured out power might be related to change.
>> No. 31212
[z] Tell her at least what you showed Reimu, just say you figured out power might be related to change.
[e] Or charge.

>>31187
I liked this.
>> No. 31215
[X] Tell her. Why keep it a secret?
>> No. 31218
>>31187
[X] Tell her. Why keep it a secret?

That story was most excellent. Kazuki is a bro and a gentleman.
>> No. 31232
>(you're no giant either, miss compensatory hat)
I laughed hard.

[X] Tell her. Why keep it a secret?
>> No. 31350
Updates?
>> No. 31354
>>31350
Sorry, school started last week and I picked up a nice respiratory flu. You'd think it'd be easier to write when you're cooped up, but it's not. At any rate, I'm actually finding I have less trouble writing at length lately, so the updates should be coming. Thanks for reading and for your patience.
>> No. 31355
>>31354

Being sick sucks. I just recently got over a bug that was going around. Not being able breathe without coughing up mucus is really annoying.
>> No. 31362
File 125286478116.jpg - (219.77KB , 1280x1024 , 125142391483.jpg ) [iqdb]
31362
>[X] Tell her. Why keep it a secret?

...No reason not to tell. Not like I have to give her my memoirs, here.

"Hey, dunno if it helps, but I found out recently I have power over change."

"Oh yeah? That's pretty wide, any specifics?"

Um... "Not really."

"What've you done with it?"

"Not much at all," I admit, "I managed to keep changing the trajectory of a stone."

Marisa scratches her nose. "That's... really impressive, actually. I mean, it's a light application, but if it kept going, it means you were imparting energy to it as well. That's a good sign."

That seemed a bit over my head. "If you say so. Does that help at all?"

She leans over a chair stacked with books and grabs up a handful of things from a desk. "A lot, yeah. Here, hold this."

"...A feather?" When it brushes against my fingertips, I feel that same thrum of tingly energy.

"Magic tool for rookies. I have a length of birch that can help if you need a little more, too." She's still rummaging.

"So what am I supposed to do?" I wave it a little to emphasize my point.

"Hang on, hang on--here." A marble? Really? "Okay, now what I want you to do is--"

Whoa.

Whoa!

...Uh-oh.



"Right," Marisa says as she pats out the fire on her hat. "The marble, if you hadn't noticed, allows people to cast when they otherwise can't."

I eye it warily from across the room.

"All right, then," Marisa says. "I'm gonna go get some material to help teach you. That book over there, start looking over that, and when you're ready, go outside and start trying."

"What, already? Really?"

"Best way to learn is to get your feet wet," she says with a grin as she shoulders a broom. "Just--aim away from the house and don't try anything overly complex."

With that she heads out the door, sits on her broom, and takes off with a blast of air.

---

Marisa was off like a rocket, one hand on the broom and the other her hat.

Even flying higher above the lake this time, she cast a wake in the otherwise calm water.

The kid had potential. She'd have to figure out how best to teach him, whether he should use an item of some kind... Change, huh?

She grinned. Marisa always did like a challenge.

The gate beckoned ahead. There was the guard.

[ ] Try to talk her down
[ ] Fight her again
[ ] Just blaze past
[ ] Other
>> No. 31363
[x] MASTER SPAAAAARK
[x] Just blaze past
>> No. 31364
[x] Just blaze past
>> No. 31366
[ ] Just blaze past

Sorry China.
>> No. 31367
[X] Just Blazing Star past.
>> No. 31369
[x] Just blaze past
>> No. 31383
[x] Just blaze past
>> No. 31393
File 125293742191.jpg - (794.15KB , 1280x960 , Kung Pow.jpg ) [iqdb]
31393
>[X] Just blaze past

Marisa accelerated. Her magical wards intensified as a blue haze protecting her from the wind and force of her flight as she leaned forward, faster, and faster, and faster, and stop!

She screamed to a halt mere inches away from Meiling's outstretched fist. Neither said anything for a long moment. Bright gold met clear blue.

A madman's grin spread across the magician's face.

"Inherit the wind."

Meiling lunged, Marisa rolled, and took off into a ninety-degree corkscrew. The guard leapt after. She kept pace running along the long wall, footfalls hardly touching the surface. Slowly Marisa pulled ahead as she pushed more energy through her broom.

She promptly pulled skyward, narrowly avoiding a flying kick by Meiling. She shot past, caught the branch of one of the gate's decorative trees, and in one fluid motion, swung around and launched herself after the intruder, taking flight in midair.

Rather than wait for the youkai to catch up, Marisa came to an abrupt halt, letting her rocket past. She followed up with a flip of her broom, flicking a trademark burst of stars after--quickly slapped aside with a backhanded wave of prismatic energy. Another half-second of stillness, and then both took sharply to the right.

Marisa was faster, no doubt, but Meiling was more maneuverable. The fight quickly fell into a pattern--Marisa tried to reach top speed, and Meiling quickly intercepted and stopped her from breaking away. After three exchanges, they hovered a hundred feet over the mansion. Marisa was having no trouble with ample room to move, but it would only take one solid hit to break her force barriers, keeping her from reaching the speeds needed to outmove her opponent.

Abruptly she was started out of her reverie as Meiling took off for her, closing the distance in a split-second.

[ ] Joust.
[ ] Evade.
[ ] Declare.
>> No. 31394
{X} Declare.
>> No. 31396
[x] Declare.
>> No. 31397
[x] Joust.
>> No. 31398
[x] Joust.
>> No. 31400
[x] Joust.
>> No. 31416
[ze] Joust.

But Marisa has no goose.
>> No. 31458
File 125314933516.jpg - (911.54KB , 950x1180 , Whoosh.jpg ) [iqdb]
31458
>[X] Joust.

Whatever she was expecting Marisa to do, it wasn't that.

Pulling away would distract, giving Meiling a chance to line up another solid hit. Declaring would waste a spellcard, and only stronger opponents waited inside. Moving closer would invite disaster--unless, of course, you were quick or clever.

Marisa Kirisame was both. In the blink of an eye, she shifted her weight, rolling her broom to one side, Meiling's strike passing overhead by scant inches. She continued the roll, tightening her turn, coming right again in time for a second pass. The only problem, Marisa thought, was that Meiling wouldn't fall for that twice.

On their second charge, she found she was right--Meiling came down with an impressive overhead heel. In response, the witch hopped sideways off her broom, catching it with both hands and twisting with her whole body, turning it sideways--parrying the strike. Both continued past one another on their momentum--Meiling began to turn around--

Too late, as Marisa swung like a gymnast on a bar, coming back over the top. The second of freefall felt like hours as she raised the hakkero and fired. Her shot hit its mark squarely in the side mid-turn, sending Meiling to earth at blinding speed. It was only a minor hit, but she broke her tailspin far too late. She would never catch up now.

The mansion beckoned.

[ ] Break in as close to the library as close as possible.
[ ] Better not to risk being surrounded--dive and take the main entrance.
[ ] Other
>> No. 31459
>surrounded
>Marisa

Haha. Yeah.

[x] Break in as close to the library as possible.
>> No. 31460
[ ] Break in as close to the library as close as possible.
>> No. 31462
[x] Break in as close to the library as possible.
>> No. 31465
[ℤℯ] Break in as close to the library as possible.
>> No. 31493
File 125338686277.jpg - (597.74KB , 796x999 , Mine.jpg ) [iqdb]
31493
>[X] Break in as close to the library as close as possible.

Speed was better than caution, Marisa thought. If the alarm was raised, the maid would have time to turn the mansion into a labyrinth. That in mind, she dived.

A black and white rocket careened through a window, sending two hapless maids sprawling away from the explosion of glass. By the time either looked up from the carpet, it was long gone.

Weaving to avoid furniture, chandeliers, and the occasional staff member, Marisa quickly worked her way to the library. The double-doors stood out even among their grand surroundings. One last moment to check if she had been followed--no--and then she pushed the heavy door open and stepped inside.

She winced as it slammed shut behind her. Those same towering shelves, rows and rows of information, history, and--

"You again."

And Knowledge.

Marisa grinned toothily. "Didn't I tell you when I first came? There's no way I could pass this by."

"And like I told you, there's no way I'm going to let you."

[ ] Banter some more. Maybe Patchouli can be convinced to stand down.
[ ] Let's get to it!
Combat plan: [ ]
With all these short updates, I'm hoping to write the entire duel in one big session, so say your piece now.
>> No. 31494
[x] Banter some more. Maybe Patchouli can be convinced to stand down.

Part of the reason is getting things to help Kazuki, even if it's just an excuse in the end.
>> No. 31504
[ ] Banter some more. Maybe Patchouli can be convinced to stand down.
>> No. 31516
[x] Banter some more. Maybe Patchouli can be convinced to stand down.
What's a danmaku battle without some pre-fight banter? A minor midboss battle, that's what.

Oh, and I guess we should be voting on a combat plan regardless.
[x] LASERS
>> No. 31518
>>31516
This plan is solid, you are a gentleman and a scholar.
[x] LASERS
>> No. 31521
[x] LASERS
>> No. 31524
[x] Banter some more. Maybe Patchouli can be convinced to stand down.
[x] LASERS
>> No. 31577
File 125350685970.jpg - (199.50KB , 600x540 , The Arcane Fire.jpg ) [iqdb]
31577
>[X] Banter some more. Maybe Patchouli can be convinced to stand down.

With a wary grin, Marisa leaned on her broom. "Don't suppose I can persuade you to just let me grab a few?"

"Absolutely not," Patchouli spat. "I will not just roll over and let you take what you please. This is my library. This is my home."

"You can't tell me you're gonna need a few books on the fundamentals any time soon. This place is enormous, you'd never even miss 'em!"

"I would. I like my books where they should be."

"Like a dragon with its hoard, huh? The point of knowledge is sharing, not storage."

That gave the magician pause. "...You have a point," she muttered guardedly. "Still, there is a way to do things. And regardless of my answer, you weren't planning to leave this library without what you came for, correct?"

"Eheheh," Marisa scratched the bridge of her nose, "You've got me there. But if we agree, there's no reason we can't work this out, right?"

"I suppose. If you're willing to leave and perhaps return properly another day..."

Marisa frowned. "That...might be a problem. I'm getting the books to teach a friend of mine..."

"Kazuki?"

Marisa balked. "How'd you know?"

"He asked me yesterday, shortly before making a fool of himself. I won't pretend I'm fond of him, or most fairies. They...grate on me, and if you hadn't noticed, I rather enjoy my quiet."

That didn't sound good, Marisa thought. Guess this was going to come to blows after all...

"But," she continued, "Your more...chaotic style would suit him. He certainly seems a fair measure brighter than most of his kind. And this mansion does owe him a debt of gratitude."

"So...you don't mind?"

"I didn't say that," Patchouli said grimly. "Debt or not, he is childish, and these are my books. And between the attack you gave me before, and the injury you gave my familiar, I'm disinclined to give you free reign of my property."

Marisa tensed up. There was a moment of long uneasy silence. Finally, Patchouli's slightly breathy voice broke the silence.

"Make sure you do a proper job of instructing that fairy. Wasted potential is a terrible thing."

Drawing herself up, from the folds of her gown almost a dozen cards fluttered out and orbited her thin frame. Patchouli's robes billowed around her as a wind whirled through the library.

"Rest assured; as before, there are wards guarding the shelves' contents.

"Now get ready, witch."

Nothing further had to be said. Marisa snapped up her hakkero--palmed and ready during the conversation--and launched the opening Salvo. Patchouli raised a hand and the attack splashed upon a magical barrier harmlessly. One of her cards fluttered out of line and took on a glow.

Water Sign 「Bury in Lake」

Two lances of frigid energy cut the air around Marisa. Behind them came spiraling waves of energy that coalesced into charged orbs of water. Marisa jumped, tucking her dress beneath her as she landed on her broom, and shot airborne.

That was a card she hadn't seen before, she thought. That was a bad sign. On the bright side, the inside of the library was expansive, providing plenty of maneuvering room.

Abruptly, two more beams interrupted her reverie, cracks and snaps filling the air as they condensed into ice. Marisa sailed between them in a roll, pulled back, and, upside down, negotiated the follow-up ring of water. As she pulled past, she at last had an opening to fire a counterattack--

--Just in time to see Patchouli bring a second card to the fore, spinning beside the Water card.

Metal & Water Sign 「Mercury Poison」

Bolts of quicksilver like a monsoon rain erupted. Marisa barely avoided the first radial wave. This wasn't good; the air was already thick with an azure minefield waiting for a careless move. Patchouli's theoretical attacks were an almost perfect answer to Marisa's mobility.

So let's get a little breathing room, she thought as she raised an old piece of paper, worn at the edges, and let fly one of the first spells she learned.

Illusion Laser

Thunder rolled through the rows as a storm of danmaku broke. Two of the greatest mages to ever grace Gensokyo circled high in the air exchanging arcane fire. Patchouli's studious approach produced grand sweeps of danmaku, eye-catching circles and patterns. Centuries of research and refinement told her that these were the most effective method at her disposal.

In sharp contrast, Marisa's philosophy was all about power. With long rays of energy she carved swaths out of the meticulous designs, weaving left and right among the flak. Once again she cleared the onslaught, and once again Patchouli was waiting. The Metal card fell away, and up came one more.

Sun & Water Sign 「Hydrogenous Prominence」

Not this time. Immediately, Marisa drew and raised a spellcard high.

Magic Sign「Stardust Reverie」

Two miniature suns bloomed within Voile and a galaxy of stars overcame the other spell in an instant. Patchouli raised her hand, comets pelting her barriers as the smoke cleared. All her fire had been nullified. Marisa grinned at her from overhead. To add insult to energy, at long last her Water card had given out, dissolving away.

"Ready for the second round?"

Patchouli scowled and invoked her Moon card.

Sun & Moon Sign 「Royal Diamond Ring」

Rows and rows of glittering shards spiraled out from the magician. Growing crystal fractals caused the air to sing as golden blasts rained down. Each time the mage moved, she poured another pulse of energy through her cards and once again snaking diamonds chased Marisa hither and yon.

For her part, Marisa barely had time to wrap her head around just how many spellcards Patchouli had, let alone this newest, dazzling pattern. She couldn't sit still lest the growth trap her, and leave her to be bombarded by the projectiles. A few fleeting, ineffectual shots on the run either failed to hit their mark, dissolved against the attack, or glanced harmlessly off Patchouli's manyfold barriers. Soon, the sprawling attack had cut her off on all sides. Floating near the chandelier atop the arched ceiling, Marisa realized she was trapped.

And then the hakkero came up.

The miniature spell reactor took on a blue light and shook wildly. It took both hands to keep steady as Patchouli drew in for the kill. Dust from centuries ago drifted loose from the chandelier, and then flew aloft, tossed on the pressure building nearby.

Her most powerful card, her last stop, was not a card at all.

Stolen from one of the most powerful youkai.

Practiced by the fledgeling magician for years.

Refined and perfected by both the youngest and most adept human spellcaster in Gensokyo's long history.

"Love Sign--!"

「Master Spark」

With the crash of a thunderbolt and an earsplitting whine, a torrent of raw energy shattered the Royal Diamond Ring's eclipse, drowning everything in glaring white. One, two, seven, seventeen, the blankets of seals and guards that Patchouli had erected were instantly broken through like a blade through paper. She only just had time to pour her boundless reserves in front of her to stem the flow. Too much, as it turned out. In an instant she was overtaxed, heart throbbing painfully as her lungs cried out for air.


When Marisa could hear again, the first thing she heard was faint coughing in the smoke below.

"So I guess that's my win, eh?"

Patchouli tried to make an invective, but her 'f' came out as an 'm.'

Marisa left the library after ensuring her new rival wouldn't asphyxiate--even as she was led to bed by Koakuma, Patchouli watched her like a hawk. Either way, there was a tacit agreement and an ironic friendship (of some sort) now, and even more, a great many tomes. Not only a few for Kazuki, but even a couple that caught Marisa's eye. She just had one last thing to do before heading home.


The lower door yawned open.

"Flandre?"

The room looked much the same as it had before the fight, Marisa noted. The incinerated furniture had all been replaced, and what was left of the stuffed animal collection stitched together and mended. On the bed cradling a large bear, Flandre's eyes brightened.

"Marisa! You came back!" With alarming speed the vampire nearly knocked the rare visitor over as she wrapped her arms around her waist.

"I told you I would, didn't I?" Marisa smiled (a little nervously) and gently pat Flandre's head. "It was a promise. So," she asked scooped the little girl up and set her on her bed, "What've you been up to?"


Remilia stirred her tea. "Sakuya," she called quietly.

"Here, my lady." With her trademark punctuality, the maid was at her side.

"Marisa broke in to the manse some time ago." The unspoken question was heard by both.

"I know, lady. I was tending to Meiling's wounds."

"Indeed? Usually you are much faster with your first aid."

Sakuya didn't flinch. "I did not hasten the procedure, lady."

"No matter," the vampire replied briskly. "I had resolved to allow her in anyway. I spoke with Patchouli some on the matter. I think, perhaps, it is time for this mansion to open itself to the world a little more."



"I'm back!" Marisa calls, shortly before kicking up dust with her landing and nearly bowling me over.

"I see you got some books," I point out the bundle tucked under her arm.

"Yep, bunch of 'em." She slings her broom back over a shoulder and hefts them.

"Wow, no kidding. 'Transmutation,' 'Alchemy Fundamentals,' 'Arcane Theory...'"

"Let's not just stand out here, c'mon!"


Spread out on the table, I can't wait to dive in. I don't know which to start with.

"Well, I know it's a lot," Marisa plucks it from my mind, "so why don't you just ask what interests you and I'll give you a quick rundown. Oh, and how'd you do practicing?"

I...
[ ] Did pretty well.
[ ] Could have been worse.
[ ] Messed up, bad.
[ ] Was great!
[ ] Gave up.
[ ] Other, and specifically, I...

As for what I want to hear about...
[ ] Transmutation?
[ ] Alchemy?
[ ] Abjuration?
[ ] Enchantment?
[ ] Elementalism?
[ ] Summoning?
[ ] Evocation?
[ ] Other:
Check all that apply.
>> No. 31579
I...
[X] Messed up, bad.

As for what I want to hear about...
[X] Enchantment?
[X] Elementalism?
>> No. 31582
As for what I want to hear about...
[x] Abjuration?
[x] Enchantment?
[x] Elementalism?
[x] Evocation?
>> No. 31585
[x] Could've been worse

[x] Transmutation?
[x] Alchemy?
[x] Enchantment?

Power of change, y'know.
>> No. 31586
I...
-[x] Was great!

As for what I want to hear about...
-[x] Transmutation
-[x] Alchemy
-[x] Abjuration?
-[x] Enchantment?
-[x] Elementalism?
-[x] Evocation?
>> No. 31587
I...
-[x] Was great!

As for what I want to hear about...
-[x] Transmutation
-[x] Alchemy
-[x] Abjuration?
-[x] Enchantment?
-[x] Elementalism?
-[x] Evocation?

In light of >>31585 I am changing my vote.
>> No. 31588
I...

[0] Was great!

As for what I want to hear about...

[1] Transmutation
[2] Alchemy
[3] Abjuration?
[4] Enchantment?
[5] Elementalism?
[6] Evocation?
>> No. 31590
I...
[x] Was great!

As for what I want to hear about...
[x] Transmutation
[x] Alchemy
[x] Abjuration?
[x] Enchantment?
[x] Elementalism?
[x] Evocation?
>> No. 31592
>Patchouli tried to make an invective, but her 'f' came out as an 'm.'
Mukyu~

In other news

I...
[x] Was great!

As for what I want to hear about...

[x]Everything, but the stuff about change first an foremost.
>> No. 31593
[Q] Could've been worse

[Q] Transmutation?
[Q] Alchemy?


These two at least.
>> No. 31594
I...
[x] Was great!

As for what I want to hear about...
[x] Transmutation
[x] Alchemy
[x] Abjuration?
[x] Enchantment?
[x] Elementalism?
[x] Evocation?
>> No. 31595
[x] Was great!

[x] Elementalism?
[x] Evocation?
>> No. 31604
[X] did pretty well.

[X] Transmutation
[X] Alchemy
-Change magic, which would be suitable for us
[X] Elementalism
-Could help with lightning
>> No. 31666
[d] Great!

[a] Transmutation
>Change
[ ℤ] Abjuration
>Cancelling
 [ℯ] Enchantment
>Giving

Alchemy is for another day, Elementalism can be studied once we have the mechanics of change down, summoning isn't even related, and Evocation is big blasty things like Marisa does.

>Patchouli tried to make an invective, but her 'f' came out as an 'm.'
Congratulations. This is the one time in its entire history that the "mukyuu" phrase has NOT been retarded. It helps that you didn't actually say it, and more importantly, it was cleverly done.

Good on ya.
>> No. 31686
>>31666

Thing is I think Mukyuu is more of an Onomatopoeia than a active phrase.
>> No. 31736
File 125358027589.jpg - (847.73KB , 1081x1100 , open road.jpg ) [iqdb]
31736
>[X] I was great!

"I did good!" I chirp. "Took some getting used to, but I was directing around this gust of wind and I almost managed to pick myself up with it, but it was a little hard to finesse."

"Great! So what do you want to hear about?"

Well, I--

But alchemy--

...

Well--

...


...Damn it.

Marisa laughs. "I'll just read 'em all off, huh?"

"Thank you," I say dumbly.

"Right," she starts. "Transmutation is the magic of changing matter, generally one thing into another. Something like... like changing a bunny into a lion, or converting a heap of stone into a statue. It's pretty variable.

"Alchemy is using ingredients and reagents to make potions and whatnot. On the fly you can put together combinations and have all sorts of stuff. It's also a form of changing materials beyond what they could be normally--for ages, alchemists were trying to make something called a philosopher's stone for immortality."

Those sound a bit like two sides of the same coin, one more material than the other. I'll have to ask more later. For now, back to the list.

"What's abjuration?"

"Abjuration's shields and nullifying. Pretty much all mages take it up if they do combat stuff, since it lets you block a lot more and avoid otherwise killer attacks."

"Enchantment?"

"Enchantment is tricky," Marisa continues. "It covers a few things. The physical sense lets you imbue things with magic, all kinds. Using something as a 'host' to it, you can things like... like magic fire, or cold, or even make it faster or stronger or the like. Works on people, too."

That could be really useful for martial arts. I'm not too strong and if I'm gonna be hitting outside my weight class...

"The other half is enchantment to affect minds. You can make some illusions, but the real trick's in clouding people's judgement, or making them agree with you. Love potions and charm spells and whatnot are all a form of enchantment."

"That's a weird combination. Elementalism seems fairly obvious. ...Is elementalism even a word?"

"More or less. Elementalism is about the classical elements--fire, wind, water, earth, all of that. There's a few systems of elements, they're all included in this overall. Some people specialize in single elements, but most don't. You can channel and control elements, as well as convert energy into them."

"Summoning, lemme guess."

"Yeah, not a lot to explain there. Binding familiars and bringing creatures into the world to help you. Some can be permanent, like the familiars, others are shorter-term. What you can do is based on your technique and what you can keep control of."

"And, evocation?"

"Evocation's really kinda general. Basically, the production of force in the world. This can be wind, or balls of fire, or bolts of lightning..."

"How's that different from elementalism, then?"

"They're just creating brief bits of it, and there's no real controlling it with evocation. Evoking can also do other stuff, like summon a bunch of blades or... really, just about anything you can put it to. It's the flashy, combat-specialized sort of thing. I like it.

"Whew, now that's over with," Marisa finishes, "Any better idea what you want to do now? You can learn more later, but I really think you ought to start with just a couple."

I want to learn...
[ ]
[ ] Wah! I dunno!
[ ] Other?
>> No. 31738
[x]Enchantment
[x]Transmutation

This is a nice start, and he can use his smaller size and speed to evade.
>> No. 31739
[x] Enchantment
[x] Abjuration
>> No. 31740
[x] Enchantment
[x] Abjuration
>> No. 31743
[0] Enchantment
[1] Abjuration
>> No. 31749
[x] Enchantment
[x] Abjuration
>> No. 31761
File 125359789093.jpg - (261.61KB , 574x713 , how do I casted spell.jpg ) [iqdb]
31761
>[X] Enchantment
>[X] Abjuration

Fun fact: Due to chronic pain, your author is unable to sleep tonight. Enjoy your bonus update. oh god can I please have writefag props for this

"...Okay, I think I've decided. Let's start with enchantment and... abjuration."

"Awright! Good choices."

The principles of Enchantment are simple -- conferring something onto an object it did not have before. Before I can learn to do that, though, I'm going to learn something a little easier--changing the nature of a quality something already has.

So here I am, staring at a block of ice on grass.

"So what you need to do," Marisa explains as she wipes her hands on her apron, "is change the temperature of the ice. That'll make the grass and melted water around it freeze."

"Easier said than done, I'm gonna guess." I turn the feather she gave me over in my hands.

"That's how it goes. Tell ya what, I'll give you an incentive."

"You mean besides learning how to tell physics to sit down and shut up?" I grin.

She does too. "Yeah, besides that. I'll teach you how to do this."

With that she snaps her fingers at a post nearby.

It springs alight.



Dude.

"Happy huntin'." Marisa grins and sits down on a bench, cracking open a dusty old book.

I look back at the block of ice. It's still only around midday, so condensation has already formed.

How the hell am I supposed to do this?

[ ] Go grab that marble of death again.
[ ] Just... try.
[ ] Maybe I can try invoking my power on it?
[ ] Other.

I encourage "other." Surprise me!
>> No. 31767
[x] A phase change is all you need to effect here, isn't it?
[x] Meditate on this while sitting lotus atop the block of ice, so that you may focus.

How many BTUs does a fairy put out?
>> No. 31779
>>31761
[X] Other: it's all a state of mind...
[X] I am the God Emperor of all things frozen; Absolute Zero incarnate, and this block of frozen water is but one of my many icy minions. Quite a pathetic one at that. 'Condensation'? Sounds like 'surrender' to me. You remind me a of certain other chilly idiot that doesn't know the true meaning of 'cold.' Fortify your resolve, little one, for within you resides the power of the blizzard! The iceberg! The glacier! Redouble your efforts comrade, and banish all heat from yourself and all within your domain!

Derp?
>> No. 31780
[X] Other: it's all a state of mind...
[X] I am the God Emperor of all things frozen; Absolute Zero incarnate, and this block of frozen water is but one of my many icy minions. Quite a pathetic one at that. 'Condensation'? Sounds like 'surrender' to me. You remind me a of certain other chilly idiot that doesn't know the true meaning of 'cold.' Fortify your resolve, little one, for within you resides the power of the blizzard! The iceberg! The glacier! Redouble your efforts comrade, and banish all heat from yourself and all within your domain!
>> No. 31784
[X] Other: it's all a state of mind...
[X] I am the God Emperor of all things frozen; Absolute Zero incarnate, and this block of frozen water is but one of my many icy minions. Quite a pathetic one at that. 'Condensation'? Sounds like 'surrender' to me. You remind me a of certain other chilly idiot that doesn't know the true meaning of 'cold.' Fortify your resolve, little one, for within you resides the power of the blizzard! The iceberg! The glacier! Redouble your efforts comrade, and banish all heat from yourself and all within your domain!
>> No. 31807
[X] Other: it's all a state of mind...
[X] I am the God Emperor of all things frozen; Absolute Zero incarnate, and this block of frozen water is but one of my many icy minions. Quite a pathetic one at that. 'Condensation'? Sounds like 'surrender' to me. You remind me a of certain other chilly idiot that doesn't know the true meaning of 'cold.' Fortify your resolve, little one, for within you resides the power of the blizzard! The iceberg! The glacier! Redouble your efforts comrade, and banish all heat from yourself and all within your domain!
>> No. 31821
File 125367563262.jpg - (533.04KB , 1300x1096 , This is terrible.jpg ) [iqdb]
31821
Ha ha, oh wow. I did say I want to be surprised.


>[X] Other: it's all a state of mind...
>[X] I am the God Emperor of all things frozen; Absolute Zero incarnate, and this block of frozen water is but one of my many icy minions. Quite a pathetic one at that. 'Condensation'? Sounds like 'surrender' to me. You remind me a of certain other chilly idiot that doesn't know the true meaning of 'cold.' Fortify your resolve, little one, for within you resides the power of the blizzard! The iceberg! The glacier! Redouble your efforts comrade, and banish all heat from yourself and all within your domain!

I circle the block, eyeing it critically. Moisture slides down. Damn right you're sweating. I hop up onto the block and gaze down upon my frozen throne. You'll freeze, you little bastard, or you'll face a bath in a witch spring.

Stare at it. Envision the cold. Envision fingers of ice that fill the air with crackling as they creep out and wring the life from the grass...

−273.15° Celsius. −459.67° Fahrenheit. Zero degrees kelvin. Every molecule grinds to a halt and the world becomes still, colder even than the frozen bottom of the ninth ring of hell.

A perfect freeze.

I glare intently into the icy facets, looking for truth. Some say the world will end in fire. Some say the universe will die cold and lonely, a heat death, not in a bang, not even a whimper. In the cold is power. I am the cold. Be the ice. Become the end of all things.

... This isn't working.

"You okay, 'zuki?" Marisa breaks my concentration. You've been sitting on that block for a long time.

"Yeah, I'm fine, but my arthas cold."

Still, I'm not gonna hop off yet. I'm a bloody fairy. I go barefoot in winter, I'll be just fine. Okay, enough of this. Gotta think. Back to my options.

I have that feather boosting my magic. I have magic of change... Change.

What if I approach this from a different angle?

The goal is to get the grass around it to freeze. Maybe messing with a block of ice will be too hard. It's outside its element, after all. It's only early autumn, we haven't even had a morning frost. But the grass, the grass is where it is normally.

But on the other hand, my power isn't really magic, at least not this... book magic. Even if I could change it, would it really be fair? It might still work, but it might end up making me learn to do things a totally different way...

[ ] Get the marble.
[ ] Use my power.
[ ] Go back in and get the book on enchantment. See if I find an answer.
[ ] Other
>> No. 31822
[X] Get the marble.
>> No. 31823
[x] Go back in and get the book on enchantment. See if I find an answer.
>> No. 31826
>>31821
[X] Use my power: negative to positive. Positive to negative.
[X] Cold is just a lack of heat after all. Replace all of that heat with the 'coldness' of the ice block; melt the ice, freeze the grass.

Derp~
>> No. 31827
[ℤ] Use my power: negative to positive. Positive to negative.
[ℯ] Cold is just a lack of heat after all. Replace all of that heat with the 'coldness' of the ice block; melt the ice, freeze the grass.

Should have done that from the start.

>>31686
Retarded-sounding things still sound retarded, no matter what part of speech they are.
>> No. 31828
[X] Use my power: negative to positive. Positive to negative.
[X] Cold is just a lack of heat after all. Replace all of that heat with the 'coldness' of the ice block; melt the ice, freeze the grass.
>> No. 31829
[z] Use my power: negative to positive. Positive to negative.
[x] Cold is just a lack of heat after all. Replace all of that heat with the 'coldness' of the ice block; melt the ice, freeze the grass.
>> No. 31831
[X] Use my power: negative to positive. Positive to negative.
[X] Cold is just a lack of heat after all. Replace all of that heat with the 'coldness' of the ice block; melt the ice, freeze the grass.
>> No. 31832
[X] Use my power: negative to positive. Positive to negative.
[X] Cold is just a lack of heat after all. Replace all of that heat with the 'coldness' of the ice block; melt the ice, freeze the grass.
>> No. 31840
[x] Go back in and get the book on enchantment. See if I find an answer.

Heat transfer is not enchantment. I thought we were supposed to be making the ice colder? Or did I misunderstand that line?
>"So what you need to do," Marisa explains as she wipes her hands on her apron, "is change the temperature of the ice. That'll make the grass and melted water around it freeze."
>> No. 31845
[x] Skip the lesson, see if Marisa wants to make out, then read her books while she's lying around dazed by your raw animal magnetism.
>> No. 31846
[x] Skip the lesson, see if Marisa wants to make out, then read her books while she's lying around dazed by your raw animal magnetism.

Surprise~
>> No. 31851
>Marisa >dazed by your raw animal magnetism.
>dazed
>da ze
>> No. 31856
Okay, so I was in the midst of writing your update when I got a call back for a job interview.
Between the need I have for this job and the fact that it's been almost two years, your good writer is a bit of a nervous wreck. The job chance is good news, but it killed my writing.
The long and short here is, slight delay due to panic. Regularly scheduled fairy shenanigans will resume soon.

Oh, and wish me luck.
>> No. 31857
File 125382773280.jpg - (221.17KB , 800x600 , 01256130588ff55b43a4ca5ae2f96fce.jpg ) [iqdb]
31857
Here, have a good luck charm.
>> No. 31869
File 125395482872.jpg - (130.53KB , 700x700 , still dont see ancient martial arts here.jpg ) [iqdb]
31869
>[X] Use my power: negative to positive. Positive to negative.
>[X] Cold is just a lack of heat after all. Replace all of that heat with the 'coldness' of the ice block; melt the ice, freeze the grass.


Conclusions drawn from this exercise: Posturing at things doesn't work.

I'm frustrated. Never really the best for trying to do something, but you know what? Screw it. One way or another this block of ice is going down.

'Cold' and 'hot' are opposites, right? The grass is warm--warmer than the ice, anyway--and the ice is cold. I can work with this. I think.

I run my hand along the top, cold water on my fingertips. Keep thinking about it. Equalize the two extremes. Find the place on the ice...

...there, near a crack on the top-left side. My hand tingles. That's what I need to look for. It's a matter of finding the strongest place now...

... Marisa's watching from over the top of her book. ... Heehee.

"JAAOOOOOOO!" With a thunderclap I bring my hand up, then down, slapping my palm on the key point. In short order, the block is gone, the grass is frozen, and my hand hurts.

Marisa kips up and walks over, bewildered. "...So what was that?"

"Ancient and forbidden martial art of redistributing energy."

"...Really?"

"No."

Okay, so I cheated, we both know that. On the other hand, she points out, this was less about doing it and more about learning how to approach the problems she'll be facing me with. And one way or the other, I did technically complete the challenge. On top of that, Marisa got to see an example of what I can do. ...though now that I've done it, I have to admit I feel really drained. Poking a twig through the thin sheet of ice, I sit and rest while Marisa bustles around inside again.

There's one last thing--true to her word, Marisa teaches me the trick she pulled.

"Though to be honest, I was a little sneaky," she explains, "what I did is what's called the trigger ritual. It's not so much a ritual as much as putting a little magic energy through something already primed to go. It's like flipping a switch. And from the sound of it, that's a lot like what you do."

Certain objects are apparently designed by mages to be toggled quickly and conveniently by using the trigger, marked with a little arcane 'signature' indicating it can be triggered. Marisa does warn me to be careful, though--just because I can flip something doesn't mean I should. Sometimes volatile stuff is rigged to go.

On the plus side, if I feel like daunting Patchouli again, I could probably sneak in and wreak a lot of havoc. Suppressing that thought is difficult and I can't stop a devious grin from spreading on my face.

After an afternoon practicing the trigger and Marisa explaining the basics of enchantment, the sun has finally sunk to its hazy orange low. Even though I really didn't do a lot of moving today I'm all worn out.

"What do you think, 'zuki?" Marisa asks, "Ready to head back home?"

"Yeah...it's getting a bit late."

"Right, let me get my broom. Take a couple books with you. Keep reading and keep practicing the enchantment before you switch to the abjuration."

My thoughts wander on the ride back, fast though it is (Reimu may as well crawl next to Marisa's breakneck pace). I think that trigger is a pretty big step--nothing I'd done before was really 'magic,' not the kind I'm trying to pick up. After today, though, however easy the thing is, I can channel the energy--I can feel it, I can tell it's different.

Ah, the lights from the mansion are visible from way out here. We're already almost the...re? Wait a minute. "Marisa, slow down. There's someone out front."

She pulls up on the handle and slows to a halt. "Meiling?"

"Besides her. Hang on, fairies have good ears, let me..."

[ ] Listen in.
[ ] ...Actually, no. I shouldn't.
[ ] Other
>> No. 31870
[x] Listen in.
>> No. 31872
>>31857
Oh, and this might be a little late, but--thanks.
>> No. 31873
[x] Listen in.

I wonder if it's Sakuya chewing Meiling out for 'letting' Marisa in.
>> No. 31874
[x] Listen in.
>> No. 31875
[Q] Listen in.
>> No. 31876
[x] Listen in.
>> No. 31880
[x] Listen in.
>> No. 31890
[x] Listen in.
>> No. 31891
File 125402076467.jpg - (94.42KB , 436x699 , INTERNET ARGUMENT.jpg ) [iqdb]
31891
>[X] Listen in.

Something could be wrong. They're out in public, it's not anyplace private. I keep telling myself that knowing it's an excuse as I cup my ears and strain to listen. Marisa gets the message and stays quiet.

"...won't allow it, it's too dangerous." That sounds like Sakuya. I've never heard her without her quiet, level tone. She sounds strained.

"'Allow it?' It's not your decision to make!" Meiling on the other hand sounds frustrated, much louder.

"It is my decision, I take care of her."

"And I can't?"

"We both know that I'm better-suited to the job, Meil--"

"She's not a job, she's a little girl, and she's been alone down there as long as we've been here! And we both know that I'm in better shape if things get dangerous."

"Meiling, I know Flandre's important to you. I care about her too. But you're too reckless. Look at the injury you had toda--"

"The 'injury' already healed, Sakuya! I know what I'm getting into!"

"That's what Kazuki said, and look what happened to him!" ...

"That's the point! If you could go, if he could go, then I can too! He went down there completely defenseless, if he's brave enough, then what excuse do I have?!"

"Look what it cost him, Meiling!"

"I know! I know!"

Both lapse into heavy silence. After a moment, Meiling speaks up again, barely audible to me.

"...She deserves better, Sakuya. She deserves better than that cellar, all alone. I know the risks. I think it's worth it."

"Well?" Marisa asks.

"...Let's just go." My voice feels thick.

She nods and, much slower than before, takes off toward the gate.

"Maybe I should drop you off farther from the gate?"

That... might be a good idea. "Yeah, okay."

We set down at the edge of the lake, not far before the road starts.

"...I guess I'll see you soon," Marisa says.

"Um, yeah."

[ ] Ask for another lesson tomorrow.
[ ] Ask for another lesson in a week.
[ ] Ask for for another lesson [other]
[ ] Other

Once I get back...

[ ]
Head to bed, talk to Meiling, go to dinner, wander the grounds, go walk by the lake...if it makes sense, go for it.
>> No. 31892
[x] Ask for another lesson tomorrow.

and

[x] Try talking with Meiling as to at least offer a shoulder to listen to if it comes up.
>> No. 31893
[ℤℯ] Listen in.
>> No. 31896
[x] Ask for another lesson tomorrow.
[x] Try talking with Meiling as to at least offer a shoulder to listen to if it comes up.
>> No. 31897
[x] Ask for another lesson tomorrow.
[x] Try talking with Meiling as to at least offer a shoulder to listen to if it comes up.
>> No. 31907
[x] Ask for another lesson tomorrow.
[x] Try talking with Meiling as to at least offer a shoulder to listen to if it comes up.
>> No. 31964
[x] Ask for another lesson tomorrow.
[x] Try talking with Meiling as to at least offer a shoulder to listen to if it comes u
>> No. 31980
File 125457332932.jpg - (627.92KB , 1200x1000 , youve got a friend.jpg ) [iqdb]
31980
>[x] Ask for another lesson tomorrow.
>[x] Try talking with Meiling as to at least offer a shoulder to listen to if it comes up.

I think about it for a bit. I need to keep up my lessons with Meiling, but...

"I think tomorrow's good."

"'kay." Marisa floats back up on her broom. "G'night, Kazuki."

"Goodnight." And she's off.

I wait at the path for a minute or two. What am I going to say to her? What is she going to think? I know I shouldn't, but I feel awful when other people feel awful.

... I shouldn't sit here unless I'm sleeping outside. I guess I cou--but what if they get worried? I might--aaaarrrgh.

Okay. Okay. Life will go on. It's not my problem anyway. All I can do is try to help. That in mind, time to make my way up the path.

It's not far. Up ahead, the gate stands like a black rook. By herself beside it, Meiling seems so...small. I try not to think about what that makes me.

She doesn't look up when I walk over. Sitting against the wall and hugging her knees, she's practically my height. (So much for not thinking about it.)

"Hey," I start dumbly. "You okay?"

"Yes. No. I don't know."

I pull up a bit of ground next to her and plop down. I've slept in worse places. For a friend, it's worth it.

Sorry for the short update after a long delay. Token school obligations, etc. At any rate this thread's had it. Now the question is...

[ ] Forward to the next incident.
[ ] Continue to do it slowly.

No penalties or consequences for either choice, it's a matter of whether you want to continue to watch Kazuki's training and fostering relationships, or get to the next bit of what can be called 'action' after a brief timeskip.

And on that note, with this thread's closure...

ACHIEVEMENTS UNLOCKED!
A Devil On My Shoulder: A little advice from your elders
Power Overwhelming: Began to learn to use your power
The Angel's Share: Enjoyed a well-earned drink
Neinball: Intercepted the would-be invader
Annihilation of Love: A book thief got her start
I Cast Magic Missile at the Rumia: Began learning magic
TL;DR: Autosaged a thread!

And one last thing--thanks everyone again for reading, and for tolerating the frets and starts here and there. Comments, critique, suggestions, things you want to see, here's the place for 'em.
>> No. 31981
[x] Continue to do it slowly.

Stories like this shine in the little moments; that and time skips suck.
>> No. 31982
{X} Continue to do it slowly.
>> No. 31984
[x] Continue to do it slowly.
We have already regretted one timeskip within a month, let's not make it a second one.
>> No. 31987
Do it nice and slow, sattelite cannon-samma!
>> No. 32006
[x] Continue to do it slowly.
>> No. 32038
Hey, Cannon. Are you the guy that did the post/chapter titles for ASSM? I liked those.

>>31987
Never post on this site again.
>> No. 32042
[x] Continue to do it slowly.

You should really switch to a new thread before autosage hits, I almost missed that this had updated.
>> No. 32043
>>32038
I can't say I did, sorry.
>>32042
Yeah, this one snuck up on me a bit.