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File 126110529941.jpg - (45.78KB , 490x618 , BUTCHER01.jpg ) [iqdb]
32909 No. 32909
Continuation of >>31024

-------

"This seems like a relatively harmless choice, wouldn't you say?" I asked her, pointing at the door labelled 'Food for the younger mistress'. At worst, we'd probably run into a mad butcher or sinister cook, or something.

"Perhaps. Perhaps not," she shrugged in response.
"Not everything is always as it seems in this mansion, or as you would imagine it to be. Never forget this."

"Alright, alright... You got a better idea, then?"

My companion shook her head compliantly, resigning herself to my blindly made choices as usual. How trusting of the poor woman, eh? Nevertheless, the foreboding door creaked open before us, and we left the dreadful heat of the laboratory complex behind us. Why a food storage would be near an alchemy lab seemed somewhat strange to me at the time, but I had figured it was due to them using chemicals of some sort to preserve the meat or blood in a fresh state. Give an aspiring alchemist a lab full of chemicals and he'll figure out a way to do the damnedest things with them. My own skills in manipulating substances were limited to a hobby of cooking, so I didn't really understand much of that sort of thing to begin with; just enough to restock myself on Holy Water, should I ever find myself at a shortage.

As we passed down a short, narrow and dark hallway of stone walls and a damp floor, the chemical stench of the laboratory in our nostrils was gradually replaced with that of raw and rotting meat. The buzzing of flies also became audible, although we didn’t see any at first. So, the sister of the Devil preferred her food in a more solid state..? I had heard hearsay of rare vampires that had to consume human flesh to sustain themselves, but I had thought these to be mere rumors to demonize some particularly sinister lords of darkness. Well, I would soon find out, as the end of the hallway quickly drew closer. I motioned for Alice to stay behind a short distance, peeking out from behind a corner and examining the general area.

Another overly huge room, a long set of stairs zigzagging all the way down to the bottom, three levels of metal walkways lining the walls of the room and connecting through the air along the middle. I couldn't quite see all the way behind the corner without exposing myself, but I could tell it was absolutely huge. Did they really need all this room just to store meat? I beckoned my companion to follow, sneaking over to the edge of the walkway that the hallway opened to, peering downwards in search of answers. Ah, there they were... Brandishing large, bloody cleavers, masked muscular beasts of men, hacking at what seemed like an awfully large piece of meat, stripping away pieces of flesh and tossing them onto a cart, one of the skinny alchemists from the laboratory carting it away to an unseen destination only to be replaced by another. This gruesome display took place all over the room, the butchers bringing more meat from a part of the room beyond our sight and cutting it apart. The entire floor was soaked with blood from the raw flesh.

Well, if you've ever been to a slaughterhouse, the sight wouldn't have been -that- horrible to you... up until the point where seven strong butchers struggled to drag what looked an awful lot like a giant hand over to the cutting boards, larger even than the golem we had just dispatched. Just -what- were they cutting apart, anyway? And where was that overly loud buzzing coming from?

"...Um." That was all Alice could say in response to seeing the hand being tossed onto the cutting boards, right before the butchers got to work severing the fingers and stripping the bones of the flesh meant to feed this other vampire. I made a mental note that I'd have to take down that one, too. Two vampires in one mission... Maybe I'd get a bonus on my pay for this one? Nah, knowing how the church feels about me, they'd be more likely to reduce my pay for wasting so much of their provided equipment. Come to think of it, this leather armor was starting to become less of a form of protection and more of a ragged, torn accessory...

"...We need to get down, somehow. I figure this room has another path heading down into the dungeon where we first met, wouldn't you think so?" She nodded, and we stealthily made our way forwards, careful not to step too loudly. We were both still recovering from our adventure in the laboratory, so I would have preferred to avoid any unnecessary encounters with the butchers. On the other hand, big guys with cleavers aren't that bad compared to, say, being poisoned, or battling a nigh-invulnerable golem. Speaking of which, I managed to avoid getting smacked around too badly in that fight, didn't I?
"Say, that golem of yours... If you ever make anything like that again, you ought to give it weapons or something. It lacked reach, and the blasts seemed to drain its energy."

"Weapons, you say? Hm." Making conversation while trying to sneak along a rather exposed - but, luckily, dark - walkway was hardly something any rationally thinking person would do, but... Well, you already know what I'm about to say, so the joke's spoiled in advance. Plus, the butchers were distracted by the sounds of their cleavers cutting flesh and cracking bone, so they wouldn't hear us anyway if we kept our voices to a whisper. Also, conversation is always a good way to reduce stress.

"Heh... Why not just make it a huge doll? It'd fit you better than a huge armored behemoth, that's for sure."

"A 'Goliath Doll', then?" She chuckled lightly, pressing her fingers to her lips to silence herself as we neared the corner; the walkway made a turn to the right, towards the section of the large, vertical room that was out of our sight.
"Perhaps I will, indeed. It's an interesting idea."

My smirk was quickly wiped from my face as we came out from around the corner, and laid eyes on just what it was they were harvesting the flesh from.

Hanging from the ceiling was a gigantic corpse of a humanoid monster. Three reinforced walkways at various heights were in front of it, butchers busily cutting pieces of it and loading them onto small carts, or putting the bloody strips of meat over their shoulders - some cutting out its entrails, some chopping away at the stump where its hand used to be, others still peeling layers of flesh off its grotesque face, encased in an iron mask, jaw gaping open.
And then we saw what was causing the buzzing sounds, and why it was so loud; gigantic flies were flying around the corpse, feasting on it, costantly being swatted away by butchers despite nearly being as large as they were. Maggots occasionally spilled from its guts when a larger piece of intestine was severed, dropping to the floor down below with a wet splash. And blood. Blood, everywhere. The entire corpse was still bleeding, as if it had been killed not moments ago, yet had already began decomposing somehow... Bizarre, and disturbing.

"Just what is that thing..?" And how did they get something that huge in there?

"It looks like some sort of... giant youkai... But I haven't seen any that large before," Alice muttered, trembling in awe of the titanic carcass dangling from the ceiling by numerous chains, attached to metal spikes impaled through its limbs.
"Is it... what they're feeding to the younger mistress.?"

"Looks like it... I've never heard of a vampire eating non-humans before, but... You see something new on every mission in my line of work. Come on, let's hurry down, I don't want to spend any longer in here than we have to."

"Agreed. But, the butchers..."

"Leave them to me. Your spells will only cause unnecessary amounts of light; no offense meant," I added in haste, sticking to my mostly polite nature even under stress.

"None taken. Let's go." Well, I was glad to see the determination in those dark green eyes of hers, even if it was mostly from revulsion at the sight we were forced to behold. How do you even kill something that huge..? This... thing... was larger than anything I had ever fought, and I dare say I wouldn't exaggerate too excessively if I estimated its height from head to what remained of its mostly-severed toes to reach nearly a hundred feet. In any case, lost in thought as I was, I lead Alice along the walkway, keeping to the shadows, pausing at moments when a nearby butcher glanced in our general direction. Unfortunately for us, our path would take us across the center of the room, to the other side of the walkway that passed right in front of the creature's head, right where one butcher remained hard at work at his task of slicing the ear off the side of the giant's face. Well, that butcher would have had to get out of our way, now wouldn't he?

"Hey," I whispered, tapping him on the shoulder once we had snuck up on him, the fiend unaware of our presence as he was caught up in his gruesome task, a twisted glee shining in those tiny black eyes of his; turning his greasy face in my direction in shock, mouth concealed behind a white mask, he displayed an unexpected amount of quick reflexes, slashing at me with his cleaver and grazing my shoulder just close enough to draw blood. Wincing in pain, I drew my dagger and stabbed it straight through his throat, in the right side and out the left, pulling towards myself to completely sever his windpipe and jugular veins. Whether he died instantly or was simply unable to scream, I couldn't tell, yet he collapsed right then and there, no longer a threat. Cleaning the tainted blood off my blade, I glanced bitterly at my shoulder, Alice rushing up behind me with a concerned frown.

"If you keep suffering additional injuries in every room we pass through, you'll be out of blood by the time we reach the vampire herself." As she proceeded to bind my wound with another piece of cloth torn from her mantle despite my protests, she smirked at me softly, brushing a lock of hair from my face which had stuck there at some point, soaked in either blood or sweat; I couldn't tell anymore.
"While this has the advantage of not allowing her to feed off you, you'd be too dead to do anything to her either."

"I'll be fine. You magical folk underestimate the durability of humans with willpower, you know." Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was the one underestimating something else; youkai's ability to detect the mouthwatering scent of human blood.

Even that of supposedly dead youkai.

At first, I thought my vision was vibrating from exhaustion or something, but then I realised that it was actually a low rumble sending tremors through the entire mansion, gradually building up in volume and intensity, causing the walkway to shake beneath us; we had to grip the edges to maintain our balance, and we turned our faces towards the source of the growl in disbelief, as it gradually grew into a roar of pain and fury.

The corpse was not a corpse at all. It was still alive, the wounds on its face already slowly beginning to close before our very eyes. The secret behind its purpose was revealed to us - this beast would provide the mansion with an endless supply of meat as long as it was allowed to regenerate from its injuries and kept sedated by the alchemists, too dazed to resist the butchers cleaving its flesh. Unfortunately, the smell of my blood was enough to lift the haze from its mind, and the titanic beast began to thrash and howl in a frenzy, shaking the walkways and knocking Butchers off the edges to their doom, nearly sending us to a similar fate. Eventually, it jerked its head upwards, smashing its iron mask into the ceiling and shattering it, as well as sending loose rocks tumbling downwards.

As luck would have it, one of them smashed right into the walkway we were standing on, destroying it and the one below and sending us falling. Our demise was averted when Alice gripped me and used both her power of flight to slow our descent, as well as sending out a group of her dolls to grip the last walkway right below the creature's exposed entrails, leaving us dangling by the wires as the dolls clung to the edges. The beast caused further tremors in the room, ripping its one good arm from the chains attaching it to the wall and attempting to grab at us, not quite reaching, roaring in frustration and an undying hunger. There was no telling how long this thing had been kept down here in endless torture, to feed the young vampire until the end of time...

"I'll lower us down. We need to get the hell out of here!" My companion's voice was clearly shaky; I could feel her heartbeat reach an incredible speed from the panic that gripped her mind as I desperately clung to her body.

The flies were starting to swoop down and circle us.



[] Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!
[] No. This foul abomination must be put out of its misery!
-{} (Optional: Battle strategy? Weapons, partner tactics, etc.)

>> No. 32911
[x] Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!

Congrats on thread 2.
>> No. 32912
[x] No. This foul abomination must be put out of its misery!
{X}WHIP. If that fails, MORE WHIP.
>> No. 32913
File 126111168713.jpg - (21.51KB , 390x292 , walken.jpg ) [iqdb]
32913
[x] No. This foul abomination must be put out of its misery!
- {X} WHIP. If that fails, MORE WHIP.

I've got a fever.
>> No. 32914
If this thing is anything like the Beelzebub boss in SotN then it should be relatively weak and easy to take down with only the damn flies being the major concern; not to mention (and I actually forgot) if they caused cursed or poisoned status or a combination of the two.

Kill the abomination for good

[X]Hunter defends Alice from the giant flies and cursed maggots that may come from the wretched undead corpse.
-[X]At all costs, prevent the giant flies from reaching Alice, use daggers, throwing axes if needed, Holy water for the maggots to burn.
[X]Alice with dolls assaults and destroys the head then heart of the damned thing if necessary.
--[X]She could just destroy the monstrosity's eyes to aid in dodging any incoming swings or grab attempts.

It very well may hold a key, perhaps in the remnants of the shattered iron mask it wore, or possibly an aiding implement that allows it to regenerate with ease despite the horrible butchery done to it.
>> No. 32915
>If this thing is anything like the Beelzebub boss in SotN then it should be relatively weak and easy to take down

What if it's more like the Forgotten One from LoI?
>> No. 32916
>>32915
Then they are fucked unless they can find a hiding spot...

But since the giant flies came in I assumed it would be the Beelzebub fight as the Forgotten One only had the maggots, no flies.

OR HE MAY JUST HAVE THE FO THERE WITH THE DAMN FLIES MAKING THINGS ON LUNATIC MODO~!
>> No. 32918
[X] No. This foul abomination must be put out of its misery!

Killing it will be a rather nasty blow against Remilia.
>> No. 32922
[x] Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!
-[x] Find a way to cover the blood scent... or to leave it somewhere else...

Get the fuck away: you're wounded, low on items and equipped with some scrapes of cloth that once were an armor. Instead of fighting head on like a dumbass bull, use that monster to wreak havoc inside the mansion. I can't think of a better distraction than this.
>> No. 32924
As much as I hate to say it, >>32922 may have a point. Low on supplies, medical supplies (if any), No rest, armor gone to shit, having dealt with multiple bosses, not to mention one reprising the role of Nemesis as she chases them down...

They need to find some way to resupply and rest up; if that's even possible at all.

[x] Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!
-[x] Find a way to cover the blood scent... or to leave it somewhere else...
>> No. 32925
[x] Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!
-[x] Find a way to cover the blood scent... or to leave it somewhere else...
>> No. 32926
[x] Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!
-[x] Find a way to cover the blood scent... or to leave it somewhere else...
>> No. 32927
[x] Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!
-[x] Find a way to cover the blood scent... or to leave it somewhere else...
>> No. 32930
> Find a way to cover the blood scent... or to leave it somewhere else...

Oh hey Meiling! Do you mind if I wipe my bloody hand on your shirt?
>> No. 32931
[x] Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!
-[x] Find a way to cover the blood scent... or to leave it somewhere else...
>> No. 32957
File 126135226734.png - (89.30KB , 284x251 , forgottenone.png ) [iqdb]
32957
BGM: "Dungeon of Eternal Torture"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zse-XQNwGgA

-------

"Yes, do it quickly! We need to escape, now!" I practically screamed at her. While being brave and reckless was one of my defining traits back then, even I knew it'd be suicidal to go up against something the size of a tall building with just a whip and a witch - especially if it's strong and angry enough to rip the chains and meat hooks keeping it in place right out of the walls. Without even a response, Alice quickly began lowering us down as fast as possible, the wires lengthening and the floor drawing closer, closer... Still too far away. The sound of metal snapping echoed through the gigantic room once more, and I looked up just in time to see the monstrosity pull its arm completely free, smashing it right through the walkway from which we were dangling and sending us falling.

A shocked yelp was the last thing I heard before Alice used her flight magic again to slow our descent, just enough to keep us from breaking our bones as we crashed into the floor below; I managed to rotate us so I was the one on bottom, just before the impact. A few seconds of groaning and rubbing aching limbs later, we sprang to our feet, taking a battle-ready stance and glancing at our surroundings - butchers and alchemists all around us, waving cleavers, meat hooks and other dangerous-looking objects around in their hands, closing in as a tight circle. Above us, the flies were still circling with an annoyingly loud buzzing noise.

"You idiot," my lovely companion spouted out, her back against mine as she gripped her magical tome, ready to vaporize whichever foe lunged at her first.
"I can take a hit better than you. Don't do stupid things like that, or you'll end up getting us both killed! I swear I told you this back in the laboratory already..."

"Oh yeah? That worked out real well for you, didn't it?" Frustration obvious in my voice, I gripped the handle of the whip, palming my pouches with my free hand and trying to decide on a sub-weapon to use. They didn't seem particularly tough individually, but there were certainly a -lot- of them... And those blades looked rusty and infected, too.
"You nearly died back there, you know."

"Just a small underestimation... And besides, you would've died much faster than me." Well, she had a point there, although I was stubborn enough to open my mouth just to keep arguing, eyes still fixed on the murderous fiends slowly stepping closer to us.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I was interrupted by an earth-shaking roar sending both us and the butchers off-balance, followed by further loud crashes and the groaning sound of metal being bent and broken out of shape. Staring up in disbelief and horror, we were treated to the sight of the suspended giant tearing its entire body free, the room shivering and quaking as it descended down to the ground, maggots spilling from its guts and flesh in all directions, the shockwave knocking us and our assailants off our feet...
...As well as the giant itself, for that matter. Centuries of confinement had atrophied what remained of its muscles, the rest having recently been stripped off its bones, and thus its legs could not support its own weight, loudly snapping and cracking beneath it as it toppled over with a bloodchilling howl, with us beneath it. Can you imagine a hundred-foot-tall zombie collapsing in your general direction? Didn't think so.

"Run!"

Its huge bulk slowed it down some, shoulders getting caught in the tight space of the room it was never meant to go wandering about in - come to think of it, by the looks of it this dungeon was built around the creature itself, as opposed to it being put in here as an afterthought. Its lower limbs breaking and gravity mercilessly pulling it ever downwards, it roared with all its might, the claws of its one hand digging into a nearby wall and sending pieces of stone flying as it desperately tried to stop itself from collapsing, but to no avail.

While Alice and I had been utterly drained of all energy for a while now, situations like that tend to give you a spontaneous surge of adrenaline-fueled energy, so we were running fast enough to leave Olympic sprinters in shame, a small door in the distance our goal. Right behind us were the butchers and alchemists that had surrounded us a moment ago, no longer chasing us but running for dear life as well, having discarded their tools and weapons the moment the creature began to fall. They would push and shove among one another, even going as far as trampling some of the scrawnier alchemists beneath their feet, leaving them to their inevitable doom as the gigantic un-corpse descended closer and closer with alarming speed.

I nearly ripped the door from the wall, shoving Alice inside and ducking in after her, slamming it shut behind us and bolting the door from our side. As we slowly stepped backwards away from the door, panting to catch our breath and get our heart rates back to something vaguely resembling normal, we could hear panicked screams and pounding from the other side of the door for a handful of seconds, before a deafening crash that seemed to shake the very foundations of the entire mansion knocked us down again, dust and pieces of rock crumbling from the ceiling in the hallway we found ourselves in; most of the screams were silenced immediately, and a huge dent was smashed into the metal door. A dark, sticky-looking reddish liquid gradually began to seep inwards from beneath the door, its putrid stench filling our nostrils.

"...Phew. That was a close one." I didn't exactly have the energy for more words than that, at the time. Alice looked about as well as I felt, fingers lightly pressed to her chest as she tried to normalize her breathing, the exertion of our magnificent sprint just now finally catching up on us both.

"Indeed. What a horrible creature... And yet, don't you feel kind of sad for it? It must've been stuck there like this for centuries, constantly being cut apart and regenerating again..." There was a bit of a compassionate look in her grey eyes, as she stared at the oozing puddle of blood by the door.

"Heh. Even if I'd like to feel sorry for such beasts, I can't afford to feel such things in my line of work. Tends to end badly." I stood up once more, and assisted Alice in getting back on her feet as well.
"Looks like the poor thing will at least get to enjoy the next few centuries resting in a horizontal position, though; some variety is always nice in life." She met my light chuckle with a faint smirk, and we started walking down the corridor we found ourselves in.
"I wonder where this'll-..."

--------

BGM: "The Looming Threat"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccCSbzHcF7A

--------

I was yet again interrupted by a low, rumbling growl, eventually growing into a furious howl; just as we turned around on instinct, what seemed like an explosion blasted through the door and wall behind us - as the dust and flying debris settled, we couldn't believe our eyes.

The giant had smashed itself through the wall, and was dragging its torso towards us with one arm, its lower body having become severed, a broken spine and loose entrails dragging behind it as it hunted us, wide shoulders smashing through the tight corridor, a blind thirst for blood as the only emotion in its mad eyes. It roared once more, baring its shark, broken teeth, spraying a foul smell and its disgusting spittle in our direction.

"No fucking way," was all I could manage to spit out, before Alice gripped my wrist and lead me along - only moments had passed since we got to take a quick rest break, and we had to run again, the floor cracking and quaking behind us as the titan pursued us from behind, smashing and crashing its way through the corridor too narrow for even its head to fit through, like a huge mole burrowing its way through the passage of a small earthworm. All it knew was a blinding, burning, aching hunger in what remained of its guts, and the smell of my blood clouded its mind with an empowering rage, its broken body being only a minor obstacle in its pursuit of our tender flesh. I tried smashing a bottle of Holy Water into its face, yet the holy flames licking at its exposed flesh only made it angrier, hastening its motions. Its one hand would attempt to swipe or grab at us whenever it got close enough, us barely managing to evade its gigantic grip.

Eventually, we came to a familiar part of the mansion once again - the dungeon, right by the sealed door behind which I heard the little girl's voice earlier. Just as I had thought. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw the monster still behind us, not having lost any of its fury or energy. Was it honestly planning on chasing us all the way back up to the mansion foyer, or even outside? Even in its brutally broken state, if such a giant were to find its way outside and regenerate its lost limbs and flesh, it would surely endanger all of Japan. As if the Japs didn't already have enough giant monster issues...
I managed to duck just in time for the monster to swing its colossal fist through the air in an attempt to splatter me, bashing right through the seal on the doors - unbelievably enough, the doors themselves were unharmed, but the lock was destroyed. We were far too focused on trying not to get killed to sate our curiosity and look inside, though, so instead we merely dashed for the dungeon exit... only to be faced by a familiar foe. Damn, at such a time and place..!

Hong Meiling!

"Just as I thought!" A satisfied grin on her face, she took on a combat stance, blocking our passage.
"You've managed to evade my grasp long enough, but now I've caught you two troublemakers! Prepare to die!" Of course, she quickly noticed the huge freaking monster behind us, now reaching for all three of us with a massive hand, and the smug smirk was wiped clean off her face, replaced with utter shock.
"What the-..?"

But then we heard something else. Something that seemed to shock Hong Meiling even more than the prospect of a giant tearing its way through the mansion in pursuit of fresh meat. Something that made all the color in her face fade away, and caused her stance to drop.

The playful voice of a little girl.

"Oh, I thought I heard something! Is it snack time already?" An amused giggle quickly followed, and the giant's movements stopped just short of us. And then it glanced over its shoulder, and... gasped in shock? What happened next is something I'll remember for the rest of my days - the mighty fiend looked back to us, with a face full of fear and helplessness, whining pathetically with that low and rumbling voice, its fingers desperately digging into the floor as its entire body suddenly jerked back, as if it were being pulled. All three of us merely looked on in a confused terror as the mighty behemoth was dragged backwards towards the door it had smashed open, its anguished cries of pain and horror mixed in with the laughter of a child, a truly surreal and disturbing thing to behold, its arm thrashing wildly and attempting to grab onto anything, to no avail.

Its massive torso eventually got stuck, its wide shoulders blocking it from being pulled any further through the door, the sides of which were already bloody from having pulled its sides inside, shattering its ribs and crushing its internal organs. Not for long, though - a loud crunching sound echoed through the dungeon as its shoulders gave away, its head giving off one more piercing scream before vanishing into the darkness, only its weakly grasping arm remaining, quickly following it inside to the sound of claws dragging along stone. And then the massive beast was gone, just like that, as if it had never been there, the only evidence of its existence being the blood and maggots on the floor where it was. A mere second passed, before Hong Meiling suddenly surged forward, past us to the doors, slamming them shut and pressing her back against them, holding them closed just as some sort of unseen force began to pound on them from the inside - she seemed to be exerting every last bit of her strength to keep the doors from opening again, the tension clear on her face, heels digging into the stone floor each time this mysterious force smashed against the doors.

"Meiliiing, let's plaaaay~" That voice, so innocent and childlike, was beginning to send cold shivers down my spine, especially after what we had just been witness to; my companion, Alice, had lost her footing during the process, collapsing onto the floor in a panic, the sheer terror of the concept of something that could do -that- to such an unstoppable titan being too much for her to bear. Once again, I helped her up and gave her some time to recover, glancing over at Hong Meiling again. Gritting her teeth, sweat dripping from her brow, she returned my gaze, before a bitter grin spread across her lips.

"...If you value your lives, you will leave. Now."

We didn't need to be told twice. Helping the still-trembling Alice along, I ran towards the exit, up the stairs and out of the dungeon, and we once again found ourselves in the mansion foyer. I decided to see if my companion was doing alright, just in case.

"Hey, are you okay?"

She was still trying to catch her breath, pale in the face, but eventually she treated me to a soft smile, with a firm nod.
"...I'll be fine. That was just a little too much, that's all. I guess I'm actually a bit of a coward at heart..."

"Ah, don't be like that. I may have only met you tonight, but I can already tell you're not one to back out of something just because you're afraid." I gave her a bit of a friendly pat on the back, supporting her with my other arm until the strength returned to her legs.
"After all, being afraid isn't a bad thing - being paralyzed by your fears is."

"Fine words, from someone so young." Seeing my obvious disappointment at her bringing up my youth again, she snickered lightly, amusement plain in her golden eyes. Eventually, I couldn't take it either, myself; several life-or-death situations in a row tend to leave your mind hypersensitive to emotions. I couldn't help chuckling alongside her for a while, even if it hadn't been all that funny. Laughter is good in general, you know; raises morale and helps you recover from stress and all that. Eventually, after both of us had calmed down some, and we were absolutely certain nothing was going to burst out of the floor or wall or anywhere else to brutally murder or eat us, I pulled out the map once again to plan our next destination. I didn't want to waste any more time, until either Meiling or whoever - or whatever - was behind that door would come for us.



[] The Inner Quarters.
[] The Clock Tower.
>> No. 32958
[x] The Inner Quarters.

A more peaceful change of pace is nice. Great update.
>> No. 32959
[x] The Inner Quarters.

Clock Tower is the second to last stop.
>> No. 32960
[r] The Inner Quarters.
>> No. 32961
[x] The Inner Quarters.

Clock Tower is last.
>> No. 32963
[x] The Inner Quarters.
>> No. 32964
[X] The Inner Quarters.

no contest, also Generous or should I say the Castlevania Music Anon here, the "Portrait of Ruin OST" can be had over at the Castlevania thread over at /words/. Next one coming will be "Curse of Darkness".

Would have been posted earlier but *Cirno* decided to leave her *gift* to me for Christmas early at my door step in the form of being snowed in just recently. Got off of work for maybe a couple of days but still.
>> No. 32966
[x] The Inner Quarters.

...Damn.
>> No. 32970
Was I the only one who chuckled yet felt pity for the giant nigh-corpse when Flan started to pull it in? Said Nigh-corpse being nearly unstoppable before then and such.
>> No. 32971
[X] The Inner Quarters.

>>32970
Yeah me too. Poor thing.
>> No. 32972
And to think, we'll have to fight Flandre later as well.

Well of course we will, she'll be rather pissed off when she finds out we have just slain her sister. And you know how she gets when she's angry.
>> No. 32973
[x] The Inner Quarters.

It just wanted to be your friend! After so much time locked up and cut up someone finally came by. It tried to say hello but it's vocal cords were so ruined that only a roar came out. Then it tried to give you a handshake, but you ran away. It chased after you trying to apologize, but you just kept running and running. Jerks, all of you.
>> No. 32974
>>32973
;_;
>> No. 32979
>>32973

You obviously never played Castlevania.
>> No. 33003
File 126144423675.jpg - (436.21KB , 720x900 , 9e86f3021bdb01314bf21276f3e7f1da.jpg ) [iqdb]
33003
>"Meiliiing, let's plaaaay~"

Awwww, isn't she cute.
>> No. 33005
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33005
Depending on choices made, the next few updates may be either standard-length, or a quick succession of shorter ones. In the case of the latter, expect multiple updates in one day, since I've been wanting to write this bit for a while now. Anon likes lots of choices and control, no?

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"This way." I folded the map up again and shoved it back in my pocket, heading down the hallway opposite of the one that lead to the Alchemy Laboratory - if the map was to be trusted, this would eventually lead us to the Inner Quarters of the mansion. The Inner Quarters were divided into four areas: The two larger ones were the Guest Quarters and Maids' Quarters, and the two smaller ones being the Kitchen and 'Entertainment Area', the latter being strangely round in comparison to the other rooms. An arena of sorts, perhaps? Vampires often get a kick out of forcing monsters or humans fight to the death in the ring of battle.

Hoping I wouldn't have to duel some sort of giant monster in the arena just to get the damn key, I slowed down my pace as the wallpaper changed. Sure, it was still a dark red in tone, but different. Alice caught up to me momentarily, having stayed behind some to watch our back and make sure we weren't being followed, and the two of us found ourselves in yet another long hallway, doors in a line along the walls. The Guest Quarters.

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BGM: "Inner Quarters"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcJA1ZagXCI

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"Did you see anyone - or anything - following us?"

"No, we're safe for now," Alice responded, sending one last just-in-case glance over her shoulder before adjusting her dress a little, and running her fingers through her hair. Even with us both dirty and wounded, our clothes ripped and torn, she maintained some sort of unnatural beauty that only youkai and other creatures of the night are capable of.
"So, what's our next step? There seem to be a lot of rooms to check..."

"Well, we'll just have to check all of them, won't we?" Taking initiative, I gripped the handle of the nearest door to my left; anticipation building up within me, I gripped my whip and pulled the door open, poised to strike.

An empty room. Quaint and humble, little else than wallpaper, a carpet and the bare necessities in furniture. Quite lovely, although it could certainly use some decoration, maybe some more furniture. A chair here, some candlestick there, maybe a vase with flowers on a fine table... Yes, indeed - I felt an overwhelming urge to decorate this room overtake me! Luckily enough, before this surprise attack by my sense of style managed to completely consume my mind, I was brought out of my daze by my companion gently slapping me upside the back of the head.

"Hey, wake up. What are you staring at? There's nothing in here."

"Exactly!" I blurt out, quickly realizing how random this must sound.
"I was just, ah, making absolutely sure it was all clear."

All I got in response was a rolling of green eyes, followed by a soft sigh.
"You do realize that if you take this long to check each room, we'll be here all week, don't you?"

"Well, why don't you help out then? You check the rooms on the right. There's got to be a trial for us in here somewhere, with one of the keys we're after." I feigned some mild frustration in my tone to mask my bewilderment over my own momentary fit of insanity. Who's ever heard of a self-respecting vampire hunter spontaneously stopping to take up interior decoration in the middle of a mission?

Now, maybe after the mission is finished...

"Are you still with me?" Alice's voice rings through my head yet again, the woman peering at me suspiciously over her shoulder while closing the door to another empty room, already a ways ahead of me down the hallway.

"Yes, yes, just mentally preparing for any battle we might end up in..."

"Well, by the looks of it, the mistress of the mansion is not hosting any guests for the time being..." Another few doors go by. The hallway seemed to stretch onwards endlessly.

"Besides us, you mean."

"True enough," she chuckled in response.

"To be honest, I wouldn't mind taking a quick rest in one of these beds... This mission's taken me a lot longer than I had originally planned for." More rooms. This one had a small chest on a table. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be empty.

"And risk being assaulted in your sleep by vampires? How daring." She jolts back with a muffled yelp for a moment, prompting me to turn around, hands on the grips of my whip and dagger; it turned out to be just a spider.

"Did I say anything about sleep? Just a quick lie-down to relax the muscles, that's all-... Oh."

"Oh," Alice mimicked my gasp of surprise, as we both marveled at our discovery, a treasure sent to us by the gods themselves (Gods? Plural? How blasphemous of me. And I don't even believe in any deities.), hidden away behind that one door I had just oh-so-casually opened. Snow-white ornate porcelain tiles sparkling with a divine glory, bathing us in the radiant light shining off it from the candles that illuminate the entire mansion.

A bathroom.

Slowly turning our heads in amazement and wonder, we looked at one another for a few moments before breaking out into wide smiles.

"...What do you say? You or me first?"

"Hm. Would I be wise to trust you to watch the door and not get yourself killed, good hunter?"

"I've been doing a pretty good job of not dying so far, haven't I?"

"Fair enough. Well, if you'll excuse me..."

Smirking in response, I leaned myself back against the wall by the door as she closed it behind herself; the light shuffling sound of her removing her dress and other articles of clothing were audible through the wooden door.

"Don't lock it, now. If anything goes wrong in there, you just call me; I'm right outside."

The sound of water coming out of the showerhead.

"Why would I lock it?" There was a certain delight in her voice, that of a person who finally gets access to cleaning facilities after being covered in blood both their own and of monsters, as well as all other imaginable varieties of grime and filth, for what has felt like a terribly long night so far.
"It's not like I'd have any reason to feel embarrassed in front of you, after all."

"Heh." Looking down at myself, I could see that I was in no less dire need of a good shower than Alice; my clothes and skin were covered in anything ranging from dirt and grass stains from my encounters out in the forest, to various layers of dried blood from both myself and most of Remilia Scarlet's staff that I had encountered so far, to other crusted coatings of fluids I didn't even want to recall the origins of anymore. I was a royal mess. Even my hair, to which I had accredited the majority of my good looks, was caked up with dried blood here and there. Were I not used to such a condition, it would've made my skin crawl; you see, I actually have a bit of a cleanliness obsession while I'm not slaying slobbering demons and the like. I did the best I could to shake or scrape off the majority of the gunk I was covered in, frowning mildly at the mess it left on the otherwise nice carpeting in the hallway.

Eventually, the door creaked open again, and out stepped Alice. I couldn't help but stare at her in awe for a brief moment; even when I had first found her down in the dungeon, her hair hadn't had such a brilliant sheen to it, her mildly pale skin hadn't been so clean and unblemished, and her facial expression hadn't been so relaxed and refreshed. Even though her dress was still stained and torn in places, she had regained some sort of otherworldly elegance in her appearance.

"Well, that was certainly enjoyable. Your turn?"

"Y-yeah. You just keep a lookout for any guard patrols or the like. I'll be done in a minute or two."

"I highly doubt we'll run into anyone around here." She took my place by the door and I headed inside, closing the door behind myself and stripping off the useless remains of my leather armor, listening to her as she continued speaking.
"Although, we're getting closer to the Maids' Quarters... The mansion has a rather large staff of fairy maids."

"Fairies? Eh, how bad can those be? Would we even need to fight them?" Off came the scarf and coat, carefully set aside with all the gear concealed on the inside; followed by a few more weapon straps and the bloody shirt. Looking myself over, I was relieved to find out that most of the blood didn't seem to be mine after all, although numerous pains reminded me that I was not without my fair share of injuries.

"Oh, they can be pretty bad when there's this many of them... But if you feel guilty about killing them, don't." Off came the pants and boots, along with more of my weaponry, followed by the underwear as I eagerly jumped into the bathtub and gripped the showerhead. Now to utter a minor prayer that Alice hadn't used up all the hot water...
"After all, fairies wouldn't die even if you killed them."

"But... All lifeforms die when they are killed." Puzzled by what she was saying, having never actually fought fairies before, I embraced the warm, wet feeling of clean water flowing down my body, washing away all the grime and filth and stink, running my fingers through my hair to get the blood and gunk out. Wonderful. The risks of being caught naked in the shower in a vampire's mansion didn't even occur to me at the time.

After all, that wasn't my first time borrowing a vampire's facilities.

"Fairies are beings created from mother nature herself, and thus they cannot die. They simply reincarnate, given sufficient time, sometimes with a completely different mind, body, of even gender." This was beginning to sound like one of my old cryptozoology and paranormal creature lore classes back during hunter training.
"They also cannot procreate for this reason, otherwise they would overpopulate the entire world. Thus, by killing a fairy, you'd only be incapacitating it for a short time."

"Well, that makes me feel better. I think. Granted, I don't think the guilt would bother me of all people too much in either case..." I continued washing myself in silence for another minute or so, before her voice called out from behind the door once again.

"Why wouldn't the guilt of killing bother you?"

"...Eh. I don't really feel like bringing it up on the job. I don't do vampire slaying too well when I'm being moody." She didn't reply, and I merely stood there, staring at my own nude form as the water from the shower washed the blood from my fresher wounds down the drain for a short while, trying to drown out unwanted thoughts. Yes, yes, there's a stereotypical dark past story involved, I'll get to that later. Yes, I realize it's clichéd, just bear with me and let me continue the story. In any case, I dried myself off with a convenient nearby towel and got dressed again, which almost felt as if it took longer than the time it actually took me to take that shower, with all the gear and weaponry I had. And to think, I was still running relatively low on everything but the throwing knives. To be fair, I had knives stuffed everywhere I could fit them, even some hidden in my boots. I decided to leave the useless strips of ruined leather that used to be called armor, and exited the bathroom, feeling clean and refreshed and eliciting a smile from Alice.

"Well, I'll be! Underneath all that dirt and filth, you're actually not an unpleasing sight for the eyes... Honestly, before I could almost have mistaken you for a..."

"...A what?"

"Never mind," she shrugged off the topic with a mild chuckle, averting the gaze of her light blue eyes.
"Well then, now that we at least look somewhat presentable, save for our outfits," she gestured to my torn coattails and mud-caked boots, "shall we continue our little adventure and seek out our next trial?"

"We shall indeed, o companion of mine," I responded in one of those overly grandiose adventurer-type tones of voice, pumping my fist through the air with newfound energy and vigor. Of course, my growling stomach quickly reminded me that I still hadn't eaten since I left the village, but I couldn't very well have simply smashed a hole into the wall and discovered a conveniently placed roast turkey, now could I? So, just like that, trying to ignore the protests of my starving gut, I proceeded to continue checking rooms for any hints or clues in regards to our task. What I eventually saw in one of the last rooms before the maid quarters, my eyes could not believe at first.

Remilia Scarlet herself, an amused smirk dancing on those sinister youthful lips of hers, sitting behind a table seated for three, plates with food and wine glasses in front of the chairs. I instinctively gripped the chain whip tight enough to interfere with the blood flow in my fist, yet my sheer curiosity stopped me from striking at once. Keeping one hand on the whip's handle, the other feeling around for the cross boomerang or an alternative sub-weapon, I tried to relax my stance, Alice rushing up behind me and gasping, as shocked as I was.

"Ah, good evening! I see you've found the bathroom, haven't you? How delightful of you to take the trouble of getting cleaned up just for little old me, too." A wicked grin followed this uncharacteristically humble declaration of greeting.

"What tricks are you playing now, fiend?"

"No tricks, no tricks, I assure you!" She raised her hands up in a mocking defense, still giggling to herself in an irritating manner, faintly glowing crimson eyes permanently fixed upon my face, never blinking.
"I merely wanted to congratulate you for your progress so far." She leaned to the side a little, to get a better glance at my blonde companion.
"The both of you. Three keys in such a short amount of time! And here I thought you would meet your demise in the Laboratory, too. Most impressive, most impressive!"

"...Hmph. And you showed your vile face just to tell me that? Well then, prepare to meet -your- demise, monster." Just as I prepared to pull the whip from my belt and strike, she made a generous gesture to the table at which she was sitting, the food still steaming in the plates. It actually looked... edible. I couldn't detect any dark emanations from the plates, nor the wine.
"Ah, but aren't the two of you hungry? It would surely be an unsatisfying battle if you were forced to fight on an empty stomach, would you not agree?"

"Trying to poison us so easily, are you?"

She merely responded with a fanged grin.
"Would you believe me even if I said it wasn't poisoned?"

"Believe the word of the Scarlet Devil? No."

"Then by that logic, I would have no reason at all to lie to you. It isn't poisoned."

Alice merely scoffed in response, a dark glare in her dark green eyes as she fixed her gaze upon the vampire that had imprisoned her as a 'reward' for her service.
"I have no interest in -your- food. Besides, us Magicians abandon food as part of our ascension..."

"My, my, so cruel; still offended at my earlier treatment and horrid misjudgment of your character? You have my sincerest apologies, darling," the vampire responded in the most insincere voice imaginable, batting those long eyelashes at us in a manner that was probably meant to be cute.

"Perhaps I can make it up to you two. Indeed, perhaps I could offer you a boon of sorts..." Interlocking her fingers in front of her face, she leaned her elbows on the table, the corners of her mouth dragging upwards as she narrowed her eyes at us both.

"...What's the catch?"

"You will dine with me, and provide me with entertainment."

"Entertainment? You expect us to sing and dance for your amusement?"

She burst out into a suppressed, ladylike laughter, gloved fingertips touching her lips gently before she shook her head, blue locks swaying left and right.
"No, although that would definitely be something wonderful to behold. I would have you tell me a tale."

"A tale?"

"Yes. If you make it interesting enough, I will aid you in your quest." Wait, something seemed off about this proposal...

"...Why would you aid us in our quest to ultimately -slay- you?"

"Because I see various potential outcomes to this little dance of ours, and I would most definitely love to see which one will be the true ending of this story. Our story," she adds with a venomous chuckle.

"And what makes you think I won't just decide to slay you here and now?" Alice had been awfully quiet all this time, merely standing behind me and hesitantly trading glances between myself and Remilia Scarlet, the vampire occasionally meeting her gaze and sending a shiver down her spine with a disarming grin.

"Because if you were fated to do so, you would have done it by now already."



[] Hmph. Very well, I -am- kind of hungry. And if it's a tale she wants...
-{} I told her a tale of a lone champion of God, overcoming the challenges of the vampire's castle and slaying its dark lord.
-{} I told her of two companions, a young hunter and aspiring magician, and their adventures as they hunted down an evil vampire that had been plaguing the lands.
-{} I told her the story of a group of adventurers in pursuit of the vampiric lord of an evil castle - a mighty vampire hunter, a mysterious magician, a nimble man skilled with blades, and a betrayer of the vampire's own blood.
[] "I am the master of my own fate." Strike!
>> No. 33008
Hmm...

1) Simon Belmont's first tale, before the next one involving the curse afflicting him. Or perhaps Leon's tale considering one can say that had been the only story where a vampire lord had been utterly destroyed; never to return.

2) The Hunter and Alice's experience up to their fated meeting with the lord of the manse.

3) Trevor Belmont's and his companion's tale.

[X] Hmph. Very well, I -am- kind of hungry. And if it's a tale she wants...
-[X] I told her the story of a group of adventurers in pursuit of the vampiric lord of an evil castle - a mighty vampire hunter, a mysterious magician, a nimble man skilled with blades, and a betrayer of the vampire's own blood.

Inb4 the food is not actually poisoned but cursed thus afflicting both Hunter and Alice later on.
>> No. 33009
>>33008
>2) The Hunter and Alice's experience up to their fated meeting with the lord of the manse.

I was thinking Jonathan and Charlotte.
>> No. 33010
[] Hmph. Very well, I -am- kind of hungry. And if it's a tale she wants...
-{} I told her the story of a group of adventurers in pursuit of the vampiric lord of an evil castle - a mighty vampire hunter, a mysterious magician, a nimble man skilled with blades, and a betrayer of the vampire's own blood.

I'm sure she'd get a kick out of this; sure it's a matter of vampires being slain, but this has the most potential for entertainment.
>> No. 33011
By what Taisa said, there's no bad end if we decide to attack her here and now. However, there will be short updates so we can be in control of the battle.
The story ones have such potential that I can't bare myself to vote the last option, even when I'd love to do so: I tire of the people who throw the word 'Fate' around like it were a cheap yo-yo.

Goddamnit Taisa, is this the power of Remilia? Letting you know which choice you WILL select, and seeing you suffer as you realize that, even when the illusion of free choice is still present, in the end you WILL do what she said you would?
>> No. 33013
>>33009
Yeah those two could work.
>> No. 33014
>>33011

If you played Rondo of Blood or the PSP Port edition, depending on what you do, you will either "vanquish" Dracula supposedly for another 100 years or only bitch slap him around before Shaft saves his ass.

Both endings you essentially put Dracula in his place but one ending is left very unsatisfying, even qualifying as a BAD END considering Richter essentially failed to kill him but did stop his terrorizing the countryside. The other ending of course is awesome.

Striking Remilia so prematurely may result in an unsatisfying end.
>> No. 33015
>"Well, I'll be! Underneath all that dirt and filth, you're actually not an unpleasing sight for the eyes... Honestly, before I could almost have mistaken you for a..."
..Man? The MC can't really be Sakuya, or could it be? All the hints just fit too well.
>Of course, my growling stomach quickly reminded me that I still hadn't eaten since I left the village
I am pretty sure we raided some food when we went into the basement.
>All I knew was that I was mighty pleased to discover a stash of bread and frozen meat in one of the rooms in the basement. Had I the time and convenience, I would've dug around for more supplies and cooked myself up something nice, but this would have had to do for the time. I even found a stick of fresh butter, and the wine cellar, which I didn't hesitate to plunder. Not that I'd like to promote drinking on the job, but I was not one to turn down a fine red wine. Feeling somewhat refreshed after the meal
Found it.

[x] Hmph. Very well, I -am- kind of hungry. And if it's a tale she wants...
-{x} I told her a tale of a lone champion of God, overcoming the challenges of the vampire's castle and slaying its dark lord.
>"Because if you were fated to do so, you would have done it by now already."
Goddamn, she already knows what we are about to choose. She probably survived that long because of her fate powers and planned this all from the beginning. Why else would she leave Alice alive and play around like that.

inb4 this whole story is Sakuya telling everyone at a party how she and Remilia first met.
>> No. 33017
>>33015
My bad on the food issue. Let's pretend our protagonist is just so damn hungry that it feels like the last meal was ages ago.
>> No. 33018
I don't see why Remi should tell the truth now, even despite what she said. She lied to Alice, why would she start being honest now?

I don't want to get all ASSM-level paranoid here, but... yeah.
>> No. 33021
>>33015

The protagonist is not Sakuya. A few stray comments from Taisa elsewhere have let slip that much.
>> No. 33022
>>33017

Fighting monsters is sure is a good way to whip up an appetite.

But I don't think she has any ill intent this time. I see her akin to Walter in LoI: To her this is just a game.
>> No. 33023
[X] Hmph. Very well, I -am- kind of hungry. And if it's a tale she wants...
-[X] I told her the story of a group of adventurers in pursuit of the vampiric lord of an evil castle - a mighty vampire hunter, a mysterious magician, a nimble man skilled with blades, and a betrayer of the vampire's own blood.

The name of our tale is Beginnings.
>> No. 33024
>>33017
's okay. Just make this count as 'rest' and the result will be the same: getting Remi's boon while, at the same time, getting the rest that wouldn't be allowed elsewhere.


-{x} I told her the story of a group of adventurers in pursuit of the vampiric lord of an evil castle - a mighty vampire hunter, a mysterious magician, a nimble man skilled with blades, and a betrayer of the vampire's own blood.
>> No. 33035
>>33017
>Let's pretend our protagonist is just so damn hungry that it feels like the last meal was ages ago

I loled so hard I scared the cat. Just wow.

[X] Hmph. Very well, I -am- kind of hungry. And if it's a tale she wants...
-{X} I told her the story of a group of adventurers in pursuit of the vampiric lord of an evil castle - a mighty vampire hunter, a mysterious magician, a nimble man skilled with blades, and a betrayer of the vampire's own blood.

I still play it every now and then, and I find having Sypha along being the hardest in terms of difficulty but most fun as well.
>> No. 33045
[X] Hmph. Very well, I -am- kind of hungry. And if it's a tale she wants...
-[X] I told her the story of a group of adventurers in pursuit of the vampiric lord of an evil castle - a mighty vampire hunter, a mysterious magician, a nimble man skilled with blades, and a betrayer of the vampire's own blood.
>> No. 33047
>An empty room. Quaint and humble, little else than wallpaper, a carpet and the bare necessities in furniture. Quite lovely, although it could certainly use some decoration, maybe some more furniture. A chair here, some candlestick there, maybe a vase with flowers on a fine table... Yes, indeed - I felt an overwhelming urge to decorate this room overtake me! Luckily enough, before this surprise attack by my sense of style managed to completely consume my mind, I was brought out of my daze by my companion gently slapping me upside the back of the head.

This is your new room. Get used to it.

>"Because if you were fated to do so, you would have done it by now already."

Come on guys, she's full of it.

If she truly believes neither of us will attack her, then this is our best chance, taking her completely unawares. We do have vampire resistant blood, remember?

[x] Whisper to Alice: "We'll take seats. No need for anything other than putting food on your plate. Can you seal the doors once I've got Remilia distracted?"
[x] Regardless, take a seat.
[x] Engage Remilia in conversation: "A boon? A 'boon' like that which you had given to your other misshapen, rotting servants? A 'boon' like being locked in dungeon with skeletons for company as a reward for doing a good job? I don't think I'll be making deals with this devil, Scarlet."
[x] Bait her into argument: "Besides, you got it backwards, fate: You meant, 'If I had done it by now, then I had been fated to do so.' The cause comes before the effect. Reality is deterministic, but not fatalistic; knowing the clockwork mechanics of a watch doesn't mean we know what time it is. What men refer to as 'fate' are only their shadows--epiphenomena of memories & evoked will. To speak of a fated future simply presupposes what endures; to speak of a fated past is to palliate our own bygone failures & regrets, and to speak of a fated present only justifies one's inaction."
[x] Now that you have her full attention on: "For the record I don't think the food is really poisoned or cursed at all. However, in this case, your prediction is still wrong. En garde!"
-[x] If she's at a distance, use knives to keep her guard up as you attempt to close the distance, running atop the table.
--[x] Use the stopwatch. Jump over her, and while turning around, lash at her neck, or if occluded by the chair, pull it out from under her.
-[x] If you're close enough, you can simply pull out the chair from under her with your whip.
--[x] Stopwatch. You have five seconds to fill her supine form with all the silver you have on you, and maybe some cutlery from the table.
-[x] If she takes to the air (because you're too slow or you watch doesn't work), try and see if you can't use the added height of the table to wrap the whip around her ankle, and pull her to the ground.
--[x] If she's too strong in flight for that, try wrapping the whip around your own arm and use your off-hand to fill her axes and knives.
-[x] If you're too close for either of the above (i.e., you're at a small table), kick the table to the side, and use the cross. She'll dodge, but it'll keep her away from Alice.

It's an easy prediction to make, taking you up on dinner when Alice here was purposefully starved, and given your own (human) condition.
From a seated position, it's hard to roll left or right depending on whether there are armrests, and the seat at the head of a long dining often does.

Remilia gets to monologue. So we get to monologue. Besides, even if she flees, the food will still be there, unless it was phantasmal in the first place, in which case it doesn't really matter.

We also get to second guess her 'power over fate', as if it were just guesswork--we've been treated by her and her servants as entertainment for too long.

If we attack, we'll know one out of two things: If we're somehow magically, physically, or psychically prevented from attack, it confirms her 'fate' power over us. If it we're not prevented, then either Remilia is a liar or that the MC's Belmont blood provides suitable resistance. This can easily be measured by her reaction (if she's not shocked that it didn't work, it wasn't a lie) and by Alice's reaction (if she doesn't join the fight, that means Remilia's power is legit, just not over us).

Aside from that, the longer we stay in one place, the greater likelihood Meiling will catch up to us. Out of respect for her mistress, she almost certainlt won't attack us while we're eating with Remilia, but as soon a Remi takes her leave, you can be certain that Meiling will be waiting right outside the door, or possibly, crashing through it.

And as an aside, eating a lot in one sitting makes you torpid, especially when you haven't eaten in a while, during which you tend to overeat. Scarlet will of course be drinking her tea, and eating a minimal meal, while you'll be served wine. Any of above could be fatal if this is another 'test' we've failed, or when afterwsrds, Meiling blindsides in the hall. It'd be better to grab a little of what we can and keep moving.

I think the Remilia/Fate issue is going to be key in how this plays out in the end. Patchouli did say that she'd meet them again under 'vastly different circumstances'. I don't know if I was the MC to be Sakuya, since this Remilia is pretty evil, but there's a way of rectifying this, by having Doppelgänger show up as one of Sakuya's possible fates as conceived by Remilia. An NPC Richter-Sakuya boss would be fine too.

Of course, the true enemy is the Chaos at the heart of the mansion.
>> No. 33050
>>33047

She'd see the cheap shot coming, and her response won't be so kind.
>> No. 33053
>>33047
see
>>33014
Castlevania's meta-knowledge is more useful than Touhou's. We just have to play along her for a while so we can get the 'true' end later.
>> No. 33054
>>33053
Plus, Taisa's fight scenes are kind of awesome.
I want to see the other two "boss" fights and more random Meiling encounters.
>> No. 33056
[x] >>33047

Because I think Remi's full of it and he is making what feels like a fairly solid case.
>> No. 33057
Giving y'all another day to consider the new write-in.
>> No. 33058
>>33056

You think a cheap shot against a vampire in her own home is going to work?

If it was that easy, Vampires would never be such a threat.

Heck she could have taken us out with a cheap shot if she wanted to, but didn't.
>> No. 33070
>If it was that easy, Vampires would never be such a threat.

If it was that hard, there wouldn't be vampire hunters. Correct me if I'm wrong, but our hero has some experience in that field?

Attacking with a weapon sears the skin of even normal youkai, while being designed to kill vampires in particular, all while calling the bluff of a woman who pretends to be holding all the cards. That's not a cheap shot; that's our job, and perfectly in character. Where Castlevania and Touhou diverge is that the antagonist here is not possessed or controlled by some other agent. She's a rational person who has developed a very poor manner of solving her problems; one that stems from pride. These people need to be humbled to let out the truth, just as she did in EoSD.

We just destroyed an nigh-invulnerable golem. No one expected us to defeat it, not even its creator. This is why Remilia has called a time-out. Obviously she doesn't trust the others to stop us without catastrophic damage to her manse. And I doubt it's her own safety she's worried about, given this display.

The terrible little sister, whom even the seemingly indomitable Meiling is afraid of, is where her true worries lie. What's more reasonable? The golem was constructed by the collectively mad for no end other than creating something malign and evil out of men's souls, or it was purposefully designed to be of a specific use--not a guardian, or a pet, but a toy that the little sister could play with and not break. And now, with its destruction, the mansion has once again become a prison for its residents.
>> No. 33071
>>33070

If that was the case she'd have waited until the duo's guard was down and strike full force then. What we're seeing isn't someone on the ropes or desperate, but someone who is calmly in control of her little game.

She wouldn't have lived so long if she let her fondness of playing with her enemies get the best of her.

And if she does know of our feats, then she'd be more so on her guard than less.

Not to mention even if such an absurd attempt succeeds, the story'll end on a lackluster note, since it ruins the flow the story. (Do note what was said about Castlevania, basically trying to end things early won't end the story well)
>> No. 33072
>>33070

Don't worry, we'll be whipping both of them into submission.

The mansion will be set free.

If you know what I mean.

No not the sexy kind of mean god damn it what is wrong with you.
>> No. 33074
To be fair, it's not so much ending the story abruptly as we're missing some key points of the story which we need to confront in order to get the whole picture.

Another example would be Symphony of the Night. In that game the game can end two ways, defeat the current Lord of the Castle, ie Richter brainwashed. Of course if you killed him it ends the game but not with the best ending.

AFTER MEETING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS

You were given the chance to go through the Castle again inverted to face the true final bosses and Dracula himself.

This type of situation also occurs in "Portrait of Ruin", "Aria of Sorrow", "Dawn of Sorrow", and "Order of Ecclesia".

I'm also the op of >>33071, so you can probably guess which anon I am heh.

In any rate there's one more thing that we should not forget, as deep rooted as the spirit of Castlevania is in this CYOA, we should not forget the spirit of the Touhou games are in this as well.

Things can very easily change drastically for all we know so don't just let the meta-knowledge behind Castlevania blind you to the other aspects of this story.
>> No. 33075
>>33074
Shit I forgot it also occurred in Castlevania: Legends, Castlevania 64/Legacy of Darkness...

I actually did forget if it occurred in Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness...
>> No. 33077
>>33074
>>33075
Holy fuck, it happened a lot uh?

I don't know shit about Castlevania, but all seems to indicate that attacking now would be a big mistake. Oh well.
>> No. 33078
>>33077
How it happened in between games differed a lot.

In Rondo of Blood/Dracula X Chronicles you had to rescue certain people and failing to save every single person resulted in the poor ending.

In Castlevania Legends, it actually had to do with acquiring one of the legendary subweapons well known in the series as that game had at one point been originally the first Castlevania excursion. Of course that has change but the situation is still there, if not unique.

Again I want to iterate that the story, as far as I've observe, contains a fair amount more Castlevania than Touhou. However I'd be wary of utilizing any meta-knowledge if there's a good chance of a twist happening against your favor.

It worked for the Castlevania series, I can see it work here against us anon as well.

also I refuse to use a tag as I'm not a writer but you'll know if it's me.
>> No. 33079
>>33078
Once again I forget to mention some similar events occuring in Harmony of Dissonance but I don't remember if it at all occurs in Circle of the Moon.
>> No. 33128
>>33079

Nope CotM only has one ending, then again CotM wasn't an IGA made game. I think IGA likes to toss in such 'false' endings as to encourage players to explore the whole castle and not go for the quick win.
>> No. 33137
File 126203354942.jpg - (298.88KB , 1461x751 , 1fbaa729d72d6dd85e44433ed210e06c.jpg ) [iqdb]
33137
Borrowing a little from >>33047 even though it didn't win, as the guy went through the trouble of writing a mini-essay on his choices.

I like to see things like that once in a while, and seeing it in -this- one of my two stories was a fun surprise.

------

A boon? Entertainment? A tale? What did she think this was, some sort of game for her amusement? ...Well, probably. Hardly atypical behavior for a vampire, after all. Still, for her to so unashamedly come out in the open to 'congratulate' us on our feats so far, smugly saying to my face that I wasn't going to be attacking her there and then... Ugh, it took every last drop of self-control to stop myself from attacking her. Even if I was proving her little monologue about 'fate' and other such nonsense right, as well as playing along with her gamble, the mix of both my curiosity and hunger got the better of me at the time. Grudgingly, I leaned over to Alice, whispering to her as the enfant terrible stared at us with a jovial fanged smirk, eagerly awaiting our response to her little offer.

"We'll play her game for now. I want to see what she's up to before blindly giving in to her taunting. Not that it's easy to resist, mind you."

"Heh." I could tell from my companion's face that she felt as I did about this whole situation. Insulted, intimidated, enraged, yet also curious. We nodded to one another and sat at the table, senses sharp and hands kept ready to go for a weapon at once, should the need present itself. Tense as we were, we must've looked utterly ridiculous to the vampire, for she couldn't stare at us for longer than a few seconds before bursting out in a mild laughter, flicking her wrist at us in a dismissive manner.

"Come now, relax! Eat, drink, nourish those ravaged bodies of yours! You too, miss Margatroid," she adds, glancing at Alice from the corner of her eye and winking, my companion responding with a disinterested scowl and averting her gaze.
"I'm well aware that you Magicians receive your energy from alternate sources, but you still maintain the ability to eat food, do you not?"

"...Hmph. I suppose it would only be cautious of me to check it for poison or other such materials, before my human friend here carelessly digs in." Taking minor offense at her words, I couldn't help but snap back at her.

"Eager to get poisoned a second time, are you?"

"Oh hush," she silenced me, cautiously lifting an exquisite silver fork. I know, I know, you're probably thinking: 'Silver in a vampire's home?' but let me tell you something - vampires don't actually have any innate weakness towards silver as a material. And yet, silver weapons do tend to be effective against creatures of the night, including vampires, for various reasons. Whether it be belief or faith in the silver that lends it this strange power, or blessings cast by the church, or an adapted aversion by younger vampires whom have heard rumors and myths of silver being deadly to their kind... Well, it's all a complicated mess of hearsay and faith, really. Let me just say that drinking out of a silver chalice wouldn't burn a vampire's innards to ashes or anything. My silver knives, though? I could turn her into Swiss cheese before she could blink twice. Of course, even at that speed, a vampire of her age and level ought to see it coming...

I also couldn't help but notice that my companion's gaze showed less self-sacrificial altruism, and more... well, hunger. Magicians - as in, the species, not the profession - abandon food as part of their ascension, receiving nourishment from the wild magic that permeates the air around them. Sounds rather convenient, come to think of it... Of course, they still retain the ability to eat and gain energy from human food, as well. In our scenario, it was clear that Alice's passive magical feeding wasn't quite fast enough to keep up with her injuries and lack of energy, so naturally her inhibitions towards more solid food would be drastically lowered. And, hey... It smelled pretty great. Still hot, too.

"...If I didn't know better, I'd almost assume that this was cooked just moments before we entered the room," I mumbled as I drove a fork through the soft, easy-to-cut meat on the plate before me.

"Of course. After all, I knew you'd find your way here at about this time, give or take a few minutes." Her smug grin was almost enough to cause me to lose my appetite. Almost, because the exquisite meal we were offered combined with our burning hunger made it feel like we had discovered a tiny piece of heaven in the Devil's abode. Even if she had removed the illusion and had the meat turn into maggots, I probably would've kept eating at that point. Still, throwing around all that nonsense about fate, making herself seem clairvoyant... Could she be any more full of it?
"So," she continued, "about that tale..?"

I finished chewing my mouthful and swallowed it before responding, Alice dining beside me just as eagerly, although maintaining proper table manners. I was no brute, either - even when hunting vampires and monsters, basic concepts of politeness should be kept in mind. Granted, this would not prevent me from openly showing my disdain towards the unholy target of my mission.

"You honestly want me to tell you a story? Are you a child?"

"Do I look like an adult to you, hunter?" A poorly-veiled giggle of amusement, like nails on chalkboard to me.
"I suppose I should take that as a compliment... If you wish to partake of the boon I have offered you, you will tell me a tale to entertain me."

"A boon? A 'boon' like that which you had given to your other misshapen, rotting servants?" I couldn't help but raise my voice, becoming mildly agitated, having to remind myself time and again not to let this little monster get to me - seeing my reaction was what she wanted, after all.
"A 'boon' like being locked in a dungeon with skeletons for company as a reward for doing a good job?"

"Ah, yes, that... I did apologize for that already, did I not?" Her voice sounded almost surprised, as if she had expected us to forgive and forget everything after her 'apology' earlier.
"But, I could have merely killed her once her purpose was served, and you would not have found her and had her assist you in the first place. Yet I didn't - I could sense that it was fated that we would meet like this tonight." There's that word she kept throwing around like a cheap yo-yo again.

"Besides, you got it backwards, fate: You meant, 'If I had done it by now, then I had been fated to do so.' The cause comes before the effect." Another fanged smirk, but she doesn't respond, allowing me to continue.
"Reality is deterministic, but not fatalistic; knowing the clockwork mechanics of a watch doesn't mean we know what time it is. What men refer to as 'fate' are only their shadows--epiphenomena of memories and evoked will. To speak of a fated future simply presupposes what endures; to speak of a fated past is to palliate our own bygone failures & regrets, and to speak of a fated present only justifies one's inaction."

"And yet you prove me right by taking a seat and dining in a civil manner, as opposed to trying to strike me down on the spot." Leaning forward, leaning her chin on interlocked fingers, she suddenly spread her lips into a wide grin.
"I wonder why?"

I didn't have an answer, so I decided to change the topic so as not to appear as if she had claimed any sort of victory over me, no matter how minor.
"Fine, I'll tell you your tale. Listen up."
Both Remilia Scarlet and Alice gazed upon me with an elevated interest, the former with crimson eyes widening in a barely contained excitement, the latter raising her eyebrows in curiosity, as if she didn't think I'd do it.

...

"The year is 1476, and Count Dracula has started to ravage Europe with an army of monsters. His sole purpose is to exterminate mankind-..."

"-...extracting his vengeance upon humanity after the death of his beloved wife Lisa, mistakenly executed as a witch for preparing medicine to help the sick," Remilia Scarlet interjects with a smug smile on that wicked face of hers. Certainly managed to interrupt me even before I got much of a flow going, in any case.
"I know of this story. But please, do continue!"

"...Hmph. Very well. A mysterious family of vampire hunters, once exiled from Wallachia, are called into action by the Church. They feared their "super-human" power, but with Dracula menacing to swallow Europe in darkness, they are left with no choice but to call the current wielder of the holy whip handed down through the bloodline." Rubbing my chin in thought, I paused for a moment.
"We'll call him Trevor."

"How about Ralph?"

"Trevor it is then." Honestly, this vampire girl had no sense when it came to names at all. Who in their right mind would ever be intimidated by a man named 'Ralph'? Certainly not Dracula, that's for sure.

"Hmph." She pouted childishly, as if I had insulted her naming sense.
"Go on then~"

"Joining Trevor in his mission to defeat Dracula are three companions: a young magician with powerful magic spells at her disposal..." I could feel Alice's eyes on me as I spoke, whereas the vampire sitting opposite of me shifted her glance to the side, narrowing her eyes as the corners of her mouth dragged upwards ever so slightly.
"...A nimble man, skilled with blades; and one of Dracula's own flesh and blood, possessing dark, destructive powers and having the ability to transform into various creatures of the night, such as a bat."

"Would the two of you care for a demonstration? Oh, I do apologize; you've already experienced my, ah, transformation, haven't you?" Gesturing to me playfully, she merely smirked in my direction.

"You're not the first shapeshifter I've seen, I'll have you know. Now where was I? Ah yes."

I went on to tell her of how Trevor and his companions cross the Transylvanian countryside, defeat Dracula's minions, and eventually defeat the Count himself. It was a grand tale filled with epic battles and whatnot, but I won't bore you with the details; telling a second story within a story would become rather stressful to me as well. Perhaps another time? Anyway... The whole time, our malevolent host kept her red eyes firmly fixed upon my lips, devouring every word even though she had claimed to have heard the tale before. Something was obviously providing her with great amusement. Was it my manner of speech? Was there food on my face? Speaking of which, I was careful not to eat too much too fast, and to lay off drinking too much wine (red, of course). Something seemed dangerous about how the lady of the mansion was having a minimal meal and sipping her tea, while we were presented with quite the luxurious feast. A fine year and brand of wine, too; at the very least, she wasn't being stingy towards her 'guests', even when they were seeking her demise.

"And what of Trevor's companions? What happened to them afterwards?" This time, it was my own companion - Alice - who asked the question, once I had mostly finished. Turning my eyes back to the vampire, I responded:
"I'm sure our generous hostess would be able to tell you, if she knew this story from before."

A fanged grin. I had to admit, those pearly whites of hers would've fit rather well in a toothpaste commercial, if not for the sharp and elongated canines.
"But of course. The nimble man skilled with blades eventually returned to his home. Dracula's betrayer went into a deep self-induced slumber out of guilt and fear of the dark powers granted by the cursed bloodline. And the magician and the hunter..." Trading glances between the two of us, I could tell she was barely able to contain her sinister giggle.
"They got married; and then there were none."

"I think you skipped over to another story, there. You enjoy detective fiction novels, then?" Make no mistake, my tone of voice and facial expression still carried over all of my loathing of this dark creature even as I made small talk.

"Hm hm hm... No, that would be something for my sister. Ah, but would you look at the time?" Gesturing to an ornate clock on the mantelpiece in the room, she hopped out of her chair and landed gracefull on her feet, without a noise; I jumped up as well with enough speed and force to nearly knock the table over, gripping my whip in an instant, Alice quickly following my example. Sudden movements are thought of as dangerous in these high-tension situations, as I'm sure you can imagine. Remilia Scarlet seemed unfazed and unimpressed however, waving her fingers at us in a dismissive manner yet again.
"Please, lay down your weapons for now. You'll get your chance in a more... fitting location for battle. But for now, I must bid you adieu." What an odd expression to use for a vampire, even a French one, considering the etymology of the word... Then again, it was probably said ironically.

"And this 'boon' you were harping on about earlier?"

"Ah, but of course. I haven't forgotten." Moving quicker than the eye could follow, she pulled out what seemed to be a lone key on a ring; not a fancy decorated key like the ones we had been collecting, but a simple room key with the Roman numerals 'XVI' etched into it. She tossed it to me with a casual motion of the arm, and I caught it without thinking. Luckily, no trickery or misdirection seemed to be involved.

"What? Where's the symbolism? Not thirteen? Or even four, since we're in Japan? I thought you vampires were all over that stuff."

She took my little jab quite well, her smile not failing one bit.
"I wish you two luck; I do hope you'll survive long enough for us to have that final showdown you so desperately yearn for, hunter." Before I could respond, she was illuminated by a blinding pillar of red light, before fading from our sight to the sound of an echoing cackle.

"...Shit. She got away that easily, huh."

"Mhmm. And it looks like she was merely toying with us, too. Feeding us, and giving us a keyring?" Alice seemed equally as frustrated as myself, setting her dolls aside for the moment as the danger of battle had faded for the time being.

"Well, it'll be convenient for holding the keys we have so far, at least. And it came with a key to a room, too. I wonder what game she's playing with us this time."

"Who knows," Alice shrugged, opening the door and exiting the room, glancing left and right down the corridor before stepping outside.

"See anything?"

"I thought I saw some movement down the hall to the left... I'm unsure, though."

"Hm." Following her out into the hallway, I glanced at the key once again, adding the three others we had collected so far to the ring. 'XVI', huh. Looking up at the nearest door, I noticed a round plate with Roman numerals also etched into it, noting the number of the room in question.

'MMCMXCVIII'

...

"This could take us a while," I mumbled, depression setting in. Why was the place so freaking huge!?
"...You say you saw movement to the left, though? Think it could've been something dangerous? Hong Meiling, or some sort of creature?"

"I'm not sure. This entire mansion feels dreadfully ominous... I hope I'm not starting to imagine things." A worried look in her grey eyes, she glances back down the hallway suspiciously, yet there is neither movement nor sound anymore. What did catch my attention was a large, strangely out-of-place looking reinforced and bolted door in the wall, much larger than those of the rooms. Pulling out and unfolding the map, I gradually waited for the swirling ink to settle...



[] I tried to see if the map would help me find room 'XVI'; I was curious about the purpose behind Remilia Scarlet giving me this key, assuming she wasn't just playing mind games with me.
[] I decided to leave the key for later. Instead, I...
-{} ...headed down the hall to the left. If Alice saw something, I wanted to know what it was, if it was dangerous, and whether or not it would give us a clue on where to find the next key to the sealed door to Remilia Scarlet's inner sanctum. (Maid Quarters)
-{} ...tried to open the heavy reinforced door. The Inner Quarters had turned out to be disappointingly empty so far; perhaps what we were seeking was behind the door? Only one way to find out. (Arena)
>> No. 33138
[x] I tried to see if the map would help me find room 'XVI'; I was curious about the purpose behind Remilia Scarlet giving me this key, assuming she wasn't just playing mind games with me.

I'm curious about this.
>> No. 33139
[x] I tried to see if the map would help me find room 'XVI'; I was curious about the purpose behind Remilia Scarlet giving me this key, assuming she wasn't just playing mind games with me.
[x]Afterwards head for the arena.

New companion first, then the boss encounter.
>> No. 33140
[x] I tried to see if the map would help me find room 'XVI'; I was curious about the purpose behind Remilia Scarlet giving me this key, assuming she wasn't just playing mind games with me.

If it doesn't, then:

-{x} ...headed down the hall to the left. If Alice saw something, I wanted to know what it was, if it was dangerous, and whether or not it would give us a clue on where to find the next key to the sealed door to Remilia Scarlet's inner sanctum. (Maid Quarters)
>> No. 33142
File 126203857367.png - (253.86KB , 600x570 , 6ae574544756e403f989f3db63dfd08a.png ) [iqdb]
33142
Ralph Belmont was an actor whom made appearances in 'A Sea Mystery' (1916) and 'Li'l Nor'wester' (1915)
The more you know...
XVI (16) I can deduce, due to my other post, that it's referring to Sakuya's room. As for MMCMXCVIII (2998, if I remember correctly) I have no idea.

[x] I tried to see if the map would help me find room 'XVI'; I was curious about the purpose behind Remilia Scarlet giving me this key, assuming she wasn't just playing mind games with me.
I wanna go there. I wonder if we'll find something-or someone interesting. A boon's a boon after all and Remilia seems to be a Man Woman Vampire of her word.
>> No. 33143
>'MMCMXCVIII'

2998?

>"Ah, but would you look at the time?" Gesturing to an ornate clock on the mantelpiece in the room...

XVI = 16 or,

10:06..?

hmm

[X]Inspect the 'ornate' mantel clock for anything suspicious; perhaps a key hole that changes the hands such as old grandfather clocks have keys for calibration of time among other things.
-[x]Set it to 10:06...
[x] If nothing is found or occurs try to see if the map would help us find room 'XVI'; I'm curious about the purpose behind Remilia Scarlet giving me this key, assuming she wasn't just playing mind games with me in the first place.

Something just bothers me about the key and perhaps I'm looking to hard but I can't help but wonder if it's an elaborate puzzle hidden in plain sight.

- - -

CM-Anon here and am considering continuing my sharing of albums with Lament of Innocence as the next upload. Will probably post it tonight or tomorrow morning.
>> No. 33145
[x] I tried to see if the map would help me find room 'XVI'; I was curious about the purpose behind Remilia Scarlet giving me this key, assuming she wasn't just playing mind games with me.
Hmmmmmmmm
>> No. 33146
>>33139

Not sure if that'd be the case or not. It's possible. Still it should be an interesting trip.
>> No. 33147
File 126205178162.png - (374.17KB , 534x757 , greengrin.png ) [iqdb]
33147
>See Taisa, THV just flows. GH just holds it back.
If you get stuck on a GH update for days again you should just go back to THV and crank one out.

>It's easy.
>> No. 33177
I hope the protagonist is female, even if it isn't Sakuya.
>> No. 33179
>>33177
I doubt it.
>> No. 33180
>>33179
Considering Remilia's reaction to the story of the Hunter and the Magician marrying... I doubt it too.
>> No. 33183
>>33180
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesbian_vampire
She could just have been trying to tease them, too.
>> No. 33185
>those pearly whites of hers would've fit rather well in a toothpaste commercial

But how does Belmont know toothpaste commercials?
>> No. 33186
>>33185
I think they had toothpaste commercials back in 1998.
>> No. 33187
>>33186
Since 1950 or earlier.
>> No. 33189
File 126213066758.jpg - (86.08KB , 1284x736 , 5442e1d2f88f07a388dc81c645b36d00.jpg ) [iqdb]
33189
There was something interesting about the strange map that I had noticed before. As the ink swirled around in fluid motion, it not only seemed to clearly paint out our immediate surroundings, but also left a slightly blurred after-image of where we had already been as well, almost as if we were gradually filling out the map as we progressed through the mansion. I wondered - could I make it show us the way to where we -wanted- to go, as well? Curiously dragging my finger along the surface of the map, I drew a line down one of the halls, the ink receding away from my fingertip and forming into visible walls and room numbers. I couldn't get very far, though, before the ink fell back into place behind my finger. Still, I noticed a section of the hall further ahead that split up into a more complex network, the southmost path having the lowest room numbers.

"Looks like we're going south," I said to Alice, pointing in the same direction she had seen something move in.
"I don't know about you, but I'm curious about this key. Seems the room it's for is towards the Maid Quarters and off to the side a little..."

"I suppose I'm somewhat interested in what the point of this little encounter was, myself. As long as we're careful about it, mind you." She didn't actually seem all that interested if you ask me, but if she was willing to put up with me and my mix of paranoia and curiosity, I wouldn't object.
"Are you sure that's south, though? I could swear south was the direction we came from."

"Chaos architecture doesn't have to make sense, you know. Remember, you brought it up yourself earlier."

"True." Glancing about with a pensive expression, her arms crossed and eyes mildly narrowed, she looked as if something was bothering her. Before I could ask, however, she merely shook her head and smiled to me, nodding her head.
"Lead the way, then - you're the one with the map."

It's not like the map was being particularly cooperative, mind you. Despite all my efforts to make sense of the ever-changing layout presented to me on the paper, our destination kept eluding my sight, the ink falling back into place every time I tried to drag it out in a direction we hadn't been yet. Giving up, I simply chose to navigate us in the direction of smaller room numbers, passing by the doors to the Maid Quarter and heading off to the side.

...MMX...

"Hmm... Can I ask you a personal question, merely out of curiosity?" Alice's sudden unexpected question caught me rather off-guard, drawing my attention away from the map briefly.

"Well, we're in for what seems like a long walk, so go ahead."

"You don't have to answer if you don't want to."

"Shoot."

"...Why did you become a Hunter?" A brief pause, blue eyes staring at the floor as we walked, her brow furrowed in thought.
"What did you do before you became a Hunter?"

Heh. I knew that would come up again at some point. Whether -she- understood that she was touching upon a subject related to her question back at the bathroom, though, I didn't know at the time.

"Well." Well. I didn't really know where to begin. I'd have liked to say that it was a long story, but it really wasn't.
"...I was a serial killer." That came out much easier than I had anticipated. It being said, I raised my glance from the map yet again, examining the expression on my companion's face. Disbelief? Disgust? Fear? No, none of that. More of a strange, mild frown, and a general look of curiosity. I suppose she realized I'd have thought of something a lot less... well, a lot less bad, if I had been lying.

"Why?"

What a simple question, considering there was no real answer.

"Eh. I can't really remember why I started, really. I like to think of it as some sort of childhood trauma that I've managed to block out of my memory - because that sounds kind of cool." Chuckling to myself bitterly and without emotion, I continued, Alice still walking by my side and listening, not trying to keep her distance nor displaying any sort of cautious behavior towards me. Funny, you'd expect a person to recoil in horror if they found out they were walking side by side with a murderer. But she was not a human - I suppose monsters do not fear monsters?
"Over time, I kept doing it because it was the one thing I was good at. Killing. Killing things, beasts, it didn't take long for me to move on to people. I never got caught, either. I was quick and effective, I left no tracks. I chose my targets fairly randomly, mostly based on how challenging it would be to get at them."

"I see." A generic response, but what else do you say to someone recounting their sins to you?

...DCXIV...

"What happened then?"

"Oh, I kept killing. It's not that I derived any sort of sadistic pleasure from it or anything, it's just... Well, by that point it was all I knew. And I was good at it. Unstoppable. But I stopped seeing any meaning in continuing like that. I won't say that it wasn't 'fun' anymore - I don't think it was ever something I'd call 'fun'..." I paused for a moment, taking another glance at the map to make sure we weren't going in the wrong direction. Nope, right on course; dragging my finger along the lines on the map, the numbers got smaller and smaller. XVI wasn't far anymore, but... God damn, this mansion was humongous.
"...It had just lost whatever point it had originally had for me, that's all."

"So what did you do then?"

"I got reckless. I sought out more challenging targets. I wanted to die. But, I couldn't just -let- them kill me... Can you imagine an army of government agents chasing you in secret? They couldn't let the public know there was an unstoppable murderer on the loose with strange, supernatural powers, after all..."

...XCIX...

We were getting close. Anticipation and caution were building up inside of me, as I tried to distract myself from my own memories while retelling my backstory to my curious companion.
"I was caught eventually. I was going to be put to death, but the church intervened. They offered me full amnesty and absolution if I harnessed my talents for the side of good, to use my powers to fight monsters in their service. Apparently, they had found out about my connection to an old bloodline of vampire hunters, from which I had gained a significant portion of my powers." I shrugged my shoulders, smirking at how ridiculous the whole thing sounded, even though it had actually happened to me.
"And here I am now. Don't get me wrong, though, it's not like the church is overly fond of me... With how little they offer me in supplies and how I'm sent on these missions all alone, I can tell they consider me a liability."

"So, they fully accept the possibility that you might die on one of these missions?" She was still with me, even after my little 'confession' just now. Even though she knew I was fully capable of defeating her, that I was once a heartless killer beyond guilt or empathy... The deepness of our trust for one another seemed to be mutual. It was quite moving, really, even for someone like me.

"More like they fully expected it. They've never sent me on a mission with such a shoddy amount of supplies before, and the, ah, 'device' they gave me that allowed me to cross the border seems to have been one-way only. They really weren't hoping I'd ever come back."

"Even with your talents and powers in their service?"

I could see the astonishment in her eyes, even if her expression and motions hid it.
"Vampires and other supernatural beings are dying out in the outside world. I'd heard Gensokyo was one of the last 'havens' for such beings. Normally, such self-contained areas are left well enough alone, but Remilia Scarlet had built up enough of a reputation over five centuries to have her death be of utmost priority." I laughed, just before turning around a corner - we had arrived at the hallway we were seeking.
"Either that or they've just sent me on a fool's errand this time."

"Kihihihi~"

A strangely high-pitched giggle, unusual for Alice.

"...Was that you just now?" I gripped the handle of my whip, already expecting the answer I was about to receive. I was genre-savvy enough to see it coming.

"No." As Alice pulled out several of her dolls, I sneaked back over to the corner and peeked out behind it, down the hall we had just come from.

And I happened to be staring a short, floating girl right in the face. Her eyes were a little bigger and shinier than those of any human, the shape of her face was slightly off, her ears were pointy... And her voice, as she yelped in fright and darter backwards, away from me, into the crowd of other similar winged creatures such as herself, hinted at what we were faced with.

"Fairies."

"The mansion's maid brigade. It looks like they've been following us..." Alice's astute observation struck me as painfully obvious at the time, but I didn't call any attention to this, instead drawing my whip and threateningly lashing the chain through the air once. Fairies are small and timid, and I had hoped I'd be able to simply scare them off.

Of course, there were a -lot- of them; there's a point where having sufficient numbers on one's side overrides the natural instinct of fear, no matter how threatening one's foe might appear. Unimpressed by my warning, the fairies merely giggled en masse, before pulling out their own weapons. Some were brandishing kitchen knives, others wielded proper weapons such as shortswords and rapiers, even crossbows; others still hovered in the back, their hands beginning to glow with a threatening light as they stared us down with toothy grins on their faces.

"...And normally I try not to harm the small fry."

"Don't worry about that... Timid as they may be normally, the fairy maids are loyal to the core, perfectly aware of the risks involved in battle. And besides..." I looked to the side, somewhat confused by Alice's words and the cold, harsh look in her green eyes.
"Fairies don't die when they are killed; they simply reincarnate after a while, as they are spirits born of nature itself. So, Hunter..." She turned her face to me, smiling warmly, not a bit of her feelings towards me damaged now that she knew what I once was.
"...Don't be afraid to put those talents of yours to good use. Don't hold back."

"Gotcha," I responded with a smirk of my own, as the two of us faced the small army of fairies before us, right before charging into them with a determined battlecry.

--------

BGM: "Festival of Servants"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C2Pg2lFgoE

--------

"Kyau!" A high-pitched yelp from the closest eager little fairy as the spiked ball tip of my chain whip smashed her face in before she could even react. While the others seemed shocked by this, it didn't exactly last long - the maid brigade met our charge with a remarkable zeal of their own, blades, crossbow bolts and magical blasts filling the corridor. Dodging a few blasts and rolling to the side to evade a pair of fairies driving a lance through the air, I fumbled through my pockets for the stopwatch, tapping the button just as a bolt stopped in the air right before my chest. Close one. Sidestepping the frozen projectiles, I pulled out two fistfuls of knives, setting the whip aside for just a moment. Two or more seconds was all that I needed...

Pathetic wails and screams filled the air as time resumed, the front lines of the fairy army mowed down by a hail of silver knives, skewering and impaling their small bodies, killing some, impaling others to the floor or the walls (or each other). Of course, my little trick only provoked them further, the ranged fighters and casters focusing fire upon me. Naturally, Alice didn't simply stand by and watch as this all happened - all the while, beams of destruction would tear through the rows of fairies, blowing holes into their formation, the dolls stealing weapons from the fallen fairies and using them to battle the ones that were getting uncomfortably close to Alice herself. As I dodged both crossbow bolts and magical projectiles, I spotted two dolls diving over the fairies, aiming for the back rows, before exploding in a fiery blaze, chunks of wall and fairy flying everywhere and boxing the fairies in between the flaming debris and us two.

Perfect.

Drawing the whip again, I charged in, Alice and her dolls providing cover fire from behind, the holy chain sweeping through the air like the blades of a hedgetrimmer as I twirled in place once or twice, cutting down fairies by the dozens. There were still plenty to go, of course... One of them managed to pounce me, two more used the distraction to grab me by the legs and pull me to the ground. The fairy on my chest, giggling with a childlike glee with a murderous glint in her eyes, held up her dagger in both hands, ready to stab me before I could defend myself... And then my face was showered in fairy blood as a lance burst its way through her chest, Alice's favorite doll peeking out from over the dying fairy's shoulder briefly before withdrawing her weapon and flying off. Tossing the fairy corpse off myself, I kicked one of the other two away, drawing a dagger and stabbing the other right through the skull, killing her instantly.

I got up right in time to pull the dagger, covered in blood and brain matter, back out and defend myself from three more fairies, one swinging a sword far too large for her to properly use it through the air, the other two teaming up to wield a massive halberd which I just narrowly managed to avoid. A thinner beam from one of Alice's dolls blasted the lower one of the halberd-wielding duo away, the upper one falling to the ground under its weight, the blade unfortunately falling onto her. I promptly turned to the sword-wielding fairy, slicing at her wing with my dagger and taking the sword from her as she lost balance and fell to the ground, stabbing it through her and leaping backwards to avoid another hail of magic projectiles and crossbow bolts. One of the former managed to graze my leg, leaving a nasty burn wound. I didn't have time to feel pain, though.

"There's too many!" Alice yelled to me, and I noticed she was being attacked from all sides, many of the fairies having flown over us and coming at us from behind, Alice's dolls doing their best to defend the puppeteer from the relentless onslaught, Alice herself still covering me by blasting the ranged fairies in the back rows. Gritting my teeth, I turned back to the main forces of the fairies, one of them charging right for me, brandishing a pair of daggers. I pulled another knife out of my coat...

"You like blades, huh?"

...and flicked it right into her forehead, the fairy crashing into the ground lifelessly, only to be followed by an entire wave of the damned little things, desperation and adrenaline having risen to levels where they didn't care for caution anymore, simply coming for us with all their numbers at the same time. Having run out of ideas, I reached for the pocketwatch again, this time twisting one of the buttons on the top slightly, as opposed to pressing it down; the fairy charge suddenly slowed down to a near-halt.

"...Yeah? How about a thousand blades, then!?" I pulled our two more fistfuls of knives, hurling several into the masses of fairies before me, reaching back to grab more as I tossed the other handful at them as well, mercilessly mowing them down in droves. Faster than their eyes would be able to see, I rushed over to them, feeling the constant drain of the time dilation on my energy reserves, pulling knives out of corpses with one hand and slitting throats with the other, before hopping back and beginning the process anew, another shower of knives hitting the lines of fairies, the dead and dying bodies being knocked back in slow motion... Until, eventually, there were none left, and I twisted the button on the watch the other way, exhaling with relief - I had been holding my breath until then - and collapsing to one knee from exhaustion. Alice had finished mopping up the ones assaulting her and her dolls as well, and she promptly rushed over to me, that familiar (and not unpleasing at all) motherly look of concern on her face yet again.

"How did you do that? I've never seen any human throw anything that fast... Are you alright?"

"Just another of my many talents, my dear Alice," I coughed in response, the strain hitting me like a truck as the adrenaline gradually wore off. Supporting me under the arm, Alice helped me stand up, frowning at the various new cuts and bruises I managed to gain in that battle, hardly even noticing most of them. They weren't really that bad, to be honest, save for the burn from that one magical blast maybe.

"You shouldn't be so reckless... And I shouldn't have to tell you this more than once, either," she muttered, carrying me down the hall in the direction of room XVI. I glanced once over my shoulder, at the hall full of bloody fairy corpses, many skewered with countless knives or their own weapons used by Alice's dolls, others burned to death from magical blasts or blown apart with explosive dolls. A gruesome sight indeed - killing horrible monsters is fine and dandy, but cute little things like fairies... Leaves a bad taste in your mouth, no matter how you look at it. Oh well, they'd be fine, right? Fairies reincarnating and whatnot... I'd just have to remember to go back and pick up my knives once we investigated the room.
"...Do you think there'll be anyone inside? Or, well... anything?" Holding the key hesitantly in her hand, Alice traded glances between myself and the door. Gathering up enough strength to stand by myself again, I straightened myself and tested my injured leg. It hurt to put weight on it, but not to the point where it'd interfere with my fighting. Gripping the handle of my whip, I gestured for her to go ahead and open it.

"Don't worry. We'll be ready for anything, won't we?" Alice simply rolled her eyes at me, obviously not sharing my optimism, although I swore I could notice a faint hint of a smirk dancing across her lips. Wiping the blood off my face into my sleeve, I frowned a little, having just taken that shower not long ago. No sooner did I do so, however, than the blood seemed to gradually fade from my sleeve. Probably related to whatever process fairies undergo as they reincarnate, I figured at the time. As long as it meant I'd go back to being nice and clean, I didn't mind it.

"Empty," we uttered in unison as the door swung open, revealing a room that was just that - save for the furniture, of course. A nice bed, a closet, some drawers and a table... it all looked quite a bit richer than the other guest rooms. I assumed the lower-numbered rooms were reserved for guests of honor, then. But why had Remilia Scarlet given us the key to this specific room? Was there something hidden there that we missed? Or was she merely toying with us? As Alice headed over to examine the drawers for anything of interest, I went and opened the closet door, blinking curiously at the contents.

An extravagant dress, and a black longcoat. On the closet floor were two pairs of boots, and over to the side I spotted more clothing on small shelves - a pair of pants, a dark blue dress shirt, a tie (red clip included), a belt and so on. Glancing at my own torn and dirty apparel with a frown, I couldn't resist tossing my old coat aside for the moment and trying on the black one in the closet. Huh, a perfect fit. Not too wide in the shoulders or anything, even. Not bad, not bad at all.

"...What are you doing?" Alice's perplexed voice calling out from behind caught me by surprise, and I turned around with a bit of an embarrassed smile, chuckling more to myself than her.

"...You know, if I didn't know any better, I'd say she left these here for us. Considering the state of our outfits, I'm not sure I'm prideful enough to decline, either..." She merely smirked in response, stepping closer and adjusting the coat a little, despite my protests.

"It suits you." I wasn't sure whether to take that as a compliment or not, considering it had been provided for me by a vampire. I decided to just take it off for the moment, rather than risk staining it with shirt. Hesitating for just another moment, I began unbuttoning the front of my shirt - hell, if I was going to face the lady of the mansion in a battle to the death, I may as well have done it in style, rather than in rags. I couldn't help but send a passing glance at the oh-so-comfortable looking bed that Alice had gone back to sitting upon. Fighting my way through the forest and the mansion, plus the effort I had expended on that little feat just now in our battle against the maid brigade... To say I was dead tired would be a colossal understatement.

Apparently, Alice could read my mind, too. Looking me in the eye for a moment, she sighed softly and stood up again.
"You should rest for a while. You can't go on like this, you're likely to collapse in the next battle we end up in."

"Hey, I'm tougher than th-..."

"No, I'm serious. If not for yourself, at least get some rest to ease my worries, alright?" A gentle smile on her lips again, she guided me over to the bed, sitting me down as I searched for words to argue with.

"...You're probably more tired than I am. You've certainly been using a lot of magic."

"I suppose so."

"What if we get ambushed?"

"We'll take turns. Now stop arguing and lie down for a while, I'll keep watch. Alright?" Oh, I wanted to keep arguing, but the soft warmth of the bed beneath me was hypnotizing, to say the least. Had my senses not been honed to the point where I'd easily be able to detect such enchantments, I'd have gone as far as to assume that the bed was magically lulling me into a slumber. Well, I figured a quick rest wouldn't hurt. I wouldn't take a nap or anything, just lie down for a moment, maybe rest my eyelids for a second or two, only for a minute, then we'd keep going, and...

...

...zzz...

...

My eyes darted open. I was still in the bed, and Alice was still sitting by my side. Hearing my breath quickening from surprise of having fallen asleep, she turned to look at me again, smiling at me.

"Hello there."

"...Why didn't you wake me up when I fell asleep?" I tried to force myself to sound upset, but in reality I couldn't help but be slightly thankful to her. I didn't feel comfortable sleeping in a vampire's mansion where everything was trying to kill me, but my body felt so very grateful for the opportunity. It was as if I had been born again, a dull hot buzzing in my limbs reminding me of the pain and soreness I had felt not long ago.

"You looked too peaceful, I didn't have the heart to do that to you."

"Yeah, well... We don't really have time for naps or anything. Alright, my turn to keep watch I suppo-..." Before I could sit up, Alice pushed me right back down on my back, shaking her head at me, those golden locks of her swaying left and right as she gazed at me with those red eyes of hers, still smiling in a way I'd almost describe as... lovingly.

"You need more rest."

"I'm fine, really..."

"Shhh. Don't talk back, now. Here, let me help you rest..." Whispering this, she pressed her fingertip to my lips to silence me, before suddenly leaning over me. Before I could react, her face closed in on mine, and her finger was removed, only to be replaced by the soft sensation of her lips grazing my own, pressing into them lightly in a warm kiss.

...

I...



[] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.
[] ...pushed her away. We didn't have time for this.
>> No. 33192
[G] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.
>> No. 33193
[x] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.

Life is short, live it up.
>> No. 33194
[X] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.

In before it's actually Koakuma!*Insert crazed laughter*alright no seriously congrats on a new life in Gensokyo hunter, assuming you live long enough to enjoy it
>> No. 33195
[x] ...pushed her away. We didn't have time for this.

Koakuma is still lurking, idiots.
>> No. 33196
>>33193
Plus as mentioned before, this was essentially a one way trip. Then again I'm not too sure if the lady of borders wants a abomination slayer residing in Gensokyo.

[x] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.

inb4 deadly illusion.
>> No. 33197
[x] ...pushed her away. We didn't have time for this.
>> No. 33199
[x] ...pushed her away. We didn't have time for this.
Do want Alice.
Do not want whatever's going on here.
>> No. 33200
File 12621395739.png - (105.15KB , 600x359 , intel koa2duo.png ) [iqdb]
33200
[X] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.

Probably Koakuma, it fits with what Remilia would consider a boon. Although... she knows that she drains souls so probably not. Yes, I'm stupid enough to believe that this wasn't a trap at all. Like I said, I don't think that's how Remilia rolls.

Still, even if we somehow knew that Koakuma was lurking, even if we were given this key from someone untrustworthy, even if the author himself said that this is a trap, I'd vote to go for it anyway.
Why? Well, think of what will happen if this isn't: happiness for our MC. A good life for someone that lived a pointless one so far. This is a normal end/good end choice: a 30%, hell even a 5% is more than enough to risk falling into some trap.
>> No. 33201
I doubt it's a Koakuma related trap, it isn't Remilia's style to offer food, clothes and rest just to set up a trap.

That and Patchy certainly isn't serious enough at this whole 'game' to have Koakuma go after those two. (Since if Patchy wanted those two dead, they would have died during the battle with her.)
>> No. 33205
[x] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.

No, this will not end well.

We aren't allowed to know the Hunter's gender, let alone name. How the fuck are we meant to romance Alice?

This is a goddamn trap, I am certain.

Just bad end us and get it over with, Taisa.
>> No. 33207
[X] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.

Goddamn Trap, must avoid. Do not vote for it.
Remilias plaything, Bad End No. 4
>> No. 33208
[x] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.

in b4 not a trap
>> No. 33209
[x] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.

On a side note, Hunter-kun is Nanaya Kiri.
>> No. 33211
>>33209
That would not fit with the time line.
>> No. 33212
File 126218403482.jpg - (712.97KB , 1139x1500 , f09346047c99c49893f61cd53cf2eed8.jpg ) [iqdb]
33212
>she gazed at me with those red eyes of hers
>red
>> No. 33213
>>33212
Sadly with Alice's eyes being the way they are, that isn't as huge of a hint towards us screwing up as it could be.
>> No. 33214
>>33213
Have they been red even once before? Every other color, sure, but red?
>> No. 33215
>>33214
I'd attribute red to anger and passion so it just depends on whether or not we got a look at Alice's eyes in a situation when she displayed anger.
>> No. 33216
>>33212

Koakuma's also been shown with yellow/golden eyes, so that isn't reliable.

>>33215
Who knows..

Still we should see what happens and take our choice like a man (even if a rollback is involved.)

That and I think if it was Koakuma doing it, it wouldn't be such a light chaste kiss.
>> No. 33217
>>33216


>>31031
>The woman's face was as enchanting as her body, the red hair and matching red eyes still hinting at supernatural origins, confirming that gut feeling I had earlier.
>> No. 33219
>>33207
Err... why did you vote for that option then?

[X] ...pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss.
>> No. 33220
>>33219
I just have to see it.
>> No. 33221
>>33207
>Goddamn Trap
>Trap

...It occurs to me that this is a rather interesting solution to the gender question.
>> No. 33222
>>33221
Normal trap or reverse trap?
>> No. 33224
File 126222306771.jpg - (94.21KB , 684x684 , 69548888a914abbedaf210400eb1a817.jpg ) [iqdb]
33224
...I pulled her into my embrace, returning the kiss. My arms around her, her hands gently touching the sides of my face, I closed my eyes and enjoyed the moment. This was... a strange and new experience for me. I didn't mind it much, though; hell, after all I'd been through within that one night so far, some intimacy with the woman who had escalated from a random hostile encounter to my trusted companion overnight felt surprisingly welcome. And yet, as our lips parted, I couldn't help but worry, glancing at the door for a moment.

"We really shouldn't be... doing this. What if-..."

"Shhh," she silenced me yet again, still smiling warmly, a mild flush across her cheeks.
"No one will come. We won't be interrupted. This is our little moment, right here and now..." Her face was so close to mine... Her scent invaded my nostrils - so strangely enchanting, it was a miracle that I hadn't noticed it before.
"Don't you think... The two of us deserve this moment, after all we've been through..?"

Yeah. I supposed that we did. I wanted to believe that she was right, I... No. I didn't even give myself a chance to doubt her words. Before she could continue speaking, or before I could reconsider, I pulled her close again, kissing her far more passionately than previously, my companion returning the kiss vigorously, wrapping her arms around my neck, climbing into the bed on top of me and swinging one of her legs over my body. Our tongues danced together, coiling around one another like serpents. Her breasts pressed against me; so soft, so... warm. This was a warmth I was unfamiliar with. Far different from the heat caused by fire-breathing hellish demons. I didn't mind the warmth at all, not one bit... I merely pulled her closer against myself, thoroughly enjoying the sensation of her body against my own, her body heat mixing with my own.

We ran out of breath. Our lips parting a second time, we gasped for air, panting softly at one another, gazing into each other’s eyes. I felt as if my mind was in a haze, as if I hadn't woken up yet, as if it were a dream. I didn't dare attempt to wake myself up, though. As she straddled my body, Alice's hands found their way to my shirt, which I had already begun to unbutton before my spontaneous nap, and she leaned her face down to my ear, whispering.

"...This is in the way."

I fully agreed with her. As she worked on removing my pesky, blood-soaked shirt, I proceeded to return the favor by getting rid of what remained of her white mantle... capelet... whatever you'd call it. And the ribbons. All those pesky, pesky ribbons, keeping me from my prize, from Alice's pale flesh beneath that ragged dress of hers... By the time I undid the front of her dress and got to that short-sleeved white undershirt of hers, she had already managed to fully strip my upper body, the feeling of her hands sliding along my skin and exploring my body dulling out the rest of my senses.

Her kisses trailing down my neck, I fumbled with the buttons, my motions hasty and clumsy, driven by some strange fervor. Lust? Passion? I didn't know, nor did I care at the time. All I knew was that those clothes had to come off. Noticing my struggles, she sat upright on top of me for a brief moment, softly chuckling as she slipped the dress over her head, tossing the bothersome blue rag aside, leaving her wearing little else than that shirt, her undergarments, the headband, and her boots. Sitting upright myself, bringing our faces more-or-less to the same level and feeling a strange drowsiness paradoxically intermixed with surging energy in my limbs, I reached upwards and removed the aforementioned headband.

"...You can leave the boots on," was all I could force myself to mumble at the time, provoking a quiet laugh from Alice just before she assaulted me with new, numerous kisses, leaving me to pick up my earlier task of getting that annoying shirt out of the way as we proceeded to invade each other's mouths with our tongues yet again. It took every ounce of self-control that I still had at the time to keep myself from simply ripping it off - it's not like the torn and damaged cloth would've put up much resistance. Finally, I managed to get it off her and toss it away, the bra and panties being the last few pieces of cloth keeping her from being entirely exposed to me in all of her glory. I must say, she was definitely a sight to behold... Although getting a good look at her was mildly difficult with her trailing kisses from my lips down the side of my face, my neck, my collarbone... alongside the distracting sensation of her one hand still feeling up my chest, the other slowly making its way down my body towards my pants.

Ha, ha... What the hell was I doing? Honestly, even after I quickly proceeded to remove her bra, exposing her... her breasts to my eyes, I felt utterly clueless, letting instinct take over, my body moving of its own volitions. I liked what I was doing, though - gently seizing one of her breasts in my hand, I chose to attack the other one with my mouth. I was too dazed by the situation to put my mouth to any other good use, after all. My sudden actions provoked a soft gasp from Alice, and I could feel her hand lightly petting my head, running her fingers through my hair, her other hand still travelling steadily southward, proceeding to undo my belt, unbutton my pants, and-...

"Oh." Momentarily pulling my face away from her chest, it was my turn to gasp, looking up into her red eyes, our gazes meeting as I involuntarily shuddered against her, the feeling of her delicate touch down there catching me completely off-guard - even if I knew exactly where that hand was going. Taking this as an encouragement, I resumed the task I had undertaken, fondling and massaging, suckling and kissing... I wanted to make her feel good. Because that would make me feel good. And then we could both feel good. And that would feel good. Yeah, my mental vocabulary wasn't much better than this back then during the moment, either. My free hand decided to mimic her actions, exploring its way down her body, grazing the soft fabric of her panties, slipping my fingers inside, wandering over to the back and giving her backside a firm squeeze. Another gasp, and a soft moan that I mirrored right back at her. Those pants... were an eyesore.

And once again, she showed a nearly magical ability to read my mind; smirking wildly, her motions became more aggressive, the woman pushing me back down onto my back before pulling my pants down; I didn't really mind giving her the control. For a brief moment, completely exposed and nude as I was, I pondered the situation over, trying to figure out just how awkward I should've been feeling at the time. Before coming to any sort of conclusion, however, my mind was yet again distracted as Alice stood up on her knees for a moment, lifting her legs one at a time as she slid off her panties. I took a brief moment to burn the image of her form into the back of my mind. Now with us both naked, she leaned close to my face, suspended above me on all fours, cheeks flushed even redder than before, still smiling so lovingly, so gently...

Ah, I couldn't help myself. Pulling her into my tight grip, I kissed her again, and again, and again. Our bodies... connected. I could feel her fair skin against my own, I could feel her breasts pressing against me, her breath on my face whenever we parted for air. I held her so closely, and she held me so closely, as if I were afraid of her vanishing into thin air if I let go. I could feel a heat spread through my body from down below... Waves of pleasure, washing over me, clouding my mind even further, until I could barely sense anything around me except Alice in my arms.

"Alice..."

"...Hm... Hm, hehehe..."

"Oh... Alice..." All I could do was moan incomprehensibly. The strength was leaving my limbs, my mind was hazed, my vision was getting cloudy. It felt so... good, and yet... Looking up, at the woman on top of me, she seemed somehow different. Had Alice always had long, red hair..? Had she always had bat wings on her head..? I didn't know anymore. My senses were shutting down, alongside my mind, and the last thing I could see or hear was the nude figure of the red-haired woman sitting upright on top of my body, giggling in amusement before breaking out into a maniacal cackle...

---------

"...Are you quite finished yet?" The ferrywoman is still avoiding my gaze, her face almost as red as her hair.

"Hey, you're the one who asked me how I died. So there's your story." Leaning back in the boat, I yawn in boredom, glancing around our surroundings. Endless amounts of water stretching in this direction, and that direction. The Sanzu river is certainly wider than I had expected.

"...You... Didn't have to go into that much detail in the end, you know. But, honestly... Death by succubus?" Her eyes narrowed, she turns her eyes back to me, her pigtails swaying through the air.
"That's... certainly a new one, for me."

"I'm glad to have been your first then, I suppose." For a while, the only noise that taints the silence is the sound of water, as the boat and the scythe-turned-oar cut through it.

"...And I wish you hadn't described me in such an unflattering manner."

"Heh, sorry about that... Just getting into character." A brief pause.
"...Are we there yet?"

"No."

...

"How about now?"

"No." She's getting mildly frustrated now, so I stop my teasing, smirking to myself idly.
"You do realize that it's the weight of your sins that defines the width of the river, don't you?"

"I don't regret my sins anymore."

"But you do have regrets, don't you?" Her words wipe the smug smirk from my face; they're sharp and piercing, all of a sudden.
"What about your companion?"

"...Yeah. I do regret not being able to finish our adventure together." I really do.
"...I wonder if she got out safely on her own."

"I suppose I could-..."

"No," I interrupt her immediately, much to her surprise.
"No. I'd rather enter the afterlife in hopeful ignorance, than hopeless knowledge."

"I can respect that." She sounds... moved? I didn't think death gods had hearts. Learn something new every day, don't we? Even after we die.
"By the way... That was a rather unsatisfying end to the story, wasn't it? Are you sure that's how it ended?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you just... I don't know. You seem the type who'd pick up on illusions like that, no? Didn't the red eyes give you a clue?"

"Well," I'm quick to excuse myself, "with her eyes being the way they were, I didn't really think about it that way at the time."

"True."

"Hm, now that you mention it, though..." She turns to look at me again, a curious glance in her eyes.
"...maybe that really wasn't what happened after all. Alright, let me start over from when she kissed me..."

--------

System message: GAME OVER

...

New Game
{Load Game} <-
<Locked>
<Locked>

...

{File 1} <-
File 2
File 3

...

Loading...

>> No. 33226
File 126222543675.jpg - (325.28KB , 1600x1200 , 126152077145.jpg ) [iqdb]
33226
>>33200 Here.

Like I said, I regret nothing. The odds were heavily against my choice, but it was well worth the risk.
>> No. 33227
>>33226
Your other post made me feel guilty for having to do this.
>> No. 33228
This is probably the best h-scene on THP that is gender ambiguous in regards to the protagonist
>> No. 33229
>>33226

I felt the same way and as things went... well OOPS!
>> No. 33230
>>33227

Can you tell Silent Hill 2's Lake End aka Water End among many other things influence some anon? They like meaningful endings even if it's poignant. Some people wish to see such things because they thrive in the sorrow and bitterness; not to mention it helps alleviate some other anons personal frustrations and some how feel a sort of relief, if only brief, from their shoulders.

But yeah I rather use another life or continue please...
>> No. 33231
Hmmmm, am I the only one who has thought of this... but the way the bad end is written, seems to imply the protagonist, in the end, does die.

Unless Komachi is just being bad at her job again, and forgetting she's just ferrying someone across the lake. A possibility.
>> No. 33232
>>33231
Well, everyone dies eventually. There's no time mentioned, though, so it could be in the distant future for all we know, and the MC just forgot how he/she/it died.
>> No. 33233
>>33231
Yeah, I kind of got that, too. Somewhat unsettling.
>> No. 33234
...I still say that's Sakuya.

Anyway, that was a good scene. Let's get back to slaying Remilia now, shall we?
>> No. 33235
>the last thing I could see or hear was the nude figure of the red-haired woman sitting upright on top of my body, giggling in amusement before breaking out into a maniacal cackle

This was worth it, we all knew what was coming anyway.
Didn't we stumble into such a bad end in sdm la too?
>> No. 33237
>>33235

Not exactly. In SDM LA, we managed to fall to Koakuma by failing to make a move. If we had returned her kiss and pushed her to the bed, we actually would have survived. So pretty much the opposite of this situation.

Had to do with how old legends of succubi give them the trait of being able to pin their victims down magically. By choosing not to move, we doomed ourselves.
>> No. 33239
>>33224
>Bad end
This was about as surprising as the sun coming up in the morning.
>> No. 33240
It's like a Touhou putting their tail within reach of you pretty much. More often than not, it's going to get us killed but we'll take it anyways. How many times have we actually managed to survive encounters with Koakuma like this on THP?
>> No. 33242
>sex scene
>protagonist's gender STILL vague and ambiguous

ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 33249
File 126228860094.jpg - (1.00MB , 975x975 , 92b248fda9cfba35555d26dd6bfe47b4.jpg ) [iqdb]
33249
What's with all the holidays lately?

Suddenly, New Years, guests. Delicious home-made potato salad. Your regularly scheduled updates will resume tomorrow. Or the day after, probably, since I'm long overdue on a GH update by now.

Have an Ending Theme to go with the GAME OVER until then.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FynCuVo2UA
>> No. 33250
>>33249
>gameover theme

Aww cmon it was for the succubus battle...

couldn't ya have stuck with the old gameover one..?

or heck there are tons here--> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi_41p0Wmp0
>> No. 33259
>>33240

It's more the risk of pushing Alice away and missing out on a better ending along the line. Yeah we knew the risks but we had to go for it.

And now Taisa can't complain about anon not being bold.
>> No. 33322
File 126266402857.jpg - (508.92KB , 1600x1500 , 7b3c2a37d8727ed9c64e007e24c23d0a.jpg ) [iqdb]
33322
>>33259
>And now Taisa can't complain about anon not being bold.
Just as long as you don't turn chicken because of this. Keep in mind that our protagonist is actually somewhat experienced and competent in general, has abilities beyond a normal human, and is capable of some magic. Just need to be a wee bit more observant...

--------

...I pushed her away. Even if the thought didn't feel particularly unappealing, we didn't have time for that sort of thing. Gasping in surprise as I broke the kiss and shoved her off me, Alice merely stared at me for a moment, before regaining that subtle smile of hers, inching closer to me yet again... a strange sense of desire radiating from those red eyes of hers.

"...What's the matter?"

No. Something was off about this situation, but I couldn't immediately put my finger on it...
"Are you serious? We're in a vampire's mansion, we don't have time for-..."

"Oh, but don't you think we deserve a moment to ourselves like this..?" Her voice, usually cool and collected when speaking to me, suddenly sounding so sultry and seductive. What was-... Why was-... And those eyes of hers. Normally, they'd have 'changed' when I pushed her away, to a disappointed grey or upset green, or whatever emotion they correspond to, but they had been a distinct red for a while by then. Come to think of it, had they ever been red before..? Hell, the only two 'people' with red eyes I had seen up til then were the lady of the mansion, and...

"...What's gotten into you, little devil?" Despite my mock-playful tone, my intonation seemingly hit right on the mark, 'Alice''s mouth opening and closing in silence for a brief second or two; and that was all the hint I needed. Reaching to my side, I was relieved to notice that my whip and other weapons were still there, and promptly sprang out of the bed, gripping the handle of the whip in a threatening manner while staring down the woman before me.
"Enough already, wouldn't you say so? End your ruse and face me properly."

"Hmph." An unfamiliar voice, and yet so... familiar, at the same time. I knew I had never heard it before, yet I knew who it belonged to regardless. The smile on her lips spread into a wily smirk, preceding a playful sigh as she dug her fingers into her hair.
"I suppose you are right. My temptation ability would not affect you after all..." She then promptly threw her head back, blonde locks suddenly exploding into long, crimson strands of hair before my very eyes, smooth as silk, a pair of bat wings poking out from underneath, right over where the ears ought to be. What was once Alice's blue dress and mantle had transformed into a snug black vest, a rather generous bosom barely contained within, covering a white dress shirt decorated with a red tie, and ribbons under the shoulders. As she stood up, the short skirt she was wearing did little to conceal those shapely, inviting legs of hers, each step she took a veritable epitome of poise and grace... and a pointed tail casually swishing left and right behind her.

"Well. Fancy meeting you again in a place like this. I already got the key from your master, too..."

The smirk spread into a sinister grin. Unfortunately for her, I had seen enough of those in my time not to be overly intimidated by them, although I didn't like where the situation was going in any case...
"It is funny that you would refer to it as 'a place like this'." Slowly stepping closer, she stretched her back a little; a large pair of wings, similar to those on her head, sprouted from behind her, flapping once to take proper form before folding up on her back. Resting her hands on those wide hips of hers, she resumed speaking, crimson eyes boring into me without blinking. I wasn't about to lose a staring contest, if that was what she was thinking...
"Are you not aware of just 'where' we are, right now?" Each word perfectly articulated, slowly escaping her lips one at a time, her tone of voice melodic and teasing...

I was starting to get mildly annoyed.

"Room XVI, isn't it? Unless we managed to stumble into the wrong one..."

"Oh, no, not at all; but, perhaps you ought to take another look around, gauge your surroundings..." Just what was the vile temptress getting at? Ah, but as I glanced about, I was starting to get the picture. My senses felt strange; as if they had shut down, yet I still had awareness of my surroundings. I could see without opening my eyes, smell without breathing the air around me, feel without actually moving to grab anything. As if this were all-...

"-...in my head."

"Congratulations!" Clapping excitedly, the demoness jumped up and down in place, those ample breasts of hers bouncing about in rhythm with her motions, nearly threatening to burst out of that tight vest of hers. It left me feeling a little-... yeah. Never mind that, for now.
"You figured it out! Mmm, now we can have some fun together, can't we?" Her giggle that followed sounded a little more excited than anything that could suggest harmless, family-friendly fun. I thanked my lucky stars that my arsenal seemed to have followed me to this dream world.

"So I'm still asleep. And you've trapped me in my mind. Is that why you're speaking normally?"

"I am speaking as I always speak. You simply perceive it in a more direct manner, this way." I would've thanked her for the explanation, but I was not there for a lesson on succubi and the mechanics of their abilities.

"I don't suppose you'll let me wake up and kindly get the hell out of my head if I just ask you nicely, now will you?"
She merely grinned back at me in a mischievous manner, more befitting of a naughty imp than a succubus.
"Well, then, I suppose it'd only be fair to warn you... I've slain many succubi before in my career." I let the chain of the whip fall to the ground in demonstration of being ready for battle, as well as for intimidation purposes... She seemed less than impressed.

"Oh, do not worry... I am certain you will find me more than a worthy challenge. After all..." Her fingernails were starting to seem awfully long and sharp, all of a sudden; she spread her wings, the span easily wider than she was tall, and her eyes began to glow brightly in the strange ethereal darkness of the mental mirror of the room created in my mindscape. Her tail was swishing side-to-side even more energetically now, in pre-battle excitement.
"After all... We are in my domain now~"

...Indeed, never before had a succubus managed to infiltrate my mind to such a degree. I figured this to be more her master's power bolstering her own, rather than her own abilities being of such potency. Regardless of which it was, she had fortunately forgotten one thing - even if she had me trapped in this dream world, it was still my dream, and my mind. While this was certainly different from lucid dreaming, I still maintained at least some control over this pocket dimension, its physics and laws, and my own abilities...

"Die in the dream world, and you die for real," she said to me in a sing-song voice right before the opening pounce, a hungering, ravenous grin spreading across her lips, which she almost seemed to lick in anticipation, those sharp talons of hers whistling through the air in my direction, her speed utterly inhuman, faster than the eye could follow. Along with her, the entire room seemed to assault me, spectral arms stretching out from the shadows to tear at my flesh...
"I'll taste your soul one way or another, Hunter!"



[] I tried waking up, and forcing her out of my mind. Her will could not possibly stand against my own.
[] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{} (Optional: Combat strategy.)
[] (Obligatory write-in option.)
>> No. 33324
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?


Your soul will wander the dreamscape forever.
>> No. 33328
File 126267597453.jpg - (213.63KB , 850x977 , sample-c7e812f0292e7e07ebfe814a605235f6.jpg ) [iqdb]
33328
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{x} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules.

There's a fine line between boldness and recklessness. I think that this vote doesn't cross it.
After all, the most important skill he has shown is his steadfast determination to win, despise (or is it because of?) having nothing in life but the hunt.
I wonder how much can his will improve if he changes his objective to something more specific than 'Vanquishing an abomination'
>> No. 33329
[X] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{X} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{X} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules!
>> No. 33332
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{x} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules.
>> No. 33333
>>33328
>I wonder how much can his will improve if he changes his objective to something more specific than 'Vanquishing an abomination'
Looking at the picture you chose, I can't help but wonder what you could possibly be referring to.
>> No. 33334
[X] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{X} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{X} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules!
>> No. 33337
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{x} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules.
>> No. 33342
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{x} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules.
>> No. 33345
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{x} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules.

Koakuma's no Freddy Kreuger
>> No. 33347
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{x} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules.
>> No. 33354
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{x} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not, this is my world, which follows my rules.
>> No. 33364
File 126273851480.jpg - (338.36KB , 600x800 , not koakuma but.jpg ) [iqdb]
33364
Koakuma's at least better dressed than the Succubus from SotN.

[+] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-[+] This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
[+] 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not, this is my world, which follows my rules.
>> No. 33368
Since I skipped sleep monday due to spending all day writing the GH update with much difficulty... and went to bed at 6:30 AM to wake up at 9:30 AM today... I'll be updating this tomorrow. Sorry, just too tired today.

On the upside, I actually -want- to update this, so... yay~
>> No. 33382
[x] Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Two can play at that game.
-{x} This is your mind. Your world. How can she hope to survive when the entire world seeks her destruction?
{x} 'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly. Magic or not this is my world and my rules.
[x] Do her.
>> No. 33385
>>33364

She's cuter too.
>> No. 33420
File 126283751543.jpg - (1.89MB , 1200x1600 , c0d4eca897cf54386b68e743612c3ee0.jpg ) [iqdb]
33420
BGM: "Enchanted Banquet"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYDm0hUWCcA

--------

Die in the dream world and you die for real, eh? Well, two can play at that game, was what went through my mind as I stepped into her lunge, avoiding her attack, placing my leg in front of hers, grabbing her by the arm and turning her momentum into a throw, sending her flying into the wall behind me with an inaudible crash, sending strange ripples through my vision. Shaking my head to relieve the momentary blur in my sight, I gripped the handle of the whip more tightly and took on a more combat-ready stance, preparing to strike as my foe collected herself and stood up yet again. Dark tendrils started seeping towards me from the shadows in the room yet again, and the succubus sent a sharp glare over her shoulder, a split second before turning and blasting me with unholy energy.

As opposed to Alice's destructive beams, or the dense barrage of vaguely arrow-shaped magical projectiles from the fairies, this demon's attacks took the form of very large blue orbs with dark centers; I can assure you that these proved to be more than a challenge to avoid in the cramped space we were fighting in. A sidestep to the left, a leap to the right... I discovered - no on purpose, mind you - that grazing the spheres right along their outer edges only caused me a moderate amount of pain and discomfort, without any actual damage to my clothes or flesh.

Either that, or they were never meant to deal physical damage to begin with; my side was left partially numb after the orb passed me, the dull ache drowning out the sensation in my leg and reducing my mobility. I grunted. This, in turn, forced me to focus more intently on avoiding the shadows lashing at me, intent upon immobilizing me and leaving me to the mercy of the temptress. Noticing this and cackling to herself wildly, the demoness sent another volley of giant orbs of darkness right at me before I could even counterattack with the whip. I could already tell I wouldn't be able to sidestep or roll from these, so all that was left was to try and go -over- them; and yet, although I jumped as high as my body would allow, it took only a fraction of a second for me to realize that I wouldn't clear the projectiles at my maximum altitude.

So, I jumped again.

Yeah, in mid-air. I had mentioned having abilities beyond the average human, hadn't I? Yes, even back then. Anyway, back to our little tale... The look in the eyes of the succubus as I suddenly appeared from over her deadly barrage was one of both surprise and fear, her eyes more fixated on the holy chain rocketing through the air in her direction than on myself. Dashing backwards, she narrowly escaped the spiked ball at the tip of the whip striking her in the abdomen, my weapon instead embedding itself into the floor with a loud noise, sending pieces of the floor flying and causing further ripples in my vision. Odd, I thought, landing not-so-elegantly into a crouching position, needing to use one hand to stop my momentum. Regardless, I was able to rise back to my feet before the succubus could launch another series of blasts, and I chose to temporarily disarm her with conversation, keeping my eyes open for any sneak attacks.

"So, this was the 'boon' Remilia Scarlet was speaking of? A trap in the form of a demon hungering for my soul?" Gesturing towards her with the whip handle, I gave her a bit of a smirk, which did little to mask the contempt I felt for her. Glancing out of the corner of my eye, I saw the shadows stop approaching me as she heard my words, the succubus returning the smirk and running her fingers through her hair casually, her nails more closely resembling talons at that point.

"Oh, no, not at all! Believe it or not, but the mistress wished nothing more than to provide you with a moment's reprieve, a meal, clean and unshredded clothing..." She giggled to herself in utter amusement, gracefully bringing her hand to her mouth and narrowing her eyes at me until they were merely thin glowing red lines in the darkness of the room to me, leaving faint afterimages following the movement of her head.
"But, my Master told me this little game of the mistress's was turning out to be far too long, far too complicated and far too risky... So she instructed me to finish you off quickly and efficiently. It's a shame you had to make this harder on both of us, but... What's a girl to do, right?"

And with that, she bared her teeth in a diabolical grin yet again; before I knew it, she was beside me, claws already slashing through the air at my side. Thanking my reflexes for overriding conscious movements for that moment, I blocked her strike by gripping the chain of the whip in my other hand and holding it in the way, promptly wrapping it around her wrist before she could react to entangle her to myself. I promptly followed this up by punching her right in her pretty pale face with my left fist.

And again. And again and again and again, until both her nose and mouth were bleeding profusely, the succubus having no opportunity to counterattack or properly defend herself under my relentless flurry of blows. All of a sudden, I was stopped by an unseen force from behind; glancing out of the corner of my eye, I could only spot one of those shadowy tendrils from before gripping my wrist, before a rising slash from the demon's claws tore through my clothes and very nearly disemboweling me on the spot, rending my flesh and causing no small amount of pain.

Through more of a lucky stumble than skill or reaction I was able to pull away just enough to avoid critical injury, although she didn't give me any time to recover, swiftly delivering a sharp kick to my abdomen and knocking me into the wall behind me. At that point I figured with a frown that if things continued at a similar rate, my clothes would eventually be destroyed to the point where I might as well have been streaking naked through the mansion; how convenient that this all took place in a dream world, then. I stood up yet again, coughing some blood from what I was sincerly hoping was not internal injuries. I had definitely underestimated the little devil - in this world, her powers were at their fullest, I was a mere ragdoll against her strength and speed. Nevertheless, showing your fear is a fatal flaw in these situations...

"And what of Alice?" Distract with conversation again, look for an opening... Inconspicuous hand movements, concealing my search for a useful sub-weapon...

"Ah, but of course!" She clapped her hands together again, giggling to herself in excitement; her tail, like a serpent, coiled itself around her left leg slowly.
"After I consume you, I will simply take over your body, and when she least expects it..." She pulled one hand up to her neck, and makes a cutting motion from one side to the other with her thumb, followed by a devilish wink. I couldn't help but grit my teeth at the vile fiend in response, although I forced myself into a grin to keep up appearances, despite bleeding profusely at the time.

"I don't think you'll have much luck with that. I've already beaten your master, I'll have no problems with you."

"Oh?" The succubus feigns surprise, fingers in front of her mouth and eyes wide, her voice still betraying her amusement.
"But did it not take two of you? And even then, she was merely toying with you, at the request of the mistress, choosing to intimidate you with fireworks rather than disintegrate you on the spot?" Hmph.
"And besides... You've dropped your guard, hunter~"

Huh? Oh. Damn. She was right. My little distraction attempt seemed to have distracted myself more than my foe, and shadowy tentacles and claws suddenly seized my legs, holding me in place and leaving me defenseless before my assailant, her hands glowing with an unholy blue light yet again.
Oh shit.

"...If you think my claws were painful, then allow me to teach you the -true- meaning of pain."

I was completely engulfed in her attack, the blue orbs washing over my body and blinding me - I could not tell whether it was from the glow or the excruciating torture it put me through. Every single nerve in my body was on fire and frozen at the same time, my skin felt as if it were being flayed, my bones felt as if they were being pulverized, my flesh felt as if it were being boiled, my eyeballs felt as if they popped, my teeth felt as if they were crushed, my fingernails pulled, my spine broken, my skull cracked open, my brain pierced with a thousand needles. I couldn't help myself anymore - I screamed. I screamed as loud as I could. This was the most agonizing pain I had ever felt - no human being should have been able to endure such torment without blacking out instantly, the mind shutting down to avoid going mad. And yet there I was, my legs bound, my arms soon followed as further tendrils grasped my vulnerable body, tearing cloth, tearing skin, bleeding me further, holding me in place for my tormentor.

I mustered up what strength I had left in me, struggling even to breathe, and opened my eyes. And there she was, right in my face.
"And now this little game ends for you, hunter."

I ripped my arm free - determination and rage granted me the strength, if only for a little while. The demon only seemed further entertained, dodging my blows, blocking them, returning them with lashes of her claws that I could hardly defend myself against. And then she simply pushed me down, onto my back. And she was on top of me, straddling me, a sadistic smile still dancing across her lips, crimson eyes burning brighter than ever, staring hungrily right at my soul. I couldn't breathe. Terror paralyzed my lungs, as I knew I was done for. To think that I would die to a familiar, too...

Her claws dug into my flesh. This time, no longer aiming to cause pain, to wound, to cripple, but to tear apart, to dismember, to kill. I couldn't even scream anymore. With a childish glee, she proceeded to rip me asunder, splitting muscle, severing tendons and ligaments, crushing bone; I think at one point, one of the black tentacles simply pulled off my arm, as it was hardly even attached anymore. Her tail wrapped itself around my neck, constricting me, cutting off what little air I could manage to breathe at the time, the sharp tip cutting my lips as it forced itself into my mouth, past my teeth, piercing my tongue like a scorpion's stinger - I could sense her venom enter me. I tried to bite down, yet I lacked the strength. She laughed in joy as she moved down to eviscerate me, my flesh yielding and my entrails as mere playthings to her. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to die. Her tail squeezed harder; it would not be long until it crushed my throat and snapped my neck. Before this, she decided she wanted me to be alive for one last brutal display. A tendril wrapping itself around my head, it forced me to look down just as she sank her talons into my chest, splitting my ribcage and tearing my chest open.

I died.

...

No I didn't. This was my mind. This was my world. This was not happening. I was not -me-, I was merely my avatar in this world inside my head, in my dream... And she was merely playing tricks on me. The pitiful fool... How could she hope to win when the entire world sought her destruction!?

"Hic..!?"

That was the only sound she could utter as one of the tendrils spontaneously burst through her chest, spraying me with her blood. But I could see clearly now. I could feel, I could breathe, I could move. I had all my limbs, I had my strength again. I didn't even need my weapons anymore. With my bare fist, I struck her in the chest as hard as I could, sending her flying off me into the far corner of the room. The bloody tendril receded, the others having let go of me and formed a circle around me. I stood up, dusting myself off - as useless as this might have been in the dream world, it was kind of cool at the time. The darkness... I made it go away. Light surrounded me.

"Y-... *cough* You..! Insolent pup!" She was coughing up blood and clutching the gaping hole in her body, a serious wound even to a demon. She was also struggling to stand up after such a forceful blow and shock.

"Strong words for a low-tier whelp of a demon," I spat back at her. She attempted to control the shadows of the room again, but to no avail. There were no shadows. There was only light in this room that -I- had created in my mind. The light gathered around me, condensing, becoming brighter, forming shapes... She covered her eyes, the holy glow nearly blinding her as she had difficulty finding the words to speak. I didn't give her the luxury, and spoke first.

'You would use my own mind against me? You have chosen...poorly." The light behind me condensed further, the shapes becoming more distinct, sharper, clearer... The terror in her eyes became more and more apparent as she realized what was about to happen to her.
"Magic or not, this is my world, which follows my rules."

Knives. Hundreds of them. Blades of light, all pointing at her, suspended in the air. Wordlessly, I extended my fist towards her, before holding out my thumb and casually pointing it downwards.

My previous screams were mirrored in the succubus right then and there. Countless blades raining upon her, divine punishment ravaging her body, each blade causing her tenfold the pain she had forced me to endure, even if it merely grazed her. Her clothes were utterly destroyed, her skin covered in numerous cuts and gashes, each promptly burned with righteous flames. This shower of blades lasted but ten or so seconds, yet as I finished - the last four knives nailing her hands and feet to the wall in a shape as if she were suspended on a cross - I could tell from the look on her anguished face that it had felt like a hundred eternities to her. A fair trade, considering what she had just put me through, except she was in no position to turn the tables anymore. I had won.

"I win. You lose. And now, for-..."

Sobbing. Quiet at first, before tears started rushing down the sides of her face in steady streams, the demon losing control and beginning to cry profusely, twitching and wailing as she was, utterly naked and nailed to the wall before me. In the light, I could get a better look at her... While her curvacious, well-endowed body was most certainly more than mature enough by any human standards, I could tell by several of her more 'exotic' features - as well as her eyes, when she gathered the strength to open them - that she was still but a child by demon standards. And to rope me into such a trap at her level... Either I was getting sloppy, or there was more to the little devil than met the eye.

No matter, though; all that remained was to decide what to do with the little wretch for causing me all that trouble. All she could do was keep crying, nude and immobile as she was.
"M-master... No more... I'm, I'm scared... Masteeer! HELP!" I glanced around in worry for just a moment, but no. No help was coming. Indeed, she had made a drastic miscalculation in her plans, getting herself stuck all alone in my head without any source of backup...
"M-master... Master... Master... Please... I just want Master... No more... Master..."

I knew well the folly of overconfidence from my own past experiences.



[] "Death in the dream world will send your soul to wander for eternity, demon."
[] "Go, then, with your tail between your legs. Pray you never face me again."
[] (Write-in.)
>> No. 33421
[] "Death in the dream world will send your soul to wander for eternity, demon."
>> No. 33422
[x] "Death in the dream world will send your soul to wander for eternity, demon."
>> No. 33423
>>33421
>>33422
So harsh, so cruel...
>> No. 33424
[x] "Go, then, with your tail between your legs. Pray you never face me again."
She's harmless now and there's no point in killing her. We had our revenge.
>> No. 33425
File 126283879598.jpg - (237.84KB , 640x550 , 4ec067b4d0120a9a3b88786a097d80bd.jpg ) [iqdb]
33425
If we kill her, shit's going to get real.
>> No. 33426
[x] "Go then, tell your Mistress that she should hope for mistress to be slain for her sake. I doubt Remilia would take kindly to such interference in her game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'."
- [x] "And do not try such a stunt again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity."

Point is sparing her yet sending a warning to Patchouli about Remilia finding out about such a stunt against her wishes. And to tell her that Remilia wouldn't be amused by such 'concern'. Since Remilia, especially the way she's been in this story has been a prideful short, she would be upset if someoen else did a cheap shot at her prey or made it seem like she was breaking her word.

Feel free to improve this if you're using it.
>> No. 33427
[+] "Death in the dream world will send your soul to wander for eternity, demon."
A soul-eating demon who threatened to kill Alice with your body, crying those crocodile tears... Yeah, no. Mercy is the dumbass option here.
>> No. 33428
>>33427

And yet I can already predict that many people are going to choose it.
>> No. 33429
[x] "Death in the dream world will send your soul to wander for eternity, demon."

Give her the mercy she would have given Alice after we were defeated.
>> No. 33430
[x] "Death in the dream world will send your soul to wander for eternity, demon."

In fights to the death the loser just doesn't say stop and goes home.
I just want to hug them all anyway, even Remilia, but we all know how this is going to end up.
>> No. 33431
[x] "Go, then, with your tail between your legs. Pray you never face me again."
>> No. 33432
>>33427
She's a demon, what were you expecting? This isn't the rose-tinted world of ZUN: Here she does what she's ordered to do-in this case, kill- and she enjoys it.
However, would you kick a puppy because he peed your shoes? Would you kill a dog that attacked a guy who was throwing stones at it? Koakuma acts all confident and shit, but she is nothing more than a overconfident child.
Finally, if we do kill her, then Patchouli will track us down and instantly turn the air into our lungs to lead. With the risible spell resistance that our MC has, he'll die in a heartbeat.
>> No. 33433
[x] "Go, then, with your tail between your legs. Pray you never face me again."

Fuck yeah, moralfagging.
>> No. 33434
[x] "Death in the dream world will send your soul to wander for eternity, demon."
>> No. 33438
>>33432

Yet people are not thinking clearly, and they seem to forget once Remilia finds out about this she will not be amused, since I doubt she likes people interfering with her game OR being made a liar.

That's on top of a pissed off Patchouli, who spared us the first time. She won't be so nice this time.

And this point: Are we the demons as well? (Going that far)

the write in basically sends her off with a warning, since I doubt she'd even try doing that again to us. (Succubi aren't known for trying to attack someone who can resist them.)
>> No. 33439
[x] "Go then, tell your Mistress that she should hope for mistress to be slain for her sake. I doubt Remilia would take kindly to such interference in her game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'."
- [x] "And do not try such a stunt again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity."

I can think of no real advantages to killing Koakuma here. Other than severely pissing off her master, who can quite clearly shit all over us in terms of power, I'm not sure what it's supposed to accomplish. Is she even a threat to us if we don't fall asleep again?

As an aside, the whole 'Patchouli told me to kill you' thing seems a bit dubious given our earlier encounter with her. Eh.
>> No. 33442
[x] "Go then, tell your Mistress that she should hope for mistress to be slain for her sake. I doubt Remilia would take kindly to such interference in her game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'."
- [x] "And do not try such a stunt again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity."
>> No. 33445
>>33439

True, but the remark about her master considering the game getting too long and dangerous is something Patchy would say, especially with what's happened since we left the library. (For one a giant nigh-corpse youkai getting dragged off by the younger sister in a memorable scene)

I also realized something; sparing Koakuma would be akin to repaying Patchouli for sparing us.

Even both our reasons aren't of the purely "Goodness of the heart sort"

Patchy's was going along with Remilia's game (one that she considered too long and dangerous)

And our reason? A mix of avoiding her wrath, a warning about how Remilia would react to Patchouli interfering in such a way that she wouldn't approve. (After all if Remilia wanted to do a sneak attack, she could have done so at about any moment in the inner quarters.) among a couple others.

I think the assessment of Koakuma as a "child by demon terms" is true. She may have some power, but she's clearly unfit to take on a Hunter. And I think she's really got the scare of her life. (Kinda like Freddy Kruger going into a dream and running into Cthulhu)
>> No. 33448
File 126286368813.jpg - (24.18KB , 475x250 , 487351.jpg ) [iqdb]
33448
>>33445
>I think the assessment of Koakuma as a "child by demon terms" is true. She may have some power, but she's clearly unfit to take on a Hunter.
You say that, but she gave us a pretty good beating before we realised we were The One.
>> No. 33449
[x] "Go, then, with your tail between your legs. Pray you never face me again."

I'd rather not piss of Patchy. She can end us in a second, afterall.
>> No. 33450
[x] >>33426
>> No. 33452
[x] "Go then, tell your Mistress that she should hope for mistress to be slain for her sake. I doubt Remilia would take kindly to such interference in her game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'."
- [x] "And do not try such a stunt again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity."

eh, works for me~!
>> No. 33456
>>33448
I may be wrong, but I think that he was talking about emotional maturity, not power.
>> No. 33457
>>33448
Except none of that was actually real, she was just mindraping us.
>> No. 33460
>>33457
Amend to:
>You say that, but she gave us a pretty good MENTAL beating before we realised we were The One.

At any rate, if >>33456 is right then the entire point becomes moot anyway.
>> No. 33463
I just love write-ins... most of them anwyay.

[x] "Go then, tell your Mistress that she should hope for mistress to be slain for her sake. I doubt Remilia would take kindly to such interference in her game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'."
- [x] "And do not try such a stunt again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity."
>> No. 33469
>>33448

I mean that emotionally she's childish (even if her body's far from childish), with considerable power.

If it was a mere mortal, they'd be screwed against her. (Our lead has toughen himself up in various ways.)
>> No. 33470
Will you people stop being fooled by tears so quickly?

It's a demon. You know. The kind we kill for a living? She would have not shown any mercy towards us or Alice. She sure didn't in that bad end

Also for a serial killer hunter, not a -living-single boss has been slain. FOR SHAME. GET INTO CHARACTER.

He's a Belmont. It's his job.
>> No. 33471
[x] "Death in the dream world will send your soul to wander for eternity, demon."

She's just trying to manipulate us.
>> No. 33473
Doubt it, that isn't her style (if she tried to seduce him by acting submissive I'd suspect a ruse)

That and people forget quickly that we're only this far due to Patchy sparing us.

Let's see what's happened so far:

We tried to kill Meiling (I say tried because while the attempts would have worked on many other beings, Meiling just won't die)

Patchy? That would imply not being at an utter disadvantage against her which we were.

And you speak of Alice as if she isn't one of those 'monsters' he was usually paid to hunt.

In this regard, he'd be more interested in a challenging prey than a naked whimpering Succubus.

That is unless you really want to see Patchy fry us with Royal Flare. (I wonder if there'd be any bones left at all if not just ashes)

And the tactical value of sending a warning to Patchouli would be that she'd be reacting to what happened too much to wage another sneak attack.
>> No. 33474
[x] "Go then, tell your Mistress that she should hope for mistress to be slain for her sake. I doubt Remilia would take kindly to such interference in her game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'."
- [x] "And do not try such a stunt again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity."
>> No. 33475
File 12629003455.png - (95.44KB , 600x336 , intel koa2quad processor.png ) [iqdb]
33475
>>33470
>Will you people stop being fooled
We aren't.
>>33471
>She's just trying to manipulate us.
Doesn't matter-and she can't harm us anymore.

Like several other anons said, kill the devil and you'll die at the hands of Knowledge. Were there is a certain degree of honor and kindness (our character seems to be good or, at least, more good than us) the main reason to vote for that choice is survival.
Basically, his mission is his life (for now) and he can't finish the first without the latter.
>> No. 33476
>>33473
>Doubt it, that isn't her style (if she tried to seduce him by acting submissive I'd suspect a ruse)

Bullshit it isn't. She's a succubus, a goddamn master of manipulating emotions. She tried the seduction thing, and it didn't work even when she caught the hunter unaware. She knows that approach wont work, so she's appealing to another emotion.

>That and people forget quickly that we're only this far due to Patchy sparing us.

She didn't really spare us, though. Sure, she didn't directly kill us, but she sent Koakuma to do it. If someone let you live and then hired a hitman to go kill you, would you consider your life "spared"? Dead is dead.
>> No. 33477
>>33476

Maybe, but if we kill her Familiar, I doubt she'll bother with using the more subtle approach.. She would probably hunt us down and incinerate is in seconds, if we're really lucky.
>> No. 33478
>>33477

Also, 'is' is supposed to be us.
>> No. 33480
>>33476

Even so letting Koakuma live would send a message as to say "we're even now" to Patchouli in addition to the warning we're sending.

>>33475
Yeah he isn't a total killing machine (otherwise we'd have slain Alice where she stood as opposed to getting her assistance which has proven infinitely invaluable)

I think patchouli and Koakuma would be in enough trouble once Remilia finds out. (Remilia strikes me as a prideful person that values her word. She would not take kindly to someone interfering AND making her look like a lying schemer.)

I can imagine Remilia apologizing about her unruly friend when we meet her again.
>> No. 33489
>>33476
You make a good point about her manipulating emotions... but how will backstab him? I mean, our MC is still in his mind and still in total control. And the tone in the write in makes more than clear the fact that he still doesn't trust her so, no, he ain't gonna let his guard down that easily.
>> No. 33503
[x] "Go, then, with your tail between your legs. Pray you never face me again."
>> No. 33513
>referring to a female protagonist with male pronouns
>> No. 33515
>implying female belmonts exist
>> No. 33520
File 126292787158.jpg - (286.20KB , 464x464 , 62134214af2f4575f2137f1b43de920d.jpg ) [iqdb]
33520
>>33515
>> No. 33522
>>33515

I know she was retconned but don't tell me you've forgotten about Sonia Belmont...

Though I'm still of the belief that this hunter is male; just my belief not saying it's a fact
>> No. 33523
>>33520

>Sakuya
>Not the boss of Clock Tower.

What is wrong with you why would you even suggest that.
>> No. 33525
[X] "Go then, tell your Mistress that she should hope for mistress to be slain for her sake. I doubt Remilia would take kindly to such interference in her game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'."
-[X] "And do not try such a stunt again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity."

Koa, Koa, Koa...
>> No. 33531
>>33523
While not being that guy, our hunter has a time stopping pocket watch and a liking for silver throwing knives.
Plus ambiguous gender.
>> No. 33532
>>33432
>However, would you kick a puppy because he peed your shoes? Would you kill a dog that attacked a guy who was throwing stones at it?
The puppy isn't peeing on our shoes, he's bitten our leg. We shook him off, he's whimpering, but he's just waiting for us to turn our back so that he can bite again.
And really, she's the aggressor here. Threatening Alice waived any right she may have had to kindness or mercy.

>Finally, if we do kill her, then Patchouli will track us down and instantly turn the air into our lungs to lead.
This is a valid concern, but not one we need to focus on right now.
>> No. 33533
File 12629618136.jpg - (27.83KB , 227x256 , CV_LeonBelmont.jpg ) [iqdb]
33533
>>33531

Perhaps the same could be said of... most hunters...

Seriously though all the belmonts used daggers as well as the stop-watch capable of both slowing time to instantly stopping time around the user all together. WHy even Richter Belmont in his first foray into Castlevania, the stop watch had a secondary ability where for each number the large hand struck, caused damage to all monsters and foes along freezing them in time.

I will say though if Taisa is crafting the hunter's story similar to a doujin where that hunter had actually been sakuya but under different circumstances I will be severely disappointed considering the ending that occurs in it.
>> No. 33534
>>33533
>I will say though if Taisa is crafting the hunter's story similar to a doujin where that hunter had actually been sakuya but under different circumstances I will be severely disappointed considering the ending that occurs in it.

Please do tell, you've got me curious now.
>> No. 33540
>>33532

As someone else said, the write in has the tone of not trusting her but telling her to run off to warn her mistress about what has happened, thus delaying any more cheap stunts from Patchouli.

And chances are high that Koa will be hesitant to try that again. Since for one the hunter will be on guard from now on.
>> No. 33545
>>33534

Pseudo-Castlevania Expert, Castlevania Music Anon Extraordinare and OP of >>33533,

I found that doujin some months back upon searching images of Sakuya in a form of collected comics that depicted the "initial meeting" between Remilia and Sakuya. Lots of references to the famous Belmont family yet it all but specifically state such ties belonging to Sakuya. I believe some anon would recognize it as there is one line that Sakuya yells, "YOU GOD-DAMNED BAT HEAD!".

Coincidentally this is also the name of a song in the "Castlevania Chronicles Akumajou Dracula Original Soundtrack" track #15.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUARZuhOsH0

Also I wish to apologize to any anon that had been interested in my updates on the Castlevania Music thread on /Taisa/ I mean /words/. Lots of stuff been happening with my life. If there is still some interest I'll continue updating it. If not then please say so on that thread and I'll stop.

I apologize to Taisa in advance if I'm somewhat marring the thread. I do read your other thread but you won't see me making ridiculous posts.
>> No. 33546
>>33545
Requesting name of doujin and/or download link to translated version.
>> No. 33548
>>33546
Unfortunately I've on;y ever seen it in its scattered state. I don't even recall the cover title just the pages that had that specific scene a couple of others displaying dialog between the two. ;_;

However as far as I've seen it pretty much picked up enough hints on how it ends.

More on topic I just realized something; one would think that Alice would have noticed Koakuma invading the hunter's mind right..?
>> No. 33549
File 126298391322.png - (785.68KB , 2131x1514 , i_cant_wait_16-17.png ) [iqdb]
33549
>> No. 33555
File 126298815275.jpg - (775.41KB , 629x954 , dadfee7fa7956c8b16ca70b6f1fc3a109e323804.jpg ) [iqdb]
33555
>>33549
That's the one, I'm hoping to collect the rest of the pages some day...

I also recall another set where supposedly Sakuya bought a mirror from Rinnosuke and pretty much ignored what he was trying to tell her about the mirror. Later on as Remilia was "dolling" her self up in a different set of clothing in front of the recently purchased mirror it turns out said mirror created a sort of doppleganger of Remilia. It first assaults Remilia but quickly becomes subdued by the "real" Remilia because said doppleganger is timid where as Remilia as we know is not. Patchouli, upon trying to understand what the second Remilia really is, makes a funny reference to the first Splatterhouse game where the player, in stage 4 faces dopplegangers of the player that just walks through the mirror and tries to kill said player.

Once again I apologize to Taisa for going offtopic somewhat.
>> No. 33557
>>33555
http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Genocide_Kitten
>> No. 33559
File 126299119512.jpg - (177.98KB , 600x600 , 543649bdfa91768926c27d2d0931696e09c446c2.jpg ) [iqdb]
33559
>>33557
So that's the names for them? Boy did I ever fail in not noticing them...

Well now I can finally rest peacefully once again knowing I have the completed versions.
>> No. 33579
>[x] "Go, then, with your tail between your legs. Pray you never face me again."

Those of you that voted for this, you might want to chance your votes to the write-in if Taisa doesn't count the write in as under this.
>> No. 33584
>>33579
I'm not that anal. I'd count it as the same, and probably use the write-in over the provided choice.
>> No. 33589
File 126301981062.png - (594.39KB , 600x827 , 1261997878890.png ) [iqdb]
33589
>>33584
>I'm not that anal
lol'd.
But seriously, 'twas a fair concern. Let me give you an example of what usually happens on close calls:

Jim finally meets with Clarice. What does he say?
[] I love you - 10 votes
[] I love you more than anything in the world - 12 votes
[] I fucking hate you and it was I who killed your dog and peed into his corpse - 14 votes

Update:
Jim breaks Clarice's head with a candlestick.
>> No. 33603
[x] "Go then, tell your Mistress that she should hope for mistress to be slain for her sake. I doubt Remilia would take kindly to such interference in her game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'."
- [x] "And do not try such a stunt again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity."

Also.
>>33589
Into his corpse?
>> No. 33615
Calling votes!

Koakuma lives. Stay tuned.
>> No. 33622
>>33615

Why do I get a feeling of dread?
>> No. 33628
>>33615
That i did not expect. I only wish we would have done the same with Meiling.
The only good thing is that we have now random Meiling encounters.
>> No. 33630
>>33628
We should have broken her neck the second we dropped her.
>> No. 33631
>>33630
As if that'd stop her for long.
>> No. 33636
>>33630
You inhuman monster.
She is one of the best characters Touhouvania has.
>> No. 33637
>>33628

Are you saying Koakuma is going to randomly pop up as well?
>> No. 33640
>>33631
>>33636
We're a "man" on a mission here, folks. Anything in our way should be killed as long as we can kill it.

>>33637
I, for one, welcome our new brain-invading overlords.
>> No. 33643
Writefag spent the night throwing up and the day twisting and turning in an overly hot bed to bizarre feverish dreams. Sadly, not inspirational ones. Caught some sort of virus or something from a family member.

Update may come either tonight or tomorrow depending on whether or not I feel less like dying any time soon. Sorry.
>> No. 33644
>>33643
Get better soon, we'll be waiting.
>> No. 33648
File 126314875749.jpg - (10.92KB , 237x169 , 121620681597.jpg ) [iqdb]
33648
>>33643
Don't die!
>> No. 33658
>>33643
Your health is more important than the story. I hope you feel better soon.
>> No. 33670
File 12631810437.jpg - (53.10KB , 618x524 , 0c203005711c98a1968b8a3c1a808ea2.jpg ) [iqdb]
33670
>>33643
Feeling bad? Let me get some help for you
>> No. 33683
>>33648
Taisa.jpg
>> No. 33701
File 126325213694.jpg - (189.05KB , 577x762 , c55cd0e8dc727d028d05b9c28dbd13fd.jpg ) [iqdb]
33701
The sound of her quiet sobbing was the only noise resounding through this space created within my mind, every once in a while interrupted with a timid whimper, or whispering 'Master' to herself. Her eyes were closed, tears steadily streaming down her cheeks. Even so, she avoided even turning her face towards me. I took a step closer, sending a sudden wave of uncontrollable shivering through her body, dangling from the wall in a form ironically reminiscent of the crucified Son. Her blood, in the light of the room, was a vibrant red, oozing down her body from her countless wounds, dripping and pooling on the floor. A truly pitiful sight, a creature so utterly defeated. And yet, as I moved in, gripping the handle of my dagger for the finishing strike, my arm did not pull the blade from its sheath - not out of hesitation nor mercy, but a moment of reflection upon my situation at the time.

She was no longer a threat. Even for a demon such as herself, it would take her days to recover from the onslaught I had unleashed upon her. Not that this would normally have been good enough reason for me to stay my blade, but I thought back to the 'Master' whom she was calling out to in such a futile manner, like a lost child wishing for her mother. Had she truly held back during our fight with her, or had it been a bluff..? No one can say for sure, although the rumors I had heard of the great Patchouli Knowledge strongly hinted at her words being true. If that was the case, then slaying and banishing her familiar would most certainly have provoked her unbridled wrath upon us. Even if she had lent us her aid before, sending her pet after us suggested that she was not above changing her stance towards this little game we were all involved in. If we were game pieces on Remilia Scarlet's chessboard, Patchouli Knowledge could only be considered to be neither white nor black, but a gray piece - even if she would aid us one moment, she would also bend even Remilia Scarlet's own rules to end us more efficiently.. The safest move, therefore, would be to simply avoid getting in her way.

I wasn't exactly in the mood to have her appear out of nowhere and turn the air in my lungs into solid lead.

"Go then, with your tail between your legs. Oh, and... tell your Master that she should hope for the Mistress of the mansion to be slain for her sake." The succubus finally opening one eye to look at me, a stream of blood over the other preventing her from opening it, I grinned at her in a way only demons should ever grin at humans.
"I doubt Remilia Scarlet would take kindly to such interference in her little game. She knows the risk of such a 'game'." She cast her glance to the side without a word, her breathing still weak and quick, but I knew she understood. Intending to drive the point home, I muttered one last sentence to the demon, as I removed the blades of light pinning her to the wall, her wounded and bleeding body collapsing to the floor below with a quiet -thud- and mild yelp of pain.
"Pray you never face me again, or else your soul will be sent wandering for all eternity. Let the wounds you bear now leave eternal scars in your soul to remind you of this."

Of course, a demon would not retain any scars of the flesh; much less a succubus, for whom her appearance was one of her greatest strengths. She understood what I meant well enough, though, weakly pushing herself up into a sitting position, no strength left in her arms. Wordlessly, I dimmed the light that the room had been bathed in since I resisted her influence; as the holy glow stopped sapping her power, she brushed her messed-up hair from her face before looking at me one last time, sniffling and choking out a response, nearly a whisper.

"...I-I'm s-s-sorry..!"

And with that, her scarlet hair suddenly began flowing about her as if a strong wind had kicked up, the demon curling up into a fetal position until her hair enveloped her completely, suddenly bursting outwards in all directions in the form of a red mist, spreading to the door, seeping out through the cracks between the door and the floor, exiting my mind. I took a few moments to confirm that she was gone from my head, to make certain that this wasn't some sort of ruse, or a trap set by the crafty demon, but... No. She was gone. I figured it was a bit much to assume from a mere familiar that she could attempt anything dangerous again so soon after taking such punishment, after all. And with that, I could consider the Wizard and myself to be even; she had offered me a boon, and I had spared her minion. I trusted her to ve wise enough to understand the message and implications behind the gesture... Ah, but speaking of boons. Taking a deep breath to relax myself, I casually strolled over to the door, myself, gripping the handle and turning it slowly; a bright light promptly engulfed my vision...

...

...The first thing I saw as my vision cleared was the familiar sight of those golden locks, hanging down and just reaching her shoulders, almost glowing in the light. Alice was still sitting on the side of the bed, her gaze directed at the door, ever watchful for any intruders... or, well, any intruders of a visible, physical nature. My little struggle against demonic possession just now had gone completely unnoticed by her, save for perhaps a few occasional twists and turns in my sleep. Come to think of it, I hadn't actually intended on falling asleep in the first place... My strength returning to my body and my senses regaining their usual sharpness, I turned my head to the side just a bit, taking her appearance in more fully, and I noticed that she had changed her ragged dress for the elegant replacement I had seen in the closet. I must've been out for quite a bit, huh... Ah, but was I truly awake this time? Forcing myself to sit up, I glanced about my surroundings in a mildly paranoid manner, before pinching myself on the arm rather painfully. Nothing. Alice turned to face me, blinking her light blue eyes at me a few times in a surprised reaction to my strange behavior, before a reserved smile found its way onto her lips.

"So you're awake. Did you get a good rest?"

"In a manner of speaking..." While my body had recharged itself rather efficiently over the course of my little nap, my mind was still fatigued from the struggle of overcoming the demon's mindfuckery.
"Hey, Alice..?"

"Yes? What is it?" Turning herself a little to face me more properly, she peered at me with curiosity.

"I need to check something. Kiss me."

She simply frowned lightly in response.
"...Perhaps you should get some more rest after all, if you're spouting such things all of a sudden." Nope, I was awake alright. Awkwardly climbing out of the bed, I couldn't help but notice her smirking at me in amusement, as if I had embarrassed myself before her. Well, maybe I did sound like a bit of a fool just then... Before I could start dressing myself up in my damaged and filthy clothes again, I glanced over at the inviting closet, deciding to accept the vampire's 'gift' after all. Coincidentally or not, the outfit she had prepared did fit my tastes, mostly.

"So, what about you? You going to lie down for a while too?"

"Not necessary. I am a Magician, after all."

"I know your type don't need to eat, but you still sleep, don't you?" I looked around a bit for a mirror, proceeding to get properly dressed in front of it. Contrary to folk tales, vampires do have reflections; I never did understand where the no-reflection theory came from to begin with. Probably something to do with silver being used to make mirrors, or something silly like that. Well, optics is still optics... If it's visible, it has a reflection.

"Come now. During the time you rested, I was able to absorb enough magic from the air around us to properly recharge my energies; you forget how thick with magic the air in this Mansion truly is, being the domain of a powerful vampire and wizard." From the tone of her voice, you'd almost think she were making fun of me for assuming her to have such human-like limits. And yet, I couldn't really help it... She didn't give off the feel of a particularly old and experienced Magician.

"Look, all I'm saying is that I'm trying to look out for both of us here. And..." As I finished getting dressed, adjusting the tie and examining myself in the mirror for a moment (stylish!), I turned to face my troublesome companion yet again, her face taking on a mildly irritated expression when she saw how serious I must've looked back then.
"...I really don't want to lose you when I need you the most."

For a brief while, she seemed to just sit there quietly and maintain eye contact with me, letting my words sink in as I stared into those blue pools. Come to think of it, what I had said could have been interpreted in... several ways. However, before long, she chuckled to herself quietly, standing up from the bed and adjusting her dress; what a matching pair we looked like then, wearing the outfits left by our nemesis, feeling like actors that have changed their costumes in preparation for the final act of the play.
"Should I fight you again, then? To prove it?"

"I'd rather you didn't," I responded with a smile.
"Well, in that case, we should-... Ah." Something felt a little different. To be more specific, a certain pocket of mine felt a little heavier than before; reaching into said pocket, I pulled out the key ring, upon which were the key I had looted off Hong Meiling during out first encounter, the key we were given by Patchouli Knowledge, the key we had extracted from Alice's Golem, the key to room XVI, and... a new key, the handle decorated with the shapes of six bat wings sticking out, a pentagram carved into the middle. Alice tilted her head in curiosity, unable to wrap her mind around this new development.

"...How... Where did you get that key from? And when?"

"...It's a complicated story, really, but I think I know. I'll tell you when I've finished my mission here." I didn't want to start explaining to her the details of just -how- the succubus had at first attempted to deceive me right then and there, after all...

"Hmph. Very well. Oh, and you made a mistake, again..."

"Pardon?"

"It's -our- mission now, remember?" Her eyes a shade of orange, she eagerly returned my smile. That's right, -our- mission... Our. Us. That was still a somewhat new concept for me to take in at the time, to be quite honest. It's not that I didn't feel thankful for it, but I lacked the words to offer a proper response to this verbal gesture. Instead, I simply nodded once and guided the discussion in the next logical direction, glancing about the room yet again.

"Well, I wonder... What was that 'boon' the vampire was so eager to give us, anyway?"

"Hmm. Perhaps the opportunity to rest and change our clothes was what she meant, after all?" Perhaps. But I wasn't convinced, for some reason; a gut feeling told me we were missing something. So, we proceeded to check the room yet again, coming up with nothing until I pulled out one of the drawers in the dresser near the bed, revealing a large amount of...

"...Candy," we blurted out in unison, utterly dumbfounded by this discovery. A small piece of paper had been left with the candy, upon which was written 'With love, from Remilia♥'.

"That brat! She's messing around with us..!" I gripped the piece of paper in my fist, crushing it in a fit of frustration. What did she think we were, trick-or-treaters!?

"Hmph. Well, I suppose that's that, then..." Alice rubbed her temples with a soft sigh, clearly not amused by the vampire's pranks either.
"...What now, then?"

"Eh... Well, I suppose we'd best find our way back to the mansion foyer and check out the last area - the clock tower." I pulled out the map and traced my fingers along it to draw out some potential paths.
"Seems we've got two choices, either-..."

Suddenly, we heard a strange noise; like a reversed sigh, a sound of suction that still bore some semblance to a human voice. Or, multiple voices would be more accurate. Although the door was still closed, our eyes were immediately drawn to it; even through the door and the walls, we could hear that the sound had come from the direction we had originally come from, towards the entrance to the maid quarters.

"...What was that?" Alice asked the obvious question without an answer.

"...No idea." Somewhat tensed up now, I returned to plotting our path on the map, trying not to worry too much about what the hell could possibly be lurking in the halls of the mansion this time...



The candy?
[] Leave it. No time for shenanigans.
[] Have some. Hm, cranberry...
[] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.

Which way do we go?
[] Going back the way we came from would be a reliable path, although it would also take us in the direction of whatever is making that bizarre noise. It would also be a long walk back.
[] Another entrance to the arena was close by; it would be reasonable to assume that it would have some connection to the dungeon, and could prove to be a valuable shortcut.
>> No. 33705
File 126325806637.png - (592.57KB , 800x600 , 8b99d6d5038c1d36db24e356dc517349.png ) [iqdb]
33705
[x] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.
Fuck yeah, items!

Flandre: -I'm gonna eat you!
Hunter dolls team: -Wouldn't you rather eat some candy?
Flandre: -Cranberry?
Hunter dolls team: -And Grape.
Hunter dolls team & Flandre: Yay, candy!

[x] Another entrance to the arena was close by; it would be reasonable to assume that it would have some connection to the dungeon, and could prove to be a valuable shortcut.
Fuck yeah, obvious trap!

Hunter dolls team: -This seems to be a perfectly safe and very, VERY dark dungeon.
Patchouli: -I'm Patchouli. You killed my familiar. Prepare to die.
Hunter dolls team: -What familiar? -I didn't killed her! I spared her life!
Patchouli: -Is that so? *chuckle* Was it mercy or... fear?
Hunter dolls team: -Seriously, what familiar? -To be honest... fear. You seem to be way too much for me to handle.
Patchouli: Honesty. So refreshing. To be honest... since I first laid eyes upon you, my heart is beating so fast...
Hunter dolls team: -Why are they called 'Familiars' anyway? It's not like you're summoning your dad or something. -Isn't that a good thing? You seemed kinda anemic to me.
Patchouli: -You... you... birdbrain!
Utsuho: -Hey!
Patchouli: -What I'm trying to say is that... I... I... MUCK YOU
Hunter dolls team: -*Le gasp*!
>> No. 33706
[x] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.
[x] Another entrance to the arena was close by; it would be reasonable to assume that it would have some connection to the dungeon, and could prove to be a valuable shortcut.

More Flandre Time
>> No. 33707
[X] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap
[X] Another entrance to the arena was close by; it would be reasonable to assume that it would have some connection to the dungeon, and could prove to be a valuable shortcut.
>> No. 33708
[x] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.
[x] Going back the way we came from would be a reliable path, although it would also take us in the direction of whatever is making that bizarre noise. It would also be a long walk back.

I want to face the fairy maid legion
>> No. 33710
[] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.
[] Another entrance to the arena was close by; it would be reasonable to assume that it would have some connection to the dungeon, and could prove to be a valuable shortcut.
>> No. 33711
[x] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.

Hey it might not be good to us, but it might come in handy later.

[x] Another entrance to the arena was close by; it would be reasonable to assume that it would have some connection to the dungeon, and could prove to be a valuable shortcut.

This seems interesting.
>> No. 33712
[x] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.
[x] Another entrance to the arena was close by; it would be reasonable to assume that it would have some connection to the dungeon, and could prove to be a valuable shortcut.

I fear the suctionvoice beast.
>> No. 33715
[X] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.
[X] Going back the way we came from would be a reliable path, although it would also take us in the direction of whatever is making that bizarre noise. It would also be a long walk back.

Heck yeah, Legion Boss Fight. Plus we left Meiling down in the dungeon.
>> No. 33716
>>33715

If she was still down there, she'd be far too busy keeping Flandre in to really go after us.
She'd be out elsewhere then. Perhaps she'd end up having to deal with the fairy legion in our place.
>> No. 33718
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzETLgwuHl8
The noise in question, about 13 seconds in.
>> No. 33719
[x] Take some along in the empty box that used to contain the portable gap.
[x] Another entrance to the arena was close by; it would be reasonable to assume that it would have some connection to the dungeon, and could prove to be a valuable shortcut.
>> No. 33720
Somehow i doubt that we will find Sakuya in the clock tower.
If she would be there, she would have appeared already in the beginning greeting us or something like that. Given that she would be Remilia's right hand, it would be the only fitting choice.
But i have my own crazy Theory.
>> No. 33721
>>33720
>But i have my own crazy Theory.
Do share, even if you have to resort to spoiler tags.
>> No. 33722
>>33721
I'm curious as well consider who else would be at the Clock Tower? Koakuma after going through a sort of horrible, mimetic transformation as a sort of punishment from Remilia as well as an example to Patchouli? or perhaps Dopplegangers of Alice and the Hunter created by Patchouli with matching metal whip and skeletal remains of children taking the place of Alice's Dolls with incredibly malevolent spirits providing their strength?
>> No. 33734
>>33721
Meiling as boss of the Clock Tower
It is the only thing that makes sense. She doesn't die when killed and not much is known about her, we met her at first and most of all, it probably is not Meiling but someone else
>> No. 33742
>>33734
>it probably is not Meiling but someone else
Wait, wait... I'm confused now. Are you saying this Meiling is not actually Meiling, or am I misunderstanding you?
>> No. 33750
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33750
Meiling, Meiling, Hong Meiling~

So moe~
>> No. 33752
>>33742
Yes. Either she died when we killed her and it was someone else the next time or it was never her.
Too crazy.
>> No. 33753
>>33752
>>33742

Don't over think things.

Youkai have shown themselves to be tougher than mere humans, and in fanon, Meiling has been shown to take knives to the head numberous times. Taisa simply took this toughness to the furthest serious extent.

The result: Something as unstoppable and persistant as the terminator. No useless fanon Meiling here folks.
>> No. 33755
>>33753

>Something as unstoppable and persistent as the Terminator.

So we need to crush her under something extremely heavy and has the force to do so? Might be hard, seeing how she was able to hold back Flandre.

...Ah crap.
>> No. 33756
>>33755

Do keep in mind that Flan at that moment is kinda pacified due to 'playing' with that giant youkai. I'd think she'd have a very hard time dealing with a flan that really wants to get out.
>> No. 33757
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33757
>>33753
The thing that won't die, in the nightmare that won't end
>> No. 33964
>>33944

Arena it is.

It better not be similar to the Nest of Evil, Taisa...
>> No. 33985
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33985
>>33757
>The thing that won't die, in the nightmare that won't end
>> No. 34022
Taisa, where are you?
>> No. 34032
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34032
>> No. 34033
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34033
>> No. 34034
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34034
>> No. 34037
File 126429634054.png - (1.52MB , 1854x2430 , 5a982515f5026537b13e1cec51cda380.png ) [iqdb]
34037
>>34022
Getting drunk.

Day after day.
>> No. 34039
>>34022
He's working on a new story with Patchwork, Norseman, and glasnost. It's going to be fantastic, just you wait and see.

;_;
>> No. 34040
I decided to start reading this after a little nostalgia, and have caught up with the current update. You've done one hell of a job, Taisa. Have you ever absorbed yourself into the words of a book you're reading so deeply and found yourself in another world? Well, the story so far has really got my imagination flowing in overdrive. It's fucking brilliant and I hope you continue with it; keep up the good work.

Feel free to drop all other stories you're currently working on to focus on this one.
>> No. 34046
>>34039
Not with Patchwork involved, it isn't.
>> No. 34050
>>34046
Wow, sounds like a hater.

By process of elimination, it sounds like a familiar hater.
>> No. 34062
>>34040

No.
>> No. 34069
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34069
"Alright, I have an idea. We're going to take a shortcut through the arena." Folding up the map and pocketing it again, I gripped my whip while cautiously approaching the door of the room.
"It's probably connected to the dungeon, which means we can get back to the foyer through there." After all, if there's an arena then you'd assume the vampire would enjoy forcing prisoners to battle monsters (or even each other) for her entertainment every now and then. Would the same fate have awaited Alice if I had not chosen to rescue her back when I first entered the mansion?

"I'm far more concerned with whatever is out there that was making that noise just now, to be honest..." My companion revealed herself to be sharing my concerns, approaching me from behind with several dolls floating beside her, thin white lines visible in the air between them as the candlelight lit up the strings connecting them to their master's fingers, some wielding weapons while others seemed to be preparing to cast spells alongside the puppeteer herself. While her face maintained that relaxed elegance she usually carried with herself, her gaze seemed tense, green eyes staring intently at the door as if trying to pierce through it, to see what it could possibly be that was lurking behind.
"It seems we can't even get any rest without something crawling out of the darkness to try and eat us..."

Despite fuming over the humiliating manner in which the vampire had chosen to 'reward' us, as well as pondering the dangers beyond the door, I found myself stepping back and reluctantly digging my fist into the aforementioned drawer to grab some candy, much to my companion's surprise - as was expressed by her cocking an eyebrow at me. Whether it was my gut feeling telling me that anything could prove to be useful unexpectedly, my 'adventurer's instinct' telling me to loot everything, or just me thinking I might feel like having some candy later... I don't remember. In any case, I dug out the small box that had held the portable gap which I used to get past the barrier and promptly placed the candy inside; might as well make use of a perfectly fine container, even if I couldn't recall why I bothered holding on to it.

"Okay. Here's how we're going to do this." I grabbed the door handle, slowly and silently turning it in preparation for opening the door quickly.
"I open the door and jump out, keeping whatever it is busy while you run out and to the right. Since we don't know what to expect, just assume the worst and keep on running."

This would be the part where she makes a face and begins arguing with the squishy little human.

"You know perfectly well I can endure injury better than you. You've barely even recovered from the damage you've taken so far, and it's beginning to show."

Honestly, at the time those words made me focus more on the damage inflicted to my ego, rather than my body. Although fatigue was slowly beginning to set in, she was definitely underestimating my tolerance for pain and discomfort. A few cuts and bruises wouldn't be enough to distract me.
"Haven't I shown more than enough capacity to endure damage so far, as well as experience in combat? Honestly, you're just being arrogant now."

"Well," she retorted without showing any signs of my words having sunk in, rather sounding as if she were trying to negotiate a more favorable outcome, "I'd still rather not run away uselessly and leave you alone against whatever it is."

Feeling those green eyes glaring right at me for a short while eventually managed to shake my resolve; the subtle hints of a smirk on her lips as this happened showed that she was aware of this. Even so, I kept arguing just for the hell of it.
"Well, I'd still rather not have us fight together and both risk our lives against an unknown enemy..."

"Then how about we run together?"

"Tell you what." Slowly, very slowly and without a sound, I began to turn the door handle, preparing myself both mentally and physically for quickly opening it and dashing outside.
"I'll call it when I see what it is, and we stick together whether the choice is to fight or run. Deal?"

"Deal." Again, she smiled, as if the magician had claimed some sort of victory over me, turning those blue eyes back to the door. However, I would have time to grumble at my inappropriately playful companion later - hopefully, at least. For now, we had to focus on the mysterious threat outside.

Three.

Two.

One. I opened the door. And as fast as lightning, dove out into the hallway, whip in hand and ready to strike, putting on my best menacing face as I stared down my would-be opponent, Alice quickly following behind with her small army of dolls, prepared for battle. Or not. I nearly dropped my whip as I gazed towards the end of the hallway, the sight I beheld being utterly disturbing.

The fairy corpses were all gone. Save for a few near the corner, but even those were being dragged off by what seemed to be strange, long tentacles originating from some manner of creature beyond our field of vision. And then we heard it again... That strange inverted sighing noise calling out in chorus; what was even more perplexing was how the bodies being dragged twitched in the grasp of the tentacles as this occurred. Almost as if the creature was making the corpses themselves utter this sound, somehow.

"...That is incredibly disturbing." Even the normally reserved Alice had a strange expression on her face, as if she were unsure what she should think or feel about the sight before us.

"Well, no matter..." Trying to re-instill some much-needed confidence in my partner, I shared my thoughts with her, thinking back to our fairly recent encounter with the younger mistress's 'food'.
"It couldn't possibly be anything more bizarre than what we've already seen, could it?"

Sometimes, I really ought to just keep my damn mouth shut.

--------

BGM: Legion and Nuculais
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOhhixUwP1A

--------

One of the tentacles spontaneously peeked out from behind the corner, blinking in our general direction. Filled with glee over finding more potential corpses to add to its collection, the enigmatic creature let loose a bloodcurdling cacophony of screeches, before showing itself by bursting right through the damn walls, heading for us like a gigantic floating bowling ball. Because that is what it was - a gigantic ball of corpses, the tentacles receding back within its 'shell'. Countless dead fairies tightly packed together into a sphere, it headed right for us, continuously tearing its way through the walls of the mansion's hallways, completely ignoring the damage this did to the corpses on its sides; it fully intended to add the two of us to its protective layer at all costs, like some sort of lower lifeform utterly devoted to a single goal in its simple existence.

I didn't exactly have time to muse over how we were apparently being pursued by some sort of oversized hungry corpse-collecting amoeba, however. I had more important things to worry about. Like running.
"Run!" Well, I had promised to Alice that I'd stick with her no matter which battle plan I decided upon, so she gladly followed me without a word as I turned tail and dashed in the opposing direction from the corpseball. Honestly, being chased by two utterly creepy giant monsters in a single night was gradually beginning to bruise my self-esteem, yet I knew something that big would probably have far more dangerous weapons to its arsenal than generic tentacles for grabbing.

It was quick to demonstrate these weapons, too; I glanced over my shoulder to see several thicker tentacles sprout from cracks between the fairy bodies, the ends splitting apart to reveal a faint glow emanating from within, swiftly growing brighter and aiming right for us.
"Alice!" My companion turned her head to look at the monstrosity the moment I called her name, not having the breath or time to spare to add anything else to my exclamation. She understood my fears and positioned herself between myself and the creature, projecting a forcefield just in time to deflect the death rays blasted forth from the tips of the tentacles. It was not amused, bellowing out yet again in a hundred screams, the dead fairies contorting and wailing as if they had been turned into parts of the parasite's own body. To be quite honest, this was far less disturbing to behold than maggots spilling out of the guts of the titan we encountered in the food cellar. Before the smoke could clear, I gripped Alice's wrist and pulled her along, running for the Arena entrance once again.

The mansion's very foundation seemed to quake as the horror show chasing us moved in a completely uninhibited straight line, bringing to mind a strange sensation of deja vu as I remembered how the beast in the basement was digging its way through corridors far too narrow for its body. However, this foe didn't even seem to be spending any effort, simply pressing onwards in its relentless pursuit. Tentacles emerged from within its 'shell' yet again, some thinner ones trying to lash out or grab onto us; this time, I took position between it and Alice, drawing my dagger and slicing off the prehensile appendages at the tips of the tentacles as they approached, joined by dolls wielding small swords and daggers of their own as the monster sent more and more, countless tentacles for us. Some of the dolls were eventually caught and crushed before my very eyes, me being too caught up in defending myself to do anything to save them. Have you ever felt a sense of camaraderie towards an inanimate object, such as a doll? Yeah, it's a rather strange feeling... Even so, I could tell that Alice - the one controlling these dolls - felt the pain of loss each time a doll was sacrificed for our survival. The woman put a part of her soul into each and every one of them, after all...

"More laser tentacles!" We had slowed down from a sprint to a slow backwards walk as the creature's tentacled assault grew more and more vicious; glancing over my shoulder, I could see the sweat building up on Alice's brow as she fervently controlled her dolls to parry and intercept attacks from the tentacles, some grabbing, some stabbing with spiked tips... When I yelled to her, her eyes widened - amidst the glowing, thicker tentacles, an even larger one slowly uncoiled itself, shifting some corpses aside to make room, like one of the two main tentacles of a giant squid in comparison to the smaller, thinner ones; and it had a gaping hole in its tip as well, only hinting at its purpose as it billowed a strange smoke...

More death rays. Dozens of them, sent out in seemingly random bursts, the creature clearly not being one to calculate for accuracy and relying on a 'spray and pray' tactic. On the upside, this meant that Alice didn't have to defend us from all of them, although this still meant that she had to deal with several shots from unexpected angles at the same time. Her dolls assisted her, some blocking stray shots, others being caught off-guard and incinerated, their tiny bodies still acting as shields for myself and the puppeteer. As I defended us from what few tentacles still got close enough to attempt to grab at us, I noticed, to my horror, that the large, central tentacle was beginning to glow from within as well - however, as opposed to the pale blue-green glow of the beam-firing tentacles, this one emanated a bright orange glow. Fortunately, Alice noticed this as well, and just as the thinner tentacles pulled back at once, as if getting out of the way...

"...Get behind me. Now!"

A funnel-shaped torrent of flame launched from the tip of the tentacle, like some manner of misshapen serpent spewing flame from its maw; no sooner did I manage to dive behind my companion than she put up her barrier again. However, unlike the beams that were fired before in short bursts, this was a continuous attack, the creature maintaining it without giving her a moment's pause. Its intentions were clear - if we could defend ourselves from many smaller attacks, then it would simply wear out our defenses with one powerful, continuous attack. Even though she could keep the flames from directly engulfing us, the heat still radiated through her barrier, and Alice was already beginning to weaken from the strain. All I could do, feeling unable to help in any way, was to stare at the featureless ball of corpses, this cocoon for an unholy aberration unlike anything I had ever seen before. What abyss did this thing crawl out from!? It would not be long until it broke through Alice's defenses, and then-...

No. I wasn't going to even grant her the opportunity to blurt out those words. 'Go on without me' is something she probably would've said at that time. Psh, not a chance! Before she could even work up the strength to open her mouth, utterly focused on keeping up the barrier, I spoke out first.
"Drop the barrier for just one second. Don't get hit."
She turned her head towards me, giving me a glance that seemed to ask whether I was insane, yet I met her eyes with a determined look of my own. Not really understanding, but still trusting, she nodded... and dropped the barrier, instantly rolling to the side as the deadly flames streamed past her.

But I was no longer there. I had jumped to avoid the flames, the tentacle attempting to adjust its aim too slowly to follow me, as I kicked myself off the wall in its general direction, whip in hand. The holy chain lashed forwards, wrapping itself around the tentacle and pulling itself around it tightly as I landed. The flame canal now shut, it was only a matter of seconds before the section of tentacle between the chain and the 'body' expanded and bloated, glowing brighter and brighter before exploding into flaming chunks of flesh, releasing my whip and destroying one of the monster's strongest weapons. To the sound of a pained and utterly displeased howl, we mustered up the will and adrenaline to simply keep running, dodging falling pieces of flaming tentacle along the way. Naturally, this alone was not enough to stop it - looking back, for a moment I actually thought we had managed to seriously injure it, as it seemed to be dropping some of its corpses. However, this turned out to be merely another of its tricks - the dead bodies of the fairies simply stood up, their faces blank and expressionless, dead. And then they ran after us. The monstrosity was controlling them with its own will, using them as zombies to chase us!

Our salvation lay before us - a large, heavy set of reinforced metal double doors. Rushing ahead of Alice, I showed some unexpected amounts of strength under stress, opening doors that were likely operated by several servants at a time normally, wide enough for Alice to slip through, before following her and pulling them back to a closed position together, sliding a metal beam into a groove in the middle of the doors for the purpose of locking them. As we stepped back cautiously, we heard the sounds of several fists pounding against the metal surface from the other side, until a heavier, stronger slam suggesting that the creature itself had impacted into the doors. The violent creaking of metal echoed through the arena for quite some time, leading us to worry about it actually breaking through, but eventually it relented and the noise stopped. The walls and doors of the arena were made of stronger stuff than those of the guest quarters.

...

"...Phew." All I could truly say at the time. With my body quickly realizing just how tired it was after we were no longer in any (imminent) danger, I decided to simply focus on catching my breath and scanning our surroundings; Alice seemed to consider this a good idea, mimicking my actions. The arena was a rather small part of the mansion in comparison to others, although for a single room it was quite enormous. As you'd expect from the name, the center of the room was shaped like a bowl, countless seats descending downward towards the combatant's area in the middle. The high seat closest to the doors we had entered from had a much grander design to it than the generic others, suggesting it belonged to none other than Remilia Scarlet herself; a few other such seats were beside it, presumably for friends, most trusted servants, or guests of honor. The ceiling of the room seemed to open up into the night sky, the moonlight illuminating the ring of battle. Of course, that was our goal - as the vampire would likely use prisoners as gladiators, one would assume it was connected to the dungeon. Indeed, there were several metal poles jutting from the floor of the ring, the skeletons of long-dead warriors chained to them.

"So..." Finally having managed to catch her breath - slightly faster than me, I had to admit - Alice straightened herself and spoke once again, having had been rather quiet in battle as usual. She seemed to be trying to put that 'thing' out of her mind for the time being.
"Where to now?"

"Down there, to the ring." I pointed downwards, standing up straight myself, not wanting to show any signs of 'human weakness' to my companion, as she would've surely taken every chance to rub such a thing in my face.
"It's probably connected to the dungeon through some sort of passageway." Of course, the ring wouldn't have any stairs leading up to the viewer seats; wouldn't want to have prisoners trying to escape through there, now would you? So, after we made our way down to the edge, we simply took a direct path and jumped down, our feet slightly digging into the sandy dirt surface of the pit as we landed. Sure enough, there was a passage leading into the darkness.

"That way?" Alice tilted her head and crossed her arms in a skeptical manner, the frequency of spontaneous surprises we'd been subjected to having put her on a cautious streak. Not that I minded, of course - it pays to be cautious, as long as you don't let caution escalate into worthless paranoia. Caution heightens your awareness, paranoia cripples it.

"Probably. Only one way to find out, right?"

My smirk was quickly wiped off my face, however, as a metal grate suddenly came crashing down from a groove in the ceiling of the passage just as I approached it. A high-pitched cackle promptly echoed through the entire arena, as if mocking me for my foolishness; holding the whip in hand and keeping my other hand ready to draw a sub-weapon, I quickly glanced upwards and around myself in search of whoever it was that was playing this trick on us. Sure enough, metal grates burst forth from the edges of the arena itself as well, blocking all routes of escape and boxing us in, reaching all the way up to the ceiling of the room. The source of the cackle was nowhere to be seen.

"Who's there? Show yourself!"

There was no answer other than the echo of my voice, before Alice silenced me with a 'sssh', gesturing over at one of the metal poles. Apparently I had misjudged the corpses - one of them seemed to be not only alive, but quite well! I couldn't see her well in the moonlight, but I could make out certain features...
Horns.
"...A minotaur?" No, far too small and not nearly bulky enough.
A bushy tail.
"...A werewolf?" I glanced upwards, at the full moon in the sky.

"...Maybe a little of both. Whatever she is, something seems to have made her become lost in rage..." Alice whispered to me near-silently, yet even this seemed to be enough to rouse this creature's attention; she raised her head, two crimson eyes burning like bright torches in the darkness, long and silvery hair with streaks in it hanging over her face, hiding her twisted and feral expression. A the moonlight shifted, I got a better look at her - she was wearing nothing but rags and shackles, she was pale and thin from being malnourished, she was grinding her teeth while staring right at us, and her nails had blood under them from clawing at the ground. And something was making her absolutely crazy. Was it from being shackled there for who knows how long? Or was it the moon throwing her into a bloodlust inherent to many therianthropes?

Come to think of it, I thought the full moon was yesterday..?

I didn't have much time to think over such things, however; before either Alice or myself could react, the mysterious woman gathered up her strength and snapped the rusted remains of her shackles, blazing eyes focused on me as she lunged in our general direction in the blink of an eye.



[] Foul beast!
[] That's no moon.
>> No. 34072
[x] That's no moon.
>> No. 34073
[x]That's no moon.

fuck yeah, fairy maid legion! I hope it's not done for yet.
>> No. 34074
[x] That's no moon.

I think this might lead to taking out whatever's causing her state, and perhaps once normal she'd be more agreeable.
>> No. 34075
[x] That's no moon.
I fucking love you Taisa
>> No. 34076
[x] That's no moon.

That's a space station.

>Come to think of it, I thought the full moon was yesterday..?

A fake moon, crafted to keep Keine in EX-mode. Would prefer not to kill Keine. She's an unfortunate prisoner, like Alice.
>> No. 34081
[x] That's no moon.
>> No. 34082
[X] That's no mooon.
>> No. 34084
[X] That's no moon!
>> No. 34085
Also autosage been hit, new thread please.
>> No. 34086
[x] That's no moon.

fuck yeah were-hakutaku
>> No. 34087
[X] That's no moon!

Now lets hope we don't run into Meiling and Legion at the same time, that would be rather bad.
>> No. 34089
[x] That's no moon.

Wonder if a certain princess helped out.
>> No. 34090
[X] Eso no es la Luna!
>> No. 34101
[X]That's no moon
>> No. 34106
[x] Foul beast!

Pissing against the tide~ This is one of those situations where meta-knowledge applies heavily though. We know it's Keine, in a form that only exists during a full moon, and then the full moon was the night prior. No one is going to vote to fight her.
>> No. 34119
>>34106

Normally I'd agree, but considering the false moon is capable of giving the same effect as the true moon, and the state "Keine" is in, the "foul beast" sure is plenty powerful to shatter the shackles it had on before setting it's eyes on the hunter and Alice.

I'm suspecting that the false moon is doing more than simply causing Keine to change physically and warp her mental state. It may very well prevent the hunter or Alice to do shit on her before she tears them to shreds.

Ever fought them before in Castlevania as well? They can be real sombitches, especially when you're low on health and hearts/equipment like throwing axes, holy water (I prefer using against them), and cross boomerangs. They can be real fast and deal devastating damage.

Think of this as damage control rather than simply trying to save a beloved touhou.
>> No. 34124
>>34106
>>34119
Perhaps the full moon wasn't the night prior. Maybe the barkeep wanted us put in our place.

Either way, you have to ask how we're going to change Keine back. What can we do to get rid of the moon? Maybe Alice could blast it? If the bars are made out of soulsteel, she could also use holy water to give her an opening. We'd just need to distract Keine long enough to allow Alice to do that. Or are we going to lead her into the dungeon so that the moon doesn't shine on her?

It may end up that we get hurt or are unable to do anything. Keine really doesn't deserve this fate, so I hope to at least give her the chance.
>> No. 34125
>>34124

In this case, we may end up having her aiding the hunter and Alice, or at least enough so that when the time comes she could escape. Though I'd say that's suicide considering with out the strength of the full moon to aid her along with the Fairy-based Legion monstrosity as well as Meiling running about. It's looking pretty bleak for our heroes despite the progress they've made. All the more entertaining...
>> No. 34137
>>34125

> All the more entertaining...
> the more entertaining...
> Entertaining...

Remilia, we know your there...
>> No. 34156
[x] That's no moon!

>>34137
>your
No.
>> No. 34191
Past Auto-Sage, post new thread.
>> No. 34238
>>34237