[Return]
Archived Thread

File 127267362925.jpg - (85.82KB , 800x659 , sakuya.jpg ) [iqdb]
36150 No. 36150
"A gift? For me?"

I smiled gently at Sakuya. Her cheeks grew red as she looked up at me, then at the gift, and then back again. The chief maid just stared in surprise. I couldn't help but feel myself blush a little at this fresh look.

"I thought you might like it," I said to her. "It thought that it was something that matched your style, and it was the only one left in stock."

"May I?" whispered Sakuya.

"Go ahead. Open it."

Very carefully, she tore off the wrapping paper, revealing a small wooden box. She took a moment to examine it, but the container was unmarked. Sakuya looked up at me, completely puzzled. Then, she opened the box.

"Ah! This is..."

[ ] A music box.
[ ] A hand mirror.
[ ] A litte red hood.
[ ] A handful of coins.
[ ] A pair of eye glasses.

>> No. 36151
>[ ] A pair of eye glasses.
'bespectacled' is the worst tag on Danbooru.

[x] A music box.
>> No. 36152
[x] A music box.

Makes sense to me
>> No. 36154
[x] A music box.

Best choice out of the other options.
>> No. 36155
[X] A litte red hood.
>> No. 36157
[x] A hand mirror.
>> No. 36158
[x] A pair of eye glasses.
Oh god, Sakuya with glasses.
>> No. 36160
>>36154
>>36152
>>36151

Generic plot device is generic

[X] A pair of eye glasses.
I wonder if these cool when she stops time.
>> No. 36161
[x] A music box.

"Ah! This is.. a music box?"

Sakuya scrutinized the gift closely. Her face had a far more serious expression than I had expected. She opened and closed it a few times, listening carefully to the melody. I found myself swallowing from nervousness.

"Is something wrong?" I asked her.

"This design," she said without looking back. "I've seen this before. Didn't the little mistress own something like -"

She turned to me, frowning. I found myself taking a step back. Was I going to go under interrogation? This just didn't seem fair. Not at all. But after all we had been through in the past, my body was already preparing itself for the punishment. Her eyes widened.

"Ah!"

I closed my eyes tight. Was she going to pin me to a tree with her knives? Or perhaps, she was going to shred my shirt and pants to pieces and force me to walk through the village naked? Well, the last time this happened, she only dragged me to the Forest of Magic and left me to die. Looking back, she really was starting to show restraint.

"Please don't misunderstand! I do appreciate the present. Thank you very much."

Huh? I opened my eyes to see her bowing before me. For a split second, I had a very interesting view of her chest. My lips broke into a small smile. I quickly burned the image into my retinas before she stood up straight.

"Don't mention it," I managed. "I thought for a second that you didn't like it. I guess I really don't know how to pick out gifts."

She shook her head vigorously.

"I'll treasure this!" cried Sakuya.

Her voice was surprisingly loud, and a few of the villagers turned their heads in our direction. I laughed uneasily. Realizing herself, she quickly cleared her throat and looked away.

"I'll treasure this," she whispered. "Always."

[ ] Visit the lake.
[ ] Walk around the village.
[ ] Head back to the mansion.
>> No. 36162
[x] Walk around the village.

Klepto protagonist?
>> No. 36163
[x] Head back to the mansion.
>> No. 36164
[x] Visit the lake.
Don't be afraid, visit the lake!

But still, why are we giving Sakuya a present? And why is she so friendly? Do we know her already for some time or even befriended her?
>> No. 36165
>>36164
Guess we'll find out. Someday/

[x] Walk around the village.
>> No. 36167
[x] Walk around the village.
>> No. 36168
[x] Walk around the village.

is this Scarlet Horizon?
>> No. 36169
[x] Walk around the village.

"Eh, you still have some business in the village?"

"Not really, no. But I do feel like stretching my legs once in a while."

"Hmm," said Sakuya. "Well then, be sure to get back by dark. If you come home late, your dinner will get cold."

"Eh?" I replied, surprised. She usually wasn't the type to let me wander around freely. I raised an eyebrow at her. She just folded her arms and slightly averted her eyes.

"After all that's happened," she said, lowering her voice. "I just thought that you should enjoy yourself once in a while."

Enjoy myself? Now that's new. Hmm...

"And if I said that I'd enjoy some time in the village together with you?"

Sakuya stared back, poker-faced. She was clearly on guard now, and I couldn't tell what she was thinking. I stood my ground and waited. A minute passed before she relaxed and turned back to the path.

"I need to get back to the mansion," she said. "There are certain arrangements that I can't postpone."

I sighed. Well, it wasn't like I didn't expect this kind of answer from the chief maid. What I didn't expect was what she said as she started walking away.

"Perhaps," whispered Sakuya. "Perhaps another time."
>> No. 36171
File 127269036586.jpg - (92.44KB , 500x967 , keine.jpg ) [iqdb]
36171
"It's been a while since you've visited. I was wondering if you had already forgotten me?"

I took a sip of tea. Keine always knew how to brew good tea. I took a moment to savor the taste in my mouth. Back at the mansion, I often had only western blends.

"Your tea is great as usual," I said.

"I didn't think that an 'Outsider' could adapt to Gensokyo life so quickly. It's amazing that you were accepted at the vampires' home. I would have expected you to be a corpse drained of blood, by now."

"Not like they never tried it," I said with a smile. The tea was a little less bitter this afternoon. "It's an interesting change of pace, but humans are surprisingly adaptable. As long as they don't die, they somehow get used to even the strangest of circumstances."

"Enjoying yourself, aren't you?"

"Let's keep it back at interesting."

We looked at each other for a few moments before bursting into laughter. Keine was a good friend to almost anyone who sought her. She was always willing to listen and give advice. It was no surprise that she was among the first who I really trusted when I first arrived in Gensokyo. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that it was much thanks to her that I was still alive.

"How are your headaches?" she asked. "Do you still have trouble sleeping?"

I shook my head.

"I feel fine now. Stopped taking the medicine a couple of weeks ago."

At those words, Keine put down her cup and gave me a serious look.

"Are you sure you're alright now?"

"Don't worry about it. You were right. It was probably caused by all that stress from before."

"Well, if you feel strange again, don't forget that you can always talk to me about it."

I stayed with her for a while, chatting about this and that. The kids were already dismissed from school, so we had the place all to ourselves. Somehow, we've become close friends. Well, close friends in a strictly 'friends' way, at least. For some reason I couldn't place, we never really moved towards a romantic relationship. But that was fine. Sometimes, one just needed a person to talk to. Someone who wasn't too close to home.

Speaking of home, I was starting to lose track of time again. This happens only rarely nowadays, so I was surprised. When I glanced out the window, it was already late afternoon. The sun was starting to set. I quickly apologized and bid her goodbye. She just gave me a little wave and her usual, "Come visit again sometime."

I stepped out and stared at the reddish-orange sky. At this rate, I'll probably get back at the mansion...

[ ] Before dinner.
[ ] During dinner.
[ ] After dinner.
>> No. 36173
[X] After dinner.

Oh no

I'm really liking this, I just hope it doesn't turn too grimndark for a while.
>> No. 36174
>She usually wasn't the type to let me wander around freely
yandere Sakuya?

[x] Before dinner.
She would probably be mad if you miss her dinner. And miss the chance to meet the other residents of the Mansion. I wonder if the MC has a high charisma and is loved by everyone? I certainly hope not. Making it that easy would be bad.
>> No. 36176
>>36174

Or could be a protective Sakuya-nee, who knows?

[X] Before dinner.
>> No. 36178
>>36176
>a protective Sakuya-nee

That'd be good too
>> No. 36179
[x] Before dinner.
>> No. 36181
File 127270704048.jpg - (465.33KB , 660x880 , meiling.jpg ) [iqdb]
36181
[x] Before dinner.

I paused before the main gate of the mansion. Despite my familiarity with the place, it really did look quite ominous at dusk. The shadows danced as the lamps within were lit, one by one. The name of this place was once feared among those in the village.

Scarlet Devil Mansion

I heard that when it first appeared in Gensokyo, Remilia actually created an incident of her own. An unnatural red mist blocked out the sun, and the shrine maiden had to step in to stop her. Marisa was also involved, but it sounded like she was far more interested in looting the Voile library. I still didn't understand how everything managed to calm down, but then again, much of what happens around Gensokyo doesn't really make much sense. Not to an ordinary human like me, anyway.

"So, are you going to just gawk at the gate, or are you coming inside?"

Startled, I turned toward the direction of the voice. Leaning against the wall, partly hidden by shadows, was someone I didn't expect. Well, I didn't expect her to be awake, anyway..

"How cruel! I do try my best at this job, you know! No intruders have made it past this point since yesterday!"

Oh. I guess I said that last part out loud. But for some reason, I felt like playing along.

"Marisa broke in again last night," I replied. "I overheard the fairy maids talking about how someone was going to get a beating when Sakuya finds out."

"E-eh? But that didn't count! I was out on a break, and there was a special offer on grilled lamprey and -"

Meiling paused for a good five seconds before realizing her mistake. Her eyes widened, and she covered her mouth in shock. Too late for that. I sneered at the gate guard as her face turned white.

"So you did take off to visit Mystia's stand again," I said darkly. "Now, I wonder what would happen if Sakuya happened to find out that you were slacking off last night. Or perhaps, I should tell Remilia as well. She should be informed that someone in her staff isn't doing her job. After all, I -"

I stopped immediately when I noticed Meiling's eyes. They were starting to tear up, and she looked really scared now. I quickly forced a laugh and shook my head.

"Hey, I'm just kidding! You wouldn't think I would actually do that, would you?"

It took a few seconds for my words to sink in. She quickly wiped off her eyes and shook her head.

"No," she said softly. "But if you did, I wouldn't know what to do. Nobody else really bothers to chat with me like this, and if you suddenly thought that I wasn't good enough to be your friend, then I.. I.. I'd feel really lonely out here and.."

Damn. I'd forgotten about how sensitive the girl was about things like this. I quickly stepped forward and put my hand on her shoulder.

"You are doing a great job," I said. "And you are much stronger that others make you out to be. Don't let anyone make you believe otherwise."

She looked up at me, her eyes still damp, and she gave a little nod.

"T-Thanks.."

I gave her a wave before heading inside. She waved back energetically, and I couldn't help but feel a little guilty.

After all, Marisa really didn't break in yesterday.

I glanced at my watch as I walked along the grounds. I always preferred digital time pieces, as the digits were large enough to recognize in the darkness. It was still a bit early for dinner. And since that was the case, then I should take some time to visit...
[ ] Remilia
[ ] Flandre
[ ] Patchouli
>> No. 36182
[x] Remilia
>> No. 36183
[X] Flandre

Gahaha, this could be fun.
>> No. 36184
[x] Flandre
>> No. 36185
[x] Flandre
>> No. 36186
[X] Patchouli
>> No. 36187
[X] Flandre
>> No. 36188
{X} Flandre
>> No. 36189
[x] Flandre of course!
>if you suddenly thought that I wasn't good enough to be your friend, then I.. I.. I'd feel really lonely out here and.."
>giving presents to Sakuya

Oh you heartbreaker, you!
>> No. 36191
{X} Flandre
A friend to everyone, a lover to one.
If he doesn't follow this simple rule, the prologue will be the end of the story.
>> No. 36192
[x] Flandre

Normally I would vote for Patchy, but for some reason, not today.
>> No. 36193
[x] Flandre

The moment I took that last step down the spiraling staircase, a shiver suddenly ran down my spine. I glanced to the left, and then to the right. Nothing was moving. At least, I didn't see anything move. But in this poorly lit basement, I couldn't really see that much. For some reason, I always felt uneasy each time I went down here. And I knew very well that it wasn't my imagination.

"Flan?" I called out. I slowly felt my way toward her room. There was a weak glow of light coming from inside, so she would probably be busying herself with -

"BANG!"

Ugh, damn it all! I stepped back and rubbed my head. That was careless, walking into something hung from the ceiling. I squinted to see what it was, but after a while, I had to give up. I really couldn't see much in this damned darkness.

"Let's wait till my eyes adjust," I mumbled. As was my habit to calm myself, I carefully took off my silver-rimmed glasses and started to polish them. I couldn't see much of anything without wearing these when I was upstairs or outside, but in this pitch-black basement, it made no difference at all. It was a strangely pleasant feeling, not having to rely on these things once in a -

"MMPH!"

Someone's hand was over my mouth. Then, another hand quickly covered my eyes. I tried to struggle, but I was somehow held in place with surprising force.

"Careful now," whispered the darkness. "If you move, I might break you~"

"Mmph!?"

"Or maybe, you came down here because you want to be broken?"

I recognized her voice immediately. But that only worsened my fears. Flandre had already broken my arm once before. I didn't feel like reliving that experience. Therefore, I decided to take the most logical course of action. Raising my hands in the air slowly, I gave her the signal of surrender.

"Aww... but that's no fun!" she said as she let go. "You hardly ever come down to visit me anymore! Can't you play along, even just a little bit?"

"How about that game we played this morning? The one at the library?"

Flandre just folded her arms and pouted at me.

"It doesn't count when I come up to visit. You really don't know anything, do you?"

"Huh? I don't get it."

She sighed and shook her head. Taking my hand, she slowly led me through the darkness toward her room.

"Of course you don't," she said. "Talking to you is like eating a sweet bun from the wrong side."
>> No. 36197
File 127274146467.jpg - (76.00KB , 600x600 , flandre.jpg ) [iqdb]
36197
"I heard you visited the village this afternoon," said Flandre.

"That's right. How did you know?"

She knelt on all fours as she searched for something. I waited patiently for her to find it. After all, I didn't really mind the pleasant view that she happened to present as she crawled under her bed. Strawberry patterned? I hadn't seen those before. Gotta save that image in HD quality for future reference.

"Ah, here they are."

Flandre stood up and dusted her skirt. In her hands was a cube-shaped toy that came from the Outside.

"I didn't know that you were into puzzles now."

"Sometimes," she said. "Saw this in one of Patchy's books before, so I thought it might be interesting."

Flandre sat on the bed and started working to solve the 3-D puzzle cube. She said nothing else to me as she twisted and turned the device. Her eyes were completely on the toy now, and she had an unusually serious expression on her face. I immediately understood that it might be a little dangerous to interrupt her.

I sighed quietly to myself as I glanced around the room. She kept the place relatively neat nowadays, with only a few books and toys lying around on the floor. The shelf in the corner had more books now, presumably from the Voile library. And upon her desk was something that caught my eye.

Another Rubik's cube puzzle.

[ ] Just sit and watch her quietly.
[ ] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.
[ ] See if she borrowed any interesting books.
[ ] Excuse yourself and leave.
>> No. 36198
File 127274225712.jpg - (274.06KB , 700x700 , 654547781ef00c60732e5208519cb41b.jpg ) [iqdb]
36198
>Strawberry patterned? I hadn't seen those before. Gotta save that image in HD quality for future reference.

Pic related

>"Of course you don't," she said. "Talking to you is like eating a sweet bun from the wrong side.

Harsh...real harsh.

[X] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.
>> No. 36199
[x] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.
>> No. 36200
[X] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.
>> No. 36202
...say, which end of a chocolate cornet do you start from?
>> No. 36203
[x] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.
>> No. 36204
>>36202

The tail.

[X] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.
>> No. 36206
Oh wow, my one talent in life brought to a CYOA.
>> No. 36207
>>36206

[X] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.
Forgot my vote.
>> No. 36208
Odd but decent story so far, very fast updates.

>>36174
A basic fondness is one thing, but how they'd react if you looked past the surface is another story. Just ask Rika and Rena.

[x] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.
>> No. 36209
[x] Try solving the other Rubik's cube.

I took the 3-D puzzle cube in my hands and glanced at Flandre. She didn't show any reaction. I was surprised at how focused she seemed at solving her puzzle. Most of the time, she'd only spend a few seconds with a toy before losing interest. But this time, she had practically lost all awareness of her surroundings. Was she really just a kid? What was her criteria for 'interesting', anyway? And why did she continue moving her legs like that, flashing her panties from a number different angles?

Well, this wasn't anything new. Despite my familiarity with the mansion inhabitants, I could never quite place this girl's eccentricities. From what Patchouli told me, it was only recently that the little sister was allowed to leave the basement, and only from time to time. Her true power was said to be monstrous even among the other great powers of Gensokyo. The story was hard to believe, when I first heard it. Even now, when I looked at her, all I saw was Remilia's strange and somewhat sweet younger sister. At least, when she wasn't frustrated or angry.

"Mind if I take a seat?," I asked. Flandre didn't say anything as I sat on the other side of the bed. She just continued twisting and turning the cube puzzle in her hands.

I turned my head away from her to examine my own Rubik's cube (damn those deliciously distracting legs!). The six colors somehow reminded me of those odd gems Flandre had on her 'wings'. Well, they looked more like wings than anything else I've seen. Don't ask me what those really were, or what their purpose was. I was no expert on that sort of thing.

"Hmm," I said aloud. I examined the toy for a few seconds. What exactly did she find so interesting about this thing, anyway?

Twist. Click. Twist. Click. Twist. Click. I stared at it carefully, but it didn't seem any different from how it started - just more confusing. Well, maybe there was a little difference, I noted. Twist. Click. Twist. Click. Hmm, did I do something wrong back there? Well, never mind. Twist. Click. Twist. Click. Twist. Twist. Click. Click. Almost got one side complete now. Twist. Twist. Click. Click. Twist. Twist. Click. Click. Twist. Twist. Click. Click. Huh? What was that? Twist. Twist. Click. Click. Twist. Twist. Click. Click. Something else was clicking in time to my movements. Twist. Twist. Click. Click. Ah, it must be Flandre. Twist. Twist. Click. Click. Well, I guess that this is a good rythm to work with. Twist. Twist. Click. Click...

I didn't really realize how much time had passed until much later. But that feeling of achievement when I finally got it right would be so worth it. I wiped off a bit of sweat on my forehead as I finished the last few moves. Three more. Two more. Almost there.. and finally -

"I got it!" I cried aloud. Huh? Why did I hear two voices, just now.

I turned to Flandre. She had finished her puzzle at roughly the same time I did. Her eyes were on me, as if she just noticed that I was in the room with her. Then, she stared down at the cube in my hands.

"Oh," she said. She stood from her bed and walked up to me. Without a word, she took my completed puzzle and examined it. I didn't say anything as I watched her look from her cube to mine, and back again, several times.

"Flan?"

"Ah!"

She jumped a bit at the sound of my voice. Her cheeks seemed a little flushed and she kept glancing away from my eyes. She opened her mouth a bit, as if to say something, but I couldn't hear her words. After about a minute, she just turned around, and put down the completed puzzles on her desk, side by side. She didn't face me again, so I didn't see her face when she finally spoke.

"Thanks for visiting," she said, her voice but a whisper.

"Don't mention it," I replied. I stood up and took a single step toward her.

"A-Ah!," she cried out. Her voice was wavering. "Don't come any closer! Just stay where you are! I-It's embarrassing!"

"Huh? What is?"

An awkward moment of silence. Then, she turned around and gave me an exasperated look. I gave her an honest look back, saying silently that "I didn't get it". Flandre sighed and folded her arms.

"Of course you don't get it, you stupid sweet bun head!"

Before I knew it, she was pushing and shoving me out of her room. I couldn't resist even if I tried, and a few seconds later, I found myself alone near the staircase I came down from.

"What was that all about," I asked myself. Well, it didn't end in any injuries, so I guess it was fine. I glanced at my watch. Oh damn! That wasn't fine at all. Looks like I just missed dinner. Again. Well, I had better think of a good excuse before I bumped into Remilia or Sakuya. But since I didn't have one right now, I should avoid the dining room.

To kill some time, I decided to..
[ ] Take a walk along the grounds.
[ ] Wander around the mansion.
[ ] Head straight to my room.
>> No. 36210
>"Thanks for visiting," she said, her voice but a whisper.

Sometimes something as a quiet visit is enough for one wanting company; if only briefly...;_;

[X] Take a walk along the grounds.
>> No. 36211
>Prologue
>Character with silver-rimmed glasses

Sounds like this is the prologue to the story k_s writes.
>> No. 36212
[X] Wander around the mansion.
>> No. 36213
;_; What was that about? Maybe we should have helped Flan to solve hers.

[X] Wander around the mansion.
>> No. 36215
>>36211

It seems like a prologue to Scarlet Horizon but considering how far along this protagonist is in terms of his relations to the residence of the manse, most likely not.

I could be wrong but I think this is something entirely different...
>> No. 36217
>>36215

k_s writes Scarlet Horizon
>> No. 36218
>>36217

is this writefag k_s though..?
>> No. 36219
[x] Wander around the mansion.
>> No. 36220
[x] Take a walk along the grounds.
We picked the wrong choice? Meh, who knows
>> No. 36221
>>36218

I think so
>> No. 36223
[x] Wander around the mansion.

I think Flandre may be embarrased because we finished something together. She did put the cubes side by side on the desk. That's just my opinion though.
>> No. 36225
>>36217
>>36218
>>36221
Let's not assume anything and just enjoy the story. Remember what happened to Grue?
>> No. 36226
[x] Wander around the mansion.
>> No. 36227
[x] Wander around the mansion.

Before I knew it, I found myself wandering around the mansion. The place was a lot bigger than it looked from the outside, and an ordinary person (such as myself) could easily get lost in it. Well, I've actually gotten lost here before, and more than once. Thankfully, it never ended in anything worse than losing consciousness.

From what I've observed, there are at least a hundred different rooms in total, with varying sizes and purposes. Remilia said that a large portion of the mansion wasn't being used nowadays, so she had the staff lock and seal a number of rooms. She said that she didn't want even a single speck of dust to get in those places, as she might use them in the future.

That said, the hall I was walking along was one of those unused areas. The fairy maids seldom visited this side of the mansion, so I shouldn't have to worry about Sakuya finding me out. Not tonight, at least. She'll probably find out by morning. I'll just have to think of a good excuse by then. Yes, I was quite sure that this wasn't part of Sakuya's usual patrol route.

Why was it then, did I feel like I was being followed?

I forced myself to stay calm. There wasn't anyone in front of me, but from the side of my eye, I'm sure I saw something move. My footsteps echoed loudly against the walls, and I heard nothing else. But I could feel it. Someone was watching me from behind.

Someone was watching.

It took all of my willpower to stop myself from breaking out into a run. 'Just a little more,' I told myself. There was a corner coming up, and I'd have a chance against my pursuer. Not a very good chance, I admit, but it was better than nothing.

As I turned right at the corner, I saw it. Lucky break! There was an alcove behind a weapons display case. I quickly sneaked into it and hid myself as best as I could in the shadows. Then, I checked the hallway. No one else was there. Not yet, anyway.

I don't remember how long I waited. Cold sweat had started dripping down my forehead. Something was wrong. No one was coming. I was sure now. There wasn't anyone in the hall I just came from. Yet, there was a nagging feeling in the back of my head. I closed my eyes to focus. There was something else, wasn't there? Then, I realized it.

This was a mistake.

I couldn't move. I was completely sure now.

Someone was standing right behind me.

My eyes widened in horror as I felt someone hold my shoulder..
>> No. 36228
What a cliff hanger.
>> No. 36229
>>36227

GRUE END?
>> No. 36230
It was just a misunderstanding!The most hilarious of movie cliches.
>> No. 36231
File 127281688966.jpg - (49.63KB , 440x417 , koakuma.jpg ) [iqdb]
36231
I sipped my tea slowly, savoring the flavor. The blend was more than satisfactory. In fact, when it came to preparing tea, not even Sakuya could compare to this girl. Of course, I had made it a point never to mention that to the chief maid. Nor have I mentioned it to the girl herself, but for a different reason.

"H-How is it?" Koakuma asked.

I put down the cup and gave her a gentle smile.

"The tea is just right," I said. "The best cup I've had this week, in fact."

She shook her head and frowned.

"Not that!" she cried. "Are you sure that you're okay?"

"It's nothing, so please forget about it. And don't tell Patchouli about this."

Koakuma opened her mouth to argue, but I shook my head and gave her a stern look. I was serious about this. In no way should anyone hear of what just happened. I glared at her until she finally nodded.

"As long as you understand," I said. "Then things will be fine. But besides that, I'd like to ask you a few things. In these circumstances, we need to be perfectly clear on our understanding of these events. Even the slightest misconception could disturb the balance, you see.."

I took a biscuit from the tray and took a bite. Koakuma's wings drooped a bit, but she stayed silent.

"I want to know why you were following me. That hall was much too far from the Voile library. And I know that most of the rooms there were sealed."

"Ah! T-that is.. umm..."

She averted her eyes, unsure of what to say.

"You can tell me the truth," I said. "I'll always be here to listen."

A moment of silence passed. She fiddled with her fingers uneasily, but she managed to speak.

"M-Miss Patchouli sent me," she whispered. "She was worried that you hadn't had dinner, so she asked me to find you. But when I did, you seemed to be in deep thought. I couldn't find it in my heart to call out to you. So, in the end I.."

I planted my palm upon my face. So that was it, then. If she didn't have any bad intention, then I guess I could let her off this time.

"I got it. Just make sure that no one else knows about this."

She nodded solemnly. I watched her every move as she took the tray out of my room. Then, right before she closed the door, she gave me a very polite smile.

"Just so you know," she said. "I-I don't think that you screamed that loudly. And I thought that you were kinda cute, so don't lose sleep over it, alright?"

"G-Get out!" I cried, finally losing my temper.

Ugh. That was a horrible way to end the evening. Before I realized it, I had already collapsed on my bed. Didn't even bother to change clothes. And as sleep began to creep in, I thought I heard a voice.
[ ] I see no evil.
[ ] I hear no evil.
[ ] I speak no evil.
>> No. 36232
[x] I speak no evil.
>> No. 36234
[ø] I hear no evil.
obscure choices
>> No. 36235
[X] I see no evil.

That was rather unexpected.
>> No. 36236
[x] I see no evil.
>> No. 36237
[x] I hear no evil.
>> No. 36238
[x] I speak no evil.

>"I-I don't think that you screamed that loudly. And I thought that you were kinda cute, so don't lose sleep over it, alright?"
Was it a girly scream?
>> No. 36239
[X] I speak no evil.
>> No. 36240
[X] I speak no evil.
>> No. 36241
>>36238
Heh, I'm sure of it. Flanders' style
>> No. 36242
>>36241
Forgot my vote. [X] I see no evil.
>> No. 36243
[x] I speak no evil.

See and hear are input, speak is output. Better to observe evil than to spread it.
>> No. 36245
[x] I speak no evil.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh
>> No. 36255
[x] I speak no evil.

When I opened my eyes, I found myself standing in the middle of a narrow aisle. To my left and to my right were tall shelves, and thousands upon thousands of books. Huh? I took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes. No, this didn't seem like a dream. But when did I get to the Voile library?

Several glowing lamp lights illuminated the area, but not a soul was within sight. Well, I wouldn't expect to meet anyone here besides Patchouli and her familiar. The fairy maid staff were only brought in for cleaning duties, and not without supervision. For the most part, they only came to help when Marisa or some other visitor trashed the library. On regular days, the place was very quiet. And this late at night, the silence felt a little more intimidating. Speaking of late, what time was it, anyway?

The lights flickered a little as I took a glance at my watch. Huh? That was strange.

13:00 MN

I rubbed my eyes for a moment. That didn't look right. I took another look at the time.

1:00 AM

Hmm (what was that about?). Nah, couldn't be. In any case, it was already late. Perhaps I should head back to my room. Sakuya will definitely scold me if I miss breakfast, and if Remilia finds out, she might have me go through one of her 'punishment games' again. Ugh.

The lights flickered again. Which was strange, since the mansion didn't use electricity (or at least, not in the traditional way). Patchouli explained it to me once before. They channel some magical energies from the surrounding lake to power the lights and heating of the mansion. I didn't understand the technical details, but I suppose that it was similar to generating solar or hydroelectric power. Except with magic.

I started walking towards the exit. The Voile library wasn't such a maze anymore. Not to me, at least. I did spend a number of lazy afternoons just wandering around and reading here. The layout was actually simpler than most think. If you just observe the different -

"Fzzt!"

I stopped in my tracks. There it was again. The lights flickered, and much more violently this time. It almost felt like they were going to go out. This was strange. Late or not, I should let Patchouli or Koakuma know. They might have a better idea of what's causing this.

[ ] Look for Koakuma.
[ ] Look for Patchouli.
[ ] Leave the library.
>> No. 36257
[x] Look for Koakuma.
>> No. 36260
[X] Look for Patchouli.

She's more likely to be at one spot longer than Koakuma
>> No. 36262
[x] Look for Patchouli.

If that fails, scream.
>> No. 36263
>>36262

[x] Look for Patchouli.

How did we get there in the first place?

Maybe the wizard really did do it.
>> No. 36265
[x] Look for Patchouli.
>> No. 36271
>>36262
That seems to be his specialty.

[x] Look for Patchouli.
>> No. 36277
[x] Look for Patchouli.
>> No. 36278
[x] Look for Patchouli.

This protagonist doesn't flirt with death so much as he accosts her in a dark alley.
>> No. 36285
[x] Look for Patchouli.

If there was someone who knew what was going on, it would have to be Patchouli. This library was completely under her influence, after all. And I knew that it wasn't limited to the protective spells placed upon the books. This place had a completely different atmosphere from the rest of the mansion. It somehow felt out of place, as if it was added to the mansion after it was built. Or perhaps, the rest of the mansion was added to the library? Whatever the case, she was probably already aware of the problem with the lights. If anything else, I just wanted to make sure that everything was alright.

I've only been in her room a few times, but I still remembered where it was. Koakuma said that only those who were invited could find the entrance. And now that I thought about it, it was only after the first time Patchouli let me in that I even noticed this path among the shelves. Partially hidden among the books of the upper library was a simple, unmarked door.

Except this time, it wasn't unmarked.

I gawked at it for a few seconds. Did I take a wrong step somewhere? No, this was definitely the way to her room. The reading desk and chair nearby were definitely hers. I didn't know how it happened, but there was a large circle of glyphs painted upon the door. I couldn't recognize the strange symbols, but it alarmed me all the same for another reason. The color reminded me of dried blood.

"Patchouli?" I called out. "Are you in there?"

No answer. I quickly ran up to the door and tried the handle. It was locked. Huh? Wait a second. I've never found her door locked before. And these markings on the door gave me a really bad feeling. I started banging loudly on the door.

"Hey! Are you alright? It's me! Call back if you can hear me!"

Still no answer. I started kicking the door, but it wouldn't budge at all. Damn! I quickly looked around for something I could use. Ah! That could work! I ran back to Patchouli's reading desk and took the candlestick that rested upon it. The weight of this thing gave me a bit of reassurance. Seemed like it was made of pure silver. With this thing in hand, I ran back towards the door and prepared to swing -

"FZZT!"

Suddenly, the lights went completely out. Darkness everywhere. I barely stood my ground. Something was definitely wrong. Calm down. First, I need to find Patchouli. I quickly checked my jacket pockets. I had a box of matches in here, somewhere.. ah! I knelt down and struck a match against the floor to light the candlestick. It wasn't much, but with this, I could see a few feet around me. I pocketed the matches and turned back toward the door to Patchouli's room.

"Huh? What the.."

The circle of symbols was gone. I couldn't see any trace of it. Not a single mark. But that wasn't all. A chill ran down my spine when I saw it.

The door was already half-open.

[ ] Call out for Koakuma.
[ ] Try to find the library exit.
[ ] Step inside and investigate.
>> No. 36287
Aaaaaaaaaaahh!
>> No. 36288
[X] Step inside and investigate.

There were magic runes here, they're gone now...
>> No. 36289
[x] Step inside and investigate.
>> No. 36290
[X] Step inside and investigate.
NO TIME TO THINK ABOUT REASONABLE EXPLANATIONS
>> No. 36292
[X] Step inside and investigate.

Nothing ventured...
>> No. 36293
[x] Call out for Koakuma.
Suddenly
>> No. 36303
[X] Step inside and investigate.

What's the worst that could happen?
>> No. 36320
File 127293301246.jpg - (15.67KB , 305x276 , first.jpg ) [iqdb]
36320
[x] Step inside and investigate.

Something had gone terribly wrong. I didn't need the heightened senses of a magic user or youkai hunter to realize that. And that was what scared me. If even an ordinary human could sense this danger, then the most reasonable thing to do would be to flee. Yes, that was what I felt. My instinct to survive told me to run. There was no way I could confront this thing. It was much worse than the time Remilia stared me down with her crimson eyes. This feeling warned of certain death.

Yet, I couldn't. Despite this feeling, I couldn't just run away. My friend was in there. My friend who would listen to my ramblings and complaints, despite pretending to be busy with her books. My friend who would have Koakuma prepare tea even when I visited unannounced. My friend who tried to teach me magic, even if she knew that I couldn't manage even a spark without matches. My friend who, for the first time, didn't answer when I called out to her.

I tightened my grip on the candlestick as I stepped inside. The room was pitch black and silent. There wasn't any sign of movement. I glanced to the right. Patchouli's study desk was covered with a number of books, and her personal shelves were neatly kept, as was usual. Then, I checked the other side. The door to her bedchamber was open. I slowly crept toward it, walking as silently as I possibly could.

"Huh?"

I stopped. A dripping sound? I turned toward the source. There was something in the shadows. No, it was someone. Wait, could it be? I sighed in relief when I recognized her sillhoutte. Patchouli was sitting in her favorite reading chair, a book in her hands.

"Whew, you scared me back there," I said. "I thought for a moment that something happened to you. Heh, as if that could ever happen.."

Still no answer. I paused. She didn't even move when I spoke. Now that was a bit rude, even for her.

"Hey, Patchouli, could you at least answer when I call -"

The light from my candlestick shone over her. My eyes widened at the gruesome sight. I couldn't speak. I couldn't move. I couldn't believe this could happen. I only stared in shock.

A large knife was stuck to her chest. Her clothes were painted a ghastly red with her blood. But that wasn't the worst of it. Her hands had been sewn to her book so she could still hold it. Blood trickled out of stitches. And her eyes.. they were wide open and full of terror. Yet, I could see that she couldn't even scream if she had wanted. Her lips were stitched closed, and her neck had been sliced open. A steady trickle of blood dripped down to the floor.

I didn't know how long I stood there, but when I finally recovered from the shock, I ran out of the room and sprinted through the library. I didn't care where I was going. I just ran. And ran. Until my legs couldn't take the pain any more. Until my lungs tightened in pain.

Putting down the candlestick, which had managed to stay lit somehow, I paused to catch my breath. No, that wasn't it. I couldn't hold it anymore. I knelt down and threw up unceremoniously on the floor. Tears ran down my cheeks in torrents. I started sobbing. I didn't care anymore. This was too much! I.. I couldn't take much more of this!

I speak no evil

I remembered those words. This.. was it all my fault? Did I..

"..li."

That voice! I wiped off my mouth with my sleeve and quickly stood myself up. It was faint, but the voice sounded like Koakuma. Was she wandering around the library in this darkness? No, wait. Was it really her?

My legs feel exhausted, but I think I can walk a bit.

[ ] Search for Koakuma.
[ ] Return to Patchouli's room.
[ ] Make my way to the library exit.
>> No. 36322
[x] Search for Koakuma.

Excitement
>> No. 36324
[x] Search for Koakuma.
Starts all nice and suddenly?
>> No. 36325
[x] Search for Koakuma.
>> No. 36326
File 127293884981.jpg - (138.90KB , 900x770 , 82e09671d9abd2e0de9c31a6aff4ae9e56a22319.jpg ) [iqdb]
36326
[X] Make my way to the library exit;I GOT TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!

Oh fucking hell, without her master...

RUN BOY! RUN! RUN AND DON'T LOOK BACK!
>> No. 36327
>>36326
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QFGRlJmEH8
>> No. 36329
[x] Search for Koakuma.
What the fucking fuck
>> No. 36330
[X] Search for Koakuma.

"Demon lord of the Round Table, I pray for your success."
>> No. 36335
Man...my neck still hurts from that mood whiplash.

[X] Search for Koakuma.
>> No. 36336
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY FAVORITE LIBRARIAN
GODDAMMIT
;_;
>> No. 36337
What the fuck just happened?

A moment ago this was still fairly feel-god and silly. Now it's just... creepy. And I must read more.
>> No. 36341
File 127296810338.jpg - (7.78KB , 293x310 , koakuma.jpg ) [iqdb]
36341
[x] Search for Koakuma.

I took the candlestick in my hands and began walking forward. Koakuma's voice came from this direction, didn't it? In this darkness, I could only see a few feet ahead of me. Was I in the east portion, or the west? Couldn't really tell anymore. I didn't bother reading the titles of the books around me. I just kept walking, hoping that I would hear her voice one more time.

The silence was dreadful. I could only hear my own footsteps. They echoed hauntingly along the tall shelves. At each corner, I slowed down and sneaked by as best as I could, hoping that I wouldn't meet anything dangerous. I thought about turning back several times. If I couldn't find her, I could very well end up lost in this labyrinth of books. Or worse. I could be found by a -

"Miss Patchouli!"

That voice! I was sure that it was her. It wasn't my mind playing tricks. I quickly took a deep breath before calling out.

"Koakuma! Is that you?"

"Ah!" she cried back. "I'll be right there! Don't move!"

She must have recognized my voice. I glanced in front of me, and then behind. There was no sign of any footsteps. That left only one other direction. I looked up and stared deep into the darkness. Just as I expected, something bright was approaching. A vaguely humanoid shape holding two bright lights. I waved my candlestick a few times to signal to her.

"Here," Koakuma said. "Take this torch. It burns much brighter than your candle."

I thankfully accepted it. This illuminated a larger area, and I felt a little more at ease. In a pinch, I could probably use it as a weapon, too. I turned to her. She had an unusually serious expression upon her face.

"Are you alright?" I asked. "What's going on here? Where did you come from?"

She paused for a moment, then shook her head.

"The flow of magic has been disrupted," she said. "As you can see, the library lights have all gone out."

Flow of magic? What the hell was she talking about? Didn't she know that Patchouli was -

"Ah! W-Where did you get that?"

"Huh? This?"

I raised the candlestick toward her. Her eyes widened a bit.

"W-Why don't you get rid of that thing? The torch should be more than enough for light.."

My grip tightened instinctually. I'm not sure why, but leaving this thing behind seemed like a really bad idea. There wasn't any real reason to drop it, too, other than to run more quickly.

"I'm fine with it," I managed. "Anyway..."

[ ] I must tell her about Patchouli.
[ ] I must ask her to lead me to the exit.
[ ] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
>> No. 36342
Something stinks...

>"W-Why don't you get rid of that thing? The torch should be more than enough for light.."

[X] I must tell her about Patchouli.
-[x] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
>> No. 36343
[X] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
- [X] I must tell her about Patchouli.

If we can do that, since we need a explanation on why we're asking.

This is getting good.
>> No. 36344
[x] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
If she isn't, she may want an explanation for my paranoia. To give her one...
[x] ...I must tell her about Patchouli.
>> No. 36347
[x] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
- [x] I must tell her about Patchouli.
>> No. 36348
>>36173
>I'm really liking this, I just hope it doesn't turn too grimndark for a while.
lawl
>> No. 36352
[x] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
- [x] I must tell her about Patchouli.
>> No. 36354
>>36173

Just had to say it, didn't you?

[X] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
- [X] I must tell her about Patchouli.
>> No. 36356
[x] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
- [x] I must tell her about Patchouli.
>> No. 36364
>>36348
>>36354

I said "too grimndark."

This isn't so bad.
>> No. 36373
[X] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
- [X] Use candlestick on Koakuma(?).

If Koakuma(?) fears it it has to be able to repel or damage her or something. At least unmasking this impostor should be possible.
>> No. 36378
[x] I must make sure that she isn't an impostor.
[x] I must tell her about Patchouli.

"Anyway," I said. "Where were you when the lights went out?"

"Eh? Ah! Well.. t-that is.."

Koakuma lowered her head and started twiddling her thumbs. She didn't look at me straight in the eye as she spoke.

"Research," she said. "T-That's right! I was doing some research in the lower library! Now forget about that for a second! You really should get rid of that thing! You might hurt yourself and -"

"Oh really," I whispered. She was hiding something. Hardly anyone went down to the lower library besides Patchouli herself. I remember the magician warn me that the seals on some of the books down there had started to weaken, so I shouldn't even think of wandering there alone. I took a step forward, the candlestick in hand.

"And what were you doing down there, I wonder.."

"A-Ah! Well, t-that is... you know.. a secret..."

She was visibly shaken now, and I could see her sweat. Her face started turning a light shade of pink, as well. Yes, she was lying about something. I raised the candlestick as I took another step.

"W-wait! W-what are you doing with that? D-don't -"

Koakuma raised her other hand to stop me. But that was a mistake. I quickly tapped the end of her fingertips with the side of the candlestick. She yelped in pain and jumped back. It was just as I suspected. Or was it..?

"Idiot," she whispered. She looked up at me, teary-eyed and angry.

"I see that silver burns to the touch," I said.

"Of course it burns!" cried Koakuma. "I'm a demon! W-what the hell were you thinking? Have you gone insane?"

Huh? Wait a second. That made complete sense, didn't it? But..

"Then why were you sneaking about down at the lower library?"

Koakuma stared at me for a few moments, a trickle of tears dripping down her cheeks. Then, she pulled out something from her pocket and held it up toward me. It was a small book that read, 'Fine English Tea, 1852'.

"I thought that I could try making something special for you," she said slowly. "But I think that I just changed my mind."

She narrowed her eyes at me. I've never seen her so angry before.

"Miss Patchouli shall be the first to taste this blend, you damn idiot!"

My head started to ache again. From the sound of it, this was the real Koakuma. Except for one thing. Didn't she know that Patchouli was dead?

"Eh?"

Koakuma stared at me in surprise.

"W-what did you say just now?"

Clearly, from her reaction, I just said that last part aloud. Wait a minute. Koakuma didn't know? I couldn't look her in the eyes as I spoke.

"She's dead," I said carefully. "She's been murdered in her room. Didn't you know?"

Silence. Then, when I had thought that she was still in shock, it happened. She swiftly stepped forward and slapped me in the face. I stared back at her, dumbfounded.

"Liar!" she cried. "You're lying! What kind of sick joke are you trying to pull! I can't believe that I actually thought that you were different.."

"Wait, let me explain!"

"You horrible psychopath! I'll make sure that Miss Patchouli gets you kicked out of the mansion before morning!"

Before I could say anything else, Koakuma flew off into the darkness. I tried chasing after her, but my legs couldn't keep up. And no matter how much I cried out her name, she never turned back. Soon, I was alone once more. Having an extra torch was little consolation.

My mind was a mess. I started walking, letting my legs decide the direction. It was a long, deathly silent journey. I don't really know how long I was walking, but somehow, I found myself out of the library. As I closed the door behind me, I observed that the rest of the mansion lights were lit. But that wasn't enough to raise my spirits. Huh? There was something! I paused for a moment, then turned my head. It was no mistake. Someone was flying this way.

[ ] Flandre
[ ] Sakuya
[ ] Meiling
>> No. 36379
[x] Flandre
Let's add some spice.
>> No. 36380
[x] Sakuya

Telling Flandre that one of her friends died a few minutes ago? No thanks.
>> No. 36381
[X] Meiling

Nothing is going right.
I need some sort of comfort.
>> No. 36382
[X] Sakuya

We might need to stay inside.
>> No. 36383
[X] Sakuya
>> No. 36384
[X] Sakuya
>> No. 36385
0 for 2...damn.

[X] Sakuya
>> No. 36390
[x] Sakuya

I'm not happy about upsetting Koakuma, but it was a necessary evil. Still, could have maybe been handled with more tact.
>> No. 36393
[X] Remilia.
This is obviously the part where everything goes to hell. He should simply explain what happened to Patchouli and put himself at the mercy of the mistress of the house, which would happen eventually anyway.
If she doesn't believe him then... well, hard luck and bad end I suppose.
>> No. 36400
File 127306303747.jpg - (56.51KB , 593x814 , sakuya.jpg ) [iqdb]
36400
[x] Sakuya

The chief maid landed a few feet away. She had the strangest expression as she stared at me. It was as if she couldn't see very clearly. Or perhaps, she was looking for something? I couldn't really tell. Her next words were just as cryptic.

"You are alive?" she asked.

I nodded carefully. Why would she ask such a question? I had a really bad feeling about this. But before I could say anything, she vanished. Then, she reappeared right in front of me. She was holding something in her hand. Or she was, at least. That 'something' was now stuck to my left leg. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that it was a knife. Yep, it sure looked like it.

The chief maid had just stabbed my leg with a knife.

"Aaaaaarrrggggh!"

I dropped everything and crumpled down on the ground. The wound was deep, and blood had started to seep through my pants. I glanced at chief maid. She was watching my leg very carefully. Then, after a few seconds, she knelt down and put her hand on the knife.

"Huh? W-wait, what are you going to -"

In one swift movement, she pulled the knife out. I cried out loudly in pain. Angry and confused, I grabbed her by the collar and screamed.

"What the.. what in the hell are you doing, Sakuya?"

She stared at me blankly for several seconds. Then, as if she finally recognized me, color returned to her eyes and face. I saw something glint at the side of her eye. And, without warning, she grabbed me in a tight embrace.

"It's really you!" she whispered. "Alive! You're still alive!"

"Sa... Sakuya?... m-my leg..."

"Ah! S-Sorry about that!"

She lent her shoulder as I stood myself up. I glanced at her questioningly. Sakuya shook her head.

"There's no time," she said as she handed me the torch.

Without another word, she took my hand and stepped forward. For an instant, my senses were bombarded with a blur of shapes and colors as she used her ability. And after I blinked, I found myself standing outside, somewhere in the wilderness.

"Sakuya?"

She gave me a tender smile before she spoke.

"If we meet again," she said. "I'd really like to try that new cake shop in the village."

With those parting words, Sakuya vanished.

I never saw her again.

[ ] The lake.
[ ] The woods.
[ ] The main path.
>> No. 36401
[X] The main path
A smart move until we catch our bearings.

>[ ] The lake.
Goes back to the mansion. In the interest of self-preservation we probably don't want to be there right now, especially if the narrator confirms that we never see Sakuya again.
>[ ] The woods.
Dangerous creatures, unfamiliar terrain; a bad idea with a gimpy leg.

This story is definitely going somewhere, and I have a feeling this could finally be one of those that has Dead Ends around every corner. Anon's gotten off too easy lately.
>> No. 36402
[X] The main path

Probably the safest option
>> No. 36404
[x] The lake.
Don't be a pussy, this seems legit.
>> No. 36407
[X] The main path
>> No. 36409
[X] The woods.

Dangerous as it can be it has cover at least rather than being out in the open on the main path.
>> No. 36410
[X] The main path.

The fuck!
This story has an amazing level of despair!
I love it!
>> No. 36411
[x] The woods.
>> No. 36418
[X] The main path.
>> No. 36419
[X] The main path.
>> No. 36425
File 127310485296.jpg - (97.56KB , 850x531 , sample-d1619ec2080debe91adb1ab8bd4a6fc9.jpg ) [iqdb]
36425
>I never saw her again.
;_;

I don't think I'll won't follow this story, but I wanted to tell you, writefag, that a dark-ish story rich in bad ends is/would be a really good idea.
The Game had some despair but a story where it is the main focus will be a breath of fresh air for this site.
>> No. 36426
File 127310497649.png - (159.94KB , 821x532 , 5897469.png ) [iqdb]
36426
>I never saw her again.
I can't take it easy like this.

[x] The lake.
>> No. 36427
File 127310849944.jpg - (100.83KB , 692x696 , rumia.jpg ) [iqdb]
36427
[x] The main path.

Torch in hand, I limped up the main path toward the Human Village. I didn't understand it. No, I didn't even want to think about it. This was too much to take in, and it happened too quickly. My head ached. My heart ached. I was tired. I wanted to go home. But there was no longer any 'home' to return to.

A nightmare. This was just a nightmare, wasn't it? That was the most reasonable conclusion I could come up with. If I just waited it out, I would wake up and find that this was all just a horrible nightmare. I would hear a knock upon my door, and then I'd hear Sakuya tell me that breakfast was ready. Then, I would frown as Remilia explained her next ridiculous scheme at the dining table. Meiling and I would groan in unison as we started searching for an artifact, creature, or place that didn't exist in Gensokyo (this would typically take up most of the day). After I had returned, Koakuma would come and invite me to have tea at the library. I'd spend the rest of the afternoon reading quietly, with Patchouli sitting across me doing the same. At some random point during the day, Flandre would tackle me to the ground and force me to join one of her new 'games' (while less time-consuming than Remilia's tasks, these tended to be far more painful). And when the day was finally over, I'd pass out on my bed, still in my clothes, and start dreaming happily about some vivid sexual fantasy.

If this was all a dream, of course.

The pain from my leg told me otherwise. Sick and twisted as it was, this seemed like reality. And now, my last hope would be to reach the village and get help. Keine was my closest friend outside of the mansion. I only prayed that I could get there in time. Speaking of time, I took a glance at my watch. Only a little longer until morning. Soon the sun should rise, driving away most of the lesser youkai. After a few more minutes, I'd have little to worry about the wild creatures of Gensokyo.

Or so I had thought.

As the minutes passed, I found that it was actually getting darker. I glanced at my torch. It was still burning the same size, but the area it lit was shrinking. Then, in my other hand, I held.. nothing? Oh yeah, I must have dropped the candlestick somewhere back at the mansion. But that wasn't the worst of my luck. I stopped walking and waited. The visible area around me continued to shrink.

Damn! This was the worst time to meet up with this girl.

"Rumia!" I cried out. "I know that you're out there!"

The darkness continued to creep closer. My torch was useless against her ability.

"I don't have time for your games! I need to get to the village!"

No answer. A felt a chill. This wasn't like her.

"Rumia..?"

Silence. Then, I heard finally heard her voice.

"..ove you," it said.

"H-huh?"

Then I felt it. Someone was feeling up my thighs. Two small, child-sized hands were rubbing them up and down excitedly. I tried to step away, but I couldn't move. Then, I tried to push her away, but my arms were immobile as well. Huh? My mind was spinning as I could feel her fingers move closer and closer to my crotch. Why was Rumia doing this? Why now, of all times? And why the hell couldn't I move my body?

"I love you," said the voice. I was sure it was Rumia this time.

I slowly lowered my head, and surely, her sillhoutte was before me, caressing my lower body. Despite this ridiculous situation, I couldn't help but get a little excited. But 'love' me? Wasn't she misunderstanding something? And if she didn't stop soon, her fingers would soon reach my...

"Stop!" I cried out. "T-This isn't right?"

At those words, her hands pulled away. I blinked. I couldn't even see her sillhoutte now. I could feel the torch in my hand, but my eyes were completely blinded.

"I love you," she said again.

"R-Rumia?"

"I love you, and that's why.."

I felt something wet drip down my chest. Huh? It wasn't raining, though. I glanced down to check, but I couldn't see a thing. Still, I could feel something drip down my chest and legs.

"That's why this is mine~" said the voice happily.

A thin light began to penetrate the darkness. Was the sun rising? Well, that was good. My eyes were starting to adjust, and I could start to see around me.

"Huh? What are you talking abou -"

Rumia stood in front of me, smiling. She was holding something in her hands. Something moving and covered in blood. I watched as it throbbed, as if it was alive. Several strange tubes were poking out of it. Hey wait.. those tubes were connected to my..

"Hee hee," she said playfully. "I finally stole away your heart~"

My eyes widened in horror. But I couldn't scream. I couldn't move. I couldn't even understand how I was still alive. I turned to the youkai girl, who seemed as happy as could be.

"Rumia..?"

"I love you," she said. "We'll be together in this darkness, forever and ever~"

I saw no malice in her eyes. In fact, I was sure that she wasn't going to kill me. I didn't understand how, but I knew that she was keeping me alive with her power. Though the way she caressed my still-beating heart was very much unnerving.

What scared me the most were the words she said next.

"By the way, who is this Rumia? Is she anyone we know?"

Indeed, some things were worse than death.



FIRST END


.


..


...



[ ] Regret.
[ ] Anguish.
[ ] Despair.
>> No. 36428
>>36425
It won't invoke as much despair as Snow End or The Game, even AGLA for that matter
>> No. 36429
[x] Regret.

Too early for Despair.

>>36425
At least now we know why it started out nice with every touhou loving or liking the MC.
>> No. 36432
[x] Regret.
>>36428
That isn't saying much, y'know?
Anyway, the scariest thing so far is the update speed. 14 updates in 5 days... are you God?
>> No. 36433
What. The. Fuck?

Christ, I fucking love this story!!

[X] Regret.
>> No. 36434
[X] Regret.

That's a little creepy.
>> No. 36435
>>36432
Will it last though? I remember so many stories starting out fast before either slowing down or the story just dying.

[X] Regret.
>> No. 36436
[X] Regret.

One of the many things that can change the nature of a man.
>> No. 36437
>>36435
It's common. New writers, or even old writers with new ideas, are super-hyped about their new story and probably waited to start it until they knew they had a good stretch of time where they could write. Eventually life catches up with them, their enthusiasm cools down a bit, and updates become more normalized.

Though it helps that this author isn't writing a whole lot for each update in comparison to the walls a lot of authors these days write.
>> No. 36439
>>36436
True but, to be precise, the answer to the question was belief. If you believe that regret (hope, love, hate, or anything else) can change you, then it can.
Sage for OT
>> No. 36440
fuck yes this is awesome.

[x]Anguish

Never regret.
>> No. 36441
File 127311516893.jpg - (15.84KB , 261x403 , The Trancendent One.jpg ) [iqdb]
36441
[x] (Fortress of) Regret(s)
>> No. 36443
[X] Anguish.
NO REGRETS
ONLY PATH
etc. etc.
>> No. 36444
[ø] Anguish.
>> No. 36445
File 12731179621.jpg - (209.50KB , 827x1169 , b9764e0a5a981994d88d4f7e99ab31b6.jpg ) [iqdb]
36445
>Never regret.
Regret is always the best option. It showed that you could not finish something that you wanted.
I could not do this, i could not do that, i wish i could have done etc.
The next time you can change yourself and your surroundings, maybe change the situations and get better results.

Anguish is just a better word for despair.
>> No. 36446
>>36445

Regret is for faggots. Should have, would have, could have, all of it useless. Men deal with the consequences of their actions and keep moving forward. Nothing will ever come out of regret.
>> No. 36447
[x] Regret.

Whoa.

That was fucking weird.
>> No. 36448
> "By the way, who is this Rumia? Is she anyone we know?"

Is this Ex-Rumia? Or the one who killed Patchy?

[X] Regret.

I regret to inform you that this never happened.
>> No. 36452
[x] Anguish.

This was an update uniquely intentioned to hit me square in the gut. Good job, I guess.

>>36428
That's not saying much. You're going to need a boat-load of creativity, a metric ton of retcon to balance out Snow End, Forgiveness End, or justify
>-[x] "I apologize if I brought up any unpleasant memories. The invitation will be open if you happen to change your mind"
>> No. 36455
File 127314822184.jpg - (106.87KB , 948x968 , remilia.jpg ) [iqdb]
36455
I heard that humans, when close to death, often see a bright light at the end of a tunnel. Sometimes, they see their loved ones and friends who had passed away in the past. Others remember their most cherished memories as their life flashed before their eyes. This experience of 'coming home' was common among those who died. Some even say that this was how humans come to terms with their mortality. This was how they made amends with the world behind them, leaving behind all regret.

Needless to say, I saw nothing of the sort.

When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was a vast ocean of crimson and darkness. And as I watched, I saw vaguely humanoid figures reach at me with their shadowy limbs before being swallowed back into the waves. Thousands upon thousands of souls, forever damned to drown in their own blood.

I don't remember how long I stared at it, nor do I remember if it was from awe or disgust. But eventually, I realized that I was lying on my back. I grasped at the ground with one of my hands. It felt like grass. I pulled a few blades off and brought them close. Yes, it did look and smell like fresh grass. Then, I understood.

'That' was the sky of this place. The blood sea glowed ominously, and it illuminated my surroundings like the late afternoon sun. Slowly, I sat myself up and looked around. This place looked like a large garden of some sort, and it was vaguely familiar to me. The well-kept lawns and trees calmed my eyes. And a short distance away, I saw someone seated beside a small tea table.

I stood up and started walking closer. The person just watched, sipping her tea as I approached. I took her silence as an invitation, and sat myself across her, upon an empty seat. From the side of my eye, I could see her still watching me. Honestly, I felt like taking a good long nap, but I didn't think that this was the place, nor the time. I managed a half-smile as I greeted her.

"Good to see you again, Remilia."

"Likewise," she replied. She put down her cup and rested her chin upon her hand thoughtfully.

"Aren't you going to offer me a cup of tea?" I asked.

"You may have some if you like."

I chuckled a bit as I helped myself to some tea. The taste was unexpectedly good, and I felt a bit more refreshed. I wondered idly if the vampire had made this herself. I took another sip before glancing at Remilia.

"That was pretty bad run, wasn't it?"

"I daresay that it could have gone better," she said with a smirk. "You should be glad that you didn't have to see what happened to my sister or the gateguard."

She took a sip of tea and turned to watch the 'sky'.

"Or me, for that matter," she added as an afterthought.

I followed her gaze and watched as dozens of arms stretched out toward the ground before being swallowed by another crimson wave.

"So this is hell," I said. "Not exactly what I had expected."

"What did you expect?"

"Something less comfortable, maybe?"

Remilia chuckled a bit. I took another sip of tea. This really was a good blend.

"You never fail to amuse me," she said. "Such an interesting human."

"Why is that?"

She turned to me and smiled.

"Because this isn't hell. And you aren't staying here for long. Unless you want to?"

Remilia gave me a wink. Huh? This wasn't hell? What did she mean by 'here'? And what exactly was she offering? I quickly looked away and focused on my tea. Needless to say, the word 'confused' was a grave understatement to what I felt right now.

"Don't worry about the details," she said. "Just listen carefully as I explain the rules. I won't repeat this a second time, so pay attention."

I nodded slowly.

"There is more than one way to send you back. Depending on how tightly linked your fate is with the rest of the mansion inhabitants, new doors and opportunities can be opened. But act carefully, as the opposite applies as well. If the distance between your fate and theirs widens, your choices will become increasingly more limited."

"Right now, you have two different 'gates' to choose from. And while it is true that you can take only one path back, the final destination will remain in your hands. I'll explain this in more detail once it is time for you to go back."

"Now before you return, you may want to visit the Voile Armory. You may take back with you certain 'aids' that may be of use on the other side. But at a price. Nothing is gained without payment. This rule holds true even here."

"Now: any questions?"

[ ] Ask for a hint. (Specify the question)
[ ] Visit the Voile Armory.
[ ] Time to go back.
>> No. 36457
[x] Ask for a hint.
-[x] 'I just died. I believe that's as close as one can get to the fate of the majority of the Scarlet Devil Mansion denizens.
Could you elaborate a little on that point?'
[x] Visit the Voile Armory.
>> No. 36459
[X] "What's the price?"
[X] Don't visit the Armory unless the price is only a minor inconvenience and you can't find any long-term repercussions.
[X] Observe this "Blood Garden" casually for a bit, but then it's time to go back.

We have no idea what's going on here. I'm not about to pay "a price" we don't understand for "an aid" that might be of use against a foe we haven't even met. Before you play the game, you have to know the rules, and what options lay open to you.
>> No. 36460
[X] "What's the price?"
-If possible, then ask:
-[X] Any hints before I go?
-[X] Remind me, what am I doing?
[X] Don't visit the Armory unless the price is only a minor inconvenience and you can't find any long-term repercussions.
[X] Observe this "Blood Garden" casually for a bit, but then it's time to go back.

So the vibe I'm getting is that we're semi aware, and we were on a good run until we died, or something.
>> No. 36461
Uoooh... it's useless, it's all useless.
>> No. 36462
[X] "What's the price?"
[X] Don't visit the Armory unless the price is only a minor inconvenience and you can't find any long-term repercussions.
[X] Observe this "Blood Garden" casually for a bit, but then it's time to go back.

Works for me~!
>> No. 36464
File 127315276277.jpg - (45.49KB , 308x450 , PF_1180900~Checkmate-Posters.jpg ) [iqdb]
36464
>>36461
You quit your whining; I'm trying to play a game over here.
>> No. 36465
[X] "What's the price?"
[X] Don't visit the Armory unless the price is only a minor inconvenience and you can't find any long-term repercussions.
[X] Observe this "Blood Garden" casually for a bit, but then it's time to go back.
>> No. 36466
File 127315503519.jpg - (1.36MB , 2000x1500 , efaf.jpg ) [iqdb]
36466
[X] "What's the price?"
-If possible, then ask:
-[X] Any hints before I go?
-[X] Remind me, what am I doing?
[X] Don't visit the Armory unless the price is only a minor inconvenience and you can't find any long-term repercussions.
[X] Observe this "Blood Garden" casually for a bit, but then it's time to go back.

>But at a price. Nothing is gained without payment.
I wonder what kind of price we need to pay her.
>> No. 36467
[x] Get a clue
>> No. 36472
X] "What's the price?"
-If possible, then ask:
-[X] Any hints before I go?
-[X] Remind me, what am I doing?
--[x] Is it my task to prevent this hell from breaking out?
[X] Don't visit the Armory unless the price is only a minor inconvenience and you can't find any long-term repercussions.
[X] Observe this "Blood Garden" casually for a bit, but then it's time to go back.
>> No. 36477
[x] "What's the price?"
-If possible, then ask:
-[X] Any hints before I go?
-[X] Remind me, what am I doing?
--[x] Is it my task to prevent this hell from breaking out? And just who is my opponent?
[X] Visit the Armory. What price could be too large for someone who can never regret?
[X] Observe this "Blood Garden" casually for a bit, but then it's time to go back.
>> No. 36487
[x] >>36457

Pussies, all of you.

On an entirely different note:
People always like to point out that Higurashi heavily influenced Owen as he wrote the end of ASSM. I was always skeptical of this observation, because I never -once- got that vibe.
And now, having read this story, I am certain the people claiming this are full of shit, because whatever paltry amount of it they imagined there was in ASSM doesn't even begin to touch the Higurashi vibes I'm picking up from -this- story.

That said, I'm fascinated, so keep writing.
>> No. 36488
>>36487
If I recall, the deal with ASSM is that Higurashi hit Owen hard with despair and grimdark, and while in that despair he wrote the sad ending we got. But I don't think he ever actually tried to make it like Higurashi.

In retrospect, he confirmed it was a poor ending and he shouldn't have written it like that, so I say just let bygones be bygones and enjoy this awesome dark thing we've got going here.
>> No. 36489
>>36488
That's it exactly about ASSM. I just refer to that as an example of limiting outside influences. I'm not really feeling much despair here, it's layed on too thick to be effective.
>> No. 36491
This poor ending, would that be the infamous SNOW END?
>> No. 36493
>>36491
>ASSM
>Infamous SNOW END

That's wrong
>> No. 36494
>>36491

Kira wrote the SNOW END.

His current story, MAiG, may be a continuation to that ending.

At least I like to think it is.
>> No. 36495
[x] Ask for a hint.
[x] Visit the Voile Armory.

A number of different questions spun around in my head. There were so many things that I didn't understand. I glanced at Remilia, hoping for some clue. She just smiled a little wider at my confusion. Hmm? Was she enjoying this, or was it another 'rule' that I had to figure out what I needed to ask? Perhaps, I should start with something simple.

"Remind me - what was I doing?"

Slowly, her smile started to vanish.

"In a word," she said. "Badly. You were doing very badly. Clearly you lost focus and started wandering around with the attention span of a three year old child. You damn idiot.."

Remilia sighed and glanced back at the red sky.

"Honestly, I'm surprised that you managed to find your way here, after all that. I wonder.."

I waited for a while, but she didn't add anything more. She just kept staring at the distance, ignoring me. I frowned hard at her, unsatisfied.

"That wasn't really an answer," I said.

"That wasn't really a question," she replied, without looking back.

Touché. Having no way to counter her, I decided to ask another question.

"These 'aids' you speak of. What payment would be required to take them back with me?"

She glanced at me from the side of her eye. And she smiled.

"Easier for you to understand once I take the there? Are you ready?"

Without waiting for my answer, she took my hand. I blinked in surprise. The table, the garden, and the blood-red sky had vanished. Instead, I found myself standing in a large warehouse of sorts. It reminded me of the Voile library, but instead of books, the shelves were filled with all sorts of different items, trinkets and curios.

Remilia tugged on my sleeve to get my attention as she pointed at something nearby. It was a dusty old sword that had ancient runes engraved upon it. For some reason, it gave the impression of being a dependable weapon.

"Try to take that sword," said Remilia.

I walked up to it and grabbed the hilt. And I pulled it up. Or at least, I had expected to. It was much heavier than it looked. I grasped it with both hands, crying out as I used all of my strength. But it was no use. After a few minutes, I sat down on the floor, gasping for air.

"I can't take this with me," I said.

"And why do you say that?" she asked.

I paused for a moment and thought carefully.

"Because.. I have not paid, maybe?"

"Close enough," she said as she helped me back up. "Not everything can be bought with what you have right now. For the most part, you should first walk around and see what type of payment these things require. Pick out what you like. I'll wait for you back here, once you are ready."

"And how am I supposed to know what these things cost?"

"Just check the labels," she said.

Well, that sounded simple enough, so I started walking around. This place had an amazing number of items. I saw a number of weapons: guns, swords, staves, bows, whips and even cannons. Old scrolls, maps, surgical tools, cigars, tea sets, chairs, umbrellas, jackets - it was like walking around some kind of strange department store. There were some more modern things as well, like a TV set, several computers, a couple of mobile phones, a basketful of basketballs, a vending machine, and (oh wow) a kitchen sink, too. But something bothered me.

Hardly any of these things had labels. By the time I made one whole round, I only spotted three different items that did. None of them seemed very unusual, but I had a feeling that they might be useful in some way. Maybe they were more than meets the eye? However, the tags attached to them made me feel very uneasy.

Which ones should I take back with me?
[ ] A length of rope. Its price is "Trust".
[ ] A small compass. Its price is "Time".
[ ] A silver candlestick. Its price is "Calm".
[ ] I don't need any of this junk.
>> No. 36496
[x] A silver candlestick. Its price is "Calm".
We need time and we need trust.
>> No. 36497
[X] A silver candlestick. Its price is "Calm".

Can we sell stuff after an ending to gain something back?
>> No. 36498
[x] A silver candlestick, it's price is "calm".

Somehow this feels like the best item to take. It'll work alright against demons (wait why couldn't we use this against Rumia? last time? We had this). Although it probably won't be the best defense.

Part of me does want to save it though. Is it possible to take items and sell them to the Voile Armory then? Or at least store them?
>> No. 36499
[X] A silver candlestick. Its price is "Calm".

Despite the possibility of losing our calmness could cause our protagonist to fumble I'M LOOKING AT YOU CLOCKTOWER 3! I'm willing to best that trust and time will be of utmost importance if he's to have any real hope imo...
>> No. 36500
>>36498
>why
Because the protagonist dropped it.
>> No. 36501
>>36500

Huh thought it was something like that but couldn't remember if he did or not.

Shoot now that I think about it, should we really lose our calm? I mean we really did freak out when Patchy was found. Maybe a calmer mind can survive....
>> No. 36502
[x] I don't need any of this junk.

We should be focused on gathering information for now, and we can't very well do that if we're running around in a panic.
>> No. 36503
[X] I don't need any of this junk.

If what happened to Patchouli is nothing compared to the fate the other residents of the mansion, I'm thinking "calm" is something we very much want to keep a hold of.

Besides, it sounds as if this won't be the last we see of this place, regardless.
>> No. 36504
[X] I don't need any of this junk.

None of it is useful for the large drawback. After all, when one pays in blood, one does so not for the sake of it, but because blood is worth more than gold. Otherwise you're just bleeding to death for nothing.
>> No. 36505
[X] I don't need any of this junk.
>> No. 36506
>However, the tags attached to them made me feel very uneasy.

As well as they should. Calm, trust, and time. These are pretty general and important things. Obviously, you want to make sure what you get in return will be able to have an effect on the series of events witnessed.

A rope. Okay, what can you use a rope for? Well, you can hang yourself, but simply being murdered by Rumia seems more to the point, and if you prefer something more poetic, you have a very nice lake that looks functional enough for that purpose. You can also use it to stage someone else's death. However it's quite difficult to stage a stabbing or a shooting as a hanging, with strangling the only obvious fit. Unfortunately, you have no idea who you might do that to, as almost everybody died pretty well on their own without your interference, if Remilia is to be believed, with the possible exceptions of Rumia, Sakuya, Keine, and Remilia. Of these, it's only Keine & Sakuya who you might feasibly overpower with a rope, and probably only if you took them by surprise. There are other things you might use a rope for that are less obvious, and you didn't seem to encounter any such situations, but use your imagination: You might be able to bind someone, or descend down the side of a building, or use it to pull someone out of a crevice. However, in all these situations, you have to trust the rope will hold, and conditionally of your or others own footing & fitness, or even to trust the person at the other end, if they're hauling you up.

A compass. With a compass, you always know what you might use it for. It's a very specific tool, one used for navigation. However, the protagonist seemed to easily to move through the mansion and even its labyrinthine library. He also has made the trip back and forth to the village, again seemingly by his own wits & sense of direction. In the case of running off screaming into the night, away from the well-beaten path, a compass might seen to come in handy. However, it's entirely useless if you don't have the time to read it (for example, if you're bleeding out from a wound on your leg) and it is equally useless if you don't have the light to read it. This seems to strike against the utility of the compass. Maybe next time if you find yourself crewing a sailing ship (unlikely since Gensokyo is landlocked) or maybe taking an interest in cartography, you'll have a clearer idea of what you might need a compass for.

The candlestick. As far as I can tell, you chose the candlestick the last time, as you had it in your hands inside the mansion. This makes sense, since you certainly were clearly bereft of calm at this point, dropping the candlestick in your panicked flight from the mansion. The only thing a candlestick seems effective for is as a bludgeon, but if you're not calm, you're likely to fumble or simply leave it behind. It seems more effective for murder than the rope, but again, it isn't clear who you might kill as to effect anything akin to a desirable ending. Sure you could put an actual candle in it, but torches were already in ready supply and at the point you could actually have used some light, a candle would have been useless, and like the torch only a beacon to attract unwanted attention.

Instead of blindly tossing away the few gifts you know you already have, perhaps it would behoove you to acquire more of this existential currency so that next time (and it seems there will may be many next times) you have a larger selection of tools to choose from and have a clearer picture in mind of what you want to do with them.

[x] I don't need any of this junk.
>> No. 36507
[x] I don't need any of this junk.
>> No. 36508
[x] I don't need any of this junk.

>and (oh wow) a kitchen sink, too.
We can use it to summon Koakuma.

>>36506
This is assuming that they're all only what they appear to be, of course. Still, good analysis. Certainly swung my vote.
>> No. 36509
>>36498 here
Gonna change my vote to
[X] I don't need any of this junk
Seems like the better option now after reading other Anon's views

>>36506
Also one little thing I think you forgot about that candlestick, it's silver. In this story it seems silver is effective against Demons, hence why I voted for it at first.
>> No. 36510
>Clearly you lost focus and started wandering around with the attention span of a three year old child.

Oh wow, i love her already.

>If I recall, the deal with ASSM is that Higurashi hit Owen hard with despair and grimdark, and while in that despair he wrote the sad ending we got
He never wrote a sad end. It was just a real end, not something made to please everyone but a kind of realistic one. Bitter sweet end with Cirno not remembering.

[x] I don't need any of this junk.
>> No. 36511
File 127320520341.png - (77.30KB , 438x343 , 1209613145777.png ) [iqdb]
36511
>>36510
>realistic
>> No. 36513
>>36510
>realistic
>touhou
ahahaha

Seriously though, I understand what you were trying to get at, but you're still wrong. Even he admitted that Remilia had no realistic motivation for what she was doing. She was the villain just because he needed a villain.

Also, Cirno committed suicide enough times to cause permanent brain damage. If that doesn't make an ending qualify as a sad end then I don't know what does.
>> No. 36517
>>36513

It's a good end for those that hate Cirno or love seeing her in pain (i.e guro Touhou doujin lovers).
>> No. 36518
>As far as I can tell, you chose the candlestick the last time, as you had it in your hands inside the mansion.

Motherfuck, please don't tell me we'll lose our memory when we get back. Remilia didn't indicate it, but thinking back on the candlestick it's actually possible.
>> No. 36519
>>36517
>It's a good end for creeps or retards (i.e., raging faggots.)
Fixed.

You're that dipshit that got all worked up in Fell's thread about the torture, aren't you? What the hell makes you think people on this site like your shitty tastes in weird crap? Even if a handful of them do, they don't make up the majority and can be safely ignored.
Learn when and where to talk about this shit, because it's not anywhere here. Fuck off until you can do that.

And even if you aren't him, I know he reads this anyway, so everything still applies.
>> No. 36520
Feels like Kagetsu Tohya.
>> No. 36521
>>36520
that's what I was thinking.
>> No. 36522
>>36511
>>36513
Actually, i might have used a wrong word there.
What i meant was that he did not end it in a "hollywood everything must have a happy end and we all love each anyway, even if we tried to each other" way.

Realistic? No. Movies, stories, books or whatever else people can think of are never realistic. I just can't finda word for it.
>> No. 36523
[x] I don't need any of this junk.

"Have you decided?"

"Indeed," I said. "I don't need any of this junk. I'll be fine on my own."

Remilia looked mildly surprised.

"Are you sure about that? No matter how I look at it, you are just an ordinary human: easy to bend, and easy to break. Surely, you need something to help you defend yourself, or at least a trick to let you survive a little bit longer. You haven't done very well at all, from what I have seen."

"You haven't seen anything yet," I said. "Being human isn't a disadvantage. In fact, you might say that I wouldn't have gotten this far if I wasn't."

She stared me for a moment, rubbing her chin as she watched me. I couldn't really tell what she was thinking until she cracked a little smile.

"Maybe I was mistaken," she said. "You certainly aren't 'ordinary'. I've rarely seen a human as reckless, arrogant, and foolish. Have you no fear of death?"

"Of course I do," said I. "With this frail human body, even a lesser youkai could tear me to pieces. And if I had the choice, I'd still prefer dying in a less painful manner, and with a little dignity, if it could be afforded. Not like I had much choice last time."

"So you are not foolish," she said. "Just reckless and arrogant?"

I smiled back at her. Her grin widened, until it finally broke into laughter. A chill ran down my spine as I watched the vampire. I couldn't bring myself to laugh with her, so I instead managed a polite smile. Then, she raised her hands and began to clap.

"Wonderful!" she cried. "I like it! I love it! Such baseless audacity! Come, human! You shall taste the pleasures of heaven, and enjoy it! You shall taste the agony and despair of hell, and enjoy it! You shall taste what humanity is truly worth, and enjoy it! Take my hand and prepare yourself!"

Remilia stepped forward and took my hand before I could say anything. The Voile Armory vanished, and in its place, I found myself standing in a large expanse of... nothing? White, everywhere. I couldn't even distinguish the floor from the sky and the space in front of me. If there were walls here, I could not make them out.

"Stop dawdling and look there!"

I turned to where she pointed. Ah! There was something here, after all. A single simple door stood a few feet away. The vampire walked beside it and faced me.

"You return through that door," she said. "Once through, all of the rules on the other side will take effect accordingly, so don't do anything too stupid. And once you step inside, be aware that you will have no memory of this place."

She pulled out something from her dress. A large metal key ring?

"Like I mentioned earlier, this door is the only way back. But that doesn't mean that everything will happen the same way as before. Right now, you can choose between these two keys."

Remilia removed a large iron key from the set. It looked slightly burnt.

"This goes to the basement," she said. "It is exactly as it sounds. No cryptic words this time. This part, I'm allowed to explain clearly."

Then, she removed a smaller brass key and held it up. It looked brand new.

"This goes to the greenhouse. I'm sure you understand where this is going."

I nodded as she handed me one of the keys.

"Huh? Wasn't I supposed to choose?"

"That was the one you were going to pick out."

I glanced down at it, and found that she was right. She smiled knowingly.

"Just a lucky guess," I remarked as I made my way to the door. "All I have to do is use this here, right?"

The key fit perfectly (despite the mismatched size). As I started to turn the handle, Remilia called out to me.

"One last thing," she said.

She paused and waited until I turned around. After she was sure that I was listening, she spoke. Her voice was softer this time, and it sounded a little bit sad.

"When the time comes, do what you must. But please don't hate the other me."

The key she put in my hand was the...
[ ] Basement Key
[ ] Greenhouse Key
>> No. 36524
[x] Greenhouse Key
>> No. 36525
[X] Basement Key
In this story, either everything's going to hell and thus running into Flandre isn't much different than running into anyone else, or she might miraculously not be involved with the "conspiracy" at all, in which case why not?

>>36522
Even though I doubt it's a real movie term, I think "Bittersweet End" might be a good phrase; overall the ending is vaguely positive, but there were costs to be paid. In the long and short of it, they did beat the bad guy, rescue the princess, and save the world, just not in the conventional way. Well, provided you ignore the epilogue, which I've just started to do since the epilogue was just a dick move, bro.
>> No. 36526
> "When the time comes, do what you must. But please don't hate the other me."

If this is a warning that there might be a Psycho!Remilia, then we should take this to heart.
>> No. 36529
[x] Basement Key
>> No. 36530
[X] Basement Key
>> No. 36531
[x] Greenhouse Key

Kinda Beatrice there Remilia.
>> No. 36532
[X] Basement Key
>> No. 36533
[X] Basement Key

>>36455
>"You should be glad that you didn't have to see what happened to my sister or the gateguard." She took a sip of tea and turned to watch the 'sky'.

>"Or me, for that matter," she added as an afterthought.

>>36523
>"When the time comes, do what you must. But please don't hate the other me."

How poignantly distressing...
>> No. 36536
[X] Greenhouse Key
>> No. 36538
>>36533
It makes me wonder what kind of being could basically trample the whole SDM.

[X] Basement Key

>>36522
The point wasn't so much the ending itself but how it came about. If it was the naturally intended result, it'd have been seen in a far better light than the real reason.
>> No. 36542
[X] Basement Key
>> No. 36543
[X] Basement Key

Although I wonder what's in the Greenhouse.
>> No. 36545
[ø] Greenhouse Key
>> No. 36547
I'm sure we'll all find out which item is important after the fifth or fourth death.

Although being piece Anon makes all of it really difficult. Are we supposed to go all KT and guide our MC only by our choices? Is he gonna die so many times?
>> No. 36548
>>36543
China
>> No. 36549
[X] Greenhouse Key
>> No. 36553
File 127328050919.jpg - (56.14KB , 400x400 , flandre.jpg ) [iqdb]
36553
[x] Basement Key

"Come, dragon!" cried the knight. "I have come for your head! Face me in battle!"

The ground rumbled and shook. A deep voice boomed from the cavern before him.

"Speak, knight," it said. "Why do you seek my head?"

The knight drew his sword proudly and raised it into the air.

"To save the princess!" he cried. "To save the kingdom! And to become the rightful ruler of this land!"

"Is that so," spoke the voice. "Tell me, why does the princess need to be saved?"

"It is the law of this land!" cried the knight. "Only the one who slays the dragon can take the princess' hand in marriage. She has been alone for many years, and I shall be the one to comfort her."

"Then tell me, why does the kingdom need to be saved?"

"It is the desire of the people!" he cried. "You have built your nest within the greatest lode of gems and gold in the continent! People from all over the world have come for the harvest, and you are the last obstacle in their path to plenty!"

"And why do you claim to be the rightful ruler of this land?"

"It is written that a hero shall come and bring prosperity to this kingdom! I have trained long and hard to become the greatest of warriors! I shall defeat you, make the princess my bride, and become the greatest king in all history!"

"I see..."

The ground shook violently as the dragon emerged from its cavern. Its gargantuan form towered over the knight, which was but an insect in comparison.

"Such a pity," said the dragon. "If those are your answers, then this shall be your final resting place."

Without another word, the dragon promptly raised its leg and crushed the knight to pieces. His steed stood in shock as it watched its master's demise. Then, ignoring the horse and all else that lay outside its cavern, the dragon returned inside to rest.


"And that is the end of this chapter," I said. "Let's continue this tomorrow. It is getting late."

"Aww, but I wanna find out what happens next!"

Flandre tugged at my jacket excitedly. Her eyes glittered brightly up at me. Ah, if she uses that face, I won't have the will to refuse! I quickly looked away and cleared my throat.

"Now Flandre," I said. "You can always continue reading this on your own. I leave it here every evening, anyway."

She pouted at me.

"Hmph! I don't want to! I'd rather read Patchy's geography books than that!"

I frowned and scratched my head.

"But I thought that you liked this book?"

"Of course I do! It's my favorite!"

Her face brightened up again, and I saw her wings flap a little.

"But I only like it when you read it aloud to me."

"Huh?"

"Ah!"

Suddenly, she jumped up and covered her mouth. She stared at me for a moment, her cheeks slightly pink. Then, without another word, she flew off to her bed. She pulled up the covers and faced her back to me.

"I'm sleepy now," she said.

I scratched my head and sighed. Certainly didn't get this girl. But it really was getting late for her. I took a glance at my watch. The sun would be rising in a couple of hours.

Hmm...
[ ] Continue reading aloud.
[ ] This is enough for tonight.
>> No. 36554
[X] Continue reading aloud.
>> No. 36555
[X] Continue reading aloud.

I suppose this is the option that brings their fates closer together?
>> No. 36556
[X] Continue reading aloud.

Curiously it seems as if, for now, that the lead's being given something of a second chance to truly form bonds with the entire family where as previously perhaps he was oblivious to how distant he truly was.

If this is the case, which I somewhat doubt, it would mean that had he been closer to everyone the whole mess could have turned out better; assuming it was unavoidable in the first place.

All speculation though...
>> No. 36557
I still think this is the prologue to Scarlet Horizon and that he's inevitably going to form a good relationship with all of the residents. Too bad he mysteriously disappears.
>> No. 36558
>> 36557
Say it in red.
>> No. 36559
>>36558

[color=red]I still think this is the prologue to Scarlet Horizon and that he's inevitably going to form a good relationship with all of the residents. Too bad he mysteriously disappears.[/color]

I'm not that guy I still have doubts of that possibility. Considering what problems the lead in that story had to deal with, these events make that problem look rather minuscule.

Also I'm feeling strong vibes of Clock Tower 3 except that unlike that game, there's a chance to change what's suppose to happen or at least do some damage control to manageable levels.
>> No. 36560
>>36559
and I failed to change color, saging for fail...
>> No. 36561
[X] Continue reading aloud.

I d'awwwwed.
>> No. 36562
>>36559
>Considering what problems the lead in that story had to deal with, these events make that problem look rather minuscule

That's the thing, both of the problems originated at the SDM. This guy just makes it far less of a problem so the protagonist of SH doesn't have to deal with this shit.
>> No. 36563
>>36556
Yeah there's a sizable difference between merely being friendly with someone and having close bonds.

It'll be interesting to see how the lead might deal with whatever he's up against.
>> No. 36564
[x] This is enough for tonight.
All of his loved ones will die in less than a day. He should move the fuck up.
>> No. 36565
>>36564
>All of his loved ones will die in less than a day. He should move the fuck up.

I had the impression that he'll have a chance at changing things for everyone one at a time. When everything went to shit he was not reading to Flandre but just happened to visit at the time.

Otherwise there wouldn't be any reason to have been given the choice between the key to the garden or basement.

At least as far as I understand it.
>> No. 36566
[X] Continue reading aloud.

Hard to say if this is the exact same day or not of the attack, but it's often the smallest differences that has the biggest of effects.
>> No. 36569
[X] Continue reading aloud.
I want to know what happens next after the dragon crushed the knight. Flandre loves dragons.
>> No. 36571
[X] Continue reading aloud.
>> No. 36572
[X] Continue reading aloud.
>> No. 36573
[X] Continue reading aloud.
>> No. 36576
[X] Continue reading aloud.
[x]"It's ok, I like reading it aloud to you."
>> No. 36582
[x] Continue reading aloud.

"Speak," said the princess. "What became of the knight that went off to challenge the dragon?"

"His armor was shattered. His sword was broken. His body was claimed by scavengers."

She looked unsurprised, but a bit sad.

"They never learn, do they? A hundred knights have come and fallen, and still, more come to take their place."

"Of course, your highness. Thousands upon thousands risk their lives for their desires. Some choose the path of battle and wage war. Others choose to explore dangerous and exotic lands. Some even choose to practice forbidden magic. To what surprise is it, then, that knights from all over the world have come to challenge the dragon? It is their chance at gaining a beautiful bride, the wealth of a kingdom, and a permanent place in history."

"Even if it means death?"

"They are willing to risk everything because they seek to gain everything."

"Wise words," she said with a smile. "If you have come to this understanding, I wonder then, why you have not chosen to challenge the dragon?"

He smiled at the princess.

"I am a simple man," he said. "That is why I chose to join the guard, rather than the kingdom's army or the many bands of mercenaries. It is enough that I protect and serve the princess and the kingdom that is my home. To desire more than that is luxury."

The princess smiled back at the guard.

"You are wiser than most. If circumstances have been a bit different, then perhaps -"

The royal messenger arrived, gasping for breath. He knelt before the princess and put into her hands, a sealed letter.

"Your majesty," cried the messenger. "He has come! The prince of the north has come to answer your challenge. He has returned victorious from his kingdom's war against the eastlands. Known as the greatest of tacticians, he now comes to claim the greatest prize in the continent."

The princess took the letter, read it, and sighed. She glanced back at the guard.

"Let us speak again, sometime."

"If you desire it, princess."

She left with the messenger to make preparations.


I took a peek at Flandre and sighed. Looked like she had already fallen asleep. Well, at least she was already in her bed. Last time, I was forced to carry her back to her room from the Voile library. Not that I was complaining about that part (she was actually quite light and soft). I would have to say that it was quite pleasant if it weren't for the fact that I had bumped into Sakuya on the way back. Needless to say, I got scolded, interrogated, and thrown into the dungeon until she had calmed down.

"Well, I guess I'll end it here," I said.

I closed the book and placed it by her bedside table. Then I stole a glance of her peaceful sleeping face. Before I realized it, I began to lean forward to kiss her goodnight. But I managed to stop myself. No, this was probably a bad idea. I've had enough misunderstandings in the past, several of which involved much pain and bodily harm. I quickly stood myself up and quietly left the room.

Glancing at my watch, I found that there was still some time before breakfast.
[ ] Visit the library.
[ ] Visit the kitchen.
[ ] Visit the gardens.
>> No. 36584
[x] Visit the kitchen.

Sakuya flusteran gaems
>> No. 36585
[x] Visit the gardens.
>> No. 36586
[X] Visit the gardens

Some fresh air wouldn't hurt too much eh?
>> No. 36588
[X] Visit the kitchen.

I'd like to know why the protagonist gets multiple chances to change things.
>> No. 36592
[X] Visit the gardens.
>> No. 36593
[X] Visit the kitchen

Needs more Sakuya time.
>> No. 36596
[X] Visit the gardens.
>> No. 36600
>Yet, I couldn't. Despite this feeling, I couldn't just run away. My friend was in there. My friend who would listen to my ramblings and complaints, despite pretending to be busy with her books. My friend who would have Koakuma prepare tea even when I visited unannounced. My friend who tried to teach me magic, even if she knew that I couldn't manage even a spark without matches. My friend who, for the first time, didn't answer when I called out to her.

[ø] Visit the library.
>> No. 36601
[x] Visit the library.
>> No. 36604
[X] Visit the gardens.
>> No. 36605
>>36559
That would certainly explain why it's called "Prologue."

keine_sensei, you tricky, tricky son of a bitch.

>I've had enough misunderstandings in the past, several of which involved much pain and bodily harm.
Definitely SH's prologue.
>> No. 36606
[X] Visit the kitchen
This is going to end up just like Higurashi, isn't it?
>> No. 36607
Forgot my vote.

[x] Visit the library.
>> No. 36610
>They are willing to risk everything because they seek to gain everything.
heh

[x] Visit the gardens.
>> No. 36613
>>36606

So everyone is going to be a psycho?

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-
>> No. 36614
Calling it.

[x] Visit the gardens.

Please wait warmly for the rewrite. I neither confirm nor deny any of Anon's suspicions.
>> No. 36615
File 127340795162.jpg - (46.15KB , 650x750 , meiling.jpg ) [iqdb]
36615
[x] Visit the gardens.

I took a deep breath, enjoying the sweet air. The garden glittered brilliantly with the morning dew. I felt like I had walked into a dream as I stepped down the stone path. Tall trees, smooth hedges, and colorful flowering plants could be seen in all directions. I couldn't helped but smile as I looked up at the beautiful blue sky.

"A wonderful day," I said aloud. Indeed, this was a great day for a morning walk. It was such a significant difference from inside. While the many rooms and halls of the mansion were elegant, they lacked that fresh feeling of the outdoors. My only disappointment, if I had to mention it, was that there was no one else in sight to enjoy this morning with me.

Flandre lay fast asleep in her room. I had neither the heart, nor the courage to wake her. Her sister, Remilia, hated bright mornings, and would do nothing but complain about how it makes her hair dry and her skin itch. Sakuya would be busy preparing breakfast around this time. And I doubt if I could convince Patchouli to put down her books to step outside. Koakuma would probably come, if I asked her, but I'd hate to take her away from the library for too long.

Well, I didn't really need anyone else to enjoy the morning. Though honestly, it would be nice if I ran into one or two of the fairy maid staff. When I first arrived, they were extremely shy and kept to the shadows. But as time passed, they've grown used to me as a resident, and I've found that some of them are actually quite friendly and talkative.

In any case, this was a really wonderful morning. So peaceful, with only the sound of the gentle breeze against the trees. Well, almost. As I approached the west side of the gardens, I thought I heard something odd. And as I walked closer, I realized that it wasn't something, but someone that was making it. Someone I knew very well.

"Zzzzz..."

Hiding among the hedges to take a nap? How ridiculously cliché! If Sakuya saw this, she'd be absolutely furious. Well, I suppose that I could step in for today. It wasn't that I was siding with the gateguard; I just found her extremely amusing. I stepped a bit closer to listen in.

"Zzzz... he he he... I'd love to have some sweet buns, Sakuya-nyan~"

I barely contained my laughter. This was gold! I couldn't resist; I just had to do something! I stood over her, folded my arms, and did my best impression of Sakuya's voice.

"Sleeping on the job again," I said darkly. "Maybe I'll have to discipline you thoroughly, you lazy gateguard!"

The response was amazing. At the sound of my voice, the gateguard moved faster than my eye could follow, and before I realized it, she was already prostrated before me, apologizing.

"I'm sorry!" she cried. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I -"

She continued like that for a couple of minutes before stopping. Slowly, she looked up. Her eyes widened as she recognized me. I smiled cheerfully back. Then, her face started to turn red and embarrassed. She stood up and pointed at me angrily.

"Ah! It's you again! Why y-you! Do you really think that you should be messing around with someone like me?"

Meiling took a threatening stance and took a step forward. I only smiled wider.

"Do you really think I won't tell Sakuya that you were napping in the gardens again?"

She didn't step back, but I noticed her eyes wavering. One more push ought to do it. I cleared my throat and mimicked her voice.

"I'd love to have some sweet buns, Sakuya-nyan~"

"Ah! P-Please don't tell her!" she cried suddenly, her will completely broken. "I.. I don't want to get punished again.. I-I promise to be good and... (hic).. I... (hic).. uuu.."

Hmm. Perhaps I went a little too far this time? Well, in any case, I had a serious weakness against the tears of lovely ladies, so I had to do something. I quickly cleared my throat, put on my best smile, and offered her an open hand.

"I was just kidding," I said. "Now take my hand and wipe away those tears. They don't fit such a pretty face."

Slowly, she returned my smile and wiped off her face as she took my hand. I gently helped her up and gave her a little wink.

"Now in return for my silence," said I. "Why don't you escort me around here a little bit?"

At those words, Meiling broke into a bright smile. We walked around the gardens, chatting leisurely about this and that. Apparently, she had just discovered a great new food stand recently. According to her, the place served the best grilled lamprey in the area. The owner was some enterprising sparrow youkai from the Forest of Magic. Then, she continued on about how difficult it was to maintain the gardens, with Remilia changing her tastes about the arrangement every so often. We talked about a number of other mundane things, but there was one particular topic that stuck to my mind. Before we parted at the mansion entrance, she mentioned something odd.

"May I ask you something personal?" she said.

"Go ahead."

"Is it true that you've been visiting Miss Flandre in her room more often lately?"

"Hmm," I said. "Well, I guess I've seen a lot more of her than before. What of it?"

"It seems like she's grown very fond of you," said Meiling. "I never expected her to hang around with an ordinary human so often. Usually, she only likes those who have great physical, magical or spiritual strength. After all, she does like to play rough."

"Is there something wrong with that?"

"Well, not really," she said. "But it might start to get a little dangerous if you aren't careful."

I smiled cheerfully.

"Don't worry about that," I replied. "I don't plan on getting a broken arm any time soon. I'll be sure to remind Flandre of her strength from time to time."

She shook her head and frowned.

"It's not that," she said. "I don't think Miss Flandre would hurt you, intentionally or not. She's been surprisingly careful these past weeks, especially around you."

"Eh?"

Meiling didn't look me in the eye as she spoke.

"Well, just be careful when you walk around alone, alright?"

I scratched my head as she left. What exactly was she trying to tell me? Well, I guess it didn't matter. From the time on my watch, I had about half an hour before breakfast. Hmm...
[ ] Pass by the library.
[ ] Sneak into the kitchen.
[ ] Wait patiently at the dining room.
>> No. 36616
[x] Sneak into the kitchen.

I like the sound of this.
>> No. 36617
[X] Sneak into the kitchen.

>"Well, just be careful when you walk around alone, alright?"

Well shit...

Either parseebrooding jealousy was the spark that ignited those horrible events before or it's something beyond it.
>> No. 36618
[x] Sneak into the kitchen.
To the Kitchen, stealing a bit of food while Sakuya isn't looking. This is a dangerous stealth mission.
>> No. 36619
[X] Pass by the library.
>> No. 36620
[x] Wait patiently at the dining room.
I like how this is the only option that doesn't specifically choose a character to bump into. I like surprises
>> No. 36624
[x] Sneak into the kitchen.

Obligatory sneaking theme, go!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAYhNHhxN0A

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to sneak into the kitchen and surprise the head maid, who goes by the alias of Sakuya Izayoi. Are you up for it?
>> No. 36625
One thing, though: has a name been thought up for this story yet? Thread's hit autosage already.
>> No. 36626
There are clues, but like Higurashi or Umineko, it's too soon to make something out of them.

[x] Sneak into the kitchen.
>> No. 36639
No adventurous types like me here? I voted for random AKA wait in the dining room. Good things come to those who wait.
>> No. 36642
>>36625

Yeah

Scarlet Horizon: Prologue
>> No. 36647
>>36642
>>36625

See this >>36553. I do believe that's the title of it.

And it's not Keine_sensei doing this; there's no "Server" bits like there is at his/her usual stories. [spoilers]Assuming new writers are old ones is what caused the Grue incident[/spoiler]
>> No. 36649
>>36647
>Under the Scarlet Moonlight: Dragon Princess
>I do believe that's the title of it.

I don't think so
>> No. 36652
>>36649
Perhaps not that exactly, but my guess is closer than yours. But "Under the Scarlet Moonlight" sounds like a fitting title.
>> No. 36654
>>36652
>my guess is closer than yours

Them's fightin' words
>> No. 36655
>>36654
How about we just relax until the writerNOT KEINE SENSEI reveals the official title.
>> No. 36657
>>36655

Now you're just trolling.
>> No. 36666
>>36647

Yep...totally missed that. OTL
>> No. 37265
Next Thread: >>36662