[X] She hasn't directly asked you, so no.
- [X] "...should I wait outside for a bit?"
You're not going to make a move on her unless she makes a direct proposition to you, though even in that circumstance you're going to be sure you're not going to cause a problem. You simply close up the book and set it aside, standing from your seat.
“Should I step out for a bit?” you ask, motioning towards the door. Flandre's smile widens as she begins to remove her top.
“If you would be so kind,” she says, running her thumbs into the waistband of her skirt. You make your way to the door as Flandre undresses, making your exit by the time she's already down to just her underwear bottoms. She giggles as you take a final look before you close the door. She's got the same small body type as her sister apparently has, a frame befitting her apparent age, and breasts enough to fit inside the palm of your hand. Not to bad at all. It's a nice mental image to have in mind as you're standing in the dim light outside the room. Some light moaning begins not too long after you've left the room, and you realize that if you stick around, it's just going to cause problems for your own body.
You walk away from the door, heading further into the basement to look around some and pass time while Flandre takes care of her business. You see a corner up ahead, and some more faint light from around the bend. Rounding the corner, you find a few small candles on a table near a door, and another door with light seeping through the cracks farther up ahead on the opposite wall. You decide to take a look at the first room, and reach to the door. As you touch the handle, a Sigil appears on the door, and you pause for a moment trying to process it, but it fades away again quickly. All you were able to determine was that it was some kind of Water and Air effect, judging by the symbols. You open the door anyway, figuring that you'll probably find out what the spell does through seeing whatever effects it has. Inside, the room is unnaturally cold, even compared to the already cool atmosphere of the basement area in the first place. You realize that this room is the snack room mentioned, as you rather quickly see several plates of foodstuffs set on the shelves and counters around the room. Guess you didn't need to be shown where to find the room after all.
You leave the snack room and close the door, and the sigil flashes back. You reach out to touch the pattern, and it flashes on contact and doesn't dissipate, giving you time to study it's construction. Beyond the Water and Air attributes, the rest of the spell is quite complicated. The Focus doesn't fit any of the ones you know, featuring two concentric squares containing a circle, with a break in the bottom of the pattern where another circle fills the gap. The Contract is a lengthy deal, as expected, and as you read it, you find that the spell contracts spirits of Water and Air to combine force to create a zone of cold 'within the parameters', which you assume to be dictated by the Focus, and to maintain a constant temperature so long as the 'circuit is uninterrupted'. It goes on as well to detail more control, apparently in order to prevent fluctuations in power from any kind of external stimulus. The Seal is fairly straight forward, a simple ring around the outside edge, bearing four points where a crescent symbol sits inside a larger circle. No surprise there. You lift your hand off the Sigil, and it flashes again before fading away. You feel a small amount of pride well up inside at your job well done at studying the magic, and understanding it, though you also realized that you are still quite behind in your efforts so far. You resolve to make some progress on research later tonight, after the gallery event, and after your watch over Flandre is done.
You continue up the hall, towards the second lit door. You touch the doorknob, and feel a little disappointed when you're not greeted with another symbol to decipher. You pull the door open and find another surprise, however. An art studio it would seem, similar to Remilia's, although smaller. As well, the entire far side of the room seems to break away into rolling grasslands. You rationalize that it can't be real given that you're underground, but it does little to dispel the illusion the closer you get. Once you're standing at the edge, you come to realize the entire thing is actually painted, in such detail that, were the room above ground, you wouldn't have any reason to doubt that the room didn't simply break away into the outdoors. You find yourself quite amazed at the project, and turn away to inspect any other works laying around. There are a number of smaller paintings laying around, in stacks occasionally, but many are hanging up on the walls as well. Many of the pieces seem to be a random mess of colour and shapes, with very few having any kind of defined pattern or subject to them. A few portraits hang in one line, featuring Remilia, Flandre herself, and an older man and woman you recognize as the parents. Several more of the paintings feature people you don't recognize, and several other are ostensibly people, but are very unusually warped or twisted in some way. Such a contrast between the ridiculous detail in the landscape taking up half the room, and the formless explosions of paint the smaller canvasses bear, you wonder which ones are what she produces in her crazier states.
You search through a few more of the paintings, finding more abstract and surreal works like several of the ones hanging, and eventually leave the room. It's been several minutes now, which you reason should be enough time for Flandre to hit climax and start to calm down. You wonder if you should head back to see if she's done, or to keep exploring.
 Head back to check. She's got to be done by now.
 Keep looking around. Once probably isn't enough for her.
You guys need to stop fearing bad ends this much. So the MC died and now we have to go back a choice or two. Do we lose something if that happen? No, we don't; we see the bad end and just get on with the story again.
Also, there were two options regarding how to...'help' her. One was full sex, the other just masturbation. Do you really think both would be bad ends?
Oh, it would seems I skipped the "hilarious" and went straight to the "bad end" part. Still doesn't change the fact you thought a sexual adventure would result in a bad end. Why the fuck do people keep associating sex with death?
[x] Head back to check. She's got to be done by now.
You can't imagine that she would still be at it. You doubt that a humans, or at an ex-humans, sexual stamina would out pace most devils. You head back the way you came and end up at Flandre's room again. You pause outside the door, deciding to listen first in case she's still going, though you don't hear anything. You find yourself actually hesitating for a moment, unsure if she's actually finished, or perhaps she just gets quiet. As well, she could still be nude, and you're not sure how she would take being walked in on if she's changing. You decide the safest course of action is to knock, and ask.
“You finished in there?” you ask through the door after a few raps.
“Yeah,” Flandre replies from inside the room. With that, you push the door open and step inside. Flandre is sitting on the edge of her bed, slipping on fresh underwear, the rest of her clothes laying in a heap past the foot of her bed. “I needed that,” Flandre adds with a content sigh, “I'm not all spacey and horny anymore, though now I feel all sweaty and sticky so I'm going to have a bath.” As she talks, she picks up a short, tapered rod from the folds in her bedsheets, kisses it, and then puts it away in a drawer on a short table next to her bed before springing to her feet and heading over to a larger chest of drawers. She retrieves a single dress from a drawer and turns towards you. “So, what are you going to do? Stay here? Or do you want to come have a bath too?” she asks with a grin. You don't really have anything particular in mind, though you don't exactly have any reason to go along with her either.
 You'll stay here in the meantime and wait.
 Might as well get back to exploring the basement.
 Perhaps you should see these baths then.
Seeing people fret so much over a potential bad end is kind of amusing. Especially since there was none. Doesn't mean you're not going to get something good out of abstinence though.
>>43013 I agree with this sentiment. It's one thing to provide some privacy when no request/indication for the contrary has been made. A somewhat sly, but nonetheless present invitation on the other hand...
Well, we're supposed to be keeping her company down here, aren't we? Unless there's a good reason for us to leave her side, we shouldn't just aimlessly be exploring the basement/loitering in her room.
I wonder, though. Are we going upstairs to use the baths there? If not, that must mean there's somewhere in the basement that we'll be able to use. Both of these situations strike me as a bit odd, considering that the former involves Flandre trespassing into the mansion itself, and the latter means there's some sort of usable bath in these zombie-infested catacombs.
You might as well go along this time. After all, it is just a bath, and she did invite you. Even though regular washing isn't exactly something common to you, you suppose it wouldn't hurt. You haven't exactly exerted yourself too heavily since you've arrived, but you couldn't hurt to adapt.
“I think I'll see these baths,” you say, stepping aside as Flandre passes you into the hall, and follow along a few steps behind her. You take the opportunity to eyeball her a bit more, since she doesn't seem too concerned by the fact she's walking around in her underwear despite your presence. Quite a nice set of hips despite her petite size.
“Hmm, I feel a lewd gaze on my body,” Flandre says, looking over her shoulder at you. Either she's got incredible awareness, or she was counting on this all along. From her grin, you're assuming it may be the latter. “Come to think of it, you did say you hadn't been sowing the field with my sister,” Flandre continues, looking back ahead, “though, you wouldn't happen to be planting other gardens on the property, would you?”
“I've been fairly busy since I was summoned, I haven't had much of a chance to get anything done on my own yet,” you admit.
“Not even with your fellow devil?” Flandre asks, sounding genuinely surprised and curious.
“How much do you know about devils anyway?” you ask, curious yourself. Flandre huffs a bit and turns around, floating backwards.
“I'm well read, you know. Patchouli's basement is built into the remnants of the basement after all, it's only natural I have a back door. I know plenty about all sorts of occult creatures and darker subjects, and I took particular interest after Koa's little sexual domination of the old library staff,” Flandre says, fluttering her 'wings' slightly, creating a light tinkling sound. “If you're not warring, you're fucking. Isn't that about right?” You find it difficult to repress the smile forming on your face.
“Conquering a land means more than simply killing it's leader and claiming the land,” you say, and Flandre chuckles.
“And yet you've taken pains to repress your instincts so far, isn't that right? Such a strange thing to find a chaste devil,” Flandre muses. You can't help but feel she's taunting you, but you have to admit she's right.
“I'm biding my time,” you say, “though only so far as it doesn't include my own kin.”
“Lusting after your co-workers are you?” Flandre continues to chuckle.
“Not that she's the only one I've got my eyes on,” you state, Cottonsky coming to mind primarily. Quite the shape that girl's got, though many of the girls in the house have appeal. You come back from your short mental trip to Flandre, grinning wide.
“I wonder where I place on that list,” she comments. You repress the urge to answer that question for now as Flandre giggles at your silence. “I wonder how blue you'll turn before you burst and create a gooey mess.” You're starting to notice a particular feeling, a familiar feeling, something you tend to feel among your kind. Flandre has a very devilish energy about her, and you can help but feel that you're reacting the same way to her as you would a woman of your own race. Not that it's particularly a problem for you, considering it all.
As you've talked and followed, Flandre's lead you in a direction opposite to the store and art rooms, and you notice that the stonework has changed. Seems this section is a bit newer than the rest of the basement. Flandre walks up to a door and opens it, exposing a fairly large and decently lit room, with a few large pools of water. Opposed to being lit by candles, the room is actually lit by what looks to be magical Sigils along the wall, and you notice another one at the edge of one of the nearby pools. You're not even in the room for ten seconds, and Flandre is already removing her clothes again, shedding her underwear and tapping her foot on the Sigil at the waters edge, causing it and a ring of light to flash around the outside edge of the pool. You get a much clearer look at her body, which she doesn't seem too concerned about hiding from your gaze.
“So how long are you going to stare? You could at least give me something to look at as well,” Flandre chides, crossing her arms over her stomach with a smirk. You don't need any more prompting then that, and start taking off your own clothes, setting them aside nearby. You take slightly longer to undress, but you return to the water's edge when you're done, with Flandre giving you a considerable look as well.
“So now who's staring?” you ask. Flandre gives an approving nod towards your groin.
“Not too bad,” she says, breaking her stare and looking up at your face with a smile before turning towards a nearby alcove. She fetches a bucket and retrieves some water from the pool, then goes back to the alcove, plopping down on a stone seat of some kind. “Come over here,” she beckons, and you follow, standing next to another seat. Flandre grabs some bottles from a ledge nearby and pours some of the contents into her hand, then hands the bottle to you. “You know shampoo and soap and all that, right?” she asks.
“Of course,” you answer. You're familiar with them to a degree, but mainly for it's presence in the more vain devil's lairs. You follow Flandre's lead in it's application, working the solution into a lather. After a few seconds, Flandre giggles again, and you look over at her to see her working the suds across her chest.
“And here I am tempting fate again rubbing myself in such a way,” she sighs despite the grin on her face, “I'm sure you'd love to hear me say I'd love another round, wouldn't you?” she asks, clearly playing off the situation.
“I'd be lying if I said no,” you admit, taking your eyes off her. Flandre laughs softly.
“At least you're honest. Shame it's wasted, I'm already plenty satisfied,” Flandre says, then she takes the bucket of water and pours a little over herself, washing off the soap. After a bit more rinsing, she slides off her seat and heads towards the pool. “Rinse off and join me,” she says, sliding into the water slowly. You do as she did and head to the water afterwards, getting in. The water is warm, hot even. The pool is constructed in a way to allow you to sit on the inside and remain above the water level, though is seems to get deeper towards the center.
“So, these are typical of baths?” you ask, and Flandre nods. She's mostly submerged, only her head remains above the water, she's almost reclined, with her head resting against the lip of the pool.
“They're similar to the main baths upstairs, though these ones are fed and heated by magic, while the ones upstairs are heated by fire,” Flandre says, “personally, I prefer these ones.” A few seconds of silence pass as you mull over another topic to talk about, but your thoughts are interrupted by a content sigh from Flandre. “This is kind of nice, isn't it?” she asks.
“The bath?” you ask, trying to clarify the question.
“That too, but I find I'm enjoying the company as well,” she says, rolling her head towards you. She's got a smile on her face, and not a suggestive, devilish one. She seems genuinely happy.
“I can't complain,” you admit, “I always enjoy the company of cute girls, especially when they're not wearing clothes.” Flandre laughs a bit.
“I don't mind that either, but it's nice to just be able to have scandalous conversations with a man without them shying away or trying to change the subject,” Flandre comments, “it's a welcome change from the human men in the past. They're either too afraid of me to respond to my teasing, or they're total virgins that overreact or go too far. The ones that were able to overcome the intimidation and also respond well to my playing were all fairly good though,” Flandre reminisces, “and so tasty too.”
“Such is the life of a vampire, I guess,” you say. Flandre huffs a bit.
“It's a bit annoying, they die so easily when their blood is sucked,” she complains, “however, I suppose you won't have that problem, since I don't have to worry about being tempted to feed off you.”
“Lucky for me, then,” you reply, though Flandre bumps against your arm.
“You should say 'Oh what a horrible tragedy that I won't be able to sacrifice my one and only precious life for dear Miss Flandre',” Flandre says jokingly, and then a silence falls for a second before Flandre sighs again. “I am glad you're not a human though,” she says.
“Oh? Why's that?” you ask. Flandre gives a little nervous laugh.
“I'm actually a little embarrassed right now, since I'm in one of my more stable moods, but... I'm glad that there's a man around that isn't afraid to be down here with me and go along with my behaviour without turning me away, that I don't have to worry about killing for food,” she says, and you look at her to find her actually blushing slightly. You do agree that she seems more level than she's been since you've met her. It's actually pretty appealing in it's own right. Another silence grows, and it doesn't seem that Flandre's going to be breaking it this time. You suppose you could strike up a conversation of your own now.
 Ask about the other residents of the mansion.
- [Someone in particular]
 Take an opportunity to ask her what she thinks about her own condition.
 You're fairly curious about the basement itself.
 [Write-in topic]
I am thoroughly zombie-murdered out for now, so I can actually think about something other than running zombies over with a dirtbike strapped with chainsaws.
[x] Take an opportunity to ask her what she thinks about her own condition.
[x] You're fairly curious about the basement itself.
The first question is certainly a dangerous one, but if ever a time existed to bring it up, I suppose it'd be now. Perhaps we'll get some insight on her that we couldn't get from Remilla.
I don't know if there's really much else for us to learn about the basement, but I guess it won't hurt to ask.
You know, come to think of it, wasn't the mansion magically "brought" to Gensokyo? I can't remember if that was something with actual backing or just a fan theory (never really was a big fan of ZUN's written works), but I wonder how the basement would factor into that. Would it just sort of "overwrite" the ground? Or perhaps the ground shifted out of the way to make room for the basement?
Oh boy, questioning convenient plot devices/Gensokyo logic. Certainly a fantastic way to spend time that should be spent sleeping.
[x] How do get along with Meiling
- [x] Share what happened with Meiling for a good laugh.
[x] Take an opportunity to ask her what she thinks about her own condition.
[x] You're fairly curious about the basement itself.
I get the feeling that she's made the basement into her own domain.
And I think telling her about how he kinda made a fool of himself would be funny.
[X] Take an opportunity to ask her what she thinks about her own condition.
[X] You're fairly curious about the basement itself.
This sounds good. Should provide some interesting information to mull over, at least. For the moment, I'd rather not bring up any of the other fine ladies of the mansion unless Flan decides she wants to get chatty about them herself; really no way to know how familiar she is with any of them, or how much interest she would have in them.
Regardless, this should help expand our horizons, and kill some time until we can go back topside.
[x] Take an opportunity to ask her what she thinks about her own condition.
[x] You're fairly curious about the basement itself.
You have a few questions for Flandre, and given that she seems pretty clear headed right now, you figure it's probably your best chance.
“I want to ask you something,” you start, looking over at Flandre. She looks back at you with a quizzical hum. “I'm kind of curious what you think about your... condition,” you say, not really sure how else to phrase it. You wouldn't want to call it a 'problem' since that could just make her mad. Instead though, she sighs.
“It's a nuisance, to be sure,” Flandre replies, “though it can be pretty enjoyable at times. My only problem is that my highs and lows are stronger than Remilia's. It can be useful if I get focused on something and I end up painting or drawing or writing, but my head can get so crowded and noisy, it's tough to think and focus, and I get frustrated and irritable, and then messes are made of innocent bystanders who didn't think my poem was any good.”
“You said Remilia has the same condition?” you ask, backtracking slightly.
“She wouldn't admit to it, just like how she won't confess to many aspects of her sex life, but her and I are cut from the same madness-stained cloth,” Flandre says with a grin, “or rather, Remilia is cut from the cloth, while I'm wholesale from the supplier. She got off easy, with only mild symptoms. The worst she gets is becoming extremely irritable when focusing on something, like, say art,” Flandre pauses to grin a bit, “she can get abusive when she's in her mood, but unlike me, she can't reduce a grown man to a coloured spray on brick without considerable effort.”
“So the real issue would be your power then,” you state, and Flandre nods.
“If I didn't have this power, I wouldn't be so feared, and my sister wouldn't keep me isolated to protect us all,” Flandre says, starting to sound a little sad, “then I could live upstairs with Remilia and everyone, and I wouldn't be stuck down here with ex-staff and past lovers.”
“What's this now?” you ask. Flandre seems a little confused.
“What's what?” Flandre asks in return, “wait, what I said?” You nod in confirmation. “Ah, all of the zombies wandering around down here are accidents, but Remilia and I have a bit of trouble convincing ourselves to let them evaporate in the daylight. All of the zombies were either servants in the past, or in Remilia's case, lovers. I'm responsible for a few when I was in one of my more sour moods and hungry, but it's exceedingly rare for Remilia to kill a victim when she feeds from the vein,” Flandre pauses for a second to sit up a bit more, “when she does though, she'll keep them down here because she feels guilty about what she's done and can't bear to simply let them be destroyed, even if it means they continue to 'live' as an animated corpse in the darkness.”
“That's unusual,” you remark, you hardly thought anyone would keep zombies on hand as a reminder of such a thing, but then again you can't really deny the reasoning behind it.
“Isn't it?” Flandre echoes your sentiment. “Really, we should let them go and see them off, but even if they are desiccated and rotting corpses, they're still beloved friends so it's hard.”
“So you keep them corralled around in an underground prison,” you comment. Flandre nods.
“They're let to wander free most of the time, they can get pretty aggressive sometimes though, so when they do, I cage them to keep them from being a bother,” Flandre admits. “Otherwise, they tend to shamble around the area there. Serves as a decent protection against burglars too.”
“On top of the prison, I saw something that looked like a torture chamber, and some unrelated storerooms,” you say, “makes me wonder just what's up with this basement.”
“When you're a household comprised of bloodsucking monsters that masquerade as humans, and employ human slaves, ghouls and other lesser monsters as servants, you tend to need an out of the way place to keep fool humans that come seeking fame and fortune by slaying the evil monsters,” Flandre says with a smirk, “someplace it's easy to do what you want to them where you won't risk being heard by others, and out of the way enough that if someone that shouldn't find it, does, they can be dealt with without anyone being any the wiser.”
“That explains the torture chamber and prison, but everything else?” you ask. “Seems like there's a portcullis that is supposed to separate the prison from this side.”
“Ah, yes, well the basement has seen a lot of changes over the years,” Flandre says, “rebuilding parts of it, expanding, fixing. A large portion of it was removed entirely to make an expansion wing for Patchouli's library, actually. There's a secret passage built in that connects to the rear of the library, so I go in there to get new books without having to go through the upstairs and bug Patchouli.”
“You have to show me this passage later,” you say with a grin. Flandre returns it.
“Of course, then you could come visit me whenever,” Flandre says.
“Or you could come see me,” you comment, something that seems to brighten up Flandre. Silence falls again, and you take some time to enjoy the water. It's actually pretty relaxing to sit in this hot water and just do nothing, you can understand why people do this. You imagine that it would be even better to crawl into a hot bath after a hard won battle, both to relax and to wash off the blood and grime of war. That is, if you ever get to go back to your home realm. Even in a veritable paradise like this, you can't help but start to feel a bit of desire to return to your 'normal' life. It's your nature, part of who and what you are. You don't know if you can fully sate your desires here. Your lust would be simple enough with the number of women, but if you start to crave combat...
“Hmm, I think I'm going to get out,” Flandre says, shifting around a bit. You're still pretty comfortable in the water, though.
 Get out too.
 You'll stay a little bit longer.
Okay, I know I said it once already, but god damn I seriously think I have now slaughtered enough zombies to satisfy myself.
Instead, I find myself listening to the soundtrack in order to satisfy my new craving for Celldweller and Blue Stahli. Fucking Capcom.
This update brought to you by Blue Stahli's 'Shiny', as it were.
While I enjoy the massacre of huge amounts of zombies, I enjoy it a little more when I'm still fairly weak. With all the hand to hand skills you get by level 50, you're pretty much untouchable, especially with the Hand-to-Hand boost magazine in the first plaza that makes every barehanded skill an almost guaranteed instant kill.
Dead Rising 1, I've done multiple runs of, playing up to 50, running through a few times at that level, and then deleting the saves to start again at level 1 and do it all over again. I'll likely end up doing the same with DR2.
Though with RDR's Undead Nightmare coming up soon too, I imagine that'll distract me for a few days if I actually manage to get it.I know when Sengoku BASARA gets here on Monday I'm probably not going to get shit done then either.And god damn is it awkward to type on my laptop in bed.
One day I hope to learn how to stop fucking up my own posts all the time.
Well, the past is the past, and even though your new life consists of being a servant, you're apparently not kept on a leash, and you get to spend your time flirting with local women. You're reminded of just how good the current situation is as Flandre climbs out of the bath and walks over to a cabinet set into the wall. She doesn't seem the least bit concerned that she's naked in front of a man, something even more obvious when you walk up behind her, and she turns to hand you a towel without a hint of hesitation or shame.
“You know, I heard that women from human realms were supposed to be a little more shy about their bodies in front of men,” you say off-handedly as you take the towel. Flandre giggles slightly.
“I grew up attended to by servants of both genders, and then spent over five hundred years locked in a cellar with the corpses of the servants,” Flandre replies casually, “besides, Meiling believes that there's nothing to be ashamed of in being naked, and I think she's right.” Flandre stops to dry her hair and wipe herself down, and you go about drying yourself off as well. “You don't seem too put off by it either,” Flandre comments.
“I can't relate to the idea of shame felt from being nude. Most devils only wear things to reflect their status or for practical reasons. I wear armour into combat, but that's it,” you say, “to be honest, I'm a little uncomfortable wearing clothes regularly, but since I have to make an effort to fit in with the realms standards, I don't really have much of a choice.”
“It must be so bothersome, huh?” Flandre asks. You can't help but nod, but if there's one thing you're thankful for, it's that the clothes you were given allow for your wings and tail without getting in the way. Despite her views on nudity though, Flandre still goes about getting dressed again after drying off. Can't be helped, you suppose. Flandre waits for you to get partially dressed before moving to leave, and you head out behind her, leaving your towels hanging on a pole inside the bath chamber itself.
“So, what's in store now?” you ask, slipping your shirt on, fidgeting with the buttons on the back to get them done up again.
“I was going to have a snack,” Flandre says, leading the way away to the storeroom where the food is kept. The sigil flashes similarly as it did for you when Flandre opens the door and steps in, and she goes right for the counters. She grabs a covered plate, and two bottles from a nearby shelf, and is already on her way back out of the room. She closes the door with her foot, and tilts her head in the direction of her room. “Let's go back now,” she says. The return trip is made mostly in silence, with Flandre humming some tune to herself along the way. At her room, she bumps the door open with her foot and enters. She sets the plate and bottles on a small table in the corner, then heads over to her bed to fetch her book, and then returns to the table, pulling out a chair, and pushes out the one across from her with her foot. “Have a seat. Do devils eat cookies?” she asks, uncovering the plate. Something resembling biscuits are piled on it.
“I've heard of them, but never had them. I'm not all that familiar with human foods outside of meats and some vegetables,” you say as Flandre slides one of the bottles towards you.
“How about milk?” she asks.
“Milk I know,” you respond, looking at the odd cap on the bottle.
“Like this,” Flandre says, calling your attention. She grabs some kind of tab on the side and pulls the cap off. You repeat the process successfully, and take one of the cookies. Flandre grabs a few of her own. You take a bite, and find it to be pretty good. A bit sweet, but aside from that you're not familiar with the tastes. Flandre all too happily munches her own at a much quicker pace.
“What's in these?” you ask, popping the last half of the cookie into your mouth.
“Uh... I'm not all that sure,” Flandre says, sounding a little embarrassed, “I'm not that great at cooking or baking, so I don't know how they're made, but they're peanut butter cookies.”
“Peanut butter?” you ask. Flandre seems at a loss for words.
“I don't really know how to explain that,” she says, “I've never had to explain food to someone before. I kind of assume everyone knows about everything.”
“It's no trouble, really, if you don't know, you don't know,” you say, taking another cookie.
“I want to know though,” Flandre says, taking a drink of milk, “all I know about devils and demons and the like come from old books, and Koakuma's always been too busy for me to talk to her for long. I'm curious about your kind and your world. Is it really like how it sounds?” You're a bit surprised at the sudden topic coming around to your home realm and your species, though you figure you could answer whatever questions she had.
“Depends on what you've read,” you say.
“That you're always at war, with devil lords plotting and scheming ways to kill or defeat each other to gain more land or power. You were saying you were a soldier, right? You were a fighter? I want to know what that was like,” Flandre gushes, getting a little excitable in the meanwhile. She's leaning towards you over the table.
 Give her a basic answer, without going too far into detail.
 She'd probably appreciate an in depth answer best.
 No harm in a little boasting about your past position.
[X] No harm in a little boasting about your past position.
[X] Get on top of a table, one leg on a stack of books, proclaiming how you and your army destroyed all in your way, took what they wanted, and destroyed the rest Wrong story.
[x] She'd probably appreciate an in depth answer best.
“Well, I was more than just a soldier, I was a troop leader in service to a Warlord, though he wasn't all combat and violence. He knew the value of negotiation and intimidation. If he set his sights on a land or resource, he would try to arrange the opponents surrender. If they refused to budge, he would send in my unit or another to do some damage. Subterfuge, assassination, or small scale confrontations. If that didn't change the bargaining chips, we would be ordered to simply crush the opponent,” you start, and take a pause, “me and my men were strong combatants in open warfare, but our best talents were in operating on our own. Ambushes, infiltration missions, and the like. I would usually lead my men into the castle or estate under siege during the confusion and start killing the enemy from within, making it easier for the rest of the forces to breach the walls and make it inside. Afterwards, we'd mop up stragglers, wounded, and any other occupants we weren't specifically ordered to let live.”
“How long did you serve your Warlord?” Flandre asks next. You begin to answer, but stop momentarily when you realize you can't actually remember a time before your service started.
“I can't remember, it seems. Over a hundred years at least, I know that much,” you say, piecing together slight memories. “I remember he had come from some distant edge of the plane, pushing his influence the entire way. I don't remember when I joined his forces or how, but I've been in his service for a century, first as a common troop, then as a troop leader, all the while aiding his conquest.”
“Sounds like he was pretty important,” Flandre says.
“He was one of the more powerful lords, to be sure, but even with the lands he controlled, there were others more powerful,” you say, “magic users always gave us trouble, and other Warlords were always hard fights. Our forces had actually lost some ground on a distant front recently, from what I'd heard,” you scowl a bit, drumming your fingers on the table now, “come to think of it, even while I'm here living in a veritable paradise, my lord and my men are likely still fighting.”
“Well, you can't help it, you were summoned, after all,” Flandre says.
“I suppose that the disappearance of a single commander is less of an issue than Koakuma's case, where she was a land holder,” you say. Flandre's eyes widen.
“Really? Koa was an actual lord?” she asks excitedly, to which you nod.
“From what she says. Of course, I only vaguely remember hearing about a female devil lord that had been summoned away due to the fighting that erupted over claiming her lost lands. I doubt my Warlord will be defeated, so if I ever get to return I can probably rejoin him and be put back into action. Koakuma has nothing to return to, however, and I could imagine how much worse that would be for her case,” you recount.
“Sounds like a lot of trouble, all that fighting, but it sounds kind of exciting too,” Flandre says. You nod a bit. “I'd kind of like to see it myself. Maybe I could be a devil lord too,” she continues, her voice taking on a slightly wonderous tone, and you chuckle a bit.
“If I were to judge you solely by looks, I'd say you'd never make it,” you say, causing Flandre to frown a bit, “but considering what I've heard about your power, I think I'd prefer never to return if I knew someone like you was on a quest for control.” Flandre chuckles now.
“Shame that it would be such a waste though, not putting your strength to use,” Flandre continues. You suspect she's drifting back into madness, though a particularly violent side of it. A few seconds later, and Sakuya appears from nowhere next to the table with a smile.
“Hello you two, getting along well?” Sakuya asks.
“I'd believe so,” you say.
“Voile was telling me about how he used to kill his own kind, strong and weak alike, in service of his master,” Flandre says happily, though something to her voice sounds a little off, a little too happy.
“Isn't that nice,” Sakuya responds calmly with a nice tone, nodding to you, “I'm sure you did your job well.”
“Very well,” you can't help but boast.
“Wouldn't you like to see it, Sakuya? A field of the dead, and us standing over it all, ruling it all? We could be the hot new devils of the realm...” Flandre says, definitely showing she's creeping back into instability.
“I'd have to ask Remilia if she'd like to take a trip to Voile's home realm sometime, and before that we'd need Patchouli's knowledge and magic to help get us there,” Sakuya maintains the same pleasant tone. Flandre seems a little upset at the obstacles, but doesn't have much more reaction. “Now then, are you two hungry?” Sakuya asks.
“A steak would be fantastic,” Flandre says calmly, though she's still radiating violent energy, “bloody.”
“Of course,” Sakuya nods, turning to you, “and for you?”
 Steak is familiar enough.
 What was that dish you had before...
 Sakuya's choice.
Flandre fidgets across from you as you take a moment to consider the options. You're not really sure what you'd want. Aside from the few things you've eaten here since arriving, your diet in the past had been mostly meats and bread, with the occasional vegetables and fruit from outer realms. While you're tempted to go with the old standby of a steak yourself, you're more curious about the other kinds of foods available to expand your horizons a bit.
“Why don't you surprise me,” you say with a small smile. Sakuya gives a small nod, and casts a glance at Flandre. You follow her gaze out of instinct to see that Flandre's fallen still, and in the second you're looking away, Sakuya speaks.
“She seems to be in a fairly dangerous mood, though I'm sure you've noticed that,” Sakuya says, drawing your attention back to her. You look at Flandre again to see no reaction on her end. “Don't worry, she can't hear us right now. I figure you could use a little heads-up, so I've given us a bit of a 'time out'.”
“Yeah, she did seem to be getting a little more aggressive,” you comment, “her mood shifts pretty suddenly, doesn't it?”
“Quite so, worse yet is when it happens without provocation. You wouldn't have done anything to upset or otherwise annoy her?” Sakuya asks. You shake your head and shrug simultaneously.
“We were getting along fine, and she started asking me about my past as a soldier and the killing-” you start to recount events, but Sakuya issues an understanding sigh that cuts you off.
“That would do it,” Sakuya says, “she can become very hung up on particular things, to the point they influence her attitude and behaviour.”
“So am I in danger?” you ask. Sakuya folds her hands at her waist and hums quizzically.
“Hard to say, actually. I can only tell when she's in a particular mood, not what will become of them. If you tread carefully you could probably be fine. You could try to drift into another topic as well, draw her mind elsewhere and let her focus on that so she'll direct whatever pent up energy into that rather than risk letting it stew without an outlet,” Sakuya informs.
“I'll keep those in mind,” you say, and Sakuya bows her head slightly.
“Very well, I'll be right back with your meals,” Sakuya says.
“Be quick!” Flandre commands suddenly, making you aware that you're no longer in Sakuya's suspended time, just as the maid vanishes from sight without moving. You're left alone again with Flandre, who is taking another cookie from the plate and taking a bite. She seems a little dissatisfied with the taste. “Hmph, I'm in the mood for blood and meat,” she complains, setting the cookie back on the edge of the plate with a sigh and cradling her head in her hands. She's staring right at you, with a faint smile creeping over her lips.
“Something on your mind?” you ask, though you could probably guess.
“What do you think our chances would be of staking a claim in your home?” Flandre asks. You're a little hesitant to answer without knowing the full strength of the various capable inhabitants of the mansion, but with Flandre's supposed ability to destroy...
“I think you'd fare well so long as you didn't push too far,” you say, “there are a few small outsider-held locations that more or less stay out of the war, though they're almost constantly forced to defend their holdings. I doubt the fairies will be able to stand up to any measure of devil, so it would come down to you and Remi, Sakuya, Meiling and Patchouli.” Flandre seems displeased by that, but her smile returns soon enough.
“You didn't include yourself or Koakuma in that, I noticed,” she muses. You suppose it was a bit foolish to assume she wouldn't catch that.
“The contracts binding Koakuma and I would be annulled upon returning to our home realm. Whether or not we'd still serve alongside you would depend on how strongly we felt affiliated to you,” you say, “Koakuma, I can't really say much for, but she's already long lost any holdings she had back home, so she would likely stay.”
“And you?” Flandre asks, not letting you get away with not speaking of your allegiance. You can't deny that you would like to rejoin your old Lord and continue in his service again, but you're not sure that's what Flandre would like to hear right now.
“I'm tempted to say I'd go back to my old position,” you admit, “though only because I haven't had much time to grow much attachment to this household and it's residents.” Flandre smiles a bit wider, though it carries malice in equal parts to whatever joy she got from that.
“Who would you swear loyalty to if your master were to die?” Flandre asks. You know she's considering it herself, killing your Warlord with her power.
“I would submit to his successor, and help them carry on our Lords conquest,” you say, with a pause, “though I would likely first try to take revenge against whoever killed him.” Flandre chuckles softly and shakes her head.
“That wouldn't do after all,” Flandre says. She pauses for a moment, pushing around the leftover cookies idly. After a few seconds with no more input, it seems you've hit a lull. Time enough to try to divert the topic away to something else, try to get Flandre's mind off of violence and conquest.
 Try to shift away from the subject now and onto something else.
 You're kind of interested in seeing more of Flandre's thoughts on the subject.
 Do nothing, simply react to her without trying to push her in any direction.
Damn, why do I always write when I start getting tired?
[x] Do nothing, simply react to her without trying to push her in any direction.
I don't think she react well to trying to shift her focus. It might stop Flandre from obsessing on the topic like Sakuya suggests, but it also might make her irritated with you, either recognizing your intentions or being offended at the implication she couldn't actually conquer your homeland. Acting passively might take more time to extricate yourself, but it's probably safer.
One thing you have to consider Sakuya's priorities in giving this advice, where she probably feels her duty is to the safety of the Mansion as a whole, rather than the New Guy in particular. Notice she interrupts Flandre, but she doesn't actively try to engage Flandre on another topic, and instead acquiesces to the ludicrous requests she's making.
>Damn, why do I always write when I start getting tired?
[X] Try to shift away from the subject now and onto something else.
If Flandre's currently scheming something (which I'm willing to be she is; perhaps those cookies represent the opposing forces in a war between the mansion and a legion of devils), I'd like to try to distract her away from it somehow. Sure, it's risky, but pretty much anything is at this point.
Right then, going to write in a bit. Wrapping up some grinding on Portrait of Ruin, been on a Castlevania binge all day and lamenting the fact I didn't take a chance to buy the PSP Dracula X Chronicles used a few weeks back.
[x] Try to shift away from the subject now and onto something else.
You're going to try to shift her away from the topic, but you're finding yourself a little short on alternatives. There's only one thing you can think of, and it'll have to do.
“You know, Flandre,” you start, calling the girls attention away from her prodding the cookies, “I was just thinking...” you say, then trail off intentionally, hoping to draw the girl's curiosity. Flandre hums questioningly after a second of silence, focused on you now. “Well, I know that quite a few land holders among my kind have quite a taste in art, and the more decadent ones have quite a taste for art,” you finish. Flandre seems interested in where this is going.
“Really?” she asks, to confirm. You nod in confirmation, though you're going to drive it in a little more.
“Warfare isn't the only way to gain power, there are many devils that resort to trickery, magic and even wealth. Among many of the wealthy devils, high quality art is more precious than gold,” you lie. While art is held in high regards among certain circles, it's value never outweighs that of gold, but Flandre doesn't need to know that, especially since the truth would dull the shine in her eyes you see now. “If you really wanted to show off your power and wealth, you'd need a painting to match,” you say, and Flandre blots up out of her chair, runs around the table and grabs your arm. Not the reaction you were looking for, but you stumble to your feet as she pulls you towards the door. You can only assume that she's taking you to her art room.
Of course, your suspicions are confirmed when the two of you arrive, and Flandre pushes her way into the chamber, with it's stacks of paintings and half-finished room-sized work.
“I've got to have something here, right?” Flandre asks, sounding excited. You find yourself wishing you had more reason to take an interest in the medium before, as your main interactions with paintings was taking them down, piling them up, and having them taken away to be used in trades and bribes by your lord. Though, no harm in playing up to it. You look around a bit, putting on a show of interest for a few pieces in open view, but don't have much of a reaction to anything. Flandre, impatient for results, starts rummaging through the collections, taking out some paintings. Has to be ones she feels are particularly worthy of praise, you can't imagine she'd just be grabbing ones at random. She brings the first few to you to 'appraise', all landscapes so far. You look through them, stopping at one at random and giving it a nod.
“I think you have a good ability, but perhaps these aren't quite enough,” you say, bluffing as best you can. Flandre is quite visibly annoyed at this, so you decide to add a little more. “That is to say, foreign landscapes might not inspire the same appreciation. Are these painted from actual locations?” you ask.
“Yes, from when we lived in the outside world,” Flandre answers.
“Yes, you see, you know these lands, and you can appreciate their appearance, right?” you ask, though it's a rhetorical question given that you've already set up for the answer. Flandre nods, as expected. “Now, if you had seen paintings of my world, would you be able to feel the same connections and fondness?” you follow up.
“Then I'll make one of your lands!” Flandre retorts, throwing you off. You'd expected a different reaction, and you were aiming to have her make a self-portrait, but you could still work with this. In fact, you could work this better by feeding her details to purposefully consume her time.
“That could work, though I wonder how well you could recreate the scenery of somewhere you've never seen,” you comment. Flandre doesn't seem too put off.
“You're going to help me, of course,” Flandre says confidently, unwittingly setting herself up. Granted, you are going to give her a description of an actual area, the last place you were encamped was on a hill overlooking some lowlands set before a mountain range that ran for many miles and almost effectively cut the land into two. In her attempts to recreate it from your descriptions though, it will undoubtedly always be 'just a little bit off'. Flandre starts getting ready, gathering paints from a cabinet and fishing out a blank canvas, though after a reminder that 'bigger is better', she gets a larger one ready and sets it up.
You start describing the scenery near where your camp was easily enough, and Flandre gets to work on the first part. As she progresses, you fill in other little details, trees and plant life mostly. You notice that she works a little differently than Remilia when she paints. Remilia fills in details as she does them, where Flandre puts down a little bit of everything and then returns to fill them in afterwards. As your descriptions move out towards the lowlands at the foot of the mountains, you backtrack a bit to add a tree you left out previously. You stand by and watch Flandre work, adding things, going back to previously added details and touching them up, and following your descriptions as given to the best of her ability. You don't know how long you spend at this, but you start taking longer and longer between input as you direct her. You do have her make a few 'corrections' along the way, and while Flandre's working on the mountain range, there's a knock at the door. You look over to see Sakuya, already in the room with a tray.
“You two look busy,” Sakuya comments with a smile, walking towards you. Flandre looks away from the painting as Sakuya approaches and steps away.
“I'm painting a place in Voile's realm from his descriptions,” Flandre says with a smile of her own, “I can't be a proper ruler if I don't have the wealth to back my strength.”
“Ah, yes, that does make sense,” Sakuya says, nodding thoughtfully, “after all, it's why Remilia is going through all the trouble decorating the place just to have guests today,” she casts a glance at you while she says this. “Though, take a break and eat.”
“Alright,” Flandre says, setting down her paint and brush and heading towards Sakuya, who has busied herself clearing off a table pushed into a corner and setting up the chairs that are paired with it, leaving the tray on a stack of paintings. Once the table is ready, Sakuya sets out the two plates on it, Flandre's steak and a bowl of some kind of soup, which is no doubt for you.
“What is this here?” you ask as you take your seat behind the bowl.
“It's a kind of soup called minestrone,” Sakuya says. You stir it up a bit with the provided spoon, taking a look at what's in it. Small white things float around fairly easily, though aside from beans you can't really tell what everything else is. “This batch in particular is made from vegetables; beans, carrots, celery, spinach, and such.” You take a spoonful of the soup to taste, and find that it's not that bad, considering there's no meat.
“Seems pretty good,” you say. Sakuya bows slightly.
“Thank you for your compliment. It's a particular favourite of Remilia's, and since I was making some for later, I decided to bring you a bowl,” Sakuya says as you take another spoonful of soup. “Speaking of Remilia, she told me to relay to you that you will be needed again soon, so if you'd like, once you're done eating, you can return upstairs.”
“Will Meiling be coming down?” you ask.
“She's out on an errand to the village, actually, and won't be back for another half-hour or so, but I could stand in for you here in the meantime,” Sakuya answers.
 “That's fine then, I'll head up after this.”
 “I think I'll stick around until Meiling returns.”
Actually, I keep a tab open on my threads at all times, but it's still been a while since I've been around here. Been dealing with some shit in my life that took major precedence over writing and dealing with the aftermath, doing the whole holiday season thing as well, and preparing to start a genuine writing effort to produce something I could publish.
[X] “I think I'll stick around until Meiling returns.”
“I'll stay until Meiling returns, then,” you say, looking to Flandre. She seems particularly pleased by this, and Sakuya gives a small bow and a smile.
“I'll tell Remilia to expect you upstairs when Meiling arrives to take over, then,” Sakuya says, then stand silently while the two of you eat. You go through your minestrone rather quickly, and Flandre is finished her steak soon as well and the two of you leave the table, allowing Sakuya to tend to the dishes. Flandre returns to her painting, finishing up the part she was working on with you standing nearby until Sakuya leaves. With only half an hour left, you decide to stop jerking Flandre around so much and just help her finish up the scene before you have to go, but she speaks up before you get the chance to.
“So, are you going to keep giving me the runaround to kill time?” Flandre asks, looking back at you with a wide grin. You can't help but chuckle a bit at being figured out.
“Was it that obvious?” you ask.
“After the third time it was pretty obvious you were just finding a way to occupy more of my time, but I just went with it because it was actually pretty funny to see you thinking you were so clever and tricky, and because I like the challenge of having to add something to an already supposedly complete part without ruining it,” Flandre explains, making it pretty clear just how much she was onto.
“Then I suppose I'll stop screwing you for time,” you reply, to which Flandre giggles in response.
“Shame, that could be a good way to spend the last half hour,” she comments before turning back to the painting, “what else is there missing?”
You return to giving Flandre the remaining details of the scene that she fills in at an easy pace. There's not a whole lot left, so you decide to do a little more backtracking and give her some descriptions of the edge of the camp to put in the foreground, which she's working on when Meiling wanders into the art room. Surprising how fast time can pass just watching someone paint. Flandre takes a break to look back at the sound as Meiling approaches.
“Time to switch out then,” Meiling addresses you.
“Right then,” you say, nodding to her, then turning to Flandre. You're about to say your farewells when Flandre locks her arms around your torso and presses her face against your chest.
“Bye Voile!” Flandre says, giving you a squeeze. “I had a good time with you, it's so great to make a new friend!”
“You two seem to be getting along well,” Meiling comments with a small smirk.
“Yeah, you'd be surprised how well two devilish folks can co-exist,” you state, which makes Flandre giggle again, and she lets go.
“You have to come down and visit me again sometime,” Flandre requests of you. You nod.
“Of course, I'm free to help anyone around the mansion,” you say as you head towards the door, “I'll see you again soon.” You leave the art room, closing the door behind you and heading away. It turned out a bit better than you had expected, given how Remilia had given you the impression that Flandre was a dangerous monster to be feared. You head through the hallways towards the stairs up and make your way out, leaving the storeroom and back out into the mansion. Fairies are all over the place, though their outfits are different than usual, more elaborate. You figure Remilia would probably be in the main hall where she was having all the set up and head off in that direction through the air, which is slightly easier to navigate than the ground level, even if you have to practically skim the ceiling to avoid the heavier air traffic. Thankfully there's a lot of room to move in this place.
You arrive at the central chamber, which is now apparently fully decorated for the event. At the far end of the room is a large chair with a large R embroidered into it, along with the family busts flanking the sides. Various tables are set up to one side along the walls, and several stands with paintings and sculptures along the other, with plenty of room towards the center. Given the amount of fairies everywhere else, it's actually somewhat surprising to see that the chamber is nearly empty, with only a handful of fairies present finalizing some decorative options while Remilia is seated in her throne at the far end, from where she gestures to you when she sees you.
“Hello again, Voile,” Remilia addresses you as you approach. She's changed for the occasion as well, dressed in a much more lavish manner than before. An outfit that compliments her figure without being too revealing, a similar style of dress the courtesans to the wealthy devil lords wore in mockery of human courts. You're all too aware that despite how well dressed she looks, such clothes are easy to remove, or at least work around.
“You needed me?” you ask, and Remilia nods.
“I wanted you to be on hand when others begin to arrive. I figure the newest addition to my household should get seen,” she says with a smile.
“So should I take off my clothes and pose on a pedestal?” you ask snidely. Remilia gives you a quick smack on the arm, though the smile never fully leaves her face.
“The point is to display the power and wealth of my estate,” Remilia chastises you, “I want you to be on your best behaviour. Be courteous and polite, show everyone that I command the respect of even devils.”
“So I get to sit pretty and chat up the guests, nice,” you say.
“I also plan on having you judge the competition, since your opinion would be most valuable,” Remilia states. At that time, a fairy approaches, catching Remilia's attention.
“A guest has already arrived, my lady,” the fairy says, and Remilia nods.
“Very well,” Remilia comments, then looks at you thoughtfully. “You know, come to think of it, perhaps it might be nice to have you go greet the guests as they arrive, since Meiling is occupied in the basement, they'd also be able to get a good glimpse of you.”
 Doorman it is.
 Someone else could take care of it.
[x] Doorman it is.
[x] "How many guests are we expecting?"
>>44690 >Butler=maid=stage 5 midboss, boss, and stage 6 midboss>stage 3 boss.
Another line of association could be Butler=Man=Sir not appearing in this (or any) game.
Sakuya's power doesn't come from being a maid, it comes from being able to stop time. Being a doorman won't change our power level, but it will let us meet people without having Remilia looking over our shoulder. Standing in Remilia's shadow will lead others' to see Voile as an extension of her. Knowing how the residents of Gensokyo at large react to his presence, in a more neutral environment, could be useful.
Besides, greeting guests shouldn't interfere with attending the gathering. Meet the people who arrive on time, then let Meiling or one of the fairies deal with the late arrivals.
“If that's what you want,” you say with a bit of a shrug. “How many people are you expecting?”
“I'd imagine a few dozen, at best. I'd say at least a few will show up solely on the premise of free food,” Remilia comments. “I'll send someone to relieve you when enough people arrive.”
“Alright then,” you say, heading off towards the front of the house. You pass by an unfamiliar woman along the way, being lead towards the central chamber. She's wearing clothes that look somewhat similar to what you and Koakuma wear, though without the frills. She also has a long pair of what looks like rabbit ears. You head on towards the front door, exiting to the walkway and approach the gate. Before you even get through it, you see another girl approaching. Blonde hair and a blue dress, with a red and white sash wrapped around her waist, carrying a large book. She seems a little apprehensive at the sight of you.
“Uh, hello,” she says as you step through the gate, but don't close it.
“Are you here for the gallery?” you ask. The girl nods, and looks you over.
“I'm sorry, who are you?” she asks. You take a moment to bow slightly.
“You can call me Voile, I'm a new servant here,” you say.
“I see. Another devil, I take it?” she asks, and you nod.
“That I am,” you say proudly. The blonde seems indifferent.
“Well, I'm going in then,” the girl says, and you push the gate open and step aside, allowing her through. After she passes the gate, you close it behind her and keep watch for anyone else. A few minutes pass before you realize you probably shouldn't have introduced yourself as Voile. A short while later, you see a group approaching. A girl in red and white with short black hair, a blonde haired witch, a green haired girl in white and blue, another blonde in blue with a strange hat, and a taller woman in red and black with blue hair. As they come closer, you recognize the witch as Marisa. She recognizes you too as they get closer.
“Hey Balthazar,” Marisa greets you, still using your cover name. A few of the other girls look at Marisa.
“You know him?” the black-haired girl asks.
“Yep, he's Patchouli's new familiar,” Marisa answers. “What are you doing out here, anyway? Shouldn't you be helping Patchouli in the library?” she goes on to ask.
“Actually, we work in shifts. Koakuma's helping out Patchouli currently, so I fill my time by assisting others around the mansion,” you lie.
“Pretty hard working for a devil,” the black-haired girl says.
“I'd think that a devil would usually be too proud to do such menial work,” the green-haired one says in turn.
“There are some that are quite full of themselves, but some of us just like to be useful,” you continue to bluff.
“Anyway Bal,” Marisa says, “I think I should introduce you a bit here.”
“Reimu Hakurei,” the black-haired girl states, “I'm a miko in charge of maintaining the border of Gensokyo, and I help keep the peace. You start up trouble, I'm probably going to be the one that comes knocking.”
“Unless I get there first, that is,” Marisa interjects with a wink.
“Or me,” the green-haired girl says, as the shorter blonde and the woman back her up, “Sanae Kochiya, Priestess of the Mountain!”
“And her resident goddesses, Suwako and Kanako,” the short blonde says, gesturing to herself and then the tall woman.
“So, I could expect the three of you to come kick my ass if I cause problems, huh?” you say with a smirk.
“Count on it,” Reimu comments, rather matter-of-factly.
“Not that you'd go about causing problems, right?” Marisa asks, slapping you on the shoulder. “Anyway, can we all go in for the party?”
“Sure,” you say, opening the gate for the girls. They file through and proceed towards the house. You maintain the post, greeting guests as they arrive. As more and more guests proceed past the gate, you can't help but realize that all of them so far have been female, a fact that you find quite some enjoyment in. For every normal looking girl to show up, there's another that comes along with something unusual about them. A young girl with purple hair accompanying a very well proportioned woman with white and blue hair, followed by trio of women, two of which who have wings, and the third who has wolf ears and a tail. Another rabbit eared girl shows up accompanying a woman with a long white braid and a two-tone dress that hugs her figure. You catch a group of fairies flying over the wall instead of taking the gate. Another winged girl, a girl with antennae like an insect, and a girl you discover in a ball of darkness after she collides with the wall near the gate.
After some time outside, you feel a tug at your sleeve and look back to see Breezy on the other side of the gate.
“You here to take over?” you ask, and she nods. You open the gate to let her out, while you enter the yard and head back to the house. You get inside and make your way back to the gallery, where all the guests so far have gathered and seem to be enjoying themselves. A few of them greet you when you pass, until you return to Remilia, who is talking to Reimu. “You called me back in?” you ask of Remilia.
“Yes, most everyone is here now. Anyone not here is either not coming or late, so they're of no consequence. Though, keeping you by my side would be a waste, I think,” Remilia says.
“So what should I do?” you ask.
“Whatever you see fit. Walk around and talk to the guests, entertain them, or assist with the food preparation,” she says, waving you off, “there is still some time until we start the competition, when we'll need your judgment.”
You head away into the gathering, free to choose how to spend your time until you're actually needed.
 Might as well help with the food.
 Time to mingle!
- Assess some people's opinions of your household.
- Flirting time!
-- [Target someone specific write in.]
It would have taken way too long to write short dialogues for pretty much everyone, so yeah.
If you're wondering who would be at the gallery, pretty much everyone but most of the SA cast. Satori, Koishi and Rin would attend, but Utsuho's busy with the reactor, Yuugi's kind of honour bound to stay underground, and Yamame/Parsee aren't allowed above ground.
[x] Time to mingle!
- [x] Bring Patchouli along and ask her to introduce you to her & Remilia's acquaintances.
We're Patchouli's familiar, and these people are her acquaintances, so propriety dictates that she be the one introducing us. Remilia doesn't seem interested in doing so.
Voile can get her commentary on all these people, and I'm not sure how much information he should reveal in his introduction about the state of Patchouli's library. She should be the one to decide whether to introduce him as 'Voile' or 'Balthazar' or something other.
>>44997 You're probably gonna wanna drop the name before some rules-happy anon comes by & text-rapes you for it.
>how do you go about putting up a picture?
There should be a button labeled 'Browse' by the file field below the message box when you're replying. Click it & find the file you wish to upload. Then you just click 'Open' and submit the post as normal.
[x] Oh shi- What the fuck are you doing!?
[x] Combine as many votes as possible and write everything.
[x] LETS DO THIS
The sight before you is quite something to behold. Women everywhere, of various builds and sizes, enough to keep a healthy male devil occupied for months upon months, were they back in your native realm at least. It doesn't take long for your own nature to take over, using the opportunity to chat up as many women as possible. After all, you were specifically instructed to do 'as you see fit' and 'to entertain', and there's little else more entertaining among devils than a night in bed where sleeping generally comes after everyone else does. You make your way around the outskirts of the crowd, keeping attentive to choose your first mark, and you soon spot her, thanks in part to being almost a head over most of the other women. Mostly though, it's due to the generous view of her cleavage granted from her posture of bending over to stuff some more finger foods into her mouth from the snack table. Another red-haired woman, a colour that seems to be a rarity outside of the mansion, given the guests. You circle the table and approach her casually, though she bolts upright in surprise as you get close, which catches you a bit off guard.
“I'm sorry, did I surprise you?” you ask, briefly eying the devastation she visited upon a plate of cheese and crackers.
“Mmph,” the woman mumbles through a mouthfull of food, holding up her hand in a gesture of pause as she takes a waiting cup of alcohol and washes it down. “Ah, sorry, yeah, you did kind of give me a start,” she says apologetically. “I was afraid that my boss would catch me here already.”
“Ah ha, skipping work?” you ask with a slight chuckle. “Not that I could really blame you, as I'm sure many people wouldn't want to miss such an event held by Remilia.”
“No kidding,” the woman says, looking around over the crowd, “I'm surprised that so many people turned out, but I guess it's probably mostly because of the art exhibit or whatever. Food probably helps, I know it helps me,” she says as she moves along the table and starts picking at some meats.
“You couldn't be that starved, surely, with such a figure,” you muse, sizing her up again. The woman chuckles as she downs another mouthful of food.
“I use a lot of energy for my job, and I typically don't get many breaks,” the woman complains once her mouth is clear again, “so I have to make my own time off, and eating is kind of a priority,” she pauses, taking a long draught from her cup. “Drinking too,” she adds after a breath.
“What's your name, Miss?” you ask, as she hadn't seemed to consider introducing herself. She sputters a bit in her drink.
“Oh, sorry, I didn't even think of it. Most people already know my name, or at least know who I am due to my job. My name is Komachi,” she responds. Your curiosity is piqued now.
“What kind of job could keep you so occupied and have such recognition?” you query.
“I ferry the dead across the Sanzu River,” she replies simply, which again surprises you. Here you'd thought you were just talking to an average human. This definitely makes it more interesting.
“I wasn't expecting something like that, though I suppose that kind of work wouldn't have many chances for a break,” you comment. Komachi sighs and takes another drink, surveying the food table in the meantime. “So you make your own breaks, and take off while you should be on duty?”
“Yep,” Komachi replies without hesitation. “I wouldn't be able to do it otherwise, aside from the rowing, I have to expand or shrink the river's width as necessary based on the passenger. I can only take one at a time, and they're mostly unable to respond. That's not even counting the ones I have to extinguish or just dump in the river, which are only half trips that just ultimately waste energy.”
“I can relate to that, in a way,” you comment, idly looking over the food as well. “I used to be a soldier, a unit leader at that. I've been marched out to fight, only for the enemy we were after to surrender before we arrived, and didn't even have the fortune to be reassigned there for further orders and rest.” You chuckle a bit afterwards at the memories of the situation you described, where after being turned away at the gates of a small fort by a forfeiting enemy, your men still assaulted the camp in anger and you reported back that it was a trap.
“Wow, that'd be a pain in the ass, having to march all the way out and back. I'd probably just use my power to skip the walking part,” Komachi says with a laugh.
“Just what is this power of yours? You mentioned something about having to expand rivers as well?” you ask. Komachi looks away at the far end of the table and looks back at you.
“Hey, I think I see something good over there, come on,” she says, grabbing your arm and pulling you along. You don't resist, but you do notice that she's apparently a lot stronger than you'd have thought. You only go a couple steps to reach the end of the table and Komachi releases your arm with a smile. “Sorry, I left my drink back there, could you get it?” she asks, gesturing back the way you came. You look in the direction you came from and find yourself surprised again. The table you'd been in front of is a good dozen or so feet away. There's no way you could have crossed that much distance in only a few steps. You look back to Komachi with an impressed grin, and she seems pretty satisfied at her display. “Pretty cool, huh?”
“That's quite an ability,” you admit, “I admit I'm jealous. I'd have loved to be able to skip long distances in moments.” Komachi giggles contentedly as she picks up another cup from the table, but stops before she can take a drink.
“Oh crap,” she mutters, looking out into the crowd. You try to follow her gaze, but can't see what she might be looking at. After a few seconds you notice Komachi set down her cup and sigh as a shorter girl with green hair and an unusual hat pushes her way towards the table. This shorter girl is fairly cute, but her clothes have a very refined appearance in contrast to Komachi's, and don't reveal any of her figure aside from her legs. She looks quite annoyed as well.
“There you are!” the girl whines, approaching Komachi, “you slacker! What do you think you're doing at this function?”
“Having a break,” Komachi replies matter-of-factly. The girl glances over at you for a moment, wearing an expression as if she questions your presence, before turning her attention to Komachi again.
“You've had enough then, return with me immediately,” the girl commands. You decide to interject, if only to buy more time with Komachi.
“Pardon me, Miss, but I was enjoying some time talking with Komachi,” you step in. The girl looks you over again, this time with disapproval.
“You are a devil, aren't you?” she asks, though she doesn't wait for any kind of response before continuing. “I can easily tell your intentions aren't virtuous, and I will not have you interfering with my underlings.” You smirk a bit as she pins your intent pretty much immediately, but you're not deterred. You recognize a faint trace of energy from her, a familiar power.
“I find myself wondering why someone attached to such dark energy is complaining to me about virtues,” you quip. She follows up with a huff and folds her arms over her chest.
“I am Shikieiki, Yama Xanadu. The Judge of the Dead. I am in close contact with Heavens and Hells, don't be confusing the lingering traces of their powers for stains upon my character,” the girl recites with pride. Your smirk grows at her passion.
“Pride isn't a very virtuous trait, is it?” you ask. Shikieiki's brow furrows as it's clear you've hit a nerve.
“My pride in my position is not misplaced. I earned my position through virtue and merit, and I continue to honour my predecessor's decision to appoint me to replace him,” Shikieiki responds with increasing volume, threatening to call in other people's attention to her outburst. You'd rather not cause a stir out of all of this, getting into a spat with a Judge of the Dead.
“Is that so? Quite commendable to remain above common sins,” you state, approaching the girl, “though you know? You're not as clean as you'd like to think, are you?”
“And what would you know about it?” Shikieiki asks standoffishly. Your grin widens as you start to feel your innate devil instincts slowly come into gear.
“You watch and measure every aspect of yourself in order to ensure a perfect vision of virtue, but that just makes you all the more prone to falling into petty sins,” you state in a low voice, leaning in slightly so that you can be sure that she can hear you. “Like your Envy for your subordinate's tendency to run off on her own. You wish you had that kind of freedom, don't you?”
“I don't-” Shikieiki starts, but you cut her off with a snort.
“I already don't believe you. Why would you be so concerned about the whereabouts of a single woman if it didn't make you jealous? Is Komachi really that important on her own that it warrants constantly policing her free time, or is it just your own revenge for having the freedoms you don't?” you continue, practically whispering into her ears at this point. You can read the conflict in her eyes, you must be toeing the line, though you wonder how much of it has to do with your own subtle influence. You walk around behind Shikieiki and look up at Komachi, who seems pretty surprised at the moment. You lean in again to whisper into Shikieiki's ear.
“When was the last time you took some time off for yourself like her? Have you ever?” you ask, looking up at Komachi as you do.
“I can't... My job is too important...” Shikieiki responds quietly, and slowly. You chuckle softly.
“You're not the only Judge, are you? Would anyone really mind if you took some personal time?” you ask. Shikieiki lowers her head, though you can't see her face to read her expression. You assume she's in thought, contemplating it. “You could have a good time like her, do things you've never had a chance to, or have never done yet. Maybe even find a man...” you proceed, but Shikieiki starts to shake her head, and a second later she's pulled her arms over her head protectively. You lean back as she shakes off your temptation, then wheels around with anger in her eyes.
“You are an evil being, trying to corrupt a Yama. Unforgivable!” Shikieiki barks at you. You click your tongue in aggravation, but your smirk doesn't fade.
“I can only feed the sins you're guilty of, feeding what corruption there is already,” you reply, “like... Wrath.” Shikieiki doesn't even bother to reply, she just turns back to Komachi.
“You are coming with me,” she says before walking off towards the front of the house. You approach Komachi again, who still seems pretty stunned.
“I've never seen someone actually able to get her to shut up like that,” she says.
“I have my ways of quieting women,” you comment, “though to be honest, quiet is the last thing they usually are when I'm involved.” Komachi laughs slightly.
“You sound pretty confident about that,” she says.
“I could prove it to you sometime,” you respond, getting another laugh out of her.
“I don't think I could get away with taking that much time off,” Komachi quips, taking another drink and setting her cup back on the table. “I should get going though, Eiki's just going to be more pissed if I don't catch up with her.”
“If you're ever looking to take some time off, I'd be glad to spend some time with you. I'll be here at the Mansion, just ask for Balthazar,” you say, remembering to use your cover name this time and bowing slightly. Komachi smiles a bit.
“I wouldn't mind sharing some more drinks with the devil that shut up Eiki,” Komachi says, taking a step away with a wave, before heading off towards the front of the house as well and blurring away. You feel a slight sense of accomplishment given your time so far, but there are still so many girls to go, and you would be a fool not to try to take advantage of the situation. You begin to walk around the room again to see if there are any other girls that catch your attention.
I've decided to post the first part of this since I think this is a good place to take a break, and it's already more than long enough for an update. No votes needed, as I have more to write for this scene on account of combining pretty much all the votes since the last update. This is just to show that I am working on it, and giving readers something new to read for now.
You circle around the outskirts of the mass of women, looking across the crowd. A fair number are grouping around the art, with an equal amount milling near the food tables, and the rest in small groups standing around talking. You decide to cut through the group and scout around near the art, and as you approach, a particular girl catches your attention due to the most unusual feature of them all. Some manner of eye floating over her chest, connected to her by some kind of strange vein-looking things. Not just her, either, this feature is shared with a girl standing next to her, with the only difference being that the second girl's eye is closed. Your eyes travel up to their faces. They look fairly similar, even though they have different hair colours, both of them are fairly cute. Even if the purple-haired one looks like she could fall asleep at any moment. The lighter-haired one looks over at you as you approach the two of them, and just watches you without saying anything. The other girl looks over after a second as well.
“Hello there, girls,” you say, bowing slightly to them, “I couldn't help but notice the two of you through the crowd.”
“We tend to stand out a little,” the purple-headed one says, looking down at the eye hovering over her chest, it's unblinking gaze fixed on you. “It's kind of hard for us to blend into a group.”
“Not as if I have it any better,” you joke, twitching the wings on your back and head. The tired girl blinks in response. “So, are the two of you related?”
“We're sisters,” she responds, looking back at her lighter haired sister.
“My name is Koishi,” the light-haired one says with a small wave.
“And I'm Satori,” the purple-haired one follows suit.
“I should have guessed it was something like that,” you state, “I doubt that those eyes of yours would be some kind of fashion.” You look back down at Satori's 'eye', still staring at you. You look past it though and take a moment to evaluate her figure. You're met with a sigh, which draws your attention back up.
“Did you want something?” Satori asks abruptly.
“I was just curious about you two, mostly. I'm still fairly new to this world, so I haven't seen... youkai, I suppose, like you,” you say, taking the liberty to assume they're youkai.
“You seem more interested in the physical compatibilities between our races,” Satori states flatly, which causes Koishi to click her tongue.
“You're doing it again Satori,” Koishi scolds her sister, placing her hands on her sister's shoulders and leaning forward. “After all, he is a devil. It's a natural part of his being to think about that kind of thing.” Satori sighs again. You determine there's more going on here than meets the eye, particularly the one that has been locked on you since you stepped up.
“Something I should know about the two of you? Or is it these eyes?” you ask. Satori starts to reply, but Koishi claps a hand over her sister's mouth.
“We both could read the hearts and minds of other living beings, so long as our third eye is open. I found it boring to always know what someone is thinking, and shut my eye, but my sister lets it decide everything for her,” Koishi explains as Satori shakes her off.
“I just find it easier to skip the hassle and runaround in people's intentions,” Satori explains for herself. “It makes co-operation and coexistence easier.”
“That sounds pretty helpful, actually,” you say, already considering the kind of horrible weapon the ability to always know someone's true intent would be among devils. You may even have to tread carefully on your own here.
“You already know how much of a threat this power poses to your kind,” Satori states bluntly, once again proving her power and that indeed you can't hide a thing from her.
“If that's the case, then I'm not going to beat around the bush. I think you and your sister are pretty attractive, and I'd like to get to know the two of you better,” you declare.
“Pass,” Satori immediately rejects and starts to walk off before Koishi grabs her arm.
“Hold on sis! He was straight forward! Can't you just play along?” she asks.
“He's only got carnal interests in mind, in the long run,” Satori more or less correctly states.
“So?” Koishi surprisingly counters. “Even healthy relationships can grow from a meeting based on natural instincts.”
“Not interested!” Satori shakes off her sister again and heads farther along the displays. Koishi sighs and turns back to you.
“Sorry about that,” she apologizes, bowing in return, “she's actually just shy about that kind of thing.”
“You'd think that a mind reader would be more used to being thought of, especially when they're nice on the eyes,” you say. Koishi shrugs slightly with a smile.
“She spends more time with animals than other youkai, since we were sealed underground by people that feared our power. She doesn't have to worry about those kinds of things from animals, at least directed towards her. She's gotten used to the sheltered life,” Koishi says, looking back at her sister over her shoulder.
“How about you?” you ask, noting that Koishi's eye is closed still.
“I can't read hearts anymore,” she replies, looking down at the eye as well. “My eye is closed, so I can no longer see the surface of a person's mind. Instead, I can touch much deeper.”
“Is that so?” you ask. Koishi takes on a mischievous grin.
“You know this kind of life doesn't suit you. You're a creature of instinct, and those instincts are sex and violence. No matter how you try to integrate yourself into this world, you won't make it without an outlet for your instinctual needs. You need the pleasures of flesh and battle. It's already starting to guide your actions, as it were,” Koishi states, staring into your eyes. On some level, you know she's right.
“You know quite a bit about the nature of devils,” you respond.
“Knowing has nothing to do with it, I can see it plain as day,” she remarks. “Just like your ambition to return home and continue destroying the armies of your Lord, bringing with you the power and knowledge of this realm to raise yourself to a position of power next to him.” You feel a smirk come to your face, followed by a chuckle.
“I'm not sure which sister is more dangerous now, one that can tell what I'm thinking now, or one that can tell what I'm planning in the long term,” you comment. Koishi giggles a bit herself.
“Such is why we were sealed away,” she says. “People fear creatures that cannot be fooled or lied to, especially people with intentions they want to keep hidden.”
“So when do we get to the part where we have a threesome?” you quip. Koishi sputters a second before breaking into laughter.
“I'm afraid you'd need quite a bit more work before that'd be possible,” Koishi answers, “Satori's afraid of opening her own heart to others despite her power, and you're just not my type. Too aggressive,” she says with a chuckle.
“Well, damn,” you remark with a grin, shrugging in the meantime, “guess I'll just have to work at it like normal, huh?”
“That'd probably be your best bet,” Koishi replies with a smile, “though I don't know if I'd want to share you with my sister if and when you manage to woo me with your clever pick-up lines and subtle charm.”
“That probably wouldn't be too bad, though I suppose that brings another question to mind...” you trail off, letting Koishi hang for a bit. “Whether I'd want the sister that knows what I want before I even have to tell her, or the sister that already knows what I like best.”
“Oh, that is quite a choice,” Koishi smiles, “I'd be hard pressed to make a choice between the two myself.”
“Quite a problem, indeed,” you respond.
“Koishi! Come over here and look at this,” Satori calls to her sister, and Koishi looks back at her, then back to you.
“I suppose I should let you consider your choice then,” she muses, “come visit us underground sometime if you get a chance. At least I'll show you around if Satori doesn't.” With that, Koishi heads over to her sister. You consider that a bit of a success, another girl you could spend some time with in the future should you get some free time from your duties. You start thinking you should get back to scouting more girls when you see Patchouli approaching.
“There you are,” she says, walking up to you, “I'm taking a break so I can enjoy the gallery.”
“Ah, I was starting you think I wouldn't see you up here,” you comment. Patchouli seems a bit put off by the comment.
“I do like to socialize too, you know. It also gives me a chance to confer with some fellow magicians,” Patchouli says as she looks past you at Marisa and Alice, standing together with Reimu.
“You going over there?” you ask, and Patchouli nods.
“Then I'll go meet your friends with you,” you say. Patchouli doesn't respond to that, just walks past you towards the group, and you follow along.
“Yo Patchy,” Marisa greets your Master with a wave, “and Balthazar.” This catches Alice's attention, who looks at Marisa with a curious expression. You think Patchouli suspects something amiss as well, since she gives you a quick glance.
“Nice to see you again Marisa,” you say with a slight bow.
“Balthazar? Didn't you introduce yourself as something else at the gate?” Alice asks.
“It's likely he was just confused,” Patchouli interjects before you can speak. “He's had a busy day and had a lot on his mind, isn't that right?” she finishes by handing off to you with a question. You fake an embarrassed grin and another bow.
“It's true, I'm sorry for the confusion. I'm not very bright for a devil, and this new language is still pretty confusing,” you lie. Alice seems to accept the cover story. Almost immediately afterwards, Patchouli drags Alice and Marisa into a conversation about some research, leaving you and Reimu out. You decide to take this time to get to know this so called 'protector' of Gensokyo.
“Having a good time, devil?” Reimu asks as you approach her around the group of witches.
“For sure,” you say, looking around the room a bit, “this kind of event is pretty interesting.”
“Because you're the only male in the room, I'm sure,” Reimu remarks without missing a beat.
“Well, that does have a place, for sure, but I'm pretty fascinated by the number of distinct looking people,” you state, glancing around again. You see Remilia, a bat winged young woman, talking with a girl with impossibly long black hair, and a girl with peaches on her hat. “I've never seen such... unique people.”
“Devils are pretty drab people?” Reimu questions.
“Not quite, but when you're among troops, you rarely have embellishments to call attention to individuals. Even my Warlord wore the same armour as his men in battles he took part in, so that he was indistinguishable to the enemies from the rank and file. Coming from surroundings like that to a world where everyone is so remarkably different, it's... fascinating,” you say, your eyes traveling up to the large ribbon on the back of Reimu's head. “Especially since the embellishments in this world are so much different than what I would have seen among other devils.”
“There is a definite fixation on headwear around here,” Reimu states. She doesn't really leave a lot to work with.
“So, how does one become one of the protectors of Gensokyo?” you ask out of curiosity.
“I was born into it. It's my life's duty,” she says plainly. “Marisa just tags along to test out whatever magic she wants, and Sanae... I think she just enjoys shooting down youkai.”
“Sounds like you're the only one that takes it seriously,” you say. Reimu huffs a bit and crosses her arms over her chest. She seems to have some amount of pride in that.
“The Hakurei family has served Gensokyo for much longer than my lifetime. With our duty to keep up the Barrier that keeps us safe, our duty is much more important. We maintain the barrier, and resolve conflicts among the populace with the best methods available to us,” Reimu beams, clearly proud of her position.
“What kind of methods do you use for conflict resolution?” you ask.
“Mostly shooting down all troublemakers,” she responds. You can't help but chuckle.
“Peace through force of arms, huh?” you comment.
“This method of protecting Gensokyo has been passed down the Hakurei family for generations,” Reimu declares.
“Well, it seems to work,” you say. Reimu nods.
“Indeed it does,” she replies.
“So are you the only one in your family that handles the conflict resolution?” you ask. Reimu seems to deflate a bit.
“I'm the only Hakurei in Gensokyo now, so naturally I'm the only one that handles it,” she answers.
“Oh? What about the rest of your family?” you ask, but Reimu doesn't seem to be interested in answering.
“It's not important anymore. I'm still here, and so long as I have a family, the bloodline will continue,” Reimu says after a few seconds of silence. “Which is why I have to be serious about my duty.”
“Sounds like a lot of responsibility for one person to handle,” you say. Reimu sighs, and returns to her previous neutral attitude.
“It's not that bad, really. I can handle it,” she says.
“Wouldn't it be easier on you to have a family to help you?” you press, deciding to chance your luck with Reimu. Reimu scoffs immediately.
“And I'm sure you'd like to help me with that part,” Reimu says with a sarcastic smirk, “I know how devils think. I'm quite capable of getting my life issues in order without help.”
“Can't blame me for taking a shot,” you muse.
“Pretty sure I can,” Reimu counters. “Regardless, it's probably a bad idea to start a family with something that would be injured by any of the tools needed in the line of duty.”
“It'd be a great reason to pick up a sword, at least,” you quip.
“Don't think so. Youkai can't simply be defeated with an ordinary weapon, and there's the risk of injuring humans. It's just more efficient to problem solve with spiritual power,” Reimu says. “Plus, no one really gets hurt in the end.”
“But you still beat people with your magic, yeah?” you ask.
“It's not magic, but yeah. I suppose it hurts a little bit, but I think people can take a few bruises as opposed to a sword wound. I'm sure you'd agree there,” Reimu comments.
“I see your point then,” you agree. “You definitely take your duty to protect people seriously, even considering the safety of people that would cause trouble.”
“It's the best option for all parties,” Reimu claims with a grin.
“So long as the other person doesn't have a weapon they intend to use themselves,” you retort, but Reimu just huffs again.
“That's not really a problem either. I've beat Sakuya in the past, and her knives are very real. I've also stood against at least two people with swords and come out fine,” Reimu states.
“I suppose I need to learn your secrets, then,” you joke.
“Shame, those secrets are for Hakurei's only,” Reimu retorts.
“V- Balthazar,” Patchouli calls your attention, quickly catching herself from calling you the wrong name on her own, “could you bring Marisa, Alice and I some drinks from the table?” she asks.
“Of course,” you say, turning back to Reimu. “I suppose we'll talk more some other time.”
“If you want my attention, you can always just start causing trouble. You'll get a crash course in the abilities of the Hakurei,” Reimu jokes, and you head off to collect the drinks.
So here's the second part finally. There's going to be one last part... maybe, depending on if I can think of a reason to end it on a vote option that matters. If not, then there'll probably be a fourth wall of text before the next vote option.
I'm working on improving the overall quality of my life, getting shit in order, and preparing myself for a possibility of moving almost all the way across the continent within the next year, including fallback options in case things go south and don't work out so I don't end up trapped on the opposite end of another country and unable to get back.
Every day I think about updating, but often enough I don't have the energy or drive to do it. Though every day the urge gets stronger and stronger, so I'm pretty much counting on my desire to update overpowering my listlessness pretty soon. In the meantime though, I did figure out what it is that causes me to sink into long stretches without any updates, and so I'm going to have to address that too, in time.
Though I do admit I'd considered several times just dropping my stories, I'm too stubborn and proud to accept failure.
>>45745 One of the most sage pieces of advice I've ever gotten from a professional author was, "Never let writer's block get in your way. If you can't manage to push out writing for your current main project, at least sit down and force yourself to write something, even if it's a one-shot thing or a side project you don't know if you'll even bother continuing. You may end up deleting the whole thing, and it won't matter. The worst thing for a writer is to let himself get slack on it, because then he gets rusty, and it gets harder and harder to continue writing the more you put it off."
If ACDL isn't playing nice with you, try something else for a little while, but don't let yourself stop writing for more than a day on end.
>The worst thing for a writer is to let himself get slack on it, because then he gets rusty, and it gets harder and harder to continue writing the more you put it off.
This is exactly the issue, as it were. It's not so much that I've got writers block, just lack of drive to work. Once I get back to writing, this will be a non-issue, so long as I continue writing. Allowing myself to lose momentum kills me, and so I've been considering possibly working on some shorts in between updates, just to keep myself occupied while waiting for votes.