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21718 No. 21718
[x] Play strategically
[x] Have your sword sing during the fight to throw Barton off-guard.

Those are the words I've been waiting for. My fingertips are shivering in anticipation of the impending hassle, so is Sid's handle - I can feel it resonate gently, pulsating with that strange energy, in perfect synchronization with my own heartbeat. Or is it simply an illusion, created by the slightly a bit too strong grip? I can't tell. My entire existence is concentrated within the sharp gaze of my eyes, wholly concentrated on observing the light, barely noticeable, yet smooth and firm movement of Barton's sword. The blade traverses lazily through the space above, reflecting sunlight is a way so profound, that even if I wanted to get my eyes off it, I couldn't. It's simply too beautiful... And I ought to observe that blade anyway.
"... right handed..."
I whisper to myself. That old fart holds his right hand closer to the guard, hinting at something he probably didn't think I'd take into consideration. Then, the only logical way of dealing with him - an experienced, tough opponent - is to exploit the weaker side of his body. And so, I take a step to the right, intending to circle around him, use this brief moment of calm before the storm to adjust my position. My shoes knock miniature clouds of dust into the air.
And he only observes me, looking incredibly amused. Seems like we're both too sure of our own victory do start just yet.
"May I ask," he speaks up, following another of my steps "What is it you're trying to do, boy?"
I can't help but let my lips curve up a little. An obvious feint - he's trying to knock me out of balance. Do not underestimate my abilities, Barton. I may be younger, but only a fool would judge his enemy based on looks alone.
Step. He remains unmoving.
This is the cue I've been anticipating. From this position...
"... Sid." I whisper, not loud enough for Barton to hear it "Sing."
"Mmwhah?" I have to give him that - at least he concentrates on the battle as well. Too bad I'll need to knock him out of that combat reverie. "Say wha?"
"Sing." I repeat, postponing the next, final, step "Whatever will do."
"I can't sing." he protests "What kind of idea is that, even?"
Time's up, there can be no more delays. Otherwise, all the plans will go to waste.
"GET TO IT!"
My body lunges forward, no regard for anything but the enemy.

Horizontal slash, from right to left, aimed at the soft part of the side, where the armour has to be weaker as well. Straight, hasty, predictable. Yet it is not the attack itself I put my stakes on. It is the surprise factor!
"Face me, evil bastards! Smell the hate of angels!" The same moment the blades clash, sending vicious sparks everywhere around, like in an overdramatic action movie, a voice sounds clear in the dusty air, startling even me, though I recognize it's tone. "Glory, pride and bloodshed!"
He's fast! Not a split-second after parrying my blow, his sword is already flying at my torso, from the other side!
I can barely dodge it, using Sid's guard to change the blow's trajectory a little. Ghh, it almost got my forearm!
"Cowards and beholders! Rapers of my wisdom!"
"Hah!" Barton snorts when I slide back, panting heavily "What is that? A musical box? I've fought in worse noise, boy!"
Crap, here he goes again...!

Clang!
Swish!
Clang.


He strikes, numerous times, and every time, I find just enough strength to evade. This outcome should have been easy to foretell, after all, no matter how elaborate your strategy may be, it will always become but a shadow of guidance for the otherwise suddenly chaotic actions, be it a battle between whole armies, or two, simple men, fighting for something as trivial as a girl's sins. Every single impact weighs heavily on my arms, rending all the muscles gradually less and less capable of holding up the heavy piece of steel that my sword has just become. I'm forced to back away, escape from his range, from that furious flurry of strikes, mindless on the surface, yet beneath, aimed perfectly at the spots the most difficult to defend. The soils of my shoes grate against the ground.
"Hey!" Sid yells when the ringing of metal finally fades away "I feel offended!" I can't take it anymore. I was worn out from all the running in the first place, and fighting this guy is way too exhausting... I... I may have overestimated my abilities. As much as it pains me to admit it, I'm... slowly losing. Not even after one minute into the fight, my lungs are already screaming for air. How many times did we clash? Three? This is pathetic. I am pathetic. "Mix of dust and bones!" Sid resumes his song, oblivious to my pitiful state. It won't do. It's useless, you moron! Oh no, he's about to strike again... "Go back to your abyss! Master Kane will not fa--!!!"
Cut off like a musical box indeed, his words dissolve in the stale air, when he's knocked out of my hand, leaving dull pain in my fingers in his wake. I can't even as much as feel surprised. He's smiling. That old fart is smiling. He knows I'm merely a newbie, someone who shouldn't even be wielding a sword in the first place. So sure of his own victory. So cocky. So proud of his own skills. And I... can do nothing to stop him. What a showoff. He won't stop at simply disarming me. So you really want to teach someone a lesson, huh, Barton? Well... I shall be accepting it.
My eyes close.


But is this how it will end? I lose, because what? But he's disarmed me. Sid's admiring this pathetic scene from high above, spinning like a rotor, probably still clinging onto his song like the moron he is.

Don't...

It's the end. How can I defend myself without a weapon?

Underestimate...

But there's something he couldn't have foreseen. My sword is no longer here, but it doesn't matter. It's your lose, Barton. You've ensured it by ignoring the fact that there still is something in my other hand... That railed scabbard.

ME!!!

My whole existence springs into motion the very millisecond his sword's pommel is about to bash my skull. It dives, falls to the ground, powered by that otherworldly, indescribable strength, that force brought forth by desperate call of a man who cannot allow himself to lose.
The noise is ear-piercing, when the metal part of my scabbard knocks his blade aside.
I can't lose. I can't even think about losing. This life needs me. This world needs me. They need me. I need me. I need myself alive to continue this adventure. I need myself whole to live on.
He can only gape, shocked, when I dive under his arm, and drive my makeshift weapon's end into his chin. Faster than the eye can see, my torso twists left and right, aimed for the soft spots on his arms' armour plates.
And most of all, she needs me. That girl needs me. She may not yet realize it, but I know. For some bizarre reason, I know she needs someone at her side. And as long as I'm here, whosoever that tries to change the way the facts are, shall taste my wrath. Even if it's someone like him. Even if I go against the law in the process. What is law, compared to those feelings, anyway? How ironic, that I'm concerned about such things, at a time like this.
My back rams into his cuirass, which combined with the hits from before, topples his balance. To the point where he loses it completely, falling to the ground, onto his back, like a toy soldier. And I follow, not intent on resisting it. His sword, the very one about to cut my consciousness short, flies aside, just like Sid did, mere seconds ago. Play with the sword...
Yet, this isn't the end. I've yet to make this victory whole. That's why, the instant his body hits the ground, I somersault back, landing on my feet, just beside his head. The scabbard raises high in the air, it's tip pointed at his throat, like an ominous blade, ready to be thrust down at any second.
... and die by the sword. Now, the fight is over.

>> No. 21719
"Haaah... Haaah..." My breath is totally out of control. So is his. Droplets of sweat flow down my forehead, irritating every single nerve they pass by. Regardless, I persist in perfect stillness. "It seems..." my lips mutter "The tides have been turned."
I can only observe as he glances aside, for a second, then returns his brown eyes to me, full of some illogical relief.
"Indeed." his voice is as hoarse as mine "Solid performance, for someone who relies solely on luck."
"Feh!" I snort "Solid performance, for an old fart like you."
To my surprise, instead of acting offended, he merely smiles.
"Ahh..." a sigh escapes his mouth, filling me with even more confusion "Perhaps you're right. Maybe I lack that youth verve you newbies have. I lost." he tries to shrug, but ends up groaning in pain "Urk... I'd have never guessed you'd do that."
Right... Neither would I. It was just an impulse, to dive forward and hit his forearms... So it's that, huh? His muscles. I'm sure we all know how much it hurts to hit a muscle directly. When the pseudo-electric wave spreads quickly along the hurt area, sending surges of pain along it again and again.
I don't even want to answer that. Is there a need to say anything anyway? It's my win. I'm tired. So, the only thing left to do is... grab Sid, who miraculously managed not to hit anyone on his way down, and land in the dirt just beside the entrance. Pulling him out the ground, I cast Suika a wink. She smiles.
"Yay~" her joy is almost infectious "Iro won~!"
I just wish it didn't hurt so much to have her land in my embrace.

...


Back inside, I find Reimu lost in thought, resting her upper body on Keine's desk, it's owner watching her in unexpectedly condescending silence. It is not meant to last forever, and it would seem I'm the one to break it. The beautiful teacher blinks a few times, seeing my battle weary figure shamble into the room.
"Oh..."
It's all she says before running outside. I can only ponder about her intentions, though frankly, I couldn't care less about them right now. Reimu, apparently alarmed by that behavior, raises her head, and turns towards the intruder - that is, me. Suika is still by my side, but truth be told, she doesn't make a single noise, as opposed to my own treacherous mouth, still exhaling the heat of battle, through loud and obnoxious pants.
"So," the miko speaks up, not even gracing me with a single direct look "Got your ass handed to you ye--" How regrettable, that I won't be letting that insult be finished, no, perhaps it's due to this weary state I don't find pleasure in her malice, but either way, I won't be letting her talk just yet. No. Instead, I'll just throw my arms around her, in this careless hug. Couldn't care less about her reaction now. I'm sleepy... "H-hey!" So very sleepy... I don't even find enough strength to enjoy the warmth of her body being so close. Suika gasps silently as I slump even further down to the floor, only the hands of the miko keeping me in a relatively upright position. "H-hey what's wrong-- You're bleeding! Hey! Grab a hold of yourself!"
Is that... a worried face I spy?
I... can't tell... Everything is blurry...
Everything is so... Dark...




...



No doubt. I overestimated my abilities. Not even two hours after waking up from a sun-induced anemia, I found myself chasing mikos, shocking shopkeepers, walking relatively big distances without any headwear on, drinking with an oni, storming off to help a damsel in distress, fight a city guard... No normal human being would be able to endure this sort of exertion, me not being an exception to this rule. It was only natural for me to collapse. Only natural to faint... Faint Reimu's arms.
Now that I think about it, it was quite a pleasant way of falling asleep, compared to this rather unpleasant awakening.
Pardon, 'rather'? No, it would be more appropriate to say that world seems to be composed of overthrowing pain, and pain only. Everything hurts, including thinking.
And the sight isn't too exciting either. Truth be told, it's the same one that greet me this morning... Well, afternoon, if we're to go into technical details, but I've always been saying - morning is when I wake up. So there, it was in the morning that I saw this wooden ceiling. Only now, the lamp that was previously only a decoration, shines brightly, casting blinding light everywhere around. Electricity...? Strange, how there seems to be something blotting out some of it.
"You're awake."
Pain, I mean, a voice states in calm, but somehow troubled manner. I know that voice... And I know those eyes.
"... R-reimu..."
Even trying to raise my head produces no results, other than pain.
"There." a hand presses my chest gently, as if to keep me down. I can't help but notice how... direct the contact feels... Almost like if there was nothing between my skin and her hand... This... This kinda feels like a deja vu. "You almost cracked your head open during the fight." Did I... I mean, really? No, I couldn't feel a thing back then. But... Ugh, now that she mentions it, I do feel kind of light-headed... And the back of that very head of mine appears to be the epicenter of all the pain... Impossible, when I rammed into Barton, was that when...? Hah... Hahaha... Adrenalin does wonders, doesn't it? "Thank Mima for closing it up. I barely made it to the shrine in time, and believe me, you're not exactly light." Very funny. It takes guts to make fun of a wounded person, Reimu, you know that? Especially if it's a man, and you're a girl. I swear, when this aching haze fades... "She also cast some sort of painkiller spell. It ought to start working any minute now."
I sure do hope so. This really is unbearable.
My hand raises in the air, god knows for what.
"... god... damn you, Reimu."
"What?" she sounds slightly amused, and I doubt that smile - warm, but nonetheless mocking smile - is something my imagination came up with to give me a little entertainment while I await the aforementioned spell's effects to kick in "You looking for an apology?"

[ ] "... well how long am I gonna have to wait for it? There better be something in it for me."
[ ] "... forget that. I've got a thing or two to say to Mima. Where is she?"
[ ] Save your energy, soldier. Save it for later.
[ ] "... Sid. For the love of god, don't tell me you left him in the village."
[ ] "... allow a wounded man a little malice and let me return your question. Why?"
[ ] A very welcome write-in option.
>> No. 21720
Ack, forgot to add this to my previous post... And this wireless connection is too fragile to manipulate it beyond simple posting. Yeah, I'm actually stealing someone's insecure connection - thank fuck some of my friends carry laptops around.

Status update: two weeks of winter vacation, I was supposed to work, but it's been cancelled, thus condemning my wallet to remain empty for at least a month now. And I was looking forward to buying more of Stephen Clarke's books - that guy's writing style is hilarious, yet serious at the same time. I wholeheartedly recommend his works. After that, bonus exams at school, thanks to... Hm, flaws in my plans. While I managed to slip my way out of most of them, two remain, and are to be taken. Fortunately there's nothing much to memorize. Freakin' chemistry. Er... Now, the third issue's going to be much harder, but I'll manage. I hope. I really hope. I better do, lest my life's going to devolve into a hell on earth, and I'm no Doomguy to take it on.

Now, enough blogging. If there's a winning option within the next 5-6 hours, I should be able to update again - the next part's been already planned out, and we're nearing something I've been anticipating - the first in-game night. So, vote away, and pay no heed to my whining.
>> No. 21721
[ ] "You're cute. Sadistic, but cute."
[ ] "I won't ask you why you were accosted by the authorities if you don't ask me where I got that singing sword."
[ ] "Speaking of which, where are my weapons? I feel naked without them."

ALTHOUGH I KNOW IT'S STRICTLY TABOOOOOOOOO
>> No. 21722
{X} "You're cute. Sadistic, but cute."
{X} "I won't ask you why you were accosted by the authorities if you don't ask me where I got that singing sword."
{X} "Speaking of which, where are my weapons? I feel naked without them."
>> No. 21723
[x] "... allow a wounded man a little malice and let me return your question. Why?"
[x] "And Sid? For the love of god, don't tell me you left him in the village? Er, I mean my sword"
[x] "I'll have to thank Mima later. For now I'd like to get some rest"
>> No. 21724
[ ] "You're cute. Sadistic, but cute."
[ ] "I won't ask you why you were accosted by the authorities if you don't ask me where I got that singing sword."
[ ] "Speaking of which, where are my weapons? I feel naked without them."
>> No. 21726
[x] "You're cute. Sadistic, but cute."
[x] "I won't ask you why you were accosted by the authorities if you don't ask me where I got that singing sword."
[x] "Speaking of which, where are my weapons? I feel naked without them."
>> No. 21727
[x] "You're cute. Sadistic, but cute."
[x] "I won't ask you why you were accosted by the authorities if you don't ask me where I got that singing sword."
[x] "Speaking of which, where are my weapons? I feel naked without them."
>> No. 21728
Here goes.

==

[x] "You're cute. Sadistic, but cute."
[x] "I won't ask you why you were accosted by the authorities if you don't ask me where I got that singing sword."
[x] "Speaking of which, where are my weapons? I feel naked without them."

Apology, huh? Not that it would do be any good, in the current situation, unless her words are as blessed as her powers - theoretically - are. And from what I've seen, all they are capable of carrying are curses and misfortune. For the love of... I won, yet my opponent seems to have suffered less wounds than I have, or so I think. I doubt he - or Keine, for that matter - would follow us all the way here, if they indeed did, Reimu wouldn't act so leisurely. All this thinking only urges my brain to scream in protest. Ah, I can see why is it her mood appears to be quite cheerful. Eye for an eye, huh? You're simply deriving joy from my suffering because it's the same kind of pain I made you go through, am I mistaken?
Nevertheless, I can't help but return that warm smile.
"You're cute, you know that?" my dry lips utter "Sadistic, but cute."
"I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not." her voice is rather troubled, but still lined with that distinctive hint of entertainment. Her hand reaches for mine, and before I'm able to as much as ask about it's intentions, wraps it's fingers around my palm, urging it to lay back on the matress. It may be merely an illusion, but I think the pain faded away a little bit, the moment she touched me. Peculiar, to say the least. "But..." she hesitates for a moment. I wish I could read her expression right now. "I guess I should thank you."
Thank me, damn right, she should! It's not every day you get saved from getting electrocuted and jailed by someone you've only met a few hours ago. Appreciate it, Reimu. Still...
"Yeah," I try to sound relaxed, though the fact that she hasn't let go of my hand makes my heart race, for some reason "But that'd be out of character. So why don't you throw an insult my way and be done with it?"
She smiles in a troubled way.
"Yes, that definitely sounds better... Yet..." her gaze falls to the floor, where our entwined hands are "I owe you. As much as I hate to admit it, I owe you."
Sigh. Sure, the right is on her side, and even though my words expressed my true feelings, I cannot deny it - she does owe me, and owe me big. God knows what kind of trouble had I gotten her out of, and what kind of repercussions was I cursed with for doing so... Well, enough to say, I'm screwed in the village.
"Don't sweat it." I try to encourage "I had my reasons for helping, no need to feel obliged." Hm? Was that a squeeze I felt? Ah, it seems this last sentence of mine recalled something embarrassing, didn't it, Reimu? I admit, it came out of the blue, and I probably shouldn't have said it, but what's been done cannot be undone. At least it served to calm down the furious teacher, so why regret anything? I wasn't lying, after all. Though... yeah, it is kind of embarrassing, now that I'm alone with her, like this. Uh, I better vent the atmosphere a little, lest it's going to get even more uneasy. "Well, anyway, I've no interest in the reason for your... accosting by Keine's henchmen, and if you don't insist on knowing where exactly did my talking sword come from, I'll restrain myself from digging into it as well. How about it?"
Reluctant at first, for whatever reason, she soon nods, still not letting go of my hand. It puzzles me, yet at the same time, feels pleasant. I wonder.
"Mhm. I wouldn't like to speak about it either."
Then it's a deal. Whatever shady deeds she indulged herself in at the village, are of no concern to me. And as long as she keeps her side of the promise, I should be safe. Not that she'd report me to Keine or anything, I doubt even someone of her kind would find enough... Spite, to turn against her saviour, yet never enough caution, as they say. Better safe than sorry. But speaking of which...
"By the way... That bastard..." The pain has faded enough for me to sit up without stirring up purple hurricanes in my sight, and despite Reimu's mute protest, I do. Well, that was to be expected - yet again, I've been stripped of my white t-shirt. Still, there's something else I wanted to ask about. "Where is he? The sword, I mean."
Reimu looks aside for a second before answering.
"It's... He's... I think he's with Mima."
"Oh crap." I groan "Here's hoping he doesn't tell her the story of his horned oni owner."
Though knowing him-- Wait, knowing them both, they've already badmouthed the poor guy in every way possible. Why do I have the feeling they're getting along well?
"And uh... The other weapons? I feel... naked without them."
As ironic as it may sound in my current condition.
>> No. 21729
"If you're talking about that crate... It's right behind you."
Twisting my neck hurts, but at least I ensure the truthfulness of her words - the case is indeed there, sitting obediently under one of the walls, seemingly untouched. Those mini-Suikas are fast... Or I'd been out for far longer than I previously thought. Still, it's good to see them here. Kinda... puts me at ease. One more worry off my aching head.
But thanks to this momentary lack of attention from my side, Reimu manages to stand up, without any intervention from my side. Before I know, the warmth of her hand is gone, leaving - strange - a faint trail of regret.
"Well, that's that. You can unpack your suitcase."
"Unpack... You mean, I can stay?"
"For the time being." she says, having opened the door "Now, I've got a few things to take care of, so..."
"Yeah," I nod "I'll manage."
Goodbyes done, but she remains there, looking into the corridor, as if waiting for something. I can only watch, confused.
"Kane...?"
"Yes?"
"I..." her voice is silent, barely audible "I too might... Like you a little."



With that, she's gone, slammed the door shut, leaving me to stare, perplexed, for thirty or so more seconds. I... I did hear what I just did, didn't I? No way that was another one of my weary mind's creations. I... No, wait, I'm happy. No use denying it - I'm ridiculously happy. I mean, hell, turns out she likes me! Great, man! Reimu Hakurei likes me! She doesn't have a single reason to, but... Well... Maybe she does. Who am I to assume what's going on inside her head? This is one of the moments I wish Freud was my uncle. Well, whatever, at least now I have a place to--
"Con~gra~tulations~!" The door busts open, like the mouth of a hungry lion, spitting out of it's insides a cheerful, green-haired figure, waving around something long. Before I'm even able to comprehend the situation, Sid's already on the floor beside me, and Mima... Mima is yet again embracing my tired shoulders from behind. Why exactly is she so warm, despite being a ghost is beyond me, but hell if it doesn't feel good. Nevermind my still aching skull, this feeling is worth enduring it. "Looks like you've gotten yourself a new home in Gensokyo~."
"Good going, master!" Sid follows in the same, happy tone. I have a bad feeling about this. "Next step: the world!"
The world, my ass. I knew it, those two...
"Iro~!"
All the anger is gone in an instant when I see the familiar oni storm inside the room.
"Suika!" my arms welcome her with warmth I don't think I've ever showed anyone else. And she's more than happy to cuddle up to me, like a cute, little puppy. "Where have you been?"
"Ah." she stops rubbing against me, and instead settles on my lap, her back leaning on my chest "Reimu told me to stay away until she was done, so I did."
Oh. Well, that... Explains a few things. And questions even more. Still, I'm happy to have her back.
"So?" Mima blows into my ear "What is the first thing you do in your new home going to be?"

[ ] "Obviously - eat! I'm starving! Suika, Mima, let me show you the art of cooking!"
[ ] "Actually, I'd like to have a word with you, Mima. Alone, if it's not a problem."
[ ] "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."
[ ] "No offense, but I really need some rest. What time is it, anyway?"
[ ] "Kiss everyone!" give them all a kiss, Sid included "And now, let us hunt for the only one remaining!"
>> No. 21730
[x] "Kiss everyone!" give them all a kiss, Sid included "And now, let us hunt for the only one remaining!"

Everyone loves YAF, that pimp
>> No. 21731
[x] "I may be in too much pain to move, but that doesn't mean we can't have a crazy party!"
>> No. 21732
[x] "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."

Mima: "Then I'll scrub your back for you~"

Oh yes.
>> No. 21733
[x] "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."
>> No. 21734
[ ] "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."
>> No. 21736
{X} "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."
>> No. 21737
[x] "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."

Voting for this in hopes that Reimu barges in like a madman with our underwear wrapped around her face.
>> No. 21738
>>21737
I think that's a bit too much to ask for. Her own underwear, maybe. Either way, we'll accept her with open arms.
>> No. 21739
[x] "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."
[x] "Obviously - eat! I'm starving! Suika, Mima, let me show you the art of cooking!"

Shower then food. It's the essence of a good life.
>> No. 21740
[x] "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."

Here's hoping a certain miko joins us. An Oni is fine too.
>> No. 21741
File 123282016397.gif - (46.20KB , 400x565 , 842367945b990ce2ad9378e3f932ee90.gif ) [iqdb]
21741
[X] "Hmm. I could perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait. Don't answer that."

So she asks, expecting me to do... - what? I doubt her intentions are ill, despite the obviously seductive tone of her voice - let alone her blowing into my ear, which feels very - believe me - very arousing - but frankly? I've no idea what it is she wants me to say. Well, anything involving the hostess is out of question, obviously neither of us would want to face each other right now, that I can be sure of, but what else is there to do? Mima, why must you torment me so? Now I kind of understand where all those rumours about ghosts' spite came from. Namely, from autopsy. Even someone like Mima - a person who resembles a ghost only in the department of behaviour - appears to be keen on tugging on everyone's nerves, including mine. Well, it is not exactly my nerves she's playing on by acting like this, but let us leave it at that. Any more thoughts, and Suika might start feeling rather uncomfortable. Not that she doesn't have a reason to already, rubbing against this sweaty chest of mine...
Sweaty... That's right!
"Hmm." as discretely as possible, my nose attempts to steal a sniff at my armpits - only to be invaded by a cloud of incredibly unpleasant stench of dried sweat. Ugh. "I could... perhaps use a shower, don't you think? Wait." I resume, feeling Mima open her mouth "Don't answer that."
"Yeah, you could." why isn't it surprising she still answers that rhetorical question? "I didn't want to say anything, but all the things you've gone through today..."
"Uh..." Okay, while it is interesting why exactly does she sound as if she knew what kinds of misfortunes befell my head this beautiful day, I'm more concerned about my pride being kicked in the groin, while still being constantly stimulated, which mixture really starts to get into me. What a torture. I kind of feel bad for having Suika be so close to me right now, while - again - being incredibly pleased by the fact. Still, when it's between my own satisfaction, and defiling something so cute, the latter comes first. "Suika..."
But before I'm able to gently push her away, the ghost speaks up again.
"Oh, don't bother." she states, a hint of malice lining her voice "Suika is too stupid to be bothered by things like bad smell."
"Hey!" there she goes, jumping up like a bunny whose butt has just been stung by a bee. With an angry scowl on her pretty face, she pouts at the one leaning on my back. Behold, a spectacle of an oni anger. Why does it look so adorable, though? "I'm not stupid!"
"Anyway," ah, and all that, only to get utterly ignored by the intended recipient of said anger. Even more evidence for Mima's purposeful spite. Terrifying. "So, a shower, huh?"
"Yeah," ignoring her still being stuck to my back, I stand up - not without difficulty, having my state in mind - but miraculously, her weight is barely palpable. Only... a trail of it, a light hint that there indeed is something on my back, which possesses no physical form... Might as well be an illusion created by my mind, now that I think about it. Ghost metaphysics, better than dead kitties to calm one's raging manhood down. Simply marvellous. "I think I will."


...


And here I am, in front of the same chamber that served as a scene for some really ridiculous events this morning, events that ensured me a sarcastically nice start with Reimu's vengeful character, in effect earning me her... Earning me what? Seriously, I've no idea what'd gotten into me, but in the end, didn't it lead to rather pleasant repercussions? I wonder if she still holds grudge because of that. I know I hold that image of her under the showers, and I hold it dear, but... Er, this isn't exactly the time to be worrying about that, now is it? More importantly...
"Alright, so what exactly are you two doing here?"
I turn to the ridiculous duo of an oni and a ghost, that has followed me all the way here. Sid wanted to tag along as well, but having deduced water is bad for steel, I left him to whimper about his loneliness in my room alone. Couldn't be helped.
"Why," Mima shoots me a playful look "Of course, to take a bath. Shouldn't it be obvious?"
In a way, she's right, but still... Well, at least Suika seems to share her enthusiasm, but the reason is still beyond me. Is this one of your elaborate pranks again, Mima?
"Sort of..." I admit, although reluctantly "... but why now?"
"Aw," her circling around me with that grin still plastered onto her face is mildly annoying, especially since I know she's doing all this to harass me "Don't tell me, you're embarrassed? Haven't you seen a naked woman at least once before?"
Her knowledge of everything is really irritating. What else does she know?
Yet, all I can do is sigh and shrug. Faced with their stubborn behaviour, what can one do, other than follow, step by step, the road to his demise? With no way of challenging the fates for another throw - a better throw, whatever it may be in my situation - against this turn of events, I can only abide. Resignated, I pull the door open, and step inside, trying to ignore the joyful cheer from Suika, and a satisfied sneer from Mima.

Having been stripped of half of my getup already, it doesn't take long to get rid of the second half - yet still not fast enough to get inside before Suika - whose process of undressing I kept out of my sight, if only not to give my manhood too much images to start a rebellion against the reason yet again. Mima didn't even bother taking off her clothes - before I knew, she was already naked. What a crazy house.
"Yaaay~!"
The little oni charges into the inner chamber with a cry of joy, loud splashes of water marking her entrance. This isn't a pool, Suika. You don't jump in water so shallow, unless you want to slip and knock yourself out. Thought I doubt anything would be able to knock her out, let alone a mere whack in the head.
Uh... I should probably get a towel or something, right? I know they wouldn't mind me being naked - but truth be told, I would. Everything aside, I still have enough dignity to at least retain a decent level of shame. Does that make me pathetic? No, I'm sure it's pretty normal. Yep, it's normal. So I grab one, and having wrapped it around my waist, walk inside...

... and slam my head in the wall, on my own will. No, perhaps it was the sight which greet me that made me do something so reckless, and for the love of anything and everything holy, I'm sure it would do the same to any sane man walking this earth.
>> No. 21742
"Mima!" with tears in my eyes, I turn to the naked - totally naked - ghost sitting on the bath's edge, happily wagging her legs back and forth, leaving nothing - literally nothing - to imagination. Beside her, Suika paddles around, devoid of any clothing as well. "Why?!"
"Why what?" she leans towards me, to which I respond by stepping back "It's natural to be naked in the bath, no?"
It is, goddamnit. It is, but... Hell. No, I'm falling right into her trap. I'm walking straight into the open jaws of her malice. This was her intention from the very beginning, to torture my sanity beyond repair. Has she no shame? No sense of embarrassment? Whosoever comes in contact with this woman, is condemned to be forever haunted by her jokes, I swear. Still, I can't let myself lose it just yet. No, not yet. Deep breaths. Deeeeeep... Breaths.... That's right. Calm down. Control the flow of blood. It's alright. The showers are over there, you'll be able to face the wall, just... You know, don't let it show.
And so I do. Despite all the odds, I manage to reach the godforsaken showers without exploding in vivid colour of various bodily fluids.
The hot water feels refreshing.
"Ahh..."
I can't help but let out a moan of pleasure as it dampens my hair, flows down my tired shoulders and torso. How long was it since I last had a shower? Too long, that's for sure. Preparations took enough effort to make me forget about such trivial matters for long enough, and only now do I remember the joy of being swept off dirt and filth by a stream of heavenly warm water. It's almost enough to forget about my tormentor...
"Hmm."
Almost enough. Stealing a glance over my shoulder, I discover her sticking out of the bath, her chest laying on it's edge, at least covering the more naughty bits from my eyes. Suika, on the other hand, sits beside her, cross-legged, only her slender, petite arms blotting out the parts I'd rather spare myself from seeing now.
"What is it?"
I ask, not able to withstand their intensive stares anymore.
"You know," Mima says in an unexpectedly serious tone "Those are a real pain to dry."
"What?"
"Towels." she points at the lower part of my body "You don't usually wear them when showering, now do you?"
"Er..." right, I don't. It's only due to their presence here that I'm wearing it, really. I return my eyes to the wall and sigh. "Nope."
"Take it off."
"What?!"
"Yeah, take it off!" Suika joins in this ridiculous request "Take it off, Iro~!"
"Take it off."
Mima again.
Take it off, they say. Take it off. Take it... off?
"Look," I turn towards them, causing the oni to jerk up with a silent 'kya!' and cover her eyes with her little hands. Leaving enough of a gap to see through, though. Um, Suika? I can see that, you know. "I'm wearing this for the good of all of us."
"So? Take it off."
They seem to have not caught the hint. Suika's red on the face, but Mima remains unfazed.

[ ] Take it off.
[ ] "Too bad." smile apologetically "This sight is reserved for someone else. Sorry, Mima."
[ ] "Well... alriiiiight.", then take it off, and having thrown it at Mima's face, dive into the bath.

==

Call it a streak of luck - having my phone (and an mp3 player at the same time) reject a certain mini-SD card, I was forced to interrupt my studies and busy myself with formatting it... And backing up all the precious Nickelback, RHCP and The Beatles' mp3s took enough time to let me write this block of text.
>> No. 21743
>>21742

[x] "Only if you pay me. You can't expect me to put on a strip show without compensation."
>> No. 21744
[ ] Take it off.

Eh, why not?
>> No. 21745
[x] "Well... alriiiiight.", then take it off, and having thrown it at Mima's face, dive into the bath.
>> No. 21746
[x] "Well... alriiiiight.", then take it off, and having thrown it at Mima's face, dive into the bath.

Bwahaha.
>> No. 21747
[x] "Well... alriiiiight.", then take it off, and having thrown it at Mima's face, dive into the bath.
>> No. 21748
[x] "Well... alriiiiight.", then take it off, and having thrown it at Mima's face, dive into the bath
>> No. 21749
File 12328471848.png - (335.12KB , 640x480 , keita.png ) [iqdb]
21749
[x] Take it off.
[x] "Oh, FIIIIIIIIINE! YOU WANT A SHOW, HERE. YOU. GO!"
[x] Stand up and rip off the towel, then shake your hips like a madman.
>> No. 21750
[x] "Too bad." smile apologetically "This sight is reserved for someone else. Sorry, Mima."
>> No. 21754
[x] "Well... alriiiiight.", then take it off, and having thrown it at Mima's face, dive into the bath.
>> No. 21757
File 123290579195.jpg - (39.50KB , 360x420 , 1232487234825.jpg ) [iqdb]
21757
[X] "Well... alriiiiight.", then take it off, and having thrown it at Mima's face, dive into the bath.

Not even a thousand frowns could express the seriousness of the dilemma I'm being faced with right now. I know full well this is but another trap laid by her malice, yet for some reason, I feel tempted, perhaps drawn, even, inevitably, towards stepping right on that big, red button, marked 'Don't step, dumbass!'. Of course, I also realize this kind of thinking makes me look like an exhibitionist retard, trying to draw as much attention as possible before actually doing the deed - that is, revealing himself completely to two - more or less - stranger women. Still, it's not like I don't know them at all, and it's them who planted this seed of temptation inside my head... No, this is bad. I'm torn. Torn by this shameful choice. Silence the discord! What is there to lose? And if I throw in a couple of countermeasures for Mima's satisfaction...
"Well..." I slide my hand across my face "Alriiiiight."
As expected, the ghost's face stretches in what I take for a grin of unexpected success. Suika narrows the gaps between her fingers when my hand reaches for the fluffy armour my crotch's been protected from their sight up till now... Regrets? Many. For example, the absence of a certain, selfish miko among the audience that's about to get treated to an undoubtedly... disturbing sight. Well, at least half of it. My sincerest apologies, Mima, but to give you the satisfaction of winning would be against my principles.
And so! The bond that I had bound in a way so it would be impossible to have it 'accidentally' unbind itself turned out to be no challenge for my nimble fingers, and not even a second after I flash Mima a grin, all that the total lack of clothes on my person is depending on, is this hand. Well then...
"First I whip it out!"
Spin!
No gust of alternatives, I rip the only cover off my body, and grasp it tight. My body acts before my thoughts, making a 360 degrees spin, so fast, so sudden, not leaving any time for confusion to kick in Mima's head before I regain my balance, and stepping towards her, towards that grinning face, like in a slow-motion movie, I...
"Then I thrust it!"
Throw it!
Barrier of white cloth hurtles across this little space between us with a silent rustling. A white rectangle, resembling a butterfly's wing in it's flight, only to be stopped by a sudden obstruction in it's trajectory - the face of my green-haired tormentor. The towel that was wrapped around my manhood is now resting upon her head. I can only wonder what she is feeling right now. For sure, it isn't anything positive. At least I hope it's not.
But there's no time to lose.
My legs launch me, yet again, towards the edge of the bath. I've no time to admire Suika's blush, nor glance down at her naked body. Before everything, I jump into the air, spreading my arms aside, like a child imitating a plane.
"Farewell!"
Majestically, almost without any stress, any kind of remorse, my figure passes above both of the girls, leaving a trail of sparkling particles in it's wake. Not for long. Gravity is relentless, and so, even something as magnificent as I has to, sooner or later, fall back down, in my case, down into the shallow water. Momentum joins force with the wretched physics, and before I know, I'm sliding across the smooth bottom of the bath, smiling like a madman, until my back gently hits the edge on the other side. To which I respond by letting it rest, and putting one leg on the other.
"In the end, we are all satisfied." I catch the towel that's been thrown at me, probably in revenge, then toss it aside "And you are set free."
Full success. The malice of the ghost seems to be satisfied, summoning a wry grin onto her beautiful face, though it's just been slain, maimed and pacified by this excess of mine. It wasn't what she was aiming for, that is not to be doubted, yet I still managed to abide by her request, not letting her spite get in the way at the same time. My win, Mima. You have nothing to reproach me for. Oh, unless you count scarring Suika's mind forever with the image of my manliness. Ridiculously sparkling manliness, may I add.
"You..." her voice reminds me of a certain miko's, yet she appears to be unable to wipe that grin off her face "Little, sly..."
"What is it?" I raise one hand, cocking my head to the side, an innocent expression plastered over the shark-toothed smile my face is trying to get out "Are you the only one allowed to scheme in trivial matters?"
Trivial, ha! That's right, all this mess is but an irrelevant hassle, compared to what I went through in the village. A playtime after work, a break in an endless string of unfortunate events, leaving me more or less exhausted afterwards. Should I enjoy this cheerful time? Oh, but I already am. My contentment is almost palpable, I can tell my Mima's lips' corners quivering. She clenches her fist, further fueling my joy. This is simply great.
"Maybe, but you see..." her eyes are full of feigned hatred "I'm a selfish person. If someone tries to make my prank backfire... I just can't help but want to beat them up!"
Fast! Still naked like a mermaid, she launches towards me, with a speed that leaves giant waves on the surface of the water behind her.
There's no time to react. Before the said waves even hit the edges of the bath, she's already in front of me. With her fist raised... Ready to strike it down...
>> No. 21758
But before that...
"Mima? Are you there?"
Her attack breaks, as if on a cue, and instead of hitting me with her fist, she spins mid-air, ramming into my chest with her back. Sitting between my legs. As... disturbing as it may be, I'm more concerned about the voice that made her do it. That voice...
"Reimu?" whoa, what a change in tone! From hatred, to perfect innocence, in less than a second! "Yeah, I'm here. You can come in~!"
Wait, what?! What is she-- No, wait, I'm still here, for fuck's sake, let me--
But it's useless, she's pressing keeping me in place almost effortlessly. I can only retract my limbs and take cover behind her back, not to be seen by the person entering the bath. No one else, but the grumpy miko, Reimu Hakurei. Oh, I need to be careful about what I'm wishing for in the future.
Unable to withstand the temptation, I try to steal a clear look, but my plans are immediately foiled by Mima's elbow. Ouch.
"Hm, Suika is here too?" I hear Reimu state calmly. Whew, that means she didn't notice me. Relief. "Hey, you're red all over. Shouldn't you take a break?"
"Ah, um..." oops. My excess might have had more severe effects on her psyche than I had previously thought. "N-no, I'm okay."
"If you say so." a silent splash of water hints another person entering the bath "Mima, why are you sitting all the way over there?"
Ack.
"Oh, no reason. I just feel better here, that's all."
"Hmm." I can't believe it. She swallowed to bait along with the rod. Should I be relieved? Or confused, rather? No, this whole situation is beyond my comprehension, I don't even want to think about how to get out of it, let alone how to act right now. Mima moves her hand, rubbing - o horror - against the part of me that I desperately kept hidden from her not a minute ago. Her palm lands on my thigh, sending shivers down my spine. Pleasant shivers. Despite all the odds. "So why a bath, right now?"
"I could ask you the same." wha-- her voice is completely innocent. Either she is a perfect actress, or is simply not bothered in the slightest by sliding her fingers along my skin, dangerously nearing that one, certain part I can feel growing with every second. Oh god, oh my god, this is bad. This is most definitely bad. "Why do you ask?"
"Oh, nothing." Reimu sounds a little disappointed "I was just wondering if you're trying to appeal to a certain guy."
Oh shit, it's close, it's really close now!
"Hmm." Mima mutters a thoughtful sigh. I can only wonder what's going on inside her head, but oh my god, this feels good. "Aren't you? Didn't you say yourself that you like him?"
"T-that--!" someone slaps the surface of the water. Mima's fingers stop in their tracks, millimeters from my rebellious son. If it wasn't for her back pressing against my chest, I would be panting heavily right now. "It was just a spur of a moment kinda thing!"
"Ah, so you do like him."
"H-he helped me, that's all..."
I can't think clearly. My mind is shattered into several pieces, all concentrated on something else. Mima's fingers. Danger of this situation. Reimu. Suika. Oh god, Mima's fingers. The smoothness of her skin. The sharpness of her fingernails. Reimu. How to get out. Pressure. Reimu. Air. Panting. Her words. Like. L-like...? Air. Lungs screaming. What can I...
"I see." Mima speaks up again, barely coming through the thick haze covering my thoughts "Could you... come over here for a second?"
"Wha? Why?"
"I'll show you something."
I can hear her. Hear her walk towards this spot. Slowly, shambling her feet in the water, like a grotesque swamp monster, a monster that's about to jump out from beneath the brown surface of dirty muck and claw at my neck, and my exposed skin, and eat me whole, consume me through it's anger. I can't breathe. Purple swirls make their triumphant return, reminding me of the freshly healed wound I had accidentally inflicted upon my head. It hurts. It hurts... Mima scratches my thigh.
"So, what is it?"
I hear the miko sit down not a meter away. It's too dangerous, Mima... Why do you...
"Just a little something. Here."
Pull. Surge of damp air entering my windpipe. Sudden inflow of fresh processing energy. My sight is back online. And all I manage to see is Reimu's surprised face. All I manage to see before crashing into her, helpless against the merciless laws of physics. She tumbles back, miraculously keeping her head above the surface, and I, land on top of her naked body, only my arms preventing me from pushing her down completely. Thank god for the space under her armpits, that's where my hands landed and found support on the bottom of the bath.
"Gah--" Only now do I let a startled gasp. Her eyes, those reddish eyes that were too embarrassed to look in mine when they said that they liked me, are now staring at me, full of frightened surprise. Her mouth is open, too confused about the sudden presence of a guy named 'Kane' on top of her to mutter even a single word, let alone a yell or an insult. "Aa--"
I try to speak up, but my throat is suddenly so swollen I can't let out anything. And she... she just looks at me in that mute perplexity.


[ ] Write-in, I've no invention to think of anything applicable right now.
>> No. 21759
>>21758
Waiting for a good write in before i cast my vote.
>> No. 21761
File 123291419048.jpg - (107.83KB , 850x600 , sample-50528a3377cd93bb7b6cc169a807fb45.jpg ) [iqdb]
21761
[x] Stare.

There's no room for words.
>> No. 21762
File 123291495171.jpg - (71.92KB , 495x331 , 1232011490767.jpg ) [iqdb]
21762
[X] Begin descending, as if to kiss her.
[X] If she doesn't kick you in the groin, retreat at the last moment, snort. "It's not fun if you don't resist."
[X] If she does, though, let happen what god wills.
>> No. 21763
[X]Claim you possessions.

Hey YAF, considering the pace and amount (and quality too) of votes, which seems to be better when compared to before (before when? You know, that time...), do you think you would be able of doing a second run of TSR? It appears that people are going for another Reimu route, and that displeases me greatly, so I'm feeding some hope for the future.

Oh, and I haven't read this thread yet. I was too busy trying to survive a land where 30 minutes of internet connection was 30 dollars.
>> No. 21765
[x] "...sorry, Reimu." But don't move; see what she does.

I think it's better to be a little more passive in this situation. If we try to do ANYTHING Reimu will most certainly give us a ball-ache to remember. However, backing away in a hurry would completely ruin all the hard work Mima did for us to get us in this... pleasant situation. Since we're not the one who threw himself on top of her, it'd be hard to imagine she'd kill us for doing nothing.

P.S. I just finished CoMN Yaf. What a sad ending. I'm incredibly disappointed in Anon's choice to ditch Renji not once, but twice (especialy the second time). But don't go emo anymore. Some people still enjoy your writing ♥

P.P.S. "write nigger" and "update pls" and other such.
>> No. 21767
[X]Claim you possessions.

This sounds like the right thing to do.
>> No. 21768
>>21764 here; changing vote

[x] Claim your possessions.

There's probably no material difference between this and other votes, but this is the more appropriate attitude for the protagonist.
>> No. 21769
In before YAF asks what possessions we are talking about.
>> No. 21771
[x] Get up, cough the water out of your lungs, and walk out of the bathroom without saying a word.
>> No. 21772
[x] Stare.

"Claim your possessions" sounds like you're going to rape her.
>> No. 21773
[x] Claim your possessions.
>> No. 21774
[x] Claim your possessions.

What could go wrong? Other than everything? Hoho~
>> No. 21775
{X} Claim your possessions.
>> No. 21776
And then, we receive a talking sword.
>> No. 21778
File 123297182328.jpg - (214.63KB , 600x800 , 2804339.jpg ) [iqdb]
21778
>>21763

Actually, I was thinking of pulling a Valve and making episodic content for TSR. First episode is now, Second would be about a certain adventure of Kane (something like BKC was for TS, only without the crossover faggotry)... Though I think it should be okay for the readers to decide if they want another 'episode' or start anew and try out new paths.

>30 minutes of internet connection was 30 dollars.

Dial-up? GPRS? Man, I face this problem every time I want to check THP from my cellphone. Costs a lot, and often I am left with no results, be it due to connection problems or no new votes since the last time I checked.

Wait, there's something off...
>Reimu route
>displeases me greatly

<insert an overplayed The Many quote here, changed accordingly to promote the glory of The Miko>


>>21765

Hmm. Yeah, I was rather... displeased by that turn of events as well. Well, nothing bad that wouldn't turn out good, as my mother used to say, and from the guilt of leaving Renji, the idea of a side-after-story was born... And indeed turned out good. The Ordinary Day, which you can find here: http://www.touhouproject.com/th/res/65829.html is probably one of the few works of mine I don't feel bad when reading it. Nevermind the H-scene at the beginning, it's shitty.

Oh, and thanks for the words of encouragement. They're worth more than you could ever imagine.

>>21772
>"Claim your possessions" sounds like you're going to rape her.

Well, whaddaya know.
>> No. 21780
The thought of Mima watching our ass wiggling in the air as we "claim our possessions" is pretty nice, but it fails in comparison to Suika watching our pathetic efforts and jumping in to show us the real way to perform a nipple twist on a miko.
>> No. 21781
I read the first line of Missing Choices and laughed.
>but I guess I'm just a little, helpless writer who can't resist writing about his character not having sex.

It made me wonder if you could ever write a normal (say, sports) article for a paper or something without going off on a tangent story where the subject (say, a good football player) has sex with someone. These, of course, would all be not true and you'd be fired pretty immediately.

S'alright though. Anon is hornier than you, I'm sure.
>> No. 21782
[X] Claim your possessions.

The awkwardness of the situation compels my mind to scream, yet my lips do not comply, maybe for the better, or maybe for the worse, I cannot possibly fathom all the possible unfoldings of this sudden, close, but somehow, in a twisted way pleasant contact, where both of the - can I call us like that? - victims find themselves unable to even as much as move. My eyes wander. Wander up and down, across her pale with fright, yet covered in red hue of embarrassment face, helplessly give their best to steal a glance, even if it's only a single one, further down, at her slender neck, smooth shoulders, and the chest that I had the privilege to see, a few hours ago. Is it still the same - something in my head seems to ask - or should I check if it has, by chance, changed? One look won't hurt. It won't hurt, right? Something cold creeps down my neck. Water from my hair, but also something else. An intensive stare, a stare of two pairs of eyes, one belonging to a certain little oni, the second one, to a malicious ghost, the perpetrator of this hassle. Still, I can't be bothered by that, even if I'm giving them more than a clear look at everything this body has to offer, I couldn't care less. Not when a face like that is in my reach, when only a couple of tens of centimeters ahead, there are lips so beautifully, yet naturally pink, when there's a piercing, reddish gaze drilling into my consciousness mercilessly, without regret, without remorse, driving me, literally, in the purest definition of that word, crazy. It's all the same. All the same as before, where this conscience of mine was invaded by those perilious, yet tempting thoughts, where I risked my life, only to get a glimpse, a fragile image of this marvellous body.
It's all the same.
Only this time... I really do have the upper hand.
"Re--..." I swallow, completely forgetting about this barely palpable barrier of innocence, that magically found the way to unfold between us "Reimu."
Now clear, sure, full of confidence, I return that sharp glare of hers without fear. Yes, there is nothing I should be afraid of. She may not yet know it, but the roles have been reversed - it is no longer me who depends on her, as it was proven during this day. It is not me whose fate lays in her hand. No. Just the opposite. I do not belong to her. It is her who belongs to me. I won her, fair and square, by rescuing her cute butt - not once! - but twice, first at Kourin's shop, and then in the village. I won her in a duel, a battle approved of by the one who acts as the place's caretaker. Obvious matters like this shouldn't even need explanations. Rightfully, with the full consequences of it, she belongs to me. No moral constrains can prohibit my hand from touching her side, feeling her stomach muscles tense under my fingertips, nothing can stop me from sliding them along that smooth surface, observing her face slowly grow more and more red as I quicken the pace. My mind, despite it's clear desires, feels hazy, intoxicated, drunk with this delicate, easily broken, risky contact.
"Wh..." her words are silent, scared, too afraid to match mine "What are you..."
"Sssh." I interrupt, as gently as possible "Say no more."
No words are required, none are needed to maintain this otherworldly connection, and truth be told, they would be more likely to interrupt it, rather than help with anything.
I stop caressing her skin, and concentrate, focus, on the sheer endeavour of keeping the eye contact, constant eye contact, as my head, practically on it's own, descends, gradually, towards those beautiful lips. No word of protest, no sign of reluctance, not a single hint of retaliation. I get closer, closer to that sea of red, sea of the depth of her eyes, that seems to be drawing me, probably against it's will, towards closing mine. With their image still engraved onto the surface of my thoughts, I feel our noses touch, I feel her gentle breath brush against my lips. She quivers, once, under my touch, but right now, there is nothing that could stop me. The world can break apart, burn and melt, for all I care.
All my existence jerks up in joy when our lips, finally, after what seems like an eternity...


Don't connect.
>> No. 21783
Before that moment is able to materialize, our heads are pulled apart, breaking the magic completely, returning us to the real world, where a certain green-haired beauty rips us apart from each other.
"Alright!" she states, and I swear irritation is lining her voice "Enough! That's enough for today!" She says so while still holding our faces with her hands. Her fingers are digging into my eyelids, that I have - thankfully - closed beforehand. I don't even want to ponder the ridiculousness of the situation, it would be too much for my mind to take. "What's with you, love birds, getting all touchy in front of other people? Sheesh!"
She sounds like a mother scolding her children for playing doctor and getting caught at it, which is perfectly understandable. I completely forgot about her during all this... all this thing that had suddenly spread it's reign over my actions.
"Gah--!" I can't help, but helplessly tumble backwards, into the water, when the hand that's been holding my face prisoner suddenly disappears. Water invades every hole in my head, filling it with panic. Panic I can vent only by jumping up, frantically, and wheezing all over the place, in search for the life-giving air. My eyes catch a glimpse of Reimu sitting down, looking resignated, covering her face with one hand. "Mima!" I turn to the 'mother' with grudge painted all over my face "What the hell was that for?!"
In response, she sends me a malicious frown.
"Weren't you just trying to take advantage of my shrine maiden?"
"I didn't see her resist." I remark, suddenly angry about the whole thing "And she felt-- I mean seemed," I quickly mitigate myself "Rather willing too."
"Ah." the ghost flies close to me, casting invisible daggers with her eyes. I persist in stubborn stillness. "So you dare to claim, that my good girl Reimu wanted to kiss a guy she's just met this morning?"
The urge to palm my face is barely resistible. I don't get it - wasn't she the one who practically threw her, or rather, threw me at her? Was she expecting something else? The plan has backfired, Mima, and now, you're simply trying to conceal the fact. How expected of you. Still--
"N-no!" but I'm not given the leisure to finish my thought "No-no-no-no-no, I mean--!" Both of us turn to Reimu, and the sight is breath-taking. Red all over, not only on the face, her blush spreads all the way to her shoulders, painting her body in an incredibly cute, red hue. She blinks a few times at our angry stares, but quickly snaps out of it. "I-I just lost it for a moment, I didn't--"
"Aha!" Mima cuts in "So you were angry at him doing it, weren't you!"
Wait, how does that prove anything?!
Reimu slumps down a little.
"I was more angry at myself..."
"At yourself?"
For fuck's sake, Mima, you cutting in every now and again isn't helping! Cut that out!
"That I..." the miko's voice drops to a whisper "...enjoyed it..."
That! Those were the words I've been waiting for! It's my win, AGAIN, Mima! Someone needs to change her socks, because I smell defeat!
Full of triumphant glee, I shove the ghost aside, and storm over to Reimu's side. She shuffles back a bit, but nothing can stand in my way, and thus I grasp her shoulder, as tightly, but at the same as gently as possible. Then, without caring for anything at all, I claim my prize. The very one I was denied a minute ago.
Her lips.
She flails her arms around, but I don't care. She tries to push me away, but I don't give a slightest damn. All that counts, are her lips, so warm, so soft, so tempting I find myself unable to resist their invitation.

It all ends with a swift punch to the chin.
My chin, of all chins of this world, by whatever judgement of bad luck, is knocked upwards, knocked away from the heavenly touch of Reimu's lips.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?!"
She seems to scream, but I cannot hear. The edge of the bath that somehow found itself on the way of my head rends me of the pleasure of hearing her voice.

The world fades to black.


...


I'm beginning to think I've got a rotten reputation in lady fortune's court.a
The first thing to visit my mind after waking up is that thought. Ridiculous. How many times has it been? Ah, am I even awake? Everything is black... Oh. It's just that the lights are off. It... it must be late night by now, if my inner biological clock is right.
"Ugh..."
With a groan, I pull myself from the embrace of the covers, and try to look around. Despite the darkness, I still recognize this place. Waking up here has gotten somewhat stale.
"I hold onto what I said about your choice of women, master." ah, and him. Right. Sid is laying just beside my matress, shining delicately in the darkness. "They're cute, but everything else... Acre's sewers, if not lower." Acre... I'm starting to wonder when exactly was he forged. His humour sense is medieval, that's for sure. "Well, not like I want to suggest anything, but... Hey, where are you going?"
"For a walk."
I throw the answer over my shoulder while opening the door. That's right, having slept during the day, although not completely by my own will, I can't help but feel full of energy - quite ironically. Sitting here idly or laying around would do no good. I'm... a bit nervous, thanks to what happened in the baths. At least my head gave up on aching, thank fuck for that. But as I'm about to step outside...
"H-hey!" Sid's voice reminds me of a puppy whose master left it in front of a store for a few minutes, to buy a few things without having to deal with an unruly dog "Don't leave me here, all alone!"
I sigh.

[ ] Fine. Take him.
[ ] No way. I want to calm down, not get even more irritated.

==

Telegramme style. Moved to my mother's place for a week. STOP. The neighbour still hasn't secured his wireless. STOP. I'll be able to update. STOP. Nearing an even I've been wanting to write for quite some time now. STOP.

>>21781

I've already written for magazines without making anyone have sex. STOP. Though writing about people having sex does have that certain charm, I admit. STOP.
>> No. 21785
Gah, I knew we'd get punched or something.

[x] Fine. Take him.

Our time together might allow us to get to know Sid a little better. I dunno about the other Anons, but I'd like to know as much about our talking sword friend as possible.
>> No. 21786
>>21784
>>21785

Gotta stick to the cliches. STOP.
>> No. 21787
[x] Fine. Take him.
>> No. 21788
[x] Fine. Take him.

It's like I'm carrying around Claymore's little brother!
>> No. 21789
[x] Fine. Take him.
>> No. 21790
File 123302271513.jpg - (222.43KB , 1273x717 , excalibur face.jpg ) [iqdb]
21790
[x] Fine. Take him.
>> No. 21791
[x] Fine. Take him.
>> No. 21792
[x] No way. I want to calm down, not get even more irritated.

>STOP
STOP
>> No. 21793
>Acre

FAST FORWARDING TO A MORE RECENT FAGGOTRY

[x] Fine. Take him.
>> No. 21797
[X] Fine. Take him.

As stupid as that sounds, he really did somehow engrave that image of a whining puppy in my thoughts. Telepathy? No, some sort of primitive psychology, maybe? Still, I can understand his craving for company, if only because I can imagine how boring it must be to lay around idly all day long - those times spent in the case must've been hard on him, I bet... Wait, am I trying to sympathize with him? Foolishness, he's a sword! Grab a hold of yourself, Kane! You're talking with a sentient piece of steel, not another damsel in distress!
"Fine." I walk up to the bastard and pick him up. The scabbard vibrates excitingly under my fingers. "Just, you know, if you can change your shape to that of a beautiful, naked girl, you better tell me now."
"What are you talking about, master?" he asks, with false surprisal "That would be preposterous! I'm a one hundred percent male sword! Though..." he pauses for a moment "I could try to pull of a skeleton with a flaming skull, if you want."
"I think I'll pass."
Hell, he weights on the hand, but when I look down to my waist, intending to strap him to the belt, it's nowhere to be seen. Instead, I see that my body has been adorned by a tar-black kimono-like getup. No wonder I've been feeling a bit funny those last few minutes. Sighing, I step out of the room, and into the mysterious, pitch dark corridors.

Amusing, how most places feel drastically different after nightfall, this one not being an exception for the principle. It already felt a bit... hm, intriguing during the day, and now, the atmosphere has been strenghtened tenfold - frankly, if I were a few years younger, I'd probably be scared. But there's nothing to be afraid of, right? Beside the obvious trio of the shrine's inhabitants, I doubt there's a chance to run into anyone else, unless Reimu took in another guest under my momentary indisposition. Not very plausible, if I'm in any position to talk.
"Hey, Sid." taking a turn, I try to strike up a conversation. Well, it may not be the best term, since I already knew he was aching for a chat, but it seems that he took the conditions I'd laid on the table before taking him quite seriously. Not that it's a bad thing. "How old are you, anyway?"
"Hmm." his thoughtful sigh feels like water slowly flowing through a thick, metal pipe "I sort of lost the count of years around the 500th."
Around the... Five hundreth? Hell, I could swear he looks relatively new. Still, that raises some more questions.
"I see." here's hoping he doesn't sense my shock, I wouldn't like him to get any strange ideas "Who made you?"
"Ah, who made me! Now we're talking!" for some reason, he sounds amused "I was waiting for that question!"
"Well then, get to talking."
I throw him over my shoulder and take another turn. I'd rather jam a screwdriver up my ass than say it out loud, but having someone to talk to while walking these dark corridors feels relaxing.
"It all begun when some local gang of rascals at my village decided I would feel better with 12 inches of steel protruding from my stomach. That, or they were simply after my purse. Taffers." he snorts "Laying a trap in an alley, at night? No honour, no honour at all! Well, the memories are rather hazy after that, but next thing I know, some pale-faced freak digs me out of my grave, and sucks something out of my head, into a jar. Can you believe that?" I'm not sure whether he is actually expecting me to answer or not "The bastard then took me to his cellar. Nasty place, I tell ya. Full of bones, blood and whatnot. Well, the next day, another pale madmad barges in, blasts his friend to pieces, and breaks my cozy jar."
The trauma must have been horrible, I bet.
"So?" I urge "What next?"
"Oh, I lost consciousness for a few hours. Imagine my surprise when I woke up and found out my crotch had suddenly grown a meter long, phallic rod! What man wouldn't like that?" well, I know one, and he's right here "Too bad I'd also lost my limbs in the process. To top it off, whoever did that to me, seemed to think that the best place for a guy like me is a marble pedestal, in a stinky dungeon." for a moment, he appears to be deep in thought "I passed the time by teaching rats how to speak human languages. Until a guy in an outfit straight from ol' Brothir's House of Earthly Pleasures busts in, kills my trained rats, grabs me, and storms outside like a crazed bunny in heat. And that's the story, pretty much. After that, I was more or less passed from hand to hand."
"How did you end up in that box, then?" I ask.
"Shameful story." he admits, a bit reluctantly "There was a party at a local baron's mansion, and the guy who was my owner back then was head to heels in love with his daughter. Too bad the lady had the posture of an elephant, otherwise I wouldn't have commented on it... Poor girl fainted on the spot, after just a tiny, wittle remark about her giant tummy. Her father wasn't of the forgiving type either."
"Ah." I see. Well, not an honourable way to get sealed for god knows how many years. "That's an... unexpectedly interesting story."
"Oh, master." he sighs "If only you knew my joy after such a fine, young man broke me out of my prison! I was delighted, to say the least." That kind of explains the sympathy he seems to be feeling towards me. Not that I'm happy about it, or anything, but... Who wouldn't feel bad, hearing how many misadventures he'd gone through? "Master? Mind if I ask you a question now?"
"Shoot."
"Your tendency to pass out aside, what's up with that red-white girl? She your girlfriend or what?"
"I wish, Sid. I wish."
"Well, she really did act rather familiar with ya, carrying you half-naked into the room, drivin' away the other ladies and dressin' ya up."
Driving away... How come I can totally imagine that? Still...
"I didn't need to know that."
"Now you do. Oh, and after the duel? The gal took your wallet and paid for the stuff with your money."
Wait...
"She WHAT?"
"Er..." Sid falls silent for a few seconds "Like I said, she took your wallet and gave the money to that lady with the strange hat."
I see. I see! So that's why she was acting so friendly, isn't it! Do I mind? Do I mind, I ask? No, I wouldn't mind paying for her stuff a slightest bit, but it's the fact that she took my cash without my consent, at her own will that pisses me off. What of the agreement between me and Barton? No, wait, he said 'the girl', not 'the girl and whatever she had on her'. Good thing he didn't insist on keeping her clothes, then! For fuck's sake, I really wouldn't mind paying for them, but... This is illogical, why am I so furious about someone touching my possessions? No, perhaps it's only natural.
>> No. 21798
But, all of that becomes instantly irrelevant when I take yet another, one could think: insignificant swerve, in an unknown direction. Another corridor leading in an unknown direction, same as many others in this enormously large shrine. What is it, then - you ask - that's so special about it? Oh, it's simpler than you would expect. You see, the reason for my heart speeding up it's pace, is nothing else, but an equally surprised person approaching from the other end. I'd like to be angry, but I just can't, not at that face. As much as I'd like to say I force a false smile onto my face, it creeps all the way up there on it's own. Sid, fortunately, keeps silent.
"H-hey." I greet her, as naturally as possible "Looks like I'm not the only one having trouble sleeping, huh?"
She shoots me something between a spiteful glare and a shy glance, grabbing her forearm with one hand. The white nightshirt she wears composes perfectly with the blackness of her long, loose hair. Someone taught me long ago, that hair tied up emphasizes a girl's feminity, and that let loose, it highlights her innocence. He was true - Reimu looks absolutely adorable without her ribbons. Yet another factor underminding my theory of her nudity being the best outfit possible.
She bites her lip, apparently a bit troubled by this encounter. Somehow, I don't find it any weird. I'm standing on the edge of a chasm here myself. Just looking at her brings back the image from before, the one of her blushing face, so close to mine. What a helpless, poor bastard I am. I should be mad at her, for fuck's sake!
"Hey..." she answers, in an unsure voice "I'm just... kinda nervous."
That I can tell, there's no way her eyes would feel so... disturbed, were she in a calm mood. Yet... I can't help but wonder - as much as it would honour me to be the cause of her uneasiness, there's enough sense in my head to mark that idea as 'highly unlikely'. Just like being walked in on earlier had no effect on her normal functioning whatsoever, I'm sure it's the same right now. She'd just say something along the lines of 'forget about it' and proceed as always. Somehow... it's kind of irritating.
Still, I give her the best shrug I got.
"Welcome to the club." though my reasons are probably the exact opposite of yours "I'm rather anxious as well."
Against all the odds, she smiles a wry smile.
"I don't know if I want to join that club..." But the words share it's sourness. A sigh escapes my lips, though solely to conceal my own lips curving up - there's no discussion, troubled Reimu is the best Reimu I could wish for. Why? Do I derive some sort of twisted pleasure from knocking her off the tracks? I'd say no, but my hitherto deeds would quickly verify that answer as false. What's the point of denying it anyway? Well, I might enjoy tormenting the miko, just like a certain ghost enjoys tormenting me, but it's not enough of a reason not to feel obliged to at least listen to her worries. Just... It wouldn't be my style to propose it outright. There's this thought - a hope, rather - that she at least feels bad about treating me like she did. Still, I can't convince myself to bring it up. But lo and behold... "Hey," she raises her gaze from the floor, and grants my face a brief glance, before letting it fall back down "Could we... um, talk for a bit? Just talk, nothing weird. No punching." she adds, quickly "There's a bench in the inner garden, fresh air would do us both good."

[ ] Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... Of course. Any time, Reimu."
[ ] "If you're looking for comfort, you're looking the wrong way. Besides, I was just going for a walk."
[ ] No need to be rude, even if I'm not in the mood. "Sorry. I'm not feeling like talking, but if it's about helping, you can have this.", then kiss her on the cheek and walk away.
>> No. 21799
[x] "Oh? Well I was just out for a walk; but you know what? I bet Sid would absolutely love to talk with you". Knock the sword against the side of your knee.
[x] Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... Of course. Any time, Reimu."
[x] "Sid, I'm sorry, but I think I'll have to leave you alone again, just for a little while". Set him down against a pillar or something.
>> No. 21800
[x] "Oh? Well I was just out for a walk; but you know what? I bet Sid would absolutely love to talk with you". Knock the sword against the side of your knee.

Nice one.
>> No. 21801
{X} Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... sure."
>> No. 21803
[x] Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... Of course. Any time, Reimu."
>> No. 21804
[x] Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... Of course. Any time, Reimu."

Yes. Talk, just talk. Nothing else. Absolutely nothing else...
>> No. 21805
[x] Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... Of course. Any time, Reimu."
>> No. 21806
[x] Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... Of course. Any time, Reimu."
>> No. 21807
[x] Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... Of course. Any time, Reimu."
>> No. 21808
[X] Smile. "I doubt my company will help you relax, but... Of course. Any time, Reimu."

Sigh. Sigh... Sigh? What is sigh? Well, a sigh is when a guy meets a girl whom he had bailed out of trouble numerous times, despite being a stranger to her, who also didn't hold back violent instincts when they turned against the said guy, ignoring the lack of hostility on his side, as well as his recent physical trauma. A sigh is what escapes his lips when, in spite of all that, she asks him - indirectly, but still - for help with some burning, difficult problem, in the middle of a corridor, and at the same time, the night. One can only ponder what bad luck decided to roll it's die to earn him a chance encounter like this. But you know what's the most surprising? That the guy in question - this humble me - doesn't mind it at all. Just the opposite, actually, I can't help but feel kind of happy, about meeting her here. Not that Sid's story was so boring I was subconsciously wishing for someone else to pop up, but... Well, you get the hint.
So, with that silly smile stuck on my lips like a fly on a piece of sellotape, I sigh, happily.
"I doubt my company will help you relax," she's still avoiding my eyes "But... Of course. Any time." Any time? Did I just say that out loud? Didn't that sound like a confession of obligation? More imporantly, I don't see why would she seek comfort in my person, though, on the other hand, is there anyone else she could turn to in time of need? Suika is out of question, serious issues like global warming bleach in front of her carelessness. And Mima... She might care about her shrine maiden, but I doubt the concerns of mortals would have any meaning for her... Other than the obvious joke potential. Am I the only one relatively responsible here? Seems so. But here I am, bickering with myself over trivial matters. If she misunderstands, it's her problem, I shouldn't even be worried about such things. "Hope you don't have anything against one more person listening?"
Saying that, I knock Sid's scabbard on my knee, and even though I'd expected him to keep quiet, he could've at least thrown a witty remark, if only to vent the atmosphere a little. Still, nothing like that happens. A pity, even if normally I'd be happy about such turn of events. If there's one person who totally lacks the sense of the moment, it's him. Medieval humour sense, and now medieval level of rhetorics. Next thing I discover will be medieval muck inside the sheath, I swear.
"No." at least Reimu sounds unaffected, that is, still a bit unsure about the whole thing "Not at... Not at all."
Without any further ado, she begins to walk off in the direction I came in, only once glancing back no make sure I'm following. And I am, giving Sid what I hope is a meaningful nod beforehand.


...


Beneath a dark, steel sky, we remain in silence, among this little sea of green, in the middle of the mysteriously big shrine, me - staring at the stars above, and her - timidly observing the ground under her feet, with attention that would suggest events of national importance going on between the little rocks the path is made of. It's... kind of nice, to sit beside her like this, without getting disturbed by anything, enjoying the serenity of the night, yet the impending 'talk' she apparently wanted to have drives me insane. Insanely impatient.
Sighing, I unglue my eyes from the firmament, and turn to her.
"So? What was it you wanted to chat about?"
Would you look at her - she looks at me, although briefly, apparently a bit annoyed about getting her rock-gazing interrupted by such meaningless things as - let's not forget it was her who asked for it in the first place - talking with a guy like me. Now that's more like it! Troubled Reimu is great, but spiteful Reimu is as good, if not better. I enjoy both. Still, she ought to at least maintain the usual level of cockiness, no matter the shameful events Mima dragged us into partaking in. Hey, I almost kissed you while holding you down, completely naked, and you don't see me slouching around about it.
"You know," she says, a bit more confidently "To think you were the one who accused me of being unable to read the atmosphere."
"Was I? Maybe." I really can't remember "Maybe not. I never claimed I possess such a feat though."
"True." Saying that, she raises her arms high in the air, stretching her back, and releases a sigh of pleasure into the chilly, nightly air. A small cloud of steam hangs in the air for a few seconds before dissolving into nothingness. "Mmm..." she leans back on the bench, mimicking my relaxed pose "I'm probably worrying about nothing."
"Well then," I try not to admit outright that I, indeed, agree, and she's worrying about something completely unworthy of breaking one's head over "What is that 'nothing'?"
He eyes venture up to the sky I've already scanned for any signs of otherworldly interference.
"It's nothing, really..." I dare not to interrupt her thoughtful pause "... the underground freaks and that celestial bitch are coming over to discuss my-- I mean 'their' hot spring. Though it's not really their, in a stricte sense... I've really no idea what's their business with me. I'm just minding my own problems here, and one day, I get a message saying they're going to visit me in a week."
"That doesn't sound too dangerous."
"Yeah," another sigh escapes her lips, this time a little sadder "But I can't shake off the nerves. It's like... I'm worried about something, but I can't put my finger on it, like..."
"Like," Sid cuts in, making us both jump up, startled "When you're rocking on a chair back and forth, and you push yourself back a little too fast, and as you're about to fall over, you manage to catch balance again, but are still scared for a few more minutes?"
Reimu gapes at my dead-serious friend without a word, while I grimace in disbelief. Why must his metaphors be so... mundane? I mean, yeah, he's a sword, a thing, a tool, it's obvious he would lack any sense of higher philosophy, but... No, perhaps it's only natural for simple things to stick to simple thinking. I'm already afraid of ever meeting a talking stick. Now that would be awkward.
Still, Reimu waves her hand at Sid, in a dismissing way.
"Something like that... I guess." H-hey, you don't simply let him win like that! What if he gets used to it? In this matter, he's worse than a pet dog. A pet dog wouldn't at least question his master's order to 'sit', though I don't know if it would be reasonable to order Sid to sit. Do swords even have butts to sit on? Let's leave pondering about that to professionals. More importantly, Reimu still seems to have someone on her mind. "Kane?"
>> No. 21810
"Yeah?"
"I..." she lets her gaze drop to the ground yet again "I must apologize."
Now what?
"Why?"
"I... took your money, back then in the village. To pay Kamishirasawa."
Ah. That. Too bad I already knew about that, Reimu. Well, a late confession is better than nothing, at least she seems to feel bad about it, which I can appreciate. Does that mean I'm forgiving her? No, perhaps, I've already done so?
"I know." my eyes direct themselves at the stars again. I don't want to look in her eyes now. "Look, next time, just ask me for money. Taking it on your own is reprehensible, but there shouldn't be a problem if you have the owner's consent, right?" I wait for a second, but no response comes out "I thought I'd proven myself trustworthy?"
"That's not it!" she almost leaps at my shoulder, but quickly mitigates herself, and settles back "That's not it..." her mouth repeats, almost like if on it's own "I'm just... not used to it."
"Not used to what?"
"Geez, do I have to spell every single hint out for you?" I bet that if I looked at her face now, there'd be a cute pout. But I don't, in case it's not there, and let the vision inside my head act as a substitute for the uncertain reality. "Not used to people doing... things for me. If you were from where I was from..." she pauses for a moment "I was raised in a way to be used to poverty. My parents didn't have the money to afford anything other than the absolutely necessary stuff. If I wanted to, for example, eat some sweets, I had to... acquire them myself."
"In other words," I cut in "Steal."
"You didn't have to put it so bluntly." her tone sounds rather displeased about that tiny remark of mine "Yeah, I had to steal. Can you blame me? How many times I had I gone through a day without a single meal, I lost count."
So, it's just that. Old habits die hard. Can I blame her? Nope, not really. She'd said she had to undertake preparations for the meeting, so I guess the 'shopping' she did at the village was not for herself, but for the guests... Of course, I still don't approve of thievery, despite having done it - in a way - myself, but that's not the point here. The point is that she doesn't need to worry about such things by herself anymore. Perhaps it's a bit too rushed, but I'm here so... Why can't she depend on me, just a little?
Without looking, I throw an arm around her shoulders, and pull her a little closer. No, not letting her protest either.
"I can't blame you. For various reasons. But I admire your courage. Still..." I fall silent for a moment, and now, without any fear, look at her face "I'm here. Yes, I know what you're thinking," I cut in, seeing her open her mouth to rebut "But there's no need to say anything. Just, you know, share this burden with me. I think I should be able to find enough strength in those shoulders to carry some of your responsibilities. Hm? How about it?"
I wish the light blush that has just crept onto her face wasn't just a creation of my imagination, and that her averting her gaze is a good sign.
"I'm not su--"
"Nicely said, master!" accursed seed of insolence! Why, of all moments, did he have to speak up now?! The miko slips away from my grasp, using this little distraction my metal friend provided. Damn him! "You're a real smooth talker! No woman would be able to resist such a speech! My sincerest praises!"
"Why you--"
I grab the bastard, intending to carve in his scabbard with my nails, until he begs for forgiveness, but lo and behold, someone takes his side, and of all people, it's the selfish girl I was just trying to convince into changing her ways.
"That's right." she agrees with Sid in a voice that could melt a man's pants at twenty paces, with the sheer force of evil intentions "There's also this thing." her eyes shoot me an angry glance "Ever since you came, I've been unable to concentrate." That... Frankly, that's not a bad thing, at least from my point of view, yet I'm not sure if it was her intent to compliment me in a roundabout way. "It's partially your fault I'm like this."
"Hey," I retreat a little, spreading my hands in a 'woah, be cool, man!' gesture, completely out of a reflex "It's not like I can do anything about it! It's your-- no, wait. Perhaps I am to be blamed..." indeed, I am, there should be no need to say why "But honestly, are you expecting me to help?"
She gives me an ironic snort.
"You don't possibly believe you can."

[ ] "Well, if it's about anxiety... And if I'm the reason... I might know just the cure."
[ ] "Go masturbate."
[ ] "Alright." stand up "Let's make an agreement. Tomorrow, I'm at your service, let me help with whatever you need help with. In return... Well, we'll think of something."
[ ] "If you doubt my capabilities of solving dilemmas so much, why don't you try and come up with something?"
[ ] "If that's what you think, I've no choice but to agree. Goodnight, Reimu. I shan't bother you tomorrow."
>> No. 21811
[x] "Well, if it's about anxiety... And if I'm the reason... I might know just the cure."

Giggity.
>> No. 21812
[x] "Alright." stand up "Let's make an agreement. Tomorrow, I'm at your service, let me help with whatever you need help with. In return... Well, we'll think of something."
>> No. 21813
[x] "Well, if it's about anxiety... And if I'm the reason... I might know just the cure."
>> No. 21814
[ ] "Go masturbate."

Mood Breaker much?

[x] "Well, if it's about anxiety... And if I'm the reason... I might know just the cure."
>> No. 21815
[x] "Well, if it's about anxiety... And if I'm the reason... I might know just the cure."
>> No. 21816
[ ] "Well, if it's about anxiety... And if I'm the reason... I might know just the cure."
>> No. 21817
[x] "Well, if it's about anxiety... And if I'm the reason... I might know just the cure."

This will either end very well, or very badly. Either way, no regrets
>> No. 21819
[x] "Go masturbate."
[x] "Here, take Sid. I'm sure he hasn't had any in hundreds of years"

I can't not vote for it. It's just too tempting!
>> No. 21820
Not quite as expected, but at the same time, it's all going according to the plan. I feel obliged to apologize for this little, let's call it: railroad, but it's either the lack of other ideas, or the excessive fondness towards a certain miko to force those kinds of events. Things shall proceed with a bit more freedom in choice from now on, that is, from the next scene, which I'm going to start working on as soon as the working conditions get more... comfortable. In the meantime, let the writefag baww over his inability to get farther than Fallout3's main menu.
>> No. 21821
[x] "Go masturbate."
[x] "Here, take Sid. I'm sure he hasn't had any in hundreds of years"

Nothing of wrong will come from this.

>>21820
>railroad, but it's either the lack of other ideas, or the excessive fondness towards a certain miko to force those kinds of events

Yeah, that's been pissing me off for some time. Too much Reimu.
>> No. 21822
>>21821

May I remind you most of the time it was your free will that condemned Kane to Reimu's company, not my whim. Only now did I force anything... Er... Sorry, what do you call the feeling when your 10 years old brother plays Touhou better than you do? I'm rather... disgruntled.
>> No. 21823
>>21822
>your free will that condemned Kane to Reimu's company

Not mine. But hey, what do you say about the "I like you" option right on the second thread?
>> No. 21824
>>21823

Honestly? I wanted one of the 'badass' ones to win. If only to make the fight at least a little bit exciting. After that 'I like you', the atmosphere got a bit too sappy to introduce a proper... You know, fighting mood. Or do you mean the 'love at the first sight' bit? Treat what Kane says less seriously when there's no need for that. We've yet to get to serious business, but it's drawing nearer with every update.

Next one, by the way, is 70% done, and it's already a wall. Sorry, it wasn't intentional, I just let my fingers run loose and... Well, that's how it is. Stay sharp, I should be done within the next hour.
>> No. 21825
[X] "Well, if it's about anxiety... And if I'm the reason... I might know just the cure."

Is this a suggestion, or a simple misunderstanding on my side? Unintentional slip, or a concealed invitation? To be lost would be a natural thing in this situation, let alone my already stirred up state of thoughts, handing me visions that should forever remain sealed and unnamed, not even the most mellow example given out to show how more drastic they can get. I'm so full of passion right now it would be enough to fill at least two French erotic novels, from board to board. Fault of her presence? Or rather, all the teasing from Mima's nimble fingers and soft bust? God one knows, and I don't feel qualified to question his judgements. You want to torment me, just like everyone else? Fine, just don't cry when I get my hands on your ass, okay? What a bother.
Still, didn't she admit herself liking me? Not only that too, unless my imagination had been playing tricks on me, I heard her say 'I enjoyed it' back during the bath incident, bah, I could literally feel her giving in to my... excess. Hell if it's not satisfying to know that, even though in the end, I got my balls kicked, fortunately, not in the stricte sense. Then, could that mean she's dragged me out here to... Resume what I wasn't given the leisure of finishing?
"Well..." I half-sigh, half-state, trying to vent the overheating central processing unit of mine. The upper one, mind you. "If it's about anxiety..."
"Mhm." she nods.
"And if I'm the reason..."
"Mhm." and again. What is it she expects me to say?
"Then... I might know just the cure."
My lips syllabise every word, as if to emphasize their hidden meaning. Hidden? Scrap that, I don't think it could get any more suggestive without stating outright the will to... Officially, help her relax. Unofficially? Satiate my own needs, in a way that would please both me and her. Double-faced bastard, am I? Blame me, if you can.
"Reeaaaally." her tone reminds me of that of a mother, whose child has just announced he has a present for her, and she does her best to feign surprise. For some reason, it feels weird. "I wonder."
That's the trigger. The look in her eyes sets off the mechanism that the rest of her body constructed a while ago. Cogs come in motion, belts transfer the force, biological engines awaken with a mute roar, all intent on moving it's shell, against the reason, but according to will, closer to the girl who dares to doubt my determination. Closer? Pardon me my laconic descriptions, it would be more accurate to say 'onto her'. Before I know, my body's laying on top of hers, spread on the bench like on a really narrow bed. How did I manage that, is beyond me, but it all becomes irrelevant when faced with her eyes. Her arms reach for my shoulders, and one of her legs I can feel touching my side.
"Am I..." she whispers "Really that tempting...?"
I smile.
"Whose lips said that?"
Then, without any further ado, without any insignificant words, I move on to kiss her.
Closing my eyes.
Enjoying every little split-second of the contact.
The warmth.
And the consciousness of it being the girl I'd wanted to see for so long. That she wasn't the only one I wished to meet doesn't matter. Right now, there's only her, and her lips. It's all that matters. Something feels off about the whole thing, but I put it on the account of our short acquaintance. Really, what a fool I am, what's the point in holding back? We might've met only today, but... Didn't we both admit liking each other? So... There's no point...
My hand reaches for her naked thigh. Her skin tenses under my fingertips, just like before. So delicate. So sensitive. I... I want to caress it for as long as possible. But...
When I open my eyes...
"---?!" My body jumps back on it's own, falling off the bench, landing on the gravelled path, sending painful waves up my back. "M-MADNESS! What magic is this?!"
Where there was a miko a second ago, sits the familiar figure of the green-haired ghost, smirking at me in a mocking way. Almost like if a fuse went out in my brain, everything becomes an unorderly mess. Nothing makes sense anymore. What... How... When...?!
Mima gives me a wink.
"Oh, no need to be so rude!" her voice vibrates with false offense "Am I really worse than Reimu?"
"T-t-that's not--"
My shaky voice gets interrupted by a muffled cackle.
"Hah hah hah!" even you, Sid, against me?! "I knew it! I knew something was wrong with this shrine maiden! Well played, partner!"
P-partner? What a great and intoxicating insolence, they were in cahoots?! What manner of foolery is this?!
"Hahaha, I know, right?" Mima smiles, this time genuinely entertained "High five!" A moment of awkward silence ensues between the members of the scheming duo, followed by Mima clearing her throat in a conspirational way. "Anyway." No use in running, though my muscles scream, urging the rest of the body to get up and get away from the unfathomable unfolding of events. Before I know, Mima is already embracing me from behind, like she usually is. Usually. I'm being way too familiar with her. "Same goes for you."
"What do you--"
"Reimu would totally fall for that. I'm serious." she adds quickly "I allowed myself to take a dive in her head, so I'd know." Take a... Wait, does that mean she's been reading Reimu's thoughts? This is... dangerous. "Oh, don't give me that look." the ghost continues "I avoid messing with men's minds. I tend to get... horny." Speaking of minds, this one cannot even comprehend the meaning of her words before she vanishes from my sight, and reappears on the left, just beside the door leading inside. Miraculously, I find enough strength to at least face her, keeping my teeth clenched as hard as possible. "Too bad, Romeo! Today it was just me. Better luck next time!"
"Wait!" I stop her, seeing how she was about to disappear yet again "You're not going to... tell her about this, right?"
The way she puts a finger to her lips looks almost insulting.
"I'll think about it."



Falling back onto my mattress, I can only wish for no more excitements tonight. Just... Hell, just let me sleep, alright? Just let me sleep...
"Sid, why didn't you tell me anything?"
"T'is none of my business what you do with the women."
It's not, if you're joining arms with one of them to torture me with poor pranks! Have all the years in a sword's form deprived you of common logic?
"... whatever." I turn away from him and cover myself with the eiderdown "Goodnight."
"Sweet dreams, master."

I wish I had enough strength to roll over and throw him against a wall.
Fortunately for him, the soft blackness comes quicker than my yearning for revenge.
>> No. 21826
...


The pain feels almost nostalgic - almost the same kind of annoyingly intensive buzzing in the back of the skull, accompanied by axons screaming in dissatisfied anger after a slightest movement, even as trivial as opening one's lips to let out a curse, forgetting any stealth and discretion he might've needed before passing out after clumsily falling off a roof. This is even worse than that bug youkai jumping my head on the first day, back then I could at least fight the damn thing, as opposed to the current situation. Ah, if it only were possible to show the gravity who's the strongest! Even if I'm not, it would be nice to grab it by the collar and plant a juicy punch on it's cheek - and get beaten to a pulp afterwards. Still, it would be SO worth it. Someone needs to kick the ever-loving crap out of mother Earth some day, and sure as shit it isn't gonna be one of those village runts. Yet another long-term goal to scribble down in my agenda.
We may as well start by blindly punching the ground.
"Ouch."
I can boast, but no matter how hard a guy clenches his fists, they're never gonna be harder than the stony pavement. Pity. My eyes also seem to be determined on staying closed, despite the obvious privileges they'd gain by simply opening. Time to beat some sense into the bastards.
Hench-ho! Here opens the gate to hell! Hell full of orange sunlight, ironically. It stings, and for the love of god, it stings severely. Still, not enough to blot out the incredibly peculiar sight that has unfolded before my tired eyeballs.
"It's not nice to go through other people's things." I throw, as leisurely as possible and smirk "We're birds of a feather, aren't we?" With a loud, unpleasant jingle, the knife she's been playing with up till know falls to the ground, causing her whole body to jerk up at this sudden, hm, interruption. Guess I startled her a little bit. The gaze of fiery red, but not bloodshot eyes looks sarcastically timid compared to their fierce colour, almost like if a tiger decided to play a kitty for a little while. Can't help but smile, even though she was the one who condemned my poor head to this fate. Well, ain't gonna let the most precious of my things get dirty. I grab it. "You still here?"
To my surprise, she looks around frantically, as if checking if no one is listening. Quite contrary to her previous absentminded behaviour. If a sleeping person managed to sneak up on her - in a way - alive one could bust a cap in her butt without getting detected. Careless, girl! You're too careless!
"Ah," her voice matches her stare in the department of being disturbed "N-no, I was just--"
"I thought we're enemies."
"E-enemies?"
"Weren't we having a little fight just before mom earth decided to kick my sorry ass, dummy?" I scratch my head "Or am I forgetting something?"
She looks equally troubled as before, and there still are no explanations regarding why exactly did I find myself in this alley instead of a jail. Her merit? Perhaps, I'm in no position to make assumptions, seeing how there seems to be a chunk of memories missing from my head. Or it's just a giant misunderstanding and that girl is simply too dumb to know when to retreat from the crime scene. If so, I owe her, but hell if it isn't stupid of her.
"N-no..." she finally mutters "You fell off, and I dragged you all the way here."
"What for?" I more snort out than say, unable to hold back the amusement "That's an unusual thing to do, to someone who ate your buns. You know," I cast her a playful wink "If it were you who ate my buns, I'd be rather pissed."
In return, her eyebrows form an angry frown. Cute.
"Maybe, but mom always says we should help people in need. And..." she pauses for a moment, her eyes escaping mine yet again "I... didn't want you to... tell on me."
Tell on her? I don't even know-- Oh. Oooh. Wait a moment. There's only one human family in Gensokyo with such traits I know of - black hair, reddish eyes... Don't tell me, I bumped into... Hahaha, this is too good to be true!
"Hey, dummy. You're not the daughter of Hakurei, are you?"
Now I've crossed the line it seems, as she practically pouts at me, with that frown still plastered onto her forehead.
"I'm not dummy!" she yells "I'm Reimu!"
Ah, so I deduced correctly her identity. It wasn't any difficult, seeing how the Hakurei family members all share the same characteristical traits, but why would they let their daughter roam the streets of the human village all on her own is beyond me. She can't be any older than 12, at least that's what her looks tell me, and as far as I'm concerned, I've always been good at careful observation. I saw the Hakurei shrine maiden once, but it was only a brief encounter, though her husband sometimes flies over the forest, often in hurry to wherever he might be heading. That suffices to say, with full confidence, that this here girl before me - a would-be thief too - is no one else than the only daughter of that family. Reimu Hakurei, huh? Well... She still is a dummy to me - handing me a trump card without even probably realizing it. Dummiest of dummies, if not the Dummy Queen. Silly Hakurei.
"It's an honour to meet the daughter of the famous Hakurei family, Reimu." I say with a tangible hint of irony, and forcefully grab her hand, then shake it "They call me 'Seven', though you can call me 'Uncle'."
She blinks a few times before regaining the full consciousness and pulling her delicate palm out of my grip.
"U-uncle?"
"Yes." I smile "Just like that."
"I didn't call you 'uncle', uncl--" she falls silent seeing my satisfied grin "Nevermind that! M-more importantly, I helped you! So keep quiet about... about the buns, okay!"
Hm, this is quite unfavourable. Sun seems to be setting already, and thanks to this momentary indisposition, I didn't get to buy anything for the supper. Doubt the stalls are still there, seeing - or rather, hearing - that the bustling has gotten much lesser, and the night draws near with every minute. No one wanders the roads at night, and not every single on the stall owners live in the village. Same goes for shops.
"I'm hungry," I state, returning my eyes to the girl "What are you going to do about that?"
"What am I..." a short pause "Wait, why are you asking me?"
"Oi, didn't you say that Hakurei are supposed to help people in need? I'm in grave need here, you see." I point to my stomach "It hungers. Screams in agony, even."
Of course, that's exaggerating, still, it seems to have an intended effect on her, as she stands up, dusting off her clothes.
"I... I suppose I could ask mom if there were any leftovers from the dinner..."
Ah, there we go! Finally, something definite!
I spring off the ground, disregarding the 'light' state of my head, and start heading off, towards what I think is the village's main gate.
The girl dashes after me, screaming something.
"H-hey! Wait! The road is the other way!"
"Nonsense!" I wave off her efforts to stop me and persist in my way "There's a shortcut over there, and my legs are aching."
She catches up and grabs my sleeve.
"I don't want any shortcuts! Look," she tugs on it, although lightly "We'll fly, so just let me lead the way, okay?"
I can't help but smile.
"If you insist."

Just as planned.
>> No. 21827
...


Weird dreams are either something natural in Gensokyo, or something natural for a head that's had enough of sorting out too confusing data gathered during the previous day during the night, and decided to offer a spectacle of bizarre images instead, playing pranks on it's poor owner. Where've I heard that before? No matter, it's not like I can recall anything specific about that dream, except the fact it was weird. In a bad sense, too, what's the point in remembering things like that? Let it slip, Kane. Let it slip by. There's enough mess as it is, no need of making it more complicated, especially through something as trivial as a strange dream. One kilogram of 'whatever', on one leg, waiter! Thank you, thank you, now go back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich.
Groaning, I raise myself from Morpheus' embrace and rub my tired eyelids. Tired with way too short sleep, if that makes any sense. Well, crying won't help, I woke up, no use in lazing about. Today's an important day for the Hakurei shrine. Or not, at least it's enough of a reason to convince my muscles to cooperate.
"Morning, master." Sid greets me in the never changing, joyful tone of his "How are we feeling?"
"As if though a hundred steamrollers drove over me."
Here's hoping my hoarse voice is a sufficient proof.
"I can't talk for the others, master," he answers "But I sure as hell didn't do anything."
Like if he could. No one's blaming you, Sid. If I had a meter long metal rod shoved up my ass during my sleep, I'd know about it, believe me. Wait, 'can't talk for the others'? Fishy, to say the least, if not outright suspicious. Mima again? Her her sake, I better hope she didn't set any other jokes in motion. If she did, it ain't gonna be easy on her, oh no. I've had enough of your sass, damn ghost! Sigh. But is there a point in thinking about all this now? I doubt it. Well, my normal clothes appear to be gone, and all I'm wearing is this black kimono I found myself wearing yesterday. On the brighter side - seems a kind soul decided to have mercy upon a tired man, and left a set of disturbingly red clothes beside his resting place. Clothes, whose pattern I immediately recognize. Running through them, there's no shirt, but the pants and the sarashi give off enough red-and-white vibes to call them probably 'the official Hakurei resident garment'. Still, it's better than nothing.
"Gah-- Master, what are you doing?!"
"Hm?" I interrupt the contemplation of the pants' complicated waist-tying mechanism and turn to Sid. "What do you mean?"
"G-getting naked all of a sudden, what if-- What if someone walks in?"
"Oh." I give him a short, dismissing wave "I don't mind."
"There's also me!"
Oh, he couldn't possibly be embarrassed? Wasn't he a '100 percent male sword'? There's nothing wrong in two buddies - if you could call us like that - strip in front of each other, if there's no more convenient way - it's natural.
"I mind you even less. On negative scale, since I don't mind the girls looking."
Yeah, that event in the bath rended me of every last bit of shame. Is this perhaps the first step on a long road to exhibitionism? Why am I even considering such a possibility? I should probably be more worried about the whereabouts of my underwear... Though, well, those pants are comfy enough to make wearing anything else underneath pretty pointless, if not simply nonsensical. Here goes one worry. Now, that sarashi? Did she - whichever of the girls left those here - really expect me to wear it? What's the point?
With an irritated snort, I throw the damn thing onto the mattress, and grab Sid off the ground.
"Really, master." he says when we cross the doorstep "You're giving me the creeps."

Now, where to?

[ ] The kitchen. My hunger is unquenchable vagabond!
[ ] Bathroom. There has to be one around here somewhere.
[ ] Front yard. Time to challenge the sun.
[ ] Sneak out through the back and have a walk.
>> No. 21828
>No one's blaming you, Sid. If I had a meter long metal rod shoved up my ass during my sleep, I'd know about it, believe me.

hahahaha

[x] The kitchen. My hunger is an unquenchable vagabond!
>> No. 21829
[x] The kitchen. My hunger is unquenchable vagabond!
[x] Front yard. Time to challenge the sun.

A meal and a workout.
>> No. 21830
File 123316505050.jpg - (75.60KB , 598x477 , mimaroll.jpg ) [iqdb]
21830
[x] The kitchen. My hunger is unquenchable vagabond!

Well played, Mima.
>> No. 21831
[x] Front yard. Time to challenge the sun.

Fucking awesome Wall, never knew YAF could do this.
>> No. 21832
[x] The kitchen. My hunger is an unquenchable vagabond!
>> No. 21833
[x] The kitchen. My hunger is an unquenchable vagabond!

All of this dreaming about buns gets to ya.
>> No. 21834
[x] The kitchen. My hunger is an unquenchable vagabond!
>> No. 21835
[X] The kitchen. My hunger is unquenchable vagabond!

This will probably make me look like a moron in the eyes of anyone who cares, but now that I think about it, the previous day I went through without a single meal - on one hand, it's a sign of something going wrong with my biology, yet on the other, I wasn't really awake for long enough to get hungry, same goes for the energy that seems to be pushing out from beneath my skin. Up till now I've taken good care of this body, eating balanced - and every day the same - meals and whatnot, always going to sleep at the same time, all that rubbish you see in fashion magazines. 'Live like a film star', they said. 'Become the second Celine Dion', they said. Bullshit, I've yet to see a pretty actress in the mirror, let alone a handsome actor. Well, this is a disputable matter, but for sure, I'm no actor. Acting? Forget that, let's always play open cards, catch the moment! Spend this overdue energy on something productive! For example, calming down the roaring stomach of mine. Mine hunger is unquenchable vagabond! That I don't know where the kitchen is? To hell with it, my nose shall guide me, and for the sake of everyone here, it better guides me well!

Lo! The period of troubled wandering comes to an end with a wave of vivid smells, coming out from behind the door I stopped in front of, purely by chance - and yet it seems my instincts’ gotten sharper since that field trip in the sixth grade. If it were now, I'd kick the crap out of that polar bear, even if it was just a hallucination brought forth by high fever I caught by wandering caves for hours, lost in the stony maze. But that's the story of the past, Kane, my man. You ought to concentrate on the present! Open the door! Open the door! Here goes, oh yeah!
"Good day!" say my lips "Salutations!"
"That's my line!"
Silence, insolent piece of steel! None can kill my enthusiasm right now! It's a new day, it's a new start, and here comes the man, straight into the ring! Ready to box the life out the window! Oh yeah! Too bad my opponent this time is a woman - and what's more, the very same woman whose prank I foolishly fell for last night. Hovering above the old-fashioned stove, an apron adorning her front side - does she really need that? But it fits the image, so I let it go.
"Good morning, Romeo."
She finds enough courage to call me the same name she did back then, completely unaffected by whatever images my face might recall. I, on the other hand, begin to feel a bit uncomfortable. I thought it was Reimu I had kissed, but now that the heat of surprise is gone, my mouth seems to think Mima was fine as well. No, it's not like I ever said it felt bad, but... Hm, it's like going to a shop and buying vanilla ice cream, only to come back home and discover it's strawberry shaved ice. Not exactly bad, but not exactly the same thing either.
"Helping with the cooking?" here's hoping she's not meddling with my thoughts right now "Somehow I get the feeling that's not like you, Mima."
She taps her side with one hand, and gives me a false scowl.
"Now don't be so sure, young man." her voice betrays her amusement though "I try to be useful from time to time." Like a usually uncaring mother, suddenly realizing she ought to do something for her children - I add in my head. Still, I didn't expect her to be actually able to cook, let alone four things at once. All the years spent on this plane paid off, huh? I wonder what else has the un-life taught her. "Hey," she interrupts my careful observation of the happily steaming pots "I've got an idea. Can you cook?"
"More or less."
After all, I'd lived all these years alone, and somehow managed to have a warm meal every day. Guess that's enough to ensure my ability to cook?
"Marvellous." she clasps her hands together "Then how about you watch over those while I go wake her up? Then you can say you've made it all yourself, that'll appeal to her for sure."
"I don't know..." Wouldn't that pretty much defeat the purpose of waking up early and doing some behind the scenes preparations? Why are you handing the fruits of your efforts to someone else so selflessly? "Why?"
"What do you mean," she circles around me, waggling the dangerously dirty spoon around "Why? Aren't you trying to get on her good side?"
"No," I reply, a bit concerned about her kindness "It's more about you."
"Oh, don't sweat it!" she taps the filthy thing on my shoulder, miraculously without burning my skin with whatever it is stuck onto it "It's not like she'd believe old Mima can cook." her smile feels almost false, but it might be just my imagination "Now, grab the spoon and take care of my children."

[ ] "... alright. Still, I think we shouldn't lie about me making them. I don't like lying."
[ ] "You know what, I'd like to see her face when she sees all those and hears you made them. I'll go grab her, and you be careful not to burn anything."
[ ] "... if you say so. Go get your shrine maiden, then! And Mima... thanks. For helping and all."
>> No. 21836
[x] "..."
>> No. 21837
[ ] "... alright. Still, I think we shouldn't lie about me making them. I don't like lying."

YAF, its good to see your never ending mikolust again (i just read TSR, neglected to do so before for i thought you were banned)
>> No. 21838
[x] "... alright. Still, I think we shouldn't lie about me making them. I don't like lying."
>> No. 21839
>>21836

Aren't you, by chance, mistaking characters? Fuku's having a nap, a long, deep nap. Don't wake her up, would you kindly?
>> No. 21840
[X] "... alright. Still, I think we shouldn't lie about me making them. I don't like lying."
>> No. 21841
[x] "You know what, I'd like to see her face when she sees all those and hears you made them. I'll go grab her, and you be careful not to burn anything."

Wait a second....
>and breaks my cozy jar
>The scabbard vibrates excitingly under my fingers.
>Well played, partner!
>There's also me!

[x] "Sid... By any chance, are you a masochist?"
>> No. 21842
>>21839

Anon: Hey Fuku? Fuku! Fu-Ku-Zai~ Wakey wakey. Fuuuuukuuuuu~n.
Fuku: "SHUT THE FUCK UP!"
Anon: But I've got food for you~ Tastey, delicious food~
Fuku: "..."
Anon: Fuku~ You want? Do you~?
Fuku: "I... I want"
Anon: Say please~
Fuku: "P- Please..."
Anon: Make the sound a doggy makes~
Fuku: "Are you out of your tiny fucking mind?"
Anon: Such a large feast~ So much food~ What to do with it all~? I wonder~ I wonder~
Fuku: "Wan..."
Anon: Hm~?
Fuku: "W- Wan! Wan!"
Anon: Good girl. Now say 'Ahh~n'
Fuku: "Ahh~n"
Renji: "Hey, what's going on in here? Fuku? Hey Fu- dear lord, too cute!"

R.I.P. Anon and Renji. Cause of death: Moebeetus.
>> No. 21843
[x] "You know what, I'd like to see her face when she sees all those and hears you made them. I'll go grab her, and you be careful not to burn anything."

HA HA HA HA IN YOUR FACE YOU DUPLICITOUS GHOST
>> No. 21845
[x] "You know what, I'd like to see her face when she sees all those and hears you made them. I'll go grab her, and you be careful not to burn anything."
>> No. 21846
[x] "You know what, I'd like to see her face when she sees all those and hears you made them. I'll go grab her, and you be careful not to burn anything."
>> No. 21850
>>21842
A looooooong, deeeeeep nap. Really, she's just sleeping. She'll wake up some day. I'm sure. She'll... wake up... Sniff ;-;

>>21837
Always nice to have an additional reader and voter. I'd ask 'how is it', but I'm afraid of the answer.

I had a WHAT AM I WRITING FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR attack last night, but it was quickly disposed of by applying a large dose of DMC4. Directly to the forehead.

By the way, there's still no winning option.
>> No. 21852
[x] "You know what, I'd like to see her face when she sees all those and hears you made them. I'll go grab her, and you be careful not to burn anything."

I didn't want to vote for this, but the faster this route ends, the faster the next one starts.
>> No. 21853
[X] "You know what, I'd like to see her face when she sees all those and hears you made them. I'll go grab her, and you be careful not to burn anything."

Alright, to have her propose a free chance for 'improving' Reimu's opinion of me, at the cost of her own effort makes me think she's trying to make up for the yesterday's excess, or simply being nice to compensate for the speech and endeavours gone to waste. Unlikely? Am I really in a position to make any assumptions? Still, as much as I'd like to impress the miko, doing so by cheating feels wrong - be it because of some concealed morals of mine, or stealing the effects of Mima's work. Reimu might not treat the ghost seriously, but even during this short stay here, I've managed to see that it works the other way around - in her own, twisted way, Mima cares about 'her shrine maiden'. Often causing trouble instead of helping, but it's the intents that count, no? She may jest around, but I seriously doubt she ever means real harm.
"You know what," I shove the spoon off my shoulder "Maybe you're right, but I'd like to see her face when she sees all those and hears you made them."
As if though I said something really stupid, the prodigal mother gives me a knock on the head. Her hand makes a move like if it wanted to ruffle my hair, but quickly retreats under my rather serious stare.
"Aw, that's sweet." her face seems to say otherwise "But you're wasting a perfectly fine chance on me."
Am I, now? Even if, I've already said that - it doesn't feel nice to cheat.
"Well then, it's my loss." hope my expression is indifferent enough to convince her that I really don't care "Where's her room?"
"Hmm..." it's almost annoying to wait through her long pause "Go right from the bath and look for a door with a load of paper charms on it."
"Charms?" I ask "Why would she put charms on her door?"
Mima gives me an all-knowing smile.
"To keep me away, what else?"
Ridiculous.
"Does it work?"
"Not at all."
I let out a sigh, not sure what to think of the whole thing - let alone the reason for Reimu's antipathy towards one of her shrine's residents and the need of protecting her private space from her. The fact that it doesn't work makes it look even dumber. Still, that's none of my business.
"Okay, I'll go grab her and you..." I give the pots a brief glance "Be careful not to burn anything."
Smack. Yet again my head suffers the gentle irritation of Mima's fist.
"Have some faith, nonbeliever!"


...


Don't ask me how I found the right room so fast - I've no idea either, and it sure as hell wasn't my nose this time, unless I'm secretly a tracking dog, and Reimu smells of freshly fried steaks. No matter, at least lady Fortune finally graced me with a kind look - the time saved in the process I can spend on doing something more prolific, dynamic, fruitful! For instance, breach this wall of protective talismans and infiltrate the room beyond. Why do I even feel excited about doing this sort of thing? Do I sense some forbidden pleasure in breaking into Reimu's kingdom? Perhaps, but for the sake of my ego, let's just assume I'm being nervous - god knows what I may find there, not to mention the potential number of hells she might make me go through if I catch her under unfavourable circumstances. Speaking of which, it's going to be a torture to go through today knowing the last night did not officially happen. Curse you, Mima, and your hoaxes!
Back to the present, though, I don't think knocking would do any good - there'd at least be some rustling coming from the other side if she were awake, and all I can hear is faint snoring - more loud breathing than snoring, really. No need to hold back then, I swing the door open, and boldly step inside.
"Holy hell." The scene is shocking to say the least. One would expect an important religious and authoritative figure to at least look diligently in sleep, but all I see is a girl spread over craggy sheets, completely oblivious of the fact her stomach is completely exposed to whoever may care enough to spare a glance - that is, in this shrine, only me. Better stop contemplating the view before my brain comes up with any weird ideas. The task, I've yet to complete my task! Mima's creations are getting cold while I procrastinate over something completely irrelevant. Well, partially irrelevant, but that's beside the point.
Squatting by the careless girl's side, I clear my throat. "Reimu."
Nothing. Ignorance, if anything else - or she's having too nice of a dream to pay any heed to this humble me. Either way, to let her do as she pleases would be irresponsible - plus, this is quite a nice excuse to use more drastic methods. Like, for example, pinching her nose.
"...--wah?!" This time, the reaction is instant. Stifled gasp escapes her surprised lips as I retreat, barely evading her forehead, that's suddenly decided to spring away from the embrace of the wrinkled pillow. Her hazy eyes greet me with a weird look. "... wah." she repeats her squeal in a much calmer way "... wah."
And again, only this time, her head falls back onto the covers, face turned away from me. Peculiar, and rather annoying.
"Reimu, it's--"
"I had a nightmare," unexpectedly, she interrupts my words "And it seems I'm still dreaming it. Wake me up when it's over."
"What--" Why did I get that ominous feeling right now? If seeing me is somehow a continuation of the 'nightmare', then it doesn't take top-notch wits to infer it's main theme. For some reason, I recall the events of the last night. Here's hoping I'm overreacting, and Mima can't manipulate people's dreams, only see into them. That shouldn't be a problem for her, seeing how she was able to leisurely read the miko's thoughts - or so she claimed so just after shattering a part of my world. "For fuck's sake." In any case, I've no intentions of coping with this selfish behaviour. Nightmares or not, playtime is over, you'll have enough time to slouch around later, when we're done with official business, Reimu. Here goes, I grab her wrist and literally pull her out of her sleep again. Yet another displeased stare is being given to me, yet this time, much more conscious. And much angrier. "Grab a hold of yourself, damn you."
She's glaring daggers, I swear.
"Can't really do, seeing a half-naked man as the first thing in the morning." I let go of her forearm, sensing the impending wave of hostility "Thank you. What the hell's up with that getup anyway?"
"I'd like to know that myself, actually." she gives me a weird look, so I decide to give some addinational explanation "It's all there was when I woke up. Someone took my normal clothes."
She looks at me for a few more seconds before squeezing her nose with two fingers.
"Right..." I can barely hear her "I forgot about that... Ugh." her eyes return to my face "I should've known you wouldn't wear the top part."
WAS there a top part? Or does she mean the sarashi? Whatever, it doesn't matter now, I'm comfortable as it is. This also raises some questions about them finding their way to my room while the miko was asleep, but let's leave it alone for now.
"Okay, so why exactly am I to wear those?"
"Why, of course, you're going to help me, aren't you?"
Was that a question? Or an order. Her expression appears to be supporting the latter option.

[ ] "Actually, I think it would be better if I spent the day at the village. Or somewhere else. One less nuisance, right?"
[ ] Sigh. "I'll try, but for now, get dressed. There's a surprise for you in the kitchen."
[ ] Confession time. "While you're still half-awake... There's something I have to tell you. About last night."
[ ] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?
>> No. 21854
[x] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?

I'll do my best!
>> No. 21855
{X} Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?
>> No. 21856
[ ] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?

Should we do this? I don't care, too tempting.
>> No. 21857
[x] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?
[x] Here, she can wear our pants. We'd much rather parade around in the nude or as sarashi-man instead of 1/10th of him.
>> No. 21858
File 12332569038.jpg - (12.72KB , 378x301 , heart attack.jpg ) [iqdb]
21858
>Her hazy eyes greet me with a weird look. "... wah." she repeats her squeal in a much calmer way "... wah."

My god.

[ ] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?
>> No. 21859
[x] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?

Finally caught up from 3 posts behind. ♥ your walls, Yaf.

So, is anyone else suddenly interested in a Mima route next run?
>> No. 21860
>>21859

Not really; she seems pretty intent on hooking Kane up with the miko
>> No. 21861
[x] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?

>>21859
>So, is anyone else suddenly interested in a Mima route next run?

Eh...no.
>> No. 21862
>>21861
>>Eh...no.
Mima ;_; forever consigned to a loveless (after)life.
>> No. 21865
File 123328333089.png - (54.09KB , 365x480 , roa.png ) [iqdb]
21865
>Mima ;_; forever consigned to a loveless (after)life.
>> No. 21866
[x] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?
>> No. 21867
[X] Help her, is it? Shall we start with dressing her up?

Wonderful, simply marvellous, Reimu! Turns out you can't grasp the nature of your position in this relationship yet, despite all the events of yesterday, and all the efforts of this outsider to point out the correct spot, the one suitable to seat your cute butt upon. Feeling like ordering me around? It would take forty grumpy shrine maidens to oust me from the battle for the higher position - evidently, you're highly outnumbered! What a shame, don't you think? Well, it's not like I had any intention of denying you the helping hand anyway, it's just that your cheekiness doesn't help to make it feel natural one bit. Shove your girly pride up your nose, and let the man take care of things, would you kindly? As if, it seems this girls ardour towards bossing people around surpasses the strength of her reason. No matter, if it's help she wants, it's help she gets. Only maybe not in a way she'd like to receive it. Label it as 'revenge', if you must, I'd rather call it 'feeding the wolf while preserving the sheep'. Besides, there's an obligation of researching a certain, tiny, wittle fact. For that purpose...
"Ah yes," I smile the warmest smile my lips can manage "Certainly, I'm here to lend you my aid after all."
Perfect, she swallows the bait along with the rod, if such a metaphor can be used in the face of her satisfied nod. Her lips give off the vibes of a lingering grin, but perhaps she's retained enough diligence not to appear outright victorious. Is she taking pity on me? Or just the opposite - feeling bad for making someone she - if her words are to be believed - apparently feels fond off? One devil knows, and frankly, he can keep it to himself. Pity she won't get to savour this momentary triumph. I, on the other hand, will gain much to savour, if the plan proceeds as intended.
"Glad you understand." she sounds contented as well. Poor girl. "I'll explain everything after I grab something to eat. Now," she stands up, stretching her back quickly, as though she was in a rush somewhere "I'd like to get changed. If you'd be so kind to get the hell out, I'll be grateful."
Ah, here it goes, the first and foremost point of the list - demand to leave. Engaging phase two... Phase two engaged! Weapons offline - Sid lands on the floor, but keeps quiet about this rough treatment, again surprising me with his obedience. He might be my only weapon, but I wouldn't need it against the miko anyway - my bare hands ought to suffice. Ought to, and will. My legs lift me off the ground, firmly, completely convinced about the plan's righteousness. For once, my whole body complies with the commands I give.
I run a hand through my hair, adding to Reimu's impatience, I hope, for there is a malicious satisfaction in prolonging the moment. Show must go on though, as the cliché goes, and I let a grin creep onto my lips.
"Well, well, would you look at that." I exclaim, drunk with the prospect of impending events "Here you were asking for help, and now you're driving me out? Being so irresolute so early in the morning... You are slipping badly."
Her frown is almost hilarious. I'm having difficulty with holding back the laughter, this is simply too great of a show to remain unmoved.
"I don't think," she articulates every word so audibly it almost hurts my pride "There's anything I need help with right now."
"Is that so? Because I see one, and it's of great significance."
She cocks her head to the side, still not able to comprehend my words. Well, had she followed my eyes, she would've known instantly what I meant, but it would seem that there was something more essential than my playful stare keeping her attention. In a way, she was doing to me the same thing I was doing to her. Ironic, if not amusing. What a helpless girl. I've simply no choice but to help her, isn't that right? This is going to be a great fun, to shatter her shame once again!
Quickly as a diving swallow, I too dive forward, and utilizing the slippery cloth of the covers, slide between her legs, barely avoiding hitting my forehead on her crotch - or should I say, regrettably? - and when I emerge from between the heavenly delicious thighs, raise my hand. There, my fingers can clearly feel the proper spot, the one which I need to grab, and pull as strong as possible... To yank the white nightshirt off her body, whole at once. Amazing how smoothly it went, without as much as a single surprised squeal, or a slightest hint of resistance.
"Wha--?!"
Scrap that, she did actually manage to yelp once, but it was only due to my temporal lack of attention - which was concentrated on stealing a sniff on the shirt before going back to the plan. I was right - even the smell was the same. Quite an actress you are, Mima. Is there any way of seeing through your disguise? I'll need to ask Sid about that. For now... let's turn around and grab the falling girl, shall we?
And so we do, me and my insanity alike decide it would be better to join forces for the good of both of us, rather than ponder ghost metaphysics, and catch Reimu by her shoulders and knees before she hits the ground. The shock's that painted itself over her face generates that fuzzy feeling inside my chest - the way she's holding onto her otherwise exposed breasts, appeals to something completely different. At least she's wearing the lower part of the underwear, though it being incredibly cute, white panties doesn't help at all.
"Let's get dressed, princess."
Though I try to remain as calm as possible, all it does is trigger her anger. Her legs begin to kick the air, her mouth...
"Let me--!!! I can do it myself--!!!" well, what else can it do, besides throwing curses all around? Nothing much, I suppose. "LET ME GO!" I almost do after this one - her legs can pack quite a punch, however illogical that may sound "YOU GODDAMN PERVERT, LET ME GO!"
Pervert? Did she just call me a pervert? I find that offensive, Reimu! Who was it that stripped me half-naked in my sleep - not once, but potentially twice too - took away my clothes so I'd have to wear those red, comfy pants? I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Was this attempt of making me wear those priest clothes a way of satiating some concealed fetish of yours, Reimu? Ooh, you're a bad, bad girl. Bad girls are to be punished, you know that, right? So I won't let go just yet.
She's still kicking and screaming when I walk up to the nearest cupboard and open it using my foot. Perfectly accurate, my senses detect the source of the incredibly miko-like vibes that turn out to be Reimu's stash of clothes. Nothing much to see here - most of them are her usual garment. Only here and there I notice some unfamiliar clothes. Still, those aren't of any interest right now.
Just like the cupboard doors before, my foot grabs a hold of a red skirt, and passes it to my mouth. I swiftly catch the thing with my teeth and smile to myself. This just keeps getting better and better.
"Leave my clothes alone!" at least it's not about herself anymore "What are you-- DON'T BITE IT!"
Too bad that was the only way! It's not yet the time to celebrate, and so I let go of her legs... The movement is faster than I myself can see, but before her feet hit the ground, the skirt is already at her ankles. The only thing left to do is let go of her shoulders as well and pull it up to her waist. All before she manages to as much as turn around and plant a knee in my chin. When did I become so swift? There was that one time I tried - and did - take off all the clothes, including underwear in an instant, inspired by some crazy Asian loony, but this is something else.
Oops, here I'm daydreaming, and suddenly there's a fist aimed at my cheek! Turns out she doesn't need both hands to cover her chest, eh? Too bad.
Just as yesterday, I use the sloppy trajectory to graze her arm and after a short spin, land behind her back.
>> No. 21868
The shirt, where is the-- Ah, here it is.
Before she even turns around to repeat her attack, I enclose her torso in the embrace of the red fabric. Her arms pop up from the holes at the sides, reminding me of an elementary schooler putting on a way too big sweater. Almost done. All that's left are the stockings and--
"AAARGH!" Her speed may be inhuman, but so is mine. Another blow beautifully evaded, what a performance! My reflexes are excellent today! "SHOVE OFF--" and again! Wicked! "GO TO--" enough dodging! Let's...! "---HELL!!! Wha?!"
Careless, way too careless! Look, do you call that a punch? Then how come I can block it flawlessly with only my forearm? Put some more effort into it at least!
"Woo, I love fast women." I put as little enthusiasm into my voice as possible "Still, you're way too slow."
Her only reaction is slumping down to the floor and putting a hand to her face.
"I... I can't believe it." exhausted, is she? Or just dissatisfied with the loss? "It's the third time, and yet you're still alive. How come I haven't killed you yet?"
I wonder as well, Reimu, I wonder as well. Or should I? Don't we both know the reason already? At least I think I do.
But the show's not over yet - there are still things to do, and her sudden lack of strength to protest will only...
I reach a hand to grab her shoulder, but her own stops me.
"No. Just let me... Just go away."
I was wrong. If she doesn't resist, it's no fun. And this is no resistance. She's practically submitting to my will, only her mouth says otherwise, not to make it too obvious. Like this, it's no fun.
I sigh.
"If you say so." full of regret, but I straighten up and walk over to the mattress to grab Sid "I only wanted to help."
"Well you did." her tone is full of poisonous sarcasm "You did help me wake up... In... many ways."
Let's pretend I didn't hear the last part.


...


Contrary to what I'd witnessed briefly before leaving, it would seem that the sight of food alone is enough to liven her up to an extent I'd never suspect of ever being possible. Her hair's a little ruffled, but at least it fits the image of a hungry girl, happily devouring the content of her plate, without any regard for savoir vivre or whatever they may believe in here in Gensokyo. Mima seems to share that opinion, as she observes her shrine maiden with a mirthful smile on her face. Heart warming.
"Delicious!" Reimu gasps out in between the spoonfuls of rice, brown with sauce "You're pretty good for a pervert! Where did you learn to cook like this?"
For some reason or another, Mima's expression collapses a little at those words. Oh, I knew it. Whatever she says, it still hurts to see your work being appreciated under someone else's name.
"Actually," time to fix this "It wasn't me."
"Oh, don't act all shy on me." as expected, she's not convinced "There's nothing wrong in having some good sides, even if you're a pervert."
Uh, I know I am a pervert, just like any other man, but to be called one outright and in front of another person is kind of degrading. Still, I brought this on myself.
"It was Mima."
The spoon drops to the table. Uh-oh.
"Impossible." amazing, she's genuinely surprised "You're lying, right? No way Mima would--" she turns to the prodigal mother "Did you?"
"Um... sort of."
"Woah." as if to test a theory she's just come up with, Reimu takes another spoonful of rice and puts it in her mouth. Swallows after a second. "Mima, this really is good! And how!"
"Aha... ahaha..." The ghost lets out a troubled chuckle. Somehow, I have a feeling I've just done something really good. "Does that mean you'll let me brush your hair later?"
"Ah." the miko glances at her unruly fringe "Right, I should probably get this fixed... I would have, if it wasn't for a certain pervert."
"So?"
"Why not? But let me finish this first. God damn you, Mima, I never knew you could cook this good! No offense, but I should've strapped you to the stove long ago!"
I'm not sure if she's serious of joking - either way, Mima looks pleased, be it about the compliments, or the permission to tend to Reimu's hair.
With a feeling of a fulfilled duty ruling over my thoughts, I begin eating my own share.

And holy hell, it really is good.
>> No. 21870
...


The day is hot, the day is mine. The sun might be out of the reach, but even it's giant, burning head acknowledges the superiority of this humble me - just as it should. I was right in not wearing anything other than the pants - it is simply not needed on a day as warm as this, let alone the issue of incredible freedom of movement this kind of getup allows. The urge to do a few squats for the heck of it is great, but not greater than the delight of sitting on the shrine's steps, enjoying the sunlight I'd usually curse for being so hellishly intensive. Gensokyo has this one advantage - it's always sunny. I haven't been here for long, but the sky doesn't foretell any sudden storms or even as much as a slightest change in the state of things - it's practically cloudless. Though I'm sure, even the rain would be warm here.
"Ahh..."
I close my eyes and face the big, flaming bastard. Sun's bad for complexion - they say - don't stay out too long or you'll get burned - they say. None of those journalist has ever seen a real sun! And this here is most certainly a real one, I can tell.

... ooooo...

Cicadas - or whatever you call those chirpy insects - sing all around, filling the air with loud, obnoxious, yet mysteriously soothing noise.

... ooooooooooo...

And that other sound. Like a diving Stuka, it draws nearer with every second, growing stronger in volume. Yet another of Gensokyo's secrets. World War II bombers, heh. To think I used to be interested in them. How was that big one called again? B... B-72? Flying fortre--
"Wait."
A diving bomber?

.... ooooooooOOOOOOOOOOO!!!


Impact! Crash! Air pushed out of my lungs by the sheer force of the collision! Something pins me to the ground, a series of sharp objects digging into my shoulders. And when I open my eyes...
"Waha~ caught you, Reimu!" A naked girl. Completely naked, from head to heels. Her long, black hair is still slowly being pulled down by the merciless gravity, gradually building a nice, yet somehow scary tent around our bodies. That, and the wings - big, black wings, protruding from her back. Her orange eyes stare right into mine, and I'm too shocked to even return their glee. On her chest, a large, red orb found it's place of resting, half-submerged in her skin, something very strange - like a fain flame - dancing inside. "Waaah." she takes a long and careful look at my own body - just as I just did with hers "You've changed! Look at the muscles on you! You almost look like a man now!"
"Actually I'm--"
"Okuu!" A voice I've never heard before - could that be a newcomer? Another assailant to jump an innocent and unexpecting guy, whose only goal was to enjoy the sun? Insolence.
The winged girl twists her head to see the person that's just come out onto the scene. So do I. The sight is less than pleasing - a short, red-haired girl with cat ears wasn't exactly my idea of a saviour, even worse if she's in cahoots with the naked beauty. Still, I admit, she does look rather cute. "For god's sake, when will you learn to transmutate clothes when you change forms?!"
"Look, I caught Reimu!"
Great, she makes nothing of her partner words. And those fingernails really start to hurt. Thankfully, the cat-eared one quickly pulls the naked one off my poor body. Wasting no time, I stand up and dust off my clothes.
"Stupid crow, that's not Reimu!"
"No?" you can almost see the confusion in her eyes. That is, if you could take your eyes off her bust, I know I can't. "How can you tell?"
"First of all, it's a man." the red-haired one approaches my side, still facing her friend. I almost jump up when something soft touches my leg. Looking down - it's a pair of tails. "Look, an Adam’s apple." she points to my throat with a finger. A finger crowned with a red nail that I'm sure could slice it without any difficulty. "Broad shoulders." she points to them "And--"
"Hey, hey, hey! Slow down!" I grab her hand before it slips into my pants. Was she really going to grab my... No, I'd rather not think about it. "Who are you?"
The stare of her red eyes feels almost disappointed.
"I could ask you the same. You're not Reimu, are you?"

[ ] "No, but I'm her boyfriend. So hands off, at least when others are looking."
[ ] "Actually, I am Reimu. Don't ask - many things happened."
[ ] "I'm just giving her a helping hand. Let's come inside, shall we?"
[ ] "Koganeiro Nanatsuyoru, Seven Golden Nights of Naked Pleasure, at your..." bow "... disposal."

==

Sorry for the delay, I had it ready yesterday, but my... hm, unwilling ISP decided it would be nice to turn his AP off for the night. The fool.
>> No. 21871
[ ] "Koganeiro Nanatsuyoru, Seven Golden Nights of Naked Pleasure, Yes, gaze upon my manly physique and be awed!" *flex*
>> No. 21872
[ ] "Actually, I am Reimu. Don't ask - many things happened."
>> No. 21873
[X] "Actually, I am Reimu. Don't ask - many things happened."

This won't end well, but the comical value is worth it.
>> No. 21874
[x] "Actually, I am Reimu. Don't ask - many things happened."

HA HA HA
>> No. 21875
[x] "No, but should you wish me to be Reimu, I will not hesitate to fulfill whatever strange fetish you girls may have"
[x] "Koganeiro Nanatsuyoru! I was hired to be your escort today. Would you care to go straight to the bedroom? It seems as if you two are already quite prepared".
>> No. 21876
>>21875
This.

[x] "No, but should you wish me to be Reimu, I will not hesitate to fulfill whatever strange fetish you girls may have"
[x] "Koganeiro Nanatsuyoru! I was hired to be your escort today. Would you care to go straight to the bedroom? It seems as if you two are already quite prepared".
>> No. 21877
[X] "Actually, I am Reimu. Don't ask - many things happened."

Reimont.
>> No. 21878
[x] "Actually, I am Reimu. Don't ask - many things happened."

This'll be good.
>> No. 21880
[X] "Actually, I am Reimu. Don't ask - many things happened."

Am I Reimu? 'No'? is the first answer that comes to mind, yet thanks to the wonderful weather, one can't help but feel tempted to fool around a little, even more so, sensing how those two will make more than perfect victims of an obvious joke. I can see why Mima adores playing pranks on people so - sometimes the occasion is simply too tempting to pass on it. Just like now.
Doing my best not to let the amusement show, I give the cat-girl what I hope looks like a stare you give your good friend when he calls you a homosexual in front of other people, while you're not gay in a slightest bit.
"Actually," here's hoping my voice sounds offended enough "I am Reimu. Don't ask," I quickly add, seeing her open her mouth "Many things happened."
She blinks a few times, which is enough of a sign of victory.
"I... I better not ask, then." she admits "But man..." her eyes scan my body carefully, almost like if she's just noticed that there's something to look at "Remember that one time I said I'd gladly take your corpse? The offer's still actual..." a smile appears on her pretty lips "And I'm more eager than ever."
The only thing her line lacked was a meaningful 'if you know what I mean' at the end, yet I doubt it's really necessary. Can you get even more suggestive? We exchange mute, mixed messages for a few seconds longer, before the nudist decides to remind us of herself.
"I don't think it's Reimu, Rin." she says, arms crossed on her chest, her eyes sparkling with certainty that's almost palpable "I can tell."
"Idiot crow." the cat-girl gives her accomplice a criticizing look, while I, on the other hand, try not to give her any at all "Didn't you claim otherwise a moment ago?"
"Yes," the idiot nods "But now I noticed something is missing."
Missing?
"And what would that be?"
"The balls. Reimu had balls."
"Oh." Rin turns to me "Now that you mention it..."
Balls? Could they mean the orbs that Reimu can conjure up? Certainly, the air around me suffers a severe lack of those red-and-white balls, but this isn't a game of make-believe, no matter how hard I try, or how convinced of me being Reimu those two are, I can't simply become a Hakurei and start spewing orbs on will. Still, if it's about balls...
I grab my pants' belt
"I've got your balls right here--!"
"Rin! Utsuho!" Great, they just keep on coming! Though in a much more... normal fashion than before, however unfavourable the comparison may be. Well, at least this time, the girl doesn't appear out of nowhere, doesn't jump the poor me without a reason, but simply lands a few steps away from us. Manners aside, her outfit matches the awkwardness of her friends' behaviour. A teal dress, of course embellished with omnipresent frills, weirdly coloured hair... But what's the most horrifying is her chest area - not because she's rather flat, mind you, but because it's surrounded by a net of violet cables, all connected to a similarly coloured orb, hovering just in front of the spot where her heart should be. What's more - it has an eyeball. I sure hope it's not going to eat me. "Oh." her eyes - all three of them! - turn to me simultaneously "I didn't know there would be any other guests besides us." well, I didn't know the first party would consist of freaks, so we're pretty even. I should've probably seen it coming, it's Gensokyo after all. Still, what the hell's up with that eye...? "First party... Ah! Right! Utsuho!" she turns to the said and hands her the clothes she's been holding onto up till now "Sheesh, you can't go around naked all the time." Amazing, instead of throwing another stupid line, 'Utsuho' meekly accepts the clothes and starts to put them on. Frankly, I better keep my eyes averted from that scene, and tend to the one who feels in charge. "Utsuho is not stupid." but before that, she's already in front of me, scanning my face like a curious cat "Just a bit careless. Please, do not think of her like that."
Honestly? She may not be stupid, but she really does act like an airhead, from what I've seen. The fact alone that she thought I was the Hakurei miko...
"Anyway, you're--"
I try to get the talk back on the road, but am quickly interrupted by her putting a hand to her mouth and giggling silently.
"She really did mistake you for Reimu?" her smile is so genuine I find myself unable to respond "That's silly. You're nothing like Reimu. Satori Komeji."
Slowly, I shake the hand that she's reached out to me, still a bit confused about her... strange attitude. Still, only a blind fool wouldn't call her cute.
"I'm--"
"Thank you." she cuts in "You're Koganeiro Nanatsuyoru, or how you like it more, Seven Golden Nights." how did she... "A newcomer, hm? And yet you've managed to befriend the antisocial Hakurei miko already... Admirable. Oh, don't give me that look." her eyes cast me a playful glance "You seem to know a lot about Gensokyo, but for some reason me and my pets are nowhere to be found in your memory. Only more amusing, don't you think?" no, I don't. First of all, why is there that weird feeling I'm missing something important? Like if a part of the conversation was being led outside of my control. "Don't crack your head over it too much." Satori smiles again "And please refrain from getting too close to my pets." the cat-girl looks away in a rather embarrassed way "You're going to need all the kindness you have for Reimu after I'm done with her. Rin, Utsuho."
With that, she quickly hops up the steps leading to the front entrance, the other two following her suit obediently... Pets, huh? They really give off that kind of feeling. Rin grants me a single, troubled smile before entering, the now-dressed winged beauty, on the other hand, feels cocky enough to smack me on the back while grinning mirthfully. What a bunch.



One down, one to go. Reimu had enough wits to inform me of there being two parties at the meeting shortly before I left her with Mima, and I'd already had the knowledge the ghost provided me prior to crushing my metaphorical testicles. If I deduced correctly, those girls were the 'underground freaks', so the only one left missing is the 'masochistic bitch'. Peculiar name, I wonder if I should look forward to discovering it's origins. As long as the investigation goes away from Reimu's sight, it should be fine. Well, one more point to anticipate this beautifully started day. Beautifully started indeed, and it still carries on in warm, sunlight-filled glee. I would even go as far as saying this is one of the best days I've ever experienced - and it's only around noon. This is going to be one hell of a day, I can already tell!


...


Can't take it easy either - it doesn't take long for the rest of the crew to show up. Although this time, in a more... normal fashion. It begins with a rather short girl emerging from behind the slope of the stairs, panting and sweating as if though she's just finished running a marathon. No wonder, the sun is merciless in it's reign, and I know how much effort it takes to descend those, not even mentioning climbing them, under the blazing heat. Truth be told, if I weren't feeling so great, I'd run over to help her keep balance - seeing how things are though, to let her trip on her own feet and clumsily fall to the ground looks way more appealing. The way her long, slightly sapphire hair flutters in the air as she squeals in shock moments before receiving a mouthful of dirt is amusing to say the least, if not outright sadistically pleasant.
>> No. 21881
"Ow, ow, ow..." Her voice is almost pitiable in a cutesy way, as if though it was made solely for the purpose of charming other's hearts. Call me shameless, but I can't stop the grin that creeps onto my face after hearing that pained serie of moans. The girl herself quickly lifts herself off the ground though, picking up the long, black tube she'd dropped before she fell over. Interesting... Even more so than the fact she's bearing a cheerful smile on her lips as she runs up to me, miraculously keeping a vertical position all the way through. "Hello!"
Upon a closer inspection, I forfeit the idea of her hair being the strangest element of her looks, and instead crown her hat with the said title. What's what, but you don't usually decorate your hat with... peaches, now do you? Nevertheless, I stand up to greet the guest like supposed to.
"Greetings, salutations!" Sid vibrates lightly at those words, but keeps silent nonetheless "Welcome to the Hakurei shrine, where wildest dreams about tea come true! Welcome to the house of ballcracking pain!"
Exaggerated, I think it's a accurate description of this place, at least to someone who knows and experienced as much as I did. To my surprise, the girl only chuckles a bit in between gasps, still having problems with catching her breath. That must've been a devilishly exhausting hike.
"I see Reimu didn't waste time during our absence!" whatever that means, I seriously doubt she's right in this assumption "Are you the butler?"
"Actually, I'm just--"
Accursed luck, how many times will I be interrupted again today? Same as the last time, before I'm able to properly introduce myself - or introduce my balls - someone just has to tap her shoes on the ground. Their gender seems to always be the same too - all women. No complains here, just pointing out the fact. This one, for instance, wears quite an old-fashioned outfit, unchangeably frilly, and - weird - carrying a faint smell of fish. The hat that crowns her head kind of resembles the clumsy one's.
"Tenshi," the newcomer's voice is so deep and melodic I'm taken aback. Completely unfitting to her image. Still beautiful though. "Why didn't you just flew over the stairs? Look, you're sweating all over." she lets out an equally melodic sigh as her friend giggles in a troubled manner "Don't pay any attention to her." she says, this time to me "I'm Nagae Iku."
"Koganeiro." I shake her hand "Koganeiro Nanatsuyoru."
"That klutz over there is Tenshi Hinanawi. We're here to see the Hakurei miko."
So... formal. I'm almost feeling awkward here, not to mention the awe of her voice. I can't even find the guts to jump out with a joke, or a cheesy pickup line. Better for my own good, probably, this one doesn't look as lenient as the others. At least she's not questioning my presence here. Peculiar, but I'm thankful - making more excuses would only weigh on my conscience.
"Of course." funny, my voice appears determined to match the official tone of hers "Reimu is waiting. This way, please."



...


"Refreshments."
I knock on the door, and without waiting, step inside, careful not to let anything on the tray fall over - all of the people gathered inside turn to me, some with outright displeasure of being interrupted, some exactly the opposite - happy to see something else to eat other than the grumpy miko's words. When did I become a waiter? Guess it was the moment Mima asked me to, being unable to find Suika anywhere. Seems the oni isn't too comfortable with other girls visiting, despite the joy my appearance brought onto her face. One more mystery to investigate.
Anyhow, at least no one stops me when I put the tray on the table and start retreating back to the door. Whatever they were discussing, it was confidential enough for any talking to cease the instant I knocked, and frankly, I've no interest in knowing what's going on either. This is purely Reimu's business, and I've no intention of butting in, knowing my intervention would only worsen things, unless it was about something that lies within my knowledge. Mima said it was about the hot springs, and those I don't know jack about.
"Thanks." Reimu gives me a nod, but I still notice how distressed she looks. In fact, she was the first one to reach for the bottle of alcohol I'd brought. Trying to warn her not to get too fired up, I receive a dismissing wave. "I know, I know."
I shrug and retreat, observed carefully by five pairs of eyes, out of which at least three are probably wondering what exactly is a guy doing in the shrine. Still, unless Reimu decides to explain the matter herself, the best course of action would be to keep quiet. Not that anyone's interested in my story right now, I think.
"Iku," yet, before I leave the room, Tenshi stands up and turns to her friend, using the gap of silence my arrival has created "I need some fresh air. Are you going to be fine by yourself?"
The fish lady gives an acknowledging nod, to her friend's joy. She looks genuinely relieved when both of us leave the room. I tap the now-empty tray on my shoulder and try to strike up a conversation, more out of the urge to suppress the curiosity teased by the talking that's just resumed behind the room than anything else.
"Feeling nauseous?"
"No, no." Tenshi smiles in a troubled fashion "All this talking is making me sleepy, that's all."
"Hm." Somehow, I can understand. It's nothing weird, few people have the patience to endure any kind of official meeting, me not being an exception for this principle. In fact, I doubt I'd be able to withstand being forced to listen to the negotiations about hot springs for longer than fifteen minutes, and it's already been half an hour. She didn't look like a patient person to begin with, so I guess it's only logical she'd utilize the interruption to make an escape. "So what--"
SLAM!
Here comes, yet again! Curse you, goddess of interruptions, what the hell did I do to earn such treatment?! Banging the door without mercy, Utsuho comes out of the room, flailing her arms around.
"I can't take this anymore!" she screams "I'm going out to play!"
SLAM!
With an equally loud noise, the door closes behind her. I can only imagine the shock of everyone else.
"At least be less noisy..."
I whisper, thanking god in my thoughts for keeping the door in one piece. It would be a pain to go through mounting a new one... Why am I already thinking like a landlord?
"You!" the ex-exhibitionist stops in front of me, casting me an angry look. She must really be bored to death. "Wanna come along?"

[ ] "As appealing as that sounds... I think I'll pass."
--[ ] "Tenshi, is that a sword on your back? Care to train a little?"
--[ ] Go chill with someone else over a cup of sake.
----[ ] Chill with Mima.
----[ ] Chill with Sid.
----[ ] Chill with Tenshi.
[ ] "Alright, I guess I've got some time to kill."


==

I almost lost this one, thank XP suddenly reducing my TS5.txt to a 0b blank file for no reason… Or rather, because the system decided to crap out at the least expected moment. Anyway, thank fuck for me knowing how to do shit.
>> No. 21882
--[ ] Go chill with someone else over a cup of sake.
----[ ] Chill with Tenshi.
>> No. 21883
[ ] "As appealing as that sounds... I think I'll pass."
[ ] Go chill with someone else over a cup of sake.
-[ ] Chill with Tenshi.

lets talk, one masochist to another
>> No. 21884
File 12333574626.jpg - (115.17KB , 800x640 , sample-2c9731a36e9dcc96c00143a03c07832b.jpg ) [iqdb]
21884
[x] "As appealing as that sounds... I think I'll pass."
[x] Go chill with someone else over a cup of sake.
-[x] Chill with Tenshi.
>> No. 21886
[x] "As appealing as that sounds... I think I'll pass."
--[x] Go chill with someone else over a cup of sake.
----[x] Chill with Sid.
----[x] Chill with Tenshi.
>> No. 21887
[x] "As appealing as that sounds... I think I'll pass."
[x] Go chill with someone else over a cup of sake.
-[x] Chill with Tenshi.
>> No. 21889
YAF: So, whacha gonna do if they suddenly go for another character, like in TS4?
YAF2: Cool, as long as it's Utsuho, she's fun to write.
YAF: Okay, any plans for the next few updates?
YAF2: Quite a bit, actually. I've got a few scenes in mind that I'd like to write.
YAF: Are they about Reimu?
YAF2: ... yes.
YAF: All of 'em?
YAF2: ... yes. Hey, at least they're good! Because... Because they're about Reimu!
YAF: ... fanboy.


fisoajfhlkasjfas
>> No. 21890
[X] "Well, I guess I've got some time to kill."
[X] "But only if it involves you being naked."

>>21889
>YAF: All of 'em?
>YAF2: ... yes. Hey, at least they're good! Because... Because they're about Reimu!

I have nogood words for you. YAF.
>> No. 21893
There can never be enough armpits. Never.
>> No. 21895
--[ ] Go chill with someone else over a cup of sake.
----[ ] Chill with Tenshi.
>> No. 21896
>Dial-up? GPRS? Man, I face this problem every time I want to check THP from my cellphone. Costs a lot, and often I am left with no results, be it due to connection problems or no new votes since the last time I checked.

I dunno, there is no way I’m going to pay $1 the minute of internet. But when I peeked on some people using it, I think it took 5 second to open a website like myspace.

>>21833
>All of this dreaming about buns gets to ya.
>dreaming
You know, I don't think that's just a dream. It may be more real than it appears to be. If the dream is reality and what we think is reality is actually a dream, or if the dream is a long-forgotten memory, I don't know. All I know is that it was the best update, at least in this thread.

See, Mima was pretending to be Reimu, but when she said "she" (actually Reimu) used to steal sweets from the village, I'm pretty sure that was true. Two updates involved stolen buns and one of them is the beggining of the story.

>"It's the third time, and yet you're still alive. How come I haven't killed you yet?"

And, there is this. Even if Reimu felt any attraction to Kane, he should be dead after undressing dressing her.

Renko and Maribel are also important. Both "realities" had them leaving Gensokyo on different times. 'Dream Kane' had them exit a month before, 'Real Kane' had them leave a few minutes after awaking. However, 'Dream-Kane' met a 12 years old Reimu in the village, while 'Real-Kane' met an older Reimu (that, and he met her with R&M around). If no reality is a dream, then we have a paradox here. Or Yukari is messing with reality again. Goddamnit!

Uh, there were more things I thought of, but I forgot them. Should have posted this a few days ago.

Of course, I may just be looking too hard on things, trying to find something that can make me shit bricks. Besides, it may be too early for that.
>> No. 21897
File 123342901729.jpg - (155.70KB , 600x900 , sample-4057147c6ab46ecb3da9b88410597852.jpg ) [iqdb]
21897
>>21896

So how exactly are you trying to access the site? Through what?
Oh, and I'll restrain myself from commenting on your theory. Though, I must admit, it's pretty... interesting.

>>21893

MIKO FIST

>>21890

I'm not sure if I understand. Am I... being sarcasmed at?
>> No. 21900
>>21897
>So how exactly are you trying to access the site? Through what?

Oh, simple. I went back home. At that time I was on THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING NOWHERE CALLED ATLANTIC OCEAN. More specifically, in cruiser ship sailing a few hundred miles away from my country's coastline. Though the internet was expensive there it didn't stop me from losing wasting spending investing $250 on the casino.

>Oh, and I'll restrain myself from commenting on your theory. Though, I must admit, it's pretty... interesting.

And completely, absurdly wrong, right?
>> No. 21901
File 123344890829.jpg - (161.12KB , 700x1005 , f648183743ababac6ac453a7dbde87c8.jpg ) [iqdb]
21901
>>21900
>And completely, absurdly wrong, right?

Who knows? It was quite obvious that the 'dream sequences' are actually recordings of past events, there were more than enough hints to catch up on that... Now, the part about 'real Kane' and 'dream Kane' is... Oops, I wasn't supposed to comment.

Also, fuck yeah, casino.

==

[x] "As appealing as that sounds... I think I'll pass."
[x] Go chill with someone else over a cup of sake.
-[x] Chill with Tenshi.

Come along, is it? Not very... appealing, and there's no saying what she means by 'play', let alone how exactly would I 'come along'. Well, there's more than enough room for speculation, and given my hitherto impression of her character, it's seriously doubtable that cricket - or something equally peaceful - would be her idea of a good fun. Truth be told, I'd be all game, the girl is cute, and the thirst for action still lingers somewhere within my mind, but I'm simply too tired - maybe not in the stricte sense of the word, but the events of yesterday sort of rewrote my opinion of careless fooling around. I'm bursting with energy, yet would rather spend it in a more... passive way.
"As appealing as that sounds..." sorry, Utsuho, this guy simply doesn't feel like it today "I think I'll pass."
Like a selfish child that's just been denied a jar of cookies, she puffs her cheeks in an offended manner, all the spite - the cute kind of it - directed straight at my face, which I try to look as apologetic as possible, without actually apologizing out loud. Really, another time, okay? I'll be more than glad to see you naked again-- I mean see you around again.
"Fine!" she sounds offended as well "If you wanna miss out on all the fun!"
The enigmatic 'fun' again. Here's hoping I made the right decision in letting her roam about freely - but then again, she's not my 'pet', as Satori put it, and I've less than no rights to control her actions. If she does break a glass or two, though, it should be enough of a lesson for the owner to be more careful in the future, someone should really cut the girl down to size. The way she looks at people is just... Though it's probably due to that creepy, third eye. Nasty thing. I wave Utsuho goodbye, trying not to pay any heed as to where she's headed, other than dully noting the fact she's apparently going for the exit. Good, the farther away she is, the better. I'm not getting involved in any weird misadventures again, at least not so soon after recovering from one.
"She's kind of wierd, don't you think?"
"Hm?" I mumble at Tenshi's silent question "What do you mean?"
"Humm..." she plays around with her fingers for a few seconds before making her mind up "The way she acts. Talking to her is like talking to a fly swatter that's hovering above your head, and you never know when it might smack you in the face."
That's an... interesting metaphor, but I agree - the crow girl has that certain, faint hint of danger around her - though if I had to put it in my own terms, it would be like talking to a certain miko while flailing her panties around. It doesn't matter one way or the other, I think we both know what she meant.
"Indeed... She has that..." I pause for a moment "Dangerous aura to her."
"It's a bit exciting, isn't it?"
"Huh?" I give her a quick glance, only to see her stare in the direction Utsuho disappeared in, with a strange, absent-minded, maybe a bit dreamy look on her face "I... guess."
"Ah!" she seems to realize her expression at last "Sorry, Iku always says I'm a little weird."
The way she smiles makes her look almost pitiable, yet I can't help but smile back, albeit in a more confident way. You know, Tenshi, you may not believe that, bah, even I myself don't really grasp it, but I think I know what you're getting at.
"How about," I push myself away from the wall and stretch my back in a relaxed manner "We argue that over a cup of good poison?"
"Poison?"
She looks genuinely puzzled, to my amusement. Somehow, that confused face is more adorable than her usual one. Like I've already noticed, her whole existence seems to be begging to be abused, more or less brutally. Wonder what's up with that.
"Sake." I nod in the direction of the kitchen "Reimu shouldn't mind me stealing a glass or two."
>> No. 21902
File 123344898769.jpg - (175.25KB , 780x850 , c7c597417e6d987e54118d9fd33dacbe.jpg ) [iqdb]
21902
...


The interior feels strangely significantly colder than it feels outdoors, though I guess it's due to the fact that despite being incredibly thin, the walls of the shrine can keep the heat inside for a long time, or vice-versa. This I'm sure comes in handy in winter, gets a lot of work off Reimu's shoulders. Surprisingly, Mima is nowhere to be seen, even though she'd said she'd keep watch over the refreshments briefly before I left. Undoubtedly, she's off to plot my demise with my steel companion - the very one I'd left to whine alone in my room, purely out of fear of him somehow pissing Reimu or her guests off, in one way or the other. Well, at least I don't have to explain myself in front of the ghost for bringing a girl that isn't the miko to spend some time with alone.
Speaking of which, Tenshi obediently seats herself at the table while I retrieve two saucers from the cupboard, the ones Mima told me to take along with the sake meant for the guests. Customs are customs, when you walk into a bunch of crows, you gotta croak like them. Pouring straight from the bottle seems a bit crude, but whatever, there's no one around to criticize my manners.
"Thank you." Tenshi takes the saucer from me with shaking fingers. Somehow I've got a feeling she's not used to it. "So..."
I take a seat myself and smell the liquid. Never had sake before, but I'm no abstainer either, this shouldn't be too hard to drink... Let alone the fact that it doesn't look too strong. I'm not even sure if it's supposed to.
"So?" I glance at my partner while taking a sip. It's kind of bland. The sake, I mean. The girl is absolutely okay. "Ask away."
"Hm, I didn't get to ask before..." she fidgets around on her pillow for a bit "And I don't mean to sound rude, but... Who are you, exactly?"
Ah, I knew this question would be asked sooner or later. An inevitable fate, for someone of my status, huh? Not that I don't understand, it's perfectly fine for everyone questioning my identity, so fine I'm almost sick of it. I'm the freaking Seven Golden Nights! This is why people like having reputation that precedes them, I guess.
"The name's Kane." I reach out a hand which she timidly shakes "Koganeiro Nanatsuyoru, to be precise, but you can call me Kane. I'm from the outside. Actually, I'm rather new here."
"New, hm?" she doesn't seem to interested "You should feel special. Newcomers aren't as common as they used to be in Gensokyo."
Now that's made me curious. I've never heard of any cases about outsiders reporting from Gensokyo, but that's pretty logical - the place is meant to be severed from the outside world. No one should be able to contact the outside. Still, does that mean cases of people wandering in were more frequent in the past?
"What do you mean?"
"Mm, nothing really." she takes a sip and smiles wryly at the taste "I've only come here recently too, but I heard people say there was a large inflow of outsiders a few years ago, then the things gradually calmed down..." and another. She's visibly forcing herself to drink the stuff, so I propose a refill with a gesture and a questioning look. She nods. Amusing. "Anyhow," she resumes "I haven't heard anything about an outsider stumbling after this little incident a few months ago."
"Incident?"
"Yeah," Tenshi gives me a troubled glance "I... got into a fight with this very shrine's miko." how come I know nothing about that? Must've really been something recent. "Well, that's why I'm here, partially. Some of my friends, including Iku, were... forced to help with rebuilding the shrine... and building the hot springs, shortly after that."
"Ah," I sigh "That kind of explains a bit about the whole ordeal."
I still don't know about the second party's intentions or reasons though, which worries me a little.
"Mhm. Hey..."
"Kane."
"Kane." she repeats a bit reluctantly "How... What exactly is your relationship with Reimu?"
I almost spit my sake at that question. Indeed, what is my relationship with the miko? I... I wonder.
"Ahaha," I try to vent a little bit of surprise by letting out a chuckle "I don't know, really. I... like her, I guess."
At least that's what I told her. Was it perhaps too rash of me to say something so obliging after such a short acquaintance? I admit, most of the fondness comes from that strange urge to protect her... and from the pleasure I derive by molesting her. Still, that doesn't answer the weird thoughts I had last night when Reimu - actually Mima - was so close... I... I wonder. I wonder, really.
"Hmm..." Tenshi gives me an examining look, suddenly snatching the molester role out of my hands "And she allowed you to stay?"
"Sort of." it takes a shitload of self-control to retain a straight face, but no one will call my guts weak. 'Balls of steel' doesn't quite cut it. Make it 'balls of diamond' and we're almost there. "Though I gave her more than one excuse to kick me out."
"Like?"
"Oh, nothing serious." I give her a relaxed wave, despite almost boiling inside "Walked in on her having a shower, then she walked in on me having a bath, kissed her against her own will, forcefully dressed her in the morning..."
I can only imagine how foolish those events must make me look in a bystander's eyes. Still, all Tenshi does is laugh.
"Hahaha!" her hand slaps the table a few times "That's good! That's great! No, really! She must really like you, then!"
"I don't know."
I don't know indeed. She might've said she liked me, once, she might've said she enjoyed me kissing her, but those were all just spurs of the moment, nothing certain. Why do I even bother thinking about it? Does that really concern me this much?
Tenshi's smile is almost mockingly honest, I swear she's begging to wipe it off her face. Still, my goal was to relax, not to get fired up over someone who might not even care about me. Deep breaths. Deep fucking breaths.
I sigh.

[ ] "The hot springs, hm? I've yet to see them, how about we go on a little tour?"
[ ] "I've been wondering about that thing on your back. Is that a sword?"
[ ] "Shouldn't you go back? I know it's boring, but if it concerns you, you ought to be there."
[ ] Can't wait no longer, this may be the first step on a long road to disappointment, but I've got to make sure. Fuck the meeting, my feelings are more important.
[ ] "Fool!" stand up "How dare you mock the Seven Golden Nights! You lowly wench, I'll show you what it means to insult me!"
>> No. 21903
[ ] Can't wait no longer, this may be the first step on a long road to disappointment, but I've got to make sure. Fuck the meeting, my feelings are more important.

Not sure about this, but I think we should go for it.
>> No. 21904
[ ] "The hot springs, hm? I've yet to see them, how about we go on a little tour?"

Bath time, hooray!
>> No. 21905
>>21901
>there were more than enough hints to catch up on that

I remembered what I had forgotten to include in >>21896. Ah well, it doesn't matter anymore, you already said enough.

And I already voted, lol.
>> No. 21906
[x] "I've been wondering about that thing on your back. Is that a sword?"

A sword, that's not in our collection? Preposterous!
>> No. 21907
[x] "I've been wondering about that thing on your back. Is that a sword?"
>> No. 21908
[x] "Fool!" stand up "How dare you mock the Seven Golden Nights! You lowly wench, I'll show you what it means to insult me!"

Mongrels
>> No. 21909
[ ] "Fool!" stand up "How dare you mock the Seven Golden Nights! You lowly wench, I'll show you what it means to insult me!"
>> No. 21910
[x] "Fool!" stand up "How dare you mock the Seven Golden Nights! You lowly wench, I'll show you what it means to insult me!"
>> No. 21911
[x] "I've been wondering about that thing on your back. Is that a sword?"
>> No. 21912
[x] "I've been wondering about that thing on your back. Is that a sword?"

Crazy laser-shooting sword sounds like fun. Maybe we can trade Sid for it?
>> No. 21913
[x] "I've been wondering about that thing on your back. Is that a sword?"
>> No. 21915
File 12335185711.png - (159.99KB , 374x375 , 2864909.png ) [iqdb]
21915
I'm doing some ahead writing of a couple of scenes I've had in my mind for some time now, but I'll try to throw in an update today.

But, that aside, I wanted to ask a question - TSR seems to be taking a more VN-like approach to telling a story, introducing large blocks of text with rare choices - I've been wondering if it's okay with my readers, as much as it's fine by me. I admit, it gives me more control over the story, and deciding things myself takes away the trouble of waiting for the votes, in less important crossroad moments, and saves it for the more important branchings - for example the recent go with Utsuho/chill with someone else choice. The flow allows me to write walls almost effortlessly, since I've got a greater grasp on the action's direction, but I also realize this sort of kills the purpose of CYOAs - to be more precise, the readers deciding the course of action.

So, there's my question:
[ ] Shorter updates, more control.
[ ] Longer updates, less control.

Hm, if I can digress a little, writing walls with little to no action is no problem either, but who would like to break through two thousands of words describing - for instance - Kane chomping on a piece of bread between one line and another? As fun as it sounds from the perspective of the writer, I don't think there are many people who would like it.

By the way, Reimu with loose hair is moe.
>> No. 21916
[x] Go back and forth between short and long updates as you have been doing.

>By the way, Reimu with loose hair is moe.
We know, YAF, we know. You don't have to tell us.
>> No. 21917
>>21916
This, please.
[x] Go back and forth between short and long updates as you have been doing.

TSR is really fucking good. Keep whatever level of control you like and we're going to keep reading because it's working well.
>> No. 21918
[x] Go back and forth between short and long updates as you have been doing.

Whichever is better at the moment, really.
>> No. 21919
>>21915

If it's working, then don't mess with it.
>> No. 21920
File 123353429447.jpg - (252.19KB , 750x1000 , 851f598baf248b31b7153b5f0349a353.jpg ) [iqdb]
21920
[X] "I've been wondering about that thing on your back. Is that a sword?"

You should really find yourself something better to laugh at, Tenshi, if only because you're being plainly rude right now. I know, this is mainly my fault for making the state of things into this... incomprehensible mess, but it doesn't give you any right - any right - to laugh at me like if I were a kindergartner who's just spilled milk soup onto his clothes, and started crying about it. Look, I'm not complaining, okay? I'm not friggin' complaining. So cut it out already! I mean, look at yourself - what are you even here for? Hey, I admire your balls - peaches? - it took a lot of courage to come over to the house of someone who kicked your ass over some mysterious issue, only to argue over some hot springs. Hell, I had no idea about there being a hot spring, not counting the one that powers the bath - if it really is a hot spring - but tell ya what - if we found ourselves there, I'd be pushing you into water in no time. Those white clothes would go completely see-through if dampened, I'm sure. That would be a sight, though there isn't much to look at. Still, the satisfaction of paying her back would be enough for my nerves to accept the defeat - and doubtable revenge.
But I can't - something else already has my attention, or rather, the attention of my other self, the one who has an unhealthy obsession with swords and naked shrine maidens.
"Tenshi." I interrupt her giggling. This really is pathetic. "I've been wondering... About that thing on your back." I point to the tube "Is that a sword?"
She glances over her shoulder, as if not exactly sure what I meant, but quickly smiles and understanding smile, and clasps her hands on the table.
"Mhm." at least she's not laughing anymore, though her expression still appears to bear that slight hint of amusement. Is she looking down on me? For trying to change the topic? "Family heirloom. I rarely use it."
"I... understand." and better don't dig too deep into this "Can I see it?"
She leans forward a little and squints her eyes.
"Hmm~." I swear, one more second of acting so entertained, and I'm going to punch her "It's not an ordinary sword, are you sure you want to?"
Poor Tenshi - she has literally no idea about my experiences with weird armament. First the stun gun, which I think disappeared somewhere along with my normal pants, then a sword whose biggest trait seems to be shooting it's mouth off. If anything, I think those two count, first for a dweller of Gensokyo, second for a former outsider. It seems I've experience with strange weapons in any possible field, Tenshi. For that reason, it should be okay to answer her mocking smirk in kind.
"I've had things stranger than you could ever hope to fathom in my hands, Tenshi."
Perfect, she seems to have caught the ambiguity of my words. That's right, Peachyhat. Do me a favour and wipe that smile off your face, would you kindly?
"Like..." her face lacks a blush, but it's still satisfying to see her fidget around before answering "Like what?"
Too bad you're going to get your hopes for dirty talk crushed, girl. I lean back and take a deep breath, hoping to add to her anticipation.
"A talking sword, for one."
"I've never seen a talking sword."
"You don't want to, either. Believe me."
With a look saying 'if that's what you think' on her face, she stands up and gestures me to do as well. Glad to finally have her follow a path of conversation other than the one involving laughing at my troubles, I quickly follow suit.
"Let's go outside."


...


So we do. The weather is as I remembered it - hot and humid. The flaming bastard high in the sky never gets bored of his job, I'm ready to bet. Not a moment of rest, huh? Let's wait for the night, bastard - I'll show you then. Well, it's not really that bad, my current getup provides enough gaps for fresh air to reach the covered parts, though the heat is painfully tangible on my shoulders and back. A small price to pay for the freedom of movement, that's for sure. Unless I get sunburnt, but if such a thing happens, I'll worry about it afterwards, like I always do. No need to worry now, in the worst case, I'll get Reimu to smear some ointment on my back. That'd be nice.
Either way, after assuring that no one is watching, Tenshi takes off the tube off her back, and unscrews the top cover. Fascinated, and also curious about what exactly might come out of the black container, I carefully observe as the girl slides her hands inside... Wriggles it around a little... And finally, pulls out the weapon. First, appears a navy blue handle, pommel and guard-less, made of something that looks like plastic, yet reflects lights like neatly polished metal. The most puzzling element though is the blade - long, almost it's wielder's own height, amber in shade. The shape is astonishing - an inexperienced eye would claim it's made of live fire, but I see it's actually composed of many narrow blades, wavy like corrugated plate, shining in the merciless sun, shimmering with many variations of orange. It looks incredibly fragile, yet incredibly powerful at the same time. Almost like if it was... emanating some sort of energy.
"Ta-da." Tenshi's chant sounds a bit forced, but she still smiles at my awe "Oh, that's not all."
Surprise - she makes an abrupt, quick swing with the thing, causing my eyes to claim the blade's actually behaving like a flame - bending under momentum, leaving a faint trail of fire in it's wake. It turns out to be only a partial illusion - due to whatever magic she may have just used, the blade is really burning now, without any fuel or anything alike. I find myself speechless.
"It's... magnificent."
"That's one word for it." she admits bitterly "It's also pretty hard to use."
I bet. It's not every day you swing around a whip made of metal and flames, to top it off, magically fed flames. I'm sure it takes a lot of skill to manipulate that thing... No wonder it's family heirloom. This thing shouldn't be mass produced, lest there'd be a sudden influx of suicide cases combined with arson. Dangerous. Intriguing. And most of all, so tempting my fingers are itching to touch it. I could easily snatch the thing from her fingers, but it seems my sanity's still holding the reins.
"Can I..." I swallow the excess of saliva that's gathered in my mouth while I was gaping at the spectacle "Try it?"
Tenshi gives me a suspicious look. She really is protective of that thing, but now, my intentions are the purest there can be.
"Are you sure? It's..."
"I know." I cut in, a bit more impatiently than intended "It's not an usual sword. I'll be careful."
Sighing, she twirls the thing in her hand, and slowly passes it to me - handle first.
The moment my fingers wrap around it, the flame flickers once, but stays on otherwise, sending warm waves around, like a grotesquely decorative heater. If the people of Master's sort got their hands on it, it would've ended as one sooner or later, I'm sure. It's light. Incredibly light, almost like if the blade was made of pure energy - it explains how a person of such weak posture could swing it around effortlessly. But, that's not all, there's also something else. It's... calling out to me. Speaking to me through a complicated combination of vibrations, glimmers and thoughts, telling me, informing me instantly of it's purpose. It's... Introducing itself.
"What's your name...?"
I whisper, and it answers, though there isn't a human on this earth capable of pronouncing such a name. What can you do? Ah... I see. Does it really feel good to be held by me...? ... I see. Do you want to...?
"Kane?"
The girls seems to be saying something, but I don't care, what the sword has just uttered is more important. I glance at the rundown shrine of my miko friend, but quickly forfeit the malicious thought the blade's put in my head. No, even if it looks fun, I can't. Sorry. Instead, I turn in the direction of the stairs and strengthen my grip.
>> No. 21921
File 123353445764.jpg - (341.52KB , 827x1168 , 376491fe56501aa418fddf95fa5d2e7b.jpg ) [iqdb]
21921
It answers.

"One...! TWO, THREE!"

Three identical waves of wave-shaped, amber energy cut through the air, and subsequently, through the treetops, sending loose leaves around, like fallen petals. One more...!

"Kane!"
"... GO DOWN!"

This time, the horizontal swing went straight through the trees' stems - a couple of them collapses majestically to the ground, in ominously chaotic noise. I'm amazed - the cuts are so clean you wouldn't get this good even by the usage of most modern lumbering tools, let alone a simple thing like a sword. Amazing, truly amazing. I can only imagine what happens to human flesh hit by such a wave of energy - it could probably cut through flesh and bones as cleanly as it does through wood. The image alone would make the weaker of stomachs feel nauseous. The sheer destructive power is desirable, and there's also that voice...
"Kane!" The state of reverie is cut short like a film tape when the sword is swiftly and smoothly snatched from my fingers. Accursed carelessness, how stupid of me!
I spin towards the thief, intent on taking back what rightfully should be mine, but... "That's why I said to be careful!"
Tenshi's frightened glare erases all of the anger. She really does look scared. Scared of me? Or of what's just happened?
"It's a good sword." I drawl through clenched teeth "A really good sword."
"It's cursed too." her eyes tell me to stay away "It corrupts the souls of men who wield it."
"... corrupts?"
Does she mean that voice? I wouldn't call it 'corrupting', it's just trying to be polite, that's all.
"Yes," Tenshi nods "That's why only women from our family are allowed to handle it. It's a long story. Long and boring."
"If... if you say so."
My forehead feels very sweaty all of a sudden, almost like if I was running for several minutes, and stopped only a moment ago. It... it can't be the sword's influence, right? I don't know, neither do I want to know. I should probably assure her I'm okay, the look on her face carries that strange hint of worry combined with fear, it's almost... painful to look at. I know that face. I know it, but...
"Tenshi--" Before I'm allowed to finish, something breaks into our small, private space, sending wooden splinters and pieces of wood around. Something - or perhaps someone shoots out the shrine through a newly made hole in the roof. Tenshi squeals briefly, and tries to shield herself from the rain of sharp particles with her sword. I, on the other hand, have no time for this. Following the figure, hurls a barrage of red spikes, the very ones I had to fear yesterday. A red blur shoots out of the hole, and follows the previous one. The two of them raise so high they're only visible as small dots, clash a few times, then descend, as quickly as they rose. One of the shapes - Reimu - makes a quick 360 degrees spin, pulling more of the spikes from god knows where. The other one, teal in shade - Satori - swiftly evades the burst of projectiles, simply by making a pirouette mid-air. "What's going o--?!"
I try to scream, by am interrupted by the miko suddenly dashing over our heads with a speed that's too great for our eyes to follow.
"Don't interfere!"
Dozen or more identical spikes shoot through the air in the spot she was a second ago. Wait, those weren't hers--?!
"You can run all you want...!" this time it's Satori's turn to scream "But you can never escape your own weaknesses!"
Wait, why are they both using the same - Reimu's - kind of shots? I don't get it, why is Satori capable of conjuring up the those spikes, shouldn't they be Reimu's speciality? Thinking is useless - the duel rages on, sending waves of stray projectiles all around, and Reimu has a clear disadvantage. Again, she's packed her ass into another hassle, hasn't she? I don't get what's going on, but--
"Don't interfere!"
She repeats her order the very moment I open my mouth to yell. She's delirious, how can I stand idly when she's clearly overwhelmed by her opponent?! It's her duel, I know, but someone here is cheating, someone here is clearly cheating! That can't be fair. The teal falsifier sends another, incredibly thick barrage of spikes at the miko, too fast to dodge, too fast to-- It reaches her, but miraculously, none of them hits her...
"A feint!" I scream "Reimu, it's a--"
Too late. Satori's already caught up with her, and with one, strong kick, sends her to the ground. The unfortunate miko hits the ground like a rock, sending clouds of dust around. She tries to lift herself up, but to no avail.
"Don't-- interfere--!"
Yet again, I'm told to stay back, while the enemy above chuckles at her defeat. She's grinning - I can see that. She's mocking the one who she has knocked to the ground.
"You've grown weaker since our last meeting, Hakurei." she boasts. Reimu is still trying to convince her limbs to cooperate. "Look, you're a sitting duck like this. Come on, get up! You can do better than that! Entertain me a little more!" Nothing happens. Despite giving her best, Reimu can't stand up - no wonder, after such an impact, no normal human could. Satori snorts angrily. "How boring." Tens... Dozens of red spikes appear around her body, so tightly packed they seem to form a gap-less wall of red, glowing matter, all aimed at the groaning miko. She raises her hand. "This is going to be your first loss in many years, am I mistaken? How does it feel?"
"Go..." Reimu silently gasps out "Blow yourself..."
"Hah." her opponent only snickers once "Say your prayers."
The spikes flicker when she raises her fingers, ready to click them...

[ ] Shield Reimu with my own body. So what if it hurts!
[ ] Tenshi's sword, go for Tenshi's sword!
[ ] Grit my teeth and stay back. She told me not to interfere.

==

>>21919

One of the best advice you can give. Also one of the most obvious, though it doesn't remove any of it's applicability.

Thanks anyway, I was kind of worried I might be forcing too many things on my readers. Now I'll continue on forcing them without feeling guilty.
>> No. 21922
[ ] Tenshi's sword, go for Tenshi's sword!

>>21921

You're welcome YAF. As long as you don't force Reimu (actually anyone, not just her. But mainly Reimu) on us then it will be fine.
>> No. 21923
File 123353668593.png - (116.83KB , 500x700 , 051a1d210eca4fca82fc1cc97b966aac.png ) [iqdb]
21923
>>21922

Oh, but you are already half-a-step on Reimu's route. Before you accuse me of... being a fanboy towards the miko, I would like to remind you of a certain string of events, in the very beginning, that led Kane to stick to the miko, almost like if she was a ward of his. A ward whom he abused, but acted protective of nonetheless. To be honest, I was planning - and looking forward to writing a Mokou encounter, in case you left Reimu to go to Kourindou on her own... Which I was sure you'd let her do, seeing how negative people were about re-doing a miko route. There is still a way out of it, but that'd require unadhering the protagonist from her side.

Picture obviously unrelated.
>> No. 21924
>>21923

Curses. Oh well, that's why there will be a second run, right? Right?
>> No. 21925
>>21924

That, an 'Episode Two' of TSR, or a CoMN version B. The last possibility though will only happen if I figure out how to make Fuku's past and condition mysterious anew, since almost everything was revealed in the first playthrough... Or, I could always change the protagonist. We'll see. I'm not planning to make TSR particularly long - at least not in the wordcount department.
>> No. 21926
>>21925

Then I shall wait and see.

And WHY NO VOTES?
>> No. 21927
>>21926

Hmm, I wonder. Well, I'd have updated again, but instead, I had taken the leisure of doing some more ahead writing and polishing the already done scenes. Oh, and on a side note, I just had an influx of inspiration considering CoMN. An influx that resulted in writing what might become the first post of another run of it. Though it won't be about Fuku anymore. And it's title be completely different, only the acronym kept the same, for the sake of simplicity.
>> No. 21928
[ ] Tenshi's sword, go for Tenshi's sword!
>> No. 21929
>>21927
>Though it won't be about Fuku anymore

;_;
>And it's title be completely different, only the acronym kept the same, for the sake of simplicity.

Continuation of Many Names? Constitution of My Nation? Constructions of More Needles? Coordination of Mourning Neets? Conceivings of Molested Newphews? Correlations of Mistaken Nerds?
>> No. 21930
File 123354719030.jpg - (58.77KB , 1024x768 , 2924803.jpg ) [iqdb]
21930
>>21929

Fuku's story is closed, she's received an ending someone of her stature would never dream of. She's achieved happiness in life, regardless of the traumatic past. There's nothing more for her to see. Nothing more to experience. Let her sleep and see the continuation of that beautiful dream.

And the title is 'Call of Miserable Notions'. I'm off to sleep.
>> No. 21932
[ ] Grit my teeth and stay back. She told me not to interfere.
>> No. 21933
[x] Grit my teeth and stay back. She told me not to interfere.

This is a hard set to choose from. I don't think the sword is a good idea. Taking it again might make us go crazy and burn the world. And I kinda like the not-burnt world.

>Satori: "You're going to need all the kindness you have for Reimu after I'm done with her."
This was from a few posts back. She kind of hints that she probably won't kill Reimu. Although it's likely that we'd die were we to jump in the way. She's somewhat more likely to survive than us, and she told us to stay out of it anyway. Maybe it'll end up with a cute scene involving us nursing her back to health.
>> No. 21934
[x] Shield Reimu with my own body. So what if it hurts!
>> No. 21935
[x] Grit my teeth and stay back. She told me not to interfere.
>> No. 21936
>>21930
No Fuku is no good.
>> No. 21938
[x] Shield Reimu with my own body. So what if it hurts!
>> No. 21939
[X] Grit my teeth and stay back. She told me not to interfere.

Helping~
>> No. 21940
>>21939

Disregarding.
>> No. 21941
[X] Tenshi's sword, go for Tenshi's sword!
>> No. 21942
[X] Grit my teeth and stay back. She told me not to interfere.

Eh, it's YAF, like he's going to kill Reimu.
>> No. 21944
File 123358994343.jpg - (145.33KB , 715x706 , 2939477.jpg ) [iqdb]
21944
>>21942

You don't possibly believe Satori would kill the only remaining Hakurei over such a trifling matter, do you? She may be... vengeful, but she's not dumb.

Update later today, still not enough votes, and I've got to send this package before 8PM. At least I had a free moment to decorate my shelf with D&D miniatures.
>> No. 21945
[x] Shield Reimu with my own body. So what if it hurts!
[x] Think of something incredibly rediculus/embarassing to distract Satori.

Was going to step back and let the Miko deal with it herself since it will probably end okay anyway, but this is just crazy enough to work. If some kind anon that doesn't have to catch a bus in 10 minutes wants to make the write-in something more specific, go right ahead. It would probably have to be something really out there to affect a mind reader, but I think we're crazy enough to pull that off.
>> No. 21946
>[x] Think of something incredibly rediculus/embarassing to distract Satori.

Heh. With that many spikes, we're basically fucked all over, so pulling our pants down and letting Satori get a good view of our manliness(not to mention Reimu getting a nice view of our ass) is probably the best idea, ever. I applaud you, anon.
>> No. 21947
[X] Grit my teeth and stay back. She told me not to interfere.

Changing vote.
>> No. 21948
File 123361067066.jpg - (196.89KB , 480x700 , 2920428.jpg ) [iqdb]
21948
Finally.

==

[X] Grit my teeth and stay back. She told me not to interfere.

The world seems to be intent on reinforcing my dilemma in any way possible, from tormenting my conscience, to slowing down the time, stretching the brief in reality moment to incredible lengths. It may be just an illusion, but everything seems to be moving so slowly, including Satori's hand, almost frozen in that simple, yet ominous gesture. Yet all I can do is stand rooted to place, unable to pull myself out of the strange state, harvest enough courage to jump forth and...
And what?
She ordered me herself - do NOT interfere, and even though it's not the first time I've been given a command to stay away, it's the first when I feel so compelled to abide by it - the pleasure of cracking her plans to my amusement is not present at the moment, completely gone, drowning in the sea of another, weird, sadistic anticipation of what she's about to experience. That's right - it's a lesson she ought to learn and remember it's message, butting in would pretty much let her avoid the consequences of her actions - and I've got a feeling Satori wasn't the one to initiate this fight.
Still, it sort of hurts to see her being defeated like this, without a chance of retaliation.
"..."
I grit my teeth and clench my fists. I'm the one who's wrong here - she had enough time to defend herself, when the result was still undecided. The loss was solely her fault. She's already spoiled enough, I needn't spoil her any further. It may hurt, but... It's a lesson. Not all of them are particularly pleasant.

Snap.

Without as much a single additional word, Satori finally clicks her fingers, and the very instant the sound waves reach our ears, all of the spikes, all at once, begin showering down at the miko and the ground around her. It's a literal rain, every single one that's reached the ground vanishes, and reappears at Satori's side, only to be launched again a split second after. I wish they'd make some sort of a noise, even if it's the buzzing of the air being cut, but nothing like that happens. All that fills the space lit by afternoon sun are Reimu's pained screams. Without thinking about it, I bite my lip, so hard it starts to bleed, but manage to stay in one place, doing my best to concentrate on Tenshi's irregular gasps, instead of those agonized cries.

It ends as abruptly as it begun, with the same, trivial gesture of Satori's hands - all the projectiles disappear, shatter into tiny, sparkling particles, and quickly dissolve in the air. The victor - painfully visibly full of glee, descends down to the ground, and slowly, leisurely, in a way that dictates her triumph into everything around, approaches her downed victim. I notice, though partially against my will, that despite screaming in pain a while ago, Reimu appears to be untouched - not counting the occasional bruises here and there. That.. puts me at ease, as much as I hate to admit it. Even so, she remains on the ground, wheezing heavily.
"Oh, don't look at me like that." Satori kneels beside the miko and grins viciously "I'm not dumb enough to kill you. Not over something like this." Reimu opens her mouth, but is quickly silenced by an elbow to the stomach "Remember when you did that to me? Humiliated the master in front of her subordinates? Yes." she suddenly says, as if answering a question that was never asked "Vengeance. What of it?" a short pause, after which Satori gives me a brief glance "He seems to be sharing my view, if you're really that interested."
I... what? She's delirious, her words make no sense at all! I don't share anything! Just what the hell is going on...? Am I missing something here? Why does the conversation sound so... fragmented?
"... Ka--..."
Reimu tries to call my name, but Satori's eyes are too perceptive to let it slip out of her control. Again, she drives her elbow into the miko's stomach, causing her to curl up and start coughing.
"You were foolish to begin with," she says, her tone unchanged from the previous, triumphant tone "Counting on anything but your own abilities. Don't do your neighbor what you don't want to befall yourself, as the saying goes. Say," she leans forward a little "Have you ever had anyone step on your face? I have. In front of everyone." her voice lowers to a whisper so carefully modulated, that me and Tenshi - and Rin and Iku, who have just ran out of the shrine - are able to hear it perfectly "Do you think it feels good?" Satori stands up "Look, there's so many people to enjoy the show! Clench your teeth. You'll learn to enjoy the pain, I assure you."

[ ] "Enough." step in "The fight is over, Satori. You won. Leave her alone."
[ ] "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."
[ ] "Tenshi. Your sword. NOW."
[ ] Do nothing.
>> No. 21949
[x] "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."
>> No. 21950
[ ] "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."
>> No. 21951
{X} "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."
>> No. 21952
[X] "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."
>> No. 21953
[x] "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."
>> No. 21954
[x] "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."

This sounds too much of Nanaya and TS. But whatever.
>> No. 21955
[ ] "Tenshi. Your sword. NOW."
>> No. 21956
>>21954

I'll rephrase it.
>> No. 21957
[x] "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."

Reimu certainly gets her ass kicked a lot, doesn't she?
>> No. 21958
[ ] "Tenshi. Your sword. NOW."

You can't Gate of Babylon someone without enought weapons. Weapons of quality, history, and power.
>> No. 21959
File 123362378234.jpg - (254.58KB , 800x600 , 67.jpg ) [iqdb]
21959
[X] "Hands off my miko." firmly walk over to Satori and grab her collar "If you're looking for a fight, I will gladly become your opponent."

Too far, she's taking it too far for a simple fight - revenge or not, the battle has ended, all she does is torment the loser, no matter how just her cause is, it's just torturing the defeated. If there ever was a definition of dishonourable behaviour one can show after a fight, Satori's could be put beside it as a prime perpetrator, hands down - it's simply too much, she's already learned her lesson. Swallow your pride and back off, Satori - this is no longer between you and her. Why is it I always have to straighten things out for people? What a freaking bother, I'm slowly getting sick of this.
One more factor to fuel my anger, already burning hot with the memory of Reimu's screaming. I'm beginning to think it was foolish of me to let her lose, but I've already explained that to myself more than enough - and if it really pains me that much, it seems not only Reimu learned something this day. Forget it, I've no time for this! Satori's already raised her foot, ready to stomp on the miko's frightened, grimacing face, but it doesn't manage to fall before I appear, suddenly even to myself, at her side, already gripping the collar of her frilly dress. Without remorse, I forcefully pull her away from her would-be victim. Looking at her expression, she doesn't seem any surprised, only a little disappointed, if anything.
"Ah, I was wondering when you would finally butt in." incredible, she's smiling, in spite of all the odds "What took you so long?"
"No banter." I snarl "Hands off my miko, wench."
Her smirk gets even wider. I don't get it, but neither do I need to - my goal is clear: if it's violence she desires, it's violence she will receive, no matter the cause. I don't give a damn, and truth be told, she's already pissed me off enough the first time we met, with that enigmatic talk. Why didn't I see this coming? She warned me she wasn't going to be gentle with Reimu, yet I... To hell with it.
"What a change." she whispers in a sickeningly melodic tone. Making fun of me, are you? "You puzzle me, 'Koganeiro'. Why do you take the guilty one's side?"
The reason is beside the point, even more so because I don't understand it myself. I don't know what happened between those two, I don't get Satori's hatred for Reimu, neither do I understand why I'm suddenly interrupting when I said myself that she deserves a lesson. No, perhaps there's more to it, but I'm too afraid to dig too deep, to meddle with thoughts that should remain untouched for some more time. I'll have to put them to peace some day, but not right now.
She doesn't stop smiling even when I shake her back and forth a few times. So obstinate it makes me want to vomit. The intensive gaze of her third eye can't compare with my burning passion - however stupid the cause for it's blazing flames may be. Oh, how I want to cut that thing off, only to see if it would bleed.
"When I say 'no banter', you shut your mouth and listen to what I have to say." I run my other hand through my hair and snort "You may as well shove your reasons somewhere deep, where the blessing sunlight doesn't reach, as I did. If it's a fight you seek," I push her away and step back myself "It's a fight you get, cagna."
"Ha, ha, ha." she says. That's right, says. It seems I am not of considerable enough worth to be presented a fully fledged laugh. "What's wrong, did a cat eat your tongue? Can't word yourself in a proper language?"
"Foolishness!" I rebut, again brushing my hair "Calling you a bitch would be an insult to all the dogs!"
At last, trash talk yields expected results - Satori puts her hands on her waist, all three of her eyes glaring at me with pure, distilled abhorrence. And I enjoy that stare.
"It seems," she drawls through her teeth "Even a stump can wound if it has a splinter stuck in it. No matter." she raises one hand "An unruly cat should be castrated, lest it's going to only cause trouble. You're merely a human, 'Kane'. What can you hope to accomplish?" Ah, that's indeed a good question, but the answer is quite obvious already - I have no hope. It is true I am but an ordinary human, but there's one thing she hasn't taken into consideration - the only other human here was the one giving her the most trouble a minute ago. If she did it, I should be able to do it too, and if not, I will welcome the pain of defeat with a smile on my face! With honour! I won't scream, I won't even groan a single time! It will be fun to fight a magic user, even if I'm to inevitably fall! This is what war is about - not about personal vendettas, but about the sheer fun of getting to know and exploit each other's weaknesses! I've been fighting a war of emotions up till now, but it would seem I am finally allowed to take my wits onto another field. And if it becomes a field of pain, so be it. I smile a wry smile, countering Satori's stubborn grin. She squints her eyes. "You've got big guts, but nothing to back it up. I'm almost feeling bad, knowing this won't last nearly as long as I would wish it to!" she clicks her fingers, announcing the beginning of the show "I shall defeat you using the thing you hold the most dear!" then swiftly kicks off the ground, and ascends several meters upwards, her arms spread outwards, like wings of a grotesque bird "Open your heart before me!"
I have no intention of hiding anything, not a slightest wish of concealing any kind of thought that may come to mind - I'm beginning to suspect what exactly is the power she holds, but even if it leads to my demise, I shan't resort to something as cowardly as running away, not even inside my own mind. Read till your heart's content, Satori, read everything you want!
"Let it be so!" I mimic her gesture "Give me all you have, Satori!"
And she does. Her face doesn't change a bit when a dozen or so silver blades start appearing, slowly fading out of nothingness around her figure, literally out of thin air - I recognize their shapes. Those are the very ones I had rescued from a fate crueler than destruction just yesterday, and kept locked, sealed away... Until now.
"Losing fervour already?" I'm not, it's only the sight of them that made me momentarily more prone to stress - or rather, the guilt of not securing them good enough to make the vault inaccessible to anyone but me - I failed in this matter, and for that, I shall atone after we're over this. "This is going to be so anticlimactic." Treacherously, bent, corrupted by the will of the witch, one of them directs it's blade at me. Flinching in fear would be stupid, so I snicker instead. Does she really want to defeat me with my own weapon? So malicious! Was your childhood particularly hard, Satori? Didn't your mommy give you enough hugs? "Shut up!"
>> No. 21960
It hurls at me, faster than the eye can see.

Come.

I welcome you.

I welcome every single one of my treasures, no matter it's goal.

Come...



And perish, falsification.

A single, silver line briefly cuts through the air between me and the sword Satori conjured up, clinging loud against the false metal, knocking it out of it's trajectory. Both of them disappear in the same moment, countered out by each other, like if it was some wretched game. I was right - if Reimu can do this, so can I, and seeing her do it one time was enough to engrave the image into my mind. The image I now recall, closing my eyes.
"..." Something within me cracks open, like a bubble wrap suddenly being stomped on, in numerous places, tearing a hole in the hitherto perfectly even surface of my mind, letting in light from outside into areas that were never lit before, that haven't seen been paid attention to. As if there was a new life growing within the womb of my own consciousness, something begins to wriggle around, pushing out from inside, screaming to be released. So it shall, curse me if it doesn't feel great. SO IT SHALL! "Hah!" wishing there was some badass chant I count indulge in now, I settle for a chuckle, and open my eyes, closed somewhere through the process. I knew it. I knew it all along. It doesn't come from the guts, Satori. It comes from the head. Make-believe game, how silly of me to have said that myself. A make-believe game indeed! "Hahahaha!"
Following their processor, a serie of identical, silver lines rush at Satori, all aimed straight for her beautiful throat. All get countered with her own, false versions of my treasures. Insolence, insolence, INSOLENCE! "BEAUTIFULLY...!" Defeat me using what I dear the most? Eat your words, Satori, gaze upon your own tool of destruction! Just like she before, I raise one hand, ready to click my fingers as soon as the summoning is done. Summoning of a barrage of swords, practically a dense wall of metal, built around my body, with so many swords, lances, halberds, spears, falchions, maces, claymores, cutlasses, spadas, gladiuses, schavionas, axes, knives, daggers, kards, glaives, sickles, hammers, voulges, and any other imaginable sort of melee armament, glittering in the sunlight, so many I can't even think about counting them. My chest feels like it's going to burst, but the sight of Satori's horror makes up for it all. My forehead is burning, but I don't give a damn. Those weren't mine, but they are now, no one shall deny me the ownership of all those treasures, and to celebrate the acquirement, I shall baptize them with Satori's blood! "...EVADE THIS!"
They all begin cutting through the air at once, in a single instant crossing the distance between me and my enemy, yet never reach her.
"I'm inside your head, fool!" I can't believe it - she perfectly copied my technique, and summoned her own inanimate army. The grating of metal against metal fills the air, almost drowning out her voice. The earth is shaking under the sheer strength of all the little impacts. "You cannot hide anything from me, ANYTHING!"
A gap. There's a gap in the endless rain of steel, through which I see her conjure up one, bonus sword... One, additional blade, gripping which, she rushes past the empty space, straight at me. How naive.
"Sid!"
I reach behind my back, and find the oh-so-familiar handle already waiting for me there, unsheathed. I'm almost glad to feel it again.

There is one difference between us, Satori.

... she's getting closer.

One, tiny difference, that you haven't taken into consideration.


Her expression is insane. The blade ready to strike mercilessly. I steel myself.


I am a human, and you are a youkai.


Batter up... This really reminds me of baseball.


I am real, and you are merely a creation of humans' fears. Therefore...!


And here it goes.


Only MY swords are real!


Inexperienced, hasty, irregular, scared, careless, selfish, cocky, insolent, INSOLENT, INSOLENT! KNOW YOUR PLACE, BITCH!
Effortlessly, like if I was poking a dead dog's carcass with a stick, I thrust Sid forward. The blade goes straight through her own sword, like if it didn't even exist in the first place. All the noises around stop, the wall of chaotically moving metal vanishes into thin air. Remaining pieces of my vault scatter around, but disappear shortly after hitting the ground. Everything feels like a slow motion movie. Her suddenly shocked face. My fluttering hair. Frightened yelp from somewhere away. Something jumping between us, shoving Satori out of the way of my thrust.
"...?!"
Both of us - three of us - tumble to the ground. I lose the grip on Sid's handle, and roll several meters away, cursed with the wretched momentum.
No time to let myself be thrown around - I quickly regain the control over my own body's movement, and spring up. What I see surpasses my wildest expectations.
With teary eyes, Satori is kneeling down on the grounding, holding onto someone else, on the verge of crying.
"Rin! Rin!"
She pulls the sword out of her precious someone's belly, and casts it aside. I glance at it, and merely by that, it appears in my hand, vibrating excitingly.
"We'll talk later."
It would be weird to explain it all to him now anyway. I've no idea where he was been up till now, and I'm sure being pulled out of the blue, only to pierce a girl's body is not something he would enjoy. Or would he? Either way, I have no time for this. Not now. Right now, all I can do is walk up to the despairing girl, and the pet she's holding on her lap. A pet in human form. The catgirl who took a really bold approach to me not more than an hour ago. Now, she lays on her master's thighs, a gaping wound visible in her stomach. The stench of blood is unnaturally sharp.
"Rin, are you okay? Rin!"
The wounded one looks up, weakly, and gives a light nod.
"I'm... fine, miss Satori. It'll heal in no time, so-- ugh." she looks up at me, after my shadow lays over the both of them "Sorry-- tiger... I couldn't-- let you..."
"Sssh." Satori places her hand over Rin's mouth "Don't talk."
I'm sick of this scene. What a nauseating irony. Is this supposed to be some sort of play, Satori?
"There's a saying," I begin talking in a tone that I hope sounds at least half as ominous as my nails scratching on Sid's guard "That goes: don't do your neighbor what you don't want to befall yourself."
The shock on her face is almost laughable. She still dares to act surprised. Impertinence.

[ ] Behead her. She doesn't deserve to live. Not at the cost of someone else's sacrifice.
[ ] "How convenient, to have your pets cover you with their own bodies in time of need. You are not worthy of having such magnificent friends. I'm taking her."
[ ] The deed is done, let the anger subside. More importantly, Reimu...
>> No. 21961
>>21958

Oh, there IS a mechanic behind it. You'll just have to discover it on your own. First hints have already been given. Let's see if anyone catches the tiny, wittle inconsistency in Kane's weapons' behaviour...
>> No. 21962
[x] The deed is done, let the anger subside. More importantly, Reimu...

While I'd like to say "Fuck you imma takin' yo cat" or cut her fool head off, that will just keep this cycle going. Reimu > Dealing with this bitch.
>> No. 21963
[x] "How convenient, to have your pets cover you with their own bodies in time of need. You are not worthy of having such magnificent friends. I'm taking her."

Take everything.
>> No. 21964
HUBRIS, BE MY SHIELD!

[x] "How convenient, to have your pets cover you with their own bodies in time of need. You are not worthy of having such magnificent friends. I'm taking her."

TOUHOU COLLECTION +1
>> No. 21965
>While I'd like to say "Fuck you imma takin' yo cat" [...] that will just keep this cycle going.

But isn't that exactly what happens in one of the SA endings?
>> No. 21966
[x] "How convenient, to have your pets cover you with their own bodies in time of need. You are not worthy of having such magnificent friends. I'm taking her."

Everything belongs to us. Everything.
>> No. 21968
[x] "How convenient, to have your pets cover you with their own bodies in time of need. You are not worthy of having such magnificent friends. I'm taking her."
>> No. 21969
[x] The deed is done, let the anger subside. More importantly, Reimu...
>> No. 21971
File 123363036772.jpg - (156.31KB , 512x512 , 2935247.jpg ) [iqdb]
21971
>>21965

Hm, speaking of which, I was bored enough to endure through SA last thursday. Satori's theme is nice, but SHMUPs are still beyond my abilities. I can play anything else just fine, bah, I'm pretty good at FPS and TPP slashan gaems, but Touhou... Yeah, my 10yo brother plays Touhou better than me, and sucks at everything else.

Pic unrelated, looks like I'm not going use this scene I prepared beforehand after all. Well, at least I got it out of my head. We'll see.

EDIT: forgot to mention. Satori's theme is nice because it reminds me of Warcraft 2.
>> No. 21972
[X] Behead her. She doesn't deserve to live.
>> No. 21973
[x] "How convenient, to have your pets cover you with their own bodies in time of need. You are not worthy of having such magnificent friends. I'm taking her."
>> No. 21974
[x] Put your blade to her neck.
[x] "So you got your face stepped on. Big deal. So you got humiliated. Big deal. So you were undermined in front of your pets. BIG. FUCKING. DEAL. With the way you act, you deserved every last second of it" put your blade down and grab her by the collar "But let me tell you this. Even after all of that, someone is still willing to sacrifice themself for you? You lucky bitch. Be grateful for what you have, and be grateful that I'm sparing your life"
[x] "There are more important things to tend to right now; your feelings being low priority. Tenshi, Iku, Utsuho; help me out here" point at Orin and go collect your miko off the ground, then bring her inside for treatment. "Any doctors in Gensokyo?"
>> No. 21975
So, are we voting the "take pet" option because it sounds cool or because it's in-character while we're feeling self-righteous?
>> No. 21976
File 123363398228.jpg - (263.88KB , 800x600 , B10b.jpg ) [iqdb]
21976
[x] Even as the two eyes of her face shows fear, the third sheds not a tear for anyone. Unblinking, it mocks you still.
[x] "Your heart and your pet. I will be taking them."
>> No. 21977
[x] Even as the two eyes of her face shows fear, the third sheds not a tear for anyone. Unblinking, it mocks you still.
[x] "Your heart and your pet. I will be taking them."

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

Even though Satori is my favorite and I love her, I can't stop from voting for this! Why!? Oh God, WHY!?
>> No. 21978
>Oh, there IS a mechanic behind it. You'll just have to discover it on your own. First hints have already been given. Let's see if anyone catches the tiny, wittle inconsistency in Kane's weapons' behaviour...

The swords weren't really there, or else Satori wouldn't be able to copy them--like Reimu's persuasion needles, they're only projections. But she can only copy what comes from the heart; Cid however was actually physically present, which is why, when Kane let go of his faith in the projections, she was left with no defense.
>> No. 21979
>>21975

Well "MINE MINE MINE" is goldie's thing.
>> No. 21980
[x] Even as the two eyes of her face shows fear, the third sheds not a tear for anyone. Unblinking, it mocks you still.
[x] "Your heart and your pet. I will be taking them."

>>21977
Because you want it deep down inside. Don't fight it.
>> No. 21981
{X} Even as the two eyes of her face shows fear, the third sheds not a tear for anyone. Unblinking, it mocks you still.
{X} "Your heart and your pet. I will be taking them."
>> No. 21982
[x] The deed is done, let the anger subside. More importantly, Reimu...
>> No. 21983
[x] The deed is done, let the anger subside. More importantly, Reimu...
>> No. 21984
... 4/4/5... Fuck this, I'm doing a merge. Expect a wall soon, just lemme put something on...
>> No. 21985
>>21984
This is a great idea, Owen does this all the time and the outcome is always something great.
>> No. 21986
>>21964
>TOUHOU COLLECTION +1

Gates of Gensokyo. The deadliest technique, consisting of throwing touhous at your enemies.
>> No. 22656
>>21718

oh, txt are so coal, but can i has the OP pic in bigger res?