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31671 No. 31671
The day passed in fevered anticipation of the festival, and it's no exaggeration to say that everyone was getting ready. I was hardly an exemption to the rule as Nariko was taking me off to go get something better to wear than what I already had on, and perhaps not surprisingly it turns out that Yukari had commissioned something from Alice, and that we were just going to pick it up. The outfit happened to be a nice dress shirt and pants that would easily fit in with the style of dress that the festival would call for, though it meant wearing sandals instead of real shoes, but that's a nitpick I don't feel like messing with. After having it put on me and adjusted all of once, it was put into a special wrapping that would ensure that it wouldn't be destroyed in some kind of accident, which I promptly reinforced to further remove the possibility of something going wrong.

After bidding the puppeteer a brief farewell, Nari promptly hauled me off on all sorts of other minor errands, presumably to eat up my day while everyone else got ready. The fact that it also doubled as a date was hardly a bad thing as I feel I haven't spent enough time with her either. ...Though I have to admit that I've been so thoroughly busy as of late that it's been a teensy bit difficult to give everyone as much attention as I would have liked, but now's as good as ever to make up for lost time, right?

By the time I got back, it turns out that everyone else was already mostly dressed for the occasion and that Nari and I were the only ones who were really unprepared for this sort of thing, and as such were the ones who got the most attention when it came time to get us dressed up. I could hardly argue as this involved being touched, and in one case, fondled, by several lovely ladies. After that it was a brief spell of waiting around doing nothing, or getting a brief snack before being gapped out to the village and it's festival.

I have to say that it's one of the more impressive things I've ever seen, as it looks like the villagers pulled out all the stops to make this thing as impressive as humanly, and inhumanly possible. Stalls line the streets, stores are brightly decorated (I can see that Marine must have gotten a crapload of commissions within the last month, as a great deal of the decorations were in her style), all manners of games are present to give the skilled a chance (or as a means to swindle people, but those were far rarer), food vendors are out in force to both sell their wares to festival goers who needed a quick pick-me-up or a full meal (Including Mystia and Mokou, the former giving the latter a look that's a cross between horrified and annoyed), but perhaps the best sight of all were the friends I had made over my stay here all dressed up for the occasion. There's so many places to go here, so many things to do...

Yukari turns to look at me, and is quite striking in her purple yukata. The fact that she has her hair done up in a neat bun with her sideburns hanging loose doesn't hurt either, and she decided not to mess up her natural looks with makeup either. All that, combined with the warm orange glow of a night that hadn't yet begun made her look so very attractive. "Wade, feel free to do as you wish. I'm sure you have a number of people you wish to spend time with, and perhaps one to get an answer from~" D'oh! How the hell did I forget that?! I never got Naomi's answer! "Just be sure to come spend the last hour of the evening with me. I want your answer too~"

[X]Seek out Naomi first.
[X]There's a certain shrine maiden I haven't bothered in a while.
[X]Go play some games, since there's bound to be some people over that way.
[X]You know, go visit Marine. It feels like forever since you've had a proper visit with her.
[X]See if there's anything that might look interesting enough to buy.
[X]Where there's music, there's Prismriver right?
[X]Mingle in the crowds and see who you find.
[X]When's the last time I annoyed the celestial?
[X]Spend some time with Yukari first.
[X]Something I didn't think of? (Write-in)
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>> No. 31672
[X] Seek out Naomi first.
[X] There's a certain shrine maiden I haven't bothered in a while.
[X] Go play some games, since there's bound to be some people over that way.
[X] You know, go visit Marine. It feels like forever since you've had a proper visit with her.
[X] See if there's anything that might look interesting enough to buy.
[X] Where there's music, there's Prismriver right?
[X] Mingle in the crowds and see who you find.
[X] When's the last time I annoyed the celestial?
-[X] After all that. spend some time with Yukari.

Besides the last, they can be done in any particular order.
>> No. 31673
[X] Seek out Naomi first.
[X] There's a certain shrine maiden I haven't bothered in a while.
[X] Go play some games, since there's bound to be some people over that way.
[X] You know, go visit Marine. It feels like forever since you've had a proper visit with her.
[X] See if there's anything that might look interesting enough to buy.
[X] Where there's music, there's Prismriver right?
[X] Mingle in the crowds and see who you find.
[X] When's the last time I annoyed the celestial?
-[X] After all that. spend some time with Yukari.

Wants a large block of text as well.
>> No. 31674
Oh, screw it. With your votes I may as well have put that vote in to give myself a checklist. Don't worry, I still love you all. Somehow.

---

Yukari's right. First thing I need to do is go off and find Naomi so I can get her answer from her, and hope that she hasn't forgotten about it and that she has a conclusive answer. "Alright, I think I'll do just that, and I won't forget, not with this little timer." I slip out the ring box momentarily before putting it back where it was.

Yukari seems pleased enough with my answer as she happens to be smiling at me right at the moment. "Good~ Now shoo, you have a few things to do and a few friends to visit, and not all that much time to do it." She then gives me a gentle shove toward the vendor Eientei put up, but given how far away it is I can't help but wonder how she knew that. Of course, she could be going by memory, or perhaps she just gapped the knowledge into her head. Who knows?

Nari does try to come along with me, but Ran holds her back. It's surprising that I can't really make out what she's saying at five feet away, but if I had to take a guess it'd be something along the lines of: 'It'd be best if he did this alone.' ...Well, it might be better, or it could lead to all manners of unforseen complications. I'd like to think my luck isn't that horrid, and the fact that this isn't some harem manga where the lead boy and girl can't spit it out to save their life means that it has to go more smoothly by default and won't be marred by the usual causes.

Finding Eientei's vendor is pretty easy as they've set up a full tent and just happen to be attracting a steady stream of potential customers. Clearly Tewi at work here. I make my way into the crowded plaza around the fountain in order to work my way over there. It's not 'sardines in a can' level of crowded as there's still ample space to move around, but it's still packed enough to make me feel uneasy. As I walk around the spectacularly decorated dragon fountain, I remember that huge crowds were never my strong point and the only reason I handled them so well before was because I needed to be strong for Naomi, who took this sort of thing even worse than myself. Still, that's not really the sort of thing I should be thinking about as it's an unimportant point by now, and instead focus on making sure I don't step on anything dropped on the stone tiled road that permeates the village. ...And then I stop to take a better look. It's painted.

I kick off into the air to get a good look at the whole thing, and I find that a fair few people, humans and youkai alike, have jumped up here to contemplate the mural. It's a giant mural of a really difficult spellcard on a background depicting the Earth from a nighttime view on the moon that I can only assume belongs to Eirin as it utelizes black-cored bullets in large numbers, which I'm pretty sure is a trait unique to Eirin as the only black-cored spell Mima uses is Twilight Spark, and that's less of a bullet and more of a city-destroying beam. Educated guesses aside, it's time I stopped gawking at the mural and continued with finding Naomi so I can talk with her for a little bit. I drop down to the street below right in front of the tent and walk on in without really acknowledging the people standing around outside. This is perfectly acceptable to me as there are no rabbits, lunar princesses, doctors, or artists hanging around outside. Maybe there are other artists in the crowd, but I doubt any of them are the one I want to see. ...I really need to stop rambling in my head.

Pushing the flap aside greets me with a view I didn't really expect. For starters, the inside cloth of the tent has been meticulously painted to look like a clear night sky from the Earth's view, and I'd have no trouble believing that this is once again Naomi's work. Aside from that, there's a fair few things here, such as a shooting gallery, a demonstration for powered armor, a fully stocked... ER... room? The more attention I give to this place, the more ridiculous it seems. There's enough stuff here to fill a small convention! I can take a wild shot in the dark to say Kaguya did this, but it's not enough of a concern for me to spend too much time contemplating it. The priority is to find Naomi after all. There's the small problem of not knowing where she'd be in here, assuming she's even here at all.

And then a small, black haired bunny with white floppy ears, a pink dress, a carrot pendant, and a mischievous/shit-eating smile that seems to be her trademark, if not default way of greeting someone. "Looking for someone hotshot? I bet you're looking for Naomi, and I bet it's because you didn't get an answer outta her the time before last." She's nailing everything on the head, and I hope that means she's actually going to help.

"Huh?" Or she could find me... That works. "Wade!" Naomi runs over to me from the armor demonstration, drawing a few annoyed and/or jealous looks from the other guys around my age, but who cares about them exactly? What I do care about is the artist hugging me in greeting, and I just happen to reciprocate the action. "Sheesh, it's so weird not being able to slip into your room at night." And that just depresses and annoys the male crowd more. I do note that she's wearing her normal clothes instead of anything fancy, which is fine by me since this is more her. "Aside from that..."

"She wants to kidnap you for a bit, so get going ya lovebirds." Tewi then pushes us both off out of the tent, which may just have been foresight on her part as she sets to work distracting the male crowd not too long after we leave. Seems like Naomi's a big hit in the Eientei tent.
>> No. 31677
>>31674
I can imagine by the end of the festival many,many males will go "I hate you" to Wade mentally.
>> No. 31678
Once we're outside of the clown car tent I decide that it'd be best to just meander around, taking in the sights and chatting with Naomi. Obviously I do want her answer, but I want to do it someplace where there won't be too many people around as it would both be embarrassing for her and potentially hazardous for me. Just because Yukari and everyone she's close to is okay with the idea of being part of a harem where everyone ultimately wants in everyone else's pants, does not mean the rest of the world is so accepting. "I really have to hand it to you Naomi, that mural on the entire plaza has to be your biggest piece of work yet." I only now notice that Naomi's hand is in mine, and don't question when it got there lest I jinx it or something silly like that.

"It is. You should have seen the looks on the villager's faces this morning when they saw it for the first time, it was hilarious!" Naomi casts her gaze on me momentarily after she laughs at that nice little memory, and I found myself joining in. It's been way too long since I've seen that side of her, even if it surfaces almost instantly when she's around me. She does settle down a few moments later in order to keep talking. "It was kind of boring though, Tewi helped me through the whole thing and the only people up that late are the night watch, and they're easy to lose since there are so few of them and they're technologically backward." She takes on a slight swagger as she plays out what must be last nights events in her head. "They really were no match for us, and as I said..." She begins blushing slightly as she continues. "I missed sleeping in the same bed as you afterward."

Now it's my turn to blush. I know she enjoys waking up with me in the morning (Why else would she keep doing it, even breaking into my hoouse to do so?), but this is the first time I've ever heard her say as such. "Too bad there won't be many opportunities for that." And now I feel like being a complete dolt about this. "I missed the smell of your body, the touch of your soft skin against mine, your lithe frame..."

And I get a whack on the arm for it, and a rather amused Naomi. "Did your getting laid make you think you're some kind of Don Juan? If that's the case, you'd better keep practicing the routine, because that goofy grin of yours kills it."

"It made you laugh, right? That's all I was going for." I use my free arm to rub where Naomi had whacked me while adopting a mock hurt look and absolutely failing at it, which only serves to amuse her further.

"But on a more serious note, you really have changed. You used to have a lot of pent up frustration and anger that anyone could feel. It made you look like a caged bird at times, and made even the times we did run off together a bit off." Naomi then clung to my arm just as she might have before, and I can feel her modest (In comparison to the likes of Yukari, Ran, Komachi... Yeah, I'm going to shut up now.) chest rubbing against my arm. Maybe it's just because we're almost alone by this point, but she's being more physical than usual. "Heh, this probably sounds cheesy but you feel like a bird who's left all his problems behind to acheive happiness. ...Or maybe calling you a bird isn't quite apropriate, you seem more like a dragon."

"Heh, too bad I don't look the part." We're actually walking through the fields right at the moment, keeping a reasonable distance from the festivities until she gets around to saying what she really wants to say.

She takes on a sly smile as she contemples the possibilities. "Hm~ Maybe I could glue a horn on your forehead or something."

"Then people would call me an oni." I just roll my eyes as she starts putting out ideas.

"Some wings would be easy enough, though I admit I'd need anal beads for the tail." If I was drinking something I'd probably spew it out a good thirty feet upon hearing that. I look at Naomi in complete surprise, the momentarily berate myself for thinking it odd. She's a healthy young woman... "Hah! That was worth it!" But there's a nice blush to her face as she keeps going, and while she keeps her enthusiasm she starts to tread more lightly. "Wade, a little over a month ago you admitted you love me. It made me wonder why you were bothering when you already have Yukari, but I thought about it. The more I thought about it, the more I was able to focus on being happy that you confessed to me, even if I wasn't the first, and I'm sorry I took so long to respond." She lets go and pulls me into a hug, at which point I swear her blush couldn't go deeper. "You asked me if I could reciprocate your feelings..." She underscores her bust with one arm before making me feel it with another... Is she really...? "The answer is yes, but I want you to feel it." Next hour of festivities? Say goodbye.

...

"Tewiiiii..." A rather annoyed Reisen pulled the smaller earth rabbit over by the ears to look at a small container of equally small pink pills, and another one with small white ones. "There's one rapid regeneration pill missing, one dissolvable, tasteless birth control pill missing, one-tenth of a pomegranite-flavored time delayed aphrodisiac pill missing, and a teabag of pomegranite tea missing. Care to explain?"

Tewi looks the moon bunny in the eye before shrugging. "Just giving a good friend of mine a little push in the right direction, you know?"

Reisen merely facepalmed before taking the earth bunny to the live fire demonstration. To be more specific, to use her in the live fire demonstration.

---

Am I a tease yet?
>> No. 31679
>>31678
Yes... and we want to see it not because of the sex but the bonding of two people close to each other!

But Tewi is a good friend of Naomi's... heh.
>> No. 31680
>>31679

> We want to see it not because of the sex...

Maybe you don't...
>> No. 31681
>>31680
Have you considered the author might be sick of his "Smut" reputation with some people to a degree?

Sure folks like to take pride in such things but never to the point of being known solely for it.
>> No. 31682
>>31681
Eh, the author is known for smut?
>> No. 31684
>>31682
Enough that the perverts from Mind the Gap invade whenever its writer slacks off on updates.
>> No. 31685
>>31684

Or you know, just regular readers from this story.
>> No. 31693
Pomegranate tea?

That sounds really tasty. Makes me want to try it sometime.
>> No. 31694
>>31963

It really is. The brand I'm using makes it taste a bit bitter, but I'm so thoroughly unversed on the art of tea steeping that my default method of telling when it's ready is 'Does the liquid look like what it's supposed to.'

---

Naomi and I walk back to the festivities, with the former blushing yet happy while the latter is relieved. I caught the scent of something on her breath, but it wasn't liquor. When she spontaneously stopped bleeding down there I managed to figure out that she must have taken somthing or somethings prior to cornering me, but it wasn't anything human made so it left only one viable option. I can't tell what exactly, so I'll have to ask someone at Eientei if they know anything about this or if Naomi did this of her own volition.

On another note, I am happy that I was able to make cleanup simple enough to the point that we were able to put our clothes back on without any embarrassing or lingering stains. ...This whole 'summon what you need' thing has got to be the most awesome yet practical thing ever.

"Wade, I need to get back to Eientei's tent, but I want to stay with you a little while longer." Naomi's hold on my arm at this point is all but a stranglehold, yet I don't mind. Once I figured out she took some kind of drug yet was still acting of her own free will, making her happy certainly came easily.

"Like I could refuse." I'm taking this walk at a normal pace and grinning like an idiot every step of the way. I can't really help it since Naomi reciprocated my feelings so thoroughly when I was afriad she'd refuse. For now though, I enjoy her renewed violation of my personal space while catching more than a few glares from the male crowd. Heheh, how long is it going to take for one of those fools to decide enough is enough and challenge me?

Still, I feel like we've arrived at the entry to Eientei's tent way too soon for my liking, but as they say: 'All good things must come to an end, lest we lose sight of how precious they are.' And Naomi is precious to me, so I don't want to lose sight of that. Naomi does let go, but instead of going in immediately she leans up and plants a kiss on my lips. Once she ends it, she speaks. "At some point, do for Marine what you did for me."

That caught me off guard. "Naomi?" All I can do is look at her quizically as the implications of what she's saying sinks in.

"She loves you just as much as I do, and I'm sick of her 'I want my beloved to be happy' role since we both love you in that way." Naomi answers my question in the absolute most direct manner possible. I pretty much knew this was the case, but back then I lacked the guts to either confess to either of them or to reciprocate their feelings. I saw Naomi more as a little sister figure, and Marine... Thanks to the fact that she took things too far too soon she left me confused to the point of throwing up a wall between us. My line of thought is broken by Naomi, who's still standing there. "Hey, mister monologue. Listen to what I'm saying will you?" She's smiling though, so I doubt that she's all that annoyed. "Don't do it tonight though. You've got my scent all over you still, and she won't like that. Plus, I might not be able to help you get away from the resulting angry mob of lonely single johns looking to get laid." Ah, there's that teasing banter I've missed.

"Got it. Though I get the feeling I'm going to get challenged to a duel at least once over the course of this. All those suitors I helped Reimu beat up are all itching for a rematch." And of course, I display zero concern over those arrogant asses, which just happens to be the exact amount I'm feeling. "Still, thank you for your answer. Coming from you, it means a lot."

Naomi simply responds by giving me one last kiss and a farewell before heading back in. "Oh yeah..." She poked her head back out momentatily. "You'll have to come visit me every so often, or else I'll go looking for you." She enters the tent with a note of finality, and make a worried mental note to visit her a few times a week. She'll probably make good on her word if I don't, and she'll probably go into the Forest of Magic to get lost enough to find me... Yeah, the images aren't pretty.

Still, I burn at least one into the back of my skull to remind myself to go visit her as I head off to locate the shrine maiden of paradise. I don't quite know why, but I just want to bother her a bit since she's still a friend to me.

---
>> No. 31695
Damn you cut that out... think you'd put it in your /at/ thread?

I wonder how that'll go, the whole tearing down the wall thing.
>> No. 31701
Fortunately, I have little difficulty in locating the red-white as she's got pretty much her whole ragtag family with her, but she's also exuding a much more powerful presence than usual. I just chalk it up to the result of her being mereged with her goddess and decide to go over to greet them.

Suika, Mima, and Ruukoto are all accompanying her, and I must say they all dress up nicely. Suika's yukata is a nice blue with a watermelon print (Some kind of play on words, I'm sure.), Ruukoto's decided on a more western style for her outfit (It's something like a ball gown, but the 'bell' from the waist down doesn't have any of the support. She's also got some long white gloves on, but I forget what they're called.), while Mima's outfit is more akin to a tuxedo that's been modified to fit comfortably around her ample assets (She doesn't have her staff with her, but she has what looks like a combat knife in a sheath attached to her hip.) Reimu herself hasn't really bothered to dress up at all, which is sort of a dissapointment seeing as I doubt she'd have any trouble making anything look good. "Heh, look who showed up! Did you come to confess your love to Reimu too?" Mima's first to respond, and the first to be a smart-ass about it. She looks quite happy though so I take that as a good sign.

I feel yet more glares on my back as I continue advancing toward the shrine group, which isn't unexpected since I bet there are a couple who not only saw me walk in with the Yakumos, but also display my usual friendliness to Naomi. Naturally this is lost on everyone who matters as Suika all but tackle hugs me moments later. "Heeeeeey Wade! I missed ya when you're stayin' at Yukari's, and ya don't play with me much anymore!" Her smile's bright and innocent, but I have to wonder how long that's going to last. "I know you've been busy lately, but make some time for me soon okay? Otherwise..." There's a thinly veiled threat under there, yet I don't think it'd result in anything intentionally harmful.

"Huh, so it is you." Reimu walks up to me as well with Ruukoto in tow, but what catches my eye is that they're holding hands now. ...I know Reimu has a maid fetish, but for it to progress so far... Reimu then promptly smacks me over the head with her gohei, and does so lightly. "She..." Reimu then points to the oni still hugging me. "Has been driving me up the wall ever since you stopped coming over! She really missed you, you know." Her annoyance starts out heated, then it cools down rapidly the longer she spends talking. "And I have to admit, I found myself missing you too. I never did thank you properly for helping me deal with my little 'problem'."

Mima walks over with her usual swagger and puts a hand on her hip as she shakes her head. "With a greeting like that, you're well on your way to wanting to marry him." She then gives the miko her usual sly smile... "Too bad Yukari stole him first though..." ...before giving off an exaggerated sigh. Her look turns to mock dispair for this next part. "Alas! Reimu could not seal the fate of the one man who matters to her! The only option left is to become his mistress-" At which point she was promptly stopped with a yin-yang orb to the face.

"Mima~" Reimu's tone is light and pleasant, yet her face makes her look like she's about to kill something. "Shut. Up." Two simple words that wind up carrying so much weight that Mima actually listens, and makes a hurried apology over it. What's perhaps scarier is that her normal smile returns the moment she looks at me. "I'm sure you've got a dozen or more girls who want your undivided attention, but I'm going to be selfish just this once and ask that you visit my shrine more often than you have been, even if it's to keep this hornball from annoying me all the time." By hornball, she means Suika. This time she uses a play on words I actually sort of get.

---
>> No. 31702
Don't worry, Reimu. Next run you'll have him. Definitely. You have my word for it. Other than Yaffy's, ze miko doesn't get enough love~
>> No. 31704
Suika looks a bit hurt by that comment, and drops down off me to look the miko in the eye. "Hey! I don' annoy ya that much!" Her tone is thourougly indignant, and she's even got her arms crossed. It's meant to display annoyance but she's just too cute when she pouts like that! I absent-mindedly ruffle her hair, to which she leans into for a moment before gently swatting my hand away. "Don't you start too!" Reimu merely snickers at the comment.

All I can do is shake my head a little in response as there's not much I can say to that. "I'll make time to come visit you all more often, though I can't promise that Yukari won't tag along." And that's the truth. Yukari may be my lover and she'll probably lend me an ear on most things, but I doubt she'd really listen if I asked her to stay home while I visit Reimu. "Aside from that..."

"You're not thinking about running off already, are you?" Mima walks over and puts one hand on my shoulder, then pretty much tells me point blank that I'm sticking around for a little bit at the very least. "You've made your fiancé wait for a whole month now, and you're just going to run off again? I didn't peg you as such a crass man." ...Or she could want me around longer so she can poke fun at the fact that- wait what.

"Mima..." And there's a miko at the spirit's shoulder. One with an ominous tone in her voice, a sealing ofuda in hand, and a rather pissed off expression. "Did you spread more lies around again?"

I then think about it a little. That whole scenario was specifically so I could help get those suitors off Reimu's ass, in a manner of speaking, and I did so as an issued challenge to all of them. It's entirely possible that a few people thought that I was doing that not because I was helping the miko out, but that I was establishing my claim on her and the whole issued challenge was to drive that point home. Given the fact that the village seems to have its fair share of gossipy hags running around, and the odd human who takes the Bunbunmaru at face value, it's no surprise that people would eventually believe that it's my intention to marry Reimu. ...Which might explain all the nastly looks I've been getting from some the the villagers. Some might believe that I'm two-timing on the miko, while others might be jealous of my success with women in general. Either way, this whole scenraio reeks of a scandal built from misunderstanding, and given how humans will actively believe the worst in those they do not like it's doubtful that anyone will listen to my side of the story without someone with a crapload of influence making sure they listen. ...Oh hey Yukari.

I promptly get rapped on the head again sometime during my monologue, and notice that we're in front of a few game booths. Reimu looks slightly exhasperated at my lack of attention, but I don't think she's really that upset. "Sooner or later I'm going to figure out a way to read your mind, because you seem to go into monologue mode an awful lot."

I take a quick look around and see that Mima's keeping Suika occupied for now, and that Ruukoto must have been asked to go get something. Damn, I miss a lot when I start thinking too hard. "So, a few games just between the two of us?" Not that this is a bad way to spend part of the evening, and I'm sure that the miko would agree.

"That's the general idea." Reimu then rolls her eyes as she says this next bit. "Or rather, it's Mima's idea and she won't let me say or do otherwise." She grabs my hand to lead me in front of what looks like a shooting gallery, but all the targets look like prizes... "Care for a round?" She picks up one of the rifles, hands the man running the vendor a hundred yen, and proceeds to knock over a stuffed cat, a scale model of... a Pyro-GX?! ...And she whiffs the last shot, but I'm in shock over such a simple find. "Oh ho! I got something you wanted, hm~? I'd be willing to trade if you got that Corbenik figurine." She then... Holy hell, is this a gallery for gaming geeks? There really is an Avatar Corbenik figurine as a target! It's kind of a tricky shot...

"A hundred yen for three shots. Feel like winning your lady friend that prize?" The man behind the counter is more or less issuing a challenge by this point, and it's a pretty classic one at that. See if you can impress your girlfriend with your sharp shooting, and get her something nice as a gift in the process. I flip the man a 100 yen coin as an acceptance. "Pick your weapon, and take aim."

I assume he meant for me to grab one of the rifles on the counter and not to generate a Red Steel 2 magnum from white fire, but I don't recieve any objections from him when I do. I keep the gun lined up, and pull the trigger. ...And the first bullet bounces off.

The man laughs a bit before talking. "Sorry son, but after a little incident last year where a couple rabbits cleaned me out, I decided to have some nice strong spell shields placed around the prizes. Try as you might, you're not going to win with that gun." So sure, is he?

I let the magnum dissolve into flames and draw out another weapon, this time from Disgaea. Namely, the Etiole. I make sure it's the one from my copy of Disgaea DS, as that's the one I spent weeks getting all set up to become the most powerful ranged weapon I have. The stats should be carried over... I level the gun again, and fire. This time the shield is blown away in one shot, and I follow up with a simple danmaku bullet to knock it over. "Sorry, at times I'm simply not a reasonable person." The man is dumbstruck by how easily I blew it away, yet he hands me the unblemished figurine anyway. After that, Reimu and I swap for what we want, then move on to the next game.
>> No. 31705
Though if not for the sudden time table shift, we'd have started trying to sway Reimu.
>> No. 31724
And thank you to the anon who writes Ancient Gensokyo, for enabling me to put my views of marriage into words.

---

I get the distinct feeling that the male crowd's jealousy is going to reach critical mass sometime fairly soon, but there's no point in marring my time with Reimu unless they actually come forth and challenge me. ...Of course, it could get marred anyway by the idiot walking up to us. He's easily recognized as the idiot with the sword that seems hellbent on grinding my face into the dirt and making the miko his bride. "Look out, idiot incoming." I decide to warn Reimu just on the very slim chance she didn't see him.

Reimu looks in the direction of the guy walking up to us and simply shakes her head. "Ugh, what does it take to convince him that I'm not interested in him?!" Her expression is more than a little annoyed as she pulls out a few sealing needles in an offhand manner.

"You!" Yeah, I completely forgot this twit's name since the last time I heard it, which is fine because this one's not bothering to use mine. Oh, by the way, he's mad. "You would violate the sanctity of marriage to purse your unchecked sensual desires?!" He draws his blade once more and points it at me. ...It's not going to be worth the effort to go all out, so I bring out the Honjo Masamune and a Silenced Gun (PSO Red Box pistol weapon. I figure metal bullets might be a bit frowned upon.), then take a ready stance of my own as I fire off my own opinion.

"So you're blind and stupid. Wonderful. As far as I'm concerned, the 'sanctity' of marriage is an excuse to try and control your partner, or, if she too is in love with more than one person, to put an unfair monopolization on her." Thanks to my time here and my general distaste of religious (Read: Christian) interpretation of things like marriage, I find it easy to flip those notions the bird and not limit my love for others to just one person. If I tried that sort of thing now, I'd be lying to everyone, including myself. It's also easy because I know Reimu has feelings for more than one individual herself. "Think of it this way:" I find some sand to scoop up, then form a fist around it. "The tighter you try to hold onto your loved one, the more she slips away." The sand escaping my clenched fist acts as an all too accurate metaphor for what I'm trying to say. When there's very little left, I let the rest fall out before scooping up another handful. "But if you keep an open mind and a gentle hand... Sure, he or she may slip a bit, but your partner would be more likely to come back to you in the end, right?" The sand in my hand doesn't even twitch until I put it back.

The idiot's becoming more irate the more I talk, and I'm more than happy to lie in wait with my drawn blade. Even if I won't cut him, I still want to make it clear that he'll never win against my conviction. "Then you are prepared to keep them all happy I assume? Such a task would be insane and would slowly become impossible, even for one who spits on the natural laws as much as you." Wait what. He's trying to talk his way through this? I expected him to just blindly charge in like the moron he is.

"If that's what it takes, then yeah. I've got power and stamina in spades, and on top of that I've got a few reliable people to help me out when I'm face first in the dirt." I'm kinda hoping this doesn't backfire too badly since I'd like to keep enjoying my Reimu time as much as possible.

"Tch..." He shakes his head in irritation. "Just as I thought. You're a man with unrealistic and idiotic dreams brought about when he thinks with the wrong head!" He then points his blade at me... "I hereby challenge you to a duel! The winner gets to date the shrine maiden!"

"Oh, you did NOT just say that!" I'm still not going to be baited into the first attack, no matter how hard he tries. "Not to mention that your terms are ridiculous. You don't even factor in what Reimu wants!" I put my blade into a one-handed guard in preperation to use The Tiger, but it becomes an exercise in pointlessness as a certain celestial drops on my challenger's head and drives his face into the stone. ...I think he's just unconscious though.

"Hah! I finally found you Wade!" Tenshi's still got her usual boots on, but she's got a rather pretty yukata on herself. It's a deep, silky midnight blue with an aurora borealis pattern on it, and a similarly gradient obi. (I think that's what it's called anyway...) She's got her usual cocky smile on, even as she uses her blade to deflect the needles Reimu threw at her. "And now that I have... You're coming with me!" She knocks my blade away, throws me off balance, and gut punches me before hoisting me over her shoulder and jumping back from a very, very annoyed Miko. "You want him back? You're going to have to catch me first!" And with that overconfident statement she runs away with me, then makes a quick turn down a side street. It's a dead-end, but given that the celestial can fly she clears it in one jump. I'm pretty sure Reimu's seen the last few strands of blue hair clear the wall...

All I do is roll my eyes and thank myself for not eating before we left.
>> No. 31725
>You're a man with unrealistic and idiotic dreams
Has this guy even been paying attention? Wade can do practically anything with his dreams.

>it becomes an exercise in pointlessness as a certain celestial drops on my challenger's head and drives his face into the stone.
Thank you Tenshi and your Only One Allowed to Defeat You mentality.
>> No. 31726
>>31724

>"I hereby challenge you to a duel! The winner gets to date the shrine maiden!"

And suddenly Kuno appears.
>> No. 31728
I wonder how long before Yukari finds out about this... since I'm sure Yukari wouldn't mind sharing if she went about it nicely, but with how she's doing stuff now? Gap Funeral.
>> No. 31758
>Kuno

Who?

---

I could get out of this with relative ease now that the pain's more or less subsided, but I really have to wonder if it's worth it to break free at this point. I'm being carried fireman style by Tenshi across town (Hi Renko! Hi Maribel!) with no sign of slowing down other than the miko's sniper precision needles occasionally hitting the ground near the celestial's feet. Reimu's trying her best to avoid hitting me, but some of those are coming awfully close!

Not that it matters too much anyway as a large tremor shook the ground in front of the open air stage, which actually forced Tenshi to brace herself against the shaking. Not a part of her plan at all given that she's cursing under her breath. Once it stops we both go flying as a large dragon-like creature (More like person though, but it's got a long horn coming off his forehead, arms that have been unfolded into wings, and a long tough looking tail with a tip that looks like a battle ax. I thought I saw natural armor plating too, and that it, along with his hair, is the color of white sand) erupts from the ground to attack someone else entirely. (Said someone else being a rough-looking sapphire-haired girl with orange eyes, a slightly blue-tined body, a rather wierd set of spinal spikes that she's firing electricity from, and a long tail that make me think she's a water dweller)

My time in the air is cut short by Reimu, who catches me in mid-air after kicking Tenshi away. Somehow, she manages to look relieved and annoyed at the same time. "Honestly, you attract trouble just as easily as you attract women." She then drops to the ground in front of a deli and gives it a good look. "Hm... I'm kind of hungry..." She then turns to- "Hey Wade, want to grab a..." Her recently regained good mood vanishes as she notices that I'm not there anymore. She does jump to a conclusion, but thankfully it's the right one. "DAMMIT TENSHI!"

"Ahahahaha~! It might be painful in the end, but she's cute when she's mad!" And Tenshi must be completely BONKERS if she thinks that this is even remotely intelligent. Okay, not intelligent, but she's having the time of her life as she slips into the crowd. Doing so might even have been smart save for two things: One, she's carrying me bridal style now, and two, there's an angry miko who just planted her foot square in the celestial's face. The resulting impact flung me up into the air away from Reimu and toward a demonstration on how to use the power of love to defend one's self from enemies. Naturally, it's lead by Marisa and I just happen to be descending as she fires off a Spark without looking. This bounces me further still until I land on a large angled trampoline next to Rinnosuke's surprisingly neat and tidy stand (He has a mode aside from complete asshole?), which springs me up and over the festivities until I land on an Onbashira that Kanako just happens to be swinging at a baseball. Why this is is lost to me as I'm launched clear to another part of the festivities where Tewi has tied Reisen up to a large firework (You know, like the ones in Looney Tunes.) that flies up just in time to intercept me. The sudden impact causes a premature explosion that bounces me back up into the air and straight into the flight path of an unfamiliar tengu woman with brown hair done up in long twin-tails, knocking me straight into the Prismriver's backstage area.

Naturally, I've put a hole in the roof in the process and made a ruckus in the process, but I don't feel like anything's been broken, nor am I in terrible pain. Any minute now someone's going to come along to demand an explination (Like a sane person might), shrug it off (Which I'd like to hear about), ask if I'm alright (Like a caring person might), or drag me off into her room. (Like Merlin might. And guess who shows up?)
>> No. 31759
>>31758

http://ranma.wikia.com/wiki/Kuno
>> No. 31767
>>31758

Toyohime?
>> No. 31770
Merlin time? We might end up with Marine and Merlin in the harem with any luck.
>> No. 31775
>>31759

Ah, that makes sense.

---


"Wade!" Is all Merlin says as she peeks out of her dressing room and scans the debris. Once she spots me she rushes over and pulls me upright with very little effort. She's also smiling, which is probably because I just showed up and she's happy to see me. "You're not hurt are you? That was really stupid of you to drop in uninvited like that." Not only has she pulled me upright, but she's taking me to her dressing room.

"I'm fine. ...I think. I did plan on visiting you before the night's over, but rest assured that my putting a hole in the roof isn't how I wanted to do it." I'm actually more than capable of walking on my own, so I use a little body language to tell her that. She doesn't relinquish her hold of me though, but is willing to settle for just holding my hand. "It would have been easier to walk into the backstage if I hadn't been taking an unwanted airial tour a couple minutes beforehand."

Merlin looks a bit curious about that, and as a result she breifly forgets about the door and proceeds to walk into it. Staggering backwards, she starts rubbing her nose while leaning on me. "Ow~..." Once she gets back up she all but picks me up... "So how'd you end up on that 'airial tour' to begin with?" ...and walks right on through the door without a second thought. Apparently she used her powers as a poltergeist to walk through walls, and somehow extended that to me.

"First I get launched into the air, get hit with a carelessly aimed Master Spark, bounce off a trampoline, get swung into next century with a giant log, get blown up, then I got knocked aside by some tengu woman while I was still reeling, then just so happen to be on a collision course with the roof." Merlin sets me down on a spare chair, and I note there's only the two in this room.

Merlin herself looks a little dumbstruck by all that and proceeds to check under my shirt for bruises or any signs of broken bones, and comes to a stop when she can't find any. "...Not so much as a scratch. Are you really a human?" Her eyes flick upward to meet mine as she asks this.

"I'd like to think so, but to be honest I don't know what I am anymore." I can't help but think it's kind of odd while looking over the various costumes and the fact that the counter doesn't have much in the way of cosmetics. I definitely started out human, but now I think I just look and act how I normally would. Either I've become a harem manga lead, at which I probably have some degree of rapid recovery, or the body Yukari stuck my soul in is many times tougher than that of a normal human. "Aside from all that, it's nice to see you again." One thing's for certain: Merlin's quite cuddly.

She responds by putting her arms around my body and hugging me tight, intentionally letting her ample bust rub against me as she shifts up to where she can look me in the eye. "It's nice to see you too. If it weren't for the fact that I've got a show to help put on in a half-hour I'd be a bit more forward while I have the chance." She looks both genuinely happy at the prospect of us being alone for an extended period of time, and bitter that she can't do so right now while possibly being bitter toward Yukari for successfully getting me first. "Still..." She brings her face closer to mine until our lips are almost touching. "There's enough time to do a little of what I want..." She then kisses me. It's a pure, innocent kiss that, despite her increasingly forward attitude, is untainted by experience or example. Keeping a grip on decency is a mite difficult since I'm breathing in her natural scent by the lungful, feeling her sexy body press into mine, and knowing that the only reason she's not exploring every inch of my body is because she has a prior engagement.

This peaceful bliss lasts for the better part of ten minutes before a knock on the door disturbs us. "Sis? You might want to wrap that up, Reimu's been spotted coming in this direction and I think she might be a biiiit pissed off to discover that you're making out with Wade." And that would be Lyrica delivering that miko alert, and she even opens the door to step in. "...Really pissed."

"Ah well... That was fun though!" Even though Merlin's practically dripping dissapointment, she seems giddy at the same time. "You should come over to visit next time you're free~." ...Now I feel like it's okay to leave. I give her my word that I'll do just that and prepare to face a worried and/or angry Reimu.
>> No. 31821
I'm sure those of you who've seen my story in /coriander/ will know that I've just had my wisdom teeth removed all of yesterday and don't really feel so great right at the moment. I apologize for not really wanting to write in the meantime, but it's kinda hard to concentrate when your mouth hurts.

Also: Alatreon is a bitch. That is all.

This update also makes me hungry.

---

I really need to start a schedule sometime soon, I've got too many girls to go visit and perhaps not really enough time to go visit them all. Thankfully Merlin's surprisingly patient about that and admits that she's willing to wait as long as needed. ...Then again, she is a poltergeist. So long as she feels reason to exist, I have no doubt that she will. "Oi, there you are." Reimu's half-worried, half-annoyed voice alerts me to her presence in very short order. "It's about time I caught up with you. You wouldn't believe just how ridiculous some of your rebounds were." And from the sounds of it, she actually had a bit of a time finding me. Kinda weird since it only took her the better part of ten, fifteen minutes or so.

"Well, what can I say?" All I can do is shrug as I wave the Prismriver sisters goodbye for now and head back off with a noticably happier miko.

More surprisingly is Reimu's attitude, as her tone's pretty teasing for someone who sounds like they had to put a little more effort into locating me than she would have liked. "That you attract huge knockers and all manners of trouble. Sometimes in the same package." ...Yeah, that's definitely some familiar smart-assery going on there.

"See previous statement." I just roll my eyes and think about what we should do next.

"That's no excuse. Anyway, want to go get something to eat? I'm kinda hungry and it'd be nice to eat with someone who both has good table manners and eats real food." The miko's really laid back about all this. Not terribly surprising since the little dream incident is well on its way to becoming an amusing memory. Sorta. Considering that a looney vampire tried to drown her in blood clones on the way in, I'd have figured that she'd take this a little less well than she did. I can't claim to know what she's thinking, but I can say that this really must not bother her enough to warrant looking back on.

"So, where to then?" It's a simple enough question, and yet I'm starting to see Reimu's point in going off to get something to eat. It's actually been at least another hour since the last time I bothered to check the little time lock on the ring box, and the sunset's already well below the horizon. All that's left is an orange glow before the parties really get underway.

Reimu licks her lips once as she decides on what to eat, then turns to me to tell me as much. "Death of sky and sea, finger food style. We'll grab some yakitori and some lamprey, some booze to wash it down, then find someplace relatively quiet to eat it." And her suggestion is... Both tasty and potentially antagonistic. While I have absolutely no problem with downing some delectably cooked meat all but dripping in house sauces that have been developed through trial and error over the years, there's the small problem that the vendors for both are right opposite one another, and that one stand owner is pretty much against the eating of any kind of bird while the other might not appreciate the fact that we're intentionally splitting our business.

With a relatively simple strategy in place, we split up to go buy one half of each our meals when we get close. It's a pretty simple thing that's going to annoy both Mokou and Mystia as this all but makes it... obvious... "Reimu...?" I ask, a little dumbstruck.

"Heh, this just makes it easier if they're running the same stand." Naturally the miko doesn't care that the two have decided to put their efforts together to make a mutual profit, not to mention spend time with one another. ...It really does make me wonder what kind of relationship those two have...?
>> No. 31822
I don't think Mokou and Mystia would be that upset about Wade's choices in food, he did save the day a while back.
>> No. 31824
File 128188976468.jpg - (186.87KB, 600x510, Slow business night.jpg) [iqdb]
31824
>...It really does make me wonder what kind of relationship those two have...?
Night Sparrow Love?
>> No. 31838
"Yo!" Mokou basically waves us over with an enthusiastic grin on her face. "Take it you're going to eat here?" It seems she's in a pretty good mood, considering that she looks like she's sporting a few bruises. An inqusitive look from me seems to be all she needs to have an excuse to talk about it. "Weeelllll, Mystia found out I was cooking chicken and decided she was going to have a frank exchange of ideas with me over it. I held back so I wouldn't hurt her to the point where she can't enjoy things, but we're both sporting some minor injuries." She also points out the various bandages, and I almost roll my eyes.

"Love hurts, huh?" Reimu's decided to sit on one of the stools in front of the counter. Obviously she plans to eat right here, and I have no problems with it so long as it doesn't involve an irate night sparrow. "So, what's the chef's special?" Of course, she dives right into the meat of the matter as I take up a seat next to her.

"Not yakitori, that's for sure." Mokou rolls her eyes she speaks, and it almost looked like a certain pink-haired night sparrow was about to swat her with a spatula. "Nah, I switched gears to cook beef instead when we turned this into a joint effort. Tastes almost as good too."

"Then we'll take some of both. Beef and eel, and in their respective house sauces." Reimu's already opening her purse to pay for that order when she thinks of something. "And some booze too while you're at it." Now she sets out the amount of money she predicts will be required to pay for all that.

"Got it." Mokou turns her head to look over her shoulder... "Heard that?" to talk to Mystia, who must have since I can hear some fresh meat being put on the grill. "Alright, if you'll excuse me for a minute..." She then takes her leave to go cook her part of the meal, but that's not too far away since we can still see the both of them. "Before I forget, didn't you come here with that gap youkai, Wade? Didn't think you were the type to go after multiple girls."

"Didn't plan on going after multiple girls, that's just sort of how it worked out." And we just had to get into this subject, didn't we? I'm not terribly interested in discussing it since I don't really need any more reminders that there's more than a few people who would wish me ill will for being with multiple girls or because they're so flipping jealous.

"It seems that way♪ You've got quite the group of detractors though♪" Mystia's voice always struck me as a teensy bit odd. I know she loves singing, but she seems to do so without even thinking about it. It's like listening to a bird singing, but at the same time being able to understand what it says. Non-youkai birds basically talk through song though, so perhaps it's not that big a stretch to assume Mystia might as well, especially since she's sort of a songbird herself.

"I'm sure they're wasting their time gathering up the torches and pitchforks since they don't seem to learn." Reimu isn't that worried about little things like a bunch of angry men trying to lynch me, but then again there aren't all that many that are worth worrying about. Hell, even those that are aren't all that tough compared to my ability to call on dreams, and that's assuming someone doesn't knock them flat on their asses before they can even get to me.

"It must be aggrivating though, always having to watch your back during a party♪ It's a shame, since this is supposed to be a time for people to have fun♪" Mystia's almost done with her part, as is Mokou, yet she doesn't dare spare me a glance yet. "It'll be an interesting spectacle watching you do another battle royale when the dancing starts♪" So I'm the after-dinner show, huh? Nice to know where my place in the world is.

"So have you started selling tickets yet?" I can't help but ask in a sarcastic tone even as the food's brought out, though my annoyance is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the grilled meat smells so good. I end up taking a bite of eel first, then beef, then alternating between the two. As expected, they've both outdone themselves.

"Actually, I've been letting people place bets♪ You'd be surprised at how many people think they'll win against you, or how many will bet on themselves♪" ...This is a side of Mystia I haven't seen before, and I'm not sure I like it. It's a bit too underhanded for my tastes. "I had to convince a few to bet against you, but it'll be worth it I think♪"

Mokou just shakes her head in resignation as she looks to me. "If you do get caught up in a fight during the dancing, make sure you win. Mystia's been a bit of an idiot in how she's doing this and she can't possibly pay out if you lose."

All I can manage to do is facepalm after taking a bite to eat. This is just unreal... This might explain why only that one sword-weilder popped up so far, he must have snapped sooner than the others. Which means said others might just be biding their time until they can get a proper tag-team shot at me. "So when's the dancing start anyway?" I may as well figure out exactly when this event is since this may very well conflict with my little talk with Yukari.

"That'll be in another hour or so. I imagine that your little timer thing's has more than ninety minutes left on it, doesn't it?" Wait, how did...? The goddess. She must have seen it or sensed it somehow, or perhaps I've let her see it somewhere along the way. Still, I look and the timer's not set to undo the lock for another two hours or so. "See? Plenty of time." Reimu's finished her food awfully fast... "Anyway, thanks for walking around with me for a while. It was fun, even with the distractions."

I look at her in disbelief. Surely she wasn't letting me go this easily? "Are you sure about this?" Is all I can really say.

"Positive. It's not like today's going to be your last day on the planet, right? Not to mention I've already made mention of the fact that I'd like to see you pay a visit to the shrine sometime soon." She gets up, thanks the two cooks, and faces me one last time. "I also need to get back to my troublemaking family fairly soon so they don't get into any more trouble than they already have. Later Wade!" Then she's off like a shot.

---
>> No. 31875
Since I've got no further business at the food stand, I bid the pheonix and the night sparrow farewell and head off for the next destination. I do happen to have someplace in mind though, and it's Marine's out-of-place shop that spontaneously replaced a derelict old place that no one was using. The reason that it's out of place is the fact that it still possesses a highler tech level than most of Gensokyo, the fact that she's tapped into kappa's electrical lines to keep all that running (in exchange for letting them explore her shop and look over all the human-made devices. Apparently they were rather surprised at the concept of LED lightbulbs.), the fact that the building itself is of a completely different build type than the rest of the village, and the small fact that it's replaced an entire building overnight. Perhaps even more out of place is the fact that no one really noticed, but there's the slight possibility that this has either happened before, or that Yukari simply made it to where no one would notice. I roll my eyes as I realize that I'm starting to think in a 'Hitchiker's Guide' sort of way and immediately tell myself to cut that out.

Still, you'd think someone would give the two-story building built for a coastal area more than just a slight glance before moving on, but who am I to say? It's pretty easy to find too, as I must have passed it several times already as it's smack on one of the main roads. ...No, seriously, how the hell does no one notice? I basically make my palm meet my face as I walk up to the ever familiar shop and open the door without so much as pausing. Perhaps not entirely to my surprise, there are a good number of people inside looking at the goods. This includes a few young men who decided to spend their time making passes at Marine, whom she was teasing back. I don't get all that excited about it since she's not being serious about it, not to mention the fact that she looks pretty happy to see me. "Wade!" She shakes off the small group of males who've decided that they want a piece of her foreign beauty to come hug me in her usual fashion. "It's really good to see you! You wouldn't believe how boring some of the guys can be."

I hug her back, which elicts even more nasty looks from the group of men, some young, some older, that had been fawning over her. "Nowhere near as fun as our banter, eh?" I pull away ever so slightly in order to look her in the eye, only to see that she's giving me one of her looks.

"You have no idea." Despite her body displaying her intention to do otherwise, she simply shakes her head. "Not to mention I really missed you. I'm used to you popping in every few days or so, not once a month." Marine lets go of me and steps back for a moment, then smiles again. "But I think it was worth the wait. Just look at you! You've always had good legs, but the rest of your body's finally caught up!" Said smile then turned a bit catlike... "Hm... I wonder if your butt is still as cute as I remember..." And that raises some eyebrows. I'm guessing no one's gotten close enough to her to see this side of her. Or perhaps this is something she reserves specifically for me. Either way, it's going to bring about some issues...

"Don't you think this is a bit much? The shop's not empty you know." They're much more likely to come after me than they are Marine, but I'd still prefer it if a fight didn't break out in Marine's shop. It'd upset her beyond all reason to watch everything get broken, and if that happens... Well, whoever started it would get all manners of hell from me about it.

"Ah, sorry, it's just been a while since I got to tease you properly and..."

I immediately hold up a finger toward her and waggle it back and forth in disapproval. "Oh, don't start with the random embarrassed pausing. That's not you."

Marine just laughs it off. Out of all the situations we've been in, this has got to be one of the stranger ones, but mostly because the shopkeep's not being as forward as she usually is. This quickly fixes itself as she promptly kisses me in front of everyone, or at least those who are paying attention to our conversation. "You're right, this is more like it. Anyway..." She looked around a bit and came to teh conclusion that maybe, just maybe it would be better to either take this someplace else or wait until the shop closes before going into it. "I really do want to talk to you, but you've got a big enough bunch of haters after your blood as it is and I'll only make it worse if I go prattling on about it in the open, so come see me again after the shop closes or when tomorrow rolls aound, okay?"

---
>> No. 31877
Well, nothing came out of that visit, but that's to be expected when my visits were timed to where it was usually just Marine and I there. Talking to her is definitely going to be an early morning/closing time thing from now on since she's drawn more than a few people to her natural allure. Not on purpose mind, but they're there and it'll make this all the more difficult. I still feel bad for leaving her to fend for herself, but she told me point blank that I should head somewhere else for now so we can talk properly later.

Aside from that little hitch, it was still nice being able to see her again as I missed her too, even if I didn't get to say to her directly. ...I'll make a point of telling her later. Even if she knows it already, it's always better to actually say it. A yawn escapes my mouth as I contemplate what to do next. I really hadn't planned out my evening at all and have more or less been drifting from event to event without much thought or effort. It's almost depressing when I think about it. Out of everything that's happened, only a small part of it was really thought through. Everything else was little more than impulse talking, and now it's starting to fail me. It's not that there isn't enough to do here, it's just that... It's dull. Talking to people, having fun with them, playing games... That's fine and all, and one of the major draws of the festival, but I'm just not feeling it. There's no sense of giddy anticipation, no energy for me.

Then I remember that I've been doing nothing but talking to people, and that this arguement sounds like something I've said not too long ago. I know there's that 'stress' to resolve and that there's no real getting out of it, but that's still something like half an hour away and it won't be all that interesting since even the most powerful of my likely challengers will all be easy to dispatch. It'd be like cutting grass quite honestly.

Then I remember the fact that there are also duels going on in quite a few places, and that I promised a certain someone a rematch. I wonder if she's around...?

[X]Go off and see if Gengetsu's around. I did say I'd have a rematch with her.
[X]...Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that there's something else making me feel off?
[X]Go ahead and meet up with Yukari early.
[X]Speaking of which, Nari probably wants some time with me too. It's not fair to keep her off to the side all night.
[X]See if Suwako's around. I may not know her all that well, but there's one little thing I feel I need to resolve before the night's out.
[X]Find a nice spot and start employing your ability to show off.
[X]Write-in
>> No. 31878
[X]Find a nice spot and start employing your ability to show off.

Maybe we can gather everyone instead of looking for them individually?
>> No. 31880
[x] See if Suwako's around. I may not know her all that well, but there's one little thing I feel I need to resolve before the night's out.
>> No. 31881
[x] See if Suwako's around. I may not know her all that well, but there's one little thing I feel I need to resolve before the night's out.

Curious...
>> No. 31884
[x] See if Suwako's around. I may not know her all that well, but there's one little thing I feel I need to resolve before the night's out.
>> No. 31885
[x] See if Suwako's around. I may not know her all that well, but there's one little thing I feel I need to resolve before the night's out.
>> No. 31888
[x] See if Suwako's around. I may not know her all that well, but there's one little thing I feel I need to resolve before the night's out.
>> No. 31901
File 128228158189.png - (967.41KB, 850x700, Vs Moriya begin!.png) [iqdb]
31901
I contemplate going off to have that rematch with Gengetsu so I can take care of it and put on a good show for the village at the same time, but that might wind up being a tiny bit more destructive than I would want this to end up being, and I'm quite certain that Reimu would not appreciate the potential scope of the damage. I also happen to like my rear end exactly the way it is, so... Yeah.

There's also the small unresolved issue where I never actually won a duel against Suwako... That'll be good to get my blood boiling without causing unnecessary damage to the village. I think I know where she could find her too since I don't think the Moriya crew's moved from their last spot. Trick is finding it again, but that won't be too terribly difficult as I can just fly up into the sky to get a good look at everything from above. It's not like they'd be terribly hard to spot, and sure enough I see that Kanako's still putting on some kind of show. I decide to step onto the pillar that Kanako's standing next to... "Yo." I manage to grab their attention, and wave to them. "Suwako, I think it's high time we dueled again."

"Is that so?" Suwako decided to cut off Kanako before she could make her annoyance to the fact that I'm interrupting her show known. "Actually, I was wondering if you'd ever make another challenge to me. I'm sure you've gotten way stronger since last time, so..." Suwako then hops clear up to the top of the pillar, at which point I take a step back to accommodate her. "Let's give 'em some early fireworks, shall we?"

---

Battle will start soon enough, just wanted to get at least this little bit out while I'm on my PC.
>> No. 31902
"Ugh, the NERVE of that guy!" Kanako certainly sounds annoyed by my little entrance, and even more so by Suwako's enthusiasm for it. "And Suwako, you know full well that this is supposed to be a demonstration for our shrine! Stop playing around and help!" I think that she knows full well that arguing this is ultimately useless, but hell if she doesn't at least try.

"Kanako, this might be a good thing. Wade is strong, but he's never beaten Suwako in a straight match." Sanae is quick to point out what would have been a possible plus to this situation, but it just seems to annoy Kanako further. "Uh, Kanako...?"

Kanako's eyes were lit with a determination and fury that haven't been seen in centuries, save for the odd time Suwako crossed a mutually agreed upon line, and she felt that in order to bring things back under control, she'd have to teach us both a lesson. "Well then, a demonstration of our divine might would be a good idea. It'll show potential worshippers that they'd be in good hands." ...This wasn't actually her goal, but it would make for good publicity anyway if it worked the way she wanted it. To that end, she too lept to the top of the pillar, but decided to sit cross-legged in the air above us both in an obvious attempt to imtimidate me. "Well then, if you feel the need to disrupt my demonstration so thoroughly, then why not accept my challenge as well?" Her eyes are glowing red, and her pupils are now slits. She actually means business.

A quick glance to Suwako, and a nod in response, is all I need to make up my mind. "As the old saying goes, the more the merrier! But how's this going to work exactly? I can't really dodge Suwako's shots if I have to focus on casting my own patterns, and double teaming me in the first place when I can't move fast enough to dodge would be a little underhanded." I look up at her, and make my own determination known.

She doesn't back down in the slightest, but there's a momentary surprise in her eyes. She's caught a glimpse of just how far I've come, and the very idea seems to intrigue her almost as much as it does Suwako. ...Of course, it's probably not for the same reason as I'm certain that Suwako just wants someone to have a friendly duel with now and again. "Oh, this will be two on one, and in our favor, but you'll be permitted to increase your shot's power accordingly when you face us both at once. In addition, you may also use some of that power of yours to strengthen your spell shield so that it will not break as easily. That should keep things fair, shouldn't it?"

"Not really." It surprises me a bit when Nari suddenly pops up behind me, but it was only because I was paying attention to the goddess who needs to be knocked down a peg or three. "Two on two, with normal values across the board. We select four cards each and alternate between attacking and defending until we run out of cards. At the end, the number of cards cleared will be added up for ten points each, while each hit taken lowers the 'clear' value by one." The bakeneko stands next to me and spares me a rather annoyed glance before returning her attention to the other two. "Is this acceptable?"

Suwako looks like she could care less, while Kanako is starting to look somewhat annoyed. The former speaks for them both though. "Sounds good, but those are awfully generous terms. We're goddesses you know, hitting us will be no easy task!" Suwako interlocks her fingers, then stretches her arms out with her palms facing outward to stretch a little before the main event. "Or maybe it's supposed to give you more leeway?"

"No, this will actually be fairly strict, and plenty unforgiving. Danmaku is meant to be a one on one arrangement as the dense patterns are already treacherous enough to navigate solo, but add in another person on each side, and suddenly you may find that you're running into more problems than you'd like." Did Nari tilt things in our favor with those rules? As Shikigami and Master, we share an unfathomably deep bond with one another, which we can and will make use of here. Kanako and Suwako on the other hand...

"Are you implying that we would be unable to cooperate?" Kanako's voice comes out in a smooth yet poisonous note that would have sent chills down a lesser youkai's spine. Nariko on the other hand, shares her will with me and as a result, is completely unphazed.

"Pretty much." Was Nari's clear cut response.

"Erk!" Yup, Kanako didn't expect that response.

Pick four! The cards you pick will be used in the order you select.
[X]Black Sea [Shatter the Lurking Nightmare]
[X]Lucid Dreaming [Pink Elephant in the Room]
[X]Dream Sign [Magnificent Illusion]
[X]Waking Dream [Travel to a Distant Land]
[X]Border Sign [Boundary Between Dream and Nightmare]
[X]Death Sign [Black Death]
[X]Life Sign [Long Live the King]
[X]Taboo [Apocalypse]
[X]White Inferno [Compelling the Waiting Dream]
[X]Nightmare Sign [True Destruction]
[X]Creation [A New World]
[X]Everlasting Bonds [Unision Assault] Same thing as Dream Sign [Raining Little Girls], but with a more respectable name since people voted for me to give it a different name all that time ago.

Shot Type?
[X]Have fun with it. (write-in)
>> No. 31905
[X]Black Sea [Shatter the Lurking Nightmare]
[X]Lucid Dreaming [Pink Elephant in the Room]
[X]Life Sign [Long Live the King]
[X]Border Sign [Boundary Between Dream and Nightmare]
[X]Everlasting Bonds [Unision Assault]

[x] Try to see if one could get a spread setting for that Fusion cannon.
>> No. 31907
[X]Border Sign [Boundary Between Dream
and Nightmare]
[X]Death Sign [Black Death]
[X]Nightmare Sign [True Destruction]
[X]Everlasting Bonds [Unision Assault]

[x] Try to see if one could get a spread
setting for that Fusion cannon.

Spell cards. I miss them. Been too long. Can't what thread that start obseleting them. Where's my Helldouken?
>> No. 31910
[X]Border Sign [Boundary Between Dream
and Nightmare]
[X]Death Sign [Black Death]
[X]Nightmare Sign [True Destruction]
[X]Everlasting Bonds [Unision Assault]

[x] Try to see if one could get a spread
setting for that Fusion cannon.
>> No. 31911
[x]Border Sign [Boundary Between Dream
and Nightmare]
[x]Death Sign [Black Death]
[x]Nightmare Sign [True Destruction]
[x]Everlasting Bonds [Unision Assault]

[x] Try to see if one could get a spread setting for that Fusion cannon.
>> No. 31914
>>31907

Hell Sign [Helldouken] was dealt with as a boss fight against Wade's dark side. Once it was defeated, it turned to ash and was blown away. He can't use it anymore, as it represented his hatred, which be overcame.
>> No. 31919
[x]Border Sign [Boundary Between Dream
and Nightmare]
[x]Death Sign [Black Death]
[x]Nightmare Sign [True Destruction]
[x]Everlasting Bonds [Unision Assault]

[x] Try to see if one could get a spread setting for that Fusion cannon.
>> No. 31950
I look over my thirteen cards and pull out four before returning the rest to my spellcard deck holder. ...Sheesh, did I really forget about that? That's just sad. "Okay, got mine." I don't bother to show either of them which ones I drew so Suwako can't form any kind of strategy based on my pick alone. The goddesses must have had the same thought since they keep theirs to themselves too, and I happen to notice that Nari has already slipped hers somewhere safe so that they can't be seen.

"Me too." Suwako's trying to keep a poker face throughout keeping her cards hidden, but I've got a feeling that I won't be seeing the same cards I did last time. That face breaks into a smile after a few moments though. "This oughta be good."

"Hmph. Let's get this done and over with already." Kanako hides hers rather handily too, and I get the same general feeling. She's got another batch of spellcards at her disposal and she's not afraid to break them out to show off.

A shield springs to life around us, and is criss-crossed by mobile bands that contain imagery that represents each of the duelists. Kanako's and Suwako's are obvious, as they contain snakes and frogs respectively, but Nari's and mine are a bit more difficult to tell apart as there's not much difference between them. Mine look like something clear out of the PSO Dark Falz third phase fight, while Nari's has the same general color but a different pattern.

Duel Start!

The Phantasmic Dreamer
Wade Trenton

Border Sign [Boundary Between Dream
and Nightmare]
Death Sign [Black Death]
Nightmare Sign [True Destruction]
Everlasting Bonds [Unision Assault]


Dream-born Shikigami
Nariko

Light Sign [Four Holy Spears]
Changeling's Whim [Blurred Truth]
Linked Spirit [Servant and Master]
Limiter Removal [Boundless Sky and Future]


VS.

God that Likes Hills
Kanako Yasaka

Snake Sign [Ground Serpent]
Divine Pillar [Meteoric Onbashira]
Fleeting Path [Omiwatari Cross]
[Virtue of Wind God]


Amphibian God
Suwako Moriya

Divine Sakura [Full Sakura Blizzard]
Hime River [Princess Jade Green]
Iron Ring [Mythical Ring]
Native God [Mishaguji-sama]

>> No. 31951
And once again we Wade through yet another battle.
>> No. 31973
"God who Likes Hills?" Kanako raised her eyebrow when her title was displayed, both in confusion and annoyance. She then took a good look at Suwako before continuing. "Did you mess with our titles again?"

Suwako merely gave an innocent look as she was essentially accused of mischief. "What? Why would I do something like that?" Her smile certainly isn't convincing, that's for sure. "It can't possibly because of your commentary during our little drinking game last night, not the one where you said-"

"Can we get on with this already? The two of you can argue the semantics later." Nariko rolls her eyes as she regards the goddesses, clearly not in the mood for their pre-fight banter that may have resulted in their own little arguement, which in turn may have become a frank exchange of ideas that would render this whole duel meaningless as they would be too busy shooting at each other to actually shoot at us like they're supposed to.

"Okay, okay! Let's go then! You two go first, since technically you challenged us and not the other way around." The frog goddess looked like she was considering whether or not she was going to just go first anyway, but thought better of it. This would probably be more fun to her as she'd get a chance to get a feel for our patterns and perhaps get used to our styles. There's also the rather backwards logic of it all, as I challenged Suwako, then Kanako challenged me, then Nari decided that she would just join in. By all means, this should have been a FFA, but who am I to complain?

I simply shake my head in exasperation, then pull out my first card. "Border Sign [Boundary Between Dream and Nightmare]!" The scenery within the shield immediately changed to a picturesque green plain that just happens to sport a large number of hills, a few small flower fields, and a few small ponds. This just so happens to have a mirror of itself in the sky, with almost identical placements and the taller natural formations actually linking both 'grounds' together. It'd be interesting to see if this will affect the duel at all.

"Light Sign [Four Holy Spears]!" Nariko declares hers as well, yet hers has a much smaller presence overall, but I get the feeling that it'll be hell when used in conjunction with my first card.

My card's effects take a while to truly kick in, as the first part is meant to be a lazy and leisurely jaunt through an easy card. Bullets of all colors began to pop in at various locations, and each one began to wander around on its own at a slow pace. It's pathetically easy for both of them to dodge as they'd almost have to actively run into a bullet for fun before they'd get hit. Nari's spell, on the other hand, consisted of her slinging out four long lasers in rapid succession. They'd be wholly unremarkable save for the fact that they have this nastly little habit of shooting off bullets in the opposite direction of where they were thrown whenever they hit anything, and the fact that they realign themselves for another shot once they're done with their first spray. Said bullets usually cleared most of the way out before they struck again, so it's a pretty fast-paced card that actually works fairly well with mine so far. Neither goddess even feels the need to start shooting yet, but in a little while they'll wish they had taken the head start.

In roughly ten seconds time the dream field began to ripple, then fade to red as the second part of the card kicked in. It was quickly replaced by a much less appealing cave complex that is only dimly lit by torches that could go out at any moment and the black-cored danmaku that cast their light on the walls and into crevices. Where there were once a bunch of aimlessly wandering bullets that have the attention span of the average fairy, there are now a large number of bullets that divided their numbers into two distinct groups to pursue the goddesses with a single-minded purpose. This, in conjunction with Nari's spears, suddenly made their job a hell of a lot harder as they had to avoid bullets that were doing their hardest to box them in and shoot back at us at the same time.

They both employed some unusual shot types, Kanako using one that consists of a pair of snakes that split off in a T whenever they hit their target, while Suwako is using a spread of exploding frogs to do the job. I can tell Nari's shield would be depleted faster than mine had the goddesses actually split their fire, but they're both focusing on me instead of bringing down the easier to eliminate target. ...Of course, if they did target Nari all I would have to do is balance out our power and it would be just as difficult to bring her down as it would me.

Aside from that though, Suwako's hanging on rather handily as she has experience in dealing with homing projectiles. Maybe not to this degree, but you get the idea. Kanako, on the other hand, is faring much worse by comparison. It could be that Nari's aiming for her specifically, or because she's so hell and determined to keep her 'sitting cross-legged in the air' pose while fighting, or maybe even that she might just be bad at dealing with bullets that actually followed her instead of the aimed variety. Regardless of the reason, she's quickly being boxed in because of her agressive attempts to find a safe ground. Had she alternated, she might have lasted the twenty seconds or so that she needed before the card went back to its first phase. The end result of her misjudgement was that Nari's spears boxed her in a hexagonal prison for all but a second, but it cut her off from being able to slip away the way she wanted to. She knew this wouldn't last long, but misjudged her hitbox and tried to go backward. This not only boxed her in, but made her take hits from both my bullets and the tail end of Nari's spear. Just to add insult to injury, she was close to the edge when this happened, so a spray of yellow-gold bullets slammed into her as well. Of course, had she just gone up instead of back...
>> No. 31975
We see why Suwako's the Extra Boss and Kanako merely the Final boss.
>> No. 31985
>>31914

Huh, I must have skipped reading that part. Thanks for explaination.
>> No. 31988
Thanks to Kanako being smacked around three times, the rest of the field was momentarily cleared of bullets. This might not have been an issue, save for the fact that Suwako was saved from her own mistake and wasn't about to let me get off another round of this. Not if she could help it anyway. This came in the form of her rushing up to me while avoiding Nari's spears, then giving me a smile and a wink before hopping away. It took me a second to get what just happened, but my eyes widen when I see she's dropped a bomb right next to me in an almost ironic reversal of our last duel. There wasn't much I could do thanks to the fact that I was just too slow on the uptake so I wound up having to take the whole thing. I'm guessing it's designed to be at its most effective right next to an opponent since I can tell that Nari's getting hit for far less than I am.

"You okay Kana?" Suwako looked over to Kanako, who in turn had just floated back over from being smacked around by bullets.

"I'm fine. A simple combo like that is hardly enough to bring me down. The loss of points is embarrassing though." That makes sense. Kanako was talking big, yet she was the first one to get hit. Now her score would be seven out of a possible ten, or 17/20 if that's how it's going to play out. "There was no discussion over bombs, were there?"

"Hm..." Suwako thought for a moment. "Nope! Not a word about point loss from bomb use. I'm guessing you want to steamroll them then?" Suwako's only putting a token effort into dodging, yet she's still avoiding everything! ...Of course, we are dividing our efforts between two people, and there's nothing about having to keep homing projectiles locked onto both opponents. "Eh?" Suwako looks around with a bit of surprise in her eyes as she sees that both Nari and I have focused our efforts on her. She smirks. "Not a bad idea! Too bad it's a bit too late for that!"

First, Kanako bombs to wipe away our bullets and deal a decent amount of damage to us both, the Suwako swoops down on me, then Nari, neatly laying a bomb next to each of us. I have a bit more warning this time since there's no other possible reason for her to get that close. To that end I try to block it as best I can, yet it's not really possible since I don't know how. Nari doesn't fare much better since both our shields break at once.

"Rrrgh! I should have said bombs result in point reduction. Now they're just going to bomb us into the dirt whenever we declare cards!" Nari's understandably annoyed, and quite frankly so am I.

"I think they assumed that we know how to negate them. If we did, they might not have had the idea to begin with." I cross my arms while deciding what shot type to use, and a sly smile crosses my face as I select the Fusion Cannon to do the job. As I said before, this nifty weapon goes through targets and gains more power the more enemies it strikes. In this case, 'enemy' refers to both the caster and her bullets, and I get the impression they're both going to use something dense. "I have to wonder if they're going to cover their own asses though. Last time I bombed one of Suwako's cards, she took the full force of the attack." There's the possibility of Suwako just being too surprised by my getting suicidally close before bombing her, so I'll have to keep that in mind should I feel the need to hit her that hard again.

"Snake Sign [Ground Snake]!" Kanako declares her card, and a number of thin, yellow snake lasers start slithering past her. There's no bullets, oddly enough, but I've got the sneaking suspicion that she might start aiming them.

"Sakura Sign [Full Sakura Blizzard]!" Where Kanako had gone for simplicity, Suwako's card looks much like a flowering cherry tree shedding its petals in the wind. A perpetual blizzard of 'petals' starts to rain down on this, and I can't help but smirk. Suwako nailed me with a bomb on my card, but I'll only need my shot type to rip right through this one.

Nariko starts firing off her piercing shot type while I focus on hitting Suwako as often as I can. Given that we're now employing our Shikigami link, it's a hell of a lot easier to tell where everything is, where it's coming in at, and how best to avoid it. Not exactly fair, but neither was their exploiting a loophole in our agreed-upon terms. My shots rip right past the bullets, gaining power all the way until it hit the actual 'tree' part of the spell, at which point they look like they'd be able to punch out a god. Only one blast was aimed that way, as the other two went off at fourty-five degree angles. This was just fine as there's a good chance that the powered up bullets would nail Kanako too somewhere along the line. Oddly enough, their combo isn't as difficult as I would have thought. Despite Suwako's efforts to negate the 3-D advantage she knew I'd exploit, Kanako was still trying her hardest to keep Nariko and I on the same 2-D plane. Toss in the fact that Kanako hasn't upped the ante yet, and all I have to worry about is the blizzard itself.
>> No. 31990
There's one thing I want to give these two props for. One, their cards up the ante by a set amount for every time they hit a certain value, and two, they're working together far better than I had thought possible. Kanako's 2-D thinking is actually working rather well when I see that Suwako's built up her walls of bullets to the point where you can barely see past them, meaning that Kanako's snakes have an obscene amount of cover to work with, leaving us with very little time to react when one of those yellow 'snakes' comes barreling out of the blizzard right at us. In addition, I was right in thinking the wind goddess would start aiming these things at us.

I can feel that Nari's starting to have a little trouble with having those snake bullets being aimed at her non-stop, and it does strike me as a little suspicious that she's catching almost all the flak from both goddesses. ...I'm guessing she's being targeted as the weaker link, much like how Nari and I comboed Kanako when we were using patterns. It's a bit annoying since I can't just use some dream-hax to pull her out of this to relative safety. If I do, they may employ their own powers to make this even more difficult, and if that happens we may as well turn this into a melee duel. What's worse is that I can't even feed her data reliably so she's on her own with no support other than my kicking Suwako's ass as fast as possible while she tries to take out Kanako.

A cry of pain tells me that I can't possibly wipe out Suwako's spell shield fast enough, and that Nari just took a hit. I feel a dull echo of her pain as well, but thankfully she only took the one hit instead of being comboed back into dozens of possible hits. Focusing seems like a bad idea at this point, so it's all I can do to soak up some of the pain for her and keep firing. Unfortunately, it never gets any better as the firing patterns only get denser or faster until we're working with incredibly tiny margins. The good news is that both their cards are at the ends of their ropes and are close to breaking. The problem is that this is the point at which we could both lose a lot of points... If my last shot didn't just travel straight through two full walls of high-speed bullets and through a dense cluster of bullets surrounding Suwako. Unfortunately I was so surprised that I actually wound up taking a few blows from Kanako before realizing that she was still there. It was only four total, but still annoying as it puts us one point behind the goddesses.

Nari finishes her off, at which point the shield breaks in pretty spectacular fashion, especially since that was only her first card and not her last. "Your turn." Kanako says without the slightest hint of exhaustion, or the fact that she had been hit at all.

"Heh, not bad save for when you stopped moving when my shield got destroyed~" Suwako flies back up to our level, and I actually note that we're drawing a crowd now. "It's only natural that people will want to come see what the fuss is all about. It's good entertainment too!"

"I can agree with that. Still, bombing cuts it a little short, don't you think?" And now's a good time to show them that I'm a teensy bit annoyed with the fact that they decided to blow right through our patterns without giving them the full look we gave theirs.

"Heh..." The frog goddess looks at me rather sheepishly as I call her out on her shenanigans. "Well, it sounded like a good idea you know? Pull off some displays of power, that's always a crowd pleaser!" Now she looks a little worried... "Eh, what are you thinking...?"

[X]Crowd-pleaser, huh?
[X]Eh, just stick with things the way they are.
[X]Write-in
>> No. 31991
[X]Crowd-pleaser, huh?

Wade should act like Wade.
>> No. 31992
[X]Crowd-pleaser, huh?
>> No. 31993
[x] Crowd-pleaser, huh?
We'll show them a crowd pleaser. In a hopefully non-sexual context.
>> No. 31996
[x] Crowd-pleaser, huh?
Is transformation a way?
>> No. 32004
So Suwako wants to turn this into a real show, huh? Truth be told I don't really care if I win or lose this one, so long as it's fun.

"Not to mention you're a showoff by nature." Nari adds helpfully.

Heh, what can I say? I've got power, and an inclination to use it. "What I'm thinking?" I address Suwako's question before I slip into an internal monologue or some such silliness, though I'm still thinking about how I could work my usual brand of show-boating into this duel without turning it into a melee battle or the hybrid battle I usually wind up waging against my opponent. "I'm just thinking of ways to make this more interesting. The idea's to make this as exciting for the crowd as it is for us, right?" And now to turn the frog goddess' idea against her.

"Oh, you're going to pull off some nifty transformation instead of adhering to the typical spellcards?" Suwako certainly seems interested in what I've come up with, though I can't even guess the precise reason as to why. It could be that she sees it as an intentional forfeit, or that this could wind up winning her team the duel when I pick something that can't avoid anything.

"Something like that." What I fail to mention is that I'm going to keep using spellcards. This will be an interesting ride considering what I picked out earlier, and what I have in mind. "I assume that you're going to start using your powers too?"

"Deities such as ourselves have no need for such a handicap. We will defeat you with our spellcards alone." Kanako's confidence is something to be admired, and in this case, pitied. I'm not sure she's ever seen any of my transformations, nor have I ever won against Suwako in the past so perhaps its only natural that she underestimate me so thoroughly. Her loss.

"Okay then." My timing is entirely intentional since I get the impression that Suwako was about to object to Kanako's decleration. "I won't do anything major just yet since it's still our turn, but I'll still make it interesting."

"What do you have in mind?"

Nothing fancy, just a Dis Astrangement armor for my next card.

"So you're going all out once they start declaring spellcards, and picking fitting yet obnoxious forms for when you declare yours, right?"

Bingo.

"Talk about taking the rules and tossing them right out the window."

You say that like winning this is important. Unlike Kanako, we have nothing to prove, nor have we put anything at stake when this duel started. As far as I'm concerned, this whole thing is more or less an attempt for the goddesses to stroke their ego while this is our chance to have some fun while at least curbstomping Kanako.

"Alright, then we'll just live with the results since they're not important."

If it came down to either having fun or winning, I'd pick having fun. I get the feeling that's how Suwako thinks too.

"I'm pretty sure Kanako is the only one taking this seriously. Anyway, we'd better declare our cards since it looks like they're getting a little impatient."

"Death Sign [Black Death]!" My voice carries a fair distance even as white flames obscure me from view. The purpose of this is to hide my form as the Dis Astrangement armor is applied to my body. Once it's finished, the flames subside and the crowd begins to murmur amongst each other. There's no cheering yet, but neither is there anything interesting going on.

"Changeling's Whim [Blurred Truth]!" Nariko doesn't transform into anything yet, but given how she's basing her spellcards on herself, I can imagine that we'll see her change shape at least one during all this.

---
>> No. 32026
First thing I do is shoot off a number of small, bat-like guns that fly off of their own accord. I focus my efforts on not getting hit at all while simultaneously directing the various cannons in their assault. It starts off simple and easy to dodge as a couple cannons throw up a bullet shield around themselves and shoot off in various directions, leaving behind glowing trails that quickly become full lasers, yet more get involved as time goes on. The difficulty in this spell isn't in the lasers themselves, but rather the pair of small bullets that each laser puts out. These don't go away right away, and serve as the primary method of attacking. After all, no one's going to stick around for a time-delayed laser blast if they can avoid it.

Nariko's card doesn't seem to employ any transformations like I thought it would, instead it seems to employ something akin to my own [Magnificent Illusion] card in the fact that it uses bullets that don't really act like bullets. In fact, they seem to change into solid-state jewels at times, which, from what I heard from her, are harmful while the normal ones are essentially free grazes. The other interesting point is that the density is actually far less than it should be to account for the fact that I've got a good chunk of the field covered with my own card. Not to mention that even if neither card on its own is running at full strength, a combination where both would make its danmaku unavoidable is still illegal.

Now for the fun part. I'm not restricted in how I can move since I'm wearing powered armor so that means I'm suddenly a hell of a lot harder to hit. I'm having to trade off some of that maneuverability for durability, but given how little damage the shot types do (save for Marisa's wierd amplifier trick) I figure that won't really matter. Not to mention that I'm pretty sure they'll have to go through my armor just to get at me. ...Gah, off topic again! I start darting around, taking advantage of Dis Astrangement's superior mobility to keep the goddesses from being able to hit me as effectively as they might have. Suwako's sort of making up for it by laying down flak fire, but Kanako has no real chance of hitting me without employing her powers.

Nariko's basically getting ignored, especially since it looks like her spell is entirely worthless. Of course, that's entirely from their perspective. The solid state bullets will probably have a rather nasty effect once they actually hit, and given the fact that she's firing them out in a wavy 3-D circle it's only a matter of time before someone gets hit. I'm actually relieved that my shikigami isn't taking any of the fire since it always makes me feel guilty whenever she gets hurt, even in games like danmaku. That will change here in a few minutes though.

Kanako's having no trouble avoiding this one as it's relatively simple. ...Then again, she may just be focusing her efforts on dodging. It doesn't feel quite right though, she's firing and dodging equally well. It's probably because we're not using spellcards that place great pressure on the victim and her composure isn't really breaking down as a result. I'm sure it will in time, but I'm not going to worry about it right now.

Suwako isn't having any trouble either, but she lacks focus in actually aiming her fire. She seems to be predicting her paths ahead of time, which in turn takes away from the amount of damage she's doing. Between the two she has to have the better stragety. I get the feeling it may involve some bombing, but at this point her bombs will be ineffective at best since they require the target to be at the epicenter before they'll do full damage and I'll be backing away before they ever go off. She's also giving those solid bullets more than a passing glance too, which tells me that she's considering those as well in her paths. Come to think of it, Kanako's not doing much looking yet she's still able to dodge with ease...

You think they're employing a trick similar to ours?

"I can't think of any other reason as to why they're dividing up dodging and shooting duty like that, but it's still a little out there to assume that they have some kind of telepathy, isn't it?"

Kanako is a wind goddess. Odds are good she's carrying their words back and forth. Are their lips moving?

"That can't give them the information they need fast enough. Kanako's literally not looking at all."

Wait a tic, if she is employing her ability, odds are good she's giving herself a full bullet map to work with.

"By sensing the energy in the air?"

This is her domain. It wouldn't surprise me all that much.

"That's going to make this a pain to hit her then. ...She focusing, that's why."

Focus or sensing through power, it's all the same at this point.

"No more holding back?"

Nope.
>> No. 32062
Nariko's not under fire so it's a fairly simple matter for her to subtley alter her pattern with each subsequent firing to where there's now a three bullet deep wall with some rather obvious openings to them. Once she's got that prepared I line up my cannons to where they'll 'paint' a laser to briefly cover up the holes, which will force them to time their movements or get hit. What's worse for them is that the cannons are still spraying a pair of bullets at 45 degree angles behind them when they stop, and I'm changing the stop points every time one finishes up. The whole thing sort of resembles a video game segment where you have to time your movement through a giant bladed fan lest you get cut in half or some such unpleasantry.

Kanako's moving through with all the outward confidence you'd expect her to have, slipping past the 'fan blades' in a fittingly slippery fashion. Of course, a bullet to the back makes her jolt forward a bit too soon, which causes her to run into a laser. Suwako is having an easy time too, which is to be expected since she has a very difficult card that requires very precise jumping to get through the danmaku without getting hit. Her hops cut much closer yet still manage to avoid hitting anything. She's grown a bit suspicious of Nari's alternating bullets and figured that the solid bullets are the safe ones. I can understand her reasoning since the energy state bullets put out the exact same field a normal bullet would while the solid state bullets don't put out anything at all. Unfortunately for her, her logic lead her to the wrong conclusion. She tries to pass through the solid wall only for it to blow up in her face, nailing her at least three times in the process. Kanako got a free ride off that, but focused her efforts on shooting down Nari before the timer runs out or she screws up again. I can't help but snicker as she's wondering why it's going down at a much slower rate than expected since I decided to tie our spell shield durability together to where we're sharing one bar rather than having two individual ones.

Unfortunately, Suwako's figured out the gimmick to Nari's card and has shared that snippet of info with Kanako, at which point they start moving through the energy state bullets instead of funneling themselves through the holes we intended them to go through. Nari's trying to make up for it by making only one layer of the wall alternate at a time, but it's just not quick enough anymore. My cannons can't move fast enough to cover the now-massive hole the goddesses are exploiting, so I just go back to a more unpredictable setup to try to throw them off while they're shooting at Nari.

The timer ticks down faster than they can break our combined shield, which leads to an anticlimactic event where the bullets just up and vanish.

Wade and Nari
17 points

Suwako and Kanako
32 points

But before they go declaring their net cards...

[X]Perhaps another form would work better? (Pick something)
[X]Dis Astrangement will work fine for this.
>> No. 32063
[X]Perhaps another form would work better? (Cactaur)
Fast, evasive, small. Perfect for dodging bullets. Also 100,000 Needles.
>> No. 32067
[x] Perhaps another form would work better?
-[x] Weltall-Id
>> No. 32069
[x] Perhaps another form would work better?
-[x] Weltall-Id
http://danbooru.donmai.us/post/show/264722/cloud-highres-mecha-shining_finger-sky-wadatsumi_g
>> No. 32070
[x] Perhaps another form would work better?
-[x] Weltall-Id
>> No. 32086
Dis Astrangement is good, but it might not be what I need here. The remote cannons would probably count against me since they can be hit, and there's the small problem where I'm basically at an insurmountable advantage. I could systematically curbstomp them both solo, but where's the fun in that? Not to mention that it would just turn into an all-out brawl once I start blowing away their cards like they're nothing. ...Not that I'm entirely sure I can even pull that off, but hey, better safe than sorry. What I have in mind might not be much better, but at least I'll have to get close.

"Divine Pillar [Meteoric Onbashira]!" Kanako shouts this declaration, holding the spellcard high as large red laser bullets stream down from above, and when they impact the bottom of the border of duel they throw up a dense spray of bullets. This actually leaves a rather massive hole in the pattern where all you have to do is sit in the upper half of the border, but since the goddesses are declaring their spellcards at the same time, one can only assume that the frog goddess will pick up the slack.

"Hime River [Princess Jade Green]!" Suwako's no less enthusiastic in her decleration, but hers is born from enthusiasm rather than the need to prove something. Perhaps made more obvious in the way her spellcard plays out. Instead of slamming down on the duel border, it instead consists of numerous streams of jade-like bullets that rise up to form a river, which coincidentally fills in the gaps left by Meteoric Onbashira. ...In fact, I dare say that the sprays shot up by Kanako's card are actually safer to traverse now that I see the river collapsing into a chaotic swirl.

There's not a whole hell of a lot of time to pull off any form of transformation, especially since the dense sprays are going to overwhelm us in a matter of moments... How is any of this legal?!

Fine, if they're going to play that game...

Yukari?

...

Hey, are you there?

"Yes, what is it?"

I'm caught up in a duel between Yasaka and Moriya, and their patterns are getting ridiculous.

"So?"

Divine Pillar [Meteoric Onbashira] comboed with Hime River [Princess Jade Green]. The latter barely looks legal as it is.

"Hm... I see it."

A duck, a weave, and a pichuun noise as Nari gets hit repeatedly. Dis Astrangement is losing form, and in its place comes Weltall-ID. White becomes a bloody crimson, formlessness becomes solid, and the bullets are blown away in one final burst of light as the red machine comes into being. As if this weren't intimidating enough, the thruster fire is a blinding white fire that surges power.

I can almost feel Yukari smile as she looks up at me from down below. "The solution is obvious isn't it? You should just kick their asses your own way."

A wicked smile crosses my face as I think about this. Not, mind you, that I should feel the need to do so. Suwako wants a show, the crowd wants a show, and I'm about to deliver it in spectacular fashion. A white orb forms in the palm of my hand, which I hold level to the goddesses even as they reform their attack. Their bullets come crashing down around me, threaten to drag me down into the abyss in swirls of red and green, but they forgot to factor in one thing: I don't fall that easily. The orb I've got in front of me acts as a bullet eating shield as I dart around the field looking for something rather important. That 'something' happens to be Nariko, who in turn has been forced to adopt a highly defensive strategy in order to avoid being hit any harder than she already has. I wind up cutting their assault on her short as I take advantage of the fact that friendly fire is off and catch her while keeping my shield in front of me.

She decides that she doesn't want to slow me down by being a frontal obstruction, so she manages to clamber onto my back and grab on tight. She's a bit dissapointed that her role in this duel has been cut short, but I think the sheer exhileration at shooting around at high speed manages to take the edge off it. That's good since I can't stand her being depressed like that.

Kanako and Suwako realize what's happened just in time for me to pull the same bullet-clearing trick from before, but this time I'm left in a position to counterattack. After all, why else would I spend the time to build up another charge in my other hand? Kanako knows what's coming even as I'm rocketing right for her, and she decides to ditch her pattern in favor of not getting hit with what I plan to nail her with. Sadly, this consists of trying to counter my attack with a punch. While she hits hard, she can't quite beat me out. One punch and she's forced back. The second punch slams her around. The third is a gut punch that sends her reeling. A quick charge and suddenly I lose count of how many times I hit her, only that the last one smashes her shield to pieces. A wave shoots out from the destroyed shield that turns the bullets into small blue pieces of paper that home in on me. ...Geeze, it's been way too long since I've seen these. I wonder what sparked the change?

Eh, screw it. I'm having far too much fun to worry about little things like pieces of paper.

"Eh?!" Suwako excalims as I more or less one-shot Kanako's spell. "That's..." She looks completely shocked, and her river has calmed back down as a result. She can't focus on making it the chaotic swirl it was before when I'm busy kicking Kanako's ass clear across the duel border. "Waltell-ID?!" So she does know what that is.

"Ufufufufu~ You certainly have an interesting take on the rules~"

I'm not breaking them, am I?

"No, but you're stretching them. Of course, it's not like we haven't been guilty of that before."

We?

"Everyone engages in a little melee danmaku from time to time, but I can't remember the last time that it changed gears that quick~"

Speaking of quick...

"Oh yes, the seal will come undone fairly soon. In roughly half an hour I think. You best come see me before it does, or I'll come to you~"
>> No. 32087
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyVYcWQsrCM
>> No. 32091
Suwako looks on in amazement, but this seems to stem more from something else rather than my prowess. "So, you're not just a giant robot enthusiast, you also apply them to combat? Trying to beat you is going to be way more fun this time around." She tilts her hat downward a notch, with both sets of eyes staring at me. She's completely fired up now.

"Rest assured, I'll be keeping things interesting." My voice isn't altered too much in this form, but there's a definite filter in place. I could never figure out quite how that worked... Not that it matters mind you. "Don't expect me to keep using simple shot types either. I'm giving this my all."

"As expected! Come on Kana, get off your butt and get back up here so you can help!" She looks diagonally downward at her comrade, who's still floating back upward despite looking like she got hit by a bullet train. Suwako also gestures to her side with her thumb, which also seems to annoy the goddess some.

"My card's done. It's just you now, then him and his shikigami, then us again. I'm sitting this one out while I get my bearings." I can understand why Kanako would refuse this. Not only did I whale on her and make something of a fool out of her, but she probably wants to asses her options in dealing with someone who's decided to take the usual methods of breaking spell shields and tossed them out the window. I can tell that her next spell won't be so easy, and she'll have plenty of time to figure out what she wants to do. Either way, I won't be able to pull off the insta-break I was able to before.

"Ah, ya spoilsport! You're never any fun!" Suwako's still smiling, so there's a chance that she only means this in jest. Regardless, all eyes are on me as she crosses her arms, then swings them outwards as fresh streams of bullets erupt from her end of the field and flow clear to my end. That toothy grin tells me that she's going to enjoy this a fair bit, at which point I feel the need to throw up a shield before the bullets swirl around to try to catch me off guard.

This time they don't swirl so much as the suddenly stop having any coherency whatsoever. The straight lines have suddenly come crashing down on me as though someone decided to sweep their hand across a sheet with beads on it, which would have made it difficult to dodge if I didn't have a bullet eating shield in front to soak them up as I dart on through.

"Heh, can't have that!" Suwako suddenly pops up to my left and delivers a swift kick that manages to catch my own leg as I dart past, knocking me into a short spin that effectively renders my shield useless since it can only guard from the front.

"Came up with a solid method of getting past my defense, huh? Should have seen that coming." It doesn't actually hurt, yet I slide the shield around to my back just before the impacts can start so Nari won't get hit anywhere near as hard as she might have.

---
>> No. 32092
Can we "crush" her bullets with destruction wave?
>> No. 32096
Bullets continue to swarm in from all sides, and I'm still getting hit. Time to put an end to that, I think. My entire body glows white for a moment before I shoot out another wave that disperses the bullets that it strikes into green wisps of energy, which is a nice sight when you have several thousand of them impacting the wave at once. Throw in the fact that Suwako lost her guard in the process and I'm in a perfect position to strike back. She sees me coming, and unlike Kanako she's actually prepared for this. She splits herself in two seperate, fully functional Suwakos just as my fist passes through the spot she vacated mere milliseconds before. They both respond in kind by summoning a few iron rings each and throwing them at me, but its ridiculously simple to catch each one as it comes and tear them apart. Still, just standing here is a stupid idea so I immediately dart ahead.

Suwako simply smiles as she pulls out a number of swords that are easily as big as she is, holding them between her fingers in a stance that suggests she might throw them. ...That's a stupid idea. Swords aren't designed for throwing. Still, this is Suwako we're talking about here. Odds are good she can pull off some interesting stunts if she really wanted, especially when there's divine metal involved. True to my suspicions she does start throwing them, but their size and weight make them fly at a slower speed than is required for hitting me. As a result, dodging them, grabbing each blade and snapping them in a systematic use of God Finger is laughably easy. "Hey! How am I supposed to hit you if you keep destroying all my ammo?" She says this in an indignant tone yet she looks like she's enjoying the challenge.

"You'll think of something. Anyway..." I took the time to shift the power of God Finger into an orb, then hold it out in front of me. I can't help but smirk when I imagine the look on her face... "Think fast!" And suddenly I'm punching the orb as fast as I can, sending bolts flying out of the orb and toward Suwako. Given the frog's surprised face, she didn't expect me to use Apothesized Ialdabolth's techniques at all and didn't plan for their possible use. The attack doesn't hit her at all since she manages to duck away in time, then flips around only for my bolts to start exploding in her face. One of her is sent flying while the other starts hurling swords at my back, which would have hurt if the shield covering my back, and Nari, wasn't active and turning the blades to dust as they hit. "You're going to have to do better than that if you want to bring me down."

"Is that so? Well then..." I get the feeling I blasted the wrong Suwako when the one behind me starts talking with a certain smug confidence. "I guess I've gotta step it up!" She holds her hand up in the air, which seems to draw the metal dust and broken weapon pieces right to her. They turn into a relatively orb-like chunk of metal as it all flies to her, and once she's gathered it all up she splits it off into ten chunks. Two become regular swords, but the other eight turn into little more than long cutting blades that hover around her, waiting for the command to strike. "I'm betting you've got a lot of tricks up your sleeve, don't you? You better start pulling them out if you want to win!"

She then flies at me while simultaneously ordering her blades to fly off in their own directions until I'm surrounded by all sides. This is hardly an issue when I can just throw out another wave to give myself breathing room. I bring my right arm to my left, then swing it out to my side as another wave sweeps out to counter the blades closing in. To my surprise, they all dig into the field instead of being dissipated like I thought they might. I shouldn't be too surprised by this... "Nice counter. But can you get through before I get done with my attack?" Case in point, I've already got mine charging up.

"Let's see..." Suwako forces the blades in a bit deeper, though I can tell it's taking a fair bit of effort to actually do that. "That field's based off something. I don't recall Weltall-Id having that kind of energy barrier in the game." It occurs to me why she might be having trouble now: She's having to focus her efforts on keeping her chosen weapons intact while she tries to stab me in a non-lethal fashion.

"It just came to me on the spot. Kind of like this." In truth, this wasn't quite as spontaneous, but the fact that I just pulled out the Zankantou could be counted as a rather spontaneous act regardless, especially when it doesn't fit this mech at all. That doesn't stop me from bringing it down on her head, or watching her shield break as a result as she tries to force her way in before I can finish my attack.

What to do next...?
[X]Perhaps another form change?

[X]Stick to spellcards, but adapt them to your form and fighting style as needed.
[X]You know what? We don't need spellcards for this.
[X]Write-in
>> No. 32097
[X]Stick to spellcards, but adapt them to your form and fighting style as needed.
>> No. 32101
[X]Stick to spellcards, but adapt them to your form and fighting style as needed.

Till a better (or just more cooler/badass) form is found...
>> No. 32104
[X]Stick to spellcards, but adapt them to your form and fighting style as needed.
>> No. 32105
[x] Stick to spellcards, but adapt them to your form and fighting style as needed.
Man, this story is a bit difficult for me since I don't play the kinds of games that would have awesome morph targets.
>> No. 32106
You know, it's probably better to stick to my guns for now and keep to the rules since I don't feel like turning this into a huge brawl that'll wind up eating more time than I really want it too. Given that Yukari would probably get involved by that point, it's probably a good idea to get done with it before then. A different form might not make too much of a difference in my next spellcard since it's Nightmare Sign [True Destruction]. It's hard to improve on a disintegrating bullet without making it hax. "Nari, feel up to continuing?" It's probably a good idea to ask the kitty before committing to this since I have no idea how much she wants to deal with before calling it quits.

"Yeah. What makes you think I'm not?" She asks with a curious tone to her voice. She detaches from my back in order to float away a few feet so I could turn to look at her if I felt the need to do so.

"I'm just looking out for you." I can sense that she's slightly annoyed by that, so it's time to add onto that sentence before she thinks I'm looking down on her or something. "This is your first real danmaku battle and I know from experience that repeated hits can hurt like hell, and since you just took a bunch..."

"Eh? It stung a bit, but it's not worth leaving the duel over. I'm not made out of tissue paper you know." That manages to amuse her at least, but it's not what I really aimed to do here... "I'm going to stick with you until this is over. This is the most fun I've had since... Okay, second most fun I've had since I became a youkai." ...Obviously, she's referring to the end result of the little incident that occured not too long after she woke up. I can hardly blame her there, even if it's totally irrelevant to the situation at hand.

"Heeeeey, you two going to keep talking all night or are you going to keep going?" Suwako's a little impatient, as demonstrated by her aerial foot tapping. I don't want to test how long she's willing to wait since she's got a fire in her eyes, and as I've said, I'm on a time limit where I don't know precicely what will happen if I push it past said limit.

"Alright, alright. Hold your frogs." I all but materialize my next spellcard in front of me in response to Suwako's impatience. "Nightmare Sign [True Destruction]!" And with that, a massive bullet that takes up at least half the field appears in the exact center, which would have swallowed up both goddesses if they hadn't moved out of the way. "Now, let's see you face the end!" I swing my arm out to point at the two of them, at which point the bullet looses all color and begins to fall apart. The massive, greyed out bullet begins to turn to 'dust', which takes the form of equally greyed out tiny bullets that spray out in no discernable pattern. It's by no means undodgeable, but it ought to be a solid challenge for a couple of goddesses.

"And in case that wasn't enough..." Nari pulls out her spellcard and holds it aloft just as I finish talking, smiling all the while. "Linked Spirit [Servant and Master] !" Something based on our link? Two bullets, one gold and one white, spawn at opposite ends of my bullet. From there a pair of lasers of the respective colors reach out to link them, and the resulting 'bond' simply sits there for a moment before rotating within my bullet. It begins to make the odd sweep toward the goddesses as well as spraying a few waves of alternating color bullets to complement mine. It's still not unbeatable, but it's just as insane as what they just put us throught.

"Heh, looks like this one will be a suitable challenge." Kanako's not bothering to keep her sitting position anymore since it's brought her nothing but trouble in trying to maintain it. "Of couse, since you've broken out your powers, it's only fair that we use ours, is it not?" As if to prove the point she summons four Onibashira to serve as a shield for the time being.

"I was thinking about it, but that wouldn't be too fair, what with us using our powers as shot types instead of normal pattern bullets." Suwako's saying that, yet her smile and the fact that she's got a few throwing knives in her hands seems to state otherwise. "On the other hand, it'd be way more fun to clash at full strength, don't you think?"
>> No. 32109
I can't exactly argue with their logic since we're supposed to be fighting on even terms here, and I have been upping the ante as of late. "Can't really argue with that logic." Somehow my voice isn't drowned out by the sound of the giant bullet breaking apart, and even manages to carry out far enough for the goddesses to hear. I wind up cracking a smile even though my face is obscured since this just got upped to its final state, though I can't help but wish there was a little buildup to our final cards. We've hit our power climax well before we ever got to the final cards!

"Why do you care, exactly?" Nari's voice resonates in my head with a fair bit of amusement in her tone. She's also so close and covered by the noise of the danmaku- "Actually, that's kind of why I'm doing it this way, our combined spells aren't exactly quiet and you're not paying a lot of attention."

Eheheh, sorry. I'll try to keep a better ear out for what you're saying.

"Nah, staying in your head's going to be more fun." She's taking time out of the duel to hug me from behind.

You're not taking this seriously at all, are you?

"Nnnnnope!" There's a very cheeky smile on her face to accompany that, and it's not so much seen as felt.

Oh yeah, duel. Suwako seems to be taking advangage of Kanako's divine cover to launch a fairly solid offensive that might have been a bigger threat if they could actually see where we are. I suppose that's one of the bigger advantages of being hidden in a bullet, nobody can see where you are. On the flip side, I can't actually see where they are either. It's literally like trying to look through a dense fog cloud...

"Let me guess, you didn't think this through very well either." Nari gives me a small bop on the head as she clings to me, partially out of annoyance and partly because she's amused that I didn't quite think my strategy all the way through.

I didn't hear any suggestions from you.

"Wait a sec, you've actually never used this one before, have you?" Once again her voice isn't entirely annoyance, but a mix of that and curiosity. "Man, you must not care about winning at all."

Winning isn't really important. Besides, we have zero points anyway thanks to my giant robot antics.

"Pfft." Nari scoots us both to the right a bit as a number of blades close in, making them miss completely. "Basically, winning isn't important because we've already lost. At least we have good cover though."

I didn't care about winning either. Besides, they're going to run out of points too by the time this is all over, so the most any of us can hope for is a draw.

"You really wanted to win, didn't you?" Oh great, she's completely lost interest in the duel in favor of poking fun at me. "What can I say? It's fun~"

...

"Oh come on, are they going to pay any attention to us at all?!" Suwako's somewhat annoyed that we've all but forgotten about her in the middle of our bickering. Of course, she really doesn't have room to say anything since the combined spellcards assaulting the two goddesses haven't lost their edge in the slightest. Perhaps she just wants some battle banter too? "They haven't left that bullet at all!"

"What I'm more surprised at is the fact that they're supposedly concentrating on this as hard as they are." Kanako seems a bit more skeptical about this, and holds a hand to her mouth as she ponders something. "No, they couldn't possibly be putting that much effort into this. If they were, the'd be putting more effort into making this pattern as hard as possible. I'm guessing they're distracted."

"What could possibly distract them from this duel so much that they can't even pay attention to us? I mean, we're raining hellfire on them, you think they'd have the common courtesy to ramp up their attack instead of letting it lull like that." the frog goddess is all but pouting now that she knows something's not quite right here. "They better not be doing something fun in there."

Kanako looks taken aback by that comment, perhaps not expecting that comment. "I doubt very seriously anyone would do something like that in the middle of a danmaku duel." She then goes back to trying to look into the massive bullet that's been concealing us for the last minute or so to try and glean some kind of insight to it. "Hmph, I've got nothing. Want to fire everything we've got in there to wake them up?

"Sure~" Suwako then forms a number of dark clouds, from which she calls forth a number of white snakes with red eyes. She then sends them headfirst into the giant bullet to try to seek us out while Kanako follows up with a full bomb.

...

"Eh?" Nariko sounds a bit worried as she sees the bright white snakes piercing the gloom of the shrinking bullet, but I'm already on it. There's only four, and that much is quite manageable. "I'm more referring to the bomb Kanako just used."

Seriously? I can't even feel it.

"Yeah. I wonder if this is the invulnerability most stage six and EX bosses enjoy?" She's mildy curious as she keeps a solid hold of me, not really caring about the attacks coming in from multiple sides. "You're taking care of it. Why would I worry?"
>> No. 32129
"True." I smash away another snake that dares get too close to us, and it's costing the spell its effectiveness. That's probably what they're aiming for, but I don't really feel like letting them steamroll right over the top of this card too. "Rrgh, I've had about enough of this!" I dash right up to the next snake that's trying to close in in order to smash its head in. Not only do I do this, but I also preform the same combo that knocked Kanako clean out of their last round before she could really accomplish anything. The result is the snake glaring at me before flying back to its owner.

I can tell Nariko's getting either impatient with the way things are going, or she's just exasperated by the fact that the inclusion of powers is making this needlessly boring. I'm inclined to agree with her either way since I'm more used to people being inventive rather than sticking to a stagnant method of... "What?"

"Just chastising myself for being an idiot." I then grab onto the third snake that's made an attempt at me before flying upward out of the danmaku cloud, concentrating the mass of bullets until it's one single, dense point before pile driving the accursed thing right on through it. Not only does it feel the pain of every single hit on the way down, it also goes limp when I smash it on the sole onibashira that serves as this border's base. Deciding to take advantage of the new projectile, I swing the limp yet very surprised snake around like a flail as the last one comes in. It's a little surprised by the fact that I'm essentially wielding one of its comrades, and even more so when I start smashing it into the border of duel with the head of the snake I'm currently using.

Then I come up with the genius idea of dual-wielding the stupid things. So now there's a eight foot tall Waltell-Id with a bakeneko clinging to its back with a Mishaguji in each hand being used as impromptu flails. It's incredibly silly, and so's the fact that I just used both of them to smack the condensed yet still disintegrating bullet right at the goddesses, who then scramble to move out of the way in time. This leaves noticeable welts on the snake's heads, but who cares? They were driving me nuts. Another nice touch is that the bullet that's disintegrating is now also bouncing around the duel arena, leaving small bits of danmaku 'dust' in its wake. Even better is that it's taking a nice long time to go away, so by the time it does clear there will be another layer in its place. Seeing as I have no further use for the snakes I just hurl them at Kanako since she's probably not the one in control of them. She smashes them away with her own onibashira, yet she fails to stop my follow up, which just happens to be another disintegrating bullet. There's the fact that it's much smaller than before, but it's hardly a concern since apparently I can fire off a few more of these things.

"Augh!" Kanako actually gets knocked back a fair bit when the bullet impacts her, though she recovers fairly quickly when the bullet fizzles out a short while afterward. "I suppose he's gotten bored with our attacks." She's also figured out that I've inadvertently figured out how to shield myself and Nari from the effects of enemy bombs. This shouldn't come to too much of a surprise seeing as I've gotten better at controlling my ability over the past month or so, though only a few people are actually aware of this.

"Looks like." Suwako's busy switching her snakes out for a few bullet-clones of herself, which start to fly after me in fits and starts. "Why else would he start flinging the Mishaguji around like they're some kind of weird weapon?" She's actually not faring much better since I've decided to combine my offensive and defensive aspects to turn this spellcard into a powerhouse. She's getting pelted with the stray bullets as she darts around in an attempt to avoid my kicking more bullets at her.

---

Hm... I think I've finally gotten back into what made writing fights here so fun for me. I'll probably keep going a little later while the idea's still fresh in my head.
>> No. 32133
Of course, there really isn't that big a need for me to do anything fancy with my own spell since Nari's putting her full effort into keeping hers maintained, something I completely forgot about since the bullets that comprise it are hidden within my own bullet. Speaking of which, it's down to the thirty second mark so there's far more room to avoid the faster bullets until they slow down. Infuriatingly, the goddesses are slipping right through the boundary between the fast, sparse bullets and the slow, densely packed ones, and the few they can't avoid in that sweet spot they're more than capable of blocking. There's not much I can do with this little time left, so I let the clock tick down without really doing anything.

"You're giving up?" Nariko sounds more than a little surprised, and a mite dissapointed in my decision. I can't really blame her, but at the same time I can't think of what else to do with this. There's an obvious flaw in the card that makes it easier as time passes and the bakeneko simply can't cover a weakness so great.

...Pretty much. The sweet spot's too huge for me to even try to cover up in twenty seconds without breaking out the big guns, and even then it'd be pointless when we each have one last card at our disposal.

"Better to sit back and study the weaknesses so you won't be caught off-guard like this next time." Her tails are swishing back and forth as she thinks to herself. I don't ask her what she's thinking or even delve into her mind to find out.

The seconds wind down until the main bullet falls apart, at which point the spellcard ends. "Hey Suwako." I do have one last idea. A little rematch in the style of our last match, not in the style of attacker vs. defender, but rather in the manner of two people's patterns clashing to determine who has the greater willpower.

"Yeah?" She looks like she's catching on to why this is getting dull for me. There's no appreciable contest here now that we've thrown conventional rules out the window, attackers simply guard while attacking while defenders move around quicker than most people would have thought possible. It's less about grace and more about brute strength by that point. ...Not that I really should complain about that, but this is nothing compared to the times Tenshi went at me full force, head and sword held high as she broke convention in the most spectacular manner possible. The memories of her scarlet dragon along with her refracting laser tower make me think that this is little more than a dull echo of that event.

"Let's drop the danmaku aspect of this. Let's go for broke, just like before!" I pull out my last spellcard, the one I've only used once before. The one I'm not even sure is legal. "Everlasting Bonds [Unision Assault]!" I crush the card in my hand, and everything changes.

Whereas the border of duel had been little more than a clear bubble with little more than patterned lines to tell that it's active, the spellcard brought forth a drastic change in scenery. A solid black sky hangs overhead, with points of light of varying sizes filling in for stars. Closer inspection reveal these to be 'wormholes' of sorts, but all you had to do was take a look at the golden one that took up a third of the sky to guess what they all are. Despite their possible similarity to a black hole, no one can say that it really feels destructive. They're more like links between myself and countless others whom I've met, befriended, made enemies with, fell in love with... It's not really describable. We're fighting above a field that's sparcely populated by all manners of impossible things, some of which look up at us curiously while others dart into the woods that are off to one side. The guardian mech is still half-broken, but it's healing nicely. Maybe I could push it along sometime, then animate the Hisoutensoku for a proper giant robot duel. Once again, that's not the draw of this attraction. The draw happens to have come in the form of slightly immaterial versions of all the people I've met, right down to the despicable Watasuki sisters, forming around me. They're not here to protect, they're here to help me kick some major ass, and the goddesses know it.

"Talk about your harems! Is this what you dream about at night? All these girls coming to see you~?" Suwako recovers the fastest and pulls a card out of her hat. Her last one to boot, and I recognize it. "Native God [Mishaguji-Sama]!" Her card doesn't provoke the drastic change mine did, but it doesn't need to. The ripples of bullets spreading outward while causing a scissor-like cutting action within each ripple speaks for itself, and it's only a matter of time before they come knocking on my door.

"That kind of commentary won't work this time! I've gotten past that!" Last time I lost to this one. Now? I can't help but smile as I revert to normal, save for the appearance of a pair of bulky white mechguns with one in each hand. Each bond acts as a bullet spawner that emulates the original's signature attack, so I can easily blanket the field in fire if I so chose. ...I probably can't aim it yet, but at this point it's of little concern. What gaps the echoes leave, I can cover up myself.

"Limiter Removal [Boundless Sky and Future]!" Nari's declared her card while I wasn't looking, but once she did I could hardly miss it. This last one seems to be based on my two most common transformation targets: Dragons and Super Robots. This means Nariko heself has decided to change shape into a massive metal dragon that looks like what would happen if Meta-Ridley were cross-bred with the God Gundam. The armor's already golden with a distinct halo forming just behind her back, yet the wings are still wings. There's no six-piece setup to explain the halo's presence, it's just sort of there. She doesn't wait either as she fires off a massive beam from her mouth right at Suwako, who in turn was forced to take it in order to keep her card stable.

"[Virute of Wind God]!" Kanako was the slowest on the draw, so she kicked her ass into gear before Suwako could be overwhelmed. I can't say I've ever seen this card before, but it consists of her drawing in a peculiar five-point ring of ofuda that alternates color with every firing and throws it outward, at which point it spreads out in an attempt to cover as much of the field as possible. The resulting hits were fairly modest in strength with a solid chance of hitting. That's assuming we don't just blow through her bullets as if they were tissue paper.

On my side of the field, it's utter chaos. However, it's chaos directed at my opponents so I can hardly complain about it. Fantasy Heaven ignores all in its path in order to leave behind trails of ofuda that seem not to go in any particular direction other than outward, whilst Master Spark just blasts in a straight line towards whatever happens to Marisa's target. In this case it's Suwako, and I'm more than happy to hide in her Spark since it's melting away any bullet that comes into contact with it. In the case of the frog goddess it's taking upwards of two seconds before a bullet simply melts away, but then there's the frequency of the sparks. As there are a few people who hold Spark class techniques it's only natural that they alternate their fire to get the most out of their attacks. Yuuka's split heself into two vairents of heself, one with long hair and pants while the other is the short-haired Yuuka people have come to know. The two of them fire as one, but they've targeted one goddess each. Mima's gigantic Twilight Spark periodically tears through Kanako's [Virtue of Wind God] too, making it rather difficult for the snake goddess to get any sort of bullets out.

Kanako remedies this by summoning her four onibashira and setting them in a square, at which point each one takes up a part of the firing duty. None of them are capable of recreating the intensity of the spell all by their lonesome, but the four combined are doing a pretty good job of it. Why Kanako even wanted to do this is lost on me until I see Nariko closing the distance on her in an obvious Shining Finger attempt. Unlike her slightly disasterous attempt to deflect my attack, she actually decides to dart to the side and punch the bakeneko off-course. Komachi's sniper coins forced her to start moving again while Byakuren and Shinki unleashed a pair of very similar spells. I feel like I ought to know what that one is called by that point, but right now it's not really my concern. What is my concern is getting the bonds to focus their efforts instead of just putting on a fancy show, and I get the feeling it's going to be like herding cats. Especially since I also get the feeling that each and every one of them is aware of what's going on to some degree or another and are attacking as they see fit.
>> No. 32134
It's pretty much total chaos here since I can't seem to make anyone attack any one thing in particular. I can suggest things to them on the matter, but they won't exactly listen. ...Kind of what almost everyone does anyway. Darting inbetween the bullets in Suwako's card is actually a little easier than what I would have expected since I remember it being painful to deal with in the past. I'm not even riding in a Spark to do it either, it's almost like Suwako's got her mind elsewhere.

"That's probably because you're dumping at least half of Gensokyo's firepower on her all at once. She's probably having as tough a time keeping her spell going as you are dodging it." Nari pipes in, and I almost miss-time my movement thanks to her voice sounding more like mechanical dragon version of her normal voice. A quick look over her direction shows that she's currently flying circles around Kanako and her pillars and is either unwilling or unable to get any closer. I can hardly blame her given the mass amount of ofuda and lasers being shot in her general direction and toward her, respectively.

"Details, details." I roll my eyes as I continue bobbing and weaving my way through the surprisingly simple spell, but don't feel any particular need to hit back right now. Everyone else is doing a good enough job without me and I don't want to steamroll right over the top of Suwako without reason. Hell, we've both lost already, so why not screw the rules and have fun with it? To that end, I take a dive and start flitting around each 'ripple' to line up my shots. The nice thing about Heaven Punisher is that it isn't fired from the barrel at all, and is instead sort of called in from above. Since I love taking the conventional rules and chucking them out the window, this means that when I fire it it's going to come in and strike the frog from all directions.

"You did wonder. Aside from that, I really enjoy being able to change forms like this. No wonder you spent more time transforming than staying in your normal form, it's way more fun." She's definitely taken the dragon part from Meta-Ridley since she's making a point of keeping her back to Kanako or keeping her chest plate covered up whenever she is facing her. Despite having to cover up her sole weakness, she's making a nice point of rapid firing missiles, launching bombs, and firing off her laser almost non-stop. Most of it isn't hitting the relatively small goddess (by comparison of course), but it's managing to limit Kanako's movement options to where she'll eventually run out of options and have to take something.

"It gives a certain amount of extra freedom, I'll grant you that." I can't help but smile as I recall the numerous times I've taken another person's, or being's form to beat the living daylights out of something. "There are a few I need to try in the future though, since I didn't get to try half the stuff I could have." Part of my good mood is coming from the fact that I'm occasionally blasting the frog goddess with nothing short of overkill, and partially because my spellcard and all the bonds I'm using to attack are just raining hellfire on everything. It'd be a literal waste of time to talk about every little detail. It'd drag this on far longer than it would ever need to and I'm sure that despite my enjoyment, everyone else is bored by now.

"I'm sure there'll be other times. It's not like any of us are going anywhere for a good long while, not with Yukari deciding you're hers." Nari then takes a headlong dive through a batch of bullets in a surprise move that winds up catching Kanako off-guard. She even goes so far as to slam her against the border of duel and drag her along for a few moments, then tosses her in the air. She then fires off a beam followed by numerous missiles that wind up carrying the goddess clear across the duel and even catches the frog in the middle of it, which when you consider the fact that I also managed to focus my attacks on the frong just beforehand, means that they both got caught up in it.

They're both actually smoldering by this point and begin to swing around in order to either get their bearings or counter, but it's a little late for that since I've decided to say 'screw it' and finish this duel in spectacular fashion, as per usual. I still can't control the bonds or what they do, so I decide to let them do their own thing. ...Save for the fact that They've more or less stopped and are watching us. That's actually a pretty scary thought when you think about it. I line myself up and trade in Heaven's Punisher for Sajuuk's cannon. The major difference here is that I'm trying my hardest to actually manifest part of the actual cannon, which in truth isn't working out too terribly well. On the flip side, it doesn't have to. All I have to do is line up at least part of the partially immaterial weapon at the two goddesses, and with Nari's help I can manage that much. I can't get off even a partial shot since I haven't really trained myself or have sought training in the art of using my little dream world to attack opponends though, so this winds up being a bit more anti-climactic than I would have thought or hoped. It's satisfying seeing the beam blast them clear into the border of duel, and even moreso to watch it break, but I can't help but think I could have done better here.

---

Finally. I hope I didn't bore people too terribly much with this taking as much time as it is, but that's it for fighting for this and you can expect me to start working toward the ending fairly soon.
>> No. 32135
Will there be an extra tender H-scene along the way? Only the best for THP's best Yukari!
>> No. 32137
"That was still a pretty nice way to end the fight." Nari reverts to her normal form since the duel is over, and lands on the onibashira the same time I do.

"It was, there was just the small problem of it taking more out of me than I thought it did." It seems that even though I can transform or call forth various thing, I still can't utilize my little dream world to do much of anything without severe exhaustion. This shouldn't come as a surprise since it took the Hakurei goddess to let me do that before.

"You're untrained in the fine art of dream haxing. I'm surprised you even tried it when you know what it took to bring that about last time." Nari's looking at some point in the sky for something. What, I don't know. "Anyway, we might want to finish up the post-battle banter so you can go see what the titty monster wants." ...I can't help but smile. Nari might be okay with sharing me, but I don't think she'll ever like actually doing it. Not if that tail flick has any meaning.

I shake my head slightly as I hear that comment. "I see 'tolerance' is the best I'm ever going to get out of you when it comes to Yukari, isn't it?" I genuinely thought that she might have dropped the subject by now. Then again, when a cat decides she doesn't like competition she generally never gets all the way over it. So I guess I'll just have to settle for her tolerating this.

"Pretty much. I know we've been over this issue already, but I just don't like her." She then sighs as she closes her eyes to think. "But I know the two of you love each other and that I can't change that. All I can ask for is for you to love me the same way."

I almost lightly bap her for that comment. "I can't love you exactly the same way, you're a different person from Yukari. You're by no means less important, just that I need to treat you as your own person. Anyway, isn't this the entirely wrong time to be having this sort of conversation? I'm sure the goddesses would like it if we didn't outright ignore them like we did for most of the duel." While it may have been acceptable during a duel where people aren't expected to banter with one another or you might want to annoy them into making mistakes, it's not really appropriate when you want to pursue a conversation with them. Given that the two have made their way back over it's probably a safe bet that they'll want to talk.

"I wasn't expecting that ending." Kanako's the first one to speak up since she actually landed first. It seems we didn't blast her away anywhere near as far as we did Suwako. "I went in hoping I'd impress some potential followers, but I get beaten up instead. What a way to get humiliated..."

"Heh, you were asking for it when you went in thinking Wade wouldn't have grown at all." Suwako's taking this in stride, though I have a hard time thinking that she really anticipated this outcome. "That, was one hell of a spellcard Wade. Looks like you've made some welcome additions to your arsenal, even if the thought behind it was kinda cheesy."

"Ahaha, you picked up on that too, huh?" The first time I use that card against someone else and she's already figured out what it embodies. "They say you can't get by without a little help from your friends, so can one really blame me for taking that a step or two farther?"

---
>> No. 32145
"I can't blame you, but I can tease you over it." Suwako probably would have ruffled my hair if she were tall enough for it, but she settles for giving me one of those looks. "Aside from that, what was that finisher anyway? I don't recall you ever being able to do that."

"That? I would have thought you'd recognize Sajuuk's main cannon. Though I suppose not being able to bring it all the way to bear made it a bit more difficult." Not that there was any appreciable means for me to do that since I don't have the proper training nor a goddess to aid me in the matter, but it's not terribly important. It is something I need to figure out how to preform properly later though.

"Huh, is that what that was? I couldn't really tell since it was so indistinct. Still, it's something to work toward isn't it? You'd best practice using whatever skill that was, because I'm going to go all out next time we fight!" Suwako then turns around and walks to the edge of the pillar before turning to talk to me again. "I'm guessing you rushed it because there's something you need to do, right? In that case, you'd best go do it. See ya!"

Wait a sec, how'd she guess that? "Okay..." I turn to the general direction I think Yukari's in, but turn back to Kanako since I don't know if she wanted to say anything before I left.

"I will say that was one of the more amusing matches I've ever had. It's not really something I'd want a repeat performance of though." Kanako is simply less enthusiastic about the fight than Suwako was, and her expression, along with her body language, is how I was able to tell. "That was a good duel, if not a bit rushed at the end. I assume you have your reasons though."

"Sorry, I didn't want to keep Yukari waiting when she's made it clear that she'd come to me if I missed the agreed-upon time. I think that he interrupting the duel with her usual antics would have been far worse than anything I could ever pull off." I wind up smiling apologetically as I speak since I went into this knowing that I might have to cut it short somewhere along the line.

Kanako rolls her eyes when she hears that. "True. I'd rather not deal with the gap hag if I can avoid it, so I leave you to do what you need to do so she won't go bothering me any more than she already has." She then walks off onto thin air, and begins walking down toward the ground as though there were a massive staircase surrounding the onibashira. Even though I should be at least somewhat desensitized to all the weirdness that happens in Gensokyo, it still amazes me when someone just up and does something that defies general logic.

"Come on Nari, it's time we headed off to our little appointment." I know that it'll ultimately be just myself and Yukari, but I figure it's a smarter move to include Nari for as long as I can up until that point. Thankfully, she does nothing more than nod as we both take off in the general direction I think the gap youkai is located in.

...

A short while later and I've picked out Yukari from the crowd, but she's kind of helping with that since she's more or less made herself known to me. "Hello~ Glad you could make it before I had to gap you~" She's smiling as she's saying that, but it's more the sort of smile one might give when they're giving an unspoken 'or else'. In Yukari's case, that could be any number of things that would wind up being at least unpleasant.

"That's not really fair. I got here before the timer expired." I land next to Yukari, who then promptly shuts me up by dipkissing me.

After spending a short while like this she pulls me upright while an honest smile on her face and no small amount of amusement. "What's not fair is you assuming that I am~ I know you're being nice and punctual about this, I'm just being a teensy bit impatient since I've had to wait all night~" She then takes my hand and drags me off away from the crowd, which raises some annoyance from Nari since she did want to come along, but she doesn't follow. The fact that I've just been dragged through a gap doesn't help the possible pursuit. "Now then~" She has me look around as she uses herself to support me.

Where she's gapped me to is something of a surprise, and I honestly do a double take on just about everything in the process. "This is..." In all honesty, I didn't think she'd bring me here of all places...

"The lighthouse where we parted after our first proper date~" Yukari then leans on the railing as she looks out to sea. "It's a bit overdone, but I figured this would be a nice place for me to ask a certain question." I notice that just like last time, the lighthouse is completely devoid of people. It's just Yukari and I looking out to the nighttime sea, then at each other.

Just as she says this, I feels something come undone. A quick check reveals it to be the small box she handed to me back when everyone was busy berating me for being an idiot. I flick open the lid to reveal that I had been correct in my assumption. "That question, eh? Well then, I believe my answer would be yes." The ring in question is a rather beautiful piece that could only have been boundary manipulated into place. Brilliant amethyst and a peculiar orange gem I can't identify have been interwoven into a single band, which has the Yakumo family symbol embedded in it.

She then looks at me with a mischievous grin, almost laughing as she thinks about this. "My~ You haven't even heard what it is I'm asking you about~ Are you sure you want to say yes to an unspoken question~?" Her tone is teasing, but at this point I trust her enough not to take advantage of this.

"I am." I put the ring on my middle finger for emphasis, and make a point of keeping it visible.

Yukari seems a bit nervous for a moment, but as time passes she relaxes more and more. It's almost as though she's been dropped into a really hot bath without warning and is only now adjusting to the idea. "Ufufu, you really trust me, don't you?" She doesn't even bother pulling the fan out and continues to watch the ocean for a while. Eventually she looks at me again.... "Yes, I was proposing to you." ...and smiles. "I'm glad you said yes."

---
>> No. 32154
I can't help but smile back as Yukari says that. This is a big deal, one of the biggest so far, and it's left me feeling rather happy. So much so that I refuse to allow myself to even consider thinking that this is little more than a dream. It's only natural to question it when my situation has grown increasingly impossible over the last thirteen months or so, because somehow, someway, with some effort on my part and the help of my invaluable, irreplacable friends, everything has fallen neatly in place for the most part. Over the course of this, I've escaped my stagnant life, found true love several times, obtained considerable power, and was able to keep the best of both worlds. Naomi's living at Eientei and will make monthly visits to her uncle to ensure that he doesn't worry overly much, Marine's already making a name for herself here, and Ben is setting things up to where he can eventually join us in this little paradise. Yeah, there are some loose ends to tidy up before I can relax and enjoy my life, but for now I'm content to stare out at the moonlit ocean from the top of the lighthouse while my eternally 17 year old fiancee pulls me close to keep warm.

"...You know, I feel like a complete dolt right about now." And then another thought pops up.

"How's that?" Her tone is one of mild curiosity, and her face one of mild concern. This is supposed to be a nice, quiet moment between the two of us so I can understand why she might be concerned over why I think myself a dolt.

"I guessed what was in that ring box from the get go, and I never thought about getting one for you. Even if I was wrong about it, I'd have popped the question fairly soon anyway." Not that I've had much time to spare something like that much thought though. Almost every single day has been jam-packed this past month and marriage wasn't exactly at the forefront of my thoughts.

"Hmm~" Yukari hums to herself thoughtfully before breaking out into a small giggle fit. I almost ask why she finds this so amusing when she puts a finger to my lips. "No, I don't think you would have. I'm an important girl in your life, yes, but you're conscious of all the other lady friends you've made. Nariko, Naomi, Marine, Merlin, Komachi, Shinki, along with a few others... You're very mindful of their feelings and want to continue loving them all equally. Despite your growing more comfortable with the idea you still believe that proposing to me, or any one of them would be closing off all other possibilities. To that end, you would not propose to any of them for fear that you might lose the others. Not even I am exempt from your worry on that matter." She draws her finger away once she's sure I won't interrupt her again, and continues to smile the same sweet smile that's been on her face since we've come here. "Because of this, your not getting me a ring before now is perfectly fine. You were busy and I wasn't exactly gentle with you so it's only natural that it never cross your mind. That's why I took the initiative~" I didn't even notice that she had taken her fan out until she used it to hide a much more meaningful smile. Her eyes managed to unnerve me slightly though. "My, you're going to be such a naughty boy~ Married to me but having so many mistresses~!"

That's the part that causes me to suppress laughter of my own. "Your arguement doesn't hold much water when a few of my 'mistresses' were originally yours." And a marriage scenario a healthy guy would kill for. A loving wife who doesn't restrict my love of others, so long as I remember that I'm hers in the end.

Her hand holding the fan comes to a rest in her lap while the other one covers her mouth. The sound coming from her mouth is more the 'pfft' of a quickly suppressed laugh than anything else. "Guilty~ as~ charged~" She then steps in front of me so I can hug her from behind, which I do. It never ceases to amaze me how she manages to feel so lithe yet healthy... "It's a good thing we know about our mutual mistresses now, otherwise that would lead to a truly embarrassing scenario~"

"'Honey, why are you sleeping with my mistress?'" I decide to play around with the idea since it's right there and begging for it. "'Your mistress? But she's mine!"

"And the situation would be easily resolved by making it a threesome~" It seems she's in full pervert mode now, as she's leaning into me in order to make her cute little rear felt. Perhaps her mind isn't entirely in the gutter as she seems to be thinking about something else too. "But in all seriousness, I made a matching ring when I made yours, so don't worry about it. This isn't the right moment for worrying."

"...You're right." But if I keep going, I'm going to think of something else that will worry me, then something else... I shake my head as I force myself off that train of thought. Instead, I shift one of my hands up to one of Yukari's pleasantly soft breasts and proceed to grope.

This causes the gap youkai to jump slightly in surprise, and earns me a sly smile along with a blush. "My, my~ Tempting fate are we~?" She turns around in my grip to where she can look me in the eye properly. "You know you're going to have to take responsibility for that~"

"When have I ever objected to that?" Maybe it's presumptuous on my part, but groping the gap youkai has brought about nothing but good things.

She doesn't say another word. Instead she kisses me full on the lips as she leans into me while simutaneously using a gap to drop the floor out beneath me. It's not until we land on the low-light room that Nari and I used for the ritual that I see what Yukari has in mind. "Now then~ As... 'punishment'... for your actions, you must now see them through to the end." She's picked herself up and is now straddling me, making her meaning pretty clear. "But I leave you with two choices as to how this plays out~. Few, or many?"

[X]Few
[X]Many
>> No. 32155
I'm saying [~] Many and I don't remember what this room is at all.
>> No. 32156
[X]Many
>> No. 32158
[X]Many
>> No. 32159
>Lighthouse
>groping Yukari
>Awesome 'punishment'

Just like old times.
>> No. 32160
[x] Few
Voting this on the assumption this is the answer to the question "What is the number of additives?".
>> No. 32162
[X]Many
>> No. 32171
Warning, NSFW material ahead. Most of you probably don't care, but I like giving fair warning anyway.

---

What she's offering seems pretty straightforward: Just the two of us as the 'few' option, or bringing in a few of her harem members for the 'many'. Both sides have their perks... "Many then." ...But either my perverted side is drooling over the concept of numerous naked women on me or I'm curious as to how long I'd last in bed before exhausting myself.

Yukari merely smiles as she flicks her fan open, which causes Ran, Nari, Yuyuko, Shinki, and Suika to drop onto the bed around her. Personally, I'm just glad the bed's big enough to accomodate them all. Everyone's staring at Yukari or examining their newfound lack of clothing with Shinki blushing and doing an adorable job of trying to cover herself up while looking angry. Suika's acting like suddenly being gapped naked onto Yukari's bed is the most natural thing in the world, Yuyuko just laughs and molests Yukari teasingly, while Ran just sighs in resignation when she catches sight of me. Nari doesn't seem that bothered either, but I get the feeling that the human desire to remain decent hasn't overwritten her animal logic that clothes are thoroughly unnecessary and humans are silly for being embarrassed over not wearing them. However, all of them seem to understand precisely what this meant.

"What, can't even wait 'til the festival is done before takin' your husband-to-be off to a quiet spot?" Despite lacking clothes, Suika still has her gourd and is pulling mouthfuls of whatever liquor is in there between sentences. "You're just shameless sometimes. And bringin' us along for the ride! Some of us were doing things you know!" The little oni waggled her finger at the gap youkai as though scolding her.

"Yukari, why do you insist on spontaneously plucking us from wherever when it comes time to do this? There's no warning or time to prepare!" Shinki's taken to using her wings to cover herself now, which is by no means less cute.

"Honestly Yukari, you have no common sense at times." Ran's simply rolled her eyes, yet she seems to be the only one actively working herself up. "No matter how many times I punish you, you just don't learn."

Nari's decided to skip the whole 'be annoyed at Yukari' deal and has promptly started kissing me while her tails have already begun working on either getting my shirt off or ripping it off. At this point I'm neither capable of telling the difference nor do I particularly care. It's rather difficult to do either when your lips have been forced apart and your tongue occupied in an already feverish dance.

"'Eeeeey, kitty's getting the first kiss of the evening? You sly furball, sneakin' in while we're all pokin' fun at Yukari!" Suika's tone is accusatory, but she's wasted no time in groping the kitty. She doesn't even say anything when one of Nari's tails changes composition to 'lick' the oni's pussy to get it wet, though she does see fit to comment when the tentacle-like tail slides its way in. "Oh, I get it. There's not enough Wade to keep us all satisfied, so you decided to bring in some friends with transformation abilities." She neither relents nor pays too much attention to the tail sliding in and out of her, aside from her face acquiring a nice blush to it.

Somewhere along the line I feel that Yukari's been yanked off me, and once Nari breaks away from me I see that it's because Ran's decided to ravage her master first before letting her anywhere near me. Yukari looks a little nervous as Ran uses two tails to forcibly spread the gap youkai's legs open, two to tease her nipples, while two hold her waist to prevent her from escaping via any means that isn't a gap. The final three become wet gold tentacles with all manners of small bumps on them, at which point one slips up Yukari's ass, the second slides under her breasts, up between them then into her mouth, and the last probes her pussy a bit before thrusting all the way inside in one go, earning Ran some muffled squeals and some struggling from Yukari. The fox's hands then cup the gap youkai's breasts since her tails are already busy assaulting every hole and kneads them with a measured roughness while she starts sucking on Yukari's neck.
>> No. 32174
Since Yukari's being loved in a rather rough manner and Nari's annoyed with Suika's constant attempts to butt into what she sees as her time with me, I find that Shinki's slowly allowing her wings to go back to their neutral position as she crawls over to me, and I have to say that she looks just as good as she did the last time, and that I'm just as powerless to resist her as last time. The mood is somewhat broken when Yuyuko slides underneath the Makai goddess to yank my pants off.

"You won't be needing these right now." Yuyuko holds up my boxers while speaking in a teasing tone. "And from what it looks like, the feeling's mutual~" ...I can't believe that it's taken me this long to notice my erection along with the fact that it's already dripping pre-cum, a fact that Yuyuko finds rather amusing. "Oh my, have we distracted you to the point that you're not properly aware of your own needs?" She gives the tip of my dick a good, long lick, which causes me to shudder until she's done.

"Yuyuko! Call me selfish, but I want do be with him first, so kindly stop." Shinki's somewhat annoyed with the ghost princess and displays it by pelvic thrusting the ghost's head. The issue with this is that Yuyuko was already taking the tip into her mouth when this happened, causing her to spontaneously deep throat it. The sensation of my manhood driving that far down her throat is a bit odd, along with having her nose pressed into my stomach, but it doesn't seem to bother her since she's happily sucking on it. Shinki sighs in resignation when she considers Yuyuko's hungry nature alongside the fact that the ghost princess doesn't need to breathe. "I suppose that's just going to have to wait then." Shinki states this in a matter-of-fact tone, yet it's clear she's not terribly thrilled about it. She instead opts to sit on me in such a way that her own wet hole is within range of my head. "It's not the same, but please eat me out." ...Like I can seriously say no to that face.

Ignoring the ghost's constant pleasuring is essentially impossible, but I have to deal with it as best I can if I'm going to get anywhere with this. It doesn't help that said ghost is also pinning my arms in place by wrapping her own around my waist so I'm left with just the use of my head. There's no point in complaining though, since I've got an expectant goddess looking down on me. I stick my tongue out and run it along her slit, starting at the lower end so I can catch the bead of fluid hanging off it and making my way to the top. This is repeated a few more times before I pry apart her walls and begin licking her inside and out with a measured speed that's just short of teasing. Shinki takes this for a few moments before thrusting her crotch into my face, which I take to mean that she's not impressed with that and that she won't tolerate it. I'd at least grin at her but her saliva-coated lips are pushing against mine, obscuring them from view. Rather than provoke her into grinding herself on my face I decide to resume my work a bit more vigorously this time around by starting on the bottom end of her pussy, diving in as deep as possible, then pulling out and running my tongue on her clitoris. Unlike last time, it's at a swift enough pace to where I don't annoy her. Instead she's holding my head precisely where she wants it as her body starts to drip love juices, electing soft moans every time I run my tongue around her clit. If it were possible to do so without annoying Shinki, I'd moan too since Yuyuko has pulled her head away from me to where she has just the head of my dick in her mouth, her hands pumping the shaft, and her tongue playing with the much tinier yet no less sensitive set of 'lips' at the tip. This results in my needing to take a brief breather between licks to keep my breathing steady, as I had been holding my breath and forcing my manhood to stand at its tallest. Eventually I decide to clamp my lips down on Shinki's pussy and suck on it. It will never give me the same satisfaction deep kissing her while thrusting in and out of her would have, but Yuyuko's set on using her mouth on me. Unless...

I think I can be excused for not thinking of this sooner given the spontaneity of this whole event. I clear my mind as best I can in order to call on my abilities, and a small orb of white flame popping into existence is my reward. Or perhaps I should say their reward, given that a modestly sized tentacle is taking over my duty of pleasuring the Makai goddess. She immediately notices the difference and looks down in panic, but calms back down when she sees that it's me doing it, albeit in an indirect manner. It's rather annoying that I can't feel what it's feeling, but Yuyuko's sudden deep-throating makes up for it. It completely shatters my concentration as she's using her hot, tight throat to convince my throbbing cock to shoot its load into her, and it doesn't take much to do so as I feel my first load leave my body in a disappointingly quick fashion. She seems to think so too, as after she finishes sucking on me she sits up and pouts in a cute manner.

Shinki then tightens up on the tentacle, though it's only after her juices start dripping on my face that I recall that I even had that in there. Since I'm not about to intentionally ignore the beautiful goddess sitting on me, I decide to alter the now slightly enlarged tentacle. Namely by giving it numerous small, firm nubs that cause her to cry out in pleasure when she feels them. The effect is intensified since her body's already tight around the tentacle and the tentacle growing just thick enough to push her to her limit without making this painful, and after a few minutes she reaches her climax. Hot, sticky cum shoots out of her in spurts, coating my face as her body is caught in a cycle where its reached climax right after finishing. The cum is only hers though, as I happen to know that the fluid the tentacle shot out was not only confined to her womb, but it would have added wisps of white to her own fluids had any of it mixed. The goddess goes slack as the tentacle pulls itself out of her and dissapears, but she manages to lay down next to me to kiss me.

...Then Yuyuko moves in to clean off the juices with her tongue, not stopping until my face is clean again.
>> No. 32175
Pardon me but I must say this:

GHOST BLOWJOB WOOWOO!
>> No. 32185
God damn it, SLDT, space your text out a bit more.
Other than that, carry on.
>> No. 32190
Apologies for the delay, but when I get wrapped up in reading something I tend to want to finish it up in one go. Battle Moon Wars, along with RoSHIaKI most certainly did not help and may result in a side story offshoot where Wade pulls a similar stunt with Nari when Toyohime disintegrates him.

---

Shinki's eyes have glazed over briefly as she slides herself downward to where she can hug me without being in the way. I admit that I may have gone overboard on making her reach her climax over and over, but she seems perfectly happy about it since it means she's been satisfied for now.

Yuyuko's decided that she's not just going to sit there and after giving me some time to recover she starts playing with my manhood until it's fully erect again. The view of her body is quite nice, though I find myself a little worried when I see that her pussy is... well... Drooling, for lack of a better word. She hasn't even stimulated herself yet and her body is leaking thick love juices in a manner not too different than when she's staring at a banquet. Mind you, she's typically drooling from her mouth at that time, but the comparison stands. ...This also makes me wonder about something. Presumably, no matter how much she eats she's never actually full, so I imagine that if one could consider sexual urges to be a form of hunger she could never be satisfied and intercourse would only end when her partner reaches their limit or when she says so.

Pfft. Even when I'm getting laid by a hot ghost girl I'm still thinking about the implications of various things. I can hardly be blamed since being inducted into Yukari's harem means I'm most likely going to be on the receiving end of the princess' urges on more than one occasion, and I'm still only human. Until I die at least, but that's not only so far down the road that I don't care to think about it, it's also getting increasingly off-topic. ...Even more off topic is the rather spontaneous image of Yuyuko tenderly loving Merlin, which is- ...I mentally slap myself for that. I'm here with Yuyuko, and Yukari figured that Merlin, should she have been brought along, would most likely have gotten jealous and uncooperative with the others. Hell, she was trying to keep Nari off me that one time just so she could keep snuggling me.

My concentration is broken by Yuyuko kissing me, at which point I'm reminded in a rather clear fashion that she's riding me and will not accept my mind being elsewhere during the act. "Wade~" She coos, taking a moment to remind me of her presence by simultaneously forcing my manhood deeper inside her, pressing her sizable bust against my chest, and staring me right in the eye while letting her musky cherry blossom scent muddle my thoughts in her favor. "I hope I'm not boring you with my antics..." It's almost amazing how she manages to combine pouting with sultry to make me feel guilty about this.

"It's nothing you did, I was just thinking about whether your hunger for sex was as insationable as your hunger for food." It's not the whole truth, but for the sake of politeness and my own personal safety I probably shouldn't bring up the question of if she's ever done it with Merlin and whether or not they've set any duration records if they did.

Yuyuko recoils a bit in shock, blinking once, then twice before her cute pout slipped back into a sly smile that, in my personal opinion, suited her more as it's more honest with her true personality. ...Not to say that it's her 'true' personality since I'm hard pressed to think the ditzy Yuyuko is a mere fabrication, but that's beside the point. "Blunt, hm~? Yes, I'm a girl who's very hard to please when it comes to this, and in fact, had this been just you and I, I would have kept going until you were too exhausted to even think about moving~♪" There's something about that cheery smile that tells me that she's done just that to anyone she's bedded. ...Suddenly I wonder if her friend's libido is the reason Yukari has such an unpredictable sleep pattern at times.

Yuyuko ceases to talk and resumes the act of riding me with a renewed vigor now that I've inadvertantly stepped on that land mine. As if to drive the point home, her fluids are starting to drip down my shaft to the inside of my thighs, then continuing to adhere to my skin as the drips glide down my ass between my butt cheeks, which is a really awkward feeling given my last set of antics with Yukari. I can't even really make my discomfort known when Yuyuko is actively panting (Something I'm pretty sure she's only doing to keep my attention on her) and thrusting herself onto me at a rapid pace. This has been going on for a while now so she must be pretty close to her climax, and if not I might wind up cutting her short with mine. The princess is using her arms, and unexpected strength, to pin me down during the process, yet I'm still bucking in time with her to make the enjoyment mutual. Her delicious chest is bouncing from the effort, she's shut her eyes as she goes, and she looks all too vulnerable... So much so that I lean up to kiss her. She immediately reciprocates, and even takes the lead by using one hand to keep me bent at an angle ideal for this while prying my own mouth open to start playing with my tongue, while her other arm keeps her propped up so she can keep going.

Everything's a pleasured blur now that I've closed my eyes. Lost in her body and scent, I am predictably oblivious to the world around me. My mind has actively tuned out any and all distractions that would stop me from obeying my natural instinct while simultaneously rewarding me by making each joining more intense than the last. Eventually her body tightens up on me in order to make it even better to entice me to shoot my load into her, even though this can never fufill our biological purpose. In that case, isn't it better then? Acting out without worry? ...My dick's about to explode, and the ghost princess needs no warning. She's using her legs to bring us dizzyingly close, close enough to where I doubt there's any room for my seed to escape even if I wanted it to. She holds me there for several moments while her body does the last of the enticement needed for me to let go, and I do just that.

We both fall backwards on the bed without moving or disconnecting, and the next thing I hear is a soft giggling from Yuyuko as she reveals that she's not even remotely tired. "Hm~ That was nice~ Perhaps I should 'borrow' you sometime~" She plants another kiss on my lips for good measure before snuggling up to me. ...Someone's going to have to peel her off me before the next girl can have her way with me.
>> No. 32205
Of course, I wasn't the only one partaking of the naughty events here. Ran still has Yukari bound up in her tails while fucking her silly. The tail-ticle that was in the gap youkai's mouth has long since finished (if the thick, clear fluid dripping out of her mouth is what I think it is), and has joined the one diving into her pussy. Personally, I can't see how a woman could derive enjoyment from having their walls stretched out like that, but I have to remember that this is Yukari I'm talking about, and that this is probably par for the course for her. ...Then, I note with some level of embarrassment, there's the fact that this is just that hot. I also notice that Ran isn't staring at her master so much as she's looking at me watching Yukari be violated in such a complete manner.

Yukari's position hasn't changed at all since Ran started, aside from the fact that she's now dripping her shikigami's fluids and she looks like she's struggling to either break free or get into a better position. It strikes me as a little weird that she doesn't simply gap herself free if it's the former, or gap herself around if it's the latter, but that could be because she forgot or she's just acting to get off to it more easily. She's not crying out in pain or crying like someone who really is getting raped so that kind of kills the believability of her not really wanting it. I could go on all day about the semantics about it, but I won't since it'll be a longer, duller explanation than it's really worth. In light of that fact, I'll point out that there's a pretty clear indication that Ran just came in Yukari's ass, and that I'm actually growing a bit antsy. I know I basically requested an orgy, but I do want to spend some time with my lover sometime tonight.

Yuyuko gets my attention with a kiss before shifting off me. Seeing that as her 'permission', I sit upright for a few moments to make sure that I'm not tired out from just that one load. Once I'm sure that I'm fine for another round I make my way over to Yukari, who's still stuck in her current position. Since there's little to no reason for me to actually hold back I decide to occupy her now vacant mouth with a kiss of my own. The taste of Ran's juices aren't entirely unwelcome, though they, along with the various tails sliding around, groping, and thrusting, do remind me that Ran's still there. This was made even more evident by the fact that Yukari suddenly grabs hold of me as she and her shikigami climax simultaneously. It's not so much seen as it is felt as I'm occupied with frenching the gap youkai, but it's kinda hard to miss the thick globs squirting out and sticking to me as I move closer.

"I really should have seen this coming..." Yukari's voice is not unlike a cold shock after being enveloped in a warm, hazy pleasure for so long. It doesn't cancel it out so much as it gives me something to think about.

Seen what coming?

"The fact that Ran would go for me first. I didn't necessarily want it to happen in that order, but oh well." She does sound minorly dissapointed with the way things have played out so for. Perhaps it's simply because we weren't together first? "I'm... Oh, those naughty friends of mine~!"

What'd they do- Oh.

"They should know better than to push me like this so soon, unless they think I've turned into a succubus or something."

That last comment makes little sense out of context, so let me tell it straight: Ran removed her tails from Yukari, at which point Yuyuko comes over and pushes Yukari and I together before rubbing my nipples and grinding her pussy against my ass. Ran in turn slid one tail around myself, Yukari, and herself to keep us together while a now annoyed Nari embraced me from the side while using her tails (Having taken a visual cue from Ran on how to do it) to violate both Yuyuko and Ran's asses. Suika's been left a drooling, cum-soaked mess on the bed while Shinki is settling for watching. ...I must have really done a number on the goddess if she feels no need to get involved any further.
>> No. 32206
I wonder if Suika'd ever get any Wade action or not this night.
>> No. 32207
Wall of sex? I'll take twenty.

Awesome, SLDT.
>> No. 32208
>>32206
I do hope so.
>> No. 32209
>>32208
It's the least we could do (for) her for what she's done.
>> No. 32214
>>32207

I guess they weren't kidding when they say sex sells.

---

Your harem's certainly lively.

I hear Yukari snort outside of our connection, promting me to wonder if she's rolling her eyes too. "That's understating things just a bit. I didn't expect Yuyu to start rinding your ass like that though, usually she's more reserved about it than that." You know, I'm kind of glad that our voices in our connection don't seem to be affected by what's going on around us, or it'd be much more annoying to hear what we're saying.

I imagine that you don't usually genderswap men and tentacle rape them.

As if the blush on her face wasn't luminescant enough already. "Oh, don't you go bringing that up as an accusation! I enjoyed doing it once, and I'll most certainly enjoy doing it again!" I can almost see her pointing at me accusingly, and it somehow becomes adorable. "And if you keep tempting me, it might come about sooner rather than later~"

You've got a really obvious tentacle fetish.

"It's less that and more, 'what am I in the mood for this time?' I am the youkai of boundaries you know, and I'm just as capricious about my fetishes as I am most everything else." I can feel our tongues dancing despite the fact that the connection is supposed to be insulated against that.

So basically, I'm going to share quite the exotic sex life with you.

"Mmmhmm~" The next feeling to come back into play is my shaft being squeezed by her deliciously tight walls, which in turn causes me to start moving. While simply keeping my dick there would be nice all on its own, moving usually makes it feel better. "Just to let you know, you're not going to hurt me by doing that. I've got that elesticity down to an art form~" ...My concern must have passed through our connection too if she deemed it necessary to say that. "Also, do try to put some feeling into what you're saying. I know you've never thought it important, but imagination can only get me so far."

You mean... "More like how you speak~?" And now for my best imitation of the gap youkai's voice, which earns me a swift yet gentle rap on the head with her fan.

"Yes, smart-ass, but in your own voice, not mine." There's also barely contained amusement on her part, which she's trying her hardest to mask with annoyance.

I opt out of giving her an answer and allow myself to slip back into the event at hand, only to be assauted in every direction at once, be it from Nari mastrubating using my hand, Yuyuko reaching orgasm just as I slip back in (Which feels rather weird. It might be because I'm a guy, but having my ass used like that doesn't really do much for me), the obvious intercourse between Yukari and I, and Suika, who's cleaned herself off and is watching like Shinki is. ...I kind of feel bad since the odds are good I'm just not going to get to her tonight. I'm only human... Well, human in form and soul, so I don't know if I'm going to get more than a couple loads shot tonight. Heck, I used up two with Yuyuko alone with no break between them!

"If you're worried, then I can just manipulate your body to where you're able to give her at least one round." Yukari's voice manages to draw my attention away from the myriad pleasuring long enough to make the offer.

[X]"Yes, please. I don't think I'm going to get any more out of myself tonight after this."
[X]"Nah. If anything, I'd prefer to wait until morning so I can recharge naturally. That and I'd prefer some one on one time with her."
[X]Write-in
>> No. 32215
[X]"Yes, please. I don't think I'm going to get any more out of myself tonight after this."
>> No. 32216
[x] "Nah. If anything, I'd prefer to wait until morning so I can recharge naturally. That and I'd prefer some one on one time with her."
We really do, though I'd prefer some one-on-one time with Yukari as well, shame the harem option won.
>> No. 32217
[x] "Nah. If anything, I'd prefer to wait until morning so I can recharge naturally. That and I'd prefer some one on one time with her."
>> No. 32224
>>32216
That's what the honeymoon is for.

Though, one can only hope SLDT gets to that one on one time.
>> No. 32225
[Y]"Yes, please. I don't think I'm going to get any more out of myself tonight after this."
>> No. 32228
[X] "Nah. If anything, I'd prefer to wait until morning so I can recharge naturally. That and I'd prefer some one on one time with her."
>> No. 32229
[X]"Nah. If anything, I'd prefer to wait until morning so I can recharge naturally. That and I'd prefer some one on one time with her."
>> No. 32248
[X]"Yes, please. I don't think I'm going to get any more out of myself tonight after this."
>> No. 32251
Ugh, five days since the last update? I'm slipping way too hard here...

---

"That's nice of you to offer, but I'd rather wait until I can get some alone time with Suika before I try to thank her. Not to mention that I don't know precisely what she wants anyway. I'd rather ask her than second guess and get it wrong." While the offer to have one more round with Suika is tempting, my body doesn't necessarily care for the idea as it's already being pushed past what it's used to and I'm inclined to agree with it. Any attempts to push myself farther might be lackluster at best, even with Yukari's help. I may have the ability to dream hax a lot of things, but I don't think fatigue is one of them.

The first thing I hear out of the gap youkai is an amused giggle, then a response. "Are you saying my harem is wearing you out and you need time to recover~?" Her teasing response isn't all that surprising given her nature. "It is sweet of you to want to wait on thanking her until you're in a better position to do so. My harem may consist of my closest friends, but our little gatherings get a bit too fiesty for one on one scenarios." I find that it's somewhat difficult to focus entirely on what she's saying when she's doing such weird things with my dick. "Ah, it seems you finally noticed that~?"

I notice that my attention is now evenly divided between my place in the orgy and my conversation with Yukari. It's rather strange being able to feel Yuyuko use my ass like that, or my unconsciously thrusting my fingers into my shikigami's pussy. The feeling of moving hot, tight flesh against my manhood has got to be the biggest distraction. As far as I know, I'm just hanging on for the ride. "The boundary between stillness and motion? That's both strange and pleasant."

"Yes, but it'd be even better if you'd fight your fatigue for just a little longer. I can't really blame you if you don't though, two shots in a row looked like it was your limit and my friends do want a piece of you. Toss in their feisty antics and I'd be very surprised if you weren't tired out come tomorrow morning." I'm glad that Yukari understands. It sounds wimpy since I can borderline break reality but I'm still limited by human body and my human libido. As far as it's concerned, Yuyuko's antics was more than enough to sate my body's desire.

That doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying the feeling of my thrusting into Yukari repeatedly without having to move from my spot. Despite the fact that I'd love nothing more than to fall asleep on her bosom until morning, I make a point of using my free hand to... Fondle a tail? Hah, it looks like my fate is beyond me here. All I can do is sit here while I'm pleasured.

Ran has taken a controlling route with this as she's once again violating her master's asshole with a tentacle formed from her own tail, while using another three to keep Yukari sandwiched between the fox youkai and myself. Another has wrapped around my free arm, while one has taken to responding to Nari's intrusion in kind. I can't see what the other three are doing, but I can't see where Shinki is either so it's a safe bet the goddess is caught in Ran's rough grip.

Yuyuko is somehow making this better by wrapping her arms around me and humping my ass as Yukari's manipulation causes me to thrust all the way in. The combined force hits even harder with no apparent pain for the gap youkai. The princess' ample breasts constantly pressing into my back doesn't hurt this in the slightest, nor does the gentle neck nibbling.

Nari isn't doing too much to me aside from kissing my cheek, as my mouth is thoroughly occupied, and using my hand to pleasure herself while using two of her tails to preform anal sex on Yuyuko and Ran simultaneously. I think a third tail is busy thrusting into Ran's pussy as well, but at this point I think it's safe to assume that my narration is getting a little unreliable, and if it's not it soon will be.

Suika... She's given up for the time being and stares at us as we reach our collective climax. Oddly enough, she seems okay with it as she's wearing a smile and is drinking out of her gourd with the usual speed. Maybe she knows I plan to make it up to her tomorrow?

Regardless, I feel a familiar and welcome pressure coming from inside my own body, one that I release into Yukari almost immediately after I feel it. I feel our combined fluids squirt out of Yukari while my kissing grows steadily less intense and my vision starts to fa- wait, why would it do that? ...I pull back to breathe but it seems I've put that off a little too... long...

...

"Oh dear..." Yukari promptly checks the body of her fiance to make sure that he isn't actually dead. "Ah, he just fainted from the lack of air. I suppose I should have done something about that..."

Ran merely rolls her eyes as she lays back to rest on Shinki, who's unconscious from the continued pleasuring. Given what I did to tire her out earlier, that shouldn't come as all that big a surprise. "That's just like you. You're so confident in your power and other people surviving regardless that you get careless." She then pulls both my unconcious from onto her, along with Yukari, and allows us both to rest on her bust. "I'm glad you were quick about it though. I'd have made you pay dearly if you ended his life prematurely."

Yukari merely laughs a bit as she feels Yuyuko slide up to rest with her face in Ran's crotch. The ghost had the most peculiar sleeping habits when she gets done with this... "Wade recovered almost instantly when he went unconscious. It seems that chunk of dream world stuck in his soul might also be acting as a fail-safe against minor threats against his life." She gives Ran's breast a kiss as her shikigami's lips are a bit too far away. "Still, this is a topic best reserved for morning. Right along with Wade's capacity for playing to fetishes and his exotic potential~"

---
>> No. 32260
>"Oh dear..." Yukari promptly checks the body of her fiance to make sure that he isn't actually dead. "Ah, he just fainted from the lack of air. I suppose I should have done something about that..."

Oh well. He got Yuyuko and that's all I wanted.
>> No. 32271
A vote? It's been a while...

---

The next time I open my eyes I see that I've woken up before anyone else. The lights have long since gone out, but the room doesn't feel any colder than it did when I...

Oh yeah, I stopped breathing last night, didn't I. I should be dead right about now, but a few things contradict that. Namely the fact that my body rose when I did instead of my body staying put, the fact that I can feel, though in retrospect that really doesn't amount to much since ghosts can feel, smell, and touch. I'm not sure that this is universal for ghosts or it only works for those who retain their forms when they leave their bodies and- ...I need to stop rambling so much. I'm bound to miss something, such as the fact that Suika's left the bed... Wait, what?

A close examination of the bed reveals that Suika's not here, meaning she must have slipped off sometime during he night while the rest of us were still asleep. It's probably nowhere near morning, but I have no concrete idea since there's no windows in the room. Sensible in the fact that it keeps nosy tengu from looking in, though it could use a clock or something. ...It's way too early for me to do too much thinking.

Extracating myself from the tangle of arms and tails while simultaneously wondering if I've gone mad, I manage to shift things around to where I'm not being dragged back into the pile of beautiful women as though they were a pit of particularly stubbon quicksand. I will admit that that wasn't the most accurate or fitting comparison, but what do you expect from a man who's half asleep and rambling like a total buffoon while leaving the warm embrace of those who happen to care about and/or love me?

If you said 'common sense', then I shall find a way to hunt you down and put my foot up your ass. I'm also sure that at least one of the women woke up and is looking at me, but since it's still dark I can't- Oh right, youkai eyes glow in the dark. Since they're purple, they must belong to Yukari. ...I should be used to this by now but part of me still thinks that it's a little strange. It's not as bad as it once was, but still...

"Sorry, I remembered that I'd go thank Suika properly and since I'm already up..." I wind up speaking mentally since I don't know if anyone else has woken up and I don't want to disturb anyone.

"It's fine~ Go have fun." With that approval Yukari lays back down on her shikigami, and gaps me out of the room. ...Unfortunately, she didn't dress me first. Oh embarrassment~

At least it's nighttime sti- Okay, early morning.

[X]Head outside first. Maybe Suika's enjoying the sunrise.
[X]Get some clothes on, I'm not going to parade around the house in my pink monkey suit.
[X]Wait a tic, did Chen and Tokiko ever come home?
[X]Write-in
>> No. 32272
[X] Get some clothes on, I'm not going to parade around the house in my pink monkey suit.
[X] Wait a tic, did Chen and Tokiko ever come home?

Might as well check on them. I imagine Ran was their chaperone, only she got gapped away and didn't come back.
>> No. 32273
[X] Get some clothes on, I'm not going to parade around the house in my pink monkey suit.
[X] Wait a tic, did Chen and Tokiko ever come home?
>> No. 32274
[X]Head outside first. Maybe Suika's enjoying the sunrise.
[X]Get some clothes on, I'm not going to parade around the house in my pink monkey suit.
[X]Wait a tic, did Chen and Tokiko ever come home?

Wall me.
>> No. 32282
[X]Wait a tic, did Chen and Tokiko ever come home?

Ready to greet Chen and Tokiko.
>> No. 32289
[X]Head outside first. Maybe Suika's enjoying the sunrise.
[X]Get some clothes on, I'm not going to parade around the house in my pink monkey suit.
[X]Wait a tic, did Chen and Tokiko ever come home?
Also, delicious tildes.
>> No. 32294
[x]Get some clothes on, I'm not going to parade around the house in my pink monkey suit.
[x]Head outside first. Maybe Suika's enjoying the sunrise.
>> No. 32297
Okay, first order of business: Get some clothes on! Suika probably won't care, and perhaps Chen won't (Though neither Ran nor Yukari would be terribly happy about it if I let her see), but Tokiko? Given that I want to see if the latter two ever came home when Yukari yanked Ran through a gap while the festival was still in full swing, it'd probably be much easier on everyone if I got dressed first. ...And maybe take a shower before that. Chen and Tokiko are both youkai with much more sensitive senses of smell than any human so the odds are good that the mix of intimate smells would cause additional unintended consequences.

Off to my room then!

Once I'm there, I take note of two things: One, Yukari's changed the configuration again so that she can sleep in here too (not that I'm complaining), and two, I think the entry to the room is actually a gap that just so happens to match the doorway in size and shape. Just another quirk of the Yakumo's household.
Getting the required cothing isn't too difficult, aside from the fact that unlike the other room we've shared, the dresser and closet only contains my clothing. This explains how Yukari keeps coming up with all those shirts that happen to be a size too small when she wants to go bra-less around the house. (And when Chen's not home. Yukari's surprisingly responsible with her shikigami's shikigami.) Just another quirk of Yukari's that I don't feel any need to complain about. At least until Nariko and Yukari get into a 'bra-less' shirt contest, which usually ends with the two of them using super soakers on each other. The reason being that they keep stretching out all my shirts every time they do that. I just shake my head and pull out a full set of clothes before stepping into the adjacent bathroom. From there I set the clothes aside, get the water nice and hot, then step in and shut the door.

"Heya Wade!" To my complete lack of surprise, there's a naked oni in here with me. She looks up at me with a bright-eyed cheeriness that a drunkard just shouldn't have in the morning. "Decided to do the responsible thing, eh? Can't blame you. Don't want to give the youngsters a peep show they didn't ask for!" She then grabs a scrub brush and some soap before flying upward a bit, at which point I turn around so she can scrub my back.

"I take it you've been following me then?" It's a question, but it's also rhetorical. Suika has cut down on her visits by a pretty large margin, but that's probably only because Mayohiga requires you to get truly lost before you can enter or that you're invited into the abandoned village by one of its inhabitants. Yukari might have been able to facilitate Suika's nightly excursions save for the fact that the gap youkai's sleep cycle is less nocturnal and more 'awake when I feel like it' as of late.

"Yup! I don't get to bug ya too often, so I gotta take full advantage of each and every opportunity while I've got 'em!" Another good point about the oni is that she just so happens to be capable of restraining her strength to the point that she can do something like scrub human backs without tearing all their skin off by accident. "Too bad you're such a lightweight as a human, otherwise I'd make you drink with me once we're done." Oddly enough, it doesn't take her that long to finish up with that part, leaving me wondering precisely what she has planned right up until I feel her small hands yank me down backward until I'm all but laying on the floor of the shower stall. The little oni then straddles me with a malicious smirk on her face and her scrub brush in hand. "So, your back's all clean, but what about the rest of you?" Oh great, she's not leading up to some kind of erotic encounter in the shower, is she?

...

"Suika..." I'm still lying on the floor of the shower, but this time the oni's got an embarrassed smile on her face as she's gently scrubbing my thigh. "Let's not do that in the shower again." I also happen to feel a bit queasy along with the usual temporary tiredness that accompanys intercourse, which made the whole thing far less enjoyable than it should have been. If I had to take a crack at why, I'd say it's probably because the body needs a cooldown period after it's done, and a hot shower just keeps you hot.

"Ehehe, agreed. Crackin' my skull on the faucet wasn' much fun at all, and I'm sure Ran's gonna pitch a fit about the horn marks on the enamel." Thankfully she sees reason for once, deciding that I have the right idea. Probably for reasons that are a bit different than mine, but the important part came across: Next time, we do it on a bed. "That aside, when are ya gonna hold the wedding? You gonna dive head-first into this like Yukari did or give it a bit more time?"

"...Dive head-first. She's already taken the plunge and thinks that this will work. I happen to think her intuition's right, so I'll take her hand and dive with her." Ah, it's subsiding. Not that I'm seriously going to move since Suika's not done scrubbing me by a long shot.

She looks me in the eye and gives a slight nod. "Good. She's puttin' a lot of faith in ya and your love for her, and you know she's had some of the worst luck in love over the years so ya better reciprocate it and not die!" Suika points a finger at me as she speaks, but everything she said are things I'm already prepared to do. "Cheatin' death doesn' count either, unless it's the moonbitches showin' up for a rematch. I'm sure they're sore about losing and'll be back for more at some point."

---
>> No. 32298
Suika's comment about the Watasukis elitcs a groan from me. I literally had to go final boss mode on them and I'm pretty sure the only reason I won was because I got lucky, not because I completely overpowered or outsmarted them. "If they're going to be that sore, then I'm going to have to train my ass off before they show up again." Memories of that fight weren't good ones, since I literally felt my body turn to dust once Toyohime's godmodding fan overpowered my defences. Not to mention that I could literally feel everyone crying out for me at once...

Suika then goes to work on my other leg now that she's done with the first. "Yeah, you're probably gonna have to. Yukari looked like she was about to jump in and take them both on single-handedly, but she was the first to notice that the duel border hadn't dropped and figured you must still be okay somehow." She doesn't quite meet my eyes as she says this. "It might be a good idea to refine your skills at some point so they can't take you out again. I know you're good at resisting the Sanzu's call, but even you have limits. ...I think anyway."

For some peculiar reason, I have the unusual urge to generate a pair of orange, star-shaped sunglasses. Maybe I could do that the next time I take them on. Come up with a relevant hot-blooded speech and then kick the crap out of them with my dream world. Or perhaps set The Gate of Magus to play on my mp3 player, that'd speak for itself quite nicely.

Suika gives me a sideways glance as she notices I'm deep in thought, and begins to hum happily. Perhaps she knows that I'm taking any and all rematches quite seriously and won't make the same mistakes as last time. "Bet ya that you're gonna put on a really good show next time. I've got faith in you to pull through and kick the crap outta them!" I simply nod at Suika in response. Next time around, Toyohime's going to be scrambling for a combat alternative. That fan has unprecidented destructive power, but even that monstrosity has its limits. ...You know, I wonder if Tenshi would be affected by it since she's a Celestial.

The rest of the shower goes by relatively quickly thanks to the fact that I was given something to think about, as well as the incentive to go through with it. Next time we fight, I'll destroy that fan...

Once we both got cleaned up I shut the shower off and we both got dressed. Suika went off to go bother and/or molest Yukari since Nari did such a thorough number on the little oni last night, while I set off to find Chen and Tokiko. I know the nekomata can take care of herself, but that doesn't mean that I can't worry about them both. Tokiko's a part of this family, but at my suggestion. I am responsible for her so I want to make sure she got back home alright despite Yukari's irresponsible behavior.
>> No. 32300
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DidYouJustRomanceCthulhu

Wade most definitely qualifies
>> No. 32301
>>32300

Oh yes, he certainly does~

---

Thankfully, my luck seems to be as strong as ever since I find the nekomata and the ibis in the nearest living room, with the former serving the latter breakfast. The sight of Chen walking around with an apron over her normal outfit is pretty cute, though it doesn't get much of a reaction out of me. She eyes me with a sly smile as she walks back into the kitchen, coming out with a plate of waffles. "Finally woke up, eh? It's nice that you got yourself cleaned up before you came to breakfast." She's cheerful, yet at the same time I think that cheerful attitude is divided over a genuinely good mood and amusement about the fact that either I can't keep out of Yukari's pants for more than a couple nights or the fact that she can't keep out of mine, along with the fact that Ran usually gets involved in some form or another.

"There's not a whole lot I can say about that, though I have the sneaking suspicion that I don't have to say anything." I then take the invited seat, both to eat and to speak with Tokiko, who happens to be sitting across from me. "Thanks for breakfast, by the way."

"Heh, it's no problem. I figured that the rest of the family might be a little slow to wake up this morning, so I figured I'd make breakfast to save everyone a little effort." That amused, cat-like grin is unlikely to leave her face for a good long while, though I can't think of why this is all so amusing to her. ...I have one idea, but no sense marring Tokiko's quiet breakfast over it. "Also, I bet you're feeling guilty over Yukari dragging you, along with Ran, off to bed like that without leaving Tokiko and I a way back, right?"

"Was it that obvious?" So much for apologizing first. Chen doesn't sound like she has much of a problem with it so I don't feel as worried as I might have otherwise.

Chen nods in response. "I wouldn't worry about it. Your little ibis friend is safe with me, and I'm just as good at getting home without assistance as mama Ran is. Not as good as Yukari, but I'm only just learning to manipulate boundaries so that's to be expected." She doesn't bother sitting down, but when one's making waffles with a proper waffle iron, one tends not to want to sit around for long lest the fluffy breakfast food burn. "Just so you know, Yukari's been doing to Ran what she does to you for a lot longer than you've even been alive, so I've long since adjusted to it. Yukari thinks it's a good idea to just dump me off somewhere near the house while she drags Ran off to have sex." The nekomata rolls her eyes in a good natured way as she says this. She seems to think the pretense is silly, but has no real issue with it. Either that or it's long since been worked out. "I'm not going to complain about it since she never put me in any danger when she does that, and I've long since gotten strong enough to single-handedly take out most of what would threaten a normal youkai."

I can't help but notice that Tokiko doesn't react at all to the word 'sex', even though I thought she didn't even know how that sort of thing works.

Chen spots my look in turn and sees fit to answer me. "Tokiko's not bothered by the word sex because she already knows what it is. You can't go assuming we don't know just because of our looks! Some of us are pretty well-versed on the subject!" She tilts her head at me and waggles a finger in the typical scolding fashion to emphasize this point. "Why, Tokiko here happens to have a naughty tentacles fetish, don't you?" ...That wide predator's smile is telling me that she's having far too much fun with this.

Tokiko, on the other hand, has been growing steadily more red as her blush ramps up in strength until she hears Chen's last comment. "Don't go telling other people about my fetish- es..." The fact that she had been reading her book upside-down and had only just noticed me, or only realized that I'm still here and haven't moved at all causes her to fall short of the level of excitement that she had previously been shooting for. Instead she slaps a hand to her mouth in complete embarrassment. Surprisingly, she doesn't try to defend herself in any way, instead choosing to keep her mouth shut on the off chance that she might say something else that is (to her) just as bad or worse.

"Oh~ I didn't know that~" And that's the point that I feel a familiar bust press against my back, a familiar arm drape around me in a loose hug, and another reaching down with a fork to steal some of my waffle. I imagine that if I could see her face right now, Yukari would be smiling. "If you ever feel a particularly strong urge, you can always come see me~ I'm quite skilled at that sort of thing~"

Poor Tokiko. If her face were any redder she'd have steam pouring out of her ears. Not to mention that the ibis can't even seem to pay attention to what she's doing.

"But you don't have to take my word for it~" Yukari then hands me back my fork before landing a quick kiss on my neck. "Wade knows that little fact first hand! Don't you dear~?"

"Good going Master Yukari, you've dropped her mind clear into the sewer with that last one." Chen took the time to go grab another waffle while Yukari decided to pop in, and she winds up greeting her with a deadpan smile. "And put some clothes on already! I'm sure that everyone would much rather eat breakfast in peace instead of watching you boink your fiance for the fiftieth time in the last month."

Now my face has flushed red.

[X]Plan out the day, there are a fair few things that need doing... (Write-in what to do)
[X]Time to put this story to rest, don't you think? (Ending + Second Run)
>> No. 32302
[X]Time to put this story to rest, don't you think?

Yeah.
>> No. 32303
[x] Plan out the day, there are a fair few things that need doing... (Write-in what to do)
-[x] Give Tokiko some tentacle loving with Yukari.
How the hell are we supposed to let that hook pass?
>> No. 32304
This story is NOT ending just yet.

[~] Plan out the day, there are a fair few things that need doing...
- [~] First things first; get Nari up and ready to go. Sure, Yukari's #1, but you can't forget about #2 too.
>> No. 32306
[X] Plan out the day, there are a fair few things that need doing...
- [x] First things first; get Nari up and ready to go. Sure, Yukari's #1, but you can't forget about #2 too.
-[x] stop by Eientei to see how Naomi's doing with all that happened.
-[x] Possibly stop by Higan to see how the rest of Komachi's night was.

we should use this as a chance to wrap up loose plot ends.
>> No. 32310
[X] Plan out the day, there are a fair few things that need doing...
- [x] First things first; get Nari up and ready to go. Sure, Yukari's #1, but you can't forget about #2 too.
-[x] stop by Eientei to see how Naomi's doing with all that happened.
-[x] Possibly stop by Higan to see how the rest of Komachi's night was.
>> No. 32311
[X] Plan out the day, there are a fair few things that need doing...
- [x] First things first; get Nari up and ready to go. Sure, Yukari's #1, but you can't forget about #2 too.
-[x] stop by Eientei to see how Naomi's doing with all that happened.
-[x] Possibly stop by Higan to see how the rest of Komachi's night was.
Wrap them plot ends up, SLDT.
Wrap. Them.
In chains.
>> No. 32315
No one can think of any other things to cover?
>> No. 32329
Since everyone seems to be so bent on embarrassing me this morning, I may as well start planning my day out at least partially. First off is making sure everyone's up and ready to go. While Yukari's obviously awake and more than happy to embarrass everyone she can, I have to wonder if anyone else is or if they're still sleeping or something. I turn my head to face the gap youkai as best as possible so I can ask her that. "Yukari, if you could take a minute out of being a pervert, could you let me know if Nari's up yet?"

"Maybe~" Her full, radiant smile tells me that the odds of her actually cooperating aren't that good. "Maybe I want to see that blush glow in the dark~" She then kisses me lightly. It's not that surprising anymore since she's been rather touchy feely in the off times between training, settling things, and simply hanging out with friends. She pulls away and winds up pouting a bit when she sees that my blush has gone down rather than increased. "Oh fine~... The rest of the girls are up and ready to go, they just need to get their cute little rears down here~"

"Nothing wrong with making sure that no one will miss breakfast, right? Anyway, surprise kissing me hasn't gotten that strong a reaction in a while, especially not right after..." I look back at Tokiko, who's off in her own little world, and drooling slightly. "Maybe I should do something about that before it gets out of hand." I then turn around, grab hold of Yukari and proceed to yank her through her own gap and onto my own lap. "Seriously, you don't need to stimulate the ibis' imagination further."

It probably doesn't take that much of an imagination to figure out why I did that. "Ehehe, can you blame me? She looks so adorable right now~!"

"And well on her way to being as big a pervert as I am. Seriously, do you have to make it your goal in life to turn everyone you like into perverts?" Rhetorical question that actually has a different answer to it that you might expect, and that is:

"Only the ones who will let me~" So now she's shifted around to where she's sitting in my lap, happily eating part of my breakfast while occasionally using gaps to feed me. You'd think this would be unsettling as all get out, but once the shock factor wears off it's actually kinda cute.

Chen happens to roll her eyes at that comment as she walks in with another waffle. It's set in front of another seat instead of being deposited in front of any of the others currently at the table, but it should be obvious that it's for someone else since no one else has eaten and there's no 'free-for-all' rule concerning food in this house. So since Ran's the next one to walk it, fully dressed thankfully enough, one could assume that it's for her. "...I see today's off to another productive start." Her comment has more to do with the fact that Yukari's naked and in my lap, along with the fact that Tokiko is blushing and looking more and more like she needs a quiet bathroom break and a tissue to settle things.

"About the same as usual I'm afraid." I try to offer her an apologetic smile, but it's hard to look sincere when you're one of the guilty parties in all this. After all, I could have at least suggested that Yukari put on some clothes. ...Though that would require her to listen and deem that being naked in front of others is not the most amusing option possible. On the other hand, this is still better than her entire lower body being in a gap where I can't see it.
>> No. 32330
"I see." Ran doesn't push the issue or call me out since she knows that this is just as much out of my hands as it is anyone else, even though I have the capacity to... Actually, I probably still can't even dream of matching Yukari if she ever got serious, so being her true equal is out of the equation no matter how far along I get with my powers. "Lady Yukari, please dress yourself properly before leaving the house." She says this in a curt manner that suggests that she really wants Yukari to get dressed sooner but doesn't really want to tempt fate by actually saying it. Suddenly I feel that I really am Yukari's pet just as much her fiance...

"Oh fine, you fluffy spoilsport~" And suddenly, Yukari drops through a gap she placed over my lap before dropping in from above. Clearly she... Okay, time for the obvious question of the century that was formulated as the gap youkai's rear landed back on my lap.

"Wait, couldn't you have dressed yourself without gapping yourself like that? I'm not about to complain about you dropping in again, it's just..." The point I'm trying to make is that Yukari could have manipulated the boundary between dressed and naked without tossing herself through a gap first.

"Now why in the world would I want to make sense? Common sense is boring~" I can hardly argue with the denim jeans and white sweatshirt she's chosen as her outfit, though I note that it still lacks undergarnments. "Anywho~" She leans back into me as she stretches. "I think it's time for the rest of the group to get down here." Yukari opens up a series of gaps this time, each of which hovering over a different seat.

And through each of those gaps comes a different girl. Thankfully, each and every one of them is properly dressed. I silently thank Yukari for not giving Tokiko an unnecessary peep show when she's already about to run off. "Tokiko, if you need to relieve yourself you can just go."

"Ah!" Tokiko emits a small squeak when she hears my voice, and stands up almost instantly. "Al-alright!" Honestly, Yukari really needs to stop doing whatever she was doing earlier. Not that I'm sure what she was doing since I couldn't see, but as I said I'm not about to leave her be.

"As for you, only give it to her when she asks, got it?" I turn to Yukari as I say that in the off chance that this means that she'll actually listen. I think she'll listen this time around since she's not into rape, but it never hurts to check.

"I would have waited for that anyway! I like to keep things consentual, in case you haven't noticed." She huffed in a rather annoyed way, but didn't express it any further than that.
>> No. 32331
I think Tokiko might have more than sistery feelings for Wade.
>> No. 32346
"Oh, breakfast already? Your shikigami's shikigami certainly is considerate." Yuyuko happily breaks the waffle Chen serves her into halves before biting those halves in half. Her hair's a bit tousled, but it doesn't detract from her appearance at all. In fact, if she were to yawn it'd be downright adorable.

"I know~! Chen's such a thoughtful girl, even when I am a bit careless." I noticed that the cheeriness in Yukari's tone dropped the more she spoke and wound up mixing with guilt. Chen's mood did brighten after that, so I think it's safe to say that this was Yukari's way of apologizing.

"Really though, couldn't you have given us some warning? I'm sure Yumeko is wondering where I went." Shinki's expression is neutral since her good mood is being dragged down by her annoyance that her own night was cut short. I can't blame her though, she was probably going through the festival with her family when Yukari pulled her away. She then leans back a bit and sighs. "I suppose I shouldn't complain too much, I got to spend at least a little time with a good man who knows how to satisfy me." Just to point out, the goddess' hair hasn't been done up all the way so it's all hanging loose.

"Actually, you can blame me for that one. I wanted to spend some quality time with everyone and it didn't quite work out that way." I felt that the tentacle forcing her into a constant state of climax was a cop-out on my part, especially since I didn't even play with the rest of her.

"Well, you'll just have to make it up to her in private~" Yukari's rebounded from her momentary drop in cheerfulness and is back to trying to embarrass me along with everyone else she thinks she can.

"Later, tonight I get my Wade. You've been hogging him all to yourself lately and it's not fair." Nari's pouting a bit since the gap youkai's been drawing a bit more of my attention than she really wants.

"Of course~! Though we really ought to come up with a schedule for who gets Wade when, because I'm sure that there are a few other girls who'd want some time alone with him~" From the sounds of things, the topic's landed squarely on sex and isn't about to change anytime soon.

"Yukari, Nari, there's a couple things I need to look into today so I figured I'd get started on that fairly soon, and since you-" Meaning Yukari... "-have had me more or less to yourself lately I figured this would be a good opportunity to bring Nari along." I'm done with breakfast, I need to see a couple things through to the end and I can't think of a better partner to do such things with.

"Oh? And what's so important that you have to vanish right away?" Even Ran? She's helping Chen with the cooking and serving, but that's not stopping her from commenting.

"Three things really. One, I need to check on Naomi since she felt a little off last night, second, I want to see how Komachi's doing, and third... There's a dangerous loose end I need to tie up before the wedding." In all honesty, I can't believe that I managed to forget about it for so long. Ben hasn't made the change yet, so he's still in danger, right along with anyone else associated with me or my Outsider friends.

Nari finishes her waffle in record time and gets up. "That last one really does need to be dealt with, but we oughta deal with it first, not second. We've been putting it off too long."

[X]Proceed in the previous vote order.
[X]????

---

Note: This is an exception to my usual policy in the fact that I'm not accepting write-ins for this particular vote.
>> No. 32347
[X]????

Mystery option time.
>> No. 32348
[~]????

Looks like I'm taking my vote back.
>> No. 32349
[X]????

I wonder if we'd end up taking Youmu with; that'd be a twist, girl saves guy.
>> No. 32350
[X]????

Clearly the best option is the one we know thing about.
>> No. 32352
[X] ????
>> No. 32353
I nod in agreement. Even though he's no match for me now, that kid still poses a threat to those on the Outside and is pretty damn spiteful to boot. Odds are good he'll antagonize someone else now that I'm out of his reach so I need to deal with him swiftly.

"Ah? That boy?" Yukari figures out where I'm going with this not too long after I mentioned a dangerous loose end. "I assume you'll need a gap and a general idea of where he is, so...~" Now that I think about it I do recall Yukari wanting that kid to dissapear before he causes any problems. I guess we both let that topic fall to the wayside over the last month.

"Some Outsider child is considered a 'dangerous loose end'?" Shinki didn't know about this before now so her surprise is perfectly understandable. "Yukari, I'm surprised that you let this child go so long without doing something about it."

"In truth I managed to forget about it since what was most threatened, and important to me, is no longer capable of being a threat to Wade in any shape or form." I'm not sure Yukari's totally convinced of that, but she is right. I've got something akin to a Reality Marble along with a strong desire not to die. Even if that kid got lucky and killed me, I'd come right back to end him. Of course, if that happens Nari is liable to tear him limb from limb for it, and that's if Yukari doesn't do something first.
"Pardon my asking, but why are you three so concerned about this? If he's on the Outside and the hole Wade fell through has long since been sealed so nothing can pass through that way ever again, what kind of threat does he pose?" Yuyuko... Not sure if she was ever told about this or if she's forgotten about it like the rest of us. Either way I don't mind her being curious about it.

"He doesn't pose a threat to anyone here, only those still outside." Nari's explanation doesn't really cover the whole issue, though it seems she's trying to build up a dramatic pause or something. "Wade's last friend is still outside, along with their relatives."

Yuyuko opened her mouth to speak again, but I cut her off before she could say anything. "Before you ask, Ben requested to stay on the Outside until he can come here without anyone getting overly suspicious, and we can't afford to make Gensokyo known to more people than it already is." After all, three kids vanishing fairly close together... Well, Marine's not a kid since she's older than me, but my point still stands. First I start going into a comatose sleep for the better part of a year, then around a week after that I have one final row with my mother when Yukari's with me before saying goodbye and vanishing for good. Naomi follows suit almost immediately and has similar problems with both her parents, so most people would assume the blonde foreigner spirited both of us away. Marine's shop flat out vanished and was replaced by something else, but people who know Marine and her shop might think something's up. The Outsiders will want answers, and they're ones I'm not prepared to give. "...Now that I think about it, I can't just show back up as I am. People will get suspicious."

"Maybe Karas mode? Ben's seen it so he does see you he should know it's you, and it'll keep you safe from most anything." Nari has a point. If anything I should at least use that Karas medallion to hide my true identity. That way even if someone does see me the odds of anyone actually beleiving it are next to zero. "And if I come with, I'm going to have to change form too..."

Suddenly a gap appears before me, and a hand drops the medallion in question into my lap before vanishing again. "Well then, I trust you'll be safe and that you'll come back in one peice, or else I'll have to pun~ish~ you~" Yukari's voice conveys her sing-song tone in a way that makes it sound flat-out malicious. I imagine that being genderbent and tentacle raped is the best I could hope for in that scenario. She kisses me on the cheek anyway.

"I'm sure he'll be fine Yukari." Yuyuko is certainly calm despite the fact that Yukari made a fairly serious threat. "You'll make him too nervous to do his task properly if you say things like that."

"Nothing wrong with a little extra incentive~" The gap youkai is just impossible sometimes... "Since everything's been sorted out, are you ready to go?"

"I am." I answer then reposition myself to give her a farewell kiss. "I shouldn't be too long." And I swear I hear Yuyuko giggling like a schoolgirl over that display of affection.

"Well then~" She floats just above my lap once I respond, and I feel a bit strange... "Trans~ On~" What?

...

Nari and I appear at the top of one of the city's skyscrapers with me in full Karas armor and Nari in the form of a raven familiar for whatever reason. It's just turned nightime here, and to top it off it's raining. Thankfully the armor appears to be perfectly protected against that sort of thing since the rainwater is just sliding off. Nari, on the other hand is starting to get wet so she changes shape into a rain-proof cloak that attaches itself to my armor.

"Much better. Sheesh, what was Yukari thinking? I hate the rain!" One of her little quirks is her complete and utter despising of water that comes from the sky. This is probably because she can't turn it on or off as she pleases, it's never as hot as she likes, and because she can't just make it stop or shield herself from it without changing form.
>> No. 32354
"I'm pretty sure she was going for something that'd look good with the armor. I don't think she did it just to antagonize you. While Yukari supposedly dropped me off near the target, I can't help but wonder why she picked a freaking skyscraper for a vantage point! Maybe she thought Nari could act as a spotter for me, or perhaps I'm just that close to that kid. Either way, I won' be able to see too well with this much rain.

"Nnnh... I just don't know with her. She's supposed to be okay with sharing but..."

"Nari, I'd like to think she's more mature than that. I'm not even sure she knew it was going to rain. It's been pleasant every time she's come out to visit me. Besides, I may have enough power and will to defeat the Watasuki's (who I actually want to have a proper rematch with), but I'm still only human. I don't think I can pick that kid out in this rain." So now there's a few choices. I could go inside and start checking likely spots, I could slide down the front of the building, or have Nari change form into something more ideal. It's pretty obvious that I won't be able to spot him like this.

[X]Head inside. If this is Naomi's old home like I think it is, he may be here.
[X]Slide down the building. He may be going after Ben first, or Naomi's uncle. I should check those two places first.
[X]Have Nari turn into something to aid sight, or reconfigure the armor's 'eyes' to paint any important objects.
[X]Write-in
>> No. 32355
[X]Have Nari turn into something to aid sight, or reconfigure the armor's 'eyes' to paint any important objects.

Like Intra-red?
>> No. 32356
[x] Have Nari turn into something to aid sight, or reconfigure the armor's 'eyes' to paint any important objects.
Information gathering~
>> No. 32357
[x] Have Nari turn into something to aid sight, or reconfigure the armor's 'eyes' to paint any important objects.
>> No. 32368
"So what are you going to do about this?" Nari spoke up since I haven't moved in a minute or two, and it's an understandable question. Time may be of the essence here, so sitting here just staring into the throngs of people isn't going to do anyone any good.

"Simple. Enhance my vision via altering the armor. I just happen to know of a 'visor' option that'll let me pick out just living things, as well as painting the right target." Even as I speak the eyes of the armor glow a vivid electric blue, and I'm able to filter out inanimate objects by turning them greyscale while making living people much more vivid. It's not a perfect solution since the rain's still distorting things to a degree, but I can see far better than I could before. Well enough to see the kid should I run into him somehow.

"Phazon Visor? Is that really smart to call something like that into being?" She's a little worried since it is essentially a corrupting force and/or an eldritch abomination.

"Everything called forth from my dream world is me in a way, so I'm not worried about it. I could probably take the form of Angra Manyu without negative effects if I really felt like it." There's no sign of him here, so I may as well make my way to a different vantage point. I take a few steps back from the edge of the roof before making a running jump off the side. It's still the biggest building in the immediate area so I've got a long way down. It doesn't matter in the slightest since I can just fly to slow myself down.

"Please don't. No one would appreciate it if you took the form of some incomprehensible evil that's got a bone to pick with everything that moves, even if there were a good reason for it." I get the feeling she's keeping just as open an eye as I am for my target, and is just holding a conversation to help pass the time until that point. "Actually, not even if you had a good reason. Even if it is you, that'd state that there's the possibility that you could be just as bad as the genuine article."

"The fact that I even considered it would say that I have the potential to be just as bad. The fact remains that I'm not about to let myself get like that, and if I start to I have plenty of people who'd bitchslap me back into place." My landing is softened considerably by the fact that I slowed myself down for a proper landing, though the parking garage I landed on isn't much better a vantage point than the skyscraper since I can only scope out a tiny bit of it. The obvious trade-off is the fact that I can see each individual with greater clarity than before, but that won't do me much good. There's a literal crowd even this late at night."And do you think that Yukari would tolerate it for even a second? She'd probably do something a hell of a lot worse to me."

"Rrrgh... I guess you've got a point there. Of course, you're going to get some punishment from me if you ever even take that form to begin with." It's almost comical just how serious she is about that. Then again, I mean that more in terms of what the reader would find funny rather than me. Personally, I think Nari could be just as scary as Yukari if she felt like it. "I can sense something out of place, but it's pretty far away. I think it's coming from someplace between where we are and Ben's house."

I dash off in the direction she pointed me in with no concern about being seen. For one, no one would really believe it when they see some cosplaying weirdo in a cloak long-jumping from place to place. Second, even those who do believe their eyes would probably never actually convince enough of their peers to be seen as anything but crazy. Not to mention it's dark and no one in their right mind would look up when that means they'd have to put away their umbrella. My overall lack of sound will let me go unnoticed too.

I suppose the sound of my landing on the walls of buildings rather hard might frighten the occupants since no one expects a theif to crawl up the side of a building just to break in. Not to say that's what I'm doing, but it's probably what most people would think. Then again, I am wall-running across this apartment complex. A kick off the side and I'm on the street, shadow-dashing around and through people to catch up with my target. Thankfully Nari's feeding me her own feeling, which is more than enough to locate him as I get closer.

...Heh, spooking people like this is pretty fun. Of course, I can't let myself get side-tracked by a newfound enthusiasm for people's expressions when surprised so I dive sideways into what is normally a solid wall. Actually, it's still a solid wall, it's just that I decided to ignore it by shadow-dashing though it. It's not like I can't reconfigure how it works to let me pass through solid objects, though I don't really want to test it for longer than I have to.

The inside of the building is actually pretty plain. Must be some manner of lobby or something. "Is he really here?" I can't help but ask. There's no real apparent reason for that kid to be here, there's nothing of interest here. Well, nothing I can see.

"I can feel his presence a mile away, and there's no mistaking it. He's here, even if we have no idea why." Nari's decided to simply merge her senses into mine for the time being so I can operate without having to speak to her. Even with our communication being mental, simply knowing what we're feeling would still be quite a bit faster.
>> No. 32378
File 128936604853.png - (95.93KB, 213x227, Sunstar Gigamix Version.png) [iqdb]
32378
The people have started to panic a bit as I walk through the well-lit and suspiciously friendly enviroment, though it's only natural when you're a walking suit of raven-themed armor with a large cloak that feels out of place in the Outside. The kid is nowhere to be seen or heard, which given the fact that people are running around in almost a blind panic (someone saw me come through the wall I suppose) probably tipped him off that it was time to leave. Maybe he thinks the cops have found him. Maybe he knows I'm coming. The latter is pretty much impossible though, since I vanished off the radar and haven't even shown up in my usual form this time around. No forewarning, no way to tell who it is...

Yeah, he's fleeing from anything that looks like a threat.

He's left out a side door, so I decide to lock myself into a Shadow Dash to get through the odd person still in the hallway to quicken my pace. Thankfully Nari's tracking makes it easy to figure out when I'm getting closer so I can keep heading down the right path until I get to the door. Since this is at ground level I don't have to worry about timing my jumps or anything, but I do have to exit the shadow dash mode to keep myself from flying right through the next wall.

I still don't manage it perfectly and wind up slamming against the wall hard enough to leave an indent in it, but it's a small enough mistake that I can fix it without much effort. My pulling myself out and dashing after my target that is. Why should I stick around long enough to fix something like this when that kid is running away as fast as his legs can take him? It's kind of a dickish thing to do, but if nothing else I can come back later to set things right. Just to let you know, it's still raining. It's not that big of an issue, but it's coming down hard enough to form a thin layer of water on the concrete so I have to be a hell of a lot more careful as I run.

I still don't see... Wait, there he is. He's ducked into another building. Not sure if he's seen me yet, but I'm not about to slow down or possibly lose him when I'm so close to catching up to him. Don't know where he's going quite yet, but there's not a whole lot of places he can go without drawing some sort of attention to the fact that he'd be trying to kill someone, not unless there was a sub-floor in a mall or sometihng. ...Speaking of which, were am I in the city exactly? If he's aiming for someplace to get the drop on me, he might not be doing as good a job as he thinks he is.

Diving sideways, I find that he hasn't gone down at all, but instead he's gone straight ahead. It's pretty much pitch-black in here, meaning he probably knows this place like the back of his hand. I also know that I'm catching up to him, but I find it a little odd that I've failed to actually catch him. I know I lost a little time thanks to that crash earlier and the fact that he started out well ahead of me, though the question still stands.

On the flip side, this may be a good thing. If he's going for a secluded spot to try to fight, then that means I can go all out without worrying about anyone who would be in the way, or someone possibly seeing me when I kick the crap out of this kid to scare him off my friends for good. So for now, I think I'll move only as fast as he does, but make a point of letting him know that someone's still after him. Namely, by slicing down that door I just heard slam shut behind him.

Ah, that sets him off nicely. He's quickening his pace and has changed course once again, this time off to the left. This means he's either hoping he can lose me, or that he's heading... Down!

I come to a stop right where he started going down so I don't trip, and contemplate what to do in this scenario.

[X]Stick with our current form.
[X]Gigamix Sunstar
[X]Why not go with Dark Samus again?
[X]The Kusagari hero would make a strong statement...
[X]Write-in

---

Note, Sunstar's Gigamix manga appearance is in the pic provided.
>> No. 32380
Um...Wade's starting to approach God Mode Sue levels. Just a hint.
>> No. 32381
[x] Stick with our current form.
>>32380
He's been like that almost from the beginning you know, it has just not been all that noticeable when we've had to face the gallery of cheats in GSK.
>> No. 32382
[x] Stick with our current form.
>> No. 32383
[X] Stick with our current form.

No need to tip our hand to show how screwed he really is.
>> No. 32385
>>32380

Yeah, I'm aware of it and am kind of surprised that no one called me out on it sooner. (Seeing as >>32381 already said it for me, yes, he's always been like that and I'm pretty sure the reason no one brought it up sooner was because most residents of Gensokyo Wade fought are still more than capable of beating him senseless, and it was fun.) In that regard, you're a bit slow to be pointing it out now.
>> No. 32386
Hm, may as well stick with my current form so I don't tip my hand too soon. Nothing ruins a good scare tactic like showing off your best stuff too soon, so I walk down while keeping an eye out for the kid. Oddly enough, he hasn't attacked yet, which actually shows that he has some brains or that he actually uses them. Not that it would help too much since I have the ability to see him even in this dark environmen-

The lights suddenly come on, causing me momentary blindness as my eyes adjust to the sudden change in visible light. A distinct 'tink' sound is heard while I'm reeling, which means he was hoping that this armor was just a costume or something. I don't bother lashing out in response since I'm quite certain I'd slice him in two with one blow and I want to talk to him a bit first.

"Guess who?" I turn my head as my eyes finally adjust to the light, speaking as I do so just to leave no doubt in his mind as to who he's dealing with.

"What the hell? When the hell did you get that armor?" He's backing away already, but it's not out of fear. His eyes are scanning for any sort of weakness that he can use.

"Since before I left. I've been pretty busy for quite a while, Dylan." My voice doesn't come out precisely as it should since the Karas armor is altering it slightly, yet it's not an issue. I stand tall with Nari's cloak form on my back, and bring the sheathed Honjo Masamune around to where I could easily draw it if the need arose. I actually hope that I don't need it since I don't want to actually kill him.

His eyebrow arcs upward when I refer to him by name, and his eyes are locked with mine. Or at least as well as they can since all he can see of my eyes are the electric-blue lenses covering them. "Alright, something's changed. You've never referred to me by name before." His stance hasn't dropped either, so he still plans to make a move.

"True. I've never referred to you by name before because I don't respect you in the slightest. You've stolen my things, hurt the ones I love, and have essentially been one giant douche from the beginning. I don't know what your problem is, but you should consider stopping." I bring the blade into a quick-draw position in order to make my point.

"You haven't been able to stop me, the police can't, and even that weird girl with the freakishly strong bit you seem to be dating couldn't stop me. Why should I listen to you?" He's not quite sure what to make of my actively telling him to stop when I have this armor on, especially since it deflected that knife strike so easily.

One quick-draw later and I've made my point quite clear.

---
>> No. 32388
Several objects above Dylan's head have suddenly dropped down around him, not the least of which is one of the lights. He stands there dumbfounded and perhaps more than a little scared by the fact that while he could see the attack, he would never have guessed its insane reach. He doesn't speak after that, and his stance drops just a bit as his mind reconsiders his current course of action.

"Now that I have your attention I'll say my piece." I resheath the blade since the odds are good I won't need to use it again. "Attack my friends and family again, and it won't matter where you are. I will hunt you down. I will end you. Got that?"

He doesn't nod. His face instead turns an ashen white as he starts to back away. Not once has he considered the posibility of my retaliating against him in a serious manner, or the possibility that he may not be able to do me harm to defend himself. Turning around, he runs. I don't feel the need to pursue him since I doubt he'll forget that little display anytime soon, nor would he forget my words.

"Are we done?" Nari's voice resonates in my mind once that kid has fled the scene.

"Yeah, I think we're done." I turn to leave since there's nothing left to do out here, and a couple things I need to accomplish in Gensokyo.

"Sheesh, he caved easily. You'd think someone who would be crazy enough to attack a youkai would be a little harder to convince than that. If it weren't for the fact that this is important I'd say it was a complete waste of time." She sounds almost bored with the task. I have to agree with her though, the actual 'convincing' took a pathetically short amount of time compared to how long it took to find him. With the way he acted I fully expected him to fight back a bit first instead of running away like that, but what can I say?

"It was suspiciously easy. I almost expect something more than that, but his attack couldn't even dent my armor and I could out-reach and out-speed him. Killing him would have been easy." I turn around, then walk back along the way I came. I kind of hoped that Yukari would know precisely where to find me as well as when to gap me back, but it seems I need to let her know somehow.

"No, I don't think it would have. Humans don't think killing another of their kind is easy unless there's something wrong with them. If push came to shove you wouldn't go through with it, even if it was Dylan." Nari sounds a bit concerned as she says that, and I know she's right. I might wish death onto him for all he's done, but I'd never actually go through with it for fear of becoming similar to what I hate.

Getting him arrested on the other hand...

[X]Go back, knock him out, and hand him over to the cops. Jail time would be a more effective deterrent.
[X]Focus on getting back. He knows not to screw with me or anyone I care about.
>> No. 32401
[X]Focus on getting back. He knows not to screw with me or anyone I care about.

If he's so stupid enough to try... he'll find out there's worse things than jail.
>> No. 32402
[x]Focus on getting back. He knows not to screw with me or anyone I care about.

Jail time would actually probably fuel his rage.
>> No. 32404
[x] Focus on getting back. He knows not to screw with me or anyone I care about.
>> No. 32410
...Nah. He knows that I won't tolerate him anymore, and handing him over to the cops might do more harm than good in the long run. It'd get him locked up for a good long while but I don't really want him to swear vengance or any such idiodicy as it'd mean that he'd commit some kind of act that'd cause me to have him suffer unheard of consequences. He's probably long gone by now, so I decide to just go back the way I came in the hopes that Yukari actually thought this through instead of simply dumping me out here with no way back.

My guess about Dylan leaving turns out to be correct. He's made no further attempts to attack me so I'm pretty sure that I won't have to watch my back once I get out of here. Confident in my judgement I retrace my path out of the building and back into the pouring rain. It hasn't stopped at all in the time between my arrival and the time I got back out here, so there's still a thin layer of water on the ground. It hardly matters to me though since I've got waterproof armor on.

"Are you done out there?" Yukari's voice is a welcome reprieve from the rain, even if it is only in my head.

"I think I've gotten the point across to him. I'm ready to come back at any time."

"Alright then~" I get the feeling she didn't really want me to come out here again since she seems to be a fair bit happier now that I'm coming back. Though given her views about how the Outside treats the supernatural I can easily see why.

I note that I'm pulled up through a gap rather than be dropped through one, and I wind up outside in the morning sun. Nari changes back into her normal form while I turn the Karas armor back into its amulet form, and the only evidence of us ever going to the Outside are small droplets of water that are quickly absorbed into the ground. Either that, or Yukari's gap dried us off before depositing us here. ...I never did consider the fact that there's the possibility of my bringing foreign diseases over here, or the fact that I might be more suceptable to the native viruses. I'm hoping that doesn't bite me in the ass later, even though Yukari could probably cure me without much effort.

"So, did you accomplish what you set out to do~?" Yukari's wearing her usual white dress and violet tabard, along with her usual smile. She seems to have taken it upon herself to dress well enough to go out into public, so I'm guessing she plans to either tag along for whatever I have planned or has her own plans for the day.

"I hope so. I may hate the guy but I'd rather resolve our 'issue' with distance than violence." Call me close-minded, but I don't think he'd be willing to reconsile with me if he's gone this long without even trying to talk.

"Mm, I suppose so. But that problem is three thousand miles to the east and half a dimension away, so you shouldn't have to deal with him again." She strolls over to me at a leisurely pace before coming to a stop no more than two feet away from me. "If he does cause problems again, rest assured I'll take care of it~"

I get the feeling that means she'd just make the problem dissapear for good, and while I wouldn't necessarily object to it I don't really want to resort to that unless it's really necessary. "I don't really care what that boy does so long as he doesn't hurt Wade or those he cares about." Nari completely dismisses the issue without a second thought... "I wouldn't object to him vainishing forever though. I don't like him at all." Her tone goes a bit dark there for a moment.

"Hm~" ...Of course Yukari's tempted by the idea. She's had horrible luck with actually keeping her suitors and wouldn't mind using her power to remove a known risk. "I'll settle for waiting until your little antagonist does something to warrant my doing that before actually doing so." She then turns to me once again while pulling her parasol out of a gap in one swift motion. "Am I right in assuming you had other plans for the day~?"

"I plan to go visit Naomi to see how she's doing, then Komachi to talk with her for a while. Nothing much beyond that though." I put my hands in my pockets when I remember just what Naomi did last night during the festival. It was her, but something felt a tiny bit off about the way she acted so I feel I should check up on her to see exatly what was up with that before doing anything else. As for Komachi, there's nothing wrong with wanting to spend some time with such a lovely reaper, is there?

---
>> No. 32411
>As for Komachi, there's nothing wrong with wanting to spend some time with such a lovely reaper, is there?

NOPE.
>> No. 32422
Finally, we're in the final stretch. A couple more updates and the story will be done, at which point I'll do a post-story Q&A if the readers want it, then start work on the second run. Because let's face it: This story was a test run that went on too long, and it really shows. Thankfully the story will have been tightened up for the next run by the time I start on it and should be quite a bit better.

---

"Really now, visiting even more lovely ladies to lure them into your clutches? If I didn't know any better, I'd say you want a harem~" Yukari's hidden her smile behind her fan as she walks past me, then snaps it shut as she leans in to kiss me on the cheek. "I'd tag along to embarrass you or those you're going to interact with, but I plan to kidnap Yuyu for a while so she can help me pick out a suitable wedding dress." She then walks off toward the edge of the village before opening a gap, then stops for a moment as she thinks of something else to say. "And no, a bikini wouldn't cut it, no matter how fancy it is~"

"I wasn't even thinking that!" As oddly attractive of an idea as that is, it's not something I would consider appropriate wedding attire and she damn well knows it.

The gap youkai who's seen fit to tease me has already stepped through her gap, but not before planting the mental image into my head. "You are now~ Ufufufufu~"

I swear I'll get her back for this somehow. I don't know how, I don't know when, I just know I will. I start walking to the edge of the village myself when I find myself tripping into a gap that deposits me neatly in front of Eientei. This almost made up for her earlier teasing when I noticed that she also dropped Nari right on top of me, and has the bakeneko to where she's riding on my shoulders. Yukari must just be in a teasing mood today.

With no other spontaneous gap-based surprises in store I have Nari get off my shoulders so I can walk in without making her smack into the roof then make my way to the main entrance. A couple knocks and three minutes later and a small earth rabbit opens the door. "What're you looking for?" This is one of the small white rabbit rabbits by the way, not the child-like rabbits that seem to be just as common. ...Maybe they're all shapeshifters, who knows? That aside, it looks innocent, but I'm not exactly confident when it comes to looks. After all, if looks were innocence Yukari would be incapable of holding a proper conversation with me.

"I'm looking for Naomi. Would you happen to know where she is?" In all honesty, I wish I had asked Yukari to track her down before I came here since Reisen isn't the one to lead me to where I need to go. Eientei's lunar inhabitants may not mind me, but aside from being Naomi's friend I really have no importance to the earth rabbits, and even then that'd only really matter to Tewi.

"Sure, sure. Just follow me if you can!" The rabbit does a quick one-eighty and dashes through the hall, prompting me to dash off after it and for Nari to revert back into cat form. ...And to think that she was nothing more than an ordinary house cat with abandonment issues a month ago. I can understand why she made the rarely-used switch though, as it's far easier for a predator to keep track of prey like that rabbit than a human like myself.

The concept of running flying through Eientei's halls is rather annoying to say the least. We haven't lost sight of the rabbit, yet I get the feeling it's just screwing with us and not leading us where we need to go. Or it could be and it's just taking the needlessly long scenic route so we don't get to where we need to be anyway. Then there's the traps. Pitfalls, ropes, cages, bamboo stalks that shoot up out of the floor instantly the moment you get close, a hallway with a particle beam cannon on one end (...where the hell did they dig that up?), a bunch of rabbits moving in formation... Every single one served to slow us down or to annoy us in some manner. The pitfalls and ropes were useless though, as nobody was walking save for a certain moonbunny who just happened to have been hoisted into the air by her ankles prior to our arrival, embarrassing and humiliating her by giving everyone a good view of her undergarments. Eventually the rabbit really did decide to just screw with us as it began to make nothing but right turns as it looped around one particular bit of Eientei. I was about to catch the stupid thing to demand to know what it was playing at when I noticed a door open up roughly seven feet away. I wasn't quick enough to just avoid it, so I did the next best thing: Form a Metool hat and wear it while praying that whoever was holding the door open was someone who could take a hit.

...Or I could just sail clean over Tewi's head. "Aw geeze, you guys have to go and make a ruckus while I'm asleep don't you?" Funnily enough, she looks like she's been bruised all over and had to scrub herself almost raw. I wonder what happened to make her do that? "And you twits even pranked Reisen?! I told you guys, [i]I'm
the one who's supposed to prank her today as payback for using me as a paintball target all last night!" She certainly sounds grumpy enough for that to have happened.

Oh yeah, wall. I probably should have stopped instead of flying forward like I did.

A nice solid thud could be heard throghout Eientei as my Met Hat-covered head met the sturdy wall. I didn't take any damage thanks to the padding in the helmet and the fact that I dropped speed just enough to where I wouldn't snap my neck or something similarly stupid, but I'll have to leave it behind since it's pretty much embedded in the wall.

This does attract the half-awake earth rabbit's attention, at which point she walks over to examine me while I pull my head out of the helmet. "Oh, it's you. I was kind of wondering when you'd show up. I wish you didn't make such a noisy entrance though, I didn't get a good night's sleep last night thanks to Reisen 'Can't take a joke' Inaba."

I make a point of checking to see if everything's alright before answering her. "I figured I should make a point of coming sooner rather than later since I want to make sure she's really okay with what happened last night. She did seem a bit off after all." Noting that I lost track of Nari, I look around only to spot her in her bakeneko form playing with the rabbits, one of whom was in rabbit form and nuzzling her breasts. The bastard.

Tewi yawns rather loudly as she walks off in the general direction of the clinic, answering me as she goes while giving a lazy wave. "Eh, I'm sure she's fine. She's in the room I just came out of, so have fun." You know, if I wasn't so sure that she had something to do with Naomi's sudden pervertedness I'd feel sorry for her.
>> No. 32430
Since the rabbit's run away before I could get any information out of her, I'll just have to talk to Naomi and hope she's okay with what happened last night. I'd really, really hate myself if I wound up damaging our relationship just because I didn't see what was wrong with her until partway through our encounter last night.

So to start, I should inspect the door along with the immediate area to make sure there aren't any stupid traps that would make the moment more awkward than it needs to be. I don't think Tewi would go out of her way to set up pranks in her own room, in the event that she triggers one herself or Naomi winds up falling victim to one, but it never hurts to check. The last thing I need is for the door to slam shut on me while we're both in here, or for me to get dropped down into some secret labratory that takes unwitting victims and uses them as guinea pigs for various drugs.

...Nah, that last one's a Nasuverse thing. It'd be stupid to assume that something like that would really exist here. If anything, they'd probably drug you, drag you off to some hidden part of the clinic and do the testing there.

"Nnnnh..." And before I know it, Naomi stirs from her slumber to figure out what all the ruckus is about. She's propped herself up on one arm to look at the person standing in the doorway, and it only just occured to me how ironic the situation is right now. "Wade...? What are you doing here?" She looks at me in a rather bleary-eyed manner for a few moments before shifting to where she sits upright, giving me a good look at her nightgown. ...I really didn't think she'd wear something so frilly.

Of course, it's high time I explained myself. "Good morning Naomi. As for why I'm here, I wanted to check on you since I wasn't sure about last night." Confident that I wasn't about to trigger any unseen traps, I step into the room so I don't look any more out of place and odd than I do.

Naomi's mind takes a few moments to register what I just said, so that makes the resulting blush that much more amusing to me. It seems she is aware of what happened. "I'm fine with what happened last night so you don't have to worry about me or whether or not I'm okay with it. It was my choice, and I don't regret it." The artist then gets up from the bed so she can walk over to me, at which point she promptly hugs me. "I'm glad you came over here though, I missed being able to sneak over to your place in the middle of the night."
>> No. 32438
"I was taking a moment to appreciate the irony myself. It's not like I've properly snuck in in the middle of the night to sleep with you though." One of those odd little things about my relationship with Naomi is the fact that she never respects my personal space, and I wouldn't have it any other way. ...Yeah, I hear you twits, snickering because you think I meant something perverted. Regardless, I return the hug for a few moments before shifting the both of us around to where she's sitting on me. If I know her at all, she'd much prefer this. "So what were you doing in the Eientei tent during the festival? From the looks of things you were demonstrating something."

Naomi didn't really object to the idea of my having her sit on me. In fact, the several moments it took for me to shuffle us around barely registered to her as she took the time to tell me more about how her night went before my arrival. "I was! One of the exhibits was a small one-man tank that shoots paintball rounds. It was originally configured to shoot explosive shells, but that would have caused all sorts of problems none of us really wanted to deal with so we went with a non-lethal and fairly reasonable solution." Said solution was probably her idea. "I had a lot of fun piloting the thing, and it certainly won over the majority of the guys who came to see it."

I can't help but snicker at that since we both know that the tank was hardly what won them over. "Are you sure it was the tank that reduced them to drooling idiots, or the hot pilot who hopped out to say hi to her friend?" I know Yukari brings in people she likes from outside the border to keep the human population up, but I'm pretty sure that she doesn't bring in actual foreigners all that often. Naomi would be a popular target among guys my age simply because she's so different from their norm and attractive because of it. Whether any of them could deal with her personality is another matter entirely.

"Maaaaaybe. Some of them were glaring daggers at you when I decided to drag you off." She started out with a fairly small smile that grew wider the more she thought about it. "Just think: They probably thought I was a pure, innocent maiden being lead astray by a man who's managed to become the boyfriend of the more elusive and attractive women Gensokyo has to offer." ...Yet at the same time, there's some bitterness in her tone when she refers to Yukari. She might have said she's okay in the past, but that's not something you just decide that you're 'okay' with. The fact that the gap youkai has all but molested her every time they've met, then delivered the bombshell that she got in my pants has probably given Naomi a not-so-pleasant perception of the gap youkai that's unlikely to change.

"I was seriously wondering when the male and lesbian population were going to amass the torches and pitchforks to drive me away. Or in the case of the more skilled fighters, start a battle royale with everyone targeting me." Not that I would have minded if the latter really happened since it'd give me a good excuse to teach them precisely who they're dealing with and not to challenge me in the future- not that it ever helps anyway since some are too persistent to quit -and it'd be a bit of fun to see who can do what.

"If you didn't slip off when you did, you probably would have had to deal with both. You weren't exactly masking your presence and the people know who you are and who you're typically with thanks to the tengu reporting on it." ...Oh great, I must be a really hot topic if I'm grabbing the attention of tengu reporters in general rather than just Aya and whomever may be trying to copy her. "What, you don't like the idea of being a celebrity?" Now she's just being cheeky.

"I guess it just comes with the territory. Ah well, I'll deal with them if they start to be too much of an issue." In truth, I don't think anything will make them stop reporting on me. If the rest of the tengu are anything like Aya when it comes to how determined they are to get the story then the odds are very good that Mayohiga will be my one safe refuge in Gensokyo. "I'm glad to see you're doing well here. I knew Tewi wasn't about to let you come to harm, but that doesn't stop me from worrying about you."

"Thanks, I really do appreciate it." She leans back on me as she speaks, relying on me to stay upright so we don't fall over. "...You're going to be really busy for the rest of your life just keeping us happy." That came out of nowhere.

"I know, but I also have friends and family to fall back on if it ever gets to be too much." I'm not sure how much longer she'll want to talk since her mind is stuck on my relationship with Yukari, so I settle for kissing her on the cheek for now.
>> No. 32447
"I'm guessing your definition of 'family' has changed a bit since you've left your parent's home for good." Naomi's pretty much laying there as she speaks, which isn't all that different from some of the times we've talked in the past save for the fact that she's sitting on me rather than beside me. I guess there's some truth to the phrase 'The more things change, the more they stay the same'.

"Nah, it's not the primary definition that's changed, just who I consider members of my family." I don't want to tear open a healing wound so to speak, so I don't go on to mention how I don't count my mother in that regard. There's not much for me to say here other than that since I haven't done anything different, so I'll just leave this alone for the time being. "I don't think I really have to say who I consider family by now, so I won't."

"You don't have to, no, but I have to think that you have such a broad view of who you consider to be your family that it'd take forever to list them all. As such, it's pretty much 'you're too lazy to actually spend the hour or so listing names'." The artist smirks at me out of amusement and the fact that it was kind of a predictable response out of me. "You'd better not forget about a certain someone who needs a little reciprocation. I might not be so keen on sharing you with Yukari, but Marine... I could handle that."

"I know..." Those two are good friends too so it doesn't surprise me as much as it might have otherwise, but still... I wouldn't have thought that she'd be so open to the idea of sharing me with anyone. I guess her time here has caused her to change her view to a degree, which is hardly a bad thing. "That is on my 'to do' list, and yes, I know exactly how that sounds."

"Good. Just don't forget or I'll figure out a way to 'remind' you of what you should do." Naomi shifts herself off my lap, off the bed, then begins gathering up a set of clothes. "Anyway, I plan on taking a bath before I start my day for real since I happen to have that option. What do you plan on doing?"

[X]"I think I'll head off to talk with Marine since you're making such a convincing argument."
[X]"I plan to go visit death, and perhaps her boss."
[X]Write-in
>> No. 32448
[X]"I think I'll head off to talk with Marine since you're making such a convincing argument."
>> No. 32450
[X]"I think I'll head off to talk with Marine since you're making such a convincing argument."

We'd be stopping by the Human village anyways, so why not?
>> No. 32454
[X] "I think I'll head off to talk with Marine since you're making such a convincing argument."
>> No. 32459
[X] "I think I'll head off to talk with Marine since you're making such a convincing argument."

Besides, we haven't disturbed a sleeping tiger in a while, either.
>> No. 32463
[X]"I plan to go visit death, and perhaps her boss."
>> No. 32472
Erk, I need to update this...

---

"I suppose I'll go visit Marine since you're making such a convincing argument." I've known Naomi for quite a while so I know that she's liable to make good on her word if she makes one of those subtle threats of hers.

"Good. The sooner you sort that out, the sooner she'll stop being so hung up over it." Naomi gets off the bed first, gathers up her clothes, then steps out of the room. She does turn to me one more time before walking off toward the bath, though I can't understand why she laughs for a moment before speaking. "Man, to think we'd both end up with you somehow." The artist shakes her head in smiling disbelief for a moment. "You've done something that's pretty much impossible, and I still can't help but not believe it."

"And I'm guessing I'm supposed to throw in some cheesy one-liner about being the drill that pierces the heavens?" I follow suit in turn since I'd rather not annoy the bunny by sticking around in a room that belongs to her. Well, I'm not totally sure of that but I'd rather not find out the hard way when the person you'd annoy is a rabbit who can manipulate luck. It's just bad for one's health.

"Not really. We both know how Gurran Lagann ended, and I'm not sure you could stand having that happen to Yukari." She spares me a sideways glance before walking away, content that she's made her point and that she doesn't have to say goodbye.

She's right though, I couldn't take it if the gap youkai were to suddenly dissapear. I'd probably do something stupid like try- No, I would bring her back, reincarnation be damned. ...I'd probably do that for anyone I care about who met their end before their time. A dangerous route to be sure, but I'd take the concequences with a smile if it meant those close to me all got to have a peaceful end of their own. Those thoughts continue to swirl about in my head as I walk out of the room, not stopping for anything, even as I retrieve Nari from the small pile of rabbits that have formed on her. The rabbits aren't too thrilled though.

"Where are we going now?" Nari's been floating behind me since I haven't given her much of a chance to get back upright. The bakeneko's not exactly complaining though since flying's no more difficult than walking and she probably wanted out from under the pile of white fluff anyway.

"I figure we'll pay a visit to Marine since I haven't really seen her that much in comparison to everyone else. It's not good to ignore one's friends." I wind up carrying Nari since I don't want to just drag her along everywhere, nor do I want to leave her trailing where capricious rabbits might make off with her. I can't be sure if I'd have to make like Mario to get my princess back, and quite frankly I'd rather not give them the chance.

"Sure she'd love to see you." The bakeneko doesn't argue with the way I'm carrying her since it means she gets to be in contact with me that much more. She's always been a clingy cat, and I doubt that that aspect of her will ever change. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want her too anyway. "I was about to start playing with the rabbits though. They look like they'd have been fun."

"There's the small probelm of every single one of the little fuzzballs being tricksters. I'm sure they'd love to get you dropped into a pitfall trap as much as you'd love to bat one around until it stops moving." It's kind of funny. I know Nari's a cat at heart, but I routinely think she's entirely human with cat traits. Thinking about it makes for a rather interesting way to pass the time when I start arguing for and against both ideas at the same time.

---
>> No. 32478
"It'd take more than a pitfall trap to stop me." Of course, Nari could actively escape most of the traps the rabbits set up with sheer brute force alone. There's just the small issue where they could probably make some manner of trap that involves something she couldn't escape from so easily. The fact that I don't know exactly how far they'd go doesn't help either.

"I know, I'm just worried about the other kinds of traps they may use on you. Brute force only goes so far after all." Let's see, a right here, straight, left... Sheesh, it may be easier to track down Reisen, Kaguya, or Eirin and have one of them show me the way out. ...Actually, the moon bunny should still be strung up where the earth rabbits left her, so all I have to do is track her down and free her to get an easy way out of the building. "Nari, do you smell Reisen at all?"

"Yup. She's somewhere off that way. Why?" She points down a long hallway that I must have missed before while raising an eyebrow.

"I figured it'd be simpler just to ask her to guide us out rather than take the convoluted path the rabbit lead us down when we came in. Mostly because I'm having some trouble remembering it and I'd rather not get even more lost than I already am." I start flying down the nearly empty hallway until it reaches an intersection that leads to the pitfall and rope trap laden hallway that we passed Reisen in. I take the time to make sure that I'm not about to trigger some manner of airborne trap, and that I know which end the lunar rabbit is stuck in before flying to the right. To my complete lack of surprise, Reisen is still dangling from the rope that's caught her by the ankles.

She gives me a look that's crossed between annoyance (Most likely because she got pranked), emarrassment (Because her panties are exposed for all to see), and hopeful. (Because she's hoping I'll get her out of this mess.) I set Nari down on thin air in order to flip the bunny upright so she won't land on her head when I cut her down. She does have the common sense to use her own capacity for flight when I do, which makes me wonder why she didn't escape on her own. ...In fact, if she can fly, why in the world was she walking in an area that's clearly infested with traps? Regardless of that blatantly obvious question, I use the Honjo Masamune to slice the rope binding her ankles. "Thanks for that. I would have done it myself but that would have just encouraged them to build flight-based traps instead." The lunar rabbit doesn't bother with touching down as the odds are pretty good there are still numerous unsprung traps littering the hallway. She's still blusing somewhat, but the anger's mostly gone now that she's right side up.

"Well, that makes sense when you're dealing with a bunch of genre-savvy pranksters. Especially a grumpy Tewi." I could let Nari fly alongside me, but there's the small fact that I want to hug the cat more and don't feel any particular need to hide that desire. It's not like we're playing 'Hot Coffee' in front of anyone. "Could you show us the way out? We followed one of the smaller earth rabbits in and I'm having a bit of trouble remembering the exact path out."

Reisen raises her eyebrows for a moment before looking around. I'm about to ask her what she's doing when she says something. "It's actually straight down the hallway you came in on. You just have to go through a red-paneled door that's on the left side. It's not the main entrance, but it certainly works despite not making much sense." Reisen points at the hallway I just came in from, or to be more precise she points at the other side of the same hallway, straight across from where I came out of.

"Wait, why doesn't it make sense?" I decide to get the most obvious question out of the way first, since it's quite odd for the lunar rabbit to say something doesn't make sense.

"That's simple. It doesn't come out where you expect it would, and it's one way. I use it as a shortcut to get to the village the odd time master sends me out to sell medicine at the Human Village." She pauses to think about it for a moment, then says something else. "I think it has to do with the time master tried to seal the Earth in a magical pot to prevent lunar invaders from making any attempt to capture the princess, and the four groups of two who came through here wound up messing up the doorway that leads into the one room at Eientei that lets you view the true moon."

"So now it's a teleporter?" And now I'm a teensy bit worried.

"Something like that. Master says it's perfectly safe and everyone here has used it without ill effect. I imagine that someone like you would have no trouble whatsoever." Someone like me referring to someone who's one of the biggest cheating jerks in Gensokyo and can probably ignore most ill effects through willpower alone. "If that's all, I have a few things I need to catch up on."

"It is. Thanks for the help Reisen."

---
>> No. 32496
I don't know quite what I expected teleportation to feel like. Moving through Yukari's gaps feels a little like breaking the surface of some manner of liquid, or in the case of my soul's movement through the border between dream and reality it feels like being sucked along in the appropriate direction.

This, on the other hand, left me feeling like I was in two places at once. The moment I stepped through the sliding door with the red slat on it I literally felt like I was both walking toward the human village and walking toward the moon-viewing room at the same time. In fact, the two destinations seemed to fight over my presence. I get the feeling that it might take some intervention to make this thing work properly.

"...You're not coming through right you know." Nari's mental link remains strong despite the obvious issues I'm dealing with right now.

"I know, I know. Just give me a minute before calling Yukari." It's really quite disorienting, flipping between two points endlessly. Nari got through just fine though so I know Reisen wasn't trying to get me stuck on purpose, and it's not like I don't have a few tricks of my own for dealing with- Okay, I confess: I never anticipated getting stuck in a teleporter and am about to use my soul to create an asspulled yet legitimate way out. How? Namely through the use of a hyperspace jump. Since I'm not in two places at once in the literal sense, I don't have to worry about sawing myself in half and... and...

For the love of Zombie Jesus and the latter day vampires, why the hell didn't I just do that to begin with?! I can essentally open up a gate to anywhere I've seen and go there without directions, running around in circles, or getting stuck in partially tested teleporters, but nooooo, I have to be stupid about it! Seriously, you'd think that with all the cheating jerk crap I've done, I'd remember the one that acts like that 'Quick Jump' option from various 'Tales of' games!

Needless to say, by the time I step out of the human sized, white, virtually 2-D rectangle that represents my hyperspace option I was quite irritated with myself for forgetting something so obvious. "Let's just forget about that little incident, shall we?" I try my hardest to not direct my annoyance to anyone undeserving of it, yet it seeps on in without my even noticing it.

"Wade, it's only natural that you forget about some of the things you've done. It's been over a month and you've been really busy!" Instead of just saying yes and moving on, Nari attempts to point out that I've been living my life to the fullest while simultaneously working my ass off to ensure everything goes smoothly while I'm trained to handle my powers in my human body. In truth, I appreciate her sentiment.

"Again, I know. I just wish it didn't take a teleportation mishap to remember it." Thankfully the village is close by, maybe a couple hundred feet away. After we get in finding Marine will be a snap. Obviously not because her shop is literally the most out of place building in the whole city and that you couldn't miss it even if you tried. Even the best shops at the marketplace didn't incorporate ocean colors and hand-made glass signs that just happen to be backlit.

"Was it a mishap because the teleporter spazzed out on you, or because you weren't focusing?" Deep down, we both know the exact reason, or at least used the data we produced to formulate a likely idea about what had happened and why it messed up when I went through, but she still wanted to hear me say it.

"Next time I'll try focusing on where I want to go instead of thinking to myself constantly." Of course, if I didn't there'd be no way for me to say anything, and that's bad.
>> No. 32512
Okay folks, I have to say something here about AoS before I continue. Namely, I don't plan to do the Komachi scene as you had voted for. Why? Because the 'pursue Komachi' bit felt forced no matter how hard I tried to do it, and believe me when I said that I've tried quite hard. Nothing came, so sadly it's something I feel that I'm just going to have to drop for now. The scene with Marine will most likely be the last, at which point I'll end the story there and begin work on the ending proper, which has gotten quite extensive by this point.

---

"Anyway, I'm fooling around too much as it is. Let's just cut the rest of the potentially amusing stuff out of the way and walk to Marine's place like a couple of normal people instead of a cheating jerk and his loving shikigami." I promptly wave the scenario off with a slightly annoyed tone and walk the rest of the distance to Marine's shop before anything else happens.

"You've pretty much described why we're permanently disqualified for the role of 'normal' people." Nari responds in a deadpan tone as she matches my stride. "Besides, the concept of normal is relative and highly overrated. Isn't that overrated version of normal pretty much the entire reason we're even here to begin with?" She asks the rhetorical question of the year.

I'm tempted to roll my eyes at that comment, but hold back on it since she's right. If it weren't for the fact that I was so dissatisfied with my life I probably wouldn't even be here right now, Nari wouldn't be able to express her opinion in a way I can clearly understand, I wouldn't have gotten all these nifty hax powers, ect. Not to mention all the stuff I didn't talk about. Those points are hardly irrelevant under normal circumstances, but for now I'm probably going to toss them aside in favor of concentrating on the task at hand, which is pretty much talking to Marine. I push the door aside once I get up to it and enter without ever breaking stride.

"Wade?" Marine notices me pretty much the second I get into the shop. My presence is pretty difficult to miss considering that I have what is probably one of the only Maine Coon bakenekos in existence with me. "Wade! What are you doing here so early?" Now that I think about it, I've never come here this early in the morning, so of course she wouldn't expect me to show up. That doesn't stop her from smirking at me. "Come to give up everything to join my crew?" Despite what must be running through her head, she starts her usual routine.

"Sadly, I must decline." And like usual, I decline her offer. It looks like she's going into the next part of her routine when I promptly kiss her full on the lips, catching her off-guard completely. She stands shock still until I move away, and I see that the shock extends to her eyes. Out of all the possible responses, this was the one she was least prepared for. "Instead, I feel that I should sweep you off... your..."

Okay, crying was not what I expected. Tears roll down her cheeks as the shock begins to wear off, but what are those tears for? Did I do something wrong? Is she happy, or sad? "You.." Her mouth is regaining functionality, and I get the feeling I did just do something wrong. Somewhere along the line I forgot how she reacts to this sort of thing. ...Or did I ever know to begin with? Naomi looked like she was torn between crying and running or beating me up when Yukari made mention that she had sex with me...

Shit.

"YOU ASSHOLE!" She looks like she's about to slap me, and quite frankly I think I deserve it in this case. Between not reciprocating her feelings for years, getting closer to Naomi, and even going so far as to sleep with a few people... She doesn't see things the same way I do, and there just hasn't been enough time for her to adjust. It's been... What, maybe a month or so? "You..." She's trembling. Trembling with rage, sadness, and fear. She's not sure what to do other than make it plain that she's not happy with me about this. I also note that Nariko's decided to stand off to one side for this. I can hardly blame her since this is my battle and mine alone. "Why NOW?!"

I can't answer that. I don't have an answer.

"You've already-" She's choking on her own words now. "Don't you already have someone?! Someone you've slept with?! Why did you decide it was a good idea to turn around and do that to me?" The mix of emotions playing across her face and eyes makes her virtually unreadable, which is starting to unnerve me. I'm used to being able to read the expressions of my friends to know what it is they're feeling, so for me to not be able to do so is a scary concept to me.

"I have." I know she's winding up for another round, but this time I place a finger on her lips to hopefully let her know that I want to say my piece before being judged. "The problem is that I love more than one person. I love Yukari, I love Nari, Naomi... Not the least of which, I love you. I know I was stupid about it, and deserve this sort of reaction. I didn't let you know what I felt, I all but shut you out because I wasn't sure about you. That wasn't fair of me in the slightest. If you want to deck me for it, by all means, do so." I spread my arms out wide as a sign that she's free to take a free shot at me if she wants.

She winds up, and wiffs the attack on purpose. "You have my attention at least." Her fist is well past my head, and I am quite sure that it'd hurt like hell if it had connected. She's still having trouble talking coherently, but at least she's not about to rip my head off and kick it clean into the atmosphere for being so stupid.

So where in my mind did I decide that hugging her was an appropriate action? I wind up holding her close to me, at which point she wraps her arm around me in response. It's actually kind of funny when you look at it because she's still taller than I am, so even with her leaning into me her head's still level with mine. "I know it sounds like some kind of cheesy romance flick, but I really do love you. It's just that when you kissed me a couple years back, I got scared and didn't know what to do. The best solution I could come up with was to just put some distance between the two of us and before I knew it I had never taken the time to get back to our previous stance."

"What does that have to do with this? Yes, I am happy to hear that from you, but what I really want to know is where the hell you get the idea that you can just-" So now she's struggling to find the words to express her feelings. Namely her outrage since that's probably the most dominate thing she's feeling right now. "That you can just pick me back up after leaving me out like that for so long? Especially now that you've got a girlfriend?"

I know what part of this anger is for. It's for Naomi, and perhaps herself as well. After all, she had thought that I'd go with Naomi since the two of us have known each other for years and have supported each other for pretty much the entirety of that time. Marine had also essentially moved on to a degree, coming to terms with the fact that she played her hand too soon, causing me to shy away from her with little chance of recovery. My choosing Yukari over Naomi had to have been a kick in the proverbial nuts alone, but for me to spontaneously decide to reciprocate her feelings after the fact when she's been raised on the concept that relationships should only exist between one man and one woman, not multiple, must be the equilivant of tearing open the old wound with a rusty chainsaw that has salt-encrusted and lemon juice covered blades.

At the same time, if I want to do as Naomi asks, as well as fulfill my own desire to fix the mess I've made, that means I'm going to have to deal with this in the only way I know how: Being persistant enough that she'll eventually see things my way and know that I'm being honest with my feelings. It'll take a while, sure, but I'm certain I can make things work.

I've managed to correct most all of my mistakes, haven't I? It may sound arrogant of me, but I refuse to leave this one be. No matter how long it takes, I will see this through to the end.

"I don't expect it to be that easy." I continue to hold her against me gently as I speak, continuing with a level of confidence that I wouldn't have had before. "Because I made a mistake in refusing you before, and again when I failed to take your feelings into consideration, I expect it to be tough, harsh, even heartbreaking. Yet I'll keep going no matter what happens, and do you know why?" I tilt her head to where our gazes can meet, allowing me to see her eyes. "Because I love you."

And for now, that's that.

---

For better or worse, this effectively 'ends' AoS's main run. All that's left are the events after this, which will continue to tie up loose ends until things hopefully come together into a tidy conclusion.
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