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106169 No. 106169
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“Konngara.” You nudge and lean in to your side, making a big show of whispering to her. “Doesn’t this look like one of those scenes in bad fiction where two childhood friends rediscover each other by chance after years of separation? All that’s needed to complete the cliché is a suitably dramatic breeze, some cherry blossoms and – oh wait.” Pretending to look around in mock surprise, the tension’s continuing unabated. Curses.

“My own prompting,” replies Konngara, jumping to your aid, “was more towards those confrontations termed as ‘final battles’ that seem so ubiquitous in tales of adventure. Behold,” Konngara gestures across the table, “seated in her manner, does Lady Saigyouji not seem a villain?”

“Eh?” Caught by surprise, the Lady breaks her stare to look at Konngara.

“Now that I think of it, you’re right.” Playing along with it and trying to keep a straight face, you point at the cup Yuyu’s holding. “Holding one’s drinking vessels by the palm as the Lady’s doing is an exclusive habit of evildoers.”

“Truly? I intuited her subconscious criminality by the manner of her posture.” Konngara, ‘yawning’ and placing a hand over her mouth, points at the Lady herself. “Heroes find sloth and slackness unbecoming.”

“I-I’m not a villain!” Now sitting up and holding her cup normally, Yuyu cuts in pleadingly, trying to object.

“She’s really the archetypal evil mastermind,” you speculate, playfully disregarding her. “Really, she’s even waited on her throne for the hero to storm her castle and invade into the very heart of her inner sanctum, meeting her face to face. I predict since now that hero’s arrived,” you chuckle at Mima, who’s actively trying not to look at the two of you, “the Lady will, at any moment now; call her elite bodyguards that have inexplicably been kept in reserve.”

“’Come forth my servants?’ or another statement of that kind?” Having loads of fun with this, Konngara enthusiastically picks up where you stopped. “Though she’ll have summoned Sir Youki thus, to capitalize upon the natural advantage she would maintain in such a situation would require that Lady Saigyouji act outside her capacity as an evil mastermind. Would it not be more proper for her eschew whatever profit she would stand to receive from fighting in tandem with him, and instead to mysteriously vanish?”

Doing her best not to not laugh, Konngara sinks broodingly in her chair; folding her hands and proclaiming in a strainedly evil voice, “Crush this flea who invades my castle!” But as soon as these words escape her mouth, she’s doubled over; having lost it completely. Laughing heartily at the folly of evil, she joined by you and even by the Lady, who’s showing a mirthful smile now.

“How are you both so dumb!” Mima interrupts with a deadpan dismissal, trying (unsuccessfully) to frown and sound annoyed.

“You!” She steps over and pokes you on the forehead. “Shouldn’t you realize better than anyone that heroes are the kinds of people whose abilities expand in proportion to the challenge they face? Look at what happened in your most recent battle! That’s exactly why as a villain, you should never go full-bore in getting victories through force! It’s not just an uninteresting prospect, but a dangerous one! It’s an art and a necessity for a good villain to prevail with only the barest force necessary to win, so you can have future chances if you’ve failed. That’s why you keep your best troops for the very end!”

“And you! ‘Noble friend’ of mine!” She’s now lecturing Konngara, poking her in the chest. “’If you think that ‘crush this flea who invades my castle!’ is a good villainous declaration, then your ideas about what constitutes good ‘tales of adventure’ are as bad as your acceptance of overly saccharine sap as romance! Do you always pick talentless hack authors from whom to learn your genres? You make me sick!”

Even as she’s said all this, all her tension from before’s vanished. Wearing an embarrassed smile, but otherwise seeming completely at ease; Mima withdraws a chair and sits down next to you with her elbows on the table.

“I missed you this morning, Mima.” So as to not have any weirdness between you and to keep the business of your apology for a time when she won’t lose face in front of everyone, you just nod respectfully to her.

“I’ll bet you did.” She returns it with one of her own – familiar and smug. (In other words, as is completely normal for her.) “But it’s better that was the case. Admit it,” she sweeps her arm towards the unshut doors, “wasn’t my entrance fabulous~? Not just anyone can do it with such style!”

“It wasn’t just ‘fabulous~,’ it was fabulously formidable. You indicate the astral motif that’s finely sewn all along the inside of her cape and on her robe. “I take it that’s your witch outfit?”

“Made it with my own hands.” She runs her hand along the sheen of her cape with a fond eye. “I needed it this morning because I had to make an investigation on something.”

“An investigation?”
“’Something’?”

You ask in unison with Konngara, to which Mima nods.

“I’ve been looking into it since we arrived, although it took me till this morning to make a definite confirmation.” Without any of her previous oppression, she stares up at the Lady – who looks very small on the opposite side of the table, sitting by herself.

“Tell them what you really are.”

Yuyu, though she’d been quiet through all of this; meets the eyes of her accuser unflinchingly. But for just a second, she sneaks her glance away. To the side.

At you.

Wavering and a little downcast.

[ ] Nod.
[ ] Shake your head.
[ ] Look away.
----------

And no, she’s not secretly a ghost.

>> No. 106172
[ø] Nod.
It feels right. The other two options sound out of character for Myouren.
>> No. 106174
[x] Nod.
Yes, she needs support, tell her it is okay, you are here to help.
>> No. 106175
[ぉλ] Nod.
>> No. 106179
File 125984266710.jpg - (28.89KB , 300x447 , richter_belmont1_large.jpg ) [iqdb]
106179
[x] "Die monster."
[x] Nod.
>> No. 106180
[x] Nod.
SUDDENLY BUTTERFLIES, THOUSANDS OF THEM
>> No. 106181
[x] Nod.
>> No. 106184
>>106169
[X] Nod.

I think a reassuring smile would work well in this situation too; kinda wonder what Mima would make of the gesture, though. I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that Mima has thought (entirely too much) about how to be an effective villain, considering she's a professional witch. Kind of have a notion of what she found out, but I wonder what compelled her to go all out witch-mode.
>> No. 106185
[X] Nod.

Nice references to SotN lines.... 1000+ years before the game was even made!

I hope our apology works when the time comes.
>> No. 106228
[+] Nod.
-[+] With a slight, yet encouraging smile.
>> No. 106568
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A feeling. If you’re privy to this revelation, you’ll not be able to turn away from it, however much you try. The way in which you see Yuyu might forever be changed, possibly for the worse. So…

Looking at her, you touch a hand to your heart and nod.

The Lady has your support, your compassion and your belief. As much as propriety or justice, love compels you so. Outpouring your heart’s intensity in the private world of her room, she smiled upon you and returned those feelings in kind. Though it was only for a little while, she was yours; you knew each other, loved each other. For that reason, regardless of what she ‘really is,’ you’ll believe in Yuyu and the beauty you saw in her soul.

And she understands, sees all the emotional ferment in your simple gesture. While the three of you watch – suspiciously, knowingly, gladly – she’s blinking back a rising dampness on her face and smiling; smiling a sorrowful, grateful, bright smile. …She knows. Just as you do, she’s realized that the short, carefree time you’ve all had together will, for happiness or hardship; be gone at her answer to Mima’s question. A sad truth that she faces joyously, redeemed in the knowledge that she’s not alone.

“I’m…” She takes a deep breath. Closing her eyes, the Lady folds her hands together in a sign of prayer.

’Doom am I, dealing Death to the world and devouring mankind’

Suddenly, butterflies. Phasing into existence by the thousands, they’re fluttering about in the air, covering the ceiling, resting on the walls, landing on the table; the collective motion of their delicate, translucent wings beating a chill gale of stagnation, they’re swirling about in a storm of pink-blue – those beautiful, terrible Death Butterflies that are the Lady’s power. As the three of you watch in confusion, she extends out her hand and one of them lands in it, bringing an unearthly light to her pretty face.

“This is my ‘problem.’” She looks up from the blue butterfly in her palm. “This is my curse.”

…You’re reminded of something. Reaching inside your pockets, you withdraw it for everyone to see. “There isn’t a curse in the world that can stand before this.”

In your hand is one of your Vajra.

“Um, that’s the thing...” The Lady shakes her head. “My curse isn’t of this world.” Releasing the butterfly in her grip, she quietly starts to explain.

“There was a person who died in this place, three generations ago. …It was springtime. At the very end of his life, he was thinking about the truth of being without success when he came upon the most beautiful cherry tree he’d ever seen. It was like how the Buddha got his wisdom from the Bodhi. Those resplendent blossoms of pink, red and white that were starting to fade even when they were at their fullest – that was the answer to the last question in his life. He felt peace in his heart and when he sat down under that tree, he fell asleep without a care in the world, looking out at a glorious blue sky.”

“I’ve seen the tree she’s talking about,” Mima whispers to you. “There’s no equal to it anywhere in my forest, and that’s saying something.”

“…After that,” the Lady continues her story, “his spirit rose to heaven and was honored everywhere. But left with his body, under that tree… was his will. Up to the moment of his death, he had been divided. Although he was someone who had given up the world for emptiness, he could never give up his love for nature and its beauty. Those feelings were so strong that they lived on as echoes inherited by the things closest to him. In nature, under the tree where he died and…” Yuyu pauses, staring off towards the far end of the room. “In his blood.”

It hits you. ...You’ve been misunderstanding it the whole time. Her title… it’s not ‘Temple of the Western Voyage,’ it’s…

“The Saigyouji. My family, who are descended from that man – the poet Saigyou.”

At Konngara’s bidding, the Lady goes on to tell something of Saigyou’s life and accomplishments. Mima’s already familiar with him and as for you… if you didn’t know the name of Saigyou Hoshi, you would be ashamed to call yourself a member of the clergy. You’re far from being a poet and you’ve a disagreement with his prerogatives, but that doesn’t change the complete respect you have for his accomplishments. He was a great man and a model monk, which is why the disasters that seem to have befallen his progeny are such a great tragedy. As Yuyu explain, when Saigyou died, a Fujiwara who was one of his friends wanted to ensure that his memory would always be honored. Normally, this would be a duty that would fall to his immediate family, but having neither siblings nor issue, his line ended with him. What wound up happening instead was that some of Saigyou’s cousins, distant relations many times removed; were uplifted from their status as commoners to the level of ninth-rank aristocrats* and granted a tiny fief in the place where he had died. As it was in a temple – called Hirokawa, their family was also given the name of Saigyouji (lit. Temple of Saigyou).

Generations passed. Saigyou’s distant relatives, though they had been raised to a position of honor, never lost their industry and agrarian virtues. What had been a run-down, insignificant temple in the wasteland grew into a prosperous estate, and beyond. By the time of Yuyu’s parents, their home wasn’t any longer just a temple or a manor, but a semi-monastic cooperative. Wanderers, peasants seeking refuge from war or hardship, monks and nuns of all kinds had came to Hirokawa because of Saigyou’s legend and, impressed by his descendants and their hard work; asked to settle down. All told, it’s not unlike the legend that you’d heard from your old abbot of the founding behind your own monastery, but alas for the Saigyouji – it was then at the height of their fortunes that a sleeping evil had awakened from its dream.

The Lady has a solemn tone when she comes to her own part of the story. There were bad omens in the years leading up to her birth – consecutive years of drought, increased youkai attacks, earthquakes, comets** and even a complete eclipse of the moon on one Midsummer’s Eve. The only bright spot in all this misfortune was that Murasaki, the ‘truest friend of my parents’ in Yuyu’s words; came to Hirokawa around that time. Things improved steadily after that. The dire astral portents went away, while the problems of bad weather and youkai were brought under control. By the time she was six years old, life wasn’t as hard as it had been around when she was born.

“Then… the tree woke up.” Yuyu says softly, looking up at the butterflies with an indescribably sad face.

According to the Lady, she had been able to see touch ghosts since her youth. Except for Murasaki, who kindly listened and told her to use that power for good and her parents’ retainer Youki, who let her play ‘horsey’ with his ghostly half; everyone just assumed she had imaginary friends like other children her age and thought nothing of it. For Yuyu too, it wasn’t much more than a curiosity until one morning when after a ghastly dream, she woke up alone. The kids her age who played with her, the nice old man who watched the gate, the thin-faced cook whose scary looks hid a heart of gold and of course, her parents – everyone was missing. After she’d looked around the house and found no one, she went outside. That’s when she saw them; more ghosts than she’d ever seen before.

“It wasn’t just how many. I… could hear them for the first time.” She’s watching a pair of butterflies flit about her right hand that’s resting upright on the table. “They spoke to me in sweet voices. They said ‘join us’ ‘come with us’ ‘we know where your parents are’.”

So, says Yuyu; she followed them because of an innocent curiosity and for a want of her mother and father. They led her outside, out into the countryside and into a clearing where, on a high hill; there was a tree with beautiful flowers in full bloom. With dozens of people sleeping underneath it.

“I heard them more clearly there.” The Lady says with an uncharacteristically hard face, like iron. “There were individual voices. My dad, my mom, all of the people I knew and who grew up with me were talking, saying ‘sleep with us’ ‘come with us’ ‘take a rest.’ They were nice at first, but I didn’t come over. I felt cold, like something was wrong. That I needed to get help. But they didn’t let me. They crowded around, got louder. Changed shape. They… became my friends and family except… “ She pauses, thinking of how to describe it.

“Empty.” With a grim voice and angry eyes, Mima finishes her sentence.

“…Yes. That’s… that’s right!” Recalled from her thoughts by Mima, the Lady loses her grave focus for a second, caught off-guard. “It was like they were twisted… hollow. They surrounded me, chanting in one voice. ‘sleep’. I said no. Then, they said it again. Each time I refused, they got bigger. Darker. I couldn’t stand any longer. They were towering over me then, huge. They blocked out the sun. And… they weren’t telling me to ‘sleep’ anymore.” Lady Saigyouji closes her eyes again.

The room becomes colder, as all the butterflies glow and start to move faster. Something like a wind’s starting to whip up, except this wind’s murmurs are saying something.

‘die’ ‘die’ ‘end’ ‘die’ ‘death’ ‘death’ ‘end’ ‘diedie’ ‘diedieendenddiedieendenddeathdeathDEATH’ ‘DEATH’ ‘DIE THE DEA-‘

The mumur’s risen to a scream, cursing all of you when the Lady opens her eyes and, frowning; clenches her right fist. In a single instant, all of the butterflies fade from view and the cold dark that was starting to fill the room recedes. Daylight returns.

“Youki was the one who saved me.” Wearing a tender expression, she’s blushing faintly and playing with her ponytail. “He… charged in so bravely and cut them all down like they weren’t anything. …His Roukanken can kill ghosts.” She adds, noticing Konngara’s especial interest.

Yuyu finishes her story by telling you the aftermath. Everyone she knew had died in the night, beckoned by the tree while they were asleep. The only ones who were exempted were Youki, whose half-ghost (There’s that term again… how does one become half a ghost?) heritage made him resistant, Murasaki; who said that it ‘wasn’t her fate to die in bed, unless it was beside a handsome man~’ and Yuyu, who unbeknownst to her parents or herself, was Saigyou’s true heir.

Maybe it was because something had stirred the tree from its slumber, but at the same time in which his love of nature had become corrupted into a power for stealing human lives, his ‘emptiness’ – his choice to renounce all desire and awaken from the falsehood that is the self – was reborn in his great-grandniece. Both of them wielded the power of death, but where the tree ensnared all who died beneath its bewitching blooms in eternal torment, to die at the Lady’s command would mean to become enlightened and fall free of the mortal coil. Like ‘back’ and ‘front,’ they were two sides of the coin that was Saigyou’s will – each nullifying the other.

“I’ve checked its power for ten years, but...” It’s then that she snaps out of her trance and notices your collective looks of surprise and veneration. “Hey, um …i-it’s not as big a deal as you think! Really!” Embarrassed, the Lady waves her hands and looks away. “…A-anyway,” she coughs, trying to collect herself, “this is my unreasonable request of you, my guests.”Yuyu places her hands on her knees and lowers her head.

“That tree – the Saigyou Ayakashi, will be in full bloom by tomorrow night. Please! Help me so that it will be sealed away for good!”

[ ] Accept unconditionally. That was your intention, even before coming here and listening to her circumstances.
[ ] Allow Konngara to accept. She’s the one who received the original invitation, anyway.
[ ] Raise an objection – Yuyu has no idea what will happen if she tries to seal it, or how to seal it. You’ve no fear of your own death, but you don’t want her to come to harm. If the tree’s been stable as she’s said, why not be content with observation and maintenance of the status quo? If the situation ever starts to change for the worse, then that’s when you should make your move, yes?
[ ] Raise an objection – VAJRA. Seal it? Why seal it? Just look at this table! We have gathered here today: a priestess in command of untold divine powers, a witch who’s probably itching to show off how well she can burn things, a walking incarnation of Death on the mortal plane and me, a Bodhisattva-in-training if you ever met one. Add to our number a certain hotblooded, magic-wielding sword-saint and an old hag for comic relief, well; even if we were facing Mount Sumeru and not some tree, we’d still take it down! Think about it, Yuyu! By yourself you’ve been able to seal it temporarily, so doesn’t it stand to reason that all of us together can do better? Why seal it when we easily have the power to destroy it?!
[ ] Say something else. (Specify)
----------

*Aristocratic ranks went as low as the tenth rank and as high as the first rank, which was rarely, if ever; granted to anyone. Ranks would grant you certain privileges and exemptions, as well as determine the posts in government for which you could hold. In spite of how this may sound, it wasn’t a meritocracy in the slightest regard. Your actual post as a noble was essentially an extension of your leisure and granted as a sign of favor rather than a reflection of ability – a recognition of this iniquity was actually one of the major causes behind the warrior caste’s overthrow of the Heian. Also, noble ranks weren’t all hereditary. Aristocratic status was only maintained across generations if you were of the fifth rank or higher. In this case, that makes little difference because Yuyu’s living in the countryside, where even a tenth rank noble and his family would be considered bigshots; but in a place like Kyoto or Nara, she wouldn’t even qualify to be a higher aristocrat’s servant.

**Comets are seen as harbingers of disaster and associated with dynastic overthrow or upheaval.

Author’s note: Pardon my wall. The next couple parts will be shorter and faster.

edit: formatting
>> No. 106570
>That tree – the Saigyou Ayakashi, will be in full bloom by tomorrow night. Please! Help me so that it will be sealed away for good!

Now this will get interesting. I wonder how she will end up dead... or maybe she won't? No, can't change the past, it already happened, you just redo the steps and draw the lines until you get the full picture.

[x] Accept unconditionally. That was your intention, even before coming here and listening to her circumstances.

The destroy it option sounds horrible wrong, that can only go wrong if you go at it from that angle. People will die and end in disaster.
>> No. 106572
>and even a complete eclipse of the moon on one Midsummer’s Eve.
Someone calculate the date from this.
>> No. 106574
>>106568
That was an awe-spiring update.
Going to think about this one for 7 minutes.
>> No. 106582
>[] Accept unconditionally. That was your intention, even before coming here and listening to her circumstances.

Bold Heroic, yet a bit reckless and presumptive.

>[] Allow Konngara to accept. She’s the one who received the original invitation, anyway.

This is closer to the plan.

>[] Raise an objection – Yuyu has no idea what will happen if she tries to seal it, or how to seal it. You’ve no fear of your own death, but you don’t want her to come to harm. If the tree’s been stable as she’s said, why not be content with observation and maintenance of the status quo? If the situation ever starts to change for the worse, then that’s when you should make your move, yes?

Sounds wise but risky. We don't know what the plan is exactly.

>[] Raise an objection – VAJRA. Seal it? Why seal it? Just look at this table! We have gathered here today: a priestess in command of untold divine powers, a witch who’s probably itching to show off how well she can burn things, a walking incarnation of Death on the mortal plane and me, a Bodhisattva-in-training if you ever met one. Add to our number a certain hotblooded, magic-wielding sword-saint and an old hag for comic relief, well; even if we were facing Mount Sumeru and not some tree, we’d still take it down! Think about it, Yuyu! By yourself you’ve been able to seal it temporarily, so doesn’t it stand to reason that all of us together can do better? Why seal it when we easily have the power to destroy it?!

Insanely gutsy, gun-ho, but also reeks of arrogance. Has the greatest risk.

Posted my vote, but this is just for other's reference on my opinions of the options. I tried to mix them into something coherent.
>> No. 106587
File 126006980221.jpg - (582.20KB , 664x668 , 7419817.jpg ) [iqdb]
106587
>>106568
For some weird reason, the VAJRA option appeals to me in this situation. While the wording of the vote is pretty bombastic, what we vote for is never transcribed verbatim in the actual updates. I think the result would be a far more eloquent Myouren telling Yuyu that she need not settle for sealing the Saigyou Ayakashi when fate has deigned to grant her the assistance of some incredible people. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I see a lot of the vehemence coming from the vote being attributed to Myouren recognizing that the Saigyou Ayakashi is something truly terrible. It is an entity that kills indiscriminately and torments Yuyu terribly; why wouldn't a monk like Myouren wish to rid the world of such a thing in a most decided way?

>>106570
>No, can't change the past, it already happened, you just redo the steps and draw the lines until you get the full picture.

I wouldn't be so sure. Right along, the author has been dropping some odd clues regarding our role and what effect our decisions might have. A sampling:
>>96671
>Ran just sighs and goes back to her studied perusal of the book. The scene at the end of the chapter brings a warm smile to her face, but as she flips ahead, she becomes dead serious. Then, when her mouth opens in shock, I decide to answer her question in advance.
>"Yes. That is coming up. Don't worry, I can handle reading it to her."
>"Don't worry, things won't end in the way they did when I read it to you so long ago, Ran. Didn't you know? Aside from acting as a force of change, it's also a force of healing. Time, that is. It's the panacea for all wounds, even those of the heart."
>>98439
>What is destiny? Is there destiny? Is it possible for destiny to exist in tandem with free will?
>And finally, is it possible that belief in an otherwise nonexistant destiny can create an outcome matching said destiny through the power of choice?

The latter one was a little tip regarding Murasaki's offer to divine our future, to which we swiftly declined. Her advice, though, is definitely worth remembering:
>>99328
>"Then engrave these words on your heart and never forget them, boy. Continue to treasure your friends and loved ones, to steadfastly strive for personal improvement and to unflinchingly challenge the myriad evils of the world. In doing so, you may yet triumph over the possibility of that dreadful future."

What other that letting innocent Yuyu sacrifice herself to that monster can be called a 'dreadful future?' Is saving Yuyu's body and soul from being sacrificed to that demonic tree something worth fighting for? Is rescuing her from that cruel destiny something worthy of challenging Fate itself? With our friends at our side and determination in our heart, can we change history? Is this cause something worth fighting for?

Gentlemen, I submit that it is.

[X] Raise an objection – VAJRA. Seal it? Why seal it? Just look at this table! We have gathered here today: a priestess in command of untold divine powers, a witch who’s probably itching to show off how well she can burn things, a walking incarnation of Death on the mortal plane and me, a Bodhisattva-in-training if you ever met one. Add to our number a certain hotblooded, magic-wielding sword-saint and an old hag for comic relief, well; even if we were facing Mount Sumeru and not some tree, we’d still take it down! Think about it, Yuyu! By yourself you’ve been able to seal it temporarily, so doesn’t it stand to reason that all of us together can do better? Why seal it when we easily have the power to destroy it?!

Anyway, a little while ago, Yuyu asked us about sacrifice, about the good of the one against the good of the many. We knew what she was getting at, and we responded in the negative. My take was if you can do something to make a sacrifice unnecessary, do it. So I will.
>> No. 106589
>>106587

My write in kinda goes in that direction (That's what the past part handles). But you must wonder why she asked to merely seal as opposed to destroy.
>> No. 106604
[ø] "I for one would certainly assist you in this task."
[ø] See how your comrades respond.
[ø] "May I ask what is the plan for sealing it is? Since if we're to undertake such a task, a good plan will be needed."
[ø] "I think that we should undertake the task in the latter morning, if there isn't any problems with that. And that we should spend the rest of the day in relaxation and reparation" (In short, hint to Yukari to spend said night with Youki in case the worse happens. And to incidentally apologize to Mima, it'll help improve team work)
[ø] "I want to ask why you want us to merely seal it and not destroy it?"
-[ø] Think about the answer you're given and react.

Since there isn't any images of Yuyu with black hair, I'm trying to draw one myself. Being an average drawfag but being terrible at manga drawing, it looks okay... What is the colour of the yukata that Yuyu is wearing right now?
>> No. 106607
>>106589
Indeed, but I just don't see how trying to perpetrate an illicit affair between the aged Yukari Murasaki and that dashing young Youki behind the back of lady Saigyouji would be prudent...
>In short, hint to Yukari to spend said night with Youki in case the worse happens.

I kid, I know what you're getting at.

In this story, I prefer a more decisive attitude when voting. Whether we ask her why she hasn't thought of destroying it or we tell her we should try to destroy it, she's going to tell us why sealing it has been her only focus. To me, the latter option displays more confidence in our abilities than the former, and I think it's that confidence Yuyu might need to go forward with such a plan.
>> No. 106608
on the "Think about the answer you're given and react." part, some examples

If Yuyuko explains it might be a matter of it being hard to destroy, the response might be "I wonder if we could muster up the destructive power to do just that"

but if there's some other nasty effect or such, The response would be "So that's why. Thank you for answering my question"
>> No. 106609
>>106607

FFFFFFFFFFFFF

[x] "I for one would certainly assist you in this task."
[x] See how your comrades respond.
[x] "May I ask what is the plan for sealing it is? Since if we're to undertake such a task, a good plan will be needed."
[x] "I think that we should undertake the task in the latter morning, if there isn't any problems with that. And that we should spend the rest of the day in relaxation and reparation" (In short, hint to Yuyuko to spend said night with Youki in case the worse happens. And to incidentally apologize to Mima, it'll help improve team work)
[x] "I want to ask why you want us to merely seal it and not destroy it?"
-[x] Think about the answer you're given and react.

Well I did this because it'd be what would be on his mind hearing everything, since at the moment he has no idea of a plan or anything.

>>106604
You didn't notice the gaffe I made when you copy pasted?
>> No. 106610
>>106609
To my excuse, both names share the first two letters.
Seriously though, I missed that even when I read through it twice.
On another note, I think I'm going with a light blue yukata.
>> No. 106618
>>106609
>Well I did this because it'd be what would be on his mind hearing everything, since at the moment he has no idea of a plan or anything.

Fair enough, I see where you're coming from; it's a properly prudent approach to the situation that accounts for the character's perception of the situation.
I'm approaching the situation with the mindset Myouren would be sufficiently indignant enough about the evil of the Saigyou Ayakashi and put 2 and 2 (and 2?) together about Yuyu's serious question about sacrifice, "sealing" the tree and...
>‘back’ and ‘front,’ they were two sides of the coin that was Saigyou’s will – each nullifying the other

... to figure out what she's getting at and respond accordingly. Besides, the writer has also been more than accommodating when it comes to dealing with a bit of the ol' metaknowledge, and apparently that served us well in terms of divining the identity of our monk.
>> No. 106622
[x] Allow Konngara to accept. She’s the one who received the original invitation, anyway.

If she accepts...

[x] Raise an objection – VAJRA. Seal it? Why seal it? Just think about it! Look who are gathered here today: a priestess in command of untold divine powers, a witch who’s probably itching to show off how well she can burn things, the walking incarnation of Death on the mortal plane, a certain hotblooded, magic-wielding sword-saint, a 17-years-old woman who seems to hold infinite knowledge and, well, myself. Even if we were facing Mount Sumeru and not some tree, we’d still take it down!
Yuyu: by yourself you’ve been able to seal it temporarily, so doesn’t it stand to reason that all of us together can do better? Why seal it when we easily have the power to destroy it?!
[x]Unless... you have a reason to prefer its seal rather than its destruction. Would destroying it affect your self in any way besides ending your curse?
>> No. 106624
File 126008339150.jpg - (120.92KB , 400x317 , trollelegant.jpg ) [iqdb]
106624
>>106577
>>106604
>>In short, hint to Yukari to spend said night with Youki in case the worse happens.
>Yukari
>Little young me~?

Anonymous, you cad! I'm not even in the story! To think... you would urge me to steal my good friend's toy like that... Why that's just wrong! Are you trying to ruin me for marriage? I'll have you know, I have a reputation to keep!

...And besides~

I'm partial to men, not boys. Youki just isn't my type~


>Since there isn't any images of Yuyu with black hair, I'm trying to draw one myself. Being an average drawfag but being terrible at manga drawing, it looks okay... What is the colour of the yukata that Yuyu is wearing right now?

Oh my. An artist! What a rare breed you are... Hm~ Hm~ The Ethics tells us that art follows nature so...

No, no, I don't mean that you should draw her au natural! It is a nice sight, but that girl's so unmanageable when she gets upset! I guess what I mean to say is that art might follow nature, good art also has acceptable digressions from nature. Just like how stories aren't interesting if the characters act exactly like us, a little "augmentation" and fudging in art doesn't hurt anyone. It makes it better! Just because she's in blue doesn't mean you have to do it that way~
>> No. 106625
>'DIE THE DEA-'
I see what you did there, and I am amused.

>[ ] Accept unconditionally. That was your intention, even before coming here and listening to her circumstances.
So easily? Hell no. We have several exceptionally powerful individuals here, each experts in their field. A meeting of the minds would be most appropriate before deciding this.

>[ ] Allow Konngara to accept. She’s the one who received the original invitation, anyway.
After what Yuyuko and Myouren shared, it'd be pretty callous to just foist the decision off on someone else, even if they do have the right to make it.

>[ ] Raise an objection – Yuyu has no idea what will happen if she tries to seal it, or how to seal it. You’ve no fear of your own death, but you don’t want her to come to harm. If the tree’s been stable as she’s said, why not be content with observation and maintenance of the status quo? If the situation ever starts to change for the worse, then that’s when you should make your move, yes?
No, it's clear that the tree's power will grow - possibly out of Yuyuko's control - at the time of its fullest blooming. Maintaining the status quo is probably not an option anymore - and even if it were, what would happen when Yuyuko's mortal life comes to its inevitable end? The tree would be left without a check on its power, and then nobody has a good day.

>[ ] Raise an objection – VAJRA. Seal it? Why seal it? Just look at this table! We have gathered here today: a priestess in command of untold divine powers, a witch who’s probably itching to show off how well she can burn things, a walking incarnation of Death on the mortal plane and me, a Bodhisattva-in-training if you ever met one. Add to our number a certain hotblooded, magic-wielding sword-saint and an old hag for comic relief, well; even if we were facing Mount Sumeru and not some tree, we’d still take it down! Think about it, Yuyu! By yourself you’ve been able to seal it temporarily, so doesn’t it stand to reason that all of us together can do better? Why seal it when we easily have the power to destroy it?!
Too reckless for Myouren, and too arrogant to boot; it's too out-of-character for him to say this. Some of the spirit of this is in the right place, though.

I suggest:
[+] We need to talk further about this. We have much expertise in many different fields gathered together; surely, together, we can come up with something that would not necessitate ending Yuyu's life!
[+] Discuss the risks, the plan, everything we can think of.

By the way, I liked your brief history of the Saigyouji House.
>> No. 106626
[X] >>106622
>> No. 106627
>>106618

Yet he wouldn't be so brash as to let that indignation get the better of him, especially not after meeting Youki who would let his feelings get the better of him before recently.

But once he had a plan, he could use the extra focus.
>> No. 106628
>>106625

Not bad as well perhaps this gets the spirit of my write in but in less words, but missing the attempt to hint to Yuyuko as to spend time with Youki in case things do go wrong.

"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst" is how that saying goes, right?
>> No. 106632
>>106628
Indeed. And on that note, I would like to add a hint to Yuyuko to "spend some time" with Youki tonight onto my vote.
>> No. 106770
File 126015473386.jpg - (290.27KB , 1000x1500 , Ancient Gensokyo - Yuyuko.jpg ) [iqdb]
106770
I seriously need to learn speed painting.

>>106604
Here, as I said, have a melancholic, black-haired, pony-tail sporting Yuyu.
It's nowhere as good as what this story deserves, but ow well I tried my best.

Hope you like it anons.

>>106624
au natural... I doubt I could pull that off.
Elegant and trolling Yukari is elegant and trolling.
Also, blue just seemed like the appropriate choice of colour.
>> No. 106786
Do we really need to shoe-horn in a side vote to try and tell Yuyu to spend time with Youki? This is still breakfast, and she told us the tree will be in full bloom tomorrow night. She wants an answer right now, not an itinerary for the next 48 hours. Do people really think this is the last time we'll ever see her, or that she somehow managed to forget the promise she made about an hour ago? Seems like too much of a tangent.

Furthermore, for as forthright as Yuyu has been, do we still expect her to be obtuse with her plan to seal the tree? Asking her to explain herself seems like we don't trust her to do as much by herself.

I just don't see the necessity of trying to bring in this extra stuff when she just wants an answer to her request. Maybe someone can explain this to me.

>>106627
Like I said, I don't think you can expect everything from the vote to be transcribed exactly as what is said and done. I think it properly captures the conviction Myouren would have in this situation, as well as the faith and trust he places in the abilities of himself and his friends. When presented with something so abjectly abhorrent, I don't think it's unusual for him to react with such determination.

>>106770
Wonderful. Bravo to you kind sir.
>> No. 106788
>>106786

Perhaps not, but I was under the understanding it's more late morning to mid afternoon by this time.

But at the same time, I'm trying to make sure that accepting doesn't result in charging off to do the task right then and there.

It's not so much I lack faith in everyone's abilities, but more the matter of trying to go against history as we know it.

The writer can choose to disregard parts of the write in if he wishes if what you propose is the case.

The main spirit of the write in is basically learning more of the plan, and ensuring that no hastiness occurs.
>> No. 106793
If there is any doubt in our hearts when facing the Ayakashi we will fail. It may be reckless and arrogant, but we need supreme confidence in ourselves if we want to have any hope at all of changing the course of history. We've taken our stance on the value of sacrifice - we need to prove we have the conviction to back up our beliefs. If there has ever been a time to use the VAJRA this is it. I refuse to give up now - not when we've come this far. Yuyuko, Konngara, Mima, Byakuren - we'll save them all, history be damned. Even if all the evils of this world stand in our way the holy light of our VAJRA shall strike them down!

If we want a good ending we need to take some pretty serious risks.

[X] Raise an objection – VAJRA. Seal it? Why seal it? Just look at this table! We have gathered here today: a priestess in command of untold divine powers, a witch who’s probably itching to show off how well she can burn things, a walking incarnation of Death on the mortal plane and me, a Bodhisattva-in-training if you ever met one. Add to our number a certain hotblooded, magic-wielding sword-saint and an old hag for comic relief, well; even if we were facing Mount Sumeru and not some tree, we’d still take it down! Think about it, Yuyu! By yourself you’ve been able to seal it temporarily, so doesn’t it stand to reason that all of us together can do better? Why seal it when we easily have the power to destroy it?!

On a completely different note,
>a Fujiwara who was one of his friends wanted to ensure that his memory would always be honored
while I realize the Fujiwara were a large and famous clan and realistically there would be a low chance the one mentioned in the story is closely related to the one we know, after the Myouren revelation I'm half-expecting Mokou to show up out of nowhere Big Damn Heroes style during the sealing.
>> No. 106797
----------
That everyone accepted was unsurprising to you. In that discussion on the morning of two days ago when the respective merits of visiting the Lady or Mima’s associate had been presented, everyone seemed, for one reason or another; inclined towards helping the Lady even without a full knowledge of her circumstances. What was surprising, however; was…

“I guess I’ll help you, since you decided to ask. I don’t do volunteer work, see?” Wearing a coy smirk, Mima beats Konngara and you in offering her assistance.

“Even if you didn’t request our support, dear Lady,” you deliver a feigned glare at Mima, while following on her heels, “I would have had you let us fight at your side. Containing this ‘Saigyou Ayakashi’ isn’t a responsibility exclusive to those claiming descent from your honored ancestor, but an obligation of all mortals – all who would be threatened by its fell power. Though that’s hardly my only reason,” you pause, raising your hands in a solemn oath. “…So that Saigyou’s name and intentions may be sanctified of this blight upon his memory, so that the spirits of your family and friends can finally obtain their reward at the Yama’s judgment and so that you – you, my sweet Lady, won’t any longer know the pain of this dreadful burden; I’ll give my utmost towards ending this curse.”

Yuyu’s fidgeting shyly, touched by what you’ve said to her. Someone else, less so.

“You talk too much.” Mima offers a sarcastic remark, shaking her head.

“He’s verbose, but always appropriately courteous. Unlike certain others with whom I’m acquainted.” Eyes twinkling merrily, Konngara intervenes to defend you. Before Mima can offer a riposte, she turns towards Yuyu and adopts a posture of respectful deference. “You have my sword, Lady Saigyouji.”

“What sword?” Riposting anyway, Mima’s grinning with a look of mock puzzlement. “Were you talking about that cane?”

“A good point, my ‘charming demon.’” Konngara nods at her nonplussed, seemingly having predicted Mima’s response. “In substitute for my sword then,” she looks at the Lady, not missing a beat, “I offer this.”

There’s a flash of prismatic brilliance as in her left hand, held high above her head; is the Taiji. Holding it out for all to see, Konngara and her charge are receiving a stare of curious wonder from Yuyu.

“That’s such a beautiful treasure! Whatever does it- ...hmm?” Studying from various vantages, she gasps when she notices the symbol on its sides. “This pattern…” Her eyes light with the fire of recognition. “I’ve seen it before. Mo- err, Murasaki,” Yuyu corrects herself, “…she’s got an old robe that’s got it on the front.”

“Might it be a white robe?” The Taiji’s vanished as Konngara’s suddenly leaning forward in her chair with both hands on the table, all focus and intensity.

With a finger on her lips, Yuyu’s recollecting and slowly, starts to nod. “Y-yeah… I… I think it was… Um, did she… do something wrong?” She asks, made uneasy by Konngara’s sudden shift in mood.

“Not in the slightest.” Konngara, noticing the Lady’s discomfort; relaxes and shows her serene half-smile once again. “While I will need to verify it, she may well be my greatest benefactor.”

She proceeds to retell the story in which at what she considered the lowest juncture of her life, a Goddess of shining gold appeared in answer to her desperate wish for relief. Said Goddess bestowed the Taiji as proof of a contract – Konngara would receive happiness equal to the misery into which she’d fallen and in return, her fate and its fate would be the same, for they would, together; ‘one day carry the weight of the world on their backs.’

“…That’s amazing. It’s like something out of a fairy tale…” Yuyu remarks dreamily when she finishes. “But…” Disappointment’s crept into her voice. “The incredible person who helped you can’t be Murasaki.”

“Dear Lady, don’t you know?” You interrupt, happy at seeing your time to shine. “Gods, Goddesses the like often take the form of humble mortals to better understand the hearts of men or to gain insights into their world by seeing it from a new perspective or simply to find a cure for their boredom. I’ve chatted with that delightful young woman at some length and evaluating her and the things she’s said according to the patterns I’ve noticed in scriptures and myth, I wouldn’t find it unbelievable if she were a Bodhisattva in disguise or something.”

As you’re recalling that strange feeling you had on first seeing her and the way in which she crept up upon you without registering in your mind while meditating, Yuyu’s indicating to the negative, her ponytail swishing from side to side as she shakes her head.

“She was here before I was as a guest of my mom and dad, and she hasn’t ever left. I know she’s nurturing and very wise, but I don’t think that she was in two places at the same time.”

“We’ll find out about that.” Mima, who’d risen from her chair without any of you seeing; is making rounds about the table, hands behind her back and head lowered in thought. “I think my ‘noble friend’ here will be talking to that crone.” Gesturing in Konngara’s general direction, she’s made her way right behind the Lady, when she stops. Approaching, she leans over the back of her chair and places her hands on Yuyu’s shoulders.

“Have you ever done a permanent banishment before?” …In a way not unlike a mother speaking to her daughter, Mima poses a question in as gentle a tone as you’ve seen her use.

“N-no… Is it hard?” Uneasy again, Yuyu’s trying not to shrink away as she looks straight up, into Mima’s eyes.

“It’s not a cakewalk,” she admits, looking troubled for a moment, “but all of us said we were helping out. We’ll manage.” Mima looks over the table at Konngara and yourself. “Now I want you two to listen up.” Completely in her element, she starts to outline a course of action.

“I didn’t know what that tree was when I saw it this morning and I definitely didn’t know we were going to be doing a banishment on it, otherwise I would have looked at in more detail. But I know this – the ritual that’s needed for something like this isn’t the kind of hack job where we can just go out, say a couple mantras, paste some ofuda and expect to get an unqualified success. We need to know as much as possible about what that tree can do and what we can do, so that this doesn’t end in a royal screw up. Everything Lady Saigyouji here told us went a long way towards that, but there’s still more to be done if we want to call ourselves completely ready.”

Looking happy with herself for having thought all this out, she addresses Konngara first. “I probably didn’t need to say it with how interested you are, but find that crone and ask her any questions you have about that jewel of yours. Whether she’s the one or not, you might be able to figure out something new.”

Her friend answers with a disciplined salute and Mima moves on, to the Lady. “That rascal who works for you said he was your sword instructor, which I assume means that you have some extra swords besides his?”

“Yeah… you want me to find a weapon for Miss Konngara?”

“Exactly.” She shows an energetic smile as she playfully ruffles Yuyu’s hair. “You haven’t seen, but hers is ruined. I’ve been telling her to throw it away, but she says that a knight’s not a knight without a blade at her side. My friend shouldn’t need anything other than her Taiji for when we banish it, but against something this dangerous, we should be prepared for the unexpected. It might try to possess animals or,” Mima’s face darkens a second, “animate corpses. Oh, and while you’re at it, find that rascal. I heard he’s not without ability in arcana and I need him here to determine our war potential, anyway.”

“Y-yes sir!” Yuyu tries to imitate Konngara’s salute, but her huge sleeves and the awkward expression of forced seriousness she’s wearing only cause everyone to laugh, herself included.

“Lastly,” Mima proudly draws up to her full, still not-particularly substantial height, “I’ll be doing some research and working out the technicalities of the ritual itself. You’ll have to pardon me,” she says to the Lady from behind her chair, “but when I was snooping around yesterday, I found your library. Some fascinating books in there, to be sure.”

“Aren’t they?” Not at all offended, Yuyu’s looking up at Mima cheerfully. “A lot of them are Murasaki’s.”

“Hey Mima.” Not content with watching any longer, you rap the table; getting her attention. “I don’t know whether you’ve made an (dis)honest oversight, but I’ve not been delegated any tasks.”

“Just treating you like you’ve treated me.”

For just an instant, quick enough that no one else catches it; a sad blankness shows through her features. It’s right then that she looks away and when she does, peals of harmonious laughter ring out.

“I kid! I kid!” …When Mima turns back to look at you, she’s laughing and waving her hands in a pawing motion. “The truth is that I just didn’t think of anything for you to do.” Elbows resting on the top of the Lady’s chair, she’s casually leaning forward on it; resting her face in her hands. “Since you’re asking me like this, I take it you already have something in mind?”

[ ] There’s some lingering questions you have for Murasaki.
[ ] You’d like to help Mima by ‘researching,’ if she’ll have it.
[ ] A more dependable sub-weapon than the knife would be useful.
[ ] Someone should make an exhaustive survey of the tree itself, assuming it’s not fatal right now.
[ ] Allow Mima to decide what you’ll be doing.
[ ] Something else. (Specify)
----------
*The charms that Reimu uses in her shots.

Also, certain things for which you all voted are being saved for later.
>> No. 106809
[ø] You’d like to help Mima by ‘researching,’ if she’ll have it.
[ø] Someone should make an exhaustive survey of the tree itself, assuming it’s not fatal right now.
This seems to be a good time to make up with
Mima.

>“Just treating you like you’ve treated me.”

>For just an instant, quick enough that no one else catches it; a sad blankness shows through her features. It’s right then that she looks away and when she does, peals of harmonious laughter ring out.

Isn't it sad, Mima? ;_;
>> No. 106810
[x] There’s some lingering questions you have for Murasaki.

I sure would like to know more answers to questions.
>> No. 106819
>>106797
[X] You’d like to help Mima by ‘researching,’ if she’ll have it.

If Mima is planning to do some research, she's probably going to need her notebook back, in case there's anything in it she needs to reference.
>> No. 106829
[x] You’d like to help Mima by ‘researching,’ if she’ll have it.
-[x] If not, Ask Mima to decide what you’ll be doing, but not before asking for a few moments with her. (as to try to apologize and return her book)
[x] A more dependable sub-weapon than the knife would be useful.
[x] Someone should make an exhaustive survey of the tree itself, assuming it’s not fatal right now.
[x] There’s some lingering questions you have for Murasaki.

That's the order I'd go about pursuing things in.

Feel free to improve upon it.
>> No. 106840
>>106809
>>106829

So that I'm clear, those votes in order of more - less desirable?

Also I didn't get a chance to say it earlier, but my hat's off to >>106770. I've never made a serious effort at the visual arts, but what little exposure I've been given is enough for me to know that being a drawfag is much harder than being a writefag.
>> No. 106847
>>106840

If one could do all those things in the day, that'd be the order I'd want them done in. ( >>106829 here); thus if there isn't any time to ask Murasaki questions today, there's always tomorrow before or after the task.
>> No. 106850
>>106840
I suppose you could say that: I believe that giving the diary back to Mima, hopefully, making up with her should take the precedence. However, we also have to thoroughly research Saigyou Ayakashi in order to be successful in banishing it.

>Also I didn't get a chance to say it earlier, but my hat's off to >>106770. I've never made a serious effort at the visual arts, but what little exposure I've been given is enough for me to know that being a drawfag is much harder than being a writefag.

Well, thank you good sir. I find the opposite to be true, however, where I find it harder to express my emotions in words rather than an image. Also, you are a great writefag whereas my drawing would get one or no favourites on danbooru/pixiv. I just wish that I could draw like some artists on pixiv, as that is the quality of drawings that this story deserves!

/ramble
>> No. 106894
I'm going to start working on this one after I finish making dinner, so if there's any of you who've not yet given your opinion and would like to do so, you have till then.

All of these choices stand to profit you to varying degrees, but you've only time for one right now, so make the best decision you can.
>> No. 107024
----------
“I do,” you try and reply normally, “though it’s less of a ‘something,’ than a 'someone.'” On the end of your pointed finger and across the table is a Witch; caught off her guard by you. “Though I’m uncertain if I can be of any service to you, my intentions were to help you in the process of research.”

Mima, recovering from your surprise; opens her mouth and starts to answer, but it’s then that she becomes aware of the intensely expectant manner in which her friend and her host are staring.

“Why are the two of you just sitting there when you’ve already received your assigned duties without objecting?” She says to them both, visibly irritated. “Time’s short and if you absolutely have to gawk stupidly at me, then do it after we finish this business. Get to work!” Her cape flutters commandingly as she sweeps her arm.

They scatter, Konngara exiting with dignified possession and Yuyu with hurried panic; leaving you alone at the table with Mima. She walks around, over next to you again and sits, after making sure that there’s no one peeking in on her.

“Your help’s very welcome.” Speaking with a very happy smile, she’s completely lost the air of anger, authority and arrogance. “Even if you aren’t good with theurgy, you approach things with perception and diligence and that’s enough in my book.”

…She’s making it hard for you to not show how down you feel inside. It took your best efforts a moment ago to feign relaxed nonchalance in that short answer a moment ago and much more than any vitriolic words, it hurts when she treats you so kindly.

“What’s the matter, got too comfortable in that chair?” Mima’s voice floats over to you from considerably further away. You look up to find her halfway to the threshold of the left corridor, presumably having turned back when you weren’t following. “Come on, let’s get moving. If you’re worried about the plates, I’m sure that scoundrel’s going to clean them up.” She gestures for you to follow.

Not saying anything – not able to say anything – you catch up to her, maintaining a respectful distance at her back.



“Still, you’re really too honest.” As you’re both proceeding down the hall, she comments while keeping her eyes straight ahead; without turning around to look at you. “If some evil and cunning woman saw how you are, you’d be like putty in her hands. She could walk all over you and make you love every second of it, if she showed you some fake tears and poisoned smiles first.”

“You know me too well, Mima.” Chuckling, you deliver a shrug that she can’t see. “It’s already happened plenty of times, with women as much as men; and I fully expect it to happen again in the future. …No, not like that.” You quickly add at a near-misstep from her. “I mean in the pursuit of my occupation and aims, I’ve had my fair share of experiences being played for a dupe.”

“Funny, I didn’t peg you as a mental lightweight. Don’t you learn from your mistakes?”

“Mistakes? Who said they were mistakes? Relieving another’s suffering for even for a moment at only an expense to my worthless pride, is a trade I have and will continue to make without hesitation.”

“You let them have their way with you?” Asking bewilderedly, Mima realizes she’s stopped in her tracks at what you’ve said and picks up the pace again.

“I suppose you’ll think me stupid for saying this, but it’s out of pragmatism as much as pity.” You explain. “Most of them that I’ve met aren’t recalcitrant, amoral opportunists; they’re people in sorrowful straits who possess a sense of shame. It’s actually taking advantage of their human propriety that I so willfully deliver myself into their hands and gamble on a chance of displaying the Dharma through their own actions.

“This is that ‘skillful means’ thing which you’ve talked about, isn’t it?” Perhaps it’s because you’ve (intentionally) avoided making a moralistic argument, Mima sounds quite interested.

You nod.

“If I show a man that he’s deceived someone who means him only happiness and good, while simultaneously alleviating whatever ill drove him to such desperate circumstances in the first place; that I’d seen through his designs and continued to love him regardless of that, then I’ve made a powerful message.”

In admiration, Mima whistles. “You know, you’re a much sneakier person than for which I gave credit.” Before she says anything else though, she’s brought to a halt in front of a nondescript paper door on the right side of the hallway.

“Here we are.”



The library’s in stark contrast with all the other rooms you’ve encountered. It’s a cozy, inviting space, but cramped; even before accounting the shabby, towering bookshelves that line three of the walls. The only side that’s free – the one opposite the door, is taken mostly by another glass window like the one in Yuyu’s room. Flanking this obvious concession to the delicacy of paper are two hanging paintings, like in shape to the ones in the vestibule. The similarity ends there, however. Where those were simple, minimalistic and bright, these are done in dark colors and, though you only afford them a passing glance; look to be remarkably involved.

At the room’s center is an old, faded rug, on which sits a low, rounded table covered in scratches. On either side of this arrangement are two plush, purple armchairs which, for how dilapidated they look; are incredibly comfortable. You’re seated in one of them, watching Mima ascend and descend a stepladder as she takes books from the shelf. After about ten minutes of this, she descends for the last time with five books and two scrolls in hand.

“We’re starting with these,” she declares enthusiastically, placing them on the table. “Don’t worry about the scrolls or this one,” Mima separates the thickest volume from the others, “just look through these four and see if you can find anything that sounds like the tree’s doing.”

On shuffling through and having a look at their covers, you’re puzzled. “…Why did you select these and not others?”

“They’re local legends, or seem so.” Clarifying, Mima sits down in her chair and sighs. “If Hieda was here, she’d know. She’s good with this sort of thing.” Speaking more to herself than anyone else, she rests her feet on the table and, opening one of the scrolls; starts reading.

As she does, you’re looking at the books. Of the ones she’s left on your side, you’ve nothing other than their titles. You’ll end up looking through all of them as she’s said, but which seems the most interesting?

[ ] The Snow Queen – a small, thin volume.
[ ] The Bride of the Heavens – still not particularly thick, but large and hardcover.
[ ] The Four Devas – heavy, lots of pages.
[ ] The Anunciation – yellowed, the lettering on the cover’s faded.
[ ] None of them. Apologize now.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------

Note: This week is going to be a bit slower since it's the end of the semester for me and is especially busy.
>> No. 107034
[x] The Four Devas – heavy, lots of pages.
Very interested in this. Getting off story information about Suika and the other 3.
>> No. 107045
[X] The Four Devas – heavy, lots of pages.
>> No. 107046
[ø] The Bride of the Heavens – still not particularly thick, but large and hardcover.
>> No. 107084
[x] None of them. Apologize now.

Our MC's too honest to keep going like this. Mima probably already knows that something's eating him, but she's letting our MC to decide if he's gonna say it or not and when.
And say it he should: he's suffering far too much with this. The awkward moment, if it comes to that, can be easily dispelled with the huge mechanic work they have ahead.
>> No. 107089
[X] None of them. Apologize now.

T'is best to sort this out now.
>> No. 107094
[x] None of them. Apologize now.

Well it's closest to the truth, since I don't see how any of the books have to do with the manner at hand.
>> No. 107153
>you approach things with perception and diligence

There’s a right time to apologize and I don’t think it’s now. It feels too much like we’re forcing it with this choice and I’m worried about what would happen if Mima takes it badly. She just showed us that she can still do her job with how she just took charge and told everyone what to do. If we apologize when the moment is wrong and she isn’t ready for it, then she could break down again and we’re distracting her at a critical time when we should be figuring out how to save Yuyuko’s life.

[x] The Bride of the Heavens – still not particularly thick, but large and hardcover.

We should focus on what we're supposed to be doing and I want to know who this is.
>> No. 107157
>>107153
Oh I know how you feel. I'm a coward too.

[x] The Bride of the Heavens – still not particularly thick, but large and hardcover.
>> No. 107200
Gentlemen, the following is speculation and meta as hell, and I might be giving away the plot to boot, but it still needs to be said.

Now, we've just learned Yuyu manifested powers over death itself ten years ago, powers that apparently balance those of the Saigyou Ayakashi. Well and good so far, as long as the balance holds of course.

However, you all might remember >>93983 and my speculation following it WRT the identity of Konngara's mysterious benefactor who gave her the Taiji ten years ago, this amount of time obviously not being a coincidence.

Basically, going by description and mythological knowledge, this benefactor was Sariel, the Motherfucking Angel of Death (and HRtP final boss, Makai route), which should be worrying in itself. And now we are here, along with a girl who controls death, trying to seal a tree that kills people, while one of the party lugs around a mysterious artifact handed to her by the Motherfucking Angel of Death. Along with a cryptic prophesy given by the selfsame angel, of course.

I trust everyone realizes the problem here.


And if this proves to be true, I apologize in advance for ruining a good plot twist.
>> No. 107242
Author here. I can't start writing till Saturday at the soonest, but I'm letting you know that votes are tied right now. Please come to a decisive opinion on this.

If you want a general hint applying to all choices, then I'll tell you that the climax of your time here isn't going to be determined by one pass/fail choice, but instead is a product of everything you do and say. I recommend you think about:

a.) What are your short-term objectives?
b.) What are your long-term objectives?

and make sure that you select things in a way that balances these two. If you only deal with one at the neglect of the other, you're going to have a hard time later.
>> No. 107257
>>107242

I say short term is dealing with the tree, and long term is making amends with Mima (the latter would have a much greater effect in the long run)

I could be wrong, but I see that the books don't seem to have anything to do with the tree really. (closest is the bride one), and I'd think that apologizing would improve the general sense of teamwork and reduce the chance of Mima doing something reckless.

>>107200
I'm trying to remember the details of Touhou Sariel, but there's the second possibility of who gave Konngara that relic.
>> No. 107283
reworded for comprehensibility.

>>107242
Hmm...

short term objectives, I would think, are banishing that ayakashi and making up with Mima.
Not really long term objectives, and nor are they short term; so "mid term" objectives I'd say are finding out the connection between the events that happened 10 years ago.
>> No. 107286
>>107283
Our original goal was to find out more about the Taiji, but I think as things go, I think we should focus on the apology and tree first then afterwards, try to read up on some of the legends as to see if they provide clues.
>> No. 107858
[x] None of them. Apologize now.

After much deliberation, this is my vote. Getting this out of the way will free up time later for research. Our "short" term goals are to make up with Mima and seal the tree. It's in line with our actions in the past. We should still have time to examine each book at leisure.
Looking at the titles of these books, none of them correspond to the tree directly. I wonder if they correspond to Mima herself maybe? With each title reflecting something about her personality. Besides the other theories here, that's my best guess. Regardless, it's a shot it in the dark.
>> No. 107940
Sorry for the holdup in getting this out, but staying awake for consecutive days to finish end-of-semester coursework while ill took some time from which to recover. Now that I'm on break though and mostly better, I'll be writing again at full speed.

----------
You can only guess at how these might relate to the Lady’s present situation, but there’s no question that one stands out over the others. Contrasting the plain facings on the others, ‘The Bride of the Heavens’ is wide and thin, the title embossed in a silvery foil on handsome red leather. Beyond just the cover though, there’s another difference. The text inside, written in a broad, elegant hand; is accompanied by illustrations – beautiful ones. They’re the peer of the best illuminations you recall having seen back at your monastery and made even more impressive by their frequency. Every third page is a detailed watercolor that occupies an entire sheaf opposite the action and, by their dark colors and rich detail in which they’re painted; you’ve become alerted of something else. You look up, at the window.

…Yes, there’s no mistaking it.

In the hangings and in the pictures, the soul of the same artist shines through.



It was a young evening in high summer. That night of many moons ago was wondrously clear and magnificently blue, as if the endless Heavens above had as much desire to see her birth as their suppliants below sought an omen of good fortune. For all the people, from lowly day laborers and the humble vendors of steamed buns, up to the princes of the blood and the grandees of the court, were waiting. Their eyes were on the Eastern sky and their hearts were with the Princess Royal, who was finally with child. She had tried for so long unsuccessfully that everyone had begun to lose hope when miraculously, she conceived. Now, it was on her baby that everyone had placed their faith for the future.

So when a new star twinkled into being from over the edge of the horizon, the whole Capital had cause to celebrate. The newborn Princess’ guardian star – for the baby was a girl, was a sign that the next reign would be prosperous and that the royal line, of which there was a fear that they had lost the grace of God; had been reaffirmed and its succession made sure. In all of the joy and merrymaking, the songs of commoners and the toasts of nobles, there was, however; one person who was uneasy.

The Princess Royal herself knew how miraculous the birth of her healthy, beautiful daughter was firsthand, perhaps too much. She had, one night; experienced a dream in which she felt the Sun entering into her body and it was shortly afterwards that she became pregnant, to the surprise of everyone. Whatever else its meaning, she knew that her child would surely not grow to become any normal girl. With her husband, the Princess Royal consulted the court’s Grand Astronomer the next evening and asked him to divine the fate of their child – would she be the author of their glory, as everyone was saying?

A strange thing happened next. The Grand Astronomer while casting lots; seemed to fall under a trance. His eyes rolled into his skull and his tongue lolled as the lights in his small study dimmed under the weight of chill shadows. Receiving the oracle of some higher power, his voice reverberated with unearthly power as he spoke the Princess’ frightened parents.


“The princess’s Destiny that none might shake and none might break, is as a criminal and Arch-Sinner against the laws that govern the world. Though she is yet beloved in Heaven and Earth, she will become estranged from the body of Gods and Men by her deeds, forever; and beyond the ken of life and death, she will suffer imprisonment for love of her parents.

After having made this dread pronouncement, the Grand Astronomer foamed at the mouth and expired. He was dead, but that was only the beginning of the tragedy. As her husband was paralyzed with despair by the messenger’s words, the Princess Royal returned home ahead of him with a plan. Being a woman of uncommon courage and ability, she had been able to feel the compelling force behind the doom that had been prophesied. But would she accept it and resign herself to fate, knowing that?

No.

‘I won’t see my daughter suffer, fate be damned!’ That was the spirit of her thoughts as she swiftly navigated the winding chambers and halls of her palace and entered the sleeping infant’s room. She had, in the time that it had taken to return to her quarters; considered various plans. The first was escape – could she take her daughter and live far away, with just the two of them? She had disliked her husband from the first* and only more after having been married to him. He was a worthless sort of person and had been perpetually cold and unfaithful to her, so if…?

No.

That was an impossible fantasy, no matter how tempting. Not just her husband, but her uncles, her aunts and most of all, her Brother; would devote every effort to finding them. They would be captured and returned in chains or else suffer the extremes of hunger and exposure on the margins of civilization. Either consequence would only serve to confirm the truth that her daughter would be outcast. She thought about another option – could she just see the message as a warning, rather than a prediction? If she just saw that her daughter received a proper upbringing full of love and happiness, would that not suffice?

No.

Per the laws of the royal household, she would not be entitled to any say in her daughter’s upbringing and education past the age of seven and there was the force from which this ‘prophecy’ had originated, besides. Even before she had heard it speak, even before she had felt the presence and its abominable evil aura descend into the room, she knew that it spoke truly and with a mastering power. Before its malice and its will, all the agency of mankind would come to naught. …But what of womankind? Was there not a special responsibility and peerless strength that was afforded only to that sex who carried the burden of life and love? Could she even, perhaps; fight against fate with that power? So she contemplated as she looked upon her newborn baby’s sleeping face and reached for a pillow.

…Her child would be saved through a terrible design, one for which only she was entitled. With her own hands, she would kill the daughter for whom she had waited so long and endured so much. In exchange for being able to grant that mournful freedom, the Princess Royal would take the name of criminal, Arch-Sinner and prisoner onto her own destiny, now the destiny of a pariah. Whether she lived or died after this, she would have the hatred of all humanity but for one small life, who in death might understand her intentions and forgive her. Faced with such a hopeless, thankless and despondent outcome, even the bravest might shrink away; to reconsider. ‘Maybe I’m being too hasty, shouldn’t I wait a bit longer and see how things turn out after all?’ or ‘Who am I to decide something like this for someone else!’ – those would be the kinds of masks that they would assume in justifying themselves. But as has been said, the Princess Royal was no common woman; the fortitude of her will and the magnificence of her person testified as much.

It was with unflinching resolve that she lowered the pillow over her daughter’s head and pressed firmly. Even in feeling the squirming, the muffled cries and the resistance beneath her grip, even in feeling that was squeezing out her heart as much as the life she had borne, she didn’t let up. Her resolve was something like this – that by this desperate sacrifice and by accepting that she would be without the love of a single person afterwards, she would thereby save her daughter from that all-powerful malevolence.


…Before turning onto the next page, you stop. You’re not sure what you expected coming into this book, but it probably – no, definitely; wasn’t something like this. Its subject seems as dark as the colors in which it’s so elegantly illustrated. There’s a good bit left and…

[ ] You’ll continue. You suspect there’s relevance to the present situation.
[ ] You’ll continue. For the darkness of its subject matter, it’s interesting.
[ ] You’ll pick up another book. This one’s not of any use in ‘research.’
[ ] You’ll put it back on the shelf. You’re more interested in Mima than any book.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------

*On this point, arranged marriages were (for the most part) not the dramatic situations you see in fiction where the girl’s forced by her parents to marry someone she hates instead of her true love. If either the husband or bride-to-be had a real distaste for the other party, then the marriage would probably be called off, even in the case of royal marriages made out of political expedience. But there are certain extenuating circumstances in this case, of which you may or may not learn depending on your choice.

>>107858
I had already done most of the thinking and a fair part of the writing before you voted and broke the tie, so that's why this one turned out as it did. My apologies, but I thought it a better idea to make a concession to your opinion in the present choice rather than scrapping everything and delaying an update for even longer.
>> No. 107941
[y] You’ll continue. For the darkness of its subject matter, it’s interesting.
>> No. 107946
[ø] You’ll continue. For the darkness of its subject matter, it’s interesting.
I need to know how the title is related to the content.
[ø] Apologize to Mima.
>> No. 107948
>>107940
No worries. I simply voted since I thought the story was on page 3 because of the tie.

[x] You’ll continue. You suspect there’s relevance to the present situation.

This is definitely relevant to our situation. The events don't directly correlate, but the act of sacrifice to void fate is pretty much what Yuyu is considering. She wants to sacrifice her life to seal the tree and prevent it from killing anyone else. At least, this is my logic, anyone disagree?
>> No. 107953
[x] You’ll continue. You suspect there’s relevance to the present situation.
>> No. 107984
Going to start writing soon. There's been a vote for relevance, but do any of you apart from >>107948 see something?
>> No. 107985
>>107984

Nope, but we should continue reading the book to see how it might be connected.

But with our help such a fate can be avoided.

And in before it was some ploy of the heavens.
>> No. 107987
disregard >>107946, twas posted from school network, and I can't delete it.
----------------------------
>>107948
Oh wow I was taking in the story literally, but now you put it that way, it does have a relevance to the current situation.
vote changed.
[ø] You’ll continue. You suspect there’s relevance to the present situation.
[ø] Apologize to Mima.
>> No. 107989
>>107987
You didn't need to change your vote, I was merely asking that if you voted for relevance, that you explain if you saw something.

I've said it before, but whether you the readers attain realization before the moment at which I reveal something, things in the story change.
>> No. 107991
We ought to reflect on the deeper meaning in this story, even if it is not directly applicable to our current situation.

Now ironically enough, if the story continues on the same track, it will inevitably end up in a logical contradiction. If the princess is killed, the prediction of the astronomer was wrong, and therefore killing the princess was unnecessary. And if the prediction is right, the princess obviously cannot die, and therefore trying to kill her is futile as she'll be saved by some Deus Ex Machina anyway.

Therefore the deeper moral, depending on if the princess dies or not, is that fate is inescapable or that it is all humbug.

Unless, of course, she becomes a ghost or something, making the sacrifice of an innocent being doubly futile. This could naturally also be read as a thinly veiled analogy to Yuyu's situation, except that Yuyu seems to be undertaking the task of sealing the Saigyou Ayakashi voluntarily. In any case, we cannot know unless we read further.

However, what muddles the waters a bit is the question of fate in the broader context of buddhism, because Buddha himself explicitly denied that there is such a thing as unalterable fate or destiny. Everything that happens has a cause, and all actions lead to further causation, leaving nothing set in stone, therefor entire concept of unalterable destiny is absurd, thus the end of the story, and whatever moral it tries to convey, really shouldn't matter to Myouren as he already knows the enlightened truth.

Therefore, searching for relevance in such a story will only lead to delusion and bad karma, as will reading it for the sake of interest alone because that would constitute wasting valuable time on irrelevant distractions. Remember, we're officially here to help Mima with her research and inofficially to apologize, we're not here to read the works of the distant japanese cousin of the Grimm Brothers.

So in conclusion, we should wither apologize or continue with our research. I am myself more concerned with Mima at the moment, but I also wonder if this really is a good time to apologize.

However, what is a man if he doesn't have the guts to face his fuckups?


[ODIN] You’ll put it back on the shelf. You’re more interested in Mima than any book.
>> No. 107993
>>107991
>Now ironically enough, if the story continues on the same track, it will inevitably end up in a logical contradiction.

I assure you that this wasn't an oversight.
>> No. 107997
[x] You’ll put it back on the shelf. You’re more interested in Mima than any book.
-[x] It might have given false insights anyways; I can read for fun later.
>> No. 108058
----------
You can’t put your finger on it but… you’ve a faint impression that there’s something important just below the surface in this story that you’re missing. There are several obvious ethical parallels with the present situation, but is there something more…? Well, you’ll know by finishing it. The subject matter’s more than a little disturbing, but you can’t say it doesn’t make for an interesting read.

Her resolve was something like this – that by this desperate sacrifice and by accepting that she would be without the love of a single person afterwards, she would thereby save her daughter from that all-powerful malevolence.

…No.

When the Princess Royal was discovered by her husband shortly afterwards, she was sprawled out on the floor, the evidence that she had planned to smother her baby still held with an iron grip in her hands. At first he, in his cowardice; feared her to be as dead as the Grand Astronomer, which she was not. Though comatose for days, she eventually regained consciousness some time later. What she did not regain, however; were her senses. When the officials delegated to investigate the case tried an interrogation, they found she had completely lost her mind and any capacity for the coherent speech of humans. That she was unable to defend herself only seemed to confirm the false story that her husband had given afterwards – that while possessed by an evil spirit, she killed the Grand Astronomer and would have killed her daughter and then herself if he hadn’t come in the nick of time. But, said he; they should have mercy because she was not herself and had not succeeded in the horrible act. This was not out of love or pity. The Princess Royal’s husband did not want the stain of having worked towards his wife’s death on his reputation.

In consideration of these words of his good friend, and because ordering the death of his sister was abhorrent to him; the reigning sovereign had her confined to a room in the palace to be attended upon and watched. There, the remaining sum of her unhappy years was spent wasting away, shunned by everyone. As if a spirit of death and ruin had incarnated into the Princess Royal’s body, she degenerated rapidly – her hair turned prematurely gray and fell out, her full cheeks became sunken and lined, her generous figure withered into a hunched, skeletal husk. Hideous to behold and forgotten by all but her hapless attendants, she plays no further part in this story, except by her absence and by the legacy she bequeathed to her daughter.

The palace made every effort at suppressing any rumors as to what had happened, with no success. Some say this was because the Princess Royal’s husband had intentionally leaked an embellished version of events to further his own aims, but this could never be proven. What is known, however; is that he wasted no time in profiting from the situation. Acting on the dread words of the Grand Astronomer of ‘suffering imprisonment for love of her parents,’ he ordered the construction of a tower and had the little girl confined therein. This was only possible because the commotion her mother had created let him give to the sovereign a pretext of ‘sheltering her from the rapacious eye of infamy.’ Disposing of her thus, it was said by some, he could now slake his lust without the hindrance of wife or child.

But possibly he was also not without some good intentions. The public opinion, which had been so enthusiastic for the new princess only a few weeks prior, turned sharply against her after the account of what had happened spread throughout the Capital. In several versions of the story, the princess was alternately a demon, a fox spirit or a vengeful ghost from a previous reign, born out of her mother’s secret liaisons with dark powers. This was the ridiculous lie that was repeated, once, twice, ten times, a hundred times; till it became truth. Even the sovereign, the young princess’ uncle, came to half-believe it and grew afraid of her. It was fortunate then, that she grew up away from palace intrigues; cloistered in her white spire. Windowless though it might have been, it wasn’t a cheerless place – the growing princess’ quick mind and fiery wit endeared her to the servants who attended her and she became their fast friends. It was from them that she acquired the decidedly un-aristocratic frankness and easygoing geniality for which she became famous and to which everyone who knew her attested in later days.

She also had the company of her father. Maybe he felt guilty about what had happened to her mother or maybe he was taken by his spirited daughter, but he visited her in the tower regularly, always bearing gifts and spending time to play with her. As one of the servants very insightfully remarked at the time, ‘darn if it ain’t like the Prince be giving th’ Young Miss what he were so stingy with the Missus.’ As hypocritical as it might sound to us that he would at once play both warm father and warden to the princess, it was his way of showing real affection; as much as his ill heart allowed anyway. The inherent contradiction of this was not lost on the princess who, though still but a very young girl and one who loved her father dearly; came to understand that her situation was very unusual.

‘Dad and my friends always go through that door I can’t open somewhere. Does it go somewhere? Is there something outside this floor and these walls of stone?’ That was something like what the princess was thinking at the time. She was alone in the tower’s centermost chamber, a room bare of all furnishings except for a modest awning around an aperture in its ceiling. It was the only room to which she was allowed that opened onto the outside world, upwards at the sky and the stars and it was there that day, lying on her back and absentmindedly grasping at the clouds; that she met the Great Sage.

You see, as the princess was grappling with these new and strange ideas, she felt some droplets heralding rain. One became two, which became ten, which became a hundred, and she had begun to move towards cover when she noticed – the rain was shining. It quickly intensified and became a localized downpour, but with none of the sound and fury accompanying thunder or lightning, nor the cold wetness of a sudden cloudburst. This rainstorm would be best described as a shower of gold, gentle to the touch and warm to the heart, a joy to behold and a happiness to hear; a fantastic deluge that attended an equally fantastic individual. Cloaked in white was a tall, impossibly beautiful woman, in whose face radiant was the light of paradise.

The princess would have been as daunted as any of us would when faced before such a strange and awe-inspiring sight, were she not her mother’s daughter.

‘Who’re you, lady?’

Making a disrespectful and irreverently honest query, she stood on her toes and puffed out her chest in a symbol of brave defiance.

The one that she addressed only smiled faintly and replied in a voice low and melodically subtle; “I have many names, Princess. My enemies call me the Great Sage born of Heaven and Earth. My friends call me something else,” the Great Sage crouched to place herself at eye level with the little girl, “something I would have you call me. I have come because I would be your friend and ally in overthrowing Causality.”

At that time, the princess didn’t understand about what the Great Sage was proposing; she only knew that the strangely dressed lady in front of her was a nice enough sort to be her friend.

‘Okay. Let’s be friends.’

Remembering something the butler had shown her, she offered her little hand with its five stubby fingers in a gesture of parity. The Great Sage took it into her own fair palm and feminine fingers, and laughing; they shook.

Such was the humble beginning of their partnership – one that would aim to work the miracle by which the whole world would be redeemed.


[ ] There’s a certain illustration in the book I want to examine more closely. (Specify)
----------

Note: This isn’t the end of the story, just another point at which I’ve broken up the wall because of a shift in what follows afterwards. Don’t feel compelled to choose anything for the above option if you’re not interested, it’s just there if there’s anything on this or the previous update for which you’d like more details. Otherwise, expect the rest tomorrow.

edit: Formatting.
>> No. 108067
>>108058
[X] There’s a certain illustration in the book I want to examine more closely: the meeting between the princess and the Great Sage.

Please?
>> No. 108070
[X] There’s a certain illustration in the book I want to examine more closely: the meeting between the princess and the Great Sage.

I think perhaps it was her mother's stunt that ultimately lead to her daughter's repuation being ruined.

But I suspect who this great sage is alright; and chances are if anyone can say "screw fate", it'd be her.
>> No. 108081
[X] There’s a certain illustration in the book I want to examine more closely: the meeting between the princess and the Great Sage.
>> No. 108091
The irony still is that there is absolutely nothing that would necessitate the involvement of fate in this story. Rather, there simply is a causal link where one action leads to the next because of the lack of enlightenment of the characters in the story. In their ignorance they make the prophesy self-fulfilling by acting as if its fulfilment was inevitable when even one different choice could have changed the entire flow of events.

An interesting moral, true, but still one that Myouren should know already.

Of course the real question is: Do we readers know it?
>> No. 108097
>>108091
>An interesting moral, true, but still one that Myouren should know already.

His conversations have shown that he believes as much, haven't they?

Also, you all should think if there's more to this story than just the literal moral, because doing as much has served you well before. Remember when you found out who you were?
>> No. 108104
>>108097
>Also, you all should think if there's more to this story than just the literal moral, because doing as much has served you well before.

Now you've got me thinking of the only Princess in all of Touhou. Who says this story is taking place on Earth so far? Causality, "beyond the ken of life and death", a great Sage... anyone else thinking what I'm thinking?

Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is all I'm saying.
>> No. 108110
This brings to mind two people:

Yukari or Eirin, but most likely the latter
>> No. 108121
----------
You pause for a moment to study the panel on the opposite leaf. Did the artist perhaps embellish this somewhat? It’s… dramatic.

At the center of the picture are the princess and the Great Sage, drawn in profile. Amidst the deep darkness and sparse stone of the gloomy tower room, they’re the sole bright spot; laughing together in a column of golden rain falling through the window on the sky. The princess is on the left, a spirited little girl of about ten wearing a frilly red dress. Her clothes and her bobbed hair have become soaked in the rainfall, but the cheeky expression she’s got as she shakes with the Great Sage seems to say, ‘Pah, it don’t bother me!’ Holding her hand at the right is a radiant personage that seems every bit the Bodhisattva. In her face is the purity of one above the world’s troubles and in her eyes and the cascade of her unloosed tresses is a white-gold light. She’s crouching to be at eye level of the princess, with no care that her magnificent plumed robe’s become drenched against her ample body or that its long hem is dragging in a pool of water.

This picture – if it’s accurate; tells you a few things. You didn’t imagine her as such at the first, but in comparing this picture with the others, it’s clear that if the princess takes after her mother in character, she’s her father’s daughter in her looks. Probably the only good thing she could have received from him, judging by all that you’ve read.

…Quite unlike your own situation, really. Neither you nor she had much resemblance to they that bore you; the difference in appearance and temperament being to such an extent that there was always a rumor back home that the pair of you weren’t the children of your parents. You can only smirk and laugh at anyone foolish enough to believe something like that – they’re the sorts who’ve partaken of so many clichéd and poorly written romances that they believe any child who isn’t his/her father or mother in miniature must have been secretly adopted as a baby and that bonds of deep affection between siblings always end in the revelation that they aren’t related by blood.

The agility of your mind and the resilience of your body is certain proof that they’re wrong; that the both of you were sprung from the loins of your mother and that the sanguine in the your dear sister’s heart is yours, too. …Even if you don’t quite have her bonecrushing strength.

...The one other obvious point about this picture is the (very pleasing) figure of the Great Sage born of Heaven and Earth. She has an uncanny similarity to the person who Konngara described as having helped her in her compassion, her appearance and her voice, but there are some marked differences too. You can’t see if this Bodhisattva’s wearing shoes or not because her dress is too long, but she’s not wearing the headdress that was described and more importantly, you can actually see her face – something which Konngara said wasn’t possible because a sun-disk behind her head made it too bright for her eyes. There’s various ways these disparities could be explained; it might be a different entity, it could be that the artist took liberties with the drawing or…

The Great Sage might have more than one set of clothes.
----------
>> No. 108124
>>108121

>The Great Sage might have more than one set of clothes.

This is starting to sound like Yukarin~
>> No. 108136
>>108121
>bonds of deep affection between siblings always end in the revelation that they aren’t related by blood.
Hoping this doesn't happen for the sole reason that I am a filthy, awful person and desire my Hijirincest raw and untainted.
>> No. 108139
Well, I doubt it's Kaguya, since the story started with
>That night of many moons ago was wondrously clear and magnificently blue

I'm reluctant to believe that lunarians would count phases of the earth(?) as measurements of time. Anyway, in my mind, there's only one character we know of that would speak so frankly and straight-forwardly, but would also herald from a noble background. Fujiwara no Mokou. From her description in Imperishable Night:

>Long ago, before she became immortal, she was the daughter of an aristocrat. She wasn't allowed to go out in public, so it seems that she wasn't a wanted child.

Hmm? The straight-talking daughter of a noble that has been secluded from society? She is enduring eternal life because of the humiliation doled out upon her father by Kaguya as per:
>beyond the ken of life and death, she will suffer imprisonment for love of her parents.

But why would any omnipotent Sages be particularly interested in her?
>Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
>Over 1,000 years ago Yukari invaded the Moon with an army of youkai for unknown reasons but was defeated.

Thoughts?
>> No. 108140
>>108136

That would have to be side story only; I'd rather see a threesome between Myouren, Konngara and Mima (On this note I hope we do the apology plan soon, the suspense is killing me)
>> No. 108144
>>108139

I can believe this, though I don't think the events concerning Kaguya has happened yet. But seeing what's happened in this story I can see why Kaguya might have rejected him other than the requests matter.

But the story suggests that Mokou as a child might have had powers of a phoenix.

And this is a crack shot theory, but we might have seen a bit of Lunarian trickery involved for all we know (again this is going out on a limb)

Not quite any idea of what Yukari's planning, but even in the beginning I've suspected her as the one to give Konngara the Taija.

On the matter of other books and this, they might be perhaps somewhat relevant to the issue at hand but exist mainly to show background on other Touhous that lived this long.
>> No. 108148
>>108136
I'm sure you're reading carefully, but:

>any child who isn’t his/her father or mother in miniature must have been secretly adopted as a baby
>bonds of deep affection between siblings always end in the revelation that they aren’t related by blood.

see:

>You can only smirk and laugh at anyone foolish enough to believe something like that
>the both of you were sprung from the loins of your mother and that the sanguine in the your dear sister’s heart is yours, too.

Also, if you really want Byakuren, you'll need to convince your fellow voters to talk (talk?) to her. I've given options that would move in that direction, but it seems they either weren't interested or didn't pick up on them.

>>108140
>That would have to be side story only;

Who says so? And before you would make the claim that 'it would be without buildup or not in line with the hero's established character,' re-read Myouren's interactions with his sister.

Then again, considering what happened last time with the trolling, the stupid partisanship and the charge that none of the female characters have depth of character because they're willing to have sex, maybe you're right in suggesting that I don't afford you any further chances for successful intimacy in this story.

>I'd rather see a threesome between Myouren, Konngara and Mima

That won't happen if one or all of you don't survive tomorrow night. If you don't believe that's a possible consequence of not preparing adequately, feel free to call my bluff. I'd rather not write that, but I'll do it. Beyond that, you'll need to address their respective problems. As Konngara said to you, flirting only goes so far and I can't guarantee what might happen if you don't put some things together.

Example: Not just apologizing for it, but asking yourselves the question of why Mima broke down?
>> No. 108150
>>108148

I never said that, but it seems so far out of the way in regards to Byakuren (unless we have some kind of magical item that allows for long distance phone calls)

That and the outcry over the Yuyuko scene was mainly done by a couple of angry IRC goers who'd prefer things to stagnate. (That and the traditionists have an absurd view of sex in certain regards to the story.)

And I do understand it won't be so easy, I was just stating a goal.

It's hard to tell if this book would really help with our problem, other than cluing us into the fact of who the great sage is and how she might be closer than Myouren'd ever suspect.

As far as the Mima matter, I suspect it was the matter of starting a reaction of sorts (not so much her past), and then basically blowing her off in our ignorance.

Again I feel rather dumb (that's the double edged nature of this story, it's not your typical VN-based stuff but at the same time, it does ask for alot more mentally than said stories; not always the best mix when dealing with folks who prone to being tired from school/work)
>> No. 108155
>>108139
>>108144

The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is supposed to take place somewhere in the 8th century IIRC, so it should have happened long before current date in the story.

And yeah, the princess does sound like Mokou, and it probably even is Mokou. The only strange thing is the title "The Bride of the Heavens", which doesn't seem to fit, or at least not in my mind.


I also have some additional thoughts, but they'll have to wait due to a pressed schedule.
>> No. 108165
File 126116457526.png - (743.00KB , 768x1024 , 7699599.png ) [iqdb]
108165
Perhaps this is telling the story of the Bamboo Cutter from the perspective of one of Kaguya's humiliated suitors? One of them was supposed to be from the Fujiwara clan, and it was noted that at least one of them was a friend of Saigyou's, so it wouldn't be odd for him to know of this tale. Maybe "perspective" is the wrong term for the story. This might be a companion piece to the Bamboo Cutter, chronicling Mokou's story instead of Kaguya's. Title could stem from the thrust of the story being Mokou's actions after her father is spurned by the "Bride of the Heaven."

Great Sage is still bothering me. There are plenty of hints; the warm, comforting rain coming out of nowhere and the crack about different sets of clothes, but no one is coming to mind...

Well shit, just scanned the wiki. Check this out:
http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Scarlet_Weather_Rhapsody:_Weather
>Sunshower
>"天気雨"
>Romanized: "Tenki Ame"
>Meaning: "Sun Shower" or "Sudden Rain during Clear Skies"
>Associated with: Yukari Yakumo

She certainly seems to be quite the clotheshorse as well.
>> No. 108183
>>108148
>the charge that none of the female characters have depth of character because they're willing to have sex
Er.
What?

In before people reply angrily to this while missing the point. I hope they actually read it, and just take it for what it is, rather than try and start something over this. Spoiler-tagging this because it's really only intended for two people: the author, and >>108150


For the author, part 1:
Lack of depth of character was never anything I said, and wasn't my own reason for objecting to it. I can see how you might think that was all the objections amounted to, but I was never clear in my own objections, and I'm sorry for that.

For >>108150
≻That and the outcry over the Yuyuko scene was mainly done by a couple of angry IRC goers
Right away with the blaming of IRC. It's okay not to blame them for everything, you know. I don't go there, so you're already shooting the wrong way.

≻who'd prefer things to stagnate.
Oh, come on. Do you seriously believe that's why they objected? I mean, doesn't that sound ridiculous, even to you?
It's classic misleading tactics and exaggeration, like in politics: "My opponent voted against the Precinct Funding bill, which means he's fine with all of us being raped in the streets and murdered in our beds by outlaws, unable to do anything about it because the entire city police force was laid off!"

No. We don't WANT things to stagnate, and for you to say so was a stupid idea.

≻(That and the traditionists have an absurd view of sex in certain regards to the story.)
Your tone has changed from mudslinger to that of an indignant hippy, now. "Don't go bringing your stodgy old-fashioned values in here! We aren't gonna have The Man telling us how we can have sex! We're free thinkers, liberated from the chains of society's prejudices!" (Something along that sort of line. I hate people trying to pretend they're being oppressed.)

For both of you:
I can't speak for the others, but I'll tell you what rubbed me wrong about that:
It wasn't a matter of stuffy, outmoded, victorian-era values. At least, not for me.
Let's look at it outside of a Touhou context, for a moment: You have just helped out a young, attractive, nervous, seemingly unsure, and desperately eager-to-please girl with something. She is so grateful that she offers you her body.

Whether or not she's just THAT thankful to you, such things do not happen often, if at all, in the real world. So, even in a Touhou context, can you grasp that deciding to sleep with a girl in this case feels like a rock star confronted with an excited, exuberant young fan who's meeting her biggest idol for the first time, and decides to do it with him in the back of the van?
Regardless of what had happened in the story, of how good and kind the main character is, of Yuyuko's reasons and motivations, and of the setting of the story, it felt sort of like that, back then, which just didn't sit well with me, at all. It made me feel like a creep.

For the author:
I am not writing this to start a shitstorm. I am not writing this to pick open an old scab. (In fact, I even used ≻ for quoting because using the normal right angle-bracket in spoilered text makes it stand out against the black even when not being hovered over, and did not want that showing and drawing more people in.)

I am writing this because I feel sort of bad for contributing to the negative opinion some people may have regarding this story, and because I could never really clarify well what I didn't like about that whole thing. Not only that, after seeing >>108150, I wanted to clear the air about the motivation behind the objections at least some of us had.

I would like to make amends for my part in all that, and wish to reassure you, the author, that aside from that bumpy patch, I have enjoyed this story, and hope that you will continue to write.

>> No. 108193
>>108183

The reason I voted for that was not for the sex, but to show her love in case things go as we know them to go (A truly lovely young maiden passing on without knowing a moment of love would be such a shame). Just a momentary love that won't be spoken of much, but forever remembered. The sex was just an incidental benefit.

Purer intents than those behind the votes for the Patchy sex scene in GH: Because we wanted Patchy Sex with the rationalization of helping her.

It was not an easy choice to make either; though the fact that she offered it reflects on her character. I have no idea what standards were around back in that era of japan or such. (certainly modern world ones wouldn't apply) so I don't know what to say about that.
>> No. 108201
I love that even people that take issue with parts of the story take the time to be so damn considerate. We may not see eye-to-eye on the scene in question, anon that likes the spoiler tag an awful lot, but I salute your efforts to keep the story drama free and civil. Salut!

So, did we ever figure out why Mima shut down when we invited to the bath? I think her snubbing of us when assigning tasks just now is a pretty clear indication of how she saw our behavior: "Dealing with you isn't of consequence to me because you don't matter, so I'm going to ignore you and spend time dealing with more important people."

For the folks at home keeping score, this is the sixth time we've been bludgeoned over the head for that decision! Despite the colossal blunder (which we have been reminded of again, and again, and again, and again...), I think we should take a bow in honor of this achievement. In b4 the author overreacts to an obvious joke. Anyway, it's nice that he's particularly adamant in making sure we learn from out mistakes, but I think that stubbornness is having ill effects amongst the meager reader base. Dude needs to chill out and channel the attitude from the first thread that made this such an awesome story to read.

Anyway, I've been rereading everything to try and understand the nature of Mima's breakdown (as well as archiving everything since the first thread is getting perilously close to being pushed past page 9; I hope to get an updated .rtf file compiled soon). Some things worth noting:
Konngara wanted power to bring herself happiness, while Mima wanted power to save herself from despair. One works regardless, because it's constantly striving to make the situation better. The other makes things less bad by squishing the things that are making you sad. What happens if you don't want to do that to the person bringing you anguish? Feels bad, man.
Mima views herself as Konngara's rival, so I would imagine Konngara's ability to do something she can't must be frustrating as hell.
Mima loves being challenged, and she absolutely thrives when she has met her match and can face someone on even grounds. What happens if she's challenged on something she can't handle? Frustration, anger, tears. In spite of this, nothing upsets her more than being seen as weak. Just me speculating, but I think she'd rather be challenged to face the situation than be coddled or pitied. (The more I think like this, the more I understand where our author was coming from in laying into us, but I won't presume and just get angry by my lonesome.) Call me crazy, but aside from an apology, I think she wants to get called out for her weakness. We should fight. The best exposition and exploration of the deepest recesses of the soul come from drop down, drag out fights where you're forced to defend your preconceptions, and only truth will pierce that deeply ingrained armor. God damn, we need a fight between Myouren and Mima; the latter justifying the psychological barriers with history and hardship, while the former tears them down with sincere love and camaraderie. It would be the stuff of legends.

Seriously, call me crazy. Or drunk.

Anyway, where Konngara has a preternatural way of divining our genuine affection for her despite our airs, Mima likes being respected in a more forthright manner.
Mima is definitely not comfortable asking for help; years of living alone and by her own power have resulted in as much. That's not to say she doesn't need help, though. Quite the contrary, I think; it's when she's troubled and isn't asking is when she needs it the most. She had a hell of a time asking us to rub down her aching feet. Don't expect her to come crying for help when it comes to deep seated psychological issues, I reckon. Best rely on our author's advice and be bold when the situation presents itself when it comes to something like this, no?
Mima seems to resent her power, to an extent. It's almost mocking her, presented to her only after everything dear to her was taken, raped, and destroyed. A great tool to protect everything dear to you, only after everything you cherish has been stripped away. Seriously think about it; a mysterious power, with which you could save everything, but you couldn't use it when it counted the most. Even with this power, you can't bring yourself happiness. All you can do is reign punishment upon those that wronged you. Only those that have done wrong against you, meaning they get the chance to shit all over you before you can do anything about it. It's the worst super power of all time ever.
OH YEAH
>>94214
>"... Do you promise? You won't leave me alone?"
>You smile gallantly. As she sees the willpower in your eyes, you respond.
>"As long as breath runs in my body, I will not abandon you, nor will I ever desire to do so. I've pledged to aid you as long as you have need of me, and I have no plans to renege on that offer." With one arm in front, you kneel with exaggerated courtesy. "So please, command me, My Lady."
Verdict is in on this one: we suck. And that's only the first thread, but it's some food for thought.

Pressing to out current situation, Myouren, upon hearing the story of how the Taiji was given to Konngara, speculated that it could change causality. Where have we heard this recently? Seems like Yukari sprung into action "10 years ago" and set into motion a series of events to change the history of Gensokyo. Author has been commenting upon three ends, and that lends itself to: "ABJECT DESPAIR, GENSOKYO NEVER EXISTED" bad end, "Everything is the same, but now we know what happened" normal end, and "Ours is the Vajra that pierces the heavens and punches causality in the face" good end. Where this mysterious "4th ending" falls into the grand scheme, I haven't the foggiest.
>> No. 108204
>>108201

It was VNish thinking that would have been good in other CYOAs that lead to that massive mistake (I made the mistake of assuming that Konngara would take offense at being kept waiting), and there isn't a moment I don't regret making that write in that lead to this mistake.

Even now my confidence in what to do with Mima is shattered, and that's why I'm dying to see how the apology plan works out, since as long as this lingers, I don't think I'd recover that confidence of what to do in regards to Mima.

But we did learn one major lesson from that major fuck up: the old ways of thinking are no good in this story.

Still I want to amend this grievous error posthaste; leaving it unchecked will ruin our chances for a good ending at best.
>> No. 108205
>>108140
Oh, so would I.
And I would have no problem at all with Byakuren-lovan gaems kept only as a side-story, either; even non-canon.
>> No. 108208
I’m still working on the update, but I thought I should take some time to answer you all.

>>108205
>And I would have no problem at all with Byakuren-lovan gaems kept only as a side-story, either; even non-canon.

Determining how much or how little Myouren thinks of his sister is in your hands, but setting aside the question of how important she was in making him the person he is today and what role she might play in the story, I want to remind you of something.

1. Konngara and Mima have something in common that they share with Byakuren. What is it? (...It’s not their gender or anything related to that.)

2. What makes Byakuren the person she is in the present?

>>108201
> Dude needs to chill out and channel the attitude from the first thread that made this such an awesome story to read.

Wait till the finale of this segment.

>>108183
So, even in a Touhou context, can you grasp that deciding to sleep with a girl in this case feels like a rock star confronted with an excited, exuberant young fan who's meeting her biggest idol for the first time, and decides to do it with him in the back of the van?

I anticipated this, which is why I wrote it in such a way to make it clear that their feelings were reciprocal. It’s a sign of my naivete as an author, but I thought that if showed you what they were still themselves the whole time, that no one was taking advantage of anyone else, that both of them had good reasons that were in line with their character and that they felt a powerful attraction for each other, that people would set aside their biases and appreciate it. That was a mistake, and looking at it in hindsight, I assumed too much on my own ability to win over the audience. It’s my fault, not yours and I don’t hold it against you or anyone else who thought similarly to you.

Whether or not she's just THAT thankful to you, such things do not happen often, if at all, in the real world.
I have no idea what standards were around back in that era of japan or such.

A few things on these. I was going to put these in author’s notes around the time when you were in Yuyu’s room, but because this is fiction and not a historical essay, I decided to omit them because probably they’re only of interest to me. Still, thinking about them has helped me to organize my thought processes about things to come, so here it is anyway.

Sexual mores in pre-modern Japan, whether among aristocrats or just simple country folk, were something pretty far removed from ours. Among Heian nobles, one of their most infamous and well-documented pasttimes would be what was essentially sleeping around after an elaborate song and dance involving the exchange of poems. Among country folk, it was even more blatant - a problem that existed at the time of the Meiji Restoration was that everyone in rural villages would try everyone else because it was important for optimizing personal compatibility. Neither of these are particularly obscure facts and if you ever taken even an introductory course on GLORIOUS NIPPON, then you’ll encounter them. My point? Well, there’s two.

The first point, though you might not believe me, is that both of these things were on my mind as I was considering how I should handle the scene. I’ve made certain liberties from the time period for the sake of more interesting dynamics, but any time I can use something in actual history to raise a compelling question or to create a fascinating scene, I’ll try. I ruled out the second one from before I even wrote the first word of the story as being out of character. The hero’s mores and the strange circumstances in which the two main heroines grew up meant that their celibacy to the point at which the story began, which is otherwise not particularly realistic for the time in which they lived (the virtue of chastity actually being a very modern construct that’s comes out of a Protestant worldview*) has an appropriate justification.

On the other hand, the former option of recreating a Heian courtship – of course with the decidedly unhistorical addition of emotional love, was incredibly appealing to me. Even if Yuyu’s not really an aristocratic aristocrat, wouldn’t it have been interesting to try? But I also had to rule that one out because I guessed, probably correctly, that even if the stakes were to win Yuyu’s love, asking anonymous to write poetry (even bad poetry) would only raise more claims that my expectations of the readers are too high. That’s why what you received is a compromise from me that acknowledges the spirit of the time period and goes on to be something else.

My second point in telling you this is that I want to encourage you to be able to think outside just your perspective of ‘the reader at his computer in the twenty-first century,’ not because I’m trying to be ‘revolutionary’ or DEEP, but because I would hope that it helps to empathize with the characters. Here’s an example.

≻ You have just helped out a young, attractive, nervous, seemingly unsure, and desperately eager-to-please girl with something. She is so grateful that she offers you her body.

Turn the chessboard around.

You’re a kindly and sensitive girl in the flower of her youth when you find yourself the host of a dashing, genuine and virtuous man. He’s very appealing, but what really kindles a flame in your maidenly heart is that more that either your big-hearted but incredibly eccentric ‘mother’ or your dear servant, for whom you’ve intentionally preserved a relationship of unrequited love for years because you’re afraid that you might drive him away if you go further, this man is understanding. Not sure about how he feels or what you’re really feeling for that matter, you call him to your room and tell him your heart. For the first time you’ve seen, his handsome face becomes self-conscious, nervous and seemingly unsure about something. …Beyond a doubt, you’re now positive that he’s as attracted to you as you are to him. You’re overjoyed! But… you also feel guilty. He’s a monk, isn’t he? You knew some monks when you were little and you know that not every sect practices celibacy but…? And there’s his friends, aren’t they such good people? Miss Konngara’s listened to you so attentively and sympathetically yesterday night and Miss Mima’s been so nice, not at all like the pitiless killer you’ve heard about. They probably like him too and you’re afraid that if you go further that you’ll force him into a situation that destroys his friendships and oaths. W-what should you do…?

Oh, that’s right! He knows better his own responsibilities and how his friends would think than you and he’s so wise, too! So that he can decide, you’ll frame it as a request, an exchange! That way, you can be satisfied that you’re doing something for him and he won’t be forced into anything he doesn’t want to do! Y-you won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen but you’re… secretly hoping that he can ask you for what you both really want.


Compare that with the same scene from Myouren’s perspective. In this case, I hope you’re reminded that there were not one, but TWO nervous, unsure and eager-to-please virgins in the room. I don’t expect that you or anyone else spend that sort of effort to intuit the characters, but doing it sometimes at very apparently critical moments will help you to make better choices and let me make a better story.

----------
*IE, regardless if you personally are Protestant or not, some nations (America probably most of all, but there are others too) have been so powerfully shaped by the ethics of Protestantism that to grow up in that culture is to internalize those same ethics in a secular context. To use an example from America, though we’re often called lazy, comparing our average allotted days for vacation to other countries reveals that we have among the fewest, if not THE fewest. Why is this? Actually, the origins of this can be traced back to England in the 17th century, where during Cromwell’s government as Lord Protector (in which there were various literally Puritan attempts at social engineering, all aimed at banning fun), there was a drastic reduction in the number of holidays with the intent of making people more efficient. Some holidays were even banned outright, Christmas being one of them. Understandably, those kinds of things are why the monarchy was restored with overwhelming popular support under Charles II after Cromwell died, the only dissenters being a small group of hardcore Puritans who fled to the Netherlands and being disgusted with what they saw as ‘degeneracy,’ eventually ended up founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony. More than a few of their ideas about work and personal conduct are alive in America even today.

edit: formatting
>> No. 108212
>>108208

Good sir, when you rock the boat with something new, some feathers will be ruffled.

And thank you for your explaination; I'm not so foolish as to judge things in japan of that era by typical standards of modern america.

interesting note you made about american culture and its roots.
>> No. 108317
File 12613497695.jpg - (236.15KB , 1200x958 , b2f4c1ae09b420fe228da5fb50ee3b4d.jpg ) [iqdb]
108317
Are you a bad enough monk to save her?
>> No. 108345
>>108317
I believe that we are.
Tomorrow, we shall change history as we know it and in order to do that, we better make up with Mima and research that cursed tree.
>> No. 108349
>>108345
Truth. Good first step would be to sit down and figure out why Mima had her breakdown. Our apology will be totally worthless unless we can figure that out.
>> No. 108368
>>108349
right. Reading through some of the previous updates...
>> No. 108436
----------
Head aswirl with possibilities, you turn onto the next page.

That odd couple of the pert princess and the gracious Great Sage became a common sight around the tower, but only when there was no one else to see it. If one of the servants began to encroach, or if her father had come in a surprise visit, the Great Sage would, without fail; become sunlight or wind and hide herself. As she explained at her little friend’s question on it, ‘Many would approach me with less favor than did you, Princess.’

Her appearances were no less sudden. Consecutively or intermittently, in clear and in hail, by sunlight and starlight and at any time of day, the Great Sage might show herself and make merry with the princess. Her visits were of a different worth from those of the princess’ father; for if the Great Sage was an airy and cheerful individual, she was no wastrel of narrow thoughts or low wishes. In the guise of childish levity and prattle, she introduced the ferment of knowledge into the princess’ naturally bountiful mind; to an extraordinary harvest. After not very long at all, even the most secret designs in the vault of the firmament had been laid bare before the Great Sage’s unconscious disciple. She had mastered, besides such mundane subjects as composition, literary theory and geometry; the fundamentals of thaumaturgy and invoking, the particular customs of distant realms, the speech of birds and the tongue of beasts, the names of deities and demons in the ethereal sky and cavernous earth, and even the mystic arts by which the spirit might manifest outside the cage of the flesh. The only discipline in which she was without progress was that of rhetoric for, to the Great Sage’s vexation and endless amusement; the princess obstinately continued to use the plainspoken and candid modes she had acquired from the servants.

Now, one rainy day; in the middle of a lecture on the processes of weather, there was a question nagging at the princess.

“Why d’you pick me?” She interrupted. “Y’know, to tell me all this stuff. Ya told me that you wanted a hand with a coup or somethin’ of that sort, but there don’t seem to be anything that ya can’t figure out or do by yerself.”

“In that, you are mistaken, Princess,” replied the Great Sage. “I command powers before which the mightiest of Gods and Devils both bow down in fear, true; but I am also constrained by the pacts and treaties I have made to attain, acquire and sustain those powers, which I cannot violate and before which I am subject.”

Seeming not at all angry though having been interrupted, indeed perhaps having awaited the day that she would receive this question; the Great Sage then smiled serenely.

“However, Princess? You are not.” She pointed at her young friend. “You are not bound by the oaths that contract me and if you are less powerful than I, you have the will to become freer and greater. It will be through your hand, not mine; that this world may be delivered from tyranny and born anew.”

The moment of which the Great Sage was speaking would not arrive till long into the future and being told as much by her teacher, the princess thought no more of it at the time. All the while, their mutually didactic friendship advanced and saw changes in them both. The Great Sage, who had long ago left behind the weaknesses of age, sickness, death or ignorance, learned anew an empathy, compassion and wonder for the sufferings of those who had not. The princess, who had only been a little girl when she had first met her teacher, had transformed into an exceptional young woman. Inheriting her mother’s high cheekbones and sharp glance and her father’s delicate chin and winning smile, she was superb in beauty, if quite small and thin. Of her mind, the servants and her father grew in praise daily, for in her words was mated the wisdom of age with the whimsy of youth. Had her life continued as it had, there’s little doubt that she would have been able to overcome the lingering specter of her birth, to meet and marry a fine and noble lord of good breeding, to enjoy the adoration of her loving children and to spend the rest of her days in complete bliss; as a mother and a ruler, working for the increase of her people.

This was not to be.

One day, the princess’ father stopped coming to visit her. In their last meeting, he seemed to have had a kind of epiphany; for after seeing how splendid a person she had become, he was moved to tears. He apologized to her, saying that he was sorry for having kept her in this lonely place for so long and that he would make arrangements for them to be able to live together from now on, as a family. In this, he was being honest, for if he was a habitually insincere and reliable man; he was also a man who could never hate a beautiful woman and who had been crushed by the sudden realization that he had missed his daughter growing up. A few days passed after that interview, with no change. At first, the princess simply believed that her father had experienced cold feet and just needed some more time to come around. But after days became weeks that stretched into months, she grew fretful and wary. This was the longest absence that her father had ever taken from her and questioning the servants on it only produced evasive replies and forced laughs. Had something happened?

As the princess brooded on this question, reclining on her elbows and watching the gibbous moon’s waning curve through her window on the sky, a familiar wind wafted into the tower; bearing sad tidings.

“Your father has been stolen from you, Princess.”

The Great Sage reappeared before her disciple. For many months, she too had been missing from the princess’ fellowship; having been called away to oblige a particular contract and in that absence, her enemies had moved.

“I do not believe it a coincidence,” she said.

Some time ago, a Princess of Heaven had been sentenced to exile on Earth as punishment for some crime. At the time, the Great Sage had paid little attention, for penances of that kind occurred with surprising frequency among gods, deities, spirits and stars, and the Princess in question was no one important. What she had not learned until recently, visiting a personal friend at the court of Muspelheim during her return journey; was that this Princess had not been forced to reincarnate into a lower, mortal form, but had been banished while still clothed in the raiment of her divine flesh. This was a peculiar concession, with only one precedent in the Great Sage’s very long memory.

“Twelve-hundred years ago,” recollected the Great Sage, “the Metal Star* - yes, that Metal Star, the one of which I have told you so much, Princess; was sentenced to a lifetimes’ imprisonment on Earth. My understanding of the details is that as punishment for having become intoxicated and wandered backwards in the sky, she was to be sent down into the world with her memory erased and form intact. The name she bore during the tenure of her imprisonment was ‘Xi Shi,’ and I have heard that her divine beauty was afterwards the cause of much suffering, turmoil and bloodshed in the world.

As was the case with this precedent, a similar upheaval had started to occur in the Princess’ own country. Though she could not possibly have known, not ever having left the white walls of her tower; there had been widespread social unrest around her. Countless men of rank and wealth, the flower of the nation’s talent; had been made to forgot all ambition, obligation and duty after being enraptured by the Heavenly Princess’ beauty. The princess’ father had been one of the earliest victims, being duped into trying to fulfill an impossible request and vanishing in shame after having failed.

“I am told that he was instructed to retrieve something from the isle of Penglai,” the Great Sage said quietly.

“…Ya mean that place you said where Qin-whatever his name tried to send his lackeys? The one that don’t really exist?” Asked the princess, incredulous and angry.

Looking away sadly, the Great Sage was unable to reply.

It was not just that households had been deprived of their patriarchs. On all levels, the instrument of governance had begun to break down. Temples were without their priests, cities were without their governors and even the country was without its sovereign, because the exile of Heaven had stolen his heart. Shortly after the princess’ father had succumbed, her uncle had also become spellbound. Even as the Great Sage was explaining the situation to his indignant niece, the sovereign was holed up in his chambers, pining for another sight of the Shining-Night Princess, as she was called; refusing sustenance and ignoring all affairs of state in his grief for her. The country would meet with ruin if nothing was done and, said the Great Sage; this was intentional. There was something she had not mentioned of the Metal Star’s exile which she now appended in an explanation. Xi Shi’s time on Earth had culminated in the downfall of the most powerful kingdom on the Continent, after whose destruction she had disappeared.**

The same higher power that had exiled the Metal Star had masterminded this present banishment to be an encore performance of the same tragedy with the ‘Shining-Night Princess’ replacing Xi Shi in the leading role, however; there had been one terrible addition this time. Already, Heaven’s exile had wrought the same brand of turmoil on the country and already Heaven’s exile had vanished under similarly mysterious circumstances, but when she had disappeared, she left something behind.

The Great Sage called it a ‘Pandora’s Box,’ for that was supposedly the name it bore in its first deployment, long ago. What was its true nature, she knew not; only that it was rumored to be Heaven’s ultimate weapon – an engine of world chaos capable of killing even the Gods. It was this dread device, the Great Sage had learned from her contact in Muspelheim; that had been sent to Earth with the exiled Princess of Heaven. Taking advantage of the chaos her presence had wrought, it was being secreted to the highest mountain in the land, where it would be activated.

“I cannot comprehend the calamities that would afterwards befall the world in effect,” murmured the melancholy Great Sage, “only that you, Princess; must wrest hold of it before then and prevent these evil designs from reaching fruition. In this, I cannot aid you; for my direct assistance would consign you under the same doom that obliges my failure, if I were to try.”

You might have expected that the princess, a young woman who had never been outside her tower; to be suddenly overcome with misgivings. You would have reason to guess that she might feel fear at the prospect of finally seeing the world with her own eyes, or uncertainty if she could succeed, or reservations about whether this responsibility was hers.

You would be wrong.

Channeling the blazing spirit she had inherited from her mother, her coquettish lips curled into her father’s smile, the princess answered with the confidence of one who had never known doubt or defeat. “Don’cha worry,” she said to her teacher. “I’ll roast those suckers good for you.”

“Well,” corrected the Great Sage. “You’ll ‘roast those suckers’ well.

The laughs that accompanied the princess’ simple and straightforward vow were the last that she ever shared with the one who had been her friend and mentor for the past four-and-a-half years. Each satisfied that everything for which words were necessary had been said, they departed to their respective tasks after having kissed, and wished the other luck.

While the princess tried and endured, calling upon all she learned in the task of finding and intercepting the ‘Pandora’s box,’ the Great Sage was not idle. As much as her student, she had a confrontation with Destiny of her own – the most literal kind. It was with her sparkling, indefatigable white sword in hand that she went to challenge the entity who had wrought the madness of the princess’ mother, the humiliation of her father and, through the banishment of the Shining-Night Princess; the ruin of her country.

This was the Vicegerent of the Empyrean Heaven, who was also the High King of Destiny and the Weaver of the World’s Fate.

----------

*The Planet Venus. It gets this name because in the theory of ascendancy involving the Five Elements (the magic Patchy uses), Venus is identified with the element of Metal.

** The Kingdom of Wu in the age of the Warring States.

Note: Everyone knows about Pandora's box, but if you're a bit fuzzy on the actual details of the myth, you might want to go review it.

Second note: Once again, if you want to examine any scenes or details in greater focus through their illustrations, you have only to ask.

Last note: This story will reach its conclusion by the next update, on which I've already begun to work and will finish when I wake up. I would have waited till the whole thing was done to post it, but as this point onwards marks another shift in tone and perspective, I've made another break in the wall. Accept my pardon in advance if it seems that this is dragging on: I've actually come up with very clear ideas about how the story would develop and conclude, it's just that I want to make sure I'm writing it in a way that isn't awful and does it appropriate justice.
>> No. 108451
>>The Great Sage called it a ‘Pandora’s Box,’ for that was supposedly the name it bore in its first deployment, long ago. What was its true nature, she knew not; only that it was rumored to be Heaven’s ultimate weapon – an engine of world chaos capable of killing even the Gods. It was this dread device, the Great Sage had learned from her contact in Muspelheim; that had been sent to Earth with the exiled Princess of Heaven. Taking advantage of the chaos her presence had wrought, it was being secreted to the highest mountain in the land, where it would be activated.


Oh god, is this what I think it is? That's some magnificent bastardry right there.

Anyway, there's one thing here that might clarify a thing or two but I suspect that it won't.

[ODIN] Examine the illustration of the Great Sage as she goes to challenge the High King of Destiny.
>> No. 108455
>This was the Vicegerent of the Empyrean Heaven, who was also the High King of Destiny and the Weaver of the World’s Fate.

I absolutely cannot find it anywhere, but wasn't there a scene earlier on where Murasaki off-handedly quipped about meeting the fates/fighting destiny? I'm given to the notion that that conflict (and her subsequent victory?) is what's letting Yukari tweak history. Maybe some of these "pacts and treaties" are letting her change history, but her abilities are now limited? She seems to be content (or confined) to pulling strings in the background. Bunch of speculation on the alternate history front, but where this story is heading is distinctly different from Mokou's story in Cage in Lunatic Runagate. A lot of bitterness and petty spite that's not present in the Princess. Also;
>Muspelheim

I grinned.

[X] There’s another illustration that I want to examine: the last moment of levity shared by the Sage and Princess before they embarked upon their respective journeys.

What does the Princess look like as a young woman?
>> No. 108470
The Metal Star, the planet Venus, was also once known as "Lucifer". This may or may not be relevant.

You know, with the more antagonistic portrayal of the Lunarians in this story, I'm beginning to wonder if we'll be part of Yukari's Lunar Invasion.

Hmm, god-slaying weapon, fire-giants of Muspelheim... Oh god is that Laevateinn? This story just gets more and more awesome.

[X] Examine the illustration of the Great Sage as she goes to challenge the High King of Destiny.
>> No. 108475
[X] Examine the illustration of the Great Sage as she goes to challenge the High King of Destiny.

>Oh god, is this what I think it is? That's some magnificent bastardry right there.
Yeah, he never ceases to amaze me.
>> No. 108489
>>108349

I wonder if that wasn't due to unwittingly snubbing her to go bathe with Konngara (Thanks alot VN-style thinking!)

[X] Examine the illustration of the Great Sage as she goes to challenge the High King of Destiny.

Interesting take on things, since the 'princess' doesn't seem bitter at things at all, not even at the princess, though the lunarians are seemingly painted in a unpleasant light.

But I wonder what things bind the 'great sage'.
>> No. 108524
mother of god, I was sketching the scene when the Great Sage first visited the princess, but the pc crashed before I could save it ;_; cursed 1.5GB ram and nearly full HDD...
>> No. 108576
----------
Gathering yourself and assuming a stoic front so as not to display any strange faces, you flip back to have a better look at something.

In what appears to be her bedroom – a vividly feminine space of dolls, pink-white pillows and embroidery, all of which are cast in a jarringly sinister macabre by the darkness of the tower at night – the princess is seated on a small, plush couch next to her teacher. She’s the very epitome of a young lady between maidenhood and womanhood. Though she’s attired in a very adult-looking dress of white silk, a sheer, single-piece affair held up by two thin straps on her shoulders and which emphasizes her bare legs; she’s also still wearing her healthy black hair* in the same short, decidedly girlish style as from four-and-a-half years ago. In the picture, she’s looking up and to her left at the Great Sage, attentively curious as her teacher, from whose beautiful face originates the only faint light in the room; lectures on some topic. Her thick, luxuriant tresses spill over a hazily shimmering, high-collared robe of silver, across whose surface play a menagerie of animals – black tortoises and green pheasants gird its waist, white tigers and golden lions stalk its hem, from under which her crossed legs and the tips of her dainty toes peek out. One hand’s resting on her knee and the other’s gesturing in the air, punctuating the explanation that she’s delivering with such tranquil ease; her ruby lips gently parted and her eyes softly shut.

… What a nice scene. You’re especially appreciative of how the artist managed to capture that wonderful Bodhisattva in a really human moment. The way she’s projecting such a comfortable, familiar aura without looking any less majestically benevolent calls to mind the image of a kindly lion at rest, and it makes for such a great dynamic with her pupil. Beside the statuesque, stately and tall Great Sage, that the curious princess is a girl small and slim of build is only emphasized. She barely reaches to the neck of the Bodhisattva sitting next to her and her legs, her creamy looking legs with their long calves; have a thinness about their thighs that’s mirrored in her slight shoulders and meager chest.

Not to say that these aren’t pleasing (in a slightly guilty way), but by your reckoning, her countenance is much more impressive – at once her best and most conspicuous feature. You’ve a general skepticism towards physiognomy and its practitioners, never having met one who wasn’t a charlatan or fraud; but the princess’ inborn charisma is readily apparent if these pictures speak truly. More than the Princess Royal, or her father, or the Great Sage or any of the other characters, she’s shown so many enchanting faces – her cheeky grins, her incredulous tears, her confident and amiable smiles, her looks of curious attention – even in drawings, they’re all so animated. It really makes you wonder what this delightfully expressive young lady would look like when fully matured. Speaking purely from observation, as you've been faithful to your vows of abstaining from drink; that adage about women and wine both growing better with age has generally proven itself correct. Generally. There’s one caveat, of course. Just like how wine turns into vinegar if it’s aged too long, women (and men) go sour when they become as old as that weird hag.

But in the case of as fine and youthful a vintage as the princess, there’s little doubt that her endearing charm transformed into beauty of an exceptionally delicious, full-bodied flavor in only a few years’ time. Her mother’s person was particularly bountiful, so it stands to reason that her daughter’s apparent poverty of figure is more from the fickleness of age than inadequacy of inheritance.

...Which reminds you – just how long ago did this story take place? Yes, how; not if. There’s likely a level of invention at work, what with the amount of detail in the story only being possible if the author had been one of the participants; but the character of the princess, the Great Sage and all the others almost certainly have an etiological bases, if not literal ones. At any rate, though you’re sure the story is grounded in reality somehow, you’ve no idea when it actually took place and trying to find parallels with your knowledge of history isn’t working. The general premise behind the infamous tale of how Xi Shi wrought the downfall of a kingdom is familiar to you (though, this particular variation is new); unfortunately, you’ve no idea when it specifically took place and assigning a date is beyond your present knowledge. The same applies to that whole business surrounding the exile of Heaven. The (in your opinion, rather unjustified) archetype of ‘woman as pandemonium’ is a common motif in legend, but you’ve never heard anything about a celestial maiden named Teruyo-hime being banished to Earth and working chaos. Being well-versed in the important legends of the Empire and India as much as your own country, you suspect that it was at that point, more than any other in the story; that the author engaged in considerable fabrication for the purposes of writing a more interesting tale. To have the princess leave her tower because she was bored or because she wanted to find a boyfriend would hardly constitute an appropriate narrative justification, after all. …Actually, isn’t that a hint?

The story took place long enough ago for it to be written down. In your experience, that’s at least one or two generations for most things, but legends…?

…Blast.

According to that estimate, either the princess has already moved onto her reward long ago or, in the ‘best’ case scenario; she’s even more dried up and wasted than that hag.
----------

*As a reminder, everyone you have met has hair of normal colors for the region, being shades of reddish-brown, dark-brown or black. In a complete reversal of the way things are today over there, to have the last was actually the most desirable because it’s the mark of one who isn’t constantly outside toiling in the sun and having their locks bleach into lighter colors. If you do in fact meet someone with hair of an unusual color (ie White, Blonde, etc), it has and will continue to be duly noted.

Next illustration's forthcoming.

edit: phrasing
>> No. 108577
>According to that estimate, either the princess has already moved onto her reward long ago or, in the ‘best’ case scenario; she’s even more dried up and wasted than that hag.

Myouren has much to learn about the world of the supernatural, especially when certain folk are involved.
>> No. 108634
File 126162738586.jpg - (715.38KB , 850x2400 , 8112.jpg ) [iqdb]
108634
>>108624
>Yes, there’s an unfamiliar design inlaid* into its surface in sequence; writing probably, with how two of the scribbles are repeated.

There you go again with the using of an asterisks in such a fashion without their companion.

Anyway... a straight, double-edged sword with a cross hilt that is magnificently radiant, worthy of being carried by a person of great import, of a distinctly foreign design, and marked with a language we're unfamiliar with?


Image related?
>> No. 108655
----------
You’re turning to the point where you stopped when something arrests your attention. It’s the Bodhisattva; or more specifically, the Bodhisattva’s sword.

Drawn in a ¾ perspective against the backdrop of a seamless day-night gradient is the Great Sage, meditating on a cloud in her finest panoply. Made of a heavy white samite, her figured robe’s fringed with gold and emblazoned with a dragon motif in purple. Something has constrained her to bind her hair for, with the exception of two long locks trailing from her temples and framing the sides of her face; she’s tied her hair into a loose, disorderly bun at the back of her head. Over this is placed a thin silver diadem, crested with three peacock feathers at its front and set with a small amethyst that’s gleaming in the reflected light of her face. Accoutered thus, she’s standing in a posture that bespeaks contemplation – chin angled to the left and down, her eyes closed in thought at some momentous question while her left hand reaches across her waist and grasps at her opposite side. In her right hand, held at rest near her side; is a naked sword of such splendid and strange a sort that it seems but an extension of its wielder. Spanning some five feet in length, its blade, broad as a man’s hand, honed to a keen double-edge and sparkling a bright white; occupies over three. The hilt that’s joined with it is as much a work of art as of utility. Its hand-guard, wrought of gold and set with what seems to be a very fine spinel or a ruby at its center, is thick and oversized; stretching out to cover the breadth of the hands in two straight ‘arms’ fixed with smaller stones of various colors and ending in a quatrefoil pattern.

...This is perhaps a strange thought in light of the other generally fantastic spectacles before you (…not the least of which being the Great Sage’s endless wardrobe), but that sword’s an impossibility, or should be, in light of what you know.

The stalwart cast-iron staff that’s ever been your ally in all manner of difficulties was gifted to you as a present in token of your ordainment. For the whole week before you left, you watched it being made and conversed at considerable length with the metalworkers at your monastery on the topics of their trade. Assuming that the Bodhisattva’s sword is of iron or steel (…perhaps a faulty assumption given that neither of them emanate light, but…), there would be many obstacles with trying to cast it into a blade of that size – if you remember correctly, the metal would need to be introduced into the mold from multiple cavities so as to not run the risk of cooling unevenly, which would create another risk in the possibility of the molten iron/steel fusing incorrectly at the points in which the puddles of poured metal meet inside the mold, etc. Your knowledge of forging is very scant by comparison, but what little you know suggests that even before the inevitable problems with shaping that long a blade, there would be as various difficulties in even getting an iron of appropriate quality with which to begin.

At any rate, you might be over-thinking this, but in the event that the sword isn’t just another of the author’s inventions, you’re able to discern one other possible explanation as to its origins – a very plausible one, at that.

The sword’s peculiar shape, with its wide, straight blade and oversized hilt in the shape of a cross mark it as having come from some distant place, maybe some far-off land over the sea or even Heaven itself. The Bodhisattva might be holding it in one hand, but a blade as great and as long would probably take both hands and extensive training for you to wield effectively. Wonder what Youki might think of it. The other point of which you take note is that though it’s richly decorated and gleaming with a dazzling white light across its length, there isn’t any embossing or other hindrance to its actual functionality that would be in present in a piece intended purely for display or a weapon that was just a magical focus. Given this fact and in conjunction with the other talents she’s shown, you’re willing to guess that the Bodhisattva’s choice of weapon is a reflection that she probably knows how to use it with considerable skill up-close. And-

Hm…?

…There’s something on the blade. It’s not a pattern from forging or polishing either, it’s… scribbles? Yes, there’s an unfamiliar design inlaid* into its surface in sequence; writing probably, with how two of the scribbles are repeated. At any rate, you can’t read it all and it doesn’t resemble any language with which you’re familiar in the slightest. If you don’t forget later, you could probably ask Mima or that hag if they’re able to read it.
----------

*There’re methods of inlaying that look really cool and don’t damage the effectiveness of weapons. The one with which I’m familiar is that you cut whatever you’ve chosen into the metal and fill the cuts with pieces of thin iron wire, which you then hammer in. After that, you heat the whole blade to fix it in place, file down the remaining raised surfaces to be level with the rest and polish it.

Edit: fixed with note added
>> No. 108668
>>108655
That is one big goddamn sword.

But it does not appear to menace with spikes of anything. You've really let me down, you know.
>> No. 108919
I'll think on the choice, but perhaps we might be running into the princess, Mokou in the future.

Though I hope that we get that chance to apologize soon. I do think the break down was caused by Mima slowly opening up then being snubbed unwittingly. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.
>> No. 108928
Time to wait for someone to make a big write in. It will not be possible without.
>> No. 108930
>>108928
Is there a reason you aren't doing it yourself?
>> No. 108931
>>108911
Well, that's a lot to digest, but I'm definitely leaning towards that first vote and saying something to the effect of: if Yuyuko is destined to seal that tree, trying to do otherwise is going to be very, very difficult. I also think Mima is going to get herself into a fit if we detail the High King's rebuttal to the Great Sage. She was spitting a fair amount of venom when it came to "fate" controlling the actions of men in >>102134, so she should get a kick out of this. Anyway, those first couple parts of the story had a lot to do with people being born into really bad situations, gonna have to re-read and start synthesizing a response.

It's funny; I decided to check the page and ask for updates and got crushed under a wall in the process. Good times.

>>108919
>I do think the break down was caused by Mima slowly opening up then being snubbed unwittingly. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.

In Konngara's evaluation of what happened
>>100728
>"No." Konngara instantly corrects you. "At least, I do not believe that to be the case. My intuition says to me that her reaction is that of one coping with a mournful revelation in the present, rather than a greivous memory in the past.

The "break down" was caused by something she realized after we invited her to the bath. She was already crying when we left her. Best to think about
>> No. 108946
>>108931

I think she started JUST after we left. Still we should narrow down the cause as to fix things, or else it will come to hinder various efforts in the future.

But was it said that Yuyuko was fated to seal it other than our metaknowledge? But I wonder if that's so, if there's a way to do just that without Yuyuko giving up her life.

Or perhaps it can't but Myouren's efforts might have ensured a happier afterlife between Youki and Yuyuko perhaps. (And that memories of her love for him might carry over to her ghost form, since Modern Yuyuko for a long time had no real memory of her life. I can imagine this placing a strain on some relationships)

Then again that Taiji (sp) I think it's spelled; that might be a wild card in the nature of things.

>[ ] You assume rightly. In fact, I think I’ve found something very relevant to the Lady’s problem. (Specify)

Point out similarities, such as the matter of not being able to defy fate (at least for the moment, who knows if the great sage broke said boundries or if she didn't give a certain yin yang shaped relic to help with that)

>[ ] Compelling maybe, but I’m not sure if it’s useful to you. Indicate the paintings beside the window and explain to her the similarities you’ve noted with the style in which the story’s been illustrated. Inspect them for good measure.
Pointing out whoever did the paintings wrote these books (Most likely Yukari or someone connected to her)

>[ ] I have some bad news for you…
This doesn't sound good, perhaps a lack of info from the book (I.e. wasting time)
>> No. 108953
>>108946
>I think she started JUST after we left.

Afraid not. Relevant post is >>100158. Read it carefully:
>You feel the muscles in her hand tense up and reflexively, you flinch; preparing yourself to pay the price for your presumption. Her 'attack' comes from an unexpected quarter, however. The quavering of her lips, the soft sniffling of her nose and the bitter tears soiling her complexion; your heart is crushed by the sight of a pitifully crying Mima.

>"I'd ... really like to come with you. I do. But I... I can't. ...I just can't. I'm sorry. ... I'm really sorry." Talking to you weakly through ragged gasps and coughing, Mima points to the door. "Please. I need some time... by myself. I don't want you to see me when I'm like this."

She was losing it right then and there before Acala decided to chime in. Only after that was when we decided to leave. Something about inviting her set Mima off, and it wasn't latent trauma resurfacing. No, she realized something about herself then and there, and it upset her righteously. A latent weakness/doubt in herself that, despite all her power, she still can't overcome? The inability to return the affection and intimacy we were offering by asking her to bathe with us? Lack of confidence in her ability to frankly express herself to us without any overt displays of power or intellect? It's something along those lines, but it's not because we left. Oh, she's upset because we did, but there's an underlying issue separate from that we need to recognize before we properly apologize.

Aside from that, I think you've touched upon the peril of the latter option; I believe that choosing that option tells Mima she is wrong in "...assum(ing) that you saw something compelling since you didn’t put it down halfway." That is to say, with that vote, we tell Mima that the story has no relevance to the situation at hand. The distinction between the first two options seems to be whether we analyze the text or the illustrations. I think the former is better since there is a veritable cornucopia of wisdom there for us to exploit. Fair bit of re-reading is still needed.

>But was it said that Yuyuko was fated to seal it other than our metaknowledge?
It was implied, at best. She spoke of sealing the Saigyou Ayakashi, and later it was stated that she's basically the exact opposite of the wicked tree. Hard to reconcile "sealing" with "leaving one side of the karmic balance untouched" in this situation, but maybe I'm letting meta get the better of me. But honestly; how often have we been penalized for working with meta-knowledge so far? If anything, we've been rewarded for studying the wiki and figuring stuff out.

Anyway, sage for not contributing to a vote like I should. Will ponder when it's not absurdly late and I'm not inebriated.
>> No. 108958
File 12621807654.jpg - (291.88KB , 597x800 , Fancytroll.jpg ) [iqdb]
108958
Gravitating towards the first choice are we, anonymous~? I guess since it looks like you’re having a tough time, I can help you just a -little- bit. Remember those things you had to do in third grade where they gave you a paragraph and told you to identify its crux? ‘Critical reading’ exercises, I think they were called, right? It’s been so long since I’ve done one, you see. Well anyway, I’m sure you thought them as boring and worthless as did little young me~ but the general technique might not be too bad for something like this. Start small. Decide on one or two things that really leap out to you as being important and get a quote to substantiate what you’re thinking for everyone else. Don’t worry about piecing together grand theories or anything silly like that – those are a matter of course once all of you compare notes and find similarities or see things that you didn’t notice before.

I think I’ll leave you with a certain saying that a boy I knew gave me a whole ago, anonymous. ‘Better that a society should have the common wisdom of a hundred ordinary people than the brilliance of a single genius,’ was what he said. The situation back then was something -quite- different than this one, but I think it applies just as much. You’ll have more success if you each think about the issues according to your measure than if you just leave one or two people in charge of it and hope for the best. Really! I’m not just pumping you full of empty rhetoric (this time) – why, just compare your best success so far in that affair with my good friend against your most abject failure to handle that acerbic little girl yesterday. Those were prime cases of the former against the latter, wouldn’t you say? Of course, if you -really- think that letting one person do the thinking for you is a good idea, I won’t stop you, but… well, I can’t guarantee what might happen then~
>> No. 108966
>>108953

But what is that issue? Since the longer this goes on the more at risk this plan and future ones go through. And since that mistake, I've still have no faith in what to do regarding her.

And the last time I put forth a vote with nice logic, it resulted in that fuck up with Mima. (I know it's a bit silly to still feel guilty, but when I see reminders of the grand fuck up I crafted. But it taught me this, if a bad vote has nice enough logic behind it, people will vote for it) That's why I want to resolve the apology matter in addition to the risk to the future; so I can regain some sense of confidence in things regarding Mima.

but as far as I could see it, perhaps looking up the link from the drawings to the paintings, and perhaps uncover something that'd help.

Still someone should dig up some good points so we could talk over it and plan our answers.
>> No. 108977
----------
Her travels brought her upwards, through the clouds, past the sky and onto the sea of stars, where she soon entered into the Vicegerent’s precincts. Protocol demanded that she should surrender her weapon at the threshold to those Gods posted as its sentinels, but at the sight of the Great Sage in her anger, they had fallen back or fled outright. It was thus unopposed that she cast open the doors of the High King’s palace and strode inside, her mouth downturned and her eyes blistering with rage, blazing with a fire that outshine the stars surrounding.

‘How much this place reflects the one who reigns within its walls!’ was what the Great Sage was thinking while traversing the maze of sparse hallways and frugal rooms into which she had entered. She marveled at how if the High King’s palace was bright and expansive; it was also coldly utilitarian in its fixtures and meager in its adornments, uncharacteristic for chambers in a court of Heaven. This only made only more painfully apparent by the fact that they were emptied of their officials, guards and guests as well, and not by coincidence – the Great Sage had especially chosen the day of her intrusion with the advance knowledge that most of Heaven would be at the Queen Mother of the West’s birthday celebration. Mentally thanking her friend for his acumen in advising her so, she penetrated through a final set of double doors and was brought face-to-face with the one she had sought.

In a long chamber flanked with the exhibited flags and pageanted standards of the celestial hosts, the Vicegerent was already awaiting her upon a high dais. There enthroned, that enigmatic Weaver was patiently at rest upon one elbow, legs conspicuously crossed beneath a shapeless shroud of sable. Beneath a wimple and a translucent veil that hung from the rim of his three-peaked alabaster crown, nothing of his face was to be seen. The Great Sage neared to him and he hailed her.

“I have long expected you, Great Sage born of Heaven and Earth. Your presence does honor to my hall, or would; had you not designed to transgress against my law and bear arms within.”

The Vicegerent’s voice, resonant, agreeable to the ear and remarkably clear; carried the force of command in its soft tone of silver bells. The Great Sage, who had advanced to the foot of his throne with her sword raised, now found her hand stayed in obedience to his will and compelled back towards her side. Undaunted, she looked at him with bold sureness.

“Your law is voided, having misgoverned your province and abused your office.” At once, her bright blade was freed of the invisible constraints that had been set upon it and, swearing a solemn oath; she swung it aloft and leveled its point high – level with the Vicegerent’s crown. “With all of the ethereal sky and cavernous earth as my true witness, I have come to depose you, High King.”

Seeing that the Vicegerent said nothing to her challenge, it was thus greatly emboldened that the Great Sage embarked on the purpose for which she had come.

“I know that it was from you, High King,” such was how she began her indictment, “that originated the dolorous divination at the birth of the Elder Princess of the Fujiwara. It was through your nature, High King, that the court magician of the Mikado, an innocent; was senselessly slain after having been possessed as your mouthpiece. It was because of your will, High King, that the Princess Royal of the Mikado was entrapped into committing the crime of infanticide. It was by your affliction, High King; that the same Princess Royal was stripped of her beauty, mind, dignity and life after you manifested your essence inside her body. It was via your influence, High King, that the Prince of Fujiwara was affected to imprison his daughter in lieu of no crime. It was through your intercession, High King, that Kaguya of the Lunar Capital was punished with exile to Earth. It was in fulfillment of your aims, High King, that the same Kaguya fascinated the prominent and powerful men of the Yamato Kingdom to their humiliation and demise with her bewitching allure. And, it was at your order – yours, High King; through which that most dangerous of forbidden weapons was created anew from Empyreal fire and deployed into the mortal world.” Her anger flared. “The sum of all that is ill and wretched in the present state of affairs has its sole authorship in you!”

No longer suppressing herself to only the confines of her body, the Great Sage’s spiritual energies were surging wildly in a conflagration of power and light as she secured the lowest step on the Vicegerent’s pedestal.

“You have abandoned your mandate as an Imperator, whose great honor is to employ his wisdom to lead and guide those under his protection,” she proclaimed, sighting her enemy down the length of her blade. “By having wrested away the reins of decision from those whose governance with which you were entrusted and by having devised through violence and fraud to exchange their freedom for the adamantine chains of your machinations, you have demonstrated yourself only a Tyrant, hungry for control and determined at mastery. In either your stewardship as Vicegerent or your office as Weaver, you are no longer fit to rule. Bow down!

There was immediately set upon the Vicegerent’s head a dreadful burden – all the pain and sadness of those living and dead who felt themselves wronged by him; an immensity which was greater and more onerous than that of the whole world. Even the strength of his mighty resolve was stooped under the weight of their hatred and lamentation that had become laden in his crown and was bidding him fall prostrate from his throne. But he would not allow himself to be conquered so easily. Summoning all his determination, he strained his neck upwards and, from behind the opaque twill of his veil; met the merciless golden eyes of his foe.

“Great Sage born of Heaven and Earth,” the Weaver gasped, his own glance shining a hoary-blue, “what is the Princess of Fujiwara to you?”

She sensed well his guile and answered with care. “One who has the will to attain free will against your domination,” sword unshaken and unyielding, the Great Sage took another step, “and one who shall soon have the power to realize it. Did you not know, High King?” She smiled. “Even now, the princess hastens towards your ‘Pandora’s Box’ to obtain that power which is proscribed to me; who have by covenants ascended and to my covenants eke been bound. Into her hands it will fall, and into her hands will be granted the dominion of the world, to the liberation those souls within. By her freedom, she will all mankind free.”

“I see…” The Vicegerent stared despondently at the tip of the Great Sage’s holy sword, now but inches from his head.

“… So you delude yourself.”

The Great Sage’s sword hand was wrenched violently down and affixed inoperably to her flank; rendered as stone by the rejuvenated and redoubled force of the Vicegerent’s command. Stretching, that Weaver folded his hands and re-crossed his legs.

“Whatever aught was gained by heroes that to their Gods was ever denied, asked him, all encumbrance on his voice and his figure forgotten, those luminaries by whose grace alone that they may endeavor?

Her answer was to laugh defiantly and push forward with another step. “What darksome falsehoods are these?” said her. “Do you count the freedom of the spirit for so little, High King?”

“’The freedom of the spirit?’ was his rejoinder. “By whose exertions was that very spirit breathed into the bowels of men? By whose exertions were they raised from the mire of barbarity with the arts of fire, agriculture, writing and law? By whose counsel and favor are they spurred to action, even till this very day? Men are by no means free,” he declared, leaning forwards on his throne, “and your princess is no exception.”

As if having taken a blow from behind, the Great Sage felt herself forced to one knee. From behind his veil, the Vicegerent looked down on her.

“She has had her life decided by your attendance upon her, Great Sage born of Heaven and Earth. Everything she is become today has been only through your counsel,” he said, and noticing a chill beginning to dampen the Great Sage’s fire, “yea – even of her ‘choice’ to depart from the place of her confinement and to seize the ‘Pandora’s Box,’ as you have termed it;” he leaned forward on his throne, “for in that, as in all else, the need and the initiative that drove the Princess of Fujiwara had its origins in you – one who is subject to my law. Had I never deigned you enter into her knowledge, her life’s path would have travelled a less happy course, though to its same end.

Sinking under the weight of comprehension, the Great Sage had fallen hunched upon both knees now, her whole demeanor about with the uneasiness and gloom.

“So you understand.” He shifted back and averted his gaze, in pity. “I cannot deny that first principle on which my power rests, that consequences arise from actions. By such a measure, your princess and her kind are not without a measure of ‘free will,’ if that is what should be termed the outcomes of those decisions made by mortals. But, if they have the liberty to select their steps, their Destiny – the road along which those steps are made – that is the name of those outcomes decided by the Gods; we who plot its heights, its depths and its end.”

“The very wrong that I will see set right!” She bellowed and tried to rise; the incredible weight of the laws upon her notwithstanding. “With their misrule of the world, the Gods have proven themselves unfit to decide for men! Shackled by blind slavery to the perpetuation of their own power, they have forgotten justice! You have forgotten justice!” Unable to move with both legs and her right hand inoperable, she pointed. “High King! Where is your justice that the guiltless should be murdered and the lives of their children destroyed?”

“Mankind ill needs a savior such as you,” he replied coolly, rising from his throne. “That which you propose has been effected before; to the creation of a less just world, not more. ‘Freedom from the Gods’ produces only that – freedom. A freedom from order, from security, from possibility of happiness; a freedom to rob, a freedom to rape, a freedom to murder,” the Vicegerent shook his head sadly, “are these not the universal characteristics of those ages in the mortal world when men chose to extinguish the light of law bestowed by the Gods that they might govern themselves? Call that a more just world, you?”

She could make no further retort. The diadem having slipped from her head upon falling prone, the Great Sage was comatose on the floor but inches from his feet.

Now with no one else to see it, something in the Weaver’s conduct changed. After he collected her silver circlet with its iridescent feathers, he knelt at her side and softly shifted her, that he might see her face. Beneath the pall over his face, his features softened.

“I am sorry for having done this to you, for having to oppose you, Great Sage,” he whispered in a tender voice, “and more because we are the same. Just as you are bounded by exercise of your power, I am enslaved by mastery of mine. What is the High King of Destiny but one who lies in fetters forged by himself, the least free of all living things?”

The Vicegerent paused and, drawing back the crown’s veil; now addressed her without impediment.

“I feel as much guilt and remorse for all that I have done as you, indignation; for I know well the value of those whom I have had sacrificed that others may live. If the day should ever come that I must make that same sacrifice for the good of all, or in atonement for all that I have done, then I will make it gladly. But until that time,” the High King pronounced firmly, “I am induced by my twofold responsibility as Vicegerent and Weaver to see that their deaths were never in vain and their forfeitures were never without meaning. Until that time, I will take upon myself any infamy, any perfidy; any antipathy to overcome the nature of my being and see an end to the sacrifices. Until that time, I must be the enemy of the world; that I might save it.”

Onto the Great Sage’s breast was placed the diadem and her hands were folded over it. Then, blessing her in a sign of benediction, the Vicegerent leaned close and onto vermillion lips delivered a long kiss. Only after having done that, wishing her health and long life, was the veil replaced. “Farewell, kindred spirit,” he murmured in a small, forlorn voice. “May you also find a way to surpass your limitations.” Turning his back, he was gone from that place.

In the world below, the princess was in a desperate situation. She had not eaten for over a week, for she could not spare the time to take a meal. They would catch up with her. She had not slept in three days, for she feared what she would again hear. They would speak to her. She was nearly naked, without shoes and with her threadbare clothes nearly falling off her body, for she could never again ingratiate herself into the company of men. They had marked her.

Ever since that day, when she had taken the weapon of which the Great Sage had told her, she had been pursued. Always just behind her was that man’s ghost, urging those them onwards; those black shapes in the form of women with the wings of bats, whose eyes dripped blood and whose hair was snakes. No one else could see them, but they were there! They were there and they were unrelenting! They had smelt the blood that was on the air, that man’s blood; that soaked the ground under her feet as she fled. And, there was nowhere she could fly, nowhere she could escape. The score that had appeared on her skin proved it. Though she had run for hundreds of miles over many long months, it still bled. They were still close.

The quest of having obtained the weapon had changed the princess, on the inside and out. She had tried her strength, her wisdom and her guile against that of the world, and triumphed. But in her victory, she had lost something too. She was less apt to laugh or to smile than she had been and, if she had not forgotten how to speak; her speech had become a joy seldom heard. At that same time she had gained the ‘Pandora’s Box,’ which was only a short time before that fell blemish also appeared on her collarbone, her hair and her eyes had lightened into silver and reddish-brown, respectively. In the eyes of those she afterwards encountered, the princess had become a monster. Normal folk thought her possessed or an evil spirit in disguise, while the more spiritually attuned, many of themselves outcasts; shunned her as one cursed by the Gods. Some even tried to kill her. None of them met with success, of course.

This was the princess’ condition on that fateful night they caught up with her. She had stopped to rest for a short while atop a desolate mountain, barren of all other life; for though her spirit burned as brightly as ever, her body had reached its limits. Lain out on a bed of heather with her back pillowed against a broad stone, she was appreciating the stars in the glow of a small fire. Her neck ached. Without a need to look at it, to see the crimson of her own blood staining her rags, she already knew.

They had come.

He had come.

There emerged onto the edge of the firelight the gray figure of a man. His wide, battered hat was pulled low over his face and in the hazy outline of his hand was still held the lance that he had borne at his death. The darkness behind him was especially deep, and it danced as if in time with his steps.

The princess hailed the stranger, not moving from her seat.

“You’re gonna say,” she pointed with her index finger –

“– there is nowhere to run, Princess.”
“There is nowhere to run, Princess.”

For just an instant, her visitor forgot the fact that he was dead. At that look of shock that came over his face, the princess smiled and thought to herself, ‘heh, still got it!’

But Iwasaka – for that was the spirit’s name – had not followed her only that he should be the victim of jokes. As much as she knew what his next lines would be, she knew best the purpose for which he had come. She was his killer. He had saved her life and she had promptly repaid that debt by murdering him in cold blood. Even at the time, drive by desperation in those final stages of taking the weapon, she knew how horrible a crime it was. Out of all that she had encountered in her journey – the monsters, the bandits, the myriad men who had tried to take advantage of her; Iwasaka had been the one shining light of genuine, unselfish kindness. The princess asked of his ghost, now seated across the fire from her, if he had perhaps come to place a curse or sentence upon her for what she had done.

“I sentence you not,” he replied in a voice at once more high and more sonorous than when he was alive, “for your sentence you have yourself chosen.” His indistinct features blurred as he closed his ‘eyes.’ ”Though you were one born of woman, against your womanhood you have decided. Though you were one whose sacred duty was to exalt the lives of her subjects, a princess; against your subjects have you bloodied your hands. Though you were one favored by the powers of Heaven, against Heaven have you blasphemed in raising arms. What once you were, I have pronounced to you,” through the fire came suddenly the lance, which stopped mere centimeters from the princess’ heart, “what now you are, you must pronounce to yourself!” His expression had become more distinct and cobalt flames burned in the intensity of his gaze.

The princess, what was she now? In searching for an answer, the path of her thoughts tracing backwards through time and through space, searching along that road that Iwakasa had lit for her; she was finally confronted with that realization from which she had tried so hard to escape.

She was alone.

The mother she had never known was already dead and the father who had finally realized that he loved her had been forced to exile himself in shame. The Great Sage, who had been her constant companion and teacher, had disappeared from her life. All the race of mankind wanted nothing to do with her; and even monsters shunned her, for they perceived her as one cursed by an overwhelming evil and feared if it should fall upon them. ‘What am I become,’ was what she thought, ‘that the only company who will have me is the ghost of the man whom I’ve wrongly slain and the vengeance demons who follow in his wake?’

“So you understand.” Iwakasa’s spirit nodded and looked away. “Then,” he started to become indistinct, “I forgive you, Princess. I forgive you for having slain me.”

With intangible arms and ethereal fingers, he held the princess. Having faded and reappeared on the same side of the fire as her, he was hugging her.

Upon declaring so, the darkness that had hemmed in Iwakasa and the princess both had begun to recede and fail. Where before there had been only implacable retribution and study of revenge, unyielding desperation and adamant denial; there was compassion and contrition. The spined, leathery swathes, gruesome to look upon; had been changed into beautiful wings of white feathers. The eyes of blood became eyes of fire, matched by newly-kindled crowns of flame that had subsumed the serpent hair. In their hands, clawed no longer; were held bright swords and equitable balances. On the crest of that lonely mountain, now as brilliant as if under a midday sun, bitter, unrelenting Vengeance had transformed into merciful Benevolence.

At the heart of this remarkable scene was the most extraordinary sight of all – one which had never yet been seen in the world, nor would be seen again afterwards. Within Iwasaka’s insubstantial embrace, for the first time in those fifteen years since her birth and the last in all her life, the princess cried. She might have been forgiven, but she was not yet ready to forgive herself. Lying heavily upon her heart was the double weight of deadly weariness and doleful remorse; from which she would have relief.

“There is a way, if you desire it,” he said; standing and placing his ‘back’ towards her. His ‘eyes’ turned towards the sky. “The slumber of forgetful repose – a sleep without dreams, enduring beyond all the years of time and unmoved by the fate of the world. In other words,” Iwasaka faced her again, eyes alit blue once more, “the sleep of a peaceful death.”

You would have expected the princess to refuse. You might be thinking, ‘No one would agree to something like that, no matter how sorry she might feel!’ or, as those particularly astute might conjecture; ‘To accept that kind of proposal would be tantamount to giving up, which isn’t at all like her.’ And indeed, you could likely produce many good, nigh-unshakable reasons in support of both those arguments.

You would still be wrong.

The cause is that very same which drove the sequence of events that found the princess speaking to Iwakasa’s spirit, the ‘Pandora’s Box.’ That she was now its custodian and master caused for what was otherwise an offer which she would have flatly refused – ‘ain’t anythin’ that perks up ‘thout sloggin’ through th’ hot and th’ heavy,’ or something of that kind is probably what she would have said in its absence – now held an enchanting appeal because of its presence.

As strong as her desire for penance was a curiosity; a temptation that lain dormant at the back of her mind and now whispered in her. The sleep of a peaceful death was something she had thought lost upon taking that most forbidden of divine weapons and, at least at the time; had written it off as nothing. In her ensuing struggles to stay alive, she had put it out of her mind, maybe even actively suppressed thinking of it – not strange given that she was running away from what she believed were fiends which would kill her. But now, now that she was safe, now that she been awakened to the realization that it was not from fear of demise that she fled, but fear of acknowledging herself, what she was and what she had done; Iwasaka’s proposal seemed not so bad.

Her reasons were not only so personal and frivolous. Upon having mastered the weapon and the unlimited promise it had granted her, the princess had no longer anything to fear in the worlds above or below; or should. Her whole experience since having seized it had proven to the contrary. This was not because the princess was unfit or unprepared to employ that ‘Pandora’s Box.’ Indeed, maybe more than anyone else living, she was the most worthy of wielding its power. Whether by design or by chance, the ordeals that had challenged her since the day she was born had served to eliminate anything which would dampen her energy and weaken her will; and layered upon that mind of steel was the wisdom and justice of the Great Sage’s knowledge. The question of competence, or of chance of corruption in commanding such complete power; these were not the concerns on the princess’ mind. Rather, she was thinking of something the Great Sage had said, one of the first lessons that had been imparted to her and repeated with the frequency of a maxim.

“Princess,” she would always say, closing her eyes and folding her hands into her sleeves, “never forget that weapons exist in the service of causes, and not the reverse. A sword without righteousness becomes only a threat to the one that holds it.”

‘How right she was,’ thought the princess. She knew that she had become the sword and that she had been without purpose since having become that way. The difficulty before her now was not the tired generalization of ‘whether she would use her powers for good or for ill’ but if there was a need for that power – for it was from need that good and ill followed naturally. All of this had happened because she had not known when to sheathe herself. Therefore…

She accepted Iwasaka’s offer.

On the very rock to which she had placed her back, the princess would fall into the sleep of long ages, unscathed through the storms of time and fate – but only after having extracted two promises.

First, that if her slumber would endure for many years, it would not be irreversible. Though she was tired, though she was repentant, though she recognized that no one in the world needed her; the princess had not lost her lively temperament or her sensual simplicity – that frankness which seemed bred to enjoy happiness fully and which loved the good things in the world. She was not giving up hope; rather, she was giving herself up to hope. If she would rest now in her scabbard of her own choice, then at that inevitable time at which there would be want of her for some just cause; she would be able to shine more brightly for it.

But, it was having gained this concession that the princess had another thought. What is a weapon but an extension of she who wields it? ‘This blade,’ she chuckled to herself, ‘surely suffers no unworthy hand to grasp it.’ It was from this thought that she made her second request – that if ever one should come to waken her, it would only be the first and most fearless of heroes.

Iwasaka’s response was to call upon that boon which ghosts were said to be allowed only once. Becoming substantial, his features taking on the same guise as when he was alive; he reached down and swept the thin, small and very embarrassed princess up in his arms. “There will be kindled for you, Princess,” he declared in his own voice, “a bridal fire as has never seen a bride to equal it, before you.” Iwasaka looked in her eyes and drew close. “I promise that the one who kisses you next will be one compassionate, but who shrinks not from the terror of death.” His lips meeting hers, he delivered that sleep which he had offered to her with love’s farewell. The princess accepted it and, looking upon the light of the waking world for the last time, fell asleep. Unmarred by sorrow and liberated from care, she had a beautiful smile on her face.

Epilogue

Iwasaka made good on what he had said. After the princess had fallen asleep, he carried her to under the shade of those few trees on the slope and laid her out beneath their broad branches, thinking them a softer pillow than the stone she had proposed. Then, retrieving his lance, he looked to the sky and commanded those Powers that were visible now only to him, bidding that they should take the form of fire. Pure flame they became, that would ward well the princess and protect her while she slept from those of craven heart or evil intentions. When that fire grew to a towering conflagration that wreathed her round fully, it has been said that Iwasaka’s spirit, growing transparent once again; made one final pronouncement to no one in particular.

While the Gods yet reign and peace endures, your sleep shall be as one undisturbed.

Having left her those words, he turned his back and was gone from that place.

My tale ends here, but if the murmurs of men wandering and the rumbling of those rumors they’ve spread carry any substance of truth, the princess’ story has not. It’s persisted across seasons, years and generations, lasting into the youngest of days and the newest of nights; renewing itself with each breath that fills the princess’ small breast and each pulse that drives her yet-quiescent heart. For how long she yet sleeps, ensconced in her bower of burning flame, none are quite sure.

Some say that her awakening will be into an age of anarchy, of which she will be its savior – that the scion of kings from which she springs will be renewed by one which springs from her.

Others say that she will be a destroyer – that she will be roused from her slumber at the Twilight of the Gods, where which she will march forth on the side arrayed against the armies of Heaven and, brandishing that weapon she stole from them; cover the entire world in fire.

Still another version says that she will never awaken – that her sleep of a century will endure till the end of eternity, the dawn for which she longs in her heart never arriving.

But all the varied accounts agree – the one that wakens the princess, the one who knows no fear – to that one will she pledge herself. With her true name forgotten to the memory men, this is the reason for her name in legend; the ‘Bride of Heaven,’ Princess of Fujiwara and Child of the Great Sage.

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Edit2: Wasn’t satisfied with some of the phrasing.
>> No. 108978
This goes with the one above. Character limit, etc.

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…You’ve that strange feeling again, the one that always happens after you finish a book. Is it the feeling of wanting more? Or attachment to the characters? Or perha-

“Your face says, ‘I am about to launch into an unnecessarily longwinded internal monologue.’”

Mima’s called your attention to her with a sarcastic remark and an equally sarcastic smile. Snapping shut the book she’s holding in one hand, she sits up in her chair and steeples her hands. “Don’t be so stingy with your thoughts. If you learned something useful,” she gestures at the Bride of the Heavens you’ve put back on the table, “then share it with me, why don’t you? I can only assume that you saw something compelling since you didn’t put it down halfway.”

Pick one:
[ ] You assume rightly. In fact, I think I’ve found something very relevant to the Lady’s problem. (Specify)
[ ] Compelling maybe, but I’m not sure if it’s useful to you. Indicate the paintings beside the window and explain to her the similarities you’ve noted with the style in which the story’s been illustrated. Inspect them for good measure.
[ ] I have some bad news for you…
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>> No. 108980
>>108934
Here's my contribution to the discussion:

[X] You assume rightly. In fact, I think I’ve found something very relevant to the Lady’s problem.
-{X} The Saigyou Ayakashi seems to be yet another blight set upon the earth, not unlike the "Pandora's Box" detailed in the story.
-{X} Furthermore, the duty of dealing with the terrible gift in the story called for the sacrifice of a wonderful young woman. Considering an earlier discussion with Lady Saigyouji, I fear the same is in her future as well.
-{X} The Great Sage had an incredible influence on the princess, for she believed that through her, the Great Sage thought she could change fate. Ultimately, she remained a prisoner to it through an error in her reasoning. I don't think the Great Sage has given up her fight against destiny, though. She has just changed her tactics. What other golden haired women are we familiar with that have been very influential in the Lady's upbringing? However, instead of being a direct catalyst for action, she's become more passive in her means, perhaps relying upon the abilities of the people she wishes to save.
-{X} At first, this Great Sage bore a vague similarity to Konngara's heavenly patron; beautiful, golden hair, and elaborate dress. By the climax of the story, though, she also dons a feathered diadem very similar to the one Konngara described. It's not too much of a leap of logic to conclude they are one and the same.

That first point, well, I think is self-explanatory. There was little rhyme or reason for the tree to suddenly wake up and start killing everything, just as there was no good reason for sending "Pandora's Box" down a second time, other than to cause bad things to happen to good people. "Pandora's Box" only really wrecked Mokou's (and Iwasaka and his troops) life because she took care of it before it could do any more. Same thing with the Saigyou Ayakashi: Yuyu will sacrifice herself before it can wake up again and cause all sorts of problems. A keikaku doori kind of thing on the part of the High King to achieve whatever elaborate purpose he has in mind.
Second point: remember when Yuyu was talking about her early life?
>There were bad omens in the years leading up to her birth – consecutive years of drought, increased youkai attacks, earthquakes, comets** and even a complete eclipse of the moon on one Midsummer’s Eve.
Compare to Mokou's:
>“The princess’s Destiny that none might shake and none might break, is as a criminal and Arch-Sinner against the laws that govern the world. Though she is yet beloved in Heaven and Earth, she will become estranged from the body of Gods and Men by her deeds, forever; and beyond the ken of life and death, she will suffer imprisonment for love of her parents.
Trouble from the very beginning for both of them. Their situations are the same, their challenges are the same, and unless we do something, the results are going to be the same.
Third point is a stretch, but I'm putting it out there for consideration. I think she took the High King's word to heart, and decided to prepare Yuyu (and everyone else) the best she could, stand back, and hope they can do the impossible.
Fourth point is just there to highlight the similarities since it's been a while since that first thread. Odd that she'd use the Great Sage born of Heaven and Earth get up to give Konngara the Taiji, but use the crone persona for Yuyu.

There's more. There's always more, especially if someone could sit down and really stare at that last part with Mokou and Iwasaka. If one princess can be granted salvation from by a ghost, surely a half ghost can do the same, right? Also, High King is a "glass is half empty" kinda guy. "Freedom to rob," "freedom to rape" etc. This is Mima's "is fire bad because arsons happen?" rebuttal in full effect. One thing I wonder about: High King says he can be the bad guy as long as it means all the sacrifices and forfeitures will still mean something. If we go and change destiny, is there a way to do it that still respects those same sacrifices?
>> No. 108988
[x] >>108980

>Odd that she'd use the Great Sage born of Heaven and Earth get up to give Konngara the Taiji, but use the crone persona for Yuyu.

Not really as the divine form is good for driving the point home as she gave the Taiji while the crone is better for mundane day to day actions.

Also I do believe that the Taiji is the wild card, and perhaps the abilities of Mima and Myouren.

Since it might have been something the sage made in secret as a fate breaker. But I think she didn't reveal its secrets as to not reveal the full extent of the Taiji's power.

But I wonder what is the High King's plan that requires him to make so many lives miserable? I suspect in this timeline he will get dealt with, otherwise the Gensokyo we know would never come about (it's too peaceful to have been influenced by him)

This isn't a blind vote, I've looked it over and thought about it and find it works.
>> No. 109062
[x] >>108980

This sounds very good.
>> No. 109075
File 12623259056.jpg - (432.75KB , 600x740 , 7943639.jpg ) [iqdb]
109075
Just some other things worth mentioning. Yuyu and the Princess are deceptively similar. Despite their appearance and upbringing, they are surprisingly forthright and earnest people; each sheltered beauties, but also women that wear their hearts on their sleave and are ever so proud because of it. They're the kind that make you want to protect them, even when they give you a weird look and ask you why you've trying to hard because of them. Not hard to understand why Iwasaka/Youki are so head-over-heels in love with them. I don't even want to consider what would happen if we should ever chance across the slumbering Princess. My soul would be rent asunder trying to reconcile a Mima/Konngara/Mokou/Myouren foursome.

I'mma rage if my "sublimely awesome write-in of perfection" goes un-contested. This story demands a level of consideration, debate, and informed decision making that should possess the law making bodies of our respective regions. Seriously; what mysteries lurk within the decision to phrase the first parts of the story in halting prose, punctuated by brief negations? What morals can we derive from a story that extolls the primacy of Destiny over everything else when that is exactly what we seek to overcome?!

Think seriously: what do we have or know that would let us usurp Fate itself? I know it's there; one of ya must have figured it out by now...

...and a Happy New Year! 2010 will be the year of Ancient Gensokyo; of that I have no doubt.
>> No. 109079
>>109075

Well I took a look and saw no problems (otherwise I'd have modified it), but while I think what you spoke of is indeed the Taiji, but I'm not sure how to work that into a vote without having it come off as out of the blue, since it's metaspeculation.
>> No. 109112
----------
“The tree wasn’t mentioned specifically, but there were some marked similarities to the situation in which we’ve found ourselves now.”

You start to deliver a brief synopsis of the plot to Mima, who winds up stopping you at several points to ask more questions. About the princess or her mother, she says only a little, mostly listening with a particularly grim expression; but that changed when you reach the point at which the character of the Great Sage enters into the story.

“So let me get this straight,” she asks, evidently dubious, “you think that this ‘Great Sage’ and the celestial being that helped my ‘noble friend’ are one and the same? That this amazing goddess that can fly, control the weather and become rain or wind at will is in this very house right now, disguised as that crone? …You proposed that at the table, remember?” She adds, noticing your apparent disconnect.

“Verdict’s still out on the second one,” you shrug your shoulders, “but at least for the first speculation, I don’t believe it an unrealistic conclusion.” Taking the book, you flip it to one of the pages near the end. “Have a look for yourself,” you point at the Great Sage holding her sword, “and tell me that you don’t see a similarity.”

Mima scoots forward and scrutinizes the picture you’ve indicated. While touching the page and allowing her fingers to trace across the paper, her cool jade eyes alternately meander and focus, taking in every detail. She murmurs something and nods.

“I don’t see a similarity.” She's giving you a wry, ironic look. “I can’t believe I have to say this to you, your profession being what it is,” Mima shakes her head, “but just think about the number of gods that look like lambently statuesque people in airy clothes. Trying to base conclusions on such general, ubiquitous qualities as those kinds of parameters would be as futile as distinguishing Buddhists being given a description of ‘shaved head, wears black, doesn’t say much.’”

“Unless that Buddhist was me,” you say, beaming as you emphasize with a stylish stroke of your locks.

“Unless that Buddhist was a cheap sophist, and a charlatan to boot,” Mima retorts, poking you between the eyes. “Honestly,” she points, “take advantage of that we aren’t mucking around in the wilderness and see about getting it trimmed! …I might even consider helping you with it, if you asked me.” With a sly smile, she rests her head against the side of her hand.

“If I asked you? Oh, I see.” You won’t take the bait that easily. Feigning indecision, you make a big show of contemplation while pretending to fidget with the end of your sleeves. “Well, if I were disposed to require a haircut, I would of course ask it of you first, Mima; the soft lightness and shine of yours clearly attests to that you take good care of it. Your hands too – why, they’ve such an industrious dexterity about them, though they’re so fine and fair.”

“Observant, aren’t you?” The smile becomes broader. “They do many interesting things for me. For people I like, too. I know my ‘noble friend’ definitely… likes them.” Flexing her fingers, she chuckles absentmindedly, as if to herself.

Brainwave: ‘Mima’s hands’ -> ‘Konngara’s wounds’ -> ‘the Lady’s bare thighs’ -> ‘Vairocana’s power.’

The output of that whole chain of mental associations recalls to the fore of your memory that miracle energy – the one which you used to make Yuyu feel good and which you harnessed in your battle against Youki prior. Mima hasn’t said anything on it to you (has she?), but she definitely knows what it is, or should; it was only by her indirect help through Konngara that Yuyu and yourself were able to really connect with each other.

…Leaving aside that particular matter for now; wouldn’t it be profitable to learn something about the technique by which she healed Konngara’s wounds? The timing might be right and with what’s to come tomorrow night, even if you only learned its uses and the principles on which operates, it would probably be valuable knowledge. But, then again… the conversation’s already gone so far off course, hasn’t it? That would be a non-issue, if it weren’t for that it might very well reveal something of which you weren’t able to detect from your perspective alone. Should you move things back on topic, or…?

[ ] There’s no need. If what you’ve read has importance, its meaning will clarify itself in time. For now, ask her to tell you something of the 'miracle energy.'
[ ] You should, having only barely scratched the surface before things inexplicably derailed. There may very well be something you’ve missed.
----------
>> No. 109120
[x] You should, having only barely scratched the surface before things inexplicably derailed. There may very well be something you’ve missed.
-[x] Then if there's time, inquire into the miracle energy she spoke of. It might be something that tips the scales.
>> No. 109123
>>109112
[X] You should, having only barely scratched the surface before things inexplicably derailed. There may very well be something you’ve missed.

With this one, do we get another chance to analyze the story and point stuff out?
>> No. 109124
>>109123
Do you have something you want to mention or of which to make note? If you do, go ahead - the previous vote technically isn't closed. I know it's been slow around here because of the holidays, but I was just itching to write.
>> No. 109126
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109126
>>109124
Just a couple things. First, I'm wondering about who Mokou's father actually is. On the one hand we have
>You didn’t imagine her as such at the first, but in comparing this picture with the others, it’s clear that if the princess takes after her mother in character, she’s her father’s daughter in her looks. Probably the only good thing she could have received from him, judging by all that you’ve read.
Suggesting the cowardly father that imprisoned her and was smitten by Kaguya is her parent. On the other hand, we have
>The Princess Royal herself knew how miraculous the birth of her healthy, beautiful daughter was firsthand, perhaps too much. She had, one night; experienced a dream in which she felt the Sun entering into her body and it was shortly afterwards that she became pregnant, to the surprise of everyone.
and
>It was by your affliction, High King; that the same Princess Royal was stripped of her beauty, mind, dignity and life after you manifested your essence inside her body.
So was Fujiwara the father, or the High King? Because if it's the latter... what the hell man? There's being a jerk, and then there's utilizing your entire arsenal of fate manipulating abilities to screw over your progeny so hard that other Gods are calling you out on your bullshit. Honestly.

Second, what exactly did the High King accomplish by driving the Princess Royal to try and kill her child?
>It was because of your will, High King, that the Princess Royal of the Mikado was entrapped into committing the crime of infanticide.
All things considered, if she had succeeded she would have actually pulled one over on the High King and changed the destiny he laid out. It was that line about womankind that caught my eye. It's come up before, talking about how wonderfully competent and powerful Mima and Konngara are, so it got me to thinking she was onto something profound. Also struck me that the reasons highlighted for not doing it sounded like something anon would use as an argument, and we all know how much our author loves tearing those kinds of preconceptions to shreds. Making her try to kill her baby and then striking her unconscious and stripping her of everything when you have the power to instantly kill someone after having them deliver a prophecy? Kinda makes the former part seem rather unnecessary. Was there some purpose for driving her to act like that, or is the Great Sage heaping every single bad thing that has happened to the Princess on top of the High King? Because, the former means it's all "Just as planned," while the latter may mean High King had to go the distance to prevent the Princess Royal from thwarting him.

I don't know if that has any significance to Yuyu's situation, but they're questions I guess. Maybe that second one has something behind it, I don't know. Have more Shou, the thread could use more white metal tiger.
>> No. 109128
>Was there some purpose for driving her to act like that, or is the Great Sage heaping every single bad thing that has happened to the Princess on top of the High King?

A good question, isn't it?
>> No. 109145
[X] You should, having only barely scratched the surface before things inexplicably derailed. There may very well be something you’ve missed.
>> No. 109158
Writing.
>> No. 109399
>>109391
Well, this post was chock full of interesting, enlightening, and FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

>You now proceed to tell her at length about the character of the High King of Destiny, his words and his deeds; and something unexpected happens as a result. After having started to become flushed, animated and relaxed with the excitement of argument and banter, Mima’s presently wearing an indecipherably strange expression while hearing you out wordlessly. Her complexion, naturally very pale and only emphasized by its striking contrast with her long, dark hair; drained steadily of its little color in the course of your explanation to become an ashen hue of which corpses would be envious.

Oh ho? What is this? Is there something you want to share, Mima? A piece of anecdotal evidence or two, regarding the abject cruelty of fate that may or may not be personal in nature?

>her reading is that if the ‘High King of Destiny’ is understood not as one predicting the future but as one making it, then his behavior isn’t at all hard to reconcile. She describes the key to understanding everything as the Pandora’s box.

>“‘Instantly or not…?’ Then,” you continue at her slight nod, “you’re saying it was a matter of endurance?”

Whoa now: High King has to make the future and he has trouble with particularly forceful people resisting him? FUCK YEAH! Time to show that uppity emo God King how real heroines and their supporting monk roll.

>With her expression unreadable beyond that she's obviously pondering something not immediately before her, Mima returns to looking out the window as you (pick one):

Well, on one hand, story time at the Sagyouji residence apparently equals awesome time, so
[ ] Give Mima that for which she’s asking. Hand her 'The Four Devas'
is pure fantastic waiting to happen. On the other hand, though, we have an apology waiting to happen, so
[ ] Give Mima that for which she isn't asking. Hand her her 'diary'
is equally valid, especially considering her love of being challenged. She's obviously bothered by something; possibly the story, possibly something else. Doesn't change the fact presenting her with the diary right now and forcing the conversation would throw her for a loop. She'd probably be upset; sad, angry, or (probably) both. Would probably get violent. Regardless, punching through on the apology front puts the whole "reason she had a break down in the first place" issue at the forefront, and we still haven't put the necessary reading and thought into that issue yet.

I'll vote tomorrow/later today after I put some more thought into this.

Just a question, and one that doesn't need to be answered: did we cover anything in the last update (or two) that wasn't brought up in the prior votes/discussion (as minimal as they were)?
>> No. 109419
>Did we cover anything in the last update (or two) that wasn't brought up in the prior votes/discussion (as minimal as they were)?

This is just the principle that I try to follow as a writer, but I won't squander your time or mine writing something that's only what you already know.

In 'good' writing (whatever that is), everything should have relevance and contribution towards some kind of thematic, even if it's not at first apparent that that's the case. Spending a lot of time beyond the necessary minimum to describe something that doesn't bring anything to the table in either foreshadowing, developing the plot, or showing something about the characters is a mistake and a waste, in my opinion.

So to answer your question, I'll say yes - with a qualifier. I wrote the update to correspond with the level of insight which I received. You learned new things because of what was highlighted in your answer and had that been better or worse, this update would have changed accordingly.

On my end, I'd just like to say sorry if this stuff as of late's been dry/difficult to understand. I would write it differently if I was in a better circumstance, but the problem is that since anon has consistently shown himself as unmotivated to read closely or think unless a choice is either very transparent/has the prospect of obvious sex behind it, I have to compensate or risk plot holes/things not making sense (I know that I'm probably the only one who cares about that kind of thing, most people just wanting to read something entertaining, but that's me.).

On the plus side, buildup is something you only need to do once and now that it's there and properly addressed without a need to spend any more time on it, the payoff in the not-too distant future's going to be massive.
>> No. 109426
>“Would it have killed the author to be less abstract? I’m aware that ‘good writers’ are supposed to be subtle, but by Guanyin…”

I find this to be a bit ironic considering what I'm about to say in this post.

>>109399
Perhaps combine the diary and the asking if something's troubling her, this time not running out for anything.

I'll have to think on that more; it's late where I am and I need my brain to be at my best.

>>109419
Sorry but most of us have school and/or work and due to various reasons, don't care to poor over whatever cracks that might appear.

Most folks here read to relax (usually, there are exceptions in relation to shitstorms).

That and this is the holidays, votes have slowed down for many stories. But I think things will return to normal soon, holiday break is ending.

Though the rest of us are grateful for those who can read inbetween the cracks and divine something.

But it's also the weight of the choices that also cause us to think heavily. And we still have yet to mend the last screw up that happpened the last time we took something too lightly.
>> No. 109434
>On my end, I'd just like to say sorry if this stuff as of late's been dry/difficult to understand. I would write it differently if I was in a better circumstance
Even if i don't vote that much, i still read and love everything you write. Don't let this get you down.
>> No. 109435
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109435
>>109391
[X] Give Mima that for which she isn't asking. Hand her her 'diary'

She's contemplating something right now. Maybe the story, maybe something personal, maybe something else entirely, but she's of an odd disposition at the moment. Mima's usually alert and engaged, or aware and teasing, neither of which really fit the mood for what we originally came for; apologizing. She's had her way with us, and now she's let down her guard a bit. Time to man up, give her the diary, and face real life consequences.

Inb4 worst possible decision that we can make at the moment, but people vote for it anyway because I took time to justify myself.
>> No. 109437
[X] Give Mima that for which she isn't asking. Hand her her 'diary'
-[x] Apologize for leaving the last time and assure her that if she needs you, you will not leave.

If someone can improve this, please do so, don't blindly copy and paste.
>> No. 109493
edit2: A few changes made for the sake of clarity/style, mostly near the end. Also, please wait warmly, update incoming shortly.

----------
You’ve a feeling – your instincts say that if now’s a good time to learn something of Mima’s miracle energy, another one that’s as good or better will probably show itself down the line. Conversely, there may never be another opportunity to return onto the subject of the Bride of the Heavens once you’ve left it for good and you’re not sure that you should allow that to happen. You’re not able to shake the sense you felt on first having finished it of possibly having missed something just below the surface.

“…We’ve gone rather far off-topic, haven’t we?” You venture an observation at the second of silence that’s developed.

A suggestive leer rises on Mima’s face. “Whose fault was that again?” There’s a cough (that you’re positive was mixed with a laugh) as she clears her throat and sinks back into her chair, manipulating her temples with the tips of her fingers. “What I was basically saying,” she haltingly collecting her thoughts, “is for you to not assume so much only on the basis of very general similarities of appearance. There’s nothing to really suggest that the god who helped my friend’s the same one that helped the princess in this story and there’s a lot that would go towards disproving it. I mean, look at their modus operandi.” She gestures at the book, now closed and back on the pile. “This princess gets involved tutelage, advice and companionship over a period of years. My ‘noble friend?’ She gets one short dialogue, some mysterious object and a couple of cryptic mumblings and vague promises about ‘being happy.’” Shutting her eyes, Mima snorts dismissively and shakes her head.

“Except there’s an important commonality in both cases,” you object, “even if the specific details might be different. Mima – how did both the princess and Konngara meet their benefactors? After asking in their hearts for someone to help them, right? That ‘someone’ appears before them miraculously, as if in answer to their respective calls; proffering and then granting the very things for which they wish, but only after having been invited to do so.

There’s a delay, with Mima pensively nibbling on her lower lip. “…Alright, I’ll admit those are good points,” she concedes, “except they leave too little to chance. I’ve seen that you’re pretty eager to define everything systematically and ‘rationally’ for some reason,” she enunciates that last bit with great and apparent amusement, “even though you and I both know that there’re lots of things that aren’t grounded in anything except foppery and whim. Who’s to say your connection isn’t just your mistakenly imprinting your hopeful observances onto a coincidence?”

You shake your head. “I’ve thought at some length on the problem of uncertainty as I was reading, Mima. You’re right to suggest that we aren’t going to arrive at useful conclusions if the account on which we’re premising our deductions is embellished or not grounded in reality; but in this story especially, I can say with confidence that we wouldn’t be wrong for attributing an unusual intentionality.”

You now proceed to tell her at length about the character of the High King of Destiny, his words and his deeds; and something unexpected happens as a result. After having started to become flushed, animated and relaxed with the excitement of argument and banter, Mima’s presently wearing an indecipherably strange expression while hearing you out wordlessly. Her complexion, naturally very pale and only emphasized by its striking contrast with her long, dark hair; drained steadily of its little color in the course of your explanation to become an ashen hue of which corpses would be envious. Whether it’s sallow shock or white indignation you’re seeing though, you’ve not the ability to tell.

“Something of which I’m not quite sure,” you address something that’s been bothering you, “is at what his motivations and aims were to have been responsible for so many and merciless acts.”

“…He came off as erratic to you?” is her quiet query.

Odd. You fully expected that she would question you as to why you’ve referred to the High King of Destiny as a person rather than as a metaphor. “Not so much erratic as arbitrary and terribly cruel,” you clarify. “He forced a new mother to crush her heart and, deciding that to punish her with self-loathing and hopelessness wasn’t enough; robbed her of worth as a human being and tortured her to death. If he absolutely had to end her life,” you proclaim, a powerful and palpable disgust having formed on your features, “there’s no reason why he couldn’t have done her the same service as he did the Grand Astronomer.”

“How do you know he didn’t?” Seeing that you’re not understanding what she means, Mima posits a question. “Remember what we were talking about two days ago around this time?”

Two days ago… it would have been just after your heart guided you towards that rapturous memory of her, which means…

“It was the debate as to whether we should come here.” You recollect.

“Right. You said something about Lady Saigyouji’s power then.” Her sly smile’s crept back a little. “Remember what it was?~”

“The specifics allude me, but I remember Youki saying something about how easily the Lady could have killed us if that was her intention.”

“What you did,” Mima reminds you, very evidently happy to have this chance, “was to agree with that scoundrel’s bluster and to tell me,” she screws up her voice in imitation of you, “‘Whether it would have happened instantly or not, we probably would have lost our lives if she was serious about killing us.’" Having even mimed the exact gestures you made at the time, her deservedly triumphant expression seems to say – ‘Yes, that’s right! My memory is *really* that good.’

…Putting that tidbit aside for later, you think you’ve grasped what she’s suggesting. “‘Instantly or not…?’ Then,” you continue at her slight nod, “you’re saying it was a matter of endurance?”

“Maybe,” she answers, her humor receding in the face of stoicism. “You described that woman as having an uncommonly strong will, so I’d wager that his possession took longer to kill her.”

“See, that’s exactly what I’m having such difficulty reconciling, Mima. If you were to interpret everything it in there literally,” you glance at the Bride of the Heavens, “it makes no sense that a God shown to be capable of predicting the future and holding the balance of mortality in his hands would intentionally slay two innocents, only to leave the one which he himself termed as a criminal unscathed. It fundamentally contradicts the speech he gives about ‘feeling remorse’ and, putting myself in his shoes; the only reason I can produce to explain the both of these inconsistencies is that the author of the story was as bad as the illustrator was good.”

“Oh? Sounds to me more like the problem’s with your feet, not the shoes themselves. When *I* try them on, they fit dandily.” As if to emphasize this, she very regally adjusts the way she’s sitting so as to bring her slippers, slim ankles and stocking-clad legs into view from under the blue-black dress. “You have to think more like an evildoer,” Mima admonishes you, starting to gesture vigorously, “because there’s no doubt it’s one we’re talking about here. When did you ever hear of a hero hiding his face like that?”

That… is a good point. Certainly, there’s not a single champion in story or song anywhere you can remember who does, and for good reason – only those with something to hide conceal their faces.

“What if it’s just a metaphor?” you propose an alternative. “I buy into the idea of fate as little as you, Mima; but maybe the author had him dressed that way to symbolize how Destiny’s known to all and seen by none?”

“Then the author would be as stupid as you say,” is her sardonic reply. “However, I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case here, unless you’re able to magic up an explanation for the monologues too. The way you told them to me made them sound like they existed outside the general thematic of the story, so unless you want to explain that with something as boring as author incompetence, let’s just assume this ‘High King of Destiny,’” it’s with notable contempt that she pronounces that title, “has an actual personality that’s talked about in a way reasonably correct.”

“Granted. It’s more interesting and we’re on the same page anyway, right?” You smile softly to her.

She smiles back with energetic flamboyance. “That’s right. A piece of trash like that would be nothing against the both of us.”

Now visibly keyed up, Mima offers her interpretation of events based on what you’ve said (complete with lengthy and revealing asides into the measure of evil actions and wicked minds). Forcefully expressed and very creative, her reading is that if the ‘High King of Destiny’ is understood not as one predicting the future but as one making it, then his behavior isn’t at all hard to reconcile. She describes the key to understanding everything as the Pandora’s box.

“You said she still had it when everything ends, correct?” Mima confirms with you. “Don’t you think that’s unusual?”

What she proposed to this was the following – what if ‘stealing’ the weapon wasn’t the princess’ crime, but what was intended to happen?

“It all makes sense if you make the deduction that this ‘Vicegerent’ isn’t actually responsible for making it and sending it down,” Mima points out.

As she then goes on to elaborate, why would someone whose stated objective was the maintenance of order and prosperity take steps to introduce an ‘engine of world chaos’ into the knowledge of men? Rather, he would be much more likely to stand in opposition to anyone attempting that kind of scheme.

And here’s where you have an objection. “When the Great Sage leveled that huge indictment at him,” you say, playing it out in your head again, “it was one of the charges he didn’t deny.”

She smiles deliberately. “That’s right, he took credit for it.”

What she’s implying isn’t lost on you, and in light of that part about taking on ‘any perfidy, any infamy,’ it’s quite plausible that he could potentially view his office as one in which he accepts responsibility for deeds that aren’t really his. Now, which deeds are his?

“Definitely the murders and influencing her father to lock her away, possibly learning from the ‘Great Sage,’” Mima rattles off, tallying on her fingers. “There could be others too.”

To sum, she advances one final claim – whatever the specificities, the ‘Bride of Heaven’s’ entire life, isolation and instruction and everything else; was tooled as an education so that she would be prepared to receive the Pandora’s box. Noting again what she said earlier about its arrival into the world being through the machinations of some other party, Mima makes an informed guess that the Pandora’s box in the world of the story probably couldn’t be destroyed by any means available to the High King of Destiny, which would explain why he used a ploy to seal it away. By manipulating events to have it fall into the hands of the ‘Bride of Heaven,’ he would ensure that it was in the custody of one who couldn’t misuse it and from whom no one else could retrieve it. Which happened just as planned – that is, if her speculations are right.

“At any rate, those are the deductions I’ve made.” Mima wraps up, her silken voice sounding strained from having spoken for too long. She fixes on you an inquiring eye. “What do you think?”

“I think you’ve raised many good points, Mima. And…” you’re massaging your forehead, “I think I have a headache. Honestly!” You add at her bemused expression, “Would it have killed the author to be less abstract? I’m aware that ‘good writers’ are supposed to be subtle, but by Guanyin…”

“I’ll agree with you there,” she nods, laughing lightly. “It’s been hard work for the two of us and it’s helped me understand some things about our own case, so why don’t we take a break now? Your hard work’s made me a happy girl, so I think you deserve the chance, ‘Sir Monk.’”

“A chance which I’ll take,” you’ve a smile as you respond in kind, “‘My Lady.’”

“Good. Then go get me some tea.”

“Excu-”

“Hop to it.” Mima snaps her fingers urgently, the devilish cunning of her heart awakened. “Oh, and if you find any of those citruses we had yesterday, get me some of those too. I liked them. Thanks~”

Your efforts at evading these outrageous demands fail miserably and, with a face that betrays she’s very pleased with herself; Mima waves and sees you out.



Having worked in the kitchen yesterday, you were able to return with two cups of tea and some oranges after only a few minutes. It would have been even faster if Youki were around. As it’s about time for lunch and in light of how well Yuyu seems to keep her table, you fully expected to see him working in there; chopping vegetables with that too-large apron tied on. Since he couldn’t possibly be still meditating, he’s likely just busy with one of the others – maybe with the Lady? ‘…Finding a sword?’ As you’re reproaching yourself for lascivious innuendoes and mentally pledging to redouble your training, Mima’s peeling a second orange while thoughtfully sipping the tea you’ve made. She hasn’t said anything since you’ve returned except to thank you warmly for indulging her unreasonably whims.

“Hey.” Hands full, it’s with a nudge that signals towards the pile of books on your side of the table. “Hand me one of those if you aren’t busy.”

Her expression unreadable beyond that she’s obviously pondering something not immediately before her, Mima returns to looking out the window as you (pick one):

[ ] Become busy. Have a conversation with her about some light-hearted topic of interest? (Specify)
[ ] Give Mima that for which she’s asking. Hand her a book. (Specify)
[ ] Take her up on the earlier offer. Ask her if she might trim your hair.
[ ] Is something troubling her? Ask, and if so, offer your support.
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>> No. 109505
It’s time.

----------
You’ve a feeling this will either succeed brilliantly or fail fantastically, with no middle ground to be had; but sudden inspiration’s seized you. …Mima asked for a book, right? After carefully scrutinizing her to ensure that she’s not just feigning indifference while actually following your actions subtly, as is her wont; you reach inside your cassock. She’s looking out at the cloudless sky, taking her tea in proud form when your fingers wrest upon and withdraw from a pocket that particular book that’s weighed upon your mind and against your chest since this morning. You inconspicuously set it on the table behind the cover of the other four books, through which you now start to browse with innocuous noise. You acting’s perfect. A minute, two minutes, three; pass without your calling attention to yourself, all murmurs and mutterings as you’re pretending to leaf around. Then…

“Hey Mima,” you stop, acting as if surprised in the middle of turning a page. “Have a look at this one.”

The glance she gives at you, moving the other books out of the way, betrays that she’s still not quite there; still preoccupied by some concern that might or might not be the one you’re about to deliver. Already having opened it to the page of your apology, you push the diary to her side of the table.

It takes Mima a few seconds, but her entire demeanor transforms on realizing what’s actually before her eyes. Seemingly distracted and visibly disinterested at first, it’s with a lowered head that you hear a gasp and see one of her hands go to her robe, starting to feel for something with the kind of haste born only out of reflex. With the way she’s fumbling about in alarm; that she can’t find what she’s trying to locate becomes apparent to you both. The frenzy of activity about her grinds to a halt and, in the space it takes for her to take one breath, everything stops. That’s as long as her preparations needed.

At once, there’s a slight tug from around your collar; a familiar power pulling it upwards and towards the hand from which it’s originating. Her left arm extended with her forefinger held out in a slight curl, her right arm hidden under the folds of her voluminous cloak; Mima’s glaring at you with unspeakable coldness.

“…You read it?” In a voice as unfeeling as her gaze, she indicates towards the diary laying forgotten on the table.

This… is not the mood for which you were hoping. “I’m sorry for having intruded on your privacy, Mima, bu-”

“I’ll ask you one more time.”

Having cut you off, her jade eyes narrow and, with dispassionate slowness; she repeats her question. “…Did you read it?” From under her cloak, there’s a very slight motion.

This is a delicate situation, but one which you’re not unequipped to face – on the contrary, you’ve the whole arsenal of ‘skillful means’ at your disposal. Which of your arms is best for this battle?

[ ] Guile – “Mima. Is it really wise that we should be at each other’s throats with no plans laid and the hour of our enemy’s ascendance drawing ever closer?”
[ ] Daring – “From cover to cover, every last word.”
[ ] Honesty – “…I only understood the parts about mushrooms.”
[ ] Discretion – “Suppose that I have?”
[ ] Humor – “It’s a shame that your time of the month’s come when at such an inopportune time, Mima. Why, one day later and it’d be our enemies’ peril, instead of mine!”
[ ] VAJRA – “I’ll answer your questions, but I could do without the ‘helping hand.’ WISDOM KING!
[ ] Perhaps one less often employed? (Specify)
----------
>> No. 109506
Heh... well I wonder about using logic, since I still highly doubt that Mima would leave her diary lying around carelessly. (Especially with her personality) But it was careless thinking that resulted in this mess.

>[ ] Guile – “Mima. Is it really wise that we should be at each other’s throats with no plans laid and the hour of our enemy’s ascendance drawing ever closer?”
This might work for getting the heat off of him, but it doesn't seem to progress things as far as the underlying issues go.
>[ ] Daring – “From cover to cover, every last word.”
Bold yet risky, could be used to transition into the apology, but again it's risky.
>[ ] Honesty – “…I only understood the parts about mushrooms.”
More or less true, but what about her day to day actions including her break down?
>[ ] Discretion – “Suppose that I have?”
There's a slight risk but not the worse choice in my opinion.
>[ ] Humor – “It’s a shame that your time of the month’s come when at such an inopportune time, Mima. Why, one day later and it’d be our enemies’ peril, instead of mine!”
I don't think this is the best option, especially not with the subject being joked about.
>[ ] VAJRA – “I’ll answer your questions, but I could do without the ‘helping hand.’ WISDOM KING!”
Not the worse choice, but I'm not sure if it'll be of much help in this case.

These are just my opinions, so if anyone thinks differently, please speak up.
>> No. 109509
[x] Honesty – “…I only understood the parts about mushrooms.”
>VAJRA
It's been too long.
>> No. 109511
>>109505
Ha ha, oh wow. We just stepped on one big fucking land mine with this one. She's going to try and end us, there's no two ways about it. So before we answer, and that half bent finger curls all the way and we end up with a crushed windpipe, I think we should have something in mind to stay alive. Glorious to see the VAJRA options back, too. But I don't think we need to go that far; if I recall the last time this happened we managed to make our own psychic hand of some sorts. Same maneuver we used back then would do the trick here as well. Manifest our hand, look her square in the eye, and give her our answer.

As for an answer, I think a good mix of honesty, sincerity, and compassion would do. Something to the effect of: "Yes, Mima. I did read it. And I'm glad I did, because it let me understand the enormity of my error and how grievously I've wronged you. I will not apologize for reading it, but I want to extend my sincerest apologies for what I did yesterday," or something to that effect. Might try to re-work that into a proper vote later, maybe take some time to work some of the things we think we know about why she broke down. But I'll leave this here now for consideration.

Anyway, how much of that we can get out before she launches her attack is the only question now. I'm rethinking the hand thing too. Doesn't demonstrate all that much trust in her, but it does represent a significant amount of respect we have for her and her ability to make us hurt terribly.

This is probably a gross misunderstanding of the character, but thinking about it, parts of Mima's personality kinda reminds me of another character. Differences, of course (Mima doesn't swear nearly as often and is possessed of a far more intellectual disposition), but there's the same sense of having conquered hardship with a violent power, adopting a hostile outlook on life (as well as the mindset of a 'villain'), a kind of grim humor... I could keep going, but my ride is here.

Sage for not much of anything.
>> No. 109512
>>109511

Not true there's some more insights for everyone else to think on and figure something out.

perhaps after this is resolved, we might want to remark on her studies (being impressed at her range of knowledge and skills) and the matter of if that was truly an accident.

But I'm starting to fear looking at the diary might prove to be the big gamble of a move than not looking at it. But the bigger the gamble, the bigger the payoff.

I think honest would be the right start, and your suggestion sounds nice as well.

But this is a choice that should not be made in reckless haste.
>> No. 109514
>>109511
>This is probably a gross misunderstanding of the character, but thinking about it, parts of Mima's personality kinda reminds me of another character. Differences, of course (Mima doesn't swear nearly as often and is possessed of a far more intellectual disposition), but there's the same sense of having conquered hardship with a violent power, adopting a hostile outlook on life (as well as the mindset of a 'villain'), a kind of grim humor...

You lost me.
>> No. 109515
Honesty would play quite a role here, if it didn't have a good chance of killing us. She's seriously pissed here, she didn't even ask us the question before she restrained us.

This isn't about what we did read, it's a matter of what we didn't read. I think a simple write-in stating as such would go a long way. Honesty will work here, it just depends on how we phrase it.
>> No. 109517
>>109515

What we read most of it, but didn't understand the day to day part for the most part (other than the last part being marked out by her during the break down)

But also her various notes on things (though it was mainly the mushrooms that could be understood)

But the gist of what Myouren learned from reading it was this: She uses it to take various notes on many things, and that he fucked up. (Since from what i remember of that update, he wasn't able to get any precise information from the day to day part.)

But I wonder if this is a test of hers, since it'd be rather out of character for her to leave her diary laying around in the first place.
>> No. 109523
Requesting a decisive opinion so that writing can begin.
>> No. 109525
[x] Honesty – “…I only understood the parts about mushrooms.”
>> No. 109528
>>109517
>But I wonder if this is a test of hers
I don't think so. She certainly behaves with a certain amount of guile and cunning, but she's usually pretty composed. That is to say, she's in command of both her surroundings and appearance; she's in control. This is a blind side hit, and she's reacting out of instinct.

>it'd be rather out of character for her to leave her diary laying around in the first place

Sure is, huh? Almost like it fell through a gap in her defenses, no?

>>109514
Sorry. A certain anime was on my mind when I read the scene and it got me to thinking of parallels. It's absolutely retarded, so I probably shouldn't have included it, but to me the most recent update reminded me of the confrontation between the two main characters of the anime 'Black Lagoon' at the end of the seventh episode. It got me to thinking about some of the similarities between Mima and the character 'Revy.' From my musing, though, is that we have every reason to apologize for what we did (leaving her), but we have no reason to apologize for making her cry. Making her break down like that was a personal thing. We caused it unintentionally, but we don't have to be sorry about it. Instead, we have a moral obligation to help her in whatever capacity we can. This could mean comforting her, or it could mean challenging her.

This calls up a question, though. She has the mental capacity to argue philosophy and fairly abstract concepts with the best of anyone we know. This should let her handle nearly any situation rationally. Except where rationale is chucked through the window because raw emotion overtakes her. It's probably been a very long time since Mima has been emotionally attached to anyone, and all of those people were raped and murdered. I don't have a lick of education in psychology, but even I understand that at a certain point you shut down emotionally to cope with the stress.

Consider the following: we have an incredibly intelligent young woman that happens to be emotionally numb to the concepts of intimacy, familiarity, and even kindness with members of the opposite sex. However, through her relationship with another woman in a similar situation, she encounters a respectful young man that is (in some respects) her equal in power, abilities, and intellect. In short order, this young man invites her to a rather intimate experience. Her mental faculties scream at her to embrace this opportunity, but her deep seated psychological trauma prevents her from doing so. This may fly in the face of what Konngara told us when she said Mima was probably crying because she remembered something, but I think she was crying because she was at war with herself: her rational mind is telling her that this is the most perfect opportunity in the world to become closer with the first man in her life that treats her with respect and dignity, while her irrational subconscious is screaming at her to stay away. She desperately wants to be with Myouren, but there is a part of her persona that is unalterable (by her incredible intellect) that refuses any relationship with us.

Sage because I still don't have a god damn vote.
>> No. 109529
>>109523
God damn it, be more patient. If you're going to be like that, then consider what I said in...
>>109528

...then use what I wrote in
>>109511

[X] Perhaps one less often employed: Suicide: "Yes, Mima. I did read it. And I'm glad I did, because it let me understand the enormity of my error and how grievously I've wronged you. I will not apologize for reading it, but I want to extend my sincerest apologies for what I did yesterday,"
>> No. 109530
[x] VAJRA – “I’ll answer your questions, but I could do without the ‘helping hand.’ WISDOM KING!”

Let's do it. The honesty option feels a bit out of character this time, it reeks of guilt. The daring option doesn't work well either, it smells of arrogance. She's out of line here, and it's our job to put her back. We will take action first and speak with our power, the apologies can come later.
>> No. 109532
>Sure is, huh? Almost like it fell through a gap in her defenses, no?

Yukarin was at work obviously.

>>109530

He was wracked with guilt about the whole thing when he read it, he actually cried.

[X] Perhaps one less often employed: Nigh-Suicide: "Yes, Mima. I did read it. And I'm glad I did, because it let me understand the enormity of my error and how grievously I've wronged you. I will not apologize for reading it, but I want to extend my sincerest apologies for what I did yesterday,"


>>109523
For choices like this we do need time to think, choices made in haste are often terrible ones.
>> No. 109559
File 126287874433.png - (529.28KB , 1155x649 , Charming demon is not amused.png ) [iqdb]
109559
Votes are presently:
Honesty – 2
VAJRA – 1
Suicide – 2

As a reminder for those who forgot/skipped that part, skillful means is an acknowledgement that achieving the same ends (whether of conversion or something else) with different people requires flexibility and variance. You could call it a kind of pragmatism tempered by morality. How does that apply to the current circumstance?

Basically, remember that not everyone’s going to respond equally well to the same methods. That of which Konngara might approve could get Youki to punch you in the face, for example. So ask yourselves this. You are presently dealing with Mima. With the knowledge you’ve gained as to her character, the manner of behavior to which she personally would respond most favorably is…?
>> No. 109561
>The manner of behavior to which she personally would respond most favorably is…?
Honesty, hands down.
>> No. 109563
So, remember when we met Mima that first time? She dragged us up by the neck, we played dead, then used our own power right back at her? Equal parts 'daring,' 'humor,' and 'guile.' She loved it. That other time, when we had the chance to comfort her or not, and we chose to comfort her and offer her forgiveness? She nearly took our head off, but ultimately appreciated our efforts. 'Daring' and 'honesty,' I think. 'Daring' is the common denominator. We have the abilities and determination to stand with her at her best and worst. Time to do just that.

As if the waters weren't muddied enough as they are for this vote, please consider that first 'Suicide' vote one for [X] Daring (I'm at work and can't delete it). Felt right the first time I read it but thought I'd have more time to think and panicked.
>> No. 109564
[x] Honesty – “…I only understood the parts about mushrooms.”

The daring vote is interesting but, as a wise man once said, “Simplicity is the nature of great souls.”
The fact that we can turn every answer into a speech doesn't mean we should. She asked a question, we give an answer -a honest one, as always- Stop drowing in a glass of water anon.
>> No. 109566
>>109530 here.

>>109532
He was wracked with guilt because he realized that he profoundly wronged her.

>>109559
I agree, but I still think the Vajra option displays the best degree of daring and honesty. Respond to her to force with our own while giving her an honest answer.
>> No. 109634
Update coming shortly, please wait warmly.
>> No. 109638
File 126297991996.jpg - (384.63KB , 500x750 , Awindowintotheevilspirit'smind.jpg ) [iqdb]
109638
The moment of truth's arrived. I know it's a lot to ask, but vote as soon as you're able and are of a decided mind. I'd seriously like to start writing faster again in the way that I used to, now that the harder bits have been finished and the groundwork laid for what's going to happen. Additionally, I would like to direct your collective attentions to >>108953, specifically:

>She was losing it right then and there before Acala decided to chime in. Only after that was when we decided to leave. Something about inviting her set Mima off, and it wasn't latent trauma resurfacing. No, she realized something about herself then and there, and it upset her righteously.

That was from the mouths of one of you, and it's correct. Please keep it in mind as you're reading.

----------
“Only the parts about mushrooms,” you admit honestly, while trying to put a humorous spin on things. “I know you’re going to call me a cheat and a fraud again, but I‘m awfully poor in Sanskrit; to the point I could be called a virtual illiterate.”

A small tug forwards. The ‘hand’ on your collar isn’t strangling you like last time, but it’s holding you quite firmly as Mima’s studying your face. There’s not a trace of emotion on hers; she neither moves nor says anything as her chill eyes make a silent, studied appraisal of you. Then, with a frown, a flick of her finger and a flutter from beneath her cape –

“…I see.”

– you’re released. Both arms now plainly in view and crossed over her chest, Mima breaths out a deep sigh that, as it seems to you; discloses as much relief at your answer as it does a measure of disappointment. You don’t see a trace of it on her expression or in her eyes, though. If they’re less menacing than before, they aren’t any less inexpressively cold as she moves to take up her diary into her hands.

While you settle back into your chair, you briefly consider the bearing you should show in answer, deciding upon a relaxed concern – waiting with a bowed head and submissive gait projects an unappealing passivity and sitting at attention would only serve to make this tense situation seem only more of an interrogation. Therefore, it’s with your legs folded under you and head lightly propped against your arm that you’re watching Mima; wordlessly returned to the business of reading the apology you’ve written for her. The progress of her glance vacillating along and across the length of the page is reminiscent of dance, a deliberate left-right waltz that’s occasionally interrupted by those stumbles when her eyes might briefly retrace their steps. Carrying on in this way, the coldness on her countenance’s visibly softened as she’s repeated the ritual of her reading and, if she’s far from smiling; it’s with her face more warmly disposed that you notice her eyes have come to a halt.

“There’s something I want to know,” she states in a subdued tone, still looking at the page. “About what you were telling me before. You said that most of the times you were ‘played for a dupe,’” Mima softly recalls the phrase you used, “was because you planned it. That you let other people take advantage of you to show them a lesson about themselves. …What did you do when you were really tricked?”

It’s strange. Why’s she asking about this, and so suddenly? Well, though this is unexpected, you aren’t complaining – you can turn this question to your advantage.

“It’s not happened a lot of times, but…” There’s a short pause as the handful of incidents after which she’s asking flashes before your mind. Most of them were just embarrassing lessons in the importance of discrimination with no actual harm done to you, farces at whose memory alone you would laugh heartily in a happier situation; with the one notable exception of that perilous instance where you were almost lured into temptation by the depraved thirst of that vile Tengu’s thighs. …The stuff of nightmares, that. In any event, all of these cases had something in common regardless of how much or little danger in which they placed you.

“I forgave them.” You recall, smiling at Mima a sympathetic smile which she’s not able to see over the pages of her diary.

Mima’s not smiling back, however. “Making that kind of stupid mistake is just like you,” she plainly remarks, rubbing her temples as she closes her eyes in indifference.

Exactly as planned.

“Forgiveness is never a mistake, Mima.” is your sincere answer, as much a suggestion as it is a proclamation. “‘To extend a hand towards those who have wronged you makes manifest your own greatness.’ … A long time ago, that’s what someone important to me said,” you recollect fondly.

Neither moving nor blinking, she’s frozen in place; clearly having comprehended what you’re implying. For a few seconds, her breath’s even stopped in her throat. But, recovering; slowly, slowly, Mima brings herself to meet you. Neither threatening, nor on the edge of another breakdown; it’s with a collected, slightly glowering composure that she’s considering what you’ve said.

“What you wrote in here’s really touching,” she says quietly, “…but there’s something I have to confess.” Mima looks at you, unusually earnest and utterly confused. “I don’t understand your reasons for this. Just why are you asking me to forgive you?”

You:
[ ] ???
----------

Now, let me say this. I will be making good on what I told you all earlier. I don't know if this is a difficult question or not, being the author and all, but you will be considered having succeeded if I see an answer that's in the right vein, regardless of whether it's a majority vote or not. In other words, if even one of you hits the nail on the head, I start writing immediately and you get the best outcome. Which is something wonderful. I can confidently say that I've given you all the knowledge and support necessary for success, so don't fail.

Oh, and let me say that I'm not asking for a gigantic answer to this question. In fact, I recommend against it, given the person you're facing. Take this into account - when is it ever a good idea to show your hand before the chips are down and all the cards on the table?
>> No. 109640
File 126298524248.jpg - (1.32MB , 820x1220 , 6111287.jpg ) [iqdb]
109640
>>109638
>“I don’t understand your reasons for this. Just why are you asking me to forgive you?”
[X] "Because, Mima, I betrayed you when you needed me the most. Yesterday, when I asked you to the bath. Though you told me to leave, you were asking me to stay, weren't you? All that time and effort keeping people away and isolating yourself; being alone has been a very important part of your life, and no matter how strong a person is, it's difficult to set that aside, especially by yourself. But that is exactly what I did, and when I should have helped you, I abandoned you instead. It is for that I apologize."

Not looking for anything big, I know, but it was really hard to put all of my sentiments and ideas into words and to keep it this short. More elaborate reasoning, if it helps: she wanted to, but all of those mental and psychological barriers she set up to keep herself alive are now preventing her from opening up and letting anyone into her heart. She desperately wanted to, but despite being so strong and capable, she just couldn't surmount a lifetime's worth of isolation. When she slipped into a state of catatonia after we said we were leaving? That was Mima's crushing depression that we couldn't see beyond that flimsy facade telling us to leave.

I've been spouting theories non-stop since the original incident, and in the absence of any discussion at all on any of those points ;_; this is the one that I feel the best about, and I'm still not 100% on this one. But the time for discussion is over:

>you will be considered having succeeded if I see an answer that's in the right vein, regardless of whether it's a majority vote or not.

I promise to delete this and come up with something new if someone votes for this. We need every capable mind working every single angle. I don't care if this is gaming the system, I will do everything I can to see that this ends well.
>> No. 109641
[X] Simple: I'm asking to forgive you because, yesterday, when I asked you to come to the bathroom, I heard what you said, but not what you meant I decided to pay attention to my mind and not to my heart. I wanted-I should've stayed. I wasn't honest with you or with myself... I will not make the same mistake again.

My shot. Sorry, I can't do short write ins (quite the flaw in this cases)
>you will be considered having succeeded if I see an answer that's in the right vein, regardless of whether it's a majority vote or not. In other words, if even one of you hits the nail on the head, I start writing immediately and you get the best outcome
You do know that anon can just cheat and force a draw until one of the write-ins hit the nail, right? I just wanted to give you a heads-up... just in case.
>> No. 109642
>>109640

But that seems to best sum things up and matches my sentiments. But it would be better to wait until some people look at it and point things out.

I think the lack of discussion is a sign that people think your points are correct.

It doesn't help that this story requires folks to be at their mentally sharpest (when most readers already have work or school taxing their brains)

I'll try to think of an angle that hasn't been covered.
>> No. 109646
File 126298964117.jpg - (762.15KB , 1600x1200 , 30a02299ab5f313f7ca293f74c176735e8a0c3f1.jpg ) [iqdb]
109646
>with the one notable exception of that perilous instance where you were almost lured into temptation by the depraved thirst of that vile Tengu’s thighs
>> No. 109648
>>94214
>"... Do you promise? You won't leave me alone?"

>You smile gallantly. As she sees the willpower in your eyes, you respond.

>"As long as breath runs in my body, I will not abandon you, nor will I ever desire to do so. I've pledged to aid you as long as you have need of me, and I have no plans to renege on that offer." With one arm in front, you kneel with exaggerated courtesy. "So please, command me, My Lady."

[ø] I made a promise to never abandon you. However, as much as I regret it, that is what I did last night: even though that was when I truly should have stayed by your side, to give you the support that you needed, Mima. I sincerely regret doing so, and this is why I ask for your forgiveness.

I might just go bury my head under the pillow and blast my C77 playlist at a very loud volume meanwhile sobbing like a girl, if none of our responses heal the damaged bond between Mima and Myouren.
>> No. 109649
>>109646

The fact he ran into Aya wouldn't be that surprising, since isn't she about 1000ish years old herself by the time of the games? (And to think she only looks about late teens mid-twenties) And she is a naughty girl.

But so far both votes cover what i can imagine.
>> No. 109651
[x]Because I made a grave mistake.
>> No. 109652
>>109648
>if none of our responses heal the damaged bond between Mima and Myouren.
If anything does, this story is truly a failure
>> No. 109656
>>109652
wat.
So if we can make up with Mima, the story is a failure? I do not comprehend this logic...

Anyways, there must be more than 3 other anons and me who have been brooding over for this moment to make up with Mima. VOTE dammit.
>> No. 109657
>>109656
I don't know what to vote for!
I will just sit back and wait for the people who know what they are doing to make the right choice.
>> No. 109659
>>109656

Either he typoed or one of the folks who got pissy at the Yuyuko love scene. (Yes i used love since it was a moment of love)

[x] "I'm asking because I left you too soon when I promised I would do what I could to help. It was terribly short sighted of me to leave when I should have stayed and listened. I failed to understand how dealt with things."

I hope at least someone can perhaps fix this or at least work in what hasn't been covered. I hope I don't screw things up again.
>> No. 109662
>>109642
Yeah, it was pretty arrogant/retarded to say I'd delete it. I won't if anyone does, but I'd prefer if people came up with their own anyway. Ya gotta understand where I'm coming from, though: lately in this story, when one person comes up with a decent looking write-in, everyone seems to sit back and roll with it. I won't presume why that's the case, but it's a sad state of affairs. Keep this in mind: our biggest bungle, the one that still hangs over the heads of many anon like an awful specter, the one we're trying to fix right now... it's all because we saw one write-in, thought it looked good without thinking about why it was good, and chose it. One thing I (think I) figured out a while ago: author may like a clear consensus for some things, but he doesn't ignore votes that have some thought behind them, regardless of whether they're part of the winning decision or not. Which is, you know, awesome, because even if you think your vote is retarded, if you can string together your logic with an example or two, you're considered. Try it out. Works wonders and stuff.

Anyway, to anyone that is still thinking, I propose an exercise. Read >>100158 and >>100728. After doing so, ask yourself the following questions and make note of your answers:
What did you do that you are you apologizing for?
Instead of what you did, what should you have done?
Why should you have done that?
Why did Mima cry, refuse your offer, and ask you to leave?

Last one is pretty tough, but try asking yourself: why would I refuse to do something I really wanted to do? I'm sure there's something you can relate to: too embarrassed, too scared, not confident enough, etc. Using that, think about what Mima has been through and the kind of person she is.

Good luck, anonymous, for all our sake.

Edit: derp. Actually, after taking my own advice, I submit the following for consideration:
>>100313
>"No reason, no reason~ It's just, I was just passing through and -happened- to overhear some of your conversation. And so, thought I'd raise this little point - there's nothing wrong with leaving now if she doesn't desire for you to help her."

>>100728
>"Mima. You've done nothing for which you should be apologizing; indeed, the one at fault here is me, for having caused this situation. So please, rest - with the knowledge that I will do my best to make amends for this, somehow. I have not forgotten my promise to you."

This is just me: with that little revelation from the Great Sage and hindsight being what it is, there was everything wrong with leaving then. Ergo, she wanted our help. Furthermore, we didn't forget our promise to never leave her. We broke it, pure and simple. Might have to reconsider the wording of my vote now.
>> No. 109663
>>109661

Yes and as the guy who wrote that write in that was a lesson for me (These days I ask folks to improve upon my write ins); though it basically shattered my confidence in dealing with Mima. (I fear I might have a mental block in this regard.) Just as a writer of a good write in feels pride when people follow it and great things happened, some who make bad write ins feels regret, shame, pain when they see what horrors their choice have wrought.

But it taught me a lesson as well how a bad vote could easily pass off as something good.

And I don't blindly copy paste things, but look at it and see where it could be improved. (I do work my best write ins when there's something to work off of in terms of previous write ins or options)

But as it was said earlier the breakdown wasn't caused by a past incident but a run in with her issues themselves.

>What did you do that you are you apologizing for?
Leaving her at a time of need as far as I could figure.
>Instead of what you did, what should you have done?
Stuck around and helped her through her inner struggle like we promised.
>Why should you have done that?
Because we promised to help her as a friend, and it'd have been progress against her inner demons.
>Why did Mima cry, refuse your offer, and ask you to leave?
She might has assumed that we'd much rather be with Konngara and not deal with her problems, her lonely upbringing (Not that great about asking others for help), and the fact her issues were preventing her from doing what she really wanted.

But these are good questions to ponder over, if someone thinks differently they should say something.
>> No. 109686
All of you quit waiting for someone else to present the magical answer. Everyone cast their own personal vote for what they think is right. That's what he wants from us for this particular vote. He isn't pulling a majority for this, he's waiting for one of us to spit out the answer he wants. The best way to get this done is for all of us to present own own personal ideas for the situation. Doesn't matter what the fuck it is or what you think of it, just spit it out.
>> No. 109691
>>109686

I think that's what people are doing, but most of the votes put down more or less cover what's on most folk's mind.

Also that's the point that people have been trying to make with their votes.

Of course it's rather late in some parts of the world, so hopefully voting would be left open for a few more days or so.
>> No. 109702
I think everyone is forgetting what Yukari said in >>102862. The important parts:
>"Yes that's right, Chen. Specifically that the way that Mima acted is proof that it's not about her past. If you'll remember, Konngara said that in all the time they've been friends Mima has never said anything about it to her. -And- that whenever the topic was brought up, Mima might lash out and become angry but never, ever did she just have a complete emotional breakdown like what happened there."
This isn't about something that happened in her past

>"Konngara's assessment of the situation was absolutely flawless - Sir Monk failed so terribly because he misread the situation completely."
Myouren/we misinterpreted something. Namely, thinking that the breakdown happened because of something in the past

>"First, we know for certain that Konngara is right because when Mima decided to tell Sir Monk about her past, she acted exactly in the way Konngara described. So let me say this for the last time - for whatever reason she broke down in the story today, it was because of something in the present, not something that happened years ago. Now to be fair, with what he knew in that situation, it was almost expected that he would misunderstand. Granted, if he were able to grasp the true nature of her denial, that would have been fantastic. But he didn't and that's fine. It's not the big issue in this case, because though there were some hints about what was going on, they weren't very obvious ones except in hindsight. No, his biggest mistake? That was in leaving and more specifically, his reasons for deciding to leave."
This has nothing to do with something that happened before. No trauma, no walls, no memories, nothing like that. She realized something then and there, and she couldn't handle it.

>"Read it. I urge you, say that line aloud* and tell me that I'm still wrong to call this a mistake. Think from the perspective of Mima. Something's caused her to do what she hates most - to cry in front of others. Bitterly sobbing her heart out, she's silently calling out to Sir Monk, hoping that he'll see through the cowardice of her words and love her. Instead, after receiving a curt, mechanical dismissal like this, she's callously abandoned by him. Him - the selfsame person who she likely considers as having caused her to break down in the first place. And for what reason? ...Because he placed a higher priority on playing around with her friend than comforting her in the depths of misery. All this, from a person who so lately promised to help her and for whom she developed such a powerful affection, so quickly. For someone like Sir Monk, that might seem like a little thing perhaps, as he makes bosom friends with ease. But for her, for Mima, she would think of it differently, him being the first she'd met of her own kind and seeming such a good and noble person, besides."
She wants to be loved, damn it! But she doesn't know how to ask for it. That's what she realized, and that's why she had her melt down. God damn. And instead of tenderly loving her like we should, we're all like "oh shit, sorry for bringing up bad memories since you're such a wreck and all. Sorry about that, I'm gonna leave and show some loving to your best friend." In all fairness, Konngara and Yuyu seemed pretty straightforward in asking for some loving feeling, but that's not how Mima works. She's the "Bad Guy," she the fucking wicked witch of the west. The same person that thought bringing her friends and family back from the dead as zombies was a good idea? What does she know about love, the kind of love between a man and a woman? For everything she can do, she can't do what she wants to the most. I'd cry too.

[x] I'm sorry I misunderstood you Mima. Yesterday, I deluded myself into thinking that your tears were caused by something in your past that you had to face. But that wasn't it at all, was it? You learned something at that point. Something you couldn't do. And it drove you to do something you can't stand to do. But don't worry anymore, Mima, I understand now. I know you love me Mima, because I love you too."

Done. I don't care if I'm wrong or presuming way too much, but everyone needs to stop thinking with your ass and realize all the BS about her past has nothing to do with this apology. We invited her > she realized something > she cried > we misunderstood (what is this, shoujo manga?) > we fucked up. What did she realize? Answer that, and we're golden. Besides, what's wrong with saying "I love you" to someone we would do anything and everything for? It's the truth, right?
>> No. 109706
File 126305629244.jpg - (311.75KB , 800x800 , lolberserk.jpg ) [iqdb]
109706
And writing commences. This is going to be interesting, methinks.

>(what is this, shoujo manga?)
No more than either the Nibelunglied or Berserk are shouj-

...Actually, scratch the second.
>> No. 109711
File 12630583736.gif - (152.59KB , 600x400 , berserk_kawaii.gif ) [iqdb]
109711
>>109706
>And writing commences.
...fuck, I was re-writing >>109702 too. Well, I hope someone got it right.

lolberserk indeed~
>> No. 109714
>>109711
Go ahead and post it if you want, I'll check back as I'm working on it.
>> No. 109716
>>109702

But her past made her the way she is, and while it wasn't any particular incident that was the cause, but the net result (Such as not knowing how to ask to be loved. Kinda hard when one's living a "Me against them" kind of life)

Still if you were right, the thanks would be unmeasurable.


>>109706

I suspect mangaka lose their minds somehwere or such.

I hope you're writing due to someone getting it right as opposed to writing because you lost patience with anon. (Let's face it, we can be major dumbasses)
>> No. 109719
>>109716
Hopefully, at least one of us got it right.
>> No. 109722
>>109714
Oh, OK. Guess I can leave out the quotes too, it's enough of a minor wall as it is. Pointless at this point, but whatever.

She wants to be loved, damn it! She wants to be close and intimate and loved. But she doesn't know how to ask for it or accept it. That's what she realized: for all the magic and research and super intellectual arguments, it's something like taking a bath with someone she likes that seems impossible. She couldn't do it, and it made her feel weak. She's strong and bold and clever and powerful. She's a self styled "Bad Guy," the fucking wicked witch of the west. She's the same person that thought bringing her friends and family back from the dead as zombies was a good idea. THE Mima, weak and worthless to a simple request. That has got to be pretty wretched. That's why she had her melt down and started to cry.

To top it off, instead of tenderly loving her like we should and telling her it's alright and we're here for her, or even just saying sorry and leaving, we're all like "oh shit, sorry for bringing up bad memories since you're such a wreck and all. Sorry about that, I'm gonna leave and show some loving to your best friend instead. Catch you on the flip side, you emotional retard."

In all fairness, Konngara and Myouren are pretty straightforward in asking for some loving feeling, so it's easy to get caught up in thinking that's how everyone works. But that's not how Mima works. She schemes, she teases, she tests. She's not direct. When things could get deep, it was on her terms and she was in control. And then she gets slammed with a direct request to get naked and intimate with her new love, in the company of her best friend too. It's an emotional boot to the temple out of nowhere, asking her to open herself up like that, and it's the one thing Mima doesn't handle well. Bam. Weak. Queue the water works. What does she know about love, the kind of love between a man and a woman? For everything she can do, she couldn't do what she wanted to the most. This, again, being Mima. I'd cry too.

[x] I'm sorry I misunderstood you Mima. Yesterday, I deluded myself into thinking that your tears were caused by something painful in your past that I made you remember. But that wasn't it at all, was it? You realized something when I asked you to bathe with me and it drove you to tears, something I know you can't stand to do. I think you realized that for all of the things that you can do, I had asked you to do something you couldn't. Not by yourself, at least. I wronged you, both by misunderstanding the nature of your tears and for leaving you when I should have stayed. For doing that to someone I love and cherish, that is why I must apologize.

Done. Actually not, I had to add some stuff because I can't stop thinking about this and I have to keep rewriting this. I think the implied weakness thing is a nice touch, though: acknowledges what happened without blatantly calling her out on it, and besides, 'when is it ever a good idea to show your hand before the chips are down and all the cards on the table?' Fills in for that mysterious 'something' in the "Something's caused her to do what she hates most - to cry in front of others" part. Ya made her feel weak, that feeling made her cry, she hates crying in front of people (specially Myouren), she tells us to go away so we don't see her like that... and we think she's reliving being raped. Nice~ Could be something else, though, so... we invited her > she realized something > she cried > we misunderstood (what is this, shoujo manga?) > we fucked up. What did she realize? Answer that right, and we're golden.

Anyway, I don't care if I'm wrong or presuming way too much, but everyone needs to stop thinking with your ass and realize all the BS about her past has nothing to do with this apology. Besides, what's wrong with saying "I love you" to someone we would do anything and everything for? It's the truth, right?

>>109716
>But her past made her the way she is, and while it wasn't any particular incident that was the cause, but the net result

No. Read what the author actually told us what was a correct observation by anonymous:
>She was losing it right then and there before Acala decided to chime in. Only after that was when we decided to leave. Something about inviting her set Mima off, and it wasn't latent trauma resurfacing. No, she realized something about herself then and there, and it upset her righteously.

Said it before, and I'll say it again: regardless of what did or didn't happen before, Mima is Mima. We didn't make her have some kind of violent flashback. Just by being the kind of guy we are, we accidentally struck a critical blow where she is the weakest.
>> No. 109730
Gah, getting called out. Expect the update to finish sometime this evening, when I return.
>> No. 109792
So, what are everyone's wager on whether one of us got it right or not?
>> No. 109815
Even though writing has purportedly long commenced, I'll add my own response to this, simply because it reads different from how most have responded, 'skillful means' for Sir Monk here amounting to what essentially would be issuing a small lie, on the condition that he had died, Mima would not suffer unduly. The possibility of Mima becoming violent even had she purposefully laid the journal out for Sir Monk to read, was not something Anon could fully disclaim at the time he voted to read it, damn the consequences. It seems now that it seems in retrospect being the handiwork of Yukari is also a sound explanation. Regardless, as she doesn't seem so malign a figure, because the worst hasn't occurred, and because Mima is even asking this question, is why I would actually venture this is a success on the part of Sir Monk.

>Exactly as planned.

And unless this was entirely sarcastic, he considers this a success as well.

[x] "I think you could tell from the way I responded to your interrogation, but I could not entirely rule out the possibility of you killing me for the 'violation' of your privacy, especially when much of the contents of the journal were beyond my ken. Right about now, if you had killed me, you might be feeling a little awkward: 'Why did this stranger have to die?' That's the kind of thing that if unreconciled can gnaw at one's soul; unlike Iwasaka, I don't have the liberty of literary conceit, to come and haunt you afterward with consolation and forgiveness on my mind. The words are a small fiction, there not because I feel that I've done you wrong, but because had the worst happened, I wouldn't want to become your regret, even if it means a small stain on my own virtue. In fact, had I become a burden as such, then I think I really would have wronged you."

Essentially what Sir Monk is saying here is that he would rather die in a fire than become a burden to her. I think this might be more touching since the 'error' of Sir Monk was not within his recognition, but required additional narrative from Yukari part to point out to the reader.
>> No. 109817
>>109815

Yet he did cry when he saw the part in the diary. (Then again even getting it was due to Yukari/Murasaki)
>> No. 109836
File 126317346466.png - (1.10MB , 1024x1280 , Evilspirit-glasses.png ) [iqdb]
109836
I hate myself for having this take as long as it did, but it's because dissatisfaction/new votes ended up making me throw out what I'd written more than a few times and not laziness.

----------
"Because without it, my apology won't ever be heard,” you declare with unwavering conviction. “Without your forgiveness at its end, Mima; my apology isn't anything more than uncouth shamelessness and sorrow for what I've done to you."

“‘…What you’ve done to me?’” Repeating what you’ve said, her uncertainty forms into a stony grimace. “Go on.”

“Wait.” Rising out of your chair, you shift a small ways away to narrow space immediately before the large window. There, you once again assume a seat cross-legged and beckon. “Mima,” you humbly gesture to the ground directly ahead of you. “Please. I… don’t want anything between us.”

At once, Mima’s elegant hands increase their grip on the armchair in which she’s seated, but it’s from reflex more than anything else. Faced with your honest appeal, she conspicuously relaxes her hold and, after exchanging tense stares for a few seconds; slowly stands. “Fine,” she assents, shaking her head. Though she’s not laughing, you feel slightly heartened at the sight of a response with which you’re familiar. With light and graceful footfalls, Mima loops round the back of her chair and joins you on the floor a short distance away. Hands together in her lap, her legs folded off to one side underneath her robe; she’s positioned herself directly across from you, just far enough away that you can’t touch her.

Though the significance of this isn’t lost on you, you won’t lose heart. You shouldn’t lose heart. On the contrary, it’s because you’ve done so much to reflect and repent that you’ve been brought so close, nearly to within reach of her. With just this one last step, this final bid for her forgiveness…

“I… gravely wronged you yesterday, Mima,” you plainly confess. “When I should have stayed by your side and supported you in your dejection – a dejection for which I, and I alone was responsible; I betrayed you. When you told me to leave, you were really asking that I stay… weren’t you?”

At this question, Mima, who till this point was listening expressionlessly; closes her eyes and frowns slightly. But, though you wait for her speak, she doesn’t say anything.

“Because I listened only with my ears and not with my soul,” you continue, feeling prompted by her silence, “I abandoned you when you needed me most and heartlessly deserted our covenant to always be there for the other. It’s…” You can’t hold it in any longer. “It’s because I’ve counted the cherished companionship you’ve given me too lightly.” Thinking back on all that’s happened and what you’ve done, you’re weeping freely now. “After having spent months, years of living desperate days, an aimless, friendless vagrant in the lonely wilderness; I was on the verge of entering into the dark wood of despondence when you saved me, Mima. At a time when I’d lost my way, you were one of the two shining stars that appeared into my life and rekindled my heart’s hope. Despite that, despite the closeness you’ve afforded me and the purpose you’ve given me, Mima; I’ve taken you for granted till now. …Till now, I’ve misunderstood you.”

It’s at hearing this that she finally registers a reaction. Her still, impassive eyes widen with surprise and, at realizing her mouth’s become slightly ajar; she quickly brings up a hand to cover it.

“I deluded myself yesterday, thought that your tears were caused by something painful in your past that I made you to remember. …It took the time I spent apart from you and my violation of your privacy to understand, but;”you steady your emotions enough for a pointed question, “that wasn’t it at all, was it?”

…There’s no mistaking it now. By the fear in her eyes, you see that you’ve intruded upon her innermost thoughts. By the faintest hint of an amazed smile, you see that she’s intensely wishing that you’ve understood those thoughts. To your query, Mima nods and… slides closer to you.

“Keep going,” she firmly commands.

Taking a shaky breath to calm yourself, you comply. “I think… you realized something when I asked that you bathe with me, Mima and it drove you to tears, forced on you that weakness which you can’t stand. That despite all the things I’ve learned you can do, all that you’re able to accomplish with your beauty, your grace and your myriad talents, I selfishly asked for that one you couldn’t alone. It’s for that – for having left your side when I should have stayed and having misunderstood the reason for which you wept; that I’ve made this apology and asked that you could forgive me. And it… it’s only too late that I’ve realized this,” a fresh round of your sorrows rises in your throat and on your face, “but I finally understand. …I know that you love me Mima, or did; because I… I…” You can’t bear to look at her, and lower your head. “…I love you.”

…Silence.

For at least a minute afterwards, the only sound in the room’s you – sobbing quietly at the floor. Then, there’s rustling and… something’s touching your face. Black cloth.

“That’s enough with the contrition,” Mima murmurs, speaking softly into your ear. You steal a small glance upwards and find her drying the tears from your face with the ends of her sleeve, crouching forward on her knees and one arm. “Some people can use crying in a way that creates advantages for them, but you definitely aren’t one of those,” she laughs lightly, shaking her head. “Your crying isn’t anything other than unsightly and it’s getting in the way of what I’m going to say, for which I’ll need you calm.”

Calm…? You’re not sure what to make of her request, but at hearing it, you do your best to master yourself. Together with the efforts her pliant, skillful fingers; your face becomes clean in no time at all, if still puffy and red from having wept. Satisfied, Mima moves back to the position in which she was seated and... crosses her arms.

“I didn’t know what to make of what you told me at first,” she tells you in a stern voice, though one free of either incrimination or harshness, “whether I should feel mad, or upset, or disappointed. …Your words hurt.” Mima shuts her eyes and rubs her temples. “Having to hear you beg me for forgiveness about how I have an awful personality or because my ‘noble friend’s’ soft, yielding body, with its surfeit of femininity that’s just too lewd,” she looks away in visible annoyance, “is more appealing than mine, isn’t something that I can say does wonders for my self-esteem.”

“Mima," you intercede in alarm, "that isn’t wha-”

“Fortunately for you,” she interrupts your objection, suddenly grinning quite roguishly, “that’s not a department in which I’m lacking, notwithstanding some… others.” She coughs, embarrassed. “I might make unpleasant company and I don’t have anything that would cause me back pain,” Mima feels herself ironically, “but that doesn’t change that I’m very happy with who I am. How much or how little that pleases others doesn’t matter to me, although,” the roguish grin becomes a sweet smile; “I like it when people find what qualities I have attractive, just like anyone else.”

You:
[ ] Offer some praise as to what you like about her?
[ ] Stay quiet, you’re not sure if she’s accepted your apology and this could be a test as to whether you’re really sincere.

----------

Sorry for those who expected this sequence to end in one go, but have some interaction.
>> No. 109841
Shit.


I'll vote later.
>> No. 109851
>>109836

How typical Mima mistaking what we were talking about...

Never had we thought or implied that Mima was any lesser than Konngara in the part of beauty. Or that she had an awful personality (just a more complex one)

I'm going to have to think on this.
>> No. 109857
>>109836
>…There’s no mistaking it now. By the fear in her eyes, you see that you’ve intruded upon her innermost thoughts. By the faintest hint of an amazed smile, you see that she’s intensely wishing that you’ve understood those thoughts. To your query, Mima nods and… slides closer to you.
Oh man, I really hope that means what I think it means.

Anyway... gods, what I wouldn't praise about her, but I think "Everything" is a a cop out answer:
[X] Offer some praise as to what you like about her: your mind. Your intellect and cognitive abilities are the stuff of legends. Never have I met, and I doubt I ever will, one whose mental faculties have been honed to such a razor's edge and are wielded with such efficiency. The only thing that can rival it is your beauty. You speak humbly of yourself, but your appearance is surely something envied by the pantheon of gods and goddesses. Someone possessed of all these attributes would likely rest on their laurels and let their natural abilities take care of them. But you utilize them with grace and cunning; a proactive mentallity that is a testament to your confident, capable, and ambitious demeanor. All of this, and you are in command of an incredible power that you let compliment and enable you to a perfect effect. And while you are wonderful in all of these aspects, all these individual parts pale in comparison to the sum of the person that is you, Mima. Your playfullness, your confidence, your 'villainous' characteristics, your love of intellectual stimulation, your unbridled enjoyment of a worthy challenge... it's all of the things that make you you that can't praise enough.
... and your feet are simply divine.

Brilliant, beautiful, clever, powerful... and more than anything else, she's Mima. What more could you possibly ask for? Laying it on thick? Yeah probably. Definitely, actually, and Mima is going to roll her eyes and call us an idiot for gushing like this. But fuck you guys, Mima is awesome. Women like her are the reasons ballads are sung, masterpieces are painted, poems are written, and wars are fought. You can't say enought about people like that. But you can certainly try. As a side note, Konngara is remarkable considering her oddly enlightened and unconventional thought processes. She can reach some incredible conclusions, but because she thinks so different from everyone else. Mima thinks and processes like you or me, but she's really fucking good at it. They're the polar opposite of each other (aside from, you know, both of them being absolutely gorgeous), and you can't say which is better because both are so god damn awesome for different reasons.

>>109851
Naw man, she didn't misunderstand anything. This is who Mima is. That she's still like that after our apology is a very good thing. I hope.
>> No. 109860
>>109857
[x]...and a really nice rack.
>> No. 109861
[X] Offer some praise as to what you like about her: your mind. Your intellect and cognitive abilities are the stuff of legends. Never have I met, and I doubt I ever will, one whose mental faculties have been honed to such a razor's edge and are wielded with such efficiency. The only thing that can rival it is your beauty. You speak humbly of yourself, but your appearance is surely something envied by the pantheon of gods and goddesses. Someone possessed of all these attributes would likely rest on their laurels and let their natural abilities take care of them. But you utilize them with grace and cunning; a proactive mentallity that is a testament to your confident, capable, and ambitious demeanor. All of this, and you are in command of an incredible power that you let compliment and enable you to a perfect effect. And while you are wonderful in all of these aspects, all these individual parts pale in comparison to the sum of the person that is you, Mima. Your playfullness, your confidence, your 'villainous' characteristics, your love of intellectual stimulation, your unbridled enjoyment of a worthy challenge... it's all of the things that make you you that can't praise enough.

I'm tempted to add in a remark about taking a bath with just her sometime, but That might be pushing it.
>> No. 109866
>>109857

No one here said they didn't like Mima, and despite how she talks, I'd think Mima's softness and lewdness are on par with her friend's.

After all our ultimate goal is both as well as having things end very happily.
>> No. 109925
----------
There’s a possibility that this is a trick and Mima’s trying to sound out your motives for apologizing, discerning whether the copious tears you’ve shed were sincere. For you, there’s no question whether they were; all while you were apologizing and she was speaking, your only thoughts were of dejected distress for having neglected her. But now, now that she’s said further contrition’s only a hindrance; you’ll be acting on a different feeling, no less honest or heartfelt.

“Since it doesn’t matter to you, then;” you return her smile, yours shrewdly modest, “I pray there’s no problem if I tell you all the ways in which you’re so incredibly attractive to me, Mima?”


“You’re being too predictable.” Not losing her happy expression, Mima’s supporting her head in her hands, posture practically proclaiming; ‘Fascinating.’

She’s right – you are being too predictable; but you’re not worried, having already accounted for it entirely. Even if, as in the worst possible scenario; this is only her ploy to entrap you, you’re not without confidence in your ability to demonstrate that everything you’ve said has been genuine.

At her, you humbly shake your head. “I’m being honest. In the course of my travels, I’ve been afforded the acquaintance and amity of sundry sorts, but scarcely any have ever enamored me as you. I’ve never met your equal in either multiplicity of knowledge, mental agility or rhetorical prowess – your intellectual gifts aren’t anything short of remarkable, and doubly more because you’re self-taught.”

“I am?” She asks in answer, plainly amused. “Funny, I don’t remember telling you anything like that.”

“I don’t find it an unjustified belief,” you choose your words carefully, remembering what she’s told you of her past, “and regardless of whether it’s the true or not, my estimation of you isn’t any less for it. Mima – you’re easily one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, man or woman; and with beauty in equal measure to that intelligence. You mock yourself for having been born short and slender, but;” as she watches closely, you allow your eyes to wander just a little bit, “I think… it gives you an exquisitely delicate air; one made only more desirable by its delightful contrast with your whole person. How proactively you always seek out challenges, how proudly you carry yourself, how playfully you tease, how powerfully you employ your abundant nautral talents; it’s all these qualities together, all those things which make you you that I... can’t praise enough. And…” you feel the blood rushing to your face at saying something so shameful, “your feet are fantastic – snowy, sensitive, shapely, soft. …I’m unable to imagine your breasts being any different.”

“They’re not.” Pleased, the corners of her mouth turned upwards in happy embarrassment, Mima winks at you meaningfully. “They’ve got a great contour and they’re *very* firm,” she gives herself a testing squeeze with approval, “it’s just that they could stand to be bigger. Well, all in time~” Then, with an eye to how you’ve appreciated her; Mima repositions the way in which she’s sitting. Sweeping her cloak backwards, away from her figure; she withdraws her left leg forward out from under her and sets it against your knees, just barely. “But… those other things you said?” Evoking, she has an inquiring tone, ripe with curiosity, “That you would like them is news to me.”

…What’s this? “Is it honestly so strange that I would admire those aspects of you, to feel as powerful a platonic attraction as I do a physical?” You ask, not at all understanding.

“It is, actually. That you would like either me or my ‘noble friend,’ isn’t what I would expect of you, given your sex.” Though free of any spite, Mima’s answer’s dripping with derisive sarcasm. “To describe the both of us in terms your fellow men would use,” vexed, she shakes her head and snickers; “my friend would be that ‘all-too perfect girl who no one actually likes,’ where I’d be that one who ‘pretends not to like you although being secretly dependant on your attention.’”

“Except Mima,” you offer protest at what could only be called ridiculous slander, “you’ve confidently demonstrated that if you’re a little partial to me, you’re far from reliant on my affections. Likewise, if frighteningly perceptive, Konngara’s not at all practical; she’s of such courteous, high-minded mien that she’s altogether too abstract in her opinions and dealings. I might not like her any less for it (…more, if anything), but how could anyone say that’s not a flaw?”

“Oh, I know,” she agrees, smirking with what’s unmistakably approval, “but that’s how most of your sex would see me and my friend, because they’re incapable of understanding women as anything other than archetypal fetish objects. It’s a function of those traits they find attractive. Youth, cuteness, a shy disposition, innocence, gullible naivete, vulnerability, retiring meekness, a need for protection;” Mima strokes the toe of her slippered foot along the length of your shins, musing casually, “all the other characteristics of helplessness and incompetence, really.”

“As one who’s renounced the world, I can’t say that I would know,” you shrug, tongue-in-cheek, “but I would imagine that to entertain the company of that kind of woman for any protracted period would quickly come to be considered as only a burden, after the initial fancy passes.”

“That’s exactly right!” Mima nods, clapping her hands together, “You’re a rare man to understand it, but I’m speaking firsthand when I say that those types of women aren’t anything other than boring, and worse – their offspring are boring too. Weak mothers birth weak children, as definitely as what happens in reverse.” She brushes her dark hair with her fingers, looking very proud. “It’s because my mother was a strong woman that I’m strong too, and it’s why I’m honored that I wear her face.” Giving you a nudge with her shoe, she’s eyeing you deliberately. “You’re the same, right?”

“Oh, so much.” To the front of your mind rises those recollections, grown fainter with the passage of years but no less dear; of the woman who figured most powerfully into your life after her. “My mother… was one of those sharp, tough-as-nails farmer’s wives with a touch like satin and a hand like iron.” You rub your face, remembering fondly all those times she floored you. “And as I remember her, she was attractive too – deep-set brown eyes, willowy waist; a pretty smile on those occasions she chose to show it. Maybe not your equal, Mima; but certainly, my mother was an altogether different sort than that ‘masculine ideal’ you were alleging with such disgust.” You sigh, perplexed. “I can’t even begin to guess as to how a woman that powerless might appear in anything other than fantasy.”

“Well…” Mima strokes her chin, thoughtfully, “probably like Lady Saigyouji. She’s a good girl, but how she presents herself seems just ripe for some cunning, amoral opportunist to trying taking advantage of her purity, doesn’t it?”

…You suddenly feel very cold.

You:
[ ] …Um, about that…
[ ] …think Mima’s not quite right in her estimation. Say something in defense of the Lady’s nobility of character.
[ ] …Actually, what was it for which Mima said she needed you calm? Skillfully try and change the subject at an appropriate moment.
[ ] …give a noncommittal answer and/or say nothing.
[ ] Acala, I’m running the risk of losing my life shortly. Might you be able to help me out, somehow?
[ ] Do/say something else. (Specify)
----------
>> No. 109926
[x] …Actually, what was it for which Mima said she needed you calm? Skillfully try and change the subject at an appropriate moment.
>> No. 109928
Interesting how she considers herself not so curvaceous... but it might explain why in the Gensokyo we know she appears curvy: Because as a spirit she could do such a thing. That or she still has more growing to do.

>[ ] …Um, about that…
Honesty is a virtue, but it's a matter of how you put it that'll make a difference. A write in would be a must if one would to drop the truth right then and there.

>[ ] …think Mima’s not quite right in her estimation. Say something in defense of the Lady’s nobility of character.
This would take on the subject some, though it might open Myouren up for further scrutiny

>[ ] …Actually, what was it for which Mima said she needed you calm? Skillfully try and change the subject at an appropriate moment.
This might have a shot at working, but it'll ultimately put off the subject. She's going to find out sooner or later. But I'm curious as to see what this subject is myself.

>[ ] …give a noncommittal answer and/or say nothing.
Hahahahaha, somehow I doubt this would do much good, Mima wouldn't believe that and it'd be a slight betrayal of the lady in my opinion.

>[ ] Acala, I’m running the risk of losing my life shortly. Might you be able to help me out, somehow?
Hard to say if he'd be of much help in an emotional manner but he might have some latent insight that might aid you. Could go either way.

Still going to have to think on this for the matter of A) dealing with both sides of the Yuyuko matter (her honor/real personality and the fact Myouren made love to her) B) The topic Mima wanted us calm for.

But here's my basic shot for now (Anyone can improve upon this, Please do so)

[x] "Actually from the time I've spent with her, while intelligent, she is indeed pure at heart (incredibly so) but perhaps less practical than Konngara at times."
[x] "But before we get too off track, what is it that you needed me calm for? I figure this is a good time since I am indeed calm now. Then we can resume talking"
[x] Think of a way to put the truth to Mima in the best light possible.

This is just a rough shot.

Though this will be a tricky case, since we've just cleared things up with Mima (HOORAY!), we don't need any more damage.
>> No. 109929
Some remarks:

Mima's such a tease, I wonder when would be a good time to remake that offer, but with just her alone.

But some serious remarks: When we do tell her the truth, mention it was during that moment where you replicated that ripple Mima was known to use (That healing light, that is unless it's that miracle energy)
>> No. 109933
>>109930

Yeah... but I'm curious still on that what she wanted us to stay calm for, since it might be of some importance.

And it was a bit hard when Mima was basically bragging about her supposedly modest bust.

At the rate she's teasing us, Myouren might have the first case of blue balls in history.
>> No. 109936
>>106169
You know, I've been thinking about this for a while, but shouldn't it be "Der Monster.jpg"?
>> No. 109937
>>109936

Not really, it's a reference to what happens in the post (Hint: Original Castlevania: SotN intro)
>> No. 109943
>>109925
I think Mima's a little too swift to entirely accept side-stepping or changing the subject. I think she'd accept it, but she'll do it with a small amount of suspicion. The way she set up this conversation, she's expecting us to White Knight for Yuyu; she's purposely messing with us and her description of "archetypal fetish objects." She's channeling the trolls from before, basically. She knows first hand that Yuyu's more than a little firm and dedicated. I think we would've had a minor freak out if Mima stormed in on us in full-on witch mode, but Yuyu sat there like it was nothing. For the time we've spent together, Mima's estimation of Yuyu's character should be far more informed than that; she's testing us with that "archetypal fetish" crack, and maybe even the "cunning, amoral opportunist to trying taking advantage of her purity" jab. I think we should answer with a test of our own.

[X] …think Mima’s not quite right in her estimation. Say something in defense of the Lady’s nobility of character: "At a casual glance, the Lady is possessed of all of those characteristics of 'helplessness' and 'incompetence,' but I can certainly say that during moments of great import, the Lady is anything but. She is aware of what is truly important to her and what she genuinely desires in life, but this is tempered by a keen appreciation of the burdens that pursuing these would mean for others. Her capacity for understanding herself and others is impressive, and it's made all the more impressive, if slightly flawed, due to her lack of experience. As she gains even more experience, she will be a woman to be reckoned with. Her confidence and commitment only seem to grow when any other person, let alone those of with a 'shy disposition' or 'retiring' meekness,' would be paralyzed with indecision and doubt. Finally, she is capable of enormous passion and love; emotions that are pure, unbidden, and without bounds."

I'm trying to fuse "telling her the truth" and "speaking for Yuyu's character," but rather than overtly saying it, I'd rather let our defense of her speak of the intimacy we've shared. Kinda' like how Myouren let that "fervor" drop when speaking to Konngara after the act. She sniffed us out before that (quite literally), and I think if we use some vaguely loaded words with Mima, she'll figure it our really quick (if she hasn't already, of course). Whether we like it or not, really, so may as well move preemptively. This is a pretty ridiculous attempt, but I'm willing to try. Is telling Mima the truth risky? Perhaps. I don't think so, personally speaking, mostly because I think her opinion and understanding of Myouren would tell her that we're not nearly 'cunning' or 'opportunistic' enough to take advantage of anyone. We had our reasons, and I think (hope) she'll understand.
The write-in kinda follows the progression of Yuyu first asking to speak with us and asking us what we'd like and everything from there on out. I don't know if I did a very good job infusing our defense with being intimate with Yuyu, but this was my best shot short of putting "...if you know what I mean" at the end of every sentence.
>> No. 109944
>>109928 Here changing my vote to:

[X] …think Mima’s not quite right in her estimation. Say something in defense of the Lady’s nobility of character: "At a casual glance, the Lady is possessed of all of those characteristics of 'helplessness' and 'incompetence,' but I can certainly say that during moments of great import, the Lady is anything but. She is aware of what is truly important to her and what she genuinely desires in life, but this is tempered by a keen appreciation of the burdens that pursuing these would mean for others. Her capacity for understanding herself and others is impressive, and it's made all the more impressive, if slightly flawed, due to her lack of experience. As she gains even more experience, she will be a woman to be reckoned with. Her confidence and commitment only seem to grow when any other person, let alone those of with a 'shy disposition' or 'retiring' meekness,' would be paralyzed with indecision and doubt. Finally, she is capable of enormous passion and love; emotions that are pure, unbidden, and without bounds. It was through her assistance that I found my self using a healing light, similar to what Konngara told me that you use."
[x] Point out your now healthy hand.
[x] If thing are still calm, try to look into that subject that Mima wanted you to be calm to hear.

That subject seems to be having bells ring off in my head as if it's of some importance.

>>109943
I hope that with the revelations that occured recently, Mima will not presume anything negative. In the best case, she'd wryly remark "So how was she?"
>> No. 109952
I would, in real life, smile and agree, in a possibly sarcastic way that could be interpreted favorably regardless of what they're thinking... But this wouldn't work for this guy's personality, I guess.
>> No. 110034
>>109952
Author here. To put it simply,

>But this wouldn't work for this guy's personality

isn't the case. I make a distinction between characters being consistent and characters being static, flat, one-dimensional or otherwise 'archetypal,' to use Mima's term. What you've said falls into the later category and I would urge you to rethink your position. Yes, there are definitely some things that aren't going to fly too well in this story (think the kinds of decisions that would belong in The Antagonist) but as a general rule, you should consider the hero being who he is as an advantage that empowers your choices where they would otherwise fail instead of a limitation on what you're able to do.
>> No. 110035
>>109952

Could you explain yourself more?

But the way I see it, he might not go for very risky courses of action at this moment, seeing how things were just mended.
>> No. 110072
>>109943

I've calmed down.... GOOD one, nice little bit of meta. Folks, you should really calm down before making a choice.

[x] stay calm, this isn't as bad as it seems yet.
[x] …Why?
-[x] Hope against hope that it's because she didn't really consider the misdeed a misdeed anymore or something besides 'I can't forgive you'
>> No. 110076
[x] …This is a lie.
>> No. 110084
'Heartwarming' like a handicapped boy trying to run a marathon?

[x] stay calm, this isn't as bad as it seems yet.
[x] …Why?

>> No. 110086
>>110066
I liked the use of spoilers in this one; the sting of that last line is really accented when it jumps out at you like that. A real slap in the face. It really stops your heart in abject dread when you see that there's been a new update and everyone is talking in spoiler tags, especially after everything that has happened. Pretty clear indication this shit just got real. Time to add some fuel to the fire.

At first I was really upset. Understandably, I think. But after rereading this a few times, I'm more anxious about what will come after this than anything else. Maybe this is some kind of coping mechanism, my mind desperate to put this in some kind of positive light, but when I reread everything Mima said and but transpose the last line as one of the first, I think you get a different message... "Apology not accepted; you surprised me. I thought you were just going to keep going on and on about duty and obligation and all those other things that only concern you when …you touched on me. On misunderstanding. I don’t know how you did it, but you figured out the inner workings of what I was thinking and said it all better than I probably could. …It’s just too absurd. But absurd as it is, I can’t say it isn’t moving. Amazing. How you’ve worked this hard to understand me in such a short time’s… heartwarming. …It really is."

Most important part of that? " all those other things that only concern you..." We were too caught up in ourselves. We were always thinking that this was all about us and what we did and what we needed to do, but we we should have been thinking about Mima. However, in the process of thinking about ourselves and our apology, we realized what we should have learned about her.
With that in mind and reading it again, it feels roughly like she's saying: "I can't accept your apology because you tried so hard for my sake over something you shouldn't have apologized for.

Sorry for the block of spoiler text; I know white text on black causes some serious eye strain, at least for me, but better safe than sorry. Anyway,
[X] …Why?

Don't want to presume, don't want to overreact, and while I think I understand, I still want to know. Tempted to add
[X] I think I understand, but...
before the "Why?", but I thought I'd run it by you guys first to get your thoughts.

>> No. 110087
>>110072

after I calmed down, I realized that might be the case, since if things were as bad as they seemed she wouldn't have bothered to have him calm.

But damn, I felt despair at first. Funny how the ones who don't intend to invoke despair for kicks are the ones who invoke it the best when certain events happen.

Sounds good but perhaps that's included in the main option you choose.
>> No. 110091
Edit2: Readability.

----------
To have been with the Lady isn’t something you’re going to hide or should hide – you made a promise to yourself that you would remain honest, honorable and aboveboard in telling your companions and, no less importantly; you’ve no desire to renege on your feelings of love for her by acting as if ashamed. Kind and as wonderful a girl she is, you’re always going to hold her in your heart, even if she’s pledged hers to another.

In agreement with your sentimentality is your sober, pragmatic evaluation of the present circumstance. Enlightened self-interest dictates that trying to conceal how you’ve loved Yuyu wouldn’t just be wrong – it wouldn’t hold any advantages for you. Even if you were willing to betray everything – yourself, your friendships, Yuyu’s honor and her faith in you, all the ethical ideals to which you ascribe; applying the experience of informing Konngara suggests that you most likely wouldn’t be able to keep this from everyone. By revealing it of you own initiative, you’ll nullify the risk of some unexpected disclosure hindering your business tomorrow night and potentially have more collateral in recovering lost affections besides.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t try a bit of tact.

“I don’t think that’s the case,” is how you open, in a causal tone. “Quite the opposite, if you really think about it – for how do we know that Lady Saigyouji’s not intentionally cultivating that kind of image, Mima? She’s a woman, just as you; and I wouldn’t put it past her to have attained some level of those same realizations. Why,” you give an open-mouthed gasp and nod to yourself, pretending that you’ve attained some revelation, “aren’t we here right now, putting our lives on the line to help her because she’s made her appeals with ‘all the characteristics of helplessness and incompetence;’ if I may borrow your term?”

“Took you long enough to figure it out,” With not a little condescension, Mima answers your baseless deception seemingly unsurprised and in complete agreement, “hence the ‘how she presents herself.’ Think about it,” she elaborates with the confidence of one having seen through a trick, “why does that girl’s ‘impediment’ only rear its head when it’s beneficial for her to appear weak? Why is it that she acts submissive when there’s nothing on the line and assertive when she needs to look capable? Compare that time when we were doing introductions with when I confronted her today,” Mima adds at your unbelieving expression. “It’s like I said,” she discloses, a piercing glint in her green eyes; “this morning, I was ‘checking on something I suspected since I first I arrived.’”

…Entirely unexpected. Mima suspects something this unwholesome of Yuyu?

“Mima,” you remonstrate, not at all convinced, “my education’s taught me to spot liars at fifty paces, that I may be on guard against the Tempter and those wicked who follow his creed. If the Lady was tricking all of us as completely as you’re theorizing, there’s no way I wouldn’t have noticed unless she’s either the most cunning woman alive or,” …that Tengu comes to mind again; “some demon in disguise.”

“The knight jumps to his Lady’s side, huh?” With a look that says, ‘ha, I knew you were bluffing!’ she grins. “That scoundrel’s going to be pissed when he finds out you’re trying to steal his job.”

Cursing yourself for having been taken in, you decide to try a different angle. “I’m only trying to be fair to our host. Lady Saigyouji might have a startling capacity for reading others and a healthy discrimination between leisurely trivialities and those moments of great import, like you’ve said; but you can’t deny that she’s also possessed of honest emotion, genuine passion and unbounded love in compliment.”

“Who said I was denying it?” She’s suddenly become more serious. “Believe me when I tell you I would have done something already if she didn’t convince me of being good, deep down. Although she’s definitely playing it up a few degrees, that girl’s shown us her real personality. But really…” The satirical grin returns. “‘Genuine passion?’ ‘Unbounded love?’ Sounds like someone wishes he was in the know.” With an emphatic nudge of her foot, Mima teases you. …It’s good she’s keeping it in modest places.

“Already do, Mima. It’s something I’ve experienced firsthand.” Not speaking any falsehoods, you punctuate that awful pun by bringing your now-whole left palm plainly into view. “It’s through the Lady I was able to mend it,” you explain, turning it about for her to see.

“Oh? That’s…” She leans in close and, inspecting it; an expression of interested attention rises onto her features. “…Mind telling me about the technique that fixed it?”

“With as much detail as you’d like to know, but first; there’s something about which I’ve been wondering. Something that’s been nagging me, gnawing ever-so slightly at the back of my mind since you mentioned it. Having failed at guiding the conversation towards more subtle openings, you decide against answering her question literally. “For what was it you needed me calm, Mima?”

“…About that. It’s only a small thing, but…” As if having remembered something forgotten, she draws back and crosses her arms again. Her tone immediately becomes sterner. “…As I was saying, I didn’t know what to make of it when you started begging my forgiveness out of the blue like that. I like you, see;” she frankly acknowledges, “and that’s why I did things my way and thought I’d put this all behind us, when you decided to reopen the subject.” Mima frowns, hard. “Let’s just say that it took everything I had to ignore that good part of me urging that I walk out – at first.” The frown softens. “You surprised me. I thought you were just going to keep going on and on about duty and obligation and all those other things that only concern you when …you touched on me. On misunderstanding. I don’t know how you did it, but you figured out the inner workings of what I was thinking and said it all better than I probably could. …It’s just too absurd.” Laughing softly at this, she shows you her glance, now slightly damp. “But absurd as it is, I can’t say it isn’t moving. Amazing. How you’ve worked this hard to understand me in such a short time’s… it’s warmed my heart, it really has. That’s why,” she sets a hand on your shoulder, “…there’s something I have to tell you. …Myouren?”

With a bright smile, as cheerful as it is heartless, Mima draws close and whispers tenderly in your ear.


“Apology not accepted.”

You:
[ ] …Why?
[ ] …Fly.
[ ] …Cry.
[ ] …This is a lie.
[ ] …It’s quiet you’ll stay.
[ ] …Pray.
----------

While it doesn't need to be for the choice itself, use of spoiler tags where appropriate is appreciated.
>> No. 110108
I sure hope she doesn't even think of asking something as stupid as 'kill me'
>> No. 110111
>>110107

Don't you mean option 5?

>>110108
I hope not, since all our effort would been for nothing.

Though I wonder if we really did succed... since the fact she goes on about being a demon isn't the most reassuring sign. Nor is her reckless refusal of admitting mistakes. Pride in one's path is one thing, but it can be carried too far to heedlessness that would no doubt result in the faith we know in the normal timeline.

But I don't think declining out right is a choice, but we should find out more about what she wants us to do.
>> No. 110112
>Therefore, Acala will be standing beside you in this, our triumph. You have only to call upon the Wisdom you have attained to see that you should not lose heart, should not lose hope.

Does this mean we did good? This has been too much of a roller coaster that I don't know if I can afford to be excited anymore or risk being crushed again.

[X] You need to know something first: "You seem to know what this 'certain request' already is, but you've decided not to tell me what it is. Before I accept, I want to know why."

Stealing from the votes to make a write-in and I don't feel like sleeping on it to ask her what her angle is. I wonder if Mima would even be happy with an unconditional acceptance? I don't think she'll be happy with no decision right now, though. Anyway, she has her reasons and I respect that, but I don't feel like dancing with the devil unless I know what tune she's playing.

>>110108
I think we are all thinking about all of the really terrible things she could ask us to do.
>> No. 110113
----------



…A feeling of pain in your chest. It’s… nothing as acute or sharp as the metaphorical ‘dagger in the heart’ that’s so often found as an adage in stories, nor does it feel as if it’s been ‘wrenched free from your chest and trod upon,’ per that other too-common line. It just hurts. A dull, unsuspecting, cavernous oblivion.

That heart of yours, now laid waste; had been idling quietly at that point when Mima began answering you. Its slow, steady tempo had leapt; heightened when she told you that you’d surprised her, been able to truly identify with her thoughts. And, when she told you that she’d something to tell you, placed her fine and delicate fingers on your shoulder; it felt as if you’d fracture with joy – all your flesh, all your blood, all your spirit, all your person would have become hers in an instant. But now…? What do you do now…? What do you do…?

Rein in your passions, lest your angst grow more unbecoming.

...Acala?

Indeed. I will guide you in this moment of your wavering.

I… thank you, but …why? Didn’t you yourself tell me that we would demarcate our battles between our respective spheres?

Indeed. This immediate contest, however; is one for which I am as culpable as you, for I deem the failure you encountered as an output of the erroneous counsel I dispensed. Therefore, Acala will be standing beside you in this, our triumph. You have only to call upon the Wisdom you have attained to see that you should not lose heart, should not lose hope.

…You’re right. I – We won’t be conquered by something like this!



“Not bawling your heart out? That’s good.” Her beaming face not having diminished even slightly, Mima nods favorably.

“It’s thanks to your advice.” To her brilliant, unfeeling smile; you’re flashing a frenzied, shark-toothed grin. “I took to heart that bit about ‘fake tears’ and ‘poisoned smiles.’”

At this, Mima begins to laugh uproariously, clapping her hands while doubled over. “That’s good, that’s really good! Because you see,” giggling, she touches a hand to her chest; “I am an evil and cunning woman of the highest caliber, who definitely deserves her name of ‘charming demon.’ It’s why I don’t have any use for trifling nonsense like apologies. She pronounces that word as one might deliver the punch-line of some joke. “If I make a decision, I swear by it. The course I pick might end in a mistake from which I’ll learn, but never in a mistake that I regret. No matter what happens or who it hurts or any other useless details like that, I’m always proud of the choices I make, because they’re mine. And that’s why,” Mima declares, indomitably eloquent; “I don’t accept your apology.”

“A good speech, Mima;” you applaud facetiously, remembering something she said at your first meeting, “one fit to resound through eternity in the pages of a ‘self-help booklet.’ Though… it would have been even better, I think; had you deigned to tell me at the beginning that you weren’t going to forgive me. That way, I could leave and your lecture would be upgraded to a dramatic monolo-

There’s a shockwave as, from out of your left arm; an ethereal golden hand blocks something aimed at your face.

“Your sarcasm needs work,” she states dryly, cracking her knuckles, “but not as much as your hearing. When did I say I wasn’t forgiving you?”

“In the language of humans, to reject an apology is to signal an absence of forgiveness,” you inform her, patronizingly as you’re able.

“But I’m a demon,” Mima’s smile returns, now ironic; “and right now, my devilish intuition’s saying to me that there’s a better way of being forgiven than just spinning words and turning phrases. I want you to agree to something.”

…Is this another trick, or…? “Ask of this humble monk what you will, ‘my Lady.’” Your reply’s more serious, though not without a concession to the derisive air that’s filled the room.

Nodding in a gesture that says, ‘Good,’ Mima draws in deeply. “…There may come a day where I’m going to make a certain request of you. It’s very simple. Right now, I want your guarantee that if that time comes, you’ll agree to whatever I tell you without complaint. In return, I will acknowledge the sincerity of your remorse, being convinced you aren’t just acting the part of a cheap sophist, as usual.” Falling silent, she closes her eyes, crosses her arms; lowers her head and somberly waits.

You:
[ ] Accept unconditionally.
[ ] Decline as courteously as you’re able.
[ ] Decline by sneaking out of the room.
[ ] You’re going to need to sleep on this one.
[ ] You need to know something first.

If option five:
[ ] She seems to already know what this ‘certain request’ is. Ask if she might divulge its nature.
[ ] She seems to already know what this ‘certain request’ is. She’s decided not to tell you, but can you at least find out if it’s something in violation of your vows?
[ ] She seems to already know what this ‘certain request’ is. Acala, could you sneak inside her head and discover what’s she’s planning?

----------

edit: lolcounting
>> No. 110114
>>110108
I hope not, since all our effort would been for nothing.

Though I wonder if we really did succeed... since the fact she goes on about being a demon isn't the most reassuring sign. Nor is her seemingly reckless refusal to regretting certain mistakes. (I could be wrong here) Pride in one's path is one thing, but it can be carried too far to heedlessness that would no doubt result in the fate we know in the normal timeline. (And this recklessness is something typical of immature girls, especially in today's age)

But I don't think declining out right is a choice yet, but we should find out more about what she wants us to do.

[X] You need to know something first: "You seem to know what this 'certain request' already is, but you've decided not to tell me what it is. Before I accept, I want to know why."
- [x] Or at least find out if it would considerably or grievously in violation of your vows?

Sure he may play loose and fast with his vows, but certain requests would violate them regardless (like asking him to kill her)
>> No. 110138
[x] Decline by laughing and telling her there's no way you'll commit a greater evil in order to receive a conditional forgiveness.
-[x] First objection is that you have sincere doubts regarding the sincerity of anyone' forgiveness that is conditional upon a future event. Either she has forgiven you or not by now, and you're more likely to receive her contempt than forgiveness if you went through with it.
-[x] Second objection is that wrongs are not a series of owed favors that may be redeemed later for a cash prize or a degree of personal labor--compensation, retribution, punishment, maybe, all which must be proportional to the crime, but none of these require forgiveness.
-[x] Third objection is that this conversation has already raised considerable qualms as to whether it is possible for her to forgive at all--perhaps she has not forgiven a slight in her entire life? If anything, you must apologize for asking forgiveness in the first place, as in doing so you've put her in a hard spot, one in which you've made it difficult to maintain her air of malevolence.
-[x] Finally, you will say she does a credit to herself by attempting to turn the desired forgiveness on your end into an elaborate guessing game & revenge plot on her own. Highly creative, A-list stuff, there.
[x] Now, if it wasn't something too damning and a note somehow came into your hands, like her diary did, well you might give it a go--though you have to warn her beforehand that such an endeavor may not entirely backfire.

She already forgave us or she's not going to forgive us, as Sir Monk's 'virtue' was never in any question by his companions, according to Yukari. Rather the task he'll be given will force him to decide between two things he can't, Mima, and someone or something else, including breaking vows or committing harm to others. This and any other kind of interpersonal loyalty 'tests' should be avoided at all costs, as they are part of a vicious circle.
>> No. 110151
>Though considering all things her diary gotten into his hands thanks to a certain gap youkai (For all we know, it might have been Present Yukari screwing around as opposed to 'Murasaki')

It's more to the point that she doesn't know the circumstances of how he came across it, especially with the glib way he presented to her. She probably thinks Sir Monk stole it with forethought: That's why she hasn't asked how he got it, because to her the 'how' is obvious. Sir Monk can disclaim how came across it, and she very well may believe him, attributing it to being pick-pocketed by a resident in the mansion or perhaps her own clumsiness.

The former has some advantages, as it would be prudent to have someone in the party to be as suspicious of Murasaki as you are. After all, Sir Monk may not have understood what was written down, but the polyglot Murasaki may well have.
>> No. 110153
>>110113
[X] You need to know something first: "You seem to know what this 'certain request' already is, but you've decided not to tell me what it is. Before I accept, I want to know why."

>>110138
I must protest on the assumption that agreeing to Mima's request constitutes "committing a greater evil." I'm interested in where you're drawing this conclusion from. Furthermore, I think such an answer will fail to have any effect on Mima other than her dismissal of the arguments as falling squarely in the realm of, as she puts it,
>acting the part of a cheap sophist, as usual

You can accept, put it off for now, or flatly deny. I think you had something with
>She already forgave us or she's not going to forgive us
which is an acceptable reason to deny by itself. Don't try to and talk your way out of this, because it will invalidate the veracity of our motives in her eyes in the future.
>> No. 110175
>>110151

Are you the guy that voted >>110138 ? If not I think we should take that into consideration. Since she has basically assumed that we intentionally took it.
>> No. 110177
>>110163
…Wiseman, your excess posts are an eyesore. If you have to change your vote, then please show the same level of courtesy as your fellows and delete the ones you made previously.

----------


This… presents an interesting problem. Though quite tongue-in-cheek, all of Mima’s words and conduct are as if to say, ‘Though I am obliged by my personal principles to formally reject your apology, I will forgive you.’ So that’s why you don’t understand – if what you’ve said really ‘warmed her heart’ and left her ‘amazed,’ why has she framed her acceptance in this kind of terrible ‘loyalty test?’ …You don’t want to believe it but… have you misread the situation? Is it possible she’s one not capable of forgiving slights; that she’s sought to turn your regrets to some kind of wicked end? …Your own personal principles forbid that you should allow yourself to be extorted in this way and besides, you’ve read enough books to know these kinds of request invariably end in disaster which is why-

You are grossly mistaken, your illness made more dire by having become privy to evil delusions most unlike your character.

…That’s a pretty serious charge. Are you saying you’ve found some other way by which to interpret all this?

Indeed. Lest you become guilty of ‘misunderstanding’ once more, I have intervened to offer my counsel. …I believe the Witch of the Forest has already forgiven you, and if she has endeavored to delay the announcement of that fact in presenting a condition, it is not out of callous scheming.

Pardon me if this sounds rude, but I don’t see any basis for that kind of deduction – in fact, I see much to the contrary. …You saw that smile, didn’t you?

Indeed, I saw the Witch of the Forest’s smile unclouded by the malicious mirage that has left you blind to the oasis of truth. Consider – did there not seem an unusual quality to it? That which you deemed ‘heartless’ was nothing more than your projection, a twisted reflection of your unchecked passions!* This, I guarantee to you on my title as Protector of Vairocana and High King of the Four Directions!

Alright, let’s assume you’re not completely wrong and that there’s some way of explaining this all in a way that makes sense. WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO EARLIER?

Still your emotions and remember that I have sworn to stand at your side, not your fore. Though I will support you in this, our triumph; it remains your triumph alone to grasp. I can provide no advantage beyond guiding you to it.

Then guide me. Or at the very least, tell me your interpretation of what’s happening. After you’ve said this much, I would hope it’s something plausible.

Very well. Consider the personality of the Witch of the Forest – does it not seem strange that one as peerlessly proud and absolutely assured in her own ability would appeal that you help her? Acala perceives it thus – the Witch of the Forest’s refusal of your apology, simultaneous declaration of having forgiven you and subsequent demand that you acquiesce at undertaking an unspecified toil are that she may respond to your devotions without feeling subordinate.

So that I’m not ‘misunderstanding’ you, Acala… you’re saying that Mima’s acting this way because she doesn’t like the idea of accepting something from me?

Indeed. I believe that in the mind of the Witch of the Forest, the act of receiving is inherently associated with servitude, while the act of giving is associated with mastery. It is likely that she has intentionally shaped the situation with respect to that opinion.

That… that’s just stupid! She’s not bargaining with demons here! Why would she be concerned by those kinds of trivial nuances with me?

They are not trivial to the Witch of the Forest. That she affords you such consideration is emblematic of the importance she assigns you.



Have you further objections?

Yes. Doesn’t this contradict what you just said about ‘callous scheming?’

Scheming it may be, but not callous.

…You say that, but you’ve also heard what she said. It’s obvious to anyone that she’s going to ask me to kill her, or otherwise use that request for all manner of really terrible thi-

Cease spouting evil delusions, else you will never hear the truth.



As has already been stated, the Witch of the Forest is a peerlessly proud person. That which she craves you accept will be nothing she is able to accomplish by her own hands and without your aid. I urge that you consider again her request in light of your own exchange with her. What she desires of you is something of which she knows no other way of asking, save this.

…You sound like you already know what it is.

Indeed. However, just as all that you are originates from Acala, all that is Acala origina-

You don’t need to keep saying that. I get the point; you can’t tell me something I don’t already know because it would create a logical contradiction and divide by zero, or something.

Indeed.

…I don’t think you’ll tell me, but… can you at least signal whether it would be better to accept or decline?

I cannot.

…Just as well. After all that you’ve said, I think I have a clearer understanding of the dialectic before me, anyway. From one perspective, this might be a test of my honor and agreeing might be the wrong choice. It would be like telling Mima, one who’s obviously very grounded in her sense of honor; ‘I’m a ‘cheap sophist’ with no dignity, someone willing to allow himself to be degraded as much as possible and even to eat dirt if he can gain some advantage from it’ if that’s the case. Viewed from the other side though, she could be asking something of real importance to her; in which case there’s no question that accepting would be the right decision. Per that speculation, the ‘cheap sophist’ remark would then mean she’s hoping that what I’ve said aren’t just empty words; that I’m willing to make good on what I’ve said to her in my deeds.

Correct.

...I won’t bother asking which. But… Acala?

You may speak.

…Thanks for putting up with me. Your backing’s always been so invaluable, and I-

Enough. Succeed in this matter and Acala will count himself compensated in plenty.

I understand. Then…

...

What is the right response to Mima's request?
[ ] To accept.
[ ] To decline.
----------
*To use an analogy for those who don't clearly conceive of what I mean, think Keiichi in the first arc of Higurashi.

edit: spelling.
>> No. 110179
[x] To accept.

But make it a point to:

[x] Explain to Mima how you got the diary since if she didn't drop it... someone else must have done it.

{If it isn't too late to explain)
>> No. 110181
File 126359168069.jpg - (210.62KB , 1200x809 , 5526779.jpg ) [iqdb]
110181
>>110177
[X] To accept.

Right now, there's a better way of approaching this than just spinning words and turning phrases.
>> No. 110192
[x] To accept.
>> No. 110193
[x] To accept.

This is Murasaki's rule number 1; trust your friends. Abide.
>> No. 110200
>…Wiseman, you are an eyesore.

[x] To accept.
>> No. 110208
>>110200
Say what ya want about the guy, for better or worse, he's one of the most consistent voters in this story.

That said, this CYOA really needs a lot more readers/voters.

Also, the suspense is fucking killing me. Next update will probably determine whether I keep reading or hide this and every subsequent thread in despair.
>> No. 110212
[x] To accept.

Pride can be a noteworthy thing, but it's, in this case at least, a mostly devious flaw. I understand that she can't ask of a favor directly, lest she turn into a 'servant' in her imagination but this is just going on circles.
>> No. 110214
>That said, this CYOA really needs a lot more readers/voters.
I totaly agree with you. I am glad Taisa mentioned it or else i would probably never have read it due to me only sometimes reading new stories.
You can see that the writer put his heart into the story and that shows in the quality.
>> No. 110217
Though these new readers would have to understand that this story doesn't go by the classic rules at all. (Those that didn't raised a fuss at the Yuyuko love scene.

This latest choice in context is the first real no brainer of this story we've seen. (I pray I don't regret these words.)

Shame we didn't catch on to how Strong Myouren was at first (we'd have taken a more decisive course, but it's the first case of typical thinking working against us)

>>110208
I'm pretty sure this is the case... I hope.
>> No. 110234
----------
“In penance for what I’ve done and prospect of what’s to come, I hereby reaffirm the pledge we’ve exchanged – to never abandon each other; to be always together in our moments of need. And… Mima?” You call to her as she listens in silence. “There’s something else I’d like to add upon that; another vow.” Konngara’s words having floated up from your mind’s depths, you’ve a sudden inspiration. “By the waters of the Sanzu, I swear a solemn oath that if the time of which you’ve anticipated ever arrives, I’ll follow whatever command you deliver me; to the best of my abilities and ‘without complaint.’”

Mima opens her eyes and… smiles very warmly. “…Aren’t you going to ask me what I’m planning~?”

“I’ve not any need impose on you so.” With wry courtesy, you give her a calm shrug.

“What’s this~?” She’s giggling. “Could it be you already know all the things I’m going to have you do?”

You’re beaming when you answer her question. “Actually, I don’t have the faintest clue.”

“You idiot.” The giggles having become merry laughter, Mima pokes you on the cheek. “Don’t think that you can make me spell out such embarrassing things.”

“Got enough on your plate already, Mima~?” Unable to help yourself at this rare opportunity, you tease her.

“I do! I have to tell you that I forgave you already and that’s the reason I rejected your apology, tell you again that I forgive you now and tell you whenever you ask hereafter, that…” the happiness on her face deepens into an awkward red, “I love you, I think.”

“‘You think?’ No, Mima;” you unreservedly correct her, riding the idyllic cloud of your exulting heart, “you feel love, caress it, savor it. Not ‘think it.’”

“Quiet. This’ all new to me, so of course I’ll end up making some mistakes while I’m feeling through. Although…” her blush intensifies, “I’ll make fewer if you help me.”

“Ho?” You cackle, “As proud a girl as the prodigious Black Witch learning from this humble monk?”

“Proud though she may be,” Mima touches her chest, chin upturned, “the ‘Black Witch’ isn’t so arrogant to think that there’s nothing she can’t learn things from those more… experienced. That’s why…” she’s drawn near, taking your hands into hers; warm, soft, fine; “I’ll need these. You’ll lead me where I’m weak and we’ll take things at their pace, jointly. I can’t bathe with you, but if…” as if to herself, she quickly shakes her head; “when that day comes…”

“Mima,” you interrupt her, smiling broadly in your heart at how your manuever’s paid off. “…We’ve already bathed together.”

On following the arc traced through the air by your index finger, Mima gasps, her jade eyes opening wide in recognition. …Seated parallel and only a few inches apart, you’ve drawn long shadows across the floor and onto the dusty shelves; anointed together in the afternoon’s waning glow.

“You…” Starting to shed tears of happiness, her face the very picture of astonished joy, she nears you and repeats those same words from when you two first met.

“…I wasn’t wrong about you, after all.”

As Mima rests one knee on yours, wraps her arms about your shoulders and sidles against your chest, you:

[ ] Allow her to kiss you.
[ ] Hug her back.
[ ] Kiss her back.
----------
>> No. 110237
well letting her kiss would be a safe thing to do, not sure how she'd feel on our lack of initiative. She might not end up kissing though.

Hugging her may be a very safe choice, but she might read that wrong or she might enjoy the embrace.

Kissing her might amuse her but the risk is highest out of all the choices.

I'll have to think on this choice. But I'd like to hear other insights on this as well.

But I must say Myouren did a really smooth move, remarking on bathing in sunlight.
>> No. 110238
>“You…” Starting to shed tears of happiness, her face the very picture of astonished joy, she nears you and repeats those same words from when you two first met.

>“…I wasn’t wrong about you, after all.”

HUZZAH!

[x] Kiss her back.

No one can honestly say this isn't the right choice.
>> No. 110239
>>110237
Good God, what are you talking about man?! I'd tell you to re-read the first thread, but it has unfortunately been pushed off page 9. To refresh: after she said that iconic line the first time, she kissed us with sincere affection. We chose not to reciprocate (even though Myouren said he really wanted to in the next update) because it was the safe choice and we didn't know it was the kind of story it was going to be. We settled with a hug instead.

Fast forward to now. After poring over every scrap of dialogue and interaction figuring out what we needed to understand and say. After staving off an emotional breakdown after we poured our guts out to her. After she said she loved us. After all that we've been through... kissing her right now is too risky?!

rageface.jpg
>> No. 110241
>>110239

If you thought that was stupid, wait until he tries to reply to you. The crap Wiseman comes up with to justify his idiocy is mindbogglingly bad.
>> No. 110242
>>110239

Well... if you say so..

[x] Kiss her back.
>> No. 110243
A man can't serve two masters. Can a man love two persons?
>> No. 110244
>>110243
No.
>> No. 110246
>>110243
I don't want this to devolve into more trolling, but I'd just like to make the point that there's an error in your reasoning if you begin with the premise of love being comparable to servitude.
>> No. 110254
>>110246
The point still stands.
>> No. 110258
>>110254
I'm afraid I don't understand your problem with it. If:

a.) all parties involved are sincere

b.) nearly everyone else has similar attitudes about the matter because monogamous fidelity is an unusual curiosity in the historical/cultural setting of the story.

c.) working off of b.), that this is not special treatment afforded one character, but an option open to all characters in the story.

ergo [a.) + b.) + c.)]: it's not haremfaggotry

Accounting for all of these together, do you have a problem with it other than lolopinions? Because in addition to what I've said above, doing it this way:

d.) allows voters natural freedom of interaction in ways that routelocks or partisan voting for one character ala GH does not.

e.) working off of d.), leaves no one in the cold by allowing voters to develop relationships in any justified direction within one run of the story, as there will not be a second run.

f.) if there exist other ways of ensuring voter cohesion and direction aside from relying on irrational partisanship, routelocks or railroading.

Basically, I don't see how there's any problems for why it wouldn't work in story, nor do I see how it creates any advantages for the people reading it. As I'm interested in making the best story I'm able, I'd like to hear your opinion if you're willing to rationally substantiate it for me.
>> No. 110259
[x] Kiss her back.

Don't tell me that we doom Mima just because we kiss her now. Please don't
>> No. 110261
>>110258

I think the problem isn't with what he ( >>110243 ) suggested, but how he put it (in a very unflattering way)

Since I thought it was obvious that this story was on a Konngara/Mima heading.

Whoever this guy is, either he's trolling or came into the story just recently and didn't bother to read back, where it was clear things were going in this direction.

Now since everyone is of the same mind, we should wait for the next update.

But I like how you raised the points.
>> No. 110262
[x] Kiss her back.
>> No. 110263
>>110258
>>110261
Those are a lot of assumptions to make from a simple, 12-words post. I didn't even make the second post you quoted.
Please, keep in mind that it was a question, not a statement.
>> No. 110264
>>110258
Superb.

>>110263
Well, I think your question was answered, albeit in a round about way. So you've got that going for ya.
>> No. 110265
Writing, update comes shortly.

>>110259
It's so encouraging to know I've made such headway against the mentality of passive DESPAIR.

>>110263
Just to clarify, >>110261 and >>110258 aren't the same person. The former is Wiseman, while the latter is me, the author. Know the difference, it could save your life. Also, 'advantages' in >>110258 should read 'disadvantages.'
>> No. 110269
>>110265

Well sir, you are working against the history of this site, and writing a story about going against the prehistory of Gensokyo, You'd know it's not an easy task. And the last few updates have been something of an emotional roller coaster. One I'm glad to say is coming to an end.
>> No. 110271
>>110265
You really need a trip, lately i am not really sure who you are anymore.
>> No. 110276
>>110271
Well, if you've got an eye for it, it's pretty easy to identify the individuals behind the Anonymous. Did someone just respond to some criticism/trolling and rebut them with uncanny insight? Probably the author, doing what needs to be done. Did someone just provide a half-baked analysis of every vote option with unnecessary carriage returns and end with begging for someone to come up with a vote/analyze the situation? It's Wiseman! Did someone react to an update with the swiftness of a glacier and quoting past updates like the motherfucking Fist of the North Star? It's me! Did someone just drop in with an awesome vote with an analogy/story/bit of insight. It's that guy that needs to vote a whole lot more. And then there's Norseman, who's probably wasted on cheap vodka but manages to hwark up something interesting when he's not tending to his failing liver.

We on autosage yet?
>> No. 110281
[ø] Kiss her back.

>Starting to shed tears of happiness, her face the very picture of astonished joy
I tried to draw this, but tis a hard emotion to capture.

New thread time.
>> No. 110289
>>110276

At least he tries to help, even if in a halfassed way as opposed to just angsting pointlessly. He also gained the humility to understand his write ins aren't perfect or even good. I think we have that Mima fiasco to thank, since the person who did that write in was assured of its quality and no one contested him on that. What happens next we all know; we cause Mima to have a breakdown and the poor bastard to angst about the whole thing for a while. I'm not saying he's a saint, just that in a story like this you take what you can. And as far as his half-ass analysis goes, it's better than nothing. If he persists even after someone does better, then it would be a real problem. I think he even learned his lesson about separating discussion and posts, or not being so damn lazy about copying and pasting.
>> No. 111786
FINALLY ive caught up to this point.

[ ] Kiss her back.
Their is no way this option could backfire