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110294 No. 110294
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Looking into her normally-reserved green eyes, now impassioned, filmy and warm; you’ve one hand on Mima’s lithe waist and the other on her thin shoulder, drawing her into a loving embrace when…



In your present state, you must not kiss the Witch of the Forest else you lose her forever.

...If this is a joke, Acala; then it’s poorly timed and in bad taste. Now, if you’re trying to coerce me, then go-

Your inference is incorrect. Acala neither jests nor intimidates; he only predicts.

…A prediction? Acala, I don’t accept the notion of fate and I know you don’t either. Even though you’ve always guided me in those moments of danger and uncertainty, your – no, our precognition has always been based on an instinctive deduction of that which we can see, which we can sense. In evidence. Therefore, I demand that you answer me – what’s your evidence; your basis in making a charge this dire?



ACALA!

…Olfaction.

‘…Olfaction?’ My… sense of smell? Whatever does tha- ah. …Ah. This…

Correct. Your garments are all about with musk from the Lady Saigyouji.

...Couldn’t you have said something on this sooner?

My counsel is constr-

Actually, don’t answer that; I know what you’re going to say. Rather than that, might you help me at finding a resolution in this situation I’ve lately found myself?

I refuse.

…? You… aren’t upset with me, are you? This… Is this your revenge for having loved Yuyu over your objections?

Incorrect. Acala bids you remember that you assumed the Lady Saigyouji’s fragrance in your dialogue preceding, not later.

…I get it. With how close she was when she asked that I make my request, I’d be covered in her scent no matter what transpired between us. Then… Acala, for what reason can’t you help me?

Rendering assistance beyond forewarning you is prohibited. As it was by your will alone that the Witch of the Forest has not yet been informed, by your will alone it will be that you must succeed in this last trial.

‘Last trial?’ So this really is the final hurdle that I’ll need to surmount in my apology?

Indeed.

…That’s good. Though I’m overjoyed, happy beyond words that Mima forgives me, loves me; apologizing to her has been a psychologically terrifying and unpredictable experience. …As much as Konngara, I’m glad she isn’t my enemy.



So, after considering all possible outcomes and factoring in the present atmosphere, you deem the best course to take right now to:
[ ] Stop, confess everything.
[ ] Try and back out by some means before she’s able to notice.
[ ] Just kiss her, prepare to defend yourself.
[ ] Idea: Sneeze.
[ ] Idea: Using the ‘miracle energy,’ give her a kiss that’ll blow her mind.
[ ] Idea: Pray for help.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
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edit: lolsubjectfield

>> No. 110303
>In your present state, you must not kiss the Witch of the Forest else you lose her forever.
She'll freak out due to her sudden closeness with someone? Nah, I don't think that she's that weak... I wonder why we'd lose her then...?
Either way, I'm glad that Acala came to save our asses again...

[x] Idea: Using the ‘miracle energy,’ give her a kiss that’ll blow her mind.

...even when his warning will go unattended.
A kiss to express the feelings between those two is the only reasonable way to finish the events and problems that led them to this point. No more runarounds, no more delays, no more bullshit.
>> No. 110311
>>110303
I think of it as taking his warning to heart and proceeding to change plans by using 'miracle energy' to improve the kiss.
Still his warning was well timed.
>> No. 110314
[x] Idea: Using the ‘miracle energy,’ give her a kiss that’ll blow her mind.

Send her reeling. She'll be too busy grasping at her other senses to pay attention to how you smell.
>> No. 110316
Example of typical AG readers.

And writer.
>> No. 110319
[x] Stop, confess everything.
Come clean.
>> No. 110325
[x] Stop, confess everything.

I think Acala is onto something here. Mima has laid everything bare; she has told us everything (except what she's going to ask us, but we're okay with that). We, on the other hand, are still keeping a secret from her: sleeping with Yuyu. We assumed we informed Mima earlier. You know what they say about assumptions. We need to match her and put everything out there. We were caught up in Mima's pace before, and telling her would have broken that mood. While kissing her is the logical conclusion, there's still that one fact we need to tell her before this can really end. Trying to distract her with some fantastic power or stalling technique would be disingenuous and an awful betrayal her emotions.

Besides, just because Acala says we can't kiss her in our present state or risk losing her doesn't mean we can't still kiss her if we change our state.

Also; god fucking damnit, how many more 'final trials' are we going to have before this is actually over?!
>> No. 110330
>and all with a risk of undoing our efforts with sickening ease
Whatever do you mean? This story has no negative consequences to any actions taken.
>> No. 110331
>>110330
please go troll elsewhere, if you did not like Yuyuko love scene, just hide this thread.
>> No. 110333
[x] Stop, confess everything.
>> No. 110343
[x] Idea: Using the ‘miracle energy,’ give her a kiss that’ll blow her mind.

Just because we’re going to tell her doesn’t mean this is the right time to do it. Actually, right now is pretty much the worst time. We just missed a good chance to do it. If right after that chance we all of a sudden decide to not kiss her and tell her that we slept with someone else, that’s the real betrayal of her emotions. After she’s let down her guard and at last opened up to someone else, telling her now is going to make her think we intentionally did it this way to hurt her. There’s nothing that will let us explain why we decided to not say it a second ago when she brought it up and that’s only going to confirm it in her mind. She won’t ever trust us again.

> factoring in the present atmosphere

What she wants us from us is right now to be held and kissed. We should give her that. It will all work out as long as we are honest in the end.
>> No. 110345
[x] Idea: Using the ‘miracle energy,’ give her a kiss that’ll blow her mind.

We'll tell her more eventually, but it's all about the moment.
>> No. 110346
Playing devil's advocate here but.. kissing her with the miracle energy is still a kiss and it's still subject to Acala's warning... is that a risk you're willing to take?
>> No. 110347
>>110346

Yes since about any other choice would ruin the atmosphere in varying degrees of servility. Do you have any better ideas than confessing now or the miracle kiss?
>> No. 110352
>>110346
She said outright when we apologized that we thought too much only about us. Confessing now all of a sudden is repeating the same mistake. Its thinking only of what we want and not what Mima wants.
>> No. 110353
>>110346

Acala's been wrong before, as the intermissions have shown us. On matters of the heart, I'd advise taking his advice with a grain of salt.
>> No. 110355
>>110352

I think Mima might know already, and might chime in with "Was your kiss with Yuyuko that good?" before laughing. (We have not PERIOD)
>> No. 110362
Writing. Update will appear shortly.
>> No. 110376
I'd like to write more today and will begin as soon as there's a decisive opinion.

----------
Looking into her normally-reserved green eyes, now impassioned, filmy and warm; you’ve one hand on Mima’s lithe waist and the other on her shoulder, drawing her into a loving embrace when… a divine insight reveals itself to your mind. In a single act, you’ll answer her feelings and her question of earlier, and you’ll do it gloriously. Purifying your thoughts of contaminating distractions, you focus on Mima’s face. Splendidly pale, she leans into you slightly-tilted; her dark hair awash over her back, her small lips moistened and trembling. Thus fixed upon her countenance in supreme concentration, your breathing naturally begins to adjust and, more easily than those previous two times; it happens. The Lady’s description of ‘It’s w-warm! Like sunlight!’ captured it with succinct discernment, that sensation; that feeling of your life’s wellspring becoming a geyser, a revitalizing cascade of health and strength and energy.

“…That light? That’s-!”

You pull Mima into a kiss, humbly inundating yourself in her; in the warmth and slickness of her mouth, the yielding tension in her soft palms, the gentle prickling of her own breathing on your cheek, steadily becoming relaxed and regular. Then –

It happens to you. An electrifying presence, making you feel as if all your hairs are standing on end and curling; jolting, overpowering and unbelievably pleasurable. You’re drifting away from your senses, your mind whitewashing as you’re instantly elevated to the level of release. Tossed about by waves of sexual gratification, you’re about to lose consciousness when, as abruptly as the moment started; Mima pulls back and sits on her shins.

“To… to use the Hamon in a kiss!” Flushed with elation and evidently impressed, she laughs; breathless as you. “I’d like to say that’s just too absurd, but…”

“…Was it incredible?” Is all the speech you’re able to manage, panting as you struggle to master yourself.

“Oh yes. Although…” Her ironic grin resurfaces. “You looked like you were enjoying it even more~.”

You… feel taken by an urge to hide your face, as it’s suddenly grown very hot. “S-so… it’s called Hamon? That ‘miracle energy?’” You ask uneasily, trying to change the subject.

“What, you didn’t know?” Mima asks in reply, seemingly taken aback. “…How’d you become a user without ever learning its name?”

“About that, I’ve not the fain-“
“Excuse me~”

You’re cut off by a cheerful voice tinctured curiously plaintive accompanied by a thud from the door sliding open. Her timid steps making nary a sound, Yuyu enters in gradually; wearing an expression of extraordinary anxiety. Entirely missing the heightened mood that’s built up in the room and completely unfazed at how you’re both sitting on the floor in extremely close proximity, she crosses over and stops at the table in the middle.

“Um… have you seen Youki at all?” The Lady asks at the both of you, wringing her hands in discomfiture. “I looked all around and I can’t find him anywhere!”

You:
[ ] Offer her the place at which you parted with him.
[ ] Offer to look for Youki.
[ ] Offer to look for Youki with her.
[ ] …Wait. You already know the only place at which Youki could be. (Specify)
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>> No. 110384
>“S-so… it’s called Hamon? That ‘miracle energy?’”

First we acquired a Stand. Now we have acquired the Ripple.

[x] Offer her the place at which you parted with him.
[x] Suggest that he's probably sparring with Konngara.
[x] But if he doesn't show up soon, you should make sure he's not hacking away at the Saigyou Ayakashi with a scimitar.
>> No. 110385
Huh, we actually haven't seen Youki in quite a while. We left him by the waterfall sometime this morning, and now it's late in the afternoon(?) Yuyu probably checked the usual places, but that waterfall was way out there.

[x] Offer her the place at which you parted with him.
[x] Offer to look for Youki with her.

He's probably still meditating or sparring with Konngara, but I'm wondering why he'd be AWOL for so long without telling Yuyu.
>> No. 110386
>[ ] …Wait. You already know the only place at which Youki could be.
If this options exists, it's because it's possible to know where her is, based on one of our previous conversations... re-reading
>> No. 110387
I think if we procrastinated, Yuyuko'd save us, but I think our goal was accomplished beyond our wildest dreams, if the whole fact that Myouren learned how to use it WITHOUT knowing its true name AND using it in a mindblowing kiss wasn't enough for her to not notice our spell, here comes Yuyuko with a problem.
Still we should take a moment to explain things to Mima sometime.
But it is terribly suspicious that he's off somewhere without telling Yuyuko, seeing how his personality is absurdly loyal and such.
>> No. 110396
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“Calm down, dear Lady,” you speak soothingly to her, and make space on the floor nearby. “We’re here for you, so please fill us in on what’s happening.”

It takes her a moment, but after Mima also encourages her, any disappointment at the interruption of your moment together hidden beneath assiduous alertness; the Lady circles around the table and armchairs and sits. With the three of you now forming a triangle, she gives a hurried account of the present situation. In disjointed, rambling speech, marred throughout by her anxious confusion; you learn that Yuyu’s spent the past hour looking for Youki, combing the rooms of her home and those grounds immediately surrounding, to no avail.

“I-it’s not like him at all!” She’s picking at the ends of her sleeve, visibly distressed.

As you now find out, Youki’s (unsurprisingly) an incredible stickler for routines. His typical day begins very early, before dawn. Taking advantage of the pre-morning cool, the first task to which he applies himself each day is on maintenance of the Lady’s groves. Having partitioned them into seven sectors, he’s thus able to manage the vastness of her cornucopia entirely by himself via this system of orderly rotations. By the time it’s mid-morning; he normally returns and makes breakfast for his Lady, made to her order. The next few hours are spent in maintenance of Hirokawa and its associated structures – whether it’s termites in the moldings, leaks in the roof, fixtures in need of dusting or doorframes in need of glue, there’s always something wrong in place this size. By the time he’s made his rounds of ensuring that her home’s not falling apart, it’s time for his Lady’s lunch, whatever she may desire. Next comes his favorite time of day, (though that’s a fact known only to him and she who knows him best) instruction of his mistress in study of the sword. Though clumsy, and not the most exuberantly enthusiastic of students; it’s with uncanny mastery and unerring patience that he teaches the Lady for two or three hours in the afternoon, after which time pleasure once more gives way to the business of cooking. Their farewells are typically said at the door of the kitchen, Yuyu being strictly forbidden from entering after what she describes as ‘a little mistake.’ By the time dinner is concluded, all the plates and cutlery cleaned and put away; his last tasks of the day are to attend upon his Lady’s needs until such time that she retires for the evening and to make a round about her home and its grounds patrolling for intruders. Only after that does he himself turn in for the evening, slumbering six hours until first-light – at which his day begins anew. Altogether, it’s a demanding job with no respite, no vacations and no pay.

Mima whistles. “That kid’s a scoundrel, but I can’t call him lazy. It’s like he thinks he’s married to you.”

“Uh… um… y-yeah…” Her face flushing a bright red, Yuyu shrinks down.

If such a radical departure from his daily routine wasn’t aberrant enough, that hardly anyone’s seen him is even more worrying for Yuyu. In asking both Konngara and Murasaki, both of whom she encountered in investigating his whereabouts; she wasn’t able to learn anything other the latter telling her she saw him with you.

“D-do you know where he could be?” She asks, suddenly hopeful.

In answer, you recount the situation starting from yesterday evening when the two of you agreed to learn the other’s virtues and how that culminated this morning in that dialogue by the waterfall, after which you parted ways. The Lady’s pretty face, optimistic and enthused at the beginning of your recitation, recoiled in shock on discovering that it’s been almost half-a-day since anyone’s had contact with him.

“I’m sure he’s in danger! I… I have to save him!” On her feet at once, Yuyu’s making a rush for the door when you:

[ ] Follow her out, find Konngara and ask that she tail the Lady to protect her.
[ ] Go with her.
[ ] Stop her it could be dangerous. Suggest that she remain here and in her place, you investigate with Mima.
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>> No. 110403
[x] Go with her.
only fair.
>> No. 110405
>>110396
These women... I can't get over these women. Just look at Konngara; she's like a 50s movie star. So capable... so loving and energetic. You simply cannot get enough of her, and the world around her can barely keep up. And then look at Mima; going round for round with everything else in a world that tells women to sit down and shut up. She's simultaneously the most wonderful and frustrating things to ever happen to us, and you know she's ready for a whole ton more. Then there's Yuyu, who has watched Hell itself unfurl before her. How she can still smile so innocently for us is beyond belief.

These women, man. These fantastic women.
[x] Go with her.


Anonymous author... we know we disappoint you sometimes; we can sense your disappointment. We only get angry because we know you're right most of the time. But you are not misguided in dealing with us; you are a wise and brilliant person. Don't let the demons shout down your better angels. Do not let them stop you from achieving the greatness that is rightfully yours.
>> No. 110406
>[ ] Stop her it could be dangerous. Suggest that she remain here and in her place, you investigate with Mima.

This girl who can summon the death butterflies. She is in minimal need of protection. Besides you have your own companions to protect.

[x] "I've just experienced the best kiss of my life, so without your help Mima, it's all downhill from here."
[x] "Last time she thought his life was in danger, she nearly killed us. Care to take a second run at it?
-[x] Have Mima gather Konngara. Miss Saigyoji is a noblewoman and a rather clumsy one at that, she'll be headed for the worst place for him to be--the Saigyou Ayakashi.
-[x] If Youki is dead or injured they should move him out of sight, you don't want her exploding and killing everything including herself.
[x] You yourself should go after
up directly to stsll her. It shouldn't be hard.
>> No. 110412
>>110405
>Ancient Gensokyo writer
>wise
>brilliant
oh u
>> No. 110418
[x] Stop her it could be dangerous. Suggest that she remain here and in her place, you investigate with Mima. He could return at any moment, after all.
-[x] Find Konngara and ask her to remain at her side, and to try and calm her down.
>> No. 110421
File 126383140226.jpg - (88.97KB , 600x714 , 123467469796.jpg ) [iqdb]
110421
>>110406
You mean the girl who canonically died in despair and fear because she couldn't control her powers?
Right, this could be nothing serious, but better safe than sorry.
>>110412
Try harder.
>> No. 110425
[x] Stop her it could be dangerous. Suggest that she remain here and in her place, you investigate with Mima. He could return at any moment, after all.
-[x] Find Konngara and ask her to remain at her side, and to try and calm her down.

I like this option, covers many angles.
>> No. 110433
>>110421

Morgan Freeman opening the box beforehand didn't stop Brad Pitt from blowing Kevin Spacey's head off in Se7en.
>> No. 110459
Writing, expect the update shortly.
>> No. 110462
Which vote won? since there's a tie between "Go with her" and the >>110418 's write in, both with two votes.
>> No. 110463
>>110462
Doing a mix, shouldn't take too long.
>> No. 110500
Alright, that took a little longer than I expected.

----------
As the Lady dashes out, you turn and whisper hurriedly. “I’ve no idea what’s going on, but she’s going for the tree, Mima; I can feel it. I’ll follow her and make sure she doesn’t do anything rash, so if you could get Konngara and arrive there ahead of us-”

“Wait.” You’re halfway standing when Mima stops you and, seizing your hands; delivers you a peck on the cheek. “For luck,” she winks.

“…I’ll see you soon, Mima;” you smilingly promise her, feeling greatly heartened by her gesture’s flamboyant simplicity. Laughing, saluting each other with spirited waves; you depart to catch up with Yuyu.



…Granted, she was afforded a significant head-start by the detour you made to retrieve your staff and hat, but Yuyu’s fast. It’s only after you’ve stepped out the front door that you spot her, already halfway down the path to the little bridge. By the time you’re able to draw even with her, running at top speed with enhancement from the ‘miracle energy,’ the two of you are just shy of crossing the bridge itself.

“Eh? …Myouren? Are you… coming with me?” She asks surprised, her arms swinging wide as she continues hurrying along.

“I’m sure Youki’s alright, Yuyu;” you respond with confidence, matching her stride, “but in case he’s run into trouble or something, he wouldn’t forgive me if I let you get hurt. You… don’t mind, do you?”

“No, no! Not at all! It’s… it’s really nice of you to come with me! It’s just…” Her face falls as she trails off.

“I already know. You think he’s at the tree, right?”

As if to confirm your collective fears, she stops dead in her tracks. “...H-how is it you…?” the Lady presses you.

“Call it a hunch, Yuyu,” you stop as well, clarifying. “Doesn’t it seem too much a coincidence that something this strange happened in such close temporal proximity to tomorrow night?”

“That… that makes sense.” She nods apprehensively and, starting up again; signals with her hand that you follow. “It’s not far!” Yuyu calls over her shoulder as you’re picking up the pace.



After crossing the bridge, instead of making a left – to the pool in which you bathed yesterday, or right – to the waterfall at which you parted with Youki; the two of you forge straight ahead, off the path and into the groves. …At a less ominous moment, it’d be nice to accept Konngara’s offer of a walk here. This place’s a fine respite from the summer sun – verdant, perfectly manicured branches providing shade and a temperate, generous breeze; a mild Zephyr whispering to the neat rows of bright apple trees, swirling their fallen petals and leaves in gentle whirlwinds about their trunks. And all throughout, there’s a sweetly earthy fragrance of wholesome aspect; an aroma that gladdens the spirit, even as the body’s confusedly meandering in chase of a vivacious young Lady. You’re advancing with her through this veritable Arcadian wonderland, between lines of plantings and around protruding roots; when all of a sudden, the trees fail.

There’s opened before you an expansive plain of tall grasses, ringed all around by orchard and wood in a fashion evocative of braves in supplication about their chieftain – for just as described, there enthroned on a sloping hill at the grassland’s center is a truly magnificent cherry tree. Towering, wearing an immense, darkly-green crown, you’re standing beside Yuyu on the threshold of its plain, cast in its gigantic, solemn shadow.

“The Saigyou Ayakashi,” she murmurs quietly, staring fixedly upon its heights.

“...Is anything the matter, Yuyu?” You query her, made concerned by the eerie distance reflecting her dark eyes.

“…N-no. I… I’m fine.” On breathing out deeply, the Lady’s expression returns to its state of flustered apprehension. “Let’s approach.”



On ascending the hill and drawn under the Ayakashi’s massive branches, just ahead of the Lady; you’re welcomed first by a mildly irate Mima.

“You’re so slow!” She pokes you disrespectfully in the chest. “We became so bored of waiting for you that my ‘noble friend’ there’s snapped and lost it.” Pointing at her side, she shakes her head. “She’s trying to befriend the birds!”

Following the invisible line drawn by Mima’s finger, your gaze comes to Konngara, dressed in different raiment from when you left her. Wearing a long, shimmering gown of diaphanous white silk, modest in its trim but fashioned well to her ample figure; she strikes a really wonderful sight as she’s strolling about, singing softly towards the sky with one arm outstretched.


sakura~ sakura~ no-yama mo sato mi-watas-


Abruptly, her song’s cut off. Instantly leaping backwards and landing in a balanced slide, her carefree cheer’s been replaced by a glare upwards as there suddenly rings out a sneering, cacophonous chorus of crows. She’s just narrowly avoided a load of droppings in her mouth. “These black-plumed banes merit well their reputation as hated harbingers of ill-omen,” Konngara mutters to herself, rising to approach as the crows continue jeering loudly.

…There’re a lot of them. They were silent up to till a second ago and you weren’t able to make them out from a distance, but there’s literal myriads roosting throughout the Ayakashi’s dark foliage and branches, their beady black eyes trained on your group in raucous contempt.

“Aren’t crows are so unpleasant?” chimes an unexpected voice to your side; low, coquettish, seductive in its enunciations. “I prefer ravens~”

Though surprising, there’s not even a need to look. “Fancy that you should join us, pretty young lady,” you say, raising a hand in blind greeting. “To what does this humble monk owe the pleasure of your presence?”

The sound of the hag smacking her lips as she saunters into the edge of your vision. “Well, boy~ That pretty little girl you li-”

“Mo- er, Murasaki!” …Yet another interruption, this time from Yuyu; who’s just finished scaling the crown of the hill. Running over, she practically tackles her friend and starts overwhelming her with questions. “Is Youki okay? I… don’t see him! Where is he?”

“I’ll answer that,” Mima speaks up, addressing the four of you now gathered round, “the other questions too.”

You learn together with the Lady that the reason Murasaki’s here is because Konngara carried her, thinking it prudent that no one be caught alone in what’s a potentially dangerous situation. In their investigation before the two of you arrived, they weren’t able to discover anything of Youki’s presence, fair or foul.

“Can’t say if that’s a good thing, or…” Mima concludes, atypically doubtful.

“If I may speak,” Konngara respectfully raises her hand, “should we not now search the place at which Sir Youki was last seen? We have found nary of trace of him here and day grows short.”

“Um… hold on.” Bidding her to wait, Yuyu stands up. “I want to check something first.” She advances cautiously to the Saigyou Ayakashi’s trunk and kneels, closing her eyes and placing a hand upon it. From beneath the darkness of the tree, there’s a faint glimmer of pink-blue and the passage of a few nervous seconds when…

“I… don’t know. …I don’t know?” The Lady retreats back from the Ayakashi and turns. “It’s never been like this before.” She announces to the rest of you.

“Is something the matter~?” Murasaki innocently inquires.

She nods vacantly to no one in particular. “It’s… shutting me out? …I can’t get in.” Seeing that the three of you who aren’t residents of Hirokawa are looking at her as if she’s a madwoman, Yuyu clarifies herself. “The Saigyou Ayakashi and I are the same, like ‘back’ and ‘front.’ …I should be able to talk with it, but… I think…” She looks up into its heights, her face betraying that she’s completely lost. “…I think something’s interfering.”

You:
[ ] Try meditating.
[ ] Second Konngara’s suggestion. There’s less two hours till sunset.
[ ] VAJRA – THESE CROWS ARE WHAT'S INTERFERING. THESE CROWS ARE AN EYESORE. THESE CROWS. THESE CROWS.
[ ] Have a question for one of those present. (Specify)
----------

edit: formatting
>> No. 110503
[x] Second Konngara’s suggestion. There’s less two hours till sunset.
-[x] Try to have the fastest of the three (Myouren, Konngara, or Mima) go so the group won't stay separated for long.
>> No. 110507
UNREASONABLE AMOUNT OF PLANNING INCOMING:
[x] Have a question for one of those present: Konngara; "Have you equipped yourself with a suitable blade?"
[x] Have a question for one of those present: Mima and Konngara; can either of you detect what might be interfering with Lady Saigyouji's connection with the Saigyou Ayakashi?
[x] Try meditating; between the power of Hamon and Acala, what can we learn about the whereabouts of Youki.

Is Konngara ready? Do either of our big guns know what the hell is going on? Can Acala and our new found power enlighten us? Inquiring minds want to know.
>> No. 110509
[x] Have a question for one of those present: Konngara; "Have you equipped yourself with a suitable blade?"
[x] Have a question for one of those present: Mima and Konngara; can either of you detect what might be interfering with Lady Saigyouji's connection with the Saigyou Ayakashi?
[x] Try meditating; between the power of Hamon and Acala, what can we learn about the whereabouts of Youki.
Sounds... good.
I think.
>> No. 110519
>VAJRA – THESE CROWS ARE WHAT'S INTERFERING. THESE CROWS ARE AN EYESORE. THESE CROWS. THESE CROWS.
Holy shit, it is back

[x] Have a question for one of those present: Konngara; "Have you equipped yourself with a suitable blade?"
[x] Have a question for one of those present: Mima and Konngara; can either of you detect what might be interfering with Lady Saigyouji's connection with the Saigyou Ayakashi?
[x] Try meditating; between the power of Hamon and Acala, what can we learn about the whereabouts of Youki.
>> No. 110538
----------
You’ve a strange impression – no, perhaps it’s better to say you’ve had a strange impression. Ever since entering under the boughs of this tree, the figurative king of the lands surrounding; there’s been an ‘itch’ in your mind, an indistinct disquiet on the peripheries of your awareness. The whole time you were being apprised of the situation up till now, you tried to define it, analyze it; to rationalize it. These efforts didn’t avail you much – to use an analogy, the vague sense that’s bothering you isn’t unlike those optical illusions that only manifest themselves when viewed out of the corner of one’s eye. But even if you’ve not figured what’s specifically triggering it, the experience of your wanderings has thoroughly intimated you with the sense itself.

It’s a sense of being watched.

“Konngara,” you give a searching glance for her, seated a small ways away to your right and front with graceful poise, “were you able to find an appropriate weapon?”

“Oh, she found a weapon, boy~” a greatly bemused Murasaki answers for her, “although… appropriate?” She smiles meaningfully.

Konngara rises, giggling in good humor.

“It’s really too sad,” the hag’s continuing to recount, sounding not very sad at all; “but there just weren’t any nice swords sitting around, conveniently waiting to be found. A shame.”

“As a rule, Lady Saigyouji’s blades proved unserviceable, unsharpened or of poor make.” Now a short distance away, Konngara expands on what the hag’s said with her back to you.

“…Sorry.” To no one especially, the Lady apologizes in a small voice.

“You don’t need to be so stern, little girl~!” Murasaki laughs, laughing in an aristocratic lilt that would put most Queens to shame. “Why, that one I pointed out to you would probably look really nice, if only yo-”

“I do not relish the thought of entrusting my life to a blade so eaten with rust.” Konngara flatly states, kneeling in the high grass.

“So if you’ve not found any decent swords,” you’re looking to Yuyu and the hag, seated shoulder-to-shoulder across and to your left in the little circle that’s formed; “just what was it you were able to find for her?”

The Lady volunteers. “Um… well…” she fidgets, “…we found a bow, a naginata and…”

“This.” Wearing a huge smile, Konngara stands up just shy of the tree’s base, having turned to face the rest of you. In her hands is what might possibly be the largest, most wicked-looking axe you’ve ever seen.

Upon a thick wooden haft of over four feet is mounted an oversize, crescent-shaped blade, sharpened to a biting curve and counterbalanced by a huge iron spike on its opposite face. As if this alone wasn’t enough, there’s set below its grip another spike matching the first – perhaps for those times a foe draws close? Altogether, it seems the kind of weapon that would either be used from horseback or else against those on horseback, probably by someone phenomenally strong. You can’t imagine what it must weigh, but in swinging a weapon of such visible heft for any period of time would likely require incredible endurance and both hands. …Konngara’s holding it easily in one.


“It’s mine, boy.” Murasaki relates at your speechless expression, hers quite coy. "Long story, that one~”

“My ‘noble friend’ shows her inferiority complex,” Mima nudges your side, smirking enormously. “She’s compensating.”

“‘Compensating?’” Konngara asks, seemingly mystified. She immediately lowers her center of gravity by dropping into a fighting position, felling the unseen foes who’ve surrounded her in three perfect, powerful strikes – no wasted movement. Then, manic, self-assured smile returning, she takes a second and assumes her former, dignified carriage as if nothing's happened, looking to her friend.

“I’m displaying.”
----------

Another update later tonight. As the vote's technically not called, I just took the part that's generally useful to know for whatever choice you might pick. If there's anything you else you wish to say or ask, or if you want to propose something else, it's still open.
>> No. 110541
>“You don’t need to be so stern, little girl~!” Murasaki laughs, laughing in an aristocratic lilt that would put most Queens to shame. “Why, that one I pointed out to you would probably look really nice, if only yo-”

>“I do not relish the thought of entrusting my life to a blade so eaten with rust.” Konngara flatly states, kneeling in the high grass.

Was this Murasaki being silly or was she hinting at that rust-eaten sword having a grander form ala the Demonbrand in Romancing Saga? (at first it's a rusted sword, but through a sizable subquest it becomes a powerful weapon)
Still it's nice to see Konngara isn't good with just swords.
>> No. 110563
Overcompensation, hehehe.
What can I say? I'm a simple man with simple tastes.
>> No. 110568
Edit: Ended up removing this by accident when fixing an error: Maybe one more tonight.

----------
Now that you’ve come fully up to speed on matters of preparedness, everyone returns to the matter of Youki and, to a lesser extent; why the Lady isn’t able to make use of the tree. Your group – Murasaki, freewheeling and lackadaisical as ever, a grimly gainsaying Mima, the nervous, but not uncourageous Lady, Konngara, quietly listening with polite attention, and yourself, who’s naturally assumed the duty of mediating those tensions and tempers inevitable in coordinating this kind of gathering; all five of you work towards an understanding of the current condition, seated facing each other in the tall grass under the tree’s shadow. Extremely disorganized at the outset, it was after Mima angrily laid out a series of guidelines by which everyone speaking would adhere that the conversation gained a semblance of order. Those claims on which everyone agreed to varying degrees were:

-That Youki had seemed to have encountered some difficulty.

-That his difficulty might bear some relation with the business of the tree.

-That whatever was interfering with the Lady’s efforts at understanding the situation was probably related to the aforementioned difficulties.

At the same time on which all of you reached a consensus on these, though; the more structured form of the debate elucidated a clear difference in opinion as to the direction in which your efforts should now take.

One stance’s that which was initially proposed by Konngara – that your first imperative should be to locate Youki’s whereabouts, starting with the place at which he had last been seen, the waterfall. By this course, says she; ‘We shall acquire certain power in future deliberations, come what will. If we find Sir Youki to be well, perhaps the hapless casualty of a fairy’s farce, then our trepidations will be at an end. If he is less well or perchance still disappeared, then will no longer harbor any doubts as to the danger assailing us.’

The position against is led by Mima – who, in a line of reasoning not dissimilar to the one from that first dialogue on the Taiji in her home; thinks that what little time’s left in the day should be devoted towards investigating whatever’s blocking the Lady. ‘All that’s required is for us to figure out what’s the matter there!’ she forcefully argues. ‘As soon as that happens, the Lady’s going to be able to know instantly where that scoundrel’s at present and if he’s actually okay.’

Of those listening, Yuyu wavered between the presented proposals but eventually aligned herself with Konngara, certainty of Youki’s status winning out in her mind; whereas Murasaki seemed mostly to be in Mima’s camp from the very start, at least from how you read the situation. With what little you know of her, it’s very difficult to tell what she’s really thinking. …And you? Being the one temporizing between the disparate parties, you gave your honest opinion, underscoring it with a purposeful glance towards the setting sun – that there was merit in both positions and that whatever the decision made by the five of you, it should be reached quickly and decisively.

…It’s then that there occurred an unforeseen development; your gesture worked well, too well. Agreeing to disagree, the four ladies decided that they would separate and each pursue the course they thought best, to meet again at the Lady’s table when it had grown dark. To the loud shrieking of the crows, who’ve suddenly broken their uncanny silence on seeing your group’s activity; no one’s wasting any time as you:

[ ] Decide you’ll examine into the waterfall with Konngara and Yuyu. They’ll be able to find the spot more quickly with your help and you’ve become more worried for Youki’s safety after all that’s been said.
[ ] Decide you’ll stay here and investigate further with Mima and Murasaki. Even without the Lady here, there’s probably something you should be able to learn between her magic and the various spiritual techniques at your command.
[ ] Present an objection: This is a moment at which everyone should stay together. If there’s an enemy out there, splitting up is inviting to be attacked.
[ ] VAJRA – THE CROWS. THEY MOCK YOU. THEY KEEP WATCH ON YOU. NO MORE.
----------
>> No. 110569
[x] Decide you’ll examine into the waterfall with Konngara and Yuyu. They’ll be able to find the spot more quickly with your help and you’ve become more worried for Youki’s safety after all that’s been said.

All good choices but I figured the quicker we check the area, the quicker we can get back as to help Mima and the 'young' lady with their task.
>> No. 110570
[+] Decide you’ll examine into the waterfall with Konngara and Yuyu. They’ll be able to find the spot more quickly with your help and you’ve become more worried for Youki’s safety after all that’s been said.
>> No. 110572
God damn, this a really tough call. On one hand, we have a chance of making sure Youki is alright. On the other, we have a chance of figuring out what that fucking tree is up to. First reaction is 'bros before hoes' and look for Youki. Upon pondering, getting a tactical advantage by investigating the tree seems the best bet. And then there's the part of me that says F to all and wants to vajra the shit out of some crows.

Yuyu seems to just barely seem to agree with Konngara, while Murasaki is full on with Mima. Considering who might know more about the situation, the latter seems like a more reasonable choice to side with since it has more potential for success. But, I have to go with my gut...

[x] Decide you’ll examine into the waterfall with Konngara and Yuyu. They’ll be able to find the spot more quickly with your help and you’ve become more worried for Youki’s safety after all that’s been said.

No man left behind. If we find him, he may be able to fill us in on what's messing with Yuyu.

Maybe there's a case to be made in writing-in Mima, Murasaki, and Yuyu investigating the tree while Konngara and us search for Youki, but if our search for Youki is successful, I want the first thing he sees to be Yuyu. I'm a god damn romantic, even at the end of the world.
>> No. 110573
Hmm... I see a bit of problem in Yuyu going with Konngara to find Youki. Since she is the one that is to talk to Saigyou Ayakashi, wouldn't it be best for her to stay by the tree?

[ø] Decide you’ll examine into the waterfall with Konngara and Yuyu. They’ll be able to find the spot more quickly with your help and you’ve become more worried for Youki’s safety after all that’s been said.
-[ø] However, wouldn't it be better for Yuyu to stay here, investigating the tree?

>[ ] VAJRA – THE CROWS. THEY MOCK YOU. THEY KEEP WATCH ON YOU. NO MORE.
What if this option actually worked and Yuyu is once again, able to communicate with the tree?
>> No. 110574
>>110572

Yeah I'm with you, I want a heartful reunion, that and Yuyu wouldn't be able to focus right being so worried about Youki.
>> No. 110580
[x] VAJRA – THE CROWS. THEY MOCK YOU. THEY KEEP WATCH ON YOU. NO MORE.
>> No. 110581
[x] VAJRA – THE CROWS. THEY MOCK YOU. THEY KEEP WATCH ON YOU. NO MORE.
>> No. 110582
>>110573

But is it worth using up one of our big guns for such an absurd chance? What if we end up waking up the tree instead?
>> No. 110584
Having trouble staying awake. Expect this update tomorrow.
>> No. 110589
>>110582
and that is precisely why I didn't vote fote the Vajra option.
>> No. 110602
Maybe another one tonight, my writing sense's itching.

----------
Since the moment of their unanimous revelation, your charming companions haven’t made any mention as to what role you’ll play in the impromptu drama they’ve crafted. Probably, their thought was to extend you the same treatment they’ve afforded each other – the freedom of travelling on different roads to the same truth; a methodology that’s unintentionally captured the heart of ‘skillful means.’ It’s with not a little appreciation for this accidentally apt answer that you’ve already decided on your course.

“I’m going to help the search first,” you’ve come alongside Mima, walking slowly about the tree’s girth with her journal opened, looking up into its heights from time to time. “We’ll be able to find the spot faster that way, which means more time in investigating the stoppage when I’m back.”

“Two’s more appealing than one-and-a-half, eh?” Mima chuckles dryly, as if to herself. “Well, don’t worry – I’ll make sure to leave something for you.”

While managing to keep a straight face, you bow facetiously. “I’m in awe of your kindness, ‘my Lady.’”

Having so arranged, Mima’s returned to her inquiries and you’ve just taken leave of each other when, while making a swift check of your gear; you’re blindsided.

“Hey, boy~” From a shallow angle behind you comes an unsettlingly sultry salutation and the pressure of a bony, emaciated form pressing against yours.

“How is it you keep sneaking up on me, pretty young lady?” …You really haven’t the faintest clue.

“I’m very sneaky.” She whispers mischievously and points. “Not like that girl.” Her index finger’s straightened at Yuyu, standing on the edge of the hilltop, nodding at something Konngara’s telling her. “She’s very honest with herself, always so full of simple emotionality. It’s part of what makes her beautiful, but it means she can be just so unmanageable when she’s upset. So… boy~?” Murasaki’s rested her head on your shoulder, very demure. “Look out for her in my place, okay?”

“I’d do it even if you didn’t ask.” You raise a hand atop hers, her gnarled fingers locked together at your waist. “Let your mind at ease.”

“You’re such a dear.” Her hold increases momentarily, and accompanying it’s a soft, slight moistness on your cheek. “…Thank you, boy. Now, hurry or they’ll end up leaving without you.” There’s a light pat against your butt, at which you nearly jump. “Go on~”

You give a look back at Murasaki, smiling with the agreeable elegance of a younger woman. “…I’ll talk to you later, pretty young lady.

Urged on by her encouraging nods, it’s after giving her a hug and straightening your clothes that you make haste to join the others.



Your party of three’s rushing through wood and wilderness, the day growing shorter with every step as you’re making a beeline for the peak at where you left Youki. In a marked reversal from your marches of the days prior, Konngara’s at the fore of your group hastening ahead in healthy, sinuous strides; too focused on the business of detected any unseen threats to have a care for how her beautiful white gown’s being sullied by the brambles and dirt. Nothing escapes her sharp eyes and sensitive ears, a defense on which she’s depending ahead of the axe on her back.

Some distance at Konngara’s back, Yuyu’s treading along with quiet tenacity. No longer leaping with the sprightliness of a doe, the slump of her shoulders and her growing number of missteps betray that she’s fighting a two-front war against a deadly fatigue without and her worst fears within. Persisting on in spite of presenting such a pitiful figure, it was after she tripped and fell hard that you felt compelled by that duty with which Murasaki had charged you and tried pressuring Yuyu that she permit you carry her.

“…Thank you Myouren, but… um…” She shakes off the hand you’ve offered her. “I want to be the one to reach Youki. …He always tries his best for me! So… I… I need to do the same!”

Delivering these stubborn, brave words, the Lady wiped the dirt from her face and continued on, determined to save him that she loves.

Bringing up the rear, as usual; is you. You’re not at all tired (though you’ve something of a light headache, the aftershocks of apologizing to Mima, no doubt), rather; it’s to ensure the Lady’s safety from possible surprise attack by buttressing her between those two of you who’ve considerable experience in responding to such. Staff in one hand, slung casually over your shoulder; your left hand’s on your baldric and fingering the pommel of your knife while you’re warily scanning your surroundings.

Proceeding in this way, you’re able to make excellent time, suspicions and slips notwithstanding. You’ve not any way of exactly measure the time that’s passed, but in comparing the journey to the waterfall you made with Youki, one which required the better part of an hour in travelling from the Lady’s door; this present march’s covered a comparable distance in half as long. The slow, slight brook into which the waterfall flows has just started emerging into your view from between the thinning trees when ahead...


“…Permit my eyes deceive me.”


…Konngara’s frozen in place, speaking to someone that you’re not able to see.

Just behind Yuyu, her weary legs pushed beyond their limitations by the adrenaline of fear; you come up upon the spot at which Konngara’s stopped in a matter of seconds and feel yourself arrested by that same terrible sight that’s seized her. Immediately before you is the familiar, riverside; its low, loamy banks flanked on both sides by knotty old pines. To this otherwise nondescript picture, there’s one change.

The river flows red.

Your very first thought is to:
[ ] Check Youki’s condition.
[ ] Comfort the Lady.
[ ] Search for threats.
----------
>> No. 110604
[x] VAJRA – THE CROWS. THEY MOCK YOU. THEY KEEP WATCH ON YOU. NO MORE.
Fuck it.
>> No. 110606
[ø] Check Youki’s condition.
- [ø] be on guard for the unseen threats.
>> No. 110607
[x] Check Youki’s condition ASAP.
- [x] be on guard for the unseen threats.
>> No. 110609
This might lead up to how Youki ends up a half-ghost if he isn't already.
>> No. 110614
[x] Check Youki’s condition.

Typical anon style thinking in these situations would be to search for threats; can't be too safe, especially if we're dealing with someone/something that managed to mangle Youki. But we have Konngara and Yuyu with us... between the Taiji and death butterflies, I don't know how much more backup we could conceivably ask for. Time to fire up our Hamon

>>110609
He already is. Remember Sue Sanoo?
>> No. 110623
[x] Check Youki’s condition ASAP.
- [x] be on guard for the unseen threats.
>> No. 110627
[x] Check Youki’s condition ASAP.
- [x] be on guard for the unseen threats.
Bros before hoes.
>> No. 110636
----------
“Y-youki…!” The Lady gasps, her face abject horror. With her knees shaking, starting to sink; she’s unconsciously started to retreat backwards from scarlet flood before her.

There’s no time to lose.

“Please remain watchful!” Konngara calls at your back, having moved to support the Lady as you’ve dashed away towards the source of the stream.



After less than a minute of hard sprinting, you’ve arrived at the selfsame spot as this morning – beneath the crooked branches of that lofty, ancient pine. Immediately, you’re sensing something; standing with your hands supported against its coarse bark. …That uncanny feeling of being watched?

It’s sharpened.

An imperceptible disquiet no longer, it’s grown into an acute awareness – a distinct impression. …Hateful black eyes, hidden beyond the edges of your vision in the growing darkness, gleaming with malevolence as they espy you.

But though you’ve this unsettling, unshakable mental image, there’s nothing to be seen or heard. Even after purposefully exposing your back in the process of making a search around and under the tree (Acala having been instructed to dispatch any ambushes/ambushers with extreme prejudice), you’re faced only with the sound of falling water, the sense of a stilled wind and the sight of an empty clearing at sunset. No trace of enemies.

And… no trace of Youki. …No indication of him or him having gone.

There’s only that one place you haven’t yet checked – that most probable place which you’ve thus far passed up by abiding in a pallid, powerless hope against those dim, forceful fears besieging it. …But no longer. …With heavy steps and a heavier heart, you make your way towards the waterfall’s landing.

Though day’s become dark, you catch sight of ‘it’ instantly on nearing the water’s edge. To have done as much isn’t a testament to your vision. …No, there’s no way anyone could possibly miss ‘it,’ shimmering silver in the sunset’s last light; being battered on the jagged rocks and drenched in the deluge. …His sightless eyes turned towards the newly-risen moon, Youki’s floating motionless on the water’s surface. He’s dead.





…Whoever murdered Youki made him suffer tremendously before cutting his throat. The sickening angles into which his arms and legs are twisted, the huge bruises on and splinters of broken bone sticking up through his previously ashen skin and the brutal way in which his jaw’s been smashed and his head caved in; all the evidence of his sad death indicates that his killer bludgeoned him savagely, mercilessly. …He didn’t deserve this. He… Youki – he’s someone who threatened your life, who not long ago truly and genuinely desired to work your death and to execute Konngara. But… after that, after that ridiculous quarrel was brought to its conclusion and expunged, the two of you gained a kind of understanding. …You might even have become good friends, given more time. …That’s why… this? …This is just… just too…

“Um… Myouren? …D-did you find Youki?”

From afar, the Lady’s nervous question finds your ears despite the gushing water’s best efforts. You’re able to count out her steps as she’s approaching shakily, her sandals squelching in the mud.

“…Where is he?” Yuyu asks again, more uneasy.

This… you should:
[ ] …Hide your tears, bid her stay back. There’s the danger you’ve sensed, but not yet seen.
[ ] …Hide your tears, bid her stay back. She shouldn’t see Youki like this.
[ ] …Try and say something to soften the sight, somehow. (Specify)
[ ] …Realize there’s nothing you can do but to allow access and mourn with her.
----------
>> No. 110640
Okay I'm going to try to calm down before thinking of choice, since it seems like due to a misaction of ours, he's dead, time paradox. But I wonder if there's something more or if we truly indeed screwed up. Still I'm going to need time to calm down and think.
>> No. 110641
>His sightless eyes turned towards the newly-risen moon, Youki’s floating motionless on the water’s surface. He’s dead.
[x] 2 choices back
>> No. 110644
...

So I guess the main question right now is: what can we accomplish by letting Yuyu see this aside from traumatizing her? I got nothing. She's seen some fucked up stuff... but this is just gruesome on a couple levels. I've got it in my head, if we were in Yuyu's position. Would I want to see it? You bet. Would I regret it? Maybe. Would I wish someone had stopped me? Probably. Take him home and clean him up so when she does look at him, she doesn't have to imagine what he must have gone through. We can mourn and comfort her then.

Oh, and
>“She’s very honest with herself, always so full of simple emotionality. It’s part of what makes her beautiful, but it means she can be just so unmanageable when she’s upset. So… boy~?” Murasaki’s rested her head on your shoulder, very demure. “Look out for her in my place, okay?”
Yeah, she really doesn't need this now.

[x] …Hide your tears, bid her stay back. She shouldn’t see Youki like this.

>>110640
I dunno man... choosing the waterfall, not choosing the right lesson, not going out to check on him when we had the chance, maybe nothing at all... I dunno. I'm bummed. Between this and the AFT update, TH-P is pretty depressing right now. I'm gonna start drinking early.
>> No. 110646
>>110641

Now that's just being hasty; if it was any other story, I'd do just that but with AGLA, things are not always as they seem in various regards. There's some angle at work, either it's an illusion, Yuyuko might be able to revive him. But I do not know the chances of this being a result of a pure screw up or not. But unless there's another angle, history will proceed in a worse direction than normal. I say take some moments to calm down, difficult as they may be.

>>110644
Who to say other than the author? If this was purely as it seems I'd go with that choice, but it is enough for me to reconsider my vote. I just have a feeling that delaying things might result badly. But yeah this sure is reader punch day on TH-P, and if I were a drinkin' man, I would be a drinkin'
>> No. 110647
Does Youki stay dead? If this story is factual in the timeline of Yukari's Gensokyo, than Youki should have future appearances.
>> No. 110650
>>110648
>Since this might answer the question of how a half-ghost comes about in the first place.

Read
>>100963
>"We are not a 'spectral knight,' mortal. We are a half-ghost. Call us... Susanoo. Speaking in a dispassionate monotone, Youki's doppelganger unexpectedly answers you.

>>106568
>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

Youki has always been a half ghost in this story.
>> No. 110651
>>110650

I stand corrected, but this raises the question: What happens to the ghost half when the normal half seemingly dies?
>> No. 110652
File 126412687794.jpg - (112.84KB , 640x480 , 1779336.jpg ) [iqdb]
110652
>>110651
That... is a fantastic question; one for which I have no answer. Here, have a manly old Youki instead because you're certainly not going to get one in this story anymore ;_;
>> No. 110653
>>110651
>What happens to the ghost half when the normal half seemingly dies?

Since one of you had the intelligence to bring it up, I'll just say it might be worth pursuing this question or at the very least, to keep it in mind.
>> No. 110656
>>110655
Well okay, I like where you're going with this. So what's your take on attempting to say something versus staying silent while we mourn with her? Latter is more straightforward, but I'm thinking there might be some merit with trying to work in your line of thought with a write-in... something to the effect "This will be very difficult for you Lady, as it was very difficult for me, but there's very little I know of half-ghosts. I need your wisdom in this trying time?"

I want you to be right, so lemme try to help where I can.
>> No. 110660
File 126413035393.jpg - (248.47KB , 889x1037 , 66045401.jpg ) [iqdb]
110660
>>110657
I'm down with this
[x] …Try and say something to soften the sight, somehow.
-[x] "This will be very difficult for you Lady, as it was very difficult for me, but there's very little I know of half-ghosts. I'm asking your knowledge because it might provide insight in the situation at hand"

I love the idea of putting the hurt on the fucker that did this, but I can't get Yoda's speech about the Dark Side out of my head whenever vengeance comes into consideration.


Oh, and ignore >>110644 now. 9 times out of 10, Opera does a pretty good job of remembering my passwords. Of course it fails now. I'm sorry.
>> No. 110661
>>110660

Good point there; though it wouldn't purely to be vengence. The hard part might be stopping Yuyuko from lashing out, since I'm sure Myouren and Konngara can reign in their vengeful instincts. The same cannot be said for Yuyu at all.
>> No. 110673
>>110660
Whatever. If it means that we'll make it suffer just like Youki here, sign me up.

[x] …Hide your tears, bid her stay back. She shouldn’t see Youki like this.
>> No. 110676
>>110673

You're not going to consider the write in and just write off Youki as fully dead?
>> No. 110677
>>110673
>If it means that we'll make it suffer just like Youki here, sign me up.
>make it suffer just like Youki here
>make it suffer
>it

...wat?
>> No. 110678
>>110677

I think he's referring to the matter of whatever 'killed' Youki.
>> No. 110683
>And there's a reason why I remarked on "Seemingly" dies, since I don't believe he's fully dead.

Unless you're trying to imply he's playing at being dead, I'm not sure what you mean. You see, Wiseman, this isn't Code Geass. People aren't going to get hit by nuclear weapons and come back in a way unfounded and unscathed ten episodes later.

>>110676
>>110678
See what I’ve said above.

But I'm not telling anyone here to lose hope. I understand this kind of declaration's apt to trigger another one of those magical moments at which people vanish away and decide not to vote at the presentation of some difficulty in the story, which is why I'll say now and again: have faith in me and in what I've said in the past. And have faith in yourselves, because every problem I've presented is fully resolvable by you.

>[x] …Try and say something to soften the sight, somehow.
>-[x] "This will be very difficult for you Lady, as it was very difficult for me, but there's very little I know of half-ghosts. I'm asking your knowledge because it might provide insight in the situation at hand"

I don't want to unduly influence your choices, but you've selected two different things. Read what you've said and ask yourselves if it's something that would serve to soften the sight that's going to greet a grieving Yuyu. Don't allow what I've said to substitute for your own common sense.

>but I can't get Yoda's speech about the Dark Side out of my head whenever vengeance comes into consideration.

What Myouren would say in answer on this question would probably be something like this:

"Speaking purely from what I've observed, I don't believe that righteous anger isn't without its place. Consider - have you ever met a person, not a Bodhisattva or Buddha; but a living, breathing human who's been without anger? Of course not; I've certainly not, anyway. Now, why might this be the case? …Because, as I see it; one incapable of hate isn't capable of love either, barring those enlightened who've attained Nirvana."

edit: missed something in the former post
>> No. 110685
[x] "This will be very difficult for you Lady, as it was very difficult for me, but there's very little I know of half-ghosts. I'm asking your knowledge because it might provide insight in the situation at hand."

The main point of this is to remind Yuyuko that he's a half ghost and to perhaps get things on to a hopefully more productive track.

>>110679

I don't think he was implying that he'd recover fully intact, but the matter of being a half ghost might present a bit of a loophole. It's not like whatever being that thrashed Youki had enough presence to also exorcise the ghost half. Since what other routes of hope is there barring Murasaki revealing herself or the Taiji having such a use. The way I see it the main way of fixing this is if his ghost half is still around, perhaps then we might be able to do something with the talents (magic, Hamon, etc) amassed. But it'll be nearly impossible if not fully so to undo being fully dead i.e. both halves.
>> No. 110690
[x] …Hide your tears, bid her stay back. She shouldn’t see Youki like this.
Put kill the one who did this to Youki number one on the to do list.
>> No. 110691
>>110636
[X] …Hide your tears, bid her stay back. She shouldn’t see Youki like this.

I'm sorry, but I can't justify subjecting Yuyu to something like this. >>110644 recanted, but the logic is sound. We can investigate the half-ghost aspect later when Yuyu isn't around.
>> No. 110692
>>110676
Any kind of LOL HE'S NOT REALLY DEAD should be a cheap cop out of this situation so... yeah, I'm gonna write him off as dead.

I sure hope I'm wrong though.
>> No. 110701
>>110692

Still if one gives up hope, then that might as well be the case. Belief does play a part in things and we might get some information from the ghost half if we find it. The Author spoke of every problem being resolvable and not losing hope. I doubt giving up would help. Since you must consider how he's a half ghost, and while his physical half is basically dead, his ghost half might be around.
If Youki is indeed undeniably dead all around, well this means we have to figure out the basically impossible: Bringing back the dead. That would no doubt require everyone's talents for such a notion to have a chance. I doubt even 'Murasaki' could easily do that fully using her powers. That's on top of the fact she's laying low for whatever reason.
Well let's see what happens, hopefully the author considers that question in a later moment, since I think it'd be the key to pulling him back.
>> No. 110703
----------
You... blink back your tears. Yuyu – she shouldn’t be subjected to the sight of Youki when he’s in such a pitiful state and… you shouldn’t put yourself ahead of her. When the time comes, the Lady should be the first who grieves for him. Not yours, not anyone else’s; it’s her right and… it’s also for what he would have wished.

“Has Konngara found something over there?” You’ve wheeled around, overplaying an interested glance behind her in a bid at subtly driving her attention away.

…It doesn’t work.

“Is… is there…” Yuyu falters, “…something behind you?” Her steps having slowed, she’s pressuring you and, though still quite far away; trying see past your silhouette.

...You'll respond to this by:
[ ] …Answering to the affirmative, but telling her it’s not something she should see right now.
[ ] …Lying. (Specify)
[ ] …Using an idea that’s come to you. Try manipulating the ‘miracle energy’ to have her fall asleep?
[ ] …Impeding her bodily.
----------
>> No. 110704
[x] …Using an idea that’s come to you. Try manipulating the ‘miracle energy’ to have her fall asleep?

I'm just hoping that this might uncover something more.
>> No. 110705
Well, damn.
>> No. 110709
>>110705

Yeah seems these things have started to drag on as of late. But I'm trying to figure out a way to resolve this problem since as it stands a dead Youki would have massive negative effect on the time flow and fate of Gensokyo. If this was Metal Gear Solid 3, we might have a "Time Paradox" screne with the Colonel chewing us out.
>> No. 110710
>>110709
I offer decisions at any moment where there's something that might have impact later on, because I can't very well reward you for something you haven't understood and chosen yourselves. It just so happens that one of those moments was immediately after the choice that won. Just how it goes, I guess? Well, vote faster and the story can move faster.
>> No. 110711
This is a tough one, but we've already decided to prevent her from seeing Youki like that against her wishes. No sense splitting hairs now; time to apply what we've learned from the Charming Demon School of Decision Making

[x] …Using an idea that’s come to you. Try manipulating the ‘miracle energy’ to have her fall asleep?

If we stop her, one of two things happens: she trusts in our judgment and we leave, or her stubborn streak kicks in and now we have an irate Yuyu on our hands. Considering we've suddenly decided to stonewall her in our search for Youki, my bet is on the latter. So let's bypass it, accept that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, and hope knocking Yuyu out in the immediate area provokes Susano-o into attacking us.

For some reason, lying just doesn't feel like an option to me.
>> No. 110713
>>110711
Or finding a new use for 'miracle energy'. Since at the direct moment, the potential keys to solving this problem are these: Susano-o (if it's still around), The Taiji, and our 'Miracle Energy'. I'd add in Yuyu's ability to control death, but A) we'll be knocking her out soon and B) I don't think her power has developed to the point of controlling ghosts. Even if that was the case, controlling ones not felled by her own hand is easily a hard to believe stretch by her ability's canonical limitations. Then again in canon, some of the characters lacked abilities they do here. So who knows what will happen in this story.
>> No. 110714
[x] …Answering to the affirmative, but telling her it’s not something she should see right now.
>> No. 110717
[x] …Answering to the affirmative, but telling her it’s not something she should see right now.
Danger is lurking.
>> No. 110719
[x] …Answering to the affirmative, but telling her it’s not something she should see right now.
I hate such situation and don't know how to deal with them.
>> No. 110722
Anyone else have an idea on basically pulling Youki back to the living? Since the Author did say not to lose hope about this.(That implies a chance that something can be done) I shouldn't be the only one mentioning possible routes to go about doing that. Yeah he's dead, but I'm sure there's an angle that will allow us to undo that. I suspect the little scene with Mima seemingly cold-hearted rejecting our apology (but in reality saying "because there was no need") might have been a test for when this scene came up.
>> No. 110741
----------
You’ve a sudden idea – that kiss you gave Mima with the ‘miracle energy,’ Hamon? That kiss she returned you with sevenfold intensity, so emotionally heightening that it brought you to climax? …What if you were able to harness that same power, only in inverse?

“It’s… that light again?” Yuyu stammers in surprise. “Myouren? …What’s going on?”

Concentrating, your breaths gaining force and falling into phase; you’ve taken the window in which she’s been distracted by the Hamon to close with her.

“M-myouren?” Though her tone’s vaguely fearful, there’s not a hint of distrust reflected in her dark eyes for you, now immediately forward.

“…Forgive me, Yuyu.”

With this preemptive apology, you bring both hands forward and touch your fingertips, a shimmering golden trail in the wake of their motion; to the sides of her smooth neck. She only manages a small gasp before the ‘miracle energy’ flows into her and, like a puppet whose strings have been cut; the Lady crumples.

“...He’s there. Youki is.” Having picked her up, you’re whispering softly to her slumbering face, temporarily smoothed of its sorrow and care. “Just like you thought, he’s at my back. But… nothing good can come from seeing him like this, Yuyu. I don’t want you to hurt yourself or anyone else and Youki wouldn’t either; so sleep, and let me protect him a little while longer.”

With a mind to the yet-unknown danger, you’ve carried her back towards the water’s edge and laid her down in the grass beside. You’re thinking as to what you should do now when you’ve become aware of another set of approaching footsteps, these with a heavier tread than the Lady’s and a longer pause between their smooth strides.

“…Lady Saigyouji?” Konngara calls uncertainly, noticing that she’s on the ground. Now hurrying over, it’s with a moderate alarm in her amber eyes that she appraises the situation, glancing first to Yuyu’s sleeping face and then to yours. “Is she afflicted?”

You nod. “With grief. I’ve only barely prevented her from seeing… that.” Lowering your head, you somberly indicate to behind and adjust how you’ve seated yourself, that she may see. Konngara peers around your torso, looks askance at the waterfall, her gaze falling onto that area below it; and recoils in horror.

“Sir Youki!”

In a gesture urging that she listen, you raise your hand. “…I know it’s horrible, Konngara, but stay quiet for her sake.” You point to the Lady. “I only just managed to put her to sleep, so that I’ve time to think of what I’m going to do with Youki.”

“...Whatever might you mean?” She asks quietly, her face started to become streaked with silent tears.

“I’m saying she should be spared the sight of how brutally Youki’s met his end.” Your clarification’s in a solemn voice. “I don’t think anything good can come from her seeing.”

As Konngara expresses agreement with your opinion, you decide to:
[ ] Leave. Take the Lady and return to with the others?
[ ] Ask Konngara’s help. Could she possibly take Yuyu and return to Hirokawa?
[ ] Hide him. Possibly have Konngara help you move his corpse somewhere out of sight?
[ ] Hamon – Maybe the Vairocana’s power can improve the condition of the corpse?
[ ] VAJRA – TIME TO WORK A MIRACLE!
----------
>> No. 110742
[x] Ask Konngara’s help. Could she possibly take Yuyu and return to Hirokawa?
and then try the
[x] Hamon – Maybe the Vairocana’s power can improve the condition of the corpse?
>> No. 110743
[x] VAJRA – TIME TO WORK A MIRACLE!
The author said to not lose hope with this, anon said to not lose hope with this, so here's my fucking hope.
>> No. 110744
[x] Ask Konngara’s help. Could she possibly take Yuyu and return to Hirokawa?
and then try the
[x] Hamon – Maybe the Vairocana’s power can improve the condition of the corpse?
>> No. 110746
[x] Hamon – Maybe the Vairocana’s power can improve the condition of the corpse?
[x] VAJRA – TIME TO WORK A MIRACLE!

Now this is a worthy use as any of our big guns. I figure that we use Hamon to fix up his corpse, then use the Vajra to do the big Miracle, who knows it might end up amplifying Hamon to do the task.
>> No. 110751
>>110750
>I'll change my mind if we find Susano-o, though, because that might mean he hasn't 'moved on to his reward' yet.

Friendly reminder - you may not yet fully understand the situation, but think about where you are presently and how that might change things.
>> No. 110753
>>110751

Yet I'm worried if we wait too long Youki would do just that, moving on to his reward. Too bad looking for Susano-o isn't an option.

But we should consider Youki's half ghost nature and the fact this is close by the tree, its power might actually keep his soul around as to allow ressurection, since it's been said that people that Yuyuko kills cannot move on from the netherworld. Not sure if this is true but it might provive some insight. This might have possibly trapped Susano-o perhaps. Hard to tell, but the last thing I want to do is just give up like Simon in the last episode of TTGL, and this attitude would be bad for this kind of story.
>> No. 110757
FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Now I'm wondering if looking for Susano-o would be a good thing. We have completely been overlooking the fact that the tree will be blooming tomorrow; if it's close to blooming, it's probably a lot more powerful now than it was 10 years ago when it first woke up (all those crows and the oppressive atmosphere). Youki's half-ghost heritage may have made him resistant in the past, but what if the Saigyou Ayakashi was a lot stronger now? Maybe strong enough to control Susano-o? We know someone or something killed him, but we have been ignoring who or what. Of everyone capable of doing that much damage, his ghost half is the only one with the means, access, and motivation. Oh god, it even explains the odd sensation of being watched.

>It’s sharpened.

Oh fuck, I'm really regretting putting Yuyu to sleep now.

[x] VAJRA – TIME TO WORK A MIRACLE!

We need to blast the influence of the Saigyou Ayakashi out of the area or something right now.
>> No. 110761
>>110757

counter-FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

But that makes me wonder is retreating back to Yuyuko's place going to be enough to escape its influence?

Still it might be due to its nature that we can get his soul back, though I think we should at least fix up his body before trying to do the big miracle.
>> No. 110765
[x] VAJRA – TIME TO WORK A MIRACLE!
DO IT
>> No. 110766
Writing.
>> No. 110769
>Hamon
Would you just call it "Ripple" already? It sounds way the fuck better than "Hamon," and most of all, it doesn't make me think of a damned sandwich.

Ripple brings to mind nature imagery. Hamon just sounds like retarded Jojo translation decisions and cheesey, meaty sandwiches.

It doesn't matter how "correct" Hamon is, it still sounds bad. And if you disagree, then go ahead and enjoy your miraculous sandwich energy. At least now we know why Yuyu is always hungry, as a ghost.
>> No. 110770
>>110769

Ripple reminds me of potato chips. Sound good a Hamon and cheese sandwich and some Ripple chips.
>> No. 110771
>miraculous sandwich energy
>> No. 110772
>miraculous sandwich energy

After reading this, I prefer Hamon. Can't imagine why.
>> No. 110773
>>110772
>>110771

Also, shit, don't know how that happened.
>> No. 110774
>>110769
Borders, death, time, fate, destruction, distance, supernatural phenomenon, density, nuclear fusion... sandwiches?
>> No. 110784
>>110774
We are the manwich. And hey, we have enough people to make one this time.
>> No. 110786
[x] Offense action – Tell Acala and Konngara to cover you and undertake a detection.

We need to know what we're fighting so we can plan another step, since for all we know our foes might not be affected by Yuyu's powers.
>> No. 110788
[x] Offense action – Tell Acala and Konngara to cover you and undertake a detection.
Things are looking up
>> No. 110797
>>110769
Wow, re-reading this, I sound angry, and not merely mocking, like I'd meant it to be.

>>110785
Really? Well, cool. Carry on, then.

>>110772
Assuming that was sarcastic, since it sounds like it: Maybe because you're a contrary jerk who takes issue with any forcefully-worded commentary as a matter of policy, automatically taking the opposite position out of spite?

And now I'm back at angry again.
>> No. 110800
[x] Offense action – Tell Acala and Konngara to cover you and undertake a detection.
>> No. 110801
>you’ve no idea what anything is anymore
Sounds about right.
>> No. 110803
So Youkai's not really dead? The brutality of his death suggests it isn't directly the Saigyou Ayakashi, but more probably Murasaki (or something summoned by Murasaki), so as to galvanize Yuyu et al. into sealing the tree. Her attempt now would be to remove the other meddlers.

[x] Offense action – Tell Acala and Konngara to cover you and undertake a detection.

We should meet up with Mima, but we might be ambushed on the way back by the perpetrator. Additionally, the other possibility is that Mima killed. We know she's very good with telekinesis, possibly good enough to tear him apart. Motive would possibly be suicide or her own attempt at forcing Yuyu to perform the ritual.
>> No. 110809
File 126434939169.jpg - (92.53KB , 744x1024 , 290534.jpg ) [iqdb]
110809
>The two of them were having that strange conversation and one of the things he said (to which you paid no heed at the time) was that Youki’s body was something like that of a construct’s.

I'm kinda upset I missed that. Been getting lazy.

>If this isn’t love, you’ve no idea what anything is anymore.

I see what you did there, and I love it.

[x] Offense action – Tell Acala and Konngara to cover you and undertake a detection.
>> No. 110812
>>110797

That short detour in the matter of food puns did a great job of breaking the tension among the voters. At least I thank you for bringing that up.

>>110803
It's too soon to start blaming people until we find out who's attacking. I don't think Murasaki would want Yuyu to seal the tree as she does in canon.
But leaving isn't an option just due to the fact that the defensive aspect would be poor and that we'd be leaving Youki's body behind. That'd be real bad if they were after his body.
>> No. 110813
Writing.
>> No. 110821
>>110813

hooray
>> No. 110822
>>110769
It'll happen soon. Can't say any more than that, yet.

--------------------
Both looking on poor Youki and wracking your brains as to how you might help him, the two of you’ve been sitting in silence, the Lady sleeping on the grass between you; when all of a sudden…

“Have you gained a resolution?” Konngara gazes up in regard at you, or more specifically; at the form of that which you’re holding, outlined against the starry sky.

Your Vajra.

“I have, Konngara.” Your answer’s made staring at Youki, hefting the Vajra in your hands. “You’ll be bearing witness to a miracle.”

Eyes closed, emotions ascending, mind purified of the world and become luminous, one with the cosmos; you’re feeling the characters inlaid on your Vajra and beginning a prayer, calling on Ashuku Nyorai’s succor. The force of his lightning bolt is the force of sudden wisdom, but also the power of animation and revival – the ‘master spark’ whose divine thunder empowers all living things. It’s a power simultaneously similar and different to that of Vairocana’s in aspect, for if the sun’s that wellspring from which all life grows and is constantly renewed; lightning is a metaphor for the moment of birth – an instantaneous conception striking life into where there was before only the unconscious flesh.

In a word, exactly that for which the situation now calls.

When your old abbot gave you these Vajra, on that day you were setting off for Nara to become formally ordained; you were flabbergasted. These, these were beautiful works of art, these were the icons of your sect and, most of all; these were the containers of an immense spiritual power! Added atop your own, it was enough to make possible almost anything! In fact, he explicated to you those sundry wonders he had accomplished with similar in his own youth, one of which was ‘the curing of any sickness or injury, short of death.’ In considering your course, this memory at first only invited despondence in you until you remembered something – Youki was always a corpse! That first skirmish in which you touched his soul with your mind and wondered at its coldness, his outlandish, but very striking good looks, his unusually low body temperature; Susano-o illuminated it all yesterday! Not to you, no; but to Acala, while the four of you were hard at work in the kitchen yesterday night!

The two of them were having that strange conversation and one of the things he said (to which you paid no heed at the time) was that Youki’s body was something like that of a construct’s. What was for almost everyone else a ‘cage of flesh for the soul,’ was how he put it; for Youki, that was a ‘marionette of flesh.’ Youki’s soul existed outside his body in the personality of Susano-o and that was why Acala, as a sacred image projected by your life force, was able to interact with him – they were the same kind of being.

So, how does this all tie into the situation at hand?

In short, Youki’s life isn’t tied directly to his body, isn’t ended until such time his spirit moves on to the Yama!* If you’re not mistaken, you’ve only to restore his flesh and find Susano-o to bring him back to his Lady! The Vajra held in your hands and uplifted against the heavens will make that hope, reality! You feel it now, the overwhelming brilliance of its spiritual energies coalescing, converging; changing into a godly thunderbolt to strike life into his stilled hear-

A piercing whistle splits the night air.

Immediately following this signal, there’s the simultaneous strain of spiteful harps; their sound subtle, sinister and all-too familiar.

Bows.

“Konngara, my back!”
“One called Konngara! Our back!”

She’s already ahead of you, both of you. As you withdrew your Vajra (still intact) and before you finished your respective warnings, Konngara was arisen and ready as the arrows soared in. Their flights slashing the space around as a squall of spears, they fall thickly against your group of three; around, above and on. But, though you’re hardly able to see them with your eyes; with Acala supporting (per that command you delivered earlier) and your own mentally heightened state, you’ve no difficulty in deflecting those five that came at your front and sides.

…And your back?

As easily as one might take something out a sack, Konngara brushed away some six arrows with something she’d hidden in her sleeve. A fox’s tail.

“I was instructed in its exercise as a part of my education in the eighteen martial weapons,” she whispers.

Holding it in her left hand, her right wielding her axe, she’s intercepted all those arrows that would have contacted her. Holding your dagger in your left hand, your right wielding your staff, you’ve intercepted all those arrows that would have contacted you. Together, you’ve successfully defended each other, and the Lady too; standing over her sleeping form, pressed back-to-back.

Surrounded and outnumbered, ringed all about by hidden enemies of unknown identity, you’re not able to imagine any better date with Konngara on this young evening and, judging by the fighting blood that’s risen in her amber eyes, looking into yours from over her shoulder; she’s of the same mind. You’ve raised your staff and she, her blade; readying for this next clash, both wearing frenetic, joyous smiles.

If this isn’t love, you’ve no idea what anything is anymore.

How best to thank your bashful, anonymous attackers for affording you this chance?
[ ] Offensive action – Tell Acala and Konngara to cover you and undertake a detection.
[ ] Defensive action – Focus on catching all the incoming arrows and find a way to counterattack.
[ ] Wake the Lady – Show them what it means to kill something.
[ ] Leave – The two (three) of you could do with a place more private than this.
[ ] VAJRA – THEY’VE PROVIDED THE RAIN. WHY DON’T YOU PROVIDE THE LIGHTNING?
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------
*As much as humans, Devas, Asura and every other existence that falls within the Six Courses of Being, ghosts have a lifespan in Mahayana lore, albeit a very, very long one.

edit: small corrections made
>> No. 110824
[x] Wait – didn’t Mima describe at length about this kind of situation earlier? Isn’t this one of those moments where you get the villain gloating about his triumphs? Ask a question and get him talking?
-[x] Signal your partner for a combined attack against that man when his usefulness disappears and once (if) she has eliminated all other opposition.
>> No. 110829
>you’ve no difficulty in deflecting those five that came at your front and sides.
>As easily as one might take something out a sack, Konngara brushed away some six arrows with something she’d hidden in her sleeve. A fox’s tail.
>Fifteen foes, drawn out in a wide net throughout the forest to your front and rear, on both sides of the waterfall
>Interrupting your thoughts is the piercing shrill of two whistles, in quick succession. The sound of another draw follows immediately, of powerful bows tensed against powerful arms
>he’s moving his fingers back under his mask, to whistle

Looks like he's planning to call in a second barrage of arrows. 11 in total, since there were 4 crow riders, and he's the last one left. While we're dodging, he's going to go on the counter-attack. Situation is far from ideal in terms of effectively attacking back.

>“If you’d just let yourself be framed, you could have died painlessly. Instead, you come out here and try to undo all our hard work. You know how long it took us to mutilate that corpse?”

Tengu trying to blame Youki's death on us? The fuck? 'Mutilate that corpse' = dead before he got beat to shit... so the slit throat was first? Why the hell are the tengu involved, no less than a day before the Saigyou Ayakashi blooms? I've read everything the wiki has about tengu, and nothing would explain why they've mobilized in force like this.
It's also kinda weird that crow tengu would be deployed for an operation like this, since you'd expect the white wolf tengu to be used for anything related to armed conflict. If we're dealing with crow tengu, this is the information corps; this was probably supposed to be an act of espionage rather than all out conflict. That would explain why they're employing a squad of sharpshooters with only a small handful of close-quarter troops.

I want to try and use the "Wait – didn’t Mima describe at length about this kind of situation earlier?" vote as a way of getting leader dude to get an over-inflated sense of self importance regarding being chosen for something like this to get him to spill why the tengu are involved, but... how much do we know about tengu society? It's been alluded to that we've experienced their ilk before, but the kind of insight is pretty specialized.

sage for baseless speculation and not voting.
>> No. 110833
edit2: Spelling.

>>110826
>How many Vajra do we have left?

The last one wasn't consumed because you were interrupted too soon, so three. Also, just for your convenience in future inquests of this kind, just use:

[ ] Status.

If you'd like to know what you're carrying and what's your present condition.

----------
“To think, we’re fighting alongside each other again so soon,” you’re reflecting enthusiastically, speaking askance. “We’ll have to find some way of thanking them who brought us together, won’t we, Konngara?”

“Truly.” She’s giggling, nonchalantly waving the fox tail as a more normal woman would, a fan. “Have you some plan?”

You cast your eyes about, at the mass of pine trees before and behind, at the foothills of the peak and its moderate waterfall on your left, at the broad lowlands on your right; just in time to hear those spiteful harps straining once more. “We’ll save the miracle for a little later, I think. For right now, I’ll see about figuring out their number.” You’ve started sketching out a rough plan, now arriving at her role. “Konngara, focus on warding yourself and the Lady, alright?”

“Without fail.” Her relaxed reply’s made with axe brandished, prepared in protection for the next wave of arrows pouring in.

For your part, you’re disregarding them; both the rending rapidity of those falling wide and the blunted ringing of those falling close, made to ricochet away by the sweeping parries of Konngara’s axe and Acala’s golden arms. Filtering out these trivial distractions completely, you’ve closed the eyes of your flesh in order that you may open the eyes of your heart. You won’t be able to get a very clear picture under the circumstances and in such haste but, if you won’t be able to determine their nature; their spiritual signatures should at least tell you something of their relative positions. Your psyche, as dark and clear as the sky above, becomes that of the world around you, searching; its mystic fingers groping out into the emptiness to find the life about.

…As expected, it’s hazy.

Your psychic imaging of the area’s produced in your mind only a very rough representation of the area surrounding, full of holes. As it’s still formative, embryonic; you’d need more time to really tell, but from a quick count of the ‘lights’ you’re ‘seeing’* (excluding your group) there’s something like… twelve? Fourteen? No, there’s another one – the most dazzling of all attacking you, no less. Fifteen foes, drawn out in a wide net throughout the forest to your front and rear, on both sides of the waterfall and-

Interrupting your thoughts is the piercing shrill of two whistles, in quick succession. The sound of another draw follows immediately, of powerful bows tensed against powerful arms but, unlike those times before; mixed in with their straining is a new noise – a dissonant din. Harsh, horrible; it’s the discordant thrashing of dreadful appendages raking against the air.

Four sets of furious wings, forcefully flapping.

Ascending above the height of the trees are black shapes, larger than any bird you’ve seen. Though already very far-off, they’re making further distance on you both.

“These foes bear lances!” Konngara quickly discerns; her sharp eyes fixed on the two before her.

Her alert comes right as they’ve wheeled around to attack. Lances couched beneath their arms; they’re diving with incredible speed, descending on Konngara and yourself with all the force of an avalanche.

She’s more than ready. With the practiced nerve of one who’s matched unequally against spears countless times and won; Konngara meets the enemies’ double assault with unruffled ease, taking advantage of the minute time lag between their strikes. By twisting ever-so-slightly, she catches the shaft of the first lance under her left arm and shunts it into the dirt at her side. With her right hand, she hurls the huge axe at the remaining attacker’s head with the knowledge that he’s unable to evade; the inertial forces on him rendering any significant change in his angular momentum impossible. The nearly-concurrent consequence is that both are incapacitated – the former breaking his neck as he’s vaulted into the ground by his own lance, the latter sent crashing down with a smashed skull. As it’s about to collide with her, she delivers the second’s corpse a deft kick away and sends it careening, having pulled the lance from its hands. Finally, flourishing it in a fanfare; she twirls the lance down and smiles winsomely.

Flawless victory.

You’re unable to make the same claim, though it’s not through any fault of yours. In the same instant as happened behind you, aggressors wielding paired spears swooped in and struck simultaneously, from different directions. With an artful alacrity attained in countless repetitions, your counterattack was to put your knife between the first attacker’s eyes, having drawn and thrown it in a single fluid motion; and to disarm the other with a lash of your rope. The difficulties you encountered were in executing the latter half of that. As the first enemy smashed into the ground nearby, you’d instantly extracted your binding rope from around your waist and connected, holding it in a reversed grip as you pulled the remaining enemy’s lance wide. Trailing on the rope’s success was your staff, motioning to smash that last adversary’s skull through the opening you’d created.

You struck only air.

As much as Konngara, he too was experienced at exploiting time lags. In the split-second gap between the surprise attack of your rope and the strike of your staff, he’d dropped his lance and kicked off from you, taking to the air once more.

That agile foe, two fingers pressed to his lips as he hovered coolly, just out of your reach; was as like in shape to that of a tall, strongly-built man as any of his now-fallen comrades, but for one addition. Matching the unadorned black harness in which they’re all dressed, reminiscent of an assassin’s garb; on the breadth of their backs are broad, black-feathered wings. Even without accounting for the characteristic hats, geta and long-nosed masks they’ve donned, you would know exactly what these are.

Tengu.

“You ungrateful piece of shit,” the sole survivor, probably the commander, judging by the red feathers cresting his mask alone; spits contemptuously at you. “If you’d just let yourself be framed, you could have died painlessly. Instead, you come out here and try to undo all our hard work. You know how long it took us to mutilate that corpse?” Indicating scornfully towards Youki’s lifeless body, he’s moving his fingers back under his mask, to whistle; when you:
[ ] Signal to Konngara for a combination attack.
[ ] Wake the Lady.
[ ] ...feel prompted to ask about that one. Does this dirtbag know Shameimaru?
[ ] VAJRA – DIE MONSTER (s), YOU DON’T BELONG IN THIS WORLD
[ ] Wait – didn’t Mima describe at length about this kind of situation earlier? Isn’t this one of those moments where you get the villain gloating about his triumphs? Ask a question and get him talking? (Specify)
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------
*Reminder, as it’s been a while. Think of the technique he’s using as something like radar for magical energies, in which stronger beings appear more brightly. Most kinds of animals and plants would only register as background light, whereas humans and weaker ghosts would appear to be something like faint ‘stars.’ The most luminous he’s encountered so far is pissed-off Youki with his ghost half materialized, which appeared almost as a ‘moon’ to his spiritual sight. By comparison, Konngara and Mima have seemed (so far) as very bright ‘stars’ and that monster you killed in the opening would probably be about the same. A top-level youkai like Yuuka would (in her default, not-particularly serious state of mind) probably display as a giant moon. The one exception to this rule is the undead, (skeletons, zombies and vampires included) which serve to ‘jam’ his ability within a certain radius and don’t show up normally, though the sense of death and lifelessness around them makes not at all invisible.

As a last note, keep in mind that:
a.) Myouren isn’t at all the only one capable of employing this technique and that
b.) This technique isn’t without limitations on what’s its able to accomplish. Specifically, while it might be able to tell you the relative potency of those you encounter and whether there’s any TENGU NINJAS LOL waiting to ambush you on calling Tewi, relative potency doesn’t necessarily translate to a direct knowledge of an opponent’s actual threat to you all.

Consider the following example: Myouren inexplicably finds himself confronting a Perfect and Elegant Maid and the Eternally Young Scarlet Moon. The latter’s going to appear brighter on his register, though the former’s the more dangerous by far. Compared to a vampire, whose numerous weaknesses he’s fully able to exploit regardless of however many strengths she has, he’s got absolutely no means of countering Sakuya’s ability. For matter, neither does anyone else in your group, actually.

TLDR version: You can use your detection at any time and in various ways. There’s some creative uses for which you can apply it in conjunction with your companions, so keep that in mind.
>> No. 110835
File 126440438992.jpg - (24.13KB , 474x355 , gaijin4wtf.jpg ) [iqdb]
110835
Hooooooooooooleeeeeeeeeeeee sheeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

[x] ...feel prompted to ask about that one. Does this dirtbag know Shameimaru?

Shameimaru?! Shameimaru! Sha... Shameimaru? Shameimaru!! Wait... God damn! What is this I don't even

Tag overload. Okay wait, we've got an in on this. We know what tengu are capable of (I think), but this... this is out their league. If name dropping Aya isn't enough to elicit something:

[x] Wait – didn’t Mima describe at length about this kind of situation earlier? Isn’t this one of those moments where you get the villain gloating about his triumphs? Ask a question and get him talking: "How did you manage to operate this deeply within the sphere of the Lady's influence without arousing her suspicion?"

Seriously, for the detection abilities that are abound, managing to infiltrate that shit is impressive.
>> No. 110837
[x] Wait – didn’t Mima describe at length about this kind of situation earlier? Isn’t this one of those moments where you get the villain gloating about his triumphs? Ask a question and get him talking?
-[x] "What point was there in killing and desecrating his body afterwards? And to pin it on me or my party. I certainly hope that this isn't because of the run in I had with that... Miss Shameimaru. It'd be sad to see the proud race of Tengu go so far to do something so petty as to drag someone else into a grudge against another."
[x] "But I must say I am impressed with how your unit snuck past the lady's detection abilities, I wonder how you managed that."
[x] While he's asking signal Konngara for a combination attack when he's finished and she's able.

As much as I'd think waking her up to unleash hell would be great, I think it'd be better that she didn't know since she might snap and kill EVERYTHING, including us. So that's best off as a last resort. Also we should try to find out why they're here as to weed out a greater threat.
Sure I might suspect Aya being pissy, but I doubt it, but this would get some kind of reaction I'd figured.
>> No. 110838
[x] Wait – didn’t Mima describe at length about this kind of situation earlier? Isn’t this one of those moments where you get the villain gloating about his triumphs? Ask a question and get him talking?
-[x] "What point was there in killing and desecrating his body afterwards? And to pin it on me or my party. I certainly hope that this isn't because of the run in I had with that... Miss Shameimaru. It'd be sad to see the proud race of Tengu go so far to do something so petty as to drag someone else into a grudge against another."
[x] "But I must say I am impressed with how your unit snuck past the lady's detection abilities, I wonder how you managed that."
[x] While he's asking signal Konngara for a combination attack when he's finished and she's able.
>> No. 110849
Boards seem a little slower than normal, huh?

Writing.
>> No. 110850
>>110849
I don't want to use names, but someone who should be writing just does not write.
>> No. 110851
>>110850

Sounds like a laziness epidemic, and i think a few other boards are faster than /th/ at the moment.
>> No. 110852
>>110849
>>110850
>>110851

I think even /at/ is faster than most boards right now.
>> No. 110853
>>110849
Seriously. On the plus side, it's been a long time since /sdm/ has been this active.
>> No. 110855
>>110853

Any of the new stories there worth reading? I keep trying to click on the threads, but am assailed with flashbacks of the last time I did such a thing in /sdm/. By which I mean wiseman.
>> No. 110856
>>110855
Idea of Alice is pretty good, but the author still needs to learn the ropes regarding what flies and what is reviled on the board. Eldest Scarlet sounds a little self-inster-ish at times, but has a sound concept.

And if you're not reading A Fairy's Tale, you're missing one of the best stories on TH-P.
>> No. 110870
School/work's left me more tired than I expected. Update (two?) will be tomorrow.
>> No. 110875
File 126452582122.png - (1.60MB , 1800x2708 , 8248204.png ) [iqdb]
110875
>>110870
>Update (two?)

Yes please.
>> No. 110887
----------
Tengu. While generally a danger to good people everywhere, heralds of misfortune and woe; they’re also the mortal enemies of your faith, its clergy especially. You’d heard all the stories in your time as a novice – of the priests slain, driven insane or, worst of all; led astray, lured into renunciation by their seductive evil. But, even knowing all this; you still fell prey to their wiles on becoming ordained and entering the world proper. Your last brush with the Tengu very nearly saw your honor tarnished, your virtue ruined and your powers lost, drained away in sensual slavery and dissipated by sexual bondage. Though these are obviously very different from that one, having enough pretenses about their own abilities to try engaging you on the battlefield instead of engaging you in bed; the memory of that harrowing, humiliating experience is still with you.

“Is Shameimaru behind this?” Challenging him with your eyes as much as your words, you’re glaring hard at the Tengu leader.

His hand stops. Instead of going under the mask, his fingers reach over its front and remove it, pushing back onto his forehead.

“Get tricked by the slut, kid?”

The features on his leering face, now in plain display, could be concisely described under the qualifier of ‘masculine.’ From his sunken, swept-back black eyes, topped by a bushy pair of tufted brows; to his broad, straight nose with its high bridge, to the newly-outgrown stubble swathing his strong, square chin; every constituent characteristic of his countenance lends itself towards a collective aura of feral virility. This might be your first encounter with one, but, if he’s representative of his fellows; male Tengu apparently have as much of an enticing appeal towards most of the opposite gender as the women of their species.

Most of the opposite gender.

“Your manner of speech is foul.” Konngara declares with categorical disgust, facing him with eyes narrowed.

“Welll excuuuse me, Princess!” Mocking her, he’s slapping his thigh as he swims about in the air, apparently getting a huge rise out of what she’s said.

At noticing she’s gripping her lance more tightly than before, you set a hand on her shoulder. Though no words are exchanged (which is a good – Shameimaru told you offhand that the ears of most Tengu are good enough to discern the difference between a bat’s screech and a whale’s song), Konngara’s able to grasp your intent. After drawing in once, she relaxes and is returned to her former condition of attentive good cheer.

“I’m… acquainted with her, yes.” You answer to the Tengu commander and pose your initial question again. “Is she the one that put you up to this?”

“Ha ha, are you fucking kidding me?” He laughs rowdily, as if you’ve just asked the most stupid question imaginable. “Who’d play the dog to a dirty, disgusting, diseased slut like that? She’d sooner stop taking dicks than I would take orders from someone like her.”

“Aren’t you being unnecessarily pejorative?” …Though you have no great love for that Tengu who almost succeeded in corrupting you away from the Eightfold Path, your personal justice compels you towards a more even-handed appraisal. “Shameimaru’s scheming, selfish and wanton, but intentionally impious and malevolent she isn’t.”

At how you’ve defended his fellow Tengu, the commander’s curiously stopped laughing. He changes the position in which he’s hovering to carefully scrutinize your face. “Oh, I get it now. You must be that guy, the one she’s been going on about. The Saint. Never thought you’d be the same kid as our mark.” Shaking his head, he’s smirking repulsively. “Well Mister Saint, it’s not your girlfriend the slut who’s calling the shots.”

“It’s you, right?” Ignoring his blatant provocations by feigning obliviousness, you gesture around at the masks of his dead henchmen and then to his own. “Your crest and comparably greater prowess clearly indicate that you’re their captain.”

As befits a Tengu, a race of demons born from the resentful spirits of the vain and prideful; his chin goes visibly higher. “Pretty perceptive, kid. You’re right on the money – I’m the squadron leader, a veteran of five campaigns and still three times faster than any of the guys under him.” He boasts vaingloriously, brushing the crimson plumage mounting his mask.

Your gambit’s working, so you’ll feed his ego further. “Your unit’s really something, to have infiltrated into this land and assassinated Youki undetected,” you offer (what you hope is a) compliment, stopping short of the ‘how did you do it?’ lest you become too obvious.

“We had help. Wouldn’t have taken a job like this without, even if it was the Boss’ telling me.” He states enigmatically. “And so you know, we weren’t the ones that killed that kid.” He points to Youki’s body again, smirk growing haughtier. “All we did was to make it look like you did it.”

“I don’t suppose you’ll tell me the ‘how’ or ‘why’ of your reasons,” you put forward your hopes, appealing to your training in order that your indignation remain suppressed and that you stay self possessed; “or if you know who killed him?”

“…Maybe.” To your great surprise, he doesn’t answer definitely to the negative. “You’ll have to do something for me in return though, kid.” Signaling his intent to parley, the Tengu commander folds his hands and lands on the stream’s opposite bank, a comfortable distance away from you.

“…What are the terms you’re proposing?” You request skeptically.

“Very easy ones.” Arms not leaving their pacific position, he performs a flashy pirouette and directs your attention once, twice; thrice with his leg. “I want the remains of my men.”

“What manner of farce is this?” Konngara raises her voice, scowling severely. “You happily admit to desecrating Sir Youki’s corpse but still have the gall, the duplicity to ask of us the honor you denied him? Where is your sense of shame?” Tensed once more, lance practically shivering in her white-knuckled hands; she looks quite ready for recourse to arms when you touch her shoulder again.

“As men and women of honor, we will hear you out completely before casting our lot,” you declare firmly at your enemy as much as to your guarded, gorgeous friend. “What are you offering in return for the dignity of your fellows; a dignity you’ve deprived of my dead friend?”

“Let’s see,” The Tengu commander’s mulling it over, tapping his foot. “I let you leave without any more fighting and…” he wavers, looking reluctant, “Guess I can also do one or two questions.”

“…I can’t understand your reasons for claiming to want to deal with us in any terms other than a betrayal. …Is this offer of ‘letting me leave’ just Tengu doublespeak for ‘I’m going to try and catch you off-guard so that I can kill you?’” You ask point-blank.

“Are you fucking kidding me, kid?” He responds coolly, completely in control despite his words. “I’m a soldier under orders, with responsibilities to the guys following me. Right now, three of them are dead and my mission’s already tanked. What’s the point in sticking around and losing more in a fight with you?” He asks in reply, his tone having assumed that ‘you are an idiot for making me have to spell out something so obvious’ for the second time.

“…There’s something else I need to know.” You state seriously, not convinced.

He closes his eyes and sighs. “Shoot.”

After checking that Yuyu’s still sleeping soundly, you present your demand. “Are you planning to destroy or escape with Youki’s corpse?”

“You’re a suspicious little shit, you know that?” The Tengu commander jeers disparagingly. “I don’t need your dead body and I definitely don’t need that kid’s that we smashed. Just tell me what your answer’s going to be, already!”

There’s a weight against your side as Konngara’s leaning on you bodily, chest squished on your arm. Giving an unpleasant look towards your enemy, she whispers a soft query in your ear. “…How are you disposed?”

Your inclination is to:
[ ] Accept his offer – ask a question(s).
[ ] Decline his offer – IT’S TIME FOR THE LOVE-LOVE ATTACK!

If the first option:
[ ]…Just what has Shameimaru been saying about me?
[ ] …Who’s this ‘Boss’ you mentioned?
[ ] …I’d like your name.
[ ] …Who killed Youki?
[ ] …Can you speculate, purely theoretically, of course; as to why anyone would want to frame me for Youki’s death?
[ ] …Lady Saigyouji has recently encountered something blocking her powers. Do you know anything about it?
[ ] Ask something else. (Specify)
----------

Make sure you actually read the update before voting.
>> No. 110888
[x] Decline his offer – IT’S TIME FOR THE LOVE-LOVE ATTACK!
-[x] Do not kill him, just knock him out and perform a through interrogation later.

Why 2 answers when we could get all 6?
>> No. 110890
Well as much as I'd accept to end things without fighting, we're not going to leave the area until we bring Youki back. But if they want to retreat, I'm not stopping them. In short, it's the whole having us leave part that bugs me. That and I'd rather go about reviving Youki than to pursue vengeance.
>> No. 110891
File 126456494260.png - (234.10KB , 478x359 , marble screw.png ) [iqdb]
110891
>>110888
>IT’S TIME FOR THE LOVE-LOVE ATTACK!
For some weird and unholy reason, I am imagining Myouren and Konngara doing the whole Marble Screw attack from Precure.

These images will not leave my mind and so my only respite will be inflicting them upon you lot, because misery loves company.
>> No. 110894
>>110890
I think you might be reading...
>“I let you leave without any more fighting and…” he wavers, looking reluctant, “Guess I can also do one or two questions.”

...too literally. The tengu is speaking with bravado and confidence, inferring that his withdrawal from combat is a favor to us. To substantiate this:
>“Are you planning to destroy or escape with Youki’s corpse?”
>“You’re a suspicious little shit, you know that?” The Tengu commander jeers disparagingly. “I don’t need your dead body and I definitely don’t need that kid’s that we smashed. Just tell me what your answer’s going to be, already!”

Asking questions will cease the hostility: the tengu will retrieve their fallen kin, we get answers, they leave, and we can proceed to try and revive Youki.
>> No. 110895
[x] Accept his offer – ask a question(s).
-[x] …Can you speculate, purely theoretically, of course; as to why anyone would want to frame me for Youki’s death?
-[x] …Lady Saigyouji has recently encountered something blocking her powers. Do you know anything about it?

Too bad asking his name is counted as a real question, since I get the feeling we might run into him again, not sure about the terms though. But it seems either Aya's mocking our devout cause or impressed by it. I think even in the best case, sleeping with Aya would be breaking his vows as opposed to the pure hearted Lady.
>> No. 110905
[x] Accept his offer – ask a question(s).

[x] …Who’s this ‘Boss’ you mentioned?
[x] …Who killed Youki?

The central question: Who killed Youki
>> No. 110906
>>110905

I suspect the boss being Tenma before he became a lord. And we figured that we'd find out the killer's name from Youki after we've revived him. But it's your vote.
>> No. 110907
>>110906

I, too, suspect such.
[x] Accept his offer – ask a question.
-[x] …Lady Saigyouji has recently encountered something blocking her powers. Do you know anything about it?
-[x] Blank subvote
>> No. 110921
[x] Accept his offer – ask a question.
-[x] …Lady Saigyouji has recently encountered something blocking her powers. Do you know anything about it?
-[x] ...Who killed Youki?
>> No. 110922
>>110887
[X] Accept his offer – ask him some questions
[X] …Can you speculate, purely theoretically, of course; as to why anyone would want to frame me for Youki’s death?
[X] …I’d like your name.

Youki can give us some details about his fight, I think, Boss is kind of intuitive, and asking about what Aya has been saying feels a little egotistical. Major question comes down to who would want to frame us and something interfering with Yuyu. I'm inclined to the former, mostly because I want to know if the person they're trying to interfere with is us or Yuyu. If they're trying to mess up Myouren, then that might mean there's two adverse parties at work (one targeting us, the other targeting Yuyu), if they're targeting Yuyu, the same person may be behind both. Asking about Yuyu's interference only asks about one party. 1 or 2 > 1

Why not ask both questions? Because I want to know who this fantastic bastard is.
>> No. 110923
At present, votes are:

LOVE-LOVE ATTACK! - 1
Ask about his 'Boss.' - 1
Ask his name. - 1
Ask who killed Youki - 3
Ask him to speculate why someone would want to frame you - 3
Ask him if he knows anything about what's interfering with Yuyu - 3

Please reach a decisive opinion.

Also, some of your assumptions are fundamentally incorrect in a very funny way, the notable exception being >>110894's. His is encouraging. It's gratifying to know that I can understate things and not have them be completely missed.

For those of you who've never seen a LOVE-LOVE ATTACK! before, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fUJ6LehQ3I
>> No. 110929
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFine. Post deleted.

[x] Accept his offer – ask a question(s).
[x] …Who’s this ‘Boss’ you mentioned?
[x] …Can you speculate, purely theoretically, of course; as to why anyone would want to frame me for Youki’s death?

Mostly because that apostrophe after Boss in >>110887 is driving me insane.
>> No. 110939
Count is now:

LOVE-LOVE ATTACK! - 1
Ask about his 'Boss.' - 2
Ask his name. - 1
Ask who killed Youki - 2
Ask him to speculate why someone would want to frame you - 4
Ask him if he knows anything about what's interfering with Yuyu - 3

If you want to change your vote, do it quickly.
>> No. 110947
>>110946
You know, it's not that this is such an incredibly retarded vote that I wonder why anyone other than Wiseman would vote for it... it's that someone else decided to vote for it and didn't even have the common decency to correct the glaring typo.
>> No. 110949
[x] Decline his offer – IT’S TIME FOR THE LOVE-LOVE ATTACK!
-[x] Do not kill him, just knock him out and perform a thorough interrogation later.

>>110947

Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.
>> No. 110950
[x] Accept his offer – ask a question.
-[x] …Lady Saigyouji has recently encountered something blocking her powers. Do you know anything about it?
-[x] ...Who killed Youki?

We need answers at this point. Finishing this guy will not do as much for us in the long run as actually getting information from him. Let him retreat with his comrades' bodies and gain some insight into the situation.
>> No. 110984
Real life's been busy, hence the delay.

----------
“…I’ll deal,” you announce to them both; Tengu commander grinning gratified, Konngara casting you daggers, disappointed. But, though appearing manifestly unhappy with how you’ve decided; she’s not lost her judicious awareness, her consciousness of good manners or her faith placed in you. While maintaining a tactful silence, she steps back to your side and takes your hand into hers, the stre – Ow; the strength of her fingers not inconsiderable!

Having seen this whole display, your enemy nods satisfied. “Good choice, kid.” He says to one, possibly both of you; his evil, ebon eyes allayed of their antagonism by the entertainment you’ve provided. “Since I’m such a nice guy and all, I’ll let you go first. Ask what you’re going to ask.”

...‘Why are you being so accommodating?’ is what you’d really like to ask, but as that would count towards the total… “Then, would you mind speculating, purely on a hypothetical basis, of course;” you posit, tongue-in-cheek, “as to why someone would want to frame me for killing Youki?”

“You’re asking the wrong guy, kid. I’m pretty bad at stuff like ‘speculation,’ being that I’m the fighting-type and all.” He shrugs his shoulders and, as if to forestall your frustration; flashes a fiendish grin. “Now observation – observation’s my thing. …Might be able to tell you something about that.”

“Go on.” You urge, careful not to say anything which could be construed as another question.

By the way he’s nodding again, face as if to say ‘pretty sharp, kid;’ he’s apparently picked up on it. “Good one. So, what have I ‘observed?’” The Tengu commander mumbles to himself, enunciating carefully. “Somebody with a lot of power who knows everything about all of you, and I mean everything. When the Boss briefed me this time before I got sent out here, I didn’t just get your name, height and how you look. The guys and me, we got tons of hard battle data – numbers about your punching power, grip strength and jumping ability. You especially.” He motions at Konngara, standing in attendance with lance held in a neutral position. “Whoever it is really hates your guts or something, because we got more on you than all the rest put together. It went from stuff like your favorite color and the name of your first love, to how much someone would have to bleed you for your vital functions to fail.”

“Doubtless, your figures were rendered in error,” states an unaffected, deadpan Konngara. “We still draw breath.”

“Yeah, because of him.” The Tengu commander gives a nudge with his head towards you. “Wasn’t anything in the file about the priest being able to put people to sleep. Screwed everything up. He and that girl there,” he signals at Yuyu, curled up in the grass beside the waterfall’s pool, dreaming; “they were supposed to kill each other or something.”

“Here’s my second question then.” You’re also looking at the Lady, temporarily given respite from her cares and sorrows; “Was obstructing her powers part of that plan?”

“Come again?” Tilting his head, he’s asking that you repeat yourself.

…If he’s just playing dumb, fine. But in the off-chance he really doesn’t know, you shouldn’t give too much away. Therefore…

“Were the myriads of crows watching us earlier yours?” You select a pointed question.

“Don’t know anything about that.” He shrugs again, this time in ignorance. “My unit got assigned to smash that kid’s corpse and keep watch here to make sure you all killed each other.” There’s suddenly a very repulsive smile on his face. “Sounds like the Boss didn’t trust everything to me in the end, huh.”

He… is being honest. As far as you’re able to tell, this is really the first he’s heard of it, although; you might be wrong – there’s a fair chance. Part of the reason that vile Tengu came so close in enslaving you was because your experience in reading her kind was literally nonexistent. Unfortunately, there’s no way of really knowing.

“I’m aware I’ve used up my questions, but this ‘Boss’ of yours whom you’ve continually referenced sounds interesting;” you muse aloud, trying to slyly wring more information from him.

The Boss.” For once losing the perpetual note of scorn in his voice, like oil on gravel; the Tengu commander corrects you. “Since I failed here, you’re going to meet her soon enough, kid. Oh yes.” Thoroughly seeing through your intent, he laughs repugnantly. “She’ll be glad to teach you all about herself, more than you’d ever want. More than you’ll be able to handle.”

“We’ll see about that if I ever meet her,” you rejoinder calmly. “Are you quite finished now?”

“Yeah." He’s settled down straightaway at your question, all traces of his mad gloating suddenly replaced by deadly seriousness.
"...Yeah, I’m done. Did everything like I said I would, too.” Eyes narrowed suspiciously, the Tengu commander puts forth a question of his own. “Will you be doing what you said you would, kid?” His hands still haven’t left their crossed position.

Your response?
[ ] “No.” – Have Konngara join you in attacking him.
[ ] Did you know, Tengu? ‘Parley’ is the Japanese word for ‘everyone else is flat-footed and bare-handed.’ – Pretend to agree and betray him at the first opportunity.
[ ] Keep your word.
[ ] Do/say something else? (Specify)
----------

edit: paragraphing
>> No. 110985
[x] Keep your word.
-[x] Take Youki's body with as well as the sleeping lady.

The Tengu never said a thing about leaving Youki's body there, just for us to leave this area. If we're not going to try to revive him soon after, we should go and check on the others. It's particular how he said "she" for the boss. Tenma is a confirmed male, so the boss will be someone we might not know about.
>> No. 110986
[x] Keep your word.

>>110985
Given the time period, there's a good chance that "The Boss" is an oni, maybe even one of the Four Devas.
>> No. 110987
[ø] Keep your word.
>> No. 110990
>>110986

That would mean Suika or Yuugi perhaps, but I'm curious about the being that wants Myouren dead and how she(?) knows so much about him. It can't be anyone he's met on the journey, since the details are such that very few people would know them.
>> No. 110992
[x] Say something else: "One last thing: seeing as you've decided to involve my lovely companion in our conversation, I believe that entitles her to a moment before this ends. Konngara, is there anything you'd like to say or do before we part ways?"

I guess this counts as a "[x] No" vote, but I wanted to flavor it. We came inches from having Yuyu and Myouren square off in a nasty battle, and the only thing that stopped it was because we managed to learn Hamon. If that talent gets back to whoever has been spying on and sabotaging us, we're in even more trouble.

But seriously, he wants to antagonize Konngara like that? Brace for massacre. I'm thankful for her respecting our decision, as repugnant as it was to her, and whatever shit he spews at Myouren is something I can take in stride. But I'm not about to let this arrogant fuck think he can threaten her with impunity. I'll place my trust in her like she has with us. Go wild Konngara, we got your back.
>> No. 110998
>>110996
>If we keep our word, he might just keep his mouth shut about it

>While generally a danger to good people everywhere, heralds of misfortune and woe; they’re also the mortal enemies of your faith, its clergy especially.
>As befits a Tengu, a race of demons born from the resentful spirits of the vain and prideful;

Whatever you say, man: I'll assume he'll sell out our new secret power to his Boss and employer to save his ass despite miserably failing the mission, and you can assume he'll stay quiet out of tengu pride.
>> No. 111003
[x] Keep your word.
Might as well. I hope this will turn out positive.
>> No. 111004
Not all characters are gonna be known Touhous: This guy seems like a random mook who, even with all the information he has about his target, was moments away to get killed.

[x] Say something else: "One last thing: seeing as you've decided to involve my lovely companion in our conversation, I believe that entitles her to a moment before this ends. Konngara, is there anything you'd like to say or do before we part ways?"
>> No. 111008
>>110984
[X] Say something else: "One last thing: seeing as you've decided to involve my lovely companion in our conversation, I believe that entitles her to a moment before this ends. Konngara, is there anything you'd like to say or do before we part ways?"

Rereading, there's no reason offered for wanting the remains of his men; he only says that he has duty to the ones following him and three of them are dead. Retrieving their bodies likely has nothing to do with respect for the dead; they likely are in possession of intelligence or other information related to the mission that he doesn't want falling into our hands. That would explain his accommodating approach to this. The way he became borderline psychotic at the thought of what his Boss was going to do to us is more than enough indication that he wants to see us dead. He's expecting us to let him go, because that what saintly young monks do. What he's not expecting is passing the baton to the angry, battle ax wielding priestess.

If we get an incredibly bad reputation among the tengu for betraying the people that tried to kill Yuyu and Myouren, I don't think I'll lose too much sleep.
>> No. 111093
>>110996
>>110999
>>111014
Wiseman, you are entirely too caught up with the whole "rescuing the future of Gensokyo" that you are losing the forest for the trees. Every single decision that you make with an abject disregard for the here and now jeopardizes any good we can do for the future. There is an immediate and pressing situation that needs to be handled, and if you lose focus on that, all of our hard work and thought will be for naught.

I'm appealing to whatever sense of decency you may have left: please do not feel compelled to shout down every single vote or post that is contrary to yours with "what if" scenarios that are not anchored in any aspect of the story. If you need to argue something, at least quote the material that forms the basis of your argument. Thank you.
>> No. 111117
[x] Say something else: "One last thing: seeing as you've decided to involve my lovely companion in our conversation, I believe that entitles her to a moment before this ends. Konngara, is there anything you'd like to say or do before we part ways?"

This arrogant fuck insulted our lovely companion. Leaving her with the decision is fine. Hamon should be kept secret from these demons as long as possible, it could be our only trumpcard against his boss.
>> No. 111120
>“Denim, Gene, Slender,”
>Akai Suisei
Obvious Gundam references, since those three were the names of the first victims of the original gundam, and Akai Suisei translates to Red Comet.
[x] The Lady – your induced narcolepsy of her being only your third instance in using the ‘miracle energy’ on another body and your first instance in using that technique at all. You’ve literally no idea when she’s going to awaken, and as you don’t want her to rouse prematurely and ruin all for which you’ve both done so much, ask that Konngara allow you to hold back your answer till later.
Not so much avoiding the question, but to get down to reviving Youki. The answer itself I’d imagine would be 'proving yourself the better person' as a possibility.
>> No. 111124
[x] "It was his offer of knowledge that motivated me to accept his contract. With Youki in such a state, someone plotting to turn the Lady and I against each other, the involvement of the tengu, and all of this occurring within a day before the Saiyou Ayakashi blooms, additional information regarding any of these would be a boon to us. Furthermore, their leader probably would not have been able to simply ask for the bodies of his men. As I've learned in my dealings with especially prideful individuals, the best way they know to ask for something is to turn it into an exchange."

The situation was hitting the fan, all sorts of crazy stuff is going down, and the leader dude offers a reasonably 'sincere' trade that lets everyone (left) walk away? Most of us were of the mind that this was a good way to try and figure out what's going on. Last part is true, even though I don't think it crossed any of our minds at the time to let him take his men and leave. We were greedy little gits. On that note, I reckon Youki won't be able to tell us who killed him (this is too weird talking like this). If the slit throat was the first blow, he was likely taken by surprise and had is jugular opened up before he knew what hit him. How many knife wielding assassins with hax level stealth capabilities that could conceivably be alive right now can you name in the Touhouverse? Pure speculation of course.

Konngara's visibly upset, but what's not apparent is whom she's upset with: us or herself. Initially I was thinking it had to be something we did wrong, because if someone is sad it's always because we did something wrong, right? But then I got to thinking: this is Konngara, who is brilliant but in a peculiar way. Maybe she's upset with herself? She really wanted to press the attack, but we decided to go for gathering information. After all was said and done and the entire situation was resolved with some extra information in hand and the tengu having properly paid their respects (totally didn't see that coming, by the way. Thought for sure it was a ruse. Glad I was wrong), she's feeling remorseful for having wanted to slay them. It's the:
>gratified that you sought to consult my estimation, unworthy though it may be,
that has me thinking like this. I think she's bummed out with herself and wants to learn our motivations.

Either that or we screwed something up and did upset her, in which case I got nothing. Honesty is a good policy for both of these situations, though.
>> No. 111127
[X] "It was his offer of knowledge that motivated me to accept his contract. With Youki in such a state, someone plotting to turn the Lady and I against each other, the involvement of the tengu, and all of this occurring within a day before the Saiyou Ayakashi blooms, additional information regarding any of these would be a boon to us. Furthermore, their leader probably would not have been able to simply ask for the bodies of his men. As I've learned in my dealings with especially prideful individuals, the best way they know to ask for something is to turn it into an exchange."
[X] "In any case, I want to finish this as soon as possible:"
[X] VAJRA – TIME TO WORK A MIRACLE!

I'm not sure if there's a time limit on our resurrection powers, but bringing Youki back as soon as possible is definitely a priority.

>still three times faster than any of the guys under him.”
>crimson plumage mounting his mask.
>“Denim, Gene, Slender,”
>Akai Suisei

...
>> No. 111158
[X] "It was his offer of knowledge that motivated me to accept his contract. With Youki in such a state, someone plotting to turn the Lady and I against each other, the involvement of the tengu, and all of this occurring within a day before the Saiyou Ayakashi blooms, additional information regarding any of these would be a boon to us. Furthermore, their leader probably would not have been able to simply ask for the bodies of his men. As I've learned in my dealings with especially prideful individuals, the best way they know to ask for something is to turn it into an exchange."
[X] "In any case, I want to finish this as soon as possible:"
[X] VAJRA – TIME TO WORK A MIRACLE!

Give me Vajra or give me death Bad End

>“One last thing, kid.” The character of condescension that disappeared during the talk to his troops resurfaces, though mixed in with it this time’s a chord of concern. “Since you beat me, you’re going to end up fighting the White Wolf Guard. Nasty piece of work, those guys – the Boss’ sweepers. They don’t show mercy.” As if to underscore what he’s about to say, he pauses and gives both of you an ardent, adamant stare, black brow creased. “Make sure you don’t either.”

ONCE THE INUBASHIRI IS MASS PRODUCED
>> No. 111165
>Akai Suisei

SuiseiAkai?
>> No. 111166
Writing, update to appear shortly.

----------
“I keep my promises, Tengu.” You tell him unambiguously. “However,” you’re grimacing defiantly as you add; “I also keep faith with my friends and don’t look with especial kindness on those who insist on abusing and antagonizing them.”

“Sure thing, mister White Knight.” The notion of affording respect to others apparently all one big joke to him, he scoffs.

“Konngara,” you look to her, ignoring your enemy’s bluster; “is there anything you’d like to say or do before we part ways?”

Though not painfully hard this time, her hand’s squeezing yours again. “I have naught of words or deeds I would exchange with him,” she states composedly, expression unchanged. Actually, she’s not even looking at him.

“You found a good woman there, kid – knows her place. Not like that damn slut.” As Konngara’s continuing to pay his insults no heed, the Tengu commander doubles over, slapping his chops. “Ah, me. …Ahem.” He straightens, and clears his throat. “Well then?” With a meaningful clap of his hands, he turns his eyes on the heavens.

GENTLEMEN.

That dissonant din from before resurfaces; much, much louder than before. You’re hailed by the sight and sound of strong black wings as, from before and behind; the Tengu attackers emerge out of hiding and into formation. Gradually gathering, joining piecemeal; when they’ve completed a circle in the skies above, they one-by-one begin peeling off. In an impressive (and doubtlessly intentional) display of close-order drill, they bank downwards in a line and land in sequence nearby. They come near to your group in silence, with hung heads and slow steps; each lifting the level of his eyes on passing those two of you conscious and looking. With the grotesque, red-faced, long-nosed masks covering the whole of their faces, you’ve not a clue as to how any of them are presently disposed but for those few who give you a small nod. After they’ve all gone by, their commander, still standing separate on the stream’s opposite shore; shortly takes wing and touches down at the head of their group.

Arrayed in two rows of nine are Tengu of smaller stature and slighter frame than the three you’ve killed with Konngara. Though they’re armored in the same style of black harness, absent any emblem or device; the one these wear is notably less in its armor and bulk. The weapons they’re bearing are also of a different make – each armed with a longbow and an iron claw, affixed on his vambrace.

Gentlemen,” he repeats himself, now facing them with arms spread wide; “a moment of silence for our fallen.” At seeing their leader clasp his hands and fall on one knee, they all follow suit by entering into prayer with him. Of all those now assembled in the waterfall’s clearing, only Konngara and yourself are standing; watching with wary eyes as the Tengu pay their respects for the dead. However, you’re unable to sustain your hostility – perhaps it’s your training or maybe it’s those words that she gave you on that day you were parted from her, the ones on learning when to lay aside antipathy and resentment; but you feel as if you should pay tribute yourself, somehow. So, while recognizing the irony and inherent inconsistency in doing as much; you too offer up a small appeal for those demons you’ve so lately slain, entreating that the Yama show leniency in their sentencing and that Amithaba Buddha might extend them the compassion of his salvation. About when you’ve finished is also when the Tengu commander’s realized his devotions and, standing once more; he offers a salute.

“Denim, Gene, Slender,” he solemnly addresses each of his dead soldiers in turn while his men move forward to gather them; “don’t have regrets. You fought well, met your ends in glorious battle. For guys like us – for soldiers – there’s no greater honor. Your brothers-in-arms will make sure they avenge you, so pass on without disturbing the living.”

The end of this short eulogy sees the Tengu, living and dead both; beginning to rise into the blue of the starry night, their commander the very last of them all. Posed to take to the air, he’s flexing his formidable wings when he turns back.

“One last thing, kid.” The character of condescension that disappeared during the talk to his troops resurfaces, though mixed in with it this time’s a chord of concern. “Since you beat me, you’re going to end up fighting the White Wolf Guard. Nasty piece of work, those guys – the Boss’ sweepers. They don’t show mercy.” As if to underscore what he’s about to say, he pauses and gives both of you an ardent, adamant stare, black brow creased. “Make sure you don’t either.”

“…Why are you telling us this?” You stare back at him, your brow also creased – with distrust.

He groans, crossing his arms in a pose that practically bespeaks ‘Kid, I am disappoint,’ as he responds; “Because I hate their guts, their leader’s guts above all. She might be cute, but she’s a real bitch – can’t stand her. And ‘sides just that,” he’s stopped muttering; “you’re a lot like I was when I was your age, kid. Mistrustful, lustful, jam-packed with all kinds of unrealistic ideas about changing the world…”

You won’t let this demon have the last word. “But I’m better looking.”

“In addition,” the Tengu commander adds, “thinks he’s a chief wit. Much like I did.”

The pair of you chuckle slightly at his comment (Konngara doesn’t, though; simply closing her eyes and holding your hand more tightly). All the details of your deal now discharged, he’s turning to join his men, patiently fluttering in place above; when you’ve one last request.

“Tell me your name.”

“You mean you haven’t figured it out yet?” His question’s more droll than disdainful. “…If you run across her, tell that slut ‘Akai Suisei’ says hello.” Leaving you with that cryptic comment, the Tengu commander resets his mask and opens wide his wings. “Later, kid.”

He lifts off with a powerful leap and mounting the wind – no, becoming the wind; your agile adversary takes his place at the head of his flight and soars away into the distant sky.



Konngara waits till they’re well out of sight and, after retrieving her axe; seats herself in the grass beside Yuyu. It would cut almost a comic sight, what with the ground completely peppered by arrows but for a perfect circle centered on her, except that Konngara’s troubled by something. Her fine lips bent in a brooding glower, her amber eyes pensive, she beckons that you next to her.

“I am gladdened by your integrity in honoring the bargain stuck and gratified that you sought to consult my estimation, unworthy though it may be, but…” She stops. …Though not tearful, it’s with very visible sadness that she makes her next query of you.

“I would know your intent in consenting to such a contract at all.”

For the second time today, she’s looking you in the eyes, searchingly.

Looking through you.

[ ] ???
[ ] The Lady – your induced narcolepsy of her being only your third instance in using the ‘miracle energy’ on another body and your first instance in using that technique at all, you’ve literally no idea when she’s going to awaken. As you don’t want her to rouse prematurely and ruin all for which you’ve both done so much, ask that Konngara allow you to hold back your answer till later.
----------

edit2: typos fixed
>> No. 111171
File 126491894740.jpg - (156.40KB , 800x800 , terrorist eating pocky.jpg ) [iqdb]
111171
>>111166
>“Gentlemen,
>> No. 111174
File 126492118581.jpg - (26.61KB , 880x496 , gentlemen.jpg ) [iqdb]
111174
>>111171
>> No. 111200
Lol site downtime. And here I had been hoping to move things a lot today, since I’d finally had a lot of free time.

----------
“I felt that the exigencies of the present crisis demanded as much, Konngara.” You unflinchingly tell her, waxing eloquent. “In as dangerous circumstances as we’ve found ourselves – Youki dead and the appearance of an unknown malevolence designing to turn the Lady and I on each other, both but a day before our momentous night tomorrow; to competently confront and confound the challenges on our happiness required that we should have information. As the vile race of Tengu is born of wrathful, prodigal ghosts, the spirits of those priests and nuns formerly of my faith, now fallen to pride and debauchery; I thought it prudent that I should fully make use of their weaknesses to thereby gain in knowledge, under the guise of brokering an exchange.”

“My charming demon will be appreciative of how you have reckoned here,” she takes note; “for in its expedience and flawless calculation of our interest, your discrimination is very like unto hers.” Konngara reflects further, the piercing intensity of her gaze abating not slightly. “I am appreciative also – respecting these criteria, you have judged our advantage with meritorious acumen and beyond censure.” Her compliments, however sincere; are absent of enthusiasm in her voice or approbation in her eyes – indeed, the latter are now disconsolate, faltering; falling away from your face. “But in respecting righteousness,” she says sadly at the ground, “I find much fault with what you have done.”

“…Konngara?” Her words come as a sudden shock. “It was precisely because I treasure your perspective that I asked for your sanction earlier, so why…?”

“We ought not to display disunion before our foes,” she explains and reaches aside, gently taking your hand. “I believe you will yet bring Sir Youki back into our fold and that forgives much. ...Even so, should we simply dispense with the wrongs done him?” Emphasizing this point, Konngara’s looking in your eyes again, staring sternly. “He is dead, violently murdered and his last remains desecrated by demons – impenitent, recalcitrant demons, who make light that they have profaned against the laws of Heaven, Earth and Man, all in one. Demons with whom you sought to treat.” She turns away from you, visibly let down. “I am not angry with you for resolving on that route you deemed convenient, but… I believed you a better person than that. I believed your nature to be one which would never forgo that which is right, in order that you should acquire some short-term gain.” Konngara’s massaging your palm as she asks quietly, “Were I to have exchanged places with Sir Youki, would you have chosen similarly?

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

edit: Flow
>> No. 111201
[x]'Vengeance and retribution are due, and will be dealt with in time. But look at our situation: on the eve of our battle with the demonic tree we found ourselves surprised by Youki's dissapearance and sudden death and Yuyuko's power distruption. We are completely in the dark: what we needed-what we still need- are answers. Information. Our real enemy is the one who killed this kindred soul. The tengu's actions, as spiteful as they were, are minor compared to that...
...or that's what logic indicates.
It was-is- very, very hard to contain myself to enact bloody vengeance against this race of wicked monsters for what they did. To answer your question: I don't know. I don't know if I would do the same if they did that to your body. I don't know if I'd do the same if I had to make this choice again. My blood screams for vengeance and, if my will falters for a second, I'd lose myself to rage.'
>> No. 111217
's just me, or our good monk spends half of the time apologizing?
>>111204
Who's this 'Youmu' you speak of?
>> No. 111218
>>111217
>'s just me, or our good monk spends half of the time apologizing?

You ain't just whistling Dixie, bro. It's been a long while since Myouren did anything that didn't require an apology later on.

Ya know, I think there's a decent comparison to be made between Ancient Gensokyou and Demon's Souls.
>> No. 111231
>>111204
Yeah, I deleted that. I think it was a good vote, but I had to convince myself we did something wrong. It's when I convince myself to the contrary of my gut feeling is when I know something is wrong. Konngara may be all "MYOUREN I AM DISAPPOINT," but Myouren fighting for the sake of fighting just doesn't sit well.

>He is dead, violently murdered and his last remains desecrated by demons – impenitent, recalcitrant demons, who make light that they have profaned against the laws of Heaven, Earth and Man, all in one.

What the tengus did was super bad. Have we dealt with anything else that amounts to an afront to all things decent? We sure have: zombies.

>>94214
>"If you're talking about ressurection of the dead, I tried that too. All you get are filthy Jiang-si, mindless h-"
>You interrupt her again and this time, it's your turn to get angry.
>"You were trying to cheat the Yama? Are you a fool? If you ever want any hope of seeing your parents again in the next life, repent for your crimes and never try anything like that again! Do you think they gave their lives for you to defile their memory? Where's your sense of shame?"

Zombies suck. Who else has used zombies.?

>>94332
>In your haste and through your fixation on finding a trace of the target, you didn't notice that from the direction in which the target's vanished, the air's become stagnant and the earth's been disturbed. As you center your thought on the point from which this distortion originates, you sense only nothingness, but of a different brand than the absence of being dominating the night. This nothingness is fluid, hungry and alive. Or rather, dead.
>By this time, you don't need to meditate any longer. Not only can you hear the distinctive shambling of their approach, but you realize how you've been tricked. You shake your head with a mix of admiration and consternation at your opponent's cunning. It seems to have guessed (correctly) that their presence serves to interfere with your detection capability. By sending them to attack you, your enemy has both bought time for its escape and successfully covered its tracks.
and
>>94994
>Closing your eyes for a moment, you sense the qi of the air around you. Yes, there's no mistake. This is the person against whom you squared off yesterday night!

That's right. Youki used zombies. Defiling corpses for his own benefit. Just like the tengu. Of course, Youki didn't kill them, but the tengu didn't kill Youki (their 'helper' did). But does Youki merit a brutal beat down for what he did? Apparently not (oh, we gave him one, but it wasn't for that). Only tengu deserve that treatment. Is there a double standard here, or am I misunderstanding the differences in fucking with corpses?

We've let Youki slide after beating the crap out of him (after he did a number on us too). We killed 3 tengu. Regardless of what she says is a "some short-term gain," we know someone wants to kill Yuyu and Myouren, this person has an incredibly grudge on Konngara and knows way too much about her, they've hired someone that can even kill Youki, and we're the target of a white wolf tengu death squad. What part of this is short-term? What part of beating the shit out of the tengu aside from making ourselves feel good do?

I don't even know how to put this into a vote:

[x] "No, I wouldn't have Konngara, and in my rage, there would be naught but scraps for their kin to retrieve. But such would not be the path of the righteousness. Know this, though; the charges of violation you levy upon the tengu, including their fallen comrades, weighs equally upon Sir Konpaku for his creation of Jiang-si. Would you wish the same righteousness upon him? My oath is to ease the world of suffering, not increase it for the sake of satisfying a sense of duty. Violence begets violence, and the only way to break that viscious cycle is to be of a higher conciousness and to suffer the indignity of not reciprocating with equal wrath; the sole comfort being that there is less hate in the world for your sacrifice. If being such a person means that I must disappointing you, I will do so with a heavy heart."
>> No. 111240
File 126509997247.png - (24.38KB , 453x341 , Myouren's predicament.png ) [iqdb]
111240
Might want to read the below.

>>111204
>So we fucked up after all.

Be more positive, success and failure are something you decide for yourself. That's not just a generic platitude either (in this case) -to reduce the choices you have been offered now and prior into simple gradations of "best, better, worse, worst" can only serve to have you all fall into error. Instead of that, you would be better off considering a choice successful with respect to how it works towards the objectives you have set for yourself in-story, not just whether 'herpderp, everyone's happy, no problems here!'

…And, I guess now’s a good time to talk about the ‘lol no negative consequences here’ criticism from earlier, as it’s tangentially related to this. I dislike railroading. I know the rest of you do as well, for there’s an (admittedly thin at times) line between the author taking those necessary steps to show others his creative (lol) vision and the author forcing his preferences and biases on an unwilling audience.

It’s precisely because of this that you have not encountered many straightforward binary ‘succeed or fail’ decisions – the story is not written in such a way where I decide ‘choice x will succeed and yield a positive scene, whereas choice y and z will result in failure and a negative’ because to do as much is to arbitrarily railroad you and in the process, to fundamentally violate one of the founding principles of interactive fiction. As I understand it, my duty is only to establish characterization/setting and to consistently enforce it in outcomes impartial of meddling or value judgments that have no origin in the hero’s mores and your own collective dispositions.

So when I say that notions of success or failure have their origins in you – anon, I’m not kidding. They’re qualities you yourselves overlay atop anything that happens.

Which, while we're on the subject, is why I suggested that you anons decide amongst yourself on what you should set as your priorities for the less immediate future (ie further than just the immediate or immediately following choice). To do as much helps you, because you now have a framework in which to guide and evaluate your decisions and it helps me, because it allows me to brainstorm ahead and write faster.


So, as anyone with eyes has noticed, this type of strategic planning usually takes the form of partisan voting for a particular girl in other stories; and while you could do that here, you might be able to try something a little more cerebral and nuanced too.

Example (don’t take this as literal advice, I’m certain you’re able to come up with something better/more enjoyable to you): “I want to expand my abilities.” This is open-ended enough to allow for remarkable variance in how you approach it (learning about Ripple breathing from Mima, asking Yuyu on communicating with spirits, sword mastery with Youki, searching into your respective kinds of spiritualism with Konngara, just conversing with Murasaki etc) and gives great freedom in choosing the course most enjoyable to you. At the same time though, it proves benefit over the long-term in story and out – you become more capable of confronting crises and your choices have continuity and direction, a sense of purpose. And in the event you ever want to pick a spontaneous, off-the-cuff option because it looks interesting, it’s not binding or restrictive. A long-term approach is just there as a star against which you can set your course if you’re ever lost in the stormy seas of uncertain decisions.

So to reiterate, consider talking amongst yourselves and try to decide on a first principle towards which you would like to work. It doesn’t need to be something specific, just a general idea which most/all of you can agree would be positive and entertaining, or something.

>>111217
>>111218
>'s just me, or our good monk spends half of the time apologizing?

That path was decided by you – anon, of your own volition(s). Right now, if I asked Myouren to read his own story and give his frank response, he would probably say something not unlike Joseph there, in the picture above. But, you might object; aren’t these recent apologies necessary and conducive to our success, maybe? I’ve given you the tentative answer above and there’s actually much more I can say on the related incidents, this one especially; but those are for another party to discuss during the commentary segment (only if it’s chosen, of course).
>> No. 111241
>>111218
Except Demon's Souls is actually good.
>> No. 111242
>>111241

Oh, you.
>> No. 111258
>>111200
>“But in respecting righteousness,” she says sadly at the ground, “I find much fault with what you have done.”
>“He is dead, violently murdered and his last remains desecrated by demons – impenitent, recalcitrant demons, who make light that they have profaned against the laws of Heaven, Earth and Man, all in one. Demons with whom you sought to treat.”
>I believed your nature to be one which would never forgo that which is right, in order that you should acquire some short-term gain.

I OBJEC...

>"I'm the same as you. Though I'm a monk by trade, I follow my heart."
>She wipes her face on her sleeve, sniffling and trying to clear her voice. She looks in your eyes once more.
>"... And what did your 'heart' tell you in this case?"
>You stop for a moment as you consider how to fully articulate your most inexpressible sentiments.
>"... To never abandon someone in need, doubly so if they're beautiful and gallant. People like that are rare." You smile broadly. "My apologies if you were expecting a more sublime or profound reason, but... those are my pure and honest feelings."

Okay, she's got us there. Acting boldly for her sake with no concern for the consequences was one of the very first strong impressions we made on her. If there's one thing Myouren does incredibly well, it's making a good first impression. In spite of what made sense, which she freely admits, she was expecting our sense of justice to compel us into battle. Before he got all beligerent, >>111204 had sound reasoning: Youki's return to us was a given, and the opportunity to learn what in the world was going on was too desireable to pass up.

Truth be told, I'm perfectly okay with apologizing when that's the right thing to do. Saying sorry and meaning it is a lost art. I know there's a notion that saying sorry is a sign of weakness, but to apologize from the bottom of your heart while genuinely appreciating why you're sorry is remarkably difficult. Properly apologizing is no small task.
That said, I don't think we "fucked up," despite the fact that we've disappointed her. While it's upsetting to strain our relationship with Konngara like this, in that we've betrayed our creed of maintaining
>'herpderp, everyone's happy, no problems here!'
it's not a momentous set back.

[x] "No, I wouldn't have Konngara, and in my rage, there would be naught but scraps for their kin to retrieve. And you are correct in your assessment: in my confidence and curiosity, I have strayed from what is righteous for what you call short-term gain. I know I have disappointed you, and to see that reflected in your eyes pains me more than you know, but I know I will prove to you that I am the person you believe I am; not with pretty words, but real action. But these short term gains, if they better equip me to prevent any more pain and suffering, I will gladly shoulder the burden of erring from the path of righteousness."

Loved the first part from >>111231, but yeah. Lay it clear what happened and recognize that we've disappointed her, but don't let that diminish what we've accomplished.

>decide amongst yourself on what you should set as your priorities for the less immediate future

Yeah, I was afraid this was going to end up being the case, because goals determined like this are never very satisfying short of divine inspiration on the level of becoming Hina's priestess or some such. So I guess I'll start small: I want to have a better understanding of our companions. It's the most fun I have with the story, talking back and forth, learning what makes them tick, what they think, what their ambitions are, their past, their quirks, etc. I want to crack open the black box that is Konngara's logic, I want to get a glimpse of what's under Mima's defenses, I just want to talk with Youki. It seems almost unfortunate that we're constantly forced into conflict.

This or a harem route. Either works for me.
>> No. 111280
File 126515750856.jpg - (40.57KB , 350x350 , RESULTS.jpg ) [iqdb]
111280
>>111201
>>111258
>>111231

Pic related.

Don't know if I'll have the update done tonight, but if anyone else wants to contribute, sooner's better.
>> No. 111283
[x] "No, I wouldn't have Konngara, and in my rage, there would be naught but scraps for their kin to retrieve. But such would not be the path of the righteousness. Know this, though; the charges of violation you levy upon the tengu, including their fallen comrades, weighs equally upon Sir Konpaku for his creation of Jiang-si. Would you wish the same righteousness upon him? My oath is to ease the world of suffering, not increase it for the sake of satisfying a sense of duty. Violence begets violence, and the only way to break that viscious cycle is to be of a higher conciousness and to suffer the indignity of not reciprocating with equal wrath; the sole comfort being that there is less hate in the world for your sacrifice. If being such a person means that I must disappointing you, I will do so with a heavy heart."
>> No. 111295
>>111280
Don't suppose I can persuade you to ignore >>111231 and count it as a vote for >>111258? That one actually pointed out a pretty nasty flaw in my logic with the whole,
>"I'm the same as you. Though I'm a monk by trade, I follow my heart."
thing. We've already disappointed her, I don't want to pile hypocrisy on top of it. A day of letting it stew has let me calm down, and now I regret accusing Konngara of anything. Aside from holding us to the standard we deserve to be held to, she didn't do anything wrong. My version:
[x] "No, I wouldn't have Konngara, and in my rage, there would be naught but scraps for their kin to retrieve. And you are correct in your assessment: in my confidence and curiosity, I have strayed from what is righteous for what you call short-term gain. I know I have disappointed you, and to see that reflected in your eyes pains me more than you know. I should actually thank you for revealing the folly of my decision. Please know I will prove to you that I am the person you believe I am; not with pretty words, but real action. But these short term gains, if they better equip me to prevent any more pain and suffering, I will gladly shoulder the burden of erring from the path of righteousness."

And I never watched Geass, what the hell does that picture mean? Should I be concerned?
>> No. 111297
>>111295

The end justifies the means.
>> No. 111305
About the "first principle towards which you would like to work" thing, that's definitely something worth settling on. Too many stories that don't feel like holding your hand tend to go to shit if that doesn't get decided on.

Have to say though, the example is impossible to beat. The way you described it sounds so cool. Guess that's why you're the writer, but goddamn it's hard to imagine something greater than that. So yeah, expanding our abilities has my vote. Too badass to pass up.

If I can't have that, I want our guiding principle to be "I want to be an Incredible Man." Maybe it's because Lagann-hen just came out, but I want Myouren to be manly, confident, and awe worthy. I want Myouren to be what he should have been since day 1. I want him to be 'GAR.' I want to take every scrap of power and ability we have and push it to its illogical limit. Somewhere along the way we went from awesome to an overly apologetic and weepy emo bitch. No more.

I wonder if we can combine the two?

>>111297
FUCK! I hate people who say that. They always make the best villains. I reiterate the fact that we need to get Myouren back on the fast track of being fucking awesome.
>> No. 111310
This is how good lunatic modo works, NOT by bad-ending you for everything, y'know?
>> No. 111313
>>111310
Replace "everything" with "anything" and you've got it.
>> No. 111318
>>111297
Actually, it goes a bit deeper than that. Think about the sort of person Suzaku is at the beginning of the story compared to the sort of person he becomes at the end, when he's wearing that uniform.
>> No. 111319
>>111297
>>111318

Where did we go wrong?

;_;
>> No. 111320
>>111305 and >>111258 aren't exclusive. Actually, to fail in either category represents a failure in both, because both of these goals are inexorably intertwined (you should be able to figure this out). If not, more in the commentary section on this, should you decide to choose it.
>> No. 111322
>>111258
>I want to have a better understanding of our companions.
>>111305
>I wonder if we can combine the two?

Well then, why don't we try to idort this up then, shall we? Two of them are goals ('abilities' and 'understanding') , while one is more of an attitude ('Incredible Man'), but are any of them a principle (a fundamental assumption, a rule used to choose among solutions to a problem)? I think it can be argued that they are. When presented with a choice of what to do in a broad sense, working to broaden our repertoire of abilities is fine; it provides some general guidance, but it doesn't help dictate how to conduct ourselves in a time of crisis (tengus and Youkis) or in our interpersonal interactions (Yuyu asking us for our take on sacrifice, how to handle a crying Mima, or what to say to a disappointed Konngara). The former is well within the purview of the "manly" attitude, while the latter would fall under "understanding."

Thing is, are these ever going to be mutually exclusive? I can't help but wonder. They both seem entail the same thing (confidence, determination, wit, intellect, and friendship) but are applied in different situations. 'Understanding,' while a goal, would flow naturally from applying our 'manly' mindset to dealing with Mima, Konngara, Yuyu, etc. The thing to keep in mind is that you don't let meekness/timidity factor into dealing with people. The same confidence you go into battle with needs to be the same you go with into an emotionally charged situation. Imagine if we had bowed to Yuyu's arguments against our stand on sacrifice. We fought that tooth and nail, at it worked out gloriously. It seems rather unbelievable to achieve all of these with the same character, since your approach to a situation vacillates from Gandhi to James Bond to Kamina, but our 'skillful means' actually makes that versatility entirely possible while still remaining being the same coherent character. A fairly outrageous concept, but has been shown to work. 'Understanding' and gaining 'abilities' from others seems to flow naturally from one to the other, since achieving one seems to lend itself to the other.

This really all amounts to wanting to become more capable/confident, both in thought and action. This is both a return to form and a dedication to seek improvement. But does this really translate into a 'guiding principle?' A reasonable test would be to apply it to the current situation: after we decided to search for Youki, what type of decisions might we have made with a mind for expanding our "abilities," conducting ourselves in a suitably "manly" and "understanding" way?
Checking for Youki seemed to have been a reasonable choice: we come to the aid of a fallen friend.
How to break it to Yuyu? Manly tears and a fitting speech. Would have had to be a write-in out of nowhere, but it would've fit the best. Might have lead to the fight the tengu were hoping for between Yuyu and ourselves, though; we may never know. Being stoic and stopping Yuyu was second best, I guess.
How to respond to Yuyu? Chance to experiment with our new power GET.
What do we do now? A chance to use the VAJRA to work a true miracle. So obvious it hurts.
How to respond to the arrows? Offensive action, obviously.
Tengu commander talking shit: Hmm, tougher. Lots of interesting choices here. Attacking is always an option, the Aya option is interesting , and letting the bad guy talk is a tactic advocated by Mima. Talking won, but the vote actually prepped an attack when he's finished, so I think we were still in the clear.
Deal or no deal? Hmm... acquire plenty of tasty information vs. or annihilate them? Gain a strategic advantage or channeling righteous anger? This is actually pretty tough, Konngara's disappointment aside, since both sides are fairly balanced in terms of positives and negatives. Honestly, when it gets that close is when you fall back to your principles: you decided to attack the vote before, and no matter how ridiculous it sounds, you go for the shiny new attack.
No chance to renege because we would have gone Shining Finger on them, so we wouldn't need to address that, (though since we did, we did reasonably well considering a 'man' never goes back on his word or some such). We might have had to deal with some shit from Mima or Murasaki for not taking advantage of the situation and squeezing some needed information from the tengu. We actually still might for not asking the 'right' questions, but yeah.

Just my take, but it seems feasible enough. Example didn't really rely on trying to understand anyone too much.

Anyway, this is something that needs to be settled upon soon. Our actions and the story for that last month or so have been feeling increasingly directionless, and personally speaking, dread is slowly replacing enthusiasm whenever there's a new update.

And after I write all of this...
>>111320
>(you should be able to figure this out)
I tried, but you're still probably going to have to straighten this out.
>> No. 111328
[x] "No, I wouldn't have Konngara, and in my rage, there would be naught but scraps for their kin to retrieve. But such would not be the path of the righteousness. Know this, though; the charges of violation you levy upon the tengu, including their fallen comrades, weighs equally upon Sir Konpaku for his creation of Jiang-si. Would you wish the same righteousness upon him? My oath is to ease the world of suffering, not increase it for the sake of satisfying a sense of duty. Violence begets violence, and the only way to break that viscious cycle is to be of a higher conciousness and to suffer the indignity of not reciprocating with equal wrath; the sole comfort being that there is less hate in the world for your sacrifice. If being such a person means that I must disappointing you, I will do so with a heavy heart."
>> No. 111353
>>111322
The answer which Yukarin could possibly provide you is slightly different, but many of the conclusions you drew are useful, applicable or correct.

Although about:
>It seems rather unbelievable to achieve all of these with the same character, since your approach to a situation vacillates from Gandhi to James Bond to Kamina, but our 'skillful means' actually makes that versatility entirely possible while still remaining being the same coherent character. A fairly outrageous concept, but has been shown to work.

I don't see what's so outrageous in this. I mean, anyone not TLDRing this part - pause and think about how many faces you show others in your everyday dealings with them. I (assume) that your reasons for acting as such isn't because you're disingenuous, pathological liars, but because you're smart, considerate people, people who have the common sense to understand that an inflexible approach to the problems of life is harmful as much to your interests as those of society at large.

Which is why I think that if the hero of a story is the same, it's neither outrageous, unusual or praiseworthy - it's just the hero being as human as you or I, being a character instead of a caricature.

>Our actions and the story for that last month or so have been feeling increasingly directionless.

I can only tell you that you'll all be able to understand shortly - by the end of this in-story day at the latest. Yes even you, Wiseman.

>>111310
>This is how good lunatic modo works, NOT by bad-ending you for everything, y'know?

I know that asking you all to own up and fix mistakes is unpopular instead of going, "what went wrong? you messed up :((((" but if you really step back and examine the results of your actions, you'll find that you should now know much, much more about the way the respective characters think as a consequence.

----------
“To answer honestly, Konngara – I would not,” you admit outright to her, still glancing askance as she listens in silence. “No, if I had…” Though the very act of speculating it’s emotionally painful, “…if I entered upon this place and had found you were lost to me, slain and dishonored by demons;” you’re thinking aloud, her smooth white hands clutched in yours, “I wouldn’t have any capacity for compromise. In truth, my heart would have already chosen for me, set itself upon the only course it could deem acceptable – ensuring that none of those who had deprived the world of your smile would leave alive.”

“Then, you would be disposed at… vengeance?” Holding your hand more tightly, her voice’s fraught with concern.

“I understand that to do as much isn’t in line with what righteousness demands of me, Konngara;” you steadfastly acknowledge. “The motion that is Samsara, the endless turning of that dolorous six-coursed wheel, forever renewing the suffering of birth and death – it’s driven by karmic accumulation. Misplaced love, deficient love, excessive love; all are twisted into a violence against the soul, begetting more violence in turn. Were I of a perfected virtue, I could break that vicious cycle; bear the indignation of my loss with a higher conscience without reciprocating in wrath. But,” you pause and breathe out deeply, “as I am now, my heart is one in which the study of hatred and breadth of love occupy the same place – the heart of a human. A fickle, fallible heart, inconstant in affection and incontinent in anger; it’s seen me stray from the fountain of righteousness to slake myself in the mire of advantage and in the process, to disappoi-”

“I harbor no disappointment in you.”

No longer showing her back to you, Konngara’s staring down at her lap when she tersely interrupts your oration. With a sympathetic touch, she places an arm about your back. “My wish was that you give mind to justice in your resolutions. You have done as much,” she lifts her head to the level of your eyes, “so I see nothing for which you ought to express regrets.” She’s showing you a carefree smile.

“…Konngara.” At her, holding one of your hands as she holds your shoulder, you offer serious address. “There’s no need for you to make excuses on my behalf; if you’re really upset, then please tell me as much. The faith I’ve invested in you isn’t some pale shadow, perishing if exposed before the radiant light of truth; it’s my tangible flesh and blood, my whole corporeal form and the divine spirit that animates it.” In grasping at what you’ll say next, your memory harkens back onto her question of a moment ago. “When you asked about vengeance, wasn’t your tone one of distress, disbelief? Be truthful.”

At the implication that she’s been less than honest with you, Konngara’s smile instantly turns into a frown. “I need not any admonishment that I should speak with candor,” she glares, incensed. “That your conjectures were in agreement with my own disposed my thoughts towards surprise, not doubt. To recompense injuries done us with justice and seek satisfaction for wrongs – is this not the heart of righteousness? For if we recompense injuries done us with kindness, have we nothing left with which to recompense kindness?” Her displeasure’s subsided considerably in expounding her thoughts, supplanted by the seeming enthusiasm she has for ethical deliberations.

“Speaking purely with regards to the limited virtue of man, I don’t contest what you’re saying Konngara,” you reiterate what you’ve said, “but I’ve one other, related question. If, as we’ve both agreed; the righteousness of mortals is in rewarding others according to their measure, then what of that decision of mine which initiated our conversation now – my decision to negotiate with the Tengu? Weren’t you disappointed with it, ‘respecting righteousness’?”

“I discovered deficiencies in your decision, not disappointment,” Konngara calmly corrects you.

“Is there something else which you would have had me try?” You pose a probing query. “Because to choose the option that was most just would have entailed the loss of our gaining on the present circumstance.”

With a shake of her head, she signals to the contrary. “If by ‘the option that was most just’ you are referencing a pronouncement in which you refuse parley, you have drawn a false dichotomy from my speech.” Sounding less dissatisfied than she is hopeful that you’ll understand her point of view, Konngara elaborates. “My nature is not that of an ideologue – while your concession to the ‘exigencies of the present crisis’ finds less appeal for me than particular… alternatives,” she has a silly grin as her gaze travels down and to her side, onto her axe; “I would judge it as acceptable, but for a dolorous omission from you.”

...She’s halted, probably hoping that you’ll guess, but you’re really drawing nothing. “Enlighten me?” You encourage her on.

“Decorum.” She explains considerately, absently stroking your back all the while. “I presume that to acquiesce at treating with demons is as personally abhorrent for you as for I, and that you would rise above that high disdain to the safety of all is in my view, deserving of praise. I would not be so selfish as to hinder the efforts of one laden with the same burden of principle and seeking the greater good of which I am unable, in spite. But to what end would you not present a challenge that parley should only go forward on condition of apology, for having desecrated Sir Youki so?” Having put forward that very good question, Konngara’s lyrical timbre pitches higher in puzzlement. “Is there perhaps an intention of which I am unable to conceive, that you should commit such an eminently apparent oversight?”

You:
[ ] (Laughingly) “…I don’t think it’s ‘eminently apparent’ to anyone save you, Konngara. Really, I should thank you for gifting me with such a valuable insight, though I’d like to make a suggestion in return – maybe you should tell me sooner, next time?”
[ ] (Penitently) “No, your guess’s right on the mark, Konngara. I… just what was I thinking?”
[ ] (Seriously) “There is, actually. The character of that Tengu being what it was, I considered forcing that concession unlikely and therefore, to guarantee that we stayed absolutely clear of the most unfavorable outcome; I avoided broaching that question intentionally.”
[ ] (???) Say something else (Specify).
----------

Yes, this is the last choice pertaining to this conversation, calm your beards.
>> No. 111357
[x] (Laughingly) “…I don’t think it’s ‘eminently apparent’ to anyone save you, Konngara. Really, I should thank you for gifting me with such a valuable insight, though I’d like to make a suggestion in return – maybe you should tell me sooner, next time?”

I'd think this'd help ease the tension, and I think the relationship between these is strong enough to allow for such a thing. Myouren strikes me as a type to laugh at his own minor mistakes.
>> No. 111362
>“Decorum.” She explains considerately, absently stroking your back all the while. “I presume that to acquiesce at treating with demons is as personally abhorrent for you as for I, and that you would rise above that high disdain to the safety of all is in my view, deserving of praise. I would not be so selfish as to hinder the efforts of one laden with the same burden of principle and seeking the greater good of which I am unable, in spite. But to what end would you not present a challenge that parley should only go forward on condition of apology, for having desecrated Sir Youki so?” Having put forward that very good question, Konngara’s lyrical timbre pitches higher in puzzlement. “Is there perhaps an intention of which I am unable to conceive, that you should commit such an eminently apparent oversight?”

Had to break out the thesaurus for this part... "why didn't you make him say 'sorry' for mangling our friend before you made a deal" eh? I don't know what it was about this last paragraph, but I can practically hear her talking. She sounds like Keira Knightley. It's awesome.

Very good question nothing. That is a fantastic question. Good god, it would have worked on so many levels: making him own up the shit he pulled, set us above him in dealing with him, and making that smug bastard twist in the wind as he stumbled through an apology in front of his men... it would have been a fate worse than death! It would have been glorious! Is there anything wrong with saying just that?

[x] (Awestruck/jokingly) "No intention whatsoever my Lady, it was indeed an oversight; one that proves that I still have much to learn about the workings of the world. But I must confess, I thought only kept the company of one 'villain.' Extracting an apology from that obnoxiously prideful tengu before his subordinates? Mima would be proud of you, Konngara."

She has to know we're joking; this is like her joshing with us after we told her about sleeping with Yuyu. It never occurred to me, so we should give credit where credit is due: making him apologize would have been fantastically tortuous. Befitting of their crime, of course, but wickedly cruel none the less. Konngara and Mima are more similar than I thought. We should learn from them.

I need to ask: how's this vote supposed to work? I mean, I know what we as voters were thinking at the time, so I'm making this vote with that in mind, but can we actually (re)define Myouren's thought processes at the time to fit this vote? Like, make this a 'keikaku doori' thing if we say it was planned from the start or whatever? I'll keep my post password on hand depending on the answer.

>Yes, this is the last choice pertaining to this conversation, calm your beards.

I lol'd
>> No. 111363
[x] (Laughingly) “…I don’t think it’s ‘eminently apparent’ to anyone save you, Konngara. Really, I should thank you for gifting me with such a valuable insight, though I’d like to make a suggestion in return – maybe you should tell me sooner, next time?”
>> No. 111404
>>111353
[X] (Laughingly) “Would you believe me if I said I decided against such a demand considering the disposition of the Tengu and what the imposition of such a condition would have likely lead to? I can't say that that was the case, though... I don’t think it’s ‘eminently apparent’ to anyone save you, Konngara. Really, I should thank you for gifting me with such a valuable insight, though I’d like to make a suggestion in return – maybe you should tell me sooner, next time?”

Having my cake and eating it too? Perhaps, but the opportunity is too fun to pass up.
I do think she'd get a rise out of the '(Seriously)' vote, so I had to try and work that in somehow. I'm willing to give that a shot, if only to see her reaction to that and the joking. Understanding~

A very good question? Indeed. Would have been a fantastic course of action (>>111362)? Absolutely. 'Eminently apparent'? Now that's the Konngara logic we know and love. Part of the joke, yes, but perhaps
>maybe you should tell me sooner, next time?
will be a standing invitation to discuss what else is 'eminently apparent' to her sometime in the future? I can hope.
>> No. 111406
>“I presume that to acquiesce at treating with demons is as personally abhorrent for you as for I, and that you would rise above that high disdain to the safety of all is in my view, deserving of praise. I would not be so selfish as to hinder the efforts of one laden with the same burden of principle and seeking the greater good of which I am unable, in spite. But to what end would you not present a challenge that parley should only go forward on condition of apology, for having desecrated Sir Youki so?” Having put forward that very good question, Konngara’s lyrical timbre pitches higher in puzzlement. “Is there perhaps an intention of which I am unable to conceive, that you should commit such an eminently apparent oversight?”

[x] "There are number assumptions you may have made on my reasoning here that are incorrect, Konngara."
-[x] "First of all, in a life-death situation, even if there were a 100% chance of us both surviving, I would not have attacked the tengu in retribution, only if it would prevent further bloodshed. As a Buddhist I have an obligation to all the persons trapped in Samsara, animal, ghost, youkai, and human. As all anecdotal, historical, and fictional stories follow the same vein: Blood begets blood. And if the cycle is nor interrupted, there will only be ruination on both sides"
-[x] "Second, is my faith in the wheel of karma that this may be retribution on Youki's part, since Youki indeed seems the one who created jiang-si, which is an egregious violation of Buddhist morality, essentially trapping a spirit in its body and preventing it from reincarnating."
-[x] "Third, my experiences with both parties in the past: While I could not know the specifics, I have to assume these crow tengu were on a reconnaissance mission until Youki cut down their number, myself being the target of their mischief before. As their leader said, it is the white wolf tengu are used for most military purposes."
-[x] "On Youki's side, we have seen uncalled for aggression twice already. First, his attempt to assassinate me with the jiang-si, and second his challenge to you, even as you were injured, against his mistress orders.
-[x] Together as tengu are vain, and as Youki has no interest in 'skillful ways' there is little doubt in my mind he would attack them at first sight, their retribution then became swift and violent, and their operation botched, decided to set-up his death in the most ignominious manner possible.
-[x] Fourth, on account of the abovementioned vanity, as well as their genuine regret over their slain kinsmen, apologies would not be forthcoming."
-[x] "Finally, I am wondering how permanent this might be, since the corpse is mutilated but we have seen no sight of his ghastly doppelganger."
[x] "I would regale you with embarrassing tales of my prior interaction with tengu, but right we have to do something about Youki."

Keep in mind that Myouren comes from a religion that strains the water they drink so that not even an insect is done harm.

I'm reminded of a section of Lone Wolf & Cub, where the hero must assassinate religious leader:
"To kill, one must project Sakki, the death lust. If your opponent meets Sakki with Sakki or with fear—then you are able to swing your sword. But Mu, emptiness, is only emptiness."

It may have been mentioned before, but what Buddhist sect is Myouren from?
>> No. 111411
>>111406
It was only mentioned once, so I don't fault you for missing it.

Shingon (in a word, has a very heavy focus on the supernatural, even by the standards of other Mahayana schools).

(Pretty sure you already know, but for those that don't:)

In the present day, the most infamous sect in Japan is Zen and the most widely practiced is Pure Land, but in the period in which this story takes place, neither of these were even in existence.

>Keep in mind that Myouren comes from a religion that strains the water they drink so that not even an insect is done harm.

I've heard about the more extreme cases - sweeping the ground before all of your steps so as to not tread on any ants, wearing a veil so as to not accidentally inhale any gnats etc.

It's a very lofty ideal, firmly grounded in high church practices. I understand that we're talking about an era in which affliation with religious orders is going to put you above most of the population, but there was still a well-documented (look no further than the role of the Souhei in the Gempei War) divide between aforementioned high church practices/doctrine and religion as popularly practiced by ordinary people/spread by wandering priests like our hero here.

I know that creates complications with regards to these kinds of situations, but being able to explore these kinds of ever-present tensions between faith and humanity, reason and emotion through actions are interesting (well, to me anyway).

That said, I think I have a fair handle on all of the dualities present and can guarantee that the hero's character being what it is, he will pay due respect to both and not create internal inconsistencies. Which is exactly why when the overwhelming opinion was to answer the previous hypothetical in favor of ANNIHILATION, it was tempered by an acknowledgement of what Myouren the priest considers as his moral prerogatives and obligations and what Myouren the person would feel. As he himself stated, he isn't yet of a 'perfected virtue,' so I'm counting on those of you reading to see that he continues to learn while not straying away from the right path.

Also, will you be able to find time to write soon? I'm among those anticipating when you'll be able start updating again.
>> No. 111445
----------
“…I don’t think it’s ‘eminently apparent’ to anyone save you, Konngara.” You can’t help but laugh at how absurdly you’ve lapsed, how aptly she’s suggested. “And here, I thought I kept the company of only one ‘villain.’”

“Truly?” She’s giggling along with you. “But does my ‘charming demon’ not retain her advantage in that regard?”

“…I’m led to wonder about that. To coerce a stumbling apology from one as overbearingly proud as that Tengu, and before his subordinates no less?” With consternation inversely proportional to your awe at her, you sigh admiringly. “You’ve gifted me with such a valuable, deliciously cruel insight, Konngara. …I thank you and, if you’ll allow it; I’d like to grant you an insight of my own, as…” How to phrase it for maximum impact…? “…As compensation,” you finish.

With a lighthearted smile, Konngara lowers her head in obeisance. “I would know your will.”

With a deep breath, you gather yourself. “…Tell me sooner next time. …Your observations have a rare genius about them, Konngara; a uniquely penetrating lucidity whose like I’ve never encountered in anyone else. The bright edge of your perception doesn’t avail us much if it’s left to molder in its reticent scabbard, so…” Smiling now yourself, and silently giving thanks to the princess – the ‘Bride of Heaven’ – for it was by her metaphor you’ve been inspired; you reach beside to Konngara, tilting her chin to yours with two fingers. “Draw yourself and be my sword, why don’t you?”

Her liberal breast pressed against your shoulder, her strong arms locked firm around your trunk, Konngara’s answered by way of hugging you bodily.

“Only should you consent that I be honed to greater sharpness and held in constant kindness,” she whispers softly in your ear.

“But I’ve already granted you as much!” You whisper back laughingly. “Ask for something else!”

“…Then as alternative,” her amber eyes alight with design, “I would behold the miracle of which you told me prior.”

“And here I was just thinking we had to do something about Youki.” Agreeably bewildered, you’re unable to hide your astonishment. “…We’re really of one mind, sometimes.”

Supported by one of your hands held round her waist, pulling her up; she rises to a standing position together with you. “Gods, Demons, Humans all!” In a mighty voice, you cast your declaration into the sapphire night sky, “Bear witness to him who wields the sacred lightning of Ashuku Nyorai!”

Holding Konngara to your right as she beams with breath stolen, positively smitten; gripping your Vajra to your left, its sheen silhouetted against the stars and raised to pierce heaven itself, you invoke the most magnificent miracle you’ve ever endeavored.



----------

Scene shift, next part appears shortly. You get to vote then, so please wait warmly.
>> No. 111448
File 126535012785.jpg - (370.39KB , 1031x1468 , Black Lagoon v07 pg164.jpg ) [iqdb]
111448
>>111445
>you reach beside to Konngara, tilting her chin to yours with two fingers. “Draw yourself and be my sword, why don’t you?”

On particular scene (image related) was the first thing that came to mind at this point.

>Holding Konngara to your right as she beams with breath stolen, positively smitten; gripping your Vajra to your left, its sheen silhouetted against the stars and raised to pierce heaven itself, you invoke the most magnificent miracle you’ve ever endeavored.

Bitch in one hand, vajra in the other. Savin' the day.

Polite sage.
>> No. 111453
>>111448
You know, I haven't read/seen Black Lagoon, but the more I hear, the more appealing a series it sounds. How does it stack up against Phantom of Inferno (the VN, not the lolanimu version)?
>> No. 111456
>Bitch in one hand, vajra in the other. Savin' the day.
FUCK YEAR
>> No. 111471
File 126538936377.jpg - (244.07KB , 840x840 , 7377151.jpg ) [iqdb]
111471
>>111453
Can't help you with a comparison as I have no first hand experience with Phantom, but it's hard not to recommend Black Lagoon. It's an unrepentant action series with a decent amount of dark humor. The series can become increasingly dramatic depending on the subject matter, but the drama never lasts too long as there's no encompassing story, just segmented story arcs with bizarrely satisfying conclusions. The substance of the series comes from the poignant/twisted/obtuse way of exploring some common themes (killing, death, morals, honor, patriotism, revenge, innocence, etc.) and the development of the two main characters. Their relationship is a constantly evolving dynamic, and for one character, his adaptation to the depraved and utterly different world he's immersed in has become the focal point of speculation and interest right now.

In all fairness, for a series that entertains some semblance of realism, it gets really absurd at times, but it's more of a tongue-in-cheek poke at the big budget action movies its modeled after. The translations can be incredibly awkward at times too. The second half of El Baile de la muerte is nearly incomprehensible.
>> No. 111473
File 126539957728.jpg - (454.02KB , 1920x1080 , What.jpg ) [iqdb]
111473
>>111471
>It's an unrepentant action series with a decent amount of dark humor.
>The substance of the series comes from the poignant/twisted/obtuse way of exploring some common themes (killing, death, morals, honor, patriotism, revenge, innocence, etc.)
>the depraved and utterly different world he's immersed in
>a series that entertains some semblance of realism
>first result under the Black Lagoon tag on Danbooru
>> No. 111474
>>111473

Well, you know how fanartists tend to be.
>> No. 111478
Was too tired to do this justice last night. Barring something unexpected like the site dying again, I’d like to make a lot of progress this weekend because I’ll actually be rested and have time to write during the day.

----------
The knife in your hands is half smith’s master-proof, half artisan’s masterpiece.

Wrought of a good cast iron, its slightly-shorter-than-seven-inch blade has been ground along both its cutting faces to a razor’s fineness, smoothly tapering to a slender, dire point. Carefully weighted so as to balance the biting iron is a handle of burnished bronze of rare design – its cast so as to resemble a blooming, eight-petal lotus flower. Most people, knife-fighters or otherwise, would probably reserve this particular dagger as a utility piece. The length of its blade makes it generally unwieldy for throwing and its handle’s strange shape would require considerable familiarity of use so as to not be a hindrance in changing holds mid-battle. Only one very hard-pressed for weapons, very, very determined and very, very, very bored on those endless evenings in the cold wilderness would have the motivation to learn how to fight effectively with this knife.

…However, you’ve not just improvised, gotten by; you’ve mastered it – skirmishing with a weapon as this.

…Yes, as this.

It isn’t your knife.

After having finished your invocation to Akshobhya, fully summoning the might of his ‘master spark’ and fashioning it into a divinely-empowered command – that Youki should again draw breath and walk amongst the living; you were retrieving him. Wading waist-deep into the bloody blue-red beneath the waterfall’s heights, it was in catching your arms around Youki that you became aware of something lodged in his back. …A knife. Your knife. …Or rather, a knife of such shockingly similar sculpt that it’s visually and tangibly indistinguishable from yours.

...Those Tengu were dangerously sly. They positioned Youki so that with how he lay dead, floating on his back in the murky water; even Konngara’s penetrating discernment couldn’t have possibly seen the dagger they’d presumably planted in his back. If you hadn’t put the Lady to sleep and she’d pushed you aside instead, seen with horrified eyes, extinguished of all hope at how cruelly Youki had died; if she'd run heedless to him, sobbing out her heart as she sought to hold him in death and found that dagger instead…*

It would have been a terrible tragedy, the thought of it alone straining your nerves and your forbearance in equal measure; and thankfully, you’ve managed at avoiding it. Right now, still at the waterfall’s margin some distance away; are Youki and his Lady, together. With all his hurts mended but for the puncture left in his back, dressing that last injury on removing the knife; Youki’s been restored to himself, better actually – he’s regained the hand you destroyed and in his face is the happiness of one at peace with the world. Pillowed next to him in Konngara’s lap, slumbering in such close proximity that their noses practically touch; Yuyu’s sleeping expression flawlessly mirrors her love’s. Whether from the weight of her emotional encumbrances or the fervor of her various… exertions today, it’s readily apparent that she’s been left exhausted by all that’s happened. Seeing her thus ensconced, held by Konngara as she dozes dreamily beside Youki, all while the former’s running her fingers through the Lady’s hair against the backdrop of the waterfall and starry sky – it would cut a wonderful picture, but for one setback.

Youki’s not breathing.

That’s right. Though your best efforts, made with all your heart and mind were able to resurrect his flesh, his soul – Youki’s soul – you couldn’t recall or reconstitute it, even with Ashuku Nyorai’s help. And so, here you are, seated under that crooked pine tree where you spoke with him just this morning, holding that sinisterly immaculate facsimile of your knife and deliberating. In spite of how she’s presently sleeping, seeming so worn down; you’ve an intimate understanding that Yuyu’s an energetic, lively young woman. ‘Miracle energy’ or not, it’s only a matter of time before as cheerful and bubbly a disposition as hers overcomes its fatigue and awakens. …Therefore, you:

[ ] Search for Youki’s soul. Meditate here.
[ ] Wake the Lady.
[ ] Believe Mima or Murasaki might be able to help out. Return with Konngara to the tree with Youki and Yuyu in tow.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------

*Can’t say this would be an uninteresting scene, can you? Didn’t get to write it, but I can say I’m comforted by that your choice has opened an avenue by which I can try something even more appealing. Be grateful to those among you who had the courage to stray away from the ‘safe’ option, because she would have never suffered you put her to sleep if she didn’t believe in you.
>> No. 111479
[x] Search for Youki’s soul. Meditate here.
>> No. 111480
[x] Believe Mima or Murasaki might be able to help out. Return with Konngara to the tree with Youki and Yuyu in tow.
I believe in this option.
>> No. 111481
>Holding Konngara to your right as she beams with breath stolen, positively smitten; gripping your Vajra to your left, its sheen silhouetted against the stars and raised to pierce heaven itself, you invoke the most magnificent miracle you’ve ever endeavored.

sure is american action-drama in here
>> No. 111482
[x] Search for Youki’s soul. Meditate here.
[x] Believe Mima or Murasaki might be able to help out. Have Konngara go to the tree with Yuyu in tow.

That is unless the choices are exclusive.
>> No. 111489
[x] Search for Youki’s soul. Meditate here.

Mima's not a ghost. Not yet. And you have Acala to aid you in your search. 'Susanoo' is a similar being, and were we to find him, undoubtedly we would find Youki.

As for Murasaki, she is no doubt aware of the situation. If she would help us, it will be subtle. If she would hinder us, well... let's not get paranoid.
>> No. 111509
Please vote quickly, this part's going to move very fast. Some of the choices have might have others immediately subsequent.

----------
You’ve a limited number of options given the situation, but there’s one which should take precedent before any attempts to the alternative. After dropping the duplicate dagger in the dry dirt immediate beside, you close off your vision. Pressing your hands together, straightening your back and adjusting your legs beneath you; after drawing in deeply and baring yourself of your ‘self,’ you begin meditating. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, consciousness, awareness, life, death, time, space; your spirit’s freed of these constraints and expands immeasurably, infinitely. Your mind becomes the world’s mind, your heart becomes the world’s heart; your eyes become the world’s eyes.

Now omniscient, boundlessly understanding and all-seeing, holding the whole power of the living world within the fingers of your soul; you fling wide the net of your mind, heart and sight to find Youki’s wandering ghost.





>For what do you pray?

An unfamiliar ‘voice,’ heard with ‘ears’ of your spirit. You’re… not able to perceive its source?
Know that you face Acala, High King of the Four Directions and Protector of Vairocana, interloper. Name yourself.

>…!

T…this! Acala! Do you feel it too? It’s like something’s right behind me, holding onto me! …Acala?

>…For what do you pray?

Your immediate response is to:
[ ] Not answer – try at breaking your trance to escape thereby.
[ ] Not answer – demand that it identify itself.
[ ] Not answer – demand that it tell you what it did with Acala.
[ ] Not answer – demand that it reveal where it’s taken Youki.
[ ] Answer.
----------

>>111489
>Mima's not a ghost. Not yet.

Fatalistic, aren't you?
>> No. 111510
[x] Answer.

It wants an answer, then it'll get one. I'm sure it'll shed light on things afterwards.
>> No. 111513
[x] Answer.
>> No. 111522
I think we're looking for an answer, as in a write-in. For what do you pray? Well, there's the long answer: we pray to find Susano-o that we might reunite it with his corporeal half in an effort to bring (half-)life back to Youki, thus returning him to us, and most importantly, Yuyu. Then there's the short answer:
[x] Answer: "I pray to reunite this noble young warrior with his Lady, so that they may share their love for one another."

If the Princess Bride taught me anything, it's that true love is always the answer. Could be wrong about wanting a write-in, in which case:
[x] Answer.
>> No. 111524
File 126543832381.jpg - (17.16KB , 609x341 , Votefaster.jpg ) [iqdb]
111524
----------
>[x]Answer

Pick one:
[ ] Dominion
[ ] Glory
[ ] Love
[ ] Triumph
[ ] Prosperity
[ ] Hope
[ ] Peace
[ ] Honor
[ ] Knowledge
[ ] Sacrifice
[ ] Justice
[ ] Vengeance
[ ] Faith
----------
>> No. 111527
[x] Love

Disregarding the setting and the universe of this CYOA, I firmly believe that, first and foremost, this is a story of love.
Our character is a starving man in a desert, with an irresistible urge to receive and to give it. He's a monk, yes, so what? Aren't all religions about love, the one we receive from the god in question and how can we earn and/or reciprocate it?
>> No. 111528
[x] Hope
>> No. 111531
[x] Knowledge

Knowledge is good...
>> No. 111532
I'm leaving this one open until I wake up. Expect multiple updates tomorrow.
>> No. 111533
[x] Hope
Without it you might as well be just dead.
>> No. 111534
[x] Love/compassion

From the brotherly affection towards Youki, to the mixed affection towards the lady, Love is a major factor behind this event. We want Youki and Yuyuko to have their happy ending.
>> No. 111537
[ö] Hope
>> No. 111540
Break the tie, please.
>> No. 111544
>>111534
Compassion is a type of love, I think.

Also, spamcheck?
>> No. 111546
>>111544
>spamcheck

Could you or any of those others among you do it? The blizzard's making it difficult for me to stay online.

Alternately, someone could break the tie. It doesn't matter to me either way, I'd just like to get moving today.
>> No. 111548
[X] Shoes
[X] I mean, not just any shoes, though. Like, really fucking awesome shoes. These are the shoes of fucking God I'm talking here.
[X] And totally badass. I mean, beautiful and splendor of the universe and all that is good and stuff, but the badass is key. These have got to be some badass shoes I'm getting.
>> No. 111564
>>111546

I deleted my vote (>>111530), tie should be broken now.
>> No. 111567
----------
[x] Hope.

>…What is your offering, that ‘Hope’ should be yours?

Pick one:
[ ] Dominion
[ ] Glory
[ ] Love
[ ] Triumph
[ ] Prosperity
[ ] Hope
[ ] Peace
[ ] Honor
[ ] Knowledge
[ ] Sacrifice
[ ] Justice
[ ] Vengeance
[ ] Faith
----------
>> No. 111569
[x] Justice
Justice for Hope.
>> No. 111570
>>111567
[x] Glory
>> No. 111575
if we have to give up something like that phrase might suggest, then let it be:
[x] Dominion
Ruling over land is of little value compared to a humble life with those that you love.
>> No. 111576
[x] Glory

Romans 8:24
"For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?"
>> No. 111588
[ö] Dominion
>> No. 111590
...Break the tie please.
>> No. 111591
[x] Dominion
>> No. 111596
[x]Hope.
[y]Dominion.

>…And to what will you swear; that you should render up ‘Dominion’ and obtain ‘Hope’ hereafter?

Pick one:
[ ] Dominion
[ ] Glory
[ ] Love
[ ] Triumph
[ ] Prosperity
[ ] Hope
[ ] Peace
[ ] Honor
[ ] Knowledge
[ ] Sacrifice
[ ] Justice
[ ] Vengeance
[ ] Faith
----------
>> No. 111597
[x] Love
I believe above all else, compassion is most important to Myouren.
>> No. 111600
>>111597
[X] Love
>> No. 111609
[x] Love
>> No. 111614
<input type="checkbox" name="post[]" value="11099

Does anyone else see this in trying to scroll down in the thread? Writing regardless.
>> No. 111616
Dominion? Unexpected but... it might be more accurate than it seems.

[x] Love
>> No. 111626
File 126552259954.png - (124.16KB , 600x450 , 8624405.png ) [iqdb]
111626
>>111619
>And thus, Myouren passed from the world of the living and from human knowledge

Oh for the love of...
[x] Back 16 choices

Let's just stare at the tree instead.
>> No. 111627
I hope none of you derided the importance of the previous choices simply because they were short.

----------
[x]Hope.
[y]Dominion.
[z]Love.

With that, the presence arresting your attention abates, its enigmatic exploration into your emotions (that’s what this is… right?) having reached its end.

>…We will meet soon.

Simultaneous to the release of the hold on you, there’s a ‘push’ – a wrenching twist to dislocate the jewel of your spirit from the setting of your flesh. Following it’s a frightening feeling, made all the more alarming because it’s a familiar feeling; of your psyche plummeting from the summit of the world, dropping towards the depths of inscrutable oblivion after having skirted too closely that delicate demarcation between omnipresence and nonexistence. In other words, it’s the sensation of entering meditation inverted – instead of the world falling away from you; you’re falling away from the world…?

Is… this couldn’t be…?

You – you don’t fear it! You don’t! You won’t!

You still need to achieve sainthood and become a Bodhisattva! And besides, there’s still so much that you’ve yet to learn, so much that you’ve yet to see and hear, to yet comprehend – your wonderful companions included! They’re all such extraordinary individuals in their own right, old and new alike; yet they’ve all still to rise above their difficulties, all still to earn the happiness that’s rightfully theirs! How – how could you desert them now, when you’ve yet to support them in their troubles and deepen the bonds between, to forsake them before as great a trial as tomorrow…?!

You absolutely, completely, positively, definitely, certainly can’t die here! You can’t – won’t shrink away from life; for your friends’ sake and… and for her sake, as well.

…That’s right. Though you’re lost to the world, set adrift in the indistinct sea of impenetrable mentality; though you’re lost to your newfound allies, demoned-away in the dread arms of death; though lost even to the power that’s protected you always, enveloped in total, terrifying darkness; she’s still here with you.

Your beloved sister, Byakuren.

Looking on her smiling face with eyes that can’t any longer see, holding her lissome form with hands that can’t any longer feel, your last moments were spent speaking with her, whispering in a voice that can’t any longer reach.

“Help me, Sister. Please, help me. I… don’t want to be the one who… breaks the pledge we made. I don’t… want you… mad at... me. So… please…? ”



And thus, Myouren passed away from the world of the living and from human knowledge?
----------

edit: I don't know why it kept submitting multiple times when I pressed once.
>> No. 111629
>>111626

You presume too soon about things; always look at the spoiler tags, since they're a sign of something more than what it appears. I guess then we have to wait until the next update to see what happens. No choices mean there's a part two.
>> No. 111632
Well, 'twas a good run. See you later, I guess.
>> No. 115877
>>115871
>I understand that pursuance of your personal principles makes it necessary to deny me a fair chance as your friend; hence, I have offered you what I judge as next-best – a fair chance as my enemy.

Well, at least we agree on that much, but seeing all of his forces leveled on us leaves me with a distinct sense of dread and vague notion that we made a mistake not agreeing to parlay. However, if our current gambit proves unsuccessful, I think we'll be having this conversation against our will. But with friends like him, who needs arch nemeses?

Speculation time! My favorite time of the day!
Balor (deadly eyes, resident of Makai) might be YuugenMagan (http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/YuugenMagan). Psychodiver... I want to say Satori, because the name fits well, but being in Makai when she should still technically be in Hell (I think this is before the Hell/underground split) doesn't make sense. Other than that I got nothing. Twin Stars could be Yuki and Mai (http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Yuki) or Shingyoku (http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Shingyoku). Those are the only Makai residents that work in "pairs," but how Shingyoku might be portrayed is a bit weird.

>I trust that you will see that he is not recovered prematurely
So that means he was going to be recovered eventually, probably after Yuyu is dead has become the ghost princess Yuyuko. I reckon High King would correct the time paradox caused by removing Youki (thus eliminating Youmu's chance for existence) only after the Saigyou Ayakashi is sealed.
>If his reluctance is unchanged from the time of your previous report, and you have exhausted other measures, I allow you access to the final solution – you may tell him the truth
Crap. I don't think this would have been bad if we had taken the opportunity way back when to teach Youki using his relationship with Yuyu to realized his feelings (but that really was an obtuse result), but he might not be as resistant to High King's brand of persuasion as he would otherwise. I hope Youki will have enough faith in our abilities to stop whatever calamity they'll try and feed him, but a person with a name like "Psychodiver" is probably mighty persuasive.

Some options aren't really viable to me; questions would eat up some valuable time, and reversing our position just doesn't make sense. The other three, though, are really appealing and have plenty of ups and downs. Stopping Rumia would prevent some apparently nasty reinforcements, but in that time Balor is going to give Psychodiver the OK to ramp up whatever they're doing to Youki and will promptly attack Princess Royal. Finding Youki would let us collect him, hopefully before Balor arrives, and we could in turn beat feet to backup Princess Royal. However, depending on how long it takes to find him and what challenges Psycho Mantis presents, it could turn into a 2 against 1, and our odds are slim against whatever Balor is packing. Backing up Princess Royal might crush what defenses are left and would tip the favor in a fight against Balor, but by that time whatever they'll have done whatever to Youki and those Twin Stars will probably en route.

[X] They’re doing something to Youki. You need to find him. Now.

I feel the best doing this. I think we're going to be in trouble if we have to take Balor by ourself, but that's only a problem if we don't find Youki first. Even more, High King cautioned that Balor's "eyes" would have no effect on Princess Royal since she has an "evil spirit." While lack of an evil spirit renders us susceptible to whatever the "eyes" do, I wonder if Acala would grant the same protection (would the High King consider Acala an "evil spirit")? Assuming we find Acala, of course.

Also, and don't ask what I'm basing this on other than bizarre intuition, but I don't think Psychodiver is all that bad; I think she was the one we talked to way back starting in >>111509 and the one that pulled us here. Acala is a part of our mind, so someone with psychic powers (presumably why her call sign is Psychodiver) could seal him away. How this person got us to Makai is something else entirely. Way back in >>112190, the High King rattled off his strongest members; the Twin Stars, the General, and the Apprentice. Twin Stars remain the same and Balor is either the General or is the General's assistant (that's what an adjutant is, after all). I wonder if Psychodiver is the Apprentice, or if the Apprentice has yet to be revealed. I think it's the latter, and I want to see this Psycho-person.

I wonder if High King was going to make the same friendly offer to whoever he was expecting to come here. I wonder what they would have done if he had. I wonder what would have become of them if they accepted.