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111633 No. 111633
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…There’s many metaphors those more poetically inclined have ascribed to death – lonesome, pale, cold, dim.

However, none of those descriptors or any of the more florid synonyms with which you’re familiar do adequate justice in expressing the death you’re feeling right now.

…Death is uncomfortably stiff.

That was your first thought on coming to, finding yourself sprawled face down against a hard, freezing floor – an unfamiliar floor. In fact, this whole space’s unfamiliar…?

The alien room in which you’ve awakened isn’t a room at all, actually; it’s a hallway – wide and very, very long, to boot. Even without calling upon your precognition, you’re more than aware than this isn’t a particularly pleasant place. Smelling faintly of dust and dry decay, it’s deadly silent and very poorly lit; the heights of its ceiling sunk in indefinite shadow. The unbroken sequence of towering glass windows set all along the hallway’s left-hand side would seem a corrective to the impotence of those few braziers burning with blue fire along its opposite wall, but for the hard, gray light that’s cheerlessly dribbling in. Rather than the illumination and comfort afforded by Vairocana, this fell mockery only serves at rendering the meager corridor sickly and sinister – the dressed, but not-mortared stones that make its walls look almost the color of bleached bones and the thin, tattered red carpet at its center isn’t unlike a bloodstained shroud.

…Yes, even without Acala’s warning, you’re well-informed as to what this place resembles in its atmosphere.

A mausoleum.

And as for you…?

While you’ve no mirror on hand, in feeling about your body, checking your pulse and breath, as well as making a quick trial in the classic procedure of pinching to thereby ensure that you’re still capable of sensation; the tentative conclusion you’ve drawn is that you’re alive and unchanged ,but for one addition.

Wrapped about your shoulders and back is a sturdy, slightly-discolored black cloak, lined with leather. Too small, especially about the shoulders; it’s pinned at your collar by a beautiful bronze brooch bejeweled with white enamel, fashioned after the same eight-petal water lily motif as you’d later had matched in your knife.

Somehow, though you’d folded it with loving care and placed it at the bottom of your bag, you’ve donned your sister’s cloak – or perhaps, your sister’s cloak donned you…? Whatever the case might be, you’re comforted by how your prayer’s reached her, both with regards to being affirmed in your faith that she still cares for you and also, in that this hallway’s downright glacial. The locale from which you’ve so freshly departed, the Lady’s land; coming from as hot and humid a home, the ageless cold of this ‘mausoleum’s’ a difficult exchange.



After finding the rest of your gear in good order, you’re considering the path your plans should now pursue. The length of hallway before you stretches on for as far as your eyes can follow in the anemic gray light, the sparse series of nigh-useless lanterns along its right-hand side occasionally interrupted by a heavy wooden door. Behind you, after only a very small distance of some twenty feet; the progression of ‘natural’ and artificial illumination both fail entirely and make way before a deep, impenetrable gloom.

Your first course of action is to:
[ ] Approach the windows on the left and have a look outside.
[ ] Approach one of the doors on the right and have a look inside.
[ ] Forge into the hallway ahead and remain mindful of unseen threats.
[ ] Find an appropriate scripture and investigate the darkness behind.
[ ] Call out to Acala?
[ ] Attempt a detection.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
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>> No. 111634
[x] Approach one of the doors on the right and have a look inside.

Well this was surprising yet not. I'm rather lost, so I figured taking a look inside might shed some light about that's going on.
>> No. 111636
[x] Forge into the hallway ahead and remain mindful of unseen threats.
>> No. 111643
[x] Call out to Acala?
>> No. 111647
[x] Find an appropriate scripture and investigate the darkness behind.
Advancing without looking at behind isn't determination. It is foolish to not learn from the past before looking at the future.
>> No. 111648
I hate to derail, but it looks like Yuyuko is standing on some train tracks, illuminated by the headlights of the train bearing down on her. Looks like Yukari wasn't always her friend, huh?
>> No. 111650
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111650
>>111648
>I hate to derail, but

I see what you did there.

I'm going to get started after lunch, so if any one else wants to vote, do it quick.
>> No. 111653
>>111633
[x] Find an appropriate scripture and investigate the darkness behind.

Changed vote. I don't necessarily agree with >>111647, since turning around to investigate what's behind you doesn't feel analogous to reflecting upon past actions to inform future decisions. What does strike me, though, is that this 'impenetrable gloom' is the one ill-defined aspect of the 'mausoleum.' A blackness situated behind us in the realm of the dead and an opportunity to consult our scriptures? I think that might put the situation into context.

If I had my druthers, I'd look outside the window to see the environment (or lack thereof) we're situated in. But with votes being scarce, I'll take this opportunity to try and divine the nature of this unnatural darkness.
>> No. 111654
I think the lack of votes is due to folks being lost after getting plopped down in a strange place.
>> No. 111657
[X] Find an appropriate scripture and investigate the darkness behind.
>> No. 111661
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…Of the many unknowns you’ve now to comprehend and conquer, you’re most immediately drawn to the deep darkness behind you. Perhaps it’s humanity’s primal fear of the night awakened in you, survived as sinister murmurs to your heart; but that stretch of shadowed corridor’s subtly disquieting to your sensibilities. …Fortunately, however; you’re not one of those powerless, pitiable proto-humans – those sad scavengers born into the benighted years of prehistory before the ascendance of Siddartha Gautama.

No – you’re a fully-empowered priest of the Shingon teachings, sworn to enlighten those thousands of the poor and downtrodden who’ve been kept ignorant of the Dharma. What’s dispelling the dusk from one dusty hall compared against illuminating the minds of all mankind?

“O Venerable Transcendant Victor!” You declare aloud, having smoothly drawn and unfurled a lengthy scroll, reading from it in a godly voice that you should rend the icy, stagnant gloom; “I, the goddess Sarasvati, will bestow eloquence in order to adorn the speech of the monk who expounds the Dharma. I will grant him dharani! I will invest in him the power of authoritative speech. To the monk who expounds the Dharma, I will give great illumination of knowledge. If he loses or forgets a word or a letter from the King of Glorious Sturas, the Sublime Golden Light, I will supply the monk who expounds the Dharma with all the definite sounds, letters and words! I will grant him dharani to prevent it being lost so that the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light may last long without disappearing from Jambudvipa for the sake of sentient beings who plant roots of virtue before hundreds of thousands of Buddhas, the Transcendant Lords, so that these numerous sentient being may develop sharp wisdom on hearing the King of Glorious Sutras…”


…Appealing to the Great Goddess Sarasvati, the Great Goddess Shri and the Earth Goddess Drdha each in turn; you call upon them that they should fulfill their respective vows – that virtue should be unto him that sustains the Sublime Golden Light. And even here, even in this sorrowful sepulcher so far removed from Vairocana’s shining fingers; the covenant they’ve made with your fellowship isn’t forgotten. At the conclusion of your prayer, praising the three Goddesses and the Tathagata giving them audience, Sakyamuni; there appears beneath your feet a sanctified circle of radiant hope, bounded by a blazing, lambent love. Fixed with your stride, it follows your fearless advance into the darkness behind, made with staff in hand and sutras ready.

Before the combined might of the triumvirate Goddess’ power, the impenetrable gloom’s immediately burned away, leaving only scattered, ashen shadows dancing upon decrepitude. And, though the luminous protection they’ve granted you doesn’t extend fully in its diameter to the walls; the difference in this decrepitude from that which preceded it is patent, even to your dampened sight. The left-hand side’s much the same, albeit that none of the braziers are lit and the walls’ white limestone’s further defaced by cracking and cobwebs; but the right? Replacing the soaring windows is a succession of huge paintings, each the size of a small mural; held aloft in crumbling frames.

…From where you’re presently pressing forward at corridor’s center, you’re not able to make out much of them, apart from that they’re of uncommon size.

You…?
[ ] …Will pass on the prospect of striking out to inspect them. Disregard the deteriorating (possibly deadly) decoration and advance further down into the darkness.
[ ] …Will approach carefully and have a look at the one closest. It might afford you with something more substantive as to where you’ve presently found yourself than “‘mausoleum’ replete with the presence of ancient death.”
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>> No. 111664
[x] …Will approach carefully and have a look at the one closest. It might afford you with something more substantive as to where you’ve presently found yourself than “‘mausoleum’ replete with the presence of ancient death.”
We need to find some idea where or perhaps WHEN we are as to find way back to where we belong.
>> No. 111665
[x] …Will approach carefully and have a look at the one closest. It might afford you with something more substantive as to where you’ve presently found yourself than “‘mausoleum’ replete with the presence of ancient death.”
>> No. 111682
[x] …Will pass on the prospect of striking out to inspect them. Disregard the deteriorating (possibly deadly) decoration and advance further down into the darkness.
IRON STEEL SURGE
>> No. 111683
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111683
>> No. 111684
[x] …Will approach carefully and have a look at the one closest. It might afford you with something more substantive as to where you’ve presently found yourself than “‘mausoleum’ replete with the presence of ancient death.”

Paintings? Of everything that could have been back there, giant paintings? My curiosity is piqued. What could these possibly tell us about the nature of the mausoleum? Should be a conversation piece when we meet whoever brought us here.

After googling the terms of the prayer, it seems like the Sublime Golden Light is not something to be taken lightly. It makes sense that a cadre of Goddesses would be dedicated to making sure the monks that expound its greatness are well protected. I don't know how much I should be reading into a covenant made to keep the Sublime Golden Light from disappearing from the world of humans (Jambudvipa) being honored in the realm of the dead.

Golden Light Sutra: http://www.fpmt.org/teachers/zopa/advice/pdf/sutragoldenlight0207lttr.pdf
>> No. 111692
[x] …Will pass on the prospect of striking out to inspect them. Disregard the deteriorating (possibly deadly) decoration and advance further down into the darkness.
>> No. 111699
Writing.
>> No. 111724
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You’ve not a little knowledge of the danger posed by walls and windows - especially windows - in as ghoulish a place as this seems, but… the lure of learning’s stronger.

After halting to look and listen into the twilight all about, it’s with measured steps and furtively fingering the handle of your knife that you approach that canvas closest on your right.

The edges are peeling and the whole surface’s become yellowed with age, but this representation’s in remarkable condition otherwise.

Vertically aligned, the top portion’s a pastel afternoon sky, done in beiges and blues and pinks; interspersed throughout by creamy clouds. The reason that the sky’s done in such an artistically-muted style is to no doubt draw attention to those personages flying within it.

Like unto Tengu they seem on first impression, for they’ve the features of handsome men and beautiful women, but winged. However, everything beyond that initial similarity compels you that you should disavow your descriptor – for what Tengu would be aught of white flame upon his brow? What Tengu would be aught of shining fire in his eyes? What Tengu would be aught of balances and burning broadswords in his hand? What Tengu would be aught of silver raiment mantling his person? And, most of all; what Tengu would be aught of even two wonderful white wings, to say nothing of six?

Those three Devas (for what else could they be?) cresting the zenith of the picture, two male and one female, have their attention upon its lower reaches – what seems to be a desert. That area of the painting that’s nearer to eye level is chiefly occupied by a stony, sloping hill, barren of any vegetation but for some parched bushes and spare, arid grass. The summit isn’t desolate though, for raised atop its heights are three roods, erected in a line and…?

…Upon each of them is set a man?

By far, the most attention’s been afforded to him on the middle rood – not only is his place ahead of the others, placed in the foreground of the picture; but the fixation of the Devas upon him and the comparably greater detail in which he’s drawn would lead you to surmise that he’s this piece’s focal point. A younger man, of apparent age scarce more than yours; his striking countenance’s contorted in a grimace of pain, the nails in piercing his hands and feet and the bloody, thorny circlet matted in his chestnut hair all serving to torture him. But compared with those two writhing at his left and at his right, this man’s suffering’s shown almost nobly – as much as you’re able to concede about assigning positive qualities to suffering, anyway. Although he’s been shorn of any garb save for some dirty rags around his loins and the cruel crown atop his head, in his anguished face is also conveyed an overwhelming dignity and determination, an impossible courage; before which all the world’s evil would be rendered powerless.

On the bottom of this depreciated work of art is a small piece of metal, affixed onto the warped wood in which it’s encased. …A placard.

This painting’s named…?

In ceasing your measured examination, in pressing close to the tarnish to remove the tarnish with the ends of your sleeves in hand; it’s only then you’ve become aware that the entire world’s gone pitch black. Beside and behind you isn’t a mere lack of luminosity, no – it’s an absolute darkness, a shadow existence whose nature is as cosmic antithesis to the sacred power that's hallowing out the ground beneath you, the Goddess' protection; the sole source of light and hope and love in this benighted world.

It’s an absolute Darkness, a shadow existence that’s alive.

Pressing towards you, slowly.

Panting with predatory exhilaration, the Darkness opens wide its gaping maw and, grinding its teeth, utters:


“The Saint, crucified on the Cross.”

…It comes.

Response:
[ ] Fight.
[ ] Flight.
[ ] Communicate.
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>> No. 111729
>>111724
[x] Communicate.
Fight and flight are instinctual reactions. I like to think that our monk is above that.
Finally, we came here to ask for a favor. if we must fight, we should try to learn why
>> No. 111730
>>111724
So we're about to be eaten by a Grue. One with fine taste in western art, no less. There's a small handful of Tohuous that would know or care about Christianity, would have a propensity to lurking in shadows, and have any reason to be described as "predatory."

>It’s an absolute Darkness, a shadow existence that’s alive
>a shadow existence whose nature is as cosmic antithesis to the sacred power that's hallowing out the ground beneath you
"Shadow existence" is the common denominator. Why does this sound familiar?

>>110833
>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.

The mind reels at the prospects. Then again, describing something as a "shadow existence that’s alive" and then trying to say it's dead/undead is a bit of a stretch. I'd point to the fact that it snuck up on us, but we weren't actively trying to detect for anything either.

Fleeing is right out. I'd not show my back to such a creature. Lashing out in attack doesn't seem very becoming, especially if this person is a collector of fine art. Then again, chit chatting with our "cosmic antithesis" as it describes said art with "predatory exhilaration doesn't seem like the most sensible plan of action.

Then again... spoiler tags used like this, like for Mima's heartlessness and Youki's dead body, tend to describe a situation but also Myouren's 'perception' of it at the time, regardless of the 'truth' of the situation. As we've seen, that heartlessness and Youki's state of thoroughly dead were disproven later (still working on that last one, actually): we misunderstood Mima's reason for saying it like that, and reuniting Youki's body with his spirit still exists as a possibility because of his half-ghost nature. For as offensive as this presence is, the threat seems more perceived than actual.

Final criteria for determination: what's the capable, confident, and "manly" thing to do? For as natural as attacking something so heinous to our senses seems, it really only looks like lashing out in fear at the unknown. It's the opposite of what someone composed and self aware would do. Regardless of how awful this presence may be, it has given us no reason to be antagonistic. If it wanted to kill us, would it have introduced its presence? We should confront it with the confidence and grace befitting of someone of our abilities.

[X]Communicate

inb4 EX Rumia
>> No. 111731
[X]Communicate
Very Well, talk it is then.
>> No. 111734
[x] Communicate.

all signs point to EX Rumia
>> No. 111739
[x] Communicate.
>> No. 111747
Writing.
>> No. 111748
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111748
>>111747
Oh no! A bad end, I feel it in my bonesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
>> No. 111750
>>111748
It really is ominous when they just say "Writing" like that for some reason.
>> No. 111765
>[ ] (Staff + ‘Miracle Energy’) …Are smart enough to keep from stumbling round blindly. It’s probably going to attack soon, so focus on feeling the transference of its movement through the air and at that time, parry and counterattack with a spiritual strike.
My instinct would lead me to do this.

>[ ] (Scriptures) ...Make use of those Heart Sutras you removed and placed folded between the rope around your waist and your cassock on advancing into the gloom to disperse the darkness that’s covered this area.
Not seeing this working. The Sublime Golden Light isn't really doing much.

>[ ] (Detection) …Decide that if you can’t see it with the eyes of your flesh, you’ll find it with the eyes of your spirit.
Seems like a reasonable choice, but will we be able to fight at the same time?

>[ ] (Experience/Tactics) …Consider that victory’s also decided by choosing an appropriate place in which to do battle. In a hallway as this, you’re forced to commit your senses and defenses upon every corner, every direction. Without the ability to feel in advance the avenue from which attacks will appear, even if you’re able to fend off those assaults immediately fatal; there’s a strong possibility of a repeat of what nearly happened in your battle with Youki – having your movements slowed and eventually bleeding to death from accumulating small wounds. You recall having seen a door on the left-hand side of the hallway opposite the painting you’ve just perused, so enter therein and, from that more predictable stage; play out your production of protection and reprisal.
We have no idea where that door leads. It feels risky.

>[ ] (Wisdom King) …Call out to Acala?
I can't really see anything wrong with this. Acala's track record is still good.

>[ ] (Withdraw) …Think that this is one of those situations where it might be best that you “advance to the rear,” at least until you’ve a better grasp of your bearings.
Turn our back on a boss? Or just back away cautiously? Either way momentum is lost.

>[ ] (Sociability) …Try catching the monster off-guard or otherwise gain some advantage in asking it a question.
We tried this. It didn't work very well.

>[ ] (VAJRA) …Think that Darkness is something of which only bed-wetting children have any justification at being afraid and that you’ve not the time to play around with as pitiful a monster as this. Reduce it to the level of sub-atomic particles and get back to looking for Youki.
No. We can survive this without it.

[halibut] Punch it in the throat.

[bass] (Staff + ‘Miracle Energy’)

Unless 'Detection' will still let us fight back, in which case:

[salmon] Detection
>> No. 111773
>>111765
I like this approach
[x] (Staff + ‘Miracle Energy’)
[x] (Detection)

To me, it seems that "focus(ing) on feeling the transference of its movement through the air" and 'Detection' compliment each other, but maybe that's just me. Even if detection is as cursory as getting a brief read on Rumia's 'signal,' picking up on her essence is a step in the right direction.

Also; holy shit it really was EX Rumia.

>Has there been a proportional decline in quality or are things fine?
Quality has never dropped off. If anything it's getting better. The buddhist terminology threatens to crush me every once in a while, but that's what google is for.

One thing has been bugging me to no end though. Making people slog through previous updates for the little details that will help them make good decisions is fine; keeps people aware of what's happened before and lets them learn. That's not a bad thing, but as threads and updates pile up, not including links to your previous threads is really starting to wear my patience mighty thing. If not for the handy-dandy "View catalog" link and familiarity with the pics used for the first post, I'd have given up on that shit by now. Organize your threads better.

That said, I'm working on distilling the first thread into an .rtf that I'll throw onto Mediafire/pastebin for quick n easy access when it finally gets bumped off /th/.
>> No. 111777
One question for those of you reading this. I have been exhorting myself to write more quickly as of late (in no small part because everything that I had to slog through setting up is going to reach fruition soon). Has there been a proportional decline in quality or are things fine?

Not asking because of a "OH NOES I WANT AFFIRMATION OR I WILL EMO OUT AND QUIT :(((" deviantart mentality. I'd just like a perspective outside my own, since I have first-hand experience it makes things better.

Comparing how I wrote at the start and how I write now, I find considerable improvement born of practice and advice, and I have you lot to thank for it. Any input (or no input, doesn't matter) is welcome.

----------
…It’s possessed of sufficient intelligence to process complex thoughts into human speech. And, more critically; it’s female, judging from how it’s intoned to you. Therefore…

“…Miss?” Calling calmly to her, you’ve not turned around or made any false moves. “I’d just like to say – you’ve a nice voice. Really, I mean that!” You add earnestly, noticing the presence’s strange standstill. “The way in which your inflection’s upon the latter of your syllables; it confers such an enchanting lilt upon your words, not unlike…” you’re considering an appropriate metaphor, “not unlike a nightingale’s.”

What follows this cultivated, cultured flattery is first silence, for a short span; with neither of you so much as shifting in the stillness. And then…

“Is that so~?” The Darkness laughs lightly, innocence inconsistent with its menace of a moment ago. “Thank you!”

Electing to press your advantage, but careful not to press it too much, you’ve deliberated upon an appropriately chivalrous question that should nevertheless serve as an increase in your familiarity. Spinning round slowly to face her, it’s with self-assured modesty that you make a congenial query.

“Might I have the honor of your name, Miss Nightinga-“

Divested of the absolute advantage afforded by Acala, the greater part of your prescience and powers, made manifest by the Vajra; only your sharp attention and smoldering adrenaline were active in that you averted the attack against your head. Feeling a sudden swell in the air aside, you withdrew your neck back to see the strike of a slim black arm, blasting past your windpipe and impacting the wall behind.

The resultant effect could only be termed as an earthquake, because the Darkness’ blow not only caves in the wall behind you, smashing the stonework to powder and sending all the paintings, including that which you were perusing; crashing down onto the floor, but its power causes the entire ‘mausoleum’ to tremble.

Not an unimpressive display. However, as anyone who’s witnessed real combat, struggled for his life against desperate odds can attest, victory isn’t decided in favor of profligate displays of power. No – victory’s decided well outside the actual business of battle, in preparation for eventualities. And, to speak with the surety of one who’s struggled for his life against desperate odds not once, or twice, but a hundred times, across battlefields of all kinds and shapes; this is an eventuality for which you’ve prepared.

Completing your turn, you whirl about with lightning speed and lunge at the darkness with your knife, which you’ve been half-holding this whole time.

You only succeed in cutting the empty air.

Converting the motion of your dive into a roll, you come to a rest propped on one knee, dagger in your left hand; staff in your right. …You’ve returned back onto the corridor’s center, a fact of which made aware by the ragged red carpet below, being illumined in the brilliant fire of the Sublime Golden Light. Unfortunately, that’s the only fact of which you’re aware – the unnatural Darkness’s deepened to such degree that any light escaping outside the immediate periphery of your protection’s consumed and annihilated.

Standing in this dark void, deprived of sight saving what’s directly before your face; the only sound’s the same from a moment ago, erupting from every direction within the darkness.

The cheerful, spine-chilling laughter of a Monster.

Faced with these not especially ideal conditions, you:
[ ] (Staff + ‘Miracle Energy’) …Are smart enough to keep from stumbling round blindly. It’s probably going to attack soon, so focus on feeling the transference of its movement through the air and at that time, parry and counterattack with a spiritual strike.
[ ] (Scriptures) ...Make use of those Heart Sutras you removed and placed folded between the rope around your waist and your cassock on advancing into the gloom to disperse the darkness that’s covered this area.
[ ] (Detection) …Decide that if you can’t see it with the eyes of your flesh, you’ll find it with the eyes of your spirit.
[ ] (Experience/Tactics) …Consider that victory’s also decided by choosing an appropriate place in which to do battle. In a hallway as this, you’re forced to commit your senses and defenses upon every corner, every direction. Without the ability to feel in advance the avenue from which attacks will appear, even if you’re able to fend off those assaults immediately fatal; there’s a strong possibility of a repeat of what nearly happened in your battle with Youki – having your movements slowed and eventually bleeding to death from accumulating small wounds. You recall having seen a door on the left-hand side of the hallway opposite the painting you’ve just perused, so enter therein and, from that more predictable stage; play out your production of protection and reprisal.
[ ] (Wisdom King) …Call out to Acala?
[ ] (Withdraw) …Think that this is one of those situations where it might be best that you “advance to the rear,” at least until you’ve a better grasp of your bearings.
[ ] (Sociability) …Try catching the monster off-guard or otherwise gain some advantage in asking it a question.
[ ] (VAJRA) …Think that Darkness is something of which only bed-wetting children have any justification at being afraid and that you’ve not the time to play around with as pitiful a monster as this. Reduce it to the level of sub-atomic particles and get back to looking for Youki.
[ ] (Specify) Do something else.
----------

edit: small addition for clarity
>> No. 111779
>>111773
>That's not a bad thing, but as threads and updates pile up, not including links to your previous threads is really starting to wear my patience mighty thing.

It seriously comes as surprise to me that someone would ask for this, not because I expect people to remember everything, but for the opposite reason, actually. My impression (might be wrong, though) has been that most people just vote what's on their head or what's winning. Then again, you're probably one of the excellent exceptions to the rule, so I'll be sure to fix the problem you raised. Thanks.

>If not for the handy-dandy "View catalog" link

Sounds like a nice feature. Forgive my ignorance in asking, but how's it accessed?
>> No. 111782
>>111779
>how's it accessed?

Check the mass of micro-font just under the Password field. Supported files, max size (totally bunk, mind you: throws out pics bigger than 1.2mb in my experience), pics bigger than 200px^2 are thumbnailed, and bam: Currently 1906 unique user posts. View catalog (http://www.touhou-project.com/th/catalog.html)

I swear it was added about 2 weeks ago, but it's a god send for back tracking.
>> No. 111783
>>111777
Not a decrease in quality, but certain scenes like this seem to be at first "Oh look, a roadblock just for the sake of it". I'm sure the point will be revealed by the end of the scene, but it does remind me of some RPGs where a simple subquest ends up being anything but that due to all the 'roadblocks' that keep popping up.
As for the catalog, the link "view catalog" is right below the post box on a page.

[x] (Experience/Tactics) …Consider that victory’s also decided by choosing an appropriate place in which to do battle. In a hallway as this, you’re forced to commit your senses and defenses upon every corner, every direction. Without the ability to feel in advance the avenue from which attacks will appear, even if you’re able to fend off those assaults immediately fatal; there’s a strong possibility of a repeat of what nearly happened in your battle with Youki – having your movements slowed and eventually bleeding to death from accumulating small wounds. You recall having seen a door on the left-hand side of the hallway opposite the painting you’ve just perused, so enter therein and, from that more predictable stage; play out your production of protection and reprisal.
[x] (Wisdom King) …Call out to Acala?
[x] (Detection) …Decide that if you can’t see it with the eyes of your flesh, you’ll find it with the eyes of your spirit.
[x] (Staff + ‘Miracle Energy’) …Are smart enough to keep from stumbling round blindly. It’s probably going to attack soon, so focus on feeling the transference of its movement through the air and at that time, parry and counterattack with a spiritual strike.

I doubt whatever's in that room if anything is as bad as EX Rumia. I'd try socialibity, but she seems to have Rumia's basic personality (Single minded focus on getting food), making that option no good. The plan as I see it is going into the room, and taking a moment to call out to Acala and set up our detection sense before setting up our plan of attack. If she thinks we're struggling in the dark, we can catch her by surprise.
>> No. 111790
>>111782
Been around for months actually.

>>111779
There's always the links in the archive as well for old threads.
>> No. 111791
[x] (Detection) …Decide that if you can’t see it with the eyes of your flesh, you’ll find it with the eyes of your spirit.
[x] (Experience/Tactics) …Consider that victory’s also decided by choosing an appropriate place in which to do battle. In a hallway as this, you’re forced to commit your senses and defenses upon every corner, every direction. Without the ability to feel in advance the avenue from which attacks will appear, even if you’re able to fend off those assaults immediately fatal; there’s a strong possibility of a repeat of what nearly happened in your battle with Youki – having your movements slowed and eventually bleeding to death from accumulating small wounds. You recall having seen a door on the left-hand side of the hallway opposite the painting you’ve just perused, so enter therein and, from that more predictable stage; play out your production of protection and reprisal.
[x] (Sociability) …Try catching the monster off-guard or otherwise gain some advantage in asking it a question.

First get to know your enemy and try to figure out everything you can about it, then rely on your Experience from your past fights to help you, get the upper hand and immobilise/capture it.
>> No. 111802
[x] (Scriptures) ...Make use of those Heart Sutras you removed and placed folded between the rope around your waist and your cassock on advancing into the gloom to disperse the darkness that’s covered this area.
Several of those options are contradictory, I think. You can't dispell darkness twice.
>> No. 111804
File 126574090477.jpg - (276.40KB , 728x931 , 8680594.jpg ) [iqdb]
111804
>>111777
[X] (Staff + ‘Miracle Energy’) …Are smart enough to keep from stumbling round blindly. It’s probably going to attack soon, so focus on feeling the transference of its movement through the air and at that time, parry and counterattack with a spiritual strike.
[X] (Detection) …Decide that if you can’t see it with the eyes of your flesh, you’ll find it with the eyes of your spirit.
[X] (Sociability) …Try catching the monster off-guard or otherwise gain some advantage in asking it a question.

Applying Hamon to our staff? A chance to explore new and interesting applications of our power? Yes please. Employing our inherent ability to bypass the advantage she has with all this darkness? You bet. In fight smack talk? I'd like to think so. I was re-reading the fight with Youki. Their banter back and forth really elevated that fight from a mere skirmish to a proper duel. I don't know if Rumia merits the kind of repartee we dispensed with Youki, but she's trying to terrorize us. Nothing is going to get her appropriately riled up like treating her like she's small time.

The quality has never dropped, thankfully enough. Anything that I could criticize is merely a matter of preference or style, something I can hardly fault since that will be different for every author and reader. For example, of late you have a serious hard-on for semicolons. At times I'd say their use was questionable in favor of some other punctuation or re-phrasing, but I appreciate the rhythm you're crafting so I roll with it. You've also got that penchant for deleting a reposting updates a couple times before moving on, so if there were any problems with quality, you've more than made up for them in terms of editing.
>> No. 111806
Well, I'm going to point out something that everyone else seems to have missed (or maybe not?):

Being 1000 years or so prior to modern Gensokyo, we've seen Myouren getting involved in shaping Gensokyo as we know it today (meeting pre-dead Yuyuko, pre-banished-to-hell Mima and Konngara, sealing the Kite People-Eating Tree, and so on).

If'n this is EX-Rumia, then I think we may be about to participate in another Oh-so-that's-how-that-happened moment:

Let's give her a little something for that hair of hers.A charm, or a ribbon, perhaps.Perhaps even combining both in one!

I really hope I'm not the only one who thought of this. Admittedly, it was only the line about "Heart Sutras" and "folding" that made me go "Heeeeyyyy, wait a minute."
>> No. 111807
File 126574447216.png - (435.30KB , 750x750 , 6043476.png ) [iqdb]
111807
>>111806
I'm cautiously optimistic about that particular prospect. Have to get her to stop trying to eat us first.

It would be glorious, though.
>> No. 111815
Writing starts. For those of you who voted to ask a question, provide something witty/DEEP you'd like to say if you want.

>>111765
>Not seeing this working. The Sublime Golden Light isn't really doing much.
>This is what people who don't know the only reason they haven't been turned into Angeburgers on entering the darkness really think.
>> No. 111823
File 126577011858.jpg - (74.63KB , 600x225 , 8666109.jpg ) [iqdb]
111823
>provide something witty/DEEP you'd like to say if you want.

"I really wish you would share your name Ms. Nightingale; I hate being left in the dark like that."

...
>> No. 111832
>>111823
I feel bad for having laughed at this. I think it's a shame I didn't have it on hand earlier, but I might still be able to find a use for it sometime.

----------
…You don’t have your prescient instinct on which to fall back, so that prerogative paramount to your survival is obvious. Calming your raging heart and stilling your racing mind, you close off your corporeal sight to search the Darkness with your soul. You’re aware that acting with as much alacrity, and while under duress; you’ve not much chance of producing an especially profitable projection of the world around. Nonetheless – that’s of no consequence. Even achieving only a momentary fix on the Monster’s location should be sui-…?

…But for that blessed boundary below, burning with glaringly greater brilliance when seen with the eyes of your spirit; there’s absolutely no change.

None at all.

Whether physical or spiritual, there’s only that same sight before your eyes – an already dismal universe, silent; further painted over with iniquitous night.

“It is fast. It has not run away? Is it not afraid? Rumia wonders.”

Everywhere and yet nowhere is the Monster’s mockery, aping the naïve nuances of a little girl’s mannerism. Even if this weren’t an obvious provocation, you’ve nothing to say in response.

You’re too deeply in concentration to spare any thoughts to its trifling failures at terrorizing you.

This is a battle that’s going to be decided in the next blow; you can feel as much in your bones. Though you’ve been deprived of your precognition, your inborn ability to always ‘know’ the proper path through a dangerous stretch that only one other shares; you’re not without your collected experiences and memories, the ability to ‘remember.’ And what that acquired, artificial awareness’s telling you right now, intuiting through the medium of your muscles and sinews, is this – if you’re not able to land a significant strike on that Monster while you’re in top form and unscathed, can you expect a better result after having your movements slowed by accumulated wounds?

High time for a gamble.

Sheathing your knife, you take hold of your staff with both hands and respire – not as a man, but as a god. Your whole being’s been emptied but for your belief in Bishamonten and the rhythm of breathing you’ve so lately gained, its mystic cadence manifesting in the shape of shimmering sunlight. In rising off your knees to assume a reactive posture, that gentle glow’s following your fingers in a faint trail as you tou–”

You feel it.

You don’t see it, but you feel it. The Monster’s life, rippling through the earth!

Through your fingers!

Through your arm!

Through your body!

It’s…

“Above!”

You kick away in a back flip as the Darkness descends with the explosive power of a volcanic eruption. Impacting the point on which you were positioned but a moment ago, the transference of energy rends a huge fissure in the floor and makes the entire ‘mausoleum’ shudder. If anything, it’s an even more impressive display of power than that previous.

However, you’ve already won.

Coming to land on your left hand and the ends of your toes, your reaction’s to push off in a second leap, barreling at the darkness with right hand held in readiness; the staff in your hand’s a scepter of searing radiance as its strongly swung home!

To the power of this already-overwhelming strike is added the potency of the Sublime Golden Light, magnifying exponentially the might of the ‘miracle energy’ suffusing your staff. The Monster isn’t just staggered or floored from your hit, it’s blown clear of you and smashes into the wall with a sickening snap.

Silence returns to the pitch-black universe of the hallway.

…Your first order of business is:
[ ] Approach and make sure it’s dead. If you killed it, offer penitent prayer that its soul should swiftly enter again upon the Six Courses and thereby receive its release from suffering that much more quickly in a future life. If it’s alive, finish the job. After that, follow through with the same plan.
[ ] Approach and see if it’s still alive. If it’s not a lost cause, apologize and see about healing it with the ‘miracle energy?’
[ ] …What’s that stuck in the fissure?
[ ] Well, that’s that. There’s no point in wasting any further time with as contemptible a creature as this, so set off down the hall and see about finding Youki. You’ll keep a hand on the wall and maintain your breathing, so you’ve no need to worry in the event that it’s not dead and stupid enough to try at revenge.
[ ] Stand your ground and see if it responds to a question. It called itself... Rumia? What kind of a name is that? ...Why is it that all the women you've met as of late have such strange names? ...Or is it just that your parents were creatively bankrupt in conferring yours? Well, in any case... (Specify)
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------
>> No. 111833
[smelt] …What’s that stuck in the fissure?

It calls to me...
>> No. 111837
[x] …What’s that stuck in the fissure?

Easy option
>> No. 111838
[x] Approach and see if it’s still alive. If it’s not a lost cause, apologize and see about healing it with the ‘miracle energy?’
We should learn to love all Youkai. And learn to save them all.
>> No. 111839
File 126577968378.jpg - (150.53KB , 1024x768 , 8671585.jpg ) [iqdb]
111839
[x] …What’s that stuck in the fissure?
[x] Stand your ground and see if it responds to a question. It called itself... Rumia? What kind of a name is that? ...Why is it that all the women you've met as of late have such strange names? ...Or is it just that your parents were creatively bankrupt in conferring yours? Well, in any case... "Make no mistake, Rumia, that was no shot in the dark. The difference in our abilities is beyond the shadow of a doubt. On the off chance that you haven't blacked out, I demand that you yield and answer for your hostilities."

I can't stop myself ( ._.) I blame >>111648
>> No. 111840
[x] …What’s that stuck in the fissure?
[x] Stand your ground and see if it responds to a question. It called itself... Rumia? What kind of a name is that? ...Why is it that all the women you've met as of late have such strange names? ...Or is it just that your parents were creatively bankrupt in conferring yours? Well, in any case... "Make no mistake, Rumia, that was no shot in the dark. The difference in our abilities is beyond the shadow of a doubt. On the off chance that you haven't blacked out, I demand that you yield and answer for your hostilities."

She's probably only blacked out. She's too powerful to be killed by a single attack. As for the awkward friendliness, I blame >>111838
Byaku loves Human and Youkai alike and so should we.
>> No. 111843
>>111840
But at this time Byakuren's still at the convent unless we somehow find out otherwise.
>> No. 111844
>>111840
>Byaku loves Human and Youkai alike and so should we.

There's a great irony in this statement, Anon(s). I'll let you figure it out.
>> No. 111846
>>111844
>Byaku loves Human and Youkai alike and so should we.
>There's a great irony in this statement

HURR

>However, Myouren died before Byakuren.
>The bereaved Byakuren started to fear death greatly.
>She obtained the power to regain her youth, but rather than a Buddhist art, it was something more like black magic

Byakuren suffered some trauma over Myouren's death; in her despair, she discovered longevity in the existence of Youkai.

>After having mastered the power of youth and left behind a normal creature's lifespan, the next thing she came to fear was someday losing her power.

Life is good when you live off Youkai power, but what happens when the source of Youkai power doesn't cut the mustard anymore?

>The only way to lose that black art was for Humanity to reject it entirely.
>In other words, if youkai ceased to exist, she wouldn't be able to sustain her own power.
>And so, she honored youkai.
>She pretended to be a great youkai exterminator, but actually saved the youkai behind the scenes.

She needed to make sure people feared youkai to fuel her immortality hex. Didn't turn out too well in the end.
>> No. 111849
File 126579320331.jpg - (596.71KB , 1415x2000 , 028_61dr.jpg ) [iqdb]
111849
>>111846
Why do i suddenly need to think of this.
>> No. 111851
>>111846
She didn't truly take upon her current personality until somewhat recently, finding out that the Youkai she saved returned the favor oh so ever loyally.
>> No. 111857
>>111846
So, if our MC lives we can not only change Yuyu's untimely fate but her sister's fall of grace as well?
Awesome.
>> No. 111866
>>111832
[X] …What’s that stuck in the fissure?
[X] Stand your ground and see if it responds to a question. It called itself... Rumia? What kind of a name is that? ...Why is it that all the women you've met as of late have such strange names? ...Or is it just that your parents were creatively bankrupt in conferring yours? Well, in any case... "Make no mistake, Rumia, that was no shot in the dark. The difference in our abilities is beyond the shadow of a doubt. On the off chance that you haven't blacked out, I demand that you yield and answer for your hostilities."

Even if this silly vote is the dark horse, it calls to me. Hopefully no more puns after this, typing spoiler tags is annoying.

>“It is fast. It has not run away? Is it not afraid? Rumia wonders.”

Rumia confirmed for Gollum? Oddly appropriate.

>To the power of this already-overwhelming strike is added the potency of the Sublime Golden Light, magnifying exponentially the might of the ‘miracle energy’ suffusing your staff.

That's pretty boss, actually.
>> No. 111877
Update to appear shortly.
>> No. 111889
File 126584205573.jpg - (473.33KB , 1090x818 , 4c367941b18eaea5f5f496fbaf27f26d.jpg ) [iqdb]
111889
Another one later. Probably.

----------
You’ve met with success in staying alive, but you can’t say it’s a consequence created of your own contrivance. …Rather, you’re lucky that Bishamonten bears an aspect as one of the Seven Gods of Fortune atop his authority as the arbiter of righteous battle and head among the body of Heavenly Kings. Had he not endorsed you in drawing on the ‘miracle energy,’ empowered you to touch the ground on rising, there’s not a small possibility you might have met with a grisly end. You’re only now able to appreciate that Monster’s full ability – not merely powerful, it climbed to above your head without attracting your notice. Deficiency of clairvoyant consciousness or not, that’s absolutely inconceivable unless you account for some unknown technique, some skill that allows it movement within the darkness unheard.

Better find out.

“Make no mistake, Miss Nightingale,” you’re blustering obnoxiously, “that was no shot in the DARK. Even you should be able to see the difference in our abilities beyond the SHADOW of a doubt. As you’ve lost, I demand that you yield and answer for your hostilities – if you’ve not BLACKed out, that is.” And, while unable to keep from snickering at your own awful puns; you reach with debonair suave to the sunshade hanging from your neck, donning it jauntily. “YEEAAAAHH!”

“SHUT UP! YOU’RE DEAD!!” The Darkness screams insanely, very much alive.

“Come now, Miss Nightingale,” you croon consolingly; “there’s no need to sound so GLOOMY.”

“I’LL KILL YOU. …TEAR YOU TO PIECES AND DEVOUR YOU.” It continues heedless of your goading, breaking voice becoming faint. “EAT YOUR FLESH AND LEAVE THE SKIN. WEAR IT, RUMIA WILL…”

And with that, the hallway comes back into sight as the darkness’ lifted…? No – it’s moving! The Darkness is moving, receding, retreating; retiring deeper into the passage!

You:
[ ] Pursue it with all haste.
[ ] Follow it at your own pace. First…
[ ] You’ve no interest in pursuing it, because…

If option two or option three:
[ ] …Is there perhaps something in the other direction?
[ ] …You only looked at one painting. What's on the others?
[ ] …There’s the matter of what’s just now fully come into view, lodged in the epicenter of the fractured floor.
[ ] …You’re curious as to what’s behind these doors.
[ ] Call out to Acala.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------

edit: minor corrections
>> No. 111891
[x] You’ve no interest in pursuing it, because…
[x] …There’s the matter of what’s just now fully come into view, lodged in the epicenter of the fractured floor.

Next thing after this is definitely to call out to Acala.

Can someone think of a good reason to pursue Rumia outside of eliminating a future threat? I mean, that is a good reason, but meandering into the darkness to investigate was a momentary diversion from going further into the mausoleum. I'd really like to make some progress on the Youki front.
>> No. 111892
[x] You’ve no interest in pursuing it, because…
[x] …There’s the matter of what’s just now fully come into view, lodged in the epicenter of the fractured floor.
With that Darkness following her, she can't really do a sneak attack so... let's focus on something else.

Also? I wanna befriend Rumia. Is that bad y/n?
>> No. 111893
[x] You’ve no interest in pursuing it, because…
[x] …You only looked at one painting. What's on the others?
Time to admire ART.
>> No. 111894
File 126584455049.jpg - (55.33KB , 400x224 , Heartlesswhitedevil.jpg ) [iqdb]
111894
>>111892
Am I doing it right?
>> No. 111897
[x] You’ve no interest in pursuing it, because…
-[x] …You only looked at one painting. What's on the others?
-[x] …There’s the matter of what’s just now fully come into view, lodged in the epicenter of the fractured floor.
>> No. 111902
File 126585249995.jpg - (225.83KB , 517x724 , 4bd3c425b760cb7d83f1ca2abc275dad.jpg ) [iqdb]
111902
[ ] Pursue it with all haste.

somehow... if i can just... unlock... rumias route
>> No. 111909
Writing.
>> No. 111913
>you reach with debonair suave to the sunshade hanging from your neck, donning it jauntily. “YEEAAAAHH!”

I'm still laughing about this.
>> No. 111914
File 126586627884.jpg - (3.97KB , 269x304 , 122702102010.jpg ) [iqdb]
111914
>>111913

Regardless of whether or not we failed in voting, the update still won.
>> No. 111916
----------
…Watching her break away confirms what you previously suspected – “Miss Nightingale” can move with complete stealth inside the darkness. There’s more you’ve come to understand from it, however; two further inferences about your own faculties.

First, the way in which shadows trailed her flight – isn’t it reminiscent of that secondary phenomenon which appears with the ‘Miracle Energy?’ In all the instances in which you’ve concentrated and called forth that mystic cadence, it’s produced a shining swell in the wake of your movements, not unlike ripples on water. Could her ‘Darkness’ possibly be something similar; the equivalent effect of a corresponding antagonistic power?

…The second conclusion you’ve made would seem to support as much. Operating on the not-unjustified assumption that its centered on her, the pitch-black universe surrounding “Miss Nightingale” seems not unlike the Sublime Golden Light granted you by the triumvirate Goddesses. And, on taking into consideration that the Sublime Golden Light served to amplify your attack with the ‘Miracle Energy’…

In essence, then; this unusual technique of focused respiration, aptly termed as “Ripple” by Mima, and the bounded field of Hope and Love beneath you – they’re the same power. Furthermore, the Monster you just defeated Is possessed of an analogously antipodal ability and that’s probably the reason you were able to feel it through the earth.

Makes perfect sense.



Previously perceptible only through that imperfect portal of your protective periphery, the surrounding strip’s still shadowed in spite of “Miss Nightingale’s” escape. More than it’s dim, though; it’s ruined. Added upon the decay of endless decades visible in the eroding stonework and dilapidated doors are the gigantic fractures left by your enemy’s excessive power – the two colossal craters she’s carved into the masonry of the ‘mausoleum.’ Each enjoying a diameter exceeding your head-height, your attention’s at once given to the fissure in the floor. Not just comparably greater in its devastation, there’s an object wedged within its depths.

A black sword – though as impossibly ridiculous a sword as this, might better be termed, ‘slab of sharpened iron.’ Wrought entirely from some dark, dully-gleaming metal of unknown origin, only the rough edges of its blade bear the bright luster of a slashing weapon. Said blade is twice the width of a single of your arms and measures over five feet in length. Matched to its menacing features of its functionality is an appropriately ill-omened hilt; done in the likeness of a devil extending himself down to embrace the blade, its thick, three-foot-long ‘tail’ forms the handle and its voluminous ‘wings,’ the guards.

Altogether, it’s an impractical weapon whose threatening appearance doesn’t require that you should have access to second-sight to conclude it’s of evil origins.

You:
[ ] Aren't afraid. Strike forth and claim it in the name of a certain beautiful, gallant priestess.
[ ] Leave it lie there – you’ve doubts as to why “Miss Nightingale” would have abandoned it here.

(Pick one) if option two:
[ ] Investigate the direction opposite this.
[ ] So… what’s on those other paintings?
[ ] Call out to Acala.
[ ] Have a peek into the left-hand door closest you.
[ ] Proceed further down the passage.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------
>> No. 111919
Guys, does the alliteration spell something?
>> No. 111930
[x] Aren't afraid. Strike forth and claim it in the name of a certain beautiful, gallant priestess.
[x] So… what’s on those other paintings?
The whole Museum tour.
>> No. 111931
Well i figure and evil looking weapon like that doesn't suit us or any of our companions except maybe Mima.
[X] Leave it lie there – you’ve doubts as to why “Miss Nightingale” would have abandoned it here.

I'm going to go with
[X] Proceed further down the passage.
But either
[ ] Call out to Acala?
[ ] Investigate the direction opposite this.
Are fine choices.
>> No. 111940
[x] Leave it lie there – you’ve doubts as to why “Miss Nightingale” would have abandoned it here.
I'm pretty sure that the sword, like her ribbon in her other form, can't be taken off its resting place by her self.
It'd be like King Arthur but instead of the crown, we'd earn a rearrangement of our vital organs.
[x] Call out to Acala.
Tour guide?
>> No. 111941
File 126591299792.jpg - (518.87KB , 1280x1024 , 2451055.jpg ) [iqdb]
111941
>>111916
>A black sword – though as impossibly ridiculous a sword as this, might better be termed, ‘slab of sharpened iron.’

Oh lawd, how'd she get herself a hold of a Dragonslayer? The logistics of hauling it around are mind boggling. We're no Gutts, nor are we even Konngara. My best bet would be for Acala to help us with hefting it. Taking it is also almost a sure fire way to get Rumia to harass us again later on, but I reckon running into her again is just about guaranteed anyway. Do we really want to leave this lying around for Rumia to reclaim without a fight? Is it hypocritical to think that taking her weapon away is the safe thing to do while letting her run away unchallenged? More than a little. But between letting the man eating monster keep it and giving our noble friend a chance put it to better use, I'm inclined towards the latter.

However, the 'evil origins' gives me pause, and despite awesome as it would be to equip Konngara with such a thing, I can't seem to convince myself that it's a good idea outside of taking it for the sake of taking it. It's the blade of a demon, that much is certain. How safe would it be for someone other than a monster to use? Maybe it's something or maybe it isn't, but with Rumia hopping around like Gollum, it feels like taking the sword because it's a big, cool looking sword is equivalent to pocketing The One Ring because it's a pretty piece of jewelery. This analogy has more credence than one would image, I think. The uncharacteristic amount of alliteration pointed out by >>111919 is what's really bothering me. We get close to the sword and we start thinking in a weird new way? Maybe Rumia planting it and running away was a ploy? I don't know.

Maybe it's paranoia, but I think the sword is doing something, and I don't like it.

[X] Leave it lie there – you’ve doubts as to why “Miss Nightingale” would have abandoned it here.
[X] Call out to Acala.

If something is afoot, I want some backup.
>> No. 111942
[x] Leave it lie there – you’ve doubts as to why “Miss Nightingale” would have abandoned it here.
-[x] Call out to Acala.
>> No. 111943
>>111941
It's not just Guts' sword, but one styled in a particularly evil/demonic fashion. For someone like Konngara, something more on the holy side would be fitting, Like Excalibur. Though I can't quite imagine how it could end up in japan, pre-gensokyo era.
>> No. 111945
>>111943
Good point, we should ask Yukari for hers.

>>108655
>In her right hand, held at rest near her side; is a naked sword of such splendid and strange a sort that it seems but an extension of its wielder. Spanning some five feet in length, its blade, broad as a man’s hand, honed to a keen double-edge and sparkling a bright white; occupies over three. The hilt that’s joined with it is as much a work of art as of utility. Its hand-guard, wrought of gold and set with what seems to be a very fine spinel or a ruby at its center, is thick and oversized; stretching out to cover the breadth of the hands in two straight ‘arms’ fixed with smaller stones of various colors and ending in a quatrefoil pattern.
>> No. 111952
>>111945
I get the feeling that Yukari hid it in plain sight, since who to say when out of her hands it doesn't look like a rusted old useless sword?
>> No. 111966
>>111919
>>111941

Good catch.

----------
…Konngara. The unbridled enthusiasm that was in her expression earlier as she ever-so delightfully declaimed her skill with the axe – she probably has a personal fondness for weapons. If you struck forward and seized this magnificent sword, reuniting with her and presenting this peerless proceed as prese…

Wait.

“Magnificent?”

Why did you just deem as evidently evil a weapon as this, “magnificent?”

And, more disturbing – why have you commenced at reasoning in rhyme?! More than anyone else (…Possibly excepting her? S…s-she didn’t save any of those silly odes you wrote each other from when you were both still small, hopefully…?) you’re cognizant of that you’ve not the talents of a Saigyou, never having been especially inclined at poetry. Why are you poorly playing poet now, then?

…There’s only one plausible explanation.

Quickly – very quickly – you look away, back away from the baneful black bla – no; this sword.

This sword.

This sword.

This sword!

THIS SWORD!* You roar at the dark ceiling of indeterminable height, arms held outstretched as would a performer of Noh in accepting an encore. …Finally, you’ve forced your gaze from that wicked wea – that sword.

Though Konngara may well have a fascination for fighting implements not unlike a less extraordinary female’s fixation on footwear, you won’t be giving her as maliciously-styled and mentally suggestive an armament as this.

…And there you’ve gone and done it again.

Are these appalling attempts at verse your wit’s way of warning you something’s amiss? It’s never done as much before, so…?

...So?

…So. You need to find Acala. You need to find Acala! Without his support, without the pleasure of your prescience’s presence, you’re not only in grave danger from the unseen threats in this dangerous grave; your mind’s literally begun starting to malfunction. This episode of the evil edge’s eroding your will, however slightly – it’s a harbinger of the horrible happenings hastening upon your head in absence of an invaluable aspect of your Self.



“…Wisdom King! Wisdom King!”

Hands cupped, you’re calling aloud his title down the corridor and up the corridor, at the ceiling, at the floor and at both sides. …You’ve no doubt you probably look the fool in doing so, but what other recourse is left to you? Detection in a place as this is dampened in effectiveness, possibly dangerous; searching within your heart and mind reveals not a trace of him. Where did he –

Mid-thought, your left hand lowers from its lock around your lips unbidden.

...Go?

…As if in response to the rhetorical question you’ve raised, your left arm’s acted on its own initiative. Raised straight ahead at the level of your shoulders are your five fingers, flexed into a focused sign pointing straight ahead, at the direction in which the Darkness’ fled.

Further into the maw of madness.

[ ] Only Acala could motion your hand thus. Follow the sign you’ve been given.
[ ] This is some sort of trap, but whether it’s Acala or not, however; you might learn something useful. Follow the sign you’ve been given.
[ ] This is some sort of trap. Resist the temptation to follow the sign you’ve been given and do something else (Specify).
----------

*I ask that you forgive me, for in the first thread I said there would be no Tsukihime references. However, this one was so relevant, so perfectly matched to the present situation that it didn’t need any shoehorning to fit.

edit: errors corrected
>> No. 111971
[x] This is some sort of trap, but whether it’s Acala or not, however; you might learn something useful. Follow the sign you’ve been given.

Blindly following it isn't the brightest idea but following it guardedly might be.
>> No. 111976
>…As if in response to the rhetorical question you’ve raised, your left arm’s acted on its own initiative. Raised straight ahead at the level of your shoulders are your five fingers, flexed into a focused sign pointing straight ahead, at the direction in which the Darkness’ fled.

Okay, I admit that the alliteration in that part is cause for concern. Hear me out, though: while our thought processes are going crazy, we either still have control of our body or it whatever the sword is doing hasn't gotten far enough to completely control our body yet. After calling out to Acala, our left arm and hand are acting independently of the craziness.

Cool things we've done with our left hand: messed with Mima, held the first Vajra we used to manifest Acala as our fighting spirit, and got it thoroughly mangled in our fight with Youki but healed it with our first significant use of Hamon/Ripple power. That's a fantastic track record right there.

[x] Only Acala could motion your hand thus. Follow the sign you’ve been given.

Only thing against this is that Acala has never taken over control; he's offered plenty of advice and we've heeded it almost every time, but he's never taken over. All things considered, though, if there's something blocking or preventing him from properly manifesting, he'll do whatever he can.

Is Myouren a lefty? It would explain why our right hand has been such an underachiever compared to its sinister companion.
>> No. 111978
>>111976
>Is Myouren a lefty? It would explain why our right hand has been such an underachiever compared to its sinister companion.

The why of that is a better question - what is he always holding in his right hand that he should have to use his left for everything?

In before innuendoes. Also:

>sinister

I see what you did there.
>> No. 111979
[x] This is some sort of trap, but whether it’s Acala or not, however; you might learn something useful. Follow the sign you’ve been given.
Like >>111976 said, acala never manifested this way. And raising his hand (the siniestra no less) sounds kinda weird...
However, we should roll with it for now. Hey, if we were wrong, no harm no foul no?
>> No. 111986
[X] This is some sort of trap, but whether it’s Acala or not, however; you might learn something useful. Follow the sign you’ve been given.

Who knows wut the hell is going on in this wacky place.
>> No. 111991
[x] This is some sort of trap, but whether it’s Acala or not, however; you might learn something useful. Follow the sign you’ve been given.
>> No. 112006
So, what happened to "choosing with decision and courage?"

Writing now.
>> No. 112016
[x] Continue forward with cautious, surreptitious stealth. At the spot in which you’re currently stopped, you’re hardly able to hear what’s being said, much less determine the point from which the voice’s originating. It might well be the break for which you’ve been looking – on what’s this place and why you’ve arrived here on meditating.
>> No. 112018
[x] Continue forward with cautious, surreptitious stealth. At the spot in which you’re currently stopped, you’re hardly able to hear what’s being said, much less determine the point from which the voice’s originating. It might well be the break for which you’ve been looking – on what’s this place and why you’ve arrived here on meditating.

Caution will serve us well here. This is one of the dark places on the earth where brash movements could cost us more than our life.
>> No. 112020
[x] Ignore what’s being said and press ahead boldly – you need to find Acala and Youki. If the speaker’s one of them, you’ve only to offer greeting on coming face-to-face; if it’s “Miss Nightingale” or some other, yet-unknown enemy, you’ll do the same – with the Sublime Golden Light and your staff.
>> No. 112021
>>112014
[X] Ignore what’s being said and press ahead boldly – you need to find Acala and Youki. If the speaker’s one of them, you’ve only to offer greeting on coming face-to-face; if it’s “Miss Nightingale” or some other, yet-unknown enemy, you’ll do the same – with the Sublime Golden Light and your staff.

Well, the creepy alliteration stopped, so we have that going for us. Sneaking around hasn't worked well in our past (when has it ever?), and of late I've adopted the principle that I will have more trust in our ability to handle whatever situation is before us. I missed my chance to vote for Acala earlier (stupid office moving), so I'm doing it now.

Also, thinking back on Norseman's theorizing at who the Great Sage might have been (Sariel[/]spoiler]), now we have...
>Devas. Whatever the specificities of their subject matter, all of them feature those white-winged celestials in some fashion. They’re very often not the actual focus of the piece and there’s considerable variance in how they’re depicted – many with two upon their back, some with an additional pair on their feet for a total of four, those shrouded head-to-toe with six appearing least often – however, without exception; there’s not a painting here that’s absent of their presence.

[spoiler]Fallen angel/angel of death, living in a decrepit mansion ('mausoleum') replete with classic images of angels and now host to monsters and demons.
I wonder...
>> No. 112022
File 126601296389.jpg - (202.39KB , 1000x1450 , 1229892617775.jpg ) [iqdb]
112022
[ ] Ignore what’s being said and press ahead boldly – you need to find Acala and Youki. If the speaker’s one of them, you’ve only to offer greeting on coming face-to-face; if it’s “Miss Nightingale” or some other, yet-unknown enemy, you’ll do the same – with the Sublime Golden Light and your staff.

I have confidence wut ever is ahead we can deal with through diplomacy or if need be strength of arm.
>> No. 112026
>>112022
>wut ever
You read this story, and yet you think it's okay to write like that on these boards. How in god's name have you survived this long?
>> No. 112036
>>112026
At least I took the time to capitalize, punctuate, and make use of firefox spell checker. Maybe I wanted to express my own regional dialect. /shrug
>> No. 112039
Edit: Besides fixing several grievous errors, some portions have been rewritten for clarity. You may wish to look over it again to be sure that your vote's still the same.

----------
Whether as clairvoyant cognitive instinct or, subsequent to your surrendering up of the supreme spiritual energies epitomized by your Vajra; as apotheosized anthropomorphism, Acala’s always avoided at asserti –

And by Guanyin, it’s happened again.

No – at controlling your actions directly! …That’s right, Acala’s ever been a repository of reasonable and life-saving insights, but assuming command over your person?

Never.

For one who described himself as being prohibited from “rendering assistance beyond forewarning,” that he would motion your hand in this way’s suspicious and really too strange.

...You’ll go along with it anyway.

Even if this proves only the efforts of some hidden evil at effecting your entrapment, you’ve no other leads off which to work and, besides; you might very well learn something that permits you make sense of this incomprehensible ‘mausoleum.’

Giving one last (…melancholic?) look to the embedded black blade, you turn away from it to follow the lure of your left hand, directed at those districts deeper down the dark corridor.



…It’s a curious thing.

Proceeding down the hall with an occasional stop, setting your right hand on the wall and using “Ripple” to ensure “Miss Nightingale’s” not waiting at ambush ahead, you’ve opportunity to peruse the other paintings. Most, if not all of them, were felled from their frames by the strike that rent the right wall and, from this new vantage of the floor; they’re thus clearly illumined as you’re walking past, shown in the sheen of the Sublime Golden Light. You’ve only to see two more of those not ruined in their tumbling to the ground – depicting a swarm of winged devils being set to flight by an armed host, their heroic leader in combat with a colossal serpent she’s crushing under her heel and a saintly-looking beauty receiving a messenger in audience, respectively; that you’re awakened to that element uniting all the paintings here.

Devas.

Whatever the specificities of their subject matter, all of them feature those white-winged celestials in some fashion. With the notable exceptions of the two you’ve formerly noted, the Devas very often aren’t the actual focus of the pieces and furthermore, there’s considerable variance in with how many wings they’re depicted – all with at least two topping their backs, some featuring an additional pair on their feet for a total of four, those shrouded head-to-toe with six appearing ascendant over all the others and least often – however, without exception; there’s not a painting here that’s absent of their presence.

But you’ve not now a good opportunity to consider what the significance of this might be – why this sorrowful station would be beautified by representations of those divine luminaries, bedecked all around with their badges and emblems, for you’ve yet to find Acala and…

…There also the matter of what’s come into the outer limits of your hearing, grown from unintelligible murmurs to unmistakable clamor as you’ve advanced further into the hallway.

The sound of speaking.

You:
[ ] …Have seriously started hearing voices? You need to leave. Now. As you finding Acala has no meaning if you’ve lost your sanity, you’ll return towards the opposite direction with all due haste.
[ ] Cease your advance to try making out what it’s saying from your present place. You’ve checked with “Ripple” and ensured it’s not “Miss Nightingale,” but in case it’s another hostile entity, you’d rather it not encounter you eavesdropping.
[ ] Continue forward with cautious, surreptitious stealth. At the spot in which you’re currently stopped, you’re hardly able to hear what’s being said, much less determine the point from which the voice’s originating. It might well be the break for which you’ve been looking – on what’s this place and why you’ve arrived here on meditating.
[ ] Ignore what’s being said and press ahead boldly – you need to find Acala and Youki. If the speaker’s one of them, you’ve only to offer greeting on coming face-to-face; if it’s “Miss Nightingale” or some other, yet-unknown enemy, you’ll do the same – with the Sublime Golden Light and your staff.
[ ] Ignore what’s being said – you can’t help but imagine how Konngara’s faint half-smile would heighten into elation if you were to gift her with a weapon as fine as that sword; how she’d probably squeal with delight and, after testing its heft and balance with nigh-euphoric happiness, how she’d hug you dearly and demurely ask you to cuddle. …Yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it? So you’ll go back and retrieve it for her.
[ ] Ignore what’s being said – before the voices, there’s something else that’s taken your attention. (Specify)
----------
>> No. 112040
>>112026
I'm okay with it. It was a good post with a minor discrepancy. Besides, votes are votes, and this story needs more votes.

>>112021
Despite spoiler fail, it raises an interesting point.

[X] Ignore what’s being said and press ahead boldly – you need to find Acala and Youki. If the speaker’s one of them, you’ve only to offer greeting on coming face-to-face; if it’s “Miss Nightingale” or some other, yet-unknown enemy, you’ll do the same – with the Sublime Golden Light and your staff.
>> No. 112041
...Just making sure, but you aren't all making your choices as part of a knee-jerk reaction to what I said here >>112006 are you?

Because while you should choose with a mindset appropriate for the brother of Youkai Jesus, the keywords are you should choose. Make your decision based on your own discrimation of events in the context of the characters and story, not because of some undue influence from me.

Why am I saying this? Not because the choice in the lead right now is necessarily going to result in bad things happening or because there's a choice I would you to pick - precisely the opposite; I want to ensure that you're NOT listening to me, that you're making your votes for actual justifiable reasons in line with common sense.

If you're of the opinion you have already done that, then please carry on - I'm being unnecessarily alarmist in that case. But if not, please consider what I said here. Although this may not apply directly to this choice - do you really want another repeat of what happened the last time you decided to let other people think for you?

Writing soon.
>> No. 112042
>>112006
Despite the deletion of my post, my point stands: Recklessness isn't courage.

Anyway, you still want bold and blind courage? Here you go:
[X] Ignore what’s being said and press ahead boldly – you need to find Acala and Youki. If the speaker’s one of them, you’ve only to offer greeting on coming face-to-face; if it’s “Miss Nightingale” or some other, yet-unknown enemy, you’ll do the same – with the Sublime Golden Light and your staff.
>> No. 112043
File 126603271254.jpg - (217.79KB , 673x900 , troll (2).jpg ) [iqdb]
112043
----------
Hi there, anon~! Hasn’t it been a while since we last had a talk? …This is just between us, but you should be more sensitive to a girl’s delicate feelings! Honestly! Don’t you know how much I –cried– last time, when you gave my little suggestion that cold shoulder? I only had good intentions for you too!

But that’s all behind me. I’m all perked up now~

Hmm~?

>>111945
>>111952

Oh, don’t be so silly, anon! Would a lucky young lady like little young me have an inauspicious portent like a sword? Tools of disaster’s what they are! And besides. It’s not like you could ask me in the first place, right? Why are you speaking as if I’m in the story~?
---------
>> No. 112044
>>112041
>>112040 here: I'm definitely not worried about 'undue influence', being the only one that voted to trust it was Acala's intervention in the first place and proceeding with confidence is what I wanted to do in the first place. So regardless of why it happened, I'm happy this is winning.

But yeah, the shift in attitude smacks of people going "oh yeah, this isn't every other CYOA" at >>112006 and remember what works and what doesn't rather than any convincing done on my part. Anyway, if it reminds people that they need to think differently about decisions in this story, I'll suffer the occasional bit of unintentional railroading.

Just, you know, consider the weight of your words. Totally not bitter about my awesomely flawless reasoning about the merit of trusting our left hand becoming the butt of a prurient gag or anything.
>> No. 112116
Just to let anyone who cares that there's not a case of "MEANWHILE AT WITCH HUNT" on my end, the update should be done in a little bit. Because of the option selected, this one's longer and more involved than some of these previous, you see.
>> No. 112148
----------
Without breaking your stride and following your fingers’ forward focus, you continue on ahead into the mausoleum’s inner reaches. At a time as this, wandering within one of the dark places of the world, (?) the bastion of your mind besieged by brutal, inexorable insanity; you need to stand firm, to throw back the two-pronged offensive of fear and paranoia upon your psyche. Therefore, you’ll neither stalk about slyly in the manner of a thief, nor slink around shakily as a coward in fear of his own shadow – you’ll advance with the self-possessed boldness befitting an emissary of Vairocana, as a priest with hope and love in the Goddesses Three protecting him and with faith in himself, his variegated talents; painstakingly cultivated to flower in the garden of edification and experience.

Yes, that’s right!

Whether the speech’s originating from your friends, your enemies without or your enemies within, you’ll greet them with your head held high and, if the latter; all the force of your arms and will!



Once more, you’ve seen a transition in the passageway’s décor. The progression of paintings on the right-hand wall’s been replaced with a succession of towering windows quite like unto the previous set, but for the addition of dank, decomposing drapery. Pulled closed around the glass are threadbare crimson curtains, matched in color to the tattered red carpet rolling out over the corridor’s center. Not just unsightly, the centuries of cobwebs and grime covering their whole length entails that any attempt at accessing the view behind would prove a dirty, difficult affair.

Across the way, the left side’s seen a further diminution in the number of doors, already appearing only intermittently; a gradual reduction culminating in their altogether disappearance. Complimenting this curious change’s a return of the blue fire in the braziers on the wall, now with another adornment accompanying – a supplementary series of sculptures. Substantiated in sharp contrasts by the lamps’ pallid luminosity is a veritable parade of godly heroes and celestial maidens, wrought in translucent quartz and set in procession along the hallway’s left side. Each placed under one of the braziers with deliberate care and beautifully, remarkably maintained, their condition’s in marked contrast to everything else you’ve yet seen in this ‘mausoleum’ – not a one’s fractured or splintered, or even so much as dusty.

Simultaneous to this shift in your surroundings, the conversation upon which you’ve chanced has correspondingly changed. Listening at a distance, you heard but one voice, however; having come significantly further on into the hall, you’ve become aware that there’s a respondent, a second speaker answering the demands of the first.

…It’s a strange sound, their dialogue.

On first encountering it, you resolved that you should ignore the then-faint insinuations of that soft voice and instead press forth with determined courage. You’ve succeeded – are still succeeding – in that latter goal, taking long, confident strides with your sunshade cocked low and your staff slung high; observing the virtue of valor and honoring your gods thereby. But, not through any fault of yours; you can’t claim as much with regards to the former of your aims. As you proceeded more deeply in this direction, the ones speaking became progressively clearer and more distinct to your recognition in a way that made clear – you’ve no idea from where they’re speaking. A quick exercise in covering your ears served at establishing that they’re (…very thankfully) not voices inside your head, however; the precision with which you’re now able to hear their exchange could easily be mistaken for such. It’s as if the white limestone, the worm-eaten wooden doors; the very of air of the ‘mausoleum’s’ intoning to you.

And that’s not all.

…The specifics of their conversation – all the details of what that screeching shrillness’ relating to and receiving reassurance from that other voice of beautiful clarity and deathly cold?

It’s about you.



----------

This update's proving longer than I initially expected. Next part (on which you'll vote) forthcoming.
>> No. 112171
File 12661830614.jpg - (201.74KB , 600x600 , 8786259.jpg ) [iqdb]
112171
>all the details of what that screeching shrillness’ relating to and receiving reassurance from that other voice of beautiful clarity and deathly cold?

Rumia's complaining to someone. 2 against 1? I like those odds.

Yuyu is always relevant.
>> No. 112190
----------
“My master!”

“Calm yourself, my friend. …Good. Now, speak.”

“Yes! …The leader of the 300th Autonomous Expeditionary Force has sent us his report!

“…The Lieutenant Commander? What of him?”

“His unit took three casualties and lost both objectives! He has failed you completely! My master!! It is my opinion you should have him executed imme-

“My friend. …Are you telling me what to do?

“…”

“So you understand. …The primary plan?”

“…Y-yes. He said the human you call ‘First Cause’ used some trick and undid-“

“The Vajra. …I see, you used it to reconstruct the body I destroyed? Well-played. …And the secondary plan?”

“Yes! The human you call ‘First Cause,’ my master – he has awakened to… to…”

“Do not seem so fearful, my friend. …Tell me what causes you trouble.”

“…I-it… it has awakened to the energy which produces ‘breath,’ my Master!!”

“Is that all? …My friend – I have long-recognized the First Cause’s faculty for the Ripple breathing. Indeed, I was aware of it at his birth! Fear it not! Reckoned with the Great Magician, his talent for that thousand-year old technique is most impecuniously meager!

The ‘Great Magician?’ Could that be anyone but Mima?

“But my master! In the report, it says the secondary plan failed because he put the Pretender to sleep with it!

“What?” For the first time, there’s a crack in the respondent’s composed calm. “With his level of ability, he was able to act on the Pretender…?”

“Yes, my master! The report additionally sai-”

“…I understand now. You – First Cause, I held your personal magnetism and moral courage in too low of an esteem! ….Haha, I see! So you ventured everything and slept with her! How unexpected of you! How interesting!”

“...My master?”

“This development effects a change in our operation, my friend! Send a communiqué to the General: ‘Confrontation unavoidable. Herewith, you are ordered to move the army dispatched for observation and quarantine into defense around the prison. I am authorizing you to take the necessary steps – ensure our work there is not compromised!’”

“…As you command, my master.”

“Are you dissatisfied with the disposition I have reached?”

“…Please! Give me an order, master!!”

“…My General is ranked third in standing among my disciples. If the First Cause, the Pretender and the Great Monad were to unite in arms against her, unaccompanied; she would suffer no exceptional difficulty in defeating their offensive. In contrast, you – my friend; you hold the lowest place. I have taught you the Kikareitouhou and so given you the necessary power to surpass the limitations of your being, but you are still far removed from readiness to our cause. Indeed, you command no great powers equaling those of my peerless Twin Stars, enjoy none of my beloved General’s extent of warlike experience; possess nothing resembling my brilliant Apprentice’s genius of adaptability and deception. …What talents do you have which they do not, that I should entrust you with the grave responsibility of this dispatch?”

“My complete, undying loyalty! My master!! All of us swore a solemn oath to uphold your commands! But among your followers, I – I am the only one who offered her heart and soul to you, truly pledged herself to your service! If I am the weakest of your students, I am also the strongest – because my belief in your divine purpose is absolute! …Please!!

“…Against my better judgment, I am affected by your touching dedication to our friendship. Very well – I permit you to depart from my side at the head of a reinforcement unit. Assist the General. You are to afford her commands the same diligence as my own.”

“Yes, my master! Thank you! At the cost of my life, I will not fail your expectations of me!!”

“…Understand this, my friend. However many of my other objectives achieve realization in this operation, I cannot count it successful if the victory celebration sees your absence. Refrain from this talk of pointless sacrifice; treasure the life I have conferred you!”

“I hear and obey! My master – thank for you correcting me!”

“Good. …Now, my friend? Do not yet leave; there is one final mandate I intend you receive. …You are not to involve what remains of the Adversary in this conflict.”

“‘The Adversary?’” The speaker’s strident-shrieking subsumes to scornful spitting. “You have already rebuffed its rebellion, crushed its mad ambitions of usurpation, my master! You cast it down in defeat, forced upon it an ignominy beneath the dignity of the Gods! You reduced it to a shriveled, broken husk of its former existence, divested of power, ignorant of wakefulness and devoid of its soul! My master!! Why must I fear what you have vanquished completely?!”

“My friend – see you this ichor staining my breast? This constant wound against which all power of recovery and resurrection affords me no relief? …Do not underestimate the Adversary. For supremacy of power and subtlety of mind, that one once occupied a standing in Creation behind only mine. Now, although much diminished; I judge what remains of the Adversary to still possess a capacity for design and stratagem far above yours, my friend. If her depth of memory is roused to vigilance and becomes joined with the diverse forces ranged against us, the advantage we enjoy will no longer be absolute. Hence, I will have you accept my command, my friend – do not endanger our cause in heedless disdain for our foes or in pursuit of irrational vendettas. …See that the General does the same.”

“Yes, my master!”



At around the time this overwhelming exchange, this chance conversation of slavish air and startling allusions; neared to its conclusion, so did your search for Acala. On reaching the fearless, translucent train’s tail-end, your outstretched hand fell sharply away from your front.

Indicated by the spiritual dowsing rod formed of your five fingers is a solitary door in the shadow of the left wall, completely unlike to those you’ve hitherto encountered. Where all the others were carved from rustic wood, moldering and warped with decay; this one’s been built of bright bronze and figured into fancy forms. It’s as perfectly preserved as the gallant icons you’ve just passed – as beautifully burnished as your Vajra and absent of any tarnish or corrosion.

As your left hand’s reaching lightly towards its handle, sculpted to resemble the flower and stem of a chrysanthemum, you:

[ ] Open the door and enter inside.
[ ] Withdraw your hand and more closely study the patterns inscribed on the portal.
[ ] Believe there’s something else you’d like to do/see before making a decision. (Specify)
----------

edit: small correction
>> No. 112192
[ ] Withdraw your hand and more closely study the patterns inscribed on the portal. (Then)
[ ] Open the door and enter inside.

After reading this conversation I think we should have taken that sword. I don't know could have proved useful in defeating "Master".
>> No. 112195
I bet copper against silver that it'd have been useless. Despite First Cause's recent victories, he is still too weak to be considered even a threat for the Master. And he seems to have more knowledge than us to judge combat strength.
Who is the Adversary anyway? The old hag pretty lady? Or someone else? The only info we have is that she's a woman.

[x] Withdraw your hand and more closely study the patterns inscribed on the portal.
Speak 'friend' and enter?
>> No. 112196
>>112195
I suspect this "adversary" is indeed the lovely young lady.

[x] Withdraw your hand and more closely study the patterns inscribed on the portal.

We should study it closer before making a move. But it's interesting how we ended up in the enemy's nest.
>> No. 112199
File 126620528815.jpg - (115.53KB , 661x344 , Kikareitouhou.jpg ) [iqdb]
112199
...well now I know why this took so long. Master is apparently some new incarnation of that High King the Great Sage fought at the end of "Bride of the Heaven." All that talk of the Adversary and rendering her a withered husk. I get it. Also the person behind the tengu attack. Pretty interesting.

All things considered, I wonder if the other titles back we could have read way back in >>107024 could explain who and what we're dealing with now. Bride of the Heavens seems to deal mostly with the Great Sage/the Adversary. Master seems to have 4 disciples (the Twin Stars, the General, and the Apprentice) as well as someone capable of the "Kikareitouhou" technique. Four disciples could be "The Four Devas." Someone noted before that oni and tengu are closely related, but from my limited scouring, the only Touhou characters with any relation to stars that could conceivably be present right now are Shou ("star") and Yuugi (Hoshiguma). They are kinda similar looking; tall, blond haired women with huge... capacities for combat. Suika would have to be the General. Oni love to fight and all. As for the Apprentice, with "adaptability and deception," the only person that comes to mind is Nue. It's a stretch, but not too far from the realm of possibility.

The fifth person present with the master? "The Snow Queen – a small, thin volume" and Kikareitouhou, a freezing technique (picture is Dio's explanation). Really?
>If I am the weakest of your students, I am also the strongest

We already met Rumia, so this isn't too tough to believe.

The Annunciation, aside from "The Annunciation" in Christianity, would have been about some declaration that something would occur in the future. Possibly the intention/origins of the High King. I can't quite put my finger on any one character. On the one hand, I'm thinking it might be Tenshi, with the chrysanthemum crest and all. It's the symbol of the imperial family in Japan, who are said to be descended from the gods. Someone more familiar with Japanese mythology might be able to elaborate. The other is Shiki; only a Yama would have that kind of authority over an existence like Yukari, and the strongest was the only one that knew what the phenomenon in PoFV was. Familiarity, you know?

Calling the tree "the prison" and Yuyu "the Pretender" though, that has me scratching my head. The tree being a prison implies that it's not the tree that was sealed, but Yuyu instead. I don't like the implications at all.

>So you ventured everything and slept with her! How unexpected of you! How interesting!

Well goddamn, you weren't kidding when you said proceeding like that was the best possible outcome. After that snippet of a comment about Yuyu not suffering our attempt to knock her out if she didn't absolutely trust us in light of this, apparently showing some spine really turned the situation on its ear. I'm really curious what you had in mind had this all developed differently.

If I'm reading the options correctly, we can enter, check the symbols before entering, or do something else before entering. So if we're going to confront the big bad, I want to take stock of what we have at our disposal and our state of mind. Knowing yourself and going into battle and all that jazz.

[x] Believe there’s something else you’d like to do before making a decision: Status
>> No. 112206
>Master is apparently some new incarnation of that High King the Great Sage fought at the end of "Bride of the Heaven." All that talk of the Adversary and rendering her a withered husk. I get it. Also the person behind the tengu attack. Pretty interesting.

It could be Tenma. He definitely reads as some form of Demiurge, rather than an Enlightened being. Command of immeasurably proud tengu is a dead giveaway that he or one of his generals is Tenma.

Regardless, it's some kind of entity Yukari must cow before constructing the Border. The continual altercation between whoever this figure is and Yukari is what finally leads to the creation of Gensokyo.
>> No. 112253
>>112190
[X] Status
[X] Open the door and enter inside.

Nobody expects the First Cause. Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as a staff, ceremonial dagger, Ripple breathing, Heart Sutras, Vajra, and the Wisdom King! No? Damn, okay back through the door.

>>112199
So. Much. Speculah? Speculation.
>> No. 112256
File 12662671698.jpg - (1.69MB , 2972x2440 , The_Supreme_Ultimate_Is_Not_ Amused.jpg ) [iqdb]
112256
>I bet copper against silver that it'd have been useless. Despite First Cause's recent victories, he is still too weak to be considered even a threat for the Master. And he seems to have more knowledge than us to judge combat strength.

"Oi-oi, doushita no... Jotaro?"

You just crushed the Nine of Swords, which is—far and away from Death—the most malevolent card in the entire deck. Your proverbial 'antithesis' ran away screaming, without even the dignity of being able to reclaim her weapon.

I bet you anything that the Dealer is bluffing with a Tower in the Hole, and it is precisely for this reason why he even lets you 'listen in' on his conversation. He's practically talking to you in parts.

More than that, the dismissal of the personification of the Taiji ('Great Monad'), the Tao ('First Cause'), and then deriding the embodiment of Death itself as a mere 'Pretender'? That is some serious fucking hubris.

[x] Open the door and enter inside.

The first words on my lips would be: "Do you know what 'Nemesis' means?"
>> No. 112259
File 126627087512.png - (829.16KB , 700x989 , tarot14.png ) [iqdb]
112259
>>112256
This is awesome. You're awesome.
>> No. 112260
File 12662709282.jpg - (0.98MB , 2496x1254 , 1265221487951.jpg ) [iqdb]
112260
>>112256
Well, the bets are on the table. Since the 'Open the door' option seems to be winning we'll soon know who was right.
Oh, don't take me wrong, with the pardon of the author I have to say that Anon has done a superb job so far. If he hadn't development a bond with the Great Magician, First Cause'd dead by now. If he hadn't risked all and slept with Yuyu -not for lust, but for love- he wouldn't have been able to use Vajra on her and she'd have seen Youki's body... and First Cause'd dead by now.
However, in his own words, he's still midway on his path to enlighment. Will his power be enough to defeat the Master here and now?

We'll see.
>> No. 112261
>>112260
>Vajra
Hamon

The suspense is killing me.
>> No. 112262
What if opening the door ends up leading somewhere else?
>> No. 112266
>>112262

Yes, what if the built-up suspense suddenly collapsed under its own weight?
>> No. 112270
I think you’re all going to be surprised by what’s going to happen. Writing shortly.

----------
>[ ] Status.

Equipped:
(Hat) – Straw sunshade: Your functional and FABULOUS headwear, woven in the shape of a saucer and affixed atop your head by a length of twine passing under your chin. Absolutely indispensible for those afternoons in the blazing summer sun.

(Body) – Black cassock: The priestly uniform distinguishing you as a teacher of the Dharma, received on that day you arrived in Nara and became formally ordained. Spun out of heavy cloth and modified so as to hide pockets of various sizes all over its length, its practical functionality doesn’t impair or otherwise negatively impact its snappy sense of style.

(Neck) – Brocade bag: A tiny purse of white silk decorated with purple clouds and hung about your neck by a braided brown cord. Typically the container of your most treasured possession, it’s presently empty.

(Back) – Black cloak: Tight about the shoulders and faded by the seasons’ capricious inclemency, this flowing mantle’s been fastened at the collar with a little brooch shaped after an eight-petal water lily. It’s old, but you’ve maintained the hempen weave of its exterior and the red-brown leather of its interior lining with meticulous perfection, for it’s a precious keepsake and the only of your material possessions you hold dear – the irreplaceable gift of her whom you cherish above all the other people and things of this world, given as memento on that last afternoon you spent together. Wearing it, you not only appear more dashing; you feel as if she’s holding you.

(Hip) – Baldric: Looping around your shoulder, across your chest and fastened at your waist, this narrow belt of colorful simplicity’s made from red-white yarns pleated into a crude helix onto which is tied the scabbard of your knife. That it matches the rest of your garments poorly is obvious, however; as it was made as a present in good faith, you can’t very well discard it.

(Legs) – Rags: A pair of long, shabby pantaloons thankfully kept hidden by your cassock’s coverage. Exceedingly unsightly, they’ve been mended of tears in many places and padded with piecemeal scraps of miscellaneous fabric in those areas below the knee; a lesson you’ve learned from hearkening back to your first winter, having endured severe frostbite because of inadequate preparedness.

(Feet) – Hemp-lined sandals: Sturdy, comfortable and plain, the scratches and stains all over your excellent shoes attests to the dependable service they’ve given you on your long journeys.

(Held) – Five-ringed iron staff: Your trusty cast-iron cudgel, spanning six feet in length. The chief symbol of your office next to your cassock, the metalworkers at your monastery crafted it in that week before your departure. A versatile tool, it’s as much suited at aiding your ascents over fallen trees and easing your navigation of precarious mountain roads as it is for disarming bandits and destroying fiends.

Inventory:
(Scriptures): Sutras – selected, excerpted and abridged – and mantras you’ve accommodated onto small scrolls and concealed in your cassock’s various compartments. Of them, that text of which you’re currently carrying the most copies by far is the Heart Sutra – a prayer of two-hundred-and-seventy characters in fifty-four sentences attained by hero monk Sanzang in his journey to India some four-hundred years ago. Its succinctness embodies the teaching of ‘emptiness,’ freedom from the slavery of worldly attachment; as much as it belies its sacred might.

(Vajra x 2): Beautiful works of art and the symbols of your school; in these mystic containers is embodied an irresistible spiritual force. After extensively advising and admonishing you as to their apt and appropriate use, your old abbot willed them be yours – that faced with a state of affairs in which your likelihood of success draws infinitely close to zero, you might nevertheless make the impossible, possible with the Vajra’s power of transformation.

(Binding Rope): Presently tied around your waist, this double-thickness rope’s been twisted from coarse silk, festooned with reinforcing charms and weighted at its end with sterling silver masses. Aside from being an excellent restraint of monsters, it’s performed peerlessly in surprise attacks upon the weapons and legs of enemies. It’s also good for climbing.

(Knife): Your darling left-hand blade, as much at home in the sundries of personal grooming as it is embedded in the eyes of some monster. That its lotus flower handle bears a resemblance to your brooch isn’t a coincidence – at the time in which this knife was forged for you, long ago; you personally requested the artisan employed in making it to pattern it after your sister’s memento.

Status: Excellent.

Status changes:
‘Ripple’ energy – Maintaining mental concentration and rhythm of respiration manifests many mysterious powers, including:
- Increase in strength, speed, stamina.
- Tremendously accelerated healing, resembling regeneration.
- Limited control over aforementioned attributes in other life-forms.
- Emission of photonic resonance resembling sunlight.
The tradeoff for this, however; is that ‘Ripple’ has an acute sensitivity to physical and spiritual distress – loss of its mystic cadence through the user’s faculty of focused breathing becoming disrupted results in similar withdrawal of benefits conferred. Furthermore, other possible applications (likely) exist beyond those formerly listed, but in lieu of either instruction or practice, competently employing these to gainful ends is…

Dissociation – The impossible loss of an otherwise indelible portion of your psyche resulting in measured descent towards insanity, for ‘Wisdom King Acala’ epitomizes both preternatural prescience and the ‘rational’ voice in your mind’s dialectic.

Deceased(?)
----------

edit: formatting
>> No. 112281
>>112270
>Straw sunshade: Your functional and FABULOUS headwear
Fuck year

>Typically the container of your most treasured possession, it’s presently empty.
Wait... what?

>Vajra x 2
Well alright then.

>Status: Excellent. Fabulous
Fixed

>Dissociation – The impossible loss of an otherwise indelible portion of your psyche resulting in measured descent towards insanity
Discomforting

>I think you’re all going to be surprised by what’s going to happen.
MyBrainisFullofFuck.png Bracing for shitstorm.
>> No. 112284
----------
…You’ve nothing definite about what’s behind this door and a quick glance at its encrusted embellishments doesn’t especially enhance your estimations. Most of the surface area’s occupied by irregular, seemingly nonrepresentational designs – billows, swirls and swells – whose asymmetrical contour serves at naturally directing the eyes’ emphasis onto those purposeful places. Positioned just above the chrysanthemum handle on the portal’s center, amid the currents of eddying bronze, is a majestic five-tailed bird, perched in the branches of a budding Paulownia tree. Complimenting this luxurious central relief are four others in a smaller, simpler scale of the winged Devas found in attendance upon all the art in this ‘mausoleum.’ They’re depicted identically – one in each corner grasping the door’s edge and, with four wings fully extended; leaning towards the central relief with a sword extended. What all of this might signify beyond very vague implications of general danger, you’re only able to guess, however; calling to mind those considerations on which you’ve decided previously clarifies the course you’ll follow.

Regardless of whether it’s pointing to friend or foe, regardless of that enigmatic conversation you’ve just overhead; this door’s an obstacle in the path of your left hand. You’ve no way of presently knowing if that hand’s pointing to friend or foe, but you know this – with the Great Goddess Sarasvati, the Great Goddess Shri, the Earth Goddess Drdha and All-Seeing Vairocana as your witnesses, you swore that you’d not succumb to trepidation or self-doubt; to believe in your gods and believe in yourself.

Therefore, it’s with the proofs of that belief upon your person – the Sublime Golden Light surrounding your and the ‘Miracle Energy’ enshrouding your staff, your concentrated breathing betokening dauntless determination – that you turn the handle and enter within.



The room into which you’ve arrived couldn’t contrast more conspicuously with its threshold and the hallway from you came. Where the door groaned loudly on its hinges and was gaudily, garishly extravagant, its interior space’s silent with transcendent tranquility and adorned austerely. Where the corridor was expansive and sinister, fraught with threatening shadows; this place’s cozy, well-lit and warm.

It’s a small chamber, of roughly the same size as the little bedrooms that the Lady provided you last night, although in spite of that they’re of similar dimensions; this room ‘feels’ more spacious. No small part of that sensation stems from that it’s virtually unequipped. The chamber’s one ornament’s suspended in bas-relief from the middle of its left and right walls – a pair of infant Celestials staring eye-to-eye in mirrored poses; fluttering their newborn wings as they hold cupped in their hands tiny tongues of flame, sapphire and citrine in hue.

But they’re not at what your left hand’s presently pointing.

Where the lights converge is a queenly woman of majestic mien. She’s older – appearing at least as old as your mother (as you remember her) – and, as is evidenced by the silver-threaded wine-red robe in which she’s dressed, the cosmetics gilding her countenance and the style of her long, black hair; done up with the surfeit of ostentatious artifice of a high noble, but none of these handicaps repudiate her manifest natural beauty. The face beneath the makeup has an enchanting harmony and through the bulky burgundy gown projects the bountiful curves of a rich body. Particularly fine is her small, high-bridged nose and her pleasing, generous lips, together those two elements according the greater agreement of her features.

This mature beauty’s asleep (?) at the chamber’s center, resting upon a stone bed with her fair hands folded over her breast.

You:
[ ] ...Approach and try awakening by some method? (Specify)
[ ] …Could you be so easily fooled as to stumble headlong into this manufactured ‘accident?’ Your invisible enemy has obviously engineered this situation, tailored this trap with the knowledge you’ve a weakness for beautiful women. As it said itself, it deems your discernment in ‘too low an esteem’ to believe there’s any chance that you’ll be deceived by such transparent tricks. Advance with knife in hand and dispatch this demon in disguise.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------
>> No. 112294
Is it... Kaguya?
>> No. 112305
?_?

Sorry, vote later.
>> No. 112327
File 126634346427.jpg - (17.20KB , 609x341 , Votefaster.jpg ) [iqdb]
112327
I'd like to know what I'm going to be writing.

>>112260
>with the pardon of the author I have to say that Anon has done a superb job so far.

If you're going to make claims like this on the behalf of everyone, Wiseman, I would think that you should try substantiating them somehow.
>> No. 112329
File 126634442063.jpg - (244.73KB , 620x877 , 8755557.jpg ) [iqdb]
112329
>>112270
>>112294
>Paulownia tree
>Paulownia is known in Japanese as kiri...; it is also known as the "princess tree". It was once customary to plant a Paulownia tree when a baby girl was born... Paulownia is the mon of the office of prime minister and also serves as the emblem of the cabinet and the government (vis-à-vis the chrysanthemum being the Imperial Seal of Japan)

That's an auspicious bit of imagery. Between the long black hair and all the connections to Japanese royalty and the associated imagery, the hair, signs point to Kaguya. But that makes very little sense. No sense at all. In fact, it makes negative sense. That is, if you assume that "Sleeping Beauty" here has any connection to the conversation we were just privy to. Which is something of a natural conclusion, but after reading back, I can't seem to find anything that indicates that the conversation was on the other side of the door. Instead we have
>It’s as if the white limestone, the worm-eaten wooden doors; the very of air of the ‘mausoleum’s’ intoning to you.
and
>At around the time this overwhelming exchange, this chance conversation of slavish air and startling allusions; neared to its conclusion, so did your search for Acala. On reaching the fearless, translucent train’s tail-end, your outstretched hand fell sharply away from your front.
>Indicated by the spiritual dowsing rod formed of your five fingers is a solitary door in the shadow of the left wall, completely unlike to those you’ve hitherto encountered.

Acala (or something) lead us to this door and this person, after we begged screamed for asked for his guidance, probably independent of hearing this conversation between the Master and her friend. I think if we had advanced with "cautious, surreptitious stealth," we would have been too slow to catch the majority of the conversation. Striking forth with gusto blessed us with all this additional information. Go team Not Spineless!

It doesn't seem natural that they'd be able to manufacture such a setup moments after that last line. It's probably why the assumption that they just have leads to the "dispatch this demon in disguise" (insanity) option. Sleeping Beauty could very well be Kaguya, but why here, and why so much older? If she was dispatched from the moon as a weapon/delivery vessel for the newest Pandora's Box, then there's a decent chance she wasn't banished for consuming the Hourai Elixir. Ergo, she has no eternal youth, but is instead just a long lived lunarian. Could she have been imprisoned by the Master/High King after fulfilling her duty? This speculation is spiraling out of hand, sorry about that and if I've talked myself out of being careful around this unknown person.

[X] ...Approach and try awakening by some method: try to use Hamon to inspect the sleeping woman for any maladies, and attempt to infuse her with the same energy to revive her.

"Miracle energy" is just that, and with our Goddesses backing us up, Sleeping Beauty is gonna get a caffeine infused massage.
>> No. 112330
File 126634532761.jpg - (471.03KB , 1580x2232 , Kikurihime.jpg ) [iqdb]
112330
I've been think about where we may be trapped: Makai or Jigoku?

>The chamber’s one ornament’s suspended in bas-relief from the middle of its left and right walls – a pair of infant Celestials staring eye-to-eye in mirrored poses; fluttering their newborn wings as they hold cupped in their hands tiny tongues of flame, sapphire and citrine in hue.

Blue & yellow in a relief. Makes me think of Kikuri.

>Where the lights converge is a queenly woman of majestic mien. She’s older – appearing at least as old as your mother (as you remember her) – and, as is evidenced by the silver-threaded wine-red robe in which she’s dressed, the cosmetics gilding her countenance and the style of her long, black hair; done up with the surfeit of ostentatious artifice of a high noble, but none of these handicaps repudiate her manifest natural beauty. The face beneath the makeup has an enchanting harmony and through the bulky burgundy gown projects the bountiful curves of a rich body. Particularly fine is her small, high-bridged nose and her pleasing, generous lips, together those two elements according the greater agreement of her features.

Kikuri is a reference to Kikuri-hime, and this would fit her physical description flawlessly.

[x] Is she asleep? Dead? Or awake and alert? One might be able to fake the rise and fall of the chest & gut through controlled breathing, so clear your mind of distraction & with your ear at the ground, reach out with the ripple for her life sounds. Can you hear the beat of her heart? Is it slow & somnolent, or fast & excited?
-[x] Call out the deception if you find it.
-[x] If not, you shall wake her up! The beat and metal clamor of your cast-iron, five-ring staff against the stone will rouse her, surely.

One would expect her stone bed to carry sound well.
>> No. 112335
>>112327
>f he hadn't development a bond with the Great Magician, First Cause'd dead by now. If he hadn't risked all and slept with Yuyu -not for lust, but for love- he wouldn't have been able to use VajraHamon on her and she'd have seen Youki's body... and First Cause'd dead by now.


[x] Is she asleep? Dead? Or awake and alert? One might be able to fake the rise and fall of the chest & gut through controlled breathing, so clear your mind of distraction & with your ear at the ground, reach out with the ripple for her life sounds. Can you hear the beat of her heart? Is it slow & somnolent, or fast & excited?
We can't bring her back if we kill her. I'd take my chances, but not without some precautions.
>> No. 112337
>>112327
It's bad form to accuse people of being Wiseman. I know >>112260 is not Wiseman.

How do I know? Because I'm Wiseman And I know I wouldn't speak so flowery. But if Anon behaved this well all the time, perhaps HY'd still be writing here.

[x] Is she asleep? Dead? Or awake and alert? One might be able to fake the rise and fall of the chest & gut through controlled breathing, so clear your mind of distraction & with your ear at the ground, reach out with the ripple for her life sounds. Can you hear the beat of her heart? Is it slow & somnolent, or fast & excited?
-[x] Call out the deception if you find it.
-[x] If not, you shall wake her up! The beat and metal clamor of your cast-iron, five-ring staff against the stone will rouse her, surely.
>> No. 112339
File 126635196371.jpg - (1.18MB , 836x1673 , 47932e4f1f6f0a5d782d8a1a15a7181d.jpg ) [iqdb]
112339
>But if Anon behaved this well all the time, perhaps HY'd still be writing here.
You know what, fuck you. Just go to hell faggot.
Your ass should have been banned from this site LONG LONG LONG AGO.
But whatever, HY does not want to have anything to do with this site anymore anyway.

[x] Is she asleep? Dead? Or awake and alert? One might be able to fake the rise and fall of the chest & gut through controlled breathing, so clear your mind of distraction & with your ear at the ground, reach out with the ripple for her life sounds. Can you hear the beat of her heart? Is it slow & somnolent, or fast & excited?
>> No. 112346
>>112337
I know I'm not you (am I?) and I think that he did as well.
You see, your name has turned into an insult recently around here (what does that say about you?) so... well, I just assumed that he didn't read/liked the reasons behind my opinion on that post.
>> No. 112354
>>112346
I'd figure he'd be too classy to go the route of the faggot. If he didn't think you were him, I'd think he wouldn't have used my name or remarked "you're sounding like Wiseman"
>> No. 112356
>>112335
>We can't bring her back if we kill her. I'd take my chances, but not without some precautions.

Who said anything about killing her?
>> No. 112357
>>112356
Option 2:
>[ ] …Could you be so easily fooled as to stumble headlong into this manufactured ‘accident?’ Your invisible enemy has obviously engineered this situation, tailored this trap with the knowledge you’ve a weakness for beautiful women. As it said itself, it deems your discernment in ‘too low an esteem’ to believe there’s any chance that you’ll be deceived by such transparent tricks. Advance with knife in hand and dispatch this demon in disguise.
>> No. 112359
>>112337
No, I'm SpartacusWiseman!
>> No. 112365
>>112346
>I know I'm not you (am I?) and I think that he did as well.

I didn't, it was a genuine mistake.

>You see, your name has turned into an insult recently around here (what does that say about you?)

I don't mean identifying you as Wiseman or identifying Wiseman as Wiseman in a pejorative sense. My intention in doing as much is simply to encourage him to expend greater efforts on his posting quality. He's made some progress, but there's room for additional improvement.

Now why do we want him to improve? Why not follow what >>112339 suggested and just try ostracizing him?

Because it's ineffective. Simple as that.

I can only imagine the animosity that I'll probably receive for saying this, but think about the matter like this - Wiseman has displayed unbreakable resistance, incredible obstinance in the face of ostracism. Anonymous has (to date) bombed his story to oblivion, has conducted an open vote for his removal and has spared no effort at telling him how much they hate him at every opportunity.

He's still here.

Unless he takes a course which is at odds with his objectively verifiable actions to date (which of course, no one can possibly predict) or unless him who rules the site intervenes and bans him (which has already been stated as something which will never happen) we might infer that Wiseman's probably going to be around for the foreseeable future.

In my mind then, this is something that should be handled with an eye to beyond the limited spheres of personal like or dislike - think about the larger welfare of the site (lol).

Since a simple study of Wiseman's character shows he's not going to leave or stop posting, no matter how much you tell him you hate him and HY has said he's not going to ban him no matter what you say, why keep going with a plan of action that hasn't produced results and won't produce results in the future?

I know how frustrated some of you are at the injustice underwritting this state of affairs, but think about the situation pragmatically.

Your options are either to ignore him or to take steps which would actually at fixing the problem in question (ie, Wiseman posting garbage) somehow by obliging him to improve.

And why should you try the latter of these, rather than the former?

It's not because you have any great affection for him. It's not because you even want him around on the site. But because a realistic evaluation of what's been tried shows that ostracism is ineffective and that the alternative method has born fruit, if still conspicuously inane fruit.

I'll be the first to admit this is a bad solution and that much might be said about why measures as these are even necessary. But the alternative - allowing Wiseman (or anyone else, really) to persist in posting poorly - the alternative is worse.

In before /blue/ mob.

>so... well, I just assumed that he didn't read/liked the reasons behind my opinion on that post.

I don't dislike your opinion, but I found there some irony in that your claim was immediately succeeded by a situation in which (once again) people are waiting for others to answer on their behalf instead of trying it themselves.
>> No. 112382
>>112365
Makes sense to me. The whole credo of the site when it comes to someone they don't like is "get better or go away." If he can post better, then there's no problem.

One guy wants to molest the mysterious girl and everyone else wants to make enough noise the raise the dead, which could very well happen. Yeah.

[x] ...Approach and try awakening by some method: enough ripple energy-sunshine to put the morning sun to shame. Basking in your radiance, the righteous will awaken and find comfort and the evil will wither in fear. Glow! Glow like you mean it!
-[x] If that doesn't work, poke her with your staff.

I think Myouren has lost enough of his sanity to make this work.
>> No. 112390
[x] ...Approach and try awakening by some method: enough ripple energy-sunshine to put the morning sun to shame. Basking in your radiance, the righteous will awaken and find comfort and the evil will wither in fear. Glow! Glow like you mean it!
-[x] If that doesn't work, poke her with your staff.

>like you mean it!
>> No. 112394
File 126637296015.jpg - (41.89KB , 600x540 , Ultros.jpg ) [iqdb]
112394
Writing. Update to appear shortly.

>>112382
>poke her with your staff
>> No. 112397
File 126637385294.jpg - (18.62KB , 458x342 , pks.jpg ) [iqdb]
112397
>>112382
>poke her with your staf
>molest
HA HA! Innuendo
>> No. 112414
>>112365

I think the writer of this story deserves a hell of a lot more acclaim than the words you're willing to waste in either judgment or defense of one its voters.
>> No. 112416
>>112414
Protip: >>112365 is the writer of this story.
>> No. 112424
…Was more tired than I thought. Expect two tomorrow.

----------
…There’s no mistake. So as to be sure your left hand wasn’t indicating in error, you’d withdrawn it into a neutral position before attempting again at calling to Acala – upon which it immediately returned to its former place. You made trial of it over five times in this way, every instance in ending in your hand pointing directly at this mysterious maid.

…Why would this be the case?

Your eyes are being quite unambiguous in that this woman’s not a mostly-naked, seven-foot-tall anthropomorphic god. She’s got two arms, not six; her skin’s not golden, but powdered to the pale white of the full-risen moon and, as far as you’re able to see; she’s no penchant for hovering everywhere cross-legged.

That’s what your eyes tell you.

Dropping onto one knee at the spot on which you’re standing, some several feet away from her; you touch your left hand to the ground and concentrate on the rhythm of the ‘Ripple.’

Can you hear the sound of her breath; feel the pulse of her heart…

…Though the stone?

…Through your fingers?

…Through your arm?

…Through your body?

–Yes!–

It’s quiet and quiescent, slow and somnolent; but she’s distinctly alive – positively, unmistakably human!

…Although?

You can’t quite put your finger on it (literally), but… this woman’s different. Though the ‘miracle energy’ makes clear that ‘Sleeping Beauty’s’ as she appears, definitely not a monster like ‘Miss Nightingale;’ she’s not… ‘normal.’

Then again, neither are you. Neither is she.[/i ] Neither is Konngara, or Mima, or Yuyu, or Youki, or that weird hag.

...‘Sleeping Beauty’ here’s not ‘normal?’

She’ll be right at home among the eclectic ensemble of your new friends.

With a flashy flourish, your staff’s suddenly aloft and airborne – sent spiraling up with a skillful strike of your sandal’s side. It’s still spinning as you reach overhead and catch deftly, bringing its blunted end to bear against the walls’ white stones!

Resultant is the resounding reverberation of iron rebounding off rock, followed by a ringing chime – the rattling of those five little rings affixed to the head of your staff.



…Not unexpectedly, there’s no response.

Your riotous, FABULOUS racket’s not succeeded in stripping away ‘Sleeping Beauty’s’ adjective, subsequent swings upon the door and on the floor yielding the same result – neither her position or expression’s shifted even slightly, despite all the sound you’ve made. Checking again with the ‘Ripple’ confirms the conclusions of your test.

This woman’s been placed in a magically-induced coma.

You’d hoped to the contrary, which was why you staged that outlandish clamor; but you vaguely suspected as much from the moment you laid eyes on her, what with the strangeness of this whole scenario – finding a living breathing woman of wonderful aspect, laid out on a bed better befitting the dead? But this guess, however germane, would never have ascended beyond the level of unqualified suspicion if it wasn’t for the ‘miracle energy;’ you wouldn’t have sensed her faint heartbeat, wouldn’t have found her alive and human and wouldn’t have the means by which you’ll now awaken her and find Acala.

So, having set your staff against the wall, it’s with a pounding heart, fervent fingers and unbreakable focus that you approach her narrow, unadorned bed of stone. With one knee rested upon its edge, you’re reciting fragments of the [i]Sublime Golden Light
and respiring deliberately as you reach lightly down and scoop this submissively ‘Sleeping Beauty’ up into your arms. …She smells fantastic. The fragrance on her hair and clothes – it’s the scent of a Sandalwood thicket on the first day of spring; heady, refreshing, invigorating. That aromatic smell only becomes stronger as your grasp on her grows less tenuous and more tender; so as to not do damage to her majesty or modesty, you’ve one hand supporting around her shoulder-blades’ heights and the other cradling her head. After appropriately appreciating the mellow splendor of her sleeping face, imbibing again of her fragrant perfume and drawing in deeply, the might of the ‘miracle energy’ coalesced fully in your body; you:

[ ] Awaken her with a hug.
[ ] Awaken her with a kiss.
[ ] Do something else. (Specify)
----------

Edit: better continuity
>> No. 112425
[x] Awaken her with a hug.
>> No. 112429
[x] Awaken her with a kiss.
Well, if shes in a magically-induced coma, I'm not sure if the hug will be effective.
>> No. 112430
[x] Awaken her with a hug.
>> No. 112432
[x] Awaken her with a hug.
I wonder
>> No. 112435
>>112424
>Though the ‘miracle energy’ makes clear that ‘Sleeping Beauty’s’ as she appears, definitely not a monster like ‘Miss Nightingale;’ she’s not… ‘normal.’
>Then again, neither are you. Neither is she. Neither is Konngara, or Mima, or Yuyu, or Youki, or that weird hag.
>...‘Sleeping Beauty’ here’s not ‘normal?’
>She’ll be right at home among the eclectic ensemble of your new friends.

That's enough to convince me. If this unconsciousness really is due to some sorcery, we need to go straight for what works. Remember that super kiss we gave Mima? Yeah, that should do the trick.

[X] Awaken her with a miracle energy infused kiss.

Ripple is probably already part of the normal vote, but on the off chance it isn't. Come on team Not Spineless! We can do this.
>> No. 112436
[X] Awaken her with a miracle energy infused kiss.

Sure, why not? The kiss is the traditional method for breaking these sorts of curses, and this should only make it work better. Besides, we're already technically holding her, and a fat lot of good that seems to have done as far as curse breaking goes.

Don't be so timid.
>> No. 112440
[X] Awaken her with a miracle energy infused kiss.

If anything's going to wake her up, this will be it.
>> No. 112447
Writing shortly.
>> No. 112469
Writing at work is a pain.

----------
Brushing to the side those stray locks of her long hair fallen over her face, your embrace on this ensconced Empress becomes closer, more familiar; then, bowing your head to hers, you chivalrously, considerately kiss her. The Sublime Golden Light surrounding you sparks luminous, burning brilliantly as the animating, stimulating, electrifying power of your ‘miracle energy’ revives her from deathly sleep. It surges against her soft lips, courses within her pacific veins, pours into her fading heart – and for the first time in a long age…

She breathes.

From her ample chest is exhaled a deep sigh, sweetened with pure pleasure; and nestling her countenance against the crook of your neck, the silken fabric of her luxurious garments slithering against your coarse cassock as she’s turned in your arms, ‘Sleeping Beauty’s’ started to stir. Long lashes lightly lifting, mouth motioning in sleepy speech, it’s with gentle grace that she’s opened her eyes, fluttered away their heaviness and fixed them firmly on yours. …They’re striking eyes, beautiful and strong, sparkling crystal blue in the reflected fires of the room. Making slow, sensitive study of your face’s contour, this careful consideration’s soon joined with a testing touch – a long, red sleeve slips away to bare a long, white arm as she raises up her right hand and caresses your cheek.

“…Norikiyo?” She asks quietly, the rich contralto of her voice resplendent with incredulous affection.

Your respond by:
[ ] Introducing yourself and plainly requesting her name.
[ ] Humoring her expectations and playing along.
[ ] Begging her pardon and soliciting Acala’s whereabouts.
[ ] Determining if she’s the one who was being addressed as “my Master.”
[ ] Identifying her – This woman, isn’t she…? (Specify)
----------
>> No. 112475
>>112469
God damn it, just saw this as I'm about to leave. I'll leave this here for now:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saigyō_Hōshi
>Born Satō Norikiyo (佐藤義清) in Kyoto to a noble family

Saigyo?
>> No. 112506
File 12664665262.jpg - (17.21KB , 609x341 , Votefaster.jpg ) [iqdb]
112506
After school/work, the second biggest constraint on the speed at which I can write is you, anonymous.
>> No. 112507
File 126646695674.gif - (14.85KB , 464x508 , 1205347926288.gif ) [iqdb]
112507
>>112506
We are not used to such speed! We have been mistreated for years, have mercy! I guess you could say that... we are too slow

[x] Begging her pardon, explain the situation and present yourself.
-[x] Determine if she’s the one who was being addressed as “my Master.”
Person is confused. Person needs an explanation of where she is. Person seems to be powerful and should not be lied to. Person should know better than anyone who person is.
>> No. 112511
Took me forever and a half to hunt down Yuyu's eye color and find out if we were hugging paradox Yuyu or not. Finally found a concrete description of her eye color:
>>104490
>Not leaving your position, you look up, up into her eyes - those striking eyes of Victorian Jet, in which are reflected profound joy and sublime sorrow.

Black. Yuyu's eyes are incredibly dark, as in not blue at all. In fact, th only person we've met with shockingly blue eyes has been Youki.

For the love of... it's right in the Wiki!
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saigyō_Hōshi
>Born Satō Norikiyo (佐藤義清)

http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Saigyou_Ayakashi
>The poet referred in the Saigyou Ayakashi's story is likely Saigyou Hoshi, an ancient Buddhist poet who often sung of his love of cherry blossoms and his desire to die beneath flowers.

>>112469
[X] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... "Fujiwara-hime?"

Mokou? Mokou Mokou?! But seriously... There are a scarce amount of people that could have feasibly been exposed to Saigyou Hoshi (aka Norikiyo) from that long ago, the Fujiwara and Saigyou families knew each other very well, 'Bride of the Heaven' ended with her under an unnatural sleep, and
>>108576
>Though she’s attired in a very adult-looking dress of white silk, a sheer, single-piece affair held up by two thin straps on her shoulders and which emphasizes her bare legs; she’s also still wearing her healthy black hair in the same short, decidedly girlish style as from four-and-a-half years ago.

And HONESTLY:
>>108977
>But, it was having gained this concession that the princess had another thought. What is a weapon but an extension of she who wields it? ‘This blade,’ she chuckled to herself, ‘surely suffers no unworthy hand to grasp it.’ It was from this thought that she made her second request – that if ever one should come to waken her, it would only be the first and most fearless of heroes.

That is us and you cannot deny it. I'll say it again:

[X] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... "Fujiwara-hime?"

>>112506
Sorry, took forever to pull everything together.
>> No. 112512
>>112511
Extra fodder I forgot:
>>106568
>At Konngara’s bidding, the Lady goes on to tell something of Saigyou’s life and accomplishments. Mima’s already familiar with him and as for you… if you didn’t know the name of Saigyou Hoshi, you would be ashamed to call yourself a member of the clergy.
>> No. 112516
[X] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... "Fujiwara-hime?"

Indeed it is.
>> No. 112517
[X] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... "Fujiwara-hime?"
>> No. 112519
>>112469
[X] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... "Fujiwara-hime?"

Suffice it to say, but the logic is sound.
>> No. 112523
>>112519
>“I promise that the one who kisses you next will be one compassionate, but who shrinks not from the terror of death.”

Ah ha. oh wow. I hope our reputation preceeds usl
>> No. 112524
>>112511
I have a hard time connecting the Mokou we know with her, but it was the same with Yuyuko. The logic used reinforces this.

[X] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... "Fujiwara-hime?"
>> No. 112528
[x] Eat Mokou's liver
[x] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... "Fujiwara-hime?"
>> No. 112537
[笑] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... Shou Toramaru?
>> No. 112541
[原] Identifying her – This woman, isnt she... "Fujiwara-hime?"
>> No. 112545
>>112537
What.
>> No. 112547
File 126653813098.jpg - (268.66KB , 670x503 , Troll5.jpg ) [iqdb]
112547
----------
“Oh wow! This is what he really thinks?” I laugh–elegantly–with book in hand, my satin-gloved seventeen-year-old fingers motioned to cover the modesty of my girlish mouth.

“…Milady?” The ivory comb that’s been picking its way through my –gorgeous– golden hair comes to a clumsy halt.

“Oh it’s nothing, Ran – just reading ahead a little bit is all.” Shifting upon my stool, I show her the line that’s affording me such amusement from over my shoulder. “I forgot about this part~”

My slave Shikigami puts aside that tool she’s been so ineptly handling to gingerly receive the story I’m offering her, wincing as she tries balancing it on bandaged fingers.

“You’re doing it wrong, Ran. Here,” with a quick slice of my fan, the book’s fallen through her hands and through space-time; it comes to rest at eye-level, floating in the air in front of her, just above the crown of my pretty, seventeen-year-old head. “Isn’t that better~?”

She glances over the line I indicated with mystified eyes, reading and re-reading until she cranes her neck to look at me. “Whatever does milady find so funny in this?”

“So you don’t remember either, Ran?” My rejoining smile’s agreeable and winsome – so knowing! “I suppose that isn’t unsurprising – for a child to succeed where her mother’s failed would serve at turning the order of things upon their head.”

“But milady,” Ran raises an objection; having learned her lesson after my ‘punishment,’ it’s made with meek timidity in line with her station, “‘turning the order of things upon their head’ is your favorite pastime.”

“An observation as astute as it is droll,” Nodding and giggling, I agree with her. “Now as I was saying. Ran?” Giving a sidelong look, I indicating that she sit and listen. “The reason why I got a rise from ‘Hijiri’ – ‘Sir Monk’ here? Well, it’s because…”
----------

Writing starts after I get back home from work, make dinner, eat dinner…
>> No. 112548
>>112547
That spells failure.
>> No. 112550
>>112548
Let's not assume anything until after he updates.
>> No. 112555
File 126654521752.png - (1.95KB , 300x300 , orz.png ) [iqdb]
112555
Brilliant deduction was a fuck up. Sorry guys.
>> No. 112559
>>112547
This feeling...it seems familiar...vujà dé...

ohgodnotagainwhywhywhy
>> No. 112564
>>112555
Relax dude, you can't win 'em all.
I'll admit: I made >>112507 because I didn't want to guess.
Normally, not guessing the name of a complete stranger is natural and would only cause a mildly amused response ("No, you see, my name actually is...") But, considering how this CYOA is, this'll turn Sir Monk's life into a living hell and cause the death of his favorite puppy by spontaneous combustion, amongst other equally terrible things.
>> No. 112569
>>112555
Just hold on, we can't tell for sure until the next update, so calm down. It'll help you make better decisions. Well if it turns out the plan was a backfire, THEN you can proceed to angst like the emo of ten writefags.

Still, you cannot feel too badly, since you've thought into it very well, looked up the hints, and the specify-identify option was there. It's not like your decision was based on VN crap.

>>112559
>>112564
This goes for you two as well.
>> No. 112571
File 126655546713.jpg - (84.20KB , 283x420 , 4865592.jpg ) [iqdb]
112571
Preparing for impact
>> No. 112580
Feeling sleepy and I want to do this appropriate justice. Update's going to appear tomorrow: till then, calm your beards and wait warmly.

Also, I just want to say that if these comments are reflective of your approaches to voting in general, they're mildly amusing in a paradoxical way. Last I checked, the hero of this story was the younger brother of Youkai Jesus (hint: as I have said before, this is important), a future saint ? of the Buddhist religion and a spiritualist whose demonstrated talents put him in the first class of power among magical beings.

Why are you practicing at playing Heather?
>> No. 112582
>>112580
People are overreacting to the commentary from Yukari, assuming it'd be a repeat of the Mima fiasco. I on the other hand, highly doubt that. Yukari didn't go into enough detail, and the logic used in the winning vote was very sound. Failure in this case would be embarrassing, but not fatal or the end of the world. She'd have a case of mistaken identity as well.
>> No. 112583
File 126655890361.jpg - (61.46KB , 380x233 , beard1.jpg ) [iqdb]
112583
>>112580
But my beard has an anxiety disorder.

Also, what does "playing Heather" mean?
>> No. 112584
>>112583

He's talking about Heather, the protagonist who used to be known as Ebolanon from HY's A Different Place.
>> No. 112658
>>112582
As >>112559 I would like to clarify that I was actually having a Gensokyoland flashback. How's that story been? I stopped reading a few months ago.
>> No. 112661
I get the Heather reference, but I'm not seeing the connection. Maybe I need to go back and read the ADP threads because I really only remember the story and not anon's reactions. Unless I'm not thinking about this the right way, doesn't all of the latent ability, potential, and power in the world amount to diddly-squat if decision making is dictated by the collective wisdom of a gaggle of buffoons? I agree the reaction is amusing, but what's so paradoxical about anon lamenting his deficient thought processes and/or faulty logic? It's a standard CYOA device that a bit of the ol' "Zetsubou-shita!" keeps anon from voting too pants-on-head-retarded; this reaction is par for the course. I sincerely doubt this will even remotely rise to the level of the fuck up with Mima, though.

That said, Yukarin is a KyoAni tier troll.
>> No. 112672
>>112658
You mean Gensokyoland Saga? Pretty well, if updating slow. But I don't recall any major despair bouts in that story, since most screw ups other than perhaps the whole revenge against Yukari thing usually resulted in a bad end and a redo. And the big possible oppsie didn't provoke that much despair in the first place.
>> No. 112674
Pardon me... I've got to pick up these bricks I just shat. Well that was an interesting reference and how we were saved from it.
>> No. 112679
>>112661
An inference that's mostly on the money, except I'd like to say somewhat more on

>what's so paradoxical about anon lamenting his deficient thought processes and/or faulty logic?

I was suggesting that impulse towards lamentation can be continually construed in the votes of the more milquetoast among you, such as >>112507 and that this is worthy of mention because its illustrative of a problem.

In a story where anonymous is supposed to be a low-functioning aspie with a basketful of issues, he votes as if he's trying to become "Warlord of Gensokyo" (yes, that was the exact phrase used in ADP) and in a story where he would be apt to take a proactive role as paragon of courage, wisdom, temperance and justice befitting a real hero, he consistently takes half-measures.

I don't fault anonymous for it, both because he's been conditioned to vote in the mindset of 'paranoid, passive, powerless, ignorant, indecisive protagonist' and because in point of fact, seeing this paradox play out is mildly humorous.
>> No. 112681
>>112679
There's also the fact this story punishes screw ups rather harshly, a difference from the typical bad end style stuff. The fact Anon suffered from such a thing once via higher yield despair has some wary of those Yukari moments. Most of us have learned from that incident in various ways, though it seems some haven't completely.

But the fact stands: we were both wrong and right at once. We identified a Fujiwara alright, but instead of Mokou, we got the supposedly dead and life sucked mother of hers, but alive and back in her true glory.
>> No. 112697
>Try the salute you exchanged with Youki.
What was it again?
Also? Choice will be made in seven minutes. Enjoy your weekend, good writefag.
>> No. 112699
File 126669015128.jpg - (18.83KB , 614x343 , Votefaster.jpg ) [iqdb]
112699
If you are not sure of the third option or need more time on it, that's fine.

For now, try and reach some common ground on the first two options:

(- How do you want to receive her gesture?)
(- What do you want to say?)

You need to know both of these before you can figure out the (-How do you want to say it?) part, anyway.
>> No. 112715
[x] Kiss her hand.

[x] You would like to know more about her.
[x] Does she know something of Acala’s whereabouts?
[x] Where is this and how did she come to be asleep here?
[x] Might she know anything about the entity you heard being addressed as ‘my Master?’
[x] Was she the ‘voice’ which spoke to you in your meditations?

[x] Converse normally.
>> No. 112717
>>112700
Waiting until later to inform her of what's happened to her family?

As many questions as we might have for her, she'll have some for us once she realizes time has passed since then. I'm curious if she knows anything of those using this place as their base or not.
>> No. 112730
File 126672173518.jpg - (59.98KB , 563x709 , Alastor.jpg ) [iqdb]
112730
edit2: Aside from adjustments for flow, I have retained one choice for a different juncture because people are missing sight of what’s actually important. Reach a consensus on prioritizing what you would like to know/express, and do it with all haste – the longer it takes you to make up your minds, the longer the period between updates becomes.

I want the story to continue its forward progress and I’m pretty sure that you do as well, so hurry up. Those of you who have already cast your vote, adjust it accordingly.

----------
‘Norikiyo’ – it’s a personal name more ‘normal’ in character than ‘Yuyu’ or ‘Mima’ or, Vairocana forbid, ‘Konngara;’ but if less outrageous and outlandish than these, it’s not more familiar. In leafing hurriedly through the pages of your memory, you (tentatively) confirm that you’ve never been called by that address and, furthermore; you’ve no knowledge of anyone with that name.

“Nay.” ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ as she’s tracing her fingertips over your features’ form, sees clearly your want of recognition and turns slowly askance, closing her crystal-blue eyes.
“Very like to him are you, young hero
Whose lips are life-giving love; radiant hope
To the sleeping maid, but Norikiyo
No; not the bosom friend I would again see
Walking carefree in Heian-kyo’s wide streets
Through busy avenues ambling apart;
Or dreaming at the Inner Palace’s gardens
Waiting winter’s end in the Peonies’ company.”

Emendation declaimed in wistful meter*, Sarasvati’s stately supplicant shifts your arm, slides from her stone bed and comes to stand shakily; still marveling you palpably, she folds her fair hands into the huge sleeves of her red raiment and respectfully nods.

Even if she hadn’t explicitly referenced Kyoto, from your involved acquaintance with Lady Murasaki’s masterpiece, you’ve a working knowledge of the Imperial court’s culture and ceremonies – one of the most prevalent (and infamous) of its practices is a penchant for representing all reflections, however unremarkable, as verse.

...Hearing it now for the first time, you’re rather unsure how you should feel disposed towards it. Considered from the perspective of a priest sworn to poverty as much in his pronouncements as his possessions, this convention of the court is ridiculous – a vain, pretentious and empty embellishment of language. But from a more considerate, compassionate point of view, made as a priest personally dedicated to saving mankind, you’re not unable to temporize and empathize with their ends; if only as an aesthetic, this habit of poetic proclamation’s grounded in that same prerogative of yours – artfulness.

And, according ‘artfulness’ appropriate advantage, this anonymous autocrat’s artifice aught acquire your appreciation, approbation, admiration. For figure of speech or fashion of figure, this ensconced Empress’ form is first-rate – excellent, exceptional, extraordinary…?

…?

…Etched in your mind?

“O Queen,” you mount upon your feet and face the magnificent Marquise, “would I be mistaken in hazarding your handle as the peerless Princess Fuji-”

“I AM ALASTOR.” This thunderous, deafening declaration’s not delivered from the person of the Princess before you, staring over your shoulder in shock; no – it’s originating behind you, from the open doorway leading out into the corridor. “THE WEAK SHALL GIVE THEIR HEART AND SWEAR ETERNAL LOYALTY TO ME.”

You’ve instantly wheeled round, but it’s already too late – the infernal speed of its surge slicing the stilled air in an earsplitting scream, that baneful, behemoth black blade from before, held hovering in the air by an unseen hand, plunges straight into your–......!



“Fenghuang!”

‘Sleeping Beauty’s’ splendid contralto rings out at your back, and accompanying the sound of her voice are…

Flames.

Immediately engulfing the sinister sword is an intense conflagration of fiery crimson… feathers? Having arrested its attack, they’re drifting round the length and width of that wicked weapon in a burning cloud – outlining a huge shape from within the haze, ethereal and evil. Vaguely humanoid, the muscular height and gargantuan girth of its indistinct silhouette and its serpentine tail, bat-like wings and the menacing pair of horns peaking its head all make quite clear that the devil decorating the dire hilt was patterned after, no – IS this phantom, the malevolent specter now fallen inside the flames.

With a slow, grand gait, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ makes her way next to you and halts with a poised pause; glaring with incredible majesty at the evil ghost, reduced to crawling on its hands and knees, she points offhandedly.

“You are going to say, ‘Spare me and I will promise you my power.’”
“SPARE ME AND I WILL PROMISE YOU MY POWER.”

It’s only the time for one aghast “W-WHAT?!” before five titanic tongues of irresistible inferno fly into the burning cloud and burst through its invisible body; writhing in the throes of death, the devilish profile inside the flames becomes blurry, gradually loses all definition and is finally consumed.



…When the conflagration clears, all that’s left of ‘Alastor’ is a broken sword, scattered in burnt pieces upon the blackened floor. It’s been completely incinerated in this stately sorceress’ strange fire.

“You are going to say, ‘by what miracle was that demon destroyed, O Queen?”
“By what miracle was that demon destroyed, O Queen?”

Your unassuming turn towards ‘Sleeping Beauty’ becomes tinctured with stunned silence, both from her uncanny forecasting of your thoughts, verging on telepathy, and more significantly – the smoldering, supernatural shape following her.

Bearing a remarkable resemblance to an eagle, the bird that’s floating freely at her back is nevertheless dissimilar in a number of details. For instance, it’s drastically larger – almost five feet in height, and far brighter; not the mottled brown or dull gray of most its brethren, the quills of its outstretched wings and the glorious plumage of its five tails are dappled in red, yellow, black, white and blue.

The most momentous difference, however; is that all surrounding this veritable ‘Queen among Avians’ is a swelling, swirling, billowing blaze – its bathed, wreathed in Celestial Fire.

Answering your apparent astonishment with a gracious and genial grin, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ extends you her hand and intones:
“You hazard well and rightly, young hero,
From the lineage of kings I am sprung,
My honored family is the Fujiwara,
Renown styles me the Princess Royal and
This promethean phoenix is Fenghuang.


Your response is to:
[ ] Shake her hand.
[ ] Kiss her hand.
[ ] Try the salute you exchanged with Youki.

And:
[ ] You would like to know more about her.
[ ] Would she permit you a more familiar form of address than her title?
[ ] Request that she discard with the aristocratic affectations and converse normally.
[ ] …Are you aware you’re a bona-fide legend?
[ ] Um, about your daughter…
[ ] Does she know something of Acala’s whereabouts?
[ ] Have her tell you more about Fenghuang?
[ ] Ask that she forgive your boorishness in taking her lips unbidden.
[ ] Where is this and how did she come to be asleep here?
[ ] Might she know anything about the entity you heard being addressed as ‘my Master?’
[ ] Or for that matter, does she have more specific information on ‘Miss Nightingale?’
[ ] Could she possibly tell you more about ‘Norikiyo,’ him for whom you were initially mistaken?
[ ] Was she the ‘voice’ which spoke to you in your meditations?
[ ] Is she acquainted with the name of ‘Saigyou Ayakashi?’
[ ] It’s been destroyed, but…? Inspect/take the shards of ‘Alastor?’
[ ] …Say something else? (Specify)
----------

*The more poetically perceptive among you have probably figured this out, but she’s speaking in blank verse – poetry and actual poetic forms rarely (more like never, actually) translate well across cultures, Heian poetry and poetic forms least of all, so you’re getting a spiritual approximation.
>> No. 112733
Damn and I was so close. Oh well, that's what I get for being a Slowpoke.

[x] Kiss her hand.
-[x] Ask that she forgive your boorishness in taking her lips unbidden.
-[x] You would like to know more about her.
-[x] Have her tell you more about Fenghuang?
-[x] Where is this and how did she come to be asleep here?
-[x] Um, about your daughter
-[x] Does she know something of Acala’s whereabouts?

Mmmhhh, I can't believe you guys are ignoring the most interesting question. All of the rest are important, either to show courtesy or to advance the plot, but Mokou's is the most interesting, by far.
>> No. 112735
>>112731
>Struck the verse option, eh?

'Retained for later' =/= struck. It's just that people were (to use Myouren's probable analogy) 'putting the cart before the horse' and becoming too involved with questions of style before dealing with the tangible exigencies of the situation, so I exercised my duty as writefag and clarified for everyone.

If you still want to try impressing her though, you'll have your chance.
>> No. 112741
[x] Kiss her hand.
-[x] Ask that she forgive your boorishness in taking her lips unbidden.
-[x] You would like to know more about her.
-[x] Have her tell you more about Fenghuang?
-[x] Where is this and how did she come to be asleep here?
-[x] Um, about your daughter
-[x] Does she know something of Acala’s whereabouts?

From least to most important, oddly enough, but I feel like the conversation would flow better in the order presented. And I agree, the supremely interesting/touching option has too much potential to pass up.

Struck the verse option, eh? Probably for the best, it was pretty intimidating. There goes 3 hours of my life I'll never get back. Time to start engaging in some self loathing and binge drinking. Anything for faster updates, though.

Seriously though, alliteration and rhyming isn't nearly as easy as one would think.
>> No. 112743
[x] Kiss her hand.
-[x] Ask that she forgive your boorishness in taking her lips unbidden.
-[x] You would like to know more about her.
-[x] Have her tell you more about Fenghuang?
-[x] Where is this and how did she come to be asleep here?
-[x] Um, about your daughter
-[x] Does she know something of Acala’s whereabouts?
>> No. 112750
There are some incredibly savvy and attentive voters paying attention right now. Feels good, man. I wish there were a couple more, though, so what's a good way to drum up readership? Spamming other stories? Starting a recommendation thread? Getting write-fags to endorse it in their stories?

What's gotten y'all to pick up stories they've ignored/dropped before? I've been persuaded by general word of mouth and brief synopses myself. It's how I finally started reading "The Game" and restarted "Fragmentation of Memories." I'd like to try something before the first thread is really gone from /th/ (it's third from last right now)
>> No. 112752
>>112750
Dunno. I don't feel I'm checking more than before. It's just that there are more stories than before. others has two (more or less) new frequently updated stories, AG update rate went sky high and sdm and youkai stories are so good that it doesn't matter how slowfuck most of them are.
>> No. 112753
>>112750
First I think the problem isn't readership but general IQ/Open mind level. I wonder why plus fag (guy with the japanese name) isn't posting here anymore. He's among the brighter voters usually; he does have his off days.

Well some word of mouth, but I try to check out any story that comes by. Though if I drop it, it'll take a mighty strong point to get me to pick it back up.
>> No. 112755
>>112750
I’m thankful for your thoughtfulness, but you shouldn’t trouble yourself with ‘drumming up readership’ – not in any of the ways you listed there, at least. Your intentions are good, I know; but those techniques use nepotism as their means and have popularity as their end, neither of which sits well with my scruples.

Those of you on the other side of the internet are in all likelihood going to find this funny/naive, but I would prefer that people enter in upon this story because they saw in it some quality which proved personally provocative or aesthetically appealing (…lolfanfiction), not as an output of mindless viral marketing or brazenly preferential treatment. Same deal with popularity, really. No matter how brilliantly or badly Flandre’s written the readers are inevitably going to shower their affections upon her, whereas a character like Konngara – to have the audience identify with, respect and befriend her of their own volition while still presenting her with realistic depth of personality? In my view, that’s a genuinely legitimate test of an author’s affectations of ability and a more creatively stimulating challenge besides. (Note: Keep in mind that the aforementioned reason has only trivial importance compared to the narrative and thematic significance that she occupies in story alongside the two (…three?) other heroines.)

But I digress – you said you’d like to help ‘drum up readership?’ There’s a better method than shameless attention-whoring. Aid your fellow voters in achieving a collective improvement in depth of discrimination and proclivity towards proactive decision-making. (As I see it) To train those priestly novices already gathered here into real Monks is a much better step at winning over the story than recruiting a mob of trolls, mulish partisans and summer soldiers to swell your numbers and invite debilitating dissent.
>> No. 112756
>>112755
I've been reading this story almost since the start (I was one of the people who guessed his name was Myouren.) The thing that struck me was that this isn't a cookie-cutter CYOA. Your insight into religion and human relationships drew me to like it. The mystery in the story quickly grew. The premise of the story itself was special. You took characters from centuries before even the PC-98 games and gave them new life. Additionally, you showed that you were very open with your readers. We like that sort of thing. You really need to get a name/trip, if only to give us something to praise.
>> No. 112768
>>112756
I second this motion. This is one of the first CYOAs where you have to really *think* before voting.
Of course, due to my work, this means that I can only vote on weekends, but I wouldn't want it any other way. It's really refreshing CYOA that isn't dumbed down on the slighest and it even has really good update times.
>> No. 112779
Writing, be ready to vote shortly.
>> No. 112782
[x] Answer her 'joke' with one of your own. Pretend to accept and fake her out – pull her down with you and catch her in your arms.
[x] "Believe me, O Queen, that my 'flirtatious boldness' has served me well and has never lead me astray from my teachings."

Why not? It certainly has served us well, no need to be modest about it.
>Moreover too, my disaffection lies
>With men of philandering flattery
Best way to distinguish ourselves from the ilk that disgust her (like her husband, apparently) is to commit to our actions as genuine. That said, apologizing for our kiss either got incredibly awkward, or became an opportunity to really stick our admiration for her. I know what I'm voting for.
>> No. 112785
>>112782
Yeah and Myouren's words have never been of empty flattery. He says what he means. Was she aware of her Husband's misdeeds?

[x] Answer her 'joke' with one of your own. Pretend to accept and fake her out – pull her down with you and catch her in your arms.
[x] "Believe me, O Queen, that my 'flirtatious boldness' has served me well and has never lead me astray from my teachings."
>> No. 112786
>>112785
>Was she aware of her Husband's misdeeds?
She has to be, maybe not the specifics we know about (like locking the princess up and stuff), but she knew he was a louse in general. If I'm not mistaken, "to whom my troth is plighted" refers the person she's married to. It's why she looks away and gets that angry expression when she said it: she was reminded of the crap her husband used to pull. Hopefully we can prove to be a little more sincere than he was.

It occurs to me that if she pulls whatever brainwave trick she's been using to say what we're going to say, our cunning joke might not work. But we got that kiss on her hand off, and even if she decks us again, it's worth it.
>> No. 112790
[x] Answer her 'joke' with one of your own. Pretend to accept and fake her out – pull her down with you and catch her in your arms.
[x] "Believe me, O Queen, that my 'flirtatious boldness' has served me well and has never lead me astray from my teachings."
>> No. 112793
[x] Take her hand and allow her to help you up.
[x] Answer her 'joke' with one of your own. Pretend to accept and fake her out – pull her down with you and catch her in your arms.
hmmmmmmmm
>> No. 112796
Writing, expect update shortly.
>> No. 112801
>>112796
Hurray!
>> No. 112808
...Feeling drowsy and I want to do this appropriate justice. I'll finish this when I wake up.
>> No. 112809
>>112808
Even after all that F5-ing. Oh well, at least we know there's justice needing to be done for this update.
>> No. 112838
----------
There are marked differences – she’s no jewelry garnishing her fair hands or festooning her white neck, no glittering ornaments or reflective bronze mirrors sewn onto her raiment, no slim, scintillating tiara topping her temples; but this well-endowed (…in more ways than one) woman is unmistakably the cute princess’ charismatic mother.

…Seen in the flesh, she’s even more captivating, even more augustly attractive than the pictures professed.

“That chance would permit me make your acquaintance,” you respond with courtly courtesy – professing your veneration in your kneeling and taking her hand with thoughtful tenderness, “is an honor unforeseen and a joy undeserved.” Pressing the back of the Princess Royal’s graceful fingers to your lips, you deliver them a deferential kiss and glance up at her face; at your attention, she tilts discreetly her dark head and, bespeaking her bemusement with a satisfied smile…

Puts you flat on your back.

At you, on the ground and clutching your cheek, she points and playfully proclaims, “You are going to say, ‘For what reason have I come to incur your displeasure… O Queen?’”
“For what reason have I come to incur your displeasure, O Queen?”

The Princess Royal’s bemusement burgeons as she closes her eyes to your confusion, chanting:
Flirtatious boldness ill-suits that caste
Who are vanguard to Lord Buddha’s teachings.

Then, pausing from her poem – she frowns and turns her attention askance, addressing another you’re not able to see.
Moreover too, my disaffection lies
With men of philandering flattery
Bad feeling born of dissatisfaction
With that one to whom my troth is plighted.


When she turns back towards you again, her satisfied smile’s returned; the hand that was pointing at you becomes an offer of assistance.

You:
[ ] Take her hand and allow her to help you up.
[ ] Answer her joke with one of your own. Feign acceptance and fake her out – pull her down with you and catch her in your arms.
[ ] Pretend to take no notice of it and arise on your own.
[ ] Try some something else? (Specify)
----------

edit: spelling error corrected.
>> No. 112843
[x] Would like her to tell you more about herself, if she’s willing.

>she answers your regrets by way of pushing up against your shoulder more closely, singing
>With the pain of melancholy memories in her glance and the forgotten pleasure of human closeness in her grasp, she amicably hugs you.

Princess Royal is adorable. I wanna take her home.
>> No. 112848
>>112841
Poor thing ;_;

[x] Would like her to tell you more about herself, if she’s willing.
>> No. 112849
[x] Would like her to tell you more about herself, if she’s willing.

But we should really try to get back to the others, but if she's to come along we should get to know her. I wonder if we'd see some of Mokou in her.
>> No. 112857
[x] Would like her to tell you more about herself, if she’s willing.
>> No. 112860
>>112809
Yeah, sorry. It's just that whenever I try at producing something when I can't stay awake or have a headache, there's more errors, strange phrasing etc.

----------
It’s never been your wont to cede others (apart from your beloved sister, of course) the last word; and though you’ve endeavored to become an open-minded, patient and understanding priest, you still haven’t fully exorcised yourself of the callow contentiousness that troubled you so often as a boy. Right now, that litigious spirit’s all fired-up and urging you on, exhorting enticements in your ear – ‘come now,’ it says slyly, ‘shall we not derive some excitement in answering this woman’s jest?’ Normally, you wouldn’t even bother to acknowledge such an irrational, juvenile impulse; but neither the circumstances in which you’ve found yourself or the inscrutable, imperial individual with whom you’re dealing are ‘normal’ – in this case, there’s actual benefit in indulging your whims, namely with respect to comprehending her character. By trying the Princess Royal’s reaction to surprise, you’ll gain much more in appreciating the temper of her disposition and the workings of her mind over the average alternatives*; although, with her ‘mind’ being what it is...?

…Yes, that’s right – if your aim’s at contesting her, you shouldn’t do it with words; she’s demonstrated an absolutely unbelievable ability for being able to predict what others say.

Does it extend to anticipating what they’ll do?

A startled scream escapes the Princess Royal’s vermillion lips as, having crouched upon your shins and innocently motioned towards accepting her offer of help; you catch her hand in a crafty clutch and pull upon it with sudden strength. The sandalwood smell’s returned – ‘Sleeping Beauty’ pitches forward in a frightened fall and meets with a light landing in your arms; pressed chest-to-chest with legs entangled and clothes all in disarray, you’ve skillfully supported her head against your shoulder. “Please believe me, O Queen,” you whisper appealingly in her ear, “that if I should now and again offer free-reign to ‘flirtatious boldness,’ I have never permitted it lead me astray from my consciousness of common compassion, my regard for righteous responsibility or my duty to the Dharma; on the contrary, it’s been my constant companion in accomplishment of good. Were I not possessed of such nature, I might not have mustered the power to waken you, Princess Royal – and that would have seen a diminution in us both. Now stroking her long hair leisurely, feeling through its fineness with the ends of your fingers, you turn your gaze towards her captivated, captivating face, scandalized no longer. “Nevertheless, I feel I should also offer apology for doing dishonor to your station; I forced upon you this ignoble embrace and, if to rouse you from slumber, boorishly stole your lips unbidden.”

Looking away, you’ve humbly lowered your head to her when she answers your regrets by way of pushing up against your shoulder more closely, singing:
“Young hero, to gift her intimacy,
This luckless woman by love abandoned
To sleep deserted in the spirits’ realm;
Relieves her and delivers her from pain.”

With the pain of melancholy memories in her glance and the forgotten pleasure of human closeness in her grasp, she amicably hugs you.

You (Pick one):
[ ] Would like her to tell you more about herself, if she’s willing.
[ ] …Wait – ‘spirits’ realm?’ Then, she knows where this is?
[ ] Say/do something else? (Specify)
----------

*As I’m sure you all know, he’s spot-on regarding this point – if you’re able to catch a person at unawares, outside the shell of his/her constraints and mores, you’ll learn volumes more about him/her than you might otherwise in years of normal acquaintance.

edit: omitted note added
>> No. 112865
>>112863

Yeah a third female companion such as the Princess Royal would be welcome. Interesting how she has phoenix powers... perhaps Mokou's abilities might be hereditary?
>> No. 112867
[x] “I would know about your control over flames – your firebird Fenghuang.”
>> No. 112870
[x] “I would know about your control over flames – your firebird Fenghuang.”

Interesting, to say the least.
>> No. 112888
edit: I forgot to include an option which Myouren would plausibly consider in this situation, so adjust your choices if need be.

Story's going to be moving later, so get ready.

----------
“Noble Princess Royal,” you speak with soft sympathy to the elegiac, elegant and eloquent Empress earnestly embracing your elbow, “I would lend an ear to you, your circumstances – with your leave.”

Drawing back slowly at the request you’ve made, she connects her crystal-blue eyes with yours. “Pardon me?” Her response isn’t in verse, but plain words colored over in amazement.

“Could you tell me more about yourself?” You repeat yourself, this time more candidly. “…I find you as endearing to my heart as you are enchanting to my sight, O Queen.”

Your compliment causes her to blush as deeply red as the ceremonial robe under which her ripe curvature’s concealed. “Thank you,” she mumbles, again without meter, and bows in a respectful nod; it’s keeping her eyes down that the Princess Royal asks quietly, “…What is it about me you would like to know?”

Your first request is (Pick one):
[ ] “Your favorite food, your favorite color and your three sizes, please.”
[ ] “...Could you describe for me your ideal man?”
[ ] “Tell me about your family.”
[ ] “I would know about your control over flames – your firebird Fenghuang.”
[ ] “Your faith – the Fujiwara have ever been the greatest patrons of religion and culture; perhaps you have some affiliation with my order?”
[ ] “How is it that your grand beauty and good heart are allowed to waste in this forlorn and deathly place?”
[ ] “That trick, the one you use to predict what others will say – I’ve never seen anything like it before. What’s your secret?”
[ ] Ask something else? (Specify)
----------
>> No. 112889
[x] “That trick, the one you use to predict what others will say – I’ve never seen anything like it before. What’s your secret?”

Of course! I must know.
>> No. 112891
Only one? The chances are that we won't have time to ask 'em all (what happened to the 'daughter' question? ?_?

Let's get down to business.
[x] “How is it that your grand beauty and good heart are allowed to waste in this forlorn and deathly place?”
>> No. 112892
[ ] “How is it that your grand beauty and good heart are allowed to waste in this forlorn and deathly place?”

Contains a compliment and explains what this creepy place is.
>> No. 112893
[x] “How is it that your grand beauty and good heart are allowed to waste in this forlorn and deathly place?”
>> No. 112894
>>112891
Perhaps it's a matter of seeing how she reacts first before answering it. I wanted to start out with something neutral, not too silly not too serious.

[x] “How is it that your grand beauty and good heart are allowed to waste in this forlorn and deathly place?”

Let's hope this allows proceeding along as well as opening the chance for more learning about the older Fujiwara.

And the family question would involve Mokou.
>> No. 112899
File 126697222198.jpg - (35.63KB , 646x485 , WaltervonSchenkoppisnotamused.jpg ) [iqdb]
112899
>>112891
>(what happened to the 'daughter' question?

Did you read the choices?

>?_?

See picture.

----------
>“How is it that your grand beauty and good heart are allowed to waste in this forlorn and deathly place?”

The question at which you’re obviously intrigued is as to how this majestic and well-mannered matron, by legend rumored to have long ago died a despondent death, came to be deposited asleep into this cold tomb; why she’s now sitting just apart from you with attentive reserve: alive, awake and attractively prime.

…What is this place and through what agency did she come to be interned here?

[ ] Ask in a simple, straightforward way.
[ ] Try impressing her – pose your question per poetic modes.
----------

Decide quickly please.
>> No. 112900
[x] Ask in a simple, straightforward way.

Sometimes getting to the point is best.
>> No. 112901
[x] Ask in a simple, straightforward way.
>> No. 112904
[x] Ask in a simple, straightforward way.
>> No. 112905
[x] Try impressing her – pose your question per poetic modes:
O Queen, what do you know of this grey place
Where monsters lurk and villains scheme?
What force imprisoned your noble beauty
To sleep alone and uncared for like this?


First time crack at blank verse. Don't quit my day job, I know, but did I get remotely close?
>> No. 112938
>>112899
[X] Try impressing her – pose your question per poetic modes:
O Queen, what do you know of this grey place
Where monsters lurk and villains scheme?
What force imprisoned your noble beauty
To sleep alone and uncared for like this?

Pissing against the tide in an effort to broaden Myouren's abilities into the scholarly arts.
>> No. 112939
[x] >>112905

Sure, what the hell.
>> No. 112945
[x] >>112905
Because, frankly, I'm too busy to think of another answer and too stupid to make it better than this one. Bandwagon, my old friend, let's go.
>> No. 113002
>>112978
Hmm, I don't think this decision is as easy as it seems. On the one hand, she has casually commented on the spirit world and didn't really rebuke us for asking the question. On the other hand, she did just misdirect us fairly artfully, from a question about why she's here to the development of her poetic prowess. I wonder how much of the spoilerized text is insight and how much is over-analysis of the situation. Oh wait... could the spoilerized bits of text be linked somehow? I believe so. A point for the former.

Taking a step back and thinking about it, nothing would have stopped her from answering the question even after she corrected our awkward attempt at blank verse. She changed the topic of the conversation and after a bit of dialogue, she decided to stop and drop it. Hint taken, Princess Royal.

[X] Sympathize – it’s obvious the Princess Royal doesn’t want to talk about something like this; for all her pyrokinetic powers, prophetic predictions and poetic gifts, she’s just a lost soul who’s happy for a chance at companionship. Give her as much: "Would this 'cultivated mystique' extend to your wonderful ability to predict what people are going to say as well?"

Is that how the vote is supposed to work?
>> No. 113007
edit: Forgot an option.

Just so you all know, even without the turnaround >>112905 would have won by default. In this story, effort's always going to top ennui - no exceptions.

--------------------
Somewhat subdued since you’ve started speaking with ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ the Sublime Golden Light shrouding you suddenly surges; Sarasvati stirs your soul to song.
“O Queen, what do you know of this grey place
Where monsters lurk and villains scheme?
What force imprisoned your noble beauty
To sleep alone and uncared for like this?”


At your query, mysteriously manifested in a mode matching hers, the Princess Royal raises a flowing red sleeve to her face. “What doggerel rhymes are these?” She exclaims; laughing merrily, her stare’s still politely sunk on the stone floor as she shakes with mirth.
Try you instead this style, my young hero
And apprentice troubadour aspiring.

With eyes averted from your intense embarrassment, the Princess Royal extemporizes:
“O Queen, of what know you this grim, grey haunt
Where monsters lurk and villains scheme;
What fell force made captive your noble beauty,
Set you to languish here in lonesome sleep?”

Finishing, she faces you again wearing an optimistic smile of encouragement. “Was that your first sally at my style of speech, young hero?”

“…It was as transparent?” Feeling hot and flushed, as if all the blood in your body’s collected in your face, you answer by way of a sheepish, awkward bob. “Forgive this humble monk’s ineptitude in impressing you, O Queen; I’ve nothing of your intrinsic artistic abilities – those transcendent talents with which your brain’s been blessed so richly.”

The Princess Royal’s long locks toss about gently as she remonstrates, recounting:
“Accustomed I am with poetry’s craft
Through blood’s virtue, no – by necessity,
Practice long and education tireless;
Beside my imperial brother reared
Meter and rhyme was ever my redoubt,
My strong shield, my sharp sword; my true friend in
The palace’s false world of intrigue and lies.”


She’s saying she became a poet through hard work and hard experiences?

“…With all respect due your sagacious instruction, noble Princess Royal,” you deferentially demur, “I’ve often heard elsewhere that poetry should be understood apart from human faculties – that as much as the other fine arts, it exists above the rational framework of mundane ‘knowledge;’ that, being born from divine inspiration, the skill by that story is spun into song won’t suffer reduction into methods and steps.”

Your conjectures once again causing her laughter, the Princess Royal dispels your discomfiture at her happy derision by mildly touching your arm and gaily meeting your gaze.
“Young hero – recoil not in awe of verse
Or vain poets’ cultivated mystique!”


Only a short second of silence follows, where she pets your shoulder supportively and you shift how you’re seated, but it’s enough; you’re struck by the realization you’ve hitherto missed – she’s artfully avoided answering your question. …Given what details you’ve already learned of her life, the Princess Royal’s hesitance is hardly unjustified; rather, you empathize entirely. If she could consent to disclose her most painful, personal memories (for you’ve no doubt they’re tied to, if not the reason she’s been asleep here) to a stranger she’s met scarcely ten minutes ago, how much distanced from her feelings would she be?

You:
[ ] Improvise – you feel for her; but nonetheless, you’ll need to press her to answer. The details of her story may well have bear relation to Youki’s fate and Acala’s disappearance.
[ ] Temporize – she’s indicated in a previous comment that she’s comfortable in conversing about this place. Subtly shift your question in that direction; you need to find out where you’ve found yourself.
[ ] Recognize – haven’t you been the one demanding all the answers so far? Stay silent; maybe she’s something to ask.
[ ] Sympathize – it’s obvious the Princess Royal doesn’t want to talk about something like this; for all her pyrokinetic powers, prophetic predictions and poetic gifts, she’s just a lost soul who’s happy for a chance at companionship. Give her as much. (Specify)
[ ] Mobilize – what’s the need to stick around in this cramped chamber – the room of her repose that’s likely hateful to her? Suggest that she join you for a walk down the hall, talking meanwhile about...? (Specify)
----------

Common sense.
>> No. 113011
[x] Recognize – haven’t you been the one demanding all the answers so far? Stay silent; maybe she’s something to ask.

This strikes me as better, and we should answer some of her questions.
>> No. 113012
Reach a decisive opinion, please.
>> No. 113013
[x] Temporize – she’s indicated in a previous comment that she’s comfortable in conversing about this place. Subtly shift your question in that direction; you need to find out where you’ve found yourself.
Information wins everything.
>> No. 113017
>>113002
>She changed the topic of the conversation and after a bit of dialogue, she decided to stop and drop it.
Good point. Vote deleted.

[X] Sympathize – it’s obvious the Princess Royal doesn’t want to talk about something like this; for all her pyrokinetic powers, prophetic predictions and poetic gifts, she’s just a lost soul who’s happy for a chance at companionship. Give her as much: "Would this 'cultivated mystique' extend to your wonderful ability to predict what people are going to say as well?"

I don't think this topic is nearly as intrusive as the reason she's here and it flows a little naturally from the conversation in the update.
>> No. 113024
For anyone who cares to know, update will appear sometime tomorrow. In the future, it would be helpful that if you have to change your vote, you do it more quickly so I don't end up throwing out something already half-written.
>> No. 113030
>>113024
Do like other writers and post a short comment saying 'Calling vote' It'll save you a lot of trouble.
>> No. 113048
A tough week finally ends. I'd like to make up for any lost time, so there’ll be another one later (probably).

----------
“Would this ‘cultivated mystique’ extend to your wonderful ability of predicting what people are going to say, O Qu–?”

For the second time in the short span of this conversation, you’re looking up at the ceiling with stars in your sight and pain in your face.

“You are going to say,” proclaims a prominent, positive voice, “‘have I given offense, noble Princess Royal?’”
“…Have I given offense, noble Princess Royal?”

She’s come back into your field of vision, beaming blasé at your broad bewilderment and rubbing her knuckles as she recites:
“By artifice are my insights achieved
But poet vain I am not, young hero.”


…You were too preoccupied with your own thoughts – if unintentionally, your question’s insulting in its implications. “I’ve spoken carelessly,” you admit and acknowledge how affably she’s acted in accepting no offense; “Thank you for repaying my rudeness, O Queen.”

After she helps you back into a seated position, the Princess Royal counters the courteously curious stare with that you’re considering her; drawing her legs underneath and gesturing with expansive ease, she expounds:
“To recompense for imagined grievance
Was not my punch’s paramount purpose;
Nearer at hand were more didactic drives –
Edification and demonstration
Of deception’s art; warfare with the mind,
In which rudiments my predictions lie.
Arousing confusion, begetting doubts,
Enervating enemies’ defenses
Against suggestive insinuation
Presents prophecy’s precondition
And confers the key to clairvoyance's door.
You need then only pronounce surely,
With timing simultaneous your foe,
A phrase not foreign to his style of speech."

With that, she’s fully explained her approach and folds her fair hands in her lap; “Do you follow?” asks the patient Princess Royal, angling her awareness in a restrained query.

You:
[ ] Explain to her the essential points of her predictive powers, except in your own words. (Specify)
[ ] Try practicing the procedure you’ve learned on her who taught it.

And:
[ ] Afterwards, make mention of that, if different in its applications, you’ve a kind of prescience too – or did.
[ ] Thank her for elucidating the means of her prediction and ask if she’s something she would learn in return of you – for you’ve made out most of the questions till now.
----------

Short, I know - I messed up in not putting something up to call it and ended up having to start again from scratch. From now on, I'll be doing what >>113030 suggested so if you absolutely have to hop on bandwagons, be sure that you're faster about it.
>> No. 113058
[x] Try practicing the procedure you’ve learned on her who taught it.
And:
[x] Afterwards, make mention of that, if different in its applications, you’ve a kind of prescience too – or did.
[x] Thank her for elucidating the means of her prediction and ask if she’s something she would learn in return of you – for you’ve made out most of the questions till now.

Is this valid?
>> No. 113105
>>113048
[X] Explain to her the essential points of her predictive powers, except in your own words: "Using what you know about a person, particularly their manner of speech, when they are in a moment of confusion or shock, you impart upon them a phrase not entirely unlike what they might say in such a situation. Their mind, unguarded due to their sudden unpreparedness, will seize upon that phrase and speak it as you have seemingly divined it, creating the illusion of predicting the immediate future."
[X] Thank her for elucidating the means of her prediction and ask if she’s something she would learn in return of you – for you’ve made out most of the questions till now.

I like the subtle Acala question, but I think it's only proper to yield to the lady for the moment.

I wonder if there's a way to practice the technique on her after we explain. I mean, I certainly don't want to strike her, we're not good enough at poetry to subconsciously suggest stuff to her, and asking personal questions (the only thing that has thrown her off guard) doesn't seem nearly shocking... unless we ask her three sizes, of course. The implications are... wonderful.

[X] Try practicing the procedure you’ve learned on her who taught it

If this is an acceptable Idort option, I want it added!
>> No. 113137
[X] Explain to her the essential points of her predictive powers, except in your own words: "Using what you know about a person, particularly their manner of speech, when they are in a moment of confusion or shock, you impart upon them a phrase not entirely unlike what they might say in such a situation. Their mind, unguarded due to their sudden unpreparedness, will seize upon that phrase and speak it as you have seemingly divined it, creating the illusion of predicting the immediate future."
[X] Thank her for elucidating the means of her prediction and ask if she’s something she would learn in return of you – for you’ve made out most of the questions till now.

[X] Try practicing the procedure you’ve learned on her who taught it
>> No. 113146
Oh wow, didn't realize there was going to be this much drama for changing my vote. Sorry about that, and pointless story aside, but I needed to change that shit.

[X] Explain to her the essential points of her predictive powers, except in your own words: "Using what you know about a person, particularly their manner of speech, when they are in a moment of confusion or shock, you impart upon them a phrase not entirely unlike what they might say in such a situation. Their mind, unguarded due to their sudden unpreparedness, will seize upon that phrase and speak it as you have seemingly divined it, creating the illusion of predicting the immediate future."
[X] Thank her for elucidating the means of her prediction and ask if she’s something she would learn in return of you – for you’ve made out most of the questions till now.

[X] Try practicing the procedure you’ve learned on her who taught it

I was raging hard at getting bitch smacked around AGAIN even after letting her change the subject, but thinking about it, I guess it makes sense. Sucks that we'll never get to repay the favor Not like we can't take it, though.

Self sage for being a pain in the ass.
>> No. 113182
Called, writing in a bit.
>> No. 113254
Decide quickly.

----------
“O Queen?” You smile pleasantly to her.

Innocently unaware of your intentions, she returns it right away. “Yes?”

First casting cautious glances to your sides, you wordlessly indicate that she come closer; summoned then by your index finger’s seductive beckoning, right as the Princess Royal’s parted her vermillion lips, readied in another request…

Your left hand’s feeling against her left breast, having woven its way to inside her arms with the same surreptitious swiftness as when drawing your dagger. Through the thick padding of her crimson coat, it’s groping gently, softly squeezing her huge chest in a hefting hold.

You’ve already envisaged how she’ll answer – swaying sideways around a haymaker aimed at your head, you presciently point.
“Your next line’s going to be… ‘Fenghuang!’”
“FENGHUANG!”

That fantastic, fancifully-hued firebird – till now turning deliberate, directionless circles in the air above, drawing smoldering contrails of five-colored smoke – answers its master’s call; flying back behind her, a fiery gust’s forming around Fenghuang’s flapping, flaming wings when the Princess Royal raises her right arm.

“Return.”

The collecting cyclone of cinders disperses at this clipped, casual command; after cocking its crested crown at her, staring birdlike with undisguised reservation, Fenghuang alights on the Princess Royal’s extended elbow and effects ethereality, vanishing from view.

“Your coincidence with me was off by a small interval. Otherwise,” the Princess Royal pats you on the arm in acknowledgement and, brushing her bosom, coughs uncomfortably and looks awkwardly away. “...Good work.”

“Thank you for having taught me, O Queen – I’ll be sure to keep working at my timing,” promising with naughty nod, you’re picturing the possible purposes of this ploy (particularly those with a petit Witch present) with pleasure; “…But with regards to the more immediate future,” you shift subjects, “is there anything you would learn in return?”

It’s with mild mystification that she raises her head. “I beg your pardon?”

“To this point, I’ve made out most of the questions,” you explain; “Therefore, I was wondering – noble Princess Royal, do you have any questions you’d like to ask?”

For a short while, she’s silent. By her countenance’s understated, almost-imperceptible variation – for instance, a twitch at the corners of her mouth or the way in which she’s gazing conspicuously at the ceiling, but occasionally darting a look at you when she thinks you’re not paying attention – it’s readily apparent she’s deciding whether she should solicit an answer.

“...Just one,” she states plainly, courage winning out over cowardice, politely adding; “You need not answer if you feel it too personal.”

Those words – ‘too personal’ – they’ve your heart’s pace quickening for some strange reason; even more when the Princess Royal leans in intimately, meets her eyes to yours and whispers, “Could you tell me your dream?”

You:
[ ] Accept.
[ ] Answer on the condition she reciprocates.
[ ] Courteously refuse – the Princess Royal’s a charismatic woman of captivating characteristics, but you met her what…? Some fifteen minutes ago? What sort of sensible person would accept a request as this, under these circumstances? What if that malevolent force’s secretly watching and listening in? What if…?
----------
>> No. 113255
Tough choices, to be honest, and I personally find the Princess Royal an irresistible temptation.

Anyway:
[c] Answer on the condition she reciprocates.

Do I need to add some explanation for this vote?
>> No. 113257
>>113255
No. If you have your own reasons for deciding (ie you made a choice, rather than going along with whatever was winning or what someone else said) that's more than enough. You're supposed to justify to yourself, not me.
>> No. 113259
[x] Accept.

First thing I thought of for some weird reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP-ugoF-www
>> No. 113264
[x] Accept.
-[x] But as if she has something in mind, but assure her that if she needs time or rather keep it to herself, that's okay.

I think we should go along with it without any demands.
>> No. 113310
Writing starts when the tie's broken.

>>113259
Ah, wasn't television wonderful back then? I can’t say the same for TV today, but is that because programming’s gotten worse or because the person watching’s matured? I wonder sometimes.

>>113267
>I thought I was going to have to go over everything I had written about becoming a more capable and incredible person

Not saying you’re wrong, but try to see it from this angle. He already is 'capable and incredible,' not because I say so, but looking at his thoughts, actions and words shows it. And the thing is, he should be – you know, with his identity and all?

It's just that some of the people dictating his actions seemingly have difficulty in deciding for a character with confidence, courage, compassion and charisma, which is why he occasionally ends up in difficult situations.

It’s one thing to do what Murasaki suggested and to always seek towards personal improvement, to try and have the hero become what he is already is quite another.
>> No. 113324
>>113310
Problem is, good sir is that most leads are anything but that. Sure they might have some brains and charisma, but lacking in abilities and power. Some don't even have brains or charisma even. I'm trying my best to vote in a fashion that reflects someone of Myouren's abilities. It never hurts to remind folks that this is not your typical CYOA with someone not your typical nigh-helpless CYOA lead.
>> No. 113325
>>113310
>He already is 'capable and incredible,'
>a character with confidence, courage, compassion and charisma
>always seek towards personal improvement
>have the hero become what he is already is quite another.

Vote deleted. Should break the tie, and I really have no confidence in making this kind of decision anymore. If our main character is already such (or at least should be in the proper hands) a paragon of all things powerful and successful, I'm at a loss as for what I can possibly aspire towards.

I guess I'm not creative enough to aspire towards untold greatness for a character destined to die a canonically unspecified death.
>> No. 113330
Writing.

>>113325
>should be in the proper hands

The keywords here. All I'm saying is that rather than having the mentality that "I need to become great, (which implies you are presently not)" everyone would be better served by operating off the premise "I am already great, and can become even better by taking actions actually in line with my character."

>I guess I'm not creative enough to aspire towards untold greatness for a character destined to die a canonically unspecified death.

Two things.

First - 'death' has meanings. For example, the Buddha 'died' in his eighties. Jesus 'died' in his thirties. Get my drift?

Second - You mention 'destiny,' but are you sure you're really aware of its role (if indeed it has any)? Because depending on what you believe, the way in which you perceive and pass through the story would, without any influence from me, change accordingly.
>> No. 113333
>>113325
Canonically he may bite it, but I think we've been slowly walking away from the canon path on to something completely different. That's how I see it.
>> No. 113336
>>113330
>Get my drift?
Actually... no, not entirely. But that's due to my inherent lack of interest/knowledge in religion and/or theology. I'm picking up what you're putting down, though... more or less.

>Because depending on what you believe, the way in which you perceive and pass through the story would, without any influence from me, change accordingly.
I can't help but wonder what exactly you are
>implying
with this line, but I'm slightly enthused by the more irrationally enthusiastic interpretation.
>> No. 113340
[x] Accept.
>> No. 113342
[x] Courteously refuse – the Princess Royal’s a charismatic woman of captivating characteristics, but you met her what…? Some fifteen minutes ago? What sort of sensible person would accept a request as this, under these circumstances? What if that malevolent force’s secretly watching and listening in? What if…?

We don't even know her full name, and you want to spill your guts in enemy territory to a woman you just discovered?

> “…My General is ranked third in standing among my disciples. If the First Cause, the Pretender and the Great Monad were to unite in arms against her, unaccompanied; she would suffer no exceptional difficulty in defeating their offensive. In contrast, you – my friend; you hold the lowest place. I have taught you the Kikareitouhou and so given you the necessary power to surpass the limitations of your being, but you are still far removed from readiness to our cause. Indeed, you command no great powers equaling those of my peerless Twin Stars, enjoy none of my beloved General’s extent of warlike experience; possess nothing resembling my brilliant Apprentice’s genius of adaptability and deception. …What talents do you have which they do not, that I should entrust you with the grave responsibility of this dispatch?”

Guys I'm thinking this is not a permanent party member. Additionally, the Big Bad told Rumia that he had already foreseen the 'awakening' of Sir Monk's power, and hence this woman's. Being possessed by a phoenix, and the Mastermind's control over her daughter's fate, it isn't hard to imagine that she'd be working against us here. Finally, we found a bloodthirsty Rumia after us, when it could just as easily have snacked on the princess.
>> No. 113368
>>113333
Agreed, and I think we can aspire to do everything we can to avoid that "canonically unspecified death." Make friends and allies, learn new and fantastic abilites from them while cultivating your own. Use these to change situations and circumstances that seem foregone and predetermined, or even just open up options that never existed before. Myouren is good, and everything we know has turned out that way because he was good. If he was even better than that, just imagine what we can accomplish. We've already seen that our latent abilities are amplified by/compliment Ripple energy. Who knows what else we could learn or do. I mean, what if we got good enough to pull off Vajra level miracles without the actual Vajra? Maybe not that huge (or can we?), but we actually have to try to get better.

>>113342
First, Master(mind) was, in all likelihood, talking to Cirno here, not Rumia. The Kikareitouhou is a technique that freezes limbs solid (and since it prevents the blood flow necessary for it to work, it's a natural counter to Ripple energy) and probably has untold other nasty applications, and she even said "I'm the strongest." Combine that with meeting a wild Rumia roaming the halls, I'm pretty convinced 9 ball is working for the bad guys. It's going to suck having to fight everyones favorite hair-ruffling target, but she sounds like a pretty legit threat in this situation. Second, we've already proven that we're acting beyond Master's expectations and plans, so our being here in the spirit world probably hasn't even occured to him/her/it (I really have no idea what this mystery person is). Someone brought us here, for what we still have no clue, but I doubt Master has anything to do with it. All signs point to our present actions being completely unknown to them. Master has Princess Royal in an enchanted sleep away in the spirit with Rumia as the guard. More than anything, I think she's an asset or potential threat that's been locked away rather than an ally to Master.

However, if it was part of Master's grand plan to bring us here and let us listen in as they learn that their brilliant plan to get Myouren and Yuyu to take each other out failed spectacularly, have us stumble upon the suddenly nefarious Princess Royal, watch as she incinerates Rumia's demonic sword, lull us into a false sense of security, and let us spell our certain doom by talking about our dream, we are dealing with a maniac that is using their Kira^10 level of planning ability for absolutely silly effect. I don't know if I should be frightened or amused.

Part you quoted, though, with the mention of
>nothing resembling my brilliant Apprentice’s genius of adaptability and deception
got me to thinking wary things about Princess Royal. But honestly, with a person that's a genius of deception out there, everyone we will meet from here on out, or even people we already have, are going to be suspect. That gets back to the irrational paranoia from before, and I really have no intention of going through the story second-guessing the motivations of every single person until they give me a reason.