[Return]
Archived thread

File 128738551993.jpg - (113.45KB , 512x384 , itsuitshersomehow.jpg ) [iqdb]
125626 No. 125626
----------
Slowly, Konngara recounted the episode in the waterfall clearing and her feelings as they related to it – how much she had enjoyed fighting beside the man who’d saved her life, how difficult it had been for her to accept his decision and go along with that vile demon’s desperate bluff and how discouraged she had felt to afterwards learn that he’d given little thought to his actions beyond the interested calculations of whether they served his immediate purposes.

“Had my ‘charming demon’ been present to hear it,” she softly concluded, “I have little doubt she would have been delighted with him, for his speech in that instance was very much like unto hers.”

“Is that right? Little girl, I’m afraid I just don’t understand.” With (yet) another cup of wine in her hand and a strangely knowing smile on her ancient face – the same majestic, mildly patronizing smile with that she accentuated her most gracious gestures, the great Old One next to Konngara mused, “The part where you were talking about that boy was easy enough to follow, but whatever did you mean when you said, ‘his speech in that instance was very much like unto hers’?”

“Permit me to state it more plainly: the origin of my anxieties is in the influence my ‘charming demon’ has gained over my Savior. When he was defending his actions to me, my sense of it was that though the voice was his, the words and their spirit were hers.”

“So that’s what it is!” Clapping her white-gloved hands to the tune of a merry laugh, Murasaki deduced, “You’re bothered by the possibility of that sarcastic girl stealing away the boy you like!”

“No. To treat the native humanity of his heart and the unaffected beneficence of his mind as possessions, trinkets to be seized and held in the palm of jealous affection, is to debase them – a deed of that I will have no part, for I honor him as my friend, respect him as my hero and love him as a person.”

“It’s sweet of you to say that, little girl. But you know~? With that attitude, your witch friend’s going to wind up taking him away from you.”

“She will not,” Konngara reiterated, “for her is neither hers to steal to steal nor mine to keep. I am mildly troubled by this change my ‘charming demon’ has wrought on his opinions, I confess, but of what I am more assured is that he does not dislike me so much as to despise my company.”

“Oh, he likes you alright~. It’s just that he likes her more.”

“…Truly?”

“No two ways about it. You remember, don’t you~? How you said that sarcastic girl’s been smiling more recently? How she’s started opening up to others and unexpectedly learnt how to pray? It’s the same with him. Why do you think that boy’s been listening to her? Why do you think he looked so happy when he was quarreling with her at dinner? Little girl, those two have ‘chemistry!’”
----------

>> No. 125631
File 128738630269.jpg - (211.12KB , 850x1535 , dressedtokill.jpg ) [iqdb]
125631
----------
“On the day after we first met, you told me that I was ‘different from the scum that pass for men around here.’" is how you begin. "From the conversations I’ve had with you and with Konngara, I’ve gathered that the people of the surrounding lands fear and despise you for what you are, whereas I sympathize with and love you for it. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to suppose that’s part of what you ‘liked’ about me; is it?”

“…You know, for someone who says he loves me, you really are clueless when it comes to the things I think are important. Listen carefully, because this is the last time I’ll tell you.” Mima, her face resigned and absent of any discernable emotion, relates: “The first man I received in my home wasn’t another of that disgusting breed to whom drunken courage or callow lust was always whispering, insinuating fantastic daydreams where ugly thugs and stupid farmhands could triumph over a witch on the ground of her homeland. He was a walking paradox, this knight with the clothes of a monk and the manners of a courtier, and I was fascinated by him: his devilish eloquence, his divine inspiration, his handsomeness. I believed that I’d met another one who was the equal of any undertaking, no matter how monumental or impossible – another bona-fide hero spun from the yarns of legend! But… that wasn’t why I was taken with him. If I thought highly of his intelligence and strength and good lucks, and if I was intoxicated by his greatness, what I loved was his audacity – his confidence, his optimism, his outrageous self-honesty. Listening to him talk about the finer points of his religion while pillowed in the lap of my best friend, I felt that I had found the rare person who, instead of embracing staid conventions and superficial morality out of a fear of doing evil, actively exercises his real character and accomplishes good by it. Whether or not he ‘liked me back’ had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

“What happened to change your mind? Given that you’ve spoken of your affection in the past tense,” you say in as steady a voice as you can manage, “I can only assume that you’re not very much disposed to him now.”

“I’m not. Not anymore. I… made a mistake. The man I had identified as a hero couldn’t be anything further from one. He was a complete fraud: a weepy, manipulative, womanizing coward, who could make up long, pretentious speeches about piety and proper conduct and then, in the same breath, turn around and bed any random woman for no better reason than that she’s easy.” Worn down by the bitterness of her regrets, the stoic façade erected by your beloved (?) witch suddenly crumbles. Grieving openly now, although without tears or lamentation, she just murmurs:


“I was wrong about him.”


You won’t be led astray a second time. Even with the entire spectrum of negative emotions trying to distract you from it, you’ve not forgotten of what Mima and your rational faculties reminded you. Apologizing passionately/crying passionately is unsightly, unbecoming of your office and a poor substitute for actual penance, which, when done correctly, isn’t only an acknowledgement that you’ve made mistakes, but a recognition of the impact those mistakes have had on others and a remuneration according to their degree. In this case, the dejection of your beloved (?) witch is the result of her interpreting your actions as being motivated by over-sentimentality, opportunism and carnal desire, when in truth, the real dilemma was whether returning the Lady’s feelings would come between her love for Youki. That’s what you intend to explain to Mima, and the best way to do it is:

[ ] Through the power of reason.
[ ] With a demonstration of your sincerity.
[ ] By calling out the author of this perfidy.
----------

Hint1: Myouren’s talked a few times about ‘skillful means,’ which is, if you’ll remember, a mindfulness of audience. The example he gave had to do with winning converts: “When you’re trying to gain the attention of commoners,” said he, “you don’t use abstract metaphysics correlating the Five Virtues with the five senses; you show them a beautiful triptych of the Wheel of Reincarnation and tell them about the miseries of Jikoku and the Preta Realm.” In general, it’s a useful strategy, but it’s particularly pertinent to this situation. More than with any other character except maybe Myouren himself, you know what works and doesn’t work with Mima. Draw upon that experience; read the atmosphere in the room, and the right answer should become clear.
>> No. 125632
File 128738639294.jpg - (151.92KB , 800x1024 , trollface.jpg ) [iqdb]
125632
----------
Hint2:

“Lady Yukari?”

I cease my oratory to glance –elegantly– towards the dinner table. Seated there on the lowest of the three stools, swinging her small legs, is my interrogator.

“Did you have a question, Chen?”

She does, of course. Whenever my cute child’s started scratching her chin and playing with her tails like that, it means something’s bothering her. In this case-

“It’s Sir Monk. Mima and Konngara are being so hard on him!”

“They are~?” I say in a tone of artful surprise, to which Chen responds by nodding earnestly.

“He tries his best and does so many good things, but he makes mistakes like everyone else!”

“That’s true. Certainly, their expectations of him are very high.”

“Why? Sir Monk doesn’t have any expectations of them!”

“Ah, but are they the ones putting on heroic airs? It’s not unfair for those two to be a little exacting with him.”

“You mean Sir Monk did something to create those expectations himself?”

“Yes, that’s it exactly! You’re so smart, Chen!” With a –stylish– slice of my fan, I reach through space to pat her on the head, continuing all the while, “The nature of their relationship with him is the root cause. Do you know what that relationship is?”

Her black ears flattened back and her brown eyes opened wide, Chen thinks out loud:

“Are they his friends?”

My girlish locks dance from side-to-side. “He’s more than a friend. Konngara and Mima were friends since childhood, and they aren’t as free with each other as they are with him.”

“Is it love?”

I shake my pretty, seventeen-year-old head again. “Sir Monk would disagree with me, but I think there’s a better word for it than that.”

“What is it, Lady Yukari?”

“Well,” I answer with a sly smile, pleased at having guided Chen to the answer so easily, “the best way to explain it would be to say that those two look to Sir Monk in the same way that Sir Monk looks to Vairocana and Bishamonten.”

“They worship him?”

“They admire him. The man for whom Konngara would lay down her life without a second thought and with whose freedom and power Mima’s so taken is the future Saint: the hero with unflagging courage, infinite kindness, god-like wisdom and a romantic dream. This isn’t just them projecting their hopes. What they see in Sir Monk is a real and important element of his personality, born from his own strong yearning to become a Bodhisattva; it’s just there are several other people who share the same body: a rowdy boy whose parents would scold him for getting in a fight or eating too much, a prodigious novice who, when sent out on an errand, would figure out a way to finish it in a fourth of the allotted time and then spend the remainder mingling with the common people, an inquisitive young priest who quit the decadence of Nara and Kyoto to embark on an adventure. Konngara and Mima aren’t in the know about them, and it’s this ‘gap’ between how he presents himself and their impression of him that’s the source of the problem.”

“But humans always struggle with that – look at Miss Reimu! Because everyone thinks a Miko’s supposed to be shy, soft-spoken and sweet, when she deals with others in a frank, even-handed and practical way, they’re taken aback! The books and newspapers demonize her for it, even though it’s not any different than how most people act all the time!”

Regrettably, our conversation’s cut short before I can give my reply. Her arrival heralded by the aroma of shark-fin soup, my slave Shikigami comes into the dining room with oven mitts on her hands and a huge clay pot between them. Bidding Chen to help her in setting the table, after the two of them have gone back into the kitchen to fetch the bowls and utensils, I laugh primly and say, to no one in particular:


“You really have a lot in common with her, boy~.”


----------
>> No. 125636
Goddamn. I have no time at the moment. Glad you are back and i will get to it once i am back
>> No. 125641
This is a happy day, oh so wonderful day. Gonna read it during class or work later today, as I too have no time right now.
>> No. 125645
I am so glad this is back, but the choices are still so anguishing.

[x] By calling out the author of this perfidy.

Her rejection is motivated through a sense of treachery and injustice. Yukari gives a good explanation of the how, but more relevant I think is the what (her emotions) and the why (meaning, Mima's personal explanation, regardless of whether it's right or wrong). If you cannot convince her these feelings are mistaken, then perhaps you can buy time by drawing attention to a greater villain. Mima is a practically minded woman. She will likely delay retribution if she thinks she can use you effect a greater revenge. If Yukari is on the mark about what attracts them to Sir Monk, if you can merely keep Mima and Konngara at his side, he we will regain their admiration just by acting in the way he had when they first met.

It is not duplicity to work toward the end of goodness and also hope that you will achieve your personal desires along the way. Satisfaction of desire is not reward for doing good deeds, but acknowledge the desire and do good anyway. Satisfaction may follow.
>> No. 125647
[ ] Through the power of reason.

Its the opposite of what she says, but is the nature of what works for Mima, I think.

Oh god this is hard.
>> No. 125671
[x] Through the power of reason.

>>125645
Drawing attention away from this situation is not good enough. The simple act of diverting the issue will alienate her further. The two options here are basically reason vs sincerity. Mima is level headed and rational, sincerity may work, but she has definitely called us out based on her own misconceptions. Reason should be used here.

I missed this story so much. Welcome back.
>> No. 125674
125647 here. This is hard, but it is good hard. Like when school is actually worth my time and money.
>> No. 125678
[x] Through the power of reason.
>> No. 125685
[X] Through the power of reason.

As others have said I believe this would work the best with Mima.
>> No. 125686
[x] By calling out the author of this perfidy.
I'm trying author. I may fail, but I'm trying.
>> No. 125690
Okay, gonna need to think this one. Voting tomorrow.
>> No. 125758
[ ] With a demonstration of your sincerity.

Ok, I do believe this is the best way. The subject of the matter is not something you can use logic or rationale; what he did was an act of love, not lust, both for him and for Yuyuko. You can't explain that with reason.

Besides, Myouren's strenght, not only for combat, but for everyday life, comes from the heart and purest honesty.

Also, what does 'perdify' mean?
>> No. 125764
Also, using reason would feel like you're trying to give some petty excuse, or to apologize when nothing bad was done.
>> No. 125767
>>125764
Didn't our last display of sincerity in library not turn out so well? Mima is accusing Sir monk of being the very thing he isn't. Refuting her accusations with reason lines up with Sir monk's character. He is indeed a very sincere man, but how does that work here? Mima is likely to cut him off and call bullshit.
>> No. 125787
>[ ] By calling out the author of this perfidy.
If this entails what I think it does, it probably won't be well-received. Even if it is, it will only serve to point fingers, rather than clear up misunderstandings.

>[ ] Through the power of reason.
Where men and women grieve, reason seldom reigns. In this case, I don't see a deviation from that adage.
I believe that, at this point, an appeal to reason will appear deceitful.

[X] With a demonstration of your sincerity.
I believe this has the best chance of success. She has to know first that Sir Monk isn't trying to deceive her, but to convey his true intentions. Pacify the emotional side first, to get through to the reason within.
>> No. 125799
[X] With a demonstration of your sincerity.

For reasons stated earliers.
>> No. 125802
File 128753109337.jpg - (86.08KB , 770x1126 , GoodquestionGuts.jpg ) [iqdb]
125802
----------
If there’s one thing you’ve learned about Mima, it’s that convincing her of anything means inciting her to argument. If you’re of a mind to defeat her misgivings about you, you’ll need to rile her up somehow – to draw her out from behind the barriers of reservation and indifference that she’s raised around her heart and then level with her in a straightforward defense of your actions. The first step, then, is…

“It’s my love for the Lady that’s caused you so much pain and heartbreak?” you ask innocently. “Why?”

“…I have to spell it out for you?”

“You do. Because even if you don’t love me anymore, Mima, I still love you, and the thought of becoming estranged from you over half-truth and mutual misunderstandings is too much for me to bear silently.”

Her answer comes by way of a laugh so hardhearted and cynical that Boreas himself would shiver to hear it. “You ‘love’ me? And what does that actually mean? You told ‘that one’ the same thing, didn’t you?”

“If it’s to the Lady Saigyouji that you’re referring with such undeserved contempt, I didn’t just say it to her; I meant it.”

“And let me guess,” she counters: “you also ‘meant it’ when you were sobbing your poisoned tears all over the place and begging for me to forgive you?”

“Mima – are you trying to make the case that I’m insincere about my feelings because they don’t belong to you alone?”

“‘Sir Monk’ – are you trying to argue that you’re not a charlatan and philanderer who tells any woman he fancies as attractive that he loves her?”

“‘Argue?’” you say in a surprised voice. “It was never my intention to ‘argue’ anything; I’d simply like to relate the truth of the matter, which is that you’ve a wrong impression of me and my motives. Mima, you claim that I exclusively love beauties; but,” you pause, willing all of your words’ integrity to your face, “I can say without any reservations that I count Murasaki and Youki as dear to me.”

“You love them,” she repeats incredulously.

“As surely as I homage the Gods and follow in the footsteps of the Buddha, I do.” Swearing it, you press your hands to your heart and smile fondly.

This last flourish is what touches off Mima’s temper. Grimacing, her pale face flushing livid, her fine brows contorting crossly, her delicate chin squared away with displeasure, she responds: “…You can’t be serious. You’ve known that crone for what, a day? And that scoundrel – he wanted to kill you!”

A sigh escapes you. “I can’t help but feel a little surprised at you, Mima. With how perfectly you professed to understand the virtues of forward and spontaneous action, I thought that you would’ve long ago seen past what ‘staid convention’ and ‘superficial morality’ would have us believe, despite all of the contrary evidence – the fallacy that love takes months or years of being together in order to grow up between people.”

“Are you an idiot? Or is your memory as defective as your ‘love’?” She points sharply. “Haven’t you been deceived countless times by women you didn’t know well enough? Haven’t you seen dozens of dying relationships in the practice of your ministry? What kind of person are you, to be saying in the face of your own proofs that ‘all the evidence is to the contrary?’ What kind of person are you, to be saying that love doesn’t time?”

“Neither an incompetent, amnesiac or hypocrite,” you answer boldly. “Observe, Mima, that you’re while very right to maintain that empathy, confidence and lasting fidelity – in short, those invaluable qualities that are the province of trust – take time to develop fully, you carry your conclusions too far in applying them to love. This isn’t fiction. The increase of tender feelings as depicted in dramas and shown in stories is necessarily a turbulent, drawn-out and histrionic affair because it’s wound up with all of the other great happenings and conflicts and goings-on; in other words, it can’t be consummated or terminated unless everything else it’s with everything else. The dashing rogue can’t run off with the princess until the wicked prime minister’s been put down; the hero can’t have a happy life with his most beloved unless his friends are saved and the future’s been changed for the better. Reality, on the other hand, works without the constraints and delays of plot. You can divine a Lady’s character in one afternoon, her intelligence in one conversation and her loveliness in one look, if you’re a worthy man, and I’ve no doubt that a good woman could accomplish the same feat as easily; therefore, I think it’s both plausible and perfectly natural that a newly-met pair could come to love each other very quickly, provided that they’re honest with their emotions. Do you disagree?”

Considering your words with eyes closed and one hand held up to her temples, Mima nods carefully. “…I see. So then what is it you love about those two?”

“Well, to put it very simply,” you say in a moment of further inspiration, “I love them for what makes them, them. I love Youki for his unflinching fearlessness, his forthright address and his rare devotion to the woman he loves – although I hope his reciprocity eventually advances beyond chaste ‘devotion.’ As for Murasaki – she’s a funny old woman. I never had the honor of meeting my grandparents, but I’m sure that if I had, my grandmothers would have been just like her.”

“Is there anyone you don’t love?”

This question is less scornful in its tone than it is subtle and interrogative, and it immediately calls to mind one face – a merciless and evil face, hidden under its liar’s veil and tyrant’s crown, the thought of which prompts you to tell her, “Though I strive to have sympathy for all living things, there are some who, on account of their cruelty towards the downtrodden and defenseless, I will never accept as anything other than an enemy.”

“And the people you love – you love them all equally?”

“Not by any means: my love might be, for the most part, impartial, but it’s far from indiscriminate! It’s one of the limitations of who I am now, unfortunately. If I had the heart of a Buddha, Bodhisattva or Arhat, being awakened to Emptiness after some ten lifetimes of moral reflection and charitable actions, I would have love enough to save the Six Realms and Three Worlds* in their entirety; alas, I’m human. The heart with that I love others is fickle, intemperate and incontinent; is prone to passions and prejudices; is given to anger, sadness and self-love; is sickly and altogether imperfect in its constitution. Knowing this, for me to claim my acquaintances, friends and family as being on the same footing would not only be doing them all a great disservice – it would cause me to become guilty of the sins with that you’ve charged me, besides.”

Her reaction is as swift as it is decisive. Standing up suddenly from her seat by the wall, Mima sweeps back her blue-black cape and menaces you with a very bright smile.
----------
*As a reminder: the ‘Six Realms’ are the six courses of reincarnation (God, Human, Asura, Animal, Starving Ghost, Hell) in the world of Desire or, according to a less theistic interpretation, an allegory, the true purpose of which is to summarize the behaviors, mindset and root causes of craving and why it inevitably results in self-deception, self-destruction or abject misery. In the same vein, the ‘Three Worlds’ are both literal planes of existence (the earthly world, a material Heaven and an immaterial Heaven) layered one on top of the other or a metaphor for the three classes of mental obstacles to Enlightmenment (Desires, Perception and Forms; Cognition/Consciousness and the Ego).

>>125764
Not everyone makes this distinction, but Myouren believes Reason is a shield for the cause of Truth, Beauty and Justice (read again what he says to Youki here >>120752). For him, an exercise in rhetoric with deception as an end isn't relying on Reason, but on Guile.

>>125686
Trying is what's important. Failure can be sometimes be covered in glory, but inaction is never anything other than pathetic.
>> No. 125810
Seriously?! This makes me very giddy, welcome back!
>> No. 125814
File 128754051721.jpg - (239.18KB , 600x849 , e6a4a85711f954450d0801f371fe3b69.jpg ) [iqdb]
125814
Welcome back, dear sir. You have no idea about how much we missed us. And what an excellent picture for the OP; I approve.

Looking forward for more.
>> No. 125817
>how much we missed us
Why did I lol'd.

Anyway, welcome back. The site needed you, I think.
>> No. 125859
File 128760138770.jpg - (64.46KB , 850x472 , sample-0a5dad46dbf14576d42408cc0737dee7.jpg ) [iqdb]
125859
----------
“So,” your beloved witch says happily, “you do have people who are special to you! Am I one of them, I wonder~?”

“‘I have to spell it out for you’?”

“You do! Because what I want you to tell me is…” Coming very close, Mima takes your face into her hands and lifts it, so that all you can see is her: the whiteness of her skin, the soft shine of her waist-length hair, the restrained intelligence of her cool eyes, the rekindled love that lights her spirit. “When you mentioned ‘her whom I love best,’*” she whispers, “was it to me you were referring?”

You:
[ ] Suspect that she might be testing you with this question – answer as much with discretion as with absolute honesty.
[ ] Know from experience that nothing good comes out of answering questions like these – say so.
[ ] Won’t let her down. Although she’s not the equal of that person ‘today’ (no one is – not even your parents or your Gods), ‘tomorrow’ holds infinite possibilities. If ‘empathy, confidence and lasting fidelity’ see fit to strengthen your bond and deepen your love, it’s not impossible that Mima could become nearly as important to you as her.
----------
*The statement in question is at >>117780 if you need the context for it. You won’t, though. I know it’s been some time since he talked about it, but you should be able to guess of whom Myouren’s thinking when he evokes “person who I love most in this world,” “person who made me who I am today,” “my guide in glory and my solace in sorrow,” etc.
>> No. 125864
[x] Won’t let her down. Although she’s not the equal of that person ‘today’ (no one is – not even your parents or your Gods), ‘tomorrow’ holds infinite possibilities. If ‘empathy, confidence and lasting fidelity’ see fit to strengthen your bond and deepen your love, it’s not impossible that Mima could become nearly as important to you as her.
He is such a siscon.
>> No. 125868
[ ] Suspect that she might be testing you with this question – answer as much with discretion as with absolute honesty.
[ ] Won’t let her down. Although she’s not the equal of that person ‘today’ (no one is – not even your parents or your Gods), ‘tomorrow’ holds infinite possibilities. If ‘empathy, confidence and lasting fidelity’ see fit to strengthen your bond and deepen your love, it’s not impossible that Mima could become nearly as important to you as her.

I am confused about the difference between these two.
>> No. 125880
>>125868
Is it enough for me to say there's a difference in emphasis, or do you need more than that?
>> No. 125882
[ ] Won’t let her down. Although she’s not the equal of that person ‘today’ (no one is – not even your parents or your Gods), ‘tomorrow’ holds infinite possibilities. If ‘empathy, confidence and lasting fidelity’ see fit to strengthen your bond and deepen your love, it’s not impossible that Mima could become nearly as important to you as her.

Hmhm, can't say Byakuren isn't the most important person to Myouren, no matter what. At least not until love happens (as in, the romantic drama filled love we see on TV).
>> No. 125883
>>125626
You write that and now ask us this question. You are killing me here, anon.

haaaa...

Remember this anons? >>113513
>“My dream,*” you repeat, deep in reminiscence, “has been with me since the day I was born; it’s always been with me, whether by my side or in my sight or in my heart or in my mind. To describe it thus, I’ve probably conjured an impression of mania or obsession into your imagination, noble Princess Royal; but truthfully? My dream deserves that degree of adoration, merits that measure of respect. If only I could have you see it, O Queen – luxuriant auburn hair being brushed by the boisterous wind, as wavy and golden-brown as the undulating seas of wheat on the surrounding hillside; empathetic eyes of the same color, selfless eyes – fearless, doubtless; fineness of form, a figure as supple and graceful and tall as the silver birch beside; that’s my dream as it’s survived inside my soul. Unsullied by sorrow and unchanged through all the years of time, it’s a transcendent immanence to which mortal device – mere words could never aspire; it epitomizes all the reasons for that I hope and despair and struggle and succeed, embodies all that’s splendid and glorious and wonderful in my world – my inspiration in achievement, my comfort in hardship, my dream, my muse… my sister.”

[x] Answer as much with discretion as with absolute honesty.
[x] Mima, when you previously asked me if I equally loved the people whom I love. Currently, there is one person whom I hold dearly within my heart, and that is my sister, Byakuren.
>> No. 125888
[x] Suspect that she might be testing you with this question – answer as much with discretion as with absolute honesty.

From a relationship-juggling perspective it's a perfect response because there's no way for Mima to compare herself and nothing to compete with. Sir Monk could extoll Byakuren's virtues for hours, and by the end Mima would be no closer to understanding, because it comes down not to just who Byakuren is, but who she was for the Myouren at a critical period in his life. As a result, there will be no feelings of jealousy or inadequacy.

I think dropping this bomb, of Sir Monk's filial attachments and their primacy in his life, will do something to humanize him. Yukari mentioned the source of her & Konngara's distress regarding Sir Monk was the result of excessive admiration. He can tell them time and again that he isn't the Buddha, but hearing the Monk himself idolizing someone else, appearing just as much the wide-eyed child, I think would go a long way toward no longer putting him on a pedestal.

Personally, I predict Mima's jaw will drop, then almost fall off laughing.
>> No. 125893
File 128763516823.jpg - (615.91KB , 2000x1319 , 11765377.jpg ) [iqdb]
125893
>>125859
[X] Suspect that she might be testing you with this question – answer as much with discretion as with absolute honesty.

>>125888
If you weren't so awesome, I'd be cross with you for saying what I wanted to say better than I could. But you are, so I won't.

Anyway, it's been demonstrated that no one is impressed when Myouren puts on airs in the vain attempt to conform to someone's perception of him compared to when he's forthright and true to his nature. There's no doubt that Byakuren is the world (and then some) to Myouren, and there's no shame in expressing as much. He is who he is because of her. It wasn't so long ago (as >>125883 points out) that he pledged his devotion to her, and he still proclaimed dedication to his companions with utmost sincerity.

>Personally, I predict Mima's jaw will drop, then almost fall off laughing.
This, a thousand times over
>> No. 125941
[x] Mima, when you previously asked me if I equally loved the people whom I love. Currently, there is one person whom I hold dearly within my heart, and that is my sister, Byakuren.

Okay this I will get behind.
>> No. 125943
[x] Answer as much with discretion as with absolute honesty.
[x] Mima, when you previously asked me if I equally loved the people whom I love. Currently, there is one person whom I hold dearly within my heart, and that is my sister, Byakuren.

Stay consistent. This was a hard choice though, let's see how it turns out.

~
>> No. 125948
[X] Suspect that she might be testing you with this question – answer as much with discretion as with absolute honesty.
>> No. 125968
This suspense is too much to bear.
>> No. 125969
>>125968
so true
>> No. 126139
[x]status update
[x]update status
>> No. 126184
>>126139
I'm working on it. Please wait warmly.
>> No. 126226
>>126184
hooray!
>> No. 126324
File 128807707830.jpg - (127.51KB , 600x800 , ___.jpg ) [iqdb]
126324
----------
Originally, you were going to save talking about Byakuren until after the sealing of the tree; your concern at the time was that your love for her might be misinterpreted as a “sister complex” and thereby turned into an unnecessary distraction/something unnatural.

But circumstances have changed.

Now, not only is there the fact that Mima’s courageous question deserves a courageous answer, there’s also the matter of how much further you’ve come in your knowledge of her. After what she’s just told you about her reasons for ‘liking’ you, you’re sure that she’ll not renounce you for feeling similarly towards the person who gave you a dream and purpose in life. It’s with neither fear for the future or regrets at the past, then, that you shake your head and clearly tell her, “You weren’t the one being threatened in that instance.”

She receives your words in a likewise fashion – without shock or skepticism. Instead, nodding with that impenetrable reticence she assumes when deep in thought, your beloved witch confirms, “That Thing wanted to kill someone important to you?”

“The most important, even.”

“And who is this?”

“A girl – no, a woman. I’ve not seen her in the flesh for some ten years now, but I see her in my memory: passionate as fire, mild as the wind, unfathomable as the forest and resolute as the mountains she stands, eulogizing on the smallness of the world as seen by our eyes and the immensity of the world as seen by our souls. Simultaneously gentle and glorious, Sister and Demigod to my younger self – that is Byakuren, ‘her whom I love best,’ to whom death was promised by the monster that Youki destroyed, if I would not agree to serve the cause of Evil.”

“Is that right,” Mima says to herself, before turning to the side and calling out, “Komeiji?”

The sound of that strange name and of something stirring on the ground instinctively makes you rise – only to be checked by the feeling of a blade against your throat.

The figure in front of you, who holds your knife with an expert grip, is a true demon. Looking down on you in triumph, it commands you, by the glint in its green eyes, “Don’t even *think* about trying to defy me.”
----------
>> No. 126372
>>126324
well, shit.
>> No. 126391
>>126324

Oh dear.

Being killed because you harbor incestuous thoughts for your sister is one thing.

Being killed because this is found so reprehensible that it calls your very identity into question is another entirely.
>> No. 126405
What was that? Vajra? In the face?
In due time. Maybe.
>> No. 126429
>>126391
>incestuous
They are?

>>126405
>What was that? Vajra? In the face?
Immediately resorting to violence again? Is that the best way for a monk, particularly one who aspires to become a Buddhist saint, to solve problems?
>> No. 126434
>>126429
>They are?

No, but I'm sure it sounds that way to Mima if it provoked such a violent reaction. She's probably assuming the satori is trying to slander Sir Monk's character.
>> No. 126443
>>126429
I'm just saying we could defy Komeji, in the face.

Vajra should be a last resort though, my votes will reflect this.
>> No. 126447
>this is found so reprehensible that it calls your very identity into question

What are you referring too? For some reason Komeji is holding us hostage, but I do not see where you see what her reason is.
>> No. 126449
Oh god, which one of the sister is it? Koishi? And what the hell, Mima?
>> No. 126455
A mind reading heart with the title 'Psychodiver' and it never occurred to anyone that the Komeiji's might somehow be involved? We're getting sloppy.

>>126449
>Oh god, which one of the sister is it? Koishi?

Definitely.
>Looking down on you in triumph, it commands you, by the glint in its green eyes
>Look at image for update
>> No. 126479
>A mind reading heart with the title 'Psychodiver' and it never occurred to anyone that the Komeiji's might somehow be involved? We're getting sloppy.

Yes, yes we are.
>> No. 126512
>>126479
That and/or we forgot about it in the lengthy hiatus.
>> No. 126578
>>126455

Honestly? I actually never expected to meet them, or anyone else from the post PC-98 games. Yuyuko was a bit of surprise, but since it's before her ghost self and Youki is around, I quickly got used to it.

Yukari is another Touhou who would be expected to be met. Yuugi and Suika, Tenshi and Iku, and almost everyone from the PC-98 (Old Marisa/Reimu are ok as long as they aren't the same as todays's Marisa/Reimu), like Shinki (but not child Alice), these I expected. Now, even though there are no reasons for the Komeiji to appear, they would have felt out of place to me.

But hey, they are in now, so whatever. Is Koishi's eye still open?
>> No. 126582
>>126578
In terms of post PC-98 characters so far, there's Rumia mucking about with her damn sword and tattling to the High King. Aya has already been mentioned a fair amount as having interacted with Myouren in the past, and I do believe Momiji was mentioned as being an especially ruthless warrior by Char-tengu. Kaguya and Mokou have also been discussed at length (especially the latter), just never by name. I think one of the Hieda clan was mentioned pretty early on too.

Speculating on who might show up is especially fun. Eirin is a shoe in, and Tewi is highly likely due to her old age. Wandering sage/martial artist Meiling has a certain appeal, as does youkai-in-training Yuuka. Some of the seasonal characters (Letty, Lily White/Black, the Aki sisters) and goddesses have a fair shot. Definitely Tenshi and Iku, as well as the oni and the Sanzu/Higan crew. I also want to say Nue, just because.

Excited to see where our first encounter with a satori goes. Dealing with people that could mess up our minds without psychic powers was interesting enough; now we get to deal with the real masters.
>> No. 126719
File 128833734388.jpg - (451.70KB , 417x600 , Aldernalisuvara.jpg ) [iqdb]
126719
----------
While still threatening you, Mima says to the presence behind her, “Get up. Do you think that hiding in your shadow or trying that pathetic trick where you erase yourself from the subconscious is going to work on me?”

In the next instant, on the dais, where there was previously only a lump of gore, appears an outlandish fiend. You would call it similar to a young woman in its shape, but for three points of significant departure:

First, its state of complete undress – clothed only in its hair, it flaunts its flat chest and barren hips without any semblance of the modesty that makes the fairer sex so appealing.

Second, its coloration – the left half of its body is of a reddish hue, while the right is purplish-blue; its short hair is parted down the middle into pink and white hemispheres; its left eye is purple and its right eye is green. Looking at it, your impression is of a synthesis of opposites – a feeling that only strengthens when you consider its remarkable similarity with Aldernalisuvara.*

Third, its heart – hanging outside of its chest by a web of huge veins, said heart has inscribed on it, in black, the symbol of a five-pointed star.**

Having come forward in its real form, the ‘Psychodiver’ now starts scanning the room. It’s apparently not accustomed to relying on its eyesight, because it takes several seconds for it to find and fix on the person of Mima. But when it does-

“You are...!” It exclaims in terror.

“Why are you not kneeling, if you know before whom it is you insolently stand?”

Komeiji prostrates itself at once; however, Mima isn’t satisfied. Extending her arm with a pitiless expression, she curls her forefinger and middle finger in a motion familiar to you and, with an invisible hand, seizes it by the neck. “You will answer the questions I put to you,” she declares, lifting the fiend nearly off of the ground. “If you give me any cause to think you are lying, you will die immediately.”

Mima now turns her attention to you.

“Does this man lust after his sister?” She asks with an inflection less cold-blooded than the one of a moment ago.

Your vision starts to spin and grow dark as the ‘Psychodiver’ trains its two-colored stare on you. The sense of ‘pressure’ is less painful this time than it is somnolent and enfeebling; it weighs down your limbs and freezes your thoughts, searching through your synapses and rooting around in your ruminations for the truth. You resist it with all of your power, but you’re tired and too unprepared.


It finds out.


Pulling down your most sacred emotions from the seat of your mind and bearing them before everyone, the creature called Komeiji forces you to say, “He-”
----------
*Pictured. Aldernalisuvara is a Tantric god formed by the unison of the primal male, as embodied by Shiva the Destroyer, with the primal female, as represented by Parvati, his second wife. Although, Myouren is bad with Sanskrit (mentioned when he was perusing Mima’s diary) and not very good when it comes to the ritual practices of Indian Tantrism (mentioned when he was having relations with the Lady, of all times) he knows of this particular deity because it has a very distinctive look to it.
**Don’t puzzle over this right now. The meaning of it will become clear to you in time.

*Pictured. Aldernalisuvara is a Tantric god formed by the unison of the primal male, as embodied by Shiva the Destroyer, with the primal female, as represented by Parvati, his second wife. Although Myouren is bad with Sanskrit (mentioned when he was perusing Mima’s diary) and not very good when it comes to the ritual practices of Indian Tantrism (mentioned when he was having relations with the Lady, of all times), he knows of this particular deity because it has a very distinctive look to it.
**Don’t puzzle over this right now. The meaning of it will become clear to you in time.

>>126582
Anyone who would have existed in one form or another 1000 years ago is fair game for an appearance. Just keep in mind that, as with the people already introduced, they might be very different than they are in the present, before whatever happens to turn them into what they eventually become.

>>126512
>That and/or we forgot about it in the lengthy hiatus.
Yeah, except that no one made the connection before the hiatuses either. It's not a big deal in any case.
>> No. 126728
>>126719
>Looking at it, your impression is of a synthesis of opposites

wat?
>“Why are you not kneeling, if you know before whom it is you insolently stand?”

What?
>> No. 126730
"What the fuck"
and then I realized that it was Mima holding the blade against Myouren's throat. Did anyone else mistake it as "Komeiji" holding the blade?

As for not making the connection of "Psychodiver" to the Komeiji, I got the impression that it was male in gender.
>> No. 126732
>>126730
Made the same mistake; figured she'd materialzed or some such with a knife to Myouren's throat after Mima addressed her. Now... what the hell kinda 'chemistry' is this supposed to be?
>> No. 126733
>>126732
>Now... what the hell kinda 'chemistry' is this supposed to be?

You know how Myouren talked about the difference between "love" in literature and love in reality? Murasaki has some more to say about that at an appropriate moment.

>>126730
>Did anyone else mistake it as "Komeiji" holding the blade?

They did, which was the reason for the given clarification.

>As for not making the connection of "Psychodiver" to the Komeiji, I got the impression that it was male in gender.

Yeah, don't do that. This is Touhou, remember?
>> No. 126735
Actually I was one of the few who made the connection between "Psychodiver" and the Komeiji sisters.
>> No. 126736
>>126733
>Yeah, don't do that. This is Touhou, remember?
good one.
>> No. 126838
Finally catch up with the story.
That was long and interesting.
>> No. 126851
>>126735

Yeah, I thought the connection was obvious enough to go without saying.
>> No. 126866
>>126851
>>126735
You could have said something about it then. When no one gets the point of something that should be "obvious" at first glance (the hero's identity, anyone?), what happens is that I have to go into more detail and spend time that could have been used to move the story forward.
>> No. 126880
>>125626
AG is back! Man, I missed this.

>>126866
... This, not so much.
>> No. 126881
>>126866


You could have said something about it then. When no one gets the point of something that should be "obvious" at first glance (the hero's identity, anyone?), what happens is that I have to go into more detail and spend time that could have been used to move the story forward.

What about the effort that goes into arguing with your voters for either making the wrong assumptions or instead making the right assumptions and not being vocal enough about it?
>> No. 127257
Enough bullshit, let's see some updates, it's been a little while.
>> No. 127543
File 128891487938.jpg - (117.53KB , 850x536 , Mindcontrol.jpg ) [iqdb]
127543
----------
“He does not,” says the ‘Psychodiver’ with your voice. “Myouren does not desire to breed with Byakuren. He experiences nausea at the proposition.”

“Is his sister that ugly?”

“No. Byakuren is exquisite and exceptional, stunning and superhuman. Her countenance contains the comeliness and warmth of Amaterasu. Her body has the pleasing proportions of Ame-no-Uzume. Her-”

“I get it.” Looking mildly annoyed, Mima continues, “Tell me your purpose in acting out this farce.”

“Our master-”

I have no master.

“Lord Messenger!” a choking Komeiji corrects itself. “Lord Messenger wanted to try Myouren. She told me to lure him to this place. She told me to goad the prisoner against him.”

“Those were the orders he gave you? What’s his objective in all of this?”

“I desired to see the extent of his altruism.”

The owner of this cold, beautiful voice, which rings out from the very air around you, materializes behind Komeiji in a column of light. It’s clad in a fashion contrary to what you were expecting – a strange-looking silver armor made of small linked rings on its body, a mantle of pure white on its shoulders, a three-peaked platinum crown hung with a translucent veil on its head; nevertheless, the presence it exudes is entirely as you had imagined, being both intensely mournful and overwhelmingly majestic.

After he dispels the bind placed on his servant, expending all of one glance in its general direction, the ‘High King of Destiny’ asks of the ‘Psychodiver,’ “How did he answer?”

“Myouren did not follow the projected outcomes, Lord Messenger. He was prepared to commit suicide. He was not afraid. He would not consider engaging the prisoner.”

This news seems to catch your evil enemy at unawares, judging by how it retreats back a step. “First Cause,” it says solemnly to you, “you would forfeit your life to resuscitate the Saint of Swords?”

Mima withdraws the knife at your throat to allow you to speak, and you climb heavily to your feet. As your weapons are still where you left them – on another of the benches across the aisle – it’s barehanded that you say back, “I would forfeit nothing. Though your pitiful deceits led me to court Death closely, not for a moment was I convinced that I was going to die; my Gods are my armor, and they no more approve of theatric, vainglorious sacrifices on the part of their followers than they demand them in their temples: which is to say, not at all. It’s not something that an evil Demiurge like you, whose power goes to gleefully extinguishing the lives of the innocent and whose throne is built on the bones of his subordinates, could ever hope to comprehend, let alone emulate.”

Said Demiurge doesn’t meet your taunting with warlike denial or wrath, like one would expect, but with approval and acquiescence. He announces to all present, “I am convinced. The Adversary’s designs to unmake the world will be overthrown by the conviction and foresight of this man.” Looking directly at you, he holds out one of his gauntleted hands, palm up. “Will you not hear what I have to say?”
----------

>>126880
>>126881
Have you heard the saying, "Good medicine tastes bad?"
>> No. 127553
File 128891763017.jpg - (8.61KB , 160x120 , lcdkey_toshiba_satellite.jpg ) [iqdb]
127553
>> No. 127616
wow.

Okay so obvious things..Satori and Koishi are some how fused. That actually makes a fair bit of sense, with satori as super ego and Koishi as id..sort of.

Apparently we are not supposed to wonder why they have a star instead of an eye. What is really hard to figure out is how much of the differences/embellishments from standard touhou interpretation are just interpretation, versus how much are because of 1000 years of history not happening yet. I wonder if it marks them as a Christan(ish) demon. The high king's view of the world seems to fit an almost Christan view. Probably just me seeing parallels with what I know, but brainstorming works better with everything on the table.

With this connection, I wonder if the murals depict the banishing of the oni and the underground yokai. (Do we have a time frame on that?)
>> No. 127633
>>127616
That's funny, I though the PsychoDiver was Satori and Koishi's mother. I didn't though it was some fusion between them.

On another hand: No incest for you, Anon. MyourenxByakuren is safe!
>> No. 127664
>>127633
I see it as a love so pure that something like sex would taint it, no matter how attractive she is.

I guess it'd be a good thing that Myouren's love for the two ladies isn't quite so pure, but still very strong.
>> No. 127670
>>127543
>Lord Messenger wanted to try Myouren. She told me to lure him to this place. She told me to goad the prisoner against him.
>“First Cause,” it says solemnly to you, “you would forfeit your life to resuscitate the Saint of Swords?”
>He announces to all present, “I am convinced. The Adversary’s designs to unmake the world will be overthrown by the conviction and foresight of this man.”

She, he, and it? The High King is more formidable than first imagine, controlling not only destiny but third-person pronouns as well. Unless of course Komeiji is referring to someone else with the 'Lord Messenger' thing, which is entirely possible. Was someone else ispatched to urge 'Psychodiver' into action, and maybe that's the 'she' she's referring to? Also, the bit about 'overthrowing the Adversary's designs to unmake the world' is a fascinating and puzzling declaration. If I'm not mistaken, the 'Adversary' is implied to be Murasaki (and whatever that may entail), and that the High King is expressing approval in Myouren's conviction is interesting. Myouren's actions are in keeping with the designs of the High King? Myouren's decisions are acting contrary to whatever Murasaki is designing, scheming, or hoping for? Curious.

>“Will you not hear what I have to say?”
Hmm... how much has really changed since we first refused this offer? It's been a long while since we've worried over the plight of the Princess Royal, and I think the sense of urgency at the time compelled at least me to save the diplomacy for when the situation was more under control. Apparently(?), that urgency was ill-considered and self-imposed. We were also laboring under the notion that we had to act in a way that would please Kongara (i.e., not forgiving the 'evil High King'). Which was dumb, actually; acting like that is the complete opposite of Myouren's skillful means I feel.

>>127616
I like the 'fused' idea for Satori and Koishi; the part of her that accepts the resentment of the people, and the part that rejects it and wants to close her heart, both residing in the same body. I can imagine the actual closing of her heart would rend those two aspects of Komeiji in twain. Sisters, but a queer sort.
>> No. 127679
>>127616
>(Do we have a time frame on that?)
It's stated as happening "in antiquity" - long enough ago that in Reimu's time, all of the mystic arts for doing battle against Oni have been completely lost. That said, they are, without a doubt, still around in the time of this story. If you know about the two legends from that Suika, Yuugi and Kasen are drawn, you'll remember that they take place around the middle Heian period (around a century before Myouren is born) in the environs of Kyoto/Mount Ooe and that the three of them are vanquished by one Minamoto Raiko and his group of retainers, "the Four Heavenly Kings" (or “the Four Devas”). You missed a chance to hear about it in detail, but you might get another one later, depending on your choices.

>>127664
Think of it less as a question of "purity" than it is that he loves different people differently (as explained in >>125802).
>> No. 127701
> Unless of course Komeiji is referring to someone else with the 'Lord Messenger' thing, which is entirely possible.

We did hear the high king tell some one to tell Psycodiver to start right? Was that Rumia or someone else.

(If this is a vote, I vote for hearing him out. We need info badly.)
>> No. 127751
File 128900738074.png - (17.52KB , 757x743 , bigsmug.png ) [iqdb]
127751
>>127543
>Have you heard the saying, "Good medicine tastes bad?"
>> No. 127839
File 128905490628.jpg - (114.60KB , 850x1062 , PSYCHODIVER.jpg ) [iqdb]
127839
Psychodiver and Mima's secret child? I know their connection now! They're lovers!
>> No. 127997
>>127839
haha thanks for the good laugh.
>> No. 128344
We should hear the Great King. Maybe he's the kind of guy putting truth in his lies, but at least, he could teach us something.

Instead of that, we're paralyzed.
Don't die, Mima!
>> No. 128349
----------
“My answer isn’t going to change just because you mumbled some cryptic nonsense and asked again nicely,” is your defiant reply. “I don’t know what it is you’re planning or why you’re so bent on speaking with me; what I do know, however, is that you’re responsible for assassinating Youki, that you’ve sent an army of monsters to murder the Lady Saigyouji and that you’ve previously tried to manipulate into killing both of them, who I call my friends – all this, on top of a whole host of other, similarly unspeakable crimes. How do you plead?”

“…I am guilty. In seeking to overcome the limitations of my being and in trying to ensure that the world endures against my existence meanwhile, I have been the author of many evils and the architect of much suffering. But,” says the ‘High King’ with great emotion, “that is the reason I would like to vindicate myself in your eyes; for while our differences of interest require us to maintain a public relationship as enemies, it is my desire that we may be able to talk in private without hatred or enmity.”

“What, so you can boast about your wicked deeds at length to me? I’ll have to decline your gracious offer, ‘Great King;’ the only time I’ll be holding a conversation with you is when I’m giving you your last rites.” Strolling over now to your belongings with unaffected ease, you don her cloak stylishly, pull down the brim of your sunshade spryly, brandish your staff in a fighting stance swiftly and, sporting a mad, shark-toothed grin, ask sardonically, “Would you like them here?”

Your evil enemy’s response is to motion for the ‘Psychodiver’ to stand clear, and the hand that he offered to you in parley now makes as if to pull a weapon into existence. But before you can come to blows, another hand – this one as soft and finely skilled as it is uncommonly strong – seizes your arm.

“You don’t know anything about the identity or powers of the… individual you’re confronting,” whispers a visibly agitated Mima. “I think you should stop talking yourself into a corner and hear him out, at least on the surface.”

“I think otherwise. Under the circumstances, acceding to his demands is effectively the same as surrendering to him – something I’ll not do; after all, I’ve already surrendered myself to you, ‘charming demon’!”

This last remark not only restores your beloved witch to her usual humor, but finds her burying her face in her free hand.

“Guess it’s my turn then,” she says with some amusement. “Sleep for a while, why don’t you?”

Before you can object, Mima draws in deeply and touches the sides of your neck. The result is similar to the technique you employed on the Lady, save that you don’t faint; you’re prone on the ground and paralyzed by the thickening of your blood in your veins but, otherwise, completely conscious and capable of appreciating the grand display of magic to that you’re presently a witness.

Raising her right arm high, Mima snaps her fingers and yells, “Awaken!” One after another, the giant portrait windows shatter overhead, summoning up fierce winds inside the Room of Reflection and sending down shards of colorful glass – none of which contact the ground. Frozen in the air like so many colorful raindrops, it’s as she targets the resigned ‘High King of Destiny’ with her index finger that Mima traces a pattern of three unbroken lines and mutters, “Heaven Trigram: Starstorm.”


Everything disappears.


----------
>> No. 128353
Did you changed something?
>> No. 128406
What? What? Okay...what?
>> No. 128489
Who the fuck are you, Mima?
>> No. 128501
>>128489
http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Characters

I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the characters you are currently reading about.
>> No. 128506
>>128501

I think you missed the point entirely...
>> No. 128509
>>128506
I'm afraid I might have. I fear I might be getting a little over zealous in face of all the newfags.
>> No. 128512
>>128509
I'm suprised no one has noticed that this "shitstorm of newfags" may not be a shitstorm at all. look back at on that tf2 thread and you'll notice that all this crap has stated since that random anon did that shitpost i think it's him as this plauge seems only to be on /th/ and no where else.

(I admit, you are the plague, Random anon.)
>> No. 128536
Now that the story has fired back up, I got to wondering about the characters and such again. I wonder if High King is actually Shiki? Thinking back, 'Ereshkigal' (goddess from the underworld who would pass judgment) should have been a give-away for sure. She's canonically the only person who could take on Yukari (and Yuyuko, Reimu). They do seem to share a bit of history as well (http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/A_Beautiful_Flower_Blooming_Violet_Every_Sixty_Years), particularly
>"Yuyuko. This atmosphere... It's that person, isn't it?" I whispered to Yuyuko.
...
>"They must have come to watch the violet cherry blossoms. We're no match for them, so we'd better leave, okay?"
The menagerie of creatures we've seen at her disposal is also in keeping with the authority of the Yamas; demons, oni, and youkai. Here's an odd bit of Yama related goodness:
http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Perfect_Memento:_Yuyuko_Saigyouji
>Impressed by her unwillingness to curse people and her ability to control spirits, she was appointed by the great Yama to manage the souls of the dead.
How terribly convenient!

Finally, "The Judgement of Yama" from Perfect Momento sounds a lot like what was done to the Great Sage, whom I'm coming to realize is probably not Yukari.

What's got me puzzled is the timeline leading up to now. According to Yuyuko, Murasaki showed up at Hirokawa a little before Yuyu was born, about sixteen years ago. Six years later (or by the time Yuyu was six), the Saigyou Ayakashi wakes up. Ten years after that brings us up to current events. However, our nameless ally recently informed us that it was only ten years ago that Yukari waged war on Heaven, was defeated, and left in her current form (which makes sense, since super-powered Yukari could probably do something about all those pesky calamities but lost that power after the war). The war and the tree must've occurred in the same year or thereabouts. Due to the relief, we also know the war and the tree are somehow related.
So that's where the logic ends and the crazy theories start, mostly about trying to reconcile the fate of 60 years with the killing done by the Saigyou Ayakashi. Spirit induced flowers blooming and a malevolent flowering tree, yeah? 60-ish years ago (or, according to Yuyu, 'three generations ago'), the poet Saigyou dies under the tree. Flash forward 50 years, the tree 'wakes up' and claims all those but Yuyu, Youki, and Murasaki. So, where does the war come into the picture? Still not sure. My best guess is that High King used the tree to cause the event ten years ago to instill an appropriate amount of fear and respect into Yuyu. Thus traumatized, she would do the natural thing and seal the tree with her body and power before it bloomed under the influence of the fate of 60 years (which would probably be really, really bad). As we've seen before, the High King is a 'big picture' kinda person (see Pandora's Box), so long, elaborate, and needlessly tragic plans are par for the course. Yukari's war was an attempt to preemptively disrupt that scheme and 'unmake the world' by preventing a vital event in the history of Gensokyo.

I just herped so hard I derped
>> No. 128541
>>128536

I missed you~

>"Well, I suppose you're right. I hadn't been born sixty years ago, so I wouldn't know anything about a flower incident that happens once every sixty years."

Wow, Youmu is actually young? Kinda like this...
>> No. 128622
>>128541
>Youmu
am I missing something?
>> No. 128656
>>128622
In the short story linked, Youmu comments that she wasn't alive during the last flower cycle.

there for she is less then 60 years old.

I don't know if that quite counts as young..
>> No. 128686
>>128656

In a land where non-humans live more than 1000 years, anything below 60 is damn young to me.
>> No. 128824
> Finally, "The Judgement of Yama" from Perfect Momento sounds a lot like what was done to the Great Sage, whom I'm coming to realize is probably not Yukari.

This is the one part I don't think I understand. Care to elaborate?
>> No. 128890
File 128943208610.jpg - (7.18KB , 184x184 , notnecessarilyrelated.jpg ) [iqdb]
128890
>>128824
Which part? The latter is self explanatory; I don't think she is who we thought she might be. The former is admittedly obtuse and could use elaboration.
http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Perfect_Memento:_Encyclopedia:_Yama
>The Judgement of Yama
>Misdeeds committed while still living will be read loudly and clearly, the details and the numbers will be considered, and the judgement will then be announced.
>Once the judgement has been passed down, there's nothing along the lines of revoking or appealing the decision.

In my mind, the power of the Yama lets them enumerate all your past deeds with excruciating detail and clarity, after which they will pass judgment on them, and that is that. Absolute authority; whatever they decide will happen. With that interpretation in mind, recall the confrontation between the High King and the Great Sage (>>108977; probably dead, but still in the archived file). Not once did they come to blows, but by merely illustrating her hypocrisy, her flawed and self-serving logic, and transgressions (feel free to throw some air-quotes around those), the High King crippled, incapacitated, and defeated the Great Sage. With that speech alone, the High King was victorious, and I feel there's some parallels between that and the power of the Yama.

Bear in mind the Great Sage cowed the High King greatly by laying his sins before him at the beginning, though. Did she have the same power, was that a self-inflicted injury by the High King as a result of his position or power (or guilt), or is the author of the book taking liberties in describing the confrontation? Actually, the author of the book is something I don't even want to speculate on.



Waiting for updates coolly
>> No. 128895
>>128890

That's actually quite plausible.
>> No. 128932
Thank you.
That indeed clears up my confusion.
>> No. 128986
File 12894757661.jpg - (343.45KB , 850x1199 , Decedent.jpg ) [iqdb]
128986
----------


Bodily paralysis and total sensory overload see your awareness return only slowly. In what feels like a dream of the Universe’s conception, a veritable Milky Way’s worth of light and energy changes from a sheet of whiteness into a curtain of darkness, before finally being drawn aside to reveal a fiery red Sun – and a person who you’ve sorely missed. No sooner have you smelt her sandalwood perfume from within the shadows of your sleeping mind than you remember the captivating contralto of her voice, the sweet taste of her vermillion lips, the rich embroidery of her red-silver costume and the quiet strength of her crystal-blue eyes.


You come to in the fair arms of the Princess Royal.


On noticing that you’ve recovered, she points at you and immediately predicts, “You are going to say, ‘Sleeping Beauty? This is a merry meeting!’”
“‘Sleeping Beauty?’ This is a merry meeting!”

Your natural astonishment at this whole situation, her sudden reappearance and perfect divination both, is met with a queenly smile and a motherly hug. “I am happy to see you well, young hero,” murmurs the fond Princess Royal. “Do you come from a great victory?”

“I do, O Queen – a victory of faith, not force of arms. I’ll gladly tell you the story, if you’d like to hear it; but first, could you tell me where I am?”

Looking around, the room in that you’ve regained consciousness couldn’t be more different than the one in that you lost it. Whereas the place of Youki’s confinement was vividly colored, high-ceilinged and cavernous, this side-chamber is comparably dark, intimate and comfortable. A small, cheerful fire flickers in a recess behind you; the wooden floor under you has been spread with a well-appointed green rug; to your left and right are scroll paintings, shelves of teacups and sills set with potted plants. But what completes the room, the unifying factor of the whole eclectic inventory, is what’s taking tea at its center.


A man.


“Hidden between the lands of night and day,
This is my foothold in the Spirit World,
The world of Makai – a world that exists
Only in the mind of the noumenon,”


…is how he answers your question, rising from his place at the table to come sit near the fire.

He’s older – in his sixties or seventies at the very least, but, unlike with Murasaki, age hasn’t deprived him of his handsomeness; on the contrary, his princely mien is improved by it. You recognize on his lean face, blended together with the ingenuousness and great ambitions of youth, the hard-won knowledge of a lifetime’s worth of wandering, which, far from staining his spirit with cynicism or poisoning his soul with bitterness, has ultimately served to reaffirm his wonder of nature’s beauty.

How do you know all this?

Putting aside that he carries a five-ringed staff identical to yours, that he’s dressed in a black cassock only a little different from yours, that he also wears his hair in a tonsure and that, in the time it took him to take five steps, he satisfied your curiosity by composing a poem, the shape of his mouth and the brightness of his eyes could only belong to…!

“I hope I’m not wide of the mark in asking you this, My Lord, but are you possibly-”

“Your intuition is good,” he says with a nod. “I am Saigyou.
----------

Author's note: You have time still, but now would be a good time to begin thinking about what you would like answered. I'm going to touch on all of the pressing questions, of course, but I want to make sure that you have enough information to tackle what's ahead.

>>128353
That was just me fixing a few grammatical errors I noticed after posting.

>>128890
>>128536
You're good. Eiki would match up very nicely, barring I have more interesting plans for her and that the motive of the masked antagonist goes completely against her character.

>is the author of the book taking liberties in describing the confrontation?

The author of the book is canonically more cunning than the Goddess of Wisdom and a past master of engineering situations in a way that every possible outcome advances her interests.

You tell me.
>> No. 129001
Bricks.
>> No. 129003
You lost me sir.
Wanna have a cookie?
>> No. 129025
> You lost me sir.
> Wanna have a cookie?
Seconded. Are we dead? I don't think so..I mean that would be odd for Mima...
I don't have a fucking clue.
>> No. 129136
>>129003
>>129025
Yeah? Have you forgotten with whom we're dealing with? High King may be a jerk of the highest degree, but even he doesn't treat 'Death' lightly at all. I can see Saigyou, being an especially intelligent and enlightened individual, existing indefinitely by virtue of his intellect and spiritualistic prowess. As we've seen before, the High King is quite adept at absconding with people and making them look quite 'dead-and-gone' while the truth of the matter is that he's squirreled them away in stasis or whatnot. Was Princess Royal cursed to rot away after her role in the 'Bride of Heaven'? Nope! 'Hestia' found not so eternal slumber within the domain of Makai. The Great Sage? Unconscious, but quite alive. The princess? Slumbering and waiting for the right person to awaken her. The folks that 'died' when the tree woke up and were subsequently discovered in the atrium? Eeeh... the jury is still out on that one. I think Saigyou(?) described them as 'mental aggregates of the long-deceased' whom Myouren subsequently lead to salvation, but y'all can decide on that.
Suffice it to say, he may be a douche bag in terms of methodology, but the High King doesn't 'kill' all that often. For that matter, Myouren has a higher confirmed kill-count in comparison to the High King at this point. Stew on that for a bit.

>>128986
>Author's note: You have time still, but now would be a good time to begin thinking about what you would like answered.

Off the top of my head and in no particular order... what was up with the folks in the atrium, how does the tree link this world and Earth, why doesn't the High King kill people outright, where the hell are we, how did the Princess Royal end up here, where are Mima and Youki, how are we going to get back to Konngara, Yuyu, and Murasaki, what can we do about what has been done to the Violet Immortal, where has Acala been this entire time, why is Mima here, what does he know about the Taiji, what's the significance of 'ten years ago' for everyone, and how's Byakuren doing?
>> No. 129554
File 128980568764.jpg - (86.01KB , 480x480 , 1aed2d69b235660316362ecd02d87121.jpg ) [iqdb]
129554
----------
Having introduced himself, he elaborates: “That name I took upon forsaking the intrigue and moral dissipation of the Court to search for the Buddha amidst the great forests and mountain fastnesses; when I lived among men, I was known as Sato Norikiyo.”

“To think – the unnamed ‘power’ that approached me in my meditation and succored me in my exorcism turned out to be someone so famous! It’s an honor to make your acquaintance, Brother Saigyou! As you may have heard, I am called Myouren.”

“Your Dharma name is ‘Flower of Life’? It is auspiciously chosen.”

“Would you believe me if I told you that it’s actually a pun based on my personal name?”

“Young hero,” interjects the Princess Royal with unusual vehemence, “is taking a Dharma name not supposed to represent being reborn in the service of Lord Buddha? How is it that you did not do away with the root of pride, avarice and all worldly striving when you entered the temple?”

You find yourself smiling at her devotion as you reassure her, “It’s the fault of three people, O Queen: my parents, who, being as pious as they were strict, decided to name their children with the character ‘Lotus’ in honor of their religion and my old abbot, who was a chief wit. He said that changing the reading of my birth name was, in my case, more symbolic than giving me a new one, both because I was being initiated in the flower of my youth, as opposed the many monks who had only discovered their faith when well into adulthood, and because I was of common extraction and therefore had no name worth throwing away.”

“There is also that he is Shingon,” adds Saigyou. “His Dharma name is superseded in importance by his ritual name.”

The two of you then proceed to give the Princess Royal a rundown on ritual names – how they’re exclusive to monks of the Shingon school; how, in your esoteric practices, they function as a bond of trust between master, disciple and the divine mysteries; and how you’re forbidden from disclosing them to anyone, as they contain the power of your spiritually perfected form.

“Indiscretion wouldn’t only mean breaking faith with my teachers and my Gods; it would also imperil my freedom, granting mastery over my body and soul to the person who learned it,” is how you finish. “But returning to what you first said, Brother Saigyou – where is this, and to what purpose do I owe the pleasure of this interview?”

“…It is a long tale, one which begins in the ages before counted time. Are you of a mind to hear it?”

You (Pick one):
[ ] …Have been waiting for this! You’ve already seen the picture from various angles; all you need is the proper perspective, and then everything will become clear!
[ ] …Ask first about your beloved witch. Is she safe?
[ ] ...Want answers – when you’re more lucid. The physical, mental and emotional strain of all that’s happened today has left you feeling very, very tired. Would it be possible for you to take a rest beforehand?”
----------
>> No. 129559
[x] …Ask first about your beloved companions. Are they safe?
Though Mima was the only one who appeared to be in immediate danger, we mustn't forget about Youki, who was right outside when shit hit the fan. His status is just as unknown and concerning as Mima's.
>> No. 129560
[x] …Ask first about your beloved witch. Is she safe?

MIMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Where are you, my beloved tomboyish green-haired witch?
>> No. 129564
[ ] ...Want answers – when you’re more lucid. The physical, mental and emotional strain of all that’s happened today has left you feeling very, very tired. Would it be possible for you to take a rest beforehand?”

You know at first I was just going to say this to make the votes even, but damn if it isn't true.

And if there is not time learning why would be good.
>> No. 129565
[x] …Ask first about your beloved witch. Is she safe?
Would be good. First see if she is safe and then ask questions.
>> No. 129573
[x] >>129559
>> No. 129575
[x] …Ask first about your beloved companions. Are they safe?
>> No. 129674
[X] …Have been waiting for this! You’ve already seen the picture from various angles; all you need is the proper perspective, and then everything will become clear!

Finally! What have we been missing this whole time?! I must know!
>> No. 129803
[x] …Have been waiting for this! You’ve already seen the picture from various angles; all you need is the proper perspective, and then everything will become clear!
>> No. 130650
Updates are in need.
>> No. 130665
He would have told us if they were hurt. Plus the atmosphere would be grimmer. So get info.
>> No. 131022
File 129123364269.jpg - (126.32KB , 850x531 , Lady.jpg ) [iqdb]
131022
----------
“Very. Even before I knew your identity, I’d wanted to hear your side of the story – how much more now! But first,” you say with a little anxiety, “is Mima alright?”

Saigyou’s expression mysteriously darkens. “You are referring to the young woman who was accompanying you?”

“Yes, my beloved witch. Last I saw, she was attacking our mutual enemy, the one to whom all of the monsters here apparently answer. How’s she holding up?”

“Well. She has revived from her trance and walks again amongst the living.”

“But I haven’t?”

“Norikiyo and I had need of you,” responds the Princess Royal. “When you were close to waking, we thought to invite you here. We are not holding you against your will?”

“Not at all – I was just wondering if there was some reason you two didn’t extend Mima the same invitation. Because besides being extremely intelligent and remarkably adept at everything to that she applies herself, I count her as one of my dear friends; enlisting her help is the same as enlisting mine.”

Your illustrious host shakes his head gravely. “Only you are worthy.”

“I am? Brother Saigyou, please consider that before I can agree to what you and the noble Princess Royal would have me do, I’ll need to hear why you couldn’t ask it in the company of a close companion from whom I’d prefer to keep no secrets.”

They glance at each other, and, demonstrating a level of familiarity that couldn’t belong to anything less than old friends, they exchange thoughts using only their eyes. Of the two, the Princess Royal looks the less eager; but, at length, she begins:


“In cold Jikoku’s deepest narakas
Run icy rivers of powerful karma.
There, half-frozen in the floes eternally
Created and renewed by their weeping,
Suffer the most wicked of all sinners—
Those who in life were infamous traitors.”


“Daily do they rue their duplicity
When the servants of the Yama appear
With sharp swords and fiery spears in hand
Or the bitter winds of ‘Utpala’ start
To issue out from the northern reaches,
Bluing and blistering their naked skin.”



At this point, Saigyou takes over with:


“No hope is there for these treasonous souls.
The greatest of rites cannot redeem them;
No Bodhisattvas appear to save them;
The holiest of prayers do not reach them;
No transmigration does time promise them—
For they are guarded by a great Evil.”


“Green-haired, green-eyed, black-winged and black-hearted
It is, the demon whose joy is their pain
And whose paradise is their perdition.
Her heart was not always blackened by hate;
Killed by an act of violent betrayal,
She swore revenge on the whole human race.”



“In the future I have seen,” he finishes unhappily, “that young woman is in command of the powers of Hell.”
----------

Sorry about the delay.

It was a long time ago, but I said that the heroines were not chosen at random and that they had something in common. Have you guessed what it is now?
>> No. 131026
>“In the future I have seen,” he finishes unhappily, “that young woman is in command of the powers of Hell.”

Well, shit. Is Myouren a bad enouhg dude to prevent Mima from becoming the great EVIL?

Also, great to have you backa gian.
>> No. 131027
I didn't get the Princess's part, but Saigyou's part is clear enough.

Gentlemen.
We have to save Mima from becoming Hell's ruler.
This is a job for... ANON!
NA-na-na-na-na-ANON!!
Na-na-na-na-ANON!!

We have to identify the "betrayal", and avoid it.
AT ALL COST. CREW IS SUPERFICIAL.
>> No. 131032
>>131022
No worries about the delay, great update as always. About the question... is it because they all have a grim future ahead of them...?
>> No. 131047
I wonder if the princess was referring to Konngara's fate. And it seems we haven't done enough to avert the way things are going. I hope he isn't going to ask Myouren to abandon her due to this.
>> No. 131050
File 129125465822.jpg - (248.28KB , 800x1000 , Irenouncemyhumanity.jpg ) [iqdb]
131050
>>131026
>good enough*

Fixed.

>>131027
>Hell's ruler

Commanding the powers of Hell does not make you the ruler of Hell. That title belongs to someone else.

Also, what did you find unclear?

>>131032
Think about canon for a second.

Where are Mima and Konngara when Reimu meets them in HrTP? Where is Byakuren sealed in the events before UFO? Yuyuko is eventually granted rulership of the Netherworld because she uses her mastery of dead souls for responsible and altrustic purposes--but you shouldn't overlook the fact that she committed suicide. When you remember that violence against living things, yourself included, is among the worst things that a Buddhist can do, where do you suppose it is that the great majority of suicides reincarnate?

This story is not going to take a sudden turn in the stupid direction of GRIMDARK, but it's important for you all to have an awareness of what is actually at stake if you fail.
>> No. 131053
>Think about canon for a second.
Kon- Condemned to hell.
Min- Same, only she decided to try and rule it.
Yu- Fated to kill herself in anguish for the deaths that she caused.
Byakuren: Fate to be sealed for thousands of years.
Myouren: Fated to die shortly after meeting Byakuren.

If you manage to NOT make this story grimdark, it'll be a fucking feat. Well, if anyone can do that, that'd be you.
>> No. 131055
>Where are Mima and Konngara when Reimu meets them in HrTP?
Jigoku.
>Where is Byakuren sealed in the events before UFO?
Makai?

hmmm. So was she sealed there because she had allies in Makai and the Netherworld.?

Also the princes's lines sound rather like a description of Dante's 9th circle. Is the concept of an icy hell for traitors in eastern mythology?
>> No. 131056
File 129125764091.jpg - (929.53KB , 766x800 , 10291130_p0.jpg ) [iqdb]
131056
>>131027
>I didn't get the Princess's part, but Saigyou's part is clear enough.
My take is that the worst part of Hell is saved for traitors, and they suffer horribly without hope for respite because the "Green-haired, green-eyed, black-winged and black-hearted" prevents any salvation for them. She makes sure they are tormented for all eternity, and she loves it. She hates traitors (and humans) that much.
Also:
>We have to identify the "betrayal", and avoid it.
>AT ALL COST. CREW IS SUPERFICIAL.
About that... this isn't the first time we've been presented with information from the future. The first time, we turned it down, and while we may have lost the chance for some valuable information, we did get a wonderfully sage piece of advice
>"Realize that there may come a day when all the people you cherish will be lost to you forever, unless you yourself have the power to save them..."
>"Then engrave these words on your heart and never forget them, boy. Continue to treasure your friends and loved ones, to steadfastly strive for personal improvement and to unflinchingly challenge the myriad evils of the world. In doing so, you may yet triumph over the possibility of that dreadful future."
A dreadful future that needs to be conquered, not avoided. One that requires Myouren to become stronger, more determined, and capable of protecting his friends and loved ones, not scorning any particular part of the 'crew.' Our goal is to improve ourselves by learning, adapting, and striving. Only by doing so will we find the future that presently eludes the people we've met. Of course, that 'dreadful future' could be different from the currently presented 'dreadful future,' but that doesn't mean that the course of action for any particular dread filled times yet to come need be vastly different.
It's just something to keep in mind as we move forward, seeing that we've been straying from that particular mind set for a while now and it'd be nice to factor that into our decision making, even just a little.

>>131022
>the heroines were not chosen at random and that they had something in common. Have you guessed what it is now?
Well, right now there are only a few individuals that would be capable of betraying Mima to the extent she'd become the creature described by the Princess and Saigyou. If the decision of Mima and Konngara are related, and that particular came after this bit of exposition, FUCK. The implications are dizzying and disturbing and I hope I'm guessing wrong like I usually do.

What has me puzzled is the last line; was it humanity (humans) that betrayed her, or were they the cause of the betrayal? That is to say, did humans as a collective betray her, or did someone choose to 'violently betray' her for the sake of humans/humanity? Probably splitting hairs and making mountains out of mole hills, but I think it's a distinction worth making now before reaching conclusions.
>> No. 131066
> The implications are dizzying and disturbing and I hope I'm guessing wrong like I usually do.

Gah, well that actually helps us. We have to become strong enough to be able to have the choice of not betraying them. Or wait, is that just giving us the option of doing so?
>> No. 131067
>>131055
I was going for a parallel with Cocytus/Judecca. Just like the Inferno of Dante, Buddhist Hell is divided into layers, some of which are scorching and some of which are freezing. The texts are complicated and often contradict each other on things like how many Hells there are in total or which ones have Oni around to torture you, but, as a general rule of thumb, the burning ones are worse. They're reserved for people who accumulated huge stores of karma through hatred and bloodshed.

Less is written about the icy Hells; although when you take into account that your reincarnation is a direct reflection of your previous lives and that the people who reincarnate there are described as being ever cold, alone and unable to move, it really is a very fitting place for the crime of betrayal.

(As an aside, the Hell where Reimu fights against Utsuho is probably Avici, which is where people who killed their parents or tried to kill a Buddha end up. The one through that she travels in HrTP is different and more ambiguous in terms of its placement, because none of the bosses have anything that could be associated with fire but some of the stage backgrounds do.)
>> No. 131068
>>131066
Except in the event of things like mind control or insanity, you aren't going to receive any choices that Myouren himself would automatically rule out--not that I can fathom how someone could justify turning against the heroines in the first place.
>> No. 131069
>>131067
I think you're confused; SA takes place in Old Hell, a section that was left to the various underground youkai due to budget problems.

The concept of Hell that Higan uses is a main punishment area, though the area with the courts,etc might be called hell itself due to crude translations.

Though I think the first step for ensuring things is to focus on the matter of Yuyuko, Youki, and that Tree when we get the chance; too bad Myouren didn't ask about Youki.
>> No. 131074
>>131066
>>131069

I don't think it's Myouren who's going to betray anyone.
>> No. 131103
>>131074
My money is on a human(or group of them) that Myouren helped will betray him and kill him in a horrific manner. Because that's the only thing I can see that would drive her over the deep end. I doubt anyone can really Mind Control the MC into doing something like betrayal of a trusted companion. If a being was able to do that, Myouren would just use his powers to kill himself rather than hurt someone he loved.
>> No. 131107
>>131103
There's also something with Aya.
What do we know about her? She's a tengu, she has a horrible reputation... But is she working as a journalist already? Maybe it'll be decided by future events.
There's something between Aya and Myouren, I don't remember it for sure, but I think that Aya played a trick on Myouren or something like that.
>> No. 131111
>>131107

She tried to seduce him and take him to the dark side of the force make him abandon his faith. Or something like that, I'm only sure about the seduction part.
>> No. 131115
>>131111
If I remember correctly, she only tried to seduce him, knowing it would break his vows. I can only guess she was doing it for shits and giggles.

It doesn't even matter, though. As long as we continue to act as a bastion of humanity and good-will, nothing will stop our unwavering convictions.
>> No. 131117
>>131111
>She tried to seduce him and take him to the dark side of the force make him abandon his faith.

That's what he thinks, anyway.

>>131069
What I am saying is that the setup of "Old Hell," with layers populated by Oni who were the torturers of the wicked above a "Hell of Blazing Fires," is modelled after Jigoku and that Stage 6 is supposed to be Avici per this analogy.

For anyone who does not know what Avici is: imagine being trapped for millions of years in a cosmic crematorium that burns at several thousand degrees Fahrenheit without killing you (because that would be giving you a break from the task of expiating the karma you acquired in your previous lives of evil). That's Avici, the lowest of all the Buddhist Hells, burning or freezing.
>> No. 131208
File 129156384678.jpg - (894.54KB , 1500x1067 , 1277553706582.jpg ) [iqdb]
131208
>Yuyuko is eventually granted rulership of the Netherworld because she uses her mastery of dead souls for responsible and altrustic purposes--but you shouldn't overlook the fact that she committed suicide.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
>> No. 131241
File 129159536882.png - (599.70KB , 800x600 , Revenant.png ) [iqdb]
131241
----------
“‘What’s the punchline?’ …is what I’d say if this story came to me from anyone else. Still, it’s strange – you accept the idea of fate?”

“No more than do you,” answers Saigyou. “The events of that I spoke are not fated. They neither exist outside the scope of human agency nor beyond the reach of divine intervention; they are the fruit of action and can therefore be changed by action.”

“But is it my place to change them? Bodhisattvas don’t exercise their power of salvation in a way that would rob their suppliants of their will, and, although I am not a Bodhisattva, I strive to learn from their example.”

“Then learn that the essence of their teaching is to be found in challenging your own justice, as you have done here. Never lose this ability, because it is what will rescue your friends from the ordeals that await them.”

“Hold on – friends? Don’t tell me that Konngara too…!”

“She will be slain with the ruin of her aspirations. The strength of her regrets, coupled with the anguish that attends her demise, will lead her to rise from her grave. In the shape of a monster, she will defile the land with whose spirits she once communicated and cannibalize the people for whose welfare she once fought; till at last, she is defeated. One of her own shrine will destroy her, and she will be banished to the darkest regions of Hell for as long as the world endures.”

[ ] “And me? In your vision, what’s happening to me when all of these disasters are crushing down on the women who I love and admire?”
[ ] “Mima’s betrayal and Konngara’s despair – are they the fault of the being you call ‘the noumenon’?”
----------
>> No. 131243
[X] “And me? In your vision, what’s happening to me when all of these disasters are crushing down on the women who I love and admire?”
>> No. 131244
[X] “And me? In your vision, do you see my role in these tragedies?"

(Gahh it doesn't feel quite poetic enough. What I am trying to get at is that Myouren wants to know is more his role in their fall, then his own final state.

Though maybe Myouren’s should not be so selfish as to put his friends welfare above his own fate as a possible Bodhisattva. Still, I think he would care about them more.)
>> No. 131245
[x] “Mima’s betrayal and Konngara’s despair – are they the fault of the being you call ‘the noumenon’?”
Selfish? Not our monk.
>> No. 131252
Well shit.

We all anticipated this eventuality, knowing canon, but it's a different matter for it to be laid out in front of you by the author's pen.

[x] “Mima’s betrayal and Konngara’s despair – are they the fault of the being you call ‘the noumenon’

A course of action that necessitates that a being with Buddha-nature be trapped in Avici for as long as there remains life on the mortal rung? That's being, like, an anti-Bodhisattva.

From a utilitarian analysis, even if the alternative embraces or sows some vice that causes Myouren or others to more slower to advance up the Karmic rungs, that must still surely be less harmful in totality than placing that infinitely onerous fate on anyone.

Myouren's wager, indeed.
>> No. 131253
[x] “Mima’s betrayal and Konngara’s despair – are they the fault of the being you call ‘the noumenon’

I am not sure. I thought about it and came to no conclusion.
>> No. 131261
>>131244
No worries bro. Myouren ain't no poet, and the author does a bang up job interpreting our write-ins into something workable. Good on ya for stepping up on this vote.

>>131241
>Revenant.png
Oh lawd...

>One of her own shrine will destroy her
I think we've speculated on this prospect before, but still, damn

>the being you call ‘the noumenon’?”
>>128986
>The world of Makai – a world that exists
>Only in the mind of the noumenon,”

Kinda' glad this was addressed again, because it completely flew under my radar the first time. To me and my laughably pathetic understanding of metaphysics, it sounds like it's describing nega-Yukari.

[X] "My friends are not limited to those few I've known longer than others; what of the Lady and her cohorts?"

...let alone the fate of Saigyou, the Princess Royal, the Great Sage, and the princess. We'll take care of ourselves, and I'm not keen on assigning/assuming blame at this point. There are plenty of important people in this life; don't leave me hanging.
It was pretty interesting when we turned down exposition about our future the first time, but I'm wondering if it it could become a defining element now? "Keep your meta-philosophizing about eventuality, causality and probability to yourself; this is between me and the Bodhisattvas now."

Still, something seems off with these revelations. High King is all for 'removing' people without 'killing' them (Youki, Saigyou, Princess Royal, people from the tree incident, etc). While Mima and Konngara aren't necessarily 'gone,' not only will they seem to have met with an unusually cruel fates, but they in-turn create a metric ton of badness for loads of people in the future. I dunno, seems out of place with High King's 'a few must suffer for the good of the whole' philosophy so far. Maybe I'm being selective with my memory, but this seems way too cruel, even for that guy.
>> No. 131269
>>131261
My thinking is that the High King simply miscalculates. His attempts at preventing greater harm backfire on him at some point, either through one event that goes totally wrong, or from his whole setup crashing down on him from its own inertia.

And for the Noumenon thing, while I don't know any more about Metaphysics that you, isn't Shinki the creator and ruler of Makai?
>> No. 131270
File 129162693873.jpg - (68.59KB , 850x584 , Contrast.jpg ) [iqdb]
131270
>>131261
The unprompted concern for Youki and his Lady, as well as the huge improvement it represents over the mode of thinking that typified some earlier decisions in the story, has been duly noted. It's not being addressed immediately because there's a more beautiful chance just down the road.

>>131269
>noumenon
Saigyou is going to touch on the meaning of this.

----------
“And me? In your vision, what in Bishamonten’s name am I doing when all of these disasters are crushing down on the women who I love and admire?”

“You have tried to save them and failed, sinking into a deep depression afterwards. Meditating for a long time on the fallibility of man and the fleeting nature of joy, you will eventually recover; however, the pain of your loss will be the first great blow to your belief in the rightness of karma and vipaka. You will survive wars, famines and the start of a new age to end your days as a recluse on Mt. Shigi, close to where your monastery once stood. Years of intense study will have given you deep knowledge of divine mysteries and the hardships of your life, endured willingly, will have bestowed upon you great spiritual power. The counsels of the wise will echo with your name, and the August Emperor will summon you for a personal audience, which you will refuse. In your old age, you will meet with no man, to the point of delegating the gathering of alms to the sylphs contracted to your bowl. You still think of the good of humanity, and you still honor the many Gods and holy spirits; but you have become tired of living. When you at last leave the world, it will be alone and having long ago given up on becoming a Bodhisattva.”

“…That doesn’t sound like me at all,” you say in a subdued voice. “Then again, I’d imagine that the “me” you’ve seen, who’s been embittered by the death of his loved ones and the injustice of everything, would likely say something similar with respect to myself. Tell me: Mima’s betrayal, Konngara’s despair and my future self’s disillusionment – is it the fault of the being you call ‘the noumenon’?”

The Princess Royal quietly nods, and Saigyou explains, “It makes war on the girl who inherited my will and has taken Masako from her daughter. I have brought you here because I would like your support in dethroning it – Amatsu-Mikaboshi’s youngest child, whose ascendance ten years ago, measured according to the time of the Desire Realm, was the beginning of the age of Mappo.”
----------
>> No. 131271
>It makes war on the girl who inherited my will

Wait, what? The Princess Royal gave Konngara the yin-yang thing (forgot the name)? But the description Konngara gve is different from what the Princess looks like.
>> No. 131272
>>131271
"girl who inherited my will" refers to Yuyuko I think.
>> No. 131338
>>131272
Yep; it's Saigyou talking about Yuyuko then remarking on the Princess Royal (Masako)'s place.
>> No. 131341
File 129170016427.jpg - (245.28KB , 827x1169 , 11238434.jpg ) [iqdb]
131341
>>131269
>isn't Shinki the creator and ruler of Makai?
Maybe... perhaps. Strong inclination towards yes, but still a little puzzled. The whole "The world of Makai – a world that exists Only in the mind of the noumenon" is something to consider. So, Makai exists because of the noumenon? The noumenon only came into power 10 years ago, and its 'ascendance' marked the beginning of the 'age of Mappo.' It kinda makes sense, actually; all the poor schmucks who are now incapable of following the teachings of the Buddha gotta end up somewhere, yeah? Too bad wikipedia doesn't have jack shit about what the Shingon school makes of it. What has me wondering is the whole demonic invasion and the heroic intervention of the Deva with six wings that also happened ten years ago (>>116459). There are all of two people in Touhou canon that fit that particular description, and considering the frequency of western-mythology based titles for characters in this story, I've got it in my head that they might be one and the same (Shinki and Sariel). While it's not too hard to imagine that Makai might have been created explicitly for the hero as a 'reward,' or as a consequence, or whatever, it's also quite bizarre to imagine that such an important place may have only come into existence within a decade of the story starting. The truly disquieting notion is that the dickery of the High King may or may not have been occurring well before all of that, and we might never know because the timeline of events in Touhou before 1503 are nearly incomprehensible.
Personally speaking, it's difficult to reconcile all of the crap that occurred in "The Bride of the Heavens" with happening less than ten years ago. It seems like the story happened many years ago (certainly more than ten) and we're only reading about it now. How could the High King be pulling shenanigans way back when if he/she/it only came to power a decade ago? It doesn't. The only way it does is if noumenon != High King. And then what the fuck?

For now I'm blaming everything on Taisui Xingjun because he's the most baseless jerk in Touhou canon

>>131270
>has been duly noted
Is this like the opposite of "has been taken into consideration"? Also, the gender neutrality of the last bit of the update makes me sad and confused.
>> No. 131342
Why would the noumenon be the High King?

I feel like I am missing something important.
>> No. 131344
>>131342
Well, if the noumenon is the one futzing with the fate of Mima and Konngara (>>131270), and we've witnessed the manipulation of fates by the High King before (>>107940 and onward), one conclusion is that the noumenon and High King are the same entity.

It's not necessarily true, of course.
>> No. 131401
>>131342
It will make sense when you learn what it is.

>>131344
>we've witnessed the manipulation of fates by the High King before

You have?

It's misused a lot in English, but, fate is not just a future or an outcome. By 'definition, an event that is fated is not decided by anyone nor can it be changed by anyone. So, hypothetically, if a person were to say something along the lines that he "forges his own fate" or to try predicting it and heading it off, he would be demonstrating a critical misconception about how fate really operates. ZUN even talks about this in Bohemian Archive, when Flandre mentions Remilia.

>>131341
Regarding the question of time, I would point to the expression Saigyou has twice used about its measurement. Have you accounted for the possibility that time and space is measured differently in the various realms and worlds of reincarnation?

>difficult to reconcile

Then maybe you should try looking at it from a different angle than reconciliation.

For example, you might want to think about who possibly could have penned that account and what motives he or she might have had in writing it, why it doesn't read like legends actually read, why Myouren (conveniently) happened to find it before running into "the High King of Destiny," why said "High King of Destiny" expressed confusion about being called by that title, whether there are questions you missed asking the Princess Royal at your first meeting with her, whether it was the right idea to assume that the character of the "High King of Destiny" is irredeemably evil when it has shown that it cares deeply about the well-being of those close to it, assigns great importance to the value of life in general and is willing to talk with a human hostile to it as an equal and why, after taking into account the new information you received from Saigyou, it might want to create a situation where the Lady dies "fighting the forces of evil" instead of killing herself because she's afraid of what she'll become if she lives.

If that doesn't clear things up at all, though, don't worry--you will hear the simple truth of it all very soon.

Also, you guessed right about something. I'm not going to say what.
>> No. 131428
Okay, that does help.

About times, The thing is all the time lines we have should be in the desire realm unless I am very much miss understanding something.
>> No. 131444
>>131401
>For example, you might want to think about...

Well, when you put it like that... huh. I think I'm starting to get what that 'fundamental misunderstanding' thing might have been. I should stop over-analyzing things.
>> No. 131546
File 129196173232.jpg - (730.62KB , 630x881 , Saigyou's will.jpg ) [iqdb]
131546
----------
Mappo.


A word handed down since olden times, signifying ‘the decline of the Dharma.’


After five hundred years of genuine glory and another five hundred that preserve the façade of that glory, the Eightfold Path will lose its potency, and for ten thousand years into the future, the character of humanity will become ever more ignorant and foul, incapable of saving itself – until the Bodhisattva Maitreya is born into the world and preaches a new law to replace Sakyamuni’s.





That you might be living in the time of Mappo isn’t news to you. When you were ordained and, by chance, had an opportunity to debate scripture with some monks of the Tendai sect, they were very insistent about how the Dharma had entered its third age and that trying to save others with only the power of rituals wouldn’t work; hearing it said again by Saigyou only confirms that their conjecture was right, albeit for the wrong reasons. Still, there’s something that eludes you, and that is…

“I know it as the ‘High King of Destiny,’ and you know it as ‘the youngest child of Amatsu-Mikaboshi.’ What about its being spawned from the Dark God makes our enemy a ‘noumenon’ and not a ‘phenomenon’?”

“It is a noumenon because it exists, and the rumor of its power fills the Three Worlds; but, its true nature cannot be fathomed by six sense-consciousnesses,” says Saigyou.

“I follow you – you’re saying that it’s a concept that approaches ultimate reality, in the sense that you can’t comprehend it with words or actions? That it can only be experienced through the storehouse consciousness directly?”

“Did I not tell you he was clever, Norikiyo?” says the Princess Royal proudly.

“That he is,” answers your illustrious host, who’s presently returned to you. “The Violet Immortal, who was Guardian of the Four Lands and Four Seas, learned this truth too late. In the hour of her final victory over the provinces of Heaven, she experienced the direst of reversals; her mighty host, finest of the Kunitsukami, withered away like straw in a fire, and she was overthrown in single combat: stripped of her divinity and outraged by her enemies. All of this came to pass as an outcome of the noumenon taking the field against her.”

“I remember you said as much in our first conversation. The question I have, though, is – why? For what purpose did Murasaki make war on the Devas? Was it to redress a grievance or seize territory, as is commonly the case in disputes among supra-humans, or…?”

“No. Her ambition was to gain the limitless energy source that is protected by the race of Demigods living on the moon*. By uniting its power with her own innate control over void and dimensions, the Violet Immortal would have been able to surpass the treaties and oaths that fetter her and prevent the dreadful future she had foreseen.”

“The age of Mappo,” you say with an air of finality. “It’s upon us now, so what must I do?”

“In the years to come, you must return yourself to the storehouse consciousness** and become a Bodhisattva; with your body of bliss***, challenge the noumenon, who is the Consequence of Mappo, and banish it from the hearts of all sentient beings. In the days to come, you must guard well the girl who inherited my will. She is innocent and good, and she stands between you and the future that has been revealed to me. Of this I am persuaded: if you fail her, tragedy will not fail to find you.” Honoring the Buddha by the manner in that he’s seated – with his left hand open in his lap, his right hand touching the ground, and his eyes closed in prayer – Saigyou, whose humanity is as great as his wisdom, concludes:


“That is my request.”


----------
*See Ch.3 of SSiB.
**Also known as Alaya, the ‘storehouse consciousness’ is the basis of all experience. It is the mind in its original state, which contains the raw ‘information’ that is corrupted into perceptions, sensations, a physical world and a physical body due to the idea of a ‘self.’ In the most philosophical schools of Buddhism, rectifying this defective pattern of thought is what it means to achieve Enlightenment. Note that Alaya is not an apology for ‘brain-in-a-vat’-style solipsism: what the aforementioned Buddhist Schools are saying is that you and I all exist but that we should not give so much priority to our ‘selves’ over everyone and everything else, because it’s thinking in that way that causes craving, which in turn causes suffering and perpetual reincarnation.
***Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have three manifestations. The ‘body of bliss’ are their spiritual manifestation, and it has god-like powers as an effect of their being able to act on the world without being bound by its laws.
>> No. 131559
[x] "Okay."
>> No. 131563
>The Violet Immortal

Murasaki/Yukari? She wanted to avoid Mappo, but the High King stood against her and she was defeted by the 6 winged Deva. If the Mappo is such a bad thing, then why did the High King not help her?
>> No. 131566
>>131563
>Murasaki/Yukari? She wanted to avoid Mappo, but the High King stood against her and she was defeted by the 6 winged Deva. If the Mappo is such a bad thing, then why did the High King not help her?

You can't fathom the true nature of the High King with your six-sense consciousness. Come back in 60 levels.
>> No. 131602
>>131563
He might have thought that letting it happen would have been for the best and considered Yukari/Murasaki's attempt at 'playing god' to be foolish. Never minding the fact it's the same sort of shit he's doing basically.
>> No. 131613
Just to be clear. In

> the Violet Immortal would have been able to surpass the treaties and oaths that fetter her and prevent the dreadful future she had foreseen.

It is the Violet Immortal that wishes to stop the the dreadful future she had foreseen. Not the treaties that prevent it.

What exactly the 'and' is linking is slightly ambiguius.
>> No. 131614
"I would do so gladly, weather such would prevent or cause me tragedy. Protecting her has been a goal of mine from the moment I knew a fraction of her story."
>> No. 132150
File 129305220932.jpg - (229.29KB , 850x1048 , daughter.jpg ) [iqdb]
132150
----------
No sooner have you given your assent, standing and assuming the “fear-not” mudra that's the salute of your school, you feel a silk-clad arm holding your knees and a slender hand grasping your chin.

The mild Princess Royal, who's caught you in a suppliant pose, asks, “Will you hear mine?”

“Gladly, O Queen.” Helping her to rise, it's looking into her clear eyes that you tell her, “Ask of this poor monk anything that's within his power to grant you, and you'll have it.”

“Thank you.” In a low voice, she then starts to sing:


“In life's springtime, I had a governess;
In life's summer, I had Norikiyo;
In life's autumn, I had nobody but
My child—Fujiwara no Mokou.”



“Young hero,” mumbles the Princess Royal, now with plain speech, “please find her. Find my daughter, and deliver her from the nine-hundred years of isolation and eternity of violence that Norikiyo has prophesied! I do not want for her to come to nothing in the wilderness, scraping out a poor and mean existence as a beggar! You are the only person to whom I can turn—the only person who can speak to my grief and bring an end to the winter of my discontent!”

[ ] “And I will. This I swear to you, noble Princess Royal – I will discover your daughter in the dark places of the world, and I will free her, even as I discovered and freed you.”
[ ] “...That's not true at all. What of yourself, noble Princess Royal? I've never met any Queens besides you, but I can say with confidence that you're one in the truest sense: majestic, charismatic and nurturing. Rather than putting blind trust in me, a strange man who you've known for barely an hour, wouldn't it be better if I depended on you – if we sought after your daughter together? Come with me!”
----------
>>131563
That's a good question, one through which I'll try to help you reason. Look at it this way:

What prompts Yukari to set in motion the chain of events that leads to the creation of Gensokyo?
Why does Kanako move the Moriya Shrine to Gensokyo?
Taking these actions as part of a larger trend, what does this mean for the world that they have left behind?

>>131602
>He might have thought that letting it happen would have been for the best and considered Yukari/Murasaki's attempt at 'playing god' to be foolish.

If only it was so simple.

For better or for worse, this story is not The Game. The continuation of the main conflict does not depend on things like gods and priestesses having so little self-awareness that they fail to see that plotting genocide is evil, when they should realistically have a better apprehension of good than you or I.

Yukari had a very understandable purpose for wanting to make war against Heaven, but in no way does that preclude the being who Myouren identifies as his “evil enemy” from having an equally understandable purpose (i.e. not “duty” or another abstraction like it) in wanting to stop her.
>> No. 132155
>You are the only person to whom I can turn—the only person who can speak to my grief and bring an end to the winter of my discontent!”
>the winter of my discontent

Is the misuse of this phrase intentional? My impression of her is pretty hammy already.

[x] “...That's not true at all. What of yourself, noble Princess Royal? I've never met any Queens besides you, but I can say with confidence that you're one in the truest sense: majestic, charismatic and nurturing. Rather than putting blind trust in me, a strange man who you've known for barely an hour, wouldn't it be better if I depended on you – if we sought after your daughter together? Come with me!”

It's probably useless, but we should try. She must be reunited with her daughter eventually in some sense, if only to transfer Fenghuang to a new owner, so bringing her along would seem to speed things along. Even if her response is negative we can learn what she'll be doing with her time while we're scouring the countryside. Hell, we don't even know what she looks like.
>> No. 132157
[ ] “...That's not true at all. What of yourself, noble Princess Royal? I've never met any Queens besides you, but I can say with confidence that you're one in the truest sense: majestic, charismatic and nurturing. Rather than putting blind trust in me, a strange man who you've known for barely an hour, wouldn't it be better if I depended on you – if we sought after your daughter together? Come with me!”

Is there enough slots for another party member. I find the other choice very attractive, and more, ah, romantic? Yeah, I think I can decribe it as that, romantic.

However, as an avid RPG fan, I always love having a big party full of characters.

>What prompts Yukari to set in motion the chain of events that leads to the creation of Gensokyo?

Yukari created Gensokyo so that youkai and other beings who depended on human belief/faith to exist could continue to exist after humans stopped believing.
>Why does Kanako move the Moriya Shrine to Gensokyo?

She wasn't receiving enough faith, and moved to Gensokyo so she could gather more and keep on existing.
>Taking these actions as part of a larger trend, what does this mean for the world that they have left behind?

...

Oh. That...that gives a lot to think.

Well, the first things I thought were, either not even he can prevent certain changes (or maybe all changes?), or he's acting in a way to give the world to humans. Either humans are already stopping to believe, or he's preparing for it...?

I fell I need to think more carefully about this. That's something I'm not very good at, hah, always depending on other anons for such things. That's what I get for being a casual.
>> No. 132160
>>132155
>Is the misuse of this phrase intentional?

It's being employed outside of its original context, but I wouldn't say it's being "misused." In her poem, she talked about her youth, her days as a maiden and her days as a woman with seasons as her conceit. Referring to the latest and worst part of her life as a winter is just an extension of the earlier metaphor.
>> No. 132164
>daughter.jpg
Simply wonderful. I love the love Mokou is getting on the site these days. To see it in my favorite story comforts me greatly.

[X] “And I will. This I swear to you, noble Princess Royal – I will discover your daughter in the dark places of the world, and I will free her, even as I discovered and freed you.”

I find myself reflecting upon the kinds of things Princess Royal has decided upon, acted on, and achieved entirely with her wisdom and strength alone. She's is no push over, and if she could do something about her daughter, I doubt she would have waited this long. I dunno, the part of the vote with "putting blind trust in me" feels weird. It is indeed true that we've known each other for little more than an hour (if that), but she really doesn't strike me as someone that makes these kinds of decisions or requests lightly. There's a reason she's asking this of us, so I'm less curious about "why don't you come with me?" than I am "why?" Actually, if it's as well considered as I dare speculate, what I want to know is if there's anything she wants communicated to her daughter on her behalf, but that's making dumb speculations at this point. Although to be perfectly honest, I would give my left nut if Princess Royal and Saigyou joined us in our adventure. Can I write that in?

>>132157
>Well, the first things I thought were, either not even he can prevent certain changes (or maybe all changes?), or he's acting in a way to give the world to humans.

My take was that they were approaching the situation from two diametrically opposed, but equally viable, opinions. Glass half full vs. glass half empty. Yukari was of the mindset that if the onset of Mappo could be averted, everyone (humans and youkai/faith based entities) would be happy. Great King felt that Mappo was inevitable, and that actions needed to be taken for those that would suffer with the decline of faith, i.e. the creation of Gensokyo (and all of the nastiness that would unfortunately ensue). Things are rarely that simple, though.

Derp. I'm still really glad this updated, though; was getting quite anxious.
>> No. 132168
>>132164
Of course. I'd recommend waiting till you have the whole story about what happened when she was off-stage and her friendship with Saigyou though.
>> No. 132175
>>132164

In light of your reasons, I >>132157 change my vote to:
[ ] “And I will. This I swear to you, noble Princess Royal – I will discover your daughter in the dark places of the world, and I will free her, even as I discovered and freed you.”

I didn't really think when voting before, and now this really seems better.
>> No. 132177
[x] “And I will. This I swear to you, noble Princess Royal – I will discover your daughter in the dark places of the world, and I will free her, even as I discovered and freed you.”
You guys convinced me.
>> No. 132193
> Taking these actions as part of a larger trend, what does this mean for the world that they have left behind?
A world where children do not smile.

I.e. a decent into gradual dystopia.
>> No. 132252
[x] “And I will. This I swear to you, noble Princess Royal – I will discover your daughter in the dark places of the world, and I will free her, even as I discovered and freed you.”
>> No. 132345
File 129335145322.jpg - (48.33KB , 900x720 , 3cc6a8c1aedfa07d351560cb0fddc624.jpg ) [iqdb]
132345
----------
The long, black bangs that frame the Princess Royal's attractive face twist in time with her refusal.

“...I am sorry, young hero.”

“I'm sorry too – sorry that I haven't endeared myself to you as much as you've endeared yourself to me.”

“No.” Touching your cheek longingly, she says, “You are wonderful. The seasons of my life would have run to another end if I had seen them with you. But...” Her white fingers fall away.


“It is too late.”


----------
>> No. 132350
File 129335308848.png - (22.21KB , 556x214 , BALOR.png ) [iqdb]
132350
----------
Hope.


It had rekindled the fire of her spirit every time her heart had started to grow chill; it had shielded her body from the crystal spears and diamond swords that should have rightly slain her; it had allowed her to, against all odds, come out of the battle victorious.

Although the white limestone of the floor and walls had been burned black, although the curtains and carpets had been reduced to cinders, although the windows had cracked and broken in the blaze, although the ground was a veritable magma flow of fire and molten quartz: she was almost unscathed. The only part of her that had suffered great hurt was her regalia, which was torn in many places and well-nigh consumed by the heat.

Still, she did not rejoice. The stone sentinels had all been destroyed, but they were the least of his servants—to speak of the difference in power between them and the 'mist' that now obstructed her would be like comparing a firefly's glow to the full-risen moon.


“YOU CANNOT ESCAPE ME, HESTIA WHO CORRESPONDS TO FIRE,” boomed the poisonous brown cloud in a thundering voice. “I CORRESPOND TO EARTH AND WATER, AND I OVERCOME YOU.”

“Fell creature that kneels to the lord of slaves,”
Are you to be my executioner?”


“YES-”

“You are going to say, 'Do you dare defy me!'”
“DO YOU DARE DEFY ME?”

“How stupid are the swallows that make light
Of the Phoenix's lofty ambitions!”
she recited. Smiling with satisfaction at having seen through her opponent's mind, she followed up on her prediction by reviving her flames into their accustomed shape, calling out:


“Fenghuang!”


The 'mist' knew her challenge for what it was and responded in kind. At once, the air was rent by hurricane-force winds and forked tongues of lightning as five Evil Eyes phased into existence behind their owner—a giant whose body was pure electricity. This was the wrathful appearance of-


“YUUGEN-MAGAN.”


----------
>> No. 132351
File 129335318123.jpg - (212.55KB , 850x850 , sample-68e9474700f79c60bc1e676d0ae758a9.jpg ) [iqdb]
132351
----------
“Our duel lasted long and was bitterly contested,” says the Princess Royal. “My opponent controlled mighty magics and showed much skill in using them. I do not think I would have felled it if Norikiyo had not come to help me and I had not wanted very strongly to see you again, young hero.”

“And that's why I don't quite understand the reasoning behind your decision, O Queen. I feared for you when you told me, “...I will see you later,” because many a last stand has been foreshadowed with similar words – only to find you here well and whole. I thought that I must have offended you when you declined my invitation – only to learn that I'm in your good graces. What is it that keeps you from coming with me?”

“When I won back my freedom, I won back my memories also. ...Do you know, young hero?” She whispers gently, “I have no body to that I can return. That is why I cannot come with you.”

You:
[ ] ...Understand. Then, in order that she can move on to her reward, you will take on the last of her lingering ties to life – her dream.
[ ] ...Have one question – the Princess Royal has solicited your help with respect to her daughter and told you of her circumstances, but she hasn't said anything about what it is she wants for herself.
----------
>>132164
>There's a reason she's asking this of us

For starters, you might want to look back at her first words after waking up.
>> No. 132354
God, she's such a badass.

[x] ...Understand. Then, in order that she can move on to her reward, you will take on the last of her lingering ties to life – her dream.

The other choice seems too enthusiastic an affirmation of desire for Sir Monk. This is the kind of rationalizing he should be able to get behind.
>> No. 132355
[x] ...Have one question – the Princess Royal has solicited your help with respect to her daughter and told you of her circumstances, but she hasn't said anything about what it is she wants for herself.
>> No. 132358
> [ ] ...Understand. Then, in order that she can move on to her reward, you will take on the last of her lingering ties to life – her dream.
> [ ] ...Have one question – the Princess Royal has solicited your help with respect to her daughter and told you of her circumstances, but she hasn't said anything about what it is she wants for herself.

This feels like a trick question. I mean its too easily the first option.

Okay so she has no body..is that truly the problem it seems? She is of the Phoenix. Of Fire.

But the second option is still wrong. Given her situation saving her daughter IS what she wants for her self, and even if she has some other lesser desire, what does it matter? It feels like it would be questening her love.

However the first option feels like it is making a couple of assumptions that are not in evidence.

[X] "Why then have you been imprisoned here instead of expelled to die. Surely your passing to the next life would be a great boon to your foes?"
>> No. 132359
[x] ...Have one question – the Princess Royal has solicited your help with respect to her daughter and told you of her circumstances, but she hasn't said anything about what it is she wants for herself.
>> No. 132361
>>132351
>I have no body to that I can return.
This makes me sad.

>I do not think I would have felled it
Damn.

>you might want to look back at her first words after waking up.
She thought Myouren was Saigyou, and recited a poem about him. Well, despite the dire circumstances, I think it's quite a thing that they've been reunited. Can't quite say what that 'thing' is. They are together again, which is beautiful, and this place as it was first described sounds intimate and homelike, so I think (hope) this is a haven for them. Then again, there's that whole 'master of slaves', Mappo, and lost daughter situations they can only (?) be spectators to.

[X] ...Have one question – the Princess Royal has solicited your help with respect to her daughter and told you of her circumstances, but she hasn't said anything about what it is she wants for herself.

I can't take it easy without at least asking if she wants anything more from us. Ever since Bride of the Heavens, rescuing Mokou was already a priority (at least for me). Unless Myouren develops an ability to project himself into this realm (not entirely out of the realm of possibility), this could be the last time we see Princess Royal and Saigyou. Hopefully not, but on the chance that it is, I'd like to make the most of this meeting. We need to ask Saigyou roughly the same thing as well.
This is dumb logic, but it's mine.
>> No. 133770
File 12960175871.png - (142.79KB , 500x600 , 15572523.png ) [iqdb]
133770
>>132351
One month bump; updates when?
>> No. 134236
File 129697430232.jpg - (218.78KB , 700x525 , 5836989.jpg ) [iqdb]
134236
This bump may be futilepremature, but I recently stumbled across the response of the author(?) to an observation/criticism about this story being 'thinking intensive' in another thread (>>/gensokyo/5989) and felt compelled to respond. While the small handful of folks that seem to know what the hell they're talking about appear to hold the greatest sway, the truth of the matter is that for all of the researching, philosophizing, and speculating that can be done, those who decide and actually care about the characters will almost always yield the best results in the story.
>> No. 136158
File 129964559919.jpg - (297.67KB , 739x1000 , 9476254.jpg ) [iqdb]
136158
Sorry about this, but bumping for update, status update, or formal request for the author to declare this story dead.
>> No. 136212
>>136158
Byakuren, that's not what they meant by 'giving a hand.'
>> No. 139218
So what's happening with this story?
Is the writer still alive?
Come on, don't make me sing "still alive" to you.

Bump for news.
>> No. 146537
Is bumping this going to upset some anons? Absolutely. But I'll take the flack if it means finally getting a word from the writefag.

Where are you? We miss you! Come back. Please?
>> No. 146538
>>146537
I was going to shoot you down and rape your lifeless body, but you're right. That story is good, and I want to know the end.
>> No. 148209
Yet another story abandoned. Isn't it sad, THP?
>> No. 150160
>>148209
Nah, it was pretentious shit.
>> No. 150179
>>150160
Please, it was a fresh take on things as opposed to "unlimited VN trope works" Now if you want pretentious, there's YAF's /underground/ story.
>> No. 159347
Well fuck.

Powered through this one in 3 days. What I liked most was the mythical aspect, the use of Buddhist ideas, and the parallels drawn to the game. I'd never even heard of Konngara, and after reading this story I found myself desperately hoping that anon would've averted her fate. The author really impressed the gravity of the fate that awaited us if we failed.

Sucks hard that it's dead. I've never seen a story on any site recover from more than a year's quiet.