[Return]
Archived thread

File 13046034527.png - (208.34KB , 450x650 , keineyambeam.png ) [iqdb]
140637 No. 140637
[X]Implicit aid
[X]Silly-hat searching

You awake with tears in your eyes and mind reeling in existential horror. That dream... The memories of your younger child are gone, altered as though she had never existed! Yet rationally, she had to have existed. She must have.

It burns in your brain, a niggling thought in the back of your memories as you try to remember realities that never happened. -Never will happen. Argh! Was that just a nightmare, your imagination conjuring up another child - no. You couldn't have just imagined it, any more than you would imagine your real chi- No!

You wipe the tears from your eyes. This was getting you nowhere, and questioning your own sanity would only lead to someone murdering you while you're lost in introspection.

Which reminds you of your other problem...

---

Reimu is asleep, coiled up next to some strange old shell two rooms over. The shrine maiden does not stir as you pick your way past to reach the other's room.

She sleeps too, the child with your face and bizarre wings and the same shining silver knife. So trusting, so vulnerable... you could just stab down now and be one step closer to winning, to finishing this torture and ensuring you child -children- come about. Time stops around you; both your and her power-blocking talismans were removed by Reimu during the night and in this null-time nothing could stop you carrying out the act. You examine her to make sure she truly is asleep.

Taking a look was your only mistake.

Her face is just like your daughter's. Her sleeping visage a still image in greys and whites reminds you of her and it gnaws at your conscience. You should not have hesitated - now the hand holding the knife trembles, unable to bring it down. And you are undone, your arms dropping to your sides and the timestop shattering to pieces.

Colour floods back into her face as she starts to breathe again. Her eyes flick open, taking in the guilty knife fallen to the side, red tinted irises looking out and meeting yours.

And she smiles weakly. "Thank you for not killing me."

It's at this point you break down, sobbing and hugging her close.

---

You don't remember your second child's face any more. Logically, you can remember she existed- would have existed- will in the future have possibly existed-

You know she was still one of the reasons why you still want to stay alive. And you try to keep the fact that you're sure at some point she would exist if you succeed in mind as you step away from the shrine, waving to Reimu as she starts sweeping the courtyard again.
"I'll send you donations the next time I get the chance!"
"Hmph! As if I'll remember it by then!"
"It'll be a mysterious deposit, then, with a mystery benefactor!"
"If you even scrape together more than two or three hundred yen it'd already be a miracle! No scram already before I beat you up again!"

The village is a decent trip from the shrine, and the sun bears down onerously on the pair of you. A sideways glance reveals only mild discomfort on your newfound companions part, making you wonder what, exactly, her youkai heritage was from.

"What are we going to do?" She asks a good question. You knew there was a decent probability that another antagonist might show up to attack; but there was someone else you had to talk to after remembering what happened in the dream, to try to make sense out of all of this, or at least confirm your suspicions. Given that you don't trust your "brother's" words at all and considering the boundary youkai had.. well, possibly something ill done to her - now was the perfect time to go see a certain someone.
"We're going have a chat with someone I should have tracked down a long time ago..."

---

Keine's house is smaller than you remember, missing the addons the school had yet to provide. You'd tried to see her when you had the chance in the past, but she'd somehow always managed to be somewhere else. This time, however, you had decided to find her no matter what.

It takes a couple of harrowing forays into the village to borrow or barter enough materials and clothes to disguise yourself and the girl enough that a doppelganger not paying attention would skip over you.

She was remarkably obedient, putting on the grey blouse over her wings - they flatten peculiarly, squashing down into a black sheen as if without any substance, though some of it slowly starts to diffuse through. Whether or not it was an act while she plots or if it was just that she was happy for someone to tell he what to do remains to be seen. But one thing does come up as you both sit opposite Keine's house, waiting for her to return. She's been visited by your "brother", too.

"He makes me remember things that never actually happened, and... touches me sometimes in my dreams... I don't like him at all."

You nod, smoothing her hair over her face to help hide it.
"I can honestly say if I get the chance I'll make sure he won't be able to do anything like that ever again-there's Keine!"

And she looks just as you remember her - still as sage and youthful looking as ever, a distracted, busy expression on her face.

"All right. Now, we don't want to hurt her, just ask her some questions. Ok?" The childlike figure nods tersely as you hold each other's hand, moving into a timestop together. Normally, trying to sync to the exact moment of frozen time would be effectively impossible, but by one person leading the way in, it was a simple matter of holding that precious moment. Other than that, it truly is a world solely of your own.

Which is why, of course, you know something's gone terribly wrong when Keine whips her head around in panic, searching wildly in the midst of silver and grey light.
She wasn't able to do that the last time I saw her!

In a flash, she takes off, hurrying through a motionless crowd in the opposite direction of her place.
You leap up to follow - and hesitate, unsure whether you should withdraw to question her later, when she would have let down her guard and hopefully not drawing attention to you with a village-wide chase, or whether to just finish it now, track her down finally and get a straight answer.
After all, it's just the two of you and her, here - if you could just catch her!

[ ] Go straight after Keine, grab her while you still have the chance
[ ] Come back later and try communicating like a normal person, with gifts and bribes

>> No. 140639
File 130460376930.png - (1.17MB , 1272x717 , so many walkers.png ) [iqdb]
140639
Last thread at
>>119163
A few posts away from autosage.

Will be doing a quick question and answer session based on what the protagonist knows as well as a summary of what happened last thread if anyone needs it, so get your questions in now~ Next update will be a short one in either branch choice.


Dynamari (Patchouli Defense Force) is an awesome game, by the way. Full 3D furniture destruction, giant walkers, Marisa armed with with rifles, shotguns, bazookas, homing cruise missiles and more danmaku firing weapons and fairies with thongs on and as much replayability as Borderlands.. This has very little to do with the quest, though. I'm just mentioning it for.. unconnected reasons.
>> No. 140644
>>140639
Fairies with thongs, yeah but you can't fuck them, so what's the point? Breaking your concentration?
There are many wepons, yes, but Choja is wrong when he's saying that only the assault rifle and the shotgun are useful. You'll need the sniper rifle to kill that UFO.
Also, the game isn't translated in english yet, so good luck trying to figure how the weapon you just got is different from the one you already have.
Just got a 3 burst assault rifle, more powerful than the basic one, but with lower rate of fire.
>> No. 140645
[x] Go straight after Keine, grab her while you still have the chance

No more pussyfooting around. It's time for some answers.

>"He makes me remember things that never actually happened, and... touches me sometimes in my dreams..."
>in my dreams...

What a lewd little girl.
>> No. 140646
File 130461643094.png - (1.35MB , 1210x967 , flan20000damage.png ) [iqdb]
140646
>>140644
...They're nice to look at, since they're flying above you all the time, mostly kicking your ass on the higher difficulty levels?

As for the translations:
強化炸裂弾 (Explosive strengthening) - Improves blast radius of explosives. Only on explosives.
強化貫通弾 (Bullet piercing strengthening) - Grants bullets a piercing bonus, allowing bullets to pass through enemies depending on its level.
高速供給回路 (Quick-charge circuit) - Improves weapon charging time.
高精度度準 (Accuracy Tuning) - Improves weapon accuracy ranking.
速射機構 (Rapid-fire Mechanism) - Increases base firing speed.
加速射出機 (Projectile Acceleration) - Improves projectile velocity.
大容量魔力炉 (Magic furnace capacity increase) - Increases total magazine size.
シールド展開 (Shield Deploy) - Grants a passive defensive bonus.
リミット解除 (Limit Break) - Sacrifice base accuracy in exchange for an increase in firepower and firing speed.
バンピライザ (Vampirizer) - Damage done returns health. (Also lowers max health while equipped)
ハイシーカー (Hi-Seeker) - Improves weapon tracking rate. Only appears on homing weapons.
ラストドロー (Last Draw) - Last remaining shot(s) in the magazine do bonus damage.
ロングバレル (Long Barrel) - Increases weapon range.
マナアンプ (Mana Amplification) - Increases weapon damage.
ライフアンプ (Life Amplification) - Increases wielder's health.

http://pooshlmer.com/wakaba/res/505874.html#506707
Courtesy of a friendly pooshlmer fairy.

My staple weapon is the Gungnir, sometimes even using two at once - though shotguns and rifles do help a lot due to the stun they cause to hordes. There's a 20-shot rocket launcher that's a lot of fun as well, though bazookas just don't have the damage per reload cycle to be effective.

Pic related: Horribly impractical and will more likely than not kill you from the backblast, but will devastate everything around and is just plain cute.
>> No. 140647
Okay. Someone is going to have to post a picture of these fairies in thongs. I would go play the game myself to, ahem, "appreciate" them, but my computer is garbage.
>> No. 140661
[x] Go straight after Keine, grab her while you still have the chance

I wanna be this weird winged instance. She seems nice and interesting..
>> No. 140662
>>140646

攻撃力 - Attack Power
連射 - Firing Rate
弾数 - Magazine Size
チャージ - Charge Rate
精度 - Accuracy Ranking
射程距離 - Maximum Range
ズーム倍率 - Zoom Magnification
爆破半径 - Explosion Radius
末尾性- Tracking Ranking
Also thanks to nameless fairy.

And, thongs can't do anything else but distract me. How can I slap shit if I'm lusting after a thong-wearing fairy? That's as impossible as writing a light-hearted story after being fired!
>> No. 140694
>And she smiles weakly. "Thank you for not killing me."

Though she appears defenseless, this player is capable of inflicting heart attacks at a glance and should be considered extremely dangerous.

[x] Come back later and try communicating like a normal person, with gifts and bribes

It might be that Keine is trying to run away from our use of the timestop, not us in particular, maybe to avoid some paradox. We're a trader: Our strength is in leveraging social & economic cachet. Indirect methods are entirely appropriate. Nobody is going to attack us in the mean time and risk killing bystanders and triggering one of those swarms. Probably.

>>140639
>Will be doing a quick question and answer session based on what the protagonist knows as well as a summary of what happened last thread if anyone needs it, so get your questions in now~

1) How long has the current contestant been playing this game (in her memory)?
2) What determines when the players are sent to the dining hall? Player death?
>> No. 140696
File 130472674840.png - (578.81KB , 689x426 , not thongs at all.png ) [iqdb]
140696
>>140647
>on closer inspection these fairies are not wearing thongs at all! I want my money back.

>>140694
>1) How long has the current contestant been playing this game (in her memory)?
The Trader's been playing for eight rounds so far; this occured over a total of two and a half years time subjective to her. Four rounds were concluded by luring aggressors into ambushes/seeking out the enemy after gaining allies and forcing them into fights (one of which was the Engineer) - these took up the majority of the time spent. Two were rounds were short, panicked, terror-stricken knife-fights in which it was more luck than skill that she managed to win, and even then having sustained severe injuries which lasted the whole of the next rounds.

The last was a direct cold-blooded murder via poison of the Torturer.

(Just for a point of reference, the Engineer survived 5 rounds before making a terrible mistake. Alas, poor Engineer, I was unable to provide your happy Momi ending~)

>2) What determines when the players are sent to the dining hall? Player death?
It appears that when the player causes the death of another player, either directly or indirectly, they are soon after sent to the Great Hall (assuming they don't die of their injuries. Heck, they might go to the hall then but neither the Engineer or the Trader have bothered dying of non-game injuries to find out). The losing player ceases to exist after dying in every case.

It was assumed that it was Yukari that had been the direct cause of the game, however it appears that she's been interfering with the game instead of directly creating it; if both what Yukari said and what the trader heard in her dreams from her "Brother" is correct, it could be the only thing she was involved in was drawing the players to the Great Hall instead of being sent directly on to the next game; for what purpose is unknown, but it allows mandated non-violence sessions for the players to talk to one another. Another purpose might be to apparently allow her to infiltrate the dreams of players to "spy" on their collective "brother", though whether she could have done this without the whole giant meal is unknown.

Side note: combat for the Trader is limited to a mostly 2D plane; for some reason or another, she never picked up the art of flying unpropelled, and apparently nothing she used was iconic to her enough to have be present in the game.
>> No. 140734
>>140696
>The Trader's been playing for eight rounds so far; this occured over a total of two and a half years time subjective to her.

All the players are spoken of as possibilities of the same person (diverging as early as childbirth, given the anecdote of one who didn't have a mother), but are they all the same apparent age in the game? And how old is the Trader? I'm wondering if she actually has had children, or if she just would have had children in her own timeline (which the Brother has now altered).

>It appears that when the player causes the death of another player, either directly or indirectly, they are soon after sent to the Great Hall (assuming they don't die of their injuries. Heck, they might go to the hall then but neither the Engineer or the Trader have bothered dying of non-game injuries to find out). The losing player ceases to exist after dying in every case.

Do the seats empty? Meaning, is the number of apparent players counting down, or is there always new players in the Great Hall?
>> No. 140736
>>140734
The Trader's age is something on the lines of -10 years or so.

...Oh, did you mean how old her body appears? Hah, silly me.. She's 40+. At least, that's the oldest birthday she can remember. In general, none of the players recall their entire lives in perfect detail - only the most important (most likely?) events. Everything still hasn't happened yet, after all - the events of this game are still changing their future timelines - perhaps drastically - as a consequence. Currently (hah!) the trader, if she manages to be the 'winning' timeline, would have had kids by the age she appears now in the game.

Correct tenses are a bitch to figure out while writing about timetravel.

The engineer was 34. The youkailike-child is 82.


Seats do not empty in an equivalent relationship with the game's progress - during the last dinner, the trader met and spoke with the torturer, who she had killed earlier. Nice try, though.

I will say from a writer viewpoint that there IS a sort of ending available through straight-out winning conventionally by fighting through absolutely everyone, as well as at least two good endings found elsewhere findable via write-ins. There are probably more findable solutions that I haven't thought of but I would be happy to write.
>> No. 140829
[x] Go straight after Keine, grab her while you still have the chance.

>>140645
>What a lewd little girl.
Holy shit, you have no idea how hard I want to slap you. What in fuck gave you the impression that she liked it? Especially since the next sentence was "I don't like him at all."
>> No. 141301
File 130593097151.jpg - (243.53KB , 900x900 , keineexnoway.jpg ) [iqdb]
141301
[X] Go straight after Keine, while you still have the chance.

No. There's no point in waiting. She's likely going to be on guard now, and if you don't get hold of her now it'll take more time than you have to find her later. You jump from your hiding spot with your companion in tow, moving into the empty street - dragged into her wake. She drops her bag, slinging it at the rough cobblestones. You slide by it as it hangs in midair, gaining slightly.

Rounding the corner you see her look back, and she nearly stumbles over a passing cat. A hand gesture points your companion ahead to cut her off. No urgent shout or cry, of course - it wouldn’t be heard in the silent grey world. But she takes off like a shot while Keine's distracted, and you manage to get within a few meters before the cold starts getting to you, a straining sensation that feels like you're being pulled apart like a worn cloth, frayed threads coming loose in tiny painful fragments.

And then Keine takes to the skies, and you almost lose all hope - you never managed to learn to fly - left in the dust to stagger and curse soundlessly.

The projectile-like youkai catches up just about then, practically bouncing her way up the side of a nearby house to tackle her in midair, just as you run out of strength-

Blink.

They are both already on the floor when you emerge from the timestop - their stay in that frozen world slightly longer than yours. You gasp for breath as you make your way to them, though the exertion from the timestop soon passes. Trotting over, it's clear to see Keine not struggling, trying to not antagonise the person gripping her. Her face seems worried as it flicks to you, then back down to her.

"Don't hurt her! We- just- hah... we just wanted to ask you some questions." You pause, looking around. The street was deserted, thankfully.

"Ah- I think you can let her up, now." The girl doesn't, at least, not right away, and it's with a bit of trepidation you try to pry the her from the teacher's bosom.

"I'm sorry. I haven't met you before and I can't help you."

Keine repeats it as a mantra, apparently for as much her own ears as for yours. Her eyes look very tired.

"...Let's all sit down somewhere where we aren't in the dirt, shall we?"
At least she agrees with that.

---

The inside of Keine's house is well lit and covered with decorative scrolls, and you marvel at some of the intricate paintwork. It would have made a pretty penny in a collector's market, had you access to one.

"Are both of you all right? It looked like a pretty bad fall."
Keine rubs her elbow absently.

"I'm fine l. But I need to tell you like I did earlier; I really am not going to help you with your game. I know you're not allowed to kill people outside yourself, and I won't stand for killing yourself either. I've had too many people claiming to know me and trying to beg my aid to help any of them. Let alone someone taking a child around with her..." Keine takes another look at the vampire(?), obviously puzzled by her presence.

"...I really couldn't care less about the game at the moment," you lie brazenly. "The girl there is another player. If we really just wanted to win the game, would we be working together?" The doppelganger nods, still holding onto Keine, who looks surprised to say the least.

"Then, what exactly did you want to ask me if you don't want my help?"


(Choose three options)
[ ] Do you know who's behind the game?
[ ] How can one restore something written out of history?
[ ] Actually… we want your help.
[ ] Do you know what's going on with this, and what's your involvement?
[ ] Can you think of any method of winning the game without murder?
[ ] Write in (question)

---

Gah. This was supposed to be a quick update. So much for that.
>> No. 141302
[x] How can one restore something written out of history?
[x] Can you think of any method of winning the game without murder?
[x] Do you know what's going on with this, and what's your involvement?

Hooray! I'm not too hot on the last question, but it seems to ask for the most information.

i still want to be the youkai girl
>> No. 141303
>>141302
>i still want to be the youkai girl
Go find a viable way to get yourself killed by her, then.
>> No. 141305
[x] How can one restore something written out of history?
[x] Do you know what's going on with this, and what's your involvement?
[x] Can you think of any method of winning the game without murder?

Thinking of the children first.
>> No. 141308
[x] How can one restore something written out of history?
[x] Do you know what's going on with this, and what's your involvement?
[x] Can you think of any method of winning the game without murder?
>> No. 141312
>>141303
Doesn't seem very likely. Good girls don't betray allies.
>> No. 141363
>>141312
>Implying it's not an act.

She's 82 years old and (maybe) a vampire. She could have survived in the game this long by relying on sympathy from others, then discarding them when they're no longer useful.
>> No. 141366
>>141363
>The projectile-like youkai catches up just about then, practically bouncing her way up the side of a nearby house to tackle her in midair, just as you run out of strength-
I'm too lazy to read through everything for evidence, but this right here implies she's got the usual youkai speed/strength/stamina/whatever. If youkai girl wanted to kill us, she'd simply kill us. No need to rely on trickery.
>> No. 141367
>>141366

You wouldn't kill another player who is both useful and sympathetic toward you when there are other, more dangerous players still out there. Capiche?
>> No. 141369
>>141367
I thought you went back to the room after killing one player? I can't remember.
>> No. 141377
File 130614235186.jpg - (631.80KB , 720x840 , 6adddf00d61315603dc654287abe72bb[1].jpg ) [iqdb]
141377
>>141369
You do. There might be other sinister reasons for her playing along, but it's not because she couldn't have killed the Trader.

Of course, she might just not be very sane...
>> No. 141414
[x] How can one restore something written out of history?
[x] Do you know what's going on with this, and what's your involvement?
[x] Write-in (Of those that have come to you, have any told you anything important? Did they say anything that could help?)

Poor Keine. This has got to be one weird-ass situation, for her.
>> No. 145302
File 131437846151.jpg - (295.25KB , 800x917 , Fortunately not in gif format.jpg ) [iqdb]
145302
[x] How can one restore something written out of history?
[x] Do you know what's going on with this, and what's your involvement?
[x] Can you think of any method of winning the game without murder?
[x] Write-in (Of those that have come to you, have any told you anything important? Did they say anything that could help?)


Keine sits heavily, taking a while to gather her thoughts. After a few interminably long moments of staring at the wall opposite she begins to speak.

"Let's start with the second question, shall we? Yukari - I'm guessing you know her - hasn't been very open with me to be frank, but she's confirmed and asked for me to do enough things for me to make some educated guesses as to what's actually happening." Unconsciously she slips into that same teaching pose that seems standard for lectures, arms gesturing in front of her at an invisible screen. It's a few seconds in that you yourself realise you've dropped into 'inattentive student' mode yourself and start guiltily paying attention again.

"The game you're involved in seems to be some sort of trial, a cruel test to single out a single one of you from the rest. I don't know who set this test, but the administrator seems to have arranged it in such a way that is.." Keine sighs and closes her eyes, as if paraphrasing particularly ugly words.
"Exceedingly destructive to the people of Gensokyo, as well as you of course. I found out originally about the trials when I noticed someone -Yukari, in fact, tampering with people's histories. I found her trapping a group of humans while fighting off these - pattern spiders, or something, I'm not sure if you've seen th-"
"The paradox eaters?" You ask, receiving a wan nod in response.
"That's a good name for them. Yes, the Paradox Eaters. They had gone after a group of humans who's histories had become unravelled from the murder of one of their own by, ah, one of.. you..."
Keine looks from you to your smaller doppelganger and back.
"That version of you.. set off some kind of explosion in the middle of the group, and apparently, if you're killed by a future possibility like that, it's a paradox and they eliminate you. If you remember and were affected by a person who was eliminated as a paradox, you're also a paradox to be eliminated. It'd have been like a slow infection being purged, wiping out the entire group of humans. Yukari was trying to stop it by changing their histories, but, but she hadn't enough precision, and she was being targeted too, having to fight them off as well."

She's visibly reliving the moment, beads of sweat dripping down her face. You'd hold out your hand to comfort her if you thought it'd give her comfort, if she knew you as well as you knew - would know - her.

"She managed to drive the paradox eaters back, but the villagefolk had scattered when I made a hole in her barrier, and then the spiders, they were, and they..."

Keine - that unflappable hakutaku who used to chastise you and keep watch over all the students - looks so unlike herself, young and unsure and full of regret you can't help but reach out to her - and she moves back, letting her hands fall out of grasp.

"It's ok. I'm, I'll be fine. Anyway."
Keine clears her throat, mild embarrassment apparently overriding her sorrow.
"Yukari - after tracking me down and, ah, defeating me, she told me of the battles happening, and how she'd been trying to keep it under control by smoothing out the paradoxes they create, but she wasn't very efficient at it. She needed someone to help, and told me what to look for, to feel the disturbances. And that each time someone was killed, I needed to hide the traces of their histories, make people forget them entirely. And also, to make sure people forget your passage, too. While I can recall my memory of these events each time I see you, I, I've had to wipe out the memory of probably a few... hundred? -people I knew, just, removing memories and their influences on their family, friends, lovers..."

Teacher shakes her head sadly, pained by the memory of it. You nod. What else could you do?

"Yukari has been trying for whatever reason to give you a breathing space between battles, but for whatever reason, she hasn't, or can't do any more. But she's been desperately trying to find some way to stop this absurdity."

Not what you'd expected, not at all. But then, what of your dream? Had Yukari been captured? What of your child - children, even?

"I... don't know, to be honest. The people who were erased I couldn't bring back. You can't change the past, after all. But your children haven't been born, yet. Who knows?" The look on her face was less than hopeful, though. Keine continued.

"Yukari, as far as I know, doesn't care about the outcome itself, only to eliminate the cause of it - if you tell her about what you've heard in your dreams, about your brother and what you've seen, she'd probably see you as a bit more useful - it might help you out in the end. As for winning without murder? I.. wish there was a way, but as you know, you can't change the past. You're an only child, I think-? That means unless others choose to give up their chance of being part of the 'right' timeline, only one of you will be born."

You glance across at the other possibility. She is clutching at the hem of her skirt so tightly part of the seam is coming loose.

"I can't really give you any hints about the others, I'm afraid. There were many, some who knew me, others who didn't. I tried to help at first, but it was soon I realised the possibilities being killed off also sometimes knew me, that there wasn't any who didn't also want to live. I stopped trying to help after that. You two -" At last, a weary smile.
"are the first in a long time who've asked for how to stop the violence. -There was one other," she muses. "A doctor, who just wanted to hide from the fighting. I helped her out long ago. I'm not sure if that helps. But either way, I hope you two do well out of all this."

You do, too.

---

"At least we've got a bit of information about all this, even if we didn't really get any help from her. Though I guess it means we should try to help the gap youkai more." Keine's house is a fair ways back. After giving you something to eat and telling you to stay safe, she had let you out the back door where the two of you had crept out. The bamboo grove feels quiet, and when you look at your companion you note her body tensed up like a coiled spring and her mistlike wings had formed into black spikes.

The hackles on the

flashes of colour as she speeds up beyond light itself

back of your

a high pitched thrum on the edge of hearing modulates into a whine of horribly overclocked machinery

neck begin

suddenly, blossoming pain from a shallow graze on your right thigh that had ripped through your skirt, and an almost blinding one as another silver knife bounces off the bone in your upper left arm

to

and everything seems to happen at once as you finally manage to slow down time

rise.

She lies in front of you, writhing in slow thrashes, a dozen or more knives stabbed deep into her arms, legs and chest. Silver knives; just like the ones now littering the clearing, thin little strips of sharpened points of balanced metal embedded in her clothes and skin, blood just now starting to boil away in streams of dirty smoke, not unlike her guttering, fading wings. And clutched in her hand is part of the thing that did this to her, a clattering clockwork monstrosity of a limb formed from metal and cogs and emaciated flesh. It bleeds an oily ichor. Strewn across the rest of the clearing is the rest of it, barely humanoid in form, a nightmarish steampunk cyborg or possibly click a horrible victim of a clock factory explosion. Lidless eyesockets have glass-covered watch-faces buried in them, a half-gear embedded across a toothed, ratcheted jawbone. Freakish attachments of metal blades as support for the tattered, many-jointed limbs and broken tubes and gears and click puffs of steam, barely moving in the slow time - did it just move?

cli-click

It flickers between positions like a cheap quality stop-motion film, its 'mouth' going from open to closed and back with a clockwork clunk as if missing the frames inbetween. Abruptly, it is pointing a gunlike protrusion at you, three skeletal digits mated to the dented barrel, twitching as if pulling a trigger.

clicliclicliklch-

Nothing happens, thankfully. It suddenly jerks forward, the singular arm dragging its biomechanical carcass over to another limb torn off and flopping about on the forest floor, picking it up and driving it into the gaping socket, gears interlocking as the tick-tock, click-click-clickclickclick sound accelerates into a thrum and then a whine.

You stop time.

[ ] Help your sister.
-[ ] Carry her to the relative safety of Keine's place; if you can get the knives out of her they won't do any more damage to her and Keine can hide you.
-[ ] She needs help and a boost now as well as the knives removed - pull the knives from her right now and let her drink your blood.

[ ] You need to finish off the - creature? Enemy? before it regenerates. You can help your partner's wounds after you're both safe. Kill it without mercy when it's weak.

[ ] Your children won't be saved by dying here. Run. After one of them kills the other they'll vanish anyway.
>> No. 145308
Whoo, update!

[x] Help your sister.
-[x] She needs help and a boost now as well as the knives removed - pull the knives from her right now and let her drink your blood.

I don't think she'll live if that thing is taken out first. Fuck letting her die and fuck relying on Keine.
>> No. 145309
[x] You need to finish off the - creature? Enemy? before it regenerates. You can help your partner's wounds after you're both safe. Kill it without mercy when it's weak.

This thing was somehow able to get the drop on both of us. There will be no running away. Giving it time to recuperate and install its limbs will only lead to our swift apprehension and death.
>> No. 145313
>>145309
It didn't get the drop on youkai girl. How do you think it was weakened? Exploding in a shower of knives? Nah, she slowed down time before us and beat the shit out of it. Something we're ill-equipped to repeat, with that thing's metal armor and our lack of youkai strength.
>> No. 145350
>-[x] She needs help and a boost now as well as the knives removed - pull the knives from her right now and let her drink your blood.

This is probably a permanent 'switch perspective' option. It will work; the youkai girl will be able to finish the fight, regenerating in the time, but this protagonist will die.

[x] Help your sister.
-[x] Carry her to the relative safety of Keine's place; if you can get the knives out of her they won't do any more damage to her and Keine can hide you.

Keine might not be able to hide your history effectively, bur you'll show her without doubt that while everyone in this game wants to win, there will be some involved that she doesn't, like this abomination.

Momizi wasn't of the most help in first fight, but Keine is familiar with their time abilities, and probably considerably stronger. Give the youkai girl time to drink some blood, but not so quickly it drives her into a frenzy. You also don't want to overextend your time stop and bleed out.
>> No. 145375
>>145350
I'm not sure if it is, but.

[x] Help your sister.
-[x] Carry her to the relative safety of Keine's place; if you can get the knives out of her they won't do any more damage to her and Keine can hide you.

We need to tell Keine about this now.
>> No. 145441
>This thing was somehow able to get the drop on both of us. There will be no running away. Giving it time to recuperate and install its limbs will only lead to our swift apprehension and death.

How exactly?

Our immeasurably stronger youkai alter-ego was able to temporarily sever its arm, so that it might stop spitting out silver knives.

Are we going to use our natural skills to talk it down?

No, we're going to use our natural skills to whip superstitious people (i.e., Keine) into a more violent and reactive state, like that mob we ushered over to Ellen's. We don't so much need to get Keine to protect us, so much as get her to feel she needs to protect her village. With one look, it won't take much convincing.

[x] Help your sister.
-[x] Carry her to the relative safety of Keine's place; if you can get the knives out of her they won't do any more damage to her and Keine can hide you.
>> No. 145492
>>145350
>This is probably a permanent 'switch perspective' option. It will work; the youkai girl will be able to finish the fight, regenerating in the time, but this protagonist will die.
This is a bad thing? I'm much more interested in learning why youkai girl is youkai girl than preserving this protagonist's life.

Her character-specific plot is "my unborn baby!!!" for fuck's sake.
>> No. 145569
>>145492
>This is a bad thing?

Not necessarily. Given the nature of the situation and difference in simple physical ability, the Trader will die before the Vampire.

>I'm much more interested in learning why youkai girl is youkai girl than preserving this protagonist's life.

Yeah, but the protagonists' own introspection has been hardly revealing. You might hear more of the Vampire's back-story in conversation.

>Her character-specific plot is "my unborn baby!!!" for fuck's sake.

It's the first motive we've seen other than mere survival. And there's the development of not killing the Vampire because she looks too much like that daughter; it's hardly irrelevant.

The more time the Trader stays alive, the better the plot hook will be for the Vampire, once the perspective shifts.
>> No. 146186
This story needs more voters.
>> No. 146269
>>146186

Tell me about it.
>> No. 149340
File 132102046113.jpg - (192.28KB , 850x850 , uhhhhheeeeeerrrrrrggglllblaaaarggggg.jpg ) [iqdb]
149340
Thought you'd get an update within one fiscal quarter? Too bad, it's just an awful writer with month-long writers block!

Having said that, update!

[x] Help your sister

-[x] Carry her to safety

No. No, this won't happen. No-one has to die, that's what Reimu said, right? Or at least not this time. Forget fighting, getting cut up, pointless sacrifice and ruthless abandonment. Just pick her up and- move!

You think the last thought just in time; the world, and the sudden spray of knives, stops inches from your face making you jerk back, and it's only the strongest of mental efforts that stop you from flailing at the high-velocity metal edges.

The clockwork construct is not moving - rended armour bleeding oily ichor that has stopped mid-rivulet. Try as you might, however, the damn thing is still too well armoured to kill with a single stab, and if one doesn't work it'd probably be able to enter your timestop and murder you.

So.

It takes some effort to weave your way through the knife-wall to your ally, and you gingerly touch her leg with an outstretched hand. Gingerly because as expected, still on pain, she lashes out at the touch before you get her to calm down. You can't hear her weeping as she clutches at her wounds, but the teardrops that stop before striking the ground are obvious.

"Come on. Lets get you to safety."

It is perhaps fortunate she's so light, you note, as you hoist her onto your back, trying to stem the blood loss, hoping she would survive until Keine could heal her. A last glance back is spared for the half-golem(?) while you stagger away. You really hope it isn't a good tracker.

---

"What do you mean, you can't heal her?" This is ridiculous. Keine had both hands laid on the girl, a glow of grey reminiscent of stopped time about the both of them.
"If she was normal, perhaps I could have! But she - and you, by the way - aren't really people yet, are you? You don't have history I can change!"
You can't change the past, you nearly blurt out, but cut off your words. There wasn't a need to correct her about the immutable timeline.

"Why not, then?" She glares at you in exasperation.
"Firstly, it's not a full moon. I'm only able to hide history at the moment, not change it. Secondly, even were it full moon, she's made of time-stuff, the stuff of possibilities. These aren't your real bodies, none of you heal naturally - only when Yukari drags you away as far as I know." A very expressive gesture indicates her helplessness.
"If I tried to alter her history, she's been damaged so much she'd probably stop existing entirely."

"But she's a vampire!" you wail. "Can't she just drink someone's bloo-"

"Stop that thought now. No bloodsucking under my roof." Keine's tone is vicious enough to shut you up, though it softens as she watches you stare at the girl in despair.
"Normal blood won't help that much, anyway. Apart from her being at most only one-quarter vampire-" "-What"

"-She'd need an infusion from another possibility like yourself, or.. Well. I don't know how much good it'd do her, or how much blood it'd take - she might drain just a bit because she's only a vampire in part, or she might need a lot to heal her entirely. Whatever's drained won't come back until they return to the dinner-thing, though."

"Isn't there any other way?" She looks so pale, so young...

"Well...I cam keep her table while you go alone.' Keine grimaces as she thinks, sitting opposite you. "Apart from having her kill another alternate... There is one possibility that might be able to help you. Either way."

She points to the map: away from the village, across from the SDM, near the road to liminality- "She lives there, amidst the dead, hidden in the stalls. She is.. A healer, of sorts. You'll have to track them down yourself. She told me... She told me, 'if it'd save lives, tell them about me'. "

"I... see."

(one option/suboption only please)
[ ] Immediate Refueling

[ ] Fuel station search
-[ ] Push the car
-[ ] Find a gas can

[ ] Walk Away
>> No. 149351
Fuck yes, update! Now to watch this get a few votes and fall off the frontpage forever.

[x] Immediate Refueling

Must save youkai girl NOW!
>> No. 149385
[x] Immediate Refueling
>> No. 149450
>>149351
I'd give some explanation about infectious parasites and temporarily insanity relatives having to be looked after and all that jazz but frankly I hate that kind of excuses. Eh.

Also, it was still mostly me being lazy.
>> No. 149451
>>149450
I'm not annoyed at the delay. I'm annoyed at the lack of votes. Sorry if that was unclear.
>> No. 149580
[X] Immediate Refueling

Saving sounds pretty nice, and I really should have started reading this story before!

I can't think of any better option than this, though, sadly, so this will have to do, I'm afraid.
>> No. 149882
File 132172706456.jpg - (100.95KB , 500x706 , Kyan! This didn't happen_.jpg ) [iqdb]
149882
[X] Immediate refuelling

Well. No-one had to die. That was what Reimu had said. You had to believe that. There was a way to save the girl. And, and no-one had to die, at all. Except yo-

"Shut up," you growl, suddenly hoarse. "I'll do it. She can take my blood, not some other person who might not still be around."

Keine is taken aback, glancing at the fists held by your sides. "Are you sur-"
"Don't ask me that!" you snap, loosening your collar and kneeling down, your neck level with the table. "I need to do this now." Your teacher nods hesitantly, taking a step away. "It- she won't kill me, after all. She wouldn't."

The reassurance rings hollow as Keine steps away, grey blood shifting to dark red and the girl lets out a vicious yell, her hand bashing into the table enough to splinter slightly. Keine winces.

You can see the blood still pumping from her opened arteries. No time left. You hold her hand, guide it to the other side of your neck. Hold her head in your other hand. And press dow-

ffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

She sucks greedily at first, an agonizing swallow that brings out tears to your eyes. There's thankfully just the one fang, but it seems to grate on bone and cut through flesh aaargh I missed the vein, didn't I

As her eyes snap open, seeing you under her jaws, she pulls back, struggling, strong enough to withdraw her bloody tooth with a tiny arterial spray. Her strength ebbs as soon as she stops, and you readjust slightly. Jam it in again, this time feeling it sliding into your flesh smoothly, so relatively painlessly it might feel good.

You hearing the sound of the last dregs of liquid sucked from a can with a straw could probably be put down to the giddy sensation of blood rushing through your veins. A vampire draining someone dry doesn't sound like that. But you can't recall the exact soundeffect with the throbbing pulse building in your mind, filling it, ripping away your ability to feel and think and

---

You didn't think the... sculpture... was appropriate for your children to see. A life-sized, fully realistic -mannequin? of Yukari Yakumo, dressed in lingerie and tight... stringy... bits.

No, definitely not safe for them. It wasn't a good idea, anyway, you can't imagine this would go over well with the gap youkai herself if she found out about it. Not for the first time, you wonder about the origin of the greyed statue as you watch him fuss over it. Where did he get it from?

"Hey-"

"You died? And yet you're here, are you? That's odd. You shouldn't exist, then." He threads a leather strap through one immobile hair-ribbon to the leather collar around her neck. You wonder, not for the first time if there's something wrong with his head.
"You. You bastard, what are you up to? Why don't you kill me yourself instead of going through this farce?"

You're standing in a fighting stance. Well, you had to expect a bit of rough and tumble at times, especially after a bit of taunting words. Though weren't you old enough to have stopped all this sort of thing already?

"Why, how rude. I'm simply carrying out my duty. If you die to a combatant or break the rules, then you're out of the game, whether you actually are still moving around or not. You.. are dead, aren't you?"

He laughs, hands caressing the bare arm of the immobile, grey figure. "Well, it doesn't matter. Time's up." A snap of his fingers, and you tense, nothing- chattering, all around, from every direction, spidery legs easing through the walls, the floor, floating down from the ceiling- -happening. And then- stabbing pain in your neck makes you gasp as you clutch at it, falling to your knees as a somehow familiar deep-throbbing pulse rushes through your head.
"What. Are. You. Running.?" His words, his laugh, are both distorted, oddly deep and echoing and nonsensical. You've just fallen down, of course you're not running. "You'll. Be. Eaten. Just. As. Easily. There." Your brother, you think not for the first time, is a bit of a dick.

They are closing, closing but it's too late, time is up, and as the nearest one bites at you


---

Water. Splashing. A voice, after a moment. The words wash over you in a useless jumble, something beyond your understanding. Redhead. Nice rack, you note idly. You could probably draw easy marks to sell to or buy from favourably with a pair like that. Possibly even from a number of Gensokyo girls. Everyone loves breasts, after all. Unless they were jealous - no, not that you were, of course.

The spiders don't approach as She takes you by the hand, guiding you gently out of the boat onto the gravelly shore. When did you put a business suit on? And why does it feel do uncomfortable?

"Come on," she says gently, pulling you across to the grand yet somehow dingy building - some of the repairs are rickety on the great stone edifice, and there's still scaffolding on it in places.

The guards consist of black-uniformed, frilly fairies who casually bar the paradox eaters from passing the gates. One of them, possibly on her break, lights a cigarette, taking a drag on it, before passing another to a spider over the railing - it blows out a cloud of smoke that freezes in the air. How it clutched the small cylinder is anyone’s guess.

"Court recognises Gensokyo Vs-"

"Komachi, you idiot, she's not dead. Or in our jurisdiction." Above the court, at the dusty judgement seat, the green haired game stares down at you with narrowed eyes. She cuts off the fairy reading out your particulars and practically vaults the desk, somehow avoiding any hint of showing underwear in that tiny skirt.

"Recess! Get my seat tidied up, for heaven's sake, and go get some decent coffee!"

"I don't think I'm dead," you utter half-heartedly. You aren't sure, to be honest, though you probably will be damned if you say that.

"'Course she is. Two bite marks, blood loss, hanging by the Sanzu and barely a trace of humanity left, even with that disguise."

Komachi's voice is brisk, filling the recess room, and she doesn't look directly at Hello My Name Is Shikieiki Yamaxanadu (her name, according to the tag on the uniform). The yama looks fit to burst.

"Komachi, you- dumbfuck!" The curse is a low utterance, an explosive, hate-filled judgement on the Shinigami that is barely hearable. "Transferring her out of our custody will take hundreds of hours of paperwork, even without a species change!" She holds up a shimmering file, warping in her hands between shapes.

"I'm human... Right?" Right now, you aren't sure of anything. Eiki sighs, and gestures with the file.

"You might have been, once - would have been, I guess, because it hasn't happened yet? But your file says you're the around the same as your twin sister, though you're a bit more human."

"No, I'm an only chi-" Memories of a sister, at first identical, you aging faster than her and finally leaving her behind, to go into the world. "I mean, of course I'm huma-" You remember the long practice it took to hide your wings, surpassing her mistlike method and hiding them fully, telling yourself you were fully human until you believed it yourself, subconsciously using your deceptively magic to aid you in your life. You unfold your wings, the webbed, tentacle-like lengths, feeling a slight clink as dangling crystals slide free of your suit. You recall your child's wings, too.

Children.

Right, of course, children.

And they were always huma-


"Of course. Always youkai." The past was unchangeable, of course. You'd always had youkai children.

Komachi interrupts again.
"Oh, she's one of the possibility things, right? You were mentioning something about how it was an absolute disgrace-"

"Komachi..." It was amazing that the busty redhead could ignore the warning growl in her boss's voice.

"-And how you would only get involved if you had the time-"
"'Machi! Shut up! I'm not getting involved, especially not with that gap youkai tangled in this mess! As soon as I finish the paperwork I'll hand her over to the time authorities, and they can do what they want with her. But that would take weeks, so you can help out around the place in the meantime. Get out of my sight, both of you."

You leave the glowering woman, walking with Komachi. "See? That's a few weeks right there reprieve. Now, obviously she can't take gifts, but I'm supposed to take all your wealth off you when you die, so remember, I like premium sake, and Eiki, you would not believe it but she has a taste for hard liquor, whiskey and brandy..."

You tune her out. The uncomfortable feeling builds again, as though you are


---

Waking up. Pain. Lots less than before. It still hurts, though!

And, and, oh no, you killed her! She- she loved you that much and you drank her up! She was the sister that you always wanted to have loved and you ate her!

You cry as you sit up. Someone is holding you, but you don't care, you wished you could disguise your inner eye, hide your own one away like you could do to everything else, hide yourself like your wings, lock yourself in your room again until you were safe.

She's trying to soothe you. But you can't be. You're absolutely inconsolable, and nothing she can say can bring her back-
"She's not dead, really."
-and that was just a lie to make you feel better, you're sure of it-
"If you had killed her, you would have vanished off to your big dinner or whatever."
-and you were going to vanish any second now-
"Sorry, but you've been clinging to me for more than half the night. Can you let go any time soon?"
-and it was definitely just going to happen soon-

Teacher sighs. "Look. Are you really going to say Yukari is doing it wrong? She might hear you and come down to tell you off."

You suddenly lose interest in crying any more about this.

"Now. She's not dead. But she did vanish, and you... somehow changed your history. I don't know how. But you can't stay here. You're putting everyone at risk if something comes after you here. I don't know if - people like you- can sense time distortion, then they're going to come here. You need to make sure you don't get caught. And it looks like you're still healing. Well, at least it did heal you. What are you going to do?"

What are you going to do?

[ ] I'm going to play robots.
[ ] I'm going to grab a healer.
-[ ] and __________________ (write in)
[ ] I'm going to find my sister!
[ ] I'm going to ____________________________________


---
I guess I was storing that creativity over that period. Perhaps my creativity spleen ruptured or something, I dunno.
>> No. 149889
[x] I'm going to grab a healer.
-[x] and after getting healed, going and finding my sister!
>> No. 149912
[x] I'm going to grab a healer.
-[x] and after getting healed, going and finding my sister!

Hahaha, good update. Now let's see if we can nomnomnom a healer's history and become the youkai mother healer with youkai children.
>> No. 149925
>>149912
Eating people does not give you their powers. I'll explicitly mention that. You're on the right wavelength if you want a conglomeration, though.

I'm treating both votes as "go and get healed *by* the healer, by the way. Not devour her whole.
>> No. 149965
>>149925
>I'm treating both votes as "go and get healed *by* the healer, by the way. Not devour her whole.
That's what I meant, yeah.

I forgot to mention,
>There's thankfully just the one fang,
was a HNNNNNG moment. Which is confusing, because I can't form a clear mental image of it. A refresher on basic physical characteristics would be nice.
I can picture the wings clearly. Everything else is a great big humanoid blank.
>> No. 149966
>>149965
Same here.
>> No. 150069
Man, I was away for awhile, but great update. It could have been the Kaiji soundtrack blaring in my ears, but I thought the vampirism-as-retcon (with perspective change from technical death) was handled flawlessly.

Elder Sister is trying to get her vampire children back, and now you can both potentially escape the paradox spiders since you're 'actual' sisters now, which is the same reason they don't eat your shitheel 'brother'. She has half the night (Keine's exaggeration) to gain on you. Moreover, you didn't totally knock the Golem out of commission, or you'd be eating dinner. And I don't mean classic vampire fare.

[x] I'm going to grab a healer.
-[x] and after getting healed, going and finding my sister!


She's nothing if not thorough, your Sister, so she's probably battling the Golem as we speak and could use some backup.

Also, agreeing with other voters here on a vanity check, even if we die or switch perspective the next update.
>> No. 150351
File 132277588967.jpg - (763.55KB , 891x891 , hinafoespinny.jpg ) [iqdb]
150351
Lost my phone, which had nearly-updates in it.

Also, exams.

Deploying Hina for misfortune removal.
>> No. 151218
File 132422580339.jpg - (97.84KB , 700x504 , Except the wings are also cloud.jpg ) [iqdb]
151218
Exams went better than expected (but were still horrible).
Found phone. Deploying update. Might even try writing some Dolls in Sync too later.

---

You stand facing the mirror, slapping your cheeks once lightly to calm yourself. Keine has given you a nice change of clothing that seemed to fit nicely. She's a nice lady, you think.

Miss Librarian would tell you off if she heard you use "nice" that many times in a minute.

Blonde hair in curls. Red frilly dress, mistlike wings and nondescript face. Slightly Asian upwards tilt to the red, slit-pupil eyes. Mouth turned down into a frown.

You decide it doesn’t suit you.

With a shiver, you watch your face and body... shift, features changing instantly, blinking from one to the other in an instant. Blue wavy hair, now. Causican looks, a bluey-red admixture of coloured pupils. A cheerful but determined grin showing just the hint of your fang.

Hooray! It hides your fear perfectly.

The change is difficult to describe in words: like an all over sneeze, or that weightless sensation when you trip and instead of hitting the ground you catch yourself just in time and start flying instead. It's an ability cobbled together from two or three different magics, and probably would have been much harder to use if she hadn't managed to show you how to look at things the right way first.

In the basement, things were easier. Once she showed you how to see it, and after you disguised it, she laughed. Said she couldn't hurt you now.

It wasn't strictly speaking true: she occasionally pummelled you or hugged you hard enough to break bones, but she always apologised, whispering gentle words to you. She actually learned not to be so rough, in fact, especially when you were smaller, and throwing you at walls didn't stop you from crying. But she loved you, and you loved her, like her own flesh and blood.

"Not just hers, but chimeras are a mix, after all. Then again, that other one was already a mix, wasn't she?" The Mistress had come to watch the two of you play that day, and she had said some interesting things to miss Patchy. "At least she's humanoid. I'd hate to have seen her give birth to a tiger-legged monkey-raccoon. A vampiric, tiger-legged monkey raccoon with time manipulation powers."

You learnt to hide you wings as mist after that, much to her annoyance. She said jingly tentacles were fun to play with and missed them, even if the new ones were all tingly to feel.

"Does magic really add up like that?" the mistress had said to the librarian. (Not the librarian's librarian, the mistress' one.) "Just because the parent material has that sort of powers doesn't mean the child should. I'm sure my father had neither such a hold on fate or third eyes."

"Remi, it's magic." You only half-listened to the two bystanders as she braided your hair. "A magically gestated child with far more parentage than usual and with an unaligned fate; it's only a testament to my own magical prowess both of them acquired such traits."

"Why aren't they doing anything fun? They should put on a show for me or something." It was bit of a sudden idea that popped into your head on hearing that, and you stopped time, disguised your image with a little blip on your centre. You had changed her image, too, making you both identical.

Simultaneously you'd both stuck your tongue out at the mistress, and it produces a satisfying huff out of her.

The librarian had rolled her eyes. "Come on, you vampire brat. You can go squee over the other one and her mother. I'm sure they'll be happy for the attention."

---

It was the first time you had heard about your sister. Your image in the mirror had unconsciously grown a braid while you had been lost in thought. The reminiscence was a good break fr- wait. That memory was new. You left the basement for her sake, not your sister. Had something changed?

Well, that wasn't important! She was your sister now, and you were going to save her! And everything would be better then! You'd make it all better!

Miss Keine gets a kiss on the cheek for helping you before you run off into the forest. You still hurt all over, but it's not as bad as sometimes when she got really really mad and beat you up, and anyway after some blood (your sister really needs to be thanked. So much!!!) you could fool everything into thinking you were ok, even yourself, for a little while.

It was good you could think about something without thinking about something, that was another trick she taught you. You wonder how other people see everything, without the sight of centres, eyes of everything and not mixing up thoughts and visions.

Probably safer.

You're no tracker, but Keine gave you good directions. Pretending to be a cloud with misty wings you float over by the Road of Liminality. There's so many stalls here! The healer's bound to be here somewhere, but there's probably lots of hawkers selling all sorts of miracle cures. That's what you read in stories, anyway, about fairs and flea markets and the like.


In the stories they also always said when the young untested kid who goes out and only having read about it, that they weren't prepared for the smell but it wasn't actually all that bad. You guess that proves you can't always trust everything you read in books. Or perhaps ghost fairs don't smell as bad. It's a good enough moral either way.

Now, how are you going to approach the healer?

[ ] Float like a butterfly
[ ] Sting like some sort of stinging insect

[ ] Or you could always just go up and ask, you guess.
>> No. 151241
[x] Or you could always just go up and ask, you guess.
>> No. 151243
[x] Float like a butterfly

The backstories are merging more natually~ Awesome. Patchouli makes the best freaks, and she turned out surprisingly well for someone raised by Flandre.

>Might even try writing some Dolls in Sync too later.
Hooray!
>> No. 151245
[ ] Or you could always just go up and ask, you guess.
>> No. 151247
[x] Or you could always just go up and ask, you guess.
>> No. 151491
[x] Or you could always just go up and ask, you guess.
>> No. 151513
[x] Float like a butterfly

Reading this story is always a little humbling, but I enjoy it a lot.
>> No. 151557
Humbling how, if you don't mind me asking? In a bad or good way?
I'm always keen for critisism.
>> No. 154237
Updates desperately needed.
>> No. 154883
Is this dead? Because that would be a shame.
>> No. 154945
File 133335689210.png - (321.32KB , 800x715 , d42fbeb44bc417e81ebbc06a3ebc6a95[1].png ) [iqdb]
154945
I blame capitalism.

Updates (?) in the next month. Possibly. If I manage to kick myself in the rear.
>> No. 154954
>If I manage to kick myself in the rear.

Hooray!
>> No. 155073
>>151557
I think i was the one who wrote that. And to answer you, i meant that it's such a good, intriguing, cleverly written story, and my own stuff just feels like cheap, flimsy filler when compared to it. There's an additional component that would make this make more sense, but I cannot reveal it for fear of self-incrimination identification.
>> No. 155086
>>155073
>I think i was the one who wrote that. And to answer you, i meant that it's such a good, intriguing, cleverly written story, and my own stuff just feels like cheap, flimsy filler when compared to it.

No, that was this Anon who wrote that. But I feel almost exactly the same way, except updates can also make me want to update myself in my excitement. With the quality here, I'm not surprised other writers share similar sentiments.
>> No. 155593
File 133464783461.png - (215.61KB , 1500x1500 , The wings move in mysterious ways_.png ) [iqdb]
155593
The stalls are too high. From down here you could only just see over the top of the counters when you stand on tiptoes. There are grand tents and open air shows of magic and hawkers calling for customers but now wasn't the time to be getting distracted!

It's not like you'd be able to take anything with you after you move on after all. And, after all, you hadn't any money except the small pouch you borrowed off Miss Keine (that was Naughty and if you were in the basement still you'd no doubt get a Punishment. But you weren't, and you could do anything without people blowing you up! But it was still Naughty!)

W-well, you had to ask for directions to the healer's place anyway, so obviously you had to take the time to see which was the most likely stall to have information!

There are a lot of them. Of the ones you pass, you note:

-A stall selling shells of prehistoric pincer-y creatures
-A stall selling the bottled smell of feet
-Gizzards and claws of blue dragons on skewers for cheap
-Shrunken heads of bankers offering investment advice
- Dancing lizard thing chained to a pole
-Two capering magicians capering about hitting each other with some kind of poetry competition
-Shotgun Golem
-Dancing lizard thing chained to a pole
-Genuine artefacts of the queen of the fae (three blue ribbons and an ever-cold icicle that was already melting)
- Dancing lizard thing chained to a pole
- Dancing lizard thing chained to a pole

The lizard seems really cute for some reason as you come back for the fourth time to stare at it. It scampers round the dowel pole to perch on the end of it to get a better look at you before swinging down with its tail.

"You like gecko there, little miss?" You nod mutely at the smiling spirit as she brings out some sort of vegetable feed tablet for the small creature.

"It for sale, only half normal price!" You pay more attention to the gaps in her teeth than the number she's quoting - you're sure you don't have enough anyway.
"U-umm.. Have you seen a healer in the fair?" The words come out as a croak. Had you really not gone for so long without speaking before meeting your sister? You clear your throat and try again.
"I'm looking for someone who can heal people very easily?"

"Why, I handle that for you, little miss! All yoh need is just swallow of this here medical supplement pill and it'll cure all your spiritual and supernatural desires! At cheap cheap price of only-"

You tune out the sales pitch; it was more than you had. And anyway, you were looking for the healer in the first place, weren't you?

"Oh, it that still girl who cut you up and put you back again. Knives no good. Natural remedy more good, try it now, organic healthy and vigorous and will give eighty percent off full retail value, customer satisfaction not guaranteed, no refunds on partially consumed product, FDA results pending, if symptoms persist after a week consult your local doctor. Who not far away, if it the sharp still girl!"
The spirit gives you a wink.

About ten minutes later you find yourself in the possession of a box of dubious medicine, directions to the stall of the healer, a lizard in your hair and a distinct lack of any money whatsoever. You suspect you'd feel more guilty about leaving the image of the lizard frozen in time on the chain had you not noticed halfway through negotiations the pill the stallholder had offered to you was the same kind of pellet she had fed to the lizard.

The lizard is cute and you can't decide what to name it but that's ok because here is the Sharp Steel Knife healer's stall-

The Surgeon is Out
Will be back after people stop chasing her


You stare at the sign posted on the stallfront without comprehension for more than a few seconds. Did news get around that quickly? Well, you hadn't exactly been discreet walking up and asking around, but

you decide to do a time stop just as you hear a metal click

that just meant something else or someone had actually also been after her

supernatural fear suddenly pulsing through your veins telling you that you shouldn't make any sudden moves

and might be waiting for her to return

the cold of two knives you are sure are at your neck are wicking away heat from your blood and but a touch on them would let them complete their journey to cut through skin and sinew and spine clickclickclick

and are about to strike.

Even though you know it's something so utterly coincidental as to be next to impossible, you slowly bring up a hand, shifting its translucency, changing the texture to a glossy silver.

You succeed in not flinching as the bladelike claws of the clockwork monster encircling your neck slide into view in the reflection, mere millimeters away. A nervous gulp later and you start the process of discorporating, shifting your state from solid to a misty probabalistic form, praying it'd be enough before you trigger the sharp claws-

The lizard falls through your hair to bridge the gap between you and the , and the claws snap shut through you. The feeling is unpleasant, to say the least, but you're not dead (or not un-possibled, or whatever). Though you can't expect that to last if you don't move - the clockwork monster slashes out again! It's in your moment, now. Desperately, you throw yourself backwards through the stall whirrrrclack-clack-clackclackclackclaclaclcllcccccc

It slashes through the wooden storefront, splinters and drops of medical sake leaving a frozen half-circle curve in its wake. As it throws one half aside, you're already shifting,wings outstretching and darkening, thickening-

The stalls around you abruptly come back to your mind. They were mostly manned by spirits.

Mostly. And then there's the lizard, still somehow clinging onto your hair...

[ ] Back off. Getting people involved would be Really Naughty. And bad.
-[ ] Just run! Its not going to hurt anyone else!
-[ ] It probably can't fly in that state, can it? If you lure it out over the river there it'll sink when it stops timestopping.
[ ] Smash and burn. Fight it here. Dead people would be fine.. Right?
[ ] Lets... Talk to it? No wait that really is stupid this time-!

__________________

It's still within a month, it's still within a month, it counts! -wait, is that- gah, praise, get it away from me!

But seriously, thanks. I don't feel it's that warranted, but thanks.
Over Easter I was at a SF and fantasy convention and got to meet the real deal in authors: G.R.R.Martin, Joe Abecrombie, Charles Stross etc. I was a lot more humbled. But I also got to ask a few questions and get useful advice back - not all of it applying to fanfiction, but certainly useful and uplifting. My level of writing, at least, is definitely reachable, given the right inspiration, time etc. You can do better than me and my writings for role models!
>> No. 155600
[x] Back off. Getting people involved would be Really Naughty. And bad.
-[x] It probably can't fly in that state, can it? If you lure it out over the river there it'll sink when it stops timestopping.

Welcome back, good sir.
>> No. 155797
[x] Back off. Getting people involved would be Really Naughty. And bad.
-[x] Just run! Its not going to hurt anyone else!

It's not a living thing, so I don't think it has to worry about its memory being wiped by touching the Sanzu. That is more a problem for us. And it's clockwork, not electronic, so it's not like immersion will cause it to short or otherwise immediately cease functioning. Even if it were, fucker's probably a Timex.

Now if it's stupid enough to not recognize water, then it's definitely stupid enough to not recognize bystanders (especially when we can polymorph into looking like one), in which case paradox-spiders will do our work for us.

That and I feel we have more of a chance of finding the Surgeon, or someone chasing the Surgeon, if we stick to the area.
>> No. 155917
[x] Lets... Talk to it? No wait that really is stupid this time-!

Zombievoting the diplomacy option~
>> No. 156393
While I know I usually take months to get back to a vote, that's because I get off work for extended periods. Not that I want to sound troubled, but with only a low number of votes the next update probably would get pushed back to three months or more again, which is just terrible.

So, uh.. I guess I'm begging for votes now, or something?

Anyway, thank you.
>> No. 156396
[x] Back off. Getting people involved would be Really Naughty. And bad.
-[x] It probably can't fly in that state, can it? If you lure it out over the river there it'll sink when it stops timestopping.

Sure, I respond to begging, why not.
>> No. 156397
[x] Back off. Getting people involved would be Really Naughty. And bad.
-[x] It probably can't fly in that state, can it? If you lure it out over the river there it'll sink when it stops timestopping.
>> No. 157155
Calling it now. Updates within a week.

No. Six months.

(Old men.. are the future.)
>> No. 160331
File 134421302057.png - (108.93KB , 452x276 , you're_gonn_get_ate.png ) [iqdb]
160331
You'd decided. It was a decision not made lightly, and you weren't sure if you were going to survive long enough to regret it if it were a bad choice.

But it was too late to change your mind.

The name for your lizard is Slithy. You think it suits it.

As you bound across the Sanzu in long, erratic steps, sadly the fact you managed to name your pet lizard does not really draw your attention from the horrific murderous apparently tireless construct thing hounding your every move.

It had almost got you in the first few frantic non-seconds, a bladed protrusion ripping a clean furrow through your shoulder and leaving you in terrible terrible pain only slightly less than the time she had gotten angry with you and exploded your arm - but then while you were running away from Ms Stabby it had gone down to a dull bloody throbbing which was much better.

You hoped you didn't need to pay for the stalls that got wrecked.

Also, it was worrying you still couldn't see the other side... About all you knew was your sister was that way... Though all this moving over water was going to be very not-good if you dropped the timestop and fell in the lake. Or if you ran out of strength before the thing chasing you (don't think about it, don't think about it..) and it cut you up before you even fell in the river-thing. You don't want to die here. Please, just get a bit further away from it. If there was only a good way of hiding yourself in an open field of time-frozen water with no cover...

At least you got it away from all the other people.. That was a Good thing, right? You did something that was nice and helpful and right even if means you'd die- hey, no need to think that! Just because everything was hazy and it hurt all over! -And what was that furrow in the water up ahead?

---

Working for the Higan bureaucracy was, like any other low-level clerical position, soul crushingly tedious. You could almost feel the hours burning off your potential immortal soul.
Almost literally. Her Yamaness had seen fit to lavish you with a large hourglass to count down the remaining time until you had to be surrendered to the Paradox Eaters. How thoughtful of her.

At least you have a good view of the river from here - what was that sound? Wasn't it a fast moving individual dropping out of a time stop? -Or two?

You slow everything on a moment, peering out, and so you see in slow motion as the small form of your sister alights on the water of the Sanzu, staring down at something as the... slasher golem swoops down. And halts, skating across the water's surface as an enormous sharp-toothed mouth closes around the frail girl, the gargantuan fishlike creature surfacing with a groan. Both you and the Slashes let out a silent scream, of horror, of wrath spurned. There was nothing you could have done, nothing you could do.

It floats over the surface on all fours, turning towards you with an eyeless glare of malevolence.
It can't get to you here, can it?

A stray thought passes your mind, guiltily, amidst the horror; that you'd thought of yourself first.

[ ] Panic
[ ] Point
[ ] Shout

------

-Except, of course, that was all pointless.

Even had you cried out, called to your stygian captors, it wouldn't have mattered, wouldn't change the outcome. Just as you had imagined it the... monster had stepped onto land unopposed.

Just as you had planned it. Just with your sister being protected by Komachi before reaching shore.

Crossing over the river without something on the other side to anchor you meant death. And in this game, death only meant one thing - had only one result.

The spiders on the shore swarmed her-swarmed it. It screamed, once, a sound of wrath and prey denied. There were other sickening noises - the crunch of flesh warping and tearing under pressure of powered pistons with the framework ripped away, the high speed whining of gears freewheeling over ruptured struts.

The winding down of a final spring and ratchet as the spiders leave her head to last, a desperate last ebbing movement in the grey world.

clickclickclickclickclickclick click click - cli-

And then not even the sound remains. You watch as they finish, Reimu's words ringing hollowly in your ears. Two more, dead. There was no way that crossing the Sanzu could have lead to anything but death. Sure, you had hoped your sister would have a solution, but it was your bond that you drew her to you.

You wish you could feel a bit happier about knowing your pursuer was gone, or even sadness or anger at your companion having fallen. But there's.. a numbness at watching it happen in front of you, without doing anything.

As the spiders crawl back into the cracks of time, their job done, you look out to the Sanzu again, where Komachi poles her boat over to the fish that had devoured your poor unwitting sister, the lumbering form still floating on the surface lazily.

-The spiders had gone. That meant they were finished here. Which meant -

"Eyup, looks like a pretty good ruse," the shinigami says, pulling the giant creature on board with movement that barely rocks the boat.

-Since they didn't go after you, then that meant she was still-

The fish coughs. And warps back into the form of your small, small dear sister.

-Alive.

---

Surviving after a successful round is a happy matter for once. Big sister was saved and "was never there because someone lost the paperwork", whatever that means. The nice lady with the big hat came out to see you off on the boat but didn't let you go on land because that would be bad or something. And you had Slithy to keep you company, too!

But you'd managed to help! And the horrid thing chasing you was gone! You didn't know what you'd did except run away and then play dead but it helped!

It was enough to make you smile as the river starts to fade, as this current time returns to being the past again. Enough to make you welcome the endless dinner and all its tasty foods, and someone to eat it with.

So it was more than just an aching feeling in your stomach that hurt when you awoke to a waking dream.

[ ] With the purple host
[ ] With the Mistress and devilette
[ ] With her.

---


I could be worse at updating, but I don't really see that being feasible without me being dead or possibly incapacitated.
On the plus side, my sister's wedding is only two weeks away, which will remove one more excuse not to work on this!
>> No. 160354
[x] With the purple host
>> No. 160891
I kind of forgot this had updated. Good job creating suspense there. You had me going.

[x] With the purple host
>> No. 161184
[x] With the purple host
>> No. 161240
All right, I'll call the vote here so I can start working on the update!