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160720 No. 160720
Thread 19 >>148938
Thread 20 >>156003
Thread 21 >>158673
>Art by Rapestove.


In which Gensokyo gets a lot less friendly.



[X] Stick around and talk with Kanako.


Between Keine and the Society, you’ve spent lots of time hiding and running away from women in stupid hats. So far, your efforts have netted plenty of irritation, one mostly-fruitless investigation, and a near-lethal attack by animated garden architecture.

So you duck and weave past Sanae’s blind flailing, grab the brim of Marisa’s hat and yank it free, tossing it to the Witch. “Blind fighting’s a bitch, isn’t it?”

Sanae blinks in the light, evaluates her potential audience for a split-second then turns a truly ferocious pout in Marisa’s direction. Soon the disapproving glares of the younger males in the cafe are sizzling towards the blonde Witch as well.

“What?” Marisa asks, hands on hips. “What!? That bitch attacked me!”

You retreat towards the wall near the front door.

“You have no manners, Witch!” one diner shouts.

“You stole my lunch money in third grade,” a young waitress growls from behind the counter, plunging a tea-towel into the sink and twisting it tight.

“I did not,” Marisa replies. She squints at the waitress and recognition crosses her features. “I did not,” she says, lying with greater emphasis.

Kanako sidles up to you as the impromptu mob of hecklers advances on a sputtering Marisa. “Can you believe that some people think she’s artless?”

“At danmaku, perhaps,” you reply. “I kicked her ass in the magic duel, then she played me like a fiddle on the ground.”

Kanako sniggers as the mob descends to attempt a classic bum’s rush. Marisa rears up savage and terrible, broom in a double-grip. She’s dangerous enough with a stuffed emu; with a proper bristle-broom she’s meaner than a sober dwarf.

“Don’t feel bad,” Kanako tells you. “She’s a natural talent with that. Though not at danmaku, like you say. I hear you defeated her handily.”

“I almost turned her into a frog,” you admit, “but I figured that was pushing it.”

Kanako grins jovially, thinking you jest. “Some think you could do it, too. You’re the talk of the town.”

“I am?”

“Of course. ‘Dramatic’ hardly describes your arrival – do you know that bird youaki made a new stand near that – that tableau in the field to sell food to all the gawkers? And after all that you nigh vanish, only to appear at the site of battles or go blasting through town, literally through town, according to some, only to vanish just as fast. You’re big news.”

Well that’s just swell.

And you’re human, which puts you into a pretty exclusive group,” Kanako continues levelly, ignoring the din of Marisa’s flight for the rear door. “To top it all, the mysterious rabble-rouser is spotted numerous times in Kamishirasawa’s company!”

“So?” you query hopefully.

Kanako grins wickedly. “She’s the schoolteacher! You look in the dictionary for ‘stifling authority figure’ and there’s her picture.” Kanako’s smirks knowingly as she leans towards you a bit. “And she’s hot.”

“Uhmaybe,” you sputter rapidly. Kanako has rather upset your expectations, confidence and control of the conversation.

“And what youngster doesn’t dream of being a bad-boy that bags his hot teacher? Adult sexuality and self-defining defiance of authority in one blow! You’re every young man’s comic-book fantasy come to life!”

“Guess those whatchamacall’ims left out the hardship, terror and desperate scrabbles for survival,” you say dryly, stalling for time as you process Kanako’s statements. By the universal laws of base human nature, her statements ring true – meaning you’ve been utterly ignorant of your local footprint, which is problematic when half the locals could kick your ass without breaking a sweat.

“Of course,” she replies. “Adventure sells, reality doesn’t. Let me welcome you to Gensokyo. Join me for a hot one?”

“Ah – what.”

“A drink.” Kanako gestures to the bartender and two small cups of steaming rice wine are placed before you on the polished bar. You stare at them in horror as a growing sense of unreality creeps over you.

“You drink... small hot ones.”

“Who doesn’t?” Kanako asks, puzzled.

You shake off the vibes and accept the cup – and Kanako’s offer of conversation. It’s been informative so far. “Sorry. Just remembered how far from home I am.”

Kanako nods. “You must be. Dragons haven’t been in this corner of the cosmos for many a long age. What happened!?

“He was up to no good,” you answer truthfully. “Starting trouble in the neighborhood. I did something about it, and our spell duel misfired.”

“... and the clocktower?”

You shrug. “It misfired badly.

Kanako’s eyes widen. “How did the airship come into it?”

“A rental,” you say. “Doubt I’m getting my deposit back.”

You rented it?”

You frown. “Hey, my hat’s as expensive as anybody’s. Fabulosity!” Your hat flips to the vibrant ‘dressy’ mode to prove your point.

Kanako absorbs that for a moment. ‘So now what?”

You spread your arms dramatically. “Stuck here in hatsville.”

Kanako nods understandingly. Even ‘local’ gods like Kanako and Suwako seem to be – minor deities of a particular river or mountain – have forgotten more of celestial mechanics than most scholars ever know. “Navigating the deep aether is no easy task. By the way, who’s your friend?” She flicks her eyes at Duke, who’s still occupying the windowside table and watching you and Kanako intently.

“Just someone from my corner of the cosmos.”

“A tengu of some sort?”

You give Kanako a jaundiced look. “I thought gods knew a Celestial when they saw one.”

“You summoned him?” Kanako asks.

“Just like the creatures I summoned in my fight with Sanae,” you say sharply, knowing damn well that any deity can recognize an Outsider.

“If you can summon him, then you must be making progress towards getting home,” Kanako says. “Presumably Patchouli and Marisa’s expertise have helped with that. But you certainly don’t seem to be in a rush.” She leans against the bar, chin propped on her hand. “What’s kept you so busy?”

You’re suddenly aware of how neatly Kanako’s boxed you in – making you tell your story. “Why are you and Suwako leading the Society around by the nose with that Great Summer Youkai business?” you retort.

The goddess narrows her-

-her pupils.

You start despite yourself, jerking back from the woman and her slitted snake-eyes. “That’s Suwako’s little project, not mine.”

“Looks like you’ve found yours,” you reply evenly.

“You’re new,” Kanako says, “so let me educate you in what the schoolteacher neglected. This place was made by youkai, for youkai – for their very survival. Humans are here because youkai first manifested as reflections of the human spirit’s dark side. That’s why they cause Incidents for humans. They need to – it perpetuates them. It’s what they do. And what you do, Mr. Hero, is solve incidents. Obvious, highly visible incidents.”

Her head darts forward snake-swift, right in your face, alien eyes boring into yours. “After youkai start them. What youkai don’t want public, they don’t advertise. And if you try digging them up, there will be no danmaku duel, no spellcard rules, no quarter. Leave buried things be, lest you join them.”

Kanako slides from the barstool and slips outside with sinuous grace. Sanae shuffles after, giving you a frightened glance over her shoulder.

You stare after them, automatically raising your cup to drain it. Liquid trickles down your sleeve, and you realize the little leather cup has been crushed flat in your hand.

Duke rises and approaches the bar. “Are you okay?” he asks, his perpetual frown deepening with concern.

“Yeah,” you reply huskily, to ensure your voice won’t crack. “Business as usual.”

Duke turns the somber amber glow of his eyes towards the door the goddesses exited from. “I was afraid of that.”


[ ] It’s time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let’s see what the Society knows of it – or more precisely, what its been fed. Then track down Keine, then talk it over with her.

[ ] It’s time to interrogate some spooks ourselves – perhaps Ghost Gardner hasn’t been asking the right questions. Lets wrangle us a ghost.

[ ] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.

[ ] It’s time for a fantastic write-in that’s better then the given vote options that really makes the writer sing with joy and isn’t just a bunch of smartasses copy-pasting this option and putting an X in the box.

I fucking dare you

>> No. 160722
[x] It's time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let's see what the Society knows of it - or more precisely, what its been fed. Then track down Keine, then talk it over with her.

Oh hai, pro-youkai Kanako.
>> No. 160723
[x] It’s time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let’s see what the Society knows of it – or more precisely, what its been fed. Then track down Keine, then talk it over with her.

You're not the boss of us, Kanako.
>> No. 160724
[x] Take the incident to Reimu, assist in resolving.
>> No. 160725
[X] It’s time for a fantastic write-in that’s better then the given vote options that really makes the writer sing with joy and isn’t just a bunch of smartasses copy-pasting this option and putting an X in the box.

Wait, fuck.

[X] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.

Wizard has got to even the odds. Absolutely has to. And how better to do that except with absolutely superior firepower?
>> No. 160726
File 134501265948.png - (44.83KB , 300x300 , 128640747039.png ) [iqdb]
160726
>>160725
>> No. 160727
[X] It’s time to interrogate some spooks ourselves – perhaps Ghost Gardner hasn’t been asking the right questions. Lets wrangle us a ghost.
>> No. 160732
Whelp, Kanako just more or less declared war on us.

[X] Prep Simulacrum tommorow, possibly multiple times. We shall bury them in an army of Sanae's.

If Kanako want's to play her little games, we'll show her we can do it better, because nothing says screw you to your faith by making it look like your own priestess is trying to kill you or vice versa.
>> No. 160733
[x] It’s time to interrogate some spooks ourselves – perhaps Ghost Gardner hasn’t been asking the right questions. Lets wrangle us a ghost.
Tough love from Kanako.
>> No. 160740
[x] It’s time to interrogate some spooks ourselves – perhaps Ghost Gardner hasn’t been asking the right questions. Lets wrangle us a ghost.
>> No. 160742
[X] It’s time for a fantastic write-in that’s better then the given vote options that really makes the writer sing with joy and isn’t just a bunch of smartasses copy-pasting this option and putting an X in the box.

Hell yeah, best option. If this does not compute...

[x] It’s time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let’s see what the Society knows of it – or more precisely, what its been fed. Then track down Keine, then talk it over with her.
>> No. 160743
answer 4)

[x]prepare a clone in cas... wait no 2d4 months of waiting
>> No. 160744
File 134502113571.png - (408.08KB , 800x326 , conspiracy.png ) [iqdb]
160744
answer 4)

[x]prepare a clone in cas... wait no 2d4 months of waiting

[X] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.
More firepower is always good.
>> No. 160745
Damn, double post.
>> No. 160747
>>160732
Yeah, but no, if this conversation showed us anything, it's that Kanako is not playing around, like the majority of the powerful figure of Gensokyo have done so far, and the only ones who have been hurt because of her seems to be us, since she pinned down wizard-non personalty and his relationship with Keine I don't want her warning to be ignored because our chance of winning against her are minimal without even thinking of the casualty in the group. Let's just wait and see so long as she stays in the lesser evil category it's not worth provoking her for good.

[X] Go mushroom hunting and tell Keine that you will concentrate on the ghost 'incident' while thinking of visiting Gensokyo in great details, far away from the project of dangerous goddesses.
>> No. 160748
[x] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.

Keine will come later, we need more firepower, pronto.
>> No. 160749
>>160747
Shit, I just realized something, Youmu!
I'll change my vote for this :

[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Then go mushroom hunting and inform Keine of your intention of visiting Gensokyo in great details, far away from the project(s) of dangerous goddesses.
>> No. 160750
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.

Basically, I combined a few options together. And YOUMU MUST SURVIVE! Don't die on us Youmu!

Anyways, always wanted to say this. Good job Demetrious, your story's awesome. Keep at it.
>> No. 160752
You know, all this talk about Youmu, and I don't even remember what's the big deal about her.
>> No. 160755
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.
YES
>> No. 160756
>>160752

We had a dream vision of the future way back at the beginning of the story or so where Yomu dies in our arms tonight. Must have been something we said.

At this point I really want to go with something akin to this >>160724 . Thing is, I don't believe we've been formally introduced. Outside of a wild ride one night in Gensokyo. Nor can I seem to recall Keine mentioning her to us in anything but passing when we first arrived if that. Although then again, maybe we don't need to. Kanako said it, wizanons are adventurers who solve incidents. Thing she gets wrong is, we don't just solve the highly visible ones. Who else is thinking Reimu would be any different if made aware? Kanako can talk big but if it comes down to it a direct breach of spellcard duels would put her on the bad side of a certain miko and more allies are always a good thing. We should probably just keep trucking and we'll be bound to run into her down the line. If shes been snooping around and Deme is serious about plot finding us, its gonna happen. Provided we live that long.

[x]Find Suwako and have a chat about the great summer youkai. We have an admission from Kanako who is behind those shenanigans. Never mind Kanako's threats. If she wants to make it into a slug fest we will do what we do best. Being loud, fuck off iron dragons swimming through lava at the speed of light. Highly profile and attention gathering dragons. I'd bet kanako would love having a few dozen curious hats plus a miko being drawn anywhere near us.

Barring or following that

[x]A lazy smartass cop out that makes the writer cry slow updating tears of pain.
[x]It’s time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let’s see what the Society knows of it – or more precisely, what its been fed. Then track down Keine, then talk it over with her.
>> No. 160759
[x] It’s time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let’s see what the Society knows of it – or more precisely, what its been fed. Then track down Keine, then talk it over with her.
>> No. 160760
I have to give Kanako a little credit here. She's being direct. No dancing around the subject; she's basically saying 'Stay out of our affairs or you'll pay for it. Better yet, go the hell home.'

This reminds me of what Keine said at the very beginning. There's a sort of balance of power in Geksokyo, and Wizanon is barging right through it like a bull in a china shop, probably screwing up a number of carefully laid plans in the process. The powers that be are starting to regard him as a dangerous interloper. Remilia and Kanako are probably just the first. The thing is, Wizanon is more of a PROactive investigator. He's a wizard, he digs things up that should remain hidden as part of the job description.

So how would Reimu react to this guy? She tends to REact to incidents, like Kanako mentioned. Would his methods appeal to her, or would she be displeased at the chaos he's fomenting? Hell, what would Yukari have to say about all this? I assume Demetrious has left those two out so far for a reason. Anyway:

[x] It’s time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let’s see what the Society knows of it – or more precisely, what its been fed. Then track down Keine, then talk it over with her.

Things are getting dangerous. Time to start preparing for whatever might arise.
>> No. 160761
Youmu is going to die soon. All else can wait, all else can be done at any moment. This can't.

Please, keep than in mind, my fellow readers.
>> No. 160763
[X] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.

We are treading dangerous territory, but we've dealt with worse shit than this. If we get enough allies, information, and power, we can deal with it like we deal with everything else: blow it up until it stops moving.
>> No. 160764
>>160760
I've always thought that Deme hasn't brought those two into the story yet because he hasn't finished thinking up the plot yet.

But now, due to the readers' demands, the plot must go on.

>>160761
If she dies, wouldn't she just be a full ghost instead of a half one?
>> No. 160765
>>160760

Urrgh, even after posting, I can't stop from speculating. Was Kanako being friendly at first to try and get Wizanon on her side, turning hostile when she realized he wouldn't play ball? Is Suwako the same way, friendly on the outside with a darker nature on the inside? Maybe Yuyuko's the same way? Wizanon did seem to be wary of them both. And I have some really nasty thoughts regarding the Youmu death-dream...

Dammit, Demetrious, you're making me paranoid. Anyway, enough speculation from me.
>> No. 160766
>>160765
Don't overthink it. It's not like Deme is Kira.
>> No. 160767
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.

To be honest, I kinda forgot about that dream, good of you whoever remembered and made the write-in.
>> No. 160768
[X]It’s time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let’s see what the Society knows of it – or more precisely, what its been fed. Then track down Keine, then talk it over with her.

>>160764 and how is that not a big deal? She even stated that most ghosts lose their form and become nondescript white blobs.
>> No. 160769
File 134505001126.jpg - (18.98KB , 240x200 , Kirasuke.jpg ) [iqdb]
160769
>>160766

Just as keikaku.
>> No. 160770
>>160769
Not that one. ;_;
>> No. 160771
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.

I see the idiot squadron is still hung up on those mushrooms.
>> No. 160773
[x] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.

We can do everything else after we learn how to cast spells with enough firepower to level a small mountain.
>> No. 160774
[X] It’s time to interrogate some spooks ourselves – perhaps Ghost Gardner hasn’t been asking the right questions. Lets wrangle us a ghost.
>> No. 160775
I guess a locate city nuke on Moriya shrine is out of the question.


And Youmoe can't die in wizard's arms if he's not around her!

ps play battletech
>> No. 160776
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.

I'll be going with that. We know where the shrooms are to be found; now we can turn to more important stuff. Like preventing the death of an utterly adorable character.
>> No. 160777
>>160732
No, she declared 'sit down, shut up and play ball like a good mortal or I will hit it like the fist of an angry me.' There is some difference.

[X] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore. With Keine (mention talking with Kanako despite her recommendation apologetically; explain we have learned our lesson now - about this one specific thing, we make no promises for later stupidity). And Marisa, if she's still around.
>> No. 160778
>“He was up to no good,” you answer truthfully. “Starting trouble in the neighborhood. I did something about it, and our spell duel misfired.”

Now this is a story all about how my spells got flipped turned upside down. Now I'd like to take a minute just sit right there I'll you how I became the wizard of Gensokyo air.
>> No. 160779
File 134507295643.jpg - (4.62KB , 125x125 , handbananaava.jpg ) [iqdb]
160779
>>160775
>battletech

Tonight.... you.
>> No. 160780
File 134507518479.png - (91.01KB , 250x274 , 1273991685512.png ) [iqdb]
160780
>>160771
>hung up on mushrooms

Yeah I'm sure venturing into the deepest, darkest part of an ancient, malicious and treacherous magical forest will prove to be a boring side-trip where we have an unimportant encounter with some minor touhou played for laughs and then we proceed to collect mushrooms. That's the most plausible outcome, especially since I'm not known for surprises and anon's been content with plot pacing recently.

Yeah.
>> No. 160781
>>160780
Was that supposed to dissuade us? As far as I'm concerned it is even better.

But I have question: How much gold does wizard have?
>> No. 160783
>>160781
At a random guess backed up by pretty much nothing? A hundred thousand gold isn't all that much to an 18th level character. Of course, Wizard seems like the kind to spend it as soon as he makes it on ale, whores and magical shinies.
>> No. 160784
I think I'll vote, this:

[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.
--[x] Afterwards go hunt boomshrooms with Keine.
----[x] ... and don't forget our frosty fairy sidekick.
>> No. 160785
[x] Track down Keine, then talk it over with her. Then it’s time to get to the bottom of the Great Summer Youkai. Let’s see what the Society knows of it – or more precisely, what its been fed.
>> No. 160787
>>160780
I was referring to the mindset that bigger explosions would make anything better. Wizards aren't known for their damage dealing but their indirect spells.
>> No. 160788
[X] It’s time to send Duke to get the mushrooms while we find Youmu, and get as clear an answer as we're going to get from a ghost.
-[X] Have Youmu use her sword to help clear up the ghost's confusion.

Questions to ask:
1. Were all the ghosts the came to Keine's house killed by the falling ship?
2. When did the red eyes start affecting the ghosts?
3. What did the words in the chant sound like? From [“Oh,” the ghost says. “Uh... it was...” he snaps his fingers, thinking... “... red eyes. And something chanting, in my head.”] We may be able to recognize the magic used.
4. Do the ghosts remember seeing a soul different than what is normally in Gensokyo?

That last question is only because I'm unsure as to how thorough the knife that was used to kill Loffo was.
>> No. 160790
>>160787
Wizanon's an evoker. He's always preferred booms.

Things that get the job done without explosions are simply unacceptable.
>> No. 160791
>>160790
Then every fight he's been in since he dropped into Gensokyo has been "simply unacceptable."
>> No. 160801
[X] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.

Boomshrooms are best shrooms
>> No. 160804
File 134511901916.jpg - (270.34KB , 708x1000 , 78512ea991783c12b9b9d261caf53db4.jpg ) [iqdb]
160804
[x] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.

Alice option? Could be!
>> No. 160805
[x] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.
>> No. 160806
[x] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.
>> No. 160811
>>160791
Too bad very few people realize this.

The last bunch of votes seems suspicious, a vote spam check would be nice.
>> No. 160818
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.
>> No. 160822
>>160791
Wizard's a generalist. Sure, he can do subtle if he has to. Or wrangle up a thunderstorm or whatever. But did subtlety destroy the Killer Gazebo? No, Delayed Fireball and Keine danmaku-spam did.

And I'm okay with that.

Perhaps apropros of this topic - are Marisa's shrooms ONLY for booms?
>> No. 160823
>>160822
Along with Duke's chopping and Wriggle's bug swarm. Going for raw damage is tricky in land filled with beings who can do inflict that very easily. The wizard's indirect spells would prove more useful as I doubt many people in Gensokyo really have much else besides skills/spells that kill things dead.

Between being the bland Shounen lead that only knows how to do bigger blasts and being the supporting castmate with lots of interesting abilities, I'd gladly choose the latter.
>> No. 160826
>>160805
>>160806
Yeah, no.
>> No. 160832
[X] It’s time to get the boomshrooms before somebody sends a goddamn castle after us for an encore.
>> No. 160837
File 134515167732.jpg - (22.18KB , 227x266 , yeah that's it.jpg ) [iqdb]
160837
>>160780
Yeah yeah. So, I know you aren't the fastest car in the drag race but... how about you call the votes or something?
>> No. 160846
[x]Prepare Gate and protection from evil. If Kanako tries to fuck with you, sic a Balor on her.

Replace "Kanako" with "anyone"
>> No. 160850
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.

Also, do we have Antimagic Field?
>> No. 160852
File 134517168562.jpg - (47.32KB , 323x480 , 1294807803931.jpg ) [iqdb]
160852
>>160837
>image

... well played, sir. Well fucking played. Just for you, then.

The "Talk to Keine" write-in and boomshrooms are evenly tied, I was eager for a decent write-in this round and it'd be slightly retarded - even for the Wizard - to rush into the DEEP DARK WOOD without at least letting his only local friend, keeper and confidant know where the hell he was going. I call the vote thusly:


[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.
[X] Then pursue boomshrooms.

Apropos of nothing, but after so many people told me my character was "so similar to the Dresden guy" I actually read the Dresden Files (not hard, I literally read at lightspeed.) I made the following list of all the ways Wiznon and Harry Dresden are similar, if not exactly alike:

1. Both have anger problems and favor violent, direct assaults.
2. Both are utterly clueless with women.
3. Both have led an almost tireless crusade for Truth, Justice and the Righteous way from a young age, burning themselves out dangerously in the process.
4. Both share the exact same base motivation for their tireless crusade. Extremely surprising; Jim Butcher is literally the first author I’ve found to write a character like that.
5. Both favor Fire, and second to that, Force.
6. Both are seasoned Investigators, and have spent an unordinary amount of time hunting down and destroying Doom Cults of one sort or another.
7. Both have routinely been up against much greater odds they can’t defeat with raw force, and have had to cheat their asses off to win. (In Wiznon’s case, this is a direct consequence of the “quadratic wizard” power curve; it’s bitterly delicious irony that once he finally achieves high-levels, he’s dropped into a place like Gensokyo.)
8. Both are smart-mouthed assholes who never know when to shut their yap.

Now here’s where it starts to get scary. Everything above could be explained away by two writers following the Universal Rules of Making Interesting Characters, but the rest of this shit is just uncanny:

9. Both have a history with – and a severe dislike – of the fae.
9a. Despite that, they both have a strong relationship with a particular, small fae generally considered weak and ignorable by the real players.
9b. And said fae has an adorably inflated sense of his/her own prowess.
10. Both of them have a habit of immediately applying nicknames to people they meet. There’s more difference here, though – Dresden familiarizes the names, typically by shortening them, whereas Wiznon makes up more mocking appellations (lichen-locks, semi-god, ect.)
11. (More meta, but:) Both me and Jim Butcher shamelessly employ pop-culture references out the ass, the nerdier the better.

Mayhap you guys will point out more similarities for the list. In the meantime, I conclude that Jim Butcher is my twin. Which one is the EVIL twin, I’m not sure yet.
>> No. 160856
>>160852

And you wonder why your story attracted such a following.

Your protagonist was SO much like Harry Dresden that I was initially turned off the story (I've read so much bad fiction with Dresden-copypastes), but then I got sucked in anyways. When I found out you hadn't read the Dresden Files before I didn't believe you at first.
>> No. 160857
The classic test is, of course, which one of you has the finer and more stroke-able goatee. His is fairly faint and milquetoast, so you may pull out the win, yet.
>> No. 160859
So aggropease?
>> No. 160866
>>160856
what I take away from your post is that you read large numbers of poorly-written Dresden Files fanfiction, of your own free will, and yet you still have a sufficiently high opinion of yourself to be a snobbish prick.

I salute you, sir.
>> No. 160867
>>160866

>read large numbers of poorly-written Dresden Files fanfiction

You think it's just fanfiction? Cruise through the fantasy section of your local bookstore some time. The amount of blind follow-the-leader that happens in the fiction publishing industry is just appalling. Twilight's (inexplicable) rise to fame caused hojillions of bad vampire/werewolf fiction to hit the shelves. When the Dresden Files came out, a dozen bad series with "hardboiled" sarcastic protagonists followed a month later.

The reason I've read this bad fiction is because I have an interest in getting a work of mine published myself after I finish college. I keep track of new authors getting published, and see what they're writing and just how good it is. Sure, I wouldn't say I'm an excellent writer myself, but even I can tell when a story is blatantly ripping elements, plots, even entire character backgrounds from a more popular series without care and simply piling them together in a shoddy mess.

On the other hand, this does offer a last line of defense should I choose to enter that abyss; just write stuff derivative of an established popular author, and you can get published even with little to no creativity or skill of your own. I'd probably kill myself first though.
>> No. 160868
Let's not turn this into a argument-on-what-I-think-of-xxx that would just rile up a bunch of people. It's always upsetting to see a good story thread get ruined by such angry protests in between. It spoils the mood of those neutralists reading it.
>> No. 160870
>>160856
You forgot charming renditions of some Touhous, such as Cirno.
>> No. 160873
File 134522842124.png - (6.85KB , 300x300 , 134522831379.png ) [iqdb]
160873
>>160870

Fappo! Flabbyfize! Fabulosity!
>> No. 160875
>>160870
Also Keine route, something that's been overdue since YWUiG. So...since day one.

>>160873
~
>> No. 160877
>>160875
That too though even despite the glorious patchouli troll update, there's some fools who wish to derail things.
>> No. 160888
>>160857
Having seen Deme's beard, I can tell you with unverifiable certitude that he has a full glorious manly beard which is not a goatee at all, making Butcher the evil twin.
>> No. 160892
>>160888
A big full beard? Suspiciously perfect for hiding your chin. Are you sure he hasn't got a goatee under there?
>> No. 160894
File 134544568324.jpg - (58.56KB , 516x538 , 07a1b0effe17cd984fae6ed125ec7ecb.jpg ) [iqdb]
160894
[X] It’s time for a fantastic write-in that’s better then the given vote options that really makes the writer sing with joy and isn’t just a bunch of smartasses copy-pasting this option and putting an X in the box.

damnit I know Im late but lets do something we said we would do some 6-11 threads ago.

SIT DOWN and teach CIRNO some magic if only to give ourselves some minor pause to collect our thoughs and lets face it...after our scare with Kanako...we need some cheering up.
>> No. 160895
GSY is a dead end

Wrangling ghosts is also a dead end, they don't remember shit.

Boomshrooms is too "training arc" ish.

[x] Use Limited Wish to grant Keine her history-reading powers early and just have her hax the answers we need right out of the Akashic Record.
>> No. 160900
>>160895
Everyone knows that using Wish, limited or otherwise, is just an invitation for the DMgods to fuck with us.
>> No. 160903
>>160900
Most DMs are not in the habit of fucking over their own NPCs. It's unfair like that.
>> No. 160905
>>160903
Have you forgotten what happened in the Patchouli troll update? THat was brought upon by dumbasses talking about using a wish type spell to clean a library.

It's too soon to assume anything about the three subplot lines.
>> No. 160908
>>160894
She got Prestidigitation in half an hour.

Teach her polymorph. And baleful transposition/dimension shuffle. Even if Kanako kills us next thread because we stupidly kept right on doing what the goddess told us to knock it off with, we will still have properly doomed Gensokyo.
>> No. 160909
>>160908

On that note, can you imagine Cirno armed with limited wish, or even a full-blown wish spell?
>> No. 160917
>>160909

She really would be the strongest then. A wish spell basicly rewrites reality the way you want.

Cirno would probably use it for more Wish spells. And then she might get ideas...

After that, well, it really depends on what you think will happen.
>> No. 160919
>>160917
Stop that.
From what I've read in this thread, Wish isn't all it's cracked up to be.
>> No. 160923
Upon our leaving we should have Cirno taking her first steps to becoming a deity to pranks and trolling. We DO have to leave some sort of lasting mark past our immediate companions after all. We should make a list of spells to teach her before we leave, and possibly see if we can bind a minor ice elemental as her familiar.
>> No. 160924
>>160919
It's the Peter Molyneux of spells.
>> No. 160925
>>160919
There's mechanical limitations in-game, but Wish is pretty damn powerful in fluff. Then again, that's always the case.

>>160923
Prestidigitation, mage hand, invisibility, stinking cloud, grease, polymorph other, rigid thinking...

She'd be sealed within a day after the shenanigans she'd get up to.
>> No. 160929
With regards to Wish: My old group's DM didn't even screw with our wishes when we got a few, we managed to fuck up all on our own. The warpin' o' reality is dangerous stuff, it is.

Seriously, wishes are never anything but trouble.

We were young, and foolish, and Wished for a Deck of Many Things.
>> No. 160930
>>160923
That's assuming he decides to leave in the end. He might end up wanting to say and have a family with Keine.
>> No. 160933
>>160930
Planning out our hypothetical children a little early, aren't you?

Although Keine would totally be the disciplinarian while Wizard is the nice parent.
>> No. 160938
File 134560254233.jpg - (102.75KB , 800x565 , b6ba08e7644a5855ddd718defe573781.jpg ) [iqdb]
160938
>>160925
>>160923
>>160923
Yeeesssssss.....yeeessssssss......give in to the idea join the Cirno side young one and we can rule GENSOKYO TOGETHER AS WIZARD AND APPRENTICE.
>> No. 160940
>>160938
You're gonna make Cirno cry with your lack of sage.
>> No. 160941
“After youkai start them. What youkai don’t want public, they don’t advertise. And if you try digging them up, there will be no danmaku duel, no spellcard rules, no quarter. Leave buried things be, lest you join them.”

Did kanako just refer to herself as a Youkai?
>> No. 160942
>>160941
I believe she's using 'youkai' as a catch-all for 'humanoid magical entity', much like we use 'touhous'.
>> No. 161007
A friend from recommended this story and i was not disappointed marathon reading ftw!
>> No. 161008
>>161007
>deathfromabove

please try not to use a name unless you happen to be the writer of a story. Even then, don't be using it on another writer's story.

Also, don't use your email either.
>> No. 161009
>>161007
Welcome to THP! As a matter of introduction, please note that there is a simple matter of courtesy we use.

When you're not making a vote in a CYOA, please type "sage" into the email field. This prevents your post from bumping the thread to the top of the page. Otherwise you get people excited about a new update, and then they're really disappointed to see nothing new.

Also, Demetrious updates like once a month, so find some other stories to marathon in the meantime. There's a recommendation thread or two, but some of those stories fell off the board without being archived.
>> No. 161010
>>161007
>>161009
please ignore this twat. his views does not represent the views of the rest of the board in any way. it's just that he happens to post more than anyone else.

so all those posts on all the boards you see nagging you about the saging? yep, it's just this one guy.

and he's an utter twat.
>> No. 161011
>>161010

Believe me when I say that it's not just one fag who wants you to sage when it's not an update/vote/relevant at all. We are legion, the silent majority, the bandwagon, the... drat, I can't think of any other terms.
>> No. 161013
I really wish Cirno was good enough to teach Control Weather. If she cast it discreetly every day, she could have her very own incident-in-a-can! I'd also want to teach her anti-magic field, as it would be a god tier danmaku barrier, but I'm not sure if her flying is extraordinary (not dispelled) or supernatural (dispelled).
>> No. 161014
>>161013
Her wings are icicles. I'm guessing supernatural. Although given she forgets to use them half the time, antimagic field could still be viable.

Why would Wizard know it, though?
>> No. 161015
File 134586407092.jpg - (99.99KB , 472x472 , om nom nom.jpg ) [iqdb]
161015
[X] Tell Keine that you NEED to talk to Yuyuko about Youmu's investigation (warning her about Kanako). Casually mention the dream where Youmu dies. Then wrangle a ghost while you're at it.
[X] Then pursue boomshrooms.



Tilting your hat to shade your face, you bash through the cafe door and stomp into the street, Duke and Cirno trailing. The electric rush of fear fades, but something else lingers, smoldering dark and hot in your blood.

Shouts burble up down the street, and somebody shouts your name. You about-face, standing wide and sturdy, mayhem on your mind and evocation on your lips and Keine in your arms.

...wait.

“What?” you query as your bad attitude fizzles. A little.

“Are you hurt? What happened?” Keine shouts into your ear, still hugging you.

“Stuff,” you reply reflexively as logic races to catch libido.

Keine disentangles herself from you, gripping your shoulders at arms length. “You were attacked,” she states, her face pale.

“No, no! I’m fine!” you stutter in shock. You’ve seen her apprehensive, startled, spooked, but never legitimately scared. “Some extra-planar lackey. I swatted-”

Duke clears his throat politely.

“-we swatted it like a fly. Mechanus sent a golem to collect their late fee, is all.”

“Thank the Dragon,” she sighs loudly – then shoots poisoned glares at the ring of eavesdroppers forming in the street, suddenly aware of their presence. She latches onto your wrist and drags you into the nearest alley, between the cafe and a dry-goods store. A few intrepid villagers try to lurk by the entrance, but a single venomous glare from the schoolteacher leaves them wilting as they slink away. Duke guards the entryway, close enough to hear, sword-tip resting on the flagstones and hands balanced on the pommel. Cirno poses by his knees, arms crossed imperiously and chest puffed out in an excellent imitation of Duke’s sentry stance.

“... sorry,” Keine says, visibly composing herself, hands wringing at her dress. “Mokou and I found Reisen, and she had a lot to say.”

You wait till Keine inhales to continue speaking, then casually inject “So did Kanako.”

Keine tries to suck in air and speak at the same time with amusingly acoustic results. You summarize events since you parted – popping an Inevitable through some ceiling rafters, discussing boomshrooms with Marisa, and the encounter with Kanako.

“-so she’s probably the Gazebo animator,” you say confidently.

Keine’s mouth quirks dubiously. “I doubt that.”

“Really?”

Keine shakes her head. “How can you be so smart and so – so you at the same time?”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” you scoff.

“DUMB!” Cirno bellows from the alley entrance. Your jaw ratchets a notch tighter and you glare at Keine warningly, which just makes her smile wider.

“Dumb,” Keine agrees. “Almost killing somebody with an architectural golem is one hell of a warning, even by deific standards. And it was done alarmingly close to town.” Keine’s face darkens and her eyes glint with hard light. “Most people know better. Kanako certainly does. Anyway, you don’t do all that and follow it with a mere lecture. Without even referencing her work, to instill more respect.”

You ponder that. “She’s not exactly subtle – when you call her bluff, that is.”

“Right,” Keine says. “And she’d have to know your activities to be concerned about them enough to attack you for it, so why tease you for information?”

You stroke your stubbled chin. “If she’s no specific quarrel, then...?”

“She’s already nervous,” Keine says, “-so it’s an especially bad time to have you meddling.”

“What’s she nervous about?” Cirno interjects from elbow level as curiosity finally draws her in. “She’s one’a three gods and they live on jerkwad mountain with all the jerkwads guarding fortress jerkwad for 'em.”

“The Outsider,” Keine replies. “Lunarians. War.”

You recall the man Mokou’s always chatting with Keine about, raising hell over some silly flag. “There’s no way he’s caused more local property damage than me, and I haven’t started any wars,” you say, a bit miffed for no adequate reason.

Keine shakes her head. “The humans from Outside want their man back. Reisen says they’ve sent one of their greatest champions from the Lunar War, a man who stood toe-to-toe with the Watatsuki sisters and emerged undefeated. And he is very, very angry.”

“One man a war does not make. Trust me, I’ve tried.”

Keine shakes her head, glancing sideways at Cirno. “Honey, go help Duke for a minute.”

Cirno pouts, her cheeks puffing out adorably even as she takes the same wide-set, rock-solid stance she adopted the first time you called her ‘stupid.’

Now.” That hard light glints in the schoolteachers eyes again and thin terror slips between your ribs to stab your heart. Cirno mutely scampers back to Duke.

Keine pulls you close by your shirtfront, and continues in a whisper. “Many ages ago the Lunarians sealed away a number of lesser gods in the outside world, their enemies. One of them was sealed in the Moriya shrine before it was brought to Gensokyo. Even if Kanako says neutral in the conflict, the newcomer might attempt an unsealing himself.”

You scowl. “Even truly terrifying clerics and wizards would have a hell of a time unsealing a god. Is he either? I thought you said they didn’t reside in the world Outside.”

Keine’s voice grows even lower. “They don’t, but... this man can summon a war-god of his own. Debi Kurokettu. Or go-juu-hachi, his formal title. He could break the seal.”

Your scowl deepens. “Are you sure?” You’ve been swimming in endless conjecture the past few days, and it’s getting old.

“Remember who you’re talking to,” Keine admonishes you. “I used my... talents to verify the matter of the sealed shrine god years ago. Of Kurokettu...” she shakes her head. “A new god. From Outside. I know nothing of him. But Reisen says he can do it, and she’s terrified. She doesn’t scare easily.”

You recall your encounter with the remarkably composed bunnygirl, which left a strong impression despite its brevity. “Good enough for me.”

Keine nods, satisfied, and you fall silent, thinking. Kanako’s touchiness is explained, but you still don’t know who tried to kill you with the Gazebo. Or how the damn ghosts fit into it. You’ve got to keep digging.

“I’m going to drop Yuyuko a Sending, to request a meeting,” you tell Keine. “I never warned her about – about Youmu,” you say, catching the words my dream in your throat and eating them. “Words out about me, now – whatever is coming her way is close, I think. Then I’m going to catch a ghost and interrogate it myself – I don’t think Youmu's been asking the right questions.”

“Why not just tell Yuyuko straight out?” Keine marvels.

“I...” you shrug. “I mean... figured I could just mention it in conversation, you know, don’t want it to be too on-the-nose...”

Keine fixes you with the blank look of the teacher who’s faith in eager young minds is too burnt to smolder. “You plan to mention a prophetic dream of a young woman’s brutal death... casually.”

“Uh-”

“Just drop it in there,” Keine continues. “Lovely wine. Just the color of Youmu’s blood in that prophetic nightmare I had, tee hee!”

You sigh, conceding defeat. “I’m... not that good with people anymore.”

Keine’s sarcasm evaporates. “I- I didn’t mean-”

“Nevermind,” you say, suddenly quite irritated and not knowing why. “You’re right. You should tell her. I’ll spirit-stalk. Just lemme send this-”

“Wait,” Keine says, grabbing your wrist as you reach for your scroll-case. “Could Duke reach the Netherworld?”

“A Celestial? Like going down the block for fish’n’chips.”

“Send him, then. With Cirno. Let me help with the ghosts. I’m the local and the historian and the scholar. Don’t you think I should be asking the questions?”

Considering your rather modest sleuthing successes over the past few days, she’s got a point. But Gensokyo’s finally baring the fangs beneath the frilly hats, and –

Your mind slams the door on that path. Even the thought of that path. This time will be different.

You gaze into Keine’s eyes, watching you intently.

It must be different.

[ ] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

[ ] Refuse Keine’s suggestion. Warn Yuyuko/Youmu with your 25-word Sending spell. They don’t need to understand, just to be vigilant.
>> No. 161016
[X] Refuse Keine’s suggestion. Warn Yuyuko/Youmu with your 25-word Sending spell. They don’t need to understand, just to be vigilant.

This could be one of those prophecies that you warn the person, they take action and die as a result of your warning. It's better to just have them on alert rather than freaking out.
Also which thread was this second outsider mentioned, as I don't remember.
>> No. 161017
All right, wait one fucking minute. Read the update first, people, this is big.
The just-revealed villain for the story is an incredibly powerful male original character on par with the Watasukis, and therefor probably capable of wiping the floor with anyone in Gensokyo.
Demetrious. If this story wasn't already so well established, and the side characters weren't so good, this would cut your reader base in half, on the spot. Probably a lot more. A protag akin to this is one thing, but this is another entirely. There's a damn good reason it's done so rarely.

I sure hope you know what you're doing.
>> No. 161018
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

The Wizard isn't much of a people person and he might ruffle more feathers than he should. Keine in contrast knows Yuyuko and knows the better way to put it. That and she'd be more trustworthy than some strange man alone.
>> No. 161019
File 134586755647.jpg - (29.35KB , 216x190 , 1322252410901.jpg ) [iqdb]
161019
>>161017

Oh, precious lord, no, my friend. They'll probably never come into contact with one another directly, aside from witnessing/hearing about the fallout of each others activities. What Keine warned you about is coming to pass - by his very presence Wizard is upsetting the power balance, and multiple people will either seek to exploit that or - in Kanako's case - avoid it. But instead of a vague "well the Power Balance brah" handwave, you're getting a more concrete example of one reason why Kanako wants to keep the status quo.

Also: Just as Keine told Wizard when he arrived, in Gensokyo he's just a new player on a crowded stage of powerful people. Given my references to other stories it should surprise nobody that one of those players happens to be another Outsider protagonist.
>> No. 161020
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
>> No. 161021
>>161019
That's...weird. Better, but weird.

>I sure hope you know what you're doing.
>> No. 161022
File 134586843355.jpg - (43.50KB , 312x293 , horogrin.jpg ) [iqdb]
161022
>>161021
>> No. 161023
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
>> No. 161024
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

Also, just had a thought. Is there a spell that we could cast on a person, so that we could pull them to our position at any time?
And yes, I do want to use a certain fairy as bait for something.
>> No. 161026
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

>>161015

>“They don’t, but... this man can summon a war-god of his own. Debi Kurokettu. Or go-juu-hachi, his formal title. He could break the seal.”
>Debi Kurokettu. Or go-juu-hachi
>Debi Kurokettu.
>Davy Crockett
I see exactly what you did there.

>go-juu-hachi
>58

The only relationship I can see between these two things is that the smallest nuclear weapon ever built, launched from a recoilless rifle, was known as the Davy Crockett and developed around 1958.
>> No. 161027
>>161026
>Davy Crockett armed with a Davy Crockett
motherofgod.jpg
>> No. 161028
File 134587647682.jpg - (28.32KB , 541x399 , doublemio.jpg ) [iqdb]
161028
>>161026

THAT was quick!
>> No. 161029
...Primarch Neil Armstrong is in the house?

*Prepares to run away like a little bitch*
>> No. 161030
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
>> No. 161031
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

I'm jumping the band wagon early on this one. Also another wizard O.o? what did our protag do? Rob him?
>> No. 161032
[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

>>161031
>O.o
Please don't do that.
>> No. 161034
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

>>161014
It's a level 6 spell with a good range of uses. Some good ones outside of Danmaku are: Banishing hordes of demons, delaying the reaction magically super-reactive potion ingredients, magical teleportation free space, shutting down magical flying devices and spells. Those 4 are just off the top of my head, I'm sure we could come up with more.
>> No. 161035
I imagined our wizard fighting against Volgin armed with two Davy Crockett It lasted about as long as it takes to pull a trigger.

>>161027
I think Davy Crockett is the name of the 'war god' not the 'wizard' Not too sure though

>>161016
It could also be a prophecy where just warning the target without any further explanation would lead it to perform the actions leading to its death.

[x] Accept Keine's offer
-[x] But go with Duke to the netherworld as soon as you're finished with Marisa.
>> No. 161036
[ X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
>> No. 161037
File 134589474250.png - (199.26KB , 800x600 , Cirno.png ) [iqdb]
161037
[ X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

Have another Keirno, Dem.
>> No. 161038
[ X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

Well, she really does understand Gensokyo way more than we do.
>> No. 161039
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

I wonder what affect those mushrooms have, in D&D terms I mean. A temporary increase in Effective Caster Level? Maximizing Spell Damage? Something else entirely? Regardless, selling potions distilled from them back in Wiznon's home would be... lucrative.
>> No. 161040
>With Cirno.
Why?
>> No. 161041
Remember the alamo.png

Waiting to see how Deme explains a dead folk hero or not so dead becoming a god. Also

>Debi Kurokettu

Who is the rest of the pantheon supposed to be? Eihvise Puhresry, John Whayneu, and Georgeu Wuahshingtonne?

[x] Accept Keine's suggestion
[x]Jacku Bauer (Theres another one) style faith interrogation
>> No. 161042
[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

Socially awkwardness has killed many a protagonist's ally.
>> No. 161047
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account. + Summon the luggage and use it as support/transport method

Have we ever found out the properties of our magical treasure chest, does it have the same property as the one from the disc world?

By the way instead of using a spell to pull someone to our position like a former post suggested, could we not use a dimensional jump spell like the one trough which we ended up here to just throw that super strong outsider in a different plane of reality, it would at least take some time for him to get back, as very few people in Gensokyo seem to have any skill in dimensional transportation.

PS: How can I put these links to a former post into my post?
>> No. 161057
>>161047
you're reading far too much into that other outsider and not drawing the proper hint.
>> No. 161064
[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
>> No. 161066
Davy Crockett...win

[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
>> No. 161072
>>161047
Click the post's number.
>> No. 161074
>>161057
Do you talk about the fact that the outsider is an american folk hero? Or that the god is a nuclear weapon? The first could have become a Yokai thanks to humans fear/magic/Moriya shrine conspiracy etc... and the second is even easier, in Japanese folklore, old items become alive all the time as tsukomogamis?? Even tough I am not sure if that would count as a god, but if you only care about power, just compare it to Utsuho Reiuji...

>>161072
Thank you very much
>> No. 161077
File 134600135595.jpg - (7.73KB , 176x137 , 1322050212395.jpg ) [iqdb]
161077
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die."

I find it strange that MC whose companions of many years were paid fabulous and touching tribute but a undead girl he only met once and had a vivid nightmare about seems such a focus of his attention, especially considering how easy it is to influence minds through magic you'd think he'd double check to make sure HIS MIND HASN'T BEEN TAMPERED WITH TO BELIEVE THIS EVENT WILL HAPPEN AND THEREFORE GUIDE HIM ALONG A SERIES OF ACTIONS THAT ULTIMATELY BENEFITS AN UNKNOWN ANTAGONIST.

*Bows* Thank you for your time.
Deme your a cunning bastard.
>> No. 161080
>>161077
That is an exceptionally good point, and I doubt anyone else was thinking of it. I sure wasn't.

The choice now is: Do we presume that this prophecy is self-fulfilling, and our attempts to save Youmu will actually lead to her death, and thus staying away from her is the key to saving her?

Or is the prophecy genuine and our direct intervention is needed to prevent her death?

What a conundrum!

I say we go grind xp in the Youkai Forest until we can cast Wish, and then if Youmu dies we can just bring her right back. As well as fuck everyone else over with phenomenal cosmic powah.
>> No. 161081
>>161074
if the writer says he's not a threat, he's not a threat.

>>161077
Well would you want Youmu to die? Unlike his departed companions, she's still alive and looks as if she has a great deal of life to live.

>>161080
>Wanting to use wish so frivolously.

Have you learned nothing?
>> No. 161082
>>161081
If using Wish to bring someone back to life isn't an appropriate use, what is?

I mean, given that Deme probably won't let us set up an infinite wish cycle and become omnipotent.
>> No. 161083
>>161074

It's extremely likely that the outsider is a human astronaut who went to the moon, since he's fought the Lunarians. He's not Davy Crockett, the "war god" is: the M-28 and M-29 man-portable nuclear weapon launchers were known as the "Davy Crockett".

Furthermore, tsukumogami have to be 100-year-old artifacts, whereas nuclear weapons date to 1945 at the earliest.
>> No. 161084
>>161083
I'm not sure that what time it now on Earth is even relevant, given that planes in DnD can have different speeds of time relative to each other. It could be 2870 C.E. in Earth time and we wouldn't be able to tell, and Wizanon probably wouldn't care enough to find out.

We should check to make sure Gensokyo doesn't have a different time-speed compared to Wizanon's home plane. Wouldn't want to finally get back and realize everyone we ever knew is long dead.
>> No. 161085
File 134602501341.jpg - (277.38KB , 800x610 , DavyCrockettBomb.jpg ) [iqdb]
161085
>>161084

Did some research on the Touhou timeline and found out that Gensokyo was sealed off from the outside world in 1884. That means EoSD takes place in July of 2003, whereas the most recent game, Ten Desires, takes place in spring of 2011. As to whether time in Wizanon's home plane flows at the same rate as Gensokyo, we can't say for sure.

http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Gensokyo
>> No. 161086
File 134604053984.png - (16.87KB , 500x400 , Accurate_depiction_of_the_First_Lunar_War.png ) [iqdb]
161086
>>161029
Neil Armstrong. Buzz Aldrin. The two men who invaded the fucking moon! And one of them is missing, and the other is apparently pissed.
>> No. 161087
[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
-[X] Well, you could. You've lived with yourself through the deaths of a lot of good people. A LOT of good people. But let's try and prevent it anyway, hmm?

And on the upside, Kanako probably won't feel the need to kick our ass if we're doing the Youmu thing - that has Incident written all over it! It's basically the Kanako-approved path.
>> No. 161088
[x] Write in: Do both. Use the Sending as a warning to Yuyuko/Youmu, AND as a polite note to announce Duke & Cirno's following-up visit.

Then Wizard and schoolteacher go interrogate ghost (and build UST).
>> No. 161089
>>161086
Well it can only be Buzz now.
>> No. 161090
[x] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
-[x]But just send Duke. He can take care of himself.

It's been to long since it's just been the original trio.
>> No. 161092
>>161088
>>161090

Combine these two.

[x] Write in: Do both. Use the Sending as a warning to Yuyuko/Youmu, AND as a polite note to announce Duke's following-up visit.
-[x]But just send Duke. He can take care of himself, and it's been to long since it's just been the original trio.
>> No. 161098
You don't mess with Primarch Neil Armstrong and his legion of SPESS MEHRINS in the service of the god president of America.
>> No. 161099
>>161089

We can revive them...we have the technology. Our fallen brothers shall be encased to serve even beyond death. Dreadnought Niel.
>> No. 161100
>>161083
Wait, he's an outsider, not a Youkai. He is a human whose war god is that famous guy and/or weapon
>> No. 161109
>>161099
I prefer the idea of him becoming a Nasaghast, myself.

>>161090
But Cirno really likes that netherworld garden, and having her rampaging around in Youmu's backyard is the next best thing when we're too busy to troll her personally.
>> No. 161125
>>161092

[x] Write in: Do both. Use the Sending as a warning to Yuyuko/Youmu, AND as a polite note to announce Duke's following-up visit.
-[x]But just send Duke. He can take care of himself, and it's been to long since it's just been the original trio.
>> No. 161126
>>161092
I don't think that's going to end well.
>> No. 161141
Sending has a 25 word limit and, if memory serves, a ten minute casting time.

Just something to keep in mind.
>> No. 161144
>>161141
>10 minute casting time
I would ALMOST be faster to walk. Or fly. Whatever.
>> No. 161146
[x] Write in: Do both. Use the Sending as a warning to Yuyuko/Youmu, AND as a polite note to announce Duke's follow up visit.

I agree too, we need the original trio. Also. I think i might have missed something. What's all this about a war god and Davy Crockett and Neil Armstrong? Can someone explain?
>> No. 161155
>>161146
Hi, You must be new here. Here's a friendly reminder, Dont put your actual email in the email part of your post. In fact, The only thing you should put in there is 'sage', so you dont bump threads. And try not to actually use a name on this site unless you are writing for it.
>> No. 161159
[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

How long until current mindblank expires?
Could we use Analyze Dweomer to check if our mind has been tampered with magic?(apart from our own mindblank)
>> No. 161164
I have no idea of what's going on anymore. There is a nuclear weapon sealed under the Moryia Shrine and the first man on the moon (RIP), is not really dead and can use the sealed weapon to kill everybody? Is that it?
>> No. 161165
>>161164

Someone in previous threads mentioned 2010 as date in which "a wizard is you" happens, but I don't know if he was right.
>> No. 161199
>>161164
Demetrious has a tendency to go more than a little crazy under pressure. He did the same in his other quest and everyone thought he was drunk or that his trip had been cracked.

So yeah, he's probably just fed up with waiting so long and going at the speed of plot to get this over with, sensibility be damned.
>> No. 161210
Cracked under pressure? I thought he was just trolling us with a cracked out dream sequence.
>> No. 161212
>>161210
Yeah, it turned out to be a crazy dream sequence caused by alium psionics, but everyone posting actually thought that Deme had gone off the deep end up until the reveal.
>> No. 161213
>>161199
>>161210
I heard the famous "Patchouli death" troll update was him reacting similarly. He does tend to do things like this to vent with whatever stress.

Though I certainly hope he doesn't cop out of the Wizard/Keine scene. Unlike /tg/, the rules are clearly defined: NSFW text and NSFW pics w/ spoilers okay, NSFW pics w/o spoilers not okay.
>> No. 161224
>>161213
I don't think Deme likes to write smut.

Maybe he could recruit some other author to do the job for him?
>> No. 161238
File 134660649198.png - (51.54KB , 159x147 , 1298150152331.png ) [iqdb]
161238
>>161224
Raises hand....
"I'll do it if need be. I respect this man's writing and trolling talent enough to volunteer."
>> No. 161245
>>161213

Eh, I don't think a smutty /at/ scene really fits this story, anyway. If we manage to get that far with Keine (and I really hope we do) I'd be happy with a tasteful fade-to-black.

Well, not totally happy. But I really don't see us getting anything better.
>> No. 161249
>>161245
sex isn't always smut. It can be romantic and tasteful. Try reading Winemaker for an example of a story that has sex but isn't a wanton kinkfest.
>> No. 161263
>>161249
I would like links for that.
>> No. 161264
>>161263
I bet you would.
>> No. 161265
>>161264
Indeed.
>> No. 161267
If we get something like the scene with Krupinski in Strike Witches Quest (in form, not content; totally different characters, and all), I'd be satisfied.
>> No. 161268
>>161263
>>161265
Learn to sage properly and we might provide links for you.
>> No. 161271
>>161238
Something tells me with a post like that, that we don't want you to write it.
>> No. 161273
>>161268
Question: What is sage and how do I do it?
>> No. 161274
>>161273
1-Write the following word: sage
2-Do it on the email field.
3-Post normally.

Like this, the thread will not get 'bumped' nor appear in the 'recent threads' of the main page. Both things indicate anxious users that the story was recently updated. When they find not an update, but a random post, they get angry.

You won't like them when they're angry.
>> No. 161276
What feat did we take for 18th level? We need Improved Familiar. That'd let you take a hippogriff or a Winter Wolf, it should count for faerie queen.

[X] Take Cirno as a Familiar; it costs, what, 100gp and some experience?

Then we can cast spells THROUGH her, no need for teaching at all. Plus Alertness, Improved Evasion and Spell Resistance could only help the brat, and being able to scry her for free would be invaluable. If nothing else, it would help this 'want to be two places at once' thing we have going.
>> No. 161278
>>161263
>>/at/6302
>>/at/8165
And the third thread should still be on pages one or two.

>>161276
Just because your teacher gave you a yellow star doesn't mean all your ideas are good ones.
>> No. 161285
>>161276
Having a significant portion of our life force (an entire constitution point, and wizards don't have much of that!) tied into CIRNO of all people doesn't sound like a good idea.

Do we even have a familiar? I haven't noticed one.
>> No. 161287
>>161285
this isn't ADnD, it's not a permanent loss of con
>> No. 161291
>>161287

Which begs the question. Are we using 3E rules, 3.5E Rules or Pathfinder rules?
>> No. 161292
>>161291
You forget home-brew Classic to 3.5 rules, clearly the best way.
>> No. 161295
>>161285
We don't, but back in thread 8 or thereabouts Deme said that didn't mean we COULDN'T have one.

>>161278
Gee whiz mister, then it's a good thing we have you here to tell us what're good ideas and bad ones.
>> No. 161296
>>161295
I bet you're one of the jokers who thought using wish or limited wish to clean the library was a good idea.
>> No. 161297
>>161296
Not him, but I figured that LW would disappear the dust, not sweep it all into the air.

That's "evil genie" dickery right there.
>> No. 161298
>>161297

Why the fuck would you even LW for something as mudane as that?
>> No. 161299
>>161298
It was for the joke update
>> No. 161311
>>161298
Because the people in question were only thinking about how to get into Patchouli's pants, not much else. And they got the joke update for their stupidity.
>> No. 161318
>>161311
In the end, isn't that the goal of all the threads here? To get in the pants of their favorite touhou?
>> No. 161320
>>161318

But the only favorite touhou in this story is Keine. Maybe Cirno too, or Mokou if you're in for hard mode.
>> No. 161338
maybe for new game plus we should change to the difficulty to beyond the impossible and aim for harem route?
>> No. 161342
>>161338
Inb4 "Cast Bull's Endurance"
>> No. 161345
File 134718424675.jpg - (182.26KB , 640x480 , 132004309893.jpg ) [iqdb]
161345
>>161318
Whilst many of us are here for the fun story lines and the most interesting plots that Deme throws our way through sheer wit and well timed references I am sure that more then a few of us are sub-consciously barracking for the MC to find love in certain places.
>> No. 161367
>>161345
subconsciously? I think most everyone is heads-over-heels for Keine.

Although I'm curious what Reisen meant when she said that "we'd find out" about what being a male magician means.

3-way catfight between Marisa, Alice and Patchy over us?
>> No. 161410
File 134741081129.png - (508.52KB , 799x1129 , b5d48b0c04a13e7efc25c17cce17c36d.png ) [iqdb]
161410
believe we need a motivational boost for our god demetrious!
>> No. 161411
Heh, I'm a little annoyed at myself for noticing this only this afternoon. I caught who the other Outsider is easily, and Davy Crockett is pretty straightforward. But missing this connection.... Wizard has already seen one of the astronauts, when first reaching town.

1. Uncommonly powerful old man with an issue with Eirin.
2. Wearing a hat concealing their face.
3. Selling random stoneware, including a plain lump of grey rock.
4. Which Eirin instantly homes in on.

That resolves to: Neil or Buzz hiding in plain sight, baiting a stall with a moon rock, in order to jump the first Lunarian they come across. And the odd non-sequiter scene with the odd old man suddenly is not out-of-place at all.

Now, to throw in a vote:

[x] Go with Keine's suggestion. Send Duke and Cirno to send the message (though use the Sending to announce that they will be visiting - only polite, afterall).

Go hunting ghosts with Keine (without meeting Youmu's grandpa). Skip the mushrooms for now, unless you happen to be in the right area.
>> No. 161412
>>161411
Maybe we can work in how Neil has come to Gensokyo and that his death IRL is actually faked.

I miss him.
>> No. 161413
>>161412
We all do.
>> No. 161416
>>161411
Yeah, they found some of Eirin's instant immortality on the moon. That's how.
>> No. 161421
>>161411
Wow.

I totally missed all that. Foreshadowing is fun.
>> No. 161429
>>161411
Oh god I so want this to be true.


[x] Go with Keine's suggestion. Send Duke and Cirno to send the message (though use the Sending to announce that they will be visiting - only polite, afterall).

Smart anon is smart.
>> No. 161431
>>161429
Now if we used it to cure cancer...
>> No. 161435
[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
- [x] Also go through the plans Alice gave us if we'll have some time to spare. Kanako doesn't want us to pay with her toys? We'll send someone else after them. Buy Marisa's help if needed.
>> No. 161437
>>161411
What thread is this?
>> No. 161492
>>161437
Thread 20, Post #156852.
It struck me as a really odd, random scene, until we got the dirt about who else is stirring up trouble.
>> No. 161493
>>161492

buddy, sage goes in the email.
>> No. 161495
File 134769269636.jpg - (65.12KB , 350x414 , sage.jpg ) [iqdb]
161495
>>161493
sage goes in every field
>> No. 161497
On the topic of sage, it appears nokosage doesn't work here.
>> No. 161498
This is bad.

If it is Neil, I can't help but barrack for him.
>> No. 161508
>>161497
Nokosage doesn't work anywhere. Try noko sage.
>> No. 161509
>>161508
Well fuck me. That works on 4chan.
>> No. 161512
>>161497

Board doesn't move fast enough to require Noko anyway.
>> No. 161602
[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.
- [x] Also go through the plans Alice gave us if we'll have some time to spare. Kanako doesn't want us to pay with her toys? We'll send someone else after them. Buy Marisa's help if needed.

I hope this gets updated.
>> No. 161608
[X] Accept Keine’s suggestion. You couldn’t live with yourself if Youmu dies on your account.

>I hope this gets updated.

Sentiments here too, bro/sis.
>> No. 161710
File 134845804753.jpg - (205.79KB , 551x761 , EUREKA.jpg ) [iqdb]
161710
*****

Flowers?” you say. “You think they’ll be hanging around flowers!?

“They tend to,” Keine replies. “I don’t know if there’s some deep metaphysical reason or if they just like flowers, but they do. Besides, we’ve been walking around town for twenty minutes now without success.”

You shrug, conceding the point. “Righto. To the park!” You swing your foot out to take a dramatic stride, then pivot on your heel like an uncertain weathercock. “Um.”

“This way,” Keine says, hooking her arm in yours to lead you down the street. She drags you between close-packed wooden stalls, through narrow alleys, up creaking staircases and across weathered roofs.

“How’d you learn your way around like this?” You see a sardonic look forming and cut it off. “Rooftops? You can fly.

“Not always,” she objects. “I was a kid once too, you know.”

“A proper little rogue of one, apparently,” you reply. Keine smiles, a distant, wistful expression...

Then she skips right off the fucking roof.

“OY,” you comment as she drags you over the side, but the building’s side proves to be a slope-roofed addition. Sliding down, Keine lands adroitly on both feet. You manage one heel and stagger dangerously, only your hooked arms keeping you upright.

“Haven’t done that in years,” Keine fairly giggles. She fairly drags you through the alley and back onto the street proper. You try to free your arm from hers, but she just clamps it against her side, trapping you neatly.

“Um,” you say, straining your muscles fruitlessly. Even with your magic gauntlets on, her strength is far superior. “Won’t people talk?”

She smiles warmly, looking straight ahead. “Let them talk.”

“They already are, apparently.”

The schoolteacher’s arm tightens against yours slightly. “How do you mean?”

“According to Kanako? Keeping myself hidden has only made me more mysterious in conversation, the crash-site’s a tourist attraction and... you.”

Keine’s spine stiffens noticeably. “What about me?” she asks in neatly clipped tones.

“Everybody’s amazed you might have a boyfriend,” you say.

Keine’s face flushes, her jaw tightening. She draws herself up slowly, sensible shoes clack-clacking loudly as she fairly drags you down the boardwalk.

“And just what-”

“Mysterious supernatural exotic beauty but way too human to rip your balls off and eat ‘em,” you jab quickly.

Keine takes a moment to parse this. “I’m-”

“Plus schoolboys first teacher-crush, plus eternally youthful you and a few generations worth of students.”

“But I’m o-”

“So now the bar talk’s all ‘but what mortal man could win her’ and all that rubbish.”

You pause invitingly.

“Bu-”

“Probably. Just my take on it,” you say, extruding demure modesty. Unbalancing with quick jabs is your best conversational gambit, mainly because you can practice it with your fists.

Keine glances askance at you, eyes lidded. “Is that so.”

You nod confidently. “Yep.”

“Mmmmhmmm,” Keine muses, and falls silent.

You move easily through the mid-day throngs on the boardwalk as pedestrians allow you respectful berth. Keine still receives her customary, polite nods, but today you notice many more eyes on you, their curiosity not always well-hidden. Keine’s insistence on secreting your presence was taxing your patience, but this kind of attention would’ve made your progress with the publicity-shy Society nigh impossible.

Subtlety. Like medicine, it’s sometimes necessary, but never fun.

You pass Keine’s schoolhouse and abode, and at length you’ve reached the outermost townhouses, unfenced yards yielding to the wild, tall grass covering the valley floor. The army of gawkers milling about the village park has dissipated, but there’s still a few wandering about.

You snap your fingers and point. “Thar she floats!”

“I don’t see it,” Keine frowns.

“You didn’t cast See Invisibility. A moment, please.” You crack your knuckles and focus on the spirit, who seems to be walking slow circles around the shattered remains of the Gazebo. Not wanting to be spotted by the ghost, you pull Keine behind a convenient hedge, then stand on a stone bench to peek over occasionally.

Within a minute the spirit drifts past, turning its back to you as it turns to complete its lazy circuit.

A quick word, a brief gesture, and Command Undead takes hold easily. Getting it to listen might be. “Hey, ectobag!” you snap. “Get yer ass over here.”

The spirit dutifully hovers through the hedge to stand before you. So much for that.

“Manifest.”

There’s a slight shimmering, and Keine takes a step back as the ghost becomes visible to her.

“Right,” you say, hopping off the bench. “He never saw us, so the necromancer didn’t either.” You turn to the ghost. “State last order.”

“Patrol,” it says flatly.

“He wasn’t actively monitoring it anyways. Good.” You flourish your palm in a ‘ta-dah’ gesture. “Delivered, one zombai goast.”

Keine looks at you blankly. “So?”

“... um. This is when Youmu smacks it with the sword what makes ‘um think straight.” You relate Youmu’s lecture on the nature of spirits and how memory chronology defines them. “I don’t have a juju blade but Dispel Magic ought to-”

“No...” Keine says, her gaze going distant. “No.” She stares through the ghost for several long moments. “No, she’s going about it all wrong.”

“Eh?”

“Youmu said our antagonist meddled with the spirits – gave their memories just enough coherence so they could manifest effectively, but not enough to let them think independently?”

You shrug. “The gist, at any rate.”

Keine circles the spirit, fingering her red neckerchief absently. “The Hakurouken restores full coherence to the spirit, the memories...” Keine looks at you. “Is there a magical link between necromancer and ghost?”

You rub your chin thoughtfully. “No. You use a spell to make them malleable. Magicians here work differently but magic is magic; different methods, same result. You’ve still got to issue it commands. And even then you’d better show ‘em your Glory Hand is way strong or they’ll ignore you. There’s no inherent link between necromancer and minion.”

Keine’s brows furrow in concentration, both hands worrying her neckerchief now. “So the only clue lies in the meddling. What the necromancer found useful for them to remember.”

“Aaaand Youmu’s sword erases it.”

“Precisely,” Keine says.

“So we interrogate as-is,” you conclude. “But what do we ask? Youmu hasn’t-”

“Youmu’s not asking the right questions, I think,” Keine says, her eyes fixed on the apparition. She approaches it cautiously. “She’s smart enough, but forthright by nature and too young to have learned much of guile.” Stopping arms length from the spirit, she adopts an open expression, hands twined behind her back. “Where did you live?”

The spirit’s expression clouds for a moment, then goes slack.

“... where do you live?” Keine tries.

“House... apartment... basement... house?” the spirit mumbles.

Keine’s brow furrow a little deeper as she thinks. “What city do you live in?” she asks.

“Tokyo,” it answers immediately.

Keine blinks, surprised.

“What’s your occupation?” she asks next.

“Nothing,” the spirit spits bitterly. “Nothing. Nothing.”

“Who’s your spouse?”

“A picture,” it spits in disgust.

A picture? On a wall? The only memory left of you at all – you shove the thrice-damned tune out of your head as you ponder. A portrait of his deceased wife? Icon worship? With chronology shot to hell all you can be sure of is the associated bitterness overpowers any other emotions, before or after.

“What do you want the most?” Keine asks next.

“To not exist,” the spirit replies unhesitatingly. “Even if she did, I am disgusting. I am a burden. I should not exist.”

Keine looks troubled, but her eyes still glint with inquisitiveness, rubbing her neckerchief ‘twixt thumb and forefinger pensively. “Can you get it?”

The spirit hesitates, its outline flexing as mist writhes in its translucent depths.

“I’m afraid... afraid... afraid...” the spirits voice echoes with dark, hollow misery.

“Send it away,” Keine says in a low voice, clearly unsettled. You snap your fingers at the spirit and point at a distant hedge, and it obediently drifts off.

“Did you make anything out of that?” you ask, dejected.

“Yes,” Keine says. “Tokyo is a major city in the outside world – a decent distance from the Barrier, in fact. Outsiders wander into Gensokyo often enough; Dragon knows enough of them perish to youkai before Mokou finds them... but there’s only a few places the barrier’s weak enough to permit that.”

“Well, that narrows it down a bit, at least,” you sigh. “But how does that explain who’s got attachments? Past attachments? Like Yuyuko said?” You sigh gustily, flinging your hat onto the grass and slumping onto a nearby bench. “Come to think, why’d Yuyuko tell us to look for links to the past, then tell Youmu all this chronology crap? Is she messing with us?”

Keine looks at you blankly. “You don’t know?”

“I know the magic, the basic principles therewith, I don’t know ghosts academically. What I do know I learned, uh, hands-on.”

“Getting your ass kicked by them?” Keine says, grinning brilliantly.

“... maybe,” you mutter. You mourn your inscrutable wizard aura regretfully. Keine’s awfully observant.

Keine smiles even brighter, looking pleased with herself. “Youmu and Yuyuko are talking about the same thing. What holds a spirit to this world? Attachment. Sometimes there’s unfinished business, a reason to stay. And sometimes they simply don’t know they’re dead.”

“... because they’re not buried,” you say as recognition dawns.

“No end-point to the chronology of experience,” Keine agrees. “I’d guess whether they fall into incoherent blobs, or keep their intellect and humanoid shape depends on the willpower of the particular person. Yuyuko just gave you the layman’s phrasing, is all.”

Earlier impressions of Youmu’s intellectual ability rebound on you quite suddenly.

“She’s not as dumb as you thought, hmm?” Keine guesses, studying your expression.

“Damn,” you surrender glumly.

“And she probably thinks you’re dumb for not grasping her lecture,” Keine continues mercilessly.

Double damn,” you wail. Keine’s dominating this round, it’s time to cut your losses. “So it’s all about that end-point. The death. But ignorance of their death is what keeps them Ghosty in Gensokyo at all, so you can’t use that as the link, the attachment.” You frown as the details of the necromancer’s task becomes clear. “That’s what I didn’t understand before. I don’t need any ‘past link’ to command a ghost, but the way magic is practiced in Gensyoko, local methods would. I can’t command thirty-plus undead at a time, either, but a Gensyokan caster could.” You sigh, picking up your hat and punching the soft peak down into the crown. “No wonder Youmu flopped. How they died reveals who has access to their remains - or at least their personal effects - but that’s the one question they don’t know, so neither will we.”

“But we do,” Keine says. “Suicide.”

You stare at her blankly.

She nods at the distant spirit. “The strongest memories – isolation, a lost lover or just an unachievable fantasy of a lover, no occupation or distraction day-to-day, not just wanting an easy solution to problems, but actively loathing his very existence... maybe he got over it, but then the reconciliation would be a more poignant memory, I think. All else equal... he’s a suicide.” She quirks her mouth thoughtfully, looking after the spirit. “One of the weak points in the Border tends to attract suicidal folk, too... but one ghost is a pretty limited sample.”

You shake your head. “No. No, our mysterious spook-summoner sent a mob after us, and apparently has enough to post them around as sentries and spies,” you say, nodding at the enthralled spirit. That implies a uniform source, to acquire that many, that suddenly.”

You punch your hat absently as the scattered research of the past few days comes together. Your attacker is someone with remains of, effects of, or personal history with suicidal, now-dead people from outside of Gensokyo. Suicides have no reason to ‘stay’ by definition, which leaves suicides that don’t know they’re dead, which is one hell of a trick, considering. That’s an awfully specific category of spook; which implies magical machinations. Someone with inherent control over spirits, like Yuyuko (or this ‘Yama,’ for that matter,) needn’t be so picky.

And as you told Keine, it’s a charismatic someone, willful enough to command spirits without problem. That rules out Alice, all right. Possibly Patchouli; she’s willful as any magician of her caliber, but that doesn’t equate a presence of will that can fill a room like a tangible entity. She didn’t seem so imposing when you were ribbing her over her naughty books, but she was rather off-guard, too.

And she did start at your mention of necromancy, didn’t she?

“Where do we go from here?”

You look up at Keine, who’s watching you intently, following your train of thought by your expression.

“... not sure. We’ve reached a tipping point, it’s all coming together and possibilities are narrowing quickly.”

The very conditions that produce prophetic dreams – forces in motion so ponderous and unstoppable that billions of fine branching potentials consolidate to a mere handful of probables, deeply graven in the future.

A deep chill spreads through your body and hollows your breast.

“Things are going to change,” you predict. “And fast.”



[ ] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.

[ ] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.

[ ] Keine was right about keeping myself hidden, Keine was right about interviewing ghosts – who am I to judge? Defer to her judgment.

[ ] Write-in?
>> No. 161711
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.

This as I'm not sure how well they're doing things that and this is important information to get to Yuyuko and youmu.

We'll be lucky with Duke's evil hunting tendencies and Cirno being herself hasn't bungled things.
>> No. 161713
[X] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.

Look, knowing things is great. Knowing things leads to possibly figuring out the mystery.

That's great.

Not so great if you're dead from not having the power to DO something with your knowledge.

And those mushrooms? Those, my friend, are POWER. The power to change the future, to fight against the evils that be. Without that power, all the knowledge and information is useless.
>> No. 161714
[x] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.

[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.

[x] Keine was right about keeping myself hidden, Keine was right about interviewing ghosts – who am I to judge? Defer to her judgment.

Order is 3 1 2 :)
>> No. 161716
>>161714
> :)
Emoticons on THP are frowned upon (aside from ;_; and ಠ_ಠ), and that's saying it nicely. You aren't 13 anymore, so it's okay to use your words just like the grown-ups do.
>> No. 161719
>>161713
so is power without knowledge. It's logic like that that makes people think of fa/tg/uys. The Boomshrooms is a stupid subquest anyways.
>> No. 161723
[X] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.

We don't need the boom-shrooms, we can't compete in brute force with the hats any which way, so it'd be a waste of time. We'll win by using non-conventional magic that they won't expect, like transforming into an iron dragon swimming through lava at the speed of light.

And Keine may have been right twice, but that doesn't mean she's right all the time.
>> No. 161724
>>161714
Also, sage goes in the email field.
>> No. 161728
>NEET portal to gensokyo to find waifu

nobody pointed this out yet
>> No. 161731
Patchouli DID flinch when necromancy was mentioned, didn't she. D&D vampires can command lesser creatures like bats and wolves and Dominate others, and devils can summon more of their kind. Bet a vampire devil could summon and wrangle a bunch of Outsider goasts without much trouble. And I think Remilia HAS that sense of 'presence' Wizanon talks about.

Failing that, Patchouli scries around; she could have found something and been ordered to keep it under her hat by the boss.

I say we,
[X] Teach Patchouli how we do it in wizard land. Scrying time.
[X] If we're too busy to spend an hour staring at our crystal ball, I bet we could totally pay Marisa to go over and bug her about it.
>> No. 161732
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.
>> No. 161733
>>161731
Good catch. The scarlet devil is one of those who has both the way and the will (which is a on-character word for charisma and charisma means Remilia) to command so many undead at the same time. Patchouli's fear and scrying and Sakuya's attitude both fill the bill too.

However, it seems too straightforward. This author just loves red herrings and I'm sure he won't be adverse to scarlet herrings, even when they have so many hints like this one.

Which leaves Orin or the very own Yuyuko as suspects. Or that classic you-have-to-be-the-author-to-get-this-vague-foreshadowing option which can be pretty much anyone (Mima, P/E)

[x] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.
Choosing this because, even when the antagonist is way out of his league, there's no shame in closing the 'gap' as it were.
>> No. 161734
[ ] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.
>> No. 161738
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.
>> No. 161739
File 134852583911.jpg - (120.03KB , 600x902 , 1344982008608.jpg ) [iqdb]
161739
>“Who’s your spouse?”
>“A picture,” it spits in disgust.

>“What do you want the most?” Keine asks next.
>“To not exist,” the spirit replies unhesitatingly. “Even if she did, I am disgusting. I am a burden. I should not exist.”

I think I saw what you did there and I loved it.
>> No. 161741
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.
>> No. 161742
[X] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.

There's no way this is ending without an fight.
>> No. 161743
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and DUKE as well.
>> No. 161748
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.

This seems the smartest option.
>> No. 161751
File 134854626544.jpg - (66.46KB , 1024x702 , 1341710417594.jpg ) [iqdb]
161751
>>161728

And for that matter, why hasn't any enterprising collector made one of these pictures with a Nambu? Failure of a human killing himself with a failure of a Japanese gun to enter made-up Japanese afterlife would be... poignant. If any combination of felicity is enough to punch through to Gensokyo, it'd be that.
>> No. 161753
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.
>> No. 161795
[x] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.

boom-shrooms are best shrooms, portable back up in mushroom form.
>> No. 161797
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.
---[x] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.

First one, then the other.
>> No. 161814
[ ] "Zombai goasts? This is way outta my league. Let's call someone with... divine connections to handle this. In the meantime, I'm going to pay Marisa a little visit about her... mushrooms. Yeah, mushrooms."
>> No. 161897
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.
---[x] I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.

First one, then the other.
>> No. 162069
File 13495863845.png - (346.41KB , 601x467 , Screen shot 2012-10-06 at 9_59_59 PM.png ) [iqdb]
162069
[x] You're already pretty damn powerful, so shrooms are low priority at the moment. What matters right now is taking as much action as possible towards preventing Youmu's death. Report to Yuyuko, reunite with daughter and doggy (Cirno and Duke), then ask Keine what to do.

The final stage approaches.
>> No. 162124
>>162069
[x] Give a quick report to Yuyuko, then go get the boomshrooms ASAP.

Guys, the boomshrooms are Wizard's bombs. The screen-clearing, life-saving, danmaku-curtain-removing bombs. We need those.
>> No. 162125
>>162124
>implying his battles would be danmaku ones
>> No. 162135
File 134984264962.jpg - (821.85KB , 1000x1400 , strike witches touhou.jpg ) [iqdb]
162135
So this is where Planefag disappeared to.
>> No. 162136
>>162135
He bounces back and forth. AWiY actually predates SWQ by a year and a bit.

(Sage is appreciated on non-vote posts; we move very slowly here.)
>> No. 162137
I say we hear Keine's view on the situation and then go meet with youmu, maybe scry on SDM if we have the time, just in case. another perspective is always nice and a good portion of time has passed so who knows what we might see at the mansion. maybe we find another clue, maybe we see koakuma dusting.
>> No. 162235
File 135013355312.jpg - (155.04KB , 484x567 , 68d169fe4d725ca42184975d9ee1c076[1].jpg ) [iqdb]
162235
Mostly unrelated to current conversation but related to Duke, where the context was one L5R school had effectively "Class feature: at the 5th level, your superiors will send assassins to kill you off."

>WELL
>if you take the Celestial template in Gensokyo
>Shinigami will be along every now and again to kill you off.

...Duke had best watch his back.
>> No. 162236
>>162235
Komachi would probably get along great with Duke.
I mean, he's a talking dog. Man. Thing. Can't be many of those crossing the Sanzu.
>> No. 162269
>>162235
>if you take the Celestial template in Gensokyo
>Shinigami will be along every now and again to kill you off.

utter nonsense, you are probably thinking of Kasen, who's a hermit/oni
>> No. 162311
>>162269
Well, In Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Komachi specifically mention "Celestials and Hermits" as the ones who are usually beating up the Shinigami who come to collect their souls and thus get an extension on their lifespan when fighting Marisa. And the entirety of her "battle banter" with Tenshi is about how Celestials beat up the Shinigami who try to come for them in order to extend their own life.

So yeah, Celestials and Shinigami aren't exactly the greatest of buddies in Gensokyo.
>> No. 162313
>>162311
She mentioned in WaHH that it's not so much Shinigami that go after failed hermits but "something worse". Celestial are basically hermits that fully succeded at becoming immortal.

Not sure if this applies to Gods or their agents as Duke's more "Agent of God" than "Hermit that succeed".
>> No. 162322
>>162313
Time for a hilarious misunderstanding followed by shenanigans, then.
>> No. 162327
>>162311
Shinigami fighting celestials/hermits was revealed to be misinformation in WaHH. The true assassins of hell are the kishin chiefs, higher oni that govern over the hell oni.
>> No. 162328
>>162327
>kishin chiefs
>somehow misread as "kitchen chefs"
>see nothing wrong with this
>> No. 162368
>>162328

It's Gensoukyou. Of <i>course</i> the kitchen chefs are awesome.
>> No. 162377
>>162368
Let me help you out. Sage goes in the email field. Tags are done with brackets: [ and ]. You generally don't need to put anything in the subject field unless you're A: starting a new thread or B: writing a story.

"Gensoukyou", while correct with some romanization schemes, isn't the generally accepted one. That is "Gensokyo".
>> No. 162409
>>162377
That would chop the two long vowel sounds, and my inner language student refuses to accept that.

Besides, it's either "Gensoukyou" or "Gensōkyō" (with the elongation marks over the vowels). Anything less and you're both wrong and a slack-ass.
>> No. 162433
>>162409
So the correct pronunciation is "gen-soo-kyoo?"

I always thought it was "gen-soh-kyo."
>> No. 162436
>>162433
No, "gen-soh-kyo" is about right. The ō sound in "Gensōkyō" is roughly the same vowel sound as in "float" or "phone", but is pronounced for a slightly longer time.

English used to have true long vowels like these, and they were usually written with double letters, but there was a pronunciation shift starting around the 14th century, and now English "long vowels" are pronounced higher in the mouth instead of for a longer time.


>>162409
Despite this, "Gensokyo" is ZUN's official romanization of the word as of the PCB Phantasm stage.
>> No. 162450
>>162436
so, "Gen-so-oh-kyo-oh?"
>> No. 162453
>>162450
No.
Ghen-soh-kyoh.
>> No. 162518
>>162436
>Despite this, "Gensokyo" is ZUN's official romanization of the word as of the PCB Phantasm stage.
I am aware of this, but if we are to rely on this alone, then we must use spellings such as "Huziwara" - which, while technically correct from a certain romanization scheme, is grotesquely wrong with regards to English phonemes. (On that note, ZUN is rather inconsistent, as he did not shorten the long vowel in Mokou's name.) The only romanization that can be applied is one working directly from the Japanese text, not from Word of God.

>>162450
Geh-nn-soh-oh-kyoh-oh.
>> No. 162523
>>162518
stop wasting posts here doing this shit and take it to /gensokyo/
>> No. 162525
>>162518
"The guy who made it all up says that it's spelled like this, but he's wrong."
Really?

Word of God can, by definition, never be wrong.
He made it, so he can be as inconsistent as he wants but he'll still always be right.
I can make something up right now and decide that it will break all the rules of grammar, logic and common sense and I will still be right, regardless. Because I made it up and whatever I say goes.
It's like that Monty Python sketch.. "My name is spelled 'Luxury Yacht' but it's pronounced 'Throatwobbler Mangrove'".
>> No. 162632
>>162525
>>"The guy who made it all up says that it's spelled like this, but he's wrong."
>Really?
Yes, really. He doesn't even speak English, let alone know anything about transliterating names and such to and from it.

>Word of God can, by definition, never be wrong.
That only applies as far as the relevant expertise allows. Which, in ZUN's case (and with regard to linguistic ability), is virtually none.

>He made it, so he can be as inconsistent as he wants but he'll still always be right.
And that would apply if someone was challenging, say, which kanji to spell so-and-so's name with. But that's not what's going on here.

>I can make something up right now and decide that it will break all the rules of grammar, logic and common sense and I will still be right, regardless. Because I made it up and whatever I say goes.
Ahaha. No.
>> No. 162644
>>162632
>>162525
This argument chafes my ass like petrified wool. Stop it.

[N] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.
>> No. 162664
[x] Refuge in audacity. - I’m very close to the answer – but not so prepared for the ensuing conflict. It’s Boom-Shrooms now or never.

PS: In this story appeared a magical luggage. Does it have the same magical resistance as the one in discworld, or is it just a charmed chest?
>> No. 162777
So... You OK Demetrious?
>> No. 162811
>>162777
sage goes in the email field.

He's posted some after the last AWIY, but nothing recent.

He's probably dropped to a monthly post or so.
>> No. 163107
>>162777
He posted in a thread on /tg/ yesterday. So he's alive at lest, I figure he's just being a lazy sod.
>> No. 163111
[x] Yuyuko’s the expert. We should report what Youmu couldn’t and really run this to ground, now. And reunite with Cirno and the Celestial, as well.

[x] Holy balls what is that thing behind you?!?
>> No. 163466
>>163107
As always.
>> No. 163580
File 135527947317.jpg - (153.90KB , 850x1202 , 1355271274201.jpg ) [iqdb]
163580
Against the vaulting pillars of clouds the black Gates of the Netherworld stand starkly, their inky ebony hue easy to see from many miles distant. The gates loom higher as you draw near, drifting evanescent eddies of shadowstuff in the glossy black wood seeming to mirror the wisps of cloud swirling about it.

You and Keine stand motionless for long quiet seconds, staring up at the towering gates to the ghost realm.

"Sooo spooky~" you declare, wiggling your splayed fingers dramatically as you step forward. "The first time, I guess." Hands in pockets, you drift towards the Gates.

Their black bulk sweeps through the cloudwisps as they swell towards you.

You jerk back violently, somersaulting in midair and ending up on your back. Your usual panicked scuttle doesn't work while flying, but you manage to flail your way into a kind of spastic backstroke. Your head bumps against Keine's shins just as the Gates cease advancing - and widen. Swinging wide on silent hinges, the glossy black wood is so alike the shadowy veil within that you can only distinguish the doors when they swing out, silhouetted against the clouds. Instead of opening gates, it seems a titanic shadow spreading its wings.

The Gates open completely, and from within the shadowy veil a voice moans with sepulchral tone:

"YOOOOUU~ AAAREE~ EEEXPEEECTEEEED."

"Oooh... spooky!" Keine says brightly. You glower back at her grin as she helps you up.

A ghosty head pops through the veil. "Sorry about that. The veil messes with my voice."

Karma, always looping 'round to bite you before you ever see it coming, like a boomerang-shaped fae. The ghost (one of Yuyuko's assistants) escorts you through the brilliant light and brooding shadows of the Netherworld. Afore long you espy Hakugyokurou, its long wooden walls somber and solid against the surreal landscape. Your guide leads you straight through the estate, cutting across flowerbeds and through storage rooms as you and Keine hustle to keep pace.

You're nearly short of breath when the spirit ushers you into a sizable, barren room that contains Yuyuko Saigyouji, Yuyuko Saigyouji's dangerously flat expression and nothing else.

"Keine Kamishirasawa, teacher and historian, and her companion, the foreign Magician," the spirit states formally. He bows deeply to Yuyuko, snaps upright, and gets the hell out.

Yuyuko stands stock-still, her voluminous sleeves joined before her. Her lovely maroon eyes bore into you as you fidget uncomfortably.

"Hey," you say.

Yuyuko's eyelashes lower ever so slightly as her glare intensifies to skewering.

"Hoooow's the weather?" you attempt.

"Eternal and unchanging," Yuyuko says, clipping the words so crisply you can almost hear the little tocks! as they fall to the floor between you.

You evaluate her words, read the atmosphere, and turn to Keine. "I think she's pissed!" you inform her.

"He can think!?" Yuyuko says to Keine with airy suprise. "Well done. You should have taught him to speak before working on 'fetch,' however."

"You need a refresher course in playing dead, yourself," you snap back.

Ghosts are known to cause cold spots, but the sudden chill in the air is notable nonetheless. "You're like anpan in the oven," Yuyuko says, her voice thin. "When the heat's on, you get all puffed up - with hot air, mostly."

Keine discreetly trods on your foot before you can reply. "Lady Saigyouji, we don't have time for this," Keine pleads. "We're sorry our notice was abrupt, but-"

"Abrupt?" Yuyuko marvels. "Abrupt? You had warning my beloved servant and charge is fated to die, and you not only keep silent, but send your lackey to inform me when you deem I should know?"

"Hi!" you reply brightly. "I'm Nobody McForeigner and I want your help - oh, and I had a prophetic vision of somebody important to you, gee what are the odds? Where I come from, that's the one 'hello' that guarantees a 'goodbye' involving a chicken impersonation.”

Yuyuko's eyes blaze with eldritch incandescence as she replies, softly: "Any fool can see Gensokyo harbors the mystical and marvelous, and Magicians are no fools."

"Then why the hell would I trust you?" you reply flatly.

Yuyuko's tight-pressed lips part in surprise.

"Attacked by ghosts? You were my first suspect. If your goal was to bring me close – to trust you - what better way to send me scampering to a ghost expert then a ghost attack?" You cross your arms resolutely. "We sent that missive about five minutes after ruling you out as the culprit."

Yuyuko's eyes dim to their usual lovely hue. "I... understand," she says, her tight expression slipping. "But - a discreet hint, surely -”

"Yuyuko," Keine interjects gently. "The prophecy came to him in a dream. That's... personal. Intensely so. He didn't even tell me; I had to drag it out of him."

"When?" Yuyuko queries.

Keine stiffens slightly. “I-”

“Ah,” Yuyuko says, looking thoughtful. Your eyes meet, and you feel yourself falling into her limpid maroon gaze. “Keeping secrets is what friends do,” she says, her expression softening sadly. “Dragon knows... I’ve kept many.”

Her gaze drops from yours. “Well. What brings you here, so close on the heels of your messenger?”

“New discoveries,” Keine says. “We’re close to solving our mystery.”

“Excellent!” Yuyuko says, smiling brightly at you both. “Thinking is always easier on a full stomach – why don’t I set out something?”

Keine smiles back. “That’d be lovely. I’ll find everyone and meet you shortly.”

Yuyuko claps her hands. “Splendid! See you~” She slips out the door, looking positively bubbly.

Teatime?” you gripe. “From wraith-regent to hostess in no time flat? We’re this close to answers. I know 'urgency' is a foreign concept to all the longcat lifespans running around here, but god damn.

“... longcat!?” Keine repeats, giving you a strange look. “What possible idiom could-”

“Allusion,” you correct her. “Literally a species of incredibly long cat. Some nobles drape them around their necks like fancy purring scarves.”

Keine shakes her head. “The context your language developed in is bizarre.”

“Wait till you hear about flat-bears.”

Keine shakes her head, firmly closing that line of conversation. “So you really think Yuyuko is just hungry?”

You plot that question’s speed and heading. “Of course not.”

She gives you lidded-eye skepticism. “So why the tea?”

“.... because she’s thirsty?” you try gamely.

Keine crosses her arms, tilts her head, and gives you some max-power Exasperation. “She’s giving everyone time to calm after that confrontation. And to get our thoughts in order before we talk.”

You snort. “And now I feel stupid and you’re thinking about flat-bears. So much for that.”

“I am not,” Keine objects.

“Liar.”

Keine spins on her heel and stalks for the door. “We have people to find.”

You follow her long, purposeful strides through the hallways and byways of Hakugyokurou, peeking through doorways as you pass them. Keine doesn’t. “You seem to know your way around?” you ask.

“I’ve a very good memory,” she replies. “You said Youmu was shopping earlier, so I’m looking for the kitchen. Traditional-style mansions like this, that should be... ah.” She leads you into a huge kitchen, harboring several counters and two big wood-stoves. Muted conversation drifts through an open doorway across the room. “And that,” Keine says, “must be the pantry.” Tugging you along, she steals towards the door.

As you approach, Youmu’s voice becomes recognizable. “Thank you again. I hate balancing on that ladder.”

“It is my pleasure,” you hear Duke’s familiar deep tones. Peeking around the jamb, you find Duke stowing cans, three at a time, on the top shelf of a large walk-in pantry.

“I wish I was taller,” Youmu says sadly from her seat on a footstool. “My technique is improving, but my reach is so poor. Especially since youkai always carry those stupidly huge swords.”

“Like this one?” Duke asks, indicating his greatsword in his back-scabbard.

“Oh no!” Youmu says quickly. “They’re much bigger then that. You could toast a sub-sandwich on them. Yours looks much faster. Still too big for me, though.”

“This is a standard-weight blade, for a human,” Duke tells her.

“Eh? Really?” Youmu says, leaning forward to examine the blade. “But it’d be so slow!”

“Only swings,” Duke says. “Small, quick jabs with precise point control is the key to dueling with this weapon.”

Youmu props a chin in her hand, curious. “I’ve never heard of a style like that.”

“I could show you, if you want.”

You knock on the wall politely. “Hey.”

“Ah! You!” Duke says, pleased.

“Oh, you,” Youmu mutters.

“We got the ghost by the sheets,” you tell them. “We’re meeting Yu-”

Youmu shoots you a glare.

“Sorry. I mean Ghost-Geisha-” you snap your head back as a can ricochets off the doorjamb.

”LADY! LADY!” Youmu snarls.

Keine steps into the doorway. Another can snaps through the air with impressive velocity – and slaps into Keine’s palm.

“We’re meeting Lady Yuyuko for tea, to talk it over.” Keine says calmly, gently tossing the can back. “If you don’t mind.”

Youmu emerges, glowering at you.

“I’ll finish this, and be along shortly,” Duke says.

Thank you, Duke,” Youmu says warmly, giving you an icy glare.

“Uh, where’s Cirno?”

“Entertaining herself,” Youmu says crisply as she stomps away.

“Hold up!” you call, giving chase. Youmu exits the kitchen and barrels down the hall, ignoring you.

“Youmu-”

“Stuff it up your hat,” she snaps.

Oh no she did not. You snap your fingers at the floor before her and bark a sharp word of magic. Youmu’s next stompy footfall slams into the polished wood floor and shoots forward.

YIIPE!” she screams as executes a full backflip, landing on her back and sliding down the hallway a bit with a drawn-out squee-ee-ee-ek!

With a gentle push-off from the wall, you glide over to the prone gardener. You lean to look down at her. “Thank you for waiting.” You glance over your shoulder, and find no Keine in the hallway. Gods bless her. You dismiss your Grease spell with a wave, and offer your hand to Youmu. She grasps your palm firmly, hoists herself up and drives her knee towards your balls in almost one motion.

You’re already twisting your hips as she moves, taking the blow on your thigh. “Need to talk to you.”

She jerks her hand out of yours violently and crosses her arms, glowering at you. “What.

“Did Yuyuko tell you about Duke's message?”

Youmu's glare slips. “Why would she?”

“It involved you. And your safety.”

Youmu's face clouds, her deader half orbiting her slowly. “My mistress has her reasons, I suppose,” she says, and her face falls. “But I've given up trying to understand them.”

“You live with her,” you say, surprised. And venturing a guess at a 'half-ghosts' lifespan, for a long time, too; and Youmu's not stupid.

“That doesn't mean I know her,” Youmu replies. “Not deeply. Or anything else, for that matter. I don't know what's going on around me, even when I'm actively involved in it. I don't know why my Master left, with my training incomplete. I think its a final lesson, but am I succeeding, or failing?” Youmu's hands have found her sword-hilts, gripping and twisting on the woven leather. “I don't know why my lady neglects my education in things I ought to know, about my weapons, about myself. I'm... I'm not even sure where half-ghosts go when they die. Is there even a place for me?”

You stand stunned as your mental image of Miss NoFunAllowed implodicates and takes your brain with it. You've dealt with Women before - but there's no windows nearby, Teleport can't cross planar boundaries and there's nothing readily flammable at hand. Oh comfort zone, where art thou?

And quite suddenly, it clicks. You're outside it. You're an outsider, temporary, without significance, the one person she can confide in without fear. Your breast swells with sympathy as you rejoice in finally understanding a Woman well enough to help her.

“Youmu, who gives a shit?”

And theory gets mugged by application.

“Where I come from, heroes can't be arsed to stay dead; their friends bag'n'drag to a church and fork over shinies to a cleric, and he cranks their mortal coil with holy energy till it turns over. Bam, back in the saddle.”

Youmu's blinks as her ghosty-half freezes mid-orbit. “Then why doesn't everyone-”

“River Styx – Sanzu – same thing. Cross over, forget stuff. Except the strong-willed, the heroes, the fighters, they don't. Reincarnation spells can only call back souls wishing to go; and only souls strong-willed enough to remember can have desire at all.”

“...oh,” Youmu says, muted.

“Point is, your place is anywhere you damn well want to be,” you tell her.

“And if you don't know?”

“If only there was a place for people like that,” you say, stroking your chin. “Now where could it-” you glance left-right-left with faux surprise. “Oh, wait.”

Youmu doesn't quite smile, but Myon does cease his pensive laps. “I suppose you have a point.”

“Damn straight.”

Youmu does smile this time, her blue eyes brightening.

“And Youmu?”

“Yes?”

“Try not to leave the Netherworld, at least for a few days.”

She frowns. “Why?”

And this is why wizards have a reputation for being irritable jackasses who hate giving straight answers: because the straight answers typically involve “prophetic vision,” “dying in my arms” and other phrases of especial social misfortune for men who live in secluded towers, wear identity-concealing clothing, and collect bat guano.

“Because I thought it was a good idea,” Keine says pleasantly.

You and Youmu both twitch involuntarily and fall against the wall as your hearts find their tempo again. “Sumbitch, how did you do that?” you gasp, staring at the schoolteacher, who's standing right beside you.

“Lots of practice,” Keine says innocently.

“She does that in class,” Youmu murmurs. “She finds somebody writing a note or cheating on a test and she just looms over them till they notice the shadow.”

You glance warily at Keine, who smiles at you sweetly. “I give them a second to anticipate before I reprimand them.”

You imagine staring up at Keine in Teacher Modo, the split-second of horror before the headbutt falls-

“We're close to our culprit and he-” she pinches your cheek - “tends to catch himself in his own crossfire, so it'd be simpler and safer to limit the variables.” Keine's face becomes inscrutably neutral. “But if you think I'm wrong-”

“No! No!” Youmu says hurriedly.

“No questions?”

“We're late for tea!” Youmu cries, all but flying down the hall.

*****

Hakugyokurou's spacious dining room stretches before you, a large table loaded with Yuyuko's liberal interpretation of a 'snack.' The Ghost Princess is seated across from you, happily attacking a pudding while Youmu studies some tea to her right.

Keine nudges your elbow. “I knew you needed more breakfast.”

You inhale the second half of your jelly donut. “Just cleaning my plate,” you say primly. “Momma didn't raise no orc.”

“And enjoying it well,” Yuyuko says with real delight. “Food is the spice of afterlife. Or something like that.”

“My compliments to the cook,” you agree as you fall upon a hapless sweetbun.

“That'd be me,” Youmu says, looking up with quiet satisfaction.

“You did this on such short notice? I'm impressed,” Keine says.

“No, we always keep this on hand,” Youmu says. “For Yukari.”

“She likes to drop in, sometimes,” Yuyuko says.

“That's a word for it,” Youmu mutters darkly. “At least [i[he[/i] uses the front door,” she says, poking at you with her spoon, “even if he's kicking it in. Yukari manipulates boundaries and gaps, so she uses any one she pleases – the gap between my dresser and sock drawer, gaps in the noodle iron... gaps in the bathtub drain... while you're in it...” Youmu shudders, her shoulders hunched.

“Honestly,” Yuyuko chides her. “Yukari's been visiting like that your whole life. I'd think you used to it by now.” Holding a cookie in her mouth to free her hands, she raises her cup and feels for the teapot to her left.

“Ma'am,” Duke says politely, handing it to her.

Yuyuko emits a tiny squeak as she inhales her cookie.

“Oh dear,” Duke says as Yuyuko coughs and pounds her chest. “My apologies. I usually announce myself when I teleport.”

Youmu has vanished, and from somewhere beneath table-height comes the desperate wheezing of somebody giggling to death. Yuyuko catches her breath, face flushed. “Lets get down to business, then.” She bites her lip and studies the table as a fresh spate of helpless giggles erupts from below.

“We've ruled out the Secret Society,” you tell Yuyuko. “They've got some nifty toys and some magic books, but nothing necromantic to speak of.” You frown. “And from what I've seen, their supposed death toll is greatly exaggerated. They're not incompetent.”

“So no progress?”

“We've interrogated a ghost,” Keine says.

“Oh?” Yuyuko says, not seeming interested.

“Yes,” the schoolteacher replies. “Our only clue is the bewitchment upon the spirits, which lets them manifest, but without willpower to resist the magician's commands. But our magician cast used a bewitchment of his own, and we interviewed one of the enthralled ghosts.”

Yuyuko leans forward, hands clasped. “And?”

“We learned the ghosts are suicides... but from outside Gensokyo. And-” Keine pauses. “Yuyuko?”

Ghost-Geisha has stiffened, staring at Keine. “Oh. Oh, no.”

She looks up at you and Keine, face grave.

“It's Remilia.”

“... eh?” you say.

“It's because of Flan's diet,” Yuyuko continues.

“... you lost me.”

“Flan doesn't drink blood,” Yuyuko clarifies. “She... doesn't have the patience to feed like a vampire should-”

“You mean she's so bugfuck insane she can't slow down to drain someone before ripping them into confetti,” you clarify.

Yuyuko nods, looking a little green. “So they feed her disguised food... pies, cakes, tea... but made of human flesh.”

Keine abruptly drops her tea sandwich.

“Human flesh,” Duke muses between bites of fried meatballs. “And where do they collect that?”

“The balance in Gensokyo is delicate,” Yuyuko explains. “Devils or their minions running wild, hunting humans, would not be tolerated. Nor would grave-robbing from the Village. But suicidal folk, from the Outside world...”

“Sonofabitch,” you breathe. “I... Patchouli.”

“What?” Keine says, looking confused.

“She was fishing for information,” you relate. “That's why she jumped like a scalded ca-a-atipillar when I mentioned necromancy. That's why she traded books; that's why Remilia told her to give me a personal tour of the Voile library; Patchouli's her thrice-damned tutor!” You try to ignite a teacake with your glare.

Keine frowns, staring into space studiously. “Remilia can't just wander the forest picking up... carrion. Even I know vampires eat fresh-”

“The faeries,” you grumble. “Especially that horde of spritemares she's got. Little fuckers never shut up, so if one knows it, they all know it within five minutes - and forests are their natural haunts.”

Sakuya, pushing a wheelbarrow under the dangling body of some poor bastard, slicing his noose with a casual dagger-toss, carting it home-

You collapse on the table, squeezing your bowed head. “And you tolerated their corpse-stealing.”

Yuyuko blinks. You slowly raise your head to stare her down.

“You knew.”

Yuyuko captures a teacup in her hands and squeezes it, avoiding your eyes. “I don't like it any more then you do, but I'm Princess of the Netherworld. It's... outside of my jurisdiction.”

“So tell whoever can do something about it!” you snap.

“Wha...” Yuyuko stares at you, her lovely maroon eyes wide and wondering. “But they already know.”

“Buh?” you vocalize.

“They were suicidal. And Outsiders. They're of little significance – doubly so.”

“Little significance,” you repeat numbly.

“Nobody knows them,” Yuyuko says. “Or mourns them, and there was no murder, even.”

“So they are,” you say, voice creaking like a bowstring, “of little significance.”

Like those fairy chess-pieces Remilia was sniggering to Little Miss Impulse Control over, shoving them around, check-and-mate, watching them brawl as she watches, amused. Watching you, poking you with ghosts and laughing as you scramble like a kitten chasing a yarn ball, laughing it up in Manse Motherfucker, milking you like a cow while trying to drive wedges between you and Keine and getting pissy with Suwako because she doesn't want to share her new toy. And semi-god just wants to chat with Patchy because the cannibalism doesn't faze her, nor Kanako, because even though they know, deities know, they fucking know about human bodies being sliced-diced-lopped-chopped and pureed into tea cookies for that little psychobitch abomination but who gives a fuck they won't be missed, they won't complain, they won't drive away worshipers or even lower property values so to them they're of

- you shoot up from the table, jaw muscles aching teeth grinding head pounding

Your name, calling your name, Yuyuko-

You look at her.

“What are you going to do!?” she says with trepidation.

“I'm going to pound that bitch into a ball and bowl her through the employees,” you sizzle. “Then I'll break my foot off in her ass and use her as a mallet for whack-a-fae. “Then-”

Yuyuko's hands come down on the table, the sharp crack of splintering wood slicing through your rage. “You cannot! You've no chance contending with her servants, much less Remilia herself!”

Keine's mouth takes a hard set as she hunches over, head lowering, fists balling and arms tensing. “He made quick work of Marisa and Sanae,” Keine growls. “He's more then competen-”

“In a duel,” Yuyuko says quietly. “Not a battle. She's gathering an army of ghosts, grabbing for tremendous power.” Yuyuko steeples her hands before her, her little cloud of attendant spirits swirling about with agitation. “You think she intends to honor spellcard dueling rules, if she's doing that? Or her servants, for that matter? She might bring her full power against you – she might tamper with your very fate. Perhaps she already has.”

Remilia is one thing – Sakuya, Patchouli and Meiling slipping their debonair chains is quite another. “So what, then?”

“Report to the Yama,” Yuyuko says immediately. “She can authorize me to act, dispatch shinigami to help, and most importantly strip Remilia of her spirit minions.”

Duke's head shakes sad negatives as it sinks into his palm.

“Ffffuck your Celestial bureaucracy right up their nostrils,” you snap, illustrating the suggested thrust with your fist. “Fuck their sanctimonious bullshit, their precious rules and their pissweak excuses and above all, fuck their status quo right in its ugly lying face!

Yuyuko looks at Keine, silently pleading. The schoolteacher bites her lip, hard, visibly trembling. She catches you watching, and turns her face away as she flushes.

After a moment, she sighs, shoulders slumping – and grips your arm, shaking her head sadly at Yuyuko.

The Ghost Princess slumps dejectedly. “Please, just give me time,” she asks. “Just a day to petition before you make a mess of things-”

“Go ahead,” you glower. “Try to bend Heaven. I'm going to move Hell.”




[ ] DYNAMIC ENTRY

>Remilia has driven my friend and benefactor from her home, attacked, insulted and toyed with me and blatantly disrespected human life. Its time to fall upon her like an iron dragon swimming in lava at the speed of light.


[ ] IN UR BASE DRINKING UR TEA

>Teleport to Remilia's study, eat her cake, drink her tea and wait. There will be talking and gloating and counter-gloating. And then asskicking. No matter what you're still kicking her ass. Possibly with her own teacup.


[ ] DEWY DECIMATED

>Remilia's just a childvamp, but Patchouli's a hundred-year old Witch, a practitioner of the craft – she should damn well know better. It's her work, her magic and ultimately her fault for enabling Remilia's childish, dangerous schemes. If anyone needs punishment, it's her – and besides, dueling other spellcasters is something you're good at.
>> No. 163583
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163583
Vote in the new thread plzkthx >>163582

Because I posted without checking the post-count because I'm smart like that.