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63589 No. 63589
"Y-yes." You say, forcing yourself to hold Ran's gaze. This is important. You did something bad, something invasive and uncomfortable for this poor woman. On top of that, Ran just seems so familiar, so warm and fuzzy in a comfortable, relaxing sort of way. If you weren't being held up by Renko right now then you'd probably have to fight the urge to just hug Ran around the middle instead of apologising.
"I mean ... I'm s-sorry Ran." You say, looking down at your feet for a moment before catching yourself and forcing your gaze back up. "I s-shouldn't have done that." You say, taking a deep breath. "I'm v-very sorry, I wasn't t-thinking. I didn't m-mean to invade your personal space." You can feel your cheeks flushed with colour, but you make sure not to look away.
Ran just tips her head slightly. "Thank you." She says, tails swishing around behind her again. She clears her throat and smiles at you, not having lost any of her former warmth.

"I was just ..." Now you allow yourself to look down. "I was curious, I've ... n-never seen a person with tails before. I wasn't sure if they were real. I'm s-sorry."
Ran opens her mouth to say something, then stops, frowning, looking concerned. "Of course." She mutters. "Of course, this must all be very new to you. I must ..." She trails off, running a hand over her pointed hat, a strange smile playing across her lips, like a bashful kind of amusement rising up in her.
"I must look like some kind of ... beast?" She says, cocking her head to the side and smiling, obviously amused at herself.
"Uh ... beast?" You say, not sure how to respond.
"You're a kitsune, aren't you?" Renko pipes up, voice full of wonder for a moment.
Ran nods, still smiling. "Yes, you're correct. Though I am much older than the little ones there." She points at the three foxes waiting at your feet. You gaze at her tails again, wafting back and fourth. She's a kitsune? Does her pointy hat conceal a pair of animal ears? You want to ask her, but you've probably pried more than enough right now. If she's happy to have those huge, bushy tails on show then she must have a reason for covering her head like that.
"Oh!" Ran suddenly exclaims. "I'm so sorry, I'm being a terrible host, chatting with you in the corridor. Please, come and sit down, let me get you something to drink."

You and Renko exchange a glance. Renko tuts at you, probably for touching Ran's tails. You have enough shame left to look sheepish.
Ran bustles off down the corridor.

------------------------------

The sitting room is large, but mostly just open space. There are a few futons and cushions piled on one corner and a large, low table in the centre of the room, surrounded by little cushions for sitting on. Ran has already vanished into the adjoining room, muttering something about tea.
The foxes wander across the room, gathering by the window, in a sunny spot. They all lie down and relax, rolling over or closing their eyes.

Renko lets go of you as you lower yourself to the floor, sitting on one of the cushions, slumping forwards on the table, unable to contain your exhaustion. Right now you'd like to sleep, to rest for days, even if that means waking up in bed-sheets soaked with your own blood. Renko sits by you, perched a little more delicately on her cushion than you. She starts rubbing your back. It feels nice, but makes you sleepier.
"Hey, how do you feel?" She says.
"Bad." You mumble.
"Don't worry. I think we're going to be safe here. Ran can help you. And ..." Renko trails off, but you know what she was going to say. You've been ignoring the prospect for a while now, not wanting to think about it.
Yukari. She's here, somewhere. You shudder inside, shutting your eyes. Maybe you should pretend to faint? Or just refuse to see her? You certainly don't want to meet her like this, weak and useless.

Ran walks back into the room, carrying a tray. She sets it down on the table and starts to pour liquid into three short mugs from a large, orange teapot.
"Here you go, drink this." She says, sliding the mugs towards you and Renko.
"Thank you, Miss Ran." Renko says, picking up her mug.
"Thanks." You say, looking into Ran's eyes. She smiles.
"It'll make you feel better." She says. "Please, drink."
You follow her advice. It smells like ordinary green tea, but it tastes a little different. She must have added ... what is that? Honey? You drink some more, practically gulping the stuff down. This is delicious, whatever it is. You put your cup back down with a hollow thump and sit up a little straighter.

Ran is smiling wide at you, unable to contain her glee. She coughs and looks away when you see her, but then turns back again, composed once more.
"So." Renko says. "What ... um ..." She seems lost for words.
Ran considers her for a moment. "I said I would answer your questions." Ran frowns. "However ... some of what I have to explain is rather delicate." She looks between you and Renko, then clears her throat.
"You need to know everything." She reaches across and places her hand on yours. "But you," she looks at Renko, an apologetic expression on her face. "I know neither your trustworthiness nor how much the young Mistress is comfortable you hearing."
Renko frowns, but nods. "Very well." She says through clenched teeth, glancing at you.

'Young Mistress'? Did Ran mean you?

[ ] Renko stays, no arguments.
[ ] You don't mind Renko hearing about you, but it's up to Ran if there's other sensitive matters she doesn't want to discuss in front of Renko.
[ ] You'll talk to Ran alone and fill Renko in afterwards.

In any case, you won't forget to ask:
[ ] ?
(Use this option for specific questions, not a general 'What is happening?'.)

>> No. 63590
[X] Renko stays, no arguments.
[X] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[X] Don't forget to ask if you have some connection to Mary - Youki said something like that, right?
>> No. 63591
[x] You don't mind Renko hearing about you, but it's up to Ran if there's other sensitive matters she doesn't want to discuss in front of Renko.

Honor your hostess's wishes.

[x] What role am I playing for you, and for Yukari?
[x] Why are these people trying to kill me, and how do I make them go away?
>> No. 63594
[X] Renko stays, no arguments.
[X] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[X] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[X] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[X] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[X] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
[ ] "Why do your TAILS FEEL SO GOOD~?"
[X] Turn to Renko.
[X] "How are you so skilled with a knife?"
>> No. 63595
[ ] "Why do your TAILS FEEL SO GOOD~?"
>> No. 63596
[X] Renko stays, no arguments.
[X] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[X] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[X] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[X] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[X] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
>> No. 63599
[x] Renko stays, no arguments.
[x] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[x] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[x] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[x] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[x] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
>> No. 63600
[x] Renko stays, no arguments.
[x] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[x] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[x] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[x] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[x] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
>> No. 63601
[X] Renko stays, no arguments.
[X] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[X] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[X] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[X] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[X] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
Good base, though something tells me we won't get all the answers, oh well, not going to get them if we won't try either.
>> No. 63602
[x] Renko stays, no arguments.
[x] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[x] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[x] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[x] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[x] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
>> No. 63603
[x] Renko stays, no arguments.
[x] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[x] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[x] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[x] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[x] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
>> No. 63604
Time for the bandwagon
[x] Renko stays, no arguments.
[x] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."
[x] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[x] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[x] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[x] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
>> No. 63606
For fuck sake don't ask any questions yet! Have some faith that these things will be addressed.


[ ] You don't mind Renko hearing about you, but it's up to RENKO to choose if there's other sensitive matters she doesn't want to discuss in front of Renko.
>> No. 63607
>>63606

Yo, bro, it's not like we're just going to come out and ask this shit before she starts her explanation. This is just stuff to make sure to ask if she doesn't address it.
>> No. 63608
>[x] "Renko is helping me so much, so... she deserves to know everything about me, too."

I think this sounds kind of asinine.

[x] "Young Mistress?"
[x] Renko stays, no arguments.
[x] "What does Yukari want with me?"
[x] "Where is Yukari right now?"
[x] "Who was that guy that attacked us?"
[x] "What was that thing I did when the swordsman attacked us? Yukari told me I shouldn't use it... but I don't know what it is in the first place."
>> No. 63609
>>63606
>it's up to RENKO to choose if there's other sensitive matters she doesn't want to discuss in front of Renko

What the fuck does that even mean?
>> No. 63612
>>63609
Renko paradox.

Food first, then writing happens.
>> No. 63613
>>63608
>I think this sounds kind of asinine.

How so?

Renko has helped us without reserve. She deserves to know what she's involved in to the greatest extent that she can.
>> No. 63615
>>63613

It's something so obvious it doesn't need to be reified in words. Hence, "no arguments."
>> No. 63616
>>63615

That we loved Remilia in SDM LA was something so obvious that it perhaps didn't need words.

Just because something doesn't need to be said doesn't mean that it isn't nice to hear. Giving a voice to something makes it more real; that's the power of words.
>> No. 63618
>>63616
Something tells me no one will ever get tired of that example. Years and years from now, if this whole CYOA thing keeps up, I honestly think people are still gonna be pulling it out, and it'll never stop being relevant.
>> No. 63620
"I'd ... I'd rather Renko stays." You say, glancing between her and Ran. "She's d-done nothing but help me, I w-would be d-dead by now if not for her." You reach over and clasp Renko's hand beneath the table. "So ... she d-deserves to know everything too, please."
Ran frowns in thought for a moment, chewing her lip. Then she sighs. "Very well. I suppose there is no more information left to leak anyway." She smiles, but sadly this time. You can see the weight of stress on her shoulders, but only for a moment. She hides it well.
"Where to begin." Ran says, mostly to herself, before looking back up at you. "I suppose you want to know everything, but I can't think where to start."
"Where exactly are we, what is this place?" Renko says, then gestures at you. "I know a little about Gensokyo, but she knows nearly nothing."
"Oh!" Ran's eyes light up in surprise. "Of course. You're in Gensokyo, which is a sort of bubble dimension, held apart from yours, the human world, by the Great Barrier. It's been like this for over a century now. Many things survive here that have long since died off or gone into hiding in the outside world."
"Barrier?" You ask, the word seems important.
Ran nods. "Yes, you had to cross it to get here. I understand it was a particularly bad experience for you. I'm sorry about that." She bows her head, patting your hand.
"And this place in particular?" Renko says.
"Mayohiga." Ran replies. "The home of the Yakumo family ..." She trails off, then gulps, passing a hand over her eyes. "Or ... what is left of it."
Renko glances at you, frowning with concern, as unsure as you are.

There is a long moment of silence, while Ran looks out of the window. Eventually, the pressure of curiosity gets the better of you.
"What ..." You say. Ran's gaze snaps back to you, completely composed again. "What does Y-yu..... Yukari. What does she w-want with me?"
Ran doesn't say anything for a moment, then sighs. "Yukari isn't in a position to want much of anything right now. I'm the one who tracked you down and brought you here."
The words wash over you, barely taking anything in except ... except ...
"Where is she? Yukari? What's happened to her?"
Ran looks down.

"She's sick ... or dying ... I can't even tell anymore."

There is sadness in her eyes, but so overwhelming, so utterly worn out. You're not surprised she's so calm about it, she must be too tired to feel much of anything. You on the other hand are about to have a nervous breakdown. Yukari is sick? Dying? When she appears to you every night, whole and healthy? You feel yourself shaking inside, this is wrong.

[ ] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari. Block this out, don't deal with it. Fill the void with words.
[ ] Break down, freak out. This wasn't meant to happen like this.
[ ] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
>> No. 63621
[X] Break down, freak out. This wasn't meant to happen like this.
[X] GOD DAMMIT YUKARI
>> No. 63622
[X] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[X] ""what is left of it"? Is there a power struggle going on I should know the details of?"
>> No. 63623
[X] Break down, freak out. This wasn't meant to happen like this.
[X] Yukari was supposed to be here! She was supposed to explain!
[X] If Yukari is dead or dying, would that explain why Mary's ability to see in her head was weird?
>> No. 63625
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[x] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari.
>> No. 63626
[X] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[X] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari.

changing my vote to this
>> No. 63627
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[x] Break down and cry. You both need to let it out.

>>63622
I think she meant what's left of the family, since Yukari is sick. Also we haven't seen Chen yet, something might have happened to her.
>> No. 63628
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[x] Break down and cry. You both need to let it out.
>> No. 63629
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[x] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari.
>> No. 63630
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[x] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari.

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

So she was grooming us to become the next Yukari then.
>> No. 63631
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[x] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari.
>> No. 63632
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[x] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari.
>> No. 63635
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[x] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari.
>> No. 63636
>>63630
Or to make anon her next body. Or to use her well-fed mind as a high-quality snack to give herself a couple hundred years more.
>> No. 63637
Writing now!
>> No. 63639
>>"The home of the Yakumo family ..." She trails off, then gulps, passing a hand over her eyes. "Or ... what is left of it."

Where is the nekomata?
Where is Chen?!
>> No. 63640
[x] Go hug Ran. She looks emotionally exhausted under her mask.
[X] Keep talking, keep asking questions, ask about Yukari.

Also, >The foxes wander across the room, gathering by the window, in a sunny spot. They all lie down and relax, rolling over or closing their eyes.

D'awwwww
>> No. 63641
>>63589
>If you weren't being held up by Renko right now then you'd probably have to fight the urge to just hug Ran around the middle instead of apologising.
HNNNNGGGH

>>63618
...wat.
That's the first time this sort of example has ever come up or been needed. What the hell is this "people are never going to get tired of pulling it out" shit?
proof of other occurences or gtfo

>>63636
>>63630
You only just now thought of these? I've been calling Anemianon "Newkari" for a while now.
>> No. 63642
>>63641
Writer of >>63636 here, no, I've been considering these (and other) theories for a while now, I was merely trying to broaden the other anon's horizons since he seemed to have a bit too positive idea of Yukaris motivations.
>> No. 63644
>>63618
>Something tells me no one will ever get tired of that example. Years and years from now, if this whole CYOA thing keeps up, I honestly think people are still gonna be pulling it out, and it'll never stop being relevant.
[x] Jump in the lake
[x] Check underneath the house
[x] Jump
[x] Give Yukari the box
[x] Tell Marisa
[x] Pledge your love to Alice
[x] Don't kiss Sakuya
[x] Don't shoot. Damn you, Yuyuko.
[x] Call out for Tewi
>> No. 63646
File 12247075369.png - (163.42KB , 403x399 , 1221665190111.png ) [iqdb]
63646
>>63644
>> No. 63647
>>63644
The difference is, unlike most of the items on that list, that particular one actually had a GOOD result.

Besides that, it's not just something useful to remember here, but to keep in mind in real life, as well. Whether it's a parent, sibling, significant other, or just a good friend, it never hurts to actually tell them how you feel about them from time to time. Even if they already "know" how you feel, it doesn't mean they won't appreciate being reminded of the fact.
>> No. 63649
"Ran." You mutter, letting go of Renko's hand and trying to stand up. You don't quite manage it, instead just crawling around the table. Ran just watches you, wide-eyed as you get closer. You're not really sure why you're doing this, Ran just needs a hug and you're the only one who should be hugging her. Why should you? You've only just met her. Is it because of Yukari? You've seen Yukari every night for two years and now you find that she's dying. You can't share this twisted grief with Renko, she's not felt this, not felt Yukari's charisma, her presence, her beauty. Ran has.
"What are you-" Renko says as you go, frowning with confusion.
"Ran." You mutter again as you reach her, slumping forwards and wrapping your arms around her middle. You bury your face against her shoulder, sighing with sudden relief.

She's so soft, so warm and fuzzy. Taller and bigger than you, so easy to lose yourself in. You make sure to keep your hands away from the tails, no matter how tempting. Ran smells like freshly washed sheets, with something else below that. She smells like an animal, a fox, musky. It's strangely comforting.
"I'm sorry Ran." You into her shoulder. "I ... I know Yukari too, she's been in my dreams for years now."
You feel Ran hesitate for only the briefest of seconds before wrapping her arms around you. You stay like that, silent for a long time, until you hear Renko cough.
"Uh!" You pull back from the hug, suddenly aware of what you're doing. "S-sorry Renko!"
Renko just laughs. "It's fine, I just thought you might be falling asleep."
You look back up at Ran and she smiles down at you. You're still in her arms and it feels ... normal.
"Why is Yukari in my dreams?" You ask her. You're terrified of the possible answers, but it feels like you can ask them here. This place, Mayohiga, whatever it is, it's safe. You're in a room with Renko, who has proved herself to you again and again, and Ran, who for some unknown reason you feel like you've always known.

"You're ...." Ran frowns in thought. "I can't think of a metaphor that makes sense for this."
"What?" You ask.
Ran sighs. "This is complicated. Yukari is ... literally immortal. She would live forever, if undisturbed."
You nod. "Okay."
"But she's ...." Ran trails off.
You just nod again.
"So ... Yukari keeps a conduit."
"A what?" Renko asks.
"A conduit." Ran says, turning to Renko. "A temporary storage device, a way-station, for herself. Probably a person, a copy."
Renko's expression darkens. "Go on."
Ran frowns. "That's all I really understand. Yukari's type of magic is beyond my understanding."
"So wait." Renko says. "You're saying that Yukari is backing herself up?" She gestures at you. "She's overwriting a personality with her own?" Renko's expression is slowly turning angry as she speaks. "This better not mean what I think it means."

Ran sighs, then glances at you. "I don't think it meant what I thought it would either."
"Why not?" Renko asks.
"Because the way-station is now empty. . The process, whatever it was, is over." Ran says. "Which means Yuka was able to follow my instructions and find you, once I could see you there." Ran smiles faintly.
Renko just stares at you, frowning.
You just look between the pair of them. "What?"
Ran takes a deep breath, then lets go of you, sitting back a little way, legs folded underneath her.
She meets your eyes, gaze unwavering.

"Are you in there, Miss Yukari?"

"Wha-" You just stare in shock. You're not Yukari. You're you, nobody else. Through the bleeding and the horror, the things pushing in at the edges of your mind and the endless dreams, you're still yourself.
"No." You say. "No." You feel your bottom lip wobble. "I'm s-sorry R-ran. I'm n-not her." Your wipe at your eyes, you can't start crying now.
Ran looks back down at the floor.

"I'm sorry." She says in a small voice.

[ ] ?
>> No. 63655
It seems some of Yukari has been put into this anon. Maybe she is also linked to Mary somehow.
>> No. 63656
[x] "Sorry?"
>> No. 63658
I'm pretty sure she is saying she's sorry for practically taking over the characters life and involving her in something like this.
>> No. 63659
[x] Just bring your hands to your head and massage your temples. It's okay if you don't forgive her right away.
[x] Continue asking questions. Start with why there are people trying to kill you over this, and how you can make it all stop.
>> No. 63660
Nice, situation just went from shit to worse. Next we'll probably hear how GSK is in full civil war state that's already spreading to the outside world.
>> No. 63663
>>63660
Rage, despair, feeding on, etc.
>> No. 63665
[x] Just bring your hands to your head and massage your temples. It's okay if you don't forgive her right away.
[x] Continue asking questions. Start with why there are people trying to kill you over this, and how you can make it all stop.
>> No. 63668
[X] "No, Ran, it's not your fault. You don't need to apologize. I don't know who's fault this is but it can't be yours."
[X] Pull her towards you and take off that silly hat, it doesn't matter if she has those ears or not right now.
[X] Have her rest in your lap and pet her head. She must be so emotionally drained. If she wants to cry, let her, and ask this once she's done.
[X] "We'll try to figure a way out of this for now, I just need to ask a few more questions. All right?"
[X] "First, when did this all happen? Could it have been 8 months ago? Or was it two years ago?"
[X] "Second, what do you mean way-station? The process was finished? Are you saying that whatever she wanted to do with me was done and it allowed you to send Yuka to find me?"
[X] "Finally... Is... Yukari around here somewhere? I'd... like to see how she is."
[X] Ask the rest of the questions on the way to where Yukari is if Ran takes you, or with her head on your lap still if she can't.

I REJECT YOUR VOTES AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN!
>> No. 63672
[X] "No, Ran, it's not your fault. You don't need to apologize. I don't know who's fault this is but it can't be yours."
[X] Pull her towards you and take off that silly hat, it doesn't matter if she has those ears or not right now.
[X] Have her rest in your lap and pet her head. She must be so emotionally drained. If she wants to cry, let her, and ask this once she's done.
[X] "We'll try to figure a way out of this for now, I just need to ask a few more questions. All right?"
[X] "First, when did this all happen? Could it have been 8 months ago? Or was it two years ago?"
[X] "Second, what do you mean way-station? The process was finished? Are you saying that whatever she wanted to do with me was done and it allowed you to send Yuka to find me?"
[X] "Finally... Is... Yukari around here somewhere? I'd... like to see how she is."
[X] Ask the rest of the questions on the way to where Yukari is if Ran takes you, or with her head on your lap still if she can't.
>> No. 63673
[X] "No, Ran, it's not your fault. You don't need to apologize. I don't know who's fault this is but it can't be yours."
[X] Pull her towards you and take off that silly hat, it doesn't matter if she has those ears or not right now.
[X] Have her rest in your lap and pet her head. She must be so emotionally drained. If she wants to cry, let her, and ask this once she's done.
[X] "We'll try to figure a way out of this for now, I just need to ask a few more questions. All right?"
[X] "First, when did this all happen? Could it have been 8 months ago? Or was it two years ago?"
[X] "Second, what do you mean way-station? The process was finished? Are you saying that whatever she wanted to do with me was done and it allowed you to send Yuka to find me?"
[X] "Finally... Is... Yukari around here somewhere? I'd... like to see how she is."
[X] Ask the rest of the questions on the way to where Yukari is if Ran takes you, or with her head on your lap still if she can't.

Why yes, I do believe I will choose this.
>> No. 63677
HY! YAF is quitting, for being an emo and being jealous of you. Make him come back. Only you can do it HY.

Are you a badass enough writefag to make YAF get back to work?

But seriously, tell him to get back to work, we want our CoMN2.
>> No. 63679
[X] "No, Ran, it's not your fault. You don't need to apologize. I don't know who's fault this is but it can't be yours."
[X] Pull her towards you and take off that silly hat, it doesn't matter if she has those ears or not right now.
[X] Have her rest in your lap and pet her head. She must be so emotionally drained. If she wants to cry, let her, and ask this once she's done.
[X] "We'll try to figure a way out of this for now, I just need to ask a few more questions. All right?"
[X] "First, when did this all happen? Could it have been 8 months ago? Or was it two years ago?"
[X] "Second, what do you mean way-station? The process was finished? Are you saying that whatever she wanted to do with me was done and it allowed you to send Yuka to find me?"
[X] "Finally... Is... Yukari around here somewhere? I'd... like to see how she is."
[X] Ask the rest of the questions on the way to where Yukari is if Ran takes you, or with her head on your lap still if she can't.
>> No. 63683
[X] "No, Ran, it's not your fault. You don't need to apologize. I don't know who's fault this is but it can't be yours."
[X] "We'll try to figure a way out of this for now, I just need to ask a few more questions. All right?"
[X] "First, when did this all happen? Could it have been 8 months ago? Or was it two years ago?"
[X] "Second, what do you mean way-station? The process was finished? Are you saying that whatever she wanted to do with me was done and it allowed you to send Yuka to find me?"
[X] "Finally... Is... Yukari around here somewhere? I'd... like to see how she is."
[X] Ask the rest of the questions on the way to where Yukari is if Ran takes you, or with her head on your lap still if she can't.

I really think the head in lap thing is kinda creepy. Especially considering we just met her like 10 minutes ago and already violated her personal space once with the tail thing.
>> No. 63684
>>63683
This one takes it to five and I want to write, so here we go.

>>63677
I've been trying to. I like CoMN too.
>> No. 63686
>>63677

Jesus, cut me some goddamn slack already. I'm gonna write when I feel like writing.

Also in b4 a shitstorm just because I posted here.
>> No. 63692
>>63683
>I really think the head in lap thing is kinda creepy. Especially considering we just met her like 10 minutes ago and already violated her personal space once with the tail thing.

Besides, I have a feeling that the more affectionate we become towards Ran, the closer we get to actually turning into Yukari.
>> No. 63693
>we want our CoMN2.
Fucking truth.
>> No. 63694
"No." You hold your hand out to Ran. You don't want her to feel like that. Whatever is happening, it's not her fault. It's all down to the Demon, Yukari. Whatever power she's granted to you, whatever her intentions, whatever horrible twisted method of self-preservation she has employed, none of it is Ran's fault. She's just a lonely animal pining for her master.
"It's not your fault." You continue. "You don't need to apologise. None of this has been your fault."
Ran looks up at you, blinking rapidly.
"If anything," you sigh. "You're the first person to give me some real answers. Thank you."
Ran nods, swallowing and sniffing loudly.
"Right now though, we should try to figure out exactly what is going on." You say, frowning. There are pieces missing, too much information you don't know. You're not good at fighting, you're nothing special. You can't control whatever it is that Yukari forced on you.

But you can think. You can plan.

It gives you a new feeling of power, of control. You feel the speed of your thoughts increasing, organising possibilities and probabilities. From this safe place, here in Mayohiga, you can think this through.
"I need to ask you a few more questions." You smile, scratching the back of your head. "Actually, probably quite a lot more, but for now only a few." You glance at Ran, she still seems shaken up, but you want to get this answered as quick as you can.
To your relief, Ran nods.
"When did this all start?" You ask. "Two years ago? That's when my dreams started."
Ran frowns. "Yes ... in a way."
"Go on." You gently urge her.
"Well." She says, shifting uncomfortably, then sighing. "Yukari used to sleep a lot, so for a long time I just thought she was hibernating. Old Youkai get like that." She has a little gleam in her eye, a faint smile on her lips. It fades as she continues. "She slept for months and I didn't question it. Then people started asking where she was. I told them she was sleeping. But it just went on and on." Ran gulps, dabbing at her eyes with her sleeve. "Then she started to deteriorate. Physically, look worse." Ran sniffs loudly.
You reach over and pat her arm. "It's okay Ran."
She nods. "I ... I panicked. You ... you have to understand that without Yukari, things got worse for Gensokyo as a whole. She's a necessary balance. Without her here, it was harder for people to deal with stuff when it flared up."
"Stuff?" You ask.
Ran shrugs, tails moving in unison with her shoulders. "Supernatural incidents. The power-players in Gensokyo are always having to step in when something goes wrong." Ran gulps, glancing between you and Renko. "Other things have happened, things have got much worse, but not directly related to Yukari."
"Lets skip those for now." Renko says. You nod.

"Second, Ran." You start, shifting closer to her so you can rub her arm gently as you speak. "What did you mean by 'way-station'? The process was finished? Are you saying that whatever she wanted to do with me was done and it allowed you to send Yuka to find me?"
Ran nods. "Within the last forty-eight hours. I could see you, clear as day, as the transfer finished. We sent Yuka across the border to protect you from anyone else trying to get to you." She sniffs again. "Whatever Yukari did to you, it's done now."
You nod, slowly.
"Finally... Is... Yukari around here somewhere? I'd... like to see how she is."
Ran looks at you. "She's ... yes." Ran seems to deflate. "She's essentially in a coma. Are you sure you want to see her?"
You nod. You've never been so sure of anything before. You need to see her face in the flesh, at least once. You stomach churns and your palms sweat as you think about it, but you need to see her.

You have to.

------------------------------

Able to walk on your own now, Ran leads you and Renko back out into the corridor and deeper into the building. On the way you start to explain to her about the man who tried to kill you as you were about to cross the border. Ran stops dead and turns around to face you as you describe him.
When you've finished, she just frowns in thought.
"Any idea what he was?"
Ran shakes her head. "Not exactly, no. But thank you, that is useful information." She sighs. "Sometimes it can be hard to get information from Yuka. She is ... unreliable." Ran has a sour look on her face.
"And I ... before I forget, there is something else you should know." You say, head spinning as you recall what you did while fighting the swordsman in your apartment.

Ran's face drains of colour as you describe it, leaving out as much as possible, for fear of having some kind of relapse. When you've finished, she places her hand on the side of your face.
"Oh, poor thing."
"What was it?" You ask.
Ran closes her eyes. "A gap. Part of Yukari's power." She sighs. "You may never be able to use it properly. Do not strain yourself to understand it. I would not want you to hurt yourself because of that." She bites her lip.

"It is not meant for human minds."

------------------------------

Ran leads you further into the building, finally stopping at one of the sliding doors. There's nothing to distinguish it from the ones either side of it, plain screen and wood. Renko stands apart from you and Ran, looking uncomfortable.
"She's in here." Ran says, face sombre. "Do you want ..."

[ ] Go in alone.
[ ] Go in with Renko.
[ ] Go in with Ran.
[ ] Go in all together.
>> No. 63696
[ ] Go in alone.

she is alone with us in our dreams, we will be alone now with her
>> No. 63697
>>63692
>Besides, I have a feeling that the more affectionate we become towards Ran, the closer we get to actually turning into Yukari.
Fuck Ran, receive Yukari?

This is a sacrifice I am willing to make.
>> No. 63699
[x] Go in alone.
>> No. 63700
[ ] Go in alone.
>> No. 63701
[x] Go in with Renko.

Ran doesn't need the added heartache, but this is something we need Renko to see.
>> No. 63702
[X] Go in alone.
>> No. 63704
[x] Go in alone.
>> No. 63705
[x] Go in alone.

Everyone else is uncomfortable about this one way or another. Don't force it on them.
>> No. 63707
[X] Go in alone.
>> No. 63708
I'm in rough shape and I need sleep. Back with some more tomorrow!

Also, I basically just wrote three exposition walls today. Have these been boring, or satisfying for you readers?
>> No. 63709
>>63708
Well, it's making me want more maternal Ran and adorable foxes.

I'm not saying I'm bored, just I actually physically want maternal Ran and adorable foxes.
>> No. 63712
Rather satisfying.
>> No. 63719
>>63708
Lacks chen. I want to see Chen going all 'You're not my real mom' on anon.

JUST BECAUSE.
>> No. 63721
Kind of disappointing, honestly, but that's how I've been feeling about the story in general for a while now. Protagonist development is all over the place, and this seems to have just marked a jarring turn in where things are headed. Now what, we play messiah to warring Gensokyo?

There'll be plenty of people who love it no matter what, though, so oh well.
>> No. 63722
>>63721
>Kind of disappointing, honestly, but that's how I've been feeling about the story in general for a while now. Protagonist development is all over the place, and this seems to have just marked a jarring turn in where things are headed.

If you've been disliking the story for a while now, shouldn't a "jarring turn" be a good thing?
>> No. 63727
>>63722
No, not really. I've disliked where it's heading, and now it's there. The horror aspects at the start and the weak protagonist were really fun, but they've vanished all too quickly. We're just playing the heroic and pragmatic Belmonymous with a needy streak now, and having reached Ran and Yukari, not much else can be scary.
Self sage because I don't want the thread to derail, in before saying I don't like it means I'm a troll.
>> No. 63730
>>63686
>we want our CoMN2.

Get back to work nigger.

Also

[x] Go in alone.
>> No. 63736
File 122473576557.jpg - (379.65KB , 810x890 , 1366191.jpg ) [iqdb]
63736
>>63708
Overall, the exposition has been satisfying. In fact, you'd have a difficult time describing any aspect of the story hence far as "boring." Everything leading up until now has been an emotional rollercoaster: high-stakes chances and emotionally charged situations alternating with more temperate dialogue driven aspects. It's nice to slow it down and start putting our situation into context. How much context was revealed, in the form of concrete facts, is a little low compared to the number of questions asked. Meh, how fun would it be to know everything right off the bat?

The only boring part of the story has been the lack of discourse on the part of the participants, especially in this thread. There is little in the way of challenging a line of questioning, substantiating a decision, or pointing out keen (or incompetent) observations. Maybe some of the other CYOAs have spoiled me, but I expect a little more from the voting process than Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V.
>> No. 63792
>>63727
No, you are not a troll, YAF is one, you're just stating reasonably valid concerns. As is >>63721. The main problem with HY's stories (Yes, SDMLA as well, as much as it's praised.) rely too heavily on two aspects, admittedly decent writing (technique wise) and keeping things secret, to a ridiculous degree. While Big Reveals are fine in some places, HY constructs the entire story on these little tidbits of information that we're supposed to dig out or get handed down to us. It feels more than a bit degrading to have to beg for even a minor situation report. He hands us down a few facts every now and then as a freebie like a drug dealer would to potential customers to promote his products. Remember that letter in SDMLA? The one that bad-ended us pretty much pointlessly when showing it to pache when we wanted to find out it's contents. IIRC HY back then pretty much stated that it was too soon for us to know it's contents. Seriously, what the fuck? The same thing is going on here with Ran, she could easily fill us in on some basic facts that we need, yet our encounter has been delayed over and over by cheap drama and constant interruptions of pretty much pointless "choices". There's a way of doing it wrong, and a way of doing it right, just look at tripfags RaAN in /others/, it doesn't depend nearly as much on cheap holding back of trivial facts and stalling with pointless choices. (in the rare cases that it updates)

As for protagonist development being arbitary; what the fuck do you expect to happen when you give too much power of customisation to a group of anonii who couldn't decide how to comb their own hair in the morning, much less make a coherent decision as a /group/?

TL:DR: Cut back on the crap, get to business, stop making us ask trivial questions, stop asking us to make trivial decisions and form a coherent story.
>> No. 63794
>>63792
Oh, and since re-reading this post I noticed it came out pretty harsh: I do like HY's writing, and he manages to make his writings engage the reader in a way not many can achieve, yet, there are some problematic details that, if ironed out, would make his stories much more interesting.
>> No. 63803
>>63792

Oho~
>> No. 63804
>>63803
No YAF's outside of /shrine/ allowed.
>> No. 63805
Thank you for all the criticism. I do actually appreciate it. I only hope I can improve a little.

>>63727
Yeah, I sort of fucked that up, didn't I? I only hope I can surprise you with what I still have in store. After all, the best horror always comes after the most capable people are overwhelmed.

>>63792
Everything here. Gah. I need to stop structuring things around 'lol you don't know this yet ahahaha.'

I'll try.

Right, back to the story.
>> No. 63810
>Right, back to the story.

Hooray!
>> No. 63823
>>63805
Hooray!
>> No. 63824
>>63810
>>63823
Hooray!
>> No. 63825
>>63824
>>63823
>>63810
Hooray!
>> No. 63826
>>63810
>>63823
>>63824
>>63825
Hooray!
>> No. 63827
>>63792
>just look at tripfags RaAN in /others/, it doesn't depend nearly as much on cheap holding back of trivial facts and stalling with pointless choices
Except whenever we're talking to Yuyuko, but that's justified as being part of her character.

It's always good to have some mystery, but yeah, going overboard is bad. We've had to make a number of choices so far without having enough information to even make an educated guess. Of course, it's one thing to do that during the intro, it's another to do it for the entire story and then SNOW END. HY has said there won't be any "sad end" in this.

I wonder, if we had gone with Mokou, would we have gone down a totally different route, or was she just going to off us? How did she even get out of Gensokyo?
>> No. 63828
File 12247793872.jpg - (101.19KB , 850x664 , sample-ad222cbcc24c1f0ecdcfab5467aa3ca2.jpg ) [iqdb]
63828
"N-no. I ... I'd like t-to see her a-alone. Please." You say, glancing nervously between the door and Ran. On one level you're hoping Ran denies your request, that you don't have to do this by yourself. But there's really no other way. Perhaps, after two years, seeing her in the flesh will provide some kind of closure, some kind of peace.
"Of course." Ran says, bowing her head. "Take as long as you need." She steps back from the door.
You look at the door handle, a recessed niche for sliding it back. Nothing really, just a chunk of wood. But this is it. Behind this door is Yukari, whatever state she's in. Your hand shakes as you reach for the door, taking a few slow breaths to try and calm yourself. It doesn't work. You're shaking inside, tensed on the outside. You stand for a long moment, feeling ashamed. Ran and Renko are right there and you don't even have the courage to open a door. You screw your eyes up, a lump forming in your throat.

You slide the door back.

The room beyond is darkened, only a little light coming through a window. You hesitate on the threshold, heart in your mouth. Then you glance at the bed, at Yukari. The fear and nervousness fades away as you look at her. There's nothing in this room, not really. You step over the threshold and slide the door shut behind yourself. There's still adrenaline in your blood and you feel jittery, but no more nerves as you cross to the bed.
You can't be afraid of this, there's no point. Yukari is tucked up under the thick covers, probably to preserve as much body heat as possible. She doesn't look like the woman in your dreams. Maybe she did once, but this poor creature ... no. Her face is gaunt, shrunken, skin yellowed. Her long blond hair is faded and brittle. As you watch her, you can see she's breathing, but so slow, so shallow.
The lump in your throat grows as you feel yourself choking back a sob. This was never meant to be this way. She was beautiful, she was full of energy and power. She was never meant to be like this, never. You take a step closer to the bed, hand shaking as you raise it to her face. You want to touch her, at least once, say something. If only you could talk to her, ask her why, make her tell you what's going on.
She's cold, dry like barren ground. The tears start running down your face. This wasn't-

Her eyes snap open, staring right at you.

There's nothing there, no emotion, no answers, no recognition. You almost scream, but there's not even time for that. Her hand whips out from under the covers, grabbing your face. The nails are sharp, drawing blood. She doesn't make a sound. Her index finger twitches, right in front of your face, and then-

She jams it between your eyes.

A million sensations flow over the surface of your thoughts. This time you do scream as the torrent of information overflows its banks. Your vision is a blur, things you've never seen before flashing by at a thousand frames a second. Things that make you scream louder, things that make your mind curl in on itself, trying to hide, as if the things you're seeing can look through your thoughts and see you thinking about them. Every sound in the world crashes in your ears at once, so much noise that you can't process even a second of it. It grows to a crescendo of pain, smaller and smaller units of sound becoming nothing but endless white noise. You convulse, pain and pleasure centres in your brain both stimulated at once, screaming with agony even as you writhe with unwanted orgasm.
The flow of information reaches a single point, staring back at you with the smug assurance of a new-born god.

And releases you.

------------------------------

"Hey!" Somebody's shaking you. "Wake up! Oh god, oh god."
"What happened? There's nobody else in here!"
"She must have just ... I don't know!"
You open your eyes a fraction, wanting to stay in the peace and safety of unconsciousness forever.
Renko is looking down at you, eyes wide with worry. "Hey." She says, hands cradling your head. "What happened? You were screaming."
You glance around the room. Ran is peering over Renko's shoulders, chewing her fingers with worry.

Yukari is still tucked up under the covers, undisturbed.

Was that real? You feel your face, but there's no marks where Yukari's fingernails scratched you. You're whole, untouched. On the outside at least. You feel different inside, like ... like-
The knowledge that has always been there, in the back of your mind, pressing in on you, has changed shape. It's not a pressure any more, not a weight. You shudder, feeling sick and violated. This is worse, this is horrible. What just happened? All that information ...

Now it moves, squirming around inside you, like a worm.

"Are you okay?" Renko says, insistent.

[ ] Tell them what just happened, try to explain it.
[ ] Tell them you're fine now, you just passed out.
[ ] Tell them you're feeling really ill. You need to rest.
>> No. 63829
[ ] Tell them you're feeling really ill. You need to rest.
>> No. 63831
[x] Tell them what just happened, try to explain it.

"The process" is over my ass. We just flipped the tape over to Side B.
>> No. 63832
[X] Tell them what just happened, try to explain it.

Is she... is she trying to overwrite us after all?
>> No. 63833
[X] Tell them what just happened, try to explain it.
>> No. 63834
[x] Tell them what just happened, try to explain it.
>> No. 63835
[X] Tell them what just happened, try to explain it.
>> No. 63836
In b4 Ebolanon explains what just happened with very elaborate, brick-shitting detail
>> No. 63837
>>63836
No, in b4 yukari overwrites our personality and tells her own version of what happened.
>> No. 63838
Okay, writing now!
>> No. 63842
>>63838
hooray!
>> No. 63843
"I ... I ... I s-saw." How do you even begin to explain something like this? How can you even start to make sense of this? Even trying to remember what just happened makes you feel sick.
"Y-Yukari w-woke up." You say. "S-she-"
"What?!" Ran suddenly shrieks, hurrying to the bedside and peering at Yukari. "M-miss Y-yukari?" She says, voice shaking, running her hands over Yukari's head.
Yukari doesn't respond. Ran looks back at you, expression half-way between distress and anger.
"I s-swear! S-she d-did!" You say, then you frown. Did she really? "A-at least I t-think she did."
"You ..." Ran takes a deep breath, closing her eyes for a moment. "Please, continue." She says.
"She g-grabbed my f-face." You say, the inside of your chest going cold as you remember the sensation. "S-she d-did something t-to ... i-in my h-head." You huddle closer to Renko, using the smell of her body to blot out your thoughts, speaking on automatic, not allowing yourself to think.
"She s-showed m-me s-stuff." You mutter.
"What stuff?" Renko asks, arms going around your middle.

"Everything." You say, shaking.

Ran gulps, staring at you with wide eyes. "I think it's best that you're not alone with her again." She says, glancing back at Yukari.
You nod enthusiastically, but somewhere deep down inside, you know that the damage has already been done.

------------------------------

Ran guides you back to the sitting room in near-silence. The foxes are still in a heap on the floor, having been spared the most recent horrors. You don't know how they would have reacted to you fainting like that. In fact, you still don't really know what's going on with them.
"Well." Ran says once you're all seated again. "I ... I expect you're both very tired." She says.
"Wait." Renko says, holding a hand up. "There's one thing I still don't get."
"Hm?" Ran raises her eyebrows.
"Why are we here? Or rather, why is she here?" Renko asks. You perk up, feeling a little sheepish. Leave it to Renko to ask the really important questions.
Ran sighs, hands in her lap. "I ..." She gulps. "It must be important, but I don't understand why."
"W-what?" You say. "What do you mean?"
Ran looks up at you, a sadness in her eyes. "I don't know why Yukari funnelled some of herself into you. But she must have had a reason." Ran sighs again. "I trust Lady Yukari with my life, I trust her judgement ... if not her methods." Ran smiles apologetically at you.
"So?" Renko asks.
Ran glares at her a little, then turns back to you. "So there must be a reason for this. Because of that ... I will do everything in my power to help you, or at the very least protect you, here in Mayohiga."
You feel a lump in your throat. For once it is not from fear.
"T-thank you Ran." You mutter. She smiles at you.

Despite whatever offer of help, despite the assurances of safety and warmth, you still feel that squirming inside. The worm keeps moving, twisting in the back of your mind.
Nobody can help you with that.

Ran suddenly yawns, placing her hand over her mouth. "My apologies." She says. "It has been a long day for me."
"Us too." Renko says, sharing a glance with you.
"Indeed." Ran says. "Tomorrow I will fill you in on what is happening here. There is much to discuss, although I don't know how much of it will be of use to you." She shrugs. "I am the only one left to deal with it, however."
Renko hesitates for a moment, then raises her chin a little. "I would be glad to help you, Miss Ran."
Ran smiles at her, but as if she was looking at a precocious child. "Thank you." She gets up from her sitting position. "For now, I think it is time to rest."

"Um ..." You start.

[ ] Ask Ran where the kitchen is, you're hungry.
[ ] Ran's right, time to sleep, you're so tired.
[ ] Actually, you're going to stay here for a bit and talk with Renko.
[ ] No, you want to wander around this place, clear your head.
>> No. 63844
[x] Ask Ran where the kitchen is, you're hungry.
>> No. 63845
[X] No, you want to wander around this place, clear your head.

CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN
>> No. 63847
[X] Actually, you're going to stay here for a bit and talk with Renko.

I still wanna know why she's so good with a knife.
>> No. 63849
[x] Ran's right, time to sleep, you're so tired.

Gotta stave off that DNM end.
>> No. 63850
[x] Ask Ran where the kitchen is, you're hungry.
>> No. 63852
[x] Ask Ran where the kitchen is, you're hungry.

This one please.
>> No. 63853
When was the last time we ate?

Don't want to start. . . Hallucinating now. . . do we?

[ ] Ask Ran where the kitchen is, you're hungry.

Let's just hope Rumia isn't in there. . .
>> No. 63854
>>63853
Get back to writing Reimu Torture scene.
>> No. 63856
[ ] Ask Ran where the kitchen is, you're hungry.
>> No. 63857
[X] Actually, you're going to stay here for a bit and schlick with Renko.
>> No. 63858
[ ] Ask Ran where the kitchen is, you're hungry.
>> No. 63864
Writing now!
>> No. 63871
"... Ran, where's the kitchen?" You ask. "I'm really h-hungry."
In fact, you're starving. The light outside has just started to fade to a dull orange now and you haven't eaten anything much today. Your belly has been mostly quiet, fear makes it hard to feel anything else. But now it's starting to gnaw at you. Anything to eat would be very welcome right about now.
"Oh!" Ran says. "Of course! How could I be so rude, I'll fix you up something right away."
"N-no." You say in a small voice. "T-that's okay."
Your hear Renko suppress a chuckle. "That would be lovely Ran, thank you." She says. "But don't strain yourself on our account, we can both fend for ourselves."
Ran glances between you and Renko, biting her lip for a moment. "No." She says eventually. "I won't hear of it." She bows her head to you. "Dinner will be served shortly."
She vanishes back into the adjoining room again, tails swishing behind her. You'd almost swear she was wagging them.

"Well, guess that's the way to the kitchen." Renko says, turning to you and slumping over the table. "I'm tired, but good idea about food."
You smile nervously at her. "T-thanks."
"Hey." Renko reaches over and pats you on the back. "I don't know what happened with you and Yukari back there, but you don't seem any different."
You just look down.
"You don't have to talk about it." Renko says. "Just ... I think that if she'd done anything terrible to you then we'd notice it, or Ran would be able to feel it, at least."
You can't explain this to Renko, she'd never understand. You lean against her all the same.
"Thanks Renko." You mutter.
"So." She says, sighing heavily, putting her arm around you shoulders. "This is all a bit overwhelming, isn't it?"
You nod, then look up at Renko. It only dawns on you now, that she's been just as uprooted and confused by everything that's happening. She seems to know a little more about Gensokyo than you, but she's still a human. A sudden pang of guilt hits you, for having dragged her into this. You got her involved.

Then again, Renko isn't exactly normal, is she?

You notice the foxes stirring, sniffing the air and looking around, tongues hanging out. One of them pads over to the kitchen door and slips through. The other two just sit contentedly in the shrinking patch of sunlight. A few moments later, the smell of something cooking wafts throughout the room, something meaty. Your mouth starts to water. One of the foxes yawns, showing its teeth.
"Oh!" You hear a surprised noise from the kitchen. "No, it's not ready yet." Ran mutters to someone. "Where are your brothers and sis- ... hey, don't walk off when I'm talking to you!"
The fox emerges from the kitchen again, stopping and looking at you.

[ ] Just enjoy the silence while you wait.
[ ] Ask Renko something while you wait.
[ ] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63872
[ ] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63873
[ ] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63874
[x] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63875
[z] Speak to the fox.

Fox speakan gaems
>> No. 63876
[ ] Speak to the fo-What the fuck are you doing?
[x] Ask Renko something while you wait.
-(x) About her knifan' skills.
>> No. 63877
[x] Ask Renko something while you wait.
-(x) About her knifan' skills.
>> No. 63878
[x] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63879
[x] Ask Renko how she got so good at combat while you wait.
>> No. 63880
[x] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63881
>"Oh!" You hear a surprised noise from the kitchen. "No, it's not ready yet." Ran mutters to someone. "Where are your brothers and sis- ... hey, don't walk off when I'm talking to you!"
The fox emerges from the kitchen again, stopping and looking at you.

Possible shikigami get?

[x] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63882
7 minutes while I venture to the library and get stabbed on the way.
>> No. 63883
[x] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63887
File 122479089388.jpg - (9.52KB , 196x236 , roberto.jpg ) [iqdb]
63887
>>63882
>> No. 63893
File 122479245437.png - (635.03KB , 1600x1200 , 1223017007485.png ) [iqdb]
63893
>>63871
>"Oh!" You hear a surprised noise from the kitchen. "SOU NAN DES KAR?"
>> No. 63895
>>63882

I better hurry up then.
>> No. 63896
>"Oh!" You hear a surprised noise from the kitchen. "No, it's not ready yet." Ran mutters to someone. "Where are your brothers and sis- ... hey, don't walk off when I'm talking to you!"
>The fox emerges from the kitchen again, stopping and looking at you.
>"Find your soul mate, Anon!"

[x] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63897
[x] Speak to the fox.
>> No. 63906
Okay, I'm alive. Writing now.
>> No. 63909
>>63906

hooray!
>> No. 63910
>>63906
>>63909
Hooray!
>> No. 63911
File 122479846197.jpg - (119.51KB , 1048x753 , Hooray.jpg ) [iqdb]
63911
>> No. 63913
You stare back at the fox. It doesn't blink, locking its gaze with yours.
"Hello." You say.
It steps forward, heading around the table, stopping again in front of you and sitting back on its haunches. Renko peers over your shoulder, keeping her arm wrapped around you.
"What does it want?" She asks.
You shrugs. It feels very much like it doesn't want anything. You're not sure how you know that. You've never had pets before, never been good around dogs. You certainly can't read an animal's facial expressions.
"Do you have a name?" You ask the fox, smiling a little. For some reason, you feel at ease speaking like this. It's an animal, not a person. There's no need to get nervous.
The fox looks down, and then back up at you, ears twitching, tail wagging.

Was that a reply?

"Did ..." Renko says. "Did it just nod?"
The motion was jerky. A poor imitation of a human gesture, but Renko might be right. You smile at the fox again.
"What's your name?" You say.
The fox cocks its head at you, opening its mouth and licking its teeth. Renko laughs.
"It can't speak, silly." She ruffles your hair playfully and you giggle. It feels nice when she does that, helps you relax after everything that's happened.
The fox barks softly.
"Maybe Ran can translate?" You say. "She's a kitsune too, right?"
Renko nods.
The fox barks a second time, wagging its tail.
"I wonder if it's male or female." Renko says.

But you're not listening.

The fox's second bark made something surface in your mind. A single strand of tar, wrapping itself around the inside of your skull. An animal is speaking? Making sounds? The band of tar gets thicker, heavier, coating your thoughts in oily murk. You struggle to take a breath, lungs heaving.
"... You okay?" Renko asks.
The fox barks again, the sound echoing inside you. Animal noises, the need to understand animal noises. Bile rises inside your throat and you squeeze your eyes shut as the worm inside your mind twists, fixing you with its silent gaze, sliding up from the deepest layers of thought.
"Ah!" You cover your ears as the fox barks again, a noise of panic now. It knows you're in pain, but if it would only stop, just stop-
"Hey ... what's happening? Hey!" You can feel Renko's hands on your face. "Ran! Ran, come here!"
The fox barks again. The two join in.
The knowledge coils up, spreading over your consciousness, weighing you down. There's blood in your mouth, something wet and sticky on your face. But you can't force the thoughts away, it's all too strong, too much. The worm whispers inside your head, incomprehensible, spouting meaningless pain behind your eyes. You finally scream as the fox barks again.

Ran rushes into the room.

[ ] Pass out.
[ ] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」
[ ] No! Make it go away, make it go away.
>> No. 63915
[ ] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」
>> No. 63916
[x] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」

Fuckawesome
>> No. 63917
[x] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」

awesome.jpg
>> No. 63918
[X] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」

This isn't going to go away. We'd better learn to how to live with it, and that means learning how to use it, and that means using it.
>> No. 63919
[X] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」
>> No. 63920
[X] Pass out.

She doesn't have a good grasp on Yukari's powers yet.

Don't push it.
>> No. 63921
[X] No! Make it go away, make it go away.

I don't trust us to be able to cross the border back to human speech afterward yet.
>> No. 63922
[X] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」
>> No. 63923
[z] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」

Border crossin gaems
>> No. 63924
[X] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」

Damnit HY, i know it's a trap, but ooh, weird ascii marks *votes*
>> No. 63925
You should probably avoid using Yukari's powers until the character can properly control them. The use of ASCII probably means something is incomplete.
>> No. 63926
[x] Pass out.

Yukari said screwing with boundaries was a bad idea. I don't think this is like Nasu's stories where you have to keep setting your brain on fire every chance you get and nothing ever goes wrong.
>> No. 63928
[X] No! Make it go away, make it go away.

You guys really are swayed by fancy text, aren't you? Remember how we fared with our first gap? >>63921 has a point; I wouldn't be surprised if we cross the border one way, lose control of it, and then we're stuck being unable to understand what the hell's going on for an indeterminate amount of time.

If Yukari does wind up overwriting us eventually, you guys won't have the write to complain at this rate.
>> No. 63929
[X] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」

She'll never properly control them without practice, and it's better to learn now than in a life or death situation.
>> No. 63930
>>63925

This option is clearly less fucked than the last one - we're at least getting closer.

Whether this is an experience by doing deal or a "forge it before you use it" deal, we don't know yet. Right now, I'd say that we're good to try it, being surrounded by people who can potentially care for us should something happen, and in a safehouse with no imminent danger to speak of.

Considering how well it worked last time, there's no reason not to give it another shot.
>> No. 63931
>>63930
>there's no reason not to give it another shot.

Besides the fact that Yukari said not to.
>> No. 63932
Oh, for the love of...

If you guys want to try fucking around with borders, wait until we're rested and ready, and try it with something that doesn't have the potential to vastly fuck us over if it goes wrong. Like just sitting around opening gaps. Our constitution right now is probably shit, and if we lose our ability to understand people in a game where we're relying on information for the moment, we are screwed. Just have some damn patience and wait until morning. Doing this now, and with this particular border, is just stupid.
>> No. 63933
[x] No! Make it go away, make it go away.

Sorry guys. Going with self-preservation. Maybe another time.
>> No. 63934
[z] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」

This is the best possible place to practice this shit. No where else is as safe. Besides, even if we temporary lose the ability to use human speach, Ran would still be able to understand Kitsune.
>> No. 63937
You know, I'm much more amused by the fact that this choice gives us an option of when we pass out, as if we could control that.
>> No. 63938
[X] No! Make it go away, make it go away.
>> No. 63939
>If you guys want to try fucking around with borders, wait until we're rested and ready
>rested

Have you even been reading this fucking story?

>Our constitution right now is probably shit

But saving throws against mindfuck are Will-based, so yeah!

[x] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」
>> No. 63941
>>63925
>The use of ASCII probably means something is incomplete.

You're not thinking with Boundaries.
>> No. 63942
>>63939
>Have you even been reading this fucking story?
Didn't we have a good night sleep for the first time in 2 years when we last when to sleep?
Ran also said that Yukari was done, so it's likely we'll be able to sleep peacefully from now on. Of course, by that reasoning she shouldn't have just jammed her hand into our forehead, so I could be wrong.
>> No. 63943
Have none of you read Lovecraft?

Alright then, writing now.
>> No. 63945
>>63943

This is why it doesn't pay being the lone sane man. Bracing for impact.
>> No. 63947
Honestly, I vote for these things hoping to make horrible things happen to the main character. I don't really like her much.
>> No. 63949
File 122480399722.jpg - (82.29KB , 576x900 , bleeding_moe.jpg ) [iqdb]
63949
>>63947
She hates you too.

Picture courtesy of Pygmalion.
>> No. 63950
>>63949

Hot.
>> No. 63952
>>63949
This is moe.
>> No. 63956
>>63943
>Have none of you read Lovecraft?

Those who have are the same who enjoy this sort of thing.
>> No. 63958
[x] Cross the bOɹɗEⓡ of「human speech」

Damn you for makign this choice look interesting, HY.
>> No. 63959
You stare back to at the worm, the gnawing, coiling beast of numbers and concepts that sits in your mind like a bloated corpse. Then you reach out, it reaches out, plucking at the skin of reality. The sound makes you scream again, layer upon layer being peeled back and shuffled. You try to stop yourself, but that's worse. Space crowds in on you, forcing you onwards. To stop is to feel what you're doing all the more acutely. To carry on is to rip away your own sanity. The layers come away like rotten paper, until finally you right the right one. You, the worm inside, twists it, letting it flutter back into place.

Your stomach contracts as you come back to the world of your senses, you taste blood instead of vomit as you shake in a ball on the floor.
"Uh ..." You shudder as something rubs against you face. "H-help."

You can't hear anything.

------------------------------

"Little lamb~"
"Yukari?" You sit bolt upright. When did you fall asleep? You must have passed out.
She's standing over you, as usual. Smiling down at you. She's so fresh and full of life, such a contrast to her real self. But why is she still in your head? Ran said the process had finished, though what happened with Yukari earlier today gave you some doubts.
She twirls her parasol over her shoulder.
"Yukari ..." You trail off. She's never silent for this long, always launching straight into a lesson, never giving you time to think, to get a question out.
"Little lamb~" She repeats again. "You've made another mistake."
"I have?" You remember what you just did, the sensation flowing back in a rush of terror and revulsion. The walls of your dreamscape shudder and warp for a moment, before Yukari holds her hand up and everything is still again.

You and Yukari just stare at each other for a long time.
"Are you ... are you going to leave?" You say.
"Leave what?" Yukari says.
"Leave me."
"Leave you?" She cocks her head to the side.
You nod.
"I was never really here." She says, smile vanishing. You've never seen her face like that before. She's nothing but amused, always jovial. You can't bear to see her like that. It's ... it's horrible.
"Yukari ..." You say, voice feeling very small. "Please ... don't go."
"I was never really here." Her voice is nothing but a whisper. She closes her eyes slowly, fading into whiteness as you pull your knees up to your chest, sobbing.

------------------------------

"Ah!" You sit bolt upright. Then you regret it, holding your head in both hands. It feels like there's hot metal pressing in around your eyes. Your mouth is dry and you're ...
You crack an eye opening, glancing around. The room is dark, almost no light coming through the windows, only a grey fuzz. You spot Renko fast asleep on a futon across the room, fully clothed, no bedcovers. Looking down, you're on a futon as well, although tucked in under a very thick pair of blankets. The air is cold, but you seem to be wearing some kind of thin robe. It keeps out the worst of the night chill.
Putting your hands to your face, you find no trace of blood, grinning to yourself with joy. In fact, you feel clean, freshly washed. The shame returns again. Somebody had to wash your vomit and blood off you when you passed out. You're disgusting. The joy of not bleeding fades away in the shame and the cold air.

The house is silent. Must be early morning.

[ ] ?
>> No. 63962
Who didn't see that coming?
>> No. 63963
[x] Get up and take a stroll inside the house. See if you can make sense of what just happened.
>> No. 63964
[X] Get up and take a stroll inside the house. See if you can make sense of what just happened.
>> No. 63965
>>63963
>>63964

You disobeyed Yukari and got punished for it.
>> No. 63966
[x] Talk to a fox.
>> No. 63968
[x] Talk to a fox.

Let's see if we made results.
>> No. 63970
Okay, that's it for the night.

And that might be all until Monday as well, sorry. I won't have regular internet access until Monday night. A few updates might appear over the weekend, but I'm not promising anything.
>> No. 63974
Strike two. Oh well.

[x] Get up and take a stroll inside the house.
[x] You need a therapist now that there's no lady in your head to listen to you anymore; talk to a fox about your problems.

Even if you can't understand fox-speak, just having one listen to you might be cathartic. Cue obligatory recap update.
>> No. 63985
[X] Get up and take a stroll inside the house. See if you can make sense of what just happened.

sounds reasonable.
>> No. 64023
[X] Get up and take a stroll inside the house. See if you can make sense of what just happened.
>> No. 64025
[x] Get up and take a stroll inside the house. See if you can make sense of what just happened.

I had kept myself from reading this for 2 weeks until I finally gave in yesterday. Now I find myself here regretting I didn't read it sooner. It's certainly different from SDM:LA and maybe it's even better.
Still, I'm once again confused as to what's actually going on after I thought I had figured something out a couple of times only to find those certainties shattered and I can feel HY feeding on my despair.
Is there a chance that Mary gets to Gensokyo somehow or has she already played what little part she has in the story? I really enjoyed Renko and Mary quarreling about us and I think that, as much as Renko cares about us, she's already with Mary. But I'm not really expecting an answer because that 'would be telling'.
>> No. 64027
>>63962
Well, we did get a warning from Yukari the first time we tried using our 'powers'. And then when we told Ran about what happened to us when making a gap she said "it is not meant for human minds".

So unless we somehow become a youkai first, next time we get swayed by fancy ASCII text we'll have to start calling the protagonist 'Crazynon'.
>> No. 64031
File 122485118696.jpg - (174.44KB , 512x398 , bofv014.jpg ) [iqdb]
64031
>>64027
It's going to be one of those things where if you keep using your power you end up with a BAD END.
>> No. 64058
>>64031

God I fucking hated that game. It would have been awesome if the meter didn't go up even as you just walked around, but having a long-term time limit in place just pissed me off.
>> No. 64062
[x] Cross the BðrdәЃ of gэttїŊg up Λnd §trØlךiŋg. мaҝƏ seΠsΣ.
>> No. 64065
>>64062
No baby no, that's not how you get back into the kitchen.
>> No. 64146
Updates.
>> No. 64149
>>64146
>And that might be all until Monday as well, sorry. I won't have regular internet access until Monday night. A few updates might appear over the weekend, but I'm not promising anything.
>> No. 64220
The room is dark and the air is cold, but you don't feel unsafe here. You blink a few times to clear your vision properly, rubbing your eyes and stretching your legs beneath the covers. For once, you're wide awake. No wonder, you must have been asleep for hours already. You can't go back to sleep now, lying down on the futon only produces a restlessness that your body can't leave unanswered. You throw the covers off and stand up, curling your toes at the coldness of the wooden floor. You grin, it's been years since you've felt something so simple, such a pure and private pleasure.
The robe seems to keep out most of the cold, and you hug it tighter to yourself, keeping the warm residue of sleep as close as possible.
Renko looks cold. As you glance at her, she twitches in her sleep. Going to bed fully clothed like that is only asking to feel horrible the next morning. For a moment you toy with the idea of waking her up, but you don't know what you'd do once she was awake. She'd probably want to talk about-

Oh, yeah. You passed out again, didn't you?

You gulp, suddenly uncomfortable. Talking to Renko about that right now, you don't want to do that. Even as you consider it, as the thoughts flick across the surface of your mind, you feel the worm twisting deep inside, turning towards you. A prickling starts inside your head, a numbness. You squeeze your eyes shut and grit your teeth, ignoring it best you can.
Seconds, minutes, or hours later, you open your eyes again, breathing heavily, sweat dripping off your forehead. You sway on your feet, feeling weak and horrid. The worm coils back up, settling in place.
You can't stay in here, thinking about this. You need distance, you need space and freedom. You don't want to worry about Renko waking up.

You pad across the room and slip out of the door.

------------------------------

Mayohiga is even quieter at night. None of the lanterns are lit, but the dull grey light coming through the windows is enough for you to see by. The corridors are cold, but not threatening. What could possibly hurt you here?
You think as you walk, just following the natural swirl of the building and letting your thoughts go where they may. There's been so much over the last two days ... no, you don't want to go there, that's a bad place. You try to focus on what's happening right now. You've met Ran, you're in a safe place ... you saw Yukari, you-
The worm twitches, you flinch.
Can you not even think anymore? Is the inside of your head not your own? You feel a lump in your throat. How are you supposed to deal with this, with what has become of you, if you can't think or plan? You drag your feet now, eyes feeling hot.

"....ke .... o ....ilet?"
What?
"Of ....se"
You try to walk a little quieter, beside not making any sound in the first place. You're suddenly very aware of how your robe fans out around your legs and you hold it close to you.
Where are those voices coming from? You spot one door up ahead, a crack of light coming from beneath it, barely brighter than the grey glow all around.
"What's done is done." That sounds like Yuka. She sounds ... serious. Not angry or amused or flippant, but dead serious. You creep closer, trying to still even your own breathing. Hand on the wall to steady yourself, you stand by the door, straining to hear.
"That does not excuse your actions." That's definitely Ran. She sounds angry, but so tired. Has she been up all night?
You hear Yuka laugh. "Maybe not." She says. "But I did you a favour."
"Wh-what?" Ran's voice has a cold quality to it, something that makes you shiver.

[ ] Back away, silently. Go somewhere else. You don't want to hear this. You don't need more to think about.
[ ] Knock on the door. Knock on the door, go on, there's nothing to be nervous for.
[ ] Keep listening. You're curious now.
>> No. 64221
[X] Keep listening. You're curious now.
>> No. 64222
{X} Keep listening. You're curious now.
>> No. 64223
[x] Keep listening. You're curious now.
>> No. 64225
File 122497436512.jpg - (15.47KB , 636x442 , The Worm.jpg ) [iqdb]
64225
[x] Keep listening. You're curious now.

>The worm

"You need to listen to Ran. If you're not a good girl, you'll get punished."
>> No. 64226
[X] Knock on the door. Knock on the door, go on, there's nothing to be nervous for.
>> No. 64227
[x] Keep listening. You're curious now.
>> No. 64230
[x] Keep listening. You're curious now.
>> No. 64232
[X] Keep listening. You're curious now.
>> No. 64251
[x] Keep listening. You're curious now.

They say that curiosity killed the cat. Fortunately we're not a cat.
>> No. 64252
>>64251

Luckily she's more of a fox person.

CRAZY LIKE A FOX
>> No. 64253
>>64252
Is she as razy as a fox what used to be Professor of Crazy at Oxford University, but has moved on, and is now working for the UN at the High Commission of International Crazy Planning?

Bonus points to those who get the reference.
>> No. 64254
[x] Keep listening. You're curious now.
[x] Be prepared to enter and confront them if it sounds like they're hiding something important from you.
>> No. 64267
[X] Back away, silently. Go somewhere else. You don't want to hear this. You don't need more to think about.

Standard consideration vote:
Everything we did has been whittling away at our sanity. Let's have surcease of sorrow at least tonight. There has to be a way to slow that process of our mind deteriorating down.
>> No. 64274
I wonder if Yuka is interested in making Newkari a cold-blooded killer just like her so she'll have someone powerful to fight once she comes into her own?

Were I Yuka, that's what I'd call one hell of a return on my investment: Someone itching for a fight, just the same as you, and probably stronger than you, too.
>> No. 64276
>>64253
Black Adder goes forth, but the edit doesn't work that well.

>>63943

I'm voting for character retcon in light of Lovecraftian influence.

[ ] Deaf, illiterate, long distance sprinter.


--
[ ] Keep listening. You're curious now.
>> No. 64277
>>64274
>I wonder if Yuka is interested in making Newkari a cold-blooded killer just like her so she'll have someone powerful to fight once she comes into her own?

That's what I'm thinking. I can't think of anything Ran could offer Yuka that would make her involve herself this much. Given her impatience to return, it's clear that fighting the others looking for Anon or simply seeing the Outside weren't the prime motivators.

Although Yuka had said that the only thing important to her are her flowers, her interactions with the protagonist so far paints a different picture; it's certainly not Anon's winning personality that interests her.