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74898 No. 74898
The Kappa are getting more agitated by the moment.
"Ran!" You say, a little too loud, catching yourself and putting your hand to your mouth as she looks at you.
"I ... why are you ignoring them?" You ask, then frown, turning red. You didn't mean to say it like that.
Ran stares at you open-mouthed, a moment of silence, broken by Nitori's over-excited voice.
"Yes Ran! Listen!" She pouts. "The equipment is telling us there's another hole in the border!"
Ran sighs and all but slams the tray down onto the table, her tails swishing angrily. "Tell me something I don't know, Nitori."
"What?" Nitori falters for a second as Ran sits and starts to pour the tea, her hands visibly shaking.
"There's a new hole every day, just keep patching them up." Ran takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. "Is this really so important as to-"
"Yes." Nitori stomps her little foot. "It doesn't lead to the Outside."
Ran looks up at Nitori for a moment. "Where does it go?"
Nitori gestures to one of the male Kappa behind her, now both looking even more frightened by Ran's outburst. One of them shuffles forwards and produces a clipboard from inside his overalls. He clears his throat, a small, tinny noise.
"Sub-bi-layer breach number forty seven bypasses physical interaction with the outside world completely. Remote probing returns no results." He reads without looking up.
Ran frowns. "Where is it located?"
The Kappa passes the clipboard to Nitori, who shows it to Ran.
"Ah." Ran takes a deep breath.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Renko asks as she walks over to the table and stands behind you, one hand on your shoulder.
"There's a hole in the border." Ran says, eyes fixed on the clipboard. "It ... might need looking at."
"Why?" You ask. "Didn't you just say there's lots already?" You glance between Ran and Nitori.
"This one goes somewhere ... uh ..." Nitori gulps. "We don't ... well ... " She falters, finally trailing off.
Ran finally waves Nitori's clipboard away and looks at you. "It's not a new hole, it's an old one we thought was closed up a long time ago." She explains.
"But where does it go?" Renko asks.

"A place called Makai." Ran says.

---

"You're going alone?" You ask Ran.
She nods. "We're just going to look."
The Kappa stand in a little group, looking so small next to the buildings of Mayohiga, waiting for Ran to join them. Nitori takes out a set of goggles and keeps peering at you and Renko through them. One of the male Kappa starts polishing a set of spanners.
"If this place is really as dangerous as you say it is then you shouldn't be going alone." Renko says, holding up a hand to keep the sun out of her eyes.
"We're not even going inside, we just need to know if this is a false alarm." Ran smiles, trying to look reassuring. "It's probably nothing."
Renko frowns. "But still, it's-"

"Little slave just wants to get rid of me for an afternoon." Yuuka's voice floats down from somewhere.
You look up as Yuuka vaults down from the rooftop, landing on the grass next to Ran and making the Kappa jump and shriek in surprise.
"What were you doing up there?" Ran asks her.
"Sunning myself." Yuuka grins over at you, dusting herself off and twirling her parasol over her shoulder.
Renko glares at her.
"But aren't I right?" Yuuka asks. "With Ran and me away, you could make as much noise as you want~?" She points at Renko with the parasol.
"Shut up Yuuka."
"Make me."
"No."
Yuuka throws her head back and laughs. "Very good. Her leash is tight enough now?" She asks you.
"Wha-" You splutter.
"Seriously, Yuuka." Renko says. You can practically see her counting to ten in her head, making herself stay calm. "Ran would be safer with you along."
Ran cocks her head. "Renko has a point."
"Oh~? And leave little Heather unguarded?" Yuuka raises her eyebrows.
"She has me for that." Renko says, trying not to grit her teeth. You place a hand on her arm, fingers first, unsure, then holding her tight. Seems to work, her face visibly relaxes.
"You're not enough." Yuuka says.
"We'll be fi-"
"Ah ah~" Yuuka interrupts, wagging her finger. "What do you want me to do?" She asks you.
"I ... what?"
"Is this that important that I should go with Ran?" Yuuka asks plainly, sighing.

She will listen to you now ... right?

[ ] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.
[ ] Ran's just going to look and Yuuka's still the strongest potential bodyguard around. She stays in Mayohiga.

>> No. 74899
[X] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.

Away with you.
>> No. 74900
{X} Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.

Get looost
>> No. 74903
[x] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.

It would come back to bite us in the ass if Ran were to go m.i.a. going to Makai.

ps: Fucking Yuuka!
>> No. 74904
Spring is conflicted.

On one hand, convincing Yuka to stay and then a day later telling her to bugger off for a while is not a good thing, but on the other, this is Makai and Ran might need backup. And on yet another hand that I have thanks to Yagokoro brand hand growing solution, if Yuka goes, it will leave Mayohiga undefended, and on a fourth hand, possibly because I'm Goro from Mortal Kombat, Mayohiga is pretty hard to get to in the first place.

[Z] Tell Renko to go with Ran while Yuka stays here.

Reasoning is that Renko can benifit from the experiance while at the same time protecting Ran.

Its another option, but I don't know how good it is. I'll leave that up to everyone else.
>> No. 74905
[X] Tell Renko to go with Ran while Yuka stays here.

It occurs to me that if Ran has to make any kind of diplomatic contact with the residents of Makai, then having Yuka along would be a big problem. Not just because of her violent nature, but also because she may have helped to destroy/seal it. Yet, I still don’t want to send Ran alone because that practically begs for disaster.

Plus we might finally find out what happened with Yuka if she stays.
>> No. 74906
[X] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.
Mayohiga is no longer safe flag raised.
>> No. 74908
[x] Why don't you all go? All these recent intrusions have shown that Mayohiga isn't particularly safe anyway.

You could pack a picnic lunch. It'll be fun.

Better than sitting around waiting for Mokou to show up and whoever else that knows you're with Ran.
>> No. 74909
[X] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.
>> No. 74910
[X] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.
>> No. 74912
[X] Ran's just going to look and Yuuka's still the strongest potential bodyguard around. She stays in Mayohiga.

Have we forgotten just how BAMF Ran is? Who else has shed tears of blood trying to get past her in PCB's extra stage? I'm no lunatic, but I think she can handle herself.
>> No. 74915
[X] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.
This will either ensure that nothing will happen, or that something definitely will happen!
>> No. 74916
>>74912
That's not the point.

Try reading the votes as
[ ] Get rid of Yuka for a bit
[ ] Keep Yuka around

Nothing is going to happen to Ran. Possible, yes, but too damn unlikely. The reason people want Yuka to leave is alone time with Renko. Yes yes, hawt lesbo action and all aside don't you think we should have some time alone with her to discuss things like Yuka staying, more on why she's so willing to protect us (Satori's "You need to work on your reasons"), that she needs to stop fighting so damn much with Yuka? Having Yuka around will probably just lead to another cat fight. Or maybe even another severely injured Renko
>> No. 74917
>>74916
That's a dangerous way of thinking. Our first choice in this run of Vengence or Prudence determined weather Momizi or Arata Survived. This could be another thing like that.
>> No. 74918
>>74917
Yes, but that was in the middle of a fight. There was a clear aggressor at the time. Even if Ran goes without Yuka, she's a lot stronger than Momizi. Even if Yuka goes with Ran, Mayohiga is a difficult place to find, and there aren't any known enemies that we have to consider; just a bunch of ambiguous threats of unknown number, loyalty, and power.

There's really no more reason to believe that Mayohiga will be attacked while Ran is gone than Ran will be attacked while outside of Mayohiga. So why not just make the choice that will hopefully let us pacify our allies?
>> No. 74921
>>74918
>So why not just make the choice that will hopefully let us pacify our allies?

Because shit always happens.

[ ] Ran's just going to look and Yuuka's still the strongest potential bodyguard around. She stays in Mayohiga.
>> No. 74923
>>74921
>Because shit always happens.

By that logic, Ran is going to get attacked by a bloodthirsty Shinki out for vengeance
>> No. 74926
File 123362637259.jpg - (605.58KB , 1200x902 , 2617414.jpg ) [iqdb]
74926
>>74923
I'm putting my money on a bloodthirsty Yumeko, myself.

>Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing is going to happen.
Hahahaha.
I do want something to happen, though. Hence:
[X] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.

I want to see this new Heather in action. And no, not with Renko. I want to see how she'll react to a sticky situation.
Surprise me, HY.
>> No. 74932
>>74923

Eh, at worst Ran will get injured. If Heather is attacked though, more serious damage will be had.

No, Renko cannot save her from everything.
>> No. 74940
[X] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.
>> No. 74955
[x] Tell her to go with Ran. Mayohiga is safe, right? Nothing's going to happen.

She was a playable character in Mystic Square. Perhaps she has experience with the Makai?
>> No. 74959
Yuuka goes with Ran. Update later today.
>> No. 74964
>>74959

hooray!
>> No. 74983
"This ... could be pretty important, okay?" No, don't ask her! Order her! "So, I want you to go with Ran." That's better.
Yuuka raises an eyebrow. "Really?" She sounds full of disbelief.
"Y-yes! Really!"
"I would ... appreciate your help if it's more than just a false alarm." Ran says, trying to sound diplomatic. "After all, you've been inside Makai before, if I remember correctly."
Yuuka holds your gaze for a long moment, then sighs and throws her head back, catching the sunlight. "Very well." She says, smiling to herself.
"Thank you." You say, trying to keep your voice steady.
"One thing." Yuuka licks her lips and bends a little so she's eye-to-eye with Renko. "Don't get her pregnant while we're gone."
"I doubt that's biologically possible." Renko stays deadpan, meeting Yuuka's gaze.

"This is Gensokyo!" Yuuka laughs, twirling her parasol. "You'd be surprised what's possible here."

---

"Thanks for making her go." Renko says as you watch Ran and Yuuka fading into the sky, followed by the little group of Kappa. One of them, probably Nitori, waves to you as they go, little hand a pink speck against the blue.
"They can fly." You say, still a little stunned.
"What?" Renko almost laughs, cracking a smile. "Yes, they can fly."
"You knew this?" You turn to her.
"Well ... get enough power into a physical body and flight is possible, yeah." She says.
You stare at her for a moment. "Can ... can you fly?" Oh god that felt stupid. That's a stupid question. Your cheeks are turning red, you can feel it. Why ask that?!
Renko laughs, shaking her head. "No, no I can't. I'm not from Gensokyo."
"B-but you said-"
"It's complicated." Renko explains. "I'm not from here, so a lot of the physical laws of the outside world still apply to me. Bottom line is no flying. I ... I think, anyway."
You nod, trying to calm yourself. She laughed, but not at you, right? It was just funny. Breathe, calm down.

"Seriously though, thanks." Renko says.
"Hm?"
"For getting rid of Yuuka for a bit."
"I ... I really thought she should go with Ran! I just-"
"I know." Renko says, putting a finger to your lips. "But it's still relaxing to know she's gone for a couple of hours."
"Mmhmm." You murmur. A couple of hours? Oh, right, yeah. Renko and you here, alone, nobody around. Your chest tightens a little. Thoughts like this were easier when you were half-asleep.
"Come on." Renko says, taking your hand. "I think we both need some sunlight and fresh air."

"Oh ... okay." You smile back at her, letting yourself be led into the garden.

---
[Isamu]
---

Arrows don't make heads explode.

Air travel too dangerous now, don't want to be a liability. Need to get out of here. Move.
Grab your spear, rations, water-skin. Leave the bodies. Forget about them. Armour? Too bulky, useless, your spear went right through it, so will their projectiles. Stay light, move fast. Weapons?

War. That means the Act of Union might get called. The Kappa will want to see these. Could make all the difference.
Not all three, take two of them. Heavy inside your robes, but not too much. The black metal slides easily into your hands. The weight is satisfying, reassuring. Pity you don't know how to use them. Point and pull trigger? Automated bow? Where do the arrows come from? Too complex, forget about it for now.

Noises from the bamboo behind you.

Move.

[ ] Straight back to the Mountain. Fast.
[ ] Too risky. Loop around, take the route near the Hakurei Shrine.
[ ] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the forest of magic.
>> No. 74985
[x] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the forest of magic.

The crow tengu that took Momizi didn't have the sense to take at least one of the guns for study? Fucking hell.
>> No. 74987
{X} Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the Forest of Magic.
>> No. 74988
[x] Too risky. Loop around, take the route near the Hakurei Shrine.

Might as well take a look around while hiding.
>> No. 74989
[X] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the forest of magic.
I have a bad feeling about Hakurai Shrine.

>[Isamu]
I hope this doesn't mean we're not going to see Heather's private time with Renko.
>> No. 74990
[x] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the forest of magic.

A look into Alice's soul should be enough to scare away any pursuers.
>> No. 74991
{X} Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the Forest of Magic.
>> No. 74992
[X] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the Forest of Magic.

Hey HY, any plans on adding other PoV characters?
>> No. 74994
>>74992
See
>>74715
>>Okay so I have a little marker up there for when we switch protagonists, look out for it because there's more than just Isamu and Heather

Yes. There are more to come. Wait and see.
>> No. 74995
Now that the character swapping mechanic has played out a bit, gotta say I love it: the differences in internal monologue, the dialogue styles, the types of observations made... very slick. Looking forward to whoever else is planned.
>> No. 74996
>>74995
Thank you. Not sure if it would work at first but it seems to be a success so far.
>> No. 74997
[X] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the Forest of Magic.
>> No. 75005
[x] Too risky. Loop around, take the route near the Hakurei Shrine.

Hmm, my largest question is WTF happened to Reimu? Maybe this option could shed some light on it ...
>> No. 75006
>>75005
If the problem could be solved by a mere glance at her shrine, then I would think the humans would have done something about it by now. Actually I voted for the forest just because I figured they might have a few people hanging around investigating the place, and we're in no condition to fight.
>> No. 75008
[x] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the forest of magic.

We know Reimu is missing, so there's not much information to be gleaned at the shrine. We don't know anything about the forest residents, though. Seeing as how the gate to Makai reopened, the state of Alice's property could be informative.
>> No. 75020
[X] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the Forest of Magic.
>> No. 75021
>>75008
I hear that.

[X] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the Forest of Magic.
>> No. 75022
After catching back up to the story after getting left behind at around thread 8, one things remains in my mind after all this.

Where the fuck is Chen hiding? We haven't seen her for a while now and she would be an interesting source of information considering what she did when Ran tried to touch her
>> No. 75027
>>75022

That was Orin.

She's dead, Jim.

>> No. 75031
>>75027

Weren't there two cats at that time?
>> No. 75034
There were indeed two cats. The first one was pure black, and Ran even identified it as Chen however it hissed at her and ran away after she tried to pick it up from Heather.

And then afterwards we ran into both Chen and Orin in her cat form and we haven't seen Chen since...
>> No. 75036
[x] Too risky. Loop around, take the route through the Forest of Magic.

Trying to find Chen and seeing if she'll go back to her human form without Ran around would probably be a good thing to do since we did leave a few unanswered questions lingering that she would probably be able to answer.
>> No. 75039
Into the forest. Update coming this evening.
>> No. 75044
>>75039

Hooray!
>> No. 75052
The bamboo thins out, replaced by trees and ferns. Undergrowth drops away on the border between the two forests. Why don't they merge? Forest of magic must protect itself somehow. Hopefully protect you too, canopy is so thick it blocks out the morning sunlight.
Dashing from the bamboo to the tree trunks. Stay quiet, passed three groups of rabbits in the bamboo already. Big ears, useless though. Never heard you. Are they out this far already?
The forest seems quieter than the bamboo. Moist, green, mould-choked, warm. Bed of leaves, hide in a tree? Eyelids heavy with sleep. Don't let your guard down. Worse things in the forest than rabbits.
Slow your breathing. Smell the air. Safe, for now. Spear out.
Move.

The forest goes by in a sleep-deprived blur, mud on your feet, moss and damp bark beneath your hands. Chattering, scurrying things in the undergrowth. Pause, stay still when larger things move, far off through the trees. Snapping. Howl of some prey-beast.
No rabbits though. No reason to be here? Nothing of value worth holding, longest route around, depths of the forest stretching off into the unknown. Maybe they don't know about it? Doesn't matter for now. Concentrate. Don't get lost, don't get turned around.

---

Plume of smoke sighted through a hole in the canopy. Could skirt around. Edge closer. Spear ready, other hand inside your robes, on one of those weapons. Better than nothing.
A house? Two houses in the forest, a human witch and ... another witch? Memory escapes on a tide of exhaustion.
Chattering of rabbits. Stay in the bushes. Six of them, black-armoured and carrying those weapons again.
Two dead on the ground, surrounded by chunks of wood.
Two by the door of the house, one shouting something and pounding on the door.
Two of them have something else, long loops of a net, heavy links, interspersed with metal plates. Even at this distance you can see the runes carved on the metal.

They're trying to catch a magician.

The rabbit's shout turns into a scream of pain as a tiny figure impacts on it's neck, stabbing and slicing, blood spraying across the bare ground around the house. The rabbit drops, the tiny figure shattering to splinters with the cracking of a weapon.

Scream of frustration and rage from inside the house. Door collapses inwards as the last rabbit breaks the lock with his foot. The two with the net rush forwards, unsteadied by its bulk.

[ ] This is not your fight. Move.
[ ] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.
[ ] Wait until they have their prisoner.
>> No. 75053
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.
>> No. 75054
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.

Fuck yeah!
>> No. 75056
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.

Do want Alice.
>> No. 75057
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.
>> No. 75059
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.
>> No. 75060
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.
>> No. 75062
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.
>> No. 75063
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.

Spear in one hand, gun in the other (?), potentially saving the hour.
>> No. 75064
[x] Distracted. Potential ally. Easy kills. Move.
>> No. 75066
I think that one is settled. Update tomorrow (tonight if insomnia strikes).
>> No. 75067
>>75066
I'll make sure to pay off the sandman then.
>> No. 75099
First rabbit is inside the building now, rapid thumping of its weapon muffled by the walls. Neither of the other two looking your way.

No time to think. Deep breath. Judge distance.

Running start this time, clearing around the house small enough to cross in mere moments. Spear slips easily between the joints of the rabbit's armour, through the back of the neck.
A cough and a cloud of blood, tangled in the net as it falls.
Second rabbit is too fast. Drops the net, turns on you, fumbling to draw its weapon. Spear stuck fast in the neck of the first.
You offer a small prayer to the Gods, answered as your fingers refuse to break when you punch the rabbit's face-plate. It loses its balance, glass visor webbed with fractures but not shattered.
Hits the ground and rolls away from you, wrenching the helmet off and gagging for air, clawing fragments of glass from its ... no, from his face.
Definitely a male. Ears limp, eyes bloodshot.
Don't give him pause. Your foot catches below the ribs, flipping him over.
"Argh!" A grunt of pain this time, face screwed up, gritting his teeth. Face of the enemy.
One foot on the chest, don't let him draw a weapon.
Still a third one inside the house, shouting, crack of their weapons. No time. Snap the neck, quick, before recovery. One hand on either side of the head should do it.
"No! Fuck!" He knows what you're doing, final moment of protest. Tries to kick you, legs too short.

Too small for soldiers really.

Earth-shattering blast, a rainbow fills your vision. Can't keep your balance.
Blink.
A new hole in the top floor of the house, smouldering window-frame crashes to the ground, followed by a smoking, charred corpse. The rabbit who went inside, now a melted mass of metal and flesh become one.
The last rabbit, neck left unsnapped, glances at his former comrade, scrambles to his hands and knees, vomiting.
Slam your foot into his back again, face down in the contents of his own stomach.

"Look what you made me do to my house!" Screech.
A woman floats out of the hole in the wall, glaring down at the broken corpse beneath her.
"Nice burn pattern." She cocks her head at the disgusting mess before noticing you and the last surviving rabbit.
"Ah! More of you!" She scowls and a pair of little figures dart out of the hole in the building, hovering at her shoulders. She floats to the ground.
Blue dress, blond hair. Too many ribbons and frills. Book in one hand. Fingers twitching. Narrow your eyes, sleep dulling your senses. Wires coming from her fingers? Strings. The tiny figures at her shoulders are a pair of dolls, matched with tiny weapons, like mobile razor-blades.

Ah. The Dollmaker.

"What do you want me with me? What are you doing here?" She demands once she's on the ground, striding up to you.
"Killing rabbits." You say. "Making my way home."
"What?" She frowns. "Oh. Tengu." She glances down at the rabbit pinned under your foot.
"You're not with them?" She asks.
"They killed the rest of my pack last night. So no, I am not 'with them'."
"Good. They interrupted me while I was working." She says, a smile creeping onto her face.
"Uuuuugh." The rabbit groans in pain.
"He's alive?" The woman asks, frowning at you.
"Yes. What's your name?"
She looks taken aback for a moment. "You haven't heard of me?"
"I don't recall your name, Dollmaker."
"My name is Alice Margatroid." She starts, holding her head up. "The Seven-Coloured-"

Filter it out. More important things to do.

[ ] Kill the rabbit.
[ ] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75100
[x] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75103
[x] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75104
[x] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75105
[X] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
[X] But kill him if he gives you too much trouble.
>> No. 75106
[x] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75108
[x] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75109
[x] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75110
[X] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
[X] But kill him if he gives you too much trouble.
>> No. 75112
We need to at least find out who he’s working for. It’s bugging me.

I don’t think Makai would attack Alice, even if their intent was to capture. I think they’d at least try to talk first, trick her into coming if their intents were hostile. I also doubt they’d have access to anything made in Germany. Though, there is a possibility that Shinki just made a whole lot of copies of the one firearm she happened to get her hands on. I suppose she could also make a bunch of rabbits, considering she’s got creation abilities.

I don’t think they’re from outside, even if some of their equipment if from there. Even if you assume they all got some kind of surgical alteration or magical illusion to look like rabbits, their tactics just seem too far removed. If I’m interpreting Isamu’s description correctly, they use pistols as their primary weapon. They also seem to outright reject the notion of camouflage, even going so far as to wear reflective headgear. It’s like they’re a bunch of riot police pretending to be soldiers.

I can’t think of much reason for anyone else to go after Alice, though admittedly we know very little about the groups in this variant of Gensokyo.

Looking forward to the interrogation, no matter how gut-wrenching it may be.
>> No. 75113
[x] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
[x] Ask if you can rest here for a short while. No use collapsing in the middle of the forest while carrying a hostage.
>> No. 75117
>>75112
[x]Ask Alice if she knows why she was attacked

Actually, does Isamu know why he was attacked? The very beginning was a supposed meeting with Eientei. I take it we aren't going to get any information on that, HY?
>> No. 75121
[x] Kill the rabbit.
>> No. 75123
File 123381689981.jpg - (12.81KB , 352x240 , 2725914.jpg ) [iqdb]
75123
[x] Kill the wabbit.
>> No. 75124
[X] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75126
[x] Kill the rabbit.

We take no prisoners
>> No. 75128
[X] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
>> No. 75131
[X] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
[X] But kill him if he gives you too much trouble.
[X] Ask Alice if she knows why she was attacked
>> No. 75132
[x] Stripped, bound and gagged. Take him with you.
[x] But kill him if he gives you too much trouble.
>> No. 75135
Taking a prisoner. Updating later.
>> No. 75137
Lean down, mouth to the rabbit's ear. Make sure he can hear you.
"I'm going to strip you, gag you and bind your hands. I won't hurt you if you don't resist. If you do resist then I'll kill you."
Wait a beat. Information sinking in.
"Understand?"
A gulp, sharp intake of shuddering, pain-laced breath. "Okay. I won't resist." He says.

Unclip the armour. Off his back, reach around and find the pouch with the weapon. Toss it away.
"What are you doing?" Alice bends down to watch, frowning. "Are you taking him prisoner?"
"Yes, I am." Away with the front armour as well, slip it out from beneath him.
"Why?" Alice asks. "What's going on anyway?"
"The start of a war, I think." You say. Rations, wrapped in cloth. That'll do. Hands behind his back, none too gentle. Wrap the wrists, tie it off. Strong as rope.

You get off his back. "Okay, get up."
He struggles to his feet, bent in the middle, glaring at you.
"What's your name?" Ask, keep him talking, know your enemy. Tear a another strip of cloth from your robes.
"My name?" He swallows. Dazed. Comrades dead. Captured. Don't give him time to think.
"Yes, your name. Mine is Isamu."
"My name ... Nagant."
"Nagant?" You frown. Pause. Names mean culture. Who are you dealing with? "I thought you rabbits all had Japanese names."
His face turns red. Anger bubbling below, ears twitching. Absurd on such a small frame. "Fuck you! I picked my name, it's a good one!" He grits his teeth. "You going to stand here and talk or gag me already?"
Raise the gag. No resistance.
"Wait a moment." Alice's hand on your arm. Small, slim fingers, those strings. Don't make her angry. "Who sent you after me?" She asks. "Was it mother? I bet it was mother. Is she getting lonely again?"
The rabbit, Nagant, stares at Alice for a long moment.

"I just follow orders." Nagant says. A lie. Well trained.

Back to the mountain.

---

"I can't believe your nerve!"
"Mm." Grunt. Filter it out. Prod the rabbit with your spear again. Stumble over the tree roots.
"Me, a woman living in the forest, attacked! And you ... you boorish, idiotic military type, assume I am helpless!"
"Mm."
Alice hurrying after you.
"I mean really, honestly. You Tengu are denser than the forest."
"You took the offer though." You say. Shut up, please shut up.
"Well of course I took the offer!" Shriek. Small animals scurrying away. Too dangerous, too much noise. Witch, a lot of firepower. Enough for now, let her be noisy.
"You said there might be a war starting, a war! I mean I'm more than capable of defending myself of course, but not against an army."
"Mm."
"And you had the cheek to suggest I 'travel light'! Leave my notes behind? And my best dolls? Are you completely insane? Philistine." The bag slung over her shoulder, testament to her strength. Tall, but shouldn't be able to carry that much, frame too small, arms too thin. Human? Doubtful.

Break in the trees. The mountain looming. Head wreathed in mist, foothills lush with green. Nagant shuffles to a stop in front of you, staring up in wonder. Prod, make him move. Onwards.

---
[Heather]
---

Sometime in the last hour, your eyelids must have fluttered shut. The sunlight, the soft grass and the smell of Renko nearby is was all too much. But oblivion is denied to you once more. You sit up, white walls, white floor, white everything. Your own internal space stretching off into infinity.
Why are you back again? Last night was peace, pure blissful sleep. Oh god, why now? Why again?
The walls shift under your gaze. No! Don't look at them, don't look at one spot for too long or you'll see it, the crawling chaos inside yourself, seeping and twisting and bubbling and-
No, stop. You close your eyes. You have to wake up. You have to wake up. You don't want to be here, no no no no no no.

"Help."
That wasn't your voice.
You open your eyes, trying not to look at the lie of the white walls. Just off to your right is the dirty, brown, twisted patchwork figure that fell from nowhere into your head. Is it you?
It's standing up. The blurred filth cloaking its form shifts and swirls.
"Who are you?" You ask.
A mouth forms, roughly where a mouth should be.
"Help me."
"How?" You ask, focusing on the figure. Disgusting it may be, vile and disturbing but it's nothing like the thing you'll see if you look at the walls.
"Get me out." It replies.
"... Out of where?"
"This room is so cold." It says. The voice is so hard to understand, as if filtered through layers of static, a shout from underwater, uttered by a drowning man.
"Why are you in my head?" You ask.
"Only way out." It says.
"Of the ... the cold room?"
"Yes. Help."

Real? Or are you going mad?

[ ] "I'll try."
[ ] "I can't."
>> No. 75138
[x] "I'll try."

What beings would be left in Gensokyo that are capable of getting into someone's head anyways?
>> No. 75139
[X] "I'll try."
It's an obvious trap. Let's walk into it.
>> No. 75140
[x] "I'll try."

Heather's never made decisions conductive to her own survival in these sort of surreal situations. Don't see why she should start now.
>> No. 75141
[X] "I'll try."

Helping a creepy monster that lives in your head? Sure.
>> No. 75142
[x] I'll try

Could be what's left of Yukari
>> No. 75143
[X] "I'll try."
>> No. 75145
[X] "I'll try."
Helping the small creepy thing that's mucking around in our head? This will end well.
>> No. 75146
Nothing to the contrary? Okay, update on its way, tonight or tomorrow.
>> No. 75148
>>75146
Hourai! Hooray!
>> No. 75154
[x] "I can't."

Damn, late to the party. That's what I get for actually working.
>> No. 75155
>>75154

... would you like some consideration?
>> No. 75164
>>75155
If it's not asking too much, that would be great!
>> No. 75169
>>75164

inb4 votecrush
>> No. 75171
File 123387262211.jpg - (53.66KB , 428x600 , consider.jpg ) [iqdb]
75171
>>75164
Enjoy. If it feels like all your organs are shutting down simultaneously, that just means it's working.
>> No. 75172
"I ..." Your mouth is dry, cold sweat drenching your forehead. "I'll try." You nod.
"Thank you." It says, nodding, the mouth swirling into a vague smile, full of gratitude and kindness, but in an instant it lapses into pain and fear, radiating from the figure like heat from a fire.
"She's here!" It says, you can hear panic even through the dulled, inhuman quality of its voice. "She's coming! She knows what I'm doing!"
"She?" Yukari?! "Who?" You demand. "Who are you talking about?"
"I have to get back!" The voice rises to a near scream, the brown filth shifting and swirling.

Suddenly it stops. Like frozen smoke, all motion ending as time pauses. The voice is gone.

Then space itself shifts, as if sensing the sudden void in its midst. Don't look at the walls, don't look at the walls. Close your eyes. It was different talking to the voice, someone or something else in here with you, making it feel less inhuman, a solid rock in a sea of madness and terror.
You can feel the walls shifting now, see them even without your eyes. You scream and scream and scream. Wake up wake up wake up wake up!

---

You sit bolt upright, screaming and clutching at your head, eyes screwed shut in pain.
"Oh god, oh god." You try to hold back the sobs, tears leaking down your cheeks.
"Heather?" Renko is awake and alert in an instant. "You okay? What happened?"
"I ..." Gasp, you need to get your breath back. "More ... more bad dreams, things in my head." How would you even explain this sort of thing to her?
Renko puts a hand on your shoulder and takes a handkerchief from her pocket as you blink the tears out of your eyes.
"Here, it's okay, it's over now." She says, wiping away the blood trickling from your nose and the tears on your cheeks. You dumbly hold out your arms and she obliges, pulling you into a hug, stoking your hair.

You stay like that for a long time, sniffing and burying your face in her shoulder. Her smell is relaxing, you can feel yourself breathing easier.

"The sun's gone in." You mutter. Clouds gather above, the ground is cold to the touch now.
"Hm?" Renko looks up. "Oh, we must have napped through noon."
"Y-yeah ..." Say it, say it! "That was ... really nice, Renko."
"Oh?" She smiles.
"Yeah, just, just sleeping there with you." You smile back at her. "Thank you ... a-and thank you for h-holding me." You gulp.
She kisses you once, long enough to make you blush, short enough to leave you wanting more.
"R-renko!"
"It's okay." She grins and ruffles your hair. "Come on, let's go inside. I need a bath."
"Mm, okay. I'm thirsty."

---

Thinking of Renko in the bath is not helping your composure. Oh well, at least there's nobody around to see. You should have joined her! Bah! Now she's ... well, yours, it all seems too embarrassing. Maybe, maybe one day soon.
The sitting room and kitchen are darker now the sun has dimmed. You pour yourself a glass of water and lean back against the kitchen sideboard.

Then you scream in surprise as something lands on your head with a hiss.

"Meeraaow!" The black cat from before, lands on the floor, seemingly uncaring that it nearly gave you a heart attack.
"Dammit!" You spilled water all down yourself and on the floor!
"Meow." The cat looks at you at. You'd swear it's laughing.

[ ] Ignore it.
[ ] "Stop that!"
>> No. 75173
[x] "Stop that!"
>> No. 75175
[X] "Stop that!"

Chen~
>> No. 75176
[x] "Stop that!"

Stomp your foot.
>> No. 75177
{X} "Stop that!"
>> No. 75178
[ ] "Stop that!"
>> No. 75179
[x] "Stop that!"

Chen~
>> No. 75181
Update on it's way, tonight or tomorrow.
>> No. 75182
>>75181

hooray!
>> No. 75186
>The cat looks at you at.
>> No. 75188
>>75186
Buggering shit fucking dick cock DAMMIT FUCK.
>> No. 75211
[x] Ignore it.
>> No. 75229
[x] Pet the cat.

Make it purr
>> No. 75230
[X] "Stop that!"
[x] Pet the cat.
Stupid cat!
>> No. 75236
[x] "Stop that!"
[x] Pet the cat.

Same message, but makes Chen happier. I like it.
>> No. 75239
[x] "Stop that!"
[x] Pet the cat.
>> No. 75251
"Stop that!" You saying, blustering. It's a cat, it can't understand you. You sigh, crouching down and holding out a hand. Silly thing was probably sleeping on top of the kitchen cabinets.
It backs away, arching its back and hissing at your hand.
"What's the matter?" You frown.
"Hissss!" It skitters away and slips around the corner of the doorway, into the sitting room.
There's a strangled meow, followed by a thump, something hitting the floorboards.
"What's the ma-"

"Go away." A voice hisses from the other side. "You can't order me around."
Your heart leaps into your mouth before your mind catches up. There's someone in the sitting room! Don't order them around? Ah. Good thing you met Orin yesterday, or this moment would be even more confusing.
"Don't come in here!" The voice says as you step forward. "If you come in here I'll run away."
It's a child's voice. Quiet and soft, but with an edge of anger and frustration.
"I ..." You gulp, taking a deep breath. "I'm sorry. Who are you?" That's it, be diplomatic, take it slowly, don't panic.
" ... I'm Chen." The voice says. "I mean, that's my name, I'm not 'a Chen', I'm a cat."
"Hello Chen. I'm Heather."
"I know that!" Chen's voice turns angry again. "I know who you are!"
"Sorry." You say, unable to think of anything else. If only you could see her face, she sounds so small, but you don't want to step into the sitting room and risk having her run away.
"I don't like you." Chen says, voice filled with a child's hate.

"Why don't you like me?" You ask. "This is the first time we've spoken."
"I heard what Yuuka called you last night." Chen says.
Ah. Deep breaths, don't panic.
"You were listening?" You ask.
"Yes. I don't like you and I don't like Yuuka. Why do you have to be here?"
You sigh. "That's a good question, Chen, I don't know why I'm here either."
"Then go away."
"I ... don't think I can do that either." You say, feeling guilty for some reason.
Chen is quiet for a long time. You edge forwards, is she even still there?

"She's wrong, you know." Chen says eventually, still hiding from you.
"S-sorry?"
"Yuuka. She's wrong. You're not Yukari, you're not my Yukari."
You sigh again. "I know that, I'm not Yukari, I-"
"Then why did she call you that?!" Chen growls.
The top of a head pokes around the door-frame. Twitching cat's ears, followed by messy, unwashed brown hair, a grubby face. Dirt caked under her fingernails, red child's dress reduced to rags.
Chen stares angrily at you from the doorway.

"Yuuka called you mother." She says, eyes shining with barely controlled tears.

[ ] Try to explain. You're not Yukari, but Yuuka is happier and safer this way.
[ ] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.
>> No. 75253
>"Yuuka called you mother."
Yuuka has some serious issues.

[x] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.
>> No. 75254
[X] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.
>> No. 75255
[x] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.

I have no idea what "something" is but okay.
>> No. 75256
[x] Try to explain. You're not Yukari, but Yuuka is happier and safer this way.
>> No. 75257
>"Yuuka called you mother."
That will be very silly if it turns out to be true. I can easily see some kind of odd relationship forming between the two that might involve them referring to each other as mother and daughter, though.

[x] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.
>> No. 75258
[ ] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.

Why does it feel like "explaining" does nothing?
>> No. 75259
>>75257
The first time we encountered Yuka in canon was when her mansion became the focus for the emergence of a bunch of youkai, as if they had all just suddenly appeared in Gensokyo. Likewise, Yuka's mansion itself existed on the border between waking and dreams.

I realize the problems in assuming that the PC-98 Gensokyo and Windows Gensokyo being compatible, but ...
>> No. 75264
>>75259
I didn’t say impossible, I just said silly. The idea just seems kind of out there.
>> No. 75265
[X] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.
>>75253
I imagine that it meant Yuuka calling Heather "Yukari", and Chen refers to latter as "mother" for her own reasons. So, Yuuka did not call Heather "mother". At least I hope so.
>> No. 75266
>>75264
Yuuka has been pretty insistent on Heather being Yukari though. Maybe she misses her mother?
>> No. 75267
>>75266
Do youkai even have mothers?
>> No. 75268
>>75267
Some of them probably do, tengu for example.
>> No. 75269
>>75268

Personal opinion, animal based youkai likely do (Chen, Tewi, Ran, etc). Human based naturally do (ex: Alice, Prismrivers techinically, Yuyuko). Youkai based off of concepts/caused by conditions/miscellaneous spirits don't (Rumia, Medicine, Yuka, Letty).
>> No. 75270
[X] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.
>> No. 75271
[x] She's not a cat, she's a child that's lost a parent. Do something.
>> No. 75273
No contest. Updating tomorrow.
>> No. 75276
>>75273

hooray!
>> No. 75299
"You're not Yukari." Chen says again, insistent, bottom lip wobbling. She looks like she's about to bolt. She's been avoiding Ran, living like an animal. She needs comfort, she needs ... well, she needs Yukari, just like Yuuka did last night.
You can't bear it, you can't watch a child break down and cry, while you stand there doing nothing, paralysed by your own deceit and indecision.
"Chen," you reach a hand out. She doesn't flinch or back away. "I'm sorry."
"You're not Yukari." She repeats, shaking a little, small and scared.
"I know." You say, putting your hand on her shoulder. She almost shrinks away from you, but you're fast enough, for once.
"H-hey! Get off me!" She yowls as you grab her other shoulder, dropping to your knees and pulling her into a hug.
You don't let go as she struggles, trying to kick you, jagged fingernails digging into your back.
"I'm sorry Chen."

Her tears have finally started flowing, heavy, wet sobbing. She's been holding in it for weeks, maybe months. Her struggling turn to limpness and finally she clings to you, wailing into your shoulder. She's dirty, caked with weeks of unwashed grime, but beneath that is something familiar, an musky animal smell, one you already know, somehow.
"It's okay, Chen, it's okay." You whisper.
"I ... I miss Yukari." She forces out between the sobs.
"I know." You say, stroking her hair, trying to soothe her. You wish Renko was here, she'd know what to do.
Chen looks up at you, wiping her eyes and streaming nose on her sleeve. She can't stop crying, you broke whatever was holding it back.
"You smell like her." She swallows, trying to wipe her eyes again.
"I do?" You say in a moment of shock.
Chen nods. You make sure not to let go of her.
"Are you ... are you Yukari?" She asks, voice so full of hope.

[ ] Tell her yes.
[ ] Tell her no.
>> No. 75300
{X} Tell her no.
>> No. 75301
[ ] Tell her yes.
>> No. 75302
[X] Tell her no.

"Whose smell is this?"
"Yukari's."
"Are you Yukari?"
"Yukari is dead, Chen. Yukari is dead."
>> No. 75303
[x] I don't know
>> No. 75304
[x] Tell her no.
[x] "But I'm trying."
>> No. 75305
[X] Tell her no.

I honestly don’t think we have the answer to this question. I kind of want to do a write in saying we don’t know, but I figure that will just be seen as attempting to use the ‘safe’ middle ground, and Chen might be looking for some finality here. So, if we have to risk telling a lie we might as well tell the one that wouldn’t crush her if it turns out not to be true.
>> No. 75306
[X] Tell her no.
>> No. 75307
[X] Tell her no.
>> No. 75308
[X] Tell her you can be her Yukari, even though you're not really her.
>> No. 75310
[X] Tell her no.
>> No. 75311
[x] Tell her you're not entirely certain yourself. You know that you are you, but at the same time, you also are no longer your old self.
[x] Tell her you've heard conflicting things regarding at times about being Yukari, but that there two things you know for sure right now. She smells familiar to you, and that Yukari wouldn't want her looking the way she does.
[x] Take her to the baths to clean her up. Maybe Renko is still in there too.
>> No. 75313
[x] Tell her no.

>>"Are you a god?"
>>"... no."
>> No. 75314
[x] Tell her you're not entirely certain yourself. You know that you are you, but at the same time, you also are no longer your old self.
[x] Tell her you've heard conflicting things regarding at times about being Yukari, but that there two things you know for sure right now. She smells familiar to you, and that Yukari wouldn't want her looking the way she does.
[x] Take her to the baths to clean her up. Maybe Renko is still in there too.
>> No. 75316
Decided. Another update on it's way later today.
>> No. 75320
>>75316

Hooray!
>> No. 75323
You shake your head. "No, I'm not Yukari."
Chen bites her lip, trying to hold her tears back, but she nods.
"It's okay, Chen." You say. "You're a very brave girl."
She swallows, sobbing again, clinging to you.
"Don't go." She mumbles through her tears.
"I won't, it's okay." You say.

Minutes pass, Chen trying to dry her eyes. Eventually she lets go of you, but then grabs the corner of your sleeve, holding on tight.

"Shall we get you cleaned up?" You ask her, keeping your voice as gentle as possible. "You look like you need a bath." Your hands are a filthy grey after stroking her hair.
Chen frowns. The kind of serious determination only a child's mind is capable of. She nods. "Okay."
"Come on." You reach over and take her hand. "Would you like to meet Renko?"
Chen's eyes widen. "She's scary."
You can feel her tense up. "Scary? She's very kind, you've nothing to worry about." You try to be reassuring, but you remember Renko killing that swordsman in your apartment, stabbing Mokou in the eye, shooting Yuuka without flinching. Renko clutching a knife and drenched in blood.
"I promise she won't do anything, she's very nice." You smile down at Chen.

"That's because she's yours." Chen says.

---
[Isamu]
---

Gates are all up, the Mountain closed tight like a turtle retracted into its shell. Arrow-slits and watchtowers carved from the living rock, challenge, call-sign, respond. Security not this tight in fifty years, since the last war. Voice hoarse, so tired.
Push Nagant forwards, stumble over the cleared killing grounds, ready to be filled with a thousand arrows.
"Where's the fortress?" Alice demands, frowning.
You gesture at the mountain.
"What? I don't see anything! There's just the mountain, you stupid ..." She trails off as the doors emerge from the rock, trick of the light and stone hiding all until you're right on top of them.
Alice gulps, staring upwards. "The ... mountain is the fortress." She mumbles to herself.
"Mm." Tap tap, tap, spear haft on solid rock. Grab Nagant by the hair, last chance to escape, rather a prisoner than a pincushion for arrows.
Stone grinding on stone, doors open. Line of arrow-points, full armour and plate-helmets.

"Private Nobuyuki Isamu." Spear point down. "Prisoner." Shove Nagant to the floor. "Refugee." Gesture at Alice.
"Stand down, let him in!"
Hustle and bustle of movement, two Tengu take Nagant under the shoulders. Alice just stands by you, glancing around the room.
"It's huge." She says. "All the gantries and the-"
"Mm, entrance hall, don't get lost." You say, stepping forward through the guards. Soft light and stone, smell of oil and baking bread wafting from deep inside the fortress.

Home. Sleep.

"Isamu." A voice calls out. Commander Katsuo, old, greybeard, saw the last war. He strides up to you, looks you up and down.
"You're exhausted, private." He says.
"I am, sir." Blink hard.
"Well done soldier." He takes you by the shoulder. "That's the first one we've captured, all the rest have killed themselves rather than get taken alive."
Nagant led off into the depths of the Mountain, feet dragging on the stone.
"Don't worry, Isamu." Katsuo reassures you. "Someone will be on suicide watch over him, before we interrogate him at least."
Open robes, weapons. Black metal brings fourth a gasp from the guard watch.
"These too." You say, handing them to Katsuo.
He pauses. "I'll pass these onto command, they've called the Act of Union with the Kappa, so you're going to be one popular solider with the shorties." He grins, old scars twitching. "You'll get a promotion for this, the gods must have been watching over you out there."

Sees the blood still seeping from your hand wound, stiff and immobile.
"But you'll get shit unless you get yourself patched up, do I make myself clear?"
Old solider. Old rules, there for a reason, stick to them.
"Yes sir." You nod.

"Are you in charge here? I want to speak to somebody in charge!" Alice's shrill voice behind. Walk off. Let her be dealt with. Command would like a witch to play with.

---

Corridors full of Tengu. Half-greetings, pats on the back, concerned glances. The rush and bustle of preparation for warfare. No dead rabbits outside the walls though. Why were the gates on full alert? Blink, clear your vision. Too tired. Ask someone later.

Your hand.

[ ] The civilian hospital. Closer to home, need to sleep.
[ ] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.
>> No. 75324
[X] The civilian hospital. Closer to home, need to sleep.
>> No. 75325
[x] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.

We need someone to give us the run-down. Momizi will do nicely.
>> No. 75326
{X} The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.
>> No. 75327
[x] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.
>> No. 75328
[x] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.
>> No. 75329
[Z] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.
>> No. 75330
[X] The civilian hospital. Closer to home, need to sleep.
>> No. 75331
[x] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.

We need information.
>> No. 75332
[x] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.

I like Isamu. All business, no fucking around.
>> No. 75333
[x] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.

>I like Isamu. All business, no fucking around.
>> No. 75334
[X] The military hospital. Momizi must have been back for hours.
This is going to win anyway.
>> No. 75337
>>75334
>>This is going to win anyway.

Indeed. Off to see Momizi, who was out cold and suffering massive blood loss the last time you saw her.
>> No. 75338
>Off to see Momizi, who was out cold and suffering massive blood loss the last time you saw her.

It feels like you're making fun of us, for some reason.
>> No. 75339
>>75337

hooray!
>> No. 75346
>>75337
but, but, I like my women out cold and heavily injured! The sedatives are a plus as well.
>> No. 75355
I was seriously expecting a DNM end.
>> No. 75356
>>75355
>>DNM end

Shiki is an anemic teenager.
Isamu is a experienced professional soldier.
>> No. 75359
>>75356

Yeah, but lack of sleep is bad for everyone. Besides, old habits are hard to lose.
>> No. 75382
Down, into the depths of the mountain. Infirmary sunk into the rock, to avoid being overrun in case of attack. Checkpoint, once, then again. Pass halls full of drilling Tengu, full-plate, archery practice, grindstones spitting sparks. Been a long time since the mountain went to war.
Kappa in the hallways, short, stubby arms hefting machines far stranger than the ones you brought back. Pair of Kappa, reflective sack-cloth, mirror helmets, one has a huge canister of some kind on his back. Tangy, acrid smell following them down the hallway.

Hospital entranceway, coiled snakes and the sceptre greeting you silently. Few casualties, no smell of blood, no shriek of unanaesthetised amputation.
Orderly on duty behind the desk, bored and drowsy.
"Private Isamu." Weak salute. "Reporting for treatment, non-urgent."
"Head on through, the doctors aren't busy." Thumbs over his shoulder, glancing at your face. Double take.
"You just come back from outside?" He asks, face lighting up.
You nod, holding up your hand.
His mouth drops open. "Shit ... you're the one that stayed behind when they brought a commander back in, right? You made it back all by yourself?"
Twist in the pit of your stomach.
"Commander Inubashiri." You say. "Did she make it?"
"Yeah, I think so." He twists in his seat. "Seriously, go talk to the doctors."
"Thank you."
"No, er, no problem!"

Great, reputation for heroism. Problematic.

---

"How the hell did you manage to do that to your hand?" Doctor Takashi demands, standing over you.
Shrug. "Caught a knife."
He sighs, stroking his beard with one hand, frowning down at the wound. "Better than your face. You should have put more pressure on the wound with the binding, remember that next time." He meets your eyes, cold grey staring into yours. "Not that I want there to be a next time, understand? You catch too many blades with your hands and one day you'll get it in the wrist."
"Sir." You nod sleepily.

Medical ethanol. Into the jar. Burns so bad you grunt with pain.
"Suck it up, soldier." Takashi grumbles.
Seven stitches either side. Wiggle your fingers.
"Sir, I wanted to ask-"
"Don't distract me while I'm sewing you up, knuckle-head."
Patience. Pads of antiseptic. Clean white bandage.
"Thanks doc." You say.
"Keep it clean, change the dressing once a day." Curt reply.

Swallow. Ask it. "Did Commander Inubashiri make it back?"
"Yes. She's sleeping off a three hour operation in the wards. I don't think-" Sudden stop. Grey eyes again, softer now. "You're the last of her pack, aren't you? You were out there?"
Nod. "Yes sir."
"Thought you got the hand wound sparring." He mumbles to himself.
"Can I see her, sir?"
"Yes, but don't disturb her. She needs to rest."
"Sir." Weak salute.
"So do you, soldier. We're going to need you fresh and awake soon enough. You need to sleep it off." Points at you.
"Sir? Are we expecting the mountain to be assaulted?"
Takashi raises his eyebrows. "Nobody told you?"
Shake your head. Too tired for this.
"There's an army on the move, split off halfway, into two. Half into the bamboo forest and half carrying on towards the Mountain. About half a day's march out."
"More rabbits? Does Command have any idea who they are?"

"Rabbits?" The doctor shakes his head. "We could pray for rabbits. Someone cracked Makai open, boy, we've got a demonic horde heading for our doorstep."

---

Only one in the wards. Small under the sheets. Tiny without her armour. Drip-fed veins. Slow rise and fall of her chest. Dreamless, you hope. Hand on her brow. Sticky. Hair matted and tangled. She'll live.

Never lost a whole pack before.

[ ] Head home. Bed. Too much to face if she wakes.
[ ] Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.
>> No. 75383
[x] Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.
>> No. 75384
[x] Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.
>> No. 75385
{X} Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.
>> No. 75386
[x] Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.

You are too soft perfectly fine, Isamu.
>> No. 75387
[x] Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.

Sleep is overrated. Or isn't it?
>> No. 75388
>"We could pray for rabbits. Someone cracked Makai open, boy, we've got a demonic horde heading for our doorstep."
FFFFFFfffffffffffffffffuck.
[X] Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.
>> No. 75389
>Great, reputation for heroism. Problematic.
Ciaphas Isamu: Hero of the Mountain.

[x] Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.
>> No. 75390
>>75389
>>Ciaphas Isamu: Hero of the Mountain.

Isamu will never be as awesome as Cain.

Also, another update on its way.
>> No. 75391
[x] Sleep here. Lost her pack. So did you. Need to be here when she wakes.

I think Isamu is a pretty cool guy, eh kills demons and doesn't afraid of anything.
>> No. 75393
Commander. Inubashiri. Momizi. Roll her name on your tongue. Not said it often. Always Commander, Ma'am. Always barking orders. Never too comfortable as an officer. Remember when she was promoted.

All that's left now. Rare for a pack to leave only one or two. Bonding psychosis, read about it somewhere. Shouldn't stay with her, should be making it a clean break. Can't do it. Served with her for too long.

Eyelids too heavy. Take the next bed. Turn on your side, watch her.

Sleep welcomes you with open arms.

---
[Flandre Scarlet]
---

A stretch under the sheets is worth three out of bed! Oh covers, so fresh and soft and warm. Why are you awake? Sleep goes too fast, always so fast, fleeting.
Pulling the covers up over your head makes you warm inside your little cocoon of bed. Bed cocoon. Like a butterfly?

"Whee!" You sit up suddenly, waving your wings. Like a butterfly!

"Sakuya?" You call out, nobody there. Why are you awake? What time is it? Oh, what is time to you anyway? Time to sleep, or eat, or time to play with sister! That's what time is, right? Time, time you went to bed little Mistress! Time to go back to your room, little sister! Tisk tisk tisk, with finger wagging. Well, awake time is now!

You yawn, stretching again. Why so tired? It's too warm in here. Is the sun still up? Why are you awake?
It's still sleeping time, it must be. Nobody came to get you. That means sister is still in bed! Still sleeping. You think about her, curled up underneath her sheets, just like you, a pretty butterfly waiting for the sun ... except you don't like the sun, it burns you and makes you sick. Sister doesn't like it either. Stupid sun. Well, a night butterfly then!

You throw the covers off, wincing and curling your toes against the cold floor. Your belly grumbles a little, but it can wait. You've got more important things to do!

[ ] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!
[ ] Get dressed and go wake sister up! She'll be so impressed!
[ ] No no, stay here and go back to sleep. Sister would want you to sleep.
>> No. 75394
{X} Get dressed and go wake sister up! She'll be so impressed!
>> No. 75397
[x] Get dressed and go wake sister up! She'll be so impressed!

Oh god what we're Flandre now?
>> No. 75399
[x] Get dressed and go wake sister up! She'll be so impressed!
>> No. 75400
[X] Get dressed and go wake sister up! She'll be so impressed!

Oh yes
>> No. 75402
>[Flandre Scarlet]
Oh god what is this.

>[ ] Get dressed and go wake sister up! She'll be so impressed!
Or angry. Let Remi sleep.
[X] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!
>> No. 75404
[x] Get dressed and go wake sister up! She'll be so impressed!
>> No. 75409
[X] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!

I think Ran mentioned Remilia went all bitter and reclusive after Reimu's disappearance and her little rule-breaking fight with Sukia. It might be best to tread lightly here.
>> No. 75412
[x] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!
>> No. 75413
File 123412320126.jpg - (208.46KB , 850x657 , Naptime.jpg ) [iqdb]
75413
[X] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!

It will be adorable!
>> No. 75414
[x] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!
>> No. 75415
[ ] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!

Will we see the return of Belnonymous??!
Haha
>> No. 75420
File 123412728330.jpg - (222.00KB , 986x751 , 1225639653627.jpg ) [iqdb]
75420
Oh god, Flandre perspective, HNNNGH
>> No. 75421
>Pulling the covers up over your head makes you warm inside your little cocoon of bed. Bed cocoon. Like a butterfly?

NNNNGGHH

[ ] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!
>> No. 75422
[x] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!

hmmmmmmm
>> No. 75425
>>except you don't like the sun, it burns you and makes you sick. Sister doesn't like it either. Stupid sun.
Either Flandre can't go "kyu" to the sun or she had one really awkward conversation a long time ago.
>> No. 75430
[X] Creep upstairs, get into bed with sister. She'll be so surprised!
>> No. 75431
So yeah.

I'm glad Isamu is palling around with Alice.

You know...Alice. That girl from Makai...? That place that's attacking Gensokyo? Yeah. Yeahhh.

I'm totally sure the fact that she may or may not be the daughter of the leader/god of the world from which the invading army hails won't be important at all.

Yeah.

This'll be good.
>> No. 75432
>>75431
>Burn the tory!
No thanks.
>> No. 75433
>>75432
>may or may not
>"Wait a moment." Alice's hand on your arm. Small, slim fingers, those strings. Don't make her angry. "Who sent you after me?" She asks. "Was it mother? I bet it was mother. Is she getting lonely again?"

I think it's pretty definite that she is.
>> No. 75434
>>75393
Hey, wait. Our options boil down to "get dressed and look for Remilia", and "don't get dressed and look for Remilia", so the first thing I want to know is:

[x] What am I wearing?
>> No. 75436
>>75433
Ahahahaaaa... I missed that.

Oh yes, this is going to go splendidly!
>> No. 75438
What I have to wonder is: why is Makai invading, and if it really is an invasion at all. The events that happened prior to Mystic Square were described as an invasion, when really it was just a bunch of tourists. This ‘army’ could just be another influx of violent demonic sightseers, rather than any sort of organized force.

Based on Alice’s earlier comments, we can probably assume Shinki survived the events of Mystic Square, and has attempted to contact Alice several times. Exactly how she would do this while the border is up is something of a mystery, but I suspect a god would have ways around such things. If Shinki is in fact alive, then I believe this significantly reduces the likelihood this invasion is happening for purposes of revenge, though it doesn’t rule it out entirely.

There’s also the possibility that the army is being led for the sole purpose of getting Alice back. If this is the case, then I think we can rule out the gun-rabbits coming from Makai. Yes, the rabbits had a net to capture Alice with, but they also attempted to use lethal force against her. No way would Shinki have authorized that. This would mean that the rabbits belong to a faction that wants to work against Makai, the Tengu, and Eientei. Unless, of course, they are Eientei, but the Germanic influence seems to suggest they aren’t. Unless something happened in Eientei we don’t know about that would cause them to start going German.

Man, I don’t know. Unfortunately, we really don’t have enough information at the moment to anything beyond wild guessing.
>> No. 75439
[x] Get dressed and go wake sister up! She'll be so impressed!
>> No. 75440
If it wasn't for the rabbits bringing up Lord Tenma, since it'd be quite hard in my mind for Lunarian rabbits to know a fact like that about him, I'd be more than willing to write them off as being Lunarians which is quite easy due to all the lines that hint towards it, but then when morning came, there were still rabbits with guns all over the place, and I'd assume Eientei would do the same thing the Tengu did if they had a team of people going out to meet up with them and they never returned... Though it is just possible that they noticed all the other rabbits around and didn't try to immediately make a move due to the situation, so who knows?
>> No. 75441
>>75433
Oh goddamn, now I get it.
>> No. 75442
You seem to be enjoying this.

Another update later today. New thread, probably.
>> No. 75445
>"Nagant?" You frown. Pause. Names mean culture. Who are you dealing with? "I thought you rabbits all had Japanese names."
>His face turns red. Anger bubbling below, ears twitching. Absurd on such a small frame. "Fuck you! I picked my name, it's a good one!" He grits his teeth. "You going to stand here and talk or gag me already?"

>"I picked my name"

Did anyone else notice that? Normally one doesn't pick their own name. He could be lying, but it seems strange to have pride in a name that was just made up on the spot. I took it as an indication that those rabbits did come from Makai, and Shinki used her god powers to create them. However, presumably the rabbits attacking alice are of the same faction that attacked Momizi; and believing these soldier rabbits are from makai just brings up the question of why they're doing anything but trying to capture alice.
>> No. 75462
>>75445
Having been reading recent chapters of the Ah My Godess manga, I'm wondering: is Shinki no longer in charge of Makai?
>> No. 75466
>>75462
Your taste in reading material is questionable, but you bring up a valid concern, nevertheless.
>> No. 75467
>>75382
>Pair of Kappa, reflective sack-cloth, mirror helmets
>mirror helmets
And for that matter, did nobody else notice, let alone remember this?