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86813 No. 86813
Hello, THP. It’s been a while (not really).

So here’s the story so far: I don’t feel like writing more SHOES! at the moment, and I’m experiencing some nasty writer’s block as well, so I can’t come up with an idea for a CYOA I actually want to commit several months to. Despite all this, I still want to write something, and I feel like I’m letting you guys down by not writing. Unfortunately for you, I’m also working a full-time job all summer long, which puts a big damper on my free time.

So instead of doing CYOAs, I’ll instead be writing one-shot short stories, which I’ll just post on this one thread. The topics? That’s up to you. Like I said, I’m stuck in writer’s block right now; I can’t come up with anything. So I’d like you guys to think up ideas for stories you’d like to see written. Be as vague or as specific as you want; anything goes. If I see one that interests me, I’ll write something up for it. I can’t guarantee anything as far as length or update speed goes. All I’m looking for is some inspiration.

Help me THP; you’re my only* hope.


* - Individual results may vary. Product subject to availability. The word “only” is under a free license agreement and may not function as advertised in your region. Not a guarantee.

TL;DR – Post ideas for stuff Owen can/should write here.

>> No. 86814
File 12427723335.jpg - (180.53KB , 827x1392 , RumiaCurtains.jpg ) [iqdb]
86814
Because I’m not going to promise product without giving you a complimentary sample first.

This idea was given to me by ExNine (a.k.a. “Ninny”) a few days ago. He suggested I write a Rumia story since she kind of got the shaft in ASSM. Something about how people try to get her to stop eating humans. Hope you like it.

========================================

It was a dark night. A dreary night. A perfect night…for a murder.

Not to her, though. For her, it was just business. The next job. The next bill to be paid. The next meal to be eaten. And nothing more.

Tonight’s target jogged down a well-trodden path next to the forest, laden with new fur pelts and rare flora from deep within the woods. It had been a profitable day for him, if a late one, and his family would live well for the next few weeks with the money this would bring them. If he could only get home…He knew he’d be marked as prey for any number of beasts in the forest if he was out too long on this cloudy night. The thick machete slapping against his thigh gave him some small comfort, blessed by the Hakurei Shrine to prevent him from being exactly what he was fixing to be regardless.

It would not be the beasts that would assail him that night. No; something a bit more…crafty.

His heavy breaths masked his ears from hearing the faint rusting in the branches overhead. His sleepy eyes couldn’t see the white blotches of cloth above him, or the tiny pinpricks of glowing red coals that watched his every move. It wouldn’t be long now. He would stop for a spell, soon, to catch his breath; perhaps to readjust the straps of his pack. Even now he was slowing down from a jog to a walk. Above him the mystery creature waited…waited…waited…

There! The traveler bent down to take his pack off, both eyes focused on the leather loops in front of him. He wouldn’t notice that the ambient moonlight was dimming around him. He wouldn’t notice that a visible wall of darkness was creeping up behind him. He wouldn’t notice—

A snap of twigs against unseen feet, and suddenly the man’s blade was in his hands, scampering backwards from the noise and looking for the source. To a human’s eyes it was just a dull grey machete, but to his otherworldly foe, it shimmered with an ethereal aura, and its very presence was a deterrent to any approaching this man.

She had made up her mind, though. The sight of blessed blades was horrifying to her at first, ages ago, but now it was nothing more than a workplace hazard. With care, it could be avoided without incident. She shifted her body from behind the hidden safety of a stout overhanging branch, and weighed her options. The man was prepared for a foe, but she knew about the minds of poor ground-bound humans well enough by now. They always assumed their attacker would come from the side, or from behind. But above…?

The air went as black as pitch around the man, so dark he expected his lungs to be filled with tar from the mere proximity of it. Out of instinct he stabbed his blade outwards and spun himself around, flailing madly. His foe was right; he never would have thought to look just above him as the shadow descended.

The she-devil pounced upon his shoulders and sunk her sharp teeth into his sword arm, causing him to curse and howl with pain. A nick of the blade against her leg made her shy away just long enough for him to pull himself free, a wet chunk of flesh still caught in her mouth. As she rolled the fresh blood around her lips, the man shouted to the creature boastfully.

“The bloody hell are you?! Why don’t you stop all your black magic tricks and fight me face to face! Or is that too big a concept for you, demon?! I’m not afraid of you!”

From out of the darkness a voice cooed back to him: a sweet little voice, dipped with honey and blood.

“Is that so~?”

That phrase…he had heard of that phrase before. He staggered backwards, switching the machete to his left hand. “You…You! You’re that one! That brainless little imp! You think that doing this will ever get you anywhere?! That shrine maiden must’ve taught you at least a dozen times by now! Times have changed, you know! Man-eating youkai are a thing of the past, a fairy tale to scare the kids! Why don’t you just grow up?! Why won’t you ever learn?!

The mass of darkness wavered, and then dissolved into a smoky mist, revealing a small blond-haired girl. Clad in black and white, her red hair ribbon was as crimson as her eyes, and as the blood dripping down her chin and hands. She smiled and cocked her head.

“Because, you see, attacking humans is a youkai’s job,” she answered him childishly. “You know the fairy tales that are the scariest? The ones that are real. If I don’t make humans afraid of us…who will?”

“I’ll see you in hell,” the defiant human spat, his torso a world of fire from the wound.

The predator shrugged as the darkness returned. “Is that so~? Maybe I’ll visit you next summer, then. I hear Ms. Shiki’s a real nice lady. Goodbye.”

Throwing caution to the wind, the man charged towards the figure of his doom in a rage, sword outstretched. With a simple hop the girl stepped aside and felt around for her prey inside the darkness. Her hearing had gotten quite good over the years; it took only a few seconds to bite free the man’s sword and pin his arms down with her own, in the semblance of a sadistic hug.

For a youkai like herself, snapping his neck was no harder than breaking a twig.
>> No. 86815
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rumia blundered into a small field in the middle of the forest where fireflies often gathered. Letting the black orb around her fade away, she plopped down on a stump next to her friend and fellow youkai, Miss Wriggle Nightbug, who was busy talking with the flying insects, however that was possible.

“That was quick,” Wriggle commented, expecting Rumia’s return. “Easy find, or easy kill?”

“Both,” she replied, setting down a severed limb on the grass and flicking drops of blood off her hands. “He was an idiot. Whined about Reimu, too. You want any?”

Wriggle took a quick look at the bloodied arm next to her and shook her head. “Nah, just had some of Mystia’s lamprey a few hours ago. You can have it.”

“I…I don’t want it either. I’m not very hungry tonight.”

Wriggle raised an eyebrow curiously. “Rumia, my good friend, not hungry for human meat? Your day can’t have been that bad!”

“It’s just…” Rumia sighed and trailed off, watching the dancing fireflies. “It doesn’t taste like anything anymore. Doesn’t taste good at all. I remember when it used to, thirty years ago—used to be my favorite—but now? I can barely eat two mouthfuls now. I just bite the bodies to make it look scary. I feel like I’m not a real youkai anymore or something.”

“Hey now, that’s not true! Youkai are youkai whether we eat humans or not! I haven’t eaten anybody in almost a year, and I bet Mystia’s gone even longer! And what about Miss China over by the mansion? You know, I don’t think she’s eaten anybody ever, and she’s a youkai, right? Who cares what we eat?”

Rumia didn’t respond, and merely looked at the back of her hand, still covered in blood. She licked it clean like she thought a good youkai should. It tasted like stale water to her now, even as she remembered ages ago when she would have let it fill her mouth like the finest wine.

“…I hate this job.”

It was Wriggle’s turn to sigh, and she went back to playing with her little twinkling friends. “You’re your own boss. Just quit.”

“I can’t do that. You know I can’t do that.”

“You know, you’ve never given me a good reason for why you can’t. Sometimes I think even you don’t know why you keep doing this.”

Rumia’s head shot up frantically, her eyes starting to grow shiny with the beginnings of tears. “But, but the youkai! Attacking humans is a youkai’s job! And they all forget that! They don’t even care! If I stop, humans won’t ever be afraid of us anymore! If I stop, who’ll remind everyone when I’m gone?!”

Wriggle stood up and walked over to the stump, sitting down next to the troubled girl and putting a hand around her shoulder. With the back of her mind she told her fireflies to leave them alone for a time; all she wanted was the two of them.

“Rumia…I’m your friend. Me, Mystia, Cirno…we’re all your friends. You know why? Because the one thing we have in common is that everyone thinks we’re a joke. Everyone thinks we’re weak. And, well, I guess we are. But to us, that doesn’t matter, because we all love each other, and we don’t need them to tell us different. B-But…I, I don’t want to lie to you anymore: you’re a…well, you’re just a big bully. You pick on humans that can’t fight back, that run away and get scared easy. You might fool them, but you’re not fooling anyone else, least of all me.”

Rumia turned her head away, not wanting Wriggle so see the tears falling down her cheeks. The bug-girl hugged her just a little bit, stopping when she saw it wasn’t doing much good.

“I know, Rumi, I know…you want to let people know how amazing youkai really are. But you’re, well you’re just doing it all wrong! Sometimes you’re just a real…a real Cirno, do you know that?! All you think about is strength and fighting and telling people how scary you are! But you know, the strongest ones…they don’t have to tell anyone. Everyone just knows. Yukari? Flandre? Yuka? Everyone’s afraid of them—even us youkai!—and they never have to go around reminding people about it, don’t you see? Well, okay, I guess Yuka’s a bad example, but you know what I’m trying to say, right?”

Rumia turned her head just enough for the faintest crescent of a teary red eye to look back at her dear friend. “I…Wriggle, I…I can’t. I can’t! It’s not just about me! It’s about all of us, and all of them! Those humans, they’re even more prideful than us youkai! Stop attacking them, and they’ll think they’re safe. They’ll keep pushing out and out, pushing into us. They’ll start exterminating us again, do you want that?! What I do…It’s nothing compared to what they’d do. I’m fighting now so we all don’t have to fight later.”

“…You’re living in the past Rumia. I never thought it’d be you, but…times have changed. Humans and youkai, we’re not enemies anymore. Our souls, their souls…we’re all people. Are you know what? I think you’re just treating humans like the kind of monster that you think they see you as. Just…you need to grow up.”

Blinking away her tears, Rumia got up and pushed Wriggle’s arm off of her. As she walked away into the dark trees, she whispered back her hurt reply.

“Yeah…that human said the same thing. I didn’t listen to him either.”
>> No. 86816
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a dark night. A dreary night. A perfect night…for a murder.

Rumia sat in the crook of a tree that might have very well been even older than her, overlooking that same path she had followed the night before. The man’s body had been picked clean by the other, more rabid youkai beasts of the country, leaving a disheveled pile of bones and rags behind. The machete still lay next to him, still exuding that sickening air around it. She had tried to pick it up and throw it away, but even the blunt grip had scorched her hands. It wasn’t often her custom to wait by the same spot two nights in a row, but her heart wasn’t really into hunting that night. A part of her mind, the part that was best friends with Wriggle, would have been happy if no humans at all showed up that night.

A human did show up that night, however; perhaps just to spite that small hope of avoiding the problem ruminating in Rumia’s mind. A girl, this time, and a rather young one at that. Why she was out so late, why she was alone, and why she would take the forest-side path, Rumia tried not to ask herself. She didn’t want to know or understand anything. The girl would be dead by morning anyways.

As the girl of darkness floated down to the ground, a devilish little idea sprung into her head, fueled by the youkai spark that had kept her going on these attacks night after night. This girl was small, young, naïve…perhaps she could have a little “fun” with this one before the end. Putting on as innocent a face as she could manage to mask her true intentions, she peeked out from behind the tree and called out to the little traveler.

“H-hello? Is, is someone there?”

The girl jumped at the sudden voice and looked around, swiveling her head in fear and surprise. Eventually her eyes settled on the figure of Rumia, hiding in the woods. Inching a little closer, she spoke back.

“Uhh, h-hello there! Who, who’re you? And isn’t, isn’t it dangerous to be in the forest at nighttime?”

“I, uhh, I got lost, and, and everyone says where you’re lost, you’re supposed to stay right where you are! Are, are you lost too?”

“Mmm, mhm, I think I spent too much time playing by the lake, and now, now it’s all dark and scary! Do you…do you want to be lost together? ‘Cause at least then we won’t be lonely.”

Playing her part as well as she could manage, Rumia slowly stepped away from the tree and walked towards the path, twitching her head this way and that like she had seen the girl do just moments before. Hiding her face in the shoulder of her new “friend”, the girl patted her on the head.

“It’s okay, you don’t need to be scared. We’ll be all right.”

Rumia pointed to the skeleton just off the side of the road. “B-but, but what about him? What, what if…th-that h-happens to us?!

The girl shivered as she saw the remains of Rumia’s handiwork, and hugged her tighter for comfort. “Uhh…that’s, that’s…a…well, maybe he, he just had b-bad luck, yeah? We’ll, we’ll be fine!” Despite her brave words, Rumia could feel the shivers going down her spine. Just like she had wanted. Yes…Let her fear the things humans should fear.

“H-Hey, he’s…he’s got a sword thing,” the girl said, walking off the path. “M-maybe we should take it. Maybe then the monsters, then they’ll be afraid of us!”

With every step she took towards that disdainful object, Rumia pulled against the girl more and more, the blade’s aura like the radiance of a hot fire on her skin. “But it’s, it’s dangerous! I don’t, I don’t know how to use a sword! We should j-just leave it alone.”

Despite her protests, the stranger picked up the sword anyways and held onto Rumia’s hand, smiling. “It’s okay; I’ll…I’ll protect you.”

The two girls walked along the path hand in hand, Rumia doubting the situation more and more. Why wasn’t this girl afraid? Even ignoring the fact that she obviously didn’t know what kind of creature was holding her hand, where was her cowering? Her hesitation? A forest of youkai loomed next to her, and here she was boldly holding a machete, radiating enough bravery for not one but two people?! She had more than half a mind to just bite her head off right then and there, and forget the foolish idea of grinding her spirit into dust with terror. If even little lost girls weren’t afraid of the forest, she was obviously doing something wrong. She’d have to work harder on her tactics…

“You’re…you’re a nice girl.”

Rumia turned to the smiling human, very confused. What was she supposed to say to that?

“Mmm…I guess, you’re a, a nice girl, too.”

“Do…Do you want to be friends?”

“I…” No. Rumia told herself not to think about it. It didn’t matter what she said. It didn’t matter what either of them said. In a few minutes it’d all be over anyways. “Sure. Sure, I’ll be your friend. My…my name’s Ruu…Ruu. My name’s Ruu.”

“Hey, that’s pretty funny. I’m Yui.”

“Yeah…funny.”

A bead of sweat dropped down Rumia’s brow, and as she wiped it away she realized how nervous she really was. It was going to be so simple…trick the girl into traveling together and terrorize her in the dark. And now…the machete…the confidence…the smiling face. She knew that she just needed to get it over with, and quickly. Bend over and tear out her throat with those needle-sharp teeth; don’t even give her a second to think about using that accursed thing in her hands. No problems, no worries—

“Thanks for not eating me, by the way.”

Rumia stopped dead in her tracks.

“Wha…What did you just, say?”

“I just said thanks for not eating me.”

She tried to manage a weak little grin. “Uhhmm, why would…you say that?”

Yui shrugged wistfully. “Well, ‘cause you’re a youkai, aren’tchya? Most youkais eat people, I heard.”

How did…Why did...But she’d didn’t ever…And then, but still…Why didn’t…And how come…?

Rumia turned her head away, for some reason instantly ashamed at the color and shape of her eyes. “If you knew…then why…why didn’t you, run? Why did you…believe me?”

Again, Yui shrugged, that delicate smile still on her face. “Papa told me not all youkais were bad. Mrs. Keine even said a lot of them were actually pretty nice! You seemed like a nice person to me. Aren’tchya?”

Rumia’s head lowered even more, her hair streaming over her face. This girl…this girl…why…? Her grip around the girl’s hand tightened painfully, and her voice lowered to a dark growl.

”I never said that. What if I’m one of the bad ones?”
>> No. 86817
Though the girl’s wrist squirmed in Rumia’s clutches, she didn’t try to run or struggle, and merely shook her head. “Nah, I don’t think so. You look too nice to be one of the bad ones. Bad ones wouldn’t be my friend, neither.”

She couldn’t take it anymore. Not one more second of this tripe, these insults to her race. Rumia’s free hand tensed up and lashed out at the girl, drawing blood across her face and knocking her to the ground. Fire welled up in her eyes as she threw the girl’s small body across the grass, the machete flopping harmlessly to the side.

“Why aren’t you afraid?” the youkai hissed at Yui as she slapped her face again and again, tears of rage streaming down her crazed face. “Why aren’t you afraid?! I am death! I’ve killed thousands! I broke their necks and tore them to pieces! I ate them all up! I drank all their blood! And I’m going to do the same to you, you stupid, insignificant little human! WHY AREN’T YOU AFRAID?!”

Yui held up her hands pitiably to ward off the deathblows Rumia was dealing her, but she has as much hope as an autumn leaf in a hurricane. Her face was bruised, her cheeks wet with blood and tears, but she still tried to smile up at her assailant even then.

“You’re…you’re my…friend. Friends, uhhnn…Friends don’t have, have to, t-to be afraid of each other…no matter what.”

With each passing second the blows Rumia dealt grew weaker and weaker, more and more inaccurate as she lost control of everything she thought she had known about what she did to humans night after night. “I was lying, you stupid baby! I don’t care what happens to you, I don’t care at all! I’m your friend?! Is that so?! I’ve got all the friends I’ll ever need, and they’re all monsters just like me, friends who understand me more than you ever will! You don’t know me! How, how dare you talk to me!”

“You’re…but, you’re not a monster,” Yui whispered through the pain. “You’re just a person…just like me…you don’t gotta kill nobody.”

Rumia ground her fist into the dirt next to the girl, yelling past the thick rain of tears she now cried. “But…have to, I have to! Humans have to be scared of youkai! Everyone needs to be scared of something! It’s our job! It’s my job!

“But I’m, I’m not scared. Monster…uggh, monster youkais, I’m-a scared of those! But people youkais are…are nice. Like you…Not scary at all.”

“But…my job…my job…a youkai’s job…”

“Why…why, are you crying?” Yui asked consolingly, trying to raise herself up from the ground and failing. “Are you…you scareded of somethin’?”

Rumia didn’t know whether to shake her head yes or no, and could only crouch down on the ground and sob to herself. She didn’t want to admit it to this girl—she didn’t even want to admit it out loud to herself—but not admitting it would only be lying to herself more. She knew that was why…She had always known, for years. She had just never wanted to say it…

“…Humans. I’m…I’m scared…of humans. You…you’re more than us…smarter than us…do more than us. We’re stronger, b-but, but…we can’t ever win. I tried, I tried, to, t-t-too……lost every time. We always lose…we always, die. I don’t, d-don’t wanna die…not to a human. Scared…scared of humans…so stupid…”

Yui rolled over to Rumia and held her hand, looking at her lovingly. “It’s okay; I’ll…I’ll protect you. You don’t gotta be scared o’ me. I’m not scary, and neither are you.”

Rumia looked at their held hands through the tears for an eternity, just thinking…thinking about all she knew…all she thought she knew…all she didn’t know anymore…all she wanted to know. She didn’t want to be a weakling…but she was. She didn’t want to be a monster…but she was. She didn’t want to be afraid…but she was. Except…this girl, this girl who had showed her that everything she knew was wrong. That everyone was afraid of something. Everyone was lost. And that…even if you were lost, you could still be lost together, because then…then, at least, you wouldn’t be lonely.

Rumia pulled Yui up off the ground and embraced her, sobbing into her shoulder uncontrollably. Yui hugged her back, never the least bit afraid, never seeing a man-eating murderer; only ever seeing a lost little girl. Sniffing back her tears for as long as she could, Rumia looked hopefully into the girl’s eyes.

“Do…Do you want to be friends? For…for real, this time?”

“Sure. Sure, I’ll be your real friend.”

“I-Is…is that…so~?”

“Mhm. It is so.”
>> No. 86820
D'awwwwwwww
>> No. 86821
>>86820
This. In fact, double it.
>> No. 86822
Impressive. Personally, I've always wanted someone to do Reisen's background justice ... But let's see what other people have in mind.
>> No. 86823
Awwww! Wonderfully written!

Unfortunately, I don't really have many ideas to toss out, though I'd love something involving Meiling.
>> No. 86824
>>86823
As a Meilingfag, I agree.
>> No. 86825
Yeah, something involving how Meiling came to work at the Scarlet Mansion or just her background would be pretty nice. I'd like to see your take on it.
>> No. 86827
Nah, China would be a waste. Something about Yuyuko would be nice. Yuyuko and her friendship with Yukari before and after the sealing of the...Ayakashi(is it? That giant cherry tree), or Youmu too blind by servitute to realise what her mistress actually wants...

Or Chen doing happy stuff.
>> No. 86828
Baby Youmu. Being looked after by Yuyuko as Youki works the gardens. And importantly the trouble Baby Youmu causes for Yuyuko - and of course Yuyuko swearing to get even later in life.
>> No. 86831
>>86827

Chen always does happy stuff though.

Why can't we have Chen that uses her necromancy powers?
>> No. 86832
"Nine. You shall protect the future."

Didn't you get an idea from that movie trailer? I'd like to see it expanded.
>> No. 86834
>>86831

Her powers were mentioned in Flight of the Lost Soul, and actually used in Aria of Deception. I guess most people don't look that far into her abilities.
>> No. 86835
>>86834

Yeah, I read both of those so I was pleased to she her portrayed as an antagonist in AoD and not relegated to her stereotypical role of cutesy blob of moe that seems to plague almost every CYOA that has her in it.

Don't get me wrong, I like that she acts cute but damn I wouldn't mind her having some actual character development.
>> No. 86880
>>86831

Oh yeah, I forgot that Chen had the potential to be creepy too.
>> No. 86903
I thought her power was "black magic". That's the same as necromancy?
>> No. 86905
>>86903
>I thought her power was "black magic".
>black magic
Voodoo?
>> No. 86906
>>86903

Her power is too vague to actually explain what it does but I'd consider necromancy "black magic".

And while we're on the subject of character abilities, I still don't have a clue how the hell you would put Yuugi's ability of control over supernatural phenomena in practice in a CYOA. It's one of those incredibly vague abilities
>> No. 86908
>>86906

Addendum to this post.

Nitori has the power to control water but it has, as far as I know of never been mentioned in a CYOA. It was however been hinted at in Klaymen's SCIENCE! story but never outright said.
>> No. 86913
>>86908
She also, being a kappa, has the power to suck your entrails out through your ass.
Though, that's really more of a Scorn story.
>> No. 86914
>>86903

As far as necromancy goes, all nekomata are supposed to be capable of making bodies rise up from the dead by jumping over them.
>> No. 87260
Too long, don’t want to read: I’m writing a Meiling short next.

>>86822
>Reisin’s background
I could see that being fun, but I’m woefully out of the loop on Lunarian lore, so I’d have to do some research to attempt “justice” on Reisin. But I agree, I think she’d be an interesting character to write something with. We’ll see if any odd inspiration comes my way.

>>86827
You know, I had been all set to work on a short detailing the rising and falling actions of Yuyuko’s suicide (mainly the shift in her emotions during her human years), and had actually had a few paragraphs written when I hit a small wall. See, Yuyuko’s a character I’ve never written before, and I’ve barely touched Yukari either. And this isn’t just the normal Yuyuko and Yukari, either: this is the human, pre-carefree Yuyuko, and a Yukari that’s a thousand years younger and a thousand years less experienced. When I write, I want to make sure I know how to write the characters, but those two seem rather complex to me.

On top of this, I just finished reading HLA, and realized that my initial vision of Yuyuko’s human life and suicide is almost the exact same at Patchwork’s depiction. That kind of killed the impulse for me to try continuing this short for the moment, as I like to do this that are new and original; envision characters in a different way than the norm. So for now, this idea’s going back to the drawing board.

>>86828
Sorry, but that’s far too “moe~” for me to even attempt to write it. You’d just get mad at me, I’m sure.

>>86832
That was me getting a little too psyched up for an awesome upcoming film. You know how it is; your brain gets a kind of “awesome high” from something you really like, and you can’t think of anything else. That is not the time to think up ideas for stories; you’ve got no perspective. Two months later, I realized that my initial idea probably wouldn’t work out too well. I’ll keep it on the backburner for now, but you probably won’t see much else.

Besides, I’ve written enough Cirno already. She’s already gotten an epic 9-page short from me, not to mention the status of a main character in ASSM. I’d rather let her cool down for a while.

>>86831
Oho? I really don’t know how I’d portray Chen, myself. I’d have to think about it. But yes, woefully-forgotten necromancy powers need to see more light of day. Or woefully-forgotten ANY powers for that matter.

>>86913
Don’t tempt me. I have the potential to be as creepy as Scorn if I actually applied myself in that direction; I don’t doubt my abilities as a writer, nor my imagination. The catch is that I restrain myself for both your good and mine. I’d rather not have my eyes burned out of my skull by something I myself wrote, thank you very much.

Scorn still owes me one of his “monstrosities” anyways. Lazy bum.

>>86823
>>86824
>>86825
And suddenly, inspiration! It’s a funny thing, you never know where or when it’s going to come from; that’s why I asked for random ideas. I wouldn’t say the idea I have in my head is exactly brainfood, but it’ll be fun to read and write, at least. Expect a Meiling story sometime in the next few weeks.
>> No. 87262
Huzzah!
>> No. 87263
>>87260

Oh, I see. That's a bit sad, but I'm actually glad that you were going to write something I wanted. Thanks Owen.
>> No. 88461
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And from the shadows, again I come.

Meiling seems to get the (very) short end of the stick most of the time, my own A Scarlet-Stained Memoir notwithstanding. I know that a lot of people say I did a good job with her appearance in my /others/ short story, but I still think I haven’t done her the justice she deserves from me. She’s a better character than many people give her credit for, and I personally hate the punching bag fandom has reduced her to. So here you go, a short story about Meiling not sucking as much as normal.

============================================================

A wind blew across the smoked glass surface of Gensokyo’s Misty Lake, much like an invisible sailboat, its wake rippling across the water peacefully. The wind blew up onto a grassy shore and threaded through a sparse cluster of trees, stopping only once it had reached a high brick wall, the blood-red bricks long faded with age and erosion. Cracked pieces of mortar rustled slightly in the breeze, and gossamer cobwebs hung with care on the wall rippled against the early morning air.

It was this gust of wind, blown into turbulence by its abrupt change of direction, that playfully toyed with the clothing of one Meiling “China” Hong. As she stretched out precariously on the top of the wall, an oil can aimed against the giant gate hinges, a puff of wind blew off her tattered work hat, stained brown with years of gardening. Without even looking her other arm shot out and grabbed it out of the air, her eyes still focused on lubricating the gate…her gate.

Hopping back down to the ground, she tested the newly-greased door. Looming tall over human and youkai alike, it must have weighed at least four tons, and yet Meiling pushed them open without a sound to be heard. Nodding her head in approval, she brushed the oil from her hands onto her old green overalls and walked inside, barring the gate behind her. She had but a small time left before sunrise, and needed to get changed for yet another long day watching over the perimeter of that scarlet mansion.

A small four-room house built right against the thick wall was the place Meiling called home. Quarters hardly fitting of a mansion as grand as the Scarlet Devil, but she liked it. It was cozy, tucked away, and most importantly, still near the gate. She didn’t exactly “like” the gate, nor her job protecting it, but it was her duty, and she was aware of exactly what duty meant…and what it meant to fail in it.

The battered door of the house swung open and shut as Meiling removed her cap and wormed her way through the small lounge. Old pieces of martial arts equipment and random bric-a-brac created a maze for her feet as she stepped lightly from one clean spot to another, making her way to the bathroom. Letting her wine-colored hair drop loose as she pulled a thick hairpin from it, she gazed at herself in the mirror.

A kind and oil-smudged face looked back at her, the features soft and content with life. As she took off her overalls and stripped down to her modest undergarments, the mirror reflected a strong and well-toned body, sacrificing the so-called “perfect” hourglass figure for a different, more powerful kind of beauty. Greasy dust mixed with sweat slicked itself over her arms and neck, bringing a small frown to her lips. With no time for a proper bath, Meiling sighed as she grabbed a sponge, squirting it with soap and giving herself a hasty rub-down.

She found her uniform folded neatly on her bed; compliments of the ever-working Sakuya Izayoi, no doubt. As she donned the green and white silk, fitting snugly against her chest, a smile crept across her face. She recalled the first day she had seen the Chinese garb, centuries ago it seemed, given to her as an unspoken practical joke by Remilia herself. Meiling still for the life of her couldn’t remember how she became branded with the moniker “China”, but the nickname had stuck, for better or for worse.

Setting her green beret on her head, she took one last look at herself in the mirror, adjusting the shining gold star displayed proudly above her brow. Long…”The Dragon”…There had been no practical joke afoot that day when Lady Scarlet had given her that badge. Meiling would never forget Remilia’s answer when she had asked her why she was being given such a gift, her hands trembling with the honor:

”Because, China…it is only the greatest dragon in the land that can protect the greatest treasure in it.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a good morning; that much Meiling could see right from the start. She had been privileged to see thousands of mornings in her long lifetime; tens of thousands, even. The sun was strong on the horizon, and with drifting clouds already in the sky, she’d be able to experience the best of both sun and shade as the day drew on. To her, who had such a droll job as watching the perimeter of the mansion grounds, she took delight in these small and simple pleasures. There were times when she wished, as anyone would wish, for more than just what she was given, but for now, she was content. Maybe not exactly happy, but content.

She paced back and forth in front of the wide gate, getting the kinks out of her muscles from sleeping on her hard bed. Most of the fairy guards wouldn’t be awake for another hour or two, and the night watch were already weary at their posts from what Meiling could see with her long eyesight. She didn’t blame them; it had taken several centuries of dedicated training and inner focus for her to become at one with her position there, and even then she knew she had a long way to go before she’d reach her goal: to truly impress even Remilia Scarlet herself with her ability to defend the mansion walls from intruders.

Cracking her knuckles with satisfaction, she leapt up to the wall and began to stride across it, looking out across the thin wood and foggy lake, steam rising up from it as the sun caressed the water with its warmth. Beautiful. Whoever had chosen the spot for the mansion’s entrance into Gensokyo had chosen it well. Being able to look upon this view every day, unmolested by the plague of artificial background noises she remembered from her days “outside” Gensokyo…paradise.

If only that dark pinprick in the sky hadn’t appeared that day, Meiling might have had quite the pleasant and undisturbed morning. If only her eyesight hadn’t been so good as to pick it out in the hazy morning twilight, she could have claimed ignorance for what might have happened afterwards. If only her dedication to defense hadn’t been so good, she might have wrote it off as one of those mistakes that anybody can make, and not thought twice about it. And if only that dark pinprick hadn’t set out that day with the intent to enter the mansion through stealth and trickery rather than common courtesy, everyone would have been much happier that day.

Unfortunately, all these things did happen in quick succession, putting Meiling instantly at the ready. The mansion received few visitors, and even those few had to be shown through the gate, as was proper despite the many natives’ ability to fly. But as the object drew closer, she could see that it was making no efforts to lower itself down towards her, and could only be intending to sail right over the wall uninvited. Her heart burned with a painful fire, a fire built from her past failures. Six times in half as many weeks she had been taken unawares and allowed intruders access to those scarlet halls, and she would never forget the sting of her mistress’s punishment. But that was not the real shame for her. The real shame was that she deserved it. She was out of practice; back in the Outside it had been over a century since she had actually been forced to defend the gate from an intruder, and in those days intruders couldn’t fly, nor could they match her level of strength. If she couldn’t adapt to this new world and its new threats…what good was she?
>> No. 88462
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88462
The figure approached rapidly, and by then Meiling could make out her appearance. The black-clad, broom-riding witch she knew only too well, having been the sole perpetrator of those past intrusions. Hastily she weighed her options. She would not let that woman pass, not this time, nor ever again. But at that distance she wouldn’t be able to fly up in time to intercept; her skills in the air were suited for dexterity, yes, but not speed. Yelling was a worthless gesture in her eyes, as well, and showed weakness. She needed something, something to slow the black-white down enough to reach her in time. Yes…yes, perhaps if she threw something at her, it might work. To a human such a throw was beyond impossibility, beyond even a fantasy. But to her, it was nothing but a focus of her body and mind, channeling her inner power into the single arcing sweep of her arm. Frantically she looked for something she could throw at the interloper. Anything at all would do…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Ze, ze, ze, I think I could use some more alchemy books for this one too…”

A blond-haired girl hummed to herself as she poured over a well-worn page from some old tome, detailing a magical potion recipe. Squinting a little, she tipped the wide brim of her floppy black hat down over her eyes, trying to shut out the oppressive sun’s rays. It was far too early for any sensible human to be up in her eyes, but early worms avoided the bird, or so she had been told. She stretched her arms and leaned back as she stifled a yawn; rather tricky to do while flying a thousand feet in the air on a pole of wood three inches wide.

If she hadn’t been gripping onto her broom with her legs just then, the mysterious flying shoe might have knocked her straight off as it collided with her chest.

Flailing madly, her body tilted back just a little too far, and her altitude started to waver and sink as she started caring far more about hanging on for dear life and less about moving anywhere fast. A leg uncurled from the shaft of the broom while a hand grasped back onto it at the same time, the witchy girl fighting a losing battle with gravity as she floated closer and closer to the ground. Eventually she came to her senses and, yelling a quick word in some ancient tongue, froze her transportation in the air. Grunting with frustrated effort, she slowly wrapped her other hand around the shaft of the broom and pulled herself, inch by inch, up into a sitting position once more. Amazingly enough, her hat remained tight against her head, and she readjusted it slightly as she bunched her skirts back into a more comfortable position.

“Halt!”

Pushing her hat back, the witch looked at the source of the new voice, only to find a rather angry and very determined Meiling in front of her, feet positioned as if she were standing on the air itself.

“Ze? Oh, hey China~,” she chimed, giving her fingers a waving little wiggle in her direction. “Found your shoe; what was it doing all the way up here? But don’t mind me; I just want to borrow a few things from the library again. I’m working on a new recipe!”

Meiling, as evidenced by her unchanging stare, was not impressed. “Miss Marisa Kirisame, we’ve told you before: Go through the gate, or not at all. Lady Remilia won’t be tolerating any more broken windows.”

“Aww, come on, ze! The gate is soooo slow. I’m doing you a favor, going in and out like this; see, this way to don’t even have to put on the teapot for me! I’ll just—“

Mid-sentence Marisa simply gave up on the conversation and rocketed past Meiling towards the scarlet manor up ahead. It would have been a perfect getaway, if not for the fact that the guard had lashed out a hand like lightning and grabbed a fistful of broom straws, and thus was being dragged along like a red and green kite-tail behind her.

“I said, ugh…halt!” Meiling cried, wrapping her other hand around the broom and slowing Marisa’s progress significantly.

“Getoffme! You’re gonna make us both crash!”

“I’ll get off once you stop trying to steal our possessions!”

“Borrow! It’s only stealing if you’ll never get it back!”

“At that rate the only day we’ll be getting anything back from you is over your dead body!”

“Exactly!”

Meiling shuffled her hands from the bristles to the shaft of the broom itself, and gave it a mighty jerk to the right, sending them careening off towards the lake. Marisa spun them back around, only to get jerked off course again in a tumbling corkscrew, Meiling wreaking havoc on the girl’s trajectory. With every chaotic flip the broom took Meiling inched forwards, like a vicegrip getting ever tighter and tighter, until she was practically on top of the young witch.

“Put this thing on the ground!” Meiling yelled, albeit a little muffled due to the wrestling match taking place between the witch’s hands and the gate guard’s face. “I’m warning you! Put it down and get off our land!”

“But we’re in the air!” Marisa retorted, rummaging around in a worn messenger bag for a handful of unassuming brownish-tan blocks that positively reeked of magic. Ammunition for her myriad of no-nonsense, pure offensive spells, and at this close a range, anyone on the other end would certainly feel the sting. Finally her fingers closed around what she sought, and she grinned as she prepared to finally get the hijacker off her vehicle.

“I, said, put, this, thing, DOWN!”

With the final shout of “down!” Meiling forced all her weight to the earth below and wrenched the broom downwards. The old wooden rod groaned for a split-second, then simply snapped in half at Meiling’s overwhelming thrust, nearly throwing Marisa down to her death in the cold waters below. The girl keeled over and gasped in terror, barely holding on to the bristle half of the broom with one arm as the other half twirled away below them both. Startled, Meiling let go of her martial grip on the broom and flew underneath Marisa, preparing to catch her. Even in the name of the mansion’s protection, death was something she’d never wish on anyone, and certainly not over something as stupid as a few “borrowed” books.

“Marisa! It’s okay, I’ve got you!” Meiling inched closer as Marisa struggled to get her other hand on the broom.

But just then, the witch’s smile returned, and this time with a twinkle in her eye. “Nice try, Meiling, but I’m the one who’s got you!

As she opened her free hand, a brown cube of phantasmal mushrooms fell towards Meiling’s face, glowing white hot as Marisa spoke the spell trigger and erupted a fiery laser into the guard’s upper body, accented with multi-colored starbursts for aesthetic effect. Danmaku or true fire, Meiling’s body was bathed in an inferno of pain either way, and she started to fall to the ground, battling unconsciousness as all her senses shouted nothing but agony to her. At the same time, Marisa swung back on to her new compact-size broom and took off back to the Scarlet Devil Mansion, this time at a much more conservative and laid-back pace.

The guard’s Chinese dress smoldered with holes from the laser as Meiling focused her mind and body to return to the fight. Putting the pain into a corner for later consideration, she forced herself to move onwards, pouring all she could into chasing after the meandering Marisa. Just as the witch cleared the wall Meiling crashed into her, sending them both to the ground in a tumbling heap and flinging the broom off into the trees.
>> No. 88463
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Both of them got to their feet shakily, Marisa a good ten meters away and already grabbing fistfuls of “laser fuel” from her pouch. “Well now you just done gone and made me mad, ze!” she shouted as a trio of lasers made their way towards where Meiling had been only a half-second ago before she dodged, sweeping a bright arc across the well-kept grounds of the mansion exterior. “I guess I can play a round with you before I go inside!”

“Get off my lawn, you stupid kid!” Meiling shouted as she skimmed across the green grass like a gazelle, avoiding the bombardment of spells from Marisa while nervously trying to prevent the witch from sending a volley towards the house. Collateral damage…that’d be one more thing for Remilia to hang over her head if she couldn’t stop these incidents from happening. “You don’t know how hard I work to keep this lawn looking nice! I bet you’ve never mowed a lawn in your life!”

“Hey now, I did…once! But that was only ‘cause Dad said I wouldn’t get my allowance if I didn’t!”

“Don’t you ever think about anyone besides yourself?”

“Hey now, that’s hardly fair, ze! A-course I do! I put it on my to-do list every day, unless I’m busy, or I forget!”

Their fighting styles couldn’t have been much more different. Marisa threw out a bevy of lasers and rapid-fire shining darts without hardly any planning, substituting defense and accuracy with sheer attack density. It worked well enough against Meiling, who without any type of long-range offense was forced to keep her distance and bend around the assault while waiting for an opening that never came. She wouldn’t let the pain and exhaustion get to her, but she could feel it creeping up in her like a leech, threatening to expend her completely if she took many more lasers head-on, and she had taken too many already. Her clothes reduced to a few barely-decent scraps and her skin fighting hard to regenerate her wounds, her only hope was to outlast the witch long enough to expend her ammunition.

It wasn’t long before her perseverance paid off. As one of Marisa’s multi-directional lasers circled around her, she tore through her sack looking for more mushrooms, only to be rewarded with pocket lint and crumpled up spell papers. She bit her lip concernedly as the laser faded and Meiling still stood: shaking and gasping for breath, but still stood.

“Get…off, my lawn,” Meiling commanded again, pulling up what scraps of her vest remained before they slid off completely. Marisa hesitated as the guard took a step towards her. She had run out of hands to play…time for the trump card. Running a hand against her waist, she pulled out that which dozens before had beheld and balked at: a small octagonal box, adorned with trigrams. The Mini Hakkero, the furnace of pure magic…and it was starting to glow.

“That’s far enough, ze!” the blonde witch warned, taking a step back herself. “Fun game, but playtime’s over now! I’m just here to borrow some books after all.”

Meiling took another step forwards defiantly. “I will not, nngh, let intruders pass. Not…hsshh, not while I still stand to stop them.”

“Hey, hey, don’t you come any closer, China! I’m gonna do it, if you take one more step! Boom, Spark! You won’t wake up for hours, and that’s if you’re lucky!”

She held her ground, eying both the glowing reactor and Marisa’s gold eyes. Already her muscles had told her to stop, to stop running, stop dashing, stop doing all these unnecessary things. Marisa was no enemy, no vampire slayer, just a somewhat inconsiderate local. It wasn’t a big deal, she had tried her best, no sense fighting when she was staring her defeat right in the face…

But she was more than muscles. She was more than excuses and self-justifications and occasional afternoon naps. She was a youkai, a youkai with a heart and soul, a dream and a voice. And in her heart, she knew that even in the face of blinding defeat…the least she could do was make her Mistress proud. She straightened her cap and reset the dragon’s pin for Marisa to see, prepared to finally make her assault on Marisa, to slap that Hakkero out of her hands and drag her to the ground if she lost every scrap of decency she had left.

“You…shall not…PASS!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sakuya Izayoi stepped outside as she sipped a cup of tea, the Scarlet sisters peacefully eating breakfast together for the time being and allowing her this little reprieve. She looked around at the well-kept grounds and the beautiful sky. It was going to be a good morning, indeed. Walking down the marble path to the gate, she stopped as something caught her eyes, and tiptoed across the grass to observe it. A sigh escaped her lips as she looked downwards, shaking her head and trying to subdue an amused grin.

Marisa lay face down of the grass, moaning slightly and definitely unconscious, her precious Spark reactor forgotten on the ground a few feet away. Clutching both her ankles for dear life was Meiling, barely conscious herself and naked as the day she was born, her skin smelling exactly like it and everything near it was incinerated in a column of plasma. Noticing the shadow across her face, the red-haired woman turned her hair to look at her fellow worker and friend.

“I…I didn’t let, her…inside,” she whispered as a weary smile crept across her face.

Sakuya smiled back. “No. No, you didn’t. You did that star on your head proud. Come on, let’s get you inside, before someone thinks you and Kirisame are secret lovers.”


Just another normal day in Gensokyo.
>> No. 88465
I like it.
>> No. 88471
Wonderful! Marvelous! I loved it.

Any ideas as to what you'll write next?
>> No. 88475
not enough love for Ran in THP. why not something about that next?
>> No. 88476
>>88475

I don't know. I think that Ran's gotten a lot more love than a miriad of other touhous.
>> No. 88482
>>88475
seconded
>> No. 88488
>>88462

Well played, behind you, etc.

I liked it.
>> No. 88496
How about Iku or Tenshi? There's not much on them, really.
>> No. 88498
>>88496

Oooh, sound like a plan. I vote for this.
>> No. 88499
The 12 Koakuma sisters. It does have to be H, I just want more Koakuma.
>> No. 88501
>>88499
>It does have to be H

Damn straight it does.
>> No. 88506
Very awesome, Owen! I like determined and competent China way better than sleepy and unreliable China now. And Meiling yelling “Get off my lawn!” to the neighborhood punk? Priceless.

Actually, this is just what I needed. I’ve been stuck coming up with a good Meiling for my own story, and now you’ve given me a whole bunch of ideas. Would you mind if I borrowed a few ideas from your Meiling?
>> No. 88508
As a man who loves Meiling and is sick and tired of her being nothing more than Sakuya's pincushion, I heartily approve of this story.
>> No. 88510
>>88475

Ran? She's one of my favorites, no doubt. I've always liked how she manages to act very proper and takes care of things despite having to put up with Yukari's laziness and general enigmatic personality day after day. I'd certainly like to do something with her, but exactly what could be tricky. Thanks for bringing her to my attention again, though.

>>88496
Hmm...never thought much about the fighting game characters. But you're right, I don't see them around much. I'll have to check their Wiki pages; might spark my imagination.

>>88499
Ah, ASSM. Not sure if I feel up to expanding on that world or not. But I did want a chance to do something with those girls. At least a chance to make Koa more than sex-sex-sex, despite the fact that that's what it looked like in ASSM. It wasn't; you just never gave her the chance.

>>88501
I lower my eyelids and glare in your general direction with extreme skepticism.

>>88506
Nobody likes those upstart neighborhood punks. Kids got no respect these days, I tell you what...

But hey, sure, go ahead. If you feel inspired by my work, then by all means take an idea here or there. It's not like Meiling is my character anyways. Just make sure you make her your own, and not just a copy of mine.

By the way, your Flandre is putting mine to shame. I am in awe; well done.
>> No. 90748
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90748
Wrote this for Kiri, because she’s awesome, and wanted me to write a cheesy Momiji romance short. Felt like seeing if I could even do a romance short, so I gave it a shot. Didn’t realize that SHaG was Momiji route too, but I’m pretty sure this is different enough from that. Apologies if it’s rough around the edges; I doubt love stories are my strong suit.

Some of you may remember this story’s OC from >>/others/15834 a while back. I’ve always felt bad about having him rot in that inadvertent train wreck of a tale. Perhaps this will vindicate myself.

========================================

A fine mist blew across Momiji’s face as she stepped through the mountain air. It felt so nice, to feel the breeze tickle her ears and the warm sun caress her white hair. She placed a sandaled foot on top of a small boulder and set down her maple-leaf shield, letting her body take a small break as she surveyed the mountainside.

The sun and clouds played with each other in the sky, bathing Gensokyo in alternating patterns of light and shadow. From here she could see for kilometers, from the waterfall right below her, to the Scarlet’s grand mansion, all the way to the little clearing of the Hakurei Shrine, and everything in between. The land was a grand canvas for the gods to paint upon, and the golden rays of the sun which shone through the clouds were like the eyes of the heavens, looking down with pride upon their charge. It was an oasis, a paradise from the strange Outside, and despite all its odd little quirks she’d never grown tired of it.

Brushing the hair back from her face, she took a better look at the rocky hills on the foot of the mountain, searching for any odd travelers making their way upwards. They were few and far between—weeks could go by without any interesting visitors—but when they did show up, her superiors weren’t ones to accept excuses. So watch she did, watch and wait, her and several other tengu like her. Perhaps not the most glamorous job in the world, nor the one with the best hours, or the best wages, but it had its perks here and there.

As Momiji reached down to pick up her shield again, she caught a whiff of something different in the wind. An intruder? No, no…she recognized the scent too well. She smirked and readied herself for whatever came next.

“Prepare yourself, soldier!”

A rambunctious male voice shouted cheerfully at her a split-second before he collided with her back and a pair of rough hands cupped themselves over her eyes. Both of them tumbled onto the dusty rock shelf, knocking the wind out of Momiji momentarily. Her assailant was larger than her, but didn’t have the weight to back his size up, and she quickly wormed her way out of his grip. It was obvious that he wasn’t trying very hard to overpower his quarry, unlike herself, and thus he soon found himself flat on his back with Momiji kneeing on his stomach, her wide scimitar resting uncomfortably close to his head.

“That was pathetic,” Momiji said as she glared at her defeated foe. “If you tried that kind of sloppy grapple against a real enemy, Jin, you’d be dead right now.”

He smirked and made a half-hearted attempt to free himself, which only made Momiji nudge him with the flat of her blade. “Good to see you too, Momi,” he replied.

Her captive was another wolfish tengu like herself, but with nut-brown fur rather than her elegant white. His rugged appearance was likewise at odds against Momiji’s well-kept uniform and combed hair. She rolled her eyes at him and sighed.

“I could send in a reprimand to your commander for assaulting a superior officer, you know. You’d better watch yourself around me; I outrank you.”

“Pssh, yeah, by like what, half a pay grade? He’d reprimand you just for annoying him. Plus, what’s he gonna do for punishment, whine at me? Reeeal scary, Momi.” Jin reached out the one arm that wasn’t pinned down and tickled Momiji under the ear, making her squirm and drop her sword. She wrestled with him for a good minute as the two of them degraded into an immature tickling war, of which she was the eventual victor.

“Hey, don’t you laugh!” she threatened jokingly, dancing her little clawed fingernails across Jin’s chest and neck. “I’m way scarier than your paper-pusher of a boss! I bet if I was in charge you’d really take your work seriously. Oh, I’d punish you all right~”

“Nnngh, you’re punishing me enough already. Get off, your knees hurt.”

“No. I like being on the top for once.”

“Get off of me, please?”

She tisk-tisked a finger at him. “Ah-ah-ah, you didn’t say the magic word~!”

“Yes—unnfh!—Yes I did!” Jin struggled, but to no avail. Momiji leaned close to his face and pushed her elbows against his chest as well.

“No~oo, those aren’t the right magic words~,” she cooed, their noses practically touching each other.

The two looked at each other coyly for only a second or two, Momiji’s bright red eyes gazing deeply into Jin’s lime green ones. They’d played out this little faux struggle almost daily for months, and Jin knew full well those little magic words that would release him. Sometimes he’d be the one on the ground, or sometimes her, but the loser would always be the one who’d have to say it. Craning his neck just a few centimeters forwards, his lips met hers in a quick, soft kiss.

“I love you, Momiji.”
>> No. 90749
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That was all it took for the girl to finally roll off Jin, peppering his cheek with kisses as she did. He brushed the dust off his shirt and sat up, Momiji crawling into his lap and snuggling her head into the nook of shoulder.

“Me too,” she replied lovingly, sword, shield, and all pretense of being his “superior” forgotten.

For what felt like and eternity to them they simply sat in each other’s arms and snuggled, enjoying the beautiful panoramic view of Gensokyan countryside. It was this relationship, this love, that gave Momiji the endurance to spend those countless hours alone on the mountain; that gave Jin the courage to work harder, work better, work to one day provide for both of them.

Momiji finally forced herself to break the silence with a casual, “Aren’t you supposed to be on duty right now?”

Jin, who until then had been playfully nibbling on the tip of Momiji’s ear, grumbled as he relinquished his little snack. “Ugh, don’t remind me. I’m on break right now, and the further I get away from those little monsters, the better.”

“Supervising the juvenile trainees again, are we?”

“Young adult, Ms. Inubashiri,” he corrected, voicing a purposely poor imitation of some over-promoted bureaucrat. “In these intrepid new days of, hmm, acceptance and understanding, the new generation of tengu need to be recognized for the inner maturity they posses; the transition period between, hmm, ‘young adult’ and ‘adult’ is a most important time in blah blah blah, something about politics and why we have to put up with these little brat’s egos as we teach them things they don’t care about but should because they’re idiots.”

“We were kids too once, Jin,” Momiji reminded, giving him a little elbow in the ribs. “Don’t be so hard on them.”

He rolled his eyes. “Momi, can you honestly say, with a straight face, that we were as bad as these kids are today?”

She thought for a few seconds, then conceded, a bemused smile on her face. “Well…okay, no, we weren’t that bad. We had our moments though, right? Remember that time you lost your ear? Not even two years of combat training, and here you thought you could take on the coach single-handed! Ahhh, it’s times like those I wish the men’s and women’s classes weren’t separate; I would have loved to see that…”

Momiji snuggled up closer to Jin’s chest to ease his discomfort at the painful memory. He nervously touched the tip of his right ear. It had grown back, thank the heavens, but he still had yet to live down that stupid moment. It was times like those he tried to erase from his memory; Momiji didn’t need a fool of a man like that to look after her. Then again, he had gotten a lot better since those foolish days of his youth.

“I just wish I wasn’t always stuck teaching those brats all the time,” he continued, trying to bring the topic back to something more relatable and less shameful on his part. “Now the little ones, I can handle them; we’re like heroes to those kids.”

“Yeah…” Momiji replied wistfully, looking away at the winding, stormy river below them. She leaned her head against Jin’s again and smiled. “I wish we had some kids of our own.”

“Ehh…?” Jin certainly hadn’t expected a comment like that, and his ears perked up. “Well, yeah, but…we don’t.”

Draping her arm around his shoulder, Momiji tickled Jin under his chin and smirked. “We could fix that,” she said, grinding her hips suggestively into his groin.

His cheeks reddened as his love squirmed around in his arms. “Hey, d-don’t, don’t joke about that kind of stuff! I mean, we…we’re not even married yet!”

“We could fix that, too.”

“But, I…you mean it? But, Momi, we’re barely making ends meet as it is. We can’t afford a wedding; I can’t even afford a ring for you! I…I want to give you the best, the most special things. You deserve that.”

“I don’t need the best,” she replied, spinning her body around to face Jin properly. Her eyelids firmed up as she opened her feelings to him, no longer joking around. “I don’t need a fancy wedding or a white dress or even a diamond ring. I’d be happy with just a pebble twisted around a paper clip…as long as it’s from you. I’ve had three years with you, Jin; you’ve already given me the best I could ask for. All I need is you.”

“I…” All the words he thought he knew stuck in his throat as he looked at her, his resolve melting under those puppy-dog eyes of hers. From this angle the rising sun just barely poked over Momiji’s ears, encircling her head with an otherworldly nimbus of gold and white. This was the woman who loved him, who wanted to marry him, who wanted to have his children…and he didn’t even deserve one hair of her in his eyes. He was a nobody, just some guy who’d been picked to spar with this girl as a class demonstration of male vs. female fighting styles. What gods above had decided that she’d find him afterwards in the dining hall, that she’d find him amusing, or that she’d be the one to ask him out on their first date? It wasn’t right. Momiji…she deserved a man who was great enough to deserve her back.

“I…I want to marry you, Momiji,” he finally worked up the courage to say. “It’s just…you deserve so much better than me. I’m just ordinary, but you…You’re extraordinary. I want to be the man you deserve to marry, Momi. But, I’m…I’m not. Not…not yet.”

She sighed and shook her head, leaning back against Jin’s chest. She could feel him shaking nervously, and she couldn’t help shivering a little herself. “When will you be?” she asked longingly.

“I…don’t know.”

Momiji gave her Jin one more quick hug, then stood back up as he did the same. “You should get back to work,” she said.

He nodded. “Yeah, you’re right. Hey, you’re not…not angry, are you?”

She shook her head as she returned her scimitar to the sheath on her side. “No, no, it’s all right. These things, we should probably take them slow. If I had to wait that many years for something like that Moriya Shrine to make my job actually exciting, I can wait a few more for you. Good things come to those who wait, after all.”

Jin picked up the maple-crested shield from the ground and handed it to her, stealing a quick kiss as he did. “I promise I won’t make you wait too long. See you at lunch?”

“Of course. Our table?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
>> No. 90750
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Momiji hummed a little tune to herself as she reentered the corridors of the tengu’s mountainous city. It was twelve-thirty by her watch, and twelve-thirty meant lunchtime, and lunchtime meant Jin time. Their shifts changed so often they were lucky to even get that most days; compliments of the ever-fickle Tengu Armed Forces. So it was with a smile on her face that she took the elevators down to her room to deposit her sword and shield, anticipating more quality time with the best friend she had ever known.

Her smile faltered as she approached her quarters to see a scrap of paper wedged in the door jam. Relinquishing her shield, she pulled open the door and read the note; a quick message from Jin written in his long, slashing letters. She bit her lip nervously as she read the contents.

”I’m so sorry. Captain’s shorthanded today, so he’s making us work until seven without lunch. Had to fake a restroom break to get this to you. Wait for me on our cliff, I will be there for you tonight. No matter what. I love you.

Jin~


Momiji read the note over three or four times, mostly to distract herself from thinking rather than because she didn’t believe the words on it. She exuded a lamenting sigh as she leaned against the door frame, kicking the wall will her heel in frustration. If it wasn’t scheduled shifts it was overtime shifts, or emergency shifts, of whatever else the higher-ups were calling them these days. She didn’t blame Jin in the least; she’d been forced to write just as many notes to him over the years. It wasn’t fair, but she’d grown to accept that. They weren’t children anymore, or students, or craftsmen or vendors with their like-clockwork nine-to-five work hours; they were soldiers. And as soldiers they knew when love had to come after life.

“…But when will they realize that love is life?” she whispered to herself as she shuffled sadly into her three-room apartment. It was a nice place for a single girl, considering the normal rooms guards got, but she’d never stopping thinking that Jin and her would need a much bigger place if they wanted to raise kids together. Hanging up her fighting gear on the wall and slipping off her sandals, she reluctantly started up the oven and set a pot of water on the stove to boil. Without Jin by her side, the crowded cafeteria just didn’t seem as inviting anymore.

As the day progressed, Momiji’s mood remained more or less the same, without much else to divert her many thoughts. Her endless wide circles around and around the rocky mountainside complimented the circles her thoughts kept making in her head. She’d think about her immediate future as a soldier, which spun off to her long-term plan for a life or a career, which then brought Jin into the picture, and from there she moved to any number of the endless facets of their relationship together before remembering that, once again, she was still stuck on the mountain right then, and Jin was still stuck inside for another six hours.

The six hours she had to wait slowly became five, then four, then three, her mood increasing with each step that brought her closer to wrapping her arms around her love once more, and he doing the same to her in return. It was once of the few things that could always keep her focused, knowing that no matter how long she had to wait for a reprieve, she would see her Jin again.

At her own quitting time—a much more respectable five thirty—she returned back home in high spirits, her thoughts occupied wholly with how the two of them would spend the evening. She flitted back and forth around her little apartment, thinking of this or that, something that would make it a pleasurable evening for them both. A woman had to think of these sort of things, after all; Jin was a fine man, but Momiji just couldn’t count on him for important little things like this. And anyways, this was going to be an eleven-hour day for him. She wanted him to be able to rest, relax, and not have to work or worry one iota more that day.

And right then, she had it. Food! He’d had to skip lunch; he must be starving! A picnic, yes…a feast of a picnic! She raced to open up her cupboards and refrigerator, raiding the shelves for anything edible and picnic-y she could find. She glanced at the clock…Eighty minutes until seven, and she still wanted to fit a bath in there somewhere too; what man wouldn’t want to come home after a long day to a magnificent feast and a sweet-smelling woman? Rolling up her sleeves, she tied a bandana around her head (furry ears and cooking didn’t mix well) and got to work. She wanted nothing less than the best picnic either of them had ever experienced.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The single mountain near the center of Gensokyo was about as perfectly shaped as a mountain could be. Grassy foothills gently sloping into a multitude of scenic rocky paths, ever climbing upwards around the gentle cone of the natural monument until it culminated with the flat-topped, misty oasis where Moriya Shrine found its home. If any were to look up the word “mountain” in a dictionary, none would be surprised to find this one as a reference picture.

As one of the many carved pathways snaked up the rocks near the mountain’s peak, a shallow dirt offshoot took a sharp turn left and downwards, far too precarious for a common human to clamber down. As it shambled down the mountainside it twisted chaotically, disappearing without warning in places and reducing itself to a line of boulders elsewhere. Anyone with even the slightest of other things on their mind would have been dissuaded from exploring such a challenging grade ten times over before they found anything worthwhile about it. But at the end of all the trials and tribulations, the sweat and the dust, a little slice of heaven resided. It was a small little slab of grass-covered rock, jutting out from the mountain like a stone shelf. The air around it was cool and refreshing, and the surrounding cliffs sheltered it from all but the gentlest of breezes. In the late evening when the sun began to kiss the horizon, a better view of Gensokyo would have been almost impossible to find.

It was here Momiji sat, legs folded underneath her and bare feet tickling the grass as she watched Gensokyo from afar. The fluttering of fairies in the distance were no more than shining motes of diamond dust to her, sparkling in her eyes. She’d abandoned her more ornamental working uniform for a simple sun dress, lighter even than the lightest blue the sky had to offer, yet still not pure white.

She sighed. Behind her was laid out her picnic of perfection. Fruit basket, fresh-baked biscuits, sushi platter, the largest pile of sandwiches she’d ever seen before, a bottle of red wine she’d been saving for some time special…everything she had imagined exactly at it was supposed to be, save one thing: her love. The gods above had once again stolen Jin away from her even as she reached out to touch him and hold him tight against her bosom. “His squad is being detained for insubordination.” That was all she’d managed to get out of the guard at the door before she was “escorted” out of the hallway.
>> No. 90751
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90751
“Stupid gender-specific training areas,” she grumbled to herself in frustration. “Why do we have to be split, anyways? I mean, sure, yes, we could get a little distracted looking at each other or something like that, but is it really so big of a deal they have to drag me away? What, do the guys train in the nude or something? Honestly, the people that make these rules…”

She looked at her thin silver watch; a present from Jin when he’d accidentally broken her old one during a sparring session. Seven thirty-seven. Was it even worth it to wait? She didn’t know about Jin’s officer, but the one time her own squad had been “detained for insubordination” they’d been forced to stand at attention like statues for four hours straight. It’d be nearing midnight by then; the light would be faded, the food would be stale, and the magic of the moment would be gone. It wouldn’t be the first time one of their dates had ended due to bad luck.

Except…

He’d told her to wait. He’d told her that he’d make it, “no matter what”. Other men used it as an excuse for saying “I did my best,” but not Jin. He’d let her down once before that day at lunch, even when it wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t the sort of man who’d let a girl down twice, not in the same day. No matter what. He would come, even if it was past midnight, he would come, and he’d be waiting to see her.

If he would wait for her, then she would wait for him. No matter what.

With another sigh she sprawled out on the red-checked picnic blanket, nibbling on a small sushi roll while she waited. She contemplated putting the food away to keep it just a little fresher, but the air up there was fresh enough already, and she’d rather it stay in her decorated arrangement for Jin. Her eyes slowly drifted their way shut as she began to think about what she’d say to him when he arrived…

A crackling of rocks and dirt stirred Momiji from her half-dreaming state, her eyes unfocused. Groaning, she tried to roll around to face the noise before realizing how tired she actually was, and hardly doing more than flopping around on the blanket. As she craned her neck to try again—

“No, don’, don’t get over…You look prettier this way.”

An upside-down Jin looked back at her endearingly from the other edge of the cliff, leaning heavily on his spear for support. A new surge of energy filled her body, and she swiveled around to her knees, looking at him properly. He seemed more ragged than usual; no, he was more ragged. The steel spearhead was chipped in half, his uniform was rumpled and ripped, and she could see blood on his shirt as well as a few cuts on his face. But he was there.

“You…you came,” she spoke quietly, unable to contain her satisfied smile.

He nodded. “And you—nngh—you waited for me.”

“I’d wait all night for you, Jin. I’m just glad I didn’t have to.”

“Me too.” He stepped gingerly towards her, barely able to walk if not for the tightly-gripped spear. Momiji leapt up and put her arm around his shoulder, lifting up his wait to help him over the their picnic.

“You’re, you’re hurt,” she commented. “What happened?”

“Captain. Captain—mmrgh—some idiot gave the captain some lip about chain-of-command, so he made us stay late, under one condition: Win a match over him, and he lets you out. Was gonna be an example of why you don’t challenge rank ever. But I, I didn’t…wasn’t gonna make you wait.”

Her eyes grew wide as she set him down on one corner of the blanket. He didn’t…did he? “You…you fought him? But, but I’ve seen him; he’s a master! I mean, I know you’re good, but why, why would you…you…You really fought him for me?”

“I’m not going to make you wait twice in the same day, Momi. You deserve that.”

It was too much for her. She couldn’t hold back, and she didn’t want to. Shoving his spear away with her foot she hugged Jin as tightly as she dared without crushing his ribs, smothering his lips with hers. She could feel his heart beating through her chest as clearly as her own, and even after their long, blissful kiss finally parted she never let him go. She never wanted this feeling to ever end between them. This was love. Not the notes or the playful rough-housing or even the kisses; any affectionate couple could do that with each other. But a man who would fight even against his own teacher to see his love, and a woman who would stay up all night to wait for him…that was love.

“Do you…do you want some food?” she finally managed to ask, looking at Jin with tear-filled eyes. “I made plenty. You didn’t get any lunch, remember?”

“Food can wait,” he replied solemnly, worming one of his hands out of the hug. “But you…I don’t want you to wait anymore. Not if I can help it. You…you always do so much for me, all those little things I’d never think of myself. And I can’t ever give you anything back. You even make more money than I do; what stuff can I give you you don’t already have?”

“I told you, I don’t want ‘stuff’, Jin; I just want you. You give me all those things we can’t buy, the things we can’t touch, the things that really matter. All I want is your love. And you’ve already given me that.”

He nodded and stroked her hair with his free hand before entwining it with hers around his back. She could see just a twinge of redness in his cheeks. Blushing, was he? She felt good knowing he wasn’t some stone-faced idiot of a man like she’d seen plenty of in her life before.

“Momi, I promise you that some day I’ll get you a diamond ring. But until then…I guess this’ll have to do.”

As he took his hand away, Momiji could feel a little bump on her right hand that wasn’t there before. Curious she drew her arm back in front of both of them…and there it was. Encircling her ring finger was a paper-clip wire bent into a circle, a white pebble of quartz twisted onto the top. The band was too loose, the circle was more of a square, the pebble was lopsided…and it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen in her life.

Jin moved a half-foot backwards so he had enough room to climb up from a sitting position onto one knee, holding the sides of her right hand with both of his. There were tears in his eyes now too, though he made a conscious effort to blink them away. He took a deep breath, and then asked her the question of her life.

“Momiji Inubashiri, will you accept this ring?”

Her lower lip quivered like a child’s as she gazed at the ring, transfixed by the gift she had just been given. No…more than a gift. A life. A life for both of them, forever, until death did they part. He hadn’t said those exact fateful words, but she knew. She knew he was asking her to marry him. And she knew what she was going to say. As the delicate tears curved down her cheeks, a single drop fell from her face onto the pebble of her ring. And as a ray of the setting sun cast its last light upon the mountain, it really did look just like a diamond. Momiji smiled, and gave Jin a nervous little nod.

“I will.”
>> No. 90752
Amazing
>> No. 90755
See that, Owen? That's the story that proves that you can write romance. That was beautiful.
>> No. 90778
That was incredible.
>> No. 90786
Pure victory.
>> No. 90829
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I'm usually rather impartial about romance stories but this...

This may have changed my perspective completely. A job well done, my good sir.
>> No. 90835
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Owen.... I..... This is.... I just.... it's just too much.....
No... My tears.... it's overflowing.....

>> No. 90841
It's beautiful.
>> No. 90842
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90842
Very nice indeed, my friend. Very nice indeed.
>> No. 90961
Great stuff. I prefer straight romance to the yuri stuff and futa shit out there.
>> No. 90963
>>90961
>yuri stuff and futa shit
Stop looking for romance in H doujins.
>> No. 90998
>Great stuff. I prefer straight romance to the yuri stuff and futa shit out there.

If you love Touhou you will love dicks growing on your touhous.
>> No. 90999
>>90998

Wrong.
>> No. 91014
>>90998

As someone who actually likes futa, let me be the first to say it's definitely not for everyone.
>> No. 91248
I really, really liked reading this.
>> No. 91333
Nice little tales, I always believed that Meiling wasn't that much of a sleepy head and that Marisa found ways to get the drop on her.

Not this time.

And the nice Sakuya was a nice touch.

And it's nice to See Jin and Momiji living happily ever after (considering what happened during Iassc's absurdly over the top attempt to be awesome)

To that I say this: You don't go on about being awesome; you just are. Same as certain Touhous don't go on about being powerful/scary, they just are.

And if a story is left off, one might wonder... does that world die or go on unbeknownst to us.

I wonder if you'd consider a Sanae story (you're good at breaking the mold about things; such as China and Cirno being jokes)
>> No. 92612
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92612
Once again, I've forgotten to come here for many month, but I didn't forget you since ASSM.
I read all those short stories, and they gave me the same passion. You are a great writer Owen.
Also, I wanted to tell you that I've resumed the translation of ASSM that I had to pause during my exams, and that there are many french readers passionated by it. I'm adding a part per day there => http://amo.webalpa.fr/thalie2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=334

Anyway, I'm happy to see you again ^^
If you're still taking request for that corner, a short story about Medicine Melancholy would be nice, that youkai is too often forgotten.

Also, "Congratulations, Jin: you’ve been upgraded from minor character to Momiji's lover."
>> No. 92617
>>91333

I meant to say not jokes; my apologies.
>> No. 92738
>>92612
>>Pic

Medicine ;_;