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91255 No. 91255
---

SYSTEM UPDATE:

[X] Limp away and "I'll be back!" + REASON

Current Phase: Noon - Overcast - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

---

Cool reason for once triumphs over volatile emotion, despite the hysterical cry of every fiber in your being demanding retribution. You were just doing a damn public service. The last thing you expected was to have a "corpse" blast its way out to freedom and wound you quite seriously in the process.

But if there was no use crying over spilt milk, then the same logic would apply to blood, including yours. Oh, you swore under all in heaven and earth that there would be reckoning over these wounds---later, a just punishment you would serve out with great relish. Right now, it was best to limp away at top speed before your unknowing assailant notices your presence. Wounded as you are, you suspect you would not last a minute in your mortal form.

True, you could just transform into your true self, trading away your wounds for a time, but it would be tantamount to masochism for you would announce your presence to any and all sensitive enough to notice you augustness. You already saw an outcome of what that did before; heavens forbid, the youkai and the fairies actually see you this time. It could be you they would be happily fighting over, instead of ripping each other apart.

So humbled, do you begin your arduous retreat, staying low to the dirt as you hobble away like a limping dog. Unsightly? Yes, but anything to avoid being noticed by the ice fairy, who's jubilant self-serving cries echo out behind you. Your destination: straight into the brush of the treeline. Out of sight and out of mind.

Hopefully, she or something else, less civilized, would not notice the trail of blood stains in your wake.

The numbing agony you experience need not be repeated in words. Time passes at a sadistically slow pace. Every breath, every push feels like it could be your last. Between the blood loss and internal trauma, plus the imminent onset of infections, it was no surprise really that life was becoming extraordinarily difficult. Yes, you would make certain to teach that (NINE) a lesson another day.

Eventually, you make it into the relative safety of the treeline, laying up against the trunk of a tree. The situation is pretty bad. You are feverish, sweating, and feeling awful pale: a sure sign you have been infected with something. Who knew gods could be reduced to such a state? Then again, you were being rather hard on yourself. You were only born just a few days ago, so there should not be any surprise you are the most human-ish god right now.

Ugh, it's getting difficult to stay awake. Your eyelids just feel so heavy and---well, you'd kill for a drink of water. Cold. Shivering. Damn, you need to stay awake. Things...getting darker. No! You have to focus. Focus on what? Uhhh, h-healing yourself. Yes, that's it you need to focus on healing yourself. You're not just an ordinary human. You're a god. And. And that means you can...do...things. H-Humans can't. Like control your body to mend itself.

It's...not...hard. R..ight? Just. Think... G-God... Heal... thy...self

Black

---

A playwright, witty and wise, once said, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

What shall you do?

Choose...

[] A mask of ivory
[] The golden scales
[] A coin of copper
[] The crown of skulls
[] A rickety rocking chair
[] The golden keys

---

>> No. 91257
[x] The crown of skulls

I hope this is the Komachi option.
>> No. 91277
[X]The golden scales

The Crown of Skulls seems like it'd fit Death the Kid more, since he's the son of the Enma. Not like I'd have any objection mind you, since he seems interesting.
A coin of copper would probably be Komachi, seeing as she deals in coins.
I expect the scales to represent Shikieiki.
>> No. 91278
[X]The golden scales
>> No. 91289
[x] The golden scales
>> No. 91292
[X]The golden scales
>> No. 91297
[x] A rickety rocking chair

This just looks the most interesting.

But if it's by Touhou, I'm guessing Mima.
>> No. 91320
[X]The golden scales
>> No. 91330
File 124846004775.jpg - (535.13KB , 750x960 , 1940602.jpg ) [iqdb]
91330
---

SYSTEM UPDATE:

[X] The golden scales

"Well, hell, it's about time I got a scene! I've been away for like twenty episodes!"

Current Phase: ???Evening??? - Clear??? - Day ?? (4 / XX, Year 2XXX)

BGM Load: "Ore mo, Mou Jump Sotsugyou Shi Nakya Ike nee Toshi da yo naa", Kamagata Eiichi - Gintam OST 1

---

Despair.

Your freshman high school debut has left you in DESPAIR! What a thing to happen. How could this have happened?

You thought you had left everything behind in the country bumpkin hills of Kyoto! Coming here to the big wide city, a fresh start, a new unbiased beginning where you could leave the blood, sweat, and tears of your badass history behind. Sixteen years without a friggin' girlfriend. Doomed to banchou-style all-guys public education that was so hardcore that even the lunch ladies were hairy, dried up old men!

Say no more. Sayeth nevermore, the Raven! Goodbye stuffy tight, black gakuran uniforms. Say hello to blazers, breezy shirts, and trousers, but that's not all... GIRLS. GIRLS EVERYWHERE. Sailor girl uniforms! Skirts. Mini-skirts. Tights of all colors and makes. Garter belts. Socks. Knee socks. ZETTAI RYOUKI. Smoking hot interns, and MILFy teachers and staff!

You worked your ass off to get that scholarship and so have you arrived to the privileged, an esteemed Gensokyo Kassen Gakuen! Everything was better than you could have hoped for, even the unexpected cosplay was a bonus. Rabbit ears. Gothic Lolita. Shrine Maiden. Maids. Cat ears. Foxtails. They were not kidding when they said the theme of this academy was---FREEDOM.

And then, it all fell apart when you knocked out Kondo Isao, AKA Gorilla Hitman 13---right in the middle of the opening ceremony on stage. He was getting up all in your grill, man, to ogle at Kamishirasawa Keine-sensei, the new upcoming intern. The hairy bastard could not take a hint, and well, you kinda snapped. Old habits die hard, you know? Respect in the 'hood you understand?

But...yeah, at that point your naive boyish dreams---shattered, for Gensokyo Kassen Gakuen revealed its true colors to you. This school was a haven for the nation of Japan's brightest and strongest DELINQUENTS, destined one day to assume leadership of the highest institutions in the land, from corporations to Japan's very own National Diet. The punk you knocked the @#$%! out, Kondo AKA Gorilla Hitman 13, the Terror of Mibu, was JI STRONGEST delinquent in the school.

Was.

The title of Strongest Delinquent now belongs to you, and worse, by some arbitrary twist of fate, you have been nominated to the office of Vice-President of the Student Council. Your hopes of an amorous girlfriend and a respectable school life were effectively shot to hell, but to add insult to injury was that your post was---abandoned. Membership in the Student Council was at an all time low after last year's seniors graduated, not to say that you were alone completely.

Sitting there with you on this lonesome Saturday evening, the first of many you imagine resignedly, is the President of the Student Council. Although not the strongest delinquent, she IS the Smartest Delinquent, a green-haired girl introduced to you only as Eiki.. Who knew wearing glasses and a special issue uniform decreed by the school faculty could actually make someone look---smarter? Not that you have worn or have been issued yours yet.

Yes, it's a girl, which is a prerequisite for satisfying one of your dreams. This would be an awesome thing, normally, but Eiki (DESPAIR!) is the legendary Palmtop Tiger. She is---vertically challenged, like jailbait junior-high short and flat as a sixth-grade loli, with the ferocious dignity befitting of a tigress in the wild. The moment you two met, it was like a dog being introduced to a lion, who castrated you with just a look.

Yes. CASTRATED. Your badassery was in the doghouse, 0wn3d.
>> No. 91331
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91331
Hence, you have spent five awkwardly miserable days sitting in this classroom, after school, trapped in the same room as Eiki. Never exchanging a sentence longer than two words. The tension in the atmosphere is driving you up the wall, not that you seen anything in her, of course. Like. Seriously! Who could see anything in her except for a lolicon?

This girl has no curves! The first time you met you thought she was a boy! She even addressed you using the nominative male "Boku", instead of "Atashi" or "Watashi" like a normal girl ought to do. Hell, Eiki doesn't even fit the stereotype of a Student Council President girl in the slightest. Shounen Jump always has them either cool, devious, buxom, beautiful, or some other awesome fantasy combination, but her...?

Eiki is...unapproachable, not because she's cold, but because it's like the girl is on a different plane of existence from you; a mountain so high that you can't even see the top. There is just this insane, overwhelming presence about that pint-sized little---fellow. It does not help either that you watched her take down a boy on the Judo team, big fella easily twice her weight, with her fan.

No more than two blows. Swift. Elegance. Yeah, she was serious business.

...tsk, this tension was unbearable. Your dreams dashed and now you were going to be stuck with this incorrigible little person until the student government elections come up? Not funny. Not funny at all.

Look, you were a guy and she still is a girl. True, not exactly your ideal image of a girl (somebody like Keine-sensei, your homeroom teacher was much more your image, eh? Even if her headbutts had already sent three people to the nurse's office...they never did come back), but she. Was. A girl. You got learn how to sink before you can learn how to swim, right?

...somehow, they did not come out quite right. Agh! It's not like talking to her was going to brand you a lolicon, right? RIGHT!? This whole situation was not some plotline from an anime, right? RIGHT?!

Despair.

"Erm, hey, Eiki-s-sa..." you begin uneasily only to be interrupted by the slide of a door closing shut.

She left you hanging. You got---DIS-MISSED. BURN~! And try as you might, your old banchou habits kick in, hardcore, causing you to hurl your desk over as you explode to your feet in a rage. The violent crash is hardly a concern to your mind preoccupied with correcting an obvious slight to your manly authority. Wading through the room like a war god on the rampage, kicking and hurling away any and all in your path, you grab the door handle and slam it open, ducking through to bellow a war cry that had stopped many a punkass dead cold in his ratty jacket:

"@#$%! $H#!, you little bast-A~a-AH-!"

Your flaming invective of destruction though is cut short by grabbing a fistful of your special friend...very. FIRMLY.

"Wrong," you catch a glimpse of green and that ridiculous hat.

Oh, shi-! She is not doing what you think she's going to do is she? Please, NO.

"When addressing a disrespectful woman, the proper way, honorable bastards say: 'HEY YOU, YOU LITTLE FLY BITCH!"

Twist.

"UOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaahhhhhhh~..."

KO! KO! KO!

Ooo~hhh...the Hardcore Youth---of my Sixteenth Year.

K-O.
>> No. 91332
---

SYSTEM MSG: Well, congratulations. Erm. It appears you have grown a little closer with Sikieiki. Erm. You get the feeling you'll reach a new understanding with her soon...maybe.

Gain: + 1 Courage.

---

You come to in a gasping sweat, bolting upright in something soft---blankets, posts...a Western-style bed(?). Wh-where are you (a room), and that d-dream just now, so vivid-OW. Damnation, your side---hurts! And what's with that funny feeling in your loins?! ...uuuhh, okay, deep breaths and calm the hell down; jumping in alarm at everything at once is not going to help you figure anything out.

Phew. Much better. Now, you are going to assess the situation.

Well, first off, you are feeling miraculously much better than you did, when you were last consciousness. Someone appears to have administered some medical aid to you, quite skilled too, judging by the quality of the fresh bandages and salves on your person, a comfortable, snug fit. You have been placed in what appears to be a guest room, the lighting a bit dim since the tasteful heavy curtains have been drawn, so as to not disturb your sleep. The walls have an odd rosey pink texture to them, which you identify to be wallpaper, a definite Western creation, so, too, is the wooden chest of drawers, wardrobe, and desk positioned functionally about the space.

Whose home was this? Rinnosuke's? You remember quite a few Western influences in his home, but this place... It smells of roses. Definitely, not the sort of touch you would expect in that eccentric man's home / workplace.

Carpetted floors in a dark burgundy, and---oh, how thoughtful of them. They left a pitcher of water and a glass for you on the sidetable, complete with ice. Looks fresh since the ice does not look too melted... Fortunes, that does not help you tell how long you have been out, though it would have been nice to sweeten the deal with some snacks and tea. Boy, are you famished.

And that dream----HOLY! Why are you naked?! Naked under the sheets!? Where is your stuff? Naked! You understand you had a lot of wounds, and you are thankful these Good Samaritans went above and beyond to take care of you, but could they not have left you some clothes to preserve your vanity?

There is a polite knock at the door. Oh crap...

What shall you do?

Choose...

[] S-Sorry...
[] Invite.
[] Action Pose! MANLY SEDUCTION.
[] Pretend to be Asleep.
[] ??????

And / or...

[] CHARM
[] REASON
[] EMPATHY
[] INTIMIDATION
[] BODY LANGUAGE
[] TRANSFORM
[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ?????

---
>> No. 91337
[x] Invite.
[x] CHARM

Why hello, yes I am naked under the sheets.
>> No. 91339
[X]Invite
[X]CHARM

It just wouldn't be Gin if he didn't.
>> No. 91342
[X]Invite
[X]CHARM
>> No. 91345
[x] Invite.
[x] CHARM

Oh yeah!
>> No. 91346
Wow, you guys are more conservative than I thought. No MANLY SEDUCTION? Guess you all aren't GAR enough yet to be like MANnosuke, Youki, and Unzan. Oh well, that's cool. We'll get there some day.
>> No. 91350
>>country bumpkin hills of Kyoto

... Wait, what?
>> No. 91375
File 12484887574.jpg - (484.33KB , 753x993 , 0be90d857f582fd2bd166567e1317e13.jpg ) [iqdb]
91375
---

SYSTEM UPDATE:

[X] Invite + Charm

"Well, hell, it's about time I got a scene! I've been away for like twenty episodes!"

Current Phase: Afternoon - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Hatujouki Desuka Konoyaroo", Kamagata Eiichi - Gintam OST 1

---

As awkward as this situation is, you refuse to be caught back footed and reduced to a blushing schoolboy, who just awakened to that magical time called "The Springtime of Youth". This white underblanket, in fact, would make a fantastic---"toga", the concept comes to you---but with the state of your injuries and time limitations, you scrap that plan regretfully. Instead, you arrange yourself simply in the most provocative angle to display your manly physique, a little leg here, a little arrogance there, and a little of that too, while maintaining just barely enough to decency to preserve your vanity.

There is a knock again, much more insistent this time.

All done. Deep breaths. Compose yourself; now, summon forth all the smooth, dignified masculine charm you can muster. Like... Rinnosuke, you know? Heh. Ahem! This bed is your throne and thou ist the wounded warrior king!

"You may enter."

A moments pause, then the door knob turns with an exhilarating click, admitting in two rather---stunning, lovely damsels. Their faces color to varying shades of red and expressions of surprise; the redhead going as far as to cover her mouth and nose in an endearingly cute gesture. The silver-haired woman offers a single dainty hand in her defense for the other trembled, still glued to the brass door knob. Aye, it was quite gratifying to see such a warm welcome, but you were not done yet.

"My, does it thrill you to see after missing me forever, or does your happiness hide knives and daggers beneath your skirts?"

Suddenly, there is a cascade of clattering. Metallic. Silvery rings. Your eyes are drawn to their location immediately. At the feet of the elegant silver is a pile of knives and daggers, from kitchen knives to short daggers. How the hell had she hidden all of them underneath that short lacy skirt of hers and those oh-so-shapely legs?!

A veil of awkward silence descends upon the room as all present stare each other down into a staring contest; the spell of your charisma broken. You sweat and pale, feeling an uncomfortably huge drop of sweat pasting its way down the side of your temple. If someone had to break this ice, well damn, it might as well be you, right?

YOU STARTED IT.

"Pleasedon'teatme!" you squirm back under the sheets, pouting with your best "I'm handsome and defenseless!" look. Oh, you also add a touch of sparkles and a scenery change to pink roses to that silent plea, too. Absolute Bishounen Field deployed!

The response is immediate.

"Aiii~ya!" Redhead bursts out into side-splitting gales of laughter, "Ah ha ha ha ha! Sa-Saku-"

You blink and abruptly her mirth is gone. No. More than that they are both gone, disappeared into thin air along with all those knives! What the---is that a bloodstain you see on the floor. AH. ...It's gone. IT'S GONE! AHHHHH! What the hell is going on?

There is a knock at the door. You are a freaking out. Oh my Buddha, are you freaking the hell out!

"Y-Y-yes?" you squeak out, genuinely worried for your sanity. Were you having a nervous breakdown here or what?

Once more the knob turns admitting in a familiar silver-haired and cool-eyed woman in---Holy Zen, is that a genuine Fr-French Maid outfit?

"Bonjour, monsieur," she greets you in a foreign tongue, her voice an unusual lilting melody. It sounds awfully familiar from somewhere.

"Uh, I don't speak gai---French?" you correct yourself. Yeah, your aura of dignified cool is totally shattered. You are lame and average, man. Lame!

"Worry not, Monsieur Ronin; I am fluent in several dialects of Japanese and foreign languages. ...though I admit frankly, oui, you are full of surprises."

Oh, was that a hint of red on her cheeks, and why does she just look so damn---PERFECT---just standing there with her hip cocked and arms crossed beneath her bosom? Wow. You wonder if you can talk the girls and ladies you know into trying that outfit on some time?

Ah, but you digress.

"W-Well, I guess, you pick up a few things in my line of work, Miss...?" you return the favor by injecting the foreign noun into your own vernacular. Yes, it was a bit overcompensating, but you felt you needed to speak to the elegant and perfect maid's level to smooth things over.

She raises a brow but a hairbreadth, "Monsieur Ronin, is it not the custom of the Japanese that before one would ask another their name, one should give his name first?"

Japanese? Wait---oh, she means the people of Nihon.

You smile slyly, "Oh, I'm well aware of how right and proper the people born in the land of Lady Sun can be, but don't you think we're beyond customs and courtesies by now? Here you are, addressing a strange man, whom you know not of and have brought into your very household, and is naked, presently under these cotton sheets, as the day he was born."
>> No. 91376
File 124848886192.jpg - (152.31KB , 849x1200 , 5078703.jpg ) [iqdb]
91376
Ah ha, she is getting redder. Time for the---coup de grace! ...Hey, that sounded pretty cool. This French stuff ain't half bad. Time to take it smooth~ and a little sly~.

"Mademoisselle L'Argent, are we not close acquaintances already?"

The faintest frown caresses her face but the moment passes into a resigned sigh. Score one for you~.

"I concede to your wit, Ronin-dono," she pauses and then drops into a curtsey, as she speaks, "I am called Izayoi Sakuya, the Perfect and Elegant Servant to Her Ladyship, the Baroness Remilia Scarlet, steward and owner of this manse."

Dang, now you wish you were not injured so you could join in on the theatrics.

"I'm afraid your resume is much more impressive than mine, Izayoi-han."

Sakuya cocks her head aside. Funny how a lot of people you meet tend to do that when you say something that, well, gets their attentions.

"Is that so?"

"Yorozuya no Gintoki, a man who lives up to his name," you give a devilish wriggle of your eyebrows. The charm falls flat, but it was the spirit that counted, right? "By the way, um, where's my stuff?"

"Your belongings have not been tampered with, rest assured, Monsieur Handy Man," the maid replies, all business like. Her expression sours a bit though, "As for your clothes, my staff is doing their best to repair the items to the best of their ability. Certain. Articles. Are shall we say, oui, unserviceable?"

And what did she mean by that? Wait...her staff? Does that mean she's the big shot super maid leader around here?

"Care to humor me?"

Sakuya groans disturbingly, not because she made a face---that would be normal, but because she does so with an utterly straight face and no shift in her composure.

"Her Ladyship has taken a liking to those---unserviceable---articles."

You are speechless. Score one for the Perfect and Elegant Servant.

"Um. That's. How should I say? Odd."

"She is a noble lady of some eccentric tastes, admittedly, monsieur."

Yeah... Well, whoever this Baroness Remilia Scarlet is, you cannot say that she is an entirely bad person. If it were not for her goodwill, you would not be here now and in present company, so losing a few tattered clothes soiled in your blood was a small price to pay. That said, present company included, you were running out of idle pleasantries to exchange. Someone was going to start asking questions soon. In fact, you had a lot of questions yourself, and unlike your earlier situation with Morichika Rinnosuke, this time you have no way to run away per say, physically or verbally; it would be insanely rude and deplorable behavior to Izayoi Sakuya and by extension to her mistress.

What shall you do?

Choose...

[] Let's play twenty questions!
[] ??????

And / or

[] Be truthful; she's got knives. Lots of knives!
[] Be only as truthful as you need to be. Remember you owe people and she seems like a civilized, cultured individual.
[] Your finest lies; information digging, baby~!
[] ??????

---
>> No. 91380
[x] ??????
[x] Be only as truthful as you need to be. Remember you owe people and she seems like a civilized, cultured individual.
>> No. 91418
[x] Let's play twenty questions!
[x] Be only as truthful as you need to be. Remember you owe people and she seems like a civilized, cultured individual.
>> No. 91421
[x] ??????
[x] Be only as truthful as you need to be. Remember you owe people and she seems like a civilized, cultured individual.

Hopefully this has the desired effect. We aren't thirsty, right?
>> No. 91429
Going against the tide.

[x] Let's play twenty questions!
[x] Be only as truthful as you need to be. Remember you owe people and she seems like a civilized, cultured individual.
>> No. 91457
[x] Let's play twenty questions!
[x] Be only as truthful as you need to be. Remember you owe people and she seems like a civilized, cultured individual.

Of all the times we've picked the mystery option thus far, the only time things came out our way was when we were completely backed into a corner.
>> No. 91484
File 124857695055.jpg - (104.44KB , 724x1024 , ddbce5993bdaea72e1eceab3c4665955.jpg ) [iqdb]
91484
---

SYSTEM UPDATE:

[X] Let's play + Be only truthful as you need to be

"Oh thank heavens."

"Why so?"

"I was afraid the Captain was about to get everyone killed with his excessive paranoia."

Current Phase: Afternoon - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Seasonings, please", Nakagawa Koutarou - GunXSword OST 1

---

You know what? You have had enough of avoiding the inevitable today. In fact, you might just be interpreting O-Reimu's wisdom a little too strictly. Fortunes, you were a reasonable and relatively responsible enough man, who would not stupidly let slip things that would jeopardize himself or his precious circle of relations. ...Okay, it was your fault for creating that situation with Rinnosuke, but here was a genuine chance to make amends, right?

"Say, Izayoi-han," you break the silence with a twinkle in your eye.

It is a twinkle that does not go unnoticed by the Perfect and Elegant Servant. She shifts her posture, a most fascinating sway of her hips you must note: the new stance is reminiscent oddly of---your sleeping memories bubble up an answer---a gunslinger. One hand akimbo on her hip, the other free and angled out, fingers spread, and her weight evenly distributed on her black high heel'd pumps, which accentuated the curve of her legs in that magical way and even added some height to her. Why it even seemed to have the effect of her standing a little straighter and making her bust thrust out to your great appreciation.

My, my, what a feast she was to look at by just being herself. You would have to offer your compliments to the Baroness one of these days~. Good taste is so hard to find, you know?

"Oui, Monsiuer Yorozuya?"

But, man, that voice. Really. Where have you heard it before?

"If I'm not cutting into your time on the clock too much, would you mind keeping me company, just for a wee bit?"

The corner of her lips curl into the faintest of smiles, as that elegant intellect behind those deep blue eyes goes to work. Man. This woman. Is she magnetic or what?

"I might have a few moments to spare, depending on what you have in mind."

You might just get addicted to company like this. So~ dangerous!

"A game."

"A game, monsieur? Fu, I am afraid I am not terribly skilled in games."

"Oh, don't worry, Izayoi-han. My game is the most popular game ever invented by Humanity. All you need is good company, a little of this, and a pinch of that---the rules are easy too."

"How quaint."

Now, does the Perfect and Elegant Servant smile, sweet and intoxicating as the finest wine ever brewed. Something wonderful, thrilling this way comes and that is she, a drug as potent as chocolaty sin. Forget Cranes and---and Super Models! Nevermind this is just a bloody guest room: Izayoi Sakuya makes this look GOOD. The Goddess Benten is here, baby, and she owns this runway!

As far as your ecstatic horn dog mind is concerned, she is at this moment the most beautiful woman in the world, and Gorgeous is coming in for a landing~. Damn. Was it just you? Or was it starting to get really hot and steamy in here?

"Why, hullo there," you say, a little more breathlessly than you expected. Hey, you were still new to this sort of high stakes game, okay? True, Mima warned you about this sort of thing, but c'mon, who could resist a high roller of the likes of Izayoi Sakuya? It was the sort of challenge you just could not afford to ignore~.

"Enchante, monsieur," the silver-haired maid replies, with a hint of bemusement.

"Aren't you terribly close, Izayoi-han? I thought that being the Perfect and Elegant Servant you would observe---propriety a touch more...strictly? It'd be pretty scandalous if someone walked in on us, just like this, eh?"

Oh, how you wanted to reach out and touch her. She was right here in arms reach, just sitting on the bed, her legs scissored over the other in that oh-so-sexy way (ZETTAI RYOUKI!). Dangerous. Definitely dangerous. You might just become addicted---but to what exactly, you wonder?

"Ah, but is it not as you say, Gintoki: are we not close acquaintances already?"

Holy Zen. Say MY NAME that WAY, again!

"Fu. Devons-nous jouer, [/i]Monsieur[/i]?"

Oui-oui with the fist of an angry god: YES.

---

SYSTEM MSG: ***A new Quick Travel location has been added - "Misty Lake".

---

Suffice to say, Izayoi Sakuya was a lot more skilled than she gave herself credit for, and you are beginning to wonder if you have a potentially fatal lecherous streak. Aye, women just seemed to bring out all the male machismo in you, which was fast becoming a blessing and a curse. The Perfect and Elegant Servant used this quirk of yours entirely to her advantage, molding you like wet clay in her experienced, precise fingers. You eye the used empty glass beside the pitcher of water on the side table, wistfully, still coated with some iced dew. It would have been perfect had she been serving you sake over a pleasant, lively meal. Or better yet, how about an indirect kiss, eh?

Ahem!

Indeed, it was an epic battle of wit and body (language), intense and exhausting, even though you two neither touched each other once. Though by the time it was over, you were teetering dangerously on the edge of---well, jumping into her brasserie. Sure, you have no idea what would have happened after that, but something would work out, right? ...God, you are missing her already, even if you managed to fend off her inquiries, barely, and guard that which must be protected.
>> No. 91486
File 124857707981.png - (207.52KB , 600x570 , 1832949.png ) [iqdb]
91486
"If Mima-han was here right now," you say aloud dryly, staring up at the ceiling, "she'd beat me black and blue into next week."

Actually, you suspect all the ladies you know would try to put their hands on you, if they saw what just transpired. Most of them would probably do it anyway from just hearing it straight from your mouth in even more embellished terms. The only exception to the rule was Amaterasu no Kagura: hey, she was a wolf, so you'd think you'd be safe from her, right?

Oh Fortunes! Bad images! Baaaaaaadddddddd images. Let's not go there anymore.

Yeah... Anyways, it appears you have arrived to where you were meaning to go since this long day began: the Scarlet Devil Mansion. You managed to avoid any unpleasantness by framing yourself as a neutral third party, for Sakuya did react---subtly when you revealed the nature of your purpose here. To the best of her knowledge, you are a hardy, witty handy man, an unusual human willing to take all manner of risks for the best joys in life, and thus, absolutely harmless and impartial to whatever may come. Therefore, it would be in your best interests not to do anything that might make her or anyone else suspect you are much more than you appear to be, like communing with spirits and stuff.

You asked innocently enough, in the spur of the moment, if the Perfect and Elegant Servant was concerned that Hakurei no Reimu would become a detriment to her employment here. Your reply was only a mysterious smile, neither answering or denying. The question bother you still, for you would hate to come into a conflict of interests between herself and your dear landlady.

Not like something that outrageous could happen, could it? Seriously, you were just here to deliver a letter and the spell card rules. It was not as if an incident was going to start from you completing your mission in a few short hours, when the Lady Remilia Scarlet is right and proper to receive you for an audience, yeah?

That said, there is something of even greater concern to you right now: Izayoi Sakuya did not tell you the specifics of your rescue. You were discovered on the property and that was that. Add the fact that the Mistress of this estate had taken a liking to your ruined clothes, O-Reimu's venomous spite at the dietary habits of the youkai occupying this place...and well, you had a bad piece of mojo giving you all sorts of goosebumps.

Sigh. It would be nice if you got back your stuff soon. O Lake Touya, how I miss thee~!

You suppose you would cross that burning bridge when you got there, somehow or another. In the meantime, you are glad to know that the Perfect and Elegant Servant is sending you a change of clothes and lunch to appease your soul and body. She says a capable footman was added recently to the entirely female household staff, making you one very lucky man. You would have had no choice otherwise but to go around dressed either in a toga or a bathrobe, lest you were willing to lower yourself to crossdressing. The last option probably would not do wonders for your image, and boy, do you envy the guy who gets to work here alongside her.

Just envious! ...not that you were bad off yourself. In the coming years, you imagine things will get pretty lively around Hakurei Shrine, yes-sirree~.

And the really interesting part? Get this. Sakuya says you'll receive assistance getting dressed, but...there is a catch.

"Monsieur, you are but a human and this is a household of the supernatural. Your injuries only compound your grave dilemma: you are easy prey. I am Her Ladyship's favorite but I cannot be everywhere at once." You are on your own. "Mercifully, we do abide here by a code of strict ancient customs and more contemporary niceties, as decreed by Lady Scarlet. Those who wish to enter an occupied space---must---be invited in. It is your first and best defense, but the individual I shall send can be trusted... However, should they be---intercepted: ask of them this, 'Girls on Film', to which they must reply, 'Duran Duran', understand?"

You hope that chicken rice congee you're gonna get is not about to be your last meal.

Knock-knock-knock!

Whoa, that person is here already? Man, time sure does fly around here.

"Hey, you awake in there, Ronin?"

A guy's voice? He sure sounds pissed off, and...you're kinda bummed out. Here you were hoping for some cutey-pie youkai maid girl to come help you out. Wait, this isn't a youkai dude is it? Man...creepy. Totally creepy. Still, it was the proper thing to do... Send a male to help a male get dressed; that way no one is scared for life terribly (hopefully).

"Chop-chop, hurry up and let me in. It's not like I'm carrying these clothes and your food for fun, and definitely not because I like you!"

Pushy fella isn't he? But if Sakuya trusts him, he can't be all that bad, right? Hmmm.

What shall you do?

Choose...

[] Man, he's cool! Let him in.
[] Dude, just leave it at the door and go away.
[] What's the pass~word~?
[] ??????

And / or... (OPTIONAL)

[] CHARM
[] REASON
[] EMPATHY
[] INTIMIDATION
[] BODY LANGUAGE
[] TRANSFORM
[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ?????

---
>> No. 91496
[x] What's the pass~word~?
[x] REASON
>> No. 91503
[x] What's the password? (No tildes; we save those for women and TRUE BROs.)
[x] INTIMIDATION
[x] REASON
[x] BODY LANGUAGE

Back to being manly for the sake of impressing other men. Oh boy...

Well, we should at the very least put the "fear of God" in him by showcasing our keen mind and alpha-male dominance.

What? "Do we even have those"? Who the hell do you think we are?!
>> No. 91505
[x] What's the password? (No tildes; we save those for women and TRUE BROs.)
[x] INTIMIDATION
[x] REASON
[x] BODY LANGUAGE
>> No. 91520
[x] What's the password?
[x] INTIMIDATION
[x] REASON
[x] BODY LANGUAGE
>> No. 91527
>>91503

Anon, I ORZ to your witty insight.
>> No. 91551
File 124863473123.jpg - (599.17KB , 800x1400 , 2377018.jpg ) [iqdb]
91551
---

SYSTEM UPDATE:

[X] MANLY SIGN + What's the password? + Reason

Current Phase: Afternoon - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "You're the Best (Around)", Joe "Bean" Esposito - The Karate Kid OST

---

You know what? Screw this guy. If he is going to be all tsun-tsun in your grill (through a door), you are going to have some fun at his expense and yank his chain around all over this damn hallway. It is already embarrassing enough for you that it is going to be a dude helping you get dressed, and if this tsun-tsun bastard does not have the sense to freaking read the mojo-macho-jojo airwaves, you are going to teach this prissy cat a lesson in sensitivity and the noble path of MAN.

First, you are putting together that damn toga because it will be totally uncool and emasculating to be seen naked by another dude. That's. Just. Messed up. You know?

Knock-knock-knock.

Holy Zen! What is the hurry here?

"I don't got all day to wait on you, Ro-nin-san," comes the same disgruntled cry through the door. This time the guy is audibly irritated.

He need to be put in his place. MANLY TOGA: RISE UP!

"KIISAMA!" you bellow with dramatic manly candor. "You will wait on Yorozuya no GIN-SAN until Gin-san is damn right and proper, come high water or you shat bricks in your fundoshi standing at attention, you understand me?"

"Wha?"

"YOU BASTARD @#$%! FACED PUNK, when did Gin-san say you could talk back? Gin-san said nothin' 'bout no back talk, you understand me?"

"I-"

"Watashi (I)? Watashi?! WRONG. You're Gin-san's bitch now cunt face! You say Atashi in every scene Gin-san stars in, until Gin-san says so, you understand? Like fishball soup! Gin-san kick yo' ass into Milky Way, long time! Banzai?"

"U-Um..." clearly, you had attained control of the situation (through the door) through shear belligerent force of personality and being the loudest person possible. The rapid-fire verbal abuse was just icing on the cake.

Now, there was a method to your madness, for even the heat of fury---your reason was still clear as still water. You were a classier guy than some school yard bully who was an expert at waxing poetic abuse and physical discomfort. Certainly, you have not forgotten the words of warning Izayoi Sakuya passed on to you, and now, it was to put them to the test.

"Gin-san pities the foo' that don't know Duran Duran!"

"G-Girls on Film?" Mister Tsun-tsun footman stutters in reply.

Oh yeah! You were in business, and with a bang, you "dynamic entry" the door (turning the knob first) before kicking that thing wide open to reveal your august glistening glory, peerless in all the heavens, and so blessed are those fortunate enough to witness it. The forgettable black-haired fellow is woefully short in comparison to you and his jaws drop in understandable gaping awe. In fact, such is your majesty that his glasses fog up, and the painstakingly gelled hair he prepared this morning no doubt lets loose with a single annoying ahoge.

"What's yo' name, Atashi-foo'?" you blast this no-name four-eyes with a killer eye.

"A-Ah..." his white glove clad hands tremble visibly on the ivory handle of the ostentatious cart he had commandeered. Therein lies your change of clothes, another butler uniform, and your fresh hot meal; most excellently, indeed. ...though you admit you are bit put off that he was not actually carrying your things like he said he was. No respect, man. No respect.

"Ah, what? Speak up like you got a pair, foo'. Gin-san can't hear your tiny whiny gir~ly man voice from all the way up here on the mountain!"

"I-Itoshiki Nozomu, G-Gin-san."

Wait, there is some funny, isn't there about the kanji of this guy's name? Oh, whatever.

"Good, get in here then, my dear idiot!" you drop your manly pretense for your normal tone of voice.

Off-balance yet again, Nozomu stares at you dumbfounded, all part of the plan, as you turn on your heel to swagger at a stately stride right back into your domain. It was then that everything went wrong, starting with a giggle...
>> No. 91552
File 124863477224.jpg - (209.39KB , 640x568 , 2368146.jpg ) [iqdb]
91552
"Eeee~ tee hee hee~!"

Yes, a giggle, which stopped you dead cold in your tracks. This giggle sounded way too many octaves and pitches high to be coming from a guy, falsetto or not. Shoot, even if he was a real deal castrato, his voice before sounded like a man who never got the procedure done in the first place.

"Stronger! Hotter! Better! Ahhhnnn~!" a hot---lusty siren's voice blows in your ear, as something slips---nay---envelops you like a second skin, living---breathing...

It is a body and most definitely female judging by those heavenly bumps you can feel massaging into your back. By Benten, MASSAGING!? Was that even humanly possible?! Those roving hands like silk and spice leaving blooms of heat and want wherever they touch, and---HO MY BUDDHA---something something smooth, cold and hot, is snaking around underneath your toga. Bad. Very bad. VERY BAD!

"Mmmmm~, it's been so~ long! Thanks for inviting me in, lover~."

Suddenly, you find yourself flung onto the bed, a wild and violent transition that ends naught with pain but a descent into paralyzing pleasure. Yes, you have been paralyzed by feeling too good and it was getting better, incomprehensible to words, your mind going blank. But not only is there someone behind you, that sweet spicy drug, another is creeping up the front, slowly, gently, like a tigress stalking unseen through the tall grass.

A curtain of long rich amaranth red hair falls around you as you come face to face at last with your seductress.

"Hullo, there~," she coos, licking her lips in a decidedly predatory manner.

You would speak, if you could and---HOLY ZEN, there is another snakey thing going underneath your toga! Sweet Mother of Mercy, you are not going to make it at this rate?!

"I see, I still have the touch, tee hee hee. You know...I was a bit worried you wouldn't let, mmmm~!, me in, but everything worked out, didn't it, lover~? I like it when my men are just a little bit, tee hee hee, stu~pid."

S-Stupid? What! Wow, the background...it's gone all pink and flowery and sparkly...stuff.

"You were supposed to say, Girls on Film, first~."

Oh @#$%. Guess you got a bit carried away with your manly swaggering. Ooooo, ear bi~ting~...!

"Mou~, it did not have to come to this, you know?" she pouts, making pitiable doe eyes at you, which has an astonishingly endearing effect. "But everyone is so selfish keeping that man to themselves. Hmph! Koakuma's always been a good girl! But right now---I just want to be selfish~, too, tee hee hee."

The temptress leans back, revealing that she was in fact fully clothed---and something else, entirely, as she straddles you. Goodness to Benten that is unholy sexy-!

"Now, Gin-san~, look into my eyes."

B-Bat wings on her head and coming off from her back? Y-Youka---h-hey, her eyes; they are...g-glowing...golden.

"Say it: tell me you want to---abuse me, mmmmm~!, more!"

CAUTION: What shall you do?

Choose...

[] OBEY.
[] RESIST.
[] ??????

And

If RESIST:

[] ZEN
[] SHINTO
[] REASON
[] CHARM
[] COURAGE
[] ??????

---
>> No. 91555
[x] OBEY.
Mainly to counter >>91554 .
>> No. 91559
[x] RESIST.
[x] ZEN.

Empty raft counter!
>> No. 91562
[x] RESIST
[x] JUSTICE HEADBUT

Haha!
>> No. 91563
[x] RESIST.
[x] ZEN.
>> No. 91581
[X] OBEY.
[X] ZEN
[X] CHARM

Come now, are you really foregoing the opportunity to dazzle her so intensely that she forgets to drain you at all?
>> No. 91583
>>91581

Oh-ho! How could I be so BLIND?!

But of course!

Although, we should probably use the following combo:

[x] OBEY
[x] SHINTO
[x] CHARM

Mainly because Shinto has a rank of AAA, and Zen only a rank of C. Better success rate that way.
>> No. 91584
>>91583

Well, the ZEN is to maintain inner focus and not fall entirely under her power.

Of course, if we wanted to be really awe-inspiring, we could use TRANSFORM. It would be incredibly unwise, but it would have the added benefit of being goddamned hilarious.
>> No. 91587
[ODIN] OBEY
[ODIN] ZEN
[ODIN] CHARM

Empty your boat if you know what I mean
>> No. 91588
[X] OBEY.
[X] ZEN
[X] CHARM
>> No. 91599
File 124865484421.jpg - (212.88KB , 900x1239 , 1362054.jpg ) [iqdb]
91599
---

SYSTEM UPDATE:

[X] OBEY + ZEN + CHARM

"You disappoint me, Anakin."

Current Phase: Afternoon - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Shido", Hibino Norihiko - Blassreiter OST

---

@#$%!

You...

"Say it~, Gin-san."

Can't go...

"Don't resist~."

Down like this...

"Tee hee hee~."

Had things been different you might have been okay with just giving in, but your sense of worth will not allow such a gross violation. You were your own person: mind, body, and soul. You refuse to be reduced to someone else's plaything to be used and discarded at convenience. Certainly, the premise of pleasure in the flesh is strong, but did you not yourself make a commitment?

The Middle Way.

To err is human and are we not creatures of opposite extremes, light and darkness? But you made a promise to be so much more that these extremes would not make you for therein lies sin. Addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy and unprofitable, and conversely, addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.

Will you submit yourself? Degrade. Kneel. Be brought to heel like a common animal merely just for a fleeting, earthly pleasure?

Are YOU a hypocrite to whom nothing is sacred?

"Why, yes, I would love to abuse you some more," you reply, wearing a most empty smile, pawing like a blind man for the harlot of Babylon's heaving bosom. "A little indulgence couldn't hurt, my dear."

PATHETIC.

She lets loose with a thrilled cry, but before yourselves may consummate into such grand hedonistic debauchery that it will be spoken of for centuries to come, a flash interrupts. It is white, blinding, and ephemeral, but it cuts through the heat of the moment like a thunderbolt hurled by the thundering wrath of a furious god. You hear the whir of machinery, and just like that, you feel terribly awake---as if roused from a horrendous nightmares. The spell had been broken.

Fortunes, what have you done?

There is a young man standing in the open doorway, clad in a black---gakuran school uniform(?!), and in his hands, he holds an---instant photo camera. His toothy white smile is not a pleasant one.

"Well-well, what do we have here? A naughty little pervert demon making the moves on Her Ladyship, Remilia Scarlet's new favorite guest, who was happy to oblige her advances, forsaking his soul, for one brief instant of ecstasy. Mm-mmm-mmm! Sounds like a recipe for a scandal, don't you think so?"

Koakuma colors and pales, all but leaping off of you, the presence behind you melting away into a cloud of colored perfume that rejoins the main body, now standing uneasily on her own two feet.

"I-Ito-shiki?! Wha-what are you-" she stutters, suddenly very vulnerable and out of her element.

"Wrong~ answer. It's not Itoshiki; it's Araragi, you pervert devil girl!"

"Kya!"

"Aw, why so embarrassed, Koakuma-san? Please, continue. I'm just snapping these up---because you just know Mistress Remilia will want this event documented for posterity's sake."

"Y-You mis-understand, Araragi-k-kun! I---Ko-Koakuma was just-"

"Tsk, tsk, save your excuses little devil girl," he cuts in mercilessly with a disinterested snort. "Scram, Koakuma. I think you've embarrassed Patchouli-sama enough for tonight. ...We'll have a good talk: you, me, and Sakuya-san. Later. Understand?"

Defeated and driven metaphorically per say into prostration upon the ground, the amaranth-haired seductress wails hysterically as she promptly egresses from the scene of the crime at top speed, with her water works on full blast. The wrecked girl nearly bowls over Araragi in the process, too. You feel vindicated in a way seeing that she will get her just deserts, but at the same time, you can sympathize for you get the palpable sinking feeling you were about to receive a serious buttchewing that you were never going to forget. Right now.

The young man leaves the room for a bit, pocketing away the incriminating evidence, only to return in short order, wheeling in the serving cart. He stops just by your bedside, before stepping back, his expression---perplexed as he stares vacantly at you. That thousand yard stare is unnerving to say the least, but soon, Araragi returns, eyes coloring once more; his expression was of---pity.

"Eh, I guess, it was too much to hope for more from a weak, fragile human, not that I should be talking. I used to be one myself, but man, I'll be honest with you, Ronin-san, swearing by the soul I don't have anymore---that was pathetic. People like you make me wonder why I fought so hard to come back...to get back what I lost. ...then again, if Itoshiki hadn't gotten molested by that girl, this might not have happened."

Those words dispensed, then does the roguish young man's frame tense rigidly, like a coiled serpent poised to strike. Disdain and venom oozes from every surface and orifice of his body, emitting an almost sulfurous shimmer around him. You swear you can smell the air just burning as those dark eyes bore themselves into your being, stripping away every armor plate of self worth you had until you were naked as you were truly. Absurdly, right now, it was as if you were standing before everyone who has ever believed in you or will ever believe.

But his eyes, they were not filled with hate... No, it was their eyes, everyone: Heartbreak. Disappointment. Betrayal. Despair.

"But let's be real here. I'll say how I really feel about you right now, man. ...You sicken me, you tiny. honorless. little. Beast."

Araragi's condemning dismissal of you is swift and harsh.

"Stuff your swallow face with your damn pig gruel and put those rags on. I'll be outside---if you need me."
>> No. 91600
File 124865493173.jpg - (24.00KB , 361x428 , 3005987.jpg ) [iqdb]
91600
---

SYSTEM MSG: It appears you have failed the TN for the Seduction check. Your character parameters with the Zen modifier was just was not enough to maintain your will while trying to actively participate in the aforementioned activities. Adding insult to injury, well, you got photographed and you got told. Thus, as of this moment...

NEGATIVE PENALTY: -1 Rank to All Personal Stats. -1 Rank to your skill --- Lore: ZEN. All stats and skills will still gain EXP as normal but will be considered one rank lower than they really are during play. The affected stats appear as follows...

Knowledge - Lvl1 Aware
Courage - Lvl2 Reliable
Expression - Lvl1 Rough
Diligence - Lvl1 Callow
Understanding - Lvl1 Basic

Lore: Zen - Rank D - You know some basic concepts about ZEN, but that's about it. Meditation is a feat well-beyond your casual, fleeting interest.

***The Mantra of "Empty Your Boat" is unusable.

ALIGNMENT SHIFT: Your title has changed to "The Silver-Haired Punk".

Also, you have earned the achievements: "Hall of Shame: Seduced by the Little Devil in Prada!", "Hall of Shame: Foolish one, you know not your limits.", and "Hall of Shame: Welcome to the Dark Side!"

***RE: NEGATIVE PENALTY --- This is not a permanent debuff, and there are ways to redeem Izanon, but must you must do so in action. Talk is cheap and is it not in his actions that shows the measure of a man? You have shown yours, certainly.

***RE: ALIGNMENT SHIFT --- You did something stupid, boo~hoo~, but it's not like it's the end of the world, right? You are still you, except there are going to be consequences. People might not look at you the same way they used to or treat you the same either. That said, this is shift marks a big change in how you will conduct yourself and what insights you may gain. On the other hand, some people might be a lot more open to consorting with you...now.

There is always hope for change, of course. You are not the person you were a moment ago. If you want to change, you can change, but that change has to start with YOU.

---

Ouch.

...

Hours seem to pass by as you simply lay there---shocked. Shame unlike any you have ever experienced stains the very fiber of your being, a black disgusting tar that as you try to claw away only becomes more persistent, as if you have been tainted irrevocably with filth.

Anger.

You want to be angry, but at what and who? Were you not truly strong? Had you not grasped the wisdom of Mima's lesson and provided your own answer, true to yourself? Why? Who was to blame for this misery you felt now, this torment that brings tears to your eyes and contorts your face into a beastly, ugly snarl?

The truth? You did not understand your true limits. Try you did to beat the little devil at her own game, a gross underestimation of her powers; she a creature of the night, empowered by desire from the darkest of hearts.

Aye, the only person to blame was you. Your arrogance.

But how will you come to terms with this? Had you not always done by right? Was it not preposterous to accept you had made an error of judgment, even when you yourself hypothesized that you had a grave character flaw?

Anger. ANGER!

It would be a trifle to march through that door right now on the war path, beginning with that silly boy and work your way to the little whore! No, they were all to blame for this. EVERYONE. It was not your fault. You-!

You...

CAUTION: What shall you do?

Choose...

[] The Middle Way is not without its falls and missteps. What is important is the lesson learned and the wisdom gained. Embrace your true self and grow stronger.
[] I messed up! Damnation. What can I do to make this right again?
[] Cheer up, Emokid. We'll make them all pay.
[] ??????

---
>> No. 91601
File 124865587174.jpg - (50.59KB , 500x1590 , 1235809441035.jpg ) [iqdb]
91601
[x] The Middle Way is not without its falls and missteps. What is important is the lesson learned and the wisdom gained. Embrace your true self and grow stronger.

So many people are tempted by the short and thorny route and yet so few choose the lengthy but potentially safer route. Don't mind this ranting.

Picture totally unrelated.
>> No. 91603
[x] The Middle Way is not without its falls and missteps. What is important is the lesson learned and the wisdom gained. Embrace your true self and grow stronger.
>> No. 91604
*shakes head*

Seriously, J?! Lowering ALL our stats, plus reducing a skill by a WHOLE RANK, PERMANENTLY?! Plus changing our alignment from Neutral to Evil?

Punishing us for repeated bad decisions I can understand - but JUST ONE!? Seriously, you suck, J.

*flips the Double Deuce*

Unless we get everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) back in the next 5 choices, or you affect some retconning IMMEDIATELY, this is one reader that's not coming back.

Punishing us for our bad choices, fine, I can see that.

But, seriously, J - punishment DOESN'T fit the crime here.
>> No. 91606
That's a teensy bit extreme don't you think J?
And no back one option vote for when anon makes the chocie only an idiot would make?

Honestly, I don't think anyone goes so far on one bad choice.
That, and I greatly dislike a person who takes the stance of 'do it perfect or else'.
>> No. 91607
So, Gentlemen, would you rather I kill Izanon and force you guys to go back X number of steps, or shall we man up to what we did and try to redeem ourselves? A debuff is a debuff, but like I said, you can un-debuff yourself through your actions.

Quests and Write-ins would certainly help. Shoot, making it back to Hakurei Shrine this in-game Day's night would be an epic feat in itself in Izanon's present state. I would certainly be open to re-buffing a stat line or two.

In fact, you all are very likely going to get grilled and tested by Remilia with Sakuya watching on in short order. Seems like a good opportunity right there too to get your act together.

And let's face it, Gents, would you get this hot and bothered in any other CYOA on this board? I think I'm staying quite true to my word to be different from everyone else and deliver a "for real" adventure. I don't believe in bad ends because they're just a big fat waste time amounting to the GM telling the player "Hey, stupid! Go this way! I don't have anything planned for that!"

So we got this, which probably takes way more effort than just straight killing you guys and making you go back. I'm doing all the hard work. All you folks have to do is kick back and enjoy the game. You made a mistake? Big deal. You were in over your head. Learn from it and move on. I already promised this wasn't going to be a cakewalk Gensokyo. You will be challenged.

To ask me to put forth any less than my best is a disservice not only to me but to yourselves too.
>> No. 91609
>>91606
>>And no back one option vote for when anon makes the chocie only an idiot would make?
>>That, and I greatly dislike a person who takes the stance of 'do it perfect or else'.

...
>> No. 91610
...you're missing the POINT, J.

Okay, FINE. We screwed up, to punish us for it is not the problem here.

What we're pissed about is the EXTENT to which you've screwed us.

Personally, for me, if you'd chosen to drop our Zen ranking by part of a rank (or even a whole rank), you'd not have gotten the response you did.

But to subtract a whole level from EACH of our statistics, with no apparent recourse? Waay too harsh, especially since we've been making ALL GOOD decisions up to this point. That's like saying "Okay, do 10 things RIGHT, and you'll go up a rank, but you do just 1 thing WRONG, and I'll just torpedo your ability to, you know, BE HEROIC."

There are PLENTY of things you could've chosen to do besides socking our ability to SURVIVE. Example: Koakuma is Patchy's familiar (usually), so Patchy might know what we tried on her, and she might tell either Sakuya or Remilia, who would undoubtedly inform the other, making progress within the manor that much more difficult.

Frankly, what you've chosen is highly unusual, and quite possibly cruel. By greatly diminishing our abilities, thus increasing the chances of death and/or DOOM, you've basically set forth the tone for the ENTIRE series: "Always be the hero, because you NEVER KNOW, I might just decide to torpedo you guys for ONE bad decision." Which, if I remember right, was a decision WE, the PLAYERS, chose AGAINST. Wasn't that the whole point of the Open Palm/Middle Way/Closed Fist choice?! Instead, now, you've forced us into always choosing the hero option, if for no other reason than pure survival...yeah, REAL generous of you.

And a "for real" adventure?! Give me a break. If this is what you call a "for real" adventure, then I'd personally rather go back to the "fakes" that have thus far dominated the board.
>> No. 91612
Now that I've thought about it a little more, stat gains are done through choosing correct character interaction options, like gaining small power items from fairies in the shooters.
Choosing the obey option last time was the equlivant of running into a bullet on a stage, causing Izanagi to drop some of his power.

My gripe is that we've just lost at least the equlivant of six or seven large power items and a bomb.
So choosing better options, not going for the 'fuck the succubus because we want an H-scene' type crap would be moving to the dropped items, good write-ins would be like focusing near items, and making it back to Hakurei shrine would be similar to the auto-collect line, correct?

The allignment change was a bit much. Unless we're leaning twoards chaotic neutral with a dash of lawful now, then I have no issues.

The stage isn't over just yet, and the items have not yet fallen off the screen.
We just need to be a bit more observant next time. Because it totally wasn't obvious that someone would walk in and rat us out.
>> No. 91613
[X] The Middle Way is not without its falls and missteps. What is important is the lesson learned and the wisdom gained. Embrace your true self and grow stronger.

Honestly, in my opinion, we're lucky an alignment shift and some power drops is the worst of it. That was a test aimed squarely at how well we kept our neutral alignment, and we failed it spectacularly.

Stand up, dust off, and walk forward. It's a heavy blow, but the most painful wounds are the one you remember most.
>> No. 91614
Forgot vote in heated rant. Wii doesn't have copy/paste ect.

[X]The Middle Way is not without its falls and missteps. What is important is the lesson learned and the wisdom gained. Embrace your true self and grow stronger.
>> No. 91615
What happened was a bit of a shocker, but think about it. A man's beliefs, convictions, and principles are in many ways what define him, but we're a GOD. They define us in the most literal sense imaginable, so even the smallest dogmatic conflict could potentially undo us.

That said, J to the E, I'm not sure I agree with you. I haven't seen such a serious screw-over from a seemingly harmless choice with no fair warning since MiG (and if you're too new to be familiar with that reference, I'll give you a hint: you aren't being flattered). How do you get from "sexy fun n' games with Koakuma~" to "OHMYGOD YOU'RE A WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT" in one update? I am not just talking about the stat reduction, either.

You tell us to enjoy the ride, but if we're to expect surprise speed bumps like this in the future, you WILL be breeding rampant paranoia, which is rarely a good thing. I'd hate to see a promising new writer make the same mistakes Kira (and YAF) did, then end up bitter from Anon's response.

You've described this CYOA as both an easygoing, "shounen everything" roller coaster and the aforementioned serious business, "real" adventure. In light of this new update, I'd be hard pressed to say that the two have been reconciled effectively.

One other thing: BAD ENDs are there for a reason. You're trying to roll with your readers, and I respect that, but no one likes a long, miserable, despair-ridden spiral towards a SAD END. There are times when the readers will opt to take a risk that they are not prepared to lose in the name of entertainment. If the story reaches a point where nothing good can reasonably come of the situation any longer -- like after the death of the protagonist or main heroine -- that is what BAD ENDs are really meant for. They have been misused in the past, but I trust you won't make that mistake. Just don't be afraid to use the tools you have at your disposal if you think the path Anon is taking will hurt the story (as opposed to "what you have planned").
>> No. 91617
Well, since heads are cooling down a bit, allow me to explain more on what just transpired.

Basically, we set precedent for Izanon way back when folks decided to be The Middle Way for how Izanon is going to conduct himself. The gist I got from Norseman's write-in was that the Middle Way was not about morality. Izanon aspired to conduct himself above and beyond that, and so far, he has not done anything particularly heroic or evil. He was simply surviving and being himself, a bit of a macho lecherous man-child with a good head on his shoulders.

Now, remember how I talked about the whole risk and reward deal? Well, that scene with Koakuma just now? Izanon did something totally out of character, and we all essentially wagered his entire character on it using ZEN as a modifier to increase our chances of success.

Had Izanon just obeyed, I probably wouldn't have penalized him, but we all tried to take control of the situation and turn the tables right back on Koakuma. Trying just to resist her influence would be only an act of survival / self-preservation, which would be within his character and cause no alignment shifts. It was arguably also the safer, easier choice.

But we did a selfish and frankly foolish thing. Izanon's baseline stats is a bunch of 2s and a 3 in Courage, which was modified with a C rank of ZEN. ...I think we all grossly overestimated his abilities.

Bottom line? Selfishness. Self-indulgence. Self-gratification. Self-serving. Etc. That's not The Middle Way. You knew you were being seduced. You saw she had slipped her way into your room and had no business being there, but chose to not only entertain her but play her back.

That is a huge, gross breach of character.

Had we succeeded the check, it would have been a whole different dilemma to deal with. Izanon would have no penalties but the alignment shift would have happened for sure. As for the dilemma, imagine this: e.g. Will we take responsibility for Koakuma? How are we going to explain what happened to the rest of the SDM folks? What are we going to do when word of this scandalous foray reaches everyone else? People have a certain perception and expectation of Izanon, right now, you know? And what we did will change things a lot.

Now, on a different note to address the concerns of the gentleman regarding this CYOA's image and my words. Frankly, I believe I gave ample warning about consequences. In fact, right before we moved on from Thread 2, I was touching up on this in my Risk and Reward blurb. I feel I have always tried to keep it in the back of everyone's mind that there are consequences for what we do, but at the same time, through my statements about being laidback, for real, shounen-esque...I was trying to communicate that it was okay to make mistakes, despite the serious business.

Yes, we're going to pay for it, but it's not impossible to recover from such falls. Hell, sometimes gambling on that risk can give some pretty profound rewards. And if we fail, it's not a big deal, we just got to work through it together and get the character back on track---whatever that track might be.

Right now, I'm giving everyone the choice once again to decide what they want to start aiming for. Stay on the Middle Way, or shall we switch gears to the Closed Fist or the Open Palm? Respectively, those are the Badass and Hero paths, which will have their own unique revelations. Picking the character class and the paths were big decisions; I'm not kidding.

And I will admit, you fellas drive me crazy, walking that knife edge and getting all unpredictable on me, but that's part of what makes this CYOA fun.

I...don't know what else needs to be said. The Middle Way seems to be leading the votes right now, but if we want to do something different, I won't start writing until the morning or if I see an effort to do something else.

Semper fi. Carry on.
>> No. 91618
I get what you're trying to say, but seriously - we woke up in the prologue, and you fucked us over in the first mission, when we're at shit stats. You don't give such a harsh penalty at the beginning of a game, even on hard mode. This was too much. Not to mention, it is indeed in his personality to oggle and flirt with all the pretty girls as he has been doing. I didn't even expect there to be an h-scene so early in the CYOA.

[x] Go back two choices.

Also, screw the three paths. We make our own.
>> No. 91619
>>Right now, I'm giving everyone the choice once again to decide what they want to start aiming for. Stay on the Middle Way, or shall we switch gears to the Closed Fist or the Open Palm? Respectively, those are the Badass and Hero paths, which will have their own unique revelations. Picking the character class and the paths were big decisions; I'm not kidding.

>>And I will admit, you fellas drive me crazy, walking that knife edge and getting all unpredictable on me, but that's part of what makes this CYOA fun.

Oh? Well then you're gonna love this.

[x] Fuck this shit. Open Palm, Closed Fist, Middle Way... Crutches that limit you, chain you. You've been searching for your own path... pursuing your true self. Ask yourself: why are you ashamed? Is it because you failed to resist? A mistake and a wrongdoing are two different things. Besides, you would have simply accepted the devil's offer, had you not tied yourself to the pursuit of "enlightenment". Are you ashamed because your "scandalous activity" was revealed? Pah! Who cares what others think? Your only regret would be if you inconvenienced your hosts. Though you have not yet truly "found" yourself, you know that it -- you -- are there. You know what you want, and you know what you want to do.
[x]If you must draw strength from something, let it be faith. Not the faith of others, for you are still unknown. Let it be faith in yourself... in your resolution to be honest with yourself, and to find your own truth. In your ability to learn, grow, flourish, then gain and keep what is important to you. Doubt is your enemy. Let your actions show this from now on. And, to start...
-[x] Find and comfort Koakuma, because it upsets you to see a woman like that, even if she tried to seduce you.
--[x]If she hates herself, reassure her that you aren't angry at her, and nothing was wrong with what transpired (professionalism aside, and even then, a trifle). Had you been honest with yourself, you wouldn't have even tried to resist.
--[x] If she hates you for some reason, simply offer your apologies and leave. Let her cool her jets.
-[x] If you run into that judgemental bastard again, ignore him. He'll probably be doing the same to you (not that you care).

I hate games that make you behave along the lines that other people have established for max benefit. It's okay to want to save the little boy and fuck the girl's brains out, isn't it? So here's what I think: screw the alignment system. It's meant to be a tool in the first place, anyway. From now on, where we stand in terms of philosophies written by other people is irrelevant.

So, J to the E, you say you aren't afraid to write where Anon takes you? Well, are you ready to put your money where your mouth is?
OR ARE YOU A COWARD?!
>> No. 91621
[x] Fuck this shit. Open Palm, Closed Fist, Middle Way... Crutches that limit you, chain you. You've been searching for your own path... pursuing your true self. Ask yourself: why are you ashamed? Is it because you failed to resist? A mistake and a wrongdoing are two different things. Besides, you would have simply accepted the devil's offer, had you not tied yourself to the pursuit of "enlightenment". Are you ashamed because your "scandalous activity" was revealed? Pah! Who cares what others think? Your only regret would be if you inconvenienced your hosts. Though you have not yet truly "found" yourself, you know that it -- you -- are there. You know what you want, and you know what you want to do.
[x]If you must draw strength from something, let it be faith. Not the faith of others, for you are still unknown. Let it be faith in yourself... in your resolution to be honest with yourself, and to find your own truth. In your ability to learn, grow, flourish, then gain and keep what is important to you. Doubt is your enemy. Let your actions show this from now on. And, to start...
-[x] Find and comfort Koakuma, because it upsets you to see a woman like that, even if she tried to seduce you.
--[x]If she hates herself, reassure her that you aren't angry at her, and nothing was wrong with what transpired (professionalism aside, and even then, a trifle). Had you been honest with yourself, you wouldn't have even tried to resist.
--[x] If she hates you for some reason, simply offer your apologies and leave. Let her cool her jets.
-[x] If you run into that judgemental bastard again, ignore him. He'll probably be doing the same to you (not that you care).
>> No. 91622
[x] Fuck this shit. Open Palm, Closed Fist, Middle Way... Crutches that limit you, chain you. You've been searching for your own path... pursuing your true self. Ask yourself: why are you ashamed? Is it because you failed to resist? A mistake and a wrongdoing are two different things. Besides, you would have simply accepted the devil's offer, had you not tied yourself to the pursuit of "enlightenment". Are you ashamed because your "scandalous activity" was revealed? Pah! Who cares what others think? Your only regret would be if you inconvenienced your hosts. Though you have not yet truly "found" yourself, you know that it -- you -- are there. You know what you want, and you know what you want to do.
[x]If you must draw strength from something, let it be faith. Not the faith of others, for you are still unknown. Let it be faith in yourself... in your resolution to be honest with yourself, and to find your own truth. In your ability to learn, grow, flourish, then gain and keep what is important to you. Doubt is your enemy. Let your actions show this from now on. And, to start...
-[x] Find and comfort Koakuma, because it upsets you to see a woman like that, even if she tried to seduce you.
--[x]If she hates herself, reassure her that you aren't angry at her, and nothing was wrong with what transpired (professionalism aside, and even then, a trifle). Had you been honest with yourself, you wouldn't have even tried to resist.
--[x] If she hates you for some reason, simply offer your apologies and leave. Let her cool her jets.
-[x] If you run into that judgemental bastard again, ignore him. He'll probably be doing the same to you (not that you care).

Feels good, man.
>> No. 91624
[X] The Middle Way is not without its falls and missteps. What is important is the lesson learned and the wisdom gained. Embrace your true self and grow stronger.

We messed up and were punished for it. Harshly, yes, but nothing to lose one's shit over.
>> No. 91625
[x] Fuck this shit. Open Palm, Closed Fist, Middle Way... Crutches that limit you, chain you. You've been searching for your own path... pursuing your true self. Ask yourself: why are you ashamed? Is it because you failed to resist? A mistake and a wrongdoing are two different things. Besides, you would have simply accepted the devil's offer, had you not tied yourself to the pursuit of "enlightenment". Are you ashamed because your "scandalous activity" was revealed? Pah! Who cares what others think? Your only regret would be if you inconvenienced your hosts. Though you have not yet truly "found" yourself, you know that it -- you -- are there. You know what you want, and you know what you want to do.
[x]If you must draw strength from something, let it be faith. Not the faith of others, for you are still unknown. Let it be faith in yourself... in your resolution to be honest with yourself, and to find your own truth. In your ability to learn, grow, flourish, then gain and keep what is important to you. Doubt is your enemy. Let your actions show this from now on. And, to start...
-[x] Find and comfort Koakuma, because it upsets you to see a woman like that, even if she tried to seduce you.
--[x]If she hates herself, reassure her that you aren't angry at her, and nothing was wrong with what transpired (professionalism aside, and even then, a trifle). Had you been honest with yourself, you wouldn't have even tried to resist.
--[x] If she hates you for some reason, simply offer your apologies and leave. Let her cool her jets.
-[x] If you run into that judgemental bastard again, ignore him. He'll probably be doing the same to you (not that you care).

Repent, etc.
>> No. 91626
[x] >>91619
>> No. 91627
[x] Fuck this shit. Open Palm, Closed Fist, Middle Way... Crutches that limit you, chain you. You've been searching for your own path... pursuing your true self. Ask yourself: why are you ashamed? Is it because you failed to resist? A mistake and a wrongdoing are two different things. Besides, you would have simply accepted the devil's offer, had you not tied yourself to the pursuit of "enlightenment". Are you ashamed because your "scandalous activity" was revealed? Pah! Who cares what others think? Your only regret would be if you inconvenienced your hosts. Though you have not yet truly "found" yourself, you know that it -- you -- are there. You know what you want, and you know what you want to do.
[x]If you must draw strength from something, let it be faith. Not the faith of others, for you are still unknown. Let it be faith in yourself... in your resolution to be honest with yourself, and to find your own truth. In your ability to learn, grow, flourish, then gain and keep what is important to you. Doubt is your enemy. Let your actions show this from now on. And, to start...
-[x] Find and comfort Koakuma, because it upsets you to see a woman like that, even if she tried to seduce you.
--[x]If she hates herself, reassure her that you aren't angry at her, and nothing was wrong with what transpired (professionalism aside, and even then, a trifle). Had you been honest with yourself, you wouldn't have even tried to resist.
--[x] If she hates you for some reason, simply offer your apologies and leave. Let her cool her jets.
-[x] If you run into that judgemental bastard again, ignore him. He'll probably be doing the same to you (not that you care).
>> No. 91629
If you wake up and you're so hungover that you don't really care that the dead prostitute in the closet is a boy and Revolver is playing backwards, you should probably switch the phonograph to play Revolver properly, go back to bed, and hope everything will have reversed itself by the time you wake up again.

[x] You are a cascade of emotion right now, and without an intervention it soon seems you'll be spiraling in some sort of existential crisis, so you some Enlightenment. Fast.
- [x] Eat that mushroom. All of it.
>> No. 91631
If you wake up and you're so hungover that you don't really care that the dead prostitute in the closet is a boy and Revolver is playing backwards, you should probably switch the phonograph to play Revolver properly, go back to bed, and hope everything will have reversed itself by the time you wake up again.

[x] You are a cascade of emotion right now, and without an intervention it soon seems you'll be spiraling in some sort of existential crisis, so you some Enlightenment. Fast.
- [x] Eat that mushroom. All of it.

~uɐɯ pooƃ slǝǝɟ
>> No. 91636
[x] Fuck this shit. Open Palm, Closed Fist, Middle Way... Crutches that limit you, chain you. You've been searching for your own path... pursuing your true self. Ask yourself: why are you ashamed? Is it because you failed to resist? A mistake and a wrongdoing are two different things. Besides, you would have simply accepted the devil's offer, had you not tied yourself to the pursuit of "enlightenment". Are you ashamed because your "scandalous activity" was revealed? Pah! Who cares what others think? Your only regret would be if you inconvenienced your hosts. Though you have not yet truly "found" yourself, you know that it -- you -- are there. You know what you want, and you know what you want to do.
[x]If you must draw strength from something, let it be faith. Not the faith of others, for you are still unknown. Let it be faith in yourself... in your resolution to be honest with yourself, and to find your own truth. In your ability to learn, grow, flourish, then gain and keep what is important to you. Doubt is your enemy. Let your actions show this from now on. And, to start...
-[x] Find and comfort Koakuma, because it upsets you to see a woman like that, even if she tried to seduce you.
--[x]If she hates herself, reassure her that you aren't angry at her, and nothing was wrong with what transpired (professionalism aside, and even then, a trifle). Had you been honest with yourself, you wouldn't have even tried to resist.
--[x] If she hates you for some reason, simply offer your apologies and leave. Let her cool her jets.
-[x] If you run into that judgemental bastard again, ignore him. He'll probably be doing the same to you (not that you care).
>> No. 91638
[x] Fuck this shit. Open Palm, Closed Fist, Middle Way... Crutches that limit you, chain you. You've been searching for your own path... pursuing your true self. Ask yourself: why are you ashamed? Is it because you failed to resist? A mistake and a wrongdoing are two different things. Besides, you would have simply accepted the devil's offer, had you not tied yourself to the pursuit of "enlightenment". Are you ashamed because your "scandalous activity" was revealed? Pah! Who cares what others think? Your only regret would be if you inconvenienced your hosts. Though you have not yet truly "found" yourself, you know that it -- you -- are there. You know what you want, and you know what you want to do.
[x]If you must draw strength from something, let it be faith. Not the faith of others, for you are still unknown. Let it be faith in yourself... in your resolution to be honest with yourself, and to find your own truth. In your ability to learn, grow, flourish, then gain and keep what is important to you. Doubt is your enemy. Let your actions show this from now on. And, to start...
-[x] Find and comfort Koakuma, because it upsets you to see a woman like that, even if she tried to seduce you.
--[x]If she hates herself, reassure her that you aren't angry at her, and nothing was wrong with what transpired (professionalism aside, and even then, a trifle). Had you been honest with yourself, you wouldn't have even tried to resist.
--[x] If she hates you for some reason, simply offer your apologies and leave. Let her cool her jets.
-[x] If you run into that judgemental bastard again, ignore him. He'll probably be doing the same to you (not that you care).
>> No. 91640
>>Basically, we set precedent for Izanon way back when folks decided to be The Middle Way for how Izanon is going to conduct himself. The gist I got from Norseman's write-in was that the Middle Way was not about morality.

Actually, the Middle Way as taught by the Buddha is (at least on one level) about morality, namely the Noble Eightfold Path. And in this context, banging a succubus is not necessarily wrong in itself, morally speaking, it merely represents an attachment to sensory pleasure, and therefore is a hindrance on the path to Enlightenment (there may also be a point, though sightly controversial, that refusing sensory pleasures for its own sake would be equally wrong, so damned if you do, damned if you don't).

Or to quote the man himself.

>>And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his...knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how one is made pure in three ways by bodily action.

I'm therefore not sure if giving in to a smokin' hot chick trying to bang us would be any more wrong than the sheer arrogance or shameless flirting Izanon has been up to so far. YMMV, though.

However, the cause for criticism here would rather be that a sudden kick in the nuts is not only upsetting for the audience, it also goes against the deeper meaning of the Middle Way, the philosophical concept of cause and effect as taught by the Buddha. The Buddha teaches that a man's actions affect all things around him in proportion to their nature, and quite simply the effect seems disproportionate to the cause in this case. Therefore, from an ethical and philosophical perspective, the effect created by our actions seems illogical.

Not to insinuate that I know your story better than yourself, but personally I would have gone with what >>91610 suggested and incorporated the fact that you've been banging her familiar into any dealings with Patchy, and by extension the rest of the mansion. Which could have been real gold, for instance dealing with an amused Sakuya mercilessly and constantly teasing Izanon about his little escapades (here I shall add that I like your Sakuya very much, to give credit where credit's due).

On a more general level, I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with an alignment system, if one wishes to incorporate this, however this alignment we've been expected to uphold was supposed to be based on Zen Buddhism, and as far as I have outlined, it doesn't seem to be. In any case the story has been enjoyable so far, and I'd hate to see it derail into a shitfest.
>> No. 91643
Wow, so this is what we're going to do is it? ...Man, I hate to see what some of y'all do on a regular basis in full blown video games with a "Morality" / "Alignment" mechanic, e.g. Chaotic-Evil vs. Lawful-Good, Paragon vs. Renegade, etc.

Oh well, if this is the way it's going to be, it's the way it's going to be. The Write-In it is and writing I go.
>> No. 91646
>>Man, I hate to see what some of y'all do on a regular basis in full blown video games with a "Morality" / "Alignment" mechanic, e.g. Chaotic-Evil vs. Lawful-Good, Paragon vs. Renegade, etc.

Actually, I usually pick one extreme because such games tend to reward being completely of one alignment or the other. It's pretty lame, and takes away from the experience, but I don't want my character to suffer for being more "middle-of-the-road" than normal.

Thankfully, this is not a video game.
>> No. 91662
I go away for one weekend and everything goes to shit. What the fuck. One kick in the nuts and Anon goes running. Fuck yeah it hurt, but changing the fundamentals of our path? This sounds like Anon can't handle punishment and rebound.
>> No. 91670
>>91662

Rather, most of us realized that we hadn't picked what we wanted when making the choice to begin with.

I think I speak for more than just myself when I say that the Middle Way was originally picked because Anon wanted the most freedom to choose what he wanted, rather than because he wanted to become enlightened. It was, quite simply, a misunderstanding.

Enlightenment? Please. We're already a God. Ascension would mean forsaking this world (our new dominion). Better to leave that sort of thing for wisdom-hungry mortals.... which is sort of ironic, when you think about it.
>> No. 91677
File 124871793416.jpg - (59.93KB , 540x810 , 2719798.jpg ) [iqdb]
91677
---

System UPDATE:

[X] Ze Write-in

"I sense much anger in you, but I am bound by my word to act on your behalf."

Current Phase: Afternoon - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Der Mond zeigt mir meine eigne Gestalt -another ver.-", Kasahara Yuri - PERSONA -trinity soul- OST

---

You know what? Kick all this damn serenity and reason BS to the curb.

In fact, @#$%! this @#$%! Open-whatever, Closed-douche, Middle-sucktitude... They are crutches that limit you, chain you. Who cares what the world thinks? You've been searching for your own path...pursuing your true self. Ask yourself: why are you ashamed? Is it because you failed to resist? A mistake and a wrongdoing are two different things. Besides, you would have accepted the devil's offer, like hell yeah!, had you not tied yourself to the pursuit of enlightened-what's-it.

Are you ashamed because your "scandalous activity" was revealed? Pah! You're a grown man---more or less---with wants and needs! Your only regret, seriously, would be if you inconvenienced your hosts. Though you have not yet truly "found" yourself, you know that it---you---are right here, right now, in the moment. You know what you what, and you want you want to do.

If you must draw strength from something, let it be faith. Not the faith of others, for you are still unknown. Let it be faith in yourself...in your resolution to be honest with yourself, and to find your own truth. In your ability to learn, grown, flourish, then gain and keep what is important to you. Doubt is your enemy. Let your actions show this from now. And to start...

---

System MSG: So does the young man walk a path, adorning armor around his weak, wounded heart.

***RESTORATION: Your Courage has been restored! Baseline stats now appear as follows...

Knowledge - Lvl1 Aware
Courage - Lvl3 Brave
Expression - Lvl1 Rough
Diligence - Lvl1 Callow
Understanding - Lvl1 Basic

***ALIGNMENT SHIFT: More entangled you have become, you title has changed to "The Silver-Haired Outlaw".

---

You are going to go track down Koakuma. You do not see at all what is the big deal here. All this talk about souls and whatever. It has got nothing to do with you. Yes, she tried to seduce, but it is not like it was a bad thing, right? Right. She left in all sorts of crocodile (whatever the hell one of those are) tears and you can't stand to just let things go at that. A gal's crying and you feel obligated to try and make her feel better.

Now, you would leave right away, but all this dark broody angsting has left you a bit a famished and thirsty, not to mention as cool as you are, trying to be cool in a toga is a bit unpractical. Oh, this rice congee smells heavenly!

...

It is some time later that you finally emerge from the guest room. Getting dressed was a long and arduous process in your injured state, having little to no mobility at all in your left arm. To compound matters, the attire chosen for you had been a butler's uniform tux, with all its flourishes and whistles, making the shirt, vest, and coat impossible to put on. You do not even bother with the gloves. The black leather dress shoes are a good fit, but they are stiff and clearly not meant for the rugged outdoors. Running around in these things might be more perilous than you think.

In the end, you settled for the bare minimum: boxers (didn't expect them to have these), socks, shoes, trousers, belt, and simply throwing the coat around your shoulders. You feel like a badass yakuza of sorts, who has been through a tough scrap and survived. The coat also does wonders for hiding the "limp" of your left arm.

You consider opening the door like a normal person, but screw that, you turn the knob and kick that sorry mahogany-thing right open, with a bag.

Gin-chan was back, baby! You are devil-may-care incarnate. And if you run into that judge-whatever-something-big-word bastard again---ignore him. He'll probably be doing the same to you (not that you care).

"Took your sweet time, Princess Pompadour," interjects a familiar roguish drawl. "If you needed help getting dressed, you could have asked."

Holy Fried Tofu! Where did this bastard show up from and---hey, when he did get time to get dressed up all fancy like a real butler? You swear you never heard him leave.

"Heh he he he, what's with that face? Did you miss me? Were you crying, O-Hime-sama?"

This---this impudent sonuva-!

"L-Like hell I would!" you stutter in spite of yourself, feeling a rush of red coloring your cheeks. "And it's none of your damn b-b-beeswax, ya understand?"

"I understand, perfectly. I'm older than you and I've seen enough. And it's definitely my business because I care when idiot humans do stupid things, getting involved in things they don't understand. We can be a really quite arrogant people, you know?"

Arrrghhh. This snooty posh bastard. You...you don't get it! And his face is just---pissing you off.

"Going somewhere?"

"Heck yeah, I am, and you can't stop me!"

"Tsk, tsk, let me guess, you want to find Koakuma and catch her on the rebound, is that it? Man, you're shallow and short-sighted."
>> No. 91678
D-Damn it, this---this guy! Where does he get off acting like that? You. You. Arrrghh. You don't get it. And you got your own thing or two you want to say back, but the words just don't seem to flow to you right, and---arrgghhh! Who cares? You don't care. Arara-what's-his-face is a damn jerk is what!

"Moron. A-ass hat! I'm gonna go say some---stuff to make her feel better!"

The young butler shakes his head as he continues to keep pace with your stride. You try to speed up but with your injuries, it is not much terribly faster, and Araragi still hangs with you, despite your height differences. This guy is easily at least a head shorter or so than you, but he carries himself like a---panther. It...it pisses you off!

"You know, Sakuya-san said you were a lot smarter than this, but I wonder if she was just embellishing to make up for how---immature you really are. This feels like I'm back in junior-high."

Junior-high? That's...let's see. Oh yeah, that's school for kids ages...

"HEY!" you growl angrily, pivoting to a full stop to face the glib-tongued sonuvagun.

Amazingly, he stops in perfect time with you, even mimicking your movement perfectly, so it would appear that your halts were a choreographed movement. It was...kind of cool, but still ANNOYING! Ugh. And he's staring at you with that one hundred, erm, thousand yard stare A-gain!

"You know this is hard for me, too, right?"

"What? Pffffft. It's hard work being a jerk?"

"It's hard work dealing with a grown man, who's acting like a petulant know-nothing, see-nothing ten-year-old, when I didn't even making it past. My. Eighteenth. Summer."

His eighteenth summer? .....Big whoop. What's that got to do with you? ...although you feel a little bad for some reason. Oh crap, do you need to go to the bathroom now of all times?! ...Ack. He's staring at you.

Araragi gives a helpless sigh.

"Now, I'm worried if you'll even survive two minutes with Her Ladyship, Remilia Scarlet."

What the hell is up with this guy? Is he---whatever!? Like come on, can't he make up his mind to make your life miserable or be a pal? ...not that you want to be friends with him in the slightest bit. No sir!

"Gintoki," the young man says all of a sudden in grave seriousness, his dark eyes now focused on you.

C-Crap...that really unnerves you. The way he feels right now. It's like he's your---dad or something. And he's filling up the entire space. Massive. Huge. Enormous! How can a little guy like that have so much...whatever, yeah?

And he's using your first name. Doh!

"Look around you and tell me what you see."

Grudgingly, you look and see... Wow. This place is C-R-E-E-P-Y. There is no windows. The hallway is dimly lit by candle light. You spy some paintings on the walls but they are all of the same emblem. Doors are the same. And there is one continuous flowing red carpet floor at your feet with some golden details and frills.

...uh, so what were you supposed to see?

"I don't see what you're fussin' over. It's just a...creepy hallway."

"Can you find your way back to the guest room?"

Of course, you can! You guys have not been walking that long. Confidently, you swagger right back where you thought you were, Araragi shadowing you dutifully, like a trusted hound, and fling open the door you come across.

"THERE...huh?"

It's another guest room but this one has no window and the furnishings are so sparse that you don't think it is proper to even call it a guest room. Where the hell was your room? You thought it was right here.

Next to you, the young butler of the Scarlet Devil Mansion simply watches and waits. Red colors your skin yet again...

"It... It must be the next one over. Come on!"

Nope.

"Here!"

It's empty.

"This one!"

It's pitch black.

"Th-the next one!!"

It's a meat...locker? These carcasses look kind of...human...oid.

"N-Next!"

This darkly bewildering process continues on and on, to which you become frustrated quickly at your repeated string of failures. Had your diligence been higher, you might have had the patience to persevere. Right now, though, you were just plain irrational and agitated, and the only scapegoat you had was Araragi, who stood by idly now staring into a---rather priceless golden pocketwatch adorned with a chain.

"Y-You! You're doing this, aren't you?" "Because you~ dis-like me~. IS THAT IT!?"

"Nope, I don't hate you. I just hate the fact you're showing off some of the ugliest things in humans, and you don't seem to realize it. No. You can't handle the truth. ...Right now, you're no better than a rabid beast prowling in the forest for prey, and an insult to real beasts everywhere. Better. I'd say you're a monster."

Arrrghhh! Hate him. Hate him! Annoying, annoying, annoying!

"We've wasted enough time," Araragi says with resigned finality, pocketing away the golden pocketwatch.

You wish to bring your venom to bear against him but your tongue is tied in fury. How frustrating!
>> No. 91679
"Follow me and let's get this over with, not that I expect you to understand the gravity of this world you are trespassing in. This house has its own rules and expectations, similar yet distinct from the outside world---just like the Human Village. Ultimately, I'd say you're just a foolish, misguided, arrogant victim. We tried to protect you, and now, you're sympathizing with the reckless individual, who could have---killed you."

...Huh? Can you dumb that down a bit more?

"I think we would have been better off if Koakuma really had killed you or reduced you to a brainless, soulless dildo. Either way, we could have used you as sustenance or fertilizer---but I intervened...and I have to take responsibility for you. We all do. We actually hold dear some wholesome, noble principles here at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, which is more than I can say for most youkai and---some humans."

Uhh... Err...

"This way."

---

"Dazzle", Nobuo Uematsu - Guin Saga OST

---

It's quiet. Too quiet. The walk should have given you some time to think, yet you could not help but be bothered by this silence; this haunting stillness. A house this big should have more people about and doing things---anything at all, but you have not seen another face the entire time. The only sound is your muted footsteps for Araragi, disturbingly, does not seem to make any noise at all, not even the rustle of his clothes!

It's. Wrong. Not. Right.

"We're here, aaaaaaannnnndddd...it looks like they had a disagreement. I can see signs of Knowledge-sama's sorcery all over the place. Geezus, Silent Selene!? ...today is Monday. Guess she decided to get serious."

A disagreement? Holy cow, that has to be the understatement of the century; this hallway, it looks like a war came through here! The air wreaks with a peculiar chemical scent and acrid aftertaste of smoke and flame. The carpeting is all kind of torn up and ratty, with its fair share of holes that give you a glimpse right into the floor below. Blood is splattered here and there, red like wine, usually not far from a silver knife. And boy, there are knives everywhere, joined by still pulsating shards of electric white energy, embedded into every surface.

"You wouldn't suspect it, but that Koakuma was originally a Prince of Hell," Araragi whistles picking his footing carefully. "Though I dispute she's really just a Duke, not that that's anything to laugh at either. Come: this way, and watch your step. Those shards pack a lot of punch."

Reluctantly, you obey but now you begin to experience something even worse: a pungent perfume is in the air. It makes all the hairs on your body stand on end, sweet and rotten all at once. More dangerous perhaps there is a palpable force, electric and intense, of shear---malevolence in the atmosphere, heavy and near impenetrable. Every step is a test of your courage. It is only by keeping your eyes locked on the steady march of Araragi, like a tugboat leading the way in uncharted waters, that you are able to continue on.

"This is it. Welcome to her front doorstep: Heartbreak Motel (as I like to call it). When you check-in, you don't check-out. I almost feel sorry for the humans we've been feeding her lately."

What you see threatens your sanity to the core, a whole section of wall is gone, like someone came in and drove a fist through it, opening a dark portal to---chaos. It is pale frightening blue light, emitting a low frequency noise, shrieks and incomprehensible guttural noises that rattle bone and flesh, pecking away at the insides of your skull. Anchoring this portal of madness in place is a mighty iron gate of Gothic make, belching flame and brimstone from its animalistic frills and glowing-eyed gargoyles, decorated with thorny scarlet roses. The gate is barred with chains and pockmarked with knives and fresh battle scars.

Presently in the gate's center is a seal reinforced with an orbiting concentric ring. She glows with many an arcane rune that pulsate to an audible rhythm not unlike a heartbeat, radiating an untold of power, as the ring revolves serenely. The main seal does not move but you are able to make it out some words within, strangely.

"ASTAROTH" --- what the hell does that mean?
>> No. 91680
File 124871804198.png - (29.11KB , 342x342 , 342px-Astaroth.svg.png ) [iqdb]
91680
Right above that central seal is the effigy of a strikingly familiar girl---nay---a woman, now, so bizarrely lifelike and sculpted in brass, but this one bears grotesque horns. She is bound to the gate from the shoulders up; the rest of her body elsewhere. Perhaps, it is for the better that you see no more, for already you feel an unsightly tug at your heart just looking at this effigy.

Damn. You feel so weak in the knees. You want to run, to get away as far as possible, but there is no where to flee, not with Araragi standing there, right behind you. It does not help either that it appears you have been noticed: the effigy is animating itself.

"I SMELL THE COWARDLY STENCH OF THE DAMNED AND THE FALSE GODS! WHO DARES?!"

That. That voice! Your ears, your flesh, your bones; what is this? Hide. Run. Flee. You must not be noticed by this---SHE!

"H-Hey there, Ko-akuma-han, it's---me."

Why? Why has your voice betrayed you? This is madness! You want to go back! Far, far away.

"WHAT'S THIS??!"" the effigy turns the full brunt of its baleful, withering gaze upon you.

"Uh, it's me, Gin-toki."

"EHEHEHE-AHAHA-HAHAHAH! 'TIS IT NOT THE NAIVE LITTLE GOD-CHILD. WHAT? HAVE YOU COME HERE TO GLOAT? I, MAJESTIC ASTARTE, PATRON OF ACCUSERS AND INQUISITORS, DRIVEN BEFORE AND CHAINED?!?!""

"N-No. It's just---I-I. I'm not angry, you know? W-we did nothing wrong. Who cares if we broke a few rules? It's nothing. Just a bunch of rules people came up with. If-if I had been honest, I wouldn't have even tried to-"

"You pity me."

The gate squeals violently, as a deafening pounding bangs at its doors, hinges and chains stretching to their limit; the whole world is SHAKING.

"HOW DARE YOU! OPEN! OPEN! COME HERE; COME HERE! I WILL FEAST UPON YOUR FLESH AND WASH MY THROAT IN YOUR BLOOD LIKE FIRE WINE! YOUR SOUL WILL BE DIGESTED IN MY GULLET FOR ALL ETERNITY, BREAK THE BONE, RIP, TEAR, SUCK THE MARROW DRY, SWEET BLISSFUL AGONY, AND DAMNATION TEN-THOUSANDFOLD. COME HERE, TO SLAUGHTER AND PLEASURE, LITTLE LAMB GOD!"

Holy @#$%!? You're...you're being pulled-!

A strong hand pull you away instead before a bristling mass of brass thorns, snaking out like tendrils from the effigy's hair can snatch you up. It's---Araragi?!

"That's enough for today, Asa-chan," he smiles with a goodhearted wag of his finger. "Go sulk in your play pen and reflect upon your actions, like the good girl we know you are."

Impossibly, the effigy of Koakuma becomes even more furious than before, throwing an outright tantrum.

"ARARAGI!? ARARAGI KOYOMI?! INTERFERING, AGAIN, YOU SERVILE PEASANT-DOG!"

"Buh-bye, Asa-chan~," the roguish young man waves to her, pulling you along with him, as he makes to leave.

"COME BACK! I COMMAND YOU TO OPEN THIS INFERNAL GATE!!"

"C'mon, Gintoki. This way."

"ARA~RA~GI~![b]"

---

It is some time later that you collect yourself at last. You have no idea where you are, well, Araragi's there standing opposite from you, while sit back against the wall, so it might be a safe place, but...

@#$%! Koakuma is---b-being stupid too! Wh-whatever! S-she'll be better once she's calmed down some. And. And! You... You probably made things a bit worse, but you tried your best and that's what counts, right?

"Sometimes [b]your
best isn't good enough, Gintoki," an uncomfortably intimate drawl teases you from across the way.

Th-That---inhuman guy!

"B-Bastard!" you spit in anger, tumbling over your words. "Wh-what the hell are you? D-Did you. Did you read my mind?"

"Nope, but I am, as Her Ladyship would say, unusually competent at reading---people. Lots of practice, you see? Lots. of practice."

Urrghhh...!

"So are you done, or do you want to keep Her Ladyship waiting some more? We're running out of time here, and if there is someone here who is definitely bigger in every way, including more immature than you---SHE. is the one."

Geh!

"...Waiting on you, Gintoki."

Grrr, what are you gonna do?

Choose...

[] Let's go see this Lady-girl.
[] Let's get lost on the road to life!
[] You and me... THUMB WRESTLING, NOW.
[] Let's go bother someone else.
[] You know what? Being gung-ho is great and all, but... This is stupid.
[] ??????

---
>> No. 91685
[X] Let's go see this Lady-girl.

If it's even possible at this point, how about we aim to return to the shrine before dark? You know, before Reimu goes on the warpath and drags our sorry ass home.
>> No. 91691
[X]Let's go visit this lady-girl.
[X]There are plenty of opportunities to be all gung-ho, but you've had enough of acting that way for now. Try to be respectful for a bit.
>> No. 91695
>>91694

See the Write-in, Anon, and that's all I'm going to say about it. Folks wanted to do it, so we did it.
>> No. 91703
>>91695

Sounds like you're trying to say "you dug your own grave". Pfft.

Even though what was written was a rather negative perversion of the original write-in, I'd still do the same thing all over again.

Another mistake was made because we didn't have enough insight into Koakuma's being... But that doesn't change what we saw; a girl that went to tears over something we were involved in. Leaving that alone would have been unacceptable, and the writer putting a spin on our intent and delivery won't make me regret it.

[X] Take a deep breath. A lot has happened.
[X] Let's go visit this lady-girl.
[X] There are plenty of opportunities to be all gung-ho, but this wouldn't be the place for it. Try to be respectful for a bit. You're the one who's late, after all.
-[X] ...Which is not to say that you should refrain from using your usual wit. Wouldn't want her to think you're boring, would you?
[X] Enough of this "stuttering child" bullshit. If Araragi keeps getting in your face like this, either respond definitively or not at all. Wounded pride or not, you're still a man, and should conduct yourself as such.

I hope this is clear enough for you this time, J to the E.
>> No. 91706
>>91695

Alright. Fair enough, I suppose. Let's get back on track then. Ammending vote for the write-in.

[X] Take a deep breath. A lot has happened.
[X] Let's go visit this lady-girl.
[X] There are plenty of opportunities to be all gung-ho, but this wouldn't be the place for it. Try to be respectful for a bit. You're the one who's late, after all.
-[X] ...Which is not to say that you should refrain from using your usual wit. Wouldn't want her to think you're boring, would you?
[X] Enough of this "stuttering child" bullshit. If Araragi keeps getting in your face like this, either respond definitively or not at all. Wounded pride or not, you're still a man, and should conduct yourself as such.
>> No. 91707
Sorry, quick adjustment to >>91703 to better express what I meant.

[X] Take a deep breath. A lot has happened, but you can't falter now. Gather your nerves. You'll need to be back "in the zone" for this.
>> No. 91709
So Koa is Ashtaroth? Interesting.

Let's see if we can buy, borrow or burgle a copy of the Clavicula Solomonis before we run into her again. Would come in handy.

Or perhaps we should try to find a relic of St. Bartholomew, depending on how syncretistic we feel on this particulat day.

In any case:

[ODIN] Let's go visit this lady-girl.
[ODIN] As of late Your August Highness seems to have drifted away from the dignity that comes with Your station. This mistake shall be rectified.
[ODIN] Take refuge in the knowledge of Your divine stature and remain impassive to this foolish mortal's chatter, you have already paid it too much heed.
[ODIN] However, if he attempts to disparage Your station or Your person before others, You shall not tolerate this.

Refuge in audacity, Anon. With courage as our highest stat, we have to try and do this with divine arrogance and sheer cojones.
>> No. 91717
>>91709

Changing vote from >>91703 to: [x] Norseman write-in.

Hats off to you once again. You have put my feelings and preferences into a write-in the likes of which I could not hope to rival.

I would, however, like to add something:

[X] If and when the subject of Your earlier "transgression" (as one who is very foolish might call it) comes up, reply frankly and truthfully. Answering for this trifling matter is beneath You.

Because I can see J->E using that topic as an excuse to have Gintoki's dignified state of mind shatter, causing him to regress back into a stuttering mess.
Seriously, that's what I've come to expect of him. Just being honest...
>> No. 91718
[x] Let's go visit this lady-girl.
[x] As of late Your August Highness seems to have drifted away from the dignity that comes with Your station. This mistake shall be rectified.
[x] Take refuge in the knowledge of Your divine stature and remain impassive to this foolish mortal's chatter, you have already paid it too much heed.
[x] However, if he attempts to disparage Your station or Your person before others, You shall not tolerate this.
>> No. 91719
Changing vote.

[X]Norseman write-in.

I love seeing good write-ins evolve before my eyes.
>> No. 91722
[X]Norseman write-in.

Why WERE we stuttering at this guy anyway? Since we've said "fuck it" to the alignment business, this little event is basically an amusing story for drinking buddies now.
>> No. 91723
>>91706

Shoot. Ammending vote to Norseman's. I hope this isn't too confusing.
>> No. 91727
ADMIN:

Well, looks like the votes are in, but just real quick: on the subject of the "stuttering"...here, look at this.

Knowledge - Lvl1 Aware
Courage - Lvl3 Brave
Expression - Lvl1 Rough
Diligence - Lvl1 Callow
Understanding - Lvl1 Basic

Gents, Izanon is basically Cirno right now.

All he's got is lots of cajones. He's pretty courageous when it comes to speaking his mind and attempting to do stuff, but he doesn't have the patience to understand where someone else is coming from, nor is he particularly willing to understand anyone, the consequences, etc.---that ability to understand is also basic. Also, he is rather rough and crass at expressing himself. He might think like a god king, but it doesn't translate so well in practice.

Commencing with writing.
>> No. 91728
>>91727

Shoot. Then do we have any chance of getting through this alive? There is no way we can stand up to Remilia like this.
>> No. 91729
[x] Impale yourself on your blade. Rid the world of your stupidity and wonder why to you it came to this.
>> No. 91730
>>Gents, Izanon is basically Cirno right now.

So, we're sub-human.
... What the fuck, man.
>[ ] Die like the worthless maggot you are.
Even fresh out of a serious internal conflict, no god is that pathetic.

This really harkens back to >>91610 .
>>But to subtract a whole level from EACH of our statistics, with no apparent recourse? Waay too harsh, especially since we've been making ALL GOOD decisions up to this point. That's like saying "Okay, do 10 things RIGHT, and you'll go up a rank, but you do just 1 thing WRONG, and I'll just torpedo your ability to, you know, BE HEROIC."

The message I'm getting here is that you either completely missed some of the major points of the path Anon has chosen, or you intend to punish him until he does what you want him to.
I am disappoint.
>> No. 91733
J.
What. The. Hell.
Equlivant of Cirno? Seriously?

Did Koa suck out part of Gin's soul? I was under the impression, and I belive you basically confirmed this, that she was stopped before she could do even that.

I was trying to see things from your point of view to understand and maybe learn how to quickly counter-act the massive stat loss, but no matter how hard I try, it feel like you punished us with The Bag of Spilling since other than the ZEN reduction, you gave no appreciable reasons for the other reductions.

Unless, however, the debuff is temporary like I hope it is and not permanent, and that we can simply recover the stats over a short time.

But please, next time anon screws up, would you kindly restrict and reduce the penalty, and give legitamite reasons for unrelated stat loss?
>> No. 91734
>>91733

I'm pretty sure that it's temporary.
I'm never missing a vote again if it can go to Hell that fast.
>> No. 91735
>>91733

>A debuff is a debuff, but like I said, you can un-debuff yourself through your actions.

So we work with what we got and regain our stats.
>> No. 91736
ADMIN:

Christ, people, stop jumping the gun and taking me literally.

I meant "Cirno" as a metaphor. Your behavioral capacity at this point in time is very similar to her, but you're not dumb as bricks. You're still a man-godling fellow, and you have your intelligence. Of course, the last write-in totally kicked your reason to the curb so you can act on your passions on the spot.

You are Aware and you could have played to that level of intelligence. But! everyone wanted to kick reason to the curb and be heroic, when they should have calmed down and tried to think things through, e.g. Did Koakuma even want to be comforted? Swallow your pride and ask Araragi for advice? etc.

At that point of weakness, you should have stopped to reflect, not struggle to whatever may come. Use your brain not your dick. You're not that epic, you know? The Prologue is done, the honeymoon is over, and this is the big bad world.

Honestly, this experience isn't all that bad since we're starting to learn some limits here and understand that an effort needs to be put forth to better Izanon. Flirting and fooling around all the time isn't going to cut it. Right now, you're like a level 6 character in a JRPG trying to survive in a Level 5-18 Zone.

You made some mistakes but it's not impossible to recover, and like I said, I don't believe in Bad Ends. If we screw up, that's just another darkly humorous anecdote to add to Izanon's life experience.
>> No. 91739
>>91736

>Use your brain not your dick.

You have a lot to learn about Anon, I think. Stave it off, for like two days, and look at the other stories. Then come back to your update.

Also, I hope you're actually using those stats to check during actions, because if this is what happens when they change for the worse, then it better be worth displaying.
>> No. 91744
>>91736
Oh I believe you when you say its possible to recover but are
likely to recover? Maybe. Can we completely recover? I doubt it.
The implications of someone like Aya finding out (Which in all likely hood will happen if it hasn't already.) will leave a permanent mark on us. After all, no matter how many good deeds you pull people are never gonna forget that one screw up.
On a side note you say we are not as weak as Cirno. Well considering she nearly killed us at our peak Im sure she can easily one shot us now.
>> No. 91746
>>91744

Anon, the Henshin / Transform option was available at the time. Only your mortal human form was wounded. I will leave the rest to your capable imagination.
>> No. 91751
File 124875791331.png - (14.88KB , 734x592 , 3154057.png ) [iqdb]
91751
---

System UPDATE:

[X] Ze Norseman Write-in

"SEI! SEI! SEI! SEI!"

Current Phase: Afternoon - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Ishiki to Mushiku no Hazama", Iwasaki Taku - PERSONA -trinity soul- OST

---

Okay, let's calm the hell down here and think things through, like God-like. As of late Your August Highness seems to have drifted away from the dignity that comes with the territory of you being you, a genuine Shinto deity---well, a inheritor of the said deity. Still, this mistake needs to be rectified, that is stop acting like you're back on the block, having fun, and so on. This Scarlet Devil Mansion is trying to tell you that you are way out of depth coming in here, with your "fun" business, and messing around on their turf.

It is not going to fly and you have gotten a world of trouble for your reckless awesomeness. Let's dial back that awesome, you know? It is obviously too much for these people to handle, and heck, that foolish mortal, Araragi Koyomi, you have been paying way too much heed to his chatter. Forget him. He's nothing compared to your divine stature. Take refuge in this knowledge.

...but if he tries to disparage you or your station in front of other people? Oh, he is going to get what is coming to him. ...though you worry if he caught everything Ko---Astaroth said about you. If Araragi knows, and the chances of him not knowing or slim to none, would it not be wise to assume he would be prepared?

On a different note, what did she mean by "The Damned"? In fact, that mortal has been conducting himself in decidedly---inhuman manner. He is been hinting all sorts of things, like only living to his eighteenth summer---could he be a youkai? But why would a youkai have so much sympathy for humans? He said he was once one off-hand, but having ascended higher than the short mortal lifespan of a human. Why care?

Then again, it's that pathos he has, you admit grudgingly, that has kept you in one piece so far. That Araragi could have pushed you right into the Infernal Gate, but instead he pulled you back.

Why? Ugh, you just don't get him.

"Made up your mind yet?" the complicated rogue in question drawls dryly.

It pricks you, but you are not going to let him have his way this time. You stand up straight and tall, inclining simply with your head.

"Show me this lady-girl of yours."

He nods, but not before eyeing you curiously.

"Hmm, at least you've stopped acting all tsundere and gung-ho punk on me. You look a bit more focused and dignified than you did a few minutes ago. Never seen someone change so fast. Yeah... Maybe Sakuya-san wasn't wrong completely about you. I'd say your life expectancy around Her Ladyship, Remilia Scarlet, just increased to three minutes."

Fortunes, there Araragi goes again, acting all buddy-ol'-pal to you.

"Come. This way."

---

***RESTORATION: Your Knowledge has been restored! Baseline stats now appear as follows...

Knowledge - Lvl2 Informed
Courage - Lvl3 Brave
Expression - Lvl1 Rough
Diligence - Lvl1 Callow
Understanding - Lvl1 Basic

---

"Ya-hoo~!" a different but familiar red-head cries out to your imminent approach.

That woman---was she not present when you first awoke? What was she doing here standing in front of a rather imposing set of double doors. They appear so massive that you suspect it would take ten men a piece to pull open there ostentatious iron works, adorned in scarlet and ornate golden roses and figurines.

Wait, double doors? Did that mean this was the end of the line?

"Hey there, Hong Meiling-san," Araragi returns the greeting brightly with a smile.

You are not sure if it is his words or his smile or himself entirely, but the effect is immediate, causing the woman to giggle coquettishly with a blush.

"Oh, Araragi-kun, you don't have to talk to me like that," she coos, cupping her rosy cheeks with her hands. "I'm just so~ happy you remember my name-aru!"

Wow, that smile---you wonder if it could light up a couple hundred thousand worth of light bulbs. Come to think of it, you wonder if it is just your imagination, but does not this woman seem to be giving off tons of positive vibes. She is very open and honest; you sense no subterfuge or intrigue from her, which is very different compared to everyone else you have met so far. Hong Meiling. Her name was not Japanese and her attire... Could she be from the mainland---the proper term comes to you---China?
>> No. 91752
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91752
"It's a wonderful name for a wonderful person, Meiling-san. I'm sure Sakuya-san notices your good points, despite all the times she's punished you."

"Iy~aaann! C'mere you~!"

Try as you might... Yeah, you are envious of Araragi, whom being a head shorter than this amazoness is rightly smothered between her bounciful assets. More importantly, looking at this lovey-dovey scene before you---you are reminded of how far away you are from "home". Yes, you made all that big talk about not caring anymore, like who cares about what faith others have in you... If you believed in yourself, that was enough, right?

But turning your back on everyone... Sikieiki, Machi-nee, Kid, Mima, and even Rinnosuke. That just feels wrong, like you're going back on your words and reneging on everything they have done for you. The ladies all tried to teach you something, you learned, and now you get the feeling you have forgotten some important things.

That Araragi...could he be---really strong?

"Oh, aiya~! Sorry, Yorozuya-san," Meiling breaks away all of a sudden, turning a shade to match her hair. It seems she did not even notice you until then. "I hope I didn't offend?"

The break, of course, allows the roguish young butler to come up for air, and for a moment, you swear he gives you a look of gratitude before straightening himself, all business and---charm, again.

You clear your throat and give a reassuring cant of your head, not trusting your words, especially with Araragi so nearby. The body language thankfully is plenty enough for Meiling, and the vivacious woman beams. ...Holy Zen, did the symbol painted on the golden star attached to her beret just change? It reads..."HAPPY"?!

"So, is everything prepared, Meiling-san?"

"Oh, why yes-aru! Everything's ready. Here, I even brought the items to be delivered in this box, just like Sakuya said!" she answers Araragi's query eagerly, producing the said container from a nearby serving cart.

You notice there is also a long case on the cart and some clothing items.

"Great, and the other?"

Seeing Araragi actually happy and sociable---is an unexpected side of him. You just sort of assumed he was a perfect jerk all the time.

"Right in the big case."

"Ha! That'll be one to surprise Sakuya-san in good way. See, Meiling-san? You are reliable when it matters the most!"

"Aiya~, I didn't do much at all-aru."

"Meiling-san, we all have our parts to play in this big dysfunctional family. It wouldn't be the same without you, Sakuya-san, Knowledge-dono, Remilia-sama, the fairy maids, and even that troublesome pervert devil girl, Koakuma."

"Fu fu fu, you know you like the attention, Araragi-kun!"

"I'd rather not deal with a pushy housemate who is stalking me constantly for you-know-what."

"Hard to believe isn't it that you've only been here a few months? It's like you've always been part of the Mansion forever-aru!

These two... They're close, aren't they? No. Not just them. This entire household is close. Man, you are starting to feel really like the awkward outsider here, sitting in on an intimate moment, and well, you get the feeling you messed things up pretty bad for everyone.

"I just hope she gets over today and learns a thing or two. She really took it too far. Good thing she forgot in her hurry that when Nozomu checks out, I wake up."

"Oh, I hope so! Um, how is she taking it?"

"Not good. The fairies still haven't cleaned up the mess in her hallway yet."

"Aiya~, how bad was it?"

"Even worse than when it happened to me."

Wait...there was a precedent for what was occurring here? Araragi himself was a---victim before? ...okay, this is pretty serious. A second time offense...

"Oh no, we're wasting time!" Meiling pales suddenly in horror. "Sakuya-san we need to be coaching Yorozuya-san."

Even the roguish butler shares her sentiments exactly, "Ack, you're r-right! Quick: fairies, come out!"

Popping right of thin air in a crackle of dazzling sparkles, you find yourself surrounded in a swarm of smiling, delighted faces. Fairies in maid outfits tailored just for their various sizes; never mind how the inhabitants of the Scarlet Devil Mansion managed to tame these wild spirits. Their innocent joy is infectious, but it only serves as another bitter reminder of your indiscretion.

If you turn your back on the world, would you not be turning your back on your servants too? Forsaking your duties as the God of Hakurei? If you wish to be truly your own person and free of all obligations...then what of the kami children?

"Get him dressed, girls. Time is a-wasting away!"

"Haii~!"

These thoughts you had... They are like that terribly so of a selfish, self-important man, no? Did not someone say that you were more than just the sum of yourself? If this was true, then had you not just abused your privilege? Does the god not owe obligation to his faithful, too? That his actions represent them and as such the Great One should aspire to be the best that his people can offer, and should they wander astray, should it not be the Great One to be their guiding example.

They say: "Noblesse Oblige", "Bushido", "Chivalry", and much more. Even if Enlightenment is no longer your aspiration, whether you become a God or a Devil is still a very real possibility.

Hnn, something to think about it.

"All done~," the voices of the fairies resounded together as soon, bringing you back from your reverie.

Unfortunately, something seems to have happened while you were absorbed. Araragi and Meiling are wearing disturbingly grave faces. Weren't they all happy and pow-wow'ing a second ago? What the hell happened now?
>> No. 91753
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91753
"Fairies, leave us," the former dismisses the little servants, who comply with great enthusiasm. They are blissfully ignorant that the life seems to have gone out completely from his voice.

It's cold. Empty. Like death.

"Araragi-kun..."

"Go on, Meiling-san. She can use the company. Don't worry; I'm not going to do something stupid."

"O-Okay."

Well, there she goes in a hurry. Who is this she---dammit! That Araragi is giving you that thousand-yard stare again. No. NO. Cool it. Mustn't-

"Listen up, tough guy, and listen well. I'm only going to say this once, 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do', because right now? Your odds just went to shit. Dame Patchouli Knowledge, very close bosom friend of Her Ladyship---and someone I care about..."

That look of pain on his face. Why is it you derive no pleasure or joy from seeing it? This is your chance! ...but on some basic level, you can scarcely believe it---could you be empathizing with him? Wh-WHY?!

"She has taken ill, severely, and is bed ridden, as I'm relating this to you. So...if I know this... You bet Sakuya-san knows this, and if she knows... Her Ladyship, the Scarlet Devil herself---KNOWS."

...oh crap.

"Heads are going to roll. Probably starting with yours, so whatever you do: don't @#$% this up. If you want even a remote fighting chance... Don't. @#$%. This. Up. You get me?"

You nod, hesitantly.

"Good. Now, there's no time to school you on what Her Ladyship expects as far as customs and courtesies, but you being a complete beginner at this... Don't do. ANYTHING. Unless you are recognized or given permission to do so. Her trigger finger... You know what a gun is?"

A gun? What's that got to do with anything?

"Okay, rephrasing: her sword arm is really itchy right now. There wouldn't be much provocation or warning before she starts mauling you. I don't care if you're really some kind of God, but a guy at your level doesn't stand a chance against a vampire of Remilia Scarlet's pedigree and caliber, when she throws danmaku play out the window and gets serious. It'll be like a lightning. You won't know what hit you."

Bloodsuckers. Vampires. Succubi. Princes of Hell. All this talk...it's starting to make some sense now. Oh, fortunes, why did you decide to make this journey ALONE?!

"Don't freak out. Don't freak out! Deep breaths, man. Deep breaths!"

Y-Yeah, he's right. ...Why are you agreeing with him now of all times, dammit?!

"Okay... You ready for this?"

Your answer is a definitive and profound...

"No. ...but I remember someone saying: Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing."

Araragi grins wryly, as if privy to some private joke.

"You have no idea, Yorozuya no Gintoki. No idea."

Is that so?

"C'mon, this way. It's time."

---

"Dazzle", Nobuo Uematsu - Guin Saga.

---

It is a vast airy chamber you step into of Gothic design, with a high vaulted ceiling, adorned with fluted columns. The masonry is priceless work in various luster to suit the appropriate surface, yet such luxury does not detract from the grim, simple fact: you are in the belly of the beast. This unsettling image is reinforce for in the distance, you swear you hear a great pipe organ playing accompanied by a full choir, the melody is melancholy, and the song, an ominous dirge. The columns are many, giving you the impression of walking through a forest of marble, obstructing sight, and you have no choice but to follow Araragi along the predetermined path.

Another scarlet and gold carpet...

The wood of white stone is dark and oppressive, lit by only a scattering of hot braziers, yet just as soon as you think this journey in twilight will never end---you see the light. Nay. Lights and of all colors, too, emanating down on a wide open expanse: two-hundred paces wide and a hundred paces long, you reckon. The source of this light it is a huge perpendicular-style Gothic window of eight lights, made of stained glass, serving as a gigantic roof lantern or skylighting. What it depicts is several heraldic signs and coats of arms but the significance is lost on you, though there is a definite them with all the thorny roses.

You feel eyes on you.

Standing across the way at the end of the royal carpet is Izayoi Sakuya. She is there on a raised dais, beside a Western-style throne; the intent for the elevation obvious, for it was intended to give the supreme ruler who sat in that symbol of ebony and ivory, an unfair advantage over the mere common men down below. ...though you wonder if that was a bit excessive, overkill, because even from a "safe" distance of a hundred pace you could feel Her scarlet eyes digging into your very soul.

Remilia Scarlet. She lives up to her name and reputation in every way and worse.

"Ho there, you are recognized, Ronin!" Sakuya's bellowing bark interrupts your thoughts. What she thinks of you her body does not betray at all, only that unreachable perfect elegance as always. "You may advance ten paces, kneel, and introduce yourself."

Well, here goes nothing. Ten paces down, Another ninety to go, right?

What shall you do?

Choose...

[] Comply. Nothing fancy.
[] Comply
[] Rebel
[] Compliment?
[] ??????

And / or...

[] CHARM
[] REASON
[] EMPATHY
[] INTIMIDATION
[] BODY LANGUAGE
[] TRANSFORM
[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ?????

---
>> No. 91755
[x] Comply. Nothing fancy.
[x] REASON
>> No. 91759
[x] Wait for inevitable ass-saving write-in.
>> No. 91790
So we're just supposed to act like a good dog? Yeah, that'll work out well what with our shitty statline which is pretty much guaranteed to fuck us over in some way. And besides, we're a man with a mission, so we can't give the impression that we're just some random chickenshit nobody.

Therefore, we must keep dancing on the edge of the dagger, put some cards on the table and employ some respectful arrogance here. Our shitty stats may still fuck us over, but better to go out with a bang than endure the constant stuttering mess we have become.


[ODIN] COURAGE: You are Izanagi, this is well known. You shall steel your mind and keep the dignity of Your August person whatever may come.
[ODIN] Calmly and humbly answer the Devil's Herald: "Au contraire, mademoiselle, We are not recognized for what We are. We shall reveal Ourselves so that the honoured Lady may know We carry no duplicity with Us."
[ODIN] TRANSFORM
[ODIN] Advance ten paces, then give the lady of the manor a courtly yet humble bow, making sure to keep eye contact with the lady herself at all times.
[ODIN] "We, to our shame, are known as Yorozuya-no-Gintoki, God of the Hakurei Shrine, and as such we appear before you. We shall not insinuate that We are worthy of calling Your Ladyship Our liege, nor shall we dishonour the Scarlet Devil by insinuating that she accepts the obeisance from gods such as Ourselves. Instead We greet Your Ladyship as one worthy of Our respect and humble deference."
[ODIN] Calmly await the Lady's response, whatever it may be.
>> No. 91792
>>91736
It's still the first mission and it's far too much of a downgrade. You're not just thrown into the fire the very moment you make it out of training.

Ladies and gents, I propose that for one in-game day, we grind. Just fucking plow the forest slaying fairies and youkai for power-ups. Obviously we're not going to get our levels back.

>>91752
Now you're just trying to be manipulative. Nowhere does it say we can't live for ourselves and for others. The ways of the fist, palm, and middle path do not have such limitations as they are thought to; there's always a different way of traversing them.

[x] COURAGE
[x] INTIMIDATION
[x] BODY LANGUAGE
[x] Rebel
--[x] Walk straight up to the throne. Levitate if you can, to her eye-level.
[x] "I was sent by the Hakurei no Reimu, told of the past "incidents" around this particular business exchange. I'll be conducting myself in her manner; though simply, I've come just to deliver the new spell-card rules, nothing more."

Cojones; we're using them. The brain has no say, here.
>> No. 91799
>>91792
This anon is right. The moment a person gets out of training you don't trow them to the wolves. Since we have what is in essence the equivlent of massive EXP debt we are going to have to treat it like you would in most any RPG, MMO or other wise. You have to grind that shit back which means finishing what ever you where doing and put the rest of the story line on hold while you crack a few skulls. Maybe if we are still "welcome" here after we can read a bit of Patchy's library to fix our knowledge, Zen(?) and maybe even a few others provided we don't stumble across something like the god damn Necromicon. Honestly im a bit upset at both parties, the bulk of Anon for haveing one of those WHAT THE HELL WHERE YOU THINKING moments, and J to the E for getting all pissed and basicly saying "Oh you wanna fuck her? Well I got a better idea. Hows about I FUCK YOU!" Now I can understand why you did it but how you went about it was quite uncalled for. No stat drops in any game I know of have ever been this harsh. I love your story but if we have to deal with this shit the whole way through then it is going nowhere as we are going to have to put everything on hold every few plot points so we can get our stats back. I think it's pretty clear few people are haveing fun here and i'm very tempted to just say we kill our character and roll a new one so to speak but i'll try and stick it out for a bit longer and hope things pick up a bit because I don't want to have something like this ruin it for me. As such I cast my vote with fingers crossed.
Our hopes now ride with you norseman.
[x] COURAGE: You are Izanagi, this is well known. You shall steel your mind and keep the dignity of Your August person whatever may come.
[x] Calmly and humbly answer the Devil's Herald: "Au contraire, mademoiselle, We are not recognized for what We are. We shall reveal Ourselves so that the honoured Lady may know We carry no duplicity with Us."
[x] TRANSFORM
[x] Advance ten paces, then give the lady of the manor a courtly yet humble bow, making sure to keep eye contact with the lady herself at all times.
[x] "We, to our shame, are known as Yorozuya-no-Gintoki, God of the Hakurei Shrine, and as such we appear before you. We shall not insinuate that We are worthy of calling Your Ladyship Our liege, nor shall we dishonour the Scarlet Devil by insinuating that she accepts the obeisance from gods such as Ourselves. Instead We greet Your Ladyship as one worthy of Our respect and humble deference."
[x] Calmly await the Lady's response, whatever it may be.
>> No. 91801
>>The message I'm getting here is that you either completely missed some of the major points of the path Anon has chosen, or you intend to punish him until he does what you want him to.

>>Of course, the last write-in totally kicked your reason to the curb so you can act on your passions on the spot.

I knew it.
Despite what you would apparently like to believe, the write-in wasn't about kicking reason to the curb, nor was it about acting solely on passions. It was, ultimately, about growth. It was about seeing the world -- and, more importantly, ourselves -- through a lens untainted by the moral, social, and philosophical conundrums pressed upon us. Enlightenment, selfishness, selflessness... there should be no reason why we are required to adhere strictly to one, lest we fall (and lose a bunch of stats). Otherwise, drawing power and focus from principle will just give us that many more weaknesses. Our new path is meant to allow more flexibility, but not just to serve our whims.
As >>91792 said:
>>Nowhere does it say we can't live for ourselves and for others

>>everyone wanted to kick reason to the curb and be heroic, when they should have calmed down and tried to think things through, e.g. Did Koakuma even want to be comforted? Swallow your pride and ask Araragi for advice?

See >>91703
We acted on what we perceived. I don't think we could've reasonably came to the conclusion that Koa was a "LOL PRINCE OF DAHKNESS THAT HATES EVERYTHING". I think attempting to take responsibility for making a "girl" cry was both in character and "the right thing to do". Then again, maybe you're unfamiliar with her relative popularity on this site? Ask UNOwen why people were upset about his Remilia in ASSM.
I admit, I am hesitant to ask Araragi for advice due to his general douchebaggery, but he seems to dispense it pretty freely anyway. Perhaps we can be friends after this is over... but not before we punch him once in the face. Fist of friendship!

>>Right now, you're like a level 6 character in a JRPG trying to survive in a Level 5-18 Zone.

Sounds like every JRPG run-through I've ever done.

>>91790
>>Therefore, we must keep dancing on the edge of the dagger, put some cards on the table and employ some respectful arrogance here. Our shitty stats may still fuck us over, but better to go out with a bang than endure the constant stuttering mess we have become.

And my axe.
I have no idea how you manage to make write-ins that I find 100% agreeable consistently, but please, don't stop.

[x] Norseman write-in. Again.
>> No. 91804
>>91790
This.

What's the worst that could happen?
>> No. 91805
>>91799

XP debt? Well, Izanon's already got back his Knowledge and Courage. I gave some chances earlier to fix Understanding, but the above two got fixed instead. So...

All we got left to fix is Expression, Diligence, and Understanding. At the rate Write-Ins are going or just dumb luck, it should be fixed by the time the Game Day is over.

So... If we're all done haranguing over the same thing that's been repeated ad nauseum to death (and frankly I can name a number of games and stories that do the "Throw the Lion Cub into the Ravine and Watch the Cub struggle back up" approach)... Can we have less debating, posturing, whatever, and more voting?

I'll be frank here. Right now, I'm feeling more sorry for the optimists who made a commitment to: "Aww, we screwed up. Oh well, no biggie, let's just get through the rest of the day and try to recover. There will always be more chances down the line." And there's the realists going: "Aww, no pussy? Too bad, but at least I know I'm not slick enough to hit that ass yet, and the GM isn't going to give it away easily. Never mind it would have been the first and last pussy. Eh. Gotta get stronger, faster, smoother, and better for whatever comes next."
>> No. 91808
>>Can we have less debating, posturing, whatever, and more voting?

Oh... you poor bastard. Now I feel bad.
I guess you were going to figure this out eventually, but...
See, Anonymous is known for being vindicative. Even moreso than you have shown yourself to be (for lack of a better term). Over the course of the last few updates, it is quite likely that you lost a number of readers. The readers discussing things in this thread have probably already voted. I think you can expect the votes to come at a somewhat slower rate until things pick up again. This phenomenon was what drove YAF over the edge. However, if you're even half the writer you act like you are, you'll be able to roll with it, and gain more readers over time.
I'll root for you.
>> No. 91810
>>91755

Changing vote to Norsemans write in.
>> No. 91811
Enough shit. Let's move this through. I really enjoy this story, so let's see some votes people.
>> No. 91812
[x] COURAGE: You are Izanagi, this is well known. You shall steel your mind and keep the dignity of Your August person whatever may come.
[x] Calmly and humbly answer the Devil's Herald: "Au contraire, mademoiselle, We are not recognized for what We are. We shall reveal Ourselves so that the honoured Lady may know We carry no duplicity with Us."
[x] TRANSFORM
[x] Advance ten paces, then give the lady of the manor a courtly yet humble bow, making sure to keep eye contact with the lady herself at all times.
[x] "We, to our shame, are known as Yorozuya-no-Gintoki, God of the Hakurei Shrine, and as such we appear before you. We shall not insinuate that We are worthy of calling Your Ladyship Our liege, nor shall we dishonour the Scarlet Devil by insinuating that she accepts the obeisance from gods such as Ourselves. Instead We greet Your Ladyship as one worthy of Our respect and humble deference."
[x] Calmly await the Lady's response, whatever it may be.
>> No. 91814
Does anyone know what timeline we're moving on? As in, have any of the "incidents" occured? I'm inclined to think that this is before EoSD and PCB, but it would be beneficial if someone could shed some light on this.
>> No. 91816
>>91814

Yeah, it must be. Remilia doesn't even know spellcard rules yet, and the Scarlet Mist Incident was known as the first time the rules were seriously implemented.
>> No. 91817
>>91816

I thought so as well, but what confused me is this passage from above:

>>I don't care if you're really some kind of God, but a guy at your level doesn't stand a chance against a vampire of Remilia Scarlet's pedigree and caliber, when she throws danmaku play out the window and gets serious. It'll be like a lightning. You won't know what hit you."
>> No. 91818
>>91817

Possibly a plothole, but I think danmaku existed well before spellcard rules did.
>> No. 91833
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91833
---

System UPDATE:

[X] Ze Norseman Write-in Part Deux

"I'm a mean motha@#$% / I'm a U.S. Marine!"

"There is no 'I quit' in U.S. Marine."

"Pushing through the suck is what Marines do."

"But thanks for caring."

"NOW, COME AND GET IT!"

Current Phase: ??? - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

---

To be or not to be that is the question, so said a wise playwright of wit once. Being here in this THRONE ROOM no less confirms in every way you are way out of your depth, and worse, completely alone. Your "shadow" Araragi cannot help you now, with his mistress in plain sight, and to whom his loyalty and love were due. If you had not had your "little" mishap, this situation might have been more genial for Izayoi Sakuya had given you the impression that her eccentric mistress was somewhat fond of yourself. ...well, at least she liked your bloodstained clothes.

You have no idea what a "Vampire" is, exactly, and your sleeping knowledge only provides names of---movies and books, but nothing concrete about them. All you can be certain of is that they have predilection for blood.

Wait, your bloodstained clothes?

A deep overpowering sense of revulsion suddenly sends tremors through out your body. Unclean. Violated. You have an ill suspicion that it was likely that "Vampire Princess" across the way who found you in the first place. The Heavens know what she could have done to you, but it would not be a stretch to think she has a taste now for---a god's blood.

God? What does it mean anyways to be a god?

...Does Remilia Scarlet know of what you are? Che, that Araragi was right; the odds---the fates are against you, truly. A less courageous man might do worse, but your mettle is made of sterner stuff.

You are Izanagi, this is (likely) well known. ...well, the fact you are a god, that is; you do not expect a gaijin youkai no less to know who you take after. Ahem! You shall steel your mind and keep the dignity of your augustness, whatever may come.

Calmly, you think and construct a humble statement to answer the Devil's Herald...

"Au contraire, mademoiselle, We are not recognized for what We are. We shall reveal Ourselves so that the Honoured Lady may know We carry no duplicity with Us."

Sounds perfect, but alas, your tongue betrays you:

"Girl, you got it backwards. You're not seeing who I really am. Who the hell do you think I am?! Open up them eyes and watch carefully, 'cause you might miss it; a once in a lifetime chance. You, too, Big Miss Scarlet! I tell no lies, for real!"

If it were possible, you would have slapped yourself in the face for the laughable blunder, but now was no time to stumble and pitch a tantrum. Your courage pushes you onward right into the role.

BAM!

Like fireworks going off, you transform with a snap of your fingers, bringing forth your august self in a shower of life in motion: flowers bloom, trees flourish their best green, and sakura petals dance into flow into the air. It is a performance, and the star has arrived, so does the accompanying band of Noh drum a note in your honor.

"ORE --- SANJOU!"

No turning back, no regrets, all in; those ten paces become but five to your mighty stature. Unfortunately, you have no idea how to conduct yourself in court, much less what would be expected in the West, and nothing comes to mind. Instead, you improvise continue, urging a trilling note from the Noh's koto to strike in tune with the thundering of your feet and the languid sway of your hands and arms. Yeah, you just powerposed.

Now what you would like to say is one thing, but what actually comes out is another, in totally bombastic over-the-top street cred drama:

"To my~ shame! / Am I, this humble one, known as Yorozuya no Gintoki~..." O-Reimu's warning flashes across your thoughts, "from the many eight million-fold kami, a god to Hakurei, Shrine of the Fated Maiden~ / And here I am to~day! / No way is my head big enough to say~ / Your Lady of Ladies, My Boss Lady / but I ain't gonna say~ / That the Scarlet Devil should give up the goods~ / To a no-name god like me or any god~! / So I say, mad respect my sister and I ain't here for no fight!"

Fortunes that was embarrassing! ...but it does capture the spirit of what you were trying to say really! You can only hope and wait calmly that Remilia is down with it.

There is dead silence in the throne room, even the haunting moody Gothic music you TROMBE'd over has stopped its performance. It was the exact sort of atmosphere that fits the expression that you could hear a pin drop. You wish you had some way of gauging the vibes in the room, but there is just nothing. Absolutely nothing!

Izayoi Sakuya is living up to her name, totally, as the Perfect and Elegant Servant. You swear she was a statue if it were not for the occasional blinks of her eyes and the subtle, almost hypnotic rise and fall of her bosom. ...dammit, no lechery right now. No lechery dammit!

As for Remilia Scarlet, she...

"Hmph... Hmhah... Hmhahaha..."

She is...

"O-HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!"

That POSE. Chin up, like she was looking down upon you, and holding the back of her manicured hands against her mouth: that's the ROARING BITCH LAUGH POSE!?
>> No. 91834
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91834
"Is this not a fun silly thing?" Remilia crows condescendingly, every bit of her high upbringing and disdainful for the common.

Her accent is, foreign and exotic, and her command of the Nihon tongue is frightening: stringing together a sweet, divisive mix of word beautification, polite and plainly haughty language. She is the girl, the cruel devil with an angel's face, who stands at the top of---Cold Nobility.

"To think I shall be soiled by blood so low and a tongue so uncouth; an unsightly peasant dog-god, fit not even to lick the filth from the Morning Star's ass! O-HOHOHOHOHOHOHO! Very well, very well, very well; I ACCEPT!"

---

***RESTORATION: Your Expression has been restored! Baseline stats now appear as follows...

Knowledge - Lvl2 Informed
Courage - Lvl3 Brave
Expression - Lvl2 Eloquent
Diligence - Lvl1 Callow
Understanding - Lvl1 Basic

BGM Load: "Black Melody", Nobuo Uematsu - Guin Saga OST

---

Snap.

You fall. There is no warning, beyond that split second noise to hearken the invasive rush of air streaming through the eye socks and breathing holes of your mempo at frightening speeds. Why there is not even time to digest this for in the next second you collide with a titanic bone-jarring impact, splashing fluid willy-nilly everywhere, and its coming into your helmet, again! The smell and feeling, coppery tang and fuel, are so repulsive that even before you are submerged utterly, you begin to gag, triggering a fight-or-flight response that throws all semblance of control out the window.

Kicking and thrashing, you whip about violently in the watery darkness, tinged a burgundy red, floundering and scraping for escape. Drowning is not your idea of leaving a lasting mark on the world in the slightest. What is up? What is down? You cannot tell. Air, air, air, air, air; breathe!

Abruptly, in a stroke of dumb luck, you tear off your mempo in a wrenching motion, turning yourself onto your back---and sit up. That. That was close. You are out of the water and for a moment you sit there to collect yourself, only to discover that you were not in some fresh little creek---but a pool of blood. It extends far into the infinite black horizon; this macabre landscape of scarlet that reaches up to color even impassive Tsukuyomi high above.

Where the hell are you?

"O-HOHOHOHOHO! Welcome, wel~come, Queen Mab---the mad host is joined of fey and spirit! I am Countess Remilia Scarlet, Her Most Beneficent! and all are welcome this young night to The Moonlit World, a merry festival for the noble, the righteous, the cunning, and the foul."

The Moonlit World? ...C-Countess? But everyone so far has said she's a Baroness! What the?

You turn to discover that it is without a doubt, Remilia Scarlet, high upon her throne at distance greater than before, and far older than when you first laid eyes on her. She has blossomed beautifully from girl to young woman, and become a more perfect tyrant. There, the vampire count is surrounded in a retinue of a crosses thrusting out of the blood water, to what purpose they were intended you did not know, but those masses of red eyes, chittering...

Come to think of it, this strange sky too is full of red pinpricks, all the way to the horizon too...

Ah, you understand now. It was not just an extraordinary night but an absurd nightmare veiled in bats. You were utterly alone now: just you and her.

"Come, come! Entertain me more! Advance fifty paces, peasant dog-god."
>> No. 91835
File 124880624469.jpg - (737.55KB , 1066x1316 , 21520c8d7c3c41c0cfe7fb855dcf10da.jpg ) [iqdb]
91835
Her barbs are maddening poison. You stand to your full glorious height and make to step, as if to stomp your feet thunderously, but instead, you sink all the way to your thighs! What...what is this? The blood water was not this deep but a moment ago. Could...could that Remilia be controlling this?

Kuh!

The blood is---thickening? It is! It is hard to move in, like mud, and you find your anger draining away, soon forgotten, for you are a sinking. Never mind the reasons for: quickly, you begin to move, struggling to make the distance, with all your might. A Herculean feat that tires you, each step could be your last, but you manage to push through the heady brink of exhaustion---and make it to relative safety.

All the while Remilia looked on and grinned, a peculiar childish amusement dancing in her crimson eyes.

"That which you have brought from the Hakurei: deliver it to me."

On cue, something bubbles up to the surface: a wooden chestnut red case, the very same you saw Araragi and Meiling concerning themselves over earlier. It is safe to say O-Reimu's letter and the copy of the spell card rules are contained within.

"Huhuhu, if you can, feel free to do so by force---just like you tried with one of my noble household. To think you would have the audacity to try and seduce a succubus... O-HOHOHOHO! But what can one expect from a backward, ungrateful, oafish pig-god? Hu-huhuhuhuhu! I can sense it---your blood, your eyes---oh, how revolting~! The dirt snuffing pig's loins are awash in euphoria at my beauty~, O-HOHOHOHOHOHOHO!"

The pool, nay, the lake of blood begins to swirl and thrash violently, spitting up debris and detritus. There are figures surfacing. Lots of them.

"But I am afraid, you will have to fight your way through all my loving subjects~. I have not given them an audience in a long, and they are just dying, for one kiss from me. Humans, such simple creatures are they not? I never cease to find a new use for them, huhuhuhuhu."

They stand, crying out together in a frightful cacophony of gurgling and moans that culminate in a near deafening din. Ghoulish faces and dessicated bodies, some clothed and some not; they were men and women of all ages, twisted parodies of themselves in life, now reduced to something less than human and beyond all help. These people... No. They are not people anymore. They are... Undead thralls.

But what's worse? Those undead; they're not "floating" on the same water level as you. The blood only reaches up to their ankles while you are submerged to your thighs, and worse, you are surrounded completely. This is as bad if not worse than your ordeal in the forest.

"Ah, but how naive of me, surely, the dastard peasant has a clever jest to solve this riddle without violence? A magic pipe, perhaps? Oo~, please, tease me no more, good yeoman. I must see; I must see, now~!"

Remilia Scarlet, you are outrageously cruel.

CAUTION: What shall you do?

Choose...

[] FIGHT
[] Bargain
[] How about a Shikigami?
>>>[] An Origami Crane
>>>[] An Origami Horse
>>>[] A "Paper" Airplane
[] ??????

And / or...

[] CHARM
[] REASON
[] EMPATHY
[] INTIMIDATION
[] BODY LANGUAGE
[] TRANSFORM
[] SKILLS (Specify: e.g. Commune)
[] ?????

---
>> No. 91857
>>You are out of the water and for a moment you sit there to collect yourself, only to discover that you were not in some fresh little creek---but a pool of blood. It extends far into the infinite black horizon; this macabre landscape of scarlet that reaches up to color even impassive Tsukuyomi high above

Ah, Remilia Scarlet, in your arrogance you have sown the seeds of your own downfall. Or rather, given a somewhat elegant solution to the problem. Or rather, a perfect excuse to call in the cavalry.


[ODIN] Cast down Your trusty comb and conjure what spears of bamboo you can from this impure soil. They need not slay any of the beasts, only hinder them from reaching Your August Person for the moment.
[ODIN] SHINTO: Raise your head towards the heavens and reflect on the sadness and outrage that this corrupted blood would taint even this aspect of one born from Divine Purity, the one who least could stand foulness around him, indeed even slaying Ukemochi-no-kami out of disgust.
[ODIN] Let your voice be heard in humble prayer: "Honoured cousin, We who share this bond with Your honoured person humbly address Your August Majesty. Yours is the dominion of the night sky, and Yours the greatest love of purity among the eight-million-fold kami. Thus we address you, as one of Izanagi."
[ODIN] Raise your wish towards the high heavens, let it roar across the firmament: "Honoured cousin, let Your face be soiled no longer, cast down upon Us Your pure radiance and Your protection, Tsuku-Yomi-no-Mikoto!"
[ODIN] As your noble cousin answers, humbly entreat His manifestation not to assault the Scarlet Ladyship herself, for Your Augustness still has matters of great weight to discuss with her.

Divine Wrath is on.
>> No. 91862
>>91857

Norseman write-in is go. Let us vote.
>> No. 91863
>>91857

Mmm... I can see J to the E, in his horribly twisted interpretation of our chosen path, making this backfire rather badly.
>> No. 91865
>>91863

I too thought the idea of an epic write-in was to incorperate it faithfully.

[X]Norseman write-in

I mean, Norseman should have single-handedly saved our asses three or four times since our 'screw up'.
>> No. 91867
>>91857

You have my vote.

You know, with how quickly we're regaining our stats, the punishment earlier doesn't seem as harsh.
>> No. 91870
>>91867

Exactly, this would have happened without changing anything. I think we acted far too rashly.
>> No. 91873
File 124882272230.jpg - (315.26KB , 640x480 , 1594419.jpg ) [iqdb]
91873
---

System UPDATE:

[X] Ze Norseman Write-in Part Trois

"I guess, it's true after all; some times people can be too smart for their own good."

"I'd say, it's more of a failure to read the tide of battle."

"True."

"And epic battle plans are useless if it's not within the person's capability to execute."

"Point, too.

Current Phase: ??? - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "tactics", Iwasaki Taku - Soul Eater OST 2

---

Your plan dawns in a spark of clever genius. The moon. Of course, the moon!

Without hesitation, a familiar weight drops into both of your capable hands, and you twist into a theatrical flourish, an unnecessary encumbering movement, but a needed flash destruction. It is not once or twice, but four times do you cast your trusted combs into the water in a perfect radius of five meters; one dinging off the head of a ghoul, before splashing into the water. The beastly parody of a man groans mournfully in response, a cry that is echoed by the rest of the horde.

"Oh my, what a silly thing to do," Remilia pouts.

You try to pay no heed, though her childish jab takes a good bite out of your concentration, making waste of precious seconds. Thankfully, the ghouls are a little slow on the uptake, and by the time they work themselves into the beginnings of a frenzy, you are ready. On command, synchronized detonations occurring sending a mighty ripple through the blood lake, churning the stained waters, as four great geysers rocket up into the air.

When the spectacle of crimson-hued water settles, you have created a temporary "thorny" barricade; higher than the horde can hope to climb and with jutting protrusions to hold off the initial attackers. A wet wrench of flesh accompanied by a terrible moan confirms your first soulless victim, and just like that---the powder keg has been lit.

"How fas~cinating! I wonder, if I should hire you as my gardener, peasant-god?"

Agh, again, Remilia's jab threatens your concentration. You try to keep out all the noise, paying no attention to the stampeding footfalls and rush of groaning bodies that make the shear weight of numbers amongst the ghouls be felt. It is like being caught in the middle of a great deluge and having no choice but to weather it out. Of course, you had no attention of just sitting by and waiting.

The Vampire Count wants her delivery does she? Fine, but you are not going to tolerate this kind of demeaning treatment, like you were her playing.

The Moon. The Moon! Your answer is there.

Raising your head towards the heavens, you reflect on the sadness and outrage that this corrupted blood would taint even this aspect of one born from Divine Purity, particularly the one who least could stand foulness around him. Indeed, he went as far as slaying Ukemochi no Kami out of disgust, despite being the best chef in all the heavens. ...eheheh, yeah.

Ahem!

Begin. Let your voice be heard in humble prayer:

"O Honoured Cousin, We who share this bond with Your Honoured Person humbly address Your August Majesty. Yours is the dominion of the night sky, and Yours the greatest love of purity among the eight-million-fold kami. Thus, We address You, as one of Izanagi."

Now, raise your wish towards the high heavens, and let it resound across the firmament:

"Honoured Cousin, let Your face be soiled no longer, cast down upon Us: Your pure radiance and Your protection, Tsukuyomi no Mikoto!"

It is a done. Oh yes, Divine Wrath is ON. Of course, you make a note to humbly entreat his His manifestation not to assault the Scarlet Ladyship herself, for Your Augustness still has matters of great weight to discuss with her. Yup-yup.

He or she should be replying or getting here any moment now.

...

Any moment now.

...

Why is it so quiet?

...

You hear crickets chirping and bats chattering.

...

Why is nothing happening?!

"Hmphehe... Hehehaha...."

Remilia Scarlet that willy little...! What sort of trickery is this? Just where were you really?
>> No. 91874
File 124882280154.jpg - (513.33KB , 1380x512 , 7ca81964b7ffcb37f099092782250a13.jpg ) [iqdb]
91874
"O-HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO! HOW PITIFUL! This is the measure of a god? Reduced to prayer like common sheep? ...You have underestimated me, gravely, little peasant pig-god."

She raises a pale hand, revealing sharp nails painted painstakingly scarlet, and snaps her fingers. BOOM! The barricade to your left disintegrates into a shower of blood, scattering the nearby gaggle of ghouls attacking the structure. Blast forces flings them clear of the zone and transforming the unfortunate ones into improvised projectile to knock down those in the rear. You are nearly knocked face down into the blood and you ears are ringing terribly.

"This is not the first time I have fought against the forces of heaven and hell, and I discovered---the best way, huhuhuhu, to deal with you fat, complacent layabouts was to change the field of battle in my favor."

Snap. BOOM.

"Welcome to my Reality Marble, The Moonlit World; a power I attained from yours truly, who almost succeeded in consuming your boorish, bor~ing soul. Here is my paradise, beyond all laws. The moon you beseech is mine, a false black paper moon, and my word is LAW."

A hideous transformation occurs at her revelation: a pair of dreadful vacant black eyes and a manic wide smiling mouth appears on the moon high above, dripping blood from between its glittering white teeth.

"And your prayers bore~ me. Neither God or Satan would answer my prayers, and I see not why you, a common low-born dog, should be thusly privileged. ...'tis not in the interest of fairness, yes?"

Snap. Two at once?! ..guh! Are your ears bleeding? Your blood or this blood!? You can't tell!

"Hurry! Hurry, now! T'would be just. Aw-ful~ that I never got to read Hakurei's words, and I must, must know why she calls upon me. Please, good yeoman, don't tease me anymore~!"

Stupid, stupid! So much for trying to get the upperhand, and now, it is more clear than ever before you are way out of your depth. You have gained some knowledge of the nature of the opponent you face, but you have also lost the element of surprise and maneuvered yourself into a disadvantageous position. Remilia herself has not even decided to take the field and if you keep testing her patience like this...it does not bode well.

The ghoulish horde is getting ready for a second charge and the chestnut-hued case still floats in the water beside you.

CAUTION:

Choose...

[] FIGHT your way further
[] DIVINE HAIL MARY! She wants it? Fine. She'll get it! IN THE FACE!
[] Quick! The Shikigami Paper Airplane! It's classy and cool! Do Not Want to get Mauled in Face or Drown in Blood!
[] ??????

---
>> No. 91876
[x] ??????
>> No. 91878
[X]??????

So you're trying to discourage such write-ins now?
>> No. 91880
Well, this is going interesting.
>> No. 91881
You know what would be amazing? If this ??? was The Thriller option.
>> No. 91883
[X] Quick! The Shikigami Paper Airplane! It's classy and cool! Do Not Want to get Mauled in Face or Drown in Blood!

I'm not seeing why we have to fight our way through this undead-infested blood swamp when the option to fly is in front of us.
>> No. 91884
[X] Rage. You are fucked. Not in a good way. Secret basement room, next to a gimp fucked. But you might as well go out in a blaze of... rhythm.
[X] Feel the beat. It's the Thriller. Thriller night. And no one's gonna save you from the beast about to strike! You know it's the Thriller, Thriller night! You're fighting for your life inside a killer Thriller tonight.
>> No. 91885
[x] Quick! The Shikigami Paper Airplane! It's classy and cool! Do Not Want to get Mauled in Face or Drown in Blood!
>> No. 91886
[nano] ??????
>> No. 91891
[X] Quick! The Shikigami Paper Airplane! It's classy and cool! Do Not Want to get Mauled in Face or Drown in Blood!
>> No. 91896
[X] Rage. You are fucked. Not in a good way. Secret basement room, next to a gimp fucked. But you might as well go out in a blaze of... rhythm.
[X] Feel the beat. It's the Thriller. Thriller night. And no one's gonna save you from the beast about to strike! You know it's the Thriller, Thriller night! You're fighting for your life inside a killer Thriller tonight.
>> No. 91898
File 12488399107.png - (800.06KB , 800x1200 , 4664669.png ) [iqdb]
91898
---

System UPDATE:

[X] The THRILLER, A.K.A. The Mystery Option?

"SHALL WE DANCE?"

Current Phase: ??? - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

---

The adrenaline pumps and time slows to a crawl, offering you those few extra seconds to savor, as the horde makes its charge. Try as you might, there is only one grim realization that comes to mind: RAGE. You are fucked. Not in a good way. Secret basement room, next to a gimp fucked. But you might as well go out in a blaze of...

Rhythm.

"HIT IT, BROOK!" a proud manly cry breaks through the din.

"AYE~-SIR! LET'S BEGIN, THE MIDNIGHT CARNIVAL!"

"What?"

SAY WHAT!?

---

BGM Load: "THRILLER", Michael Jackson

---

The sound of shattering glass grips the laughing moonlit world in a titanic, earth-shaking flash!

Silence.

Then you feel it. The music comes, and it's just right: all the camp and pomp and glitz of the Feeling the beat. It's the Thriller! Thriller night. And one's gonna save you from the beast about to strike! You know...

"It's Thrill~er / Thrill~er Night~! / You're fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller to~night!" that manly voice, which sounds oddly your mortal self, cries out in song.

The music. This beat! It's too much to resist. Even the mindless hordes of ghouls have ceased their assault, tripping over themselves to stop---and listen. Be hypnotized!

"Wh-what is this n-noise?" you can hear Remilia stuttering, fighting to shake off the power of the beat that does not stop. Abruptly, she lets loose with a frightful shriek, "Kyaaaaaaaa! What is that? My sky! My night! My Moonlit World! Who has done this? 'Tis...it is all ruined!"

The fake black paper moon has broken apart like a rotten egg, darkness---like black silk is encroaching upon the night, but it is a strange vivid transparency, bringing out the stars, tinged in red. Half and half this artificial world is split, the tide of red has shifted, growing shallower, and more importantly...

WAS THAT A DISCOBALL DESCENDING FROM THE BROKEN MOON!?

"It's close to mid~night and something evil's lurking from the door~ / Under the moon~light, you see a sight that almost stops your hear~t!"

The music, the beat; it's picking up and that voice, you feel like you want to join---in song...

"You try to scream~ but terror takes sound before you make it / You start to freeze~ as horror look you right between the eyes / You're para~lyzed~!"

...and dance! Never mind you never danced in your short life and are an troll-sized man. You are gonna bust a move or break a hip in the process of trying.

"'cause this is thrill~er, thriller night~ / And no one's gonna save from the beast about to strike~!"

You join in the chorus at last, magnifying the power of the beat.

"Stop! Stop! Stop this, now!"

Oh, Remilia-baby, it's too late. You can't stop the thriller, and the ghouls are joining in even though they do not have the brains to sing...but Ebisu must be having a ball; dead people know how to dance. It is all in the muscle memory, yeah~.

"Your hear the door~ slam and realize there's nowhere left to ru~n / You feel~ the cold~ hand and won-der if you'll ever see the sun~ / You close your eye~s and hope that this is just imagi-nation~ / But all the whi~le / Girl, you hear the creature creepin' up behin~d / You're out of time~!"

The throng of dessicated men and women part like a scene from myth, opening an aisle for two men, who are no doubt the magnetic center of this madness: one is of a glorious silver mane, dress in red and black, and the other is a gentlemanly---skeleton, complete with an afro, top hat, monocle, and cane. What. the. Hell? What's next a damn shag carpet and lava lamps?

Well, like it or not, you find your gravitating to them---in reverse! The Moonwalk, impossible normally without specialized footwear---it is easily possible for you. The men do not pause in the thrilling performance to be remember in the Hall of Awesome! They see you and simply "electric slide" aside, welcoming you to join their flight. Indeed, it is like birds of a feather flocking together.

Your mission? To thrill one, Remilia Scarlet, because together you all can thrill more than any ghost would dare to try!

"N-No! Nooooooo~! S-Stay away~!" she pleads, flushing red, as the Thrill approaches.

"So let me hold you tight tight and share a / Killer, Diller, Chiller, Thriller / Here To~night!"

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y'alls neighborhood


"I'm gonna thrill ya tonight, ooh~ ba~by / I'm gonna thrill ya tonight, oh darlin'~ / Thriller night, baby, ooh!"

The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom

And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller


MWAHAHAHAHAHAH!

"NO-oooooooooooooooo~!"

CHARISMA BREAK.
>> No. 91899
File 124884001059.png - (318.51KB , 600x600 , 5a7ad72518c697413d8ccbb5b017c3e1.png ) [iqdb]
91899
---

"like a radio", Myrian DARTOIS-AKO - Soul Eater OST 2

---

Whoa.

Are you... Are you back? Everything is so blurry and out of focus. Your ears are ringing, too.

Looking around, as things fade in and out, sort of like slow-mo...yeah, this place looks like the throne room, all right. There is that throne, something white on it (oh, it's Izayoi-han! Rawr~), and man, there is a lot of noise. Like confusion, celebration, crying, and...WHO THE HELL ARE THESE GUYS NEXT TO YOU.

"Nyuu~-huhuhuhu! We did it. We really did it, brother man Ragna!"

It is a skeleton, an animated talking skeleton with an afro! ...that is so not possible. He does not even have vocal chords! How can he be talking?

"Eh, I said, it'd work out somehow," drawls a bored voice, which mimics---no---is a perfect match for yours.

A man in Red and Black with a mane of silver, same height, same build; the resemblance is uncanny, except for his mismatched eyes, one red and one green. Also, he is most definitely packing much bigger heat than you are, though that slab of metal and parts seems to fit the definition of a sword, just barely. It is a refined weapon of crude brutality, compared to your Lake Touya.

"Mistress Remilia, calm yourself!"

Oh, that's Izayoi-han!

"R-Remi-sama, h-hang in there. Imagine what people will think if they saw you like this?"

And that's that Araragi...

"I-I, sniff, don't CARE! Stupid. Bugger. Ninny!"

Wow, is that Remilia Scarlet? What... What happened? She looks and feels like a completely different person from when you first met her. At the moment, the vampire countess appears to have been reduce to no better than a winged preadolescent throwing the mother of all crying temper tantrums. It is taking all the muster of her two servants just to hold her back, as she throws out wild elbows and kicks, flapping her bat wings madly.

"R-Ragna, why are you still alive, stupid?!"

Her accusation is met with an apathetic shrug from the Red and Black.

"Eh, don't you think it was too soon to kill me off by locking me up and throwing the key away for two weeks?"

It is not the answer the little princess wants to hear.

"S-Stupid Rag-na! I! I-I... I'll make you mine. You hear me? I'll have you licking my toes, like a d-dog! I'll steal you away from, Onee---Honorable Bis Sister! And...and you'll listen to everything I say!"

"Well-well, who knew having a foul mouth was an inherited trait amongst you sisters? Guess you really aren't the well-mannered, refined goody-too-shoes girls you sell yourselves to be... That's false advertisement from where I come from, you know?"

"Eeek! R-Ra-Ra..." Remilia blubbers with huge crocodile tears, "Rag~na~! I-DIOT!"

"Sir Ragna, s'il vous plait, cease from teasing Mistress..."

"Remi-sama gets totally out of control, when she's like this. And you know it, too."

"Eh, she looks better when she acts the way she really looks."

"Which is more than I can say about her taste in music!" the skeleton joins in on the mayhem, too.

"Iyaaaa~aaaaan!"

Wow, everyone seems to be rather caught up in a happy sitcom mood right now. Maybe...

CHANCE: Think on your feet.

Choose...

[] Stick around...somehow, things have gotten more interesting.
[] Now might be a good time to exit stage right... For real, you have way overstayed your welcome, eh?
[] ??????

---
>> No. 91903
File 124884205075.jpg - (6.83KB , 240x180 , wat.jpg ) [iqdb]
91903
I don't know whether I should be glad that that actually worked, or really angry that that actually worked.

But with that said:
[X] Stick around, and play it like a show about nothing. Be sure to pause for the canned laugh track.
>> No. 91905
[X] Now might be a good time to exit stage right... For real, you have way overstayed your welcome, eh?

If Gin's completed his task, I think he should get out and try to get into contact with his friends and such, since it sounded as if he was about to cut all ties, of course after he gets his stuff back.

That and find a way to recover the rest of his stats. (Dillegence and Understanding) For he'd be at a disadvantage otherwise (he was certainly stumbling about)

I do not think Gin's flirting was evil, but I thought Anon would know better than to try to out-seduce a succubus so early on. I think had we resisted, we wouldn't have ended up on such bad terms.

And it's the first time Norseman's write-in backfired.

It's obvious the Gensokyo we're in isn't quite the same as in the games, Remilia packing reality marbles, Death the Kid being your boss, and Patchy's familiar being a high ranking demon.
>> No. 91906
[] ??????
>> No. 91907
>>91905

Good idea. The gun isn't pointing at our head anymore; best get lost before it swings back around.
>> No. 91912
>>91805
Apparently we're not able to level up anything until all of our stats are back to normal. This means you've taken away any power-ups this day may have held. We're still going to need to grind to get any better.

If this continues to happen, I can see that for every story thread, there will be three leveling threads. No CYOA lasts like that. Don't do that to us, don't do that to yourself.

[x] Stick around...somehow, things have gotten more interesting.
[x] You still feel the beat in your feet, the music in your soul! Hey afro, hit it! Victory dance!
>> No. 91913
So let me get things straight here; After clearly establishing that Remilia holds absolute control over her little pocket realm, we somehow break it all down by dancing goddamn Thriller?

Jesus Christ J->E, what made you think that it was even a remotely good idea pulling this out of your ass?
>> No. 91920
>>91912

I don't think so since he said that all things would be considered as normal but -1 level. So you still have your gains just that they're offsetting the penality than making progress.

But leveling stats shouldn't take too long, breaks the flow of the story. (Sure it'd work in a RPG video game, but not so much here)

>>91913

That is a bit of an asspull... unless he somehow called down the favor of the "God of Pop"; still Gin's a newbie god, a NERFED (via trying to seduce a succbus) one, so his feats in a reality marble might be a bit limited.

I can only imagine how the PCB, etc arcs are going to go if the EoSD one is this different.

Also there's two folks that you've gotten on the foul side of, that shinsengumi guy and the guy at the mansion. (I wonder if he's a reference to something else)

The latter isn't so much an outright foe, but he will be a thorn in your side in the future... but also a source of information. In short he's someone whom Gin'd end up dealing with just because his information's useful)
>> No. 91929
[] Now might be a good time to exit stage right... For real, you have way overstayed your welcome, eh?

Ragna the Bloodedge out of nowhere, and if I read it right, Rachel is Remilia's big sister?

There is no lol wut big enough.
>> No. 91936
[x] Now might be a good time to exit stage right... For real, you have way overstayed your welcome, eh?

I laughed my ass off. I have no clue why that worked, but man it was awesome. Too bad we didn't really solve anything ... But we do have something on Remilia now.
>> No. 91937
>>91929

And perhaps Brook from One Piece.

But I suspect Racheal is someone Remi looks up to as a closer descendent of Dracula (let's be honest, we all know Remi could easily take her in a fight)

>>91936

I never thought of it that way, and that'd help make the most of a trip gone terribly bad.

And the whole self-only mindset'd only weaken his weapon (something I realized when I was thinking on it some)
>> No. 91940
>>91937

Shit. That's right, we chose Lake Touya because of the Middle Path right? I knew we acted too rashly earlier.
>> No. 91960
>>91940
It did state that that would not be the last time we saw the other swordsmen. This leads me to believe that our sword is capable of acquiring different forms later on. It was also the best choice, and probably still is, as a well-rounded weapon compared to the others. It's best attribute is not the middle path itself, but power from our friendships. We may now choose only to believe in ourselves, but that doesn't mean others aren't believing in us. We can't change their hearts with our decisions. They'll believe in us whether we like it or not.

We'd be lost had we chosen a sword that needed great skill to wield properly, a sword of fragile nature, or a sword that could have possessed our mind and lead us down a path of despair.
>> No. 91973
>>91960

I beg to differ since if Gin's too into his self belief path, he'd end up cold to Machi-nee, Sikieiki, Reimu, etc.

It takes two to maintain the ties of friendship, and when one stops maintaining it, it'll take the other person twice as much work to maintain it.

The last thing I want to see happen is Gin turning his back on all those that support him.

Other than that you're right, Lake Touya doesn't follow a specific path, but it's a well balanced sword for those whose hearts are not alone.

No doubt Zangetsu(skilled form) is no doubt the strongest, but at the same time it takes a strong warrior to use it (something we have a ways to reach)

Hirashi (the quick yet frail sword) is for those always on edge and seeking a quick victory.

The last one is no doubtly the worse choice for Gin... since chances are as he is now, he'd become a bigger monster than whatever he's fighting. (It might take a man of greater skill and inner fortude to use this form without it taking over.)
>> No. 91974
>>We may now choose only to believe in ourselves, but that doesn't mean others aren't believing in us.

I keep hearing this.
You're right, but let me clear something up once and for all.

The pursuit of power is not it's own purpose.
Just because we choose to believe in ourselves, it doesn't mean that we forsake our friends. Rather, we seek personal strength to protect what is important -- not the least of which would be those close to us.
Drawing strength from others is one thing, but relying on it? That would be betraying both them and ourselves.

I guess I should have made that much clearer, much earlier. For that, I apologize.
>> No. 91979
>>91974

Let's hope it isn't too late.
>> No. 91993
[x] Now might be a good time to exit stage right... For real, you have way overstayed your welcome, eh?
>> No. 92000
>>91937
>remi could easily take her

haven't seen score attack rachel, have you?

Anywho, can't steal Ragna.

Ragna is Rachel's thrall
>> No. 92001
>>91974

Think we'd need to have the writer clarify things, since it is kinda vague.

>>92000

On that matter Remi is no weakling, I'm sure if ZUN and Tasafro saw fit to add a overpowered boss/EX version of her in the next game she'd be that much fiercer.

But on that matter if things of BlazBlue are involved, things will only get messier in general... and it's before the big incidents are occuring. For all we know the EoSD incident might be a three way battle between Racheal, Reimu and Remilia.

I think the SWR and MoF scenarios would be interesting in this light; let's hope that Gin's in good shape before he thinks about taking on Kanako and/or Suwako, Two very experienced gods compared to him)
>> No. 92010
>>92001

The writer of the option, or J->E? Because if it's the latter, he interpreted it pretty poorly. Like, the most harmful possible version of it.
>> No. 92018
>>92010

Good question; since I did notice at first glance it seemed as if the choice would cause Gin to cut off ties to other people, hence why I was worried about it.

The guy's obviously new at this, and with the way he's doing things, he might end up going over the edge and going into infamany with names like Kira (Snow End nuff said)

Though as far as MiG goes I think all future runs will have that ending casting a shadow on them.

Not to say this story isn't good; just the execution might be its greatest weakness. (Something I learned the hard way)
>> No. 92022
>>92018
You know, I found myself thinking the same thing ( >>91615 ).
Glad I wasn't the only one.

>>Though as far as MiG goes I think all future runs will have that ending casting a shadow on them.
>>future runs
lolwut
>> No. 92028
File 124890651535.jpg - (90.79KB , 480x720 , c35881c964a5e59be60a289793c7d85d.jpg ) [iqdb]
92028
---

System UPDATE:

"Proper planning avoids piss poor performance."

[X] Exit Stage Right

Current Phase: ??? - ??? - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

---

As interesting as it would be to see how this family sit-com of sorts plays out, today has been a really, really, seriously, god-damn---long day.

Even your own internal clock is starting to feel a bit pooped from all this excitement, which has added more drama to your head to think about. There are plenty of things you have come to realize that you do not understand, the people in this house for starters and their rules and whatever. It does not help that they and this entire experience has shown some eye opening limitations about yourself, not to mention rather ugly weaknesses you have... Yeah, taking a break tomorrow to figure some things out sounds like a great idea, after this bloody adventure, and right now, it is high time you left the building.

That stupid case is lying right here with the documents inside. You're sure someone will make sure---that Remilia Scarlet receives them properly. And hey, it is not like anyone's going to miss a 15-foot-plus troll of a man, right? He is just going "Back to Moon", and still feeling a little of that infectious, maniac beat, you slide back and begin to "Moonwalk" with your eyes closed. Let the funk take you where it will.

THRILLER fever!

---

***RESTORATION: Your Understanding has been restored! Baseline stats now appear as follows...

Knowledge - Lvl2 Informed
Courage - Lvl3 Brave
Expression - Lvl2 Eloquent
Diligence - Lvl1 Callow
Understanding - Lvl2 Kindly

BGM Load: "soul-eater (so scandalous)", Iwasaki Taku - Soul Eater OST

---

The beat has stopped.

Awww, you were enjoying yourself, too, but! opening your eyes, you are pleased to feel the familiar kiss of Lady Sun, though a bit chilly understandably. Your funky egress has brought you to a shoreline, the imposing elegance of the Scarlet Devil Mansion looming a healthy distance behind you. The sky is darkly overcast in shades of deepening grey and naught hint of blue is in sight, not a good sign.

It must be late afternoon or early evening by now, you reckon so, a guess that leaves you frowning with a wince. Yes, your honored landlady did specify a pretty general deadline: namely, you ought to return before dinner...or else, she will come to fetch you. The Red and White did warn it would be a very unpleasant thing if she had to do the latter.

Thus, everything comes full circle to your present dilemma. The good news is that the fog wall from Misty Lake seems to have thinned out some giving you a clear view of the opposite bank from your position, and you have made it this far unnoticed. The bad news is you still want your possessions back... Those posh high-class jerkoffs can keep your damn clothes. You want Lake Touya, the mystic mirror, your money and money bag, O-Reimu's on-loan satchel and whatever belonged in there back. Oh, and you have no idea how you are going to get across.

No idea how the former is going to work out, but as for the crossing... There is nothing resembling a boat or a pier around here. Maybe you could-

Suddenly, you feel light-headed, your vision dims, blackens...

KRA-THUD.

A low moan escapes from your hoarse throat. You feel---weak, and something awful---famished. Prone, you lay unmoving for some time, your thoughts barely functioning, as if under some lethargic spell. Eventually, its influence lifts and you recover, standing uneasily to your feet. Taking stock of the situation, you discover that you have...regressed back to your mortal form!?

"What the!" you yelp in alarm but your outburst is shortlived for your weariness hammers back into you with an embarrassing vengeance.

Growl.

That was your stomach.

"Great, what's happening to me, now?" you grouse petulantly.

On the spur, you try to call for your other self, only to receive an equally exhausted reply. That makes no sense. You are pretty certain you did not take any serious wounds while-

Growl.

Owowowow! Dang it, you do not have the patience to figure this out. You feel. You feel like CRAP, and you just ate too. ...Hey, hey! They did not give you bad food, did they? Is this the RUNS!? Montezuma's Revenge? Oda Anal-

Growl...

Ugh. It figures getting back to Hakurei Shrine is not going to be so easy.

"Why the long face, monsieur? Are you crushed to see me, again?"

You have got to be kidding. That voice coming from behind you... Man, you do not even have the motivation to turn around and look. It would be a total waste of your time, instead you focus on the distant shore on the other side of the lake---that treeline. Oh, if you could get across, you bet you will be home free from these crazy posh people.

"You wound me, monsieur... Is what I would like to say, but I have no time to play nanny to an impudent schoolboy."

Impudent-! ...keh, impudent schoolboy she says? Well, you always did figure she did not think much of you, but-

"Come."

A strong, slender hands grasps---no---digs into your shoulder with the strength of steel, twisting your expression into a silent seething wince. However, as quick as the pain begins does it end, and you find the foreboding green treeline you had been aspiring to, standing much closer to you. Your shoulder feels a bit sore but no serious harm done, a testament to the other's skill and strength.

More importantly, how the hell did you get here so fast? It felt like it happened in an instant!
>> No. 92029
File 124890666576.png - (10.24KB , 300x300 , 4107483.png ) [iqdb]
92029
The crisp, delicate whir of precision gears being winded catches your attention and you turn about to see Izayoi Sakuya, fussing calmly over an eerily familiar pocketwatch of silver. She stands about ten paces away and there is also a long ebon case you have seen before, sitting length-wise on the grassy dirt beside her.

"Izayoi," you call out to her uncertainly, dropping all pretense of politeness. You were not really in the mood to play pretend right now. What you would like is some straight, easy to understand answers. "What are you doing? What did you-"

"Evicting a persona non grata from the premises, politely. Consider this ebon case a complimentary parting gift, do with it as you please. I suggest you do not return anytime soon. Mistress Remilia's letter, which I have included in your satchel, shall explain the reasons for. Be warned: her words are not for your eyes, but for the Hakurei."

"Is that so? Well, what happens if I-"

"Safe travel, monsieur."

You blink---and she's gone.

Wow.

That. Was. Fast. (And she got the last word in too...)

Forget Remilia Scarlet that Head Maid might be whole lot more dangerous than her mistress, and you have not the faintest clue what sort of trickery or power she is calling upon. Just what was she? Human? Youkai? Or... Aghhh, now is not a really good time to be trying figure these things out... Still, you hope those two guys who came out with you will be all right. That Midnight Carnival dancing thing was pretty cool, though you do not understand how it managed to break through the absolute laws of Remilia's "The Moonlit World". ...dammit, stop thinking about complicated things!

You trudge over to collect your things, and your heart lightens immediately at the sight of a familiar companion. True, it has only been a day or so that you two have been together, but absence makes the heart grow fonder, yeah?

You grasp Lake Touya and...something is...weird. You do not feel that "ZIG-ZOOM-VWHOOM!" you get normally when you have your bokutou in your possession. Right now, it is more like a "Zing-Zoom"; kinda underwhelming, really. This is no ordinary weapon, so...could it have been affected somehow by your recent experiences? But that is impossible! You could not have been separated for more than a few hours...though you admit you did experience some pretty traumatic things, and there is lot going on in your head and stuff.

Agh.

This pain.

Could your heart be wavering?

---

SYSTEM MSG: Gain...

*DEFECT: WAVERING SOUL - You have experienced a great upheaval as of late and your soul is awash in turmoil. Who are you? What are you? Where are you going? How are you going to get there? Why? These are but some of the many questions that must be answered to bring clarity and certainty to yourself once more. Effect: - All Social Links only provide 1/2 the "Faith" as they would normally. ***Social Link progression may be impaired for some relationships.

***The QuickTravel option is available. Be warned. This is hostile country. Unfortunately, your range is limited at the moment due to unfamiliarity with the land.

BGM Load: "Heartbreak, Heartbreak", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4

---

No way. Must be your imagination, ha! You? Wavering? Not a...but what if it is true?

You sigh, heavily. Man, being a god sure is harder than it looks. Who knew you would have problems just like any ordinary mortal? Still, now really is not the time to figuring out all these problems. You want to get back to the shrine in one piece, avoid getting chewed out by O-Reimu, eat, take care of your needs, and go to sleep. Fortunes know how difficult your return trip will be wearing this stuffy butler tuxedo and these dress shoes! All of this hard thinking stuff can until the damn morning when you have a clearer peace of mind.

At least your injuries from earlier do not seem to be bothering you terribly... Guess this august heritage is good for something, but enough thinking... More doing!

You collect the rest of your things and run a quick inspection. Money: check. "Cellular" Mirror: check. Remilia's letter: check. Yup, nothing seems to be amiss, except there seems to be the addition of a lacquered spoon.

Now, why the hell is there a spoon? You soon discover that O-Reimu's bentou has been---emptied---and refilled with a new dish: rice congee. Could it be leftovers from the kitchen? Oh, your bamboo flask has fresh water in it, too.

...You really do not know what to say about this. Politeness to the end? As for this ebon case...it is actually pretty nice, lightweight, and the inside is padded with a red velvety material. You had found Lake Touya fitted in diagonally cross-wise, so the capacity was not too shabby at all.

Hmmm...! Oh man, was that Raijin's drums you heard just now? Damn, things are probably going to get hairy and wet soon.

Crap.

What shall you do?

Choose...

[] Stuff your face and Guzzle the water
[] Eat some and take some sips
[] Eat a little and save your water
[] Let's go, now.

And / or...

[] Take the ebon case
[] Leave the ebon case

And...

[] QuickTravel: Kourindou ~ Forest of Magic Branch
[] Brave the woods
[] ??????

And...

Movement:
[] Aggressive - At the Ready
[] Tactically - Alert to the dirt
[] Stealthily - This is a Sneaking Mission

---
>> No. 92030
[x] Let's go, now.
[x] Take the ebon case
[x] QuickTravel: Kourindou ~ Forest of Magic Branch
[x] Aggressive - At the Ready
>> No. 92033
File 124890792324.jpg - (24.26KB , 332x547 , hurfdurf.jpg ) [iqdb]
92033
[x] Scramble! Take to the sky, goddamnit, full burn.
[x] Take the ebon case, and head for Kourindou. Maybe it'll make for a good trade.

Incidentally, how do these stats work/what do they do, anyhow?
>> No. 92034
[X]Eat some and take some sips.
[X]Take the ebon case
[X]Quick Travel: Kourindou ~ Forest of Magic branch
[X]Tactically - Alert to the dirt

Kill the debuff, kill the debuff...

Also, nighttime would be when the Higan crew is properly awake right? Gin oughta call one and start stabilizing things.
>> No. 92035
>>92001

Yeah, Remi's no weakling, but given Rachel exists out of the wheel of fate, has three reality marbles, has survived the destruction of existence more times than is possible to recall, and deflected a magical nuke that leveled a continent without breaking a sweat... I'd say she's got the "overpowered" on her side.

But anyways, LOL POWERLEVELS.

sage for offtopic.
>> No. 92043
[X] Let's go, now.

Last thing Gin needs is to be soaked in the rain

[X] Take the ebon case

It may come in use someday

[X]Quick Travel: Kourindou ~ Forest of Magic branch.

It'd be a good thing for shelter from the rain, and perhaps helping Rinnosuke out might kill the diligence debuff.

Here's hoping he might have some insight on how to get your soul to stop wavering. (Rinnosuke in this gives the vibe that he'd know a nice deal about things)

[X] Tactically - Alert to the dirt

Nice mix of speed and caution. Given our problems, we can't really afford to go blazing into fights.

As it stands I see these things being on Gin's agenda

main priority
-find shelter
-Eat and drink
-Get to the shrine when the rain lets up

and things to do there
-remove the wavering soul (this is before the debuff since it's adversely affecting Lake Touya's power)
-fix the dillegence debuff

And definitely calling someone (Siki could perhaps give some advice, Machi-nee would listen to your problems)

That's another reason Gin should get himself out of his 'funk', he has work coming his way. The last thing he needs is to end up having a challenging task while he's at reduced strength.
>> No. 92095
I get the feeling that that letter is going to screw us over, somehow. I vote to read it first, just in case a spell has been cast on it for Reimu (also in case it says anything about us). As for the case, most likely the same thing.

[x] Stuff your face and Guzzle the water
[x] Read Remilia's letter
[x] Leave the ebon case
[x] QuickTravel: Kourindou ~ Forest of Magic Branch
[x] Aggressive - At the Ready

>All Social Links only provide 1/2 the "Faith" as they would normally.
I understand this as us being the "receiver".
>***Social Link progression may be impaired for some relationships.
However, I don't understand this. Yes, we had a crisis, but people don't just automatically know about it. Though, with the SDM cast, it makes perfect sense. Is everybody in Higan watching us? Is the shrine maiden spying on us? If so, that basically means you just fucked over almost all of our relationships.
>> No. 92101
[x] Eat some and take some sips.
[x] Take the ebon case, just in case.
[x] Quick Travel: Kourindou ~ Forest of Magic branch.
[x] Tactically - Alert to the dirt.
>> No. 92103
ADMIN:

Calling the vote. ...Boy, y'all a lot more aggressive than I thought, which I shouldn't be surprised by terribly... This one's all over the place, but we'll see what happens, won't we?
>> No. 92149
File 124907129374.jpg - (20.13KB , 210x145 , okayumed.jpg ) [iqdb]
92149
---

System UPDATE:

"The path of least resistance is not always wise."

[X] Eat and Drink (Moderate) + Take the case + QuickTravel straight to Kourindou + Tactical

Current Phase: Dusk - Storming - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

---

You know, if the next few hours is going to culminate with you possibly meeting an ignominious end, which considering Ebisu's fancy is highly likely, you would prefer to have some energy to face it with dignity and strength. You would rather not go wherever it is slain gods go on an empty stomach, plus it would shut up your said nagging body. Besides, why waste perfectly good food?

...

You take shelter for a bit to feed and water yourself. Gaijin or not, the chefs at the Scarlet Devil Mansion know how to do fantastic Nihon cuisine. The thickness of the congee is just right, probably from beaten eggs being added in to increase the viscosity of the broth, flavored with miso. Between the salt, umeboshi, and spring onions for seasoning and the thinly slice "peels" of salmon for topping, it produces a surprisingly umami taste that guarantees a hundred percent satisfaction.

Mmm-mm-mmm!

...

You could go for more, but in hindsight, it was a good choice that you did not stuff your face. The last thing you would need is to be moving around feeling all bloated and stuffed. It would only spell cramps if you had to high tail it real fast. You still feel a hint of weariness hanging on to the edges of your consciousness, but there is no mistaking this refreshing rush of energy. Fortunes only know how long it will last you though.

As for the next order of business, what to do with this ebon case? Looks harmless enough; you do not really have a use for it right now, but you never know when it might come in handy. Hell, last you can recall, finished goods never did come cheap wherever you went in Nihon, and with a little luck and the right person, you might be able to make a handsome profit. Running a growing shrine and a respectable household is not without its expenses, if this morning's discussion with O-Reimu was any indicator. The ambiguous metaphysics of which you have no stomach to think over at present time.

So do you resolve to take the ebon case, despite how it may encumber in the long run, and set out on the trail you traversed prior, while you still have some light. Though you cannot see her, you can sense Lady Sun's light fading away, as she retreats to her palace for the night. Of course, you understand the path of least resistance was not necessarily the safest to traverse, but between the imminent night fall and the approach of rain and thunder, speed appeared to be the greater of two virtues.

At least to you. Others might have taken a more conservative, stealthy approach.

Either way, the plan was to get to Kourindou as soon as godly possible. You did not check the branch business hours when you left. In fact, you are curious now as to how Rinnosuke manages to operate three offices simultaneously without help. ...Hopefully, he does have hired help or is in the Forest of Magic's branch office this evening, or it is going to be a long, long eventful night for you.

That said, you admit you are a pretty tough guy, but not crazy. You are not about to just go stampeding through these unfriendly woods at top speed in a butler's tux and dress shoes. This kind of formal wear is not particular conducive to that kind of activity, not to mention it is just plain stupid to go out running in open view of the trail. Instead, you plan to move offset from the trail in the brush and vice-versa. The going will be slower but a lot more tactically sound.

You are no expert woodsman but at least staying in the thick of things should give you a few seconds of obscurity, despite whatever noise you might make that will give you away. Besides, moving just short of an aggressive pace should allow you to pick your footing somewhat and stay sort-of out of sight. With any luck, you should be able to spot unpleasant company before they spot you.

Preparations done and plans made, thus you set out back into foreboding gloom of the magical forest.
>> No. 92150
---

BGM Load: "The Hunted", Metal Gear Solid 4 OST

---

Okay.

Eating as it turns out was a really good idea. The going is much tougher than you would have liked and put the final nail in the coffin that formal wear was not meant for brisk hikes through Mother Nature's country. Many a time you found yourself snagged by a gnarly or nearly twisting your ankle in a pot hole, unluckily disguised by a fresh clump of leaves in the rich undergrowth. To make matters worse, these stuffy clothes made the rising humidity unbearable. You do not know what to fault, your sweat or the dew, but you are soaked, again!

Also, not having your stomach give your position away at a critical moment was a definite good thing... O-Reimu's warning was coming true in spades, reinforcing the stories and anecdotes clear and present in your memories. The woods are alive with activity: feral cries and childish laughter. True, it was no military show of force or the absurd horde you drew to yourself earlier this day, but both youkai and the fey were out and about. The latter, rarely, showed alone, partenered in pairs or frolicking madly through the air in colorful troupes, with scarcely a care in the world.

You make a note to see if you can locate some more knowledge on these foreign supernatural creatures at some later date.

Your greater concern at the moment was---the youkai. Some were loners. Some moved together in communal packs. Others lay in wait, pouncing upon unsuspecting fairies and even other youkai, and better yet, the worse bastards were scavengers, who would come in steal a fresh kill. It was barbaric, wild, and out of control.

So far, you had been lucky enough to avoid any incidents...

Pitter-patter.

But, of course, the Laughing God willing, something had to go wrong. You have come upon a familiar Y-shaped fork in the road, and just your luck, there is a bunch of feral youkai gorging themselves over a fresh kill. Whatever it was originally is impossible to identify from the blood and gore at this point.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, pitter-patter...

And the rain is coming in...

Saaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

Scratch that. It's here, and your light is running out fast. The actual path they are occupying is open, though rough ground, with tree cover to speak of. Temperatures are starting to fall, strangely enough. Getting chilly again... Weird.

It is four individuals crowding around the kill to your best reckoning. Occasionally, someone will pause, look up with a bloodied muzzle, scan the area with their inhuman glowing eyes, and go right back to eating. This pack is generally of the humanoid variety: misshappen parodies of men, built like big brutish gorillas, shortened hind legs and longer arms, with hairy backs and long coarse hair. It would not be difficult to imagine that they could run you down and rip you from limb to limb should Lake Touya prove ineffective against them.

And right now, you are not too awful confident in your prized bokutou ability to dish out harm. You can feel it again that uncomfortable flutter in your heart. It cannot be a good sign. You try getting in touch with your other self, but his reply is exhausted and feverish.

Sigh.

Well, at least this canopy is keeping the rain off your head and the brush gives you a concealed line of sight. You can't smell a darn thing though, probably the rain's doing... Not that you're coming down with a cold right? How does somebody of your August constitution even get sick? Agh. If you can't smell anything, than those damn filthy beasts better not be able to smell you.

@#$%! You really don't feel like waiting around here all night for them to move their asses.

CAUTION: what shall you ever do?

Choose...

[] RUN SCREAMING MAD...Right past them.
[] RUN SCREAMING MAD into the thick of them!
[] This is a Sneaking Mission!
[] Try to wait them out... <Write-in only>
[] ??????

---
>> No. 92158
[x] RUN SCREAMING MAD...Right past them.
[x] "Ahahaha~ Ahahaha~ Ahahahahaha~ E~Bi~Su~"

[x] ??????

Looks like a pretty shitty situation. Are you a bad enough writer to fuck us over even more? Let's find out.

At worst, we get killed. At best, Reimu/somebody else comes in and rescues us. I think the odds are pretty good. Then again, we could just do the smart thing and throw a rock across the clearing, hoping that they run towards the noise - but where's the fun in that?
>> No. 92198
[x] ??????

I've waited a while, and no one has brought anything better to the table. Thus I vote.
>> No. 92201
[x] This is a Sneaking Mission!

Stealth!
>> No. 92203
[x] wait them out. Observe if they are going to do anything after feasting upon the kill.
[x] stay hidden whenever possible. Use the forest as cover.
[x] do not announce your presence to them whatever your intention is. You are not prepared for another confrontation.
[x] sneak out of the way. Slowly. Use all advantages Mother Nature has bestowed upon you.
>> No. 92209
[x] wait them out. Observe if they are going to do anything after feasting upon the kill.
[x] stay hidden whenever possible. Use the forest as cover.
[x] do not announce your presence to them whatever your intention is. You are not prepared for another confrontation.
[x] sneak out of the way. Slowly. Use all advantages Mother Nature has bestowed upon you.
>> No. 92210
File 124926013298.jpg - (234.77KB , 1000x800 , e6adca51439d33228e0ffa33617044c6.jpg ) [iqdb]
92210
---

System UPDATE:

"Oh, that was close. Very close."

[X] ?????? + Custom SATA Write-in "STEALTH"

....

WARNING: Something "Terrible" this way comes...!

Current Phase: Dusk - Storming - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Borderline of Madness", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4 OST

---

An unexpected inspiration bubbles up from the sea of your slumbering memories as you consider your options, which provides an answer to your dilemma, for a wise playwright once wrote:

"The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life."

As impatient and tired as you are, you're not prepared for another confrontation so soon, and against such numbers, too. The prospect of just charging into the pack, Lake Touya high and proud in the air, does sound awesomely heroic...but stupid; that way lies but an early ticket to someone's guts. Just trying to run past them does not sound half as bad in contrast, you imagine the beasts would be struck stupid for a few precious moments before giving chase. It is not every day you see a natural nice guy go running and screaming his head off, waving a bokutou in the air...right past you. Common sense dictates he would be coming to attack you, not cleverly run away from you by bluffing with all he's got.

Stealth is another tempting option, as it removes you from the threat while avoiding conflict. Problem is, will you be too hasty in moving right away or moving too late? It is a difficult question of luck and skill. What is self-evident, though, is that you understand your enemy very little, for these beasts do not match any particular kind of youkai you can recall from your knowledge of Shinto.

It is clear what you must do... You resolve to have patience and wait them out, observing the youkai carefully should they decide to make any move after feasting upon the kill. Whatever may come, it will play heavily into your strategy for surviving this unfortunate encounter.

---

System MSG: Ooohhh...

***RESTORATION: Your Diligence has been restored!

Congratulations, all personality stats have been restored.

BGM Load: "Borderline of Madness", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4 OST

---

As you lay there waiting, however, Ebisu appears to have had enough of nothing happening. Among the many eight-million-fold gods, he is a rather impatient one, eager to see a divine comedy unfold, and his favor a sketchy proposition at best. So does the Laughing God roll the dice back into play in a big way...

Tee hee hee~!

A childish trifle, but the girlish noise cuts through the tense scene like a searing hot knife. There is an insidious presence approaching. The feral youkai cease their feeding altogether, instead spreading away from the kill to scan the treeline, with intense alertness. Such action spurns on a explosion of conflict within yourself: you want to see what they see, but you also do not want to be seen by them. Whatever was coming, you wanted to see IT before it saw YOU.

Tonight is a good night~. Cold. Dark. Wet. Perfect for hide'n'seek~!

You would not believe it if you were not there in person, but did everything around you just get that much dark-

Ooo~, I caught you! Now, the Oni's going to eat ya~!
>> No. 92211
File 124926027766.jpg - (255.63KB , 1400x942 , 877f02f74e0b20991a4b0abb8f2519df.jpg ) [iqdb]
92211
Inhuman squeals of unholy terror seize the terrible air; the cacophony fills your mind with subversive, graphic images. ...More horrific, perhaps, was that you could not perceive what was happening exactly, only hear, and it chills you to the bone. Rip. Tear. Slash. Wrench. Break. Smash. You would never imagine that such mighty beasts could ever know the meaning of fear, but here it was happening right before your eyes: an unspeakable violence---nay---slaughtering was happening somewhere in that palpable disturbance of darkness, absolute.

Lady Sun's light is very dim, now.

Yuck. You don't taste very nice.

You hear it, the wet rapport of gore and meat splattering onto the ground. Insanity. It could not have been more than a minute or two, but the whole pack had been silenced, never to prey again on another being. You would be thankful for the unexpected help, if it were not for your growing fears... What was there to stop you from being added to the menu next?

Uuuuu, the Oni's still hungry, and I want to play more~!

A curious thing happens then, the dark quivers, as if it were living, and begins to recede, revealing a ghastly display in its wake. The "air" lightens and so do you see the gory remains: tissue, entrails, hair, and bone are scattered all over the junction; the ground dyed fresh with a dark coppery red. Absolute devastation in but minutes.

The darkness is condensing into a sphere, unnatural in its perfect blackness. Barely can you spot the ripples upon its pristine surface, tuned to the owner within, who giggles madly in eager glee, and as her volume rises, so does the tempo pick up. A blonde head of hair emerges in the matter fitting of a newborn chick, slick with the dark substance, which flows flows like honey.

"Yeah~, let's play some more!" she beams happily---an abominable being with the face of a sweet angel, fresh blood smeared on her lips like lipstick.

...wait... That face! Wherever have you seen it before? Could it be the same being from the Other World? If so, where is that big thing that was with her last time?

@#$%! This is bad. This is really bad.

"Ah~, is that so~? Rumia smells something good~."

Oh, Ebisu, you have got to be joking here. This human-ish youkai can smells you!?

"And it's close-by~. Someone's playing hide'n'seek! ...Does that mean Rumia is it? Tee hee hee~!"

You know, this might just confirm your hunch that this was the time where discretion is the greater virtue than valor. ...the basics of stealth are not too difficult, right? Just stay hidden whenever possible, using whatever brush and trees the forest provides for cover. Avoid announcing your presence, whatever may come, and sneak out, slowly and deliberately; Mother Nature's got a decent amount of chips stacked in your favor.

That Rumia might be able to smell you (or maybe she's bluffing?), but she has not seen you, yet.

So do you begin to low crawl, despite being encumbered, on your side, almost like you are a swimming, shooting one hand out to feel your way, while gradually dragging the rest of your body and baggage along. The pitter-patter of the rain against the upper canopy grows louder as the storm turns for the worse, belching great torrents of water and fury, which helps to mask your movement, but softens the ground into mud. Rumia though is not deterred in the slightest; in fact, she grows bolder, breaking out into idle humoresque humming while spewing inane nonsenscial things.

Your sympathies in advance to whoever is going to clean this butler tux should it survive the night intact, but right now, survival is the priority and you could care less for the condition of your clothing. That youkai of black was making the going miserable. Why? Because she was spinning in place like a top just scanning the treeline as you make your approach, creeping parallel to the open trail. It is hard to say just how long has passed since you began, but it feels like an eternity has come and gone.

@#$%! This is the most dangerous part. A flash of lightning may even give you way... You are now passing exactly parallel to her, the distance across from you to she less than ten yards. And...

"Oo, oo~! It's really close-by! And it smells delicious! So hungry~, tee hee hee, is it okay if I eat you?"

CAUTION: What shall you do?

Choose...

[] Keep creeping as you are...
[] Creep faster!
[] Creep slower...time your movement with Raijin's fury.
[] Stay P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y still.
[] Freaking out, man: RUN!
[] Observe. Wait for a chance. AND RUN.
[] Change Heading / Route?
[] Wait for it and... AMBUSH the HEAD!
[] ??????

---
>> No. 92228
[X] Stay P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y still.
[X] Observe. Wait for a chance. AND RUN.

Obviously we'd only start running if we get found, but while we're staying put it can't hurt to be ready.
>> No. 92237
File 12492884237.jpg - (117.41KB , 1023x454 , Raijin_fuujin.jpg ) [iqdb]
92237
You guys wanted grinding? Rumia is the lowest of the low, the stupidest of the stupid. If we catch her with her pants down, even in Lake Touya's weakened state, we should be able to take her. Especially if when we have allies, and the tide of battle is in our favor.

[x] COMMUNE: You must discern and face toward the cardinal NE, the direction guarded by the twin gods, Fuujin & Raijen, gods of wind and thunder respectively.
-[x] You should also summon those wind & lightning kami who would listen to you so as to augment any effects of the Brothers' blessings. (There is now little worry of attracting ferals or fairies, with Rumia present.)
-[x] Quickly smear mud on your face, and what's left of the white of you clothes, so as to mask you scent and keep yourself camouflaged.

[x] SHINTO & ZEN (syncretic): While creeping slowly toward the northeast, offer prayers to Fuujin & Raijin, They Who Live above the Clouds, when the wind howls and the thunder sounds, respectively. Invoke their status as being of the 28 Attendents (Nijuuhachi Bushuu), being in service to Senju Kannon, an avatar of Kannon, a goddess directly serving Buddha. Senju Kannon has 1000 eyes and 1000 arms with which she sees and relieves the suffering of those in the Six Realms of Reincarnation.
-[x] Implore Raijin to alert you when the lightning will strike, so that you may time your movements to prevent detection.
-[x] Implore Fuujin to whip the direction of the winds away from your enemy, so as to prevent your scent from being carried to her.
-[x] If you can gain the aid of Kannon's retainers, it may be worth it to call upon the goddess herself.
--[x] Senju Kannon protects all, but is especially concerned with alleviating the suffering of hungry spirits; perhaps she can satiate this endlessly voracious youkai for a time?
--[x] Senju Kannon also is also specifically invoked to protect against blindness or other afflictions of the eye. Perhaps she can alleviate this darkness, or at least improve your night vision?

[x] If you have acquired the aid of the gods, the situation has turned in your favor. You are now stalking her.
-[x] Call Raiju, companion of Raijin, the white-blue wolf bathed in lightning (itself a metaphor for ball-lightning) to harry this monster of darkness, its natural enemy. Even if she defeats him, she is unlikely to find his static aura palatable.
--[x] TRANSFORM, while she is occupied with the beast.
--[x] Even in its weakened form, your sword (besides being metal) is still an incarnation of Lake Touya itself, and therefore a natural lightning magnet. If you can impale Rumia with it, nature should take care of the rest. When the hair raises on your neck (indicating a lightning bolt is nearing), make a leaping strike, and release. Even if you are caught simultaneously by the bolt, her being grounded will ensure most of the charge passes through her.

Enemies up till now have seemed to be unassailable, but I don't think even a Rumia can weather 1.21 Gigawatts of divine electricity.

Finally, by relying on the actions of others to aid us, this should restore Lake Touya's full power. Hell, I'd expect a power-up, gaining a lightning affinity, which would be fitting since Gin (silver) is among the most conducting of metals, second to gold.
>> No. 92239
[x] COMMUNE: You must discern and face toward the cardinal NE, the direction guarded by the twin gods, Fuujin & Raijen, gods of wind and thunder respectively.
-[x] You should also summon those wind & lightning kami who would listen to you so as to augment any effects of the Brothers' blessings. (There is now little worry of attracting ferals or fairies, with Rumia present.)
-[x] Quickly smear mud on your face, and what's left of the white of you clothes, so as to mask you scent and keep yourself camouflaged.

[x] SHINTO & ZEN (syncretic): While creeping slowly toward the northeast, offer prayers to Fuujin & Raijin, They Who Live above the Clouds, when the wind howls and the thunder sounds, respectively. Invoke their status as being of the 28 Attendents (Nijuuhachi Bushuu), being in service to Senju Kannon, an avatar of Kannon, a goddess directly serving Buddha. Senju Kannon has 1000 eyes and 1000 arms with which she sees and relieves the suffering of those in the Six Realms of Reincarnation.
-[x] Implore Raijin to alert you when the lightning will strike, so that you may time your movements to prevent detection.
-[x] Implore Fuujin to whip the direction of the winds away from your enemy, so as to prevent your scent from being carried to her.
-[x] If you can gain the aid of Kannon's retainers, it may be worth it to call upon the goddess herself.
--[x] Senju Kannon protects all, but is especially concerned with alleviating the suffering of hungry spirits; perhaps she can satiate this endlessly voracious youkai for a time?
--[x] Senju Kannon also is also specifically invoked to protect against blindness or other afflictions of the eye. Perhaps she can alleviate this darkness, or at least improve your night vision?

[x] If you have acquired the aid of the gods, the situation has turned in your favor. You are now stalking her.
-[x] Call Raiju, companion of Raijin, the white-blue wolf bathed in lightning (itself a metaphor for ball-lightning) to harry this monster of darkness, its natural enemy. Even if she defeats him, she is unlikely to find his static aura palatable.
--[x] TRANSFORM, while she is occupied with the beast.
--[x] Even in its weakened form, your sword (besides being metal) is still an incarnation of Lake Touya itself, and therefore a natural lightning magnet. If you can impale Rumia with it, nature should take care of the rest. When the hair raises on your neck (indicating a lightning bolt is nearing), make a leaping strike, and release. Even if you are caught simultaneously by the bolt, her being grounded will ensure most of the charge passes through her.
>> No. 92240
>>92237

Reminder: I think our Zen stat is still in the toilet from when we overestimated ourselves with Koakuma, dutchess of hell.

And I think our sword is still wooden, but with alot of faith in it normally (considering the big fuck up at the SDM, it can't quite use its full power)
>> No. 92241
>>92240
>Reminder: I think our Zen stat is still in the toilet from when we overestimated ourselves with Koakuma, dutchess of hell.

The write-in doesn't require Zen inasmuch as focus, just that some of the knowledge could come from Buddhist or Shinto sources. It's up to the writefag to decide if this means that we'd have a ZEN check as a contingency if we somehow fail the SHINTO check, or if he simply adds the ranks for the purpose of the check. Either way, it benefits use to draw on both sources of knowledge.
>> No. 92243
[x] Keep creeping as you are...
[x] Be wary of the lightning and area around you.
[x] Once at a reasonable distance, break into a silent run.
>> No. 92244
>>92240
>And I think our sword is still wooden

It doesn't matter much. Hasn't anyone ever told you to not stand under a tree in a thunderstorm? I've seen oaks split right down the middle. Good think Touya is near indestructible.

Anyway, drawing water, lightning, or metal kami into the sword obviates the issue of conductance. And being a magical weapon, analogical, rather than logical, thinking is more relevant: Umikido, a two-story pagoda, known as the 'floating shrine' of Touya, was struck down by lightning. Touya itself is a huge caldera lake.
>> No. 92248
[x] >>92237
>> No. 92249
>>92237

Let's do it.
>> No. 92267
[ODIN] Maximum Mythology Option.
>> No. 92288
File 124934615271.jpg - (33.73KB , 500x653 , 18978.jpg ) [iqdb]
92288
---

System UPDATE:

"Y'know, what I said earlier?"

"'Too bad, Gods are sketchy types'?"

"You didn't believe me did you?"

"Not really."

"Good, we're about to find out."

[X] Ze Write-in

Current Phase: Dusk - Storming - Day 1 (7 / 1, Year 118)

BGM Load: "Shido", Hibino Norihiko - Blassreiter OST

---

As smart as it is to try and slip away unnoticed, the time for discretion might be over. Ebisu has forced you into a crossroads, and you would hate to disappoint your cousin, wouldn't you? His little roll was huge, but it was not entirely against your favor.

Instead of dealing with a pack of pseudo sapient beasts, now you got to deal with one stupidly powerful idiot, mano-a-mano. And what do you know? You are not feeling completely downtrodden anymore. Aye, the tide has changed and it was time to make a score a decisive victory, quick---and hopefully not to painful. Who knows you might be able to settle an old score here and get some answers, if this Rumia is one and the same as the other you met prior.

But first the preparations for battle, you begin by quickly smearing mud on your face and what's left of the white of your clothes. You are not sure where this stroke of genius comes from, but something within you is telling you it will help to mask your scent and keep yourself camouflaged. It ought to work against common beasts but you are leery of actively putting this theory to the test against youkai in the future. Your knowledge suggests they possess a wide variety of senses, most greatly superior to their natural-born counterparts.

Still, at least this move has a nice placebo effect on you: now, you feel like the hunter, not the hunted. Your next move? Reaching out with your spiritual senses, you uncover the cardinal direction of the northeast, the direction guarded by the twin gods, Fuujin and Raijin, your cousins who lay dominion over wind and thunder respectively. Fortune willing, you will implore their aid this night...

Though you get the feeling you may have just done something wrong. Oh, whatever. Forget the petty details, surely your cousins will forgive you this once indiscretion, no?

In any case, creeping in that direction so that your prayers may be heard more expediently by your cousins is not an option for it would take you right across the trail should you choose to move in the most direct route. Obviously...not a good idea, and it would defeat the intent of your surprise ambush. Instead, you begin your prayer facing in that intermediary direction, hoping to reach They-Who-Live-above-the-Clouds, waiting for the moment when the howls and the thunder sounds to carry your humble entreaty best.

You invoke their prestigious status as "one" of the Twenty-Eight Attendants (or Nijuuhachi Bushuu), being in service to Senju Kannon, an avatar of Kannon, the goddess said to be serving Buddha himself. As per her namesake, She is blessed with a thousand eyes and a thousand arms to which She sees and relieves the suffering of those in the Six Realms of Reincarnation. Though you have nothing on your person to offer, they will have your eternal gratitude.

Being rather temperamental and busy gods, however, you leave unspoken on the table that they will have your favor as well, to be exercised at their discretion at a later date. In exchange, you would implore Raijin to alert you when His lightning will strike, so that you may time your movements to prevent detection. To His brother, Fuujin, you would ask ask that He whip the direction of the winds away from your foe, so as to prevent your scent from being carried to her.

Those words sent---you wait, and are gratified that the response is much more immediate than you received from Lady Sun. It is twofold. The wind picks up, blowing towards you in a southeasterly direction, which denies the disturbing child youkai her smell (hopefully) by putting you downwind from her. You swear you hear boisterous laughter and barely concealed glee hidden in booming chuckles carried past your ears, but there was hardly a moment to consider this sign...

See, Raijin had outdone Himself, completely, on such short notice, for superimposed into your vision was an unobtrusive little "countdown timer", displaying exact increments in seconds up to minutes. How wonderous. You have no idea when His enchantment even reached you but this was---perfect! His strikes were still coming in at random, so as to not break the illusion of normalcy, but now you can guage your window of opportunity precisely.

Goodness! Embolden, you decide to add another entreaty. If Kannon's retainers are happy to play party to your mischief, why not call upon the goddess herself, too? It might be worth a shot. Senju Kannon protects all, so you recall, but is especially concerned with alleviating the suffering of hungry spirits. Mayhap, she can satiate this---endlessly voracious youkai for a time? More importantly, She is also specifically invoked to protect against blindness and / or other afflictions of the eye. It would be---groovy, if she could do something to alleviate this darkness, or at least improve your night vision, yeah?

You give her a call.

...

You wait.

...

Electric light flashes in the sky followed by lightning's crack.

...

"We are sorry. Your call could not be connected; this number is busy or service could be down in the area. Please try again, later. Thank you for using Celestial Cingular Cellular, the best name in-"

...

What the HELL was that just now? Arghhh, never mind; guess Her job makes Her a little too high in demand compared to Amaterasu, who just has to sit up in the sky and look sunny. No offense meant.
>> No. 92289
File 124934622852.jpg - (121.34KB , 505x700 , KONO BAKAYAROU GA01.jpg ) [iqdb]
92289
Still, you have got Raijin and Fuujin on your side. The situation has turned, greatly, in your favor. Who is stalking who, now?

"Mmmm~, so close by. Rumia's really, really hungry, tee hee hee~!" the youkai's childish rambling draws near.

@#$%! She is heading in your direction. Quick: you need a distraction! Hastily, you entreat the Brothers for another boon. In exchange, you will announce yourself and rouse all the kami who would listen to revel in celebration of their blessing. The one you seek, in particular, is none other than Raiju, companion of Raijin, the white-blue wolf bathed in lightning, who is himself a clever, magnificent metaphor on his master's part for ball-lightning. You would have him harry this monster of darkness, this hated foe, who is surely no match for him.

Of course, you do not mention that even if she should defeat him, it is unlikely she will find his static aura to be palatable. Wheels within wheels, you know? What you do say that Raiju need not sully his fangs and claws, only distract; it is you who shall deal with the unsightly task of delivering the felling blow.

His approval self-evident for a moment later, a bright flash bursts into the air with a loud keening crackle.

"Wha~?" the youkai stares dumbly at the almost blinding ball of lightning, floating in mid-air under its own power. Stray slivers of lightning lash out everywhere at random, a natural effect of Raijuu's presence that would have sent lesser men cowering or running away in fear. It is a good thing everything is so wet right now or he would be setting the forest on fire. Probably.

ZZZ-Zap!

"Oowiieee~... That's not very nice~, but do you want to play too? Tee hee hee. O-kay~!"

Audacious bastard; that bit of juice got her attention all right (you almost wish you had him for a companion / shikigami)! Rumia begins to move away, giggling inanely, as she lashes out with tendrils of darkness at Raijuu. Raijin's companion is far from easy quarry, darting about abruptly, his form transformed into blue bolts of pure---"electricity". However, she too is not a predator to be deterred easily and continues to "fish" for him with single-minded tenacity, bordering on the idiotic for her tendrils shoot far and wide. Her aim is not even remotely close!

Your chance has come.

Now to TRANSFORM and ROLL-! ......OW-owowowowoowowowow! O-ouch, goodness gracious that felt like your whole body just erupted with fire ants crawling around, biting everything. Ahhh... Oh, right, your otherself was feeling under the weather. Looks like you will have to do this the old fashioned way without the extra muscle mass or divinity; no problem, adapt and overcome, yeah?

Your original plan was to strike using a transformed incarnation of Lake Touya made into a katana of steel. Even in its weakened state, it should still make for a natural lightning "magnet". If you can impale this Rumia with it, Raijin's fury should take care of the rest. You recall stories that the hairs on the back of one's neck would rise just before a bolt struck. Therefore, all you would have to do is make a leaping strike and "release". Even if you are caught simultaneously b the bolt, the dark foechild being ground should ensure most of the "charge" passes through her.

Well, that is all been shot to pieces now... You will have to make do with Lake Touya as is, appearing deceptively as an ordinary wooden sword. In fact, you send another hasty request imploring that Raijin target---yes---target His next strike right upon your august person. It is insane, but the thundering black sky flashes with a spiderwebbing cannonade of lightning, showing His clear approval and bemusement.

Fifteen seconds. Oh @#$%!

"Hey~, s-stop it~, tee hee hee! The Oni's going to get ya~."

Come on, face side ways damn you.

ZZZ-Zap!

"Oohhh~, that's starting to feel kind of nice, tee hee hee~!"

Nine seconds. @#$%-@#$%! Come on, come on, come on!

ZZZ-Zap!

"Aaaa-ha~, the Oni is going to get ya~!"

NOW.

You burst forth from the mud and foliage, more savage than man perhaps, possessed by a furious battlelust fit for Susanooh no Mikoto himself, the war-like god of sea and storms. Who knows? Maybe He has seen fit to intercede with a blessing of His own for you.

Mud? No problem you were powering right through it. Bad footwear? Shoot, your feet have never felt better. It is like you were walking on paved ground. Encumbering clothes? Clothes? What cloth---uhhh, let's not go there. Bottom line? You felt like you were---PIMP, HEROIC, THE @#$%!

"TSUUUUUUUURYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhh!"

Rumia, of course, does not think situation is serious in the slightest. She turns to greet your charge with that characteristic---vacant, empty-headed smile, her sharp canines glinting in the light.

"Is that so~?"

Oh yeah, we are going to see about that---RETARD! You leap and swing with all your might, aiming for that exposed head, as a withering volley of tendrils erupt from that sphere of darkness the youkai calls a body. They whistle past you, like arrows, slicing, grazing, drawing blood, but you won't be stopped. Nothing on this EARTH was going to stop you, now!

"OOIIII~, TEMEE~ RA~! OMAE WA BAKA KA!?"

KRAK-THAK!!!!

Everything turns bright. Searing white-hot. You do not feel the impact. Hell, you do not feel much of anything. The only thing you can be certain of is the blood pounding in your ears. Great heaving breaths: inhale, exhale, inhale, gasp, exhale... It goes on and on. You are waiting, waiting, waiting...

Tick.

Tock.

Tick.

Tock.

Tick.

Tock.
>> No. 92290
File 124934637725.jpg - (47.21KB , 561x640 , acf53db7f22fd0_full.jpg ) [iqdb]
92290
...and the bright bloom lifts. There is the dark foechild at your feet, driven before you into a smoking, crispy critter, moaning incoherently with a swirly-eyed, pained face that was almost---cute. It appears she still breathes, evidently so, which is good and bad. Good because there is a chance for you to get some answers from her; answers you really, really, really want to hear. Namely, what in the hell was she doing in Hakurei's---your---the Shrine's sacred refuge. The bad? Well, she was alive, and worse, does not seem to be too bad off.

In time, Rumia would recover, so would you, but...

Oooo...

You're feeling kinda funny and...crispy yourself. Did...did you get struck... too? H-How...

Ugh.

Getting dark..er... Fainter. A voice is...calling...you?

"Next time, when u pray, foo', face the right direction of the god u be praying to, JACKASS! I'm North-WEST, not north-east, ya hear? Big difference. It's like Crips an' Bloods, foo'! And it doesn't mean I'm hard of hearin', ya understand, like word to yo' motha? Next time I'll for real have Little Ray-Jah fry u for real-real good! Word? Big Schizzle-Whizzle in yo' Hizzy Fuujin Fuuten signin' off, keepin' it real, and that punkassbitch Rajah Jay-Jay Moochbrotha Raijin that be livin' in my crib sends the best, too, word. WOO~ooo~, yeah, biz-nitches!"

Ah... Of course... The brothers guard their gate... facing the southeast, and Northwest...is...the realm of the Wind Heaven. Ha ha ha... Therefore... if you must pray to them, you ought to have----faced north-west. Hah... Gods sure are...a sketchy bunch. ...c-can't...go...on.

BLACK

---

End Day 1.

---

System MSG: Congrats. You have survived your first day, sorta.

Hnnn, that was close, but you are almost there to restoring your insight in Lore: ZEN. A little introspection over a scroll and / or instruction from one learned in the way maybe all that's needed to breakthrough that barrier of ignorance.

Oh, there's more...

Gain:

***Enemy of Choice: Rumia I - When facing this particular denizen of Gensokyo, you are filled with confidence rather than fear, having bested her once before. That said, you have only seen the tip of the iceberg of what this dark foechild is capable of, many questions you have are still left unanswered, and caution is still advised when facing her. Effect: + Confidence

Rumia Gains:

***Nemesis: "The Silver Bogeyman" I - It is rare that Rumia runs across something she cannot eat in her haunts, but alas, this prey may have done more harm than good by defeating her. That savory enticing "smell" has been forever etched into her sinuses, along with the last burning image of something man and not-man flashing silvery against the lightning struck sky. She hungers. Effects: + Yandere, - Reason

You have unlocked the achievements: "Struck by Lightning!?" and "Gods are Sketchy Bunch I".

Hmm, your ability Commune appears to be growing stronger. You are on the verge of realizing some new details and not long from a major breakthrough, but something is still missing... Better see if you can track down some knowledge about this to speed the process along.

All in all, not a bad day's work, sorta.

---
>> No. 92291
File 124934644014.jpg - (175.23KB , 650x1034 , 4868990.jpg ) [iqdb]
92291
---

System REFRESH:

Loading...

Current Phase: ???? - ???? - Day 2 (7 / 2, Year 118)

BGM Load: "The Poem for Everyone's Souls", Shoji Meguro - Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4

---

You are here alone again, in your sweet insanity. All too calmly, you delude yourself from reality.

Do you call it solitude? Or do you call it liberty? When all the world turns away to leave you, lonely.

Is this the strength you seek? A different beginning, a different time, to live a different life, an awesome existence untouchable and separate, higher than the highest, beyond the wheel of fate? Such a wonderful thing could be called Power---not of the gods---but of God, peerless and absolute.

If you possess Power, will you be able to live?

Hmph-hahaha... How ironic there is one such being who exists with that very power, at this very moment, who would throw it all away---for a second chance. Bah! Foolishness. Isn't it?

How free and wicked you could be when beyond reproach, when beyond all consequences, with such Power. As many friends, as many enemies, as many lovers... Excess and extravagance are not the absurd but the norm. Loneliness? Feh. What loneliness when you are so free?

...but is it not so that you have become no more than a common beast? Untamed. Wild. Free. Concerned only with pleasure and your next amusement... The experience is cheap. Empty. Fake. Worthless.

It is quite pathetic really to become reduced to a mere monster, in the end. To be quite mad, and rely upon the unusual strength of Man to release yourself from the insanity of it all, for it is only they who can slay monsters.

Will you, too, absorbed in hubris, follow the same path as well? That you are already above reproach. The World does not matter. Others do not matter. Only your happiness, your incorrigible righteousness. You will become strong so you need not to rely on them? That others exist only to restrain the genius of your brilliance? That they must be made to recognize your awesome Augustness?

Or is it really just that... Hubris? A moment's passing fancy... Words spoken in the flaring haste of hot passion...or cool reason. Could it be that what you seek, truly, is power to stand as equals amongst all those smiling faces; to be your own person does not mean you have to be alone, standing apart from everyone.

"I. I don't want to be the one who is protected all the damn time. I. I want to be able to protect you troublesome idiots, y'know. Like... Like family, yeah? Mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. I mean... I can be reliable, too, see?"

Will the child become a man, or is He forever doomed to childhood? That remains to be seen.

What shall you do?

Choose...

[] A mask of ivory
[] A coin of copper
[] The crown of skulls
[] A rickety rocking chair
[] The golden keys

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>> No. 92293
[x] A coin of copper
>> No. 92294
[X]The crown of skulls.

Death the Kidd time.

Also, is Rumia going to get more obsessed every time Gin beats her? Because I find that disturbingly interesting.
>> No. 92296
[x] A rickety rocking chair

>>92294

Seems like it. Recurring nemesis acquired.
>> No. 92299
[x] A coin of copper

More machi
>> No. 92302
[X] A coin of copper
>> No. 92338
[x] A mask of ivory

Psycho time.
>> No. 92340
[x] a coin of copper.
>> No. 92342
ADMIN:

Well, a coin of copper it is, and since I hear we're really close to auto-sage, we'll go ahead and start fresh.