[Return]
Archived Thread
File 124398510823.png - (164.27KB , 800x600 , 01.png ) [iqdb]
10731 No. 10731
[x] "I'm not supposed to talk about it."
------

“Sorry. I can’t tell you. I’m not supposed to talk about it,” you said, shaking your head a little. Miss Aya, still looking at you, gave you a little frown.

“Well, now I’m really curious,” she said, biting her lip, although other than that, she didn’t really pry. That was kind of unusual for her. Actually, she’s been acting kind of weird today, since you’ve brought up the mist to her. Hesitation… Maybe she already suspected something…?

“… Hey, Miss Aya?” You decided to break the silence after a while, speeding up a little so that you were flying by her side. “I was curious… but what would happen if the oni returned to Gensokyo?”

… The oni were the ones occupying the Youkai Mountain in the days of old, after all. They resided there, until they decided that they were done with the humans of the surface, retreating somewhere underground. It was after that that the tengu and the kappa became the dominant youkai in the mountain region.

“It would be the worst thing to happen to us,” Miss Aya said, narrowing her eyes. “No doubt they’d want to take back the mountain from the kappa and us. The hundreds of years we’ve spent building up our society in the one that they left behind would be completely demolished.”

“… How strong are they?”

“We’re totally outmatched. If it’s one of the Four Devas of the Mountain, then all of the mountain itself wouldn’t be able to stop just one of them. The only one who really stands a chance against them is Lord Tenma himself,” she said. Was it just your imagination, or did she actually look very worried? “If it was the combined force of all of them, we wouldn’t even be able to hold a candle to them, and that includes the kappa and the other youkai.”

“… That’s scary.”

“Isn’t it? Well, I don’t think that’ll ever happen, at least. The oni are down there by choice, after all.”

Even though she was saying that, she didn’t look very reassured. Maybe… she actually did recognize that mist.



When you arrived at the mountain, Miss Momizi was there to greet your return. You touched down onto the ground with Miss Aya beside you, and Miss Momizi came forward wearing a smile.

“Welcome back, Miss Shameimaru, Mikio.”

“We’re back, Momi~!”

“… Mikio, did you get in another fight?” Miss Momizi asked as you stepped closer, the moonlight shining down on you. You nodded. “Really. You go through your clothes every month,” she sighed.

“It’s not my fault,” you protested weakly. Miss Momizi smiled warmly and put a hand on your head, messing it up a little affectionately.

“I know it isn’t,” she said. “But you do seem to attract a lot of trouble to yourself somehow.”

“I blame the mask,” you said, shrugging a little as she removed her hand from your head. The mask did make you seem more suspicious, didn’t it? Or something to that effect.

You undid the strap at the back of your head, taking the mask off of your face. Turning it over in your hand, you looked over it a little. Even though you kinda thought this thing looked stupid at first, you’d developed a strange kind of attachment to it. It sure had taken a beating, though. There was that gash from Youmu’s slash that nearly connected the eye holes together, and there was a small crack at the corner, probably from today’s fight. Better it than your face, though.

“Were you waiting for us, Momi?” Miss Aya asked.

“Ah. Yes, I was,” she said, turning to her. “It’s a little lonely without the two of you here, you know. I was moon gazing just now. The full moon will be in three days,” she said, looking up at the sky. Wait, wasn’t there a full moon now? You followed her gaze, looking up. There was the not-quite-full face of the moon. Then… that broken moon you saw in that other place was…a fake?

“Three days, huh? That’s just in time for the next feast,” Miss Aya said, looking up at the sky as well. “Hey, Momi. How ‘bout you come with us then?”

“Eh? But I have to guard the…”

“Oh don’t worry about that. I’ll have Inuhashi take over your shift then.”

“Well…”

“I think you should come with us, too, Miss Momizi,” you said, looking at her. She should take a day off to have fun as well, right? She looked hesitant for a moment, but she soon smiled.

“Then, I’ll do that.”

“Alright, it’s decided then! Let’s hurry up and head inside, I need a bath!” Miss Aya said cheerfully, taking hold of Miss Momizi’s hand into hers. “Let’s go together, Momi~!”

“Eh? But I already…”

“Doesn’t matter! You want to join us too, Miki?”

“Huh? I don’t—ow! Let go of me, Miss Aya!”
>> No. 10732
File 124398514092.jpg- (571.88KB , 1600x1200 , 02.jpg ) [iqdb]
10732
------

The day of the feast came quickly. You were a little anxious about what that little oni might be planning for today, but since Miss Momizi was here with you, you couldn’t let that worry you too much. You should just enjoy the merry festivities for today.

“Ehhh? Doesn’t the drinks table look a little lacking?” You heard Miss Aya complain ahead of you, so you took a look for yourself. There did seem to be a lot less variety of drinks compared to the earlier feasts. Maybe everyone got tired of bringing drinks?

“Mikio, here.” You turned to Miss Momizi, walking over to you with a skewer in each hand. Speared on the wooden skewers were little round things that resembled dumplings. You took one of the skewers into your hand.

“What is it?”

“It’s dango. I think you’ll like it.”

You brought the skewer to your mouth, carefully prying off one of the little dumplings with your teeth. Rolling it around in your mouth, you bit into it. Ah, it’s sweet~! Enjoying the taste, you chewed it down.

“It’s good,” you said, holding your cheek with one hand. You had always been fond of sweet things, even though the old man told you it was immature to like sweets. “What’s inside?”

“Red bean paste,” she said, eating her own share of the stuff. You slowly finished your skewer as well, standing by her side as Miss Aya went off to talk with some of the people at the feast. You felt a little thirsty after eating, so you went to pour yourself a cup of water.

“Hey, mask youkai!” You heard someone call out to you just as picked up a cup at a table. That someone was the Hakurei shrine maiden, who looked surprisingly serious.

“Um… my name is Mikio,” you said meekly as she approached.

“Right. Anyway, fess up already,” she said, pointing her gohei at you.

“… Huh? What are you…?”

“You’re the one behind the mist, aren’t you? Or is it your superior?” she said, frowning. Huh? Why are you being accused of that? Weren’t you investigating it at the last feast…?

“But I—“

“Oh, who am I kidding,” she sighed, lowering her gohei. “There’s no way it could be you. But I beat up everyone suspicious already. Maybe my intuition’s starting to dull.”

“…So you’ve started investigating, then?” you decided to ask. Maybe she’s learned something? No, probably not…

“Yeah, but I’ve gotten nowhere since I started,” she said, kicking at the ground. “Maybe I should just wait ‘til something actually happens and solve it on the spot then.”

“I think something might happen today, actually,” you said.

“Hmm…” the shrine maiden seemed a little skeptical, though. But… behind her, you saw the now all-too familiar gap opening. Miss Yukari peered out of the gap, leaning her arms on one of its edges.

“Huhuhu~ I wonder what will happen during today’s feast?” she laughed, a coy smile on her face.

Hakurei quickly turned around, raising her gohei threateningly, although Miss Yukari didn’t bat an eye, instead continuing to smile in that mysterious way. “Yukari,” the shrine maiden muttered, hardening her eyes. “Of course. I can’t believe I forgot the most suspicious person of all.”

“My, you wound me deeply, Reimu. I thought we had an unbreakable bond of trust between us.”

“I’ve only known you for a few months, and you’re the last person I’d put my trust in.”

“Such harsh words. I’m the one who brought the liquor today, you know. 90% alcohol, like a right angle.”

“I’ve also heard you’ve been going around stealing drinks,” Hakurei scoffed. “And anyway, were you even invited?”

“Oh my, of course I was invited~!”

“Meaning you weren’t, of course.”

“Everyone’s been so mean to me,” Miss Yukari said sadly, producing a handkerchief from her gap and dabbing at her eyes. “Why are they leaving me out~?”

“No one knows where you live, and you’re the biggest troublemaker of all, anyway.”

“Then shall I invite you to my home next time?” Miss Yukari tossed her handkerchief back into the gap, leaning on the edge in her usual lazy demeanor.

“Stop trying to change the subject. Anyway, you’re the one causing the mist, aren’t you?”

…Huh? It suddenly got dark over here… but there’s still sunlight on the other side? You looked up at the sky, and your eyes widened. The sky had been split evenly into two. One half was day, the other half was night. What was going on…?

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Miss Yukari laughed. “You don’t understand anything, do you? It would be too easy for me to tell you the cause of the mist. Therefore, I’ll make myself difficult instead.”

Looking around you, a crowd had formed around the two, circling them. Neither of them seemed to care, or even notice.

“Then I’ll just make you talk,” the shrine maiden said, and in a flash, several amulets were in her hand, ready to be thrown. Miss Yukari smirked, and the gap holding her widened as she walked out. She reached into the gap as she stepped forward, pulling out a parasol.

It looked like they were about to fight. It’s definitely something you shouldn’t interfere in.

[] Stay and watch.
[] Go look for Miss Aya and Miss Momizi.
>> No. 10733
[] Go look for Miss Aya and Miss Momizi, they definitely wouldn't want to miss this!
>> No. 10734
[] Go look for Miss Aya and Miss Momizi.
>> No. 10735
[Q] Stay and watch.

Use that spine, Mikio! Don't let it wither away!
>> No. 10736
{X} Stay and watch.
>> No. 10737
[x] Stay and watch.
>> No. 10738
[X] Stay and watch.

Use it or lose it kid.
>> No. 10739
[X] Go look for Miss Aya and Miss Momizi.
>> No. 10740
[X] Stay and watch.

No way in Higan Aya's gonna miss this. We needn't worry.
>> No. 10741
[X] Stay and watch.
Yea, this should be good.
>> No. 10744
[] Stay and watch
>> No. 10745
[x] "Uh, I don't mean to interrupt, but shouldn't we be worrying about what's happening with the sky?" point in said direction.
>> No. 10746
[X] Stay and watch.
>> No. 10747
[x] Stay and watch the fight.
------

You stepped back, away from the two of them, falling back towards the gathering ring of spectators, whom were now cheering and whistling. Were they all that eager to see a battle?

Miss Yukari kept that smirk on her face as she gracefully opened her parasol, letting it rest on her shoulder. Hakurei… didn’t look tensed up at all, but kept a calm and relaxed attitude as she readied the amulets in her hand.

“Just in case I need to save my strength for later,” she said sharply. “We’ll keep this simple, agreed?” Miss Yukari didn’t answer, only letting out an eerie giggle.

Without another word, Hakurei threw the amulets in her hand. Even though they appeared to only be flimsy pieces of paper, they became deadly darts in the shrine maiden’s hand, cutting through the air towards the youkai.

Miss Yukari stepped to the side as a tear in the air appeared where she was standing, swallowing up the amulets. At the same time, another gap appeared above Hakurei, ejecting the same amulets back at her. The shrine maiden quickly dashed out of the way, almost as though she had been able to predict where she was being attacked. The amulets missed her, instead cutting deep into the ground.

The youkai began her counting attack, as numerous gaps appeared behind her, each producing a dense swarm of bullets at the shrine maiden, who somehow managed to slip past without being hit. There was… something strange about the way she moved. The way she floated through the air… was indescribably strange. Almost like she was moving farther away from the reality you can see. It was definitely peculiar.

…Ah! The bullets are coming towards you! Panicking, you raised your arms to shield yourself… only for the bullets to be stopped. What halted them was… an invisible wall? You reached out with your hands, and felt something solid and flat. A barrier around the battle? …How thoughtful of them.

The shrine maiden floated higher, dodging another wave of attacks from Miss Yukari. As she did so, she raised her gohei, as a large orb, almost as big as her torso, appeared above her. The orb’s design was that of a yin-yang symbol. She smacked the orb with her gohei in the direction of Miss Yukari, who gapped herself out of the way. As the orb hit the ground, however, it split into two, bouncing every which way.

Even Miss Yukari seemed to have a little difficulty avoiding the multiplied orbs now, having to teleport out of the way much more frequently. Finally, she reached into one of her gaps, pulling out a spell card. “Ran, come on out!” she said as she slashed the air with the card. A second gap opened beside her, and out from it emerged a blonde woman with numerous fluffy foxtails. A… kitsune, right? …Is that kind of a spell card even allowed?

The kitsune woman—Ran was it?—promptly balled herself up and sprang at the shrine maiden, spinning all the way. She quickly darted out of the way, but Miss Ran was swift to change her direction, spraying bullets from her body as she continued to purse the shrine maiden while Miss Yukari seemed focused on avoiding the yin-yang orbs and watching Hakurei dodge around.

After dodging another one of Miss Ran’s assaults, the shrine maiden finally seemed a little irritated. Rising into the air, she spread her arms out to the sides, and stayed still? Miss Ran took the chance, and hurled herself at the shrine maiden… and was struck down by a barrage of amulets? You saw Hakurei standing on the ground… but wasn’t she flying above just a moment ago?

“A fake body. How devious,” you heard Miss Yukari mutter to herself. “Enough, Ran,” Miss Yukari called out to the other woman, who had recovered from the attacks and was ready to fight again. Miss Ran turned to Miss Yukari, and with a dignified nod, exited the battle through another gap.

“Are you giving up?” Hakurei asked, and the active yin-yang orbs disappeared, although she still kept several amulets in hand.

“Give up? Why would I do that?” Miss Yukari laughed. “Are you ready, then? I’m going to seriously start fighting now.”

“Yeah, yeah, just hurry it up.”

“So impatient. Well, here I come. Are you really ready for this?” Hakurei narrowed her eyes, bracing herself for whatever may happen. Miss Yukari smirked, and spoke again. “Well then. See you, Reimu.”

“Wait, wha-“

A snap of the finger, and a gap appeared on the ground the shrine maiden stood on, swallowing her up before she had a chance to react. Wha…? Where did she go? Miss Yukari closed her parasol, shoving it back into a gap.

“That’s it?!” You heard someone yell behind you. You were sure that many of the people present shared his sentiments. Even you were slightly disappointed that you didn’t get to see more. Well, at least you had a chance to see the shrine maiden in action. Looking up at the sky, you noticed that it was back to normal, showing only the darkening sky of evening.

Everyone around you groaned and mumbled as they slowly scattered, going back to whatever they were doing before, you’d guess.

“Oh, there you are, Miki,” you saw Miss Aya hurrying towards you, with Miss Momizi in tow behind her. Both of them looked… very troubled.

“… Is something wrong, Miss Aya?”

“Well, that depends on a lot of things, you know. But first, is it really true that an oni’s the cause of the mist?” Miss Aya said, grabbing hold of your shoulders and looking very seriously into your eyes. You nodded. “Do you know what she’s up to?” You shook your head. She let go of you and sighed as Miss Momizi looked at you incredulously.

“We have to report this to the dai tengu at once,” Miss Momizi said with urgency, turning to Miss Aya, who looked to be deep in thought.

“Yeah… but we don’t know what she’s planning,” she said as she slipped out her little notebook. “And no one else here knows, either. But from the descriptions, it’s definitely Suika, one of the Four Devas of the Mountain, which could be dangerous, but…” She then turned with a bright grin, her eyes almost sparkling. “I can do an exclusive report on this! I might even get a Tengu Journalist Award of the Year if I can cover this story! ‘Lone Deva Returns to Gensokyo!’”

“But Miss Shameimaru,” Miss Momizi said, exasperated. “If the oni really are planning a takeover of the mountain, we may not even be able to give any awards at all.”

“There’s no reason to worry. That girl’s plan will definitely fail.”

All three of you jumped, turning to the voice. Standing there was Miss Yukari, who wore a somber, almost melancholic expression.

“Excuse me, but what do you mean by that?” Miss Aya asked, while Miss Momizi backed away from the woman a little, grabbing onto your wrist. Was she… scared of her? Well, she did seem to exude a more commanding aura now than ever…

“You’ll see. It’s up to Reimu now,” she said, disappearing into a gap that appeared before her.

“…Oh, the shrine maiden. She must be fighting the oni right now!” You realized, and said out loud.

“What? Really? Where?!” Miss Aya said, looking around.

“I’m not sure, either,” you said, shaking your head.

“Hm… Well, if the gap demon says not to worry…” she tapped her notebook against her thigh as she looked up at the sky. “…then it’s probably just fine.”

“Do you think the Hakurei shrine maiden can win, Miss Shameimaru?” Miss Momizi asked, still looking doubtful.

“Who knows?” Miss Aya shrugged.
>> No. 10748


The atmosphere of the party had changed. It was no longer festive and cheerful. It was… almost too quiet. Everywhere you looked, people seemed to be a little on edge. What was going on?

You quietly drank tea beside Miss Momizi, while Miss Aya went around questioning those who were involved with the oni. It appeared Miss Alice, Marisa, Youmu, and the vampire Remilia and her servant had all fought with the oni girl before, and all had lost. Could the Hakurei shrine maiden really defeat her…?

A single gap appeared at the center of the shrine, catching the attention of everyone present. Out from the gap stepped out Miss Yukari, as well as the fox woman Miss Ran, and another brown haired girl with a strangely shaped ear and a forked tail following her. Behind them, emerged Hakurei and the little oni girl.

Both of them looked considerably beat up, with dirt caking their faces and clothes. But the little oni girl had a wide grin on her face, and as soon as she stepped out of the gap, ran past Yukari, holding her arms to the sky.

“Alright, everyone! Come on out! Let’s make Gensokyo the land of oni again!” she yelled out. “Come on! We even have a feast welcoming our return!”

Everyone at the party froze, looking at the little girl. Murmurs and whispers erupted amongst the crowd.

“…oni? What’s that?”

“Is she serious?!”

“No way, oni can’t exist!”

“…did she beat the shrine maiden?”

You looked over to Miss Momizi. She had frozen still with a look of disbelief on her face. Miss Aya wore an expression that was a weird mix of terror and excitement. Miss Yukari and the Hakurei shrine maiden stayed where they were, their expressions totally blank.



But nothing happened. No one responded to the little oni girl’s call. Not even a single one of her kind.

“…Hey… what’s wrong…?” the oni girl said, her voice a little choked now. “We can… we can take back Gensokyo! And… and play games with humans again… we’ll even have our old home at the mountain…! So… so… why aren’t you all… coming out…?”

Miss Yukari stepped forward, standing next to the little girl. “… There’s no one here, Suika,” she said.

Suika sank to her knees, lowering her head. “…But…I worked so hard… All this time… I worked so hard…so… so… why didn’t anyone come…?!” She pounded the ground with her hands, knocking several people off their feet from the impact alone.

And then… she started crying. Like a child, she yelled as tears streamed down her face. Even though she was so strong… even though she was so proud… she couldn’t help but cry out loud.

“… Hey, that’s enough,” Hakurei said, walking over to the bawling oni. “You’re not supposed to cry at parties, you know?” she said, looking away as she scratched the back of her head. The oni girl hiccupped as she wiped her eyes with her arms, looking up at the shrine maiden.

“Yeah, yeah! Come on, the feast hasn’t ended yet!” you heard Marisa’s voice yelling. “Why don’t you show us what an oni’s party is like?”

“Another drinking contest would be nice, wouldn’t it?” Miss Yuyuko pitched in, and Suika slowly rose to her feet.

“Ah! All the drinks are gone!” you heard Youmu’s alarmed voice. For a split second, you thought you saw Miss Yukari give a grin, but it was gone in a flash.

“What? Seriously?” Hakurei demanded.

“Hey, hey, no problem!” Suika yelled out joyfully, holding her gourd up in the air. “This gourd is a treasure of the oni! It never runs out of sake!”

… Somehow, watching this scene… made you feel a little warmer. You couldn’t help but smile as you watched the oni girl fill up cups with her gourd, with the people present watching in wonder.

“… Well, it looks like there really wasn’t anything to worry about, huh?” Miss Aya said, grinning with her notebook and pen in hand. Miss Momizi smiled and nodded.

“Hey, you tengu over there! Come on and join us! You too, junior!” Suika called out. Shrugging, you followed Miss Aya and Miss Momizi. It was inevitable, wasn’t it? But you learned something today…

Even the strongest of youkai can feel lonely.

---

END OF CHAPTER 3

---

The void grows. The paths are unchanging.

Choose.

[] Right. Sibling bonds.
[] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> No. 10749
[X] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> No. 10750
[X] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

Hoshuu and Sanae.

That other dick can go fuck himself.
>> No. 10751
[X] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

>>10750

Oh, he's not so bad. He just can't compete with Sanae and Hoshuu.
>> No. 10752
[x] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

>>10751
Agreed.
>> No. 10753
[Q] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

Awesome writing.
>> No. 10754
[X] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> No. 10755
[X] Right. Sibling bonds.
>> No. 10756
[X] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> No. 10757
[] Left. Blazing, halcyon days
>> No. 10758
[ze] Left. Blazing, halcyon bonds.
>> No. 10760
File 124418323571.jpg- (146.06KB , 650x650 , 1.jpg ) [iqdb]
10760
[x] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
------

You began walking that path.

Those uneventful days you spent at that time… at that place… with that person.

A treasured period, long past.

……



Ugh… what the hell? There’s something heavy on your chest. You tried to open your eyes, but each time they were exposed to the air, they started stinging, so you quickly closed them again, keeping them shut tight.

Whatever was on you was moving around. What is it, some wild raccoon that snuck in or something? No, wait, that wouldn’t work… how would it get inside?

Gathering your strength, you suddenly sat up, throwing the weight off of your chest. You heard a high pitched yelp of surprise… Hey, wasn’t that a girl? Did Sanae end up in the wrong room after going to the bathroom at night or something? You rubbed your eyes with the back of your hand, your vision a little blurred, but at least the stinging had subsided.

You froze as you took a glance around the room. Sitting not far from your mess of a futon was a blonde girl (similar to Sanae’s age by the look of it) you had never seen before, watching you with great curiosity. She was sitting in an incredibly awkward looking position, with her white stocking-clad legs bent to the sides, and—Oh wow, what the hell is with that stupid looking hat? Sitting askew on her small head was a light-brown hat with a wide-brim, but the most ridiculous thing about it were those googly eyes on top of it. They looked comical, but somehow creepy. It was like they were staring at you, but at the same time, weren’t looking at anything in particular.

You met the appearance of this bizarre girl with stunned silence, staring at her with your mouth hanging open. The girl similarly stared back at you, not saying anything. You blinked a few times. She didn’t go away. You rubbed your eyes again. Nope, she’s still there. You reached out with your hand and pinched her cheek. Soft and warm. And also, she reacted for the first time, swatting your hand away, but quickly returned to staring at you in silence.



That kind of pissed you off. You reach out and pinch her again, and she swats your hand away again. And then again. And then again. And again. And again. Hey, this is kind of fun. Again. Again. Agai-

“Auuuuu~!” she let out a frustrated cry, swinging her arms wildly, although her arms weren’t even long enough to reach you. Who the hell is this kid? Did Sanae go and pick up another freeloader besides you?

“So, who are you?” you finally decided to ask, having played around more than enough. The girl looked surprised, and pointed at herself, as if asking you if you were addressing her. You nodded.

“Ah… maybe… could it be that… you can see me?” she asked, leaning closer. What the hell kind of a question is that? Of course you can see her. “Auuuu… that’s weird… you shouldn’t be able to see me…”

“… Hey, cut that out, I can see you just fine,” you said, frowning. “And anyway, you didn’t answer my question. Who are you, and why are you in my room?”

“It’s not your room, though. I should be asking you what you’re doing here.”

… Eh? Was she familiar with this house…? Could it be that she was a relative of Sanae or something? Maybe her cousin? While you were thinking about this, the girl crawled closer to you, reaching out and touching your forehead. You jerked back your head, but she had already taken her hand off, looking satisfied.

“I see. So there are still people like you left,” she said, nodding. “I didn’t think there were any anymore. Maybe you coming to this shrine was a good thing. That snake will be relieved.”

“What are you talking abo-“

There was a knock at the door. You turned your head, and the door slid open. Sanae walked in through the doorway, wearing an apron that was way too big for her.

“’Morning, Hoshuu,” she greeted, smiling brightly. “I made breakfast.”

“Ah, hey, Sanae. Good timing,” you said. “Who is this gi-“ … what the? She’s gone?! But she was here just a moment ago, wasn’t she? You’re not going crazy. You’re perfectly sane! Sane…! So you’ll just pretend all that never happened. “Uh, never mind.”

“You’re a weirdo, Hoshuu. Did you have a scary dream?” she giggled, and presumably returned to the kitchen. You felt a bit dumb as you folded up your futon and set it aside, before leaving the room and sliding the door shut behind you.



It’s been about half a year since you’ve started living here. Not much really happened since then, but you were happy that way. After all, you had a home to return to, and someone who you loved like a real family member. It was tranquil happiness that couldn’t be compared to by your suffocating life at your own home.

You fetched your bike from the shrine’s tool shed. You had a job now, after all. It was a part time gig at a supermarket, actually. You had saved up and bought the bike to make the trip to the city from the shrine a little easier. As you wheeled your bike down the stairs, you reached into your pocket and produced a key. The key to the house. As long as you had this, it was proof that you belonged to a house, and that really meant something to you. It, and the keychain dangling from it, had been a present from Sanae.

You shook the keychain a little, and the miniature wind chime on its end produced metallic ringing. Grinning, you shoved the key back into your pocket, and as you reached the end of the long stairs, mounted your bike.

As you began pedaling towards the city, you…

[] Began reminiscing a little more about the past.
[] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.
>> No. 10761
[X] Began reminiscing a little more about the past.

Sanae memories want
>> No. 10762
[] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.

Suwako~
>> No. 10763
[] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.
>> No. 10764
>You froze as you took a glance around the room. Sitting not far from your mess of a futon was a blonde girl (similar to Sanae’s age by the look of it) you had never seen before, watching you with great curiosity. She was sitting in an incredibly awkward looking position, with her white stocking-clad legs bent to the sides, and—Oh wow, what the hell is with that stupid looking hat? Sitting askew on her small head was a light-brown hat with a wide-brim, but the most ridiculous thing about it were those googly eyes on top of it. They looked comical, but somehow creepy. It was like they were staring at you, but at the same time, weren’t looking at anything in particular.

ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD

[x] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.
>> No. 10765
[Q] Began reminiscing a little more about the past.
>> No. 10766
>That kind of pissed you off. You reach out and pinch her again, and she swats your hand away again. And then again. And then again. And again. And again. Hey, this is kind of fun. Again. Again. Agai-

This made me lol.

[x] Began reminiscing a little more about the past.
>> No. 10767
[x] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.
>> No. 10768
[x] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.

Ignoring a goddess? That's no good.
>> No. 10769
[x] Began reminiscing a little more about the past.

Blazing halcyon days for a reason.
>> No. 10770
[X] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.
>> No. 10771
[X] Began reminiscing a little more about the past.
>> No. 10774
[X] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.

Opening up the doorway to a bigger family, where Hoshuu and Sanae live together with the goddesses in happiness, at least for a time.
>> No. 10775
[x] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.
>> No. 10776
[X] Thought deeper about what happened this morning.

If Hoshuu simply vanished without any sort of bad blood between him and Moriya Shrine, and Mikio is simply the same person given a different name, this could lead to a happy reunion somewhere down the line.
>> No. 10777
[X] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.
>> No. 10779
[ze] Began reminiscing a little more about the past.
>> No. 10780
>>10776
But isn't hoshuu kinda too old to be miki?
>> No. 10782
>>10780

Hoshuu was what, in his early teens at most when he came to live at Moriya Shrine?
And Mikio, unless I'm mistaken, has never had his age specified.

Not saying I know for sure, I'm just tossing the idea out here.
>> No. 10783
In continuation of >>10782 :


Mikio appeared around the time of Mystic Square, correct?
Assuming the gap between the last PC-98 incident and the first Windows incident is no more than a 2-3 years apart, and no fewer than one, this means that Mikio has been in Momiji's custody for three to five years now. If Hoshuu was only 13 or 14 when he dissapeared, he'd be 18-19 as Mikio now.
But factoring in that I have no idea how long he lived with Sanae, I can't say anything for sure. Mikio could easily be older than he appears in that case.
And that's not even trying to factor in the other life Mikio remembers.

Only way to find out which is the truth would be to wait for the events of MoF to occur and see if Sanae remembers him.
>> No. 10784
[x] Began reminiscing a little more about the past.

I am happy that you still write Lion.
>> No. 10797
[x] Thought deeper into what happened this morning.
------

… But that was a pretty strange morning, wasn’t it? Some unknown girl suddenly showing up in your room wasn’t exactly a frequent occurrence. In the months you’ve been living at the shrine, you’d never see her anywhere. And what was with what she said to you, anyway? Something about… what was it? People like you? You think you’re pretty normal, though… well, aside from being a runaway, that is.

Maybe she meant that? No, wait, more important is what happened after that. She just disappeared when Sanae opened that door, didn’t she? You’d like to believe that you’re not delirious, so you can’t really say she just disappeared. That just doesn’t happen. Maybe she snuck into the closet while you were distracted? You would have heard the closet door sliding open if that was the case, though. Hm…

Aaargh, whatever! You don’t really want to think too much of this right now. If there’s a problem, then you’ll deal with it when it shows up. Much more simple that way.

You continue to work the pedals, enjoying the morning breeze as you zoom across the road on your bike. It’s a hot summer, so you had better enjoy the coolness while it lasts. It can get real hot, real fast in the afternoon.

You park your bike at a bicycle park, and head to the supermarket you work at. You let out a small sigh, not looking forward to the prospect of the next few monotonously repetitive hours. Still, you have to work your weight while you’re here, at least. Isn’t that right? Actually, you’ve been at this for a while now, haven’t you? Waking up early in the morning, eating breakfast, and heading to work. Almost like you’re an adult.

… That really worries you. You’ve more or less dropped out of school. You couldn’t always depend on Sanae for too long, either. It’s not like she was rich, and her shrine only received donations once in a while out of sympathy. What could you do to be able to earn enough to make a living by yourself? Manual labor all the way? That kind of thinking really scared you, so you didn’t dwell on it for too long.



After finishing your shift at the market, you unexpectedly see Sanae walking by outside.

“Hey there!” you call out, waving your hand. Sanae turns to face you, and waves back. You hurry on over to her. “What have you been up to?” you ask.

“Just thought I’d take a look around,” she says, smiling at you. “It’s a hot today, isn’t it?”

“… Huh, I guess it is,” you say as you narrow your eyes, looking up at the sky. You hadn’t really noticed inside the air-conditioned building, but it really was very humid outside. You can practically feel the heat waves. “Hey, how ‘bout we go grab some ice cream, then?”

“You know, I heard on TV that eating ice cream will just make you feel hotter,” Sanae says doubtfully, but you just give a few light taps to her back to move her along.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever! Come on,” you say, grinning. Sanae shrugs, and follows at your side as you make your way to an ice cream stand you know.

The two of you purchase a popsicle each, using your money. You bought a blue one, although you weren’t sure what flavor it was supposed to be, while Sanae’s got a reddish-pink one. Presumably strawberry.

“Hey, give me a bite of yours,” you casually say as the two of you walk down the street, enjoying the ice creams.

“Huh? N-no, I already licked it,” Sanae protests. “It would be an indirect kiss.”

“What? Oh come on, who cares about that?”

“I said—Ah!”

“Chomp! Haha, you let your guard down!” you say, wiping your mouth. Sanae was blushing furiously, looking down at her feet. “Hey, hey, don’t look like that. Here, have some of mine, too,” you offer your ice cream to her. Still blushing heavily, she takes a small nibble of it.

“Anyway, what are you going to do now?” you ask as you continue eating your popsicle. You have plenty of free time now, and so does she. “You wanna go grab lunch while we’re here?” She shakes her head. “Then, you wanna go back?” She nods. “Alright, then, lemme go get my bike.”

You head on over to the bicycle park where you left your bike, with Sanae following closely behind you. After undoing the lock, you wheeled the bike along as you headed for the main road back to the shrine.

“Hey, you know, it’d be faster if we rode back,” you say as you walk along the road. “The bike’s big enough for two people to share it.”

“Ah…” Sanae looks reluctant, looking at the narrow seat of the bicycle. “But… we’re going to fall. I’m a little scared.”

“You don’t need to worry about that,” you proudly pound your chest. “I’ve got confidence in my cycling skills, you know. Just hold on to me tight, and we’ll be fine.”

“Well… okay.”

You mount your bike, and steady it as Sanae gets on behind you. Immediately, she wraps her arms tightly around your waist, pressing her small head into your back. Is she that scared? You can’t help but smile as you begin pedaling. As the wind rushes past your face, you deliberately swerve around the bike unevenly.

“Whoa, we’re going to fall!” you yell, looking back at Sanae. She's not screaming or anything, but you can tell she’s scared by how she’s squirming around, pressing herself tighter to you. “Hey, hey, if you move around so much, we really are going to fall, you know!”



Later that day, you and Sanae were lazing about on the floor of the living room, absentmindedly staring at the TV.

Sanae suddenly looks up at the clock as you reach into a bag of potato chips. She quickly stands up, and heads for the door. “Where you going?” you ask, looking up at her from your position on the floor.

“Sorry, I’ll be right back,” she says, apparently in a hurry. You shrug, and turn your attention back to the TV screen. You hear the sound of the door sliding shut as you crunch some potato chips in your mouth.

Knock, knock, knock.

… Crap, crap, crap. Only a few minutes after Sanae left, there was a knock at the door. You quickly shut off the TV, and stand up. You’re not supposed to be here, after all. Maybe you can just pretend you’re not here?

“…Oh, the door’s open.” You hear a woman’s voice beyond. A moment turns into eternity as you observe the door beginning to slide open. What should you do?

[] Go hide.
[] Wait.
>> No. 10798
[] Go hide.
>> No. 10799
[X] Go hide.
>> No. 10800
[X] Go hide.
>> No. 10801
[X] Go hide.
>> No. 10802
[x] Wait.
>> No. 10809
[x] Wait.
[x] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.
>> No. 10812
[O] Wait.
[O] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.
>> No. 10813
[x] Wait.
[x] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.
>> No. 10814
[x] Wait.
[x] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.
>> No. 10815
[x] Wait.
[x] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.
>> No. 10817
[x] Wait.
[x] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.
>> No. 10819
[z] Wait.
[e] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.

Shove/scoot the bag, but don't close it. It'll crinkle loudly.
>> No. 10821
[x] Wait.
[x] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.

Child services, I bet.
>> No. 10822
[x] Wait.
[x] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.
>> No. 10824
[X] Go hide.
>> No. 10832
[B] Go hide.
>> No. 10843
[x] Wait.
[x] Make yourself look like a guest. This means hide the potato chips and sit politely.
------

Damn it, okay, gotta look like a guest. Gotta look like a guest. The bag of potato chips! That thing has to go! You nudge the thing with your foot, cringing as the bag crinkles loudly as you shove it behind the TV stand. You also hurry and properly set a cushion down, and sit on top of it with your legs crossed.

The door fully slides open just as you sit down properly. Standing at the doorway was a woman, looks to be in her thirties or so, carrying a cooking pot in her hands. Without sparing even a single glance to you, she immediately heads to the kitchen.

You nervously wring your hands. A neighbor…? You don’t think you’ve seen her before… You continue sitting where you are, cautiously watching the kitchen. The woman walks out from the kitchen sans pot and looks around, as if looking for someone. Finally, she spots you, and briskly walks over to you.

“Sanae isn’t here?” she asks you. She definitely has to be a neighbor from around here if she knows her, right…?

“Uh… no,” you manage to stammer out. Shouldn’t her first question be ‘Who are you?’ or ‘What are you doing here?’

“So, who are you? What are you doing here?” she asks. Oh, there we go. As she speaks, she pulls up a cushion and makes herself comfortably at home in the house.

“Eh… um, I’m a visitor,” you say without much confidence. “I came to… donate to the shrine.”

“Strange of a visitor to be around when the owner of the house is away,” the woman retorts, eyeing you suspiciously. “You’re living here, don’t you?”

Your eyes widen. “How did you…?”

“I’ve see you leaving the shrine everyday. For the past seven months you’ve been here.” Gah, she even knows how long you’ve been living here. “So? How long are you planning to stay here?”

You lower your head, gripping the edges of your cushion tightly. “I… don’t know,” you admit, afraid to meet the woman’s gaze. You’ve always been afraid of this. Of people finding out that you live here. You might even be asked to leave, but… you still didn’t have anywhere else to go.

“Relax. I’m not asking for you to get out,” the woman continues, and you raise your head in surprise. “Actually, it might be better if you stay here.”

“… Eh…?”

“That girl… She’s very alone, you know,” she frowns, staring past you. You take a look behind you, and see the door to your—no, Sanae’s parents’ room. “She’s never known her father, and her mother died in an unfortunate accident not too long ago. It’s only been a year since that happened, actually.”

“…”

“You don’t seem too surprised.”

“Ah, well… I figured it was something like that,” you rub the back of your neck uncomfortably. It was… kind of obvious, really. Why else would her parents always be away…? You just… never thought to bring it up to her. What good would it do her? It’s not like you could say anything to help her…

“Well, since she had no relatives, she was supposed to be put in a foster home, but… She refused to leave the house,” she lets out a sigh. “So she lived here by herself, alone. Well, until you came here, anyway.”

You look back down at the floor, biting your lower lip. “… Why didn’t she want to leave?” you decide to ask.

“Hm? Well, maybe she didn’t want to leave the home she grew up in,” the woman says with a thoughtful expression on her face. “Or maybe she wanted to be able to carry on her mother’s tradition.”

“Tradition…?”

“You do know that this is still a functioning shrine, right?” she asks you, a bit more disdainfully than you would have preferred. …Well, actually, you sort of forgot about that for a while there. That’s right… she said she was going to be the next shrine maiden, didn’t she…? “Well, not that it really matters, I suppose. She’s stopped believing in the shrine’s god, after all.”

“Huh? Why?”

“Why don’t you ask her?” she says as she stands up. “Anyway, I made a little something for dinner.” As she turns to leave, sliding the door open partially, she looks back at you. “… I think… right now, though, it’d be best if you could stay with her.”

Saying that, she fully slides the door open and shuts it behind her as she steps out, leaving you alone in silence.

……

“Hey, I’m back!” Sanae greets as she slides the door open, carrying something in her hand.

“Oh… hey,” you say, getting up to your feet.

“… Is something wrong?” she asks you, looking concerned. “You look like you’re worried about something?”

“Huh?” Shrugging, you shake it off, grinning instead. “Nah, it’s nothing. Hey, whatcha got there?” you say playfully as you snatch the thing she’s carrying her hand with a swift move. A novel, huh? “Tekura High, Cla-“

“Ahh! Don’t look!” Sanae yelps indignantly as she jumps up and snatches back her novel, clutching it closely to herself. Well, judging by the cover, it was probably…

“High school romance?” you can’t help but laugh a little. “That’s right, you like that kind of stuff, don’t you?” you say, teasing her a little.

“It’s normal for a girl,” she says defensively.

“Right, right,” you reach out and pet her head as she heads inside. Ah, she’s still wearing that cheap thing in her hair. Did she like it that much?

You watch her as she lies down on her front, eagerly opening her new book. So she went out to buy that, huh? Her legs swing up and down as she pours her attention onto the book, focusing intently on the pages. The way she was completely immersed in the novel was kind of cute, actually.



You catch yourself staring at her blankly, so you tear your eyes away. What that woman said earlier… was bothering you, you would guess. So you came here just as she was dealing with the loss of her mother, huh? Then… the close relation you share with her now… was that how she was coping with it?

You don’t know how to feel about that. Turning back to Sanae, you reluctantly mutter something.

“Hey… Sanae…”

“… Mmm?”

[] Mention the woman who came by.
[] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
[] Ask her what her novel is about.
>> No. 10844
[x] Mention the woman who came by.
Then,
[x] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
>> No. 10845
[x] Mention the woman who came by.
Then,
[x] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
>> No. 10848
>She’s stopped believing in the shrine’s god, after all.

Hmm... I guess I know what Hoshuu is here for.

[x] Mention the woman who came by.
Then,
[x] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
[x] Mention the young girl you saw this morning.
>> No. 10851
[X] Ask her what her novel is about.
>> No. 10855
[] Mention the woman who came by.
[] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
>> No. 10856
[X] Follow her, see what's she's doing.
>> No. 10857
[x] Mention the woman who came by.
Then,
[x] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
[x] Mention the young girl you saw this morning.
>> No. 10859
[O] Mention the woman who came by.
Then,
[O] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
[O] Mention the young girl you saw this morning.
>> No. 10863
[X] Follow her, see what's she's doing.
[x] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
>> No. 10867
[X] Follow her, see what's she's doing.
[X] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
>> No. 10873
[~] Mention the woman who came by.
[z] Casually ask her about the shrine’s god.
Later, as an afterthought:
[e] Mention the young girl you saw this morning. Who was she and how did she get inside? Sanae would almost certainly have to know her for her to see nothing wrong with sitting on Sanae's guests and friends. ...Right?

Let's not get TOO metagame-y.

>>10843
Anyone else notice the complete lack of description of the woman, aside from looking "to be in her thirties"?

Clever writefag is clever~

But it's still probably Kanako.
>> No. 10875
"Follow her?" Did I miss the bit where she started going somewhere?
>> No. 10876
I'm confused, too.
>> No. 10877
I think someone was trying to post a vote in Double My Combo and voted here instead.
So instead of anyone else paying attention, they just rushed ahead.
>> No. 10878
>>10877
Your name makes you look like a teenager desperately seeking attention.

>Anyone else notice the complete lack of description of the woman, aside from looking "to be in her thirties"?

Yes. It was noticeable enough that I assumed it was a poor attempt at masking that it was Kanako.
>> No. 10883
>>10878

Then appearances are deceiving.

With that out of the way, since this seems to be Kanako, odds are pretty good Suwako told her about Hoshuu when he went out.
It'll be interesting seeing how this pans out.
>> No. 10894
updates?
>> No. 10895
[x] Mention the woman who came by.
Then,
[x] Ask her about the shrine’s god.
[x] Mention the young girl you saw this morning (on hold.)
------

“Some lady came by earlier, while you were gone,” you say, your eyes glued to the television screen as you speak.

“Eh?!” You see Sanae’s head quickly turning to you out of the corner of your eyes, a slight hint of panic and distress in her voice. You wave your hand slowly, to try to calm her.

“S’okay. She didn’t seem to have a problem with me being here,” you reassure her. “I don’t think she’ll tell anyone, either. Probably. Maybe. But hey, she brought something over for us to eat. I haven’t checked what it is yet, though.”

Sanae, still looking a little doubtful, stands up from the floor, neatly closing her new book. You follow her as she heads into the kitchen, where she opens the cooking pot the woman brought.

“Miso soup,” she remarks, smelling the soup inside the pot. “Hoshuu, who brought it?”

“Dunno. She didn’t tell me who she was.”

“What did she look like?”

“Tall. Didn’t look that old. Big, poofy hair,” you scrunch up your face as you try to recall what the woman looked like. Odd, you can’t remember much detail about her. Maybe your head wasn’t in the right state at the time.

Sanae seems to be thinking deeply, probably trying to think of someone who matches your descriptions, but she seems to give up after a while. “How are we going to return the pot if we don’t know—” she suddenly stops, and looks at the pot again. “… Isn’t this one of ours?”

“Huh?”

“This pot,” she closes the lid as she speaks, pointing to it. “It’s ours, isn’t it?”

“… Now that you mention it…” That’s strange. You frown as you examine it closer. You’ve definitely seen this one before. “Oh. She must’ve dumped the soup from her own, right? I wasn’t really paying attention.” Then again, you don’t think you saw her leaving with an empty cooking pot, either. Well, whatever. Best not to over-think things.

“Oh, I guess you’re right.” Sanae looks satisfied with the explanation, anyway. She turns to you and smiles. “Do you want to eat dinner now?”

“Alright. I’ll wash the rice for you,” you turn to the closet where you keep the rice, dumping a few cups of it into a bowl. You take the bowl to the sink, and begin washing the rice with tap water.

“Then I’ll prepare the side dishes!” she says enthusiastically, scurrying to the fridge and beginning to take things out from it.

“Yo, Sanae, can I ask you something?” you off-handedly ask as you swirl your hand around in the bowl. The water was cloudy. You dump it into the sink, careful not to let any grains of rice slip past your fingers as you refill the bowl with water.

“What is it?”

“Can you tell me more about the god here?”

“Huh? Why…?”

“Just out of curiousity,” you swirl your hand around in the water again. It was less cloudy this time. You dump the water and refill the bowl. Washing rice was such a tedious chore.

“Um… well, the God’s name is Moriya. In ancient times, Moriya is said to have driven out Mishaguji, the curse god of Suwa, and ruled over a kingdom that eventually became a part of Japan, protecting it from Mishaguji.”

“I see. I remember you telling me something like that before,” you say as you continue the boring cycle of washing rice. Sanae was pretty thorough about this. She would do it until the water was more-or-less completely clear, so you should go to that length too. “So you’re really going to be the shrine maiden here?”

“…”

“That must mean you believe in Moriya, right?” you turn your head to look at Sanae. She stands there, frozen in the middle of putting something back in the fridge. “… Sanae?”

Silently, she closes the refrigerator door with a blank expression. Then, slowly, she turns to you and asks: “Hoshuu, do you believe in miracles?”

“Huh?”

“Do you think miracles exist?”

[]
>> No. 10896
[x] Of course. You somehow ended up here after all. To find someone as kind/cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.
>> No. 10897
[x] Of course. You somehow ended up here after all. To find someone as kind/cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.

haha, oh wow...
>> No. 10898
[O] Of course. You somehow ended up here after all. To find someone as kind/cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.

This is... perfect.
>> No. 10899
[x] Of course. You somehow ended up here after all. To find someone as kind/cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.
>> No. 10901
[X] "I guess that depends on what you mean by 'miracles'."
[X] "I believe in life. I believe I'm here, and you're over there, and there's a roof above our heads right now, and some people'd call that a miracle, probably."
[X] "And I believe the Earth spins around once every twenty-four hours or so, and makes its usual trip around the sun every year, and some people'd call that a miracle, probably."
[X] "And I believe that sometimes, you know, life--it kinda manages to connect in a good way, right in front of you. Like when you find a ten yen piece in on the ground just when you're thinking you need that much more to buy a juice. Or when you step on somebody's foot in the subway and you turn to look at him and he's your old friend from school, and the two of you decide to have a night on the town. Is that a miracle? Are those miracles? I don't know."
[X] "Because maybe there's somebody we ought to be thanking for those beautiful blue days when the wind's at your back and the sun's at your chin. Or for those afternoons spent asleep by the windowsill with a pillow underneath your head. Or those winter nights, when the chill is crisp, but the smell of baking bread comes strong through the city streets."
[X] "Maybe there's somebody up there, giving us all this stuff because, you know, why not, right? But nobody seems to know for sure, and whenever someone does say he knows for sure, sooner or later he's gotten good and angry and gotten a whole lot of other people good and angry, and before you know it they're fighting when they should be living."
[X] "So, I guess I believe in the world, and me and you and everything I've ever seen and heard and touched and smelled and tasted."
[X] "And if you want to call some of those things miracles, I guess you can, as long as you don't mind when I just call it life."
>> No. 10902
File 12451266912.jpg- (101.40KB , 450x650 , 12153163306.jpg ) [iqdb]
10902
>>10901
Way to read the mood, Spinoza. That's one hell of a monologue.



[x] Of course. You somehow ended up here after all. To find someone as kind/cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.

Honestly, we're extremely lucky to have ended up in this situation, both for our sake and hers.
>> No. 10903
[x] Of course. You somehow ended up here after all. To find someone as kind/cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.
>> No. 10904
[+] Of course. You ended up here after all. To find someone as kind and cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.


Anyone else getting the idea/confirms the idea that it wasn't just dumb luck that brought Hoshuu to Moriya Shrine?
>> No. 10913
[x] Of course. You somehow ended up here after all. To find someone as kind/cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.
>>10904
Of course it wasn't, it's a plot device that brought us here.
>> No. 10920
[ze] Of course. You somehow ended up here after all. To find someone as kind and patient as Sanae must have taken a miracle.

Slightly fixed to sound less patronizing/mocking.
>> No. 10926
>>10920

Being called "cute" by a boy you like is never taken as patronizing. You fail at girls forever.
>> No. 10933
[x] Of course. You ended up here after all. To find someone as kind and cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.
>> No. 10935
>>10926

Their relationship seems platonic, though.
>> No. 10936
>>10935

Hoshuu can think Sanae's cute without getting into a serious relationship with her.
>> No. 10943
>>10935
>>10936

It's platonic for Hoshuu, maybe.

But for a girl just entering pubescence who's had seemingly no male figure in her life at all--just what she's seen on TV--now with an older (but not generationally older) boy as her super secret housemate?

Nigger, please.
>> No. 10944
>>10943

Don't forget, she reads lots of Shoujo manga.
>> No. 10945
[x] Of course. You ended up here after all. To find someone as kind and cute as Sanae must have taken a miracle.
------

“Well, yeah, of course,” you begin a little uncertainly. Miracles? You’ve never really given them much thought, actually. But, well, they must exist, right? You grin, a little more confident now. “Ending up here with someone as kind and cute as you are, it must’ve taken a miracle.”

“A…ah… um…” Sanae stammers, her cheeks flushing a deep shade of red. “I-I’m not cute at all… I don’t think…” She looks down, too embarrassed to meet your eyes. “But… um…” she continues to stumble over her words, although she soon able to speak with resolution. “I-I think so too!” she says with determination, looking up at you.

“… Eh?”

… What did she mean by that?

“Y-you coming to the shrine…” she says, looking down at her feet again. The courage she had worked up to start to talk was rapidly deflating. “I-I… um… I… needed someone to help me, after… after…”

Her voice becomes more strained, and it’s obvious to you that she’s trying to fight back tears. “… After mom passed away,” she finally says, swallowing hard. Her eyes are teary, but she doesn’t let out even a single drop. “Be… because I hated being alone… The house was so quiet without anyone else… I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do… I was supposed to be put in a foster home…but… I didn’t know what I was thinking, and I refused anyway…”

She wipes her eyes as she speaks. You can tell from her increasingly choking voice that it was painful for her to talk about that, but at the same time, it seems like she isn’t able to stop now that she’s started. “E… even though the people from town were all so nice to me… I-I was still alone at home. Mom wouldn’t…. wouldn’t ever come home anymore.” She continues to wipe away at her eyes with her sleeves. Damn it, you’re not good at comforting people. What… what are you supposed to say at a time like this?

Not knowing what to say, you opt to keep silent instead, drying your hands on your pants. “I couldn’t… I couldn’t take it anymore. So I prayed. I didn’t even know who or what I was praying to, but I prayed. I wished that I wouldn’t be alone anymore… and I thought: ‘if only a miracle would happen, and God would grant my wish.’ And then… and then you came.”

She falls into silence, hanging her head low. “You mean... You think I was sent by God… or something?” you ask, a little bewildered.

“Eh? Um… um… s-something like that, I-I guess…” she says while her face blushes a deeper shade of red than ever. “E…eheheh. I-it’s really stupid… isn’t it?”

“No,” you say, stepping forward as you place your hand on her head. “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about me,” you say with a smile.

“M-mom didn’t believe in miracles…” she says, burying her forehead into your chest. “She would tell me: ‘Miracles don’t exist in this world… do you know why? It’s because no one believes in them anymore.’ B-but… if you’re here… I feel like I can believe in them… and the God of the shrine, too…” She wraps her arms around you tightly. “And… and I can… do my best to be the next shrine maiden. I can’t do it alone… but I feel stronger… if you’re with me.”

You gently embrace her back, petting her on the head. She looks up at you with watery eyes and a flushed face. “B-but… you’re going to leave eventually… aren’t you?” she says with an uncertain tone of voice.

“… Yeah… I guess, but…” you say, equally uncertain. “Ahhhh… Don’t worry about it so much. I’ll stay as long as you need me to.” You grin and mess up her hair. She buries her face back into your shirt, and the two of you stay like that for a while.



You’re lounging about some time after dinner, lying on your side while watching some mindless film on TV. Sanae’s lying on her front nearby, reading her light novel. Bored out of your mind, you decide to ask her something that’s been bugging you since morning.

“Hey, Sanae.”

“Hmm?”

“Did someone visit yesterday or today morning? Someone who knows you, I mean.”

“Huh? No… I don’t think anyone came by…”

“You sure? Because I saw some girl in my room this morning,” you say, sitting up.

“Huh? But there wasn’t anyone in your room when I went to wake you up…” Sanae looks up from her novel with a curious expression. “Are you sure you weren’t dreaming?”

“I might’ve been, I guess…” you sigh. “You sure no one you know came by? Short blonde hair? Ridiculous looking hat with eyes attached to the top of it? She looked around your age. Isn’t she your friend?”

“Huh? No… I don’t think any of my friends wear hats…” she says, although she seemed to be thinking deeply into something.

“… Something wrong?” you ask.

“N-no… it’s nothing. It’s just… I feel like I’ve seen someone like that before.”

“Like what?”

“The girl you described. I feel like I knew someone like that… a long time ago.”

“It can’t be… a… ghost?”

“W-what? D-don’t say something like that,” she says, looking a little panicked. “G-ghosts don’t exist!”

“Oooooh! I come to haunt you!”

“S-stoooop…!”
>> No. 10946
------

“Oi, Kirita. Wake up, will ya?”

Someone’s nudging you on the side with their foot. Groggily, you open your eyes, only for them to meet darkness. Where…? There’s… something warm in front of you that you’re clutching onto. Something white… and fuzzy. You’re curled up against it. You sit up, rubbing your eyes.

“You’re unexpectedly a pretty heavy sleeper, ain’tcha?” A rough voice greets you as you let out a loud yawn. Oh. Rouga. Wait, why is he around? You look about you, and you finally realize that you’re in the wolves’ den. … That’s right. You went to visit him… and then you must’ve fallen asleep. Sleeping next to you was Ami, resting her head on her forearms. You absentmindedly pet her head as Rouga crouches down next to you.

“Rise and shine, meat-cooker. You’ve slept a full night’s sleep already, ya know?” he says, uncorking a bottle of sake you had brought him the previous night.

“Drinking in the morning?” you ask.

“Why the hell not?” he replies with a grin.

“Right… Oh, wait!” you suddenly realize something. “Oh no, Miss Momizi doesn’t know where I am. She might be really worried!”

“Nah, she knows you’re here.”

“Huh?”

“She was here last night. Came to carry you back, but she didn’t want to wake you up, ‘cuz of a certain problem, see.”

“Huh?” you tilt your head, looking puzzled. “Problem? What problem?”

“Mountain’s on high alert.”

“You mean… there’s another incident?”

“Yup. Come on outside, and I’ll show ya.” Saying that, Rouga stands up and heads for the entrance of the little cave. You follow him outside, and what immediately catches your attention is the night sky.

“… I thought you said I slept a full night…?”

“Ya did. See, that’s the problem right there. It’s still night after all this time,” Rouga says, crouching down again while staring up at the sky. “… is that all you’ve noticed?”

“Huh?”

“Aack, guess it’s ‘cuz you’re human,” he says with slight disdain. “The moon, boy. The moon. It ain’t the real moon. Someone’s gone and stole it away. It’s pretty damn irritating to youkai like myself, see.”

“Wha-? Can someone really do that?”

“Guess so. Man, that really pisses me off,” he growls. “It ain’t your moon! Give it back, ya bastards! What the hell are we supposed to howl at now?!” He yells, his voice echoing throughout the mountain.

Gensokyo is a very, very strange place.

[] Whatever. Go back to sleep. Maybe the next time you wake up, it’ll be morning again.
[] Get back to HQ immediately.
[] This incident doesn’t seem so harmful. Just treat it as a normal day.
>> No. 10947
[X]Get back to HQ immediately.

Time for poor Mikio to get beat up again!
>> No. 10948
[x] Get back to HQ immediately.

this one wasn't that bothersome. HQ should be safe.
>> No. 10949
[x] Get back to HQ immediately.
>> No. 10950
Sanae~

We're getting close to MoF's occurrence. Should prove interesting.

[X] Get back to HQ immediately.

Can't let the moon get stolen and leave our bro Rouga hanging. Time to take back the moon.
>> No. 10951
>meat-cooker

I love this epithet.

>[] Whatever. Go back to sleep. Maybe the next time you wake up, it’ll be morning again.

Fat chance.

[x] "Since it's a fake moon, maybe you could just pretend to howl?"
[x] Get back to HQ immediately.

Maybe he has low blood pressure after waking?

Or maybe his mood is tidally locked with the real moon?

Whatever the case, Miki's a little grumpy, and this time he won't just sit back and let things work themselves out.
>> No. 10952
[x] Thank Rouga.
[x] Get back to HQ immediately.
>> No. 10958
[X] Get back to HQ immediately.
>> No. 10959
[X] Get back to HQ immediately.
>> No. 10961
[B] Get back to HQ immediately.
>> No. 10963
[x] "Since it's a fake moon, maybe you could just pretend to howl?"
[x] Get back to HQ immediately.

I like this.
>> No. 10965
[x] "Since it's a fake moon, maybe you could just pretend to howl?"
[x] Thank Rouga
[x] Get back to HQ immediately.
>> No. 10966
[~] "Since it's a fake moon, maybe you could just pretend to howl?"
[z] Thank Rouga
[e] Get back to HQ immediately.

>>10943
>>10944
FFFFFFFFF
>> No. 10968
Say, its only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me

>> No. 10972
File 124562179753.jpg- (226.65KB , 640x480 , 1.jpg ) [iqdb]
10972
[x] Get back to HQ immediately.
------

“Since it’s a fake moon, maybe you can just pretend to howl at it?” you joke, although you put on a sincere smile on your face.

“But that ain’t real howling,” he grumbles. “It’s a great stress-reliever, y’know. You should try it some time. Go all “AWOOOOoooo!” Well, when there’s a full moon, anyway.”

“I… think I’ll have to say no to that,” you laugh. Rouga laughs along with you, and pulls you into a headlock, rapping on your head with his knuckles. “Ow, hey, stop that! And when was the last time you took a bath? You stink!”

“Bath? I dunno, maybe around fifty years?” he says without a trace of shame. You twist yourself out of his grasp while scrunching up your face.

“That’s gross,” you say, sticking out your tongue at him.

“Heh. You just can’t appreciate the true fragrance of men,” he replies, grinning while flexing his arms. “It’s manly musk! Here, have a whiff!”

“… What, are you drunk already?” you ask, backing away from him. “Anyway, I think it’d be a good idea to return now. Thanks for your hospitality, I guess.”

“No problem, man. Ya brought me booze. Alright then. See ya again, meat-cooker!”

Waving goodbye, you break into a sprint before taking off into the air, heading for one of the many entrances to the mountain fortress.



As you pass over the waterfall, you notice Miss Momizi standing at the top. Changing directions, you swoop down toward her, waving your arm.

“Mikio!” she hurries to you as you land on the ground.

“Hey, Miss Momizi,” you greet. “What’s going on? Why is it still night?”

“I’m not sure, either,” she replies with a frown, folding her arms together. “Some of the crow tengu were dispatched to investigate, but there’s a lot of conflicting accounts of why the night’s stopped.”

“Like what?”

“Well, some say that the gap demon,” she shudders a bit as she mentions her, “… is messing around with the boundary of the night, but others are reporting that the vampire’s servant froze the night. Nothing’s been confirmed yet, though.”

“Um… well, what about the moon? The one up there… isn’t the real moon, right?” you ask, pointing up at the moon in the sky. It… doesn’t really look any different to you, though.

“You noticed?” Miss Momizi looks surprised.

“No… I don’t see anything wrong with it… but I’ve heard it’s a fake.”

“Mmm, well that’s correct. It’s not the real full moon,” she points up at the sky, focusing on the shining orb above. “There’s a tiny portion of light missing from it. I guess humans wouldn’t be able to see the difference, but it’s very unsettling for nocturnal youkai. It might be a little dangerous around because of it, actually. They may grow uneasy and agitated, and start attacking.”

“I didn’t know it was such a big deal…” you frown. “Did Miss Aya leave to investigate already?”

“Well, she returned earlier. She said she forgot something, but it seemed like she found something out. She was very excited.”

“… Oh, okay,” you nod, and reach into your shirt. You produce your battered and cracked mask, and put it on your face, tying the straps behind your head.

“You’re leaving?” Miss Momizi inquires with a frown, looking worried.

“Yeah, I want to know what’s going on…” you reply, though after seeing her fretful face, you quickly add: “I’ll be fine. I’ll be really careful, so please don’t worry about me, Miss Momizi.”

“… Well, I won’t stop you if you want to go,” she says, somewhat unconvinced. “But watch yourself, okay? And don’t let anyone know you’re human.”

You nod, and prepare to kick off from the ground when a familiar someone swoops by you with great speed, practically carrying off.

“Alright then, let’s go, Miki!”

You manage to stabilize yourself in the air, and yank your arm out of her grasp, keeping up with her with your own speed.

“Miss Aya! Don’t. Do. That!” you yell, rubbing your arm. “And when did I say I would go with you?”

“Well, you were going to go look into it anyway, weren’t you?” she grins and looks back at you. “It’ll be safer if you’re with me!”

“… I guess,” you mumble, although you really do feel a bit more secure going with her. “What have you found out, Miss Aya?”

“Well, just a bit earlier, I saw the shrine maiden and the gap demon squashing a bug,” Miss Aya says. “Seems it’s true that the gap demon’s involved with this incident.”

“That’s Miss Yukari, right? But why would they steal the full moon?”

“No, no. They’re the ones who stopped the night, I think. The culprit behind the disappearance of the full moon is someone else, probably.”

“You mean, the shrine maiden’s out to recover the moon?”

“Maybe. We don’t know for sure yet. Anyway, last I saw them, they were taking a road to the Human Village…”

“Someone please help meeeee~!”

The both of you turn your attention to the shrill voice crying out as you two continue to fly through the night air. It was a little hard to make it out in the dark, but you saw someone—with small little wings on their back, flying in a panicked way as if being chased.

“Catch her, Youmu!”

A familiar voice. That can’t be anyone but Miss Yuyuko, right? And… Youmu must be there, too. Sure enough, a familiar figure wielding a sword enters your view, quickly gaining on her winged prey, while Miss Yuyuko follows behind her at a much more relaxed pace.

“No! No! I don’t wanna be eaten!” The bird-like girl cries out pitifully, but there’s no way she can outrun Youmu like that. Huh? Wait, isn’t she a youkai? You didn’t know ghosts ate youkai! That’s scary…

“Ayayayaya! Wait just a moment!” Miss Aya gives a burst of speed, intercepting Youmu just as she’s close enough to reach the bird girl. “I can’t allow a fellow bird to be devoured right in front of me!” She yells indignantly, spreading her usually hidden wings out proudly.

“Please move aside,” Youmu says commandingly, although you notice that she looks rather harassed and annoyed.

“Never!” Miss Aya responds defiantly as the other bird youkai clings to her, seemingly frightened out of her mind.

… Not even ten minutes out into the investigation, and she’s already encountered trouble. You shake your head as they quickly engage in a spell card battle, slowing down as you float next to Miss Yuyuko, who was watching the fight with an amused look.

“Good evening,” she greets you with a smile. “She’s quite sensitive when it comes to birds, isn’t she?”

“All crow tengu are like that,” you sigh. Because of that, bird meat was banned in the tengu canteen. You’ve never eaten bird meat yourself, either. Not that you really want to, either.

Come to think of it, Miss Yuyuko might know something about the incident. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be out here, right…?

[] Ask about the frozen night.
[] Ask about the stolen full moon.
[] Silently watch the fight.
>> No. 10973
[X] Ask about the frozen night.
>> No. 10974
If Aya's fighting, then it's only a matter of time before Miki is embroiled in it too. May as well have some fun, and gauge what Yuyu thinks of Miki. But information gathering comes first, of course.

[x] Ask about the stolen full moon.
[x] Ask about the frozen night.
[x] Ask if she wouldn't prefer it more if it were you her servant was sparring with right now.

Now I'm wondering what an Aya/Miki death bomb would look like.
>> No. 10975
[.]Ask about the stolen full moon.
[..]Ask about the frozen night.
[...]Ask her if she wouldn't prefer if it were you her servant were sparring with. Or her.

Great. Now I'm imagining a comical scene where Yuyuko has ordered Youmu to cut off Mikio's mask, and both of them are chasing him around.
>> No. 10976
A human and a youkai. Looks like we qualify as an investigation team.

[X] Ask about the stolen full moon.
[X] Ask about the frozen night.
[X] Ask if she wouldn't prefer it more if it were you her servant was sparring with right now.

>Now I'm wondering what an Aya/Miki death bomb would look like.

Aya swooping in to save Mikio in a Big Damn Heroes moment? That would sure be a nice change of pace.
>> No. 10980
[~] Ask about the stolen full moon.
[z] Ask about the frozen night.
[e] Ask if she wouldn't prefer it more if it were you her servant was sparring with right now.

>>10976
>A human and a youkai. Looks like we qualify as an investigation team.
FFFFFFFFFFFFF
>> No. 10981
[X] Ask about the stolen full moon.
[X] Ask about the frozen night.
[X] Ask if she wouldn't prefer it more if it were you her servant was sparring with right now.
>> No. 10992
[x] Ask about the stolen full moon.
[x] Ask about the frozen night.
[x] Ask if she wouldn't prefer it more if it were you her servant was sparring with right now.
------

“But… it’s bizarre, isn’t it?” you ask, looking up at the sky to the full moon above. You still don’t see anything wrong with it, but… “Can someone really steal away the full moon?”

“It would certainly take someone very powerful to be able to do something like that,” Miss Yuyuko comments without taking her eyes off the battle before her. “It’s very troublesome! A moon without its full glow means nothing to youkai who depend on its power, after all. It’s like having tea without snacks to accompany it!”

“I… um… I don’t think… that’s the same thing…”

Miss Yuyuko merely smiles as a reply.

“And… the condition of the night is strange, too, isn’t it?”

“Well, there are occasions when you need a little more time to do something,” Miss Yuyuko says with that enigmatic smile of hers. “By the way, the Harvest Moon festival is tomorrow, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to it. And I hope the moon will be back to normal by then! It simply wouldn’t do to have a Harvest Moon festival without the full moon to accompany the evening! But strangers things have been going on this evening, you know. Like a village disappearing, and witches disappearing into a Bamboo Forest.”

“… Um… is it alright for you to be out of the Netherworld so often?”

“Well, no one’s told me to stop so far,” she giggles a little as she says this. “And it’s become quite easy to traverse between the two worlds since last spring. My, I’m certain I did send someone to get her to put the boundary back up… But thanks to that, we’ve been getting quite a bit more visitors.”

“Um… is that a good thing?”

“Of course. The more, the merrier. And the new visitors are all so interesting,” she giggles again. “I might even invite some of them to stay for a while,” she says, quite innocently. However, you can’t help but feel a slight shiver run down your spine. “Perhaps you and your superior would like to visit us as well?”

“M-maybe…”

You hurriedly decide to change the subject. For the lack of a better topic, though, you look back at the fierce spell card battle.

“Um…uh… they’re… they’re really going at it, aren’t they?” you say, watching Miss Aya using her exceptional speed to weave around Youmu’s lightning fast barrages of bullets. “Um… would you prefer if I was the one sparring her instead?”

“Hm? You mean Youmu?”

“… Yes.”

“She is still inexperienced. Even though her prowess in magic is very capable, she pays no attention to her own style of swordsmanship, and as a result, she leaves her back unguarded,” Miss Yuyuko muses, watching her servant intently. “Win or lose, I think fighting against someone like that reporter will help her grow,” her face breaks into a kind of a proud smile. “Still, she tries so very hard. It’s adorable. Don’t you think so?”

“Eh? Ah… um…” You really didn’t know what to say. Wait, did she even answer your question just then? …She meant that it was better that Youmu was fighting Miss Aya, right? “Ahahaha… um… yes, she’s amazing. Compared to the two of them, I’m…”

“Do you think you can beat her? Youmu, I mean.” she asks you. A genuine question.

“There’s… no way I could…” you say, shaking your head. “Um… I definitely wouldn’t be able to beat her. I’m… too weak to fight someone like her.”

“You seemed to do quite well when you fought her last time.”

“That… that was a fluke. And… if you hadn’t stopped her, she would have defeated me for sure.”

“Really, I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit.”

You stay silent, watching the conclusion of the duel unfold. It looks like Miss Aya won the battle, as the two of them approach you and Miss Yuyuko. Youmu, looking irritated, bows to Miss Yuyuko.

“I’m sorry, Lady Yuyuko, but it seems I lost.”

“That’s okay, Youmu. It seems the sparrow got away while you two were fighting, so it wouldn’t have made a difference if you had won or lost.”

Youmu seems to deflate a little as Miss Yuyuko says this, looking down.

“By the way, Youmu, you still haven’t greeted our friend here,” she continues, gesturing with her arm in your direction.

“My apologies,” Youmu says politely, giving you a curt bow. “Good evening, Kirita Mikio.”

“Um… Yes, it’s… a good evening,” you reply, returning the bow. Can a situation like this really be called a good evening?

“Good evening, Miss Saigyouji,” Miss Aya also quickly gives her own greeting. “We haven’t met since the last feast, have we?”

“Yes, that’s right. Speaking of the last feast. That was quite an unforgettable end, wasn’t it? Somehow, Youmu got drunk and started dancing—“

“Ahh…! Why are you bringing that up, Lady Yuyuko?!” Youmu quickly protests, turning red. “Um… we’ll be going now! Let’s go, Lady Yuyuko!”

“Ah…? Wait, Yooouuumuuuuu~!” Miss Yuyuko’s voice trails off as her servant drags her away into the night, leaving the two of you rather at a loss for words. Yes… that… spectacle… was really interesting… and must have been terribly embarrassing for Youmu.

“Hm, well, it’s good that I won that one, but…” Miss Aya sighs. “No leads once again. Did that ghost tell you anything, Miki?”

“Um… mostly stuff we already know… Ah!” Wait, hang on. There was something she said that you thought was strange but never really questioned… but what was it?

[] A village that disappeared?
[] Witches in a Bamboo Forest?
>> No. 10993
[X] Witches in a Bamboo Forest?

That's where the action is, and we do know those two...

That aside, we also should probably avoid the human village considering our circumstances.
>> No. 10994
[X] Witches in a Bamboo Forest?
>> No. 10995
[] Witches in a Bamboo Forest?
>> No. 10996
[X]Witches in a bamboo forest?

Next up, Tengu team vs. Magic team!
>> No. 10997
[x] Witches in a Bamboo Forest?
>> No. 10998
[x] Witches in a Bamboo Forest?

burn the witch!
>> No. 10999
[x] Witches in a Bamboo Forest?
------

“Wait, I think she did mention something…” you trail off, trying to remember what it was that you found to be peculiar at the moment. “Ah! Um, she did say something about witches disappearing into a Bamboo Forest… I’m not really sure what that means…”

“Well, she was probably talking about those two from the Forest of Magic…” Miss Aya says, chewing on the end of her pen. “And as for the Bamboo Forest… she has to be talking about the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. Did she mean that those two headed over there?”

“I’m not really sure.”

“Well, it’s a start, then. If those two really did head to that place, they must be there for a reason,” Miss Aya pockets her pen, turning to a certain direction. “Let’s hurry, Miki. I’m sure we’ll find something too! At the least, I can ask those two about the incident! Don’t fall behind, alright?!”

Without further delay, she leans forward and soars through the air, with you struggling to keep her with her speed. She’s definitely excited, or she wouldn’t be flying so fast! Well, you’re at least able to keep from losing sight of her, although she has to slow down once in a while to let you catch up.

“We’re heading into the forest now! Be careful not to fly into one of the bamboo plants!” Miss Aya yells at you as the two of you enter the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. You can really see why the forest would be called something like that: the bamboo plants were very tall and imposing, and they were all gathered so thickly that even from above you wouldn’t be able to see much of anything.

Cautiously, you weave through the bamboo while keeping a close eye on Miss Aya. At the speed you’re flying at, it would really hurt to crash into one of them. But still, you can’t see anything but bamboo up ahead, and you start to feel a little frustrated.

“Miss Aya! How are we going to find anyone in this place? This forest is huge!”

“Wait, Mikio, stop, stop!”

Your flight grinds to a halt as you stop in midair, looking anxiously at her. She seems to be focusing on something.

“Is something wrong?” you decide to ask out of curiosity.

“… It’s nothing. I thought I saw someone familiar up ahead, but I might have been mistaken.”

“Miss Alice and Miss Marisa?”

“No. I thought I saw the vampire, but I can’t see her anymore…”

“… Can you really see anyone in this place?”

“We have better eyesight than most youkai, remember?” Miss Aya says with a grin, proudly pointing at one of her eyes. “Anyway, even if I really did see the vampire, I’ve lost her now, so oh well. Let’s keep looking.”

“But how? I mean, it’s way too easy to get lost in here, and we still don’t know if anyone really is—“

”—bitch, get out of the way!”

A distant voice rings out, echoing across the forest, and you turn to the direction you think it came from. You can’t really tell where exactly it did come from, but Miss Aya’s sharp hearing definitely must have picked up the location…

And then, from around the same direction, you hear the unmistakable sound of explosions.

[] “Um… can, can we not go that way?”
[] “I guess we found someone.”
>> No. 11000
[ze] “I guess we found someone.”

Purely because I want to see who speaks like this.
>> No. 11001
[x] “I guess we found someone.”

We found our suspects.
>> No. 11002
[] “I guess we found someone.”
>> No. 11003
[x] “I guess we found someone.”
>> No. 11004
>[ze] “I guess we found someone.”
>Purely because I want to see who speaks like this.


ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 11005
[X] “Um… can, can we not go that way?”
>> No. 11006
>>11000
>Purely because I want to see who speaks like this.
IIRC it's Alice.

[ze] “I guess we found someone.”
>> No. 11007
[X]"I guess we found someone."

Oh hi Magic Te-
>> No. 11008
[] “Um… can, can we not go that way?”

Stop wasting time. We have girls to rape at Eientei.
>> No. 11009
>>11008
You're a goddamn idiot.

Also, Momiji > all. You have not been reading this long enough.
>> No. 11011
>Stop wasting time. We have girls to get raped by at Eientei.

Fixed.
>> No. 11012
>>11011
I am all for this
>> No. 11013
[X] “Um… can, can we not go that way?”
>> No. 11014
[x] “I guess we found someone.”
>> No. 11015
[Q] “I guess we found someone.”
>> No. 11016
[X] “Um… can, can we not go that way?”

Self Preservation: ON
>> No. 11017
>Self Preservation: ON

If you had any thought to self-preservation, you would've stayed back on the mountain. QED.

[X]"I guess we found someone."
>> No. 11021
Little Mikio is finally growing his spine...
>> No. 11026
[B] “I guess we found someone.”
>> No. 11028
File 124632222350.jpg- (434.10KB , 1057x1500 , reimuvsmagicteam.jpg ) [iqdb]
11028
[x] “I guess we found someone.”
------

“Um… I guess we found someone,” you say, gulping. The voice was distant, and was a little hard to make out, but you can still tell who it was. It had to have been Marisa… and it isn’t like you have a lot of fond memories of her magic. You’re a little afraid of her, actually…

“Alright, then, let’s head on!” Miss Aya says energetically, raising a fist into the air. “… But since it looks like there’s a fight, let’s proceed a little more carefully. A reporter’s job is to cover incidents, not get involved in them, after all.”

Despite what she’s said, she seems a little too enthusiastic to you. Can she really remain undetected while she’s excited like that? You sigh, and follow her as she takes off towards where the sounds of battle were coming from.

You stop as Miss Aya slows down in front of you, apparently focusing on something far away. Actually, you can see flashes of light far away… so you know you’re not too distant from the fight.

“Can you see them, Miss Aya?” you ask, floating in the air by her side.

“Ah, that’s right! You can’t see them from here, can you?” Miss Aya says, placing her hands on your shoulders as she gently shoves you along. “Alright, we’ll go a little closer, then.”

You let her push you closer, and soon, you’re close enough to observe the ones who are fighting: a blonde witch riding on a broomstick, and a pale blonde woman wearing a dress and a shawl. They were unmistakably the magicians from the Forest of Magic.

But it looks like they’re fighting someone together. Marisa swerves to dodge a hail of amulets, and returned fire with volleys of green magical missiles. They… were fighting the Hakurei shrine maiden?

“Give it up, Reimu! We know it was Yukari that stopped the night! Just give up and let us clobber her!” you hear Marisa shout. Meanwhile, Miss Alice rises higher into the air, as small dolls that you can just barely make out in the darkness follow her. The legion of dolls places themselves in a vertical circular formation in front of her, firing off a barrage of magical beams.

“Ah, wait, Marisa, this isn’t fair!” you hear Hakurei’s slightly panicked voice as she struggles to evade the two witches’ assault. “Yukari, where are you?!”

“Ahh?! She’s running away?!” Marisa shouts incredulously as Hakurei retreats further into the forest. “That’s unusual of her!”

“Keep going, Marisa! We’ll be in trouble if we have to fight her and the gap demon together!”

“Come on, Mikio. We can’t afford to lose them!” Miss Aya nudges you on the side as you watch the girls fly off, stunned.

“Huh? Oh… yeah, right!” you snap out of it, silently flying after Miss Aya, chasing after the girls who had left. They don’t seem to have noticed the two of you yet. That’s a good thing.

Those girls are pretty fast, but it isn’t hard for you to be able to keep up with them, and for Miss Aya, it must be almost too easy. But… they all abruptly stop as they enter a clearing. Below them, on the ground, stands an enormous Japanese-style mansion.

They’re all too surprised to continue fighting, and instead they slowly descend to the ground, staring at the mansion in awe. You and Miss Aya take this chance to silently creep closer to them, although you still remain amongst the bamboo stalks, out of sight but within earshot.

“Wow. I didn’t know there was such a huge mansion in this bamboo forest,” Marisa says, whistling as she studies the mansion before her.

“This must be where the enemy is,” Hakurei says, turning to the two witches. “Sorry, but I don’t have time to be playing with you guys.”

“’The enemy’? You mean, you were looking for the one who’s replaced the moon?” Miss Alice asks.

“Huh? Moon? What?” Marisa looks up at the moon, looking confused.

“I don’t know who exactly it is, but at any rate, they’re inside that mansion.” Hakrei folds her arms. “Looks like I found what I was looking for while fighting you two.”

“More like while you were running away,” Marisa points out. The shrine maiden ignores her.

“Oh, you’ve found what we were looking for, I see!” You hear Miss Yukari’s voice from above, as she descends down onto the scene. “Amazing, you’re really lucky. I wish Ran had half your luck.”

“Yukari, where have you been?!”

“I met a troublesome devil and a dog on the way here,” Miss Yukari explains. “But they’ve gone home now. They won’t get in our way for the night. Well, shall we head inside, then?”

Hakurei nods, still looking a little grumpy as she enters the mansion with Miss Yukari floating lazily behind her.

“Hey! We’re coming too!” Marisa yells, following them on her broom. Miss Alice seems a little more reluctant, but she, too, went after them.

But just before Miss Yukari enters the mansion, she looks back—at the location the two of you were hiding in. Ack… did she notice…? She smiles mysteriously, and without any more delays, heads inside.

“… Miss Aya, do you know what that mansion is?” you decide to ask.

“Mmm… I’m not sure myself. It’s the first time I’ve seen it, too.” Miss Aya says, biting the end of her pen as she seems to think deeply. “… But I did hear a rumor about a mansion in this forest. Supposedly, it’s full of nothing but rabbits and rabbit youkai.”

Rabbit youkai…? You’ve heard of tales about rabbits on the moon… but even rabbit youkai wouldn’t be able to steal away the full moon, right?

“Come on, Mikio. Let’s go after them.”

“But won’t it be dangerous? We don’t really know what’s inside…”

“It’s okay. If we follow those four, they’ll take care of everything, probably. We won’t have to lift a finger.”

You still feel a little reluctant, but you shake those feelings off and follow after Miss Aya, entering the mansion.
>> No. 11029
---

The inside of the mansion was well lit, and very neat. The floors were made out of polished wood that you can practically see your reflection in. Not a single speck of dust. But… there were also so many sliding doors. Dozens and dozens of them lining up the walls. Did this mansion have over a hundred rooms?

It’s a little hard to appreciate the building interior when there’s a battle in front of you, however. The four girls ahead of you were cutting a swath through many, many youkai rabbits. Well, at least it seemed that way. Most of them just fled when hit or voluntarily jumped out of the way. You don’t blame them. They’re pretty scary.

“You’re too late!” A youkai rabbit stands, or rather floats, in the way of the girls’ advance. But she’s different from the ones you’ve seen so far. She’s a lot taller than the others, with long purple hair, and her clothes were… kind of weird, to say the least. “I’ve sealed all the doors! You can’t reach the princess now.”

All… all the doors? Manually? But… but there’s dozens of them!

“If you’re not the culprit, get out of the way,” Hakurei says coldly, holding several pieces of amulets in her hand.

“Just blow her up, Reimu.” Miss Yukari says with a bored voice. “And then we’ll see if she’s the culprit or not.”

“Oh? Are you all youkai?” The rabbit woman says in a condescending tone. “There’s nothing to worry about, then.” She finishes, smiling smugly.

“I’m still human,” Reimu protests.

“Hey, me too!” Marisa speaks up.

“Even less of a problem, then,” the rabbit youkai replies dismissively.

“So, then. You admit that it was you or your company that’s responsible for what’s happened to the moon?” Alice asks coolly.

“That’s right. It’s one of my master Eirin’s strongest charms,” she replies proudly. “The Earth has become a giant sealed chamber.”

“Don’t bother explaining it to them, Udonge,” a new, mature voice echoes as another woman enters the conversation. She held a bow in her hand, with her long silver hair tied into a braid behind her, and wearing a bizarrely asymmetrical dress, with one side red and the other blue. “Humans wouldn’t be able to understand.”

“She’s the criminal,” Miss Yukari says simply, glaring at the woman.

“Return the moon to us!” Hakurei shouts indignantly.

“It’s too early for that,” the woman shakes her head. “Udonge. Conflict and madness are your specialties. I leave this to you.” Saying that, the woman exits the scene as quickly as she came.

“Heh. I haven’t fought in a while,” Udonge grins, pointing an index finger towards the invaders. “Alright, I’ll take on all four of you at on-“

“Come on, Alice, let’s go kick that Eirin’s ass!” Marisa interrupts her, speeding past the rabbit youkai before she can react. Miss Alice is a little taken aback as well, but she quickly recovers and swoops past the rabbit in pursuit.

“Ah, hey, don’t ignore me!” Udonge turns to chase after them, but she’s quickly stopped when Hakurei and Miss Yukari starts to attack her. “Urrgh… fine! I’ll show the power of lunar insanity to you two first!”



They beat her down pretty fast, and went off in a different direction than Marisa and Miss Alice, while the Hakurei shrine maiden muttered something about following her intuition. As for Udonge… she was sitting on the ground with her long ears drooped down, wiping at her eyes like she was going to start crying while mumbling about how much trouble she was in with her master now.

“I can’t believe no one’s noticed us yet,” Miss Aya whispers to you. The whole time in the mansion, the two of you had been flying close to the ceiling. Rabbits must have terrible peripheral vision.

“… Well, what now, Miss Aya?”

“We’ll follow the shrine maiden, of course,” Miss Aya whispers back. “I’ll send one of my crows to go see what’s happened to that Eirin woman, too. Let’s hurry before everything gets wrapped up.”

“Ah, but wait, won’t that rabbit notice us?”

“Who cares?”

Shrugging, you follow Miss Aya as she descends down. As the two of you fly over the depressed rabbit, her ears suddenly perk up as she flies back up to confront you, trying to look as dignified as she can with her torn clothes and broken pride.

“S-stop right there!” she says, pointing her finger at you, although her arms are shaking. “I don’t know who you two are, but I can’t afford to let any more people get past me!”

“Out of our way, you’re in the way of journalism!” Miss Aya says threateningly, drawing her hauchiwa fan.

“Ah…ahh…” the rabbit youkai definitely looks intimidated… and she probably isn’t in the best shape after fighting Hakurei and Miss Yukari… “T-Tewi… Tewi, help me!”

“Huh? What’s wrong, Reisen?” a shorter youkai rabbit comes to her side. “I didn’t think you’d need my help to deal with a bunch of ‘filthy earth crawlers!’” she says with a gloating tone. Reisen remains silent. “Weeeell, if you really need my help, I guess the great Lord Tewi will lend you some of her strength.”

The shorter youkai, Tewi, you presume, lets out a loud, piercing whistle that echoes throughout the mansion. Immediately, a troop of youkai rabbits gathers around Tewi, surrounding her.

“Looks like we’ll have to break through,” Miss Aya says. “I’ll take care of the taller one. She might be weakened, but I have a feeling she can still be dangerous. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to take on the small fry, right?”

“… Easy for you to say,” you frown, drawing your sword.

[] Focus on the enemy’s leader.
[] Take down each of the youkai rabbits one by one.
[] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.
>> No. 11030
[X]Use a widespread attack to strike them all at once.

What's that little bunny? You want to fly?
>> No. 11031
>[] Focus on the enemy’s leader.
Best result: the rabbits flee after Tewi's swift defeat.
Worst result: We get demolished after all the rabbits rush us because we don't beat Tewi swiftly enough.
>[] Take down each of the youkai rabbits one by one.
This is just asking to get overrun.

[x] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.
>> No. 11032
[ze] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.
>> No. 11033
[B]Use a widespread attack to strike them all at once.
>> No. 11034
[x] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.
>> No. 11035
[x] Focus on the enemy’s leader.

>“T-Tewi… Tewi, help me!”

Oh god, she eneds a hug badly. After everything is over, we have to give her one.
>> No. 11036
[x] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.
>> No. 11037
>>11035

I don't care much about racists, let's just leave her the once we're done.
>> No. 11038
[x] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.
>> No. 11039
[x] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.

Total attack. Rabbits are vulnerable to blast markers.
>> No. 11041
[x] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.

Our past life demands us to punish Lord Tewi and her rabbits!
>> No. 11044
[x] Use a widespread attack to try to strike them all at once.
------

“… Here I come,” you say calmly, holding the tip of your sword with your other hand. If the enemy boasts numbers, then the best thing to do is to try to take them out all out as quick as possible, or risk being overrun.

“Alright, everyone…” the youkai rabbit called Tewi shouts in a commanding voice, folding her arms together. “Charge, charge, chaaaarge!”

The troop of rabbits gathered around her spring at you all at once, jumping up into the air. You dart back immediately and pull your arm back so that the tip of your sword is pointing behind you. As the rabbits close in, you swing your arm as hard as you can, and the air around your blade shifts and distorts itself until it becomes a whirlwind, and you fling it at your aggressors.

The whirlwind grows in size as it travels along the room, sweeping up a few of the rabbits at the front while the rest move out of the way. The ones caught in the tornado spin and spin and spin until they reach the ceiling, before dropping to the ground, too dizzy to stand back up.

Taking a moment to wipe the sweat off your brow, you dodge several well-aimed and well-coordinated barrages of magic from the remaining rabbits. They’re far beyond a common fairy, that’s for sure.

The numbers are a thinned out now, but you can’t relax just yet. Whoa! Nearly got hit by one of Miss Aya’s attacks there. You should move a little further from where she’s fighting. You retreat a little ways back from your position, and the rabbits as well as their leader follow after you, not missing this chance to rain bullets on you.

Somewhat haphazardly, you manage to dodge the patterns of fire these rabbits were collaborating to attack you with. Clenching your teeth, you stretch out your free hand. From your palm, barrages of green-colored needles shoot out. A few of the needles hit one rabbit square in the face, sending her plummeting to the ground, but the rest manage to avoid your attack.

With a burst of speed, you close in on the remainder. There is only about four of them now, and their attacks aren’t nearly as dense as they were before. Some of them open their eyes wide in shock as you rush in. Apparently, they weren’t prepared to fight close up. Muttering a word of apology, you slice at the air, and a shockwave from your sword knocks two out of the air.

The other two attempt to counterattack as you turn to face them, but they’re too slow to hit you. As they fire off their attacks, you hold your sword out in front of you, and erect a magical barrier. You’re not really used to blocking, but your shield manages to last out the assault. Letting your defense dissipate away, you slash the air again, and a gust of wind knock the rabbits into the wall.

Now… there’s only one more left, and that’s the leader—Huh? Where is she? You look around in confusion. You can’t see her anywhere… But wasn’t she here just a moment ago? … Did she run away?

Sighing, you sheathe your sword. Time to see if Miss Aya’s doing alright. You probably don’t have anything to worry about, though… No offense to that Udonge, but she’s pretty strong.



“Ahhhh?! S-stop using those kinds of attacks! You’re going to blow away my skirt! W-wait, what kind of pictures have you been taking?!”

You turn away and hang your head in shame, smacking your forehead. Miss Aya… she’s not even taking that girl seriously. Well, she seems to be winning, at least.



“Oh, Mikio. You’ve finished up already?” Miss Aya says with a bright smile as she lands next to you. As for Udonge… well, she’s slumped on the ground, completely silent with a blank expression on her face. It’s… kind of creepy, actually.

“… Yeah,” you say, frowning. “… So we’re following after the shrine maiden? But the culprit was that woman from earlier, right? So shouldn’t we follow Miss Marisa and Miss Alice?”

“No, no, no,” she replies, waving her hand dismissively. “She’s just an underling. The true culprit has to be in hiding somewhere. If we follow the shrine maiden, I’m sure we’ll find her, too.”

“An underling? How flattering,” a voice startles the two of you. Isn’t that…? Yes, it’s that woman from before. Master Eirin, was it? She was standing beside Udonge, who was looking up at her with watery eyes. And… peeking out from behind Eirin was the rabbit Tewi. “I’m disappointed in you, Udonge. You’ve let those other two reach the princess, and you can’t even keep youkai out of Eientei?”

“I’m… I’m sorry, Master.”

“Well, we’ll discuss your punishment later. I must go assist the princess immediately,” she says, taking a step forward and raising her bow. “I don’t know who you two are or why you’re here, but I will ask once, and only once: leave now. If you don’t comply, then I’ll remove you by force.”

“What?!” Miss Aya looks astonished and indignant. “Excuse me, but there’s no way I’m going to leave when I’m this close to a big scoop like this!”

“I see, and I take it you won’t heed my warning either?” Eirin looks over to you. You remain silent, gripping the hilt of your sword. “Very well, if that’s your answer, then I’ll end this quickly.”

As she draws back the bowstring, you unsheathe your sword as you fly up into the air, following Miss Aya’s lead. That woman… did she defeat the witches? But there isn’t so much as a scratch on her…



The rising sun greets you as you step out of the mansion. It was almost morning, finally. Looking up at the sky, you see only the faintest outline of the full moon. In any case, it seems the moon’s been restored.

“So this means the shrine maiden succeeded, right?” you ask Miss Aya.

“Who knows?” she says irritably. “I can’t write about something I’m not sure about. Ugh… and we were so close, too.”

“Well, it can’t be helped if we lost,” you frown.

Miss Aya sighs, looking depressed. Well, of course she’d be feeling down. She’d missed out on a chance at writing up a first-hand account of the resolution, after all. “Well, I suppose I can make do with what I already know,” she says, though she doesn’t look too optimistic about it. “Let’s just head back. I need to sleep this off.”
>> No. 11046
---

“I’ve been watching the scenery,” the voice tells you. “There’s a lot of interesting things you can see out there. You should try it, too. I mean, there’s not much else you can do on a train, right?”

You turn to look at the window behind you. All you see is pitch black. “… I can’t see anything out there,” you say truthfully.

“Really? That’s a shame,” he says with a smile. “Then, shall I describe to you what I see?”

“… I want to know.”

“Hmm…” he grins, turning his head to watch the window. “I can see… a child. A child feared and hated by everyone. Rain. Conquest. Unification. Power. Escape.”

“… That makes no sense.”

“Ahaha… sorry, but I’m a little bad with words,” he laughs.

“Who are you, anyway?”

He ignores your question, turning back in his seat as he leans his head back on the window. Silence permeates throughout the train compartment. Neither of you say a thing, listening to the rhythmic sound of the train running along the tracks.

“Hey,” he finally speaks up. “I’ve seen a lot of things since I got on this train. There’s a lot of things I don’t understand, but I want to ask you something.”

“… What is it?”

“Do you believe anything can be inherently evil?”

“What…?”

“Is it possible for anything to be created evil? And if so, do you think that would justify its actions? After all, it’s only following its instincts, right…?”

[] Write-in.
>> No. 11047
[Q] "No. Nothing can be inherently evil. Everything has a choice. If it really didn't have a choice, though, it can't be called evil, can it?"
>> No. 11048
[X]"I belive the concepts of good and evil are labels placed on actions rather than a state of being."
[X]"As a result, I don't belive anything can be inherently evil. Created to do evil things? Certainly. But the being itself would have no concepts of good or evil to begin with, and as such it could not be considered inherently evil since that is all it knows."
[X]"That doesn't excuse it in my eyes though. Even if it never knew any better, it still committed the act. Wouldn't it be judged to the same standards as anyone else?"
>> No. 11049
[X] "Doesn't that depend on what you think constitutes evil in the first place? That's a word with a pretty wonky definition at best, so it's kind of hard to answer your question."
[X] "There are plenty of things created in plenty of ways, and everything just does what it does. No one really agrees on what's justified anyway, so this seems like a pointless question."
[X] "If you were looking for a more emotional or personal response, though, I have to say your question is straying pretty close to the stuff we talked about before. Weren't you the one who said that fate doesn't really exist? If that's the case, you should take your advice to heart; under that view, nothing is created as anything, is it? It just is, and it can become whatever it wants to."

Come on buddy, get it together and pay attention to your own philosophy.
>> No. 11051
[X] "Doesn't that depend on what you think constitutes evil in the first place? That's a word with a pretty wonky definition at best, so it's kind of hard to answer your question."
[X] "There are plenty of things created in plenty of ways, and everything just does what it does. No one really agrees on what's justified anyway, so this seems like a pointless question."
[X] "If you were looking for a more emotional or personal response, though, I have to say your question is straying pretty close to the stuff we talked about before. Weren't you the one who said that fate doesn't really exist? If that's the case, you should take your advice to heart; under that view, nothing is created as anything, is it? It just is, and it can become whatever it wants to."
>> No. 11052
[X] "Doesn't that depend on what you think constitutes evil in the first place? That's a word with a pretty wonky definition at best, so it's kind of hard to answer your question."
[X] "There are plenty of things created in plenty of ways, and everything just does what it does. No one really agrees on what's justified anyway, so this seems like a pointless question."
[X] "If you were looking for a more emotional or personal response, though, I have to say your question is straying pretty close to the stuff we talked about before. Weren't you the one who said that fate doesn't really exist? If that's the case, you should take your advice to heart; under that view, nothing is created as anything, is it? It just is, and it can become whatever it wants to."
>> No. 11053
[O] "Doesn't that depend on what you think constitutes evil in the first place? That's a word with a pretty wonky definition at best, so it's kind of hard to answer your question."
[O] "There are plenty of things created in plenty of ways, and everything just does what it does. No one really agrees on what's justified anyway, so this seems like a pointless question."
[O] "If you were looking for a more emotional or personal response, though, I have to say your question is straying pretty close to the stuff we talked about before. Weren't you the one who said that fate doesn't really exist? If that's the case, you should take your advice to heart; under that view, nothing is created as anything, is it? It just is, and it can become whatever it wants to."
>> No. 11054
[X] "No. Nothing can be inherently evil. Everything has a choice. If it really didn't have a choice, though, it can't be called evil, can it?"

Eh, I'm into that grey area shit. Pissin' against the tide here too.
>> No. 11055
[x] "No. Nothing can be inherently evil. Everything has a choice. If it really didn't have a choice, though, it can't be called evil, can it?"

That long write in sounds like a bunch of naval-gazing nihilism.
>> No. 11056
>>11055

If that's naval-gazing, it's the most casual, succinct, if somewhat ineloquent, naval-gazing I've seen.

I'll give you that it's nihilistic though. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
>> No. 11057
You're almost there. You made a strong declaration that freedom is essential to moral judgments. The problem is that 'good' and 'evil' as adjectives are just too useful in application to objects, actions, and other avolitional entities to simply be thrown away so handily.

[x] "No. Maybe. Definitions are important. People can't be inherently evil; everyone has a choice. By people, I mean sentient, self-aware beings."
[x] "Actions can't be inherently evil either, because there's always the possibility of greater evil in omission--the 'or the world blows up' corollary. Incidents of an action can be evil, but to call this 'inherent' would just be repeating yourself."
[x] "Objects & events, I'm not so sure. Something created for the intention of causing and being evil, that does indeed need to do evil as a result involuntarily, well, I guess it passes the duck test--you know, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck? Ah wait, no, but is it inherently be a duck?"
[x] "So I guess my answer to your question is that the word 'inherent' is meaningless when paired with a moral component. So, in other words: 'Some things are sometimes bad, and some things are sometimes evil, but a generalization will always, always be a generalization.'"

And exceptions are omnipresent.

You might even say that exceptions are an inherent quality of generalizations.
>> No. 11060
[x] Good and evil are nothing but a creation of sentient beings to justify or condemn the actions of others. The universe itself cares not for either one. But still, as a sentient being I must, to a degree at least, follow the perception of what I hold as a proper moral code, to do otherwise would be to deny my own existence. For what a being would call himself evil?
>> No. 11061
>>11055
>>11056
I don't get how contemplating on the nature of a battleship or an aircraft carrier has anything to do with this.

And on another topic, we need more Momiji. Boring crow is boring and thoughtless. We require large doses of probably unhealthy (but adorable) more-than-simply-maternal affection.
>> No. 11062
[X] "Doesn't that depend on what you think constitutes evil in the first place? That's a word with a pretty wonky definition at best, so it's kind of hard to answer your question."
[X] "There are plenty of things created in plenty of ways, and everything just does what it does. No one really agrees on what's justified anyway, so this seems like a pointless question."
[X] "If you were looking for a more emotional or personal response, though, I have to say your question is straying pretty close to the stuff we talked about before. Weren't you the one who said that fate doesn't really exist? If that's the case, you should take your advice to heart; under that view, nothing is created as anything, is it? It just is, and it can become whatever it wants to."
>> No. 11063
>>11061

Frankly, I think we need to see more Nitori. We haven't played with her for quite some time now. Besides, I'd like to see more of Momi's vexed reactions when Nitori displays her complete lack of any sense of personal space to Mikio a few more times.

Once Miki starts casually accepting her best friend sitting on his lap or his shoulders, that's when all the jealousy in Momi will reach a boiling point.
>> No. 11065
>>11063
This sounds almost rational, but I can't trust your methods or your motives --not to mention it's a dick move quite unbecoming of Mikio. And truth be told, it smells suspiciously Bastille-ish.

And why the fuck would Nitori be riding on Mikio's shoulders or sitting in his lap? She's not a child.
>> No. 11068
>>11065

At this point Miki should have grown enough to have a fairly considerable height advantage over Nitori. If she needed to reach something high up, I can see her hopping up on his shoulders just as soon as she'd try flying. Likewise, I can easily see her bounding over and plopping down on his lap to catch a glimpse of anything he happens to be working on while she's around, or to inject herself into a game between him and Momi. They were really just the first examples that came to mind of the fact that Nitori seems to have a tendency toward physical engagements that completely ignore personal space.

Regardless, since we all seem to want pseudo-incest with Momi, I expect interaction with her best friend is going to pop up a few more times at the least. I don't see how tolerating said friend's tendencies is a particularly dick move - if anything, it's more polite than chastising her or asking her to back off.

Before I forget, by the way, just who the hell is this "Bastille?" I've seen several disparaging mentions of them.
>> No. 11069
File 124684175021.jpg- (149.16KB , 734x767 , f0aa5f9464d4951838f898020a0831ff.jpg ) [iqdb]
11069
I also would like more Nitori.
>> No. 11070
>>11065
I have a better idea which of Mikio's body parts Nitori should be riding.
>> No. 11071
------

“… Doesn’t that depend on what you think constitutes evil on the first place.” you ask with a flat tone of voice, staring straight ahead. “Evil is a word with imperfect definitions. It is difficult to answer such a question.”

“Well, can you try?” he asks with a bit of a taunting tone of voice.

“There are many things created in myriads of ways, and they exist to serve their purpose,” you continue in that same, hollow voice. “And yet no one agrees on what constitutes as a justification for acts of “evil.” It is a useless question.”

Something’s wrong here. You’re saying this without even thinking of anything. Like the words that were coming out of your mouth didn’t belong to you at all.

“I don’t care if other people don’t agree with each other or what,” he says to you somewhat impatiently. “I wanted to hear your opinion.”

“… I…” you trail off. For a moment, your mind goes completely blank, unable to think or answer. But after the moment passes, your lips open once more. “… Do you not insist that fate does not exist? If something has no predetermined fate, then it cannot be created as anything. It simply exists, and it can become anything if it so chooses.”

“… Is that what you believe?”

“… No, it is what I have learned. What I was taught.”

“Then… you still haven’t changed your mind?”

“…”

“Somehow, I think you’ve really missed the point on what you were supposed to have learned.”

Shut up.

He sinks back into his seat, closing his eyes and looking up at the ceiling while keeping silent. “… You’ll make a lot of people sad, you know,” he finally says, without looking at you.

---

As Gensokyo’s summer reached its midpoint, you finally experienced an idyllic lull. Really, since the end of last year, it’s seemed like a new incident would happen not even a month after the previous one. The first was that unusually long winter, followed by the never ending feasts, and finally by the frozen night and the stolen moon.

Even though you weren’t really involved in the incidents as much as the shrine maiden, you’ve been feeling kind of tired and in need of some peace. And aside from the unveiling of Eientei to the rest of the world and some fire that was started and quickly put out in the Bamboo Forest, it’s been pleasantly uneventful so far.

You’re still doing grunt work with the yamabushi tengu, working on the printing press, but you don’t mind working at all. You have the rest of the day free once you finish your work, after all.

It’s about noon as you wrap up the last of your errands. Stretching out your arms to the ceiling, you guide yourself out of the mountain fortress. Breathing in the clean mountain air deeply, you let out a content sigh as you begin to hover over the ground. Now, where to go…?

[] The waterfall.
[] The Great Youkai Forest.
[] The Human Village.
>> No. 11072
[x] The waterfall.

Kappakappa
>> No. 11073
File 124694505766.jpg- (283.56KB , 1100x1400 , Copy of ad304016f19fbca246d9c698b469f4d3.jpg ) [iqdb]
11073
>summer reached its midpoint

[x] The waterfall.
>> No. 11074
[X] The waterfall.

It's summer, man. Cool off. Chill.
>> No. 11079
[x] The waterfall.
>> No. 11080
[x] The waterfall.
>> No. 11083
[x] The Great Youkai Forest.
>> No. 11084
[O] The Great Youkai Forest.
>> No. 11085
[X] The Human Village.
>> No. 11087
[x] The Great Youkai Forest.
Meh, the village would have been most eventful, but I dislike the waterfall even more than this and this is the only one with chances to win over it... Bloody kappafans.
>> No. 11088
[x] The Great Youkai Forest.
>> No. 11089
[x] The Great Youkai Forest.
>> No. 11090
[X] The Great Youkai Forest.
>> No. 11091
[x] The waterfall.
>> No. 11092
[B] The waterfall.
>> No. 11096
[ze] The Great Youkai Forest.
>> No. 11097
[] The Great Youkai Forest.
>> No. 11100
I'll be a lot busier now that school's started again. There will be an update tomorrow, though.
>> No. 11103
>>11100

hooray!
>> No. 11104
[x] The Great Youkai Forest
------

You slowly drift forward, the sleeves of your shirt waving behind you as you descend along the mountain trail. Reaching into the inside of your shirt, you produce your mask and place it on your face. You’re starting to get used to always wearing this anyway.

You fly high above the stream leading down to the waterfall, descending sharply as you continue to fly along the water. You gently touch down on the ground at the bottom of the waterfall, deciding to walk the rest of the way down.

A cool summer breeze gently brushes against you as you walk along the bank of the river, humming a tuneless song. How peaceful. You close your eyes and drink in the smell of the river. This is definitely a welcome reprieve.

Continuing to walk in the direction of the river’s flow, you find yourself amongst the trees of the Great Youkai Forest. Ah, that’s right. As long as you’re here, you might as well try to greet the curse goddess, Miss Kagiyama.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take you long to find her, as you see her crouched down at the edge of the river, apparently working on something. You raise your hand and wave, yelling a greeting: “Hello, Miss Kagiyama!” She looks up at you, and slowly stands up as you approach. “It’s been a long time since we last met, hasn’t it?”

You feel your skin break out in goosebumps as you get closer to her, but you do your best to ignore the rather unsettling feeling.

Miss Kagiyama walks over to you, with… tears in her eyes? Suddenly, she rushes forward and wraps her arms around you, stroking your head. “Oh, you poor child…” she coos as she pets you. “So much misfortune… so much misfortune…”

Out of shock, you tear yourself away from her, and she reluctantly lets go of you, rubbing away the tears in her eyes with the back of her hands.

“Um… what?” you say, stepping back a little. That was unexpected.

“It’s growing,” she says simply, still rubbing her eyes. “I’m so sorry I can’t help you…”

Oh… is this about that weird curse thing? You’re still a bit skeptical about that, but…

“Um, it’s okay,” you say, trying to comfort her. “You don’t have to be sorry…” Out of the corner of your eyes, you notice the small boat docked at the edge of the river. Sitting on the boat were two dolls made of paper, dressed in fitting clothes. “Oh, were you in the middle of that ritual?” you ask, pointing at the boat.

“Yes…” she says, walking back to the boat and crouching down near it. You follow her and crouch down next to it as well, examining the little paper figures. They’re well made, and the detail on their faces and their clothes are impressive.

“Did you make the dolls yourself?” you decide to ask. “I think they’re really well-made.”

“… Yes,” she says, looking at the dolls with a somewhat depressed look on her face. “It’s the least I can do. After all, I’m forcing the impunities and curses of humans on them.”

“But you’re doing it to help humans, aren’t you?”

She nods, and smiles at you. “Would you like to set the boat afloat yourself?” she asks you. “All that’s left to do is to wish these little ones a safe journey…”

[] "Yes, please."
[] "No. You should be the one to do it."
>> No. 11105
[x] "Yes, please."
>> No. 11106
This choice feels oddly significant.

[x] "Yes, please."
[x] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.

So much so that I feel compelled to do my utmost to subvert it.
>> No. 11107
Hmm... why not...

[O] "Yes, please."
[O] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.
>> No. 11108
[X] "Yes, please."

I would have liked some kappa, but sexy curse goddess is fine too.
>> No. 11109
[X] "Yes, please."
>> No. 11110
and the boat bursts into flames due to contact with our overwhelming level of misfortune.
>> No. 11111
[x] "Yes, please."
[x] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.
>> No. 11112
[x] "Yes, please."
[x] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.
>> No. 11113
[z] "Yes, please."
[e] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.

>>11110
I'm expecting something along that line to happen.
>> No. 11115
[x] "Yes, please."
[x] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.
>> No. 11116
>>11110

Brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy, all hands of whom went down with the ship after a freak accident in which the fore magazine caught ablaze and the wreck capsized near the shoreline of the Great Youkai River. God rest their souls.
>> No. 11117
[Q] "Yes, please."
[Q] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.

Why not.
>> No. 11118
[x] "Yes, please."
[x] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.
>> No. 11119
[x] "Yes, please."
[x] Salute the brave sailors of the Nagashi-bina doll navy.
[x] Manly tears


[Switch to Mobile Page]
Thread Watcher x