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13363 No. 13363
[x] Transience.
------

...

“Whew…” Sanae releases her breath, lowering her raised arms. “I think that was enough training for today,” she says, nodding sagely as she rushes over to you. Looking up with a bright yet anticipant expression, she asks, “How did I do, Hoshuu?”

“Amazing as always,” you say, reaching out and messing up the top of her hair.

“Ehehe~” she giggles happily, looking proud of herself.

“And since you did such a good job,” you continue, placing your hands in your pockets, “Let’s go into town and get something to eat.”

“Ah, okay!” she nods eagerly. “Just let me go change first.”

“I’ll go get the bike ready, then,” you say with a smile, watching her rush towards the shrine. Whistling a certain tune, you make your way to the shrine’s tool shed, where you always keep your bicycle. Wheeling it out of there, you pause when you hear a familiar voice at your waist-level.

“She’s doing well.”

“Yeah, I guess she is,” you say, looking down to see a blonde-haired girl squatting near your feet. “…Moriya, wasn’t it?”

“Yup.”

“I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do to help her, you know,” you say, rubbing the back of your neck.

“Just continuing as it is is enough,” she says in a carefree tone, hopping forward to keep up with you as you wheel your bicycle around to the front of the shrine. “She’s still a child, after all. She needs someone she can depend on.”

“Someone to depend on, huh…”

No. That’s wrong. You can’t always be her crutch. She’s strong. Maybe stronger than her god thinks she is. At least, she has to be strong enough to stand on her own. That’s what you promised her, after all. To support her until she was strong enough to do it herself.

The sliding door of the house opens up, and Sanae walks out, having changed from her wind priestess garb to her regular clothes. Hopping off the porch, she hurries on over to you.

“Sorry, did you wait long?” she asks.

“Nah, not at all,” you reply. You take a glance at your side, where the supposed god was squatting down just a moment ago. She’s vanished without a trace. Just how long is that god planning to hide herself from Sanae?

“Is something wrong?” asks Sanae, concerned.

“Nah, it’s nothing,” you say.

With Sanae at your side, you carefully wheel the bicycle down the long staircase leading to the shrine. It’s well into the middle of autumn now, and even though the temperature was kind of pleasant no more than three days ago, it’s suddenly gotten much, much colder as of recently.

“Brrr…” You give a shudder, chilled by a sudden breeze. “Sure is cold lately.”

“You feel cold?” Sanae asks. She unravels the scarf around her neck, folding it up and offers it to you. “Here.”

…You appreciate the sentiment and all but… pink?

“Ah, um… thanks, Sanae,” you say as you reluctantly wrap the pink scarf around your neck. Hey, at least it’s warm.

You mount your bike, and Sanae seats herself behind you, wrapping her thin arms around your waist tightly. Beginning to work the pedals, you start biking to town.



“Ice cream? Seriously?” you ask in disbelief, looking at the crepe she’s holding in her hands. “It’s almost winter, you know! Who eats ice cream when it’s so cold outside?”

“It’s good if it’s tasty, isn’t it?” Sanae says in return, biting into her purchase.

“Man, you really do love anything sweet, don’t you? You’ll get fat if you eat so much sugary stuff, you know,” you say, beginning to walk in an exaggerated waddle. “And then you’ll have to walk like this all the time.”

“I’m not going to get fat,” she says, puffing her cheeks.

“Oh yeah? Why not?”

“Shrine maidens don’t get fat from eating sweets,” she says, looking away with a blush.

“That’s convenient,” you say, laughing.

Sanae quietly munches on her crepe as she walks by your side, looking down at her feet. She’s thinking about something. Finally, she raises her head.

“Hoshuu, do you think…” she begins with uncertainty, her head almost drooping back down midway. However, she seems to regain her confidence, and continues, “…do you think that if I do master the miracles of the god Moriya, people will regain their faith in the shrine?”

…Well, that’s a tough question to answer. You’d like to say something like, “Well yeah, if someone sees you flying around causing rain to fall, of course they’ll believe you’re a god!”, but people today are very skeptical, especially if something like the media gets involved. There are people who would see that and not believe a lick of what Sanae would tell them.

[ ]
>> No. 13364
>“Amazing as always,” you say, reaching out and messing up the top of her hair.
>“Ehehe~” she giggles happily, looking proud of herself.
Oh god, finally.
>No. That’s wrong. You can’t always be her crutch.
This is not going to end well.
[x] Smile at her
[x] "Because it is you, you can make it come true"
>There are people who would see that and not believe a lick of what Sanae would tell them.
No need to destroy her dreams here. And we have faith in her that she is strong enough to make the impossible possible. Create a Miracle.
>> No. 13365
[x] Smile at her
[x] "Because it is you, you can make it come true"
>> No. 13366
>“Shrine maidens don’t get fat from eating sweets,” she says, looking away with a blush.

I chortled.

[x] Smile at her
[x] "Because it is you, you can make it come true"
>> No. 13367
[x] Smile at her
[x] "Because it is you, you can make it come true"

I think the better question is: How much does he need her? And is he correct in his assessment of Sanae and her need of him?

These questions might relate to the voice in Mikio's head. Something that sounds bitter and hostile indeed.

On to lighter matters.

>“Shrine maidens don’t get fat from eating sweets,” she says, looking away with a blush.

Nice reference; though wasn't that mainly the Hakurei Yin Yang orbs that had that ability.

but perhaps being of Suwako's bloodline just has the sweets go to her chest instead.
>> No. 13368
[x] Smile at her.
[x] "Because it is you, you can make it come true."

Unless somebody has something better?
>> No. 13369
>Unless somebody has something better?
5 hours no vote so i thought might as well throw something in.
I was kind of hoping someone would take it and make something good out of it.
>> No. 13370
[x] Smile at her
[x] "Because it is you, you can make it come true"
's good enough.
>> No. 13371
[x]"Does it matter? I believe in you."
>> No. 13375
[x] "NO."
[x] "Just kidding." Chuckle "I think you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Even if things don't always work out, you just get right back up and try again. Not everyone can attain their dreams just by wishing for them, you know - not even the gods. Hard work and determination is what's needed to see any cause through to the end."
[x] "What does your heart tell you, Sanae? Do you think you're a bad enough shrine maiden to show the world your power and regain faith in the shrine?" pump your fist and grin at her "Because I know mine does. You'll always have my faith; I believe in you!"

I can't help but tease her... and be corny.
>> No. 13377
>>13376
Oh, I'm aware of this. There's just a certain degree of corny I allow myself before I actually dub it "corny".

With Sanae here, I think it pans out well. Otherwise, I'd just feel like a Disney reject.
>> No. 13378
>>13377
Sorry, I deleted it due to grammar horrors.
Anyway, like I said, corny = good here. IRL... well, just try it out with someone that already love you. Otherwise... it has a low success rate.
>> No. 13379
>>13375
I'll take that, but shortened down to this:

[+] "What does your heart tell you, Sanae? Do you think you're a bad enough shrine maiden to show the world your power and regain faith in the shrine?" pump your fist and grin at her "Because I know I do. You'll always have my faith. I believe in you!"
>> No. 13380
[X]"What does your heart tell you Sanae? Do you think you're a bad enough shrine maiden to show the world your power and regain faith in the shrine?" Pump your fist and grin at her. "Because I know I do. You'll always have my faith, I believe in you!"

Hoshuu better not go the way of Kamina dammit.
>> No. 13381
>>13375
Row Row Fight the Power
>> No. 13382
[X]"What does your heart tell you Sanae? Do you think you're a bad enough shrine maiden to show the world your power and regain faith in the shrine?" Pump your fist and grin at her. "Because I know I do. You'll always have my faith, I believe in you!"

Oh fuck, I have to vote for this.
>> No. 13383
[X]"What does your heart tell you Sanae? Do you think you're a bad enough shrine maiden to show the world your power and regain faith in the shrine?" Pump your fist and grin at her. "Because I know I do. You'll always have my faith, I believe in you!"
>> No. 13384
[x] "What does your heart tell you, Sanae? Do you think you're a bad enough shrine maiden to show the world your power and regain faith for the shrine?"
[x] Pump your fist and grin at her.
[x] "I know I do. You'll always have my faith; I believe in you!"

>>13368 here, revotan.
>> No. 13385
But it’s not like you can tell her that. You have to say something encouraging; something that will make her able to believe in herself. Here’s your chance to really help build confidence for her.

“What does your heart tell you, Sanae?”

“Huh?” Sanae looks over to you, donning a confused looking expression.

“Do you think you’re a bad enough shrine maiden to show the world your power and regain faith in the shrine?” As you say this, you grin at her, pumping your fist in the air. “I know I do. Even if no one else believes in you, I will. You’ll always have my faith.”

A somewhat stunned silence overtakes her, although a few moments later, you see that your words didn’t quite have the impact you intended. She giggles into her hand, looking away. Well, that didn’t work out too well, did it? Feeling stupid, you slowly lower your hand, though nevertheless the grin on your face stays there.

“That was so cheesy, Hoshuu,” she says, still laughing slightly as she wipes her mouth. “Have you been watching too much TV lately?”

“You coulda had a better reaction than that, though,” you say, though you’re not put-off at all.

“Ehehe, sorry~!”

“But I really meant what I said, you know,” you continue. “But it’ll take more than just me believing in you. It’ll take someone else’s faith to make it possible.”

Sanae blinks in puzzlement, waiting for you to go on.

“You,” you say, pointing at her. “You gotta have more confidence. You want to be stronger, right? Then you have to have faith in yourself. After all, who’s going to believe in a shrine maiden who can’t even believe in herself, right?”

“Y-yeah,” she says, nodding.

“Be confident in your powers, Sanae,” you continue, “Your miracles make you what people would call a ‘living god’.”

She continues to nod, furrowing her brows and looking more and more eager and determined with each passing second. “Yeah, of course!” she says, swelling with pride. “I’ll become so strong that everyone in the world will worship our shrine!”

“Haha,” you laugh, giving her a pat on the head. “That’s more like it. Good girl.”

“You know, you shouldn’t treat me like a little kid,” she says, her face flushing, although she makes no attempt at pulling away. “I’m a living god.”

“Oh, is that so?” You laugh. “Then since I’m talking to such a gracious and giving god, she will share some of her ice cream with me, right?” you say as you reach out for the crepe in her hand.

“Ahhh! No way!” she says, defensively holding the crepe away.

“Ahaha! Come on, just a bite!”

------

After grabbing a bite to eat at a fast food restaurant, the two of you return to the shrine. The rest of the day is spent in idyllic peace, eating dinner a little later than usual to compensate for grabbing a bite during the afternoon. Finally, the long awaited nighttime arrives.

“So Sanae, are you ready?” you ask her with a serious expression on your face.

“Y-yeah, I’m ready,” she says nervously.

“Be warned,” you say gravely. “Because once we start, we’re not going to finish until we’re done. Are you still with me?”

She nods a little tearfully. You give her a gentle smile, trying to reassure her.

“Don’t be scared. I’m right here with you. You’re nervous, I know, but I’ve got experience with this.”

“R-really?” she asks, still somewhat doubtful.

“Yeah. This isn’t my first time, you know.”

“… Can I scream if I really want to?”

“Of course,” you say as you nod. “Alright then, I’m going to put it in now. Last chance to back out.”

Sanae looks really scared, but she shakes her head. She’s determined to do this, too. But she’s still scared. And you can hear her whimpering and gasping as you inch forward, savoring the terrified look on her face. You push it into that, until it’s all the way in. Sanae lets out a piercing shriek.

“…Sanae, the movie hasn’t even started yet,” you chide her.

“Oh, sorry,” she says, gasping for breath. “…Hoshuu, is this movie really that scary?”

“Amazingly so,” you say, backing away from the VCR machine as you sit back on your cushion. Grabbing the box for the rented videotape, you wave it around in her face. “It’s not a classic horror film without a reason, you know.”



She ended up crying herself to sleep from fright midway through the movie. Geez, how hopeless of her; she didn’t even make it to the really scary parts. Well, you do suppose it wasn’t really a good idea to show a kid like her something like that. Caressing her hair as she rests her head in your lap, you finish watching the rest of the film. The first time you saw this was definitely a lot scarier.

Once it’s ended, you turn off the TV, and set the VCR on rewind. But what to do with Sanae? You could wake her up, but that’d be a shame considering how soundly she’s sleeping soundly. Or well, you could just sleep in the living room with her.

[ ] Take her to her room.
[ ] It’s fine to sleep out here.
>> No. 13386
[x] It’s fine to sleep out here.
>> No. 13387
[x] Carry her to her room.
-[x] Be very, very gentle. Don't want to wake her.

>>13385
You know, one day I'd like to read something like that and be pleasantly surprised when it isn't a VCR, Q-tip or oven.
>> No. 13388
[ ] Take her to her room.
-[ ] Bridal style.
>> No. 13389
[X] Take her to her room.

Waiting for more options on how we carry her.
>> No. 13390
[X] It’s fine to sleep out here.

We were watching a horror movie. She would probably be relieved to find herself waking up in a safe, loving embrace.
>> No. 13391
[x] Take her to her room.
-[x] Bridal style.

Yay, innuendo!
>> No. 13392
{X} It’s fine to sleep out here.
>> No. 13393
[x] Take her to her room.
-[x] Bridal style.
>> No. 13394
[x] Take her to her room.
-[x] Bridal style.
>> No. 13395
[x] Take her to her room.
-[x] Bridal style.
>> No. 13397
>>13396

Autumn of 1998.
>> No. 13398
[Q] Take her to her room.
-[Q] Bridal style.

This post has received my full approval.
>> No. 13399
[X] It’s fine to sleep out here
>> No. 13400
[x] Take her to her room.

>>13396
Good point, actually. How old is she?
>> No. 13401
>>13400
I'd assume somewhere between 10 and 12.


[x] Take her to her room.
-[x] Bridal style.
>> No. 13402
>>13387

Maybe it might happen with Shizuha. But I think the relationship between Hoshuu and loli Sanae is purely sibling-type affection.

>>13390

That's my logic behind my vote as well.
>> No. 13403
>>13390
We can't sleep in her room?

Actually, that may be even scarier waking up to than the movie itself...

She turns over, groggily opens her eyes - and sees us, a few inches from her face, staring right back at her. We casually say "I had a great time last night. What about you?" Then we watch the expression on her face become one of pure horror.

I love it.
>> No. 13404
>>13403

If she even knows what that would imply.
>> No. 13405
>>13403
>I'd assume somewhere between 10 and 12.
Isn't she a bit too young for that? Loli Sanae needs to be hugged and kissed, not treated like a sexual object.
>>13404
I think she would, even at such a young age.

Changing my vote to
[X] It’s fine to sleep out here.
>> No. 13406
>>13402

Maybe on Hoshuu's end, but as was pointed out before, there's probably a strong chance of it being one-sided.
>> No. 13407
>>13405

Dunno Sanae generally struck me as a rather innocent girl, so a younger version would be even more innocent.

>>13406

You mean that Sanae might have a crush on him? (Since unless he's being a unreliable narrator, there's no signs of affection other than that of an older brother or parent)

But I'm not 100% certain on that.
>> No. 13408
>>13405
It's just a joke. I can't help it; there's something about her that makes me want to tease her. Hoshuu had the right idea with that horror movie.

>>13404
>>13407
With all the manga she reads? How much she enjoys cheesy romance stories? I can bet you she does. Not to mention the fact she lives alone, no parental guidance, unrestricted television access, and she must be exposed to some bad influence at school - if they haven't already taught sex ed. I have no idea how Japanese schooling works. I'm quite surprised she hasn't been accosted by a couple of pedophiles on the way home in a dark alley before.

We've yet to know what happened when she started showing her powers to other people, and her eyes glazed over when we tried to pat her head as Mikio. I may be causing unneeded despair, here, but I'm pretty sure something fucked up happened - either by Hoshuu's own doing, or his inability/lack of presence to do anything. We can already tell this dream arc won't end so well if the voices are any hint.
>> No. 13409
>>13408

I was under the impression that something fucked up happened not necessarily because of Hoshuu, but very possibly to Hoshuu. Hence why he doesn't show up in Gensoukyo.
>> No. 13410
>>13409
>Hence why he doesn't show up in Gensoukyo
I was under the impression that he did show up in Gensokyo. Years ago.
>> No. 13412
>>13408
>I'm quite surprised she hasn't been accosted by a couple of pedophiles on the way home in a dark alley before.
Oh you.
>> No. 13413
>>13412
Didn't Scorn write something like that?
>> No. 13414
>>13410
Right. Hoshuu spends about a year or so with Sanae, then winds up in Gensokyo, gets his hard drive wiped, and is then found by Momiji.

At least, that's the theory.
>> No. 13415
File 12624098888.jpg- (65.68KB , 500x375 , c163a55878ebf2e4fc0f3ab50dd1c73c.jpg ) [iqdb]
13415
>>13403
>>13408
stop being so goddamn creepy
>> No. 13417
[x] Take her to her room.
-[x] Bridal style.
------

Sighing, you gently lift her head off your lap, careful not to wake her. Standing up from the floor with a groan, you reach the tips of your fingers to the ceiling, standing on your tippy-toes and giving your tired limbs a stretch. Letting out a content sigh, you walk to Sanae’s room and slide the door open. Not bothering to close it behind you as you step inside, you roll out the bedroll and toss a pillow on top of it.

Heading back to the living room, you crouch down next to Sanae, and slide your arms underneath her back and legs. With some effort, you manage to lift her up in your arms, carrying her bridal-style. She’s heavier than she looks, but it’s no problem.

Holding Sanae in your arms, you take slows step to her room. As delicately as you can, you lay her down on top of the bedroll, pulling the pillow underneath her head as you set her down. Reaching to the side, you cover her with a nice, thick blanket; without heating, this place can get pretty cold during the night. There. She should be able to sleep tight now.

You smile as you watch her sleep with a content expression on her face, reaching out to place a hand on her forehead. She’s such a cute kid, and it was fun to watch her shut her eyes tight and scream whenever something even remotely frightening appeared on the screen. Grinning like an idiot, you run your fingers through her hair, deciding it couldn’t hurt to just watch her for a bit.

—her

You lift your hand from her face. With hollow eyes, you stare at the girl lying down in front of you. An unfamiliar girl. Who is that? Who is that!? Looking at her makes you angry. Who… who who who who is lying there!? Why is she sleeping so peacefully… why!? You grind your teeth, your face contorted in rage. Hate. Hate her. You need to… you need to

kill her

You reach out with your hands, your eyes wide open and unblinking. Your heart quickens as your hands draw closer and closer to that small, delicate neck. It would be so easy. So easy. Your begin clenching your fingers around her neck, just an inch shy of actually strangling her. You’re so close to squeezing the life out of her. So close. Your heart feels like it’s going to explode. You’re going to kill her. You’re going to kill her. You can feel it now, the warmth of her neck on your cold fingertips—

A fist comes flying out of nowhere, punching you on the bridge of your nose.

You fall back, startled. But your nose isn’t the only thing that hurts. The knuckles of your right hand smart as well. The fist that hit you was none other than your own. Breathing heavily, you hold your right hand in front of your face, staring at its palm. Why…? What were you…?

You look back at Sanae, still soundly sleeping. You immediately realize what you were about to do to her. How… how could you even think of doing something like that? You feel disgusted. So disgusted that you want to throw up. You clench your right hand into a fist, your nails digging into your palm so hard it feels like you might draw blood. And then you punch yourself in the stomach. The blow knocks the wind out of you, but you don’t stop. You punch yourself again, and again, until you can’t lift your hand anymore. You stay there, doubled-up and gasping with pain, tears leaking out of your eyes.

Shakily, you stand up, holding your abdomen. You stumble out of her room, clumsily shutting the door behind you. You still feel horrible. You love that girl more than anything else in the world, yet… how could you try to do something like that? You don’t understand. You can’t understand. What was going on through your head?

You hurry into your room, fishing for a pack of cigarettes in your father’s sports bag. You had quit a while ago, but you need it now. With a stick in hand, you step outside the house, lighting the cigarette and taking deep drag on it. You have a bit of a coughing fit, but it soon passes. Heaving a sigh, you decide to roam around the shrine grounds.

“What the hell was I doing…?” you ask yourself, shoving one hand into a pocket. “…Damn it.”

Tossing the cigarette butt onto the floor once you’re done, you put it out with your shoe, still feeling confused in your head as you turn to return inside. For a moment there, you definitely wanted to… you wanted to… You shudder, just thinking about it.

The sound of grass rustling, however, catches your attention. Startled, you turn to the source of the noise. There, in the patches of grass surrounding the shrine, there’s something long and slender, its pale body shining in the moonlight. The most notable thing, however, is its red, glowing eyes. An abnormally large snake, its upper-body raised upright. It stares at you with its eyes, and you stare back at it.

“Wha…?” you find yourself whispering, staring into the snake’s eyes.

The snake remains still, unmoving. You stay still as well, gazing back at it. Why… is there such a huge snake here…? But even so, you don’t feel scared. Even though there’s a snake this large around, you’re not terrified of it at all.

Don’t hold this against us.

A whisper. You heard someone whisper in your head. But was that only your imagination, or…

When you blink, the snake is gone. Completely vanished.

And then the next moment, you sink to your knees. There’s something inside you. Something unpleasant. Something very nasty. It wriggles and writhes inside your body, and your chest feels like it’s going to burst any second now. You gag and choke, covering your mouth with your hand. You cough. You wheeze. You hack into your hand as though you’re about to cough up your lungs. There’s something… warm and sticky on your hand. When the coughing ends, you reluctantly, fearfully, look down at your palm.

Is this… your blood? No… no… no it can’t be. But this foul smell, this warm, thick sensation. This… is without a doubt, blood. But what frightens you most is its color. It’s not the color of blood. It’s black. It’s as dark as could be. On your hand is dark, disgusting, boiling blood. What’s… what’s happening to you…?

[ ] please no more
[ ] This is your punishment.
>> No. 13418
[x] This is your punishment.
>> No. 13419
Seems even Hoshuu was being haunted by that voice. And that damned snake appeared.

But I wonder if that voice is the old man that appeared earlier in Mikio's dream (the one that caused Mikio to bash the old man's head in ineffectually.)
>> No. 13420
>>13419

...That was Tayasumi.
>> No. 13421
>>13420

Perhaps, it must have been the dark part then (considering how Mikio ran into A younger? Tayasumi in a recent dream, where he made peace with his passing)

But I wonder if the odd effects (black blood, etc) are part of a curse or something.

But one thing is for sure, both Hoshuu and Mikio encountered a snake that talked to them. And considering all things, I doubt that snake is in Kanako's service at all.

[x] This is your punishment.

I hope this removes whatever evil influence is over him.
>> No. 13423
>>13421
The words they said... they are going to screw him over, not help him... not in the slightest.

Still, asking them to stop will not make them stop so...

[x] This is your punishment.
Remember this pain next time you try to do something like that again, you horrible person.
>> No. 13424
[x] This is your punishment.

At least I think it is.
>> No. 13425
[x] This is your punishment.
>> No. 13426
[x] This is your punishment.
>> No. 13427
[x] This is your punishment.
>> No. 13428
[x] This is your punishment.
>> No. 13429
>>13421
Actually, it could be very possible that Kanako's behind this.

Think about it, the reason why Sanae became so dependent on Hoshuu was because he came at a time when she was emotionally vulnerable. If something happened to him, or if he was forced to suddenly leave, she would be devastated, and...

You see where I'm going with this?

Duplicitous? Maybe, but cunning is a trait often attributed to snakes.
>> No. 13430
[x] please no more

Whatever's inside him needs to get the fuck out.
>> No. 13431
[x] This is your punishment.
>> No. 13432
[x] I don't fucking know anymore.

The only honest vote here.

>>13413
That was the joke, yes.
>> No. 13433
[x] please no more

>>13432
Link to that post or name of the story? I'm don't really like Scorn but this sounds interesting.
>> No. 13434
[x] More! It hurts so good!
>> No. 13435
>>13433
"lol rape" in the short story .zip in the archives. Also, not liking Scorn makes you a bad person.
>> No. 13436
[x] This is your punishment.
>> No. 13437
[X] please no more

Facing up to what you have done is something different than resigning yourself to a fate you don't understand for a moment of weakness that you don't understand. Dying here and now serves no purpose, and tells us nothing.
>> No. 13438
>>13437
There would be "no more" if he died, though. I can't figure out what either of these really mean.
>> No. 13439
>>13438

To be perfectly honest, I hadn't looked at it that way before.

God damn vague, easily misunderstood choices.
>> No. 13440
>>13439
It's alright.
>> No. 13441
>>13438
[x] This is your punishemnt
Resignation. You'll stay away from Sanae to avoid hurting her in case one you have one of those fits again.

[x] Please no more.
Surrender. You'll stay away from Sanae because you're an obstacle for the Snake Goddess' goals. Or else

That's my shot at it anyway.
>> No. 13442
>>13441

I'm not so sure about that or even about the snake, since Kanako's power at this point isn't at a high point. That and her domain I believe is making Wind and Rain.

She choose the snake as her symbol just due to to how the frog is Suwako's symbol and how she beat the frog-goddess.

and if she could communicate and/or command Sankes, she would have a harder time at this time period.

But I do commend your effort at figuring out what the choices mean.
>> No. 13443
>[ ] This is your punishment.
People don't normally think this way, they don't just automatically give in to some random, unknown event. Even if it's just a dream sequence, it doesn't really follow through. I think the beating he gave himself is more than enough for "thinking about killing her, but not going through with it seriously enough to have even touched her."

I have to wonder, for all of the people who voted for it, if you truly believe he deserves this, if he himself believes he deserves it, or if you have somehow gained the misconception that torturing him has anything to do with advancing the plot? It would be rather ironic if you keep voting for these things only to have it turn out that it doesn't really matter and you're just setting yourselves up for a bad end.

>>13441
I don't see anything in there about him saying he was going to stay away from her. It would be hurting her progress and be premature on his agreement to stay until she got back on her feet.

This could all be a bad dream to him. If he loves her, this one occurrence isn't going to keep him away from her. What kind of parental or older brother figure would do that? Regardless of the wishes of the goddesses, he may choose to stay by her side as long as he can.


One doesn't just surrender and let fate drag them around by the ears; you try to fight it for all you're worth.
>> No. 13444
>>13443

Yet the other choice isn't that promising at all, it sounds like begging for it to stop.

A case of Lion catching the goddamn 'artistic' bug that Fell and Angry Desu have.
>> No. 13445
I think what you're missing is the words "This is your punishment" in italics; it's not Hoshuu that's saying it, it's someone else.
>> No. 13446
>>13445
How do you know it's not just the voice being an asshole? He does want us dead, after all. Dead usually means bad end.
>> No. 13447
>>13446

well, since this is a dream sequence/the past/not Mikio, death might be the inevitable, like with Tayasumi and not Bad End us.
>> No. 13449
>>13447

But this might affect Hoshuu's ultimate attitude towards things (like with Tayasumi making peace with things)
>> No. 13450
Sorry for the delay. Update will come tomorrow, I promise.
>> No. 13451
>>13450
Hooray!
>> No. 13452
[x] This is your punishment.
------

why

why

why why why why why why why why why

why did i

i dont understand why did i why did i

Doesn’t it hurt?

stop it stop it i dont want to i dont i

There’s no stopping. I told you before.

No regrets. No more running.

Suffer and die.

That is your punishment.


---

“Ugh… ergh…”

You groan as foul black blood drips from your mouth, falling in drops to the ground you’re kneeling on. With a sick retch, you lurch forward, covering your mouth. You feel like you’re going to vomit. There’s a sick, bubbling feeling in your stomach, like the inside of your stomach is swirling with corrosive poison. Coughing uncontrollably, you fall on your face, unable to support yourself.

As you lie there, your eyes slowly closing, a horrible thought strikes you. Are you going to die like this? Already, the pain in your body feels distant, like you’re becoming detached from physical sensations. No. You can’t die. Not like this. Not now. Why is this happening? Why did you try to… do that to Sanae? You can’t just die with those questions unanswered. If you died now, what would… what would happen to her…? What would happen to the shrine?

You shiver as warmth begins to fade from your body. There’s nothing now. You can feel nothing. Sanae… Sanae…

You gasp as sensation suddenly returns to your prone body, sending your mind into shock as a torrent of information overloads your brain. Dazedly, you struggle to push yourself up, your body feeling completely drained. Managing to sit up, you pant heavily, staring at your hand.

The pain is gone. The sick, wriggling feeling is gone, too. The blood on your hand is gone as well. Your palm is completely clean, like there was never anything on it in the first place. Then… what was that just now? A hallucination? Weakly, you try and fail several times to stand, until you finally barely manage it. Careful not to fall back down, you stumble around clumsily, still feeling dizzy.

You nearly trip over your own feet, but before you can hit the ground, someone grabs you around the waist, hoisting you back on your feet. You look down at that someone, who’s staring at you with a very somber expression.

“Moriya…” you whisper, involuntarily taking a step back out of her arms.

It’s odd to see such a serious look on her normally cheerful and energetic countenance, but at the same time, it sends chills down your spine. She allows her arms to fall to her side, slowly approaching you with dull, heavy steps, never once blinking as she steps closer and closer. Alarmed by her strange behavior, you back away, nearly falling down again.

She stops in her tracks, staring at you—No, she’s looking at you, but not really at you. Her eyes seem unfocused and glazed over, freaking you out. What’s wrong with her? With an air of apprehension, you gulp and take a step forward.

“Moriya,” you say with an uneasy voice. “What’s going on?”

The god frowns, looking very troubled as she bites her lip, as if pondering what to do. Finally, she opens her mouth and speaks, “…You have to leave,” she says with a grave voice.

“Huh…? What?” you utter, hardly believing what you just heard.

“You have to leave from here,” Moriya repeats, in a louder and more cross voice. “You can’t stay here anymore.”

“What are you talking about?” you say, a lump forming in your throat. “You’re the… you’re the one who said I should stay here!” You manage to choke out your words.

“I’m sorry,” she says apologetically, dropping her guard for just an instant as she casts a sad look toward you. “But you can’t stay here anymore. Your life is in danger.”

“My life?” you say, astounded. You know exactly what she’s talking about. That… that weird feeling earlier, when you thought you were really going to die. “H-hey, what was that? Tell me!”

The god pulls down the brim of her hat over her eyes. “…Gods also have things they don’t want to tell anyone,” she says quietly. “But in any case, if you stay here, you will die. And not only that, but you’ll be putting Sanae at risk as well.”

“Don’t fuck around!” you yell, angry. “What’s going on!? Why am I going to… why is Sanae…?”

“Just earlier, you wanted to kill her, didn’t you?” she says, lifting the brim just enough so that you can see only one of her eyes. Scowling, she continues to speak in a cold, harsh voice. “Can you say that it won’t happen again?”

“I…!” you begin to protest. Damn it, that’s so cheap! Gritting your teeth and clenching your hands into fists, you yell, “I can’t! But if you know why I was acting like that, then tell me!”

“…It was because of your connection to the shrine,” Moriya says, her eyes lowered to the ground. She seems really reluctant to talk.

Your connection…?

“I’m certain that I’ll be able to keep you from harm for a short amount of time,” she continues, looking up at you. “I’m sorry, but please, you have to leave from here.”

“…But what about Sanae? What will happen to her?”

“We… I will take care of her from now,” she replies. “Thank you for your help.” She turns around, beginning to walk away.

“Wait!” you call after her. You still have so much to ask her.

She stops only for a brief moment. Without turning to look at you, she begins to speak, “Her birthday is only a week away. You can stay until then. Please give her the celebration I was never able to.”

She continues walking, and even though you want to stop her, and force her to answer your questions, you find that you have no strength in your legs. As she fades away from view, you sink to your knees again, for a different reason this time. Why…? Why do you have to leave? Why isn’t that god telling you anything!? You feel frustrated. You feel angry. But most of all, you feel saddened.

“…Sanae,” you whisper as you wipe at your eyes with the back of your hand.

[ ] please run away
[ ] No escape.
>> No. 13453
[x] No escape.
>> No. 13454
[x] please run away

That explains something but overall nothing. Running away and hiding it is then.
>> No. 13455
Connection? Interesting and yet another vague choice...

I think there was a sort of monstrous presence formed during the last moments of Tayasumi's life that split from him and haunts people (I'd say descendants, but I think his family line died out.)

But it somehow passed on to Mikio along with the other two's memories. I think we're nearing the main plot line's end. Next after this memory would be dealing with it from Mikio's PoV.

I'll have to think more on the choice before voting.
>> No. 13456
[x] No escape.
>> No. 13457
[x] No escape.
>> No. 13458
[x] please run away
>> No. 13459
This scene is over, so what do the choices mean?
>[x] please run away
End of the recollection?
>[x] No escape.
More memories?

[x] No escape.
>> No. 13460
[x] No escape
>> No. 13461
[x] No escape
>> No. 13462
>>13459

The choices could be from Mikio's point of view, but I wonder if insisting on seeing the memories(?) would have draw backs

[x] No escape.
>> No. 13463
>[ ] please run away
>[ ] No escape.

So, the first option could be Mikio's pleading Hoshuu to distance himself from Sanae and the second option should be Headgames torturing Mikio.

I wonder if the first one will end the dream sequence.
>> No. 13464
>>13463

not sure of Mikio could interact with these memory streams or not. But a rather interesting point regardless.
>> No. 13465
Wild-ass theory:
Houshuu is Mishaguji, or one of its descendants, whose seal weakened over time because Kanako sucks at sealing curses despite taking that domain from Suwako.

The hostile urges toward Sanae are Mishaguji's desire for vengeance against the line of the god who sealed it away ages ago.


>[ ] please run away
Leave the shrine and don't let Sanae be hurt by Houshuu's nutziness.

>[ ] No escape
Don't run away, force Sanae/Suwako/Kanako to kill Houshuu.

[+] please run away
>> No. 13466
>>13465
>Don't run away, force Sanae/Suwako/Kanako to kill Houshuu.
...Failing miserably and landing him in Gensokyo without memories.
>> No. 13467
>>13465

it's not so crazy. I do wonder if taking Hoshuu's path over Tayasumi's resulted in Mikio taking on Hoshuu's issues as opposed to Tayasumi's, but that's a major stretch I'd admit.

I wish once again Lion gave clear choices instead of very vague ones.
>> No. 13468
[X] No escape. No Regrets.

Let's celebrate Sanae's birthday, even if it's the last thing we do.
>> No. 13469
>>13468
>No Regrets.

You might want to change that bit. Who knows what that option will really bring, maybe it's something you will regret greatly.
>> No. 13470
>>13468
No Regrets? You almost killed the love interest! I sure damn hope you have regrets.
>> No. 13471
>>13470

You mean soon to be dear friend of Mikio's. Shizuha is the love interest. (I was all set for a Sanae route in this before Shizuha showed how lovely she can be.)
>> No. 13472
>>13471

Heathen. Momiji is the love interest.

Sanae is also acceptable.
>> No. 13473
>>13472

i see what you did there. but I'm still going for Shizuha.
>> No. 13474
>>13473
Same here, Shizuha has managed to win my heart in pretty much every scene she was in.
>> No. 13475
Farewell Momiji, your spot was stolen from you. Maybe another day...another time.









;_;
>> No. 13476
>>13475
Momiji got her turn in a different story. Let someone else win.

\SCORN/
>> No. 13477
>>13475

Haha, no. Momiji always had a spot for her, in another, older story. It's amazing how all you so called "Moemiji fans" actually forgot about that.

>>13476
\VODKA/

Fixed that for you.
>> No. 13478
Also Sanae has her own route in the Sanae story here. But the akis, Shizuha more so are so lacking in love.

And Mikio's time with her has always been the perfect way to unwind.

>>13476
Are you bald and dead yet?
>> No. 13479
File 126309964146.png- (133.20KB , 640x480 , mishaguji.png ) [iqdb]
13479
>>13465
Oh ho.
>> No. 13480
[x] No escape.
-----

There is nothing I can do.

Absolutely nothing.

Nothing.

Even though I wanted to help.

All I ended up doing was causing more harm.

It would have been better if I had stayed alone.

It would have been better if we had never met.

I’m sorry.

I’m so sorry.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

Please forgive me, everyone. Please forgive me, Sanae. Please forgive me. Please.

I… I wanted to live.

---

“Say, Hoshuu, do you know what day it is today?” Sanae asks as she sits down at the table opposite your seat.

“Is it Christmas?” you drearily answer as you nibble on the clump of rice held between your chopsticks.

“That’s still a few months away.”

“Saturday?”

“Wroooong! Well, actually, that’s right, but…”

“I’m out of guesses,” you say, shrugging your shoulders.

Sanae puts on a pouting face, though she seems determined not to remind you of the special occasion. Of course, you already know: today’s her birthday. The date you’ve been dreading for the last few days. Today’s the final day you’ll be able to stay here, though Sanae obviously doesn’t know that.

Initially, you selfishly decided to disregard the god’s words, but every night. Always. Whenever you see the girl defenseless while she’s sleeping or not paying attention to you, an ugly, repulsive urge to wrap your fingers around her throat festers in your head. You feel like you’re going insane, trying to fight the voice telling you to kill her. It’s unbearable, and for your own sake as well as hers, you’ve decided to leave.

The decision wasn’t easy. You’d promised you would stay with her until she was strong enough to run the shrine by herself. Packing up and going now would be… breaking that vow. You don’t even know where you’re going to go, either, whether you’ll try going back home or if you’ll head somewhere else entirely. It’s a huge pain in the ass and in your head trying to think about these things, but it doesn’t compare to the regret you have for leaving the girl alone like this. Will that god… really be able to take care of Sanae from here on?

“Then, I’ll be off to school now,” Sanae says in a slightly sulking tone as she stands from the table, reaching for her backpack nearby. “Ah?” she gasps in surprise as I snatch up the backpack before she can grab one of its straps.

“You won’t need this today,” you say as you gently set it down elsewhere. Flashing a grin at Sanae, you continue to speak, “It’s your birthday, isn’t it? Let’s go out and have as much fun as we can.”

Sanae instantly brightens up, adorably smiling from ear to ear. “You remembered!” she says joyfully, though some of her enthusiasm falls away for a brief moment shortly after. “Ah, but I have school today…”

“Forget that, just skip for today,” you say. “C’mon, won’t you go out on a date with me?”

Predictably, her face flusters at the mention of a “date”, but she manages to a nod in affirmation. Beaming at her, you stand up from the table and walk over to her, offering her your hand.

“Then you’ll be the princess for the day,” you say in a mockingly dramatic voice. “Let us go!”

She giggles as she takes your hand, tightly clutching onto it as you lead her out of the door. Sliding the door shut behind the two of you, you reach into your pocket and withdraw your copy of the house key, locking it shut. As you step down from the porch, you shove the key and its wind chime keychain back in your pocket, where you tightly grip it in your hand. This key, a gift from Sanae nearly a year ago, is proof that the shrine was your home. After today, you won’t be needing it anymore.

But you’ll never throw it away.

You put on the best grin you can manage. Even though you’re feeling pretty depressed right now, you can’t let Sanae notice. Right now is the time to have fun and forget any worries. So, you smile and laugh as you head for the toolshed to fetch your bike, as you wheel it down the numerous steps leading down, and as you pedal towards the city with Sanae tightly holding onto you by the waist.



“Shoot that guy on the right! Hurry up; he’s going to hit us!”

“H-h-h-how do you reload in this!?”

“Point the gun away from the screen!”



“Oh damn it! I almost had it that time!” you curse as you rattle the crane machine, watching yet another doll escape the clutches of your claw. “Ah forget it, we already wasted two-thousand yen on this.”



“W-what the!?” you gasp as you look at the score on the whack-a-mole game. Sixty!? You didn’t even know that was possible…

“Whew.” Sanae lets out bated breath as she places the mallet back down. “I think I did good.”

You place your hands on her shoulders as she turns around to you, staring at her seriously. “Sanae, are you sure your shrine’s god doesn’t have some sort of domain over whacking moles?” you ask her with equal solemnity.

“Eh? Um, I’m pretty sure that’s not the case…”



Sanae sniffles into her sleeves as you walk out of the local movie theater with her, having finished some typical tragic romance flick. You really can’t stomach too much of those, but since it’s her birthday, she got to decide what the two of you would watch. Well, you really should have seen it coming, you suppose, with all the shoujo manga and romance light novels she reads…

“I’m so glad it had a happy ending,” she says tearfully as she wipes at her eyes.

You kind of wished the ending would kill off everyone instead. It would have been amusing, at least.

“It was a pretty typical movie from beginning to end,” you say, a little bitterly. “Bleh.”

“Don’t rag on it while it’s fresh in my mind,” Sanae protests with a frown.

“Sorry, sorry.”

It’s already nightfall by the time the two of you are back out in the streets. The morning was spent messing around in the arcade, the afternoon window-shopping for a present in the shopping district, until you decided to take her to a restaurant—not a fast food chain, but a real diner, as the birthday present when the sun had set. You can’t believe how long that droll of a movie was; the two of you had gone in when the last of sunlight was quickly fading, and now the streets are brightly lit with lamp posts while the sky above is pitch black, with dark clouds covering the stars.

“…Hey, Hoshuu?” You hear Sanae call your name as the two of you walk together on the sidewalk of the dark street.

“Hm?”

As you turn your head to her, Sanae stands on the tip of her toes, her hands resting on your shoulders for support. Closing in before you have a chance to react, she gives you a light peck, her small lips brushing against your cheek for a brief moment. You can feel your face heat up as she backs down, looking up at you nervously. In the dark, you can’t clearly see her face, but you know that she must be as red as a beet herself right now.

“U-um…!” she begins uncertainly, her voice shrill and shaky. She tries to speak, but she can’t seem to voice herself, clamping her mouth shut just as she seems ready to say something. It’s no good; she’s completely shut down before she can even get a word out.

[ ]
>> No. 13481
Well I do wonder how badly we've screwed up.... hopefully nothing that can't be repaired.

[x] "Is there something a matter? You can tell me, I won't get upset"

Just something for starters, I'm sure someone can make something better off of this.
>> No. 13482
[x] Embrace Sanae gently, saying nothing.

That's what I would do.
>> No. 13483
[X] Hold her close.
[X] You were so stupid, and so self-centered. You told her that you had faith in her, yet you never trusted her with what was happening. You convinced yourself that abandoning her would be the best way to help her, but that's just an excuse; if you resign yourself to hurting her, then you never intended to protect her.
[X] It's time to face the truth. To do anything else would never have been fair to you, but more importantly, it would never have been fair to her.
[X] "I love you, Sanae, and I always will. I want you to know that. You're everything to me, the best thing that ever happened to me. But Sanae, you need to know: there's something wrong with me. There's something wrong with me that I don't understand, and it terrifies me."
[X] "I'm afraid. I'm afraid that if I stay here any longer, I'll do something horrible. Something unforgivable. That I might hurt you, or do something even worse to you. I'm losing control of myself, I'm hearing things, and I... I'm afraid I may be losing myself. Thoughts and feelings come in, and they're not me. They come in, and they just replace me."
[X] "If you don't understand, don't blame yourself. I hardly understand it, and it's happening to me. I'm worried, though, that some day soon I may be gone, no matter how much I want to stay. I don't think I'm strong enough on my own to keep myself from disappearing. That's why, while I'm still here, while I'm still me, I want to say it loud and clear: I love you."
[X] Kiss her.

Calm me melodramatic if you will, but I can't stand to sit here and idly watch this happen. The things worth fighting are always worth fighting for, even if you can't win.

Headgames irritates me more and more as we progress. I don't trust him, let alone trust him to be right. He always tells us to face the truth, but I'm not so sure he knows what the truth is; I have this nagging feeling that if this cycle is something he has given into, he may just not want to admit that anything or anyone else can break it. He may be right that we are powerless to stop this, but we're not alone, and that's a truth to face up to as well.
>> No. 13484
[X] Hold her close.
[X] You were so stupid, and so self-centered. You told her that you had faith in her, yet you never trusted her with what was happening. You convinced yourself that abandoning her would be the best way to help her, but that's just an excuse; if you resign yourself to hurting her, then you never intended to protect her.
[X] It's time to face the truth. To do anything else would never have been fair to you, but more importantly, it would never have been fair to her.
[X] "I love you, Sanae, and I always will. I want you to know that. You're everything to me, the best thing that ever happened to me. But Sanae, you need to know: there's something wrong with me. There's something wrong with me that I don't understand, and it terrifies me."
[X] "I'm afraid. I'm afraid that if I stay here any longer, I'll do something horrible. Something unforgivable. That I might hurt you, or do something even worse to you. I'm losing control of myself, I'm hearing things, and I... I'm afraid I may be losing myself. Thoughts and feelings come in, and they're not me. They come in, and they just replace me."
[X] "If you don't understand, don't blame yourself. I hardly understand it, and it's happening to me. I'm worried, though, that some day soon I may be gone, no matter how much I want to stay. I don't think I'm strong enough on my own to keep myself from disappearing. That's why, while I'm still here, while I'm still me, I want to say it loud and clear: I love you."
>> No. 13485
It's a nice write-in, but won't it screw the plot too much? Oh well, I'll just go along with this, but... writefag, if this write in is too much of a hassle SAY IT SO and we'll just vote something else I guess.
[x]13483
>> No. 13486
Lion,
if the options are "Please run away" and "no escape", don't go turning them upside down in the story. It seemed fairly clear that people wanted Hoshuu to stay even though it might mean more danger all around.
>> No. 13487
>>13486
I'm assuming that both options involved listening to Suwako and running away after her birthday.
>> No. 13488
>>13486

It seems to me like Headgames is addressing Mikio rather than Hoshuu.
>> No. 13489
>>13488

There's that possibility, though it's hard to tell with out vague the choices are.

but in that theory the non-italic choices are Mikio's words on the matter and the italic ones is what Headgames is saying.
>> No. 13490
>>13486
see
>>13459

Like you guys proved with that vote in the Mountain of Faith incident, you can't go against fate. He'll leave on her birthday and there's nothing anyone can do.
>> No. 13491
[X] Hold her close.
[X] You were so stupid, and so self-centered. You told her that you had faith in her, yet you never trusted her with what was happening. You convinced yourself that abandoning her would be the best way to help her, but that's just an excuse; if you resign yourself to hurting her, then you never intended to protect her.
[X] It's time to face the truth. To do anything else would never have been fair to you, but more importantly, it would never have been fair to her.
[X] "I love you, Sanae, and I always will. I want you to know that. You're everything to me, the best thing that ever happened to me. But Sanae, you need to know: there's something wrong with me. There's something wrong with me that I don't understand, and it terrifies me."
[X] "I'm afraid. I'm afraid that if I stay here any longer, I'll do something horrible. Something unforgivable. That I might hurt you, or do something even worse to you. I'm losing control of myself, I'm hearing things, and I... I'm afraid I may be losing myself. Thoughts and feelings come in, and they're not me. They come in, and they just replace me."
[X] "If you don't understand, don't blame yourself. I hardly understand it, and it's happening to me. I'm worried, though, that some day soon I may be gone, no matter how much I want to stay. I don't think I'm strong enough on my own to keep myself from disappearing. That's why, while I'm still here, while I'm still me, I want to say it loud and clear: I love you."
[X] Kiss her.


as much as I hate "LOVE CONQUERS ALL ETC ETC", this provides Sanae with a reason, instead of just jumping ship.
>> No. 13492
>>13483

What the shit? Really, what the shit? That's compeltely anti-climatic. It's not the time for that yet.

Also, Hoshuu doesn't love her. At lesat not in a romantic way, but maybe in a fraternal way.

[x] Embrace Sanae gently.
[X] "Go on, I'm listening."
>> No. 13493
>>13492
>It's not the time for that yet.
True, but we may not get another vote to say what we want. Better sooner than never.

[X] Embrace Sanae gently.
[X] "Go on, I'm listening."
[X] No matter what, tell her you love her.

>maybe in a fraternal way.
No maybes about it. Although I have a horrible feeling that she's going to confess to us now, and I really don't want to have to turn her down, then disappear on the same day.
>> No. 13494
>>13493

Hoshuu feels a brotherly love towards her, but she might feel a different love.

Is it me or was Tayasumi's memory track simpler to do than Hoshuu's?
>> No. 13495
[x] Embrace Sanae gently.
[x] "Go on, I'm listening."

I can get behind this one.
>> No. 13496
[x] "Is there something a matter? You can tell me, I won't get upset"
>> No. 13497
[B] "Is there something a matter? You can tell me, I won't get upset."
>> No. 13498
[B] "Is there something a matter? You can tell me, I won't get upset."

>>13494
Simpler times, I suppose
>> No. 13499
[x] "Is there something a matter? You can tell me, I won't get upset."
>> No. 13500
[x] "Is there something a matter? You can tell me, I won't get upset."
It's not good, but at least it's not retarded like the long-in.
>> No. 13501
It's fine if you guys hate the long write-in, but at least come up with something better than a wussy, passive piece of bullshit like "is something the matter?" Of course she wants to say something. Duh. The real issue is that we need to take the time to say something to her as well. It's probably going to take more than asking her whether she wants to say something to get her to spill, especially considering she froze up. If you don't come up with something better than that shit, she's just going to lose her nerve.

This may well be the last chance Hoshuu has to interact with Sanae. Don't fucking waste it. If he has to die, or disappear, or whatever, at least give Sanae a good last memory of him. Damn.
>> No. 13502
[†] "Is there something a matter? You can tell me, I won't get upset."
>> No. 13503
That took awhile... you mind if I start an entirely new thread simply devoted to having a a long table of contents/summary I just typed up? Normally I just go ahead and post the things, but it should be easier to use and update with it's own thread.
>> No. 13504
>>13498

ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 13505
>>13503

Sure, go ahead.
>> No. 13506
>>13504
Stop that.
>> No. 13507
>>13501
>something better than a wussy, passive piece of bullshit like "is something the matter?" Of course she wants to say something. Duh.

>[X] "Go on, I'm listening."
>> No. 13509
>>13508

Whoa, that is fucking neat, man.
>> No. 13515
>>13509

Are you still there?
>> No. 13516
>>13515

No.

------

“Is there something the matter?” you ask with a hint of a teasing tone in your voice, placing a hand on the top of her head. She flinches from the sudden contact, and reluctantly locks eyes with you. She’s definitely embarrassed, and why wouldn’t she be?

“Um, I…” she stammers, struggling to keep eye contact with you, although it’s obvious from her restless movement that she’s feeling so shy that it’s killing her to look at you directly, repeatedly averting her gaze for a moment before returning it to you.

“Go on, you can tell me,” you say with a shameless grin, pressing her.

“N-Never mind! It’s nothing!” she finally says after a while, pushing your hand away from her head. Looking like she’s mentally kicking herself, she silently returns to your side. However, as she does so, she wordlessly seeks out your hand, clutching it in her own. You smile down at her, her eyes glued to the floor, and give her hand a gentle squeeze.

…Yeah, this is fine.

“Hey Sanae,” you ask, the two of you walking together hand-in-hand, “is there anything else you want to do?”

“…Huh? Umm…” She pauses to ponder a bit about what to do next. Looking around, her eyes linger on a photo sticker booth standing outside a nearby store. Smiling energetically, she points at it and looks back to you. “Ah, let’s do that!” she says cheerfully. “I still don’t have a single photo of you.”

You can’t help but think something along the lines of “something to remember me by, huh?” Still, you reinforce your smile and nod, allowing her to tug you toward the booth. The two of you step inside, drawing the curtain and inserting the money.

“First time I’ve used one of these,” you remark as you look at the interface pop up on the screen. “Looks like you can select a bunch of different frames.”

“Let’s go with this one!” Sanae says, pointing at a green-themed frame.

“Sure thing,” you say as you pick out the one Sanae pointed out. “Alright, we’re going to take it now. Here, stand in front of me.”

“Like this?”

“That’s good. Alright, take a good look at yourself, and make sure you don’t come out looking funny! You ready?”

“Uh-huh!”



Sanae giggles happily as she looks at the sticker printouts from the booth. “It came out really nice!” she says, looking at the pictures fondly.

“So where are you going to stick those on?”

“Hmm?” She frowns. “I haven’t really thought about that yet. Ah! But, here…” She rips out one of the stickers, the one just big enough to fit in a wallet, and hands it to you.

“Thanks,” you say, reaching into your pocket and slipping the sticker into it.

As Sanae folds up the remainder of the sheet and neatly tucks it into the pocket of her coat, you glance down at your watch. It’s about time you returned home. But, do you really want to? No, you don’t. Because that would mean the end. Today’s the final day you’re allowed to spend with her. You dread having to go back. Just having fun with her, just talking to her, just being with her; you want to prolong all that, even if it’s just for a minute longer.

And that’s why it all weighs so much more heavily on your heart when you slowly begin to walk toward where you left your bike, still holding onto her hand.



There’s no words exchanged between the two of you as you silently wheel the bike along, walking back to the shrine. Despite your best efforts to keep up your cheery state of mind, you can’t help but dread your return home. Do you really have to leave? Why is this happening? Why won’t that god Moriya tell you anything, damn it!? What will happen to her from now on…?

“Hey, Sanae,” you break the silence with a trembling voice, giving an involuntary shudder.

Sanae casts a worried glance your way, attentively watching your face as you struggle to continue.

“Did you have fun today?” you ask, forcing a smile on your face.

“…Yeah,” she says, nodding and smiling brightly. “It was the best.”

“Haha, I’m glad,” you say, exerting effort to keep your voice from breaking up. “…You have to become strong, you know that, right? You… you really have to make this shrine successful…” You take a deep breath before continuing, “…so, you’ll be okay without me from now on, right?”

She stops in her tracks while you continue to walk a few paces forward, not turning to look at her. It’d be too painful to look back at her now. Even at this moment, when you can’t see her face, you can’t stand the anguish that the betrayed silence is giving you.

“Why…?” Sanae slowly says in a hurt voice. “Why are you… asking me that?”

Bracing yourself, you turn and look back toward her. She’s staring at you with deeply betrayed eyes. You open your mouth to try to say something, but “…Sanae,” is all you can manage before falling back into silence.

“Are you leaving…?” she continues to mutter, still in a state of shock. “Are you going to leave me alone?”

“No, that’s not what I’m-“

“Liar!” she screams, closing her eyes shut with her small hands clenched into balled fists. “You said you would stay with me! You promised! You promised me! And now… and now you’re just going to leave me alone again!”

You let your bike drop to the ground, hurrying over to Sanae. You attempt to wrap your arms around her and pull her into an embrace, but she nimbly dodges under your arms.

“Don’t touch me!” she yells, her eyes filled with tears.

You let your arms go limp, standing fixed on the spot as she trembles and shakes, trying desperately to keep herself calm. Finally unable to hold back the tears, she starts to cry. Grimly, you walk toward her, and pull her towards you. She makes no effort to resist you this time, and buries her face into your jacket, wrapping her arms around you.

“Please don’t go…” she says in a muffled voice, her shoulders jerking up with every sob.

You run your fingers through her hair, soothingly caressing the back of her head as she continues to cry into your chest. “Hey, come on, Sanae,” you say, your voice strained and hoarse. “Don’t cry. You’re too big to be bawling like that.”

She pulls herself away from you, looking up. “You’re crying too,” she says, sniffling.

“Ah?” You reach up with your hand and touch your cheek to find it damp. “Ahaha… so I am,” you say, the tears flowing freely from your eyes now. “Haha… damn, how uncool.” You take a deep breath, wiping it all away from your face with your shoulder.

“Hoshuu…” Sanae says, the gushing from her eyes still continuing. “Stay with me, please… Don’t leave me all alone. Let’s… let’s watch fireworks again… and watch scary movies at night, and eat ice cream together during summer, and you can help me with my vacation homework… and… and…”

“…I’m sorry, Sanae.”

“Why!?” she screams. “I don’t understand! Why do you have to leave!? Why… why can’t you stay here!?”

If only you knew the answer.

“I can’t do this alone… I can’t do anything on my own…”

“That’s not true,” you say. “You’re already strong. You’re a living god, remember?”

“But I…”

“No ‘but’s. You have to have confidence in yourself, Sanae. Remember what we talked about before? You’re going to make everyone in the world worship your shrine, right? Didn’t you say that, Sanae?”

“…Yeah.”

“And part of being strong…” You place your hand on your head, tears freely streaming down your own face again. “…is having the strength to say ‘goodbye’. Sanae, do you think you can do that?”

“I… I don’t want to.”

“It’s not as if we’ll never meet again,” you say, attempting to grin lightheartedly. “When you’ve officially started up the shrine again, and I’ve shaped up and become a man, I’ll definitely come to see you, no matter what.”

“Promise?”

“I promise,” you nod. You raise your hand, extending a pinky, “Here. Pinky swear.”

“…You’ll just break it again,” she says rather sourly.

“I won’t. Cross my heart and hope to die; we’ll definitely meet again.”

Sanae links her pinky with yours, and the two of you shake on it. Withdrawing your hand, you wait for her to settle down as she hiccups and sniffles, recovering from the aftermath of the crying.

“Hoshuu?” Sanae suddenly speaks up after going silent for a moment, staring at her feet.

“Yeah?”

“I love you.”

“…I know. I love you too.”

---

You stand at the crossroads, mindlessly walking trudging through the hopeless and ruined landscape. Finally, you reach the end. The ground roughly breaks off, abruptly cutting short the roads you had been following the whole time. Looking below at the chasm barring your path, you see a world where there is neither up nor down; something completely incomprehensible.

You turn back and stare at the darkness looming behind you. There’s nowhere to go now but toward it. No other roads to run toward, nothing to hide behind. All you can do now is to run headlong into it and confront it, and hold onto the hope that you will remain you.

[ ] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13517
[x] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13518
[x] Into the darkness.

Yet there's no real closure on Hoshuu's path...
>> No. 13519
[x] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13520
Wait. An old bad end is now the choice? Awkward...

[X] Into the Darkness~
>> No. 13521
[x] Into the darkness.

Let's do this.
>> No. 13522
[x] Into the darkness.
>>13518
We are the conclusion.
>> No. 13523
[x] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13524
[B] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13525
[x] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13526
[x] Into the darkness.
oh boy
>> No. 13527
>She pulls herself away from you, looking up. “You’re crying too,”
;_;

[x] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13528
[x] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13529
[Q] Into the darkness.
>> No. 13530
[x] Light up the darkness with the power of LOVE.
>> No. 13532
[x] Into the darkness.
------

You take slow, steady steps toward the darkness. As you travel past the roads you walked alongside, you see scenes of the long gone past flash before your eyes, filling you with conflicted emotions.

Are you sad right now? Are you happy right now? Or are you angry, or are you remorseful, or do you simply feel nothing at all? You don’t know. You can’t know. All you can do is blindly follow your steps toward the inevitable.

You’ll be hurt. You’ll suffer. You’ll suffer a pain beyond anything that can be done to your body. But even so, your mind is the clearest it has ever been since your awakening. And so, you smile, and welcome the approaching darkness with open arms.



No sight. No sound. No smell. No taste. No touch.

All is nothing and nothing is all.

Not a single thought remains,

nor even a single memory.

A complete and utter void.



Cold.

The sting of the cold air, the chills that the early spring breeze carries; you can feel them.

Light.

The beaming sunlight shines down to your tightly shut eyelids, irritating your eyes, unaccustomed to the bright light. You try to open them, but it is useless. Your body will not listen to you.

Your body is in pain.

Every inch of your body feels as though it is alight on fire, a searing hot flame caressing all that it can. It hurts. It hurts so much. But you also find that it doesn’t bother you. Pain is only another of the many sensations your body can feel. It is no different from the feeling of being bound to the ground, nor of the chilling breeze.

Agony is not even a trifle.

Inaction, however, is. You struggle to move your hands… your feet… your neck. Anything would do, so long as you can move something. Finally, you feel your fingers give a twitch, and from there on, it is a matter of minutes before you’ve regained the power to move your hand.

You push yourself up from the hard dirt beneath you, raising yourself up on your knees. You still can not open your eyes. Groping around, you feel something thick, rough, and rounded, like an iron bar of sorts. You heft it up, and using it as a crutch, you manage to stand up, your knees shaking from the effort.

And then, slowly, you open your eyes.

Red.

Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.
Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.
Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.
Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.
Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.
Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.
Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.
Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.


Everything is red.

The sky. The ground. The ruined buildings. Your clothes. Your hands. The spear you are leaning on. Everything is colored with the deep, unpleasant hue of blood.

You take your first uneasy step forward, using the pole arm as a walking stick to help you keep your balance. Why…

Why is everything destroyed?

Why is everyone so rotten?

You don’t know.

[ ] Walk.
[ ] Rest.
>> No. 13533
[X] Rest.
How's that quote go? "If you wake up in a pool of blood and you're not sure where it came from, don't get up again right away."
>> No. 13534
[ ] Walk.

Walk. Walk for your fallen brothers!
>> No. 13535
[x] Walk.

More vague choices that we have no idea about. (It might as well be []1 []2 at this rate)

But the most I could figure is this: We rest, we die.
>> No. 13536
[X]Walk

Not going to get answers just sitting around.
>> No. 13537
>>13535

I don't know about you, but choosing between moving about or taking a rest seems pretty fucking clear to me.
>> No. 13538
[x] Walk this way.
>> No. 13539
[X]Walk

Because Rest is always bad.
>> No. 13540
[ ] Walk.
>> No. 13541
[X] Walk

No Surrender. No Retreat!
>> No. 13542
>>13537

This is highly metaphorical, like in his mind, moving or resting might mean more than they seem.

If this was clearly a physical enviroment, then depending on factors, the choice would be easy.
>> No. 13543
>>13542

What. No it isn't.

It's Tayasumi, you guys. He survived.
>> No. 13544
[x] Rest.

If it really is Tayasumi, dude needs to take it easy - he got slashed up pretty bad. I'm sure getting out of the village may be a good thing, since all this carnage is going to attract youkai, but leaving may be just as bad should we run into any outside the gates with nowhere to hide and only a spear to lean on.

If it's some metaphorical bullshit, we're either running away or accepting oblivion; optimistically speaking (never thought of this, did you?), constantly moving forward, or choosing to live with and repair our life. We may end up in despair or have an epiphany.

Or it could just not matter and we're going to get some kind of mind-fuck either way.
>> No. 13545
[x] Walk.
Be strong.
>> No. 13546
>>13543

Can't be, since of the main time Mikio met him, he made peace with his life, even not holding a grudge against Rumia.

Also I doubt it's quite a spear (did the Japanese make spears with metal poles back then?)

But I am starting to suspect one possibility:

His soul as a human might have made peace, but who to say anything about the rage and vengeance left over in a possibly youkai-turned body? Or something potentially more damning. Since this 'being' might have gotten passed down to Hoshuu.

>>13544
That's my point, things are as such that it's a big toss up in the air. But at least it wasn't as vague as the last few choices.
>> No. 13547
[x] Walk.

Keep going.
>> No. 13548
[x] Walk.

Man up and soldier on for the sake of your beloved dead.
>> No. 13549
This is probably the thing that took over Tayasumi during his fight against Rumia. Maybe what is left of him trying to think while being fragmented by Headgames?
>> No. 13550
[x] Walk.
------

With slow, mechanical steps, you walk forward, your heavy feet trudging over the dry, cracked earth beneath you. Everyone is dead. Everything is dead. Everything is rotten. The corpses of humans lying about, the ruined buildings destroyed with their foundations splintered and dark with decay, even the earth itself.

Everything is so

rotten

except for you.

Are you rotten?

You look at yourself. Your clothes are torn up and dirty, caked with dried blood, but there’s no sign of decay or wounds anywhere. You’re still alive.

…still alive?

Why is that so peculiar?

Of course you’re still alive.

But if you were thinking that

does that mean that until just now, you were dead?

Throb.

Your head hurts.

“Ugh…” a deep, growling voice groans as you fall to your knees, struggling to remain upright while holding on tightly to your rusted metal pole. It’s your voice, isn’t it? It doesn’t sound like your voice. But you don’t know what your voice sounds like, do you.

The air smells foul. The scent of rotting corpses fills it with the stench of death. It’s an unpleasant smell, but not one that you can’t stomach. Gathering your strength, you lift yourself up from the ground, your feet once again firmly planted on the ground.

If everyone is dead, why didn’t you die with them?

What killed them?

You sweep the blood-red locks of your own hair out of your face, looking up at the crimson sky overhead, at the glaring sun. It’s past noon. Why do you know that? You don’t know, but you do. You begin to walk again. Your body feels weighted. Sluggish, as though you’re walking deep underwater.

“…damn, look like they all spoil.”

Your limbs tense up when you hear a disgruntled mutter from somewhere. A man’s voice. Does he know what happened here? You change your course, slowly shambling toward the direction the voice came from, navigating your way past the pieces of collapsed structures littering the ground.

You see him crouched down over one of the rotten corpses. A very wide man, with dirty, shaggy hair and broad shoulders, though he’s also a lot shorter than you are. He stands up when he sees you approaching, with an expression halfway between annoyance and wonder.

“Eh? Who th’ hell are yoo?” he says in a dull, stupid tone, looking over you with beady eyes. “Are yoo ‘uman or ‘o-kai?”

You stare back at him.

Heh.

Heheh.

Hahahaha.

“Haaah…” you rasp out a breath, lowering your head as your mouth twists into a maniacal grin. Your fingers give a twitch. The twitch runs up to your arm. Then up to your neck, your head shaking violently, shortly followed by your entire body. “…hahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAAAAHhaaAAAAAHaaaaaHAAAAA!” you laugh, holding back your head with your free hand.

You feel so hungry.

“What so funny?” the man asks, scowling. “No one make fun of me! Not ‘uman, not ‘o-kai!”

His nails extend out into sharp, blade-like claws, and he rushes forward on all fours, leaping at you like a wild animal.

You drop your smile completely, substituting it with grit teeth as you swing the pole in your hand, smacking the man out of the air with its shaft. With a whimper like a dog’s, he hits the ground, rolling though the dry dirt and ending up flat on his back. In no hurry, you slowly drag yourself toward him.

“You…!” he curses, wiping his bloody mouth as he scrambles back onto his feet.

He kicks off the ground with great force, attempting to lunge at you with his claws outstretched. What a fool. With the minimal amount of movement needed, you duck past his clumsy, swinging arms, and then with a single, swift motion, you thrust your hand forward, gripping him by the neck.

“Ghhk-!”

You keep the man lifted up in the air, his short, stubby legs uselessly flailing above the ground. His large bulging eyes look at you with terror, while your hand slowly crushes his windpipe. Desperately struggling, he attempts to force you to let go, digging his claws into your arm. Your blood splatters onto you, but you don’t care. He claws at your arm frantically, but you don’t bat an eye, only applying more force.

“P-please…spare me…!” he attempts to speak. It’s useless. He’s only wasting air.

Blood squirts out from his neck as your fingers dig into his skin. The man gives one last lurch, and then he is completely silent. Your fingers continue to drill through the muscles in his neck, not stopping until you can feel the spinal bone deep underneath the flesh. A pool of blood forms underneath your feet, mixed with your own blood as well as his.

He’s not dead yet.

Youkai don’t die that easily.

A dark-colored smoke begins billowing out from the pores of your skin. A moment later, the hand holding the incapacitated youkai bursts into flames. The flame travels from your hand to the youkai’s body, completely engulfing it until all you see before you is the wavering dark fire. The flame dies out, evaporating into the air, but leaves no marks of any sort on the youkai.

And then

His skin turns soggy and begins to peel off by itself

it exposes the raw red muscles underneath

the fiber becomes discolored and crusted, flaking away

clumps of his hair fall to the ground, disintegrating into nothing before they even hit the ground

his still beating heart and other organs melt into putrid mud

all that remains in your hand is a bleached white skeleton.

You carelessly toss it aside. The bones fall apart, shattering into pieces as they make contact with the ground. Eventually, even the fragmented pieces crumble and corrode into no more than dust, blown away by the dry wind carrying the smell of death.

haaah
hahahahaha
hahahahahahahaha
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You killed him.
You killed him.
You killed him.
You killed him.

And it felt so good.
And it tasted so good.

…You’re still hungry.

More. You have to kill more youkai. It hurts. You can stand all other pain, but this hunger is unbearable. You have to kill more youkai to satisfy it. Everyone everyone EVERY SINGLE ONE.

You stare at your mangled arm. It’s bleeding profusely. A dark mist surrounds it, filling up the gashes. When it clears, the flesh is restored, as though it was never torn apart in the first place. Putting your arm down, you take another look about the devastated scene. So this village was destroyed by youkai. All its people were killed by youkai. Everyone was slaughtered. Without mercy, without remorse.

Then all youkai should suffer what they did as well.

[ ] Hunt.
[ ] Cremate.
>> No. 13551
[x] Cremate.
No.
>> No. 13552
[x]Hunt
[x]Everything. Shall burn.
>> No. 13553
[X]Cremate
>> No. 13554
[x] Cremate.
[x] Pray for their souls.

Burial of the dead is most important.
>> No. 13555
[x] Cremate.
[x] Pray for their souls.

No. Don't lose yourself in the hate, it will only end in your own destruction.
>> No. 13556
[x] Cremate.
>> No. 13557
[B] Hunt.
>> No. 13558
[x] Hunt.
[x] Kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill KILL KILL KILL KILL!!!
>> No. 13559
Now this is a no brainer of a choice: carry on vengeance or stop to put the dead to rest.

The latter is the most human thing, which is the best bet for Mikio remaining Mikio through this inner ordeal.
>> No. 13560
[X] Cremate
>> No. 13561
[x] Cremate.
[x] Pray for their souls.
>> No. 13562
>>13559
Like a man once said: if you're planning a vengeance, make sure to dig two graves.
I sure hope this puts some perspective on him.
>> No. 13563
[x] Cremate.
[x] Pray for their souls.
>> No. 13564
[x] Immolate.
>> No. 13565
{X} Cremate.
>> No. 13566
[X] Cremate.

People deserve a proper grave.
>> No. 13567
>>13559
I think the first choice was in regards to our humanity. Now I can imagine 'cremate' as 'burn the village down before you carry out your vengeance'. We're already not human, so we're probably going to do this in an inhuman way. The thought here is how much time we have to get our revenge before we're put out of our misery.

I'd like him to have some revenge. And it'd be nice if we left the village intact so that people may find it and preserve what's left.
>> No. 13568
>>13567

None of us knows for sure, since Lion's not telling us anything. And resting in a place with a couple of youkai around would have been suicide outside of the metaphorical implications.
>> No. 13569
[X] Cremate
>> No. 13572
[x] Cremate.
------

…But first, you have to lay these people to rest.

It’s an obligation.

You let the pole arm in your hand fall to the ground, slowly dragging yourself forward. You go around the ruined village, collecting as many of the broken and splintered beams of wood from the collapsed rubbles of building as you can. You pile it all up in the center of the razed village as best as you can, despite your limited knowledge of cremation.

And then you begin to carry the bodies.

Their flesh has already begun to decay. Disgusting flies buzz above them, attracted to the stench of rotting corpses. You approach one of the bodies in order to collect it and from your skin pours out that same dark mist from earlier. The flies caught in the mist drop to the ground, unmoving. Disgusting insects preying on the death of animals. They deserve to die too.

The mist dissipates as you bend over to heft one of the corpses over your shoulder. The stench is horrible, but you don’t care. You don’t even notice it that much. Silently, wordlessly, thoughtlessly, you move on to the next nearest corpse and pick it up under your other arm.

In this manner, you carefully pile all of the bodies on top of each other, above the pieces of wood you’ve gathered. It would take much too long to give each of these people an individual procession, and it won’t be long before you have to feed yourself.

You move to gather the last three corpses; the ones that for some reason, you’ve had an aversion to going near them until now. One isn’t too far from the center of the village, lying on his back. From his wound, you can see that he was killed by a gaping wound in his torso. Whatever killed him had punched clean through his ribs, just barely missing the heart. He probably bled out not long after.

The next is just near one of the ruined buildings; a skinny, old man, with a face that looks as though it had been wasted by disease even before any attack by youkai. It looked like he had been trying to drag himself out of the house, only to die on the porch. The last is a girl, no older than ten or eleven, buried under rubble. If she didn’t die when she was clawed across her abdomen and left for dead, she most certainly did when the roof of the building collapsed on her and crushed her small, frail body.

You lay those three with the rest. Whoever they were in life, they were now nothing more than part of a mound of dead bodies. How should you feel right now? Did you know these people? You can’t remember. Should you be sad. Should you be disgusted. Should you be filled with hate. Should you despair. Should you kill. Should you die.

You don’t feel anything.

Not when you set alight a plank of wood in your hand. Not when you toss the burning wood into the pile of corpses.

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing at all.

Even so

As you watch the corpses burn, turning into nothing but ashes and small bone fragments

Why are these tears gushing from your eyes? You don’t feel sad at all. There’s nothing to be sad about. Are you crying because you should be? They won’t stop. They won’t stop. They won’t stop.

Your legs are shaking.

You collapse to your knees, supporting yourself with your hands. Silently, you watch your own teardrops fall to the ground, leaving wet, moist marks on the dry ground.

“Ugh…”

You give a violent lurch as a horrible, disgusting feeling makes its way up from your stomach to your throat. Opening your mouth, you retch, vomiting out the unpleasantness. Gasping for breath, you look down at the ground. Black. A pool of black blood marks the ground. Black blood drips from the corners of your mouth. You wipe your chin with the back of your hand.

this body is still unstable

Kill. Kill. Kill. You need to kill. If you kill more youkai, then this pain will disappear. Only when you kill can you satisfy this hunger.

And you’re just in luck. You can already feel the detestable presence of youkai coming closer and closer.



You wait, leaning against a still standing wall of one of the destroyed buildings, your naginata planted into the ground by the tip of its shaft. It won’t be long now. A group of youkai is coming, likely attracted to the smoke from the bonfire.

They’re here.

You pull your rusty weapon out of the ground. It feels warm to the touch. The surface of the pole is rough and coarse, but it manages to feel comfortable in your hand. It feels right.

You observe from the top of a building. There’s a human caravan, with lines of people following carriages pulled by oxen. So it was humans that the smoke had caught the attention of. Then that means, the group of youkai you sense. They must be trailing this caravan. They’re probably waiting for a chance to strike and kill them all in a single attack.

The caravan begins to pass through the destroyed village. The looks on their face make it clear that they didn’t expect it to be so demolished, staring at the scene of destruction with expressions of fear mingled with fascination. You keep out of their sight. You’re only after the youkai stalking these people.

And those youkai believe themselves to be so clever. They’ve split into groups of two, cautiously approaching the caravan from many different directions, trying to surround them. It seems they’ve marked this ruined village as their place of attack. Already, they’ve dispersed and hid throughout the wreckages.

How annoying. That just means you’ll have to seek them out before you kill them, pair by pair. It’d be easier if they were to attack in one large group. Then you could simply kill them all then and there.

It doesn’t take you long to find the first pair, hidden behind collapsed structures. Snickering and laughing, they give away their location more by their sound than by the presence. Soundlessly, you walk toward them. Youkai hearing is sharp, but your feet are nimble and light. It would be troubling if these two started a ruckus and caused the humans to panic. It would be too hard to keep them alive if that happened.

“C’mon, let’s get ‘em now, brother!” the shorter one says to his taller and slightly more composed partner.

“Be patient, brother,” the gangly, skinny one replies, though not without letting out a snicker of his own. “We’ll feast on them soon enough.”

“No you won’t.”

By the time the older of the youkai has turned around, the blade of your naginata has already cut through his neck. The severed head of the youkai gasps as it drops to the ground, its left-behind body falling back limply. It opens its mouth as if to say something, but you spear it through its open maw, silencing it for good. The other youkai takes a step back, horrified. He, too, opens his mouth, maybe to yell a curse at you, or maybe to scream. You wouldn’t know, because you swiftly and deftly deliver a punch to his throat, caving in his windpipe with a single blow.

While he stumbles back, tightly gripping his throat, you point the tip of your blade at him, the other youkai’s head still impaled on the blade. The youkai watches the decapitated head with eyes of fright as it’s reduced to a skull, and then, to no more than dust. And then you plunge the tip of the blade between his eyes.



You pull your blade out of the last of the youkai’s body. That was close. The last pair had come very close to attacking the caravan. You managed to intervene in time, but you were seen. You were hoping you could end this without anyone being the wiser of it.

“Ah… t-thank you,” a pudgy, nervous-looking man stammers, wiping sweat from his shining brows. He’s dressed much more nicely compared to the garments of the other members of the human group. He’s probably their leader, then.

You remain silent, the dead youkai’s foul-smelling blood dripping from your rust-coated weapon. There’s only one reason for such a large group of people to be traveling together like this. They’re migrating, seeking refuge from the harsh conditions of their former home. Maybe they’re even a group of exiles from beyond this youkai-infested land. But one thing’s clear: in order to escape to safety, this caravan is heading for the main human settlement here.

“L-looks like an abandoned village…” the man speaks timidly, taking another good look around, as though he hasn’t had enough of the sight since he got here. “W-were other humans living here…?”

“A long time ago,” you say in a brief, raspy voice.

“Ah… I… I see.”

“Going to human settlement?” you ask in a completely deadpan and monotone voice.

The man looks confused for a while, standing there with intimidated, wide-eyes staring at you and blinking a few times before he finally understands that you asked him a question. “Oh! Y-yes, we’re migrating there. It’s become too dangerous lately…”

The human village. You were going there too. Or were you?

“I’m heading there too. Hire me,” you say.

“H-hire?” He seems reluctant, choosing his next words carefully. He’s suspicious of you. Not that you would hold that against him. “Um… who are you?”

“Youkai exterminator. I kill youkai.”

You can see just how hard he’s struggling not to roll his eyes. “Um… yes, I suspected as much, but… I meant your name.

Your name. It’s…

“Don’t have one.”

“Ah…” He pauses again, looking you over from head-to-toe. After a moment of thought, he nods. “Okay, but, um… we don’t have anything to pay you with…”

“Food will do.”



They gave you a prime seat on one of the wagons being pulled by oxen, alongside a large, muscled man, who claims to know something of youkai exterminating. You don’t really care too much about the details. The needs of the body must still be met, after all. They gave you a large chunk of meat, preserved in salt, which you’re now greedily wolfing down.

“So what’s your story?” the other hunter asks you, watching you messily eat. He doesn’t sit too close to you, having already caught a whiff of the scent of rotting flesh hanging around your body. “Why were you at the ruins of that village?”

You don’t give a reply, viciously tearing away at the piece of meat.

“Quiet guy, eh…” the other man says, snorting.

You finish off the last shred of meat, wiping your mouth with the back of your hand as you carelessly toss the leftover bone out of the wagon. “I think I died,” you give your delayed response in a hollow voice.

The man laughs at this, like he’s heard a funny joke. “You don’t say…” he says.

“Look out! Youkai incoming!” someone screams, and the wagon comes to a sudden stop as the master of the oxen pulls back on their rein.

You spring to your feet, your single-edged naginata gripped tightly in your hand. The other man steps out, too, slipping a hand between his robes and producing a stack of exorcism amulets. Sweeping a hand through your hair, you face the direction in which a large youkai presence is quickly approaching. Five… ten… twenty of them. If you don’t intercept them directly, it would be almost impossible to prevent any casualties. On the other hand, in the presence of all these humans, you won’t be able to fight with your full strength. They would fear you. They would hate you. They would surely try to get rid of you.

[ ] Intercept.
[ ] Lure.
>> No. 13573
[x] Intercept.
>> No. 13574
[x] Lure.
>> No. 13575
[X] Intercept.

Sooner have them hate us then have them dead.
>> No. 13576
[c] Intercept.
>> No. 13577
[x] Intercept.
>> No. 13578
Man that ToC is handy. >>8267

[X] Intercept.
>> No. 13579
[X] Intercept.
[X] Order the other Youkai exterminators to stay and guard the convoy
>> No. 13580
[x] Lure.
>> No. 13581
[x] Intercept.

We wouldn't be alone in fending them off, so holding back woudln't be too bad. I do think more and more this being is not Tayasumi, but something using his body. I believe this presence is Headgames. But why would he want to attack a shrine maiden, that is unless his grudge ended up extending to anything supernatural.
>> No. 13582
[X] Intercept.
[X] Order the other Youkai exterminators to stay and guard the convoy
>> No. 13583
[x] Intercept.
>> No. 13584
I think that we're related somehow to the Mishaguji, which I believe have been mentioned quite a few times before.

There's also the discussion with Alice about Soul Transfusions and Bindings on >>12155 which is actually alot more disturbing when one re-reads it now.
>> No. 13585
>If you don’t intercept them directly, it would be almost impossible to prevent any casualties. On the other hand, in the presence of all these humans, you won’t be able to fight with your full strength.

I don't get it. This is supposed to help us choose what to vote for, right? Then why are there only arguments against luring the youkai?

Maybe it's just my reading comprehension getting worse.
>>13581
>But why would he want to attack a shrine maiden, that is unless his grudge ended up extending to anything supernatural.

Headgames probably grew too much and his hunger too great ot be satiated by youkai alone. Or maybe it was the sudden change of ambient.

Anyway, he is bound to become a monster worse than youkai. Remember the old tale Aya told Mikio? Guess who that man was.
>> No. 13587
>>13585

Intercepting the youkai directly will help reduce possible casualties, but you'll have to fight at reduced strength to keep the humans from becoming suspicious of you, while luring them away might result in some losses but leaves you free to brutalize the youkai however you wish.
>> No. 13588
>>13587

But a perk on interception would be perhaps the assistance of the other youkai hunters.

Still we should be trying our best to do the human thing.
>> No. 13589
50 bucks the incoming youkai are Rouga and his pack.
>> No. 13590
>>13589
You're on.
>> No. 13591
>>13589
I've been wondering about that, too, though I was thinking it about the earlier youkai.

On a related note, does anyone else keep thinking of Rouga as sort of a lazier, beefier Koga from (fucking) Inu Yasha?
>> No. 13592
>>13591
>Koga

Not at all.
>> No. 13593
[x] Intercept.
------

The preservation of human life is the greatest priority. You’ll just have to hold back a little of your power, so as to not give them a fright. It doesn’t matter in the end anyway. They’ll all die, either way. None of those youkai will escape today.

You reach up and wipe a small trickle of blood leaking from the corner of your mouth using your sleeve. Sustenance. You need to feed to keep this body going. Without sustenance, this body will fall and no longer be able to stand again. That’s why you won’t spare even a single youkai.

Letting out a raspy growl, your teeth grit tightly, you rush on ahead of the other youkai exterminators, your sweet feet carrying you across the dirt. There. You can see them approaching. A large cluster of youkai, all headed in the same direction toward the group of humans. Some of them are flying, some of them are running, but it’s clear that all of them are hostile.

The large, beefy man from earlier attempts to keep up with you, although he’s not nearly as fast on his feet as you are. Falling back, he shouts, “Hey! Don’t rush them, you fool!”

You pay it no heed, continuing to run toward the youkai to meet them. The foremost youkai charges at you, swinging his bear-like arms and trying to catch you with a terrible blow to the ribs. You duck under his large, clumsy arms, and jab forward with your weapon, spearing him through the throat. Wasting no time, you twist the blade embedded in the youkai’s skin, ripping it free from him by tearing through the side of his neck. Its blood splatters on your face, and you cover your eyes with your free arm to keep the blood from getting into your eyes.

As the youkai falls in a crumpled heap to the ground, another one takes a leap at you; a short, nimble one, with springy legs and a small head. Attempting jump onto your shoulders, it dives toward you in the air, reaching out with its skinny arms. You grab the thing by the top of its head, and smash it into the ground with enough force to crush it, grinding its skull against the dirt.

Sensing an attack from behind, you turn around and see one of the airborne youkai preparing to lob a fireball at you from both hands. Acting quickly, you lift the mangled corpse of the youkai in your hand and chuck it in the air just as the air youkai lets go of its flames, incinerating the body. Jumping from the ground and kicking off the head of a nearby youkai to gain a boost, you cut the airborne youkai down with a single strike, splitting it in vertical halves from top-to-bottom.

As you drop back down to the ground, you land on another youkai’s head, giving one of his shoulders a stomp to force him to the ground. Hopping onto his back, you twirl your naginata around and stab the point down, piercing through where its heart would be located. Pulling the blade out, you chuck it forward, impaling through several different youkai in front of you at once.

One of the other youkai surrounding you attempts to attack you from behind, but you quickly reach around and grab his wrist with your hands. With a swift jerk and a crack, you break his arm, and as he doubles back in pain, you step forward and stab your index and middle fingers into his throat. He croaks inaudibly, gurgling as blood pours down from his mouth, before dropping to the ground.

By this time, the other youkai hunters have reached you, where you stand with many of the youkai dead already. Their expression is a mixture of incredulity and fear, staring at you in wonder. You pay them as little heed as always as you reach for your spear, still run through a pile of youkai corpses, and roughly retrieve it.

“What are you idiots staring at him for!?” you hear the man from earlier shout at the others. “Let’s hurry up and clean these bastards up!”

The hunters engage the remainder of the youkai. With calm, almost casual steps, you begin to approach the thickest grouping of youkai, and as each of them breaks off one by one to charge at you, you easily dispatch of them in a single slash. Across the neck. From the hip to the shoulder. Right through the waist. They all fall apart as though their body is made of paper. Finally, there’s only one remaining. He doesn’t try to fight you, nor does he try to escape. Though he’s shorter than you are, he stares up at you defiantly.

“Monster,” he says, his eyes narrowed.

“Who is?” you ask.

And before you hear an answer from him, you stab your blade through the middle of his chest.



It’s so easy to kill youkai.

its easy because we are sharing strength

the ones youve killed so far are nothing

the true battle has yet to begin


How can I become stronger?

you must kill kill kill kill kill kill kill

anything and everything you must destroy

destruction is our only power

through destruction we grow in strength

theres no point in anything else

destroy and kill

lets destroy and kill everything that makes us sad everything that makes us angry everything that makes us happy

everything everything every little thing


[ ] Acceptance.
[ ] Hesitation.
>> No. 13594
[x] Acceptance.
>> No. 13595
[X] Hesitation.

Yeah, let's not.
>> No. 13596
[x] Hesitation.

Will this prolong or shorten things? It doesn't matter, so long as it's interesting.
>> No. 13597
[x] Hesitation.

Every bit of resistance counts.
>> No. 13598
[x] Hesitation.
>> No. 13599
[x] Hesitation.
Absolute power corrupts etc etc.
>> No. 13600
[X] Hesitation.

BREAK, BREAK!
>> No. 13601
[x] Acceptance.
[x] Full acceptance.
[x] So much acceptance that not even the voice can keep up with you.

My hunger for destruction is more powerful than your hunger for destruction! Nuh uh! Yah huh!
>> No. 13602
[x] Hesitation.
Screw you.
>> No. 13603
[X] Hesitation.

No
>> No. 13604
[x] Hesitation.
>> No. 13605
File 126407546955.jpg- (56.97KB , 648x273 , 50-dollar-bill1.jpg ) [iqdb]
13605
[X] Hesitation.

>>13590

Here you go my good Anon. Use it wisely.
>> No. 13606
[x] Hesitation.
>> No. 13607
[B] Acceptance.
>> No. 13608
[ℤℯ] Hesitation.

I'm fine with all of that up to the "everything that makes us happy" bit.
>> No. 13610
[x] Hesitation.
------



whats wrong

theres nothing to fear

we can destroy anything we want

anything and everything we can crush and shred apart and kill

listen to me and youll be able to avenge everyone

with me you can kill all youkai you only have to listen to what i tell you

kill them all kill them all isnt that your desire

we can make that happen

we can completely eradicate every youkai

we can kill even gods if we wanted

yes

gods are no different from youkai

lets kill everything

youkai and gods too

lets wipe out everything but humans from this world and leave its fate to mankind

never never never will man ever have to fear youkai never have to worship gods theyll all finally be free to create their own future with their own hands with no interference from anyone


I…

what are you so afraid of

do you mean to defy me

i gave your body renewed life

if i wanted i could easily take it away

so why do you resist against me

ungrateful human


…I won’t be your puppet. I’ll take my revenge in my own way. I don’t need your help.

theres nothing you can do on your own

you will simply die if you refuse my help

but fine

ill require time to obtain more power in any case

try and resist me

try to resist the urge to kill

youll only end up hurting yourself

your body

as well as your mind

see what it is that you have now become

hahaha

hahahahahahahah

Hahahahahahaha,

and when I’ve grown stronger I’ll completely crush your will and then

all youkai,

all gods,

I’ll kill them all.

And then we can rest eternally.

Yes.

Let’s kill everything and die together, you and I.




“…Hey, you listening?”

You feel someone shaking you by the shoulder. Opening your eyes and waking from your slumber, you lift your chin up. The burly youkai exterminator shaking you backs away immediately, almost in fright as you lay your eyes on him. Not saying a word, you lean back your head, rasping out a groan as you twist your neck, giving it a good few cracks.

“Hey, uh…” the other man begins, nervously rubbing the back of his neck. “We’re here.”

You nod, and then climb out of your wagon, touching down onto the ground. With your naginata at your side, you take a good look around, taking in the morning’s scenery before you. The convoys have stopped before an enormously large gate. Of course, since it leads into the largest human community in this youkai-plagued land, it would make sense that it would be much grander than a typical village. It’s completely incomparable to the one you came from.

“It’s an opportunity for us all to start a new life,” the other man says, looking at the village with a wide grin and his arms crossed together. “Right here in this land of fantasy.” Turning to you, he extends a hand for a friendly shake. “Guess our work ends here. Good luck to you.”

Silently, you take his hand, and allow him to shake it.

What will you do now? …That’s obvious. There’s only one thing that you can do. The one thing that you need in order to sustain your own self.

You’ll protect the humans living here. You’ll never allow it to suffer the same fate of the village you awoke to find yourself in.

And any youkai that mean to bring harm to it will die.

---

“Ugh…” you wipe your mouth with the back of your hand, staring at the black bubbling blood at your feet. Your body feels weird. Your head feels dizzy. What’s happening…? What’s happening to your body...? A sharp pain flashes through your head, and you yelp, clutching it between your hands as you struggle to stay on your feet.

These attacks… they’ve been getting worse and worse over time. Much more frequent than they used to be. Your limbs feel drained and your head’s so clouded that you can hardly think straight anymore. You gasp, frantically drawing in breath as you attempt to suppress the headache. A high pitched ringing sounds in your head, throwing off your concentration.

Finally, it ends, and you fall to your knees, sweat rolling down your face. Wiping your brow, you force yourself up, struggling to stay standing on your feet. Staggering forward, you lean against a nearby tree. Where… is this again? Who are you…? You reach up and touch your face, feeling something smooth yet hard instead of flesh. Ah, that’s right. You’re Mikio. Like you could be anyone else, right…?

Shaking your head, you look around. You’re standing in the snow-covered densely packed forests of the mountain. But why did you come out here…? You can’t remember. Your thoughts are still a little hazy. You must have been daydreaming up until now, and now that you’re suddenly wide awake, everything feels so surreal to you.

You float up into the air, rising above the leaves of the trees. Judging by the sun’s position, it’s not too long after noon. That means you must have already finished your day’s work for today, leaving you to choose how to spend your free time.

[ ] Head back home and rest.
[ ] Visit the shrine.
>> No. 13612
[X] Visit the shrine.

Of course
Of course
Of course of course of course
>> No. 13613
[x] Visit the shrine.
>> No. 13614
[X] Visit the shrine.

I wonder if the two gods now they're at a greater power could do something about Mikio's ailment. It's not as if there's no backup, Alice's knowledge of soul-binding magic could help. And it's clear why 'headgames' tried going after Sanae, with her being part god and all.
>> No. 13615
[x] Visit the shrine.
>> No. 13616
[ ] Visit the shrine
>> No. 13617
[x] Visit the shrine.


I'm really digging this story. The theme of persona strongly resonates throughout the story, and it makes for a compelling read.
>> No. 13618
[X] Visit the shrine.
>> No. 13619
>>13617

Yeah. I kinda wished the Persona games also had something like that.
>> No. 13620
[X] Visit the shrine.
>> No. 13621
[X] Visit the shrine.

Just caught up with this story, and I have to say, this is one amazing piece ok work you're putting together, Lion. Keep it up.
>> No. 13622
>>13619
Guess he'll have to 'face his true self' then, no?

[X] Visit the shrine.
>> No. 13623
[X] Visit the shrine.

Dunno if I voted yet.
>> No. 13624
>>13621
And Border House in /others/
He has a real fast update speed lately.
>> No. 13625
[x] Visit the shrine.
>> No. 13626
[X] Visit the shrine.

If I die, I die free!
>> No. 13627
It's been only two days, but the wait is killing me.
>> No. 13628
[x] Visit the shrine.
------

You pull up your mask, wiping away the sweat on your face before putting it back in its place. Sighing, you begin to slowly drift toward the shrine situated near the summit of the mountain. You touch down at the bottom of the long staircase leading to the shrine, warming your chilled hands with your breath as you make your way up.

As you step up to the top of the staircase, you note a miniature snowman sitting to the side, grinning happily with its wide twig mouth. You smile fondly, thinking back to the time you helped Cirno and her friend build a snowman yourself. Vaguely, you wonder whether she’s off playing with Letty this winter as well. Stepping through the snow-covered shrine grounds, you take a look about. Everything’s blanketed by white, pure snow, its surface shining brilliantly from the sunlight.

Your feet crunch the snow beneath you as you trudge toward the shrine, stopping at the donation box in front of it. Withdrawing your wallet, you fish for some spare change and drop the coins in the offerings box, pocketing your wallet and saying a small prayer to the shrine.

“Ah! Thank you for the donation!”

You turn around, and see Sanae approaching you, looking comfortably bundled up in a thick winter coat and holding an old, rusted shovel in her hands. She smiles as she steps closer, her breath visible in the cold air as she drags the shovel along through the snow.

“Oh, hello,” you awkwardly greet her. “The snow’s really piled up, hasn’t it?”

“It really has,” she says, continuing to smile faintly as she turns her head around, glancing around at the scene of snow before the two of you with something of a look of wonder. “I don’t think it snowed nearly as much back in the outside world.”

“And so you’re clearing out the snow?” you ask, looking at the shovel she’s holding.

“Yup,” she says with a nod.

“Then let me help.”

“Eh?” Sanae blinks at your offer. “Oh, it’s really fine, I can do it myself.”

“Please.”

She hesitates for a moment before giving in, reluctantly allowing you to take the shovel from her. “…Thank you,” she says quietly.

“It’s no problem,” you say with a chuckle, rolling the wooden rod of the snow shovel around in your palms as you begin stepping down from the small staircase leading to the offerings box. “The tengu are Lady Kanako’s allies now, so we have to help each other like this.”

“Hehe, I guess so,” she says while giggling as she follows you down the steps, rubbing her pale hands together to warm them up a little.

You cut the snow into a neat block with the blade of the shovel before hefting it up, dumping the snow elsewhere. You need to clear a path from the long staircase to the shrine. It probably won’t take that long, though your arms feel a little heavier than usual.

“I guess for a youkai, something like this isn’t very hard, huh?” Sanae asks as she watches you shovel a path through the snow, her hands shoved into the pockets of her coat.

“Not at all,” you reply, flashing a grin.

“Haha… I’m really no good at manual labor, so whenever I had to do something like this back in the outside world, I’d end up getting all tired and take a long time to finish.”

“Do you miss the outside world?”

She falls into a thoughtful silence, looking up to the sky. “…A little, I guess,” she says. “I miss my friends, and my favorite TV shows, and my favorite snacks and… I keep thinking about what we would be doing if we were still there.”

You dump another shovelful of snow to the side, heaving a sigh as you dig the blade of the shovel into the snow in front of you, taking a short break. “What would you be doing now?” you inquire as you turn to her, curious.

“Mmm. I guess we’d be in the Christmas season right about now,” she replies, a fond look on her face.

“Christmas?” you repeat, raising an eyebrow.

“Oh, I guess you don’t really have that here, huh,” Sanae says, giggling. “Um, to put it briefly, it’s a day that people in the outside world celebrate, and give each other gifts and stuff like that.”

“You exchange gifts on Christmas? Why?”

“…Good question,” Sanae says, slightly taken back. “Umm… well, doesn’t it feel good to give gifts to someone?” she asks after a short pause.

“Then why don’t you give a gift to people every day instead of having a special day for it?” you ask.

“Well, that’s…” She frowns, trying to think of an answer. Sighing, she speaks in an apologetic, resigned tone of voice, “…Sorry, I guess I’m not very good at explaining things.” Still, her expression soon brightens up. “But I think what’s important isn’t the reason why you’re giving gifts; that’s just the spirit of giving.”

“Then, what is important?”

“I guess it’d be something like… the feelings behind the gift. That someone cares for you enough to want to make you happy on a special day like that by giving you a gift. I think an experience like that creates precious memories,” she stops, suddenly looking embarrassed. “Ahaha, I bet I sounded really corny just now,” she laughs at herself, blushing slightly.

“No, I think that’s a wonderful thought,” you say, smiling at her.

She smiles back, and lowers her head, the tip of her fingers reaching up to touch the frog head hairclip on her head. “…This was a Christmas present from a long time ago,” she says in a quiet mutter. “…from someone very important to me.”

“I see,” you say, staring at the clip. A present. “Was it from Lady Kanako or Lady Suwako?”

She shakes her head. “No. It’s from someone I don’t believe I’ll ever meet anymore,” she says sadly. “…That’s why I’m going to keep treasuring it.”

“I see,” you say, nodding.

Turning back around, you pull the shovel out of the snow and continue your work without a word, stopping only once to rub at one of your cheeks. In no time at all, you finish fully clearing out a path to the shrine. As you lean back to give your tired spine a much needed reprieve, Sanae walks up to you, taking the shovel from your hand.

“Thank you so much,” she says brightly. “I’ll go put this away.” She walks off, carrying the shovel in her arms, toward the shrine’s tool shed.

you

“…Ergh…” you grunt, nearly falling over to your knees. You suddenly feel completely drained, finding it hard to maintain your balance. Another… attack…? You bring your trembling hand up to your face, staring at your palm. It’s so pale.

not yet

dont fall apart yet

The pain subsides as quickly as it came. Feeling out of breath, you straighten yourself up, a little woozy but fine otherwise. At the same time, Sanae returns, hurrying over to you.

“…Are you alright?” she asks as she approaches you, concernedly looking up at your face.

“It’s nothing,” you say.

“Well, if you say so,” she shrugs. “But have you had lunch yet?”

“…No, not yet.”

“Ah, perfect,” she says cheerfully. “We haven’t, either. Would you like to join us for a meal, then? You’ve done a lot for me today, but I don’t really have any other way to thank you, so…”

[ ] Accept.
[ ] Refuse.
>> No. 13629
[x] Accept.

Let's see what the meal is. I wonder what the Akis do during winter exactly.
>> No. 13630
{X} Accept.
>> No. 13631
[x] Accept.

Might this be a case where accepting ends up being a bad thing? Maybe I'm just a bit paranoid...
>> No. 13632
{X} Accept.
>> No. 13633
[x] Accept.
>> No. 13634
[x] Accept.

"Don't fall apart yet?" Just what the hell is Headgames up to? He kept on talking about how he would crush Mikio and all, so maybe he is not ready yet to manifest himself properly?
>> No. 13635
[X] Accept.

What kind of man refuses a meal with some beautiful ladies?
>> No. 13636
{X} Accept.
>> No. 13637
[x] Accept.

Hooray for sudden evil and passing out in the shrine!

>>13629
Probably in a cave somewhere, sitting in silence, holding cold sweet potatoes above an iced-over fire. A little gust of wind sends them sneezing and shivering, tears roll down their faces only to freeze...
>> No. 13638
[x] Accept.
>> No. 13639
[x] Accept.

Just because I'm feeling a bit sadistic (It's 3 in the morning <_<)
>> No. 13640
[Q] Accept.
>> No. 13641
>>13637
>Probably in a cave somewhere, sitting in silence, holding cold sweet potatoes above an iced-over fire. A little gust of wind sends them sneezing and shivering, tears roll down their faces only to freeze...

oh...;_;


[x] Accept.
>> No. 13642
[B] Refuse.
>> No. 13643
[x] Accept.
>> No. 13644
[x] Accept.
-[x] Ask if Lady Suwako or Lady Kanako are present and if you could speak with them later.

If either of the goddess are present, then they should stop our MC if he manages to lose control. Besides, he should get to know them better if he really wants to establish a link between the shrine and the Tengu.

>dont fall apart yet
Not now nor ever. I tire of our MC being an anemic tool for some unseen force. Fuck that shit.
>> No. 13646
>>13644

Blame stupid VN memes for that.
>> No. 13647
>>13644
>establish a link between the shrine and the Tengu

But it already has been established.
>“The tengu are Lady Kanako’s allies now, so we have to help each other like this.”
>> No. 13648
>>13647
'Establish' should be 'Maintain'

Sorry about that.
>> No. 13649
>>13644
I think that's the point.

The real dangers here are exposing ourselves and revealing our past. There's no telling what could happen. The goddesses might try to off us, Sanae might let loose some repressed emotions and could even blame them for chasing away Hoshuu. Our actions may end with us banned from the shrine and hurting the alliance.

Whether all this may be the case, we can't just skirt around them, either. We'd kill the plot or get forced back into it the hard way.
>> No. 13650
[x] Accept.
>> No. 13651
>>13649
Still, they might be able to help his ailment, since unlike back then, they have more power/faith. Since this 'ailiment' is staring to take its toll on him.
>> No. 13652
>>13651

Also, Gensokoy is small, and not only that, but Mikio is a tengu. Well, a part of the tengu.

It would be significantly harder to keep him away from Sanae. Or to keep her away from him.
>> No. 13653
>>13652
GensoKoi, the eastern carp.
>> No. 13654
[x] Accept.
>> No. 13655
>>13653
Fantasy Carp, more like it.
>> No. 13656
>267 post omitted.

This thread has reached auto-sage for some time, but it still is the second top thread on /youkai/.

Isn't it sad?
>> No. 13657
>>13656
/youkai/ has become Lion's exclusive FoM board.
>> No. 13677
>>13655
Or "illusory love".
;_;


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