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File 122717303438.jpg - (107.00KB, 526x680, 1196576156502.jpg) [iqdb]
7469 No. 7469
Your mission is here, with her. "I'll stay," you nod. Sanae nods in return and looks back to Keine.

"Very well," she says, taking a deep breath and pausing. "Where shall I begin..."

... ...

It's hours before you leave her house, back into the light of midday. Your head swims with words, most of them as unfamiliar to you as they seemed to the teacher who just drilled them into you. Although Keine recited the information as one who had learned it second-hand, Sanae took it all in, and took it badly. The existence of another shrine in Gensokyo, and another miko, naturally that would force both parties to take note of each other. But, the nature of this miko's connection to the Border around this land, and how Moriya's presence could be a threat to that... went right over your head, no two ways about it. Clearly, though, it's no joke, to judge by Sanae's dismal mood.

Once past the outer gate, she stops and stares at her feet. "I have to go," she mutters, so low you can barely hear her.

"Go?" You'd been half expecting this, but the question comes out as a reflex just the same. "Go where?"

Her hands clench by her sides. "I have to go," she repeats, louder this time but still directed towards her shoes, "to talk with the Hakurei miko. To tell her that we... that I... she..." After several attempts to explain, she sighs, shrugs and shakes her head, looking up at you. "I have to go." Final.

[ ] "Good luck."
[ ] "Then I'm going with you."

===

Huh. That didn't turn out as long as I thought it might. Well, so much the better. Quick zoom!
Expand all images
>> No. 7470
[X] "Then I'm going with you."

So, no visiting Kourindou, eh?
>> No. 7471
[ ] "Then I'm going with you."

damn i missed this story
>> No. 7472
So, it dawned on me on my way home why this update seemed so short: I'd actually decided against putting a choice there and just moving on to the next point. So, um, Part 2 incoming. Sorry about that, you two.

Probably just as well, those were some monstrously lopsided choices. "TOGETHER FOREVER" or "k w/e bai". I mean, really.
>> No. 7473
"The answer's no."

"Uh," the syllable trips on its way out of your mouth. "I hadn't even asked anything, yet."

She smiles. "But you were going to, weren't you?" You scratch your cheek with your free hand and avoid her eyes. Can't really deny it... "I am the miko of the Moriya Shrine, the servant of its goddess, Kanako Yasaka. I'm the only one who has to do this. You..." She steps up and turns your face to hers with one hand. "Well, there's no nice way to say it, you'd just get in the way. I mean, you barely understand what the problem is, am I right?"

You scratch at your cheek again, but keep your eyes where they are. "I understand that there is a problem, but... yeah, that's about it."

"See?" She smiles again and steps back. "You stay behind here, keep up the original mission. I'll handle the Hakurei."

"Alright." A thought. "Dressed like that?" No, she's going to go naked, you dolt. What kind of question was that?

Sanae looks down at her uniform as if just remembering it was there, then raises her head, closes her eyes and puts her hands over her breast, one over the other. She stands like this for a second, you blink, and then she's still standing there, but dressed in her usual miko outfit. You blink a few more times, but her clothes don't change any more. So, this is miracle power...

"Thanks," she says, smoothing out the skirt and straightening the sleeves, "I hadn't thought of that." Once she has her clothing properly adjusted, she floats up about a foot off the ground. "I can't say how long this is going to take. We'll meet up back where Hina dropped us off... early evening, at the latest, if we don't find each other before then."

"Roger," you say, saluting her with your spear. "Good luck." As you watch, she climbs higher, above the rooftops, then turns in mid-air and flies off to the east.

So...

[ ] Now what?
>> No. 7474
>[X] Now what?

...

[X] Follow her.

Until someone thinks of something better.
>> No. 7476
[x] Get directions to the Hakurei Shrine.
[x] Follow her discreetly; use the roads.
>> No. 7477
[x] Go to the pub (lunch time, right?)
[x] Get directions to the Hakurei Shrine.
[x] Get blitzed, drunkenly charge into the shrine to save your beloved miko.
>> No. 7478
[x] Get directions to the Hakurei Shrine.
[x] Follow her discreetly; use the roads.

Time to go into stealth mode!
>> No. 7479
The idea crosses your mind to follow her, but you shake it off. She knows her job, just let her do it. You've got your own to do.

(THERE. I didn't want to have to do it this way, but GET ON THE DAMN TRAIN YOU FAGGOTS.)
>> No. 7480
I don't think following Sanae is a good idea. As far as I remember, Reimu and Sanae don't get into a fight in MoF's prologue. If we follow her and get spotted by Reimu, armed as we are, things could get ugly and an unnecessary fight would ensue. For now, we should---

>>7479
Oh. Well then.

[x] Wonder around the village, mainly the shopping district.
[x] Window shopping games. Maybe you can get some info from the shop owners.
- Ask about the shrine maiden.
- Ask about the major power players in Gensokyo.
[x] Keep an eye out for something that'll make a nice gift for Sanae?
[x] Go have lunch.

This is all I can think of, for now.
>> No. 7481
File 12272271381.jpg - (940.07KB, 1500x2682, Fate01.jpg) [iqdb]
7481
>>7480
>I don't think following Sanae is a good idea. As far as I remember, Reimu and Sanae don't get into a fight in MoF's prologue. If we follow her and get spotted by Reimu, armed as we are, things could get ugly and an unnecessary fight would ensue. For now, we should---

[]Follow anyway
[]Observe miko argument
[]Jump in, activate Noble Phantasm: Gae Bolg
[]Pierce heart, thrust lance.

"Lancer! You can't do that! You'll create a time paradox! LAAANNNCEEERRR!!!!!!!!"

While what I would like to vote for is:
[]Think about Hina's thighs (3 hours)
[]Think about being the meat in an Autumn sandwich (2 hours)

Some actual recon may be in order, and Keine has proven helpful in volunteering information and there's no real reason to leave her just yet.

[x] Ask Keine about the shop in the forest which sells things from the other side of the border. Directions, and possible dangers in the forest.
>> No. 7482
aww, we were just having fun, Tetro.


[x] Wonder around the village, mainly the shopping district.
[x] Window shopping games. Maybe you can get some info from the shop owners.
- Ask about the shrine maiden.
- Ask about the major power players in Gensokyo.
[x] Keep an eye out for something that'll make a nice gift for Sanae?
[x] Go have lunch.

Sounds good to me. This could potentially include instructions to Kourindou?
>> No. 7483
File 122723007619.jpg - (260.97KB, 654x800, 1222117386596.jpg) [iqdb]
7483
>>7481
>>[]Think about being the meat in an Autumn sandwich (2 hours)

After proper aging for flavor, that is a taste meal.
>> No. 7484
[x] Wonder around the village, mainly the shopping district.
[x] Window shopping games. Maybe you can get some info from the shop owners.
- Ask about the shrine maiden.
- Ask about the major power players in Gensokyo.
[X] Visit Kourindou. It won't hurt to check it.
[x] Keep an eye out for something that'll make a nice gift for Sanae?

Don't forget Rinnosuke.
>> No. 7485
>>7481

How about...
[X]Think about Hina's thighs in an Autumn sandwich(3 hours)
>> No. 7486
>>7481

How about...
[X]Think about Hina's thighs in an Autumn sandwich(3 hours)
>> No. 7487
[x] Wonder around the village, mainly the shopping district.
[x] Window shopping games. Maybe you can get some info from the shop owners.
- Ask about the shrine maiden.
- Ask about the major power players in Gensokyo.
[X] Visit Kourindou. It won't hurt to check it.
[x] Keep an eye out for something that'll make a nice gift for Sanae?
>> No. 7488
[x] Wonder around the village, mainly the shopping district.
[x] Window shopping games. Maybe you can get some info from the shop owners.
- Ask about the shrine maiden.
- Ask about the major power players in Gensokyo.
[X] Visit Kourindou. It won't hurt to check it.
[x] Keep an eye out for something that'll make a nice gift for Sanae?
>> No. 7490
[x] Wonder around the village, mainly the shopping district.
[x] Window shopping games. Maybe you can get some info from the shop owners.
- Ask about the shrine maiden.
- Ask about the major power players in Gensokyo.
[X] Visit Kourindou. It won't hurt to check it.
[x] Keep an eye out for something that'll make a nice gift for Sanae?
>> No. 7491
Writing commences.
>> No. 7492
>>7491

And when will it be ready?
>> No. 7493
>>7492
When it's ready.
>> No. 7494
File 122732359025.jpg - (16.52KB, 376x242, hooray.jpg) [iqdb]
7494
>>7493

>When it's ready.

Calender's marked. Hope's clearly not up.
>> No. 7498
Asking directions from a passing villager, you find the dragon statue again, and from there back to the market square without any trouble at all. You spend a bit of time comparison shopping the prices on food and basic sundries. True to his word, Matsutaki proves tough to beat when it comes to rice, and you even manage to find a couple of stalls hawking black pepper (for being cut off from the rest of the living world, this place seems to do all right for itself). Unfortunately, the old man's word holds true for the curiousity shop in the forest, as well - most of the merchants have only heard of the place in passing, and none of them are able to give you any better directions to find it than "in the forest somewhere".

By the time you've expanded your search to include browsing the general shopping district surrounding the square (it doesn't take you long to realize you left your wallet back at the shrine, so purchases are sadly out of the question), you've pretty much abandoned that line of questioning in favor of information on the Hakurei maiden. The first thing you learn, naturally enough, is her name: Reimu Hakurei. Beyond that, though, astoundingly little, considering the apparent importance of her position. Seems she's something of a recluse, and doesn't come into town that often, so the humans aren't able to tell you much. Conversely, almost all of the non-humans recognize the name instantly, but either don't know any more, or aren't any more communicative about what they do know. You did find a bird-girl running a smoked eel stand who went from happily singing to borderline hostile the moment you broached the subject. From her rantings, you gather she holds a grudge against the miko for a string of losses in danmaku contests, but with the way she started waving that knife around, you decided to just leave her to stew before you were forced to defend yourself.

About the rest of Gensokyo, you don't fare much better, only picking up a few stray pieces of seeming trivia. A carrot farmer closing early, her entire stock having been paid for and carried off by the rabbits who live at the heart of the bamboo grove to the north; the owner of a tea boutique looking forward to seeing his favorite customer again, a vampire connoisseur named Remilia who tends to visit in person once winter shortens the days; and the fact that practically every merchant dealing in any sort of foodstuff turns out to be holding an order for pickup by the same half-ghost serving girl, Youmu... Kon-something. All in all, you get the feeling you've expanded the base of your knowledge without actually building upon it. Guess you could call that a success... sort of.

Time - 1:25 pm
[ ] Go back, focus your search on one subject. (~30 minutes each)
- [ ] Go back to that eel stand, maybe she's calmed down enough to talk more coherently about Reimu.
- [ ] Hina mentioned a bamboo grove... see if you can catch up with those rabbits.
- [ ] Vampires who drink tea? Interesting.
- [ ] Hang around the market, see if you can run into that half-ghost.

[ ] Eh, that'll do for the village. Head out of town. (10 minutes)
>> No. 7499
[X] Hina mentioned a bamboo grove... see if you can catch up with those rabbits.

The others feel like dead-ends to me, for some reason
>> No. 7500
[x] Go back to that eel stand, maybe she's calmed down enough to talk more coherently about Reimu.
>> No. 7501
File 122753155226.jpg - (90.72KB, 600x450, e13e59d9df5d071d285d4b69a252cd68.jpg) [iqdb]
7501
[!/] Hina mentioned a bamboo grove... see if you can catch up with those rabbits.

Running into Tewi would be a good and bad thing.
>> No. 7503
[X] Eh, that'll do for the village. Head out of town. (10 minutes)

Okay, woah, wait a minute. I would be hesitant to go skip off to the damn Bamboo Forest of the Lost. You know, the one people tend to get lost in? For really long periods of time?

We have a delicious Shrine Maiden to meet, and apparently today is our last real chance to ensure a romantic end with her. Don't go throwing it away by prancing off into the one place that's liable to take far, far longer to deal with than expected.
>> No. 7504
>>7503
Well he said the focused search itself is only 30 minutes, and we could just fly out of the forest if we get lost. I understand your concern though.

I think these options could help with allies possible, so I'm voting to let the boobinites meet.

[X] Hina mentioned a bamboo grove... see if you can catch up with those rabbits.
>> No. 7505
>>7504

Well, yeah, but 30~ minutes is just the projected estimate for the time we'll spend on the search. I don't think it's actually set in stone, which is why this is a concern for me. While I could see doing any of the other options, the Bamboo Forest is easily the most likely candidate for events that take far longer than the projected time.
>> No. 7506
[x] Go back to that eel stand, maybe she's calmed down enough to talk more coherently about Reimu.
>> No. 7507
- [x] Go back to that eel stand, maybe she's calmed down enough to talk more coherently about Reimu.
[x] But don't bring up Reimu in conversation first. Ask about the vampire, the rabbits and the half ghost.

If Mystia doesn't want to talk about Reimu, we shouldn't press. But there's no guarantee we'll see Remi or Youmu, and we may get lost in the forest, so we can ask her about other things.
>> No. 7508
[x] Go back to that eel stand, maybe she's calmed down enough to talk more coherently about Reimu.
>> No. 7510
Well, I was holding out for a clearer majority, but I guess that's all I'm going to get. So, writing now.
>> No. 7511
Hooray
>> No. 7513
File 122799912551.jpg - (34.12KB, 553x800, 1196872352243.jpg) [iqdb]
7513
You're still not about to follow after Sanae - you might have named yourself after a hound, but you're no lap dog. Still, you can't help worrying about what she might be getting into with this Hakurei person. That youkai at the eel stand seemed pretty knowledgeable about her, and willing to talk... perhaps a bit too willing. Still, she's your best lead along that line. Maybe you can talk her down. At worst, you'd probably have good evidence for self-defense.

As it turns out, you didn't really need to concern yourself about much from her. She spots you the moment you have the stand back in sight, waving you over with a worried, apologetic expression. "I'm so glad you came back," she gushes out, "I was afraid I might have scared you off, and, well, I didn't mean to, but sometimes when I get started on that woman, I just... kinda... lose it. Y'know? I'm real sorry, mister, honest." The torrent of words stops as quickly as it started, and she bows to you over the counter.

"Well, you did have me kind of worried with that knife," you reply, trying to sound as unaffected as you can, "but it's not that big a deal. Apology accepted." You take a seat at one of the stools attached to the front and reach your hand over to her. "Cu Chulainn."

She wipes her own hand on her apron before returning your handshake. "Mystia Lorelei," she smiles. "Welcome to Gensokyo."

You smile back. "I've got that newcomer look, have I?"

"Nah, educated guess. Anybody who's been around at all knows Reimu, at least well enough that they don't have to bother going around asking people about her. Oh," she manages to interrupt herself, snapping her fingers, "how about a bite to eat? On the house, of course."

"Well..." You did have Hina's box lunch while listening to Keine just an hour ago, and it was pretty filling. Still, don't want to refuse her. "...just one, thanks. And maybe something to drink."

"Comin' right up~!" Her smile gets even wider and her voice gains a sing-songy lilt as she gets down to business, reaching under the counter for a clay sake-bottle-and-cup set, placing them in front of you before bustling off to prepare your eel. You pour yourself a cup while she works, deciding to wait a while before springing the subject on her again. After she's put that knife away, preferably. You sip the wine slowly, taking stock of her while you wait. She's young - that is, she looks young, dressed in a simple brown and white dress under her white apron. Purple wings with pale pink feathers to match her hair, so she's some sort of bird youkai, but different from a tengu. Those pointed, tufted ears look like an owl's, but the wordless, wandering song she sings as she goes along sounds more like... nah, forget it. Could be any number of things, could be nothing at all. She's who she is, she's what she is, trying to pin it down any more than that'd probably just drive you insane.

Ah, the knife's gone, she's moved on to the grilling phase. "So," you start out tentatively, "I take it you don't care for this Hakurei miko very much."

"You're not going to find many youkai who do," she replies without turning around. No visible reaction, that's good. "She's kind of a hardass when it comes to us. I mean, sure, the wild ones, all they can do is cause trouble, they don't know any better. And even some of the smart ones have been known to start a few fires, so to speak. But... well, lemme give you an example. Friend of mine, works here part time sometimes, real book lover, spends just about everything she earns here buying more. She used to like reading them on her way back home from the village, or from Kourindou or wherever, but this one time, Reimu happened to pass by and just out of the blue assumed that she'd stolen them, beat her up and took them back to where she'd bought them. Even when the guy told her they'd been paid for, she wouldn't even apologize! The guy gave the books back, but if it had been up to her... and she keeps on doing it! And it's always the same, but she just... never... ohh, you get the idea. To her, youkai are just plain bad news, and that's all there is to it. It just... aagh." The rage from before sounds like it's trying to take over again at the end, but she's just too tired to pull it off, and puts it to rest with an exasperated sigh.

Which means it's probably safe to go on, then. "There's got to be more to her, though. Can't be all bad, right?"

"I guess not," she doesn't sound too convinced, "another friend of mine's friends with her. Well, not exactly, my other friend's mistress is friends with her, but, wait, this is going nowhere, lemme start again. I know a couple of people, all right folks, who are friends with her. I know her best friend's human, which I guess just makes sense, but some of 'em are youkai, too. Anyway, I gather she's not so bad once she lets her hair down, but when she means business, brother, look out! Enjoy your meal~" Shifting vocal moods with practiced ease, she spins around and places a plate next to the bottle, continuing the motion to put her back towards you again so she can start cleaning off the grill.

The skewered eel steams in the crisp air. Smells good, too. You pick it up and blow on it, letting it cool a little while you get out another quick question. "'Look out', eh? Pretty strong?" Crunch. Whoa, not bad at all.

"That's an understatement. She's gotta be strong, just to do her job. Being strong practically IS her job. It's kinda hard to put it into perspective, you being new here, but, we've got this thing here, called danmaku, it's a sort of a..."

"Actually," you cut in as soon as your mouth is free, "I already know all about that."

She stops working and half-turns to give you a Look. You're not entirely sure what kind of Look it is, but it definitely warrants a capital L. "Oh~ re~ally~?", she sings out amusedly before turning back to the task at hand. "Well, anyway then, the rules for danmaku? Part of her job is to enforce them. They don't get broken often, but when they do, the miko makes enough of an example out of whoever did it that it's a long, long time before anybody even thinks about trying it again. Hasn't happened while Reimu's been alive, that should give you some idea. No doubt she could take care of it if it happened, though, she's pretty much untouchable. I've heard of her losing, maybe a couple of times, but it sure wasn't against anyone on our level, no offense."

"Hmm." Well, that didn't make you feel any better. You're still not sure exactly how the Hakurei miko is going to take to finding out she has competition, but you wouldn't bet the farm on 'well'. She's tough, too, but then, so's Sanae. Miko versus miko... no, no, don't even think about it. She'll be fine, man, buck up. You clear your head of doubts with a vigorous shake and finish off your eel. She'll be just fine.

Time - 1:55 pm
[ ] Stick around a while longer.
- [ ] Ask Mystia about... (~20 minutes)

[ ] Thank her and excuse yourself.
- [ ] Go and check out... (~30 minutes)
>> No. 7514
File 122800420893.jpg - (7.88KB, 126x254, Tokiko_CoLA_ch1.jpg) [iqdb]
7514
>Friend of mine, works here part time sometimes, real book lover, spends just about everything she earns here buying more.

Tokiko~chan

[!/] Stick around a while longer.
- [!/] Ask Mystia about the border(~20 minutes)
>> No. 7515
{X} Stick around a while longer.
- {X} Ask Mystia about the weather Reimu's youkai friends (~20 minutes)
>> No. 7516
] Stick around a while longer.
- [ ] Ask Mystia about... (~20 minutes)
herself
>> No. 7517
[ ] Stick around a while longer.
- [ ] Ask Mystia about... (~20 minutes)
Current Events/News
>> No. 7518
[ ] Stick around a while longer.
- [ ] Ask Mystia about... Kourindou
>> No. 7520
[ ] Stick around a while longer.
- [ ] Ask Mystia about... (~20 minutes)
Current Events/News
Reimu's youkai friends
>> No. 7521
Stick around a while longer.
- [ ] Ask Mystia about... (~20 minutes)
herself (her compliment her singing voice)
>> No. 7524
File 122819149984.jpg - (75.87KB, 426x500, 7e6861d94363138cb7fd7561c66553fb.jpg) [iqdb]
7524
Updates WHEN
>> No. 7525
>>7524
Well, bit o' the ol' "good news, bad news" on that. Good news is, I had been waiting once again for a clearer majority, until I realized that all the options so far were fairly small-talky and easily combinable. So, the next part's mapped out okay.

Bad news is, I kinda sorta kinda promised Kirin I'd write a side story to Spirit Within, and I also sorta kinda sorta promised it'd be done tomorrow. Or rather, today. Or rather, I mentioned the possibility of a side story to her, and she then proceeded to trick me with her womaninity into having it done by todaymorrow, so, uh, yeah, something like that. Update's postponed until I get that done.

Good news is, it's an h-scene side story, so you filthy monkeys probably won't mind so much when it's finished. Filthy monkeys.

Bad news is, I'm looking to crash pretty hard as soon as I get home, having stayed up too late into the afternoon yesterday mailing bills and generally dicking around. So, not only is getting the side story done todaymorrow looking iffy, but getting an update out in the same timeframe has been edged into winning-the-lottery-while-being-struck-by-lightning territory.

To pass the time until then (whenever "then" turns out to be), might I suggest taking yourselves over to http://www.rice-boy.com and reading everything there. It probably won't be enough to fill the whole void, though, so once you're done with that, look up http://mattmakesgames.com and download "An Untitled Story". THAT oughta hold ya.

tl;dr - I'm still lazy. Here are some shiny objects.
>> No. 7526
> An Untitled Story

Obligatory. Matt needs to learn to make good games.
>> No. 7527
>>7526
Bah. You're just bitter because you couldn't figure out how to get into The Curtain.
>> No. 7528
>Rice Boy

This was good and you should feel good for recommending it.
>> No. 7529
File 122835979672.png - (239.18KB, 1075x1516, 007_25dr.png) [iqdb]
7529
>> No. 7530
lol
>> No. 7532
File 122840495133.jpg - (229.79KB, 640x640, 1196898932815.jpg) [iqdb]
7532
>>7528
Isn't it, though? Can't believe I'd never heard of it until about a month ago.

>>7529
It's Osaka and the pigtails all over again. Sorry, Aki, but Inabas truly is the superior canon comic.

---

Lingering a while longer, you help yourself to another cup and keep the conversation moving. "Jumping back a step, you said the Hakurei actually has some youkai friends?"

"Yeah, quite a few. I don't get it, either. Lemme think..." Grill cleaning stops for a moment and she turns around, eyes rolled to the roof as she counts on her fingers. "Well, first off, there's Marisa, she's the human friend and probably her best. On the youkai side, there's the gap demon, she's the big one. The puppeteer hangs out there a lot, but that might be more her following Marisa than being friends with Reimu. Kourin, but he's only half youkai, and I don't know that he has an enemy in the world, really, so he might not... nah, he counts, sure. I mean, why not, right? Anyway... oh yeah, that scary vampire girl. Don't let it out, but I think she's crushing on Reimu as hard as Alice is on Marisa. Oh, Alice is that puppeteer I mentioned. Oh! And the gap demon's name is Yukari. She's the mistress of my friend I talked about, Chen. Aaaaaand, hmm. Well, the moon people out in the bamboo grove, they don't fight a lot, at least. That's kind of a stretch, though, calling them a friend. I guess that's about it. Oh! And Keine. But she's not a youkai," she adds quickly, "just... friendly."

Laying this wall of information on you at high speed, she turns back around and continues closing down the grill, singing to herself while you sort through and digest it.

[ ] Ask her about one or two of those friends.
[ ] Ask her about another topic.

---

Plan changed slightly while I was typing it. So, yeah.
>> No. 7533
[ ] Ask her about one or two of those friends.

Do we need to specify which? If so, then Marisa, of course.
>> No. 7534
>>7533
Yes, in both cases. Specify which friend(s) you will ask about, and which topic from the previous round, or a new one (but only one) to move on to.
>> No. 7535
[ ] Ask her about one or two of those friends.
>> No. 7536
{X} Ask her about one or two of those friends.
 - Yukari
 - Vampire girl
>> No. 7537
{X} Ask her about one or two of those friends.
 - Yukari
 - Marisa
>> No. 7538
{X} Ask her about one or two of those friends.
 - Yukari
 - Vampire girl
>> No. 7539
[x] Ask her about one or two of those friends.
- [x] Marisa
- [x] Marisa

Marisa is going to be attacking Youkai Mountain with Raymoo soon.
>> No. 7540
[ODIN] Ask her about one or two of those friends.

- Marisa
- Yukari

Marisa's important for obvious reasons, and Yukari is more likely to stir up shit than Remilia is.
>> No. 7542
[x] Ask her about one or two of those friends.
- Marisa
- Yukari
>> No. 7543
[%] Ask her about one or two of those friends.
- Marisa
- Yukari

Norse's logic seems sound.
>> No. 7544
File 122860944838.jpg - (192.75KB, 350x599, 7d1eb3ae03476845e098d27155b57509.jpg) [iqdb]
7544
>> No. 7552
;_;
>> No. 7553
>>7552
agreed
>> No. 7554
>>7552
>>7553

Wait, don't tell me Tetro was banned along with the others...
>> No. 7555
File 122897494730.jpg - (45.00KB, 400x400, 990157.jpg) [iqdb]
7555
>>7554
Wouldn't surprise me.
>> No. 7556
>>7554
No, just "working at my own pace", as usual.
>> No. 7558
>>7556

Good to hear. It'd be just plain annoying to lose another of my favorite writers.
>> No. 7559
>7555
Anon has regained a slight amount of hope.
>> No. 7561
File 122908240190.jpg - (288.63KB, 600x800, 3f04c7aea8798bb61945ee29664c4ea9.jpg) [iqdb]
7561
You're starting to get a noticeable buzz from the sake, but the bottle only seems to have one or two drinks left in it, and, well, it seems kind of pointless to hand it back in such a condition, y'know? Pour it out, knock it back: one down, one to go. "So, this Marisa, Hakurei's best friend. She must be pretty strong herself, yeah?"

"Heheh." Setting down her cloth, Mystia spins around, affecting an obvious air of impersonation. With a flick of her head and one hand, she tosses imaginary hair, far longer than her actual locks, over one shoulder. The same hand slaps her chest with an open plam, the other one in a fist on her hip, legs spaced far apart. Her voice is deeper by about a half-octave, and rougher by an order of magnitude, as she exclaims with a grin: "Danmaku is power, ze!"

You pause, bemused, caught in pre-pour. "I guess that's her?"

"Oh, yeah," she replies, standing down but still grinning, taking the cloth up again and moving on to her skewers, "just like her. You just wait 'til you've met her, you'll see. But seriously, yeah, she's pretty strong, and pretty cool, for a human. She's about the only one I know who doesn't distinguish at all between you and us. She's even been friends with Alice since way, way back. It makes her pretty popular, but she and the Hakurei, I dunno, they got kind of a thing going on between them. Not like they're a couple, which I guess they could be, though I kinda doubt it, but more like... an understanding. They just understand each other. Which seems weird, since they're different as night and day, but I know it shouldn't, really, since that kind of thing happens all the time. Y'know? Here, lemme take that from you." She takes the now emptied bottle from your not unwilling fingers and crouches down to set it back whence it came. You wait patiently for a minute or so, but she continues rummaging around down there, the top of her head and back of her wings bobbing in and out of sight periodically. "Oh, you can go ahead and keep talking, if you like," she says at last, correctly reading your mind, "I'm just closing up for the day."

"Closing up?" Shit, did you let the time get away from you? You start to lean back on your stool to peer up over the stall's awning, check the sun, but she stops you with an explanation.

"Yeah, once it gets cold like this, it's not really worth my time to stay open past about lunchtime. Now that the market square's gonna be shutting down for the winter, too, I probably won't be coming back out here for more than another week."

"Ah, that makes sense." Phew! Had you going for a second, there. "So, what about this-- oop." You swallow the last of the wine, lightly rapping the cup against the far end of the counter as it warmly burns its way down your throat.

One hand reaches up at the sound and feels around twice before finding and taking it. You hadn't noticed before, but she's got some seriously long nails. "Thanks. So what about who now?"

"This 'gap demon', Yukari. Seems pretty strange for a demon to be friends with a priestess."

"Yukari." Mystia's words gain a sudden, grudging weight, a sharp difference from their usual airiness. "That's not the strangest thing about her, not by a long shot. She's not really a demon, either, that's just what people call her, because that's what she does: she can make a gap in anything."

"Anything?" It's a little rude to sound so disbelieving, but... "'Anything' covers a lot of ground."

"Yeah. Tell me about it." She pops up and leans across towards you, lowering her voice. "Yukari, she can fly and everything, but most of the time, the way she gets around is, you'll see her wave her fan and this... tear will open in the air, and she'll go through it and end up wherever it is she's going. Chen explained it to me this one time, what it is she's doing: she's opening a gap in the boundary between 'here' and 'there'. Between the CONCEPTS of 'being here' and 'being there'. And that's just to get around. You think about that. I don't mind telling you, that woman scares the eggs outta me."

She goes back about her duties, while you sit there in puzzlement. Gaps between the boundaries of concepts? That doesn't even make sense! But Mystia didn't seem to be pulling your leg - or if she was, she did a damn good job at it - so... you're not sure what to think, except that this Yukari is probably someone best avoided. What the hell kind of woman is this Reimu, to be friends with someone like that?

"Watch your head." Snapping out of it, you stand up and step back as Mystia retracts the awning and lowers a wooden shutter with "CLOSED" painted on it across the front of the stall. Moments later, she reappears from around the back, her apron swapped out for a small-winged cap to match her dress. "Well, that's it for another day," she chirps, back to normal. "I was just going to head straight home, in the Forest, but if you had anything else you wanted to ask me, I don't mind talking to you on the way."

[ ] She seems knowledgeable, and friendly, enough, now. Tag along.
- [ ] Talk about... (15 minutes, one topic only)

[ ] You've taken up enough of her time. Thank her and excuse yourself.
- [ ] Head to... (~30 minutes, depending on destination)

===

So, I went looking for a pic of Marisa and Yukari, but this was the only one I could find of them alone. Not the most relevant thing in the world, but I don't anticipate any complaints~
>> No. 7562
Shit, I keep forgetting to include the time. It's 2:15 pm.
>> No. 7563
[ ] She seems knowledgeable, and friendly, enough, now. Tag along.
- [ ] Talk about... Forest residents
>> No. 7564
[ ] You've taken up enough of her time. Thank her and excuse yourself.
- [ ] Head to Kourindou. Ask for info. (~30 minutes, depending on destination)

Wait, we already tried that, didn't we? Meh, don't have anywhere else to go that's interessing. Maybe asking about Alice, or the bamboo forest.
>> No. 7565
[ ] She seems knowledgeable, and friendly, enough, now. Tag along.
- [ ] Talk about... Forest residents

>>I don't mind telling you, that woman scares the eggs outta me.

BEST. MYSTIA. EVER.
>> No. 7566
File 122912362550.jpg - (161.79KB, 800x720, 122819059217.jpg) [iqdb]
7566
[!/] She seems knowledgeable, and friendly, enough, now. Tag along.
[!/] Talk about... Forest residents

>I don't mind telling you, that woman scares
the eggs outta me.

>BEST. MYSTIA. EVER.

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.SCORNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.
>> No. 7567
[x] She seems knowledgeable, and friendly, enough, now. Tag along.
- [x] Talk about... Forest residents

[x] Offer to carry anything, since you feel bad about not paying for the wonderful meal and company.
>> No. 7568
File 122912649964.jpg - (95.87KB, 400x600, Brunogaps.jpg) [iqdb]
7568
>she can make a gap in anything

Hi, have you guys seen my mom?
>> No. 7569
[x] She seems knowledgeable, and friendly, enough, now. Tag along.
- [x] Talk about... Forest residents
>> No. 7570
Oh, derp. That's five. Wake up, stupid. Writing now.
>> No. 7571
hooray?
>> No. 7573
File 122946256367.png - (119.50KB, 400x500, 1196845510115.png) [iqdb]
7573
"Well..." You're starting to feel a little bad for relying on her like this without giving anything in return. But, all your money's back at the shrine, and she doesn't seem to be carrying anything, so... "...as long as I'm not bothering you any..."

"Oh, don't even worry about it," she replies cheerfully, starting off a couple of steps and beckoning you to her side. "C'mon, what else do you want to know?" She does seem to be enjoying your company. Perhaps she's a natural gossip?

In any case, the answer satisfies you, and you double-step to accept her invitation. Although her strides are, by necessity, shorter than yours, she takes them at a very fast pace, so it's almost you who has to work to keep up. "You said you live in the Forest, right?" The image of Mystia wrapping her wings around herself and curling up to sleep in an oversized bird's nest enters your mind without warning, causing you to miss a beat. "Uh, I actually passed over it on my way in, and noticed a few clearings that seemed manmade. Are there actually people living there, too? I mean, uh, humans? Sorry about that."

"It's fine. And yeah, there are a couple. Marisa's one of them, actually. I already told you about her. Remember the puppeteer I mentioned, Alice? She's another."

"Alice, yeah... the one with the crush on Marisa. They don't live together, do they?"

"No, no. Quite a ways from each other, as a matter of fact. They both live alone, but Alice more so. That is, she doesn't leave her house that often."

"Shut-in?"

"See," Mystia says, looking up and pointing at you, "that's what most everybody thinks, that don't know her better. Because she spends all her time indoors alone with her dolls, except for when Marisa comes over, or she goes to see her, everybody gets the image of this sort of weird, obsessive girl. I mean, that's what you were thinking, right? Along those lines? I suppose it's only natural, but don't let that sink in, because it's dead wrong. I'm not super close with her, but I know her well enough to say she's actually very polite and intelligent, well-reasoned, I mean. Sociable, but not social. You see what I mean?"

You nod, acknowledging her point before shifting the topic slightly. "Dolls, you said? Or puppets?"

"Dolls. She makes them all herself and controls them using puppeteering magic, that's why the mixed terminology. That's what she's doing most of the time she's alone, is making new dolls. She uses them for everything, from danmaku to housework. It's really something to see, all of them at work."

"But doesn't she still have to control them all?"

"No... I don't really understand the whole concept, but apparently, she's gotten good enough at the magic to be able to give a doll a set of instructions and have it carry them out, even if she leaves. You oughta see, she's got this one, calls it Shanghai, her pride and joy. She says it's not fully independent, still working off of instructions like the rest, but you'd hardly know from watching it."

"Magical robotics, huh? Interesting."

Mystia misses a step and peers up at you quizzically. "Magical what?"

"Ah, sorry. I guess you probably wouldn't know about that here. It's, uh, kinda complicated, and I don't really know that many details, but there's something similar on the outside to what Alice is doing."

"I see." The conversation lulls while she waits for any other Alice-related questions you might have, then picks up when she intuits that you're out, for the moment. "The other main one's Kourin. Rinnosuke, I guess I should say, that's his proper name. Kourin's his nickname."

"Kourin..." That sounds familiar. "He wouldn't be a shopkeeper, would he?"

"That's right! How'd you know that?"

"You actually mentioned a 'Kourindou' earlier, and I heard from a merchant about a shop in the forest, so it was really just putting two and two together."

"I did? Oh, right, Toki's books. Well, yeah, that's him. I guess you already know about the shop, then, so I won't bother repeating it. The guy... he's nice, but a little strange. He's another one that keeps himself mostly to himself. Personality takes a little getting used to. Might come across as a little cold, but so long as you don't break anything, he won't really have any problem with you. Or if he does, you'll be the first I've ever heard. Say, actually," she adds, brightening (not that she was dark before), "I've got time to kill. What do you say I take you over there now?"

"Really?" You have had it in your mind to visit the place today, complicated only by the fact that you have no idea where it is, so, "Yeah, that'd be perf..." Hey, where'd she go? You stop and look around - noticing for the first time that you've already cleared the village and are about halfway through the bordering flatland between it and the forest - finding Mystia stopped a couple of paces behind, staring up at the sky with a chagrined look. You rejoin her and try to follow her gaze; there's a dark speck moving slowly across the sky, but you can't make out any details. "What's up?"

"Uh," is all she says at first, looking from you, to the speck, to the forest, to the village, and all around again. "Uh. Look. Um. Sorry, but, uh, can you run?"

What? "Well enough, I suppose. Why?"

She opens her mouth, then glances back up. You match her automatically; the speck is larger, now a black spot against the cool blue, two more indistinct specks now visible around it, getting closer by the second. "No time," she rushes apologetically, "really, really sorry about this. But... yeah. Just run. Please?"

Time - 2:30 pm
[ ] Uhhhh, ok. She'd know better than you.
- [ ] Run back to the village. (10 minutes)
- [ ] Try and lose whatever it is you're running from in the forest. (~20 minutes)

[ ] Nope, no good, your curiosity's piqued. 'Sides, how bad could it be? (10 minutes)
>> No. 7574
[X] Nope, no good, your curiosity's piqued. 'Sides, how bad could it be? (10 minutes)
<%Tetrominon> Apparently, some of you didn't get the memo about "Lunatic Mode".
Weeaboo suicide action.
>> No. 7575
>>7574
Wrong story, braniac.
>> No. 7576
[ ] Nope, no good, your curiosity's piqued. 'Sides, how bad could it be? (10 minutes)

"i'll poke at it with my spear here"
>> No. 7578
[x] Uhhhh, ok. She'd know better than you.
- [x] Run back to the village. (10 minutes)

Because Mystia said so, and she's been nothing but kind and helpful after she calmed down.
>> No. 7579
File 122947723415.jpg - (102.55KB, 700x800, 1219507853674.jpg) [iqdb]
7579
[!/] Uhhhh, ok. She'd know better than you.
- [!/] Run back to the village. (10 minutes)

Reimu balls?
>> No. 7580
[x] Uhhhh, ok. She'd know better than you.
- [x] Run back to the village. (10 minutes)
>> No. 7581
[X] Nope, no good, your curiosity's piqued. 'Sides, how bad could it be? (10 minutes)

Bring it!
>> No. 7582
[x] Uhhhh, ok. She'd know better than you.
- [x] Run back to the village. (10 minutes)
>> No. 7583
[x] Uhhhh, ok. She'd know better than you.
- [x] Run back to the village. (10 minutes)
>> No. 7584
Two updates in 24 hours? Who am I, and what have I done with the real Tetro?!

===

She's been on the level about everything else so far, so whatever it is, if Mystia's worried about it, you feel safe assuming it's worth worrying about. You turn and run back the way you came, heading for the village. After about five seconds, a not wholly unexpected development: someone starts shooting danmaku at you from behind. Luckily, whoever it is is a terrible shot; the only time one even comes close to hitting you is when your newly trained instincts kick in and you start dodging from side to side. That first zig almost throws you right into a shot, near enough to elicit a small tik from your center as it grazes past. You narrow your pattern and have no more issues, the barrage stopping just as quickly as it started when you get within a hundred yards of the first outlying building.

Even once you're back in the cover of civilization, you don't stop or even slow down, carried forward partly by momentum and partly out of curiosity as to how long you can keep it up. Seems like you covered that distance awful fast. And now that you have these buildings to measure by, damn, you really are cooking, aren't you? Not bad for an ex-smoker. Of course, the moment that thought enters your head, your body starts to slow down, bringing you to rest against some household or another's outer wall, gasping for breath. Faster, maybe; in perfect shape, still not so much, 'twould seem. Maybe you should start working some calisthenics into your morning practice routine. Run down the shrine stairs and back up, or something.

In the midst of this idle thought, a sudden, puzzling realization: that danmaku just now came from directly behind you. That is, from ground level. So unless who-or-whatever-it-was you were running from started booking it quadruple-time the second they saw you getting away, or some unknown factor emerged from the treeline, the only one who could've been shooting at you from that angle that quickly was... Mystia. Why? You frown. There's something you're missing from that whole situation, but for the life of you...

"Hey, mister." A meter and a half to your left, a head pokes out from the wall's front door, and a stranger's face looks down at you with neighborly concern. "I saw you running down the road from my window just now. Everything all right?"

"Oh, yeah," you start to say, picking yourself up off the ground, "um." You're not sure how he'd react to the straight scoop, but there's not really any reason to give him a false excuse, either. Guy's just being friendly. You dust yourself off and smile at him. "Yeah, I'm fine. It's nothing, really. Thanks anyway."

He nods, accepting this with a responding smile. "If you say so, then, you know your business better than me. Take care." The door closes behind him, and his steps recede back towards the house itself. Guy's got a point. Mystia knew what she was doing, more than likely. Besides that, she missed, probably on purpose, now that you think about it. You doubt anyone who can actually use danmaku would have aim that bad for any other reason. So, yeah, skip it. You make a silent promise to come back after winter's over and pay her for the meal, and if it's still bugging you then, you'll ask then, and if it isn't, well, who's to care?

The sun's starting to give that western horizon some serious consideration, but you've still got a few hours of daylight left to burn.

Time - 2:40 pm
[ ] Where to now? (~30 minutes, depending on destination)
>> No. 7585
>the only one who could've been shooting at you from that angle that quickly was... Mystia.

I get why Mystia wouldn't want us to meet the rest of the ninesquad (hungry youkai), but the fact that she shot at us means that she was saving face with the rest of her group. They are most likely unaware of her business, and the amount of time she spends with humans.

[x] Investigate the bamboo grove

Fuck it, let's get lost. Mind,

>By the end of the month, you can confidently defeat either of the Akis, or Hina about 3/4 of the time. You have one duel against Momizi, which you lose after a not inconsiderable effort from both sides

any named character we meet in the grove except for Tewi is likely to soundly kick our ass given a conflict.
>> No. 7586
>"Shut-in?"

>"See," Mystia says, looking up and pointing at you, "that's what most everybody thinks, that don't know her better. Because she spends all her time indoors alone with her dolls, except for when Marisa comes over, or she goes to see her, everybody gets the image of this sort of weird, obsessive girl. I mean, that's what you were thinking, right? Along those lines? I suppose it's only natural, but don't let that sink in, because it's dead wrong. I'm not super close with her, but I know her well enough to say she's actually very polite and intelligent, well-reasoned, I mean. Sociable, but not social. You see what I mean?"
ITC Tetro gives the finger to the boring, stupid idea of HURF DURF fanon Alice.
>> No. 7587
[ ] You've had enough of this. Attack the Hakurei Shrine and claim it in Moriya's name.

Kanako Sub-Route GO!


[x] Visit Kourindou's
>> No. 7588
>>7587
[x] Visit Kourindou's

>>7587
>You have had it in your mind to visit the place today, complicated only by the fact that you have no idea where it is
>> No. 7589
>>7588
So ask the guy who we just spoke to where it is.

[x] Ask the guy you just spoke to where Kourindou's is.

I still want to visit the mooninites, but its getting late and that worries me.
>> No. 7590
File 122956165483.jpg - (71.55KB, 650x927, 1206512069804.jpg) [iqdb]
7590
[!/] Visit Kourindou's

We need a lighter.
>> No. 7592
[x] Ask the guy you just spoke to where Kourindou's is.

No hope of finding Mystia again I take it?
>> No. 7593
[x] Ask the guy you just spoke to where Kourindou's is.
>> No. 7595
There's really only one destination that comes to mind as holding any significant promise: the mysterious store, Kourindou. The only obstacle to this course of action being that you have absolutely no idea how to find it. You've already questioned anyone in the village who you thought might have known and come up empty, and your would-be guide has, for good reasons of her own, you're sure, chased you away. So, your only options now seem to be asking random passers-by and hoping to get lucky, or getting lucky by finding it yourself in the forest, somewhere. Neither one seems terribly efficient, but...

Standing up and brushing off the seat of your pants, you head back down the road again. You didn't have much worry about pursuers during your previous flight, so you didn't bother with any detours; a straight shot takes you right back to the border clearing, just as you left it. Hmm. It is just as you left it. No signs of a battle - danmaku, while harmless to living flesh, is capable of kicking up some dirt, at least - or even of anybody else besides yourself and Mystia passing through recently. Not obviously, anyway, you're no Eagle Scout, after all. Or wait, perhaps you spoke too soon: over there, not far from where (you're pretty sure) Mystia was standing when you left her, is a singular patch of frost-covered grass. That sure didn't happen naturally, but as for how it did happen, naught save conjecture.

You shake your head and put it behind you, figuratively and literally, in the same dual manner moving towards the issue you've placed before yourself. Hmm...

[ ] The masquerade's pretty much broken by this point. Take your search to the air.
[ ] Strike out into the forest, on foot. What's the worst that could happen?
[ ] Damn it, somebody's got to have been there before. Go try and find them.
[ ] Keep the place in mind for future reference, but for the present, just go somewhere else.
>> No. 7596
[!/] Strike out into the forest, on foot. What's the worst that could happen?

THIS FOREST. It was made for me.

But srsly, random encounter=experience.
>> No. 7597
{X} Strike out into the forest, on foot. What's the worst that could happen?

I don't see any forest youkai posing much of a challenge to Cu.
>> No. 7598
[ODIN] Strike out into the forest, on foot. What's the worst that could happen?

Onwards, into the green unknown.
>> No. 7599
[X] Strike out into the forest, on foot. What's the worst that could happen?

We march into victory!
>> No. 7600
[x] The masquerade's pretty much broken by this point. Take your search to the air.
[x] Head to Bamboo Forest
>> No. 7601
[ ] Strike out into the forest, on foot. What's the worst that could happen?

Pfft, we're at least at the level of a stage 2 boss, nothing in the forest will be a threat to our lives.
>> No. 7603
>>7601

How about TWO Stage 1 bosses teamed up with TWO Stage 2 bosses?
>> No. 7604
>>7603
>How about TWO Stage 1 bosses teamed up with TWO Stage 2 bosses?

Women & children.

[x] Strike out into the forest, on foot. What's the worst that could happen?

My name is Cu Chulainn, and hubris is my game.
>> No. 7605
Merry Christmas, Tetro!
>> No. 7607
>>7605
Merry Christmas, Anon.

===

Danger? That's one way of looking at it, you suppose. You prefer the "possible opportunity to put your training to good use" angle, though. Unable to find a reason to suppress your cocky grin with nobody present to see it, you readjust your grip on your spear, crack your neckbones just for effect, pick a general direction and stride off beyond the treeline.

... ...

Maybe fifteen minutes of speedwalking in a (more or less, you think) straight line later, you're starting to understand why this place has the reputation it does back in the village. Even accounting for the tree canopy overhead, this place is significantly darker than it ought to be for a couple of hours, at least. On top of that, you haven't seen or heard a single animal, which, again, even for wintertime, strikes you as slightly odd. Just the monotonous passing of trees and crunching of leaves underfoot. So, you know, not that you're losing your nerve or anything, but just to help pass the time, you let a song running through the back of your mind come to the surface for a while...

[ ] Led Zeppelin, "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp"
[ ] Charlie Mingus, "Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat"
[ ] Yellow Magic Orchestra, "Rydeen"
[ ] Warren Zevon, "Mr. Bad Example"
[ ] Okuda Tamio, "Baby Star"
[ ] The Cure, "Inbetween Days"

===

This is just a fancy-pants way of choosing at random. All I did was, I picked a half-dozen songs at random from my grand playlist of personal favorites. The list is not necessarily canonical to Ku-chan's tastes, nor is there any hidden meaning to them; I'm not even going to link the events to the songs until the votes are in, so yeah. Just pick something, already. Jeez.
>> No. 7608
[x] Led Zeppelin, "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp"
>> No. 7609
[X] IOSYS, "Border of Extasy"

Too bad Hina isn't here, can't sing this without her.

[X] Yellow Magic Orchestra, "Rydeen"

Chosen at random.
>> No. 7610
[] rick astley, "never gonna give you up".

...which is now playing in your head manually.
>> No. 7611
File 123030408149.jpg - (26.88KB, 300x300, 00 - Manowar - Sign of the Hammer [1984] - Cover.jpg) [iqdb]
7611
[ODIN] Manowar: Sign of the Hammer

I reject your playlist and substitute my own.
>> No. 7612
[ ] Yellow Magic Orchestra, "Rydeen"

Moving things along.
>> No. 7613
[x] Machines of Loving Grace, "Golgotha Tenement Blues"
>> No. 7614
[x] Flogging Molly - "Devil's Dance Floor"


[x] Led Zeppelin, "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp"
>> No. 7615
File 123031673888.jpg - (53.17KB, 500x497, Temnozor - Horizons.jpg) [iqdb]
7615
>>7611

And in a similar fashion, I also offers a recent addition of my own playlist.

[X] Temnozor: Fatherland
>> No. 7616
[ ] The Cure, "Inbetween Days"
>> No. 7617
[ ] Led Zeppelin, "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp"
>> No. 7619
The Flower of Magerhally - Irish folk song.

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=2OsHc6RhDmI
>> No. 7620
>>7619

Use the lyrics in the video not the sound. Also, This is a vote.
>> No. 7621
>>7619

[X] YES
>> No. 7622
{X} The Flower of Magerhally
>> No. 7623
>>7619
A write-in winning was its own event, and this is just too awesome to pass up. Going on a bit of a trip today, though, so writing has commenced, but don't expect anything to show up for at least a few hours.
>> No. 7624
File 123042020869.jpg - (94.16KB, 640x520, 9a6a13fbfa0d23df5b26032b831bfd25.jpg) [iqdb]
7624
>>7623

Tetrominon!qIDtlWKoxU/!
>> No. 7625
The song that comes isn't any one you would've expected. In fact, you don't even immediately recognize it. Nice, though, so you let it whistle out while you try to place the name. Sounds folksy, Gaelic... you come pretty quickly to a part where the structure is obviously supposed to have lyrics filling it in, but you can't think of them, either. Man, where'd you even hear something like this? And why's it coming up now, of all times? You get so wrapped up in the puzzle that you don't even notice the village until you've already wandered out into the clearing.

With a whispered curse, you tense your legs to spring back behind some cover, at least until you can determine what kind of people live here, but you stop in pre-crouch. This place is deserted. Or no, that's not quite right. It's empty, nobody's here, right enough, but... everything seems too well-tended to have just been abandoned. The village is quite small, much smaller than the one you just left, only about a dozen smaller buildings of various utility, all classical Japanese architecture, spread out through the clearing around a single, large mansion in the middle, and a fair-sized piece of recently harvested, weed-free tilled land off to one side. So, somebody has to live here, at least, or did until very, very recently. As in, a couple of days at the most. But where are they now?

Time - 3:15 pm

[ ] Investigate.
- [ ] Check the outlying buildings.
- [ ] Head straight for the mansion.
- [ ] Take to the air for a different perspective.

[ ] You don't have time for this. Back into the forest.
>> No. 7626
>>7620
Oh, and for the record, don't worry, I've got the "proper" lyrics saved to a text file. This just wasn't the time to use them.
>> No. 7627
[ ] Investigate.
- [ ] Check the outlying buildings.
- [ ] Head straight for the mansion.

Loot for good luck items, visit the yakumos.
>> No. 7628
[ ] Investigate.
- [ ] Check the outlying buildings.
- [ ] Head straight for the mansion

I doubt we are strong enough to even fight Chen, but there is an off chance we might not battle somehow get on her good side. Without Chen's support Ran would probably just send us off instantly, and we'd never see Yukari.
>> No. 7629
File 123049285430.jpg - (160.30KB, 700x800, 121254161772.jpg) [iqdb]
7629
[!/] Investigate.
- [!/] Check the outlying buildings.
>> No. 7630
[ ] Investigate.
- [ ] Check the outlying buildings.
- [ ] Head straight for the mansion.
>> No. 7631
[ODIN] Investigate.
- [ODIN] Check the outlying buildings.
- [ODIN] Head straight for the mansion

Pillage the village, then speak with the inhabitants. Ku-chan is a true RPG hero.
>> No. 7632
[x] Take to the air for a different perspective.

Because I expect to find a cat sleeping on the roof.
>> No. 7633
[x] Investigate.
- [x] Check the outlying buildings.
- [x] Do a brief fly-by around the place, once.
- [x] Head straight for the mansion.
>> No. 7636
[x] Investigate.
- [x] Take to the air for a different perspective.
>> No. 7638
>>7628

Do we really want to meet Yukari? I mean, she would probably chain us up and then throw a spiral sword through us.
>> No. 7645
now that i think of it, this is one of the only CYOAs i've read that doesn't even coming to gensokyo via a gap of some sort, or being spirited away for no reason. or mayb i'm just not thinking straight.
>> No. 7646
also

[x] Investigate.
- [x] Take to the air for a different perspective.
>> No. 7671
>>7645
I think you just don't know how the fuck to write in actual goddamn words.
>> No. 7674
>>7671
so true
>> No. 7697
>>7671

If having Saguya and Kirin tripfag's weren't enough.
>> No. 7729
>>7645
>or mayb i'm just not thinking straight

DAMN RIGHT YOU'RE NOT. Terrible grammar aside, I think there aren't many CYOAs where the protagonist is 'gapped in' or 'spirited away' into Gensokyo. It's a thing of the past, from the ancient times of WuiG and MiG. You've not read enough, pal.

>>7697

You leave Kirin alone.
>> No. 7733
>>7729
YAF, stop white knighting. If it’s you doing it then it’ll just backfire and you know it. Kirin gets enough shit without you making it worse.
>> No. 7745
>>7733
>>If it’s you doing it

Leave Kirin alone.
>> No. 7783
Updates?
>> No. 7795
>>7783

It's dead, sir.
>> No. 7840
>>7795

Not dead. Undead. This is a shambling, animated corpse of a story.
>> No. 7851
>>7840
No, it's just plain dead.
>> No. 7856
>>7851

So you've given up, huh?
>> No. 7858
>>7856
What's the sense in continuing?

Synopsis to follow.
>> No. 7863
File 123249782498.jpg - (14.35KB, 320x240, 01.jpg) [iqdb]
7863
>> No. 7865
So this is how a great story burns down in flames? Manly regrets abound ...
>> No. 7866
>>7858

Don't get me started.
>> No. 7877
>>7863
Yeah, well, I lived slow. Why should I die quickly?

The final route trigger was Sanae's light novel series, "Tekura High Class 4-E". A copy of the latest book could be found browsing the bookshelves at Kourindou, and Kourin himself would be open to the idea of a running order for the rest as they came out (Yukari was to put the idea forward as you left Mayohiga). Presenting the book and news of the order would've been her final push over the edge into infatuation. There, that's one down.

>>7865
No flames here. The story's running perfectly, that's the problem. I built the engine, laid out the tracks, shoveled the coal, and now suddenly I realize that the reason I enjoyed writing this so much at the beginning was the thrill of spontaneity. You want to regret something about this story, regret that I had to be the one who wrote it.

>>7866
That's funny. You're funny.
>> No. 7878
>>7877

how about a reset, in some sort of lunatic modo? maybe this time you can get paranoic and suicidal anons who makes random, often bad and erratic choices like in Teruyo's story
>> No. 7879
wow, thp as a whole is really dying by inches all over the place.
>> No. 7880
ACKPTHF
>> No. 7882
>>7877
It was fun while it lasted. Moments of awesome are better than none at all, so take solace in the fact that you wrote something everyone enjoyed and were intrigued by. You even inspired other people's stories and willingness to write (including me).

So don't sound so down dwelling on 'what could have been' when you should look at the accomplishments of 'what is'. Here I'll give you a BROhug and a beer.
>> No. 7883
>>7877

>I realize that the reason I enjoyed writing this so much at the beginning was the thrill of spontaneity.

Might I suggest burning all flowcharts and such and starting afresh?


In any case I'm sad to see this go, for t'was a good run, offering much amusement while it lasted.

But such is always ill fortune, and solace is found in fond memory.
>> No. 7884
>>7879
It feels like we've lost part of the anonymous userbase, stories are getting less votes now but the IRC channel (where the majority are writers/artists) is as active as ever. Maybe we should try to advertise somehow?

At least we still have good new stories showing up, like that underground one.
>> No. 7885
>>7884

>it feels like we've lost part of the anonymous userbase, stories are getting less votes now but the IRC channel (where the majority are writers/artists) is as active as ever.

The problem behind why most have left is in that statement.

Interesting it all starting thumbling down the shit hill when shit starting getting "organized" and not on the fly votan' like the good ol' days.

And the appearance of multiple annoyances.
>> No. 7892
>>7884
IMO a great part of the blame falls on writefags as well, for their pace of writing has consistently slowed down since the beginning. Seven minutes here, seven hours there, and now we're waking up to a site that's worth checking perhaps once every two days to see if anybody's bothered updating.
>> No. 7899
>At least we still have good new stories showing up, like that underground one.

Quoted for truth.

Anyway, part of the problem is that we've lost a good number of decent writefags, or in some cases, their writing pace has slowed to a crawl. HY and Ranmilia were the best of the best, and they've gone. Tetro's stopped writing. YAF's going through god-knows-what. Scorn seems to have disappeared again. Teruyo's been doing well, but he's now been hit by demotivation. Patchwork's slow as anything.

It's not all doom and gloom (we've got UN Owen doing a great job in /sdm/, Norseman in /forest/, the up-and-coming glasnost in /others/, Klaymen here, a bunch of decent people in /th/, and others I can't be bothered to name) but yeah, things ain't quite what they used to be. More voting and less sitting back by anons would help as well.
>> No. 7900
>>7892

While lately I haven't been productive, my writing speed is determined by the number of votes I get. If I get enough votes relatively quickly, I'll update. For the most part though, it seems that I only have 2 people reading and voting for Flight, which kind of drags it down.

More votes = more updates.
>> No. 7905
>>7900
Truth. Writers get demotivated when they feel like few are reading.
>> No. 7906
>>7905
This.

As one of the tripless writers myself, I've noticed votes getting slower, even for the more popular stories. I do hope that the trend will be reversed soon.
>> No. 7907
It's a self-reinforcing cycle, now the question is, do we have a means to reverse it? Or is THP doomed to wither away to the nearly abandoned state it was before writefaggotry moved here? Yes, we need more readers/voters, yes, we need more frequent updates, whatever measure we take must, affect both. Perhaps advertising in a modest, tasteful manner in some imageboards might bring in some new blood?
>> No. 7911
Having been given a brief breather, I'll allow myself to add my own five pennies to this discussion.

Everything said up till now is completely true. I admit, without shame, that all of my, as you would describe it, 'faggotry', was caused by this tiny, wittle issue - ratio of votes and time passed since the last update. It is demotivating, to have only a few readers while writing for publicity (which, writing CYOAs undeniably is, given how it's very progress depends on the audience), and there's no use denying things have been slowing down over time here on THP. See, when there are enough votes - that is, 5 for one option, in my case - I will update. Call me a lifeless wimp, but in this unpleasant, cold season I've next to nothing to do on weekdays' afternoons, as opposed to summer, when I would bike for hours and/or meet up with friends. So, given the votes, I can update as many times as possible a day. Too bad I'm often not given the required amount, or am simply overwhelmed by other circumstances - like it is right now. On the other hand, seeing people discuss, or at least comment on the story has the exact opposite effect - an incredible boost of motivation.

The only remedy I can think of is acquiring new members. It's not like there aren't any sources from which we could draw them, the only problem is our - and their - elitism, which we all know every single western touhou community possesses. But, we should also realize that most of us wouldn't have anything against new members... As long as their 'parent' board/forum is not mentioned. For example, shrinemaiden forums, though - I admit - I have literally no idea how it's dwellers are, having not ever been to that place before.

Symbollic sage.
>> No. 7913
>>7907

How about we move to somewhere new and different that's actually the same old shit and see if people recover their interest?
>> No. 7918
>>7913
Yes, brilliant, let's lose our free and somewhat stable host, possibly part of the userbase that don't know about the new place or don't want to leave thp. That sure will help in getting more people.
>> No. 7924
Well I think part of the problem is that there just might be too many stories around.

The problem is two fold, first it spreads the reader base, and in turn it causes the main problem, readers are not up to date with the latest update. See when someone is not up to date then they won't vote since they don't know whats they are really voting for. Also if one is reading multiple stories, assuming they got other stuff to do they will miss updates and have a backlog.

Also another point
Anon is now more picky, stories needs to be more creative than, "you find yourself in gensokyo, now try and get the touhou". Sure it worked in the beginning but anon has had a taste for an engaging story now, so new writers and old needs to keep up.
>> No. 7928
>>7924

I kinda agree with this guy. Thanks to work and school I haven't had the time to keep up with all the stories that pop up and I have a huge backlog of updates to read as well.
>> No. 7929
>>7877

You could have at least finished the story. You have come this far, why not give the story a proper ending?
>> No. 7931
>>7924
I agree as to what the problem is, but I don't think having 'more engaging stories' is the solution, since that would imply even longer stories.

the solution is to have shorter stories. bite-sized affairs that end within two or three threads, if possible. that way there wouldn't be so much to catch up just to stay current.

also, more story between each vote. make it like the VNs, where there is only a choice at critical junctions, but the rest is up to the storyteller. less voting means less lag and less breaking the writefag's train of thought. hopefully we can get more writan that way.

lastly, I reiterate my desire for one of you writefags to do a story-free, sex-only CYOA in AT.
>> No. 7933
>>7931
The part about shorter stories I can't agree with, but
>lastly, I reiterate my desire for one of you writefags to do a story-free, sex-only CYOA in AT.
THIS. THISTHISTHISTHIS.
>> No. 7938
>>7931
The problem with having more story between votes is that a writefag's pace is generally constant, meaning that all you'll get is the same number of updates with "to be continued" after most of them instead of a choice.

Shorter stories is an interesting idea, but assuming ~750 words per update and ~20 updates per thread (which could be totally wrong, I haven't ever bothered counting one), three threads is only 45000 words, which is even shorter than your average Harlequin romance (which are not known for their in-depth plotting and characterization, FYI).

I think the solution to the "too many stories" problem is an archive (like sentrygun.com, but one that updates), making it so potential readers can get the story up to the current thread without having to sort through all the previous threads.

As for the "too few users" problem, as much as it troubles me to agree with YAF, I must do so. People change, and flux is a problem with any online community; we're kinda shooting ourselves in the foot by shutting off potential influx of new members from other Touhou sites.

>>7892
>>7900
So the voters say the lack of updates causes them to not vote, and the writefags say the lack of votes delays updates. No offense, writefags, but I think you're going to have to be the ones to break this cycle and force yourselves to update on some sort of regular basis. It'll be hard and unrewarding at first, but when voters see that they can rely on you, they'll start checking for updates and voting more frequently.
>> No. 7948
>>7938
>a writefag's pace is generally constant

then just wait longer between updates. each update should still end in a choice, but the length would be much longer.

given as much choice in the story as they currently do, Anonymous tend to have MPD and HDD, for obvious reasons. removing some of the choice will make the stories better as actual stories, rather than games.

>Shorter stories is an interesting idea, but assuming ~750 words per update and ~20 updates per thread (which could be totally wrong, I haven't ever bothered counting one), three threads is only 45000 words, which is even shorter than your average Harlequin romance (which are not known for their in-depth plotting and characterization, FYI).

yeah, 3 threads is probably too little. make it 10 threads. 150,000 words. most CYOAs tend to die before that point, and are left in unfinished states. setting a limit would force the writefags to plan better and move forward with the story instead of having the PC wander around aimlessly. most of them might even finish.

>I think the solution to the "too many stories" problem is an archive

we already have an archive. check the first thread in /th/.
>> No. 7949
somebody should start a Rubyquest-style CYOA (http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Ruby). little text accompanied by simple mspaint drawings. it seems to work well.
>> No. 7950
>>7938
>So the voters say the lack of updates causes them to not vote, and the writefags say the lack of votes delays updates. No offense, writefags, but I think you're going to have to be the ones to break this cycle and force yourselves to update on some sort of regular basis. It'll be hard and unrewarding at first, but when voters see that they can rely on you, they'll start checking for updates and voting more frequently.

Can't vote if there aren't enough votes for an option to win.
>> No. 7951
Didn't Ranmilia already pull off this longer updates gig? At least most of the time his updates were massive and only had voting breakpoints when it was definitely necessary. Or at least this is how I tend to remember how he rolled in RaAN, whether it was truly like that I can't know without re-reading it. Anyways, it seemed to be working quite well back then. Really, too bad about all the lame drama, he should have stuck around.
>> No. 7952
File 123296340261.jpg - (838.74KB, 750x3000, 1231483628499.jpg) [iqdb]
7952
>>7949
Seconded
>> No. 7953
>>7950
even one vote is enough. just tally up the votes after x amount of time and take the highest, regardless of how many votes there are.

and if there are several with the same number of votes, pick the first.
>> No. 7954
>>7950
What >>7953 said. If there's one thing I learned from RaAN, it's that if you're a good enough writer, nobody cares if you disregard the votes entirely on occasion.
>> No. 7972
new members could always help. don't think there's anything wrong with shrinemaiden forums, i'm a regular both here and there.
>> No. 7975
>>7882
Thanks, bro.
>>7880
Sorry, Bro.
>>srs bzns
I have no ideas.

>>7929
Trying to write this as a synopsis is frustrating me by either coming out too long-winded or woefully insufficient for getting across any sort of point. So, I think I might just have to, at that.
>> No. 8124
So all we learn is the final flag after all this time.

Nothing more and nothing else.

Thanks.
>> No. 11131
Man, has it really already been a good six or seven months since this stalled out?

I don't know what you're doing right now, Tetro, but I miss you.
>> No. 11735
>>11131

Youkai is pretty unlively without him.
Same with most boards. Tis doom impending.
>> No. 11736
>>11735
It was good as long as it lasted, but Tetro had an insane fit like YAF.
>> No. 11743
>>11736
The worst part? I just re-read the entire story and both the pacing and the character were really above average.

It's sad to see a semi-canon CYOA with a -more or less- powerful MC(both rare things) to end up like this.
>> No. 11790
>>11735
>Youkai is pretty unlively without him.

I disagree. There are still good writers here, even if Tetro left a big hole in his place.
>> No. 11791
File 125401693913.jpg - (133.55KB, 697x523, holeinmof.jpg) [iqdb]
11791
>>11790
>There are still good writers here, even if Tetro left a big hole in his place.

Yeah the hole is pretty easy to ignore...
>> No. 11871
File 125490763685.jpg - (172.00KB, 700x782, Resteasy.jpg) [iqdb]
11871
I held on for as long as I could bro.
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