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9388 No. 9388
[x] Go after Miss Momizi.
------

You hastily scramble up to your feet, shooting a dirty look at Miss Aya, who remained oblivious as she continued to eat, and dashed towards the exit of the mess hall. Looking around, you spotted Miss Momizi down the long corridor, turning a corner. You begin to walk at a rapid pace to catch up to her.

As you approached her, however, you felt increasingly hesitant. What would you say to her? Maybe she wanted to be left alone for now. Uncertainly, you slowed your walking pace to just enough to keep up with her, watching her tail swish from side to side almost hypnotically as you followed her.

Before you knew it, the two of you were outside on a perch overlooking the mountain trail far below, breathing in the night’s air and enjoying the constant breeze that was always present in the mountain. Miss Momizi came to a stop, and you nervously stood behind her. She raised her hand, and pointed a finger down at the scene below.

“Mikio, can you see the rivers there?” She said without turning to you, and you walked closer to her to get a better look at where she was pointing. Your night vision was poor compared to youkai, but your eyes were sharp enough to make out the many streams of water that flowed to the great waterfalls of the mountain. “About…there… is where I found you.”

“That was around the time the vampires led an uprising, so the patrols were at high-alert. So when I saw you, I assumed the worst and thought you might have been one of theirs. I was really surprised to find a human there, you know,” she continued with a smile, lowering her hand. “You seemed really clueless about everything back then, like a toddler, always hiding behind me. I… guess that’s why I wanted to take care of you, because I felt you were my responsibility. I didn’t think much of it until Miss Shameimaru pointed out that I was like a mother to you.”

She suddenly stepped towards you, placing a hand on your head, close enough so that you could feel her breath on your face. Your heart skips a beat as she fondly ran her fingers through your hair.

“… You really have grown, Mikio,” she said, bumping her forehead against yours gently. You closed your eyes as she continued to caress the back of your head. “You only used to reach up to my chin, and now you’re close to my height.”

“I’m still kinda short, though…” you said, voicing your growing concern about your height. You were a little puny compared to… well, mostly anyone but the hanataka tengu, really. Miss Momizi let out a small giggle as she pulled away.

“Don’t worry about that,” she said, letting her hand drop to her side as she stepped back. “You’ll become a man soon. I’m sure you’ll grow much taller.” She turned her gaze to the stars above, and there was a short period of silence as you followed her example and looked up.

“…I think what bothered me the most was that she was probably right,” Miss Momizi began.

“…Hm?”

“What she said earlier, I mean. I… might have gotten a little too into playing the part of your mother,” she gave a wry smile, turning to look at you. “It’s just… I wasn’t sure if you were ready for something like that, and I was so afraid of anyone finding out you were human. But thinking back on it, I think I was being too… I don’t have the right to keep you here all the time. I’m sorry, Mikio.”

“…You don’t need to apologize. I think that makes you a kind person.”

“Hmm?”

“I like that you scold me when I do something wrong, and that you worry about me. Even though I’m just a human, you still treat me like real family. That’s why I think you’re a kind person, and that’s why I love you.”

“…Hah…” she said, blushing a little, although she was positively beaming. “…haha, I think you said something amazing just now. But even so, I’m still not going to take it easy on you anymore, you know…” she said, walking closer and patting you on the head. “…But that makes me really happy. Thank you, Mikio.”

“You’re still treating me like a child,” you say in a mock pout.

“Last day, just let me indulge myself for a while,” she said with a grin. “…Now, you were going to tell me what happened in the human village earlier, weren’t you…?”

“…Ah, right. Well, when we arrived…”

---

”…So what’s your story, huh? Why were you at the ruins?”

You give no reply; too busy wolfing down a piece of meat. The man sitting beside you snorts.

“…Quiet guy, eh…”

You finish off the rest of the meat, tossing the bone onto the ground outside of the wagon. You wipe your mouth with the back of your hand.

“I think I died,” you say in a hollow voice.

The man laughed.

“You don’t say…”

The wagon comes to a sudden stop. Someone outside starts screaming. A youkai is attacking the caravan. You get up, jumping out. Your single edged sword is in hand, you walk out. You see the youkai, and you kill it.


---

Autumn was fast approaching, and the climate was starting to change to match that. It was getting little colder now, so you put on your warm cotton-stuffed shirt before heading off to do your usual work at the printing press. Once those long hours were over, just doing the same, repetitive labor, you were free to spend your day however you wanted.

Before heading outside, though, you grabbed a few personal effects. Like your spell cards, now in the pockets of your hakama, and your newly given sword, secured on your sash: a Chinese jian. Ogata had presented you with a selection of weapons, but you couldn’t really see yourself fighting anyone, so you picked what looked to be the easiest to carry around. The old man seemed sorely disappointed that you didn’t pick the cleaver as tall as you were, but that thing would have broken off your arms if you had tried to pick it up.

“Hey, hey, Miki~,” Miss Aya’s voice called out to you from behind. As you turned around to face her, she pushed her camera into your gut, forcing you to reactively grasp it in your hands. “I’m heading off to do another interview on the vampire.” …Oh no, you can see where this is going. “I’ve been curious about something for a while, see…” she continued to speak, flipping her little notebook open and shoving one of the pages in front of you. There was a photograph of the Red Mist incident. “See the weird shape? Doesn’t it kind of look like wings? There’s got to be a reason for this, don’t you think?”

“…So you want me to come with you?” you say uneasily as she snapped the book shut. Lowering your eyes to the camera you were holding, you…

[] Accept.
[] Refuse.

>> No. 9389
[] Accept.
>> No. 9390
[X] Refuse.

I want...

I want to stay here. Stay out of trouble. I can't stay here forever, I know. But just for now, while I still can...
>> No. 9391
[x] Accept.
>> No. 9392
[x] Accept.

Let's learn our fate.
>> No. 9393
[] Accept.
>> No. 9394
[x] Accept.
>> No. 9395
[x] Refuse.
>> No. 9397
[x] Accept.

Really, is there any other choice?
>> No. 9402
>but you couldn’t really see yourself fighting anyone, so you picked what looked to be the easiest to carry around.

meekio is mue

[x] Accept.
>> No. 9404
[X] Accept.

I want to see if Remilia reacts to our supposed fate with gleeful sadism, or mournful pity.
>> No. 9406
[x] Refuse.
[x] Mumble out an excuse while running away.
>> No. 9409
>“… You really have grown, Mikio,” she said, bumping her forehead against yours gently. You closed your eyes as she continued to caress the back of your head. “You only used to reach up to my chin, and now you’re close to my height.”

Momizi's threshold of motherly affection has gone over the top.

------------

[x] Accept.

Eh, is there any more feasible choice?
>> No. 9410
[x] Accept.
>> No. 9412
[x] Accept.
>> No. 9413
[x] Refuse

FUCK YOU I'M A HUMAN
>> No. 9417
[] Accept.
>> No. 9419
[X] Accept.
>> No. 9422
[x] Accept.
>> No. 9437
Update tomorrow. I'm dead tired from exams.
>> No. 9455
[x] Accept.
------

“Alright, alright, I’ll go.” You said, reluctantly putting on the strap of the camera around your neck as Miss Aya gave a triumphant grin. “Just to clarify, you did set up an appointment with her beforehand, right?”

“Huh? Why would I do that?” she said as though you had asked her an absurd question. As was usual, she didn’t seem to have too much respect for the privacy of others. Well, it was what you more or less expected, anyway.

“…Never mind, I shouldn’t have asked,” you said, sighing as you allowed the camera to dangle in front of you.

“Then come on, let’s hurry!”

“Ah, wait—don’t tug on my arm like that, Miss Aya! Let go!”

---

Only minutes later, you and Miss Aya were in the air, flying towards the direction of the Misty Lake. The leaves in the trees below you were starting to change colors, you silently note as you soared over them.

“Hey, Miss Aya!” you yell, cupping a hand in front of your mouth. You really wish she would slow down a little. Always in a hurry for everything, that woman. “Wait for me!”

She turned around, although she didn’t change the speed of her flight at all. That’s dangerous, you should always keep an eye on where you’re going.

“You’re too slow, Miki~! Fly faster!”

“You’re just going too fast…” you grumble, but nevertheless, Miss Aya did seem to slow her pace as she turned back around, and you were finally able to catch up to her.

“So you’re just going to break in without an invitation, Miss Aya?”

“It’s not “breaking in”. They just won’t be expecting me to visit, that’s all.”

“…Don’t they have guards, though? Isn’t there supposed to be a gatekeeper around there?”

“Huh? Gatekeeper?” Miss Aya genuinely seemed to be unable to recall who this was. “Gatekeeper…gatekeeper. Oh, her! You don’t need to worry about her, Mikio.”

“…Eh?”

“Just leave it to me~!”

Why did you feel a sudden shiver down your spine just now?

……

How on earth do you fall asleep standing? It’s something you’ll never know, but will never cease to amaze you, watching this tall, red haired woman snoring while still remaining erect in front of the metal gate.

“See? Told you, no need to worry about her at all,” Miss Aya said with a grin, poking the sleeping gatekeeper on the cheek.

“…Does she get paid for sleeping on the job?” you ask. The vampire must be very lenient with her employees.
“I don’t think they get paid at all, actually.” Scratch that, you’d take naps too if you weren’t getting paychecks. “Now, come on, Miki. Let’s go.”

Hopping off the ground, the two of you were just on the threshold of crossing over the gate, when…

“Achoo!”

You look at Miss Aya, and she looks at you. Neither of you were the one who had sneezed. You slowly turned your head behind you, and saw the red haired guard rubbing her nose with the back of her hand.

“Ahh…it’s starting to get cold. I wish I could just stay inside and…” she grumbled as she turned her head around, her eyes widening at the sight of you and Miss Aya floating just above the gate. Whoops.

“I-intruders?!” she yelps, quickly kicking off from the ground and into the air, soaring past the gate with her arms outstretched at either side, barring your way. “I won’t let you in!”

You look over at Miss Aya, intent on asking what to do now, but she acts before you can open your mouth, shoving you forward. The gatekeeper takes on a fighting stance, while you can only look incredulous as Miss Aya sped in the direction of the mansion.

“I’ll leave the rest to you!” she screamed as she zoomed off into the distance. Coward! Deserter! She’s left you to fend for yourself!

“Ah, damn!” The gatekeeper cursed as she brought her fingers to her mouth, letting out a loud whistle. As if on cue, a squad of fairies dressed in stylized western dresses arrived at the scene while the gatekeeper herself flew off after Miss Aya.

[] Cut off the gatekeeper before she can reach Miss Aya.
[] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[] Shoot them down.
---[] Pacifist run.
>> No. 9456
[] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[] Pacifist run.
>> No. 9457
[] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[] Pacifist run.

We have a high dodging skill, we should be good.
>> No. 9458
{X} Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---{X} Pacifist run.
>> No. 9459
「x」 Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---「x」 Pacifist run.
>> No. 9462
[X] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[X] Pacifist run.
[X] Mood: Distraught

Miss Aya! Miss Aya!
D-don't leave me!
Miss Aya!
M-Miss Aya...

Mi...Miss...
>> No. 9464
[X] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[X] Pacifist run.
>> No. 9465
[x] Cut off the gatekeeper before she can reach Miss Aya.
>> No. 9469
We're wearing that mask, right?
>> No. 9470
[x] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[x] Pacifist run.

COULDNT HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN
>> No. 9471
[x] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[x] Pacifist run.
[x] "WAIT WAIT WAIT!!! I surrender!"
[x] "NOT!"
>> No. 9472
[x] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[x] Pacifist run.
>> No. 9473
[x] Let her go. Focus on getting past the fairies.
---[x] Pacifist run.
------

Letting out a frustrated sigh, you braced yourself as the fairies took a united offense against you, their small hands beginning to glow. Briefly, you consider attacking them, and your hand lingers on the hilt of your blade, but you decide against it. You don’t want to look like the villain here, intruding on someone’s private property and assaulting the employees.

And then the barrage of shots come flying at you. Certainly, the fairy maids’ patterns were better organized then the usual run-of-the-mill groups, but there were still huge gaps between each bullet. Assuming a low stance to reduce body area exposed to enemy fire, you shot forward, taking advantage of the “safe areas” between the curtains of bullets.

The fairies adjust their aim accordingly to your movement. They have an interesting strategy: one line of fairies would fly forward and let loose their volley of fire, and then immediately switch out to the reserve line, and they would attempt to cover the wide-open spaces between the shots of the first group. Certainly not what you would expect from the likes of them, but it’s still not enough to lay even a single shot on you. Twisting your body around as you dived through the air; you used the precious seconds it took for the second group to charge up their shots to dodge out of the way.

As you sped past one group of fairies, many of them quickly covered their heads with their arms, cowering, probably expecting you to attack them. You ignore them and continue flying, not bothering to look back as you concentrated on dodging the new waves of bullets directed towards you. Their formation was broken now that you had made past the first line of fire, and they were just randomly shooting and hoping to hit you. You grin as you easily spin past the erratic, out of control bullets, clearing the reserve line of fire.

Looking back, none of the fairy guards were bothering to chase after you. Seems they don’t take their jobs too seriously. Or maybe they’re just scared of you. Regardless, you continue on towards the red manor in front of you. Not too far below you, you saw the crumpled form of the gatekeeper from earlier, planted face-first into the ground, with some of the fairy maids struggling to carry her away. You feel a slight twinge of pity and guilt as you fly over her.

But this mansion is a little strange, isn’t it? There’s barely any windows, and the few that you can see are covered up from the inside by red curtains. And speaking of red, the building itself was painted red. It really isn’t called the Scarlet Devil Mansion for nothing.

“Heeey! Miki~! Over here!” you heard a voice from somewhere below. Looking around, you saw Miss Aya waving to you from the ground. Frowning, you lowered yourself, touching down on the soft grass. “Not a scratch on you, just as I expected.” You have a few things you want to say to her, but you swallow your words and instead decided to ask something.

“So are we just going to get in through the front door?”

“Pretty much, yeah,” Miss Aya said as she walked up to the large double-set of doors; the entrance to the mansion, no doubt. Taking hold of the impressive brass handles, she opened the door and walked in, with you following close behind her.

The inside of the mansion was certainly spacious. The lobby area, with its deep red floor clean enough to give off a reflection, was dimly lit, and lead to five separate doors. The “scarlet” motif certainly prevailed even in the interior of the place. The walls were red, the roof had weird patterns of varying colors of red, and the weird glyph pattern on the floor was of light red as well. Fitting color for a vampire, you suppose.

“Hmm? The place seems a little bigger than when I last visited,” Miss Aya said, placing a hand on her chin as she scoped the place out.

“…Where do we go?”

“I dunno. I don’t remember very well. This place seems to have a bad habit of changing around, see.” She said as she dug into the pocket of her skirt, producing a small black ball of fluff, which upon closer inspection, turned out to be a miniature crow. Making adorably/annoyingly high pitched caws, the little crow flew over and perched on top of your tokin hat. “We’ll split up. Since it’s a little dangerous here, I’ll send this little guy with you. If you run into trouble, it’ll come alert me.”

“Ah, wait, I don’t think that’s a good id-“ She darts forward through one of the doors before you can even finish your sentence, leaving you alone with a midget of a crow sitting on your hat. You resolve not to share her favorite meal with her the next time the cafeteria serves it.

Sighing, you look around. All the doors look identical to you. Which one should you try?

[] This door.
[] That door.
[] That other door.
[] Wait, why does that door’s handle look so battered up?
>> No. 9474
I'd guess the last one might be Flandre.
>> No. 9476
[] That other door.
>> No. 9477
[x] Wait, why does that door’s handle look so battered up?

It must be well used.
>> No. 9479
{X} That door.
>> No. 9480
{X} That door.
>> No. 9481
>>9477
if you know what i mean.
>> No. 9483
[X] That door.
>> No. 9485
[x] That other door.
>> No. 9486
[x] Wait, why does that door’s handle look so battered up?
>> No. 9487
[X] THIS DOOR!
>> No. 9488
[X] That door.
>> No. 9489
[X] That door.
>> No. 9490
[x] Wait, why does that door’s handle look so battered up?
>> No. 9491
[x] Wait, why does that door’s handle look so battered up?
>> No. 9492
[] THIS DOOR
>> No. 9494
[x] That other door.
>> No. 9495
[x] Any Door
>> No. 9498
>>9497
Thank you for passing on that delicious image.
>> No. 9499
[x] La puerta

...Suddenly I'm imagining Koakuma serenading Patchouli at her window with a rose in her teeth.

I don't know where this came from, but it's awesome.
>> No. 9500
>>9498
Sorry, wanted to consolidate the two, and had not seen your reply yet.

Reposted it after, though.
>> No. 9511
[x] That other door.
>> No. 9518
Update tomorrow.

>>9499

Hahaha, wow.
>> No. 9550
[x] That door.
------

Deciding on one of the doors, you stepped forward cautiously. The click-clacking of your getas echoed in the room as you continued to walk. Placing a hand on the brass handle of the door, you pushed the door open.

Walking past the door, you saw a wide hallway that seemed to stretch out forever. The floor was decorated with a scarlet rug, with elegant gold trims along the sides. And just up ahead, you can finally see some windows, at least, although there weren’t enough to completely light the hallway.

But hold on a second; was this mansion really that big? From the outside, it wasn’t all that grand, but here, it seems more like a hallway fit for an entire fortress. Was your mind just playing tricks on you? Shaking off these uncertain feelings, you nevertheless continued on. You expected there to be a lot more stuff going around, though. There were fairy guards outside the mansion, so there has to be some inside, right?

And speak of the devil. From the sides approach a group of fairies, one of them holds a bucket splashing with water in both hands while a few others carry a mop, probably out to clean. They honestly didn’t look very comfortable, though. They were chattering and giggling amongst themselves, and the one carrying the bucket constantly splashed water on the rug and the floor. With nowhere to hide, you calmly continued walking. The little fairies noticed you almost immediately, their eyes widening as they abandoned whatever they were holding and began assaulting you with bullets.

You immediately took to the air as a shower of bullets rained down on you. Dodging around the giant splash of water the bucket had sent towards you as it dropped to the floor, you quickly soared past the fairies, and they wasted no time in trailing you, firing inaccurate shots that seemed to miss by a margin of a few feet. The fairies posted outside where better organized than the ones inside, it seemed, as you rarely even had to look back to dodge the next curtain of shots.

Just up ahead were another pair of doors, and so you quickly increased the speed of your flight. Your pursuers were hard pressed to keep up with you. Reaching forward, you grabbed at the door handle and pulled it open, nearly crashing into the door as you did so. Darting inside, you hastily shut the door. And just in time, too, as it shakes from the impact of several bullets, and judging by the squeals of pain on the other side, from the fairies crashing into it as well.

Landing on the floor, you turn around to take a look at the new room you were in. Wow, the place is clean. The floors were sparkling, even. Someone obviously put a lot of effort in keeping it that way. There were tables lined up with pastries and other sweets. Was this the mess hall for fairies, maybe? Or maybe a cafeter- Whoa!

Something—no, wait, someone just flickered into view. A woman with silver-hair dressed in similar clothes as those fairies from earlier. She was tending to the dishes, but what was strange was that she seemed to just…flicker in and out of view, suddenly fading out of sight and reappearing elsewhere as though she had always been there. She paid no attention to you as she worked, making the plates she held…disappear…? That can’t be right…

In any case, maybe she can help you, and maybe not attack you, if you ask nicely where the vampire was. Nervously you called out from across the room.

“Um…excuse me…?” your voice echoed across the room, but the woman didn’t even look up as she continued to work. Frowning, you stepped forward, intending to call out in a louder voice, but you’re hardly a step past where you were when she suddenly appears in front of you, looking down with apathetic eyes.

“Yes? Are you a guest of the mistress?” She asked briskly. You open your mouth to respond, but she quickly cut you off. “Of course not. The mistress rarely has business with people. Now, please wait here and do not disturb my cleaning. I will assist you when I am done.”
Clamming your mouth shut, you just stood there in dumb shock as the woman vanished from your sight, returning to tend to the table. Walking a little further into the room, you waited as you were instructed, just standing there and fidgeting around with the camera. Finally, the table seemed all cleaned up, and the woman, seemingly satisfied, began to walk towards you. Stepping forward towards her, you open your mouth to speak to her.

“Um, excus-“

“Cleaning isn’t finished yet,” she said coldly, cutting you off for the third time. Can’t she let you talk for once? You instinctively draw back, however, as something swishes by your head, embedding itself into the wall behind you. Looking back, you saw a sharp knife sticking out of the wall, before turning back to the woman, your heart racing. The miniature crow sitting on top of your tokin hat immediately takes flight, cawing loudly as he flew out a window. “I have to clean out the rats, too,” she said, several more knives held between her fingers. She’s just about ready to throw those deadly-looking knives at you, with you ready to dodge when you have to, when the door to the room suddenly slams open, catching the attention of both of you.

“Sakuyaaaaaaaa~!” a high-pitched voice screamed into the room with a childish drawl at the end. Standing at the doorframe was a small, blonde haired girl, wearing a pink nightgown that reached down to her knees. She was dragging a stuffed bear by the leg with one of her hands. The bear itself looked to be in a horrid condition. One of the eyes had been ripped out, with the stuffing sticking out. The limbs looked uneven, and there were many visible stitches and patches on various parts of its body. “Sakuyaaaaaaa~!”

Closing your mouth, which had gone agape, you focused your attention back to the woman (Sakuya, is it?), who, for a brief moment, looked a little panicked before regaining her composure. But she put away the knives somewhere, you weren’t quite sure where she had gotten them either, and slowly walked over to the girl.

“..Y-yes, Lady Flandre? What is it?”

“Sakuyaaa. Fix Roger. He died again.”

“Erm, now?” Sakuya’s eyes quickly darted to you before returning to the small girl she was facing. “I’ll fix him after I get rid of the intruder.”

“No! Fix him now!” The little girl whined, giving the floor a stomp that seemed to shake the entire mansion. She then peered inside, eyeing you with curiosity. “Is that him, Sakuya? He’s weird. Do you want me to get rid of him? Then you can fix Roger right now.”

“No! No… that won’t be necessary. I’ll fix Roger up right now, Lady Flandre,” Sakuya said. You saw that look of panic again. Did she fear that girl? The girl who was now happily giggling as she watched the woman disappear elsewhere. And now she’s looking at you with a wide grin. You don’t dare move from your spot as the woman returns, giving you a scathing glance as she set a small box on the table, scooping up the messed up bear and setting that on the table as well.

The girl floated in through the doorframe, and it’s only then that you realize that she has wings. They’re nothing like any wings you’ve seen before. The frames jutting out of her back had no feathers like a bird’s or a leathery membrane like a bat’s. Instead, what looked like colored jewels hung from the bare wing frames. She drifted to the table, watching the woman work her needle, but she’s also glancing at you with from time to time, making you feel uneasy.

[] What the hell are you still doing here? Attempt to leave.
[] Wait around. And maybe pray for a crow to come to you.
>> No. 9551
[] Wait around. And maybe pray for a crow to come to you.
>> No. 9553
[x] Wait around. And maybe pray for a crow to come to you.

Oh damn it, we found Flan anyway.
>> No. 9554
[x] Speak up. This has gone far enough.
[x] "Do either of you know where I may find miss Remilia Scarlet? The Bunbunmaru Newspaper isn't going to write itself"

Aya points. I would have insulted it, but with how fast she is, it would be better not to piss off our saviour.
>> No. 9555
[] Wait around. And maybe pray for a crow to come to you.

No sudden moves
>> No. 9556
[x] Wait around. And maybe pray for a crow to come to you.
>> No. 9561
[X] Wait around. And maybe pray for a crow to come to you.

Either choice could result in us ending up as a bloody mess on the squeaky clean kitchen floor.
>> No. 9563
[x] Wait around. And maybe pray for a crow to come to you.
[x] Introduce yourself.
[x] "Umm... hi. I'm Mikio. Have you seen my boss? She's dressed like me and she's looking for an interview with the vampire of this mansion."
>> No. 9564
>>9563
We're dressed in a short skirt? Awesome!
>> No. 9565
[ze] Wait around. And maybe pray for a crow to come to you.
>> No. 9598
[x] Wait around.
------

If you were to hurry for the entrance, would they chase you? And if they chased you, would they be able to catch you? And when they catch you, would they kill you? You were starting to really regret having come here. You expected a little danger, but nothing quite comparable to the intense fear you felt at the moment. What should you do…what should you do? You contemplate various ways to escape, but you’re too scared to act on any of them. So you just stand there helplessly, silently praying for Miss Aya to hurry and show up.

“Hey.” You jump, snapping back to attention. The blonde girl, Lady Flandre, if you remember correctly, was waving her hand in front of your face while she floated in the air, upside-down. She gave a wide beaming grin, having caught your attention. “Hey, hey, who are you? Are you a human? You look like a human. Actually, you look weird. Your face is weird. Is that a mask? Why are you wearing such a weird mask?” she giggled, pointing at your face. “You’re so quiet. Don’t you know how to talk? Hey, say something.

“..U-m…w-what should I say?” you say, taking a single step back from the girl, who continued to giggle as she rotated upright, lowering herself to your eyelevel as she shook her hair out of her face.

“Ahaha, so you can talk!” the girl said, leaning forward, assuming a prone position as though she were lying down on her front in the air, supporting herself with both hands under her chin. “So, who are you?” she asked, swinging her bare legs up and down.

“I… I’m Mikio, a tengu.”

“Tengu? You’re not a human?”

“N-no, I’m not.”

“Hmmm…are you sure?” she narrowed her eyes as she circled around you. You freeze as she wraps her arms around your neck from behind loosely. “You smell good.,” you hear her whisper in your ear as you feel your blood run cold from fright. “Actually, you smell delicious. And you say you’re not a human? I can smell it, you know. I wonder what it is that I smell. I think it might be fear.”

“Lady Flandre, I am finished,” the older woman’s voice calls from across the room, and Flandre quickly lets go of you to float over to her, giving you a chance to let out a breath of relief. “Now, please return to your room, quickly,” the woman said as she handed the stuffed bear, now looking a little better, although still quite worn, back to the girl, who embraced it tightly.

“Mmhmm~,” she nodded happily, lowering the bear to drag it along by the arm with one arm. She then flew over to the entrance, flinging the door open rather forcefully. As she stepped past the frame, she looked over to you, raising her hand and giving you a wave. “Byebye!” And then she was finally gone.

But you can’t relax just yet. Out of the corner of your eyes, you saw the woman from earlier preparing to throw several of those small knives at you. Acting quickly, you jumped out the way, just in time for the same knives to embed themselves where you were standing just a moment ago. There was no time for a breather, either, as nearly instantly, another set of knives were in the woman’s hands, launching them at deadly speed towards you, keeping you on the run. Damn it, if she won’t let up, then you’ll just have to…

Just as you prepare to pull out one of your spell cards, the door flung open again, and a black and white blur sped into the room, nearly ramming into Sakuya. She managed to stop short just a few inches short of crashing into her, turning towards you and giving a salute.

“Shameimaru Aya, reporting in!” she declared, although after taking a closer look at you, seemed a little less enthusiastic. “What the… ? You haven’t even started fighting?” she said, looking somewhat disappointed as she dropped her salute, walking towards you. You frown, putting away your spell card. Shouldn’t she be glad that you’re not hurt instead?

Sakuya, who had been bewildered by Miss Aya’s sudden entrance, now looked more scornful than ever as she crossed her arms, one hand still keeping a tight grip on a set of throwing daggers, as she approached her.

“Oh, it’s you.” She said distastefully as she glared at Miss Aya, who looked completely without shame. “I was wondering why there were so many crows at the mansion when I was throwing out the garbage this morning,” she gave another brief glance at you, before returning her gaze to Miss Aya. “So he’s with you, I presume.”

“Yup. This is my cute mute assistant,” she said, pulling you closer to her, displaying you as you rolled your eyes. “I see you’ve met him already.”

“Not too bad at running away.”

“He’s good at that.”

“…So? Why are you here? If you wanted to meet with the Mistress, you should have come at night.”

“Ah, right. But I sort of wanted to see what this place was like in daytime, you know?” Miss Aya responded, ever so uncaring of other people’s privacy. Seriously, she dragged you here because she wanted to check the place out?

“Well, you’ve seen plenty of the mansion already. I suggest you head back now.”

“Ah… I will, I will. I already had a talk with your mistress, anyway.”

“What?”

“Really, really. What kind of a bodyguard leaves her master unattended for so long? Aren’t you just a useless human after al-“ Swish. Miss Aya dodged an expertly thrown knife aimed at her head. The woman opposing her gave off an aura of cold rage. “Ayayayaya. Are you starting a fight?”

Aren’t you the one picking a fight here, Miss Aya?

“Leave,” Sakuya said with a monotone voice. Miss Aya gave a snort, and made to say something else, but you reached up and tugged at her sleeve, staring at her in the eyes as she turned to look at you. Her expression relaxed a little as she turned her head to the other woman once more, who continued to stare at her with that rigid look on her face.

“Sakuya? Sakuya, are you he- oh, you’re still around?” a new voice catches your attention as you turn towards the door. Standing there was another girl, looking not much older than Flandre, with blue hair and a pink dress with a matching hat.

In an instant, the woman was by her side. How she moved that fast, you can’t even go onto venture a guess. You also notice that all of the knives that had been planted on the floors and the wall had mysteriously vanished. How does that work…?

“Mistress, I apologize for not cleaning out these pesky birds earlier,” she said, giving a deep bow to the short girl, who merely gave a limp, dismissive gesture with her hand.

“That’s quite alright, I don’t really care,” the young lady replied haughtily. “We’ve been getting more visitors recently, haven’t we, Sakuya? We should welcome them better.”

“…Yes, mistress,” Sakuya gave another deep bow, although her voice seemed a little strained.

“Mistress” Remilia walked into the room with light steps, taking a closer look at you. Something about her was incredibly daunting as well, similar to what you felt with that Flandre girl earlier. Maybe it was because they were both vampires? You squirmed a little bit as the girl examined you, first with an interested look, and then with one of confusion, and finally a look of frustration.

“…On second thought, Sakuya,” she began, frowning. She then raised a hand to point a finger at you. “Remove that thing from my house.”

…Huh? What did you do wrong this time? Looking over to Miss Aya, she seemed just as perplexed as you. No time to wonder about it more, though…

“Right away, my lady,” Sakuya responded, her hands full with a set of knives each once more.

That’s it, enough is enough.

[] Take a stand and fight.
[] Time to get out of the stupid mansion.
>> No. 9599
[x] Take a stand and fight.
>> No. 9600
[x] Take a stand and fight.
>> No. 9601
[x] Take a stand and fight.
>> No. 9602
[x] Take a stand and fight.
>> No. 9605
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"
>> No. 9606
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"
seems appropriate for a pacifist
>> No. 9607
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"

Seems better than my last choice.
>> No. 9609
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"
>> No. 9614
[x] Declare a spell card.
[x] Promise to yourself to tell Momizi all the things Miss Aya subjected you to today.
>> No. 9620
[x] Take a stand and fight.

Go down in a blaze of glory!
>> No. 9624
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"
>> No. 9628
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"
>> No. 9629
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"
[x] Use spellcard only as a last resort.

Let's time out some spells. Although... Sakuya almost forced us to bomb before Aya showed up. Momi probably would get angry at the two of you if you got hurt so let us at least avoid injury with spellcards if we need to.
>> No. 9631
' “…Hah…” she said, blushing a little, although she was positively beaming. “…haha, I think you said something amazing just now. But even so, I’m still not going to take it easy on you anymore, you know…” she said, walking closer and patting you on the head. “…But that makes me really happy. Thank you, Mikio.” '


That is too cute, chou-Kawaiiiiiiii!
>> No. 9632
>>9631

...
>> No. 9641
>>9631

>...
>> No. 9642
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"
>> No. 9644
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"

Suddenly.
>> No. 9646
>>9631
...wait a minute.

Did you actually enter your e-mail address?

You're new to this whole imageboard thing, aren't you?
>> No. 9648
>>9631
>chou-Ka
god I can't write the rest of this.

Bane.

Are you listening? Seeing? I hope so.

Get off of this site.
Never come back.
You are not wanted here.

Get out.

Get out.

Get the unholy flying jesus-scraping fuck OUT.

We do not like squealing idiots such as yourself.
Learn to control that fucking moronic weeaboo impulse, and your posts might not be such a fucking blight upon our eyes.
>> No. 9650
>>9648
I'm more annoyed by his/her/its rambling in Owen's thread.
>> No. 9651
>>9648
cool story, bro.
>> No. 9652
[x] Take a stand and... run away. You're good at it. Dodging, it's what you do.
[x] Yell "What did I do now?!?!"
------

You can only be pushed so far. Your whole stay here has been nothing but trouble one after another, and at least the first time that woman attacked you, she had a pretty valid reason. But why are you being attacked now? You haven’t even done anything to provoke her. So now it’s time to take a stand an-

You jerk your head back as a knife narrowly misses your face. That could have been really dangerous. You noticed that earlier, she targeted areas of your body that were, well, less than fatal, but now it seemed she was aiming to kill. Did the Mistress order her to kill you when she said “remove”? No, actually, it might be because she really thinks you’re a youkai, to whom the attacks wouldn’t nearly be as deadly.

Gritting your teeth, you soar into the air as another set of knives fly at you, nimbly dodging them. “What did I do now?!” you yell with a grimace, briefly considering whether to strike back or focus on getting away. Neither the woman nor her mistress deign to answer you; the former is already getting ready to throw more daggers at you while the latter is watching with interest from the foor.

“Hey, Mikio. Think you can handle her?” Miss Aya asked, looking a little torn between an expression of interest and of concern.

“I have no idea,” you answer truthfully as you took the strap of her camera off of your neck. You tossed it towards her, who nearly fumbled as she caught the camera, giving you a sour look. “But she’s just a human, isn’t she?”

“Hmm, well, she’s definitely not a normal human, so look out. She has plenty of tricks up her sleeves.”

“But she’s wearing short-sleeve- Whoa!“

Twisting your body, you’re just barely able to dodge a knife aimed at your torso, the sharp blade cutting across the front of your shirt. That woman certainly isn’t giving you any sort of reprieve, glaring at you with her fierce red eyes. Red eyes…? Shaking the thought away, you dart to the side, expecting Sakuya to chuck the knives at you.

Instead, she casually tosses them at the floor. Eh? Why would she do that? But more than that, there was something strange about the movement of those particular knives. It’s as if they were lazily drifting through water, rather than cutting across air. One of her tricks?

Looking back up, you quickly moved out of the way as another barrage of daggers headed your way. So were those knives earlier meant as distractions? No, looking back down at them, they had somehow changed directions in mid-air, shooting towards you with much greater speed than they had when they were thrown. Clenching your teeth, you brought both hands forward and released a gust of wind from your palms, knocking the knives out of the air.

How is she doing that? And earlier, you saw her practically teleporting everywhere, and now she’s changing the trajectory of her projectiles. Maybe she has an inherent power to manipulate the movement of objects? Well, regardless of how she was doing it, it wasn’t a good idea to mess around here any longer. Careful not to turn your back towards Sakuya, you cautiously drifted back towards the door leading out to the hallway, rushing out of the door with Miss Aya following you.

“Sakuya! After him!” You heard the vampire girl shout, and only a moment after, Sakuya flew out of the door, racing after you. But the two of you have a lengthy head start, and though you’re not nearly as fast as Miss Aya, you have some confidence in your speed. There, the door’s just a few meters awa-

“What the?!” you can’t help but exclaim as the door that should have been within arm’s reach suddenly disappears, the entire hallway stretching out to seemingly an infinite length. Looking back at your pursuer, she seemed much closer now than she should be. What happened? Did she move you to another part of the mansion, or…

“…Told you the mansion changes,” you turn your head to Miss Aya, who narrowed her eyes. Sakuya crossed her arms as she approached. You expected her to start attacking without mercy again, but it seemed she had something to say.

“Three,” she said, holding up three of her fingers. Huh? What does she mean by that? She answers that question with her following action, as a card appeared in her hand seemingly out of nowhere. She’s challenging you to a spell card duel? And it seems with the mansion being in her favor, you don’t exactly get to pick your own terms. She swiped the card across the air, and declared.

“Illusion Existence 「Clock Corpse」”

A circular boundary emerged from the card, surrounding the woman as she put the card away. Drawing her blades, she sent a curtain of knives at you. Nothing different from earlier, you can easily dodge something like thi- What?! Out of nowhere, the number of knives released seemed to triple in number, and you struggle to avoid being hit by the increased offensive.

Damn, this could be bad. You successfully manage to dodge past the barrages of knives, but you’re not sure if you can do it again. The woman isn’t letting up her attack, either. Giving a firm wave of her arm, she released a dozen bullets towards you. So she can use magic as well, you note as you dodge the bullets, only to be confronted with yet another helping of blades thrown at you, but it’s still not enough to- oh no, it’s happened again.

What should have been an easy escape was suddenly cut off by knives that appeared out of nowhere, shooting at an incredible speed at you. Instinctively, you raise your arm to block yourself, expecting the dozens of blades to pierce any moment now.

Clang clang clang, clatter clatter clatter clatter.

“You okay, Miki~?” Looking up, you saw Miss Aya just a little above you, waving her fan around. She must have deflected the knives for you. You give her a thumb up, which she returned with a grin, cut short as a company of blood red bats flew towards her, her eyes widening as she swerved around in the air to avoid them.

“Don’t interfere, or you’ll make this boring.” It’s the vampire from earlier, flying some distance away with her hands clasped together sinisterly in front of her face, giving you the chills as Miss Aya continued to speed around, trying to throw the bats off their pursuit.

No chance of escape now. You’ll have to fight.

Declare:

[] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
[] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」
[] 「Illusionary Dominance」
>> No. 9653
[] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
>> No. 9654
[x] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
>> No. 9655
[x] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
[x] Attempt to angle Sakuya between you and Remilia

So she won't be able to simply teleport out of the way.
>> No. 9656
[X] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
>> No. 9657
>>9652
[X] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
>> No. 9658
[X] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
>> No. 9659
[X] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
>> No. 9660
[x] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
bandwagon i guess
>> No. 9661
>>9650
So was I.
I would not have written what I did just based on >>9631 alone.
>> No. 9662
[] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
>> No. 9663
[x] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
>> No. 9664
[x] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
[x] Attempt to angle Sakuya between you and Remilia
>> No. 9672
[x] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」
>> No. 9674
'>>9631
>chou-Ka
god I can't write the rest of this.

Bane.

Are you listening? Seeing? I hope so.

Get off of this site.
Never come back.
You are not wanted here.

Get out.

Get out.

Get the unholy flying jesus-scraping fuck OUT.

We do not like squealing idiots such as yourself.
Learn to control that fucking moronic weeaboo impulse, and your posts might not be such a fucking blight upon our eyes.'

What is your problem? I love this site and I love this story, what is wrong with me stating that I liked that part. I said in OWen's thread that I didn't like how you said bad things about his story which you did. I will not leave, I have never done anything wrong here, It says email address so I added it. Chou-Kawaii it means "very cute" I cannot believe your disgusting attitude.
>> No. 9675
And another thing Anonymous 09/04/04(Sat)02:00 No. 9650
'>>9648
I'm more annoyed by his/her/its rambling in Owen's thread.' What is wrong with me enjoying the story and sending my responses in as one of the many who Ike was referring to? Really, I cannot believe the audacity of some of you people. You are obnoxious, elitist and rude 9650 and 9648.
>> No. 9676
>>9675

⑨/10
>> No. 9678
>>9674
First, might I recommend learning how to quote posts? It's not hard. Do what everyone else does. For gods sake at least learn to not HIGHLIGHT THE ENTIRE FUCKING POST INCLUDING THE HEADER AND PRESS 'COPY'

Now, you seem to be doing a good job of pissing off the locals. Does that really seem like a good idea? Do you really think that THEY are the ones at fault, not YOU? Don't you think that if you're going to try to participate in an established community, you should try to act something like them? Stop being so arrogant and thinking that it's fine for you to do whatever shit you want wherever you want.

>You are obnoxious, elitist and rude
What of it?
>> No. 9679
[] 「Illusionary Dominance」

Oh ho~
>> No. 9685
For a start let me say that I highlighted the name and header so that the person who wrote such an ill comment about me would know precisely who I was addressing.

I would like to say that besides you and the other person I have really had no complaints, I usually give decent write ins (though how my simple comment was taken as squealing earlier only you will know)

Regarding me making the locals angry, I know I rambled in the Owen post, but I believe I have seen you do the same many times before I actually started posting so I don't see the reason for your objection. I have seen someone before give an idea of how Reimu felt in I, Youkai, which was appreciated so I don't see why I can't do the same, in fact the author said his idea was almost the same.

In conclusion I would like to say that I will not be childish about this, rather I apologize if I offended anyone, but will continue coming to this site, reading, voting, etc. I believe you should behave more like an adult, you don't rule this site, everyone is free to write in as they want and you should show better etiquette with regards to treatment of the many people who come to this site.
>> No. 9686
Stop. Stop. Stop.

Bane, "weaboo" comments like "kawaii" and the like are looked down on by majority of the people here, as are most emoticons. I know that may seem a little elitist to you, but it grates on the nerves of a lot of people here.

I mean, I appreciate that you liked that particular scene, but you might want to express it in a way less hated by the inhabitants of this site. Or at least hide behind the shield of Anonymous.
>> No. 9687
Okay Lion I understand, that is the only time I have ever written that and I won't write it again.
I was just a bit insulted that he/she/it claimed that every post I have made on this site was a blight and not only swore at me but told me to leave, anyone will feel insulted by that lack of courtesy.
>> No. 9688
>>9687

You must be new here.

Some Interweb communities are like your grandparents. Nice old folks who invite you in for cookies and treat you with respect.

We're the crotchety old fucker sitting on his porch with a loaded shotgun, screaming at you god damned kids to get off the fucking lawn.

Guess which one lives longer.
>> No. 9689
>>9687
Bane.

Bane. Stop.

Stop posting. Shut up, and stop posting. Read through the archived stories and watch this site for a few months without posting. You can still vote, just don't leave fucktarded comments beneath them and do it anonymously.

Once you've figured out the habits of this site, and what is or isn't frowned upon, start posting again.

Until that day comes, shut the fuck up.
>> No. 9691
Bane, those two 'rude' comments were made by two different anon. A few suggestions, if I may.

As Lion stated, usage of many emoticons and damn near the whole Japanese language is frowned upon here. Second, it would do well to learn the workings of the imageboard, such as quoting and the deletion of posts. I'm sorry, but even for me, it was hard to tell what the hell was going on in your previous post. Deletion as well; you've commented several times in a row - I wouldn't say that is exactly frowned upon, but you're doing it too often. You even reposted a comment just because you forgot to upload a picture that had nothing to do with the thread itself.

This isn't a forum. For imageboards, many things are stricter and are governed mainly by the community. To be blunt, no one gives a shit. If anonymous so wills it, your posts could be ignored, and a moderator could even ban you if they disliked you or were asked to do so. That's the harsh reality.

At least try to be a little less obvious of your eccentricity. Any form of happiness in your life is like a cancer.
>> No. 9702
[x] Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」
------

You reach into your shirt, drawing a single spell card in between your index and middle finger. Holding it above your head, the card began to shine as you concentrated on your intended pattern.

“Cyclone Seal 「Impaling Wind」”

Putting the card away, you flew higher into the air, swiftly dodging another barrage of magical bullets from the woman. Turning yourself around, the tip of your feet touched the ceiling as you grasped the air, forming a sharpened green pole in your hand. With a quick movement of your arm, you chucked it at the woman like a spear.

Your “spear” split into several pieces, breaking off into smaller, needle-like shots that flew about erratically, guided towards a single target. As they homed in towards her, however, Sakuya seemingly disappeared from her location as the needles whizzed through nothing but air, shattering and dispersing into the air as they hit the walls and the floor. But you had anticipated that, and had sent another cluster of needles.

Seems she wasn’t able to simply “teleport” out of the way of this onslaught, as she threw her own barrage of knives, deflecting your shots and dodging the few that had cleared her initial defense. One final test: you throw another shower of the green needles. She was able to “teleport” out of the way that time. Three seconds in between the first and third attack. Three seconds between each use of her teleport. That’s a small window of an opportunity to hit her.

You kick off from the ceiling as Sakuya begins her counterattack, bombarding you with her volley of steel. Shooting through the air, you land on the floor on all fours, as a circle formed itself beneath you. The seal’s been set up; you just have to keep her distracted now.

You quickly jump up off the ground, back into the air. As Sakuya throws her knives at you, you return the favor with your own shots, knocking most of the initial barrage out of the air and darting out of the way to avoid the remainder as well as the additional knives she seemed to summon out of nowhere.

There’s a lull in her pattern for you to counterattack, however. When she attacks you with magic, she lets down her guard enough for you to get in your own assault. Heaving yourself in and out of the way of her bullets, you rapidly chucked your needles, forcing her into a defensive, teleporting and deflecting your attacks.

She finally teleports into position. It’s now or never.

You throw another bombardment of needles, which move around erratically, keeping your opponent busy as you…

One.

…dart at the ground as fast as you can, landing on the circle you drew earlier. Wind begins to issue out from the seal, as just above it, the woman was still struggling with your shots.

Two.

Dozens of needle shoot up from the edge of the seal. Rearranging their positions in midair, they surround the woman from all sides, trapping her in a bullet patter that resembled the spiny shell of a chestnut. You grin as you see Sakuya’s calm expression turn into a look of horror.

Three!

The needles close in, Sakuya raises the remaining knives, attempting to deflect as many as she could, but she’s quickly overwhelmed. The needles break against her body, shattering the border of battle surrounding her.

You let out a breath of relief. You weren’t sure if you were going to be able to make it in time, but you managed to break one of her spell cards. But she still had two of them left, so it wasn’t time to relax just yet.

Floating back up into the air, you saw the woman casually dusting herself off. She didn’t look any worse for the wear, but she certainly did not look amused.

“…I underestimated you,” she said, glaring at you with those cold, red eyes. “That was an interesting trick, and you even took into account the cool down period between each use of my power. But I’ll be sure not to make that mistake again.”

She doesn’t give you time to respond as she let loose with a barrage of blades. You dodge each one, weaving between the knives.

Only for them to suddenly turn around and point at you.

And much like your needles did to her earlier; the knives close in, shattering your spell.

You reel back in shock. Your clothes were torn here and there, but otherwise you were unharmed. She can change the trajectory of her knives in midair, how could you have forgotten about that?

Well, you’re down one spell card, and so is she. The two of you have two spell cards remaining each.


[] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」
[] 「Illusionary Dominance」
>> No. 9703
[] 「Illusionary Dominance」
>> No. 9704
[x] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」

Always have an ace in the hole.
>> No. 9705
[x] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」
>> No. 9706
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」

Distract her, then use the finishing blow.
>> No. 9707
[x] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」

Spell cards with one name are usually high-level. Save that for last.
>> No. 9708
[x] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」
guessing this isn't his most powerful one
>> No. 9709
[] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」

The other one doesn't even have a sign. I'd rather leave it as the ace.
>> No. 9710
[x] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」
>> No. 9713
[x] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」
>> No. 9721
I kinda feel like a dick for lashing out at him now.
However, Bane, if you want to get along with us all, just see >>9686 , >>9689 , and >>9681 .

They sum up everything I wanted to say and that you should know by now.

That's all I've got to say.

>>9691
>Any form of happiness in your life is like a cancer.
I think that's the single harshest thing said to him yet.
>> No. 9722
[x] Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」
------

Dealing with this woman moving around her knives is difficult. You still have no idea how it works, although you’ve managed to figure out that there’s a time limit between each “use.” Reaching into your shirt, you drew your second spell card, holding it above you to declare its name.

“Turbulence 「Great Fissure Slash」”

Unflinching, Sakuya sent another wave of knives in your direction. Narrowing your eyes, you put away the card, your hands on the hilt and sheath of your sword. You drew the blade in a flash as you shot upwards to avoid the daggers, and as they switched directions to pursue you, you gave a quick flick of your blade, sending a shockwave of compressed air, knocking the persistent knives out of their pursuit.

But this is really taxing on you. You didn’t have any innate ability to manipulate the wind like Miss Aya did, so you were using magic to emulate the effect. You’re not sure how long you can keep fighting with your small reserve of energy. It’s a little easier to focus using the sword, which supposedly had some magical property like Miss Aya’s hauchiwa fan, but still…

No time to worry about that now, though. You’ll just have to get through this as best as you can. With that in mind, you shot forward, sword in hand. The sword felt light in your hand, and the grip was comfortable. Focusing intently, you bring your blade forward, as a green shockwave shot out from the blade, rushing at the woman, who easily dodged it. The shockwave, however, did not disappear, instead running along the walls, circling around as though it were prowling around.

Rising so that you were far above her, you shot forth another shockwave, easily evaded, but which now ran along the floor, the wall, and the ceiling. And then two more, joining the others. Sakuya scoffed, watching the blades of wind travel around the walls.

“Isn’t this the same trick as before?” she said, crossing her arms. “I told you, I won’t make the same mistake again.” She then drew a card, again seemingly out of nowhere, swishing it across the air.

“Illusion World 「The World」”

She brings her hands together in front of her, concentrating. The air surrounding her heats up as several bolts of fire shoot out towards you from her body. Fire magic. That’s not the end of it, either. As they advance towards you, they’re suddenly supplemented by a wave of blades, and each appearance of them is, of course, accompanied by the woman suddenly disappearing a short distance away.

You feel the heat of the fireballs licking at you as you narrowly graze between them, knocking away the knives flying at you with your sword. If you can just get in a little closer, you’re sure you can break past her defense and shatter her spell.

As Sakuya fires off another volley of fireballs, you see your chance to strike. Just before she can reinforce the attack with her knives, the four blades running along the dimensions of the hallway shoot towards her.

“It won’t work!” she scoffed, teleporting out of the way as another wave of knives faced you. But that’s what you had anticipated that she would do. You reached your hand out forward as the shockwaves converged together.

“Burst!” you commanded. The converged shock waves exploded, sending a harrowing gale throughout the entire hallway, knocking the knives and fireballs into the wall, as well as spreading its own share of bullets. The woman expertly dodges the clumsy pattern of bullets, but now you’re definitely in close enough proximity.

Rushing forward, you cut through the turbulent wind, focusing your power on your blade. With a mighty swing, you let loose a final shockwave nearly as wide as the hallway itself. She attempts to fly up to dodge, but with the strong wind harassing her and the stray bullet, and without the use of her teleportation…

Her spell shatters..

And so does yours.

Your breathing is labored. That last attack really took a lot out of you. You couldn’t even sustain that spell card any longer, and you wouldn’t have been able to hit her twice with it, anyway.

“I didn’t expect a direct attack like that,” Sakuya said to you, still looking fresh, contrast to your exhausted self. “You’re certainly full of surprises. The youkai of the mountain must be stronger than I thought. That's unexpected, considering how chatty that bird is.” You don’t even bother to respond. It’s a waste of precious oxygen at the moment, anyway. “But it’s over now. You can barely even keep yourself going.”

[] 「Illusionary Dominance」
[] She’s right. No more.
>> No. 9723
[] 「Illusionary Dominance」
>> No. 9725
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」

the very name of it suggests total defeat for sakuya.
>> No. 9726
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」

We finish this.
>> No. 9728
[] She’s right. No more.
[] Unless she's not done...
[] 「Illusionary Dominance」
>> No. 9730
[~] She’s right. No more.
[z] Unless she's not done...
[e] 「Illusionary Dominance」

>>9725
That's an awful optimistic view to take.

Like, stupidly optimistic.

Oh well, voting for it anyway.
>> No. 9731
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」

Go beyond the impossible, etc
>> No. 9732
>“It won’t work!”

MUDA DA

>“But it’s over now. You can barely even keep yourself going.”

Sakuya has been having to fly all over to retrieve and set up her knives when she stops time, which obviously means she's doing a lot more work than we are.

[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」
>> No. 9733
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」
>> No. 9734
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」

We win, pass out, and wake up to see Aya's smiling face carrying us home, high over the mountain tops. She got her interview, and there shall be a feast in our honor.
>> No. 9735
>We win, pass out, and wake up to see Aya's smiling face carrying us home, high over the mountain tops. She got her interview, and there shall be a feast in our honor.

A young "Tengu" beats the head maid of SDM... I like it
>> No. 9736
>We win, pass out, and wake up to see Aya's smiling face carrying us home, high over the mountain tops. She got her interview, and there shall be a feast in our honor.

Unfortunately, there probably won't be any feast, and if there is, it won't be in your honor. Momizi would be pissed if she found out what Aya got you into, so you won't be mentioned in her article, at least not in any manner that will make you look heroic.
>> No. 9737
>>9736

I'm betting our mask gets knocked off at some point and Remilia homes in on us for some reason.
>> No. 9738
It's become pretty obvious the reason Aya brought us along is so we'd be forced to fight or maybe get the mask removed, tossing us into sticky situations where there's no chance we couldn't get injured. After all, we know she knows how dangerous the residents are, since she'd already been here before; yet she notably doesn't tell us anything about them, and promptly ditches us while leaving one of her crows behind so she can arrive "just in time" to rescue us, or at least take a few notes.

Eventually your identity will be revealed, so I think Aya's saving the pictures and anecdotes now so she can be ready to publish them when this finally happens. You get injured, maimed, killed? She'll be crying all the way to the bank.

Or maybe this is her nutty way of toughening us up, like teaching someone to swim by dropping them in shark infested waters.
>> No. 9739
>>9738
>You get injured, maimed, killed? She'll be crying all the way to the bank.
ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 9740
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」

This spell probably won't work but the curb is right over there. The perfect maid might be wasting energy hiding her fatigue while you have no such reservations. That she offered you the chance at surrender is the sign that she may be more tired than you. I was hoping for a spellcard that showcases Mikio's drinking ability. 「One More Round」or something like that. Mikio seems to have an aptitude for feints... interesting.
>> No. 9741
>「One More Round」
Announcer Guy: It must be done. Training begins at dawn, Mikio!
Mikio: "F-Five more minutes... Momi-" SMACK.
Ogata: "I'm not your damned mommy, kid! Now wake up!"
Mikio: Ow. ;_;
>> No. 9742
>>9739

I think it's more that knows we're not human, and will keep putting us in extreme situations until this is revealed.
>> No. 9743
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」
For better or horse, we'll gallop to the finish line even if it means having to sleep on a bed of hay at the end of the day.
>> No. 9751
>>9738
Ah, this approach, huh? I've seen it before.

Usually I just call it "being an asshole", though.
>> No. 9752
[x] Deep Breathes
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」
>> No. 9755
>>9742
>I think it's more that knows we're not human, and will keep putting us in extreme situations until this is revealed.

Or we, you know, die.
>> No. 9756
>>9739

You think Momizi will be comforting Aya? The one responsible for the death of her surrogate son? Really?
>> No. 9757
>>9756
I think she's comforting Aya because you're mean.
>> No. 9761
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」

Well.
>> No. 9762
>>9757

If Anon was being mean, he would've some crack about her promiscuity. The truth is that Aya just likely takes as much care with others' lives as does with her own, which is to say, none at all.
>> No. 9763
Writing, although I probably won't be able to get it in today.
>> No. 9764
>>9763

hooray!
>> No. 9772
[x] 「Illusionary Dominance」
-------

She might be right.

Actually, she probably is.

You’ve hit your limit. You shouldn’t push yourself any further. But even so…

You don’t want to give up to her like that. Not now, when you’ve gotten so far. Not without a fight.

So you reached into your shirt, pulling out your final spell card. Taking a deep breath, you raised it into the air, and declared its name with a loud, clear voice.

“「Illusionary Dominance」”

Sakuya narrowed her eyes, scowling at you. Without a word, she drew her own spell card as well, slashing it across the air, the card itself remaining hovering on its own as it spun.

“Maid Secret Skill 「Killing Doll」”

Waves of knives appear in front of her, a barrage much greater in volume than any previous attack.

But you don’t care about that.

You positioned your sword in front of you, pointing the tip out towards Sakuya as you began to concentrate your remaining strength. You can probably keep the offense going for about ten seconds. So you’ll have to finish it within that time.

And then you gave a burst of speed, soaring towards the wall. There was just enough space in the hallway for this spell card, fortunately enough. As you approached the wall, you rotated your body, positioning yourself so that you were leaning a little to the side.

You extended your legs, and kicked off from the wall. With incredible velocity, you sped past Sakuya, shooting forth your own bullets at her. You didn’t even bother to see whether your bullets had done anything to her, instead focusing on the next step.

As you neared the other end of the hallway, you kicked off with even greater force. Speeding past the maid again, you fired off another barrage of bullets from the tip of your sword, leaving a trail of colorful shots in your wake.

You continued to build up speed. Knives clashed against your body, but you didn’t care. You were moving so fast that you couldn’t even aim, but you didn’t care. The world became a blur to you, and you forgot your own fatigue as you continued to fly.
The rush of air. It felt like that was the only thing occupying your mind right now. You were vaguely aware of dull pain somewhere on your body, but it felt as if it was unrelated to you, like it was happening to someone else. Your eyes are unfocused. You couldn’t feel yourself moving anymore. Only the blurs of the scene in front of you. Only the rush of wind on your body. Only the repetitive actions that your body continued to perform.

Your body went limp. Ah, you must be falling down now. You’d like to see what happened, but you couldn’t see anything. That’s really too bad. What was it that you were doing just now? Can’t remember, can’t remember… It all seemed so pointless. Ahhh… you felt so relaxed right now. It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you die or if you live or if you kill or if you’re stabbed by knives or if you’re fal-

“Mikio…! Mikio, snap out of it!”

Miss Aya…?

You lifted your head, opening your half-closed, groggy eyes. There was a pulsing pain in your skull, like your brain was beating against the back of your head or something. Looking up, you saw Miss Aya, with a rare look of heavy concern on her face. If you didn’t know any better, you’d almost say she looked like she was going to cry.

You wanted to open your mouth to say something, but your lips struggled to move. Your limbs felt too weak, and you couldn’t even muster the energy to lift your head very high. Seems you really overexerted yourself back there.

Somewhere near you, you heard a pair of hands clapping, followed by a giggle.

“Ahaha. Now that was interesting to watch. I changed my mind. I can’t let something as interesting as that thing go to waste,” you heard a voice. Remilia’s…?

“Stop calling him a thing,” you heard Miss Aya speak up angrily, looking away from you to some other direction. “Just what were you trying to do?!”

“My, don’t get so angry with me. I was just instructing my maid to remove an intruder from my house. You were the one who brought him here, weren’t you?” A gloating tone. If your head were clear, would you agree with her, or be outraged…? Too tired to think on that… “By the way, the exit is that way, unless you’d rather use one of the windows?”

Miss Aya left without a word, carrying you on her back.

---

Flying through the air on Miss Aya’s back, you gradually felt control of your body returning to you, although the headache didn’t seem to subside at all. It got worse, if anything. You decided to start a conversation to keep your mind off of the pain.
“…Did…did I win…?” you manage to croak out with a weak voice. Miss Aya seemed a little startled, turning her head to you with a surprised look, although it quickly became a gentle smile.

“Yeah, you definitely did,” she said brightly, raising a hand to give you a thumb up, which you weakly returned. “You did really well, Mikio.” She looked away from you as she continued to speak. “…Look, Miki. I’m really sorry about all that. I… was really thoughtless. I had no idea that vampire would react like that. Please…don’t hate me?”

You nodded as she turned her head back to look at you, giving you a smile and a look of relief.

…!?

“…Miss Aya, let me down…” you choked out, your chest beginning to heave.

“Huh? Why?”

“…Please, just…do it!”

She quickly headed down for the ground, landing in a small forest. Getting off of your back, you weakly struggled to balance yourself, and hurried behind a tree, nearly stumbling over on the way.

And then you opened your mouth, closing your eyes retching as you emptied the contents of your stomach on the earth in front of you. You coughed and sputtered, nearly choking on your vomit. You wiped your mouth with the back of your hand, and opened your eyes.
The sight of what you saw nearly made you throw up again.

There shouldn’t be so much blood mixed in vomit.

You look at your hand. The back of your hand is covered with blood as well. You stumble backwards, your eyes widening in shock.

“Mikio? What’s wrong, are you feeling sick?”

Miss Aya places a hand on your back.

“Don’t touch me!” You scream in panic, throwing her hand off of you. “Leave me alone! Leave! Me! Alone! Just…just go away!” Miss Aya reels back in shock, her eyes watering as she covered her mouth, letting out a single sob.

“I’m sorry,” she choked out, turning away and taking off into the air. You hurt her. You hurt her really bad.

But you feel better now.

Looking around the forest you were in, you saw the dazzling colors of the autumn leaves. There’s a faint trace of the smell of sweet potatoes in the air.

[] Follow the scent.
[] Go after Miss Aya.
>> No. 9773
[] Follow the scent.
>> No. 9774
[] Follow the scent.

That was for the best, Aya needs to learn to take responsibility for her actions and take care of her subordinates.

Till then, It's Autumn!
>> No. 9775
[x] Follow the scent.

Though I never really liked the scent of sweet potatoes, I don't think we're in any condition fly, let alone catch up with Aya.
>> No. 9776
[x] Follow the scent.
>> No. 9777
[x] Follow the scent.

Hateful Remilia is hateful. You're going to borrow Aya's wind fan, and use it to shatter every window in the mansion.
>> No. 9778
[x] Follow the scent.
[x] gather food while following the scent

Poor Mikio..
>> No. 9779
[x] Follow the scent.
>> No. 9780
[x] Go after Miss Aya.
>> No. 9781
[x] Follow the scent.
>> No. 9782
[x] Follow the scent.
>> No. 9783
[x] Follow the scent.

Smells good man.
>> No. 9784
>Looking around the forest you were in, you saw the dazzling colors of the autumn leaves. There’s a faint trace of the smell of sweet potatoes in the air.

what's it called when you notice the little details in life right before you die?
>> No. 9788
>>9784
It's called a really blatant hint.

[x] Follow the scent.
>> No. 9789
[X] Go after Miss Aya.

Token vote, because I feel bad for Aya.

Still, she probably does need time. I guess a talk with Minoriko and Shizuha, close sisters who love each other, will help Mikio come around and figure out how to apologize to Aya.

We better give auntie some hugs and kisses when we get home. Tell her we love her. Maybe give a small gift.

Picture unrelated. Unless apologizing to her happens when she's ready for bed, and leads to kinky, desperate, awkward, pseudo-incestuous sex. Which would be just fine.
>> No. 9790
[x] Follow the scent.

It's mostly her fault, but we agreed to go with here in the first place though ...
>> No. 9791
>>9789
>kinky, desperate, awkward, pseudo-incestuous sex

That's the best kind.
>> No. 9792
[X] Go after Miss Aya.
>> No. 9794
>will help Mikio come around and figure out how to apologize to Aya.

Hahahaha!

>kinky, desperate, awkward, pseudo-incestuous sex.

They only person you'll be getting that from is Momizi.
>> No. 9797
Follow [ze] scent.

>>9784
Euphoria caused by the dizziness from blood loss?

>>9789
>>9791
Lion will never write it, but oh how I would love it.
>> No. 9799
>>9794
That's true. It's also even hotter.
>> No. 9802
>>9794
I don't know, "kinky, desperate, awkward, pseudo-incestuous sex" sounds better if it's from Aya.

From Momizi... maybe just awkward, but it would also be very sweet. Almost as if it's not a taboo.
>> No. 9807
>>9802
Considered, and re-agreed.

As long as it feels just that right amount of 'wrong' --where it feels weird because it's too intimate an act between Mikio and the closest thing he has to family members; yet good enough to ensure that this doesn't keep himself and either Aya or Momiji from giving in and doing it anyway.

...I really shouldn't be thinking about this so much.
>> No. 9808
Might need that vomiting blood thing checked first, though. Don't want it to develop into AIDs or something.
>> No. 9809
>>9808
What the fuck was that?

And it's "AIDS" you retard.
>> No. 9813
>>9809

What crawled up your ass, tough guy?
>> No. 9814
>>9813
The idea of vomiting blood from injuries causing a virus to spontaneously generate in one's bloodstream.
>> No. 9815
Blargh, sorry about this, but I'm currently swamped with work. I'll try to get the update out today, but I'm not making any promises.
>> No. 9816
>>9815

hooray!
>> No. 9817
In the mean time, let us resume discussion of Mikio's tender and slightly unwholesome loving of his tengu mostly-relatives.
>> No. 9821
>>9817

I have to posit that a relationship with Momizi is significantly more incestuous than a relationship with Aya. It's like fucking your foster mother as opposed to your foster aunt.

Momizi by her personality is more likely to feel guilty afterward. Aya would probably see it as just another "learning experience" she helped you through. The relationship with Aya might not change at all the morning after: She's undoubtedly more experienced than Momizi and may just see it as no big deal. She might continue doing it with you, but I think eventually she would try to hook you up with a human girlfriend.

Momizi on the other hand would either try to avoid you for a while, apologize (by the nature of the mother-child relationship, she'll feel like she's the one responsible), or swear never to do it again, in any case you'll just have to be more affectionate--she'll melt. Unlike Aya, Momizi would probably demand exclusivity on both your parts, even if she cannot come up with a label for your relationship. Momizi is also more likely to hide the relationship from the other Tengu.

tl;dr: Aya wants to see your cute, smiling face. Momizi wants to hear "I love you".
>> No. 9837
>>9821
I don't really see the positions making much of a difference, though. The personalities - as you yourself have stated - are what makes it seem that much more taboo.

With Momizi, we'll at least have guilt, that sort of awkwardness of being around each other. Aya is more likely to be that "dirty aunt" that has no shame in screwing her nephew, experimenting in many different ways, even making us call her "aunty Aya!" while we're in the middle of doing it. It'd just be that much more raunchy. Hell, she'd probably come looking for us for sex instead of us for her. She'd be the type to jack us off in public while everyone around us watched. It's because of the reason she doesn't see anything wrong with it, that makes the situation that much worse.

I think the only way we're going to get Momizi to that level, is if we take the initiative to call her "mommy", and openly try and let everyone know about our relationship. AKA, become as bad as Aya.
>> No. 9839
>I think the only way we're going to get Momizi to that level, is if we take the initiative to call her "mommy", and openly try and let everyone know about our relationship. AKA, become as bad as Aya.

I don't see that we'd want to get to that level. Lovey-dovey, privacy of your own home lovemaking is what we're looking for in a Momizi route, not rapid-fire, GiG-style H-scenes. Mikio will make a bride out of her someday.

And as for whether Momizi could see Mikio as both a man and a son, she's brought it up herself, right at the top of the thread. She admits being conflicted over her role in his life, saying that she was mothering too much. She apologizes, attempts to distance herself from him or, rather, distance herself from her own feelings by implying that they were somehow wrong or unwanted. Mikio tells her outright that he doesn't think she's done him wrong, and rather, that he loves her. With finality Momizi declares that this is the last day she'll treat him like a child, implying from then on, she'll treat him like a man (and all that entails).
>> No. 9840
>>9839
See, now you're tying this whole conversation in with the story itself. For the most part, I can say we've just been screwing around, or at least that's what I thought we were doing.

The feelings she had for us as our "mother" aren't going to completely disappear, even if she starts treating us differently. In all seriousness, the Momizi route is going to be a hard one to get on. The Momizi+Mikio, Mother+Son shit isn't going to fly. By that time, we're an adult, and it's no longer "cute".
>> No. 9841
let's get back into the story. Aya is depressed and Mikio is lieing dieing in the middle of a forest and he smells sweet potatoes.
>> No. 9842
>The feelings she had for us as our "mother" aren't going to completely disappear, even if she starts treating us differently. In all seriousness, the Momizi route is going to be a hard one to get on.

I can't disagree strongly enough.

>By that time, we're an adult, and it's no longer "cute".

You're still thinking about it from the Aya perspective; Momizi isn't going to analyze Mikio's physical and social particulars in order to determine whether he is or is not a potential mate. She's well past the point of intimacy, and no matter what she says about not treating him like her child, she is still nonetheless heavily emotionally invested in him. Unless they've already been negatively imprinted (Westermarck--unlikely, Miki was past the critical point when he met her), they'll find happiness together. The declaration that she won't treat him like a child is more for herself than for Miki; it's a charm against the notion that she does something wrong in thinking about him in that way.
>> No. 9843
>>9841
>Aya is depressed and Mikio is lieing dieing in the middle of a forest and he smells sweet potatoes.

Likely, Aya will go to Momizi expecting comfort, only to find her livid at the idea that she left Miki injured and alone in the middle of a forest. Cue Momizi's frantic search for Miki while he's having dinner with the Aki sisters, culminating in another teary tackle-hug. Aya... gets to write her article, and receives a formal apology from Miki when he returns.
>> No. 9847
>>9843
Ah, yes, thanks for reminding me. Before I forget, I vote to bring back some sweet potatoes for Momizi and Aya next update. That's a good tension-breaker.
>> No. 9863
Oh, by the way: Lion has said that he'll write however we vote, or something to that effect.

tl;dr, It's Miller Momiji Time.
>> No. 9864
>>9863

Question: Around what age is Mikio at now? Is it around 14-16 or 17-21?
>> No. 9867
[x] Go after Miss Aya.
>> No. 9868
>>9847
>Before I forget, I vote to bring back some sweet potatoes for Momizi and Aya next update

This is a good idea, and you should feel good for thinking it.
>> No. 9870
[x] Follow the scent.
------

You lean on the tree next to you for comfort as you dazedly straightened yourself up, feeling a little light-headed. You’re still uncomfortably aware of the blood pulsing through the back of your head, but the headache’s not nearly as bad as it was just a few minutes ago.

You absentmindedly wiped the back of your hand on your hakama, trying to scrub the fast-drying blood off of it as you uneasily began to walk. There was definitely a fragrance of half-baked sweet potatoes in the air, reminding you of how hungry you are at the moment. You did just empty your stomach, after all. It might be best to find something to fill it up with, especially when you’re feeling weak like this.

But ack, there’s still a trace of the taste of bile in your mouth. Scrunching up your face, you spat onto the ground. Blood mixed with saliva. How disgusting. You decided to push any thoughts that dwelled on that to the back of your mind.

The scent grows stronger as you continue to walk, staggering from tree to tree, leaning on them for support as you followed the smell with your nose. You finally find the source of the smell within minutes. Someone had left some sweet potatoes roasting over an open fire in a clearing surrounded by trees. Well, they won’t mind if you pinch just one, right? There are plenty of them, so you’ll just help yourself to one of them…

You slumped down on to the ground, grabbing one of the wooden sticks that speared one of the many sweet potatoes being cooked in the fire. Your mouth began to water as you lifted up the sweet potato to your face, blowing on it to cool it down. This one was cooked at the right distance and for just long enough, too.

After waiting for it to cool down enough for you to be able to touch it, you took it off of the stick, tossing it back and forth between your hands to keep them from being burned. You began to peel the skin off of it, taking a bite into the yellow flesh. Delicious and sweet. You hungrily eat the rest of it, nearly choking on it as you wolfed it down.

“Ah! My offerings!”

You heard an alarmed voice from behind you as you reached for a second helping, quickly turning your head to take a look. Standing there was a barefooted girl wearing a grape on a hat and carrying a woven basket, glaring at you with a look that seemed a mixture of indignance and surprise. You let go of the stick, quickly standing up as she stomped over to you, dropping her basket on the ground next to the fire.

“How insolent! Those were offerings from the human village for their successful harvest this year, you thief!” She said in a huff, prodding you in the middle of the chest with an accusatory finger. “I told Shizuha to keep an eye on these while I was away, but she’s always going off to play by herself whenever I let her out of my sight. And now I come back to find you stealing my offerings.”

You gave a few steps backward as the girl crossed her arms and frowned, looking up at your face with an expectant gaze. Feeling a little foolish, you gave a deep bow to her.

“Uh… I’m… I’m sorry,” you mumbled out, your words coming out a little slow on the uptake. “I just… I was really hungry, please forgive me.”

Her expression softened as it went from a look of indignance to curiosity. Her eyes widened in as she examined you a little closer.

“..Heeeey… aren’t you a tengu?” she said, backing away just a little, whether she was conscious of it or not. “What are you doing here? Have you been in a fight? Your clothes are all messed up…”

You looked down at your clothes, not really having paid any attention to them until now. She was right: your clothes really are a mess. Your shirt was almost completely torn up; exposing the cotton underneath as well as parts of bare skin, and your hakama had numerous cuts and slashes on it. Your sash was barely hanging onto your waist by a thread of fabric, and your sheath was hanging from a hole in your shirt rather than your sash like it was supposed to.

“Ahaha, um, yes, I suppose I was in a fight earlier,” you nervously laughed, scratching the back of your head. “Um… I was just on my way back to the mountain, and I smelled something delicious, so I just sort of…”

“Oh…no, I mean, that’s… that’s understandable,” she said, suddenly looking a lot more humbled. “Um, if you’re still hungry, feel free to help yourself to some more! Shizuha and I can’t eat that much by ourselves, anyway. There’s more in the harvest basket, anyway…”

“… Really? Is that alright?”

“It’s really really alright!”

Well, if she says so.

You sink back down onto the ground, hurriedly snatching up one of the skewers to keep it from burning in the fire. The girl sat down across you on the other side of the fire, taking one of the skewers for herself.

As you finished your second helping of a sweet potato, a dazzling, colorful blur or orange and yellow flew into view, landing gracefully next to the girl sitting across from you. It was another girl, who looked very similar to the first, with golden blonde hair. She was wearing an orange dress with hems that reminded you of autumn leaves, as well as a bright cheerful smile.

“Hey there, Minorin,” she said, taking a seat next to her. “Are the sweet potatoes done yet? Are they done?”

“They’re not burned, at least. You were supposed to keep watch on them to make sure that didn’t happen, you know” the other girl said bitterly as she ate her share.

“Huh? Oh, right! But that’s boooring, and there was still a part of the forest that hadn’t turned yet! Actually there’s still a good chunk of it left I’ve been saving up!” Shizuha replied with a shameless grin, snatching up one of the sweet potatoes for herself, not even bothering to peel the skin before biting into it. “So who’s the guy with the mask?” She said, pointing at you.

“Ah, um…I’m Kirita Mikio,” you said, bowing slightly, which was a little hard since you were seated on the ground. “Um… she said it’s alright if I had some,” you said, turning your head towards the girl with the hat.

“Oh, okay then,” Shizuha nodded, turning her attention back to the sweet potato in her hands. Just as she was about to bite into it, the other girl snatched it out of the way, causing her to bite down on the air.

“Ow, my teeth!” she exclaimed, placing her hands on both of her cheeks as she turned to her side. “What’d you do that for?! You’re so mean, Minorin~”

“Introduce yourself when someone gives their name to you,” the other girl chastised with a scornful look, shaking her head as she returned the half-eaten sweet potato to Shizuha. “Honestly, Shizuha, you really need to act more like a goddess should.” Standing up, the girl gave a light bow of the head. “I’m Aki Minoriko,” she said, before shooting an expectant look at the girl beside her. You quickly stood up; it wasn’t proper to accept a bow sitting down.

Shizuha quickly stood up, raising her hand, although she quickly cut it short after a glance at Minoriko, instead giving a deeper bow to you. “I’m Aki Shizuha! I’m Minorin’s older sister!” She said with a cheerful smile. You returned their bows with your own, thanking them for the food before all three of you sat back down to enjoy the last of the sweet potatoes.
>> No. 9871
------

“So you two are both goddesses?” you asked. Although the area around Youkai Mountain was supposedly inhabited by a lot of gods, Miss Kagiyama was really the only one you had met.

“Yup! See all these trees?” Shizuha replied enthusiastically, standing up to spread her arms to the sides, giving a twirl. “I’m the goddess of turning leaves! My duty is to give beautiful color to the trees. Isn’t it really, really pretty?” She then walked over to you, extending a hand towards you. You took her hand into yours as you stood up, looking up at the colorful leaves of the trees. “See? It’s really wonderful isn’t it?” Shizuha grinned, letting go of your hand as she closed her eyes, spreading her arms out again as a pleasant breeze rustled the branches, sending dry leaves looping around in the air, carried by the wind.

“It really is…” you said, enjoying the breeze.

“And I’m the goddess of harvest,” You heard Minoriko say, walking beside you while carrying her basket of things. “Once a year, the people at the human village invite me over for their harvest festival. They give me gifts and offerings, and carry me around the town. And in exchange, I make sure they have a bountiful harvest each year!” She stated with a proud smile, lifting up her basket. Inside were numerous sweet potatoes, grapes, fruits, and other crops. “It’s a really important job, you know. You could say it’s the most important thing about autumn.”

“No way, no way!” Shizuha laughed, skipping over to you and wrapping her arms around one of yours, surprising you a little. “The first thing people think about when they think of autumn is the beauty of the changing leaves!” she said, sticking a tongue out at her sister, before looking up at you. “Don’t you think so too?”

“Eh? Um… I…”

“That’s just one of your childish games, Shizuha. What I do is much more important!” Minoriko said, frowning as she lowered her basket next to her. “If it weren’t for me, the humans won’t be able to get enough harvest!” She quickly latched onto your other arm, looking at you with a more serious expression compared to her older sister. “Isn’t that right?” she asked. Well, more demanded, actually.

But geez, to be put on the spot like this... What's the more important part of autumn...?

[] The changing of leaves.
[] The harvest.
[] Both...? I dunno...
>> No. 9873
>[] The changing of leaves.

Tengu answer

>[] The harvest.

Human answer

[x] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'
[x] "As for sweet potatoes, I have nothing to say but: 'Mmmm.' It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."

The Zen answer.
>> No. 9877
[x] Stay silent for a few moments, then smile and close your eyes.
[x] "They're both very important"
[x] "From the fruits of the earth, to the colors of the sky, you both represent a wonderful passing of time. You bring with you a happiness that all can share - the joy that comes when the season is made obvious, a mark to a new day, the feel of the world around you, a chance to be with family, with loved ones..."
[x] "It is all of these wonderful things, that are brought about by every aspect of autumn, from the bounty of the harvest that fill our bellies, to the auburn leaves that paint our landscape. It's so peaceful, so beautiful"
[x] Open your eyes and take a deep breath of air "You are both important to this world. I can't thank you two enough for the sight before my eyes. Really, thank you".
>> No. 9878
[X] "Autumn, huh..."
[X] "I guess the part I've always noticed the most from autumn is..."
[X] "How the day's shorter. Yeah. How night comes, more quickly than in summer, and I get to go to bed earlier. That's definitely the part of autumn I like the most."
[X] Because at night you're home, and at night Miss Momizi is home, too, and everything is alright, if only until morning.
>> No. 9879
>>9877
>[x] Open your eyes and take a deep breath of air "You are both important to this world. I can't thank you two enough for the sight before my eyes. Really, thank you".

Laying it on a little thick there, smarmalade.
>> No. 9880
[x] "They're both very important"
[x] "From the fruits of the earth, to the colors of the sky, you both represent a wonderful passing of time. You bring with you a happiness that all can share - the joy that comes when the season is made obvious, a mark to a new day, the feel of the world around you, a chance to be with family, with loved ones..."

The good answer.

>Tengu answer
>Human answer

This is the second time this happens. First time was the old tale that Aya told Mikio, and now this. I wonder how they affect Mikio and the story...
>> No. 9881
[x] "They're both very important"
[x] "From the fruits of the earth, to the colors of the sky, you both represent a wonderful passing of time. You bring with you a happiness that all can share - the joy that comes when the season is made obvious, a mark to a new day, the feel of the world around you, a chance to be with family, with loved ones..."
>> No. 9882
>>9879
Well, between confusing them and bullying them, I'd rather leave them awe-struck and in admiration us.

And if there's a chance of a future encounter with the Aki sisters, what better way to make Momizi get jealous over us~?
>> No. 9884
[x] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'
[x] "As for sweet potatoes, I have nothing to say but: 'Mmmm.' It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."
>> No. 9885
[x] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'
[x] "As for sweet potatoes, I have nothing to say but: 'Mmmm.' It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."
>> No. 9886
>[x] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'

Just what is this supposed to mean?
>> No. 9887
[z] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'
[e] "As for sweet potatoes, I have nothing to say but: 'Mmmm.' It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."

It sounds slightly in favor of tengu, but oh well. That way Momiji lies.

I hope.
>> No. 9888
>>9886
It means nothing.
[x] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'
[x] "As for sweet potatoes, I have nothing to say but: 'Mmmm.' It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."
>> No. 9892
>>9888
"What does that mean?"
>It means nothing.
"So then which one of us is better?"
>> No. 9893
>>9892

You don't understand how koans work. It's a meaningless response to a question that yet sounds meaningful. I assure you the sisters will be so thrown off by cognitive dissonance that they forget what they asked you in the first place.
>> No. 9894
>>9893

Isn't just better to say "both"?
>> No. 9896
>>9894

No, because that won't be a satisfactory answer for either of them. It sounds flippant and dismissive; they may even be insulted by it.
>> No. 9897
[x] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'
[x] "As for sweet potatoes, I have nothing to say but: 'Mmmm.' It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."

Well now that its been explained it sounds okay.
>> No. 9899
>>9892
>It means nothing.
>> No. 9900
Can't we say something about how the bounty of the harvest helps make life possible and the beauty of the changing leaves helps make life enjoyable, and neither aspect would matter much without the other? I can't think of a good way to put it, though.
>> No. 9901
>Can't we say something about how the bounty of the harvest helps make life possible and the beauty of the changing leaves helps make life enjoyable, and neither aspect would matter much without the other? I can't think of a good way to put it, though.

The reason why you cannot think of a good way to put this is because it isn't true.
>> No. 9903
>>9901
The hell it ain't. Autumn is my favorite season; I'd be pissed if even one part of it were to disappear.
>> No. 9904
>>9903

You've never had to go hungry then.

If you were dying of anemia, beriberi, pellagra, rickets, and scurvy, I doubt the color of the local foliage would be the first thing on your mind.
>> No. 9905
[x] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'
[x] "As for sweet potatoes, I have nothing to say but: 'Mmmm.' It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."
>> No. 9909
>>9904
If I was that fucked up, I'd be staring out my window and waiting for death. Long enough to enjoy the scenery!
>> No. 9913
>>9909

A shame that you wouldn't be able to see it, what with your end-stage vitamin A deficiency and all.
>> No. 9915
Update tomorrow. For certain.
>> No. 9916
[x] I am reminded of a koan my master taught me: 'A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples. When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you." After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."'
[x] "As for sweet potatoes, I have nothing to say but: 'Mmmm.' It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."

What a nice write in