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9927 2009/04/15(Wed)04:58 No. 9927
[x] That write-in.
------

“…Um, before I say anything else,” you said, letting out a sigh as you gave a glance to each of the girls hanging from your arms. “Could… could you two let go of me first, please?” Seriously, with how messed up your sleeves are, they might get torn off your shirt at the slightest of tugs.

Minoriko looked a little embarrassed as she let go of your arm, taking a step back with a nod. Shizuha seemed just a bit more reluctant, frowning as she tore herself away from you, stepping back to give you a little more room. She was probably hoping you would immediately side with her.

“But you know, with all these talk of leaves and beauty, it kind of reminds me of a story my master once told me,” you spoke, taking a seat on the ground once more while beckoning the sisters to join you. They sat down, listening intently. Taking a deep breath, you began.

“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.” “

You’re amazed you actually managed to remember all of that. You were sure you had suffered brain damage from all the times Ogata had beaten you over the head with a stick when you “asked stupid questions” about the koan. As for the Aki sisters, their expressions could only be described as hopeless confusion. They were good listeners, though.

“…Huh? I don’t get it,” Shizuha said bluntly, looking over at her sister. “Hey, hey, Minorin, did you catch all that?”

“Um… yeah, of course I did!” Minoriko said, although the her expression on her face made you doubt her sincerity. “..But, um, since Shizuha didn’t get it, though, could you repeat the whole thing over again?” Shizuha nodded enthusiastically, looking back at you, so you complied, retelling the story again. After a brief moment of silence, she spoke up again.

“Oh. Ohhhh. I get it now! It means that nature is more beautiful than any “perfection” that a human can make, right?” she said, looking pleased with herself. “I’m right, aren’t I?”

“No, no, no. It just means that it’s not perfect to try to be perfect at all,” Minoriko spoke up, “Trying to be perfect will only result in being egoistical, that’s the lesson the old man was trying to teach, right?”

“… Um, well…” you started to speak…

“What? No way, I’m right!” Shizuha said, turning to face her younger sister.

“… Actually…”

You’re right?” Minoriko said with a look of indignance, glaring at Shizuha. “I think it’s clear that the lesson was just to be yourself instead of creating a false image!”

“Nuh-uh, nuh-uh! It’s to not disrupt the natural beauty of the world!”

Boy, you can practically see the sparks fly.

“Right?!”
“Right?!”

The both of them suddenly turn to you, giving you a sharp look as they said in unison, startling you a little.

“… Um, there’s no real answer,” you admitted sheepishly. The sisters stared at you in silence for a while. Shizuha finally tilted her head and let out a “Huh?”

“That… that story was a koan. It’s meant to show the fallacies of logical reasoning. There’s no real answer, but there’s a lot of ways in which the contradicting actions can be interpreted…”

“Huh. That’s… weird,” Shizuha said, shrinking a little as she appeared to ponder on this for a little.

“I… I knew that,” Minoriko attempted to save face, although once again her rather confused expression gave her away. “…But, um, is there one on the harvest?”

“… Eh?”

“A koan. Is there one about the harvest in autumn? Or maybe about sweet potatoes?”

“Um, well…” you search through your head, trying to remember any koans relating to the harvest. You can’t think of any right now, so… “…Mmmm.”

“Mmmm?” Shizuha repeated, looking puzzled.

“Mmmm?” Her sister was as equally at a loss.

“Mmmm,” you repeated. “When thinking of the sweet potatoes of autumn, all you need to think of is ‘Mmmm.’ It encompasses everything we might want to say about them. 'Mmmm.' This is why there is no need for a sweet potato koan."

You have no idea what you’re spouting off right now, but that’s fine too.

“… Huh. I don’t really get it, but I think that’s cool,” Shizuha concluded, looking impressed. “Tengu are really smart, huh?”

“… Hey, wait a minute!” Minoriko suddenly exclaimed, standing up. “That doesn’t answer our question from earlier at all!” Shizuha quickly went from impressed to looking a little annoyed.

Oh, whoops. You were sort of hoping they wouldn’t notice that.

“… Ahaha,” you offer a weak laugh in response to the pouting glare both of them were giving you now. “… Sorry, but I didn’t really know how to answer that.”

“… Well, that’s fine!” Shizuha quickly brightened up, standing up to point at the sun, which was heading down behind the great mountain in the distance. The light of the sunset basked the sky a deep orange hue. “It’s nearly the most beautiful part of the day!” She said enthusiastically, hurrying over to you to extend a hand towards you. “Follow me, and I’ll show you how wonderful the changing of leaves is!”

[] Sure, why not.
[] Actually, it’s getting late. You should head home.

>> 2009/04/15(Wed)05:04 No. 9928
[x] Sure, why not.

aki aki aki
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)05:07 No. 9929
[] Sure, why not.
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)05:20 No. 9930
[x] Sure, why not.
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)05:29 No. 9931
{X} Sure, why not.
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)06:11 No. 9932
[x] Sure, why not.
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)06:30 No. 9933
That went pretty well.

[] Sure, why not.
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)06:31 No. 9934
[X] Actually, it’s getting late. You should head home.

Mo...mi...
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)07:25 No. 9937
[x] Sure, why not

Show our love to the fall~
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)12:15 No. 9941
[x] Sure, why not
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)14:22 No. 9943
[] Actually, it’s getting late. You should head home.
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)16:02 No. 9945
[x] Sure, why not
>> 2009/04/15(Wed)21:41 No. 9948
[X] Sure, why not?
>> 2009/04/16(Thu)03:05 No. 9953
>>9927
[X] Sure, why not.

Kinda curious as to how this works.
>> 2009/04/16(Thu)11:36 No. 9965
Damn. That brilliant write-in was thwarted.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)06:12 No. 9986
[x] Sure, why not.
------

Well, alright. No point in refusing to go, and you didn’t want to have to disappoint her when she looked so eager about it. You nodded as you take her hand, allowing her to pull you up to your feet.

“So how is this going to work?” you asked as you dusted your hakama off with your free hand, Shizuha still holding onto your other hand. She isn’t going to dance around to make the leaves change color, is she?

“Follow me, follow me! I’ll show you!” she said excitedly, pulling you along as she took a couple of rushed steps forward before floating into the air. You followed after her; surprisingly enough, you seemed to have regained enough stamina to keep yourself flying well enough.

As the two of you rose above the trees, you raised an arm to shield your eyes from the glaring sunlight. Around you was a sea of beautifully colored leaves, waves of red and orange that vividly reflected the light of the setting sun.

Shizuha gave a firm squeeze on your hand, catching your attention as she pointed up ahead to a noticeable patch of trees, still retaining their green leaves, surrounded otherwise by the colored leaves of autumn.

“There! That’s my favorite spot!” She said, looking back and giving you a bright smile. She began lowering her altitude, so you followed suit. Beneath the green leaves and the wooden branches, there was a small stream of water running down between the trees. Might be a part of the river that ran from the waterfall to Misty Lake, but you’re not sure. You stepped onto the soft grass as Shizuha let go of your hand, walking into the stream of water. Turning around to face you, she stretched her arms out to either side.

“I’ve been saving this place for last, you know!” she said proudly, briefly relaxing her pose to pound her chest a little before resuming that stance. “Well then, get ready for a show that only happens once a year! Watch carefully, okay?”

She then closed her eyes, apparently concentrating. A strong gust of wind played about the trees, rustling their leaves. Was it because something divine was happening, or was it mere coincidence?

Shizuha began to rise into the air, the tip of her feet now just barely touching the surface of the water. After a brief pause, she continued to rise, and with fluid motion, began to fly ever so gracefully towards the trees. Her small body seemed to wave about in the air, like a leaf being carried by the wind.

And as she soared past the leaves, she left behind a dazzling trail of color. Just through contact with the leaves, they seemed to change color, as if she were a brush in the hands of a skilled painter. She continued to drift about the trees, coloring them an assortment of red, orange, and yellow. It was… truly a breathtaking sight, to watch the leaves take on new color as the girl danced about in the air.

Pretty soon, all the trees in the area had been redecorated. Shizuha landed back down in the shallow stream of water, looking satisfied, but also a little down.

“That was great!” You said, clapping your hands as you smiled, walking closer to her. “I really liked it.”

Shizuha turned around, gave a big grin, and then suddenly flew at you. Before you had a chance to do anything, she tackled you by the midriff, knocking you down on your back onto the soft earth beneath you.

“What are you-?” you began to raise yourself back up, but she quickly silenced you by placing a finger on her lips, shushing you while gently pushing you back down. She then rolled herself off of you, lying down next to you while facing the sky.

“Look. Now the sky and the leaves are the same color,” she whispered, reaching out above her with one hand. “… Isn’t it wonderful? I love it…”

“… Yeah, it really is…” you agreed, as a strong yet gentle breeze caressed your body and played about with your hair. A shower of colorful leaves fell around you as you smiled. How pleasantly relaxing… But beside you, Shizuha had fallen into a rather somber silence. “… Is something wrong? You seem a little sad.”

“… Huh? Oh, it’s nothing, really…” She said with a heavy sigh. “It’s just that… well… I’m done for the year. There are no leaves left to change anymore. I guess I’m just a little sad that I’ll have to wait until next year to do it again…”

“… I see,” you said. Maybe she felt a little obsolete now that her duty was at an end for now? “… Well, please cheer up. I really appreciate what you do for autumn, and I’m sure many other people do as well, so even if there aren’t any more leaves to give color to, you shouldn’t let it get you down.”

“Ahaha~” she laughed, shifting to her side to look at you. “Thanks. That really means a lot to me, you know.”

For the next few minutes, you stayed like that silently, enjoying the pleasant coolness of the earth, the playful breeze, and watching the leaves fall from the trees, carried off by the wind. If you’re not careful, you just might fall asleep like this…

“You shouldn’t sleep here, you know,” Minoriko’s voice came from above you, and you quickly jerked your eyes open. Whoa, you really did almost fall asleep. You sat up, rubbing your eyes. Next to you, Shizuha was already fast asleep, looking very comfortable. The sun had nearly fully gone down now, you should get home.

“… Yeah, I should get going now,” you said to Minoriko, standing up. She nodded, and handed you a bundle of cloth.

“I thought you might, so here,” she said as you took the bundle into your arms. The cloth seemed to have been wrapped around a lot of small things. “I thought I’d share some of my offerings with you, since you played with her for so long,” Minoriko explained, gesturing towards the sleeping Shizuha. Ah, so that’s what was inside.

“Thank you,” you said, bowing graciously.

“Oh no, it’s no problem,” she said, quickly returning the bow. “… Well, take care.”

Nodding, you placed the bundle under your arm as you took off into the air, waving her goodbye.

---

Dinner back at headquarters was a little unsettling. Old man Ogata was being his usual drunk self, but as for Miss Aya. Well, she kept shooting nervous glances at you, although she didn’t dare say anything to you. Now that you were in a better mood than before, you actually felt a little bad for snapping at her earlier, no matter if she deserved it or not. Miss Momizi seemed to pick up that something had happened, although her confused expression showed that she didn’t know much, either.

After you finish eating, you should…

[] Talk with Miss Aya.
[] Talk with Miss Momizi.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)06:27 No. 9987
[x] Talk with Miss Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)06:42 No. 9988
[] Talk with Miss Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)07:12 No. 9991
[X] Talk with Miss Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)07:18 No. 9992
[] Talk with Miss Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)07:22 No. 9993
[x] Talk with Miss Aya.

Alright, she's suffered enough.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)07:52 No. 9994
[x] Talk with Miss Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)13:13 No. 9995
>“… Huh? Oh, it’s nothing, really…” She said with a heavy sigh. “It’s just that… well… I’m done for the year. There are no leaves left to change anymore. I guess I’m just a little sad that I’ll have to wait until next year to do it again…”

Shizuha are you grieving,
Over Goldengrove unleaving?

[x] Talk with Miss Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)13:18 No. 9996
[X] Talk with Miss Momizi.

Fuck Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)13:55 No. 9997
[X] Talk with Miss Aya.

;_;

Sorry, aunt Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)16:55 No. 9999
[] Talk with Miss Momizi.

Aya sucks
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)18:07 No. 10000
Will someone explain to me why we're apologizing for having been abandoned and left to fend for ourselves for the sake of a good story? Because I still don't really understand that.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)18:25 No. 10001
>>10000

We're apologizing because she was worried about us, then we screamed at her to get away, leave us alone, and not touch us. She may have gotten us hurt, but she was genuinely concerned for us, and we freaked out on her.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)20:05 No. 10003
>>10001
So, we're apologizing for being so upset after she abandoned us and left us to fend for ourselves for the sake of a good story, then.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)20:14 No. 10004
>>10003

In her defense, Danmaku is non-lethal, and is likely all she anticipated we would encounter. She probably thought it would be good exercise and practice for us. She certainly didn't expect us to start coughing up blood.

Then, when she was seriously shaken, and worried about us, we screamed at her to go away.

It wasn't a cool thing for us to do.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)20:17 No. 10005
[x] Talk with Miss Aya.

I loves me some Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)21:41 No. 10006
[x] Talk with Miss Aya.
>> 2009/04/17(Fri)21:45 No. 10007
>It wasn't a cool thing for us to do.

Neither is, you know, abandoning us and leaving us to fend for ourselves for the sake of a good story, I'm pretty sure, maybe.
>> 2009/04/18(Sat)08:19 No. 10011
>>10004

Uh, Sakuya was throwing real knives at you.
>> 2009/04/18(Sat)14:26 No. 10013
>>10000

QuestionGET
>> 2009/04/18(Sat)17:04 No. 10014
>>10011

No, no she wasn't.

>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.

We took a direct hit, and all it did was hit us like danmaku would. Because it was danmaku.
>> 2009/04/18(Sat)19:26 No. 10015
>We took a direct hit, and all it did was hit us like danmaku would. Because it was danmaku.

Yes that was danmaku. Sakuya had declared a spell card. Her knives hit Miki who had also declared a spell card, resulting in Spell Break.

However, the knives Sakuya had been throwing at him before she declared were real:

>“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.

Miki knows how danmaku works. He knows that he would be hurt if one of these knives hit him. His fear is justified.

>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.

Sakuya becomes more aggressive and aims for his vitals because she now thinks he's a Tengu. Miki admits the possibility that his life is at risk.
>> 2009/04/18(Sat)19:38 No. 10016
>>10015

All those instances came before he was actually hit, hence this:

>>You reel back in shock. Your clothes were torn here and there, but otherwise you were unharmed.

He was taken by surprise - he had thought she was throwing real knives, but the hit made him realize that it was just danmaku.

The shift in aiming at vital locations probably had nothing to do with killing him - danmaku apparently hurts quite a bit, and presumably having vital regions pounded with focused, if non-lethal, magical power would make one go down faster.
>> 2009/04/18(Sat)22:28 No. 10017
>>10016
>he had thought she was throwing real knives, but the hit made him realize that it was just danmaku.

Miki isn't ignorant. He knows how spellcard duels work. Everything used for the purpose of spellcard duel is danmaku, and therefore incapable of actually killing anyone. However, she wasn't throwing danmaku at him until she declared a spellcard.

Try looking at it in the context of the whole paragraph:
>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?

Being unharmed isn't what surprises him; he already knows at this point that they're operating under spell card rules, hence the proceeding line:
>And much like your needles did to her earlier; the knives close in, shattering your spell.

This is what he was shocked by:
>Only for them to suddenly turn around and point at you.

She broke his spell card almost immediately after he broke hers, because he made a stupid mistake.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)13:52 No. 10020
[†] Talk with Miss Aya.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)18:21 No. 10022
[x] Talk with Miss Aya.
------

… Yeah, it’s probably a good idea to talk things out with Miss Aya now, for her sake as well as your own. There’s no need for both of you to keep feeling bad like this. You quickly finished your meal, standing up to hurry after her, who had already started walking out of the room.

Outside of the canteen, you quietly trailed behind her as she continued to walk down the twisting corridors. How should you approach her? Maybe just calling out to her would be best…

Miss Aya suddenly stopped, walking over to a wall and leaning her back against it with her arms crossed together. You followed suit only a moment later, and the two of you stood there in awkward silence together. You occasionally caught her glancing at you with that same unease from before, but it seems neither of you really knew how to start the conversation.

“… Um…” you started uncertainly, looking down at your feet. Think of something to say, think of something to say… “… They served some good food tonight, didn’t they?” Well, it wasn’t really much, but it was at least a start.

“…Ah? Y-yeah, I guess they did…” Miss Aya replied shakily, looking away from you as she fidgeted around with her foot.

This is getting nowhere. That awkward atmosphere’s only continuing to grow.

“… Um, about earlier,” you began, turning your head towards her. Her posture quickly stiffened, her head turning your way, although she still averted her eyes from yours. “... I don’t know what came over me. I just… kind of snapped at you. I’m sorry.”

“… That’s okay. You don’t have to apologize,” Miss Aya said sadly, looking away from you again. “I was being horrible to you. Momizi was right, I’m too irresponsible. I… deserve to be hated by you.”

“… That’s not true. That’s not true at all.”

“… Eh?” Miss Aya looked at you, her eyes widening in surprise.

“I don’t hate you,” you continued, looking directly into her eyes. “And I can’t put all the blame on you, either.”

“You… don’t hate me?”

“I couldn’t hate you,” you said. “… Although, I’ve got a few things to say about you leaving me by myself in that place.”

“… I’m sorry, Mikio,” she continued to say. “That was really stupid of me. I was so confident in myself, that I forgot how dangerous it might be for you.”

“… Please don’t leave me alone in a place like that again, Miss Aya,” you said sternly, although immediately after, your expression softened into a smile. “And it’s weird seeing you like this. It’s too unlike you.”

“Ahaha,” she laughed, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand. “I guess you’re right. This isn’t like me at all… I can’t even remember the last time I cried like this, how embarrassing…”

“I’m fine, though, so you don’t need to cry,” you said, presenting yourself in front of her. “Although, I can’t say the same for my spare set of clothes. They were completely ripped up.”

You decide not to mention the vomiting blood part to her. The less you talk about things you don’t understand, the better. Besides, otherwise, your body didn’t seem to have any external wounds at all.

It was only natural, after all. A spell card duel was meant to be non-lethal to the participants. The spell cards themselves carried the power to shield them from serious damage, although clothes didn’t seem to have that same level of protection. You’re not exactly sure of how the whole system works, but according to the old man, it messed around with the border of battle or something close to that effect. How a human like the Hakurei shrine maiden can do something like that, you’ll probably never find out.

”…Yeah, I’m glad you’re unharmed. But… I didn’t think that vampire and her servant would attack you so earnestly.”

“That did seem kind of strange,” you said, frowning. “Why did that vampire keep calling me a thing?”

“I have no idea,” Miss Aya said, shrugging her shoulders. “Maybe she saw something in you that she didn’t like. I don’t know. She did say something about understanding fate, but I didn’t really get most of it.”

…Fate, huh? You’re getting pretty sick of that word, for some reason.

---

Ah.

It’s this place again.

The crossroad.

You looked back. The void behind you is continuing to grow.

The roads in front of you haven’t changed at all.

Which way will you go now?

[] Right. A life amidst hardship.
[] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)18:26 No. 10023
[] Right. A life amidst hardship.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)18:44 No. 10024
[] Right. A life amidst hardship.

As must as I want to go left, ignoring plot has never turned out good results.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)18:46 No. 10025
[P] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

Cast off the shackles of fate, and aim for a bright future.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)18:56 No. 10026
[x] Right. A life amidst hardship.

This is what was chosen last time, right?
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)19:02 No. 10027
[x] Right. A life amidst hardship.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)19:05 No. 10028
[X] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)19:12 No. 10029
[x] Right. A life amidst hardship.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)19:16 No. 10030
[] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)19:41 No. 10031
>>10026

Actually, no.

We went left last time, and the option had a slightly different name.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)21:04 No. 10032
[X] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)21:59 No. 10033
[x] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

Delicious Hoshuu/Sanae~
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)22:01 No. 10034
[x] Right. A life amidst hardship.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)22:18 No. 10035
[x] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

This sounds campy. And awesome.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)22:41 No. 10036
[X] Right. A life amidst hardship.

I want to at least see what this is about. If it sucks, fine.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)22:44 No. 10037
[X] Right. A life amidst hardship.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)23:19 No. 10038
[x] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> 2009/04/19(Sun)23:50 No. 10039
[X] Right. A life amidst hardship.

hard working days for the family
>> 2009/04/20(Mon)03:44 No. 10040
[X] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

'Let's fight fire with a little fire of our own!'
>> 2009/04/20(Mon)07:22 No. 10041
[] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> 2009/04/20(Mon)08:03 No. 10042
[x] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.

Fuck Fate.
>> 2009/04/20(Mon)14:12 No. 10043
[x] Right. A life amidst hardship.
>> 2009/04/20(Mon)14:14 No. 10044
[X] Right. A life amidst hardship.
>> 2009/04/20(Mon)16:25 No. 10045
[x] Left. Blazing, halcyon days.
>> 2009/04/20(Mon)16:29 No. 10046
[X] Right. A life amidst hardship.

Fuck Hoshuu.
>> 2009/04/20(Mon)16:37 No. 10047
[x] Right. A life amidst hardship.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)03:05 No. 10049
[ze] Relft. A life amidst blazing hardcyonship.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)03:51 No. 10050
>>10049

No Marisa, this is not a quantum junction, you do not get in both lanes.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)05:26 No. 10051
[x] Right. A life amidst hardship.
------

You took a step forward. And another after that.
Your walking was stiff. Unnatural.

Still, you continued on.

You walked down the path on the right, and were bathed in light.

Life can be painful at times, but it was an inevitable part of it. You have to live on in spite of that fact.

You knew that, but still…

---

… It was way too hot.

You left the house early in the morning as usual, but even with the sun just barely beginning to shine its light on the land, you could practically feel the humidity in the air. What a harsh summer. If there was a god of this season, you wouldn’t waste an opportunity to give him/her/it a good kick in the ass.

You strapped the cleaver-like hatchet to your belt, and secured your leather quiver so that it wouldn’t hang too low on your waist. You slung your game bag over one shoulder, and fit your trusty old bow around your torso.

As you walked out of the village, your eyes couldn’t help but linger on the small shrine-hut that Santori and Mikihisa lived in. You haven’t seen the old man come out a single time since you heard about the whole migration thing. Is he seriously going to meditate for days in there? That can’t be healthy.

Stepping out of the rather shabby village gates, you began to follow the familiar path towards the forest you frequented for hunts.



It was still pretty early in the morning by the time you arrived at your usual hunting spot. The heat of the air was still a little unbearable, but the thick leaves offered you shade from the sun, at the least.

You began carrying the bow in your hand, opening your quiver of arrows, idly drumming your finger on one of the feathered ends of the arrows. There was a plenty of the boar left in the storage back home, but you still needed to gather up some more food for the journey to the main human settlement. Maybe you could catch goose or two. Or a rabbit. Actually, rabbit sounded pretty good right now.

You spent the next hour or so setting up a trap to catch a rabbit. It was a pretty simplistic one; just some bunched up grass as bait that would trigger a vine wrapping around their body. Rabbits were kind of stupid.

Well then, with that done, you can go ahead and look around for something to catch. You didn’t expect anything to be caught in the trap for a few hours, at the least. You’ll come back later, and hopefully, it won’t be your last resort of a catch.



There. A flock of geese hanging around the water stream. They’re a little too far away for you to be able to confidently hit, though, and you might lose the arrow if it hits the water and gets broken off by the current, or something. You approached carefully, holding an arrow by its notch between two fingers and quietly knocking it. You began drawing back the bowstring…

The flock of geese immediately flew up into the air just as you were ready to take aim at one of them. You futilely fired off a bolt at them out of reflex as the birds soared into the sky.

“Shit,” you cursed, lowering your bow. You ended up losing an arrow anyway, and didn’t even get one of them. How’d they detect you so fast, anyway? You were pretty sure you were being all stealthy and all that…

You grumbled. The last few hours hadn’t been successful at all. For some reason, you just didn’t seem to be able to find anything. What rotten luck. Now in a foul mood, you began walking to the area where you had set up the trap. You really didn’t expect to have caught anything at all, but…

You hear a sharp snap, followed by a small girl’s shriek. What the…? Don’t tell me some stupid youkai went and set off the trap…

You quickened your pace and rushed to the tree you had set the vine on, looking up. Sure enough, there was a small girl dangling from the tree by her leg. She had short, dark hair, wearing a simple pink dress. There was a pair of long, fluffy white ears growing out of her head.

Yeah, rabbits were definitely kind of stupid.

Strangely enough, she didn’t seem to be struggling too much. Actually, she didn’t seem to mind at all, she just kept idly swinging around. She could probably free herself easily if she wanted, anyway.

As you stared at her with a mixture of amusement and annoyance, she finally noticed you standing below her. Widening her eyes as if she were in awe, she brought her hands together in front of her chest, calling out to you with a pleading voice.

“Oh brave hunter! Spare my life, and I shall grant you a single wish in return!”

[] Let her down.
[] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[] Ignore her and go.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)05:35 No. 10052
[X] Let her down.

Back to Chester Barklight?

Yeah, definitely going for Hoshuu and Sanae again next time. Way more fun.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)06:16 No. 10054
[x] Let her down.

A wish for your father's health... not expecting much from a stupid rabbit though.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)06:39 No. 10055
[] Let her down.

Hoping for some good luck.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)06:54 No. 10056
[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"

you know you want to
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)10:20 No. 10057
No Hoshuu and Sanae this time ;_;

[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)11:56 No. 10058
[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)12:44 No. 10059
[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)14:02 No. 10060
[X] Let her down.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)15:25 No. 10061
>>10056
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.

adding
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)16:13 No. 10062
[X] Let her down.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)17:35 No. 10064
[x] Let her down.
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)19:37 No. 10065
[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.
[X] Let her down
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)19:54 No. 10066
[B] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
>> 2009/04/21(Tue)20:05 No. 10067
[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.
[X] Let her down
>> 2009/04/22(Wed)00:04 No. 10071
[x] Let her down.
>> 2009/04/22(Wed)04:06 No. 10074
[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.
[X] Let her down
>> 2009/04/22(Wed)05:36 No. 10075
[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.
[X] Let her down
>> 2009/04/22(Wed)06:07 No. 10076
[d] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[a] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[z] Poke her with your bow a few times.
[e] Let her

Fuck yeah, Chester.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)03:12 No. 10089
[x] “Oh. Rabbit stew tonight, huh?"
[x] "Though it looks a little small, and most of it is probably fat..."
[x] Poke her with your bow a few times.
[x] Let her down
------

“Oh. Guess I’ll be having some rabbit stew tonight, huh?” you said with a dry tone of voice, loud enough so that the rabbit could hear you. She didn’t freeze up or anything, in fact, her only response was an amused smile on her face.

“Oh, please don’t eat me, sir!” she said with a mock pleading voice, clasping her hands together and looking at you with rather convincingly pitiful eyes, in sharp contrast to her sarcastic tone. “Who will protect the other rabbits when I am gone?”

Heh.

“…Hm, but it looks a little small, doesn’t it?” you said, ignoring her. Despite your best attempts, you couldn’t help but curl your lips up in a concealed grin. “And most of the skin on its body is probably fat.” You raised your arm, poking the rabbit’s belly with the tip of your bow.

“…Hey! I’m not fat!” she protested, pushing aside your bow with her hand. Hah, got a rise out of her that time, huh? “I’ll have ya know I probably eat healthier stuff than you do! Can’t have lived this long if I didn’t!”

“Oh?” you said, amused. “Then can you tell me what goes good with rabbit meat?”

“Carrots, potatoes, spring onions, celeries, pepper, and salt!” she said. “But not just any kind! My skin is very delicate, you know. You’ll need the finest of each!” She proudly pounded her chest with one hand, swelling up with pride.

“That so? Sorry, but I don’t really stock up on high grade veggies. See ya, then,” you said, turning to walk away.

“Hey, hey! Let me down first~!”

“Oh? But you looked so comfortable,” you laughed, turning back to face her again. “Didn’t seem like you needed help.”

“Of course this isn’t comfortable,” the youkai girl said, shaking her tiny fist at you. “I can feel all the blood rushing to my head!”

“Alright, alright, fine.”

Walking over to where she was dangling, you took your hatchet in hand. Without a word, you cut the vine that held her, and she fell headfirst into the soft ground with a loud squeak. She quickly jumped up to her feet, dusting herself off.

“Coulda done it a little gentler,” she grumbled as you took a step back, your hatchet still in hand. You weren’t afraid of a rabbit, but with youkai, you never know.

“So, do I get my wish now?”

“Huh? Oh, uh…” she looked a little taken back for a moment there, although she quickly recovered as she cleared her throat. “Ahem! Oh, thank you for sparing my life! I, Lord Tewi, shall grant you a single wish in gratitude!”

“Then can you make it rain gold from the sky? Right now?”

“Wha-? That’s not how wishes work, stupid!” the youkai who called herself “Lord Tewi” said, crossing her arms together and tapping her foot on the ground, rolling her eyes.

“… Well, what can a youkai like you do for me, anyway?”

“Good fortune! I can bestow good fortune to humans that can find me!”

“… That’s way too vague,” you sighed, beginning to walk away. “Whatever. No time to mess around with you. See ya.”

“Ah, hey, wait! C’mon, make a wish!”

“Then I wish for you to leave me alone. You can do that, can’t you?” you said, now a little annoyed by the youkai.

“Roger!” she gave a salute.

Shaking your head, you turned, starting to walk deeper into the forest.

……

… That little rabbit.

She’s following you. She’s definitely following you. And she’s not even being subtle about it either.

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

You can hear her stepping over leaves and twigs behind you. How annoying. Can’t a youkai understand a command like “leave me alone”?

“Oi, quit following me,” you stopped and turned around, looking behind yourself with a frown. Sure enough, she was standing there in full view with a mischievous grin on her face.

“I’m not following you,” she said, still grinning. “Just happened to be going the same way.”

“I told you to leave me alone.”

“But I am leaving you alone. You’re the one who started talking to me.”



“Whoa, hey, your face is gonna get stuck like that if you keep trying to look so scary,” the rabbit pointed at your face.

“… This is my normal face.”

“Oh. Sorry to hear that. You looked like you swallowed a bug.”

She’s really asking for it, damn it.

Bah, whatever. Trying your best to pretend she wasn’t there, you turned around and continued walking.

It didn’t take more than a few minutes for the rabbit youkai to casually stroll up and start walking by your side, much to your chagrin.

“Hey,” she poked your side with a finger. “If you had caught a regular rabbit, you would have killed it, right?”

“First of all, don’t touch me,” you said, scowling. “And anyway, isn’t that obvious? That’s why I went through the trouble of setting up a trap. Why else would I do it, for fun?”

“And you don’t feel any guilt at all for the poor rabbit?”

“Hey, I don’t question why youkai eat humans, so don’t question me for eating rabbits,” you scoffed. “And don’t tell me you don’t eat humans.”

“Nope. I’m far too sophisticated for that,” she said haughtily. “And besides, humans are yucky and too greasy to be healthy!”

“… You’re a strange youkai.”

“Nothin’ wrong with being strange. You’re too narrow-minded, ya know? Gotta have a broader horizon, or you won’t get to live too long.”

“… You’re the one who should worry about how long you live, with that kind of attitude.”

“Hah! I’ve lived for over five times your lifespan! And I have an army of over a thousand rabbits, you know. No one messes with the great Lord Tewi!” She proudly thumped her chest with her tiny fist. “Anyway, since you’ve put it that way, I’ll help you find something to hunt. Something that isn’t a rabbit. Just follow me!”

Shrugging, you just kept on aimlessly walking as Tewi went on to skip ahead. With how loud she was being, there was no chance that you would happen upon unsuspecting game otherwise, anyway.

“Ah, hey! What’s that?!” Tewi suddenly pointed at something in the bushes, catching your attention.

“Eh?”

“Look, look! It’s weird!” She said excitedly, continuing to point at something in the bushes. You stepped towards it, taking a closer look.

“I don’t see anythi- … Wait… Oh, damn you-!”

She pushed you from behind, sending you stumbling into the bush. As you turned around to face her, something wrapped itself around one of your legs, pulling you up. Damn it, it’s a vine trap, like the one she was caught in.

“Uwah~!” Tewi exclaimed, giggling into her hands. “I wonder if a youkai set up that trap to catch a human!”

“You damn little rabbit!”

“Ahahaha, don’t get mad!” she said, wagging a finger at you. “You can let yourself down, can’t ya? Anyway, a little wise word of advice before I jet: good fortune doesn’t always imply good things, you know! Oh, and by the way, I’m not the only youkai that’s been following you around. Now, with that said, see ya~!”

She gave a huge leap, disappearing into the trees. Grumbling, you fumbled for your hatchet, and quickly cut yourself down, awkwardly landing on your feet. Another youkai? Tensed, you looked around, and just barely noticed a pair of red eyes fixated on you, hiding behind a tree.

Wait, you recognize that youkai. It’s the little one from yesterday; the one you had to give up a boar leg too. Has she been following you this whole time? That would explain why you couldn’t find any game earlier; animals were naturally more alert when a youkai was around…

What should you do…?

[] Hurry up and get out of the forest.
[] No. You’re not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)03:57 No. 10090
[><] No. You’re not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.
A bit of suicide every now and then keeps the protagonist a happy camper.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)04:11 No. 10091
[x] Hurry up and get out of the forest.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)04:29 No. 10092
[x] No. You’re not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)04:45 No. 10093
[x] No. You’re not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)04:45 No. 10094
[x] No, you're not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.

Main character fed her, now she's expecting more. So it probably wont bode to well if we just up and leave.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)06:47 No. 10095
[X] No, you're not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)07:01 No. 10096
[] No. You’re not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.

we should eat Tewi :<
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)10:38 No. 10097
[x] No. You’re not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.

fucking tewi
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)12:00 No. 10098
[x] No, you're not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.

Eat Tewi up
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)15:12 No. 10099
[x] No, you're not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.

The real question is... do we confront the youkai so we can hunt or do we let her trail us?
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)16:01 No. 10100
>The real question is... do we confront the youkai so we can hunt or do we let her trail us?

Depends on whether she'll work with us. If she agrees to help in return for a share, we can send her upwind of our prey to harry animals with her youkai aura, sending them downwind to where we're waiting for them. Similar to how wolves hunt.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)17:21 No. 10101
[x] No, you're not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.
>> 2009/04/24(Fri)18:23 No. 10102
[ze] No. You’re not going home with an empty head. Keep going.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)02:04 No. 10108
I like this Tewi.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)06:42 No. 10120
[x] No. You’re not going home with an empty bag. Keep going.
------

It’s dangerous to have a youkai trailing you, so you should hurry up and head back.

… Screw that, you’re not going home with an empty bag, with nothing to show for the hours you spent in here. That youkai doesn’t scare you. Well, maybe just a little, but not enough for you to turn tail like some chump. Let it watch: you’ll show how good you are at nailing things with your arrows right between the eyes… or, well, anywhere that’ll kill them quickly.

Still, though, you moved cautiously, staring back at the pair of red eyes silently watching you as you backed away slowly. You placed your hatchet back on your sash, and picked up the bow you had dropped when you were yanked up by the vine. It was a good thing you had closed your quiver of arrows when you went to check on the traps, otherwise they might have all spilled out, and that would have been a real pain.

But that rabbit really pissed you off. You just barely started to think that maybe she’s not so bad, and then she sprung a trap on you. In fact, she probably had that planned all along; saw a trap made for catching rabbits, then set up her own and pretended to be caught to lead you into it. How infuriating; played for a fool by a youkai. You swore to yourself you’ll really skin her and eat her if you run into her again.

You grit your teeth as you pulled out an arrow from your quiver, twirling it in your hand as you continued to walk, looking back every now and then. Argh, that youkai just keeps following you. Why won’t it leave you alone, or just attack you? Does she expect you to catch her meals for her? Argh, she’s not even doing anything and she’s got you all on edge.

You began to walk faster, twiddling with the arrow you were holding in-between your fingers. Just how long was that youkai going to keep following you? It’s not like you have anything to give to her. If she knew that, she would definitely try to kill your for sure. Maybe you should kill her now before she attacks you? No, wait, that might provoke her for real, and you still had no idea how strong that youkai was. You had some spiritual power, you knew, but you never had any real training like your brother did. If it was a strong youkai, you’d be ripped apart for sure.

You looked back over your shoulder. Ah, thank the gods, she’s not there anymore. Maybe she finally got bored of following you. Wait, then again, it’s possible that she might have lost her patience and-

A horrible screeching in your ears.

The next thing you knew, you had been knocked to the ground on your back, with something small on top of you. Its claws were digging into your neck, and you felt the sharp tips just about ready to break your flesh.

Panic. You swung your hands wildly at the thing on top of you, trying to push it off. Drawing back your right hand, which still held a piece of an arrow that had apparently broken in your fall between your knuckles, you threw it as hard as you could at the monster’s face. A scream that was even more horrible from before; of pure agony and anger. It seemed you had shoved the tip of the arrowhead into one of its eyes.

The monster’s grip loosened, and you quickly took the chance to shove the thing off of you, jumping up to your feet. You shakily reached for your hatchet, sinking the blade into the monster’s neck as it stood up from the ground, pulling the piece of the arrow out of its eye. It spat and hissed, still alive despite having its neck cut nearly in half. You pulled out the hatchet, splattering blood on the ground, and struck it again, decapitating it.

The head rolled onto the ground, glaring at you with rage and hatred with the eye that hadn’t been mangled, as its body fell over. It continued to croak and hiss, but it didn’t seem to be able to do much more than that. You just stood there in shock, trying to calm your heart as the head seemed to be in its final death throes, eyes rolling up as both it and its body seemed to disperse into the air.

You hoped that youkai was dead for good as you crouched down, wiping the blood on your hatchet on the grass at your feet.

But that one wasn’t the same as the one that had been following you. That one was definitely closer to inhuman appearance. Looked like some sort of midget ghoulish thing with claws.

You froze up as you heard the shuffling of leaves behind you, turning around in a flash. That little youkai girl had returned and was walking towards you, with bloody hands, too. She was holding onto… a dead goose by its leg. She gave you a big, toothy grin. There was blood around her mouth; she probably already had her fill of a meal. But was that youkai seriously offering you a meal?

The youkai girl dropped the goose on the ground, and quietly walked back into the trees, out of sight again. You carefully approached the dead goose; there was a hole in its body, the size of a child’s fingertip. Shrugging, you picked it up by the leg and stuffed it into your game bag. It was better than nothing, and you already had one too many of a life threatening moment.

……

“Another goose, huh, big brother?”

“Leave me alone. Today was an off day, that’s all,” you grumbled, scratching the back of your neck as you sat down on the deck of your house. “’Sides, we don’t have to eat it now. We still have some of that boar left over that’ll feed us for a good couple of days. This just goes in storage ‘til we’re on the trip, that’s all.”

“I know, I know,” Arami giggled, taking a seat next to you. “… So we’re really leaving this village behind, huh?”

“… Yup, feeling sad about it?”

“Just a little, I guess. We were all born and raised here, after all. It’s a little sad to have to leave it like this.”

“… Can’t be helped. There’s been more and more youkai the last few years; some weren’t even from this area until just recently.”

“…Mmm…” she nodded, though she still looked a little uncertain. “… Is it really going to be alright?”

“… Hm?”

“I mean, aren’t we going to get attacked by wild youkai while we’re travelling?”

“…Hah,” you laughed, placing a hand affectionately on top of her head, patting it. “It’s going to be alright, I promise. Hell, that’s the reason Mikihisa started training under that old geezer, ain’t it? Between the two of them, I don’t think we’ll have much reason to be worried.”

“… You’re right,” she smiled, sliding back and hugging her knees.

A comfortable silence enveloped the minutes after, as you watched the sun setting over the great mountain to the east. Pretty soon, you’ll have to help Arami prepare the meal. Letting out a content sigh, you lay on the floor, stretching yourself out.

”… The path that never ends…” Arami began to sing with a soft, yet clear voice. [i]”… The child walks the path… How much longer must he walk… How much more must he suffer… longing for home, he sighs… If only, if only, I were sleeping in mother’s arms…”

You closed your eyes, as you listened to the song, before speaking out in a hollow tone of voice.

“… Who taught you that.”

“Eh?” she turned to you as you sat up, looking at her with hard eyes. “Ah, um… father taught it to me…. Hey, big brother… mother’s song… it was mother’s song, wasn’t it…?”

“Don’t sing it.”

“… Huh?”

“I said don’t sing it. I hate that crap.”

You stood up from the deck, your mood fouled. Leaving a stunned Arami in your wake, you slid the door to the house open and headed inside, closing it behind you.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)06:43 No. 10121
---

Winter of Gensokyo seemed especially harsh this year. This was a problem for you, since you were kind of a little sensitive to the cold, and living so high up in a place like a mountain made it even colder. Still, you liked the outdoors, so you headed outside the moment you were finished with your day’s work.

But, brrr, even with your winter wear, it was still really cold. You were almost chattering your teeth from the sheer cold of the air. You rubbed your hands together for warmth, blowing hot air on them as you gently flew down. Ah, maybe if you put on your mask, it’ll at least protect a part of your face from the wind. You slid the mask out of your shirt, putting it on. You had gotten used to carrying the thing around so much that you always held it with you now.

But, well, maybe to warm up, you should fly around a little. Actually, that won’t warm you up; it’ll probably just make you a little desensitized to the cold, but whatever. Flying is always fun. With no real direction in mind, you sped off. It’ll be fine if you don’t stray too far from the mountain.



… Sure is windy. And snowy, too. There’s so much snow falling that you’re practically gathering a pile of snow on yourself from flying through them. No, wait, you know what this is: it’s a blizzard isn’t it?

That’s probably a bad thing. Visibility was really poor, too. The sky was darkened with gray clouds, and the amount of snow pelting your face kind of got in the way, too. Oh no, this really could be trouble.

You’d better start flying lower, or you might really freeze to death. As you swooped to the ground, you noticed an irregularly shaped pile of snow that stuck out of an otherwise perfect sheet of white. What is that?

[] Probably nothing important. What is, though, is getting out of this blizzard while you can.
[] Go check it out.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)07:00 No. 10124
[X] Go check it out.

Letty?
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)07:11 No. 10125
[] Go check it out.

Uh oh, someones stuck.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)07:16 No. 10126
[] Go check it out
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)07:19 No. 10127
[x] Go check it out.

Little sister youkai?
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)09:10 No. 10130
[X] Go check it out.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)09:16 No. 10131
[ze] Go check it out.

>>10124
Christ, I hope not. I like her, but we do not need more motherly confusion added on. I still want my Momiji pseudo-incest route, and that would be too much.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)17:15 No. 10139
[X] Go check it out.

Curious.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)18:48 No. 10140
[x] Go check it out.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)18:49 No. 10141
>>10131

You mean you don't want the double-whammy of an incest-laden threesome?

In all seriousness though, Letty would be a welcome addition to the cast. She is typically portrayed as mother figure, so it could be interesting to see how a motherly character who didn't help raise Mikio reacts to him - or how Mikio might react to her.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)22:10 No. 10145
>>10141
Mikio Has Two Mommies, by Lion.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)22:23 No. 10146
>Momiji pseudo-incest route

This.

I don't know if this was already asked but will there be routes or good/bad/true ends?
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)22:33 No. 10147
>>10146

There will be character routes, yes, but don't worry too much about targeting right now.

As for endings. Yes, there will be bad ends, but there will probably be very few ways for you to run into a dead end, but I won't quit on this story until it reaches a proper conclusion.

Whether you'll get a true/good end for a character will depend on the decisions you'll make towards the conclusion.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)22:42 No. 10149
[X] Go check it out.

in before smothered in mothers.
>> 2009/04/26(Sun)23:37 No. 10150
>>10147
So we can only REALLY fuck up towards the end. Good to know.
>> 2009/04/27(Mon)00:11 No. 10151
>>10150
We may be fast and pretty average with danmaku, but our physical strength and stamina is lacking. We could only fuck up real bad towards the end, but if we're in for more fights, then it'll be even harder on us if we're inexperienced.

Take his comment with a grain of salt; stay, for the most part, serious throughout the story. It's not as if we'll get off scot-free every time we kick an angry youkai in the shin. That's just stupid.
>> 2009/04/27(Mon)00:23 No. 10152
>>10151
I read up the whole 6 threads today. Did we beat Sakuya, i am not really sure if Aya said we won because we did good or out of pity.
>> 2009/04/27(Mon)01:20 No. 10153
[X] Go check it out.

Also, Lion: this is awesome, truly so.
>> 2009/04/27(Mon)01:41 No. 10154
>>10152
If we're still alive, then I believe so. Still, we were drained after the second spell, and passed out after the third. We haven't been shown his swordsmanship skills yet, and we just keep dodging in these events instead of fighting. If our legs get broken, our concentration will fade, and then we're easy pickings.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)05:25 No. 10181
[x] Go check it out.
------

You landed on the ground next to the huge lump of snow that was so sorely sticking out, your shoes making a nice squeaking sound as the teeth of your geta buried themselves into the snow. Your feet are just about frozen solid by now. Probably should have worn an extra pair of socks over the ones you were already wearing.

You bent over, examining the pile. Judging from the size and shape, it was probably someone who, like you, had gotten trapped in the blizzard. If that was true, then you should help that person. Reaching out with your hand, you scooped up some of the snow of the pile and quickly tossed it aside. Brr, cold cold cold.

You then scooped some of the pile in both hands. Yup, there was definitely someone underneath. You could see part of their clothes sticking out of the little hole you had dug out of the pile. You just hope it wasn’t too late.

You quickly brushed aside the rest of the snow. Whoever was trapped under there was certainly wearing light clothes for the season; just a thin, one piece orange dress, which was so soaked by the snow that it clung to her skin. Wait, haven’t you seen someone wearing this before? Ah well, that can wait.

You finally managed to dig the girl out, cradling her in your arms. Wait, you’ve definitely seen this person before. Blonde hair, reddish-orange dress… she was the older sister of those autumn goddesses, wasn’t she?

“Hey, hey!” you said, giving a few light slaps to her face, attempting to resuscitate her consciousness. “…Come on, wake up…!”

Her eyes slowly opened, much to your relief, as she turned her head weakly to you. They were unfocused, and she didn’t seem to be really looking at you. Sluggishly, she looked around.

“… Ahh…. It’s so dark… I… I can’t see anything…” she said, her voice coming out in a weak whisper. “… So…so cold… M-Minorin… is that… you…?” You’re starting to panic. Can goddesses die from a blizzard? Oh no, you don’t see her sister anywhere, what should you do?

“…U-um… I’m… right here,” you said with uncertainty, pulling her small body closer toward you. You should comfort her, at least. You stood up, carrying her surprisingly light body in your arms. You need to get her out of this blizzard, but which way should you go?

“M-Minorin…” the girl’s weak voice called out to you, “I… I feel so sleepy…”

“No! Hey, don’t go to sleep!” you quickly struck out in a direction out of desperation. You had no idea where you were going, but standing around wasn’t going to help anybody.

“…Ah, I.... I can smell the autumn leaves, Minorin...” the girl trailed off, struggling to raise her hand towards the sky. “It’s... it’s autumn again, isn’t it…? Let’s… play together… and eat roasted sweet potatoes… after I take a nap…okay…?”

“Don’t close your eyes!” you grit your teeth, taking off into the air. Anywhere you go is fine. Just need to get her out of this blizzard, and somewhere warm. You need to make it in time…!

Her hand, which she had fought so hard to raise towards the sky, fell limp at her side. Her eyes closed as she smiled gently, her arm dangling uselessly from her body.

You felt the warmth draining from your legs as you let yourself slowly drift back down to the ground, still holding on to the girl’s unmoving body. Your vision began to shake. No, wait, your whole body was shaking. You just… can’t seem to stop yourself. No… you couldn’t help her… you couldn’t help…? You… couldn’t…? You…

“Shizuha! Where are you~?!” you quickly turned towards the direction of the voice. It must be the younger sister. How should you tell her…? Would… would she blame you for not being able to help?

“Over here!” you yelled back, after swallowing the hard lump that had formed in your throat.

Sure enough, even in the snowstorm, you could see the younger sister approaching you, hugging herself tightly for warmth. You quickly made your way toward her with the older sister cradled in your arms.

“Ah, um… Mister Kirita, wasn’t it?” she acknowledged you with a nod, before her gaze shifted to the girl you were carrying. “Oh, there she is.”

“… Um… she… I-I’m so sorry…” you whispered, looking away from Minoriko.

“Huh? What are you apologizing for?” she asked, looking puzzled. “I should be apologizing to you. Looks like my sister’s caused you some trouble,” she said, walking closer and taking hold of her sister’s cheek, pinching it. “Hey, wake up already, Shizuha.”

“Ow, ow, ow! Stop! That hurts, Minorin~!” Shizuha suddenly sprang to life, swatting her sister’s hand away and burying her face into your chest, before yelling with a muffled voice. “Leave me alone! I’m dead! And I’m going to be dead until the next time autumn comes!”

…Eh?

“Weren’t you the one who came out all the way over here to settle a score?” Minoriko scoffed, crossing her arms together. Shizuha raised her head from your chest and stuck a tongue out at her sister, who gave a tired sigh.

Well, it’s good that she wasn’t in danger after all, you suppose. Come to think of it, they were really enthusiastic about autumn, weren’t they? It makes sense for them to be a little sad when it’s winter.

“Now stop troubling Mister Kirita here, and let’s go already,” Minoriko said sternly. Shizuha gave you a glance, looking a little reluctant, and then floated out of your arms and stepped onto the ground next to her sister. The two sisters gave you a wave, and then began walking together further into the snowstorm as you watched them leave.

... Wait, you still need to find a way out of here yourself. And what’s that score that they were talking about settling?

[] Follow them.
[] Try to find a way out of the storm yourself.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)05:37 No. 10182
[] Follow them.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)05:39 No. 10183
[x] Follow them.

All instances of Letty override my judgement.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)05:45 No. 10185
[x] Follow them.

Sister route is fine too
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)05:51 No. 10186
[x] Try to find a way out of the storm yourself.

I guess Tengu wouldn't have folklore about Yuki-onna.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)06:08 No. 10187
[x] Follow them.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)06:44 No. 10188
[] Follow them.

I like these Aki sisters
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)07:56 No. 10189
[x] Follow them.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)10:29 No. 10190
[x] Follow them.

I almost didn't realize we were back to present-day.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)13:49 No. 10191
[O] Follow them.
>> 2009/04/28(Tue)15:59 No. 10192
>>10190
Same. It was a bit unclear this time.
>> 2009/04/29(Wed)00:35 No. 10199
>I guess Tengu wouldn't have folklore about Yuki-onna.
Sure they would. Japanese is Japanese.
>> 2009/04/29(Wed)03:04 No. 10203
>>10199

Given that they're a group of monsters themselves should make one wonder whether they'd have the same oral tradition as the humans of telling stories about monsters.
>> 2009/04/29(Wed)04:55 No. 10204
>>10203
They got lots of scrolls and paper. And special tengu who take care of them. Probably write everything really important down.
>> 2009/05/01(Fri)06:09 No. 10222
[x] Follow them.
------

Well, at least those sisters seemed to know where they were going, so maybe if you followed them, it might lead you out of the snowstorm? It was certainly better than trying to look for a way out on your own; you’d probably end up the same way Shizuha was just earlier.

Still, you had best hurry, or you’ll lose sight of them fast, especially with the barrage of snowflakes obscuring your vision. Blowing warm breath on your hands, you began walking after the two sisters, careful not to let them out of your sight.

But geeze, this snowstorm was intense. Everywhere you looked, aside from the snow buffeting against you, you could only see a pure sheet of white. It was as if the entire world was covered with a thick layer of snow, like a fresh piece of paper. Even though it was so cold, you still admired the simplistic beauty of a wonderful world of white.

…Ah, whoops! Spaced out a little there… Eh..? Oh no, you lost sight of those sisters. You should have continued to keep an eye on them. Sighing, you continued to trudge on regardless, hugging yourself a little tighter to trap warmth in your body. This wasn’t good. Maybe you really should have stayed inside.

But wait, it seemed the snowstorm was starting to calm. The winter breeze grew weaker, and the constant hail of snow slowed as well. You could see a little better now, too. In fact, just up ahead, you noticed three specks of dots in the distance, with colorful lights exploding amidst them. A duel…?

You quickened your pace, your neck craned up to keep watch on those dots flying around in the air. The little sparks of lights that flew around them were telltale signs of a spell card duel. But why would those two sisters attack anybody…?

Before you knew it, the snowstorm raging around you had all but disappeared, allowing you to see farther, although you weren’t quite sure why it had suddenly stopped. Maybe if you go a little further, you’ll learn why.

“…Wha…?” you muttered, raising an arm to shield your face as a harsh wind, almost strong enough to lift you up off your feet, suddenly blew around you. You squinted your eyes, struggling to keep them open despite the chill of the wind. Up above, it seemed that a winner had been decided, as only a single figure remained.

You hurried on ahead, keeping your eyes trained on that single dot that still remained in the air. The blizzard had calmed down a little from earlier, but nevertheless, it had started raging again. You had this nagging suspicion that the source of it may have been that dot.

“…What th- Uwah!” you blurted out as your foot suddenly slipped on the ground, sending you falling forward. Wha-? You fell on your face, sliding across the surface of cold, cold ice. Ouch ouch ouch, that bites. You tried to lift yourself back up, but your hands and feet kept slipping on the ice, sending you falling back down each time.

Wait, you can fly. Duh.

You lifted yourself off of the ground, hovering above the surface of the ice. You looked around, although you still couldn’t see much else other than snowstorm that seemed to pick up in intensity. Well, you still don’t know where you are, and you’ve lost sight of that person from earl-

“Hello there. Nice weather, isn’t it?”

You turned around in a flash, backing away from the source of the voice behind you. Standing (flying?) there was a woman with pink, curly hair, wearing clothing that looked much too thin to protect her properly from the cold. She gave you a pleasant smile, as you eyed her cautiously. Was she the one you saw just earlier?

“..Ah, um… Hello,” you replied; whether she was a youkai or not, it would just be rude to not acknowledge her greeting. “Although, I can’t really say I like the weather much…” you trailed off with a weak laugh.

“I think it feels very pleasant,” she said, stretching her arms out as she turned away from you, looking off into the storm. “Mmm… yes, it’s the perfect temperature for me just after waking up from a long, long sleep.”

Well, it seemed this woman preferred cold over hot. …say, the weather earlier calmed down a little when this woman was fighting those autumn sisters, didn’t it? So… maybe it was because she was busy fighting that…

“I think it’s a little too cold,” you said, shivering a little.

“It’s winter, it’s only natural that it would be cold,” the woman said, giving you a light smile. “And quite a nice one, I have to say. I have a feeling this year’s will be the best winter in many years.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Hmm? A woman’s intuition, maybe?” she said, placing a finger on her lips. “Or more specifically, a yuki-onna’s intuition.”

Thought so. A spirit of winter who traps travelers in a never ending snowstorm, and freeze them to death. Still, she doesn’t know you’re human, so maybe she won’t try anything.

“… Why did those two attack you?” you asked, your curiosity getting the better of you.

“Hm? Who? Oh!” she exclaimed, turning back to you. “You mean those sisters, don’t you?” You gave a nod, and she broke into an amused grin. “Ah yes, they’ve been at it for a few years now. I’m not sure what they’re hoping to do, but they come to me soon after I wake from slumber, and challenge me. Of course, I’m at my peak, while their powers are declining, so they never win.”

You never realized there was a rivalry between representatives of seasons. That… was kind of immature, although admittedly understandable.

“Oh, I haven’t introduced myself yet, have I?” she said. “My name is Letty Whiterock. You must be one of the tengu, judging by your outfit.”

“Ah, um, yes. I’m Kirita Mikio,” you said, giving her a bow. “… Could you tell me where I am, Miss Whiterock?”

“Oh? I’m surprised you don’t know this area. It’s not far from the Youkai Mountain,” she said, letting out a small giggle. “We’re right above Misty Lake.”

“…Oh,” you scratched the back of your head, looking down on the frozen surface of water below you. You didn’t recognize the place because of all the snow, and the storm blocking your vision. “… Um, so are you the one causing this blizzard?”

“… Causing?” Miss Whiterock laughed. “Oh no, I couldn’t do that if I tried. It’s just that I felt a nice breeze, and I thought of how much better it would be if it were a little cooler while waiting.”

“Are you waiting for someone?”

“Mmm. A dear friend of mine.”

“I see. Well…”

[] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”
[] “Can you please ease up a little on the blizzard? I won’t be able to head back like this…”
>> 2009/05/01(Fri)06:11 No. 10223
[] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”
>> 2009/05/01(Fri)06:15 No. 10224
[x] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”

Cirno.
>> 2009/05/01(Fri)06:41 No. 10227
[x] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”
>> 2009/05/01(Fri)06:51 No. 10228
[] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”
>> 2009/05/01(Fri)06:59 No. 10229
[x] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”
[x] Toughen up, Mikio. Don't lose face in front of this woman! You are an enduring Tengu warrior.
>> 2009/05/01(Fri)07:43 No. 10230
[ze] “Can you please ease up a little on the blizzard? I won’t be able to take it easy like this…”
>> 2009/05/01(Fri)12:49 No. 10232
>[] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”

Not Cirno.

Lily White. She's waiting for spring.

Enjoy your frozen death.

[x] “Can you please ease up a little on the blizzard? I won’t be able to head back like this…”
>> 2009/05/02(Sat)03:06 No. 10236
[x] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”
>> 2009/05/02(Sat)06:40 No. 10237
[x] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”
>> 2009/05/02(Sat)16:10 No. 10239
[x] Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?

At some point, Letty will learn our secret. We will never be safe from her again.
>> 2009/05/02(Sat)20:25 No. 10240
>>10239
What secret? Being human, or liking maternal figures?
>> 2009/05/02(Sat)21:17 No. 10241
>>10240

Either one of those, or both.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)01:54 No. 10243
[X] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”

-20 HP
+2 Friends
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)05:40 No. 10244
[x] “Maybe I can keep you company until your friend arrives?”
------

“Um… if you’d like, I can keep you company while you’re waiting,” you said, rubbing the back of your neck. “That is, until your friend gets here…”

“Hm? Oh, that would be pleasant,” Miss Whiterock said, giving you a smile. “But aren’t you worried that you’ll catch a cold if you stay too long in a snowstorm like this?”

“... Maybe, but it’s lonely to be waiting by yourself, and really, that’s fine. I feel a little warmer now, actually.”

“You are a strange one, aren’t you?” Miss Whiterock sighed, although her smile did not disappear. “By the way, that’s a bad sign.”

“Huh?”

“People tend to feel warmer before they freeze to death.”

“Eeeeh?!” you panicked, holding onto yourself tighter than ever. Miss Whiterock let out a giggle as she looked at you with an amused expression.

“Oh, I suppose I could let up on the blizzard for a little while,” she said coyly, and as though her words carried a magical effect, the snowstorm around you gradually seemed to calm, with nothing remaining but a gentle winter breeze.

“Whew. Thank you,” you said, shivering a little. The wind wasn’t nearly as harsh now, but it was still pretty cold. “You don’t feel cold at all, do you?”

“Nope. To me, that was just a pleasant breeze,” she replied. Oddly enough, even though the storm was blowing snow everywhere, none of it had piled up on her body. In contrast, your head and shoulders had been covered in snow in the short time you remained still. You shook your hair, now moist with ice cold water, and brushed the snow off your shoulders. If that snowstorm earlier had been just a light breeze to her, you wondered just how cold her definition of cold was. Actually, can she even feel coldness?

“Well, no need to stand around when waiting for someone, is there? Let’s sit down.” Miss Whiterock said as she began to drift down towards the edge of the frozen lake, with you following her at a slow pace. She chose a spot on a tree, the trunk having rotten until it had fallen over, sitting down without even brushing off the snow. You made to sit down on the same tree, brushing off some of the snow that had piled on it, when you suddenly heard an outraged voice behind you.

“Hey, what do ya think you’re doing with Letty, huh?!”

You turned around to look at who had yelled…

-Thump!

…and received a nice ball of snow in your face, taking you by surprise and knocking you over the tree to the other side, rolling in the snowy ground.

“Oh, that was quick,” you heard Miss Whiterock’s voice above you, as you slowly got up from the ground, wiping bits of snow off your cheeks. “It’s been a while. How have you been?”

“Letty, you should be more careful! That guy’s definitely suspicious!”

You scooped snow into your hands, rolling it up into a nicely shaped sphere.

“Oh? Why is that?” you heard Miss Whiterock ask.

You looked up over the tree. A fairy with blue hair was hovering near Miss Whiterock, excitedly flapping her icicle-like wings as she pumped her arms vigorously, with one hand pointed at you.

“He’s wearing a mask! Only suspicious people would wear masks!”

You took careful aim, waiting for the right time….

“Maybe he’s just shy, Cirno,” Miss Whiterock continued to speak playfully, giving you a glance from the corner of her eyes.

“Hah, yeah right! I bet he’s just ugl-“ Splat. “Waagh!”

Bull’s eye. Hit her right in the face.

“Hey, that’s no fair!” the fairy said indignantly, rubbing her face with both of her hands. “Sneak attacks are for cowards, you… you masked stalker!”

“… M-masked stalker…?” you repeated. Okay, so your mask looked a little stupid, but a stalker…? How in the world did she- Ack! You shivered as another snowball hit you in the back of the head. Turning around, you saw another fairy with green hair tied into side ponytail, giggling into her hands.

“Nice shot!” the blue haired fairy shouted to the other as she aimed and threw another snowball at you, which you dodged by moving to the side, gathering up snow in your hands as you dodged out of the way, throwing it at the green haired fairy, who hastily flew out of the way.

“My, that looks fun,” Miss Whiterock said, amused, as you and the fairies continued to lob snowballs at each other. Somewhere along the way, the alliance between those two vanished, and it more-or-less turned into a free-for-all. Eventually, you, now completely soaked, dodged out of the fray and sat down next to Miss Whiterock, who had remained sitting on the tree, as the green haired fairy and her blue haired friend continued to duel.

“Are they the friends you were waiting for…?” you asked, tossing your wet hair back, out of your face.

“Mmhmm. They’re quite energetic, aren’t they…?” she said, smiling as she watched the two fairies flying around, still engaged in their little war.

“I’ll say,” you said. You couldn’t help but smile, watching those two. Even though fairies were a little, well, simplistic, they certainly knew how to enjoy their life, even with small things like a snowball fight. They looked like they were having the time of their lives out there, although after a while, it seems they became tired of it, as they flew back down towards the two of you.

“Hey, hey, Letty!” the blue fairy said excitedly. “Let’s make a snowman! Let’s make one that’s huuuuuge! Bigger than that big house over there!” She pointed at the distant figure of the Scarlet Devil Manor.

“Oh, that sounds nice,” Miss Whiterock laughed. “But that might take all winter, Cirno.”

“Oh… right,” Cirno’s enthusiasm drooped a little, although she quickly brightened up again. “Then we’ll make a smaller one, but still really big!” she the turned her attention to you. “And you can help too, Masked Stalker!”

“… What the…? I’m not a masked stalker,” you said, frowning. “I’m Kirita Mikio, of the tengu.”

“Whatever, Masked Stalker!” she quickly dismissed. The green haired fairy floating next to her let out a mischievous giggle.

“…Well, Mister Masked Stalker,” Miss Whiterock said, looking at you with a teasing grin. “Will you help us build a snowman…?”

You really hoped that name wouldn’t stick.

[] Alright.
[] Actually, I should get going.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)05:46 No. 10245
[x] Alright.

Like there's any other option.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)05:47 No. 10246
[x] Actually, I should get going.

Finally got a window of opportunity and can see your surroundings.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)05:54 No. 10247
[x] Alright.

Hell, why not.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)05:56 No. 10248
[X] Alright.

There is no other option.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)06:10 No. 10249
[x] Alright.

Masked Stalker.... i like that name.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)06:13 No. 10250
[] Alright.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)07:00 No. 10251
[x] Alright.
[x] They have to give you 50 yen every time they call you that, though.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)08:34 No. 10252
[x] Alright.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)16:58 No. 10255
[x] Alright.

Hypothermia.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)20:01 No. 10257
[ze] Actually, I should get going.

Love Letty, but we have a certain wolf tengu waiting for us.
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)23:16 No. 10262
[O]Alright.

Fun in the snow, wheeee~
>> 2009/05/03(Sun)23:34 No. 10263
[X] Actually, I should get going.
>> 2009/05/04(Mon)07:19 No. 10268
[X] Alright.
[X] GET OUT OF HERE, STALKER

Again, -20 HP, +3 Friends
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)05:46 No. 10282
[x] Alright.
------

“Alright,” you said, smiling as you stood up from the tree, planting your feet on the snowy ground. “So we’re going to make a big snowman, are we?” You scooped up some of the snow on the ground into your hands, holding them up, the coldness of it biting into your bare hands. “… How do you make a snowman?”

“Wha? Are you serious? You don’t even know how to make a snowman?” Cirno frowned, giving you a look of disdain you would never want to receive from a fairy. “What are you, stupid?” Her fellow fairy giggled into her hands again.

“Cirno, don’t be rude,” Miss Whiterock said gently, standing up from her seat. “Go on ahead and start by yourselves, I’ll teach him how.”

“Hah! We’ll make a huuuuge one!” Cirno declared loudly, dragging her friend by the arm as she excitedly hovered to the ground, presumably to start her snowman. You packed the snow in your hands into a ball as Miss Whiterock approached you.

“So you really don’t know how to make a snowman?” She asked, as you shook your head, looking genuinely puzzled.

“I know what they’re supposed to be,” you explained hastily. “But I’ve never tried making one, and I’ve never seen anyone else making one either…”

“Hm, well, I certainly can’t imagine those rumormongers being the type to play with snow…” She sighed. “Still, you must be quite young.”

“Ah, um… yes,” you stammered. You had no idea how young you were supposed to look, in terms of tengu standards. Everyone you knew was well over several hundreds of years old. Come to think of it, you’ve never met any new members either. You were probably the most recent…

“Well, making a snowman is pretty easy. First of all, just pack as much snow as you can into a ball,” she said, smiling. She reached down, scooping snow into her hands, adding them to the snowball you were holding, which you packed into a bigger snowball.

Miss Whiterock continued to add snow to the ball as you shaped it with your numb hands. Pretty soon, it was too large to hold in your hands.

“Okay…” she said while dusting her hands off of the snow. “Now, let it down on the ground.” You did as she instructed, gently letting go of the large snowball. You quickly brought your hands up to your mouth and blew warm breath on them. You almost couldn’t feel them anymore.

“Now, all you have to do…” Miss Whiterock continued to explain as she stooped down, nudging the snowball with her hands so that it rolled. “… is roll it on the ground, and pack the snow so that the surface evens out. Give it a try,” she said, straightening back up and looking at you expectantly.

You hunched over, placing your hands on the lower part of the snowball. You began rolling, and the snowball began growing larger. Hahaha, this was pretty cool! You couldn’t help but grin as you continued to roll the snowball, patting parts of the surface down so that it remained a perfect sphere.

“This is pretty big already, isn’t it?” you said, taking your hands off of the snowball, which now reached up to your waist. Crossing your arms, you admired your handy work.

“Mmm, it looks like it could be big enough to be the body,” Miss Whiterock said, walking behind you.

“Hey, Letty! Masked Stalker!” You heard Cirno’s shrill cry to your left, so you and Miss Whiterock glanced over to that direction. Uwah, what the hell? Cirno and her friend were rolling a ball of snow almost twice as big as they were. “Hahaha! Check this out! It’s huge! And it’s just the beginning to, this’s gonna be the head!”

“… Um, wait,” you said uncertainly, scratching the back of your head. “… If that’s going to be the head, how are you going to lift that onto the body?” Fairies weren’t exactly known for their physical strength, after all.

“… Ah! Ahhhh!” Cirno suddenly looked distressed, with her friend frowning with uncertainty. Clearly, the two of them hadn’t thought of that before.

“Well, we can just make it the body then, can’t we?” Miss Whiterock spoke up, placing her hand on Cirno’s head as she smiled. “We have a head done already, after all,” she gestured to the snowball you had made. The little blue fairy frowned, but quickly gave a nod.

“Well, Mister Masked Stalker,” Miss Whiterock smiled, walking back to you, reaching down and taking hold of one side of the head. “Let’s do the honors, then.” Smiling back, you nodded, and took hold of the other side. Quite easily, the two of you lifted up the head, floating over to the massive body and placing it on top of it, as Cirno and her fellow fairy hovered up, packing snow into the “neck” so the head and body wouldn’t fall apart.

“All that’s left is to decorate it,” Miss Whiterock said to you. “Bits of dirt, twigs, rocks. Anything that you can find.”

The snowman soon had features on its previously blank face. Two round stones for the eyes, a crooked, thin branch for a mouth, and a splotch of mud for a nose. Sadly, you couldn’t find anything suitable for arms, so the snowman remained armless.

“It’s huge, it’s huge!” Cirno smirked, crossing her arms together as she looked at the handiwork of the group. “It’s definitely the biggest snowman ever made!” She declared, looking quite smug as the green haired fairy beside her clapped enthusiastically, flapping her insect-like wings excitedly.

You looked up at the snowman. It looked kind of funny, really. The eyes were kind of uneven, and its smile was sort of crooked, but still. There was something endearing about that dumb face it possessed. Maybe it’s because you helped make it, but…

Your throat feels kind of itchy. You cough, but that just makes it itch more, so you stop. But then it itches too much, so you cough again.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Cirno asked, looking curiously at you. “Did ya catch a cold or something?”

“Ah…that might be it,” you said, rubbing your neck. You wouldn’t be surprised if you did, considering what you’d been doing out here for the past few hours. You were practically asking to catch a cold.

“You had best hurry back, then,” Miss Whiterock said warmly, looking a little worried. “A little cold never hurts anyone, but if it’s not tended to fast, then it might get much worse, you know.” You nodded, beginning to hover above the ground.

“Hey, Masked Stalker,” Cirno shouted, waving at you as you rose into the air. “You should come play with us later!”

You waved back, not having the heart to yell at her for calling you by that weird nickname, as you soared back towards home.

---
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)05:46 No. 10283
---

“Oh, Miki- what? Why are you so soaked?” Miss Momizi inquired with a stern tone as you passed by her in one of the many corridors in headquarters. “Did you fall in a lake?”

“Couldn’t have,” you said, shivering. “The lake was frozen over. I got caught in a blizzard while trying to get back.”

“... Well…” Miss Momizi looked like she was really going to let you have it for a while there, although she seemed to swallow her words, deciding against whatever she was going to say. “… Just be careful, okay? Be wary of the youkai of winter.” Actually, you’ve met her, and she really wasn’t as bad as the old tales say. You wondered just how much yuki-onna treated humans differently from youkai.

You took a quick bath afterwards and ate a warm dinner. There was really nothing cozier than the warmth of home after a day out in the cold~.

---

After dinner, you and Miss Momizi were engaged in a game of shogi. As usual, you were on the receiving end of total domination. As you pondered your next move with sweat running down your brows, Miss Momizi suddenly spoke up.

“Mikio, there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you for a long time,” she said, looking serious all of a sudden.

“… Huh? What is it, Miss Momizi?” you said, fiddling with the shogi piece you were holding.

“Do you ever think about the past?”

“Eh?”

“I mean, do you ever wonder about yourself?” she said, looking unsure of how to say what she meant. “… Do you ever think about what your life might have been like before we found you?”

… The past…?

[] Yes.
[] No.
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)06:00 No. 10284
[X] No.
[X] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."

I love you, Momi~.
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)06:10 No. 10285
[X] No.
[X] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."

This is...
This is very good.
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)06:53 No. 10286
[z] No.
[e] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."

Delicious and loving Momiji~

...I hope this does not have an effect on either of our dreams, or whether we have them at all anymore, though.

>>10282
>Hahaha, this was pretty cool!

>“You had best hurry back, then,” Miss Whiterock said warmly,

>>10283
>As usual, you were on the receiving end of total domination.

Oh you, Lion.
Oh, you.
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)06:57 No. 10287
[X] No.
[X] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."
So sappy~.
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)08:15 No. 10291
[X] No.
[X] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."

>As usual, you were on the receiving end of total domination.

I wouldn't mind being dominated by her but she is probably more a lovingly motherly type who teaches him everything with patience and love.
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)09:15 No. 10292
[X] No.
[X] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."

If Mikio really wants to win, he better take lessons from Nitori
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)09:30 No. 10293
[x] No.
[x] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)13:45 No. 10295
[O] No.
[O] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."

Bandwagon jumping~
>> 2009/05/05(Tue)23:27 No. 10298
[X] No.
[X] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)02:07 No. 10299
Well I finally caught up to this story from thread 1, took about week and and half (I read slow), and I have to say this is a great story.

I've been here since the beginning and I've read all the stories that has finished and this story definitively has qualities that make it unique compared to the others.

First of all your writing quality is above par to the standard of this site. What sets your writing apart from the others is your subtle use of actually using the Japanese names of items through out the story and to some extent the use of some Japanese cultural references, so its good to know you did your research, it makes the story more realistic.

Although minor, your formatting of the text is easy to read and well spaced, I know some stories out there with pretty bad formatting, just a huge wall of text with no blank lines.

Your story does have a lot of original characters, though most have not been developed, they all seem real and well thought out though. As for the Touhou characters, you do a good job in keeping them in line with their normal behavior.

One of the major things that I've noticed in this story is the timeline and pace. I don't mean the timeline as in where it is in the Touhou timeline (although it is set in an interesting spot), I mean the way you pace the story, there are small time skips of a few weeks or months, something not really, if at all done in any story I've read. This really makes the narration authentic in a sense that we are following the life of our character compared to other stories where the entire story takes place in about on average, a month or less.

There is also the side stories which are just as interesting, and with all the above qualities stated. I'm gonnna speculate here, but I'm gonna say in the end of the story at least some of the "dream" characters will play a part on how the story ends, or the dream sequences are just a clever plot for you to test out future stories, either way they are all great.

So to summarize this story is well thought out and one of the most authentic stories so far, keep up the great work.


Also
[X] No.
[X] "I can't go back to the past, but I always have the present. There are so many wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life now, I want to cherish what I have. I want to spend my time having fun with the people I love... just like I am right now."
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)05:15 No. 10301
>So to summarize this story is well thought out and one of the most authentic stories so far, keep up the great work.

Lion's going to vanish right as his story picks up in drama and we will be left with no explanation.

Calling it now.
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)08:30 No. 10302
>>10299

Aww, shucks.

>>10301

I certainly hope that won't be the case.

[x] No.
------

“Mmm… not really,” you said, still playing with the piece in your hand. “I mean, I guess I am a little curious at times, but I don’t really dwell that much on it. I can’t remember anything about my past, and even if I could, it’s not like I can go back to it.”

“… That’s what I’m worried about, though,” Miss Momizi sighed, frowning. “Are you really okay...? I mean, about living as one of us… We never really gave you a choice back then, and I just keep thinking… ‘Is it right to deny a human a normal life with his peers?’ And, and we don’t really know anything about how and why you ended up here, so…”

“Oh, is that what you were so worried about, Miss Momizi?” You asked, and Miss Momizi nodded solemnly.

“Then you don’t have to worry about that,” you said, smiling. “It’s true that I sometimes think about what my past was, but you can’t keep looking back at something that isn’t there. I have the present in front of me, after all. I’m not worried about what was or what could have been. I’m just grateful that I was given this chance to live, when I couldn’t even speak properly as far as I can remember. Right now, I have a lot of wonderful things for me to enjoy in my life. I want to cherish them.”

As you spoke, you placed your shogi piece on the board on a whim, as your lips parted to continue your words.

“And… I want to spend my time having fun with the people that I love.” Feeling a little embarrassed, you gave Miss Momizi a bright, sheepish smile while rubbing the back of your head. “Just like I am right now.”

“… Yes, that’s enough, isn’t it?” She smiled, reaching her hand out and placing it on your head. “I’m really glad to hear that.” She messed with your hair a little before returning to her normal posture. “By the way… Check, and mate,” she said, moving one of her pieces.

“… Eh? Ehhhh?! Really?!” you groaned, studying the board. Ack, she was right: your King really had no way out of getting slaughtered.

“Better luck next time, Mikio,” she giggled.

---

… Yes. If you’re happy with the way things were, then that’s all that mattered, right? There was nothing wrong with living for the sake of being alive, when each day was filled with fun and discovering new things. No matter how important the memories of the past were, you wouldn’t trade the life you were living for anything.

You reflected as you peacefully drifted off into slumber in your bed at the sleeping quarters…

……

You were outside again, alone in the darkness of the night. Above you, the full moon’s smiling face was covered by clouds that hung on the sky in front of it, blocking the light of the moon. For a while, you did nothing but simply watch the moon, drinking in the air of the night.

Rustle, rustle.

Someone was here. You looked around the area for the source of the disturbance, darting your eyes here and there. However, you could only see trees, still retaining their green luster.

“Yo, I’m over here,” you heard a familiar voice. You turned toward the voice. It was that long haired man again, walking out from a group of trees you were sure you had scanned thoroughly. You killed him the last time you met him. But he’s still here. Somehow, that fact doesn’t really surprise you. ‘Why doesn’t it surprise me?’ you wondered.

You still couldn’t see his face, but you somehow knew his was smiling at you. Not a happy or friendly smile, but not an arrogant smirk or a malicious sneer. Just an empty, fake smile.

“We meet again,” he said, raising a hand to greet you. You remained silent as he continued to approach you. “Maybe it was fate?” he said, laughing. “Just kidding. I knew we would meet again, though I can’t say the shit you pulled off last time we talked was very pleasant.” Still laughing, the man brought a hand up to his neck, shifting his head around as the sound of bones popping echoed into the air.

“… What do you want?” you asked coldly.

“Straight to the point, huh?” he sighed, scratching his head. “I came to ask you a single question, actually.”

“Then ask.”

“… Heh. You don’t care about the past, huh?”

“… What?”

“Hahaha… You want to spend your time having fun with the people you love?” he shook his head. “That’s a carefree attitude you got there.”

“So what?”

“Then again, I guess it’s convenient for you, isn’t it?” he continued, lifting up both arms towards the sky, as he gazed up at the moon. “Since you don’t remember anything, you’re not burdened by anything. Some people are haunted by the past. You get to walk around without guilt. And even better, you’re happy, aren’t you? You’re a lucky one.”

“What are you talking about?”

“That’s right. A person is defined by their memories, aren’t they? And you. You’ve lost your past.”

“Where are you going with this?”

“And here’s my question for the day,” he suddenly whirled around, pointing a finger at you. “So then, you who lost your memories: is it because you are a new existence that you’ve gained new memories… or is it because you’ve gained new memories that you are defined a new existence?”

… What is this guy babbling about…?

[] Choose.
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)09:32 No. 10303
[] new existence, that I'm not. Gaining new memories is just part of life.
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)11:30 No. 10304
[x] "Life, death, rebirth... Does it really even matter? Just keep living for the sake of living. Whatever may come, may come - so let it. Existence defines nothing; neither does memory. They only last for so long before they flicker out altogether, then are replaced with new ones. It's been that way since the dawn of time. You're nothing, I'm nothing. Deal with it".
[x] Smash his head in for the second time.

Yeah, I think it's better if we never go down his road again. Hoshuu is a much better guy.
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)12:15 No. 10305
[O] "Life, death, rebirth... Does it really even matter? Just keep living for the sake of living. Whatever may come, may come - so let it. Existence defines nothing; neither does memory. They only last for so long before they flicker out altogether, then are replaced with new ones. It's been that way since the dawn of time. You're nothing, I'm nothing. Deal with it".
[O] Smash his head in for the second time.

Looks like a solid vote, eh.
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)14:43 No. 10306
[X] "Neither. Both. It doesn't matter. A new existence will always bring new memories, and new memories will always change an old existence into a new existence. With every passing moment, we change a little more, and that's why you're wrong: our memories don't define us, it's how we choose to remember them that defines us. It's up to us to define ourselves."
[X] "You can rant all you want, but if you're letting your memories weigh you down, if you're letting yourself get mired in them, then that's no one's fault but your own."
[X] "Now get out of here before I smash your head in for the second time."

Stop pawning your problems off on us, Mister Headgames.
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)16:19 No. 10307
[X] "Neither. Both. It doesn't matter. A new existence will always bring new memories, and new memories will always change an old existence into a new existence. With every passing moment, we change a little more, and that's why you're wrong: our memories don't define us, it's how we choose to remember them that defines us. It's up to us to define ourselves."
[X] "You can rant all you want, but if you're letting your memories weigh you down, if you're letting yourself get mired in them, then that's no one's fault but your own."
[X] "Now get out of here before I smash your head in for the second time."
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)17:24 No. 10308
[x] "What is a man but the sum of his memories? If I have a past beyond what I can remember then those fragments are not me. But enough talk, have at thee."
[x] Skull crush.
>> 2009/05/06(Wed)18:13 No. 10309
[X] "Neither. Both. It doesn't matter. A new existence will always bring new memories, and new memories will always change an old existence into a new existence. With every passing moment, we change a little more, and that's why you're wrong: our memories don't define us, it's how we choose to remember them that defines us. It's up to us to define ourselves."
[X] "You can rant all you want, but if you're letting your memories weigh you down, if you're letting yourself get mired in them, then that's no one's fault but your own."
[X] "Now get out of here before I smash your head in for the second time."
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)00:16 No. 10313
[x] "Neither. Both. It doesn't matter. A new existence will always bring new memories, and new memories will always change an old existence into a new existence. With every passing moment, we change a little more, and that's why you're wrong: our memories don't define us, it's how we choose to remember them that defines us. It's up to us to define ourselves."
[x] "You can rant all you want, but if you're letting your memories weigh you down, if you're letting yourself get mired in them, then that's no one's fault but your own."
[x] "Now get out of here before I smash your head in for the second time."

Zen wisdom. Followed by skull fracture. I like it.
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)05:04 No. 10316
---

… You’ve heard enough. You were still unsure of exactly what that man was talking about, but it grates on your nerves for some reason. You stared at him coldly, gritting your teeth a little harder.

“Neither. Both. It doesn’t matter,” you said with clenched teeth, your hands had balled into fists by now. “A new existence will always bring new memories, and new memories will always change an old existence into a new existence,” you continued, not even sure what it was that you were talking about anymore.

“Heh. So what you’re saying is: you don’t know, and that’s why you’re not answering,” the man said, grinning. “I thought so. You’re not even sure of what you are.”

“You’re wrong! I might not know the answer to your question, but I know what defines me!” you yelled vehemently. “I know who I am! Stop trying to mess with my head like that other guy!”

“… That other guy? Who are you…” he mumbled, and you could sense that he was a little confused. “… Whatever. So, let’s hear it then, what ‘defines’ you?”

“… With every passing moment, we change, and that's why you're wrong: our memories don't define us, it's how we choose to remember them that defines us. It's up to us to define ourselves."

“Hah. So even the slightest of changes defines a new “you”? Like I said before, that’s so very carefree of you: throwing away anything in the past-”

"You can rant all you want, but if you're letting your memories weigh you down,” you continued, ignoring the man’s remark. “If you're letting yourself get mired in them, then that's no one's fault but your own.”

“Oh? Do I look that burdened by memories to you?” The man said, looking genuinely puzzled. “I’m a little more concerned that I have no future, though. It’s more than a little uncomfortable, y’know.”

“Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Get out. Get out of here. I’ll kill you. I’ll smash your head in.”

“Again?” the man faked surprise, although he still had that stupid grin on his face. “I was going to give you some advice, too…”

You leapt at the man, trying to pounce on him like a wild animal, fully intent on crushing his body. You reach out for his throat. You’ll take it and snap it in half. You’ll crush his windpipe. You’ll-

?!

You suddenly dropped to the ground, completely sapped of strength. What… what was happening? You slowly stood up, barely able to lift your body as you glared at the man.

“What… what did you do to me?!” you yelled in frustration.

“I haven’t done anything,” he shrugged. He wasn’t lying. But then, why were you…

Chains. Your body was bound by chains, tightly wrapped around you from your legs to your shoulders. You struggled against your bonds, but you couldn’t break free. Why…? Why can’t you break free?

“… That’s right. Even though you claim to have no interest in the past,” the man said, walking closer to you. Reaching out one hand, he placed it on your head as you winced a bit. “Even though you can’t remember any of it, you’re still unconsciously bound by it, and because of that, it’s inevitable that the past will catch up with you. You can’t close your eyes and cover your ears when it does. The past is something that’s better to accept than to reject. You’ll see. Take care until then.”

And then he turned to walk away from you, disappearing back into the trees. You remained standing there, still bound by your chains, letting out a silent scream, feeling nothing but a horrible mixture of rage and fear.

---
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)05:05 No. 10317
---

“… You’re here for the flower viewing too? Geeze, just how many people did she invite…?” Hakurei, who stood clutching a broom, sighed at the sight of you and Miss Aya climbing up the shrine steps. The extra long winter was over, and the late cherry blossoms had finally emerged from the trees.

“Actually, I just came without being invited,” Miss Aya said as a matter-of-factly. “It’s the long awaited spring, after all. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the final yozakura.”

“… I’m beginning to think that’s true for at least half the people here,” Hakurei frowned, absentmindedly sweeping the fallen cherry blossoms.

“Oh, don’t look that way, Miss Reimu,” Miss Aya added hastily, holding up two large bottles in her hands. “I brought warm, high-grade sake!”

“Just put ‘em on the table over there,” she said disinterestedly, pointing at the large table set up in front of the shrine, where a variety of jugs and bottles stood. Were they all different types of drinks?

Miss Aya nodded, and you accompanied her to the table, taking a curious look around the shrine grounds as you walked. There were a lot of people, both human and youkai. You even saw a couple of familiar faces, actually. There was that unpleasant vampire, although you couldn’t see her maid servant anywhere. Elsewhere, you also recognized the witches of the Forest of Magic, although both looked slightly older than you remembered. They seemed to be bickering about something.

With heavy clunks, Miss Aya placed the bottles of sake on the table along with an assortment of other drinks.

“I didn’t think you were the type to enjoy flower viewing, Miss Aya,” you commented as she turned around.

“Hm? Well, it’s not like I don’t sometimes enjoy slow-paced activities like that,” Miss Aya said as she dug out her notebook and pen. “But what I’m really here for is to gather info.”

“Info? About what?”

“The Spring Snow incident, of course,” she said, excitedly flipping her notebook open. “I still don’t have enough on it to write a proper article, so I thought I might use this gathering to shed some light on what happened.”

You would rather write it off as a freak accident of nature, but Miss Aya seemed to think it was worth looking into.

“But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the feast, y’know,” she hastily added. “You don’t have to follow me around. Go out and socialize. Have a drink or two.”

Even if she says that...

[] You'd rather stay with her. You're interested in the incident as well.
[] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)05:13 No. 10318
[] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)05:48 No. 10319
[] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)05:52 No. 10320
[x] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)06:34 No. 10323
{X} Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)06:47 No. 10324
[] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)10:08 No. 10325
[x] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/07(Thu)14:17 No. 10327
[] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/08(Fri)04:04 No. 10329
[ze] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
>> 2009/05/09(Sat)22:01 No. 10351
[O] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...

Landslide jumping~
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)02:06 No. 10352
[x] Maybe you should try talking to a few of the people here...
------

“… I guess I could try that,” you said with uncertainty, fidgeting with a fistful of your hakama nervously. But… suddenly the crowd of people looked so much larger now that you were in the middle of the commotion. And you didn’t know most of the people here, save for a few individuals you weren’t really in a hurry to talk to again, considering the circumstances when you last left them…

“Well, later, Miki!” Miss Aya said, excitedly snatching up the camera dangling from her neck and giving you a vigorous wave as she skipped off elsewhere, quickly disappearing into the crowd.

Sighing, you took a look around you again. Even though it was barely late enough to call it night, it seemed people had already started drinking, holding a cup or a bowl in their hand. As for you, with no one around to pressure you into a drinking contest, you didn’t really want to start drinking so early in the night.

But even though you said you’d try socializing, you didn’t really know where to start. You weren’t sure if you should go talk to the humans here or the youkai. It was easy enough to talk to someone you don’t know when they’re the one approaching you… but you just couldn’t seem to work up the courage to talk to a stranger...

Frowning, you stuffed your hands into your pockets as you began walking without aim, looking around the shrine grounds. The humans… well, they mostly seemed to stay away from most of the youkai that were around. Not that you’d really blame them for not wanting to be around youkai. Still, it kind of made you a little sad that the distinction of race seemed to be such a solid divider.

“… the house is a mess! Marisa, I told you to take them back once you were done showing off. The explosions scared me half to death!”

“I forgot, okay?! And besides, I didn’t even know they were that dangerous! That was the first mix, and I thought I had it all figured out!”

The noise seemed to be coming from the pair of witches. You glanced at them as you passed by. They were staring each other to a deadlock. You certainly wouldn’t want to disturb them now, so you looked away, keeping quiet.

“Ah, hey! Isn’t that…”

… They didn’t notice you, did they?

Nervously, you looked back towards the two witches. The one wearing the overly large witch hat, Marisa, if you recall correctly, was pointing rather rudely at you. The other witch, Miss Alice, was also looking at you, although she looked rather disinterested and still seemed a little irritated.

“Ah, um…” You stammered, giving a light bow as Marisa walked closer to you, with her friend following at a slower pace. “Um… hello, Miss Marisa… Miss Alice. It’s been a while.”

“I remembered you just now,” Marisa said shamelessly, grinning. “ ‘cuz you’re still wearing that bird mask. I’ve never met anyone else who wears a mask all the time like you.”

Miss Alice gave you a polite curtsy, raising her skirt. Just beside her head was a small doll, the one that she seemed to give special attention to when you last met her, mimicking its owner’s greeting.

“I take it you’re here for the flower viewing as well?” Miss Alice said, and as she straightened back up, you noticed that she was carrying her grimoire. How odd, did she carry that thing around everywhere?

“Ah, um, yes. Miss Aya said I should take a look, and I didn’t really see a reason not to go, so…”

“Hey, hey, how come you’re not with that crow, anyway?” Marisa quickly cut in. “Did she find something interesting to look into or what?”

“Eh? Um, I think she mentioned something about spring being late… so she went off to talk to a few people, but…”

“Oh? That’s it? Boooring, I already know all about that,” she said, crossing her arms and looking a little deflated. “Even Alice here knows about it already.”

“Even Alice? That’s a little rude,” Miss Alice said coldly, glaring at Marisa, who pretended not to notice. “Anyway, does she know that the incident was caused by an individual?”

“… Huh? You mean someone delayed spring? Can anyone really do that…?” you said, tilting your head to the side with a puzzled frown.

“So she didn’t know, then. Well, it seems this winter, someone went about covertly gathering the “essence” of sprin-“

“They stole our spring so they could keep it for themselves!” Marisa interjected. “So Rei- I mean, I went there and beat them up to get it back! All in a day’s work.”

“… Um… who’s “they”…? And where exactly did you go…?”

“The ghosts from the Netherworld,” Miss Alice said, cutting it just as Marisa opened her mouth to reply to you. “They came to the feast as well. Your boss probably went to talk to them about the incident.”

“… Oh, I see,” you scratched the back of your head, still feeling a little confused. Can ghosts really steal the “essence” of spring? That seemed just a tad too ridiculous… But then again, this was Gensokyo, after all…

“… By the way…” Marisa pointed at your face again. “Why do you wear that mask, anyway? It doesn’t even look cool.”

“Eh? Um… ah…” you stammered, unconsciously bringing your hands to your face to touch the mask. “I… uh… I like it! I like it a lot!”

“I bet you’re hiding something weird like a scar or a third eye on your head!” she began walking to you slowly with a creepy grin, holding up her hands in front of her as her fingers twitched eagerly. “Take… it… off!”

“Ah, hey! You’ve seen my face before,” you protested, backing away. Your mask had come off when she pelted you with that blast of magic. She would have seen your face then, right?

“I didn’t get a good look that time, with that crow kicking up a fuss,” she said, continuing to approach you. You looked toward Miss Alice, with eyes pleading for help. She pretended to look away, although you saw her looking at you from the corners of her eyes. Oh no, maybe she was curious too.

“Take it off!”

Marisa lunged at you, and you quickly dodged to the side, running off as fast as you could.

“Ah, hey! Stop running away!”

---
Whew… you finally lost her in the crowd. With the shrine grounds being limited, you thought she was going to be able to chase you forever. But… you finally seemed to have outlasted her span of interest.

But you felt a little thirsty, so you set off towards the table with drinks. On the way, you saw something that caught your attention.

A dog and a small girl: locked in a battle of endurance.

The vampire from the Scarlet Devil Mansion was standing on the shrine ground with her arms crossed, staring down at a sitting dog. Neither of them budged an inch, only glaring at each other with great intensity. The scene was a little… well, actually, it was very silly. Was there something special about this dog, or something? Why would the feared vampire be holding a staring contest with it?

You walked up behind her, examining the dog from her angle. She didn’t seem to notice you, or maybe she was just ignoring you. Hmm… there didn’t seem to be anything special about this dog…

[] “Um… excuse me, but what are you doing?”
[] Don’t ask. Just… walk away.
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)02:23 No. 10353
[0] Don’t ask. Just… walk away.

Don't want to give a chance to trouble happen.
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)02:50 No. 10354
[x] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[x] Keep watching, something might happen!
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)03:58 No. 10355
[x] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[x] Keep watching, something might happen!

My money is on the dog.
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)04:04 No. 10356
[X] “Um… excuse me, but what are you doing?”

Do want explanation.

Do not want to wait hours and miss out on interacting with the others at the party.
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)04:09 No. 10357
>>10356
>Do not want to wait hours and miss out on interacting with the others at the party.

The longer this goes on, the sillier Remilia seems. As for Miki, the boy could use some confidence building, and nothing builds confidence like watching the vainglorious make an ass of themselves.
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)04:53 No. 10358
[X] “Um… excuse me, but what are you doing?”
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)04:58 No. 10359
>>10357

None of this addresses my expressed concerns.
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)05:08 No. 10360
[x] "OH, HAI MISS VAMPIRE LADY!"

Boo.
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)06:38 No. 10361
[x] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[x] Keep watching, something might happen!
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)06:39 No. 10362
[x] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[x] Keep watching, something might happen!
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)07:36 No. 10363
[x] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[x] Keep watching, something might happen!
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)08:01 No. 10365
[B] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[B] Keep watching, something might happen!
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)09:47 No. 10367
[ze] “Um… excuse me, but what are you doing?”
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)16:09 No. 10368
[B] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[B] Keep watching, something might happen!
>> 2009/05/10(Sun)22:51 No. 10372
[x] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[x] Keep watching, something might happen!
>> 2009/05/11(Mon)07:23 No. 10379
[x] ...Oh hell, now you're curious too.
[x] Keep watching, something might happen!
>> 2009/05/11(Mon)14:00 No. 10380
you must construct additional threads
>> 2009/05/28(Thu)21:43 No. 10688
What happened to this? Why won't you update?