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File 165959565088.png - (238.38KB, 727x296, ndxvVz0.png)
ndxvVz0
The intense chirping of cicadas was what brought you back to the land of the living. You came into consciousness, but your eyes remained close, and a pounding in your head begged you to return to slumber. Try as you might though, the insistence of the cicadas urged you to stay with them. Deeming a return to dreamland hopeless, you lifted your upper body off the ground and opened your eyes.

You were sitting on a hill, covered with lush grass. You could see a lake about ten minutes ahead from you, though mist seemed to shimmer above the lake, obscuring your view of what lay across it. Mountains off in the distance surrounded you as if cradling you tightly in their embrace. This area seemed lush, peaceful, and completely foreign to you. Nothing was ringing a bell, even the grass felt different. How did you even get here? You... Actually, just remembering felt difficult right now, with so many details in your head fuzzy. You could deal with that later.

You stood up, brushing some of the grass and debris off of your pants, when you noticed a flyer about eight feet from you, caught between two rocks, the wind trying to tug it away but the rock refusing to let go. You picked up the purple paper and examined it.

>"WELCOME! ;P

>"By popular demand, here is your introduction and primer to your current tubular predicament! Where are you? You're in Gensokyo now! What is Gensokyo? A radical land of magic! Monsters are real! Youkai are real! Have gnarly fun, but be careful! If you really want to return home, seek out Hakurei! Otherwise, enjoy your mondo new future!

>"P.S. Watch out for Rumia! She's waaaay uncool for newbies! x~x"

You stared at the flyer for a few moments. You weren't sure which to find more incredulous - the outrageous claims it had made casually, or how it seemed written by someone madly out of touch with society. Like an old person, desperate to appear cool with the youth, but with no idea what the youth truly are or what they do.

As you folded up the paper to put in your pocket, a loud sound interrupted the cicadas.

"-SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP-"

You turned around, to see a few feet behind you a young-looking girl, with blonde hair and a black dress. She was holding a huge slushie with both hands and taking very loud sips from it.

"-SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP-"

Her eyes were looking straight at you, and you returned in kind. Hours seemed to pass, before finally, her sip ended loudly with a pop, as she smacked her lips.

"... Heya. You new around here?"

You nodded, unable to do much more due to the surrealness of your current situation.

"Is that so... Is that so..." She took another sip before walking in a somewhat exaggerated manner to a nearby log in the shade. Her legs kicked up high, and she did a little spin before sitting on the log. She took one more sip before patting a hand on the open space next to her. Feeling compelled, you joined her on the log. She held out her slushie to you. "Want a sip?"

The label featured a blue-haired girl in a green hat winking. "IMPOSSIBLE HUMAN - INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM REAL HUMAN*." You shook your head, to which she shrugged, and took another sip.

The cicadas filled the silence between the sips, as you just sat awkwardly next to the short young girl. The awkwardness of the situation continued to grow until, finally, you took the initiative to speak. "So," you began. "What's your name?"

"Rumia." The blonde said after a sip. Before a chill could go up your spine, "You were warned about me, huh?" You nodded, uneasy. The young girl sighed. "Is that so... I did something bad long ago you know." She looked at her feet, which are kicked up a bit into the air. You mentally try to think of how fast you could dart at a moment's notice. This little girl seemed harmless, but if the letter was right, and there were monsters... Was this what they looked like? Or was it one elaborate prank?

Rumia took another sip. "I don't like being bad though, people get angry at me and yell. Yelling isn't fun. Are you sure you don't want a sip?" She extends her slushie towards you again, to which you once more refuse. Her brows furrow a bit. "Is that so? The monk said I should help people like you, but you don't want to be helped. This is ungood, huh? What to do..." The loud sound of her sipping grew tiresome to your ears. Still, unless this was an elaborate act, this girl didn't seem remotely hostile (aside from her morbid choice of drink).

After another sip to ponder, Rumia finally had a brilliant idea. "What do you want?" She asked simply.

What did you want? Safety? A return to a world more familiar than this? Comfort? All those may have been smaller desires. But in truth, there was one thing you wanted, one thing you wanted more than anything in the world, and it was something you could never admit to openly;

Hags. You fucking loved hags. Your memory may be a bit fuzzy, your past obscured currently, but you know the one thing you've always adored and desired in life are older women. You want an older woman to hold you. You want an older woman under you and on top of you. Your desire for an old hag to love and embrace was deeper than the Marianas, taller than Everest. It filled every inch of you and created a thirst desperate to be quenched. What was the appeal of an older woman, and what led you to seek comfort in her ample bosom? You didn't know, but God you craved it.

This was a deeply hidden and held desire, as such you could barely admit it to yourself. And such an answer likely would've been useless to the little girl before you. Instead, you answered Rumia with a more mundane "I think I need somewhere to stay for a while." If you were going to be stuck in this magical place for a while, you'd need somewhere better than this hill to sleep on. You'd probably need food and water too. At least until you could find this "Hakurei" figure.

If you wanted to find her.

Rumia nodded and looked forward, as if deep in thought. Then, she took another sip from her slushie. Was that thing bottomless? "I think I know people who can help you! By showing you them I'll have helped you!" She beamed with pride at the idea of tossing you to be someone else's problem, genuinely thinking this would fulfill her obligation of helping. And it probably would be for the best, this young girl's aloof nature made her a bit unsettling to you. Rumia took one big sip, as if she needed the fuel, and began to list off;

"The monk lady is very friendly and kind! She acts like everyone's mother! She's very tall and strong, but also nice! Her hair smells good too, but not like meat. I wish it did."

"She often fights with this blue-haired lady and some other people with the blue-haired lady. The blue-haired lady is like a teacher I think? People say she's dangerous though. They say I'm dangerous too though..."

"My teacher isn't dangerous though, Teacher Keine is very friendly! She's also mean if I don't do my homework, but she should still help you, she likes humans! I think everyone I said likes humans, right? I like humans too! They're neat and funny and tas-and funny."

"Sometimes Keine talks with this rabbit lady for works for a doctor lady. Are doctor ladies called nurses? I think so. Doctor nurse lady they say is scary, but she seems to help people. I went to her once when I got a boo-boo. She didn't give me a lollipop though. I want a lollipop. Do you have a lollipop?"

"I hear the doctor nurse lady fights regularly with Miss Yukari. I don't know much about her, but people know her. She's an important person in Gensokyo though, she might help you too?"

"There's also the lady on the mountain, she's a goddess. I think there are other goddesses with her too? They do goddessy things together on the mountain. She's supposed to be big on... businessy things? She must be popular if so many other goddesses are with her."

After listing the six, Rumia looked to the sky. "Oh, it's going to be dark soon." You looked at her puzzled. Was that bad? "Nope. I like the dark. But my drink is almost gone. Which lady do you want to see? I want to get more drink after I bring you to the lady." It seemed time to make your decision. Rumia hadn't given you much in the way of details, but you'd just have to make due. You couldn't place why, but you had a feeling that the decision you were about to make right here, right now, would be one of the most important in your entire life.

Or maybe it'd be kinda meaningless. How could you know?

"-SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP-"

[]The Monk Lady
[]The Blue-haired Lady
[]Keine the Teacher
[]Doctor Nurse Lady
[]Yukari the Mysterious Lady
[]Businessy Goddessy Lady
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[X]Businessy Goddessy Lady
Chimata go
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>>203730

> "There's also the lady on the mountain, she's a goddess. I think there are other goddesses with her too? They do goddessy things together on the mountain. She's supposed to be big on... businessy things? She must be popular if so many other goddesses are with her."

I'm pretty sure that's referring to Kanako and the Moriya Shrine, not Chimata.
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[x] Yukari the Mysterious Lady
SSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
I'M NOT DOING SEX
MY
MY WHOLE EXISTENCE
HAS TRULY BECOME SEX
SSSSEEEEEEEEEEXXXXX
"STOP, ANON! YOUR BODY CAN'T HANDLE MUCH MORE OF FLUFFY TAIL!!!!!"
NO, I'VE BECOME SEX
SSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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[✓] Keine the Teacher
I think the nice teacher lady could teach us a thing or two about gensokyo
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[x] Yukari the Mysterious Lady

Lets see how she will wreak this story
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[x] Yukari the Mysterious Lady
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0323eab5ab6dd10c86f71ef4cc6669fb
>>203729
[x] Yukari the Mysterious Lady

Of all of the people Rumia had listed to you, Yukari was one of two she actually knew by name. And also "one of the most important people". You didn't have much to go off of for any of them, but these two facts in and of themselves seemed like strong enough reasons.

"How about asking this Yukari lady for help? If she's so important, she could probably easily get e a place to stay. Hopefully, if she's nice."

Rumia grinned and nodded. "Alright! Yukari lady it is then!" She said, her eyes filled with determination as she let her empty cup fall to the grass.

...

. . .

The wind blew, as her face held onto that determined look. Did she expect you to do something? "So, we..."

"I don't know where the Yukari lady is! No one really knows!"

. . .

"Well then why did you-"

"EXCEPT!" Rumia pointed a finger towards the air, excited to share this news with you! "Except for HER! One of the most powerful girls here, the protector of Gensokyo! She certainly will be able to show you the Yukari! And by me showing you the girl who will show you Yukari, I will have helped you!" Rumia gave a toothy grin full of pride. "The monk lady is going to be so happy with me! She's going to give me a bunch of food tonight!" She held out a finger and pointed to the west, alongside the shore of the lake. Following it, you could see far in the distance what appeared to be a small building tucked away in the mountains. Well, it seemed like a far trip but you had nothing better planned.

"We should get walking before it gets dark then, right?"

"If you want to Mister Human, I like the dark." Despite the change in her demeanor, the fact she specified you as human felt a tad unnerving.

You lead the way going in the general direction she pointed to, following the side of the lake. Rumia hummed as she floated side by side behind you. Her eyes were closed as she remained in her own little world. With her musical accompaniment and the fading sounds of the cicadas, you decided to admire some of the surroundings on your trek. The lake's water was notably pristine, mired not by pollution or murk. Its water was a deep blue. Though you couldn't make out the opposite side of the lake, the shoreline on this side seemed clean, with frogs, reeds, and... ice? Had it snowed here recently? The weather seemed like it was late summer or early autumn, that was way too early for there to be snow or even frost out. Yet, as you traveled further, more signs of Father Frost appeared.

Icicles dripping from spots on a tree. Small icebergs slowly melt in the water. A frog frozen in mid-jump. An entire igloo. You turned back to Rumia, who continued her melody blissfully oblivious. Maybe this was just... normal in this world? You turned back forward and kept walking, now seeing a frozen-

"HEY! Where ya going, Mister Human?"

You turned around to see Rumia floating, arms spread out, in front of the igloo. "She's here! Is your eyesight bad? How did you miss it?" Holding back any rebuttal, you walked back to her. She pointed at the entranceway. It was small. You'd have to crawl. You looked back at Rumia. "Well? Go on in! She's home! I think."

With a held-back sigh, "When in Rome I guess" as you got on your hands and knees, and began to crawl through the igloo's small entrance. "Good luck Mister Human! You're welcome for the heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp." Rumia's voice faded out. The minute you have to crawl she decides to bail? She must've thought her job was done the moment she could hand you off to someone else. Oh well, a-hey wait, you didn't even know who you were supposed to be seeing! Second thoughts began to fill your head, but you decided to keep crawling, at least to see if anyone was home.

This tunnel was longer on the inside than it looked from the outside, but you, at last, neared the inside of the igloo. The moment your face popped into the room though, it was greeted with a foot.

The foot came from another girl, one slightly taller than Rumia, but not by much. A blue dress, accompanied by blue hair and a big blue bow adorned this girl. Her face was sneering, like a bully who just saw his favorite target on the playground pull out his game boy. "Well well well. What have we here? What brings a human to Cirno's castle? You're not trying to destroy it are you?"

"NO! No!" You exclaimed, stuck right at the end of the entrance tunnel and thus unable to stand up. "Rumia just told me to come here, she said you can help me!" It was a bit hard to plead your case while a foot was on your face. Some people would pay good money for this experience, but you couldn't see the appeal.

"Ah, did she now?" She held a finger to her head as if to mimic someone deep in thought. "Well of course I can help! I'm Cirno. There's nothing I can't do! I can do anything, freeze anything, and defeat anyone! Gensokyo is my realm! Watch this!" Cirno took her foot off your face. She held out her hand, and several ice spikes appeared out of thin air, before they flung themselves against the icy walls, shattering as they did so. "Cool huh?" Was that a pun? "Oh, watch this!" She held out her hands and glared. Then she stopped. "Now that was cool, right? The coolest!"

"What did you do?"

"I froze time!"

"You... froze time?"

"Yeah! Better than that dumb maid's ability right?"

"Dumb ma-nothing happened though."

"You think nothing happened because I froze time! But then I unfroze it! You just couldn't tell! I can freeze anything." This was starting to look hopeless.

"Look, I just need to see this Lady Yukari lady, do you know here? Can you take me to her?"

Cirno brought her finger to her head again. "Hmmmmm...." She looked at you, her eyes going up and down. "Hmmmm...."

"..."

"Hmmmmmmm..."

"Is that a yes?"

"Hmmmmm... Yes!" Finally, that was- "On one condition!" Dammit. "I need an underling! Have you looked at the other people in Gensokyo?"

"No."

"What's the one thing all the powerful strong people have in common?"

"I don't know, I just got here an hour ago."

This young girl's arrogant-yet-idiotic thoughts were quickly wearing out your previously nervous and cautious attitude and replacing it with a much more curt one. Ability to generate ice out of thin air be damned, you were starting to get the feeling Rumia had misled you about who Cirno was.

"Well, all the strong people have underlings! But not me! And I should have one! I have friends but no underling to boss around! That's just not right! So you can be my underling! Pledge yourself to me and I'll take you to see Yukari!"

"... I'm sorry I can't do that."

Cirno frowned. "Oh, OK. I still need an underling though. I do have some others I'm thinking of making my underling though! I think they'd be all about equal in underlingness, so I'll let you pick the one that'll be my underling!"

She placed three pieces of paper on the ground, each with a crayon drawing. You looked at them, the absurdity of the situation sinking into you more and more. "So you want me to just pick one?"

"You'll also help me make them an underling too! Don't worry, you just need to come with me and tell them how powerful and strong I am and why I should be their underling! I'll even be generous - if we somehow fail, which we won't, I'll take you to Yukari anyways! What do you say?"

You looked down at the three pieces of paper. One had this tall green-haired lady crying and pleading for mercy. "NO CHEERNO U R 2 SRONG DONT HURT ME". Flowers surrounded her. Cirno was freezing some of the flowers.

The second had this huge circular woman inside an ice cube crying while eating cake. Snowflakes were drawn around her, while Cirno was freezing her. "O NO I AM DEFEETD UR FRIZ IS FRIZER THEN MY FRIZ I WANT CAKE".

The last had a girl with black wings, completely frozen over. She cried while Cirno stepped on her. "CHEERNO I WIL NOT WRIT DUM BAD STORES ABOT U NYMOR U R SMART AND COOL".

As dumb as this situation was looking, maybe one of them could actually give you some proper help? Or maybe you could try and actually make them Cirno's underling, though you had doubts that would work out.

[] "Please, mighty Lord Cirno. Mercy upon the flowers!"
[] "Oh indomitable Lord Cirno, don't ruin the slothful one's food stores!"
[] "Will the sovereign Lord Cirno please spare the humble journalist of her crimes?"
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Well, if we want to get to Yukari, then the gluttonous ghost is probably the most useful to talk to, so...

[X] "Oh indomitable Lord Cirno, don't ruin the slothful one's food stores!"
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>>203738
>O NO I AM DEFEETD UR FRIZ IS FRIZER THEN MY FRIZ I WANT CAKE
Initially, I thought this option referred to Letty since it had FRIZ in it, but it being the glutton makes sense. Possibly a one-for-one deal as Youmu is there as well. An underling's underling.

[X] "Oh indomitable Lord Cirno, don't ruin the slothful one's food stores!"
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>>203738
>>203739
If it's yuyuko why does she talk about her "friz" and compare it to cirnos? It seems more letty.
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[X] "Oh indomitable Lord Cirno, don't ruin the slothful one's food stores!"

I'm loving this, keep it up.
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>>203739
>>203740

Ah, Letty also makes sense. I was thinking it was Yuyuko because of the "circular" (fat) and "cake" bits and her often being memed as gluttonous, but Letty is also memetically called fat because of her large hitbox.

In that case, all the options are about equally useful in how much information they give about Yukari.
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[x] "Will the sovereign Lord Cirno please spare the humble journalist of her crimes?"
I just want wingy.
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[X] "Please, mighty Lord Cirno. Mercy upon the flowers!"
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it_s_still_too_warm__1_by_rumielle_dfbckrw
>>203737
This meant to be released earlier, but the holiday week distracted me and I lost track of time. My bad.

[X] "Oh indomitable Lord Cirno, don't ruin the slothful one's food stores!"

You didn't know who these people were. You doubted that these artistic representations could be considered accurate. It was almost a complete shot in the dark for you. The first drawing with the flowers, even though it should've come off as silly to you, the green-haired girl in it... She sparked a primal fear in you for some inexplicable reason. If just this crude crayon drawing could do this, you dreaded what the real person could do. Hard no.

The last one, a winged girl? Was she supposed to be an angel or something? With black wings too. Even with the grammatical errors, you could piece together the girl was some kind of writer or journalist. It was too late in the day to be dealing with journalists. Pass.

The middle girl though, the fat one? Well... Fat people aren't too scary, are they? And you wouldn't mind some cake right now. Might as well pick this one. You held up the second picture, to which Cirno eagerly grabbed it. "Alright! Letty Whiterock! Prepare to enter your rightful place as my servant!" She folded the picture and put it in her pocket. She then turned back to you. "Until Letty concedes to being my underling, you are my temp underling. Now, let's go get her! Out! Out!" You grumbled. You had still been on all fours in the entranceway due to Cirno blocking you from fully entering the igloo. The tunnel was too tight to turn around, so you'd have to crawl backwards. What fun.

...

"OK human! Watch this!" An icicle shot from the blue fairy's hand, instantly freezing the mushroom you two passed. You might've been impressed if this weren't the 16th time she had shown you that exact same move. The trek upwards into the mountains was already time-consuming, Cirno stopping every 5 minutes to show you this same freezing trick only prolonged it further. Cirno beamed with pride as you gave a curt "neat". Your 16th "neat".

Thankfully, it was after that 16th frozen mushroom that you saw a rocky path heading up the mountain. And just near the pathway, a doorway alongside the mountainous wall. It seemed like a quant cottage exterior, western in design, built right into the mountain. "That's our stop!" Cirno exclaimed. "You remember what to do right? Just convince her to be my underling! And you better actually try! If you give up and don't try I'll never show you where Yukari is! Got it?" You assured Cirno you would give an honest effort, and approached the cozy cabin door. A "DO NOT DISTURB" sign welcomed you. You took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

Nothing happened. You waited for a few minutes, then turned around to look back at Cirno, several feet away from you. She nudged her head back towards the door, and you decided to knock once more, a bit louder. Finally, you could hear some stirring within the domicile. After some more movement inside, you could make out some slightly slurred and mumbled words. "...adda jiss finally considered my offer Akis?" With that, the door began to open.

Standing in the half-opened doorway was a tall woman with pink hair. Like Cirno's drawing implied, she seemed a bit... rotund, but not anywhere as unflattering as the crayons claimed. The woman, Letty you believe Cirno called her, must've been in deep sleep earlier, judging from her messy hair and disheveled appearance. All she had on was a nightgown and a hastily put-on jacket. Both left little to the imagination. Her tired and glazed eyes finally were able to focus on you, and once they did a frown appeared on her face. When they were able to make out what the light blue smudge behind you was, a grumpy glare appeared. Before you could get a word out, the door slammed shut in front of you.

That probably could've gone better. Knowing what Cirno would want you to do if you turned your head back to ask her, you went ahead and knocked again. "Go away." Grumbled the front door. "It's too early in the year for this. I don't entertain humans and I don't entertain that brat, so beat it unless you want an icier reception!"

===

[] "Please, I really need your help. It's getting late and we need a place to stay for the night."
[] "This ice fairy is harassing me and I need to get rid of her."
[] "If you beg for mercy now and prostrate yourself, Lord Cirno may decide to spare you!"
[] "Pizza time! Free pizzas for you!"
[] This whole situation is becoming too stressful. Just break down and cry right on her front door.
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[x] "This ice fairy is harassing me and I need to get rid of her."
Everything else might be a little too pathetic and not conducive to hags.
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[X] Weep and tear at our hair and clothes.

We had seen our heart's desire before us and had it rejected us outright—what a cruel fate. So, let's be a person of fiery passion. Surely such a display of emotion will melt this cold heart!

Also, what constitutes a hag, an older woman who acts mature? I ask because Yukari is '17', does she still qualify as a hag?

I also got to admit to loving this character motivation
>Hags. You fucking loved hags. Your memory may be a bit fuzzy, your past obscured currently, but you know the one thing you've always adored and desired in life are older women. You want an older woman to hold you. You want an older woman under you and on top of you. Your desire for an old hag to love and embrace was deeper than the Marianas, taller than Everest. It filled every inch of you and created a thirst desperate to be quenched. What was the appeal of an older woman, and what led you to seek comfort in her ample bosom? You didn't know, but God you craved it.
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>>203771
The better question might be who isn't a hag in Gensokyo? Even fairies like Cirno are in their 60s minimum. Akyuu is about to hit 30.
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[x] "This ice fairy is harassing me and I need to get rid of her."
Let's be rid of the pest and get back on to our divine quest for older ladies as soon as we can.
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[x] "This ice fairy is harassing me and I need to get rid of her."
Interested to see if this goes anywhere
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A hag
>>203771
Is Gensokyo just one big nursing home? Where hags try to relive their glory days?
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>>203769
[x] "This ice fairy is harassing me and I need to get rid of her."

It was beginning to sink in just how absurd your situation was. Cirno here seemed too caught up in her delusional desires to make a minion, and you doubted just how helpful she could be. She had just met you and was already forcing you to harass some unrelated person for ridiculous reasons. Did Cirno even know where this Yukari was? You decided to cut your losses, going on your own might be safer than sticking with Cirno.

"This ice-" You began to speak but realized Cirno was a bit behind you and could overhear you. Cirno may have acted like an idiot, but you knew the icicles she shot out were no joke. It would probably behoove you to keep a quieter tone. You took a hushed tone and continued. "This ice fairy is harassing me and I need to get rid of her." Silence came from the door, but you didn't hear movement. "Please, any help would be appreciated." More silence. You looked around, desperate to get an idea, something to convince her not to bail on you.

You noticed small winter-themed decorations nearby her home. Cirno's first drawing had mentioned "FRIZ", with snowflakes and ice. Was Letty like... Whatever Cirno was? With ice powers? That would explain the forced ice pun she made trying to get rid of you. They clearly didn't seem too fond of each other. Rivals? Perhaps that could be the route to pursue.

"I know you're better with ice stuff than Cirno, if you could just... demonstrate that and scare her off, I'd be so grateful." Still silence. Had she snuck away quietly when you weren't noticing? "... Please."

Hope seemed dim, and right when you were about to turn in defeat to Cirno, the door burst open with a gust of frosty wind. You stumbled backwards and fell to the ground, as snow flurries twirled around the doorway. "OH HO HO HO HO" A deep hearty laugh bellowed as the flurries cleared, revealing the slightly-less disheveled Letty Whiterock. She floated several feet in the air, imposing and tall in a jacket properly adjusted to herself, and a hat covering the messier parts of her hair. "Cirno, you really are an idiot!"

Cirno's math gaped open. "What! I'm not the idiot, you're the idiot! Fatty!"

Letty did her haughty laugh again, before icicle spears instantaneously shot up from the ground around you, forming a cage. "And yet you have done the most idiotic of ploys! You have delivered the divine chosen human sacrifice to me!"

Cirno paused. "D... D-"

"Divine, it means holy."

"Oh. S-Sacra-Sacri-"

"Sacrifice is something that is to be killed."

"Ah. I knew that!"

"And this human is all of those things! So I shall take him as my own minion instead! This will multiply my own power infinitely!" Snow began surrounding Letty, as small clouds formed in the area. "Face me if you dare, puny ice fairy."

Cirno put a foot forward and took on a determined pose. "I'm more than strong enough to face a fat idiot like you! Just try something!"

"Ah ah ah!" Letty wiggled a finger. "I have one more trick up my sleeve!" Another icicle shot up from the ground below you, this time stopping just shy of your neck. "You try and attack me, I kill the human. That'll not only make me super duper strong, but Hakurei will get angry at you for causing this human to die!" Cirno tensed up hearing that. Yet again you heard about this Hakurei, whoever they were they must've commanded a lot of respect around these parts.

Cirno sweated as she nervously looked around, between you and Letty. This was not how she was expecting this encounter to go. This was supposed to be a simple minion-making plan, but now it involved... Tricks and stuff, Cirno didn't study for this! She wanted to fight Letty right then and there but...

"Human! I'm not abandoning you!" Cirno said as she flew off abandoning you. "I'll be back to save you later! You'll be my minion again soon, I promise!" Gradually, the blue fairy faded into the distance. Letty floated down to the ground, as the icicles trapping you began to melt. You had a feeling it was all a ruse but it made you feel reassured nonetheless.

This feeling of reassurance was squished when Letty collapsed on you, sweaty and exhausted, all the snow and ice in the nearby area reduced to puddles. "Alright human, carry me inside. You better earn your worth from this."

It was difficult dragging this large lady in, though you wisely kept your mouth shut, as she directed you to her couch, where she promptly fell with a "splat". After a few seconds of her face-first on the couch, she began quickly taking her jacket off. You looked at her, slightly taken back. When she noticed your mild shock she stared daggers. "My house my dress code. Get in the kitchen and make me some tea." You nodded and quickly headed into the next room. "AND ICED TEA ONLY, NO HOT TEA."

You took the tea back to see her down to her underwear, splayed on her couch like a cat. The chubby sweaty woman lazily held her hand out as you placed the iced tea into it. She took a drink from the glass while refusing to sit up. Letty seemed determined to stay laying down as long as possible. After both of you had had some sips of your drink, you decided to break the ice. "Thanks for... All of that. It was really impressive, your powers really are incredible."

"That was hell on me you know."

"It was?"

Letty glanced you up and down as if trying to study something about you. "I'm a yuki-onna, you ever hear of them?" You nod. "We're youkai of the winter. My ability isn't to create cold, but to manipulate chill. I'm only at my full strength in the winter. Which, unfortunately, it's not that now. If it wasn't for all the power I stored up hiding down here, and the recent cold front, and Cirno being nearby, I couldn't have put up that facade." Letty finished her drink quickly, leaving behind only ice cubes. She decided to place the ice-filled glass against her stomach for a source of chilliness. "That said, when winter comes around? I can really put that brat in her place. That was the only reason I helped you you know, Just for a chance to embarrass her outside of winter."

Letty adjusted her legs slightly. "You're really new here aren't you? You're not going to last long if that's the company you're trying to keep. How did you get caught up with her anyways?"

"She was going to help me find someone to help me. Rumia helped me to-"

"Wait, Rumia? Aren't they supposed to be giving pamphlets to warn you new people away from her?"

You nervously chuckled and ignored the weight of the folded-up pamphlet in your pocket.

"Well in the future be more careful who you stay near. And who you decide to ditch too. It's hazardous to your health."

"You think Cirno would've tried to kill me?"

"I think Cirno doesn't understand the concept of death. It's foreign to her kind, fairies. Fairies always come back when they die." How strange, and unsettling.

Letty gave a sigh as she placed the cup of ice against her forehead, desperate to cool down. Even though you felt comfortable, if a little cool, she was acting like it was the middle of a heat wave with no A/C. "What about you? What's your story? I usually don't get the chance to talk with newcomers. The least you can do is entertain me."

Your backstory? Well, it was still a bit fuzzy to you, but things were beginning to clear up. And your name too was starting to return to you. You could remember...

===

"My name is [write in, random choice]"

[]"I studied like hell in school to try and get into the best university. Long nights I spent trying to do my best, memorize all the facts, forgoing personal relationships... I don't think I'd ever miss it if I was stuck here."
[]"My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."
[]"I always wanted an older sister growing up. I had an older brother instead, who was an asshole. Older sisters seem cool, confident, protective, bossy but in a good way..."
[]"I went to the beach, where I met this strange auntie-like lady who was acting like she was 20 years younger than she really was. She forced me to drink wine and tried grabbing me everywhere. I don't want to admit I liked it"
[]"Why would I remember something? It's OK to not remember things."

Pick a simple backstory that may or may not influence their path and eventual relationships.
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My god...these options are great. Can we pick: [] all above? I kind of want to see us be a walking bag of issues.

Do we have a gender, or does it not matter in the face of our overwhelming desire for hags?
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Seiga
>>203788
The paths unfortunately are incompatible. While there's probably a lot of overlap in terms of characterization and the mental issues our character will have, the choices were made with certain leanings in mind, along with one being radically different. There's hags down each route though.

I hadn't even considered the idea of a female MC, I just imagined them a young (legal) male. We can put that up to a vote, a female MC could be interesting.

[]Male
[]Female
[]You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you
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...Female MC would be really interesting.
[X] Female

As for the other vote...
My name is [Lea]. Dunno, first name that came to mind.

[X]"I always wanted an older sister growing up. I had an older brother instead, who was an asshole. Older sisters seem cool, confident, protective, bossy but in a good way..."
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[X] You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you
I am interested in how the writer would handle such an option in the story. Cause having your entire gender be changed seems like a pretty impactful event and might provide us a potentially interesting perspective. Are there other gender-bender stories on this site?

"My name is Alex."

[X]"Why would I remember something? It's OK to not remember things."
Mystery option, I wonder what the preferences in this will be? It might make Letty annoyed with us, though.
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[] Male, keeping it simple although I’m certainly tempted by the miko option
[] deadbeat dad backstory
[] A.J.
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[x]"I always wanted an older sister growing up. I had an older brother instead, who was an asshole. Older sisters seem cool, confident, protective, bossy but in a good way..."
[x] Male
[x] Grant
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[X]You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you
[X]"My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."
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[X] Female
[X]"My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."
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[X]"I studied like hell in school to try and get into the best university. Long nights I spent trying to do my best, memorize all the facts, forgoing personal relationships... I don't think I'd ever miss it if I was stuck here."
I see this giving the best reason for staying in gensokyo.
[x] Male.
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[X]"I studied like hell in school to try and get into the best university. Long nights I spent trying to do my best, memorize all the facts, forgoing personal relationships... I don't think I'd ever miss it if I was stuck here."

Studying sucks, I'd rather screw around in gensokyo.

[x] Male. (Although Miko/Seiga shenanagins would be interesting, at some later point perhaps)

[x] Alex
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[X] "My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."
[X] Male

[X] Mason

Surprised to see the turnout of votes. But also not, considering these kinds of choices usually cause a big turnout because it filters readers heavily.

Speaking of, be careful on how you handle these kinds of route choices. 'Cause it can and most likely will alienate readers. Most writers try to avoid any "route-lock" choices in general due to the amount of shenanigans it can cause at the cost of unprecedented (and perhaps fraudulent) voter turnout.
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>>203799
>>203792
Consider that if we go the miko route, a hag is going to need to show us how our new body works. Also a new identity fits with a new life in gensokyo thematically
My votes are
[X]"I went to the beach, where I met this strange auntie-like lady who was acting like she was 20 years younger than she really was. She forced me to drink wine and tried grabbing me everywhere. I don't want to admit I liked it"
[X]You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you
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[X]"My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."

Because if our quest is to seek out older women, then there's no way I can resist throwing mommy issues into the mix.

[X]You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you

Because why not? I agree with other comments, it sounds like fun.
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[X]"I studied like hell in school to try and get into the best university. Long nights I spent trying to do my best, memorize all the facts, forgoing personal relationships... I don't think I'd ever miss it if I was stuck here."

[X] Male
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[X] "My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."
[X] Male
[X] Grant
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Now, I may be crazy, but what if, with the Miko option, we eventually become a hag, and the story becomes about self-love?
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[X]"My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."
The only correct reason to want a hag


[X]You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you
Honestly I flipped a coin between Female and Miko'd
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[ze~ ☆] "My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."
[ze~ ☆] Male
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[x]"I studied like hell in school to try and get into the best university. Long nights I spent trying to do my best, memorize all the facts, forgoing personal relationships... I don't think I'd ever miss it if I was stuck here."

[x]You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you
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[X]"I always wanted an older sister growing up. I had an older brother instead, who was an asshole. Older sisters seem cool, confident, protective, bossy but in a good way..." Seems fitting to explain why the MC likes older women

[X]You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you
This would lead to more ineresting shenanigans i feel like.
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[X]"My mom ditched our family while I was young, I mostly had to care for myself and my deadbeat dad. He was never much there, but I always wonder what it'd be like if my mother was there..."

[X]You were a guy, then a funny blue haired hag came by and Miko'd you
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ed1290dd78b5e12d0d186f7840cac6b58ebde0c5
>>203787
It's been a week, and what a ride. This was far more intense than I expected it to be, right down to just a few hours ago. Dice roll to determine tie-breaker. I appreciate all the votes, and I hope even if your route didn't win you'll still have fun with the story.

===

The fog which had permeated your mind since you woke up here was beginning to recede. Many details still remained fuzzy, specifically HOW you got here, but at least you were beginning to remember enough to not be considered a complete amnesiac.

Your parents had been a young couple when they moved in together. They had yet to marry one another, but planned to "when the time was right". Neither was what could be considered responsible. They partied, went to rock concerts, and were fairly well-liked among their peers. Things looked bright for them despite their carefree lifestyle. The economy was good, they were comfortable, and life and fortune smiled upon them. Then your mother became pregnant with you.

Shortly after you were born, your mother left. Disappeared entirely without a trace. When you were a young boy you imagined that something grand must have happened to her. Maybe she was a secret spy, off in the cold wastes of a northern country putting an end to an evil genius. Maybe she was actually a witch, and when the time came she would visit you and teach you secret powers. There was a hope inside you for the longest time that someday she would return. Someday she would explain where she was, and make things right again. As your childhood innocence receded, so too did this dream, as the uncomfortable reality began to sink in.

In contrast, your father was there, an eternal fixture in your life. Particularly, on his recliner like a statue. Rarely did he leave that spot. He had managed to convince the state he was disabled in some manner, allowing him to stay at home. When you were 7 he gave you money for groceries and told you how to purchase food and what you'd need to tell the cashier kid to get cigarettes and beer. That was the most fatherly advice he'd ever give you.

You heard stories of other kids and their negative relationships with their fathers. You almost wished your old man would strike you with his fist or spit words of venom toward you. He never did though. He never acknowledged your presence unless you were bringing him food or beer. There was no love in his eyes, no life really. His existence was to be in a perpetual state of decay in front of the tube.

Both of your parents had checked themselves out of your life. Circumstance hoisted maturity upon you at a young age, denying you a proper childhood. While your peers were chatting about card games and collectibles, you were thinking of the best way to walk home to avoid the territorial knife-wielders. One incident that always stuck out to you was in middle school when some punk decided that they'd cause trouble by messing with you. You tried to shrug them off first, but they kept insisting, harassing you, grabbing you...

Of course, the moment you threw the first punch was the moment a teacher turned the corner to witness it. Of course, she ignored your side of the story, and only you earned trouble for it.

After this event, the young stressed-out kid you were began to grow more cynical, more bitter, and more stand-offish. The wolves and the snakes out there, if they sought to mess with you they'd best prepare for a fight. And it felt like so many people were just that, predators waiting for the right moment to strike at their prey. The whole city was like that. You had no intention of being anyone's prey.

You formulated a plan to the side, nearing your final months of school. While others were discussing their dreams for college, you were saving up money from odd jobs and what you could sneak from your dad. Was it much? No. Was it enough to get you far from this place? Yes. Your plan was simple; you would buy a cheap used car and get far away from this city, deep into the wilderness, and disappear. You had studied wilderness living and homesteads, you knew you could do it. No more dealing with drug-addled gangbangers harassing you on the street, government bureaucrats with fake smiles pretending to be your friend and care for you only to stab you in the back, and no more coming home every night to see a slowly-dying husk that refuses to acknowledge you as anything more than a seed. These people would forget you, and you could live happily in peace, far from the stresses and nightmares of the city.

And then, here you were. Remembering properly who you were, you cringed at your earlier actions with Rumia and Cirno. Why had you allowed yourself to be pushed around so much by these little girls? Was that just a result of judgment impairment, due to whatever fogged your mind? Or was it a reflection of a different you? The latter though unsettled you deeply.

You looked back at the sweating yuki-onna and told her a more concise version of your story, leaving out many details. She had done you a favor that you appreciated, but you didn't trust her (or anyone really) enough to tell a comprehensive life story. You simply said you had a rough relationship with your parents, and you were saving up to move out into the woods.

"You're going to live all by yourself in the woods?" Letty asked, placing the bag of ice between her chunky thighs.

"It seems like a relaxing life, it always intrigued me."

"Roughing it in the woods isn't easy though."

You raised an eyebrow. "Isn't your house out here in the wilderness?"

"It's different for us youkai. We're strong. And here in Gensokyo, most of us can fly, so distance isn't a big issue. Out there though, I remember the wilderness being huge. A young girl like you with no powers would get devoured out there."

"Girl?" What the hell was this fatty saying? You were pretty obviously a guy. You raised your hand to correct her when your brain set off a big alarm. Your hand looked smaller than normal. Scrawny in fact. The nails were also long. All at once, your mind began to notice things off, things seriously off it hadn't noticed before until now.

"Where's your bathroom?"

"Eh?"

"Bathroom I need it now."

"It's..." Letty stumbled to sit up a bit. "It's down the hall that way on the le-" You darted out towards that direction before she could finish her sentence. "... Psht. Humans are so weird."

You locked the door behind you as you looked into the mirror. The reflection you had known your entire life was completely gone. In its place was someone else, someone you had never seen in your life. Your skin was pale and your entire body felt small and frail. Skinny arms, a stature on the shorter side. Your facial structure was notably feminine and could even be called cute, framed with short messy black hair. You looked down at your wide hips and moved a hand down quickly to confirm the absence of something. You were undeniably, as of this moment, a girl. You resembled what you imagine your sister would've looked like if you ever would've had one.

You sat on the toilet (something you quickly realized you'd be doing a lot more from now on) as your mind raced trying to process this. What the fuck? What the fuck? No seriously, what the fuck? How did this happen? Was it a byproduct of being in this weird wonderland? Was this reversible? It had to be, you just saw two women conjure snow and ice out of nothing while flying, of course some bullshit magic could fix this. It had to.

Another thought came into your mind. ... Were you gay now? You closed your eyes and began to use your imagination. Boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs... OK, you were still straight. Or, does that make you gay because you like girls now? You didn't know, you shouldn't have had to face this dilemma.

After some time to calm down, you stepped out of the bathroom and returned to Letty. "Welcome back, can you-"

"Why am I a girl now?"

"... What?"

"Girl! I'm a girl now! I've got these on my chest and I'm small and weak now, I wasn't like this when I entered here!" You frantically stated, the stress from the entire day pouring out. "What happened?! How did this happen!"

"Relax, relax! I don't know." Letty sat up straight, balancing the bag of ice in her lap. "I don't know much about you newcomers, or what happens to you. Maybe this is just a result of magic, or some other youkai having fun with you. I really don't know! I'm sure you'll figure it out." Letty took a deep breath. "Look, these kinds of strange happenings... happen here in Gensokyo often. It's just how this place is set up to be, with lots of magical beings roaming around. I don't know who did this to you or why, but I can at least explain to you more of the basics about Gensokyo, the places, and how things work. Then you can go out and seek whoever did this to you on your own and fix it. OK?"

You sighed and took a seat in a chair, noting just how big the chair felt compared to you. You closed your eyes and calmed down some. Stressing and panicking wouldn't get you out of this, and unlike the previous idiot you were with, Letty seemed to genuinely know some things, and not act like an egotistical idiot. "Alright, alright, sorry for yelling. Please, tell me about Gensokyo."

"First, get me some more ice bags and tea."

And so, the lightly-dressed fat girl covering herself in ice cubes began giving you the basic information about Gensokyo. What this place was and why it was made, the nature of youkai, the human village, and some of the major players, like Reimu Hakurei, the shrine maiden watching from afar. If you wanted to return to the real world, she was going to be your ticket.

"How are youkai created anyways?" You asked, curious.

"Many youkai and gods are born from belief, but that belief has made them always exist there, even before humans. However, if humans ceased to believe in them entirely, that past would be undone, since the past is always just an illusion. Does that make sense?"

"Not entirely."

Letty chuckled. "It's OK, I don't understand this stuff much either. Only a few of the more educated really seem to. For the rest of us youkai, as long as the system works, we don't really need to know how."

"What about individuals? Like, do you breed, or-"

"Yes, and youkai can breed with other youkai or humans. Or... I guess anything if there was belief imbued in it."

"Anything?"

"Even an umbrella or a drum."

How strange, how could anyone do anything lewd with those kinds of objects?

"Of course, some youkai can transform other humans into youkai, or humans can become them through other means. For example, vampires through bites, or magicians through intensive magic study."

"Really? So I could just become a youkai? Gain magic powers and all?"

Letty's face darkened unexpectedly at this comment. "You're saying something you don't really grasp the full gravity of." She took a sip of her tea. "But yes, you could. If you wanted to do that though, you'd need to do it very soon."

"Why?"

"Hakurei's job is to maintain Gensokyo's balance. The human village is considered a safe haven, a refuge for the humans living in it. The youkai don't attack them in their town limits, and even when they wander off most don't do much but scare them. Many fear the youkai as they rightfully should, and that fear is our most important sustenance, more than anything else. Without that, Gensokyo would crumble.

"Villagers are given these protections, but newcomers like you aren't. You could be killed anytime, anywhere. I could freeze you right now and no one could do anything about it." You shifted in your seat. "For newcomers, you can either visit Hakurei and ask to be sent back or become integrated into the village for those protections I mentioned earlier."

"But what if I became a youkai after that?"

"You would be exterminated by the shrine maiden. And not exterminated where she just beats you up and kicks you out of the village, exterminated as in dead." Letty took another sip. "Villagers cannot under any circumstances become youkai, it is antithetical to their purpose, and even the knowledge of it being possible would jeopardize things. If you want to become a youkai, you had best do so before lingering in the village too long and becoming naturalized to it."

You looked at your drink. "If this is such dangerous knowledge to even have, why tell me?"

"What would you do with this knowledge? Enter the village as a newcomer and tell them they can become youkai? How do you think the villagers would react to that? How would the most powerful deities in Gensokyo react to that? How would the shrine maiden react to that? It's one thing to have knowledge, it's another to be able to do anything with it."

You lingered on that thought as Letty continued talking. The two of you discussed Gensokyo late into the night before finally Letty decided enough was enough. She told you of the guest bedroom down the hall, and quickly fell asleep, still covered in her sweat and ice.

"Oh, by the way, you never told me your name." She called out suddenly, right before you closed the door."

"It's Alex!" You shouted back.

"Alex... Lucky name for you! Gender neutral. Could've been awkward if you had a boy's name!" You grumbled as you closed the door.

You entered the bedroom. You sat on the bed. There was a mirror in the corner but you didn't look towards it. In a sense, you had gotten something along the lines of what you wanted. You were far away from the city, in a strange land isolated from the world. Though you were also isolated in a new body, foreign and strange. And what the hell were you going to do tomorrow?

You could seek out the shrine maiden and ask her to take you home... But why? What was there to even return back out there for? Just to find a different isolated place to stay in? Even if that was what you wanted, you'd still need to fix this... female problem currently plaguing you first. And Letty had no leads for how it even happened to you.

You could decide to enter the village and become a resident there. That would grant you some much-needed protections, as currently, you were purely at the whim of any youkai's mercy. If you become a village resident that could at least make it a political scandal for the youkai that kills you. Hopefully, if you understood it right. Of course, becoming a resident would limit you in other ways. And you'd also be in a village, something which seemed sort of antithetical to what you planned to do with your life.

And, the forbidden fruit, becoming a youkai. You didn't really know how that would work. But becoming a monster... You could be really powerful? You wouldn't need to rely on anyone in that case, no hiding from the likes of Rumia. And with youkai being solitary creatures, you could fulfill your dream of a solitary life alone easily here.

Finally, there was still the Yukari question. Letty had already given you so much information about your predicament, but now you knew just how powerful Yukari was. How Gensokyo seemed to be her playground. You could still seek her out, she might be able to answer many of your questions Letty couldn't answer, or help you in some other way. Letty said that Hakurei could lead you to her if you wanted, though you hoped this wouldn't be another Cirno incident.

You rested your head in your hands as you tried thinking about what you were going to do tomorrow.

===

Pick 1
[] I want to remain a human, I've already changed enough here.
[] I want to become a youkai, I'll need every advantage I can get here.

-

Pick 1
"Letty gave me a lot of information about Gensokyo, I think I'll head out to [write in location]".

Alex here has a basic understanding of Gensokyo now. What do you think our character's goals will be? Any additional comments or thoughts will be considered with your vote. If you want to become a youkai, the location we head to tomorrow will likely play a major role in deciding what species we become. But maybe some will want to remain human. Maybe it's a desire of purity, or you just want to be as weak as possible for your hag. Staying with Letty in her house is an option too.
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>Another thought came into your mind. ... Were you gay now? You closed your eyes and began to use your imagination. Boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs... OK, you were still straight. Or, does that make you gay because you like girls now? You didn't know, you shouldn't have had to face this dilemma.

Now, this is the content I come for.

[X] I want to remain a human, I've already changed enough here.

I don't want to see us become youkai, creatures made by belief and sustained by fear; that does not seem like a fulfilling existence, in my opinion. Moreover, if we want to become youkai in the future, we should probably work through our issues before stepping upon such a path; otherwise, they might become magnified when we become a creature of belief.

[X] "Letty gave me a lot of information about Gensokyo, I think I'll head out to the village".

We have come for hags! Let's live up to our namesake and let our passion guide us until it burns out. The villagers can probably tell us who in the land qualifies as a hag so we can seek them out and who fits our preferences. We may be able to gain some key contacts and resources that could sustain a life as an independent. That or we could try becoming good friends with an influential person and live under their aegis. Keine is also in the village, and she's pretty neat, though we might fall in love with her because of our preferences. Out of all the hags, I can think of, she seems like the healthiest option, even if we end up friend-zoned.

>you could fulfill your dream of a solitary life alone easily here
>Your memory may be a bit fuzzy, your past obscured currently, but you know the one thing you've always adored and desired in life are older women
We have conflicting desires here, don't we? On the one hand, we want to live alone, but on the other, we really want to be with a hag.

>Staying with Letty in her house is an option too.
Would she let us live in her house? Letty is great. We need to repay her somehow.

I wonder how we will react to the hags who do not meet our preferences. I am still a bit unclear on who meets our preferences now though I can guess Byakuren, Keine, and maybe Eirin might conform. But, wait, is Junko an option?

>Maybe it's a desire of purity, or you just want to be as weak as possible for your hag.
kek
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I think the best thing to do would be to head to the human village first, as it'll be hard to make any sort of judgement on what to do (i.e. staying human or not) without having visited the place at least once. Also we can see Keine
Keine.
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[X] I want to remain a human, I've already changed enough here.

Becoming a youkai will be too much of a hassle methinks, better stay human to avoid any unwanted incidents.

"Letty gave me a lot of information about Gensokyo, I think I'll head out to Village

Easiest place to gather info before heading out for real, maybe even set up a few connections while we're at it, And meet up with Keine too
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Since we have mommy issues, Junko is the obvious first choice. Keine or Kasen would probably be motherly as well?
Focus on the hags, that's why we're here, go to the village and find someone that can give us more info, and find some hags. Best to stay a human as well, turning into a youkai is not something to be taken so lightly.
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>>203821
"....ooooohayo gozaimasuuuu..."

The faint cry from somewhere far far away woke you up from your slumber. Rubbing your eyes, you sat up and stretched your arms. You were still wearing your old clothes from yesterday. They clung loosely to your petite body, plainly not designed with someone as small of frame as you in mind. They also were beginning to smell a bit. You wouldn't be able to go anywhere with those. Maybe Letty could help you with that. You also took out what little you had in your pockets. The folded-up "Welcome to Gensokyo!" flyer, and some various trinkets. Coins, a paperclip, mostly worthless stuff anyone would keep in their pockets. It probably wouldn't be much use here.

You entered the hallway to find Letty exactly where you left her last night; out cold (figuratively) on the couch and covered in bags of what once was ice, not now room-temperature water. Hopefully, she'd wake up on her own, as you'd rather not disturb someone in their slumber.

The bathroom tiles felt cool as you stripped your old clothes off. A concious effort was made to avoid looking at your nude body as you slipped into the shower. You knew the cliche of what someone in this situation would do their first time in the shower, you intended to avoid that. Everything still felt... Unreal, foreign, awkward.

Normally you took long hot showers, but that wasn't an option here. In hindsight, it makes sense a yuki-onna wouldn't have hot water. Suppressing a yelp from the initial frigid shock, you stayed in there for only a few minutes, long enough to use soap and deem yourself clean and smelling good.

A towel wrapped around your torso, you peeked a head out. Letty was already beginning to stir. Perfect, the sound of the shower must've gotten her to wake up. "Letty?" You called out.

"... Mmmgrmm" She mumbled.

"Are you awake?"

"Mmmrm..." A beat lingered in the air before she replied proper. "Unfortunately."

"I kind of... Do you have clothes?"

"You didn't... Pack any?"

"I wasn't planning on this trip you know." You said perturbed. "Besides my old ones are too big for me now."

"... Do you need them?"

"Yes! Obviously!"

"Alright, alright! Don't shout, it's just a joke, too early to be shouting... Give me a few minutes."

It took a few minutes, winter wasn't known for being an active season. Once Letty finally got off the couch, she headed to her bedroom and motioned for you. "Well, come on."

"I only have a towel on, just bring me something."

"Oh, don't be such a baby." Letty pushed the bathroom door open and put a hand on your shoulder.

"H-Hey! Don't do that!"

"What, you're a girl now aren't you? What do you think you have I haven't seen before? Come on, you'll need to try stuff."

Letty's clothes were far too big for you, both in height and width. Letty only acknowledged the height part. After rummaging through her closet a bit, she pulled out some old clothes. She said they were intended for Cirno, but just slightly too big for her, and Cirno wouldn't be wearing them anytime soon. You asked her why she had clothes intended for Cirno when they clearly didn't seem to be on good terms, but Letty ignored your question, instead insisting you change already.

"Can't you at least get out of the room!"

"Quit being so frigid, besides it's my bedroom. I also want to make sure you're putting them on right, girl's clothing is different from guy's. You need to..."

After some awkwardness you finally had your new clothes adorned. They were somewhat similar to Cirno's outfit you saw yesterday, yet still distinctly different. A bit more mature, for lack of better words. No ribbon on your head, but a short dark-blue dress. Accents of white and pale blue adorned the sides, giving a vague winter feel to it.

You would've preferred pants for something more gender-neutral, but Letty insisted this was all she had, and you'd have to be a much more fiery person to wear pants in Gensokyo. That comment felt like some inside joke that went over your head.

Letty also insisted that, since she had helped you so much so far, the least you could do was handle making breakfast. You shrugged. This ice lady was pushy, but it seemed fair. Besides, you were used to cooking, you did it all the time at home out of necessity. Looking through her ingredients, you had the perfect idea for a meal.

Cinnamon pancakes with whip cream, with cooked ham on the side. You thought coffee would've gone well with it, but Letty preferred her iced tea so you prepared that. When you brought the food to the table, a smile stretched across her cherubic face. Most of her expressions you had seen were related to grumpiness, tiredness, or cynicism. A grin of genuine happiness was a welcome surprise (though it probably shouldn't have been that much of one considering her figure). When she commented on how tasty the pancakes were, a bit of pride welled up inside you, though you didn't show it. Instead, you thanked her curtly for the compliment.

"So... I've been thinking about everything yesterday... The village seems like the best place to head out."

"Oh?"

"I can look around the stores, see any important figures, I'm sure it can help me figure out better what to do next."

"Hmm... That's understandable. Most newcomers who come here head straight for there. It's an obvious choice, really. Speaking of, you should also look into a place to stay there too."

"Ah... Yeah, I probably should." You hadn't given it any thought, but yeah, a place to actually stay would make sense. And while she was a stranger, and you knew her letting you stay just one night was generous, you couldn't help but feel the sting of being kicked out already.

Letty must've been able to sense what you were thinking. "A human can't really stay here long, I mean, if you stayed around a youkai too long, rumors might spread, and then you might become a youkai for real!" She gave a light chuckle. "Besides, I need to hibernate soon."

"Hibernate? Like, full on?"

"It's not what you think of in elementary school, it's more like a very prolonged period where you drift in and out of sleep. Sometimes you're deep in sleep for a long time, sometimes you're vaguely awake but your eyes closed. Sometimes you're ready to stumble to grab a bite to eat for a few minutes. Still, as a winter spirit, I need to build up my strength. And that stunt with Cirno took up a lot of energy I had built up so far."

She finished her pancakes and patted her belly, content and happy. "Besides, I've done plenty to help you so far! Clothed you, offered you my food, protected you. You should be pretty thankful to have such a great youkai take her time to assist you!" She laughed, her comments coming off as half a joke and half a boast.

>[] Thank Letty for her hospitality and wish her a good hibernation. It's time to head out alone.
>[] Ask Letty to come to the village with you. She's helped you a ton, and you hate being in someone's debt. You can get her something in the village, and have a clear conscious.
>[] "That'll do pig. That'll do."

===

The vote for the previous choice is still ongoing (we can change our mind on the way there). If you haven't voted in the previous one for where to go and if you'd like to become a youkai, feel free to do so. And decide what you'd like to do with Letty.
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[X] I want to remain a human, I've already changed enough here

>[] Thank Letty for her hospitality and wish her a good hibernation. It's time to head out alone.

I’m all for going to the human village, but maybe after we can get a “checkup” on our new body with Erin, after, which might lead to the ultimate mother figure of Junko.
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>>203826
[X] Thank Letty for her hospitality and wish her a good hibernation. It's time to head out alone.
A bit late. I didn't expect the miko result to win, I'm amused.
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[X] Thank Letty for her hospitality and wish her a good hibernation. It's time to head out alone.

Could we ask her if she has a spare hat? I want to see how many hats we can collect, but also, it would help us blend in with locals if we have a silly hat. We should also ask her what she would like as a gift if we ever get enough money to buy one for her; she has been quite the gracious host.
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[X] Thank Letty for her hospitality and wish her a good hibernation. It's time to head out alone.

Already seeking the next challenge. Ceremony means nothing to her. The hag is all.
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>>203830
I also want a hat and amend it to my vote.
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>>203830
>>203836
"Do you have a hat to go with this outfit?" You weren't sure why, but you had the feeling a hat, or any hair accessory really, would help you out. Something about this world just screamed that if you did not have a decoration on your head, you would die.

Letty examined you up and down. In hindsight, she realized just how much you'd stick out without a hat here. How could she have overlooked this? 'Poor thing,' she thought. 'She might as well have been completely nude.' She slowly got up. "Forgive me, one second." Letty headed to her closet as fast as she could (which wasn't particularly fast) and rummaged around. After a moment, she finally returned.

"Here, this is one of my personal backups, but I can spare you one. It'd look poor if I allowed a guest to leave here in such a state. A yuki-onna like me must be a gracious host." She motioned for you to come over to a mirror in the hallway. Letty was holding an identical copy of her hat, a white cap. It was a bit big, but should still fit you. You placed it on your head.

...

Letty grinned and swiftly hugged you from behind, her large breasts surrounding both sides of your head. "Ahhh! I can't believe it! It's like we're twin sisters! The resemblance is uncanny!" She seemed almost as excited as when you brought food out to her just an hour ago. You had no idea where she got 'twin' from, considering the drastic difference in height and width between the two of you. And the different hair colors.

>[You've obtained; Letty's Cap.]

===

Vote for the previous choices ending soon. Just to clarify, taking Letty with you isn't a hard Letty route lock, just if you want to keep her around. You'll probably know when we're nearing a hard route lock. And don't be afraid to pick "obvious game over" options, since they'll just be one post "what if... now go back and pick a real option". Unlock as many epilogues/"bad ends" as you'd like.
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No way I could ever vote to be mean to Letty, even if it's a silly one-off vote.

[X] Thank Letty for her hospitality and wish her a good hibernation. It's time to head out alone.

[X] I want to remain a human, I've already changed enough here.

Time to head out to the village and find Keine. Or Reisen, and then follow her to find a certain doctor hag.
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[X] I want to become a youkai, I'll need every advantage I can get here.
We need more power to have more hags.

[X] "Letty gave me a lot of information about Gensokyo, I think I'll head out to the village".
A safe starting point for getting information about hags.

[X] Thank Letty for her hospitality and wish her a good hibernation. It's time to head out alone.
She helped us a lot, there's no need to be rude. And she is a hag?
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>>203826
>>203842
You packed up the last bit of your belongings into a small bag Letty had loaned you (your dress pocket was a bit small and inconvenient, so you wanted to avoid using it). Taking an assessment of all your belongings, aside from the clothes currently on your back, you had a "Welcome to Gensokyo" Flyer, a Paper Clip, your Outside World Clothes that no longer fit on you, and x5 Outside World Coins that might've still held some value here, but mostly for being unique coins as opposed to backed by a government's debt. You figured you could probably pawn off most of this for stuff here. You'd need food, a place to sleep, various supplies... Your mind started to wonder about how you'd deal with the long term of staying here, but you pushed it out of your mind. Focus on the now, not later.

"Thank you again for your help, is there anything I can-"

"Breakfast was enough, a host can't ask for more from her guest."

Her response bugged you a tad. You didn't care for being in another people's debt. If you could've paid her for lodgings or provided something in return (outside of the breakfast you made), you could've just seen it as just a mutual transaction. Being given something for nothing in return... It felt uncomfortable. If you hadn't been literally thrown into a realm of magic and monsters (and turned into a weak girl on top of that) you might've just roughed it outside.

Still, there was no use dwelling on it. You thanked her once more and began to head out. She waved as she watched you begin your long trek to the human village. "If you're still alive, I hope to see you again this winter!" You couldn't tell if that was an ominous warning or not. You waved back, as she placed a "DO NOT DISTURB UNTIL NOVEMBER" sign on her door and closed it shut.

The walk along the path was long and uneventful. There had been rain in the very early morning, but it had long passed, leaving a fairly cloudy and murky sky, but rays of sunlight bursting through openings from time to time. From what Letty had told you, you had anticipated fairies or other small youkai to pop out and harass you. Instead, there was nothing. Little more than a light breeze to accompany you. This was actually the first real time you had been in any sort of wilderness by yourself. Yes, you had planned to retreat to the wilderness before... all this, but your knowledge about the wilderness was second-hand. What you saw in books and online. Actually being here was much more different than you had imagined. The air was clean, and you didn't hear the sounds of car horns or people shouting. It was just a state of peace. So alluring and captivating...

You were in no state to linger or stray off the main path though. Instead, you continued further for about 2 hours when you came upon some gates. This must've been the village. A living glimpse into Japan's past.

You were surprised at how few glances you seemed to draw. Most of the villagers were clad in mundane clothing that you'd expect from a village like this. Nothing bright, nothing bold. Yet you were dressed up in this blue dress and white cap, you stuck out like a sore thumb, yet everyone just walked past you for the most part. Were they used to this? Was there some other reason they sought to avoid glancing at you? Well, it was probably for the best.

You finally managed to find an area that looked to be a marketplace, with various vendors gathering about. "Lady Akyuu, are you sure you want to be out here?" A servant nearby you asked. "You know we're more than capable of fetching whatever you need."

"It's fine, it's fine, fufufu." You had heard about Lady Akyuu from Letty, an important figure in the village who was allegedly a sickly girl. She didn't seem too bad off though if she was rich enough to have servants, and out here smoking a pipe. "I heard there would be interesting characters out here today, I would like to bare witness to such a thing."

"And if I may be so bold as to request, please let us know beforehand if you desire to travel to the village. I nearly missed you before you headed out, I fear what could happen if a youkai stumbled upon you unaccompanied."

"That is quite the bold request." The purple-haired girl puffed out a cloud of smoke as she continued, her servant unable to plead further.

"Alright, look lively everyone!" A shout came out from the back. "I want this to be our best market yet, we've only got a short while this morning so let's make it count!" These announcements seemed to come from a blue-haired girl in... What kind of gay gaudy outfit was that? It looked to be a bit ratty too. No one seemed to pay her any mind, however, as they continued setting up their stands. "Now let's make sure... You!" The rainbow-clad girl looked straight in your direction and began stomping toward you. What had you done? Who the hell was this? You were thankfully spared as she marched right past you, and approached a cloaked figure. The cloak covered every part of the person, outside of some obviously fake rabbit ears poking out of the front. Letty had told you rabbits were out here in Gensokyo, but... that COULDN'T be one of them, right? Those ears were so obviously fake.

"After all this time, you finally decide to show your face at one of my markets? So NOW I'm good enough for you to spare some time for?!"

"Ah! Um... Well..."

"And where's your merchandise? You think this is funny? Are you just here to mock me!"

"No, no! It's not like that! I, um..."

The two began some unproductive back and forth that would probably go nowhere. This rainbow girl seemed to remind you a bit of Cirno, you could tell she had an ego. Letty had a bit of one too, was everyone in Gensokyo an egomaniac on some level? What a-

"SORRY!"

A blur of green carrying a young girl's voice darted past the corner of your eye as you stumbled back. She had bumped right into your side and continued into the crowd. You instantly suspected that was a pickpocket. However, you had emptied the few pockets in your dress beforehand, and your bag was closed firmly.

This marketplace is bustling and full and life, and there are many things you could do! The Gay CEO said that time was short though, so you'd best make it count! What would you like to do?

>[] Write in
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[X] If listening in on the complaints to a rabbit is genuinely unproductive, let's browse the market and see what five foreign coins will get us.

My gut instinct says "nothing", but my narrative instinct says it must be something if it was worth mentioning.
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[X] Barter/trade with our coins for some more clothes.
Would probably be good to get some more plain looking clothes, as our outfit screams "Youkai" , which may not be the best thing, at least while in the village.

[X] Try talking to Akyuu.
Who knows, we might get some good hag-related info from her.
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[X] Disregard the market, acquire hags.
Eyes on the prize
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>From what Letty had told you, you had anticipated fairies or other small youkai to pop out and harass you. Instead, there was nothing. Little more than a light breeze to accompany you.

The silly hat tactic seems to have worked. Wonder how we go about gaining more hats, though.

[X] If listening in on the complaints to a rabbit is genuinely unproductive, let's browse the market and see what five foreign coins will get us

The plot hooks call to us. We must bite eventually.

[X] Try talking to Akyuu.

Maybe we can get a chronicle off of her.
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>>203855
[X] If listening in on the complaints to a rabbit is genuinely unproductive, let's browse the market and see what five foreign coins will get us.

Whatever that green blur was, there was nothing it could've taken from you. There was no use getting frantic about what was likely some dumb kid. You decided to browse some of the nearby stalls. Partly to get a feel of the items you could get here, and partly so you could casually overhear the argument nearby. One of the things you learned in the city is that people love to argue, and often they'll say many interesting things.

"Ever since the black markets faded away, it has been my personal duty to ensure Gensokyo regularly holds markets! That no rainbow is unappreciated by the lowly humans!"

This one stall was selling clothes made within the village. Mundane and natural, this Villager Attire would be perfect if you wanted to blend in as a human villager. You didn't seem to need this to participate in the village normally, but perhaps there might be situations where this would prove valuable. The tailor was willing to part with them for 2 coins.

"Marketplaces must be lively and vibrant! It is here where man shows his reverence to objects and to gods! They cannot be permitted to decline! I forbid such irreverence!"

The next stand was run by a bunny girl. Huh, there really were bunnies out and about. Though these ears seemed different from the ones of the hooded figure. The chubby bunny in yellow was willing to give you some "Ringo-branded Dango" for 1 coin. Another bunny butted in and said she'd give you three "Seiran-branded Dango" for 1 coin. You walked away silently as the two bickered among themselves.

"I alone through my wisdom and guidance teach. I alone show humans the path forward, connecting them closer with their tools and with one another. This is my duty as the god of this marketplace!"

A shady figure wearing a cloak urged you a bit to the side to show you what they had. Removing a leaf from a box, it transformed into a strange doll wielding a sword. The figure insisted this doll was not ordinary and had some magic left in it, allowing it to protect the user from any attacker, human or youkai. The seller says he knows you have a problem with humans bullying you, but you have no idea what that comment could mean, so you shrug it off. The magic would only be good enough for one activation though and should be kept hidden otherwise. This Failed Autonomous Doll is 3 coins.

"The tengu promised to be faithful, and the tengu promised to be devout. Yet they only sought to use the market for their own profit. Were it advantageous to them, they would've crucified me upon a cross. However, they cannot fool a god like me! Their deception was not undetected! I didn't need such featherbrains! I'm better than them!"

You passed a trashcan with a short goblin creature digging through it. A Blank Card was wedged in the refuse, but the goblin quickly grabbed it before you can. He'll part with it willingly for all 5 coins.

"After the tengu, like the western figure Judas, cruelly betrayed their divine god, I had to find new worshippers with the wisdom, intelligence, and bravery to follow that which is righteous and just."

A green-haired girl gave you a sympathetic look, the rainbow-clad goddess' rant towards the cloaked figure has been going on for a while now. She's selling these miracle-granting Frog Charms, guaranteed you grant you incredible fortune once when worn. Specifically, they can give you perfect luck once, when a situation is proving too dire. They're worth 3 coins. She also had some of Kanako's Premium Mini-Onbashira. These sticks have condensed onbashira power inside them, making them hit a lot harder than you'd expect. The green-haired girl insisted that these are wildly popular items that all the Kanako fans are jumping to grab, but the box with them appears full. They're 2 coins. Before you checked out the other stalls, the girl says (a bit subdued) that the Moriya Shrine welcomes all the faithful, but youkai are best to come at night.

"While the masses of Gensokyo are currently unenlightened, I will endure! Endure I have a thousand years and endure I will a thousand more! My alliance with the gods on the mountain is going smoothly, and I hold no doubt my face will be etched upon their temple walls soon! The Tenkyuu Shrine!"

A short girl with a green hat and fake mustache mumbled about having lost a bet before showing you her wares. There's a tape recorder she has that she calls "The Ventriloquist Device". It can record and playback any voice that it's asked to record with absolute clarity, and project it from anywhere. However, both its recording and projecting abilities have a 20 ft radius, and it can only hold 3 lines of dialogue at a time. You ask why it's 3 lines of dialogue instead of a length of time, but she shrugs and says that's just how it works. It's worth 3 coins. Another device is the Kappatech Respirator, a device that will let you breathe underwater as long as it's in your mouth. It's only 2 coins. Before you left, the short girl said you need to put more effort into your disguise, since it's very underwhelming. Her mustache almost fell off before she goes back to her post.

"This market is one such example! They have managed to secure this farmer's market as a place for me to oversee so that I may build up my power. While I prefer far more grand markets, I will not look down upon the underdog markets! Woe be to the one who underestimates those downtrodden! For the downtrodden will grant retribution tenfold!"

A farmer was selling a Quagga and would take 1 coin for it. He doesn't know how he got the quagga, or how he knows what a quagga is. He just knew it appeared on his farm one day and started eating everything, and is too stubborn to go on its own. You yourself just learned today what a quagga is.

"Yes, I have been attacked, beaten down by this cruel world. But do I relent? Do I sit back? Do I accept this fate? No! For it is not my fate! I, the wonderous Chimata reject that fate which was not my fate, and craft a new fate, my true fate! I am a god, and fate is at my mercy, not me at its!"

An unremarkable villager offered you some doohickeys he found while scavenging around. Prime stuff from the outside world, he claimed. There was an MP3 Player with a variety of music on it and a built-in speaker which was 1 coin. There was also a GameBoy Color for 1 coin, but you couldn't see what game was inside it. You could tell it was atomic purple though, the best color it could've been.

"I know of your activities alien! I know you work under the others, and peddle your wares in the village! However, all previous times I've asked you to come to my market, you've declined! You've offered me excuses, but each lesser than the last! Finally, now, you arrive to me!"

You had a grasp of most of the wares in this part of the market, and it looked like the argument between the bunny-eared cloaked figure and the flamboyant seven-colored goddess was drawing to a close.

"Well, um... I had just figured..."

"You figured what!? Had you come here prostrating yourself and willing to show devotion, I would have welcomed you with open arms! Why, had you even simply asked to come here to the market I would have still been merciful! Instead, you come here without wares, without coin, without items to barter! It is an insult! I would be well within my rights to return you to nothing, and I should!"

"It's, it's not that I'm trying to be mean, I'm only here because... Well..."

You've seen enough arguments in the past, you had a good read on when things looked like they were going to escalate. And that was precisely what seemed about to happen here. Chimata looked ready to fight. The cloaked figure, on the other hand... well you couldn't see her face but if you could you would be sure she was about to cry. Meanwhile, in the back, you hear Lady Akyuu laugh at the scene other patrons seem desperate to ignore before she takes another hit of her pipe.

You've had plenty of experience diffusing situations like this before, but did you really want to get involved here?

>[] Intercede on behalf of Chimata by calming both and asking the cloaked figure to leave. She shouted a bunch of nonsense, but she is a goddess, and if she's the god of marketplaces like she claims maybe she can help you get better deals?
>[] Intercede on behalf of the cloaked figure by calming both and asking Chimata to let the cloaked figure stay. You're not sure why she hasn't explained why she's there yet, but still. You can't help but feel bad for whatever this figure is, why not help her?
>[] This is not your fight, continue on with buying items and then afterwards talk with Lady Akyuu.
>[] Write in

What do you plan to buy once this ordeal is over? Will you spend it all at once, or save some, just in case you can spend a coin elsewhere?
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[X] Intercede on behalf of the cloaked figure by calming both and asking Chimata to let the cloaked figure stay. You're not sure why she hasn't explained why she's there yet, but still. You can't help but feel bad for whatever this figure is, why not help her?

I am curious to see what exactly Reisen is here for. Moreover, if we consider our background:
>After this event, the young stressed-out kid you were began to grow more cynical, more bitter, and more stand-offish. The wolves and the snakes out there, if they sought to mess with you they'd best prepare for a fight. And it felt like so many people were just that, predators waiting for the right moment to strike at their prey. The whole city was like that. You had no intention of being anyone's prey.
I could see how this situation might irk us enough to intercede. But, on the other hand, this might be our best bet for getting a pathway for a checkup with the doc.

>Meanwhile, in the back, you hear Lady Akyuu laugh at the scene other patrons seem desperate to ignore before she takes another hit of her pipe.

Akyuu is living her best life, isn't she? If she believes us a youkai, we can show her the flyer we got to convince her we're an outsider.

Out of the items offered in the market, the recorder, the quagga, and the frog charms are items that interest me. We can use the recorder to get an auditory confirmation of permission/protection from notable individuals, which could get us into and outta certain situations. I want the quagga because it is funny. We can call it Buce or Bob, and it can kick stuff for us. Finally, the frog charms seem extremely useful with that luck modifier, no matter our situation. I wonder if we can pawn off the paperclip we have to the kappa.

>The seller says he knows you have a problem with humans bullying you, but you have no idea what that comment could mean, so you shrug it off.
>Before you checked out the other stalls, the girl says (a bit subdued) that the Moriya Shrine welcomes all the faithful, but youkai are best to come at night.
>Before you left, the short girl said you need to put more effort into your disguise, since it's very underwhelming. Her mustache almost fell off before she goes back to her post.

Based on that comment about human bullying, I can't tell if they are identifying as Cirno or Letty. I still find the youkai outfit fooling people funny, though. I wonder if we can get our hands on a shrine maiden outfit.

>You passed a trashcan with a short goblin creature digging through it. A Blank Card was wedged in the refuse, but the goblin quickly grabbed it before you can. He'll part with it willingly for all 5 coins.

How problematic would it be if we got into a fistfight with a goblin over a trash object? Perhaps we can return with the quagga and set it upon the goblin.
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As much as I want to have Chimata in a story, I can't really justify voting for her given the circumstance (bullying).

[X] Intercede on behalf of the cloaked figure by calming both and asking Chimata to let the cloaked figure stay. You're not sure why she hasn't explained why she's there yet, but still. You can't help but feel bad for whatever this figure is, why not help her?

>failed autonomous doll
Yep. Always taking the mysterious object. 'Failed' inspires confidence.

>kappatech respirator
Finally we can [x] jump in the lake

>blank card
Tempting. Maybe we could haggle it down? I'm not sure if blank card is 'blank spellcard' or one of those funny trading cards from Unconnected Marketeers

>frog charm
Seems like the best choice, but I cant resist the mystery violence doll.

>quagga
Oddly fitting. Zebra aren't exactly known for rideability though, and I don't want to become 'the quagga riding counterfeit youkai'

Suggesting we buy the Failed Autonomous Doll. Spend the other two coins on whatever or nothing.
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>[X] Intercede on behalf of the cloaked figure by calming both and asking Chimata to let the cloaked figure stay. You're not sure why she hasn't explained why she's there yet, but still. You can't help but feel bad for whatever this figure is, why not help her?
Chimata is a bully and deserves to be bullied. As for purchases...
>[X] Frog Charms (3)
>[X] Kanako's Premium Mini-haha no
I struggle to imagine any situation where swimming would be useful, as much as I'd love to have the respirator. The mystery violence doll sounds fun, but is it worth strategic good luck?

I think we should help Reisen, grab the Frog Charm quick, and then go bother Akyuu for being-an-outsider advice. If Reisen is staying at the market, she'll stay around for at least an hour or two, so we can bother her to see if she's selling anything the remaining two coins might get us and to see about an appointment after we see Akyuu.
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>>203870
>If Reisen is staying at the market, she'll stay around for at least an hour or two, so we can bother her to see if she's selling anything the remaining two coins might get us
One of the main reasons Chimata is so angry at her is that Reisen didn't bring anything to sell or buy with.
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>>203871
Easy, just bribe pay Reisen for the service of introducing us to a hag. Surely this should be enough for Chimata unless she doesn't think services are a valid part of a market based economy.
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[X] This is not your fight, continue on with buying items and then afterwards talk with Lady Akyuu.

Gonna go ahead and vote for this one because A) I'm pretty sure this is Mamizou in disguise just fucking with everyone, which is hilarious, and B) Even if I'm wrong, she'd still be a good gateway to other hags.
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>[X] This is not your fight, continue on with buying items and then afterwards talk with Lady Akyuu.
>[X] The Ventriloquist Device
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>>203866
[X] Intercede on behalf of the cloaked figure by calming both and asking Chimata to let the cloaked figure stay. You're not sure why she hasn't explained why she's there yet, but still. You can't help but feel bad for whatever this figure is, so why not help her?

This Chimata figure was acting boisterous, arrogant, and genuinely unpleasant towards whoever the other poor girl was. You didn't know much about her, and part of you told yourself not to intervene, but hearing her voice falter as she tried and failed to say anything back to the goddess was getting to you. Too meek to stand up and defend themself, it reminded you a bit of...

You decided to try and calm things down. A brawl might cause a commotion anyways, and no one would benefit from that. But how? Your current body was too frail to be physically helpful in any situation, you would need to rely on a silver tongue. This Chimata seemed arrogant and looked to be in charge here. And she was angry over this... was she a merchant? She must be, but she didn't have any wares with her this time. After a few moments, you pieced together in your head what your plan was.

"There you are, I was looking everywhere for you! Sorry for keeping you waiting!" You rushed over, doing your best to put on an oblivious act, as you made your way over to the girls. Both turned to you, with Chimata bearing a puzzled expression. You presumed the cloaked one did too, but it was hard to make out her face. You hadn't noticed it before, but both were a bit taller than you, though you figured they were only about average height. Being this small was going to take a lot of getting used to.

"... And who are you might I ask?"

"Oh, I'm just a patron." You gave a mock laugh as you stood to the left of the hooded figure. Her rabbit ears poked out the top of the hood. You were still taken aback, by their existence. even though you knew the rabbit girls were indeed real here, her's by contrast just looked so strange, so awkward. "I was just, this merchant the other day had some wonderful things, I had stumbled upon her in the street and... I was in a hurry right, I had stuff to do, but I asked if she would meet me here as soon as possible! She said she needed to restock, but I insisted! I didn't want to miss her again after trying to get up with her this whole week! You know how it can be when you have a busy schedule, haha!"

You were hoping your story would sound credible, the hapless consumer innocently causing a bit of trouble. Chimata looked you up and down skeptically. It was against Chimata's nature to argue with a potential customer, it was bad for the market after all.

"What were you wanting to buy from her? From her normal stock?"

Shit. Shit shit shit shit. The cloaked rabbit girl never said what she normally sells. You gave a nervous chuckle and tried to-

"Weight loss pills."

You turned and looked at the cloaked girl, not looking straight ahead at Chimata. You were able to catch just a glimpse of the side of her face, a flash of her red eye. Striking. "Haha, she wanted to keep it secret, but it's weight loss pills. How do you think Letty has managed to become so thin recently?! I wanted to keep it secret too! I guess it happens though! Her embarrassing secret is revealed!" Letty? What? Did she think you were still with Letty, or-

Before you could ponder that more, you noticed Chimata had turned red. "Ah! I-I didn't mean to pry or anything! I'm sorry, I didn't know it was-I mean, you can-the market always welcomes-" Her demeanor flipped to a complete 180. Chimata hadn't expected something like this to occur. Embarrassing a patron of the marketplace? This was worse than any trouble a loiterer could cause. The goddess herself doing something like this...

Chimata sputtered several more broken sentences, before doing a sudden deep bow. "PLEASE FORGIVE ME AND ENJOY THE MARKET MA'AM!" After that shouting, she darted off to some far-off corner of the market, her cape flowing behind her.

An awkward pause followed. You hadn't really planned on what you would do now. The silence was broken with a sigh of relief. "Thanks," The cloaked figure began. "I hadn't... well Chimata had-"

"Don't worry. She seemed to be causing you trouble, I figured I'd try and help."

"I appreciate it!" She said cheerfully. "Though, if you don't mind me saying, I never really took you for the intervening type Letty. I mean, we don't really know each other since I don't really go out during your weather, I do best during the r-"

"Letty? What do you mean by that?"

"... Your name is Letty, right? I know we've only seen each other rarely but-oh and your diet really looks like it went incredible too, very inspiring! You even lost height too! I didn't know diets could do that!"

What on Earth was this cloaked girl talking about? Unless... Oh this would be so fucking dumb if this was the case. You lifted the hat off of your head.

"... Oh, huh. You're not Letty."

Goddamn it.

"Sorry, I'm just borrowing her hat." You put the hat back on. "Anyways, what was the commotion all about anyways? Why come here if you know that goddess was going to be so angry about it?"

The cloaked girl looked down, her rabbit ears pointing downward. "I... I guess I can explain it to you. But first, can you do more one more kindness?"

"What is it?"

"Look into my face, into my eyes. Come close please."

[] Come closer, look into her eyes.
[] Don't look into her eyes.

===

Holy shit rereading I really messed up with the tense in the previous update, I wrote the whole post in present tense until realizing my mistake too late and tried to quickly go back and fix it, but I missed a lot. I'll try to do better next time.

Anyways, for reference, here is the current tally of what our purchase list will look like;

>Failed Doll (2) x3
>Ventril. Device (2) x3
>Frog Charm (1) x3
>Quagga (1) x1

Unless someone notes a specific setup, we'll probably do the shopping list by tallying up the votes, buying the most popular item, and working the way down the list until all 5 coins are spent (unless people want to save). Shopping will probably be in the next update or two, so you can keep planning/discussing/voting for it until then.
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Another vote to haggle on the (Blank card), see what we can get it down to, or even get it assessed by Reisen. I bet the goblin doesn't understand its value and might part with it for less than it's worth. Besides, isn't it in the spirit of Chiamata's traditional marketplace to haggle?
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Really? Just wearing a character's hat would make other people think that you are that character? The possibilities with that is Limitless!

[X] Don't look into her eyes.

Though our character may not know her abilities, when someone suspicious tell's you to look at their eyes, we should look the other way!
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[X] Don't look into her eyes.

Stupid bunny, in a land of fantasy, would she really think asking someone to look into your eyes would work? Plus, we already had our mind put on the fritz in the beginning and might be reasonably paranoid of such a thing happening again.
So the question is, how pissed off will we be upon realizing that the help we gave is being repaid by the recipient trying to take advantage of us?

>"... Your name is Letty, right? I know we've only seen each other rarely but-oh and your diet really looks like it went incredible too, very inspiring! You even lost height too! I didn't know diets could do that!"
>What on Earth was this cloaked girl talking about? Unless... Oh this would be so fucking dumb if this was the case. You lifted the hat off of your head.
>"... Oh, huh. You're not Letty."

Common sense really goes to die here, doesn't it? Would it have also worked even if we were the opposite gender?

Purchase list:
>Frog Charm, 3 coins
>Quagga, 1 coin
>4 coins spent

>but both were a bit taller than you
We're smoll
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>>203875
[X] Don't look into her eyes.

Sticking with good ol' mystery murder doll. Frog charm is my second preferred choice though.
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[X] Come closer, look into her eyes.

Well, we have nothing to lose nor gain.

- [X]Failed Doll , 3 coins
- [X]Mini-Onbashira, 2 coins
- [X]Mp3 player, 1 coin
Individual votes, not a list. The mini-Onbashira seems like a good starter self-defense weapon.

>>203879
To be fair, if I could remember acquaintances by their clothes and hats than their faces, I totally would
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[X] Come closer, look into her eyes.
Eirin time soon
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[X] Come closer, look into her eyes.

Making eye contact is the basis of any polite conversation!

...I wonder how far we can push the hat thing. Can we turn basically invisible if we get Koishi's hat? How deep does it go?
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[X] Come closer, look into her eyes.
I doubt Reisen would bad end us, so at most we'll get some wacky hijinks out of it. And I'm always down for wacky hijinks.
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[X] Come closer, look into her eyes.
I can't vote against it, or she'll make me look into her eyes too.

I still vote for the frog charm, under the same reasoning as before. I'll say I'd rather haggle for the blank card than take the zebra hybrid, though.
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Oh dear
>>203875
[X] Come closer, look into her eyes.

It was a strange request, but you didn't think much of it. Did she simply want to look closer at you? Was she uncomfortable not facing someone? It didn't matter. Without hesitation, you took a step to position yourself in front of her, and tilted your head up to get a good look at her face, still covered in shadow, with only the awkward-looking rabbit ears poking out.

The fabric of the hood shifted as its wearer turned her head to face you too. For a moment, you saw a reflection of red shimmer from her left eye.

You focused. Time felt like it slowed down as you did. You know when you focus on something so hard, that everything around you begins to fade into blackness, where you enter a world with only you and the object of your attention? That's what you felt right now. The shadow cast by the hood upon its wearer's face began to recede further, and further.

Then silence.

A heartbeat.

Silence.

"BERO
BERO
BA!"


A blue-haired girl stuck her tongue out as she shouted this phrase, her eyes shining brightly to showcase their heterochromia. She then leaned back a bit. "Fufufu, did I surprise you?"

Were you surprised?

[] You've never been more unphased in your entire life, this level of unphasingness should be illegal.
[] You've never been more surprised in your entire life, this level of surprisedness should be illegal!


===

Shopping count will be wrapped up next update, last chance now if you haven't voted. Current tally appears to be;

>Failed Doll (3) x3
>Ventril. Device (2) x3
>Frog Charm (2) x3
>Quagga (2) x1
>Mini-Onbashira (1) x2
>MP3 Player (1) x1

>>203889
>>203876
>>203868
[Rewinding time back to recollect a moment, please hold~]

You had attempted to ask the goblin if it'd take anything else for it, but the small creature remained firm. If anything, its desire to hold it was only fueled further with your curiosity. It's exceptionally small and weak looking though, and no one around seems to be fond of the trash-digging humanoid. There's nothing stopping you from trying to beat it up if you wanted to, but this thing is alone and doesn't answer to anything, right?
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[X] "You've never been more surprised in your entire life," but said in a really sarcastic sort of way.
Are we dumb enough to try to beat up a youkai for a trinket? Even if it's only a hob-goblin.
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[X] You've never been more surprised in your entire life, this level of surprisedness should be illegal!
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[X] You've never been more surprised in your entire life, this level of surprisedness should be illegal!
Worth it.

Hob-goblin was dumpster diving, there's a good chance he is just hungry. Lets see if we can bribe him with a dango or two instead.
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>>203893
It's worth a shot.
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[X] "You've never been more surprised in your entire life," but said in a really sarcastic sort of way.
>"... Your name is Letty, right?"
Tactical Espionage Action
[X] The Ventriloquist Device
[X] Villager Attire
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[X] You've never been more surprised in your entire life, this level of surprisedness should be illegal!
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>>203891
[X] You've never been more surprised in your entire life, this level of surprisedness should be illegal!

A heartbeat.

You stumbled backwards a bit. For some reason, the cloaked girl's sudden shout took you completely off-guard! Perhaps, in some alternate universe, you would've been more stable, more relaxed, you could've told her with cynicism in your voice that this attempted jump scare was fruitless.

A heartbeat.

This was not that universe.

Your heart pounded as you fell to the ground. Was this girl really THAT surprising? She looked smug with satisfaction seeing your shock. You couldn't really hear her, or anything at this moment other than the loud slow beats of your heart. Why? Had you really allowed your guard to fall that much? Everything felt... slow. As if time was struggling to keep up with you. The blue-haired girl looked down at you, and her self-satisfaction fell to the wayside. She asked you a question, but you couldn't hear her. Something about this wasn't right. Your brain did a quick check.

Where were you? Currently, on the ground. Were your arms injured? A bruise or two, maybe a cut from falling, but nothing major. What was this girl saying? You couldn't put words to the movements of her mouth. There seemed to be only complete silence for you.

Wait. Complete silence?

Oh, it appeared your heart had stopped.

Following that realization, a sudden wave of pain surged out from within you, and everything faded to black.

.

..

...

..

.

"Saint." This was the very first word that came to mind when you awoke. Why? You didn't know. A foggy mind often threw any thought at the wall to see what stuck.

Were you dead? Was this heaven? Or hell? Or some other third place? You sat up a bit to get a better look. It appeared like you were in... some kind of country hospital. An old traditional room with various medical technology around. The monitor did that beeping thing. It was rhythmic and seemed relaxing to listen to until you realized the beeping was keeping track of you. The beeps hastened a tad in pace. Your first time in a hospital bed, they seemed much bigger than you had pictured in your head. At least, until you remembered you were small now. Right. That still hadn't fully sunk in yet, when you woke up you had a brief moment of ignorance until various senses urgently reminded you that yup, you were indeed a girl now.

You had never been in a hospital before. You didn't have health insurance. Whatever times you were sick your dad just told you to "tough it out". Had you ever gotten seriously sick or injured... in all honesty you had no idea how your dad would've reacted. Take you to the hospital out of necessity? Or just ask you to quietly stay in your room until the inevitable happened? Being young and seeing how others would idolize the profession had caused you to grow bitter over the years. What other industry exists to profit off of the misfortune of others? And what person willingly seeks to have the vulnerable at the mercy of their own hands? A psychopath. Not having been to the doctor before, and not having the option of their assistance had become a badge of honor for you, a great showing of your independence. Was it irrational, driven by sour grapes, or an urge to be contrarian? Maybe, likely, and you could acknowledge that. But if acknowledging your faults was all it took to be free of them, there'd be many more saints in the world. You enjoyed that small source of pride from having never bent the knee to the medical field - trading a bit of rationality for it was plenty worthwhile.

But now it had been stripped from you. Unceremoniously and without your consent. How did you wind up here anyways? You... something with a blue-haired girl shouting at you. Oh, now you remembered. Yeah, she caused you a heart attack. Right after you helped her. That was awfully kind of her. You told yourself that'd be the last time you ever stuck your neck out for someone like that again. Could you get up? You felt like trash, but you've felt like trash many times before, you could probably tough it out and walk out. A few wires were attached to your arm though. Was it safe to take them off? You... weren't sure.

You fell backwards onto your pillow in frustration - an act you quickly came to regret as a bout of pain flashed in your brain. Your head hurt too much for you to be so reckless right now.

"Ahhh, morning morning sleeping beauty."

A voice that sounded both young and old came from the door. A small girl (almost your size, maybe a bit shorter) entered the room, with messy black hair and two round and fluffy rabbit ears. In contrast to the ones you saw the other day on the girl who did this to you, these looked far more natural, softer. The rabbit had on a doctor's cloak a tad too big for her and kept her relaxed eyes and smug smile focused on you as she wrote things onto her clipboard without so much as glancing at it.

"Do you know what adventures await you today?" She paused for you to respond. You didn't at first, out of a combination of annoyance, frustration, and feeling like garbage. A while passed, and you finally thought up of a response.

"I'd like to-"

"The answer is nothing, you're too sickly to have adventures right now. Maybe ever." The rabbit girl looked out the window. "Or maybe not. You could always be lucky." This girl was going to be one of those, huh? "You're lucky in the first place Kogasa found you and brought you here."

"Kogasa?" You asked.

"Blue-haired umbrella girl. Blue and red eyes? Hard to miss."

"Ah." So that was her name. She was an umbrella?

"You've got several visitors, all of them have been waiting for you to wake up. And by visitors, I only mean the Doctor herself and Kogasa. I'm sure you can guess what the Doctor wants to say to you already. I have no idea what Kogasa wants though. Maybe she'll ask you to reward her for saving your life?" Your fist clenched a bit as the rabbit's grin remained unfettered, and eyes half-closed. "Well, it's your life debt to pay off, not my problem. Who should I send in?"

"I don't-"

"If you don't see both of them I'm sure you'll regret it." Even with the subtle threat, her expression stayed like stone.

[] Send in the Doctor, let's get the objective news first.
[] Send in the umbrella, you don't know what she wants but you want to send her off ASAP.

===

Market items vote closed. And don't worry, it wasn't for nothing you will get your items you voted for.
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[X] Send in the umbrella, you don't know what she wants but you want to send her off ASAP.

I think we fed enough surprise to Kogasa to feed her for the next 3 human generations.
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[X] Send in the Doctor, let's get the objective news first.
Let's see how big out medical debt is.
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[X] Send in the Doctor, let's get the objective news first.
Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag. Hag.
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[X] Send in the umbrella, you don't know what she wants but you want to send her off ASAP.
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The goddamned umbrella gave us a heart attack! So there goes the opportunity to try and gain the silliest hat in the land. Seriously, Keine's hat is like a bento box or something. The sillier the hat, the more powerful it is, and we would have been unstoppable with her hat. Of course, a whale hat belonging to that Miyoiwaitresssomeone no one would also have been pretty cool.

>Being young and seeing how others would idolize the profession had caused you to grow bitter over the years. What other industry exists to profit off of the misfortune of others? And what person willingly seeks to have the vulnerable at the mercy of their own hands? A psychopath.

By God, Alex is such a misanthrope; though we did just experience heart failure from a person we just helped, being a bit miffed is understandable. Did Alex have anyone in their past from the outside that we would miss now or think fondly of? I wonder if this dislike of doctors will apply to Eirin as well. Considering what I know about her demeanor and personality, which can be described as pleasant, arrogant, distant, and professional, if that will cause an adverse reaction in us since, ya know, psychopaths have had such conduct, some of them, others were just constantly unhinged, and Eirin is just from the moon, and they're weird up there. Though there was this line, so maybe Alex will fall hard:
>"Saint."

>"The answer is nothing, you're too sickly to have adventures right now. Maybe ever."

That's kind of a given due to the whole heart attack we suffered. Considering the medicine producer in the clinic, that might not be such an issue; if it is an issue, recovering from a heart attack takes months of rehabilitation. It does make me wonder if we lost vitality when we were genderswapped. However, there was also this:
>Not having been to the doctor before, and not having the option of their assistance had become a badge of honor for you, a great showing of your independence.
Wonder if the truth is that our arteries were clogged to hell and back, and we never knew because of not having gone to a doctor or if there was a medical family history that the deadbeat dad never told us of.

[X] Send in the Doc

>>203900
Hopefully, the umbrella covered the bill or at least part of it. Unfortunately, I think we're broke now.

We can ask her about procedures to help us regain our gender, how to find Yukari, dealing with our amnesia of entering this land, and if we can try her hat on.

We might also meet Mokou, who can give us tips on being a recluse living away from civilization in a forest.
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Random thought, but can we become a hermit instead of becoming a youkai or staying human? Though, the issue I would see in this path would be having to learn about Taoism and finding a teacher for it.
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I wonder what role Reisen played in heart attack?
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[X] Send in the umbrella, you don't know what she wants but you want to send her off ASAP.
Doc can come later, I want to yell at Kogasa.
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>>203903 here, I realize now that the saint line probably has to do with how we were Miko'd.
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[X] Send in the umbrella, you don't know what she wants but you want to send her off ASAP.

Did not expect that Umbrella, nice one Kogasa! (Possible violence for nearly killing the MC though!)
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>>203898
[X] Send in the umbrella, you don't know what she wants but you want to send her off ASAP.

After a few moments of deliberation, you leaned towards seeing the umbrella first. The doctor likely just had some mundane general advice for you. And frankly, you weren't too interested in seeing a medical professional. You weren't particularly keen on seeing an umbrella that nearly ended your life either, but at least you could chew her head off with casus belli.

The rabbit girl was seemingly satisfied with your answer and headed out of the room. After a few moments and some shuffling, a head of blue hair nervously poked inside the room and crept in. A nervous look was on her reddened face, like a child who had to tell their mother they broke the vase when they desperately didn't want to. She looked different, not covered in cloaks. She had a blue dress with white sleeves, which looked a bit tight around her body, particularly around her breasts and midsection, giving her the appearance of someone well-fed. Not to the degree of Letty though.

You tried glaring at her a bit, even though you probably didn't look too intimidating as a small girl in a hospital bed. Since that route to show how upset you were wouldn't work, you opted for the next best thing - a game of chicken. You and Kogasa remained silent, trying to see who would break the ice first. Birds chirped outside the open window, though no one listened to their song. "So, um..." Kogasa would forfeit the unspoken game it seemed. "How was-"

"You nearly killed me."

A shade of regret flashed over her face. Good, you thought. Perhaps you were going to win this-

Before that thought could even be completed, Kogasa did an awkward attempt at a deep bow, before nearly stumbling and grabbing the bed sheets near you. She shouted some words like 'sorry', and 'didn't', but little was legible between her sobs.

In the short time you had to run this scenario over in your head, you hadn't expected this. Usually, in arguments back home with people, they escalated to shouting matches, or denial and brushing the source off. You had wanted to make her feel guilty, not... this. You've never made anyone cry before. "Hey, come on..." You hesitantly reached a hand out to her shoulder. Though the idea of comforting someone who put you in the hospital seemed absurd, the alternative somehow seemed worse. After a few minutes, Kogasa had been able to reduce the sobs to sniffles and become coherent again.

"Now then, what exactly was it you were even trying to do to me in the first place?"

"Well..." Kogasa sniffed and wiped her face with your blanket. A bit gross but whatever, they were someone else's problem. "I... I'm a youkai who-I never introduced myself did I? I'm sorry. I'm Kogasa. I'm a karakasa-obake, we feed on fear and surprising people."

"Surprising people?"

She nodded. "Usually people tell me I'm bad at it, but it's my purpose! What good is a youkai who can't surprise people!"

So all of this... was for a jumpscare prank? Your brows furrowed again. "So is that what you were doing at the market? Just trying to scare people?"

Kogasa nodded yet again. "You see, I-" She paused between sniffles as if trying to choose her next words carefully. When she seemed to have them sorted in her mind, she continued. "I was hanging out alone one night by the Misty Lake when some lady came out from the shadows. She told me she knew I was having trouble with scaring people, so she told me I should mimic the Reisen in the human village."

"Reisen?"

"She's a rabbit girl... She actually works here, in Eientei." Eientei... Memories of some things Letty and even Rumia had said came back to you, as dots connected in your head. Rumia mentioning 'Doctor-nurse lady' who fought with Yukari, and Letty explaining how there were aliens who ran a hospital. Rabbits didn't seem very alien though... were they? "Reisen will usually head in the human village covered in a cloak to disguise rabbity nature and sell medicine to people. Many humans in the village already know me, but if I disguise myself as someone else and they approach me, I could really surprise them."

"So you impersonated someone to take advantage of vulnerable people?"

"Eh?"

"What kind of people do you think are going to approach someone selling medicine?" The girl clearly hadn't thought through the implications of her plan. "Sickly people who need help. And what do you think is going to happen if people think someone who sells medicine is actually some brat trying to scare them?" Venom was seeping back into your voice as the gravity of Kogasa's actions were beginning to sink in.

Kogasa's face grew redder, as tears began growing again. "I-I swear! I didn't mean to hurt anyone! I've never wanted to hurt anyone!"

"Well, a lot of good 'wanting' did, huh?!" You tugged your arm to emphasize the wires attached to them, trying to hide the wince from the pain it caused.

"I'm sorry! I'm really sorry! I just want to scare people, not hurt them! I've never done something like this before! Everything seemed to be fine for a while, but then you happened! I just wanted to scare you a little!"

"You wanted to scare someone who just went out of their way to help you!?"

"It's my nature! I'm sorry! Please! I..." Her head tilted as it rested on your bed, Kogasa too distraught to keep it upright. "I just want to be scary, but I've never scared someone as hard as just before, I've never meant to hurt people! This is... it's scary to me!"

Kogasa was weeping yet again, and though you felt a bit of self-righteousness, it faded as quickly as it arrived. Perhaps you needed more practice keeping a level head, you were back to where you were earlier. A girl weeping by your bedside and you feeling uncomfortable having played a part in it, even if she did deserve it on some level.

Some more time passed before the umbrella could control herself once more. You told yourself mentally to try and stay calm this time, as you asked your next question. "Have you told Reisen and this hospital you've been pretending to be them?"

Kogasa's face had been red from crying, but some color had drained when you mentioned that. "No." She said flatly, standing up and away from the bed.

"You've been hurting their reputation whether you've meant to or not. You need to tell them and apologize."

"No." Kogasa took interest in the floor, keeping her attention fixated upon it. "Doctor Eirin is scary. And they'll all hate me for it. Just like you hate me."

[] Write in
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Ow, that's tough.

Maybe we should keep her secret unless we're explicitly asked about it. She can't impersonate Reisen for too long without getting someone on her tail. In fact, since she gave someone a heart attack in the middle of town, I don't think she'll be able to keep this secret for long no matter what.

I'm not sure what else to do other than wait for the doc.

[X] "I think 'hate' might be too strong a word..."
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Poor Kogasa. Whats is most likely her first successful scare in a long while and she nearly frighten them to death.

Thats kinda funny. Both parties (Us and Kogasa) had a case of mistaken identity based on the clothes and hats.

[X] Not hate, just a scolding for doing something morally dubious. Mention that the suspicious lady is also at fault too.

[X] Ask if we are the first victim.
-[X] If so, we can afford to forgive her, as long as they pay for our bill.
-[X] If not, try to convince her to apologize. Go with her for moral support, after all, how scary can one doctor be?

[X] If we want, we can also offer to help with her scaring problem. Even Yokai's need to eat somehow, we just need to make sure its less destructive.
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She shouldn't get away with it just by crying. And we need all help we can get here.
[X] You can keep a secret, for a price...
[X] I want an item.
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>"Sickly people who need help. And what do you think is going to happen if people think someone who sells medicine is actually some brat trying to scare them?"

I didn't even think of that, but if it had been some sickly villager she had scared and given a heart attack, she could have been kicked out of the village.

>giving her the appearance of someone well-fed.

Better be well fed; she gave us a heart attack.

[X] Not hate, just a scolding for doing something morally dubious. Mention that the suspicious lady is also at fault too.

Lady from the shadows? Perhaps we can get the umbrella to describe the shadow lady's appearance. I'm not angry, but just disappointed, channel that sorta energy. Do we know by this point that most youkai are a lot older than an average human? Maybe we can use that in the scolding to say that she should have known better.

[X] Ask if we are the first victim.
-[X] If so, we can afford to forgive her, as long as she pays for our bill.
-[X] If not, try to convince her to apologize. Go with her for moral support, after all, how scary can one doctor be?

I think on the principle that we should get her to apologize for disguising herself as Reisen as though it would be uncomfortable for the umbrella, it's probably for the best as a lesson. Plus, Eirin might know already. Better to ask for forgiveness. Put that emotional maturity of ourselves to use.

[X] If we want, we can also offer to help with her scaring problem. Even Yokai's need to eat somehow, we just need to make sure it's less destructive.

Brainstorm session with the umbrella!
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>>203909
A part of you didn't want to say it. After all, she was someone who just put you in the hospital. You were well within your rights to hate her. Hell, to not do so would be illogical, wouldn't it? But as you looked at the girl staring silently down as if she were a child, a feeling of pity spurred your heart to go a different direction.

"Look, I..." You swallowed a bit. "I don't HATE you." The umbrella girl perked up and looked at you. Please don't make this harder than it already is, you prayed silently. "I'm... Have you scared many other people besides me in this disguise?"

"Just... Just a few, and it didn't turn out like this! And it worked just like the one lady said! I scared them, they were startled and ran off, and I could enjoy their surprise! Nothing like this has ever happened!"

"You've caused a lot of damage regardless of if it had ever escalated this far before though, you need to own up and apologize for it. If you're sincere like you were with me I'm sure it'll be fine. I just... You're a mature girl, right? How old are you? 16, 17, 18?"

"I dunno, over 100 at least."

What. "What?"

"Well yes. That's the normal minimum age requirement for an object like me to become a youkai."

"You're that old?"

She shrugged. "I'm pretty sure I'm young. Most other youkai are much older than me by a lot."

Damn, that's hot WEIRD, weird. Why did you think that? Dumb intrusive thoughts. "Well, if you're over 100, you should definitely know better! Take responsibility for your actions. The alternative is probably much worse." Kogasa flinched a bit as she imagined the alternative. You could tell she was at the point where she was leaning towards apologizing but still didn't want to vocalize it.

"Who was this lady who told you to do this anyways? Have you seen her before?"

Kogasa shook her head. "I don't think so. I was just hanging out at night when she came up to me. I remember she said she had an affinity for my kind when she gave me advice though. I never got a good look at her. She seemed friendly to me though.

How strange. Was that a person, or a youkai, or something? Your knowledge of who was who in this world was unfortunately limited. At least in the future, you knew to be cautious around strangers in the shadows trying to give you bad advice.

"If you ever see them again, don't listen to what they say. She seems like someone who just wants to cause trouble."

"'Kay." Kogasa decided to sit at the foot of your bed, kicking her legs up in the air. She had two big wooden sandals, you wondered just how comfortable they were to walk with. "So you forgive me right?"

"I-I didn't say that EXACTLY..." She quickly wore a frown. Damn this umbrella. "... But yes. I forgive you."

Her frown was quickly turned upside-down. "Wonderful! Thank you so much! I promise to make it up to you in the future!"

"Unless you can pay for this hospital room, it should be fine, don't worry about it." You chuckled. Kogasa only looked at you perplexed.

"Pay?"

"You know, for the charge of staying here. These places usually take money."

Kogasa dug into her dress pocket. "I have this." It was a strange tiny looking coin, likely at most an equivalent of 5 yen, and some pocket lint. That was a dead end.

"Don't worry about it, I'm sure I'll be fine."

"Alrighty! Say, I never got your name. Oh! This is just like those stories Sanae told me about from the outside world! You're like that! The girl who lived, nearly killed by a monster but just struggling to survive and rising up as the hero!"

"I already forgave you, don't push it."

"Sorry. But what is your name?"

"I'm Alex. Just Alex." It wasn't like you were attached to your old last name. Nor would it mean anything in this realm.

"Alex, Alex... Is that a foreign name? Oh well, it sounds like a very pretty name for a girl!" You cringed. "I'm Kogasa Tatara, the scariest umbrella in Gensokyo! I'd give you a demonstration, but, you know... Oh! I almost forgot! You know your coins and your bag of stuff you had with you!" Oh yeah, you nearly forgot. "I made sure to grab it! It's all right there, in the corner!" Oh good- "Except your coins!"

"What?"

"You see, right when I was getting help, Chimata ran over! Some villagers were already picking you up, but Chimata stopped me and told me to grab your money!" You stood up a bit in bed, as much as you could without hurting yourself from a quick movement.

"What! Why?! I needed that money!"

"She said not to worry, as the goddess of the marketplace she would ensure that its will be done! I don't know what that means, but I think you can trust her! Chimata takes the marketplace very seriously!"

"I better." You mumble. This umbrella was way too trusting for your tastes. "Wait, did she see you with your disguise off?" You remember the last moments of lucidity, Kogasa had taken her hood off to scare you, but when she fell she didn't put it back on, and the fake elements like the bunny ears fell off. "What did she say?"

"Heheheh..." Kogasa looked shiftily to the left. "Umm... So are you a relative of Letty? You looked so much alike with her-"

A knock came at the door. Kogasa turned around, and her cheerful demeanor changed back to its quiet reserved one. This girl really could go from happy to depressed on a dime, how strange. The source of the knocking was a girl with rabbit ears, taller than the one previously here, with purple hair. You quickly put two and two together and deduced that this was likely Reisen, the girl Kogasa was masquerading as. "Excuse me, are you about wrapped up here? Are you ready to see the Doctor now?"

[] Send Kogasa out while you talk privately with the Doctor first. The apology can wait until after that, maybe the Doctor has important stuff to say right now. And who knows how the news of Kogasa's actions will impact her demeanor?
[] Kogasa should go ahead and apologize to the Doctor and Reisen now, no reason to delay it further. Maybe they'll react favorably to the apology?
[] Kogasa can wait here, but you'd like to talk to the Doctor first. Kogasa probably doesn't want to be alone right now, and you can't help but have sympathy for the girl. Even if she nearly killed you.
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[X] Kogasa can wait here, but you'd like to talk to the Doctor first. Kogasa probably doesn't want to be alone right now, and you can't help but have sympathy for the girl. Even if she nearly killed you.

This, I'm half-sympathetic but not completely swayed by her.
She should at least know what she did to you, I'd have said us but that makes it sound like we're a hive-mind which would be silly if not a fun idea for another story.

Also damn, she almost triggered the hag sensor just there but alas, she is not a REAL one.
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[X] Kogasa should go ahead and apologize to the Doctor and Reisen now, no reason to delay it further. Maybe they'll react favorably to the apology?

Though the umbrella seems regretful of her actions, I think that if we delay her apology to the clinic, she will lose her nerve and keep on avoiding apologizing. I also suspect that she may forget to apologize if she remains to hear our questions to the doc about our gender issue and amnesia since it is quite a weird situation we have.

>>203916
>Also damn, she almost triggered the hag sensor just there but alas, she is not a REAL one.
I am still not entirely sure what qualifies as a hag tbh. As earlier in the story, in an author's comment, there was mention of a Letty route, and I am unsure if Letty is a hag. Eh, I guess I will just assume anyone Alex finds hot is a hag and go from there.
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[X] Send Kogasa out while you talk privately with the Doctor first. The apology can wait until after that, maybe the Doctor has important stuff to say right now. And who knows how the news of Kogasa's actions will impact her demeanor?

Let's meet a real hag.
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[X] Kogasa can wait here, but you'd like to talk to the Doctor first. Kogasa probably doesn't want to be alone right now, and you can't help but have sympathy for the girl. Even if she nearly killed you.

>"You see, right when I was getting help, Chimata ran over! Some villagers were already picking you up, but Chimata stopped me and told me to grab your money!" You stood up a bit in bed, as much as you could without hurting yourself from a quick movement.
Wait, so did she take our money or did Chimata? If she did, why does she only have five cents?

>>203916
I assume a Hag is just twice our age, which is to say, lot of people.
Kogasa route when
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[X] Kogasa can wait here, but you'd like to talk to the Doctor first. Kogasa probably doesn't want to be alone right now, and you can't help but have sympathy for the girl.

She should stay where we can easily find and talk to her again. Also, is 100 years enough for Kogasa to be counted as a hag without looking like one?
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[X] Kogasa can wait here, but you'd like to talk to the Doctor first. Kogasa probably doesn't want to be alone right now, and you can't help but have sympathy for the girl. Even if she nearly killed you.

>>203919
There's a matter of maturity to it. Tewi is older than just about every other character bar some of the gods and probably the Lunarians, but she acts like a child. And indisputably looks rather like one, for that matter. Also, Chimata took our money.
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>>203921
>Also, Chimata took our money.
Can't have shit in Gensokyo.
Got our gender stolen, our memories, our money, and our heartbeat.
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Oh cool, Chimata is gonna go shopping for us. Thanks Chimata!

[X] Kogasa can wait here, but you'd like to talk to the Doctor first. Kogasa probably doesn't want to be alone right now, and you can't help but have sympathy for the girl. Even if she nearly killed you.

Not trying to go for a route with her or anything like that, but I still like her and I'd definitely like to befriend her if possible. Laughed at how close she came to unknowingly flipping that hag switch of ours though. Man... just looking forward to someone eventually discovering that preference of ours and then being relentlessly teased for it. Could be a while though, considering even we seem to be in denial about it.
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Random thought, but is the gayest relationship we could get into considering our circumstances one with Miko?
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>>203924
I guess you could look at it that way, but considering Miko reincarnated as a woman (we were just transformed via magic, as far as we know), I don't think it would count.
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