Stage 180: The complexity of a thing is not necessarily the importance of a thing.Now that you are healing on your own, your sister's assistance isn't required for you to be able to sleep or rest. You still must maintain your power and you definitely need more time to heal, but with work and time you'll be nearly healed by the time the meeting with the head of the Shinkai Yakuza, Shinkai Kakunemo. Even if you aren't, you will be at that meeting.Still, a few more hours of sleep do you some good, and when you stir, Yuuhi-chan is still nearby, while Kiki-hime is sitting up and yawning in an entirely un-girlish manner. You smile, watching her, and Yuuhi – who is dozing – does not seem to be terribly concerned. On the other hand, trying to sit up might trigger a reaction, and you'd rather not.Kiku-jinshu-chan is also here and awake, but she is far more involved in some ritual or another near the innermost wall, where the offerings, votives, incense, and bas-reliefs are. The scent of sandalwood, sakura, and strawberries (?) waft slowly through the room, and Kiki-hime sighs, looking up at the decorous ceiling, studying the terrifying dragon depicted there. A shadow of worry crosses her soft, youthful face, and you almost do sit up to chase it away.  That's not what Horobi really looks like you know. Good morning, beautiful. I think it's an image of my father, not of me. Two yen for your thoughts? Just sit and watch for now.
Twitter: @XsQuestmistressPrevious Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2202453/Interlude: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/37879167/Kissing! http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/574453/Threads in Chronological Order, including writeups by XS : http://pastebin.com/Z53TyK0Nor search for tag: Ryukuza on SuptgMegaupload of the RTF document of Ryukusa Quest (links to archive included): https://mega.nz/#!d2xySaAJ!jUydCgDx6Q68PH6u4L_qFR03IhSGrAxak_m0PBorN5oBarrier Combat Guide: http://pastebin.com/rZLwzvGx>Ryukusa's TreasuresHer name: Ryuu Yorihokura Rie, the God's Eye Nekomata that protects your Family.Matagama-no-Shitoki, a necklace kami in its own right that protects Ryukusa from inimical magic.Ame-no-Omukade-no-Musume – Ryukusa's mukade possessed wakizashi; a kami. “Daughter of my Centipede of Rain.”Gendai-no-Muteki-no-Buki - Invincible Weapon of the Present Age, a secret kami-blade given to Ryukusa by Wakaba that appears to be made of some alloy of titanium.Seido-no-Shinpi-Tekina-Ken – a mysterious bronze sword given to Ryukusa by the mermaids of Japan; actually found to be the legendary blade Ame-no-Ohabari.Go-Yurei-no-Rensa, the Five-Ghost-Chain, used to summon or send messages to your (actual) older sister Ryuu Nabiki.Her Penthouse in the Secret Apartments of Tsathoggua in Shikoku prefecture, Tokyo.Shikoku Naya, her fashion teacher and seamstress.Hisaka Subaru, her weaver and dressmaking teacher.Ryukusa's Family.>Talismans:Akari – Black Jade Centipede (Mukade)Er Yin – Black Jade Scorpion (Sasori)Kiki – Black Jade Toad (Hikigaeru)Kiku – Black Jade Lizard (Tokage)Yui – Black Jade Snake (Hebi)Inau – Black Coral Ear Cuff (Amatsukami)
Ryuu Ryukusa is tall at 5' 8"; 6' in her true form. She is fully grown. Lesbian top.Matagama Kiku is 4' 1” for ever and ever. Lesbian submissive.Ryuu Akari is 5' 3" and has another few inches to grow. Sexuality is weird, switch, cosplayer.Ryuu Yui is 6' 3” and will only grow due to circumstances beyond her control. Dyke, switch.Ryuu Kiki is 5' 6" and is at full growth. Bisexual bottom.Er Yin Long is the tall at 5' 10" and is fully grown. Lesbian dominant.Ryuu Jinyuu is 5' 7" but persistently hovers an extra three inches. Straight.Hinata-hakase is 6' 3". Sexuality is terrifying.Hidesato is 5' 5". Straight.Kushinada is 5' 8". Straighter.Taisho Ryoga is 5' 9". Who knows.Hyun Chisato is 5' 4” and is fully grown. Lolicon with plausible deniability.Rie, just Rie, is 8” tall or 5' 5” and is fully cat. Her sexuality is cat.Hagyu Genso is 12' 5” standing upright. He is by and large gay.Mizumi Shoko is 7' 2” is fully grown. Bisexual top.Yuuhi is 4'11” and is fully grown. Yuuhi a cute.Tokei Isusangi, Inau-kun is 5' 3” and is much less confused.Reiha is 5' 5 1/2” and is milfy.Peta is 3' 2” Peta is \>.</ aka Her Most Imperial Highness Patanjali Piri Yokuhime Kuronogitsune PaDetective-san aka Mugon Chujo is fully grown at 5'11” and straight.Kenji Soomi is 5' 4” and gothic lolita.Musumi Kanako is 5' 6.5” and is pretty straight.Hebiki Naoto is 5' 9” and belligerently omnivorous, sexually. You hope only sexually.Kodachi Umetsume is 5' 4” and fully grown. Practicing asexual.Melinda Blitzenberg is scattered to the winds and blessed in death.Toshida Ginka is 5” 3” and fully grown. Turtles have a reputation.Ryuu Wakaba is a head shorter and also deceased.Margaret Steinhausen is gratefully dead.Ryuu Sakumo is dead and spread far and wide.Ryuu Nabiki is 5' 3” and fully transformed. Embarrassingly straight.Ryuu Shinju is 4' 11” and fully grown. She is coy, maybe a dodomeki-child.Ryuu Himeyuri is 5' 5” and is supposedly straight.Ryuu Fuuta is 5' 6” and slightly less soft.Kaga Kei is 5' 4” and fully grown. Might be experimental.Kyubi-san is 6' 3” and fully grown. Hard to say.Hisaka Subaru is 5' tall and 9' tall, and peculiar as all get out.Shikoku Naya is 5' 4" (not including heels) and is fully grown. Entirely flexible.Shinkai Yamada is 5' 7” and is straight.Shinkai Mikurabe is 5' 2” (without heels) and is probably less straight than you thought."Shinkai" Hiei is a possible curse in the Theater."Shinkai" Serious Onii-san is 5' 6" and is asexual."Shinkai" Yoshihano is 6' 1" and may be a little gay.Tachibana is 5” 7” and mostly asexual.Natto is a wisp of black smoke in the wind.Hebiki Rishi is 4' 10” and has a number of inches to grow. Questionable sexuality.Hideyama Kenako is 6' 1” and is fully grown. Sexuality is probably cat.
>>2223001> Good morning, beautiful.> Two yen for your thoughts?While watching her might be informative, I kind of want her to know we're good enough to be conscious sooner rather than later.Also hi XS!
>>2223001> Good morning, beautiful.> I think it's an image of my father, not of me.> Two yen for your thoughts?
>>2223001Ryukusa time!>[x] Good morning, beautiful.>[x] Two yen for your thoughts?
Hi XS! How are you?>>2223001> Good morning, beautiful.> Two yen for your thoughts?
[X] Good morning, beautiful.[X] Two yen for your thoughts?You watch her for a moment more, as Yuuhi nods off, and murmur very softly to the young woman....young lady, whom you will one day wed. Sure, Amaterasu-Omikami blessed your union herself, but you are really looking forward to wearing a wedding dress, even if Subaru-chan is the one who makes it.“Good morning, Hime-chan.” Kiki-hime turns to you, her eyes wide. “You are radiant, for someone who slept so badly.” She blushes and smiles despite the blush your gentle admonishment evokes. You open your futon and the worry returns, but you incline your head and she flushes.Moving with great deliberation, she joins you under the cover, and the silk of her kimono is momentarily cool against your skin and the soft cloth that covers your wounds. Guiding her to rest along your body takes a moment, but once she is safely nestled against you and your arm is around her shoulder and stroking her soft hair it is perfect. “You looked worried, Hime-chan,” you murmur softly, and she looks away from your gaze. “Something troubling you beyond the ordinary?”You're really just inviting a fight or at least admonition, but to your surprise she shakes her head. “I was wondering if we would be safe after you ruin Japan.” She runs her hand along the underside of your breast, then down the line of your body, where it comes to rest over your hara, your center. Here she traces a tiny heart before her palm is laid flat. “My sister told me that if you had called upon the power of the Great Kami, you would have defeated them all at once.” Her voice is very soft, almost distant. “I didn't....it was difficult to imagine that there would be anything worth such a price, until I saw what you had suffered.”Running your hand along her back, though the silk of her hair and the silk of her robe, you try and think of what to say. What can you say? You reconciled yourself with the truth of the matter a while ago, even before you were stuck in a Hell for two hundred years. It would be entirely unreasonable to expect anyone to reach that conclusion as well, that there are things worth sacrificing an entire country for, maybe the world for.“If it keeps you, if it keeps our family safe, Ryukusa, I want you to annihilate all of Japan.” You turn your head and see her gazing at you, her soft, sky blue eyes filled with fury and rage, only just showing the wetness of unshed tears. “No one is allowed to hurt our clan anymore. Whatever it takes to stop them, Ryukusa, you do it.” Is that an order, Princess? You don't have to ask me to do that. I don't want to, but whatever it takes.... That is....unusually bloodthirsty for you, Hime-chan; did something change? You realize that means moving against your father and his company, Kiku-hime? This....this, I can and will promise.
>>2223046Damaged. I'll live as always.
>>2223074>[x] You realize that means moving against your father and his company, Kiku-hime?>[x] This....this, I can and will promise.
>>2223074> You don't have to ask me to do that. I don't want to, but whatever it takes....> That is....unusually bloodthirsty for you, Hime-chan; did something change?> You realize that means moving against your father and his company, Kiku-hime?
>>2223074> That is....unusually bloodthirsty for you, Hime-chan; did something change?> This....this, I can and will promise.
>>2223074>Kiss her cheek>"I give second chances, Kiki-beautiful-hime-chan. Sometime third and fourth ones too. It implies tolerating others to hurt me... hurt us a bit. Without this, a lot of people who are now on our side would be dead. I'll do what it takes to protect our family, our clan but... to live is to get hurt. I can't condemn our clan to stay in an ivory tower, annihilating anything that threaten it.">"Would you love me, my dear wife, if I was a bloodthirsty force of nature? If I was a hurricane claiming lives indiscriminately? If I didn't try to save as many as I could, as often as I could?">"I will protect our clan. I will protect our family, and our beloved. And I will destroy Japan, one way or the other. But I cannot stop being me while I do so. I hope you understand."
>>2223081>>2223107We can't promise that. We might as well just blow up the building the half-demon is in, with that kind of extreme.
>>2223074> Is that an order, Princess?> That is....unusually bloodthirsty for you, Hime-chan; did something change?
>>2223074Adding to my vote here >>2223109>Tell her what you learned about killing from the Tengu, and about being a clan's head from Yui.
>>2223074> That is....unusually bloodthirsty for you, Hime-chan; did something change?>Is it really that much worse than everything else that's happened to me?> You don't have to ask me to do that. I don't want to, but whatever it takes....>Even if what it takes is mercy. But I'm getting better at determining when it would and wouldn't be wasted, and I recently learned exactly how to handle the former.
>>2223114I don't mind skipping out on the promise part for now.At the same time, rather than being a matter of deciding what approach we use regarding collateral damage or the like, it sounds more like she's touching on what ways Ryukusa fights. Basically, no holding back or taking risks against people who want to do harm. Get the barriers going ASAP and start the overkill, that sort of thing.
>>2223127I'm not sure if that was the right prompt but I guess I want to convey that even if we are willing to do that if it means saving the lives of our family, that doesn't mean that's how we'll handle everyone who opposes us? I don't know, on the one hand she's clearly hurting and on the other so are we due to lackluster strategy so maybe we do need to get a bit more aggressive.
>>2223109>I can't condemn our clan to stay in an ivory tower, annihilating anything that threaten it.I'm not sure about this part. Like we might have to transfer to the palace at some point and it might be too optimistic to think we'd be able to just walk the streets after this.
>>2223136>At the same time, rather than being a matter of deciding what approach we use regarding collateral damage or the like, it sounds more like she's touching on what ways Ryukusa fights. Basically, no holding back or taking risks against people who want to do harm. Get the barriers going ASAP and start the overkill, that sort of thing.Which is something we can't promise, because it's a bad thing to never hold back and take no risk, just as getting the Barrier and going overkill is.>>2223074Adding to my votes here (again, sorry):>>2223109>>2223121>Tell her about your encounter with Susanoo-okami, and how you got Enma-oh to stop the hostilities with us.>"If the choice was strictly, only between Japan or my beloved ones, I would choose my beloved ones. But life hardly ever present you with such binary absolute choices.">"I hope you can forgive me, Kiki-chan.
>>2223152You might be taking what I wrote too literally.The point is, we can't stick our loved ones somewhere and never allow anything to hurt them without destroying it. It's not living, it's being a fragile doll in a fancy box.
>>2223155>>2223165I think I see what you're saying but I guess I feel like maybe we should make it more of a dialogue?
Anons wanted a lot. So, you have to wait. Still writing.
>>2223256It's fine, XS.
>>2223256sorry we gave you such a heavy load
>>2223256Sorry about that. But it's worth every seconds of waiting
[XXX] That is....unusually bloodthirsty for you, Hime-chan; did something change?[X] You don't have to ask me to do that. I don't want to, but whatever it takes....[X] You realize that means moving against your father and his company, Kiku-hime?[+] Theres a number of things we should discuss first....With a glance at the blinking and mostly awake Yuuhi-chan and another at Kiku-chan, who is sitting and offering silent prayers, you decide this is a matter that might be best discussed in private. Luckily, silent prayers mean she's nearly done. “Yuupi, would you excuse us for a few minutes?” Yuuhi-chan narrows her eyes at you. “I can't leave here without you knowing, and I'm not interested in annoying Yui-niji-chan or my priestess any further, don't worry.” That seems to mollify her, and she stands up, cradling her sword in both arms as she leaves in contented silence.You Stroke your wife's hair, feeling her blood race a little faster than usual, feeling her tension. It eases as you pet her, hold her close. It's pretty obvious Kiki-hime is under some strain, and you suspect it's more than just this injury, or the play. Then again, medical situations always bring out the worst in her.Yuuhi pauses at the door and looks back into the shrine, and waits patiently, as do you. Kiki-hime starts to worry, of course but you kiss her forehead, and start to play with the locks of hair you've been stroking, which seems to relax her. She looks up at you with worried, still tearful eyes, but she doesn't say anything, only rests her head upon your breast once more. The two soft claps of Kiku-jinshu-chan's closing ceremony catches Kiki's attention and you turn to look at the lovely, girlish creature that bears the egg you gave her. Her belly is markedly swollen now; it can't be very long in coming.“Do not worry my sister over-much, idiot dragon. And if you injure yourself by moving too suddenly or allowing her to move you, I will have Akari bind you to this temple floor.”Favoring her with a disingenuous look, you reply mildly, “Of course, Kiku-chan, you have nothing to fear on those counts.” Her golden eyes start to glow, and you lift your other hand – carefully, your shoulder is still entirely too messed up for much more – and forestall any further threats. “As I told Yuuhi-chan, I'm not interested in annoying either you or Yui-niji-chan further than necessary.” That seems to mollify her somewhat, and she relaxes.“Please do not move overly much the stupid dragon you are in love with, Kiki. I do not enjoy trying to heal her, as she is a stubborn moron.” Her slightly irascible tone doesn't soften, even with her sister, but Kiki-hime smiles despite that and nods pleasantly before laying her head down on your chest once more. With a long suffering sigh, the diminutive priestess joins Yuuhi-chan at the door and the twain take their leave – with Yuuhi making sure you see her settle next to the door outside.
>>2223309Stroking Kiki's hair once again you consider the request. “Honestly, there are a number of issues with the idea, not all of them simply a matter of power or even capability, Hime-chan.” She turns her head to look at you and shifts – carefully – so her arms rest along your body and she can rest her chin on the backs of her folded hands. “Very Gendo of you,” you murmur, much to her confusion. “It seems awfully bloodthirsty of you, which would concern me more if I didn't know how much you don't like to see me this way.” “Hate, Ryu-chan. The word is hate.” She doesn't smile as she says it.“Nevertheless, I don't hate any of our enemies.” She stares at you. “Not the way you understand hate. I hate what they've done, why they've done these things....but I'm a Water dragonette. So, I can see why they could do these things. Even understand it. I won't necessarily forgive them, but I can't really....summarily execute them for these things.” Unsurprisingly she doesn't protest or complain, patiently waiting for you to explain. It's probably one of the things you treasure about her. “I give them second chances because I think anyone can seek redemption. If I can, so too can they, you know?”You lay your head back and slowly twirl a lock of her hair around your finger. “But I can't afford to do that any more. Sometimes there can't be a second chance. Demons – real demons and youkai – can't necessarily be afforded such chances. Their nature....their nature forbids it, almost. I learned that, the hard way.” You smile faintly and slowly let her hair slide from your finger; it falls in a single long coil that becomes straight even as it falls along the covers. Wood dragonette nature. “I also learned how to fight such creatures. This....” You gesture down your body. “....won't happen again.”“Er Yin-sensei told me that if you defeat someone in a Barrier, you can command them or hold them, instead of killing them. Why not trust in that to defeat your enemies quickly, reduce the risk of....of this....” She struggles and you glance at her curiously. “....this war.” Kiki-hime looks at you, her eyes wet and shining. “It can't really be called anything else.”
>>2223314“Shogi,” you comment mildly, and she looks startled, then frowns. “Ever play it?” The question seems to mollify her a little, and she looks at you curiously. “Shogi is more complex than most people consider it. There comes a point in the greatest games of shogi, where the battlefield is considered destroyed, and you begin play on a different level. By this time, many smaller pieces are already taken, and others are changed, stronger or moving differently than before. You capture a piece, and it can become part of your own army, and you can take such a piece and promote it further, making it even more powerful.” Her confusion only lasts a moment, before she sees what you are getting at. “If I simply destroy people, I lose potential allies, not just the person in question, but others as well. And like I said....the chance to grow is important to me.”She sighs softly. “I said your world is dangerous and frightening before, and it only gets worse, the longer I see it.”“I don't really see this as that much worse than things that I've been through before,” you murmur softly, and she glances at you dubiously, and the disbelieving expression makes you smile. Laughing would hurt. “No, really. It's more serious in some ways, but honestly, once I was with my family I was safe. It was only my own stubbornness and my lack of interest in being dead for any length of time that kept me from allowing myself to recover in a faster and less troublesome way.”She blinks at that, and then looks consternated. “Wood dragonettes and dragonnes are discouraged from sacrificial acts like that, you know. Mostly because it causes so much trouble for those around us.”“I'm not a Wood dragonette, I'm immortal. It would be silly for me not to use the tools I have.” She blinks at you with a disapproving expression. “Yes, I know it is at odds with what I just said, but I'm stubborn sometimes.” That earns you a small smile at least. “There are other things you have to consider too. If I move so forcefully against the people who are trying to hurt us, that will include your father's people, as well as the Kaga, the upper ranks of Clan Ryo, even the Diet. I can't simply reduce them to rubble or slaughter them outright. A lot of them are just people, just humans, doing the jobs that they need to do to live and support their own families.” She looks abashed at that. “Sometimes people forget that I'm not just fighting individuals or groups of people, but entire organizations now. And to do that, I have to be able to not harm those who can't get back up and move on with their lives.”
>>2223320She sighs and looks despondent. You stroke her hair softly and lower your voice. “I think you wouldn't be happy if I was the kind of person who could ignore those people's lives. I may have to do my duty, but I try not to hurt them badly. Even the Yakuza are just doing what they are told and need to do. Shinkai Yamada might be my enemy, and his bodyguards might need to die, but Shinkai Kakunemo isn't necessarily my enemy, and his people aren't necessarily my enemies. They could be of immense help. So...I can't just end the fights without considering them.”Kiki-hime nods slightly and you let her digest all that. “I will be taking Yuuhi-chan with me everywhere I go, if it is even remotely possible.” That makes her lift her head suddenly, startled. “I will probably also be taking either Yui-niji-chan or Akari-niji-chan, or perhaps Shoko-chan or Inau-kun, depending on the situation. The other two will be by your side. Yui-niji-chan explained something to me, that I hadn't really....grasped before. What it means to be daimyo. It's no longer just about you, it's about me and you. Or rather, us.” She smiles, and her eyes well up. You slide your tail around hers – which hurts, because your thigh isn't much healed – and squeeze gently as you stroke her hair some more. I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere. Why for tears? I pay attention and learn eventually! We're both going to have to shoulder larger burdens. I hope you're more ready for it than I am. Ask her if she has any other suggestions – aside from very obvious ones. Perhaps she would like to help tutor and arrange teaching for certain newer members of the clan?
>>2223328>[x] Why for tears? I pay attention and learn eventually!>[x] We're both going to have to shoulder larger burdens. I hope you're more ready for it than I am.>[x] Ask her if she has any other suggestions – aside from very obvious ones.A very thorough dissertation on the nature of extreme measures! Maybe Ryukusa can go to university once everything is over, hmm?
>>2223328> I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere.> Perhaps she would like to help tutor and arrange teaching for certain newer members of the clan?
>>2223328> I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere.> We're both going to have to shoulder larger burdens. I hope you're more ready for it than I am.> Perhaps she would like to help tutor and arrange teaching for certain newer members of the clan?
>>2223328> I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere.> We're both going to have to shoulder larger burdens. I hope you're more ready for it than I am.> Ask her if she has any other suggestions – aside from very obvious ones.
>>2223328> I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere. Ask her if she has any other suggestions – aside from very obvious ones.
Leaving aside the handling of her request and all, it's nice to see Ryukusa and Kiki coming to a better understanding of how to navigate the sticky situation they're in together. Hopefully Ryukusa can become someone capable of relying on Kiki as well in the future.
>>2223362She does, actually. She's learned that Kiki is the one who actually runs the household.
>>2223328 Ask her if she has any other suggestions – aside from very obvious ones. Perhaps she would like to help tutor and arrange teaching for certain newer members of the clan? I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere. We're both going to have to shoulder larger burdens. I hope you're more ready for it than I am. Why for tears? I pay attention and learn eventually!Sorry for being greedy, XS, but they're all good.
>>2223328Ryukusa dressed as a teacher asking Miss Ryuu Kiki to stay after class for "extra credit work" when?
>>2223328> I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere.> We're both going to have to shoulder larger burdens. I hope you're more ready for it than I am.> Ask her if she has any other suggestions – aside from very obvious ones.Sorry for the late vote
>>2223442One day anon, as long as we believe.>>2223407That's true enough, although we haven't been able to witness it in action too much. Given we haven't been spending that much time IN the house recently, and Kiki isn't really in charge of security when we're outside.
>>2223328>[X] I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere.>[X] We're both going to have to shoulder larger burdens. I hope you're more ready for it than I am.>[X] Ask her if she has any other suggestions – aside from very obvious ones.>[X] Perhaps she would like to help tutor and arrange teaching for certain newer members of the clan?
[XXX] I probably should have listened to you weeks ago, when you told me to take Yuuhi everywhere.[XX] We're both going to have to shoulder larger burdens. I hope you're more ready for it than I am.[XX] Ask her if she has any other suggestions – aside from very obvious ones.[X] Perhaps she would like to help tutor and arrange teaching for certain newer members of the clan?[x] Why for tears? I pay attention and learn eventually!You shake your head minutely, drawing her teas away and catching them. Rather than turn them into jewels, you absorb them into your palm, mingling her tears with the salt of your body and blood. “You needn't, you know; I do learn eventually, and I've certainly learned my lesson this time.” She stifles a small laugh and shakes her head. “It's not that, Ryu-chan. I didn't expect it to be so....heartwarming, to no longer be the centerpiece of your life like I was. To be included with you, instead of being the one you focus on.” She lays her head upon your chest, and you can tell she's listening to your heartbeat. “I thought I was more self centered than that.”You don't mention that you once thought so too, but she hasn't been for a long time now. Maybe she never was and you didn't notice. You did have a lot going on in school. A thought occurs to you. “Want to be a tutor?”Looking up at you she seems confused by your sudden change of subjects. “For whom?”“We have new family members, some of whom haven't been through Celestial High – Shoko, Kei, Yui, and Yuuhi don't necessarily know a lot of the things the rest of us take for granted. It might be a good idea to start them in lessons. Including Rishi and Fuuta. It might be a good idea to start holding group lessons on some of the basics and some of the important things again. We need to start training again, in earnest, but not just to fight. We have a lot of sorcerers and seers; we need to learn about them more.” Sorcery was not common in Celestial high – it's a human practice, generally, or a foreign one, outside of very specific types.“And you want me to guide these lessons outside of fighting?” Kiki-hime sounds a little incredulous.“Not necessarily overtly. I've seen you working with the household, you know. I watch how you turn conversations, and guide the talk. Someone else might not notice, but I am not quite just anyone. Er Yin-sensei undoubtedly noticed, but she's the oldest and a sorceress as well.” You consider for a long moment. “Can you think of anything that could help? Aside from obvious things, I mean, because I'm sure you've picked up on those by now.”
>>2223660Kiki rolls over, her tail half-untwisting from yours, and you suppress the momentary flash of pain from your leg and lower back. She glances at you, almost nervously, but your smile reassures her – mostly. “Well, honestly, the newer onces need duties, really. They're staying out of the way, right now, but they need things to do. Useful things, not busy work.” She lays back and cradles her head along your arm as you tuck one hand beneath your head. Her hand comes to rest on your hip. “Maybe if you worked some of the training you're to be giving into projects that you need accomplishing, that would help. And have Fuuta-chan and Jinyuu-onee-sama....whaaat?!” she asks, smiling.“I adopted yours first,” you remark with a smile.“Kami, Ryu-chan, you move fast,” she teases and you make an irritated sound, much to her amusement. “Anyways....have the seers start working together to see things. Study groups. Focus groups. Errand runners. Things that they can learn and teach at the same time. Like....like apprenticeships.”Nodding thoughtfully, you can see how that will actually make things easier in the long run. With Kiku-chan training Hebiki Rishi and guiding Kaga Kei towards understanding, and Fuuta-chan under Er Yin's and Jinyuu's guidance, you could probably get more things accomplished faster that way. “You can look forward to at least two, maybe three more people joining us.” Seven stars. Fuuta, Inau, Shoko, Rishi, Kei....not Yuuhi, you think. She's different. Already immortal. Shoko too might be different, but you're not sure yet, and if she is, then so too Inau. Two or three is more accurate then.You sigh softly and slowly urn onto your side. This forces you to remove your tail from hers – it hurts way too much to have it in front of you. But your hand moves to rest over her belly, where your daughter grows and she lays hers over it. “We'll have to shoulder much larger burdens. I'm not used to it, but I have the feeling you are a natural at it.” Hearth goddess, Inari, family goddess, five gods who are one, seven sisters, family surrounding family.You are getting tired, which is rather discomfiting.Blinking yourself awake you look into your lover's eyes, and she smiles; her bright, warm gaze is kind and gentle. “Sleep, otousan.”You drift off, thinking of stars, hearth fires, and strangely, dancing.
>>2223667Later....You wake with a start and you sit up immediately. You aren't alone in this; Kiki-hime is blearily rubbing her eyes while Yuuhi quickly moves to the door of the shrine. The fact that you didn't hear Yuuhi-chan come in is very alarming. “I should have listened to you,” you tell Kiki-hime as you quickly and carefully pull a set of robes from Nowhere.“Huh?” she asks, rubbing her eyes with the back of one hand.“Keeping Yuuhi-chan with me. I should have listened.” She looks startled as the words penetrate your brain. She notices you starting to pull on the robes and quickly gets up to help you. You smile gratefully; you had less trouble lacking an arm than you do now with these injuries. But you're somewhat better. You leg is finally starting to heal and the bones of your shoulder are fully knit, as are your ribs. There's a long way to go, but you are finally healing.Kiku-jinshu-chan steps in, and moves to where you are being hastily dressed. You glance at her and she immediately reports.“Hinata-hakase is here. My master woke you.” Kiki-hime's eyes become hard and her expression fierce. Kiku-chan is unfazed, of course. “I did not summon her – she has arrived on her own, to speak with aniki.” Kiki-hime';s expression immediately turns to worry. Turning back to you, Kiku-chan continues. “She has been perfectly polite and apologizes for arriving unannounced, but she is insistent.”“Yuuhi.” The nogitsune-child immediately looks to you. “Stay with me. Kiku, how likely is it that she can hear through the Void?” You priestess frowns but considers seriously.“Unlikely, but she is still a powerful priestess; it would be foolish to presume that she is entirely insensitive.”“Help your sister dress, and then escort her to greet Hinata-hakase.” you look at your wife, and she swallows whatever she was going to say when she sees you are not going to admonish her or suggest she be polite. “She won't be able to enter this shrine. It's dedicated to kami she doesn't have any ties to. I'll have to go out and meet her.” You take a deep breath. You could barely manage three tiers of Barrier Combat – barely. Two would leave you dangerously exhausted. But then again, you're in your home with your loved ones. She wouldn't be that foolish....you don't think.Your wife nods slowly, the tacit suggestion to buy you time enough to still her dislike of the priestess for the moment. Have Kiku-chan send Akari-niji-chan to see you. Have Kiku-chan send Inau-kun to see you. Have Kiku-chan send Yui-niji-chan to see you. Try to contact Them through the Void. Have Yuuhi-chan help you finish dressing and applying any bandages that might help.
>>2223670Oh right, we've kinda sorta been blowing her off even though we got the orb she wanted?Why were we doing that?
>>2223670So uh what element was Hinata again? Did we ever know? This is a tough choice.
>>2223670> Have Yuuhi-chan help you finish dressing and applying any bandages that might help.> Have Kiku-chan send Inau-kun to see you.
>>2223680>even though we got the orb she wanted?No, we've yet to make the trip to Dad's realm, all she asked is that we ask him for the orb she wants.
>>2223670> Have Kiku-chan send Yui-niji-chan to see you.> Have Yuuhi-chan help you finish dressing and applying any bandages that might help.Which Them are we talking about?
>>2223702I thought we did ask him though didn't we?
>>2223719I believe he rejected the chance to ask the question, as we weren't actually there to properly make the request.
>>2223688She wasn't. She's a youkai-child, that Akari's research seems to indicate is not only foreign, but VERY foreign. She's powerful and old enough to hide her nature from Kiku's Fire eyes.>>2223705Cat like typing. 'Them' is Akari, Yui and Inau.
>>2223670> Have Kiku-chan send Inau-kun to see you.> Have Yuuhi-chan help you finish dressing and applying any bandages that might help.
>>2223723This is correct, though he was the one not present to ask physically, in addition to the impromptu meeting.
>>2223726Good point, I forgot honestly. Well, guess we can't rely on that simplicity to choose then!>>2223670>[x] Have Yuuhi-chan help you finish dressing and applying any bandages that might help.>[x] Try to contact Them through the Void.>[x] Have Kiku-chan send Inau-kun to see you.
>>2223670>[X] Have Kiku-chan send Yui-niji-chan to see you.Need us the Herald
>>2223670> Have Kiku-chan send Yui-niji-chan to see you.> Have Yuuhi-chan help you finish dressing and applying any bandages that might help.
I'm not really sure if manticores even play by the elemental rules.
>>2223748If they did, it'd be Earth Air Fire Water and maybe Aether
>>2223776That sounds rather overpowered!
>>2223776That's more the European model, though. Did Persia have an elemental tradition? Imma be honest, the whole near and middle east is a blur to me.
>>2223783Not as such. Manticores were creatures of poison, man eaters that defiled lands and consumed men - though they were a kingly sort of beast, and represented many Persian rulers, and therefore could be a symbol of conscription and war.
>>2223680We didn't get the orb, we have been avoiding her because for some reason any time she gets involved our debt to her increase.She's powerful, but not the kind of person you ask for help
[XX] Have Yuuhi-chan help you finish dressing and applying any bandages that might help. [X] Have Kiku-chan send Inau-kun to see you.[X] Have Kiku-chan send Yui-niji-chan to see you.“Yuuhi-chan, come help me. Kiki-hime, I love you.” She looks fairly startled, but melts into the kiss you deliver gently but with great attentiveness. When you break the kiss even Kiku-chan is looking a little embarrassed. “Remember, Kiku-chan, you are my priestess and serve only me now. She has no power over you, and I will be upset should she try and exert any. Send Yui-niji-chan and Inau-kun to assist me in preparing for our guest.”“Yes aniki,” Kiku-jinshu-chan murmurs softly, bowing with her hands pressed together before you. You bow back, cautiously. Yuuhi frowns and looks at the injuries, still hidden under cloth but not bandaged. You moisten the tape along your skin, and the patches of silk fall away. Yuuhi's eyes grow wide, and then she shakes her head, concentrating on the task at hand. Kiki-hime and her sister make their way towards the door, speaking softly on the matters of protocol and etiquette. “Hime-chan!” Kiki and Kiku turn towards you, one curious, the other annoyed. “Something other than your sleeping robes.”Both flush in embarrassment as they look over Kiki's current wardrobe.As they quickly work to make Kiki-hime presentable – assisted by a quick bathing session provided by you, in spite of the cost – Yuuhi works carefully and slowly to bandage your wounds, demonstrating a proficiency at it that you had not suspected of her. As tempting as it is to ask, you have other things on your mind.While her request to your father to be granted the Tide-Lowering-Jewel would be a reason to see you in person, you doubt that's why she's here. It isn't a hunch, just deduction; you have no reason to withhold it, and every reason to get it to her. Similarly, you doubt that it has anything to do with Kushinada or your cousin Hauko or his people, just because there's no reason for her to seek you out concerning them.So why would she leave the Temple of Forgotten Stones and Flowers to visit you?….because you did something to change the situation at the Temple of Forgotten Stones and Flowers. Like....….killing a nue-child. A very rare and dangerous creature, very old. Of which there are exactly two recorded deaths of nue....crap. Natto-san's last words. Remember me to my father.She's here about the nue.>To Be Continued....
Thank you for reading and playing. I'm afraid I must rest - my painkillers have all but worn off and the next rounds of drugs are due. I should be able to continue this early next week.
>>2223869Thanks for running!Don't worry, I hope you feel better soon.
>>2223869Thanks for running! Take care.I'm really looking forward to the next thread.
>>2223869Thanks for running!>>2223866Well that's a shame, I'm not sure how we could have avoiding that situation besides maybe speed-killing that abomination but it's fair for her to be concerned with that.
>>2223869 It's fine, XS. Get some rest. I'll tide myself over to by thinking about what she thinks about the Nue.
>>2223880We could have avoided it by not being insulting beforehand and aggravating the abomination. Ryukusa did say that she birthed it and that it'll come at a cost.
I am glad that people are enjoying the reads; I hope to have a longer thread next time.
>>2223869Thanks for running XS
At 1902 pages, I can safely say it's now the second longest quest to have run so far. I'll be updating the full length archive in the next week, before Thursday.
Thanks for running
>>2223898Wow, that is a lot of pages. It doesn't feel that long since it started!
>>2223912Three and a half years anon.
>>2223898 What's the longest one?
>>2223965Magical Girl Noir Quest, if I recall correctly.
>>2223974Now I have to start reading it. I hope you're happy, XS.
>>2223965 I think the oldest still running quest ist For House and Dominion
>>2223974Really? I'd have thought Banished. I tried making a PDF for it and hit 4chan's size limit well before I'd even reached Namek.
>>2224122Not longest running - longest in pages. >>2224481I'll have to see what kind of file size it is using the same stats as Ryukuza.