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File 171759508916.png - (2.20MB, 2000x2000, PyreoftheEmptyCradle.png)
PyreoftheEmptyCradle
THE STORY SO FAR:
The world has ended, but five (?) humans get a chance to do it over, and make things right. Only problem is, for their second go around, they're not going to be 'human'...

Reiuji Youmu awoke to her past, and promptly set about reaching the surface, aided by the machinations of Suwako Moriya. There, and with the unexpected companion of Komeiji Koishi, she at last met with her old friend, Inaba Akyuu.

But that brief reunion shortly turned sour. Visions of the end have been plaguing Youmu throughout, and that in turn caused Akyuu to realize that the Koishi of this time hadn’t closed her eye, both running away in fear and breaking the young satori’s heart. And when that scar on Koishi’s psyche was finally starting to be treated, a flock of tengu descended upon the Human Village, seeking out Koishi and her hell-raven companion.

Calling upon the aid of Moriya Suwako proved more curse than blessing. The goddess seemed to believe that her deceased descendants, the Kochiya, had a final heir among the reincarnators, and took the Youmu and Akyuu lacking memory of such as them keeping a secret from her. Worse still, when she was forced to confront the truth of that fact, her despair transformed her into a monstrous, black-flaming form known as a Pyre; the very same beings responsible for the apocalypse the reincarnators seek to prevent…


Previous Threads:
Redo/Reimu >>205449 >>205720
Again/Akyuu >>206017 >>206302 >>206595 >>206906 >>207202
Yester/Youmu >>207370 >>207705 >>208027 >>208337 >>208664
Epilogues and Shorts >>/shorts/2804

Or read the story archive on Ao3:
https://archiveofourown.org/series/4062991



[8] Stay at range from Suwako. Surely her stretching had some sort of limit?
[15] Get in close with Suwako. With these sorts of attacks, longer distances only added more momentum.

{0} Give it to Satori.
{0} Give it to Orin.
{23} Take it and fly!

Okuu pulled back, turning to run. There was absolutely no time for hesitation - any moment she gave, one of the other two could catch on or catch up. She heard them yelling behind her, as she took off into the sky.

“I-I’m sorry, Orin! I’m sorry, Lady Satori!”

She screwed her eyes shut, holding the blade tightly. Her wings spread, she took off.



Youmu had fought enough formless spirits to know what to do here - dive back in, and stay close. Getting close enough to catch the goddess even with the edge of the wakazashi quickly proved it was the right choice - especially without the ground as steady footing. Getting back only allowed the attacks to gain more momentum, and increased the risk a third party would get caught in the whiplike motions. And staying close also forced the goddess to move more to keep track of her, giving Youmu more of an advantage in the knowledge aspect of the battle.

Though it made the… the heat? Of the black fire all the more unbearable. Youmu could feel her feathers getting singed with every whiffed swing, and every block she had to do rattled through her teeth. Still, she pressed on, doing everything and anything she could to keep the beast in close range.

That didn’t mean she was winning. In fact, she was barely holding on. Just being near the goddess seemed to be sapping her strength, bit by bit. She hadn’t experienced that while fighting the fairies, last time.

Though, those battles had been much quicker. This was an absolute endurance match, and Youmu was already feeling the pressure. Another blow knocked Shiroihane clear of her hand, the Wakizashi tumbling down below her. Youimu wanted to turn and grab it, but at this range, turning around was death. Instead, she gripped her remaining sword more tightly, and pulled back just a bit, to bring it’s full range to bear.

The goddess’ mouth opened, billowing black fire. Youmu had to duck to get out of the way of the flaming ball the Pyre spat. If her memory was right, it’d land roughly within the arena on the ground, which… after Suwako’s volcanic rage, shouldn’t have anything left that couldn’t see it coming. She’d have to hope, anyways.

With the momentary space granted, Suwako stretched a hand down, dust in the air beginning to coalesce around her hand. It formed into a boulder of charcoal-black stone, slowly growing bigger and bigger. For a mercy, it didn’t seem to be able to hold the flames itself, but Youmu could imagine all too clearly how the battle could turn if the earth goddess got a footing. And yet at the same time, if she broke it, it could rain debris on the party below…



The black hell raven opened her eyes as she started to get higher. She gripped the sword firmly, looking up at her sister, climbing as fast as she could.

Her sister was fighting, super close and personal with the poor frog lady. Both of them were moving wildly and desperate… Okuu just hoped they’d both be okay.

She saw the frog goddess’ mouth open, and Youmu ducked out of the way. A black ball of fire came billowing out, straight past Myon, and straight towards her sister.

Okuu was moving up quickly. If she wanted to dodge, she’d have to brake, maybe even fall back. …Wasn’t the sword supposed to be good on the black flames? She reached for it, but hesitated. …They’d said that it’d only work for Youmu and Mr Youki, too…

[ ] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…
[ ] Use the time she’s building her ground to catch her breath and refocus herself.

{ } Fall back, and let the fireball pass.
{ } Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!




Y 0/3 S 4/?
Thread art made by Kosuka, of Course!
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Hm...
>>This was an absolute endurance match
Indeed.
[x] Use the time she’s building her ground to catch her breath and refocus herself.

About Okuu...
{x} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
Let's see what'll happen :3
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Alright. It's time for a quick, good old-fashioned analysis!

Make a Break
+ Disruption might leave an opening
+ Prevents her from stabilizing and getting even stronger
+ Gets us up right in her face, when she's actively trying to get away.
- Debris might interfere with Okuu's ascent
- Debris might hurt the groundbound victims if they can't react quickly enough
= If Okuu does slash the fireball, groundbound victims may have more time to react (depending on success). If she doesn't, they'll have less time since they just had to dodge.

Take a Break
+ Even a second of breath caught can go a long way
+ Safer for bystanders
+ Okuu doesn't have to dodge debris on her path to deliver
- Being close to the flames might tire us more than we recover from the refocus
- Suwako is an earth goddess. We drove her in the air to cut her off from that for a reason.
- Taking our time gives the black flame longer to burn. We don't know if we have seconds to spare, here.

Hesitantly voting break it, but I'm not committed by any means, and might flip.
[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?

Okuu's spent her whole life with her sister, from when she was wielding sticks, to making swords, to the present day. Surely, we can emulate her technique.

Shoutout to Kosuka for the stellar art! This story wouldn't be the same without it. Even the hat is crying...
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

Think about squashing a fly. Do you throw pebbles at it? Or do you squash it with the side of a book?

Suwako wants to either squash Youmu or the ground team, we can’t let her be in control of the situation.

While there may be lots of debris, most of it won’t hit the ground team and hopefully the ground team has starting running. If not, the Inaba sisters should hopefully be there to shoot any of the larger debris into pieces. And if none of that happens, we just have to rely on the Koimeiji sisters, Orin, and Parsee.

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!

Now Okuu! Prove yourself worthy!
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?

might be swayed on the first choice, but i'm pretty firm on okuu's. we've seen it works for her, and we can't afford to waste any time in delivering it to youmu. she's tiring, and while i don't doubt she can hold her own with kuroihane, hakurouken is likely the only sword that's truly effective against pyres.

>>208983
don't think reisen is there yet and akyuu is still unconcious as far as we know, but okuu only has hakurouken with her, right? youki should still have hyakunentou, his own katana, and be able to slash any debris that comes close.

on another note, holy SHIT that artwork looks so good. i've been looking forward to kosu's rendition of suwako in her pyre state, and it knocked my expectations out of the park! great work as usual, kosu!
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!

>>208981

I agree we should keep momentum in our favor, cut Suwako's possible advantage. Time is of the essence.
Also, I can see Youmu trying to teach Okuu how to use a sword (yes, she is -was?- Yuyuko's swordsmanship instructor after all).

And thanks for your kind words, much appreciated!
Remember when I said I was trying a different style for the last drawing? It will mostly be used for the black flames, I was stumped on how to properly draw these without looking bad and I think I found something decent. But it's fun to draw like this, so who knows.
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Alright, I missed this for like a good few hours. Someone did the analysis for me so that's a lot of typing off my fingers lol
Anyhow, the voting

[X] Don't let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but...
We got off the ground for a reason, no sense in letting Suwako regain the advantage in this front. Sure the others on the ground will be pelted, but they should have started retreating by now, not to mention we still have Reisen on the way, so there's a chance for her to intervene

{X} Ahhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
Youmu most likely taught Okuu how to use a sword when they were younger, the thing that tips me off the most about is how the other sword that paired with Youmu's current sword is in Okuu's possession or was at one point. So, very likely, Okuu is at least competent with a sword.
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Oh, and forgot to mention this but killer art Kosu! It looks very foreboding, which is kinda what you want for a boss fight.
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…
We drove Suwako to the sky for two reasons: we have the advantage if she lacks earth to manipulate, and keeping everyone safe. As long as the Komeiji sisters, Orin, and Youki can break some debris for the others, this should be fine.

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
Okuu's used Hakurouken once already, and it's worked. It's a sword, swing it good.
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
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>>208985
>>208988
Much appreciated! Your comments make me want to keep drawing and improve!
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!

Joining the bandwagon since the reasoning looks solid.

Kosu art goes hard.
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!

Killer art Kosu!
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The second choice is easy; we're already pretty committed to Okuu's part in this, now is just the point where that starts turning into a bet with some stakes.

The first choice is tough and there are really good cases made for both options. Count me as another whose vote could easily be swayed, but for now I'll continue the thread of betting it all on Okuu, and not rain down debris which could hinder her or pull her attention away.

[x] Use the time she’s building her ground to catch her breath and refocus herself.
{x} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?

JENNY DOES NOT HESITATE. SHE DOES NOT FALTER. SHE MERELY SHOUTS HER BATTLE CRY: "KILL WITHOUT ANY HESITATION!"

Excellent art from Kosu. I like the smoky, almost smudgy look everything has to it, really feels like fire. Extra special thanks for helping bring this story to life with the visuals.
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

We can't let Suwako get an advantage. This fight needs to end fast for everyone's sake, including Suwako's. Falling back will just drag it on longer than we can afford.

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?

Go for it, Okuu! Swing it like your life depends on it 'cuz it very well could!
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

I think the others on the ground should be alright; they've got Orin, the Komeiji sisters, Parsee, and Youki, they should be able to deal with any debris that comes their way, plus, preventing BBQwako from getting a platform would keep up the air advantadge.

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!

Go in Okuu!
>She reached for it, but hesitated.
And remember: Hesitation is defeat.
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?
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X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
- {X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…
{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
{X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?

come on you two can do it!
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[X] Use the time she’s building her ground to catch her breath and refocus herself.

an addition I'd like to add to >>208981 is that while it would boost Suwako, it would also boost Youmu as Youmu is low instinct and thus giving her ground to work with would help her, question is would it help her more than Suwako?

... speaking of instinct, have we had a Youmu instinct check this arc? we had one for Akyuu, but I don't recall one of Youmu... we did have a couple for Jenny-say-kwah but i don't recall for any of her other stats...

anyway, as for the other vote, that's easy.

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
{X} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?

go Birb Sister!!!
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[X] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…

{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
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File 17176413819.png - (2.04MB, 2000x2000, EndlessEmbers1.png)
EndlessEmbers1
>> “Yukari… called them Pyres, I think. They’re either the source of these black flames… or they just take a lot longer to burn than we do. And now you know as much as us.”

>> Youmu pushed her other half skyward, gliding through the roof. Slowly, the phantom inspected the area, looking to spot any Pyres that were close. There were three of them, each humanoid with burning wings, only vaguely discernible by what counted for their silhouettes.

>> A burning figure over by the Torii gates with fire trailing like spurts off the top corners of its head…
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File 171764145213.png - (2.57MB, 2000x2000, EndlessEmbers2.png)
EndlessEmbers2
>> … another with spiralling flames framing what counted for its face incinerating an apple tree on the grounds just by touching it...
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File 171764154482.png - (2.55MB, 2000x2000, EndlessEmbers3.png)
EndlessEmbers3
>> And a third, with flames resembling long, trailing hair, about to strike the building from outside it.

>> Right where Kosuzu was.
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Counting to >>209006:
Main Choice #1:
[20] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…
[3] Use the time she’s building her ground to catch her breath and refocus herself.

Main Choice #2:
{0} Fall back, and let the fireball pass.
{23} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!

Potential Additions:
-{11} Hold Myon in your mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..? (>>208981, >>208985, >>208991, >>208997, >>208998, >>208999, >>209001, >>209002, >>209003, >>209004, >>209005)
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great art there Kosu! three in quick succession too!
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[X] Use the time she’s building her ground to catch her breath and refocus herself.
{X} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!

Gonna tidepiss for refocus. We pulled Suwako away to get the FLAMES away from our bystanders. A normal physical attack like this should be easily manageable by the people we have below. Getting ourselves ready for whatever she’s going to throw next should be our priority. Especially if we can use the time to figure out a way to put her down for good.
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>>209012

Agreed on those points (though i wouldn't phrase it as "putting her down for good." We're trying to save Suwako, not give her euthanasia =p )

Touching again on my question in >208966 that perhaps the second question is not who, but how... Though that might change here as seen in a sec. As even if Keine had created a time loop before this one... Akyuu should still remember the original one as she is immune to Keine's history manipulation. So why didn't she remember Sanae through the first repeat, much less now? Well, what if there was someone else that could remove history from people's memories that even Akyuu wasn't immune to. Someone that we have only a single mention of, the barest of info about without even touhou lore to point to*?

What was it Akyuu said about Haru's death during the chess match?


*there might be some touhou lore of the character actually... But said character claims to Joss it whenever someone brings it up to her... Though it would make a certain interaction of Akyuu's with a certain waitress quite a bit more interesting if she wasn't being truthful in one way or another...
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>>209013
Yeah. I don't think the vauge talk is helping the conversation.

Regardless, I think that was a specific spell that they had to prepare. It wasn't just that one suima's work (who - before anyone goes crazy - isn't stated to be Miyoi at all and I doubt it would be).

It is a blind spot in her memory for sure, and could make sense if the spell could be made to alter memories instead of merely obscuring them. It would require Yukari, Eiki, and that suima working on the spell, though. It's not impossible, but the line of thinking on what would need to happen gets a little weird given that it would potentially be a lot of prep work to do in the middle of an apocalypse that was likely happening.
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File 171768183972.jpg - (355.55KB, 850x1095, __konpaku_youmu_konpaku_youmu_and_reiuji_utsuho_to.jpg)
__konpaku_youmu_konpaku_youmu_and_reiuji_utsuho_to
[20] Don’t let the goddess build herself a platform! The standing victims would have to cover the others, but…
[4] Use the time she’s building her ground to recover a bit.

{0} Fall back, and let the fireball pass.
{24} Ahhhh, any sword can sword! Just go for a swing!
-{11} Hold Myon in her mind's eye. How did she hold her swords, again..?


Okuu pulled the blade out, doing her best to think back. She wasn’t Youmu… but she didn’t need to be Youmu. She just needed one good slash.

Strangely, in this moment, the right motions were crystal-clear. She could imagine the moves she needed almost as if she’d done it herself. Unsheathing the blade - in the moment, holding the sheath between her teeth - and bracing her other hand on the dull edge to steady and aim the blade, and waiting for the right moment.

Closer… closer… now. The blade whipped out, slashing through the fireball. It didn’t just cut through it, the flames actually seemed to recoil, and fade away from its touch. Okuu grinned at her work, turning her head to make sure nothing was left after her swing.

…Huh. Satori and Mr. Youki both seemed pretty shocked. Utsuho gave them a wave, and resumed her full ascent.



Youmu couldn’t risk the goddess getting better footing. While Suwako was distracted building her platform, the hell-raven took a bit higher to the skies, priming herself to destroy it.

As soon as the goddess started to look up, Youmu dived. Her blade cut through the boulder, causing cracks to ripple through it. The burning Suwako roared as her hard work fell apart, pelting the white hell raven with falling fragments.

Youmu turned, putting Kuroihane up and bracing against it to block the Goddess’ brutal stomp - had she just seen - no time to think on that now. With the extra spacing momentarily afforded by the downwards stomp, Youmu pulled herself away from the goddess, and tried to get back on the level with her.



Satori stared. “...Okuu can use that blade?”

Parsee looked at her, confused. “...Yeah, obviously. What’s got you looking like that, Sat-”

“Get ready!” Orin’s voice caught both of them back to attention. They looked up, to see Youmu shattering the Goddess’ boulder.

Large fragments started to rain down. Satori spread her arm out, pointing to a particularly large piece of cover. “Everyone over there!”

Everyone did their best to comply, either running over or dragging someone else along. Satori was one of the furthest away, and had to do her best to sprint to catch up.

She saw her sister stumble, and stopped to help her up. Koishi’s foot had sunken through the charcoal of a burnt tree, and both sisters struggled to free her. Satori looked up, and realised with a pounding heart that a large fragment was bearing right down on them. She rushed in front of her sister, trying to shield her from the inescapable impact, and screwed her eyes shut.

There was a thump, one that shook through her. Then another, slightly weaker thump. But… as the Mistress of Chireiden realized that all she’d felt were reverberations, and not impacts, she slowly opened her eyes to see why.

…Ah, of course.

The rocks couldn’t have hit her. They hit the onbashira first.



Youmu was being pushed down, bit by bit, and the Pyre wasn’t giving her enough room to get back on the level. When Youmu finally turned to outright get more space, there was a few moments of lacking response. That… only made Youmu more concerned.

And when she turned back, she had every right to be. The goddess had coiled her arms up like springs. When they uncoiled, they spun out whirling rings of black fire. Youmu felt herself sweat. Could she block them, with her sword? …It was doubtful at best.

She tried to get away, but fighting so close to the fire had taken far too much of her energy out of her. She screwed her eyes shut, and tried to brace for impact…



……….She opened her eyes, slowly. The figure in front of her was unmistakable.

“Okuu?” Her sister turned and waved. “How did you…?” Utsuho grinned, sheathing an even more unforgettable blade and offering its hilt to Youmu. “You… You can use Hakurouken?”

The black hell raven grinned. “I did pick up a few things from you, you know.” Youmu just stared at her for a moment, her jaw hanging open.

The goddess roared, snapping Youmu back to reality. There was no time to hesitate. Youmu grabbed the blade, and pulled it out.

There was a sparkle of crystalline light. The encroaching goddess recoiled, falling back momentarily.

But Youmu barely registered it. Not when so much else had happened.

Right in front of her, Okuu had grown, the moment she unsheathed Hakurouken, not to her size in her past life, but bigger, regardless. And crystalline structures had formed around her - partially in black, and partially in white. One mostly-black piece resembled the control rod around her hand, while another had bedecked her left wing in white, save for a few black patches. Third, and most strikingly, was the crystalline white eye on her chest, and the whispy, black and tendrilling tail that stemmed from around it, wrapping loosely around her neck.

She realized Okuu was staring at her, and started to inspect herself, realizing much of the same changes had occurred in reversed colors. Rather than getting her own control rod, instead Hakurouken and Kuroihane were wreathed in white crystals, extending her reach without feeling any heavier for it. It was her right that had gained a covering of crystal, and as she looked down, and felt her own eye-like amulet, embedded in her chest.

She found she could move the tail, ever-so-slightly.

She’d never felt so much relief.

The two hell ravens turned their attention to the goddess, who had recovered. Okuu looked down the frog. “Anything you can do to stop her?”

Myon nodded, grinning. “I think I have just the thing.”

[ ] Sword Sign!
[ ] Raven Sign!
[ ] Twin Sign!

{ } (Suggestions are once again open.)




Y 0/3 S 5/6
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[X] Twin Sign!

I think its obvious enough to vote this now, though I am crap at naming so I will leave it to those who know what they are doing.

Also props to Kanako with the save!
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[X] Twin Sign!

Okuu and Youmu wombo comboing Suwako into the ground is something I want to see.
As for the name, no fucking clue, if I can come up with something I'll put it here
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[X] Twin Sign!

I'm really not the best with coming up with names, but I do know this is absolutely the right kind of spell to run with, at least. 😁
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[X] Twin sign- Subterranean Springtime.

Ties into Okuu being the sun one time and causing hot springs and Youmu stealing spring. We corny
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[X] Twin Sign!

Masterful setup and payoff.
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[X] Twin Sign!

Oh, come on! We can't not do Twin Sign! This choice is a fuckin' formality. The only part of this choice that matters is the spellcard name, so let's get brainstorming for an awesome one.


...I need time to think of some.
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Aaaay best goddess showed up in time to save the mind readers :D

Seriously though in a situation like this there could never be any choice except for
[X] Twin Sign!
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[X] Do we even need to vote on this one (Twin Sign)

Here comes the fun part! I'll bring back Dance of Yin and Yang as a proposal (seen in >>208091) but I'm eager to write up a few more
{X} Partners: Dance of Yin and Yang

{X} Twin Sign: "Stygian Starlight"
Calling upon the heritage of those who have lived in Hell and the land of the dead, the sisters manifest the spirit of the fallen Sun of Hell once shot down by Hou Yi. Residing within the ethereal flames, Utsuho charges powerful concentrations of energy, and Youmu splits them with her blades to release it in deadly waves that become waves of projectiles and expand the Sun, until eventually it bursts as the spell ends in one glorious nova.
"With the power to change fate, that which was killed may be sparked with new life."

I'll definitely be suggesting more but this one in particular I NEEDED to get out ASAP.
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[X] Twin Sign!

{X} Spirit "Secret of Meikai and Chirei" (or chireiden)

The name mekai is basically the Japanese pronunciation of netheworld as well as chirei which is from the Palace of the Earth Spirits.
A spell card from hisoutensoku, youmu makes myon(now okuu) repeat his attack at the same time.
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>>209022

I feel like we're all gonna overuse "subterranean", butttt....

{X} Twin Sign "Subterranean Eclipse"

Okuu is near-certainly providing danmaku fire to restrict Suwako's movements or provide cover fire while Youmu goes in for a confusion-expelling slash.

In that sense, Youmu is going to the moon to eclipse Okuu's sun... in a hopefully not sibling-rivalry sounding way.

{X} Twin Sign "Egg Buddies"

A different approach with a silly name. The idea here is that Youmu and Okuu stay joined by the hip while entering close-quarters with Suwako. Okuu still primarily supports while Youmu goes for the slash. If someone could come up with a better name for it, that'd be cool.

{X} Twin Sign "Anti-confusion Sun Volley"
Big ball of death. Hit with sword. Very stupid.

I'm probably tired.
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>>209108 here, came up with a spell card name and description

{X} Twin Sign "Last Stars Seen Tonight"
Okuu provides danmaku coverfire while Youmu gets up close and personal. Once Youmu gets up close, Okuu lets up her danmaku barrage to charge up a massive ball of energy, not unlike the sun, hurling it at the enemy. Youmu slices up the ball into large chunks, turning them into homing, flaming stars.
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[X] Twin Sign!

{X} Twin Sign "Heaven and Hell"

>>209014

Sorry, was a little pressed for time, but yes i think it is Miyoi

Remember that the counter example that if Gooboi edits it would be immediately noticeable, even before he pointed it out. 2 or 3 words would possibly fly under the radar, especially if no one knew to look. But a whole scene with lore bombs already dropping in the middle of it about Keine? Anyone reading through them would pick up the difference right away! Additionally Miyoi in her manga has had several people mention the possibility of her being a Siuma. What if (for at least gooboi's canon.) That's because she couldn't reveal it without risking the secret of Haru's death getting out... Or was made to erase her own memory of being a Siuma along with the memory of Haru's death by Yukari to make sure the secret didn't get out! It might also explain why Akyuu, even if edited to not be immune to Miyoi's powers would go bug her because she had been, in both new timelines been feeling something was off like Youmu and Reimu did this time around but couldn't articulate how?

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>>That's because she couldn't reveal it without risking the secret of Haru's death getting out...

Ya got me there, at least. I'm still skeptical as to how the hell they would prepare it in a reasonable time or coordinate on it, and I can't really think of a string of events leading up to it happening. Not sure if it would have happened in the first loop or second loop, either.

Regardless, it's good you pointed that out. She has very little reason to hide the fact that she's a suima in this timeline unless she wants human customers THAT badly. And even then I feel like she probably doesn't get all that much human patronage besides the two boomers from the manga.

Still, though... it's a huge stretch because... people would need to realize there is a huge memory gap anyway before they could start asking questions like that and being leery at Miyoi.

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is it really even a choice at this point?

[X] Twin Sign!

it's the completely obvious answer here, c'mon. we've been building up to this for a while now.

as of names... i'll let others take the reins for now. might chime in with one if i think of it, but the others are doing a great job already.
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[X] Twin Sign!

Yay, they get to fight together!
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[X] Twin Sign!
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>>209024 here.
Alright, here's two more, both for Twin Sign.

{X} "Ultra Laceration Burst"
Youmu leads the charge, slicing through the very air with Hakurouken and creating a vacuum. Utsuho follows on her tail (tail-feathers? tail necklace? tails?) and pours a torrent of nuclear energy forward in the gap. With not even motes of dust to interfere with the reaction, it's even stronger than ever, letting the two trace an inferno through the sky.

"Normally, impurities in the air would confuse the reaction. With Hakurouken, the particles are free of any confusion, and burn cleanly!"

{X} "Blinding Faith"
Okuu rises high, then launches absolutely massive volleys of mini-suns out down towards her foe. Youmu weaves between these suns, slipping in and out of bird form to get into gaps too small for a normal sized fighter to navigate, to circle around and leave trailing cuts.

"It's impossible to see anything while you're trapped in this glowing-white attack. Youmu keeps her sister's faint shadow in the reflection of her blade in order to orient herself through the shining stars."
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[X] Twin Sign!

:3
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>>209020 here

Realised I forgot a description, um...
Utsuho engulfs the opponent in a fireball. Youmu, using her prodigious speed, turns it into a firey tornado. Both sisters barrage the twister with their danmaku. For the finisher, Utsuho superheats Youmu's sword and she splits the whirlwind of fire using a wave of plasma.

On a note unrelated to anything, I thought it was interesting that both Re/awakening and remains left after becoming a pyre are crystalline.

>As the black flames dissipated, all that remained was… something like a crystalised piece of charcoal
>Akyuu shook her head slowly, as a crystalline flower began to bloom on her head.

Maybe both the Pyre and the Re/awakenings derive from fate being twisted, but the pyres are when you're consumed by it, and the re/awakenings are about standing against it?
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[X] Twin Sign!

{X} Hell Raven Swords - Severing of Atomic Fire

It takes 1945 years to learn how to cut an atomic nucleus.

Really though, I feel like a signature spellcard for Youmu and Okuu together has to be about cutting the atom.
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[X] Twin Sign!

I'm not sure if Utsuho has nuclear fusion yet... there's no fusion sign, or otherwise. Sorry to be a buzzkill!

Gee, I sure hope we don't kill Suwako. At this rate I feel like her turning into a pyre is less about having had her bloodline wiped out and more to do with her being constantly fucking bodied, first Kanako and now Youmu. Froggy can't even win when she gets the all-consuming flame of despair power-up! Hasn't got a single strike against Youmu.
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Well, of course we have to go with the
[X] Twin Sign!

{X} Hell Realm Sword: "Binary star"

Youmu literally uses this sign in PCB in 'Hell Realm Sword "Two Hundred Yojana in One Slash"' and it's really fitting here. A binary star system is a system where two stars orbit each other, ideal now for the twins symbolism even if they don't have Yatagarasu's power (yet? maybe?)

In my mind I can picture something akin to a smaller, horizontal "Hell's Tokamak" combined with "Hell Realm Sword: Two Hundred Yojana in One Slash"

>>209037
You make a good point. But both Youmu and Okuu have a pseudo Eye of Yatagarasu which may make it possible while Re/Awakened? Also, rule of cool lol
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>>209038
>>209037
Okuu also has an arm cannon.

Even if she can't actually do nuclear fusion or anything sun related, it might not matter. Maybe she can just do weaker mimicry of it while still kicking ass.
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This is unrelated to the current discussion, but this entire arc is making me go: "Having a good family isn't a competition... but if it is, then Youmu's winning." And she hasn't even re-met Yuyuko yet!
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[X] Twin Sign!
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{X} "Seven Hakus, ten evil Suns"
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Gonna real quickly compile all spell card suggestions and their descriptions. All of us have voted for Twin Sign, so uh I'm not gonna add it for every one. Don't expect a prefix unless it's not "Twin Sign"
Alright, here I go:

Subterranean Springtime:
Utsuho engulfs the opponent in a fireball. Youmu, using her prodigious speed, turns it into a firey tornado. Both sisters barrage the twister with their danmaku. For the finisher, Utsuho superheats Youmu's sword and she splits the whirlwind of fire using a wave of plasma.

Partners: Dance of Yin and Yang:
Youmu tags another person with the spell as she activates it, preferably Okuu. The two users then begin to spin around the target, flying in closer before spiralling back outwards. One user launches quick, small, white bullets while the other fires slower moving but larger black bullets. If the two can keep in sync, it creates a nigh inescapable trap.
Directly copy-pasted from the link provided

"Stygian Starlight":
Calling upon the heritage of those who have lived in Hell and the land of the dead, the sisters manifest the spirit of the fallen Sun of Hell once shot down by Hou Yi. Residing within the ethereal flames, Utsuho charges powerful concentrations of energy, and Youmu splits them with her blades to release it in deadly waves that become waves of projectiles and expand the Sun, until eventually it bursts as the spell ends in one glorious nova.
"With the power to change fate, that which was killed may be sparked with new life."
Jeez >>209024, you really cooked with that description

Spirit "Secret of Meikai and Chirei":
No description given, information about the inspiration is provided in >>209025

"Subterranean Eclipse":
Okuu is near-certainly providing danmaku fire to restrict Suwako's movements or provide cover fire while Youmu goes in for a confusion-expelling slash.

"Egg Buddies":
A different approach with a silly name. The idea here is that Youmu and Okuu stay joined by the hip while entering close-quarters with Suwako. Okuu still primarily supports while Youmu goes for the slash. If someone could come up with a better name for it, that'd be cool.

"Anti-confusion Sun Volley":
Big ball of death. Hit with sword. Very stupid.
(not very descriptive, ey, >>209026?)

"Last Stars Seen Tonight" (mine :D):
Okuu provides danmaku coverfire while Youmu gets up close and personal. Once Youmu gets up close, Okuu lets up her danmaku barrage to charge up a massive ball of energy, not unlike the sun, hurling it at the enemy. Youmu slices up the ball into large chunks, turning them into homing, flaming stars.

"Heaven and Hell":
No description given

"Ultra Laceration Burst":
Youmu leads the charge, slicing through the very air with Hakurouken and creating a vacuum. Utsuho follows on her tail (tail-feathers? tail necklace? tails?) and pours a torrent of nuclear energy forward in the gap. With not even motes of dust to interfere with the reaction, it's even stronger than ever, letting the two trace an inferno through the sky.
"Normally, impurities in the air would confuse the reaction. With Hakurouken, the particles are free of any confusion, and burn cleanly!"

"Blinding Faith":
Okuu rises high, then launches absolutely massive volleys of mini-suns out down towards her foe. Youmu weaves between these suns, slipping in and out of bird form to get into gaps too small for a normal sized fighter to navigate, to circle around and leave trailing cuts.
"It's impossible to see anything while you're trapped in this glowing-white attack. Youmu keeps her sister's faint shadow in the reflection of her blade in order to orient herself through the shining stars."
(Dude, this is sick, keep cooking)

Hell Raven Swords - Severing of Atomic Fire:
No (thorough) description given, other than the fact it uses nuclear power

Hell Realm Sword: "Binary star":
No description given, information about the inspiration given at >>209038

"Seven Hakus, ten evil Suns":
No description given

This is every spell card name/description up to >>209043
Remember, only one suggestion can make it through. So either Gooboi chooses for us or we push one specific spell card to be put in the story
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Jackpot
[X] Twin Sign!
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>>209044
Thank you for the compliments on Stygian Starlight and Blinding Faith. I really enjoy writing spellcard descriptions- as might be clear from all the ones I propose every time we've been prompted since the Aunn fight- so I'll definitely keep cooking.
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>>209044
You stole my work D: [I really don't mind, Gooboi probably appreciates it. And I get to be a bit lazy... :3]

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I didn’t steal it, I merely borrowed without permission! Two completely different things! Totally!
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>>209048
To be fair, I'll probably just do the same thing I always do when counting votes (with the exception of >>209020 having a description at >>209035).
But hopefully you see why it isn't efficient to write out the entire description of specific suggestions? :3
Nobody saw anything.
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>>209044
Since every single spellcard you listed has only one vote, I guess I'm the tiebreaker:
{X} Twin Sign: "Stygian Starlight"
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>>209049
Yeah, I see why writing out entire descriptions isn't a good thing lol Ctrl c+v was my friend while writing this

Also: with >>209044, we now have 1 suggestion with a majority at 2 votes, other anons can either pile on and secure this vote, or, if they crave anarchy, vote for another one lol
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>>209051
Note that these are merely suggestions. :3
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{X} Twin Sign: "Stygian Starlight"

Thirding this one. Michelin level cooking here, absolutely metal. I love how it connects "ghost" and "sun" with a bunch of various background details like former hell and the hell sun. And even the name is a remix of SubSun.
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I'm gonna be real I completely forgot this was basically a write-in lol
I mean to be fair, even with write-ins others can still vote so it's fair game
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[X] Twin Sign!
-{x} Twin Sign: Two Halves of a Split Atom

>>209051
>>209052
I'm pretty sure this isn't supposed to be an official vote, but rather a suggestion box where we all throw out spellcard names and Gooboi picks whatever one sounds the coolest.
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Already voted but:

>The rocks couldn’t have hit her. They hit the onbashira first.

WAY TO GO Ayumu’s BEST GODDESS!!!

And this second portion reminded me a little bit of Breath of Fire 1’s boss fights, you get their health all the way down, they suddenly stand back up, and despite only showing a sliver of health, you usually have to throw as much (if not more damage) in order to deal with that last sliver.)


>>209029

I can see it actually for several reasons… first one being that Yukari put together a spell to deal with something that threatened to rip Gensokyo apart, in half a week

>Yukari employed a suima to obscure the memories of half a week, for all of Gensokyo. … As a result... Even I don't remember the truth of her death. It was because of the potential consequences, I think.”

And she had to contact and work with the Yama within that time frame, as well as locate* and employ* the Suima. So something similarly big in twice the time frame wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for her.

*On that last bit… Did Yukari have to locate and employ the Suima? Or did she already have her under her control just in case Yukari needed memories erased. Miyoi when she is countering claims of her being a Suima claims instead to be a Zashiki-warashi… which is interesting, because in Wild and Horned Hermit ch.9 we learn that the Zashiki-warashi are Yukari’s (and/or Youkai in general) spies in the village. So is Miyoi already under the employ of Yukari? That would potentially also explain why she still is trying to claim not to be a Suima here in timeline C, she has been told not to reveal it (or not allowed to remember herself!) because Yukari wants a Suima on hand if she needs it, and is having her be in a secure location (the village) disguised as something else no one wants to take too close a look at.

Though interestingly, when all of the Zashiki-warashi from the village went to Okina for that remote work thing… they didn’t include Miyoi for some reason… (Lotus Eaters ch.23-24)

And through Suika Miyoi has a connection to the third sage Kasen!

And hilariously Miyoi also has a connection to Moriya! Kanako is a regular at the daytime restaurant! (LE ch.15)

So in Timeline A especially if she is in fact under the employ of Yukari already, and even has a connection to the one sent back then that’s a good chunk of the event that would be needed to put it together.

And I’m not sure what you mean about people being leery? From what we know of Timeline B if it was the Suima that sent Sanae (and 1(?) other person) back, no one noticed. If you are referring to my part about it flying under the radar and “ no one knew to look”, that was referring to us the readers, part of the second mystery is that there is a section in an earlier arc that has counter-evidence to the answer to the mystery that if Gooboi fixes it would point it out, and I don’t think that an edit of a couple of words would be noticed right away by the readers, but a whole section with important lore being dropped in it about Keine being edited? That would be noticed by us reading through it, even if we didn’t know to be looking for something in the first place.

lastly a little out of universe, but the only thing that we have been introduced to that can alter memory that Akyuu is not immune to is that Suima, and aside from the otters and the Haniwa corps, Gooboi has not made any original characters… so for such a major character would it be an OC? Or would we be using a character that has been theorized in canon to be one?

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[X] Twin Sign!

Double birb attack!
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>>209057
Yes, this is suggestions, not votes. I reserve both the right to use any name I want, and the right to attach that name to any actual pattern I want, depending on what I feel suits the mood and the characters. I even reserve the right to reject all suggested names and come up with my own (though I don't intend to prioritize my own suggestions where possible)

Side note, it's my own fault, but I really don't like people searching for the piece of counter-evidence in previous arcs far more than they are looking for positive evidence in this one. The counter-evidence was a tiny mistake on my part, one that I didn't catch despite specifically checking for anything conflicting with the change in plans until I already had that new ball rolling, and the only reason I haven't fixed it yet is because that difference would be spotted as the only actual retcon i've made so far - all the more so because it'd seem inconsequential otherwise. I more mentioned it so people wouldn't get to the right answer, then have their theories undermined by the teeny detail I missed.
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>>209060

ah, apologies for that, on my part it was because I thought I had figured out what the evidence was, and thus only had to look for the counter evidence to support said evidence. again sorry for the my carelessness. it has been an incredible story to read.
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Counting to >>209059:
Main Choice:
[0] Sword Sign!
[0] Raven Sign!
[21] Twin Sign!

Spell Card Suggestions:
For Twin Sign Spell Cards:
I mean, every suggestion is a twin spell card anyways...
-{1} Twin Sign - Subterranean Springtime (>>209020, Further Description provided in >>209035)
Counted this as a vote & suggestion combined.
-{1} Partners: Dance of Yin and Yang (>>209024)
-{3} Twin Sign: "Stygian Starlight" (>>209024, >>209051, >>209054)
-{1} Spirit "Secret of Meikai and Chirei" (or Chireiden) (>>209025)
-{1} Twin Sign "Subterranean Eclipse" (>>209026)
-{1} Twin Sign "Egg Buddies" (>>209026)
-{1} Twin Sign "Anti-confusion Sun Volley" (>>209026)
-{1} Twin Sign "Last Stars Seen Tonight" (>>209027)
-{1} Twin Sign "Heaven and Hell" (>>209028)
-{1} "Ultra Laceration Burst" (>>209033)
-{1} "Blinding Faith" (>>209033)
-{1} Hell Raven Swords - Severing of Atomic Fire (>>209036)
-{1} Hell Realm Sword: "Binary Star" (>>209038)
-{1} "Seven Hakus, Ten Evil Suns" (>>209043)
-{1} Twin Sign: Two Halves of a Split Atom (>>209057)

On a final note, I'm just a Tallyanon, counting to (hopefully) make everyone's life easier. :3
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Also...
>>209060
In your opinion, what type of beer would be Yuuka's favorite?
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Really asking the wrong person. I know buggery about alcoholic drinks of any kind.

Not for any moral reason, I just don't like the taste.
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[0] Sword Sign!
[0] Raven Sign!
[21] Twin Sign!

The two hell ravens silently looked at each other, and nodded. As the goddess began to approach, Youmu dived in with renewed fervor, slashing viciously.

When one of the whiplike arms came to crash down on her, Hakurouken got their first. It tore through the flames, causing most of the appendage to fall away and leaving the goddess’ real hand - badly burned, but fleshy and whole - briefly visible within it. The Pyre roared in pain, falling back.

“Lady Suwako, your salvation is at hand!” Youmu grinned, turning back to her sister and giving her space. Okuu’s crystalised control rod seemed to be doing just fine as a replacement for her real one, charging up a massive ball of blinding light.

Utsuho lowered the ball of light, having it shrink down to a pinprick. She aimed it at the goddess. “This power is the will of the hell-raven sisters! Youmu of ghostly white, and Utsuho of deepest BLACK!” The power of the shot sent her flipping backwards, struggling to right herself.

The goddess was still bewildered, and didn’t recover in enough time to dodge. The ball struck Suwako in the chest, wrapping her arms around it from the force of the shot driving her upwards.

Youmu grinned, aiming her slash. “And the things our feathers cannot cut… are next to none!”

Binary Star “Blinding Faith”

Youmu’s slash tore through the flames, black and red alike. The fireball split in two, the halves spiraling away with trails of danmaku.

And out of the center of it all… emerged Suwako. Horribly burnt, but… alive. She fell, slowly, Okuu already ready to catch her, and guide her down to the ground. Youmu dived to follow, landing right next to her sister.

The black hell-raven turned to her sister, excited. “Myon - I feel like - I know things. Things that haven’t happened yet.” Youmu chuckled, patting her on her back. So that was what Re/Awakening felt like, was it? …Well, the two sisters certainly had managed it with aplomb.

There were various people running to see them, with an absolutely horror-stricken Akyuu and a similarly desperate Orin leading the pack. The two ravens smiled, but the dying of the tension brought with it the dying of their crystalline light, and they stumbled, about to fall over.

But rather than Orin or Akyuu, it was old, weathered hands who caught them. The two sisters looked up, slowly, to see Youki holding them, gently.

With tears in his eyes.



Y 0/3 S 6/6

Well done, guys!
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Pop the firecrackers, folks! We did it! Let's just get Suwako some aloe for those burns, and have a big hug with Youki, and then we can think about what comes next.

With the bond of sisterhood, anything is possible.
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2 back to back perfects? Man we're on a roll.
Alright, what'll you think we'll get for this, more lore, maybe an extra short?
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Perfect Run Complete!

Also with the full confirmation that Okuu is a pseudo immaterial child (having memories of the past timeline), I am actually wondering if she is remembering some of her actual memories or those of Youmu's missing half? If its the latter would we default Okuu to a Youkai-2, high Instinct (2+) alignment-wise? (being naturally a hell raven, but now with a bunch of human software uploaded up into her head).

Actually, since now we pretty much have confirmation that Youkai can be immaterial children, I need to get back to looking at possible identities of our second 1st generation immaterial child, since they aren't disqualified by default anymore.

1.The most likely identity is still going to be Tenshi (Human/Celestial), if only because she is the only sword user left that could possibly survive the hell that was the Pyre incident until the immaterial child plan was concieved, if on sheer luck alone due to her unflappable personality and raw power.

Disqualifying evidence, of course, is the presence of the catfish plush in Reimu's plush pile, since the only (real) catfish was tied to Tenshi herself, though that may be the accidental continuity error due to changing plans.


2.In second place, I am going to put Shinmyoumaru (Inchling) as the most likely youkai "swordsman" (that she uses a needle as a sword is a consequence of her size, not her spirit). Her survival to become an immaterial child is probably secure, as having the Miracle Mallet would be a similar boon as being a Living God would be for Sanae, and could keep her alive through the initial Pyres until the immortals pull the trigger on the immaterial child plan).

Disqualifying evidence is actually fairly scant, though that may just be a product of her incident being less flashy so I haven't been able to spot it.


3.Finally, I would rank Rinnosuke as the least likely of candidate that aren't outright disconfirmed. While he does have the benefit of being half-Youkai (and thus, wouldn't be instantly swatted down by the pyre crisis), he really doesn't have much going for him combatwise. His survival, if it happened, was likely contingent on being next to Keine when Mokou collected her for safety, and getting lucky in that regard.

He is probably the most interesting of the choices, however, because he falls into the same category as Akyuu and Kosuzu as non-combatants being tossed into the past to try and fix things. Also would be highly relevant to Marisa once we get to her, since he provided the Mini-Hakkero that became part of Marisa's standard combat style (and if he ended up regaining his memories first, could instead remind Marisa by handing Youkai/Marisa a Hakkero on a whim again).

Also not alot of disqualifying evidence at the moment, since Kourindou hasn't come up at all and we haven't seen Marisa fight to see if the Hakkero is still present.

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Nice job everyone.

Also, this chapter gave me big Kid Icarus vibes. Specifically the chapter where Pit and Dark Pit give their pre-boss battle rallying cry. Here's a link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N5K_JGNLndY

More to the point, Suwako's alive, so Kanako should be a bit stressed but otherwise okay. And she should bring some answers from Go/Chiyuri.

Regarding Tenshi: she's pretty old, right? Like, I'm fairly certain her and her family ascended to celestials because they served some nobles who became gods, so I think she's been around for a while. Rinnosuke is also older, but probably less so. He was friends with Marisa's dad, so maybe old enough to be a dad/grandma to Reimu and the rest. You bring up a good point on the mini-hakkero, it's Marisa's signature weapon.
But I feel like crafting that for Marisa should have been something to jog Kourin's memory in timeline B though. Shinmy is on the younger side though, I believe.

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Ez game, Suwako.

That was a fun update. I'm sure we left loose ends and didn't do everything perfectly, but it feels like we've nearly wrapped up the arc. Both Koishi and Suwako seem okay.
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>>209070

I'll admit that I cheated and ignore age, if only because only Shinmyoumaru would technically be young enough to qualify otherwise (which is a point in her favor, but she is kind of out there relative to the other two).

Technically disqualifying non-sword wielders is already a little strained, since non-combatant humans would likely be forced to pick up SOME form of additional combat style. Any immaterial child that ended up with the Wolf Tengu probably would wield a sword anyway, but I wanted to stick to known sword-wielders since otherwise guessing becomes nearly impossible.
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gj all, now that everyone is safe.

Hey Youki
BIG promotion only available on this timeline
Take one granddaughter and get another granddaughter for free!!
Don't miss the opportunity!!
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wait, hold on, I just realized an important question we are missing regarding 'the one with the fancy sword.'

What if instead of the second person that Kotohime mentioned being another immaterial child, equivalent to Akyuu (and reimu and Youmu, etc.) they were instead equivalent to Reisen? (and/or Okuu.) being someone that wasn't replaced in the timeline but was impacted some way by the new life of Sanae?


It would get rid of the big problem for Tenshi being the one with the fancy sword as it would not impact the events that Tenshi had an important hand in such as the finale of WaHH (and through it a risk to Reimu's life.) or her friendship with Shion, (Which considering her final boss fight in AoCF involes black flame-like curses flying around due to a despair induced super state, has me a little concerned regarding Shion's connection to our week of fire.

it does change the viability of the others... and does reopen the older ones-

wait, no, Kotohime did list the one with a fancy sword as an immaterial child... hm... so not a Reisen equivalent... but it does not rule out an Okuu equivalent.

hm, shoot, that does still leave Rinnosuke as pretty weak, I was thinking went the thought occurred to me that it would leave an explanation of how even with Timeline A being out of Akyuu's memory we haven't seen aside from Youmu's flashbacks any mention of an out of place person, as with my line of thinking Sanae would have been the equivalent of Tokiko (the unnamed bird youkai from the second chapter of Curiostities of Lotus Asia), someone that didn't end up being noticed enough to impact any of the events of Timeline B...
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>>209072
Nah , I get you. Use age instead of the sword and it could be basically anyone youngish. Could be Alice. Could be Sumireko. Could be Yatsuhashi or Benben, Raiko or Narumi. Very wide net. Also, rereading the SWR Omake, it seems her family may have ascended after Gensokyo became a place, making her much younger than I thought.

>>209073
Youki will be delighted with his 2 bird granddaughters. Yuyuko will also be delighted, but for very different reasons.
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I'm personally just throwing up my hands and guessing that it's Kogasa, since she has the metanarrative ability to surprise the audience. The sheer shock that everyone has at being unable to guess her identity fills the first thread of Kickback/Kogasa even faster than the voting nightmare of Yester/Youmu, and it goes down in infamy forevermore.

...okay, maybe not, but who knows?
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>>209076
Maybe in Kotohime's language an umbrella might be a fancy sword lol
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>>209076
Kogasa gets reincarnated as a human and is the first to die when the Pyre apocalypse comes.
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>>209078
Imagine if Kogasa did get reincarnated as a human?
She would be complaining how tough human society is (while also being happy that she can finally be satisfied [as she can eat food to sustain herself, instead of being forced to scare people]).
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>>209079
so the fancy sword would be one of her own making then maybe?
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Youki hugged the two hell-ravens close. It was… god, how long had it been? Since they’d hugged? Even in her past life, Grandpa was always… restrained. Careful.

Here, he held them close, as if they might actually fly away if they could. And for the moment, both Youmu and Okuu were too tired, and too relieved, to do anything but hug back, practically hanging off him. As the others gathered around them, Youmu gave a tired wave, smiling.

“Everyone- everyone okay?” She looked over the group. Satori nodded, firmly.

“Yes, we are… though we did have some assistance.” The elder Komeiji gestured to… an onbashira that had appeared at some point. Youmu’s gaze followed it up, up, up… until she saw the figure on top.

“Lady Kanako?” The goddess turned, gently hopping off the pillar and alighting on the ground. She reached over, gently taking Suwako from Okuu’s hands.

“...Are you both alright?” The two sisters nodded. “...Thank goodness.” She sighed, looking down. “I can only apologize for my coworker’s… issues. …She’s not been well.”

Youmu start to shake her head, and again, the feeling of wrongness started to emerge. She wanted to tell her, tell them both, but… what? What was she trying to tell her? She saw Koishi quietly catch her attention, putting her finger to her lips. …Right, trying to say something she wasn’t certain about would just draw up more pain.

Kanako reached out, to ruffle Youmu’s hair. “...Konpaku Youki. Treasure those granddaughters of yours.” Grandpa nodded, firmly, and the war goddess looked up at the sky. “...I wish we could talk more, but… you should all get clear. The tengu will be here soon. I’ve apprehended the person who gave them the tipoff… I’ll be interrogating her more later.”

Satori stood up from something she’d been inspecting on the ground, turning to Kanako. “I agree in the vague, but… I believe you two are seeking to give our pets special power in the future, are you not?” The goddess nodded. “...Is it possible for us to establish a reliable line of communication?”

Kanako looked surprised, but quickly started to prepare. “...Yes, if that is beneficial to you.” The goddess focused, summoning a vine from what Youmu had assumed was dead earth. It snaked around in a serpentine shape, cutting itself free with a bite on its own ‘tail’, and turned into green crystal. Satori caught it and pocketed it, quietly.

She turned to the others. “Best we be off, for now then. Can you two stand?” The two hell ravens stood up, and she curtsied before Kanako. “We’ll leave it for now, then. …I hope your friend makes a swift recovery.”

As the group started to pick themselves up and leave, Youmu turned to her Grandpa, lifting up Hakurouken again. “Um, this-”

He chuckled, pushing the blade back down into her. “It’s yours. That fact is absolutely undeniable, I think.”

Grandpa reached to his side, and pulled out a second wakizashi. A very familiar one, with a tassel of white feathers. “I think… this blade will suit me just fine. Don’t you?”



“I cannot believe any of you.” Youmu, Orin and Koishi all shared guilty glances. Satori was lecturing all of them at length, about just how reckless and irresponsible they had been. “Sneaking out to the surface? Waltzing right into the middle of the village with her in tow? Honestly, what were any of you thinking?”

Orin stuttered. “But… but it all worked out well enough in the end, didn’t it?”

The mistress of Chireiden “In some improbable example of two wrongs making a right, the only reason you managed to get away with it was because you didn’t do what I asked you to do and investigate the Moriya first.” She turned, looking away from them. “And I can hardly call this turn of events ‘well enough’ - poor Suwako is in pieces. Now, Koishi…”

As Satori began a long lecture, Youmu found herself side eyeing the rest of the group. They were - lecture aside - quietly making their way back to the entrance to the Underground. Reisen had caught up with the group at last, and was quietly consoling a very glum Akyuu.

Okuu and Youki, meanwhile, had completely hit it off. For a mercy, it didn’t seem like Youmu would have to choose between Reiuji and Konpaku, as what remained of the former was enthusiastic to be received by the latter, and said latter was equally happy to welcome her. Clearly some part of Youmu was in her sister, if the latter was able to wield Hakurouken. Which was… it was good. Definitely. Even if Youmu wasn't able to join them, and just had to sit and watch...

…She pulled the edge of Hakurouken out, nicking her finger on its tip, and gave a glare to a now-disappointed Parsee, lingering at the back of the group. As the lecture seemed to be focused on Koishi for now, she fell back, going to check on her friend.

“Hey, Akyuu… are you alright?” The rabbit looked up at her, and sighed. “...Are you thinking about Lady Suwako?”

Akyuu nodded. “Whether it was the truth or not… she wouldn’t have gone berserk like that, if it wasn’t for me.” She turned, looking back at the Youkai Mountain. “...I hope she’ll be okay…”

Youmu gave the rabbit a pet on her head. “...There’s only so much we can do. It was a painful way to experience it, but… at least now she has an answer.”

The young Inaba still looked downcast. At length, she looked up. “...I need to stop putting off speaking with the other families, don’t I? If they’re hurting half as much as Suwako is…”

Reisen reached out, pulling her sister into a loose hug. “You’ve had a pretty rough time of it too, Akyuu. If we were sure you were ready for it, we’d have made you go there a lot sooner.”

Akyuu hummed. “Well… I need to be ready for it.” She pulled her hand into a fist. “So far, I’ve just been making things worse wherever I go… I have to work on that.”

Youmu shook her head. “Well, it’s good you’re motivated, but you’ve been able to fix your problems, haven’t you? Any lingering issues here, I’m sure we’ll be able to fix as well.”

Satori started walking over to Youmu, and the hell-raven had a momentary feeling of dread, but her Mistress’ eyes were locked on Akyuu. “...You two. You’re part of that enclave in the bamboo forest, yes? Can I entrust something to you?”

The two rabbits nodded, as Satori fished into her pocket. What she pulled out made Youmu’s heart stop. A crystalline ember, of similar but not quite identical shape to the ones she’d seen before.

“This… fell with Suwako. Have you seen its like before, Akyuu?”

The rabbit looked at it, musing. “...It resembles a stone cherry. It’s something that forms most commonly when fairies are put under great distress, as a sort of recovery state for them.” She took the stone from Satori’s hand. “I only really had one chance to take a look at them, though the number to look at was plentiful at the time. ...But I’ve never seen one like this.”

Youmu shuddered. “That’s… that’s what’s left over after a fairy becomes a Pyre.” Akyuu looked up at her, alarm on her face. “I saw them myself… last time.”

Satori nodded. “...a suffering fairy would make sense. It’s… I’ll spare you the details, but it’s not exactly a pleasant state this poor thing is in right now.” The two reincarnators shared a worried glance. “...I’m not sure why it was on Suwako, but… it might have literally been the ember that made Suwako’s despair catch alight.”

She offered it to Reisen. “...Can I ask you to take this to your Lady Eirin? If anyone will be able to help them, it’s her.” Reisen nodded, pocketing the ember. “...Thank you. And with that…” She turned to look at the cave mouth yawning over them. “...I believe it’s time for us to part ways.”

Youmu turned to Akyuu, and gave the rabbit a hug. “It’ll be okay, Akyuu. I promise you.” She felt her friend hug her back, tightly, and let the moment just… hang there for a moment. At length, the two split at last, grinning. “Anything you need, we can use that device, right?”

Akyuu nodded. “Yeah… yeah. Thanks, Youmu.” She smiled, before turning to Koishi. “...Are you sure you’re alright?”

Youmu turned to Koishi, who… at length, nodded. “Mmmm. I’ve got an idea - for a way I can use my powers to help. But I need to think it through a bit more.” She gave a little smirk. “And if it works, you better keep your promise about writing me in as a hero.”

Akyuu smiled, bowing before her. “It’s a promise, Koishi. Looking forward to whatever you come up with.” The two rabbits bowed, and turned to leave. Youmu waved them off, smiling.

Once they were out of sight, though, she sighed. “...I hope Akyuu will be alright. I wonder if Suwako’s descendant… is it all just a horrible coincidence?”

The two satori looked at each other. Koishi gave a small grin. “Well… I’m not so sure about that.” When Youmu’s head snapped up, she put her hands in a defensive posture. “Now, I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, which is why I didn’t want to discuss it until we were on the surface but… I saw Suwako’s memories of her last descendant, Rana. And when I saw those, I thought she looked strikingly familiar.”

Youmu stared at Koishi. “You- you’ve seen someone that looks like Rana?!” Koishi nodded vigorously. “Where?!”

The younger satori grinned, pointing at Youmu. “Why, in that dream of yours, of course.”
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Yep... here we go!
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oh no... which fairy was it? =( well wait, more concerningly, if Suwako going pyre was because of a pyre fairy... how did the faerie become a pyre?? did it somehow come from the future... if so, who brought it? or (Especially if the faerie is someone that we know.) how did she turn or who turn her into one???
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Ayo confirmation that Greenie was/is Sanae?

Also, quite concerning that they found one of those Fairy core things, which might mean the flames are already manifesting. From what I recall though, they're also created when fairies kinda just run out of strength and go dormant, like when Okina was screwing with the seasons and whatnot.
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>>209083

I'm fairly certain that its a Generic Fairy, if only because if it was a fairy whose name we knew there would have been two Pyres to fight rather than one.

Now, the fact that its here seems to indicate that either the root cause of the Pyre Incident dates VERY far back, or someone is trying to propogate it at the same time as the Immaterial Children are trying to resolve it... meaning that there may be even MORE timeline shenanigans around that we are unaware of.

>>209085

In fairness, Greenie was all but confirmed to be Sanae once we figured out that there were 2 Incidents of Immaterial Children. While there was some discussion on whether or not there were any ties to Mima, I'm fairly certain that it was trying to leave the option open rather than immediately assuming Act 6 is going to be Savescum/Sanae
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>>209086

ehhh, It was more that i was being a bit stubborn, a few of the explanations I saw was being thrown around seemed to have a few holes ('Youmu notices something was off becuase she saw greenie in the flashback" having an issue as Reimu also had the feeling something was off and she had burned before seeing greenie and that sort of thing.) once I took a couple of glances at Kotohime's ramblings there wasn't any mention of anything that could be solidly linked to Mima (the closest it got was "the magician" regarding the TH3 contestants, but that was more clearly referring to timeline A&B Marisa.) and instead The shrine maiden was the clue.

It was a mix of Mima-flavour copium ZUN WHY DO YOU TEASE US SO! and me considering the Greenie question and the Sanae being a previous immaterial child to be two seperate things.
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The hell-raven blinked. “What? My dream?”

Koishi nodded. “Yeah, the green girl at the end. She looked a lot like Suwako’s memories of Rana. And there were other things she reminded me of, too.”

Satori pointed in the direction Akyuu had departed in. “I’m sure you noticed, but this… Re/Awakening state? It comes with an aura of intimidating presence. I certainly felt it, looking up at you two working together.”

Koishi leaned in. “Not to mention glowing all over. And that same feeling… you got it in your dreams, right? ‘Cos Reisen was thinking the same thing about glowy Akyuu!”

Youmu blinked. “...You mean… that girl might be Suwako’s missing daughter…”

“And… it’s possible she went through a similar process to you.” Satori started to rub her chin. “Of course, the question that springs from that is how similar?”

Koishi grabbed Youmu’s hands, pulling her close. “Youmu… you might be the only one who can give Lady Suwako closure. Maybe even find her miracle!”

Youmu looked at them, starting to feel her pulse quicken. “But… but…”

…But she didn’t want to die. She didn’t want to go through that again, and seeing Suwako’s suffering had only reaffirmed her dread. The satori’s eyes turned sympathetic, and they gave the shivering raven a hug.

“We have ways to mitigate the risk of the worst memories surfacing, but… I’m sure even with what we’ve got, there’s other ways to track it down. So, if you can’t face it, we’ll investigate it our own way, okay?” The hell-raven nodded, slowly, at Satori’s words.

With that done, the group began to pick their way down to Former Hell. Youmu lingered at the back, trying to ease her thoughts.

…She was torn. She knew that she should… should try to remember, not try to run away. But.. it was still so terrifying. The thought of experiencing her own, fiery death…

She needed to talk about it. To someone, to anyone. …The Komeiji sisters were no good, they wouldn’t want to pressure her. And… she didn’t want her first deep, real talk with her grandpa being about her chickening out on helping someone so desperately in need. And Okuu seemed to have some memories of the last timeline, but they were assuredly scattered as well, and she’d very easily get confused regardless.

…That left only two options in the group.

[ ] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.
[ ] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.

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I am so very tempted to vote Parsee here. It would be hilarious. It would be great. She actually might be decent on it.

On the other, Orin is an older sibling™, famous for their wisdom.

...

[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
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hmmmmmm. hard to choose. I could be swayed either way... but, for now, I am voting Orin because we missed the phantasm flashback with her wayy back

[X] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.
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[X] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.

In the near future, Parsee proceeds to make a counseling center while charging 100 Yen per visit. It's said that Parsee became very successful, but was still jealous at others for having simple lives.
Sad Parsee.
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.

I mean, we have a way to keep the funny business in check. That and she's as close to a neutral party in the situation as we'll get. Orin is likely to be biased towards what will put Youmu in the lest distress for a while after the day this has been.

If we want an actual response, this is probably it.
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
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>>209094

... dangit you have a point... I do want more Orin... and maybe there isn't a right or wrong asnwer here, jsut two different flavours of how this works... but maybe not? and so... with your point...

>>209091 here:

[UNDO] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.

[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
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[X] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace
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There probably isn't a right or wrong choice, but I just like Orin more.

[X] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.
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Granted, this is a "professional counselor" who described counseling as gathering other people's grudges to make yourself feel better.

But she DOES have the outsider perspective and a total lack of kid gloves, which I think are more like what Youmu needs right now. Besides, a Chekhov's gun has been pointed out, she's been awkwardly hovering around with the group for a while now, might as well do something with that.

[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.

Big Sis Orin is great and all, but we should probably bring this up with A Professional. Plus, Parsee's a rather neutral party here. I think she's our best choice for helping Youmu sort all this out for now.
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[X] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.

Interesting...
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
Would explain, but others have done it better and my hand hurts so I don't want to type it out
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[X] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.
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[X] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
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Counting to >>209108:
Main Choice:
[5] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.
[12] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.
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Last Epilogue of Again/Akyuu up, just in time!
>>/shorts/2901
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[5] Her usual big sis, Orin, might know the right words to get her into the right headspace.
[12] There was actually someone with counseling experience here. And they did still have that blank check on Parsee from the bet for just a little longer.

She fell back a bit, letting the crowd walk ahead. It wasn’t long until she was at the back of the pack, with Parsee.

“Heya, Parsee.” The hashihime turned to look at her. “Can I… talk to you about something?”

The hashihime shrugged. “You can talk at me about something. I’m giving no guarantees about a good conversation - why me, anyways? This talk about time travel and stuff is messing with my head.”

Youmu sighed. “It’s… not something I can talk about with most of Chireiden. Or with Grandpa.” She started to rub her arm. “It’s… it’s about the pyres.”

Parsee looked over at her. “Izzat what you call that black fire stuff?” Youmu nodded. “Al-right. Assuming you’ve met them before?”

Youmu nodded, slowly. “Um, yeah. It’s… in a past life, I… think I died to one. Or… maybe to their mastermind? And… I don’t want to remember it, but…”

“...But those memories might have something important in them?” Parsee mused. “Maybe something to do with that frog girl?” Youmu nodded. “So… what’s the problem?”

Youmu looked down. “...I’m scared. Terrified. I-I don’t want to… to burn like that. A-and maybe I did, last time…”

Parsee looked at her, slowly. “...So the phantom of Chireiden is really just a big chicken, huh?”

Youmu glared at her. “I’m not a-”

“Yes, you are. You’re letting your fear decide for you, aren’t you?” Parsee glared at her. “...Well, I suppose it’s fine by me. Frankly, I prefer the idea of that frog girl seething with jealousy. And clearly, you do too, no?”

Youmu grabbed at the hilt of Hakurouken, but… rather than cutting down the arrogant twerp, she nicked her finger on the blade again. “...Fine, you have a point. I know it’s being… selfish to do that.”

Parsee shrugged. “Well… not that it’s any of my business, but… I want to point something out. Whatever killed you… do you think it was a rampaging pyre, or some kinda evil mastermind?”

Youmu thought it over. “...I’m not sure, but… probably a pyre, I’d guess.”

“I see. So you weren’t good enough?” Youmu stared at her, open-mouthed. “If it was a pyre that did you in with that special blade of yours, you must have really been inferior. Maybe you were too slow, or you overestimated yourself. Or maybe you did something overly flashy like that spell card you showed off with this morning.”

Youmu tried to recover, but Parsee didn’t relent. “I mean, that’s the obvious answer, isn’t it? The reason you died last time is because the other team was better than you. Or maybe they just tricked you for being the gullible fool you are.” She shrugged.

Youmu looked down, frustrated at her inability to make a response. Without knowing the truth of the matter… she couldn’t exactly refute Parsee’s words.

“But… that’s only how it went last time, right?” Youmu looked up, to see Parsee smirking. “Iiiif you actually see these past memories, then you’ll know what standard you need to be at, to get there. And while they’re getting ready for their first match, you’re getting ready for a rematch. So… in my eyes, the best thing to do is find out how you got chumped. So you’ll never fall for it again.”

Youmu stared at her, before… breaking into a smirk. “Trust the hashihime to make ‘reliving past trauma’ about envying whatever beat you last time.”

Parsee shrugged, chuckling. “Well, you’re asking me to help you solve that frog girl’s problems, and that’s a pretty juicy source of envy for me. Of course I’m going to trade one for another.”

Youmu smiled. “Yeah, but… that’s what I needed to hear. Besides, envying someone who’s stronger than you only makes you more eager to take them down, right?” She drew the wakizashi - her wakizashi - and twirled it in her hands. “If I end up learning what took me out… I’m sure I’ll get them next time. Thank you, Parsee.”

“Feh.” Parsee’s mood had soured. “You’re that confident, huh? You think you’re so special, with your flashy wind moves…”

The hashihime broke into a rant, starting to agonize over various irritants Youmu apparently exhibited. The hell-raven did her best to take it in good stride, and… surprisingly, it did seem to work. After all, someone complaining about how you were so annoyingly perfect was… in a way, a backhanded pep talk.

She just let the Hashihime have her stress out, and used the gripes to get a grip. She could do this. She’d definitely, definitely do this.

Face the past, and find the truth. That was the only way forward, and Youmu couldn’t afford to falter.
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A few hours had passed since they’d dropped Parsee off at her bridge, and all made their way home. Youmu found her confidence draining, bit by bit, and now the “only way forward” seemed less and less like a declaration of certainty, and more and more like a proclamation of doom.

They’d all come home, and had a lovely dinner (albeit, still of leftovers). Grandpa had been assigned to one of the guest rooms, and Okuu and Orin had retired shortly thereafter.

Myon, meanwhile, had been brought to her mistress’ room, and now lay atop her giant bed. The two Komeiji sisters leaned over her, only making the hell-raven more uncomfortable.

“Apologies, Youmu…” Satori reached out to comfort her nervous pet. “I know it’s scary… you don’t have to do this.”

Youmu shook her head. “...No, I have to. I can’t run from this. And if I do, that’ll just… be the avenue to keep giving myself excuses.” She took a deep breath. “But… um… could you walk me through this, one more time?”

Koishi nodded. “Big sis’ll be using her powers to surface your memories of your past so far. I’ll be working on keeping you calm throughout the process. And… hopefully, we can find out the truth for Suwako.”

Satori ran her hand through Youmu’s hair. “For now, we’ll just get as many answers as we can, and pull you out. If it looks like we’ve got everything we need, we’ll call it there, so… hopefully it won’t come to the worst, at least for now.”

Youmu nodded, taking a deep breath. “Okay… Lady Satori? Lady Koishi? …I’m as ready as I’m going to be. Let’s do this.”

The two sisters nodded, reaching out to gently place their hands over Youmu. Youmu did her best to think back, trying to remember. “Okay, mystery Lady…” Youmu gulped. “Wh…who are you?!”

The green-wreathed figure kept looking at Youmu. She couldn’t read her expression from this far away. “...I’m one of the two reasons Yukari decided to sequester you all away.” She looked up at the sky. “The other is responsible for our little light show here.”


Out of the corner of her eye, Youmu saw Koishi, landing in the background of her memory. She stepped in close, looking at the green-wreathed figure. “The resemblance is there… but we’ll have to get her closer to you to see her in any detail. I wonder what the other reason is? Or maybe who?”

Youmu raised her sword, as the figure lifted off, and started to approach. “You may be surprised to know… there is actually such a backup plan. One last hope - the Hourai Immortals. They’ve got Kamishirasawa Keine with them. I’m sure they’ve seen the gap you were all in open up by now. I certainly did.”

Youmu took a step back, trying to keep pace with the interloper. “The… the Hourai Immortals? C-can they save my friends?”

The figure nodded. “...With their help, you could be the key piece in saving everyone. But… that depends on them getting here before it’s too late. Getting here while at least someone is still around.”

Youmu shuddered. “Do… do you mean if they get here…” Youmu looked down, trying to psych herself up. “I-I’ll hold out. However long I have to.”

“Not like that, you won’t.” The half-ghost looked back up at the figure. “You intend to fight with only one hand? Don’t think fighting off a few burning fairies is enough - you’ll need both your blades out, Youmu. As it is, you don’t stand a chance.”

Slowly, the figure extended her hand. “But… fortunately, your miracle has arrived. There is someone else here who knows exactly what to do with those little motes. So… how about you let me take care of them?”


Koishi sighed. “'Your miracle', huh? If my theory about her is correct… she’s really not explaining herself well, is she? What, was her mom a puzzle box tsukumogami or something?”

Youmu pulled her arms around the motes defensively. “...I don’t trust you. Who are you? How did you last this long, in… all this?”

The figure paused. Then, something seemed to hit her. “Oh, is the glowy thing that imposing?” She waved her hand, and the glow faded.

Youmu slowly straightened up, as she saw the figure more fully. Now that she was looking at her more directly… it became a lot clearer who she was. “...I know you. …I thought it was weird, when Yukari was sealing us all away - I didn’t expect you to be there.”

She put a hand to her chest. “You’re right, I was there when you got sealed away. In fact, we sorta came up with the plan together.” She chuckled. “You thought I was just another Youkai, didn’t you? But the truth is… I’ve been through this scenario before.”

The figure smiled. “So, believe me, nobody can protect Reimu and the others like I can. When it comes to steeling those little motes against the dangers of this broken world… there’s nobody like the Paradox Priestess.”




Estimating 4 more updates, 3 more chapters to Yester/Youmu. Let's see if I can bang it all out before we hit autosage on this thread.

As one prize for beating the whole thing perfect... I was going to have Youmu's flashback bring up the second mystery officially, but I'll give you all the answer to that, at least so you understand it out of universe. For... reasons, the answers Youmu will get in universe won't be that helpful to her.
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>> "...she’s really not explaining herself well, is she? What, was her mom a puzzle box tsukumogami or something?”

So Yukari's daughter, then? I really doubt it but it would be funny if this was the case. Please note that Sanae the Paradox Priestess' description is still very vague, at this point she might be related to anyone we know.

Well, now our protagonists will have to try to remember anything they know about a "Paradox incident" in the same way the "Immaterial Children" incident took place in this new reality, to see if there's a new lead on the case. I can't wait to see where the story goes from here.
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If I'm interpreting this correctly, it explains so much. There's nothing wrong with Akyuu's memories at all, it's just that the timeline our heroes came from wasn't the original timeline! It was the second one, featuring one Paradox Priestess instead of Sanae.

If you can send people back in time to change things, who says you can only do it once?
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Okuurouken
>> Okuu pulled the blade out, doing her best to think back. She wasn’t Youmu… but she didn’t need to be Youmu. She just needed one good slash.

>> Strangely, in this moment, the right motions were crystal-clear. She could imagine the moves she needed almost as if she’d done it herself. Unsheathing the blade - in the moment, holding the sheath between her teeth - and bracing her other hand on the dull edge to steady and aim the blade, and waiting for the right moment.

>> Closer… closer… now. The blade whipped out, slashing through the fireball. It didn’t just cut through it, the flames actually seemed to recoil, and fade away from its touch. Okuu grinned at her work, turning her head to make sure nothing was left after her swing.

>> …Huh. Satori and Mr. Youki both seemed pretty shocked. Utsuho gave them a wave, and resumed her full ascent.
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>>209115

It also adds a second, arguably more valuable thing that Youmu brings to the table. Assuming she got a good look on Sanae's new identity, she may be able to accelerate her regaining her memories so they have 7.5 immaterial children ready to put out pyres (assuming that Sanae and Swordsman are recoverable).

Of course that probably would require Sanae to come into contact with Moriya Shrine, so it could take a while depending on where she is (obviously it happened in the previous timeline, but who knows if it will happen again with the butterflies). I'm fairly convinced that this is the main "save" that Youmu was meant to contribute, as presumable in the previous timeline there just wasn't enough time to defeat all the pyres with just 2 immaterial children, especially if they didn't have the benefit of perfect memory or an exceptionally well designed artifact like Reimu, forcing them to rely on luck to regain their memories.

Of course Sanae and Swordsman had their own ludicrious luck that carried them here (which, imo, is the best case for Tenshi being the Swordsman, her Luck and Sanae's would be insanely valuable if the goal was to hopefully regain their memories in time and they didn't have a surefire method of retaining them like Akyuu.

I also want to applaud Sanae for finding the most chunni possible name for what she is, though that is likely because there was no detected immaterial children incident as with what happened with Youmu.
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>>209116
That's kinda badass.
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>>209116
Cute and cool!

>>209117
Tenshi could also potentially be the person causing the 'ethereal red light'. That might still potentially have been the Hourai Immortals but is more consistent with Tenshi's weather powers. Also, Sanae referred to them as 'the other reason' vaguely whereas she referred to the 'backup plan' Hourai Immortals more vaguely. Presumably plan A was to have Sanae+Tenshi handle it. That could also just be dramatic flair though.
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Some time had passed. With little better to do, Youmu had moved Yukari’s body out of the main path, and into a position somewhat resembling a sleeping one. For all her faults - and Youmu considered herself more aware of them than most - she didn’t deserve to have the last of her crumpled up on the shrine’s steps. Neither Aunn, whose statues had been set on the grass next to her pedestals.

The entranceway now cleared, Youmu returned inside. The Priestess had drawn some kind of magic circle on the table, and was now carefully setting the motes of light to rest above it. She slowly stepped back, musing over her handiwork.


Koishi looked at the magic circle, unimpressed. “...Is this just what you remember of it, Myon? Like, I’m not someone who knows all the runes and everything, but I feel like little doodled flowers aren’t a part of it. This is definitely just a scribble.” She side-eyed Youmu, though caught in the memory, she couldn’t reply.

Youmu stepped closer, anxiously leaning over the motes. “...Will they be alright?”

She’d received a nod in response. “They’ll last long enough. And if anyone else in a similar state wanders in, they’ll be pulled in to join them.” She sat back, breathing a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness! We’re gonna be able to pull it off again, I know it!”

Youmu looked at her, tilting her head. “...Again? This has happened before?”

The priestess sat back, musing. “Mmmm. What we’re in now… is the second time this incident has occurred. Or, at least, I’m pretty sure it is.”

“See… this black fire’s attacked before, and… it utterly destroyed Gensokyo. Everyone was taken by surprise, and nearly all of the humans perished within hours. Where the fire didn’t spread from body to body, those who lost their family and loved ones just became new kindling.” She sighed. “Then, their souls began this… withering process, and soon vanished, I believe. The immortals survived it, but among the normal humans, absolutely nobody was spared… except for three exceptions.”

Youmu tilted her head. “Three?”
Her confusion was concurred by the observing Koishi.

“Yep, three. Kamishirasawa Keine was one - she was with Fujiwara no Mokou at the time, and Mokou managed to preserve her soul. And there were two others - me, the priestess of the Moriya Shrine, and the troublemaker I was trying to kick off the grounds when it all went down. Lady Suwako… cast a shell of stone around our souls, preserving us. Protecting us, for long enough for Keine and the others to find us.”

Koishi looked downcast. "...Poor Miss Suwako. She didn't know why, did she? I hope she'll be okay..." Then she paused, and slapped her cheeks. "No, she WILL be okay. We'll make sure of it."

The priestess smiled, holding her hand close to her chest. “They were desperate - they had to do whatever they could to change fate. So, they took us, and changed our place in history. They tried to make sure we’d be in, or at least come back to Gensokyo… but in practice, that meant we both ended up becoming youkai.”

Youmu stared at her. “...So when you said you were human a lifetime ago-”

The priestess chuckled. “I did mean that rather literally, yes.” She sighed. “But… frankly, it’s confronting how little truly changed. Oh, the details did, but… I was never a mover and shaker by myself. And my partner was the only one from her area who really interacted with Gensokyo.”

She turned to the motes. “...By the time she woke up, a lot of time had already passed. And by the time she managed to wake me up, the first Pyre was about to go off. …We were on the back foot.”

Youmu looked at her. “...Which is why…” she gestured at the motes. The Priestess nodded.

“It was my plan, and our… power - the glowy thing - that got Yukari to agree to it. We pulled you all in here, for safekeeping. And a few other places made their own similar preparations, in hopes at least one group would make it through. We were hoping you’d be able to revive Gensokyo, ideally, but if that failed… Then Keine could change your history. And… well, we’d get a second chance, at least.”

Youmu rubbed her head. “This is a lot to take in…”

The priestess chuckled. “Well… now, all that’s left to do is defend them until the Hourai get here.” She offered her hand. “We’ll get through this. I swear it.”

Youmu took her hand, shaking it. “Defense? That, I can do.” She stood up, tapping her swords. “What about your friend? Where is she?”

They stepped outside. “...Not sure, but I doubt she’s out yet. When we were sealing you all away, she went to retrieve a certain powerful weapon from her home. And those auroras are proof she succeeded.” She looked up. "...Well, I'm hoping, at least."

“You’re sure? I've never seen weather like this before...”

The priestess turned, and gave a small smile. “...Oh, of course. You wouldn’t know, would you? Her incident never occurred.”

She gestured up to the sky. “Well, she goes by a couple of names. She calls herself the Paradox Paladin these days, and it’s not her real name anymore, but… old habits die hard. I just call her Tenshi.”

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Tenshi confirmed!

Looking back, I think the question Gooboi wanted us to ask was "who was the other reason?" And from there the red aurora and fancy sword would tell us. We ended up kinda doing it backwards though, lol. Kind of took it for granted that the other reason were the Hourai.
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I’m surprised that Tenshi woke up before Sanae. As mentioned, it’s just her and Iku that come from heaven to interact with Gensokyo. And without Tenshi to prompt her I doubt Iku would visit as much. The only things she has to jog her memory would be Suika & Shion. Even in the second timeline the Moriyas were quite prominent. Sanae must’ve been reborn in a rather remote area if it took Tenshi’s direct intervention to jog her memory.

Edit: had the realization partway through writing that Tenshi would have been born at least a century before everyone else. She has a lot of time to be reminded or just put the pieces together herself. It somewhat adds my point about Sanae’s location. If she had time to track her down, and still only found her when it was pretty much too late. Then Sanae must be truly far afield.
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"Scarlet Weather Rhapsody" That is quite on the nose. How didn't I think of that and I even tried to find something resembling red glow in the sky in main series
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>>209125
Tenshi's age is undefined, I've checked multiple times. But in this canon, we're rolling with the idea that she's right around the same age as the others - she's human born, but still primarily defined as a 'daughter' and being just about in her rebellious teen phase would explain a lot of her behaviour. I haven't decided whether she's younger or older than Akyuu, in fact, but she's on the younger end for sure.

>>209127
The more specific trick was that Tenshi's weather in SWR and UNL is Aurora, and it's coloured red. So the red curtains of light - the red auroras - were meant to very specifically point to her.
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>>209129

Well, I can say that for me, I had assumed that she was old because of 'wi' at the end of her name. Basically, my understanding is that Hinanawi would be pronounced Hinanai, and the kanji used for 'wi' here is an antiquated one. For reference, the only other Touhou character to have it is Tewi, often speculated to be one of the eldest characters in the series. Granted, that's her family name, not her first one. But it did incline me to think of her as like 346 instead of 16. But her just being a teenager is equally as valid on the evidence. Less convoluted too.

Other potential wrinkle might be whether her name at rebirth was Chiko(her name at birth) or Tenshi. But Sanae probably knows, so we'll probably see soon enough.

>>209127 when I realised, I was like "how did I not see this". It's pretty conspicuous in hindsight, but I guess we were just splitting our attention in too many ways.
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I guess I should have penciled in "Auroras happen before earthquakes" as definitive proof that Tenshi was the second member of the Paradox Pair, though I think I was getting hung up on her likely age being the disqualifier.

I will also applaud Tenshi for Paradox Paladin, which is equally as over the top as Paradox Priestess. It appears my speculation that they barely had time to run around and fix things before the apocalypse happened was mostly correct, which is why the plan swapped over to the immaterial child plan act 2.

Probably didn't stop Tenshi from raiding her house for her sword midway through the end of Gensokyo.

>>209125

If I had to guess, Iku likely only showed up once for a regularly scheduled earthquake check. I like to think that she still ran into Tenshi (Iku's luck being awful to the radiant star that is Tenshi never isn't funny), but it likely wasn't enough to reawaken Tenshi's memories.
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Koishi tilted her head. “Tenshi, huh? …But by the sound of it, we can’t rely on names being the same, then?” She hummed. “But… it’s been right for everyone else…”

Youmu chuckled. “Tenshi the ‘Paradox Paladin’, huh?”

The priestess blushed. “Th-the names were her idea, I swear.” She gesticulated awkwardly. “W-we were trying to keep a low profile, because… well, when we were still trying to protect this timeline rather than salvage it, we were worried that if Reimu or Marisa caught wind of things they’d go and get themselves killed. So we used codenames, that sort of thing.”

“Sure, sure. I’ve had my chuuni phase myself.” The swordswoman laughed, pulling her ghost half in close.

The priestess looked at her, surprised. “...I have to say, you’re taking this all in stride pretty well, Youmu. You… do understand this means you’re all gonna be youkai, right?”

The gardener shrugged. “Well… Iunno. I’ve never been one to make the plans, or need to understand them. Working with Lady Yuyuko, you get used to not always getting a straight answer to why you need to do something.”

She started looking out, over the grounds. “...But I don’t need to know the exact, intricate details when something’s this obviously wrong. I just need to know there’s a way, and how to do it… and the team will take care of the rest.” She smiled. “So… is there anything specific you need me to do?”

The priestess nodded. “There’s two things. One… We need to defend until the Hourai get here. And you need to get sent back through history with everyone else, as well. …And I can make certain, absolutely certain, that that’s going to happen.” A wink accompanied that statement. “I am a miracle maker, after all.”

Youmu nodded. “And… what’s the second part?”

“...If we don’t survive until the others wake up… You need to remember me.” Youmu blinked at that. “You need to remember this conversation. None of you remember me as I used to be, so… once probably Akyuu or someone else finds you, you need to make sure you all find us, too. We remembered far, far too late this time, so…”

Youmu nodded. “...I promise. I’ll remember you.” She chuckled. “As least, I’m sure I won’t forget a name like ‘Paradox Priestess’.”

“Oh, nononono… it’s okay for you to forget that detail. In fact, please do.” Youmu chuckled at her blushing face.


Koishi smiled. “...Might just be a guess, but your flashbacks might have been you subconsciously trying to get here. Get to the Priestess… now, I hope you actually do remember her, and not just this conversation.”

“So… your friend, right? This Tenshi. What’s it like having her as your only partner?”

That question prompted a bit of musing. “Well… she’s always been a bit bratty and brash. A very arrogant person, really, but she’s always been able to back it up. At least, she did last time.” The priestess sighed. “...she’s taken this whole… becoming Youkai thing hard. Very hard. And for a time, she was having a really uphill battle finding me, all on her own… make sure you all find her, okay?”

Youmu chuckled. “Well… then I need to ask. What’s her name this time? What kind of Youkai is she?”

The response was cut off by a powerful roar, one that rippled the sky. The two of them shared only a momentary glance, and started dashing off.

Koishi blinked. “Y
oumu, your heart rate’s skyrocketing…”

“Any idea what that is?”

“Specifically? No.” Youmu was about to ask further, before she saw the trees tremble. The priestess gave a small chuckle. “But I think Tenshi’s already fighting it.”

Youmu chuckled back. “Well, I guess I can get my answers myself then, can’t I?” She drew her swords, starting to focus. “...And then we’ll all go back together.”

The priestess looked at her, concerned. “...Just be careful. This thing could very well be the death of you…”


“Youmu, you’re- we’re gonna pull you out. You’re, you’re gonna be okay, alright? We have enough to work with here, so…” Koishi hopped up, starting to move away.

Youmu grinned. “Ah, if I die fighting alongside you two, at least it’ll be a suitable finale. And win or lose, we’ll all be doing this again, won’t we? Akyuu will find me, I’m sure, and with her help, we’ll bring everyone back. Marisa, and Reimu, and Kosuzu, and your friend Tenshi, and-”

As they passed a final thicket of trees, Youmu
felt herself retreat from the memory, breathing heavily. The two satori were on either side of her, trying to calm her down.

“And…” Youmu took a deep breath, refocusing herself. Pulling what scattered memories she had together. A single word taunted her, right at the edge of her memory.

“And…” At last, it surfaced, and Youmu felt a weight lift off her back with it. “And Sanae.”
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aaaaand it's officially confirmed!

i'm getting a feeling there's an actual mastermind behind this and the pyres aren't just a phenomenon. mokou described the threat as an "it" all the way at the beginning, and now sanae, tenshi, and youmu are going up against the very same "it".

also the big question: what happened to the paradox pair at the end? why aren't they with the hourai immortals at the beginning?

> Any human that gets close just… vanishes. And while the youkai could hurt it, it’s grown in power to the point that no-one can fight it now…

i'm guessing that tenshi and sanae called a retreat when youmu started burning to get her back to the shrine (and sanae's magic circle) asap. and if they got hit while retreating themselves...

>>209125
if sanae's using magic circles.... a magician, most likely. granted, koishi notes that the circle is probably just a scribble, but i'd still wager a guess she's a magician youkai. and if she's really really removed from most of gensokyo, then i'm thinking she might've been reborn in makai.

as for tenshi, uh.... no idea yet. hopefully we run into one of them as either kosuzu or marisa. or better yet, we go on a good ol' quest to find the paradox pair after all five immaterial children meet up.
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so it sounds like Tenshi woke up early enough to either head off Kasen's plan to reunite with her arm... or since Sanae said they were tying to preserve the timeline (yeah, good luck with that this time around...) she managed something to make sure Reimu survived... which would be why then Reimu has the blue catfish. she didn't have the initial memory of She Blew Up My House!!! and so was closer friends than the first time around from saving her and helping out with the Kasen situation.

Now, is that the second mystery? (we do have a couple of more posts remaining of Yester/Youmu.) cause there's also, well which Youkai are they? ( >>209136 mentioned makai, so Sanae was Alice's Sister or something?)
But there's also, why didn't Akyuu remember? Was it just that Akyuu wasn't in the first re/incarnation? if Keine was involved that should shoot down my idea of the Suima being used instead somehow from lack of Keine to explain why Akyuu couldn't remember them.
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Judging by how Sanae and Tenshi weren't with the group of souls, I suspect that they didn't survive the fight that is about to kill Youmu. Because Youmu's soul has a miracle/spell attached to it her soul ended up with the remaining 5 immaterial children, but the Paradox Pair probably won't retain much from this timeline.

>>209136

I didn't even consider what Sanae learned to fight with without being able to lean on her Living God status. I will tenatively agree with being from Makai, because its as good of an explanation as any on why she would take so long to reawaken her memories that Tenshi would end up first.

For what exactly they are, I suspect they will be kept in Limbo so they can be used as filler in regions not covered by the main 5 (assuming we don't get to vote on them, its perfectly possible we do and have Timeout/Tenshi and Savescum/Sanae to look forward to).

>>209137

Akyuu doesn't remember them because both Sanae and Tenshi woke up late + tried to minimize interference to prevent Reimu and Marisa from yoloing into the threat and dying instantly (from what we can gather, the incident resolvers barely lasted a few hours from the start of the incident, so a good call overall). Since both of their miscarriages happened outside of the Akyuu's awareness (Tenshi in the Celestial Realm, Sanae outside the barrier) she would have no reason to know that they were missing otherwise (like how Timeline B thought there were only 4 immaterial children since Youmu is also outside of general awareness).

Assuming the second mystery is the "IT" that killed Youmu, which is likely the main threat causing the disaster. Unfortunately Youmu can't seem to recall, so we may be stuck in that regard.
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>>209138
the outside of Akyuu's awareness sounds like it might(?) explain it? I was operating on how iirc PMiSS that Akyuu is immune to Keine's history powers (or rather that her powers as the Child of Miare trumped Keine's powers.) and that was why she could remember everything even after coming back because it was Keine that did it. and thus I would think if Keine had done it last time she would've been more aware of something off, hmmm.

also I think you meant timeline C? (Timeline A would be Canon, Timeline B would be Sanae's and Tenshi's attempt, and Timeline C would be the one we're currently in.)
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>>209137

Tenshi's the answer to the second mystery, yeah. There was only just BARELY enough information to figure it out, and only if you got on the right track and stuck with it 'till the end. The catfish was the screw-up I made. When I was deciding to lock in Tenshi, I did a quick check of all the threads. I carefully searched for any mentions of Tenshi, hinanawi, and celestial, and found nothing... but completely missed the one mention of the catfish, because it was an extremely oblique reference.

It COULD still be canon, but we'll have to see. As for what Youkai they are... that is yet to be determined *wink*.
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>>209140

Yeah, I meant timeline C. As for the Child of Miare immunity, I assume it was more towards the suppression of their old history, but timeline rewrites (the other consequence of Keine's ability) she doesn't have any strong immunity on.

>>209141

Clearly in this timeline the Taisui of Disaster struck, and Reimu + Hong Meiling needed to team up to beat his catfish herald. No other contradictions exist, no siree.
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>>209141
Clearly, Tenshi just managed to be one of Reimu's friends before remembering her old memories, so the catfish might totally be able to stay. 😁 Gives her a chance to still save her from Ibaraki-douji too, which would likely have been before her memories came back, since I'm assuming that didn't happen 'til near the end of the timeline. My guess is that that probably happened somewhere in the WBaWC-UDoALG range, since we know from the start of Redo/Reimu (if I remember right) that all this happened shortly after then.
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I made the animated version of kosuka's drawing (with his permission) when suwako turns into a pyre.

https://x.com/Xerox_Asutnima/status/1799824270585111000

I have no idea if it works here but I'd better post it on twitter X
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>>209145

Awesome work dude. Very metal.




I've given some thought to where Tenshi and Sanae could end up. Places which are fairly remote and shouldn't trigger any memories for them.

Either of them:
Makai: sealed away otherworld, main chance to come by in timeline B would during TH5/The Makai Incursion incident, but that was controlled quite quickly during timelines A and B. Alice seems to have moved to Gensokyo from there, so it might not be that bad).
Potential family members: Elis, Sariel, Shinki and the rest of the Mystic Square antagonists (except Alice, who was born human, and YuugenMugan, who is just a bunch of eyes.)
Potential species: vampire, magician, demon, devil, angel.

Dream World: This one is sort of a two-in-one. There's the 'main' dream world, i.e. where Doremy lives, and there's also a slice where Mugetsu and Gengetsu from TH4/LLS live. The main dream world is first seen in TH15, so if it was seeing Reimu+ the gang that started the process of remembering, then it start fairly late.
Potential family members: Doremy, Mugetsu + Gengetsu
Potential species: Baku, Demon

Outside World
There's still some youkai living in the outside world as of when Sanae + Tenshi would be born. Namely, the tanuki of Sado.
Potential family: Mamizou
Potential species: Tanuki

Works better for Tenshi:
The Moon: Yes, Akyuu was already from there, but Tenshi has likely never interacted with Akyuu, and Akyuu would not be able to remember her. Granted, the moon is a faily big place, so you probably swing Sanae not meeting Akyuu. Or meeting her, but not Remembering.
Potential family: Seiran, Ringo, Sagume*, the Watatsukis*, Reisen
*Not youkai, technically.

Youkai Mountain:
Unlike Sanae, who would Remember due to living there, Tenshi might only Remember if she saw Kasen. If the strict hierarchy of the Tengu or the treaties surrounding the Yamanba successfully prevent her from wondering around, she could be under everyone's noses for some time. This would still be a bit of a long shot though.
Potential family: Momiji, Nemuno
Potential species: White Wolf Tengu, Yamanba.


More likely for Sanae:

Heaven: With no Tenshi, she could be an Oarfish youkai, and since heaven is pretty closed off, she'd stay hidden.
Potential family: Ikuu
Potential species: Oarfish.

And then some which are possiblities.

Hell of Blood Pools- if Chiyari was on max NEET hours.

Sanzu- as an Ushi-Oni selling to ghosts with Urumi

Shining Needle Castles- it's near Youkai mountain, but also closed off. But I feel like if the Miracle Mallet were in play, it would be used.

Anywhere I've missed?
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>>209145

Nice, good job there!

>>209141

sounds like savescum/Sanae and Timeout/Tenshi are confirmed!
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>>209146

Former Hell probably is worth mentioning to some of a degree, if only because if you are an average Youkai there (and your trigger item doesn't come) it could be a LOOOONG time until you encounter a stimulus that would give you your memories, being the effective lower class (as opposed to Youmu in the Palace of Earth Spirits, living as the upper class equivalent).

Realistically a few of the areas have a upper class/lower class divide that would provide some opportunities. This divides the Tengu (Wolf vs Crow) and Former Hell mostly, but opens up more spots that are in the middle of nowhere.

In both cases, the difficulty of their individual triggers are probably what messes with things. Tenshi probably needed to contact her sword or a keystone to trigger it, so depending on where/when it happened it could be virtually anywhere. Sanae's trigger is likely any of the artifacts from Moriya Shrine, so she just can't be anywhere close to there (but otherwise can also be virtually anywhere).

We also have the Buddhists and the Taoists, both of which could easily foster a child for an extended period of time and remain isolationist enough to not be noticed, though backgrounds would be more meagre unlike our endless desire for more Touhou mothers.

>>209147
Lets be fair: it isn't 100% confirmed that they are appearing yet as individual chapters. I would be surprised if they didn't get to appear at some point though.
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>>209146
>Anywhere I've missed?

If fairies are considered youkai, they could have been born in Current Hell alongside Clownpiece. They'd be stuck down there until Hacatia and Junko take on the Moon, and they wouldn't be able to enter Gensokyo proper until after the incident is over when Clownpiece moves into Reimu's basement.

Tenshi originally lived in Heaven and Sanae was a devout priestess, so there would be no one available to jog there memory. These two never really associated with anyone bad enough to end up in Hell, and even when Sanae went out to smite evil people she did it with nonlethal danmaku.
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I just realized something.

>“Yeah!” Kotohime pounded one fist into the palm of her other hand. “Meira’s saying that there’s like… four Immaterial Children? Five now? But there’s only the shrine maiden and the one with the fancy sword, right?”

Kotohime wasn't talking about Reimu and Youmu. She was talking about Sanae and Tenshi! I have no idea how, but she knows about the pair from the first timeline! Which makes me think one of them ended up in Makai... Tenshi, perhaps?
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>>209151
Interesting thought, but I feel like fairies are likely off the table entirely, given not just how weak they are but also because of the fact that they seem to be the very kindling that's used to start the black flames. Though maybe hell fairies could be strong enough to not fall victim to that.
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>>209154

I wouldn't say they are off the table as It seems any youkai/gods could do so (see Suwako.) Fairies just have the issue of if they are knocked out they leave behind stone cherries... And aren't healed considering that the ones that we have seen so far have been burnt

So they aren't any more vulnerable to being ignited as any other youkai. But have an unfortunate consequence afterwards that they stick around indefinitely as they cannot be permanently burnt away. Being a Re/Awakened fairie would still work as well as any other youkai.

>>209153

Now that you being that up and considering the last update, unless Tenshi picked up another sword until she was able to get back to heaven, calling her "the one with the fancy sword." Means that not only does Kotohime have knowledge of timeline B, but specifically of the week of fire for timeline B
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Speaking of the fairies, I wonder where Clownpiece was she should have bee nearby unless she felt drawn elsewhere as a pyre. And secondly i hope Entei is able to heal the stone cherry Suwako had! Might have a chance to find out if it was from the future or where that fairie came from.
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>>209155
I was more pointing out the fact that they seem to be the source of the thing that ignites the flames, not that they're necessarily more flammable themselves, and who knows how easy or hard it is to turn one into those stone cherry esque crystals.
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>>209157

>nearly all of the humans perished within hours. Where the fire didn’t spread from body to body, those who lost their family and loved ones just became new kindling

anything can be the source of the flames, the faeries just uniquely linger due to becoming stone cherries when their energy is expended (from going rampant during the HSiFS incident in canon (as detailed in Visionary faeries in shrine final arc.), or in the case by being consumed by the flames and then being cut free off it.) so Fairisa (or kosuzu, Sanae (... though she'd be a bit too big to be a gensokyo fairie...) or Tenshi) is still viable.

and if Eintei can pull it off and heal our unknown faerie, then it also means that they can be recovered after the longest time in flames.
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>>209129
>>209132
Personally I tend to think her as being older as the whole ‘ascended when the clan they served became gods’ thing just doesn’t feel it could happen in the current era, even in Gensokyo. And if it happened within living memory, then I feel that people like characters would recognize her last name, if not Tenshi specifically. I’d suggest maybe having her be closer to Youmu in age, if not a little older. Have it have been big news for the last generation, but not anything folks Reimu’s age would be familiar with.
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The morning was cold, and misty. Suwako sat atop one of Kanako’s many pillars, staring out into the distance.

The tengu were, surprisingly, keeping their distance. Or perhaps not surprisingly. Perhaps they were keeping their distance for very good reasons. Perhaps they were safer that way. The goddess kicked her legs idly, watching small eddies in the water.

She lifted her head, looking out at the graveyard, attached to the Moriya Shrine. Where the Kochiya rested. They weren’t all there - some had drifted away, some had asked to be buried with their other half’s family… Rana’s grandfather was somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. And not even God knew where. Still, as many as she could bring, she’d brought.

…And yet, it had a gap in it. A few more rows, proposed by Kanako in fact, to keep Suwako’s spirits up after those two terrible wars. Now, the empty space gnawed at her. Mocked her, silently.

Suwako endured it. At least she didn’t have to bury those poor kids in there.

…Apparently, Kanako had captured that blonde girl. And some part of Suwako wanted to- wanted to do things she knew she’d come to regret. She’d have liked to say she restrained herself for tactical reasons, but… she was just a little bit older than the right age… and she couldn’t even bring herself to look at the girl.

She tilted her head up. There were a few birds, flitting about in the morning sun. Just some wild crows, it seemed. A few of them flew over, fluttering around the spire.

One bird even perched on her hat, from behind. Suwako didn’t respond, at first. After a few moments, she felt the bird begin to peck at the center of her hat.

“...Oi, stop that.” The bird diligently did so. “...you suicidal, birdy? Didn’t you see what happened yesterday? You make a curse god angry, and she’ll burn you right up.”

The bird let out a bit of a squawk. A crow, maybe? Felt heavy for one. “...You with the tengu?” Another squawk. “...Can you keep a secret, birdy?”

The goddess looked up, holding her hat. “...I dunno how old you are, but… no sane person wants to outlive their children. ‘Tis the curse of gods who bear children, though, to do so. To see your loved ones die, and their loved ones die, over and over and over again…”

She looked down. “...But, while there was a Kochiya - any Kochiya - I could… see bits and pieces. There were lots of different grandsons and granddaughters, and yet… I kept seeing the same traits pop up, generation after generation.”

“...But the power of the gods started to fade, and we needed to start planning to come here. We wanted to stick it out for one more generation, you know? Get as much knowledge as we can. ...And then, Rana had that false pregnancy, and we had to move the schedule up.”

The goddess gave a hollow laugh. “You know, she was always… clever. So good at hiding things. Hiding the snacks she snuck away, hiding the fact she hadn’t done what we asked her to. I never caught on to her tricks. Not even… I wasn’t attentive enough, I guess.”

She broke a little piece of the rock pillar, and tossed it into the water, watching the ripples spread out. “Is it strange for a god to have faith? To believe in miracles despite the odds? Because… I really did believe it. No matter what, I really, truly believed that her daughter was one of them. One of the Immaterial Children. …But I’ve seen the truth of it now.”

Before the water below could settle, a droplet disturbed it. And then another. “...So… so why? Why did it have to end that way? Rana… Rana died thinking she was… that she’d failed me. The last… The last thing my very last daughter…” The goddess leaned forward, letting out a ragged sob.

“I… I still don’t want to give up. I want to believe they’re out there. But… what is there even left to look for? Why can’t I let it go?” She tilted her head up, fast enough that her conversation partner had to flap to steady themself. “...What am I holding out hope for? Am I just going to hurt more innocent girls who don’t deserve it because I can’t give up? I… what am I supposed to do?”

There was no immediate response, and the goddess sniffled, sagging. Well, here it was. She’d absolutely gone crazy now. She felt the bird cautiously walk forward, to the brim of her hat, and peek its head over the edge.

…It was a raven, she assumed. Looking at her, with a strangely sorrowful expression. Maybe it was the angle or the misty lighting, but the color of its feathers looked weird. Lighter than pure black, lighter than most grays.

…Almost a ghostly white- Her eyes shrank, and she stared up at the bird. “Y-Youmu?!”

The bird took off, changing as it came to land on a nearby pillar. Youmu waved, awkwardly. “...Hi, Lady Suwako. I wanted to check in with you.”

The goddess retreated into herself. “...S-sorry. I, I can’t apologize enough.” She side-eyed Youmu. “...And I can’t thank you enough, either. Akyuu, Utsuho, and especially you… you stopped me from doing something unforgivable… to anyone but yourselves, at least.”

The hell-raven seemed contemplative. “Are you okay? Uh - I mean -”

“No.” The goddess sighed. “No… and I don’t know if I’ll ever be okay again. But… but I’m not going to burst into flames like that again. I-I don’t even know how that happened.” She gave a weak smile. “...I’m not going to hurt anyone, Youmu. I promise you that.”

The hell raven nodded. “...Well, you might need to apologize to Akyuu and Okuu, but… I don’t think you have to apologize to me.”

Suwako shook her head, before burying it in her knees. “No, I do. I used you, I-I made you bait to draw out your friend, and when I didn’t get the answer I wanted, I just…”

“That’s not why. Akyuu couldn’t have remembered the truth you were looking for… But I could have.”

…After a few moments, the goddess peeked an eye out from between her legs and her chest. “...You… you what?”

Youmu smiled. “Come down and talk with us, okay? Koishi’s better at explaining this than I am… but I guess I can sum it up for you.”

She gave a small, cheeky grin. “Suwako Moriya… your miracle has arrived.”



“...And that’s what we know.” Koishi concluded. “I believe this Paradox Priestess… this Sanae… is your missing Kochiya.”

They were inside the Moriya shrine now, sat around a small table. The Reiujis (and Grandpa), and the Komeiji sisters had all sat themselves on one side, with the Moriya gods on the other. The two had been listening, with incredibly focused intent.

Youmu was vaguely aware that the Komeiji sisters had run the gist past Kanako once. That had apparently been what had got them this far, and avoided any issues as they were officially escorted up the mountain. At length, the larger goddess looked up.

“So… in other words, the theory that the reason that Youmu and Akyuu didn’t remember her… is because she was from another loop?”

Koishi nodded. “Yeah. Akyuu’s got some kinda blessing on her that should protect her memory, but… chances are by the time the apocalypse came, that protection was long gone. Or maybe even Akyuu herself was…” The satori idly tapped her cup. “...So she wouldn’t remember that their position had changed.”

Kanako leaned forward, steepling her fingers. “...But conversely, someone managing to pull a half-dozen people together and hide them from that black fire makes a lot more sense if there was forewarning of some sort.”

She paused, looking at Youmu. “Do you remember exactly who this Sanae is? What type of youkai she is?”

The hell-raven struggled under her gaze. “...Um, not exactly. My memories are still a little scattered on that front, and Akyuu couldn’t narrow it down from what I gave her.” She took a deep breath. “But… but we’re going to assemble the Immaterial Children first, and compare notes. I’m sure we can figure it out if we work together. Both her and this ‘Tenshi’ girl.”

Kanako hummed at that. “Yes, that’s strange as well. I don’t remember hearing about another outlier - at least not one that wasn’t debunked by Asakura.” She shrugged. “It’s possible that she came from some other place…”

She turned to her partner, who seemed to be deep in thought. After a moment, the smaller goddess stood up, walking around the table, looking directly at Koishi.

Suwako leaned in. “Do you have any way of showing me? Showing me this girl in Youmu’s memory?” Koishi looked a bit flustered, but reached out for Suwako’s hand. Another hand scrabbled in Youmu’s direction, and she took it.

Youmu took a guess at what she needed to do, closing her eyes and trying to think back. To the Paradox Priestess. To her hair, to her way of talking, to her eyes and her face…”

There was a few tense moments, where nobody spoke. Then… a small chuckle. Youmu opened her eyes, looking at Suwako.

And felt a wave of relief wash over her, as the goddess smiled. “...She looks just like her. Just like Rana.”

Konpaku Youki nodded. “Seems to be a common trait. Youmu’s also similar to my daughter, after all.”

The goddess suddenly launched herself forward, pulling Koishi and Youmu into a tight hug. They did their best to hug back.

“...Youmu, Koishi… I, I can’t thank you enough. Either of you. You went through so, so much trouble because of me, and yet… and yet…” The goddess let out another sob.

Kanako chuckled. “Well, sounds like Suwako’s on board. If you need any help finding your remaining friends, let us know, will you? After all, the sooner you find them, the sooner you can find Sanae, by the sounds of it.”

Youmu nodded at Kanako, then turned to look at Koishi. The girl seemed caught off guard, blushing furiously at the sudden hug. “Y-you’re not mad, Miss Suwako? I-I thought you wouldn’t like me peeking into your mind like that…”

The goddess released Youmu, looking at Koishi gently. “...Little Koishi. As a curse god, let me say this. Any power, no matter how scary it is, can be used for good and evil. Bringing death can bring peace to the suffering. Someone with the power to control fire can use it to burn, or merely to warm.”

She gave a small smile. “And the power to read minds… well, it can surface things long forgotten. Important things. You’ve done me an… an incredible kindness, Koishi, and only you could do it. …Thank you.”

Koishi blushed even more, but nodded. “...H-happy to help, Lady Suwako.” The goddess kept hugging her, as Koishi nervously played with her hair.

The goddess smiled, releasing her. “Now! I think personally I’m in the mood for a small celebration. Would you girls be willing to stay for a little longer?”

Satori coughed, interrupting. “While I wish we could, there’s… another engagement. And this stop’s just on the way.”

Kanako raised an eyebrow. “...Oh? There’s somewhere else you’re going? What place is there to go that’s higher than the mountaintop?”

Youki let out a small chuckle. “Why… the Netherworld. Of course.”



One. More. Update.
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yay! Suwako go the hug she needed!

aaand now we see how Yuyuko takes meeting Youmu... let's hope the dinner pot isn't around. probably kidding on that point... but this will be interesting one way or another.
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This is too perfect. Something else has to go wrong, right?
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>>209165
Let them have their happy moment. Things going wrong are for the next girl (Probably Kosuzu) to deal with.
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>>209166
I'm not saying I'm not okay with them having a happy moment. I'm just surprised this went off perfectly.
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For the fifth time in even less minutes, Youmu found herself straightening up her dress, looking for any wrinkles. Grandpa gave her a gentle pat on her head.

Okuu was just as nervous as she was, not helped by the fact that she’d never been here before. She kept looking around, overwhelmed by the sheer openness of the sky around them. Satori was also not doing well, somehow managing to sweat up a storm despite the weather being brisk at absolute best.

The only one of the Chireiden group who didn’t seem particularly worried was Koishi. The younger Komeiji sister seemed to have left her nervousness back at the Moriya Shrine, and was now eager and excited, hopping about.

…Still, that was a good thing. It had been a while since the younger satori’s eyes had sparkled like that. And she deserved it, too. Youmu smiled back at her, and turned to look at their target.

The Barrier of Life and Death loomed over them, stoic and imposing, pillars on either side of it’s entrance. Youmu wilted under its presence, trying to steady her heart.

“...Mr Youki?” Youmu looked up, to see her sister looking anxiously. “...This barrier… what’s on the other side?”

Youki hummed. “A place called Hakugyokurou. It’s where I work. And… its where someone I want you to meet lives. Or, resides, rather.”

Youmu nodded, slowly. “...Saigyouji Yuyuko. Mistress of the Netherworld. She’s… she’s not a bad person, but… she likes to mess with people at times.”

Satori fiddled with the edge of her dress. “...Whatever happens, Okuu, if you’re uncomfortable, we can just go home, you know.” She said it a bit too quickly, before silencing herself and turning away. “...If you want to, of course.”

“...It’ll be okay, won’t it Youmu?” Okuu looked at her, anxiously. Youmu took a slow breath, and nodded.

Youki turned to them, smiling. “Now, if you’re all quite ready… It’s only one more step.” He focused, and jumped, running up the side of a pillar, to jump off it and onto the top of the gate. Youmu and Okuu shared a glance, took each other's hands, and followed him.

As they crested the barrier, Youmu felt tears forming in her eyes. The expanse of the netherworld spread out before her, cool and calming. She was finally… finally coming home. She felt a small smile creep across her face, as she saw the lands before her.

She pointed a finger, to a gnarled, barren, but massive tree. “Over there! That’s where we need to go.” Okuu nodded, and the two flew alongside, coming closer and closer. The Saigyou Ayakashi may have had a reputation, but Youmu found just the site… comforting. A landmark to a place she’d practically grown up in.

Slowly, the mists parted, and Youmu took in the old grounds. The long staircase, leading up. The lamps lining it, dozens and dozens of pairs. The smaller, more lively cherry trees, and the zen garden…

And there, sitting on the Engawa. The woman Youmu had perhaps spent more time with than even her own mother. She was dressed in her usuals blues, with a cherry-blossom dress, and looked up at them with a smile.

She heard Okuu’s breath catch. “Is… is that…?”

Youmu nodded. “...Yeah. That’s her. That’s… Lady Saigyouji Yuyuko.”

Slowly, the group started to land, only a few steps away. Yuyuko got up as they landed, and started to approach. Youmu once again checked herself over, and heard Satori behind them, quietly doing the same.

First, Yuyuko turned to Youki. “My my, Youki. You’re looking well.” He bowed, pulling off his hat. “I hope the surface treated you well?”

He nodded, as he straightened up. “Very well, in fact. And… I’ve found what I’ve been looking for. And even more, besides.”

Yuyuko smiled at him, before turning her attention to the hell-raven sisters. “...I can see that. Can they both…?” Youki nodded. “Well, that just about settles it then, doesn’t it? What are your names, then, little ones?”

Youmu stuttered. “I-I’m… I’m Reiuji Youmu. Formerly Konpaku Youmu. Gardener and guardian of Chireiden in Former Hell. It’s… it’s a pleasure to meet you again, Lady Yuyuko.” She curtsied before the princess of Hakugyokurou. “A-and this is my sister.”

Her sister took a deep breath, then let everything out at once. “R-Reiuji Utsuho! I-I work at Chireiden too, under the Ladies Komeiji. U-umm, but you can call me Okuu, if you want, Lady Yuyuko.” Youmu gave her a shocked look, which made her spot the difference. “O-oh! And we call Youmu Myon.” Myon put her face to her palm.

Yuyuko let out a small chuckle. “Okuu and Myon? My, it’s a pleasure to meet you both.” She reached out, petting their heads. “And these are the Ladies Komeiji, I assume?”

Satori nodded, curtsying. “Quite so, Lady Yuyuko. I am Satori, the Mistress of Chireiden, and this is my little sister, Koishi.”

The princess of Hakugyokurou bowed. “It’s quite a pleasure to meet you all. I’ve been expecting you, you know.”

Youmu raised an eyebrow. “You… you have?”

Yuyuko nodded. “Why, yes, of course. I do keep close contact with Lady Eiki, you know.” She chuckled. “Though… I never expected Youki to bring home two girls, instead of one. …Twin sisters, I assume?”

The two of them nodded. Yuyuko grinned, before walking past them, to the Komeiji sisters.

“...I want to thank you both. They’ve grown up to be strong, beautiful girls, and that can only be because of you two.” The satoris blushed, and Yuyuko gave a small smile. “Of course, they wouldn’t be proper heirs if they didn’t honor their duties in this life. …Don’t worry. I won’t try and steal them away from you. Well… not entirely, at least.” She chuckled.

Satori blinked. “Y-you- You can read my-?”

“I can read your expressions, Lady Satori. I’m the princess of Hakugyokurou, not the Grim Reaper.” She chuckled at the blushing mistress. “And may I say, you have impeccable fashion sense, Lady Satori.”

The two pink-haired ladies shared a small laugh, before Yuyuko clapped her hands. “Now! Perhaps I should take you four on a tour of the grounds? There’s many small delights I can show off, and it’s rare for us to have guests that are of only the temporary variety.”

She turned to look at Youmu. “And then… I’m curious how the Konpaku style is handled by a hell raven. I’d like to see how well you two can use Hakurouken, if you don’t mind?”

Youmu nodded. “It would be our pleasure, Lady Yuyuko.”

She chuckled. “And… in the meantime, Youki. As much as I don’t want to split you from your daughters… Would you mind preparing lunch for us all?”

He chuckled. “Not at all. In fact, it would be my pleasure, Lady Yuyuko.”

Youmu hopped forward. “U-um…” Her wings flitted anxiously. “L-lady Yuyuko? Can I ask something?”

Yuyuko turned to her, and Youmu continued. “U-um… if it’s not too much to ask… I, I’m actually familiar with the grounds already, so… c-can I help with the cooking, too?”

Yuyuko tilted her head in confusion, as Satori stepped forward, chuckling. “She’s not had much alone time with Konpaku Youki yet, you see. So she wants to spend time working with him, at least.”

Koishi hopped up on the other side. “Oh, and we can vouch for her cooking, too! Youmu’s a great chef.”

Yuyuko smiled. “...Is that so… ah, then we’ll have to talk over lunch, you and me.” She chuckled, flicking out her fan. “Well, that sounds lovely, Youmu. I’m looking forward to what you can create.”

Youmu beamed. “I’m at your service, Lady Yuyuko. Are there any specific requests?”

Yuyuko’s smile hid behind her fan. “Specific requests? Yes, there is one. One that only you might be able to fulfill.”

The hell-raven tilted her head. “Only me?”

“Yes, quite. We’re fresh out of certain ingredients I believe, and you might be just the person who’d be able to procure us more.”

Youmu bowed. “Anything that you ask for, Lady Yuyuko, I can fulfill it.”

“Great!” The fan flicked back, revealing a smile that had turned rather more impish. “Then… dearest little Youmu… I’d like some tamagoyaki. Could you procure the eggs for us, please?”
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Thank you, everyone, for joining me on this journey. We're now at the end of Act 3; I hope you've enjoyed the trip!

I'm gonna be a bit more explicit about my plans. I'm gonna give you three options to vote for, for the next arc we explore:

[ ] Kaizou/Kosuzu
[ ] Mark 2/Marisa
[ ] Paradox/Prologue


Obviously Paradox/Prologue is set before everyone else's arcs, and covers the second timeline, up to the very end. With that said, quite a lot of it will only be covered in the vagues - we've got two whole children to cover, after all. Now, once the Immaterial Children (+ Okuu) are assembled, the next arcs will be then most likely splitting up in teams, and going after each of the Paradox Pair.

I'm calling this first set of arcs the Re/Awakening. The next set will be Re/Union, and it'll either start after all these arcs are complete, or with Paradox/Prologue, if you choose to have it last out of these three. And yes, Tenshi and Snae deliberately have their youkai traits undefined at this point, you will get to pick them too.

I'm also gonna ask something. Now that nearly half of the group isn't technically part of the Immaterial Children Incident... what do you wanna call the whole group?

{ } Immaterial Children
{ } Paradox Children
{ } Something else?


Reason I ask is, part of the reason I called them 'Immaterial Children' is because I didn't wanna spoil that the surface was kinda aware of what happened (if not why it happened) just yet.

As for your prize in perfecting the grueling match that was Suwako's rampage... I may have something in mind. But perhaps we wait until the dust settles here, and we have at least one more youkai species locked in - it's the sort of thing that gets more powerful the more things are already set in stone in canon.
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Such a nice ending...
Wait, we're actually voting? Uh...
[x] Kaizou/Kosuzu
-{x} Immaterial Children

:3
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[X] Paradox/Prologue

I'm actually fine with anyone who gets chosen, but more backstory would be great for me. I'm itching to know who's who and start drawing someone new (although I've been enjoying to draw the twins and it's not like I haven't had new characters to draw, the pyres were a cool experiment for me).

{X} Immaterial Children

I'm fine with keeping them as "Immaterial Children". Again, I don't mind what get chosen but I'm not going to think anything else right now, too sleepy for that. Maybe after reading other replies I might change my opinion, but for now I'm going to sleep.

Anyways, enjoy the voting. I sure will enjoy the show when I wake up.
See ya!
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Well, someone has got to complete the trinity…

[X] Mark 2/Marisa

And I wanna figure out what the blonde was!
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[x] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{x} Immaterial Children

I'm personally more partial to having Kosuzu, then Marisa, then the Prologue as a setup for the next set of arcs.
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

Immaterial children sounds too cool to change it
{X} Immaterial Children
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{X} Immaterial Children
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
It is time.

{X} Immaterial Children
I see no reason to fix that which is not broken. It might just confuse things to change this now of all times. We are 3 arcs in and going on the 4th now.
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{X} Immaterial Children
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

{X} Immaterial Children
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We're done! And home at last. Love everything that's happened (though I haven't been voting bc I'm not that smart to interpret things) and now onto number four. Out of 7 now, suppose. As for who...

[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

Here we go. Wonder how she'll do as a youkai?

And as for names...
{X} Immaterial Children

No point changing a good thing.
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>Kaizou/Kosuzu
>in which Kosuzu reincarnates as an Italian plumber in hell

Shitposting aside,
[X] Mark 2/Marisa
{X} Immaterial Children
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[X]- Korai/Kosuzu
{X}- Paradox Children- not because of Tenshi + Sanae, funnily enough. They could still be called Immaterial Children. Okuu, however could not. Granted, she's not really a paradox either, but she's more that than immaterial.





>>209155
>>209153

My presumption regarding Kotohime is that, either thanks to her winning the Dim Dream tourney or just spending enough time in the Hyperspace Tourney, she gained awareness of at least timeline B. She might even know a good bit about the Black Pyres but everyone just thinks she's kooky and ignores her.


>>209148

I was going to object on the grounds that most of the Former Hell gang are familiar with Satori, and so might be too easy to find, but her being with the Buddhists/Taoists could be neat

>>209151
>>209154

Thinking back, fairies probably count. After all, one of the potential Akyuu routes was having a Sagumom, right? If Gods count, so should fairies/Pampas. On the stone cherry thing, I don't think they were necessarily the main cause, but if they were, then there's benefits to having eyes on the inside to try and head the issue off/ be forewarned.
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

I feel like Paradox/Prologue may be best saved for after Kaizou/Kosuzu and Mark 2/Marisa. It'll serve as a nice intermission before/lead in into Re/Union.

As for our remaining two, I wanna see Kaizou/Kosuzu next for a few reasons, really:
1. It'll let us bookend Re/Awakening with Reimu and Marisa on opposite ends.
2. It'd give us a nice alternating pattern of Incident Resolver ~> Non-combatant ~> Incident Resolver ~> Non-combatant ~> Incident Resolver.
3. Kosuzu's one of my fave print work characters, and I just really wanna see what she's up to.

{X} Immaterial Children

Immaterial Children is just such a good fucking name. Paradox Children is cool too, but it just doesn't click the same way for me.
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{X} Paradox Children
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X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

Going to stick with my desire to have Marisa be the last of the original Immaterial Children for Bookend reasons. As much as missing both lighthearted incident resolvers is, we must continue the plan.

I REALLY want to touch the Paradox/Prologue though, don't get me wrong, I love both of the Paradox duo as characters, but knowing where Tenshi/Sanae are is going to eat at me, assuming that no matter what they are going to be only gotten after the main 5 are recruited.


{X} Immaterial Children

I'm also going to agree that Immaterial Children is just SUCH a good name that it beats the potential of Paradox Children. Turns out when letting adults decide a name they will end up more poetic than a very lonely chuuni Tenshi that is undergoing a massive emotional toil.

Granted, Okuu arguably sabotages this name to a degree, being fully material, but it isn't HER fault that she ended up with half a Youmu in her body.
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
Though Prologue would be nice, I think we should use it as a dessert after all the MCs have been fully introduced

[X] Immaterial Children
Paradox Children doesn't sit right with me after seeing Immaterial Children for so long, and I have no ideas for another name so
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>“Then… dearest little Youmu… I’d like some tamagoyaki. Could you procure the eggs for us, please?”
Yuyuko what the fuck
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[X] Korai/Kosuzu

it's been pointed out before that youmu ~> kosuzu ~> marisa has a nice sort of pattern. we're sticking with that. the narrative alignment is just too good to pass up, and having paradox/prolouge kick off re/union is even better.

i care much more about marisa as a character, but kosuzu... way more interesting narratively, i think. wasn't it mentioned at the beginning of this arc that she won't get a human spirit option?

also hoping that she's the one with an outside world option, because 1. i want a sumireko-esque arc where the goal is to try to get into gensokyo, and 2. kosuzu is exactly the type of person who i feel would try to break into gensokyo urban legend incident-style. another option i've been secretly hoping for is a youkai magician in makai, because it's actually plausible with the treaty in place and i've been dying to see makai for a long time.

[X] Immaterial Children

if it ain't broke, don't fix it. sounds cool and fits the group pretty well.

fuck i cannot wait for the absolute mess of voting that's gonna be choosing which youkai she'll be reborn as. if either of the two options above are one of the choices, i'll be staunchly defending those. if both are options i will be yelling and paralyzed with indecisiveness.
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[X] - Korai/Kosuzu
{x} - Immaterial Children
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[X] Korai/Kosuzu
The arrangement was written into stone at the bloody eve of the A/A ending, we're honoring it.

{X} Both is good. (Something else?)
We still call the five of Reimu, Akyuu, Youmu, Kosuzu, and Marisa the Immaterial Children, since that is their group title and it is cool, but we call the larger group of eight reincarnators the Paradox Children.
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>>209188

Imagine having both of those and the third option looks to be the Mother option...

The competition would be hell.

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>>209188

Soon... the election war will begin that youkai will be Kosuzu part 2
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[x] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{x} Immaterial Children
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

The Paradox girls are reeeeally tempting, I'm so curious, but I believe in the plan we formed previously for a pleasing chapter layout! Their prologue really does make more sense coming afterwards.

{X} Paradox Children
I'm in the minority here, but I do like the idea of having a different name when the scope of the phenomenon has changed, and combining both groups. The Immaterial Children are the five we know in this timeline, but what's happening overall is bigger than that!
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[x] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{x} Immaterial Children

Y'all ready to break the vote record again?
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{X} Immaterial Children

Let's go from a formal canon game protagonist to a lesser used character outside of their main manga, shall we?
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>>209197
Same person than this post.

I prefer calling them "Immaterial Children" because we started like that and I'd like to stay coherent for Kosuzu and Marisa.

If we're going to do Sanae and Tenshi, for those, because they weren't part of the original five, those should be called the Paradox Children.

Imo. People will disagree.

Now to go back and lurk and read on AO3.
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>>209192
my absolute worst case scenario for the votes are tengu, makai, and outside world. now that's a really tough choice for me.

and for the record- maybe it's me on copium for losing the tengu votes twice, but i still think that the tengu option will pop up again eventually. if not for kosuzu or marisa, then tenshi. they've been a noticably large presence so far, and since we avoided them in youmu's arc, they're probably still looking for the immaterial children as well unless reimu comes up and/or akyuu finally makes a public appearance.

would've made tengu!youmu interesting i think, trying to hide the fact that one of the children was reborn amongst them. who would've mom-iji chosen- her child, or her superiors?


that aside, any chance we could get any info on what the other final boss planned was for youmu's arc? i have a hunch it was one of the tengu, seeing as the deciding vote was whether or not to take a stealth check (that we had a high chance of failing) and see if we could get back without the tengu finding us.
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[x] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{x} Immaterial Children

I find it entertaining just how many of us are voting this way purely for the narrative flow of it all rather than because ‘OMG KOSUZER/MARI IS MY FAV 2HU!!!’ like one would typically expect from votes like these. Seemingly unanimous agreement on saving paradox/prologue for an intermission between major arcs too. Good job guys it’s almost as if you’re all writers yourselves ;)
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This is largely unrelated to the vote, but seeing the title for Kosuzu's arc makes me think Kaizo Kosuzu. Which would not bode well!

(For the uninitiated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua6pbz3ROvQ)

Although now I think about it, the immaterial children are basically loading a savestate and modding their save files anyway, so it sort of fits.
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>>209201
"Kaizo" means something along the lines of "rearranged," so it fits by default. I think this is just a different roman spelling of kaizo, if I'm not stupid.

Kosuzu boutta learn how to do keyjumping.
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Or shell-jumping! Reimu and Yacchie are the closest thing we have to turtles, right?
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Well, Genji too
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>>209199
Honestly, I had been assuming the potential final bosses had been Koishi (if we had a much harder time calming her down) or a major tengu character like Aya, Hatate, or Megumu (if we got caught) until we got blindsided by grieving Suwako. Though thinking about it in hindsight, calming Koishi down probably wouldn't have escalated into a boss fight without Akyuu's help just 'cuz struggling with that would've probably gotten us caught by the tengu too (and I don't think Goob would thrust us into a situation where we fight multiple potential final bosses at once unless we manage to REALLY fuck things up).

Anyways, we're three for three on averting people's fated deaths/pseudo-deaths at this point (and bonus points for stopping an unfated death too). Normally, I'd expect Ichi/Go to show up and be like "Don't worry, Satori, Youmu will certainly stay with you now that Koishi's eye isn't sealed," but in range of a mind reader is the last place these two wanna be, and Go is occupied now, anyways. 😆

Honestly, Youmu's in a rather unique position now compared to the other Immaterial Children. Even setting aside the fact that Those Two can't really manipulate anyone in Chireiden all that well, Youmu's old and new families are getting along so well that she might not even end up having to choose between them (or, at the very least, the choice won't be nearly as drastic). It's honestly an interesting spot for her to end up after being the character who started out by far the least comfortable with her new body so far. Her dysphoria is huge, but so is her support network. 😁

This honestly all makes me wonder how things would have gone had Reimu failed to save Youki's life.
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And so ends the Yester/Youmu arc. Time to discover what happened to everyone’s favorite precocious bookworm. Assuming she wins the vote

[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{X} Paradox Children

SMW Rom hacks have literally tainted my mind when thinking of the world “kaizou”… lol
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In hindsight we did turn things out quite well with Koishi all things considered. We could have fucked EVERYTHING for her with the line we were following, but after being bailed out by Suwako, and seeing how much good she can do by keeping her eye open, the information leaked to her about how to close it has turned from the final solution to her living hell into a cautionary tale about what she could lose. She’s probably in a better spot now than if she had gone through the Suwako fight/recollection without having ever met Akyuu.

It was a dangerous gamble but it payed off. Any timeline where Satori gets to keep her sister has to be a good one, right?
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>>209199
I think it would be Tengu, Tanuki, or ___.

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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
{X} Paradox Children
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>>209169
Uh... When do you want me to start counting, Gooboi?
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[X[ Kaizou/Kosuzu
I've been waiting for this one! I absolutely adore Kosuzu and her future potential.
{X} Immaterial Children
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>>209201
>>209206

that was my thought when seeing the name too! XD

Hm, I was set for Kosuzu being next since the last character vote, (and yeah for the narrative flow and saving best girl for last... XP though the prologue option did give me pause on that... though I think I agree with >>209183 and have it be the transition between Re/Awakening and Re/Union

[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

as for the titles of the characters as a whole, hmm, harder choice and I'm not sure... the Immaterial children seems good for when they were missing... but as they are gathering they aren't quite immaterial anymore... plus it would be funny when they find Sanae when she asks who came up with the name Paradox Children to reveal it as hers. XD

{X} Paradox Children


ofcourse if anyone wants to write in that might be interesting!
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

IDK what else, I just want to get my vote in before voting ends. I haven't even read the epilogue of this chapter... Gooboi writing faster than I can read, Christ! But I'll just throw in a dumb name I come up with:

{X} Re/Venants

A spirit, come back from the dead to beat the shit out of whatever killed it first.
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>>209208

At this point I am ready to pay off the Tengu 'hints' by revealing that Megumu has a Immaterial Child and is being paranoid about what the rest of the Immaterial Children want with her. They likely already have seen the transformation from Akyuu, and seeing a Pyre is probably going to make them more paranoid, not less.

Or maybe Megumu actually wants to try pulling off the 'Yachie is brainwashing Reimu' plan that Youmu assumed, though that is probably less likely.

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>>209205

Yeah, the other ICs will probably have more complicated meet ups/relationships with their family. Haru will be happy to see Reimu, and vice versa, but I can't see Yachie and Haru coming to a shared custody agreement like Youki+Yuyuko with Satori/Koishi. And considering Reimu's Youkai-2(?) right now, that means Haru probably loses her. She might still have a successor if Kasen is successful, so that's something, at least.(side note, my guesses on the potential Hakurei descendant are a Seihou character or Sumireko if it's not an OC).
Kosuzu's parents are blank slates, but they'll probably be worried at how into being a youkai Kosuzu is likely to get.(she really loved those Youma books lol)

Similarly, the Hieda probably won't be too happy about Akyuu being a rabbit, but they were already kind of distant, so she probably won't care. But she will care if mama Eiki disapproves, which there's a good chance she might.

Marisa... was already estranged from her dad in timeline A. That was before he started a lynch mob against Keine, who came in clutch for her. And before she gets a whole new family too. So yeah, that reunion is probably gonna get ugly.

Though, maybe it will be ok for the Paradox Pair. Suwako isn't human, so she less likely to be upset to Sanae not being human. Though she might be unhappy they don't share blood anymore. And Tenshi, from what I'm understanding, is the most likely to choose to turn back into a human.

>>209214
If a tengu child does happen, then the later it's revealed, the worse it looks for the tengu. And poor Rikako as well.Megumu would need to do some really really fast talking or she would get jumped lol.
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>>209215
If memory serves, Reimu had neutral spirit and Akyuu was the one with spirit Youkai-2 (I might be mistaken).
Reimu's instinct was 2 or 3? Yes, but not her spirit.

As I said before, I didn't mind any outcome but I was expecting a little more of a challenge for Kosuzu, she smashed it completely lol.

I wonder if Kasen does end up bringing someone or she gets told "yeah we found her cancel the search" before she can get a suitable replacement. I would be funny if she did end up bringing someone tho, but I don't see that happening.
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God I love symmetry.

[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu
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[X] Kaizou/Kosuzu

{X} Paradox Children

I'm fine with either name, but Paradox rolls of the tongue better IMO.
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Counting to >>209218:
Main Choice #1:
[24] Kaizou/Kosuzu
-{4} Korai/Kosuzu (>>209182, >>209188, >>209189, >>209191)
[2] Mark 2/Marisa
[1] Paradox/Prologue

Main Choice #2:
{20} Immaterial Children
{7} Paradox Children
{2} Something else?
-{1} Both is good. (>>209191)
-{1} Re/Venants (>>209213)

Voting is not closed, just counting... :3
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>>209215

Yachie and Haru I could actually see "agreeing" on all points about Reimu's training, with the conflict being both want to pull her more into their camp (Yachie wants Reimu to be sneakier and more like a textboook member of the Kiketsu, Haru wants to prevent Reimu's soul being completely changed into a Youkai-like soul.

The fact that Ichi/Go told them opposite answers about the final outcome of their plan could make them mostly behave and work together though. Why rock the boat when the time traveler says you will win in the end? Might as well take advantage of the other Mother while you can and get the benefits that come from it. Keiki also could act as a stabilizing force, because its in her best interest for Reimu to remain Neutral Alignment for her long-term plans in Animal Hell (though interestingly enough, she likely would be opposed to Reimu losing access to her past as shrine maiden solely because it would reduce her connection to humanity.) If we want to further toss out the third interested party, Yukari has a vested interest in having the Hakurei Shrine Maiden being as strong as possible to preserve the barrier, so she would probably facilitate any travel concerns that Yachie and Haru would have just to keep negotiations between the two from breaking down.

I think Akyuu not going to the Heida is more her choice than the Heida's. Eiki is already concerned that Akyuu's soul is becoming throughly transformed into that of a Youkai rather than a Human, so her goal is likely going to be staunching that wound first rather than working to reunite Akyuu with her family. If we go by our existing characterization, Akyuu is REALLY enjoying not suffering from all the quirks of the Heida family head.

Kosuzu, if there are any problems, are going to be from her Youkai family rather than her human family. The fact that she got away with carrying Youkai books to begin with should be a good enough sign that they won't hold it against her too much.

Marisa, depending on how we flavor her, is likely not going to not want to see her family like Akyuu for several fun reasons (their original estranged relationship, the Keine fiasco, also reveling in being a Youkai), though her family may be more persistent about seeing her, given that they were apparently hit hard by her miscarriage.

To go to the paradox pair, I imagine Tenshi would be fine with seeing her family, but they would likely be convinced that becoming a Youkai had turned her into a irresponsible wild child (not knowing that Tenshi was like that before everything went down).

Sanae is probably the other 100% healthy familial interaction, as the worst case scenario Suwako moves in to live with the Youkai family so there is no debate about sharing her.

I would disagree that the Tengu 'hiding' a immaterial child could go horribly wrong for them. They could entirely rationalize the behavior as trying to not fall behind in the arms race for controlling the Human village, especially since they are substantially stronger than they were in OTL and Timeline B.

Though speaking of Tengu, I'm wondering if Megumu is going to try jumping Chimata again for her centralized currency plan. They are in a substantially better place to prevent its collapse in Timeline C, especially if they can sell it to Haru so she doesn't interfere (as the last remaining, non-immaterial incident resolver outside of Cirno).
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New thread is up! Kosuzu's arc starts at >>209221!

And this signifies the end of Yuuka's time as the GMPost Mascot. I'll give some specific responses in the next thread, but for now, I gotta give a recommendation.

Considering I gave Kyouko a sendoff with a reference specific to her, I decided to look for one for Yuuka as well. My... my search lead me to a 0.99 usd game on steam with an Overwhelmingly Positive rating, so it's definitely a good game, right?

Anyway, you can find it here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1430420/CBT_With_Yuuka_Kazami/

Now, it is time for the Bookworm girl to get her chance in the spotlight. See you all in Arc 4!
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