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AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


CLICK HERE FOR SICK INTRO



BGM: Yomi

About the Game

Raging Loop is a visual novel developed by Kemco and released for iOS and Android in 2015 under the name Rei-Jin-G-Lu-P (no, really) in Japan. After enjoying much success on those platforms, it got ports for PS4, the Switch and PC, as well as an English localisation in 2019.

It’s a horror/mystery that could be grossly described as a cross between Higurashi, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward and the party game Werewolf. What does that mean? Stick around and find out.

What I can tell you now is that this is definitely my favorite VN of the last few years, and I very much wish it was better known over here in the West so I could find more people to discuss it with. This LP is my attempt to rectify that, just a tiny bit.

About the LP Format

This is going to be a standard screenshot LP, aided by music links. Regular text is in-game narration, quotes next to portraits are dialogue, asterisks signify sound effects and italics are my own comments.

The biggest casualty of this format is the voice acting, which does a lot to bring the characters to life. In this VN, every single line of dialogue (!) is voice acted. As a compromise, I will occasionally link to short voice clips, to give you a general impression of how each character is supposed to sound or bring across some of the emotional intent that can’t be discerned by reading the dialogue alone. So, whenever you see a line of dialogue with a link, click it and you’ll get to hear the VA!

Sometimes, we’ll come across choices in the narrative that I’ll let the thread vote on. However, keep in mind that the VN is much more linear than it may initially appear and that a lot of these choices lead straight to bad ends.

I intend to show off all the content in the game by the end of the LP, including all endings, Revelation Mode content and Extra Stories. If you played this game before and notice me miss something, please point it out, so I can go back and show it off.

About the Purpose of This Thread

The main reason I am embarking on this journey is to provide you all with a fun synchronized reading experience of this VN. The point is for you to discuss and speculate about the events of the story, one update at a time.

Therefore, there are a couple of simple rules I want to lay down:

* No spoilers. Ever. Not in the open, not in tags and not in coy hints like “oh, I can’t wait till you get to this upcoming part ”. I am begging you. Please.

* If you read this VN before, or know story details through some other means, don’t participate in speculation or directly comment on other’s speculation. I want people to feel comfortable bouncing ideas around without having to double guess which parts of what post are driven by future knowledge.

* Therefore, if you read this VN before/reading through it now, please state as much in your first post in this thread. Just so we know who’s on the same page here.

That’s all. Good luck to you all in solving the many mysteries of Yasumizu.

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AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


Table of Contents:



0. Introduction

- Update 0: Raging Loop is a Visual Novel



1. Start

- Update 1: Welp, I'm Lost



2. Dense Mist

- Update 2: I Like It When Girls Are Friendly With Me

- Update 3: Crap. I Had No Allies Here

- Update 4: Yer in Yasumizu. It Ain’t a Good Place.

- Update 5: Alrighty Then… Stuuupid, You’re Stuuupid!

- Update 6: A Traditional Yasumizu Welcome? You Know, Throw Him Off the Cliff

- Update 7: The Wolf Is Coming!

- Update 8: There’s No Such Thing as Werewolves

- Loose Ends: It’s Like a Porn Manga! Congratulations!











3. Yomi

- Update 9: Congrats On Surviving, Toilet Man!

- Update 10: We Now Gather Upon the Platter Named ‘Yasumizu’

- Update 11: Let’s Begin the Feast of the Yomi-Purge

- Update 12: See? You’re Weirded Out

- Update 13: You Could Easily Walk Around It, Holy poo poo






Hint Corners: Toilet Man's End, Mysterious Death in the Forest

Keys List


AFancyQuestionMark fucked around with this message at 19:36 on Jul 9, 2020

AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


Update 0: Raging Loop is a Visual Novel

BGM: Tranquility



“I bid you welcome to the world of this visual novel, Raging Loop.”

I am… Nobody special, honestly. Simply consider me part of the interface. You may refer to me as Rikako.

“You are most likely playing this game for the first time, and I am here to explain a few things about it.”

“This work is quite strange, you see. It’s recommended that the uninitiated take the time to read everything here.”

Those uploading their gameplay should at least read the 4. Videos and Sharing section.”

I am definitely doing that (sort of) so I’ll be sure to do so.



“Now, where should I begin?”



Let’s start from the top.



“Much like with regular novels, the story is told through text, and the enjoyment comes from reading it.”

“If you are familiar with the party games ‘Werewolf’ and ‘Mafia’, this visual novel bears a close resemblance to those, but keep in mind it is just that: a resemblance.”

Sincerest apologies to those who were hoping to play an eternal game of Werewolf with twenty super AI Rikakos. I weep and bleed for you, truly. How sad.

“Of course, this is not merely a novel. As you carry on, you will sometimes come upon choices which affect the story. It’s quite amazing.”

“The characters have lively visual depictions, as well as voices, making it easy to immerse yourself in this world.”



“This story is obscenely lengthy, as well, so please take care not to be drawn in so thoroughly that you begin losing sleep.”

She isn’t lying. Steam shows that my playtime for this VN is over 39 hours. I don’t want to think about what this means for the length of this LP given a ‘once or twice a week’ update schedule. We’re in for quite the long ride here, folks.

“Also, you may be aware of this already, but Raging Loop is based entirely around fabricated murders and horrific scenarios. It’s tailor-made for all you fans of suspense, thrillers, horror, and mystery.”

“Of course, this is a work of fiction, so it has nothing to do with real people, groups and incidents. It also includes fictional details about academic matters, such as history, religion, mythology, science, and medicine. Relying upon it during exams would get you zero points. How sad.”

“Lastly, we do not endorse replicating the crimes and cruelty depicted in this work.”



I too absolve myself of all responsibility for the inevitable remote village serial-murder crimes inspired by this LP.



There’s no real need to go through the special and standard functions sections here, since I am going to explain the relevant parts as they come up during the game. For now, if you’re familiar with other ‘branching flowchart’ VNs like Virtue’s Last Reward, you know what’s going on with the mechanics here. If not, you’ll simply have to wait a bit.

Now, about that Videos/Sharing section…



“Because of this, it would be very troubling if someone uploaded everything to the internet. I’d be sad…Very sad…”

Very troubling indeed.

“Then again, we do understand those who want to enjoy the work with many other people.”

“Because of this, we have set a guideline for how far we would like you to upload. This range covers the whole first main route and a little extra.”

“Specifically, you can only upload until the choice at ‘4. Infiltration: Q. Entering the Village.’ That’s a lot, just so you know. I’m sure you’ll have enough content for your uploads!”

“I actually think it’s a bit too much. Uploaders who read everything aloud might get a sore throat. Please don’t overdo yourselves, all right?”

She then goes on to explain about a reminder function that would stop us at the right place.

However, despite Rikako’s kind and considerate attitude here, I shall make a bold declaration - I fully intend to ignore this limit. I realize that this is where the LP gets a bit morally fraught. However, I have several convincing reasons why this wouldn’t really steal most of the value you might get from the full product:

- This is a screenshot LP, not video. As a function of that, it does not offer anywhere near the full experience the game has to offer, especially when it comes to voice acting and retaining the atmosphere.
- The upload schedule is at most 2-3 times a week. Obviously, this is not ideal for retaining the pace of the narrative, which is the unavoidable curse of all story-game LP threads.
- There is a long-established precedent in the LP subforum of long-form screenshot LPs of VNs and adventure games, such as professorprof’s unforgettable Umineko LP or Tiggum’s ongoing LP of Unavowed. I have never gotten the impression that these kinds of LPs reduced game sales. If anything, the opposite is the case.

Most importantly, I intend for this to be an entirely different experience than just reading through the VN normally. I hope that the mystery-oriented nature of the narrative, combined with the relaxed update schedule, will turn this thread into a fertile environment for speculation and book club style discussion. Basically, it’s like we’re reading through it together.

Stopping under a third of the way through would be really unfortunate. Nevertheless, if enough people think I should respect the game’s wishes, we’ll stop at the predetermined limit. But for now, I am proceeding under the assumption this LP will cover the entire game.

Now, let us proceed.


“Pheew...That sure took a while. Thank you kindly for reading this far.”

“Anyway, let’s begin the story.”

“Beyond the pockets of mist and hazes of blood, at the end of the ever-repeating despair and grief…”




AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


Update 1: Welp, I’m Lost.





I closed in on the side of the road and killed the engine.
It was steeper than I’d thought. My bike was on the verge of giving out, so I pushed down and deployed the kickstand.



Maybe taking a ride down an unknown road with no satnav on me wasn’t such a good idea…
I’d just followed the roads, so I’d figured I wouldn’t get lost, but now I was in some deep poo poo…
No. Cool it. This isn’t a big deal.
I sighed, took note of the fact that I’d gotten lost in my pocket journal, and then pulled out a map.



We’ve arrived at our first choice and also at our first lock. The big red question mark indicates that we can’t pick this choice yet, because we don’t have the appropriate key. To be precise, we need key number 4.

Keys are pieces of information that we acquire while reading the story. At some point in the future, we’ll stumble upon some relevant info that would allow us to go back and choose the other option here. How does that make sense in narrative, you ask? Well, it’ll all be made clear in time…

Anyway, our only option for now is to pick ‘...Forget it.’.




After all…

...I’d gone on this trip to forget.



Enough of that. I gotta focus on what’s happening right now!

Life is simple, just like this road. It’s dark and there aren’t any guides, but that means all you gotta think about is whether you go forward or back!

Going back wasn’t an option in this case, so I’d just move forward.
Still, I wanted to know where I was, at least, so I looked down at my map.

...It was all Greek to me.

Last time I’d seen a sign, it was still light out, meaning that I’d gotten lost after the sun had set.
Sure, it was my own fault for just guessing which intersections I’d been passing through, and that it’d taken me two hours to conclude I was lost.

Crazy to think that just two hours of aimless driving got me almost completely surrounded by mountains. They extended as far as the eye could see. If you flipped this scenery upside-down and shook it, it’s unlikely even a shred of civilization would tumble out.
Besides the asphalt below, my sweet ride, and the lamppost above - the first one in a while, mind you - there was nothing manmade here.

The pocket map I had wasn’t detailed enough for me to figure out where I was.

*Motorcycle engine revs up*

I’d go as far as I could. Worse comes to worst, I could just camp at the side of the road.





Basically, camping wasn’t an option. This mountain had no “side” to camp on. A dump truck I’d passed barely even fit on it.

I’d also had my first close encounters with wild forest animals. I’d already seen two boars and three deer in those two hours alone.
One of the deer had run parallel to my bike while intently staring at me, and I had no idea what to think of that.
I’d felt like it could smell my fear and did it to just make it worse. How dare the thing do that to a human? We’re the kings of this planet, drat it. I’d have to remember to eat some venison once I came back to civilization.

Anyway, camping out here was a bad idea. I’d end up as either roadkill or animal food.
And yet, I didn’t back out. Why? Because I’m a pretty warped sort of guy, and I won’t pretend otherwise. That was actually the reason why my once comfortable relationship had gone awry, and why I’d gone on this stupid trip.



It wasn’t like I’d find a place to stay if I went back.
I was actually starting to think that this experience might make a good conversation piece sometime down the road.

It was really getting late at this point. Where would these roads take me, anyway?
It’d probably be disappointing. Soon enough, the road became flat - I was out of the mountain pass.



Was “street lights” the right expression for lights in a forest? I’d have to look that up.

As the road grew less rugged, I realized just how exhausted I was. All this bike handling left my hands really sore, too. I really had to rest.

Suddenly, I saw something unexpected.

Powerful, colorful artificial lights.

...A convenience store?



It was next to an intersection between the road I was on and another, even thinner road that could probably support only a single car. The sea of tree ended, giving room for the majestic child of our consumerist society.

...Yeah, that was an exaggeration. Apparently, even a drat store was a big enough deal for someone who’d just stepped out of the wild.

It was called “Fresh Marke”. I’d seen several of them a few times during the day. It was probably a local franchise. The building didn’t look all that old. At least, the parking lot looked a lot smoother compared to the roads.

This was a pretty weird place to build something like that, though…
Was I close to a settlement? Or did they actually make a profit off of lost travelers?
...I’d just ask that or something. A local shopkeeper was bound to know what was around these parts, not to mention I was thirsty.

*Store chime*



It looked like a normal convenience store. There were goods on the shelves, a counter on the left, and -



The worker at the counter was so mean-looking it was scary. She was so imposing I wouldn’t have doubted if someone told me she was in charge of some ladies army corps.

Ay…

Was that supposed to be a greeting? It was so drat cold it actually gave me chills.
Was this store shadier than it appeared? Was I about to be stupidly overcharged? Was this how this place made a profit? By taking advantage of lost people and basically beating them out of their money?

Tch…

poo poo, that was scary. Clearly, the Wonderland had only just begun. Woohoo! I sure was excited for the beating. I grew more nervous and less enthusiastic by the second.

I braced myself, but she just looked down at a magazine in her hands.



BGM: After Dinner

Slightly disappointed, I walked around the store.
It was about what you’d expect. There was a small shelf with energy drinks, followed by some stationeries, travel goods, sanitary stuff, etcetera…
There were sweets that came with toys, a shelf of cup ramen and dried food, a fridge, a freezer...it all looked normal.
It was late, so the daily dish and packed lunch section was completely empty.
The only special thing about this place was the section full of unpacked vegetables you’d expect to see at a greengrocer’s.

Maybe all rural convenience stores were like this…?
I was slightly surprised by that, but there weren’t any local fine foods or anything, so all in all, it was an unremarkable store...If you ignored the clerk, anyway.

I took a drink and brought it to the register.



Yep! She really was the highlight of this place! What kind of clerk smokes while dealing with a customer?!

You’re actually buying...?

Yes, I was actually buying. She was the clerk, and I’d be her god, the customer.

“126 yen.”

She didn’t even scan it! This exchange was at the mercy of the clerk! God is dead!

Maybe I had to get mad at her?



“Huhh?”

“I’m kinda lost right now.”

I quickly turned meek.

“Where can I find the nearest town?”

“There.”

“Umm, don’t you have a map or something?”

“We don’t.”

Hahahah. Man, this woman…

“I’m not sure I believe that. Convenience stores often get asked for directions. You must have a map handy.”

“That a rule? Well, we don’t have one. Go back wherever you came from.”

“I’ve been lost for a few hours now. I don’t think I can keep it up for much longer.”

“Sleep on the floor or something.”

She had to be joking.

“I appreciate the sentiment, but I’d rather be on my way. Are you sure you can’t help?”

“Ugh, all right, all right...just wait.”



She came back in no time.



So she did have a map. Of course she did.
Even more ill-tempered than usual, the clerk started giving an explanation.

“This here’s this store...Go to the north of the crossroads.”

“Mhm…”

“You’ll find an overpass soon enough. Cross it. When you come to a fork next to a giant boulder, turn right and head straight.”

“Huh? On this road?”

“What of it?”

“There’s nothing there.”

“There’s a settlement. It’s just not on the map.”

“Mhm...Do you know any other places?”

“There’s Fujiyoshi, but it’s two hours through a mountain pass. This one’s about thirty minutes away.”

Fujiyoshi seemed to be a village. It didn’t look too far away, but the road leading to it was a huge, branching mess. It was clearly just a paved mountain pass. I’d had enough of those for one day. I’d probably just get lost again.

“I’ll go to that one, then. Thank you.”

“Money.”

“Excuse me?”

“You didn’t pay for the tea.”

“Here’s 500 yen.”

“Hmph. (Ding. Rustle. Jingle.)”

“Why did you put the change in the collection box without asking me?”

“Having too many coins is a pain, ain’t it?”

That was a hell of a line.

I casually thanked her, grabbed the plastic bottle of tea (she didn’t give me a bag, by the way), and left the store.



The clerk put me in a bad mood, though, so I didn’t enjoy the sight. I threw the bottle into a nearby trashcan and aggressively drove away.

Jadecore
Mar 10, 2018

They say money can't buy happiness, but it sure does help.

Heyyyy, I've been meaning to check this out, especially because Visual Novel Book Club just started reading this too. Great timing.

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015

REAL TOP DOG SHIT
We Have Unlocked Woke Junpei Mode
Fuck Up Cops 2020
Beloved Forums Poster
Evolved Heightened Level Junpei
Junpei Is Not Ironic And That Is Why He Is Good

I always thought Kemco just made mediocre phone JRPGs, but this looks pretty interesting.

nweismuller
Oct 11, 2012

They say that he who dies with the most Opil wins.

I am winning.

Hey, cool that somebody's LPing this. My mad binge on this delayed my own current LP, so it's neat somebody is showing it off. I enjoyed it quite a bit... and that will conclude my direct involvement in this thread.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


You had me at "similar to VLR."

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

CUTEST IN THE WORLD
QUEEN OF THE SIMPS
RARITY-CHAN






Ooh, this looks like it may fill the Danganronpa shaped hole in my heart, glad to be in on the first page

jimmydalad
Sep 26, 2013

My face when others are unable to appreciate the

AGDQ 2018 Awful Block Survivor



I eagerly await to see where this goes.

AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


Update 2: I Like It When Girls Are Friendly With Me

Background Sound: Motorcycle Engine



The byway she’d told me about was really narrow. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it were it not for the tall boulder, standing there like a roadside shrine to some traveler deity. Turning carefully, I got on the road.

A minute later, I found myself in an even worse wilderness than before. A veil of dead leaves covered the ground, tall grass sided the path, and the sky above was blocked by overgrown shrubs, making it feel like I was passing a wooden tunnel.

The road itself was a huge red flag. It was a wonder why I didn’t just turn around. The exchange from before might’ve pissed me off more than I thought.

*Everything goes silent*



I really didn’t expect the road to just...end.





The view ahead suddenly turned strangely dark, and a split-second later, the bike tipped forward.



Background Sound: Tension Beats



My bike tilted downwards, and its suspension was put to the greatest test yet as we basically tumbled down to the bottom.

The headlights suddenly shone on some dirt and grass. I knew then that I’d be flung out of my seat.



Stifling a scream, I tried to work some steering and brake magic to slow down without collapsing.

But that was too big a task for a simple road bike.

At the bottom of the cliff, it jumped higher than ever before. The suspension couldn’t handle the impact, and I was launched into the air.

*Everything goes silent*





*Bike crash sound*



An accident where I was flung out like that was a first for me. The launch was really something, too. I did a 360 in the air and fell on my back. My breathing stopped for a moment, and the pain was so bad I thought all my bones shattered. My face and limbs seemed pretty fine, at least. Though, I wasn’t sure if that counted as a silver lining.

There was grass under my hands. I felt it even through the gloves. That and the smell of green made it pretty clear what I landed on.

I pushed down, and my hand sunk. This grass growth was pretty hefty - it was probably the reason why I came out relatively okay.



My bike, however, wasn’t nearly as lucky.

“Ohh boy…”

It was lying on its side a short distance ahead. The engine was still on. The back wheel kept on turning, making an unpleasant fricative noise.

Yep...It was busted. I walked up, killed the engine and took the key. With the headlights off, I was surrounded by absolute darkness, so I just stood and waited until my eyes adjusted.

“...”

I still couldn’t see very clearly, but it looked like this actually wasn’t a cliff. I was still on a road - it just wasn’t paved beyond this point. Obviously, a road bike stood no chance against an unpaved road.

That woman actually tried to kill me.

Zigzagging through the trees, I followed the narrow footpath deeper into the forest. I’d tried getting my bike up and running again, but instantly gave up. It was partially stuck in mud, so there was the risk of it slipping and getting me into another accident.

Maybe I had to turn around?

The moment I considered that, I thought I saw a faint light ahead. If that woman wasn’t lying, this road led to a settlement. Was I close?

I reached into my jacket’s pocket, took out my phone and opened it up. As you’d expect, I was out of range. I ran the light app and shone a light to see better. Though weak, it was better than nothing. At the very least, it helped me watch where I was going.

Background Sound: Water Stream



But sure enough, I could see a light beyond the shrubs. It was weaker than expected. A flashlight, perhaps? I could hear water, too. I might’ve been near a river.

Hellooo!

I raised my voice.

“Hellooo! Anyone theeere?”

Still declaring my presence, I walked forward.

It was late at night. Were I to bump into someone here, the scare would probably take away a few years of our lives. That was why I figured it was best for us both to let the other know we were here before that happened.

However, there was no response. Could they not hear me over the rapids?

“Helloooo.”

I shone my light ahead and realized I’d made it to an opening.



I could see slightly more than I had while surrounded by trees. Straining my eyes, I saw a rocky river beach and the shallows.

The light I’d seen was on the other side. From what I could tell, it was either a lantern or a flashlight, and it was close to the ground. I didn’t see any people, though. No one responded to my shouting, either.

I wasn’t excited about it, but I decided to step into the water.

The cold water quickly soaked my shoes and socks. I could’ve taken them off, but I’d figured that crossing a river barefoot at midnight was a bad idea.

But man, it was cold. I put my phone into my jacker. I needed both my hands free in case I fell. Not stopping or backing down, I walked toward the light.

It suddenly became deeper. The water reached my knees now. That was too close for comfort. Feeling the bottom with my toes and balancing myself, I somehow avoided losing my footing. The flow was fiercer than I’d expected. If I slipped and fell, I’d probably be washed away.

It suddenly hit me I was doing something really weird, but it was too late to back down.

Putting my hands on the boulders and carefully checking what I was stepping on, I gradually made it to the other side. Then, with an unpleasant, wet sound in my every step, I walked up to the light.

*Everything goes silent*

I could already see it clearly.

BGM: Beyond the Taboo Mist





There wasn’t much space here. It was a narrow riverbank with a cliff right beside it. As you’d expect, I didn’t see or sense anyone nearby.

What the hell?

Though old, the flashlight was working fine. The strength of the light told me the battery was pretty full. That meant that someone was actually using this tonight - or, rather, until just a few moments ago. That was the most logical conclusion. It obviously wasn’t left here yesterday afternoon or evening.



Did something bad happen? Did the flashlight’s owner step into the stream and get swept away? That was the most likely, and worst, possible scenario.

However, the flashlight was left there practically buried in the pebbles. It didn’t seem like someone placed it here to light things up. It was the dead of night. There was no way you wouldn’t notice dropping your flashlight when it was so dark.

Right...The fact that a light source was left in a place like this was strange by itself. With that considered, what was going on here? What if…

What if someone heard my stupid shouting and decided to lure me in with a light so they could ambush me? Where would they attack from? Above?

*Everything goes silent*

Hello?

I heard a voice the moment I looked up.

The rock was actually made up of several boulders. There was a face peeking from behind one of them.

Hello?

Wow! A person! You surprised me!

That was my line.

“Sorry, could you pick that up for me?”

Background Sound: Water Stream

The voice was feminine.

I finally realized what was going on.

“So you dropped this?”

I picked up the flashlight and pointed it at the source of the voice.



High pitched voice. Slender hands shielding the light.

Sure enough, it was a young woman.

“It’s so bright!”

“Oh...sorry. This is me, by the way.”

“That’s creepy. Don’t shine it up from below like that.”

“I’m actually a bit lost.”

“I think ‘a bit’ is something of an understatement, then.”

Yeah, thought as much.

“Is this a settlement?”

“That’s a difficult question.”

“Can you help me out, at least?”

“Help?”

“I just need a place to hide from the rain and wild animals. That’s all.”

“Hmm…”

Standing on a boulder, the young woman made a pensive face.

“Wanna come to my place?”

And that was the conclusion she’d arrived at. Her face told me she was a hundred percent serious.

Place…”My place.” By that, she surely meant a house - a settlement.

“Can I? I know I asked for help and all that, but I’m actually desperate enough to not hold myself back.”

“Huh? As a man?”

Yes. I mean no - as a living being. I spent the last few hours aimlessly driving around only to fall off my bike. I’m dead tired and at my wit’s end here.

Oh dear…Then what kind of living being would I be if I just abandoned you?

And so, I was saved. Oh, the beauty of living beings looking out for each other.

“Anyway...your hand, please.”

“Hm?”

“You can’t climb up on your own, yeah?”

True...Honestly, I didn’t even realize I’d have to. Meeting another person filled me with relief, which was followed by a sudden wave of fatigue. It wasn’t creepling, though.



Her slender fingers were stronger than expected.

*Everything goes silent*



I asked if she was related to the Shinsengumi guy, but she said that her family just adopted the name at some point in the Meiji period. She was a 21-year-old who went to a college far away from here. This was her hometown, and she was spending her post-exams vacation here.

We chatted about stuff like that once she’d led me out of the rocky ravine. There was actually a proper path, so the rock climbing was pretty pointless, but I was too focused on my footing to comment.

She told me about herself as soon as we reached solid ground.



Umm, I’m Haruaki Fusaishi, a graduate student in a Tokyo college.

“Ah, so you’re a bit older.”

“I’m 24, so three years. I’d say we’re in the same age range.”

“Yeah, so don’t you dare be formal with me.”

“All right, then you can be casual with me too.”

“Can I really?”

“I like it when girls are friendly with me.”

“Ahahah. Well, I know what you mean. I don’t like stiff socializing either. Sure, I’ll treat you like a friend.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way. That aside, are we there yet?”

“Hmm. not quite. We’re like five minutes away. Hang in there, chief.”

What a lively girl. You could tell she was used to people.

“Also, watch your step and focus on just the light.”

“Any reason?”

“There are loads of pebbles here. It’s dangerous.”

The moment she said that, I stumbled on a rock too big to be called a “pebble”.

“And it’s pretty dark tonight.”



Nodding in agreement, I focused on following the light in her hand.

Background Sound: Rain



And so, I did just that.

Given this was a mountain settlement, I’d expected some old wooden house, but she actually lived in an apartment block. It was too dark to get a good look at it. All I could see were the cheap-looking walls, like you’d expect from some old boarding house for students.

Also, she lived on the second floor - in room 202.

I’d heard some raindrops as we were climbing the rusty stairs, but now it was really pouring. Between that, the darkness, and the large tree right next to the building, it was nearly impossible to see what was going on outside. I felt like I was all alone in a world of nothing but the walls, the door, and the fluorescent lamp above my head.

It made me feel somewhat helpless.

I distracted myself from that by imagining her changing.

Eventually, the door opened up.



All smiles, she showed herself, now wearing sports clothes. This was kinda exciting.



“Yep.”

“But get a load of what’s in the fridge.”

“Magnificent.”

“Let’s drink!”

“Hell yeah!”

BGM: After Dinner



It was just a small room with a low table in the middle, a fridge near the door, and a large duffel bag deeper in. There were two old-looking bookshelves, too, but they were completely empty.

I wasn’t bothered one bit, though. Any girl’s room was a Wonderland to me.

“Anyway, you went through some big trouble so I’ll drink to you!”

“And I’ll drink to you for helping me out! You’re a real saint!”

We opened up our cans, knocked them together, and downed them.

Hey, it was actually good! The pleasant bitterness and the refreshing carbonation made for a good combo.

“PFHAH! So good! I live for this!”

“Come on, you’re too young to say that.”

Yeah, you’re right! I’m not despairing for my future or love life yet!

“You hear that? That’s the sound of job hunting. It’s a-comin’ here fast.”

“Nooo! Don’t say that! You’ll ruin my beer!”

She laughed and took a huge sip. It was pretty clear she could hold her drink.

That aside, something really bothered me…

“This might be a bit late for this, but...can I ask you something?”

“Go ahead.”

Her cheeks were already red. Maybe she didn’t handle her liquor as well as I thought.
She had a well-featured face, and I didn’t think it was wrong to consider her beautiful. Sure, her clothes weren’t the least bit sexy, but I could tell she had some makeup on.

“To you, I’m just some stranger who says he’s lost, right?”

“Yyyep.”

“And you yourself are a young woman who invited that stranger into an enclosed space and started getting drunk.”

“Ohh...”

“Don’t you think this is dangerous?”

“Hmm...”

She kept gulping the drink even as she formulated a response. The very fact that I could just watch her do that made this a pretty risky situation, and yet…

“I wouldn’t say so.”

“But…”

“Time for a Chiemi Serizawa quiz!”

“Yaaaay!”

“Here’s the question! My virginity is threatened, yet I don’t feel like I’m in danger. Why?”

What a fun girl. This only made me like her more, increasing the danger even further.

“Am I allowed to ask questions?”



“Can I just assume that it’s not because I look like a good guy?”

“Well, I don’t think you look like a bad guy, but no, I doubt you’re good either. You look experienced with women, for one.”

That unintentional compliment showed that she actually did see me as a potential danger.

“There are two types of answers to this. Either you expect nothing bad to happen, but wouldn’t be bothered if it did, or you actually want something to happen.”

“Hmm?”

“I can think of several situations for the former. For example, you’re actually on the edge and don’t care about what happens.”

“Or maybe you’re just confident you can defend yourself. Maybe you know martial arts and can easily kick my rear end.”

“Whoa, so logical. Lemme guess, you’re a scientist.”

“Umm, well, I guess you could say that. Now, for the latter...If you intend for something to happen, then…”

“I’m a thirsty perv or something?”

Wow. Talk about not mincing words.

“Ahahahahah! I blame the booze. So, what else is there?”

Indeed, what other reason could a woman have to bring a stranger to her home? It would surely be something non-standard, like…

“You wanna use me somehow.”

“For example, setting me up as an alibi. I could be useful to you by attesting that you were here.”

“Whoa! That’s so shrewd.”

“Or maybe you’re a serial killer who brought me here just to get me drunk and kill me.”

Whoa! So I’m some evil mountain witch now! Sounds great! I’ll kill you real good! Splosh splosh!

What kind of sound effect was that?

“By the way, you forgot another case.”

“I did?”

“Yep. I could be just a really good person who simply wants to help you.”

“...”

Was it time for me to be ashamed of my filthy mind?

“But wait, is that really important enough to risk being assaulted?”



“I-I’m just talking in general! You know, the cliche scenario.”

She stopped talking and turned red. It was so cute I thought she was actually doing it on purpose. Man, was she drunk. And we were just on our second cans.

Hmm, then how ‘bout this? If I don’t let you stay here, something even worse would happen and I’d feel real bad.

“Hm? Care to elaborate?”

“There’s some scary wild animals around here. You might’ve gotten torn up and eaten.”

“That’d have left a bad taste in my mouth, so I figured I’d just let you stay instead.”

“I see. So you’re balancing risk and goodwill. Didn’t expect that.”

“Really now? You got any idea how much of a bad guy you seem now?”

“Huh? I do?”

“I mean, you assumed I was a thirsty perv, a serial killer, or needed an alibi before considering I was just a nice person.”

“You’re the one who brought up the perv thing.”

“Details, details...So, what’s the right answer?

*Everything goes silent*

“Huh? We’re not just messing around?”

Get it right and I’m giving you a nice present. Get it wrong and you’re dead. Splosh splosh.

Seriously?



We’ve finally come across a choice with more than one unlocked option. Of course, this one also has a locked option, which needs key number 20 to open, but we’re free to choose from among the rest.

By ‘we’, I mean ‘you’. This is where thread participation comes in. I want you to pick one of the available options and provide a reason for why you’re picking it, even if it’s just one line or a joke. Basically, I want to use this choice to kickstart speculation about the story and characters we’ve seen so far. Of course, you are more than encouraged to bounce ideas off of each other.

Also, feel free to discuss aspects of the game unrelated to the choice at hand - it’s merely a single possible discussion prompt, nothing more.

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

CUTEST IN THE WORLD
QUEEN OF THE SIMPS
RARITY-CHAN






I'm voting for thirsty perv because it will likely get our trusting protagonist kicked in the nards

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




+1 I'm all for that.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



I'll trust in her goodwill and say she's just a good person because this is a murder mystery game so clearly this is absolutely not the right choice, but at the same time I don't think any is, since we have a locked choice and all. Thus, I will vote to use this cycle to befriend as many people as we can so we get killed a bit less.

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





This is a murder game. Obviously the least likely suspect we first meet is the real killer. Alibi is what she needs

Jadecore
Mar 10, 2018

They say money can't buy happiness, but it sure does help.

Needed an alibi. Clearly if she rescues a guy from the woods, everyone will be more concerned with that than why she was in the woods to begin with doing experimental illegal drugs that help her get drunk faster but also make her climb trees.

wologar
Feb 11, 2014


"You'd feel guilty if you let me die because you need me for some strange booze ritual".

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


Jadecore posted:

Needed an alibi. Clearly if she rescues a guy from the woods, everyone will be more concerned with that than why she was in the woods to begin with doing experimental illegal drugs that help her get drunk faster but also make her climb trees.


Needed an alibi. Doesn't explain why she was out there in the first place, but if she was doing something bad...

Edit: I'm already looking at maybe picking this up.

girl dick energy fucked around with this message at 15:57 on Jun 21, 2020

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Secret option is prolly her fattening your rear end up for the next family reunion.

Psycho Knight
Jan 19, 2017

"Being a fangame and not bound to a rating, Pokemon Reborn is able to expand more on topics such as death and the extreme dangers Pokemon could pose. These topics...are treated with the respect such a subject deserves."

Let's throw a Medicham into a volcano and make it give the T2 thumbs up!

Junpei posted:

I always thought Kemco just made mediocre phone JRPGs, but this looks pretty interesting.

This is that Kemco? The ones that keep dumping those "Baby's first RPG-Maker project" Asdivine [Blank] games on us every year (on every platform that will let them)?

And this VN is supposedly good? This is something I have to see for myself.

Jadecore
Mar 10, 2018

They say money can't buy happiness, but it sure does help.

Psycho Knight posted:

This is that Kemco? The ones that keep dumping those "Baby's first RPG-Maker project" Asdivine [Blank] games on us every year (on every platform that will let them)?

And this VN is supposedly good? This is something I have to see for myself.

I think that that's why this game starts off with a detailed explanation of what a visual novel is. It's not assuming that the people who pick this up actually have any experience with the genre, or many games in general.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


Psycho Knight posted:

This is that Kemco? The ones that keep dumping those "Baby's first RPG-Maker project" Asdivine [Blank] games on us every year (on every platform that will let them)?

And this VN is supposedly good? This is something I have to see for myself.
I love when a company mostly known for garbage shovelware suddenly gets serious and drops something amazing without warning. It retroactively justifies the crap's existence as clear fodder for funding the real project.

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015

REAL TOP DOG SHIT
We Have Unlocked Woke Junpei Mode
Fuck Up Cops 2020
Beloved Forums Poster
Evolved Heightened Level Junpei
Junpei Is Not Ironic And That Is Why He Is Good

For the record, I actually do like some Kemco RPGs. They're not amazing or anything, but they can have some neat ideas in terms of gameplay or writing occasionally.

Sinner Sandwich
Oct 13, 2012


Oh, I love this game. I only got a little farther than we are now when I stopped, immediately texted my friend like "you NEED to check out this VN" and when they demured, I bought it for them off Steam to force them to play it so I would have someone to talk to about it.

And I was right. It has its ups and downs, but it loving rules. It was very cool to bounce from it to AI: The Somnium Files (which is also getting an LP right now!) and while extremely different, they scratched a similar itch that I can't describe.

Happy you're doing this, OP. Looking forward to the rest of the LP!

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015

REAL TOP DOG SHIT
We Have Unlocked Woke Junpei Mode
Fuck Up Cops 2020
Beloved Forums Poster
Evolved Heightened Level Junpei
Junpei Is Not Ironic And That Is Why He Is Good

oh, my vote is for You'd feel guilty if you let me die because I agree with BlazeDragon.

AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


Update 3: Crap. I Had No Allies Here.



Since we have a tie between the alibi and good person options, I am somewhat arbitrarily going to pick the former, because it was the first of the two to reach majority.

BGM: Safety Zone



I knew it!

Seriously, what did you think I was doing there so late? Weren’t you suspicious?

“Good point…”

“Assuming I was up to something really bad, your testimony would help hide it. How convenient.”

“Whoa.”

“Or maybe this settlement you stumbled into is actually the haunt of a murderous psycho! Happens all the time in B-grade horror flicks!”

“And by saying you’d kill me if I got the answer wrong, you just spoiled the whole plot! It was you all along!”

“Oh nooo, I’m such an airhead! How embarrassing! Now I gotta kill you to make sure no one finds out!”

“Winners get death, too?!”

“Huh? Want me as a prize instead?”

“Nope!”

“Oh nooo!”

Anyway, this girl was actually pretty sharp. She really had a way with words, and knew how to capitalize on it. It almost felt like she was implying that I couldn’t let my guard down just ‘cause I was a guy. I admitted she was pretty drat attractive, but…

...I felt like I’d have more fun just talking about lewd stuff than acting on it.

*Everything goes silent*







The last thing I...

The last thing I remembered was our little “When was the last time you pissed yourself while sleeping?” talk. I had to tell her about the time I got so drunk I wet my pants in the middle of the boarding house. She’d laughed so hard she started frothing at the mouth and passed out.

I woke up with a splitting headache.

Background Sound: Chirping Birds



Morning already?

Light poured in through the frosted window. I pulled out my phone and checked the time. Seven in the morning. I’d gone to sleep somewhere between two and three, which probably wasn’t quite enough sleep.

At least I didn’t wake up to some horror movie scene. The building wasn’t in ruins and the girl wasn’t actually a skeleton. Though, in a way, this might’ve been worse.



She was spread out on the floor on the other side of the mini table. Her breathing was mixed with some weird gurgling sounds.

I hesitantly looked at her.

*Everything goes silent*


What was I supposed to do here? As a guest, I couldn’t really be too harsh on her.

Chiemi-chaaaaan…

“Phew…”

She wasn’t waking up. Well, I’d just do what little I could.



I’d used tons of toilet paper to clean up her mess and flush it down the toilet. It left a stain on the floor, but it was dirty to begin with, so whatever. I’d even wet a towel and cleaned her face. Even then, she showed no signs of waking up.

“Chiemi-chan.”

Nh...Morning...?

The first hint of consciousness so far today.

“I’ll be leaving for a bit.”

Without waiting for a response, I walked to the entrance. She’d have to take a shower and change and all that, so I’d kill time outside.

I stepped into my still-damp shoes with my bare feet (my socks were in the washing machine with the towel she gave me to wipe my legs) and reached for the doorknob.

Background Sound: Chirping Birds



The raindrops gathered on the leaves of the tree next to the building flew right into my face, making me grimace. The rain from last night was already over. The sky was pretty clear, but despite that, I noticed the visibility of my surroundings was poor.

The building was surrounded by leaves. The old structure was basically buried in a forest of trees about as tall as itself. There were branches poking into the exposed hallway. It almost felt like they’d reach out and grab me if I wasn’t careful.

Suddenly, something entered my vision.

*Everything goes silent*



Something that shouldn’t have been there. The leaves I moved revealed a woman clad in curious clothing.



Did our eyes meet?

Background Sound: Chirping Birds





Was that an illusion? If not...then what? What kind of place was this?

It could’ve been a real hicksville, a marginal village, a bunch of actual ruins, or an illegal settlement. I had some theories, but I set them aside for now. It seemed like a place worth exploring, regardless.



A short distance away from the building, I turned around and sure enough, it was pretty much covered in trees.

I went to the place where I saw the woman. There were footprints in the grass here. Maybe I’d find her if I followed them?



It was unused, but it looked like someone was trying to do something with it. Was it supposed to be a construction site? Even if it was, it was clearly abandoned. There were large rocks and lots of sediment near a prefab. From what I could tell, there had been a giant landslide, which forced them to stop construction. The fact that plant growth was still minimal meant that it’d happened fairly recently.

The footprints seemed to be going down the hill next to the site. Following them, I finally saw something that could be called “civilization”. There was a set of paddy fields with houses nearby. So this actually was a settlement. What a relief.

I decided to keep following the footprints and approach the settlement.



It was lined with weeds and bushes reaching up to my waist. It was home to caterpillars and grasshoppers, among other things.

Spiders were no exception. There was no shortage of insects there, so it was a good place for a net. I wasn’t particularly scared of spiders, but I didn’t like them, either. At least they were just harmless orb-weavers.

Regardless, I avoided these bushes, just in case, and followed the path like the good city boy I was. There was a large boulder, surrounded by grass. It was strangely tall, making it look like it was put there by people. On its dewy surface, there was a gray tree frog, ready to go after the many insects scattered about.



The field’s location made it safe to assume it belonged to the inhabitants. If there were inhabitants, anyway. I couldn’t see anyone. And just like always, there was grass everywhere.

There was another boulder standing next to the house. This one was obviously placed there by human hand. What was the point? Was it a monument or something?

The footprints continued into the field.



If you ignored the standing boulders in the area, the place looked like a normal farming village.



I was both relieved and worried at the same time. From what I saw, there weren’t any other buildings besides the ones in this settlement. Everything beyond was just mountains, meaning that this place was completely isolated.

And I was a complete outsider. There was no way things would go well if I ran into a random local.

I belatedly crouched to hide myself a bit. It was probably best for me to go back. Chiemi might’ve been looking for me.

*Everything goes silent*



BGM: Prayer to Shin’nai (Broadcast)

I heard a sound. I looked for its source and found a speaker on a wooden utility pole in the middle of a small plaza.

A morning broadcast? I’d never heard this tune before. It was cheerful at first, but had some parts that seemed really dark. I found it unsettling.

Perplexed, I stopped walking, and what happened next made me hide myself.



But…

...they weren’t normal.

*Sting*



What was that on her face?



Oddly enough, there were boulders even there.



Then, all was silence. It actually looked like she was revering it. To me, it looked like she was praying to it.

*Everything goes silent*



I’d wandered into a settlement with a...unique culture, to put it lightly. Forget causing trouble - an outsider like me could get killed here. I just turned around and ran for it.

Background Sound: Tension Beats



...past the house...

...through the construction site…

...until I arrived back at the apartment building.

Chiemi looked like a relatively reasonable person. Maybe she could tell me what was up?

It just hit me that the way she described this place was somewhat weird. She basically said it wasn’t normal.



Whoa! So I’m some evil mountain witch now! Sounds great! I’ll kill you real good! Splosh splosh!



What if she was actually the bait they used to lure outsiders here?



Background Sound: Chirping Birds



Chiemi still hadn’t come out of her room. She didn’t respond even when I knocked or called out to her. I didn’t have to worry about this...right?

That just made my inexplicable unease grow worse. What if this was a trap? Was I in a dangerous situation? I had to talk to her. If she was a normal person, anyway…



...Maybe my best option was to run away right now? I wouldn’t know where to run. I couldn’t remember the path we’d taken here...Though I was pretty sure we’d gone uphill, so maybe I had to go down…? If I avoided the settlement and went back to the mountain stream, I could escape by following the wild roads. That was my best option, even with the difficulties considered.

Thankfully, I’d taken my bag with me. I took out a 5,000 yen note and put it in Chiemi’s newspaper box. It was payment for last night’s beer.

The moment I turned around to take my leave…

*Everything goes silent*

*Door creak*

...the door to the room next to the staircase opened slightly with a creak.

*Sting*

I saw an eye glaring at me through the gap.

GAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

“AAAAAAHHHHHHH!”

Her high-pitched scream pierced my eardrums. I screamed too, scared shitless, and ran for it.

Suddenly, I stepped onto the wet hallway floor at a bad angle.

I fell.



Haru-chan! What’s wrong?

Whoa! Who’s this old guy?!

Ah...Who are you?! And are you all right…?

The reasonable-sounding voice prompted me to shake off the pain and raise my head.

Background Sound: Chirping Birds



“Are you all right?”

He repeated the question.
“Y-Yeah. I was just startled.”

“You friends with Chie-nee?”

Chie-nee?

“Ohh, you mean Chiemi-chan.”

“Are you a friend of hers from college? She didn’t tell us anyone was visiting.”

“Oh, I just got into some trouble and she helped me out...There’s nothing shady about me...Though I know that’s hard to believe.”

“It really is, old man…”

“Umm...Man, how do I handle this…? Anyway, my name’s Haruaki Fusaishi.”

I’m Yasunaga Oribe. This is Chikamochi Kamoshida.

Just ‘Mocchi’ is fine.

Good to know. If I called him that maybe he’d stop calling me “old man”. I was only 24.



W-We don’t know him..!

Apparently, this “Haru-chan” was the person who’d looked at me through the gap in the door and screamed.

“He seems safe. Come out.”

“...”

A moment later, she slammed the door shut, and after a few more moments of hesitation, opened it again.



Whoa…

She looked like a student too, except her fashion sense was exceptionally...flashy.

“Who are you?”

“Umm, name’s Haruaki Fusaishi...I crashed my motorbike nearby, and Chiemi Serizawa-san helped me out.”

Wait...are you saying you spent the night in her room…?

“Uh...Yeah, I d-”

*Shriek*



So that’s why it was so noisy! Wh-What were you thinking?! You’re not supposed to enter an unmarried girl’s room! I-It’s indecent!

“Yeah, I was hesitant too, but Chiemi-chan was kind enough to let me in.”

“Why’re you acting like you’ve known her your whole life?! W-Wait, she’s not getting out...Don’t tell me you…”

“There’s a 5,000 yen note in the door.”

(Ear-shattering scream)

“D-Don’t tell me you…”

“No no no! She just gave me lots of booze! I’m paying back for that!”

“Chie-nee’s body is worth way more than that!”

“How dissolute.”

The hell were these kids saying?!



“You drank with a girl you just met? And she’s not coming out…”

Crap. I had no allies here.



And so the subject of the conversation joined in!

Oh, Chiemi-chan! Can you tell them what happened last night?



Something was off about her aura. What happened to the lively girl she’d been yesterday?

“...”



“Man, this is embarrassing.”

“Whoa!”

“Wait, hold on! Stop!”

“I can’t be a bride anymore…”

(Ear-shattering scream)

Man, what a mess. Though Chiemi’s face was all pale, she was actually grinning. She obviously had a bad hangover, but that didn’t stop her from messing around.



How we met in the middle of the night.
How she let me stay out of goodwill.
How we drank ourselves silly and how nothing happened between us.



“Hey, I don’t mind it…”



“Absurd…”

“Anyway, sorry...I was so tired yesterday that I couldn’t refuse her kindness.”

“Well, this is Chie-nee we’re talking about. She does whatever she wants.”

“He’s got good reasons for being here, too, so...maybe the elders will understand?”

“Where did you find him, anyway?”

“Umm...Well…”

“Next to the river further down.”



“That’s...a bit…”

“A big deal!”

“Two people over just two days…”

“Did I say something bad?”

“*sigh*...It was gonna get out sooner or later. We made quite a scene, so I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone in Yasumizu already knows.”



“Don’t touch me! You’re filthy!”

I wasn’t trying to touch her and I wasn’t filthy! Sure, I hadn’t had a bath in over a day, but still!



“Tae-baa’s gonna go EEEEEE!”

Well, that sure sounded bad.



“It’s a bit complicated. For now, just keep in mind that this is the countryside. Things are different here than in the city.”

This guy here was Oribe-kun. Ignore Chiemi, and he was the easiest person to talk to.



“Just leave it to me, all right? And it’s time for students to eat, isn’t it?

“Huhh? But I wanna see where this mess goes!”

“No you don’t! Just go already. We’ll catch up.”

“Well, I guess it’s best to go separately. There’s probably gonna be some disagreements.”

“Yeah, I knew you’d understand, Yasu-kun. Take care of them for me, all right?”

“S-Sure.”

“Stop treating me like a child!”

“Yeah! I swear I’ll poop on you!”

“Let’s just get going, you two.”



Anyway…

“So they live in this building too?”

“Yep. It’s a student dorm, you know?”

A student dorm…? In this hicksville?

Still, my senses had betrayed me - there actually were other people here.

“By the way, you didn’t run into anyone else and get in trouble, right?”

“Uh, yeah...I was careful on that front.”

“Good. Let’s get ready to go to the dining hall.”

“Oh, for breakfast?”

“Nope. Eat your breakfast now. We’ll go to the dining hall to introduce you.”

“Huh? To who?”

“To whoever has a problem with an outsider coming from Saranaga.”

Oh, so like that “Tae-baa” person, huh?

“I’m in your hands, then…”

“It’s fine. If you’re that grateful, keep what happened this morning a secret…”

“Sure thing. What’s ‘Saranaga’, anyway? That river?”

“Yep. The river’s called ‘Saranaga Rapids’, but the area around it is called ‘Saranaga’. The place has some cultural significance.”

“It does?”

“Yep. They say it’s a corrupt place, where the dead return from the other side.”

Ohh...So that’s why they’d reacted like that.

“Any other rules or customs I should be aware of?”

“Oh, there’s lots! So just leave everything to me, all right?”

Gladly. On all fronts.

“If I may ask...am I in danger?”

“Nope! But you should try to escape before something unpleasant happens to you.”

“And you’re gonna lay the groundwork for that, huh?”

“Yep yep!”

The settlement I’d strayed to was a weird place, but at least the guide was reliable.

And she wanted me to leave ASAP, huh?

“...?”

That was depressing...



The girl herself was too hungover to eat anything. I did take the opportunity to pay her back for last night’s drinks in person, though.

Then, we made our way to the dining hall.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Holy jumping to conclusions Batman!

This plot is going on unexpected paths, and every person feels like they could use a nice hard slap to the face.

Fat Samurai
Feb 16, 2011

To go quickly is foolish. To go slowly is prudent. Not to go; that is wisdom.


AFancyQuestionMark posted:

“Yep. They say it’s a corrupt place, where the dead return from the other side.”

Welp, we're a zombie.

wologar
Feb 11, 2014


A school with just three students? That sort of thing does happen in very remote areas around the world, but they are usually too poor to afford uniforms.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


AFancyQuestionMark posted:

“Huh? Want me as a prize instead?”

“Nope!”
Okay, that made me snort.

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

CUTEST IN THE WORLD
QUEEN OF THE SIMPS
RARITY-CHAN






wologar posted:

A school with just three students? That sort of thing does happen in very remote areas around the world, but they are usually too poor to afford uniforms.

I assumed they were a family living together and there are other students around there somewhere. The main thing I'm wondering is where do they buy all their food and such? We didn't see a single shop when we were exploring.

Sindai
Jan 24, 2007
i want to achieve immortality through not dying

Well I mean you gotta do something with all those strangers who wander into town.

Gloomy Rube
Mar 4, 2008





I think he's a bit weird for being freaked out by the broadcast song. So far he really annoys me in that Stephen King protagonist way. "These wacky people living in the country, they must be sinister because they're different"

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Gloomy Rube posted:

I think he's a bit weird for being freaked out by the broadcast song. So far he really annoys me in that Stephen King protagonist way. "These wacky people living in the country, they must be sinister because they're different"

In his defense, the broadcast song is actually fairly creepy, what with the ominous bells and all. He's definitely overreacting to things, though.

Deadmeat5150
Nov 21, 2005

OLD MAN YELLS AT CLAN


Having visted remote rural villages with weird local customs, he's just the right amount of freaked out.

AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


I wanted to post the next update today, but given everything that's going on with the credible abuse allegations against Lowtax, that won't be happening.

For now, I shall wait a bit to see how everything shakes out, subforum-exodus wise.

I have every intention to continue the LP on a platform not owned by a serial spouse abuser.

I'll post a link here when I do.

In any event, thanks to everyone who showed interest and engaged with my thread. I hope to see y'all on the other side.

AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


I have decided that, for the foreseeable future, the LP will be proceeding on LPBeach, a cool forum organised by all the coolest people in this subforum.

The thread is over here.

The next update will most like be posted tomorrow. Unless something drastic changes in the interim (such as the forums no longer being owned by a terrible person), I will not mirror it or any further updates in this thread.

Most likely, this is my last post here. Once again, hope to see y'all on the other side.


Actually, things seem to be headed in a good direction, so I am going to crosspost it in both places for now. Feel free to discuss it on either platform.

AFancyQuestionMark fucked around with this message at 16:12 on Jun 26, 2020

AFancyQuestionMark
Feb 19, 2017


With the announcement from Jeffrey, it seems like Lowtax will soon no longer be the owner of the site, so we can proceed for now. I'll keep updating the LP in both places, so feel free to discuss and speculate on whatever platform you like.

Update 4: Yer in Yasumizu. It Ain’t a Good Place.

Background Sound: Chirping Birds



“Hmm, they’re like charms, I guess? They’ve been here forever.”

“I’ve never seen anything like them anywhere else.”

“Oh yeah, I guess they’re kinda unique to this area.”

She led me along a narrower path than I’d followed earlier. It didn’t seem like any cars used this one. It was very...farm-y, I guess?

This area was also littered with those boulders. Some were cracked, broken, or half-buried in the fields. They were clearly religious symbols, but it didn’t look like they were that important these days. Or were they? Now that I knew I was safe, I once again became curious about this place.

“Oh. There’s a person.”

He was working on the field.

“That’s Takumi-niichan. Morniiing!”

Chiemi waved her hand. The man responded, but then froze mid-wave.

Let’s go.

“Are you sure we should? The guy looked pretty surprised to see me.”

“Don’t worry. He’ll be at the dining hall soon. We’ll explain things then.”

Well, if she said so…

As an outsider, I had no choice but to rely on her.



I didn’t notice it back then, but it was actually kinda weird. Basically, it felt desolate. The wooden bungalows, in particular, were more or less overgrown, buried in tall grass and other greenery.

However, two of the buildings stood out.



It wasn’t that big, but it looked grand and well-maintained.



It looked a bit dirty, but I could tell there were people inside. From what I could tell, it was the most lively place in this poor excuse for a community.

Suddenly, the three students walked out, chatting about something.



“Morning again! Aren’t you late?”

“We took forever because Mocchi doesn’t stop saying nonsense.”

“Yes. I am evil! Give me miso soup!”

“Oh, you’ll make it if you hurry. Behave in class, you guys.”

Half-dashing, the three ran up the path we came from.

“They’re all in high school, huh?”

“Yep. There’s a branch school aaall the way up the mountain. I was going there myself three years ago.

“Sounds like a hassle.”

“It’s not all bad. At least we get to live in that dorm.”

Chiemi was entirely straight-faced. There wasn’t even a hint of a smile.

“All right, let’s get psyched!”

Yeaahh…

“I’m not convinced!”

We laughed a little and passed the curtain.

*Everything goes silent*



The inside was as aged as the outside, but it looked well-maintained.

Is he a visitor, Chiemi?

The hostess-looking lady asked. Though somewhat aged and fatigued, she was definitely beautiful.

There were two others beside her.





Though they were just sitting there, there was a menacing aura about them.

“I’ll introduce him. This is Haruaki Fusaishi. I found him at Saranaga last night and took him into my care.”

BGM: Encroaching Supernatural



The lady gasped, while the two elders rose to their feet with alarm. The tension that was already there the moment I walked in reached its peak.

“Umm, I know you’re concerned, but this is just a coincidence.”

Unlike that little girl, he knows exactly where he came from. He went on an old path with his bike and crashed. It’s actually really sad.

“That’s why I think we should help him leave!”

“What do you think?”

After saying all that, Chiemi fell silent. The ball was in their court now.

“...”

“...”

“Now that is troubling…”

The lady voiced a harmless opinion, careful not to upset the old people. It was pretty clear who was in charge. They were “elders” in more ways than one.

Chii-chan, why did you even go to Saranaga at night?

I had a hunch, I guess. You know what happened...I couldn’t fall asleep.

Then he’s gotta be a yomibito!

Shut it, Tae-baa.

From the conversation, it was pretty clear that something had happened before I arrived here. It was probably similar to what happened with me. She’d mentioned some “little girl”. Perhaps there was a child who’d wandered in here like I did?

According to Chiemi, the Saranaga Rapids were a place of significance around here...It was a place from which dead people came to life or whatever. Oh, so this tae must’ve been the “EEEEEE” lady tha boy’d mentioned, and the “yomibito” must’ve been a term for the dead who came from there.

Apparently, the primary goal here was convincing these elders to approve helping me.

“Where’re ya from?”

The old man’s voice put my derailed mind back on track.

“Uh, I’m from Tokyo.”

“How old’re ya?”

“Twenty four.”

“Older’n Chii, eh?”

He chuckled. I immediately realized he was taking a jab at me for hiding behind a younger girl.

*Everything goes silent*



I seem to be a total outsider here, so I didn’t want to speak out of turn.

“That’s why I asked her to talk on my behalf...but I think I should say something, at least.”

“I won’t trouble you any longer than I have to, so I would be grateful if you pardoned my brief stay.”

“And please don’t blame her for helping me.”

Hey! Haruaki-san!

“I think she went against this village’s customs by helping me out. The students also seemed surprised.”

“My…”

“I’m an adult. I’m willing to take responsibility for any trouble I caused, as best I can.”

So...please put up with me…

I bowed my head.



“Don’t know about that. Lookit his hair. All colored brown.”

poo poo. I forgot I didn’t look very presentable to more traditionalist people.

Outsiders’re all like that. Just help ‘im get outta ‘ere, I says.

“Do what ya want.”

I...I guess I got their half-hearted approval?

Haruaki...Haru, eh? Like my granddaughter. What a mess.

“Oh, so that means you’re…”

Yep, he’s Haru-chan’s grandpa, Kanzo Makishima.

“A pleasure!”

I didn’t know what else to say. Haru-chan and I weren’t on the best of terms so far.

Anyway, it seemed like we were past the difficult part.

“Drove into Saranaga, eh?”

“No, actually. I asked for directions at a convenience store, went down a side road, and ended up losing control on an unpaved section.”

“And then ya wen’in Saranaga. Why didn’ya turn around?”

He wasn’t impressed by my choice of actions. It just hit me that I had no idea how much time passed between the crash and my meeting with Chiemi.

“Takumi’n I’ll go see it.”

“Takumi’s workin’ in the field!”

“It’s ta get ‘im ta leave. Let the boy ‘elp.”

“You never change, Kan-chan.”

BGM: Safety Zone



We’re joined by a new inhabitant.

Chiemi, who’s that guy?

Oh, Takumi-niichan…

Oh, so he was the one we saw on the field. Wow, he sure looked big from up close. All that field work was good for his muscles, clearly. And from what I could tell, he was in his thirties.

As Chiemi introduced me and told him of my situation, I found out his name - Takumi Muro.

“Man, that must’ve been hard. So, old man Kanzo…”

“We’ll pick it up.”

“Thought so. Tae-baacahn, wait a bit while I help the guy. I already spread the stuff on the fields, so I’ll mow the grass at noon.”

“What a good boy…”

“Hahahah. It ain’t a big deal. I’ll be so quick you’ll think nothing happened.”

“Good ta ‘ear.”

Nothing, eh?



“Huh? Me? What is it?”

“Yer in Yasumizu. It ain’t a good place.”

…? It was the place that wasn’t good? Not my presence here?

“We don’t like outsiders ‘ere, and outsiders should let sleeping dogs lie.”

“So you should ‘urry an’ leave.”

“That’s the plan…”



“Yep! Thanks, Takumi-niichan!”

I was beginning to understand how things worked here.
Although Kanzo Makishima’s voice was the most powerful here, it was also important to get Tae-san’s approval. Kanzo-san was probably in charge of tackling the settlement’s practical problems, while Tae-san provided spiritual and moral direction. And when it was time to be civilized, Takumi-san came and convinced Tae-san, acting as an intermediary. It looked like Takumi-san himself understood such subtleties, and Chiemi seemed to rely on this side of him.

“Here you go.”

The lady brought some tea to the old folk. Perfect timing.



So that was her name.

“Sure. I’ll make a lot. It’ll be a reward for waking up early and working hard.”

“Hey, I’m doing it for Yasumizu, baa-chan, and you. It’s nothing, really.”

“Oh my. Eheheh.”

These two sure seemed to get along. They looked about the same age, too.

“Would you like something to eat, too?”

“Uh, no, thank you. I already ate.”

“Then here’s some tea. I can also get you a light snack, if you’d like. What would you say to some onigiri?”

“Ohh, that would be…”

“Sorry, can we borrow the phone? We need it quick.”

Oh?

“Sure, but why not have some tea first?”

*Everything goes silent*

Thanks, but it’s urgent. Let’s go, Haruaki-san.

“...? Sure.”

It didn’t seem like I could say no.

AFancyQuestionMark fucked around with this message at 18:01 on Jun 26, 2020

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


Hmm. I wonder what else is in that tea.

There's a couple of broken links, BTW. At "Hey, Haruki-san!" and right near the end.

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By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
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Hi.
Oh hello stranger, THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY NORMAL PLACE WITH NOTHING OUT OF PLACE.
K.



P.S.You have two broken tags in that post

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