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File 147930778899.jpg - (186.84KB , 630x1008 , Like a hamster.jpg ) [iqdb]
192515 No. 192515
First Thread: >>191170

[m+1] What 'interests you' exactly?
-[m+1] She's human.
--[m+1] A sennin, whatever that is.


------------

"My, didn't I just say~?"

"You evaded the question."

"Ohh~? Did I, now...?" She titters a bit.

You sigh. You're a bit bothered by how she's bothering you so much less than before. "Still, why are you, erm..." You blush a bit, remembering that this situation is a bit embarrassing.

"Pushing them against you~?" She grins at the way you grimace at her indelicacy. "Whispering tenderly into your ear...?" You shiver at the warm breath hitting your ear. "My, someone liked that, hmm?"

You're trying to take her seriously. It's hard — it's very hard, and she's not helping. "Just answer the damned question..."

She chuckles a bit. "My, someone getting impatient?" She grins a bit, giving your cheek a peck this time.

It's oddly calming, and you're not sure if you want to think too much on the why.

"Still, I suppose survival is always a good interest~" You can't help but sigh. Well, at least it's something. Chuckling at your reaction, she adds, "And the survival of those of interest~ Now if only I could convince Kasen that mist is more delicious that she might think~ That girl can pack away food like there's no tomorrow..." She chuckles a bit, smiling fondly.

You have a feeling you're missing something important.

------------

Leads: "TwoStringSnake", "call me" Note

Right hand feels like you punched a brick wall.
Left 10th rib is broken, and you're missing some skin over the area.

Shanxi Type 17 "Broomhandle"
Loaded: 10/10
Total Ammo: 107

On hand

Phlogiston Pistol
Loaded: 10/10
Total Ammo: 110

Aether Rifle
Loaded: 100%
Remaining Canisters: 20

------------

[ ] Ask what on Earth she's talking about.
-[ ] Admit that you're not too familiar with what she's talking about. Might earn points for honesty, though why would you want them?

[ ] Get back to ignoring her.
-Research time.
--Ibaraki "Oni" Kasen
--Mummy Rot
--Deadening Curse
[ ] Nerve Rot
--Slow Rot
--[ ] Rapid Decay "Wart Removing Cream"
--Spectral Rot
--[ ] Seiga
--Sennin
--[ ] Hairpins
--[ ] Artifacts
--[ ] Quing'e
--[ ] Plows...?
--Kasen
--Curses
--Diseases
--Flowers
--[ ] North Park
--[ ] Write-in

[ ] Write-in

------------

Luminous' THP Works

No Such Thing as Fairytales: Complete
1: >>/forest/26223
2: >>/forest/26539
3: >>/forest/26829
4: >>/forest/27165

No Such Thing as Magic: In-Progress
1: >>166200
2: >>167739
3: >>173878
4: >>177427
5: >>178930
6: >>187689

This story is an offshoot of the sequel to Fairytales, Magic. I consider it 2.1, as it happens concurrently to some degree. I am not Luminous, though I have been entrusted with this story, and I hope that you don't lose your heads over my different stylistic choices.

He has been relegated to lovely assistant for this particular venture.

We have discussed the matter of when he will allow me to officially reveal the full extent of the story, and we eventually decided on thread two being a fine time.

Now, normally I wouldn't link lots of clutter at the end of a short update, but, well... new thread, so I'd rather you guys have easy access, y'know?

Expand all images
>> No. 192519
[x] Put some distance between her; she's using some magic.
-[x] Even if it is benevolent, you want a clear, uninfluenced head.
[x] Ask her more about the person who brought you to her attention.
-[x] Bring up what she might know about your sisters.
--[x] Ask what she might be really interested in?
>> No. 192520
[x] Put some distance between her; she's using some magic.
-[x] Even if it is benevolent, you want a clear, uninfluenced head.
[x] Ask her more about the person who brought you to her attention.
-[x] Bring up what she might know about your sisters.

Directly asking what her motives are seems completely useless. Either we find a way to force her hand (probably a terrible-get-you-killed idea), make her want to tell us (no idea how), or ask someone else (closest we know is Kasen and I doubt she's in the know either)
>> No. 192521
[X] Put some distance between her; she's using some magic.
-[X] Even if it is benevolent, you want a clear, uninfluenced head.
[X] Ask her more about the person who brought you to her attention.
-[X] Bring up what she might know about your sisters.
>> No. 192538
File 147939366491.jpg - (79.30KB , 850x515 , No relation.jpg ) [iqdb]
192538
[n+1] Put some distance between her; she's using some magic.
-[n+1] Even if it is benevolent, you want a clear, uninfluenced head.
[n+1] Ask her more about the person who brought you to her attention.
-[n+1] Bring up what she might know about your sisters.



------------


This has to be some kind of trick — magic or something. You break free of her tender hold on you, distancing yourself from her. You do your best to ignore how warm she was against her back, as well as the fact that you miss said warmth. Her tight grip didn't have the strength of a vise, nor did she resist your attempt to distance yourself.


She giggles a bit, obviously finding joy in your discomfort. "Well, now... Is someone getting cold feet?"


You grumble a bit, opting to just change the subject, "This Snake person... What do you know of them?"


She rights her legs, tucking them both to the side a bit as she taps her lip. "Hmm, hmm, hmm... I suppose I know quite little about them, truthfully." You sigh a bit, but before you can press for more, she adds, "Although, I suppose that they knew you from an early age is one thing of note. They also know how to use a computer; this narrows it down as well, I suppose. After all, those that don't keep with the times do get left in the dust, and those disconnected from this world rarely care for such modern conveniences~" She has a point there. "Snake also knows you quite intimately. It is why they so easily swayed me to how interesting you are~" She chuckles a bit.


"And do you know anything of my sisters?"


She quirks a brow, looking vaguely amused. "Perhaps if I had names to work with, I just might~ As it stands, however..."


------------


Telling her their assumed names should be fine, right? Not like she can bind them with those if she were a Youkai, and those names are more likely to bring results anyways.


-[ ] Layla. She's the most likely to be alive. Only been missing a week, and you have some clue as to what happened to her.
-[ ] Lyrica. Naive, but a sweet talker. Probably dead or worse. Most likely to have attempted to parley, so more likely captured than dead.
-[ ] Merlin. Among the three, the most paranoid in recent years. As such, she has the highest chance of escaping any terrible fate, but she should have contacted you by now if so.
-[ ] Lunasa. The team leader. Not as good at observing her surroundings as Merlin, but still the one that makes the plans. Not very good with talking, so more likely dead than captured.
[ ] Tell her nothing.
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 192546
-[x] Layla. She's the most likely to be alive. Only been missing a week, and you have some clue as to what happened to her.
>> No. 192550
[x] Merlin. Among the three, the most paranoid in recent years. As such, she has the highest chance of escaping any terrible fate, but she should have contacted you by now if so.
-[x] Besides, this... lovely person would have tormented any of your sisters, and Merlin would have been the one bothered most. ...She'd have gone after her.
--[x] The brasshead is definitely the most paranoid of your sisters.
>> No. 192553
-[X] Merlin. Among the three, the most paranoid in recent years. As such, she has the highest chance of escaping any terrible fate, but she should have contacted you by now if so.
>> No. 192558
File 147945197348.png - (150.32KB , 305x299 , If I were there I'd smack you.png ) [iqdb]
192558
[o+1] Merlin. Among the three, the most paranoid in recent years. As such, she has the highest chance of escaping any terrible fate, but she should have contacted you by now if so.

------------

Well... among the four, Merlin would probably be the safest even if Seiga had wicked intentions. "Merlin."

"Ohh~ I've actually heard of her a bit — from Snake, at that~" She titters a bit at the way you frown, adding, "Ohh, hush; it's not something so terrible. After all, that is part of my interest in you~"

Furrowing your brows, you ask, "And what's that?"

"Why, simple: we share common ground~ After all, among your sisters, only she is of such a curious hair color, and only she knows of more creative applications of her form~"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Tittering, she clarifies, "Why, it is just as I said: she knows well how to get what she wants with a more tender touch."

You give her a scornful look. "Are you calling my sister—"

"Goodness, no." Tittering a bit, she adds, "She is as much one as myself."

------------

[ ] She's calling Merlin a bimbo.
-[ ] Nobody calls your sister a bimbo!
--[ ] YOU TAKE THAT BACK
[ ] She's calling Merlin manipulative.
-[ ] Well, okay, maybe a little.
--[ ] Okay, maybe a lot.
[ ] She's calling Merlin annoying.
-[ ] Sure, she might, well...
--[ ] Okay, yes, maybe at times.
[ ] She's calling your sister a walking pin-up.
-[ ] Wait, where did that one come from?

[ ] Outraged Write-in

&

[ ] Mention a different name.
[ ] Don't.
>> No. 192560
[X] She's calling Merlin manipulative.
-[X] Well, okay, maybe a little.
---[X] Compared to Seiga though...

For some reason this was a difficult decision.
>> No. 192561
>>192560
It is the only choice that doesn't seem completely knee jerk.

[x] She's calling Merlin manipulative.
-[x] Well, okay, maybe a little.
--[x] Ok, maybe a lot.
---[x] Compared to Seiga though...
>> No. 192575
[X] She's calling Merlin manipulative.
-[X] Well, okay, maybe a little.
--[X] Okay, maybe a lot.
>> No. 192589
[X] She's calling Merlin manipulative.
-[X] Well, okay, maybe a little.
>> No. 192608
File 147958069118.png - (83.29KB , 226x228 , Rolling in grave.png ) [iqdb]
192608
[p+1] She's calling Merlin manipulative.
-[p+1] Well, okay, maybe a little.
--[p+1] Ok, maybe a lot.
---[p+1] Compared to Seiga though...


------------

"Coming from you, that's rich." You give her a look of irritation.

Smirking, she asks, "Ohh?"

"Sure, she might be manipulative, but compared to you she's a saint. Sure—" Seiga bursts into a fit of laughter. Looking at her oddly, you ask, "What...?"

Giving you quite the grin of amusement, she replies, "I didn't know that the similarities are to such a degree. I was merely saying that she isn't a loose woman."

------------

[ ] Embarrassed.
[ ] Irritated.
[ ] Mortified.
[ ] Paranoid.
[ ] Relief?
[ ] Happy...?
[ ] Emotion write-in

------------

Sorry about the length, but only half the vote had participation, so I had to fudge it a bit. Also, sorry it's so late. I was a bit preoccupied last night, so I had a lot of work to catch up on between the two stories.
>> No. 192611
[X] Irritated.
>> No. 192628
Some fun

[x] Lachesism
>> No. 192633
[X] Irritated.
>> No. 192635
[X] Embarrassed.
>> No. 192641
[X] Embarrassed.
>> No. 192653
File 14796672548.jpg - (369.28KB , 717x1073 , Tell me more.jpg ) [iqdb]
192653
[q+1] Irritated.
[q+1] Embarrassed.


------------

You grumble, blushing with no small amount of embarrassment. Great, now she thinks she has more in common with your sister. Which, sure, isn't wrong, but she didn't need to know that. You feel like a fool for assuming so much and saying too much.

Grinning with great amusement from behind a hand, Seiga teases, "Manipulative, was it? My, my, your sisters sounds like quite the piece of work..."

You give her a flat glare, though are also vaguely bemused behind it. "Look who's calling the kettle black."

"Now I have to wonder just what else we have in common~" Her smile makes your brow twitch. It's like she's both honestly curious and wording it in the best way to anger you.

"None of your business."

"Be that as it may, I would quite like to know~ Perhaps an exchange of information? I'll answer truthfully question for question, though I expect the same of you~"

...Is this seriously that important...? Plus, didn't she say you could just ask questions before?

------------

[ ] Don't take her bait. You don't want to deal with her teasing or whatever she'll use it for.
[ ] How old are you?
[ ] What is a senin?
[ ] What are you?
[ ] What do you want?
[ ] What are your plans?
[ ] What is wrong with Kasen?
[ ] What is wrong with your head?
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 192674
Could use a vote or so. Would rather not have to pick for you.
>> No. 192675
[X] What are your plans?

Forcing myself to ignore the fun questions.

Either she asks something inane, or something legitimately worrisome. Either way, the less questions received the better.
>> No. 192679
>>192675
[x] What are your plans?

I guess that makes sense enough. And, if Kasen ever is of import again, we can ask her instead.
>> No. 192682
[x] What are your plans?
[x] What is a senin?
>> No. 192696
File 147974210074.png - (250.03KB , 708x1009 , 100 huh.png ) [iqdb]
192696
[X] What are your plans?

------------

Well, looks like you'll have to hope she doesn't abuse your trust. You can't imagine what she'll ask, but as it stands, you're fairly certain Merlin's dead, so the odds of anything happening for it aren't likely. The woman before you titters a bit. "My, aren't you taking your time... I look forward to just what you've come up with~"

You clench your jaw. You won't be egged into making a fool of yourself. You think she's a senin, but there's always a chance of worse things. After a bit more deliberation, you finally ask, "What are your plans?" Sometimes you wish you were better at talking, like Lyrica, so you could try to catch her in a half truth just to see if she's doing so.

Quirking a brow, she asks, "My, you truly think I have it out for you, don't you~?" She chuckles a bit, and before you can point out her error, she answers, "Well, I suppose, to be frank, I simply am interested in you." You sigh, wondering if you should have expected this. Truthful, yet somewhat vague and oddly focused on you. There has to be more to it than just that. "As for my question, if I so remind you of her, on a percentage scale, how alike might we be?"

...Dammit, you can't really weasel out of this, can you...?

------------

[ ] Joke. 100%. She's like a clone of you.
[ ] Overembelish. She can be as irritating as her, and they carry themselves about the same. 90%
[ ] Be honest. 70%
-[ ] Be honest with yourself. They're actually a lot alike. 80%
[ ] Lie to yourself. Can't be over 50%.
[ ] Try to be vague.
[ ] Lie.
-[ ] Write-in
>> No. 192698
File 147974255268.jpg - (43.47KB , 400x533 , i just wanted to post this.jpg ) [iqdb]
192698
[X] Try to be vague.
>> No. 192699
[X] Try to be vague.
>> No. 192706
[X] Lie to yourself. Can't be over 50%.
>> No. 192710
[x] She didn't ask how she and Merlin compared. She only ask how "we" compare. The earlier part was a clarifier, but is not the literal letter of the question. It may be summarily ignored.
-[x] "I'd say we're about 50% alike. ...Assuming you bear the same relation as a human and a banana do, genetically"
>> No. 192718
[X] She didn't ask how she and Merlin compared. She only ask how "we" compare. The earlier part was a clarifier, but is not the literal letter of the question. It may be summarily ignored.
-[X] "I'd say we're about 50% alike. ...Assuming you bear the same relation as a human and a banana do, genetically."
>> No. 192736
File 14798378857.jpg - (225.56KB , 850x850 , How endearing.jpg ) [iqdb]
192736
[X] She didn't ask how she and Merlin compared. She only ask how "we" compare. The earlier part was a clarifier, but is not the literal letter of the question. It may be summarily ignored.
-[X] "I'd say we're about 50% alike. ...Assuming you bear the same relation as a human and a banana do, genetically"


------------

Wait... her wording! Maybe you can exploit it, if you word it just right. She never asked how she compares to your sister, only how 'we' compare. You and her are another obvious 'we'. "I'd say we're about 50% alike." After a moment, you amend, "...Assuming you bear the same relation as a human and a banana do, genetically."

Seiga quirks a brow, giving you an amused smirk. "Cute." That... is not an answer you were expecting. Sure, there are worse reactions to be had, as you can't imagine her to have not seen through it. You also are surprised when she pats you on the head. "However, if one is to twist words, telling the other party that it was done is rarely wise. Why, imagine if I were to play the game you play~ We would get nowhere at all, now would we~? It also isn't typically wise to spend too terribly long thinking on a question to ask, for it might appear you are being disingenuous." She titters once again.

"Pot, the kettle is calling."

"My, is it~?" She pulls a pretty dated-looking phone from the usual pocket and proceeds to flip it open. ...And then she starts talking in Chinese. ...You feel like you're the butt of a joke, the way she's twirling her drill-like hair and eyeing you. "Ahh, it seems it was for you~ The 1900's called — they want their gun back!" She has a pretty smug look on her face as you can't help but snicker at that terrible joke. Serious, that wasn't a good joke even when it was new.

...Okay, so she has a sense of humor a bit like Merlin, too. You don't often meet people like that these days, ignoring Merlin.

------------

[ ] Call her a dork.
[ ] Do you always make such bad jokes?
[ ] How old are you?
[ ] What is a senin?
[ ] What are you?
-[ ] Aside from a comedian.
[ ] What is wrong with Kasen?
[ ] What is wrong with your head?
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 192737
[x] Call her a dork.
-[x] Praise her for imitating us this well.

I thought this was supposed to be PARANOIAMANIA: YOUKAI AND SUPERNATURAL AT EVERY CORNER, not Seiga Quest.

not complaining though
>> No. 192742
[X] Call her a dork.
-[X] Praise her for imitating us this well.
>> No. 192747
[X]Seriously? That joke has to be older than your are.
-[X]Or then again...maybe not.

Make sure smug face appropriately intensifies halfway through the second line.
>> No. 192748
[x] Call her a dork.
-[x] Still, that was a good one. Credit where is due.

Still waiting for her to maim us for no reason whatsoever. She's lovely though, I'll give her that.
>> No. 192750
[x] Call her a dork.
-[x] Still, that was a good one. Credit where is due.

>>192737
Ditto, though im guessing this is the tittering calm before tge storm. We still have some susters to find and ghosts to bust.
>> No. 192751
>>192750
Note to self, reread anything you type with a mobile
>> No. 192772
"Dork."

She blinks. She seems completely at a loss at what to say to that, and boy does it ever feel good. At least she gets a taste of her own medicine without you having to show some leg and reach in your cleavage.

...You're... just going to forget you thought that while you're ahead.

Trying to save face, she pats your head, saying, "I'm so proud~". She seems to have pulled a hanky from her favorite pocket and is dabbing tears. Drama queen. Shockingly, no makeup is running, meaning it's possible that her eyes just look naturally unsettling and it's not some odd makeup that was popular back in her day. Although, you suppose that her eyes remind you of a Youkai due not to her necessarily being one, but maybe that look coming with age. Heck, you're probably just a housefly to her.

try to ignore how happy you're getting over empty words and a few pats on the head, you decide to continue before you run out of steam, you add, "You, uhh... It was a good impression...?" At her curious look, you add, "Of me."

Once again, she looks a bit floored. These small victories feel surprisingly good. Maybe you should shock her more, if only to keep her from keeping you off balance. Now she has the proudest look on her face and gives your head a little ruffle, blowing her nose in said handkerchief. "They grow up so fast!" She chuckles a bit, sounding choked up. What is it about her that you can't help but let your guard down...? You keep letting her closer and closer.

Blushing pretty horribly at praise to a degree you've not really gotten before, you awkwardly rub your neck. "Still, that was, uhh..." You avert your eyes a bit. "That was a good one. Credit where it's due." After a bit more of being embarrassed over her affection, you add, "I guess."

"Dork." She's making a face not unlike an overbearing aunt — like she wants to pinch your cheek and talk to you like you're five.

------------

[ ] Write-in

>>192737

The lack there of can be just as worrying, you know.
>> No. 192773
[X] Abruptly change the subject and ask about Kasen's arm.
>> No. 192775
[X] Abruptly change the subject and ask about Kasen's arm.

This works.
>> No. 192793
[x] So, I know this is sudden, but I have this crush on a beautiful Chinese girl and was hoping you could give me some fresh advice. I think she's married though.

I don't want the silliness to end.
>> No. 192794
>>192793

Sorry to say, but I've had the update complete a few hours. All I need is for it to be looked over for accuracy.
>> No. 192800
[u+1] Abruptly change the subject and ask about Kasen's arm

------------

Trying to change the subject, you jump into the shark tank covered in chum. "So, uhh... What's wrong with Kasen's arm?" Probably could have worded it better, but it was more with the intent

Smirking with amusement, looking like she's on to you but happy regardless, she answers, "Why, she was cursed~ A nasty rotting curse~ Part of why she keeps me around..." She titters, before grinning, "Now, what are the preferred names of all of Merlin's siblings, both living or otherwise?"

------------

[ ] PANIC! SHE WANTS YOUR FAMILY'S TRUE NAMES! YOUKAI ALERT!
[ ] She obviously must mean what you go by. Yes, definitely. Just fishing for less than dangerous information.
-[ ] Say as little as possible.
-[ ] Be honest.
-[ ] Say more than you probably should.
[ ] Lie.
-[ ] How? Write-in.
>> No. 192801
File 14800349338.jpg - (239.86KB , 850x1020 , I'm going to go relax now.jpg ) [iqdb]
192801
Juuuust gotta breathe. Nooooo stress. Go awaaaaay stress.
>> No. 192806
[x] She obviously must mean what you go by. Yes, definitely. Just fishing for less than dangerous information.
-[x] Say as little as possible.
--[x] That is the reason you use assumed names in the first place.
>> No. 192808
File 148004227444.jpg - (88.49KB , 720x720 , stupidblueyoukai.jpg ) [iqdb]
192808
>>192794
Fuck.
>> No. 192809
[X] PANIC! SHE WANTS YOUR FAMILY'S TRUE NAMES! YOUKAI ALERT!

Helpful reminder that true names can give you dominion over others in this setting.
>> No. 192810
[x] She obviously must mean what you go by. Yes, definitely. Just fishing for less than dangerous information.
-[x] Say as little as possible.
--[x] That is the reason you use assumed names in the first place.

>>192809
assumed names /=/ true name
>> No. 192813
>>192810
>>192806
>> No. 192818
File 148010658811.jpg - (141.88KB , 317x324 , She has a way with facial expressions.jpg ) [iqdb]
192818
[v+1] She obviously must mean what you go by. Yes, definitely. Just fishing for less than dangerous information.
-[v+1] Say as little as possible.
--[v+1] That is the reason you use assumed names in the first place.


------------

You almost reach for your gun on reflex, what little it would even do you at this range. However, ignoring the piercing nature of her eyes, nothing she has done has seemed wholly malicious, and if she were a Youkai, she'd be a crappy one, what with so easily being able to subvert her words. "Lunasa, Lyrica, Harmon, Harold, Layla."

Your stalker blinks. She looks honestly shocked. "My, such a high number for this day and age... Your parents must love each other quite a lot, hmm?" Well, she's not wrong. "Assuming they are related due to both parents. Divorce is dreadfully common as well, now isn't it?"

You grit your teeth. "My parents have nothing to do with this."

"Au contraire. I believe they have everything to do with this~"

------------

[ ] Change the subject with a new question. Write-in.
[ ] Get angry.
[ ] How many languages does she even know...?
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 192819
[x] Pero cuántos lenguajes conoces...?
>> No. 192821
[X] 彼女はどれくらいの言語を知っていますか?
>> No. 192822
[X] Ieithoedd faint ydych chi'n ei siarad?
>> No. 192823
>>192819
>>192821
>>192822

I hope you guys realize I'm going to have to use google translate.

The results may not be pretty.
>> No. 192828
[X] Сколько она вообще языков знает..?
>> No. 192831
[x]She knows two French words. Bully for her.

...Has Harmon suddenly become a polyglot?
>> No. 192833
[X] ווי פילע שפּראַכן טוט זי אַפֿילו וויסן ...?

>>192831
He has a phone and google translate, I assume
>> No. 192834
>>192833

I'm afraid that assumes he knows pronunciation.
>> No. 192836
[x] Berapa bahasa yang dia tahu ...?
>> No. 192841
>>192831
Do we have any reason to believe that he isn't a polyglot? I mean, just look at the write ins!
>> No. 192844
[x] Wieviel-sprachen kannst du...?
>> No. 192848
>>192841

Heh...
>> No. 192849
File 148019733286.jpg - (213.70KB , 850x1190 , Like a kid in a candy store.jpg ) [iqdb]
192849
[w+1] Butcher Japanese, the only other language you know.

------------

"二人は、このゲームで遊ぶことができます。" You receive a look of surprise. Heh. Seems you aren't as horrible as you thought. Seems she understands your challenge. In return, she says something you don't quite understand, looking extremely smug. You think you understood 'what' and 'good'. "私はあなただけ言ったすべてのアイデアを持っています。 " You state as such, and her grin only grows wider. Is... she speaking in Russian, now? "何?" She looks vaguely pleased as she starts speaking German. "..." And now she's speaking in clicks. Okay, you're calling BS on that one. " 言語も本物ではないですか"

She finally busts out laughing, doing so the hardest she's done as of yet. She's even holding her sides and shaking. "You're adorable! That was so horrendously butchered... I thought my Russian was bad, but you really take the cake~ Still, an A for effort." Your face flushes red with embarrassment as she rubs your head. "Mind you, an A for effort doesn't mean much when you still get an F, Dorkie~"

Great, she made the pet name worse.

-----------

[ ] Write-in
>> No. 192854
[x] Can we move on?
-[x] This conversation is serving no purpose save to annoy and embarrass you.
-[x] If she doesn't want to share anymore information or a lead, you'll have to look for your own.
-[x] Stay on target.
>> No. 192857
[x] Can we move on?
-[x] This conversation is serving no purpose save to annoy and embarrass you.
-[x] If she doesn't want to share anymore information or a lead, you'll have to look for your own.
-[x] Stay on target.
>> No. 192873
File 148027986997.jpg - (685.20KB , 740x740 , Good enough.jpg ) [iqdb]
192873
[x] Can we move on?
-[x] This conversation is serving no purpose save to annoy and embarrass you.
-[x] If she doesn't want to share anymore information or a lead, you'll have to look for your own.
-[x] Stay on target.


------------

You give her a flat look. "Are you planning on saying anything helpful?"

Grinning, she replies, "That's up to you, isn't is~? After all, I'm answering questions, aren't I?" Tittering, she adds. "It is the asker's fault alone when the answer isn't what they are looking for~ After all, you've only really been asking rather terrible questions, Dorkie. Were I to be questioning you, I'd make a mind game of it, and use terrible questions to probe for what I wish to know for when I wish to go in for the kill, as it were~"

...Somehow, that felt a bit on the nose.

------------

[ ] Question write-in. You're willing to risk when she actually starts asking more difficult questions.
[ ] Try to make her leave. She's only given you one lead. Not like that's more than you found in a week or anything.
[ ] Just get back to ignoring her.
-[ ] While doing what? Write-in
-[ ] Investigate Snake
-[ ] Investigate number.
>> No. 192887
[x] Question write-in. You're willing to risk when she actually starts asking more difficult questions.
-[x] A blonde woman in a straw hat. She kidnapped Layla. Who and where.
>> No. 192890
>>192887
[x] This

You know, I'm not sure if she's trying to be endearing, or purposefully doing it it to be annoying. I believe the answer is yes.
>> No. 192894
>>192887
Yep, this is good.
>> No. 192895
File 14803543273.png - (96.79KB , 219x261 , And so the plot thickens.png ) [iqdb]
192895
[y+1] Question write-in. You're willing to risk when she actually starts asking more difficult questions.
-[y+1] A blonde woman in a straw hat. She kidnapped Layla. Who and where.


------------

That's a risk you're willing to take, but you're going to have to step up your questioning — the real question you've wanted to set on the table should be asked. Sadly, you're not the best with questioning difficult people, but maybe she'll feel some sort of sympathy in whatever hole she calls a heart. "There was a woman in a straw hat. A blonde." Seiga quirks a brow, her ever present grin faltering just a bit. "She Took Layla, my little sister." She looks amused, and so you furrow your brow, getting annoyed. "What's so damned funny?"

"Why, because that rings similar with the one who cursed Kasen."

"Who is she and where is she?"

Twirling her hair a bit, she answers, "Well, Kasen is my partner in... well, crime is a strong word. Still, she's at our base." You give her a dry look. "Yes, yes, I'm aware." She rolls her eyes. "Still, I can't quite answer what I do not know, Dorkie; we seek that ghost the same as you, I'm afraid. Although, now I too find myself curious as to what Snake's goal was, in that case..."

------------

[ ] Write-in
>> No. 192912
[x] Compare leads; what lead her to Japan?
-[x] After all... He's found nothing so far. What brings her to this corner of the globe?
>> No. 192916
I'd prefer more votes anyways.
>> No. 192918
[x] Compare leads; what lead her to Japan?
-[x] After all... He's found nothing so far. What brings her to this corner of the globe?
[x] What were you two even trying to have a meeting about, anyway?
>> No. 192924
[x] How about cooperating until we find and destroy her?
-[x] I just ask for a heads up before your sudden, but inevitable, betrayal.
>> No. 192938
File 148045856227.jpg - (161.03KB , 580x300 , She only has one life to live.jpg ) [iqdb]
192938
[z+1] Compare leads; what lead her to Japan?
-[z+1] After all... He's found nothing so far. What brings her to this corner of the globe?


------------

Your interest in her as a person suddenly magnified by that simple little fact, you ask, "Then she's in Japan, I take it? Any leads?"

Sighing, she answers, "You just want me for my information, don't you, Dorkie?"

Rolling your eyes, you point out, "Which makes me significantly less likely to throw you out the door."

That puts the smile back on her face twice over. "My, that is true~ Still, I'm used to people keeping me around for my body, or what I can do with my hands~" You blush at her words. She's not very good at not sounding loose. "Such as Kasen~ Why, she's always begging me to do this and that with my hands!" She grins in equal parts to how much more you blush. "After all, her life is in my hands, you could say. Nasty curse, that one."

Ohh. Ohh, right, yeah, curse. Nothing else. "Then I take it you're following her here, then?"

"Quite. She's only half aa much a dork as you, but she has her moments~ After all, that rose of hers only lasts so long without me around to keep it alive~"

You frown. "I thought you said it was an ordinary rose?"

"Why, yes — an ordinary rose enchanted to make her not die quite so quickly. I'm sure you'd understand why I'd be a tad tight lipped on such a subject, hmm?"

Well... at least it's not something horrible. Because obviously she has no hidden agenda in store for either of you. "So, you're in Japan for Kasen's sake? That seems awfully generous of you..."

Tittering once more, she replies, "Why, I'm a very caring person, I'm sure you've noticed." Getting the eye roll she seems to have wanted, she adds, "Besides, if you live long enough, a bit of excitement can be a good thing. I keep her alive, she keeps me entertained... it's a win-win situation, don't you think?"

You give her a flat look. "Couldn't you just watch soaps?"

"I do that in my off time. She does sleep, after all~"

...Well, that's unexpected.

------------

[ ] Soap operas. Seriously? You thought only Lunasa still watched them...
[ ] She's surprisingly modern for someone dressed in such a wardrobe.
[ ] Stay on target. Question write-in.
[ ] Write-in.

[ZZ] Ask the authors a question!
>> No. 192940
[X] She's surprisingly modern for someone dressed in such a wardrobe.
>> No. 192946
[x] She's surprisingly modern for someone dressed in such a wardrobe.
-[x] And you mean both of them.
[x] Stay on topic. Ask what leads she may have.
>> No. 192950
[x] Stay on topic. Ask what leads she may have.

Can't let her keep veering, though we're hardly blameless.
>> No. 192955
Update done, just awaiting look over from my assistant.
>> No. 192958
File 14805270309.jpg - (163.52KB , 850x982 , Wait I'm relevant.jpg ) [iqdb]
192958
[a+2] She's surprisingly modern for someone dressed in such a wardrobe.
[a+2] Stay on topic. Ask what leads she may have.


------------

Every inch of her silken wardrobe screams dated, and yet the woman in front of you seems surprisingly modern. Sure, that phone of hers is hardly new, but it's far from carrying around a briefcase with a phone wired to it or a brick with an antenna stuck to it. Heck, there are plenty of magical means to keep in touch, you'd bet, and yet she chose that option. Her way of speaking as well suits more a modern woman than an ancient whatever. If not for the ages looking back at you in her eyes, you'd say she's just an annoyance and leave it at that. But the Oriental air of her, and the way she handles herself... She feels equal parts out of place and at home.

But it's not important. Sure, it might spell doom for you later, or even now, but you have fewer options than you'd like, and the one lead you've had in a week literally was handed to you on a silver platter. You owe her, if good things come of this. The question remains, what will she want down the road? For now, you keep focused on the present, asking, "Leads. Do you have any?"

Grinning just a bit wider, she answers, "Perhaps, perhaps not... However, that is more Kasen's business, not mine. I'm more backup than detective. While yes, I am capable, I've no reason to help one way or the other save to ensure a lack of failure on her part." Well, that's a lead if you've ever heard one. "Mind you, if you aren't careful, you too may end up with an arm that spells doom... Mind you, I did more or less halt its progress. But when dealing with something that rots you in totality within a year, and yet never kills no matter how dead one becomes... Well, it hardly is ever so simple as putting a floral bandaid on it now and then."

------------

Leads: "TwoStringSnake", "call me" Note, Kasen: Ghost Hunter

Right hand feels like you punched a brick wall.
Left 10th rib is broken, and you're missing some skin over the area.

Shanxi Type 17 "Broomhandle"
Loaded: 10/10
Total Ammo: 107

On hand

Phlogiston Pistol
Loaded: 10/10
Total Ammo: 110

Aether Rifle
Loaded: 100%
Remaining Canisters: 20

------------

[ ] Write-in

------------

Free! I'm free from this at long last! Ahahahaha! I'll see you guys tomorrow or the next day. Updates returning to 1 a day, with a side of Dark Tides.
>> No. 192961
[x] Write-in
-[x] Look up "Two String Snake"

>I'll see you guys tomorrow or the next day
see you guys next decade
>> No. 192983
[X] If I was concerned for my safety I wouldn't be talking to you right now.
-[X] So where would I find Kasen?
[x] Look up "Two String Snake"
>> No. 192991
[X] If I was concerned for my safety I wouldn't be talking to you right now.
-[X] So where would I find Kasen?
[x] Look up "Two String Snake"
>> No. 192993
File 148063478023.jpg - (375.35KB , 810x794 , Just add points.jpg ) [iqdb]
192993
[b+2] If I was concerned for my safety I wouldn't be talking to you right now.
-[b+2] So where would I find Kasen?
[b+2] Look up "Two String Snake"


------------

If you were trying to stay safe, you'd not be chasing after your sister. If you were trying to stay safe, you'd betray her trust and leave her to rot wherever she is. If you were trying, this would be a horrible job of it, as you're jumping at every single lead you get, no matter how small they might be, or how dangerous. If finding her means allying with someone obviously untrustworthy, then you'll ally with them. All that remains to be seen is if that ally will inevitably stab you in the back, but as of yet, she's only thrown blood at you, which, while disgusting, is rather harmless.

"Where do I find Kasen, then?"

Grinning, Seiga answers, "My, this simplifies things quite a lot... I was going to be going soon, as she does need me to keep her flower alive. She should be at our safe house~" While you are idly questioning her understanding of what a safehouse is meant to be, you pull your phone out of sleep mode and enter the code, trying best to avoid Seiga's gaze should they just want your phone for whatever reason. She's soon leaning on your shoulder again, pressed against your back, and while it's embarrassing, you try to avoid thinking too much about the way it's relaxing you just a bit.

You enter the obvious screen name and sigh as no̧thing comes up. "Knew it wouldn't be so easy." Guess Rikako didn't know the person. That, or it's a name taken up for the express purpose of being unknown.

Tittering, Seiga suggests, "You would be better off just BegAlfreding it." Chuckling at the way you grumble, she adds, "Not that I haven't already." Of course she would use that dated thing. And of course she's not simply telling you where to look. Sighing, you pull up the web browser and get to work. The result seem pretty innocuous, really, but before you have a chance to start trying each and every one, she pokes one. "Nya~"

What is she, a cat?

The result she poked was the next to last on the first page, and seemed more like a site dedicated to snake skin than anything.

------------

[ ] About
[ ] Home
[ ] FAQ
[ ] Forum
[ ] Contact Us
[ ] Sign in
[ ] Create New Account
-[ ] Name
-[ ] Address
-[ ] Email
-[ ] Password
-[ ] Have you read the Terms of Service?
--[ ] No, but answer Yes anyways.
--[ ] Read them.
---[ ] Yes.
>> No. 192997
[x] Sign in
-[x] Use Seiga's information.
--[x] If not available, sign in with your own.
---[x] If not available... open up a forum and use it to distract the Seiga and have her ramble.

Of course Seiga likely has such an account. If not, Harmon might. If none of the above, keep Seiga talking. She does know something, after all, and even incidental information can help. If she has an account, we can use that to garner a little more info on her.
>> No. 192998
[x] About
what the hell are we walking into
>> No. 193028
File 148082302047.png - (82.38KB , 177x190 , Surprise surprise.png ) [iqdb]
193028
[c+2] Sign in
-[c+2] Use Seiga's information.
--[c+2] If not available, sign in with your own.
---[c+2] If not available... open up a forum and use it to distract the Seiga and have her ramble.


------------

"Seiga, what's your login?"

She gives you an amused smirk. "Wouldn't you like to know~"

That went about as well as you expected. Sighing, you go into log-in, checking saved login credentials.

...What?

Why is...

...That...

Why is TwoStringSnake saved? And the password, too. Starred out, but...

Seiga looks as surprised as you. "My, Dorkie, I see you have a friend that likes borrowing your phone..." But that doesn't make sense. Only you have been using this phone. How would they even... Why would they even do as such?

------------

[ ] Log-in. You need to get to the bottom of this, and this seems a good choice.
[ ] Don't.
-[ ] Write-in.
-[ ] Yet.
--[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 193030
[X] Log-in. You need to get to the bottom of this, and this seems a good choice.
>> No. 193031
[X] Log-in. You need to get to the bottom of this, and this seems a good choice.

Ninjas.
>> No. 193033
[x] Log-in. You need to get to the bottom of this, and this seems a good choice.
Goddamnit, Yukari.
>> No. 193040
[X] Log-in. You need to get to the bottom of this, and this seems a good choice.
>> No. 193043
>>193033

I think she has her eyes set on bigger players than Harmon.

[x] Log-in. You need to get to the bottom of this, and this seems a good choice.
>> No. 193044
File 148091359825.jpg - (85.15KB , 1037x1065 , Forum icon.jpg ) [iqdb]
193044
[d+2] Log-in. You need to get to the bottom of this, and this seems a good choice.

------------

Well, no time like the present. You tap the log-in button and find... Well, nothing particularly exciting happens. Nothing magical, no alerts to firewalls being under attack, just... nothing.

An ordinary account page it seems.

------------

[ ] Personal Messages
[ ] Recent Activity
[ ] Preferences.
>> No. 193045
[X] Personal Messages
[X] Recent Activity

First vote takes priority if both can't be done.
>> No. 193047
[X] Personal Messages
[X] Recent Activity

Can't think of anything better
>> No. 193051
[x] >>193047
Same
>> No. 193054
[X] Personal Messages
[X] Recent Activity
>> No. 193069
[x] Personal Messages
[x] Recent Activity

An albino snake? Does anyone recognize the breed?
>> No. 193072
[x] Personal Messages
[x] Recent Activity

Decided to make it 6 voters because why not
>> No. 193087
>>193072

I appreciate it.
>> No. 193110
File 148113433423.png - (59.07KB , 216x205 , Why is her pout so cute.png ) [iqdb]
193110
[e+2] Personal Messages
[e+2] Recent Activity


------------

Tapping the section in question, you find Seiga tittering. The fact that she's saying nothing is more than a little worrying, honestly, and the fact that such a thing is worrying to begin with is also in and of itself worrying. "What?" You peek over your should— "D-dammit, stop that!" Your face burns red, as she pecked you again. There's coming on strong and then there's coming on Seiga stro— Wait, nonono. That came out badly.

"Then stop presenting yourself to me~"

"Do you have to put it in such a way every single time?"

"Of course, Dorkie~" Left grumbling by her unashamed honesty, you get to work.

So, what if I told you... - View - Delete

Well... - View - Delete

Stop talking just about my name - View - Delete

And what if I told you... - View - Delete

Hello - View - Delete

WELCOME - View - Delete


Seiga sounds amused, although also vaguely annoyed as well. "That one truly needs to learn about emptying one's mailbox..."

You spare a glance, though don't turn fully. She's pouting a bit. "What's got your panties in a knot?"

Eyes sliding to you as an amused smirk forms on her lips, she says, "I never did understand that turn of phrase. Unless they're tied at the side, that shouldn't even be possible in a way that they might still be wearable."

You redden a bit again. "Are we seriously going to talk about underwear?"

"You did mention them first~"

"Not as a topic of discussion."

"On that note—"

"If you're about to tell me what color or the like, can it." You don't think you can get redder.

"My, growing so close to me that you assume that I'm planning on telling you that they're—"

Okay, that one was your fault. "Shut up, Seiga."

"Aww... You're no fun, Dorkie~"

You have to wonder if she really means that... Sighing, you next look to Recent Activity.

And what if I told you...
That he's a bit of a dork?

ToityTaoist Report
My, my... Sent.


...Whoever this Snake person is, you think they might be involved in Seiga's pet name for you.

------------

[ ] "ToityTaoist"? What's that even supposed to mean...?
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 193113
[x] "ToityTaoist"? What's that even supposed to mean...?
-[x] View every message. Spying is great when that's not happening to you.
>> No. 193118
[X] "ToityTaoist"? What's that even supposed to mean...?
-[X] View every message. Spying is great when that's not happening to you.
>> No. 193127
[x] "ToityTaoist"? What's that even supposed to mean...?
-[x] View every message. Spying is great when that's not happening to you.

Been reading the other stories in this series and what happened with Mystia made me sad and angry.
>> No. 193128
>>193127
Yeah, I haven't forgiven the author for that. My form of protest is reading without ever voting. I'm petty as fuck.
>> No. 193130
>>193128
Eh to be kind of honest, the voters were pretty stupid there. I mean maybe it's just me but when a friend or someone I care about has a cleaver in their neck, the time for being nice or attempting to talk down the one doing that to them has gone out the window.

I'm was genuinely surprised people weren't pounding the "rip the attacker's head off" button so-to-speak.
>> No. 193131
File 148115510553.jpg - (141.81KB , 850x850 , Don't lose your head.jpg ) [iqdb]
193131
>>193128

Then you fail to grasp why that happened to begin with. Luminous loved Mystia the same as anyone else, and I know this better than anyone. If you blame him for that, then I hold you voters equally responsible for making that happen. From making me have to vote every single update since then. To make maps and write-ins in spades for even a glimmer of hope on the horizon that you obviously don't care enough to even try for.

If you've ever wondered why he doesn't update as fast as he used to, just look at the turnout.


>>193130

I tried.

I tried so hard...
>> No. 193133
File 148115782295.jpg - (2.24MB , 3000x3000 , kochi.jpg ) [iqdb]
193133
>>193131
No, I understand, I blame the voters too. And I'm the kind of guy who voted "By the legacy of those fools!" back in my time.

That's why I said I'm petty. The writer was just the instrument but I can't help but blame him too.
>> No. 193134
>>193128
In the end, doesn't it come down to whether a story has risk or not? Whether the choices made actually make a difference, or if it's just a meaningless quest for a momentary warm glow in your chest?

I feel that choices should have consequences. Especially in a sitting as dark (so much that it is called the World of Darkness. Everyone and everything is fraught with danger, and one slip-up leads to injury. Mystia suffered many times because of poor decisions.

But, towards the end, it was faring well. I made the update and set it in stone; this is the last test. The voters had done well so far. If they just continue as they have and make the easy choice, they manage to escape. If they don't, Mystia decides. The die was cast, and I had made my choice.

Should I have decided otherwise? Should I have gone out of my way to make a happy ending out of the wrong decision? Doesn't that remove the agency from the character and the voter? Doesn't it go against the entire premise of the story?

I elected not to. The story would go on and, I hoped, both the character and the readers would grow.This story was never meant to end with rainbows? Would I prefer that the voters succeed? That they make the right choice? As I have said before, I want you to win. I want you to succeed. But I am never going to guarantee it. (And if the readers push me so far as to make me take away the continues, I find myself even less charitable)

In the end, I would have hoped that, in light of such an event, the response would have been "Never Again". If you care enough about the characters that you are personally affected by the event, I would hope that you would go out of your way to ensure that future events were therefore halted.
>> No. 193172
File 148142241886.jpg - (214.06KB , 640x2160 , Looks like the one on her calf.jpg ) [iqdb]
193172
[f+2] "ToityTaoist"? What's that even supposed to mean...?
-[f+2] View every message. Spying is great when that's not happening to you.

------------

You give an odd look over your shoulder. "Why would you call yourself 'ToityTaoist'?"

Her lips quirking into a smirk, she answers simply, "Why, that's because prudish people always go on and on about the eyes of children, and how one mustn't expose them to more entertaining words. At least the one time it was sacrilege, but the others it was simply slightly colorful language."

You give her an odd look. "...I'm not sure if I want to know them all." Sighing, you begin looking through messages.

WELCOME - Delete
Welcome to the site! We hope you enjoy your stay at Snakeskin Lovers. Enjoy this code for free* shipping on your next purchase!
IlIII1IIl11
*Code only good on purchases of 500$ or more


"Who buys 500 dollars of snakeskin...?" Plus, the code seems more irritating than useful.

"My, when I joined it was 25% off~" Earning an odd look from you, she asks, "What? 25% is a very good deal on reptile skins~ They can go quite high, I assure you, and many can be useful for this or that, spell or apparel..."

Hello - Delete
I have information you might be interested in.

TasselTaoist - Report
My, is that so? Such an odd name...

TwoStringSnake - Delete

Yes, I know of someone that might interest someone of your ilk.


And what if I told you... - Delete
That he has a sister just like you?

TasselTaoist - Report
Violin? Hmm... too obvious, and that leaves out the snake. Snakes rarely carry a melody well

TwoStringSnake - Delete
Right down to the hair color...

TasselTaoist - Report
Hmm... I know I remember something like that. It's on the tip of my tongue, but what could it be...?


Stop talking just about my name - View - Delete
Seriously.

TasselTaoist - Report
But where's the fun in that?

TwoStringSnake - Delete
Do you want entertainment or not?

TwoStringSnake - Delete
Hello?

TwoStringSnake - Delete
Darn it


Well... - Delete
Basically, the plan I had was for you to forward the invitation you got to Harmony82@hooray.com, but if you don't reply...

TwoStringSnake - Delete
Seriously, reply, Seiga!

ToityTaoist - Report
Ohh, goodness. My apologies. I didn't realize that when I had to change my name again that it would cause such an issue~ I'll have to bring that up with them next time I order~

TwoStringSnake - Delete
Whatever, just... send him the message.

ToityTaoist - Report
But you didn't say the magic word!

TwoStringSnake - Delete
...Now.

ToityTaoist - Report
As cute as that is, no, that isn't the magic word. You have to try and eek out every ounce of pity in me if you want such a thing, Snake.

TwoStringSnake - Delete
Please?

ToityTaoist - Report
Too little too late~[/i]

------------

[ ] What do you make of it? Write-in.
>> No. 193175
[x] What do you make of it? Write-in.
-[x] Seiga's bored. The "Some youkai got tired of mindless violence and wants to dick around" kind of bored. And aside from that, she wants your sister for whatever reason.
--[x] Paranoia meter is going back to 200%. Ask Seiga to explain herself.
>> No. 193176
[x] So, it seems someone sent your lovely companion to you.
-[x] ...While apparently using your computer. When you weren't here.
--[x] Check timestamps. Find when this was done and compare it to your schedule.
>> No. 193185
[x] So, it seems someone sent your lovely companion to you.
-[x] ...While apparently using your computer. When you weren't here.
--[x] Check timestamps. Find when this was done and compare it to your schedule.

Oh, boy.
>> No. 193196
File 148159571339.jpg - (62.73KB , 640x360 , Ohh sneaky sneaky.jpg ) [iqdb]
193196
[g+2] So, it seems someone sent your lovely companion to you.
-[g+2] ...While apparently using your computer. When you weren't here.
--[g+2] Check timestamps. Find when this was done and compare it to your schedule.


------------

You notice the messages lack timestamps, oddly enough. Either this is a crap site, or the option was turned off, so if anywhere, it might be in preferences. Tapping the option, you earn a quirked brow from your stalker, obviously wondering why you're going there. Honestly, going by what she said, the last chance that was had was when you fell asleep while surfing the web, and that wasn't what you'd call a good one — you were practically laying on the thing.

------------

[ ] Reject Friend Requests.
[ ] Email Notifications: tw*****************y.com
[X] Turn Timestamps On
[ ] Show User Identity
[ ] Activate Direct Messaging
[ ] Mute Sounds
[ ] Change Status
[ ] Activate Auto-Reply
-[ ] Enter message.
>> No. 193203
[X] Email Notifications:tw*****************y.com
[X] Turn Timestamps On
[X] Show User Identity
>> No. 193226
File 148188967729.png - (457.96KB , 800x800 , Pretend it's cheesecake.png ) [iqdb]
193226
Have a Yoshika while I get things in order.

In other news, I have said this far too many times today!
>> No. 193228
>>193226
Happy birthday! Not sure where the voters went, but this story seems to fluctuate like that.
>> No. 193232
[X] Show User Identity
[X] Mute Sounds

You never know when sounds will be your downfall.
>> No. 193233
>>193232
Good point, especially with three sisters that have sound associated with their abilities (though how exactly in this verse we don't know...)

[x] Show User Identity
[x] Mute Sounds
>> No. 193234
[X] Show User Identity
[X] Mute Sounds
>> No. 193270
>> If you care enough about the characters that you are personally affected by the event, I would hope that you would go out of your way to ensure that future events were therefore halted.

This is the internet. There are be those that not only wanted it to happen, but for it to continue to happen.
>> No. 193271
>>193270

Then they should be prepared for consequences.
>> No. 193277
File 148225730920.jpg - (513.54KB , 1920x1080 , Something's not right.jpg ) [iqdb]
193277
[X] Show User Identity
[X] Mute Sounds


------------

You tap off sound and change the User Identity setting to Show User Identity. Seiga seems vaguely amused, which is plainly obvious once she says, "My, sound, hmm?"

You aren't about to explain your reasoning to her. After all, even if you're low on hope, in the unlikely instance of your sisters being alive, well... Telling too much to someone who has a concerning interest in you and Merlin could be a bad thing for many reasons. Your sisters, save for Layla, all had magic, after all. Not only that, but it was, of course, all focused on sound and the like. Knowing that, well... if she tried to disable the source of sound somehow, it'd cripple them, obviously. Still, if she's even half as paranoid as you, she might second guess that it works that way if you don't let her be prepared for it.

While having your paranoia attack, you begin going over the messages. Hmm... They're all within the last week, save one.

years days ago - WELCOME - Delete
Welcome to the site! We hope you enjoy your stay at Snakeskin Lovers. Enjoy this code for free* shipping on your next purchase!
IlIII1IIl11
*Code only good on purchases of 500$ or more


days hours ago - Hello - Delete
I have information you might be interested in.

4 days ago - TasselTaoist - Report
My, is that so? Such an odd name...

days hours ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
Yes, I know of someone that might interest someone of your ilk.


days hours ago - And what if I told you... - Delete
That he has a sister just like you?

3 days 3 hours ago - TasselTaoist - Report
Violin? Hmm... too obvious, and that leaves out the snake. Snakes rarely carry a melody well

days hours ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
Right down to the hair color...

3 days 3 hours ago - TasselTaoist - Report
Hmm... I know I remember something like that. It's on the tip of my tongue, but what could it be...?


days hours ago - Stop talking just about my name - View - Delete
Seriously.

2 days 4 hours ago - TasselTaoist - Report
But where's the fun in that?

days hours ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
Do you want entertainment or not?

days hours ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
Hello?

days ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
Darn it


days hours ago - Well... - Delete
Basically, the plan I had was for you to forward the invitation you got to Harmony82@hooray.com, but if you don't reply...

days hours ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
Seriously, reply, Seiga!

1 days 6 hours ago - ToityTaoist - Report
Ohh, goodness. My apologies. I didn't realize that when I had to change my name again that it would cause such an issue~ I'll have to bring that up with them next time I order~

days hours ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
Whatever, just... send him the message.

1 days 5 hours ago - ToityTaoist - Report
But you didn't say the magic word!

days hours ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
...Now.

1days 5 hours ago - ToityTaoist - Report
As cute as that is, no, that isn't the magic word. You have to try and eek out every ounce of pity in me if you want such a thing, Snake.

days hours ago - TwoStringSnake - Delete
Please?

1 days 4 hours ago - ToityTaoist - Report
Too little too late~


days hours ago - And what if I told you... - Delete
That he's a bit of a dork?

1 days 2 hours ago - ToityTaoist - Report
My, my... Sent.


------------

[ ] Write-in
>> No. 193279
...Well, crap. It appears that it was used while we were asleep (Assuming we got up within the past hour, and get up roughly the same time every day, those posts were when Harmon was on the river Lethe).

...No matter the how for now. You need to leave if your privacy is so easily being violated. And since her own timestamps aren't showing up for some reason, she's managing to hack it somehow. Unless there's some other (magical?) explanation.

Also...
>days hours ago - And what if I told you... - Delete
>That he's a bit of a dork?

Harmon gets no respect.

[x] Gather up everything.
-[x] Everything
--[x] Make a plan; does Harmon have a second base, or does he plan to run?
---[x] If the former, sweep and check locks as thoroughly as possible.
---[x] If the latter, head out of town and find somewhere else you can hole up.
----[x] Whatever you do, don't be suspicious.
>> No. 193281
>>193279
I'm not sure what to vote, but the messages are all from a day ago at least.
>> No. 193294
Last call for votes!
>> No. 193302
Fuck, I still don't have much to offer in forms of vote, since I have no bloody idea what we're supposed to do with this information.

[X] Close it, there's nothing more you can get from this than another headache
[X] Address Seiga
- [X] To Kasen's?

At least that was where we were off to until we got sidetracked by this.
>> No. 193303
[x] Gather up everything.
-[x] Everything
--[x] Make a plan; does Harmon have a second base, or does he plan to run?
---[x] If the former, sweep and check locks as thoroughly as possible.
---[x] If the latter, head out of town and find somewhere else you can hole up.
----[x] Whatever you do, don't be suspicious.
>> No. 193304
[x] Gather up everything.
-[x] Everything
--[x] Make a plan; does Harmon have a second base, or does he plan to run?
---[x] If the former, sweep and check locks as thoroughly as possible.
---[x] If the latter, head out of town and find somewhere else you can hole up.
----[x] Whatever you do, don't be suspicious
>> No. 193305
Sleepy, so I'll write in the morning.
>> No. 193306
I kinda passed out a half hour and am good to go now.

...That sounds worse when I say it aloud.
>> No. 193310
File 148264923196.png - (91.22KB , 400x400 , What dark intent lies beneath.png ) [iqdb]
193310
[x] Gather up everything.
-[x] Everything
--[x] Make a plan; does Harmon have a second base, or does he plan to run?
---[x] If the former, sweep and check locks as thoroughly as possible.
---[x] If the latter, head out of town and find somewhere else you can hole up.
----[x] Whatever you do, don't be suspicious.


------------

You hurry to pack away what little you've got. Food, guns, ammo and what little spare clothing you have all fit snugly into a large duffel bag. "My, my... an instrument case, hmm? I have to wonder what sort of tune it carries, whatever it may be~" You're a bit thankful that the Aether Rifle is in a violin case at times like these. Ignoring Seiga's comment, you begin to consider your options. Heading back to where the remainder of you are holed up isn't something you'd call an option. Not after how you parted from them, anyways.

"Dorkie~?"

Where would you be able to go? You've never been around here. Sure, you know the region well enough, but the city is another story. You also aren't too sure how to really go about getting out of the country altogether. Sure, you know how to get out, but doing so without leaving a trail is another story.

"Helloooo?" Seiga waves her hand in front of your face, earning only minor irritation.

On the other hand, you could simply leave the city instead of going so far. You'd prefer to travel by cover of night, but the normality of day could also work. Maybe if you head for an airport on the edge of town by cab you can clear the distance without making people wonder about your luggage too much.

"Hmph... Perhaps I should just go without you in that case." Seiga turns up her nose at you, crossing her arms.

And from there, use a map to try and stay to back ways, side roads and forests if you can help it. If you have to, alleys, but with what happened yesterday, well... You'd rather avoid it.

She eyes you from the corner of her eye, that sapphire blue boring into you. Before long, the corner crinkles and a smile spreads across her face. "My, you're in need of a place to stay, aren't you..." Her eyes linger on your duffel and 'instrument'. "You know, if you're willing to bear Kasen's gym socks, I might perhaps be able to see about a more... lasting stay than the visit that was planned... After all, our ideals do aline..." She titters at the way you stiffen.

------------

[ ] PANIC! THERE HAS TO BE SOME CATCH!
-[ ] WHY? Write-in.
[ ] CALM DOWN!
-[ ] Why? Write-in.
>> No. 193324
[X] CALM DOWN!
- [X] You haven't agreed to anything yet.
- - [X] Do you even have a place to stay that isn't here?
- - - [X] It's not entirely unreasonable.
>> No. 193332
[X] CALM DOWN!
- [X] You haven't agreed to anything yet.
- - [X] Do you even have a place to stay that isn't here?
- - - [X] It's not entirely unreasonable.

This is good.
>> No. 193341
[x] CALM DOWN!
- [x] You haven't agreed to anything yet.
- - [x] Do you even have a place to stay that isn't here?
- - - [x] It's not entirely unreasonable.

I like this. Let's just hope that Kasen doesn't start spouting out lines like "I will break you".
>> No. 193345
>>193341

What is she, an Elder Scrolls enemy?
>> No. 193347
File 148282802172.jpg - (127.15KB , 1280x1024 , seiga.jpg ) [iqdb]
193347
>>193345
>> No. 193348
File 148284234519.jpg - (13.55KB , 480x360 , The day I update that is!.jpg ) [iqdb]
193348
>> No. 193352
File 148289103811.png - (369.32KB , 850x720 , Seiga must be a cat person too.png ) [iqdb]
193352
[x] CALM DOWN!
- [x] You haven't agreed to anything yet.
- - [x] Do you even have a place to stay that isn't here?
- - - [x] It's not entirely unreasonable.

------------

You take a deep breath and steady your nerves, Seiga giving you an amused, expectant look as you let it back out. Calm down, Harmon. You can't let your nerves get the best of you in a tense situation. Can't let her take advantage of you as you panic. She does that enough even when you aren't frantic and triggerhappy. Still, even if it sounds like a trap, it's not like you've not made a leap of faith like this with them once already.

Mind you, that did end with a gun to your head and an annoyance stalking you.

Still, just like last time, what choice do you have? You either run off with nowhere to go and hope you find another place, or you run off with Seiga to an indeterminate future with shifty allies you honestly wouldn't trust to not stab you in the back. But, then again, she's also not really done anything... untoward. Only thing she's done is annoy you in very... Merlin ways and throw blood at you. You wince a bit as you remember your broken rib.

Still, in the end, you...

------------

[ ] ...think you can trust her.
[ ] ...think you'll pass.
[ ] ...think you should see it first.
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 193353
[X] ...think you can trust her.
>> No. 193354
[X] ...think you can trust her.
>> No. 193357
[X] ...think you can trust her.

Personally not keen on leaping into the arms of the first pretty faced immortal, but it's not like this signifies complete and utter trust.
>> No. 193406
File 148348408575.jpg - (265.57KB , 600x600 , Walking talking meat.jpg ) [iqdb]
193406
[j+2] ...think you can trust her.

------------

"...Fine." Seiga's grin is one you have to avert your eyes from. It's just too happy, too jovial, too... well, Merlin-like. Before Layla went missing. Before she went missing. Before your brother's death stole smiles like this away.

"Then let's get going~" With a swift tug of her hairpin, she simply stabs it into the wall. There she holds it for a half second, and when it's removed, the wall is suddenly cut.

She then proceeds to kick the hole out, motioning to you to follow as she inserts the pin back into her hair. You've got just one question, though. "...You do know that doors were invented a significant time ago, right?"

You receive a huff in response. "One never expects one to leave through the wall, let alone for it to be silent." Receiving a flat look from you, she adds, "It may throw off any spies you might potentially have, I might add."

"Alright, I'll give you that, but doesn't a giant hole in the wall leave some sort of indication?"

"My, so little confidence in me~"

"I find it difficult to trust people that throw blood at me, let alone people who look at me like a piece of meat."

"If you wish to get technical, that is more or less what you are~" After a moment she adds, "A particularly cute, rather lively meat, but the point does stand."

"Whatever, let's just go." As you move to step through, she stops you. "What?"

"The hole doesn't last forever. A moment." She pulls the pin back out, tapping the rim of the hole with a smack of the pipe's head. "There. After you."

With that, the two of you set out. You find yourself in an alleyway behind the barely not seedy hotel. With every stab between brick and mortar, another hole appears, the prior one vanishing and being replaced with the plug of whatever it was that fell. You travel through many a business, never finding a soul, never spying a camera pointed your way. Never stopping, never pausing, never stopping for a break until she holds up a hand, indicating that you should stop.

The two of you are alone in a dark alley, much like the one you nearly got shot in, and she's in the process of looking about, alertness apparent on her ageless, possible age-old, features.

------------

[ ] Something's wrong. But what? Write-in.
>> No. 193412
>>193406
[X] Something's wrong. But what? Write-in.

Well, the fact we haven't seen a single person despite the fact we've been tunneling through businesses strikes me as odd. But I feel I might be missing something.

We still have our gun, right?
>> No. 193414
[X] Something's wrong. But what?
- [X] Try to wake up.
>> No. 193416
[x] Something's wrong. But what? Write-in.
-[x] Perfect place for an ambush. Take your gun out and don't sneeze this time.
>> No. 193433
>>193414
I wish it were that easy. Although, a dream would definitely explain this... odd Seiga.

>>193416
I'll expand.

[x] Something's wrong. But what? Write-in.
-[x] Perfect place for an ambush. Take your gun out and don't sneeze this time.
-[x] Check both ends of the alleyway. Then check every window and door in sight, followed by the roofs.
-[x] See if there is anybody out and about. Civilians should be present. If they aren't... Prepare for the worst.
>> No. 193478
File 148381133690.gif - (220.36KB , 826x1192 , Don't throw stuff at me!.gif ) [iqdb]
193478
Have a Rumia.
>> No. 193481
>>193478
Did she OK
>> No. 193482
File 148385218375.jpg - (260.55KB , 1920x1080 , Brick walls are hard.jpg ) [iqdb]
193482
[k+2] Something's wrong. But what? Write-in.
-[k+2] Perfect place for an ambush. Take your gun out and don't sneeze this time.
-[k+2] Check both ends of the alleyway. Then check every window and door in sight, followed by the roofs.
-[k+2] See if there is anybody out and about. Civilians should be present. If they aren't... Prepare for the worst.

------------

This isn't right. This can't be right. You reach for your gun, quietly pulling it free of its holster with the snap of a button. You haven't seen a soul. Either Seiga has some trick to avoid people, or something is very, very wrong. Your broomhandle at the ready, you begin looking for signs of life. You find no real entries in the alley, nor much in the way of ground-based windows, though the scant few windows are blocked. You can't really reach the fire escapes as things are, so you ignore the roof of both buildings, but you do look towards them to the best of your ability, spying nobody.

As you head for the streets to peek, you find yourself being held in place by the collar and gagging like you're being strangled. You spin around, gun at the ready, but Seiga is within the length of your arm, ducking under your swing. "I wouldn't recommend drawing attention~ The streets are far more active than alleyways, you know..."

You give her an odd look. "Then why have we not seen anyone?"

Tittering as she always seems to, she answers, "Why, I have ways to ensure that we aren't found~ Only issue is that something doesn't quite feel right..."

"Yeah, that's why I was checking things."

"No, no, not in ways seen ocularly, but ways seen nasally." You give her a bewildered look, earning the answer, "Something doesn't quite smell right." Before you can raise any issue, she adds, "It's faint, but... well, I think either she might have been injured, or... well, some other bloody affair may have happened. Mind you, it's possible it came from her arm, but... Well, the blood seems fresher than that."

You can't help but sigh. "Then, what? Do we leave?"

Giving you a grin, she answers, "Why, of course not~ I'm sure it's just fine."

"Then why did we stop...?"

"Why, I was looking for the blood~ If I can just find it, perhaps I can learn as to what might have happened. I'm not so skilled as to discern whose it is by scent alone. My nose is hardly so keen, you know." Well, at least her nose is normal.

"...This where it is?"

"Hmm? Ahh, no, it's where we're meeting her~ She'll likely kick you rather hard if you keep your gun out like that, mind you. So, unless you're into that sort of thing, I suggest you put it back in your pants. I'm sure she'd be surprised, to say the least."

You give her an incredulous look. "Why are you saying it that way all of a sudden?"

She looks left and looks right. "I was hoping that would flush her out if she were around. Ahh well~"

You can't help but grumble a bit. "Do you do this to everyone...?"

She chuckles a bit at your reaction. "If I said yes, would that make you feel better about my teasing~?" Before you can reply, she orders, "Now, help me locate the blood. Whether it belongs to Kasen, thug, or otherwise, we do have time to kill."

------------

[ ] Search...
-[ ] Garbage bins
-[ ] Dumpster
-[ ] Walls
-[ ] Ground
[ ] Suggest...
-[ ] Fire escape
-[ ] Roofs.
[ ] Write-in

------------

As an aside, I'm going to be trying to lengthen updates again. It's entirely likely there will be days with no votes, as adding choices is becoming more a reason to not write than to write. I'm terrible at making votes for my own stories, and I'm sure you guys will enjoy less lazy choices to be given, such as the dreaded write-in.
>> No. 193483
[X] Search
-[X] Ground
[X] Suggest...
-[X] Fire escape
>> No. 193484
[X] Search
-[X] Ground
[X] Suggest...
-[X] Fire escape
>> No. 193502
File 148415705756.jpg - (217.55KB , 640x853 , Let's climb Mt Complex!.jpg ) [iqdb]
193502
[l+2] Search
-[l+2] Ground
[l+2] Suggest...
-[l+2] Fire escape

------------

You give her an annoyed look as she simply smiles as if nothing were odd. You're not annoyed because of this so much as the reason she wants to do it. You don't pretend to care out of boredom, or play hero out of nothing to do. "Above, maybe? The fire escapes up there might tear your hand open if you grab it wrong. Don't smell any smoke, but you seem to be a better bloodhound than me. Maybe if you poke your nose around up there while I look where I can. I'm sure you've got some sort of magic that'll help, right?"

She blinks a bit. "Was that a pun?" Before you can answer her rhetoric with sarcasm, she grins. "I love puns!" Dammit. Just stick to sarcasm, Harmon. Maybe she'll shut up for five minutes if you do. "Ohh, and try not to stare too much while I'm up here~" Like you would. "I know you spoke of how you would~"

You give her a flat look, muttering, "What is wrong with this woman...?" Thankfully getting no answer, hopefully by virtue of not having ears that could pick up on your words, you just get to work, ignoring the mentioned fluttering skirt. When you spare a glance, it seems she used her hairpin like an ice pick after a hop only a bit higher than you expected. You can't help but smirk a little as she struggles with reaching for the ladder. "Need help there...?" Her clothes look downright silly with her cool obliterated. Not that they weren't before, but, well...

"No, I'm..." She swings for the ladder, only just missing. "I'm just fine!"

"Sure you are." You watch a moment longer as she tries swinging a leg for it. "You know, you're going to add more blood to it if you keep that up."

"Aww, how sweet. Concern? For moia? How..." She grunts as she swings a bit harder. "Touching~"

You have to wonder how she's avoiding the pin fully activating, but, well... magic. Never got the stuff, weren't as lucky in that department as your sisters, and, in general, you don't really care for it, really. Made life difficult for the lot of you. Although, at least it's simpler. Not a lot you do but try to stay free and ensure the same for your siblings.

Shaking your head, you just get to searching, figuring that, if she needs help, she'll ask for help. Although, if she's trying to look pathetic, she's doing a good job.

To be continued...
>> No. 193508
There really doesn't seem to be anything down here after you finish searching relatively thoroughly. If it's down here, it's not on the ground, that's for sure. You look to the fire escape, finding Seiga still to be dangling after five minutes. "...Seriously?"

She looks to you. "Ohh, finally done down there, hmm?"

"Why haven't you given up?"

"Ohh, but I have, at least for the moment."

You pinch your brow. "Look, do you need help or something?"

Her face lighting up with a grin, she answers, "Why, I'd love a helping hand~ Give me your shoulder and I'll get up in a jiffy."

"You aren't going to try to get me to look up your skirt, are you?"

"Whyever might I do such a thing?"

"That's not a no."

"Now, Harmony—"

"Harmon." You're really regretting giving your email. There wasn't even a point to it, far as you know; you've been tailed by Seiga since you left Kasen. "My name isn't Harmony."

She lets out a titter as she dangles from the pin. "Whatever you say~ Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted..." Grinning with amusement at your grumble, she continues, "Why in the world would I ever do such a thing? Assuming I might would surely insult a less generous woman, you know... I mean, that's just short of calling me loose, now isn't it~?"

------------

[ ] Just help her already. Maybe she'll shut up if you do, and how heavy could she possibly be?
[ ] Why would you do that? You have a broken rib, for starters.
[ ] No. Obviously she's going to do something to squeeze every ounce of embarrassment out of you.
-[ ] That, and she’s obviously too heavy. You might sprain something.
>> No. 193509
[X] Just help her already. Maybe she'll shut up if you do, and how heavy could she possibly be?
>> No. 193510
[X] Just help her already. Maybe she'll shut up if you do, and how heavy could she possibly be?

This is both amusing and pathetic. But 1000 years of ill fortune for not helping the witch, etc etc.
>> No. 193511
[X] Just help her already. Maybe she'll shut up if you do, and how heavy could she possibly be?
>> No. 193516
[x] Just help her already. Maybe she'll shut up if you do, and how heavy could she possibly be?
-[x] Sure, you're loose. You're a loose cannon, that's what you are.
>> No. 193519
[x] Just help her already. Maybe she'll shut up if you do, and how heavy could she possibly be?

Let's tempt fate some more! Amusing that, for all of her bluster, she seems rather incompetent in physical pursuits.

...I'll see myself out.
>> No. 193544
File 14847928696.jpg - (73.27KB , 455x680 , You don't like her tone.jpg ) [iqdb]
193544
[m+2] Just help her already. Maybe she'll shut up if you do, and how heavy could she possibly be?

— - — - —

You let out a long-suffering sigh. You're starting to understand why Kasen didn't seem too keen on the woman, regardless of whatever help she gives. Her words sound like sweet poison and they positively drip with things to worry over. "Fine, fine..." You proceed to march on over to her, irritated at her need. Seriously, how can she not grab it? The pin's not even bending for crying out loud! "First of all, get down from there."

Surprisingly, she actually complies, tucking her pin away where it came from as she falls, leaving behind a quick-to-seal hole in the brick it was stuck in. Something smells rotten, you just know it, and you don't think it's Kasen.

In all likelihood, it will either be harmless and embarrassing, or turn out to be as bad as you initially expected. "Here, let me boost you." You kneel low, offering a place to step by way of cupped hand.

She of course, accepts happily, tittering. "My hero~" As you lift her up, the pain in your side flares, causing you to grunt through gritted teeth. "Ohh? I suppose you do still have that injury, hmm? Well, I'm sure a woman's touch will fix that right up..." She chuckles, her tone more ominous than anything else. "But, for now, you'll just have to grin and bear it, hmm?"

You would retort, but, as it is, you're more focused on not groaning in pain. She's heavier than you expected, and you're certain it's not muscle. You just hope she gets up fast enough that you don't reopen the wound, assuming it's still closed. You don't do terribly well lifting her as things are, but you at least manage to get her to a point that she can grab hold of the ladder.

"My, what have we here..." Seiga sounds interested in something. But what?

To be continued...
>> No. 193550
File 148503271511.gif - (46.38KB , 500x667 , You could hear a hear a pin drop.gif ) [iqdb]
193550
Waiting for an answer that doesn't seem to be forthcoming, you eventually bite down on the hook she's obviously hung for you. "What did you find?"

"Why, broken glass~"

...Why broken glass? "And?"

"I believe a window might have been broken higher up... Perhaps a murder~? Ohh, I've never walked in on a murder before!" She sounds downright cheery, talking about such a grim subject.

...Figures.

You can't help but roll your eyes. "Then it's none of our business, right?"

"Ohh, don't be such a party pooper." After a moment, she points out, "Besides, do you really want a murderer to potentially have the high ground on you?"

You can't help but sigh. She has a point. "Fine, just... lower the ladder, I guess. Quietly." Although, if she's as weak as she seemed before, you honestly wonder if she can pull it off.

You stay clear of where it might fall. You half expect her to try something.

"Or, perhaps simpler, I could lend you my pin and you could get in that way~"

You shoot an incredulous look in her general direction. "How would I even know where to look? Besides, I don't do magic."

"Ohh, don't be such a bore! You only live once, right~?" You hear her choke on a titter, as if she found that funny somehow. "Catch~" She drops that pin of hers from halfway up the fire escape.
------------

[ ] Use it. She seems certain it will work for you, regardless.
[ ] Catch it. You won't risk it, but at least will return it.
[ ] Let it fall. You're not touching that thing.
>> No. 193551
[X] Use it. She seems certain it will work for you, regardless.
>> No. 193552
[X] Use it. She seems certain it will work for you, regardless
>> No. 193554
[X] Use it. She seems certain it will work for you, regardless.

part of me wants to know what happens if its used on a human
>> No. 193555
>>193554

A holy man would be born, maybe.
>> No. 193579
Meh. Tide, piss, etc.

[x] Let it fall. You're not touching that thing.
-[x] At the very least, don't let it stab yourself in your hand catching it.

In b4 we have some grievous injury that is induced by trying to catch it tip first.
>> No. 193591
>>193579

A wise choice.
>> No. 193615
File 148565536450.png - (89.38KB , 500x500 , Why don't people stick sharp metal in their m.png ) [iqdb]
193615
[n+2] Use it. She seems certain it will work for you, regardless.

------------

The golden pipe twirls through the air in a downwards plummet. Timing it as best you can, you decide to catch it, against your better judgement, though you only just pull it off. Even a slight deviation would have ended with it skewering your hand, and the thought alone is enough to make you shudder. "Dammit, Seiga. Be more careful with this thing..." With what it's done to all the places you've passed through, you can only begin to imagine what it would do to more giving materials, such as flesh and bone.

You hope never to find out, at least not personally.

Looking up, and finding a distinct lack of smug and titters, you figure she went inside. Sighing, you glance to the brick wall beside you. You nearly consider trying to punch a hole through it, but with the nature of magic, you don't want to risk Sleepers seeing. Merlin was lucky to only get blue hair. Heck, from the look of things, maybe Seiga was as well.

You shake your head out. "Focus, Harmon." You won't get things done by thinking about hair and the color thereof. Still, going the direct route is definitely out: judging by the numerous lights on inside, not to mention the curtains, this is probably an apartment complex or the like. If you go through the wall, all you'd get out of it is a good chance at a bullet in the head. Which leaves only one option.

You tuck away the pin-pipe and start circling the building, first checking that which isn't out in the open. When no entrance is forthcoming, you brave the streets. Just as busy as before, and they all look as ordinary as can be. Sheep, following the shepherd that is the Technocracy. Or, as those that are less ignorant of that which lies deeper call those sheep, Sleepers. The greatest foe of a mage, such as your siblings, isn't those that hound them, but those that don't believe in them, after all. Thankfully it doesn't take long to find an entrance, and you're all the more thankful of the lack of a keyed front door.

From the look of things, from the outside at least, there's six floors.

------------

[ ] Floor one. Seems more basement than first floor, what with the stairs down leading to it.
[ ] Floor two.
[ ] Floor three.
[ ] Floor four.
[ ] Floor five.
[ ] Floor six.
>> No. 193617
[X] Floor six
>> No. 193621
[X] Floor six.

If there was a clue for where to go, it flew by over my head in the stratosphere
>> No. 193659
File 148592062356.jpg - (123.29KB , 850x574 , Here we have a demonstration.jpg ) [iqdb]
193659
[X] Floor six

------------

Hmm... First floor is obviously wrong, but the time she spent on it probably means she went a bit higher still. Factoring in her physical capabilities being a little pathetic, and... you think you'll just go for the safest best on where nobody would be. Who wants to carry a couch so high?

Top floor it is.

As you ascend the first flight, you notice a thankful lack of security cameras. Well, noticeable ones at least. Still, if you're going to do this her way, a Sleeper is more immediately dangerous than a Technocrat.

The second flight is equally uneventful, as is the third. As you ascend the fourth and final flight, you hear a door opening several floors down. Either coming to intercept you, or just a coincidence. Still, no risks. You go for the pin, thinking a moment as to which door might take you there. Well... 4 doors, 25% chance... Between 601, 602, 603 and 604... you decide to go with 604. 601 and 602 are to the front of the building, but you were to the back. You jam the pin in beside the door; you don't have time to be breaking the thing, if it turns out the be a Youkai tool. Metal doors do tend to contain that mineral they detest most, after all.

You let out a held breath as it penetrates concrete easily. At least something is going well for once... Still, you don't leave it in long. You aren't making a hole to step through, only to open the door, so all you need is a small hole. Remembering that it supported Seiga's weight, you tilt the hairpin downwards as you pull out.

As you had hoped, the small plug of concrete falls into your hand, and with it, sight into the dark house.

To be continued...
>> No. 193726
File 148635537730.jpg - (102.39KB , 800x563 , Not quite this bad.jpg ) [iqdb]
193726
"Easy enough, surprisingly..." Reaching through, you undo each lock in turn, soon pulling out your thankfully intact hand. There weren't any abnormalities in locks or lock number at least, so at least you don't have to worry about a paranoid nutjob. With a sigh, you open the door, heading in. You make sure to place the plug of wall back where you got it. Deciding that the pin might make a horrifyingly effective weapon, you tuck it somewhere easily accessible. Sure, your gun has range and a guarantee of effectiveness, but you also are in an apartment building, meaning a gunshot will very quickly draw attention. You're sure to not use your phone as a flashlight as you skulk about. Sure, seeing better might be nice, but it gives your position away.

Besides, the windows do let dim light in. Enough for you to work with, at least.

After the entryway is cleared, you find yourself in a large room — probably a living room — and you see a couple options to pick from.

------------

[ ] Down the hall of doors.
[ ] Check the window.
[ ] There's also a pair of swinging doors. Looks like a tile floor.
[ ] Drill down a floor.
>> No. 193729
>>193726
[X] Drill down a floor.
If the place doesnt smell like roses and rotting flesh, we prolly got the wrong room.
>> No. 193761
>>193729
I'd clear out the current floor first. We still operate more on a 2D plane, so...

But first...

[x] Be prepared to defend yourself. Don't have anything out, but have it ready to be used. Let Harmon pick what is most appropriate for the situation.
[x] Check down the hall of doors. Slow and carefully.
[x] If all else fails, drill down a floor. Smell-o-vision is the best bet.
>> No. 193946
[x] Be prepared to defend yourself. Don't have anything out, but have it ready to be used. Let Harmon pick what is most appropriate for the situation.
[x] Check down the hall of doors. Slow and carefully.
[x] If all else fails, drill down a floor. Smell-o-vision is the best bet.

Yo Luminous. Out of curiosity, did Sublime actually have a planned endgame or was it written on the fly?
>> No. 193949
File 148786340859.png - (28.22KB , 640x480 , THIS is a stick.png ) [iqdb]
193949
>>193946

Wow, I'm shocked you know of that. I'll go poke him with a stick.

Also, thanks for ending the tie.
>> No. 193965
File 148788782772.jpg - (252.50KB , 581x745 , the mystia is contractual.jpg ) [iqdb]
193965
>>193946
Alright, I was told that the G Man wanted to talk to me. ...Wait. Let me check the script.

Ah, yes, the G guy. Never mind; I can put the gravity gun up, then.

Initially? No, it had no real endgame, as it was me just toying around. That just kinda grew on its own as Shiro became a character. Of course, part of the problem then was the issues involved with making a story and wanting to involve every single character. I know in the last plans I had (which went straight through to include every character at the time), half of them were basically filler towards the end plot. That was also to try and keep the original spirit.

Originally, it was just a small one shot series that I tried to smash together. That made it harder to do all of the alternate interpretations, but it is what it is.
>> No. 193969
File 148790485084.jpg - (166.50KB , 736x655 , Crack OTP gone wrong.jpg ) [iqdb]
193969
>>193965

And one mustn't forget the spin-offs!

Also, I see your Mystia with Lucas and raise you Nazrin.
>> No. 194075
File 148825070994.jpg - (121.51KB , 1024x786 , spooookyyyyyy.jpg ) [iqdb]
194075
[x] Be prepared to defend yourself. Don't have anything out, but have it ready to be used. Let Harmon pick what is most appropriate for the situation.
[x] Check down the hall of doors. Slow and carefully.
[x] If all else fails, drill down a floor. Smell-o-vision is the best bet.

------------

On one hand, you trust your gun. However, a gun is both an obvious weapon, not to mention loud as all get out. You may not trust this pin, nor do you like the idea of using it, but you gain in shock value. Nobody expects to be done in by a gold smoking... hairpin. Ignoring that they just might be shocked that such a combination is even a thing.

Plus, assuming she gets it back, knowing what it does to a human body might be a good thing.

Shaking that distracting thought from your head, you begin creeping down the hall, careful to avoid any sort of sound. You watch your step, though you do note the presence of dust everywhere, not to mention a distinct lack of furniture. You don't expect anyone to be living here, but that's all the more reason to be on edge. Abandoned apartments are usually home to some form of dark past or reason as to why it's abandoned.

As you near the first door, you begin to count the rest. You spy one on the right, two on the left and one at the very end. The hall's not a long one, but every door is shut. Judging by the positioning, the one on the right is more likely a room proper, where as the ones on the left, you'd guess at least one to be a closet.

The first in reach is one of the doors on the left. Inspecting the tarnished brass handle, you find it's coated with dust and scratches, not to mention a bit of general wear. The door itself is a plain white, though the paint's seen better days, much like the rest of this creepy apartment. You blow off the handle and grab it through your jacket, not wanting to end up covered in dust. As the door slowly swings open, you wince at the god-awful creaking. You're thankful that it doesn't seem like anyone is here, but, as things are, you're a bit worried that you could have disturbed something less than ordinary.

Within, you find a small, empty closet. You spy placeholders for shelves to be inserted, as well as what looks like the shelves themselves piled at the bottom.

Well, that's one door down...

You head the few feet to the sole door on the right, wincing again, as this time the floor creaked. What is it with sneaking about that always seems like it makes more noise...? Sighing, you repeat the process of blowing and turning the worn, dusty knob.

Within this room, you once more find a lack of any furniture, though it seems to be a small room with a closet. The size makes you think bedroom, though the dust makes checking difficult, as any scuffs are covered.

Great, that's another door to check.

You frown as you quietly make your way for the door, and once more carefully open it. Yup. Closet. You see a rod for hanging clothes below a shelf near the top, but, again, it's all empty. Taking a deep breath to steady your nerves, you turn around and head back for the hall. Nothing jumps out at you. No ominous sounds can be heard. Nothing is happening.

That somehow makes it worse.

Next in line is the second door on the left. At the base, you think you see linoleum. But, then, all you see is a bit of dim shine. Could be blood for all you know. Once more opening the door, you find a dark bathroom within. No windows, making it hard to see anything. You decide to risk it, doing a once-over with your phone's backlight. It supplies just enough light to see, and you find a tub to the left with a toilet after. To the right, a sink and large mirror. You decide to ignore the light switch. You've nothing to see here.

You look to the final door. It's in a position that screams master bedroom, as neither of the nearest rooms go past where the door stands, as far as you can tell. If any time there was to find anything, this would be it. You quietly swing open the door, cursing internally at the creak. Of all the times to be making noise, this is one you were hoping to avoid. There's two doors to your left, a large empty room to the right, and a wide window at the right wall.

If you had to guess, it'll be a walk-in closet and a bathroom, but you still want to be sure. One after the other you check them. The nearest is the master bathroom, and the farthest is a matching closet. The first has no tub, just a glass cell of a shower, followed by a toilet, and on the right is two sinks that fill the wall, with a cupboard under. Above is a huge mirror. Still no window, but the one behind lights it well enough. The closet has a shelf along the left and back sides, as well as a rail for clothes under the back.

You pull out your borrowed — possibly priceless — artifact, and head for the living room. It seems like it would be the best place to avoid dropping onto someone. You press the tip against the wooden floor, and it sinks in like a hot knife through butter.

Too late do you realize that you have no way to stop the floor plug from falling to the ground when you pull out.

------------

[ ] Pull out now.
[ ] Try to make a hole big enough for you to fit through.
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 194081
[X] Write-in.
- Smell through the hole?

Rotting flesh and fragrant flowers.
No point going down if it's not what we're looking for.
>> No. 194187
Smell-o-vision sounds like an acceptable plan.

[x] Poke a hole.
-[x] If no smell, retreat, poke holes in other floors.
--[x] If still no Kasen smell, poke holes in walls, both between room and outside and between different apartments.
>> No. 194211
Oh,
>>194081
here.

>>194187

Add this to, it's pretty much the natural extension to my vote anyway,
>> No. 194457
[x]>>194187

Slightly better than my choice, which was "Pull out and to hell with akl"
>> No. 194466
File 148886366938.jpg - (16.18KB , 287x253 , Why is finding a good hole hard.jpg ) [iqdb]
194466
>akl

I'm not sure exactly what this means.

[q+2] Poke a hole.
-[q+2] If no smell, retreat, poke holes in other floors.
--[q+2] If still no Kasen smell, poke holes in walls, both between room and outside and between different apartments.

------------

You almost immediately pull out. You figure that the longer you wait, the more noise it makes when it falls, so better to do it now. That you got an idea that doesn't involve risking a broken ankle helps, of course. You watch as the plug of floor — only an inch in diameter, thankfully — falls. You aren't about to touch the rim of a hole freshly cut with magic to try and stop it. You like your fingers quite a lot.

To your surprise, you hear a yelp from below, causing you to tense. "Fee fie foe fum~ I spy the hole of an Englishman..." You get a chill down your spine at the tone Seiga used, but let out a sigh of relief regardless. That makes things infinitely less complicated. "I see you found me, Harmony~"

Your eye twitches. "It's—" You let out a sigh. You can't start yelling at her here, no matter how much she's begging for it.

"It's, hmm?"

You stare at the hole in the ground dryly, as if she can see you. "Is it your calling in life to be a nuisance?"

"No, no, that's more a hobby~" You sigh as she chuckles, perhaps doing so only so you can hear her amusement.

You blink as you start to notice a particularly coppery scent coming from the hole. If it's so potent that even you can smell it, that's not what you'd call a good sign. "...What happened down there?"

"Ohh, you know how it is. Sometimes you just happen to find the scene of a murder~ A rather fat man, this one. Nothing particularly useful, sadly, but at least it wasn't anyone that matters."

------------

[ ] "Useful"?
[ ] No, you don't think you want to know.
[ ] Perhaps she's robbing the man?
[ ] She didn't do it, did she?
[ ] That sounds like someone used to it...
[ ] There's no time to interrogate her; you should leave while you have the chance.
-[ ] Head back to the alley.
-[ ] Tell Seiga to schedule a new meeting. The cops will show up as soon as the body's found.
>> No. 194509
[x] That sounds like someone used to it...
-[x] Keep it in mind for later. You don't want to know why she is used to the dead.
-[x] Head on back outside to the back alley. No reason to hang around here. You can decide what to do later.

Let's try to not get another set of goons chasing us.
>> No. 194678
[x] She didn't do it, did she?
-[x] Useful?
[x] Enough questions, get out I'd you still can.

I couldn't resist asking a thing or two, hope we can still avoid trouble.
>> No. 194715
Could use some votes!
>> No. 194717
[X] No, you don't think you want to know.
>> No. 194734
[x] There's no time to interrogate her; you should leave while you have the chance.
-[x] Head back to the alley.

What, so it didn't have anything to so with Kasen? I don't like coincidences.
>> No. 194880
File 148944643952.png - (339.44KB , 600x783 , Seiga will remember this.png ) [iqdb]
194880
[r+2] No, you don't think you want to know.
-[r+2] Head on back outside to the back alley. No reason to hang around here. You can decide what to do later.

------------

You feel a headache coming on. You know what? No. You don't really thing you want to know. "Let's just get out of here before the cops show up..."

"My, how pragmatic~ Although, I was about to suggest the same. I believe I've busied myself enough here~" Does she have to say it in the way that makes you want to ask...?

Sighing, you say, "Then let's get out." After a moment, you mutter to yourself, "But how...?"

Picking up on your quiet utterance, she answers simply, "The fire escape, of course." Ohh. ...Right, there are those, aren't there? ...Now you feel a bit silly for wanting to jump through the floor to begin with.

"...Right."

"Now, let's go before you try breaking your neck by jumping through a hole in the wall or something." Your face flushes a bit with embarrassment. "Plus, Kasen showed up." Wait, seriously? Then this was a wild goosechase to begin with...? All this ended up doing was raising questions.

Sure, they're good questions, but if you get charged with murder for your trouble...

To be continued...

------------

If I vanish a day or so, blame the power having gone out.
>> No. 194949
File 148956500132.png - (778.78KB , 800x1280 , She's not quite so cross.png ) [iqdb]
194949
Well, nothing you can do for it right now. Just move on and keep your head down. "Fine, I'll meet you outside."

Chuckling, Seiga says, "I see we're in perfect harmony on that point~" She chuckles, as you can't contain that groan.

However, you also can't help that your cheeks tug upwards ever so slightly, though you quickly tug them back down. "Yeah, yeah..." Looking out the window, you find that this window isn't the one, but, judging by the position of it, you just need to head for the living room.

A short walk through the far less foreboding dust later, you find that you were right. Thankful the window isn't far off the ground just to make your life harder, you glance along the windowsill and the rest of the edge. Satisfied that there's nothing about to record your exit, you proceed to flip the latch and slide open the window. A short descent later and you spy Seiga looking a bit worse for wear. Kasen, of course, sends a weary glance your way, as if you are as trustworthy as, well... the company she keeps.

The redheaded woman of the hour asks, "So, I hear you and I have something in common. Something big." She attempts to cross her arms, though the sling gets in the way. You're pretty sure that was meant to be intimidating, but the way she did it fell a bit flat.

------------

[ ] Attempt to be friendly.
[ ] Partial disclosure.
[ ] Need to know.
[ ] Tight lipped.
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 194951
[X] Need to know.
Let's keep this businesslike as we can until we know what the hell is going on.
>> No. 194952
[x] Partial disclosure

We can't ask for information without giving some of it back.
I'd like to be friendly too, but the context implies that it means a full disclosure... And that's no good. For know, at least.
>> No. 195229
[x] Partial disclosure.
-[x] Try to commiserate about Seiga

Seriously, if Seiga's as bad to Kasen as Harmon, then at least there should be one way to get on... better terms, at least.

Besides, you're in the open, so only tell as much as the situation demands. There was a dead body upstairs...
>> No. 195234
>>194951
Here

Changing vote to
[x] Partial disclosure.
-[x] Try to commiserate about Seiga

Because it amuses me
>> No. 195622
[x] Partial disclosure.
-[x] Try to commiserate about Seiga
>> No. 195662
File 149107193636.jpg - (213.85KB , 850x1012 , Suffering with you.jpg ) [iqdb]
195662
[s+2] Partial disclosure.
-[s+2] Try to commiserate about Seiga

------------

"I'm looking for someone that was taken, and I want them back"

You've earned yourself a raised brow. "Taken? By who?" You feel there is an unspoken question of what, too.

"A woman with a straw hat."

All confusion leaves her expression. "A blonde." You nod. "I'm imagining you don't mean any old woman."

"If I did, I don't think she could have gotten in to take her."

"Her?"

"My... sister." You sigh, explaining, "She took my kid sister."

You hear a scream from up in the apartments. Whether from discovery or another death, you aren't sure, but you're positive that others heard that scream.

Tittering, the woman dripping of blue and sex appeal comments, "Perhaps we should continue this elsewhere~?"

Kasen looks between you and her incredulously, before growling. "What did you do now?!"

"Why, Kasen, you make me sound like I inconvenience you for fun~"

"Seiga, shut up and answer the question." Her harsh words earn a small pout from the pretzel.

Folding her arms under her chest and turning up her nose at her pink ally, Seiga answers, "Well, if you must know, I noticed blood in the air, and—"

The pinkette cuts her off, hushedly yelling, "How the hell do you keep stumbling upon murders??"

"Good fortune~?"

The words earn Seiga a twitching brow from Kasen. She curtly barks, "Fine. Whatever. We're going." You're more than a little surprised when Seiga reaches into your pocket to retrieve the pin, making you jump in place as she presses against your side. Kasen, for her part, snorts. "So she's made a plaything of you, too."

Grumbling, you answer, "Sure feels like it at times..."

Seiga stabs the wall opposite the apartment complex, and a hole rapidly forms, eventually reaching a satisfactory size. "Kasen, to the left."

"Got it."

While you're more than a little surprised, right as Seiga pulls out, Kasen proceeds to kick in the hole, leading to you hearing a cry of surprise from within. Seems that some poor schmuck was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The two head in, and you follow suit, careful not to touch the edges of the hole. Seiga peers around, and her eyes light up as she spies a camera, which she pokes a hole in as well. "I suggest we hurry~ The window of opportunity won't last long~"

Before you can even ask, Kasen is running off, Seiga following without a further word spoken. You don't exactly wanna be taken in, so you're a bit out of options, following after the two. Not like you didn't want to have some help. For someone that couldn't lift her own weight, Seiga's pretty swift on her feet when she wants to be.

As you go, you notice Kasen takes the arm you thought broken from its sling, using it for opening doors. Those legs of hers seem plenty strong, as she ends up knocking out two more guys in just as many blows as the three of you rush along. From the look of everything around you, you'd guess that this is a printing press. Even to your sense of smell, you can pick up the lingering sharp smell of ink.

Before long, you reach another wall. Seiga looks around carefully, before smiling as she sinks her pin in. As she pulls out, she holds a finger to her lips and steps aside. Kasen nods, grabbing the plug as it begins to slide towards her, ensuring it doesn't fall. With the hole open, you hear talking not terribly far off. The blue woman silently motions for you both to follow. The colors and carpet seem completely different, meaning you're likely in an entirely different location. Maybe it was a multi-business building or the like.

As you three head on, you listen. "Still can't believe they made you stay so late."

"I know, right...? I'm still tired."

Seiga looks around a bit as you head on, obviously looking for something.

"Hey, at least the money's good, right?"

"Well, sure. Not really worth staying here till dawn, though..."

"Hey, at least you got to spend some time with the girl in accounting."

"True..."

As you finally reach another wall, Seiga penetrates it as well, simply letting it fall. Heading through, you find yourself in an alley, though it doesn't last long. Seiga stabs into another wall, and, when it falls, a blast of icy cold assails you. Seems to be an industrial freezer. Fantastic.

She heads in without a care for the cold, and Kasen follows suit. Unlike Seiga's lack of real care for the chill, Kasen shivers a bit, though the signs of cold appear on them both regardless, causing you to avert your eyes. When you enter, the sight of the meat locker isn't what you expected in the least.

The floors show indications of people being dragged kicking and screaming, blood smearing the ground. One thing is clear: that's not beef on the tenterhooks. Beef doesn't have a human face, nor does it stare into the distance like that. Well, normally. Far as you know, you're supposed to cut off the head.

------------

[ ] IT'S A TRAP
[ ] TRY TO CALM DOWN
-[ ] Write-in
>> No. 195665
[x] TRY TO CALM DOWN

OP's pic fits well with Remilia's hat. Not so much with Suika's horns though.
>> No. 195670
[x] TRY TO CALM DOWN
- [X] Hand on gun.

>preserving human meat
The obvious answer would be a youkai, in which case a gun wouldn't do much. It's more of a security blanket at this point.

>>195665
>Not so much with Suika's horns though.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emjLXdsj6xA
>> No. 195909
[x] TRY TO CALM DOWN
-[x] DEMONSTRATE HOW CALM YOU ARE.
--[x] Hand on gun.
>> No. 196069
File 149238826926.png - (882.31KB , 621x782 , You would make a fine corpse~.png ) [iqdb]
196069
[t+2] TRY TO CALM DOWN
-[t+2] DEMONSTRATE HOW CALM YOU ARE.
--[t+2] Hand on gun.

------------

You stop midway from backing away from your companions, right before you were about to bolt out the hole in the wall. No, no. It's not them, is it. Who would want your body? Just have to be calm.

Demonstrating how calm you are, you unbutton your holster and put your hand on your gun. You also spy Kasen eyeing Seiga suspiciously. Seems you're not the only one that trusts her as much as a particularly helpful swarm of bees.

Seiga, of course, is the first to speak. She quietly says with a quirked brow, "Now, now. These aren't even kept well. Were I to collect such things in a theoretical location, they wouldn't be so casually cut off." ...If she's trying to prove her innocence, she's doing a crap job. That look in her eyes, and the way they seem like they're appraising everything, is more than a little creepy. "Still, might I suggest a hasty retreat~?" Sighing, Kasen wordlessly heads for the hole. "Ah-ah-ah. Give me a moment." The bluenette proceeds to tap the hole with the blunt end of her pin. "There."

And with that, you thankfully manage to escape the freezing confines of that twisted meatlocker. Seiga looks around, before quickly stabbing a pinhole in a wall. You wonder why, until the hole into the freezer is no longer a hole, but once more an unmarked brick wall. Here's hoping that this doesn't come back to bite you in the rear.

And then you hear police sirens approaching.

------------

[ ] Back in!
[ ] Find another route!
[ ] Write-in
>> No. 196083
[x] Find another route!
Definitely don't want to go back and confront whatever was storing all those people.
>> No. 196091
[x] Find another route!
>> No. 196116
[x] Find another route!

Let's find us a nice rabbit hole...

...Probably the wrong word. We don't want rabbits.
>> No. 197234
File 149843260221.jpg - (164.75KB , 850x1156 , One of these days Seiga.jpg ) [iqdb]
197234
[u+2] Find another route!

------------

In unison, the three of you look to the direction of the sirens, each knowing where the other wants to be: anywhere but here. Seiga's about to punch the hole back open, but a glare from the two of you earns a huff, though it does stay her hand. You think fast, saying the most basic — and most obvious — of plans. "Down the alley; we can figure things out there." You don't bother waiting for an answer when you head that way. You don't run, though you hurry. You don't want undue attention, just as always. However, at the moment, any attention at all — any remembrance by those soon-to-be witnesses — might spell your doom.

You turn to the left — away from the streets. You don't want to stay near that twisted butcher's meat locker longer than you have to, and want to stick to the shadows yet unknown even less, but the street is a far more looming threat, and a more guaranteed one at that. After a bit more distance is covered, as well as sinking further into the darkness of the less trodden path, you feel a hand on your shoulder. You nearly reach for your gun, but stay your hand when you hear a hushed, "We're good."

You look to the source of the gruff voice, finding the pinkette you expected. "What now?" There's plenty things you could do, but this is still a fairly sticky situation you're in.

You hear the velvet hum of your tormentor, who says, "Well, the obvious answer seems a beeline for Kasen's base. It was our destination in the first place after all~"

The two of you nod along with the plan. Unsure how to carry it out, you ask, "But how do we get there? We can't use the streets. Not worth the risk with the cops out there." If there's one thing you want least it's to be in the public eye, even if you are innocent. You're no fancy mage, but you're still sure that the Technocrats would love to get their mitts on you if you made it easy.

Seiga answers simply, "Why, we head there of course. Shouldn't that be obvious?"

You grumble a bit, retorting, "Yeah, but how will we?"

"Well, I did have a plan, but someone decided they know best, now didn't they." She looks more amused than irritated. "Who am I to get in the way of your master stroke?"

Kasen growls low and speaks through her teeth. "Seiga, if you're planning what I think you're planning, I swear..."

The threat is cut off when the smirking bluenette answers, "I suppose I'll leave you to your little plan~" The both of you give her less than pleased looks, but she doesn't budge in her stance. "My, such frightening looks..." She titters as you sigh and Kasen groans.

Kasen looks to you, pointing out, "Knowing Seiga, she's probably not gonna budge." Sighing, she adds, "You got a plan, or are we doing this the hard way?"

Seiga chimes in, "Ohh? Going to show a little leg to knock them dead?"

Kasen rolls her eyes, though is blushing just a bit. "As if I'd give you the satisfaction."

Tittering, the woman answers, "Why, Kasen. Would I go so far out of my way just to make someone uncomfortable?" At the flat stare of the both of you, she simply chuckles.

Sighing, you ask, "The hard way what I think it is?"

"Guns blazing, if it comes to it."

"My, you've picked up a gun while we parted?"

Kasen bluntly answers, "No."

You don't like the sound of that idea one bit.

------------

[ ] Stealth. Stick to alleys and pray.
[ ] Diplomacy. Try to convince Seiga and hope.
[ ] Run. Seiga wants to be an annoyance; give her some exercise.
[ ] Screw it. The sooner you move, the less likely things get hard.
[ ] Write-in. You need a better plan. But what?
>> No. 197253
[x] Show some leg, or rather... have Seiga show some leg. We're sure she can provide some of her own cheesy music.
[x] Stealth so we can get out of sight first, then...
[x] Run. Seiga wants to be an annoyance, so let her be the one to catch up.
-[x] If necessary, fight. Kasen has something up her bandages, you're sure.

Let's be realistic here. Seiga... likes us for whatever reason. Likely because we're so easily flustered. So, she's not going to let us be captured. And, frankly, unless they're sending full conversion cyborgs after us, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.

Best way to put it is to sneak out of our current location and then book it, all the while Seiga lets herself be a distraction. We're not sure that it'll work, of course, but she has an escape route that Harmon and Kasen don't have. And, while she pulls their attention away, Kasen and Harmon sneak out and book it. If we have to fight, we have to, but our two companions can likely hold our own. And while Harmon may not be the best in a fight, a gunfight would be something he's more familiar with.

Of course... this is hoping Seiga doesn't do something rather terrible to those that are going to be breathing down our necks, but we can't afford to be worried about that right now. In for a penny, in for a pound.
>> No. 197290
[x] Run. Seiga wants to be an annoyance, so let her be the one to catch up.

Attachments seemed unnecessary.
>> No. 197292
Good enough. I've waited long enough, I feel.
>> No. 197386
File 149922503399.jpg - (247.21KB , 638x631 , Role reversal but not.jpg ) [iqdb]
197386
[x] Show some leg, or rather... have Seiga show some leg. You're sure she can provide some of her own cheesy music.
[x] Stealth so we can get out of sight first, then...
[x] Run. Seiga wants to be an annoyance, so let her be the one to catch up.
-[x] If necessary, fight. Kasen has something up her bandages, you're sure.

------------

You look to Seiga, who smiles just a bit wider. You then look to Kasen, who shifts her attention from glaring at the annoying bluenette for a moment to spare you a glance. "...Alright, I think I have a plan." You earn yourself Kasen's full attention, not to mention a quirked brow, while Seiga just seems pleased as punch.

Kasen frowns at your silence. "Well, spit it out already." Her eyes flash over to the direction you came from. "We don't exactly have all day, if I need to remind you."

"Now, now, Kasen." Seiga titters jovially. "Let the man have the time he needs~ I'm sure whatever master stroke he's dreamt up will be worth an extra five seconds. Already by complaining you've delayed him far beyond what I'd imagine he would have delayed himself~"

Kasen sighs impatiently, but does zip her lips, looking to you expectantly.

Continuing where you left off, you explain, "Basically, we need the cops to not be an issue, right?" Not letting Seiga muddle your rhetoric, you continue, "So, I think taking Seiga's idea might be a good idea."

"I am not showing le—"

"Especially if she's the one who carries it out."

Kasen is given pause. "...She'll never say yes, but I like it."

Seiga grins. "Whyever would I not~? It might be fun..."

Kasen immediately responds, "I'm all for this plan already." She almost looks a little too pleased with the idea of putting her through this. But, then again, dealing with Seiga for a single day is already exhausting. Who knows how long she's had to deal with the woman, let alone the things she's been put through.

"Alright, then. Here's the specifics: Seiga will go and distract them while we book it. We don't want attention anywhere near here, so we need to stay under the radar. Meet up at, uhh... wherever it was." Thinking a moment, you add, "Kasen, you lead the way on that front. I'm not sure where we're headed, save that you sound like you know the way." She nods. "Seiga, you keep the cops off our back with your... charms." For lack of a better word.

The bluer of the two grins from ear to ear. "My, I quite like the sound of that~ I shall make sure to show them the very best of my charms." She titters, as she always does. There's an oddly sinister tone to her words, but you're just going to ignore it right now.

Between cops bringing you in for questioning and having Seiga hold something over your head, you'll take the later. Cops means you're on the radar. And then come the technocrats. Seiga means, well...

More Seiga.

Things could be worse.

"Alright; let's get to it, then." With that, you finally part ways from Seiga. She strolls under the bus for you like she owns it, leaving the you to follow Kasen's lead. You don't run — not yet — but you don't sneak, either.

As you walk through the alleyway, Kasen comments, "You're okay."

"...Thank you?" You're not entirely sure you deserve that just yet

As you head through backroad after side street, you eventually hear what sounds like a gunshot or two. On one hand, that's more than a little worrying. On the other, it means that they're likely distracted adequately, one way or another. But when Kasen takes off running , that tells you all you need to know. You rush along, speeding through a half dozen more blocks, before you nearly crash into her back.

Taking the moment to catch your breath and be thankful that you aren't feeling the inevitable pain in your ribs just yet, you start looking around to find that you're in yet another alley, little different than any other you've traversed. You almost expect her to use some magic or the like, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

Looking back, she says, "We walk from this point."

You nod, checking your bandages. The hand doesn't come back red or anything, but you certainly can feel a bit of moistness. Grumbling, you keep up with Kasen, trying not to aggravate your injury further. As far as you've gone, your priorities shift away from stealth, and more towards avoiding hurting yourself.

As you head along, you ask, "So... how long have the two of you been working together? It's been a day and I already want to pull my hair out."

Sighing, she simply answers, "Three years."

You shudder at what that would be like. Day in, day out, Seiga tittering or teasing you. Or worse, as those gunshots make it likely to be. "My condolences."

The woman rolls her eyes. "As much as I hate her, I don't have any real choice." At your worried look, she adds, "She's a mage, if that wasn't already blatantly obvious. And, well..." She trails off, not continuing. She looks more than a little annoyed about something.

"Well?"

"I kind of owe her. And continue to, I guess. I'm not exactly hunting this ghost for giggles, y'see. She took my arm."

That explains a lot, certainly. "...It looks pretty alright to me." The stink of rot says otherwise, though.

"Looks can be deceiving. I honestly don't expect to live a long life. Only lasted this long thanks to Seiga's twisted assistance. Still better than the original offer, though..." ...You're not sure if you want to know or not.

"The way she acts, I'd not be surprised if she finishes you off before then."

The pinkette snorts. "You and me both. The woman's more rotten than me."

"...Than you?"

"Nothing important. I'm sure you haven't missed my pleasant aroma, though." Sighing, she admits, "My arm's a useless lump of rotten meat anymore. But, well... it's kept fresher at least."

You wince a bit at that thought. "Fresh enough to use, it looked like."

She nods. "You could say I can't feel a thing. Better off for it, honestly. Better than the constant burning." Casting you a sideways glance, she says, "Still. I shared the better part of my life story. Your turn."

You snort, annoyed. Any other time, you'd shoot down that attempt. Any other time, your little sister wouldn't be on the line, though. "Well... I'm looking for my little sister. Was taken by the ghost with the straw hat."

"Great..." She lets out a long sigh. "Well, this'll be fun, I can already tell. Hate kids."

"She's better behaved than Seiga, for what it's worth."

The woman lets out a snort. "Just about anyone fits that description. ...Good to know at least, I guess. Glad she's not distracting cops with some leg or anything."

Your fist clenches at the very thought. "I'd never let that happen. She's only—" You bite your tongue. Can't let her rile you up, intentional or not.

"Young, huh? Well, let's see if we can give her a chance to grow up, I guess." Shrugging her shoulders, a metal ladder falls down from a fire escape.

You nearly go for your gun at the sudden movement, but just sigh. You look up, finding nobody above, just as you presumed. As quiet as it was, you expected no less. ...Once you realized what was going on, at least. "You could have warned me." You hate unexpected coincidental magic. Seems like Seiga's not the only mage...

"And miss out on some entertainment?"

"Look out, you're sounding like her."

In a flat tone, she says, "Ohh god, what have I become. Before we know it, I'll be missing half my top. And then..." She averts her eyes. "Then the titters will begin, and It'll already be too late." She's as bad as Merlin was.

The two of you chuckle a bit as you climb up. She goes first, and you follow suit. You're more than a little thankful for her sweatpants; you don't have to worry about getting your teeth kicked in just yet.

When you're both up, she pulls the ladder up with the good arm. You only now realize that she climbed the ladder one-handed. You'd be impressed, though you instead tell yourself it's not that amazing. Although, opening the window with one hand is just a bit less impressive.

She holds the window up for you, grinning. "Ladies first."

You snort at the offer. That's the sort of joke Lyrica would pull.

------------

[ ] Don't take the bait. You're smiling too much as it is.
[ ] Take the bait. Might cheer you up a bit to just be made fun of a bit.
[ ] Reverse the situation. Treat her like the delicate flower she obviously is.
>> No. 197393
[X] Reverse the situation. Treat her like the delicate flower she obviously is.

Chivalry lives, quite unlike Kasen's arm.
>> No. 197395
>>197393
I found that rather humerus.

[x] Reverse the situation. Treat her like the delicate flower she obviously is.
-[x] Steel yourself for the inevitable punch/kick/headbutt. You know it'll come.

Obviously she'll get either annoyed or exasperated and will give us a slug. Don't be caught off guard by this one.
>> No. 197396
[X] Reverse the situation. Treat her like the delicate flower she obviously is.
>> No. 197432
File 149956142610.jpg - (633.60KB , 850x1000 , At least you aren't tittering.jpg ) [iqdb]
197432
[w+2] Reverse the situation. Treat her like the delicate flower she obviously is.

------------

"Very well, madam." You make sure to lay the posh on thick — if there's one thing you ever learned from Merlin, it's when to apply liberal amounts of posh to a situation.

"...Huh?" The hulk of a woman is more than a bit taken aback.

"Well?" You hold up the window. "Ladies first, my lady."

Her face starts to match her hair a bit. "Okay, stop that. If I wanted a butler, they wouldn't be nearly as scruffy as you. ...Besides, I'm already in, dumbass."

"I'm sure that scruffy butlers are all the rage in Hannover, for what it's worth." You maintain the thick layer of posh, though do note the way her brow twitches.

"Get in or I'm getting out there for the express purpose of throwing you in." You hurriedly comply, wincing as you work your way inside. Looking at you like you're made of glass, she asks, "What?"

"Nothing. Just... kinda got shot yesterday. Reopened the wound on the way here."

She looks at you incredulously. "What? When?"

"After we parted ways, Seiga tittered after me."

That gives her pause. "...Seiga shot you?"

You shake your head. "I don't think she has enough room for a gun in there."

"You'd be surprised." ...Scary thought.

"Still, I ended up protecting her from some ass with a gun."

"...You protected her?"

"Yeah?"

"Her."

"Look, does it really matter?" You're not about to admit that she reminds you of family.

She lets out a sigh, massaging her temples with her good hand. "Alright, alright. I'll get some bandages. Pretty sure Seiga could fix it right up, though. What's the damage?"

You shudder at what that might entail. "Broken rib or two. Bullet only nicked my side."

She lets out a sigh. "Yeah, that'll need her touch. Just strip a bit so I can look the wound over. I can stitch you up, but healing's not something I can do." Kasen heads off with a grumble, muttering, "Too vulgar for my taste."

You resume your poshness, commenting, "I see my lady has double standards." She stops for the express purpose of giving you a dry look. While you chuckle, she continues on her way.

------------

[ ] Accept her offer. It's not easy to look over a wound yourself.
[ ] Decline her offer. No way are you going to take off your holster.
[ ] You can't let her see what you're wearing as a bandage. You'd never live it down.
[ ] You'd rather just leave it to Seiga, if she's so skilled.
>> No. 197444
[X] You can't let her see what you're wearing as a bandage. You'd never live it down.

Health is important and all, but on the other hand I don't fancy the permanent title of Girlyboy.
>> No. 197450
[x] Accept her offer. It's not easy to look over a wound yourself.
-[x] If she makes a remark, just remind her: Seiga.
>> No. 197451
[x] Accept her offer. It's not easy to look over a wound yourself.
-[x] If she makes a remark, just remind her: Seiga.
>> No. 197484
File 15002611855.jpg - (18.00KB , 354x354 , Finding these was attempted murder.jpg ) [iqdb]
197484
[x+2] Accept her offer. It's not easy to look over a wound yourself.
-[x+2] If she makes a remark, just remind her: Seiga.

------------

You sigh, knowing you're about to die of embarrassment either way. You start with your jacket, and your holster soon follows. Next, is the gun within, which gets set within reach; you aren't getting caught with your pants off. Still, you're glad you're fresh at least — one less thing to be ribbed over. Still, it could be worse.

You could lack a scapegoat, for instance.

After all, Seiga may be charismatic in her own... unique way, but she still makes you wish you didn't need help so that you could get the heck out of Dodge. And you can tell — ohh how you can tell — that Kasen knows this feeling in spades.

You don't bother trying to cover the bloodied stocking. You don't put up any defense to your person unless forced, as you've got a guaranteed get out of jail free card.

Knowing what is to come, your short wait feels infinitely longer. Thankfully, Kasen soon returns from the bathroom with a first aid kit. She eyes your jacket. She eyes your holster, empty as it may be. And then her eyes lock onto the gun. You kept it quite within reach, and her gaze lingers a moment.

And then her eyes fall to you, yourself. Or, to be exact, your taste in bandages. "You know, I could say a lot of things about you, but bloody hosery — and I don't mean that strictly figuratively — is one I'd never have expected."

"Seiga did it."

She squares her brows.. "I do not want to know."

"Heh. Can't blame you." Well, that was just as easy as you expected. Could probably get away with a lot just by blaming your ohh so friendly neighborhood bluenette.

"Just... bite this and shut up." Acting as if that topic never happened, she offers you a wooden bit.

You eye the teeth marks. "You need this often?"

"Seiga's brand of help is many things. Pain free isn't even on the list."

"Lovely..."

Sighing, she explains, "I'm not kidding when I say she offered to replace my arm."

You shudder at the thought. "Where would she even...?"

"Morgue, or so she says. As easily as she slips through walls, I could see it. But, well... way she acts, I could imagine an alley just as easily."

"Great..." ...If she can animate a dead arm, and reanimate a new arm... A necromancer of some kind? "Wait, if she can reanimate arms, doesn't that mean—"

"Anyways, just bite the thing." She slips a latex glove over her bandaged hand, cutting you off with the power of hygienics. As much as the thing smells, you're more than a little thankful for that. Still, you do comply. "Now, I'm not the best at the whole stitching thing, but I should be able to at least make sure it doesn't get infected. Said it's been a day, right?" At your nod, she removes the 'bandage,' to the sound of a whimper. And then you nearly double over in pain, muffling a cry with the wood. She needs to learn how to be gentle, as it felt like she's trying to torture you, not palpate you.

Snorting, she mutters, "Big baby," before saying, "Definitely busted. No doubt about that, at least. Well, not much to do for it. If you don't accept help from Seiga, well... not much you can do but let it heal. Still, till then, lemme get it at least passable." You cry out into the wood again when she pours peroxide on the wound. No warning, even. Just plain dumped a bit on a damned bullet hole! If her arm wasn't bigger than your leg, you might want to throttle her about now.

"Bhh crrfuh, yuh bihhf!!"

"Yeah, yeah." She doesn't seem to care about your colorful language. Although, the small smirk is a bit unsettling, if you're to be honest.

You wince when she begins dabbing it with a cotton ball to clean up what she left behind. Your eye twitches when the stitching begins. Or, to be exact, with each stitch added and each time she tugs at it. She doesn't stop when you make pained sounds, nor does she give you a break. It's feels like she expects some sort of god-like pain tolerance. And, sadly, you just don't have that sort of threshold.

Thankfully she does finish sooner rather than later, tying the knot and snipping the excess off. "There! The pain's over now, you big baby. Want a lolly?" Her smile drips with condescension nearly as much as her voice.

You decide to not deign that with a response. Even if her smark is a good break from Seiga's... Seiga, it's still annoying when it keeps coming. "Still, now that we're here, what's next?"

Kasen lets out a snort. "Now we wait for her." However, it does lead into a sigh. "Was hoping to get what I need sooner rather than later, but a little waiting won't kill me."

Almost as an afterthought, she adds, "Probably."

You look to her incredulously. "How bad of shape are you in?" Just to turn the tables, you add, "We talking stiff breeze to knock you over, or terminally ill but some time left?"

She crosses her arms, giving you a flat look. "I'm on borrowed time. But I'm not planning to give up till the one that did this to me is really resting in peace. I don't care about justice and don't care about making the world a better place. I just want to get even before my time's up."

You raise a brow. "You been saving that little speech a while?"

"...Maybe a bit." She lets out a snort. "When your only social interaction amounts to titters and teasing, well..." She trails off a bit.

"Well, on the bright side, assuming she's not already dead, you'll at least get to help save a kid's life before you go."

She stares at you a bit, before sighing. "If she's anything like you, she'll die by teasing."

Rolling your eyes, you say, "She's about as far from it as possible." Still, she is Merlin's and Lyrica's sister after all. Give a few years and she might be the one doing the teasing. Heck, even Lunasa had her fair share of teasing to do when she felt like it.

"Heh. ...Well, just don't let Seiga rub off on her, then."

Your eye begins to twitch at the merest mention. "If I did, my siblings would roll over in their graves." Well, maybe not Lyrica.

"Ohh? Siblings?"

Your jaw clicks shut.

Snorting at your reaction, she points out, "She'll be a while still. C'mon, now. Not like it'd hurt to talk about it, right?"

------------

[ ] No.
[ ] NO.
[ ] ...Fine.
-[ ] Layla.
-[ ] Lyrica.
-[ ] ...Merlin.
-[ ] Lunasa.
-[ ] Harold.
>> No. 197499
[x] No.
[x] No.
[x] No.
[x] ...Fine, fine, whatever. Seiga ain't here...
-[x] Layla.
-[x] Harold.
-[x] ...Merlin.
-[x] Lunasa.
-[x] Lyrica.

I do think Harmon would be rather resistant to this, but help is help (and she could probably bend us over in a choke hold until answer. Besides, if she's helping us, she'll need to know who we're searching for.

And, secondly, maybe we can hear more about the eldest brother once he finishes. What kind of mages are they, for that matter? ...I guess some kind of mix of canon for the three sisters and WoD for the lot of them, but we might could see which Tradition (though I believe it would be somewhere along the lines of the Cult of Ecstasy for their builds).

And... let's presume that we don't have unlimited time. I'm choosing Merlin after Harold due to preference, but the important thing is we cover the one we're trying to save and the relative unknown first (at least on a meta level). In character, Harold is dead, so there's less to harm by talking about him.
>> No. 197516
[X] ...Fine.
-[X] ...Merlin.

Skip the coy pretense.
>> No. 197547
File 150102655826.png - (195.21KB , 600x649 , Seiga has a way of popping in.png ) [iqdb]
197547
[y+2] ...Fine.
-[y+2] Layla.
-[y+2] Harold.
-[y+2] ...Merlin.

-[x] Lunasa.
-[x] Lyrica.


------------

Under normal circumstances, your lips would be sealed on the subject — your baby sister is all you have left, and and losing her would be the end of the world for you.

But that's exactly why you have to tell her.

You can ignore Seiga all you like and she'd probably just titter along as if nothing happened. But, as big as Kasen is, you might expect a short fuse. And, as much as she deals with the woman, a shorter one still. You let out a long breath, answering, "Okay, fine. Just, uhh... keep this stuff between us two, alright?" Seiga may seem friendly, but everything about her just makes you uneasy, even ignoring the way she seems to go out of her way to do just that. You might trust her, but you also trust her just as much to betray you. it's a shaky trust at best.

Kasen's hood shifts just a bit with her nod of acceptance. "Didn't even have to ask."

"Good." Letting another sigh escape you, you begin to explain. "My sister Layla is all I have left. The lot of us left home and fled when mage stuff made us have to book it. She's young — real young — but she's... a sweet thing. She'd be friendly to even the most wicked of Beasts, and, with my brother and sisters all gone, I've had nothing left I could really do but protect her. ...Harold'd roll over in his grave if I let something happen to her." Probably roll on down to you just to throttle you if he could, too. After that, a snort escapes you. "Right after he rolls over for my letting her get taken in the first place."

"Mages, huh?"

"Yeah, it kinda runs in the family it seems. My brother and sisters all have it in them. " Now if only you did as well... "Parents were Sleepers, though."

"Huh." After seemingly mulling that over, she asks, "Brother and sisters, though? I'm guessing you're not including the rugrat."

You bite your tongue, wanting to correct her on the age — she's no infant, but she doesn't need to know that your little sister is only eight. Feels like just yesterday that she was one, though. "Yeah, sisters. Four of them, including Layla."

"Wait, you're saying you have four sisters and a brother...? And they're all mages?" She sounds like she doesn't believe you, and you honestly don't blame her.

You give her a nod. "Pretty much, yeah."

"What are your parents eating...?"

Not quite sure what she's getting at, you ask, "What...?"

"They have to be having sex 24/7, right?"

"So, how about I tell you about my brother!" The thought alone is more than a little nauseating. She seems to get a kick out of your reaction, though. "He, uhh..." You clear your throat to settle your nerves. "Harold was the strongest of the lot — stronger than the rest of us combined." Especially with your relative normality.

"Either you're all kinda crap at this, or he's the bee's knees."

You give her an odd look, but continue where you left off, adding, "He's dead now, so a lot of good it did him. But hey, at least we found his body." Your elder sisters probably met a worse fate, to have vanished without a trace as they did. "We at least knew what happened to him... How he died." You can't help but let out a sigh, explaining, "He was practically Merlin's best friend. They'd shoot the breeze for hours on end after he got back. His taste in instruments helped, of course. He was a piper, and she liked trumpet. So, when he died... she wouldn't believe it till she saw the body." You grimace a bit. "...She wasn't the same after that. She distanced herself from us — especially from me and Layla. For all intents and purposes, my sister died long before she went missing. ...Died holding him in her arms, wailing like there was no tomorrow." After she let it all out, she never shed another tear. Never smiled, or laughed, either. "And, well... she tried to be like him. Tried to match him and take on his burden, just outright ignoring the Consensus. Played till she was blue in the face. Don't think she expected the blue to stick to her hair and eyes, though."

"My, blue, you say?" Something presses against your back, tittering all the while. "Is that why we get along ever so well~?" You feel a finger wipe something from your face.

Kasen, for her part, groans. "Dammit, Seiga." Took the words right out of your mouth.

------------

[ ] Be honest with yourself. Probably why you let her in.
[ ] Be honest with her. Probably why you can stand her.
[ ] Just ignore her.
-[ ] You don't want to share this with her if you can help it.
-[ ] Keep going and tell Kasen about the others. Keep waiting for Seiga to get back, because she's obviously not there.
[ ] Lie. Of course not.
[ ] Change the subject.
-[ ] Focus on Kasen's arm.
-[ ] Ask for help with your ribs. You might regret it, but the pain alone can be downright debilitating, let alone the risk of a far worse injury.
[ ] THIS WOMAN.
[ ] Write-in.
>> No. 197551
[x] THIS WOMAN.
[x] Change the subject.
-[x] Focus on Kasen's arm.
-[x] Ask for help with your ribs. You might regret it, but the pain alone can be downright debilitating, let alone the risk of a far worse injury.

The first vote, because dammit, Seiga.

The second because we covered the important sibling, and the rest can come later. And we need to make sure that both ourselves and our compatriots are alright.

...Also, have we let her know that Harmon is plain and normal?
>> No. 197553
[x] THIS WOMAN.
[x] Change the subject.
-[x] Focus on Kasen's arm.

Apologies for the tardiness
>> No. 197555
[x] THIS WOMAN.
[x] Be honest with her. Probably why you can stand her.
[x] Change the subject.
-[x] Focus on Kasen's arm.

I don't think I've ever voted in this story before, which is weird, I like the setting, even if I have like no idea what the protag is doing really.
>> No. 197557
>>197555

Thank you. I appreciate it.
>> No. 197566
File 150172749940.jpg - (340.42KB , 484x723 , Intimidation check successful.jpg ) [iqdb]
197566
[x] THIS WOMAN.
[x] Change the subject.
-[x] Focus on Kasen's arm.

------------

You shrug her off in the most literal sense and proceed to round on her, shoving your finger in her face. "Listen here, I don't care why you're being so irritating, but donnot eaves drop on me."

The bluenette has gotten a bit cross eyed, if only due to focusing on the finger in front of her nose. Raising a brow, she clutches your larger mitt in her more feminine hand. "My, so he does have a pair..." Giggling properly for once, she adds, "I was hoping you wouldn't disappoint. How wonderful that you have not~" She gives a wink, easing your hand back to your side. "Still, might I suggest not placing your finger so precariously? You might poke someone's eye out~"

"From the sound of it, you'd just rip out some poor bastard's eye and shove it in your skull."

Upping the melodrama in a way that hurts just a little at its familiarity, she feigns fainting. "Ohh, woe is me... My allies think so little in my tastes in eyes... Whatever shall I do?" She plops down on the couch, back of hand over her face as she buckles her knees.

"Ohh, can it M—" You bite your tongue hard enough that you're pretty sure you might be bleeding, especially given the coppery taste. Of all the times for a slip of the tongue... Before she can grin any wider, you correct, "Ma'am."

Her expression flattens. "That was the best shift you could come up with?"

"Shut up."

Seiga lifts a brow. "Ohh, yes, ma'am. Obviously I call her that ever so often." She seems to be making a poor imitation of your voice.

"Shut It."

"Most certainly not a particular name. And especially not that of a bird, no. That would be downright silly."

You give her a look heavily saturated in scorn, before cutting your eyes to the less infuriating of the two. "Hey, Kasen. Your arm still needs to be fixed up, right?"

The hulking pinkette looks at you with a bit of sympathy. Obviously she knows how easily Seiga can go from silly to irritating. "Yeah, of course. I didn't exactly find some miracle cure while I was gone."

"Maybe you should go get to that, then."

Seiga prods you in your ribs fairly hard, earning a yelp of pain. "Ohh? You think you will evade similar assistance so easily, do you?" You bat her hand away. "You realize that, should you end up in a bad situation when your wounds get the best of you, that putting you back together will not be quite as simple, correct?"

You shudder to think of what's on her mind. She has a point, but you aren't about to trust some sort of necromancer. "And trust someone that apparently slaps other people's bits on you?"

She gives you a dry look. "One cannot be so picky when internal bleeding is the prize for cowardice."

"Or maybe I'll end up with my legs and arms all on the same side. With you, I'd hardly be shocked."

Pouting, Seiga points out, "Now, Dorky... I do not make a habit of lying to you."

"But you do lie to me, then."

"I never claimed such a thing."

"You never said you don't, either."

"I do not lie to you; there is little need for such a thing." Seiga looks to be growing impatient with you, judging by the frown she's sporting. You aren't sure if you struck a nerve or what, but something about the look she's sending you makes you almost take a step back.

------------

[ ] Relent and be mended.
[ ] Resist and be wounded.
>> No. 197567
[X] Resist and be wounded.
>> No. 197568
>>197566
[X] Relent and be mended.
>> No. 197569
[X] Relent and be mended.

I really, really don't want to rely on her too much - unfortunately, health does take precedence.

'monster with a heart of gold' might just end up being pyrite.
>> No. 197573
I wrote this update before ET was up, so let's get this started.
>> No. 197584
File 150188583321.jpg - (632.52KB , 1024x1494 , Abrupt arm angst.jpg ) [iqdb]
197584
[a+3] Relent and be mended.

------------

You let out a long suffering sigh. In the end, you feel less like you have a choice and more like you will end up more hurt than you already are if you keep declining. "Fine. Whatever. We'll do it your way — but after Kasen has her turn, and no funny business." You're hardly in immediate danger after all. Kasen, on the other hand...

Seiga's petulant pout widens into that more familiar and ever present smile. "Good! I'm glad you saw reason, Dorkie~" You can't help but roll your eyes as she leads Kasen off, the pinkette already getting the wooden bit from before into position in a very obvious display of preparation. She doesn't look particularly happy for her brand of help — and you can't blame her — though she seems to be accepting it without any resistance.

"Can I watch, though?" If you're to trust—

Kasen spits the bit into her hand. "No." Her words cause you to take a step back. You weren't expecting such a forceful response from Kasen.

Seiga titters, pointing out, "She's just self conscious~ Although, I will point out that there's little she can do to stop eavesdropping. At least, not in a place so dessicated as this~"

Kasen gives her blue compatriot a flat glare, not looking pleased with that bit of advice, but leaves it at that. Her anger is focused on Seiga alone, at least. As they head out of the room, you are left with a choice.

------------

[ ] Eavesdrop. What Kasen doesn't know won't hurt her, right? Wait a few minutes and get to work.
[ ] Blatantly listen in. She might appreciate the honesty if nothing else. Seiga might get a kick as well, though you aren't sure if that's appealing or not.
[ ] Avoid listening. Although, if she starts screaming, you'll make it your business.
[ ] Disregard women, acquire nap.
[ ] Write-in.

I'll take this moment to remind of the Z questions for new and old readers alike. Every update, you earn a letter. Every time it hits Z, it resets to A and you gain a free question. You can ask "anything" to myself or Luminous pertaining to the story. We reserve the right to decline a question, and the question asked cannot be used directly, as Harmon doesn't know meta details. You are now at a+3, meaning you have three questions you may ask. Of course, it's also used in rolling back to previous updates, or effectively used as a continue, so you may potentially want to simply not use them. Also, seeking out a bad end will likely incur Z penalties at our discretion, as was done in No Such Thing as Fairytales. However, I would press for leniency. I don't mind writing them, as it's fun. However, a bad end that is not foreshadowed and isn't sought after (basically, a wrong choice obtained through normal voting) would incur no penalties and will place the voter back at the point of no return for that option. However, you may continue to roll back prior to that for a small penalty. Update rollbacks are done at cost of 1-5 letters taken away per update we rewind.

So, to summarize, each Z vote shown gives you either:
One question about the setting/plot/characters that we judge acceptable (no asking what the plot is)
One free pass to any obstacle/puzzle/longshot attempt to succeed. (Basically, instant natural twenty (Although, I wasn't a fan of that, so I may not offer it potentially.)).

While each letter earned gives you:
The ability to roll back updates at a cost.

That should be all. Oh, and fair warning, we reserve the right to reset the points at anytime for a vote that we deem over the line. If it’s bad enough, we can reset your letters all the way to zero (Though I am likely to go for leniency if I enjoyed writing it.).

>> No. 197600
[X] Disregard women, acquire nap.

While I'm not a fan of how the vote is phrased, it is their business, not his.
>> No. 197601
>>197600

Yeah, I felt it was a little odd as well. The option has its merit, however, so I included it as it was. I think it could have been perhaps detailed more, as it's a bit out of place amongthe others. My bad.
>> No. 197615
File 150215431930.jpg - (81.21KB , 500x656 , just a little alteration.jpg ) [iqdb]
197615
[x] See image.
>> No. 197616
I need to get up early tomorrow, so I'll just bump this for potential votes and write tomorrow. Writing on less than three votes never feels right anyways.

In the mean time, I need to draw. I've been putting it off the last few days, and am almost done with the third winner, as only Doyou is left.
>> No. 197617
[X] Disregard women, acquire nap.
Voting as cheer to the writer, keep it up.
>> No. 197619
File 150222062556.jpg - (125.52KB , 850x583 , A wild author appeared.jpg ) [iqdb]
197619
Thank you. I appreciate it.
>> No. 197621
[X] Disregard women, acquire nap.
>> No. 197639
File 150261411565.jpg - (44.87KB , 604x340 , the most comfort he allows himself.jpg ) [iqdb]
197639
[X] Disregard women, acquire nap.

------------

As things are, you imagine it won't be easy to just ignore them. If pain is a byproduct of her help, you might end up doing something dumb when you hear the inevitable fruits of her labors. You may be called an ass by most, or a dork by your... ally, but hearing a woman crying out in pain is probably gonna make you come running.

You did help Seiga of all people after all. If you've a redeeming feature, it's a little chivalry.

But, sometimes, foolhardy chivalry isn't helpful. If you don't eavesdrop, you're going to end up hearing a scream sooner or later, or so you'd bet. So, that leaves only one option.

You kick off your shoes and lay down on the couch. "Whatever." A nap would be best about now, even if trusting your sleeping form around the blue one might be a bad idea, backwards as it sounds. But, well... it'll happen sooner or later either way, right? Not like you have mage tricks to get out of sleeping, if that's even a thing.

You really hope it is, or else Merlin just wasn't really doing it.

------------

[ ] Abrupt
[ ] Delayed
[ ] Drawn out >>192344
[ ] Early
[ ] Repeat
-[ ] Rep̶ea͝t
--[ ] R͠ep͟e̴a̧t

Sorry about that. Been sitting on this update for a while now, as my lovely assistant has been super busy and I've been dead tired. As it's tiny, I'll see about giving a bonus update to make up for it if I can get the votes to do so fast enough.
>> No. 197670
[x] Abrupt

Let's not wait any longer. ...Besides, repeating looks... too Zalgo to even touch.
>> No. 197682
[X] Early

Layla?
>> No. 197683
As it's a tie, I'll use the one you guys will likely be more interested in this time.
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