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/qst/ - Quests

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The sun shines brilliantly across Biscotti Lake. The last of the morning fog hanging over the lake evaporates in the noon-day radiance. It's hard to think that, just a week ago, there existed a barren valley where the lake now stands. It's a tough change to get used to. That used to be the valley that you would use to train your magic and your morning meditation. It's not an unwelcome change, and in fact many have expressed joy in having a new body of water just a stones throw from home.

One of those whom you're certain are appreciative is the owner of this restaurant. Before the battle, this establishment was considered to be on the 'poor' end of town. Great food, but not much in terms of scenery. There was an alleyway on one side of the overlook, and a field on the other.
Now there's a massive lake on one side, and hundreds of pop-up vendors and stores on the other. Needless to say, the change has brought quite a bit of curiosity to the town. With that curiosity; brings quite a bit of money to be spent.

Your mind races for other things to think about. The weather? The temperature? The water? How about the battle? Maybe you can think about the bugs that are out right now? Something, anything to distract from the cute girl who is sitting across from you.
You are Dorje of Carancha, and you are trying to keep yourself from having a panic attack in front of a whole bunch of people. Saying that you're unprepared is an understatement.
Kayda stares off into the distance, and pays little attention to you. Her hand idly plays with her hair, and twists some of her straight black locks into curls.

This whole 'date' thing was a terrible idea, but it's not like you exactly had a choice. For you, it all started like so:
Knock, Knock
"Ugh, Louise?" The past-you rubs your scalp after being rudely awakened, "What's wrong?"
"Dorje! Good news!" Louise seemed as happy and full of energy as ever, which should have been the warning sign. "Kayda agreed to go on a date with you!"
"W-wha? When?"
"An hour! See you there!"

-And that is why you're currently sitting here feeling nothing short of absolute embarrassment over not knowing what to do in front of said cute girl. Do you act tough? Act natural? What is natural? Certainly not how you're acting right now.

What was it that Cassata told you earlier when you asked about this?
"Just be yourself."
Yeah, thanks Cassata. You're really feeling like 'yourself' right now.

The waitress approaches your table. Thank god, maybe this will take your mind off of this for a few seconds.
"Can I get you something to drink?"
"Tea, please." Kayda acknowledges the waitress only for the brief amount of time. She even manages to smile, for a second.
"And you, sir?"

>Tea, also
>Oh god oh god OH GOD
>Say something classy?
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Previous Recap threads:
>Tea, also
Safe option.

Dorje could use a pick-me-up
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"Coffee, please." You successfully manage to say what you wanted to drink without having an aneurysm. Good! That's a good start to a fine morning meal!

The waitress smiles and then walks away. You can almost feel yourself sweating bullets. Kayda doesn't seem to have noticed anything off about you, yet. So your job should be to calm down, and keep her occupied with something.

"So, that battle yesterday." You think of the most obvious distraction imaginable, "That was, quite scary, huh?"
"Hmm, yeah." Kayda sighs.

"Very good job with the boulders. I didn't think about using fire to melt them." You laugh, awkwardly.
"Yeah, I'm surprised with how well it worked." Kayda still doesn't seem to be looking in your general direction, "We have to try it again sometime."

Yes! That's a good start!
"I know, right?" You feel your face beaming, "I could control the lava just before it cooled as if it was solid rock."

"The only problem is the 'holding hands' part." Kayda sighs, "I don't want to do that again, so we'll have to find a way around it."

Kayda, no.
That hurts worse than anything that happened yesterday.

You feel a dry cough escape your throat.
"W-well, I liked holding hands."

She eyes you with her almost emotionless expression.

"Yeah, I did! Holding your hand helped me concentrate." Yes, that's a good answer!

"Mm, you should try to get stronger without my help. Relying on others is bad for you."

No! Kayda, No! no.

The waitress comes by once more, and sets down a cup of coffee in front of you. Kayda takes her tea, and starts drinking from it intently.
"Food will be out in just a minute." The waitress smiles, and prances away.

You can tell Kayda has a lot on her mind, but doesn't want to talk about any of it. You have a lot on your mind, too. It's just mostly involving how badly you're doing on this date.

You need to escape this rut.

>Talk about Jack. Ask what happened to him
>Bring up another subject, maybe about her magic?
>Ask whatever happened to the Konditorei thing.
>"So, uh, nice weather."
>Talk about the battle yesterday some more.
>Ask why she agreed to this date if you're boring her so much.
>Bring up another subject, maybe about her magic?
>Having your own power and working together is both important probably no one can do everything.
Or as well as we can get that out there.
>Bring up another subject, maybe about her magic?
>Talk about Jack. Ask what happened to him
>"So, uh, nice weather."
>Crazy how a massive demon was just living under Biscotti
>Talk about the battle yesterday some more.

Might have to bust out the H.A.D. formula if were getting nowhere
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"So tell me a little more about your magic, then."

"Well, it's fire. It burns things."

You feel a sigh escape your breath. You did ask, and you did receive an answer.
"Anything else it can do? I know you and Louise were working on some kind of secret attack. What was it?"

"Oh, that was nothing much." Kayda smiles lightly, stirring her tea. "I found that I can make bullets and arrows explode on impact by manipulating the fire within them, but Louise can make them follow things with her electricity. So the thought was for me to shoot flaming bullets, and have her guide them."

"Bullets that follow people which explode? That doesn't seem like 'nothing much'."

"It wasn't as impressive as it sounds."
"That sounds pretty impressive!"

"Well, it wasn't that good." She gently sips at her teacup. "One of us had to shoot AND channel magic at the same time. It was best just to throw lightning and fire at things."

"Still! That's pretty impressive. Having your own power and working together are both important. No one can do everything themselves!"
"Except Jack, apparently." Kayda grumbles. She's been sort-of sore that she didn't have more to do with slaying that monster. Atlas has assured you that there are plenty of demons in the world to slay, but that doesn't seem like much consolation to someone who was training for almost a solid month up until this point.

"Crazy how a massive demon was just living under Biscotti, huh?" You try to nudge the subject along.
"Yeah, I wonder if there's more." Kayda taps the table with her fingers.

"Atlas says there are, but probably not as powerful as that one. That one has apparently been underground for a long time."

"Until Jack woke it up."
"Speaking of which-" That reminds you of something, "How is Jack?"

"Still recovering."
"Really? It's been like five days, now."

"I asked Aligot and he said both him and Atlas had it pretty bad." Kayda sits up straight in her chair, "Atlas can still stay awake about an hour a day, and Jack has had a private nurse looking after him."

"A private.. nurse?" You feel puzzled by that revelation.
"Yeah, I don't get it either. I'm sure he's not doing THAT bad. Where would he even find a private nurse, anyway?"


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The morning sun shines through the window and reflects rudely against your eyelids.

"Whar time issit?"

You slowly inch upward in bed, and feel the weight resting against your eyes shift to your head. It feels nothing short of trying to balance a cannonball against your forehead.

You are Jack Albator, bedridden adventurer, too tired to think of anything witty, and this makes the third or fourth time you've been awake in the last few days.
Apparently, that fight took a lot out of you. You talked to Aligot, and he thinks you may be sleeping this one off for a few weeks, at best.

You don't have time to stay bedridden for weeks, you got a kingdom to lead! You have a unit to manage! You just gotta get a pick-me-up from the old thing that always picks you up.

You reach over to your bed-stand and grab a glass bottle filled with the one thing in the world that always puts the fire in your veins. Oh, and it makes you motivated, too.
The bottle tilts backwards as the alcohol contained within flows into your mouth. It starts as a slight twinge, and then bites at the inside of your mouth with its hateful fury.

That's the good stuff.

You look over to the other, smaller bed in the room, and notice that it's empty. Keiko must have went downstairs to get breakfast. Which is fine, you should consider doing the same thing once the liquor kicks in, and once your head stops trying to fall off your shoulders.

Knock knock

"S'open." You lazily slur with what little exists of your wits right now.

The door to the room creaks open, and-

"Mm, there's a doctor in the house." The good snake-doctor pokes her head in with an almost devious manner. She slowly enters the room with an almost seductive dance. "-and she's coming to check on her patient."
That's when you notice her tail reach up and aptly lock the deadbolt on the door behind her.


"Heya, err, how long have I been out?"
"Too long." Madeleine is smiling, "You've been really know how to make the doctor worry."

"Ah, sorry about that, it's a- kinda thing aye do. Passin' out occasionally, aye mean. Er, Madeleine, if ye don't mind me askin'; where'd ye get that shirt?"

A silken, white shirt with hemmed sleeves clings tightly to Madeleine's chest. It's clearly undersized for her voluptuous form, and you admit that's pretty damn hot.

"Just somethin' the doc threw on for her patient. You know, I've been waiting a long time to give you your treatment." Madeleine inches closer to your bed.
"Heya, aren't ye worried about Keiko comin' back?"

"She's out with Atsuko today. Which means you're in my care for now." She licks her lips, "Come on, let's get started with an injection."
She slithers onto the bed, and gently pulls the covers and sheets off of you.

"Don't be shy."
with a smile, you reach up and grab the collar of her tight-fitting shirt. With a yank, it comes off with little resistance.


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"Anyway-" Kayda continues, "Whatever it may be. I don't envy him."
"Yeah. I'm kind of glad he told us to not overdo it, now. Spending days in bed must be horrible." You drink your coffee, now that it's cooled off enough to put to your lips.

"It would drive me insane." Kayda grumbles. "Just sitting around all day, not doing anything."

"Well, come on Kayda. It's Jack we're talking about. I'm sure he's doing something."

"Yeah, yeah." Kayda yawns.

You look out the window to the brilliant reflection off of Biscotti lake. The sky is blue, and the temperature has never been more fitting for winter. It's a little cool, but not so cold that you need a cloak.

"Great weather, huh?"
"I used to love days like this." Kayda smiles, gazing at the scenery.
Ha! She smiled! You must be doing something right, here!

"Really?" You ask a dumb question, but maybe she can follow it up with something.
"Yeah, my father used to take me hunting on days like this. The dew would eat straight through my shoes, but he always said it was the best time to hunt. The cool morning air meant that animals weren't as fast to react as they normally would."

"Oh, I didn't know that."
You can't say you relate, as you did little to no hunting before coming here.

"Maybe that's the best time to hunt demons, too."
"I don't know. I rather not think about it much more after yesterday."

>Change the subject.
>Why not?
>How did Louise get you to agree to this, anyway?
>Admire the scenery until food is served.
>Why not?
>Change the subject.
>Ask about hunting she used to do, instead of demons.
>Change the subject.
oh shit its finally ending?

That's right! Last thread we wrapped up the main storyline. Now we're on the victory lap.

sad to see it go... that just leaves house and dominion hive queen and DATS from the /tg/ days.. which is really crushing because once those end i will have no reason to come here
He said he's going to run some kind of sequel though, I think.
Sorry to hear that. I'm sure the spirit of writing still remains. I hope you do check in for any future projects I might have in mind!
Welll, It's not going to be a sequel. It's going to be another quest. Just like CPM, it doesn't mean DDQ is over, it just means I'm letting the characters rest for a while until I can think of someplace new to take them.

The new quest probably won't have anything to do with DDQ at all.
Ah, didn't catch that the next thing wasn't the future DDQ thing.
Update postponed until morning. Having some connectivity issues.
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"Why not?" You would think Kayda would like to reflect on the events of the day, "Was it upsetting?"
"Worrying, more like." Kayda looks down at her cup of tea, "The thought that there could exist giant, slimy monsters just below our feet at all times of the day. It.. I don't want it to keep me up at night, that's all."

Well when she puts it that way, then it does seem to send a tiny chill up your spine.

"Don't worry about it too much! I can see underground. I've felt the center of the Earth. If there were really monsters right below our feet, I would have-"
"Then why didn't you see this one?"

Well, that's a good question.

"Uh, um. Because it was in water. I can't see in water."

She takes another sip of her tea, and stares wistfully out the window.
You probably should just change the subject.

"I didn't do a lot of hunting when I was young." You think of somethign else to distract from that less-appealing line of thought. "What's it like? Is there something you like hunting?"

"Well, yes." She sighs, "When I was young my father taught me how to hunt rabbits, and then gradually went up from there. Soon it was deer, and then ducks. After that he was going to teach me how to hunt and skin bear, followed by bison."

"Then you were.. summoned, right?" You try not to talk about it much, you're not sure how comfortable she is with it.


Uh oh, something you just said made her visibly upset. Even if it's just a little; you can still see her discomfort. She breaks eye contact and looks back out the window.

'Did something happen with your father?'

Whew, you almost blurted that out without considering how that would make Kayda feel.
Her father is clearly a sore point for her. Instead, you'll try to steer the topic back onto hunting.

"So what have you been hunting afte your were summoned?"
"Nothing much, really." Her attention turns away from the sea and toward you once more. "I haven't been waking up as early as I had been, so no early-morning hunts."

"Oh, is it because of the training?"
"That, and.. I've been having problems when I go out into the woods alone."


"Problems?" That's a curious way to describe the woods.

"Well.. It's embarrassing, I don't want to talk about it."

>C'mon, try me.
>It's not embarrassing.
>Are you scared of the woods?
>Tell her something about yourself in return
>Change the subject
>C'mon, try me.
>I promise not to laugh or anything.
>Tell her something about yourself in return
>Change the subject

We can give her a freebie and laugh a little about it before changing the subject, and let her decide if she wants to go back to that question herself.
>C'mon, try me.
>Tell her something about yourself in return
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"Really silly?"
"Yeah." She is blushing, slightly. "You probably don't want to hear about it."

"No, it's fine." You try to be reassuring.
"Well, it's not-"

"Try me." You smile at her.

"I don't think it's very.. I don't want you telling anyone, okay?"

Well that just makes you even more curious about it.
Let's try a little tit for tat.

"You know, before I was summoned; my father taught me everything there was to know about my family's martial arts."
"What was that like?" Kayda blinks.

"Intense." Yeah, that's a good word for it. "We lived a difficult, trying life. Our home was way up in the mountains, so invaders and bandits couldn't find us. Every day he would wake me up at dawn so we could meditate."

"That doesn't sound so bad."
"Dad's meditation was something else." You try to downplay the actual strenuous nature of meditation. "I remember every day, twice a week, he would have me sit below a waterfall."

"Below a waterfall?"
"That's right, he had a flat rock that sat just below where the water hit. We would take off our clothes and sit under it for three hours a day."

"Three hours?!"
You laugh. "Three hours. He said it was to re-align my chi. I almost drowned a time or two when I sat in the slightly-wrong place on the stone."

"That's.." Kayda has the right word in mind for it, but semes like she doesn't want to insult you. You'll say it for her, then.
"Stupid?" You laugh, "The funny part about it happened after I was summoned, because I took his cleansing rituals very seriously. I did them every morning."

"What did Eileen say?"
"I did them in secret for about a month after being summoned." You feel yourself starting to blush, it's really embarrassing. "Until one day when Eileen followed me to the river I was meditating at. She watched me take off my clothes, and walk straight into a waterfall, then sit down. She watched me for maybe twenty minutes before coming out of the woods and asking me something that changed my life."

Kayda is trying to hold back a smirk, "What did she say?"
"She look right at me sitting naked under a freezing waterfall and asked, 'What are you doing?'" You feel yourself feeling a little nervous about it, "I said 'I don't know', stood up, put my clothes on, and then followed her back to town. I haven't done any of dad's meditation since. It's really silly, when I think about it."

Kayda loses her composure, and starts laughing. You giggle along with her. It's a funny story when you think back on it. Embarrassing, but funny.

"Now, want to say that your story is sillier than that?" You smile.

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"It's not that it's silly, it's more, scary." Kayda tries to describe it with hand motions.

"Come on, try me."

"It's hard to- remember when I had the ring in my neck?"
"Of course I remember." How could you forget? "I had to carry you back to the castle while you were spitting fire."

"Mm, Right." Kayda gets noticeably uncomfortable, "Well, before it happened I started hearing voices. Aligot told me that the ring let people talk to others who were far, far away. I stopped hearing them after the ring was gone."
"So what's the problem?"

"I'm still hearing things." Kayda says, without a hint of sarcasm, "Not like.. voices though. It sounds like, things that are happening. Things that will happen. The trees, the woods, the stones, the rivers, all of them tell me things. I don't know how to describe it. It only happens when I'm alone in the woods."

How do you even follow that one up?

"You don't think I'm crazy, do you?"

>Of course not.
>Have you told Aligot about this?
>What do these things say to you?
>Maybe you should keep that a secret.
>Of course not.
>What do these things say to you?
>Have you told Aligot about this?
>Of course not.
>What do these things say to you?
>That could be useful if the voices are telling you about the future.
>Of course not.
>Have you told Aligot about this?
>What do these things say to you?
>We live in a world with magic everywhere, can't discount anything.
>Of course not.
>Have you told Aligot about this?
>Or even Atlas? I think he really likes teaching magic and being outdoors.
>What do these things say to you?
>Of course not.
>Have you told Aligot about this?
>What do these things say to you?
>Do they say anything good?
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"Of course not!" You try to remain perfectly serious, and not change your demeanor at all. "I mean, we live in a world of magic now. Maybe it's magic?"

"It's annoying magic, if it is." She takes a sip of her tea.

"What do these voices say to you? Do they say anything good?"
"I guess." She seems uncomfortable talking about it, "They don't say the things the ring used to say. It's more like.. they're having a conversation, and I'm walking into it."

That's must be a weird feeling.
"What kind of conversation?"
"About, uh. The birds, the trees, the future, the past, the weather, all of it. I guess. I try not to think about them too much, because I don't want to look crazy."

Hang on.
"The future?"
"Well, forget I said that."

"Can they tell you the future?"

"M-maybe?" She seems nervous all of the sudden. "It's more like, I see things, and then they happen."

"That's so cool!" You're really interested, now. "So you really can see the future!"
"W-well, I rather not." Kayda seems nervous.

"Because I don't think anyone should have the power to see the future!" She seems slightly angry about this, even. "I don't want to be known as that crazy girl who listens to voices that aren't there and sees things that haven't happened yet. Do you know what they used to call those kind of people?!"

Your mind blanks, "No, no I don't."
"Witches, Dorje! Psychics, shamans, mentalists!" She seems almost a little upset. "I don't want to be like that!"

"Why are you looking at it like it's a bad thing? Maybe it's just a side effect of your magic. I've started to feel things vibrating. I can hear footsteps that are miles away!"

"T-that's nice, but I rather not speak to voices that aren't there."

"Think of it as a gift, Kayda!"

"Please. I don't want to think of it that way."

"Have you at least told Aligot about it?"
"Of course not."

"Because! He's prodding and annoying and he might ask me to do it more or something for research. I don't want that."

>How about this, later let's go both visit Aligot and get his opinion.
>Let's go to the woods later, maybe you can tell me what they're saying?
>Change the topic.
>Okay, that's fine.
>Aligot might have answers, and you can ignore anything that bothers you.
>Let's go to the woods later, maybe you can tell me what they're saying?
>But let's not worry about it for now.
>Change the topic.
>Aligot might have answers, and you can ignore anything that bothers you.
>Let's go to the woods later, maybe you can tell me what they're saying?
>Aligot might have answers, and you can ignore anything that bothers you.
>Let's go to the woods later, maybe you can tell me what they're saying?
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"Kayda, think about it. Aligot might have answers for why you're starting to hear things."
"Well I don't want to hear them." Kayda sulks into her cup.

"It's not about hearing them, what if this really is a gift?"
"I'd like to return it, please."

"How about this. After breakfast, let's go to the woods together, and maybe you can give me a demonstration."

Kayda suddenly looks at you, suspiciously.
"Did you just ask a girl to go alone with you into the woods?"

"W- no, that's not what I meant."

Kayda giggles, "Oh lighten up, Dorje. You've been acting as stiff as a board ever since we got here."
Oh, that was a joke.

"R-right, well. I just thought maybe-"

You're interrupted by the waitress returning with a tray full of breakfast. Plates of pancakes, waffles, strawberries, and sausage make your mouth water in ways you did not think possible. Way more appealling than the oatmeal you've taken to eating before training every day.

"Let's talk about it after we eat, okay?" Kayda takes her plate, "I'm starving."
"R-right, Yeah."

Maybe you flubbed the date, but it was worth it just for this meal.


"Well, shall we?"

You leave the restauraunt with Kayda and head toward the woods. You're kind of excited to see if this works or not. The idea that Kayda can tell the future would be a power worthy of someone like her.

That's when-
"Wait." You stop just on the edge of the woods.

You're being followed.
What do you do? Do you go back and confront them? Stop and wait to see if they catch up? Or-
"Never mind, it was nothing." You're probably just on-edge. Paranoia is starting to seep in where it shouldn't be.
At the same time, you're certain you 'felt' a set of three footprints following behind you. Maybe within eyesight range?

It's best not to think about it. Going on a stroll with Kayda is far more important.

Kayda takes several paces into the woods, and the shadow of the forest canopy casts over her.
She immediately stops, and then blinks.

"I can hear them." Kayda sighs, it seems like she doesn't like this happening any more than you would expect. "The woods. It's like they're telling me things."

"Things like what?"
"Like.. what's happening, the weather, the temperature, the two people standing in the center, a mother bird and her nest, and also-"

She cuts herself off, "Oh my god. It's them."
"W-what?" You're so confused right now. "Who?"

"You know who." Kayda looks at you with a frown. "Louise followed us."

>Are you sure?
>Let's hide and play a trick on her
>No, no. Go confront her.
>Just ignore her.
>Just ignore her.
>We'll talk to her later, she doesn't matter right now.
>Let's hide and play a trick on her

Louise will not expect stiff ole Dorje to have a sense of humor! It will be fun. Fun! Do fun things with the girl you like!
>Let's hide and play a trick on her
>Can you talk back to the voices? Maybe ask them to annoy Louise
>Let's hide and play a trick on her
>Wait, "them"? who's with Louise?
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"I can't believe her! I agreed to go on this date, the least she could have done was not follow me! Was she following us this whole time? How much did she see? Or hear?!"
"Wait, 'them'? Who's with Louise?"

"Who else?" Kayda says with a deadpan stare.
'Who else'. So that would be.. You try to think about the footsteps you were feeling.
"Yes, and Greta too!" Kayda frowns, "She couldn't help following us, either."

"Huh." You think it might be inconsiderate, but you don't know why Kayda is getting upset, "..maybe they just wanted to know how the date is going? Or where we were going?"
"What they want to do is be nosy and gossip about our business." Kayda seems almost hurt in some way. "No doubt they saw us going to the woods and said all sorts of awful things about what we're doing."

Oh, that might be a little embarrassing for Kayda. Especially if she has to answer for why she was caught sneaking off into the woods with a boy, later.

"..Hey Kayda."

"Want to get back at them for following us?" You smile.
Slowly, Kayda's smile also starts to turn into a grin.


"Why the woods, though?" You feel a hot, deep shade of pink growing across your face.
"Louise, come on." Greta tries to placate you, "Dorje probably isn't like that. They probably just wanted to get away from town."
"Yeah, get away from town and away from anyone who could hear her scream." You scowl.

You are Louise Lacerte! And you have made a terrible, terrible mistake. You convinced your best friend, Kayda, to go on a date with a boy she showed some interest in. Dorje seemed like a dull fish; so you didn't think much of it. In fact, you thought it would be healthy for her to get over her timid, insulated lifestyle. So you agreed to some things, and managed to convince her to at least try going on a date with him. What could go wrong?
Oh, so much could go wrong.
It was rather boring during breakfast. They just talked a lot, and didn't even say anything remotely romantic. You felt almost cheated! Then, suddenly, they wandered off from the restraunt and off into the woods.
Why?! Why the woods?

"If you were so worried about this, how did you even get her to agree to it?" Keiko can almost read your mind, it's crazy.
"I.. agreed to go on a date, too. Okay?" You admit, you're not happy about it.

"Oh, so its your turn next?" Greta teases you, "Who's the lucky boy?"
"Let's not talk about that now, okay?" You frown, "Kayda's in trouble and Dorje is a hero. One of you go and get Yuuki, and I will-"

Suddenly, the ground starts to rumble. You suddenly have a very bad feeling about this one.
"Greta! Keiko! Get back!"

The ground in front of you starts to slowly bulge out of the ground. A wave of heat hits your skin, and causes you to sweat instantly.
A flaming fissure bursts in the Earht in front of you. Slowly, a stone hand erupts from the crack!

>Turn it to ash!
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This brightened my day a little, thanks Announcer!
You're welcome! it brightened mine a little, too!
>Dodge roll!
>Dodge roll!
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Okay, there's nothing to worry about. You have this under control. You're a hero, Louise.

All that's wrong is that there's a giant hand made out of flaming rock raising out of the ground like it's going to grab you.
Just react to this, like a hero would react to this.

Oh, be sure to tell your mouth to react to it the same way as well. You don't want something to happen like a high-pitched, girly scream while you're having a big hero moment.

Okay, now that is out of the way, it's time for your next course of action!

The hand is slowly coming down right where you're standing! You gotta get out of here!

You swiftly dive away from the approaching stone grasp!
-and then roll straight into a mud puddle left from last night's rainstorm. The cold, soggy, and mire of soil and sand instantly soaks into your clothes and clings straight to your skin. The once-white barrier jacket instantly turns a disgusting mix of brown and black.

You stand to attention, and feel some clumps of dirt almost ooze off of your body. Quickly, you draw your axe and prepare to face the fiery monster!

..Except it's not moving.
In fact, it's crumbling slowly.

It almost instantly melts into ash and scorched pebbles. The once flaming facade of a gigantic hand collapses into its own weight and merely becomes dust in the wind. Almost instantly, the heat cools down and the forest returns to normal.

"W-wha?" You manage to stammer. Slowly, you feel a chill run up your spine as you grip at your sides.

That mud, is chilly.
You're feeling very slimy.
To make matters worse, this is your only barrier jacket.
"Are you okay?!" Keiko is quickly by your side.

"Fooled ya!" You hear off in the distance. Slowly, footsteps start to approach.

"Dorje?" Keiko is confused.
"Kayda!" Greta yelps in delight. Quickly, she goes to join the side of her hero.

"Louise I am so sorry!" Dorje quickly makes his way over to you. He quickly takes off the top part of his jacket and drapes it over you. "I didn't know you would dive into the mud! We just wanted to give you a little scare!"

"A-a scare?" You feel so confused right now.
"Yeah, a little lesson." Kayda crosses her arms, "Like 'Don't stalk people' and 'keep your nose to yourself'."

"W-" The pieces suddenly come together, sort-of. "I wasn't stalking you!"

"Louise.." Dorje sighs.
"Yes you were! We saw you!" Kayda becomes accusational. "How would you feel if I stalked you on your date later with Ethan and told the whole world!"

"Wait, her date with who?" Keiko's ears perk up.

"I was only making sure you weren't being abducted by Dorje!"
"You were what?!" Dorje seems oddly insulted. Well, he should feel that way.

>That's none of your business, I'm going home!
>T-that date later was supposed to be a secret.
>I'm telling Yuuki that you messed up my clothes!
>T-that date later was supposed to be a secret.
>Argue about Dorje's obvious sinister plan to abduct Kayda that you totally didn't make up on the spot
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>T-that date later was supposed to be a secret.
>Argue about Dorje's obvious sinister plan to abduct Kayda that you totally didn't make up on the spot

And so Kayda and Dorje suddenly understand how Jack feels about catland!
>T-that date later was supposed to be a secret.
>Argue about Dorje's obvious sinister plan to abduct Kayda that you totally didn't make up on the spot
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You are about to erupt into an angry tirade about how it's not right to sneak up on you, summon a monster to attack you, or even push you into the mud!

Instead, something else strikes your mind and takes away all precidence. You even feel the slight shivering give way to the warm blush that gently envelopes your body.

"T-that date later was supposed to be a secret." You pout.

"So was this one!" Kayda shoots back. "-But that didn't seem to stop you!"

"G-girls." Dorje tries using his coat as a towel to mop up the mud that has entangled itself in your hair. You're suddenly also aware that the damp water has soaked through to your underwear. "I think Louise needs to get back and change, she's really shivering."

"No!" You grab his coat and lurch away from him. "I'm not leaving you alone anywhere with her! You still didn't answer why you came out to the woods all alone with her!"

Dorje looks like he's about to say something, but then looks over to Kayda and keeps his trap shut.
Ha! You knew it!

"That's what I thought." The pieces REALLY start to come together, now! "You're trying to abduct Kayda!"

"I'm what?!"
"He's what." Kayda turns from being unamused to just being annoyed.

"That's right!" You point an accusationary finger at the culprit. "Dorje lead Kayda out here into the woods so he could kidnap her and take her back to his country to hold for ransom or to even marry her!" You rightfully conclude, "That's your sinister plan; I should have known all along! The way you coaxed a fair young maiden out into the woods, the way you lulled her into a trance with breakfast, the way you look at her when she's not looking!"

"Wait you WHAT?" Kayda turns back to Dorje, who immediately blushes hard across his face.

"It's clear as day! You're going to jail for this, you pervert!" You cross your arms, but feel the chill radiate quickly into your skin.

"Louise." Kayda sighs, "If you thought I wouldn't be safe with him, why would you set me up on a date with him."
"Clearly, I was tricked!" You turn to Keiko and Greta. "Come on, help me out here!"

Only, they seem to be equally exasperated with your accusations.
"You really are Charlotte's hero, more than you realize." Greta says, with a slight smile.

"What's that supposed to mean?" You feel insulted, somehow! "I'm not- A- AH- ACHOO."
Huh, a sneeze. Strange, you were feeling fine a second ago.

"W-we can talk about that later. You need to get changed really badly. Do you have another change of clothes with you?"
"No, I took everything out of the ring for cleaning." You cross your arms. "Just the axe in there, now."

"I can try resummoning your barrier jacket. That should get the stains off!" Keiko seems to have a plan, "But- if I don't do it right you'll be completely naked."

>Great! Do it.
>No, I'll just go back to the castle.
>No, KAYDA and I will go back to the castle. You watch this heathen and make sure he doesn't follow!
>I- I'm fine
>try not to sneeze
If you say "Do it", add a 1d100 roll. Best of three

>And so Kayda and Dorje suddenly understand how Jack feels about catland!
She's the hero Catland deserves, really.
>No, KAYDA and I will go back to the castle. You watch this heathen and make sure he doesn't follow!
>I- I'm fine
>No, KAYDA and I will go back to the castle. You watch this heathen and make sure he doesn't follow!
>No, KAYDA and I will go back to the castle. You watch this heathen and make sure he doesn't follow!
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"No! I'll be fi-"


"-I'll be fine! KAYDA and I are going back to the castle. Keiko, Greta, watch this heathen and make sure he doesn't follow us!" You grab Kayda by the arm!

"Wait!" Kayda tries to protest, "You're not going to leave GRETA here to-"

She doesn't get a chance to complain. You concentrate on the front entrance of the castle, and start to feel a buzzing arcing across your skin.




There's a high-pitched tone that fills the air as Louise grabs Kayda and steals her away to who-knows-where. The two disappear in a bolt of lightning in that almost-terrifying way Louise uses to zap to any place she desires.
"W-WAIT UP!" Greta yells at the nothing that's there anymore. She takes off toward the castle, chasing her hero who has now been actually-kidnapped.

You're not going to lie; that kind of show-of-power is terrifying on someone who changes her mind at the drop of a hat. You're glad Louise wouldn't actually hurt anyone.

You are Keiko Crostade! You're the beautiful priestess of the local demon hunter shrine. You're also the summoner of the famous hero, Jack Albator!
You're out here stalking Dorje because you expected to be spying on his date, not ruining it. It seemed like a fun way to get Kayda to talk to the boy she had been thinking about, but then Louise just had to take it a step too far.

That sounds like Louise. Always taking things a step too far.

So that just leaves you and Dorje, standing in the woods looking absolutely puzzled at what just happened.

Well, you're standing out here looking puzzled. Dorje looks absolutely nothing short of dejected. He breathes a very long sigh, and then puts his muddied shirt back on.

"I'm going back to the castle." He adjusts his voice, "Thanks for helping to arrange the date, anyway."

>It's fine.
>Don't sound sad, you're acting as if that was your fault!
>I think you did-
>I'm going back to, I'm only supposed to be away an hour.
>I'm sorry..
>I'm sorry..
>I'm going back to, I'm only supposed to be away an hour.
>I'm sorry..
>I think you did-
>I'm going back to, I'm only supposed to be away an hour.
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"I'm sorry." You mumble. "I didn't mean for Louise to ruin it."
"It's not your fault." Dorje sighs, "I owe Louise for helping to arrange it anyway."

"Well, that doesn't give her the right to ruin it like that." You pout.
"I'm not going to worry about it." Dorje starts down the path back to the castle, "I'm gonna see if Eileen wants to go to lunch."

"Oh, so you're going on a date with Eileen?" Your eyes light up.
"No." He states.

"Hey, I'm going back to the castle too. Want to walk together?"
"I can't stop you." He continues walking without you.

"If it means anything, I think you did great!" You run up next to him, "I mean, you convinced Kayda to play a joke on Louise. She would NEVER do something like that if she was alone!"
"Yeah, but the dinner didn't go great."

"Maybe you just shouldn't take her to dinner next time! Maybe you should take her for a walk in the woods next time, or take her out on the town!"
"If there is a next time."

"Don't be that way, just ask her out again." You press him, "She was having fun until Louise showed up."
Suddenly, you get an idea.

"Hey, want to ruin her date later?" You think of something mischevious, "She had to agree to a date with that Ethan boy if Kayda went out with you. So she's going to be-"
"Forget it." Dorje states flatly, "I don't think two wrongs make a right, Keiko."

"Yeah, but it would be really, really funny." You smile.
"I'll think about it."

"Geez, have some fun Dorje. If you were a more fun person, then Kayda would have more fun."
He sighs, "Sorry that I'm not a more fun person."

"Well, that's okay. You should just, be more fun!"
"I'll try."

You both walk into the front entrance of the castle in relative silence. Inside, Dorje has a slight change of heart.
"Get with me later."

"We're going to ruin Louise's date. Bring Kayda if you can." He smiles.
"You know what." You giggle, "Sounds like fun!"

He laughs, and heads for his room. You have to get back with Jack if you're going to head out later. You're almost to his room when-

Sure enough, the princess is standing in the hallway near Jack's room. Of course, that's not the strangest part about it.
"K-k-k-KEIKO!" Tuile says awkwardly. "W-what are you doing here? I was expecting you to be away a little longer."

"Dorje's date ended early." You cross your arms, "What are you doing here? And what's with your outfit?"

It's true, her shirt fits to an almost skintight grip to her shoulders. It's clearly too small for her form. It almost looks like, a doctor's outfit?
It's clinging to her so tightly that you can tell she's not wearing a bra. Is she wearing any underwear?

"W-well." She stammers, "I was j-just going to go check up on Jack and-"
"So you dressed up like a doctor?"

"YES! That's it!" She sighs, "It helps with healing magic."
"Oh, okay. That makes sense."

>-But then why aren't you wearing underwear?
>Agree with her and go do something else
>Can I help?
>Wait a minute..
>Is he doing better?
>Can I help?
>-But then why aren't you wearing underwear?
>Why aren't you wearing underwear?
>Why do I hear pleased hissing from the other side of the door?
>You know what, I really don't want to know
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"Is he doing better?" Your ears twitch, you could have swore you just heard something strange.

"H-he's fine!" She tries to downplay the situation she finds herself in. "It was just, time for the noon checkup. That's all!"

She's being oddly evasive, but you're not sure why.
Well, you can think of at least one reason she might be embarrassed.

"Where is your underwear?" You note on the curious lack of a bra or a pantyline. "If you're going to see Jack with an outfit like that, aren't you worried about him looking up your skirt?"

An extremely red blush washes across Tuile's face.
"Why not?" You also notice how high-cut this doctor's outfit is. "I mean, I can almost see all the way up your legs from here."

"B-because that's not part of the outfit!" Tuile nervously pulls at her dress, "It's like your shrine maiden outfit! If you're not wearing all the right pieces, then it doesn't work quite right!"

"Oooh." You nod, "Okay! So, um. Why do I also hear hissing from the other side of the door?"

Tuile's tail snatches straight up.
"M-Madeleine is also checking up on him."

"Oh, so he needs two doctors?"

"Y-yes, he's very sick."
You gasp, "He is?! Well then I want to help! Is there anything I can do to help with the checkup? I know a lot of powerful magic!"

"NO! No, no no no no no no." Tuile buries her face in her hands. "Gods help me, no. He's sick but not sick in that way."
"What way?"

"Keiko, I really need to go. Can you just come back later? Like maybe after dinner?"

"Well, okay. If you know what you're doing."

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing."

You wave goodbye and she quickly slides into Jack's room. You hear a squeal from behind the door, but keep going back down the hallway anyway. It must be a really hard checkup.

You turn the corner, and suddenly see someone who has been oddly absent the past few days. He stands about a foot higher than Jack, and is chomping on a cigarette.
Also, he has a really big, stupid smile on his face.

"BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" Cody bursts out laughing with such fervor that he almost falls to his knees!
"W-what? Cody?! What's wrong?!"

He darts up, and rudely rubs your head.
"Kid, you're the best summoner Jack could ever ask for. Never change."

With that, he turns around and starts back down the hallway. The whole time, he's laughing.

>What?! What do you mean by that?!
>Oh! You should find Louise. Make sure the date is still on
>And that Kayda isn't grounded
>Nah, you have time. Find Atsuko and tell her what happened.

>Oh! You should find Louise. Make sure the date is still on
>And that Kayda isn't grounded
>Of course I'm the best summoner! Like there was any doubt otherwise
>Oh! You should find Louise. Make sure the date is still on
>And that Kayda isn't grounded
>Oh! You should find Louise. Make sure the date is still on
>And that Kayda isn't grounded

I was originally going to go with telling Atsuko but then I realized your interpretation of that is different than mine, and would be about the Panties Thing instead of Louise RUINING the date!
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You cross your arms.
"Of course I'm the best summoner! Like there was any doubt otherwise." You feel your tail swoosh back and forth, and continue down the hallway.

Oh right, Louise's date! Forget the adults and their nonsense; you still have to make sure that's going on!

You quickly make your way to the guest wing of the castle, but are interrupted by what sounds like a very intense conversation.

That conversation is cut short by a door shutting and Louise emerging from her room looking dejected.
"Louise!" You flag your friend down, "What happened?"

"Charlotte found out that I crashed Kayda's date." She pouts, "It's not my fault. I thought Kayda was in danger."
"What did Kayda do?"

"She huffed and went back to find Greta. I don't know what the big deal is, though. Did Dorje follow you?"

Oh, you better not answer that question truthfully.
"Y- No."

"Good." Louise huffs, "That's the last thing I want is to be reminded how he got me in trouble."

You're not one to shift blame onto people, but you're pretty sure this was entirely Louise's fault.
Well, enough about that!

"So, are you still on for your date later? It's in about an hour!"

"Oh, I guess I forgot." Louise thinks about it for a second. "Okay, I guess I did promise Kayda that I would do it."

"Great! So where are you going to meet him?"
"Meet him?"

"Yeah! Meet Ethan for the date!"

She thinks abut this question for longer than you would like.
"I don't know, I haven't told him yet."

Your jaw nearly breaks right through the stone floor.
"You WHAT?"

"I didn't tell him yet." Louise shrugs, "I guess I forgot. So where should I meet him later?"

"You didn't even bother telling him that he's going on a date with you?"
"Why is that important?"

"Okay, forget it. Let's go to town and find him, and tell him that he's on a date with you in an hour. Do you know where to find him this time of day?"
"I have an idea.." Louise sighs.

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"THAT'S THE THIRD TIME THIS WEEK!" The rough-looking man bellows as he holds a certain person by his collar. "THERE'S NOT GONNA BE A FOURTH"
"I didn't steal anything!"


"Hey Boys." A much softer voice sounds out from the alleyway, "I need that thing you're holding."


There's a mighty thunderbolt that suddenly strikes on a cloudless day. In a flash, two puffballs hit the ground in a cloud of ash.
The thing they were holding instinctively lands and covers his head in fear. Maybe he's thinking that crack was the sound of someone beating him with a club. Who knows? Either ways Louise stomps up to him with her hands on her hips.

"HEY!" She shouts right in his face. "Look up!"
Ethan slowly turns his terrified gaze upward at Louise. She sighs in frustration.

"Get up! Quit crying! And go get the castle staff to dress you in something that has been washed in the past year!" Louise grabs him by the arm and lifts him to his feet with little effort. "We're going on a date in about forty minutes, so you better go back to the castle and get dressed in something that doesn't smell like gutterwash."

Darn, Louise. That was kind of mean, even for you.
Of course, Ethan doesn't even know what to say. His eyes kind of stare off into the distance.

"Uhh, wait-" Ethan mumbles below his breath. "Date?"
"Yes, so get washed up. I don't know why you're out here in the streets when you're pretty much confirmed royalty, but it needs to stop if you're going to be dating me." Louise frowns.

"Uh, well, old habits die hard?" Ethan puts his hands up.
"Not as hard as you will if you don't get washed up right this instant. Got it?"
"Got it!" Ethan says as he sprints out of the alleyway, and toward the castle.

Louise sighs, "I swear, I can't believe he's supposed to be related to Charlotte."
"Maybe you should try to be patient with him?" You give what you think is a helpful suggestion.

"Or-" Louise looks toward you, "I could be even more bossy than before until he starts acting like he should."

Well, you guess that's an option.

>Thread End
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Folks I'm sorry to end the thread there but we are on Page 10

I guess I'm going to have maybe three epilogue threads, because I want to wrap this thing up with the kids before I address loose ends with Jack and Cody.

Anyway. Thanks for participating! Again, I love DDQ, and I'm happy every time I get to run it. Maybe I'm just padding it out a bit because I don't want to give it a break just yet? Who knows! Either ways, Thank you,k and I will see you next thread!
"Or-" Louise looks toward you, "I could be even more bossy than before until he starts acting like he should."

Hasn't even been a year and already she's already the living embodiment of catland.

Thanks for the thread! Looking forward to the next one!

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