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/qst/ - Quests

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OP6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1SCHqpF-eI
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConfettoQM
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=occultic%20quest
“An idiot,” one says.

“Definitely has that aura about,” another replies.

You come to a stop, staring back at two familiar faces observing in your general direction. They’re sitting on a couch in front of a coffee table that has various magazines sprawled on top. A chair is adjacent, the seat empty, and the room is filled two other similar arrangements with other schoolmates talking about nothing in particular. The two closest are pretending not to be talking about you, but there isn’t exactly anyone else entering this lounge area.

Crossing your arms, you ask Nemuri and Hanako, “What are you two gossiping about?”

Nemuri faces away from you, as if that would hide her. She takes a sip from her drink. “Look away, he’s noticed us.”

Hanako, idly staring at a potted plant next to her, “How terrifying.”

You say, “I can hear you! I’m right here!”

Still pretending otherwise, Nemuri pretends to survey for an escape route. “Yikes, I might have to sacrifice you. It was nice knowing you.”

Hanako, gracefully accepting her chosen role, tells you, “Congratulations. I heard you did a fine job, judging by the reception. Shame about what happened, but if it’s any consolation, it isn’t your fault.”

Ah, the thing with Aya’s friend. You say, “Thanks, but I still feel guilty. I hope she’s okay.”

“And she is, so don’t lose too much sleep over it. It’s okay if you lose some,” she replies, smiling.

What a strange way to reassure you.
>”I’ll lose plenty, thank you.”
>”So, who won?”
>”Shame you didn’t get to see us.”
>”I hope I didn’t just stop any tests of courage from happening.”

Wow I uploaded the wrong picture. And I can't delete the OP. Yay.
>”I’ll lose plenty, thank you.”

At least now she doesn't have to lose half a finger to maintain the numbering scheme
>”I’ll lose plenty, thank you.”
>”Shame you didn’t get to see us.”
what's sleep?


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“I’ll lose plenty, thank you,” you tell her, “I got a little ahead of myself.”

“It seems she and the teachers were understanding enough. I’ll go ahead and spoil the surprise that you might get a slap on the wrist later.”

Nemuri notes, “Lucky, you got off easy.”

You ask, “And what kind of punishment would you give?”

“Wandering around outside at night for an hour,” she replies, “Without a flashlight, obviously. That should be enough time for the mountain demon to find you.”

“So harsh,” you comment, dropping down in the empty chair. To Hanako, you consider out loud, “Shame you didn’t get to see us. That would’ve been fun.”
“I was looking forward to it too,” she replies, “From what I hear, it looks like I missed out. The spirit of the forest and the deer demon, huh? Sounds like quite the description.”

Curious, you say, “Don’t tell me you actually asked us to do this so the student council can participate.”

“What? No way,” Hanako waves off, “That’s preposterous.”

“Uh huh,” you say, skeptically nodding. Looking at one of the magazines on the table, you pick up one of them. You read out loud, “Top five ways you won’t believe that hot springs can improve your health.” Reasoning that there was literally nothing better to do, you flip it open to a random page and skim some passages, though most of the pages are beautiful photos of some springs. “And number three is smoothening and softening dry skin. Wow.”

Hanako muses, “Oh? I wonder what that say about you, seeing you picked up that one in particular?”

Nemuri answers, “Health nut. Case closed.”

Blankly, you close it and rest it on your chest, giving them a flat, irked expression. “Playing armchair psychologists?”

To that, Nemuri takes an open magazine that was laid down and shows you the page they paused at. You read the biggest, most glaring words gaudily printed at the top. Red Flags, and How to Read a Person From First Impressions. That looks absolutely terrible. You glance at Nemuri, who face doesn’t betray her thoughts. “What do you think, senpai?”

Alright, you’ll play.

She’s wearing her pajamas, her black sleeves stitched as to give the appearance of two layers. Plain pink pastel colors, nothing that stands out. Her hair ornaments are nowhere to be seen and she has the same expectant half eyes-closed gaze as always.

You’ve come to a conclusion.
>”Definitely looks like an idiot.”
>”I’m making out a striking resemblance to a sloth.”
>”I shouldn’t say it out loud.”
>”I’m getting kouhai vibes for some reason.”
>”Like you’d do anything if your friends insist hard enough.”
>”Like a quiet genius who keeps to herself.”
>”I’m making out a striking resemblance to a sloth.”

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“Hmm, I think I see something,” you tell her, “I’m making out a striking resemblance to a sloth.”

You see an imaginary arrow stab into her chest. She recoils exaggeratedly and says, “That’s mean, senpai. Haven’t anyone ever told you to keep those things to yourself?” Then, taking a sip to hide her expression, she says, “But I guess you’re not wrong.”

Hanako, peeking over to look at the magazine that Nemuri is holding, reads a bit out loud. “You can tell what most people are thinking by their body language and facial expression. Their state of dress and other factors can clue you into their thoughts. Surprise them and make them think you can read their mind!—or so it says.” You spaced out halfway through her sentence, too busy thinking about how rare you actually see her around. She probably wants some time away from management or whatever she does as the student council president.

Nemuri says, “Like an esper.”

To that, you dismiss, “Now that’s a load of bull.”

“Really? It looks like we’re three for three so far,” she replies.

“Both of you calling me an idiot doesn’t count,” you counter.

Wondering out loud, Hanako says, “Does yours count too? If I was told truthfully, Nemuri was the one who wrote the journal from a while back.”

Nodding, Nemuri nods, “I’m an energetic sloth.”

“Is that so?” she replies, “Okay, then Ryuuta, what can you tell about me?”

You look at her.

She looks like how she talks, you guess.
>”Like someone to expects unreasonable things.”
>”No comment.”
>”You definitely blackmail people.”
>”A very responsible demon.”
>”A very responsible demon.”

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“A very responsible demon.” The more you think about it, the more accurate it sounds. “Yeah, that seems about right.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Hanako crosses her arms. “How am I a demon?”

“You know, those business suit demons that come back for your soul or something?”

“I don’t think I’m that unfair,” she says, trying to keep herself reasonable.

“I thought this was about telling what someone’s like by their appearance.”

She embarrassingly clears her throat, “Right. Right. I see how you can see that.” You don’t know whether or not that was actually genuine but you take it as it is.

Nemuri says, “He doesn’t hold back, so cruel. Who is this person?”

“I’m sorry,” you tell them, “You two look like two incredibly normal people with nothing bad going around them. How’s that?”

“And a liar too, does it get any worse?”

Hanako shakes her head, “If you say that, then it can definitely happen.”

You brush it off. “Uh huh,” you say as you lean back onto your seat.

“But have you heard?” Hanako asks, “There’s a real esper in our school.”


“He can read your mind when the weather is right, or so he says,” Hanako tells you, a small sardonic smile appearing.

That’s news to you.
>”Is he here? Let’s go find him!”
>”Yeah right, as if anyone can do that.”
>”I definitely wouldn’t want to meet someone who can do that.”
>”Where exactly did you hear this from?”
>”Where exactly did you hear this from?”
>”I definitely wouldn’t want to meet someone who can do that”
reveal your sources

no thank you

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“I definitely wouldn’t want to meet someone who can do that. It’d be hell not being able to enjoy the privacy of your own thoughts.”

Nemuri adds, “And it’s creepy.”

Seeing both of you discontent, Hanako says, “It isn’t as if he’s doing it all the time; apparently he has to actively try to read your mind, and even then, it might not even work.”

You conclude, “That’s an awful lot of clues pointing to him as a fake. And even then, I still rather keep away.”

“Really? You’re not even the slightest bit curious?” she asks, leaning forward in genuine disbelief. “I thought at least one of you would be interested.” She must be talking about the club.

To that, Nemuri says, “I don’t think Hinami would care about that sort of thing at all.”

You answer, “Miku would think it’s interesting at first, and then she’d have second doubts when she realizes he can read someone’s thoughts even when they don’t want him to.

Sighing, Hanako says, “You two are no fun.”

“Where exactly did you hear this from? It’s suspicious,” you ask.

“Why should I tell you? Demons don’t reveal their secrets,” she replies.

“Seriously...?” She’s way too sensitive about that. Maybe you hit a weak spot.

Out of the blue, Nemuri tells you, “I can read senpai’s mind, though. I can only do it with the power of milk tea.” She raises the bottle in question and then asks you, “Do you want to see me try?”

”Eeh? That’s even more suspicious.”
>”Sure, go ahead.” Play along.
>”Do your worst.” Prove her wrong.
>”Do it on Hanako.” You’d rather not.
>”Do your worst.” Prove her wrong.
>”Sure, go ahead.” Play along.
This is the sound of me forgetting to check twitter today.

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Rolled 2 (1d2)

wow that'd probably go better if I actually rolled
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“Sure, go ahead,” you tell her. You’ll play along.

She scoots forward in her spot. Intently studying you, she audibly thinks. “Hmm, it’s a little hazy.”

“Uh huh,” you say, “So why me? Why not Hanako?”

“Because you’re easy to read.”

“What? No I’m not.”
“What? No I’m not,” she says right as you say it. You make a face as you tilt your head back onto your chair and groan.

“I walked into that.”

“By the way, Hanako’s not wearing any underwear.”

You bolt up, straightening your back as you lean forward in shock.

“Wha-how would you know that?!”
“Wha-how would you know that,” she says, monotone. “Predictable as always, senpai.

Hanako, unamused, informs you, “I am wearing underwear, so control your thoughts.”

You say, “Wasn’t even thinking about it.” And then to Nemuri, you tell her, “And that’s cheap! You’re just predicting my reactions.”

“Perfectly,” she replies, “Can’t you say I’m reading your mind? I know what your words are before you can say them.”

Hanako adds on, “It’s true. Maybe Nemuri’s an esper after all. If you can do the same as them, then is there really any difference?”

“What a cheap trick,” you say, eyes narrowing, “You’re just goading me into saying what you want me to say.” It’s just a game of knowing someone well enough to predict their replies.

“Then, do it to me if you think it’s just a trick,” she says smiling.

Do you walk right into it?
>Remark on her laziness; expect a refusal.
>Pretend to not care; expect a taunting comment.
>You’re not playing this game!
>Do it to Hanako. She probably won’t see it coming, right?

[Intervene] Read her mind.
>Do it to Hanako. She probably won’t see it coming, right?
Attack not the prepared.
Attack Hanako! Can I get a 3d100 roll to make this quicker?
Rolled 5, 76, 24 = 105 (3d100)

Rolled 60, 36, 4 = 100 (3d100)

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In the end, it’s all about reading the other person. The more you know about them, the better you can. And with Nemuri, even though you’ve spent a third of a year with her in the Occult Club, you doubt you know her well enough to predict how she is when she’s on her guard. You just can’t bait her into saying something.

Obviously, the answer is to do it to Hanako. Who you only know in passing. The benefits outweigh the losses!

“Well?” Nemuri asks almost smugly.

“It’s kind of hard to do when Hanako’s here,” you tell her.

“Huh?” Hanako gives you a puzzled look. “What do I have to do with this?”

You answer as if it were the most obvious in the world. “It’s a little hard when you have a demon staring you down the entire time.”

The paths diverge. Here, there’s only two possibilities you can imagine. She pauses, suspicious, and you already know.

“Nice try, but I—“
“Nice try, but...”

She gives you a dull defeated look as if she was completely disappointed with herself. “I can’t believe I just did that.”

It wasn’t perfect and you couldn’t really guess what came next, but luckily she stopped before then. You raise a fist into the air in front of you as a small cheer.

“Yesss. Easy.”

For some reason, Nemuri seems annoyed with you. “Congratulations.”

Sighing, Hanako gets up. “I think I’m done spending my time around mind-readers. Good night, Nemuri, Ryuuta.” She walks away, leaving the two of you alone. You both wish her good night in return.

As Nemuri takes another sip of her milk tea, you ask, “Did I do something.”

“You are a fraud,” she simply says, “If you don’t know what I’m thinking right now.”

It’s your turn to sigh. “You’re right. I don’t get what you’re thinking half the time.”

“Should I be disappointed?” Nemuri asks, tilting her head.

Genuine curiosity.
>”Maybe you should just say what you’re thinking more often.”
>”Yes, it’s completely my fault.”
>”Be disappointed in yourself.”
>”Don’t ask me, I don’t know.”
>”What’s the right answer here?”
>”Maybe you should just say what you’re thinking more often.”
>”Maybe you should just say what you’re thinking more often.”

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”Maybe you should just say what you’re thinking more often. Less people would have to wander around confused,” you tell her.

“Is that right?” she wonders, “You know, it probably shouldn’t have taken me this long to realize it, but different people are good at different things. I’m bad at boring hikes, and you’re terrible at reading the atmosphere.”

“Hey, what?” you reply, “I know how to take a hint.”

“Uh huh. Ignorance is such a powerful shield. You don’t have to get something so no one can get hurt, willfully or not. You don’t even have the be one who takes a step forward, but I guess it’s the same both ways,” she says, sidestepping around the issue once more. “But... I’ll think about it.”

Is she saying you’re being willfully ignorant of something? You don’t want to press the issue; after all, you might find her twisting your arm in one way or another. “Good. You know, you can rely on me for things.”

“Apparently not,” she says, laughing, “What kind of a senpai doesn’t instantly know their kouhai’s troubles when they see their face?”

As you’re about to retort, you hear Miku and Hinami talking and your train of thought stop as it’s distracted. They round the corner, the former carrying a bouquet of flowers and the other a large strange ping pong paddle shaped chocolate.

Miku hurries over, happy and eager. “Hey, you two missed it! Check it out, we won the event!”

Hinami says, “Haha, it was mostly Miku. Her drives were scary...”

“We were a team! I couldn’t have done it without you,” she replies, “The last fight was tough though. Who knew Aya could sidechop like that?”

They’re losing you. You glance at Nemuri, who lightly grins in reply. She goes to congratulate them with all 100% of her usual effort, and you follow up right after her.

She already knew your reply, you suppose.

[Chapter 7: “Wordlessly” - End]
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ED7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBxUmFuXCpA
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConfettoQM

Thanks for playing! New thread on Sunday, normal time as usual + daylight savings. Why don't I continue this in one? Because I'm too brain damaged to break formatting. It was a bit slow today, but if I'll run this to its end as long as someone's playing.

As always, comments, criticism, and questions are very welcome.
Thanks for running. I was needing something nice and comfy today.
Thanks for running!

This is not how you hit on a boy, Nemuri. Senpai is not obligated to notice you, so jabbing at him for not doing it is disingenious. Either write a love letter like a normal person or go complain on the Net about being friendzoned.

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