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/qst/ - Quests

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Welcome back one and all into a new chapter of our adventure!

Previous Threads

Twitter for schedule updates

Perks and spells for our main character

Characters met by Arawn.


The path to restoring your memories might not be so clear-cut anymore; the Blood and Zipangu rituals aren't your only options anymore, revelations from the Throne and reunion with a knight of your past could allow you to investigate with fewer dangers to your psyche.

The Suppression is to happen tomorrow. The Royals have opted to bring a combination of lamias and Shining Knights alongside Zazawu forces. You'll be able to influence this decision if you decide to attend the evening meeting.

Tuilelaith Helewidis granted you vital perspective on Lady White, resulting in creating an impromptu investigation group consisting of Belphegor, Martha, You, Klesiah and the vixen herself.

You won't have time to juggle looking into Ama potential threats and keeping up with the Mamonos leaders in this coming day.

Finally, here are the people planning of not participating in the Suppression. Sieglinde, Elina, Martha, Klesiah, Vilma, Teruko and Hao. It's possible this group could increase or shrink with coming events.

Side activities
Your two unused privileges from gambling with Elina and Sieglinde remain available.

Daiyu granted you a ''favor'' to use at your leisure; the Demon Lord is a resourceful person.

Further activities decided in the thread will be noted here.
Happenings to remember.

Someone put a geas on you, resulting in forcing you to make a Rune of Passage inside Daiyu fortress. This geas is thankfully gone, you haven't done anything suspicious after your strange episode of sleepwalking and Gardy's protection also make further attempts of hypnotism nigh impossible; your fusion would have him break any lingering spells as well.

There have been a few additionals Runes found by Daiyu investigative efforts. A total of 6 were discovered spread throughout the schools, the one you created near the shrine was the only one found so close to the Jawahir family sleeping areas.

Elenor has been recruited into the Red Guard, thereby gaining Zazawu protection. She has been disowned by her adoptive family, the Jucunda, as a result of wanting a fair end for her duel.

Elenor revealed an interesting development. She was tasked by her adoptive mother to make Vilma life miserable shortly after the lich arrival at the academy. It is suspicious timing because it coincides with Teruko troubles when the administration left her languishing for an entire month; the stretch of time Vilma suffered the worst. From there, things proceeded into the story you know with their feud, culminating with a second suspicious order. Eveline tasked Elenor to bring Vilma out of the academy walls and into the Javed -the vampire noble family- area for ''her own good.''

Daiyu and Sieglinde have been too busy handling the Suppression to react against Elenor adoptive family yet. They have been lying low since.

The Javed have been recalling almost all of their folks throughout the city into their household after Sieglinde visit more than a week ago. Nobody understands why.

The arrival of Central and Zipangu royalties resulted in Daiyu closing the fortress to visits from Throne Town. Students can still come and go if they submit to a rigorous security check or show a pass written personally by a member of Daiyu family. The few comings and goings are documented.
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Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Constant and invasive were the noises of four grand wooden clocks towering draped in long red clothes, posted in all four cardinals directions of this small room of luxurious furniture; a single wooden table, one long couch and big carpet showed gaudy disposition whilst the clocks were all made of ominous dark woods polished shiny enough to mask whatever trees had been used in their manufacture. There weren't any doors, only a long window of stained glass hinting about a path of thick vegetations.

''Should I thank you for giving me a few days reprieve?'' You said, finally coming to in this dreamy house in the forest. Last time was after Kreszen adventure a little over three days ago.

''A good host doesn't impose themselves enough to overstay their welcome now, my dear,'' Ame responded while silently sipping tea in a small cup of red porcelain with traces of gold lining its outer edges. ''You've been a busy little bee, remember to say hi to Ame for me alright?'' A wink finished her sentence and you'd have probably choked on tea in anger had you decided to partake of the fuming liquid resting in a similar cup.

No Gardy, no strange emotionless dark elf, this was Lady White long sought after tea party without intrusions, a little tête-à-tête not too different from drinking with a viper. She looked relaxed here, twitching furred appendages translating her joyous mood and form-fitting kimono making you observe the scenery.

Your stalwart protector was likely making himself quiet, yet observant.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

''Sieglinde efforts really are worthy of praises. Presenting a foreign royal to Zipangu, imposing the duty of Suppression and simultaneously handling Throne Town nobles Mamonos to prevent interference is something I could learn from; one could almost wonder how demons and those islanders were at years forty years ago.'' Giggling, Ama brought her cup to refresh her throat while her creamy tails swished to and fro in a familiar dance. ''Your knight story was also wonderful.''

Your guts tightened. How in the world could she know about that? Klesiah spoke in the heart of Daiyu fortress, Gardy kept a constant vigil to avoid information from leaking, yet... Visible cracks suddenly spread throughout the fragile teaset of porcelain and the couch erupted in a shower of red feathers that sent Ama in a giggling fit.

''Easy, easy now! My dear Arawn, I never meant to insult anybody, you've surrounded yourself with worthy women; a harem of immense worth indeed, though a few of these girls might be starting to feel inferior. Mamonos gets lonely very easily even if they are rarely jealous you know?''

Like the dream this was, all damages were slowly erased as if time rewound for everything but you and the witch. Even her cup filled itself up, like blood flowing out of a wound.
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You barely managed to relax your nails digging into your fist, they left bloody marks that you hid under the table. That was just a bait, Ama perhaps knew of Klesiah story about her past but made no allusion about its content.

''Why are you disturbing my sleep, then? To give me advice on how to handle relationships?'' Perhaps you could use a few tips but asking Ama was surreal enough that she'd probably love the opportunity; she enjoyed your animosity immensely, those dancing tails and a wide smirk made her mood an easy to predict constant happiness.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

''You've made interesting use of your time.'' Ama said, cup clicking when she let it rest on a plate.

''Learning to understand you aren't so invincible was judicious, I agree.'' Tuilelaith news had been worrisome but, step by step, you were finally gaining vital perspective on this damnable witch and that was enough to sneer in confidence.

''I never pretended otherwise.'' Ama mirrored your expression. ''Tuilelaith always manages to keep things interesting, though she's kinda like a divorced wife by now. Too much history, always snooping around.'' Ama made a lazy wave, one white ear twitching. Her resemblance to Zipangu queen was close enough to be uncanny.

''There wasn't any need to plant your influence inside of me if you wanted to keep those skeletons of yours cozy in their closets.'' You responded, taking a chance to imbibe a droplet of tea. If it was poisoned Gardy would break this little date.

Taste like citrus; awful.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

''My, my... I've always had the biggest of struggles resisting baits.'' Ama response was a slow, sultry murmur, her tongue had seemingly grown to imitate the vixen you befriended this evening for it grew big enough to fall past her chin without impending speech. ''The memory of your contract will always be a delicious one, even if we were rudely interrupted. I couldn't let you go my dearest little distraction.'' Her tongue shrunk back with a wet slurp.

Her remark created a change in this dreamscape, the vast quantity of tableware shifted, evaporating into nothingness whilst enough place was made to accommodate the long dusky scroll of smoky content, a murky lake of inky black obscured all attempt to read sentences. Your father had apparently signed it, yet there weren't any hints of that anymore.

''Clause one: Arawn Loukanos is to become an adequate vessel.'' Ama red gaze read this single sentence without being impeded by its protective fog. Was it even truthful? ''Doing it splendidly, I'm glad you can be put to a test soon.''

''What's the second one?'' Vessel? Vessel of what? What test?

''We'll get to that another time.'' The vixen giggled, clutching her teacups with her long fingers. ''Never stop your struggle. That'd be close enough to your second clause, yes.''

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
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The hypnotic clicks of these clocks stretched for long minutes as neither you nor Ama spoke a word, her satisfaction slowly changed into a calmer, elegant demeanor as she let her full cup rest and pushed the plate away.

''What are you planning, Ama?'' With everything that's been going on, Sieglinde Suppression being underway and all this cloak and shadow business with the Mamonos, a suspicious hole in my memory for a single night, Vilma being almost kidnapped in what was supposed to be a harmless student feud... Something really felt odd, was still truly an attempt on Teruko life by a vengeful vampire family?

''I can't remember the last time I was a pawn in someone else plan.'' She gently deposited her cup, it's content gone despite not having drunk another drop. ''This anticipation is surprisingly fun, though I have a little too many nitpicks with what's happening... I've been a good girl.'' She grins, fangs peeking under her luscious lips. ''Not done anything since we promised, events followed an organic pattern like the eternal path of life itself.''

Something is happening.

''I shouldn't expect that you'd be gracious enough to help. You spoke of being a gracious host but how can you be anything but unwelcomed when I'd very much love to tear out your clutches on my soul and be rid of all futures meetings forever?'' Ama didn't need to insult or taunt you to effectively sink dread into your heart. Her mere presence, her simple enjoyment in this luxurious teahouse during your shared dream, was effective indeed, even if you had protection, you'd still end up dead or crippled if a fight was to erupt in your soul.

All Ama would lose is her favorite toy.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

''Isn't it bad form for the audience to take active parts in a play, my dear Arawn?''

''This isn't a game!'' Sieglinde had tried so hard to create this new beginning for Central, demons, and Zipangu! And what if someone is targetting Teruko? Pregnant Mamonos might not share humanity fragility but it wouldn't be difficult to cause complications

''No, no it isn't. You've opted for a surprisingly simple solution... but it could still be effective.There was wisdom in spending your time training.''

''How can that be considered...?'' When Ama leaned over the table to place her finger on your lips, reflexes made you lean back before being touched and you kept your gaze firmly inside her witchy gaze of blood, her beauty was a constant temptation.

''Boo.'' Ama pouted, letting out a kissing sound with lips pursed together as she sat down. ''Perhaps you'd like to try your luck with a little wager, my dear?'' Pushing an upside-down wooden cup in a mixture of blue and green paint, the vixen had somehow conjured the kind of banal dices you'd find in any taverns. Slowly, Ama pinched each finely carved cubes and let them down in a slow drip inside the mug.
''I'm supposed to trust you'd play fair?'' Tuilelaith described Lady White as someone hard to predict who's not afraid of discarding carefully crafted plot... Was this it? An attempt at frolicking?

''Gardy can shake our results.'' Ama retorted, giving you a childish grimace as she began rolling with a single hand, dices somehow remaining imprisoned despite the loud clicks and clacks drowning out the clocks. ''A little wager where I'll grant you a single advice by playing a single hand.''

''If I lose?'' Might as well humor her this time.

''Allow me to know Klesiah lovely story. Not a dangerous wish, yes?'' Ama beamed, calming her shakes and letting the cup rest on the middle of the table where everything but its luxurious covering cloth had vanished.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

>Accept. Ama is likely asking something she already knows, what do you have to lose?

>Refuse. Only those Klesiah allowed ought to know her story, who are you to toy with your friend desires?

>Free Choice.
What does she mean by lovely story? Didn't she hear and see everything in regards to Klesiah?
She wants you to reimagine Klesiah story again, whether she actually heard all of it or not is for you to decide.
>Accept, on ONE condition: If we lose, we will tell her the story.... next time we sleep. We need to wake up ASAP, and storytelling would just stall us. She claims she is just curious, so if she isn't trying to stall us, she won't mind waiting for a bit of storytime.
>Accept. Ama is likely asking something she already knows, what do you have to lose?
The communication will be very quick in case you lose, you won't have to explain all of it by speech.
I don't suppose Ama would be gracious enough to explain the wager in detail before we accept or refuse?
No, the wager itself stand as she explained it. Roll for a possible hint, or you'll have to ''give'' Klesiah story to her. You won't lose memory here.
Let's see. Perhaps I'll go along with the votes I've got so far in about 20 minutes. Prepare those dices!

Unless the majority refuse.
>Refuse. Only those Klesiah allowed ought to know her story, who are you to toy with your friend desires?
Nyegh, I'm not feeling like testing our luck with White.
Prediction: Ama plans to take the story and copyright it under her name so that she can write a novel about it and sell the book and make a fortune, so that Klesiah won't be able to sue her nor demand part of the royalties of said sale.

Clearly, a cunning fox.
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A plan of cruel cunningness truly befitting our fluffy foe.

Guess we've got two votes to play and one to refuse.

Gonna need you guys to roll 5d6, I'll take the best from 3 different ids. My roll come after.
Rolled 5, 3, 4, 6, 5 = 23 (5d6)


Let's goo!
Let's see here...
dice+5d6 in the options good anon.
Rolled 6, 3, 4, 2, 1 = 16 (5d6)

Tried that, didn't roll. Trying one more time...
That's... pretty great.

So is this one.

Dice gods giving our fox steep competition.
Rolled 1, 6, 4, 2, 1 = 14 (5d6)

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Rolled 4, 2, 6, 1, 5 = 18 (5d6)

I'll make an early roll to speed things along. If the fox loses, I'll proceed with the story.
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Oh man if that 2 had been a 3...
Welp, nice try Ama.
No wait, the 1 should have been a 3. Either way, fluffed lost. Proceeding.
There wasn't much logic in this dreamy landscape. Gardy presence appeared like a rise of morning fog, his metal steps muffled by the carpet yet the cricks and cracks of his joints announced his presence as you leaned back and nodded.

''Hmmufufufu.'' Ama body shook with her good-hearted chuckle as she handed the metallic man the cup of dice, one of her tail even slithering on top of his head; Gardy remained stoic, his single glowing eye of yellow simply observing without emotions. ''The joy of anticipation, wager without easy prediction in exchange of stories...'' When Gardy began to shake the cup, a downright bloodthirsty grin came on the witch features. ''...Truly worth it.''

The Embodiment of Protection dextrous movements felt almost surreal. In less than a minute the result of this little game was done, his manners were nonsensical, cold and utterly direct.

''Boo.'' Ama grimaced. ''So close yet not good enough'' One of her fingers poked her emptied cup, it's content having somehow evaporated.

''Are you going to own up then?'' Swallowing the urge to mock her was difficult. Given the vixen whimsical nature, it might be best to avoid antagonizing her with this advantage.

''Of course my dear, setbacks can be fun too.'' The fluffy witch slowly rose from her seat, body somehow going through the table; it was as if the furniture had somehow changed into a mirage and Ama broke it casually, making it all disappear. ''Our relationship would be far too brutishly boring if we didn't try to obey a few rules of fun. Leave expedient deaths and ruthlessness toward lesser menaces.''

Then you realized all the clocks had stopped ticking. No sounds came to interrupt Ama silence whose briefly gazed toward Gardy, his silent yet insistent existence breaking her joyous tea party.

''Would you like a hint that could help you elucidate your worries, my dear?'' Another step closer carried her above you, distance somehow melding to her will. Nine tails of gorgeous alabaster opened like flowers, something of a vanilla scent tickled your skin and this witch proximity kindled flames of masculine desires that, if they couldn't be removed, were at least easily controlled.

''Or knowing which of your precious ones are imperiled?''

''I!'' Ama shook her finger and interrupted you with a motherly tut-tut.

''Only one my dear, don't try to wiggle out.'' Her grin softened, her gaze of red settled on you with amusement. Of course, even in losing, Ama would try to find a way to find entertainment. Dangling an irresistible bait of knowledge and forcing you to discard one meant she fully enjoyed herself yet again.

>''Tell me about the grander scheme.'' If you can get to the bottom of whatever is happening, you'll be able to protect all of your friends.

>''Who's in danger?'' You've sworn to protect everyone, your soul is tied with the Embodiment of this very concept. That's... the most important. Being overly ambitious could ruin them instead of yourself.
Oh sure, hit us with that sadistic choice! *grumble*
''Who's in danger?'' You've sworn to protect everyone, your soul is tied with the Embodiment of this very concept. That's... the most important. Being overly ambitious could ruin them instead of yourself.
Our friends can take care of themselves, but they're about to become scattered for a bit. Keeping them in the loop will help them watch their backs.
>'Who's in danger?'' You've sworn to protect everyone, your soul is tied with the Embodiment of this very concept. That's... the most important. Being overly ambitious could ruin them instead of yourself.
>''Who's in danger?'' You've sworn to protect everyone, your soul is tied with the Embodiment of this very concept. That's... the most important. Being overly ambitious could ruin them instead of yourself.
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Unanimous. Writing up.
Ama said that she's taken a step back, viewing whatever is happening from a position of distances but how can you trust that, given how she lied to sink her fangs into your soul? No, she... she has to be aiming for something -someone- that isn't Teruko. People are clearly after her, but this vixen might be trying to be a slithering viper who'd strike for the heart even if you managed to... do something about this plot.

''I'll convince myself of that.'' You grimly summarized and finally voiced your choice, doing your best to keep yourself stoic so as to avoid giving Ama further satisfaction.

''Isn't that little Lich a wonderful doll?'' Your blood ran cold, Ama's features shifted into sadistic joy. ''Pay attention to inconsistencies.''

It took all of your restraint to try and demand more. She wouldn't give you anything more than a drip-feed but that, perhaps, was enough. Vilma... she's been rather quiet after her duel.

''Do try and have some fun with Sieglinde and Elina too, they ower you a little something don't they?'' Ama continued, tails slithering around and all over her body. A weight in your mind combined with sudden blurriness of vision to herald this dreamscape nightly destruction. Time stretched on, patches of whites spread throughout the scenery like a burning painting; like this Ama remark was the last thing on your mind...


...When you awoke in the morning, sweat pouring down your face, sheets and pajamas sticking to your skin, into your lonely dark room lit up by a dimmed lamp you forgot to turn off. There was no chaos in your mind, no grogginess to confuse you, as if you had been awake for an hour, you could rise and sit. Although, carelessly doing so could disturb the uninvited guest in your bed.

Entirely covered by bedsheets with her back touching your arm (thankfully garbed in tasteful cotton pajamas) was none other than Vilma. The little undead was still in deep sleep despite your sharp rising, her body prey to odd trembles and hints of sweat on her face alongside distressing, passing emotions hinted at a potential nightmare.

Alright, you didn't lock your door -there was honestly no reason to in Daiyu's inner fortress- but this wasn't how you'd expect waking up. At all.

...Nothing looked overly wrong at a first glance, thankfully.

>Gently wake Vilma. It might be better to end her dreams now.

>Let her sleep. Whatever motivated her to come can wait, she could use her rest. You should go and meet with the investigation group as soon as possible, ama is up to something for sure.

Give her a hug. A headpat is also fine if the hug cannot be done in an innocent fashion.
>Gently wake Vilma. It might be better to end her dreams now.
Doing so like >>3111179 suggested sounds fine to me.

Also file this away in our memories, this excellent teasing material should the need/opportunity arise.
>Gently wake Vilma. It might be better to end her dreams now.
Squeezing, hugging, head pats, rubbing her back... we need more hands. Alternating will do for now.
>Gently wake Vilma. It might be better to end her dreams now.

Do it carefully, though. A headpat and calling her name. If she takes too long to awaken or she seems off somehow, be on guard.

Also, if we can, we ask Gardy to check up on her., if he detects any anomalies!
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Better stop thinking about the fox, having Vilma in your bed... well, it's finally dawning on your that unpleasant implications could arise from this, it'd certainly be pretty bad if the angel barged in here with her usual barbarous grace.

Soft noises of ruffled fabrics had you observed Vilma a little closer. hints of glitters in the corner of her eyes hinted potential tragedy with whatever it is she's been dreaming about. Her body had been warm all over, almost feverishly so and now that she was close, your emotions melded into a maelstrom of worry, embarrassment, guilt, and joy. Her shirt was a little on the small side, making her curves strain against its fabric while showing her lower back and belly button. Vilma slept in an adorable ball, legs raised to squish against her stomach, it seemed that she had been enjoying your presence on her back...

''Wake up.'' You whispered, bringing a hand on her dark purplish hair. Vilma reaction was precious: a sharp intake of air and her shakes stopped yet her eyes didn't open. ''Dreams aren't reality, you have many friends here.'' You continued, reminiscing about your concern for her yesterday. All the guests had you forget about this emotional little lich but you did, at least, had enough presence of mind to have been worried about her. Where had she gone all day?

With careful prudence, your second hand rubbed the middle of her spine and her expression softened, her legs relaxed and uncurled in almost feline-like disposition.

Alright, perhaps a little hug would do the trick... you don't know where this strange surge of affection came from, but indulging in a little show of emotions felt nice, even if this circumstance was a little unusual. She -did- come into your bed after all!

Then, Vilma eyes opened.

''Iiiii-gnrk!?'' It was the kind of shrill, quiet scream that made you think of a scared rabbit but the sudden pain in your lower jaw made you happy that your mouth hadn't been hanging open and being in a bed made the following fall harmless.

''Owowowow aaah...'' Vilma whines almost extracted a chuckle out of you despite the pain. Her head went and collided with your jaw in her panic and now she held her crown with far more shame than pain.
''Hey, doing well?'' Better to swallow your pain and inquire. A little more and you'd have been hugging her.

''W-what are you doing in my bed!?'' Only a light stutter, she wasn't too stressed out. The faint blush on her cheeks deepening her natural purplish colors and hints of a smile made it obvious she wasn't feeling one bit of negativity anymore.

''This is my room.'' You replied, rubbing the back of your neck. ''Kinda dark but you'll be able to make it out.'' Good thing your journal was hidden under your mattress.

''Awawawawa!'' A flap of fabric followed as Vilma promptly stole all of your sheets and hid under, making the later syllables of her panicky plaints coming out as a muffled, breathless complaint.

''I'm not angry, don't worry.'' Part of you had wanted to say she'd be welcomed anytime but that would have been a little -too- forward.

''I went into my room I know I did! H-how did that...!? I never sleepwalked before! This isn't normal!'' She had become a big ball of fabrics on your bed now and it shook with every word.

She seems fine, at first glance. Gardy voice was a grim reminder of reality and you were glad now that Vilma was hiding under her sheet because anger would have inevitably soured your expression.

Ama, Ama... What is she trying to do?

''Maybe you simply mistook my door for yours, all of these chambers have the same dimensions, same doors.''

''B-but I'd have seen you!'' Vilma replied, trembling some more under the covers.

Had she truly no recollection of coming into your bed or was this just a desperate attempt to deflect embarrassment?

''I'm not mad at all Vilma, don't worry. Sieglinde make us all sleep in a pile anyway so it's not an entirely new experience, right?'' Your honest emotions were thankfully slowly but surely managing to douse her passionate emotions. Her breathing was the first thing to regain an even pace.

>''What were you dreaming about?'' A little small talk should help her.

>''Any plans for today?'' Perhaps drifting the topic away from sleep-related business would be the better approach.

>''Tell you what, I'll go scout ahead, with luck you should be able to get back into your room without anyone noticing you.'' Getting her out of your place might be the best thing for her nerves.


Day before the Suppression: 1

Continuing tomorrow.
>''Tell you what, I'll go scout ahead, with luck you should be able to get back into your room without anyone noticing you.'' Getting her out of your place might be the best thing for her nerves.
>"Want to talk about what you were dreaming later?"
Spare her further embarassment. And let's make sure to spend some time with her today!

Maybe we can check in on Martha's progress with whatever project she said she'd work on(I'm assuming she pulled an all-nighter) and then head for breakfast?
>''What were you dreaming about?'' A little small talk should help her.

Hmm... This sounds like a good idea. Though, it is worrying. Elina walked around in a daze, Arawn himself did, too, and made that ritual thingy. Now it's Elina walking around in her sleep.

Three times is too much to be a coincidence. Trying to hide this would be a mistake. How about we discuss this with... hmm, which Jawahir ladies are staying behind? If Sieglinde is staying behind, we could confide on her, in this matter.

Ama did warn us to check up with them, too, didn't she? I take her advice with a bit of salt, but it doesn't hurt to keep Sieg informed of things.

Paying attention to inconsistences... we should see how the three girls act, see if anyone shows signs of being geas'd.

Talking about inconsistences, is a lich's body supposed to be cold, or warm? I don't quite recall. But if we feel warmth from her and we shouldn't be feeling, that is inconsistency number one, I guess.
Of course, things are fairly open.

You can try to regroup with your investigative group asap.
Now it's *Elina* walking around in her sleep.

Meantto say Vilma, not Elina
>Talking about inconsistences, is a lich's body supposed to be cold, or warm?

Lukewarm in general, unless they fed recently, then it gets much warmer.

Okay. We should do a little Measurement on our soul/mana and see if she has been feeding on our soul while she slept.

Also important to check up on our neighboring rooms, maybe? If she has been walking around nibbling souls in her sleep, it could be troublesome if we let it to be revealed later.
>Okay. We should do a little Measurement on our soul/mana and see if she has been feeding on our soul while she slept.

Gardy would easily prevent any of that and he can firmly tell you that you haven't been a victim of a nightly munching.

He'd have allowed it though.

[spoiler ]Heh, I'd allow it myself, too~ [/spoiler]

Hm. Still, that only proves she didn't munch on us. She could have munched on someone else. We need to inspect the outside of the room and see if there are any worrrying trails, or better yet, someone observing the lich.
Let's use an excuse like "I had a worrying dream myself, though. Come with me, I want to check something outside of my room real quick."
Given that we were noticed when we sleepwalked, perhaps one of the maids noticed Vilma too and has been surveling her as she walked around?

Argh, no goood, fox has made me paranoid.
That ticking clock had me think bad things were going on already, as we slept, and that we'd awaken in the middle of the chaos.

I guess I am not 100% convinced all is well, yet.
>''What were you dreaming about?'' A little small talk should help her.
>I guess I am not 100% convinced all is well, yet.

You guys gambled for an advice and won, that's about the only advice I can give. If Ama can be trusted.

I'll tally up votes tomorrow.
I need to sleep on this to be sure but as of now you got my vote.

She both can and can't in a sense. The bitch is almost certainly aware that the most exquisite and greatest lies hold within them a hint of truth.

Thus, from her end, she's not "lying" about a damn thing. It's a matter of "perspective" on her end. Fucking hell it's like trying to outsmart Tzeentch. Thing is he'd actually enjoy losing the dice game in its own way so if that's what you're aiming for you are doing the Changer of the Ways proud.

The danger Vilma faces is the outside chance she's not able to feed upon willing souls. Or perhaps it is very dire. The Javed are openly massing their forces and we all know that they were interested in her. To dispense with all subtlety now... Yep, willing to bet an elder vampire just sold their soul for that blood gift. Our only silver lining is that Lady White will have told them this: "The Elf is not to be harmed, ever. He is my most favorite toy, damage it in any permanent way and face my wrath. Understood?"
We'll be asking about her dreams it seems. The thread will resume around 4 pm as usual.
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''What were you dreaming about? You looked a little agitated, I'm sorry about... well, failing to wake you up properly.'' A little small talk should help calm her down. It wasn't the first time you woke up next to a girl and Vilma had also grown used to indulging Sieglinde odd quirk but this was your own closed room and she certainly knew it, circumstances were entirely different.

''I-I...um...'' Vilma tone had considerably lowered and was almost entirely muffled by the sheets, this prompted her to peek her head, sweat formed a visible shine on her forehead and strands of her semi-long hair stuck to her face here and there.

Good thing that using full-bodied pajama had become a habit after spending time with the eldest princess.

''It was... strange.'' Her confidence kept shifting up and down but an effort in concentration kept her features evenly neutral. ''I don't remember much of the details, though I do recall the emotions. It felt a bit nostalgic, a little scary and also passionate.'' Her voice had become another whisper at the end and a frown replaced her previous emotions as she concentrated with further intensity. ''I can remember some anger too and shame. I think it was about my old homeland on the draconic isles, there was snow, probably about my old mistress.''

''A dream of your homeland?'' She had shared a few things about her past before coming into this class. ''Wasn't your teacher a druid?''

Vilma nodded as best she could with her chin on the mattress. ''Y-yeah. It was probably about that.''

''Do you dream often after feeding?'' This question seemed to strike a nervous nerve, Vilma lips pinched together intensely.

''Kind-kinda... Happen at-at random.'' Her tongue peeked out to moisten her lips and then she fell silent, making for an amazingly awkward atmosphere. Maybe she didn't want to talk about that subject; undead necessity has always been something of a taboo amongst Mamonos.

Clearly being in a man room hadn't been her plan last night. Still, something nagged at your guts. Your own encounter with Ama was already having an effect because you couldn't help but think something was weird in Vilma's statements.

Was it paranoia? That'd be one way to amuse that damn witch.

>''Any plans for today?'' Perhaps talking a little more would calm both of you down. That was a rude awakening.

>Put an end to further discussions and see if you can smuggle Vilma into her room unnoticed. time spend talking increase the chance of people stumbling upon you!

>Put an end to further discussions and see if you can smuggle Vilma into her room unnoticed. time spend talking increase the chance of people stumbling upon you!
Quite a quick response. I'd like to see another potential vote but I'll go for this one in about, say, 15 or 20 minutes.
>''Any plans for today?'' Perhaps talking a little more would calm both of you down. That was a rude awakening.
This is only as big a deal as we make it, she ended up in the wrong bed, these things happen. Plus sleep walking into someone's room is often a sign of deep trust, and a need for comfort from that trust, assuming it wasn't just a sleepy mistake.
Ok, so we've woken up a bit earlier than everyone else right? If so, provided nobody's outside to spot our exit, we could just walk over to someone else's room to say hi together as we discuss Vilma's plans for the day.

The only question is whom to visit. Are the other girls likely to be in their rooms and do we know where they are?
>''Any plans for today?'' Perhaps talking a little more would calm both of you down. That was a rude awakening.

We don't let this chance get away. Something is off, and we're going to find out. I don't really care if Vilma gets caught in our room
>Ok, so we've woken up a bit earlier than everyone else right?

Yup. No windows anywhere so your room is pretty dark but everyone went to bed fairly early.

>The only question is whom to visit. Are the other girls likely to be in their rooms and do we know where they are?

Everyone has a room in the corridor facing Sieglinde chamber, all you'd need to do is knock to see if someone is awake.

Two hard votes to continue talking with Vilma.
Actually, can we talk to her while getting out of the room? I just want to see if there is any of the nearby rooms in which the door is open, or left ajar.
That work too.

Then that's my vote.
It's a meld of two choices that are good enough, we'll proceed that way.
Elven hearing might be keen, it was still impossible to pick noises from the corridor because the walls of your room were made of thick, solid stones and the door was of heavy wood; easily muffling anything that wasn't particularly loud. With the lack of windows and darkness kept at bay by your lamp, your biological clock was the only thing that could hint at the hour and... optimism was your only foundation in believing the day was early.

''A-Arawn?'' Vilma asked when your naked feet touched the tepid soil, the noise of flesh meeting stone extracting her out of her torpor.

''I'll go take a look outside.'' You flashed her a grin. ''I'd be good to sneak you inside your room without incident.''

''Ah!'' And that motivated her to throw off her covers and jump on her feet, her thin pajama of soft blue cotton managed to be both tasteful and tantalizing thanks in her no small parts to her natural assets. She wasn't tall but...

Vilma seemed to regain her bashfulness by the seconds as she observed you silently, a renewed blossom of reds deepened into a blush on her purple face.

Crap, caught staring.

Opening the door ajar just enough to slip your head outside, you were greeted by a not-so-lonely corridor, Sieglinde room was a busy nest of activity with a few maids preparing breakfast, others traveled the length of the circled paths to do some last minute cleaning. The far away balcony had also a pocket of Mamonos making one last inspection of this area that was likely to become a general spot of leisure for the guests.

No other doors in the corridor were open, perhaps your friends were still sleeping or being lazy in general. The outside sky showed a sun halfway out of the horizon; early hour indeed, though far past dawn.

Did Martha sleep at all?

''Maybe nobody will see us if we go outside quietly.'' You spoke to Vilma who had slowly stepped closer.

''My room is next to yours.'' She answered with a little more spirit. ''Left one.''

Ah well, maybe she truly did enter your place by mistake. Even if you were sleeping soundly in your bed.

''Let's pretend nothing's wrong.'' You replied and opened the door fully, yet casually, stepping outside first... only to almost run into a maid holding onto a small hill of white sheets.

''Ah!'' Vilma squeaked while the wolf-monster expertly took two steps back to avoid a collision, peeked sideways to observe you and the shorter lich in your decidedly questionable states, blushed an adorable crimson and proceed to sprint toward her destination. ''...Oh.'' Vilma finished in heartbroken dejection.

''At least none of our friends saw.'' Good efforts but trying to be smooth about this might have been impossible.

''Y-yeah.'' Vilma took an awkward intake of breath but managed to kindle her composure to step outside beside you. ''Thanks, Arawn. For... For not making a big deal out of that.''
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''I try my best to avoid overreacting.'' You replied activity in the corridor had returned to nothing with this single maid gone. Where did she find those bedsheets?

Standing beside you, Vilma peeked toward her room without moving, hugging herself with amazing vulnerability yet a smile on her face made it impossible to see her stance as negative.

''Say Vilma?'' She didn't seem too keen on fleeing into her room, it'd be best for her to enter by herself. ''What are you thinking of doing today? It's going to get very busy.''

Out of everyone in your group, she was the one without any truly defined role. A negative flash of emotions momentarily furrowed her brows. ''I...I think I'll go see Mimiru by midday.''

In other words, run away. Undeads were never liked wherever they went and having so many important Mamonos here all at once probably motivated this kind of thinking.

''Is she doing well? You're her benefactor right?'' You asked, that ghoul had been rather charming after that embarrassing episode in the bazaar.

''That... might have been a little overzealous of me. Mimiru only wants a friend and I don't really know how to-to be... well responsible for others.'' An honest aura of vulnerability began to surround the small lich now. ''Her big sister is coming today, she'd like me to meet her.''

Leaving the fortress could be dangerous. Especially alone. Gardy remark mirrored your thoughts perfectly. Mimiru big sisters coming? Ama plot ongoing? Vampire massing in their manor? Lady White showing interest in Vilma? Mother's Mercy so many things at once!

>''I'm thinking of going to see Martha, I'd like it if you accompanied me.'' It might be safer to not let Vilma out of your sight.

>''Be careful alright? It'd be safer to ask Sieglinde to sign you a permit, the fortress is closed to outsiders.'' You're just overthinking things. Vilma want to see her friend in Throne Town, that's all.

>Free (Small questions are semi-free timewise.)
Ok, do we know Mimiru and her big sis's opinion on those Vampires? How secure is the city in general? Y'know, crime rates for the neighborhood she's likely heading into, demonically aligned (i.e. loyal to Daiyu and friends) police and/or military presence in and around it, etc...
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>do we know Mimiru and her big sis's opinion on those Vampires?

You don't. The Javed have taken the duty of helping all undead in Throne Town, Mimiru hasn't spoken about them. At least as far as you know.

>How secure is the city in general?

Very. It's practically impossible to invade from the outside. In term of potential domestic threats, there's no obvious violence in the streets outside a few fights erupting here and there.

Throne Town is separated into three main islands; Daiyu control one, the other two are overseen by a pocket of nobles families whose influences are carefully measured. There's a militia of Mamonos maintaining public orders and all districts are overseen by what is called ''Wise Women'' who are essentially elder Mamonos representing their communities. The city is fairly safe outside the occasional boiling over, nobody really likes undead.

Mimiru resides on Daiyu island.
I forget, who's Martha? I've been busy and may be fuzzy on some things.
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Daiyu second daughter, a magitek prodigy.
Perhaps we could check up on Martha's progress and join Vilma on her visit to Throne Town? Although we shouldn't impose ourselves into Vilma's meeting with Mimiru and her sister.
Shit. I was hoping you'd say they hated the bloodsucking corpses which means Mimiru or Mimiru's sis working for them is a non-zero possibility. A hefty reward and a bit of convincing that the Vampiric Lord/Prince/Princess means no harm but really needs to have a personal chat with the lich for the good of all the undead in Throne Town.

Not risking it, she either comes with us to see Martha or someone we trust that has a strong grudge against vampires and can murderize the shit out of a few of them at once goes with her. It is possible to meet up with our little investigation group on the way to the labs right? Martha was working on something pertinent to that I believe.
You can make this kind of plan, yes.


>It is possible to meet up with our little investigation group on the way to the labs right?

Yeah, it's been the general plan.

>Martha was working on something pertinent to that I believe.


So I can take this as a vote for inviting Vilma into the Lilim lab.
I guess it'd be safe for me to assume you guys are opting for option 1 and thusly wish to bring Vilma along into Martha lab. Unless specifically told otherwise I'll write with that in mind.
She's supposed to go see Mimiru in the afternoon right? Also, do we have access to a potential bodyguard for Vilma that fulfills my requirement (i.e.They *hate* vampires, dream of hunting them, and are ready and able to wipe out at least a small party of them)?

I don't wanna disappoint the adorable little ghoul but we're probably involved in some hardcore all out court intrigue. If the proper precautions cannot be taken than the risk is too damn high.
>She's supposed to go see Mimiru in the afternoon right?


>Also, do we have access to a potential bodyguard for Vilma that fulfills my requirement (i.e.They *hate* vampires, dream of hunting them, and are ready and able to wipe out at least a small party of them)?

Outside Teruko nobody specifically hates Vamps that much but you could ask one of your companions to go with her.
> inviting Vilma into the Lilim lab.

If she needs to leave after that, we can probably offer to join her in her visit during the afternoon.
>''I'm thinking of going to see Martha, I'd like it if you accompanied me.'' It might be safer to not let Vilma out of your sight.
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''I'm thinking of going to see Martha, I'd like it if you accompanied me.'' Vilma looked at you in naked surprise. ''Please? You don't need to leave right away yeah? We can eat a little later, once Sieglinde takes care of the guests.''

''Ah...'' There was a moment of hesitation. ''Okay, yeah. Alchemical lab huh? Sound nice.'' It didn't last, Vilma blossomed into a happy grin that was unfortunately short-lived because you heard a door open and the short lich promptly fled into her room.

Seconds later, out of the furthest room of your side of the wall, Hao strolled lazily in full maid uniform, rubbing one eye intensely and froze upon seeing you.

''Morning.'' Her scaly tail whipped on hearing you.

''Hao is a graceful maid! Remember that!'' And then she fled back the way she came.


With careful maneuvering and polite excuses when you met one of your friends, you led Vilma toward a certain hidden elevator built into the wall, opting for this rather tight fitting coffin instead of walking upstairs to avoid running into a guest.

In retrospect squeezing inside was probably a mistake because Klesiah had somehow managed to catch up with you and the lich before stepping into the machine, resulting in you being practically forced to stand sideways as the knight (thankfully without armor and weapon) and short lich hugged you from both sides.

''E-everything is fine my liege! Her majss... Martha should be waiting, a-and Vilma is always welcome.'' Klesiah grunted behind you, her presence so close on your back was decidedly delightful and you bit your tongue to avoid making any comments. On your front, Vilma kept her glance firmly on the closed door as this small coffin continued its silent climb.

''You didn't need to run at us like a maniac.'' You replied in one breath.

''This is the only way in I know!'' Replied Klesiah in clear frustration. Her movement to gain some space led into one of her limbs pressing into your side, forcing an awkward twitch out of you. ''Ah! Sorry!''

Honestly being squeezed by two girls was making it impossible to be angry, you really had to try to keep a scowl here, else dangerous ideas would start spreading.

Thankfully (or sadly) this awkward climb stopped abruptly when the elevator reached its destination, the doors of metals opened to reveal that was now becoming familiar. One massive hangar built into the rock of the altar with rooms separated by two meters walls of metals and with so many alchemical machines left at random to create a genuine zigzagging path of, as Belphegor often referred, ''chaotic order.''

''Everything is looking peaceful.'' Klesiah had already exited the elevator and inspected the area and you followed, encouraging Vilma to come along. This was her second time here and her now gazed with renewed wonder at all the machines which, you now knew, were little more than tanks of various sizes meant to stores and manipulate energy, now mostly fallen into disuse.
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Belphegore and Martha really, really needed to clean up this mess.

Then a poke on your shoulder had you look toward Klesiah. The blue clothed lady had stepped close enough to whisper while Vilma inspection kept her attention. ''Does she know about our purpose?''

''Let's try to be subtle. Possible that we'll inform her, but she's planning to leave by midday.'' Klesiah nodded, never once thinking of complaining about the difficulty of this task.

''Vilma, do you know much about alchemy?'' Klesiah smiled, approaching the smaller lich who jumped upon hearing her name and shot a strangely mean glare at your childhood friend.


However, a discussion couldn't begin because loud ominous thumps heralded the approach of a certain golem of stone. One of the two twin automatons of Zipangu appeared before your trio and lowered its head in submissive greeting. ''Bob?'' you asked, earning no response. ''Bobby?'' You continued and this time, the drone lifted its head to observe you with its pair of dull gray eyes, both of them being pieces of artificial quartz.

Silently, the golem massive hand thumped its chest then gestured deeper into the hangar of magitek wonder. ''Alright, lead the way.'' You continued and the drone nodded.

Are there truly sparks of sentiences inside these puppets?

Bobby led you with an even pace deeper inside the demons laboratory. You quickly walked past the area of magitek weapons where Belphegor had you try various items to help you survive the forest, making you rub your trusty magitek glove in something almost like nostalgia. Then came a few areas to practice said weapons; wide, yet firmly delimited. Of course, the particular twin tanks holding the massive magitek vehicle and the human-sized armor (both of which immediately awed the girls) was a meaningful stop.

The golem finally stopped into a chamber that was more akin to a cube of glass, all the walls nicely cut to create what you'd call a small living room with everything completely obscured; everything was murky, with only hints of white to give some ideas about this room. Bobby motioned for the single closed door and Klesiah promptly opened it, always far too eager to act as your herald.

At least she was making an effort to avoid calling you by titles.
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''Oh... perhaps this is where fragile items are stored?'' Your knight murmured while you and Vilma peeked inside. This cube of a room was, for all intent and purpose, another laboratory. With a floor of nicely carved ceramic and all the glass obscuring the outside world, furniture like tables and cabinets occupied many of the corners while the center of the room was occupied by a single strange slick pilon of silver composition. Something was attached to it, what looked to be a pair of bracelets linked by a chain also had a wide rope inserted into specific sockets tying it with that strange artifact.

Now that's not something you ever read or heard about.

Neatly placed on the furthest corner was a bed where a certain blue-skinned Lilim slept noisily and rather messily too, half of her covers were thrown on the floor, exposing the same clothes she had been wearing yesterday.

It was almost endearing to see her like this, just how much effort did she pour into this during the night?

>Wake the Lilim, it might be best for her to get her bearings sooner rather than later.

>Allow Martha to continue sleeping and wait for everyone else to come, Belphegor and Tuilelaith shouldn't take too long.

>Wake the Lilim, it might be best for her to get her bearings sooner rather than later.

I have the feeling she's the kind that likes sleeping in until late. At the same time, today is a busy day. If she wakes up now and has nothing to do, she is free to tell us "Leave me alone, I'm going to sleep!" If she wanted to be up early, she be glad for us reminding her to wake up.
>Wake the Lilim, it might be best for her to get her bearings sooner rather than later.
But uh... see if we can find a broom or something else to prod her with, I don't want to risk getting smacked twice in one morning.

Or poke her with the finger of our Soul Arm.

Seconding this notion. Soul arm poke! We want to practice using these arms outside of training! It might even uncover some weakness of them that we're unaware of.

Also, we are waiting for Tui and Belph? IF something has happened to them, it's better for Martha to be awake so that she can give the call of "Something's wrong, let's go look for them" , rather than we having to hurriedly wake her up in case an emergency happens.
The second option was a way to get a little chat going with the girls.

Waking the blue demon it is. I'll try to sneak this update tonight, let's see if i can.
Darn, I wanted to let her sleep. I bet she's not fond of being forcibly awoken!

Also, Vilma has gotten along with Klesiah so far hasn't she? She wouldn't give her a mean glare I'd think. Well, unless our little lich was very much enjoying her alone time with Arawn and is mad she forcibly ended it. There's another possibility, but I'm not gonna go full Stalin-Tier paranoid without a few more oddities.

A soul link would reveal a doppelganger right? Also, worst case scenario, if something tries to infect or mind control us though use of the link Gardy can interdict and stop it right?
>A soul link would reveal a doppelganger right?
If you were to link with the potential doppelganger, yes.
>Also, worst case scenario, if something tries to infect or mind control us though use of the link Gardy can interdict and stop it right

Yes. His protection is really, really handy.

Oddity 1: She's feverishly warm, or so the narration described. That only happens to a lich when they're extremely well fed on souls, as in, when they've fed recently.

Oddity 2: She had an unwarranted glare towards Klesiah, while they were on friendly terms previously.

Oddity 3: She awakened in our room with no recollection of it.

*Not an oddity, but a potentially worrying thing: he wants to go spend time with her fellow undead friend. Doesn't she live close to that one area Eleanor was trying to force Vilma to go get kidnapped?

I hope they aren't planning to use her as a hostage or otherwise geas her into doing their bidding in the monster Lord's palace.
>Doesn't she live close to that one area Eleanor was trying to force Vilma to go get kidnapped?

You don't know that. You'd need to ask Elenor, that's not information anyone remembered to ask.

I guess I just assummed. Still, having her gather with two undead who might or might not be affiliated with our enemies, while going al alone feels a bit scary.

Hopefully, with more people awake to interact with Vilma aside from us, it will be easier for us to spot oddities in her behavior. That is why I rushed so much to wake up the sleeping Martha.
>Wake the Lilim, it might be best for her to get her bearings sooner rather than later.
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''Let's hope she's not a grumpy waker.'' You commented and stepped inside first, prompting the girls to follow. Tools from screwdrivers to syringes and small blades lined the desk, most of them looking thankfully unused; a quick embrace of Focus and the conjuring of your faithful arm proved wise indeed for when you went to poke the demonic princess forehead, she reacted with a violent jab that looked genuinely practiced.

''Dangerous.'' Klesiah commented while chuckling.

Further annoyance led to more punches until a loud groat, something like a large moose being strangled, came out of the sleepy genius who promptly slapped away the translucid arm. ''Fucking goddamn.'' Growled the Lilim, spaded tail knocking against the glass wall beside her as she rubbed her eyes.

''We all agreed to meet here.'' You spoke, letting go of your magic in order to fully enjoy basking in this feeling of contentment at teasing the demoness.

''I know, I know fucking no more than three hours...'' A big yawn interrupted her rant. ''...maybe some stimulant would help.''

''Would you like me to fetch it?'' Klesiah asked, prompting a surprised blink on Martha as she realized who was there. Vilma bowed low when the demoness dark yellow gaze fell on her.

''Sure... Somewhere in the cabinets.'' Martha plunged a few fingers into her eyes again to vigorously and ultimately fruitlessly rub away her sleepiness. ''...Liquid is green.''

''You okay?'' You asked, feelings pangs of worries. Mounting fatigue is never a good thing.

''Yeah yeah, I'm used to sleepiness. You kinda lit a fire under my ass with everything you've been telling. Last two nights made me thinks.'' Thoroughly indifferent at the state of her crumpled shirt sticking to her skin because of sweat, Martha possessed an inviting natural allure that was a genuinely compelling sight, her grumpiness tugged sadistic a urge to tease her further that was difficult to restrain.

''I'm glad there hasn't been any...misunderstanding about that.'' Nobody had been speaking about your reveal of Sieglinde disease and you could tell that was a sensitive topic because Martha gaze of dark scleras and shiny topaz softened in silent agreement.

''Found it'' Klesiah gently held out a glass bottle inside which swam a bioluminescent green liquid.
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''Thanks.'' Martha smirked upon seeing your look of disbelief. This stuff couldn't possibly be purified magical fuel!? It's highly toxic! ''Personal batch.'' She said and took a healthy glug.

''What were you up to?'' You decided to ask as she drank, throwing Vilma a glance as she walked to stand beside you.

''Before that.'' The demoness replied, resting the bottle on her thigh. ''How much does she know?'' She waved to Vilma who stiffened in response.

''I-If there's anything you have to say that's not for my ears... I'll walk outside and close the door, I promise!'' The lich made another low bow, risked a peek to Martha and promptly shut her eyes when the demoness had furrowed her brows in confused displeasure.

''Aint'cha my sister retainer, Vilma?'' So she remembers your friend name. '' Don't bow to anybody, sis hate that stuff. Curtsies are fine but you don't gotta be all stiff or overly proper, you ain't a servant.''

Vilma hadn't expected this scolding and looked at Martha in genuine confusion. ''I'm...?'' No words followed, her purplish gaze left the Lilim dreary eyes to fall on you. ''Sorry.'' Finished the little necromancer who forced a neutral to remain on her face.

''Should we tell her what we're up to? Can't really explain myself otherwise.'' Continued Martha after another swig of this liquid stimulant.

Hm, knowledge of Lady White is always dangerous but the vixen already told you about some design on your short friend.

>Do it. She should know about Ama, what you and a select few people are going to do today.

>Better not. Vilma has been acting a little weird today, is it all because of stress from the Suppression leaders? It might be unwise to pile more reasons to be nervous


We'll continue tomorrow.
>Do it. She should know about Ama, what you and a select few people are going to do today.
Ok, didn't we link up with Vilma, Daiyu, and Elina when we summoned Gardy? Shouldn't she already know about Lady White and thus the problem we're trying to solve?
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It wasn't a soul link but a communion; they help channel mana into you.

Vilma was present when you explained yourself about Lady White yes, Martha is asking if your short friend should know about the incoming investigation and, ultimately, what you've uncovered about Lady White.
> ''I'm...?''

She... didn't know she was a retainer of Sieglinde? Doppleganger/impersonator/posession suspicions rising.

I am having some serious doubts it is safe to discuss this in front of her.

Even if it were her, awarenes of Lady White is like inviting Lady White into Vilma's mind. Maybe Lady White wants us to tell Vilma about her, so that she can influence her.

Which could be why she mentioned her in the first place.

I want to try a thing: Would be able to do that thing where we phase into the Red World and take a peek about how things are looking around Vilma, over there?

if so

>Phase briefly into Red World to observe the Lich and her surroundings from there.

I forgot about all this, but when you think about it, we probably should have tried doing this right away immediately after waking up >w<
>Phase briefly into Red World to observe the Lich and her surroundings from there.

You can only do this safely during the Hour of Lullaby because only then is Gardy presence is strong enough to safely drag you in this other side. Doing it at another time is extremely dangerous.

This reminds me I should list this ability in your sheet.
>Better not. Vilma has been acting a little weird today, is it all because of stress from the Suppression leaders? It might be unwise to pile more reasons to be nervous
We need to look at her in the Red World later.
Holy shit I didn't notice that. Vilma was made properly aware that Sieglinde had mad her a retainer which is why Zazawu didn't try and induct her in the Red Guard. Further, during our nights together I'm sure Sieg and Vilma spoke about how that would work and she would have told Vilma to be casual with her and her family. I believe she even used that status to put Mimiru under her protection in some form.

Is it possible to get possessed by a big nasty evil spirit in your sleep? I am quite scared that Vilma may not be the only necromancer around here and as she's still of the undead... Can a very skilled necromancer, with a lot of resources and prep time, possess or take control of an undead?

I'm really tempted to just up and link souls with both those girls right now. As a test of our new-ish fork ability and to see if we got a problem here (now I'm fully paranoid. What if Vilma might be only lightly possessed or influenced and Klesiah's the real doppelganger). Though I'd prefer to do that once the others get here. Worst case is she's possessed or something and will go full kamikaze mode upon being outed. When are they supposed to get here?
>Is it possible to get possessed by a big nasty evil spirit in your sleep?

Yeah but there are many factors needed to make it work. It would be very difficult for anything ''wild'' to possess someone.

>Can a very skilled necromancer, with a lot of resources and prep time, possess or take control of an undead?

Only if the undead isn't sentient (skeleton and zombies). Daiyu gift of cognizances makes mind control a temporary act at best.

>I'm really tempted to just up and link souls with both those girls right now.

Actual soul links are difficult exercises and very intimate affairs. Your spell of forks and being a mana battery doesn't approach the amount of closeness and sheer intimacy that a soul link provide. Doing it is a major thing.

You could always try to investigate your two magical companions by combining Fork and Battery though there's no guarantee of success. You'll essentially be trying out a new spell.

>When are they supposed to get here?

Very soon, they'll get here during or after my next story post depending on what you do. It's about 8 am in Throne Town.
So something trained, tamed, or cultivated with scheming love and unholy care would have a better go at it eh? I think we saw something like that not too long ago. If it was a clever little horror...

Still, activation of the battery spell does require "consent" from both parties does it not? While not a full and true link emotions seem to be able to pass vaguely through it, you get a hint about the individual soul (it's how Teruko and Vilma came to suspect our amnesia) and in the past Vilma's level of trust in us when we tried it was noteworthy enough for Teruko to comment on it (we got headbutted I think. Teruko said it was a good thing). The thing's knowledge of Vilma is limited, it might not know what emotions to broadcast or it may broadcast blasphemous approximations of those emotions and that'd set off *all* the red flags.
>Still, activation of the battery spell does require "consent" from both parties does it not?

Yup. That's the most important thing, without consent most of your spells are pretty much useless.
Well, we're already in focus and it's a bit random but would it be possible to just go for a battery link with these girls after a quick request?

If they ask why we can just state we had a terrible vision last night. We did, technically, as any time we gotta look upon Lady White it's fucking terrible and we just did that. Don't say that out loud though, damn near certain to activate the curse and make a tooth explode painfully (in the metaphorical sense I hope) if we did. Everyone's already worried enough, a sudden curse activation will not help matters.
>Would it be possible to just go for a battery link with these girls after a quick request?

Yes. You can ask them and try the spell if they agree.

So you're adding a new choice.

>Request to become a Battery for Klesiah and Vilma by using Fork, then try to investigate them both for any potential weirdness with their emotions and/or souls.

Making us having three hard votes for three different choices.
I'd rather not trust the dice gods but that is basically what I'm going for. Though I think that the mention of a terrible vision or revelation is something we could do for basically free provided Lady White didn't mark those phrases for dental agony...

They know of our problem, if we request to do a thing it must be for good reason. Hopefully they understand that despite knowing we're a wee bit addicted to the exotic bits...
>Request to become a Battery for Klesiah and Vilma by using Fork, then try to investigate them both for any potential weirdness with their emotions and/or souls.
Going to have only a single update today, votes are locked for doing your spell.
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''Before that, I'd like to try a little something before our elder scholars get here.'' Was your idea sprouted from Ama interruption and mounting paranoia? Painting a target on Vilma could be nothing more than a bait to lead you astray or... she actually respected the rules of her game for nothing more than ''fun''

''I'd like to establish a short, temporary link with you, Klesiah.'' You turned to you knight could only stare in wide disbelief. ''And you too, Vilma.'' Her own expression came to quickly mirror the blue woman. ''We should have enough time for something quick, would it be okay for me to impose myself like that?'' You didn't need to fake your guilty smile, to think you actually...began to doubt Vilma, perhaps even Klesiah was disgusting.

''Eh? Eh?'' The knight blinked in total confusion. She was quick to swallow her bewilderment, soon enough she softened into a gentle smile despite her lack of understanding about your intentions. ''Of course my lord, whatever I can do to help...'' She'll need a little explanation on how this attachment will function but consent isn't going to be a problem.

Hopefully, this guilt will fade away quickly, you can't afford to be distracted here.

''What brought that up?'' Martha asked curtly, having finished her drink in one last, long gulp. Her furrowed brows weren't entirely due to having been woken up early anymore.

''A little curiosity on my part.'' You answered, decided it'd be best to be vague. Vilma had needed a little more time to regain control of her emotions. She was rubbing her hands together nervously and upon realizing you were observing her, promptly dried her palms on her shirt.

''S-sure... We-we did it once, it's been a little while but if you want to become a battery... I guess you wanna exercises sourcing a pair of mages?''

''Something like that, it'd be best to avoid conjuring any spells here, I wanna make use of this little time before our last two friends her here.'' You embraced the potent flow of Focus as you spoke, gray luminosity giving your body a dull bioluminescence of steel and reached for the girls with your hands. ''All you have to do is to allow my will inside of you Klesiah, then resist the temptation of mistaking my reserves as a bottomless well.''

''Acknowledged, Arawn.'' She had already adapted with the randomness of your request, a faint hint of red had blossomed on her cheeks as she gently laid her palm atop worse and proceeded to embrace Focus, gaining a beautiful luster of darkened blue mixing perfectly with her hair.

Vilma was still hesitant but her inner turmoil wasn't enough to stop her from cupping your second hand with both of hers, Focus made her glow with a pretty purple that melded almost perfectly with her skin. ''I feel like... I forgot the general feeling of being joined like that. It's been a little while.'' A quiet smile was replacing her constant negativity.
Examining them could be difficult, this link is far too brittle to accommodate my will; neither myself nor they will be able to interact or senses each other because your spell interacts fully with your conscious mind and a fragment of your soul. There was no hiding your ambition from Gardy and you silently acknowledged him, glancing to Martha who silently observed this sudden activity with her guards raised high enough she might mistake a cough for something suspicious.

She's not such a careless lady after all huh?

Imageries of an endless torrent of water were to represent your flow of magic and your hands holding onto two trusted mages -receptacles of energy- became a fork that split this river into two defined thinner paths flowing through a channel of rocks... only to crash against a pair of stone gates.

''Ah!'' Both girls twitched in synch. ''I can feel something...'' Klesiah murmured, eyes closed firmly, changing her grip into a firm hold, the inherently interactive nature of your soul magic needed a little push that both girls granted.

Conscious permission; trust manifested in a melding of flow and removals of gates, water pushing forth into a foreign river to become one, linked... Your first use of Battery and Fork was a perfect success!

''This is...'' Klesiah reopened her blue gaze, jolts of purplish lightning traveled her body without hurting you. ''...such power.''

''Yeah.'' Vilma whispered with a newfound beaming grin, her gaze looked a little feverish, dreamy. ''Even sourcing two people, it's enough energy to make you want to create something big. It's like the concentration of Focus is gone.''

Thankfully it wasn't so distracting for you. Without them actively casting, this spell simply felt like exhaling constantly; an annoying distraction, the hard part was trying to gain hints of the girl's souls, both of them possessed supreme authority in their body and minds but if you listen, open yourself to sensations.
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The fork leading into Klesiah soul felt like walking into a spring clearing with never-ending refreshing wind. There was a feeling of lingering peaceful contentment that demanded genuine rejection on your part, else you'd want nothing more than linger here... There was also resolution, a silhouette sitting on a trunk with blade and whetstone in hand was ready to jump on its feet at any moment.

Vilma was... hard to describe. She gave you a feeling of isolation, a huge cavern with a head-sized hole that allowed hints of sunlight to peek inside manifested in your mind as you swam in a huge lake of tepid water, it's edges obscured by darkness.

This, you realized, was their current emotional states. Trying to peek deeper, perhaps catching a glimpse of their soul, would be much more difficult because of the chances of them realizing your changing intentions. After getting used to your flow, they'll get glimpses of your current emotions that'll manifest with such imagery in their minds.

Such inward concentration didn't rob you of earthly sensations, loud thumps coming from deeper inside the laboratory soon revealed a pair of arrivals. Clacks of walking hooves dwarfed Tuilelaith demured walks and your keen hearing picked up excited chatters from a familiar goat-lady.

Their interruption will likely make it impossible to gain further information; surprise will make both women raise natural guards.

>Try investigating Klesiah. (1d20)

>Try investigating Vilma. (1d20)

>Leave it at that, stop the spell. If they catch you, they'll be likely to ask awkward questions.

>Try investigating Vilma. (1d20)
Need a little roll from you good anon. Best of 3 as usual.
Rolled 18 (1d20)

>Try investigating Vilma. (1d20)

She is the one I am most suspicious with
What's up with the consistently high rolls with you guys? It was a fairly high dc too...

That was a surprise for me too, but I am pleased with this. :3c

Are two more rolls still necessary? I ask so that people know, as they may be reluctant to throw again if they don't know it is.
I don't function by averages, so there won't be a need for more rolls.

Functioning a bit on the slow side tonight so I'm not sure if I have enough energy to pump out the next story post + roll result this evening.
Don't worry INH, you'll get to REJOICE eventually.
Already happened once with the contract. Guess I ought to try and outwit you guys, all this luck is giving you hints!
>'S-sure... We-we did it once, it's been a little while but if you want to become a battery...

Ok, big red flag here. We've linked with Vilma multiple times. At least twice off the top of my head and the second one was recently, it prompted us to go for the big ritual that fused us to Gardy. I think we attained the battery spell with her some other time and that *almost* ended badly as something damn near possessed her for being overzealous with the drain she tried...
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>Successful roll.

You'd have less than a minute to gain an answer; another hint beside Lady White pity concession. Concentrating into Vilma mental image almost made you feel the lukewarm water on your skin whilst Klesiah peaceful resolutions became a bygone memory.

Being subtle meant operating within the defined limits of Vilma's active consciousness instead of imposing your will. With speed of thoughts your intent manifested by sinking deeply into murky azure, distances being nothing more than a dreamy obstacle yielding to your will, giving you an impression of falling instead of swimming.

Parsed sunlight dimmed throughout your second-long travel, your hands squeezed both ladies as Klesiah continued to narrated her impressions alone. Your mind suddenly rammed into an obstruction, a strange wall of smoky dark purple was dwelling into the recesses of Vilma watery soul, perhaps the limit of her active cognizance? Was it her soul, further beyond?

The lich gasped, your mind eyes spotted an eerie pair of luminous bulbs beyond this protective barrier... Then all visions of your friend surreal inner world ceased with the suddenness of a thunderbolt. This inevitably led to the quick crumble of your spell despite the already created as, in her panic, Vilma actively rejected your presence and this shock broke the harmony of your joined flow with Klesiah.

Everything crumbled like a house of cards without foundations. It was likely impossible to be unnoticed...

''Eh? What happened?'' Klesiah asked in genuine sadness, her hand squeezed yours with guarded insistence despite the redness on her pale cheeks.

''Heiyo!'' Belphegor greeting made Vilma step back, her purplish gaze, one of confusion that shifted into quick submission upon witnessing the Supreme goat lady clopping approach.

''Got here earlier and with a new lass to boot?'' Belphegor asked with raised eyebrows, by now Klesiah had also let go of your hand and Focus was discarded for everyone. You could tell she was -really- tempted to tease about that.

''Vilma looked a little lonely.'' You replied carefully minding your emotions. Tuilelaith was examining the large pillar in the middle of the room, perplexed by the oddness of this slick machine.

''Allow me.'' Gardy query was curt, almost demanding. With your mindful permission, he examined your finding -read your mind- before Belph could take another breath. ''Odd. First impression tells me you tackled a psychic defense.'' Not that it explained those strange lights beyond the wall.

''Oughta quit drinking that stuff. Bad for the heart'' Belphegor was keeping an intense glare at Martha who still held onto her empty bottle.

The Lilim gaze was trained at Vilma with the kind of glaring suspicion that made your friend almost squirm, perhaps her pride was the only thing keeping her from trembling.
''S'fine aunty.'' Martha shrugged and finally rose to her feet, her thin flexible spaded tail of leather wrapped around the bottle to deposit it on a nearby cluttered desk. ''Didn't expect to sleep much anyhow.''

''Not like ya did much of that yesterday either.''

''Hey, Arawn might have lit a little fire under my ass, what can I say?'' Martha shrugged and smirked at her short aunt harrumph.

''I-I should probably go...'' Vilma tone broke midway, leading to a failed attempt at quietly clearing her throat. ''I have-have to go-go s...see a friend soon.''

''Surely you have time for a little breakfast, right? Neither you nor my lord has eaten anything.'' Klesiah gesture for the nice basket of food that Tuilelaith had been carried, was she thinking of having a picnic?

''I'll be fine.'' A long sigh helped calm her down and she gave Klesiah a forced smile, the peace on her features coming as awkward. ''There's... I can follow one of those golems.'' She was making an active effort to avoid looking at you.

''Aint no needing to act like yer a pest lass, though it's true we came here with something to do.'' Belphegor was doing her best to avoid looking overly concerned and this prompted Klesiah and Martha to look at each other with shared confusion. ''Seeing a friend?'' Continued the goat, making the lich nod.

>Come up with some excuses to make Vilma stay. It won't be safe for her to be alone.

>Let Vilma go; your worries honestly feel like paranoia and it seems you might drag Martha in this mindset.


You have discovered a new magical perk: Soul Probe.
Soul Probe (Neophyte)
By using a tiny aspect of your consciousness, it is possible to investigate a person psyche when you have an active link with them. Your current level of mastery does not grant any bonuses for any rolls; this probe cannot venture past someone active consciousness and they can easily dispell it.
Hmm... her reaction is to immediately escape?

I don't like it, something was clearly suspicious there.

I want Vilma to stay within reaching distance, but not to hear on this conversation. Does Klesiah need to listen on this, too? We can propose this: We want to chat with Vilma after what we are going to discuss with these people. Have Vilma step aside, and have Klesiah keep her company. We promise Klesiah we will fill her in on details afterward.

If she flies to see Mimiru and her older sister, we've lost, I feel like. So if Vilma runs away or does something strange, Klesiah could run after her, or let us know right away.
>Does Klesiah need to listen on this, too?
She's part of the investigation team, although has only been acting as a listener for now.

>Have Vilma step aside, and have Klesiah keep her company

That's a free choice, so it works. Klesiah will agree without asking questions.

Then that's what I'll vote for. I'd like to wait and see if anyone else proposes something else first, though.
Alright. I'm always willing to get more voices.
We haven't been spending much time with the lich recently, and we basically didn't even see her yesterday right? We could get her to stick around by saying we've been wanting to spend some time with her.

Though now I'm sure something is wrong with her. I kinda wanna go with the option >>3117407 proposed to be safe. We can't let her go now no matter what. Is it possible to have the meal before things get serious?
>We basically didn't even see her yesterday right?


>Is it possible to have the meal before things get serious?

Everyone together? Or have Klesiah and Vilma be separated from everyone else so you can speak with the other women?

That'd be a way to combine both choices.
I kinda want to chck up on Sieglinde and Elina too. Ama did say we should check them out, so things will be going on with them too.

That could be a little difficult in this time frame. Everyone else from your group of friends is accompanying the royals on a tour of the fortress, they'll be busy until noon.

We seem to have two votes for having Klesiah watch over Vilma, so I'll start writing on that in about 10 minutes.
That is alright. If nothing unexpected happens with Vilma here, I am in favor of visiting the other girls in the next timeframe.
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A spark of recognition briefly illuminated Klesiah face when you gazed at her and Vilma; she must have deduced something from your expression. The knight promptly stepped closer, making the lich jump, but your friend remained undaunted and gentle. ''Say Vilma, why not have at least breakfast together? I'd like to learn more about summoning, remember our duel?''

''Ah?'' Vilma stopped, surprise making her observe Klesiah silently until realization furrowed her brows. ''Oh...'' Her gaze went for the basket. ''...okay.''

Had she always been this...

''Weak?'' Gardy asked and this time you had to bite your cheeks to conserves a modicum of neutrality. Mother Earth aimed you at Vilma, true, but there are some foundations with your worries outside paranoia. ''Inconsistencies in words and behaviors.'' Finished the metal protector, marking a silent agreement between you two. You shared the same perspective, perhaps even the same ideals, if you are overzealous then you'll apologize properly to your short friend. Both of their forms became odd smudged shapes when the knight closed the smoked glass door all the girls had exchanged a few words during your inward exchange with Gardy.

''Right, don't like to sound rude but I'm gonna need an explanation, Arawn.'' That's when Martha stepped closer without penetrating your personal space, invasive without being threatening.

''Whatchu mean? Vilma's a smart one, I wouldn't say no to having her with us. Lass already know bout that witch anyway, was here with me when Teruko did that ritual.'' Despite her words, doubts had settled and it was growing, making her take constant glances at the door.

''I'll have to be vague about this.'' You began, finally allowing your emotions to show. Anger, fear, frustration... You didn't need to fake neutrality when you looked into Martha tenebrous eyes. ''Had a dream about a certain someone.'' You tapped your forehead then gestured for Tuilelaith who had silently walked closer, this hint immediately furrowing three sets of eyebrows in grim realization.

''Lady White.'' Stated the vixen long tongue peeking out of sharpened teeth, Belphegor couldn't keep her usual cheeky grin anymore.

''Woman made allusions to Vilma, I've been watching her this morning, she was by my side as I woke up...'' Under normal circumstances, Belphegor would have been blissfully teasing you about this event. Relating your morning was quick, experience taught you that you couldn't mention anything about your dreamscape, it was no use to try.

You told them everything.

''It'd be easy to fall into paranoia, I've made that mistake in the past and Ama certainly enjoyed it.'' Tuilelaith began sinking a hand into one of her bushy tails. ''I'd say there are some foundations to your suspicions, especially with your rather... rude investigation.''
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Souls are considered a place of innermost privacy.

''Deruella would be the one to ask about souls, not really my field though I -do- know a little bit.'' Martha had been very attentive during your little ritual. ''Active consciousness does have a bit of a natural psychic barrier but it's not solid enough to just... block you out and those lights are worrying.''

''Why the hells would that pale cannibalistic bitch...'' Belphegor snarled and that's when you got an idea to translate a message.

''Won a bet.'' You replied, bracing for pain. All the girls look to you with varying intensity of disbelief.

''You gambled with the Wound-of-the-World and won?'' Tuilelaith asked, an increasingly wider grin almost splitting her face. You responded with a silent nod. ''Bahahahaha!'' And that made the fox erupt in good-hearted laughter.

''Pretty sure you know how stupid of a thing that was, will ya need ta be chaperoned inside ye dreams too? Gawds lad, first the Throne, then the Red World now this!'' Belphegor hooved feet made a loud clap with her displeasure and the way her head shook made you fear a charging headbutt.

Martha only smirked, amused by her small aunt antics.

''Ama love her gambling.'' Tuilelaith spoke after regaining her breath. ''Whatever it is she has to gain by directing you at Vilma isn't likely to compare with the primary objective of doing... whatever it is she was attempting to do with that girl. Maybe she doesn't have a direct hand in things at all.'' Tuilelaith shrugged with all of her tails twitching in synchronization. ''What matter is that a seed might have been planted in that little lich.''

''And is it starting to bloom, or is Vilma just a little weaker than usual?'' The blue-skinned Lilim continued. All three girls turned to you, three supremes Mamonos asking you a silent answer. Outside Elina and Teruko, you came second in term of time spend with Vilma.

>''I believe Ama or one of her followers did something to our friend. Vilma went through a few trials in the last week... She's grown since then, she's not so weak.'' Affirm your doubts.

>''I think I was overzealous. That fox is a liar, she probably told me that to make me paranoid. Vilma is a nervous girl who tends to overthink things and succumb to her negativity, she's perhaps a little weaker than usual because of the coming Suppression.'' Discard your doubts. Vilma will be fine; having a little protection when she visits Mimiru will be enough to assuage your worries.

No Free choice. Vilma could become a target of deeper investigation based on your decision.
Affirm doubts, she isn't weak.
>''I believe Ama or one of her followers did something to our friend. Vilma went through a few trials in the last week... She's grown since then, she's not so weak.'' Affirm your doubts.
Was thinking of trying to sneak another update but tomorrow is another work day so I'll stop here tonight.
I do believe the Goat has gotten a bit attached to us. I can understand why she's upset, we really have been livin' on the edge with most of our choices lately.

Also, that "seed." How bad could it possibly be? Given what's occurred so far I have a theory and boy howdy is it bad. I mean really, really bad if I'm right.
Characters are going to theorize a little now that you've cemented your worries. You'll have to make judgments about what's happening, no hints!
Of course not. Eh, always worth a shot. I think you made a mistake up above as well.

>Mother Earth aimed you at Vilma, true, but there are some foundations with your worries outside paranoia.

I think you meant to say Bad Fluffy/Lady White instead of Mother Earth.
Yep, I did. I always try to be extra careful with my posts since things are very important now, this mistake at least wasn't too bad.
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Your mind retracted into your short past, reimagining your many days beside the little lich; she, along with Teruko, had become an excellent helper to hone your magical talent, even today she -still- helped you inadvertently in understand a new smidgen of your nature. The way she walked around like...like a beaten desperate dog felt forced, that strangely hostile glare she threw at Klesiah wasn't -it couldn't- be a glimpse into Vilma true self.

She already suffered the consequences of bottling her negativity

No, Ama has done something and it seems she wants you to find out. ''I agree'' was Gardy curt answer.

''Then we've got an answer for that odd behavior.'' Belphegor was quick to speak after you affirmed your doubts; all three Supremes shared similar severe expressions.

''Mh, yeah. Perhaps the witch didn't really expect Vilma to be accompanied by her friends this morning, hells maybe the girl was already falling into this...degenerescence yesterday.'' Tuilelaith dull gaze was turned on the floor, distracted by her thoughts.

''Does it matter to know when it all started? Shouldn't we try to do something about what's happening?'' Martha wore a perpetual scowl now, her concern was delivered dryly.

''Retracing the timeline could lead us to find a culprit, whatever is going on with the lass isn't from a mundane attempt at hypnotism.'' Responded the fox, tongue slowly slithering out of her mouth. She didn't seem to acknowledge this phenomenon.

''With all due respect teach, if we're dealing with some kind of mega-charm, I'd like to involve Deruella.'' Belphegor voice dropped to a whisper, her bitter face made it obvious she didn't like this topic. ''She's... good in that area and I'd say we can wait on this retracing business till we got something to make Villy safe.''

''I'd never pretend to be above the lady who brought Lescatie low through subterfuge alone.'' Tuilelaith wore a brief smile of satisfaction, hint of bloodlust visibly settling in her eyes.

''That woman promised not to mess with my friends...'' You growled, Gardy displeasure echoed your sentiment.

''What if the stuff that's been happened with Vilma was, say, a dormant hypnotic spell planted before then? That'd be a disgusting little technicality Ama would love waving in your face.'' Surprisingly, Martha was the one to make this observation and Tuilelaith grimly agreed.

''Alright.'' Perhaps Ama does try to honor a few promises but you're not about to start giving her credits. ''Since it's impossible for her to channel a spell through me because of Gardy protection, what can explain her waking up next to me?''

''I'd love to say it's causes she's got a crush but I reckon it ain't that cute.'' Belphegor commented, prompting a low chuckle out of Tuilelaith.
''Arawn had a dream about the witch this morning yeah?'' You nodded and that made the fox wag a finger, showing a surprisingly long an thin digit that ended with a dangerously long nail. ''Methink Vilma was attracted to White influence, it wouldn't be unusual to have some little bit of that fox power lingers when she's communicating.''

''I believe Deru was hanging out with her yesterday, perhaps that's the explanation for how she fed.'' Belphegor added. ''Now that I think about it, our little lich really has been rather quiet since Klesiah came huh?'' Everyone knew she was something of an introvert but it had been a little bit excessive.

''I think I got an idea about the spell -or curse really- that's befalling Vilma.'' Martha had been deep in thoughts for the last minute and absentmindedly spoke through her fingers covering her mouth, sensing everyone attentions made her straighten her spine. ''Something Deruella told me in the old days, the strongest mind-affecting spell isn't hypnotism, charm or straight-up control. Alteration is a better tool.'' Martha stopped, concentrating on her memory while Tuilelaith swore loudly. ''Subtle changes in memories can lead to a gradual revision of a person overall experiences and with enough care, they can walk to serve you of their own free will, perhaps even betray a country that has thrown nothing but abuses on them...''

Memories are one of the few tangible, physical manifestations of a person soul, how in the world can such a thing be affected!?

''...by using Blood Magic.'' Martha had seen your confusion. ''It's possible. Lich also needs to eat souls, perhaps this makes them highly sensitives -thus easier- to being affected.''

''Yep, making it nigh impossible to have a culprit inside this fortress. At least, it'd be far too risky doing it here. The only place of discretion is the forest and the old dryad here is reeeeally good at sniffing out blood rituals around her trees.'' Belphegor bore a hand above her tummy, gurgles audibly escaping its small confines.

''Sieglinde, Hao and Elina also went into Throne Town within the last two weeks.'' You spoke. '' The only one who's been outside consistently was Vilma, to meet with a friend, a little girl I encountered with her when we went into the Bazaar.''

''Well now...'' A dangerous smirk settled on the ninetailed vixen face: a hunter stalking its prey. Implications went unsaid, Tuilelaith wasn't above distrusting a child.

How many strangers have you come across during the last two weeks? Geas, hypnotism, charms... all of them have the inherent setback of awkward delivery for a puppet master, needing face to face delivery. Who could have done this to you?
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''Hold up now, we might be able to use that little something I was working on last night.'' With the distinctive sound of something whipping the air, Martha tail betrayed her nervousness by cutting constant swipes behind her, she gestured with her chin at the strange pillar resting on the table. ''Didn't really have an occasion to speak about it, that thing should be able to create an artificial soul link.''

She continued after clearing her throat, doing her best to mask a smile. ''I was thinking of investigating you a little Arawn, maybe pinpoint White influence and hopefully hold onto it long enough to be guided toward someplace she used as a ritual. It oughta be possible and safe if the ritual is quick''

''You tellin' me you somehow managed to finish the puzzle that was this long forgotten project in two days and wants to immediately test it on our lad?'' You didn't know if Belphegor voice was one of disbelief or sarcasm. Maybe both. She stood under the much taller blue demoness with intense discontent.

''I had lots of free time in Gwen's place...'' Martha answered sheepishly, scratching one of her cheeks. ''It's not entirely done yet, I'm thinking Arawn unique nature oughta be the missing link to make it work. It'll just be a little peek anyway, should I call it something like... Soul Window? Think it sound good?''

Oooh...experiment! Wait, now's not the time to get excited, Vilma's in danger.

''This would undeniably make the witch much more interested in you.'' It was a weak, perhaps vain protest but it was still a reality that was important to point out. Tuilelaith nodding added weight to your observation.

''Good.'' The blue-skinned inventor responded with a full-toothed grin and brought a hand toward her long hair of blue -one shade darker than Klesiah- and give this blanket of organic silk a familiar swoosh. ''I'll-''

A gentle clicking followed the opened door of glass then Klesiah heavy boots stomped lightly with her steps, then a louder thump revealed that she had been quick in putting the large basket on the ground. ''Sorry, am I interrupting?'' She asked, gentle expression matching her tone. Vilma was sitting on a metallic chair, both hands cupping a sandwich eating at a slow and methodic pace; when her eyes crossed yours, she promptly turned away, faking ignorance.

''We're good.'' Belphegor answered your knight. ''Been having the ol' talk and it's about over now yeah? We oughta do something.'' She tapped two of her claws together in a vain attempt to make a snapping noise.
''Vilma wants to make the message that she really intend to meet her friend soon.'' Klesiah was keeping the door open, perhaps in a way to prevent the lich from sneaking away.

''Clock's ticking.'' Commented a short lady of many tails. ''You're our vital link to getting somewhere with White, how d'you think we oughta proceed?''

There wasn't any true leader in this investigation group, but for now, you held the initiative to fully create a proper momentum with everyone. If you could only get a tangible hint... You'd be able to get somewhere.

If Vilma is under magical coercion -or alteration- it might be unwise to prevent her from going, constraining her could lead to a violent reaction... She's also only one part of Lady White grander design, perhaps she wanted you to concentrate on your friend so as to miss another plot?

You won't have time to research tomorrow.

>Allow Vilma to go with protection. Perhaps it'd be best to concentrate on finding Ama grander purpose.

>Do your best to make Vilma stay here; she's in danger and you've sworn to protect all of your friends.

>Try to see if she'd be agreeable with you tagging along with meeting Mimiru. Confronting the suspicious ghoul at once would be a wiser use of your time. You will not be able to use Martha experiment with this choice.

>Do your best to make Vilma stay here; she's in danger and you've sworn to protect all of your friends.
I'll wait about 20 minutes for another possible vote. This choice is fairly important after all.
How good are th royal spies at tailing someone? If she went some place other than she says is could they capture her and/or take out a few vampires that might try to ensure she isn't? Any way to get a tracking beacon on Vilma without her knowing?

Calling it now, vampire faction will attack once the suppression mission launches and they want Vilma to help by starting a zombie apocalypse. The fact she's friends with the people they hate and wish vengeance upon is just that much better in their eyes.
>How good are th royal spies at tailing someone?

Excellent. Sieglinde reinforced the fortress with a solid 50 additional Succubuses, so the manpower is there too. Belphegor will be needed to call that final shot though, she's got authority there. Not you.

There is also the fact that Vilma fought in public recently. Everyone will know it's her if her undead powers go rogue.

And it would damage Teruko's reputation since she's her official teacher.

Hearing about the competence of Sieglinde's spies, I feel a bit more confident in sending her under their supervision.
So could that possibly be two votes for asking Belphegor to do that?

With or without Klesiah to accompany her?
It'll be more than one succubus tailing her right? Odds are high that she's under vampiric watch/guard so the two spy teams might bump into each other. That'll mean a fight and I don't want them out numbered and out gunned.

Sure. I do want Klesiah to go with Vilma, though.
The usual team consists of three succubuses to properly blend in and relay information.

This free choice is looking to be the popular one, I'll start working on it. Shouldn't be a long update.
''Ah, can I have one minute?'' Vilma would still be able to hear you at this distance and this remark prompted her to look your way curiously. ''I'd like to ask Belphegor something.''

''Me?'' Responded the lady goat, tilting her head and tapping one of her horns.

''Yes, you. Come here.'' And so you walk with little aunty away from the group, stopping near one of the many tables, Belphegor clomps sounding almost ominous behind you.

The echoing nature of this laboratory force you to lean closer and whisper into the small Supreme ear. ''Would it be feasible to send a group of succubuses to tail Vilma?'' A sudden -loud- clap of a single hoof revealed her thoughts on this topic.

''Ya think...?'' Thankfully she manages to keep her reaction measure, though her furrowed brows shoot you an angry glare. ''...I guess it ain't that bad an idea, using her as bait is tasteful as all hell tho.''

The tug in your heart prevented you from making any replies. She was right, there wasn't defending this: Vilma is your friend. She's everyone friend.

''It'd work. The usual team consists of three agents who are train into shapeshifting to avoid rousing suspicion and they've got enough skills in combat to hold their own. I'll have to go all the way into the gateway to set it up. If I get lucky, I'll stumble on three of lasses ready to go, otherwise, it could take a bit to set it up, Vilma trail could grow cold real fast in that stretch of time.'' Belphegor bit her bottom lip, doing her best to avoid grimacing when her stomach let out another hungry growl. ''It'd work.''

''Guess that leave one last question...''

>Have Klesiah accompany Vilma on her trip, she should be able to enter Mimiru house due to her blossoming friendship with the lich.

>If Mimiru -is- an agent of Ama or the Javed, it'd be far too dangerous to let your knight go in there alone. The observing Succubus should do a good enough job.


You haven't fully committed with this course of action yet, this is your last chance of backing down. Otherwise, you guys should think on what to do next; Vilma will be out of sight, meaning no more interaction.
>Any way to get a tracking beacon on Vilma without her knowing?

Forgot to answer that.

Not possible I'm afraid.
>Have Klesiah accompany Vilma on her trip, she should be able to enter Mimiru house due to her blossoming friendship with the lich.

This for now. I am also wondering...
If there is tension between Vilma and Klesiah, maybe sending Elina with Vilma on the trip would be better? Vilma is more open around Elina anyway.
Elina and Vilma are much better friends, but Elina is accompanying the group of royals on a tour of the fortress.

Belphegor could feasibly pull her away, but she won't have the time to set up the tailing team before Vilma leave.

Hmm. We don't know where Vilma will be going because we weren't told where the ghoul girl lives, right?

We let her go with klesiah, but offer to go pick her up later. So that she has to tell us where the place she will be staying is, and we can tell her at which hour we will go pick her up.

Once we go pick her up, Elina will come with us, too, if possible.

f the spies detect she ends up going somewhere different than the place she told us, it will be immediate evidence that something suspicious is going on.
>We don't know where Vilma will be going because we weren't told where the ghoul girl lives, right?

Yeah, Sieglinde and Elina have accompanied her into Mimiru place once. Not you.

>We let her go with klesiah, but offer to go pick her up later.

That'll need me to write another short update.

For now, I'd like to see if I'll get another agreement for what you guys are about to do.

Alright. Just want to note:

Dady White told us to watch out for: Vilma especially, but also Elina and Sieglinde.

List of people who have visited Mimiru's place: Vilma, Elina and Sieglinde.

Person who has been over there most often: Vilma.

....Yeah, I don't like this.

This is more of a thinking out loud than an immediate "what to do now":

We should check up on Elina and Sieglinde using the very same Soul Probe we've learned, to check if we see something similar.

We'd ideally start with Elina.

PD: I am a bit worried I am overthinking things and making everything overly complicated. Is this how it's meant to be, and what you as a DM encourage, or should I tone it down?
> I am a bit worried I am overthinking things and making everything overly complicated. Is this how it's meant to be, and what you as a DM encourage, or should I tone it down?

Remember your investigation of the Mamonos slaves? That was your training for what's happening now. Overthinking things is a danger because you could be led astray or, worse, struck with indecision but it's important to try and reason what you want to do.

Hence hard conclusions should be done via greentexts to help orient ourselves. You guys aren't doing this alone, ladies are here to help too.

You haven't picked up many clues so far, but that entirely depends on what you do now.
I'm a bit torn. Having her with our knight lessens the chances we'll nab the bastards in the evil act but we could also make it seem utterly rational and unsuspicious if we tell the lich that our "problem/curse" is gunning for her and thus we cannot let her go alone.
You'll have to decide my good anon.
Perhaps it's a bit late, but, putting a new idea ont o the table: We could invite Mimiru to spend the afternoon in the castle with Vilma, instead.

We can even volunteer to go pick up Mimiru along with Vilma and Klesiah.

As a choice it's there. I still am voting for having her tell us where it is, so that Belph knows where to send the spies, and have them report right away if the girls go astray.
Alright, I'd have liked a few more votes but I think the general feeling is to commit with allowing Vilma to leave with Klesiah.

I'll proceed to write an update to details these questions.

If I'm way off the mark, then you guys shouldn't be afraid to tell me.
Still going with spies too right?
Yeah, that question was more or less settled in the update above.
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Important events shall unfold later...

''Whatever's happening... We should do something for Vilma, she already suffered all alone before her duel and we both know how that ended.'' Belphegor can only grimly nod. ''I'll try to find some other clues here and make sure Klesiah accompany our friend, having her tell us where Mimiru reside should be helpful... additional security with the demons tailing them will put me at ease.'' And so ends your whispering briefing with the short aunty goat who couldn't suppress an uncomfortable grimace as hunger pains steadily eroded her self-control, she was greedily glaring at the basket... and breaks into a sprint to nab a few pieces of foods before you can say anything else.

''Sorry about that.'' Martha and Tuilelaith had walked closer during your short exchanges with Belphegor. ''Klesiah, would you be okay with accompanying Vilma?'' As you approach your childhood friend her gaze turned momentarily confused but one more glance into your eyes hardened her expression.

''Of course, my liege.'' Answered your stalwart knight. Everyone else had listened to your worries and only then decided to help you properly, Klesiah... simply obeyed without question. It was difficult to avoid grimacing when a surge of guilt tugged at your heart.

Vilma hesitantly walked closer after silently observing your beckoning. She tried her best to submissively honor all of the Supremes without bowing, her gaze of pale purple fleeing eye contacts until they upturned to look at you. There was tense apprehension on her features, nervousness making speech increasingly difficult.

''You have to go soon?'' Vilma had begun to nervously rub her hands together.

''Y-yeah.'' Hints of a smile came to her lips. ''Mimiru... I-I promised to her I'd meet her today.''

''Could I accompany you?'' Klesiah suddenly wedged herself into your conversation and quickly continued. ''I've been very curious about Throne Town, but more than that I understand undead have a little... difficulty with the inhabitants. I'd put me at far better ease if I could ensure your security.''

Vilma needed a few seconds to stop blinking. ''Ah...'' A proper smile came to rest on her gentle face. ''I didn't think about that, getting into Mimiru house could be a little awkward.''

''Could you tell us where her house is, too?'' Vilma wasn't too good at being the center of attention, you did your best to swallow your displeasure. ''I haven't had a chance to meet her, I'd like to rectify that if I can in the future.''

''I-I should probably be here if you want to. Mimi-Mimiru doesn't trust strangers, I-I'm not sure if she-she'll remember coming here.'' She proceeded to wipe her sweaty palms on her pants, she's never been one for skirts. ''Her house is... a bit small, the outside is rather boring, not too far from...''
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She describes the district, the nearest landmark -a forge- and then finally reveal the actual address of young Mimiru place of habitation. ''Aight!'' It was all Belphegor needed, she's been quite careful with listening while eating. ''Gonna tag along too, gotta make that elevator work, then I'll hafta go and do a little assignment.'' The goat managed to make an O figure with her clawed fingers despite a little struggle with their awkward rigidity.

Belphegor hooved feets caused inevitable clops and she gestured for both girls, the small lich was slowly starting to regain a little pep and Klesiah ended their column, turning to you one last time to give you a small bow and then was forced to jog to reach both girls who had already turned a corner.

Out of reach.

''What was that whispering all about?'' Martha asked after a minute of silence, rapid echoing thumps from deeper inside the hangar hinted at some kind of shenanigan going on with the golems.

''I asked Belphegor to make a fast team of demons that'll be able to follow our two friends, so if anything is to happen...''

''Mhm, that'll get down to mom and sis quickly despite aunty authority.'' Continued the blue demoness. ''Suppose we'll worry about that later. Zazawu is scheduled to come around noon and I'd say our folks will remember our absences if we ditch his arrival; you okay with that?''

''Ah! Gwen's likely to be holding a grudge for my being here already.'' Tuilelaith chuckled, then began to walk toward the basket of food and drinks. ''Doing pretty good at taking care of your friend, outside having Gwendolyn take a peek inside the girl mind, a subtler approach could make us lucky.'' She extracted an apple and eagerly bit into it, tails swishing around her in a chaotic dance of fluff.

''So, time for an experiment?'' Martha tail curled as she idly gestured at her prized item, she was trying her best to downplay her pride in having almost finished it.

You've made your choice with Vilma... you can't linger, today's is too important.

>''Experiment it is.'' An artificial soul link with Martha Jawahir, second daughter of the Demon Lord. Despite the situation, you're finding it very compelling.

>''Perhaps not so soon...'' It might be smarter to go down and meet with everyone else. Ama mentioned Sieglinde and Elina, perhaps it'd be a good idea to meet them. Make sure they are fine.


Ending here tonight.
>''Experiment it is.'' An artificial soul link with Martha Jawahir, second daughter of the Demon Lord. Despite the situation, you're finding it very compelling.

I do want to check up on them girls, but this artificial soul link business sounds like a good test for when we get the real deal.

We should get the details and agree to it. Things that come to my head when I think of it is: "Does it hold the same intensity as an actual soul link?" "Is Martha harmed if we die or vice-versa?" "Is it temporary, or lasting?" "If something goes wrong, can it be forcefully interrupted on both sides?"
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All questions to be answered within the next story post.

I'm thinking of ending the thread after that experiment... if of course, that ends up being the chosen action.

Having fun worrying about Vilma?
What time is it and how long would the experiment take? What does going to meet the other girls entail? Would we get another choice about what to do with them and can this experiment be performed this evening? I wonder if the lullaby hour would have an effect.

I'm not so much worried about her as I am the person trying to brainwash her. The direct alteration of memories is the most heinous mind fuckery I can imagine. That piece of shit is going to die very, very slowly for this. That or they shall become a guinea pig for some straight up Mengele shit. I could honestly flip a coin on this one.

People who do that level of shit, well, what happens to em' happens.
>What time is it

Close to 11 am.

>How long would the experiment take?

An hour minimum, it'll take longer if you try to investigate more.

>What does going to meet the other girls entail?

To be there when Zazawu arrives and stand as part of Sieglinde retinue of retainers. It's ceremonial really, a way to be polite and look good with the other royals. The one with actual ground to be genuinely pissed is Gwendolyn because of her Tuilelaith absence, but you can't really know what she thinks about that now. It's also a way to try and see if Siggy and Elina might have suffered a fate similar to Vilma, since you guys have been worried about your dream.

Tuilelaith won't leave if you ask her, finding Lady White is very important to her.

>Would we get another choice about what to do with them and can this experiment be performed this evening?

Yes. Martha wants to establish a fake link to gain some hints because the day is still young, your trio will be able to do something if you get tangible info.
Hmm... I might change my mind later but right now I'm leaning towards meeting the girls. If their minds have been altered us not showing up will reinforce whatever new bad memories they have of us.

It seems Vilma's been brainwashed into thinking Klesiah hates the undead and, by extension, herself. Explains the mean glare and shock at how she displayed genuine concern for her safety and well being.
>''Experiment it is.''
Ok, last question before I get some sleep, if the Link option is taken and we by some miracle do manage to exactly pinpoint a node of Bad Fluffy influence/blood ritual without Martha getting infected by the bitch or something, where's Hao?

Gotta take every chance to keep her battle lust and desire to channel that lust in ways that makes her better friends with everyone nice and sated. After all, the hypothetical node will most certainly be occupied by cultists spoiling for a fight with the agents of the great enemy. That is to say, those who aid and act on behalf of Mother Earth from their perspective.

I am a bit concerned for Martha though. I mean, she seems to relish in the fact that her device's potential stunning success in its purpose will focus the gaze of Bad Fluffy upon her in a very intent way. I get that she wants the *true* felwhore's eyes off the other members of her family but... Overzealous a bit much there blueberry? No need to take their place upon the Guillotine of She who Contracts just yet I'd hope...
>Where's Hao?
With the Teruko, meaning the rest of the group.
>Overzealous a bit much there blueberry?
Let's just say that she has a few questions to ask about something nobody else in her family thought about.
So her eagerness to conduct the experiment at the expense of potentially pissing off her family by missing the upcoming meeting is due to her desire to answer these questions?

It'd make sense and could get me to shift my vote. Though I still worry for her. This curse is not something I'd wish upon anything except my most vile and detestable of enemies. Y'know, like I said above, for the likes of whom to whatever happens to them, happens. I've just stopped caring at that point.

Evils of that tier need not apply to my standards of mercy *or* malice. Never forget this pearl of wisdom, the opposite of love is not hate, it is Indifference.
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Come now, Lady White isn't such a bad company.
Yes she is, doubly so if she manages to infect people beyond us. She's Chaos incarnate to boot, she potentially has different strains!

Y'know, if we take the works of GW, Chaos has 4 strains, 2 of which are always diametrically opposed. Bad Fluffy reeks of Tzeentch but hey, she's also smelling a bit of Pappa Nurgle. She *really* likes us in all the worst ways...
Good thing she plays by the rules. How can you even say she did anything though? There's no tangible proof.
Thus a goal we'll be putting upon our unused allies. Can't let anything escape detection.
Gotta work soon, so one last question for the anons to ponder. Could we link with Tui instead? I doubt it as the machine probably needs the inventor's genius to even have a chance at operating properly and safely but it's still a question worth asking. Hope it all works out!
>Could we link with Tui instead?

It's possible. I'll be posting in an hour or two with the next story post centered on the artifact.
Hm, we'll have to continue tomorrow. Life interruptions make it a little too hard to run tonight.

To make up for it I'll try starting earlier.
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''I hope it'll be easier to earn forgiveness than asking permission... again.'' Remembering Daiyu logic before venturing into the Throne made it impossible to hide your grin as you observed your last two companions. ''I'll admit to feeling some apprehension with leaving Vilma out of reach but... I'll trust my knight and the people Belphegor judge apt to be reinforcement.''

''Having faith aint easy.'' Tuilelaith responded. ''Trust your lover, the little lass is in good hands.''

''Klesiah isn't...'' Your heart skipped a beat and a rush of heat ended your retort in a pathetically weak croak, Lilim and Kitsune wore near similar smirks of cruel satisfaction.

''Let's start by worrying about this thing here.'' You motioned for the strange pillar of silver which, you noticed as you got closer, possessed many engravings similar to tree branches or, perhaps, a body veins. They went up and down, beginning around the sockets where two chains linked with a pair of bracelets.

''Sure sure.'' Martha's voice had gained a little echo of distance, she went and grabbed the basket of food, taking near the table while the fox pushed a nearby chair to take place near the bracelets.

''Artificial soul-link is fairly self-explanatory given the name, this oughta replicate one of these things and let us severe it without lingering pain or, well, effects.'' A thump followed as she dropped the bushel on the table. ''Bit of a problem I can't work around though, is that we might lose track of time. Usually, magical rituals are fairly quick but here it's possible our entire existence will slow down.''

''Slowed down existence? You don't mean slowed down heartbeat?'' Martha shook her head and took out a piece of dried meat.

''Interaction between bodies and souls often create anomalous dissonance in the world, my test with animals had them sorta become lethargic, like time around them became sluggish.'' She stopped to swallow her food. ''This'll be my first human test and well... I always believed necessity matters a whole damn lot in getting what's needed.'' Her tail enrolled itself around a chair leg and loudly pushed it behind her. ''You'll likely get the worse of it since we'll both have to concentrate on you, try to pinpoint that witch influence and hopefully uncover some kind of hint of a ritual spot.''

''I've made a habit of keeping my gauntlet activated, I should have grown some resistance by now right?'' Your arm showed a few needles marks from your weapon activation, you had finally taken it off now and towed with one of the bracelets. It was about a quarter the length of your forearm, with three distinctive spikes that would likely sink into your flesh once you close the item around your limb. Martha also had the presence of mind of bringing a few bottles of medicines to prevent infections.

Seriously, Magitek isn't for the faint of hearts.
''Oughta be good, were kinda operating blind here.'' Martha fidgeted with her own bracelet, having already attached it around her wrist. ''We should eat when we can, no clue how long this will take.'' She added, putting action with words by extracting another piece of food from the basket; this thing felt like one giant neverending gift.

''Would it be unreasonable to attempt a threeway connection?'' Tuilelaith question caught Martha off-guard and the vixen took advantage of this silence to move closer to you, without imposing herself enough to sit. ''Arawn nature is one of soul and I do believe you're able to create a... pathway with others, yes? that's what happened with Klesiah and Vilma earlier?''

''That's right.'' You had no reason to be suspicious of Mother Earth primary agent. ''I can create a psychic connection, the process is probably similar to what we'll be doing.'' You gestured for the artifact whilst eating a pastry that had undeniably been made by Priscilla. ''It's nowhere near as intense and thankfully not permanent, I can only affect a person conscious mind if they allow me inside. It's not anywhere near a genuine soul link.''

''I've some experience with rituals related to souls.'' Respond Tuilelaith. ''Even if it means complications, I'd like to attempt a joining, we could think of this as a communion; several mages temporarily joining their magic together to accomplish a greater whole.'' Namely, what Teruko did to allow Gardy to manifest into the world. ''Of course, this runs a little risk of peeking inside each other innermost sanctum of individuality, but I reckon nobody else needs to find out.''

''And nobody to react if things go wrong.'' There's a little edge of sarcasm in Martha retort that makes you and Tuilelaith blink and feels a similar rise of caution.

''Is there any causes for such a reality?'' Asked the fox Mamono.

''No certainty.'' Replied Martha with cold detachment. ''First time trying out souls stuff with Magitek and we'll be reaching for the Wound-of-the-World.''

''If time allowed cautions I'd insist on it.'' Tuilelaith grinned, then finally sat beside you, giving your shoulder a rub wit hone of those many tails without brush tips.

In the end, Tuilelaith can't force you into attempt this threeway link.

>Tuilelaith is Mother Earth primary agent, it'd be perhaps even safer to include her in this experiment.

>Keep with Martha original plan. She created this artifact and likely know how to best operate it and where to stop before things go wrong... and if they do having insurance of one of the strongest Supreme ready to help is heartening.

>Try to link with Tuilelaith instead. Hopefully, Martha doesn't feel insulted, but this fox is a thousand-year-old, the wisdom of ages count

>Tuilelaith is Mother Earth primary agent, it'd be perhaps even safer to include her in this experiment.

Can we get someone to gurd us while we do this? I feel, if Ama doesn't like what we do, she might tell a sleeper agent of hers in the castle to violently interrupt us while we are all slowed down.

Or worse, she might try to extend a tendril of control into the two girls, from us. Someone we can trust to interrupt rhe ritual if things get nasty like that and we are unable to abort it from inside.
The lab is ludicrously secure right? It sounds like anyone using the device becomes a sitting duck and that complicates things.

>Can we get someone to gurd us while we do this?

Nobody outside the golems is available and they are too big to enter the lab.

>The lab is ludicrously secure right?

The lab itself is only made of thick smoked glasses to be isolated from outside noises so it's not exactly secure, but the altar and Daiyu inner fortress is, however, extremely well guarded. The two drones are also standing nearby, the way to access the area you are in is through a hidden elevator or a more official stairway.

Nobody outside the demonic family -or those they allow- has permission to be here
Can the golems be told to not let anyone in unless they're demonic royalty and/or have signed orders demanding our presence elsewhere?
They can be ordered to stand guard, yes.
Ok, one more question. What's the functional difference between letting Tui into the link versus not? She's the ultimate guard but she might be instrumental to success as she probably knows exactly what to look for given her long history with our fluffy problem.
>What's the functional difference between letting Tui into the link versus not?

It's possible that it'll put more strain on you since you'll have to accommodate 3 wills. (Gardy will be here, he can't exactly leave because of your fusion state.)

Arawn is likely to end up tired and drained depending on what happens, and of course, it's possible you'll lose track of time without someone here to tap your shoulder or something like that to make you physically remember of the world.

Outside of that, I can't answer anything else.
Let's see, another 20 minutes should be a good waiting time for more votes before I start proceeding with this. >>3124904
>Tuilelaith is Mother Earth primary agent, it'd be perhaps even safer to include her in this experiment.
Welp, if Tui didn't know about bestest buddy ever she will now. Hope that don't come back to bite us later.
Having the golems standing guard is a little detail that'll be added as we do the ritual.

What a prudent anon.
>That spoiler
You're really good at making me nervous y'know that?
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I'm confused as to why you guys did well with Vilma and Klesiah.
We're either hyper competent, or complete bloody idiots. There is no in between.

I'd say luck, mostly
''Before we begin, I'd like to have both golems stand guard outside the lab.''

''Oh!'' Martha stopped fidgetting with the bracelet and looked toward the closed door. ''Didn't think of that, suppose it can help.'' She dextrously inserted a finger in an opening of the small armlet and let it clatter on the table. Something about the way she stood made her look... inviting, so you turned for the fox who observed you with renewed amusement.

''Let's go with your suggestion, though I need to warn you my existence isn't exactly alone; my soul remain my own but my protector is likely to be here, too.'' Your mentions of Gardy have been scarce, breaching this topic made her gaze gain an obvious twinkle of interest.

''We'll see once we get there, hm? He's a good guy?''

''Absolutely.'' Tuilelaith was being very attentive to your expression, speaking truth here managed to soothe some of your worries.

Martha plopped back on her seat and fiddled with the bracelet one more time, then relaxed and continued eating. ''Big guy will be going to seek his partner and both will be standing guards, you two ready?'' No confident façace would be able to hide her lapse in confidence but she didn't allow herself to be slowed down, leaning toward her machine, Martha fiddled with its other side until a peculiar touch activated a low rumbling hum coming from the entire pillar, thankfully the activity was nowhere strong enough to make it fall on the ground.

''Heey, time for us all to hold hands yeah?'' The old vixen chuckled. ''Easier that way, soul links always need physical contact before being established.''

''Indeed.'' There was a sound of rubbing metal as Martha chained bracelet loudly moved on the table, reaching to you. ''Arawn is to be our host, so he oughta be reaching out... Supposed you're used to that with your spells huh?''

You nodded silently, already embracing Focus. A tiny spiritual pull occurred afterward and with careful compliance, you allowed a small morsel of your magic to go, consumed by the Magitek pillar. This caused a reaction of dull gray luminosity a shade darker than it's silver material, allowing an artful highlighting of its many engraving that, with this better scrutiny, depicted images of flowing rivers and bridges.

Martha's hand was tepid, yet strong. Her fingers interlaced with yours confidently, becoming close enough for the chains of your bracelets to clinks together. Tuilelaith felt comforting, she was naturally much smaller than you and her hand reflected that despite it's earlier shapeshifting; it roused a feeling of fragility even if she held onto you firmly.

''Here goes, our first step is my spell.'' And so you began, re-imagining your operation with Klesiah and Vilma. both women gasped upon feeling the rush of your flow crashing against their spiritual gates and they tentatively allowed this magic forward, creating a flow of information...
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Martha was strangely lethargic, not exactly tired, she was surrounded by an aura of drowsiness that, perhaps was because of how little sleep she got or, maybe, it was something of an unconscious shield to protect her deeper feelings.

Tuilelaith was a contrast of confidence and worry, both feelings dwelled together in equal measures before assurance suddenly became her singular emotion, giving you images of an old, healthy grandmother knowing everything about the world.

''Oooh...'' The fox feature changed into surprising gentleness. ''I'm feeling safe almost content, now that's... it's been a while.''

''It's almost paternal.'' Continued Martha. ''That's you being a battery?''

Your silent nod prompted one in return. ''Okay, now's the time to establish the genuine thing. We'll lose sensations of the world, hopefully, it'll travel to you safely Tui.''

Martha eyes of dark scleras and shiny gold closed and you followed suit, resisting the urge of attempting a deeper delve, you imitated the Lilim and squeeze the women hands a little tighter.

Then... thoughts and impressions filtered into you, a flow different than yours manifested a desire of closeness without being insistent or demanding; Martha had become proactive now and as you allowed this strengthened will, your imaginary rivers connecting with them underwent a near-immediate change.

Water changed to stones, masonry stopped the river momentum to create a tangible pathway. Bricks by bricks, stones by stones, solid replaced liquid, reality imposed the ephemeral to stay: eternity was built and it spread in a triangle with both girls.

Robbing you of all wordly sensations.

Two flames burning into eternal darkness, Tuilelaith and Martha existence became utmost truth inside your entire world on a similar level to Gardy silently standing beside you. Both were alive and sitting beside you, both were healthy, albeit worried and a little confused; these feelings soon changed into resolution.

''Mindscape.'' Said the metal protector, his voice gaining a much more organic with this psychic closeness. ''Remember.''

And thus you architected a simple world based on your venture inside the Demonic Throne. A starless Milkyway that would be your floor expending into infinite an infinite horizon of beautiful lights... There, two silhouettes manifested.

Tuilelaith with her many tails was appeared a head taller than you, with much more grace and sultry seductiveness without alteration to her natural small forms and Martha possessed a pair of gorgeous angelic wings.

''Simple yet beautiful, I've heard of mindscape before but to...'' The vixen words trailed to nothing as she finally realized Gardy presence. ''...Fucking hell, he does exist.''

''Embodiment of Protection.'' Martha wings flapped, the increased gusts didn't seem to disturb her although Tuilelaith gaze widened on seeing this impossible addition on a succubus. ''Was that why I felt so safe earlier?''
'Our purpose is shared, his consciousness is stronger.'' Responded the metal-man, his singular topaz dimming. ''Doubt not his feelings.''

''No, I... I didn't intend to do that.'' A surge of guilt radiated out of the blue woman. ''Let's get to work.''

''Mh, the problem is how to grasp an aspect of that invasive white fox, something like a soul parasite...'' All of Tuilelaith tails had gained a blanket of fluff, she didn't seem to realize this difference either. Was your own body changed in this soul realm?

''I reckon calling out to her directly would be stupid.'' Commented Daiyu's daughter.

''Effective. Dangerous. We will protect you.'' Gardy voice lost some of its humanity as he stared upward, into the boundless starry sky of your inner world, a place of empty harmony.

''Hold on maybe there's a way to be subtle about this...'' You said quickly, hoping to at least put a foot into a new solution. Martha was going a little too quickly

Lady White influence on you isn't easy to see. Like a dormant disease, it's symptoms only flared upon the witch intrusions but perhaps you, or the girls, would be able to find a little aspect to latch onto...

>Actually try calling out to her directly. you don't have much time to waste and acknowledging Ama presence in your soul could, hopefully, make something react.

>Try to go into the teahouse she's always used as a backdrop for your exchanges.

>Try to go into the teahouse she's always used as a backdrop for your exchanges.

We inform them beforehand of the teahouse's existence and what it did usually. Then if they have any concerns or oppose going there (as it might be a trap), we call her out.

If they agree with checking out the place, let's do just that.
I'll wait a little longer for potential agreements or other choices.
Teahouse is that place with some kinda stained glass window and a dark forrest stretching out into the distance right?
Yeah, it's one big room with that single oddity.
Last time, there was this ominous clock we could hear as time went down.

Perhaps we should pay attention to the tick tock sounds, or let the others know of it as well. Just in case.

Also, inform them that she managed to stop time in there so that Gardy wouldn't be able to stop you from signing that one contract.

So if anyone knows ways to counter Fox Dream Za Warudo, they should be ready to use them.
Interesting observations.

So, would it be safe to assume going into the teahouse is our choice?
Y'know, this evil fox wouldn't be too out of place as a JoJo villain/big bad now that ya got me thinking.

Sure, take all the precautions and warn them about her quirks in that place.
Anons being attentive again.

Alright, I'll try to pump out one last update tonight.
I am having the oddest of thoughts just now. It's a stupid thing, but my paranoia likes it a bit.

The first time we met Lady White, she had this Myr girl with her.

When we signed her contract, Ama laughed out loud:

''Myyyyr! Myyyruuuu! We can laugh, finally! It's time to laugh my dear Myyyyruuuu!''

That by itself means little to nothing, but someone has been implanting suspicious things into Vilma, and our primary suspect right now is... the ghoul girl, Miru.

''Myyyyr! Myyyruuuu!" = Mimiru.

Farfetched, I know, but...

Lady fox said "I've been a good girl this time"

What about Myr, has she been a good girl, as well?

...Also, for some reason I expect her to show up as well, along with that enemy angel. We should probably warn the girls that if there is a confrontation, we will likely have 3 adversaries. It could be a 3 vs 3, or a 4 vs 3 if we count Gardy.
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''I meet Ama in a distinctive place.'' No fear of jolts here, the curse of Lady White on your speech doesn't translate this soul environment. Soulscape perhaps? ''It's inside a teahouse, I'll tell you both about the peculiarities I've observed in case she decides to manifest.''

It was unfortunate that exchanging information could only be done at the speed of speech despite the firmness of these links. The conscious mind is an ever imposing one. Burgeoning friendship and trust wasn't enough to climb over everyone inherent needs of isolation with their emotions and thoughts, Martha and Tuilelaith constantly bled emotions that, thankfully, weren't intense enough to be invasive, shifting emotions could be comparable to droplets of different savors falling on your tongue.

''Since we are tied together, I'd say your parasite would have a harder time to sorta... lock us out.'' Tuilelaith, now taller than you, spoke after you related your experiences. ''Not that it's an excuse to be careless.''

''Arawn will the one to pay the price of a violent confrontation.'' Gardy metallic voice had grown stronger. ''Do not be overzealous, he too deserves protection.''

''Right. I might have a little bit too much of the old bloodlust going, I'll calm down.'' Tuilelaith grabbed one of her big, puffy tail under her arm and took a large inspiration of air, then grinned toward Martha. ''We're all closer than married couples, this'll really make for a nice memory.''

The landscape changed with your memory. This night sky of shiny stars changed slowly in a familiar motion of a painting slowly burning from the back. Holes of white spread like blood oozing out of a wound into your comfortable darkness and from there the girls nearly stumbled on their feet as sensations of distances -moving- rushed without warning, creating an ephemeral panorama of colors architected by your memory. One blink and...

A thump and a gentle noise of skin ramming into something revealing that Martha had grabbed the couch to keep her balance, her wings flapping emotionally and then disappeared entirely. Tuilelaith had almost fallen into the large round table still covered by its red clothing... had it been red? Gardy stood motionless, next to the big wall of stained glass obscuring the forest, reducing it to ominous shapes.

''Shit, now that's not something to get used to!'' Martha mumbled, quickly pulling her hands away from the big piece of furniture. ''That's the place you meet?''

''Yeah... although it's grown bigger.'' Today's dream had this room as a small, intimate place for you and Lady White but now? There was more than enough space for all four of you. Tuilelaith was already examining the table contents, which amounted to little more than forgotten, if immaculate, tableware of porcelain.

'Aint nothing here that can work. Nope.'' Mumbled the fox while grasping a fork and glaring at it.
''Hold on hold on this... That wasn't here.'' Something new was inside this room. directly opposite the opening leading into the forest was a set of double oaken doors -each taller than yourself- painted a bright red. Had it actually always been in this form? Surely you'd have remembered something so distinctive. It certainly hadn't been in your last two meetings with Lady White!

''Opening random doors don't strike me as a particularly wise idea.'' Tuilelaith grunted at Martha remark then glared at this gaudy set.

''Doors often hold powers in dreams and souls. They obfuscate reality, make us blind to whatever is on the other side; in fact, you could say there's nothing beyond until we do decide to open...''

''Dangerous philosophy.'' Gardy curtly interrupted the old fox. ''Finding an aspect of the witch doesn't entail stepping into her world.''

''I suppose her curse on Arawn is similar to a link, albeit with different authority...What's that?'' Martha question went unanswered. Muffled noises filtered through the doors, sounds of cellos, violins, and harps mixing harmoniously came out distorted by those thick obstructions and, slowly, incomprehensible conversations squeezed through the hinges.

''Ooh that's not good.'' Martha cast a worried glance toward you then promptly jumped over the couch to stand closer to you and Tuilelaith who hadn't stopped her investigation. She was rifling through the porcelain, picking each of them for careful study.

''I suppose were guests.'' Commented the fox. ''Any idea, Gardy?''

''None.'' Grimly answered the metal protector, his attention was on the stained glass, single cyclopean optic glaring with renewed luster in vague attempts at puzzling whatever was outside. All the shapes outsides seemed to blend together into a single whole but the odd protrusions did look similar to branches.

''Mhrm, nothing here can really be taken as an aspect of White.'' There was an increase in the noises sneaking out of the door after that single word. ''Fucking figures.'' Martha ended with a grumble.

''Breaking through the glass or stepping in there is probably our best bet...'' Your comment wasn't met by any protest, everyone here clearly understood and wasn't about to let a creepy orchestra destroy their nerves. And you had the most experience here, this was for all intend and purpose your crossroad between your and Lady White soul, with Gardy as a constantly uninvited guest.
Still, there was a nagging feeling lingering in your guts, a little pinch that everyone might have misunderstood something. How, exactly, are you to find an aspect of Lady White inside of your soul? That contract seems to be the only tangible object and she's not careless enough to leave it here... but isn't here anything else? Another connection with that vixen?

''Clock's ticking.'' Said Tuilelaith, another perusal of this place reveal the total absence of those big pendulum swinging clocks. Hrm, another inconsistency. Does it even matter?

>Break the glass. It's been a consistent mystery throughout your time here, time to see what's on the other side.

>Collect your nerves and open those doors. You need something -anything- that can help you devise Lady White grander purpose in Throne Town, you have a strong party... no need to be afraid!

>Free (How can you find an aspect of the Wound-of-the-World that doesn't belong entirely to her? Think Arawn!)

Continuing tomorrow.
I am unsure on how to proceed. I'd go with trying to find an aspect of Ama in here, but...

That music has got to go, it surely will affect our minds somehow.

One important thing I'd like to resolve before engaging Ama:

This teahouse place. Does it belong to us, or to Ama? If we were to deal damage to this sttance, would we be weakening her hold on us, or our ability to resist her?

We could try to find / ask if there is any way to determine whether the constructs in here belong to our psyche.

For example, what if the red colored table was now part of her influence on us? Like, maybe the more time passes, the room gradually becomes red, signifying it is now HER room, rather than ours.

Let's point out that the last time we were here, this red clothing over the table wasn't really there, and that the red matches suspiciously the newly found doors. Perhaps setting the red clothing on fire would cause some sort of reaction from Ama. It certainly looks like the cloth will be easier to damage than the doors.

My bet is, Lady White is expecting us to pay attention to the big door, and not to the innocent-looking tablecloth.

Actually, there might be something covered or buried UNDER the tablecloth, or at least, obscured by it. Let's check the appearance of the table and under the table, after removing the cloth.

Also, the situation in my head is now:
>What Ama expects: Gyahaha! You came into my realm looking for the contract, when in truth, I left it safely under the tablecloth, you fools! Now you're trapped in my real, you're miiine!!

>What Ama gets: "....What do you mean they aren't coming in? THEY'VE DONE *WHAT* TO THE TABLECLOTH? ....Uh. That... wasn't how it was supposed to go. :/ "
>This teahouse place. Does it belong to us, or to Ama?

I can't answer that.

>Actually, there might be something covered or buried UNDER the tablecloth, or at least, obscured by it. Let's check the appearance of the table and under the table, after removing the cloth.

Sure, that'll be a quick action that won't make time progress, I'll wait for more inputs though.
Let's just scour the room first. Bad fluffy would totally hide it here to gloat over us at some point.

Yeah, this wasn't a question for you to answer. More, a thing to ponder, and have Arawn try to find that out. Maybe asking to the girls what they think of the matter.

That's more what I meant by that.
We know from past interactions that we have some dominion over this place. Our thoughts and emotions have effects here. Does the stained glass window depict any sort of figure or item or is it just a chaotic prismatic spray of fragmented colors? Any part of it just transparent or close to it?

I have a few ideas. First, Gardy can shapeshift his arms right? If so we have options besides just opening the door or shattering the glass. Speaking of the glass, we all know it's easier to see what's on the other side of it if you're looking in from the "darker" side. Are there light sources in this room or is it just magic-ing itself lit?

Are there cabinets? Do we see any tea around? There is also the possibility that the teahouse itself is an aspect of Lady White. Also, as stated above, we seem to have some dominion here. We could try willing the stained glass clear or increasing the sound conductivity of the doors to better hear what's going on on the other side, though there is the chance of those options backfiring somehow. Finally, Elves have damn good hearing right? Is it possible to lean against the door and try to make shit out. On that note, how good is Gardy's hearing and does he have access to different "vision" modes?
>Does the stained glass window depict any sort of figure or item or is it just a chaotic prismatic spray of fragmented colors?

It's all shades that seemed strangely circular. You can't see any colors, nothing come through.

>Are there light sources in this room or is it just magic-ing itself lit

Alchemical light on the roof similar to all the infrastructure inside the demonic altar.

>Are there cabinets? Do we see any tea around?

No for both.

>Elves have damn good hearing right? Is it possible to lean against the door and try to make shit out.

That's a possible course of action. I'll probably set a countdown of ''Swift actions'' tomorrow.

>On that note, how good is Gardy's hearing

Nothing special.

>Does he have access to different "vision" modes?

One more thing occured to me! Mixed with the music, we could hear voices, right? Is it possible to try and listen on what the voices are saying?
Success isn't guaranteed but you can always try.
One final potential observation. For better or worse we, ourselves, may be inexorably linked to Bad Fluffy. If either Tui, Martha, or Gardy, wanna roll those dice they may well do so successfully.

She would go that far after all. Though I will also warn against any of us opening or breaking something...
>How, exactly, are you to find an aspect of Lady White inside of your soul?

That sounds like something we can ask the girls and our mechanical friend as we do other actions. We should do that.

As an aside, there is a potential easy option if we want an aspect. Ame, if confirmed to be the spawn of this abomination, is herself a walking, talking, aspect of the bitch. Fruit of her unholy womb and all. Tui should also know a thing or two. If she who contracts were trying to troll us somehow, how would she do it?
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A few more seconds of hearing this muffled ballroom music lit a sense of urgency inside your guts. ''Let's look under the couch, remove the tablecloth; I wouldn't put it past White to risk hiding something in plain sight to taunt me later.''

''Yeah, sounds like her.'' Tuilelaith responded and promptly pulled on the large piece of red fabric, sending all the porcelain into a loud ruckus as they landed on the ground without breaking because of the carpet, revealing a plain looking round oaken table. Martha pushing the large couch on the wall revealed nothing but dust underneath.

During their activity, you had peeled away from everyone (Gardy followed you soundlessly) and put your ear on the door. Keen audition was a blessing of your race, whether that carried into matters of souls was something to test.

The melody was a slow and methodical one, mingling instruments together into a small, spirited orchestra whose sounds slowly filtered through these massive red doors in increasing volume as if the people playing were actually inching closer. Those conversations you previously overheard yielded no bounty of knowledge, all the voices mingled into a gibberish whole similar to what you'd hear in a market. Too many people spoke together, effectively camouflaging any conversations you wouldn't be standing next to.

''Nothing.'' Martha grumbled. ''Guess it not a matter of simply taking a fork and taking off like thieves.''

''Souls related business always tend to be frustratingly vague.'' Continued Tuilelaith, her hands traveled on and under the table in vain attempts at catching any hints. ''Don't think well get something here, I suppose we can always tear out the insides of that couch...''

''This place is a crossroad between souls.'' Gardy statement brought all activities to an end, his metallic tone easily superseding that muffled song. ''Lady White wasn't able to fully contaminate Arawn soul because of Mother Earth interruption. His subsequent joining with me made it impossible for the fox to increase her influence on him, thereby she made this house as a solution for interaction. Arawn does hold some dominion here, your force of personality and emotions could damage the walls, break the windows but you neither you nor Lady White has enough...'' His single eye dimmed, his metal fingers clicked together as he reflected on his words. ''...authority to make this place your own. Destroy it and she'll rebuild; reverse is also natural. Genuine confrontation, however, is far too dangerous. She was truthful in explaining how your soul wouldn't be able to endure the repercussion of combat.''

''Meaning were actually somewhat safe here?'' Asked the Lilim and Gardy motionless stare turned for her.
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''I am only theorizing but what lies beyond these doors -or the glass- could be Lady White domain. If we make an opening, things could become... dangerous. I suspect she could do the same from her own side.'' His hands tightening into fists caused a pair of clinks that was lost in the muted melody.

''If we're to find an aspect of Ama, there might be no other choices.'' The recently grown kitsune crossed her arms, tails retreating on her sides.

''What, exactly, could constitute a part of Lady White influence on me?'' It was the most important question in the end; perhaps coming into this teahouse had been a mistake, acknowledging Ama would have been another one, but surely there has to be something...?

''Making the vague a little more tangible is probably the best way to think off in term of souls matter. That's how you'd be able to find a solution, now I really wish little sis was here. She's good with this bullshit.'' Martha had walked around the couch to step closer to you.

''White also mentioned Zipangu queen, Ame-no-Uzume...'' Was that it? Did she decide to sneak a solution as a way to taunt you?

''Yeah well, there's nothing we can do about that. Aint like we can go link up with the queen out of the blue.'' Tuilelaith was speaking truthfully. You'd need physical contact to establish a spiritual connection, perhaps there was some kind of rituals or spells to make a long-distance communication, but there wasn't time to try anything. Zipangu queen was busy with Daiyu family.

Perhaps that little comment had been nothing more than a red herring.

''Light is changing.'' Gardy comment made everyone look toward the brilliant light of orange on the roof, what was previously a sharp orange had slowly turned into a sinister red as if the sun had progressed its natural path into a bloody sky. Beyond the door, the orchestra diminished in strength and eventually stopped entirely whilst remnant of muffled conversations barely echoed through the closed doors.

''Time's not waiting for us.'' Tuilelaith had a subtle change in demeanor, glaring constant animosity toward the suspected source of incoming conflicts.

An aspect of the witch Ama, a connection of some kind that's still holding pieces of her influence, visualizing it would be easy if you could puzzle out an answer. There wouldn't be anything to find here, the answer for this important question wasn't going to lie on the ground like a forgotten sock.

A connection? How? What?

>Leave this place. While you may not be able to puzzle out the answer, making certain everyone is safe remains a priority.

>Remains here and prepare for whatever is about to happen. Ama seems to have a flair for the dramatic, all these muffled noises was an obvious countdown. Might as well face her machination directly.


You have only time for two swift actions before events will force your attention somewhere else. This includes asking questions for your companions.
Besides the contract, has she ever came in here with some other item? A pen, pipe, etc. Tui said the witch loves to gamble. Could that be considered an aspect? It'd fit thematically, a force that cannot be predicted with absolute certainty, much like a throw of the dice.
>Leave this place. While you may not be able to puzzle out the answer, making certain everyone is safe remains a priority.

I believe we have pushed our luck with the fox enough for the time being.

But if we're going to have to leave, isn't there a way to leave some sort of time-bomb that will blow up in Ama's face next time she pokes her nose around this teaparty? It's bothersome that she can prepare doors with traps to troll us with, and we can't do the same.

A direct confrontation is too dangerous, but.... if we could only set up something petty like, flinging a symbolic, imaginary poptart the moment that door opens and Ama comes to find out that we're gone. A booby-trap while she's absent in this place.

It'd rustle her jimmies without it actually devolving into a full fleded battle. Initiate the 'Passive-Agressive Pranks against Fox' Operation! >:3
>Besides the contract, has she ever came in here with some other item?

No, outside the dices there hasn't been anything she brought that wasn't already in the room during your talks.

>But if we're going to have to leave, isn't there a way to leave some sort of time-bomb that will blow up in Ama's face next time she pokes her nose around this teaparty?

You could try spending a little time to make a bobby trap, a roll to determine success will be needed.

You guys can take some more time to try and theorize how to find this solution. Remember, souls-matter function a bit like dreams; vagueness can be made solid once you actually find a solution.

Straddling a very fine line here, I'll have to be careful with my hints.
The only thing I can think of is to try and cojure the cup and dice she brought to gamble with while asking Tui if gambling, chance, and chaos are aspects of Ama.

She did say that exercise was "worth it" in a way that suggests to me a greater risk than merely giving us a hint if she lost. After that we bug out. We can't risk a fight and I doubt she's coming alone.
That's an adequate swift action.
I'd like to see another potential agreement before proceeding, otherwise, I'll wait for my usual 20 minutes.
I can agree with this conjuring.
Also, add "corruption" to my chain question. It's only an extra word and I gotta cover all bases.

Agreed, too!
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Here a thought is a spark of creation. Remembrance of this morning game conjured a familiar cup of green filled with five dices, one peek inside revealed a chain linking them all together. ''Tuilelaith.'' You spared a single glance at the venerable ninetailed fox, dark fumes exited all nine holes that made for tail tips in a continuous trail of bleeding ink.

''Are chances, chaos, corruption and gambling aspect of Lady White?'' You asked, returning the cup as you arrived near the table. The dices inside clattered loudly, revealing a six, another, a third one... five sixes, beaten only by one other result. Two, three, four, five, six.

''Yeah, she's no god though.'' Tuilelaith had completely discarded her near-constant good-natured mischievousness and her height had somehow returned to its natural state. ''that stuff is her pleasure; she promises stability, power, purpose, and knowledge to the desperate, use blood magic, corruption and...'' A scoff of disdain and a sharp gesture for the teahouse emphasized her last point. ''...souls rituals for odious means. Her joy is chance so that people make mistakes of their own free wills, or fail her trials, although she's very selective in who she targets; those around them won't have such privileges.''

How many years did she spend pursuing the Wound-of-the-World? Ama remark had been apt indeed.

''It's still not enough...'' Chances, dices, gambling, playing; fleeting ideas, desires with no ties, pleasures you don't share. Finding an aspect of Lady White within you isn't so easy; believing this was only one more steps to finding the fox machination had been so wrong it's bordering on arrogance. This is the key that could unravel everything she's been doing in Throne Town! Ama is the type who'd love hiding answers in plain sight... Those clocks were a hint; your time today's matters. ''Arawn?'' This place, this teahouse is something of a neutral spectator, coming here was the right idea. Lady White may have architected this place, she still had to relinquish control to make you fully independent, thereby allowing you to act on potential connections between you two. Gardy suffered a timelock before being joined to you, the girls should be safe from this because of these spiritual bridges, Martha gadget is working perfectly. You couldn't feel their presence anymore, not in this teahouse. The answer... isn't necessarily here but you'd be able to invoke it in this shared tiny reality, will a tangible aspect of Lady White for your own use. A bridge can be crossed in tow different ways. Doing it inside your soul isn't going to work, your natural individuality is far too strong to allow any aspect of Ama cancerous presence.

This teahouse is the stage in your battle of wits against White.
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''Arawn!'' Next thing you knew, Martha gently shook you, breaking your line of thoughts. ''Listen.'' Continued the blue-skinned demon and immediately you notice the change filtering out of that particular room.

The melody has changed, something like a pipe organ had replaced the classical orchestra and the voice of a man was joined harmoniously in the music. The redness of the single light had also increased its an intensity to become an irritating redness that had nothing to do with a sun organic dusk.

''Clock's gonna ring.'' Tuilelaith had moved on the couch, standing on it with a predatory stance, ready to pounce, tongue peeking out of a warped mouth growing twice as long with murderous predatory teeth ready to close around a throat. Gardy was closest to the door, his shiny eye seemed to leave afterimage and Martha had adopted a battle stance similar to her family. Limbs covered by glossy corruption, natural exoskeleton acting as armor and a mouthguard...Mouthguard?

Ama duped you into a contract, it was your first -only?- connection. Mother Earth came, and your swiftness with entertaining your soul with Gardy's prevented the vixen from further attempts at poisoning your spiritual body... You have to find an answer and leave or stay and face what's about to happen.

>Leave. You can't risk your group.

>Stay. You need an answer to get to the bottom of Ama plot in Throne Town. the danger is worth it.


If you can find the aspect of Lady White, creating it will be a free action. I'll give you guys some time to think.
Unless you guys feel brave enough to try and pluck a little something out of Ama, finding the answer to this puzzle could be difficult I know, but it is very important indeed!

It might be a better idea to stop here tonight and continue tomorrow to give you guys a little more time.
So the answer is a thing, a fundamental character trait we both share? So the choice is between making a guess and leaving before this attack lands hoping we were right or tank the hit and get more guesses?
>So the answer is a thing, a fundamental character trait we both share?

It's something that connects you to Lady White, it doesn't have to be a character trait. Arawn mental state is worsening a bit because he can't figure out the answer, so I'll try to be a little more objective here. You can make the abstract clearer here, happening upon the right answer -the right connection- will be the missing cog to figure out Ame prank.

>So the choice is between making a guess and leaving before this attack lands hoping we were right or tank the hit and get more guesses?

Not so much taking a hit as to see whatever is about to happen with those two creepy doors. You are right in your first assessment.
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Now that's a bad, bad mistake.
My best guess is that it has to do with the throne, the red world, and/or blood magic.
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I'm a little torn about trying to offer more hints and/or greentexts choices because I feel like you guys will zero-in on the right answer quite easily. You've proven yourselves pretty sharp!

Still, we could go down that route if I've been too confusing with laying you this mystery.
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Something tangible, something connecting you with Lady White, perhaps not the source of her interest but a morsel of the vixen existence that you'll be able to use in order to pinpoint areas having been ritualized in her name. Something dwelling inside your soul... Cancer that cannot be removed.

>Your Father.
He signed the contract, condemned you to suffer the witch machination. The genesis of your relationship.
>The Contract
You have no authority over it, yet it is a connection, a spell that chains you to Ama. There is no better physical manifestation of the fox cruelty
>The Dices.
Ama love chaos, chances and gloating by giving out ''fair'' challenges. It is a facet of her personality, something you can use to search the city.
>Ama Curse.
Ama placed this annoying geas into your very soul, forcing you to get creative in your communication. A mean-spirited prank.
>The Red World.
Perhaps you weren't meant to witness what you've seen, that entire place is a chaotic area of twisted natural balance. Dog eat dog, cruelty for its own sake, entities condemned for eternal craving; does it not sound like Ama playground?

>Remain here and await what is about to happen. What is that damnable fox up to?

You guys can choose one answer and leave or remain here
I think this is a fairer way to make this choice.
Maybe we just need to conspiracy board it so we have all the pieces together. We're not living in the world after all, so it get's hard to keep everything straight... especially when I'm reading a half dozen other quests between updates.
It's fine. I'm still learning how to qm right despite all the time spent doing it, giving greentexts options is fairer.

I just got a little excited is all.
I've DMed several times, it only takes three sessions for everyone to reach godhood each time. I counted.
Our Father seems like a dick, but doesn't have a direct connection to this as WE signed on the dotted line if he even did anything like she said.
The Contract is a representation of our connection, that's something. That seems more like a representation of a part of us going to her rather than the other way around though.
The Dice are something conjured for unrelated reasons to the connection, that's not it.
Ama's Curse... that is something directly used to affect us. It was planted in us with her connection.
The Red World is a natural part of existence, even if it's her playground, it was already around. What we saw is not necessarily her work.

I vote we manifest the curse, in the form of tooth pullers for obvious reasons.
Tomorrow will be when we end the thread. I'll tally up the votes after waking up, we'll see if you guys try to manifest the key or stand your ground.
So the clue is time and how we've been spending it yes?
Time, what you know about Ama and connection.
>The contract!

Ama IS the witch of contracts, that's her primary aspect.

Since a contract is a two-way thing, while we may not be able to revoke it, are we not entitled to inspect the document, at the very least?

Not to mention, we don't know if there are any conditions she needs to respect. Perhaps Tui can revoke or add additional clauses to the contract? We need to call forth the contract. It Is what has given her a hold into our mindscape.
If we end up a tie I'm willing to change my vote to The Contract. I'm going to sleep, night all.
Well, if it's time we've spent on something and a connection with Ama that cannot be removed it's gotta be the curse. Fusing with Gardy and going into Super Mode only lessened its effect enough for us to talk openly about her. Hell it is *why* we even fused with him in the first place. It's a thing we're always worried about. It is also why we sought Tui out (on top of the Golden Butterfly's advice).

She seems to be eternally connected to us through it. We're in the heart of the demonic fortress yet she still gets accurate intel about us and our activities. It isn't some kind of algorithm that simply bans words from use either (else there'd be a lot we couldn't say), it's how and when we attempt to convey our experiences in ways that displease her. She always seems to be loosely aware of the information we receive but not absolutely as she didn't seem to get enough out of Klesiah's story to be satisfied.

Also, it's not a contract *itself* that binds, it's the results of the contract that do so. A contract is, at the end of the day, merely a piece of paper without someone or something there to enforce its clauses upon the signatory parties. It needs an enforcer, a thing that inflicts negative outcomes upon those who break the terms of the contract. Curse fits that description.

Finally, in an abstract sense everything that's happened to us with her is a curse. This teahouse, the pain, her machinations, it's all a curse upon us. Also, what's happening to Vilma is like a curse too.
Oh, if it wasn't obvious, I vote to manifest the curse. Also, we've technically already manifested the dice so why not just take them too?

I am more in favor of the contract because it's symbolic. The curse feels like it's more that just a tooth-ache.

Even if we shielded ourselves from that one nasty side-effect, that is not to say we will be safe from the influence.

Revoking the contract would also revoke the curse. It feels like she'd find a new way to enforce the contract if we just debunked the current power that is sustaining it.

Mostly, I think accessing the contract will be easier because it has been in front of us as a material thing in this teaparty place, and we've touched it physically. Also, I imagine it will be easier to interact with it. Writting on the paper additioanal clausules, setting the contract on fire, tearing it appart, feeding it to one of Tui's tails...

The concept of 'curse' is too nebulous, and it is NOT an aspect of Ama, which is what we are trying to find. Contracts are part of her title, if we find one of those, she will either have to discard the contract, or let hersle be exposed to our actions against her through it.
A final point I've just thought of. Ama had to create/re-establish the contract to put us well and thoroughly back into her clutches. She still, somehow, retained a modicum of influence over us despite the fact we died and spent god knows how long inside the throne.

The contract is in some way temporary, but the curse is seemingly eternal.

I believe she reached us into our dreams through that letter she delivered to the Demon Lord's residence. Perhaps opening and reading that letter was the little thingy that enabled her to slip into our mindscape?

The contract was what allowed her to latch to it and stay in, rather than gettng kicked out.

At any rate, I believe, without that letter, we wouldn't have had that dream. The letter was the invitation t othe teaparty, so to spek. We had the dream of her after recieveing the invitation.

So, the curse didn't linger after our death. She placed a new one on us. Or so I think, anyway. I could be wrong. INH would have to clarify that, or alternatively, stay quiet on the matter and let us theorize about it. X9
Mother Earth tried to warn us about Lady White before the letter I believe. That warning, however, got blocked by her influence. All we remembered was seeing a golden butterfly.

I don't entirely remember the circumstances of the butterfly. I thought the utterfly was guiding us regarding Elina and her sabbath nightmare. ...I wonder if Ama is also behind those nightmares of hers.
We first saw the butterfly with Elina. Next time we saw it was after we got infected. She said she tried to warn us when we saw it then but that Lady White must have suppressed it thanks to her lingering influence.
That's indeed what happened.

So far we have two votes for the curse, one for the contract. I'll begin writing at around 5 pm, so we still have time to come to a decision.
Ok, checked the archive. Indeed, we first saw the butterfly at the end of thread 14 with Elina, got the letter at the end of 15, and then proceeded to vent our collective IQ points into the ether and get infected in 16 which we immediately answered by fusing with Gardy. Oh boy, what a wild ride.
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>and then proceeded to vent our collective IQ points into the ether and get infected in 16

Now now, that's a little harsh. You guys have met many trustworthy people so far, having a fox plead to you in good faith and accepting it was... kind. Not stupid.
Alright, I'll start writing the update and end the thread with this last one (this is a new record of activity). Two solid votes to manifest the curse against one for the contract, let's see if you guys were right.
I do remember that in the first quest, there was a similar situation of entrusting ourselves to a pretty, powerful, nine tailed fox, sealing our future path with a kiss to her, despite having no idea who she was, nor whthere she was trustworthy or not.

We chose to take a risk and trust her, and the result was that some characters down the line, we had become the lovers of the 100% certifid Best Fluff.

The decision of 'to trust, or not to trust' was very similar, so I wouldn't call the answer we picked the 'obviously' wrong one.

I wonder now... what would have INH done if after Lady White had done her reveal, we had rhad Arawn react like "You know what, this is actually fine. I like you miss Fox, and am willing to let you into my mind anytime. You didn't need a contract for that or anything, let' be friends :D "

Villain route? heheh.
I guess it'd entail betraying and sabotaging our friends though, so it'd be bad on the longer run. But it could have been potentially amusing to see if we could make Ama genuinelly blush.
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''Is that...?'' It was such a silly thing. You couldn't tear your gaze away from Martha mouthguard, this organic growth of sleek dark Corruption created a spark in your feverish mind that quickly made you retrace all of your discussion with Lady White, how that vixen contaminated your soul and placed this annoying toothache as a mean-spirited prank yet... yet what could explain the near-perfect knowledge of your actions? These dreams that forced your conscious mind into periods of lucid activity? The Contract was, perhaps, closer to Lady White general existence and capability but was it a true connection? No, it was something coerced into you, a force demanding your subservience. A genesis, yes, but not something that's been affecting you overmuch.


No, no... this curse that forced you to be creative in communications is actually a bridge!

A weight was suddenly added to your neck and jaw and a muffled thump betrayed the fall of something heavy on your feet. Something metallic was covered your lower face and as you ran your fingers along sleek metal you happened upon bars in front of your mouth. A muzzle? It wasn't tight so speaking wouldn't be a problem. A chain connected your covered chin to your neck, where a big round collar had been clamped around your skin where another chain -much bigger and thicker this time- fell all the way toward the ground, that little noise you heard has been this invasive leash touching the carpet. Like a massive, dead snake this chain continued a lonely path for a few meters toward the door then disappeared entirely well before touching the carmine oak.

''I have it!'' You bellowed, immediately catching everyone else attention. The song coming out of those doors was decreasing in intensity but remained insistently playing.

''What the hell is that, Arawn!?'' Martha spoke first, making the other two companions realize your rather obvious addition.

''I found the aspect I can use, and only here was I able to manifest it.'' You gave the chain a tug, it wouldn't get stuck on anything in this realm of soul yet it's weight felt real and invasive. ''Let's go, there's more work to do.'' You imagined a simple door of metal and it manifested into the wall, rearranging the symmetry of the teahouse construction to adopt this addition.

''Cutting it really close huh? Making me feel alive now!'' Tuilelaith cackled and opened your new creation without hesitation, the scenery beyond was a familiar sight of the boundless starry night sky and milky white floor.
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As everyone piled for the door, a shrill creak came out of the closed double oaks, both of its handles had twisted toward and before anyone could take a step outside, they opened slowly and methodically, drenching this little world in renewed, sickly red. The organ song increased its intensity, a distinctive silhouette stood inside that light of a dying sun. Tall, nine tails floating leisurely like vipers, a woman silhouette holding onto a distinctive handle what looked like a connecting melded with the chain attached to your neck.

''My! My!'' That light aggressing all of your senses dimmed.

''You!'' Martha tried to lunge forward but Gardy arm interposed itself on her path, preventing her from moving. His singular topaz optic flashed in warning and the bluette composure returned.

''I have a very important guest arriving shortly, I'd gladly welcome additional visitors; are you not leaving too soon? Especially with our celebration starting in a few moments?'' Ama shook her hand connected to you, yet the chain didn't move, there wasn't weight or compulsion; you were free to move, to leave.

''You can't do anything here, witch.'' You spoke. Behind Lady White was a collection of silhouettes standing inside a gaudy royal room, all of them were too obfuscated by shadows to offer anything more than vague humanoid outlines of wildly different builds, some even seemed to be wearing animals heads grafted on human bodies.

''Still fucking around huh, Ama?'' Tuilelaith sneered and the white maiden mirrored this expression, however, the smaller fox turned her attention toward Martha and gestured for the Lilim to keep her silence.

''You're a wife I'd love to bury.'' Replied the white fox, her arms crossed under her generous busts and her tails regained enough self-control to remain on her sides like an opened flower. ''Whilst I only extend an official invitation to Arawn and his dear guardian I can be generous and accommodate two other patrons, after all, today is a joyous occasion.'' Ama unfurled her arms and a round of applauses joined together with the melody of the organ, a male voice was added as a solitary choir, yet came out muffled; as if he sang from another floor.
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''Today will soon mark the beginning of a new camaraderie. My newest apostle, dear, dear Vilma Ingerd, will be coming very soon.'' A cackle interrupted her speech. ''With purest of death in her heart and her quest to stop her bleeding heart finally complete, she will be welcomed at my side; I know that amongst all of you Arawn is the only one worthy enough to call this darling his friend, but I do open mine arms in generous invitations for all of you to give Vilma your blessings.''

''Vilma is already with a friend.'' Don't get pulled into this witch pace.

''I know.'' She replied, expression growing gentler and your guts twisted in cold fear. ''A beautiful friendship, another foundation for your darling lich to acknowledge her purpose.''

Of course, she'd already been familiar with Klesiah protection. This damnable curse might be a bridge, but your flow of activity will ultimately always be busier. It's unfair, even ass she pretends to give you chances.

''Why not see for yourself?'' Asked the vixen, she stepped sideways, motioning into that grand hall where all applauses had ended, the music continued its hypnotic paces and, you realized that your companions had been reduced to silence, not out of a timelock but some kind of coercion that made them glares daggers of rages at the vixen who didn't acknowledge their existences anymore. She didn't want anyone to influence your thoughts.

>''No.'' [Leave.]
>''...'' [Stay.]

No Free choice

Ending thread here.

Ok, first, did we make the right choice and now possess an aspect we can use to track ritual areas?

Second... oh holy fucking hell. I mean HOLY FUCKING HELL!!! This is worse, far worse than I imagined. Not just brainwashing her but fully inducting her as a fucking apostle!
>Ok, first, did we make the right choice and now possess an aspect we can use to track ritual areas?

Yes. You can only do so inside your own soul though.
>''No.'' [Leave.]

We need to trust Vilma. if she has been kidnapped, we will come for her.7If she has been misled, we will set her on the right path.

But right now, what we came here to do was to find an aspect we could use. We've already found it, so let's just leave and immediately rush to aid Vilma in the side of reality, not in this one where Ama has more control.
Also, thanks for running again, INH!

This looks very exciting and I can't wait to see how it will continue!
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>I guess it'd entail betraying and sabotaging our friends though, so it'd be bad on the longer run. But it could have been potentially amusing to see if we could make Ama genuinelly blush.

She'd have bullied you about bluffing since doing that would be wildly out of character. Actually shifting the narrative that way would have taken further pro-Ama choice and ultimately, Gardy would have become your enemy.

Things would have turned out quite differently.

Thanks friend. I'm thinking of making a new thread around Wednesday or Thursday of this week, Christmas and new year vacation make for lots of time to quest.

And we've roughly gone through half of my notes for this day. IMPORTANT things are happening.

I look forward to it!

And as for your reply earlier, true, I imagine we go puppy on Ama and Gardy would be like "Dude, what."
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Ok then, good, well then we know that this induction ceremony is definitely gonna be a ritual area. We need to book it towards the rest of our party and then launch ourselves at Vilma. If there's a huge ritual signature we head there instead as the goal is to stop her from being inducted into Ama's inner circle.

We absolutely butcher everyone who isn't one of ours in the later case. Oh god, I can already hear their outcry when see us coming. "Blood and Souls for Lady White!" She's gonna get those, but hopefully it's theirs and not Vilma's. Mimiru gets captured if there, if she's the one behind this then my player maxim gets re-affirmed. Never trust the little boy/girl!

You have expertly deflated any sense of joy in our victory as now we know Ama is gunning for Vilma in the absolute worst of ways. If she becomes an apostle, we'll have to... well, she's technically already dead being an undead so double/re-kill her?

She was one of the best girls too! I don't wanna have to put a waifu down! I will though if it comes down to it, because victory costs what it costs.

I'd try getting her back to herself, rather than resort to killing her right off the bat >w<

Now, if Mimiru turns out to be in Cahoots with Lady White... she will have some explaining to do.
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>If she becomes an apostle, we'll have to... well, she's technically already dead being an undead so double/re-kill her?

In this setting, undeads actually aren't dead. Lich, vampires, and ghouls are genuinely alive and can reproduce, the problem is they are essentially parasites since all three need to consume something related to humanity. Blood for Vampires, soul for Liches and meat for Ghouls. (They do crave human meat but alchemical meat also work to counteract this craving.) Undead is a racial slur that's stuck around because these races were created by a previous Demon Lord.

Guess the popular choice will be to leave.

Nothing bad is happening, you have nothing to be afraid of.
I don't think there's any "coming back" from being an apostle. As in, even if she wanted to come back, she'd likely be under an absolute geis that makes it impossible for her to disobey a direct order from Lady White. You probably get all kinds of cool blood and soul powers yeah, but that's the cost. Your soul, cough it up to she who contracts.

She'd belong to Lady White, period. A thing she would very, very happily lord over our heads in sadistic glee. "She's mine Arawn. Alllll miiiine. Now and foreeever. That automaton fails to live up to its title yet again! What a useless failure of a machine!"

>That spoiler
Y'see, you've trained us a little too well. We know better now.
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Are you worried about making your knight leave now?
Quite, because she's probably pure in both faith and virginity there's probably a cultist's kris blade with her name on it and Vilma might be walking her straight up to that sacrificial altar.

Please dear lord let the spies be tailing the pair. The only plus is that Vilma's a smart girl. If, as I suspect, she's been brainwashed into thinking Klesiah hates her the inconsistencies in behavior could lead her to question her own memory and sanity.

It'll mean a massive SAN check for her if that happens, but that's better than becoming Ama's new court necromancer.
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>because she's probably pure in both faith and virginity

You did get some insight into the way she thinks in the previous thread. Still, the girl left with her sword, glaive and armor.
I insist in that the spies who went after Vilma and Klesiah need to interrupt whatever is being done to Vilma or at least stall until we can go there and bap the lich to remind her not to do contracts with fluffy strangers.

Arawn wouldn't do it.... oh wait.
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You'll see what you can do in the next thread. I need to think on a few things beforehand... mostly about a potential pov switch but I think it's better to stick with Arawn.
Yes, and that's good, but y'see, I'm willing to bet Ama is putting a good deal of effort into this little induction. After all, our suffering is her joy and losing Vilma to her would make us suffer quite mightily.

A bunch of low level cultists don't stand a chance against our electric knight, but if she sent dark tonfa bitch or that angel as the insurance policy... And those are just the known ones. Ya can bet she's got more than two apostles. May have a max number though, like, the more she makes the weaker she gets individually.

Anyway, she's thrown at least one "elite" unit at this and that might be a match for her.

Alter a few memories and instead of a stranger it's a dear friend that only wants to help. Again, the most despicable and heinous of mind fuckery this is.
>''No.'' [Leave.]
Ok, just connected the dots on this one. The suppression mission is for a big land of fuck you necromancy. If we fail here and Vilma falls to Ama the suppression force will almost certainly face it with the addition of Vilma as a now Lady White Blood Gifted Lich Queen heading the opposition.

You sir, you certainly know how to make the stakes very high. High enough to the point where I'll go full on Old Yeller if we fail. "No Sieg, she was my waifu, I'll do it. (overcharges gauntlet and flash fries her)."
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I suppose we'll have to see how right you are in case of failure huh?

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