Strapped to your back, a shifting box containing all manner of curios rattles. Some are new and shiny, some are old as you, and some are older than the mountains in the far distance. The box presses against you and holds your cloak down even as it flaps in the chilly wind, a gust that traces along the old road that you walk down. It sweeps and stirs the dirt and pebbles below, and in the plains neighboring the southern passage of Theira, all is silent save for you.You tug on the straps that you carry your shop with, feeling the ache on your shoulders. Unfortunately, you move a little too much, and the sound of a certain greatsword can be heard sliding about and stabbing into a wall.You’ll, uh, need to fix that later.As you make your way down the road, you hear in the far, far distance footsteps of a weary traveler. You sense him too, but your ward is less remarkable than your ears. He doesn’t seem particularly impatient. Then, it is decided. In the middle of nowhere, before you even have set eyes on him, you have already gingerly lowered (read: tossed onto the ground) your shop. A flip of few latches and the crank of a lever is all it takes for it to unfold and unhinge itself.And as it stretches out, folded fabrics are let loose to hang and form a canopy and two walls. Rows and rows of glimmering objects—some more so than others—are on display, neatly lined up—Wait.Hold on a second. You spot a certain sword and give it a tug. Sure enough, you manage to pull it out so it can be placed where it belongs, and when it’s settled back in its original place again, you walk behind the thin wooden counter and pat yourself off.The footsteps grow closer, and despite all this, you’re still lacking something.A name!>?
>>3676492This seems cute>>3676495Support
>>3676498YesCute quest approaching
>>3676495>>3676500Either of these sounds comfy
>>3676492Lynn it is then.>>3676492Good to see you again, man.
>>3676492I'm already hoping for good things here.>Lynn
>>3676495>>3676498>>3676515>>3676516Lynn>>3676497Reeve Jean>>3676500>>3676507LilyWriting. This is the oneshot if anyone isn't aware. I'm feeling rusty so I don't know how long my updates will take.
This makes twice that I've named the main character in a one shot from this QM. Seems like we're in for a comfy quest desu
I really like Lynn’s giant sleeves
Lynn...You forgot where you heard it before, but you like it! You’ll take it.Just for today, you’re Lynn.Eventually, as you stand there, waiting, you see the man come into view. First his head peeks over the small hill and then follows the rest of his body, and when you’ve decided he has studied your unexpected appearance long enough, you loudly proclaim, “Greetings! In need of supplies, traveler? Stop by Lynn’s Wayward Boutique! We have everything from swords to potions!”You have no idea what the name of your shop actually means, you just took a bunch of words that sounded fancy and stuck it together. No one complained about it, so you’ve always just used it. Except the name-name, after all.The man, as he approaches, reveals himself to be a channeler, given his robes, staff, and overall earthy colors. His age is quite apparent, and as he grins upon seeing you, the number of wrinkles grow.“I don’t remember this being here,” he says, taking a good look at your wares. Yes, look at them carefully, and then buy them! And then he looks down to take a good look at you. You’re not for sale! Look at the things on the shelves, not you! “Aren’t you a little young to be running a shop?”You puff out your cheeks. “I’ve been running it for years.”His eyes widen as he quietly gasps. “Alone?” He might be putting on a show for you. People have a tendency to do that.“No, I have my papa with me.”Scanning the area, he tries to look for another person. He won’t find one, of course, but his attention stops on the ward tied around your waist as a cord. “Oh, my apologies. Well, I have been on quite the journey. Have anything for aching bones?”>A cursed sword! He definitely needs a sword. You’d bet his bones wouldn’t ache if he had a sword.>A potion of dreams! He needs a nap, and this will help.>A jar of pickled dryad! You bet he’s hungry.>How would you know? He should just look and find something himself.
>>3676561>>A jar of pickled dryad! You bet he’s hungry.
>>3676561>>A potion of dreams! He needs a nap, and this will help. Rest, your tired bones, old boy!
>>3676561>>A potion of dreams! He needs a nap, and this will help.A good night sleep can heal anything!
>>3676565>A jar of pickled dryad! You bet he’s hungry.EVERYONE eats.
>>3676561>A potion of dreams! He needs a nap, and this will help.If only we had some bone healing=juice.
>>3676561>A jar of pickled dryad! You bet he’s hungry.Whatever vitamins are in dryad, I bet they're healthy enough to cure bone ache.
>>3676565>>3676574>>3676575>>3676577>>3676581>>3676593Lynn doing the unthinkable: recommending more than 1 item. Writing.
>>3676599Based Lynn knows how to get her product off the shelves
“Hmmm.” You furrow your brow as if you were trying to compete in a number-of-forehead-wrinkles-competition except you stand no chance to his prowess. Spinning around to check your shelves, you run through your inventory.The greatsword? Nah, he looks too weak to swing it. An oil lamp that doubles as a perpetual potpourri? That probably won’t help. Ah, how about this?Taking out a small bottle, you lift it into the air and offer it to the man. You explain, “How about a potion of dreams? It’s not just any either, legend says it’s one taken from a sleeping divine! One blast and you’ll be taken into paradise itself.” You let go of it as he takes it. And then you add, “No refunds after use.”“Oh?” With a wry smile, he examines it from top to bottom, tilting and checking the bottled dream. Dense as it can be! “It’s certainly high-quality, but those legends are just legends, no?”“Who knows? Only for ten Theiran silvers, you can find out!” You completely stole that line from someone else, but no one will know. You won’t give him time to, because you already have something else to foist over—a green jar of questionable contents! “Mister, you look like you could use a snack. How about some pickled dryad? It’s a delicacy, but trust me, it’s really good!”You can’t taste anything, but still. Someone out there must find it good, and maybe that someone is the person in front of you.“Erm.” He puts down the potion of dreams and hesitantly picks up the jar. “I don’t know...”“Just seven silvers! If you buy them both now, I’ll give you a discount and it fifteen for both!”“Well, I can’t say I’ve ever tried it before...” He scratches his head. “How about twelve?”>”Deal!”>”No haggling! It’s fifteen or nothing.”>”For that, I’ll take away the discount.”>Write-in.
>>3676647>>13 plus a brite smile?
>>3676647>14. My last offer >Actually it isn’t, but he doesn’t need to know. DAYUM, it’s now a high-octane H A G G L I N G A C T I O N T I M E.
>>3676647"I gotta make a profit too mister! Fifteen silvers. You're lucky i'm letting you keep the discount."
>>3676647>”No haggling! It’s fifteen or nothing.”Lynn runs a SERIOUS BUSINESS
>>3676658>>367667513+smile>>3676659haggling intensifies>>3676661>>3676683Deal>>3676665>>3676673No haggleAh, yes, the cursed three-way tie. I'm going to assume the winning vote is a combination of haggling. Writing!
“I gotta make a profit too, mister!” You wonder for a moment if you should just shoot any haggling down whatsoever. Unfortunately this is a chance to sell two—that’s right, two!— things at once. “Fourteen, last offer.”“Fourteen is a bit pricy,” he replies, rubbing his chin. “Tell you what,” he says, placing down the jar, “Thirteen for both, and I’ll let everyone I come across know how nice your shop is. How about that?”“Throw in a smile and you got a deal!” you answer. He laughs and smiles for you, and it stays even after he drops the coin into your hands. Through your sleeves you count it, and when you find that all is as it should be, you tell him, “Thank you for your patronage!”He deposits the potion in his robes and so too the jar. “I’ll save these for later, maybe not at the same time. I don’t want to dream of pickled dryad.” The man watches you stuff the coin in a compartment hidden in one of the shelves, though you don’t mind since he doesn’t seem dangerous. When you’re done and your attention is free again, he asks, “Say, youngin, isn’t dangerous for you to be travelling like this?” There’s a pause before he adds, “With you and your papa.”You answer firmly, “My papa is strong! He always protects me.”He eyes your ward with great suspicion. “Have you heard? Rumor goes it there’s something vanishing people around Theria for a good while now. That’s not even to mention the bandits and beasts that normally lurk around at night. Are you sure you’re okay? Do you need me to escort you until the next village?”You tilt your head. “But you’ll be going back from where you came from.”“Only a small detour.”>You don’t believe in that kind of superstition. You’ll be fine.>Accept his help, but you won’t be paying him anything.>Accept his help, and pay him.
>>3676753>Accept his help, and pay him.
>>3676753>Accept his help, and pay him.I'd rather this cute tale not go the same way any soul who's mind is as scarred by degenerate porn as mine fears.
>>3676753>>You don’t believe in that kind of superstition. You’ll be fine.If Death comes for us, he'd better be ready to pay a premium for our soul
>>3676753>You don’t believe in that kind of superstition. You’ll be fine.Our magic ghost dad has our back
>>3676781Besides, this dude could the the one “vanishing” people.
>>3676775Switching to this.Let's watch ghost dad slaughter whatever crosses us.Also, what are wards, OP?
>>3676753>>You don’t believe in that kind of superstition. You’ll be fine.
>>3676770>I'd rather this cute tale not go the same way any soul who's mind is as scarred by degenerate porn as mine fears.>>3676766Y>>3676775>>3676781>>3676790>>3676793NWriting>>3676790Uh, let me explain in the post. """explain"""
“Thank you, but I won’t need your help. I don’t believe in that kind of stuff.”“I see,” he says as he watches you pack up. You secure everything in place, double-checking the greatsword this time, and roll up the cloths. It takes you a while, and as you do so, the man asks, “That must be quite the ward. Does it summon someone?”“It doesn’t.” You close the shelves and latch them tight.“Then, it must have a powerful runes written inside.”“Nope.” The bundles of fabric are neatly tucked away, and you secure the last strap and pull back the lever. You stare at him as you lift it up and carry it on your back. He doesn’t hide his look of surprise. “My papa’s normal!”It was the last thing he ever gave you. He said he’ll be watching you with it, and sure enough, it fends off small beasts and warns you when someone’s approaching. He was a human, after all, and even if he didn’t have the powers of a something like a saint, he still protects you with everything he’s got.You say, “I’ll be going now. Goodbye, and thank you.”“Do take care.” He leaves when you do, reaching into his robes and taking out the jar.With that, you continue making your way down the road.But far behind you, the sound of him unsealing up and coughing as he breathes pickled dryad fumes can be heard. Faintly, he murmurs, “Why did I buy this? Oh heavens, what a waste of coin.”“Ghh...” You start walking just a bit faster.Here the road joins with another to form a wider path, and coincidentally, you see some tracks onto the ground. They look like wagon tracks and hoofprints! Surely trade awaits you at the end of this path. Hurrying along, you follow them forward and to what appears to be a rickety bridge over a wide stream. The terrain has slowly become rockier and trees start to become a frequent sight.You take step forward and the wooden planks creaks.Uh.>Cross it, and definitely don’t look down.>Find another way around it.>Test the bridge by jumping on it!>Maybe there’s something else you can do... (Write-in)
>>3676861>Find another way around it
>>3676861>>Test the bridge by jumping on it!
>>3676861>>Cross it, and definitely don’t look down.
>>3676861>Find another way around it.
>>3676861>>Find another way around it.Let's not risk our wares.
>>3676861>Cross it, and definitely don’t look down.What's the worst that could happen?
>>3676869>>3676895>>3676896Another way>>3676870Jump>>3676888>>3676899CrossWriting. I'm disappointed the jump vote didn't win.
>>3676861>Cross it, and definitely don’t look down.Straying from the rod can be dangerous!
>>3676900I’ll be honest, part of me really wanted to see the outcome of the jump choice
>>3676909same.I, too, am disappointed by my cowardice QM
>>3676900>I'm disappointed the jump vote didn't win After what happened with Plume and Macaron ,fuck that.
>>3676900>Writing. I'm disappointed the jump vote didn't win.I'm sorry senpai, I didn't try hard enough OTL
You’ll find another way around it. This bridge looks dangerous, and if you fall down, you might lose the majority of your shop. So many fragile things are tucked away on your back, after all.You’re actually not sure how the wagon crossed it. The tracks stop abruptly before the road even ends and there are gaps in the bridge itself. Surely it managed somehow.Choosing not to cross or—or test it—you decide to walk along the river, heading upstream where it should be narrower. This is neither your first river you’ve tasked yourself with crossing nor is it your first trek in the wilderness. You hike up, carefully maneuvering your way around rocks, steep hills, and dangerously low-hanging vines until you made a point where you can probably jump on the rocks all the way across. The bottom of your skirt and cloak will be soaked, but it’s better than nothing.With a hop, skip, and leap, you carry yourself and the weight of countless curious up and over, and when you’ve landed, you realized you wandered shockingly far from the path. You should hurry back.Or so you thought, until a bright light appears, zipping down, turning that “should” into a “need to”. With four wings and a shapeless body, it is clear that it is a mirror sprite, and like all who encounters one, your first words are “Oh no.” Maybe with more profanity than you.You touch your ward. Silent, calm, only the quiet thrum of nature answering alongside another creature that suspiciously looks like you and your ward placed suspiciously where the mirror sprite is. Of course it doesn’t do anything.“G-get away!” you say as you swat at it.It doesn’t, obviously. Instead, it does circles around you and extends the familiar arm of a green-spotted thorn beetle, grips your arm, and forces you into a dance.And when you say dance, you actually mean being jerked around like puppet and spun around like a top. When it finally lets you go, you drop to your knees and cover your mouth to stop whatever is coming up and out from doing so.And from the corner of your eye, the mirror sprite brings a tendril to the lever to your shop.>Shout very, very loudly at it.>Throw something at it.>Grab the lever yourself and swat the sprite away.>Take the straps off, quick.>Write-in.
>>3676940>Write-in.>Ask dad for helpDad! Kill this but for me!
>>3676958You already did. The ward did nothing, since it thinks it's you.
>>3676940>>Throw something at it.Throw it a coinWait, does Lynn have bug hands?
>>3676964Ah okay. In that case>Take the straps off quickAnd then go for the sword once the shop is open
>>3676940>Take the straps off, quick.We gotta have something to smite this bitch with in the shop
Getting your arms underneath the straps, you quickly free yourself before it pulls the lever. Your shop jerks in place on the ground as it tries to budge. It doesn’t, of course, because the latches are there to make the lever doesn’t accidentally get pu—and then the mirror sprite undoes them.The box unfolds itself and you look on in horror as all of its contents are opened in the dirty, dangerous wild, and you immediately dart around it to grab something. As the mirror sprite curiously flies around the unfolding canopy, you grab the nearest questionable bottle that you recall to be dangerous and fling it at the sprite.It misses, and promptly sinks into the stream where it cracks against the riverbed. Purple starts to flow out, and in a matter of seconds, the entire river—even upstream— is now that very color, painfully vibrant to the eyes.The sprite, seeing your aggression, backs away from the shop and forms a stinger.You squeak as you run back and grab another bottle. Upon throwing it, the sprite deftly dodges to the side, and when it begins to act smug, the mixture promptly explodes beside it, covering everything in close proximity with thick, thick tar. It bubbles as it tries to get out but to no avail.Seeing this as your one and one chance, you scoop up what had fallen out back into the shelves, closed them tight, and hoist the entire thing over your head as you run past it and down back to the road.When the thickness of the trees has lightened up and the dirt path becomes wide and open, you finally stop, put down the box, and lean against it panting heavily. It is this time, of course, the fate has decided to throw you three incoming travelers your way. You sense it through your ward and soon enough you hear it to be three fit men in a good pace from behind you. They came from the other way of the crossroads, you reason.You groan at the poor timing. You just lost two pieces of inventory too.>Set up shop.>Take a break. They won’t bother you.>Write-in.
>>3677047>>Set up shop.
>>3677047>Set up shop.Gotta make up for the lost coin, after all.
>>3677047>Set up shop.
>>3677047>>Set up shop.A minor setback can't stop the bourgeoisie.
>>3677058>>3677063>>3677066>>3677071>>3677078Set up shop!>>3677080Hey, you can't vote twice.Closing vote early since I doubt it's going to swing.
>>3677084inb4 5 votes for something else materialize out of thin air
>>3677084I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to. I didn’t think my first one went through and didn’t realize it did until after I posted my second one. I didn’t delete it because it was unanimous anyway.
You sigh. You need to make up for the lost coin, but what if you could’ve sold those two things to the three potential customers walking toward you? In any case, a mirror sprite won’t stop you!Taking the box off, you set it down and crank the lever to let it do its job. It finishes rather quick considering you barely put away anything, As fast as you can, you reorganize the shelves and pat off the dust and grass of the dirtied items.You are done just when the three men come into view, and with that, you make your speech again. What was your name again? “Greetings! Need supplies, weapons, or even gifts? Stop by Lynn’s Wayward Boutique! We have just about everything!”As they get closer, you see them wearing light leather armor. The one in front who stops at the counter first is carrying a large bag of sorts. Mercenaries, perhaps. He says, “What’s this doing here?” Eyeing around, he raises an eyebrow before asking, “We?” The other two whisper to each other about how suspicious you shop is. You ignore it, of course.“Yup!” you answer, “Me and my papa.”He gives his companions a troubled look. “Is that right? What’ve you got for us, then?”One of the men take something from the shelves. You say, “Please don’t touch anything.”He only grunts before putting it back.>A cursed sword. They’d definitely like one of those.>A healing salve. You can never have too many of those.>A puzzle box. Maybe they get bored on long trips.>A hat that is perpetually chilly. Surely they’d find a use for it.>Pick something at random. It doesn’t matter.
>>3677154>>A cursed sword. They’d definitely like one of those.
>>3677154>>A ENCHANTED sword. They’d definitely like one of those.>>A healing salve. You can never have too many of those.
>>3677154>A hat that is perpetually chilly. Surely they’d find a use for it.Perfect for warm weather!
>>3677154>A hat that is perpetually chilly. Surely they’d find a use for it.Would be good for desert treks.
>>3677154>>A cursed sword. They’d definitely like one of those.This can only go well
“H-how about this sword?” you say reaching for the greatsword. You gently take it out and place it on the counter. “Rumor has it that it once belonged to a traitorous knight and feeds off of fallen foes. It gets more and more powerful the more you use it, but be careful, it could consume you!”The man on the left lets out a snort. “Yeah, okay, mind if I see it?”“Yes, but please be careful with—“He grabs it before you can finish, checking it from all sides. Walking farther away, he takes a swing at a tree and gets it stuck into the trunk, but with a grunt, he pulls it out.You say out loud, “Please don’t do that!”“Eh? I have to make sure it’s sharp, isn’t it?”One of the other men taps his knuckles on the other’s chest. He tells him, “Knock it off.”“Was just seeing, that’s all,” he replies. Dangling it downwards, he holds onto it with a dangerously light grip, as if it could fall out of his hand at any moment. “This handles kind of cheap. How much for this thing again?”“F-fifteen silvers,” you answer.“Huh? You’re lucky I just came into a bit of coin.” He reaches into his pocket and dumps the silver onto the counter.As he begins counting, the man who seemed to be the leader of the three leans in. He asks, “It’s dangerous around these parts, especially for someone like you. You’ve heard of the missing travelers? You don’t want to be one of them, do you? We can escort you to the nearest village. Just a bit of coin it’ll cost, that’s all. Fifteen silvers.” His palm lands on the pile of money before you can take it.>?This is a write-in prompt. I'll be back in an hour.
>>3677265>No thank you. I'll take my coin, you're friend will take his new blade, and we'll all be off on our merry ways.
>>3677265"I've done well well enough travelling with my dad up to now, I'm sure I'll be fine."
>>3677277>you'reI feel very ashamed of myself.
>>3677265>>Of course. Consider yourselves hired.Let's go with this and wait for when they start backstabbing each other on the way.
>>3677265*Smile* “I appreciate the offer, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I’ll be fine.”
>>3677285Or we can just do it ourselfs and use another one of our special bottles wen they are distracted.
>>3677265OP you're making me nervous..>No thanks! I've made it just fine with just me and my papa. With strong mercenaries like you guys walking the roads, i'm sure i'll be fine anyways.
I really doubt they will accept no as an answer. Things are going to get messy.
...You smile. “I appreciate the offer, but no thank you. I’ve done well enough so far with my papa, and with strong mercenaries like you on these roads, I’m sure I’ll be fine anyways.” You slowly reach for the coin. “I’ll take my coin, your friend will take his new sword, and we can both be on our ways.”The knot in your stomach twists as you wait for a reply. After what feels like an eternity, the man moves his hands away and turns to the other two. He then appears to glance at the road, not whether or not something is on it but rather the road itself. Then, he simply nods. “Your call.”Was he...Was he looking for footprints?He then raises a hand and waves the other two to leave with him. The man who hasn’t spoke the entire time but only grunted bends down and puts the length of his forearm on the counter. Leaning in close, he quietly tells you, “You’ve got something real nice here. You’ll do well to take care of it.”With that as his farewell, he leaves with the other two. You stand there, watching them shrink in the horizon. When your ward finally stops making noise, you feel yourself loosening up. Letting out a heavy breath, you go on and start to pack up.It never gets any easier.[1/2]
>>3677430The village of Rylinth is a large one, and it is growing larger by the day.The road that you were on may have led to a single gate but it is a well-worn one. For the reason as its placed firmly in the center of many larger cities, it has acted as a stop for traders and travelers looking for somewhere to stay and recuperate before continuing their journey.And the marks in the earth that led you here disappeared as the ground became cobblestone, a change that was accompanied by the universal signs of life and civilization—light when the sky has begun to darken and noise pouring out with it.As you walk through the roads, your ward shivers as it detects something familiar. You turn to see the mercenary from before talking to a rather elegant man, his two companions loading something into a wagon.You only stopped for a second, but that was enough to get his attention. He makes eye contact with you for the slightest moment before breaking it, continuing his conversation. You, hurrying along, make your way to the nearest in, and letting the growing din of its interior drown out your thoughts, you enter it.Many eyes fall on you for the strange thing on your back, but most mind their own business quickly. The woman at the front desk, you find, was not one of them.“What in heavens is that?” she asks.“My belongings,” you answer simply.“If you swing it and damage any doorframes, you have to pay for it.”You nod. “I know. I’d like to stay here for a night. Can I pay in Therian silvers?” You quickly move on before she can say anything else.“Yes you may, that’ll be two silvers. If you’d like a meal for tonight and tomorrow morning, that’ll be another silver.”>Get the meal.>Forget it. Just head up to your room.>Never mind. You'd rather camp outside of the village.>Ask her something. (What?)>Write-in.
>>3677460>Get the meal.Prefer not to starve
>>3677460>Get the meal.>>Ask her something. (What?)>What's with these rumors of people vanishing? Did it happen to anyone from around here?>>Have you seen that purple water in the river. WEIRD right? I wonder what could have caused that, ha ha...Girl's gotta eat.
>Get the meal.
>>3677460>>Get the meal.>Ask her something."So what's the word around town?"
>>3677430This ended surprisingly well but I doubt it will be the end off it.
“I’ll take the meals.” You hand over the three silvers, awkwardly fumbling with your sleeve and dropping one to the counter. Apologizing, you pick it up and place it in her hand. “So, what’s the word around town?”As she deposits the money elsewhere, she pauses for a moment before answering, “I heard the river nearby turned purple. A sign of things to come, I tell ya!”Ah.“What do you mean? Are you talking about the rumors of people vanishing?”“Vanishing?” She places a hand in front of her mouth. “Oh my gosh, you haven’t heard? They found bodies.”“...Huh?” Your eyes widen. “I thought...”“Northerners go missing, no one says a thing, but as soon as it got close to Theira, nobles start freaking out. ‘Course they do! Had a saint consecrate some belongings and a channeler to recover the body. Get this, their cuts were perfectly clean! Absolutely flawless, if the bodies weren’t so burnt. They think it’s a swordsman on the loose, a real lunatic.”“I see...”“The river turning purple just means it’s coming for us next. I just know it,” she whispers, “Okay, that’s enough of that. Here you go.” The woman hands you a key with a slip of paper attached to it along with a much larger slip of paper for your meal ticket. “Don’t you worry about a thing. Whoever’s out there, they only go for the nasty folk, and you look as sweet as pie. Your room number’s on that slip, by the way. And before you go, sign here.”“T-thanks,” you tell her, writing down “Lynn” in a large book. About ten minutes later having secured your shop inside your room, you find yourself downstairs with a plate of food before you. Beef, bread, and some stew. You’re sitting alone at a small table as low murmurs fill the other tables beside you.You bring a spoonful of the stew to your mouth, feeling the warmth envelop you.Too bad you can’t taste it.The texture is nice, though. You savor it for a moment before you sense the three mercenaries from before enter the inn. They scan the area quickly, and when one of them spots you, his gaze lingers for a slight instant before telling the other two to get a room.You halfway through your meal when you see them head up the stairs to the lodging. Your hairs stand on end.>Head up.>Finish your meal.>Make conversation with someone nearby.>Write-in.
>>3677555>Finish your meal.So Lynn can't taste, does that mean she can't smell either?
>>3677555>>Make conversation with someone nearby."Teses guys who just entered, they come to town often?"
>>3677555>Finish your meal.Not gonna let the food go to waste.Maybe we should ask the innkeeper not to tell anyone which room we’re in though.
>>3677555>Make conversation with someone nearby.
You’ll just finish your meal.Out of curiosity, you sense them as they head up and... stop? It’s only briefly as they continue, but they seem to be pausing frequently. What are they doing?You take the last bite of your bread, washing it down with the stew. Next to you, someone’s sitting down and are keeping to himself. Reaching you, you ask, “Excuse me, have you heard about the river turning purple?”He faces you, revealing himself to be terribly gaunt. “That business? Someone just poured some potent moondye in the river. What a waste.”“Wait, you know what it is?” you ask. The river was a few hours away, actually.“It crept up to the source and went right into the well water. Nothing we could do. Apparently, it freaks people out so we’re just using the water we have on reserve.”You blink. “So... it’s not an omen.”“For what?” He stares at you as if you were stupid.“N-never mind.”“Are you talking about that apparition mumbo jumbo? Yeah, I don’t buy a moment of it. They’re trying to scare us, see? Nobles like to move things that shouldn’t be moved, and the mercs they use like to do it at night. Don’t want us common folk figuring it out and wise up. Screw that, I’m not getting myself mixed up in it.”You sigh in relief. At least one person in here doesn’t believe in it. “I see. Thanks for the information.”“Don’t sweat it, now leave me alone. I got dinner to eat.”So be it.Leaving him to his food, you head up the stairs to your room. A plank of wood creaks underneath your weight, and as you approach your door, you notice that it has been left open.Very slowly, you walk up, touching your ward.“Papa...” you murmur as you sense nothing. Your room is empty.And when you push the door open, you find your shop on the floor, unlatched and opened, pillaged. Almost everything is missing, and what little does remain is strewn all over. In the back, an open window blows the curtain around.You stand there, shocked.>?
>>3677656>>I knew the mercs wouldn't leave well enough alone...
>>3677656Well, time to find a new profession I suppose. Shame we’re probably not combat effective enough to kill those mercs. Let’s see what they left behind.
>>3677656>Scavenge what’s left.
>>3677656>>3677684Tidy up what's left and account the loss.
>>3677656>Pack up and give chase. They didn't pay for those goods!
Part of you saw it coming. It’s too late now. Stepping into the room, you move to tidy up what’s left. You can still make it right. You can chase after them! Reaching down to pick up a puzzle box, you tell yourself once more:It’s not over—!Your ward trembles right before a sword runs through your chest.You feel your throat tighten, your body seizing up. It drags down, splitting your chest in half and cutting your ward into two.“Papa...!” You choke out the words as you watch as the cord falls loose.Someone closes the door while a translucent hand rips it from your waist.“Looks like this cheap piece of junk can’t detect invisibility, huh? Thanks for the sword, by the way, it is damn sharp.”You stand there, staring down.You never saw them leave. By window...? Why would they have needed to do that? They were just here. The entire time.You should’ve...“So, where do you keep the coin? I sense the coin I gave you, but I can’t tell where,” The man whispers, “Oh, you better make it quick before you lose consciousness. I think I’m pluggin’ an artery here...” He peers over your shoulder, and you tilt your head up.Finally, he sees what you see.The cursed greatsword that splits you in half has not a single drop of red on it, and no one in the room feels a shred of magic coming from the steel.>Head.>Arm.>Leg.
>>3677815>>Head.Oh, I really missed this shit.
>>3677832Yeah I thought it was weird they’d leave by window but it wasn’t weird enough that I thought I was about to be killed. Bummer.
>>3677815>Head.Oh shit!I sense we're about to find out if Lynne can taste blood.
>>3677815Talk about a plot twist>head
>>3677884>Lynn's some sort of undead creatureWell shit, guess Lynn really was being literal when she said she'd been running the shop for years
>>3677924Either that or the sword was a little more “cursed” than we let on
The man pulls away in an instant, ripping the blade free from you. He cries out, “She’s a wra—“In a fraction of a second, you turn on your heel, your sleeve whipping back as you swing in an arc.”Have you heard? Rumor goes it there’s something vanishing people around Theria for a good while now.”You don’t feel yourself connect at all, and yet, you watch as flesh and bone part perfectly, blood blooming outward and vaporizing at first.”It’s dangerous around these parts, especially for someone like you.”One step forward, one of the men takes out his sword while the other takes out a saint-blessed ward.”I’ve been running it for years.”Before the latter can even so much as open his mouth, you skewer him through the door. You can feel him writhing as he tries to free himself, and you see the point of contact begin to smoke. Ripping free, you turn to the last one as the dead man’s ward audibly strikes the ground.”Northerners go missing, no one says a thing, but as soon as it got close to Theira, nobles start freaking out.”“N-no, please! Spare me! I’ll give you everything I have, please!” He scrambles for the window. It’s their leader.In the plains neighboring the southern passage of Theira, all is silent save for you.You close in.>Spare him.>Kill him.
>>3677931>People think the curse is some sort of bloodlust that swallows souls>It's literally just a standard curse that stops it functioning as a proper sword so it can't cut anyone
>>3677948>Kill himHe did say he'd give us everything he had, so his life and his silence will do
>>3677952We just want our ares back.
>>3677952>sparing a mercWhat do you think is the first thing he will do upon escaping?>>3677948>Kill him.
>>3677948>Kill himNo witnesses.
>>3677948Hey! I though OP said this would be a cute quest! This is not cute at all!But I approve.>Kill him.
>>3677965Eh, fine. No witness.>Kill him.
>>3677960>>3677968Just before we kill him, can we say "Northerners go missing, no one says a thing"? Really want to play the sadist.
>>3677980Was a one liner:"Give me a smile and I will think about it."
>>3677952Spare>>3677960>>3677965>>3677968>>3677976>>3677979>>3677980Kill>>3677991>>3677997Lynn's a little out there right now.Writing.
>>3677948It’s funny. Earlier when I said “maybe this nice wizard guy is the one vanishing people” I contemplated saying “maybe it could be us!” as a meme. Lol. >kill him.
He’s saying something. He’s opening his mouth to say something, and you don’t know what. It’s all gibberish.Are those supposed to be words?He touches the windowsill with his hands, and that’s as far as he ever goes.Smoke, dust, iron, and ash fills your mouth, nose, and lungs. The space between you and the thing before you becomes nothing but void. It’s all you ever taste. It’s all you ever smell.It was the last thing you ever felt.He gasps as he’s stuck to the wall. When you step back, he falls down, his lower half disintegrating.His essence merges with yours, and in disgust, you puke it back out. Slowly, you drag yourself around, toward the only thing that matters.“Papa...” you mutter, “Papa...!” Crouching down, you scoop up the halved ward.Your hands tremble as your fingers delicately hold the cord. The process takes an eternity. But, you manage. It loops and tightens as you tie it close, holding it into the air.“Papa...! Papa! Papa!”It is silent.So still.Like everything around you.Has he finally left you too?Your eyes water.“No... no, no no no no no—“Then it trembles, ever so carefully to your touch, rejecting you. A smile begins to blossom on your face and you hold it tightly despite it searing your very being.Ah.The only thing that matters is safe.[1/2]
>>3678064I'm not crying.You're crying.
>>3678064Legends tell of an errant shopkeep that appears on the road whenever you’re in need.She comes and goes, never staying at one place for too long. Rumor has it that it’s because she had once lost her home and everything with it, and refusing to suffer in such a way again, she now lives in the road.“Hey, Rose, have you heard?” your newest customer asks, “They started dying their rivers white to fight off the bad omens.”“With moondye?” you ask.“Nothing else. It’s expensive stuff, but if it works, it works.” She adds, “And it definitely works.”“Oooh.” You nod in awe. “That sounds like a business opportunity!”“It sure does.” She giggles. “Oh, this has been killing me, but I need to ask, what’s that sword back there?”You follow her finger all the way to a certain shelf containing a cursed greatsword.“That!” you say, “is an enchanted sword! Rumor has it that it once belonged to a traitorous knight and feeds off of fallen foes. It gets more and more powerful the more you use it, but be careful, it could consume you!”You’ve forgotten how many times you said that same line.“I see, I see. So, how much for it?”“Fifteen silvers! It stays sharp without maintenance, so it easily pays for itself!”She opens her purse and hums. Her brow furrows, but then she finally says, “You got yourself a deal.”And so, you hand it over as she gives you the coin, finally ridding yourself of the thing. It’s been sitting in your inventory for a good while now too. After you collect the silvers from her and put into a certain hidden compartment, you turn to the lady and smile.“Thank you for your patronage!”
>>3678194Wow. I’m left with a number of questions. If someone buys from us, are we required to hunt them down and kill them later to maintain our ghostly stock? Do we generate more? Or is our whole goal to see everything? Either way, it was a lot of fun and I love twists like this. Thanks for running OP!
And thank you for playing! I hope you had fun, and that it wasn't too short. I don't have a song link or anything this time. But I'm wondering, did anyone guess the twist before the reveal?>>3678016 doesn't count since it was a joke!
A shame about her past, but it's not like she's a monster. Just...y'know, don't fuck with her goods/unlife/weird 'papa' bracelet thing. And generally that shouldn't happen unless you're an asshole, so...Iunno. Lynn/Rose/Whoever She Decides to be Today seems like a nice enough girl. See you on the trail, kid.
>>3678221No, you don't hunt people down. That's just silly. Everyone who disappeared were only people who asked for it. This'll different if you played her as a complete psycho.
>>3678064>>3678194Such a sad existence.>>3678163>a use of wojak more akin to his original purposeIt's been a long time...
>>3678221Nah, I think we're just a cute shopkeeper demon-girl-thing. Those mercs were just dicks. The old man is walking around somewhere just fine, for example.
>>3678223Nah, I mean, when we were so scared of random mercenaries and stuff I was pretty assured we weren’t the scary thing that made people disappear. I definitely didn’t guess what happened.
>>3678194Thanks for running. It was a fun quest, even I was like pic related near the end
>>3678229This'll be*Also she wears her kimono underneath her cloak like how a corpse does, if no one noticed. Kind of obscure.
>>3678244I'm correcting myself for the umpteenth time like a moron. I meant how it's right over left instead of left over right, not the cloak bit. English is dumb.
>>3678223It was good seeing you again, man. I expected her dealing outlawed and heretic wares, not being a fucking wraith!
>>3678252Interesting, I had no idea about any of that. I will say this: the fact that we were able to travel unimpeded while apparently so many people were vanishing had me suspicious that we had some hidden magic power. But I figured the reveal would be that our “papa” let us do a lot of powerful magic tricks, not that we were a vengeful wraith.
>>3678224>she's a monsterShe is one, see>>3678064>Then it trembles, ever so carefully to your touch, rejecting you. A smile begins to blossom on your face and you hold it tightly despite it searing your very being.
>>3678269Yeah, I honestly didn't expect to be the "monster" either. Well run, QM.
>>3678276I'm using 'monster' in terms of personality. She largely seems to be a sweet kid- just one you shouldn't try to assault or physically mess with.
So was 'Papa' burning Lynn the entire time? Was he acting as sort of restraint to keep her from going full murder-demon mode?
>>3678252Good luck with your VN, man.I hope Lynn can have a small role in Miracle or at least a cameo. Do you plan to release it in chapters or as a complete thing?
>>3678223Thanks for rumning again hopeless, it's good to see you back.So would we be dead if we spared the asshole or would the town suddenly disappear overnight?
>>3678286Yes, and no. The ward was a present and she kept it all this time. It's kind of funny because even though it was too weak to sense invisibility, if it were any stronger she wouldn't be able to carry it around.>>3678301Uhh I'll think about it. It'll be as a whole since doing chapter by chapter will definitely burn me out. I've been busy with work but I'm still working on the encounter segments. I have a notebook full of notes!>>3678302>would the whole town suddenly disappear overnight?Damn right.
>>3678339>>3678339Wait, why would the town disappear if we spared him?
>>3678354Actually I would've put it up as an option, one last choice. People were already closing in on you, and you would've realized that it was a mistake after the initial shock wore off.>Had a saint consecrate some belongings and a channeler to recover the body.You weren't going to last very long with a witness.
>>3678354Because he'd tell everyone about Lynn's wares that are just to die for.
>>3678339When you say encounter do you mean a battle system? Wew, lad. Take all the time you need.
>>3678223Great oneshot. Both the art and dialogue were super cute and I really liked LynnMaybe it was because I read it all in one sitting cause I was too busy to play but yeah I totally saw it coming, the cursed sword and the monster were mentioned a suspicious amount of times. Obviously I couldn't guess the details though
This was very wholesome and cute and has gone a long way towards restoring my faith and will to quest at an important time, even if I missed the whole thing. Thank you, OP. You done good.
Just wanted to say, even if I am coming in after it is all said and done, I am glad to see you back, OP.This was a really fun read, super cute, and some interesting world building despite such a narrow focus.Hope it was a fun time for you as well!