READ THE PAST THREADS HERE:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dragon%20Slayer%20Quest(November 2020's is #2!)LAST TIME, ON DRAGON SLAYER QUESTYour name is Noah Lee - straight C+ student, scrawny runt, and lover of old ballroom dance vinyls. After a chance encounter during detention, you discovered that you possess the mystical "Type O-alpha" blood-type, which marks you as...Monster bait. No cool powers. No "chosen one" status. But apparently, if you bleed around the wrong people, they will explode into gigantic, reality-warping monsters known as "Dragons" and immediately try to kill you. Silver lining! Surviving a Dragon attack gave you magic powers - "Alchemy", the ability to enforce your intent on the world and reshape matter and energy.After a fraught encounter with your teacher, who burst into a Dragon and attempted to kill you, you were saved by Kendra Shields (call her Ken), a gruff, battle-worn two-star Slayer for the Fraternal Order Of Dragon Slayers (FOODS), and became her apprentice in order to learn enough so that you could defend yourself from Dragons.Earlier today, you spent a wonderful, lovely morning and afternoon with Rebecca George, a vivacious girl with esoteric music tastes and an evident Dragon murder in her past that might just be the reason she evidently lives on her own, with no support outside of a charitable Auntie sending her money every so often. You discussed music, relationship ethics (long story), cuddled, and just spent lots of good quality time with each other.Then, you had a promise to fulfill.Meeting behind a Dunkin Donuts at 8:00 PM, you encountered Ronin, an agent of Pandora - an organization looking for a cure to Dragonism and fiercely opposed to FOODS - and one of the two heads of Pandora, a woman known as Oni.
>>4571537They explained to you their fundamental opposition with FOODS - that they believed the idea that Dragons were a randomly occurring genetic condition was eugenicist and based on misleading or falsified information, and that eventually the theory would be used to justify using FOODS agents as state assassins unwittingly.They rejected this ideal, and presented you with another theory, that anyone can be a Dragon, and that the condition is caused by an excess in personal stress combined with backflow from the Alchemical Field, which you do know is influenced by behavior and intent. After some questioning about their motives and methods of subduing Dragons (they use bioalchemy to put them to sleep and then evidently keep them imprisoned, but in comfortable cells), they offered you a chance to join them.You declined - you're too busy just learning how to survive this new world you were thrust into to worry about an ideological war you know nothing about. Still, in a show of good faith, they gave you a gift before departing, evidently part of Pandora tradition of "mutual aid". Ronin gave you 20 dollars, and Oni gave you a stuffed crocodile with a swiss army knife in it.You had time before you had to go home, so you decided to find a local scrapyard, fresh and full of cars and broken material for you to practice alchemy with. Deciding to bust your way in alchemically, you found that opening chain link fences isn't quite as easy as you assumed it would be, but you managed to make it inside anyway, where you practiced your skill with developing walls and using spears with alchemy.Unfortunately, it was not a quiet night.Someone was sitting watch at the scrapyard, and they heard your practicing, and more importantly, smelled your blood. While you hid from the scrapyard's seeming proprietor, they called out to you, asking if you were from "The cops, the priests, or the fucking ninjas", to which you didn't respond, but stayed hidden. He gave you one verbalized warning to leave, but as you tried to escape the scrapyard, the man seamlessly transformed into a Dragon before your eyes and cornered you, knocking you to the ground.With some quick rhetorical work, you convinced him to let you leave, but he challenged you to come back and fight him when you were ready for a fight. You're not sure you'll be taking that one up anytime soon.After a long and busy day, you arrived home to an awake and worried mother who was too asleep to hear you say you were going on a walk. You showed her your torn up hand, ripped open from hasty alchemy, and she disinfected it and bandaged it for you, before giving you a first aid kit to stuff into your backpack.
>>4564996>>4565001>>4565016>>4565628>>Tell your Mom good night and give her a hug because she's good to you. [Kind]"Good night, Mom. I love you." You tell her, giving her a tight squeeze. She lets out a little mouse-like squeak, before putting her arms back around you too and hugging you close. You retire to your cramped little bedroom upstairs, not stomping too loud, and flop yourself on the bed, throwing a vinyl to relax to as you get ready for bed. You even cram a couple of pushups in, just because it feels like the right thing to do, and then remember that you are a disgusting teenager and you need to brush your teeth.You bounce back and forth between the hallway bathroom and your bedroom, remembering all the hygiene shit you need to do, and then finally pass out to the sounds of a gently thumping, skipping record..........The sun thrusts its inelegant colors into your eyes on a bright, brand new day. An alarm clock rings 8:00 AM, giving you a full 9 ish hours of sleep - very nice. You feel well rested, if a little yawny.What's the move, Noah?>Text Ken about the freely-shapeshifting Dragon from last night.>Text Dr. Hyde about the freely-shapeshifting Dragon from last night.>Text Abigail about the freely-shapeshifting Dragon from last night.>Text someone about something other than the Scrapyard Dragon (Free Option)>Go figure out what Josh is up to.>Fuck that, you've had a busy, terrifying weekend. Time for a "you" day. Sitting inside and listening to records, keep the mental health up.>Free Option.
>>4571556>Text Dr. Hyde about the freely-shapeshifting Dragon from last night.
>>4571556>Text Ken about the freely-shapeshifting Dragon from last night.>Fuck that, you've had a busy, terrifying weekend. Time for a "you" day. Sitting inside and listening to records, keep the mental health up.>You almost want to do homework. Almost.
>>4571556>Text Dr. Hyde about the freely-shapeshifting Dragon from last night.He mentioned something about three-star Dragons, I presume that guy was one of them.
>>4571780>>4571742>>4571712>>4571675You get up and start brushing the morning grime off your teeth in the bathroom while pinging texts towards Dr. Hyde. It is a lovely 8:00 in the morning on a Sunday.noah/<Question for you, Doc?>It takes a little bit for him to get back to you.hyde/<Why are you texting me at 8:15 AM on a Sunday. I am trying to>hyde/<Never mind I forgot you're a teenager I can't make that joke>hyde/<What's up>noah/<Can you tell me about three-star Dragons? I know about one and two but I'm curious.>Oatmeal tastes much worse with toothpaste flavor in your mouth. You don't know why you did things in this order, especially since you're going to want to brush your teeth again anyway right after. You always feel grimy whenever you eat and don't brush your teeth.hyde/<Right, so, I'll give you the whole mishpucah>noah/<The what>hyde/<Entire story. Full exposition dump.>noah/<Right, continue.>hyde/<One stars have eaten no people and are stuck in monster form and lack coherency.>hyde/<Two stars have eaten one people and exist in a sort of 50/50 monster person limbo.>hyde/<Three stars have eaten 7-10 ish people and can freely transition between human and Dragon form>hyde/<Four stars, if my math is right, have eaten 80 or so people. If I recall my literature correctly, they're capable of selectively transforming individual limbs and actively controlling their draconic perception shit even while in human form.>hyde/<And Five stars, as I am aware, are purely hypothetical because the sheer murder requirement is so high. About 1000 OA's need to be eaten by a Four star for them to theoretically evolve past that stage. No idea what they would be able to do.>hyde/<And then just because I like math, if a Five star existed and could eat about 16000 OA's then, hypothetically hypothetically they would grow another stage. After that, around 300,000, and then around 6 million, which I am not sure there are even that many OA people in existence, then 135 million, 3.5 billion, etc. If the numbers are getting that high we're fucked anyway so we don't bother worrying about anything above Five-stars.>hyde/<Preventing the creation of a Five-star Dragon is one of our most important goals. Considering how difficult it is to even kill anything above one star it goes without saying that a Five-star existing would likely lead to an absolutely massive loss of human life on an incomprehensible scale.>hyde/<Anyway, why do you ask about Three stars? Curious about the ladder of fuck?>noah/<The what?>hyde/<The- the rating chart. God, do they just not make kids with senses of humor anymore?>noah/<No. They don't.>hyde/<lol>noah/<Anyway, I may have encountered a Three-star last night.>hyde/<NOAH>
>>4573117noah/<I didn't fight it! I was training in a scrapyard because it was a convenient source of metal and saw this dude coming out and turning into a Dragon before yelling at me to leave.>noah/<I didn't get a great look at him, I just bandaged my hand and left.>You decide, for the moment, that perhaps full honesty may not be the best policy.hyde/<Noah for the love of god you are going to get yourself killed one of these days and it's going to be your fault.>noah/<Yeah? Tell me something I don't know.>hyde/<Oh, I'm getting married in three months!>noah/<Oh. Uh. Congratulations!>hyde/<Thank you ^_^>hyde/<Anyway, jesus christ! Can you at least give me the address so we can check out if he's already in our books? Or she. Or they.>You text him the address.noah/<He, I think>hyde/<Oh wheezus jeezus. Yeah. We know about this guy.>hyde/<The only name we have on file is "Bulldog".>hyde/<Three-star Tarrasque type. Heavy natural armoring, presence of furred mane, sharpened defensive horns or tusks. He's a real motherfucker.>hyde/<Two kills from FOODS. We've written off that section of the city until we can get some Three-star Slayers from DC, maybe even requisition one of the Vatican's Exorcists.>noah/<The Vatican?>hyde/<Long story. They hate Dragons too.>noah/<Right.>hyde/<Can you promise me you'll find, uh, somewhere else to train in the middle of the night? Either that or turn on "find my iPhone" or whatever and give someone here eyes on you.>>"I promise nothing, but I will be more careful." [Brash]>"I'll try looking for somewhere else." [Cooperative]>"Wait, no, you can't just skim past the fucking Vatican. What does the Pope have to do with all this?" [Inquisitive]>Free Option.
>>4573120>"I'll try looking for somewhere else." [Cooperative]>"Wait, no, you can't just skim past the fucking Vatican. What does the Pope have to do with all this?" [Inquisitive]
>>4573120>>"I'll try looking for somewhere else." [Cooperative]>>"Wait, no, you can't just skim past the fucking Vatican. What does the Pope have to do with all this?" [Inquisitive]
>>4573120>"I'll try looking for somewhere else." [Cooperative]>Free Option.>"Also, wait, just realized something: The dragon guy asked me if I was with 'the cops, the church or the ninjas'. He must have history with the Exorcists. Maybe they're already hunting him?"
>>4573557>>4573358>>4573205>>4573137noah/<Don't worry, I'll try looking for>noah/<Wait>noah/<Hold on, we're not just going to skim past the Vatican, are we?>noah/<What does the Pope have anything to do with this?>hyde/<LOL>hyde/<Absolutely nothing>hyde/<He is only vaguely aware of the uh>hyde/<The uh>hyde/<l ordine dei cavalieri di San Benedetto di Norcia>noah/<The what>hyde/<The Order of Knights of Saint Benedict of Nursia>hyde/<It's their, and this phrase sounds as goofy to you as it does to me, covert ops exorcism unit>noah/<The dragon guy asked me if I was with 'the cops, the curch, or the ninjas'. He must have some sort of history with the, uh, order, if he knows of their existence?>noah/<*Church>hyde/<Must be. But who are the ninjas?>hyde/<Don't tell me the Japanese government is messed up in this too.>hyde/<Not that I have any problems with the Japanese, I'm not racist or sinophobic or anything?>hyde/<It's just a lot of fingers in one pie.>>Agree with him that it's a lot, don't bring up that you know about Pandora, move on with the conversation. [Sly]>Maybe let on that you know a little bit, just from stuff you heard from Ken. [Cooperative]>Come clean about everything involving your meeting with Pandora. Maybe not their motivations, but that you know they exist and they contacted you. [Honest]>Free Option.
>>4574269>Agree with him that it's a lot, don't bring up that you know about Pandora, move on with the conversation. [Sly]
>>4574269>Agree with him that it's a lot, don't bring up that you know about Pandora, move on with the conversation. [Sly]>Ask him if we should be worried if we see people doing the naruto run
>>4574269>Agree with him that it's a lot, don't bring up that you know about Pandora, move on with the conversation. [Sly]>Free Option.>"It's probably just some weeb hunters, right? I don't think he was being literal."
>>4574277>>4574305>>4574313noah/<It's probably just some weeb amateur hunters or whatever>noah/<I'd hope he's not being literal>noah/<Should we be worried if we see people doing the Naruto run?>hyde/<Kids still remember Nart, huh?>hyde/<Well, I'll keep an eye out and mark it down as something on record.>hyde/<The idea of a Dragon knowing stuff about other Dragon slayers that we dont is slightly disconcerting for reasons i can't exactly place.>hyde/<But enough about that. How are YOU?>noah/<My hand's a little scraped up but otherwise it's fine.>noah/<I disinfected and gauze-wrapped it last night.>hyde/<Good boy!>noah/<Please don't call me that.>noah/<Anyway.>noah/<Just figured I should ask and also let you know about that.hyde/<Message received.>hyde/<What else is on the agenda today, kiddo?>hyde/<Doing anything fun with your last day before the return to drudgery?>hyde/<The all-consuming void known as "the mondays"?>noah/<Cool it, Garfield>>"It's been a long fucking weekend, I'm taking some personal time.">"I gotta keep sharp so I'll probably just find someplace new to train and work out.">"I was probably gonna call and ask to hang with my friend.">"Why do you care?">Free Option.
>>4575463>"It's been a long fucking weekend, I'm taking some personal time."
>>4575463>"It's been a long fucking weekend, I'm taking some personal time."Has Noah done his homework yet? We should probably do that, if not.
>>4575463>>"It's been a long fucking weekend, I'm taking some personal time."
>>4575510>>4575497>>4575467noah/<It's been a long fucking weekend, I'm taking some personal time.>hyde/<Make sure you don't use up all your vacation days, kid>noah/<What?>hyde/<Never mind. Unfunny joke.>hyde/<Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.>hyde/<Let me know if you need anything>noah/<Thanks, you too.>noah/<Let me know if you need anything>And with that, you sleep your phone and put it in your pocket. Time to at least make sure you get your homework done - you pull out all the sheets and instructions, artfully arrange them on your fold-out bed desk, and start getting to work after setting a vinyl on your record player.The entire day, as you work, you're beginning to expect something to interrupt you - maybe a Dragon busting through your window, or a member of the church showing up at your front door, or Rebecca just kind of appearing, and thinking about any of these things too much makes your heart do a weird, stressed out palpitation... but none of them come. You're left by your lonesome until the sun is high in the sky and then some.Will you be doing anything different with your evening? You've finished, uh, mostly everything. Chemistry and Geometry and History class are your main pain points, especially considering you just took some easy lazy electives like Home Economics that would let you make food and sew to balance out the rest of your classload.>Don't half-ass school, it's not like we can count on FOODS to give us a proper education and getting smarter will help us with Alchemy.>>Study Chemistry on your own time once you're finished everything else tonight.>>Study Geometry on your own time once you're finished everything else tonight.>>Study History on your own time once you're finished everything else tonight.>Finish your homework and nothing more. You have better things to be doing and you don't want to burn your entire evening on this. (Free Option)>80% finished is more than finished enough. We've got other things in mind. (Free Option)
>>4576660>>Finish your homework and nothing more. You have better things to be doing and you don't want to burn your entire evening on this.>Ask Mom about Dad
>>4576660>Don't half-ass school, it's not like we can count on FOODS to give us a proper education and getting smarter will help us with Alchemy.
>>4576660>>Study Chemistry on your own time once you're finished everything else tonight.
>>4576660>Don't half-ass school, it's not like we can count on FOODS to give us a proper education and getting smarter will help us with Alchemy.>>Study Geometry on your own time once you're finished everything else tonight.We've got Forge Alchemy, having better knowledge of geometry will help in building things out of metal on the fly.
>>4576688>>4576675>>4576663Will give an hour or two to tie break between chemistry and geometry and if one does not show then the dice will row...ll
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4576675>>4576688
>>4577847>>4576688>>4576663You decide to really buckle down - you've never been one to be particularly motivated by school before, but some little voice in your head is telling you that you need to really make it this year. Really turn yourself around. Maybe it's leftover motivation from working out, feeling that muscle slowly develop on your limp noodle biceps, driving you to realization that you can actually turn your life around from slackerdom. Maybe it's the sudden realization that your life is about to get a whole lot harder so you might as well pack in the work when you have the time. Or maybe you just want to impress Rebecca... or someone else. Your brain swims as you jam pencil to paper.And when you're done, you do something you practically have never done before. You get out your textbooks and study. You study ahead. You look up equations on Wolfram Alpha. You watch videos of Bridge Constructor (it's relevant, you tell yourself as you take a 15 minute break to refresh your brain). Your mom at some point peeks her head in and gives you an apple. But it all blurs together into lines and angles and curves.God, you hate curves.By the time you're done, the sun has long since sunk below the horizon. You've missed a couple of texts, but checking over them leads to nothing earth shaking - Ken asking if you felt like working out today, and then a followup from Hyde (who immediately followed himself up by saying "Right, personal day, never mind."). You give them a quick explanatory response and then examine your papers.Then, you fold them. Grabbing some spare notebook paper, you fold and crease and fold and crease, and you jab your exposed thumb just enough to get the tiniest little dotlet of blood on the tip of your art. Fold, crease, fold, muttering words of encouragement under your breath, until it develops itself into an origami crane.With no instructions.You let go, and it quickly pulls itself back into its original paper airplane shape. You feel like you're making some sort of breakthrough, teetering on the edge.You have learned Architectural Alchemy Level 1. Architectural Alchemy is the process of creating walls, barriers, structures, and sculptures out of all kinds of materials, structurally sound or otherwise.Eventually, when you're done building small skyscrapers out of cards and vinyl cases and notebook papers, you are interrupted by a rare occurrence - your mom calling up the stairs. "Noah! I got some dinner, do you want to come down and take a break or should I bring it up to you?">Take a break. There's only so much good studying can do for us and we should spend the time with our mom.>Ask her to bring it up. You have a feeling the special occasion of "getting dinner" rather than eating leftovers or sandwiches may be related to your beforehand-unforeseen academic intensity - if she needed you to come down, she would not have given you an option. Keep your study on!>Free Option.
>>4577857>Take a break. There's only so much good studying can do for us and we should spend the time with our mom.She's good to us. Let's spend some time with her, let her know we appreciate her.
>>4577857>Take a break. There's only so much good studying can do for us and we should spend the time with our mom.
>>4577857>>Take a break. There's only so much good studying can do for us and we should spend the time with our mom.Noah doesn't like hills and valleys, huh
>>4577889>>4577863>>4577862You decide to take a break. There's no need to overexert yourself, there's only so much good you can get out of studying, and you'd rather spend the time with your mom. You stumble your way down the stairs, swinging around the bannister at almost dangerous speeds (although managing to catch yourself before slamming into the wall)."What'd you get?" You ask, throwing yourself similarly quickly onto the couch while your mother rips open a large paper bag, stapled shut, in front of you. The smell of Chinese takeout assaults your senses, albeit a pleasant assault, like being beaten up by someone you like."Chinese food." She says, smiling."You mean American Chinese food?" You snark back as you pop open the plastic tupperware full of General Tso's chicken. "I don't think your grandparents would recognize this.""No, they probably wouldn't. Isn't it great that we can enjoy such American indulgences?" Your mom teases back."Seriously though, does anyone in China eat this kind of stuff?" You speak between gulps of food, your mouth beginning to numb with spice, slurring your speech."You would know more than I do. I haven't been there since I was very little, and you know how to use a computer better than me. Better than I?" She says, laughing intermittently between shovelfuls of food, eating even faster than you are."I think better than me.""English is such a confusing language." She says, sighing, beginning to slowly hiccup. Almost daintily. Hic! "But so is Chinese, so I suppose it's pretty even either way."The mood is good and light. Food is distributed throughout, even as you pick the onions out of your fried rice. You both continue to eat.>Ask more about your Mom's side of the family.>Ask about Dad.>Ask about Mom's childhood.>Hug your Mom.>Just continue eating and letting the conversation flow naturally.>Free Option.
>>4579059>Ask about Dad.
>>4579059>as you pick the onions out of your fried rice.Egads, he's already transformed into a monster!>Ask about dad
>>4579059>Ask more about your Mom's side of the family.
>>4579059>Ask more about your Mom's side of the family.Gotta know the past
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4579061>>4579062>>4579078>>4579955
>>4580224>>4579062>>4579061"So, uh..." You start, staring down at your food with a full stomach, picking at fragments of a shattered fortune cookie. You don't even bother reading its factory manufactured platitudes - that's not for you, right now. "Is dad ever...?""Coming back?" Your mom replies, raising an eyebrow at you, her face turned from a wide smile into a much slighter one. "Probably not. I don't know where he is. He could be dead, for all I know." She says, and then immediately winces at your expression. "But probably not!""What's the whole story about that anyway?" You ask, wracking your brain for memories of a man that you can't quite recall. It feels foggy in the way that you'd imagine a Dragon victim gets, but you know that isn't true because you're inoculated - you were just too young to remember him much. "I don't think I remember anymore.""He was... a charmer. We both were strangers in a strange, loud land, but he was far more used to it than I was. From Italy. His dad, your grandfather, worked long hours in a meatpacking plant. His mom, your grandmother, is still AWOL..." Your mom starts, silently ruminating on the fact that she's probably dead. You don't need to hear her say it out loud. You're 17, not an idiot. "So he started hustling off the streets. We met right before I started medical school." She continues, wistfully staring outwards in the distance. "Now, I'm about to tell you something, and it's only because you're old enough that I'm going to tell you this part, but please promise not to take it as an example to follow?""Scout's honor." You say, making a little sketch with your hand. Your mom laughs."He sold me, y'know. Stuff. And helped me try to get through medical school, at least until I dropped out and became a nurse. Then he had to leave... and then a couple months later, you happened." She barely seems to be present in the room anymore, her voice seeming so small and tall and distant all at once. Taking on new tones you've never heard out of any adult, much less from your mom. You lean into your arms and put a small fragment of fortune cookie into your mouth."Do you have any pictures of him?" You ask, patting your Mom on the back, in a way that seems to shake her from her stupor just a bit. She pulls out her phone and starts swiping through her gallery full of minion memes. Eventually, she reaches what looks to be an old, scanned-in polaroid and hands the phone to you.Man. What a looker.>"Does this mysterious Father have a name?">"Have you ever tried looking for him?">"Thanks for telling me all that, Mom. It sounds like he meant a lot to you.">Free Option.
>>4580233>"Does this mysterious Father have a name?"
>>4580233>"Have you ever tried looking for him?"
>>4580233>"Am I gonna look that good in a tailored shirt?"
>>4580233>"Now, I'm about to tell you something, and it's only because you're old enough that I'm going to tell you this part, but please promise not to take it as an example to follow?">"Scout's honor." You say, making a little sketch with your hand. Your mom laughs.>"He sold me, y'know. Stuff. Don't worry, Mom. We promise we won't take any weird chemicals that a stranger offers us oh wait shit. >"Does this mysterious Father have a name?"
>>4580233>>"Does this mysterious Father have a name?"
>>4580992>>4580387>>4580286>>4580236"Does this mysterious Father have a name? And am I gonna look that good in a tailored shirt?" You ask. Your mom lets out a deep, happy belly laugh and shoves you gently in the shoulder, to which you respond by exaggeratedly allowing yourself to fall over onto the arm of the couch."Val. Valentino D'Angelo. I'm sure he's on Facespace or Mybook or whatever it is you kids use, but..." Your mom smiles quietly, tight-lipped, folding her mouth shut. "You know, for some reason, I've never had it in me to-"KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK"Oh!" Your mom says, jumping up a little bit in fright, which startles you, causing you to jump up a smaller bit in fright."I'll get it," you both say simultaneously, but you're younger and more spry than her, so you get up first, and she sits down after a moment's contemplation. You peek through the door hole, and see nobody there, so you preemptively begin curling your thumbnail into your middle finger on your left hand while you grab the door handle.Just in case. You squeeze down on the handle and gently push out, scrunching your face up in immediate expectation of being attacked - you feel the static hum of alchemy in the air, but after ten seconds of looking and getting cold wind on your face provides nothing else, and the static feeling quickly fades away.There's a box on the ground. You reach down, examining the label - the return address has been scratched out, leaving only your name and address, and just picking it up has brought an uncontrollable chill down your spine. "What is it?" Your mom asks from inside. "Come back, you're letting all the warm air out!"You heft up the box, maybe the size of a math textbook plus a little extra, and haul it in, pulling the door shut with a couple of spare fingers as you do so. "Package for me.""Oh, do you have a secret admirer? Or a secret job?" Your mom asks, catching her chin in her hands, looking up at you with a wry grin."Not that I know of, unless I have a split personality going out and charming ladies and working at Wawa." You reply, staring at the box. "Is it porn? Don't worry, I'll let you open it up in peace if it is. Didn't know kids your age still bought nudie mags! And who's ID did you use?" Your mom shoots off rapid-fire. You'd be a little more upset by the implication if you didn't know she was joking, her rapidity of speech increasing with her good mood.>"I honestly don't know what it is." [Sincere]>"Yes, it's porn. You caught me. Bunch of Playboys." [Sarcastic]>"Mooooom!" [Embarrassed]>Free Option.>Ask her if you can take it upstairs to your room.>Open it right there.>Chuck it out the door.>Free Option.
>>4581263>"Porn? How could you think about me like that! It's drugs.">"I honestly don't know what it is."
>>4581263Ah, great, it removed all the line breaks... You can pick an option from each set of four! Thanks 4chan
>>4581263>"I honestly don't know what it is." [Sincere]>Free Option.>"Kind of creeping me out, actually. How many stories are there where a mysterious package with no return address has something haunted in it?">Open it right there.It's probably not a bomb, right? Even if someone did want us dead, it's probably easier to just venom up and stab us than use a mail bomb. Or so I hope.
>>4581263>"I honestly don't know what it is." [Sincere]A gift from Saint maybe?>Open it right there.
>>4581263>"Porn? How could you think about me like that! It's drugs. But seriously, I don't know what it is.">Open it right there.
>>4581425>>4581323>>4581265>>4581715"Porn? How could you think about me like that?" You ask, pushing some of the food to the side and making room on the coffee table for the box. "It's drugs."Your mom rears her head back and cackles while you grab a butter knife and saw through the tape. Sides first, and then just a little slit into the topmost seam, after which, with a little effort, you pop the whole thing open. "I honestly don't know what it is, though." You clarify, peering down into the box's depths and clearing away little styrofoam nuggets to pull out a thick, dense three-ring binder, stuffed with paper."A binder? Does someone think you need the help with school?" Your mom asks, as you pull open the front to gaze into its hole-punched pages, and your heart immediately stops. "'Human Transmutation and its Uses, both Medicinal and Martial'." She recites out loud, reaching out with her finger to follow along each word as she reads them. "'Compiled by Nicholas Flamel' - what, like the alchemist?""The what?" You ask, panicking slightly but keeping it mostly internal."The famous alchemist. Fictional, I think, not sure that he was based off a real person. Got mentioned a couple of times in the Harry Potter books. He wanted to make a philosopher's stone or whatever, turn lead to gold and cure all illness."You don't know what to think. So you just say "Oh, alright." while considering your next move.>It would look weird to get cagey about this. Might as well pop it open in front of her and act like its all bullshit.>You don't wanna risk your mom getting involved in this. Try to make up some bullshit excuse so you can take it to your room and out of her hands.>Free Option.
>>4581752>You don't wanna risk your mom getting involved in this. Try to make up some bullshit excuse so you can take it to your room and out of her hands.>Free Option.>Flip through the pages, look for any particularly technical-looking parts we can stop on and exclaim how we don't understand it. Say we'll look at it tomorrow, we spent all day studying and we're not in a state to jump into some weird arcane text right now.
>>4581752>You don't wanna risk your mom getting involved in this. Try to make up some bullshit excuse so you can take it to your room and out of her hands.>Weird. I helped out a stranger a while back. Was expecting a beer or maybe a vinyl.
>>4581752>You don't wanna risk your mom getting involved in this. Try to make up some bullshit excuse so you can take it to your room and out of her hands.
>>4582082>>4581869>>4581866You decide that it's probably for the best that your mom not get involved in this, so you scramble your brain for an excuse and let it dribble out your mouth. "Weird. I helped a stranger out on one of my walks. Was expecting a beer, or maybe a vinyl or something." You say, turning the binder over, examining it for anything out of place, or any indicator of ownership beyond the author of '"Nicholas Flamel". Nope. Nothing."Oh, that's great! Isn't it nice to get appreciated for your hard work? What'd you end up doing, anyway?" She asks, evidently satisfied with the binder and letting you take a hold of it. In fact, with the seeming natural conclusion of the dinner, she starts stacking the plastic tupperware cases together, presumably for taking to the fridge."Car got stuck in a ditch." You say, coming up with the first thing out the top of your head. "Helped him push it out. Not saying it was definitely him, but I can't think of why else I'd get a random binder of fake magic stuff."Your mom tosses a smile back to you and puts the leftovers in the fridge. "Fair enough! Shall I leave you to studying your new wizard powers, Noah?""Yeah, sure, I'll just take this upstairs and probably forget about it under my bed." You say, getting up and hefting the immense tome with you. It's at least five, maybe six pounds of printer paper, probably around 500 8 and 1/2 by 11s, so you squeeze it into your armpit and trudge up the stairs.You arrive in your bedroom and gently fling the binder onto your blankets, staring at it as it flops open to that taunting cover page.The air directly around the book feels... tingly. Not exactly static in the way that alchemy being performed feels, but there's still something weird with it.>Crack it open, get reading.>Close it and toss it under the bed.>Free Option.
>>4582784>Open it with a ruler from a distance, incase it explodes>Get reading
>>4582784>Crack it open, get reading.If it was a bomb it could have been made to detonate upon opening the package. I think its safe, for a given definition of "safe". Also, merry Christmas, anons!
Merry Christmas, anons! It feels like just yesterday that I started spinning this quest up on a whim and now here we are. I don't know about you, but I'm very satisfied with this quest (for once! given my track record of burnout). I hope you're all enjoying and I hope you have a holly jolly one - I am taking this as a day off, personally.
>>4583114Merry Christmas, Richard. I hope you enjoy your day off, and have a nice Christmas of your own.
>>4583114Merry Christmas, and please don't burn out on this one!
>>4582788>>4582842You decide that having a potential bomb going off in your face would be a very bad thing, and find the longest object in your room. In this instance, it happens to be a ruler in your backpack, although part of you wishes you had a little more than 12 inches plus your wingspan to open this up. Nevertheless, you flip the front page and... Nothing happens. Just an introduction, containing some thanks to some medieval sounding names. You skip ahead a bit to a table of contents, and then flop through chunks of pages at a time. The only notable thing is, past the title page, the presence of a brown fingerprint (thumbprint?) in the corner of each page, although you can't tell if it's photocopied or what. When you are satisfied that it won't explode, you flip through until you find a picture that catches your eye enough to make you stop on the page."The Philosopher's Stone" - a picture of a heart-like gemstone. Sitting down on your bed, you start turning pages."The Philosopher's Stone is the endgoal of all human alchemists. In order to achieve it, you will require at least one human heart - your own is preferred, to minimize rejection. Then, you will need to bloodbind (see Chapter 3: Bloodbinding) the heart to you and transplant it into your chest." - At some point, reading this, your hands have started to become slick with clammy perspiration. You don't like it. "An alternative method, far riskier, but an acceptable means to those without the stomach to acquire hearts from another, is to induce internal severe internal bleeding in a manner that is survivable for the several day period that bloodbinding your heart will require. We wish you the best of luck in this endeavor, should you wish to attempt it.">Continue to "Why create a Philosopher's Stone?">Skim through to a different, less gross chapter>Shut the binder. Not today.
>>4583941>Skim through to a different, less gross chapter
>>4583941>Skim through to a different, less gross chapterChapter 3: Bloodbinding could be interesting. Ken gave us a quick explanation on it, but learning about the more involved details might give us some useful tips. Ways to speed it up or how to wash clothes without ruining the bind, stuff like that.
>>4583941>>Skim through to a different, less gross chapter
>>4583941>>Skim through to a different, less gross chapterRead the chapter list, pick the coolest sounding. Bloodbinding will probably be hard to beat.
No update today, was super busy with personal stuff and won't have the time, apologies, readers
>>4584551>>4584104>>4583956>>4583955You decide in short order that you'd honestly rather see a different chapter, and skim through the huge tome. It's absolutely immense, and you don't think even if you read it front to back that you'd be finished before the year ends in a couple of months. Absolutely textbook-like.You roll the pages over to the table of contents.1. Introduction to Human Transmutation2. Basic Human Transmutation Techniques3. Bloodbinding4. Alchemical Self-Improvement5. Homunculus & Golem Creation6. Chimeric Stabilizations & Other Biological Fusion Techniques7. Developing Your Natural Armory8. The Philosopher's Stone10. Basic Necromantic Arts11. Advanced Necromantic Arts12. Communion With The Alchemical Field13. Alchemical Brands And Ownership MarkingsUnderneath them is a bevy of subsections, small little diagrams, and hand-sketched notes that were evidently photocopied. You're no forensic analyst, but you do know what photocopied pen ink looks like, so it seems like this book has been duplicated from another source. Jury is still out on the brown thumbprints, however.Your mind reels at the subsections, feeling more than a little disquieted by some of the implications. "Melding of Organic and Inorganic Material" under Chapter 6, "Using Your Alchemical Brand For Neurological Operations" under Chapter 13, no, you don't like that at all.Somewhat curiously, none of them seem to mention Dragons. Not even in some sort of coded jargony-talk, like, uhhh, "Alchemically Inclined Biological Organisms" or some shit like that. Given what you know, about how Dragons are the supposed masters of biological alchemy, this strikes you as a strange, somewhat notable omission.>Bloodbinding seems like it's probably the least weird chapter, and most relevant.>Turn to a different chapter. (Free Option)>This thing is cursed, burn it.>Text someone about this. You don't like the implications and you need a leveler head about it. (Free Option)>Free Option.
>>4586195>Somewhat curiously, none of them seem to mention Dragons. Not even in some sort of coded jargony-talk, like, uhhh, "Alchemically Inclined Biological Organisms" or some shit like that. Given what you know, about how Dragons are the supposed masters of biological alchemy, this strikes you as a strange, somewhat notable omission.Huh. Well, it did say that it was compiled by Nicholas Flamel. He did live in the 14th century. Well, probably, myths about immortality and all that, he could be still around. But my point is that maybe it's old notes, from before dragons were discovered? If Pandora is right, there had to have been alchemy before dragons, otherwise you get into a chicken/egg problem with alchemists being made by exposure to dragon venom and dragons being made by exposure to alchemical fields. And even if FOODS is right, there could have been a time before the dragon gene was widespread.Alternatively, Flamel might just be dismissive of dragons. Right, sure, the mindless beasts who can barely control their power unless they eat a bunch of people are the masters of bio-alchemy. Don't insult the noble art. Such creatures aren't even worth mentioning in a text about serious alchemical science.>Turn to a different chapter. (Free Option)>IntroductionI feel like if we're to read it at all, the introduction will be both the most illuminating and least incriminating. It would give us an overview of the text's contents and its goals, provide context for any terminology it uses later on if we choose to read further, and "all I read was the introduction, just trying to figure out what this thing was" is a good defense to give if interrogated about it later.
>>4586195>1. Introduction to Human Transmutationmore or less agree with >>4586268
>>4586268Maybe before Dragons have been CREATED.>Turn to a different chapter. >12. Communion With The Alchemical Field
Apologies for all the recent interruptions but I've been having an incredibly great day, waking up at 5 AM with perhaps the worst tinnitus I've had yet in my life, and, even worse, that tinnitus continuing evne now, 1 hour and 40 ish minutes later. unabated.i cannot focus on writing in this condition and i think instead i will beat my head into a pillow pile until it goes away. Please Understand, thank you.
>>4586664I mean I think that's a big enough problem to get it looked at, even with the pandemic
>>4586664Strong tinnitus can be a symptom of some really nasty stuff. Don't ignore it, go see a doctor.
>>4586668And I mean ASAP.
>>4586664There's also this trick for a temporary relief. I have no idea whether it works though:>Place the palms of your hands over your ears with fingers resting gently on the back of your head. Your middle fingers should point toward one another just above the base of your skull. Place your index fingers on top of you middle fingers and snap them (the index fingers) onto the skull making a loud, drumming noise. Repeat 40-50 times. Some people experience immediate relief with this method. Repeat several times a day for as long as necessary to reduce tinnitus.
>>4586664Oh dear, Richard. I'm sorry to hear that. As others have said, tinnitus can be the symptom of something worse, so I would consider getting it examined. In the meantime, I hope you feel better and that your day isn't completely ruined. Get well, friend.
I have set up an appointment with the ENT specialist. For the 9th. Of April. (:
>>4586770Well, I suppose that makes sense given how hospitals have been delaying a lot of stuff with the pandemic, but still. I'm sorry to hear that, man.
>6. Chimeric Stabilizations & Other Biological Fusion TechniquesJust caught up with the quest, really enjoying it. So often these original Shonen quests stick so closely to the formula that they fail to stand out, but this is unique enough while still making the best of classic tropes. Great work QM, and I hope this tinnitus thing doesn't hit you too hard.Does anyone else think that the "her" Saint is talking about is Rebecca? I don't think I saw this theory floated in the earlier threads.
>>4586890There are things that can be seen as foreshadowing of this.
>>4586890>Does anyone else think that the "her" Saint is talking about is Rebecca? I don't think I saw this theory floated in the earlier threads.It's possible, I suppose. I got the sense that Saint was talking about someone closer to them in age, but it could have been Rebecca. Would make them being so close to the party when they lost control kind of ominous, if so. Have they been following her?
>>4586890Welcome to the quest, it's great to have you c:
Update: It has not gone away yet, although it ebbs and flows throughout the day. I'm strongly nocturnal, so the fact that it is the strongest at around 3-6 AM (my preferred writing time) is not great, but, well, I'm adjusting to my new life with constant background noise the best I can. L'Chaim.>>4586278>>4586268You decide that if you are to read it at all, the introduction would probably serve your purposes the best - the most illuminating, the least incriminating, and the most practical in terms of telling you new information. The later chapters will probably require knowledge, at least rudimentary, of the contents of the earlier ones. Plus, "I was just trying to figure out what the thing was" would be a good defense if you ever got interrogated.So, let's start with the basics.AN INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN TRANSMUTATIONThe art of Human Transmutation is an arcane one, thought mostly lost to the annals of history until relatively recently, where its rediscovery by the most preeminent alchemists of our day has resulted in a flourishing of new knowledge regarding the art. While technically banned under the Fifth King's Accords, many schools of Human Transmutation have emerged in recent years - while I am not so hubristic as to term mine the "Flamel School", it has diverged a unique and particular style descended from the Caduceus School of healing alchemies.As a descendant of a healing style, your ability to perform human transmutation within this school of art will be predicated on your knowledge of the human body. The heart, which centers the soul, the lungs, which produce the pneuma from which we exert our forces into the world, the muscle and bone that provide structure for our art and the marrow that creates the blood that fuels it. The more you understand the body, the easier it will be for you to understand how to change and alter it to your whims. This introductory chapter will contain no spiteful knowledges, but will instead, be limited to practical healing alchemy techniques that will be foundational for building a more effective knowledge base for human transmutation.Any alchemist trained in the healing arts sould have with them at all times the forms of medication and binding that would allow them to fix any mundane ailment. If you lack the vigor and verve to perform alchemy, do not allow it to fail you at a crucial moment, and if you do possess the necessary energies, then you are free to use these techniques to heal more effectively than any mundane cleric or medicine man....And so the introductory chapter goes, and you consume page after page. To be blunt, several things it tries to teach you are far above your head, and the heady, old style of writing produces flowery language that's a little beyond you, but helpful diagrams (circa the ??th century) and hand-penned notes help fill in the smallest of the blanks.
>>4588993Use healing alchemy to substitute for mundane injuries, great. The rubberband effect (called the "reversion phenomena" here) only applies to things created or altered directly by alchemy, not the effects they leave on the world (which you sort of figured out already, but it's good to have scholarly confirmation). Healing alchemy, thus, requires constant attention and tending to the patient until the body can naturally stabilize itself and the rubberband effect does not risk causing further damage when invoked. You can't just slap an alchemical band-aid on them and walk away, you need to stay in contact with them until the problem is fixed enough that mundane medical techniques can fill in the rest of the gaps.Yeah, that sounds reasonable enough.You have begun the path of learning Medical Alchemy!The clock is getting kind of late, and it is a school night. What will you do?>Continue reading a different chapter.>Reread the introductory chapter to try and get a better handle on some of the medical stuff.>Very neat! Time to put this away forever and go to bed.>Free Option.
>>4588994>Reread the introductory chapter to try and get a better handle on some of the medical stuff.IIRC it's only forbidden to perform human transmutation on OTHERS. Knowing how to heal ourselves would be really useful.
>>4588994>>Continue reading a different chapter.BloodbindingThis book is a ticking timebomb that we may not have for very long.
>>4588993>While technically banned under the Fifth King's Accords, many schools of Human Transmutation have emerged in recent years - while I am not so hubristic as to term mine the "Flamel School", it has diverged a unique and particular style descended from the Caduceus School of healing alchemies.Huh. So it probably is very old notes, then.>>4588994>Continue reading a different chapter.>Chapter 2I feel like it's probably dangerous to skip chapters, at least the early ones. Don't want to miss something important.
Happy New Year, players and readers. Managed to get my ENT appointment moved up to next Tuesday, a little too drunk to write right now so someone remind me to do it tomorrow afternoon.
>>4589863Niiiiice, good on ye
>>4589867>>4589870I'm very, very thankful - they've got one of the students doing the examination instead of the head ENT person but I'll take what I can get so long as I get to keep my hearing. I'm a musician so I'd very much like to not lose that.
Rolled 2 (1d3)>>4589010>>4589055>>4589100
>>4589055You have a little more time in the night, and, being an energetic teenager, it's not as if you haven't ran school on 6 hours before. Frankly, this is all free time that you should be burning instead of using it on sleep.You bust open the chapter on bloodbinding. You know this can be useful. Might as well get the good stuff out of it in case you don't have the book for very long.BLOODBINDINGA recent development in the alchemical arts, "Bloodbinding", has the potential to perhaps be the most important invention since the discovery of the Alchemical Field itself. Already, alchemists have been experimenting with the new techniques provided by Bloodbinding in order to extend their alchemy to heights previously only dreamed of.So, what is Bloodbinding? Bloodbinding is a process that occurs when an individual pours their blood and pneuma into an object, over time attenuating it to their specific signature. Before our Golden Age, it was rare for an alchemist to survive long enough to effectively make use of Bloodbinding, and few of them were willing to experiment enough with their formulae and acts in order to discover that the very objects they worked with were fundamentally altered. While I posit that Amerigo [Scribbled Through] 's unnatural abilities are in fact a result of Bloodbinding before we were aware of it as a distinct phenomenon, that is a mostly academic discussion best saved for later, more advanced texts.In order to Bloodbind a tool to your use, you must simply bleed on it, and regularly use it with alchemy. Further usage will cause the object to require less blood and pneuma from you, until it reaches a point where it is fully Bloodbound, and can be manipulated at will, although not without nutritional energy and consumption of bile, as per usual.The easiest, quickest, and most dangerous way to Bloodbind is as follows.1: Acquire your tool of choice.2: Acquire a large tub or bucket.3: Allow a friend to puncture you so that you bleed into the vessel. 4: Repair the wound through whatever means necessary (I recommend non-alchemical means).5: Submerge the tool in your accumulated vital fluid and begin to perform as many rapid alchemical transmutations as you can imagine.6: Repeat no more than thrice weekly, until you have a fully bloodbound object....And so on it goes. One thing that strikes you during the consumption of the chapter is that there is no mention of the facet of bloodbinding that is "it makes it harder for other people to perform alchemy on the object". You suppose they haven't discovered that at the time.Unfortunately, this one feels like mostly a wash. There is an interesting segueway into "Overbinding", where an object is bloodbound so much that it appears to develop some form of rudimentary sentience (you have no idea if this is him confusing some other phenomenon for "having thought", because medieval times), and several practical applications.
>>4590960You particularly like all the various drawn demonstrations of weaponcraft, such as a blade being used as a particularly sharp whip, or a spear extended to several times its length in both directions, keeping its center of balance squarely on the wielder while also acting as an ersatz projectile.The moon is high in the sky, and your eyes burn slightly. What will you do?>Continue reading a different chapter.>Reread the introductory chapter to try and get a better handle on some of the medical stuff.>Reread the bloodbinding chapter to see if you can extract further meaning from it.>Very interesting. Time for bed!>You have learned all you feel is necessary, burn it and then go to bed.>Free Option.
>>4590961>Reread the introductory chapter to try and get a better handle on some of the medical stuff.
>>4590961>>Very interesting. Time for bed!
>>4590961>Very interesting. Time for bed!Learning about bioalchemy is cool, but Noah has regular school in the morning.
>>4591273>>4590978Very neat. Very interesting stuff. You shut the binder, and slide it under your bed, and it's time to sleep. You let your head hit the pillowcalls your name. "Mr. Lee?" Your homeroom teacher asks, gently tapping your forehead with a ruler."Yeah, you're speaking to 'im." You mumble, rubbing the sleep out of your eyes. "What's up?""Bell's about to ring." He says, immediately preceding the bell beginning to ring. It's a good thing you didn't stay up too late, but the early morning did smear together into a vague, blurry haze unbecoming of your usual performance. Then again, staying up late is not your usual thing, and you did get interrupted during your sleep several times over the past weekend.Oh well, sleep debt caught up! How are we getting through the school day?>You're curious about Pandora's theory of alchemical activity being a requisite for becoming a Dragon. Obviously don't get in trouble, but maybe it would be worth creeping around during lunchtime or after school to try and find if there IS some kind of secret alchemy lab on campus.>Yeah fuck that we're cutting classes to investigate until we're satisfied that there's nothing.>We can focus on dragon and alchemy stuff later. We're riding a good wave right now, focus on school, buckle down, keep your head down, maybe try making more than two friends.>Free Option.
>>4592270>We can focus on dragon and alchemy stuff later. We're riding a good wave right now, focus on school, buckle down, keep your head down, maybe try making more than two friends.>Maybe head home early to buy some snacks and get back to reading.
>>4592270>You're curious about Pandora's theory of alchemical activity being a requisite for becoming a Dragon. Obviously don't get in trouble, but maybe it would be worth creeping around during lunchtime or after school to try and find if there IS some kind of secret alchemy lab on campus.Maybe try seeing if anything triggers our alchemic sense, gives us a tingle?Also, going back a few posts, something I just noticed is how Flamel addresses the idea of bloodbinding as if would be weird for an alchemist to expose their tools to their blood. Like it wasn't a common thing, but something you'd only do for rare experiments. Makes me wonder if there used to be a different transfer medium for pneuma before modern alchemy embraced blood.
>>4592270>You're curious about Pandora's theory of alchemical activity being a requisite for becoming a Dragon. Obviously don't get in trouble, but maybe it would be worth creeping around during lunchtime or after school to try and find if there IS some kind of secret alchemy lab on campus.
None today, sorry, things just kind of piled up and I can't keep my eyes open long enough to write the lengthy treatment this one needs. Apologies.
>>4593688No worries, Richard. Take care of yourself, and I hope your day doesn't turn out too hectic.
>>4592270>>You're curious about Pandora's theory of alchemical activity being a requisite for becoming a Dragon. Obviously don't get in trouble, but maybe it would be worth creeping around during lunchtime or after school to try and find if there IS some kind of secret alchemy lab on campus.
>>4594358>>4592295>>4592281You decide that, at least for as long as you can snoop around, it might be prudent to look for some validation to Pandora's theory. It would be worth creeping around during lunchtime, or after school, maybe try to figure out if there is a secret alchemy lab somewhere on campus.You've been going to school long enough that, for the most part, you've memorized the layout. It's shaped a little bit like the letter H, with the parking lot on the bottom and the sports facilities like the football field and track on the top, the whole assemblage on top of a very gently sloping hill. Left wing of the H contains the gym, right wing contains the auditorium, middle contains the entrance, atrium, and lunchroom. Three floors total, so the space not occupied by larger rooms is occupied by lockers and classrooms. Five minutes to get from class to class, usually a bit of a trek, but that's okay - you keep an eye out during the day, and indeed, you feel that static feeling in the air more than once.Monday passes. You go home after scouting out and marking down possible locations to check, you reread the medical alchemy introduction because it seems harmless, you eat, you do homework, you study into the night. Rinse and repeat.Tuesday. You at least don't fall asleep in homeroom this time.To be honest, you didn't expect to actually hit a lead this fast. You figured it'd at least take to Friday, but you skip lunch and slink off to the gym lockers, a place where you felt a little charge yesterday. Most of the other charges have moved around or disappeared, which you suppose means that the alchemy was recently performed (and thus the feeling in the air has dissipated).This one hasn't.Triangulation isn't particularly difficult. You wander around a bit, feeling out where the feeling gets stronger, watching the fine layers of hair on your arm actually physically curl upwards further and further as you walk around. You use your body like a dowsing rod, trying to ignore the occasional student that passes you by, just sort of looking like that kind of kid that loiters elsewhere during the lunch period.Ten minutes left, and you think you've pinpointed it. The girl's locker room.You wish it wasn't, honestly and truly, but you can see your body hair reacting in real time and feel it along your neck. Not only is there some kind of alchemical activity happening somewhere in the immediate vicinity of the girl's locker room, but it's both strong and recent. The clock ticks down to nine minutes and you feel a spike in the air, like you're touching a battery to your tongue but for your skin, making your muscles feel the ghost of an ache.>Go back to lunch, figure out a plan, come back after school. [Sly]>No time like the present. See if you have any leftover synthetic Dragon venom, dose yourself, charge in. [Reckless]>Nothing's happening today. Just go home and make sure you're thoroughly prepared.[Cautious]>Free Option.
>>4594723>Go back to lunch, figure out a plan, come back after school. [Sly]>Call up Kendra about the real funky alchemy we're smelling.We at least need someone to pick us up and flush the venom afterwards
>>4594723Supporting >>4594734. This is definitely a thing to get backup on.
>>4594723Also supporting >>4594734
>>4594734>>4594773>>4594783>>4595742You think about it a bit, and then decide that maybe going balls-deep right now might not be the most prudent course of action - but you also don't wanna leave it go for too long. You wander back to lunch, scarf down some of these buffalo popper things that they sell in the lunch line (it's like a stunted little midget mozzarella stick injected with some kind of packet of molten buffalo sauce, and it is awesome), and text Kendra when you have time, in between classes and knowing glances from the teacher.Over the course of the day the conversation goes kind of like this.noah/<Ken. Respond asap>noah/<Not emergency yet>...ken/<whats up>noah/<Was looking around school on hunch>noah/<Alchemy lab or something>ken/<???>ken/<what>noah/<brb>ken/<ok>...noah/<You know the air when someone does alchemy>noah/<Gets all static>ken/<kind of? vaguely>noah/<When people do alchemy it gives goosebumps>noah/<Feeling lingers at that spot>noah/<Got it at school>noah/<Sum1 def doing alchemy>ken/<ok, good for them>...It occurs to you at some point during classes that Ken would not have as much of a reason to care about this if she didn't abide by Pandora's theories, which she evidently did not. You try to think about a way to get her to care....noah/<Want to investigate, have bad vibes>noah/<Things feel too coincidental>noah/<You said yourself>noah/<Weird amount of dragon activity>noah/<What if related?>ken/<uh>ken/<sure i guess it cant hurt to look>ken/<if itll put your mind at ease>noah/<Cool thx>noah/<BRB>ken/<ill bring my kit>ken/<when should i show up?>>Right after school.>Wait til the evening and the sun's down.>Need to be sure it's clear, we have to go in the middle of the night.>Free Option.
>>4595948>>Wait til the evening and the sun's down.Late enough that we're unlikely to be interrupted, but not so late that we can't come up with a plausible lie as to why we're around if we're caught.
>>4595948>Wait til the evening and the sun's down.
Yet another interruption, and today it is *spins wheel of interruptions* an armed, dangerous protest event occurring minutes of my parents' home! So I'm driving all night, sorry. Will try to get one out tomorrow afternoon if possible.
>>4596206>>4596112>>4595979>>4595952noah/<Let's wait until the evening. But not, like, bedtime late. Like, 7:30 late.>ken/<right>ken/<will be there>...Bus ride home, of course, Mom's asleep. Good. You don't want to worry her too much, but you do snatch the honing steel from the kitchen. You figure it's good to have an easily accessible source of metal that's not a knife on the off chance you need to impale something.Your heart thrums in your chest a little bit, thumping harder than it has ever before, except maybe during that first confrontation with your teacher-turned-Dragon. You walk outside, past your slumbering mother, and order an Uber. Maybe it would've been more prudent to ask Ken to give you a ride so you didn't burn valuable allowance money on more Ubering around but... eh.You arrive right on time, hopping out of the Uber that you set to a couple of blocks away and then walking the rest of the distance. Ken is already there when you get there, but the more important thing is the feeling in the air. She acknowledges you with an upward flick of the head, setting her kickstand down and getting off her motorcycle, sledgehammer in tow. "Yeah, I feel it." She says, and once you step a little closer, you feel it too.The air is crackling. All your hairs almost immediately stand on end once you pass some invisible, flowing threshold surrounding the school. "I guess different people are more or less sensitive to alchemical activity?" You ask, and she shrugs in return."Probably. Now that I know what you were talking about - there is definitely alchemy going on. Now. Actively. And a lot of it." Ken says, dragging her handle on the ground while she gently paces in the parking lot, staring at the school."So, worth investigating?" You ask, pulling out your little honing steel from your backpack. You feel a little weird about the fact that gently poking holes in your thumb with your teeth is something that you are doing with increasing blase-ness, but you push that thought away as you sharpen the tip of the honing steel into a long, nail-like point. "Definitely. The question is, though, how do we get in?"You think about everything you know about the school.>There's a bunch of side entrances near the auditorium. If any security system is localized, it would probably throw them off into thinking we're going to a different place than we are.>Let's just smash the front door open and walk in.>If we could figure out a way to the roof I'm sure the maintenance exit isn't alarmed because - how the hell would a normal person get up there except from inside?>We're going to the... girl's locker room. In the gym. So let's just knock the door open from there.>Free Option.
>>4597394>There's a bunch of side entrances near the auditorium. If any security system is localized, it would probably throw them off into thinking we're going to a different place than we are.>Free Option.>Don't smash anything, though. Just transmute the bolt of the locking mechanism shorter by a few centimeters, door opens smoothly and leaves no evidence of tampering once it rubberbands.I figure the alchemic field shouldn't give away such a small transmutation, especially with it being done at a decent distance from the gym.
>>4597394>If we could figure out a way to the roof I'm sure the maintenance exit isn't alarmed because - how the hell would a normal person get up there except from inside?
>>4597394>Side entrancesIm thinking this or knocking. We dont want everyone to start pulling guns immediately.
>>4597394>There's a bunch of side entrances near the auditorium. If any security system is localized, it would probably throw them off into thinking we're going to a different place than we are. as an aside we should try bloodbinding to a key blank. it's small so it requires very little blood and always having a skeleton key would be a great tool. plus most traditional locks work in the same manner, line up the security pins and turn.
>>4598558Unless bloodbound objects provide tactile feedback, we won't be able to use it for lockpicking.
>>4597417>>4598558>>4597758"There's a bunch of side entrances near the auditorium. If they have a security system that detects what alarm is tripped, and we trip an alarm, anyone that shows up will probably think we're going somewhere else than we aren't, uh, are. Going to." You respond, starting to walk in that direction. Ken follows behind, and the two of you break out into a brisk jog.There's a lot of doors near the auditorium, of course, but you settle for the ones closest to the actual backstage of the auditorium itself. You've heard, through the grapevine of Josh, that the choir and theatre kids are incredibly wild, and the band kids, somehow, are synonymous with "the kids that have all the good drugs". Part of you wonders, hey, maybe we could search for some drugs, but then you remember that that's a stupid idea, and just get to the doors.As expected, it's locked. "How do you pick locks with alchemy?" You ask, knowing very little about how locks are constructed. Ken raises her sledgehammer, and when your face goes white, she laughs and steps up to the door. She rolls her shoulders and cracks her knuckles, unzipping the fingers of her right hand's glove so she can get a better feel on it. "I think this is one of those push-bar locks, right?""Yeah." You reply."Great, I know how to unlock those." She says, taking a deep breath. She reaches into her pocket to pull out a diabetes blood sugar tester, jams it into her thumb, and wipes her blood across the metal handle on your side. She grabs it tight. "Relax." She says, and then begins to pull, yanking the door effortlessly open. She bows a little bit, gesturing sideways to you with a flourish. "Ladies first."You roll your eyes and squeeze your way inside, and she follows behind, letting the door click shut behind her. You don't hear an alarm, which you expect probably means that if there is one, it's silent, or that the security here is awful. You're not sure which is more likely, but you do know that you feel the air even harder now, making your hair on your head begin to stand up, along with Ken's. "Gym's on the other side."Ken shrugs and starts trodding through the almost completely black hallways, barring some emergency lighting and the occasional large window allowing the burgeoning moonlight to filter its way into the school building. The school is intensely eerie now, feeling entirely too large without any students inside its halls, no faculty to chastise you for jogging down the tile floors, no security to hassle you for loitering. It feels a bit like a rapture happened somewhere and you missed it.
>>4601008There's no interruptions to be found your way to the gym, but the air starts going from "crackling" to "thick" as you approach. Not in a way that impedes your movement, but you have begun sweating a little, possibly due to the air, possibly due to nerves, and it makes your grip on your honing steel feel increasingly unsteady. You've never felt anywhere near this amount of alchemy in the air before, not even when you pumped out everything you had into raising the shields for Ken while fighting the Orthrus-type.Ken looks at you as you enter the vicinity of the gym. "This is... This is absurd. Like, I sort of vaguely understood what you meant by the static, but this is insane. How would you even sustain this much output? Alchemy like this... This would kill someone to even perform." She says, starting to look a little twitchy."Yeah, that's definitely a concern." You say. You once again find no interruptions outside of a growing lack of light the closer you get, a surprisingly smooth trip to the girl's locker room, but the aura radiating out of it is giving you heart palpatations. You can feel it, hammering away at your chest like it's trying to get away from this ominous feeling. You check your phone for time.Your phone is off. "Ken. Check your phone." You say, holding the power button. She pulls hers out while your phone remains nonresponsive."Huh? I definitely didn't turn you off." She whispers, angrily pressing the power button a couple of times before pressing and holding."Yeah, mine too. Can... strong enough alchemy actually cause some sort of electromagnetic disruption like this?" You ask. She looks at you blankly."I am really sorry, but that is way above my paycheck. Definitely something you should research if we make it out of this, though." She says, and you're unsure if she's joking or not about "if".You both stand there, silently, eventually putting your phones away. You both get closer to the entrance to the girl's locker room, hearing just the bare ends of a communication. A boy's voice, and a girl's voice, that's for sure, but anything beyond that, including specific content, is locked to your ears behind a loud, thrumming sound coming from the interior.>Charge in, guns blazing. [Reckless]>Try to think of a way you can do any reconaissance first. (Free Option) [Cautious]>"You know what? I'm starting to get the feeling that maybe this isn't for us. Uh. Let's bounce." [Frightened]>Free Option.
>>4601010>Try to think of a way you can do any reconaissance first. (Free Option) [Cautious]Try to eavesdrop, ear to the door. If that doesn't work, alchemize a peephole in the door.
>>4601010>Try to think of a way you can do any reconaissance first. (Free Option) [Cautious]Okay, potential ideas:Use the command of "Magnify" with the mental image of a cone to make a listening ear, press it against the wall to see if that makes it easier to make out sounds.Check the other door to the locker room, there should be one through the gym, see if the sounds are clearer from that end.Are there any peep holes in the boy's locker room? One hopes not, but it is a possibility and would be convenient for us. I suppose we could also make such a peep hole with Architectural Alchemy (command term "Peek").
>>4601010>>Try to think of a way you can do any reconaissance first. (Free Option) [Cautious]>Make a peephole from the boy's locker room
>>4601071>>4601062>>4601059"Right, time to build a peephole." You say, and Ken immediately thumps you in the shoulder. "For reconnaissance! It'll rubberband back shut anyway." Ken thumps you on the shoulder again, and you make a face at her - you're glad, at least, that the terrifying nature of the situation befalling you hasn't killed either one of your senses of humor.Making it into the boy's locker room is much easier than the girl's, with the wall providing a very, very slight amount of insulation from the oppressive feeling in the air. You find a nice looking spot on the wall that is not covered entirely by narrow lockers, and as you're about to go make a new hole in it, Ken gently pushes you. "Save your blood. Also, this spot won't do it." She says, pointing to the painted-over, large bricks. "Not nearly porous enough, layer of paint on it... Won't do. And we can't unlock every locker to look for a peephole inside them.""Why can't we? Just think of them all as a single unit." You ask. Ken raises a finger to reply with some sort of objection, but then it goes to her chin with a little bit of rubbing. She shrugs her shoulders."You owe me dinner." She says, getting the needle out, pricking her index finger and middle finger, and painting the blood droplets onto the lockers. Raising her hammer, she takes a deep breath and slams it into the side as quietly as she can, resulting in a light ringing noise while she mutters "Slip." under her breath. Almost immediately, she starts to look slightly dizzy, but quickly recovers, leaning back against the wall and pulling a power bar out of her pocket with her bloodied fingers. She wastes no time unwrapping it.There's a perfectly synchronized choir of clunk-clicks as the knocked padlocks all seem to simultaneously slip out of place, locker doors slightly swinging open. You go, one by one - nothing to steal, presumably since they only get used to store extra clothes during gym. Oh, wait, a couple of them have clothes in them. Nothing interesting that you could take, not that you're interested in taking anything to begin with.What is interesting, of course, is a small hole bored in the back of one of the lockers, literally about the size of your pointer finger. "Got it." You say, and Ken gives you a supportive wave."Go reconnaissance it up, pervert." She cracks, trying to maintain good humor. You scowl at her for a moment before narrowly squeezing yourself into the locker (on purpose this time!) and pressing your eye up against the peephole the best you can.You can't see much on the other side. A table pulled in from another room and set up, with some electronic-looking rectangle thing with four little... spokes? Coming off the top, short-to-tall. Focusing your eye notices a string of twine tied around it and a circle of, presumably, blood painted on the front - fresh. Tied to it, and sitting behind it, is something you do recognize.
>>4602760A diesel generator, except hooked up to several blood bags through plastic tubing that seems to be jury-rigged to it. From a small compartment attached to the front via a plug, it seems to be generating meat, slowly pushing out twitching muscle that slowly grows a layer of skin over it. The slowly growing pile of flesh spasms, revealing a bright blue eye that rolls around until it locks onto you.You immediately pull away. You didn't get to see anyone, but something gives you a feeling that you don't want to leave a pile of growing meat looking at you for long. "Well? What's the sitch?" Ken asks, with a mouthful of a second protein bar in her mouth smothering her noises."They've. Well." You say, slowly shutting the locker, and then going by and shutting the rest. "There's some rectangular doohickey I don't recognize on a table. Behind that is a diesel generator hooked up to several bags of blood, with some sort of... I think an automated sprinkler, but I'm not sure, slowly. Eugh. It's extruding person. Like, chunk by chunk. It looked at me."Ken stared at you, her face scrunching up into a furrowed expression of mute rage. "They're making homunculi. This is serious.""Come again?" You ask, squeezing the honing rod a little tighter."You can make people with alchemy - well, you can try, but it won't work. You can't imbue it with any pneuma, it's not really alive in any sense we'd consider alive, but they walk, and they talk, and they're dangerous. FOODS outlawed the creation of homunculi centuries ago, but I never thought I'd actually run into one. It's sort of an ancient, disused practice." She explains, leaning on her sledgehammer. She considers, visibly, pulling out a third power bar, but then decides against it. "I don't even know where you'd learn how to do that. As far as I was taught, all the relevant manuals were burnt centuries ago. This is a big deal."You try not to make any sort of detectable face when she mentions all the relevant manuals being burnt.>"Go, leave, get help sort of big deal?" [Cautious]>"We need to take care of this now sort of big deal?" Come up with a plan of action. [Brave]>Free Option.
>>4602761>"Go, leave, get help sort of big deal?" [Cautious]
>>4602761>"Go, leave, get help sort of big deal?" [Cautious]>Free Option.>"Do you think these alchemists are my age? Like, why else do this in a high school locker room?"I'm guessing these are two young, inexperienced alchemists who got sent a manual just like we did. Someone is grooming bioalchemists.
>>4602819A third faction maybe? Someone trying to kickstart new alchemists as well as dragons?
Since we're at page nine I'm probably going to pick up the next update with a new thread. Thanks for reading, all. :)
>>4604474Sure thing, Richard. See you next thread.
>>4604474Good stuff. Thanks for running, see you next thread!
Thread has been archived, typing up the new OP now, and please feel free to upvote the threads on suptg if you're enjoying them.http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dragon%20Slayer%20Quest
New thread: >>4605195