Your fingers twitch, shortly followed by a sudden intake of breath as you jerk forward and come back to your senses. Heavy breaths fill your lungs and you quickly run your hands across your body to make sure everything is still properly in place. You feel a lot better than you had expected you would, especially considering the last thing you remember was-"Teleporting into a Banshee? Haha..." A nostalgic voice laughed softly, snapping your attention up to the familiar face of the braided blonde whose face you had worn through the Diary of Reflections. Now that you weren't so focused on yourself, you realized that you recognized this room. Specifically, this was your room, this had been your room for ten years, there's no way you wouldn't be able to recognize this place. If you were here, then... "What happened to Carona?" You take a testing breath as you pull the covers aside and sit up properly against the headboard to get your bearings, "Where are my Testament?""Ho...?" Her eyes narrowed as a thin smile worked across her face, somehow the expression left you feeling very small before her even as she seemed more interested in reading the book held splayed in one hand. "To think there was an Atelier that close... You Solved it?" Something tickled in your chest at the measure of pride and surprise as she ignored your question and- Wait. "Asche, where are Ari and Kara? Where's Rinnier? How did we get back here?" You mentally tried to shake off the unbalance your were feeling as you tried to remember what brought you here. You had just finished the Mayor and then used the Atelier's power to get out from under the old Tier estate after it had been buried.The first time you had used that ability had been a painful joke. The second time... That was entirely your fault. You had remembered what was going to happen last time, at least, but... You clench your eyes shut as a pressure behind your eyes throbs in sharp complaint.
Right, you hadn't had much time; The Jinn apparition, Banshee, was going to go out of control. You had managed to use the Atelier's power to teleport out from underground, but it had thrown you directly into a tornado.Your memories were still blurry, but you remember the monumental funnel of dark winds that whipped and howled, tearing apart house, road and tree alike as it sucked you into its vortex. You remember your throat running hoarse as you yelled, and finally the struggle and burning pain in your lungs as you tried desperately to suck in air within the vacuum."Where has your sister gone?" The braided woman continued to ignore your discomfort as she flipped through the pages of her book, sparing only a brief scanning glance per page in her search. "You shouldn't have abandoned her, unless...""I didn't abandon anyone!" You snap back, feeling fiery indignity bloom inside of you, "Is that what you thought all this time? That I abandoned her?! You were there, Asche!" Your fists clenched as you threw the sheets aside and spun to set your feet on the ground... Only to find a black void beneath your bed. You felt the blood drain from your face as you hurriedly arrested your momentum and flopped back onto the bed in an attempt to avoid plunging off into the inky black. "What is this?" You tear your eyes from the featureless black and back to the woman with a long blond braid, realizing with a sinking sensation in your gut that even the chair she was sitting on seemed to hover over the abyss."Asche... Testament... What changed?" The woman frowned, holding her book away from her as if to stare at the entire thing in suspicion. "This doesn't make any sense, what am I missing?"You scowled, wanting your own answer to that question as your mind worked to try and make sense of what you had found yourself waking up to.
"Where am I? You aren't Asche." Perhaps for the first time since you had woken up, the woman seemed to notice you levelling a hostile glare across the featureless abyss at her. Surprise shifted to curiosity, and finally concern as she looked you over and swiftly stood upon the featureless black, dropping her book to fall what you briefly wondered to be actually a floor... Only to be swiftly disabused of the notion as the book continued to fall well past her feet and disappear into the distant abyss below."Repairs finished already...?""What-" You blinked, a wave of vertigo overtaking you as the abyss of the floor began to flake away; scraps of familiar wood and rug appearing in its place. You felt ill watching your room begin to reassemble itself... And even more so as the woman in front of you slowly grew darker, cracks spreading across her skin as she sighed with a fond exasperation."Oh Irue... You stupid, stupid child. What have you done?""Repai- Stupid?!"You reached out to grab onto the woman as her skin flaked away, revealing the same abyss your floor had once resembled, and felt yourself jerking forward, eyes opening to let painfully bright light flood into your crimson irises. Your hands closed around something solid, ripping it forward as you demanded answers-"Good morning, Irue."-Only to blink past the light which blurred your eyes and find the abyssal silhouette of that woman replaced by the much smaller Asche, sea-green eyes staring up at you stoically from where you had pulled her onto your bed and then pinned the smaller (m)aid against the soft cushions. You froze, staring at each other for two extremely painful breaths, before your body finally finished reconnecting with your mind and the signals of pain flooded your senses and left you to flop helplessly off to the side. Everything hurt.>Where am I?>Who are you?>What happened to Carona?>Where are my Testament?>Other? (Write-in)
Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?searchall=valen+questWhere things are said: https://twitter.com/Riz_QMWhere things are asked: http://ask.fm/RizQMAssorted Supplemental:Current Abilities - http://pastebin.com/PchcdWpwBasics of Mana - http://pastebin.com/V9b1DMrSA List of Forgotten Things - http://pastebin.com/kPEscJ3hLeadership - http://pastebin.com/hGhUA4wfWrite-ups:Kara's Day Out - http://pastebin.com/8ZbiSKLsAdventures with Asche - http://pastebin.com/RNviCBJuThe Reclaimed Doll - http://pastebin.com/n6miP1qTIn Your Shadow - http://pastebin.com/EfeeHFAEMisc notes:Stupid, stupid child. What have you done?Depending on how things go, tonight may be a short thread.
>>46275841>>Where are my Testament?
"Where are my Testament...?" You grit your teeth and force yourself to roll over, freeing Asche as you once more went through the mental process of your self-check list. All your bones were in place, but every muscle was sore. Breathing too sharply hurt, but otherwise wasn't too bad... It seemed like as long as you didn't make many sudden movements, it would just be a minor annoyance."Kara has kept to her room since we returned."Returned... You slowly pull yourself up, noticing the bandages wrapped around and around your body which had been hidden under the covers. There was more gauze showing than skin at this point, more concerningly, it seems some of it was starting to gain a scarlet stain. Your movement earlier must have reopened a wound? How many wounds did you even have under all of this bandage?"Clara has banned Ari from your room until further notice." Asche's report continued unheeded by your distraction, and your aunt's name served as a sure enough shock to make you pay rapt attention once more. "She is currently waiting outside the door.""Does she know I'm awake already...?"Asche shook her head shortly, "No, it is where she has chosen to stay.""..." You shared a silence, "How long has she stayed outside my door?""Since we returned.""How long ago was that?""One week."An entire week... You had been out for that long?"What about Rinnier?""That one holed herself into the library." Asche replied flatly, noticing the blood beginning to seep into your bandages. "You are still hurt.""I should be fine." You brush off her concerns as you moved to stand, stopping abruptly to hiss in pain and recoil from Asche's extended finger as she pointedly poked you in the rib. She met your wincing glare with a calm, reproving stare that informed you exactly what she thought of your self-diagnosis.
>My aunt is here?>Did you find anything in that house?>I had a metal shaft with me...>Do you still have the Diary of Reflections?>Other? (write-in)
>>46277007>>My aunt is here?>Did you find anything in that house?There was signs of Rinnier's people and the tiers in the under room. the mayor was there too.>I had a metal shaft with me...It pertains to Rinnier's search>Do you still have the Diary of Reflections?
>>46277007>My aunt is here?>I had a metal shaft with me...>Do you still have the Diary of Reflections?
>>46277007>>I had a metal shaft with me...>Do you still have the Diary of Reflections?Gotta check if we still have those.
>>46277007>My aunt is here?>I had a metal shaft with me...>Do you still have the Diary of Reflections?When I vaoted for teleporting last thread, I didn't think the storm would be spread as far as our destination point...
>>46277056>>46277093>>46277412My aunt is here?>>46277093>>46277056>>46277399>>46277412Where's my polearm? I earned that.>>46277056>>46277093>>46277399>>46277412Diary of Reflections.Writing.---Oh, hello everyone! Happy to see you guys could make it.
So, while Riz is writing, let me put forward a theory about our bracelet Relic.Namely, that it allows us to impose our emotions onto others.Creating apparitions is an unintended functionality. Meditating just allows us to establish communication with Mana, after which it becomes susceptible to the bracelet. Thats why the apparitions we create always embody whatever we felt at the moment, which was most clearly seen during summoning that Banshee.This is also why we remembered Dopplerue when mindbreaking the Mayor - we projected the feelings that drove her to suicide onto him.
>>46277962So it wasn't just that we talked him into a corner? It felt like a logical conclusion he had been ignoring, and that it'd just take someone nailing him on it for him to break.I can't really think of when else it could have happened this way though... except compelling Doppelrue. But that was also an apparition, kinda.Makes me wonder just how Asche would use it when she's so... Asche.
>>46278378She'd likely use it to try and feel something, anything. Or kill people from total derivation
You set back against the bed after losing the short staring contest with Asche, opting to humor her and take it easy... At least for now. More importantly, "Do you still have the Diary of Reflections with you?" Asche easily produced the Relic at your request; liquid pages bound in pristine leather that had been coated in a crystalline sheet of frost. This thing let you leave your own identity behind and assume the name and form of someone - anyone - completely different. It was a Relic that... A part of you had earned the ownership of through a series of unfortunate circumstances. You had certainly seen it put to good use since acquiring it, but now it raised more questions than it answered. You knew for a fact that nothing which came from the Mana came without a cost, whether or not you knew what that cost entailed had no weight in whether you would be forced to pay it or not. That braided blonde from earlier was still unsettlingly near the forefront of your mind, and you can't properly recall ever seeing her face before using that Relic... But she was also the face you had used the most of anyone else.Was it a result of that? Did it have something to do with her appearance?...Had you really never seen her before using that Relic though? Her face seemed so familiar."What happened to that metal rod I found?" You raise your arms almost absently as Asche looks over your bandages, pointedly refusing to vocalize your discomfort when she poked or prodded you this time. "Don't tell me it got lost in the Banshee...""It was removed not long after you were recovered." Asche answered blandly, and you squint at her wording, suddenly feeling a little more ill. "Removed...?""Yes." Asche glanced up at you, "It kept you alive, but is the cause of this-" Her fingers traced a circle on the front of your midrift, the light touches eliciting both a ticklish sensation and a minor sting of complaint.
"Of course." You deadpan, idly reaching around to feel out the corresponding circle on your back. "How did being impaled keep me alive, exactly?" "The shaft was propping up a collapsed wall when we found you." Asche nodded as you gingerly felt out the wounds that had inadvertently kept you alive. Sure it had turned you into a shish kabob, but it had also prevented you from becoming a pancake. You can't help but feel this was almost depressingly like what you expected from... Well, anything to do with Rinnier, really. Though you admit you were more used to the feeling being metaphorical, rather than... Literally stabbed through the gut."Where is it now?""Your aunt found it amusing and confiscated it for cleaning and mounting."...You weren't sure you wanted it mounted. You had planned on giving it to Rinnier; It belonged to her people, after all. It was also an important step towards finding where said Testament's people were now. "Why does she want to mount it?"Asche shrugged. You hadn't expected her to know the answer, but the confirmation still elicited a groan as you laid back against the headboard of your bed tiredly. "When did Aunt Clara get here?""Soon after the Banshee spread. She arrived with Caylen to suppress it.""Suppress it... I thought the Shrine would handle it?"You looked to Asche for answers, but if she had any to give, she wasn't planning to share. All the same, you would probably be better served asking your dear aunt Clara herself if you really wanted to know. Their presence was probably a prime factor in why you only had painfully tender and weak skin across your wounds now, instead of large gaping holes in your torso.Your hand drifts towards your left wrist, rubbing habitually against the oddly sensitive bare skin. You should probably dedicate some time to Wisp's meditations to try and speed your recover-...
"Asche, where is my bracelet?""I removed it." She answered flatly."Ah." You sigh thankfully, "I was worried I lost it... Where did you put it?""Away."You blink at the... unexpectedly short answer as she stared you down. "Bring it back to me soon then, not wearing it feels..." You didn't notice it when you had first woken up, and even several minutes after that, but it was almost as if your arm was naked. The skin prickled where the metallic, dual-ringed accessory once hung against your skin; It was subtle, a faint scratch that wouldn't leave you, no matter how much you tried to ignore it. It felt wrong."No." Regardless of your inner monologue, her rejection was absolute. "You will hurt yourself.">Demand your bracelet back>Explain that you're not going to hurt yourself>Brush it off, she probably has a good reason for this.>Other? (write-in)
>>46278784>Explain that you're not going to hurt yourselfIf she won't relent ask for training since she seems to know something about it
>>46278784>>Brush it off, she probably has a good reason for this.You can go without your bracelet for now.
>>46278756>confiscated it for cleaning and mounting...I suppose we'll have to thank our Aunt for her sadistic humor later, since we need that thing.>>46278784>>Explain that you're not going to hurt yourself>>Other? (write-in)I think it's happened enough times that we'll be more careful, but I want Asche to explain what she means by that anyway.
>>46278823>>46278976I promise not to hurt myself!>>46278874Well if you say so.>>46278976Other: How are we going to hurt ourselves?Writing.
>>46278784Demand explanations from Asche. How could we hurt ourselves with a bracelet?
"Asche, I'm not stupid." For some reason you felt the express need to point that you before you continued, the memory of your dream moments ago still infuriatingly fresh. "You gave me that bracelet before I knew it was a Relic, so you must have trusted me to handle it in the first place.""It was a mistake."You recoil slightly at the blunt admission. "Look, Asche, I know it's not just a bracelet now. I'm going to be more careful with it from now on, but it's still Ariel's old bracelet; I want it back." You held her stare for a brief, contemplative moment before she shook her head again. Anger spiked inside of you, the urge to raise your voice bubbling just at the bottom of your throat, and you took a moment to close your eyes and master that sensation before moving on. You were angry... Too angry over this. Asche didn't deserve to be yelled at for trying to look out for you.Asche was the last person you wanted to yell at. Not after everything she'd done for you, and how long she'd staid by your side. You let out a heavy breath, realizing how strange that feeling of rage had really been once given a moment to think it over. You were still angry... But it was distant enough you could put it aside and be confused."Then... Give it back to me, and teach me how to use it." You slowly find the words to fit together, "You know what it is, you can help me use it without hurting myself, can't you?""...Yes." It took her several moments, but her nod contained an uncertain hesitation you had difficulty coinciding with the placid (m)aid. "I will return it... Soon.""Soon." You grit your teeth frustratedly, "Why not now? The sooner we start the better, right? Why put it off?""You have already hurt yourself." Asche's lips tugged down, her stoic expression slipping dangerously close to a frown as she stood her ground against you, "You need time.""I'll heal faster WITH the bracelet, Asche. My body can take that much."
"Your body is not what you hurt." Asche closed her eyes with a finality, "You are the rightful owner, I will return it to you... Until then, please. Let yourself heal."You swallowed, caught speechless in the face of Asche's plea. She had no right to keep your late sister's bracelet from you, but.. It was rare that Asche asked for anything. Rare enough that your confusingly stubborn indignation could be set aside. "...Alright." You sigh finally, "I'll wait... But I want answers.""Yes." Asche bowed her head in acknowledgement, her eyes once again open when she rose. The threatening traces of a frown nor thoroughly gone, leaving you with the same stoic expression you had grown accustomed to seeing for the past ten years.>What do you want to ask about the Bracelet?
>>46280015What exactly does it do? How did using it hurt me? Do you know it's origin? If so what it is? Why did my sister have it before she gave it to me?
>>46280015What does it do exactly?What DID we hurt, if not our body? Is it starting to fuck with us emotionally?Asche doesn't seem the type to just make mistakes... it bugs me that she seems to be regretting letting us have it at all.
"The bracelet... It's a Relic.""Yes.""What does it do?" You rub your bare wrist once more, trying to assuage the uncomfortable sensation of having nothing to press against the skin. Your acceptance of waiting for Asche to return it to you only seemed to have aggravated your awareness of the fact that you didn't currently have it on you. "I've been able to summon apparitions with it... Powerful ones. At first I thought I was just being unlucky to keep running into them, but it's always been my fault, hasn't it?""Yes." Her confirmation didn't miss a beat, and you felt a sense of frustration upon realizing that one of the biggest sources of conflict in the past few months had been your own doing. "Then what... It lets me summon apparitions? Just, any kind?""...It should not." She shook her head, "The bracelet Calls; Mana answer. When there is no answer, the call... Echoes-" She held her hand against her chest solemnly, "-What is inside.""..." your wrist feels very bare at that, but this time it is more the fault of your left arm slipping away than any lack of bracelet. Almost instinctually, you felt as if you wanted it held as far away from your touch as you could. Mana are the composite of this world, you knew it by heart from studying. They were the components, the individual pillars, upon which everything was derived. To Call a Mana specifically was... Terrifying. To seek out the implicit attention of one of those fundamental forces-You remembered, with a shock that nervously twisted through your spine, the sensation of having come into contact with the Simulacra Fragment of Luna.It was impossible for there to be 'no answer' to a Call for Mana in the area, the world itself was Mana. Every drop of water, speck of dust, tongue of flame, stray breeze. Even life itself embodied Mana in some shape or fashion... Unless that call was specific."Meditation.""Yes."
Aligning yourself with Mana was a trial, one that demanded diligence and consistency. Natural affinity could only move you so far before you the limits of humanity were met. The mind was fundamentally different from Mana... If you wanted to further your affinity, then you needed to manually work to align yourself. Not all at once, but as a gradual progression over time.Meditation naturally divided the broader concept of Mana into steps. It was compartmentalized for the exact reason that it was impossible to make that shift all at once. It allowed its practitioners to focus purely on what they believed they needed to move on.You swallowed, feeling a familiar self-loathing begin to boil up from the darker recesses of your mind, working to swallow the rapidly fading flames of anger into their inky pitch. If there wasn't a specific type of apparition close enough to hear the call......It echoed what was inside."The Doppleganger." You choked out two words, feeling as if the confirmation you were seeking would be the same as twisting the knife one final time. Unfortunately, you already knew the answer, and Asche's unhesitating nod was purely a formality.Any Doppleganger would mimic someone... That wasn't just 'any' Doppleganger. It had been yours. One born purely, specifically, from your own insecurities. Called from within, forced to manifest, and then... Your stomach churned as you leaned over, grasping your bedside basket and heaving into it. Nothing came up, there was obviously nothing in your stomach to relinquish, but the sickening twisted knot in your gut forced you to try.Asche stood by your bedside, patiently waiting for you to finish... And in time, you did. Acrid globs of thick yellow mucus that you dimly recognized as stomach acid - The only thing besides water still capable of being forced out of your stomach - floating carelessly in the bottom of the basket.
"You tear away a piece of yourself to create them." Asche explained softly, "...Searing the wound shut when they are killed.""What... In Shade's name is it?""A tool. One you did not know how to use." Asche closed her eyes again, "One which will use you.""...My sister had something like that?" You pressed your jaw shut as you focused on breathing the nausea away, "Why? Where did something like that... What kind of Aeon even creates that?" You looked towards Asche desperately, searching for some answer or explanation, but only found her blank face and closed eyes, as if to tell you she had none to give. "Why did my sister even HAVE that?""She refused to let it go." Asche answered simply, "She claimed it was the most precious thing to her."You felt sick, now more than ever."That's enough for now." Your head hangs heavily, even as you set aside the basket. Somewhere, buried under this near physically self-destructive level of self-loathing, you could still distantly feel the desire to have the bracelet back... But you would ignore it for now.>Let Ari in>Call for aunt Clara>I need to take a walk.>Other? (write-in)
>>46281842>>Let Ari in
>>46281842>Call for aunt Clara
>>46281842>I need to take a walk.
>>46281842>Let Ari in
>>46281908>>46282112>>46282191Letting the Ari in.>>46282034Taking a walk.>>46281972Calling for auntie.Writing!I was worried it would stay a three way tie.
>>46275865>Stupid, stupid child. What have you done?SHUT UP! YOU'RE NOT MY REAL MOM!
>>46282312but what if
>>46282599Then, SHUT UP MOM! YOU'RE NOT MY REAL DAD!
Having had your fill of learning terrible things for the morning, you made a point of trying to get more comfortable as you set up in bed. You didn't want to lay around in bed any longer than you had to, there was still a lot of work you needed to get done... Even if you only recently had a polearm literally impaled through you. Among other things. Still, Asche wasn't keen on allowing you out of bed for now, and you can't honestly say you're feeling up to the task yourself after your conversation just now."Tell Ari she can come inside." You finally find a comfortable position as Asche nods, leaving your bedside to open the door; An action which, after an instance of exchanged words, removes the only barrier between you and the disconcertingly scrawny brown haired girl who had relatively recently become one of your Testament. Over the months she had undoubtedly had the most physical changes of anyone else, going from being someone who could barely walk on their own, much less talk, to the slightly unsteady person before you."Master!" Your teeth clamped down on the hiss of pain that tried to escape as she dove into your side excitedly, thin arms wrapped around your torso. "You're awake, you're okay now, aren't you? You'll be okay soon?" This was the girl who had realized your Doppleganger had replaced you before anyone else. The one who had blackmailed said Doppleganger into getting her way, and later, mercilessly seized control of your knights to plan an all out seige of Carona in order to get you back.Thankfully Dullem had been around to stop that last part from happening, because you're uncomfortably uncertain what the result of Ari spurring the wooden golem into that level of violence would have been. Thanks to your Knight Captain's temperance, she had 'only' been obsessively ripping guards from the walls and abducting patrols for nearly three days, then leaving them tied up in poison ivy to hang from a branch.
Doing your best to ease her off your lap without stretching your healing wounds, you realized that if it came down to loyalty, there was very little that Ari probably wouldn't do for you. It was... Unnerving, honestly. Thinking back, you find it difficult to look at anything you had done which would have led to you deserving this level of dedication from her, yet this is how it turned out.She had been malnourished when she was bought, to the point that it was childishly simple to count each individual rib, or the contour of her arm and leg. She could barely walk back then, and even now seemed to become winded quickly. You can still clearly remember the oily way her hair had clung together, and the mottled yellow, brown and dark blues which had composed the expansive bruisings marring her skin.Whatever life she had come from before, the girl before you could only scarcely be considered to resemble it....But had you really done anything for her? The question lingered in the back of your mind as you assured her that you would be fine.>What do you want to ask Ari?
>>46283024First and foremost, has she been doing well while we've been k.o.'ed and because we missed the opportunity before...How did she know dopplerue wasn't us?
>>46283024How was her week?Does she need anything?Has she been eating?Generally, how is she?
>>46283024>>46283180>How was her week?How was her last several months? She's the least outwardly opinionated from the whole quest, I wonder if she even has one.
>>46283113>>46283180>>46283239All of these.Also what happened to Carona.
>>46283113>>46283180>>46283239>>46283306Writing.--->>46283306You happened to Carona, anon.
>>46283324>You happened to Carona, anon.No, like, is there still enough of a city to hate, or do we have to find another one?
>>46283456we can light the remains on fire too, no worries.
Speaking of Carona I hope that Behemoth still existing doesn't fuck us up later.
>>46283745We'll burn it too. We'll burn everything.
"Sorry I've been down for so long." You eventually succeed in prying Ari slightly off of you, getting the girl to take a seat next to your bed. The sight was a little nostalgic, considering the last time you remember Ari actually being in your room was back before you had left for Carona initially. She had taken to hiding under your desk back then, but it seemed like the floor was just something that agreed with her....Rather, she would probably sit on your bed if you told her to, but it was a little worrying how easily she just assumed the floor was where she was supposed to be."Nn." She shook her head, "It's not the first time I waited for Master. I'm not even apologizing this time!"You blink, letting the memories slink back to you from what feels like nearly a year ago. She had been nearly inconsolable back then, panicking over one thing or another to the point you had mentally dubbed her 'the panicky one'... A secret you would keep to yourself."How has your week been?""I've been... Learning as much as I can." she explained meekly, a tentative smile nervously directed up at you as you encouraged her to go on. "Back then... You told me about the Celestial Mana, Luna. How it liked to know things, and it favoured the curious."Ah, you remember that. It had been a split second thing to try and stop her from crying, and you'd eventually used it as an excuse to take her to the library and read up more on it."...I never forgot that. I couldn't read the books you tried to show me, but the pictures were so pretty. E-Even now, I can't really... I've been trying to learn to read! Asche helps me, and so does Rinny- I mean... Uhm." Her eyes dipped, "There's still a lot I don't understand Master, but I've been doing my best."
She trailed off a little, waiting for your reaction. It was clear that she wasn't used to talking this much, and it seemed she was still uncertain if it was even something she should be doing. For your part though, talk about Luna reminded you of a number of unpleasant things, not the least of which being your encounter with the Simulacra Fragment, and the stress of having to deal with Mim's antics."So you've been studying outside my door all week?""Mm!" She nodded quickly, leaning closer to your bedframe as she did so. "I'm still trying to read the first book you showed me. It's... Still confusing, but I'm getting better, I promise! I'll figure it out soon, so please give me a little more time...!""Don't rush it." You shake your head, "A lot of books on Luna are complicated even for me... It's not something you're supposed to binge in the first place. Think about what you're reading, internalize it, then go back later and reread it. Knowledge's value isn't always a short term answer... some times you don't find a use for something you learned until much later."This was a lesson you'd learned first hand over the last few months. One you had thought you knew before this whole adventure began. None the less, Ari nodded seriously, taking your word nearly as law. "I promise I won't disappoint you, Master. I'll find a way to be useful to you. It's not just books, I've been watching you and Rinny-.. Uu.." Your lip quirks at how terrible Ari seems to be at letting slip that nickname.You hadn't even realized they had any kind of relationship, much less a friendly one."I've been watching though! Trying to learn as much as I can! You especially, Master. I learned how to use the things I know from watching you. I learned... The difference between 'knowledge' and 'wisdom'. That just knowing something won't help if you don't know how and when to use it. That the value of information changes!"
"...That's amazing." You find yourself listening more and more fascinatedly as Ari takes your curiosity as a sign to continue telling you about the thing she learned, and the people she learned it from. She had always been so quiet, you never gave her much of a second thought..."I learned how to use what other people know, and how what people think they know can matter as much as what they really do or don't!"But she had been next to you nearly the entire time. When had Ari changed from the frightened girl you bought her as to... This? It was almost chilling how familiar some of this was beginning to sound."And I learned that what someone feels is as important as what they think." She beamed excitedly. "I've learned it all for you, Master." She very nearly preens under your attention, "I'll keep learning, I'll get even better for you, so..." She trailed off, finally falling into silence as she decided to just leave her sentence hanging there as you took it all in."...There is one thing I'm curious about." You finally find some ground to stand on after that deluge, and it traces back to something that had... Not bothered you, but your Doppleganger. "Back at Caylen's... How did you know the Doppleganger wasn't really me?" Because it had been you. Physically, down to the last detail, it was you. It was even made from a piece of you, and its very nature was meant to mimic you... Exactly two people had been able to see through it: Asche, and..."Because it wasn't you." Ari answered innocently, staring at you raptly, "I've spent every moment we've been together watching you, Master. You're the most important thing to me, of course I know when it isn't you." You resist the urge to oblige the shiver that ran down your spine as she smiled earnestly at you, "I know more about you than anything else.""Oh."...Asche stared on unperturbed from behind Ari.The room was suddenly very quiet after that.
"Can you... Tell me what happened to Carona, then?""Mm..." She nodded immediately, visibly trying to recall as much as she could. "I was waiting outside with your Knights like you told me to, but someone came from the Forest... I think he was your cousin...? He came, with his mother, and this really strong lady in white, with a buuunch of knights." Her arms stretched out pointedly, "Your cousin stayed with us, but his mother said she had something to do, and went into Carona. Not long after there was this huge tornado, and the town started coming apart!"You wince at that. You had declared several times you had wanted the town to burn, but... Wanton destruction via tornado just didn't seem quite as romantic. "I don't really know what happened next, but the sky opened up, and it was over."...Wha?"What?""I'm sorry. I stayed outside like you told me to, I don't know what happened... Just... the clouds parted, and the tornado stopped. It was really sunny and clear."You feel like you missed something terrifying.>Ask about something else>Send Asche to go get someone else (Who?)>Time to go for a walk.>Other? (write-in)
>>46284410>Time to go for a walk.Visit Rinnier, find out how she's doing and guilt trip her with our bandaged look.
>>46284410>>Time to go for a walk.>>Other? (write-in)This >>46284457 and bring Ari with us, if that wasn't going to happen automatically
Well, one down... You stretch your legs out, glancing dubiously at the floor to ensure that it is, in fact, not just a gaping black abyss before setting your feet down to feel the solid ground for the first time in at least a week. "Master?" Ari blinks up at you, scrambling to her feet quickly as she steps towards you."I can't just lay in bed all day." You groan, feeling the aches of your ill used muscles being coerced back into working. Standing is... Tricky. You sway on your feet for a few seconds, feeling a little self-conscious at Asche and Ari's attentive observation, before you stubbornly master your own balance. It wasn't nearly as difficult as waking up as yourself had been, which meant that aside from the fact that your stomach hurt, you could walk just fine on your own."May as well announce that I'm back up." You grouse wryly, accepting the stick from Ari as you made your way out of your room.It was actually a little strange, waking up in a home you hadn't been back to in months. Everything was more or less as you had remembered it; Curtains drawn, morning sunlight filtering in, patrols of guards outside the window, empty halls...One of those things was not as you had remembered it. You stop momentarily to look out the window and confirm with some measure of discomfort that those weren't even YOUR knights; They were your Aunt's.Even though Asche had already told you this, this basically confirmed that she was on the premises still. You're not certain if you're in any shape to be running into her just yet, though... An encounter like that feels like it would lay you back out for another day or two by the time it was over. On the other hand, this was your house. You had no reason to be sneaking through your own halls, especially not the ones you had lived almost alone in for ten years.With your decision in mind, you started mentally charting a course towards the library you remember Rinnier frequenting.
Your trip through the familiar halls was uneventful, but did leave you to encounter a few faces of varying familiarity. Knights, some of them bearing the full regalia that marked them rather proudly as your aunt's... Which, you got the uncomfortable feeling, meant she would shortly be aware that you were up and about again. Others were more casually dressed, leather vests and roughly hewn shirts making up just about all of their given 'uniform'. These faces were familiar to you, and the recognition that showed on their faces as you walked was a far cry distance from the distant intellectual "Name-to-Face" that your aunt's knights had shown.They recognized you. Recognized YOU. Not who you were, nor your position as heir to House Valen, but as Irue. As the person they had wound up pledging their service to, and the person who led them on an unexpectedly successful snake hunt. While the end realization that the rest of the house would very quickly know you were back up was the same, you found yourself far less reticent about it.They weren't on orders to report to their superiors about you, they were just excited to see you moving again.It was so alien to walk these familiar empty halls... And find they weren't so empty any more. You got a myriad of passing gestures from your knights that ran the gamut between sloppily practised salutes (had they been copying your aunt's knights...?) a raised fist accompanying a shout that nearly always led to you wincing from the reverberation, and casual waves.Eventually though, you did find your way to the library, stepping inside to - Much to your exasperation - See the table you had left a great deal of books out on just before leaving for Caylen's. Those books were still there, some of them still open, even...And one table over, you found who you had come looking for.
A familiar head of long crimson tresses sat with a long metal shaft held balanced across her thighs as she poured over a small book of Alchemical Theory. It was something you had barely read, only glancing through once or twice when your studies had turned to the concept of Dual Mana application in the sciences.Given the illustrations of Salamander and Gnome visible as you approached, it didn't take you much to guess that it, and the rag of indeterminate origin in her hand were all connected to the uniquely Teranford Forged polearm shaft in her lap... Somehow.That was where your knowledge of literally anything she was doing ended, you weren't an alchemist. If it didn't directly relate to Mana, you had pretty much ignored it.She glanced up at the sound of your entrance, briefly acknowledging your presence before turning her eyes back to the pages before her as she ran the rag across the polearm's shaft.>Wait for her to say something>Told you I'd find something down there>'Sup Rinny.>Ask her a question>Other? (write-in)
>>46285202>Ask her a question"How are you doing after your imprisonment?"
>>46285232Self preservation was never our strong suit.>>46285283But we have questions!Writing.Also getting tired. I don't think I'll be able to finish this tonight at this rate!If I end up falling asleep soon, what are the odds we can keep the thread from archiving before I wake up?
"Good morning, Rinny. Enjoying your present?""I had been, but now I'm considering putting it back where I found it." She glances up at you with narrowed eyes as she shifts her hips to rearrange the shaft's angle. "That name isn't for you; Don't use it."You hold your hands up defensively as the wound in your stomach twitches sympathetically, "Sorry, I didn't know it was that important." She gives you a flat look as you grab one of the empty chairs and take a seat. "No... I'm sorry." She shakes sighs after a moment, returning to wiping down the shaft with a distant expression, "It's not.. Something I was expecting to hear from you.""I heard it from Ari earlier." You glance off into the library where you had sent Ari to find some books she was interested in so you could talk alone, drawing a distracted nod from your conversational partner. "To be honest, I just wanted to see how you'd react.""Sounds like you." She acknowledged dully, "I'd rather you not call me that so flippantly in the future.""...So I can call you-""No."You laugh softly, sitting back in your chair with a shallow huff. "How are you doing?" Her lips thinned as she worked, but no answer was forth coming. "Are you okay?" you pressed, The rag in her hand sliding to a stop finally. "...No. Yes. I don't know. I'd rather not talk about it with you.""I'm... Sorry?" Your shoulders sag as you settle back, "What did I do this time? I thought you'd be happy to finally have some progress on finding your people. I nearly died to get that thing, you know?""I know." She answered shortly, lips curling into a frown, "And I am... It's complicated.""Is it complicated, or do you just not want to try and talk about it?" Your own scowl starts to mirror hers as agitation colors your inflection, "I can't just read your mind about these things, Rinnier. If you don't tell me what's bothering you, I can't help."
"Your help is the problem." She finally leaned back in her chair to look at you, "I've seen how you work, Irue. You show the same face to everyone, and say all the right things to get what you want. What do you want me to do, Irue? Tell you what's bothering me? So you can 'fix it' and walk out of here with another thing checked off on your list?""That's not-""Not what? True?" She cuts you off, but the fire you're accustomed to hearing has long since left her voice, only a smouldering pit of embers cooling in its wake. "It's how you got your knights, it's how you played your cousin, thinking back on it, it's the first thing I ever heard out of you - It's how you ended up with the three of us. It just took me longer to realize it, and that's my fault. I was so convinced you were too naive that I didn't realize how naive I was being.""-What I came to do." You finish lamely, unable to really object to anything she had said. Talking the Talk was something you were exceedingly skilled at, and you would be the first to admit - in private, and only to yourself - that you had skirted across the Finish Line of more than one stressful event, way over your head, through sheer bluff. "So what? Because I'm good at convincing people, you hate me now?""No, I don't... I don't hate you, Irue. I just don't trust you." She sighed, "Or... I didn't. I still don't. Do you even understand how dangerous you are?"You blink, thinking back over the past... Half a year. "I think I could stand to be marginally more dangerous, actually." Memories of your fight with Roderick, then the Mayor. The encounter with the snake near Caylen's, the unsettling memories of Nightgaunt wings beating just out of sight, and the imposing terror that had nearly stopped your shadow's heart when the Guardian of the Ice Queen's Atelier had stepped out from its 'painting'. "...A lot more dangerous." You correct absently.
"You're dangerous because I don't know who you are." Rinnier ignored your comment pointedly, "I can't talk to you, because I'm afraid of what you're going to do. You wear the same mask, with the same voice and words, to try and be friends with me and find out what's wrong that you do to twist people around your finger."You remember this. A similar conversation the two of you shared back at Caylen's, against a sunset on the parapet. It hadn't been resolved then, and you suppose it was never resolved afterwards... And unfortunately, you had as little to say about it then as you do now.You nearly died trying to get that shaft in her lap and find out about her people. Hell, you're the reason she even got rescued, what else did she want from you?>If she can't trust you, what about Ari or Kara? Asche?>What else can you even do? you saved her once and almost died getting her information!>She doesn't need to trust you; If she keeps her side of the deal, you'll keep yours.>Other? (Write-in)
>>46285824>>If she can't trust you, what about Ari or Kara? Asche?
>>46285824>What else can you even do? you saved her once and almost died getting her information!
>>46285848What about everyone else?>>46285897I nearly died for you, shit. What else do you want?Writing.
>First good nights sleep in ages>On the one night I'd resolved to stay upShiieet, up just in time to get shit on by Rinnier. If she's still a bitch after this conversation we should have Asche tie her up and impersonate her during testament inspection day.
"Has it occurred to you that maybe you could trust the people around you that aren't me?" You cross your arms, "You get along with Ari, don't you?""We got to know each other at Caylen's, yes." She answered flatly, "Are you trying to tell me I can believe in her, who believes in you? Have you even talked to the girl, Irue? She'll believe anything you tell her.""What she'll believe isn't the point, but what have I done to her? What has her trusting me really gotten her? She's happy, and I sacrificed an entire camp of brigands to save her.""Of course she's happy, remember the state she was in BEFORE you bought her! Anything is an improvement over that, and if you had left her to the brigands then this whole Rite of yours would have gone straight down the drain.""What about Kara then?""What ABOUT Kara?" Rinnier riposted, "She's a demihuman, or had you forgotten? If anything, the fact you're getting along with one of them is even more worrying."Your teeth snap together in a reflexive snarl, but you had already kept a tight grip on that particular type of response once this morning. "Have you given any thought to Kara beyond her race? Even just once tried to talk to her?""No, Irue, because I know what demihumans are. I know what they do... It's the same thing YOU do. It's why this whole problem is here!""You may know demihumans, but you don't know Kara." You lean forward to place your finger pointedly upon the table as you stare down Rinnier heatedly, "Justify it all you want, but I put my neck on the line to save Ari, and am willing to at the very least try putting my faith in her, which is more than you're doing." "I'd be perfectly willing if I didn't already KNOW what her race does!"
"She isn't her race!" You snap back, "But fine, what about Asche? Do you trust her?""When it comes to you? No. She's your... Maid. Or something. Why would I trust her?""Caylen, then? He's too straight forward to lie worth a damn, do you trust him?""No! I don't even know him, why would I-""Then who do you trust?!" Your fist slams against the table frustratedly, "You've got an excuse for everyone you've met, Rinnier. If it's not one thing, it's another, some reason you can't rely on them. I damn near died trying to find clues on where your people went, and I sure as hell didn't need to do any of that, but I did. What else do you want from me until you trust me? It doesn't get much more genuine than that!""...."You feel your cheek twitch. "What was that?" Your throat tightens as the words slip out of your throat, "Did you think of another excuse?""What does it matter?" She repeated louder, "We made our deal already, you're holding up your end; I'll hold up mine. That's all you came here for, isn't it?"You feel your nails starting to dig into your palm as the urge to reach across the table and smack her flares. "That's it?" You ask incredulously, "That's what we're doing now? We're just going to ignore that you just admitted to not trusting anyone and go back to that?""What else do you want to do? I told you I didn't want to talk about this!""I wanted to help!""I don't want your help!""Then what the fuck do you want?!""I want to go home!" Rinnier slammed the butt of the polearm into the ground as she stood, "I want my brothers back, I want my father and my bedroom, I want all of this to go away, but it won't! None of what I want matters anymore, none of it! I have a responsibility to my people, and they come first...! And..." She sucked in a breath, chest heaving as her hair slipped forward when she hung her head, "And even if they didn't, there's nothing for me to go back to!"
The library lapsed into silence, your exchanged shouting match quickly receding into echoes that you realized had exactly zero chance of Ari having not heard. Rinnier was breathing heavily across from you, one hand wrapped tight enough around the cleaned polearm shaft that her knuckles shone white as her arm shook. She swiped her wrist behind the curtain of redhair, the residual moisture barely visible as it glinted of the light in between the futile attempt to hide tears."I know what you did for me." She choked, wrist twisting as she ground the butt of the Polearm into the floor and thrust the upper portion towards you. "I spent the last FOUR DAYS cleaning your blood off of this. I was with that demihuman when we found you still holding this damn thing. You weren't even conscious and... You had a kitchen knife in your stomach too, for some reason."You wondered where that went. "But no, I don't trust you. I don't want to trust you, or anyone else." The end of the polearm dipped as her arm slackened, her tirade continuing softly. "I lost everything I trusted, and all I have left are responsibilities. Once my people are safe, I won't even have those. Then I'm done. It's over then, understand?"Something stirs in the back of your mind.A bitter memory, seeped in loathsome black....It tasted a lot like Hate.>Fine, but we have a deal still.>Leave>Ultra Violence>Other? (Write-in)
>>46286501It sounds suspiciously like Rinnier is giving up on herself.>Other. Let's reproduce whatever educational method had persuaded us that we are not allowed to give up.
>>46286571seems reasonablealso what the hell does ultra violence even mean?
>>46286635It means stand up straight to pick a fight with Rinnier and immediately fall over and bleed out on the floor.
>>46286635It means Violence, on a larger than normal scale.Also normally I'd roll with your vote, but I'd like to point out that Irue's mantra for not giving up relies pretty heavily on the "other people will pay the price" part. She's planning to remove that element first, so its kind of moot.
>>46286664eeh, in that case i'd rather just cut our losses and leave. i never know what to say to rinnier.
>>46286664Well, then I pick ultra-violence.All three options look shitty, desu.
>>46286720why would you do that
>>46286571Try to convince her otherwise>>46286684Leave>>46286720Ultra Violence...Did anyone in this list change their vote? Just to be sure.
>>46286754I changed my vote from convincing to violence. Because I'm stumped.
Alright, then 1. Leave2. Violence.I'll roll for it in 5m if no one breaks the tie.>>46286768Rinnier is a difficult character to deal with.
>>46286784lurkers pls>>46286768why would you pick violence if you're stumped? unless you know something i don't this is the one thing guaranteed to make things worse
>>46286784>ultra violencebecause leaving won't do anything anyway
>>46286684Leaving>>46286720>>46286808>>46286818ViolenceAn anon is crying somewhere.I'll do some Q/A about this choice split at the end of the thread if you remind me. I feel like the signs for her current condition are clear, but the outcome for the decisions are likely murky.
>>46286900i'm just hoping ultra violence isn't actual physical violence
Your feet were moving before your mind could restart, fingers clenched as you crossed the table and felt your face distort into a snarl. By the time your mind had caught up to you, you could already feel the the sting of broken skin along the back of your hand; Flecks of scarlet adorning your fingers as Rinnier stared up at you, a moment of time frozen in shock with a splattering of red from one nostril as confused eyes stood stock wide behind disarrayed hair. You spared a thought for her bloodshot eyes, the way her mouth hung open, and the way time seemed to very slowly reassume its normal pace as you got to watch every inch of her face contort into unbridled fury. You kind of wish time had stayed slow at that point, because maybe it would have given you a chance to avoid her scrambling to launching herself into a spear tackle that folded you in half at the hips and sent you both careening back onto the hard library floor.This was a bad idea. Intellectually, if you had stopped to think, you could have looked at the situation and just inherently understood that even in top shape, Rinnier was a fighter. She swung that Polearm around like it was nothing, and you had seen her fight before. On the best of days, she would have 'just' kicked your ass. This was admittedly not the best of days. This was arguably one of the worst of days.You knew that. Really.But as her fingers dug into your throat and the air started to cut off, you also knew that it wouldn't have mattered. Logical thought had been thrown out the window the moment you found out what her plans had been. You had seen someone walk that path before, you had talked a man into walking that path before, it was a course of action you were becoming uncomfortably familiar with...And you hated it.
Your hips bucked up, dislodging Rinnier just as you had the Mayor a week ago. You felt something rip as her body rocked forward, something you dutifully ignored as you jerked your head up to meet her nose and send her recoiling back away and off of you. You felt more of her blood squish across your forehead, a of adrenaline that helped blunt the pain you felt when the two of you scrambled back to your feet and you were quickly reminded that Rinnier was, in fact, very good at fighting. Your surprise attack paid back two.. three... four... Five fold before one of your wild lashes could break through the melee and jerk her head aside by a handful of her hair.An action which, moments later, she reciprocated. With the addition of directing your face towards her knee. The knee didn't really matter, even though it admittedly rocked your world in a very dizzying sense, but all told it wasn't what was important.What ensued could hardly be called a fight between the two of you. It was not a swift affair, nor elegant or graceful. You had long since passed the point of exchanging speeches about values, and all you could communicate with now was angry voiceless screaming.Yours was angrier. Objectively speaking. You could hear her crying as you tore into each other, which meant that at least some meaningful percent of her screaming was some emotion that didn't burn with the white, hot intensity of a thousand suns.At some point you realized you no longer felt anything tearing as you fought. It was a freeing feeling, like you could finally go all out without worrying about anything else. It upped the ante, your own blonde hair staining a similar shade of crimson as your eyes as your exchanges became little more than heaving twists and spiteful strikes.Had Ari heard this? Was she watching the two of you fight...?
The thought occurred to you almost out of nowhere, prompting the light headed urge to actually check if the timid Testament was actually watching from anywhere near this bloodstained modern art that Rinnier and you had painted onto the library floor, walls and tables with each other's bodies.It was when your foot slipped, the ground under you proving to be far less providing of traction when coated in slicks of blood, and you stumbled forward too heavily. You felt something press against you, heard something rip as you felt your stomach twist and the urge to throw up promptly made itself known. You choked it back, tightening your abdominals to ignore the discomfort as Rinnier's guard finally dropped, her hands falling aside in shock.She was trying to say something, but whatever it was happened to be lost upon contact with your fist sending her splaying back onto her back."Ha... Ha..." You sucked in air, tasting the rich copper on your tongue, unwilling to try and breathe through a nose that was likely nothing but blood and mucus at this point. "I... I didn't..." You staggered forward as she stammered, glancing down to notice exactly what had caused her to stop fighting."Y...You slipped...I didn't... I'm sorry, please don't-"Ah.She put it back where she found it.You felt your knees give out from under you, distantly hearing Rinnier scream your name as you went to slump forward... And failed to do that.This shaft was unusually reliable at propping things up.
You stared at Asche from your bed, a fresh set of bandages wrapped around you in far more ways than your last one had managed. She stared back, an impassive expression on her face as Ari quietly read a book somewhere beyond the foot of your bed."I want to go for a walk.""No."Another day passed in the manor.
I'm going to head to bed. If you guys can keep the thread unarchived until I wake up, I'll go ahead and resume when I wake up.If it gets archived before I come back, feel free to direct questions to the Ask.fm.
>>46287472Thank Heavens for magical healers.
>>46287514Wat. I. Uh. Uh huh. That's a thing to come back into this quest with.Well Rinnier is gonna have some 'splaining to do.Also it looks like we have acquired a new grudge towards an inanimate object.
>>46287540Our Aunt is probably going to try and spin this into us failing. Fuck that noise, we just gotta be clear that Rinnier wasn't listening to words so we tried nonverbal communication.Which seemed to work, until the whole knife thing. But weapons hate us anyways.
>>46287540We are now The Human Pincushion.
i'm sure everything will turn out okay please?
>>46287948We got impaled by that shaft again, not by the knife. The knife is gone.Though how did we manage it is anyone's guess.
>>46288313i think she stbbed us
>>46287514Well this is fucked
>>46287190>i'm just hoping ultra violence isn't actual physical violenceIs no one gonna point out how absolutely retarded this anon is?
>>46288696it went better than I expected
>>46288776Now, when we talk to Rinny we can say that she wanted Honesty well we honestly wanted to punch her since we first met her.
>>46288776I'm not sure where "getting double impaled" ranks on the list of things we expect when chatting with Rinnier but I guess somehow it's not the bottom
>>46289021Worst would be selling us out to our aunt then slitting our throat. A double backstab as it were.
In retrospect we could have asked Ari for some advice, considering her bump in competence.
>>46289163Not really going to help since this was an issue between Rinnier and us.
>>46289324I think would have been worth a try and may still be in the future, she's spent some time talking to Rinnier and has been paying very close attention to how we operate and the details of influencing people. It wouldn't be the first time Irue has missed some vital piece of insight that someone else picked up on.
We in autosage?
>>46289479Problem is she doesn't trust anyone, and lashes out at everyone. Ari can't help with that. Hell we can't either.
>>46291568But insight nonetheless into getting her to open up would be nice. I mean, she seems to trust Ari, if only because she's so unassuming.
>>46292750>Are you trying to tell me I can believe in her, who believes in you? Have you even talked to the girl, Irue? She'll believe anything you tell her."This pretty much implies she doesn't trust Ari because Ari trusts /us/.
>>46292781Indeed which is why Ari's insight are not going to help.>>46292750It's getting to the point where I am willing to take the ding of admitted failure to drop Rinnier. She's less helpful than the demihumans, and less faithful too.
Letting her speak first worked once, maybe we should have tried that.
>>46293001When was that? I don't remember a single time we spoke with Rinnier successfully.
>>46293115IIRC when we were trying to figure out what to do with our bandits/knights she stormed off upset about something or other and when we found her we decided to let her break the silence in her own time.
You are Irue Valen, blood heir to House Valen. You have been confined to your room for rest by your aunt and m/aid because the last time you tried to take a walk, it resulted a new modern art fixture being installed in your library and the reopening of all of your wounds. Also being impaled. Again. In the same place. By the same thing, even. No part of that affair was particular pleasing to think about, considering it was one of the few times that you had completely lost your temper.But that was your relationship with Rinnier from the beginning wasn't it? She got under your skin like no one else. You'd laugh it off from anyone else, but when it came to your flame haired Testament, you just wanted to punch her in the face.So you did.Did it help? You don't know. You ended up back here, and who knows where she'd gotten off to after all of that; You certainly hadn't seen her. It did make you feel better though, which is honestly the most you could really hope for at this point."What a passionate relationship the two of you have." You look up just as your aunt strides into the room, back straight and as unruffled as ever. "Funny, I never took you to be the violent sort... But all these reports lately. What has happened to you?""Aunt Clara." You muster a smile to greet her with as she comes to stand by your bed, an unsettlingly pleased smile fixed permanently upon her face. "Irue. Trouble with your Testament?" What were you supposed to say to that?>No, we're handling it.>Reports of violence?>How did you get to Carona so fast?>Are Caylen and Byrn here as well?
>>46294516>No, we're handling it.Mornin' Riz, sleep well?
>>46294516>>Are Caylen and Byrn here as well?>TO be fair you making me a non-person to everyone does not help me avoid trouble when people are looking for it.
>>46294516> If there wasn't some trouble, it wouldn't be a Testament now would it? At least nobody will be able to say you made it easy on me, no?>Are Caylen and Byrn here as well?We should also maybe talk about our cousins sneaky snake childhood friend?
>>46294572Handling it!>>46294711>>46294809Caylen and Byrn + Being sassy with your aunt.>>46294809Trouble is part of the package.Writing.--->>46294572Yes, a little surprised the thread was still up. I enjoyed reading back through the conversation, and it made me realize that anon never really seemed to get something about Rinnier.It explained a lot about why there were so many difficulties and frustrations with her. Reading back, I think anon fixated on some of the things Rinnier said in the library, and missed some things about what she was saying by fixating on something else. I think you'll feel silly if you figure it out.But her character is difficult to deal with, so it's not surprising.
>>46294516> Trouble with your rebellion, I mean rebellious Niece, Aunty? > Where and how are my Testaments? Because this ain't over.> Call for Asche.
>>46294854Chick has survivors guilt I think. Personally, I think a punch up with an injured person who happened to be her saviour and got stabbed is a step forward though. Now we just have to talk to her about what we want. Namely, just like her, to be an actual person and not just a noble pawn trapped in a cage. Maybe even someone with friends.I don't know why Rinnier is so fucking afraid of having a friend.
"It's not exactly a Testament to anything if it were easy." You deadpan, "I doubt anyone else in the Valen family has had the pleasure of undergoing their Rite while nobody outside the family seems to know their name either." "An unfortunate side effect of being a recluse." Clara responded wryly, "The rest of us do get out and about from time to time. Perhaps you should have tried it?""That would have been a very long walk." Thinking back it technically was true that nothing had ever explicitly stopped you from going to town... Except it being a ridiculously long way off and you having no form of transportation. "Not any longer than visiting Caylen, I would think?" Clara's smile grew larger, "If you could manage that, surely you could get to Carona on your own, at least? ...Ah, but you did, didn't you?"You considered saying you were tired from your injuries so you didn't have to deal with this. Sparring with aunt Clara always felt like a losing battle, even if you SHOULD have been the one winning. You offer her a clipped comment about how your time in Carona wasn't exactly inspirational towards future outings before deciding to simply cut your losses and move on. "I heard Caylen had come with you, is dear uncle Byrn here as well?""No, of course not. He had some social event to participate in, thus my son has come as his officially elected stand-in.""...Stand-in?""Yes. Your Rite is ending soon, so we have come to judge... Among other things."You felt the pit of your stomach drop out. "My but you have been busy, though." Clara continued as if she hadn't just verbally floored you, "The hindquarters of an Oakenbear planted in your front yard, a destroyed kitchen, this fascinating report of an attendant having been bitten by you... Surely none of this could have been my Irue? Not my son's reclusive childhood friend?" "It's been an exciting few months." You answer flatly, "What about an attendant being bitten, though?"
"Oh yes, that." She shrugged carelessly, "That is a curious thing. We received an official letter of complaint from a man named Roderick who claimed to have been unjustly accosted and bitten by someone trying to use the Valen family name."...Well, that answered the question of whether the letter ever got through."Pity it can't be followed up on." She stared down at you consideringly, her smile dipping slightly as you got caught looking into what may as well have been a steel trap. You blink, unsure of where exactly she was going with this. Last time you met Roderick, he still pretty much hated you. The feeling was mutual, of course, but why-"It seems he was one of the many casualties during the freak appearance of a Banshee in Carona." She explained levelly, "He was killed by debris, attempting to evacuate some of the townsfolk. With out the plaintive alive, it seems the entire incident will go unresolved.">A pity.>What happened to Carona?>Do you know anything about an attendant named Priat?>Other? (Write-in)
>>46295467>A pity.So>What happened to Carona?then>Do you know anything about an attendant named Priat?I've heard he's a good sort
>>46295467>Where are my friends, by the way?We should honestly be getting on meeting up with our Knight commander and the people from the shrine, as well as grabbing Kara and the Demi-human pack. Also, what happened to out loot from Carona? Probably a good idea to bring it up in the context of helping the town since we did more or less destroy it.
>>46295467> A pity> He was a close friend of the Mayor, is he alright?
>>46295613Nigger do you think that'll win you any points with this bitch? If there's a chance we can keep that cash for ourselves then we've got to take it.
>>46295467> A pity, but I had my reasons and I stand behind them.> I hope we can help the town out. Losing family to tragedy hurts.
>>46295546>>46295627>>46295709Pity.>>46295546What happened to Carona>>46295546Priat>>46295613>>46295627>>46295709Assorted concerns about things.Writing.
>>46295681Do you think our Aunt isn't more neutral than actually evil? Besides, it will throw her off balance.Still, never a bad thing for your enemies to see you care for a place you hate because it's the right thing to do.Also we will have access to the Valen family wealth soon. If Auntie doesn't like it THEN we can go on a murder spree.But right now we have two out of three testaments locked down and Rinnier won't break our deal even if she is scared as fuck of trusting again. We also have the shrine as a friend, with our discovery AND solution of the atelier speaking for us as well as Priat being a witness to what we went through for our testament and don't forget dealing with the behemoth underground which probably saved the rest of Carona. We've also gathered loyal knights and quite possibly have a Demi-human pack under our thumb. And our Dryad golem.
>>46295820>We need to outfit our knights with proper gear>We need to outfit our manor to hold all our knights (proper barracks, mess hall etc)>We need to pay our knights>Our kitchen is destroyed and needs replacement>We want to employ Jill>Future problems will be made easier to tackle with application of moneyOur lack of funds has been a constant hindrance throughout the quest, I cannot agree with handing away a whole fucktonne of free gold on the basis that we might not need it if everything goes perfectly. It's not certain that Rinnier will hold up her deal, it's not certain that we'll pass this trial, it's not certain that we'll have access to Valen cash, nothing will go perfectly according to plan because it almost never does. No, I don't think our Aunt is evil but she IS trying to fuck us out of our birthright and isn't likely to cut us some slack and let us win just because we hand her over one of our few advantages.
>>46296073>>46295820This is all assuming the mayor hasn't spent it all on whiskey and rope, in which case I'll cry and you'll look like a liar or a time waster.
"...Pity." You're not really upset about Roderick dying, it certainly benefited you... But it left a bad taste in your mouth that he died the way he did. Ideally he'd have just been discredited, and the whole thing would have been dropped. You can't bring yourself to feel good about him dying just because the two of you didn't get along, especially since it seemed he had died proving beyond a shadow of a doubt how dedicated the man was to following his values....You felt like there was more could say. There was more you should say. That this silence dragging on was waiting for some kind of explanation. "I knew him, briefly. We never got along, but we both had our reasons. I think he'd have stood by his actions in the end. We both would have.""Well said." Clara seemed pensive, "You certainly seem to have made a number of interesting friends during your short time in Carona. Priat has asked I convey his regards to you once you had woken up, he claimed you had been quite the asset in helping the Shrine with something.""You talked to Priat?" For some reason the Salamander attendant had mostly slipped your mind. Probably because he had done a whole lot of nothing the entire time he was with you. "He talked to me." She corrected subtly, "Though when I asked what exactly you had been involved in, he wasn't willing to tell me. Private Shrine business, it seems?" Once again she eyed you in consideration, a thin and thoughtful smile ever present. "How, I wonder, did you manage to become so wrapped up in the Shrine within a week?""Circumstances lead me from one thing to another." You admit vaguely, feeling increasingly unnerved as you tried to get a feel for your aunt's angle as you talked.
"Truly." She mused, "The message he asked me to convey was that the Mayor was still missing. It seems that during the Banshee, a great deal of the town guard, as well as the Mayor himself, have wound up mysteriously missing. While that is a curious thing to know, I am far more interested in why he would want you to know any of this?"Missing... Had he gotten out with his mercenaries? Or.. No, you know where he was last. There wasn't any way out of there, you had to use the Atelier's power to get out from there, and if the Behemoth never woke up, then...He was still trapped down there."We both had a vested interest in the Mayor's activities." You decide you can at least make use of this. "As it turns out, he was behind the arson of the Tier estate... Among other things.""...Oh?" For once, Clara was the one who seemed to have been caught flat on her feet. You took a measure of pride in the fainted flickers of surprise you caught behind her schooled expression. "Those missing guards were mercenaries he had hired on personally, but I can't accurately say what the rest of his intentions were. At least, not yet.""Mystery doesn't suit you, Irue." She shifted her weight with a patient smirk, "I hope you've a good reason for trying to with hold information that amounts to treason?">I just need to confirm something first.>Private Shrine Business.>My knights and I have it handled.>Ask about the crown supporting Teranford's invaders.>Other? (write-in)
>>46296565>He was still trapped down there.The money is safe guys.
>>46296565>Ask about the crown supporting Teranford's invaders
"Speaking of treason." You sigh, shifting as you glance towards the door reflexively. "I heard an interesting rumor in Carona.""Oh?""That it was the La'Fielan royalty supporting the 'nomadic army' that conquered Teranford." You skip the pretences and leave your suspicions with your aunt bluntly. "Normally it wouldn't have anything to do with me, but I've recently gotten to know someone this information is important to.""A fascinating relationship the two of you seem to have." Clara mused after a moment, but this time you didn't rise to the bait as you watched her patiently. Regardless of whether the Mayor's words were true or not, the very idea of it was enough to be considered treason. Given the current relationship the Crown seemed to have with the nobility, and its actions regarding the country itself lately, providing them that suspicion as an excuse..."You're thinking a little to seriously about something outrageous like that, aren't you?""I think an army, by its nature, can't be nomadic and still function." You answer coolly, "Teranford was not a small country, more over, it was our ally wasn't it? Why didn't we help them?" Your eyes narrow, a piece of the puzzle you hadn't considered yet suddenly sliding into place. Your aunt and uncle were the stewards and current public leaders of House Valen. There was absolutely no way they couldn't have known who Rinnier was."Why was Rin-""When you grow up, you must learn to leave your fanciful imagination out of delicate affairs." She interrupted calmly, "We can only deal with what is real, and in front of us. Stories like yours should only be shared between children with nothing better to do."That was the end of this conversation, and the look your exchanged with your aunt was the final word. There was nothing else to discuss on this matter between you.
"I will be sure to pass your concern for the Mayor and Carona on to Priat when next we meet." Clara broke the deadlock after a moment, tone light and airy as if your previous conversation was water under the bridge. "I will convince Asche to allow you some measure of freedom again before the Rite concludes, try not to reopen all of your wounds a second time?" Your aunt turned casually, "There is a limit to Wisp's healing, and Alouette has never been adept at the aspect of the Mana in the first place.""You are lucky to still be alive."Your door clicks shut, leaving you alone with your thoughts briefly. Or... Mostly alone, anyway."Ari.""Master?"Your closet door cracked open quickly as your Testament poked her head out curiously.>Go get Kara>Call Dullem>How is Rinnier doing?>I need to talk to Caylen>Other? (write-in)
>>46297437>How is Rinnier doing?Even if she hates us, I can't imagine impaling us left a good taste in her mouth. and also. >Go get Kara
>>46297437>>Go get KaraLet's wait a bit before punching Rinnier again.
>>46297437>How is Rinnier doing?Ask Ari if she has any ideas on how not be so shit at talking to Rinnier, then>Go get Kara
>>46297437>>Go get Kara>Call DullemI do not care about Rinnier at all tbqh.
>>46297532don't worry we're only pretending to like her to get what we want
>>46297532We sort of have to. Besides,>>46295452>It's not exactly a Testament to anything if it were easy.
>>46297583This is probably specifically what's stopping us from gaining her trust.
>>46297622How would you go about changing that though? It's not like there's an option to sincerely enjoy her company.
"I need you to get find Kara for me." Your aunt had said she'd talk to Asche, but you still get the feeling that she wouldn't be pleased with you walking around unattended after last time. Ari could at least make her way around the house on her own though, even if she seemed to prefer spending all of her time stashed away somewhere near you. It was a little odd realizing you didn't need to help her walk places anymore....Actually, she'd been the one helping you walk these past few times."Ari, wait-" You called after her just before the door opened, watching her stumble to a stop and turn back towards you, "How is... Rinnier doing?""She won't talk to anyone." Ari's body shoulders slumped a little, "Should I try and get her too?""..No." You shake your head after a moment's thought. You have no idea what you'd even try saying to her now anwyay. "Mm. I'll find Kara for Master." Ari repeated her goal, mostly for her own benefit than any of yours, as she left to go look for your demihuman Testament. You wonder if Ari was upset that you had gotten into a fight with Rinnier; She didn't seem very concerned about it, but at the same time, you were realizing you knew startlingly less about Ari than you thought you had.In fact, the Testament you probably knew the most about by now was-"Yo." Kara waved lazily as she stepped into the room some time later, Ari drifting in behind her with a triumphant 'praise me!' expression written clear across her face. "'Ri said y'wanted t'see me?">What do you want to ask Kara?
>>46297949What has she been doing since Carona? Is she alright? How did the other Demihumans fare? Did she meet our aunt? If so what's her take on her? Does she understand the Testament trials coming up and what it means to be a testament? Also thank Ari
>>46297949Also, is her brother okay?
>>46297949>Ri >Shortening a 3 letter word>>46298043Seconding all this shit, but include Ari in that question about the testament trials.
>>46298043>>46298101>>46298116Questions.Writing.>>46298116What's important aren't the letters, but the syllables!
I didn't miss it!Doing well Riz?
>>46298270Don't forget to thank Ari. We're injured not rude.
"Thanks Ari." you can't help but smile at the way the timid Testament seemed to swell up at your praise. "How have you been holding up, Kara?""Been okay." She reported easily, "S'been a lot goin' on. Not used t'all these people.""My aunt and cousin tend to travel with an entourage." You supply wryly, realizing only belatedly from their blank looks that neither Kara or Ari actually knew what that word meant. "Packs. They travel in packs." And like that, the metaphorical light dawned on Kara. "Heh, guess I understand that. Guess y'do too, now that I think 'bout it."Eh...? Ah, you had been traveling with your knights lately. More by necessity than preference, since you couldn't just tell them to go home or anything. Though you didn't exactly dislike having a retinue of knights following you around... "Don't demihumans do it too, though? How are Raid and his pack doing?""I... Don't know." Kara stumbled over her words a little as her tail twitched anxiously when the topic got brought up, "I hope y'don't mind, but I'm keepin' Raid in m'room for now.""Really? I thought he'd still be with the pack?" You blink at that, having not actually expected to see Raid again this soon. Or... Really to ever see him at your own house. Asche had said she was keeping to her room though. You suppose this explained that. "Some of 'em are here too, actually." Kara admitted with a frown. "...Are you keeping them in your room, too?" Having an entire demihuman pack stashed away in a single room was... Not something you were expecting to learn when this conversation started. "No, it's my room. Ain't sharin'." Kara's refusal shot down that possibility, but raised the concerning implication that they might actually get their own rooms. More importantly, though... "Why are they here, anyway? I can't imagine aunt Clara or Caylen accepting them just loitering around."A blank face."Showing up and standing around."
"Ah, they're not... I mean, they are, but... It's been weird since that tornado back'n Carona." Kara plopped onto the floor tiredly, her legs crossing as she started to scratch behind her ear. "Some of th' old pack died. Everyone's acting strange.""They died in the tornado?" You suppose the chain of command might have been a mess with the Mayor gon-"Killed themselves." -..."Everyone was fine th'first day an all. Second day some of 'em started t'move again. They'd look at me when I tried to talk ta them, y'know? Most of them just laid there. It was kinda scarin' me... Then one morning, they were just gone." Kara seemed more disturbed than upset as she told you the story. Evidently it had started on the third day, one of the ones who had started to show signs of recovering had forced his claws through his own throat.He was the first to go, but he evidently hadn't been the last. In the week you had been down, and the four or five days after the first of the pack had committed suicide, at least four more had followed suit in one way or another. None of the pack seemed to be reacting to it, or rather, even as the majority of them slowly began to recover, there wasn't much discussion out of them; They mostly sat and stared into space."I was worried 'bout Raid, since he hasn't really said anythin' yet." She admitted with drooping ears, "Sometimes he'll look at me when I talk, an' he's eatin', but that's all.""Then they're here because..." "Didn't wanna leave 'em in Carona." Kara muttered, "Raid'll miss 'em when he gets better, and I need t'keep an eye on 'em.""And my aunt's been okay with them just... Being here?""Aunt?" You briefly describe aunt Clara to your Testament, "Oh her. I think so? She said somethin' bout 'interesting company' and told me I could put them in the wagon out back."You twitched.
"What do you think of her, by the way?""Alpha." Kara's reply was immediate, an almost trained response that brokered no room for hesitation or misunderstanding. "Everyone here listens t'her. She owns the territory."...You suppose that's a fair, if slightly unsettling, description of your aunt. You hadn't expected such a strong opinion out of Kara on the matter, though."You remember what I said about you being my Testament?" You figured you may as well broach the conversation now, though. "The end of the Rite is coming soon, and my aunt has come to judge whether the you-" You glance at Kara, then to Ari, "-The three of you, I mean- are proper Testaments or not.""Ah... Sounds hard." Kara blinked as if she understood this related to her somehow, but didn't really get what it had to do with her specifically. "So we gotta take a test or somethin'?""No. Or.. I don't think so. I'm not sure." You shake your head, "The three have you: Rinnier, Ari, yourself... As far as I understand, the three of you WERE the test, and now all that's left is the grade.""What happens if y'fail?" Kara's tail shifted nervously when your answer didn't immediately come, with Ari sitting quietly next to the foot of your bed as she listened attentively. "I don't know yet." You admitted finally, "I did this initially to try and escape something, and now, more than ever, I can't see myself going back... But I may not have a choice, and if it comes down to it, I'm in no condition to run.""Uu..." You heard Ari mutter stressfully to herself as you sighed, not particularly looking forward to thinking about something that seemed to be right around the corner. "Do the two of you understand what it means to be my Testament?""To serve Master." Ari's answer was quick and precise, but Kara...
"I don't really get any of this stuff." She had a lopsided, if hesitant, smile. "Even if y'fail, I can still stick 'round with ya, right?"You didn't have an answer for her, because you honestly didn't know. Putting aside what would even happen to your Testament, Kara was a demihuman; You doubted anyone else would be as lenient about her presence."...'Rue?" Her smile strained a little her twitching tail slowed to a stop, "What's gonna happen?">Reassure them that you'll figure something out.>Admit you don't know.>Ask something else>Other? (write-in)
>>46298273Doing well. Wondering if I'll be able to wrap up the finale in this thread.We're getting close to the end though. As of now, we've had a "moment" with each of our Testament. There isn't a whole lot left to go.Also anon inadvertently walked into a trap with Clara. Her sadistic humor will make another appearance before the arc ends, and Irue is the punchline.
>>46299506>Admit you don't know.If the trial is passed, I can continue calling the shots. If I fail, then it's up to the judges, they may let you stay, re-assign you, or even sell you back into slavery.
>>46299506>>Reassure them that you'll figure something out.If we were to pass this rite, our priorities around them would have had to be refactored to make them of high personal importance anyway.It's either a moot point, or we already failed.
>>46299626So we're that fucked huh?
>>46299666You get sold because no one wants you.>>46299693Irue will figure something out.Writing.>>46299759Auntie has your best interests in mind, anon.
>>46299925>Auntie has your best interests in mind, anon.Can you not blatantly lie like that? I expect you to be much less straightforward Riz.
>>46299925>>46299736 was also a vote for Reassure
>>46299967but what if
>>46299925Yeah, fuck that. We're Irue Valen with or without the family name. If they decide we fail then fuck them. We'll continue clawing our way up from the bottom. We aren't just our name any more. We'll fix Karas pack, and get to work on helping Rinnier while continuing to learn with Ari.Our whole deal with our testaments has gone past being just about passing or failing our Aunts little test.
>>46300130lol no we won't
>>46300130On that note, I'm a little suspicious about this line:>>46297416>"When you grow up, you must learn to leave your fanciful imagination out of delicate affairs." She interrupted calmly, "We can only deal with what is real, and in front of us. Stories like yours should only be shared between children with nothing better to do."...Is she implying she's too tied up to help us the way she wants? Either way, we might need to be taking matters into our own hands anyway.
>>46300202We won't what, keep on going? Out of sheer spite I think we would. Hook up with the shrine, or Priat, or go bandit/privateer style and start raiding nomadic enemies etc.We have options.
>>46300130You do realize she'd either take the demis hostage to force kara's obedience, and shut us away from the world again? Possibly in the vein of Misery? We'll still have the name, but none of the power behind it and she will force us to do as she wants.
>>46300274Then we'll just have to outwit her. She's been challenging us from day one, but never seemed to be averse to when we stood up to it.If she really wanted to suppress us she wouldn't have let us take the rite at all. With at the very least Kara and Asche under our loyalty, we at least have a fighting chance if she decides to revoke that opportunity.
>>46300274We have our own Knights, although quality isn't necessarily high, connections with the shrine, loyalty of Kara and Ari as well as the Dryad golem, our own power as well, Asche, Priat knows about us and we have a deal with Rinnier. Also we were the ones to cow the Demis.Personally, I see her trying to play some fuckeries with the whole Rinnier thing but if it comes down to it I say we choose keeping our testaments over passing.Regardless, putting us back in the box isn't an option for her any more.
Everybody trawling through the past threads for "are you forgetting something? "
>"It's not exactly a Testament to anything if it were easy." You deadpan, "I doubt anyone else in the Valen family has had the pleasure of undergoing their Rite while nobody outside the family seems to know their name either." "An unfortunate side effect of being a recluse." Clara responded wryly, "The rest of us do get out and about from time to time. Perhaps you should have tried it?"The failings of a child are the responsibility of the guardians. Kind of why we decided to do the Testament after all, hey.
>>46300439I'm trying but i'm fading desu senpai
>>46300660I too am going to sleep now. Baby is asleep, this is like my chance man.I hope we go talk to Rinnier and tell her it's cool these things happen, and that she's going to have to do more than stab you to prevent friendship from happening. I mean, hey, most people stab you in the back so this was a nice change.
"Nothing too bad." You answer finally, though you honestly didn't really know what would happen in the end... What mattered at the end of the day was that you would need to figure out something regardless. "Worst case scenario, I lose my name. I'll figure something out, though.""Your name?""Valen." You brush back a strand of hair at Kara's question, "I am Irue Valen, blood heir to House Valen, one of the largest and most influential houses of nobility on the continent. Our prestige stretches even beyond the closed borders of East Heaven." You drew yourself up as you spoke, feeling the weight of your family name press down around your shoulders, "If it comes down to it though, that name never meant anything to you. Whether I'm Irue Valen or just Irue won't change a whole lot as far as you're concerned.""Master is Master." Ari confirmed immediately, "I'll stay with Master.""I'd rather stay than go, m'self." Kara's tail paft'd across the floor softly, "I trust you, 'Rue."You grinned, mind working to figure out what you would lose and where you would go if the Rite failed. Leaving the family name was, legitimately, always an option... But it was also the only thing you'd ever known. You still had your connection with the Shrine though, and worst case scenario, you actually had two Relics and an Atelier's power at your command. If it came down to you having to cut and run, you were in a much better position than your knights had been when they were dispossessed....And speaking of your knights, where did that leave them? Would they follow you? SHOULD they follow you? They pledged themselves to Irue Valen to lead them to a better life, but was that pledge to Irue, or Valen? Could you even do what you promised them if you lost your name?"That's all for now." You put the thoughts aside for the moment, "The Rite will be ending soon, probably within the next day or two. I just wanted to talk to you before it happened."
"What 'bout Rin'?" Kara inexplicably addressed the one missing Testament from your trio, "She's part of this too, ain't she?""Yeah." You frown thinking about it, one hand going to your sore wounds as you thought of the way you had left off there. "...She understands what's at stake, though.""Kay." Kara shrugs it off, unconcerned with anything even approaching relationship drama as she rolled to her feet and began to stretch. "Guess I'll get goin' then. Need t'check on Raid n' the others.""Good luck." You're not really sure how to address what happened to the pack of demihumans. Their exposure to the Revenant was undoubtedly the cause of this, and you knew regrets could drive people to do drastic things, but... This was drastic, even for that. Maybe because demihumans had no previous experience dealing with it, it had turned out like this.Asche passed Kara as she strode out the door, entering your room with a brief nod to your Testament as she waited for your attention. "The date has been set." She explained stoically, "The Rite ends tomorrow."And like that, there was no more time left.
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Valen+QuestAnd we are archived.It's getting late, and I try to run these on friday/saturday so you guys don't have to worry about waking up early on mondays, so I'm going to call it here for now.Next thread is, very honestly, the finale. If only because there's literally nothing else to do in this arc.
>>46301017My copy/paste left out:I'll lurk the thread for a bit to try and answer some questions if I can.Apologies to all anons who participated in Valen Quest but died at their keyboards wondering when QM would finally stop.To those who did not make it to the end, we will never forget your sacrifice. I am ashamed.
>>46301037I am in bed as we speak. I guess my only question is will we have enough time to talk to our Testaments and our knights, as well as the Demi-humans before our assessment?Because we should really take responsibility for what we did to them and tell them that we can show them how to fix shit. That they CAN feel better, and kind of explain how shade works and what guilt and empathy are.
>>46301037>I am ashamed.Why?So how fucked are we? Is Kara upset at us for what we did? Ari's thoughts on Rinnier? How freaked is Rinnier?
>>46301037What happened to our sister?
>>46301123don't make promises you can't keep anon, we can't fix their regrets. besides kara doesn't consider us responsible no need to confuse things by claiming responsibility ourselves
>>46301192Assassinated with the rest of our family while we escaped. It was traumatic.
>>46301232You don't fix regrets, you atone for them.
>>46301037If we aren't rendered homeless by the end of the arc will you include practising with the web in the timeskip?
>>46301232Right now they're fragile enough that someone is going to snap them up. Just saying, that should be us. If only because we're the only ones willing to treat them like something better than clever animals.
>>46301123You had this entire thread to talk to your Testament (which you did) so there won't be another chance for that. You can try talking to the demihumans if you'd like, but I don't think you'll have much success. Talking to your knights, or at least Dullem, will be an option still.>>46301135Because it's a thing I've consistently done at the end of every thread. It bothers me that I messed up this close to the end, even if it doesn't really matter.>How fucked are we? etc.We'll see. Kara isn't upset with you though, partially because she doesn't understand what's even going on with them. If you've ever seen the movie "The Happening", it's kind of like that for her. She's scared, and confused, because people who look just fine are suddenly doing this shit. >>46301192Died with your mother and father at the border to Teranford. You survived, and it's been a major event in Irue's past that isn't often touched on, though a number of events all seem to coincide roughly in the same timeline. A lot of things were happening back then!>>46301279I can, but whether you really want Irue to have constant access to the Web is up to you. You've seen what effect it has on you.
>>46301344What's Ashe's take on this?
>>46301344I thought the web distorting our sense of time was just something that happened when we actively focused on it. Is it possible to set up the web and leave it running in the background without any adverse effects?What part of the quest should we reread in preparation for next time?
>>46301017Curious how long a hiatus you're going to be taking after we wrap up the rite arc? If you have an estimated time you were thinking of, I mean.
>>46301482Pic.She doesn't care much about the Rite, but she's concerned about Irue's recovery.>>46301494It is possible to set up the web and then disconnect from it, you did it back in Carona. It kind of runs in the background as a passive sonar for Irue, and quietly tempts Irue to stop playing an FPS and start navigating with an overhead minimap.Nothing in particular, unless you're just bored. I can't think of anything that I know will be relevant next time.Although, I feel like I'M forgetting something right now. Hm...>>46301623Maybe a month, tops? I'm going to try and launch a new quest in the interim while I gather my notes for the next arc, and work on some other things I've fallen behind on (or are intensifying, like my courses).I'll be sure to give a week's warning on my twitter before I start Valen back up, though. I like to give everyone advance notice when I can.
>>46275865>Depending on how things go, tonight may be a short thread.
>>46301766I am bad at pacing.
>>46301756How's Caylen doing? He hasn't tried to visit, is that his mother's doing or is he still pissed at us? How are Dullem and the Knights holding up? Did Clara have our family assassinated?
>>46301785Does that mean things went... well? Unexpectedly?We can still always use the other Atelier power for an All New Adventure
>>46301756How good are you at anticipating player choices?>>46301785We know. It's funny.
thanks for running riz, great thread as always
>>46301871He is still upset, but mostly he's awkward. I think most anons feel a reluctance to approach Rinnier unless they have to, and when they do they kind of brace for impact as they get swept up in her pace and tossed around.Caylen thinks of Irue in much the same way. You'll find out about Dullem in the next thread I suspect, since some anons confessed an interest in that direction. Your knights are adjusting okay though, you ran into some of them when wandering around; They're pretty okay with the situation.>Did Clara have our family assassinated?Auntie has your best interests in mind, but she is playing her own game. Most people in Valen are. There are some hints in this thread towards what it might entail, but it's up to you to work off the implications.Hint: It's in >>46297416>>46301915Oh, that was what I was forgetting!Violence was the best possible answer. There is a long list of reasons as to why, but it all ties back into a series of things I feel like anon has missed dealing with Rinnier through the quest. It was kind of a "fuck it, why not" answer, but a fortunate one.>>46301928>Anticipating player choicesI was surprised when you chose to summon Jinn. I'm still confused why you summoned Jinn at the time, or even what led to it. I honestly thought I'd never be writing anything else but Shade the entire arc.Otherwise, nothing has really surprised me. I try to pay close attention to what direction you like to go in, and when there's conversation (this is so rare, it makes me sad) I make a point to take most of your thoughts into account.I feel like that's important in Valen, because a lot of times there are no "good" choices, only the options you're left with. Your choices define a lot of things, and giving you careless options devalues the path you eventually choose to walk down.>>46302022Thanks! I wish I could write a bit faster though.Also I keep making whole word typos, it's horrible.
>>46302130Like when we chose to let Shadow Rue suicide?I am conflicted about that. I didn't want it to happen but I forgot that she was born out of stubborness so I can't say it wasn't fair.
>>46303096Dopplerue dying is one of the more potent decisions that's been made in the quest, yes. It's had (and will continue to have) a very noticeable effect on Irue.It's interesting looking back on Valen and realizing how rare and few moments of real "victory" are. More often than not, we've come out of things with a new lesson learned or another bitter feeling of Pyrrhic progress. Even saving Rinnier and the final confrontation with the Mayor didn't exactly go heroically, and it ended rather sadly. We can look back over everything we've done, and I don't know if there's more than a handful of moments we can point at without some bitter sorrow in our pride over a mistake we made, or something we wished we could have done better.... But we're still moving forward.This journey has been a direct consequence, the good times and the bad, of anon's choices. From a sheltered and naive child, to what we've become through the Rite arc.I hope that, even if not entirely happy, everyone who has been through this ride can look back over the trails of struggle, and the trials, and hold their head high at how far they've come.Because you've all earned what you've gotten in the end. It's not something given to you, but something you took for yourself.And I think that's important.
>>46302130Summoning Jinn was my idea, and I did it because I was afraid of what another Revenant could do to our knights.This did not go well.
>>46304463Summons are the lazy way out.
>>46303386Yeah last win that felt like a win was snake hunt
>>46303386It's peculiar that Dopplerue was responsible for most of our wins.
I've been thinking about what Riz said in >>46294854, and I think the reason Rinnier has trust issues is not that Irue is a manipulator - that's mostly a justification - but that she lost everything she held dear: family, country, position, even the favor of the Mana. Lost suddenly, irrevocably and through none of her fault. She's afraid to form more attachments that she can subsequently lose at any moment.
>>46307489Which is not helped by how often we almost kill Irue.