Welcome back to Tai Lung's journey on the path of redemption, not only form himself but for those around him as well. In our last thread, Tai Lung and his friends join forces with The Furious Five to take down the Kai Family, Zhengyi City's Triad group. Though still divided and under watch, the newly formed group of 8 gather clues as to the Traid's motives but not before several more murders occur during the process. New suspicions arise when a traveler by the name of Wu Renshu arrive. A man, according to Xin Lan, is capable of creating the mythical poison The Tainted Rose. Xin Lan goes on to explain that Renshu is not just a wandering traveler but an assassin from the same organization and their elder brother whom they supposedly killed in their last confrontation. Tensions rise when confronting Renshu and he reveals his own motivations, to stop the creation of The Tainted Rose and to it's producer as well as anyone who gets in his way. Despite his love for his younger sibling, Renshu offers Tai Lung and Xin Lan what he calls the Cruelest Mercy, they may step aside and live with guilt of inaction or they may die attempting to stop him. The duo manage to challenge Renshu to a duel where the loser is forced to follow the winner's ideals, death to those who do wrong vs mercy to those who don't deserve it. After a brutal fight, Xin Lan emerges victorious and the group accept Renshu into their fold and their custody but not before the younger sibling reveals they simply wish to be a family once more. The investigation comes to a head when the Triad's leader Jianguo launches a full attack against the city. Our heroes leap into the fray to quell the riots and corrupt guards while Tai Lung himself races to Jianguo's hideout and employing his new style, Dragon Style, for the first time. Jianguo eagerly engages the Kung Fu master, hoping to prove his superiority over the once Scourge of the Valley of Peace and willing to kill all those around him to force our protagonist to revert back to his old ways. Tai Lung's new morals prevail, Jianguo is subdued and handed over to The Five. After leaving another letter for his Father, Tai Lung and his friends slip away and resume their travels once more but not before saying one last goodbye to all those who they helped and befriended.
On the roads once more, Chan Ming begins her martial arts training and the group spend a month building up her endurance. As their training winds down, the four run into a trading caravan and an old friend. The author and creator of the Sword of Heroes, Luo Guanzhong. The crew travel with the caravan as their body guards, catch up Luo and assist Xin Lan in reconnecting with some of their lost emotion. Just before arriving to the town of Yunnan, Renshu recieves an ill omen from his spirits and the group scout out the town only to find it completely destroyed. In the ruins of the town, Tai Lung comes across Mei Ling a martial artist who aspires to be one of The Five. When the dead rise and attack them, the two retreat to retreive the rest of the group and continue the investigation. While the group investigate the town's destruction, they find a magic circle full of the memories of the dead. Renshu and Tai Lung enter and discover the truth, a snow leopard led her bandit army into the town in search of the library's secret. The names of the royal family's lineage and the cypher to decode them. Tragedy befalls the group when Renshu's soul is taken by the Great Judge Yánluówáng, judge of the dead. In order to save his friend's soul and offer him a second chance to redeem himself, Tai Lung delves into Hell itself to momentarily experience Renshu's fate should he not change. The experience itself is so harrowing that our protagonist's sense of self is shaken to it's core and he no longer posses Inner Peace.Moved by Tai Lung's sacrifice and conviction, Renshu offers his undying loyalty and life to the man and the two become blood brothers, swearing their lives to one another and tying their fates even closer. Now the group face a new task, to find this snow leopard, recover from their ordeals, and to find redemption within 13 years.Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Tai%20Lung%20quest
Several hours after leaving Mei Ling and Luo..."So what do we do now?" Xin Lan asks as they look over the town. "Man I wish I had a telescope..." You and your group find yourselves on the same hill overlooking Yunnan once more as you plan your next course of action. "I mean it's a bandit army, it shouldn't be that hard to find..." Ming looks up from her map and a battered compass, a gift from Captain Daiyu."Well first we need some tracks to...you know, track." She says. "If I had a direction, I might be able to figure out what the most likely spots they would camp at could be." "Well can't you do that star thing? You know...how you found us?" Xin Lan asks as they jump down from a tree and wander up to the map. Ming shakes her head. "No. When I did that, I knew the positions of the stars when we lost you and compared them to the position of the stars now. Then I used the direction we went and calculated how far off course we were." She explains. Upon seeing Xin Lan's blank expression she continues. "Basically I used the stars as landmarks...landmarks that move but move in a specific pattern.""I'm afraid the spirits can only give us a modicum of assistance." Renshu says as he and you make your way back from exploring the town. "Those that were trapped here are no longer present and we haven't found any tracks within the town.""The fires and ash have pretty much destroyed any trace of them. Perhaps some where preserved under it all but as it stands we'd have to excavate the whole village." You say. "With no rain or muddy trails, they left nothing in the surrounding area.""But what about the trails we saw before? The ones in the bandit camp?" Ming asks and thinks. "They were days before we reached here. Do you think they might have moved south? Are we going in the wrong direction?""Doubtful." Renshu replies. "The spirits there spoke of being hunted down. From what I gathered they were treated like sport. It seems the raid party simply used them as practice before moving back here. Or around here to avoid treading the same grounds. Mindless murders..." He adds quietly."Damn it." Xin Lan grumbles as they fall down to sit. "We have 3 expert trackers and a genius but without a lead we got nothing!" Ming blushes at the genius bit. "We need something!" They pull at the grass and look at you. "Got any ideas? Anything?">What do you say?>Say you have nothing in mind. You've searched and found nothing.>Ask Ming what's the closest town. Preferably east or west. If you can find one that's still standing it safe to assume any survivors of these raids would head there first. Perhaps they have news.>Look at the map. Ask Ming if she can find any patterns in these attacks. Maybe you can work on that. Failing that, you can go check out another raided village.>Write in.
>>4532515>Look at map, look for anything relevant based on what we remember from the coded documents. Ask others if they have any ideas.If all else fails, head for the nearest town and ask / look there.
>>4532515>Look at the map. Ask Ming if she can find any patterns in these attacks. Maybe you can work on that. Failing that, you can go check out another raided village.
>>4532524>>4532530Looking for patterns. Writing.
>Ask Ming what's the closest town. Preferably east or west. If you can find one that's still standing it safe to assume any survivors of these raids would head there first. Perhaps they have news.
You sit next to the map and look at it for a bit. "Any patterns in the attacks?" You ask Ming. "Maybe we can figure out if there's gonna be another Raid or maybe you can find something that points to a nearby camp?" Ming pulls out a a small book and opens it to reveal some notes. She thumbs through it a bit as she talks."Well...I was talking to Mei Ling about it two days ago. Let me see what towns she visited..." She says placing the book on the map and uses small bits of grass to use as markers. "We have Boshe to the north...Ganzi...Xiqi...Yunnan..." Ming adds a few more markers before stopping. To you it simply looks like scattered towns with the only pattern being they were north of China. "If we look at it...umm..." She scratches her head."They're along the Huangshan mountain range." Xin Lan points out. "Well...at least the ones Mei Ling visited.""Makes sense. I doubt the raiders would want to venture through the mountains if they're attacking villages." You say. "They don't seem close to one another. At least...it's not like they're stopping to raid for supplies to move forward.""We know they were searching for the cypher or at least the imperial documents. The fact they focused on the library confirms that." Renshu says. "Though as Miss Ling pointed out, they are particularly brutal about their raids. The do not wish to be found or more insidiously...they do." You and Ming look at Renshu."What do you mean?" She asks."Raids on towns are, as infrequent as they were, not a novelty." Renshu says. "Most bandits simply take valuables and food then flee. However, our foes have shown they are willing to cut down everyone and fully destroy their target. Not only that but they went out of their way to hunt down a group of bandits for sport. So the question becomes...why are there surivors? A militant group such as this would have no problems hunting down everyone.""Come on Stripes." Xin Lan says. "They couldn't find everyone. Some people would have to get away in the chaos." Renshu shakes his head."In enough numbers that these attacks are discovered by people all the way down in central China? Miss Ling is from Lee Da Academy no? Yet she heard news of these attacks. If one or two people survived, perhaps such attacks would be known but most would assume they were exaggerating and the town would recouperate. Yet we we have tales of several towns being destroyed utterly, and they all have the common theme of a snow leopard leading the attack. No doubt Tai Lung's infamy assisted with that yet their leader wishes to be known. Rather than hide or send her army to fight while she remains safe, she engages in the fight as well. Why? Because she's making a statement.""You can't stop me..." Xin Lan says thinking. "A show of force. The rules don't apply to her and she wants you to be afraid."
"Bold of her." You say. "But perhaps in her arrogance she left a clue." You look at the map again. "Is there a particular area she's circling? Maybe like a ring of destroyed towns? Maybe a town untouched they might be hiding out in?" Ming nods and looks again."Let's see..." She says looking at the map again. "Hey...check this out." She says waving everyone around. "Xiqi." She says pointing to one of the destroyed towns."What about it?" Xin Lan asks. "That's one of the attacks.""Yes but look. Xiqi is roughly in the center of all the attacks. You can reach a handful of the others from here in about the same ammount of time." She says. "And it's near a lake. So even if the town is ruined, they have a water supply. Sounds like a good place to hide out in right?" She asks."Interesting." Renshu says."She's using one of her old attacks to hide her presence." You say. "Of course no one would find her. She could simply move to another ruined town to hide in if they got wind of being followed by imperial guards. They'd simply think the tracks were part of the attack or some scavanger. Anyone else would simply steer clear of it.""Nice one." Xin Lan says patting Ming's back. "So we're heading to Xiqi then?">What do you say?>Head to Xiqi now. Best to give chase while you can though you're not sure if this will lead anywhere.>Head for one of the towns that's still standing. Better get supplies while you still can and maybe more information.>Head to one of the other towns surrounding Xiqi. It's been a month since the attack on Yunnan. More than likely the raid party has moved on from Xiqi. You could try to head them off. (Which town do you want to head to? For simplicity pick one of the cardinal directions with Xiqi being the center. Yunnan (where you're at) is south.)>Write in.
>>4532586>Head to Xiqi now. Best to give chase while you can though you're not sure if this will lead anywhere.Rabbits have an incredibly good sense of smell, since they have to smell out underground food. They also have incredibly good hearing, able to hear as far out as two miles away.So here's my proposal: Renshu was in the dream. He can probably remember a distinct smell about the raiders, especially since he was devoid of his spiritual senses during that time (senses compensate and become more sensitive when you're lacking one of them). If, along the way, Renshu picks up a hint of their smell, we can follow it like a bloodhound. And two pairs of rabbit ears in the group means we'll hear them long before we see them when we get closer.
>>4532605Support.But a question for you Luo. How long did we spend in Daiyu? I presume a few hours but I'd like to get a semi-good grasp of how much we put up with to utterly shatter our sense of purpose.On the upside, we now have a solid, iron hard counter to literally anyone, including our past self, who says "Why be good? let loose and do as you want." Namely "I've been to hell and been subject to their hospitality, nothing is worth suffering that again." It's a bit sad that it isn't only our convictions that keep us on the right path now, but eh.
>>4532605Damn the rabbits just got scarier. But nice plan.>>4532639In character? You have absolutely no idea. That's one of the many thing that drove home how horrible Hell was. It could have been mere seconds you were in there per court. It could have been years. Suffering and agony where the only things you could comprehend. Out of character, you spend roughly a day per level. In terms of mortal time that's about a few minutes total from you bartering with Yánluówáng to your return to your body.As for your convictions no longer being the only thing keeping you on the right path? Yeah that is kind of sad and now I feel a bit bad. Writing your time in Hell certainly wasn't enjoyable, though it was interesting. I did it for a few reasons, 1. I didn't want to water Hell down. I wanted it to be scary and disturbing making it a stark contrast to the whole tone of the game so far (which I want to still retain. This is a rather bright and hopeful setting). So that players know that this is some bad shit.2. So that you can see why exactly Renshu was so moved by your decision. You didn't just take a bullet for him or spoke up on his behalf. You did one of the most heroic things, possibly in all of the setting's history, that anyone can do. You went to Hell, suffered unspeakably, for the sake of a man you only knew for a month or so. A man who in his own eyes is irredeemable. Just so he can have the chance to do what he thinks is impossible.3.To show the players that you're indeed a hero. You're not the scary monster from the beginning of the game. My hope is that Tai Lung's conviction returns but this time it's not just "I want to do good to redeem myself." but also something along the lines of "I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help those I care about because no one is beyond saving." Basically going to Hell was a terrible experience, and that won't ever change but TL becomes so much stronger because of it to the point that the fear of Hell is not what drives him. I only hope that I can be a good enough QM to deliver on that.>>4532605>>4532610>>4532639Using bunny super powers to track bandits. Writing.
>>4532674>10 courts of hell, 9 are punishments and one is a retread of literally all your punishments prior, leaving a total of 16 days tortureHoly fuck.And yeah, I wasn't saying it was the fear of hell which would drive us, it's just that...well, it removed some of the ambiguity.You could toil for a hundred years being a great person who helps everyone simply because you think it's the right thing to do, and you'd have no idea weather or not it was. You could have been the most vile tyrant or the purest saint and both could get you into the next life, or only tyrants or only saint and you just don't know.But now we do know, without a shadow of a doubt, that nothing in this life is worth a trip to Daiyu.Though this has prompted a thought of mine, which is two fold. The first is that entering Eureka as master Oogway did does keep you away from the courts, and as Po showed us, the Wushi finger hold sends us to the spirit realm. So in theory to avoid such agony and pain a villain could master either himself or the hold and skip over to the spirit realm to avoid the consequences of his actions, until the great dragons send someone to deal with it.The other, is a point about Tai Lung. In that I think we've found the hard cap of what he is willing to do, since I can't imagine that he would ever willingly put himself through Hell again, even for Xin or Mings sake. So I wonder if Tai Lung would continue to do as much as he can in China for as long as his life would allow before attempting to flee to the Spirit world, because even if he's saved china twice over then he still wouldn't want to risk a the judge putting him in there again.But then again maybe the Tai Lung in my thoughts puts more terror on the experience than the written one does.
>>4532693You're right. I did remove the ambiguity and ugh...that just hits me where it hurts. I should have realized that it sort of would take away from player agency. Like you said, there isn't a mystery now. Now you do know and it takes away from the weight of choices and fuck if that doesn't drive me up the wall knowing that.My only hope is that it becomes a thing knowing only accentuates your convictions. Less of "I do good because of I want to stay out of Hell." and more of "I do good inspite of knowing there's a Hell. I don't do it because I'm going to avoid punishment or receive my karmic reward. I do it because it's simply the right thing to do."Of course there's also the argument of the shades of grey right? I hope...Like, you're a theif but what if you're stealing to feed your family? You're a warlord like Kai but you simply want to reunite the country and bring peace. What about soldiers who are simply protecting those they love? The thing about Renshu's crimes, and I guess my writing in gerneral as much as it hurts to admit, is that his evils were pretty black and white. Solidly evil. He murdered, maimed, tortured and enjoyed it (mostly due to his upbringing) but even knowing what he was doing was wrong he still continued. It was something that was pointed out when you recruited him. His whole redemption thing really wasn't all what he said it was. He kept killing despite what he thought were good intentions (another hint towards his vice). The one "good" thing that would be on his record would probably taking care of Xin and the various minor acts of compassion he does as a Shaman.Tai Lung falls more under the grey area I would think. He's done bad things but he's turned his life around. Is it enough by now? We don't know but I hope his character becomes one of not caring if this gets him a get out of jail card only that it's the right thing to do.Personally I think he would go to Hell for Xin or Ming again. Maybe not right now, definitely not right now but eventually maybe. He's just that stubborn and this is a story about heroism. Maybe next time he'll fight his way out. But not the first time, that was a shock for him.tl;dr I fucked up in my writing and I feel bad. I'm sorry.
"Yeah. Let's see if there's any traces left of them." You say. "Renshu, I've heard that rabbits have a good sense of smell. Maybe you could use that to track the raiders? They certainly weren't from China. Did you notice any distinct smells from them?" Xin Lan scoffs."Good he says..." They mutter shaking their head and Renshu nods."Yes I did. Though it has been quiet a while since I've tracked anyone by their smell." He admits. "Normally, my other senses do well enough though this might by our only clue. I will keep my nose out for any familiar scents. They did have a perticular scent though it's rather difficult to describe. ""That's fine. As long as you can remember it." You say. "How far is Xiqi from here?" "About another week or so of travel." Ming says. "Unless you plan on going at it full speed?" "No. If we move too fast, we might miss out on possible clues." You reply. "We'll go at a faster pace but nothing so intense. Hopefully this turns up something." You stand and gather your things. "We should head out then before the sun begins to set." You friends nod and gather their own things to set out.---The day's travel was brisk and quiet. Though you all did some light talking, you were all more preoccupied on the task at hand despite not expecting any clues until you arrived at town. Eventually, the sun begins to set and your path is darkened by the long shadows of the trees around you. "We should probably stop and make camp." Ming says. "Not that I'm tired or anything. Someone made sure of that." She grins at you."You keep that up and I'll make you run a few more laps around the camp." You lightly tease. "But you're right. It's best we set up camp. I'll go get some fire wood." You say setting your things down and heading into the woods to find a fallen tree or branches you might be able to use for kindling. You've looked for a few minutes before you hear footsteps approaching. Tensing up, you see Xin Lan bleed out of the shadows as they always do. Their face neutral and expressionless though you can see a vauge something on it...perhaps anxiety? Confusion? "Hey Xin. What's wrong?" You ask."I am here to ask you same thing." Xin Lan says. "What has happened? You have changed."You tilt your head. "What do you mean?" You ask."You no longer walk with the grace you used to have." Xin Lan replies, getting straight to the point. "Your footsteps are heavy. When you woke up on the ship when we were on the ocean, you were different. Calmer. At rest. You no longer have that. The others may not see it...but I do."
>>4532717The story looks fine to me, boss.KFP is in an innately spiritual setting based on chinese mythology, so it's only natural for the chinese afterlives to come into play at some point.I for one look forward to when Tai Lung eventually finds himself on the threshold of heaven in his adventures. Imagine, to have gone to Hell, Eureka, and Heaven all in one- err...two lives!At any rate, I'm pretty sure it's actually not all that hard to sneak into heaven. The problem is staying there without detection, but plenty of chinese protagonists have stolen things from heaven.
>What do you say?>Tell Xin Lan it's nothing. You're probably still just tired from being up several nights and having to go into meditations several times in a row. Especially in that spirit fog.>Simply tell Xin Lan that your fine. Things will be back to normal soon enough. They shouldn't worry about it, though you're glad that they are and can be. Change the subject, and ask them how their emotions are coming along.>Tell Xin Lan you've been through a few things. You're still processing them but it'll be alright.>Talk about what you went through. You did do it for their brother after all. They have a right to know about the time limit. Xin is also your best friend.>Write in.
>>4532717Chill out man. Just chiiiiiill. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I'm just saying that we do have a massive Iron-hard counter to anyone's speech about being evil for personal gain. That being to laugh in their face and say "Yeah no, I've tasted the fruit of that path and it's all rotten." It's just funny to imagine someone talking about all the glories and fine things evil brings, to the guy who spent 2 weeks being tortured for someone who did all the crimes in existance.TL as he is, will probably go back to ignoring the existence of hell in a couple of weeks, because he did it, it's over and now it's back to the old hero Gig.As you said, he isn't the type to give a shit about Prison or Hell or what have you, he just wants to make things better for his friends and for China, partly as repayment for his crimes. But when you think about death, It's not hard to have the old phobias and fears rear their heads, which is where my thought space went to. And yeah, we probably would go back to hell for Xin and Best Girl.Anyway, it's a story about hero's and what's heroism if it doesn't cost you a bit eh?>>4532740>Xin, I don't want to talk about it, not right now while it's still raw. But ask your brother about the pact that was struck while we were meditating, you deserve to know about that at least.The others should know about the deal, but again, let the wounds and the damage heal for a while before we can talk about it. I'd hate to break down on them.
>>4532747Not ready to talk about it. Writing.
Just finish the last thread. Great work Luo This story is one of the best i have read, Keep up the great work!
"Xin...I don't want to talk about it." You say quietly. "Not while it's still raw. Though you should talk to your brother about the pact that was struck while while he was gone. You deserve to kow that at least." You see something briefly flash in Xin Lan's mute eyes. You think it was pain? The thought of that brings up a recent memory..."I feel pain." They whisper. "When you struggle. It hurts."You frown but before you can say anything Xin Lan speaks. "I see...If I could I perhaps would have felt offended. Maybe jump to some conclusion that my inability to feel properly makes me inadequate to speak to. But I can't, so I won't. I presume you have your reasons and you will speak up when you feel ready. I do not think you are one to hold your emotions in. Not after what happened in Zhengyi city. I shall speak to Renshu about this pact." They turn to leave. "Ming wishes for you to bring her some moss. I volunteered to so do so that I could speak to you alone. I already have what she needs so you don't have to look for any. Just return before night fall. It is getting colder and we could use the fire." With that they head into the shadows and vanish once more, leaving you alone. Had it been anyone else, those words would have felt passive agressive. Knowing that Xin Lan wasn't capable of that doesn't help as you're now not sure which senario was worse.You stand there unsure of what to do for a moment before simply returning to gathering firewood. By the time you return, the sun was hidden in the treeline and the others had set up their bedrolls. Ming had dug up a nice fire pit for you to place the wood and soon enough a comfy fire was crackling and chipping away at the encroaching darkness. "What exactly are we going to look for in Xiqi?" She asks warming her hands up and stirring at a bubbling pot of water. Renshu had done a bit of searching and found some leaves to make tea with, something Ming was quite excited about."For now? Track I guess." Xin Lan says. "Or some indication they did camp there. If luck is on our side, they'll either be there or left enough evidence we can follow them. It's actually quite hard to hide the direction you're going and for a large group like that probably impossible." They chew on a root. "They also have to travel slower with more people. More people also means more chances for someone to screw up and leave behind evidence. That's what we want to capitalize on." "We will also be able to hide much better than a large group." Renshu explains. "Our smaller group makes less noise, our overall sillouette is smaller, and we can communicate much more effectively."
"But that reminds me. How do we...fight them?" Ming asks. "I mean I guess you guys can go at it but what if some of them run away? Don't we want to catch them all?" She rummages through her bag and pulls out a book. "Let's see..." She says flipping through the pages."What book is that?" Xin Lan asks. "It's one I got from the library." She says holding it up. "The Art of War. I figured if I can't fight then I could at least do tactics.">What do you say?>Tell Ming that their capture is not the goal. At least not all of them. Recovery of the scrolls is the most important goal.>Say that you only need to capture their leader. Once she's captured, more than likely the bandits will disband or their group will collapse with out proper leadership. Especially after losing in combat.>Think of some kind of plan that could help you capture the bandit group. The less bandits that go free the better.>Write in.>>4532817Thanks man. Always trying to get better and deliver a good quest. This quest has kind of become my hobby and I'm glad it's gone on for this long.
>>4532855Sorry Xin, but I think you'll understand when it's explained to you. But poking the wound isn't...pleasant.>The primary goal is recovery of the scrolls and the cipher, then the capture of the leadership.So the plan I have, is infiltrate their camp by stealth and incapacitate, then remove the leadership.From there, we can do two things. Ghost through the camp and put them to sleep through the night, which is possible if a bit of a time sink then terrorise the other half to make em run. But that leaves an entire army and we are 4 people.My other idea is to terrorise them with a fire or an explosion in the middle of the night, screaming like a dragon and generally making them run for the hills. They will disperse but not as a large cohesive force anymore, making villages more resistant to them.
Gonna go make food. Be back later.
>>4532855>The primary goal is recovery of the scrolls and the cipher, then the capture of the leadership.>But, if you can come up with a tactic that can take out an entire army, I'd be willing to try it out. Maybe by trapping them in a mountain pass?
>>4532867>>4532991The scrolls are the primary goal. Writing.
"For now, we should focus on getting back those scrolls." You say. "But what about the bandits?" Ming asks. "We can't just leave them free.""I know but they have secrets of the empire." You say. "They can cause a lot more damage with them in their hands. It puts all of China in danger." Ming frowns."I know but...It doesn't really feel right." She says. "I don't want people like them running around harming people.""Well that's where the good news comes in." You say with a smile. "If we find the scrolls then we find the bandits and they certainly won't let us have them. We'll have to go through them first so it just seems like we'll have to defeat them to complete our goal. To goals in one swoop." You add a log into the fire. "But if we have to choose between the two, we should focus on the scrolls. The less tools they have at their disposal the better. They can't run forever so if we need to chip away at them before we finally get them. So be it. At the moment their leader will be our secondary target. With out a chain of command the bandits will surely fall appart. Unless you have a way to take and army out? Like trapping them somehow. Maybe in a mountain pass?"Ming thinks about it. "I don't know...the problem is that we're just four people. They don't really have a reason to give chase if we flee or try to make them follow us. Even if we threaten to give their location away, it's just much easier for them to let us go and change location. They might send a group after us but certainly not the whole army...maybe if we had the scrolls. The thing is even if we were to trap them in a pass and we flanked them..." Ming goes quiet."Yeah? If we trapped them in a pass and then what?" Xin Lan asks putting a carrot on a stick to the flames."Nothing." She says. "It's something I'll need to think about. I might be able to make it work.""You know...if it was anyone else I probably wouldn't belive them." They say. "But you haven't failed us yet. I'm sure you'll come up with a plan. Wouldn't that be a story? 4 people taking down an entire army of bandits?"You nod. "I'd definitely like to hear more details on your plan." You say."Well..." Ming says. "The problem isn't our fighting prowess. I'm definitely sure as a group, you all could take on a sizable army. The thing is, you will get surrounded. Even taking into account the fact so many people bunching up and getting into each other's way a few problems arise. Law of averages says you will get hit. You simply can't dodge everything especially in close quarters. And all it takes is just a small cut in the wrong spot and you'll die. The next is that you can't dictate who they'll face. If some choose to go after a vulnerable target, you won't be able to stop them assuming you even notice that in the mass of fighting. They could simply ignore you and go for someone or something else. But what if we thin the herd out? Drop something on them?"
"I don't think we can drop boulders on them if you want to get out of this with your hands clean." Xin Lan says."Then why not bombs?" Ming asks. "We're done it before. Fill a few bombs or cauldrons full of incapacitating liquids or gas? The we drop them from the height of the mountains into the pass? The only issue is that I don't have enough to make that much and I've never made doses that high. We could seriously hurt if not kill someone with that much poison. I need time to mess with formulas and ingredients.""That certainly would be an effective use of the terrain." Renshu says. "If we could somehow get them to follow us, it might be our best gambit yet. Perhaps for this endevour subterfuge would be our best." Xin Lan perks up."You saying what I think you're saying?" He asks excitedly."Yes...I do believe I am and I feel like I should be worried." Renshu says."We're planning a heist!" Xin Lan shouts, dropping his carrot into the fire. "It's been so long since I stole anything and now we can do it for good! If we can somehow steal the scrolls from under their noses, we won't have to fight. That'll certainly get their attention. Oh man if this works out The Five are gonna be so mad!" They say, their cotton tail wiggling happily. Renshu simply ruffles Xin Lan's ears, amused."If we can do that, we might be able to subdue their leader as well." You say. "Knowing that they're losing both their leadership and their treasure, they certainly will want to give chase if not break up. But this sounds beyond the scope of the supplies we have." You admit."So should we put off going to Xiqi?" Ming asks. "We can still make it to another town to get all of this ready." You think.>What do you do?>Go to Xiqi. See if you can get some information on your foes first, then decide on the plan.>Go to a different town and stock up/ mess with alchemy. If you do find the bandits then you won't be sure they'll stick around long enough for you to get supplies and come back. Best to have all your tools ready when you do get to them.>Try and do both. Check the map to see if there's a nearby town you can visit on your way to Xiqi. Though it is possible this might cost you more time than either decision if the town you choose has also been attacked.>Write in.
>>4533166>Head to an inhabited town, for both supplies and to warn them/Tell them about the raiders shit.Hirst plan would be great.
>>4533166>Go to a different town and stock up/ mess with alchemy. If you do find the bandits then you won't be sure they'll stick around long enough for you to get supplies and come back. Best to have all your tools ready when you do get to them.
>>4533171>>4533275>>4533365>>4533988Going to an inhabited town to get supplies and do some downtime as well as warn them of raiders. Writing.
"Well considering we have a plan coming along, I say we should head somewhere to resupply." You say. "What's the closest place we can head to?" You ask Ming. Ming pulls out a map and carefully looks at it in the firelight then compares it to her note book. "Let's see..." She mutters. "If we compare our map to the list of towns Mei Ling scouted...Oh! Taishi is close by. Just a few days away from Yunnan so we'll need to head back but we luckily we haven't made much travel..." She looks up from her notes. "Is that ok?""It is no bother to me." Renshu says. "Heading to resupply will allow us to see what options are available to us." He smiles quietly. "It would also allow my to buy a new Guqin.""What happened to the Guzheng you were playing back in the city?" You ask. "It was quite big though...did you sell it?" "Oh...that was not mine." Renshu admits. "The temple graciously allowed me to borrow it. It was a fine instrument however. I was honored they allowed me to play it. Though I must admit I do miss playing music as much a novice that I am." He says slightly wistful."It didn't sound like novice music to me." Ming says. "You honor me with such praise." The rabbit replies. "However, back to the discussion. I have no issues heading back. What of you two?" Xin Lan lets out a sigh and leans back. "Sounds good to me. If we're going to make personal purchases...I guess I can buy a dress." They tug at their ragged clothes. "I've mostly ruined mine. Funnily enough to bandage people up. Plus getting kind of bored of being a boy." "We'll be traveling a lot. You sure a dress is a good thing to buy?" You ask."It's not for travel." Xin Lan says. "It's for when we're at town. Some us actually like looking nice. Isn't that right Ming?" Ming giggles."Xin is right." She says. "If they want to be a pretty boy that's up to them." Xin Lan shoots Ming a glare. Renshu chuckles. "I for one think Xin Lan would make an excellent young lady. As much extra work that will place on me." They joke."What's that supposed to mean?!" Xin Lan shouts."Someone needs to ward away unsuitable men from my little brother." He replies. Xin Lan pouts. "You always do that Stripes. You know what I'm supposed to be diguised as." They grumble. "You got anything you wanna buy big guy?" They ask.>What do you say?>Admit that you don't have any thing in particular that you want to buy. You'll probably just play it safe and buy extra rations.>Say that you do have a thing or two in mind. (What would Tai Lung wish to buy as personal purchase? Do we have any hobbies? Maybe something they enjoy?)>Say you'll probably save your money for later but you don't mind going shopping with them.>Lie. Say you won't buy anything but secretly buy something special for each one. New years is 2 months away and they're your friends/family. You don't have much cash so you'll only be able to get a small object.>Write in.
>>4534159>I'll get something, not sure what yet. Perhaps some links for calligraphy. (But actually get them each something for new years)See xin and Renshu can cut through lies like butter. Thus, we tell no lies and we cannot get caught.I've spent about 20 minutes thinking about gifts, and the ideas I have are;Ming - Needles and thread w/ a box.Xin - A small book of romantic adventures (like romance of the three kingdoms)Renshu - drawing a blank.
>>4534220See, the needles and thread have a practical use, but they are also a reminder of Daiyo and her lessons, maybe get a message scratched/burned onto the box to really sell the point.Xin, well they just love stories of virtue and honour and loyalty. I don't think we can buy them any knives either given costs, but a book should be fine.Renshu.....I wanna commemorate the bond we have now, but I've got no ideas how. A drink is insensitive, a weapon is worse, I did consider padded gloves for the cold/it's slightly harder to murder someone with them on as a reminder but his style doesn't really rely on sharp strikes.He's already getting an instrument so....Eh.
>>4534229Bit more searching on the internet, Get Renshu a faux-Fulu coin. It's basically a coin with "magic" script on it that asks for shit like protection, good fortune, strength and the like. I figure getting him one that asks for change/strength of will could be nice, as well as fit into his "shaman" persona.
>>4534340Hey I dig those ideas. Not sure if I should continue writing or wait for more votes. It is saturday so I assume most people are just relaxing and spending their weekends.
>>4534400Up to you man. I'm fine to wait for someone else to pop in with their own ideas, but I've got nothing else in the bank that isn't generic "alchemy book for ming, who probably knows all of it anyway"
>>4534159Xin GF/BF when
>>4534428Never. Xin is sister, Ming is best girl
>>4534159>Say that you do have a thing or two in mind. (An empty book or notebook and a pencil or brush with an ink bottle)
Clearly the choice is Viper. The most popular of girls.Waifus are not my specialty anons. I simply fan the flames.
>>4534441to fan the flames, you need to breathe life into a conflict.Giving such wrong opinions as V*per is like trying to set a lump of waterlogged flint aflame.
>>4534447Perhaps. I see it more as giving you various different logs to choose from...even if said log is pulled from the bottom of the ocean. Ming may be best girl but is she best for TL...or for Daiyu? I suppose it doesn't matter either way. Despite on who I wish to be the true waifu, I shall do my best to leave the choice to the anons and keep my biases out of this.No matter how you slice it though, I don't have experience for writing romance. I haven't done much in the way of simply having a large chunk of posts being the crew hanging out because I don't want to risk the game getting derailed or dull. Though perhaps, Chinese new years would be a good time to attempt it.
>>4534469Ming is best girl, just naturally.But yeah, probably a better fit for Daiyo rather than TL. He's more of a Big brother/cool Uncle who will come and batter your fucking face in if you hurt ming than a loving husband or boyfriend material. Daiyo herself has a bit more of a grasp on her emotional state and how it reflects on her character, not being a kung fu/power obsessed autist who focused entirely on his craft while ignoring everyone else for most of his life. Nobody can dispute that she is a better Match, but everyone can dispute whom deserves whom due to shared experiences. I personally am fine without hooking up with anyone, but I do find big brother TL to be hillarious
>>4534566Big brother TL is terrifying. I can only imagine the poor sod that decides to draw the ire of that sleeping beast.
>>4534645Twice over Scourge of he valley of peace is not a guy you want to explain to about how you broke his great friend/basically little sister's heart.
>>4534655And that's if they're lucky. The remaining 2 from the group of four definitely wouldn't let it slide either. I do often like to imagine what their lives will be like after their adventures. Would they all meet up once a year at the Jade Palace to spend a holiday together? Would they instead visit the crew of the Gale Cutter and throw a huge ass party?
>>4534438>>4534220I will combine these votes and do a write in while we discuss game stuff just to keep things going. Writing.
>>4534669Of course not.On the winter solstice, when the barrier between worlds is thinnest, they meet up at Oogway’s to party with dragons, ancient masters, and spirits.
>>4534669Given that they are practically a family unit by this point, I imagine that they'd spend the rest of their lives together, apart from ming who opens a shop on the gale cutter, selling to the men and women on shore as they go.Coming ashore every new years so that they can spend a while getting drunk and joking about old adventures.And to see if Ming has kept up her training.
You consider it for a moment. Each of your friends had something they wanted but what did you want to buy? Your mind wanders back to the various times you needed paper. You did write letters to your father every so often. Perhaps buying a notebook like Ming would help you organize your thoughts or take notes for next time. Then again...nothing said what you bought had to be for you. You vaguely recall Ming mentioning you all coming together for New Years many months ago before you convinced her to join you. You weren't the best with words but perhaps you could show how much your friends meant to you with gifts? "Well I have a thing or two in mind." You admit. "Probably just a simple notebook and ink. It'll help me keep thoughts organized." You half lie."Huh, really?" Xin Lan says a bit surprised. "I figured you'd probably a new set of clothes. You go through as many as I do." They tease."Well I think it's a nice idea." Ming says. "It might help you with your letters to your dad.""Gathering one's thoughts is a good mental exercise." Renshu agrees. "It helps clear the mind and settle one's thoughts and emotions. Many well known philosophers have been known to write their doubts and thoughts before meditating. Often times it is where their quotes comes from before they're expanded in their thesises after meditation.""I don't think I'll ever be much of a philosopher." You admit. "But you might be right on helping me settle my mind. It'll let me come back to things on a later date. Maybe experience will give me a new look on my old ideas." You stretch a bit and yawn, prompting Xin Lan to do the same. "Great, now I'm doing it too." They say as they crawl into their sleeping bag. "Well I think I'm going to tuck in for the night." Ming yawns as well. "Now that you mention it. I'm kind of tired too. Good night boys." She says getting into her own bed roll. "We have tons of traveling to do." You and Renshu make sure the flames will keep going on through the night and are safely contained before the two of you decide to head to sleep as well.>The unending wails of suffering echo throughout your dreams. No matter what you, no matter where you run, you can't escape the sounds of sorrow before you join the unholy chorus with screams of your own as the pain settles in...Your eyes snap open and you can feel your heart race in your chest as you wake up. You find yourself short of breath and slightly sweaty as if you had run nonstop for several days. Sitting up, you see that it's early in the morning. Your friends are still fast asleep around the now dead campfire. You sigh and get out of your bedroll to start a smaller fire for breakfast as you try to shake off the lingering nightmare.
---Your group spends the next few days going over the same routine of traveling, foraging, eating, and sleeping. Throughout your travels, you manage to squeeze in your morning runs with Ming. The jogs were more brisk than long but still focused on cardio and you find them helpful in pushing aside the dreams of the previous night. After about a week of travel you finally arrive at your destination, Taishi. It was a town of fairly average size all things considered though compared to a city like Zhengyi, it was basically a village. "Civilzation at last." Xin Lan says as your group finally enters the town properly. "Can we at least stay out of trouble for the time being?" Ming asks. "I kind of want to see what stores they have here before we're surrounded in enemies.""In our defense, trouble tends to find us not the otherway around." Xin Lan replies. "We're good boys. Honest." You ruffle Xin Lan's ears."Thought you were a girl." You say."I am and this boy is gonna find herself a nice dress." They reply kicking it up a notch. You snort in amusement. "What about you Renshu. What are you going to do?" You ask. "If it is not to much trouble. I would like to search the town to find those who need my services. Often times I make some money from donations.">What do you say?>Ask that everyone hold off on splitting up. Perhaps it would be a good idea to get a bite to eat and discuss what the plan is.>Ask Ming how long does she think her alchemical testing will take. See if you need to find lodging for a while here.>Let everyone split up to do their own thing. It'll give them some space to relax and wind down. You can all decide to meet up somewhere in a few hours.>Write in.
>>4534761>Let everyone disperse, meet up in town centre for some dinner later.>Go get their gifts and our paper, then if there is time try and talk to ShenLong. We havent heard about his last friend and we have some adventures to tell him about.And we should practice talking to spirits again.
>>4534761>Let everyone split up to do their own thing. It'll give them some space to relax and wind down. You can all decide to meet up somewhere in a few hours.
>>4534432>>4534428the duality of menbunny girls or cat girls?dont know about you but i perfer rat girls
>>4534566This is why Xin is best short stack femboy/girl/whateverDouble the autism, because they're both autistic to some degree.
>>4535492They are also however, Sister to our blood brother, making her technically our sister in some manner.And I don't think we exist in the porn dimension, where "related on a technicality" is invitation for sex.
>>4535565"What are you doing blood step-bro?"
>>4535565Isn't that a common trope in stories? Falling for your friend's sibling? But if you want really speak of step sisters. Tigress is legitimately your younger step sister. Both of you are canonically adopted by the same man.
>>4535652We have the sibling rivalry downpat. But the only trope I know of regarding falling for your friends siblings or significant other is it ending very badly for all involved.Also god damn, I just realised that tigress has been living in our shadow for over 20 years. God the chip on that shoulder must be the size of a mountain by now.
>>4535660Oh yeah. It's pretty bad. In her eyes you're a murder, the guy who tarnished her family's honor, ruined the Jade Palace's integrity, ran away from his duties, a coward who couldn't accept the consequences of his actions, and the one she can't ever seem to surpass to get her father's approval. And there's probably tons more to that.On other side of the coin, in your blood brother's eyes, you're the man who's willing to give everything up for those around him, a man of insurmountable integrity, one who takes his duties and responsibilities very seriously, one who is willing to admits his own faults and work towards redeeming them, and a savant of unparalled caliber. Renshu is also very grateful that you can somehow measure Xin Lan's emotional state, something he can't do.It's pretty funny how it's all playing out.
>>4535680God damn, I ain't sure we can fix that. I guess all we can do is just stay out of her way.
>>4535704It's really more an issue between Tigress and Shifu. The only thing Tai Lung could do at this point is draw Shifu's attention to it I think, and that's if he even realizes what her issue is.
>>4535706All TL knows is that she thinks you've shamed her father somehow. With a bit of asking around, he can find out that she's adopted by Shifu. Through that TL can probably peice together that she hates him because of what he did all those years ago and maybe assume she's been living in his shadow. After all she did make a big show in the movie about being the dragon warrior...which our favorite protag promptly talked shit about. Good thing he didn't pull the "You can't be the dragon warrior because you're a woman" card.There is someone who would know more about her resentment than you if you care to ask them if only vaguely. Their blood currently runs in your veins. Assuming you care that is. Or you could ask Crane. He'd probably tell you about it too.
>>4535711That's vaguely ominous. I thought TL was utterly abandoned. Or are you talking about Renshu... no...God damnit Luo, now I have to think about things.
>>4535713Well if you don't want those two options...you could always ask Tigress what her deal is. That always sounds like fun. I'm sure she'll be happy to tell you all about them...probably while you're in a strangle hold but still it's just brother/sister bonding right?
>>4535725I had meant whom had our blood in their veins, as well as knowing about Tigress. I assume you mean literal blood which discounts Shifu, and I dont know of other snow leopards.Renshu might have some of our blood in his and his in ours but...hmm.
>>4535745Wait...shenlong? He might count, given he resurrected us and is a wise dragon.
>>4535745Oh I know. I just didn't want to ruin your fun in thinking who At the moment I meant Renshu given he can sense people's emotions and stuff.I just didn't want to talk about TL's past/ actual blood relatives. That mystery will probably remain as a mystery. At the moment, things regarding TL's birth parents/family are something I'll avoid. They just don't feel relavant to story, who TL is a person, or who he once was. We already have a pretty big cast and I often find more fun in what is going to happen rather than what occured.Give me about hour, maybe hour and a half and I'll count the votes. Always enjoy discussion but I gotta make breakfast and get a few things done.
>>4535758I though he just spoke to the dead. Guess I missed it
>>4534856>>4534780Becoming a secret santa. Writing. Also attempting to speak with Dragon bro.
>>4535850>Becoming a secret santaThat's nice hope you have a good time picking out a present
"Seems like we all have something we want to do. How about we split up and meet back in the center of town in a few hours. We can get dinner then." You suggest as you look around. "We can meet up at that well." You point."Sounds fine by me." Xin Lan replies."Good idea. We can see what places we find food at while we search!" Ming says."I will keep an eye out for inns to rest at." Renshu adds. "Then we'll meet back at sun down." You say. Your friends disperse and you go wandering around the town yourself. You don't expect to find anything rare or unqiue but the town is fairly sizable so at least you can get some supplies and perhaps look for some gifts for you friends. Asking around, you find a small bookstore tucked away in an alley named "The Endless Tale". It's windows are cluttered with faded books and hanging scrolls. Taking a peek, you can see some movement within so you assume that they are still open...or at least you hope so considering it's only slighty past noon. You tentatively push the door open and it creaks causing you to wince at your foiled stealth. You step into the somewhat stuffy store and are greeted by a young man. The young monkey looks up in surprise, "A customer! W-welcome!" He says and nearly drops the stack of books he was carrying when he tries to straighten up his shirt."Hello." You say a bit awkwardly. "I...was told I could buy a notebook here. As well as some ink?" The monkey nods."Yes, yes! I have several blank books you can use as a journal." He says trying to pull out a book from his stack. You decide to step in and lift the stack from his arms and hold it side ways like a shelf for him to pull the book out. "Oh thank you!" He gasps. "Those were heavy." The monkey pulls out a book and places it on a nearby counter then digs underneathe to pull out a dusty bottle of ink. "There we go. Do you need more ink?" He asks."No that should be fine but can I get the ink in a metal bottle?" You ask. "I travel alot...it sometimes gets a bit rough so I don't want it breaking in my pack." You explain. The monkey nods and begins to dig around some more."I think I have something like that around here." He says. "Let me see..." You look at the ink on the counter."Don't get many customers?" You ask as you try to make small talk."huh?" The monkey pokes his head out. "Oh! Not really." He admits going back to his search. "Most people go to the general store. It's less out of the way and they have ink and paper as well. Surprising someone told you to come here." He admits."Is it? I guess I did ask for a place to buy a notebook." You admit. "That might have given it away.""Well I'm glad you came." The monkey says. "Because my ink is the best! Not watery or too thick but as dark as night!""Thick?" You ask.
"Yeah. Sometimes ink makers try to add filler ingredients to their ink." The young man explains as he looks up to adjust his glasses. "By making the ink more viscous they can fill bottle with less material. So they can sell less for more. Kind of like...making parts of clothing with cheaper threads so they don't have to use silk all around. But not here! I have integrity. You get what you pay for!" He says proudly. The young man continues to dig and place random things on the counter. Dice, a few stamps, matches, a book or two. Soon the sounds of him looking fill the silence.>What do you do?>Offer to put his books away while he looks. It'll give you something to do.>Ask about his book selection. Perhaps he has something your friends might like as a gift. (Who would you like to buy a book for?)>Ask about the town. Perhaps he might be able to direct you elsewhere.>Write in.
>>4535895>Look through his selection [Try finding a book for Xin, they like historical hero's and mentioned that oath of the peach tree was their favorite earlier. Try something with those themes.]>Ask about the town [Who's the head of law enforcement here/where do they work, Do you know where I can find a shrine and a place that sells needle and thread kits?]
>>4535725>strangle hold>someone mentioning "w-what are you doing step brother?"https://youtu.be/XQrr5Ihv1zgI'm not sorry.>>4535895>Ask about his book selection. Perhaps he has something your friends might like as a gift. (Who would you like to buy a book for?)Bro
>>4535910You should be. You should be.
>>4535910I...I see... >mfw>>4535901>>4535910Moving on! Buying a book for Xin and asking about the town. Writing.
>>4535910Wait a minute...do you mean Renshu? I just assumed it was Xin because they tend to get refered to as girlbro. Just double checking.
>>4535960I think they meant Renshu, being our actual Brother.But there's no reason to not look for both, we're checking out the books anyway.Idea! Music books that relate to whatever instrument he was playing
>>4535965Works for me. Music books sounds good.
You look around the store while the man searches. Xin Lan loved his book and had probably read it hundreds of times by now. You wonder if getting them another book would be a good gift. If it was similar to theirs, Xin Lan might enjoy it. Your eyes linger on the various stacks of tomes all over the store and decide to take the fastest route. "I...could also use help in finding a book to buy." You say tentatively. The monkey's head pops back up with a look of genuine surprise. Slowly it fades and is replaced with a large smile."Of course!" They say jumping over the counter, knocking a few things off of it. "Let's see...so many to chose from. I have tales of adventure, tragedy, or maybe you'd like something more practical? I have manuals of health and meditation. Instruction books on farming. Oh but you travel. I got a few maps around here. Maybe a book on practical herbs for healing? Can't go wrong with that..." The man continues to voice options and before you're overwhelmed you decide to narrow it down for him."Well...have anything like Romance of the Three Kingdoms?" You suggest. "Something with tales of loyalty and valor. Maybe friendship?" You say weakly. Those weren't really much to go on. Luckily for you, it seems to be more than enough for the man. "Ah! I got a few that might fit that!" He says motioning you to wait a bit. "Let's see. I'll give you a few titles and see what catches your fancy. Now we can go for an easy option. The Balad of Mulan, one of China's favorite stories. You probably already heard it a dozen times. The tale of a young woman who courageously takes the place of her father disguised as a man. Despite the dozens of battles she won and the many medals and honors the emperor himself awarded her, she refused them all and simply asked for his fastest horse so that she can return to her father." The monkey places the book on the now messy counter. "Oh! There's also the tale of General Yue Fei. The man who defeated an army of 100,000 with only 500 men. His loyalty to his country and kindess to both civilan and soldier alike are held in the poem The River Turns Red." The monkey places a large scroll on top of the book of Mulan before hurrying over to another side of the room. "If you want something more light hearted, there's the stories of Monk Ji Gong. Dressed in tattered clothing and wildy ecentric, his kind heart leads him to help those in need with his magic. There's the tale of him stealing a man's bride from her very wedding so that the entire town would chase him and thus move out of the way of a terrible landslide and saving them all. Or the time he saved a woman being stalked by a gang by disguising himself as her cape and scaring them senseless." Another book goes on the pile. "Sticking to the theme, there's the story of Sun Wu Kong in The Journey to the West. The many tales of the Monkey King and his troupe of maladjusted friends is also pretty popular."
You wait patiently, feeling a bit overwhelmed at all your options though you're glad that at least he didn't suggest half his stock for you to take. You feel a be hesitant but decide to take the plunge and tentatively ask, "Do you also have any books on music?" As if a switch was flipped the man nods and skirts around you to begin searching again. "Any prefrences?" He asks."Umm...something that helps people meditate? Or...with spirtual things?" You offer unsure of what kinds of literature Renshu would like.Once again this seems to be more than enough for the man. "Well, I do have a selection of books on music and with music sheets in it. I do have Harmony and Counter Point: Ritual Music of the Chinese Empire. It has a few sheets for music often played in common rituals and prayers as well as the history behind them. I've never been able to play an instrument but I'm sure if you can, then these might help you meditate. I hear music soothes for soul or so the saying goes." The monkey pulls another scroll from the shelf. "Then there's The Royal Menagerie. It's a collection of music often played in the Emperor's court! It even has a few written by some of the royal family themselves. I'm not sure how often you'll be visiting them but being able to play royal music is impressive enough. Who say's the royal blood needs to flow in your veins to enjoy their music right? Less of a book with music in it and more of a book of music, there's The Spirituality of Song. A book on the history of music and it's influence on spirituality as well as it's applications in philosophy." The man stands next to the counter, now piled with books, pride evident on his face. "So? Anything that catches your attention?"
>What do you do?>Buy Xin Lan a book. (Which do you buy?)>>The Balad of Mulan. The tale of a girl who disguises herself as a man to fight in her elderly father's place. Despite the honors she brings, she refuses them all and returns to her family.>>The River Turns Red. The story of one of the Greatest Generals of China known for his compassion towards solider and civilian alike. He lead a small army of 500 to victory against one of 100,000.>>The tales of Monk Ji Gong. The stories of an eccentric but kind hearted monk who uses magic and guile to help those around him. >>Journey to the West. The story of the monkey king, Sun Wu Kong. The mythical tales of him and his band.>Buy Renshu a book. (Which do you want?)>>Harmony and Counter Point: Ritual Music of the Chinese Empire. A book with music that is played in common rituals and the history behind them.>>The Royal Menagerie. Sheet music for songs commonly played in the royal palace itself as well as some music composed by the royal family themselves.>>The Spirituality of Song. More of a philophical book, it's about the history of music and how it influenced China's spirutality and philosophy.>Buy them both a book. It'll cost you extra and you'll only have enough money left to buy one more gift. Presumably for Ming.>Simply pay for your things. You'll look for gifts else where. There's still 2 months left til new years. There's no rush.>Write in.
>>4536062This is one energetic monkey man.>Buy them both a bookReally, Why not? It's best to get gift shopping done now anyway.>MulanNobody needs this explained to them, I hope.>Harmony and counterpointEven whistling the tunes of a meditative melody could calm his raging bloodlust in the midst of combat. And out of it, something to practice his stringing with.
>>4536069What can he say? He loves literature.
>>4536062Gotta go with the monkey king, it's a classicI think that Spirituality of Song could be helpfull to Renshu, maybe by reflecting on the songs ge ciuld turn into a form of metidation? Also because of his cover as a shaman, Renshu probably already know the songs used in common rituals, so Harmony and Counter Point might be redundant.
>>4536089You make a fair point. Spirituality of song will have a few example songs anyway, if not how to devise one ourselves.
We're mostly tied on what book to get Xin Lan. Mulan or Sun Wu Kong.
>>4536069>>4536089>>4536182Alright. Mulan for Xin and Spirituality of Song for Renshu. Writing.
You mull over it for a moment. You weren't expecting there to be so many options truth be told. Eventually you settle on your purchases. "I'll take The Balad of Mulan and The Spirituality of Song." You say and set the books you were holding down to the side. "Excellent!" The young man says placing the books next to your notebook. "Now let me see about that ink." He says leaping back to search once more. This time, you decide to keep talking rather than wait for things to go silent again."I just arrived in town. Is there a guard station around here?" You ask."Guard station?" The monkey asks absentmindedly. "Yes, we have one. It's on the otherside of town. You can't miss it. Don't really visit there much. It's near a tavern coincidentally. Not much there to do unless you were looking for bounties." He stands up and places a metal bottle of ink. "There we go." He says. "Found it behind the candles. Will that be all?""Yeah." You say digging into your bags for your money. As you pay for your things and begin to try and hide your gifts among your other objects you ask, "Is there a shrine in this town? Oh and a place to some needle and thread?" The monkey scratches his head."Uhh yeah..." He replies a bit confused at your choice of locations. "You can find those things at the general store." He says. "I'm afriad I don't sell those. We don't really have a shrine per say though. I mean it's a shrine but it's not really tied to anyone diety or patron. Just a place where people come and offer a prayer or two. You can find that in the center of town just a ways away from the well. Story goes that the founders put the shrine next to the well to bless their water and village." "Interesting. Thanks for the directions." You say as you finish up packing your things. "And for the suggestion on books." The monkey bows. "It do what I can. If you need anymore suggestions feel free to stop on by!" He says. You bid your goodbyes and head out, satified in your purchases.>Where do you go next?>Go check out the guard station.>Find the shrine near the well.>Head to the general store.>Find an inn to spend the night at.>Write in.
>>4536259>Head to the general store, then hit the shrine
>>4536265Support, without inner peace we are going to need those candles and incense to talk to dragon-bro
Gonna make some lunch. I'll count votes when I get back.
>>4536269Maybe a bit of incense to relax and calm
>>4536298But get mings gift first, even if we cant get incense because of it.
I just had a thought,The huns, mongols, turks and other nomad barbarians that threatened and invaded China were all mounted shepards right? And were difficult to deal with because they were a mobile army that could always retreat to a barren territory.How do they work on this universe? Do they just run really fast? Are they cannibal slavers?
>>4536265>>4536269Buying stuff then hitting the shrine. Writing.>>4536312From what little I remember they were well known for being mounted archers. So as funny as it is to imagine animal people riding on each other's shoulders, I'm going to say they run pretty fast or at least employ the fastest species for what would have been mounted tactics to draw the opposing troops into prime arrow volley range. They could be slavers. Haven't thought of that bit yet.
>>4536357They were renowed mounted archers, but had quite a lot of melee cavalry and some foot skirmisher too (manly the poorer and younger). Also their diet was near exclusively meat and milk.
You still had plenty of time before you needed to return to your meeting spot so you decide to make your way to the general store. By this time, the townspeople were beginning to start their afternoon duties. Many were heading to the shops to either buy ingredients for their afternoon meals, heading to the tavern for a drink right before heading home, or generally speaking to others in general gossip. As you travel through the town, you begin to feel a bit odd. You immediately notice, that your surrounding area was quiet. Too quiet. It becomes increasingly apparent that the towns folk would go quiet as you approached. Hushed whispers and mutterings would immediately ensue as you walked by though no one did anything beyond that other than stare. You feel a bit unnerved but continue on your way as you assume spending the past year trying to keep your identity a secret has left you a bit unprepared for having attention on you. When you enter the general store, you feel a bit more comfortable now that you were away from prying eyes. An eldery goat was working at the counter and she gives you a polite wave."Hello there." She says politely. "I don't think I've ever seen you around town. Is there something I can do for you dearie?" You nod."I'm looking for a sewing kit and needle. Preferably one that's pretty robust and versatile. It's meant for travel." You explain. The old woman nods."Oh we get that request often." She says as she wanders to a shelf. "Travelers and soldiers alike ask for them.""Soldiers?" You ask. "You mean the guards at the garrison here?""Oh no. There's been a few of the imperial guard that have passed through town." She says placing a few boxes on the counter. "What with the raids that have happened these past few months." She grabs one last box and sets it on the counter. "Now...I have a few sets of these. Let's me see..." She says thinking as she looks through one. "Yes, I remember. Now, which would you like? I have one with more needles than thread. Perfect for you if you plan to alter or mend different kinds of clothing but don't care for what material you're using to mend. The needles are of various sizes so you always have the right one for the job. Then on the other end I have one with various threads and spools. In case you're mending different kinds of clothing and want the stiches to match the clothes and their material but it kind of took up a lot of room so you won't have much needle variety. Of course I do have one that's simply the basics in needles and thread. Which would you like sweetie?" She asks.
>Which do you pick?>The needle based kit. Best for Ming to have as many tools at her disposal. You doubt you and...your siblings(?) care for what material is used for repairs...well Xin Lan might pretend to.>The thread based kit. Ming might still be a beginner, so it would be best for her to get practice with as many material types first. Plus it would allow her to experiment and get used to how different threads work or look.>The balanced kit. It's the safest option and you're sure Ming isn't specifically looking for anything at the moment.>Look for something else that you could buy as a gift.>Write in.>Would you like to ask the elderly store keeper anything?>Yes (what do you ask?)>No
>>4536384Hmmm...I'm guessing this is another point where the setting starts to fall apart when you put it under scrutiny isn't it?
>>4536454>>The needle based kit. Best for Ming to have as many tools at her disposal. You doubt you and...your siblings(?) care for what material is used for repairs...well Xin Lan might pretend to
>>4536454Needle based kit.It will also make for good improvised throwing weapons when her style is developed.
I will be ready to run in about roughly an hour. Looks we'll be getting the needle heavy kit for Ming.
>>4536454>based needle kitFixed it for you mate.
>>4536643>>4536769Buying the kit with various needles in it. Writing.>>4537240Much appreciated my guy.
"I'd like the needle kit please." You say pointing to it. The old woman takes the box and double checks to make sure it is the correct one before putting away the rest of the kits. You pay for your purchase, spending the last of your savings for personal purchases. "Thank you." You say as you kneel to wrap the box up in some of your clothes to keep it hidden. Part of you wonders how necessary this was considering you doubt that your friends would search through your things without your permission but another part feels a little bit more at ease that they wouldn't be able to see them by accident. "Will there be anything else dear?" The old woman asks but you shake your head."Not right now." You say. "But I might be back later for travel rations." The old woman nods."Then I'll keep a few saved for you dearie." She says politely. You give the old woman your thanks and head out to make your way to the shrine the book store clerk mentioned. You head back to the center of town and try not to pay too much mind to the hushed whispers and stares around you. Part of you wishes you still had your hat to conceal your face but there was not much you can do. You're somewhat thankful that you and the others had decided to wash your clothes soon after after you left Yunnan or else your shirt would still be covered in Mei Ling's blood. You find the shrine soon enough though it's far more humble than any shrine you've seen on your travels so far. It was a simple thing, just a small pedestal with a smaller statue of a dragon on it. Surrounding the statue were small candles and sticks of incense as well as a small donation box at the base of the statue. To finish it off the shrine had a small wooden roof held up by four columns. As you arrive, you find it to be empty be it because of your presence or simply because it was ignored you cannot say but at least you had it all to yourself. >What do you do?>Offer a small prayer and dontation. You're not sure what you can do with a shrine this small but perhaps your small show of respect is enough.>Try and meditate here. Perhaps you might be able to speak to a sprite or spirit. You're unsure if you could even visit Shenlong from here as it's not a shrine dedicated to him or anyone to be honest.>Do nothing. The shrine isn't really what you expected it to be. It's too small and really more as a token effort to appease the spirits. It probably contains no power.>Write in.
>>4537369>Try and meditate.Even the smallest tokens of appreciation are appreciated in turn. A pebble becomes ripples and proof we have not forgotten - Oogway, probably
>>4537375Gonna try and meditate. Writing.
You sit down, back against the shrine, and close your eyes as you try to meditate. You struggle to push away the sounds around you, the feeling of the sun and wind on your fur. You take a deep breath and exhale as you roll your neck a bit and adjust your shoulders as you try to relax. A few mintues pass and you find yourself focusing more on keeping your breathing even than clearing your thoughts. You shake your head. Again you try once more to slip into the sea of unconciousness as reach out with your feelings. You feel like your fighting yourself, fighting your thoughts, as you slip away and the sounds around you fade away for the most part. You can still hear everything at the precipice of your counciousness. You reach out to feel the elements and find yourself bound to your body. The sounds around you seem to grow louder. You frown and furrow your brow and you focus as hard as you can. The din around you grows even louder, the sounds of people drowning out your other senses. Through all that you can just barely feel the whisper of the wind if only that. The rumble of the earth, the energy of fire, the rush of water are all gone and impossible to sense. You growl quietly as your frustration mounts and the sounds around you grow louder still. You try to reach out, to claw at those whispers that you're starting to doubt are even there to begin with but you can't. Locked to your body like some kind of novice, you finally succumb to your frustrations and break your focus to listen to the noise around you as if you could glare at it and make it go away. All you hear is screams.Not screams of people around you but screams of the damned. The same screams that drowned you while you added your own. The same screams that plague your nightmares and the screams that could only come from true and utter suffering. You feel stiches in your chest as you struggle to breathe and you desperately try to go back, to slip back to your body. Mercifully for you, you easily break your trance and find yourself panting heavily. You look around as your heart threatens to break out of your chest. The townsfolk stare at you oddly though you assume it's due to some stranger sitting at their shrine and meditating than anything else. You feel your eyes sting and instinctively you rub them. Your hands come back wet and you know it's not sweat.>What do you do?>Leave. You don't know where to go but you just want to go away. Wander the town for a while.>Head back to the well and wait for your friends while you try not to let the event dampen your day.>Offer a prayer and this time and apology. You can't talk to your friends of the other side just yet. But you will. You won't abandon them.>Try to meditate again. You can't let this beat you. Not like this. When you were young, you never let injuries stop you from training. If you broke an arm, you used the other. If you pulled a muscle you pushed through the pain. This is no different.>Write in.
>>4537515>Count to ten, focus on our breathing until we are composed a bit more and then try meditating again. We now know what not to focus on.
>>4537529Come on Tai Lung, this won't keep you down. You've suffered the single worst designed fate in reality, used your experience suffering and bounce back.
>>4537515>Try to meditate again. You can't let this beat you. Not like this. When you were young, you never let injuries stop you from training. If you broke an arm, you used the other. If you pulled a muscle you pushed through the pain. This is no different.
>>4537529>>4537544Gonna try to force it. Writing.
You sniff and fight back the choking feeling of something unwated rising your in your throat. The echoes of the screams linger in your memory before they fade away and you look up to the afternoon sky. The sun had begun to set and the sky was now tinged with shades of orange and yellow. You can feel your heart thumping in your chest and you practice your breathing as you try to calm your self down. The people around you move on to resume their daily lives once more. You wait a few moments before you close your eyes and try to ease yourself back into meditating. Doing so is now harder than ever as you still feel a bit shaken and frustrated. You try to push everything around you away and submerge yourself once more but struggle. Even as you try to ignore everything around you, you mentally flinch away from noise and other things.You're stuck, unsure whether or not what you might feel out are your friends in the elements or if they're remnants of your time in Hell. You want to reach out and feel for the spirits but you don't want hear the screams burned into your mind, the pain of you punishments. You feel trapped within yourself, unable to venture beyond the comfort of the mortal realm, unable to push beyond the safety net you've set up in your mind. It's as if you're afraid to venture beyond your body for fear of slipping back into Yánluówáng's court. You find yourself holding your head in your hands, angry and frustrated. It shouldn't be this hard. Why were you struggling? You spent years studying how to do this in Eureka and with a gift that most monks would only dream about. You resist the urge to punch the dragon statue and break something simply to vent. You resent the burning feeling in your eyes, the stream running down your cheeks. You felt empty, disconnected. It's as if a part of you was missing. As if you were blinded and deafened. You never realized how much you relied on your blessing, how it connected you to everything around you in ways you didn't understand until now. Part of you wonders if this is how Renshu felt growing up, unable to stop the voices while meditating. You bury your face in your knees unable to admit defeat but unable to do anything to disprove your failure.You finally gather yourself and stand up. The sun was nearly gone but you think you have enough time to do one more thing, or at least avoid meeting your friends for a while. You sling your bag over your shoulder and look around ashamed and hoping no one was staring. Luckily for you, you're largely ignored. Occasionally someone glances your way, but no one pays your any real attention. You sigh and wonder what to do.
>What do you do?>Go to the well and wait for your friends. You think you've had enough for today. Hopefully they don't ask how you're doing.>Go find a place to eat. Maybe you can avoid talking to everyone if you deflect and lead them to a place to eat.>Find a place to eat. If you're really not up to it, you can at least let them know where you will all be eating and use the excuse of not feeling well to sleep early.>Go to the guard station. Perhaps they have information on the raids. Maybe you can bury yourself in your task and keep your mind off of things.>Write in.
>>4537623>Offer an apology to the wind, We'll break through eventually.>Find a place to eat, it'd be best to lead them to something to eat that they like, and food will numb our self loathing.
>>4537623>>Go to the well and wait for your friends. You think you've had enough for today. Hopefully they don't ask how you're doing.>>Go find a place to eat. Maybe you can avoid talking to everyone if you deflect and lead them to a place to eat.
I'm not sure you know, when should we swallow our pride and tell the others.We should probably talk to the others soon-ish about the problem. Maybe tonight after dinner, send renshu to inform the guards about the decimation of the other town while we fill in Xin and Ming.Demonstrate we trust them enough to let our guard down a bit, given the trauma is about two weeks old at this point and we're not getting any worse.
I'm gonna make dinner. So i'll count votes when I get back.
>>4537671it's more a plan for us to do when the options come up after dinner, not something to vote for right now mate.
>>4537623>Offer a prayer. This isn't a failure. You only fail when you give up trying.>Food
>>4537627>>4537630>>4537692Apologize and go find a place to eat. Writing.
You slowly get to your feet and wipe your eyes before offering a prayer to the wind. "I'm sorry." You whisper. You're unsure what else to say at the moment but you know that it won't end like this. You couldn't just let it stay this way. However, right now you're unsure what you can do. This wasn't something you could simply muscle your way through. You were hurting in the one place you simply couldn't swap out or ignore. The very core of your being, your will. You stand there ashamed at your weakness and it hits you. Did Yánluówáng plan this? Was this some kind of divine punishment for overstepping your bounds? With your mental state being like this, were you meant to fail your trial of reforming Renshu? You had indeed challenged the very laws of nature. Decided, in your arrogance, that the rules of the world should bend to your desires. You shudder at the weight of those thoughts and can feel it lay heavily on your shoulders. You had let success get to your head and like a child who learned a new move, decided to challange someone far beyond your level. Perhaps this was what you deserved indeed.But even as you wallow in your self loathing, in the far reaches of your mind, a small spark still flickered. No.No, you wouldn't fail. No, you wouldn't simply let Renshu die like that. No, you wouldn't let this stop you. These thoughts, however, were weak. Small reassurances to help you take the one step after another and nothing more. They didn't change anything. They didn't help you regain what you lost...and yet you couldn't let that flame die out. You shielded it, desperate to keep those thoughts going. Such a small spark reminds you of Xin Lan. The tiny dying spark of hope that is now a raging, roaring inferno. One that nearly blinded you and forced you out of your meditation. You now hope that your small spark will grow in time. You sigh and rub the back of your neck. You felt like you did when you first started your journey. Uncertain and on edge.Your aimless wandering carries you down the town's main street. You keep an eye out for someplace to catch your fancy. One place manages to catch your attention. A small place named A Taste of Heaven. You supress a snort at the coincidence. Still, the place looked inviting enough. The front of the building was open and several tables lined the inside and outside. One each table was a nice candle lit lantern. In the setting sun they emitted a warm, welcoming, light. The smell of noodles and various other fired dishes wafted out from the inside making your stomach growl. You can see a few families eating inside, adding to the homely atmosphere. It was a good a place as any.
---Upon returning to the town well, you find that your friends are already waiting for you. "Ah, you've returned." Renshu says with smile though he gives you a concerned look as he seems to look both at you and beyond you. Keeping whatever he was thinking hidden he continues, tone unchanged and controlled. "We had arrived only a few minutes prior. Have you found what you were searching for?" You nod."Yeah." You say quietly before adding. "I also found a place to eat too. You guys hungry?""Famished." Ming says. "What'd you find?" She asks."Hopefully some place that has fired food." Xin Lan says stretching. "I could go for something nice and crunchy." "You keep looking for fried food and it'll go somewhere other than that cottontail of yours." Ming teases. Xin Lan stick out their tongue and wiggles their tail."No surprises you'd notice. I've caught you staring before." They joke before clapping their hands together. "So. Food?" "It smelled good." You say, feeling some warmth return to you and a bit of weight removed from your shoulders as you listen to your friends joke around. "It's called a A Taste of Heaven. Knowing a certain someone, they'll be heading there if they don't curb their appetite." Xin Lan shoots you a grin. "I can handle any meal...that is delicious." They add quickly. "Don't think I forgot the time you burned the water." They say. Frankly you yourself constantly wonder how you managed to turn a pot of pure water into a black burnt sludge. Luckily for you and your ego, it was a one time thing."Perhaps we should head towards the diner." Renshu suggests. "Before they close and we're left to wonder exactly what heaven tastes like." He says eyeing the darkening skies. You and your group make your way towards the small diner and choose to sit down at an outside table. The small lantern glowed brightly in the night and the others that dangled around the eating area provided ample illumination for you to read the menu. Not really wanting your friends to ask you about how your day was you choose to lead the conversation.>What do you say?>Ask your friends if they found what they were looking for. Just make simple small talk while they order.>Ask Ming if she found what she needed to enact the plan against the raiders. Perhaps you can get an idea of how long you'll need to stay.>Ask if anyone found a place to sleep. Hopefully you won't need to camp out tonight.>Write in.
>>4537916>Ask your friends if they found what they were looking for. Just make simple small talk while they order.>Ask Ming if she found what she needed to enact the plan against the raiders. Perhaps you can get an idea of how long you'll need to stay.>Ask if anyone found a place to sleep. Hopefully you won't need to camp out tonight.>Write in.After meal when everyone is settled in private gather the party around and tell them about what happened. and give a big boi hug
>>4537986Always want those big boi hugs. I guess we're doing them all. Writing.
"Did you guys find what you were looking for?" You ask trying to sound casual as you glance at the menu."I did." Xin Lan says. "Got two dresses but I swear if they get damaged because of our adventures I'm going to make you buy me a new one." They threaten, waving a pair of chopsticks around. "They're nice clothes." They grumble. Ming simply pokes their head."Then maybe we should work harder to not get into too much trouble." She teases and turns to place her order. "I also have had luck in finding my purchases." Renshu says folding his menu and taking a sip of his drink. "This town seems to have several shops for things other than the basic nessecities. One which happened to sell instruments. Though it will take them a bit to restring the instrument, I'm quite happy with my purchase.""So you'll be playing music when we set up camp then?" Ming asks. "That'd be a nice change of pace. Although I do find the sound of a campfire in the quite forest to be kind of relaxing." She admits. "How are you going to carry it around?" She asks. "On your back?" Renshu nods."I have had it fitted for travel." He says. "It should not impact the quality of the music it makes.""What about you Ming?" You ask. "You never did say if you were looking for anything in particular.""Oh, I spent most of my day going through a few medicine shops and produce stalls." She admits before looking around to see if anyone was listening in. "You know...for the plan." She whispers."Well did you find anything...for the plan?" You ask amused."Well I was going to ask Renshu for help but then we all kind of got distracted." She admits. Even Renshu seems a bit confused by that."My help?" He asks. "While I am always willing to assist you Miss Ming, I'm afraid my knowledge of alchemy tends to be...well not quite less than lethal." He says. "That's true but given your...um...older profession. You do know more about how much the body can take when it comes to that stuff. Plus it'd help to have someone else who I can bounce ideas off of too." She admits. "Give the fact we'll be dealing with a horde of enemies. I might have to use a brew or potion that is more potent than abundant. Which tends to come with it's own slew of problems.""Like what?" You ask."Well in a practical sense, and in the way we'll be using it, there's no guarentee, or way to make it happen, that everyone will receive and equal dose of whatever we decide to use. If someone gets too much then they run the real risk of it becoming a lethal dose. The other way around is that if we focus on making a ton of less potent mixtures, then there's chances they won't get enough for it to take effect." She explains. "At the moment I'm hesistant to choose between the two to be honest."
"I mean if you need help, I can pitch in too." Xin Lan says. "What? I had to same job too you know!" They go silent as everyone's meals are brought to the table. Once the area was clear, they poke at their food and continue. "Seems like the first thing you need to decide is the vector you want to use." They say. "Do you want it to be airborne? Or is it via skin contact? Do you want it fast acting or a slower reaction? Once we decide these kinds of things, we can figure how how potent to make it or how to structure our plan around that." They say taking a large bite out of a bean bun. "Wut?" They ask, mouth full. "I'm really really good at my job.""Unfortunately." Renshu says sadly.Ming frowns at that but starts to think. "You're right though. I hadn't really considered those kinds of things. Just what the effects I wanted. I'm not really used to thinking about using my medicines on completely unwilling participants or for combat." She looks at you. "What do you think we should use? You'll be in the front lines and you know more about fighting than any one of us. What kind of approach should we take?">What do you say?>Tell Ming that something that goes through the skin would be best. If it's a gas cloud, you run the risk of inhaling it yourself even if she were to drop it dead center of the group and leaving you to clean up the front liners.>Say that a cloud based mixture would be best. Everyone has to breathe and even if your opponents hold their breath, it'll wear them out as they fight and they'll either fall from exhaustion or breathe in to continue. Plus armor won't help them.>Write in>On the subject of potency. What do you want?>Tell Ming that she should focus on a longer lasting but slower acting mixture. You and the others can hold the line for a while. The real issue starts when they wake up before you've bound them all. Having it last longer would be more benificial.>Say that a faster acting mixture would work. While you can the other can hold them off for a while, the longer the fight goes on, the more chances there are for someone to get lucky and deal a devestating hit. The sooner you can end the fight the better, just like with your own fighting style.>Write in.
I have a potential idea. Most armies of the time, even raiders, cook in a big ass pot. They keep the fire going while serving it up to everyone to keep the food warm, and might huddle around it after if it’s a cold night. They probably test the food for poison given its a foreign land...but they would never test the wood. If we soak a medicinal oil into their wood supplies, that vaporizes when heated, we can get them to knock themselves out or at least ensure that night’s sleep is ESPECIALLY deep.Taking a page from the rose, as it were.
>>4538128Make it look like a mist or a fog, and have it be slow acting, and you basically golden. They'd set up camp, eat, and eventually fall into a deep sleep. Probably won't even have to fight them, or atleast most of them when we do make our move against them.
>>4538128I don't think they would test the pot for poison, but there would be an unequal amount of distribution.But we'd also need some protection for when we are entering the camp.
>>4538281Do we still have them masks?Or maybe we can also manufacture something that will help counteract the drug, which we can take before entering.
>>4538356Ming had A mask, but a soaked bandana could work.Maybe sweet pea mixture.
>>4538359Or another idea I hadn't considered.Make it weak as shit, such that it only makes them tired to high heaven. So when they eat it, they cannot actually die of overdose unless they were draining a barrel of the stuff.An army of weary, over stuffed mongols should make fighting them OHKO each and every time
So what's the verdict then? Slow poison?
>>4538565We don't seem to have come to a cohesive verdict, but the plan seems to be related to poisoning the wood for fires in their camp and then strolling in when the mist-looking fumes have set them all to a deep sleep in the middle of the night
>>4538570to whit, Slow liquid poision which shall become fumes when exposed to heat, thusly rendering the sniffer either unconscious or when they sleep do so very heavily.
Alright I can work with that. I'll get to writing. Today might be a short day however, have something that might come up that'll keep me busy but it's not definite.
You think for a bit. "What if we don't need to lead them to a mountain pass?" You ask. "What if we can get them while they're camping? If we're going to use fumes could we simply make it them and knock them out? Like the incense..." You say as you start to formulate a plan. "They have to make a fire place to cook their food or keep warm. What if we were to douse their firewood with something so when it's burned, it releases a cloud of the mixture to knock them out? Even if they don't get knocked out from inhaling it, they'll at least be worse off and will be easier to engage."Ming thinks about it for a bit. "That could work..." She says. "But it would depends on a lot of things. The fumes would have to at least be translucent which shouldn't be too much of a problem but then they have to be heavy enough so they don't simply float into the air harmlessly." Ming digs through her bag next to her chair and pulls out her notebook."Come on Ming." Xin Lan says. "Not during dinner." They sigh and chew on an eggroll. "You'll need it to be very slow acting. Otherwise, people are going to get suspicious that people are falling unconcious all around them. If you can make it happen slowly, and make it look like they're just falling asleep, a very deep sleep, then everyone will continue to go to the source." They say. "Honestly, it'd be easier to drug the food.""Presuming, they don't test their food for poison." Renshu says. "Though I wouldn't see why they would.""If we target the food, then they'll taste it." Xin Lan counters. "Having it come from the fire, it'll at least be masked by the smell of smoke.""Yes but how do we target their firewood?" Renshu says. "We don't even know if the group has a stock of it or simply cuts it down as they need it.""Come on Stripes...." Xin Lan replies as they reach for Ming's plate while she was buried in her notebook only to have their hand smacked away. They grin and motion at her. "See? She's got the senses of a martial artist already." They joke and go back to their own meal. "Anyways, Stripes a group that large would have to have a stock pile somewhere. The more times they have to go out to gather firewood, the more chances they'll be discovered.""Not if they're hiding within the ruins of their conquests. Most people will be avoiding such places. By gathering only when required, they limit the movement of their troops outside of that area. Mass gathering of timber, while it does keep them from leaving their hideout, will leave much more tracks for any guards searching for them." Renshu explains. "By limiting their numbers, it will be easily confused for an average camper.""Alright you two." You say amused at the back and forth. You grab a meat bun and serve yourself some rice. "Clearly my plan isn't perfect but it's a start. We can debate the details later. First let's see if Ming can even get this going. What do you think so far?" You ask her. Ming looks up from her notes a bit distracted.
"Oh uhh..." She looks at her book. "Well I think it can be done." She says. "In fact I'm sure it can but I just need to study what I have to work with a bit more. I'll need some help. I know poisons and sedatives but never considered using them like this. Xin and Renshu have more experience with this kind of stuff. Once I know what ingredients I'm dabbling with, I can give you an estimate of how long I'll need." She closes her book and sips at her soup. "But the firewood idea will require less set up than the idea of using a mountain pass. Breaking things down, the mountain pass idea makes it easier to target the group as a whole. We're not sure if everyone will be going to the campfire or if they're using multiple. By dumping the sedative on them we have better controll over who gets a dose. The campfire plan is more subtle however, and while we might not hit everyone, we'll be able to incapacitate people without engaging them directly and we'll need a lot less of the concoction made." You nod."Well we'll save that stuff for later." You say and take a bite of your food. "Speaking of later, did anyone find a place to stay?" You ask. "We do need somewhere to sleep.""I did." Renshu says. "There is an inn with a few vacancies in town. The rooms are large enough to accomodate two people each. We might be able to save some money by sharing a room.""That's good..." Your voice trails off."What's wrong?" Xin Lan asks."Nothing." You muse. "I've just realized I haven't slept in an actual bed for about 20 years...and it's going to go on for 21." Your friends all stop eating to look at you."You're joking." Xin Lan says."No." You say finally laughing out loud as the revelation sets in. "I haven't had the chance." Your friends all remain quiet.>What do you say?>Ask your friends something else. There's still a bit of food left to eat. Some more small talk won't hurt. (What do you talk about)>Tell your friends that you all can go find a bed to sleep in once you are all done eating. (Skip ahead)>Write in.
>>4538683>Let them all finish eating, then it's time to let ming and Xin in on what's wrong with us.Lets have a nice meal, then when we get a bit more privacy we should tell them about going to hell and how much that's fucked us up.Gotta trust our friends after all.
>>4538694>>4538707I'm back. Sorry about that. Things took longer than expected. We're gonna tell everyone what went down in Hell. Writing.
You and your friends continue to chat and eat throughout the evening. You talk about mundane things such as favorite meals, times your cooking failed, and various other unimportant subjects. Things you would've scoffed at back when you were at the Jade Palace. Back then, you'd have considered it a sign of weakness. What did you need others for when you were the best? What good was small talk when you could force your will on others? As you finish your drink and set it down, you feel a certain warmth envelop you. Not from your drink or from the hot meal but just a general fuzzy feeling. It takes you a bit to realize you were happy. This was what friendship was like. It wasn't just relying on others to assistance or strength. Or helping those in need. It was also just...being with others. Enjoying their company and learning to relax with them.As if Xin Lan was reading your mind, they put down their cup and say quietly, "So this is what having friends is like?" They ask. Ming gently sets her notebook down."Like what Xin?" She asks gently."I don't know. I just feel...nice." They say. "Relaxed and content...and just nice. I'm assuming it's friendship because I don't feel like this when I interact with other people. Just you guys." Ming and Renshu smile gently."Yes little one." Renshu says pulling Xin Lan close and hugging them. "That is friendship. Treasure it always." He whispers."It is a nice feeling isn't it?" Ming admits. "Even with the people I used to hang around with back home...it didn't really feel like this. It's gotta be true friendship and I'm glad I could experience this with you guys...even if it does come with danger around every corner." She jokes."I've never felt this way before either." You admit. "Growing up, such things...I always felt they were for weak people. Why did I need friends when I was the strongest person around?" You play with a chopstick as your flip it around your fingers while you mull over something. "I don't know. Maybe if I had friends, I wouldn't have ended up like this. Maybe if I tried to learn more about others, I wouldn't have gone down the path I did...I guess in the end, I was the weak one. Unable to admit and open up to others, I hid like a coward and scared those who wanted to come close.""Then I am glad that I am learning about such things with you." Xin Lan says. "I think experiencing these things for the first time together only serves to strengthen our friendship.""Stop it you two." Ming says rubbing her eyes. "You guys are gonna make me cry...so sweet. I swear you two are my favorite idiots." You smile.
"I don't think you'd want it any other way." You say looking up at the stars. She was right though. It was a geuinely nice feeling to be around your friends and spend time with them. However, something constantly gnaws at you and your happiness. It tints everything with worry and unease. You've been trying to ignore it but it always comes back up. Even trying to ignore it brings tinges of your time in Yánluówáng's courts. You supress a sigh and force yourself to face it. Your friends had to know, they were worried about you and you had learned your lesson in keeping things from them. But how could you? They relied on you for strength. This wasn't a matter of your ego. It wasn't fear of appearing weak or less of man. You were afraid of the effect it would have on your friends. Could you place your burdens on them? Part of you demands that you do, this was why they were your friends. So that they could shoulder your burdens. So that they could feel your pain with you. But another part wants your friends to remain as they were. Untainted and oblivious. Better than they remain happy and none the wiser. You couldn't harm them like this.In the end, you decide that you would tell them. It was their right as your friends and your duty as theirs. "I think we should head off." You say. "Pretty sure we're the only people keeping this place open now and I'm sure Xin has eaten half their stores." Xin Lan smiles."They should be honored." They say, slipping back on their mask. "I say it's the mark of a good eatery that I eat as much as I did." "Or it could be that you have no self control." Ming counters. Xin Lan simply sticks their tongue out at her. "Where did you say this inn was?" You ask Renshu."It's not to far away." He says. "I suspect they'd be eager to accomedate us. They seemed a bit empty no doubt due to recent events."---You take the two rooms keys from the old man and meet up with your friends. Handing one to Ming you hesistate a bit. "What's wrong?" She asks looking at you with concern. "Meal not settling well for you? I have something I can give you for that." You shake your head and wonder how to tell your friends you wanted to talk to them about what you went through as your worries flare up once more.>What do you say?>Tell your friends the truth. You want to talk to them about what's been bothering you but you're afraid that being vulnerable would negatively effect them.>Shake your head and simply say you want to talk to them in private once they settled into their room. You can gather your thoughts during that time.>Lie. Say that nothing's wrong. Maybe it's not the right time to speak about this right now.>Write in.
>>4539117>Tell the truth, I want to talk about what's made me uneasy, but I dont want to burden you guys with it. It feels like ruining a good dinner.
>>4539125>>4539165Gotta put faith in our friends. Writing.
"I...want to talk to you all in private." You say quietly. "It's about what happened back in Yunnan...but..." You go quiet."You can tell us." Ming says placing a hand on your arm. "What's wrong?""I'm afraid." You say numbly. "I'm afraid that it'll affect you all. I don't want to burden you. You rely on me and I don't want you all to lose that. it's been a good day and I don't want to ruin it.""It's alright." Ming says gently. "We all have our burdens. We've relied on you. Now it's our turn to take the burden off of your shoulders." She says. You shake your head."I'm afraid this isn't something you can shoulder." You say. "But it's something you deserve to know. I'll be in my room waiting." You give Ming her key and wander off to find the room to your key feeling the weight of everything on your shoulders.The room you were going to share was a small one. Enough that you were surprised that they managed to fit two beds in. You sit down on one and lay on it, finally breaking your 20 year record. You frown a bit. After so many years of sleeping on the ground and on hard surfaces this bed felt...wrong. It was too soft, too eager to envelop you. You sigh and sit up. It seems like everything was trying to ruin your day now. You mull over what you want to tell your friends or rather how you want to tell them. You don't have much time to think as you soon hear a knock on the door. "Hey can we come in?" Xin Lan asks. You want to simply nod but knowing they can't see you, you force yourself to speak."Yeah...come in." You say. Your voice sounds hollow and empty. You didn't intend for it to come out like that. The door to your room opens and all three of your companions come in."Sorry." Ming says closing the door behind her. "We wanted to give you some time to gather your thoughts.""It's alright..." You say quietly once again forcing yourself to speak and to look at your friends. "I couldn't really think of anything to be honest." You admit and motion for your friends to take a seat on the bed opposite to you. They do and remain quiet so as to let you speak at your own pace. Finally, after you could not longer find a reason to keep quiet you speak.
https://youtu.be/kuySo0QDFis"I don't...I can't..." You start and stop. You look down at your hands, unable to face your friends. "I don't know what to say..." You say quietly."Tell us what happened." Ming says softly. "Just start from the beginning."You nod and recount your tale. Of how you found Renshu among the spirits, how you went to Yánluówáng's court, how you bartered with the Great Judge, and...you stop once more and squeeze your hands. "I can't..." You whisper. "I can't..." Your face burns with shame and your eyes sting. You were angry, frustrated, ashamed...scared. Your breath is ragged and your chest tightens as you clench your teeth and simply wish for it all to go away. You find yourself spiraling again, descending into a circle of self loathing and unable to continue as the room slowly fades...until you feel something touch your arm."Let it out." Xin Lan says quietly looking deep into your eyes. "Don't hold it in. Feeling emotions also means being able to express them. Don't let them fester inside you and rot. Don't make the same mistakes again." You choke a bit as your face scrunches up and you break down. It had been years, decades, since you cried. Your tears burn your face as you can't help but feel ashamed once more. Though your tears you choke out your experience. The endless cycle of torture and the unending sorrow. The countless deaths you suffered that brought you no respite."I can't do it again." You say. "I don't think I ever can. I hear the voices at night. I feel the pain in my dreams. When I awake I don't know where I am. I don't know if I'm free. Nothing feels right anymore and every thing is tinted and faded. I feel like I'm wandering and I can't find my way." You gasp. "Even when I'm with you all and we're enjoying everything I feel that worry eating at the edge of my mind. I can no longer speak with the spirits. All I hear are the screams of the damned. I can't reach out for fear of going back there. I'm trapped and I fee blind again. Like something is missing." You bury your face in your hands. "In the end when everything is dark I wonder if it was all worth it. I don't know anymore. I want to say that is was, that I helped someone else get their second chance but I can't help but doubt it. It's not like before. I can't just convince myself that everything will be right again."
Xin Lan holds you and wraps their arms around you as best they can. Ming flings herself on you and does the same while Renshu can only place his hand on your back and feel ashamed at himself, unable to look at the man who saved him. The man who he pledged his life to now knowing that such a thing is trifle compared to what you gave up. "It was worth it." Ming says as her eyes water. "No one can ever tell you otherwise. No one can say that it isn't. You can't say this makes you weak. You just can't. Not after what you told me back in Zhengyi. Not after all you've been through. We'll help you. You can beat this...you're a good man Tai Lung." She says sobbing and tightening her hold on you. "I don't care what you did before we met. You're...you're a good man.""You gave me back my family." Xin Lan says looking at you. "You helped me get emotions. I want to hurt for you because of this. I want to help you and I'll do anything to make your pain go away." They sniffle and tears run down their eyes as well. "You're...you're my best friend." They say firmly and without any doubt. You pull your friends into a tight hug and look up at the ceiling. You sob and the tears no longer burn your face because you don't feel shame. Because you have people who care about you. Even though you've always known it, now is the time you truly felt it for the first time. You're no longer alone...---You're not sure how long you spent with your friends crying and sharing your burdens with them. You're not even really sure when you fell into a dreamless sleep. When you wake up, it's late into the morning. Your body feels stiff and tense as if you didn't get any sleep at all. You feel a weight around you and you see that it's Ming and Xin at either of your sides, fast asleep and holding on to you tightly. Glancing over to your side, you see Renshu not on the other bed but on the floor in a meditative position, one you recognize as a position of penance and self punishment. You lay there, letting the misery wash over you as you go over the events of last night and not wanting to get up and face your friends.>What do you do? How do you feel?>Lay there. You don't want to do anything. You don't mind letting time slip by. Right now you just don't want to do anything.>Slowly get up and try not to wake your friends. Go someplace to simply sit and think. Maybe the roof. Talking to your friends didn't fix anything nor did you expect it to but now that you've aired out your burdens you feel you're on the precipice of something. Perhaps now is the best time to reaffirm yourself.>Sit up and wake up your friends. Tell them what they mean to you. Tell them what you wanted to say last night but couldn't. Today is the day you start anew. Even if it means crawling your way there, you'll get back to the way you were. Not for you but for your friends so that you can shoulder their burdens when the time comes. So that you can be there to carry them like you always have.>Write in.
>>4539362>>Slowly get up and try not to wake your friends. Go someplace to simply sit and think. Maybe the roof. Talking to your friends didn't fix anything nor did you expect it to but now that you've aired out your burdens you feel you're on the precipice of something. Perhaps now is the best time to reaffirm yourself.Maybe we need so sit and meditate under a waterfall?
>>4539362>Slowly get up and try not to wake your friends. Go someplace to simply sit and think. Maybe the roof. Talking to your friends didn't fix anything nor did you expect it to but now that you've aired out your burdens you feel you're on the precipice of something. Perhaps now is the best time to reaffirm yourself.More time to breathe, to think. Now is not the time to clear our mind but to ponder and let life fill us. We have lost the peace within us, and we may never get that until we fully face what we are still running from. But as of right now, China is in danger and only we are in a position to stop it.Once these bandits are taken care of, this murderous wench stopped... If we really need to settle this discord in our heart... The only logical step towards that would be heading home to the valley and facing Shifu once more.
>>4539362Dont wake the others. Just...go and sit somewhere for a while.Renshu will probably wake and join us, getting meditation tips could be helpful.
>>4539633I dont think we should go home so soon. We have others to consider and the sacred pools to find, but even so we also have places to find where Renshu can aid them.
>>4539803But small point to notice, it was a seamless sleep instead of a nightmare. That's at least an improvement.
>>4539417>>4539633>>4539674Just heading somewhere to think. Writing. Returning home and other such things are up to anons to choose if they want to.
Sorry. Got a bit of writer's block. Weird. Working through it though.
>>4540263It's fine man, even if I find the situation slightly ironic.Just push on through at your own pace.
>>4540266Clearly its the writer's version of method acting. I am TL now. Probably should go back to projecting Luo.
You slowly try to get up and avoid waking up your friends so that you can go and think for a while. Both Ming and Xin Lan seem to cling on to you and tighten their hold as you try to get up presumably because they think you're tossing around in bed. You relax a bit and gently pull yourself free. The two stir slightly but make no indication that they woke up and you slip out of bed. Quietly walking around Renshu, you open the window to your room, grab the frame from the outside, and flip up on to the roof. You sit down to watch the town and it's inhabitants unsure of what really to do. You didn't expect talking about your problems to fix them immediately but you really weren't sure what to expect. As you watch the townsfolk go about their lives you wonder how to go from here. You feel somewhat better, like a burden has been lifted from your shoulders but you still feel that doubt, the disconnect from the other side. Sighing, you lay on your back and watch the skies. How would you go on from now?You still had things to do. The Pools to find and the raiders to stop are currently your top two priorities but you're not sure if you should continue in this state. Currently you're sure you can handle things as they come physically and mentally but you simply feel incomplete. It weighs on you and you wonder if it'll get worse. What if it eats away at you? What if you lose your will to continue? You shake your head. You didn't really think that would happen but what you really worried you was becoming a burden on your friends and ultimately being unable to help them. That was the crux of it you realize. It wasn't the fear of punishment or the fear of reverting to your old self. You were afraid of being unable to help or all your efforts being for naught and leaving your friends to suffer alone. You can't help but smirk at that thought. You couldn't really say when you stopped caring for your own well being and started worrying for the sake of others.Your thoughts are interuppted when you feel a faint movement of wind nearby. Looking around you see Renshu landing behind you and making his way towards you. Once again, like so many nights ago all he says is, "I'm sorry.">What do you say?>Tell Renshu that he doesn't need to be. You made your choices. Now you will live with them.>Say that there is nothing that can be done now. For now you can only pray that things will get better.>Tell Renshu that you don't really want to talk about anything. You just want to think.>Write in.
>>4540289>You don't need to be Renshu. Sorry won't help you and it doesn't comfort me, what I did I did of my own will. Now we just need to get back to getting better.>I'm sorry for earlier though, about doubting that it was worth it.Even though we were completely honest and open, saying that about a brother is....Kinda just bad.>How do you make the voices in your head go away to meditate?
>>4540299Apologizing and asking Renshu how he makes the voices go away. Writing.
"You don't need to be." You say. "Sorry won't help you and it doesn't comfort me. What I did I did it of my own will. Now we just need to get back to getting better." You sit up. "I'm sorry though...about doubting if it was worth it. It was. It always will be. I won't be the kind of man who turns his back on others simply because it's hard. It's just...it hurts." You mumble feeling like a child apologizing. "It's frustrating and I don't like it. I don't know how to deal with it. It's not like physical pain that I can ignore. It's always there and I can't find any respite." You fidget with one of the roof tiles before looking at the rabbit. "How do you do it? How do you make the voices leave to meditate?" You ask."I don't." Renshu replies. "I never have. The voices of the spirits are with me. When I eat, when I speak, when I sleep. It is a fact of my life.""Then how do you do it?" You ask. "How can you meditate with all the noise?""I have learned to accept them." Renshu says sitting down with you. "They are a part of me as much as I am a part of them. I have learned to accept this fact...that and it took several years of alcoholism before Xin Lan gave me a reason to move on. I found something that kept me going forward. However, that is not the path you must take. What you face is not something you can simply overpower or learn to accept as a part of you." He says. "You must come to terms with what has happened, my brother. You are no longer at peace with yourself, you've lost what used to make yourself whole.""I don't know what to do." You admit. "I just...I can't meditate I can't move on.""You have lost touch with who you are. Your entire being is rife with self doubt. To move on, to make the voices go away, you have to come with terms with what has happened. You have to reaffirm you convictions, perhap even strengthen them into something new and stronger. This is a turning point. You have taken the first step towards recovery however." He says gently. "You have learned to accept what has happened. By telling the others you are no longer denying what has occured. Even if you told yourself that you are ok with what you went through, it means nothing if you aren't willing to bring it out into the real world. Otherwise you will simply bury it in your mind and suffer in silence.""If that's the frist step...then what's the next?" You ask. "What do I have to do?"
Renshu shakes his head. "This is not like some kind training brother. You cannot simply move on to the next part. This will take time and it cannot be rushed. For now, we can only go at your own pace. Meditation will help but it is not the cure. The real cure lies within your heart. You are a quiet man and it has served you well. Though I am not asking you to change I will suggest that you perhaps stop meditating alone. Do it with someone else. Their presence will give you some measure of peace and some sense of safety. They will also be able to calm you if things begin to feel too overwhelming." Renshu gives you smile, one mixed with sadness, guilt, and reassurance. "You have give us so much. Hope, safety, strength...now it is our turn to repay you. Let us be your strength. Let us be your sanctuary. Things will be alright.">What do you say?>Ask Renshu if there is nothing else you can do? Maybe you can use incense or perhaps there is somewhere you can meditate to help this go by faster. You simply can't just sit around and hope this all goes away.>Thank Renshu. Though you don't truly understand all of this, you hope you can rely on his wisdom and experience to help you.>Ask Renshu about himself. Perhaps by knowing more about the man who is now your family and your friends, you can learn more about yourself and who you wish to be now.>Write in.
>>4540443>Thank you Renshu.>Ask Renshu about himself [His travels to strange places, where he learnt that bizarre martial arts form, just shoot the shit like we did with Crane.]We're no longer alone, so why not spend the time in company?
>>4540446Just gonna make small talk with Renshu. Writing.
>>4540446> talk about xin lan and whether or not they like snow leopards
god I haven't had time to do qsts lately rip
"Thank you." You say. "Maybe it's recent events but we have sworn brotherhood to one another and yet...I don't really know much about you." You pause. "Or about any of you." You admit. "Another one of my failings...""But one that is easily rectified." Renshu says happily. "What would you like to know?""Well...how long have you been traveling?" You ask. "Surely you've been to many interesting places.""I have been traveling since childhood." He admits. "I spent most of my childhood out of the country actually. I was raised in Japan." You cock your head. "Japan? You mean you and Xin are not natives of China?" You ask. Renshu shakes his head."No we were born here and Xin Lan was raised here as well." He says. "I, however, was not. I'm certain they have told you of their conception correct?""They said that they were bred to be the best." You say remembering. "Something about making the best assassin. You mentioned it too.""Yes though it seems you forget an important detail." He says. "All others that were deemed unfit were disposed of. I lost a lot of younger brother and sisters that way." He says quietly. "As well as those from my generation. Due to my gift with sorcery and my ability to speak with the spirits, I was spared. Being able to grow the Rose also cemented my usefulness though this fact is what kept me alive after I returned. However, I was sent out of the country with my father. It was there I learned how to fight and kill.""Is that where you learned your style? I've never seen anything like it." You admit. Renshu smirks and turns away with a look of scorn. "My father's style." He says with contempt. "He was not a native of China. I am unsure how he joined the ranks of the organization but it was clear they wanted whatever traits he possessed. So when I was born, he took me away to be raised in Japan. He was a cruel man. My playmates were merely tools. Subjects to be experimented on by me. He would teach by example and mend my broken body so that he could 'teach' me again. Once I was fit, he would simply throw me at an opponent. I would learn or I would die. At the time Japan was going through some internal strife. A civil war of some kind and thus the streets were rife with danger. When I was 6, he abandoned me. I do not know if I failed him in some way or if this was his intent but I was alone to fend for myself. A young Chinese boy who could barely speak either language in a war torn country. My style offers no mercy, only a corrupted fascimile of what it should be because it is what I need to survive. I am a wall because I needed to be unbreakable. War was the perfect breeding ground for the child I grew up to be"
"Even my name reflects the twisted philosophy I follow. Renshu...benevolence. Overseas I was known as Chimamire no ren-shū or Bloody Renshu...bloody benevolence. I took what I needed to survive and I killed those who got in my way. It did not matter what side of that war they were in. As long I earned coin or food. In my twisted mind I thought it was enough to give them the option to stay out of my way. That was their mercy. I wouldn't be surprised if my name is still spoken as some monster. I returned on my own...once I was bored of killing over there. I had one thought in my mind. Revenge.""Your father." You say quietly. Renshu let's out an uncharacteristic scoff."Yes. My 'father'. A title he only bore because his blood flows in me. I murdered him infront of my mother. He had raised a monster and even at at the age of 12 he was no match for his creation. It is the one murder I will never regret. Not when I think what he would have done to Xin Lan though will admit they were not born at the time and played no part in my reasoning." "So you and Xin aren't related by blood?" You ask."We share a mother." He says. "And that is more than enough for me.""What was her response?" You ask. "I mean you killed her husband.""She smiled." Renshu says simply. "She was proud of me. My father was nothing more than a tool for the organization's goal and in her eyes he had become worthless. What good is a man that could not best their own child? In some kind of twist of maturity, I was dissatisfied with his death. Revenge was unfufilling and I knew it. Plauged by the voices of the spirits and my own frustrations over what I had been through, I turned to alcohol. It numbed me. Helped my ignore the voices. I was useless to the organization and threw violent tantrums. It was my unique upbrining that allowed me to grow the Rose and thus my life was spared. I traded the creation of the poison for more drink and that was my lot in life." They say quietly. "That's not who you are now though." You say. "That's not what you will be. We'll change that. You already have a good start. You're sober and you want to change. But I didn't want to bring up bad memories." You say. "What about when you started wandering as a Shaman? Surely that was better than how you grew up?" Renshu nods."Oh yes." He agrees lightening up. "So much better. You once mentioned that it has been 20 years since you've slept in an actual bed? Would you believe that I spent nearly as long without seeing fireworks?" You raise an eyebrow."No way. I was in prison. It makes sense that I didn't have a proper bed. It starts to be a bit more unbelievable after I escaped but to not see fireworks? They're a staple of Chinese celebrations. Even when you were out...working...surely you would have seen some?" "No. Somehow fate conspired against me and it was not until the fall of our order that I was able to see them for the first time." He admits. "That and tasting dumplings."
"Ok. Now I know you're messing with me." You say. Renshu breaks his serene character and grins."They are rather unappealing." He says. "Quite shriveled and emaciated looking. It took me a while to force myself try one. Still I prefer stuffed buns over dumplings. I'm not sure what my younger sibling sees in them.""They'll eat anything I think. I don't think I've seen them turn down anything." You admit. "Don't tell me their wiser older brother is a picky eater.""I have my tastes." Renshu says smiling. "Perhaps they are not as...robust as yours. If I were to indulge my ego a bit, I would say it's refined." They say and you think they might be j joking."What about noodles?" You ask. "Do you like those?""They are alright." He admits. "Though they are a bit too wet for my taste or rather I do not enjoy slurping them. Too messy.""Now that I can agree with." You say nodding in agreement. "They are quite popular in the Valley of Peace. I could never really get into them. I suppose they are ok."As if on queue, you hear Ming call out from under you, "Guys! Come down here! We're gonna get breakfast and if you don't tell me what you want, you'll go hungry!" >What do you do?>Go down and let Ming know what you want for breakfast. You can start planning what to do.>Invite Ming on the roof. It is kind of nice here and you can continue talking with everyone.>Let Ming know what you want for breakfast but stay on the roof to continue talking to Renshu. Tell her you'll be down in a bit once the food arrives.>Write in.
>>4540592>>4540600Asking the real questions right here. Too bad I missed the vote. Sorry my guy.
>>4540608>Let Ming know what you want for breakfast but stay on the roof to continue talking to Renshu. Tell her you'll be down in a bit once the food arrives.>Talk to him about the shared theme in your stories - revenge.What is it that compels men so strongly to take revenge? It can't be called a primal instinct, because only more intelligent creatures seek vengeance - you would never see a basic fish yearn for it. At the same time, it's something that does feel like it comes naturally, and it's overwhelmingly strong. Even the most logical minds have succumbed to the desire for revenge time and time again. In fact, it takes a lot of willpower to actively prevent yourself from taking it, especially when the means to do so are right in front of you.If I were a gypsie, I'd probably say that 'Revenge' is the inverted form of 'Justice', twisted and malign but sharing the same basic intent of righting a wrong.
>>4540655Support>>4540612there's always next time
>>4540655>>4540660Talking about revenge and breakfast. Writing.
You lean over the edge and look down at a very confused Ming. "What are you guys doing up there?" She asks. "You're going to get in trouble.""I just needed to think." You say. "And then Renshu came to talk. We kind of lost track of time. Can I get some porridge?" You ask and look at Renshu. He moves to lean over as well."I would like some tea and dim sum please." He says politely. Ming frowns at you disapprovingly."We'll come down once the food arrives." You assure her. She sighs and nods."Alright but if Xin eats your things, it's not my fault." She says."I will not!" Xin shouts out from within the room. "Now close the window. I wanna get changed." You hear the window close beneath you and the two of you return to your spots. You lay on your back once more to watch the skies."It seems both of us have had our own experience with revenge though more and more do my own reasons seem petty and thus my crimes all the more terrible." You say. "What is it that compels men so strongly to take revenge? It can't be called a primal instinct, because only more intelligent creatures seek vengence. You would never see a basic fish yearn for it. At the same time, it's something that does feel like it comes naturally, and it's overwhelmingly strong. Even the most logical minds have succumbed to the desire for revenge time and time again. In fact, it takes a lot of will power to actively prevent yourself from taking it, especially when the means to do so are right infront of you. I'd would say that 'Revenge; is the inverted form of 'Justice', twisted and malign but sharing the same basic intent of righting a wrong." Renshu crosses his legs and leans against a raised portion of the roof.
"I would not say that revenge is a corrupted version of justice." He says. "Though many would say they took revenge to right wrongs against them, it is merely an excuse they use to justify their crimes. To absolve themselves of their guilt. The true intent of revenge is to make other hurt. To make them feel the pain inflicted upon you. You yourself made me see that. After all there have been many stories of people taking revenge on others who did not have anything to do with the original crime. They were merely within reach. Though you are right. It does seem like revenge is simpler option, the easiest path. It may not be a primal instinct but I think it has roots in it. When one feels they are in danger, they lash out in hopes of ensuring their survival. When one takes revenge they lash out as well, in hopes of inflicting pain so that whatever is hurting them goes away. They lash out to show themselves that they exsist and are worth keeping alive. They inflict pain because they want to prove that they matter. It is not surival in the litteral sense but survival in the spiritual one. I feel it requires great will to stop oneself from taking revenge because you are fighting your instincts to survive. In the end, revenge is a hollow notion because the mind realizes that it was not necessary for it's survival and must now live with the guilt of wasted effort...or perhaps I believe this to assuage my guilty conscience.""But did you not take revenge because your father wronged you? Because he left you to fend for yourself? You wanted to right that crime." You point out."Perhaps that was part of it." Renshu admits. "But from my recollection I simply wanted to make him hurt at the time. To feel the pain I felt. What he did to me did not matter beyond the fact that he made me hurt and I wanted to make him feel the same. Perhaps you wished to right a wrong when you rampaged?" He asks.
You think. "I don't know." You admit. "All I remember is rage and anger. I do know that when I escaped, I wanted to get my revenge on my imprisonment. All I could think was getting my hands on the Dragon Scroll to prove that they were wrong. That if they had simply let me have it in the first place none of this would have had to happen. It was all to show them I truly did deserve to become The Dragon Warrior. They had wronged me and I wanted them to admit it. Though my time in prison was not pleasant I simply wanted my point of view to previal. Inflicting pain on them was not my goal but rather a means to an end.""Revenge is a complex emotion." Renshu says. "It seems that it is a multifaceted beast. You wished to right an injustice done to you and I simply wished to inflict pain and someone who hurt me." >What do you say?>Ask Renshu about his views on Justice. What does he think it is? If he wants to do good. What does he define as just?>Talk to Renshu about something less serious. Not everything needs to be a deep philosphical conversation though you feel like if you do want one, he is the man to go to. What do you want to ask him about?>Ask him about your current goals. About the raiders or finding the Sacred Library.>Write in.
>>4540740>Ask Renshu about his views on Justice. What does he think it is? If he wants to do good. What does he define as just?
>>4540740>Ask about his views on justice.
>>4540867>>4540867What is justice? Writing.
"Then what about justice?" You ask. "What is Justice to you?"Renshu thinks. "I do not know." He says. "I am afraid I'm the wrong person to ask even for my own sake. I simply do what feels right and even then, we know that is wrong. For now I follow your example. Regarding what is justice, I think that is what I must find out if I want to become a different person.""But surely you have to have some opinion on it?" You press. "You know what is right and wrong. So that means you have some notion of it.""I do...but I am a sociopath my friend." Renshu says. "It is how me and my sibling were raised. We have no qualms over killing, stealing or torture. We know of right or wrong simply because it is required for us to blend into society and function. We choose to follow them because we do not wish to hurt you or Ming. It is simply because I enjoy your company that I will not do something that would upset or bring harm to you." You shake your head."No. I don't believe that." You say. "If that were true, you wouldn't want to change. If that was true Xin wouldn't have wanted to stop killing or they wouldn't feel pain over their past actions. What about treating other people? Or helping them with their emotional troubles like you did at the temple? You didn't know us back then."Renshu thinks. "I don't know." He admits. "Do we do these things because it is what you expect of us? Or do we do them because we know it makes you happy? Do I want to change because it's something Xin Lan or you would like? Do they feel the way they do because it is something that would make you and Ming happy? I hope that it is none of these things and that we truly do wish to change. Perhaps if we continue to better ourselves under this light, then our hopes will become reality. We won't be doing these things because we hope that we can be good people but because we know that we are."
"Isn't the first step admitting you have a problem?" You point out. "You and Xin admit that you have problems are are working to fix them. I don't think it matters what the reason was that you went down this road, if you did it simply to keep something you enjoy or if you truly wish to change. All that matters is you continue down that path and strife to become what you want to be. A good person. People and their reasonings can change and I think you can change yours too. You can be a person who wants to change because they know what they do is wrong and from there you can become a person who does good because it is the right thing to do."Renshu smiles. "Yes I think I would like that. Frankly, if your life was not on the line I would simply be content to follow your example if it meant we could continue to be friends. I would not care if it was right or wrong. I owe you my life." He stands. "But that is not an option we have been given...or rather perhaps we do. Our deal with The Great Judge was to show him that my deeds reflect that of a good person as shown by the dimness of the hall not that I myself am a good man. Simply following your example and continuing to do good deeds should suffice. However, that is not a risk I am willing to take and to save you I must truly change. In the end when we succeed, things will be for the better.">What do you say?>Tell Renshu that you have faith in him. He will be a better person regardless of his original intentions.>Ask Renshu something else. (What do you ask him).>Tell your friend that it would be best that he figure out his definition of Justice first. If he has a set of morals to stick to, it will help guide him to his goal.>Write in.
>>4541194>I have faith in you Renshu.I feel like it can help to outline our thoughts of justice so he can understand, so let me spitball.1. Everyone gets one chance if they earnestly wish to change. That's all we got and it's all we deserved.2. Justice is in preventing harm to others and fixing damage done to them.3. The golden rule, is lead by example and the world will follow.Maybe that would help Renshu understand.
>>4541204Anyone think this is against how TP has been characterised?
>>4541204Going with this then. Writing.
"I have faith in you Renshu." You say. "Sometimes, that's all you need to make it. Someone to believe in you." You think for a moment. "Perhaps if you have a set of moral codes that you can follow it might help guide you better?" You suggest. Renshu tilts his head."Perhaps but is follow the codes and laws we have not enough?" He asks. "It is but I think if it's something your personalize or at least think of it in your own way, it might help you internalize it." You reply."Then what are yours?" Renshu asks. You go quiet for a moment. You hadn't really thought about it."Well...I guess if I had to put it into words I'd say that everyone gets a chance if they truly wish to change. Some might try to use that against us but if we don't take the chance then we're denying them and us the possiblity that it might have come true. Maybe the best way to defeat those in your path is to convert them to your cause. Remember that mercy is something we give. It doesn't need to be earned or won. We give it because we want to stop the cycle of violence and evil. Even if it hurts, even if it's hard, we should strive to help people become better people. Justice is in preventing harm to others and fixing wrongs done to them. We're a powerful group. I don't think there are many people who can even pose a challenge to us. So because of that, I feel like we should set an example to follow. Often times, people do not stand up for themselves because they feel powerless. I feel like we can give them strength and hope to do the right thing, even if it is in smaller ways."Renshu thinks. "Then what about the woman leading the raids?" He asks. "Will you allow her to join us? Would you offer her a chance after all she's done? She's murdered countless people. Burned down entire towns. She's not a mad gang member with too much power in his hands. Everything she did was calculated and on purpose. Those deaths weren't simply because she lost her temper. She planned them. All for the scrolls. Is she worthy of saving? If she wanted to would you allow her to join our group?">What do you say?>Say that you would. She may have caused great harm but if you could turn that strength to good then she can do just as much good.>Say that you wouldn't allow her to join but you'd make sure she at least got a fair chance to be heard. Perhaps she had her own reasons as bad as they might be. Renshu was the same. If possible you'd find a way for her to redeem herself via the law. Just like Kai is doing.>Say that you don't know. Whenever you make the offer, you never truly know if you'll allow someone to join only that you want them to be better.>Say that you won't. She has caused great evil. You'll offer her mercy but she needs to face justice in the eyes of the law not at your hands.>Write in.
>>4541296>Truthfully, I am willing to give her a chance to redeem herself through the law. Her memory we fought preferred to die than surrender her belief so I don't expect her to wish to change her ways. But I will still offer even if she will refuse.Everyone is worth saving but they have to be willing to change. If you are not, then there is nothing we can do for you other than hand you over to the law.
Where did everyone go?
>>4541354That's what I'm wondering. Maybe they got bored of the quest? Really trying not to continue with singular votes but if that's what I gotta do.
>>4541357Maybe ya should remind em in the general. Last thread might of died and forgot to check back again. It's a thing that happens.
>>4541362Yeah I think it's been removed. Do people actually post their quests on QTG? Seems like something that would be frowned upon.
>>4541368Nah, it's one of it's primary functions. A "hey" I'm running again, or a full on advertisement for a quest, usually when it is just starting up or it's infrequent. Both are quite common.
>>4541372Good to know. I'll do that but I think for today I'll leave the thread be. I'll take today to think a bit. I didn't like hitting that writer's block yesterday and I kind of want to have a bit of leeway in case it occurs again.
>>4541376that's fair man. I'm just hoping the curse doesn't strike you dead, because fuck me the investment I've gotten into this thing is holding me hostage.It's demanding 4 re-reads or I'm losing a finger.
>>4541383I'm doing my best for that to not happen. I really want to see this through to a satisfying end. And umm...in a bit of hubris, I'm kind of brainstorming ideas of a quest after this. Not KFP related just something I do when i'm doing chores or other menial tasks. Not that this quest is anywhere near done though. I just like thinking up premises. Probably jinxed it
>>4541390Shower thoughts are a thing.Personally I think you've got a grasp of martial arts writing as well as how to handle supernatural elements in a rather mundane world. I think you could pull something good off after this is done if you apply the twin principle of quick action and intergration.And yes, You did.
>>4541296>>4541354>>4541357>>Truthfully, I am willing to give her a chance to redeem herself through the law. Her memory we fought preferred to die than surrender her belief so I don't expect her to wish to change her ways. But I will still offer even if she will refuse.I'm alive and voting... just haven't had time to get on /qst/ due to IRL...
>>4541408Thanks. I'm always trying to figure out how to write combat better. Make it more fast paced and stuff. Though one of my worries is that KFP is a semi established universe so I have something to fall back on if I need answers. Not that it doesn't come up with it's own slew of problems when you think about it (see carnivores in a world that doesn't have animals to hunt or like what are carts pulled by.) Granted, I think like 70% of the stuff in this game I kind of thought up but there's still the lingering doubt that if I try to make my own setting I don't have that safety net.>>4541418It's all good man. I understand IRL comes first.
>>4541418in the same boat as this guy.>>4541296>Say that you don't know. Whenever you make the offer, you never truly know if you'll allow someone to join only that you want them to be better.
>>4541324>>4541418>>4541633We'll give her a chance to redeem herself through the law. You don't always know if you'll allow someone to join only that you want them to be better. Writing.
"Truthfully, I am willing to give her a chance to redeem herself through the law. Her memory we fought prefered to die than surrender so I don't expect her to wish to change her ways. But I will offer even if she will refuse." You ponder for a moment. "I honestly, don't know. Whenever I offer someone a chance to change, it's not with the intent to allow them to join me only that I want them to be better. If I'm honest, you're first person I've asked to join. Xin and Ming were with me from the beginning and I asked them to join because of what we went through. It brought us closer and...I wanted to spend more time with them. I couldn't abandon my quest however, so I asked them to join me. But you know the tale already." Renshu nods. "I see. Well then I will do my best to make sure your faith in me is not misplaced. Perhaps we may not allow more to join us but if we give everyone we can the chance to change then I do not think it matters. We are not attempting to form an army after all.""I don't think we need to." You say with a small smile. "We're practically an army on our own.""True enough." Renshu agrees. You hear the window open up once more and Xin Lan calls out. "Hey! Breakfast is here. If you don't come down, it'll get cold...or I'll eat it." They say. You hear Ming giggle. Renshu stands."It seems like we must return to our friends. I enjoyed our time together." He says. "I hope that we may speak like this again sometime." You nod in agreement and the two of you slip back into the room through the window. The small room already felt stuffy and cozy from the heat rising from the food. Ming and Xin Lan's meals were alread taken out and laid on the floor."Close the window." Xin Lan says. "You'll let the chill in. I kind of like this warmth." You comply and sit down on a bed to grab your meal. "I found this bakery yesterday. They open pretty early and serve breakfast as a side buisness. Thought we could try it out." They say as they hand your meal to your open hand."This bread is so nice!" Ming says happily as she drinks her tea. Renshu sips his own tea and seems to relax even more than ussual."This tea is exquisite. Refreshing and sharp. It must have been freshly brewed as well." He says. "Clearly we must have found a diamond in the rough."
"We? You mean I found it. Also you're lying. That tea is super bitter and gross." Xin Lan say taking a drink. "I asked for a sip at the bakery and I had to buy some sweet bread to even be able to taste anything. That's how I knew you'd like it Stripes." Renshu simply smiles happily at that, much to Xin Lan's annoyance. You take your bowl of porridge and take a bite. Your friend's opinions on the quality hit the mark. The porridge was sweet but not enough to overpower the food. The grains used to make the meal were soft but not enough that they became a boring mush as many resteraunts and diners tend to make them due to mass production. As the warm meal gowns down, you feel the warmth spread throughout your body making you feel happy and relaxed, almost like being back at home.You and your friends eat in semi silence, sometimes commenting on the food but mostly enjoying the quality of the meal and each other's company. Sadly, the food was no endless and as you scrap the bowl for the last bits of your meal Ming speaks up. "So I know we came here to work on the...mixture but..." She pauses."But what?" Xin Lan ask eyeing their brother with aprehension as he continues to drink the bitter drink."I'm slowing you guys down." She says firmly. "I can travel with you guys with no problem but if we're going to continue I need to be able to go faster. Especially if we'll be chasing down a group. So I want to ask that we stay here a bit longer so I can train some more." She continues looking at the three of you for an answer.>What do you say?>Tell Ming that you approve of her desire for self improvement but right now time is of the essence and you need to stop the raiders. Promise once that is handled, you will train her for as along as she wants.>Ask Ming if she can handle training and working on the sedatives. Trying to handle two things at once can lead to injury on her part or mistakes on her work.>Agree to train Ming on increasing her speed and agility. Xin Lan would be the best for that. He's the fastest out of all of you and closest to Ming's physique or you can train her though your speed is based on raw strength so Ming would have to build strength first and thus take longer though she'll be covering two areas this way. Strength and speed.>Write in.
>>4542582>Can you work on both at the same time?Time is really of the essence here, but if she can do both at once I dont see any reason to deny her. If not, I suggest we do piecemeal training as we go. Ie when we set up camp, Xin and Ming go and train while Renshu and we put up the tents and fires.
>>4542623We'll as Ming if she can handle it. Writing.
"Can you handle training and working on your alchemy at the same time?" You ask. "You know that it's not light work you'll be doing."Ming nods. "I know but if I'm going to get stronger, then I can't be taking the easy road. I'll...I'll need your guy's help of course. Renshu and Xin can help lighten the load on the alchemy portion. They have more pratical experience with poisons than me. I only have knowledge from notes and books. The only poisons I've made have been in small doses and meant as medicinal sedatives and pain killers. You can help me train." She says. You drain the last of your drink and think."I think it's best that I do something else." You say. "Xin is better suited to train you. They're the fastest of us and the two of you have a similar build. I could train you but my speed comes from my raw strength. So if I were to take you through my routine you'd be building both strength and speed. I'm not sure if it would be the best idea to make you focus on three different things. Time is of the essence and I'd like to take care of the raiders before we train some more but if you think you can handle both then I won't stop you."Ming frowns and thinks about it. "I...I can do it. I left home because I was playing it too safe. I won't go back to doing that now." She looks at Xin Lan. "Would you train me?" She asks."Well...I can't give you everything I did growing up but I think I can figure out somethings that won't kill you." They say. Ming gives Xin Lan a small smirk but they simply take a drink and say, "I wasn't joking.""Oh...""Well to start, we'll have to get your body used to bending." They say. "Flexibility is key." Xin Lan hops off of the bed and heads to the door. "You can spend today resting and working on alchemy. I'll come back once I have a few things gathered to help you train." They say and leaving. Ming gives you a nervous look. "Suddenly, I'm not so sure about this." She admits."Do not worry." Renshu says reassuringly. "Xin Lan wouldn't do anything that would put you at risk. Remember they've lived their entire life based on calculating risks and benifits. They will know what you can handle and how much far to push you.""How long will your work on the poison take?" You ask. "It might help give Xin and idea of how much time they're working with and if we don't have much, we can always put some sessions while we travel.""Well, I was thinking a week should be enough time to work things out. Even with training I think that should be more than enough." She says. "But if you're not going to train me. What will you be doing?" She asks.
>What will you do for your week of down time?>Help Ming train. You can't really do much considering Xin's training methods will be far different than yours, but you're kind of interested to see what kind of training an assassin did. If anything, you can at least make sure Ming is doing ok.>Find work. You can't offer much help this time but you can at least find some work to keep the group fed.>Spend it conversing with your friends. They won't be busy all the time. Spend time with them when they're taking a break.>Write in.
>>4542736>Find work for the day, spend the night/our spare time keeping an eye on the group's training
>>4542753Gotta pay the bills somehow. Writing.
"Looking for work most likely. We have some funds but I'd feel a lot better knowing we have some money coming in. Plus I prefer to keep busy rather than sit around and wait. I'm sure there's someone around here who needs work done. Maybe I can make delivery boy my official career." You chuckling."That's a good idea." Ming says. "Thank you." She stands up as well and dusts off her pants. "Well I guess we've spent enough time eating and napping. I better get to buying ingredients if I'm going to be spending today working on our plan. Renshu would you mind accompanying me?" She asks. Renshu gets to his feet and slips his hands into the opposite sleeve. "Certainly not. Shall we head off?" He says politely."We'll meet up here for dinner?" Ming asks. You nod."Yeah sounds like a good idea. I'm sure Xin will find and meet us when they get hungry." You say as you get to your feet as well. "I'll let you know how the job hunt goes." The three of you make your way to the inn's lobby and go your seperate ways once you exit the building.---You look around the market place as you wander around. As is custom, there are several stalls trying to get your attention as you walk by. The small size of the town means there isn't much in the way of variety, that is until you reach the edge of the market and come across a trading caravan. Somewhat surprised, you venture over to take a look. It's a different caravan than the one you guarded and they have yet to set up their own wares to sell though you're curious if they bring any news. However, you stay your curiosity for now as you have to search for a job. Though perhaps you could work for the traders as an errand boy. They would probably want things delivered to the townsfolk or things brought to them. The less time they spent away from their wares, the more time they could spend selling. There was also the tavern or two in town. Perhaps they could use a bouncer though at that time you'd be working nights rather than days. There was also the guard station, perhaps they could have a job for you.>Where do you wish to search for a part time job?>Ask the trading caravan if they have any work for you. >Head to a tavern and offer your services as a bouncer. With the traders here, they'll definitely have more patrons on their hands.>Go to the guard station. You might find some work as a bounty hunter.>Write in.
>>4542879Hmm...bounty hunting does offer certain character propositions...while a bouncer makes for more steady work but the merchants have more money.Let's stick it safe and say check with the merchants, it pays to be familiar with the town when the raiders attack.
>>4542888And upon revisiting KFP2, Po is an idiot savant alright but I feel like his is undoubtedly less skilled than tigress and TL. Like he seems to be perpetually tasked whenever they meet fellow martial artists, while tigress is able to keep up and push back.I think she has only ever been overwhelmed by TL and Kai in the films, so using her as a measuring stick....how the fuck can he keep winning?
>>4542890Dramatic license I'm guessing. To be fair, TL's power level in the films fluctuates wildly (though that isn't to say it doesn't here but I do my best to keep it relatively stable) and Kai is like a several century old warrior by the time the 3rd film arrives right? I wouldn't know the in universe reason. I have an idea of his fighting style in this game but at the moment it's mostly set in the background as I haven't had a reason to flesh it out yet. But I do agree there has to be something more than just "He's the dragon warrior/protag and that's why he wins."
>>4542903 I dont get it, not one bit. The best I can hypothesis is that he has an innate knack for improvisation and adaptation, making protracted fights his speciality while making him less of a threat in the short term. But seriously po, come on man, Tigress can whip you into seven shades of pain, shoe us why she isnt the dragon warrior some time.
>>4542914He does have that Jackie Chan kind of fighting style at times yes. So yeah I agree with you on that front. He is also way more durable than the five because of his fatness. Remember that not even TL could chi strike him (though i've thought up another layer as to why that didn't work in my rough draft). So the idea that he can improvise and tank hits certainly plays a big part ontop of is idiot savant status. At the start he's basically a damage sponge. Wears out his opponents and just takes hits while inprovising to keep them on their toes. Granted that still doesn't make sense on how he won considering how stupid durable TL and Kai should be but at least it would explain why he can get slapped around and out last Tigress. It's true that there's tons of times where others beat Po handedly but they're never shown to actually win. Most of the time it's shown as a gag and the cast move on leaving Po groan in pain but it's never shown he can't get up if he doesn't want to.At least that's my nerding the fuck out over reasons.
>>4542944>>4542736AAAAaaaaaAAAAAHHHHHH I MEANT TO POST BOUNTY HUNTER!!!I'm clearly rarted.
>>4542946>>4542944also meant to say >inb4 police think we're sus
>>4542944>>4542946>>4542948So uhh...you're voting bounty hunting?
>>4542951Yes. Video related.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjD6vfG2MjM
>>4542959 Alright so we have a tie between going to the guard station or asking the merchants for work. Oh god I love that episode simply for the Dog the bounty hunter parody.
>>4542921Here's my theory.Pandas are fucking bullshit.A single panda apparently has enough chi reserves to explode a chi-stealing ox general from overdose, despite that ox having stolen the chi of an ENTIRE ARMY'S WORTH OF KUNG FU MASTERS AND EVEN OOGWAYHaving that much innate Chi HAS to have passive benefits to it.
>>4543081You mean the ending of the third movie? Wasn't he being being pumped full of Chi by an entire panda village, his dad, and tigress?
>>4543172I could be misremembering.Either way pandas are bullshit
>>4543266Luo is correct in that they were giving him Ki as Kai was eating him, but you are also correct in that Pandas are BULLLLLLSHIT!
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4543266Shifu is a pandaRolling on the votes.1. Merchants2.Guard station
You decide that the guard station would be your best bet. Perhaps you could also learn more information about your target. After all the destroyed towns weren't too far away from here. The guard station was as you expected it. A small building, barely bigger than a house, with a few barred windows and two guard standing at ease next to the door. As you approach they stand up just a bit straighter and try to sound authoritative...and failing. "What can we do for you citizen?" One of the guards, a porcupine in loose fitting armor, asks you. "I'm here looking for work." You say calmly. "I don't suppose you have some kind of bounty board or errands for a traveler looking for a way to earn some coin?" The second guard, a monkey in tight fitting armor, speaks up. "Our bounty board is kind of out of date." He admits, scratching his head. "You might want to talk to the guard captain if you're looking for work." The porcupine jabs his elbow into the monkey's side. "The captain is busy! We can't be sending random stangers to him." He hisses, failing to be subtle."Who's your captain?" You ask, causing them both to jump."Uhh..." The monkey starts before clearing his throat to sound offical. "The, erm, captain is quiet busy with his duties at the moment citizen. As such we are too..." His voice trails off as he struggles to continue his bluff."To field all your questions and inquiries!" The porcupine concludes. "We are in charge for the next few days but don't worry we are more than capable of handling your safety." He says trying to salute and dropping his spear. You supress the urge to wince at the two and instead say,"Right. Well as a concerned citizen, I would suggest you two switch armors. It seems like you're wearing each other's sizes." You point out. "As for questions...do you have any work? I kind of need to earn some money before I travel." The guards look at each other for a moment before gingerly removing their helmets and trading them."Well...it is starting to be trading season again...." The monkey starts off slowly. "and we could use an extra hand patroling and keeping an eye out. I suppose we could deputize you for the time being. We won't be able to offer you any weapons or armor but we can pay you for your time. I'm sure the captain wouldn't mind that.""Yes! You can be a temporary guardsman and make sure things go smoothly! We will grant you an offical guard's seal for your tenure...just um give it back when you're done please." The porcupine says. "Sound like a good deal?">What do you say?>Take the job. You're not sure if it'll pay much but steady income is better than running off to look for bandits.>Ask to look at the bounty board. Out of date or no, if you can find one of the bounty targets it'll pay much better than guard work.>Ask to speak to the captain. Maybe they have a better handle of the guard then these two.>Write in.
>>4543644>>Take the job. You're not sure if it'll pay much but steady income is better than running off to look for bandits.>>Ask to look at the bounty board. Out of date or no, if you can find one of the bounty targets it'll pay much better than guard work.Ask to look at the board anyways— could be some good prospective $$
>>4543644>Accept and look at the bounty board as wellIdiots. Pair of idiots. Either the captain is dead, on trip or he's on vacation. So lets get the truth out of these chucklefucks before they cause us more trouble with misinformation >Where is the captain?
>>4543649>>4543660Accepting this odd propsal and looking at the bounty board. Writing.
>>45436715 pounds say that they are mongol infiltrators.
"Sounds like a good deal to me." You say. "But I still want to see the bounty board." The two guards' shoulders slump. "You sure?" The procupine asks and you nod. "Alright." The two lead you inside. The inside of the building was essencially a scaled down version of the jail house you slept in back in Zhengyi. Rather than splitting off the entrance lobby from the jails via a hallway, this small building had the jails built in behind the cleric's desk. The jails that you could see contained the kinds of people you expected, random people that had decided they could handle a drink more than they really could and were sobering up. The guard shows you to a very run down board with faded pictures. "Here you go." He says unenthusiastically. You take a look through the bounties now yellowed and faded from the sun. Most of these are of unimpressive bandits who's payouts were not worth the time to track and judging from the age of the posters where probably long gone if not dead. However two fairly new bounty posters caught your eye. The first was a blank one that read,Wanted: Name UnknownDead or AliveDescription: A snow leopard, leader of a newly formed bandit clan that has been raiding the nearby towns. By imperial order, a small token sum of money is offered to those who can prove tangable evidence of this person's whereabouts or information of this individual and their group.That didn't give you much. It was essencially the empire asking for information on the snow leopard. As for it being tangible, you didn't know if the information you got from the memory would suffice. You doubt that the captain here would rank high enough for your code phrase to work. The second poster that caught your eye was of...you. You're somewhat surprised at seeing your wanted poster here but you realize you never did keep an eye out for them in Zhengyi and the other half of your time traveling in the wilds. You glance at it out of curiosity.Wanted:Tai LungDead or AliveWarning: Subject is extremely deadly. Do not approach under any cicumstances. Report sightings of this individual to your nearest guardsman immediately. The empire is not responsible for injury or death of those who choose to engage this individual. The hero who subdues and/or kills Tai Lung will be rewarded handsomely by empire and honors will be bestowed upon you and your family.You frown. So you were too deadly to engage but heroes would be handsomely rewarded? You wonder who was paid to write this contradictory bounty notice and if they were fired. You feel a slight chill run down your body when you are glad you were on the side of good now and wonder what would have happened to anyone foolish enough to engage you if you were still the monster you once were. You're pulled from your thoughts when the porcupine speaks. "See? Not much to look at." He says. "These posters are years old and we only got the two newest ones."
"How come these are the only two new ones?" You ask. The porcupine shrugs."We're pretty far out from central China. Unless it's a very big criminal, or they think they're hiding here, most of the time it's not worth sending a bounty poster here. Suits me. I don't really want to leave the town to search for some maniac. You see that poster for Tai Lung? Guy apperantly murdered like 500 people after he escaped prison again. And that's after the 1000 guards he killed...or was it 2000? In any case, I bet he's the one behind the new raids. They say that the bodies of those he kills are ripped to shreds. Most of the villagers he murdered after escaping couldn't even be recognized and those are the lucky ones. The others I heard died slow painful deaths. I feel sorry for whoever birthed that monster." The guard says shuddering. He hands you a small badge. "Here's your deputy badge. You'll start today."You resist the urge to glare at the guard and take your badge. As you're pinning it to your shirt you ask, "Where's the captain?" "The captain is busy like I told you." He says. "Probably in his office looking over paper work. Had some bigwigs from the government come in about a week or so ago. Left him in a very foul mood. Been grumbling in his office since.""I'd like to speak with him if I could." You say."No can do." The guard replies shaking his head. "Besides, you're a deputy. What do you need to see him for?""Well...it'd be good to know who I report to, right? Unless you want me to come to you when things start getting complicated." You explain. "Then again you're probably right. He's far to busy and you're in charge for the next few days to field my inquiries." You start to head out. "I'll let you know if I have any questions should I find a wanted man." You can just feel the porcupine's trepidation as you turn your back."Alright alright!" He says caving in. "I'll...I'll see if the captain can talk with you. Just...just give me a day or two. You've never seen him when he's angry so you wouldn't know.">What do you say?>Agree with his propsal. You'll be here for a few days anyways. Might as well make money while you wait.>Say that you'd like to speak to him now. The sooner the better.>Don't say anything and leave. Best to leave the guard stewing in anxiety for a bit before you ask again.>Write in.
>>4543721>>Agree with his propsal. You'll be here for a few days anyways. Might as well make money while you wait.
>>4543721>AgreeIt was only about...70 guards? 70 fits, but I wouldn't expect this guy to have up to date info.
>>4543742It was a thousand guards in your prison.
>>4543744Serious? Film misleads us so it seems. Can't have taken out more than a hundred in the first explosion and we certainly only took out about 20 in the ascent.
>>4543769Yeah, I think in the film the Rhino captain says he has a thousand men guarding one prisoner, TL. The Anvil of Heaven seems to have been specifically made to guard Tai Lung. Then you wrecked them and they had a recruitment drive in the first city. >>4543729>>4543742Getting to work. We'll see about the captain some other time. Writing.
>>4543779I won't say they are terrible at their job.But I won't won't say that the architects and craftsmen did a better job at keeping us secure than the guards did.
"Sounds good to me. I'll check back tomorrow then." You say and you step out. "Got a look at the bounty board then?" The monkay says. "You can just patrol the marketplace today. The traders have started arriving and sometimes the townsfolk thing they're merchants and can squeeze a few extra coins off of what they should pay. Just make sure to ease up tensions that arise. Once the sun sets, it's mostly the same just with the extra resposibility of arresting anyone who's being drunk and disorderly and they don't want to head home.""Sounds simple enough." You say. "When do I get paid?""At the end of the day." The monkey says. "You'll be able to eat and get a roof over your head, don't worry."You nod. There really wasn't much more you could ask so you begin your tour of duty as a guard. You can't help but smile at the thought that you were working for the same people who were tasked with bringing you in. It was much more amusing than the idea of Tai Lung working with The Furious Five. Your first hour or so go by smoothly as you're essencially just wandering around the town waiting for something to happen. The next hour or so where slightly busier but only because a traveller would see you badge and you'd be asked or directions. Luckily, you weren't asked anything too difficult. By afternoon you're starting to get somewhat bored with nothing to do but your training and time working on the Gale Cutter have more than adequately prepared you for long periods of doing nothing. Rather than simply wander around for another few hours, you begin to ask citizens if they needed assitance with anything. You'd much rather be proactive about this than simply waiting for something to occur. Many of the citizens politely decline but a few continue to ask for directions. You're day is going well when you hear something that makes your skin crawl. A loud irritating screech that is somehow both condensending and a failed attempt to sound sweet and innocent. "Excuuuse me! Excuuuse me!"You turn to face who ever was calling out to you and you see a woman approach you or rather, for a moment, seems to be a pile of jewelry taken woman form. A fox laden in rings, necklaces and expensive clothing manages to carry it all to you. "Yes? How can I help?" You ask, already finding yourself exercising patience. "Yes! Finally! You have to do something!" She says melodramitcally.
"What...what seems to be the problem?" You ask warily."Well I was just going to do some shopping when I saw these...these disgusting deviants!" She exclaims. "Wandering around like no one knows what they're doing. Why I'm going to have to explain this to my kids. Isn't it your job to stop this from happening?" She demands. You remain quiet, trying to process all this but it seems you're quite for too long. "WEELL?! Do something!" She shouts."Ma'am...what is the issue here?" You force yourself to ask. The woman scoffs and points down to a nearby shop."Just look at it! Disgusting!" She shouts pointing to, surprsingly, Ming and Renshu who are chatting together and looking through produce.>What do you say?>Ask the woman exactly what's wrong. You don't really seem to follow what's wrong, the two being your friends notwithstanding.>Tell the woman you'll go talk to them and tell them to stop...whatever it is they're doing.>Tell the woman to come to you with actual problems not made up ones. Say that you know those two and they're definitely not doing anything wrong.>Simply walk away. You're definitely not paid enough for this.>Write in.
>>4543837>>Ask the woman exactly what's wrong. You don't really seem to follow what's wrong, the two being your friends notwithstanding.>Tell the woman to come to you with actual problems not made up ones. Say that you know those two and they're definitely not doing anything wrong.
Gonna grab lunch real quick.
>>4543837>Ask the woman exactly what's wrong. You don't really seem to follow what's wrong, the two being your friends notwithstanding.
>>4543837>Please tell me exactly what is wrong, I cannot interfere with someone elses business just on 'look at it'. I swear to god, if this is "Mixed animals can't be friends/engaged" I'm going to be so irritated.
>>4543838>>4543840>>4543842Asking what's wrong even though we can guess what it is. Anon about to be mad. Writing.
>>4543892Before I burst a blood vessel of people talking shit about our blood brother and best girl, A rebbutal to "shouldn't be engaged" is "Ah that is Chan Ming, the prodigious alchemist and her assistant Wu Renshu. I hadn't heard they were this far north, I am surprised you have not heard of the miracle healer and the shaman, they are quite famous."Ie, make her look/feel uncivilised for not recognising two nobodies are work collegues.if it's a point of contention that they are friends then just "I'm not payed to harass people for doing nothing wrong. I am however payed to deal with such harrassers." and let her draw her own conclusions.
The urge to pinch the bridge of your nose become more and more fierce when you suddenly realize if this is what your father has to deal with now that he is in charge of directing The Five. Do people honestly come to him with such "problems"? Your line of thought unfortunately brings another "Ecuuse me!" from the woman and you swallow the sigh that is rising in your throat."Could you please tell me exactly what is wrong? I cannot interfere with someone else's buisness on the grounds of 'look at it'." You ask trying to maintain some semblance of professionalism. The woman gives you a glare of disgust unlike you've ever seen before."It's a cat having a relationship with a rabbit." She says slowly to make sure you understood. "It's wrong and immoral and disgusting! Don't you have laws against public indecency? I can't imagine what their children will be like. What am I supposed to tell my children? That it's ok?" She continues on and on but you instinctively drown out her lunacy with your thoughts. Granted, people of different species forming relationships was uncommon if not a complete oddity but you figured that was mostly due to the fact most people wanted their family line to continue, political marriages, or the fact most people don't travel farther than the next town over in their entire lives. Maybe your upbrining in the Valley of Peace was somewhat sheltered but you don't ever remember anyone being this vitriolic about it."How...how do you know they are in a relationship?" You ask as you feel your patience slip away. At this, the woman seems to perk up with an almost gleeful malice."I saw them hold hands while they were walking." She says. "I've seen the way they look at each other. It's the same look I give my husband. Not only that they were talking about having dinner together and meeting up in the same room!" She says. From her tone you would almost mistake her husband as some kind of pet she owned. You glance at Ming and Renshu who had started to walk away presumably to another shop. You obviously weren't going to believe this woman at all but the idea that Renshu and Ming were in a relationship was...kind of heart warming as well as a bit humorous. Renshu being a lady's man was just too...off. You really couldn't see it but just imaging it brought a smile to your face. Coming back to reality you have to face the woman again."That's...That is Chan Ming, the prodigious alchemist and her assistant Wu Renshu. I hadn't heard they were this far north, I am surprised you have not heard of the miracle healer and the shaman, they are quite famous." You say."O-of course I know them." She stammers. "But that just makes it worse! To think two prolific coworkers would be...be intimate! You have to do something!"
You let out a grunt. "Listen. They haven't done anything wrong. Last I checked, people can choose to be with whoever they want to be, relationship or no. Don't come bothering the guard unless you come with an actual problem. I'm not paid to harass people for not doing anything wrong. I am however paid to deal with people who are harassing others. The guard included. Understood?" The woman recoils as if you had slapped her across the face."Well I never!" She starts. "I figured someone of pure breed would understand. I'll have your badge. I'm going to have a word with your captain! I'm good friends with them and I've donated tons of money to this city! I''ll make sure this gets taken care of!"You're really tempted to tell her you were raised by a turtle and a panda but you decide you've had enough of her and head out on your way. Most of the people around you simply stare at the two of you and the commotion you both caused but you ignore it and continue on your patrol. Wanting a bit of space to gather your thoughts you turn into an alley only to bump into a familiar face. "Oh sorry about that!" The monkey from the bookstore says. "Didn't see you there. Guess I was lost in my own thoughts." He notices your badge and adds. "Oh are you a guard now?"You nod. "Only temporarily. Just to make some money before I travel.""Oh right. It's trade season isn't it? Listen...do mind helping me out?" He asks."That is my job." You say. "What's wrong?""Oh it's nothing serious just someone owes me money." He says. "They paid for few books for bookkeeping and they haven't finished paying me. They were on a payment plan. Think you can help me?">What do you say?>Ask who owes the monkey money and how much? Were they paying him before?>Ask if it's normal for him to start people out on payment plans.>Tell the monkey that you're not sure if the guard is meant to be some kind of financial enforcement.>Say that the buyer was probably short this payment and to give them a bit more time before asking for guard help.>Write in.
>>4543944>Are you sure he is out a few yen and not just late? If you are certain that it's a problem I can have a chat with them.I mean that's technically theft isnt it? I'm pretty sure anyway.
>>4543944>I'd need to see official documentation of this, but once I do I can help.
>>4543947>>4543956>>4543970Asking for documents and double checking that it's actually a problem. Writing.
as an aside, I'm going to be very interested to hear Ming and Renshu's side to this. I'm not inclined to jump to the conclusion that they are going for a relationship, but if they are.....well I can think of a few frivolous uses for our pay.
"Are you sure he's not just late on his payment? Maybe he was short this payment?" You ask. "If your sure this is a problem I can go have a talk with them."The monkey hesitates. "Well...I guess I never thought of that. He's been consistent with his payments so far so I don't really know if it is a problem." He admits. "I certainly don't want to cause any issues but it just seemed strange to me that they didn't pay me this time. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I should be telling the guards.""Well do you have some kind of documentation?" You ask thinking about it a bit. "Something that shows he missed a payment and that he was paying you?" The monkey nods."Yes I do actually." He says. "It's back at my shop. I would always write out two slips with how much has been paid and how much he owed. Then we would both sign them so that we were both in agreement with the numbers. He takes one and I keep the other just in case. Here I'll show you." The two of you head down the alleys to the bookstore. Upon entering the shop, the monkey heads behind the counter and rummages a bit before pulling out a book. "This is my bookkeeping umm...book. I keep notes on all transactions here, it helps me keep stock and all that." The man turns to a series of torn pages and turns the book to show you. You can see exactly what you were told. A series of payments and money owed as well as a set of two signatures. You double check each payment and the signatures look the similar enough each time that you can rule out the store keeper forging them without the other's consent. "Now I'm not sure if I should make you go." He says quietly. "Sorry. I guess I didn't realize he might not have had the money. I guess I should have asked him myself.""It's alright." You say. "Better than you realized this now than jumping the gun...like some people." You mutter and shake your head. "Well I didn't mean to waste you time." He replies. "Maybe...could you go ask them for me? I'm kind of embarassed to ask myself knowing this. You don't need to demand anything! Just double check that they didn't have the money this time. If they don't it's ok. They can just continue paying like normal next installment.">What do you say?>Say that you'll go and ask about the money. Just to put the man's mind at ease.>Say that he should give them a bit of time. If they still haven't paid or come to tell him why they haven't then you can go and see what's going on.>Tell the man you probably shouldn't go. It could set the wrong impression and he should go himself.>Write in.
>>4544061I'm pretty sure fox lady was just mad that Ming stole Renshu from Tai Lung. You'll just have to ask them yourself. Should be a run conversation.
>>4544092Err fun. Though you can ask them while doing your morning run I suppose.
>>4544091>We'll go and ask, just to put his mind at easeMonkey has been nothing but a bro.>>4544092>Asking Ming about her romantic life when she's already practicing her running, so now she must escape or demonstrate her flusterednessFinally a worthy opponent. OUR TEASING SHALL BE LEGENDARY!
>>4544101>>4544104Sounds hilarious. Though a morning jog will get her warmed up for speed training too. So her embarassment will be the fuel to further her kung fu career!
>>4544111And Xin said we couldn't help training because "That's not how I move TL". Well Xin? We made her move!
>>4544091>>Say that you'll go and ask about the money. Just to put the man's mind at ease.Also TaiMing is still best (unofficial) couple.
>>4544123Agreed brother. But nature must take it's course.
>>4544125>bunny>bobcatYep... nature at its finest...
>>4544127Two masters of anatomy and alchemy? Sounds like nature wants everything to die.
>>4544127The truth of nature, is that no matter the journey or differences, You love whom you love and you fuck who you fuck.TL being a penitent wandering martial artist won't be doing the second, so there is no point attempting to force the issue. What comes will come.Besides, A cat and a Rabbit going at it is hardly the strangest thing Nature has ever done. Care to explain the naked mole rat?Wait.....you don't think that name's literal in this universe do you.....Oh god
anyway, I'mma sleep so I'll put this up. when dealing with the money owing guy, use a line like "The book monkey sent me to see if you are alright, he was worried that you had missed your payment plan and that this was something wrong and out of the ordinary for you"Something which makes it clear we are not here to extort him and make the monkey seem worried rather than money grubbing.Nighty
>>4544132My favorite bit is this is all kicked off by a cantankerous racist woman. I'm sure TL could do the second but the problem is he's socially awkward martial artist that only knows fighting and the fact he's actually very bashful about intimacy as shown by the fact that he tries to look away from Xin when both of you inevitably tear your shirts off during fights. Even though Xin's gender still can't be determined without a shirt. But just the fact that they might be a girl is enough for him to look away. It's kind of adorable in a way.>>4544104>>4544123Going to talk to the man for the monkey's sake. Writing.
"Sure I'll go check on them." You say. "Where can I find them?" "Oh Chuanli runs a tavern. He should be there now. It's 'The Road's End' tavern near the market place." The monkey says. "I really appreciate you going for me. I'm just not very good at confrontation.""It's alright. Though it's not much confrontation if you talk it out calmly...he's not easily angered is he?" You ask."No. Chuanli is a bit rough around the edges but he's an honest man. I think he used to be in the military or part of a mercenary company? I'm not too sure. I never asked." The man says.You nod and start to head out. "Fair enough. I'll be back with his response then." You say before closing the door behind you. Taking the alleys, you make your way through the town to back to the market place. You half expected to run into Ming and Renshu, or worse, the fox woman. Neither come across your path and you soon find yourself at The Road's End. Even though it's still a few hours before sundown the tavern is loud with customers and upon entering you see that it's mostly traders here possibly enjoying their first fresh meal in a long time. By now you're used to moving through a crowd of drunken patrons though your guard badge seems to make the tavern goers give you some more space. Chuanli is a large boar who was currently wiping down his counter. An eye patch hides his left eye though it fails to cover up the large scar running down his face. As you approach he eyes your badge with his one good eyes. "How can I help you, deputy?" He asks. His tone of one who was accustomed to respecting rank but also one who wouldn't tolerate it's abuse. "I'm here on behalf of the bookstore owner. He was worried that you had missed your payment for some books you bought from him. He said this was out of the ordinary for you and was afraid something was wrong." You explain. The boar gives you an odd look."I sent Gan his money already." He says gruffly leaving no room for debate while pouring a patron a drink."Well, he's said he hasn't gotten it yet." You repeat. "Even showed me his system for keeping track. The most recent payment was a month ago.""Did he now?" Chunali says quietly before addressing you. "Alright. Tell him I'll have his money by next pay period and I'll have a bit extra for missing this payment. If things go well, I'll pay it all off by then." He adds jerking his head to the travelers. "It's busier than last month.">What do you say?>Thank Chunali and return to Gan to tell him that his payments will return to schedule with a bit extra for the inconvienice. >Ask the tavern owner if something is wrong. He seemed certain that he had paid on time but now he's willing to pay extra? You might be a temporary guard but that doesn't mean you'll slack off.>Ask if he thinks Gan is lying. Does he have proof?>Write in.
>>4544217>Ask the tavern owner if something is wrong. He seemed certain that he had paid on time but now he's willing to pay extra? You might be a temporary guard but that doesn't mean you'll slack off.
>>4544217>>Ask the tavern owner if something is wrong. He seemed certain that he had paid on time but now he's willing to pay extra? You might be a temporary guard but that doesn't mean you'll slack off.
>>4544217>Ask the tavern owner if something is wrong. He seemed certain that he had paid on time but now he's willing to pay extra? You might be a temporary guard but that doesn't mean you'll slack off.also ask the tavern owner about kung pao chicken and how it taste like
>>4544602Why would you ask this?
>>4544238>>4544378>>4544602>>4544623Asking the owner if something is up. Writing.
"Is something wrong?" You ask."No." Chunali says gruffly causing you to raise and eyebrow."Listen, I maybe be a temporary deputy but I don't slack off on whatever jobs I take. If there's something wrong or maybe you've been robbed, I'd like to know. It's my duty, however temporary that is." You say. The boar serves another patron a drink and eyes you curiously before smirking slightly."Duty huh? Reminds me of a few recruits back in my day." He says amused. "Alright officer. I might just have been robbed." "What makes you think that?" You ask now cautious. Not many people can say they have been robbed with such nonchalance. "Other than the fact there seems to be missing money involved. Can you tell me what happened?"The boar grabs his rag and wipes down the counter again. "Normally, I go down to Gan's shop to make my payments. Jittery fella when it comes to anything outside of his shop but he's a good kid. Couldn't do it this time because of the coming traders. With recent events, we've been getting more at once than we used to so I've been pretty busy. For this payment, I decided to send one of my workers to send the payment. I trust Gan, so I'd find some spare time to head down afterwards to do our usual signing. Anyways, if Gan says he hasn't got his money then I believe him. Naturally, this means the money went missing en route. Either way, it's theft of someone else's money."You nod. "Makes sense. How long ago did you have this money sent? Just to make sure that it wasn't today and whoever you sent got lost or is hurt somehow." The boar chuckles."So that they're not lost or injured?" He repeats. "You're one odd guard." He says still amused. "Most recruits would jump at the chance to go after an actual crime and here you're worried about someone's safety. I sent the money about a week ago and I was told that the money was given to Gan. They were perfectly healthy when we spoke so I doubt they were mugged or lost their way. His name is Guang and unfortunately for the both of us, lazy punk doesn't come in to work today.""Do you know where I can find him?" The boar thinks for a minute. "Not really. I've been told he tends to hang around the alleys near the south edge of town but his buisness outside of this establishment is not mine. At least not until now. That's about all I can think of to tell you right now and if it's all the same to you, I should get back to work." The boar gives you a curteous nod and heads off to server another customer.>What do you do?>Go to the alleys Chuanli told you. Maybe you can find Guang there. It's the only lead you have right now.>Go back to Gan's bookstore and talk to him again. Get his side of the story or ask for more information. (What do you ask him?)>Wait a bit and ask Chuanli something else before you head out. (What do you want to know?)>Write in.
>>4544774>ask for a description then go and check the alleys
>>4544796>>4544802Asking for a description and moving out. Writing.
You wait a bit longer for Chanli to be free before speaking to him again. "You must got a lot of free time if you're still here." He says gruffly. You shake your head."Not free time but you never did tell me what Guang looks like. It's be easier for me to find him if I know what to look for." You say. "Huh, guess I did. Good catch. He's about 25 years old and surprisingly a boar as well. Likes to shave the front of his head and have a pony tail. Thinks it makes him look slick. Other than that, he's of average build and doesn't wear anything to stand out." The tavern owner says. "Just a heads up, he probably hangs out with his friends in the alley. You can talk to them though knowing how friends are, they won't be as forthcoming with information with me." "Thank you for the information." You say. "I'll be heading out then." The boar nods."Good luck rookie." He says.---The alleys at the edge of town are quiet and lonely. The close promixmity of the buildings accentuates this feeling by dampening the sounds of the town and the setting sun begins to stretch the shadows of the various barrels, boxes, and other debris along the ground. Following the alley you're lead to a small square area created by the surrounding buildings and making a dead end. There you can see a group of 5 young men simply loitering about. Two are sitting on barrels and snacking while they watch the other three play a game of cards. None of them look like Guang so you assume them to be his friends. You make yourself known by purposefully kicking a small rock into a wall, otherwise they would never see past your innate stealth. The youths look in your direction and finally take notice of your presence."Hey! What are you doing here? This is our place!" One shouts and hops off their perch."Can it! He's got a guard's badge." Another hisses but the first just smirks."Please, he's just one of those temporary losers that gets a big head because he's and idiot with a badge." They reply. "What do you want? We've done nothing wrong.">What do you say?>Tell them you're looking for Guang. They can go back loitering all they want once they tell you where you can find him.>Challenge them to a card game for the information. Maybe if you play to their egos and use it against them, you can get what you want. It works in fighting so the same principle should apply here. Though perhaps you might need to be a bit more loose with following the rules.>Some of the guys here seem to at least by wary of your authority as fleeting as it is. Perhaps you can press them for information. Be a bit more intimidating. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.>Lie to them. Tell them you heard some news from the other guards and you just want to give Guang a heads up. This job doesn't pay you enough to care and you really just want to stick it to your boss.>Write in.
>>4544851>Tell them we are looking for Guang>Use a bit more intimidating body languageThese punks are either gonna lie to us, in which case we should catch it, or get pissed and try to cause trouble. Us being a fucking massive snow leopard martial arts master should make being intimidating a bit easier
So...everyone having a good day today?
>>4544915It's alright, the lockdown means we can't go to my grandma's for dinner but I have some Vidya and work to do to fill the time.What about you, ya old Ram?
>>4544918Ouch. Well I wish you and your grandma the best. I got yakuza 0 and 2 recently but I'm finishing up persona 5 before I touch them. Today though I'm being productive and doing house work so cabin fever doesn't make me stir cazy. Gonna mask up and get groceries as well later. Thanksgiving is around the corner too. Was hoping to move the quest forward a bit today, maybe have some fun teasing Ming because tomorrow I won't be able to run due to some volunteer work I've comitted to.
>>4544930I'm of the personal opinion that the correct way to play the Yakuza franchise is 1, 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.1 introduces you to Kiryu and Majima as was intended, 0 giving you some more background as well as being just the most refined gameplay you can get, then following from 2 to get back into the swing of the modern day and from there following in sequence. 3's a bitch though.Anyway, Teasing Ming is the second most important priority behind petting the bunniesy so it'd be good to reach that point. I don't think we will though, because crime is a time wasting bitch like that.Wish you luck in your thanksgiving/christmas plans.
>>4544934I definitely need to find a way to play the rest of the series. As far as I know only 0-2 are on PC. Crime needs to pay of course. Otherwise how will we pet the bunnies and tease ming if the streets are dangerous.I won't lie though, I worried that the downtime and socializing bits might have pushed away some people. That or the sheer length of the last two threads. We hit 1k posts each time.My worries aside, thanks for the well wishes. Hope your festivities go well as well. I should give my mom a call.
>>4544941You should. It's always nice to hear from family over the holidays.
>>4544855+1>>4544915[/spoiler]bogged in Uni shit but not drowning. Glad break time is this week.[/spoiler]
>>4544941I honestly don't know why people stopping posting, this is probably the best quest in the site, it even got a lurker like me to post 2 or 3 times
>>4545021also took that chad pill like you said OP back in thread number whatever and plan to spend some time drawing quest art on my shiny new 8.5 x 11 disposable drawing tablet (kek) though there’s no fricking way I’m letting anyone see me draw adult men... not sure I could handle the ensuing teasing...
>>4545029Seconded. Easily the best quest on the board.
>>4544851>Tell them you're looking for Guang. They can go back loitering all they want once they tell you where you can find him.
>>4545032>>4545032Hey my guy, you do you. You wanna draw some buff guys, you do it. Just take it at your own pace. I get the fear of teasing though, shit isn't easy to shake off. I'll appreciate any art for this game though. Where you the anon who drew Xin and the head of Jianguo? Either way, good luck with your art. There's always people who appreciate it.
>>4545029I'm not hyperbolic, so I'll say it's one of the best story quests on the site. If I want a story that's got what I need and makes my emotions go for a ride, here's the place.For more Mil-sim/realistic simulation about armies and shit or just want to plot how to be a terrorist for some escapism, I'd go for Cobra commander quest.For what this quest does, it's the best. Out of the quests of the board, it's easily in the top 3.
>>4545054>>4545054No, I’m a total novice that got obsessed with drawing after i started making shoddy drawfaggots for my own quest. Now I do it whenever, but, hopefully when I resume my quest my drawings will look better than they did even though I was using a mouse to draw everything.I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, Luo, your quest is based and chadpilled!
>>4544855>>4545021>>4545042Telling them you're looking for Guang. Gonna be intimidating about it if they start to act up. Writing.>>4545029>>4545036>>4545059Like always, thanks for the support. Glad you guys are enjoying it. As well as anyone else who's just lurking.
You adjust yourself by standing up just a bit straighter, squaring your shoulders a bit more, and tensing up your body only slightly. While not much, it's the subtle shifts that make you seem slightly bigger and more intimidating. You're not just trying to look scarier, you're tapping into the primal fear that everyone has. Confrontation and the unknown. Your body language shows that you're willing to strike but the true fear comes from the lack of a tell on when you might strike or what could set you off. "I'm here for Guang." You say calmly, coolly as to present a contradiction to your stance and thus throwing them into further confusion. You won't say why either, that just gives them more fuel for their fears.The young man who leap off of his barrel to heckle you seems to shrink back a bit. "Y-yeah. Like we're gonna tell you. We're not snitches, right guys?" He says trying to hide his stammer. He looks behind him for support but finds none. The only thing he can see is apprehension. He had ousted himself and you take advantage of that. You step forward, not only to get closer but to show you're not afraid of closing the gap of safety. It's a show of force, one that dares him to strike first but also tells him that his personal space means nothing to you. It's yours to cross and you dare him to say otherwise."Noted." You say quietly and look down on him as you tower above him. "You seem to enjoy talking however. Tell me where I can find him. Then I'll be out of your hair like you want.""I...you..." The young man stammers harder. You expected it. Most people begin to shut down when their minds become overwhelmed by too many choices. Right now he must be struggling to decide if you're a threat or not, where he can run or if he should, perhaps even why someone like you is looking for his friend and if telling you is worth the social risk vs what might be physical harm. All of it completely false, as you have no intention of harming anyone here but you weren't quite ready to let them know that. You clap your hand on his shoulder, to bring him back to the situation at hand and to convey the power you weild. A simple motion but it carries a powerful message. Your time is running out. Decide. Now."I'm sorry." You say. "Perhaps that sounded a bit like a question. You will tell me where to find Guang." The young man swallows and nods as his knees begin to buckle and give out. "Y-yeah. I was thinking, ya know? D-don't want to give you the wrong info. Right guys?" He says once again looking for reassurance from his group. Both to continue to talking and to assuage his concience. His friends nod eagerly."J-just give him some time to think. T-that way you can go find him quicker." Another says as the group desperately tries to grasp whatever dwindling control of this conversation they had."Well..." You say softly. "Time is ticking. We're both very busy people." The first man nods furiously.
"R-right! I don't know where he is right now...b-but I do know who might! He's been going on about this one girl he's been pining after! Says it's some trader girl! H-her name is...umm..." He begins to shut down once more as the fear starts to cloud his mind. You look at his friends for information."An Bo!" One shouts. "He said it meant peaceful waves! Remember?" The others nod."Where can I find this An Bo?" You ask, still not releasing the man."The trader's camp grounds." The man now only a child in his state. "They've been here for about a month or so. Her parents sell clothing. That's all we know. I swear!"You nod.>What do you do?>Let the man go. He doesn't seem to be lying to you. Not in his state of fear. Go find this An Bo.>Ask the group something else. They're compliant. Might as well see what else you can wring out of them.>Write in.
>>4545173>"Thank you.">Leave and doubleback to stealth observe their talking, maybe they are gonna try and run to their friends hiding place or reveal they knew where he is anyway. If they dont, head for the raiders camp.Damn TL, you scurry
>>4545178Don't make blood step bro angry is the lesson here.
>>4545178>>4545208Menacing thank yous and sneaking up on the group. Writing.
You stay quiet and simply look at the man for a few moments, letting him stew in his own self created fears. You let go of his shoulder and simply say a quiet, "Thank you" before heading off driving one last blow to the man's ego. The young man simply slumps to the ground and makes a noise you can only assume to be an attempt at affirmation. You can feel the group's eyes on your back, feel the tension in the air, and it's not until you round the corner that you can faintly hear the scurrying of movement. Rather than heading directly to the trader camp, you leap onto the roofs of the buildings that create the alley way and move back towards the open area to eavesdrop on them. Perhaps they might divuldge more information they were unwilling to share even in their frightened states. Your footsteps are silent as you double back and listen in."H-holy..." One voice says with an audible tremble. "Did you see the size of that guy? I thought he was going to tear my head off."You hear the sound of a muffled impact. "You idiot!" Another shouts. "Why'd you have to taunt him! You know how crazy the temp guards can be!""Oh don't give me that! You were just as bad! Just because you didn't say anything doesn't mean you weren't taking him seriously too!" The first one replies now getting angry as well. A third voice pipes up."Why do you think he was looking for Guang?" It asks. "Think he got into trouble with that girl of his? Her mom is friggin' crazy.""Who knows?" The first voice says sighing. "That bitch would look for any reason to get us arrested just cuz we ain't her type.""Where the hell is Guang anyways?" A fourth voice asks. "He was supposed to be here a while ago. Think he got caught?""Guang? Nah. He probably lost track of time with An Bo. Remember that last time? 'Oh sorry guys! I totally wasn't making out with An. I was working!'" The second voice says mockingly, earning some laughs from his friends. "Let's get the hell out of here. I don't want that crazy bastard coming after us if An Bo doesn't know where Guang is."There's a chorus of agreement and you hear footsteps make their way out of the alley. You leap from the rooftops and land softly on the grass before heading into town once more or more accurately the eastern edge of town. The trader camp was more or less an open space that lead all the way to the forests surrounding the town. As far as the eye can see, there were caravans and every so often one of the caravans had good laid out to sell. Though at this time of the day, many traders were packing up for the night. You ask around for the whereabouts of An Bo. Many of the traders have no idea who you're talking about but eventually as you head deeper into the camps people begin to point you in the general direction, albeit warily. Somewhat concerned and confused you continue onward until someone finally points you to a cart.
Your apprehension increases twofold when you see it. The first because the cart itself is somewhat lavish as far as carts go. The second, and far more important, is because at the foot of the cart is a very familiar and very angry looking fox woman. One how immediately notices you and starts to make her way towards you.>What do you do?>Immediately turn away. You really don't want deal with this woman and you can easily lose her in the crowds.>Be as sickeningly plesant as you can be. Make her seem like the bad person and kindly ask if she knows who An Bo is.>Assert your authority immediately. You're here for An Bo and you won't take her lip. >Write in.
>>4545269>Be professional, that means polite, but we are not taking her lip if she goes off on one.She is probably the girls mother knowing our luck, so we can't avoid her forever. But we are not a doormat and nor are we going to listen to meaningless tirades about blood purity.I doubt she thinks our authority outranks her social power either.
>>4545283Though, if you pardon my deductive abilities, she is going to be screaming at us to stop the Boar and her Fox girl going out, ie find them and break it up because she was angry BEFORE noticing us, and the Boar has gotten sidetracked, likely with the fox girl. Logical deduction says the pair are missing and the mother knows or suspects what's going on, likely driving them off.
>>4545291Could be but where does the money come in in all this?
>>4545283I was going to vote for the passive-agressive route, but your ideia is better, support
>>4545319Xin Lan took it.Wild theories aside, the money was handed over by the perp without a struggle. Potential seduction or coercion. As it is, I'm liable to think he spent it himself or handed it over to someone he likes, maybe the girl.If I was to take a shot in the dark, she's filling his head with stories of running away together/or wanting money of her own to make her happy and he complied. There are too many holes in this theory though, so I'd suggest it be discarded. We can beat the answer out of Guang himself.
>>4545283>>4545326>>4545338Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill befriend everyone we meet. That or endure tons of yelling. Writing.
"Ma'am-" You begin but are immediately cut off."Well, well, well...look who came back to apologize." The fox says with a smirk. "Well I'll have you know it's too late. I've already lodged my reports. By tomorrow, you probably won't have a job. So I suggest you go somewhere else.""That's all well and good ma'am. And while it is your right to be able to lodge complaints, I am a guard Today." You can't help but quip back before quickly moving on to the next topic. "Now, I have been told that Miss An Bo currently resides here. Please tell me where she is." The woman wrinkles her nose. "What could you possibly want with my daughter? I'll have you know that she is the epitome of a law abiding citizen. So I demand you tell me what you need to speak to her for."You shake your head. "I'm afraid that is none of your concern. As I have gathered, she is an adult and thus I do not need your consent to speak with her. Her matters are her own and she will tell you if she so chooses. As such, I will not tell you for the sake of my investigation and her privacy.""Well...I..." She stammers as her anger grows."Ma'am, I understand you have concerns for your daughter's wellbeing but I do need to remind you that if you do not tell me where I can find your daughter or if I find you hiding her, I will arrest you for obstructing a guard in preforming his duty. Surely someone of your status would understand the kind of...negativity such an event would bring." You press. "How dare you..." She says. "First you...you show your perverse appreciation of two people trying to create a mutt with their "relationship" and now you...you threaten me?"You keep quiet as you rein in your mounting anger. Counting in your head, you calm down and speak. "Ma'am...You have the next sentence to comply with my orders or I will arrest you. Where.is.your.daughter?" You ask, your voice going icy and soft. The woman for all her haughty arrogance, manages to understand this time."I have sent her to the apothecary. The sight ealier today and your frustrating refusal to do your job has upset my delicate consitution. She should still be there." She says adopting a weakened tone. "I will be submitting this to your captain. Hopefully he will have you arrested for this vulgar abuse of your power."
"If you've been lying to me then you best hope I lose my job before the end of today because I will return to arrest you for obstructing justice." You grunt finally losing your cool and walking off before the woman becomes suicidal and pushes your buttons any further. Your anger bubbles at the thought of someone referring to a child as a mutt regardless if they were your friends' child and that was even assuming they were in a relationship to begin with. You fight back the urge to head to Chuanli's tavern for a stiff drink and make your way to the apothecary. As you arrive, you've managed to cool off a bit and see a young female fox leaving the store just as the owner steps out to lock up themselves."Miss An Bo?" You call to her as polite as you can. The woman looks up at you curiously before noticing your badge."Oh, my apologies officer. I didn't notice your badge. Is there something I can help you with?" She replies politely."I have a few questions for you in regards to an investigation." You say professionally. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything."The young woman shakes her head. "Nothing important. Have I done something wrong?" She asks."Not unless you've comitted a crime and want to confess." You say.The woman pauses and then apprehensively asks, "My mother didn't send you did she?""Fortunately for both of us, no." You say. The young woman looks away and tries to supress a laugh but fails and a giggle escapes."Then how can I help you?" She asks a bit more relieved.>What do you say?>Ask her if she's seen Guang today. Does she know where you can find him?>Ask if she knows who Guang is. What is his relation to her. >Ask why she wanted to know if her mother sent you. An odd statement to make for someone who is on an errand for her.>Write in.
>>4545439>>Ask her if she's seen Guang today. Does she know where you can find him?>>Ask why she wanted to know if her mother sent you. An odd statement to make for someone who is on an errand for her.
>>4545439>Ask her if she's seen Guang today. Does she know where you can find him?
The meeting with the captain is gonna be a massive headache if that woman has bigged up her tale and he doesnt believe us. Finding the criminal in this investigation should smooth it over though.
>>4545439>Ask if she knows who Guang is. What is his relation to her.
>>4545453>>4545508>>4545676>>4546097I'm back! Ready to support my favorite ship The Gale Cutter...Also Tai/Renshu because you gotta have the highented Bromance We're going to ask if An Bo has seen our suspect and why she's so concerned about her mother looking for her. Writing.
"I'm looking for Guang." You say. "His friends have told me he's been spending some time with you." The young woman fails to hide the look of surprise on her face and starts to tug at a strand of her hair."Yes, I know him." She says. "He came by when we first arrived to buy some of our scrap cloth. His father owns a tavern and he uses the scraps as rags to clean. Then he came back to buy some shirts.""Have you seen him recently?" You ask. The young woman fidgets some more."I...well..." She says uncertainly. "Are you afraid of your mother?" You venture a guess. The young woman chews her lower lip, reminding you of Ming when she's nervous or upset, before nodding slightly. You frown slightly, you really didn't want to deal with some family issues. You were perhaps the least qualified to deals with these things considering your relationship with your father. Still...you wouldn't be doing your duty if you didn't try. "Would you like to talk about it?" You ask motioning to a nearby bench. When An Bo doesn't move you add, "It's alright if you don't want to but I do have to find Guang. If you can tell me where I can find him, I'll be on my way.""Has he done something wrong?" She asks quietly.>What do you say?>Tell her that you can't say. Not while you're still investigating.>Say that he's the last person known to have had some money that went missing. You're trying to find out what happened to it.>Press her about her mother. If she's being abused or in a bad home...well it's not your job but you feel like you should intervene.>Tell An Bo that you're not sure if there is a crime yet but you're trying to get to the bottom of it. If Guang is innocent you will work to prove it likewise if he's guilty it's your job to bring him in.>Write in.
>>4546955>Say that he's the last person known to have had some money that went missing. You're trying to find out what happened to it.I like the recent change of pace Luo, that's my two cents. Feels much more strategic and freeform. But alas, the wage cage is my domain.
>>4546960Thanks! I'm not sure what I've changed. I think I've been writing the same but glad you enjoy it! I guess it could be the bit of down time so you can talk to your friends and decide what to do? The wage cage gets us all in the end I'm afraid
>>4546963I dunno, it somehow all hits different since the end of the second city arc (forgot the name of it), and i'm liking the upgrade. Probably its the goal being less clear, so we have more space for shenanigans, development and side quests like this guard buisness.
>>4546974Yeah I can kind of see that. I can't really claim it as intentional design beyond I have been wanting to give the quest some time so TL could just hang out and talk with his friends and I guess it did just happen. Been wanting to try and strike a balance between moving towards the group's goals and downtime but I don't know how to do it without slowing the game down to a halt. Still I'll take the Bob Ross approach and call it a happy accident.
>>4546949> bromanceHELL YEAH BROTHER but Xin and TL is still at the top of my list>Say that he's the last person known to have had some money that went missing. You're trying to find out what happened to it.
>>4546960>>4546981Telling An Bo that Guang is the last person to be seen with the missing money. Writing.
You think for a moment unsure if you should tell An Bo about your investigation but decide that it couldn't do much harm. Odds are Guang's friends would spread the word you were looking for him so telling her wouldn't cause anymore trouble. "I'm investigating some missing money. Guang was the last person to have the money before it went missing. I've spoken to the person it who entrusted it to him and the person who it was meant to go to. Neither of them have have it." You explain. "If you've seen him or know where I can find him. Please tell me." An Bo frowns."No...I haven't seen him." She says. "Last time we spoke it was 3 days ago. I haven't seen him since."'I see. Does he have a favorite place to hang around? Maybe somewhere he'd hide away?" You ask."Hmmm..." She says nervously and grinds the front of her foot in the ground. "He likes to hang out in the alleys near the south of town." She says."I know." You say. "I've spoken to his friends there. Is there anywhere else?"An Bo looks at you and seems to contemplate something before sighing and nodding quietly. "There's a clearing in the woods north of town." She says soft, head hanging low. "He took me there once and told me he likes to go there when he needs to cool off when we gets mad and wants to think. Maybe he's there.""Thanks." You say. "Is there anywhere else he mentioned before?" The woman shakes her head. "No." She says. "Thats the only place. He took me there once...It was a nice place.""Alright." You say. "If there's anything else that comes to mind, let me know. Do you need me to escort you back to your family?" You ask. An Bo shakes her head."No thank you. Have a good night officer." She says politely. An Bo turns to leave and jumps in fright when the two of you hear someone speak up."Hey big guy." Xin Lan says as they just appear next to you. Judging by the faint movement of wind, you assume they landed next to you. "Where've you been. It's nealy dinner and- oh...am I interrupting something?" They ask."No. I just finished talking." You say. "This is An Bo. She's a trader." The young woman waves politely as she gathers herself. "I'm sorry to have kept your husband for so long." She says bowing. "If there's nothing else officer, I should head home. You know how my mother will get if I'm late."
"Yes, of course." You say immediately petting Xin Lan to keep them from talking. Xin Lan doesn't bat your hand away but they do grumble a bit."Messing up my hair..." They whisper through clenched teeth. An Bo leaves and you stop. "What was that about? Since when are we married? Are you making up cover stories without me knowing? Very unprofessional." They ask before noticing your badge. They're eyes go wide and they point at you accusingly dramatically. "You!" They say. "You've betrayed us!""Oh calm down." You say gently poking their forehead. "It's just a part time job. Think of it as undercover work." You tease. Xin Lan sticks out their tongue. "Good. Looks like you do take after me after all." They say. "So...is part of your cover the fact we're married then? Never did that before.">What do you say?>Tell Xin Lan that it wasn't but it might be if it can help you get some information. Seems like somethings are starting to come together. Call it a happy little accident.>Say that it isn't. One of your suspects has a hatred for mixed species and this might make things more difficult. Renshu and Ming have already made it difficult and as fun as it would be to see the woman angry, you do have a job to do.>Say that it's just a misunderstanding. It doesn't really matter right now. Ask them how their training preperation is going. You kind of want to take your mind off of work for now.>Try to subtly, and probably fail, ask if they know anything about Renshu and Ming's possible relationship. >Write in.>What do you do now?>Go to the grove. Have Xin Lan go back to the others and tell them you're missing dinner today. You want to see if you can find Guang there before anyone alerts him.>As above but take Xin Lan with you. You highly doubt you need back up but it wouldn't hurt to have.>Go get dinner with your friends. It's getting late and you can pick up the lead tomorrow morning while Xin Lan is training Ming.>Tell your friends that you'll be skipping dinner tonight. Head to Chuanli's tavern for a stiff drink. You're starting to get why guards like to head to taverns after work.>Take Xin with you to get a drink. You think you need someone to vent to and you don't really want to ask Ming and Renshu about their relationship status just yet.>Write in.
>>4547059>It wasn't, just a misunderstanding of a suspect. How's mings training gone?>Try to subtly, and fail, inquire about ming and Renshu's relationship [If they know nothing, then it is time for schemeing teasing]>Go to the grove, Take Xin with us.It'd be good to have a friends company
>>4547059>Say that it isn't. One of your suspects has a hatred for mixed species and this might make things more difficult. Renshu and Ming have already made it difficult and as fun as it would be to see the woman angry, you do have a job to do.>Try to subtly, and probably fail, ask if they know anything about Renshu and Ming's possible relationship.I hate wacky anime misunterstandings, might as well clear it now.>Go to the grove. Have Xin Lan go back to the others and tell them you're missing dinner today. You want to see if you can find Guang there before anyone alerts him.No need to keep the others worrying about us, especially since we always get into trouble
>>4547090It shouldn't take us too long right? Quick run there, a talk and run back? the dinner should barely be cold.....Unless Xin eats it, little cottontailed glutton they are.
>>4547113inb4 they ate alot to keep Renshu's body alive ala full metal alchemist. That or it's a combination of them being a thief and their fighting style/high metabolism. But really it could just be that they do it so they can have some semblance of a personality to connect to their friends.Just need to see if TL will take Xin with them or if they'll go alone.
>>4547125I have no problem taking Xin if we can warning the rest
>>4547146Sure, that can be done. I'll get to writing.
"No." You say as the two of you walk away. "That was just a misunderstanding. One of my suspects has a hatred of mixed species relationships and this might make things difficult." "That's a thing?" Xin Lan asks. You shrug."Kind of? Most people don't really consider having relationships outside their species. Usually because they want to keep their family line going. Thats start to get difficult when you begin having a relationship with other species." You say. "That and people don't tend to travel outside of their village so the few families just get bigger when their kids marry.""Yeah...I suppose the size difference would make thing difficult in bed." They say and grin broadly as they make your face go red. You try to clear your throat and shake your embarassment off. "A-anyways, you never noticed it? You've traveled a lot haven't you?" You ask."Ehh not really. I mean I never really paid attention unless it had to do with my job and by that I mean heist. Even then, it only mattered if they were attracted to me and believe me, they were." They say waggling their tail. "I've gotten my fair share of looks outside of the job too. I guess I just never noticed it.""To be fair, you did spend most of your time in the city." You say looking away to hide your face growing red again and to not think too much about what Xin Lan said. "I'm guessing the bigger congregation of people tends to blur the lines a bit. Then again I never noticed it at the Jade Palace either. Guess I was sheltered.""Sounds to me like your suspect is just crazy." Xin Lan replies."You're not wrong." You mutter."What about you?" They ask idly. "You don't seem like the kind of person who would have a problem with it.""I don't really care. One way or another." You admit. "In Kung Fu, a person's birth doesn't dictate their strength or skill. I see relationships in the same light. What you were born as doesn't dictate what you can do or who you spend the rest of you life with.""Sounds about right. From what I've seen and exerienced, feelings aren't about taking the optimal route so I assume sex and love wouldn't either." Xin Lan says. They stay quiet for a while and then ask. "Have you ever been in love?" You jump a bit at that question, not expecting it."Me? No...I don't think I have. Not beyond familial love...and even that I assume I didn't have much..." You say a bit regretfully as you think of your relationship with your father. "I was too busy dedicating my life to martial arts I didn't have time. Nor did I persue it. I saw it was a useless pass time.""Hmm..." The rabbit replies. "I'm surprised you didn't."
"Huh? Why's that?" You say utterly confused."Well I have put some study into emotions. There are many tales of heroes and even average people doing things beyond their normal skills through their devotion and love. I figured in your old persuit of power that you'd have looked into it." Xin Lan says utterly deadpan and no longer joking.You cough and feel your face go red again. "No...I was more concerned with the dragon scroll. Seeing as it was told to have unlimited power, anything else would have seemed insignificant. Besides most of those tales are exagerrated.""Yes, I figured as well but there is some truth to them." Xin Lan admits. "I assume it has to do with love overwhelming one's emotions. I can suppress fear and that's probably where those's feats of strength come. The person simply acts out of their normal habits and thus looks like enhanced skills."You nod and seeing a chance you force yourself to ask, "W-what about you and your brother? I imagine you'd have to pretend to be in love for some of your old work. A-at least I assume your brother did seeing as you quit at a young age.""My brother?" Xin Lan asks and thinks. "I suppose there was a few assassinations that did require him to pose as someone's lover. Though he never spoke of such things. Presumably because he was trying to limit our work's influence on me. Despite our brutal relationship when we disagreed, and his training, he tried to give me as normal a childhood that he could given my condition.""Well...did he ever speak of...the kinds of women he liked?" You ask. "You know...in case he might be seeing someone?""No..." Xin Lan says slowing to a stop. "He's never expressed an interest in women. Why are you asking this? Given your face and your past reactions, you're clearly uncomfortable about all this."You sigh and rub your face. "Sorry...the suspect I told you about said she saw Renshu and Ming holding hands and talking to each other as if they were in a relationship. Mentioned that they were talking about going to her room and that they were looking at each other as if they were in love. She wanted me to arrest them for public indeceny. I just wanted to know if it was true."Xin Lan looks studies you for a moment before leaping up and flick your forehead with a finger. "And you believed her?!" They say incredulously. "That crazy bat of a woman? Why not ask them?!""Sorry..." You say ashamed and embarassed. "I just wanted to know. It's not really...polite to simply ask someone about their relationships or who they're seeing romantically.""And you can't trust them to tell you?" Xin Lan asks. "But it's ok for you to talk to me about it?"
"I mean...I was trying to be subtle. And you know...it's not as embarassing for you...and you're my best friend?" You say sheepishly.Xin Lan sighs. "Listen, I don't know if Ming and Renshu are together. My brother never did talk about the kind of women he likes either. Those kinds of things he keeps to himself unless you ask him. Just ask them. I'm sure they'll tell you and if they don't then what are we gonna do? Arrest them?""I mean...I could. Withholding information from a guard is a punishable offense." You joke weakly. Xin Lan smirks and shakes their head."No one we're Ming's idiots." They say chuckling. "Come on officer. Let's go see the others for dinner.""I'm going to have to pass on that." You say. "I got a lead on where the guy I'm looking for might be hiding...you wanna skip dinner and go check it out?""Do we have to?" They whine but immediately say, "Yeah, ok. Who knows what trouble you'll get into if you go alone. But I swear if this dress gets ruined..." They say.You chuckle. "I'll buy you a new one. I promise. Can you go tell the others? Don't want them to worry. I'll meet you at the north edge of town. Oh!...can you keep this conversation to ourselves? I don't...you know...""Oh don't worry. I plan on holding this secret for a long while." They say with a mischevious look as they jump on the roof of a nearby house. You suddenly feel like your in danger with those words so you quickly make your way to the meet up point.---"So, how's Ming's training going?" You ask. The two of you had been walking in the dark woods for while by now and the moon had risen to replace the setting sun. Xin Lan shrugs slightly. "It's as good as it can be." They say. "I've got all the training things set up. It's not much and it's not deadly but it'll do. First I want to teach her how to limber up. Her speed will help accentuate her ability to dodge and if she's gonna learn from me then she's going to be as flexible as possible. It'll make it harder for her to get hit and easier for her to avoid getting hit if her body isn't tense and as more options to move.""I think you did mention that once. You don't move like I do." You say.Your friend nods and holds their hand up. "I think I hear something." Xin Lan whispers as the two of you slow down. You too can hear something as well. The sounds of a crackling fire. You take lead and the two of you begin to slowly make your way to the noise, and then the glowing light. As you approach the trees begin to thin out a bit forcing you to leap from tree to tree to stay hidden. As An Bo described, you reach a clearing in the woods. Peeking around the tree you were hidden, you can see a small camp set up there. A warm fire crackles in the center and next to it, you can see a boar matching the description of Guang as he pokes at the flames. Bored.
>What do you do?>Approach the man and talk to him. (What do you say?)>Call out to him from the woods and guage his reaction. See if you can have a conversation from a distance.>Set up a trap with Xin. Try to subdue him. Once he's bound, you can start asking questions.>Watch him for a while. Maybe he might reveal if he has the money on him or show something you can use.>Write in.
>>4547262>Approach the man and talk to him. (What do you say?)I don't know, maybe say we been looking for him? Try to get his side of the history? We know he's been missing for some days and so is the money. Perhaps we should hide the badge and ask Xin to cover any path he could use to run away?
>>4547278I'll support.Just approach him without a badge and say "I've been looking for you".He should fill in the blanks in his mind and leap to conclusions. If he doesn't then we can reveal our natures.
>>4547278>be friendly tooo
>>4547278>>4547292>>4547332Approaching the man and being nice. Thus give Ming and Renshu more time to have their romantic dinner which is our real plan. Writing.
>>4547339Tai Lung truly is the best blood-brother and wingman
"Cover me." You whisper to Xin Lan. You pocket your badge and walk out of the trees. The man's head immediately snaps up and looks at you as you approach. His is uncertain and wary but mostly surprised. "I've been looking for you." You say. Tha man stands up with his hands clenched, a common reflect when something that poses a threat approaches. "Who told you about this place?" He shouts."An Bo." You say calmly. The man's face falls and he seems to consider something. Soon enough his rage returns."What did you do to her?!" He shouts. "She'd never tell you!" You raise your hands in the air. "Nothing. I'm with the guard." You say pulling out your badge. "I'm here looking for you because of the missing money. Gan hasn't gotten his money and was worried something happened. Through a series of questions I ended up here. I just want to hear your side of the story. You've been gone a few days."Guang kicks at the dirt. "It's none of your buisness." He grunts. "I can take care of myself." "You probably can but if you don't tell me I'll have to arrest you for theft." You say. "If you're innocent I can help you. Let's just start with something simple. Why are you here? An Bo said you like to come here when you're mad or need to think. Did you get into a fight with her? She says she hasn't seen you in a few days."Guang glares at you and looks away. "No. Never. I love her. You probably wouldn't understand but I'm doing this for her. For us." You tilt your head."So then why?" You press. "I'm guessing you met her mother?""You know her too huh? That bitch. Bet she sent you didn't she? Bet she made An Bo tell you! Bet she wants you to bring me back for some made up crime, right?!" He shouts getting angrier."No. I told you, I'm only here looking for some missing money. I can guess what happened but I'd rather you tell me what you know." You say. "The times don't add up. You were supposed to pay Gan a week ago. You haven't been seen in the last three days. There's still some time missing.""You just! Ugh!" Guang says throwing up his hands in the air. "No one gets it! You think money is all that matters when there's worse stuff going on?! Everyone is alway assuming I'm up to something! Just because I don't want to run dad's buisness and hate working there! I don't want to be a bar owner! Maybe I want to do something else! An Bo understood. Everything was going well!" The boar paces around in frustration. >What do you say?>Try and calm Guang down. Tell him that you can understand why he would be upset over someone trying to make him be something he doesn't want to be.>Agree with Guang. Try to align with his frustrations and connect with him through that. Maybe if he thinks you have something in common with him, he might divuldge more information.>Try to use Guang's frustration to your advantage. Ask him about things that upset him. Maybe if he vents, you can get information out of him in his anger.>Write in.
>>4547534>>Try and calm Guang down. Tell him that you can understand why he would be upset over someone trying to make him be something he doesn't want to be.>>Agree with Guang. Try to align with his frustrations and connect with him through that. Maybe if he thinks you have something in common with him, he might divuldge more information.
>>4547534>Try and connect with his frustrations and his desire to help his new love.Just ask him things like what went wrong and how can we help, maybe refer to An's mother as a spiteful hag or something of that nature to get through his safeguards.But his seclusion in the woods points to a bigger problem, so it's our job to help him out and the money can come after.
>>4547563Support, let him vent, but don't use him
>>4547554>>4547563>>4547580Let the guy vent. It's better than arguing with him. Writing.
You nod. "You're right. If there's something worse going on then please tell me. It's my job to help you out."Guang snorts derisively. "Yeah right. You just want answers! You don't care." You shake your head. "I'm just a temporary guard. You think I went through all this trouble to find you if I didn't care? If there's some kind of politicking going on, you can be sure that I don't care about it. Let alone care about the toxic racism of some spiteful hag. I'm not asking you as a guard. I'm asking you as another person. One who actually cares. One who knows what it's like to scream and not be heard."Guang glares at you but there is some trepidation in his eyes as he seems to think things out. He messes with his hair in frustration and kicks at a rock. "Gah! What the hell man!? Fine! You wanna know what's wrong? It's that bitch of a mother! She's threatening to sell off An Bo to some prick in another city!""A arranged marrige?" You ask. "That's not out of the ordinary. I'm guessing An Bo doesn't agree to this.""No man! She hates it! But she can't say no! Her mom...she's insane!" Guang shouts. "You're a man right?! You know we can't just see the woman we love cry and then just stand around and do nothing! It's our job to set things right!" "Right." You say a bit confused. "Alright. Let's start from the beginning. You love An Bo, tell me how you two met. So I can understand how we can help her."Guang nods. "It wasn't love at first sight or some hokey thing like that. I saw her when my old man sent me to buy rags for the tavern. She sold me the rags and we just talked...and it clicked, you know? We got each other. She likes selling clothing but not the way her family does it. She doesn't want to travel anymore and not have friends. I totally understood how she felt. I don't want to take over my old man's buisness either but both our parents want us to do it. We spoke for a while and then her mother came out and started yelling. It was, whatever, I didn't care what some random lady said. She shouted her crazy speech about purity and all that grabage. I just left." "Right, so you guys hit it off then?" You ask. "An Bo said you went to buy clothes and you'd see her every so often." Guang nods."Yeah. I tore a shirt messing with an ale barrel. Got caught on a loose nail. An Bo though, she can make some nice clothes so I figured I'd help a friend out and buy some of her stuff. We talked some more and that's when she told me about not having any friends. You can imagine why." He shakes his head angrily. "So I decided to be her friend. I live here and she says she comes every year. We talked some more and I made it a habit to see her so she wouldn't be lonely.""Like a man should?" You ventured a guess.
Guang rubs the back of his head. "Yeah kinda...it was more like a person should. It ain't right you know. Not having someone to back you up in life. My old man tears me a new one every so often but like I got my friends to pick me up. She didn't have anyone.""So what happened. You saw her cry right?" You ask. Guang's face grows serious as his anger grows."I found her crying when I went to talk to her. She tried to hide and be all brave and stuff but I wasn't buying it. That's when she told me. Her mom arranged a marrige with some random guy in some city. Something about being able to expand the buisness..." Guang sighs. "Listen, I ain't saying it was my proudest moment but I'd do it again if I could. I saw her crying man. You don't do that to your daughter. It was then I realized that...I loved her. And she said she loved me. That's why she was crying. We'd been talking and hanging out for over a month or so by then.""What happened?" "I...I basically ran up to her mom and I yelled at her. She didn't have that right to treat her daughter like that." Guang explains. "I also let it slip that I loved An Bo and she flipped. She threatened to tell everyone I abused An Bo that I did terrible things to her! It's bullshit!" He shouts throwing a stick into the burning logs. "Then she started saying she'd rather kill her own daughter than let her be some kind of prostitute. So I ran off. Not because I'm a coward! But I wasn't gonna risk An Bo getting hurt. Not over something stupid I did." Guang sits down and shakes his head. "So I've been sitting here since. I've managed to get back into town to sneak a message to An Bo.""What you'd tell her?" You say thinking. You were certain An Bo's mother hadn't followed up on her threats. The fact no one in town was looking for Guang showed that they were hollow threats."I told her that we could run off." Guang says. "That she should come here when she's ready to leave and start a new life. I've brought her here before so she knows where it is. She never came.""You think she doesn't love you." You say."No way!" Guang shouts. "I know she does. I just think she's afraid of her mother more. Imagine living with that witch for your entire life. I can't blame her but...I'm useless! All I can do is hide here! If I try to approach An Bo and get caught, her mom will rat me out. No one will belive me. I'm just the lazy son of a war vet. Dad will probably disown me if he thinks I took advantage of a girl. I ain't like that. I took my old man's lessons to heart. About duty and honor and shit. I just don't see eye to eye with him. That's why I'm trying to save An Bo. Even if it turns out she doesn't truly love me and I'm just a first love thing...You can see it right? I gotta do something to help her! It's the right thing to do!"
>What do you say?>Tell Guang you agree with him. Something has to be done even if you don't agree with Guang's initial reaction. You have to think of a plan to get her away from her mother and keep her safe.>Agree with Guang. Ask him if he had a plan beyond just running away. Is there anyone who can help in town? Perhaps his father might want to know if their lessons truly aligned.>Tell Guang you agree with him but you can't do anything. An arranged marrige is something that the family has to deal with. You can't just force a family apart or force An Bo to say no.>Tell guang you want nothing to do with this. This is a family politics things. You want to help him but this matter isn't something you can do anything about.>Write in.
>>4547676>Agree with Guang. Ask him if he had a plan beyond just running away. Is there anyone who can help in town? Perhaps his father might want to know if their lessons truly aligned.Perhaps if enough people are tired of the hag's shit he wouldn't even need to elope
>>4547676>Agree with Guang. Ask him if he had a plan beyond just running away. Is there anyone who can help in town? Perhaps his father might want to know if their lessons truly aligned.But if he wants to do this, he's has to know the consequences. The mother. The other family in the arrainged marriage. The fact that it will look like a kidnapping. Just be careful, alright.
>>4547707Support.Hmm...we can speak on his behalf if the problem comes to light on our stay. Maybe file a report with the captain when we meet him so that the truth of the matter is recorded before she can spew her bile.
>>4547676>Agree with Guang. Ask him if he had a plan beyond just running away. Is there anyone who can help in town? Perhaps his father might want to know if their lessons truly aligned.>>4548116Good thought. If An Bo and Guang tell guardsmen and people trusted by the pair there'll be proof that Guang isnt some abuser kidnapper whatsit. Really my only worry in this whole situation are:- The money. The pair will either have to keep the stolen money, or get someone to fund their escape. If thats the decided course of action.-An Bo's mother. Even with the pairs statement, she could try to overrule her word as her being threatened into giving it. And doing other things to smear the pair or us. Mostly moot if the pair escape.So at the very least we have to solve ONE.
>>4548207The money can be solved if the monkey consents to not press charges on the pair. Since the father is fine to pay a bit extra next month, the only wounded party is the monkey and he seems like the gentle kind who would help with the romeo and juliet.But we should warn him that running away is costly in many ways.
>>4548207For the mother...we can discredit her word with her beliefs, citing her beliefs and rock solid motives, as well as prior incident of attempting to incite harassment.It would be our word against theirs, so anything to strengthen the case could be of use
>>4547707>>4547877>>4548116>>4548207>>4548232Lots of votes! Looks like the plan is to find support among the villagers starting with the dad and the monkey. Possibly to grant asylum to the two lovers? Or is the plan to have the two run away while drumming up support with the village to keep the mom from pressing charges and persuing them?
>>4548333It's mostly "warn them of the cost of running away, but ask him about what plans he has and maybe offer a few ideas."That's what I surmise anyway.
>>4548341Seems like it. I just wanted to know what the general idea for your plan was. I'll get to writing then. Gonna be slow today. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I'm gonna be dealing with stuff here and there.
>>4548347at this point, gather information. We cannot entertain interfering on legal grounds, but there are ways to manipulate the scales.
"It is." You say. "What's your plan?""Well for starters was to just leave when everyone was asleep." Guang says. "We'd go somewhere else. Maybe the city where they can't find us and start our new lives there.""That's not much of a plan." You point out. "Do you have anything beyond that? Anyone that can help you in town? Running away isn't as simple as just leaving. They will go after you. You'll be branded a criminal, a kidnapper. This other family, judging by An Bo's mother, will be wealthy. They are arranged to marry An Bo with their son and will certainly do their part to 'rescue' his fiancé. Not to mention, living on the run is neither luxurious nor romantic. Could An Bo and you handle that? Could you put her through that?""Man! I thought you're supposed to help me! You really know how to bring a guy down." Guang grumbles."I am helping you." You say. "Helping you not make a stupid decision that can ruin your chance at a happy life. It seems hard but we need more information. You're up against someone who has the law on their side. An Bo's mother, as horrible as she is, is within her rights to arrange her marrige. I'm assuming An Bo agreed to this as well either via pressure or submissiveness so there's nothing we can do about that for now. What we need right now is information and support. So far, only I'm looking for you and the town is calm meaning she hasn't followed up on her threats. An Bo looked fine so she's not being harmed physically but that doesn't mean her mother won't follow up on her threats. The best way to go up against someone with the law on their side is to take away their support. The law won't do anything if there's no one to enforce it. Investigations die if all they're fed is false information. You can't be found if no one is willing to give you away."Guang simply stares at you dumbfounded. "How'd you know all this?" He asks."Experience." You say simply and leave it at that. "Now, who do you know we can rely on? Anyone who can give us information?""Urgh..." Guang thinks for a long time before awkwardly saying, "My friends?"You choose to not stare at the young man in disbelief. Instead you ask, "What about your dad and Gan? You took their money. If we can get them to forgive you for that. They might be able to help. Furthermore, we start to pull the law away from An Bo's mother. If you're cleared of all charges then legally you have every right to be in town. You'll still need to keep your head down but at least we can start making an alibi for you.""Like my old man would ever do anything for me." Guang scoffs. "Whatever happened to 'duty and honor and shit'?" You ask. "You're doing the right thing, right? Don't you think your father would want to help you if you're trying to save someone?"Guang runs his fingers through his hair. "Yeah...I guess. But I can't talk to him. You have to do it. Bet he'll listen to you more than me."
>What do you say?>Tell Guang he has to sneak into town to talk to his dad with you. Telling him the story doesn't mean anything from a stranger. From his son, however, will hold more weight.>Tell Guang to stay here while you gather more information. You want to be fully prepared before you start to do anything. As a guard or stranger, it might be a bit more difficult but it's certainly better than running the risk of An Bo's mother catching sight of Guang.>Say that you'll find a way to get An Bo to the clearing. With the two of them hidden away and safe, you can start figuring out how keep everyone from coming after them.>Write in.>What is your end goal here?>Have the village give An Bo and Guang asylum. They can be safe there at least and be happy. With the village on their side, An Bo's mother can't do anything to get them.>Get the village on the two's side and have them help keep An Bo's mother from coming after them or pressing charges after they run away together.>Find a way to force An Bo's mother to end the arranged marrige and let her daughter go. She's an adult now and doesn't need to live under her mother.>Write in.
>>4548388>Tell Guang that he has to talk to his father. You man up and work your hardest to save Bo or you admit defeat, trial is how you grow.He should be ready to accept that if he stays, he may very well end up working in the Inn to support himself. But if he's dedicated then he should have no problems.>Get the Village to grant Asylum/ward away the motherHe knows the people here and knows the place. But the life on the run dosent seem to suit his girl.
>>4548400Slow votes today but that's not surprising. I assume people are dealing with thanksgiving. Hope everyone has a safe holiday and if you don't celebrate it, then just hope you have a relaxing day.
>>4548400Support, maybe go with him and be motal support. Also not just because he may work on the inn that be will stuck there for the rest of his life. If he eventually find another profession that he prefers or is better at, he may be able to switch or something
>>4548558I'm just using it as an example. IE "You may have to stick with shit you don't like to do to make this work"
>>4548400>>4548558Taking these votes then. Writing.
"You will need to speak to him." You say."What? Come on, man. My old man never listens." Guang says. You shake your head."No. You make him listen." You say. "You're a man right? You think a man has other people fix his problems for him? You think a man is going to let someone else rescue the one they love? People think your lazy. Your father does too doesn't he? Then show him otherwise. Show him what you can do when something matters to you. That you're going to work your hardest to save the woman you love. If the two of you belive in the same ideals, then he'll agree with you once he sees your serious."Guang looks at you and stands up to kick dirt into his fire. "Shit you're right! I'm busy here having this stupid pity party and An Bo needs me. Gah! I'm an idiot! What kind of man am I? I gotta get off my ass and do this! I can't be afriad of my old man or anyone! Alright! Let's go!" Guang claps his hand on your back, grins and gives you a thumbs up. "You and me. We get along just right! You get me and what it's like to be a true man. When this is all over, I'm buying you a drink.""Yeah...but first let's make sure this ends the way we want it to." You say. "Getting into town shouldn't be too much trouble at this hour but we might need some extra help." You let out a sharp whistle to signal Xin Lan to come forward. They fade in from the darkness and Guang steps back in surprise. "Wha- Hey!...Hey is that your girl?" He asks after calming down. Xin Lan shakes their head."Not the time." They say. "So we're we need to inflitrate the town? You have any idea other than 'be really quiet'?" They ask. You nod."I'll need you to run interference. Distract anyone coming our way. We'll take the back alleys." You explain drawing a crude map of the town in the dirt. "We're heading to this tavern 'The Road's End'. Once we make it, find the others and let them know I might be working overnight. I doubt it, as our goal will involve gathering information and we can't do that with everyone asleep but just incase I don't show up tonight, at least you know. Once you're done, get some rest. You, Ming and Renshu are going to be busy this week with our plan and training. I can handle this alone."Xin Lan tugs at their ear and nods. "Alright but give our past record this is going to explode isn't it?" They ask."I hope not but still it's best that we don't drag everyone in just now." You reply."Yo wait. You sure it's ok to have your woman do this?" Guang asks. Xin Lan flicks his nose."Yes it's ok." They say. "This is my job. Besides, women are a lot stronger than you think. You ever tend to the wounded while a city burns all around you while at the same time make cook up something to put the first out?""N-no." Guang says rubbing his nose.
"Well there you go because that woman is currently learning to kick your butt as well so how about you drop the whole tough guy act before it bites you back?" Xin Lan ruffles Guang's hair. "Huh...that is fun. I can see why you do it but still, stop it." They tell you as they finish petting the boar."No promises." You say as you all stand up. "Let's head out."---It had been a while since you wandered the darkened streets of a town. In contrast to a city's streets, the alleys of this town were dead quiet. So much so that you could clearly hear coughing from a lone wanderer, or the sounds of inhabitants within their own homes. You and Guang had split up from Xin Lan at the edge of town before entering. You didn't expect much resistance or obstacles but knowing that there was someone helping you keep people away kept your mind at ease. Guang for his part managed to at least keep quiet as he tried to follow you without making too much noise. "We can enter through the backdoor of the tavern." He whispers. "I got the key and no one will see us enter." He takes out a key and unlocks the door. As you open it, you hear the jingle of some bells and the two of you wince. "Damn, forgot the old man set up the bells for this." He says. You close the door behind you and can already hear footsteps coming down."You finally decided to get your lazy ass back home did you?" Chuanli grunts as he comes down. Guang stands up straight and seems to steel himself. The old boar comes into the back area and see you. "Oh, you found him did you? Yeah, that's the worker who had the money.""I ain't just your worker old man! I'm your son!" Guang snaps back.>What do you do?>Explain to Chuanli why you're here then let Guang take care of the rest. You don't want him to think his son is under arrest and get a bad impression before the talks begin.>Give Guang the go ahead to talk. This is his chance to show he's serious about what's going on.>Let Guang talk and leave. Go see if Gan the book store owner is awake so you can talk to him.>Write in.
>>4548640>Xin lan has learned the power of the headpatLUO WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!>"Guang wants to talk to you, I'd listen well."Come on Guang, keep your temper but let your passion fuel you. Words of the heart hit like hammer blows.
>>4548640>Give Guang the go ahead to talk. This is his chance to show he's serious about what's going on.
>>4548668Do you want to be Xin's personal head pat recipeint?>>4548668>>4548715Taking these. Writing
>>4548789IT'S TOO MUCH POWER LUO! YOU COULD UPSET THE ENTIRE BALANCE OF THE HEADPAT UNIVERSE!Scratches behind the ears are reeeeeeeeally good though
>>4548798>Ear scritches.L-lewd. Must not teach that to the others just yet.
"Guang wants to talk to you, I'd listen well." You say before motioning to Guang to talk. Chuanli crosses his arms."He always wants to talk but does he have something worth listening to?" He grunts. Guang steps forward, his hand balled into fists but you shake your head."Yeah. I do." Guang says through gritted teeth. "Old man you've been pushing me around since I can remember, talking about shit like honor and duty and always calling me lazy and good for nothing! But you never asked me what I wanna do! Maybe I don't wanna be some tavern owner! Maybe I want to be a carpenter or tailor or something!""Maybe you should have spoken up then." Chuanli counters. "Anything would be better than you being a layabout all your life.""Oh yeah?! Well I'm here to tell you that don't matter anymore." Guang shouts back. "I got something more important than what I wanna be! Out there is a girl I love! And she's being sold off to some prick she doesn't love because her mom is a bitch of a hag who thinks people can't love each other if they're not the same species. She's threatening to kill her just because she loves me and threatening to sell me out on some bullshit lies of me taking advantage of her." Guang gets on his knees and bows. "So I'm asking you old man. You gotta help me save her! I'll work here for the rest of my life if it means she's safe. As a man, I can't just sit around and watch a woman cry. It ain't right! You're always going on about duty and honor, well this is it. I've always listened. I've just never had the chance to prove it! Now I can. You're not just gonna let someone sell off their own kid like that right? Didn't you used to be a solider to stop this kind of stuff? Stop people from pushing their own twisted ideas on others who can't fight back?"Chuanli watches their son beg on the floor. "Doesn't matter anymore? What happened to doing your own thing? That you're gonna find your own path and others be damned?""It ain't about me anymore." Guang says. "Maybe in the beginning it was but I found someone who means more to me that that shit. And even if she doesn't love me the same way in the end, I still can't sit around and watch someone like her go through that. She's a kind, caring woman and she deserves better. Someone's gotta save her. Even if it means I gotta give up my own dreams. That's what a man does. He takes care of the people around him, even if no one else cares. That's what I gotta do."Chuanli continues to look at his son and walks up to him. He places a heavy hand on Guang's shoulder and pats it. "I see." He says quietly before kneeling next to his son and giving him a gruff smile. "Looks like something's finally lit a fire in your belly hasn't it? Must be a helluva woman if she's making you put in some actual work in. Never let it be said that my family turns their back on someone in need. So let's cut the bullshit. Give me the details I gotta know what's going on."
"It as what Guang said." You explain. "His girlfriend's mother is...well as he said. A bitch of hag who hates mixed species relationships. She's arranged a marrige of her against her will and has threatened Guang with filing false charges against him if he tries to stop it. Furthermore, she's also threatened to kill An Bo rather than allow her to be with your son. So far the threats have gone unfufilled but we don't know if she'll go through with them if she's pressed. The law is also on her side, nothing says she can't do this and trying to take An Bo away is technically kidnapping.""Quite a mess you've gotten in boy." Chuanli says. "And you're willing to do a job you hate for the rest of your life to save her? You sure she's worth it?""Hell yes!" Guang shouts standing up. "I wouldn't be here if she wasn't and like I said, if she don't love me back it'll be worth it to save someone!""That's what I want to hear. No son of mine is going to half ass rescuing someone." Chuanli says and looks at you. "I assume you got a plan?">What do you say?>Ask Chuanli if there are any other shop owners who you can ask to help. She's a merchant so if you can hurt her through that, it could lower her influence. However doing so means that her money no longers flows into town and shops revanues will be cut.>Ask if there is a way to turn the guards to your side. Law doesn't work if there is no one to enforce it. Taking away An Bo's mother's ability to have anyong be arrested would be benificial.>Tell Chuanli that if he knows of anyone who can help with in the town. Perhaps there is someone you don't know about that can lend a hand.>Write in.
>>4548915If she isnt a stupidly rich merchant, and I mean worth any 4 other merchant levels of rich, then her revenue isnt that much of a concern. The real concern is her pulling strings and pulling other merchants away, but thay could just as easily draw more merchants in to fillt he void.But best play it safe>Got a way to rob her of her law support?>Know anyone else who can help?If we can get to Bo, the she could testify against her mother. But fifal piety is a massive thing in china, so its asking a lot. But potent evidence.
>>4548915>Ask if there is a way to turn the guards to your side. Law doesn't work if there is no one to enforce it. Taking away An Bo's mother's ability to have anyong be arrested would be benificial.
>>4548915>Ask if there is a way to turn the guards to your side. Law doesn't work if there is no one to enforce it. Taking away An Bo's mother's ability to have anyong be arrested would be benificial.>Ask Chuanli if there are any other shop owners who you can ask to help. She's a merchant so if you can hurt her through that, it could lower her influence. However doing so means that her money no longers flows into town and shops revanues will be cut.Maybe try to find a few people that are tired of her? The more people that are against her word, the weaker it is. Also if this town depends on trade to work, going around harassing travellers like she wanted to do with Ming and Renshu means people will want to avoid it, especially since she didn't want to drop it after we lied that she was influential, so therefore less trade and profit.
Mr T can talk with the guards, they seem lazy and if told to ignore crazy ladies story, well less work for them.Pub owner would know enough people to help out, small towns are like that. In fact most would be more than willing to help as I am assuming no one likes the bigot. Is her name Karen BTW? Also 10/10 on Moody teenager
>>4548978No but if this was a Sci do game Kah Ren would probably be her name.Sorry about the stop, things came up. Tomorrow is thanksgiving so I won't be running. Apologies for two days so close by with me not posting.
>>4549103Np— have a Happy Thanksgiving Luo!
>>4548927>>4548963>>4548974>>4548978>>4549094Urgh, my blankets are nice and toasty. I could sleep in them all day. But I gotta continue the quest or else TL and Renshu won't get married. Or was it Tai Lung and Ming? Pretty sure it was Ming and Xin. More to the point, hope everyone had a pleasant holliday for those who celebrated it and for those who didn't I hope you stayed safe and had a nice day. We're asking about guards and buiness support. Writing.
>>4550510I know the feeling well.But no Blood-Incest, please and thank you.
You nod. "First and foremost, we need to drive away support from the girl's mother. She has the law on her side but the law is no good if there is no one to enforce it. Then we need to convince the rest of your town to stop supporting her. She can't have influence here to convince someone to sell out either An Bo or Guang. Other buisness owners would be a good bet. If she can't make money here then she has less reason to stay. Travel is expensive for traders. She maybe rich but even she can't afford to stay here forever if no one is buying her wares. The real concern is the other traders. She may attempt to get them on her side. Though if we work with the buisness owners here, they may be able to turn the traders on our side. Shouldn't be too hard, given An Bo's mother's disposition I'm sure the other traders will be tired of her as well.""So we'll be playing gossipmongers then?" Chuanli says crossing his arms and frowning. You shake your head."It's not gossip if it's the truth. We're trying to help a woman get out of the grips of her oppressive mother. Not to mention her mother is far more toxic than anyone has met. Is that really someone this village wishes to support and finance? If you're worried about her money, there's at least half a dozen caravans out there right now. Befriend anyone of them and they can surely find another trader to replace her. This is probably the best chance this village has to set up something benifical with so many traders here." You say. "You know the village better than me. Can I trust you with convincing the other merchants?"Chuanli grunts and nods. "Those are indeed the facts. What about you?""I'm going to go talk to the guards." You say. "She's already placed complaints about me. Perhaps that might give me enough attention with the guards to explain myself and the plan.""Sounds good. They'll probably listen to a soldier like you." He says."Hey, what about me?" Guang says standing up. "I can't just sit around and let you two go around rescuing my girl! I gotta do something too!""You're staying here and out of sight." You say and raise your hand when Guang opens his mouth to protest. "I know you want to prove yourself and you will but if you're seen you'll cause trouble for us and more importantly An Bo. You're right that a man acts and does what he can to protect those who can't but they also know when to wait. Saving people doesn't mean anything if you leave everything around you burning because you couldn't wait. You'll have your chance but right now we need to stay covert. If you need anymore reason, remember when you saw An Bo crying. Remember how that made you feel and think about it being you behind those tears. Is that weight worth having because you wanted to show off?"
Guang grits his teeth and punches his palm. "Man..." He says quietly and sighs. "Yeah...yeah you're right. There's no point in saving An Bo if I sell everyone out. I gotta be better than her bitch of a mother. Alright, but the old man needs come right back after he's done. He's gonna teach me how to run this place." He says looking at Chuanli. "You'll see. When I got my mind on something...I'm gonna be a far better owner than you are, old man."The old boar snorts. "I'll believe it when I see it. You're all talk...but so was I when I was a little runt like you." He pats his son's back. "Come on. We got work in the morning." Chuanli looks at you. "You need a place to stay? I can move a few chairs if you need somewhere to lay down.""Thank you but I already have a room to sleep in." You say. "I'll see you this afternoon. We'll check our progress by then." The old boar nods and you head out.---By the time you get to your room, the whole inn is quiet. You slowly push the door open and see Renshu fast asleep, his ears behind his head unlike Xin Lan who sleep with their ears over their eyes. You quietly slip into your bed and find yourself fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillows. Your dreams are vague and formless but ultimately not worth noting.---You awake early in the morning, just as the sun begins to rise. Sitting up, you stretch and see Renshu slipping on a new shirt and covering up his scar. "Good morning." He says quietly. "Did I wake you?"You shake your head. "No. I just got up myself." You say getting out of bed and stretching a bit before changing clothes yourself. Your clothing is all patched and frayed but servicable and part of you wonders if you should get yourself a new set. At least for special occasions.
"That is good." Renshu replies. "How was your sleep? Have the nightmares calmed?" He asks quietly. You think about it and try to recall last night's sleep but nothing comes to mind."I think so. This is the second night, I haven't really dreamt of anything." You say. "But that might just be a coincidence." "Perhaps, but it might also be a sign of you healing. A sign that I hope is true." He says while making his bed. "Do you have any plans today? I know you like to jog with Miss Ming in the mornings but Xin Lan will be training her today and with out her there is not much I can do to advance our studies on the toxin we wish to employ so I shall be free for most of the day." Renshu says.>What do you say?>Apprise Renshu of your current situation. Perhaps he might be able to help somehow. He does work with people now.>Let Renshu know what is going on at work but let him know that it might not be the best if he's seen around you. An Bo's mother hates Renshu and Ming. If she sees him with you, it could cause trouble.>Ask Renshu if he has any plans. Perhaps you can do something to help him while going around trying to help Guang.>Ask Renshu if he's in a relationship with Ming. He's your brother now. You might have an easier time blushing in front of him as you ask about his relationship than you would with Ming. You're not sure if you even ask Ming about that sort of thing.>Say that right now you're going on a run with Ming then go do your rounds as a guard. Perhaps it's best to not let them know about what's going on. If Ming and Renshu are in a relationship, you don't want them to feel shame about it even if it is from some crazy woman.>Write in.[Confiding about your worries and troubles regarding your stay in Hell has bolstered both your resolve and one another's faith in each other. The screams have quieted somewhat and you can find solice in your sleep once more.]
>>4550571>Confiding about your worries and troubles regarding your stay in Hell has bolstered both your resolve and one another's faith in each other. The screams have quieted somewhat and you can find solice in your sleep once more.]supposed to be confinding in your friends about your worries...ect. Still got the post thanksgiving sleepies it seems.
>>4550571>Apprise Renshu of your current situation. Perhaps he might be able to help somehow. He does work with people now.He is technically already involved because of the Karen's complaints, so he back us up (and Ming too thinking about it)
>>4550571>Appraise Renshu of the situation>Ask if he's after a relationship with Ming.>Try not to drop the spaghetti, for gods sake
>>4550578>>4550591Giving Renshu a heads up on the situation and asking him about Ming. Gonna attempt to spill the linguine. Writing.
>>4550599God damnit man, I said avoid spilling the pasta!What have we done anons?
>>4550608You have sent Tai Lung on a suicide mission. He's shy about relationships! Why do you think it took him so long and basically nearly losing Ming in the Warring Triad arc before he even started talking about his feelings? Honestly, I think that's just the natural course for TL. He's spent so much time training, so many years of arrogance and ego, that he simply never felt the need to express his true emotions. He's not emotionally stunted per say, he simply suffers from what most men do, the urge to appear strong and masculine infront of everyone. The rest of the group however, he trusts and holds them close enough that he's starting to come out of that shell. First it was speaking his mind, then it was expressing how much his friends mean to him, and now he's starting to be able to express his vulnerabilities to them. He's mentioned his worry in the past but there's a big difference between "I'm worried." and "I don't feel like I'm good enough anymore and I'm scared of letting you all down."
>>4550618Even being shy as he is, dropping the cooked eggs and flour itallian product in such quantities as to tangle over yourselves takes a special sort of silly.
"Things have gotten a bit complicated." You admit as you clean your half of the room. "Being a guard is interesting but I never thought it would turn up like this.""Ah yes, Xin Lan did mention your great betrayal." Renshu says amused. "I'm sure Luo would enjoy the tale of how the runaway hid from the law by joining them." He sits on the bed. "Jokes aside, what are these complications?"You explain the situation to Renshu. "If it was just a mother who hated the boy her daughter was seeing then it wouldn't be much of an issue. Guang, while headstrong and chauvinistic, is a good kid. He wants to do right by his father and his girlfriend. He simply hasn't found his passion. However, I've never seen the level of vitriol from a person. Even the people who we fought before seemed more...tame? I'm not sure. It's an odd person to face." You say.Renshu nods. "A common enough situation. Most children wish to distance themselves from their parents and be their own person. In the end, they find a way to align their beliefs with those of their families and live in harmony. The fact that this young man is willing to set aside his desires and take over a buisness he wants no part of for the woman he loves shows that his father's lessons have stayed with him. As you've said, he simply needs to find something he's passionate about...besides this young woman of course. Her mother however has indeed been twisted by her beliefs. Unfortuantely, it seems they're quite ingrained in her and it will take more than just an empassioned plea to change her mind. Sadly, I doubt that losing her daughter in the way that you planned might not make her see the error of her ways. She seems to see her as a commodity, something to be traded. It is an unforunate situation.""Is there anything else we can do?" You ask. "You work with people and their troubles. Maybe you can do something?" Renshu thinks. "I might be able to speak with some of the villagers. I have helped a few, however my influence is limited so I'm not sure what I might be able to do.""Could you talk to An Bo?" You ask. "I asked her if she was being abused but I wouldn't be surprised if she's too afraid of her mother to speak out. Having her speak up against her mother would help immensely. It would also help her become her own person. If she's stuck here living in fear of her mother, it won't be healthy.""A solid plan." Renshu agrees. "Approaching Miss Bo shouldn't be an issue. However, having her change her mind will be difficult. Years of living under her mother's influence will have ingrained that fear. It could be instinctual by now. I'm not sure how much progress I can make.""I believe in you." You say. "Just like we do with Ming and her medicine. You can feel people's emotions. You soothe people's souls." Renshu smiles softly. "You flatter me.""Well if you think I'm wrong. I could ask Xin to do it." You joke. Renshu chuckles.
"Perhaps you should leave them to train. While they might be able to pull off a convincing fascimile of me, I think my skills will suffice." He says."I can't see it." You admit. "Xin is nothing like you.""Did you not know?" Renshu says mildly surprised. "I've apperantly been a common alias for Xin Lan. A few times, I would arrive at a town and the villagers would know me by name. It was how I knew they lived. Judging by the villager's reactions, the disguise was no different than the real me. At least on the surface." He thinks for a moment. "I'll have to ask them to recreate that disguise some time...though I am not sure how I feel about it.""I think you should feel happy." You say. "Perhaps Xin doesn't realize it but the fact he used you as a disguise after they thought you dead and also being unable to expresss their emotion means they still thought about you. You two are close and it must have broken through their condition."Renshu nods. "Yes...I do think I like that." They say thoughtfully and sighs a bit. "It is all the more reason I must better myself."As Renshu seems to be lost in thought, you try to look busy with making your bed mostly to conceal your face. "So...umm....speaking about the situation with Guang and An Bo." You say trying to sound nonchalant. "Wha-what do you think about love?"Renshu is pulled back from his thoughts. "Hmm?""I mean...you know...I don't think you'd agree with An Bo's mother." You say wrinkling your sheets again and feeling your face get a bit hot. "I was curious about your opinion on it.""Oh. I wouldn't condenm someone for who they love." He says. "It is only natural to want to feel loved and cared for. Who someone chooses to reciprocate those feelings doesn't matter. There has been a few times I had to mediate disputes between lovers but ultimately it was simply a lack of communication between both parties. A healthy relationship is not one without fights but one where both parties can communicate their issues and work through them.""So...you've never...erm...had a girlfriend before?" You ask now no longer pretending to make your bed and simply trying to hide your face. "I mean a guy like you could probably find one easily.""No. I'm afraid I have not." Renshu. "Even after my death, I mostly spent my time wandering and had never really considered it. Though thank you, I appreciate your confidence in me.""You're welcome..." You say before pushing yourself to ask, "But...if you did want one...what kind of woman would you look for?"
Renshu goes quiet and you don't dare turn around to see if he was thinking or staring at you. "Well...if I may be honest with you...I...I wouldn't limit my search for companionship with only women." He says quietly. "Though I suppose the qualities I would seek apply to both men and women." He pauses again before speaking. "The simplest qualities would easily be one who is kind and caring. Someone who is understanding and I can hold a conversation with....but those are just superficial. What I would want is someone who could truly understand the burdens I bear. The pain I've gone through. Someone who wouldn't judge me based on my past. I feel if I search for someone who didn't meet those qualities then my relationship would feel...hollow despite their best intentions to make me happy." Renshu sighs. "However, at the moment, with the way I am right now, I do not deserve anyone nor would I curse anyone with my presence like that. Not until I better myself." You can hear movement behind you and you quickly get back to making your bed. "I'll go wake the others up. Otherwise I worry that Xin Lan will sleep the day away. I will inform Miss Ming that you will be ready to run with her soon." Renshu says and start to leave though you're unsure if they cut the conversation short to preserve your dignity or to hide the fact they were in a relationship with Ming. Still, you feel a bit bad. Renshu did open up to you, far more than you think he ever did for anyone and you simply were skulkling for information."Hey Renshu!" You say a bit louder than you intended and turn to face them despite the burning sensation on your face. Renshu looks at you. "Well...umm...thanks for telling me." You says. "I...didn't think you'd tell me something like that. I appreciate you being so open with me." Renshu gives you a smile."You're welcome." He says and heads out. You let out a long breath and finally get to actually making your bed wondering if you should even attempt to ask Ming about this. Perhaps you should focus on your run instead.>What do you do?>Keep the morning run like you always do. Best to keep in shape and clear your mind before the day begins.>Have the job be a bit lighter than ussual. Take the time to speak with Ming about things (Presumably about her relationship and her work on the poison)>Turn up the pace a bit. Cardio only really helps if you keep your heart working hard. While keeping a routine is a good, pushing oneself every so often helps stave of complacency. Plus it might keep Ming from thinking about her awnsers and she may let something slip.>Write in.
>>4550675>Up the pace, but don't ask the question.I suddenly feel bad and no longer wish to tease.
>>4550677>>4550729>>4550742No teasing, only training. Writing.
You and Ming start your jog at the edge of town and work your way into the woods. You pick up the pace slightly today. Not to push Ming too hard due to her training later but enough that it gets her heart racing and keeps it from getting used to the jog. "Oh are we going a bit harder today?" Ming asks as she keeps up to you. "Trying to knock me out before Xin does?" She teases."Maybe you should save your breath." You say. "Because I hear Xin is gonna make you run across the roof tops. Might need that extra energy to run from the guards when they catch you." Ming laughs."Xin was right. You really have gone to the other side." She says. "What are you gonna do then? Arrest me? You already know the rules I'll be breaking. Plus the fact I plan to dose an entire camp with sedatives.""I'm willing to look the other way." You grin as you duck under a tree branch. "But only you look the other way when I want to sneak a bite off your food.""Oh wow, you really have gone wrong. Now Xin's influencing you. Well, unlike you, I have to be the hold fast to the rules of this group. No stealing from Ming's plate. Now matter how much the bunny tells you to." She grins."Is that the only rule? I figured we had more." You say amused."It's the most important rule." Ming says with faux seriousness. She pauses for a few moments to focus on keeping her breathing even with the new pace before asking, "So how's being a guard like? Think you'd like to do that for a living?""It's...eventful." You admit. "But I don't think I'd want to be one. There's something...I dunno, liberating about the way we do things? We're not bound by the rules or regulations. We don't have to care about public perception and we can go as we please.""Isn't that a bit dangerous though?" Ming asks. "If we don't have rules then what's to stop us from taking things too far? I mean...I don't think we'd ever will but there's still the possibility. We might slowly slip that way." You consider that for a moment.>What do you tell Ming?>Tell her that you've already gone that route. That was who you once were. The man who thought might have you the right to do whatever you pleased and you're always doing what you can to avoid that man.>Say that it's always a possiblity but now that you're thinking about it, it's another reason you're glad you have your friends because they're the ones who will pull you away from that darkness.>Admit its something you never actually considered but it will be something you might have to bring up with everyone.>Write in.
>>4550768>Our group is already made of men and Xin who did go that far, who did slip or get dragged whole heatedly into the blackest of sin. But the rules we have now are those we devised by what we think is right, not those that are handed down to us by people we are told know better.
>>4550782you have my support
>>4550782>>4550987>>4551033Taking these votes. Writing.
>>4550782>and XinThis made me chuckle but it's true. Xin is their own category. Although now I'm wondering, if a double dragon team up happens. Will there be a Stripes (Renshu) vs Stripes #2 (Tigress)?
"Our group is already made of men...and Xin who did go that far, who did slip or get dragged whole heartedly into the blackest of sin." You say quietly. "The rules we have now are those we devised by what we think is right, not those that are handed down to us by people who tell us they know better." You and Ming jog for a bit longer before you add. "Often times I wonder, who's the better man? The one who never does evil and always does good? Or the man who has done evil and wants to rise from that blackness?" You shake your head. "I don't know but I do know that what we are doing is right. We help people Ming. We offer them the chance to become better again because we know what it's like to be in their position and we've seen the consequences of our actions. So we offer them a second chance so they don't have to suffer the consequences. Honestly, and I think Renshu would agree, after you, Xin is the best of us. They didn't understand the magnitude of their evil beyond the fact they were breaking a set of rules but they wanted to be able to comprehend. To suffer the weight of that guilt so they could then better themselves. I don't know how many would be willing to shed that ignorance willingly. Then there's you, you know what we are. You know exactly what we did and still you choose to come with us. Not because you're afraid or you want to keep an eye on us. Not because you believe can be better but because you know we will be better. You don't see us as murderers or criminals. You see us a your friends and people who want us to do good without reservation. That's why I don't think we'll slip. Because we already have, because we have someone we need to be good for, and we have someone who was willing to burden themselves with it.""You guys are good people." Ming says. "You just made some bad choices in your life. Renshu and Xin didn't have a choice in it. If things were different then I know you guys would still be out there doing good. Maybe you guys would be the five...or three." She says with a smile. You return the smile and shake your head."I don't know." You say. "The Five seem a bit too...offical. I don't think I'd like the attention. Neither would Renshu...Xin might though." "If it meant more feasts, I'm sure they'd join the Five the moment they were offered a position." Ming replies. You supress a snort.
"Probably. Though I think it might have something to do with their metabolism. They do move alot when they fight. Their body probably burns through a lot of energy." You admit."Still doesn't excuse them trying to steal my food." Ming says with a smirk. "I'm glad my appetite won't increase to that level after all this exercise.""You have to admit, it does make you more aware of your surroundings." You chuckle."Only during dinner." Ming says. "It's not like I've gotten a highetened sense of awareness.""Dinner is an important meal of the day." You tease. "Come on, let's head back before we're hunted down by your teacher and they demand food a compensation."---You and Ming meet up with Xin Lan back at the inn. They were wearing their set of male clothing once more. "I'm not ruining that dress." They say. "Plus, this makes me look like a wise master." Ming giggles."You mean old?" She says. Xin Lan frowns."No, I mean wise. You'll see. By the end of this week, you'll be the fastest person in this village." They announce."Really?" Ming replies in amusement."No. Well...maybe? You'll be faster and more flexible. You'll improve is all I can promise." Xin Lan says scratching their head. "Maybe you'll be a Kung Fu genius like the big guy. Give him a run for his money." You shake your head and ruffle Xin Lan's ears."Work hard you two." You say. "I need to get to work. Your brother has already set out to help me with something.""Sounds like trouble." Xin Lan replies. "But I'll leave that to you. Come on Ming. We only got a week and we shouldn't waste any time." The three of you part ways once more and you go to enact your plan to save An Bo.>Where do you head to first?>Head to the guard station. See if you can convice them to ignore the woman's complaints.>Go to Gan, the book store owner. Talk to him and see if he can provide and help.>Go to the trader camp. See if you can rally some of them to your cause or if you can get more info on An Bo's family.>Write in.
>>4551935>Guards firstWe should have our meeting with the captain arranged by now.
>>4551934>>Head to the guard station. See if you can convice them to ignore the woman's complaints.
>>4551939>>4551978Heading to the guard station. Writing.
The guard station was your first priority. You were told that you could speak with the guard captain yesterday and needed to convince them to help you with An Bo's mother. By the time you arrive at the station, you are met with the familiar sight of the porcupine and monkey guarding the entrance. This time they seem to have the correctly sized armor equipped though it seems they have their weapons mixed up now. The porcupine in particular is weilding a spear that is at least 3 times taller than they are. "Good morning." You say cheerfully. "Is the captain around?"The two guards look at each other uneasily. "Yes?" They say tentatively."Can I talk to him now?" You ask. "You did say you'd let him know.""Well..." The porcupine says nervously. "Maybe now isn't the best time.""The captain is pretty busy..." The monkey adds. You raise an eyebrow."So it seems." You say. "Nonetheless, I would like to speak to him.""He is also not in a good mood." The porcupine continues. "Like in a very bad mood. Maybe you should let him cool off?""Well I do need to get paid and I need to give him my report." You say. "Any particular reason behind his attitude?""Let's just say he got an earful from someone who wouldn't listen." The monkey explains. "We did tell her that he wasn't seeing anyone but she just stormed in yelling about someone who wouldn't arrest people." You frown. It seems like An Bo's mother decided to follow up on her threat of complaints. Nonetheless you still had to talk to the captain."Did you catch exactly what she said?" You ask. It would help to know what she told the captain about you. "Can't imagine it was hard to ignore if she was shouting.""Yeah, we did. Captain told us not to talk about it though." The porcupine said. "Doesn't want the public to hear about it.""But I'm not the public." You say smirking. "I'm a guard. Come on, you can tell me. We're coworkers.""He's right." The monkey says. "Best we tell him so he can avoid that mad woman. Captain would have our heads if she comes back."
The porcupine nods. "Yeah good point. This lady is a fox. Likes to dress in fancy clothing. Anyways, she comes running up to the station. Screaming and yelling about people being lewd in the streets and a guard enabling it. We tried to tell her to leave her complaints with us like we told you yesterday but she just pushed past us and charged into the captain's office. And that's when the screaming began. Began telling the captain that some temporary guard we employed was encouraging immoral acts between two people infront of children. That she was a concerned citizen trying to report it but the guard said it was ok and that everyone should do it. Then she went on to say the guard stalked her all day and followed her home looking for her innocent daughter to possibly extort her or to try to implicate her in false crimes with some criminal boy from here. When she tried to stop this, the guard threatened to arrest her even though she was trying to uphold the law." The two guards shakes their heads."Needless to say the captain was no too thrilled to hear about this. Given how busy he's been after the bigwigs arrived, he really didn't like people barging into his office and yelling. There was another screaming match, threats of funding being pulled from the guards, and finally he settled agreeing with her to keep the place funded." The monkey says. "Which is why you should probably wait a bit longer before seeing the captain. He's still steaming over all this." The porcupine says.Your frown grows. The woman made you sound like some kind of pervert and thinking over the last few conversations with Xin and Renshu, you start to feel a bit dirty over your snooping in your friend's relationships.>What do you say?>Tell the guards you have to speak to the captain. You have something to report regarding the very same woman.>Say that you need to see the captain. You have news about the attacks on the other villages though you don't know how credible you'd sound.>Tell the two that right now would be the best time to speak with the captain. Perhaps you can help calm him down. You're a temporary hire, so you're expendable and their jobs won't be in jeoprady.>Write in.
>Tell the guards you have to speak to the captain. You have something to report regarding the very same woman.Also, mention if she comes back, just cross your spears, if she tries to push past, that's assaulting a guard. So you can arrest her. Some time in the cell will do her some good.
>>4552094>Say we need to speak to the captain. Something to report and it's no skin off your back.Good call on >>4552108 ,You do have the right to bar her from entrance, so if she comes back, lock spears and threaten her with jail. Endure her yelling with a stone face, any weakness she will capitalise on.
>>4552111the captain is probably going to be annoyed with us, but hopefully we can explain that she's wasting police time and attempting to use the law to harrass and harm others.He's still not going to be happy, but maybe we can try and convince him to work with us, with our promise to deal with her funding threat problem, making her a pariah.
>>4552093>Tell the two that right now would be the best time to speak with the captain. Perhaps you can help calm him down. You're a temporary hire, so you're expendable and their jobs won't be in jeoprady.If she can threaten to cut funds, then we need to undermine her support first. Can't cut anything if someone took your scissors away
>>4552108>>4552111>>4552129We got something to report. Maybe we can calm down the captain. Writing.
"Let me talk to him." You say. "I got something to report about that woman." The two guards look at you as if you had gone mad but you raise your hand to calm them. "I think I can get him to calm down a bit." The guards still look uneasy but you shake your head. "Come on guys. I'm just a temporary so I don't mind getting fired over this. At least you two won't get fired over it.""But..." The porcupine starts."Listen, if the woman comes back just bar her path with your spears. You're guards. If she tries to push you then that's assault on an officer and you can arrest her for that. If she still somehow gets by you then arresst her of resisting your orders. You told her she can't enter." You explain. "Then just ignore her yelling. Make sure you remain stern and stoic. If you show any weakness she's gonna take advantage of it. I'll talk to the captain about her funding threats."The two men shuffle uneasily. "Alright. But don't say we didn't warn you." The porcupine leads you inside the jail house and takes you to a small hallway. Only a few doors line the walls, leading to the various guard facilities such as the evidence room, armory, a small meeting room and at the very end the door to the captain's office. The porcupine knocks on the door tentatively. "Captain? Captain one of the temporary guards wants to speak to you. He says he has something to report...to report about that visitor from yesterday." You hear movement and heavy footsteps before the door is thrown open. A very tired looking tiger glares at the two of you."I thought I said I didn't want anymore interruptions!" The man growls. "Or maybe I need to start firing people to set a point! I'm busy!" The porcupine flinches a bit and looks at you helplessly.>What do you do?>Tell the captain to lay off the porcupine. He may be tired and under pressure but that's not an excuse to level it at his troops.>Cut the point, you want to talk about the fox. Best you don't waste whatever little attention he's giving you right now.>Ask what's keeping him so busy. Most of the time captains don't want to take their eyes off big events like trading season. Something must be really important if he's willing to delegate his responsibilities to lower level guards.>Write in.
>>4552209>While we understand that sir, this is a matter of some importance. I need to speak with you about the trader An [pretty sure that's the family name] and her abuses which she has already brought to you. Once this case is resolved, I'm willing to help with whatever has you so stressed if I can. A visit from superiors during trading season can be very stressful.Get the porcupine to get his ass out of the firing line, then keep on professional, to the point and helpful. Probably best not to push our luck.
>>4552209>Cut the point, you want to talk about the fox. Best you don't waste whatever little attention he's giving you right now.But be polite
>>4552215>>4552330>>4552564Being polite but straight to the point. Writing
"While we understand that sir, this is a matter of some importance. I need to speak with you about the mother of the An family traders and her abuses which she has already brought to you. Once this case is resolved, I'm willing to help with whatever has you so stressed if I can. A visit from superiors during trading season can be very stressful." You say as you step forward."Great, that's exactly what I need." The captain says crossing his burly arms. "More complaints. What'd the lady tell you? That'd she'd report you? Maybe something about you losing your job? Honestly, the idiots we hire..." He huffs. "Just ignore her. Don't talk to her and say yes to everything she says whether you do it or you don't. I have things I need to take care of for our idiot mayor. Who, by the way, doesn't seem to know when he's promising too much! It's bad enough he's wrapped around that woman's little finger-" The captain holds a balled hand to his face as he quiets himself with restrained rage. He takes a breath and looks at you. "Get out of this station and go do your job. This is the last time I'm warning all of you. If I'm interrupted again, I will fire the lot of you and leave the town defenseless if it means I can finish my job in peace!""But sir, she's holding her daughter essencially hostage." You protest. "She arranged marrage for her daughter who is too afraid to speak up against. Furthermore she's blackmailing and threatening the son of a local buisness owner with false charges simply because he lovers her daughter and that doesn't align with her twisted views on racial purity. Those are something we should punish aren't they?""And what am I supposed to do with that information recruit?!" The captain shouts. "It's her words against his and give the chance I'll be told to take hers over his! Furthermore, I'm paying you to keep the peace not meddle into the love affairs of the townsfolk! If her daughter doesn't want to do it then I suggest that she figure out how to say no because legally we're dead in the water!""But sir, if we simply stop taking her accusations seriously-" You start and the tiger steps forwards and jabs his finger into your chest.
"Listen here recruit, and listen well." He growls as his frayed patience comes to an end. "You may have a badge, you may patrol the streets, but you do not have the authority to tell me how to do my job. I am stuck between the empire breathing down my neck and and idiot mayor who thinks he knows better. I have to do the impossible within the week with my forces stretched thinner than any forces has ever been in the history of China then I need to find a way to conjure up supplies that don't exsist. And you want me to simply set all that aside so I can tell a woman to play nice and let her daughter sleep around with whoever she wants? My ass is on the line in more ways than one right now and I highly advise that you stop playing pretend detective and simply do your job as you are paid. Am I clear?">What do you say?>Say no that it's not clear. The guard have a job to do and it sounds like the captain is making up excuses at this point. Try to play to his pride. Tell him that he shouldn't be bowing down to those that don't know what they're talking about. He should do his job like he wants to.>Ask him to explain his position. It seems like the two guards outside were right. The captain does seem busy and it's taking a toll on him. Perhaps if you know what's going on in his end then you can find a way to at least alliviate the situation.>Try to play to the captains sense of duty. He's held this position long enough that he's been given a impossible task. That must mean his does his job well or at the very least cares enough about it to get this position. Tell if he's ok condemning two innocent people simply because someone above him told him to.>Agree with the captain. He's currently too wound up with whatever they have him doing to be any help. Go find someone else to get support from.>Say nothing and hand the captain your badge. You're done. You won't play the game of politics and will simply have to resolve the situation the way you know best. By undermining the law. You can sneak into the captain's office later to see what he's fussing over.>Write in.
>>4552652>What supplies did you need to conjure up captain?Sidestep his question, we can come back to it later. But he has just given us a helpful bit of news. She has the mayor on her side, which shall be the next person we need to untangle.I feel like we dont need to but we could also ask the two guards on front that in the event of the woman trying to levy charges against guang just ask them to ignore or only pretend to follow the orders.
>>4552652>Ask him to explain his position. It seems like the two guards outside were right. The captain does seem busy and it's taking a toll on him. Perhaps if you know what's going on in his end then you can find a way to at least alliviate the situation.Why do I have the felling that the local general want him to up the defenses of the townand at the same time find the raider with just a shitty militia?Anyway just try to leave and say nothing to the others guards if it doesn't work, we have no authority, no leverage or anything other than some impossible sounding promises
Also, did we ever give the gifts we bought to our friends? I honestly can't remember.
>>4552841Do you rememver in which update? I can't find it and it's making me feel blind
>>4552879Key word search "theory of song"Or mulan, that was an option we got for Xin
>>4552879Here you go mate>>4536062
Time to leave, we got exactly what we want. The lady has no power here. Captain might say yes to her but he won't act.
>>4552941It's always good to know whats on his back then
>>4552738>>4552780>>4552814Asking what's wrong. Writing.>>4552797We bought them but the plan was to give them their gifts on Chinese New Years which is in two months. If you want to give them their gifts before that you can always vote for it.
>>4552897Yeah but that's when we bought them>>4552988Oh, I had forgot they were going to be new years's presents on the first placeThanks bros
"Captain, what supplies are you being asked to deliver?" You ask. The tiger glares at you. "I simply wish to know the situation, sir." "That's none of your buisness recruit." The captain says. "It's not but I feel it would be best if we did know." You reply. "If we're stretched thin as you say, it would be better for every guard to know the situation. At the moment, we can only say that you're busy. You were forced to do something for the empire that might require the rest of us to intervene. Wouldn't it be best if we were informed of what that might be incase it pops up unexpectedly?" The captain's glare remains but you can see a glint in his eyes. Of what you can't say. Eventually he steps aside and you assume he wants you to step in."Go get Chen." The tiger says. The procupine scurries off presumably to get the monkey. You take a few steps and look around the office. Various maps are strewn about, completely marked and pinned but ultimately discarded. Papers, full of numbers and cross outs, are also all over the place. It's as if the window was left open during a storm. On the mountain of papers that is the captain's desk, you can see the most recent scrawlings. It's prices, locations, and trade routes. "As you can see, I'm up to my ears in finances. I'm not a broker and yet I'm expected to manage a city's money." The captain growls."What exactly are you expected to do?" You ask bending over to pick up a discarded page."A few months ago some noble came here demanding that I divert some of my forces to the other towns. Apperantly some crazy bastards from the town of Xiqi want to go back to rebuild it. Something about not letting the raiders win. The young lordling wanted me to send some of my men to keep an eye on the reconstruction efforts. I was in the middle of explaining why I couldn't do some when our idiot mayor decided that 'He'd more than happy to assist the empire.' and that 'it would be this town's honor to be the shining becon of China's hope' before he took the the kid to his house to do whatever politicians do. So now I have to send my men to guard a ruined town and somehow pull supplies out of my ass to help keep them fed! We don't have the money! We don't have the food! No matter how you slice it, I can't make it work! No ammount of trading, no other towns can spare the resources!""I'm assuming this is where the woman comes in?" You ask. The captain looks up momentarily confused."What? Oh no. She's just a some rich bitch that likes to spend tons of money here. Somehow got in touch with the mayor and now they like to pretend their nobility." He says and looks at you. "Now you know. So I don't need you playing above your pay grade! Last I need is the mayor breathing down my neck because you decided to annoy his mistress or whatever the hell she is. So get your ass back to patroling and keep your head down!"
>What do you say?>Tell the captain the woman is more trouble than he thinks she is. If she continues, she may well push away other traders from town if she decides she no longer likes them.>Say that you can go talk to the mayor. Maybe you can convince him to change his mind on this plan?>Nod and head out. Perhaps you can think of another way to handle An Bo's situation.>Ask the captain for more information. (What do you ask him?)>Write in.
>>4553074Was Xiqi the place with the library?
>>4553086No wait! Xiqi is the place we suspect the raiders to be based in!
>>4553086Xiqi was your next destination. The next closest destroyed city to Yunnan (which was the place with the library and magic circle)
>>4553076>Ask the captain, Was there anything suspicious about this noble bastard, like an accent? have you sent the men or foods yet?Now...should we even try to explain to the chief about our misgivings?
>>4553086It's where we think the raiders are hidingAnd they are sending supplies to itOh no
>>4553101I don't know, the captain thinkswe are just some random muscle, and we aren't even certain they are there.I just hope the noble is just some idiot and not part of the raiders trying to trick the surrounding towns to send free supplies for them to steal.
>>4553109If he has a strange forigne accent, he could be a disguised mongol.
>>4553076>Ask the captain for more information. (What do you ask him?)Is the mayor an assigned official or is he locally elected? Because if he's a bureaucrat i don't think there is much we can do but suck up to him or go to his superiors, and that's a gamble. Now if he is elected, we could try to convince the merchants and other people to our side, and we could go as their representative to his mansion, also giving us an excuse to see if the noble is sketchyProblems were easier to solve when we could just punch then away
>>4553124You're telling me.
>>4553124We can always punch An Bo's mom.>>4553101>>4553124Asking questions. Writing.
"Why is this guy the mayor? Why would you elect him?" You ask. "Or was he assigned by the government?""A bit of both." The captain grumbles. Seeing the confusion on your face he elaborates. "We used to have our own elected mayor. He was a decent enough man. Mostly ran the town on gut feelings and wasn't too aware of offical rulings and such but for us it worked fine. Any problems that would arise, he'd mediate them himself. Maybe that's why the townsfolk liked him. He basically acted like any other man when it came to solving issues. Unfortunately, like everyone does, he passed away. Peacefully at least, he deserved that much but that's when issues arose. See most of us assumed we'd just hold another election and vote for who we thought was the best candidate. Problem was...no one ran.""No one?" You ask with a mixture of skepicism and astonishment. "Surely someone would have wanted to be the mayor.""As hard as it is to believe it's true. No one felt like they could live up to the old man's legacy or at least be a good as a mayor as he was. Not many of the people here are educated enough to deal with rulings and laws and the like. Frankly most people are happy with their own lives to take up the task of running a town. I figure that most of the villagers assumed someone else was going to run and when no one did were too embarassed to run.""What about you?" You ask. "You're captain of the guard. Wouldn't the responsibility fall to you?""Technically I guess it would." The captain said. "I held together the town as best I could but I'm not a man of the people. I do my job and keep the streets safe. Even I can see my style isn't for running a town. Legally the old man didn't set any rules for taking over when he passed. I'm guessing he assumed what we all did. People would run and they'd be voted for. Anyways, months passed an no one could decide who to place as mayor or how to fix the mess. So we petitioned the government for help...and look at the mess we're in now. An idiot for a mayor. He keeps the town in order mostly because he's just a figure of authority and the townsfolk listen because that's how they're used to it. Luckily for us, the man's too much of a buffoon to realize the power he has over the people and abuse it. I maintain order like I always do and the town simply...exists.""So you're stuck with him?" You ask. "Can't you ask for another?""That's a bit of a mixed issue. Technically, if the town agrees, we can remove him from his position. He's basically a mayor we voted in more or less. The only difference being is he was assigned by the government. Problem is, the town has no reason to want to vote him off as far as I can see and even if we did remove him from power then who would take his place?" You frown at that.
"So the mayor makes you do all this." You say motioning to the room. "For some noble. Who exactly was he? Must be some kind of big name if it's enough to make the mayor pine for his favor. Frankly, it does seem kind of weird that a noble would make his way all the way down here to ask you to help a ruined town be rebuilt. Anything seem strange about him? An accent?"The captain eyes you oddly but still answers. "No accent and nothing I could see. His armor was fancier than I would prefer but I suppose that was expected of a noble. I didn't speak to him much before the mayor butted in and too him to his place. All he told me was that he was aware of the attacks on the town and had heard there was an attempt to rebuild one of them, Xiqi. He was asking if I could, would I be willing to spare some men and deliver some spare supplies to help the reconstruction efforts. As I said, I was explaining why we couldn't when our leader decided to stick his nose in and pull him away to his place. I don't know what he told him but I haven't seen him since and the next morning the mayor came down here to tell me he had already promised to do as we were asked.""I assume you haven't sent anything yet then." You say."Do you see anymore guards?" The captain asks. "I've sent the rest of the guards and whatever we could spare." You stay quiet. You want to ask a few more questions but you're unsure if you can do so without raising suspicion.>What do you say?>Ask the captain something else.>Say that you understand the situation and that you'll go back to your duties. (What do you do?)>>Go talk to the townspeople and see if you can learn more or drum up more support against An Bo's mother.>>Go talk to the mayor. Maybe you can ring some more information out of him.>>Go see if you can find your brother. Maybe he had more luck with An Bo.>>Go to Chuanli's tavern. See how he's progressing.>Ask the captain if he thinks there's anyone in town who would be a good mayor. If you can get rid of the current one, it might make your situation a lot easier.>Write in.
>>4553232>Have you heard back anything since then? we passed the ruins of Yunnan and I'm worried that they could have had some trouble if the raiders were still in the area.Let him in on our concerns, but he can do with the situation as he can. Perhaps he will send a message to confirm their good health?>Do you think there's anyone who would be a good mayor?>Thank you for your time captain [Go talk to townspeople to see if you can drum up support]Lets start with the monkey and avoid the mother as much as we can. The situation does need explaining.
>>4553232The captain seems like he's a smart and tactically inclined man.What if we went over the raidsites map to reach the conclusion about Xiqi that ming had? I definitely want him to pull his men back and hold on to any supplies they have.
>>4553247Support, let's leave the poor stressed man aloneIf he sent the men and supplies it could be a problem when we attack the camp, because that means hostagesAlso maybe instead of replacing the mayor, since people don't seen to want to, they could set up a town council or meeting to serve as advisors? Like the people would meet at certain days and give they grievances and advice or the most notables be representatives? At least that way things go wrong if the majority are incompetent and not just one guy
>>4553265And that also sounds like a good ideia, geting Xin or Renshu (or both) to actually scout out Xiqi so we can confirm our suspicions
>>4553269Maybe not Xin, given they have to train.Renshu is quick though, maybe. I don't like it though.
So the the vote is to tell him about the raiders and show him out theories on the map? Then go to talk to the towns forlk to look for support. Then send Renshu to scout the new area?Are you going for a new mayor or forming a city council?
>>4553316Sounds fine to me boss.I think city council is the best ideia because this town is clearly suffering from post great man syndrome
>>4553316Talk to the folks for support, then talk to Renshu to get his imput before sending him to scout, but otherwise you got it in a one-er.The council idea is for later, when we don't have a band of raiders or romeo and juliet bullshit to deal with.
Alright, getting to writing. For now we'll focus on town support before dealing with leadership issues, giving you guys time to sort all that out.
"Have you heard anything back from the men you sent?" You ask. "I passed by what remained of Yunnan and I'm worried that they might have trouble if the raiders are still in the area.""Nothing yet." The captain replies. "Xiqi is about 2 weeks away. Even if my men immediately turned back to return upon arriving, they'd still need about a week before they arrived back here.""I see. The thing is..." You as you move to a nearby map. You point to the various ruined towns on it. "I've heard of towns that were all raided and razed to the ground. As you can see they're not too far apart from one another. Each one is about a week apart and right in the center is Xiqi. It even has a lake as well to supply it with water. If the raiders wanted a place to hide, they would stay there in the ruins. Can you somehow get a message to them? Make sure they're ok?""No." The captain says with barely restrained anger. "Get out." He whispers. You look at the monkey and the porcupine. "Captain I can-" You start before the tiger looks at you with wild eyes. "I SAID GET OUT!" He screams. The two other guards don't need to be told twice and they scurry out in fear. You merely stand there for a moment before leaving as well. The moment you close the door behind you, you hear a roar and the sound of wood shattering and you assume the captain's desk is no more. You decide to leave the man to his anger and head back out of the small jail house as you hear more things break within his office. The two guards stand at the door holding on to their mismatched weapons and trying not to listen or think about what's going on in the building. "Guys, now more than ever. You can't let that woman in. No matter what you do, she can't step into this building unless you have her bound and sending her directly to a cell." You tell them. "Captain is...well you heard him. Best we don't give him any more reason to get angry." The guards give you a quiet nod and seem to stand a little bit straighter. "I'll go patrol. Don't worry about the town for right now." You head back into town and go straight for 'The Endless Tale'. The store seems as empty as always but you test the door and find it unlocked. Stepping inside and ignoring the squeak you call out, "Gan? Are you here?" You wait for a moment and hear some movement. Gan pokes his head, down from the doorframe of all places, and waves. "Hello! It's you again!" He drops down and lands on all fours. "Sorry I didn't hear you. I was up in the atti- I mean my room. Things are kind of quiet up there so I sometimes miss the door. Did you need another suggestion for a book? Or maybe a manual of some kind? I'm sure I have what you need."
>What do you say?>Ask Gan about An Bo or her mother. Perhaps he's interacted with them before?>Ask Gan about Chuanli and his son. Maybe they've spoken to him about the plan.>Ask about the mayor. Maybe Gan has information he can spare.>Let Gan know about what's going on so far. Things have gotten a bit more complicated.>Write in.
>>4553402>Let Gan know about what's going on so far. Things have gotten a bit more complicatedIt's his money, it's only fairAlso I hope that when we managed to take down the camp the we find the guards captured and not dead
>>4553402>Let Gan know about the situation>Ask about the mayor and An Bos mother
>>4553438>>4553791letting Gan know what's going on and asking about the mayor. Writing.Also fun fact: TL is the only member of the party who doesn't know their own birthday.
You shake your head. "Not today, thank you." You say. "I'm here to let you know about that problem you asked me to look into." "Oh? How's that going? I hope it wasn't too much trouble." He says apologetically."Well...it did kind of branch out and become a bit more complex." You say. "Not you're fault of course, it just that one thing led into another. Chuanli did send you the money but had his son Guang deliver it. Unfortunately, he got caught up in a bit of a situation with his girlfriend's mother." You explain before elaborating on the details of yesterday. Gan listens intently as you tell your story and once your done he thinks for a bit."As story as old as time it seems." He says nodding. "Forbidden love..." The monkey shakes his head and frowns. "It's a shame things have to be the way they are like that. Tell Chuanli that he doesn't need to worry about paying me back until this is sorted. I'd rather he focus on helping his son first and foremost." You nod."It seems like An Bo's mother has a lot of influence in this town. The guard captain says she has close ties to the mayor of this town. Do you know anything about that?" You ask. Gan thinks for a moment. "Nothing in particular." He admits. "I spend most of my time in my shop to be honest. I'm much better with books than with people so I don't really pay attention to much gossip. I have heard however, that the young lady's mother has made large donations to the town funds and I'm guessing that's how she got in the mayor's good graces. I'm not sure what those funds went to be honest. When I do leave my shop I often see her heading to the mayor's house.""Do you think the mayor is with holding those funds?" You ask. Gan looks aghast."Oh jeez, I certainly hope not." Gan replies. "Our town isn't desperate for money but such a thing happening is terrible to think about.""Is there anything else?" You ask "Something that could help Guang?"Gan thinks for a moment. "Hmm...well..." He says uncertainly. "...No I don't think so. I'm sorry." He finally admits though it seems something is on his mind.>What do you say?>Ask Gan what's on his mind. Perhaps it might help though he had admitted he doesn't leave much so you're unsure if it's even worth asking.>Ask Gan about something else.>Thank Gan for his help and head out. (Where do you go?)>Look around the shop. Maybe there's something else you want to buy. You are going to be paid after all.>Write in.
>>4554054What's on your mind monkey man?
>>4554068Support, the monke is a good man
>>4554068>>4554076Asking Gan what's up. Writing.But the real question is, do we start giving Renshu the head pats and upgrade Xin to ear scritches?
>>4554083Renshu doesnt need the head pats. They are Xins. Renshu gets a hug and claps on the shoulder.
"What's on your mind?" You ask. Gan fidgets for a moment before responding."Well...It really is nothing." He stammers."If it can help me then I don't mind how small or insignificant it could be." You say. "Often times, it's the smallest things that make the biggest impact.""I suppose." Gan says. "I'm not one for spreading gossip but I have heard that the young missus's mother often spends her nights over in the mayor's house. I've been told that the mayor often buys gifts for her and people think the two are having a relationship." The monkey looks rather ashamed at spreading rumors and holds up his hands apologetically. "But they're only rumors. I don't have any basis for them. Just things I've heard during my shopping trips." "It's alright. I understand." You say. "But thank you for telling me. Do you think there's anything to those rumors?"Gan shakes his head. "Not really. I suppose if you wanted to check out if it was true though, you could always ask the other shop keepers.""Do you know what specifically he's been buying for her?""Uhh..." Gan thinks for another moment. "The general store owner once mentioned she running low sugar because of some order the mayor put in a few days before the woman's arrival. If the rumors are true then I'm guessing he asked her to make candies? Another time 'A Taste of Heaven' was closed. I learned that they were hired to cater at the mayor's place but I never learned what for. I was in a hurry that day.""Sounds like he was holding a dinner party." You guess. "Could have been for her, could just have been to feel fancy. Or...that's what I've been told about the mayor." Gan nods. "Wait..." You say as you remember something. "Could it have been for the noble that passed by recently?" "Oh you could be right." Gan admits. "It was around that time too. Although I never saw him in person. Others did though. Maybe he was trying to impress the man? Unfortunately the woman was here during that time as well so it could have been either or.""At the very least, I have two more leads I can look into." You say. "Can I ask for your support then? This woman is in the wrong, legality or no, and it would be best if we stood up to her before she decides she doesn't like someone else." Gan looks a bit sheepish and nervous."I-I'm not very good with confrontation." He admits. "But if it's for a good cause...I'll support Chuanli and Guang. They're been good to me and I don't think it'd be right to turn my back on them when they need me the most. I'm not sure what I could do though.""You don't have to do anything big." You say. "But the fact you'll speak up for them is a major help." You bid your goodbyes and turn to head out when Gan speaks out once more.
"Umm...excuse me but..." He says."Yes?" "Well...something is bugging me. About your story." He replies."My story?" You ask."Yes...well no." Gan fidgets a bit more. "You said An's mother hates interspecies relationships but...if that's true something doesn't add up." "What do you mean?" You press now confused.Gan pauses as he fights back his phobia of confrontation a bit. "I'm not saying you're wrong. Far from it but if that's true...why would she be having a relationship with the mayor? He's a sheep.">What do you do?>Tell Gan you don't know but you'll do your best to get to the bottom of this.>Thank Gan for his help and head out to ask someone else for information.>Go see if you can find Renshu. Perhaps he has some information for you about An Bo.>Go to the mayor's house. See if you can find information about this noble that arrived.>Write in.
>>4554091Ming gets hugs and moral support as well as that great Big Brother/Uncle bodyguard deal. No harming the doctor kitty.
>>4554120>You have a good mind sir. Thank you very much.>Go find Renshu>>4554122I suppose Renshu also gets the place if pride when he and TL rips off their shirts and go to town on the arcs big villain either on top of a mountain/mansion/tower or alternatively on a boat while it is burning/by a river while it is thundering and lightning.
>>4554128Manly men doing manly things. and hugsI did notice, though I suppose its more my fault than anything else but for being best friends. Xin and TL don't really hang out all that much and they've only ever fought side by side once. Funny how writing works like that.Although my favorite ideas was something one anon said about how the group would end up. They're really tight nit and family so naturally they'd all end up traveling together even after everything was said and done. I thought that was nice and wholesome.
>>4554133Sometimes, you just don't need to hang around eachother by themselves, though it'd be nice on occasion.We just never really have a stratigic need to put them together, their fighting style is more fit for far ranging than our close quarters murder spree.
>>4554120>Tell Gan you don't know but you'll do your best to get to the bottom of this.>Go see if you can find Renshu. Perhaps he has some information for you about An Bo.>Go to the mayor's house. See if you can find information about this noble that arrived.
>>4554138It's fortunate that both friends are socially awkward and one litterally doesn't have the full capacity to care about not spending time together. The head pats help but what if the buns build an immunity to them? Thus armageddon begins. >>4554128>>4554144Thanking Gan and looking for Renshu. Writing.
"Thank you Gan." You say. "You're a good man. If anything else comes up, don't hesistate to let me know." "I will sir. Have a good day." He says and you head off. With various locations to go, you decide to leave gathering support to Chuanli and go to find Renshu. Perhaps he had somehow managed to talk An Bo into speaking out agianst her mother which would be immensely helpful. You start to make your way towards the trader camp and stop to wonder if it's a good idea to get that close to her mother's home. You didn't want to set her off once more and cause trouble for the guards but you also didn't want to shirk from helping someone. You continue your way, ever wary for An Bo's mother, to look for Renshu. The camp was as busy as ever, with merchants trying to sell you their wares now that there were even less locations for them to go to sell. You as you approach An Bo's camp it's hard not to notice that the crowds of merchants thinning out significantly. You find Renshu talking to a merchant nearby and once he notices you says his thank yous and walks over to you."How'd it go?" You ask. Renshu motions for you to walk with him."Not good." He says as the two of you wade through the crowds. "These things take time my friend. Just like all healing. If we press too much, force our wishes upon her, she will only do what's instinctual and push away. She'll hide with what she finds the most comfortable and for her that might simply be listening to her mother. What could be safer than not having their own opinions and following orders in order to not get hurt? There is no pain if you have no emotion. Furthermore, I wasn't able to speak to her for very long. Her mother watches her closely, undoubtly due to the fact she might be looking out for Guang or simply because she is that controlling over her daughter's life. In the brief moments I spoke with Miss Bo she did express some concern over her upcoming marrige though her emotions were rampant. She is unhappy, depressed but is unwilling to express her self for fear of her mother. It is not healthy and I fear she may simply become a puppet of her mother if this continues.""What about her mother?" You ask. "Where you able to glean anything about her?"
"Vanity." Renshu says disdainfully. "Vanity and pride the likes one would only assume the egotistical nobility would have. She thinks too highly of herself. Assumes her abilites and reach are far greater than they truly are. Your plan is sound brother, should we remove her ability to weild her influence and rally support against her then she will quickly crumble. However, we must remain vigilant. You and I know all to well what happens when someone has their back against the wall and desperation begins to set in.">What do you say?>Tell Renshu about the captain and what happened there.>Ask Renshu if he'd like to join you to go to the mayor's house.>Take a small break and go see how Ming and Xin are doing with their training. Perhaps a group lunch and meeting might help.>Write in.
>>4554235>Tell Renshu about the captainI'm suprised he was so angry with us really, rather than worried.
>>4554259Support, also I think the captain looked more angry with everything than us specifically