Welcome back to Tai Lung's journey on the path of redemption, not only for himself but for those around him as well. In our last thread, Tai Lung is forced to deal several emotional confrontrations. From Tigress breaking down and attempting murder to a messy love confession from Renshu. While both were resolved with mixed results, one better than the other, the crew finally make it to the New Years celebration in one piece and with the arrival of the Great Dragon Shenlong and Bao, the party can finally enjoy a well deserved rest. Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Tai%20Lung%20quest
"My apologies my friend but it seems you were outvoted." You tell Shenlong. The Great Dragon's face remains neutral and rather that run the risk of angering him, you quickly add. "Eating is also a major part of this festival. While games are fun, if you want to experience the true essence of this then you must have something to eat. Celebrating without food is like...an ocean without fish or a forest herbs. It's a small part for certain but integral to the whole." Shenlong seems to think about it before nodding."I see..." He says. "...it would be folly to not attempt to engage in everything else that is offered at this celebration. Lead the way then."You lead your friends to another area of the small down and it only takes a few steps before the smell of food hits your noses. Sweet, spicy, fragrant, fried and fruity, the variety of smells only serves to make your stomach growl and urge you to move faster. As you arrive, you can see dozens of stalls lined up on the street, each one containing some variation of kitchenware, utensils, cups and more importantly, food. The closer you arrive, the more frantic you can feel Xin Lan's cottontail wiggle and their nose twitch. "Unfortnately the town feast won't be starting until late this afternoon but there is a competition going on to see who is the best cook. I think you'll enjoy this just as much with the veriaty of food everyone has made." You explain."So not only do you compete in games of athelticism but in also tasks such as cooking." Shenlong notes."Competition and innovation go hand in hand." Renshu says. "When one is pressed to do their very best within a strict set of circumstances, often times they can come up with things they might not otherwise have thought of.""And innovation is what drives us forward." Hien adds. "While one might say it's a duty to their fellow man to innovate and improve society's quality of life, there is also something satisfying in improving one's craft. It enlightens us and exhilirates us to see yourselves improve.""Plus, it's really really good." Xin Lan says eyeing the food. "Food is like...gems you can eat." They say, slowly becoming distracted."I see..." Shenlong says eyeing each stall with an academic eye. "Then I shall partake in this...eating.""Excellent!" Bao says clapping her hands in glee. She takes Shenlong's hand and leads him to a stall which was serving sweet buns. With that, it seemed like the singal for everyone to split up and find something they enjoyed. Hien wanders over to a stall offering dumplings while Ming hurries over to a stall offering fried goods leaving you, Xin Lan, and Renshu alone.
"Well? What are you waiting for?" Xin Lan asks a bit impatiently. "Food!" Renshu laughs softly. "I think Xin Lan wishes for you to carry them over to a stall." He says. You chuckle and ruffle Xin Lan's ears before moving over to the nearest stall.>What kind of food do you want?>Something sweet. Maybe that will perk you up a bit more.>Something spicy. You want something that will really hit you hard.>Something savory. You might not eat as much as Xin but you do want the flavor to linger a while afterwards.>Something exotic. Maybe you might find something you're not accustomed to.>Write in.
>>4758931>Lead them to something savory, then something sweet>Mentally ask Renshu to get us something really spicy.Hehe, Xin is going to pig out but I dont see a reason not to have a little fun. Suprise Cinnamon challenge anyone?
>>4758931>Find Chuanli, Guong and An's stall is and eat their food and drinks, and introduce them to our special guests.>Something contrasting, opposing tastes combined are either incredible or horrible, no middle ground. Nothing ventured is nothing gained.
>>4758968Oh yeah, Guong and An can happen, but lets get this first testing out of the way first.
>>4758931>Something exotic. Maybe you might find something you're not accustomed to.
>>4759028I'd support exotic but I still want to prank Xin.
>>4758968>>4759028>>4759061Getting something exotic. Showing our guests to our friends. Gonna try an trick sneaky bun. Writing.
The three of you wander down the street looking at the various stalls. Xin Lan can't seem to keep still and they stand on your arms to look over your shoulder. "What gives?" They ask. "We're missing so much food.""I'm looking for something special." You say. "Something exotic or something we've never had. Why play it safe when there might be something special in plain sight?" Xin Lan wiggles a bit. "Alright. But it better be extra special." They say. You laugh. "No promises. Smell anything in particular?" You ask Renshu.Renshu pauses to sniff at the air. "There are various interesting smells but let's try that one." He says pointing to a smaller stall. As you get close, you can feel heat radiate from it. You all slow your pace and find a cat hunched over what looks to be a hole. You lean a bit forward to get a better look and see that the hole contains what looks to be a large cast iron. Much to your surprise, there is a small fire burning within the pot. "Whatcha doin'?" Xin Lan asks and the cat jumps with a scream. Everything goes quiet and you feel everyone staring at you. "Don't do that!" The cat chides you as he glares at you. "And for your information, I'm cooking.""What might that be?" You ask pointing at the pot. "Most people don't light fires in their cookware."The cat stares at you, fuming for a bit before the pull up a bowl full of what looks like dough. "I'm making naan.""None what?" Xin Lan asks. The cat stares at him. "Not none. Naan. It's a kind of bread from outside of China. My great grandmother used to make it all the time." He explains. "Just watch." The cat grabs a handfull of dough, kneads it a bit and moves to slap it against the side of the pot. It sticks and says there just above the flame. "So we leave is there for a few minutes and you end up with this." He pulls up a basket full of the same kind of dough but now cooked and singed by the flame. "You can eat it plain but I'm serving it with this." He pulls up another bowl full of a green paste. Within the paste, you can see chunks of potatoes. "It's a spinnach and garlic paste with potatoes." He takes three peices of the naan and serves them to you with the paste spread over. You each take one and bite into it. The bread is nice and fluffy despite it looking like it might be crispy. "It's nice and smooth." Renshu says chewing. "The flavor of the paste matches with how fluffy the bread is. Not overpowering at all.""It's not the nicest looking food." Xin Lan says going for another serving. "But it's pretty good.""It seems relatively simple to make. We might be able to do this on the road. Do we need some other utensil to make this?" You ask."Nope. Just a bowl, something to grind the spinnach, and a pot to stick the bread with." The cat says proudly. "I'm betting that no one else has something like this." He continues. "So this year, I'm sure to win. Simple but effective."
"Well I wish you good luck." You say as you grab another peice of bread to chew on before you leave."Well that was pretty good but certainly not a treasure." Xin Lan says once you have wandered back to the streets and they sniff at the air. "Alright, my turn to pick. I say we go to that one." They point at a stall just father up ahead. The stall was being hosted by a goat who was finishing up serving a group of children. Upon noticing you, he happily waves you over. "Hey, you're Tai Lung aren't you?" He asks stirring a steaming pot."Yes..." You say cautiously."Great, so you've must've been all over the place while running away from the authorities." The goat says offhandedly as he starts to serve up three plates. "Here tell me what you think of this?" He asks pushing a plate towards you. On it was a small mound of rice surrounded in steamed vegitables and with two small cups full of what looked like sauces. "Now this certainly looks better." Xin Lan says hopping onto the counter and grabbing his own plate. You take a bite of the food and find the rice to be a bit bland but realize that it was probably intended to be eaten together rather than one by one. You mix some rice with the steamed vegitables and drizzle some sauce onto it. Immeditately you can taste the difference. The steamed veggies help bring some more texture and flavor to the rice and you find the sauce to be slightly acidic and spicy but that only serves to contrast and bring a kick to the meal it self. "Now this is a meal." Xin Lan says, mouth full."It is quite flavorful." Renshu admits. "The vegetables are steamed nicely and their texture matches the rice. The sauce only accents the meal and doesn't get in the way." Renshu agrees."...It tastes nice." You say."So? Do you think I'll win? Every had anything like this before?" The man asks.You shake your head. "Can't say that I have and I'd say it's better than the last meal I had but we haven't tried much. Although I still wish you luck. Seems like the competition is fierce.""You bet." The man says. "Winner gets to brag about it all year." He chuckles. "Oh! Looks like there's more people coming." He says gently motioning you to either choose to get more or stand aside. You step to the side to allow others to partake in the meal and look at your siblings."Alright. This time you get to choose." Xin Lan says. "Stripes and I got to pick.""Technically my choice was Tai Lungs." Renshu says."I didn't see him smelling out food." Xin Lan counters."He is right." Renshu says. "It is your turn to pick.">What do you do?>Go look for a meal that interests you. >Go find An Bo and Guang. Both of them are competing although sepereately.>Find your friends and see what they are eating.>Try and get Xin to eat something they probably wouldn't enjoy although you've never seen them turn down a meal before.>Write in.
>>4759375You're making my mouth water Luo.>Go look for a meal that interests you.Presentation is key. And it's not nice to try and force xin to eat what they wouldn't enjoy, the amusement comes from their suprise and unexpectedness.
>>4759375>Go find An Bo and Guang. Both of them are competing although sepereately.
>>4759383Come on, let's see our friends food.An probably made her food look good, although Guang is probably all taste since he may think beatiful food isn't manly.Or a it's a piece of art because a real man does a complete job, 50/50 really.
>>4759375>Go look for a meal that interests you.We can go to Bo and Guang in the afternoon.Also cant believe I am reading a literature food porn during fasting. You're tearing me apart, Luo!
>>4759413You're right, may as well. Lets see what they are up to, then we can gather the others to introduce them.Nothing stopping us keeping an eye out on the way.
>>4760010But I want to eat their food for the competition too, all the secrecy they made during the party made me curious.
>>4760010I have become the final boss of TL quest.>>4759383>>4759388>>4759413>>4760010>>4760664>>4760479Go no idea what the votes are. I think it's look for stuff that interests us. I'll be doing a write up in about an hour. Gonna go walk for a bit and start getting back into doing some exercise.
>>47610032 for interesting foods2 for finding out friends.So my suggestion was keep an eye out for interesting foods as we look for Guang and Bo.
>>4761019That seems like a good compromise to me.
>>4761019I'll take both. As long as there's hand holding
>>4761081I regret...everything. Leg day sucks even when you're out of shape. I'll stick to writing about fit people. Writing.
"Alright, let's see what we find." You say as you begin to wander around the street looking for more meals. You end up picking from severals stands and munching on smaller meals rather than sticking to a single large serving. There's the ussual kinds of things you expect to find. Potstickers, glistening with the steam they were cooked in, their sides slightly darkened with a nice sear, multiple variations of fried rice with various kinds of veggies mixed in, peas, scallions, onions, carrots. You and the others stop for a moment to try a hot bowl of egg drop soup, it's broth slightly viscous from the egg yolk and cooked to a beautiful golden yellow and the oil perfectly balanced as to not give it a bad after taste.As you Xin Lan and Renshu are finishing up the soup, you feel a warm sensation come over you. Partly from the heat of the soup but you come to realize that you're happy. Happy because you have a chance to hang out with your friends without a looming threat over your heads, happy because despite the last few days you were somewhere that you were accepted as who you were and not as an alias. Most of all, you were happy that...you were with family. Actual family that loved you and cared for you after so many years. You weren't just spending time with two rabbits who were your close friends. You were spending time with your brother and sister, far beyond just some oath you made. The feeling made you content and carefree and part of you even begins to wonder if you should simply stop here. Were the pools really worth the risk of losing all this? To jeopordize the lives and even more so, the happiness of those closest to you? Obviously, the awnser was yes. The Pools represented something more than just a location you were wanting to find. They had become a symbolic goal. Something that represented how far you had all come. Getting there simply meant another major step in the journey of life and to abandon that felt like a betrayal of all the hard work you put in.As you're lost in your thoughts, you feel something bat your cheek. "Hey!" Xin Lan shouts, finally getting your attention. "Where are we going next?""Be nice Xin Lan. Tai Lung is enjoying himself." Renshu says, though his tone implies what you expected. He knew how you really felt. You shake your head and bring yourself back to reality. "Sorry." You say. "How about we go look for An Bo and Guang? They're competing too, right?""Oh yeah!" Xin Lan says getting excited. "If there's any of his brew involved I'm in!""From the glimpses I caught in the kitchen, I'm quite interested in how their meals turned out." Renshu says in agreement. "Can't be that hard to find him." Xin Lan says, sitting on your shoulders and resting their arms on your head. "His whole kitchen smelled like it was burning in spice.""Then lead the way." You chuckle and Xin Lan pats your head. They sniff for a moment and point, "Onwards!" They shout and you go to find your friend.
Sure enough, as you approach what you soon learn to be Guang's stand, your nose is hit by the smell of heat and spice. Not enough to be overpowering nor unappetizing but when compared to all the other meals you had, it certainly was intruiging. You pass a couple leaving the stand, their eyes watering but chatting amicably. "Don't forget to vote for me!" You hear the young boar shout. He turns to face you with an air of professionalism and promptly drops it when he see it's you."Hey! It's my main man!" He says and upon seeing Renshu his grin grows wider. "And his bro! You doin' ok man? Sure you should be up right now? Heard from the old man that you were pretty ill." Renshu waves Guang's concerns away and smiles. "I am better." He says. "And I did promise I would be here didn't I?" Guang grins. "Well I can't fault a man for keeping his promises though An's been trying to tell me that even sometimes we just gotta let the cards fall where they may." He shrugs. "Not gonna stop me from doing what I can though. Still, good to have you back man. We've been dealing with some punks who thought it was funny to kick the big man while you were all down.""I apologise." Renshu says. "I certainly hope I didn't cause any trouble while I was ill."Guang shakes his head. "No way man. No one messes with friends of the family." He says. "You guys did us all a solid by taking on those raiders and saving An. Even if the old man said otherwise, I wasn't gonna let some punks pick on my crew. But that's in the past, it's New Years!" He says with a clap. "Bet you're all here for my food, right? Let's have a good time and try to forget all that depressing stuff.""Hell yeah!" Xin Lan says raising their hand in salute. "What do you got for us?""Check this out." Guang says with an excited smile. He turns behind him and spoons out some rice from on pot being kept at temperature on a low flame then turns to open another pot. Upon removing the lid, a wave of spice hits your nose making it water. Grabbing a ladle. he scoops out what looks like stew and pours it next to the rice. The soup like fool was rather thick and viscous, more of a kind of sauce than broth. It was bright orangish yellow, and full of a variety of veggies. Green broccoli, red bell peppers, cauliflower all gave it a bright and inviting appeal. The rice itself, while plain and white, soon began to stain from the sauce and began to absorb it as well. You can feel your mouth water from anticipation and apprehension. It looked delicious but the smell of spice kept you at bay. The perfect combination to bring out excitment.
"Now that's spicy." Xin Lan says taking a bowl and spoon before taking a big bite."It certainly is bright." Renshu says mixing some rice with the veggitables. "Quite inviting and yet...dangerous.""Thanks Guang." You say as you take a spoonful. It was only a half second before you mouth erupts in fire. Smokey and spicy, the searing heat of the spices within the sauce and veggies seems to burn everything it touches. Your eyes water and your nose runs and just as the idea of thinking of spitting it out hits your mind, you taste it. A soft, soothing sweetness from the rice. It melts into the heat and provides some protection against the burning, just enough to allow you to keep the food in your mouth and enjoy the rather complex flavors of the veggitables within the spice itself. "GAH!" Xin Lan breathes out and you can feel the heat of their breath on your head. "This. stuff. kicks!" They say breathing heavily. "Trying to kill us or what?" "Should have eaten slower little one." Renshu says amused, though his eyes were also teary and crying. "It's delicious. Perhaps the spices could be toned down a bit or perhaps it's my own intollerence of the ingredient.""I can see why we smelled it from all the way back." You admit, sniffing. "This is certainly something you made but...what is it?""I don't know if it's got a name but I've been messing with some of these forgein spices the traders bring in. Was thinking of trying it in the brews. Can you imagine a spicy drink? Cold but hot?" Guang asks. "Anyways, I figured it'd be best to learn how to cook with it before I just dump it in beer. That burning sensation is the best right? Makes you feel like you're alive!" He bends down and quickly comes back up with a few mugs of ale which all three of you graciously accept."This is An Bo's rice is it not?" Renshu asks once he puts his mug down, steam practically coming from his mouth. "It's a nice contrast to the heat.""Yeah. An says this dish is like us." Guang says rubbing the back of his head rather embarassed. "She says it's like how I hold my temper to be nice to her. Bit of a lie, I'm never angry at her. Guess I'm just rougher around the edges without her.""An excellent analogy of your relationship I would say." Renshu says moving the food around his plate. "The sweetness of love and innocence to hold back the anger and fury of protecting the ones we love." He adds showing his plate, now with the food organized in a yin-yan symbol. "The two of you are made for one another. You give her the strength to move forward and she tempers your passion into something constructive.""Well...I mean...I guess you could say that..." Guang says, now thoroughly blushing."Where is An Bo?" You ask finishing your drink and placing your empty place on the counter. "Wasn't she competting as well?"
"Oh! An is on the otherside of the street. We kind of entered late thanks you all the...you know...so we took what spots were available." Guang explains before scratching his head. "Hey...can you check up on her? Make sure she's doing ok? She hasn't really been alone for this long. I'd check up on her myself but I don't want to make her think I don't believe in her strength, ya know?""Aww you do care." Xin Lan coughs out as they try to deal with the spice. "We'll check up on her for you. We were just on our way to look for her after trying your food.""Course I care for her!' Guang says now growing bright red. "Just...you know...I don't gotta explain it to you! You're married. You get it.""Oh do I ever." Xin Lan says amused as they lean on your head and scritch your ears. You feel your own face grow warm and you hope that you can hide it behind the spices. Renshu, however, seems to share their sibling's amusement."Great!" Guang says. "Well I hope you vote for my dish though knowing An, she's not gonna let me win easily.""Where do we vote?" You ask. "Several others have asked us to do the same.""Oh yeah. At the start of the street they set up a small booth, well more of a table with a box on it. Just slip the a paper with the booth number on it into the box." Guang explains and they point their thumb at the top of their booth. You see a large number 20 on it. "I'm number 20 but numbers were also shuffled. Dunno what number An got." "Thanks Guang. We'll be back with the others. Can't let them miss out right?" You say with a grin."Oh yeah! Bring em on over. There's plenty to go around." Guang says, grinning.>Where do you go next?>Go get your friends and head over to An's booth before coming to Guang's.>Get the others and bring them to Guang.>Go to An's booth with your family. You can bring the others later.>Go find the others and see what they had. Maybe they have some booths to show you.>Write in.
>>4761404>Go get your friends and head over to An's booth before coming to Guang's.The festival is a perfect time to stage a kidnapping by her villanous mother.Also the first post made me question the morality of eating eggs in the setting. Would it be like eating a placenta? Some a animals do it.But if it was fertilized it would be like an abortion right?
>>4761411The exact conversation I knew would pop up haha. I'm not sure to be honest, if you want a nitty gritty explanasion, eggs can be laid unfertalized so perhaps it's just a natural use for them from mothers who don't want extra children? Of course that in itself brings up even more unplesant conversations. Did my best to not include meals with meat in them for that reason. Still it is interesting to consider. Would it be morally reprehensible or is it seen as the natural cycle. If eggs come from citizens, does that make them a delicacy due to rarity? or something common?
>>4761411I'm going to support this, and just ignore the implications about eggs.
>>4761419Perhaps it would be natural, the asian fowl naturally produced a lot of unfertlized eggs before humans turned it up to eleven.I guess the same argument goes for using silk and wool right? Since it would come from sheep and silkworm.Now the question goes to who would want to wear someone elses hair, and would silkworm larva producing silk count as child labour?
>>4761440I mean, people get hair transplants and we wear coats made of animal hide. I don't see why this is much different
>>4761444It's them being sentiant that makes it weird.But I guess it could have become accepted if it doesn't cause problems, being different species and all.Just thought another reason to bring our friends to An first, too spicy food ruins the taste of food eaten later, so they can eat food and enjoy Guang's torture later.I may put my vote for An's food though, Guang's rice being cooked by her feels a bit like cheating.
>>4761455it's the taste that counts, in my opinion. Even if she supplied the rice, he was still the brave fool who made this "mouth murder chowder"
>>4761411>>4761438finding our friends. Writing.
>>4761465Man, it's like you guys don't even like spicy curry. You're starting to sound like An Bo's mom and it's worrying me. Jokes half aside, I'd definitely see her as the kind of woman who would refuse to eat anything that didn't look like native chinese food.
>>4761630I never ate curry, but my country has plenty of spicy foods, and some even look like it. Unfortunaly they are bad for the bowels.Guang lost my vote becayse he is using An's rice, because it feels wrong to vote for him if all the food isn't completly cooked by the contestant.
>>4761697It was An's rice in the sense that it's her recipe he's using not her cooking it and handing it to him although I can still see the logic applying to that. It's my bad for not explaining it.
You and the others head back up the street to visit An Bo. Along the way you search for your friends to bring along. The easiest person to find was Ming, whom you find chewing happily on sweet bread from the bakers' stand. "That'll go to your thighs you know." Xin Lan calls out from the top of your head. Ming glares at the two of you and defiantly bites into her bread. "Just so you know, this is carbs which I need to survive the hell you put me through. Unlike you maniacs, some of us need to actually take breaks." She says as she chews. "Where have you guys been?" She asks curiously."We eat tons of food." Xin Lan says going over the various stalls you all went to. "Then we went to Guang's and nearly died.""Correction, you nearly died." Renshu says laughing quietly. "The rest of us had enough self restraint to not take large mouthfulls of spicy food.""Bigger bites means bigger flavor." Xin Lan insists, frowning. "Anyways, we're gonna head to An Bo's stand to try her food. You wanna come?" Ming finishes up her bread and nods. "Sure! I never got to see what she was making. Are we getting the others?""That's the plan." You say. "I'm sure the others are around here. Unless they left to go look at the rest of the festival.""I think I saw Hien nearby." Ming says looking around. "Near one of the stands serving noodles." Ming leads the way and all you head through the now growing crowd of people. You decide to take lead and cut a path through the crowd before Xin Lan finds your friend and points him out. You find Hien quietly enjoying a cup of tea and talking to the owner of a stand who doesn't seem to be offering any food. As you approach, Hien smiles and invites you over. "My friends, it's good to see you. Come, have some tea." "A cup of tea would be wonderful." Renshu says stepping forward. "A nice break from chewing and heavy meals.""I'd rather have something a bit less hot but I could use a drink." Xin Lan says."Sure." You say stepping forward and see that it's the kind old woman from the general store. "Hello dearies." She says. "Let me grabs some more cups." The old woman turns around and grabs a few more cups before pouring some tea from one of several tea pots at her side. You all take a cup and take a sip. The tea was still warm and despite how many batches have been served before you, was still flavorful. It was a bit sweet which was a nice surprise. Most people tended to lean towards the stronger or more bitter flavors. "Wonderful..." Renshu says taking a sip. He takes a wiff of the cup before saying. "Jasmine Flowers, if I'm not mistaken?" The old woman smiles. "You know your teas sweetie?" Renshu shakes his head. "No, I'm afraid I only have passing knowledge of the subject. A small hobby of mine and one I have woefully neglected." He says modestly."He's lying." Xin Lan says. "Stripes is always drinking tea. I bet he's just being humble."
"Oh dearie, you don't need to be shy." The old woman says. "If you're ever around the store at noon, we can have some tea together. It's always nice to sample flavors with another connesuir." She says. "I'd be delighted should the opportunity arises." Renshu says. "Miss you wouldn't happen still have some of that first tea, would you?" Hien asks. The old woman nods and pours you all another cup. You and your friends all take a sip and you pause. Unfortunately, this tea was rather bitter. Not bad but certainly not something you enjoyed to drink on a daily basis. You quietly drain the rest of your cup out of politeness and hold it lest the kind old woman mistook you for wanting more.Renshu sips quietly and all of you watch him carefully, eager to see if he could guess the kind of tea. "It certainly is a green tea but not quite...Baozhong, correct?" He guesses."Ooh, you're good." The old woman says happily with a excited thumbs up. She hurries over and pours another cup of tea for him. "Now this one is special. I wasn't planning on serving it to people and just have it to drink while I sat here but have a taste.""I'm honored." Renshu says as he takes another sip. Despite him drinking it in one go, you see it. A brief freeze and twitch of his face. Disgust, anger, and disappointment emanates from them but they keep a smiling face and tone. "This is 煎茶 (Sencha) ma'am. It's probably one of the most popular teas in Japan." He says politely. "It has been a while since I've tasted it."The old woman claps happily, completely oblivious to Renshu's emotions. "Oh! Very good!" She says. "A nice trader brought me some many years ago and I make sure to save some for special occasions." Renshu simply nods, his face a mask. Taking the attention from him, you ask, "So, do you think you'll win this year? Only serving drinks is certainly a unique way to go about it."The old woman laughs. "Oh no no sweetie. I haven't competed in years. I just like offering tea to people passing by. Nothing helps digestion more than a nice cup of tea! And that means eating more food! I've been doing this every year for a while.""Thank you then." You say. "I feel like I could go have a few more plates of food now." You turn to Hien. "We're going to visit An Bo's stall. Do you want to come?" You ask."Of course. I think I've had enough of a break from meals to go another round." Hien politely bows to the old woman. "Thank you for the tea ma'am. And for the stories."
"Nonsense. I'm just an old woman. Telling tales and drinking tea is all I'm good for." She says. You all bid your goodbyes and continue down the street. You soon find Shenlong and Bao wandering the street with a bowl of noodles in hand. Though Bao was happily enjoying her food, Shenlong seem far more interested in the chopsticks."Wooden rods to eat meals with? Why ever would mortals handicap themselves when their fingers are perfectly servicable?" He wonders outloud."Because eating with dirty hands is rather disgusting." Bao says. "Imagine after a long days of work in the fields and you simply stick those in the food.""Is water not good enough to cleanse the body?" Shenlong asks as he eats."Of course it is however, it's still polite to eat with untesils." Bao says. You approach the two. "Hey, we're about to visit one of our friends who is cooking. Do you want to come with us?" Bao nods. "If it means more food then yes." She giggles."The multitude of ways to cook the same ingredients and have different effects is interesting. If you are leading us to another variation, then lead the way." Shenlong says. Your, now rather large, group head down to where An Bo's stand. You see her serving bowls of what looks like soup to various patrons. Despite being seperated from her boyfriend, she looked happy and content. "Mr. Tai Lung! You're here!" She says in surprise at both your arrival and the size of your group. "I thought you'd have been busy. Oh? Are these your friends?" She asks looking at Shenlong and Bao.>How do you introduce your guests?>Write in.
>>4761792>Yes, they are old friends I met just after I begun my pilgramage to becomw a better man. They might be my oldest friends after Luo, actually.
>>4761817And I forgot to properly introduce them, wonderful.>This is Bao, a priestess at the village of [name I don't remember], and her superior, Shen.I wonder how he will react to being called by a nickname.
>>4761440My take is that it’s not considered weird in this world to sell your natural products if people find them useful. If you produce silk, why shouldn’t you weave it into garments and sell it? If you have unfertilized eggs, may as well earn some extra coins by selling them to carnivores or omnivores.Simple as. Its fine to them because it’s like selling a service to them.
>>4761792>Thing is my friend high priestess of the wind Bao, one of the first I have made on my travels, and our mutual friend Shenlong. Certainly my 'oldest' friend to date.Bit of a pun there, but I would like to avoid the nickname.
>>4762085Well, it was more of a way to hide his identity by giving him a false identity, but at the same time close enough that someone can get it in retrospect.By being her superio, he could just be the head priest, and is just named Shen, but if you get that he is the great dragon, than it becomes a pun.I chose it because Hien wanted to hide his identity from her, so we don't know how the tavernkin will handle the spaghetti.
>>4762561I uh. I uh dont think that Shenlong is able to hide, nor does he apparently see a need to.But if you want to go that way, we can introduce Bao as she is and let Shenlong introduce himself how he wishes.
>>4762910That's a fair point actually, we can just say they are old friends and let them introduce themselves as they wish.I will switch my vote to that.
So it seems like the vote is to let them introduce themselves?
>>4763148I vote for telling they are our old friends like in >>4761817 and let them indrotyce themselves.Although the pun in >>4762085 is a good one, so maybe include that part?
>>4763148Yes."Our old friends, why don't you intoduce themselves"
>>4763159Damned split second posting.But this is the idea.
>>4763159Holy shit I mangled the word introduce.>>4763169I feel your pain on a spiritual level.
>>4763176Neat, never knew I had Blood-Kindred
Works for me. I'll get to writing more food porn. Writing. Also nearly screwed up. Almost posted with food as good. I'll uhh...post the "good" stuff on paste bin.
>>4763201I'm sure it will be. . . Saucy.
>>4763251Very. Tons of [spoilers]consensual hand holding, cute nicknames, cuddles, head pats, and generally anything that will drive ornery fox mom's crazy with rage.[/spoiler]
>>4763269Joke ruined.On a separate point. Any plans after the festival? Stuff you want to get done or finished up?
>>4763275Let's see what would go on this type of festival.Traditional dances and songs, food, religious cerimonies and prayers, fireworks, parades, drinking, people seeling things and scammers.Maybe have one of those parades with people holding a giant paper dragon? It could be funny to see Shenlong's reaction. Perhaps a fortune teller reading palms? Make us guess if they are legit or not.
>>4763293And playing with sprites too! They father is around and people have light up a bunch of incense and other smells, so they might be in high spirits.Heh
>>4763269O-oh.>>4763275After this, start working on our peace form, get back on track speaking to the spirits [air/fire perhaps] and of course, continuing on our way to the library.And of course, once we have refined the style somewhat, offering it to Shenlong and Bao. Partly for our own legacy, mostly as a gift in the only way we really know how to express ourselves well in.Something something, one battle speaks a milliin words
>>4763275I read as plans for the festival instead of after, so time to fix my mistake.We got to make sure the council plan goes through, maybe tell Hien to send a truted priest of the imperial family to properly put the dead of the library and the village, get rid of the traps in the forest so innocents don't get hurt, train our new style, meditate with Xin and Renshu to help with their new progress, find a sorceror to reach Ming, find out how to officiate Guang's and An's marriage so they aren't considered eloping so her mother can't do anything and find someplace with fire sprites so we can meet them.Than it's just going to the Library, pools, getting a house and a pardon.
>>4763360Hey wait a minute.We DO know an immensely powerful spiritual individual. She's walking around eating food with Shenlong.If we teach Ming to the best of our extent, I think we could ask Bao to lend her some tips of how to be a spiritualist/where to find instructions
>>4763360You could ask Bao. I mean what's more official than a dragon priestess blessing their marriage?
>>4763400I wonder if she has a mask.
>>4763372I thought Ming was more of a magical sort than faithful, and that's why it wouldn't work.>>4763400You know what would be more official than the dragon priestess? The dragon himself.
>>4763410Ming is "Sensitive" meaning she could go any which way. Chi strikes to witchcraft to spiritualism like we do, she could do it all or none. But potential is only worth something when trained properly.
>>4763410Now that would be a wedding wouldn't it?
>>4763405In the last thread she was described as wearing a hat with hanging beads/veil that partly obscured her face, Luo even put a picture I think.
>>4763418Not quite what I had meant.
>>4763414Well, in chinese and japanese mythology/history sorcerores and wizards are also types of priest right? The Onmyoji and Shujengas in Japan, and Taoist alchemist and astrologists. So it could work actually.
>>4763424Oh fuck I completly missed the joke.We need to get a mask for Ming, it could help with her feelings of not being as cool as the rest of the team
Internet is killing me here. Won't let me post. Gonna see what I can do about it.
To explain because that was a semi test post. Anything longer than a few sentences refuses to be posted. Dunno what the hell is going on.
>>4763457Try taking a screenshot and posting the image.
You nod and motion to them. “These are some of my old friends whom I first met on my journey. Actually I think they’re some of my oldest friends come to think of it. Older than even Luo too.” You say amused. Your friends seem rather the opposite at that joke. An Bo gives a polite bow. “Hello!” She says. “You must have come a long way to visit our little town.”“Bao.” Bao says introducing herself. “And this is my husband Shenlong.” She says hugging a rather surprised Shenlong’s arm. “If it wasn’t for Tai Lung’s invitation, we wouldn’t have traveled this far out to visit though I’m glad I did.”"W-where are you from?" An Bo asks nervously eyeing the large dragon. "Out of the country." Bao says smiling under her veil. "We were 'born' here but we've since moved out.""O-oh..." She says unsure of how to continue. "W-well I'm glad you've come all the way here for a friend." She says."So are we." Bao says happily. "It's been a while since we've been to a festival like this. Even more so knowing that we got to see a cooking competition." She adds hinting to An Bo and helping her along. An Bo gives a little jump as she remembers why she was there."O-oh! The competition!" She stammers. "I suppose you're here to taste my food." She says nervously as she turns around to grab some bowls. "It's not much." She admits as she ladles some soup into the bowls. "It's just some vegetable soup." She says politely. Bao and Shenlong move forward to grab their servings as you and your friends form a line to get their own bowl. As you approach for your and Xin Lan's bowl, An Bo waves you over frantically. "W-where are your friends from exactly?" She asks nervously."I'm not really sure." You lie. "I guess I never did ask. I met them in a village a few days away from my hometown. Why?"An Bo fidgets. "Maybe you should tell your friend that her husband's name isn't...really appropriate." She says chewing her lip. "Does she know that he's using the Great Dragon's name?" She says nervously. "Some people might not like that..."You smile and place a hand on An Bo's shoulder. "It'll be fine An Bo. They can take care of themselves and they've lived with the name for a while. I'm sure they know how to deal with that situation when it arises." You look at the food. "So what did you make today? Guang didn't want to tell us. Though he did wanted us to make sure you were doing ok." An Bo smiles, "He's so sweet. He doesn't like showing it in public but he's a big softie. He won't let me sleep on the floor or use any of the thin blankets." She says as she pours you some soup. The soup itself was a rich golden color. It reminded you of egg drop soup although rather than egg, the soup is filled to the brim with vegetables and roots. You step aside to let the others grab their own serving as you take a bite.
The soup was pleasant to say the least although that was an understatement. It was smooth and warm and despite the lack of meat in it had a nice right flavour that perfectly mimicked it. However, the mushrooms gave it a nice earthy taste that grounded the flavor giving it a nice blend. To add to it's richness, you taste some spice in it though unlike Guang's dish the spice here only served to accent the rest of the flavors, heightening them though your unsure why that was. It was as if the spice seemed to make things taste stronger. The vegetables themselves were nice and soft. The roots were cooked, you think grilled, perfectly and had a nice crunch that gave the meal something to contrast the ingredients texture wise. Furthermore, as you eat it you don't feel like your getting full. Bite after bite and all you think is about how you could have another serving."Are these wild mushrooms?" Ming asks holding a mushroom. "The roots are native to these woods too." An Bo nods eagerly."Yes! Guang and I were taking a stroll one night and he started showing me the roots and wild plants in the woods. He helped me pick all of the ones I used to make this meal." She says. "I thought they tasted nice and then decided that maybe the people here would like a soup made from the forest they live in. I thought it would make them feel more at home while they ate it. Mr. Chuanli says that the roots in the soup are full of nutrients that can help ease pain and restore energy.""He's right." Ming says chewing. "These roots are commonly ground up to make powders for invigoration and these wild onions contain a chemical that helps relax muscles so it's excellent for cramps or tenseness.""And by grilling the roots, you preserved their nutrients." Renshu says. "Often times boiling ruins the medicinal properties of raw ingredients unless done so in a precise manner. However the onions are the opposite, by boiling them they release their effects into the broth as well as their flavor.""Not to mention, the spices are used quite well." Hien says. "I remember reading of a cooking method where it's used to enhance the flavor of a dish and a better example I cannot find."
"You have harvested nature's bounty to not only with the intent of helping those around you but to honor the gifts of nature themselves." Shenlong says holding a root in his chopsticks and examining it. "A unique and productive way of going about it. I approve." He says eating the root. An Bo blushes heavily and covers her face. "I-I didn't really intend to do it like that." She stammers bashfully. "I just wanted to make a meal that helped people and...maybe brightened their day. It's nothing special really! Haveyouseenthebaker'scakes?" She asks suddenly as if trying to change subject. "They're quite something aren't they?">What do you say?>Agree that Ming does enjoy the baker's cakes but joke and say that's not what you were talking about. Tell her what you think of her food.>Ask An Bo about the festival.>Ask An Bo about her and her boyfriend.>Write in.
Wooo update! Did you find out what was going on boss?>>4763757>Agree that Ming does enjoy the baker's cakes but joke and say that's not what you were talking about. Tell her what you think of her food.An shot straight into my weakpoint, I fucking love mushrooms.Also it seems claiming their friends are their husband as a cover is a trait that all of our friends share.Shame that Bao did not for just Shen, if someone could pull it off it would be her, but I guess he's too prideful for that.
>>4763779I didn't unfortunately. But it seems to have worked now that I'm on a different network. Also Shenlong is a bit too prideful for nicknames. Titles are different but if he's going to be given a name it will be his full name and no less.
>>4763757Welp. she made an RPG potion of restoration that actually tastes good.Sorry Guang, but An Bo just blew your shit out of the water. Practicality and taste work wonders and your mouth murder chowder is great fun but this win goes to An.
>>4764145Idiot.>Agree that the bakers cakes are good but not the topic of conversation>Ask how soon we can expect a wedding invitationLittle bit of teasing.
>>4763757Ill go with >>4764156A little teasing is always good. Ask Xin.>>4763779Yeah Mushroom team!Butter Garlick button mushroom and Sautee ear mushroom is the best!
>>4763779>>4764156>>4764274Teasing An Bo. Writing.
You chuckle. "Yes the bakers' food is delicious as Ming can attest to that but that's not what we were talking about." You say gently. "You've made quite a dish and I think it deserves the praise it's getting." You say as you place the empty bowls on the counter. "It's delicious and clearly you had everyone's well being in mind when you made it not just in flavor but in it's effects. You've got a talent for cooking here and I hope you continue to improve.""Yeah. Not anyone can mix ingredients like this." Xin Lan says patting your head as they add. "Just look at the big guy. Poor guy can't get near a kitchen without destroying a dish. It's quite sad."You look up at Xin Lan and they ruffle your ears. "It is true." You say. "I have no talent for cooking so seeing someone who can do what you do only makes me want to encourage that talent more. If you want to help then improving on it as a surefire way to do so. Just don't lose sight on why you wanted to improve on the first place. Don't lose that spark of wanting to help others and your boyfriend. Unless of course..." You say slyly. "You two are planning on moving beyond just dating? I've never been to wedding before."An Bo blushes and fidgets. "Marriage? I don't....I don't know." She says happily flustered. "I mean...I think I'd like to but I don't know if Guang would want to...and oh my, it's so much work." She says. "H-how was yours?" She asks. "Oh it was no big deal." Xin Lan says before you can awnser and you can imagine the smug grin on their face. "Really the wedding isn't whats important." They say seriously. "You love the guy right? Then it's your vows that matter. If you're willing to give it your all then Guang should be able to do the same. A relationship isn't anything if both parties aren't genuine about your comittments. Marrige is a big step but it's won't feel that way if both of you are together to work with one another." They lean forward and rest their arms on your head. "Can't tell you how many times the big guy stuck his neck out for me as we traveled and how many times I'm willing to do the same for him. Not to mention the fact that life would be pretty bland without him. Granted I don't expect either of you to need to do that for one another but just being willing to help each other out is more than enough."You look up. "Since when do you know so much about marriage?"Xin Lan pats your head. "Since I've got to know if I ever need to impersonate Stripes. Unlike you, I do my research.""Funny, you don't seem like the romantic type." You say."Oh don't worry. I can show you how romantic I can be tomight." They tease. You decide not to press the issue."I mean...I've though about asking." She admits. "But it's too soon." She says. "I mean...what if I'm being just like my mom? Maybe I'm going to fast.">What do you say?>Write in.
>>4765138It amuses me how she didnt question the fact that we have never been to a wedding.But anyway>"your worry is well founded, some people go faster or slower than others and it is all about knowing what your partner is ready and willing for. That being said I suggest that you dont get trapped by indecision and keep second guessing yourself because in that mire no cart can escape without a massive push to be free of it. If you wonder what he would think about it or if you are going to fast, ask him. If you worry you are being too pushy, ask him. If you two can have an honest conversation then your bond will be strong and you will know where everyone stands about it. Two heads to think it over, aye?"
>>4765138There's really no need to rush. Marriage isn't the end of the world, it's only the beginning. If you stay true to your feelings and maintain open communication with your partner, you'll know when the time is right.Just finished catching up on this. Great stuff Luo, it's really been an amazing ride so far.Very brave of you to push the bara gay furry angle. I wouldn't have been mad if you guys had gone that route, but I'm more of a Xin Lan fan myself. Justice will always be on the side of the androgenous bunny onahole
>>4765138>I'm pretty sure your mother was so desperate to have the marriage be quick because of a interested in the finacial and political gain of that husband-to-be family. Isn't there a period before the marriage were you bound yourself as fianceé? You already live with them as family, the rest would just be making it official, no?>Tell me, what exactly make you love Guang so much? Simple passion and attraction can fade away, but if it's his personality and actions, than your love will grow stronger with time.
>>4765187>>4765211>>4765225Seems like the vote is to talk it out and not rush into it. You'll know when you know but also to ask herself what she sees in the relationship. I get that right?>>4765211Sadly it seems it was not to be as interesting as it might have been. It happens with votes. It also seemed like the most logical...ish conclusion to who would press the question first but I've written tons of paragraphs on it. Maybe there will be a next time or maybe TL will grow comfortable enough to ask the question himself. For now there's a festival to enjoy and the library to find.
>>4765263That's right.And yeah, I dont really have a horse in the race, because they are all the best girl, but if it had to go anywhere I am pointing it to Renshu. The guy has my heart.Then again, I dunno if it was down to how interesting the choice would be and how much of it were Anons pushing for how terribly awkward TL is.
>>4765314You can try to push for renshu, but you will fail.I am Baofag, the legendary first-girl warrior. Thousands of quests have fallen before me, and thousands more will fall.What hope do you have to resist my influence?
>>4765314>>4765329Thus is the complexity of the waifu wars it seems. Nonetheless, we move on. >>4765187>>4765211>>4765225Dispensing that advice. Writing.
>>4765329I am the steady stream of peace, implacable and adaptable as the wind, while victory is impossible then denial of the enemy win conditions and eternal war are their own reward.
>>4765329Fear not friend, for you do not stand alone.
"Your worry is well founded. Some people go faster or slower than others and it's all about knowing what your partner is ready and willing for. That being s aid I suggest that you don't get trapped by indecision and keep second guessing yourself. If you wonder what he would think about it or if you're going too fast, ask him. If you're worried you're being too pushy, ask him. If you two can have an honest conversation then your bond will be strong and you will know where everyone stands on it. Your mother was desperate for a quick marrige because of the financial and political gain of that husband's family but you aren't looking for that." You say. "That being said, you already live with them as a family, the rest would just be making it official, no? There's really no need to rush. Marriage isn't the end of the world, it's only the beginning of a new one. If you stay true to your feelings and maintain open communication with your partner, you'll know when the time is right.""Now look who is sounding like Stripes." Xin Lan says poking your cheek. You simply poke Xin Lan's side in response."I guess the important question is, what exactly makes you love Guang so much?" You ask."Eh?" An Bo says suprised. "I...don't know." She admits."Don't be blunt." Xin Lan says. "What the big guy means is try to think of the reasons why you fell in love with Guang. Let's make it easier. Why did you even talk to him to begin with? How'd you two meet?""Oh, well he bought some of our scrap cloth." An Bo says. "He wanted some to use as rags to clean the tavern with.""Alright...so then why did the two of you talking? I mean, buying your scrap materials isn't really romantic, now is it?" Xin Lan asks.An Bo fidgets. "He was...nice." She says."Tons of people are nice." You say. "He must have done something special.""He asked me if I was ok..." She says. You and Xin Lan looks at each other."Now that's a start." Xin Lan says. "Anyone can be nice. Takes an extra step to take yourself out of your own world to think of others. So then what?""We started talking." An Bo says now thinking. "We didn't really like the way our parents treated us. I guess we bonded over that. Then... you know. Everything kind of happened.""Alright, so he risked his neck for you. That's fair." Xin Lan says. "But what about now? What made you stay? Guang himself even said if you didn't want to stay with him, he'd let you go and do what you want. He just wanted you to be happy."
"He's still nice." An Bo says. "Every day, before I wake up, he goes and gets my favorite kind of sweet bread and when he's not looking, I like to go and get his favorite kind of cookies. The ones with walnuts baked in them. He's always asking if I like the clothes I wear and offering to go get me more or buy the cloth if I want to make some. Guang likes to act grumpy and tough but he's a really sweetheart. He worries a lot because he doesn't think he's as good as his father or that he won't be able to run the tavern when...well when his dad won't be around anymore. I don't think he knew his mom very well so he's really attached to his dad. He talks more about it at night when we're alone in our room. I do my best to let him know that he's doing fine and he doesn't need to worry but I think he's still scared.""Something wrong with his dad?" Xin Lan asks."No but Guang sometimes tries to think ahead, at least when he's not getting hot headed. So I think he thinks a bit too far ahead." An Bo admits."Alright so the guy goes out of his way to make you happy." Xin Lan says. "That's good. Sounds like he even trusts you with his problems. That's a pretty good sign of a relationship. Not many people open up like that.""It does sound like the two of you have a connection that runs deeper than just physical attraction." You point out. "Maybe it's too early for marriage but that doesn't mean your bond can't grow deeper. Take it at your own pace and be open to one another about your feelings. I'm sure whatever happens from there will be something you're both happy with.""You really think so?" An Bo asks."Nothing good ever comes out of lying in situations like these and you can't make a decision you're happy with if you don't know all the facts." You say.An Bo nods. "That sounds right. You two really know a lot about this." She says. "How long have you two been married?" Xin Lan giggles and hops into your arms. "Never." They say with a wink. "We haven't even dated." You give a bewlidered An Bo a polite nod and walk to go with your friends as a several more people wander up to taste An Bo's food."So where to next?" Ming asks looking up at the sky. "It's noon so we still have plenty of time.""Noon?" Bao asks. "It's almost time for us to leave." She says. "Plenty of ceremonies will be starting soon.">What do you say?>Go check out a few more games. >Go visit the merchants for trinkets or souvenirs.>Go see if there are other attractions at the Festival.>Write in.
>>4765511>Ask that we go somewhere a bit quieterI'd like to paint a portrait of the lot of us, maybe another of just Shenlong and Bao for them as a gift while we hand over the others as well. Because hey, if they have to leave now then I'd prefer they get their momento's while they can just vanish corporeally. I don't think we can do that.
>>4765511>Just bring the rest to Guang so we can let him know An is fine. And for them to pass through the spice test.>Go see if there are other attractions at the Festival
>>4765526Oh yeah, and let them try Guang's murder chowder.Lets see Shenlong shrug off this concoction.>In unrelated news, several countries are now wracked with tsunami's and hurricanes filled with spices
>>4765526>>4765520Actually, fuck the other attractions, making the painting for Shenlong is top priority.But we still should pass by Guang to tell him An is ok.
>>4765530He will ask how Guang managed to steal part of Zhulong's power.Maybe he will like it and go share it with his lady Dilong in Eureka
>>4765520>>4765526>>4765530>>4765532We're just gonna let Guang know An bo is fine and then get to painting. Writing. Now question. Do you want to Paint shenlong as is or paint him as you see him in Eureka?
>>4765569Paint him as he is.But behind him, paint as he appears in Eureka faintly.
>>4765569As he is currently. This is to commemerate the occasion. A memory snapshot, if you will. Putting a shadow or faint impression of his true form behind him is a possibility, but really not required.
So I went looking for the last thread in the archive to the image you used for Shenlong, and I can't find thread 10.Did you forget to archive it boss?
>>4765589That I did. Thanks for reminding me! Here's the image by the way.
>>4765596>>4765589Lucky you caught it, it's still in the archive of the board.
Aaand archived. Thanks for the reminder.
>>4765596Part of me almost wants to see how good Shenlong is at dragon style kung fu.I know this is hubris and I understand that he's that powerful that his very presence is sufficient to crush anyone that dares appear before them, but there is something to be said for being more skilled than one of the godly arbitrators of heaven.
>>4765610There is indeed and now I'm wondering how it would play out if Shenlong held back enough for you to actually try. Does he rely on strength so much that he actually never practiced? Or is he simply so old that skill has simply accrued over the many years he's existed?
>>4765576Something like this.Off to the archive to get images for everyone, I don't expect for it to be a good collage, but it will have to do.Draw anon come back, the drones need you.
>>4765625Hey that's really awesome! Nice job. I too miss draw anon
>>4765618I don't actually see any reason for him to have tried to learn, nor to have adopted humanoid form to practice. Bioloically he would be more durable and strong than even TL, just by divine powers but still.Going by pure skill, I believe we would have him beat, due to the mortal drive to improve and master before our limited time runs out. Because to quote Fate of all things "Technique is divised by humanity to overcome our natural shortcomings and he without shortcomings needs no technique."
As I search through the archives collecting all images that I can, I found the image Luo used for the fire sprites.They are cute.
>>4765625>One year after training with TL
"First I want to go see Guang. We did promise to try his food. After that I want to find somewhere quiet for a while." You say."Oh right!" Ming says. "I never got to see what he was making.""We did promise." Hien agrees. "Where is he right now?""He's on the other side of the street." You say as you start to head over there with the others right behind you. Like before, the smell of spices hits your nose before you reach the stand. Several people are leaving the stand, just as teary eyes as the first you saw but many more are around the stand, curious as to the source of the smell. You and your friends wait patiently for the crowd to clear out before you all gather around Guang's stand. "Hey guys!" Guang says waving you all in and wiping his hands clean on his apron. "Glad to see you're all here! Just managed to get a new batch as well, so it's extra hot." He says grabbing half another set of bowls to serve everyone. "So you see An yet?" He asks."We were just there. She's giving you a run for your money." You say with a grin as the rest of your friends take a bit. "And she's doing fine. She seems to be happy participating in the competition.""We made sure no one's gonna bother her either." Xin Lan says. "So you can just worry about attracting customers." They tease as they watch the others eat Guang's food. Bao waves her hand infront of her mouth as she pants. "Hot. That's really really hot." She says looking around for something to drink. Guang quickly pours her some cool juice which she gratefully downs the moment it hits the counter. Shenlong continues to eat, unperturbed, but says, "This tastes like fire. Do mortals normally enjoy feeling their mouths being incinerated?""Well...no...but that's what makes this special." Guang says flustered. "The heat and sweetness of the rice are like opposites so they match. It's unique...ya know?""No." Shenlong replies. "I dunno what you guys are talking about." Ming says swallowing, tears running down her face. "This stuff is really good! Can I have some more?" She asks holding out her bowl. "What kinds of spices did you use?"
"I can't pronounce the names." Guang says perking up and filling up Ming's plate again. "But I can show you them. Maybe you'll find some on your travels." You all stare as Ming takes another bite of the dish and chews happily, her face getting bright red from the heat but she continues to merrily eat the meal. "I need the recipie to this." She breathes out and takes a sip from her drink. "I want to make this on the road.""Y-yeah! Definitely!" Guang says a bit in awe himself. "I'll write it down after the festival and give it to you.""Thanks!" Ming says downing her drink and taking out a napkin to wipe her face clean. "So...you said you wanted to go somewhere quiet?" She asks."Yeah..." You say slowly. "But let's go place our votes for the compeition first.">Where do you want to go to paint?>The Shrine in the middle of the town. Might be a bit busy but seeing as it's noon, you suspect everyone is busy taking part in the festival to make their way there right now.>On the rooftops of Taishi. You're definitely not going to find anyone there.>In the woods. It seems like the most appropriate place if not a bit cliche.>Write in.
>>4765681>On the rooftops of Taishi. You're definitely not going to find anyone there.All of us can do Kung Fu super jumps, so it shouldn't be a problem.Also Ming is becoming too powerful.
Ah fuck I can't find a image of Hien or Renshu that aren't the human reference images.I remember you had posted something that you thought how they looked like boss, but you must have put it into a spoiler and I must have rolled through while looking through the archives.You wouldn't still have it lying around would you?
>>4765782For Stripes? I got one. Hien unfortunately doesn't have a furry counterpart...but I'll do some diving to find one for you. Here'sa refrence sheet for an OC I've been using for Renshu's character image. By sheer dumb luck it's a perfect match. Here's the one I first used.
The cooking one. Surprisingly...there's a ton of fan art of this guy shirtless. Another conicidence as well considering the going shirtless is a refrence to Geese Howard from Fatal Fury which is where Renshu's fighting style originated from as well.
>>4765796>>4765798Does he have a full body? Otherwise I will use the main character in Usagi Yojimbo, that an anon recomended in one of the archived threads.He apparently is based on Miyamoto Musashi, so it could work
>>4765801I can probably find one. One moment.In a place that no man dares tread, there you'll find Luo in their stead.-Excuse for why my search history is full of weird shit.
>>4765801And here's a nice image of that Miyamoto Usagi, I already edited a version that's grey with stripes, but better leave the untouched one just in case.
>>4765806RIP Luo's google profile, forever shall it be haunted by furaffinity and e621.
>>4765812So quick reconissance notes. Apperantly they like drawing Stripes as a moody edgy OC and very few people like drawing a full body without him either 1. Weilding a gun. 2. shirtless. 3. with some other OC in a way that can't be easily photoshopped apart.Here's another refrence sheet. Of and 4. In a suit which makes sense because I think he's supposed to be a cop from zootopia? Might have to go with tmnt bun.
>>4765817Well, here's he edited.Also are you sure it's an OC and not a genderbent Judy Hopkins? It's to judge the limits of furry degeneracy.
>>4765812[Maybe that's why I'm in the library. This is where no man dares tread...despite not finding anything remotely spooky. Found a couple of books who's language I don't recognize but I'm pretty sure these moonrunes are like some kind of old langauge no one uses...or it could be from some old asian country. I dunno.]
>>4765830It's...both neither and exactly that. Curiosity got the better of me. Stripes aka Renshu aka Jack Savage was the original iteration of Judy Hopps (the main character of the film). Apperantly the film was supposed to be a furry spoof of the James Bond franchise but was scrapped. Stripped bun is supposed to be a secret agent. With the idea turned down, Jack was remade as Judy and the rest as they say is history.
>>4765840Interesting. Who would have guessed this would lead to me learning something.I guess I'll just use samurai bun then.Now we just need to find a lynx noble and the gang is done.
>>4765845Not the best, too bulky but this is a good one. You can thank Khajiits for the wares.
>>4765857Now I understand why people said he was our son.
>>4765871He's a grey furred and spotted lynx. I think they're called snow lynxs though that might just be a colloquialism. He's not nearly as bulky and we'll built as TL or Stripes and stripes is already on the leaner side but He's a good size for some who trained to be a jack of all trades kind of noble.
Well, here's everyone, in all of their contrasting artstyle glory.
>>4765877Not gonna lie, still damn impressive.
>>4765877Have a modern Guang
>>4765900I love it! Nice image anon.
>>4765681>Rooftops of TaishiIts quick, easy and makes an alright background.
We'll be painting in 2 hours. I'll see you then.
>>4765687>>4766201After dwelling in the bowels of the library that is the internet, we made a collage. Anyways the votes point to painting on the roofs. Writing.
You all make your way to the small table containing a voting box. Sitting next to it is a very bored looking teenager. He unceremoniously hands you the number of the booth you want and you place it in the box. With out so much as a goodbye, the teen goes back to reading their book. You wonder if you were ever like that in your youth or were you simply too busy with training to do so.Once you had all voted, you turn to your friends. "Let's go to the rooftops. That seems like it's quiet enough." Your friends shrug and Xin Lan climbs onto your shoulders as you pick up Ming before you all leap onto the rooftops of Taishi. The rooftops were oddly quiet. Even at this height you suspected that the noise from the festivities would reach up here but they sounded dimmer and muffled. "Why exactly are we here?" Xin Lan asks as they rest their chin on your head."I...wanted to paint." You say a bit anxiously. "I thought it would be a good gift for Shenlong and a nice way to commemorate how far we've come.""I think that's sweet." Ming says. "That's not a bad idea." Renshu agrees as he looks out over the town. "I didn't know you could paint.""I...well I'm not sure if it would be very good but I often drew pictures when writting letters to my father and he always made me practice some kind of brush skill growing up. Said it would help with my dexterity." You say. "I bet it'll be fine." Bao says smiling and removing her veil and revealing her glowing blue eyes. "Where do you want us to stand? Do you want us to sit?" You pull Xin Lan off of your shoulders and they wiggle a bit before you set them on the ground. It takes a few minutes before you manage to arrange everyone in a way that both fits your canvas and pleases the eye. Having them stand side by side seems too wide and made the eyes wander all over the place. Trying to clump them all together or sitting in a group was either too messy with various heights or left too much negative space. Finally you manage to set them all in a way you liked. With the tallest standing in the back and the shortest either kneeling or sitting in front. Once that was settled you pull up your paints and begin to sketch your work. You're not sure how long it takes you but it feels like a while, however your friends wait patiently as you work and once you had finished placing the final stroke. You set your brushes down and wave everyone over. The image was as you had seen it. With everyone sitting on the rooftops of Taishi as you positioned them. However, you add the image of Shenlong's true form in the sky connected with the one infront of you."You didn't get my good side." Xin Lan says as your friends crowd around you to see. "Funny, I didn't know you had one." Ming shoots back."That's alright. It's kind of hard to comprehend my beauty sometimes." Xin Lan counters."I like it." Bao says. "Look he even painted you in all your glory." She tells Shenlong.
"I am pleased with this." He says in what you think is pride though not for his image. "Even if it had not been of such high quality, a gift from a friend is a rare thing indeed. I shall treasure it always." He inhales and breaths an emerald flame upon it and your hands. Everyone shouts in shock and you almost drop the painting if you hadn't suddenly realized that the flames didn't burn. Once the flames had receded you find yourself holding a beautiful picture frame. Wrought of pure emerald with a glass of diamond, the frame glitters in the afternoon sun with your picture immortalized and preserved within. Dragons are carved from the emerald as they circle the frame, their eyes made of impossibly small rubies and their claws of golden topaz. Each dragon holds a small sphere, as is custom, made of sapphire. Your friends look on in awe as they take in the frame. "Gems of the dragons..." Hien says. "Legends have only hinted at their beauty. To see not one but six in my lifetime...and to see them crafted in such an extravagant detail. It's a gift in of itself.""I think he liked your picture." Xin Lan says. You nod and hand the framed image with a low bow. "Thank you my friend." You say. "To receive such compliments from you is an honor that words cannot describe." Shenlong takes the painting and you turn to Bao, rather embarassed. "Sorry, I guess compared to that my next gift isn't really that much." You say as you pull the fan you bought and painted for her out of your bag. "But I got you this and painted it myself."Bao takes the fan and opens it up. "Oh you shouldn't have." She says happily as she obscures her face. Closing it she taps your nose with it. "And that's nonsense. It's just as good. Just because it's not in a fancy case doesn't diminish the intent behind it. Thank you." She says.You look at the sky, the sun now past noon and just beginning it's decent. "It's getting late for you, isn't it?""Yes." Bao says gently. "We have to go but you already know that we're never truly gone.""Yeah...""Plus...there's always next year." She says."Indeed. I am interested in what the new year will bring. And I am curious of exploring this concept of...food once more." Shenlong adds."I'll look forward to it." You say looking down back at the two. "To next year." You say handing Bao the orb you bought. She takes it and looks amused. "To next year." Bao and Shenlong repeat. The two bid their farewells and turn to leave. Just as they arrived, it takes you a few seconds to realize that they were no longer there.>What do you do now?>Go back to the festival. Enjoy the celebrations a bit more before the town gathering for prayer and then the community feast.>Go somewhere else and prepare for the fireworks of the night. You've had enough for the crowds for today.>You still have your other friends to spend the day with. Find other ways to commemorate this day.>Write in.
>>4767593>Ask the others what they'd like to doIf nobody comes up with anything they want to do, I suspect we should get a nice place set up for watching the fireworks. Spend some time playing Go or cards perhaps.I'd have suggested a friendly spar but Ming would kick our asses.
>>4765877Trying to draw this collage, put everyone on the festival clothes Ming got us and use the rooftop as background instead of a street.Just finished Tai Lung. Sorry for the relative low quality, I'm not an artist, I edited memes.
Should have updated the site before posting.>>4767593Ah shit we didn't give him our gag gift.>Go somewhere else and prepare for the fireworks of the night. You've had enough for the crowds for today.Normally I would join in the prayer, but we already communed with with spirits enough on our daily basis.
>>4767662It's cool enough for me man.And we did give him his Gag gift.>You say handing Bao the orb you bought. She takes it and looks amused
>>4767708Thanks my dude.I was rereading the wrong part looking for it.Anyway, Renshu next.
>>4767624>>4767664Taking these. Writing.
Now I must desecrate artanon works.A unfortunate sacrifice.
You turn to your friends. "What do you want to do now?" You ask. "I could go for a nice long nap." Xin Lan asks leaping into Renshu's arms. The larger rabbit chuckles and pets their younger sibling. "I think I've had my fill of food as well." He says. "Parhaps something less intensive would be a good idea.""I want to go buy some souvenirs." Ming says. "We've been so busy with everything that I forgot to buy something to remember this by.""Wait, you didn't get us presents?!" Xin Lan asks."You're wearing your present." Ming says poking Xin Lan's belly."A quick venture to the trader camps wouldn't do us any harm." Hien says. "Perhaps we should find somewhere to relax, away from the crowds.""An excellent idea." Renshu agrees. "We do have, after all, our own celebrations and gift givings to give tonight. And I'll need sometime to prepare dinner as well.""More food?" Xin Lan groans. "I'm already full...""I have complete confidence that you'll recover small one." Renshu says. "In any case, I shall go and gather my things. Shall we meet up at the inn after Ming's shopping?""Sounds good to me." Ming says. "It shouldn't take long. I just want something small. Like a figurine. It won't take too long.""I'm gonna go with Stripes." Xin Lan says. "Think I've had enough of crowds for now.""I shall acompany Tai Lung and Ming." Hien says. You pick up Ming and the 5 of you go your seperate ways. The streets were as crowded as ever as you all nagivate and even seem to get more so as you approach the traders. Shouts of sales and other wares being sold reach your ears as you push through the crowds and make way for your friends. You travel from trader to trader as you browse various wares. Unlike the previous traders you interacted with, these were not selling essencial or useful products. No food or seeds. No clothing or tools. Instead their carts are full of festival items. Small fire crackers for children to throw, dolls and wooden figures of China's most prominent figures. You not that you don't really see a figure of Hien anywhere but there are dozens of his sister. Much to your surprise, you see what vaugely looks like a figure of a snow leopard which also catches Ming's eye."Who's this?" Ming asks as she kneels over to point to it."Ah, that's jess some hero they've been talkin' about in the next city. Sumthin' about him and a few others chasing off tha mob." The trader says as he picks his teeth with a claw. He shrugs, "I dunno much but seems like he's a folk hero there. Figured I'd buy a few and see if I can resell em. Got the rest of the set if you want em'. Not many people do."
"Yes please." Ming says, amusement in her voice. The trader gets to his feet and hops into his cart. A few moments later, he brings out more figures which all bore a slight resemblance to your friends. "These are the rest. Don't really recognize em' but they'll all pretty popular in the city. Maybe it'll spread. Dunno...""I'll take the set." Ming giggles as she pays the man and takes the figures. She sticks her tongue out at you as she wiggles the figure that looks like you. "I got what I wanted." She says amused. "If you guys don't want anything. Do you want to head back." You shrug. You had done all your shopping a few days prior and didn't feel the need for momentos. Hien shakes his head as well and the three of you head back to the inn. The streets in this part of town were rather empty which gave you all breathe of fresh air as you could walk without having to fight the crowds. You find Renshu and Xin Lan waiting for you at the front of the inn."I was thinking we could spend the rest of the day in the woods." Renshu says. "Far away from the crowds. It'd give us some privacy and it is said that New Years is best spent with those closest to you.">What do you say?>Agree to go and set up for the fireworks in the woods.>Say you had somewhere else in mind? (Where?)>What do you do to pass the time?>write in.
>>4767883>Agree, but perhaps find a hill or something so we have a good view of the fireworks.>Play a few games of Go and such, just enjoy the company of our friends.When renshu is cooking, I think we should spend the time talking with him. Not touch anything, heavens no, but just with Renshu. It'd mean a lot to him I think.
>>4767896That's good, but don't forget Xin is also with us.So that means it's also a family bonding time.
>>4767918Bonding time is before the cooking
Sounds good. What do you want to talk about?
>>4767965With Renshu, I feel like something light is in order.Maybe first on why they like to cook, maybe dream up a few plans for that house we talked about building. Gotta collect ideas.Oh, and what did they think of us inviting a god to a festival?
>>4767965If he is feeling alright, if he has enjoyed the night so far.i thought about trying to tease how Xin looked like a child clinging to him, but it can be in poor taste.Anyway, here's Ming. Now the worst part is Bao, Hien and Shenlong, because I will have to change their positions.
>>4768034>>4767853>>4767766Doin alright so far my man. This shit be cash.
>>4767896>>4767985Back from food. one last write up for the night. Writing.
Here's Hien.it 's a harder because All I could salvage from the pic was the arms and the head shape, had to do the rest of the body and the face from scratch.Also I was going to paint the dragon that ran through the shirt's side, but than I realized he was looking like captain Picard and I changed my mind.
>>4768276Guess who is the idiot that forgot to draw the tail?
>>4768281Ok, now here's Hien dressed he should be.
"Not a bad plan." You say. "I doubt anyone will be in the woods today." "A nice meal in the forest sounds lovely now that we don't have to be afraid of someone trying to murder us." Ming admits."Who's afraid? Not like anyone alive could touch us." Xin Lan says."Overconfidence does not suit you." Renshu says poking Xin Lan in the head who grumbles in return. You all make your way towards the woods and to the familiar place you all know. The sounds of the fesitval fade away as the trees grow denser. Soon only the sounds of nature can be heard and you all find your way to the training area you had set up long ago. As you walk into the clearing, everyone begins to go their own ways, fall back on their own habits. You soon find yourself gathering wood as always while Ming begins to set up camp. "We can camp out here for the night!" She says excitedly. "I'll be just like when I was little and I'd camp up under the stars with my friends. We'd tell stories and stuff."You all shrug and agree. It was a nice day out and looked to be the same for the night. Why not spend it out in the quiet nature for the last day of the New Year? You set the pile of wood in the fire pit Renshu made and light it. Warm flames crackle to life and with your chores done, you lay on your back and rest. "You sure you wanna be that close to the food?" Xin Lan teases as they balance on one of the poles. "Maybe you should nap for a while. You ate the most out of us all." You reply. "Good idea." Xin Lan says flipping to the ground and relaxing against the balance pole. They yawn and cover their eyes with their ears. "Wake me up when the food is ready." They say before snoozing. You go back to watching the afternoon sky and looking at the clouds float by. Eventually you start to crave something a bit more stimulating so you sit up and turn to face Renshu who at the moment was grinding was looked like small seeds into a powder. "How'd you get into cooking anyways?" You ask."I just found it to be relaxing." Renshu says as they continue to grind. "The repetition in following instructions, the creation of something unique and beautiful from the destruction of other things. It helps me keep focused and relaxed. Perhaps such things help me keep away from undesirable thoughts." He says. [Of course, that's simply me lying to myself.] He adds in your mind. "Still, if I hadn't learned to cook I'm betting the Xin Lan would have starved long ago. Simply can't cook at all. There is also something to be said about rituals. Japan is rather fond of them though I suppose China is no different in that regard. I guess it simply became a habit that I cooked and it's not one I'd been keen to leave behind. I suppose there's even some things I can take pride in."
"You ever think about opening a restaurant?" You ask. "You're quite good at it.""You mean settle down?" He asks. "Such a thought had never crossed my mind before. I never thought it possible to stop living the way I do. However, now that might be a possibility." He muses. "I think I would rather live away from the public however, I find some degree of privacy much more inviting than living in a town or city serving customers.""Oh yeah? You've been giving the house idea some thought? You know it's a dangerous game to indulge in Xin's ideas right?" You say."I think it's a risk we might have to take." Renshu says smiling. "A nice home to settle down and no longer worry about the trappings of life seems pleasant.""What kind of house would we even build?" You ask. "Knowing Xin, they'd probably want it made all out of gems or gold or something.""Something comfortable." Renshu says simply. "A few bedrooms, a kitchen, perhaps a small room for which to gather and read...maybe a garden." He adds. "I feel like that would be rather enjoyable.""Is that you saying it or you lying to yourself?" You ask."A bit of both I presume, but I think I would enjoy planting and watching things grow. At least something that isn't specifically designed to kill and lives off of water." He says placing a pot over the flames to boil water. "So many ingredients we eat are plants. Having a garden would make us more self sufficient to a certain degree.""Think we could grow some trees?" You ask."Fruit trees? I don't see why not. There are some preserves that can be made with fruits and those are always a nice light snack. Well, I guess it would really come down where we would build our home." Renshu admits. "And if there is farmable land.""We could bring soil from other places." You say. "Wouldn't that help?""For smaller plants yes, but for trees it'd be much easier to have the soil already there?""Well, we could live in a forest." You say looking around you. "We already pretty much do that already. All we'd have to do is build a house and not many people would go through it.""I would rather not." Renshu admits. "Too many trees. I would like somewhere with sightlines. Perhaps it is old habits but I would also like our home to be easily defendable.""The what would you reccomend?" You ask. Renshu smiles. "Against everything I have said...I'd love to live on the beach." He admits. There's something else he leaves unsaid but you decide not to press him on it.>What do you ask him about now? (We'll get to the shenlong and how he's feeling. I still counted those don't worry.)>Write in.
>>4768509>What about Eureka? It’s got all the peace anyone could ever want, good neighbors, and beaches overlooking a golden sea. I hear the health benefits of living there are to die for.
>>4768564But anon, the commune is murder!I'd say perhaps recommend half way up a mountain.
>>4768509>Not so sure about a beach, not exactly something defensible, and the salt water is hell on the fur. How about a mountain surronded by a forest? We can cultivate fruit trees nearby the base, use the soil for a small garden around the house. If it was at the source of a small river, we would have easy acess to clean water, and perhaps a nice waterfall too. It would also make it easier for to commune with Shenlong and Bao if we build a small shrine due to the proximity to the sky and woods. Although I may be biased to towards living in a montain hall.
>>4768852Ignore the thing about it not being defencible, Renshu already commented on that. Also we can say that we can use the stair, steps and any bridges as training too, specially for Ming if she decides to stay with us.And don't think I don't see what you are doing boss, trying to push us towards a place that the cap can easily visit Ming, and give us an excuse to fight in the pirate arc you were planning.
Here's Shenlong in his humanoid form.Bao is next, and she will probably be the hardest, I don't think I can salvage anything of the reference pictures to maintain even a impression of a cohesive perspective.
Post Bao as she is in case I fuck up the hair.
>>4768992>>4769732For some reason, I keep seeing Shenling as Bruce lee or a wife beater, and I dont know which is funnier.
>>4769751The shirt kept reminding me of an addidas tracksuit because of the line that run by the side.But I know for sure that the pants and shoes are traditional chinese clothing, I vividly remember seeing something like it in a old kung fu b movie.
Been pretty busy today so I've not been able to post. I'll pick up the write up tomorrow. Looks like so far the suggestions are the spirit realm and a mountain.
>>4769788Where else to live?
>>4769805I dunno...an island? Although Xin would never like that. Ocean is evil, man.
>>4769815I think they would kill us if we put a moat around our home.Such betrayal would not go unpunished.
>>4769822There will be a very angry bun hiding under the bed, swiping at your ankles.
>>4769805There's still the desert, the steppes, plains, at a riverside, in the snow or inside a cave.Although for some of those suggestion we would need to leave China.
Here's Bao with hair.Now I need to try and draw that weird hat.
And now she hair the hat mask thing.Also just realized that since that I drew Bao from scratch, she is in a different perceptive, wearing different clothes, has a different eye colour and is another animal from the reference picture (It looks more like a wolf than a cat), that this counts as an original work.I have become a furry artist, may God have mercy on my soul.
>>4769942Your soul has been marked. Yanlouwang will judge you.
>>4769942Now start raking in the big bucks.But nice job man, really.
Wasn't feeling like drawing a whole ass dragon just to make him transparent in the background, so I decided to do something a bit different, but still in the same spirit.Next is to draw that fancy frame Shenlong magic'd up.
>>4770102Without sarcasm or exaggeration, that's actually made me smile Anon. Love this quest man, best one on the board with Lieren coming second.
>>4770102Damn anon, that's really awesome! I love the constelation as a dragon. That's pretty creative.
Now here's it framed.>>4770126>>4770124Thanks! I agree, this is the best quest on the site, with both primarch quests coming right behind.
>>4770247I had fucked up the proportion on the sides.So here's the fix.
>>4770282Holy shit my guy. That's amazing.>>4770247 >>4770124D'aww I don't know about best quest but I'll take the compliment.
>>4771405Slow day today. And we're already on page 3 with only 200 posts. Doing pretty good. Better get to writing.
>>4771698I was waiting on an updated boss.There are only so many times you can say thanks or compliment someone before it starts looking disengenous.But fuck it, thanks. And this is really the best quest, it has a lot of variety, from fights, strategies, intrigue, politics, wholesome moments, drama, travelling, self-discovery, etc, all wrapped up in some very good writing and chill anons, that are willing to discuss, propose write-ins and make jokes.Although the votes are mainly just me and two other guys, I know there are at least 3 other anons that pop up from time to time, and they are cool too.
>>4771732Oh I didn't mean about compliments. Usually there's some discussion about game stuff aside from joking and art. Like plans for the team or about the house idea. Though summer is soon upon us and that either means more work for some or having to deal with people put of class. I'd add summer vacation and trips but not in this pandemic.
>>4771732Much the same. It's nice having about 406 posters, as I think has been mentioned before in the past.And while I could have started a discussion on refining that spirit technique, it just didn't feel like the sort of thing we should be doing on our break time.
>>4771750Talking about the house, I realised something the other day, the house complex I drew was basically a fusion of the chinese fortified town center from Age of Mythology and a maxed out Noble Estate from Emperor:Rise of the middle Kingdom. No wonder why I was picturing it so clearly on my mind.I think I'm going to redraw it, put it on a moutain side, with a river spring and waterfall, change the place of the buildings, add a small field for farming and a path going down.
“What about Eureka? It’s got all the peace anyone could ever want, good neighbors, and beaches overlooking a golden. I hear the health benefits of living there are to die for.” You say. Renshu gives you an amused look.“While I’m certainly willing to die for you, I don’t think Xin Lan would approve nor would I be allowed to bask in the glory of that land.” He says. “And while all of China would be glad to be rid of us, there is one person who would be most displeased.” He adds looking at Ming who was currently locked in what seemed to be a heated game of chess with Hien. “I’m afraid we can’t die until Ming gives us permission unless we wish to upset her.” Renshu says laughing as he pulls a knife out to chop ingredients. You give a good natured grunt at that. “Well then what about a mountain? We can plant fruit trees at the base in the forest. If we find a river or waterfall that means fresh water. We can also build a small shrine to Shenlong considering the proximity to the sky and forest. We can also bring soil up to plant our own garden up the mountain as well. Although I could be biased from living in the Jade Palace for so long.”“A mountain would certainly offer up the privacy we would want.” Renshu says as he drops his chopped veggies into the boiling pot. “Although perhaps part of you still wants to relive tales of ancient masters living up in the mountains.” He teases. “At any rate, it will be Xin Lan who will have to carry his precious materials up the mountain. I will be content with wood and stone.”You laugh. “Still, it would be a nice place to have and just relax. Maybe invite our friends without them being worried about harassment.” You say as you shift your sitting position a bit. “You have to admit, we have some high profile friends.”“That is true.” Renshu says. “Not many people can invite a literal God to New Years.”“Surprised?” You ask. “Of course.” Renshu says. “And at the same time no. If anyone could have done it, it would have been you. Though to actually see it was another thing entirely.”
“Well I was surprised myself to be honest. I only really asked since I was asking Bao to join us but I figured I’d make the offer. I’m glad Shenlong enjoyed himself. Not sure what would have happened if he didn’t.” You admit. “Let us be glad that it ended up the way it did.” Renshu says. “Speaking of which…” you say before pausing. You did not know how you wanted to phrase it. You think for a moment but with nothing coming to mind, you simply ask outright, “How are you feeling?”“I feel fine.” Renshu admits but you know he’s lying to some extent.“But…” You urge him onwards.“Nothing I wish to speak about.” He says. “Rest assured that I feel better. There are a few things I wish to ruminate on my own before I ask for help.” He admits. “Right now I simply wish to enjoy the holiday with everyone.”>What do you say?>Tell Renshu to tell you what’s on his mind.>Try and read Renshu’s thoughts.>Leave him be and go speak with someone else.>Write in
>>4771828>"If you're sure Renshu. And you know that you can ask for help whenever.">Go take a look at the chess matchAnd back to being uncertain about the gender of one of the buns. God damnit.Anyway, lets just not try and read his thoughts, that's a gross invasion of privacy and breech of trust.
>>4771828>If you say that you are feeling better, than it's all I needed to hear. But remember that this freedom it's a continous path, we can fall to our own shackles again if we don't stay wary.>Go see if Xin is really sleeping or faking it. Hard to tell with them when they want to maks something.
>>4771845Sure we can check. But if they are actually asleep, let them be.
>>4771860Of course, everyone deserves a nap.Except us, everytime we sleep something goes down, therefore if we never sleep nothing bad will happen.
>>4771899Seems legit. But that's also mostly when we get KO'd
>>4771844>>4771845Taking these. Writing.
"If you say you're feeling better then that's all I needed to hear. But remember that this freedom it's a continous path, we can fall to our own shackles again if we don't stay wary. You can always ask for help." You say as you get up."I know." Renshu says. "And I will should I ever need it or feel myself falter." You nod and make your way towards Ming and Hien only stopping to check on Xin Lan. You tower over the small rabbit and your shadow envelops their sleeping. You could never really read the smaller rabbit and you wonder if they were truly asleep or if they were only pretending. Despite how much of a heavy sleeper they pretended to be, Xin Lan always seem to awake at a moment's notice like their older brother. They never snored nor made any noise you'd associate with sleeping. Frankly, you wouldn't be surprised if neither rabbit actually slept. You crouch and wave your hand infront of their face. They don't react. You're half tempted to lift one of their ears over their eyes but decide to leave them be in the event that they really are napping. With your curiosity unsatisfied you move over to your other friends and sit next to them to watch.The game looked...evenly matched? You were never one for high level chess. It takes you a second before you realize you don't understand what's going on at all. This wasn't game you ever saw. The board was a set up in nine by nine squares with small tiles on each one. On each tile was a strange symbol, some red, some black. Both your friends were staring intently at the board as if trying to discern some kind of hidden meaning from within it until eventually Ming picks up a tile with her pointer finger and middle finger. You find that to be strange but it seems to be part of the game as Hien does the same. The two stare at the board for a bit longer before Ming ultimately sighs and flops on her back. "So you surrender?" Hien asks with a small smile. Ming let's out an annoyed grunt that you take to be an afrimative. "What are you playing?" You ask as you gently pick up a tile. It seemed to be made of regular wood but from the way they were handled, you'd have guess it was far more fragile than they seemed."将棋 (Shogi) or Japan's version of chess." Hien explains as he resets the board. "The Game of Generals as it's also known. A recent aquisition of Ming's and a testament to her genius." He chuckles. "Only 4 games in and she's already pushing me to my limits. Though I must admit my knowledge of the game and it's tactics is limited to the few times I've played with diplomats." You eye Ming who was quietly staring at the clouds, no doubt that she was replaying the game in her head and trying to figure out what to do next game. Flipping the tile, you notice that the red symbol is on the other side and as you study both sides it hits you. "Wait...Ming you understand this?" You ask.
Ming sits up and shakes her head. "Not really. I mean, I memorized what each tile is and represents. I assume the symbol on the tile is the name of the piece." She takes the tile from your hand. "See, this is the lancer. This tile can only go forward but it can travel as far as it can until it's blocked by another tile.""So then what's with the different colors?" You ask."When a tile reaches the other half of the board, you can promote it. It learns knew ways to move and sometimes it loses it's old pattern of movement when promoted." She explains as she places the tile on the board."There is strategy in knowing when to promote a unit." Hien says. "Much like in real life, promotion does not always suit a warrior even if their prowess is great. You must learn to read the board, know what to move and what to sacrifice. Whethere or not to promote a unit and how to corner the opponent's king.""Sounds complex." You admit as you look at Ming. "And you learned this in 4 games?""Not all of it." Ming says bashfully. "Just the basics." Hien laughs. "Modesty is it's own reward as they say.""Do you want to play?" Ming asks.>What do you say?>Pass on the change of playing with the two but say you'll be fine watching and trying to learn that way.>Agree to play. Learning by doing is a method. (Who do you play against?) >Agree to play with the two but ask if there is another game you an try. Something you know better. You don't want to water down their fun with your own inexperience.>Write in.
>>4772141>Pass on the change of playing with the two but say you'll be fine watching and trying to learn that way.
>>4772141>Pass but learn by watching, and occasionally asking questions.
>>4772214>>4772334>>4772669>>4772771Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the realization that you should have napped with the smaller bun because Ming will absolutely destroy you in any board game. We'll pass and just watch. Writing.
>>4773571>Napping with the bun.I not keen on waking up to a siege from the rest of the nomads and their traitorous backers seeking revenge on us and Taishi for ruining their plans.
>>4773650Nor am I so inclined to find the peacocks cannons have found their ways in hand held form to the apparently not extinct ninja clan which produced Xin and Renshu and appeared to kill them both.
>>4773650>>4773667Well congrats. Now that's gonna happen. Didn't even think of that but now you've gone and given me ideas.
>>4773678I'll be real with you, I love the idea of a peacock samurai or such.Like when but more martially active. I think it could he sweet
>>4773726No peacock samurai please, L5R has a whole clan of the fuckers.Now gun totting ninjas on the other hand, that would be interesting.
"No thanks. I'll just watch." You say. "I don't think I'd prove much a threat to Ming...unless I threaten her with extra exercise." You chuckle. Ming sticks her tongue out at you and finishes setting up the board. You spend the new few games watching the two move peices here and there, taking one's peices and even managing to put some back. You're not really sure was winning or losing but you think you can get a gist of who was in the lead based on the number of peices left on the board. At least until one of the two pulls a come from behind win by positioning their own peices in an unexpected way. Despite having no real idea of what's going on, watching the game is surprisingly entertaining with the ebb and flow of the game.After the 5 or 6th game, the smell of food begins to fill the air. You turn to check on the status of the meal to see Renshu stirring the pot gently. Xin Lan's nose twitches and they lift their ears to attention and gets up. "Food." They say quietly as they sit and lean against their brother. Renshu pets their head and sprinkles some salt. "Dinner is ready." He calls out and starts to serve the soup into some bowls. You and the others leave the game unfinished and hurry over to get some hot food. As you arrive, Renshu is placing bread into the soup to soften them up. The soup itself is a rich brown and smells faintly of pepper. Finely chopped veggies and egg float around in the broth. Renshu lifts the full pot with one hand and moves it to an empty patch of dirt then moves a few sticks with vegetables skewered on it to cook over the flames. You all sit down and eagerly take a bowl. "Food." Xin Lan says again, this time with more gusto, as they dig in happily. You raise the bowl to your lips for a sip of the broth. It's pleasantly smooth and slightly salty. You lower the bowl and take a bite of the veggies. They're nice and cooked but still crisp to give the soup some texture. Your friends all emite sounds of contentment as they also dig in and soon you're all immersed in the meal. >What do you do?>Strike up a conversation with the group. >Speak with a single person near you.>Say nothing and enjoy the meal in silence.>Write in.
>>4773767>L5R has a whole clan of the fuckersWhere do you think I learned to love the idea?>>4773769>Ask Hien how he's liking a more subdued new years >Strike up a conversation with the group, Reminisce on how far we have come within a year. And how much more we can do with the new one.
>>4773769>So how have you all been enjoying this New Years? I personally feel the celebration has been much more enjoyable now that I things that are actually worth commemorating, and people to share it with.>And I apologise for not telling the identity of my friends ahead of time, but after seeing how flustered Ming became about the proper decorum when she met Hien, it was too good of a prank to pass up.>Renshu and I have been discussing a bit about giving Xin's idea for a house a shot after this pilgramage of ours. I was thinking of settling on a forested mountain with a spring, while he prefered a beachfront property, anyone else has an opinion or ideas?>>4773778Monkey is the best clan the Crab are overrated
>>4773889Good questions, but I think we should rephrase it from "too good a prank" to "Too good a suprise" to pass up.And nah, Dragon clan is great with Crane clan having the Kakita family to redeem it from being utterly rubbish
>>4773898Yes, surprise is way better.The only acceptable way to play a Dragon is to roleplay as the ikko-ikki and be a secret rebel.>Kakitaimagine being from the hypocritical clan that is descended from a ronin and having the gall to act like the superior to other. You can't write laws that look down on them but give a free pass to your husband, Lady Doji, you inbred bitch
>>4773778>>4773889Can't celebrate the new years without chatter. Writing.
>>4773925I just had fun by making a dragon who got hostage'd to the Kakita and learned their style of sword play, then made a Kakita who got Hostaged to Mirumoto and did the same. I do this to annoy absolutely everyone I possibly can, because it amuses me.>>4773938What sort of new year is it without drinks, food and fine company?
>>4773965Uhh...m-my new years....
>>4773996Well I suppose fasting is a choice, and you may not get very many visitors in that library of yours. But a merry one indeed with people whom you enjoy spending time with.Shame that most of the people I know are introverts who only appear out of social obligation.
>>4773996Hey, Corona fucked everything for everyone, not much that can be done.>>4773965In that case it becomes way more than acceptable. Pissing people off is a respectable tradition of swordsman, as proven by our brother's master
You enjoy the food for a bit longer before speaking up. "So how have you all been enjoying this New Years? I personally feel the celebration has been much more enjoyable now that I things that are actually worth commemorating, and people to share it with.""Food." Xin Lan replies contently and you wonder if they're eating while sleeping. Renshu pokes their nose in response. "I mean...this is the only New Years I know so techinically it's the best one ever. Good job big guy." They say grabbing a cup and pouring a drink from a small keg. "It's been the most active New Years I've had." Ming says as she chews on her bread. "Even in Soknan, I only really wandered around for a few hours before I went back home and ate my meal. Never been part of a show or enjoyed a cooking competition.""It certainly was a change of pace." Hien admits. "What's a celebration in the Forbidden Palace like?" You ask. "Alot bigger and busier." Hien admits. "But not as fun. Feasts and adulation. Tons of people coming to see us. But less freedom. There's rules and regulations. Social contracts and rituals. It's a maze of etiquette and there's not much room to enjoy the holiday. The food is always amazing and the entertainment just as well. But when you have to restrict yourself for keep face, a lot of the joy is lost.""You should run away with us." Xin Lan says as they reach for a vegetable skewer before their hand is batted aside by Renshu. Rubbing his hand, he adds, "It's life on the road. No one to tell us what to do besides Ming. And you don't gotta hide anything. You already have us two. Nothing you could have done could be worse so you can be yourself.""Perhaps some time away from the palace would help you." Renshu admits. "When one is forced to take a role...they become accustomed to it. They use it to shield themselves and soon, they forget what it was like to have been before that. Some time away from that atmosphere might help you come to terms with you who really want to be and perhaps once you know it will serve as a guide. You may never ascend to the throne but there will always be people who look to you for guidance. One cannot hope to do so without knowing what guides themself.""You have a lot of responsiblity." Ming says. "Maybe you should take some time off while you don't have any positions to fill. It sounds like you had your life planned out for you.">What do you say? Do you invite the young Lord or do you give him some advice?>Write in.
>>4774127Didn't we already have this talk around the time we fought Tigress?
>>4774127>Your life is your own, Hien. Never forget that. What you do with it, and how you live it, is always yours to choose. Whether you adopt a facade to help people through politics, or become a wandering swordsman and hero of the people who brings down all who threaten his people with his own arms, just make sure that you're content with whatever path you take. Live the kind of life that will leave you without regrets.
>>4774189I think so, but if I recall correctly, your friends weren't there or part of that conversation. That or it was an out of character thing. Sorry if it's a repeat.
>>4774127>As I said before, I would welcome you into our group with open arms, and I still believe that travelling through China with a hidden identity has given me a new perspective in life that I needed. So much so that at this point reaching the pools is more of a symbolic end than a real need.>But we still have that whole mess with the raiders, and I believe that this seties of attacks is the beggining of something bigger. By what you tell of the palace, it's seem you are the only one if a cool head that could stop a barbaric act to befall them in retribution, instead of actual justice. Not only that but the scrolls have to be delivered and someone must investigate who leaked the knowledge of the scroll to this nomads with a vendetta, and a trusted priest of the imperial family has to be dispached to the [village with library name] to properly put their souls at rest, or atleast honour their loyaty and sacrifice>I know that it all sounds hypocritical coming from the man that told you that you shouldn't sacrifice your soul for the good of China, but I have doubts that the five will be able to maneuver through all the politics of the palace without help, especially after what happened with Tigress.>But who knows, maybe in the library we will find that the pools are at the other side of China and we will have enough time for you to rejoin us. One way or the other, I will try and keep contact with you, just like I have done with my father.
"Your life is your own, Hien. Never forget that. What you do with it, and how you live it, is always yours to choose. Whether you adopt a facade to help people through politics, or become a wandering swordsman and hero of the people who brings down all who threaten his people with his own arms, just make sure that you're content with whatever path you take. Live the kind of life that will leave you without regrets." You say. "As I said before, I would welcome you into our group with open arms, and I still believe that travelling through China with a hidden identity has given me a new perspective in life that I needed. So much so that at this point reaching the pools is more of a symbolic end than a real need. But we still have that whole mess with the raiders, and I believe that this seties of attacks is the beggining of something bigger. By what you tell of the palace, it's seem you are the only one if a cool head that could stop a barbaric act to befall them in retribution, instead of actual justice. Not only that but the scrolls have to be delivered and someone must investigate who leaked the knowledge of the scroll to this nomads with a vendetta, and a trusted priest of the imperial family has to be dispached to Yunnan to properly put their souls at rest, or atleast honour their loyaty and sacrifice.""I'm afraid you vastly over estimate the ammount of influence I weild, my friend." Hien says. "I have no influence over the decisions of the courts. At best I could provide testimony and only add to their crimes. Furthermore, they're war criminals Tai Lung. They threatened not only the stability of the country with their plan but the lives of the royal family. Even with we were to not assume that was their intent with the scrolls and they were merely pillaging, they have the destrcution of several cities to answer for. By techinically they tried to murder me and in itself is a crime, though to be honest I doubt that will be applied given all they will be done. I apologize but I fear you ask too much of someone in my position. Sister or not, I cannot argue against her word once she has made a decision. She is the Empress and her word is final.""I dunno about this being something bigger." Xin Lan says as they twirl a spoon between their fingers. "Yeah they knew the locations of the scrolls but...I dunno. What would the end goal be? China's royalty would be dead and the country in chaos. Then what?""They would take over." You suggest. "They had an army. If things when as they planned, not many people would stop them."
"See that's the thing though." Xin Lan says. "They were completely surprised by us. Not just us but the Five. There's a reason why even our people didn't just off the royal family besides there wouldn't be anyone who could afford it and we didn't know everyone in the tree. There's too much planning involved, too many things to consider. If the plan was to somehow throw China into chaos by murdering the royal family then they'd call an entire army upon them. No way the nobility, as lazy as some may be, would sit around and let that slide. As Hien said, she's the Empress. Not only that but there's always someone to take over. They'd have to basically kill everyone in a position of power." They shake their head. "What I'm getting at is that things don't add up. They knew of the scrolls but they didn't know about The Five? Our group makes sense. We've done a decent job of keeping low but the Five? You'd think they'd plan for that.""But we did take them by surprise. Maybe they did have a plan but didn't have time to enact it?" Ming asks."Maybe...they just seemed really ill prepared for what was meant to be an secret invasion force. It does nag me that they knew of the scrolls but that begs the question. Who'd tell 'em? Who'd be dumb enough to sell their own country out? If someone is smart enough to convince a bunch of forgeiners of the country secrets, then they'd know they'd be next on that hit list. No way the raiders would have let that guy live and if they failed, like they did now, and someone talked about their source of information? They'd be in the same position. Looking from the opposite perspective, what could they have to gain? At best, they'd get the throne right? Even if the guy could take the throne without someone pointing out the obvious fact this consiprator had no reason to be on the throne, do you really think the raiders would simply hand over an entire country to him?""Then how do you think the raiders came across the information?" Hien asks."I have no clue." Xin Lan admits. "Those scrolls were something we would have killed for but the only location we knew that could contain them was the Forbidden Palace. So someone had to tell them. It's the only answer but who and why I cannot say. However, I just can't see the end game to that plan? Did they intend to have them get caught? Did they intend for them to succeed?"
"And therein lies the problem with consipracies." Renshu says. "And our greatest asset. You'll never know. Your own logic works against you and you simply run around in circles. We're not logical creatures and to attempt to divine such quandries from the minds of other men is simply an exercise in futility. The raiders have been stopped and their plans foiled. The scrolls are safe with us and the culprits to be delivered to face justice. These are the immutable facts as we should rest easy knowing we've done our part to save the royal family. If the raiders do have coconspirators then they have no way to contact them now nor would the imperial guard allow them to do so knowing their crimes. The plans cannot proceed further.""Maybe..." You admit. "I would still like to know how they came across that information.""We may never know and that is ok." Renshu says gently. "Such is life and we cannot cling to the what ifs. Nothing good will come from chasing shadows and paranoia."You sigh, "I know that it all sounds hypocritical coming from the man that told you that you shouldn't sacrifice your soul for the good of China, but I have doubts that the five will be able to maneuver through all the politics of the palace without help, especially after what happened with Tigress." You tell Hien uncertainly. "But who knows, maybe in the library we will find that the pools are at the other side of China and we will have enough time for you to rejoin us. One way or the other, I will try and keep contact with you, just like I have done with my father.""I...see." Hien says. "Yes, I would like that though I might be unable to write back." He says. "Though I must ask...when do you plan to depart?">What do you say?>Say you'll leave the day after the festival. As nice as it is here, it's best you don't stay too long or you might just end up living here.>Say that you'll be here for a few more weeks. You could do with some more time off.>Say that it'll be a while. You've grown fond of the town and you really want to live...well normally for a while.>Write in.
>>4774455>Say you'll leave the day after the festival. As nice as it is here, it's best you don't stay too long or you might just end up living here.Adventure waits! Also we have nearly spent around half of the threads here, if we don't get a move on it will become Taishi quest.And I don't know, the raider leader talked a lot about not failing their people and duty, this is probably just a smaller part of a possible real invasion force, they probably were meant to get the scrolls back to their people or at the hands of their coconspirators, we only discovered they had it because of magic bullshit.And of course there is the possibily that one of the people in that list is the one that sold it out, as a way to remove people ahead of them in sucession, was a traitor or nomad sympathiser all along, simply had a vendetta against China or the Imperial family, or the most conspiracy theory possible, soneone that wanted conflict thinking it would strengthen China or the Imperial line.
>>4774455>Say you'll leave the day after the festival. As nice as it is here, it's best you don't stay too long or you might just end up living here.Time to move on. We did what we need and want here but the pools wont find itself
>>4774455>The day afterWe bid our goodbyes and get back on the road. We've made a home here but it's time to get walking.
See while I understand the temptation to stay and take stock, if we do then we shall stagnate and grow complacent. Which is not what we should be doing, better we keep walking our roads than grow rusty and worthless.
>>4774495>>4774543>>4774714We're retiring. Hien can find us in Taishi-...no wait we're still on the move. We leave after the festival! Writing.
"The day after the festival." You say. "As much as I would love to spend more time here, we have our own goals and I don't think any of us are ready to settle down just yet.""Speak for yourself." Xin Lan says. "I'm already married and town has good food. I'm all set to settle down and I'll be damned if my husband wants to go on some crazy journey." You flick a small rock at the rabbit which they deftly deflect."Protests aside, it wouldn't feel right to stop now. It'd feel like we've given up even after all we've accomplished." You explain."Ahh, we haven't done that much." Xin Lan says. "We just stopped a dragon's curse, saved two cities from massive evils, freed a town from a faulty magic circle, raised my brother from the dead, went to hell, saved a couple from a power mad mother, stopped an army, saved a noble, befriended a dragon, had tons of food for new years. You know, regular stuff.""Right, I'll be sure to remind you all to try harder." Ming says amused as she serves herself more food and Renshu places a veggetable skewer on her bowl. "Maybe next time we might even be able to do something worth while."You snort, "Perhaps but I'm proud of us for all we've done. Even if we didn't do things of that magnitude, if we ended up being the people we are today then I would still be proud. Although on the topic of dragons, I apologise for not telling the identity of my friends ahead of time, but after seeing how flustered Ming became about the proper decorum when she met Hien, it was too good of a surprise to pass." You say with a laugh.Ming smacks your arm with her spoon. "If you keep bringing up those surprises then I really will throw you out a window. That or I'll douse your meals in so many spices you won't be able to taste anything for a month.""Don't make her mad big guy. She really will do it." Xin Lan jokes. "I'll make sure that next time you're surprised, it can't be traced back to me." You promise. Ming just stares at you grumpily. "Though somehow that reminds me of something else." You admit. "Renshu and I have been talking about Xin's idea for a house. I was thinking we could build on a mountain side with a spring but Renshu says he prefered somewhere on a beach.""No beaches." Xin Lan says. "The ocean is evil and I refuse to live near it." Renshu gently lifts Xin Lan and sits them on his lap. "The ocean is not evil, grumpy one." He says gently as he strokes Xin Lan's ears. Xin Lan wiggles a bit but seems to settle down even if their nose twitches grumpily. "And it's a rather beautiful location if you think about it. Where else will you hide your treasures?"
"I don't about building a house." Ming admits. "That's a lot of money that we don't really have. Plus, we still have so much to do. If you guys build a home, you might end up just settling there. Shouldn't we finish our journey first?""A little planning never hurt anyone." You say. "I would rather live in a small town." Ming says. "Living up in the mountains or on a beach is a bit too lonely. Not a city though. They're a bit too crowded now for my taste.""If we live in town, then we can't have our own house." Xin Lan says. "We'd have to follow ugh regulations." They say with a shudder."What...kind of home were you thinking?" Ming asks curiously. "Well it needs to be made of like marble.""I'd like a garden in it and maybe an orchard.""Training hall and shrine.""Oh and a nice big kitchen for Stripes!""A bath house would be nice.""Somewhere to meditate.""Ok! Ok!" Ming says as she ways her hands in defeat. "I get it. You guys need tons of stuff and some privacy." She says giggling. "I don't think there's a village in China that can hold you guys. Maybe it's for the best you guys have your own home. Otherwise, you might end up taking up the whole town needing room. Better yet, why don't you guys just recreat Hien's palace?"You all share a laugh at that and continue to talk idly. There wasn't an purpose to it. No sharing of pertinent information or important details. Just talking about things such as traveling, nature, games. Things you'd never have given a second thought before you went to jail. Things you'd have considered topics for fools and idlers. Time goes by and soon the woods around you darken. You and Xin pour more wood into the fire and the warm light illuminates the training area.>What happens next?>Fireworks. Should be time right around now.>Gift exchange. There's still a bit before the fireworks happen.>More idle chatter. (What do you want to talk about?)>Playing a few more games now that everyone is free from chores.>Write in.
>>4775801>FireworksBest not to miss the, this town can't afford massive amounts I don't think.>Then gift exchange
>>4775801>Fireworks. Should be time right around now.>Gift exchange. There's still a bit before the fireworks happen.Watch the fireworks and exchange gits right after. If we try to do it before we run the risk of the show starting mid-exchange.
>>4775903I remember Renshu saying he spied a bunch that the mayor bought, probably planned to impress the five but they skipped the town after the tigress incident.
>>4776080Still doesn't mean they can afford a massive amount of them. Best not to miss half of it by starting a gift exchange and stopping when the first explosion goes off.
>>4776096Or worse, he bought a shitload of then, and they are of low quality, or bought from the black market and are the peacock stash, leading to a big explosion right over our heads, because we left the town.
>>4775903>>4776074You guys worry too much. The town was annhillated the moment you stepped foot out of it. We're watching the fireworks. Writing.
You drain one more bowl of soup and set it aside. "It's about time isn't it?" You ask Renshu. He looks up at the sky. "It very well could be. The festival is still going strong and it seems like everyone is gathering close together.""What are you two talking about?" Ming asks curiously. You raise a finger to your lips and point up at the sky. Ming and the others follow your line of sight and look up at the night sky."Those...those are stars alright, big guy." Xin Lan says and Renshu pats their head. The woods goes quiet as everyone simply watches and wonders what to expect. A few more seconds roll by before you head the familiar squeal of fireworks. A light flashes through the sky before exploding into bright light and scattering thousands of smaller stars among the night sky. "Fireworks!" Ming gasps as another rockets through the air and a flash of green explodes overhead. You hear whizzing and see a firework fly through the air as it releases spirals of sparks before exploding overhead. You and your friends sit still and watch in awe as the night sky it lit up over and over again by beautiful explosions as they paint the canvass above you in a multitude of colors. Ming holds on to your arm and leans against you as the fireworks become more and more fequent. Despite all the explosions above your head, there was certain silence among you as none of you said a word. There wasn't any reason to. You hear the squeal of another firework, though the whine is slightly different. Your curiosity pays off when it explodes overhead and the sparks burst free in the shape of a star. Your surprised when you hear Xin Lan gasp and say excitedly as they hug their brother's arm, "They're forming shapes!" Another explodes above you, forming a Ying Yang symbol in red and blue. Then another in the shape of a flower and another in the shape of the words for 'Luck' and 'Prosperity'. Finally, you hear the screech of several fireworks flying simultaneously and you see them all explode above you at the same time. The sky lights up brightly as the sparks come free and form the shape of a large dragon. The night goes silent once more as the sparks fade away and give the sky back to the stars. "No more?" Xin Lan asks disappointed. You all look back down to the campfire, your necks a bit sore from staring up for a while.
"How'd you guys know there was gonna be fire works?" Ming asks."Perhaps I might have gone snooping around when I shouldn't have." Renshu says with a smile."You?" Ming asks surprised. "But you're supposed to be the good one.""Oh I'm far from that." Renshu laughs. "Xin Lan didn't have the best of role models, I simply have more restraint.""You mean you're boring." Xin Lan says happily."That's not what women say." Renshu teases. Xin Lan quickly looks up, surprised. "Did...did Stripes make a joke?" They ask. "It is the new year." You chuckle. "I suppose anything is possible.""Well, if we're going to continue with surprises then maybe we should start exchaning presents." Ming says stoking the flames.>Who will deliver their gifts first?>Xin Lan>You>Renshu
>>4776252>YouLets start as we mean to go on.
>>4776252>YouAnd say sorry to Ming for getting her a present for work instead of leasure, we didn't know something she would enjoy, and asking directly kinda removes part of the fun.
>>4776252>Youthat way if our gifts suck the disappointment can be covered up by everyone else's gifts!
>>4776262>>4776294>>4776337Alright. We'll go first. Writing.
I can't remember. Did we get Hien anything?
>>4776436Cushion and portable shrine boss.I even drew it.
After a quick trip to the archives, I bring pictures.
>>4776465Right! Sorry about that.
>>4776472That one is the drawing.this is the image I found on google for the shrine last thread.And here's what you wrote: "For Hien, you decide to buy a portable shrine and a small pillow. He had a long way to travel and you liked the idea of him being able to offer his prayers to his ancestors as well as having somewhere to sit comfortably. Or perhaps it was because you couldn’t think what to give the son of the emperor. Either way, Hien would have a long journey both physically as well as spiritually if he ever wanted to know what kind of man he wanted to be. You hope that the shrine would at least give him some peace of mind."
>>4776475No problem boss, we have done so much that is kinda hard to remember.I for example can't remember most of the name of the places we been to and the people.Only the names of our friends (sometimes I mix Guang and Chuanli though), Xiqi and Taishi. I don't even remember the full title of the livrbrary and the pools.I only remember that the ship captain is Dayiu because of II primarch quest, at least I remember that the town captain is Jie, but it happened last thread, so I can still forget
"Right." You say as you start to dig through your, now very worn and stained, bag. "I guess I'll start." You pull out a small box from your bag. "I got you this Ming." You say as you hand her over the sewing kit. "It reminded me of Daiyu so I thought you'd like to have it. Plus the needles could be used to practice throwing." You say sheepishly. "Oh Tai Lung you're so thoughtful." Ming says with a smile as she takes the box and opens it. She pulls out some needles and thread. "At the very least I can keep you guys' clothes intact, you don't know how much it drives me up the wall seeing how torn up you guys all get." She points a needle and mimicks throwing it at you. "Sorry, I didn't really mean to give you a bigger workload." You say. "I just...didn't really know what you would have enjoyed. Asking you about it would've ruined the surprise.""Oh it's fine." Ming says putting the needles and thread away. "It's the thought that counts and like I said, if it means preserving what little clothing you guys manage to keep intact, then I'm all for it. Although throwing needles to fight is pretty interesting. Can people even do that?" She asks Xin Lan. The rabbit shrugs."Yeah, the needles themselves probably wouldn't do any lasting damage which is probably something you'd want anyways. It'd be the poisons that'd do the trick. That's where the real fun stuff comes in but I'm sure you already know all about that." They tease. "Well, you're only setting yourselves up for more punishements. I won't be throwing my boots at you all the time now." She grins. "Good luck finding them then." Xin Lan counters. "I'll hide them good next time."Your friends have a good laugh at that and you return to your bag. "Let's see..." You mutter as you pull out a few books. "Right, I got these for you guys." You say as you hand Xin Lan and Renshu their books. "I umm...only thought of them because of Xin's book." You say. "I saw Xin liked stories about adventure and loyalty and thought they might like something similar.""Aww...you're just a good husband." Xin Lan says with a grin as they read the title. "Mulan huh? Bit on the nose don't you think?" They tease before they go quiet and tightly hug the book. "Thank you..." They say sincerely. "I love it.""I got you that one Renshu. Knew you liked music and you were trying to better yourself. Figured...knowing about spirituality and music you could find a way to use the both of them to meditate.""As thoughtful as ever." Renshu says with a smile. "Thank you. I'll treasure it. Perhaps in time I'll be able to write my own music if not adapt existing music. Its is said that music is a way into the soul." He flips through a few pages as he skims the book. "Intersting, music and it's historical applications to philosophy. Tai Lung, I knew you were thoughtful but perhaps I underestimated your dedication." He jokes.
You cough a bit a feel your face get a bit red at your friend's praise. You didn't really think your gifts to be that great but it seems you were more accurate than you expected. Once more you dig into your now rather deflated bag and pull out the last of your gifts."And this is for you Hien." Hien looks up, rather surprised. "Me?" He asks. You nod. "I'm...flattered. I didn't really feel like I warranted a gift this night.""I suppose it's not much." You admit. "But I wanted to give you this." You place the small portable shrine infront of him. "If you plan to travel alone, then I hope this gives you the peace of mind to become who you wish to be. Prayer or not, I hope that it brings you good luck and safety. Sometimes all we need to know what path to take is to look inward and sometimes all we need is a place to feel safe."Hien takes the box gently. "Thank you." He says. "It's true that...someone of my status could ask for anything in the world of the highest quality. But it always comes with caveats and false platitudes. This means more to me than anything. A gift from a true friend. One without strings and only well wishes. I'll gladly take this with me.""I also bought this." You add. "It's not much more but I figured you'd like something comfortable to sit on now and again." You chuckle as you pull out the small pillow. "Now I'm kind of wish I bought one. Still, I hope it gives you some comfort." You say as you hand Hien the gift."Even the smallest comforts can be the greatest luxuries when you need them the most." He says. "That's why we cling to friendship. Something we take for granted in our daily lives but when we need them most, it's when we pull through.""When'd you find time to get all this?" Xin Lan asks as they look up from their book."Here and there." You admit. "Whenever I couldn't really help with anything I tried to prepare for the future. As luck would have it. New Years was part of the future." You say with a grin."Well since you're planning for the future." Xin Lan says with a grin. "I like gems next time thanks. You can ussually find those in rich people's homes. Sometimes their pockets." You let out a snort. "I'm afraid you're on your own for that Xin." You reply.>Who's next? (At least, who's gifts do you want to see first before I write up the next persons?)>Xin>Renshu
I remember someone posted a theme for Xin and Renshu. Can't remember what thread that was. Remember I liked it though. Was right after the two fought. Gonna have to look at the archives.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>47766931 for xin 2 for renshu
>>4776693>XinJust going with the flow.>>4776707Found it on thread fivehttps://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zDeu9Z5p6FQ
>>4777239Thanks anon. Might be using it. >>4776742>>4776828>>4777239Xin is next. So I can go about this two ways. Both buns are gonna present their gifts in this write up but I can also just turn this into an epilogue meaning it's gonna be loooong and will take a bit to write up.Or I can do both bunny's gifts and stop at the next morning and give you some choices to vote on to break it up a bit.
>>4777565Unless the options would really matter, it seems to be a good place for a epilogue.As long as we say goodbye to to all of our friends and the shopkeepers, tell them goodluck with trying the council thing, and promise to add the tavern to the contact list to write letters to, I would be happy.
>>4777575That'll be in there of course but I recognize the fact that every time I write an epilogue it gets really really long.
>>4777584But a good epilogue is always long.It's meant to give closure after all, and there is nothing sadder than a cliffhanger that never gets resolved.
>>4777565Go full Epilogue man. Unless something drastic is going to happen that requires all hands on deck, this is a great time for it.
>>4777735Nah, nothing like that. I just want to make sure people are ok with like a massive text dump.
>>4777790Unleash the wall of text!
Text wall it is. Let me just head back to my 'house' and brew up some coffee. We'll see how big this wall gets. Side question, is it...bad that I started hearing faint noises at night? Or is that just my ear playing tricks on me after so many silent ones in the library expecting shit to go down?Writing.
>>4777828Usually bad. If you are starting to relax and hearing the noises, means you better stop relaxing and get some weaponry fool
>>4777828It's the ghost janitors and the librarian wraith, bossSomeone has to keep the place tidy and organized.Just keep your voice down and they will leave you alone, it is a library after all.
>>4777832>>4777833If that's the case where the hell have they been?! I'm bunkering up here. That book is still bugging me. I just found it, open, on a desk. Never seen another book like that before. They're always shelved and I've left a few books open to test it. Which reminds me. I think I'm getting a hang of traversing here. I can usually find the aisles with topics I'm searching for. Often times it's a different looking aisle but the info is relevant.Anyways the book is in some weird ass language. Tried finding dictionaries and none of them match. Think its the necronomicon?What can I use as a weapon...
>>4777939Fire, oldest friend of man.
>>4777939Find a bible, that should do it.Is the book made of thin leather?>>4778090If he starts burning books, the library will become angrier.
>>4778090Prometheus was a bro last I recall. >>4778138Tons of bibles here. Think I saw the Qur'an here too. Book is made of leather uuhh here have a pic. It's not loud noises though. Just the occasional creak and whine. You know how houses settle. Never heard them before.
>>4778235That shit looks like indian/arabic/persian.Might be a book from a zoroastrian magus, or zunist. You ganna learn sun magic boss.Better have a Bible, Qurah and Torah ready, just in case though.
>>4778235And those noises could be the library rearanging itself.
None meta library post. This write up is proving to be quite Hardy. So I'll post what I have tonight and add the rest as it comes. Currently my Google doc says I got three pages worth at 5k characters. Basically two full posts but I'm still at gift giving.
>>4778352Nice boss, I'm getting hyped now.
Here's a big chunk of it. I'll work on the rest but I gotta sleep myself. Sorry about that.
“Fine.” Xin Lan says waving their hand idly. “I guess it’s my turn then.” They hop out of their brother’s embrace and pull their own bag over. “Let’s see what I got for you guys…” They say. “Do old rations count?” They ask.“No Xin. They don’t.” Ming says. “Oh...ok. I guess these will do then.” They say as they pull out a smaller pouch. “Here you go. Happy New Years.” They say as they place something in Ming’s hand. Ming tentatively looks at it before gasping. She holds it up and in the light of the campfire glitters a necklace made of gold. Adorning the necklace was a single bottle made of emerald and you can faintly see something swirling inside. “And this is for you.” They say as they put something metallic in your hands as well. You open yours to see a bracelet made of iron, however a green dragon made of shade is embedded in it in the same style as the Sword of Heroes you carried with you. They wander over to their older brother and rummage a bit more before they hand over something to them. They hold up in their hands a mass of small necklace chains with a Ying Yang symbol on them made of, what you guess from they way they glittered, pearl and onyx. “Thank you.” He says slowly untangling the chains. “Although I hope you didn’t intend to give it to me like this. Although I do love a good puzzle…” “No. You’re supposed to do this.” They say grabbing the gems and wiggling them a bit. The two halves part with a faint *click* and the chains easily slip past each other. Xin Lan takes the white half and slips it over Renshu’s head. “There you go and I wear this one.” They say as they put on the black half. “Now we’re together. Always.”“Oh…” Renshu says quietly before pulling Xin Lan into an embrace. “Thank you.” They say hugging their sibling tightly. Xin Lan holds on to their elder brother tightly as well, cotton tail wiggling before the two let go, Renshu wiping his eyes. Xin Lan pulls something else out of the bag and goes over to hand it to Hien. “Here. Didn’t have much time to get you something but eh, it fits you.” Hien holds up a crudely cut topaz wrapped in wire and dangling from a bracelet. “It won’t fall out and you're not a clean cut gem yourself. But time will polish it, and you.”Hien smiles as he wraps the bracelet and wears it. “I’ll wear it with pride. Hopefully this gem and I will smooth out and shine before we meet again.” He says.“It better be before.” Xin Lan says. “We’ll all die of old age if we wait that long. That’s a good gem right there.”
“Where’d you even get all this Xin?” Ming asks, holding her gift up into the light.“Anonymous investors gave me the materials.” Xin Lan says huffily. “And I spent a good while making all those. So you better not lose them. Also, that’s some potent antidote in that bottle. It’ll handle basically anything save for stuff with the same potency of poison that we dealt with in Zhengyi. You get one shot of it.”“Oh.” Ming says, rather stunned, “Thank you. Here’s to never having to use it except as a necklace.” “I didn’t know you were a jeweler.” You say placing on your bracelet.“Well if you’re gonna steal, then you need to be educated. How are you gonna pawn something off if you don’t know it’s value? And the best way to know something is to work it.” Xin Lan says.“Unless of course you’re forging something right?” Ming teases.“Exactly. See? We can teach you. You wanna come on my next job?” Xin Lan asks. “No thanks.” Ming says. “And maybe you should stop admitting to stealing in front of Lord Hien.”“I haven’t committed any crimes.” Xin Lan says. “Except being too attractive and possibly murder in self defense and I’m sure Hien will forgive me for saving his life.”Hien shrugs, “I’m afraid even if Xin Lan admits their guilt, I would have to attempt to take both Tai Lung and Renshu in as well. However, I value my own life so I will refrain from such suicidal attempts, at least on this occasion. I do however, plead that you remain within the boundaries of the law even if you do wish to do good.”“No promises.” Xin Lan says. “You have the Five for that. We...are a bit looser with the law but I will promise that if it would make the big guy upset then I won’t do it...unless necessary.” “I’m afraid that’s about as good as a promise you’ll get my lord.” Renshu says laughing. “I suppose it’s my turn then?” He asks. You all nod. “I’m afraid my gifts are nothing as extravagant as what has already been given.” He says rummaging through one of his sleeves. Renshu draws out a small handful of charms on red ropes. He goes around handing one to each of you save for Hien. “My apologies my lord but I didn’t have the time to make one for you.”“What are these?” You ask as you turn yours over. They were simple enough. A simple rope with a charm on it that had ‘protection’ written on it. As you handle it, you can feel a faint bit of power coming from it.
“Protection charms.” Renshu says. “Though I’m afraid I’m not sure how potent they are. I’ve never actually performed a ritual for protection before. There is power to them though what their effect will be or how potent it will be I’m unsure. However, I did what I could to imbue them.”“Thank you.” You say as you tie it around Xin Lan’s bracelet. “Regardless of their power, knowing that you care enough to make these is more than worth it.”“You’re a sweetheart.” Ming says tying hers to her messenger bag. “Thanks Stripes.” Xin Lan says as they tie it to their wrist as well. “They do got a funny feeling about them. Can’t put my finger on it but I bet it’s the magic working. I’d say it worked.” “Don’t worry about me Renshu.” Hien says politely as Renshu takes his seat next to Xin Lan. “I’ve received far more gifts today than I ever expected. I’ve been more than blessed today.” “I’m glad you all enjoy it.” Renshu says. “I understand that mine isn’t the most glamorous gift.” He says.“Nonsense.” Ming says. “They mean a lot to us. You know it’s not about what the gift is made of. We care about the thought behind it.”“What?! You mean I didn’t have to give you all gems? Give em’ back. I want.” Xin Lan says motioning for their gifts back.“No.” Ming replies with her tongue out. Xin Lan huffs and crosses their arms. “Well jokes on you because I still have the best gift to give.” They say as they stand.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zDeu9Z5p6FQXin Lan walks up to their brother and holds out their hand. Renshu looks up from his tea, “For me?” He asks, surprised. Xin Lan nods and Renshu takes their hand and stands up. “I told you I wanted to do something a while back. Something I could only do for you Renshu.” They say with the same small smile their brother showed. Renshu tilts their head curiously. “Come on.” They say tugging at their sibling’s hand. At Xin Lan’s insistence, the two walk around the campfire and stand before you and Ming.An odd feeling comes over you as they walk towards you but you can’t quite place what it is. Xin Lan grins at Renshu. “We’ve been through a lot.” They say. “I don’t know if we’re gonna live to see another New Year, hell I don’t even know what’ll happen tomorrow but at least we survived long enough to give you something I’ve worked on my entire life.” Renshu opens their mouth to speak but Xin Lan shakes their head. The smaller rabbit motions to you and Ming. “Renshu, these guys have been with me from the start. They’ve saved my life more times than I can count. Big brother, these are my friends.” They say happily. Your heart skips a beat when it hits you. A cold, quiet night month and months ago. Two rabbits on the ground, one beating the other senseless."I want to love you." Xin Lan says as they strike once. "I want to be your little sibling." Twice. "I want to be able to smile with you." Three times. "I want to be able to hold your hand and show you the friends I made." "But most of all..." They slap Renshu across the face and rest their forehead against his. As he slowly falls unconscious they whisper, "I want this to hurt so much more than it does right now..."
Renshu’s breath catches as he seems to recall as well. His breath is heavy. “That’s Ming. She likes to be boring and the voice of reason but she means well. If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably have bled out a few times by now. I don’t think I know anyone better to take care of us than her.” Ming blushes and sniffs as she twists her shirt, trying not to cry. “That’sTai Lung, he looks tough but he’s a big softie. We’ve fought a few things together, large bat mostly. I dunno why I stuck with him so long. He’s got this weird thing about saving people but...I don’t think I’d want anyone else watching my back. He’s the one who believed in me. Thinks he can make me a good person.” Xin Lan says with a small scoff. “And...maybe he’s right. He’s done crazier shit than that. I mean...he’s brought you back right? He’s my best friend. They’re mine friends...and I want them to be yours too. We might not be right. We might not ever be good in the strictest sense but...we can be good for them. For us. I love you.” They say looking at their older brother.Renshu’s breath comes out in chokes as his eyes water before he breaks down. His tears stain his face and clothes as cries openly, unable to make the words neither physically or mentally. Falling to his knees, he pulls his younger sibling into a tight hug and cries into their shoulder. Xin Lan holds on tight to their brother as his cries. Renshu’s sobs echo through the dark woods and into the glittering night.
I'll get back to posting in about an hour or so. Thanks for the patience.
>>4779816No problem boss, didn't want to say anything and break the update sequence.
>>4779831Another chunk for you guys to read. Still more to come.
You don’t know how long you stayed up with everyone. You and your friends spent hours simply enjoying the night, chatting, drinking, singing. It was the kind of night you had only ever heard in passing. The kind of night that people wish would last forever but as all good things, it had to come to an end. It wasn’t until you noticed the dim light of the dying fire that you all decided that it was best to go to sleep, a decision made more out of laziness and a desire to not venture out into the woods for more wood rather than any practical reason. Still, sleep came to you quicker than it ever had before and though it was a dreamless sleep, it was a pleasant one. You awake after what feels like no time at all as most good sleeps tend to feel like. Like always, it seems like you are the first to rise. Perhaps the bunnies were awake but simply did not want to stir as the two were in each other’s arms and covering each other’s eyes with their ears. Ming, as usual, was buried under her blankets and snoozing quietly. Hien, however, was nowhere to be found. It takes you a few moments to shake the fog of sleep and register the fact that your friend was no longer there. Not him or any of his things. For a moment, you wonder if he simply wandered back to town for a meal or some other business but you notice that his sleeping bag and bags were gone as well. Not something he would do if he had meant to return. It takes you just slightly longer to notice a scroll just within arm’s reach of you. It was a plain scroll but one that was not there the night prior. Already guessing what it could be, you take the scroll and open it. Within the scroll is the finest penmanship you’ve ever seen and no doubt what you assumed to be how a noble would write. While you take a moment to admire the writing, you also decide that you had better read what it said.
https://youtu.be/juORAXpgb_MMy dearest friend,I apologize for any burdens I’ve placed on you because of who I am but I’m afraid I must place a few more burdens on you. For starters, and by no means least, I’m afraid I will be taking your blade with me. As is, I’m afraid I cannot return something you’ve loaned me in such disrepair. Perhaps the next time we meet it will be forged anew along with its wielder. On a more prominent note, I must beg your forgiveness on for my selfishness but I will not be returning home. As I am, I do not feel worthy of returning to the palace and I fear that should I return I shall never leave. Furthermore, and it pains me to reveal such callousness to you, but I believe that raiders do not deserve my advocacy. I respect your beliefs and morals but we had given them chance after chance to cease their actions and they refused. What they have wrought is their own doing and I’m afraid that they do deserve as such.I believe my sister will make the right choice. Though she must remain impartial and do what she must for her nation, she is not subject to the whims of cruelty. Perhaps it is a folly of mine to believe so, but without faith in one another then we can not move forward to better ourselves. Fear not however, as I have given Master Shifu a letter explaining the situation to be handed to her. It bears the royal seal and with his reputation, it will be seen directly to her.As for the scrolls we recovered, I have handed them to him as well to return to the royal palace. Other than you, I can think of no better guardians for this task. Better than even I could do so, although I admire your faith in me for the task.As for me? I think I will wander. I was born into the fortunate position to have access to everything and no real obligations or duties. I think it is time that I put myself out there and use my skills for others as I’ve raised myself to do so. Although Renshu would dispute it, we are 浪人 (Rōnin). We serve no master, no lord. We are wanderers. Both in life and in practice. What we choose to do is our own will and no longer do we wish to coast on what others have placed on us. We make our own fates, our own destinies. As someone who is tasting liberation for the first time, I want to say. Thank you. Thank you for being the one person to give me a choice. Thank you for trusting me with my own destiny. And thank you for being my friend. Know that there will be someone singing your tales, spreading your song across China. Of Tai Lung, the Merciful. May the winds bring us together once more.-From eight parts of sacred landsWe shall gather nowFrom each of all eight continentsWe'll find a way somehowIt's been foretold, it's destinyThat we shall meet againTo recreate this melodyThat once had been made--Siyu, the bard.
You lower the scroll and look at the spot you last saw Hien. You imagine him, as dutiful as ever, staying up later than everyone and scrawling the letter in the dying firelight then in the earliest hours of the morning donning his traveling gear and quietly leaving the letter next to you and walking away. You imagine him traveling alone to the farthest reaches of China, hidden under a disguise and watching, waiting for the right time to act. On what you don't really know but you imgaine it to be something good. You wonder if you’ll ever see the young man again. You can only offer your prayers and hope that he becomes a man he is proud to be. You’re about to close the letter when you notice something else. At the very edge of the scroll, neatly tucked away in where the end of the parchment would bend around the handles even when fully opened, you see some faint lines. You quickly remove the wooden ends of the scroll and unfurl it completely. In the same thin lettering you read,P.S. Perhaps I might have spoken to hastily when I said I had nothing to offer as a gift. While reading through the royal scrolls I noticed something that I had forgotten to mention. I apologize for doing so but I went through your things to deliver mine. Happy New Years.Confused, you lean over and grab your bag. As you pull it towards you another scroll falls from it, your map. You open it up to see, as Bao promised, several dozen shrines littered within a few days travel for you however something else sticks out to you. In Hien’s writing is a location marked on your map. High in the Huangshan mountain range is a dot with the words “Sacred Library” written next to it. You can’t help but grin and laugh out loud at that.
It takes you several minutes of apologizing and explaining to finally calm your friends down after you woke them up. Though saddened by the disappearance of their new friend, they were nonetheless happy for him and for themselves. “The sneaky little bugger.” Xin Lan says as you all look over the map. “It’s there…” Ming says once more. “I can’t believe it but...there it is.”“Even at our current speed, it will take at least a month to reach the base of that mountain range.” Renshu says. “We best prepare adequately for the trip.”“What do you think it’ll be like?” Ming asks. “It’s supposed to be China’s greatest source of information.”“Probably dusty, musty, and full of books. Preferably I hope it’s not on fire like the last one.” Xin Lan says. “As I recall, the last library we visited was not on fire. Merely suspended in time.” Renshu replies.“I was ready to burn it to the ground after what it did to you.” Xin Lan mutters. “Whatever it will be like, Renshu is right. We need to prepare and get supplies for the journey. There only seems to be one or two villages nearby before we make the trek up. Don’t want to realize they have nothing to offer travelers.” You say closing the map. “If you have any goodbyes to say, do that now. We leave this afternoon.”“Man, it feels like forever since we’ve actually traveled without worrying of some evil we need to stop.” Xin Lan says as they get up and squeeze their older brother’s hand.“It’ll be good for us.” Ming says. “We need to work off all this food we had. Where are you going Tai Lung? Saying goodbye to Guang and his family first?”You stretch and pack your bag. “No, I want to talk to Jie first. Figure he’s the best man to let know we’re leaving then I’ll go speak to the others.” You say. “I’ll see you guys at the shrine this afternoon.”“Tell Chuanli I want another one of those small barrels! I’ll pay him before we leave!” Xin Lan shouts and you chuckle but raise your hand in acknowledgement as you leave.
The town, in no simple terms, is a mess. You see discarded streamers and burnt out sparklers all over the ground. Cups and various other drink containers are strewn about as well and you can see several of the townsfolk are out and about with brooms as they work on the monstrous task of cleaning up. As you wander the streets, they offer you friendly waves and polite hellos which you return. On the main road, you see a few more of the townspeople packing up several tables and a several dozen more chairs, along with plates, cups, and Gods knows how many utensils. Remnants of the large town potluck you assume. You make your way to the guard house and feel a pang of disappointment when you don’t see the two familiar guards at the doors. Said feelings are quickly drowned out by the humor that is seeing them fast asleep in one of the cells, their keys on the floor just a short distance out of reach. You politely kick the keys into their cell and make your way down the hall. As is the ritual, you knock politely on the captain’s door and hear the familiar, if not slightly strained grunt of, “In.” Following orders, you find the captain nursing a hangover but still pouring over a few papers. “May I have a moment captain?” You ask, deciding that referring to him by his first name in a professional setting was not appropriate.“If I didn’t have time to spare I’d have told you to leave.” He says gruffly but somewhat good natured. “Ready to give me more bad news?”“In a matter of speaking.” You say shrugging. “We’re leaving.” You continue, direct to the point. “This afternoon. We found the location of where we want to go and we don’t want to wait any longer. I just came by to let you know. Hien is gone too. Left earlier than us and unfortunately never told us where he was headed to. Just wanted to thank you for having us here. It’s probably the closest thing to home any of us ever had.” The Captain lowers his papers and looks at you.
“Tai Lung...listen. You’re a good man. You’re talented. Normally, I’d rather have people with your past locked up for life but you’ve proven to be the exception. You don’t need to wander anymore. You can live here. I can use a guard like you. Hell...I can give you a letter of recommendation. Take a new name and join the army. You can do a lot of good there instead of this wandering hero shtick. China could use a man like you in it’s forces.” Jie says in the closest thing to gentleness you think he can muster.“I...appreciate the offer.” You say. “Maybe I will take it up but for now...my friends and I have a journey to make. It’s something we promised to do and not finishing it would be spitting in the face of everything we’ve gone through and everyone who helped us get here. Including you.”Jie sighs, “Just...take the offer seriously. You lost your youth in jail but I don’t want you to lose what peace you have left. You still have a long life and I don’t want to see it thrown away in the long run.” You nod.“Thank you.” You say with a bow. “For everything.” Just as you turn to leave, Jie speaks up once more.“Tai Lung.”“Yes?”“Don’t die.”“I don’t plan to but if I do, then it’ll be for the same reason I did before. To save someone.” You say and you leave.
Chuanli’s tavern is completely empty when you arrive. Not surprising considering the amount of patrons they might have had the day prior. You walk around to the back door and politely knock on it to get the family’s attention. It takes a few minutes before the door opens and you see An Bo, hastily dressed, peeking out. “Mr. Tai Lung!” She says in surprise and she opens the door the rest of the way to let you in. You step into the back room of the tavern and find it to be surprisingly well kept after the holiday. “Hey An Bo.” You say. “I’m not coming in too early am I?” You ask.“No! Well yes but I mean that’s because we’re not open today!” An Bo says. “But I think Guang and his dad won’t mind if I serve you some drinks if that’s what you wanted.” You shake your head. “No, I didn’t come to drink. I came to say goodbye.” You explain. “We’re leaving this afternoon.”“What? But you just got here!” An Bo says. “Won’t you stay a bit longer?”You shake your head again. “No. I’m sorry.”“Let me get the others then!” She says. “Then you can say goodbye to them.” She hurries back to the stairs shouting, “Guang! Guang! Tai Lung is here and he’s leaving! Come say goodbye!” You wait politely for the rest of the family to come down, Guang wearing only pants and Chuanli, fully dressed and prepared for the day as his military training taught him. You all head back to the main tavern area to talk.“So you’re leaving?” Chuanli asks. You nod.“We’ve done all we could and we have a journey to make.” You say. “We appreciate everything you’ve done for us.”“We’ve done for you?!” Guang asks. “Man! Look at all you’ve done for us! We should be thanking you for saving our hides.”“The boy is right.” Chuanli says. “We can’t compare to the things you’ve done for this town. All we can do is offer you a place to say and a warm meal to eat.”“That’s more than enough.” You say. “Should we ever be in the area, we’ll definitely come by to visit. Which reminds me. I’ll be sending mail here. Just letters letting you know how the journey is going. I’m afraid I can’t give you a return address though. I hope you don’t mind.”“Nah, you better man.” Guang says. “Can’t just leave us hanging like this. We’d be glad to hear from you. Man keeps his promises, ya hear?”You grin. “Of course. I promise.”Chuanli serves you some juice. “You speak with Jie yet?” You nod. “Bet he gave you the whole join the army speech didn’t he?” Again you nod. “Figures. Army saved his life. Mom and dad died when he was young and he turned to raiding himself. It was our old captain, a tough old bastard by the name of Junjie, that pulled him out of that life. Guess he sees a bit of himself in you. Assuming you told him no though.”
“Yes. I appreciate what he’s offering but I feel like I need to finish this part of my life before I make any choices. For me and my friend’s sake.” You say. “I didn’t want to tell him this because of how busy he looked but...I hope you guys consider the council proposition. Help him out with it at least. This is a good town and I’d hate for it to be used as a prop for a man’s career. These people should have a hold over their own futures.”Chuanli sighs but nods. “You’re right, you know. We’ve been complacent for too long about this. Best we do something about it while we can.”“Where are you going?” An Bo asks.“The Sacred Library.” You say.“The library? Man that’s certainly a place to go.” Guang says. “Good luck with that. I don’t think anyone knows where it is.”“We have an idea where it is. What we’ll find there...I don’t know.” You admit.“I hope you find what you’re looking for.” An Bo says.“And if you don’t. We’ll be here for ya.” Guang says. You grin. “Thanks. All of you.”An Bo smiles and holds your hands. “Thank you.” She says gently. “For saving me.”“I didn’t do anything Guang wouldn’t have done if he had the chance.” You say.“Even so. Thank you.” She repeats before hugging Guang. “Maybe you’ll be able to make it to the wedding when you return.” She jokes with a giggle. Guang nods eagerly.“Yeah! You gotta make it fo- wait what?!”
Putting a break here because wall of text. Also I'm gonna grab some food. There's a bit more left I want to write up but feel free to post just to break up this novel I'm writing. I'll be back in a few.
>>4780327Fuck man. You guys sure we shouldn't just settle down here when all is said and done? I love these guys.
Well, Hien should have said he didn't plan to returning to the capital, we would have accepted it.But it's better this way, sometimes a man must make his pilgrimage alone.And who knows, maybe we will meet him again in the future, give him the location of the pools as a return gift for the library too.Or maybe he will hear about a snow leopard and twin bunnies settling in some moutains and come pay a visit.Just hope that the Empress makes the correct decision, you don't stop a cicle of hatred by giving in to it. Wort come at least we will be there to stop the real invasion, perhaps Xin reading Mulan will give them some ideas.
>>4780364I don't know, semi-solitude seems to be a better fit for our group right now, we don't really follow authority and rules that well.Perhaps we can find a good place to settle nearby Taishi in the future, or we take an yearly trip to spend the new years here.
>>4780364I know anon, but some things we just have to complete.I'll be honest, I have the biggest smile on my face
>>4780370The right choice is straight execution. But on the topic of death there is another happy thought to consider.As luo revealed, this would be the point where Renshu's enchantment would have been undone by Xin having finally found family. So just consider the near disaster that has been avoided.
>>4780440Oh shit that's true.It seems we have stopped some bad events by accident, kinda like stopping the workers from getting burned by playing fucking tag of all things.And for the whole raidera things, the propers way could be execution, interrogation (no torture), work camps (no concentration camps), prison (no dungeon), ramson, prisoner exchange or releasing them after making a deal with their superior. Or any combination of the above.CK2 and Mount and Blade taught me you release the honourable and good-hearted, ramson the martial and dutiful after 2-3 months and keep the rest locked forever.If you hace the marshall or someone on the council, you keep them until they get replaced, than you go back to the normal formula.Enemy Kings stays in the jail for eternity.You never execute someone, unless you want to take a big hit on your relations with their friends and family, and that means an increase on the assassinations attempts.
>>4780494Wasn't really saving by accident. It was actually a "accidently screwed him, lets fix it quick"
>>4780496Yeah, but saving his soul from deletion was accidental to that fix.An accidentatly accidental fix?
>>4780502An unintentional fix to an accidental situation achieved through fortuitious but ultimately secondary incidental means.
To be fair, Renshu being released from his bonds wouldn't come out of left field. As the game progressed and Xin became happier there would have been more bouts of fatigue and exhaustion happening as his soul was loosing connection to his body. But you managed to save best wife Renshu. So nice job!
>>4780494Also I made a mistake.If you are playing one of the muslim faction, you have to execute your brothers, they will keep sending assassins and fucking up your stability.Unless you make sure to make your harem full of women after menopause, and have only one fertile spouse that ypu keep slightly neutral relations with.Make sure you never fall in love with her, because that means more children, nor that she hates you or has an affair, because that means even more assassination attempts.At maximum have 3 male sons, and only marry your daughters to your semi-close cousins, because their sons can inherit, and means even nore fucking assassins.And then your heir dies of malaria, and the next in line ended up decadent while you weren't looking, so your empire falls apart anyway. Fun.
Ok getting back to writing.
After leaving Xin Lan’s request with Chuanli, you spend the rest of the day saying goodbye to the various townsfolk you interacted with the most as you prepared for the trip, such as the kind old woman at the general store, the bakers, or the bookstore owner who was insistent you send a letter describing the library in full detail. The conversations went mostly the same with them bidding you good luck on your travels and a wish for you to return every so often or to keep in touch somehow. Despite how similar all the conversations were, there was no loss in meaning or emotion behind their words. By the end of the day, you weren’t surprised to feel that your heart ached just a bit at the thought of leaving the town behind. You gather at the small shrine, now thoroughly covered in incense sticks and offerings. You idly wipe away ash from the base as you wait for your friends to return.About an hour and several more goodbyes later, Ming and the others arrive. Their bags were full to the brim with supplies and rations. “Is everyone ready?” You ask.“I restocked on herbs.” Ming says patting her bag. “The herbalist was kind enough to get me a few fresh ones to preserve on the road.”“I’ve managed to gather a few ingredients from the local cooks.” Renshu adds. “A bit of variety in our diet would do us no harm and with our travels now at our own pace, we can spend more time making meals.”“Got the booze.” Xin Lan says poking the small keg on their pack. “What? It’s really good.” They say as you all stare at them. They roll their eyes and flick their wrist, revealing several dozen blades in their fingers. “And I got more throwing daggers too.” They grumble as they flourish their hands and the blades vanish.“Alright.” You say slinging your bag on your shoulder and bowing to the shrine. “I think we’re good to go then.” You all make your way down the main street. The very same street you took when your first arrived here. When you arrived in Taishi, you were hoping to find raiders and as complete strangers. Now you leave with hope in your hearts, looking forward to the future and as a friend to the people. Perhaps not to all of China but being friends with a small town was good enough for now. And perhaps, signs of good things to come.
He was a monster. A man possessed by a demon, for no mortal man could do what he did. I was there. I saw the destruction he wrought. Arrows were swatted out of the air, blades broke against his skin. None could touch him and he only vanished into darkness. His strength infected those around him. His allies- no his thralls, fought alongside him like no team ever could. They were extensions of him, their own attacks flowing with his like an extra pair of arms. He turned a single man into an army. Brought down squad after squad like blades of grass under a scythe. To him, we weren’t even worthy of a hunt. We were simply souls to be harvested. Some of the others, the ones who understood the strange language he spoke, say he offered us mercy. He offered us the chance to leave. I do not know if it was another trap or if he wished to enthrall us but now I believe we should have taken this offer. We have many wounded as he lured us into the woods. As his white shadow cut us down before we could see it. Now we wait in the ruins of this town. Waiting. Waiting as the others recover. Waiting to see if we’ll be hunted down like sport. Waiting to see if this will be the last night we’ll live through.If any of my people read this. Beware the silver leopard. Demon of China. Beward Tai Lung, Dragon of the South.-Journal of the unnamed Raider>The Raiders and Stolen Scrolls Arc. End.
And that is my epilouge. I hoped you enjoyed it. I got work tomorrow but if you guys like, I could write something up if you want to see the fate of the scrolls?
>>4780805Why not, if you feel up to it Luo.
>>4780805Yeah, it would be nice knowing how the five are doing and the shit we must have stirred down at the capital.Dragon of the south eh? Maybe dragon hall can be a nice name for our home, since all good misterious homes have to have a cool name.And it's a regerence to the shrine we will have to build.
>>4780808>>4780809Alright. I'll write that up and post it tomorrow. Right now I'm gonna go for a walk and stretch my legs. Felt good to write that much though. Was fun.
>>4780809The message read like>"How many times do I have to offer you this mercy, Old raider!"Like Hien said, we've given them too many chances.
>>4780811There's no such thing as too many chances.As long as you do what you gotta do.
>>4780822And by that I mean beat the shit out of them while given them the offer, and keep offering even after they refuse.I wonder when we will face an enemy that will take the offer for mercy but lie about it.And see how much we will make them regret it.
>>4780822There are, but lets agree to disagree.On the topic of our new style, I was considering adopting a few pointers from Dim Mak and Chi-blocking from ATLA. I think those sorts of styles will fill the intent well.
>>4780825Come on anon, you talk like you don't want to be martial arts jesus.We already ressurected, went to hell and back and died for someone's elses sin, we just need to keep up with the turn the other cheek (but kick their ass) and we will have done it.
>>4780825Also I don't k ow about Dim Mak, isn't it suposeed to kill the person? Maybe we can go with something like Spock goofy pinch.And isn't avatar's chin blocking how chi strikes already worked like, and our new style adds soul stuff together? Maybe something like Aang did to Ozai in the finale would be the endgame of it.
>>4780784>If any of my people read this. Beware the silver leopard. Demon of China. Beward Tai Lung, Dragon of the South.Fucking hell I just came a little
>>4780842We aren't Kung Fu Jesus, hell we probably arent even a sage. But everyone gets a chance at redemption, and those that dont take it get broken.>>4780853Dim Mak itself is the style about the move called lethal touch, and as a category is focused on styles which allege to harm or kill without the requisite force being put into their strikes.It's a load of bullshit but the movements are something we look to as inspiration, even if they dont do as advertised
>>4781396A sage and philosopher can come from any walk of life, all he needs to do is teach and live his teachings, I think we are on our way to that.Also I would photoshop Tai Lung's face on Jesus here as a joke, but I'm pretty sure that would be some kind of blasmephy.And I'm probably already on probation for saying people had a crush on him last thread
>>4781653Idol worship is the crime you are thinking of
>>4781697I'm nit so sure, iconoclasts are more of a orthodox thing.Anyway, ç putting the image of animal over an depiction of christ would be bad, given the whole pagan egyptian hard-on had for that kind of thing.Also it's a mass murdering animal. A reformed one, but still.
>>4781795Yeah, just not a good look at all.And jesus just cant pull off that moustache anymore than Tai lung can pull off a beard.
It's all good guys. TL has a pair of bunnies to hold. He can teach the people how he himself is best girl.
>>4782104the philosophy of "best girl" is as deep and powerful as a bottomless lake found within the tallest mountain in the world.
>>4782104The best girl was inside of yourself all along.
>>4782220Xin will show you how to put make up on. They got experience.
Sorry about not posting today. Work had me beat. Luckily, I got tomorrow off so I'll do something then. Then I gotta think of how to steal Ming and the buns away from you the library and of the journey. Currently I think I'll do of a time skip ahead. Don't want to drag the quest out now that you're so close to one of the biggest milestones so far.
>>4783551It's cool bossman.Take care of yerself first
>>4783551There is no problem boss.And if nothing is going to happen in the way, than there is no problem in time skipping, since all we would do is vote to train anyway.
>>4784009Just realized that if there is one place where we could find something to teach Ming more about mysticism and magic, is the place called the Sacred Library.I wonder if we can free Luo from there
>>4784027Doubt it.But the sacred library may have more interesting scrolls on techniques.
>>4784136>All we find are horror novels>It was actually the scared library
>>4784207We must find whoever named it in the afterlife and scold them.They passed the perfect to named it the Scary Library and make it rhyme.
In the Forbidden Palace…A cool breeze blows through a window into the royal meeting room. A large room, it was set deeper in the palace away from the public eye. A long table ran through most of the room with pillowed seats alongside it each one, save for one, had the head of the greater noble families of China upon it. The lone exception was a rather portly duck who was reading from a large scroll. His voice had droned on for what seemed like hours as he rattled off numbers and market trends, taxes and levis, expenses and stipends. “And that your highness is the extent of our nation’s expenses, if you permit me I do have several suggestions for alterations on our tax rates.” Several of the nobles around the table failed to suppress a sigh or a yawn but the duck remained undaunted.If the extended discussion of currency and taxes bored her, the Empress did not show it. Her face remained neutral and serene as befitting one of her position. She nods, giving permission for the duck to go on. Empress Zhangsun sat upright, her back straight and posture proper, upon a podium at the head of the table, elevated slightly above the rest as befitting the ruler of the realm. Like her youngest brother, she wore her hair long but unlike her sibling, her hair was straight and flowed like silk. Many did not know it, but she had received this trait from her father and even less knew that her mother often had her hair messy and unkempt which was further exacerbated by the fact it seemed to grow naturally that way and her illnesses preventing her from taking proper care of it.In the rare occasions she allowed herself to reminisce, Zhangsun would remember how often her mother doted on her hair while combing her and would be playfully jealous of her and her father’s straight hair. Zhangsun actually prefered her hair to be shorter but such a thing was not proper for the Empress and since her mother’s death, she did not have the heart to cut it nor maintain it herself. It was simply too painful to remember those days.
The duck continues to drone on, unaware or simply ignoring the boredom of his fellow nobles. “And so I think if we were to cut down a bit on rice and production of other produce, we may rely a bit on our reserves to save money. They are overflowing at the moment. Furthermore, I-” The duck’s monotone is cut off as the doors to the room are thrown open. The nobles stay there stunned by the sudden interruption, save for two. Both Da Fai Yan, brother to the Empress and General of the nation, and Jian Feng, the royal blacksmith and head of China’s largest blacksmithing company, immediately rise to their feet and draw their blades. A small rabbit wearing the royal messenger’s uniform stands at the door both in fear and doubling over as they catch their breath. The Empress turns to face the messenger unfazed as if she had been expecting them to arrive, a testament to her self control. The small rabbit raises a hand for a moment to catch its breath but the two men do now lower their weapons.“You’re...highness...I bring...jeez...news.” The rabbit pats and they slowly straighten up and pull out a piece of parchment. Zhangsun nods at her brother and the general walks up and takes it. The large man gives the note a quick read and nods back at the Empress. “She checks out. Speak.” He says. “Master Shifu sent me.” The woman says. “He and his team have arrived at Langfang with what looks like an army of captives. From what he’s told me, they were the raiders who were pillaging up north. Currently he is here in the city alone. He says they were plotting something but he wishes to discuss it with you personally. He refuses to elaborate beyond that.”“Such boldness!” A female peacock, the royal advisor and Zhangsun’s personal assistant, says. “As if her majesty has enough on her plate! Tell him we will send a retainer to meet him once we have finished this meeting!”“No.” Zhangsun says coolly. “General Yan, go and find Master Shifu. Gather some of your men and personally escort him and the Five to the palace after you have successfully contained and incarcerated whatever threat they have defeated.”“Yes, your majesty.” Da Fai says with a salute. “Take me to Shifu.” He tells the rabbit as he half drags her away.“Your majesty?” The peacock asks. “Are you certain? Surely any normal force would suffice? Do we really need to send the General himself?”
“Master Shifu is not a man who seeks attention nor accolades. The fact that he is here asking for me means that he has important news. Furthermore, he has avoided bringing whatever quarry he has caught to the Forbidden City meaning he does not wish for them to know the location of the capital or of our location. This alone warrants the General’s personal attention. Had this been a lesser threat or had he simply wished to discuss something with me, then he would have sought other incarceration methods or would have penned a message for me respectively.” The Empress explains calmly. “If the situation warrants my immediate attention beyond that then the General will appraise me of it. I trust his discretion.” She faces her blacksmith. “Lord Feng, would you kindly sheathe your weapon? I believe the danger has passed though I applaud your devotion to my safety.”The burly fox nods and gruffly seathes their glittering blade away before he sits down once more. The rabbit, who had been struggling against the large Lynx’s grip shouts, “Wait! There’s still more! I have this!” She digs into her bag and draws out a scroll which the General takes. It only takes him a glance and he promptly let’s go of the messenger to hand it over to the Empress with a curt bow and a quiet, “It's from him.” before once again half dragging, half following the rabbit to Shifu.Empress Zhangsun looked at the letter, it was an ordinary scroll and completely unremarkable except for the seal. The seal itself was just a drop of wax bearing the family coat of arms, easily discernible but for a small detail visible only to her. It glowed.
Empress Zhangsun looked at the letter, it was an ordinary scroll and completely unremarkable except for the seal. The seal itself was just a drop of wax bearing the family coat of arms, easily discernible but for a small detail visible only to her. It glowed.SunsunZhangsun pauses and focuses to resist both the urge to sigh and to tear up. Only two people in her life called her that and one she could never see again.SunsunI hope this letter reaches you in good health though I do not know when it will. I’m sorry to begin this with ill news but Kang and Lei are dead. They died giving their lives so that I might keep mine. I have failed them and I will give them the dignity of a proper burial. What little boon I have is that their deaths were not in vain and more selfishly I did not deprive a family of their presence. We all knew the risks when we set out that fateful day so long ago...or so I thought. In truth...I am not well, sister. All my life I chased shadows, set my life aside to pursue goals that were not mine. All the while I lied to myself, telling myself that this was the best course for me, that this would be for the good of the people. I do not know who I am. I do not know what I stand for. Unlike you or Da Fai, I’m not intelligent nor cunning enough to know. I’m simply coasting through life without a thought as to the kind of person I want to be.Luckily, I come with better news. As you might already know, the attacks in the north have stopped. I did not do this alone but with the help of the Five and a few more people. It was these people who have helped me more than simply fending off an attack on our nation. They taught me far more than I thought I knew. Of mercy and compassion. Of loyalty. They opened my eyes to the truth that I had been avoiding. That I was lying to myself. That I didn’t know what I really wanted. I don’t know what kind of person I want to be. Do I want to be the man who gives no chances? The person who does not allow evil to pass? Do I want to use my skills to save people, no matter how dark they’ve become? Or do I wish to moderate myself and only assist from the background, content to let people solve their own issues?These are the questions I must answer and that is why I shall not be returning home. I do not know where my travels will lead but I can only hope that each step leads me closer to my goal.I’m sorry and I miss you,Hien.
Thats all for tonight. Tomorrow, we'll see what the Five are up to. Feel free to discuss to break up text walls. Good night!
>>4785428Hien is a good boy that puts himself down too much, I hope he finds peace in his travels.
Let's start some discussion.Here's a list of things that we should search through the Sacred Library while we are still there:The location of the pools is obviously tye primary objetiveThan for us, we should search for knowledge about Chi strikes, blind combat, emotion sensing and anything about the elemental sprites and spirits.For Ming, knowledge about alchemy and medicine, like key point in the body. If she can find any information on sorcery, magic, rituals, astrology or talismans, that could help too.For Renshu, kbowledge of spirits, sensitivity to the dead and hauntings, so he may understand how Xin could have accidentatly boung him, and why he could see spirits and they were attracted to him.Xin should search for things relating to the assassins order. If we can find more informations on their existance, and the rituals they performed so they could created hybrids and emotionless people, we could use that to better help them develop their emotions. That should be the hardest one, because I doubt there would be information on that, and if they are, they would probably be mythological tales or innacurates accounts, so if add a secondary mission of finding any philosophical books about emotions or ancient chinese magical psycology.Does anyone have thoughts about this list?
>>4786396Yeah, that seems about right.
>>4786396I see this list of woefully incomplete because theres nothing on hand holding and not spilling the noodles. Socialising is a skill too you know and sometimes you gotta take the fun away from Xin. Or you may never know what's in their pants. It's probably knives...or money...or gems.
>>4786427So we are never going to know whether it's a knife and a pair of gems or layered bowl of money bills?I'm sorry
>>4786427>The way to Xin's heart is through sick baby'sNoted>GemsYou mean, family jewels?
>>4786444>>4786454The game of cat and bun begins or something.
>>4786396Blind fighting is an interesting application, but we are already somewhat proficient in it as demonstrated by our bouts with Xin.Our focus should therefore be on manipulation of Chi and capacity for sensing spirits. Though we could probably improve that in our usual manner of speaking with spirits.
>>4786711Fair enough actually, my idea was that since in our new emotional style we fought blind, learning more about it could help.Although if find some technical manuals of different types of blind combat, I see no problem in giving it a look.And the spirit thing was more for us to learn about them, instead of learnig how to interact with them. Or example, when we talked to our little fan sprite, we spent some time questioning how they view identity and their preferences. If we instead learn about it in some book we find, we could have capitalized on itBut who knows what we will find in the Sacred Library, maybe there will be the journal of one of Shenlongs previous friends hidden in a corner and all of our questions get answered.
>>4785428So I’ve been binging the entire quest for the last few days since I just happened to be bored at work and then see this on the catalog. I don’t even read quests, I was just so bored that I happened to see this.But man, what a fucking story. I absolutely adore this quest. It’s just great man. It’s inspired me to get off my ass and start writing the book I’ve been wanting to get on. I’m excited to see what’s next.Renshu is clearly best girl by the way.
>>4787342And so another archiver join us.The more the merrier.And the more lethal the waifu wars become
>>4787342Hey! Glad to have another join us! Absolutely get to writing your book man! Just like the art anons, take that leap and see if the hobby or skill makes you happy even if it's only for you. This quest also started on a whim and I'm having a blast. I can only imagine how much better your book will be. >>4787367One of us! One of us!
Master Shifu paced. He had been doing that a lot recently.Back and forth.Back and forth.The Five watched quietly and said nothing. With the room’s atmosphere being as oppressive as it was, there wasn’t much of a mood for casual discussion. They were in a beautiful room that offered a view of both the Emperor’s Garden, a large courtyard full of plants and trees from all over the country and kept maintained constantly, and a view of the Forbidden City itself and it’s beautiful halls and courtyards. Despite being in the lap of luxury, afforded every comfort because of their deeds and reputation, the Five simply could not help shake the mood off. The Empress’s staff was at their beck and call but not even Po, who would have done all he could to eat what they offered, wanted to speak up to ask for something. Finally the tension breaks and Crane opens his mouth to speak up but before he could voice his mind, the doors are opened and General Yan walks in with a retainer. The much smaller sheep opens a scroll and announces, “Now entering, Empress Zhangsun! Daughter of dragon line, sun of the realm, pro-” The sheep is quieted by a glare from the General and their speech cut off. Everyone rises, surprise and shock burning away the weight on their shoulders. The Empress visiting them? Such a thing was rare and they had done nothing that would warrant such an honor. Even those honored with permission to visit the palace would be escorted to her. The group only has a few moments to shake their surprise off as the Empress elegantly makes her way into the room with a small cadre of retainers and handmaidens. The servants run forward to clear the room and bring in seating arrangements for their Empress and her guests. Like clockwork, the room is adjusted as she proceeds unimpeded to take her seat. Things are moved out of her way and she proceeds through as if nothing was in her way. As she sits, she slides her hands into her sleeves and says, “Leave us.” The small army of servants look at each other nervously but do as they are told, leaving the Empress alone with Shifu, the Five, and General Yan.The guests hesitate for a second before they all move to take their seats as well. “General. The situation?” Zhangsun asks.“The raiders have been incarcerated.” He says. “As I’ve been told, they are from the northern lands. Mongolians. They seemed to have been ransaking the northern villages and using the ruins as a form of hiding. Though for what purpose, I’m afraid Master Shifu refuses to elaborate only that he insists on speaking with you. Insistence, I might add, that is rather uncharacteristic of him.” The General says eyeing the old master curiously. The Empress nods and turns to face Shifu.“Indeed it is.” She comments. “I notice that there are strangers among your students Shifu. Perhaps some introductions are in order?”
“Y-yes.” Shifu says hastily as he clears his throat. “Your Highness, this is Po.” He says motioning to the sullen panda. “He is, as you’ve no doubt heard, the Dragon warrior. And that is Mei Ling...our newest recruit.” When no one else speaks up, the Empress nods.“I see. Welcome, Dragon Warrior. I’ve heard much of your exploits and to you Mei Ling. Master Shifu is not easily impressed and even less so willing to allow someone to join the ranks of China’s greatest heroes. However, I do notice a discrepancy. What of Master Tigress?” She asks. The room seems to grow heavier and somehow more quiet at that comment.Shifu manages to pull himself free from the gloom enough to answer. “She is...no longer with us.” He says. “Mei Ling is her...replacement.” He says with some difficulty. “It is unfortunate.” The Empress says looking down. “I’m sorry for your loss.”Shifu shakes his head. “No...it’s not that. She is very much alive, however...we do not know where she is.”“Desertion?”“Soul searching we think.” He admits.“It seems like some explanation is in order.” The Empress says. “Tell me what happened. What is so important that you will only tell me? Furthermore, tell me what happened to my brother. Who are these people he met with you?”The room grows deathly silent. The old fog of misery and pity is cleared away, only to be replaced by a deathly chill. Though the Empress’s face was as neutral and calm as ever, her eyes were cold and clear, piercing as if they could see through any lie and obfuscations the group might put up. A lone thought goes through her mind, memories of a soft hand, held between her own, too weak to be lifted up, too weak to even hold the fingers gripped around them and a single phrase.Take care of Hien, Sunsun. Love him for me. Love him like I would have. Make sure he grows up to be a happy boy. That’s all I wanted for him. I’m sorry...Sunsun...
And that I think will be it for the epilogue. Otherwise I could probably write a whole quest with the other half. For now let's get back to TL and his friends. Maybe I'll post what the others are doing here and there if people are into that. Let me know what you think.Should we stick to TL and his crew and only leap to other parts of the world for epilogues with the relevant people? Or should I do it more often?
>>4787649You think you can escape the epilogues? What a grand and intoxicating innocence.They will continue, writeslave, until the day you die and they no longer amuse me. And for today, you live because I am amused.
>>4787717God damn it Dagoth Ur. I thought I told you to stay off of qst and fanfic sites!...Is the Nerevarine bullying you again? Do you want to talk about it again? I can put my book down for a moment.
>>4787725The dream exists to please the dreamer. A nightmare is nothing but an unruly dream. But how can one control the dream without destroying the illusion through lucidity?It involves the remaking of the self. When you can shape how your innermost unconscious thoughts manifest, you have mastered the dream. Be the dreamer, never lost to the dream.
>>4787649I think it is the wise move to stay with TL and friends mostly. Keeps it as their story.And as for Tigress. . .Damn, there is still some lingering guilt over her state, even if she isn't an adopted sister as we suspected.
>>4787649Better leave the jumping to epilogues after we somehow influenced them, or some big shit is going down.>>4787725He is a god, how can you ward off a god?>>4788117She can still be an adopted sister but still remember her biological parents, or her hatred could come from something else.Perhaps we will never know the answer.It seems that everywhere we go, we change peoples view on life and/or send them on a soul searching travel. We are quickly becoming some sort of monk.
>>4788215We even have the clothing and stench to match. Heh.
>>4788233Tired of Taoism, Confucionism or Buddhism?Don't want to follow a bunch of nonsensical etiquettes to please the ego of others? Do you think reincarnation rules are dumb, and that stopping existing is a punishement, not a reward? Is letting go of all attachment making life not worth living?Well we got just the thing for you! Now introducing the brand new philosophy of Lungism! This new way of life is the hottest thing in northern China since the Xiongnu invasions!The first step in salvation and redemption is accepting the past, and the next is making your future! Come join us! Only you can find your path in the world!And remember, the best girl was inside yourself all along!
>>4788316Mass murder and prodigal martial art skills optional.
>>4788423And sold separately.I missed the chance to say Billy Mays here too, now I must live with the shame.Or would Phil Swift be better, since it's about fixing your life?
Wheres the bit Xin talks about how TL went deep inside them and how he touched them and changed their lives forever. We can cut the but out where Ming drags them away from the cameras by the ears so they can read the script right.
>>4788426I did consider the "sold seperately"Maybe I'll actually write up the tenants of Lungism if I have time.
>>4788534 1. Hug buns 2. Punch bullies 3. Hug buns.4. Don't make Ming upset.
>>4788609More like1. Any person can be redeemed if they genuinely wish to be.2. Everyone is entitled to a second chance, everything after that is a mercy.3. Violence is never the first answer but passiveness in the face of evil is to be abhorred.4. Your friends and family are precious above all.5. Pursue whatever excellence you prefer to achieve, be it martial arts or running a store.6. If you refuse to change your ways, then you are lost.
>>4788805Got to add accepting your pasts mistakes, and that bettering yourself isn't trying to erase or repay them, but to ensure a better future.Even a good intentions can lead to a dark path, and anyone can fall, you should always stop to reconsider your path.And that finding your own path is something that can obly come from within, you can't force another to understand.Something have to be done alone, but that doesn't mean you should eschew your friend and family, or support them should they be the ones in need.Anything more?Tai Lung would fit well with Lieren's mutant students
Alright, I'm getting to writing.
>>4788849You should be repaying your mistakes, and we have for 21 YEARS! but only in the past 1 have we done any good.
Somewhere in Northern China"Renshu! Help! They're trying to kill me!" Ming screams as she runs into the camp ground before collapsing on the ground. Renshu looks up from his cutting board and smiles. Leaves from the tree above rustle as Xin Lan leaps down from them and lands infront of Ming's head. They fall crosslegged into a sitting position and poke Ming's head. "It's was only a 15 mile jog. Not that bad. Besides, we still have jumping training to do and if there's still time we can work on dodging rocks." They say.Ming looks up, furious, "Yes it is. It's not my fault I'm not a maniac like you! Some of us have normal healthy bodies.""Hey, I'm plenty healthy! You see how the big guy carries me? Perfect body. Perfectly flexible that is." They grin. "But I don't mind showing you either.""I'd rather die." Ming grumbles as she gets up to sit."Well you already have one foot in the grave so you're nearly there." Xin Lan says. "We'll have lunch and take a break because I'm so nice." Ming simply grabs them and pulls them into a hug where she roughly pets their ears. Xin Lan simply takes it but looks unamused as their hair is messed up. Once satisfied with her punishment, Ming continues to hold on to Xin Lan and asks, "Where is Tai Lung?"Renshu pours oil into a wok and beings to heat it up over the fire. "He went for a walk." He says after a bit. "Might have been a few minutes after you went on your run and he finished gathering firewood and some herbs I asked for.""That was a while ago." Xin Lan points out. "Did the big guy say what he was doing?""No and I didn't think to ask." Renshu admits as he prepares some rice. "I suspect he'll be back in time for lunch though.""Hopefully he's not planning out some kind of training." Ming murmurs. "He's probably just washing his clothes." Xin Lan says.>What are you doing?>Fishing. You saw a lake nearby and you wanted to grab something to add to the meal.>Training. You wanted some quiet and time alone to practice something. (what are you practicing?)>Meditating. You're just clearing your mind.>Write in.
>>4788935Of course you should try repay your mistakes, but that should be separate from improve yourself and becoming a better person, and you should understand that you can't undo the past. It has happened, you can't change nor it's effects on the present, all you can do is make a better future And I argue that we haven't even started repaying ours, and neither we ever could. You can't undo a death, or all the suffering and loss that come with it. And with we were to be repaying it with what we could, and that would be physical reparations through money, recontroction or materials, it should have been in the valley of peace, the place affected, and towards the families and survivors.You have to forgive and let go, otherwise it will consume you. We achieved inner peace because we didn't let our guilt drag us. But you can't forget your mistakes either, we achieved inner peace by denying an hypocrisy that we were innocent or correct.That view of repaying what you own, and fearing punishement is something that so far has only caused us suffering and appeared after and during hell, it doesn't seem to be something that would fit what Tai Lung has done so far, and that is to refuse condemning people.
>>4788963>Training. You wanted some quiet and time alone to practice something. (what are you practicing?)>Meditating. You're just clearing your mind.Our new style is both at the same time! So let's improve it, see if we can interact with nature with it too, or if it only works with people.
>>4788963>Training [Refining our new technique]Hey, if we do it near that lake then we can probably talk to the water sprites as well.>>4788972I suppose you're right on not repaying ours at all. Sometimes it's easy to confuse "doing good" with "repairing bad"
>>4788985That's true, and is a very common and normal view, that if a person does bad things they are undoing their good, and if they do good they are fixing their bad, even if they are unreleated to one another.It just seems that so far Tai Lung has show this idea that they can be separate, to cope with the idea of him being a good person now without the guilt of his past actions eating him alive.Probably would be a key point in Lungism that set it apart from the rest if it ends up actually existing instead of being a meme.
>>4789006It'd stay a meme I should hope.
>>4789006>>4789024Never. Tai Lung is our jesus stand in.But more seriously, I don't think Tai Lung would ever go the route of being a wandering monk teaching virtues to others. That seems more like Renshu's deal. More to his character, Tai Lung is a bit more of a show don't tell kind of person. If he'd ever end up teaching people it'd be as a side effect of saving them or interacting with them. Just like Renshu, he didn't begin his change because Tai Lung extolled the virtues of his way of thinking. He wanted to change because TL set the example time and time again.So I think that his way of thinking could spread through China but it'd be more out of "I was there when Tai Lung saved us. I wanted to be like him." kind of a deal than. "Tai Lung spent an hour explaining why following these virtues is good."
>>4788976>>4788985We're gonna be training then. Writing.
>>4789032The only virtue that Tai Lung shall explain is that children should keep their teeth strong, demonstrated as he drives a fist through a Triad mugger's jaw.Because strong teeth come out whole rather than fracture.
>>4789065Whether it happens or not, you have to admit that who ever ends up with TL as a father or husband will really fucking blessed both in the litteral sense and the fact lucky sense.
>>4789070Yeah, whoever settles down with him will be inheriting a fuck ton of peak genes and spiritual power.Assuming they can even crossbreed anyway.
>>4789083>Implying TL's chad supergenes would be stopped by something as simple as cross species genetics.
>>4789083As show by the assassination order, there are ways.Probably imoral ways, but wealways find a way.>>4789032>>4789024More like Kiryu without the power of no canon deaths.And I don't know, Luo is already writing a book about us, Hien is going around singing ballads and that town already has us a folk hero. We already write leatters for everyone, is just a queation of time until someone compiles the tidbits into a compedium.Or finds the hidden personal journal
>>4789099This is the part of the manga where we learn that TL's genes are part of a long lineage and either by fate or chance said genes always find a way to prevent their extinction.
>>4789108So THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT's why there was a baby snow leopard in southern china with no parents to speak of.
>>4789111Can you imagine it though? There was a threat big enough that TL's parent's, one who shares the same genes with the guy, had to abandon their child for it's safety? That's some scary shit.
>>4789122>>4789111I'm still waiting for the day that the big guys that sent the raiders shows up with the complete invasion force, and turns out it's Genghis Khan and we are his long lost older brother.
The sound of water lapping against the shores of the lake are the only sounds you can hear besides those of your fists cutting through the air. You thrust your limbs out, pivot, and swing once more as you go through your last fight against Tigress in your mind. To the inexperienced, it looked like you were going through an intricate dance. You continue through your movements before ending it with a single palm thrust. The sound of air ripping apart echos through the lake and the water splashes and ripples violently before you. You look at your hands, frowning.You were certain this was exactly the same pattern you did. Positive that you did not make a misstep or throw a block out of place. But still you could not replicate the effect. Your defenses were strong, full force and yet they made no waves, they flowed unimpeded by the wind and when they collided there was no force. Yet here you knew that you were acting like you normally you. Had you actually blocked during this training, you would have made an impact like any other time. You also couldn't reach the same state of peace as you did before. There was something about it. A strange intrinsic quality that you simply could not grasp. It was like letting go and taking in everything around you with all your senses, using the elements to guide you but no matter how hard you try, you can only focus one element or you find yourself thinking about thinking. Your mind becomes overwhelmed at the possibilites and you become distracted.Maybe it was the fact your life was no longer in danger or maybe it was because you had no opponent but you really want to be able to use this new style on command. You fall to the ground and look at the sky as you try to clear your mind and think. The sun was reaching noon and you know that by now Ming and Xin Lan would be done with their run. You wonder if you should head back for the time being.>What do you do?>Head back. You're not making much progres and you don't want to worry your friends.>Keep trying to find a way forward. Your friends could take care of themselves.>Go do something else. Best to not return to camp empty handed.>Write in.
>>4789182>Keep trying to find a way forward. Your friends could take care of themselves.They can easily come check up on us, it's not like we have run off to fight a big evil. Again.
>>4789201Support. The way forward then, is to meditate and listen to the earth and the wind. Start with two.
>>4789215Wouldn't it be better with wind and water, since we have more experience with them?
>>4789230It could be. I just figured earth has a more stable connection....I'll see myself out.
>>4789247I don't know, that joke seemed a bit too grounded to me.
>>4789201>>4789215Gonna continue figuring things out. But what will we learn?
You decide that a bit longer wouldn't hurt. You weren't in much of a hurry. You close your eyes and try to focus on the elements again. If you had trouble focusing on more than one, then perhaps you just needed to practice and start on a smaller scale. Two is the only natural progression you feel and so you try to feel out for the two you're most familiar with, water and wind. You steady your breathing and feel out for the presence of wind and water. Doing so is actually a lot more difficult than you expected. You're not sure if it's because you're actually trying to do so conciously but you feel like you're reminding yourself to do something you do automatically. Much like reminding yourself to breathe or blink, the act of trying to tell yourself to do something is disctracting. You feel out and find a wind sprite and then go searching for a water sprite but upon doing so you realize that you're no focusing on the wind sprite.You try and do the same with the water sprite but end up with the same result. After the 3rd attempt you stop and think about it some more. You can speak with multiple sprites at the same time. You've done it all the time even before you were able to leave your body. So what was different now? You think for a moment but the only thing that comes to mind is that it simply happens naturally. Come to think of it, you remember that during your fight it came naturally as well. Come to think of it, if you were looking at if from another persepective, you could also say you were simply allowing the feelings to come in rather than reaching out for them. Just like Tigress's emotions and just like talking to sprites. You didn't listen to each sprite, or even each person, individually but instead you let their words come to you.Following that, you realize that you also never attacked when you fought. You only reacted to what Tigress did to you and never made her do anything. Perhaps you're too used to fighting proactively. Your style normally focuses on taking the initative, striking first and decisively rather than defensively. Perhaps it simply wasn't adequate to incorporate into what you were trying to do. In that case you would need something else to try out.
You begin to wonder what you would do when you feel something weigh heavy on your chest and then something hit your forehead repeatedly. "Hey! How long are you gonna sleep? Lunch is ready and I'm not allowed to eat until I bring you back." Xin Lan says and you open your eyes to find them sitting on your chest, arms crossed and frowning. "I'm hungry." They pout.You sigh and sit up, lifting the rabbit, and standing. "I hear you." You chuckle as you tuck them under your arm."Good. Let's go or Ming gets the best bits." They say,wiggling, and you start to wander back. "What are you even doing?" They ask, resting their chin in their hands and their elbows against your arm. "You go out every day to the lake and are gone for hours.""I'm learning a new fighting style." You say. "Or at least trying to replicate what I did when I fought Tigress.""Dunno why you want to do that." Xin Lan says. "You're already unstoppable. If it's not broken, then don't try to fix it.">What do you say? Why do you want to learn this style?>To protect. There are people who need to be defended and breaking people infront of them won't help their oppinion of you.>To win. This style is increadibly powerful and can be used to end fight quickly and efficiently. In doing so, you can stop fights before anyone gets caught in the crossfire.>To change. If you want to be better then so does the way you fight.>Write in.
>>4789427>To understand and help. Knowing yourself and your foes, just as much as you would a friend.>To perservere. You lost your way once because you focused only on the fighting and strength aspect of Kung Fu. And as you said to Renshu, it's best to be wary so you don't shackle yourself again.
>>4789427>>4789443Yeah this is pretty clean.Excuse this nice bunny ass. I couldn't help myself.
>>4789462You better calm down anon.Otherwise I will have to pull out the proper weaponry.
>>4789462I see the Xin Lan camp is growing. In more ways then one it seems.>>4789462>>4789443Taking this. Writing.
>>4789472You think that'll stop me?There's tons of other stuff to post, I could FILL this thread with Tigeress if I had half the mind to. As the resident Xin Lanfag however, I'm trying to limit myself to androgynous, white furred, bunny ass. It's not as easy as it sounds suprisingly.>>4789492I honestly think it's just me, but we'll see how things go when the time comes.
>>4789497You don't need to remind me.Everytime I go to search for a good image for Tai Lung when making a meme, I have to wade through the sea of Tigress x Lung.I've seen heavily pregnant Tigress side-by-side Tai Lung while he held twins in his arms anon, your threats no longer have any power over me.
>Anons arguing over what they've seen. >mfw I think of half the shit I've seen to get character images.
>>4789512I respect your service Luo, that's why you are the Boss.Why is the draw her giving birth meme a real thing. I didn't need to see it.
>>4789503>>4789512We all know the score.All I'm saying is that Xin Lan's ass should be posted more and I'll do so, even if I need to draw it myself!Lets hope it doesn't come to that any time soon.
>>4789531Actually, ignore the spoilered text, I just remembered I rippes that bandage way before that was a thing.And it wasn't even furries. Goddamn japanese.
>>4789534It probably will.Because I'm not doing it.And if it mean another anon trying to make fanart, I'm all for it
"To understand and help." You say looking down at the curious Xin Lan. "Knowing yourself and your foes, just as much as you would a friend.""I dunno...we've been doing real good just beating people up." Xin Lan says."Maybe, but if there's ever a chance to improve it behooves us to do so. We're trying to be good and save people. If there was a way to do it better, why shouldn't we take the time to improve? Besides, we have to perservere. We've all lost our way once, I lost mine because I could not see beyond power. We should always be wary or we might end up shackling ourselves. I admit...there might be some people that we won't be able to reason with and will have to use full force but for all the times where it's not needed, it would be good to leave our opponents somewhat intact." You admit.Xin Lan makes a noncommittal noise but says nothing on the subject. Instead, they ask, "What are we gonna do when we get to the library?""I don't know." You say. "I suppose we'll first ask if they'll allow us access to it.""We could steal the books." Xin Lan suggests."I don't think that would be very wise. We wouldn't survive Ming's wrath." You chuckle. "That aside, the library must be very large if it contains all of China's knowledge or most of it. We wouldn't even know where to look and there might be things preventing theft like the other library.""I guess you're right." Xin Lan agrees."What would you like to look for in the library?" You ask. Xin Lan goes quiet for a moment."I don't know." They admit. "I got Stripes and I got you and Ming. What more do I need?""Food apperantly." You smirk. "It might be a good idea to think about it. For all we know, it could be one of those deals where we're allowed to enter only once."----The two of you arrive back at camp and to the smell of warm rice and mushrooms. "You're back." Renshu says as he moves to serve two more bowls. "I was afraid the two of you had gotten into trouble again." He muses."No. Not with out you." Xin Lan smirks. "We gotta have someone to pull out butts out of the fire." You stride over to the campfire and set Xin Lan down who immediately moves to sit with their brother. Renshu pours a dark sauce over the rice and hands both bowls to you. You can see diced veggies and a few flecks of pepper seeds within it. Taking a spoonful, you dig in and enjoy the warmth of the meal. The spices are light and seem to go well with the natural heat of the fresh meal, they open up your tastebuds and seem to make every bite sharper. "So what were you doing?" Ming asks as she eats. "I thought you might have been fishing.""Nothing much." You admit. "I was just trying to learn a new fighting style."
"More training." Ming says rolling her eyes. "I think I had enough of that for one day.""No you haven't." Xin Lan says. "We still have jumping exercises next." Ming simply glares at them. "How far away from the library are we?" They ask her while ignoring her stare.Ming swallows some water. "Good question." She says and leans over to dig into her bags. "With the speed we go at it's hard to keep track of distance." She admits and pulls out your map. She holds a spoon full of rice into her mouth, clenched between her teeth. "Let's see..." She spreads the map out infront of her and you all lean forward to get a better look. "We passed here...stopped there...here we are!" She says pointing a claw at the map. "We're about...a day or so away from the base of the mountain. At least at our speed. At normal pace...maybe a week or longer from the nearest town which is there. Speaking of which, there's a small town just before we get there. It'll be the last town we'll see from then on. We could stop for supplies. I don't know how treacherous the mountain will be.""If not, then the town may provide us information. Living so close to the mountain, they might have had travelers pass by often. We could do well to stop there." Renshu says."True...but we're as prepared as we can be." Xin Lan counters. "I don't know if some random town can give us anymore information than we already have. We should just go for it.">What do you say?>Agree with Ming. Preparing would be best.>Go with Xin Lan's suggestion. You've all waited for a long time to get here. Best not to wait any longer.>Say that you should stay here or in the town to train Ming up a bit more.>Write in.
I enjoy fan art. Need to find more images of locales though. Specifically libraries. Have some buns
>>4789581>Go with Xin Lan's suggestion. You've all waited for a long time to get here. Best not to wait any longer.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4789581>You both make compelling arguments. Let’s flip a coin for it.”1 prep 2 go
>>4789581>Agree with Ming. Preparing would be best.>Xin? Skipping the chance of acquiring more options for food? Did you decide to change your personality again?Ask around the locals if they know about the mountains or the library atleast.
>>4789587Support.No real reason to hold ourselves up, we will get sidetracked again.
We got a tie. I also just woke up. So anyone want to discuss their vote or should I just roll for it?
>>4790739Flip for it.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4790739Let the dice decide.I'm ok with skipping the village if needed, so let's see if I change my vote or not.
>>4790834And it seems the dice wants me to keep my vote >>4789615. At least my little joke isn't wasted.
Rolled 2 (1d2)Alright, big QM vote. 1 is we stop for supplies and info and 2 is we simply continue.
We move on. Writing.
"What's this? Xin Lan passing up a chance for more food?" You tease. "You doing ok?""No." Xin Lan says burying their face into their brother's shoulder. "I've been terrible ever since...my divorce!" They sob melodramtically. Renshu pats the back of their head consolingly as they eat with an amused look. "He was strong and handsome and gentle." They continue sobbing. "But most of all, they were great in bed! I don't know what I did wrong!"Ming snorts and chokes on a bit of rice as she tries not to giggle while you feel your face go red as Xin Lan continues. "There was this thing we always did before we would go at it for hours!""I-I see." You stammer and try to hide your face by looking at the map. Xin Lan giggles and goes back to scooping some food out of Renshu's bowl. "Besides," They continue as if nothing had happened. "We'd only get rations and we have tons of those.""W-well...I think Xin is right." You continue. "We probably won't get much information from a small town. Luo said it would be in the peaks of the mountains, so I doubt the average villager would know much about anything at that height. I say we simply go for it...before we get caught up in something else." You admit."We do tend to get caught up in things, don't we?" Renshu says. "It would be nice to simply do what we wish to do.""Well if we're gonna go for that then I'm gonna need a few days. Just 2 or 3." Ming says."What? Need some more training?" Xin Lan smirks."No." Ming says quickly. "I just want to prep some medicines. Even for exprienced crazy people like you Xin, mountian climbing is a dangerous thing. I want to have some things handy.""Sounds good to me." Xin Lan says. "I'd prefer not to die on some random mountain.""Ming has also been training hard. A few days of rest would be benificial for her as well.""Then it's settled." You say. "We'll rest a few days and let Ming prep her medicine then head straight for the mountains." You grab another serving of rice and sauce. "It'll give us some time as well to just relax a bit.">What do you do for the next few days?>Sleep. Just take naps and relax. With nothing going on, you can finally just rest.>Hang out with someone.>Try and do something in preperation for the mountain climb. Ming will be busy,might as well try and contribute some how.>Write in.
>>4791136>Hang out with Xin and Renshu, try and get more of this socialisation thing down.Maybe we'll figure out a way to enjoy ourselves that isn't training. Or maybe the others will take pity on us and just acknowledge that our social failings are too deepseated and consent to beating the fuck out of one another
>>4791136>Try and do something in preparation for the mountain climb. Ming will be busy, might as well try and contribute some how.Ask the sprites to confer beneficial weather and steer any storms away from the mountains for a while.Snowstorms while mountain climbing are extremely hazardous.
>>4791136>Try and do something in preperation for the mountain climb. Ming will be busy,might as well try and contribute some how.I don't think the sprites would freely change the weather for us, but they can give us some information about the place.Aks if there are any constants danger other than the regular risks of moutain climbing, like an ice troll in the middle of the way. And see if Renshu can do the same with the spirits of the dead if they cooperate.
>>4791184>>4791270TL will never learn to hold his pasta. We'll talk to the spirits. Writing.
You spend the next few days, both communing with the elementals and coming back to your body to find Xin Lan having stacked a few things on your head every so often although they soon stopped when they attempted the same with their brother and found themselves being held upside down by one foot as he spoke to the spirits of the deceased. Either by coincidence, or perhaps due to spring arriving, you find a large variety of sprites and spirits to speak with. Deciding to leave their elder kin alone for now, you speak with the children to glean some information from them. You would think that the wind sprites would be the most numerous by in reality, it's the earth ones. They scurry around, digging through the dirt as they revitalize the earth around you as to encourage new plants to blossom. The wind sprites fly around, carrying the wind with them and with that seeds and pollen to speard life throughout all of China. The water sprites splash about every so often as they explore beyond their lakes and help spread the morning dew to feed the burgening plantlife. Even the fire sprites, as destructive as their flames could be, scurry around and warm the earth to cast away winter's frost and breathe life into the seedlings.You often find yourself losing hours as you watch the cycle of life play all around you, mystified by how everything was interconnected in one way or another and yet hidden to the eyes of everyone but a select few. In the few cases you don't find yourself caught up in what is going around you, you begin your inquiries but immediately come to a roadblock."The mountain libarary is a secret, friend! Even special friends like you must see for yourself.""Why not?" You ask in confusion. "I don't mean to weild my title as such but I am a friend of your father. Surely you can tell me of all people?"
The sprite moves in what you surmise to be an attempt at shaking their head or at least mimicking mortal's body language. "No no. It's a special promise! Promise among all of father's family! No sprite is allowed to say!""Is there anything you can tell me at least? About the mountain? Are there any dangers?" You press. "Even if it doesn't have to do with the library.""No no. I cannot say." The sprite sings. "But this one will help just a tiny small bit! The mountain is icy cold, even on hot summer days! Cold cold winds and icy icy snow! We cannot help and fire sprites are forbidden to melt the snow! You must prepare for the cold, friend! Fires are your friends but not for long for even the cold will seep the warmth from the flames themselves!""So it's magically protected some how..." You mutter. You should have figured. An ancient library would have some kind of protection but you never thought that even the children of dragons were forbidden from interacting there. Perhaps this was because of the royal family? Another connection of their lineage to that of the Great Dragon of Fire? It would make sense if the place held all of China's information.>What do you do?>Ask the sprite for some more help. (What do you ask them?)>Try to speak with some spirits. Perhaps they might be of more help.>Ask Renshu what he has learned.>Write in.
>>4791520>Ask renshu what he has found.Hey Ming, what do you rate our chances?
>>4791520>Ask Renshu what he has learned.We're gonna need a thicker coat for this.Both in terms of clothing and fur, I reckon.
>>4791529>>4791531Talking to Renshu. Writing.
>>4791520>Ask Renshu what he has learned.We may have to go to the town anyway to buy more clothings and fire supplies.
>>4791587Oh fuck I'm late.
Renshu might have had better luck. At least you hope so as you return to your body and see Xin Lan busy reading their book while Ming works on the various vials and tubes that make up her equipment. Renshu was busying himself with dinner as you walk over to them. "Hey." You say as you sit besides them, wary of touching anything. "Did you find anything out?"Renshu finishes dicing onions, their eyes consipicuously not tearing up, and shakes his head. "I'm afraid not." He admits. "My spirits cannot travel far as they're bound to me and they could only offer some tidbits of information. As you might be aware, very few have traveled to the library and those that have either climbed back down before it got to dangerous or were never heard from again. Of course those that supposedly have visted, are few and far between. We know the library exists because there have been people who have been to it but we don't know who they are." He grabs a skillet and pours a bit of oil into it. "I'm more worried that this might simply be a case of a legend becoming bigger than we expected. Tale that grew over time and eventaully became fact due to word of mouth.""Can't be. It was in the royal maps." You say. "And it had to be funded by someone. I'm guessing that maybe the royal family might have had some hand in it. Plus even the sprites aren't allowed to talk about it. They confirmed it existed, at least by accident, but they can't help anyone. Even the fire elementals aren't allowed to melt the ice off of the mountain. I was told that even fire doesn't help for long. That it's so cold that even the flames have it's heat sucked away."Renshu nods as he begins to make stir fried veggies. "It corroborates the rumors I've heard from the spirits as well." He says. "Though I thought it was merely hyperbole. That the winds never cease and the snow never stops. Only the brave and mad make the journey to enlightement on that mountain because one runs the risk of being lost in the white blanket forever. I simply thought it was just a myth over the difficulty of climbing a mountain in search for elightenment but if the spirits speak true then it just may be that there is some more trials ahead of us." He pauses and stirrs for a bit. "But something even the Great Dragons have all agreed to...the reach of the royal family must be greater than I thought.""It could have been a reward." You suggest. "Shenlong offered me a choice from many powerful abilitys and artifacts when I chose to learn his fighting style."Renshu looks at you for a moment before bursting out in laughter. "And you chose over everything the Great Dragon had to offer, a fighting style?" He says. "My...that is so...you." He says."I thought it was a good idea..." You say a bit embarassed. "What used did I have for a sword or armor? Dragon Style seemed to compliment my skillset."
"I'm sorry." Renshu apologises, wiping his eyes. "I do not mean to dimish your choice but that really is something you would do. Take something not for it's intrinsic value or it's immediate worth but rather something that has value beyond what you see upfront. Armor would protect you, a blade would be unstoppable but Dragon Style? For someone who is master of every form? Most disregard it when compared to artifacts of power." He says as he pours some salt into the pan. There was the familiar feeling of adoration and pride coming from Renshu. [Much like you chose not to discard me.] You manage to accidentally hear as you feel Renshu's emotions grow stronger before he catches himself. He coughs and shakes his head as he spills more salt into the pan than he intended. The pan hisses and Renshu pulls it out of the fire."Sorry!" He says abruptly, looking away. "Sorry..." He adds again, still not facing you though for what he was apologizing for you cannot say. You decide to leave him to his cooking before you cause any more disasters.>What do you do?>Talk to someone else.>Go a gather some more supplies form the wild. (Fishing, herbs, ect)>Wait for Ming to finish what she is doing and relax.>Write in.
>>4791801>Go a gather some more supplies form the wild. (Fishing, herbs, ect)Dry kindling most of all
>>4791801>Go a gather some more supplies form the wild. (Fishing, herbs, ect)We need to find a way to protect ourselfs from the elements.Normally I would say something like hunt for furs, but I don't think that's an option in this world.
>>4791985its a gruesome option indeed
>>4791801Even our mere presence ruins the food!>Gather vines and fibres, let's make a sturdy fucking rope.Kindling wouldnt be a bad idea either.
>>4791855>>4791985>>4792397Prepping for the trip. Writing.
I kind of hope I painted Hien’s family in the right light. Basically they're good rulers and a loving family. Hien’s mom was kind of what held them together, messy hair, didn't really fit the typical royal mother. Was kind of the joy of the family. When she passed away, everyone kind of buried themselves in their work. The royal family has always been known to put their work above themselves but mom was the one who kind of pulled them back to remember they had their own family and friends to care for.
>>4793337And we ended up doing the same thing for Hien.Therefore I propose that we are now Hien's new mom.
>>4793349Truly we are best girl.
>>4793349I think the saddest thing is that the one selfish thing she asked for, a child she could raise like any other mother and not lose them to politics, is what ended up killing her.
>>4793367See, that's why she should have promised for the child to be a priest, and then she would have survived, so she could have just gone back on her word and raised him normally.It's a totally original idea that works every time.
>>4793337They seemed to me to be a group of genuinely dedicated qnd skilled leaders that were not YET at the disconnect of being completely unable to grasp the gravity of their subjects lives.But maybe that was just Hien colouring my perceptions by his familial bonds and being a shining paragon.The reason people have issues with monarchies and dictators is that if you have a bad one then you are stuck with them making everything worse, but a fair handed and beloved leader can probably lead their nations in prosperity. So I'm not too worried about the family so long as they can produce men and women like Hien.And hey, the great dragon's blessing has to hold some confidence, right?
>>4793403The Empress also seemed to know her subjects, and valued fairness over decorum.Although his big brother seemed a bit too hot headed. Guess that comes with a military career.>And hey, the great dragon's blessing has to hold some confidence, right?Unless it works like the Mandate of Heaven, in which case good luck with the battle royale when shit hits the fan.
You decide to gather what supplies you could for your trip. More basic medical herbs and more importantly, tinder for flames. If the mountains would be as cold as the sprites claimed, then it would be best to have the ability to make as many fires as possible. You go around the forest and collect as much dry plants and dead bark as you could. You even take fallen branches and twigs, breaking them into much thinner and smaller pieces with your raw strength. When you are done, you carefully wrap the larger pieces in cloth and place the plants and rest in a wooden box to protect them from getting wet. Last thing you wanted was for your fuel to become dead weight to your team. You go around gathering a few more medical herbs and try to find some edible plants as well. You’re not sure how much they’ll help but you suppose that anything would be good incase you run out of rations. You spend most of the day working on that and return with a full bag and armfull of supplies.“That enough wood?” Xin Lan asks, amused.“Not sure.” You admit. “I hope so.”“Nevermind.” They say as they stand up. “I’m not sure what else we can do other than wait for Ming to be done. Personally, I’m thinking of napping.” Xin Lan says stretching a bit and flopping down next to you as you sit under a tree. “If this mountain is so dangerous, how do people live there?”“The library must protect them from the elements.” You guess. “And they probably are self sufficient. Wouldn’t be surprised if a place that is that protected would have some magic to help.”“As long as they have what we want.” Xin Lan replies, leaning against you. “They better not be stuffy old people like the other temple we visited.” You chuckle at that.“They might very well be. I’m not sure how one could live in a library all their life without being bored out of their mind.” You say pulling Xin Lan close.“Guess we’ll just have to make the place a bit livelier for them.” Xin Lan says, closing their eyes. “I’m sure they haven’t seen some as cute as me in a long time.”---“Here, these should help...I think.” Ming says as you all finish up packing your camp. She hands you a bottle full of an amber liquid. It was warm to the touch and more importantly you could sense it.“Ming what is this?” Renshu asks in awe as he holds the bottle up. He glances at you with a knowing look. “It’s umm...I’m not sure.” She admits. All three of you turn to face her, dumbstruck. “I mean, it’s supposed to help with the cold. I read the recipe from one of those old books I found in the burned library.”
“Can I see the recipe?” He asks as he tucks the bottle in his breast pocket. Ming pulls out an old worn book and flips through the pages. “Here it is.” She says and holds it out for them to read. Renshu takes the book and goes over the recipe. His brow furrows a bit and he asks. “Did you follow the instructions exactly?”“Yeah. Some of them were a bit odd but I figured it was because of how old it was. You know, old superstitions and stuff.” She explains.“Ming this isn’t a recipe.” Renshu says. “It’s a ritual. That’s why there’s Chi in these bottles. Your Chi I suspect.”“What?” Ming asks. “No. I don’t know how to use that stuff. And besides, it requires meditation and that kind of thing right? I didn’t do any of that. The instructions didn’t even ask for chanting or anything.”“No but...I suspect the concentration you put in to make it might have inadvertently allowed you to tap into it.” He says. “You’re already sensitive to a higher degree than the average person. Rituals are part instruction and part meditation. They’re specific and repetitive because it allows the user to meditate easier. The ingredients are what cause the effects, the movements and repetition allow the crafter to imbue their essence into the creation.” You look at the bottle again. The more you focus on it, the more right Renshu was. It was faint, but you could feel a little familiarity with it. Something that only reminds you of Ming. “I mean there is something funny about the bottles.” Xin Lan says tossing theirs up and down. “But I figured it was just an off smell or something.”“Well then we should get rid of them.” Ming says. “We don’t know what they’ll do if the ritual was performed by someone who didn’t know what they were doing.”>What do you say?>Say that you trust her. Ritual or not, you’ll still take it.>Say that you should save it for an emergency. You agree with Ming but it’s better to have it on hand just in case.>Say that you agree with Ming and you should dispose of them. You’ve seen how bad rituals can get if not done right.>Write in.
>>4793509>Say that we trust her.We've been over this hill before and it was a bad trip then.Besides, rituals followed exactly dont actually hurt you I should think. Because if they did then any starting ritualistic would have to do 5 to 20 expensive dry runs before they could use the crap that they were making. If she says she did it all to the letter, which she is good at, it will be fine.
>>4793466It's a bit of that and of who he is. Hien mentioned when he was younger Da fai was always looking for a for a fight. Not because he could get away with it or because he could win. Just simply because he enjoyed a food fight.Often times he would come home bruised and cut and get yelled at by his father only to be tended to by his mother. Then when the truth came out of him getting into a fight to right some wrong or defend someone's honor. He was the kind of guy who solved problems with his fists. Which infuriated his father because he was capable using his words.Of course his mom would tell him the same. Tell him that not every fight needed to win with fighting. Sometimes not fighting helps more in the long run. When mom died that's when it kind of hit him. People he loves die. He should take their words to heart because it can be the last time you see them. So like his sister and father he dove into his work. Signed up for the military and worked his way up rather than be granted the title. He doesn't see his men as his family but he knows they have their own family. He knows that if he gets into every fight he can then he's going to ruin lives. So he does his job the best he can. Thinks before he acts, weighs lives and costs ect.The scene in meeting hall was a combination of military training, his old hot headedness, and the fact he'll be dammed if he let's anyone harm his sister. As for the head of the Feng family, he's just loyal and grew up in a bad neighbourhood. The harsh but fair kind of man. Just like the yakuza
>>4793509>Say that you trust her. Ritual or not, you’ll still take it.She said she followed it to the letter, so it will work.And so Ming begins to walk the path of the witch, she already got the alchemy down just a bit more.
>>4793523>>4793571We trust Ming. She's best boy.
>>4794777No. No! NO! YOU CAN'T FUCK WITH THE FORMULA! DO YOU DARE DEFY BESTGIRLISM!
>>4794787Being a QM is a pathway to many abilities, some considered to be unnatural.
>>4794802It is no excuse for heresy against the one true faith.You better prepare for a crusade boss.
>>4794802It's Blasphemy then.
>>4794813>>4794822Could I have been wrong all along?
>>4794868No man is above Bestgirlism, not even a QM.
>>4794868Well that was a quick one.GG lads.
>>4794995Hey...I'm not an actually goat. I'm more of a bunny goat cat thing. I don't know where I was going with that joke. But I love the photoshop. Crusader Kings right?
"I trust you." You say as you pocket the bottle. "You said you did exactly as you were instructed. I don't see why it wouldn't work.""Yeah, and besides, can't be as bad as the big guy's cooking." Xin Lan says. "Pretty sure there that's a form of torture all in it's own.""I agree." Renshu says. "If you followed the instructions then there is naught to worry about. You're a genius when it comes to medicines and tonics. I don't see why it wouldn't apply to rituals involving the same thing.""I don't know..." Ming says and Xin Lan simply bats her side. "Quit worrying. Everything will be fine." They say. "We should be heading out either way. Otherwise we'll just end up spending more time not making any progress.""Xin is right. If we're lucky, we might not need to use them but if we do, I'm more than glad to have them on hand." You say. You look up at the clear sky. "It looks like we'll have clear skies for today. According to you, we should be there by the end of today. Sounds like a perfect start to out climb." Ming adjusts the strap of her bag. "I never actually went mountain climbing before." She admits. "I hope there's at least some path.""We'll see when we get there." You say, having trouble containing your excitement. "This is a big step for us. We've come far but now we might have tangable results for our hard work.""I'll bet." Ming says. "Can you imagine what kind of books and scrolls the library might have? Think of all the stuff we could learn.""While you can stick your noses in dusty pages, I'll keep an eye out for things of better value. Maybe I might be able to buy something there. It'd probably sell for tons down here." Xin Lan says."Thinking of becoming a trader little one? Suits you." Renshu says smiling as you all head out."I'll be a trader when you become a chef." Xin Lan says. "We'll open a resteraunt and everything. Maybe even make our own tavern.""Oh I'm sure we could handle that." Renshu agrees. "The boredom of running one, however, I don't think we could.""Oh I'm sure the big guy will provide enough of a show when throwing out drunks to keep us entertained." "Since when did I volunteer to be a bouncer?" You ask. Xin Lan grins."You wouldn't let little ol' me handle big scary drunks would you? I'm just a defenseless little girl." They tease. "Besides, Renshu would be too busy running a kitchen and Ming will be too busy selling hang over drink to our patrons next door in her clinic. It's the perfect set up.""Wait! So you're saying that if I wasn't running a clinic then I'd be bouncer too?" Ming asks."Exactly. Good to have someone else on board with the plan." Xin Lan says."I'm gonna throw you at them. That's what I'm gonna do.""Save your fury for the drunks. We haven't even gotten to the library yet."
---The Huangshan towered above your heads as you reach the base. At a distance, the sheer scope of the mountains and even the mountain range was understated. They rose far into the skies and their tops were hidden in the clouds. As much as you and your friends crane your necks, you cannot make out how much of it was hidden among the heavens."Well now...guess we have quite the climb." Xin Lan says."Luckily for us, we at least have a trail to follow." Renshu points out. You see a faint outline of a trail going up the slope along the mountainside. "People must often try to go up if there's even a small trial like that." Ming says before quietly adding. "How many do you think make it back?""Many." You say pointing to a small group of people coming down towards you. Even at this distance you can see the haggard and defeated look on their face. "I suspect that most people quit before things get too dangerous.""Let's ask them." Renshu says and you group make their way up the slope. You meet the group halfway and they give you solemn waves. "Hello..." They say tiredly. "Are you planning to try the climb?" You nod and they shake their heads. "I'd advise against it but then again, we didn't listen either.""What happened?" Ming asks, aprising them. "You're all starting to suffer from cold sickness. How long were you up there?""A few days." One of the travelers said. "We were trying to see if we could set up a trading route with the monks at the library. Can you imagine the profits?"You glance at Xin Lan who shrugs at you. "So what brought you back down?""The cold." They reply. "After the next day, it was hard to even start a fire. It was so cold we couldn't feel our hands. Then the winds picked up and we could barely see. We decided to turn back while we could still make out the trail.">What do you do?>Ask the travelers something else.>Thank them and continue onwards up the trail.>See if you can find an alternate route? At this level of the mountain it seems unlikely and to attempt to find one without spending a few days looking.>Write in
>>4795009Yeah, it's the new one, CK3.Quite different from the previous one because of the inclusion of the dread mechanic. Now you can be a massive asshole and execute and torture prisoners without dying of self-inflited backstabs in a few years.
>>4795019>Ask the travelers something else.Did the trail continued before you decided to come back or had it become wilderness?>Wish them good luck heading back, would have shared some of our kindling, but it seems we are going to nees it all.We may need to use caves as stopping points if the wind picks up too much, otherwise it will blow out any little flame we manage to create.
>>4795042>>4795076Taking these. Writing.>>4795027I guess I follow Bestgirlism. Thus making Renshu bestgirl to replace Ming who is now bestboy?
>>4795147>Spinning lamps start upThere is no BestBoy in Tai Lung Quest thread
>>4795147Everyone has a best girl inside them, you just have to let it all.Renshu is best girl, Ming is best girl, Xin is best girl, Shenlong is best girl, Tainlung is best girl even Luo is best girl.However, one must not have more than one waifu.And that shall be Bao, for the title of First Girl is what it says, first among it's peers. So sayeth the dogma and scriptures, Animen.
>>4795181Sorry anon, but she is the first and not the best.I hold to the sect of chemistry and working together being superior by mere "appearing" first. She is also married to her work, so there is that in your way.
>>4795158Somehow it all comes back to Ba Sing Se. Or skyrim's opening.
"How far does the trail go?" You ask. "Was it still up there or were you just working your way up through rough terrain?""It was less of a trail and more of the only way to move onwards." The travler says. "Yeah, the path gets real narrow after a few hours of climbing that there's no real other way to head on up. I guess, unless you somehow manage to find a way to climb the cliffside. With the wind and cold, I don't think anyone could ever do that." The other adds."Then it seems we'll be forced to play by the rules of the trail." Renshu says. "Not unless we find some other route." Xin Lan says. "It could be that they have an alternate way to get to the library. Seems pretty dumb to have to trek up and down through such a dangerous path.""You think so?" The travelers ask and they look behind them as if hoping to find such a route. "To be honest, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone coming down from the library.""They have to." Ming says. "Even if they had some kind of farm up there, they would still have to resupply somehow. Crops can go bad, food can spoil, medicines can run out. Not to mention, how would they get their books up there? It's supposed to be China's greatest library right? Can't be that without adding new books or information.""Or...It could be that they come down in disguise." Renshu says eyeing the travelers suspiciously. "Given that the steps the library has taken to remain inaccessable to the public, it would make sense that it's inhabitants would take measures to not be discovered.""What you think these guys are libarary monks?" Xin Lan asks. "They certainly don't look like stuffy priests.""What? We've never seen the library before." One traveler says. "And if we were monks, wouldn't we use that secret route you guys were talking about?""Not if you wanted to ward people away." Ming says. "It would make sense that some would come down the normal route to give the illusion of people failing. It would deter most half hearted attempts. But that just sounds like something out of a children's tale." Xin Lan gives her a look and she drops that last line of thought."What do you think big guy?" They ask looking at you. "Random travelers or secret monks?">What do you do?>Question the two men some more. Perhaps you might be able to discern if they're actually monks in disguise.>Leave the two men be and start your ascent. Even if they were monks, they probably wouldn't tell you anything and you gain nothing by harassing the library's inhabitants.>Do something else before you make the climb.>Write in.
>>4795250>Well the obvious answer would be to check if they were carrying supplies and such in their pack, enough for an actual demonstration of their capacity for trade. To go to the monks and try to barter for a trade route, you would have to have something quite valuable or wide variety of items to show that you can trade and what you can offer.>But if you are monks you will keep to the story and not tell us anything and if you are not then we would simply be ransacking your possessions to satisfy a curiosity, which is rather rude.I say let them pass, unless we can buy some rope. Making sure that we cannot lose people in a snow storm is important, so being tied together means the others can pull the falling one up.
>>4795285If they are fine to humour us, then go right ahead but let's not force the issue.
>>4795250>Leave the two men be and start your ascent. Even if they were monks, they probably wouldn't tell you anything and you gain nothing by harassing the library's inhabitants.>Question the two men some more. Perhaps you might be able to discern if they're actually monks in disguise.Why only two people to start contact, shouldn't a caravan have a bit more?But let them be, since we passed up visting the town, we don't really have any knowledge on how to tell them apart.Use it as an excuse to look at the vistas, wikipedia says the Huangshan are one of Chinas favorite tourist destinations.Also apparently is in the south, so we that just leaves the west for us to journey to.
>>4795352>apparently is in the southHuh really? I just googled Chinese mountain names. Didn't really check the location. That's my bad.
>>4795372Checking the map it seems to be more at center-east than the south actually, my bad.
Gonna grab some food. I'll be back in a bit so we can count votes and climb mountains.
An interesting but of trivia from the TV show on nick toons.Apparently Tai Lung had a nephew, no it is not adequately explained, and they screwed up his name. As the intended meaning was "great dragon" but they wrote Lung rather than Long, if my Chinese hasnt failed me.
>>4795590Wait what? Is this like a case of mistaken identity? How does that work?
>>4795590I think someone mentioned Tai Lung's nephew a long (heh) time ago, and how it makes no fucking sense.Also the wiki says Po disquised himself as Tai Lung with chi bullshit or something to talk him down right?Didn't know about the Long/Lung confusion, that's a nice bit of trivia.
>>4795599It's a case of robbed destiny, Tai Lung was always meant to become the Dragon of the South, however in canon he failed to reach it.Therefore this quest is now more Canon than the official series.
>>4795628>>4795655Wait if TL had family, then why was he left at the Jade Palace. If he was meant to be the Dragon Warrior then doesn't that make Po the bad guy? And from the films it seemed like he was an orphan so how does anyone know he's an uncle?
>>4795285>>4795298Gonna harass people! Writing.
>>4795675Yeah, it makes no sense that he had a nephew that loved and workshipped him, because it would mean he had a sibling that married and maintained contact with during his life.The only option that could make sense would be if they both were abandoned and raised, but the brother/sister didn't want to fight and peacefully left, but than it would mean he had someone in his life that was a nornal person and could hold him back from falling into the evil pit.He also apparently had a trio of twins that served as his minions?I think what happened is that Peng was supposed to be his son, but they turned him into his nephew because that's what always happens in cartoons, that or they are adopted, because no character is allowed to marry of have a sexual relationship, because children can't understand that (since everyone becomes traumatised when they asked themselves were they were born for, obviously)And the whole great dragon thing was probably a pun to the whole thing with Tai Lung and Shifu believing he was destined to be the Dragon Warrior, but went mad when he was denied.
"Well the easiest way to check would be to see their wares." You say. "If you guys are merchants then you would have brought in some samples right?"The two travelers look at each other nervously. "Hey now, we don't just go showing our stuff to anyone. That's just asking to be robbed.""I guess...guess that does sound suspicious." You say scratching your ear. "Well can you at least tell us what you were planning to show them?""Yeah. If you wanted to trade with the monks then you had to have something they'd consider valuable." Xin Lan points out. "Unless...you guys didn't have a plan at all..."The two travelers give you all an odd look. "That's basically the same thing as asking us to show you our things." Xin Lan face palms."Listen are you gonna tell us anything or not? What exactly was your goal here?" They ask exasperated. The two men shrug and sigh. "Fine. We know a few people who trade in materials. Stuff like marble or granite. Even a little bit of iron and the like." One says. "We though we could strike up a deal. Bring the monks some raw materials and they give us completed products. Stuff like jars or like jewlery. Who wouldn't want to buy stuff directly from the Sacred Library?""And what do the monks get in return?" Ming asks. "This only benifits you.""Well...we'd use our connections to get them things they'd want. I mean they'd surely want something? Even if it was food or clothing, we could find it for them at a cheaper price than most people can buy it. We'd even offer some of the profits too but we don't think they'd want something like that. Astetic monks and all that.""How well though out." Renshu says wryly. "Though it seems like your plans have fallen through.""Yeah...that's kind of a blow to our pride." One says. "What can you do?""Do you have anything we can buy?" You ask. "Like rope?""We got some rope on us sure." One says. "What do you want for it?""I can patch you up." Ming says. "If that's ok with you guys. It'll take a bit and we might not end up going up the mountain today." She says looking at you.>What do you say?>Let Ming patch the men up. You're not in the habit of leaving people unattended if they need help.>Allow Ming to do some superficial check ups. You don't want to waste too much time.>Say no but offer coin instead. They can buy food and supplies in the nearest town. >Write in.
>>4795807>Allow Ming to do some superficial check ups. You don't want to waste too much time.>Say no but offer coin instead. They can buy food and supplies in the nearest town.Better not to start burning through our supplies before we even begin the long climb.
>>4795807>Let Ming patch the men up. You're not in the habit of leaving people unattended if they need help.
>>4795807>Let ming patch them up
>>4795861I'm chamging it to letting Ming patch them up, let's be selfless a bit.
Can't post today. But here's an alt Xin. After Renshu was going to die when his bindings to the mortal realm were released, Xin wouldn't have the capcity to cope well with death of someone close. They'd have become a lot more quiet and take up their brother's name as well as some of his mannerism and some of his fighting abilities. Namely using a sword and bulking up. So you avoided the bad end where Xin would no longer identify as a girl either.
>>4797244Well that would be sad as fuck, thank god we avoided it.And it's no problem boss, go deal with whatever you need to do.
>>4797277Xin would then pledge his life to TL like his brother did only without any form of freedom. Who needs to be free or have emotions when it means keeping those that are close to you alive? Emotions only serve to hurt you and prevent you from keeping them going. Sad Xin is best Xin.But really, good job on avoiding them. Happy Xin is much more fun to write. Quest would have gotten much more somber if it went the other way. Now I'm just waiting for anons to vote for TL to marry all three of his companions. It's the only logical outcome.
I just...lost an entire post again...I just...I'm gonna take the night off and sleep. No more writing in 4chan. I'm doing everyone in docs. Here, have Sam and Max. It's basically Xin and TL.
>>4797841You can bet we are amending the ever loving fuck out of that pledge.And harems are systems of exploitation and abuse, why would we ever abuse best girls.Not to mention the war that would flare up, considering that a stalemate where nobody jumps for anyone is all that keeps these fragile kingdoms in balance.>>4797998Sweet dreams
>>4797841Harems are bad, they always feel like a cop out. Not only that but they lead to a fragmented family that hates oneanother.Also it's going to be Bao, not one of our tree companions[/spoilers]I have no idea why 4chan likes eat posts sometimes, it already happened to me in this quest before too. Many QMs write in a program and just paste it after the site fucka them over too, so atleast you are not alone boss.I think it's either a problem with Captcha where you solve it but post just as it refreshes, or the sites autofilter decides that one of your phrases looks like a link from one of their hidden banned words list, it plagued a quite a few qms some years back.
>>4797998"But Xin, you don't even like girls."
>>4798249Not gonna be Bao.Firstgirlism is a plague and what's more she is not suited.
>>4798329Fucking orthodox bestgirlists, your kind should be considered heretics instead of being barely tolerated.The First Girl is what it says, first among the Best Girl, so she must always win.You have spent too much time near those Haremnist infidels, it is still not too late admit your mistake and heal the schism.
>>4798340There is no mistake made, except not ripping out the taint of firstgirlism before it could taint the rest, like some creeping root.That you decry Orthadoxy as heresy is self evident truth of your own moral failings.Whats more, your blighted mind has confused "first formed" with "Perfection". A mistake most grave, for no artist has made their magnum opus and only declined.
>>4798301I love Sam and Max. The cartoon wasn't too bad either if I recall.>>4798249>>4798329>>4798340>>4798202Now now lads. While I commend and support you stance against systems of marital abuse even if only for fictional waifus, don't make have to choose the result myself or maybe slightly/worse depending on how you look at it, roll for whoever gets to be with the big guy.More importantly, time to try this write up again.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4798623Ok than, let's make a list.1-Bao (of course)2-Ming3-Xin4-Renshu5-Hien6-Tigress7-Shenlong8-Another character9-Yet to appear10-Enlightenment
>>4798202>You can bet we are amending the ever loving fuck out of that pledge.Can you amend something they'd refuse to negotiate on? Alt Xin would basically ignore all of TL's pleas on the subject. The consequences are too real and too dire. Of course, we all know anons would be equally as stubborn.
>>4798637Well, it seems we are going to be immortal wizards.
>>4798637Looks like you screwed your choice on that one. Good thing I didn't roll for it huh?
>>4798643The dice decided to turn the car around, guess it didn't like all the memes.
>>4798645Yeah, guess the dice got tired of all the waifu wars. That or it's mad this game has been diceless.
"Sounds fine by me." You say. "We never made a habit to ignore someone in need.""Then do we have a deal?" Ming asks the two travelers."I dunno." One says. "But she said we had some kind of disease right?!" The other asks. "I don't wanna die.""No. No, I didn't say that!" Ming says. "I said you guys were starting to show symptoms of cold sickness.""So then it's going to get worse?!" "No! I just wanted to make sure-""You know, I do kind of feel funny." The first traveler says. "My legs hurt real bad.""See?! I told you! Just give them what they want." The other says pulling their bags out and Ming simply looks at you pleadingly, desperate for help.---"This doesn't feel right." Ming says as she boils some herbal tea. "It's basically extortion.""Eh, I wouldn't worry about it. They were begging for help. They're the ones who agreed to this right?" Xin Lan says looking up from their book as they read along with their brother. As heartwarming as it was to see the two spending time together, part of you couldn't help but feel sad when seeing the two like that. Had they always done things like this? Or where they trying to make up for lost time? Time lost because of a life they were forced into. Were they finally able to act like a proper family or were they merely going along with what they were taught a family was like? At least in your case, you had turned your back on such things. You had the option to be like everyone else and their families. Did that make you a worse person in that case?
"That's not the point Xin." Ming says, pulling you from your thoughts. "We basically scared them into agreeing with us.""Well what were we gonna do? Just tell them no?" Xin Lan asks. "No but..." Ming says pouting. "It's alright Ming." You say. "Just treat them well enough that it's worth the supplies they're trading us. Even if they don't know it, they at least got a good deal.""Surprises me that the two wanted to trade with monks." Xin Lan smirks. "They'd have gotten ripped off so hard.""Ignorance is not something to be ashamed of." Renshu says. "We were all children once, ignorant to the ways of the world. Only those who willfully refuse to educate themselves and elevate their perceptions should be condemned. There are people who are ignorant in one thing but experts in others. We all have our faults little one. You should know, given your disregard towards authority." Xin Lan frowns."I'll listen to authority if they have a good plan and it if it benifits me, Renshu." They say hotly. "I've lived these past few years as free as I could be and I like to continue living like that, thank you. You're no diffrent either.""But you listen to Tai Lung." Ming points out with a smirk."The big guy knows that I'll call him out on his plans as well." Xin Lan replies. "It just so happens that he tends to come up with good ones and I'll break from those plans if I decide they're not good enough.""Alright, settle down everyone." You say. "We should all rest up. From what it sounds like, this will be a difficult climb. We'll need all the strength we can get." Xin Lan grumbles a bit but goes back to their book. The sun slowly rises up into the sky as Ming works on treating the two travelers.>What do you do?>Take a nap and sleep through the day to conserve your strength.>Speak to someone about something off topic.>Ask Ming about what to expect.>Write in.
>>4798637Aw shit.4 was the true number. . . Also, amusingly, the number of death. Fits him.
>>4798757Do it. Give xin a bigger family or something.
>>4798730>Ask ming about what we can expect>Go over the basic plan [Move quickly and carefully, cover as much ground as we can with our martial art charms in as little time as possible, all tied together]>Maybe try and calm the tradersI think we should leave first thing tommorrow morning, to make the most of the daylight and heat that brings. But it will have an issue of snow glare.
>>4798764Unfortunately, the dice demand that we maintain our enlightened stance of celibacy.I shall content ourselves with what we told Renshu, we are basically married already without the vows.
>>4798771memes rolls aside, I think I've made enough love confessions in this quest for now. If you guys want TL to get with someone. It's in your hands.
>>4798730>Speak to someone about something off topic.>Ask Ming about what to expect.Just talk with the would-be explorers, take their mind of things.And keep an eye out in case they decide to swipe something.>>4798781But Luo, we already promised to Bao we are going to spend the eternity at her side, can go around making the same pro ise for everyone.Jokes aside, romance doesn't matter that much, I just want to see our friends reach their potentials and be free of their troubles. Must be what being a dad is like.
>>4798781Yeah, I doubt we will go about it anyway.As >>4798797 says, we just want people to reach their potential and I think most people are contented with watching our friends blossom into the best them they can be.
>>4798797>>4798799Well then we still gotta get to the pools.
>>4798804Ah yes, the journey to vote in the next election.
>>4798765>>4798797taking these votes. Writing.
"So what can we expect on the mountain?" You ask Ming. She shrugs. "I never lived in the mountains. I don't know. I thought you did though?" You nod. "I did." You say. "But the mountains the Jade Palace resides on are nothing compared to the size of these. Even we had to reside with the rules of the seasons."Ming thinks for a moment. "Well, we'd have to watch out out for the cold." She says plainly. "As it grows even colder, our bodies will start to burn more energy to try and keep warm, our blood vessels will constrict because our body is trying to keep all our blood in our bodies where our vital organs are. That means we might feel numbness in our fingers and toes. If it starts to get worse, our veins will constrict more and more. In the end, we'll end up having our limbs frozen or lost from not receiving enough blood. Assuming the cold or something else doesn't kill us first. Even if we do manage to ward off the cold, our bodies will still try to burn extra fuel to keep us warm. Not to to mention the fact that the higher we go the less air we'll have to breathe. Of course, you're all monsters so I'm sure you all are used to such things." "I can hold my breath for 10 mintues." Xin Lan says looking up from their book again. "What's a little less air to breathe?""See? Monster." Ming says, sticking her tongue out at the grinning rabbit."The numbness might cause us to not notice cuts and abrasions. It runs the risk of infection although I'm sure a certain someone would say they don't need one of their feet." Ming says. "Nice try Ming but the big guy already made that threat." They say."Unfortunately for you, nature might make good on that threat."
"Well nature can wait in line. There's already plent of people already trying to get a rabbit's foot.""We'll need to be extra careful then." You say, avoiding the banter. "As the two said, it begins to get harder and harder to see as we climb. We might need to tie ourself to one another to avoid falling or losing each other in a storm.""Or..." Xin Lan says. "You can carry us all up there. You can keep us all warm with your big strong arms." Renshu bats Xin Lan's ear. "As easy as it would be for Tai Lung to carry us all up a mountain, this is clearly some kind of test set up by the monks of the library. It would not look well upon us if we were to simply subvert it." He says. "If we were to somehow arrive at the library while not taking this test they might belive we are not serious about our journey here and refuse us access to their archives.""Renshu is right. We need to show that we're serious about our quest." You say. "If it means playing by their rules then so be it. However, we might have to push ourselves more this time. I want to travel only during daylight. In the dark, we risk too much of a chance of getting lost or missing a footstep. The cold will also be worse so it's best we make camp before then to have a fire ready.""Fine." Xin Lan relents as they close their book. "Then I'll just take a nap and wait for us to leave at dawn." They stretch a bit and then lean against the nearest person to them to sleep against."I'll leave you to it then." You tell Ming as you stand up and head towards the two traveler. It would probably be best if you apprised them of the situation or at the very least talked to them to keep their mind off of things.>What do you want to talk to the travelers about?>Ask them more about the library. Maybe they have info to share.>Ask them about their work or something not relavent to the mountain.>Ask them about the path agian.>Write in.
>>4799030>Ask about the path>Ask where they are from, what sort of place they are heading to, maybe a few jokes about them being better patients than we are.
>>4799030>Ask them about their work or something not relavent to the mountain.Ask if they are from that town we passed on, and thank them for accepting to share the supplies.We are going to be fine, we are a snow leopard afterall, magic moutains are nothing compared to the Himalayas and Siberia.
Got pulled into a 12 hour shift. Not fun. So before I go mad of boredom I'll just post here with non write up stuff. Will we ever learn Xins true sex? Probably not but it won't stop them from waving it in your face.
>>4800776It's just a Xin thing
>>4800776Well that sucks, will you atleast get paid for overtime?
>>4800800Nice double 800s there. I will get overtime at the very least. Id say this is a good spot for a quest Q&A but I'm not sure there's much to ask about. But fuck it, if you have questions leave em here.
>>4800903Did you ever expect to spawn a religion with these threads?
>>4800937No. I didn't think the quest would last more than the first one...wait I spawned a religion? Hope its based on headpats.
>>4800903Ok then, let's think some questions.Any plans for meeting more mythological beings, or beating another big villain?How is the vampire bat doing? And what about those wolf bandits in the first or second thread?Did those old masters that Kai trapped left for their afterlifes or are they still hanging out in Eureka with Oogway?How much have you planned and how much was making up things as ypu went along? For example, was the wood spirit always supposed to be Shenlong or did you decide to change things when we died to make a better story?How is the goat doing? Still working on his new best seller?Did the rhinos manage to get new recruits after the tournament, even after Xin stole the prize?Do the Feng patriatch not give a shit about his son or are we going to have to teach another ganger a lesson?Did the spirits get to you and are forcing you to help you catalog the library?
>>4800953You have spawned an entire religious universe around Bestgirlism, and all of it's schims, like the First Girl Church, Othordox bestgirlism, Reformist Girlism, the Best Boy paganism, the infidel Haremnists, the far eastern philosophy of Lungism and the tribal customs of Headpats.
>>4800953Self help cult going through it's 5th civil war.
>>4800965>>4800966Ohh...well no I guess I didn't expect that. Like i said, I honestly thought so many attempted hijackings would have killed the interest. Considering its still going, I'm very much surprised.
>>4800980Hey, if the shitfire that is modern /tg/ didn't succeed in killing the cryptek stories, even after kicking him off, an actual interesting story under a good writer like this one wouldn't.I mainly attribute it to the fact you kept on going, many qms see less than 5 votes, decide that the quest is dead and abandon it. There usually is around 3 updates per day, when everytime something goes down you inform us. Honestly you are the best qm on the site. No, you are easily the best qm among all the quests sites (not that akun, spacewars or whatever else provide any worthy competition)
>Any plans for meeting more mythological beings, or beating another big villain?I do have a villain that I want to use as kind of a capstone for the quest in its totality but I’m worried that it’ll derail it and we’ll never get to the pools. Even now I’m juggling with the next plot threads and how I want to handle them because I really want to get to the pools. Not because it means that we might swap quests or not but mostly because I want to avoid the ‘One Piece’ problem where the goal just constantly gets pushed back or overhyped to the point where getting there is just a massive disappointment. But I do have someone else I want to come in to fight the group. As for mythological beings? None at the moment but that’s more of me running out of the more well known Chinese myths that have hit the mainstream.>How is the vampire bat doing? And what about those wolf bandits in the first or second thread?He Ling, as far as anyone else knows, is still in custody. However so was TL. There might be a chance he returns or it might be relegated to something The Five handle because the crew is too far away to do anything about. As for the wolf bandits from thread one, they’re working off their sentence with prison labor. Many of the merchants testified on what they were going to do and that added to their sentence. It was quite the surprise though, many expected the Five to handle it, not some random stranger.>Did those old masters that Kai trapped left for their afterlifes or are they still hanging out in Eureka with Oogway?A few have departed to the afterlife after having enjoyed their time in Eureka. The rest have stayed and enjoyed the company of other masters. Not quite a retirement home or massive training dojo but just talking about their lives and what martial arts means to them. It’s quite enjoyable to be able to spend time with someone else who loves the craft as much as you do.
>How much have you planned and how much was making up things as ypu went along? For example, was the wood spirit always supposed to be Shenlong or did you decide to change things when we died to make a better story?At the risk of ruining the magic and I’ll put it in spoilers just in case. In the beginning it was just winging it. Hijacking a thread didn’t leave me any time to plan. Even the goal of the pools was made up on a whim but I did it with the purpose to buy me some time. We had something to look for but not something immediate. I used it to gauge interest and to see what kind of quest this was gonna be. The wood spirit was just supposed to be a one off thing but when TL died, I thought it was a good turning point and whipped up the spirit realm. Bao didn’t get much screen time and the fact she was attuned to nature now was the perfect way to bring her back. Once we hit Zhengyi and the warring triad arc, I had a general goal of what I wanted to happen. A few bullet points on what essentially I thought was cool things that could happen. Stuff like the ruins of Yunnan and its burned library, Hien (who went through half a dozen iterations in my head and you could even say was split into Renshu and what is now canon Hien), and the pools. They weren’t set in a way that had to happen, that way players could dictate the story somehow and not just be railroaded. I will admit, and this might ruin the fun even more, but I did take players' guesses and somehow incorporate them into the game if I thought they were much cooler than what I originally had planned. For example, Renshu was never supposed to exist. He was just another alias for Xin that they would use to contact Ming while TL was in jail. But someone suggested that they were Xin’s brother and I ran with that. His whole connection to the Tainted Rose, his death at Xin’s hands, and their duel? Completely made up on the spot.>How is the goat doing? Still working on his new best seller?Luo is still w