Despite your reluctance in dealing with people right now, it would be best to investigate these "heroes". If they were imitating your friends or at least attempting to steal their glory, you had an obligation to stop them. Their past deeds could be the only legacy they had now and you'd be damned if anyone would tarnish it. The crowd would be the best place to check. If what the guard said was correct, no doubt the impostors were making fools of themselves to garner attention and perhaps a free meal. You slowly make your way deeper into the village and immediately note something was wrong. Thankfully, not in the sense of imminent danger or trouble but rather there was a buzz of excitment around you. As you get closer to the crowd, you note there the people had an eager look in their eyes, espeically in the eyes of the young women in the crowd much to the frustration of the young men of their age. Even some of the older villagers leaned against a nearby building or a seat at the front of their homes as if waiting for something to happen. The crowd grows thick and even begins to resist you but you ignore the rather upset looks of the people nearby as you easily part the crowd to approach the center which coincidentally seemed to be at the doorway of the tavern you passed the night before. "Please, just one more song!" You hear a woman beg."Or another story! I'll buy you your next meal and I'll give you some coin!" A man shouts. Soon cries for another tale or song erupt around you as the crowd goes into a small frenzy as they plead for whomever was at the center to stay. This puzzled you, clearly whomever was at the center of all could not be the trouble makers you were warned of last night. Unless the guard was alone in his opinion, this was the exact opposite response you expected from the townsfolk. Although, if anyone was passing off as Renshu or Xin Lan then perhaps these requests would fit.
"Good people, I thank you for your patronage but I'm afraid I cannot. I'm sorry to say but my travels lead me elsewhere." You hear a young man say. His voice was kind and gentle yet something about it seemed to entice you to listen. The crowds around you groan and complain before attempting to convince the source of this voice to reconsider their decision. You push further into the crowd, finally breaking through to the center to see a small child approaching a man at the doors of the tavern, a single shining coin in their tiny hand. The man's face is mostly obscured by a head of messy hair that seemed to match his well worn traveling clothes. It seemed like everything about him was tarvel worn from his travel bag, to what appeared to be some kind of blanket drapped on his shoulders like a cloak. About the only thing that seemed to have avoided this fate was a rather ornate scabbard that held a hengdao, a straight sword that had only one edge and ended in a clipped point rather than a curved one, with a dragon's head at the front of the hilt where the blade began. The young man kneels down and closes the child's hand around their single coin. He reaches behind the small pup's ear and with a flourish draws another coin as if from thin air before placing it in the child's other hand. "I suppose I can stay for one more song, if one as generous as you asks for it." He whispers before patting the child on the back and ushering them back to their parent.The young man reaches behind him and pulls a stringed instrument as the crowd around him waits in bated breath. He spends a few moments tuning it before strumming it once and begining his song. The notes ring out clearly, silencing the crowd and allowing him to sing.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QPq041UhkQWould you believe in a night like this?A night like this, when visions come trueWould you believe in a tale like thisA lay of bliss, we're praising the old loreCome to the blazing fire andSee me in the shadowsSee me in the shadowsThe words captivate you and for a moment all you can do is listen to the song as your mind is thrown back one year ago, to the night of new years when you and your friends were tucked away in a small tavern and enjoying a small feast of food and drink. You had all sung that night, perhaps a bit emboldened from the homebrewed drink but no one's song stuck in your mind more than the one sung by a young lord who was confused about his path in life. Songs i will singOf runes and ringsJust hand me my harpAnd this night turns into mythNothing seems realYou soon will feelThe world we live in is another skald'sDream in the shadowsDream in the shadows
Just like before, there was something about his voice that seemed to speak to you and only to you despite him speaking to a crowd. Was this something that all nobility had? Or was is simply something only the royal family was capable of? Such questions seemed to fade away as you continue to listen and for a moment all your troubles went along with them. You were among friends again, simply enjoying a friend's song by the warm fire and waiting for sleep to overtake you for the night before you embarked on your next adventure. The young messy haired lynx switches pitch and continues his balad.Do not fear for my reasonThere's nothing to hideHow bitter your treasonHow bitter the lieRemember the runes and remember the lightAll I ever want is to be at your sideWe gladden the raven now I willRun through the blazing firesThat's my choiceCause things shall procede as foreseenThe bard's song ends and you come back to the world around you as does the crowd. They immediately begin once more to beg for another preformance but the young man raises his hand in the air and shakes his head. "I'm afraid that truly must be the last one. Remember, it's not the bard you should wish to see but rather the stories they bring along with them. There is no higher honor for someone like me than to know my tales live on in all of you." He says with a soft smile."But no one tells stories like you do." A young woman pouts."Please, if a nobody such as myself can entertain then surely you all can captivate others with tales and songs of valor. The road calls to me and perhaps so does the wind." The man says as he begins to strum his instrument once more and sing quietly to himself.Now you all know the bards and their songsWhen hours have gone by, I'll close my eyesIn a world far away we may meet againBut now hear my song about the dawn of the nightLet's sing the bard's song...Instinctively you take a step forward, your heart racing.>What do you do?>Call out to him. It has been so long and you don't want to be alone again. He might be the only one who can help you find the others. You can be selfish, just this once.>Let him go. You don't think you can face him like this. Not when you're missing Ming and the others. What would he tell you if he heard about the city?>Stop him. He's the only one who can send a message to the royal palace even if it means you must travel alone for a while longer.>Write in.
Ah damn. I copy and pasted the unedited votes. Well the first one at least. Supposed to be:>Call out to him. He might be the only one who can help you find the others. Sounds more incharacter with TL. Dunno why my change wasn't copied during my write up.
>>5188482>Call out. "If you must leave, young bard, then perhaps some company for the road. It doesnt look like you have much of that." He can help us find the others, that's the most important thing.
>>5188644also, YAY, Hien is back!
>>5188482>Call out to him. It has been so long and you don't want to be alone again. He might be the only one who can help you find the others. You can be selfish, just this once.We will explain what we know, and let him choose wheter to take a message back that the mongols might have gotten another scroll and ask the five, or to join us to search for our friends.
>>5188723Do we want to wreak havoc and ruin upon mongolia?They evidently didn't learn their lesson when their expedition vanished, so we should probably go and have a chat with whoever is in charge of their clans.
>>5188737I think that the plothook of that cult and the last place of the snow leopards are connected to the mongol attack.Less certain about Xin and Renshu's old assassin clan and a traitor among the imperial court. It would explain a lot, but it's a long shot.We really need to find the great khan that is pushing the mongols/turks/hun/xiongnu/steppe nomad federation of this century conquest and defeat them.
>>5188797Well we have this account for us.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 RaiderSo we are already well poised to expand our reputation upon the all. With wrath and fire.
>>5188737>wreak havoc and ruin upon mongolia?>we are already well poised to expand our reputation upon the all. With wrath and fire.Yes, anon. We have to bring back the scrouge of the valley of peace. Burn down mongolia and kill everyone there. Become the man young Renshu would fall in love with. After all, they did kill your husbundo>>5188644>>5188723Talking to our boy. Writing.
>>5189131There are times of peace.THEN THERE IS SHATTERING OUR FAMILY APART!
>>5189151Let the hate flow through you. Feed it. You were once strong but the girls made you weak. Regain your former glory and conquer a country.
I noticed that last thread was not archived, so I went ahead and did it.
>>5189278Much appreciated anon.
"If you must leave, then perhaps some company for the road? It doesn't look like you have much of that." You call out to the young man. The crowd around all turn to face you, a mixture of awe of your boldness and envy of being able to travel in their eyes, save for many a young woman whom only bare jealousy towards you. Hien stops to turn towards you making no attempt to hide the large smile on his face. "I'm afraid not. I could never pull another from their own journey and I'm afraid mine does not meet with yours." He jokes. "Though I take comfort that you have friends to make yours more worthwhile.""No." You say flatly. "I do not."Hien's face falters slightly but he regains his smile. "I see. Perhaps this must be sign. Two travelers sharing stories from their lonely travels." He says though his eyes show great worry. He motions for you to join his side and you briskly make your way towards him, brushing off people around you. Hien strums his instrument once more and begins to play as the two of you walk away from the village. The two of you walk for a few minutes in silence before vanishing within the trees. "My friend, it is good to see you." He says with a mixture of concern and excitement as he clasps your arm with a firm grip. "What troubles you?" He asks looking around. "Where is Xin Lan, Ming and Renshu? Are they well? Perhaps waiting for us at camp?"You look at Hien, unsure what look to give him. Sadness? Urgency? Your inner conflict cuases confusion on the young lord's face. "My friend, what has happened?" He asks as optimism slowly fades."I don't know." You respond. "I came here alone." Confusion darkens Hien's face. "Alone?" He repeats. "Surely they must have left you some clue or indication of where to find them?" You shake your head as you lean against a tree and sigh. You try to gather your thoughts in hopes of being able to explain everything.
"No." You say again. "I don't know where they are...I woke up alone. There was this child...he was injured and I did what I could to save him. So I was in a trance for who knows how long. It's summer now...perhaps it's been at least 4 months. When I came too I was in a tomb and..." You look away. "It's gone Hien...the Sacred Library is no more. It's been razed to the ground. All I found was bodies of both sides and among them was their leader. I can only hope that most of the city was able to escape." You remove the bag strapped to your waist and show it to Hien. "This was all I found of the others. Just this ruined bloody bag."Hien looks at you unable to process what you say and his only word is simply, "What?""The sacred library was attacked and whoever attacked them won. There is nothing left. All I know is that it was the mongolians again. Their armor matched those of the raiders." You repeat."No..." Hien whispers, his grip tightening around his blade. "That's...it can't be...""I'm sorry. I could have stopped it if I hadn't helped that child." You say."Show me." Hien says. "I have to see it.">What do you say?>Write in.
>>5189315>Must you? It isnt a pretty sight.If he insists, then we can bring him back up. But he has to prepare for the weather.
>>5189315>>As you wish.
>>5189315>Get some winter clothes first, I do not wish to lose another friend.
>>5189409>>5189426>>5189501I make the notion that when we bring him up, we should hang back from the ruins. Pushing through the dead and destroyed once was already bad enough, I dont think it is in our emotional healths interest to go back through.
>>5189409>>5189426>>5189501heading back. Writing.
"Must you? It's not a pleasant sight. What is there to gain from seeing it?" You ask. "It is my duty." Hien insists. "They are my people, secluded or not. If I cannot understand even a fraction of their suffering then I may as well remain blind in the palace. I slipped away from the palace to help people. To do what I trained my whole life to do. I don't want to be the third son to the emperor who is only rumored to exist. I don't need to be some well known hero loved by all. What I want is to understand my people. To connect with them and bear their burdens with them. I'll never be a leader but at the very least I want to be the one that lets them know that their cries are heard and understood by the ones they trust to govern them. These people have been driven out of their home. How can I face them if I never even took the time to see what they went through?"You study Hien for a while. "As you wish. Get some winter clothes first, I do not wish to lose another friend." You say gruffly as you turn around. You feel a hand clap against your back. "We will find the others." He says reassuringly. "But first we have to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Our friends will surely understand that above all else. You taught them that."---"This path is quite treacherous, and you say it was even more so?" Hien asks as the two of you travel through the dark caves. You nod as you adjust your arm to try and maximize the light around you."The spirits here were guardians. Due to an ancient pact, they cannot interfere with the test of finding our way to the city nor can they act in such a way that would allow their parents to gain some kind of authority over their siblings. More so for people like us who have the boon of the dragons." You explain."Facinating, and the people were aware of this?" He asks."Not that I am aware of. Many of the people here are somewhat sensitive to the spirits. Far more compared to the citizens of the mainland. I have been told that even the children here can feel the slight presence of the elementals though I presume it is only akin to feeling something like a slight breeze on your fur. Only enough that you know it's there but not the direction nor the strength."
"Would that I could have visited here." Hien says softly as he looks around the plain cave system in awe. "But if such a thing is true...why did the elementals not do anything to defend their home? Surely the leader of this place would have added contigencies to the pact to allow such a thing. The elementals are valuable allies. More importantly, why does this place feel so barren.""Of that I'm not sure." You admit. "However, I also noticed the lack of spirits. At first I thought something was wrong with me but it seems like this is not the case.""The spirits are not easily swayed by the events of mortals. Could this be such a terrible blow that even they did not wish to return?" Hien theorizes."This was their home or at least the closest thing one could call for them here in the mortal realm.""Only more reason to see this for my own eyes." Hien says. The two of you navigate through the tunnels for a while longer before you see the light of the exit though it no longer seems to inspire hope and excitement. Instead it seems more sickly and foreboding. The two of you exit and stand on the small cliff that overlooked the city. "Good gods..." Hien breathes as his eyesights adjusts. He spares no time in jumping off rather than taking the path down and running down towards the bodies littering the battlefield.>What do you do?>Stay where you are. Let Hien explore for himself. You've seen enough.>Go with Hien. He says he wishes to understand the people of the library's pain. Something he can truly understand if you guide him through what was lost.>Write in.
>>5190500>>Go with Hien. He says he wishes to understand the people of the library's pain. Something he can truly understand if you guide him through what was lost.
>>5190500>Let him go by himself. It hurts already
>>5190500>Take Hien to where we buried Sangpo and stay there, but give him directions to the most important places, like the library itself, the guardhouse, the town hall, main plaza, etc.
>>5190704>>5190639>>5190548looks like we got a three way tie. How do you guys wanna mix and match this?
>>5190903I'm willing to take him to Sangpo and wait there.
>>5190912>>5190903Hence, we have a 2 vs 1 with>>5190704As the nominal winner.
>>5190903>>5190912Mine was an attempt to find a middle ground anyway.
Sounds good to me. I'll get to writing.
You leap down to catch up with Hien and walk along side him and through the bodies. "This is where we trained." You say, doing your best to raise your voice above a mumble. "We set up classes here to teach people self defense. I guess it never really did ammount to anything in the end.""I don't believe that it is up for us to decide that." Hien says as the two of you approach the fallen tree where you once stowed away your gear. "We're just drops in a vast ocean, attempting to see the whole even if we look at the big picture is impossible. But what we can do is make the ripples that can cause change. You taught me that. We do good, not because it's a job or because we disagree with others's methods but because we hope that by showing others kindness and hope then they may reciprocate it in kind to others. We do it because its the right thing to do, big or small." You say nothing for a while before you move forward once more towards the lake. "I buried him here." You say. "The leader of this place. He let us stay despite who we were. I think he knew everything given how he could talk to spirits himself. We were supposed to prove ourselves. That we could change and be better then he'd tell us where the pools were." You vaugely motion to the city. "I didn't want to leave his body to rot..."Hien places a comforting hand on your shoulder. "You did what you could. I'm sure he'd appreciate that." He says before looking around with a heavy gaze. With that Hien leaves you to your thoughts as he makes his way back to the broken city walls and moves through one of the many holes that were made in it. You simply stand there and cast your gaze out at the lake, it's waters sparkling in the sunlight. You weren't sure what to do. You weren't really sure if you wanted to do anything at this moment. You do manage to at least sit down next to the small grave you made and watch the waters, your thoughts all jumbled and confused.
Was this the price to pay for becoming attached? You always had an inkling that should anything happen to your friends that you would not be able to hold back. Whoever would have been behind it would not live to see the following day. However, you had never thought about the people around you. Sure, you'd help everyone you could but...you never expected to get attached to those who you promised to help. Failure was always a possibility, people dying would not be something you could always prevent but at the time, those lives were something you could disconnect yourself with. They weren't people you knew and though a terrible tragedy, there was nothing you could have done to prevent that. Here, you knew alot of these people, shared lives with them. They were more than just bystanders and strangers. They were your friends. Were you simply doomed to wander as a stranger to everyone? To never be able to make connections if it meant never feeling this kind of dispair again?A hour or so passes and you hear nothing from within the city nor any sign of Hien. More than likely he was exploring the ruins and attempting to figure things out on his own. You turn back to your own thoughts once more and this time they stray towards your friends. Where were they? Were they ok? If they were why hadn't they come to find you? It was foolish to think they had forgotten or never cared for you. You all had gone through too much to doubt them like that. So that only left the question as to what they were doing or what could have happened. Were they captured? Found out to be the same group that had warded them off the first time? Thoughts of torture and maiming come to your mind and you pull yourself back to your surroundings to not think about it. By now it was night fall and you still had not heard from Hien. Your heart seems to race a bit as you wonder if something has befallen them.>What do you do?>Go in and look for Hien.>Wait a bit longer. >Go explore a bit yourself.>Write in.
>>5191102>Content ourselves that someone buried us in the coffin. It wasnt the raiders, so it must have been our friends or the townspeople. Our friends know that this healing technique doesnt kill us, so if they did it, it was to protect us. They know we arent dead.>Try and find HienOnce we do, we should search our coffin again. Maybe they left a note which we missed in our haste and panic.But for now we need a fire and to get Hien, ensure he didnt get in trouble.
>>5191122>>5191157>>5191174Alright. I'll get to writing.
You stand up and lit your torch once more. The light casts eerie shadows around you and as you travel through the bodies of the dead, you can't help but shiver as their corpses cast shadows of their own. You make your way through the city gates rather than a wall out of respect for what once stood. The streets of the once proud city are quiet, far too quiet. There's no wind howling through the hollowed out remains of the buildings, no creaking of settling beams or the sounds of things falling apart around you. It was as if things were trapped in time just like things were back in the ruined city...where you nearly lost Renshu. You can't help but sigh as you finally let the weight of your friends not being with you settle in. It was rather foolish to think that they'd suddenly turn up or that a clue to their location would spontaneously appear out of nowhere. The truth of the matter was that Hien was right. You had to come here. You had to see the suffering these people went through and let it rest on your shoulders. This was what connected you to everyone. These people may never be master martial artists, they may never speak with spirits but these qualities did not make them inferior to you nor where they qualities that alienated you from them. Both of you can suffer and both of you can work to ensure it never happens again. Your friends would never give up and they would never stop until they found you if the roles were swapped. It hurts but the pain will motivate you as it always did. Then your friends can poke fun of your moping when you gather around a campfire once more.You hold your torch aloft in hopes of getting as much light around you as possible. No traces of Hien around you in the nearby vicinity. "Hien? Hien!" You shout as you walk around the dark streets. No response. It was possible he could be somewhere he could not hear you...or there could still be lingering dangers afoot. >Where do you go?>Search the guard station. He could be there looking for offical records left by the captain.>Go the market district. Perhaps he's searching in the cellars. Last time the raiders attacked they used a weapon smuggling storage to hide there.>Go to the library. It's the most prominant location here. Odds are he's there even if it is dangerous to explore there.>Write in.
>>5191384>The libraryI have nothing but a guess on this.
>>5191384>Go to the library. It's the most prominant location here. Odds are he's there even if it is dangerous to explore there.
>>5191384>Go to the library. It's the most prominant location here. Odds are he's there even if it is dangerous to explore there.I guess we should have went with him, but staying felt more in character.
>>5191531Always making the best move is not our character.
>>5191700One thing I like about this quest, TL makes genuine mistakes. Not like chose the wrong option ones, but understandable ones.
>>5191714Hurting Mings feelings was the worst one we ever did, in my opinion.Because I remember exactly how certain I was before the vote, and exactly how wrong I was after.
>>5191752I was still an archive reader back then, but it did make me sad seeing it, even more because I would have voted to check up on the head priest soul too.Ming did overreact a bit, but it was completly understandable since she was having self-doubts about her own competency and usefulness to the party.Again, all the characters feel real
>>5191756Although the way TL said her to stop was a bit rude actually, could have done it more softly, just a little bit, but she really did blow up.It really felt like seeing someone have a last straw emotional kneejerk reaction to sonething simple, which is not often written, normally it's always some big betrayal that leads to fight. Having it happen that way made it more relatable in way.The fact that all of these emotional rollercoaster and vivid scenes are on a collective fanfic of children kung fu furries on a tawainese cooking forum will always boogle my mind
>>5191384>>Go the market district. Perhaps he's searching in the cellars. Last time the raiders attacked they used a weapon smuggling storage to hide there.
>>5191765To be fair, Kung Fu Panda is a ATLA tier children's film. all of them are so damn good, they are bound to inspire some talented people to write for it.And Luo is one of the best.
>>5191785ATLA was good, even the more filler episodes were usually entertaining, shame how they fucked up the sequel.That reminds me I still have to watch the third KFP movie someday, I now of the plot but never got to actully see it.
>>5191795It's a decent film. You've probably heard this before, but while it can be considered the weakest of the three, the lessons are still good and the music and action is amazing.Not so good with Kai as a villain but eh.
>>5191752>>5191765Well I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. To be honest I feel like the quality of my writing has declined. Perhaps because there's not much else in terms of characters backstory or development I can do? I'm not sure but something feels...less in the last two arcs including the raiders one. Maybe jts just the honeymoon phase wearing off? >>5191785Daww, anon please. I think I'm just getting lucky with writing and going full autism logicing things out. I'm sure you guys could write something just as good. And to be fair, I feel votes help facilitate the writing. Don't think I could make anything half as good on my own as a traditionally written story.
>>5191942finally caught up again. I quit reading around the 3-4 threads ago waiting for the library arc to finish and holy shit, why does the universe have to screw Tai lung like this.
>>5191952Hey! Glad to hear you stuck around and I don't blame ya. It's funny how the universe tends to do that to the big guy and even funnier that none of it is ever a planned thing.
>>5191942Look here boss, the burned town, taishi and xiqi a.k.a the raider arc was perfectly fine, other than the romance shit but that's a personal opinion and not objective.The library was just different, but you tried to change things up and throw plothooks. Hell, you even realized things were going too slow and changed the systems to go even faster, it just didn't help enough for some reason.The fact that you noticed a potential problem early and tried to fix it shows that you are a good QM. And your writing never dipped in quality, or atleats I never noticed and kept enjoying it.
>>5191972As long as people enjoy it I can't really complain. But thanks for the confidence booster. >>5191504>>5191530>>5191531Getting to writing.
You head to the center of the city. The library would be the most likely location for Hien to explore. Last time the raiders were seeking classified knowledge so it would make sense to assume that they were doing it again. Given how burned the library was, it was also safe to assume that it's interior was bound to be unstable. "Hien?" You call out once more. "Are you in there?" You strain your ears but hear no response. There was nothing left but to venture inside and search as well. Your best bet would be to head to the second level and begin to explore the proper library. It was the biggest area and by far the one most likely to survive the fires given how expansive it was with it's multiple levels into the mountain. You kick a support beam out of the way when an attempt to pry it out of the way fails and dust falls upon your cloak and shoulders. The ceiling crackles slightly, threatening you of what's to come should you choose to disturb it's remains like that again. Pausing and waiting for things to settle down, you look around in hopes of seeing a torch or some kind of light source from your friend. There wasn't much left in terms of shelves or aisles to block light so seeing it would be easier. You leap down to a lower floor, scattering ash everywhere and look around. You see a set of footprints nearby, clearly Hien's, and follow them. As you follow them, you continue to look around. Everything was gone, burned away by whatever flames were started here. But something felt off. Everything here was burned away too well. A fire left to rage naturally wouldn't cause this kind of destruction. Some things would still be left somewhat intact, insulated by the destruction of others and yet here there was naught but ash. How long had the attackers stayed to make sure everything was properly destroyed and why? Could it be that they found some terrible secret? Something that they could wield against China and thus the rest was destroyed so that it could never be used against them? Sangpo did say even he had books and knowledge hidden away so that the public couldn't access it. You feel a shiver as you wonder what could he have possibly hidden.
Or was it Sangpo that caused this? The thought bubbles to your mind as you continue to wonder the reasoning the fire. The man was the smartest person alive and had lived for who knows how long. It wouldn't be impossible to imagine him having some kind of contingency for hiding the library's secrets should it be compormised. But would it be worth it? You could never really tell what the old man was thinking. Your thoughts are interrupted as you catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye. Far bellow you, through a hole in the floor and what seemed to be in the deepest recesses of the library, is a small glint that flickered. "Hien?" You call out and you see the flame pause. "Hien, it's me! Tai Lung! Are you ok?" You shout as you lay on your belly. Your hightened senses barely manage to catch something in the still wind."I'm fine. However, do you have some rope? I'm afraid I can't find a way up." You hear him shout back though the voice seems quite weak. You quickly dig through your bag and pull out a length of rope. You're not sure if its long enough to reach Hien given how far down he is. Perhaps there is another way down to him. At the very least he seems safe. >What do you do?>Lower the rope. Hien could probably get to it and you can pull him up.>Try and find something to tie the rope to and lower yourself down. You can probably leap back up to the rope if it can't reach down that far. >Try and find an alternate route to Hien. It could be the easiest option to getting him out of there.>Write in.
>>5192064>Lower the rope. Hien could probably get to it and you can pull him up.The funniest shit would be if we tossed the rope down to Hien in a brainfart moment.
>>5192064>>Lower the rope. Hien could probably get to it and you can pull him up.
>>5192064>Lower the rope.We do this first, since we lose nothing.>>5192122"Give me the rope!"'Okay!'>Yeet, followed by 30 seconds of silence before it thumps to the floor."Tai lung. . ''I know.'
>>5192064>Lower the rope. Hien could probably get to it and you can pull him up.Not this again
>>5192122>>5192123>>5192149>>5192257Throwing the rope down. Hope Hien can attach it to something. Writing.
Tying the rope around your waist so you serve as an anchor, you begin to lower the rope down the hole. "Rope it coming down, can you reach it?" You call down. "I think so. I'll have to sacrifice my light." Hien calls out. You see the light bob around as the sounds of Hien's footsteps echo upwards. The light rushes to one side then stops suddenly and grows brighter as Hien runs up a wall for a bit. There's a grunt and the light rushes towards you as Hien throws the torch with all his might. The torch arcs through the air and you see the young lord fly through the air after kicking off from the wall. There's another grunt and you feel the slack on the rope tighten immediately giving the signal to being pulling the rope back and with it, Hien. You pull him out of the hole in the floor and take a few steps away to what might be more solid ground before placing the young man down. He immediately falls to the ground, panting. "Thank you. When I was exploring...the floor collapsed from underneathe me. Luckily I managed to land on my feet. The fall must have taken more out of me than I thought.""That's the air." You say with a grin. "Ming says it's a lot thinner up here. Makes it harder to breathe and your body needs to work harder to do anything. You get used to it after a while and once you get back down...you feel completely weightless."Hien chuckles. "I can see why you would choose to come here. Such a place would be perfect training for someone as skilled as you.""I wouldn't say that. I came here to learn to be honest. My life has been pretty neglectful for things outside of Kung Fu and I did grow up on a smaller mountain. I suppose that didn't matter though, by the time I arrived here even I felt weary." You say. You pull out a flask of water and hand it over to Hien who takes it gratefully. As he drinks, you ask, "Have you been spending all your time looking for a way out? I might have never have found you."Hien shakes his head. "No. When I discovered I was in a deeper section of the library I began to search around to see if anything survived. I was hoping that they might have attempted to look for more knowledge like our first run in with them. Alas, things were too destroyed to tell.""I considered the fact that they might have found something deadly something they don't wish to be used against them. Perhaps thats why they destroyed the city. There might have been more things they didn't want found. Or perhaps Sangpo did to prevent such a thing to happen." You say idly as you pull out a jar of preserves and begin snacking."I was actually thinking something different as I explored." Hien admits. "I don't think they were looking for anything. I think this destruction was planned far more than we anticipated.""What do you mean?" You ask.
"Well...if they were searching for something like they did before. How long would it take them to scour this entire library? Unlike the hidden caches of information, there is absolutely no information on what is hidden here or how things are organized. At best, only the location is given. They would have to search the library as we would have. Wandering through every aisle and checking every book and scroll. Such a task would take weeks if not months to do so. You would have awoken surrounded by mongols and yet none are here. Even more curious, look how thorough the destruction is. Even a fire would not destroy everything like this. I think they made sure nothing was left. Burned this place to the ground and then burned it again until they were satisfied." Hien explains."But why? This sounds more than just simple raiding or beyond just revenge for wars long past." You say. Hien looks worried and he seems to hesitate for a moment."I'm worried, my friend." He says. "This act...this destruction...This means war Tai Lung. As a ruler, my sister cannot let this go unchallenged. The only response the courts and the people will want is an invasion of Mongolia. This was a war crime, a desecration of a sacred site. A treasure of our country...and perhaps that was the intention.""What?""What else could be gained from doing this? This is message, that even our most protected sights are not safe. That they have the power to destroy what we thought was untouchable. More importantly, they have destroyed something far more precious than any gem. We've lost our greatest source of knowledge. Should China fall then we will have no way to recover. Perhaps the caches of knowledge might help us but such things pale in comparison to the wealth of knowledge that used to be here."
War...even for a warrior such as yourself such a thing seemed like a foreign concept. Even after the attack of the raiders, you never would have considered that the country could be plunged into another conflicted that only existed in stories. A shiver runs down your back as you imagine such a thing."Could this be a trap?" Hien thinks. "Some kind of manuver to draw us into their country?" He shakes his head. "The lives that will be lost both Chinese and Mongolian. So many innocents drawn in...I fear what will happen to Mongolia should we choose to invade them. I do not think many of the old families will feel as merciful as we were when we decided to leave the northern nation alone, certainly not after hearing this has happened.">What do you say?>Say that Mongolia deserves whatever happens to it. It was them that chose to attack like this.>Suggest that he send the Five in to fix this. It is their job after all to save the people.>Ask Hien to help you find your friends. You and them can go to discover the meaning behind these attacks. China bears no love for you and perhaps its for the best to leave the country but that does not mean you hold no love for your homeland.>Ask Hien to keep this attack a secret for now. If China begins to moblize their army it might tip the mongols off. You and your friends are a small enough group that you can inflitrate the country to find the person responsible. Perhaps you can stop them at the source before any war breaks out.>Say that you should leave. The capital needs to be told what is going on. War is inevitable and it would be best if the country prepares as much as possible. You only need to search one last place for clues first.>Write in.
>>5192893>Say that you should leave. The capital needs to be told what is going on. War is inevitable and it would be best if the country prepares as much as possible. You only need to search one last place for clues first.they have gone too far this time.>Ask Hien how he would go about finding our friends if he was in our position.
>>5192893>The empress needs to be informed. They have gone too far.If we inform the empress, then the country can prepare. But we can also offer our aid as strike team.>Ask Hien how we can find the others.For the mongols, we should check them for identifying symbols. It may be a set up.
>>5192893>Perhaps the ones that did this do not have the backing of all of the tribes, and they don't or can't unite them them through force or diplomacy. So they could want to force China to invade so they can claim we are the aggressors.>We should check for symbols and identifications, if this was a false flag attack, they would likely use the ones of a peaceful tribe, so they could deny the accusations of attack. And we must be weary, to fund the sacred library and have an entire army march up the mountains, they had to have a traitor or infiltrator helping them.>We need to return to the capital, and that you convince your sister to increase defences an prepare for war, and send an elite unit to attack Mongolia. Me, you, the five, father and whoever else she trusts. Let's check the place I awoke first though, maybe there was a clue I missed to find my friends.
>>5193198And the attack is a decapitation strike and investigation team.Find out who did this, who is in charge and strike at them hard and fast.
>>5193198The 5 arent suited for this sort of work. They are heros, not warriors.Po especially cannot be used here. Though tigress probably could.
>>5193301Then they can either be the ones om charge of finding out about the conspiracy or the ones in charge of defensing key locations.We are going to need other powerful martial artists and regular, but elite troops as well.You know what? The fox's grandfather might actually know a few that are willing to do what is nescessary, being ex-triad and all.
>>5193307That is only a rumour.But point taken.
>>5192985>>5192985>>5193036>>5193198>>5193198You're vile enemy, the brown bun, tired to steal your snow princess. Now he's willing to plunge China into war to keep any bunnies away from you. Who will be able to stop him? Writing.
>>5194505>You'reAhh the beauty of writing while only on a few hours of sleep. Never change typos. Never change.
>>5194513You also wrote tired to steal, instead of tried to or tired of trying to.Must have been your subcouncious.
>>5194513Take a god damn nap.
"War..." You start then pause. The word sounded strange in your mouth now. Never had you had to speak it with it's full weight behind it. It felt foul, forbidden, like some dark curse that was never meant to see the light of day. Before now, the term was merely a replacement for a combat or a fight, one that ultimately lead to a clear victor. One side would be forced into submission and the other would be standing. However, now it was more nebulous. With so many people, so many lives on the line, who could be seen as a victor? The side who had the most people standing? Or simply the one who left the most destruction in it's wake? What about those who choose not to fight or can't? What about the children and the elderly? Could you face them? Put them down like you could anyone else? Of course not, it went against everything you strove for these last 2 years...but what if you had to in the madness of it all? Your thoughts stray to someone like An Bo. A girl who simply wanted to live with someone she loved and out of the madness of her mother's control. You couldn't imagine her being anywhere near a fight to the death...any yet if war did come, she would not have the choice. You sigh and fidget with the ashes around you. Much like the library, perhaps all that would be left would be naught but ash. "We have to warn the Empress. Head to the capital and tell them what has transpired. China needs to be prepared. Perhaps this is simply a ruse. Made by someone who wants to paint China as an agressor. Perhaps they want to use this as some excuse to unite people to their cause. We should see if we can find anything that could identify them on our way out. However...""Yes?" Hien asks after your pause seems to take a while. You mull over what you want to say for a bit longer and it seems like the weight of everything is finally hitting you. "I'd like to the find the others." You admit. "They're my family. I've been wondering why they haven't come to look for me. Something must have happened. If they're not dead then they must have their hands full and if so, I want to be there to help them. They might need my help. I just...don't know where to look.""I presume you already checked the most likely spots for them to leave a clue of some kind." Hien says. "And perhaps if they did it was destroyed alongside the city...but you know this place better than I. Is there a place you can think of that they could have left something for you safely? Somewhere these raiders might have missed?"
"I woke up in some kind of coffin among the dead. That was actually untouched though I'm not sure why. I never actually looked in the panic when I first woke up." You admit. "Then we shall check there first. Is there anywhere else?" >What do you say?>It's possible that something might have been hidden in the training area though given that it seems where the fighting started, you doubt it.>The cave system would be a good place to hide things, however you're unsure where to even begin or how to search there.>You don't think there is anywhere else that could have been safely hidden other than the tombs. >Write in.
>>5194531No kidding. I'll make some lunch then get some rest.
>>5194537>We could try ripping apart the warren. Renshu turned over a new leaf, but He and Xin likely always keep some tricks behind them.Some habits are bad to drop. We could check all the dorms we lived in. That's about all I can think of.
>>5194550The warren is a good bet, and Tenzin's place too, because they might have helpes evacuate them.
>>5194537>You don't think there is anywhere else that could have been safely hidden other than the tombs.
>>5194578I don't think that Tenzin is a good bet, since their life isnt one that is predisposed to being suspicious.
>>5195658Not secrets hidden, but clues they may have dropped during the evacuation. The woman was Renshu's employee, one of the children was one of the students and he was our friend and would be helpig with the trial and investigation.It makes sence that atleast one of the 3 would try to help them leave, menaing chnaces ro find aomething like Ming's bag.It's nore of a secondary objective compared to the Warren and the tomb, a quick lookover would get everything that we could get out of it.
>>5195672I still dont believe in its value, but hey, we are already going through the places that hurt us, what are a few more stops?
>>5194550>>5194578I guess we're searching a few areas. Writing. >>5195672>The womanShe was more around 15/16. Just a big sister trying to keep an eye on her siblings while her overworked brother makes ends meet. Working at the warren was a part time job Ren offered her which in itself was a ruse. He simply wanted to make sure the family was fed after spending time with them while the little brother was learning in your classes. The job was simply a mind game so that she'd take the food without feeling guilty. Of course she was getting paid as well. Guess Ren's habit of leaving people the illusion of choice never really died.Sadly, his plans for giving ownership of the warren to her never had the chance to go through.
"The Warren. That was Renshu's diner and he had a private room for us to sleep in. It was burned down as well but maybe the bunnies managed to hide something there. They were assassins and I doubt they'd break their habits so easily...if at all given how the two love to stress me out." You say. "There was also a guard we befriended. He did let us into his home once but I doubt he would have hidden anything. Still, he was more comptent than he liked to lead on. I think he kept up apperances so he wouldn't get another boatload of work."Hien nods as he puts away his water. "Sounds like a plan. Let us be off then. Hopefully we can yet find some glimmer of hope in these dark times." He says. You take your exploration back towards the ruined church you ran out of when you first work out. In the dead of night, the building seemed to try and hide in the darkness as if attempting to shield you from seeing the desecration that took place. You walk through the ruined pews and over the remains of the door you broke down to escape. "Strange, one would think that a catacomb would be the first to be hit. It seems that our hypothesis over the raider's real intentions is supported by this. They were not here to steal valuables.""Or perhaps they didn't know of this place." You say. "The catacombs are completely untouched and given how thorough the rest of the destruction I would have assumed they would be just as thorough with the church.""Maybe they didn't think it would contain any of the knowledge they required. The rest of the city is also equally as destroyed. I think their main focus was the library itself." Hien replies as he looks around. "I must admit that I cannot fathom why our friends would choose this place to hide you. It is rather...morbid.""No doubt this was Xin's idea. Think about it, among the dead even a comatose person would seem like one of them. Perhaps if they thought they would fail, at the very least they would overlook the bodies." You assume. "This place is made of stone, so it wouldn't be damaged by the fires.""Do you think they thought they would fail?""I think they might have thought a possiblity but I doubt they acted with failure as the only possibility. I believe that they did everything with the intention of succeeding." You assert. You and Hien go down the final flight of stairs and arrive at the mess you made when you threw off the stone cover. >What do you do?>Search your coffin, it's the most obvious spot to look.>Search for some kind of hidden location here. If your friends left a hint for their loation then they wouldn't leave it somewhere it's easily found.>Look through the other coffins. Maybe they expected you to panic and simply run out. Hiding it in other coffins makes it easier for them to not get lost in the rush.>Write in.
>>5195786>Look through the other coffins. Maybe they expected you to panic and simply run out. Hiding it in other coffins makes it easier for them to not get lost in the rush.>Search your coffin, it's the most obvious spot to look.Coffin time
>>5195786>Search your coffin, it's the most obvious spot to look.then if we don't find anything.>Search for some kind of hidden location here. If your friends left a hint for their location then they wouldn't leave it somewhere it's easily found.if we still don't find anything.>Look through the other coffins. Maybe they expected you to panic and simply run out. Hiding it in other coffins makes it easier for them to not get lost in the rush.mostly because it's disrespectful to the dead.
>>5195786>>Search your coffin, it's the most obvious spot to look.
>>5195790>>5195827>>5195864>>5195939We're looting the dead! We're an official quest now! Or was the raided village already that? Writing.
"We'll need to search the nearby coffins. Maybe something was hidden there. My hiding spot might have been too obvious if anyone was searching through them or looking for me or the survivor's locations." You say as you move towards your coffin. Hien gives you a rather startled look and seems to look for some kind of indication that you were joking or changing your mind. When he finds none, he gives a small prayer and mutters,"Ancestors forgive me for what I'm about to do but our friends might be our only hope to save people." You begin to search your coffin looking for something, a notebook or page, maybe a scroll with some kind of clue within the stone box. Behind you, you can hear Hien trying to gingerly move bodies around. It was rather humorous seeing him being this squeamish given how many people he cut down mercilessly the last time you two fought together. "N-nothing in this one." He stammers before quickly shoving the lid back on. The coffin was empty but you were sure there had to be something near it. Perhaps at the back near the wall. You climb back into the coffin and lean over it to look behind it only to find the space back there empty. Undeterred, you feel around, pushing against everything hoping to find some kind of hidden alcove or slot. Unfortunately, you find nothing and no matter how hard to push against the walls nothing turns up. You sigh, and get out of the box slightly disappointed. Stepping on some rocks, you toss them into the coffin out of habit of cleaning after yourself. Your diligence is now rewarded when the rocks land in the coffin with a hollow clatter. You hurry over and tap at the bottom, each tap giving a hollow echo. "I think I found it." You say as you try to calm your quickly beating heart. Hien quickly closes the coffin he was searching all too eagerly and hurries to your side. The bottom of the coffin crumbles easily as you punch through it and your hand brushes against something solid. You pull out a small scroll and open it, trying to contain your excitement and hope. The writing inside was familiar to you, it was precise and angular, each character written as if it were one line. This was clearly Ming's handwriting as it wasn't flowy like Renshu's or stylized like Xin's. You find yourself holding your breath as you read.
By the time you read this...Gods if you read this...then it means we failed. I hope that we aren't seriously hurt or dead and that you someday we can see each other again. I guess some context would be better, you must be so confused. It's been about 3 months since you healed that boy and as much as I'd like to tell you more about that there are more important things going on. We're under seige. It's been about 3 days since the mongolians came. We're not sure how they managed to evade the spirits, even Sangpo was taken by surprise that they couldn't do anything to spot the invaders. Luckily he was able to be told about them and the guards were mustered. More surprising was the fact that they didn't attack us right away. Instead their leader demanded to speak to the ruler of the city. I've never seen anyone like him before. He's some kind of white bear but he's far bigger than any bear I've ever seen even taller than you. And the scars, I'm not even sure where one starts and another begins. The rest of his army is similar to what we faced and they all seemed to speak mongolian. We refused to send Sangpo over however. It was too dangerous to risk the one person everyone looked towards for guidance. Renshu volunteered to talk with them however and he's been doing so for the past few days. He says this bear speaks in an accent that he'd never heard before but his Chinese is quite good. We think our langauge might have been studied for this. To add even more to the mix, this bear claims to come in...some peace. I'm not sure how Ren managed to find this out but the man claims to be a pacifist though he refuses to explain as to why someone who values peace would invade a peaceful city. Xin and I agree that we think he might be forced to do it...though the guards don't believe it. They can't see how someone so battle damaged could be peaceful. It's kind of funny though, Xin keeps telling us to see the good in him even if it doesn't make sense. 'It's what the big guy would do and you know how much his dumb ideas pan out' they said. If we can, maybe we can convince them to leave.
I guess i'm rambling now. Ren says the bear calls himself Aleksandr but I'm not sure if that's a title or a name. It sounds funny to me. From what I heard, he's simply telling us to leave. He says his mission it to destroy the library and nothing more. If we agree to leave, he'll allow everyone to leave in peace. No fighting, no bloodshed. He says he's a man of honor...I don't know what to think. Maybe I could figure things out but I'm pretty tired. Sangpo has everyone getting their things ready to leave but I think he wants to hold on to the city as long as possible. It might be his pacifist side that's trying to save everyone. The guards are unhappy but I know they'd rather die trying to get everyone out than save the city.Everyone is scared Tai Lung. I'm sacred. I don't know of what though. Am I scared to die? That the fighting will start and I'll have to leave people to die? Or maybe that I can't save everyone? I don't know... All I know is that I don't think I can live with myself if I run away. Is this like it's always for you? You always seem to know what to do. Always ready to...I guess die if it means helping people. All I can do is look at everyone and feel my heart squeeze in anxiety. I hope I never have to write anymore in this scroll. I hope that I can just throw it in the fire and we can all just sit around the table laughing and eating again. I just hope you wake up again...You open the scroll further and see it stained in ink drops and smeared. The writing here is in the same style but much more hastily.Fighting has broken out. I don't know what happened. Things were going so well but then things started exploding. I think we were betrayed. There's gaurds and raiders dying. I don't know where Renshu is. Xin and I lost him in the fighting. He was at the main gates in the enemy camp. I hope he's not gone. Sangpo is gone too. Xin is delivering this letter to where you rest. We've lost the city. I don't know what to do...but we need to get the people to safety. I can't write where but it's the safest place you said you knew. It's the only place you knew. Hopefully the survivors are willing to listen. I don't know if we'll ever see each other again but I hope you come find us.You read and reread the letter in your hands. This was the last thing Ming wrote to you. At least she and Xin are alive and they gave you a rundown of what happened...and a clue. The safest place you knew...the only place you knew. Besides the jail that housed you, the only place you know of was...home. The Valley of Peace.>What do you do?>Continue searching for clues. Maybe there was more you missed in the hole.>Go somewhere else. Perhaps there could be clues scattered about.>Head out and search the raiders for symbols. you need to know who attacked.>Leave the mountain. you have what you need.>Write in.
>>5196715>>Continue searching for clues. Maybe there was more you missed in the hole.
>>5196715>Go somewhere else. Perhaps there could be clues scattered about.Warrens and that main gate and So the mongol's Polar Bear is russian, not siberian, slav or scythian, but rus from after they got converted to orthodoxy and were influenced by greek/byzantine culture.This together with the nomads being mongols instead of turks, huns, xianbei or xiungnu mean we are in late 12th century, and implies the existence of furry Jesus and furry Caesar.Or most likely, I'm reading too much into this lmao
>>5196760First part of my post got cut>The warrens and the main gate, look for traces of Renshu.
>>5196760Unless of course he is indeed Scythian, and the Alexander is indeed a title akin to Caesar taken from Alexander the great, which implies an influence from the Seleucids and push back the timeline to late BC/early ADI xould consider the Sarmatians and the Uralics, but those were more distant from the influence of the Macedons and that would loop back on the post Kievan Rus theory.I think my autism has been appeased.
>>5196776I hate to disappoint but I don't have that much detail in my quest. I just liked the polar bear idea some anon thought up of threads ago. However, I do appreciate the info dump. Always like to learn about stuff even if it's only tangentially related to the quest. I do try my best to introduce details anons bring in when I can.
My smart goat image didn't upload. That's a shame. Here it is. You can tell because of the hat.
>>5196715>Search for symbols>Check the enemy camping ground for Renshu.They are alive! Glorious! And I knew they would do well for us.
>>5196715>>Continue searching for clues. Maybe there was more you missed in the holehiding more clues is very Xin like.
>>5196821I imegine that would be the case boss, don't worry about it, going on large analytical rants is fun.And the silk road has been a thing for a long time, the romans and chinese were aware of eachother's existemce for example, so a greek adventurer ending up on siberia somehow and influencing a tribe or family that they would name one of their children after him/a hero from his stories is possible.And the steppe nomads empire were always more of large coalitions with a specific culture on top instead of a homogenous force and lived simultaniously, so a mongol clan doung shenanigans when another one should be the top dog is pefectly feasible.And nothing binds this to actual history, it's a fantasy magic furry game afterall. Although the idea of Jesus existing in the setting and being an actual lamb is amusing to me
>>5197009Well that's a bit strange, given he was meant to be both lamb and lion, so that implies Furry Jesus would actually be like the emperor of man, whereby he looks like a lamb and does the good deeds, but when he gets angry transmitted into a Lion as he brings down heavens curses.Which is metal as fuck.Still, we have a name now. This will restrict our rampage in Mongolia to a few.
>>5197022And Renshu being a tiger and rabbits prove that it's possible!It's all connected, Luo has been foreshadowing that the game will transform into SMT and we will have to fight YHVH as the final boss!
>>5197032Ya caught me. You had your law friend in Ming and your chaos friend in Xin. Ren is your love interest that is more about the protag than any side. Also I realised that perhaps the big guy really likes the bunnies cotton tails is because cats like fluffy things to bat around. You know like the toys on string. That or the bath he shared with hien and ren had a bigger impact than he thought.
We're tied for votes. But I'll be nice and glue them together. One quick search then we're off to find the tall bun's body. Writing.
>>5197309It did really click that renshu's morality is "Tai Lung" which is weirdly uncommon in media. Like there are many who dedicate their lives to other people, but not many who's entire life philosophy and being is so bound up with another.
>>5197475First step to lungism. Gotta have followers right? Soon everyone will be worshiping first girl Bao. Then we'll over throw the dragons. Gotta stick to the newly realized SMT roots.
>>5197479Shoot that image was meant for the next post. Well there's the new clue!
>>5197475To explain it a bit more. (This write up is getting quite big) It's mostly because Ren is trying to change. Not only for the man he loves but also for his little sister who is trying to figure things out as well. He wants to set a good example but really can't, if anything Xin is the one who showed him that a person can change. The problem is that Ren's whole morality his whole life has been a sadistic self centered one. One can argue that Xin's birth and his dedication to protecting and loving them also has bits of selfishness to it despite being a rather selfless change.So when you take a person who has been evil and selfish, save their lives and show them what could be considered unconditional compassion and friendship/love for the first time in their lives and then ask them to no longer be the only thing they know how to be then Ren could only really emulate the one person they know who embodies the virtues they are asked to learn and they can relate to the best aka Tai Lung....or it could just be my own autism now flaring up.
You drop the scroll and immediately pounce forward to dig through the coffin once more. There had to be something else. Anything that could bring you closer to your friends faster. You had a clue but...it hurt knowing how close and yet how far they were from you. More than you realized. Hien quietly picks up the scroll as you make your mad search within the coffin. "What place is this person talking about?" He asks. "The Valley of Peace." You say. "It's the only other place I truly know and once again, showing how smart she is. What safer place is there than the home of the Five? Not to mention the Pool of Sacred Tears is there. It is the birthplace of Kung Fu and a place of significant philosophy. The perfect location to relocate a city of knowledge.""The trip will be long and difficult." Hien says. "Especially with such a large group. If she wishes to keep them hidden then who knows how long it will take them to get to your home. No doubt she'll want to keep them hidden somehow as to not alert the rest of China that the city has fallen." He thinks for a moment. "Which means that they'll be going through the mainland rather than taking a ship and they'll be sticking to the wilds.""That's still a large mass of China. Not the easiest way to track. Especially with Xin in their group. They're the best tracker in the world and will be helping keeping their trail to a minimum." You say as you continue to dig, you tear a chunk of the stone away out of frustration to reveal the hollow area a bit more. In the far corner of the hole, you see a crumpled peice of paper. Picking it up, you notice it has weight to and unfurl the paper. Inside the wrapping is a smooth jade token with two rabbits eteched on it. "Rabbits...could it be Xin Lan and their brother?" Hien asks. "Perhaps something to remember him by?"You shake your head. "I'm not sure. I've never seen this on their person before and it's not of particularly good quality. Xin doesn't really like to hang on to things unless they're valuable. Monetarily or sentimental but it's only recently they started caring for sentimental things. Plus, you saw their new year's gift to their brother. They already have something to link to their brother."
"It is also rather small so it's not like they couldn't take it with them. They must have left it for a reason. Is there something on that paper? A note of some kind?" Hien asks. You look at the paper in your hand. It was crumpled but seemed to be stained with something. Large round dropplets had fallen on the paper and ink, smudging it and making it harder to read. Things went bad. I'm helping Ming escape but then I'm leaving. They're after me. Can't let them catch me.I don't think we'll ever see each other again.You squint as whatever stained the paper makes it nearly impossible to read.I killed someone. I had to. I broke my promise.I'm sorry we can't be friends anymore.I love you and will miss you.You quietly fold the note and gently place it in your pocket before slipping the token into your bag. "What was on the note?" Hien asks, looking slightly concerned."Nothing." You mutter as you get up and climb out of the coffin. "We should find someone who can figure out what this coin is. It could be a clue to finding the others. You sure it doesn't seem familiar to you? You're more informed about the world than I am."Hien looks at you doubtfully but says nothing as he returns to thinking. "No. I'm afraid to me it's just a simple jade coin but I would hazard to guess that's the point. Someone like Xin or Renshu would never carry something that was obviously valuable at a glance. A mystery hidden in plain sight and given that Xin took the time to sneak in here and leave it to you, I'd say that's enough to believe that it's important. It's a cruel irony is what it is. We need information and yet we're in the one place a person would go for it...Perhaps...it would be a risk...""What is?""The Feng Family. They're China's greatest blacksmiths and they work with every material imaginable. Surely they would know the significance of this peice." Hien says."Is it because their father is rumored to work with triads in his youth?""No. That's simply a rumor and one I don't really believe in." He says."Then what's the risk?""They live near the Forbidden City. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that should you step in there, you'll soon be surrounded by some of China's finest soldiers. Even more worryingly, I'm afraid they'll simply mark you for death simply out of your reputation as to protect the my family. However, that's not the real worry I have." Hien admits."Me dying isn't what worries you?" You ask, chuckling slightly. Hien gives you a small smile."The guards are easily taken care of." Hien admits as his smile grows. "Tai Lung, as brother to the Empress I order you to take me home as my body guard." He commands. You give the young man an uncomfortable smile."Is that it? That's going to stop the guards?"
Hien gives you a nervous chuckle, clearly bashful about giving you a command. "Well...in theory. We might have to...erm diguise you a bit more to make it seem you're under my command. If the guards learn that you're only here because I ordered it...well they should back off. Otherwise they're disobeying the royal family's direct orders. But that's what the issue lies. The Feng Family's patriarch...is a bit like you. The rules are more of suggestions when it comes to protecting the royal family. He'll gladly break them if it means serving his lord and take the consequences later. A trait shared with the rest of his family, if not all his workers. It does lend credence to the idea he was part of organized crime. Case in point, last time I visited their daughter she threatened to break my knees if it meant I stayed home and safe as my sister ordered. Nearly did it too when I showed her the sword you lent me." He chuckles weakly. "The point is that if we go to them...I'm not sure how they'll react if they see you but you're also a major witness to all this and to the raider's tactics. I suppose that's something we'll need to deal with later. Have you found anything else?""No. That's it." You say. "Let's go look around. We can try The Warren next, then the main gates. Hopefully we can find some kind of insignia that identifies them."---The two of you dig around the remains of The Warren and searching for more clue. You'd be surprised if there wasn't anything left here. Surely Renshu would have left something behind like Xin Lan. A hidden room or maybe another hollowed out space behind a brick? You did help furnish this place but maybe you missed something or maybe it was done without you knowing. You double check the chest where you found the knife. Tap it on all sides for some kind of hidden compartment but find nothing. "Let's try the kitchen." You suggest. "That's where Ren spent most of his time. If anywhere, something would be hidden there.""Perhaps he didn't have enough time." Hien suggests as he digs around the ash. "Ming's letter did say he was focusing on negotiations and the raiders showed up suddenly. Maybe he meant to leave something for you as well but...well he got caught up in the fighting." He pauses for a moment before quietly asking, "Did you ever find his body?""He's not dead!" You snap and growl. "He's not." You repeat firmly. Hien simply looks at you, not afraid but sympathetic. Your face falls. "I'm sorry-...I just...he can't be dead." You whisper as you run your hand down your face, eyes stinging. "I...never checked. I was still in shock." You inhale sharply. "We...we should check. If he is...I want...I have to bury him.""I'm sorry." Hien says. "I know it does not mean anything but I don't believe that he is gone either. I would just like some closure for you. We know the two others are alive I can only hope that it remains at three."
You say nothing but make your way back towards the gates, your back to Hien. You didn't want him to see you like this. You didn't want to be like this. You had to be strong. You always were but you can't help but feel your eyes burn as they blur with tears. The sting is further enhanced when the wind begins to blow ash into your face. The wind..."Look out!" You shout as you tackle Hien to the ground. Pain flares up in your leg as something sharp flies by and cuts into it. The sharp sound of metal striking the ground rings out as the two of you roll behind the ruins of a building for cover. Your senses are pull back from self pity and you finally hear the sounds of wings flapping in the wind. Where you once stood were metal knifes in the shape of feathers.Two large crows slowly descend from the night sky and land on the ruined roof of a building. They were aged and ancient. So much so that you're surprised they can even fly. Loud cackles erupt from their beaks as they begin to speak in Mongolian, not caring if you understood or not." 'He has returned as we were told. Just as planned.' " Hien translates. "They expected us?!" He whispers before translating the next bit.'As he predicted, sister. His altrusim is like an itch. One he cannot fail to scratch but one that will be the end of time.'"Who are you!?" You shout. "Why have you done this?!" The two crows cackle once more before speaking in your language."The boy is confused. Not only that, he has brought a cub with him as well. How many lives will you claim Great Dragon of China? Your friends? The people around you? The people you maim? You know that many that escaped from your last encounted succumbed to their wounds. Died long and painful deaths. Does it please you? To know that you can kill even without trying to? Where were you when we picked off the citizens of this place one by one as they climbed down the mountain?" One of the crows ask."They lie!" Hien hisses. "Trying to demoralize us with what we perceive to be our failures." He draws his blade for the first time. A beautiful peice of steel inlaid with jade in the shape of flames that came from the dragon's head hilt. It was almost as if the jade flowed like real fire. "Enough riddles! I offer you one chance! Surrender and answer our questions and we'll be merciful. If you know who we are then you know what we are capable of! Tell us what we want and no harm will come to you as we take you in!" The crows laugh once more and you feel the wind pick up once more. Unlike the winds that you were accustomed to, these feel ominous and wrong.
As you and Hien wait, a thin glint of metal catches your eyes. Metal clashes against metal when your friend brings his blade up to block a sword. "Raiders! Another squad?" Hien shouts as he struggles to keep the weapon at bay. You swiftly grab your attacker's arm and slam your elbow into theirs, breaking it before you shove them away. The man stumbles backwards for a moment before notice something."No! Look..." You shout as you point at the man stumbling in the moonlight. The thin rays illuminate the man's face revealing a long thin arrow protruding from his eye socket. You have no time to stare in horror as the sound of metal cutting through the air hisses towards you. More feather like knifes clatter behind you as the two of you are forced into the main street.Hien's face twists in anger as his blade shakes from the grip of his hand. Pointing his blade at the sillouettes of the crows he shouts, "MONSTERS! YOU'D DO THIS TO YOUR FALLEN?! YOUR OWN COUNTRYMEN!? YOUR COMRADES?!"The crows caw in laughter. "They served their purpose in life as was their fate. Now they will serve it in death as well. All will serve fate." They say. You sense movement from behind you and instincts take hold. You grab an arm from mid swing and strike at the face and chest before throwing him into a nearby wall. Your opponent crashes through it but as you get a clear look of who attacked you, you feel your arm soaked in blood though not of your own. You opponent stands from the rubble, a man with a large gash across his chest, blood spilling out, and wearing the armor of the city guards.https://youtu.be/qg8-C8FSWfwThe laughter grows more mad, more zealous, as the crows see realization dawn upon you. More and more dead men begin to surround you, once friend and foe. "ALL WILL SERVE! ALL WILL RISE TO THEIR TRUE FATES!">What do you do?>fight as you normally do. Disarm, incapacitate and move on to the next opponent. These were once your friends and once people too. Their bodies deserve to be treated with respect even if they were friend or foe.>Work to dismember your opponents. You're unsure if your ussual style will work with the dead. You can only hope that you are forgiven for what you will do.>The dead do not rise. This has to be a trick of some kind. Or some kind of magic. Try and find the source.>Flee. Your foes have the advantage here and with flight, they will only work to wear you down. This place is truly lost.>Write in.
>>5197581>The dead don't rise normally, and the corpses never do so. There is a magic here, try to find the source.When in doubt, Gank the casters.When that doesn't work, smash whatever looks ornate.>"I broke my promise, I'm sorry that we can't be friends anymore."We're going to find them, then slap them for thinking such stupid thoughts.
>>5197581>You have fought the undead once, and you remember the news of the five fighting zombies in a swamp. Defeating the casters and beraking their rituals is the only way to stop this.I'm betting the medallion either has something to do with the old order, or was something Renshu gave Xin, and what bound his soul hen they killed him.And we are dragging Xin back, falling is natural, rising is divine. And death and fighting are part of nature, but malice and kindness that belong to those who think.
>>5197596Of course we are going to pull them back. Never ever ever going to give up on them, no matter where or when they stumble.They said they had to kill, then we are going to give them a big hug and help them cope with that last and latest mistake.In this life two things are infinite, our stubborn stupidity and our capacity to forgive.
>>5197664Yes, Xin may have broken their promise, but we need to know the specifics.Even if they premeditated the kill instead of being out of self-defense, letting us down is no reason to desert their friendsThey know the rules of our group afterall.
>>5197668Shit, just realized that I could have writen that they wouldn't get this tteatment from any other guy too and it would have fit as well
>>5196714>Tfw the omake polarbear is still legitholy shit you absolute legendnow i'm sad we slept through it...but i'm sure the bear is still alive
>>5197590But anon, the bun broke a promise. A promise to her husbando. Clearly all the inapproprate premarital scritches are being paid back by the universe.>>5197590>>5197596We need to stop the source of the magic. But...what's the source? Writing.
Conflict arises within you as you drive your fist into the face of a fallen guard and twist around to kick at another dead raider. The two stagger back though it is from the impact of your blows than any pain you inflict. Pain was your greatest weapon. Breaking a limb, concuss your opponent, even knock them out from the force of your blows were your greatest assets in any fight. Few in the world could withstand your blows when you struck them but these...things seemed unfazed by your attacks and even more disturbing, unfazed by the wounds that had killed them originally. Two more dead men approach you, each swinging their maces with complete disregard to their own well being. Their muscles buldge unnaturally as their maces smash into the ground, shattering the brick street apart. You wonder if their lack of awareness allows them use force far beyond the average man. Enough that perhaps their own muscles were tearing themselves apart. With many of your options limited, you can only opt to pick them both up by their arms and toss them aside into nearby buildings before they can take another swing at you while in your grip.Only as you let go, you leap out of the way as yet another pair of dead men rush at you, flailing their weapons and seemingly only aiming to hit you in the back. You spin, kicking out and driving your shin into the side of the head of one of the two and following through to take the other one down as well.Behind you, Hien parries another blade and redirects it into the weapon of another person. Instinctively, his elbow snaps forward and smashes into the nose of his original target. The bone breaks and blood sprays out but the man is unaffected by the attack causing Hien to freeze momentarily out of confusion and shock. He manages to get ahold of his senses quickly enough to grab the man by the wrist and twist it to force the weapon free. The young lord rolls on the ground to evade another attack, grabbing the fallen weapon, and dual weilding them to take on another pair of foes. "We're being overrun! We need to find a way to stem the tide!" He shouts, parrying attacks and backing away.
"Into that alley! Follow me!" You shout and with a roar, you punch one of the men in the gut to lift him up and using his body as a battering ram. The zombie rains blows down on your back, each one feeling like a stone against your body as it ignores the fact that it's being used to smash through a crowd of people. Hien ducks and dodges as he dashes behind you into a nearby alleyway. It was one you knew used to run behind the buisnesses and snaked it's way around the market district. It was only just wide enough to allow you and Hien to stand side by side through it severely hampered any kind of advanced technique. Only basic punches and swings would be available to you unless you stood back to back. You roar once more as you smash the body against the nearby wall. Once, twice, three times before the walls gives way and you shove the body into the ruins of the building. You weren't sure if there was anything left unbroken in that man but hopefully it the damage was enough to prevent him from getting back up. You could repent and feel ashamed later, for now survival was your only choice."We need to find what is animating the bodies. Just like in the ruined village and just like in the tales when the Five faced a similar situation." You say."Would that the stories tell us how they accomplished the feat." Hien replies, tossing his stolen blade aside and leveling his own infront of him. "I hope you have some kind of plan in mind.""I think you know me well enough to know that I don't." You say as you punch a raider so hard that he flies back into the group gathering up behind him. "Or at the very least not a detailed one.""Then I pray your luck holds fast." Hien says. "What kind of sorcery could this be?""I'm afraid that's Renshu's expertise." You admit. "But simply relying on my experiences, there has to be something binding them to this place. A magic circle was the last time. I doubt Sangpo would have allowed such a thing in the city and certainly not something powerful enough to affect it all.""So it must be something the raiders brought...by why would it affect the guards?" Hien asks as he fruitlessly cuts open an opponent's thigh, forcing them to crawl towards you two."Again, not my area." You repeat. "Still, I think I've thought of something.">What do you do?>Have you and Hien target the crows. It's clear that they are behind this, however, they do have the advantage of the sky. >Try and hold the horde's attention while Hien seraches for the source of all this. He'd probably know more than you and it seems like his style might not be effect on enemies that don't care about cuts.>Search while Hien distracts the horde. His agility and evasiveness would serve him better in an tighter enviroment.>Try to use you're new abilities to try and see things in fine details. Maybe you can catch something if you focus everything into seeing the smallest of details.>Write in.
>>5198778>>Have you and Hien target the crows. It's clear that they are behind this, however, they do have the advantage of the sky.
>>5198778>Target the crows.We have to take them out anyway.
>>5198778>Have you and Hien target the crows. It's clear that they are behind this, however, they do have the advantage of the sky.Thrown rocks at them, or entice them with shiny things.
Sorry lads. Work was really exhausting these last few days. Basically woke up, worked, went to bed. The 3 W's of the wage cage. I'll have a post up tonight. Crows like shiny things and it's probably where all the knives come from. Stay safe guys.
>>5202248They like a lot of shit, let's see if they crow about a thrown lamppost.But hey mate, no worries. I'm in hospitality, I know the pain of long hours. It's to be expected.
>>5202248Alright boss, I imagined that you either had to do a weekend shift or was absolutly exausted.Don't overwork yourself.
You were a simply man, and perhaps that might reflect in your plans when it came to on the fly thinking. "Well we gotta take care of the source of the problem. We'll constantly be under attack if we don't stop whatever is reanimating these men and it's obvious that those two are behind it. We'll flank one and charge. They can't be faster than us two." You say. Hien gives you a look that seems to imply he had expected something more complex than that but nods. "On my mark." You say and you roar as you drive your fist into a nearby raider. You feel it sink a few inches into his chest as the bones beneath it shatter then the rest of the momentum hits, sending it flying forwards and knocking more men behind it aside. You and Hien dash forward, darting between foes, ducking and leaping over weapons and fists. The two of you split up and dart into opposite streets to flank and you dig your claws into some nearby rubble. You leap, pulling the stone free and hurling it straight at one of the crows. As you had hoped, they jump back and break into flight straight into Hien's path."Your fear makes you predictable! Just as you return to this place!" They caw at you. The crow twists in the air, metal flashing between their feathers, as they hurl knives in your direction while swinging their razor sharp talons at Hien's face. Sparks dance in the dark as he manages to bring his blade up just in time to keep his face from being shredded. The crow uses it's attack to kick off from the blade and fly away from Hien's grip. You, unfortunately, are both shirtless and unarmed leaving your only option to be twisting in mid air in hopes of avoiding the fan of knives coming towards you. Pain lances across stomach and chest as the knives cut you but it's a far better fate than them burying themselves in your gut. You hear more flapping of wings as the second crow dives towards you before pulling up and raining more knives upon you. By then you have managed to get near a building and you kick off, crashing through another wall and bringing it down upon you but not before you feel pain flare up on your leg. Mad cackles echo through the ruins of the city and you see yourself being surrounded by more of the dead.
You smash a rock into the closest opponent out of instinct but they only tumble backwards from the force before immediately moving towards you once more. You grab a nearby guards, tear the chest plate off of them, and leap up once more towards on of the crows. The body plate deflects another wave of knives as you bat them away with it and you crash right into one of the crows. The two of you struggle in mid air, one to keep flight and the other trying to keep their grip. You growl in pain as the crow wraps it's talons around your shoulders and digs them deep into your back like knives against your flesh. Your opponent is forced to keep their wings flapping rather than using them to slash at you to maintain their flight but out of the corner of your eye, you can see in the dim moonlight several arrows slowly being aimed in your direction.>What do you do?>Write in.
>>5203091>Chi strike, stun or break their wing and by dropping we should avoid the arrows.I'm not going to suggest using them as human shields.
>>5203091>>Write in.Snap its wings
>>5203091I will join the bandwagon to clip those wings.Got to make like that french nursery rhyme and pluck him.
>>5204848I think my mouse is busted. It's starting to double click with on click. Maybe I can abuse this somehow.
>>5204851Cookie clicker is doomed.
The two of you struggle mid air, the crow attempting to keep their place in mid air and you struggling to prevent the bird's talons from going any deeper and punching a hole in your lungs. Your grip keeps the claws at bay but each flex and struggle causes the dozens of cuts around your body to flare up in pain. "My friends. They mean everything to me. This city was their home. What could you possibly have to gain from doing any of THIS?!" You shout. You feel the talons squeeze more as they attempt to overpower your grip."You seem to be weakening. What happened to the terror we heard of. The rumors that spread through our last group? Don't tell me you cannot fight without them." The crow taunts."I'd do anything to have them here." You growl as your ire grows. "Especially Ming. She is the greatest doctor It's a shame she's not here...for you!" You roar. You plant one foot into the crow's shoulder blade before bringing the heel of the other down upon it. The tension and force between the two fills your ears with a satisfying snap as the bones in the wing shatter on impact. The crow screeches in pain and for a moment everything goes quiet as your ears are defeaned. Unable to stay airborne, the two of you fall back to the ground, narrowly avoiding the flurry of arrows that were launched in your direction. You tear the crow off of you, shredding Renshu's cloak, and toss them aside as the two of you crash into a building. Coughing, you force yourself to your feet and stumble forwards towards the crow who was struggling to get up. You grab them by the shoulders, making them scream, and slam them through a wall. "You took them away from me!" You shout, red tinting your vision. "You took everything away from these people! WHY?! WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?!" You roar. Your opponent attempts to bury their talons into your chest once more but you catch them both by the ankle and swing them into a toss. The crow crashes to the ground and rolls. "HOW DO I MAKE THIS END? LET THESE PEOPLE GO!" You continue. You lift the broken animal above your head. The crow coughs weakly. "Pain, anger, anguish...You feel all this things. Don't you wish it can all end? You'll find no real solice in religion. Family is a mere lie we use to comfort ourselves. If you want true release...you know what to do. The only true end is death. The one truth in a world full of lies. You want this to end? Kill me...but then you might never find your friends or if they're even safe." You growl and slowly close your hand around the crow's neck."Choose your next words carefully or I really give you what you want." You say quietly. "I'm not another fool you can toy with lies...How. Do. I. Stop. This."
The crow simply chokes out another laugh. "How desperately do you cling to life. I don't fear you nor death. Wouldn't it be much more simple to die and serve? We are not so foolish as to think you would willingly join us. But we do offer you a way out. A way to stop all this anguish.""You're pressing your luck..." You say pressing your thumb under the bird's neck. Just a bit more pressure and one of the vertibrae would go. Even in your rage, your senses are sharp perhaps even sharper than ever as you the other crow swooping down with wings full of daggers, coming your way.>What do you do?>Move out of the way and take cover somewhere else. You still want to interrogate the crow.>Knock the bird out. There's still the other one to deal with and you've not heard from Hien.>Throw the bird into the path of the knives. They'll survive...probably.>Break the bird's neck. They claim death is freedom. You'll be happy to oblidge.>Write in.
>>5204851Oh shit, I had a kouse that got fucked up like that. You could try to open it, and stick a bit of paper between the contact, I managed to make it extend the lifespan by 2-3 years that way.
>>5205069>Knock the bird out. There's still the other one to deal with and you've not heard from Hien.Nothing personnel edgelord, but TL won't fall for it.
>>5205069>Knock the bird out. There's still the other one to deal with and you've not heard from Hien.
>>5205069>Knock the bird out.The red rage burns. But our principles are string
>>5205069>>Knock the bird out. There's still the other one to deal with and you've not heard from Hien.
>>5205303The bird has also inadvertently overplayed his hand. If he doesnt fear death, it stands to reason that life holds his fear much further.Living in pain could be it. Or perhaps just living much, much longer, without being able to expire.A thought when threatening them.
>>5205105>>5205106>>5205106>>5205337Killing the bird. Evil TL is back! Ming would be so proud. No wait... Writing.
>>5207893I wish we had some paper so we could put a hat on him while he lays unconcious in a corner.
>>5207956Now you're thinking like a villian! And knowing is half the battle.
You could end it right here. This crow deserved to die. If not then to suffer for every misfortune, every ounce of agnoy they and their ilk inflicted on the people of this city. War may not care who is drawn into it's flames but that's the people's job to decide who to spare and who to burn. A job that seems to have been forgone by the invaders. You feel your thumb trembling, just a push and it'll be all over. No one would have to know and if anything this was a good thing. Xin did it, Ren did it all the time. You've done it. What could be the harm in doing it again. No one would ever find out and a bit of work could disguise it as an accident. ...we have to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Our friends will surely understand that above all else. You taught them that......All I know is that I don't think I can live with myself if I run away. Is this like it's always for you? You always seem to know what to do......'It's what the big guy would do and you know how much his dumb ideas pan out'..."No." You say, your breath heavy and uneven as you remember your friend's words. "Right now, I wish to the heavens that I was going to but that's not the man I am." You slowly lower the large bird and pull them face to face, your face slowly relaxing into one of quiet composure, your fury cold and silent as a winter's night. "And I need you alive. You're going to deliver a message to me. You're going to serve your purpose. Fly back to whatever monster you call a master is and tell him I'm coming. Tell them the dragon has opened it's maw and it's fires will burn everything in mongolia. Every man, every woman who is complicit in this madness will burn and if they choose in their madness to take a step in my country then they will face an army the likes they have never seen. All the while their homeland burns from within. You might not have one, but I've drawn a line in the sand and now I'm stepping over it to greet you. This is my last act of mercy and your leader had better do well to heed it because war is coming and it's name is Tai Lung."
The crow opens it's beak to speak but it only serves to give you a target as you viciously backhand them across the face, knocking them out. You quietly drop their limp body on the ground as you calmly step out of the ruins you were in. Almost immediately, arrows fly at you as you walk down the alley. Your hands snap at them instinctively, imperceptible blurs tthat snatch them out of the air and immediately flick out to throw them like darts at the joints of the other undead rushing towards you, locking them up and keeping them from moving. Others use their strength in numbers to try and overwhelm you when you no longer have arrows but they too fall as your limbs seem to vanish for a moment leaving their target's limbs broken as you continue to walk unabated, your attention only on the road ahead of you. It was as if you were simply parting the sea of bodies by walking through them as they fall all around you.You know Hien had fallen on the opposite side of the building you were in and you quickly make your way towards that direction all the while neutralizing any threat in your way, emotionless. You enter the other alley and find it riddled with arrows. You study everything in intimate detail to try and discern what happened. Each arrow embedded deeply into the various walls that survived the fire, each at the general height that a person's knees or elbows would be. There is still the remains of muscle tissue and blood on the arrows implying that who ever was hit by them were pinned but had simply pulled away from the wall. Given that there were various arrows at these heights, you can safely guess that Hien was behind them. Perhaps he had managed to get ahold of a bow and was taking a more stealthy approach to this battle than fighting head on.>What do you do?>Continue to try and find Hien.>Go after the second crow. >Try and coordinate an escape with Hien, pass along a message somehow. The city is lost and you don't think there is much you can do to help here.>Write in.
>>5208046>Go after the second crow.I trust Hien to be able to maneuver around the horde, he is smart.
>>5208046>Second crow.To the victor the spoils.To the spiteful, vengence.
>>5208046>Continue to try and find Hien.Freinds first vengeance second.
>>5209033I was thinking more about stopping the casters than getting revenge.
>>5208053>>5208098>>5209033>screams internally and externally...writing
>>5211860Are you ok boss?
>>5211878Ming and the buns are gone. First girl Bao is not responding to our mind texts. Everything has gone wrong for our loveable albeit violent fluffy boy.More on the irl side. Work is...well being work. Just gonna deal with annoying stuff there. Hate coming home burned out and unable to write. Normally, I'd do what I did last year and just post during downtime but my phone is blocked and office wifi has been down since the start with it being unlikely to return. So all I can do is sit around and wait.Luckily, I am in a pretty good mood. So writing it is.
>>5211901Good to hear everything is fine, boss, even if you are exhausted.
Hien seemed to be ok for now and with how agile he was, staying ahead of the mob and drawing their attention away would be a simple task. You only hope that he had enough arrows to keep him going. With a small leap, you jump onto the beams of a ruined roof and begin leaping around as you search for the other crow. Once you had the second on incapacitated, you could properly interrogate the two and maybe even put an end to this madness. Images of your friends and raw focus temper your blind rage as you search around. It seemed everywhere you went there was a small handful of the dead wandering about and as you pass them they try to claw their way up towards you. Fortunately, they were neither fast enough nor seemed to posses the capablility of holding their balance as you did so they posed no threat to you. You hear the flap of wings, the sound of cutting metal, and twang of bows as you land. Your body acts on memory as you tear a plank from under your feet to throw as a barrier. The arrows, shot from bowstrings pulled father than a mortal felt comfortable with, punch through the wood but luckily the striking of the feather knives knock the board off course and pulling the arrows with it. You grab another plank and throw yourself towards the dark shape of the crow. You raise your makeshift shield in advance and your prediction comes true as the thuds of multiple more projectiles hit it before you use it as a platform to leap off of and race towards your target. 10 feet away you can see the glint from the hundreds of knives hidden in the crow's feathers, 5 feet and you can make out the black pupils of the monster before you, all of them fully dialated in the dark night. You reach out, only a second longer and you'll be able to grab them, wrap your claws around their neck and squeeze them into unconciousness.
A screech echoes through the dark once more and you feel something crash into you. It's only your years of training and months of practice of your new technique that keeps the claws from burying themselves into your eyes as you kick, block, and twist out of feathery blows that land upon you. You and your attacker crash into the ground once more but as you try to get up you find yourself rolling away as two large blades bury themselves into the stone next to you. You grab anything near you, stones, wood, glass and throw them at whatever attacked you to try and get some breathing space.https://youtu.be/QQ6kHO48bA8Buying some time, you leap into a ready stance and face your opponents. Before you stands a large falcon, it's feathers bent and broken like the heavy armor it wears and the ribs that poke out of a large wound in it's chest. Next to him is a large black cat, face twisted into a permenant cruel laugh, head at a wrong angle from it's death and weilding a pair of strange weapons in it's hands. You hear the sounds of bone grinding and popping as it grabs it's jaw and slowly wrenches it's head back into place.>What do you do?>Write in.
>>5211984I have contemplated my answer for close to 4 hours now. And my belief is that while TL holds all life as sacrosanct, what he will not take, I dont believe that his values forbid utter desolation of the bodies, nor would his cultural misgivings about disturbing the dead have much grip in this situation.>Block the attacks of the falcon, but otherwise ignore him.>Dismantle the cat, body part by body part. Rip its arms out of its sockets and head clean from its neck see if that stills it again.>once the cat is done, we can apply what we learned to the falcon.
>>5211984Oh shit, is the falcon the captain of the guard? He was a bird and wore heavy armor.Anyway, the cat has strange weapons taht we don't know how they can be fought, and the falcon is more heavily armed so we would need nore precision.Find anything sharp to cut their limbs, focusing on the arms, than legs and head. They can fight with the bones brokens, but can't if they are removed.The Falcon we will need to be more brutal and tear the limbs by hand, aince the armor will stop slashs.Hopefully we can give them a proper burial later, even if it's only a mass pyre
>>5212872We do have Renshu's tanto.
>>5212905That's great, it's one of the steps already done. Also very appropriate that after TL worried so much over his friends, it's the equipment of one of then that allows him to succeed.
>>5212388>>5212872>>5212905>>5212948War changes a man. And the war hasn't even started. Man these guys are bad dudes. Writing.
>>5212872Also yes, the falcon is the captain of the guard.
>>5213103We at least arent killing anyone. So it is okay. It's just a bit of therepy.I hope.And Gods blessing to you Luo, I hope It helps.
>>5213121Thanks anon. It does. >>5213106You didn't have much interaction with him unfortunately but even with all your shenanigins, he did respect your ability for being able to train a group of people without problem as well as your more heroic exploits.
>>5213121Yeah, we aren't defiling the dead because they are already defiling, and we aren't mutilating or killing people because they are already dead, it's fair game.>>5213128Sometimes I wish I tried to force the guard training idea instead of going the school middle ground.But hindsight is 20/20 after all.
>>5213103wouldn't be the first time we've fucked up the undead. If I had a nickel for every time we've fought the undead we would have 15 cents which isn't a lot but it's weird that it happened 3 times.
The cat snaps it's arm down and in one fluid motion, switches one of the bladed tonfa like weapons in a reverse grip before it's blade snaps forward to convert the strange weapon into a more familiar one handed sword style. You can't help but take a small breath, a simple, reflective gesture that doubled both as a way to center yourself and to perhaps pray for forgiveness for the task at hand. While it was not as deplorable as taking a life, you still couldn't help but feel the stigma of tearing apart something that was once a living thing and animated no less. The unfortunate fact was that nothing short of destruction and mutilation of your opponents would provide a definitive end to their attacks. You and the cat dash at each other in an instant, claws bared and blades raised. You throw a kick in hopes of using your height and reach to your advantage but you're forced to stop when your opponent brings their other arm to bare and using the tonfa blade as a shield to use your momentum against you. You manage to stop yourself from connecting but the cat climbs up your leg, it's movements fluid like water, and swings it's sword at you. Your instincts save you as you lean back into a flip and cause the blade to bounce off of one of your ribs rather than slide in between them. Nonetheless, the cat clings to you as it buries it's claws into your flesh and tries to drive the blades down into your chest. You smash your leg into a nearby wall along with the cat, saving yourself once more but before you can reach out to grab your foe, the falcon smashes into you and lifts you into the air. You drive your fist into the bird's face as it rears it's head back to try and peck at your face then follow it up to a blow to it's legs. The falcon's head snaps back but the armor manages to blunt the force of the blow. Nonetheless, you manage to losen the grip enough to escape and land safely on the ground.
You roll behind cover and try to catch your breath as you feel the pulse of your heart in every cut and nick on your body, your mind reeling from the exchange. These two were coordinating, something you had never considered possible. They had never met before and certainly would never have fought long enough to be able to know how to work along one another. Furthermore, they were using tactics, adopting strategies to circumvent your attacks rather than taking them head on like the rest of the horde. Could it be that they had managed to retain some semblence of their former life? Or perhaps be controlled by one of the crows? At the moment you were at a disadvantage. Every part of the two's body was made for cutting and the fact that they felt no pain meant that any blow against them would leave you wide open for them to simply bury a blade, talon, or claw into you.With no more Sword of Heroes at your side, you had no real way to deflect their attacks and attempting to use a board or perhaps some rubble as you did with the crows seemd to awkward and crude against two seasoned opponents. You pat yourself around to determine the severity of your injuries. You were fortunate that despite your pain, your arteries were spared and despite some deep stabs, nothing important was cut. As you pat yourself down, you feel something buried in your pocket. Drawing it out, you hold in your hand the strange knife that you found in Renshu's clothing. It's weight and form was somewhat strange to you but at the moment it was all you had. >What do you do?>Use the knife to fight. Its the only thing you have on hand at the moment.>Try and take a weapon from another of the undead. It could leave you open to more attacks if not surrounded but you'd rather have something you're familiar with.>Try and pull the two to Hien. You can work with him and his sword to fight. >Write in.
>>5213282>Use the knife to fight. Its the only thing you have on hand at the moment.>I said my kung fu was a tool of justice. Not used in anger. Not used for vengeance. But now... Now I'm not so sure. And besides, this isn't my knife.
>>5213282>Use the knife.It isnt much for parrying but it should do against the tonfa.
>>5213346>>5213469>>5213944Knife fight. I planned to make a funny side story for april fools but I just never got the time to do that. Probably something about Xin and TL daring one another to try out strange foods within the city. I'll get to writing.
You slowly draw the blade free from it's strange scabbard. Even in the dim moonlight it seemed menacing, it's edge sharpened to an unnerving degree or was that simply because of how well you knew it's previous owner? Given what you're about to use the knife for you're not sure anymore. You used to think that Kung Fu was a tool of justice, not for vengeance, not in anger but now you were going to cut up the recently deceased. Was this justice? Or were you simply induldging your baser instincts? You weren't given much time to contemplate that as you feel a small movement in the wind and duck out of the way. A pair of long blades protrude from the wall and quickly disappear as the cat leaps over the rubble. You only have a brief moment before the cat leaps towards you again and you raise your blade to block theirs. The loud ringing of metal against metal echoes throughout the ruins when both blades connect. You use all your might to shove the cat upwards with your weapon and launch them into the air. They twist, their body turning in almost impossible angles, and come back down swinging once more. You sidestep to dodge one blade and raise your knife to deflect the other. Another gust of wind, and you bend backwards to dodge the falcon flying towards you. With a roar, you swing your blade arm and the knife skids across the bird's heavy armor by manages to slip between a gap and you feel it cut deep. The knife, cut through feathers, muscle and bone with equal ease as the falcon is thrown off course, thigh and leg dangling at a wrong angle before it crashes into the ground.With no time to think, you drop on your back and thrust both feet out catching the cat in mid jump and launching them into the remains of a window. There's a sickening snap and you turn to see the falcon's leg finally give way and tear from it's body as the bird tries to stand. The falcon flaps it's wings wildly as it's unable to gain enough balance to stand on one leg before slowly pushing it's self up from the ground with it's wings, breaking feathers and bone in the process. Getting to your feet, you toss the knife from hand to hand as you let yourself take everything in an attempt to anticipate what would come next.
From the darkness, the cat rushes you but you manage to deflect the blades once more and giving yourself an opening to drive your fist into the mad creature's gut. Your claws hold it in place as you crudely stab the knife into their shoulder and pull it back. Cold blood drenches your hand and your opponent's arm falls to the ground, useless and hopefully well and truly dead along with the blade it was holding. The cat twists away, swinging it's remaining weapon at your face and leaving bits of it's flesh in your claws. You duck forward, smashing your head into the cat's side and slamming them into the ground. They bounce, splattering blood everywhere but you're unable to take advantage of the situation when the falcon manages to gain flight once more and charges you with it's one good leg. You take a horse stance and tank the hit, allowing the falcon to close the gap and letting you grab them. His wings flap wildly as they try to take off with you but your arms manage to pin them closed. >What do you do?>Write in
>>5215769>do a suplex on him
>>5215769I support the Suplex.Kiryu Lung is slowly showing colours of Raiden. And this is great.
>>5215769I say we give him a German Suplex, but after that we hit him with the People's Elbow for a combo.
>>5215896>>5215950>>5216361Nothing like having a group BBQ with friends to round off a shitty week and to come back to see my players voted for the local kung fu master to execute wrestling techniques. Never change guys. Never change.
You struggle to hold the large bird. Putting them into a hold was something out did out of pure instinct. Most people would struggle as well but from there you could start working with locks and perhaps pain to subdue your target, something that wouldn't work in this situation. You do your best to try and position the knife into a better cuting position but the falcon rears it's head back and tries to peck your eyes out.It's only because of the adrenaline running through your body, and your focus being pushed to the limit that you manage to snap your head to the side to dodge. The falcon's beak clamps around your shoulder and slices it open causing you to scream in anger. What little reservation you had boils away as you begin to see red again. With a roar you tighten your grip, causing the armor to dent and buckle under the pressure, and bend over backwards, driving the bird's head straight into the ground. You feel the bird convulse as you hear a crunch come from the skull and a snap from the spine as the bird's neck bends at a wrong angle. You back flip onto your feet and immediately drop down to slam your elbow down onto the bird with all your weight, rage, and frustration behind it. Your elbow punches through the armor like a blade through paper and you feel what was left of the bird's ribs shatter like glass. Your body works on autopilot as you simply continue to ravage the bird's body. You rain blow upon blow against the bird's body before you finally flip them face down and place a foot between his shoulders to pin them down. You grab a wing and tear it off, blood streaming everywhere before grabbing the other wing and ripping it off as well. You grab the mangled body by it's remaining leg and hurl the remains into the main street. Had the cat been alive, it might have had the sense to try a different tactic if the idea of fleeing hadn't crossed their mind. Unfortunately for them, whatever curse or sorcery was animating them had only imparted their past knowledge of fighting and not much else as it tries to attack you once more. Without finesse or flair, you grab Renshu's blade once more and crudely slam it into the cat 's weapon like some sort of club. The cat's weapon is pushed back, shattering the animal's fingers, crumpling it's arm from the force of the blow until, through sheer brute strength, you force the blade through the cat's neck to slice clean through it and removing it's head.
The mutilated bodies of your opponents lay still as you simply stand there bleeding, aching, and winded. You hurl the knife downwards to embed it into the cat's corpse and scream into the night, venting your grief, your pain, your misery. Eventually, the adrenaline coursing through your veins fades away and you fall to your knees with the heat of your blood against the cold of the night serving as a constant reminder to the dismay and disgust that was washing over you as you look at the results of your fight.Your vision seems to swim and you feel your limbs tremble as they struggle to hold their own weight up but even so you notice that it's eerily quiet once more.>What do you do?>Write in.
>>5217586>Grab the knife, get up and call out to Hien.Words or a dragons snarl, we just need to alert him to our location.>Afterwards, listen very, very, carefully.
>>5217586Nice update boss.>>5217640Support, they wnat yhe dragon, the give them the roar.
>>5217640>>5217849We're at the crest of the hill guys. Toughest last few weeks of the seasonal work and then it's smooth sailing from here. Gotta find our son royal friend. Writing.
You will your limbs to obey and your muscles scream as they lift you up. Every instinct urges you to simply lay down and rest or to hurry up and find Hien so that you can find safety but you fight them. You didn't have time to simply die here from impatience. Everyone was waiting for you. "HIEN, WE NEED TO REGROUP!" You shout. "BACK TO THE GUARD HOUSE! THE PLACE WE FIRST SEARCHED TOGETHER!" You slowly lower yourself on all fours and quietly begin to prowl through the city, sticking to the shadows and staying out of sight. You trusted Hien to see through your, admittedly weak, deception and meet you back at the library. But you were tired, emotionally and physically. It had been many years since you simply let go like that and none of those were good. Part of you worried what would happen if such a thing occured again but with actual living beings. No, you were better than that. You had proved it time and time again that you were better than that.Soknan, Zhengyi, Xiqi. Each and every time you could have simply murdered everyone and gotten your way but each time you held back and each time you slowly strove to find an alternative way rather than using your fists. Sometimes you even managed to do so. You continue to leap from shadow to shadow, and your thoughts slowly wandered to your apperance. How would you look to an outsider, covered in blood and gore? Like some demon from hell? Perhaps another one of the undead that were roaming the city? You reach the skeleton of the library and slip into the upper levels to make your way to the location you and Hien shared a moment of rest before all this madness started, relying on your enhanced memory to navigate without needing a torch. You reach you destination and collapse finally giving your aching body some rest. You're not sure how long you lay there but there was plenty of reserves in you to keep you away as you waited. You simply wanted to be a bit selfish and rest. The notion of that seemed to bring a twinkle of happiness as you remember how cross your father would have been if he had caught you doing something like that growing up. Remembering this, you force yourself to sit up out of habit and wait. But idle hands are the source of all misery as the proverb goes and it seems like there is no exception. You find yourself slowly pulling out the medallion Xin Lan gave your for your birthday a few months ago. You can't see it in the dark but you remember it down to the finest detail and you feel your heart ache. You find yourself making promises. That you'll push Ming even harder so that she could become better than all of you but only after you showered her in all the sweet pastries you could get your hands on even if it mean raiding the royal family's kitchens. More than likely, you'd take her home so that you can argue with her about her staying there.
You could play the arguement in your mind. She'd demand to go with you despite her eyes longing to stay with her loved ones. You'd do your best to convince her to stay because you wanted her to be safe. She's call you an idiot and ask who would heal you all. You'd fail to give an satisfactory reply. Eventually, the two of you would simply drop it because in the end she'd simply sneak away and catch up with all of you. She was simply too fast now to leave behind.You make a vow to let Xin Lan ride your shoulders every day and as much as they want. Even sleep ontop of you with out arguement especially after you decide to empty your wallet and take them out to eat every night that you could. Secretly, you also vow to give them ever opportunity tease you. You can just imagine them laying on your chest, round belly up, with their tail wiggling wildly as they cover your eyes with their ears. Of course there was also Renshu. You could imagine him break his calm demenor for a moment before trying to recompose himself. You wonder if you'd do the same. Maybe you could promise to try and be more open about your feelings with him. In the end, you simply vow to do the simplest thing. You promise to take him on a date. A real one with out dancing around the subject. Although that one might take a while if war was on the horizon. Knowing how things always turned out, there would be plenty of battles to come before you could do anything like that comfortably. But all this was overshadowed but the one promise you vow that you'd be willing to die to make come true. To tell each and everyone of them how proud you were of them. No matter what happened, you were proud of the steps they took and how much they had grown. You'd hug them and threaten to never let go. Your thoughts are interrupted when you hear something scrape in the hallway across the room. Stuffing your family crest in your pocket, you quickly draw your dagger and lay in wait to see who followed you in. The dim light of a torch slowly bleeds into the room along with the shadow of it's owner. It was vaguely feline but you remain alert, it could still be an undead. Slowly, the figure approaches and Hien limps through the doorway. He too was covered in cuts and bruises through thankfully, none of them seem to be severe though still painful. Arrows were strapped around his body, broken ones, makeshift ones, arrows without heads and arrows that were basically only heads. It seemed like he was using everything and anything he could get his hands on. Without a word, he makes his way towards you and drops the torch before collapsing into a sit and looking between his knees to catch his breath. It was only know that you realize how dangerous it was to leave Hien alone, given how unaccustomed he was to the air here. Frankly, you're surprised the young man was still awake.>What do you do?>Write in.
>>5220737>Lay out a place for him to rest for a while, then move when he is able.
>>5220737>Get him a place to rest, try giving him some breathing exercises.Sorry Hien my son, we sorta forgot about the thin air.
You'd offer to give Hien a chance to sleep, but you don't have a bedroll to offer. Still, there was something you could do. You get up and start to clear out an area around you, pushing rubble and ash away. Grabbing what little you can, you take the torch and start up a small fire to try and chase away the cold that was creeping in from the night. Despite all the noise and light, Hien remains still. You gently shake the young man but receive no response. He was out cold. You weren't surprised. The first night you were here, you completely collapsed in bed as well after you climb up. It would be best to let him rest now and you could keep watch. The fire crackles and pops as you hold out some dried meat on an arrow shaft you borrowed from Hien as you hope to at least warm it up. All you really had on you were what you managed to scavenge from this place. Another sign that you weren't really thinking straight at the time. You should have gotten more supplies before returning here. You look around to keep your mind busy. Despite the darkness all around you, there was something cozy about this place. Perhaps it was because it provided shelter from the madness outside. You take a bite of the slightly warmed meat. Tasteless but edible.Hours pass and Hien finally stirs. He looks around sleepily as if unaware of his surroundings before stretching. "It's been a few hours." You say as you force yourself to break the silence and stay away from your thoughts. "How are you feeling?""I'll be fine." He says. "Though I still feel rather light headed.""It should be daylight soon." You say. "We'll have to venture out. Can't stay here forever.""What do you plan to do?" He asks. "No doubt, the city is still crawling with those monsters.">What do you say?>Say you'll continue to search for a way to stop all this. There has to be way.>Say that it's time to leave the city. You have to find the others.>Say that you have to head to the capital to warn the Empress of the impending war.>Tell Hien that he's going to warn his sister and find your friends. You'll be heading north. Into Mongolia.>Write in.
>>5221487>>Say you'll continue to search for a way to stop all this. There has to be way.
>>5221487>Say you'll continue to search for a way to stop all this. There has to be way.>One of the birds is down, just another to go. Even if we can't get them to talk, maybe someone in the capital will.Oh ahit, missed a vote.
>>5221487>Take down the second bird. After that Hien, to your sister.
>>5221487>Say that you have to head to the capital to warn the Empress of the impending war.
Hmm. So we know that Ming is with the people heading to the valley.She will be the easiest to find, and I hope and pray that Master Sifu will welcome the remains of the sacred library to form a new one.But that leaves the two stealth experts to find.The only clue we have for Xin is "They are after me." and they helped Ming escape.No view on Renshu.So here's my question ladies and gentlemen. How do we find Xin and Renshu? Renshu I am hoping is in mongolia, which we shall find him there.Some sick part of me wants him to have been captured, since I've always an interest in freeing damsels in distress. But another part of me cringes away in agony at hurting him.As usual, my only plan is to make a very loud, very public event that will ripple across the world saying "Tai Lung is alive, and he is very pissed that his friends are gone"They would find us.
>>5223219My plan is to go along with Hien to the capital. Have the empress summon the Five plus Sifu, and specifically call for Ming.Xin and Renshu is more difficult, he has legt no clues, but whatever made Xin kill and then run away must be tied to something they think is important. Whether is a remnant of their old order or super elite mongolian assassins, we are never going to find them, only them coming to us. Since if we managed to do it, so would these that are more skilledRenshu is probably even worse than Xin, he was full of doubt and self-hate before, so who knows how he took his new "failure".So yeah, I'm going to bank on using our patented atupidity and stubborness and going loud for the world, make everyone knows that Tai Lung will be part of the force going to punish the mongols. That would gather enough attention that Xin would have to act to protect us.
>>5223224I don't think this is the time to name us as part of an official, royally endorsed, strike force to mongolia.I think instead, we should make another loud and audacious claim, literally scream it from the roofs of the forbidden city."LET IT BE KNOWN TAI LUNG, MASTER OF 10,000 SCROLLS AND SCOURGE OF THE VALLEY OF PEACE, LEADER OF THE FEARSOME FOUR IS LEAVING CHINA FOR MONGOLIA. ALONE!"A lie, but can you IMAGINE the stir that would cause and how fast that would spread? The valley of peace would hear of it faster than it would take for us to leave the forbidden city. We can take Ming with us, Wait for the 5 to catch up or say screw the 5 and bring with us a special forces unit. Depending on how much the empress is willing to follow us.
>>5223239We nees to wait until we go to the capital and see what we can do. If they can spin it as our penance than maybe, but if it would hurt the empress image we can do that proclamation.What matters is that word gets spread and Xin hears about it. Maybe we can use the fox, they have a business empire and contacts, rumors travel the fastest by trade routes after all.
>>5223252Correct.And hey it is literally the divinely appointed royal family. They have spy networks.Though another funny thought occurs to me. Hein has Us and his smithy waifu behind him. . Is he that royal who is the trouble making one because you have to test traditions to make sure they are right? Are we the antagonistic faction of the royal courts?
>>5223267No, Hien is best son and whoever says otherwise is getting a piledriver.
>>5223274That. . . Doesnt help with the accusation.Our job is to be the entire wild card of the royal deck. Hillarious.
>>5221646>>5221557>>5221885Long week. Writing.
>>5224359We appreciate the tale anyway my man.Just put on the Piano man and you get the idea.
"I still want to try and stop this." You say as you begin to dig around your bag and try to find something to patch both of you up with. "Those people deserve to be put to rest. After that we can head back to the capital." Hien gives you a rather sad smile. "I admire your tencacity my friend but perhaps we might have to admit that we are over our heads on this one. At the very least, I'm afraid I'm not nearly well versed in rituals, let alone the kind we are facing. " He says though as he does so he stands with a weary sigh and a reassuring smile. "But, these were you friends and neighbors. I can already see that look in your eyes." He says, bending over and slinging his bow over his shoulder. "Am I that predictable?" You ask with a grin as you stand up while ignoring your body's screams of pain and weariness. "To a certain extent." Hien jokes. "I'm sure the bunnies had plenty of fun knowing that."The two of you stretch some of the stiffness out of your limbs and slowly make your way back out, careful to avoid anything that could bring unnescary attention to your location. As you leave the small light of your campfire, you soon begin to bathe in the light of the morning sun though you're unsure if the light is a warm tone or a sickly one. You and Hien pause at the entrance to the library and listen. The city is as silent as it ever was, with no footsteps or flapping echoing through the empty streets. "It'll be best if we discuss our strategy here before moving out." Hien says. "We can always regroup back here if we must and certainly before night fall unless we fall prey to another ambush in the dark.">What is your plan? Where do you search?>Stick together. Cover each other's blindspots as you explore once more. >Split up. The more ground you can cover the better and going alone means you'll draw less attention.>Write in.
>>5224513>stick together. To part is a death sentence.>Stay high, find a vantage point to check for the birds. If we dont find them up high, check our memories for clues.If all that fails, we will just have to look for the signs of runes.Though an interesting point. The assassin from the temple arrived at the same time as the captain of the guard.Maybe that could help.
>>5224513>Stick together. Cover each other's blindspots as you explore once more.>Stay at the lookout for the crows, both the knocked put one and the active one, they are the targets.>Always look up and at the corners, people often don't look there, so we minimize the risk of ambushes and chances of fiding them.>If we see any markings that loom like runes, or items that look like artifacts, we nees to smash them.
>>5224521>>5224596>>5224699sticking together. No ambushes today. Meanwhile, Ming studies sith holocrons and decides evil magic is the only way to protect the ones she loves.
"We stick together and cover our flanks. Keep an eye up and at corners. The crows have the advantave of flight. Even at their apperant age, they hold the element of surprise. Stay low to the ground and quiet." You say pointing to the sky and at the corners of buildings. "Then we play to our strengths. The remains of buildings will provide us cover and limit the angles of attack. The ruins will echo any movements our foes make and making them easier to hear while hiding us from the sky." Hien says motioning to a few buildings."Good. Then let so, keep an eye out for any runes or items that can be the cause of this." You say. "From here on out, hand signs only during movement." Hien nods and the two of you get down low to begin your descent down to the city. As you noted before, the city is deathly silent, with no sounds of footsteps or armor ringing out. Even the wind around you seems to have joined the dead once more as you feel no breeze. The two of you duck behind the closest building to library and Hien draws his bow to knock an arrow in place. You peer around the corner of the building into the main street where you remember majority of the dead were wandering around. Strewn around the road were bodies, limp and unmmoving as if they had died once more on the spot. You reach behind you to pat Hien on the back and motion to swap places. Looking around, you need no movement and the skies are clear. Could it be that this ritual opperated much like the one you had seen before? Where the dead wandered during the night and were laid to rest during the dead? But wasn't that a memory replaying in loop? And wasn't that ritual circle damaged to cause that? You weren't sure it was possible to recreate that series of events on purpose but then again, you knew very little of such enchantments. >What do you do?>Motion to Hien and go over to investiagate the bodies. Doing so will mean you leave cover.>Continue exploring the city. Head to the where the crow was. You can study the bodies later.>Ignore the bodies and explore the rest of the city for clues. For runes or markings.>Write in.
>>5225907>Explore the cityI think they are baiting us.
>>5225907>Continue exploring the city. Head to the where the crow was. You can study the bodies later.We don't know shit about magic, everything we would learn would be assumptions.
>>5226060>>5226269>>5226376Long day. We're exploring the city some more. Writing.
The two of you continue searching through the city, combing the alleys in hopes of finding something to stop this magic. Unfortunately, you don't know anything about magical rituals to know what to do about it but you knew someone who could. The two of you quickly prowl quietly towards the location you left one of the crows unconcious. You keep your senses to a razor's edge, listening to every creak and crunch around you but nothing indicates that there is any movement besides your own. You head back towards the center of the battle, careful to avoid the area where you tore apart the two bodies out of shame and disgust. Emptiness is what greets you when you arrive to the ruined building, one you absentmindedly recognize as the remnants of a bookstore. As you stand there confusion builds up within you and you move a few rocks in a daze. "They're not here." You say without thinking. Hien looks away from his post in confusion. "The crow. I managed to subdue one last night but they're not here. I knocked them out and broke their wing and the fall might have broken more. I doubt they could have gotten far." You explain. Hien backs up slightly and begins to look around as well. "Is it possible they were rescued? By the other crow?" He asks."Could the other even carry a body that heavy?" You ask. "At that age? Their tactics seem to imply they weren't physically strong.""It certainly seems so. However, they wouldn't need to get far to escape. Even making off this mountain would be enough to avoid us. Their ability to fly, even short distances, means their tracks can be far apart and impossible to track." Hien explains. "And with it, any hopes of figuring this out." You growl and punch a nearby wall. "It certainly seems so." Hien mutters. "Surely there must be a way to figure this out. Perhaps if we can recall your last encounter with a ritual we could peice together something similar here?">What do you say?>Write in.
>>5228229>Ok, let me think. Last time I dealt with the undead it was because of a circle hidden in the middle of the town that trapped their souls in a spiritual recreation of before the attack, being unaware of what happened, while their bodies attacked intruders. And when we simply disrupted the circle, our souls got transported into the dream, hours before the attack, and had to convince librarian to let it be undone, because they were the ones that knew the right words.>I wasn't attacked when I woke up or when we returned and crow said that they knew I would come back. So the ritual must be activated by their command and/or was not present before I left.>I also remember that Ming and Renshu said thet rituals have conditions, like time, ingredients, place. So I would bet that the circle is in some place that is both in the center of town and spiritually important, nost likely somewhere in the library. But I don't know how we would get the correct spell from the crows, unless Sangpo's spirit is trapped and he tells us, or it's the same phrase for some reason.I'm going to look at the archive to confirm if my memory is right or not.
>>5228422Ok, time for corrections.We didn't disrupt the ritual, we connected with the chi of head librarian that killed herself to activate it, entering the memory place, and we sidn't need some spell to leave, once we lived through the entire memory we could just do it, the words was the code we gave Hien to warn about the scroll. Also we didn't really stop the circle, it just bleed out of chi eventually, and the empire's agents where tge onea that did the cleanup.
>>5228422We also need to check a few bodies for any fetishes, but it could have been a one and done ritual.Though your idea on it being done from a central location has merit, since it would have to be able to effect as wide an area as possible.
>>5228576Well, Hien was asking for what happened last time, so I went for that instead of making new theories.Bit it doesn't hurt to inspect any bodies we find along the way.
>>5228645Ah! Ah!I dont think it was bodies of the villagers last time. It was their skeletons leaking through the illusion.
>>5228422>>5228447>>5228576>>5228645>>5228667Last few days are the hardest but I got to power through. As a sign from the heavans there was a baby goat at my place of work for some reason. Real cute. I'll do a write up tomorrow because I'm real burnt out at the moment. Just to get my ideas straight, you want to check the bodies as part of your relaying your experience to Hien?
>>5230289I think the body check was on the way to where we think the circle might be, which most likely would be at the library since it's both a spiritual place and at the center of town, or somewhere in the raider camp if they prepared before the attack.If Hien decides to check it out, of course
>>5230289Crushed to hear it mate.And the relating experience is one action, while the second is after the fact checking the bodies for defilement/runes/magic conduit bullshit
You think for a moment. "When we first ecounterd a situation like this, it was all due to some kind of magic circle hidden within the town. The villagers were all sacrificed to power the ritual in hopes of preserving the events of the village's destruction should the royal secrets be stolen. It's how we learned of the raiders and their leader. However, it was damaged from blood so the memories it was meant to contain bled out into reality. Although, Ming and Renshu did say that rituals have conditions, requirements, like a time or ingredients or a certain place. If there is a circle here then it must be in the center of the city. Most likely the library. Not sure how we would find it or something.""It could be in the invader's camp." Hien says. "I doubt that something as horrendous as this would be a plan for a place such as the Sacred Library. It just doesn't seem right.""Well...I wasn't attacked when I woke up or when we returned. Plus the crows mentioned that they knew I'd come back. It must have been them that set it up or at least activated it. Otherwise, why would something this powerful not be used during their invasion? If it was then Ming or Xin would have written about it to warn us." You agree. "So then what are we missing? There must be some clue we aren't considering.""Anything else you can remember?" Hien presses. You think real hard, trying to forget the dispair that that circle brought in the end. Especially on Xin Lan's part. "Well we did have to enter the circle with out minds. We had to meditate on it so it must have been created out of chi." You say.
"No doubt if it was made from the life of the villagers and the raiders." Hien replies. "But that was just a small village and this is an enormous city. If such a circle was made by our enemies then we should have seen it upon entering. And could such a circle be made while we were here?" The young man ponders for a moment. "It could have been set up during the time everyone had fled and before you returned. If they expected you to come back then this could have been done for your eventual return.""How could they know?" You ask. Hien gives you a wry smily. "It seems like your reputation has extended beyond China's border. Given your reaction the last group of invaders, I suspect the minds behind this one expected you to respond in kind. A trap if you will.""But left and wandered around for a while...""It might have simply given them notice of your 'return'. After that they started setting up." Hien suggests. "I suppose so. We can wander the city for hours and not find anything. So I think the next best thing would be to search the bodies. With caution of course." You say. "Maybe we can find some kind of note or maybe another journal?""It may be our only lead."The two of you head towards one of the smaller alleys of the city, if the bodies were merely dormant and waiting for a command to rise once more then you wanted as few as possible around you when you were busy rummaging around. Finding a spot was easy given the mass casualties. You quickly come to rummage through the bodies and try to ignore the fact that the bodies were cold and yet still maleable. You almost expected them to start breathing again. It only takes a few seconds but you begin to see a few patterns emerge. Nothing major to your quest but you being to notice which invaders were meant to be the front liners, which were meant to be skirmishers, and which were meant to shore up the back lines all based on their armor. Even so, you began to see something else as well. Every so often you would see one or more small statues on a body. Crudely carved, they didn't seem to be too out of the ordinary. They reminded you a bit of your family crest but even so, something about them felt wrong. The carvings were crude and yet they felt cruel and malicious. Something about the way the cuts were made seemed to be too angular, too deliberate to be natural. There was something about them that made you feel off center and anxious but not in the physical sense. So much so that you hadn't really picked any up, at least not yet.>What do you do?>Go search for a magic circle. It could be possible that it's simply too big for you to see right away. You doubt a small one would affect such a large city.>Go search the enemy camp at the front gates. Perhaps there is something there you can find.>Continue searching bodies. You could be on to something.>Write in.
>>5231482>>Go search for a magic circle. It could be possible that it's simply too big for you to see right away. You doubt a small one would affect such a large city.
>>5231482>Go search for a magic circle. It could be possible that it's simply too big for you to see right away. You doubt a small one would affect such a large city.
>>5231482>Continue checking the bodies, of the civilians and the invaders.
>>5231482>Go search the enemy camp at the front gates. Perhaps there is something there you can find
>>5231980And let me add something too>Continue searching bodies. You could be on to something.I think they are doing something like Kai did with chi, but inversed so it would animate the corpses, like using those sacrifices Bao warned us of.But when we fought him, he didn't pull that trick, so it would be a bit of meta to know about it.
>>5231482>Continue searching bodies.
I think we're tied between looking for a circle and checking the camp.
>>5233733There's 2 votes for circle, 3 for bodies, and one of them is for the camp at the same time (me).So maybe search for the circle while checking the bodies on the way?
>>5233763This is me by the way boss>>5231980>>5231989
>>5233765Ah damn, guess 4chan didn't update for me. Well then I'll get to writing.
You continue your search of the bodies in hopes of finding something more substancial than an unnerving statue. Beyond the small statues however, the invaders only had the bare essencials on them. No notebooks, no writings, not even a map of any kind on them. The only conclusion you can come up with is that perhaps whoever was leading this attack had it. As you think more on it, you don't recall seeing the corpse of any bear around here. Did he survive and simply returned north?Nothing seemed to turn up as you searched and given the fact that none of the bodies had risen, you decide to venture forwas back to the front gate toward what camp the invaders might have had. Just as before you continue to find more of these statues on more of the bodies. It was becoming quite clear that these things were not simply some kind of personal item or figure and you doubt this bears some kind of religous significance. Curious, you decide to investigate the object further. Despite your hesitation, you lean down and grab the figure to look at it closer. A chill runs down your spine as if ice cold water and been run through your very being. Everything around you seem to dull slightly. Colors seem a bit more muted, sound is muffled slightly, the cold seems to fade away, and even your sense of smell is affect as things smell flatter like a perfume that lost it's potency. The feeling seems to intensify the longer you hold it and soon you feel even your fear to slowly give away to nothing. Not apathy, not bravery, simply nothing. Mustering the last bits of will you had left, you grunt and throw the thing away, falling backwards. You lay on the floor, heart beating wildly as everything slowly starts to come back towards you. Hien comes rushing towards you. "What happened?" He asks. "I don't know...I just grabbed one of the statues they seem to carry. Everything started going away...I don't know how to describe it." You say as you attempt to do so. "What kinds of magics are our foes using?" Hien mumbles. "Could it be that they are unaffected? Or perhaps they only activate at a certain time? Surely such effects would only be a detriment?""I'm not sure. I suppose not feeling pain or fear would be a great asset if it meant winning a fight." You say as you get up.
"But to...tear away what makes a person a person. To simply erase all that...monstrous." Hien says. You say nothing but you can't help but wonder if that is how Xin Lan lived their lives. To simply exist and nothing more. You put that thought out of your mind. You didn't want to think about your friend in that way.You ignore the bodies for now and head out to the front gate. The bodies become more varied and numerous, especiallly for those wearing guard clothing. You approach the ruined remains of what appears to be tents and sleeping bags. As you turn your attention to the area, you notice something else. There seemed to be a wide area clear of bodies in the middle of the camp. Judging by the way the bodies fell, you can easily tell that there was a fight here as if someone had leapt into the middle of a group and began to fight as well. Majority of the bodies were sliced open, too clean to have been an accident and far too precise for it to be an accident. Even more eye catching were that an almost equal ammount of bodies were simply...broken. As if they were snapped like a twig. Limbs were bent with bones sticking out, chests were caved in, necks were broken. You had assumed that perhaps Renshu had done this but even for his style this was far too brutal and excessive. "What happened here..." Hien asks in half wonder, half shock. "I don't know. Renshu was mentioned to have been here negotiating. Perhaps he was here during the time the fighting started but this does not seem like him." You say."Could it have been the bear?" Hien asks. "Perhaps he deemed his subordinates to have gotten in the way? It seems like camaraderie is beneath their notice.""Maybe so. Let us look for a circle." You say. "We can ponder these mysteries in a bit."You and Hien begin to search before you notice him immediately stop. "What's wrong?" You ask."A circle." He says motioning to the clearing made by the bodies. "You don't think...">What do you say?>Agree with Hien. Perhaps the circle you were looking for was not a litteral one drawn in the ground but one of bodies.>Disagree. Say that you think it might actually be a drawn circle. If not here then perhaps there might be clues as to it's construction.>Say that the circle might have been the walls. They encompass the ciry and were destroyed in the attack.>Perhaps the caves might contain what you look for. You could venture in there.>Write in.
>>5233986>Check it. Is it a PERFECT circle? Deliberately placed? Are there further arcane markings present?
>>5233986>It makes sense, it was blood that made the memory circle activate and enter reality afterall, so they could be doing a purposefully corrupted version.>Still, we shouldn't jump to conclusions. We need to check if these corpses have something to do with the statues, and if there is lingering chi here first
>>5234045>>5234007Last week to endure. I'll get to writing after work.
>>5237034Soon we will get fast updates again.And with them, Mongolia will fall.
Back to our game. In the soap opera AU, Hien stabs TL in the back because he believes that our cuddly boy is responsible for the love of his life, Ming's, death. Or something. Writing.
"Perhaps, or maybe not." You say as you pace around the carnage around you. You're not sure what exactly you're looking for save for some gut feeling you might get. The only thing you can really hope for is that your years of trainin kick in to show you something. You wander about the place for a few moments, eyeing every detail. "No...I don't think it is." You finally say. "The bodies are in a circle but it's too half hazard. At least for it to be a magic circle of somekind I think. It's deliberate but not in the way you think." You motion to the bodies around you. "This clearing is a kill zone. Anything entering here was sure to die.""By magic?" Hien asks."Err...no. By people. This was probably as much space as the creators could afford to hold without compromising themselves. Any bigger and they would probably be taking on too many people. By maintaining a tight enough circle, they could, at least in theory, narrow down the ammount of opponents they had to face. It's much harder to fight a single foe if you're squeezed should to shoulder with your allies. No room to swing a blade or bring down a mace with proper force. The bodies are also piled up in a way that would make traversing them difficult for anyone trying to step in to the circle. They now need to contend with not tripping over the dead as well as squeezing past everyone else. Whoever did this created their own terrain to hamper their opponents and give themselves more breathing room." "That is...quite a morbid technique." Hien replies, taking a few steps away from the edges of the circle. "It was survival. Given the spacing of the bodies and the location, whoever did this was at the center of it all. Surrounded by an army and cut off from reinforcements, it was perhaps the one thing that kept them alive." "I don't see any other body in here. Does that mean the person behind this survived?" Hien wonders outloud as he begins to look around the camp for more clues. "But if they did, then they made no trail of escape or did they simply run out of combatants? And who could behind such a slaughter? Renshu? Or the bear?"You pace a bit more and see a small glint at your feet. Obscured by both it's size, the grass, and blood you lean down to pick up a small chain off the ground. Dangling from it is half of a Taiji symbol, the shape of yin and yang, whose sister half you recall dangled proudly off the the neck Xin Lan. You quickly tuck it into your pocket without another word. "I'm not sure." You say. "But perhaps both.""Both?"
"This circle is too big to hold on one's own. Even for an expert such as Renshu." You hold out your arms at the center. "Look." You say and take a step forward. You reach does not come close to the edge of the bodies around you. Stepping back, you take a step backwards and reach behind you. "For this circle to work, one must minimize their own movements, center themselves in the fight. Every step beyond the first is a step given to your enemy. Each attack, each lunge, must be calculated. Each exertion measured to give you the most out of it. You only hasten your death if you run around attempting to make a wide circle. But with more people, your reach expands. Two people become two steps. Your arms become extenstions not limitations and you can cover more ground as well as each other. With someone of the bear's height, it could be possible to hold such a circle for who knows how long. Look around you, the bodies don't trail off. They are centered just here. Isn't that strange for a war happening here in this city?""But...why? Why fight together? They were enemies. Renshu...he should be dead. By that logic, why not press their strength in numbers? Even two people can be overrun. Could they have been a big enough threat to have broken through enemy lines? No...that would not explain why there are no bodies trailing from here. Could it be...that they were simply ignored? That our enemies simply opted to continue their assault on the city rather than continue forcing the circle? But if so...why did Renshu not shore up an attack from behind enemy lines? Why not regroup with Xin Lan and the others?""I don't know." You say. "There are too many mysteries. Too much that we don't know. What we can narrow down is that Renshu found an ally within the enemy ranks and together they held off the chaos surrounding them. After that...who knows where they went. Renshu would never abandon their little sister. Come heaven or hell, he would claw his way through to get to them and yet our notes say that Ming and Xin lost him in the fight. They never regrouped.""Captured then? For taking part in stopping the last raids?" Hien suggests."Would be simpler to kill him. If any stories of that fight reached the north, they would know how much of a risk it would be to keep anyone of us alive. If they're willing to risk that then I don't want to know the state Mongolia is in when he escapes." You say. Hien furrows his brow, puzzled."Then lest we get carried away. We should return to our current search. If this is not the circle we seek. Where could it be?"You frown and think.
>What do you do?>Look at the statues again. They were dangerous that was for sure but if they were magical then how would they react to Chi? Is it even worth the risk?>Perhaps you are looking at this in the wrong way. You need a bigger picture. What if you tried looking at this from the view of your opponents. The crows who seemed to control this magic. >Search where you found Sangpo's body. His home would obviously be a magical center. Perhaps it was defiled in some way. These small statues might just be some kind of catalyst.>Write in.
>>5237829>Get a birds eye view.Go go gadget magical leap hundreds of meters into the air!But mysteries upon mysteries. Renshu was here. . But. . Renshu didnt use a blade. So I speculate that his ally is a swordsman, of the nameless order to which they both professed loyalty to.It's a shot in the dark, but the alternative is someone else in the city was an amazing fighter.
>>5237829>Look at the statues again. They were dangerous that was for sure but if they were magical then how would they react to Chi? Is it even worth the risk?>Search where you found Sangpo's body. His home would obviously be a magical center. Perhaps it was defiled in some way. These small statues might just be some kind of catalyst.The bear wasn't a mongol, so most likely he was less loyal to the cause, and whatever hold they had on him could theoritically have been broken by meeting a kindred spirit.It's most likely that Renshu and Xin willingly parted ways to draw the enemy attention in opposite direction, amd/or to follow two different plans simultaniously.But without knowing exactly what happen, it's all assumptions. Better to focus on dealing with the zombies so we can go to the capital.
Why's it always the last days that seem the toughest? We got a tie. I'll do the write up in a new thread if this one is archived before I get back .
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>5237993>>5237914Ah well, lets flip
>>5239571I'm willing to abandon the part of the vote to go where Sangpo to take a bird's eye view, but I'm keeping the statue part.I wanted to try and do the chi thing with the statues in the middle of the most magical place. So going to wherever we find and doing it there leads to the same result anyway.
Tomorrow or rather later today, we experiment with the statues and go flying in the new thread. I'll post the link to it here. It's all over now lads.
>>5241187Praise be!Ding dong the witch is dead, Free from all the evils of shambala