This had to be the refinery. My gaze flicked from the rubber hose to the wooden door and back again, hunger gnawing at my gut. I wanted nothing more than to force feed myself the black blood of the Goddess until my stomach burst. Still, I had a greater purpose than to feast. Standing there outside the door I allowed myself a moment. A deep, calming breath helped me clear away the fog, and then I shook the tension out of my shoulders. Channeling the casual confidence of someone who belonged there, I stepped through the door hoping that my own white robes might allow me to blend in with the daruni.I emerged into a large chamber which was absolutely coated in some manner of black film. It clung to the walls and all the furniture, dimming the yellow light cast by swollen pustules throbbing on the ceiling. The flesh in the center of the room had been carved out to make room for a brick platform. It was raised a few feet above the floor, built to house two large vats at least twenty feet wide and half that deep. It was into the nearer of the two that the hose spit ichor.There were half a dozen daruni scattered throughout the room, all of them wearing gloves and masks of rubber. Three diminutive women in white robes were standing around a large ceramic pot raised half a dozen feet in the air on a wooden scaffolding. Each of the workers dispensed clear essence from spigots at the bottom of the pot into small glass vials. Hundreds of those filled vials were gathered in wooden crates against the far wall, stacked there by a large man in white robes who swapped them out for crates of empty vials as his sisters of the cloth worked. A section of the room was set aside for an alchemy lab. Beakers, alembics, and all manner of glassware I didn't have names for lay stacked in haphazard piles across three tables, some of it broken.The masks worn by the refinery workers possessed clear glass visors, and a metal cover over the mouth and nose onto which two canisters were attached. Glancing around I found spare masks hanging on pegs set into the wall on my right, and blackened rubber gloves tossed into a pile on my left. I donned both before proceeding. Once I had the mask on I could no longer smell the heavenly stench of ichor. It was lost under a pungent assault of lavender, mint, and rose."Oi, big girl," a muffled voice called out. "Get over here and help me."I turned towards a masked woman in white robes who beckoned me up onto the brick platform at the center of the chamber. I approached, trying to mask my ignorance with a confident stride. When I joined her standing beside the ichor vats I glanced down and saw that they were lined with silver. The bottom of the vat on our left was filled with a brackish mix of water and divine ichor, while the one on our right contained only water.[1/3]
>>5749019The woman who'd beckoned me up grabbed a long, pitted metal paddle off the brick and pressed it into my hands. "Keep stirring until I tell you to stop," she said."What are we doing?" I asked, glancing from her to the vat. I plunged the paddle into the thick slurry and started to churn it with slow, circular motions. The blood reacted to being disturbed in such a fashion, attacking the paddle and frothing wherever it touched. The solution immediately took on a green hue in the vicinity of the metal, a layer of white scum forming in the wake of each movement."We're making black water," the woman said, then she turned and shouted, "Hey! More salt!"Another daruni hurried over from the other side of the room carrying a wooden bucket filled with a coarse white grains. She tipped it over the vat, sprinkling in the salt while the first daruni counted. After seven heartbeats she said, "Stop.""That's it?" I asked.The first daruni nodded, "For now. Keep stirring."I peered back into the vat, stirring the salt in with my paddle while more ichor sprayed in through the hose. The streaks of green I'd noticed disappeared gradually as the salt dissolved, and the mixture turned black. The scum atop the concoction grew thicker, then slowly began to break apart. Watching those masses wriggle I realized that they were made up of millions of tiny creatures, like maggots but smaller. They swarmed across the dark surface, devouring one another."What is that?" I asked, gesturing to the scum with my paddle.The daruni laughed, "The filth of the Goddess. They're just blood worms. Salt drives them out and then their hunger forces them to eat one another until there aren't enough left and they starve. They'll eat right through a body, though.""Right," I muttered.I continued to stir until the other woman stood up and twisted a knob on one of the wooden frames supporting the ichor hose. Each twist raised a wooden block from below, which eventually cut off the flow entirely. "All right, that's enough," the woman said, stretching her back and glancing at the other daruni. "We'll let this settle for an hour then boil it off. Good work everyone. Let's get something to eat."As the rest of the refinery workers filtered out through the door to the heart chamber, leaving their masks and gloves behind, the woman who'd initially addressed me paused to place a hand on my shoulder. "You new?" she asked, still forced to shout through the rubber.I nodded, "Yes, Sister."[2/3]
>>5749021"Well, I'm sure you'll get the hang of it," she said, giving me a pat. "Basically what we're going to do after lunch is heat this mixture to boil off all the water, and it's important that we get all the water. Then we're going to add crystallized vinegar and distilled wine into this vat, and it's going to turn into a truly noxious sludge. At that point we'll add oil of vitriol and heat the entire thing so that it releases all the impurities as black smog. Breathe any of that in and you'll be trying to gnaw our faces off until your lungs shrivel up and you die. The purified ichor will be left behind with some other byproducts. We just drain that off through a very fine filter and there you have it, refined essence of the Goddess. Easy, right?"I glanced down at the black slurry, where the blood worms were still devouring each other in the brine. "Sure," I muttered, wondering whether those things were inside of me, wriggling around in my veins.The woman gave my shoulder another pat, "You'll get it. I remember my first time, I thought I was going to shit myself. I was so nervous. I'd never handled black blood before. Didn't want to get infected. But the Goddess watches over us, and we always use the purest reagents available. Don't worry about it, kid. Go get lunch."I nodded, "Thank you, Sister." Yet my attention was on the silver-lined pot of refined essence. How much was left inside? Then my attention shifted to the stacked boxes of filled vials. It was like a treasure trove, the riches of an empire stored in plain view. I wanted to run over there and gorge myself on that glorious bounty. It would be easy, too. I could kill the woman beside me in an instant. Slash her throat with my claws and then drink my fill. I could be gone before anyone was the wiser."You coming?" the woman asked, jarring me from my fantasies. I'd stopped mid-stride while walking alongside her, and she was halfway between myself and the door.I blinked at her through the glass visor and asked, "Coming?""To get food," she explained.>Kill and eat her, gorge yourself on refined essence.>Ditch this refinery worker when you get the chance, return to Nana.>Try to keep this ruse going through lunch.>Write-in
>>5749023Previous Threads: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=otptgMan I really need to finish that map at some point.
>>5749023>>Ditch this refinery worker when you get the chance, return to Nana.Open murder is not our style
>>5749023>Ditch this refinery worker when you get the chance, return to Nana.
>>5749023>Try to keep this ruse going through lunch.What we need is purified ichor, not this garbage-tier stuff.>>5749046Open murder is literally the first thing we did in this quest, lol
>>5749023>Try to keep this ruse going through lunch.
>>5749113I mean, not if we're getting caught immediately
>>5749023>>Try to keep this ruse going through lunch.
>>5749586>>5749400>>5749113>You should tell me all your secrets, haha jk jk. Unless...?>>5749070>>5749046>Time to go hang out with a child.Writin'
>>5752859>>5752580Not dead, just a hectic week. I really envy my college-aged self all the free time he had.Travelling again this weekend but I'll try to get a post out.
>>5757826Based, thanks for the notification
>>5757826Many such cases. Good luck.
>>5757826>Not dead, just a hectic week. I really envy my college-aged self all the free time he had.I know that feel, running a quest when youve got a job is a fucking killer.
Here lies SomaHe tried
Damn Soma died? I didn't know that. I just heard that for the first time. He led an amazing life.
>>5779077>He diedwait, for real ? pls be a joke
>>5782871It's true, I heard it on the radio