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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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File 133152954156.jpg - (76.11KB , 794x472 , 872029-XTZ3URX.jpg )
392034 No. 392034 ID: 832169

A rap on the door broke the relative silence of the coach as it rolled down the road. Felix looked out the window, and could see the huge manor house that stood at the end of the path. “About time. Are you ready, boy?” asked his father, the Baron of Northgate. As always, his face didn’t give anything away at all.

“Of course.” Felix was still a bit perplexed as to why his father had asked him to come all the way out here, into the neighboring Elven kingdom of Estronel. He knew that the Baron wouldn’t be coming out here without good reason, but he also couldn't imagine what use he’d be. Felix was 18 years old after all, and two years away from being able to officially join the Northgate military. Maybe he was supposed to observe his father and learn from his example, considering that one day he might have to speak diplomatically with the neighboring kingdoms on Northgate’s behalf.
Expand all images
No. 392035 ID: 832169
File 133152957858.jpg - (79.30KB , 800x700 , 872098-IHQA0ML.jpg )

Deciding that this must be it, Felix let his gaze wander out the window at the imposing manor house they were approaching. He was used to large manor houses by now. The Baron lived in the largest house back at home after all, right alongside the Wall. This place was far more spectacular than anything at home, however. There, homes needed to be built strong to survive the neverending winter, and certainly never included any sort of needless ornamentation. It unnerved him somewhat to see a house like this, so focused on style more than practicality, and he was glad they wouldn’t be staying here too long.
No. 392038 ID: 832169
File 133153056761.jpg - (74.85KB , 800x603 , 872099-LBW7ZTJ.jpg )

After parking near the front of the abode and approaching with his father, the Baron suddenly stopped and looked Felix up and down in a calculating manner. “You’ll be on your best behavior, right? I would like this to go as smooth as possible.”

Starting to get a little annoyed at being treated like he was a rambunctious child, Felix decided to ignore the remark. “Father, why are you so concerned with me? You’ve hardly stopped doting over me since we got here.”

The Baron sighed, and nodded. “You’re right, I’m overthinking this too much.” Reaching out a hand, he prepares to knock on the door. “Just promise me you’ll keep your composure when you meet your fiancee. I don’t want this to become an ordeal.”

Felix is sure he missed something. “What?”
No. 392045 ID: d905d6

WOAH WOAH HANG ON. Marrying an ELF? Come on, man! Demand an explanation!
No. 392048 ID: 1854db

"Why did you wait this long to tell me!?"
No. 392059 ID: ed57e8

flabbergast. HUBABALKSKAL?
No. 392060 ID: 0006f5

what if she is hot like

really really hot
No. 392061 ID: 673411

Don't make a hullabaloo. Find out why and since when you were engaged to this girl.
No. 392145 ID: c71597

Grab his hand before he can knock and ask why you're only learning about this just now and why you're getting married to this lady. There has to be some sort of rather awesome political advantage for him to gain from all of this.
No. 392148 ID: d5ee6f

"Father, this is the first I've heard about this."
No. 392149 ID: d5ee6f

Dude, marrying an ELF. When Felix is old she'll still be hot.
No. 392168 ID: 832169
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Restraining the urge to raise his voice, Felix tried to get some questions answered. “Just a moment, please. I’m here to marry an elf? How long have I been betrothed to her? Why did you wait this long to tell me?”

Felix had been hoping that the Baron would stop a moment and explain things, but instead he rapped on the door before answering. “I took a blood oath with Lord D'Amuri twenty-five years ago. Your mother and I decided that it would be best to wait to inform you of this, and frankly I didn’t want a lot of pointless talking on the subject. You’re my son and a noble of Northgate. I trusted that you could be depended upon.”
No. 392169 ID: 832169
File 133156839093.jpg - (102.54KB , 800x641 , 872583-1NUT5NR.jpg )

Right when Felix was about to ask another series of questions, the door opened smoothly and an older Elf was framed in the doorway. The Elf broke into a smile when he saw the Baron and Felix. “Ah, welcome Baron Northgate. We’ve been waiting for your arrival. Please, come in.”

“Lord D’Amuri. A pleasure.” The Baron responded simply, shaking his hand as they all entered the house.

Lord D’Amuri looked directly at Felix for the first time and smiled warmly. “I can see that your son is a fine-looking lad. I suppose we should introduce the two, and then we can go talk some business. Bianca?”

Felix didn’t have to wait long before a young girl came into the room. He could see that she looked about as unhappy with all this as he did. “Welcome to our home. I’m pleased to meet you” she said in a bored voice.
No. 392170 ID: d5ee6f

Bow and introduce yourself formally. Then ask her if she had as much warning as you did. Polite, apologetic, with a sense of humor.
No. 392171 ID: ed57e8

at least she is pretty looking. take her hand and kiss it. may as well be a gentleman.
No. 392173 ID: 673411

After a formal introduction, request to drop formalities. It might help lighten the mood if you're able to talk to each other like regular people.
No. 392183 ID: c71597

Well no reason to be a douchebag to her about all of this. Engage in some small talk with her about this place, you know ask about history of the place or what she does for fun and stuff like that.
No. 392230 ID: 1854db

Don't be overly fake about how you're feeling about the situation. She's presenting herself as she really feels. It would be most respectful for you to do the same, BUT you should also introduce yourself in a manner befitting of a gentleman.
No. 392287 ID: 832169
File 133160127301.jpg - (99.34KB , 800x552 , 873052-5CTHON5.jpg )

Bowing low, Felix considered kissing Bianca’s hand before brushing away the idea. She seemed a bit cold for something like that. “My name is Felix Northgate. It’s an honor to meet you. I... take it that this engagement isn’t a surprise to you.” Felix tried to smile as he straightened up, to put her at ease.

Bianca’s face didn’t change from that bored expression, and her voice was just as subdued as before. “No. I’ve known as long as I can remember. I am simply fulfilling a pact between our fathers because I happen to be the closest in age to you. I am Bianca D’Amuri. Normally I would insist any human call me ‘Lady D’Amuri’, but in the circumstances I suppose you may call me Bianca when we are alone.”

Felix cleared his throat and searched for something to fill the awkward silence. “Well, this manor certainly is impressive. Could you tell me something about its’ history?”

“I don’t think you’d be very interested. It would probably be better if I just showed you around the place. I could show you the rest of the house, maybe the shrine out back if you’d like?”
No. 392290 ID: 1854db

Say that yes, that might be nice. Admit that you're used to a more practical architectural style though.
No. 392291 ID: 252e1b


Ask her what diversions she enjoys. She'll probably list what she's been trained in, so ask her which of those is her favorite.

Then ask if there's anything she didn't mention which she likes better.
No. 392295 ID: ed57e8

that sounds nice.
No. 392311 ID: 95cda2

Listen attentively!
No. 392324 ID: 832169
File 133161376281.jpg - (62.57KB , 800x700 , 873206-QA5RCTW.jpg )

“Sure, I’d like that. This is so much different than what I’m used to back at home. In Northgate the buildings are a lot less impressive, but a bit more practical.” Felix was a bit annoyed when Bianca didn’t respond, but instead wandered off and motioned for him to follow. Trying to at least get a response, Felix continued speaking as he followed after her. “So, what sort of diversions do you enjoy?”

“What I enjoy most is reading. I normally partake in a number of other activities: fencing, riding, dancing, fox hunting. I dabble in a bit in the magical arts, but no more than any elf of my social standing” replied Bianca curtly.

Felix managed to keep up the small talk as Bianca showed him around the first floor, though he got the impression that he wasn’t gaining any ground with her. She hardly even looked at him as she responded, and didn’t say a word as the two ascended the large staircase that lead to the second floor.

As they walked down one of the second floor hallways, a sudden scream shattered the silence. “This is outrageous! Do you hear me?!” There were loud footsteps, then with a bang a door not far from the pair slammed open and an elf woman came storming out, red in the face. “I’ve never been so...” she began, then stopped when she noticed Bianca and Felix. She took a moment to control her breathing, and her face quickly regained that pale color. She turned and closed the open door behind her before addressing them. “Bianca. Good to see you. I take it this is the young Lord Northgate?”

“Yes, he is. Felix, this is my sister, Olivia D’Amuri.” Bianca responded, and Felix noticed that she didn’t seem bothered by Olivia’s outburst at all. It was like the incident simply hadn’t occurred. “Shall we continue?”
No. 392326 ID: ed57e8

yes let us continue. say "pleasure to meet you" or such to olivia.
I think this is how she deals with stress. putting on a mask of emotion-less-ness. basically, she is like this to hide how FREAKING OUT she is on the inside.
No. 392328 ID: 1854db

Let's not call attention to her outburst, as Bianca has not. It wouldn't be polite to butt in on someone else's business, as after all we are not yet officially part of their family.
No. 392329 ID: 049dfa

Greet your future sister-in-law as well, and ask what is the matter. What's the worst that could happen?
No. 392332 ID: e75a2f

Ask her if there is any trouble, and if you could do anything to alleviate it.
No. 392334 ID: 332134

Ask her to join you on your tour of the house. It seems like she doesn't want to be here right now.
No. 392336 ID: e48fd7

Don't say anything about the shouting.
No. 392338 ID: 1854db

Well okay just asking if there's anything wrong can't hurt. I mean, that's just showing basic concern, right?
No. 392368 ID: 7d7f79

We don't know why Olivia is angry, she may be one bad decision away from trying to kill us right now. We should try to greet her in a formal and distant way, to hopefully short circuit any violent impulses and make her follow ritual for long enough to see us leave her.
Once we're past we ask something like, "Forgive me but are there any particular topics or people I should avoid in order to try and prevent unnecessary unpleasantness?"
No. 392372 ID: 832169
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Bianca began to walk briskly away, obviously intending for Felix to follow. Instead, he approached Olivia, who raised her eyes to meet his. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. Forgive me if I’m being rude, but is anything the matter? Perhaps I can be of assistance.”

Olivia smiled, then surprised Felix by laughing briefly as she shook her head. “No, but thank you Lord Northgate. It’s a very kind offer. This is nothing I need help with.”

“Well, maybe you’d like to join us on the tour of the house?” Felix offered.

Bianca sighed loudly, grabbing Felix’s attention. “I’m sure she doesn’t want to do anything like that with you and I. Maybe we should continue along...”

“Yes. I think I will join you.” Olivia said, cutting off Bianca mid-sentence as she gave her a look. Felix saw Bianca’s expression notably change to one of annoyance.

“Fine. Why don’t you just finish up the tour then?” Bianca asked, an edge to her voice. Without another word, she turned and strode off.

Olivia made a disapproving noise, and then smiled at Felix. “I’m sorry about my sister. She’s like that quite a lot. Now, is there anywhere else you’d like to see around here? Have you seen the shrine? Library? Garden?”
No. 392377 ID: ed57e8

see look at that. she was having fun but hiding it. she got mad cause we invited someone else to join us on alone time.
but since the SS shit creak already sailed...
the shrine?
and ask about bianca, don't want to be here for months and just awkwardly standing next to eachother.
No. 392378 ID: 332134

Say that you'd like to go and see the garden. Good riddance to Bianca, maybe she won't ignore you next time.

Ask Olivia about herself.
No. 392379 ID: 1854db

Say that Bianca and you were going to see the shrine.
No. 392408 ID: c71597

Those things were probably next on the list, starting with the shrine. And ask a bit more about Bianca, if this whole engagement buisness goes through then you need as much information about her as possible, otherwise your marriage is likely to suck.
No. 392412 ID: a7a594

Say that it's fine about Bianca. Go ahead and tell Olivia that Bianca was going to bring you to the shrine next, but then say you haven't been to any of those places yet. Ask her which one she prefers.
No. 392413 ID: 210977

>She’s like that quite a lot.

ask her to elaborate on this. is she always cold and distant, or just when it comes to arranged marriages?
No. 392436 ID: 832169
File 133165939025.jpg - (161.01KB , 800x633 , 873835-1U89DDY.jpg )

“Well, I think that Bianca was going to show me the shrine, but I haven’t seen any of those places yet. Do you have a preference?” Felix asked, deferring to her judgement. He had to admit, Olivia was easier to talk to than Bianca.

She smiled, and beckoned for him to follow. “In fact, I do.” She led him down the stairs to the first floor, and from there to a side door that opened up to the outside. “I’ve always loved the garden. Do you have gardens in your homeland?”

Felix imagined the fields back home, which mostly consisted of potatoes and frost pears. Both were not pleasant plants to look at. “Yes, but I don’t think in the way you do however. We don’t have any flowers, for one. Lady D’Amuri, you mentioned that Bianca is always like that... what did you mean? I’d like to know a bit more about her.”

Leading him down a path into the open garden, Olivia smiled. “Olivia. You can call me Olivia. Oh, it’s just that she’s always been so distant. She takes after our father in that regard. Even so, she’s quite the socialite. I think that she’s a bit... upset at having to be the one to marry you, honestly. I’m afraid she’s going to be that way towards you for quite some time.”

Felix couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed. He wasn’t looking forward to an extended cold shoulder. “Well, tell me something about yourself, Olivia. I don’t really know anything about your family.”

There was a pause as she considered. “First, I think it’s fair you understand what happened in the corridor. My husband and I were having a bit of a disagreement. We haven’t been married long, and it looks like it will be a bit longer before we can start living together. I think I may have overreacted a bit.”
No. 392440 ID: ed57e8

"not thinking with his head i take it"

okay make a note of that.

and yes, bianca is just grumping because she is mad, but doesn't want to show she is mad cause that would cause problems with her father. just stick with it.
No. 392446 ID: 88e5ad

hey, it's not like she's the only one not pleased about not getting married.

I think. are you?
No. 392447 ID: e3f578

Was it an arranged marriage like yours or did you actually have a choice in the matter? Don't really get why arranged marriage is a symbol of diplomacy, marriage by choice makes more sense, and it's cuter and romantic with a lot more symbolism.
No. 392471 ID: 332134

>>392446 What?

Say how it's a shame how he doesn't seem to be paying her enough attention. Also, extend the offer to with her on another walk in the future if she needs time to clear her head again.
No. 392487 ID: c71597

Well ask a bit about their family, culture and stuff like that. Could be a good idea to figure out if you have any skillsets that would make it easier to fit in and might make your private life more bearable quicker.
No. 392510 ID: 7d7f79

"To be honest, my warning that I was to be married to her came less than an hour ago. I know almost nothing about your sister and little about your family. I don't even know why my parents thought it was a good idea to hide this from me until just now.
"I would be grateful for practical advice on how to make her happy and I'd love to trade stories."
No. 392514 ID: 1854db

Ask if theirs was an arranged marriage too.
No. 392593 ID: 6e44d2

I like political quests like these!

Both of these.
No. 392617 ID: 832169
File 133170007383.jpg - (181.86KB , 792x660 , 874335-LPG8JAU.jpg )

“It’s a shame he doesn’t pay enough attention to you. Was it an arranged marriage?” Felix asked.

Nodding, Olivia’s gaze fell to the path as she spoke. “He is from one of the Three Families, just as I am. Almost all noble marriages in Elven society are arranged. It’s a way of sewing bonds of kinship between the The Three Families and the lineage of the crown as well. Honestly, I’ve never liked him, but I also know that our marriage has helped keep peace in our Kingdom.” She sighed. “Sometimes I wish it wasn’t like that. But, I suppose it’s the price I pay for being born into a noble family.”

Felix had never considered it like that, but he supposed he could see where she came from. “The price we pay...” he murmured. Seeing that Olivia looked a bit lost in her own memories, Felix tried to change the subject. He considered telling her about his own ill-timed engagement announcement, but figured it probably wouldn’t lift the mood any. “Well, if you’d like someone to join you on a walk in the future, just let me know. I can ask you more about Bianca, maybe I can make her a little less embarrassed of me. I’d like to be able to make her happy.”

He was glad to see her smile in return. “I’d like that. It’s nice to be able to speak with someone openly like this. I haven’t really had anyone to talk to since my sister got married.” To Felix’s surprise Olivia reached up and wrapped her arm around his, and continued to lead him through the garden while occasionally explaining about one plant or another.

Felix didn’t really know what to say. He wasn’t even sure if the gesture was platonic or not, so he simply followed along.

“Well I’ll tell you now, Bianca’s first problem with you is that she thinks you’re a stupid, brutish human from the North who doesn’t know anything about socializing.” Olivia kept the smile on her face as Felix felt his expression slacken a bit in surprise. “Let’s take this a step at a time. Do you know about ballroom dancing?”

Felix nodded gravely. “Oh yes.” He remembered his mother, paying a tutor to teach him as a child. It was about as miserable as it sounded.

“Really? I’m surprised, I heard your country didn’t have such dances.” Olivia seemed genuinely interested. “That helps a lot, actually. You’ll be attending quite a few balls during your religious experience.”

“What religious experience?” Felix hoped he didn’t sound too lost.

Olivia sighed. “Bianca didn’t explain anything, did she? To put it simply, you’ll be staying in our family shrine for the next two years during your spiritual cleansing. You’ll be able to enter the house for meals, but mostly you will be be contemplating nature and your place within it.”
No. 392619 ID: ed57e8

"sounds.... interesting?"
No. 392621 ID: fa9f7e

"Well, honestly, I had assumed that evolution had assigned humans the same place as every other species- eat, reproduce, and try not to die. Civilization is pretty much just something we made up."
No. 392622 ID: ed57e8

not entirely sure this culture knows evolution. could be running off of adam and eve creation. or "god/the-gods made everything with a wave of his hand" royalty is usually divine right to rule.
No. 392624 ID: 049dfa

Wait what?

Two years? Nobody told you anything about spending two years in a shrine!
No. 392626 ID: fa9f7e

Yes they did. Just now. You'll probably be fed to ocelots and used to fertilize a ficus tree or some shit if you back out now.
No. 392628 ID: e75a2f

Jokingly comment that "Oh god, I think I realize why nobody bothered to tell me anything about this until 15 minutes ago."
No. 392631 ID: a581c4

This day's been a long string of unpleasant surprises, hasn't it?

Well, uh. Maybe you can say you've going to be busy those two years and maybe you can reschedule? And never actually reschedule at all!
No. 392632 ID: fa9f7e


No. 392633 ID: e3f578

Does Bianca also have to take up a bit of your religion as well? Sewing bonds of kinship and all.
How much human stuff are you allowed to do? You should admit, you're going to miss your home and culture a bit if you have to forsake a lot of it. Do elven marriage involve Bachelor/Bachelorette parties? Besides perceived brutishness, what other human stereotypes should you avoid committing? And what are the popular hobbies around here?
No. 392634 ID: fa9f7e

This involves the least amount of ficus trees. I like it.
No. 392635 ID: 673411

Suggest that you would have taken the time to learn some of this for yourself ahead of time, but only recently found out about your engagement.
No. 392650 ID: 049dfa


Does this mean that Bianca was just taking you to the shrine to ditch you immediately?

No. 392652 ID: 1854db

Uh. What's our stance on religion? I guess nature is pretty cool and all, regardless... but uh... staying in a shrine for two years, sounds like most men would go stir crazy.
No. 392653 ID: ed57e8

oh snap.
No. 392654 ID: ed57e8

sounds more like they use the shrine as a house. they can leave it but they basically live there
No. 392656 ID: 332134

Well, she said she was into fox hunting, fencing and archery, right? How are you at those? How much do you read?
No. 392664 ID: 7d7f79

"At the risk of sounding ignorant, I understood my place in nature to come from my responsibilities as a noble: Care for my people, steward of our lands, and protector of both against aggression and shortsightedness. What am I to be cleansed of and what am I to learn and do over two years?"
No. 392671 ID: 210977

"i already have contemplated nature. several times, in fact. it is filled with poisonous bugs and things that want to kill me."
No. 392677 ID: c71597

Well that will be... interesting I guess. Ask if you can recieve visitors during that time and get access to reading materials. Or atleast have someone guiding you through a bit of the process since it's not anything you have exactly trained for.
No. 392688 ID: 95cda2

Two years!?

Two years contemplating nature. It's lovely and all, but do you really have that sort of attention span?
No. 392702 ID: 832169
File 133174365218.jpg - (148.16KB , 800x658 , 874837-10QNAGK.jpg )

“Wow, that’s... quite a surprise. I think I’m starting to understand why father didn’t tell me about any of this. What am I allowed and not allowed to do?” Felix had a mental image of eating nothing but bread and a bit of fish for two years, or something similar. It didn’t improve his mood when he realized that Bianca had fully probably intended on leaving him at the shrine.

“I wouldn’t worry too much. I don’t even think anyone’s going to enforce you praying to the shrine to be honest. Mostly you just need to live there. You can still leave to participate in events, so it’s not going to be all that bad. It’s a sort of extreme version of a coming of age ceremony here. By living out in the shrine alone for a period of time, you sort of show the community that you have cleansed yourself of the negative emotions pent up from the first part of your life.” Olivia looked apologetic. “Before you ask, yes, two years is a very long period of time. I think that the archdruids may have chosen a large period of time in jest, but once offered my father took it. You have to understand, they were all very much against the idea of this marriage. It took him years to come to those terms. I don’t think that there’s ever been a marriage between a human and elf noble before, after all. There is also a tradition amongst our people that a potential fiancee must live with the bride for a year before the wedding. I suppose you could see this as a melding of the two ceremonies.”

While he didn’t like it, Felix could see the issue from their point of view, at least a bit. It made his mind wander to his own religion. The Way was never that popular up North. “Does Bianca have to do anything like this, by the way?”

“No, I don’t think it was a point your father insisted upon.”

Felix felt brief annoyance at that, but brushed it off. That was by far not the most pressing thing on his mind. “What are some of the other things I need to be worried about? I remember her mentioning archery, I’m at least decent at that. I don’t do much fencing, but I’ve trained with a blade practically since I could stand. Same with horses, really. I’ve never been fox hunting, but I’ve hunted much bigger game up North than foxes. I assure you that I can learn.” The two turned a corner, and Felix could see what must be the shrine. Out in front he could see a young elf girl playing with a dog, but as soon as she spotted the two of them she began to hurry over.

“Well, it seems like you know about the basics already. I suppose your father had years to get you ready, after all.” Olivia stopped as the young girl planted herself in front of them, arms folded across her chest. “Oh, and I may as well introduce my sister here. Felix, this is Cassandra D’Amuri.”

Felix saw Cassandra’s dog wander over and sniff curiously at him. Without saying a word, she also walked up to him and began to sniff curiously at his clothes. “Uh... hello.”

Cassandra began to giggle, and she shot a mischievous look at her sister. “Wow, humans DO smell funny, don’t they?”

Olivia’s voice had a mild chastising edge to it. “Cassandra, don’t be rude to our guest.”

Rolling her eyes in exasperation, Cassandra sighed dramatically. “I’m sorry. It’s nice to meet you, Lord Northgate.” Her voice had that forced quality of a child not quite being polite.

“Wan! Wan!” barked the dog, excitedly sniffing at Felix’s pants.

“Actually, Cassandra, do you mind taking Felix inside the shrine to look around?” Olivia looked apologetic as she let go of Felix’s arm. “I’m sorry, I’ve been away from the house for a bit. My husband will probably start asking questions. I did enjoy our talk today. We should do it again soon.”

“Of course. I look forward to it.” Felix was a bit disappointed. Olivia had been like a breath of fresh air, but he supposed that she had duties to preform too.

Cassandra looked at her feet. However, she nodded. “Sure, I’ll show him around.”

With a final smile to Felix, Olivia bustled off towards the house, leaving the two of them alone. Cassandra kept looking at her feet. She was much shyer without her sister around. “Um, sorry for calling you smelly.”
No. 392704 ID: ed57e8

"it's okay, don't get baths as often up north, since the water has to be heated to keep it from freezing you, most of the time."
No. 392707 ID: c71597

Tell her that you're not offended, but point out that it's not the best way to greet someone. Oh, and ask her what the dog is called and what sort of breed it is. Then you can compare it to some of the breeds back home. Favourably of course.
No. 392715 ID: e3f578

"S'all good. Humans males don't mind a good, friendly ribbing. Until they do from, like, a misunderstanding or something. Then our famous brutish anger come out. Not as an insane an anger as dwarves have though. I hear they'll pelt you with their own newborn infants sometimes." Joke with the child about stereotypes.
No. 392717 ID: 3947e9

1. being a noble this isn't an issue, there are servants.
2. do you REALLY want to tell the elitist elves that you humans don't bathe regularly? (hint: you don't).
3. You were primped by father before this meeting so currently you are bathed, you just smell different then what they are used to (what with not being an elf).

@Girl: No harm done. Say, how good is elven sense of smell? (from current reaction apparently better than a humans, you are gonna have to make sure not to embarrass yourself during those 2 years with BO).
No. 392728 ID: 0d7a83

Yeah this. Oh and don't worry about those two years, I'm sure they'll fly by while you have an affair with your wife's hot sister
No. 392763 ID: 332134

Ask her where their mother is.

...Actually, don't. Ask Olivia or Bianca later. I have a bad feeling she's dead.
No. 392800 ID: 049dfa


fiancee, he's not married yet.

So uh, does she already know who she's going to marry? I mean, Bianca apparently knew she was your fiancee for her whole life. Is that even normal?

Also might as well have her show you around the shrine. She's a little kid and she plays here with her wandog. She definitely knows all the coolest spots.
No. 392878 ID: 87fa55

Get really stressed out because this is basically absolute fucking horseshit.

>“Before you ask, yes, two years is a very long period of time. I think that the archdruids may have chosen a large period of time in jest, but once offered my father took it."
Get especially mad about this part. Your dad is an asshole. Also, you have no real motivation to do a good job.

Say "Sorry I said your dress looks stupid."
No. 392879 ID: ed57e8

did you read the same thing i did? the elf dad took that as a CONCESSION to the druids for his daughter marrying a human. basically "what must i do to get you off my back druids?" 'the human must spend 2 years in the shrine contemplating' "deal!"
No. 392888 ID: e75a2f

Thank your father-in-law when you see him for not just rolling over and taking it from the druids.

Probably best to make that statement a little bit more diplomatic than put above.
No. 392898 ID: 832169
File 133178905858.jpg - (162.51KB , 800x615 , 875383-6WD74H0.jpg )

Felix smiled, trying to put Cassandra at ease. The list of things he had to discuss with his father grew by the moment, however. This whole situation was ridiculous. The idea that he would have to give up two years of his life was really eating at him. “It’s alright. No harm done. We humans don’t mind a little friendly banter. There’s got to be a better way of greeting someone though.” Thinking that he might actually stink, considering how he’d been in a coach all day, he continued, “Is your sense of smell really that good?”

She seemed to consider, then shook her head as she lead Felix inside of the shrine. “No. Dad says we’re just as good at smelling as you. You sort of smell weird though. Like leather and metal. We can hear better than humans though.”

That would make sense. The Baron had dressed him up in these new clothes after all. The belt and boots were hardly worn in and the smell of the weapon polish his father used tended to make everything around smell like steel. “Well, fair enough. I can’t wait to take a bath later, that’s for sure. By the way, that’s a nice dog. What sort of dog is he?” Felix bent down and scratched the dog behind the ears, as it stretched its next to allow him easier access.

“A normal dog” was her immediate, sarcastic reply. “Her name’s Shumai.” Cassandra aparrently couldn’t help but look a bit impressed as Felix continued to pet the dog. “She lives here at the shrine. Normally she doesn’t let anyone but me pet her. She must like you.”

There was a minute of silence as Felix pet the dog. Cassandra looked like she wanted to say something, but something kept holding her back. Finally, Felix spoke up. “Something you want to ask me?”

“Yeah. What’s going on with your homeland? Dad and Olivia won’t tell me anything about it at all. Are you humans at war?” The words came tumbling out in a rush. It was obvious that she had been waiting to ask him about this.

Felix thought about how to phrase the answer before continuing. “Yes, right now our country is at war. They have no official name. They are cowards who strike from behind no banner, and they hail from no land. We call them the Gentry. For the time being, they’ve mostly contained their attacks to Northgate. We’ve only officially been at war for a month or so.” The thought of the Gentry sent a shock of anger through his body. The Gentry had declared war on Northgate by selecting a town within their borders, and turning it into a ghost town overnight. Nobody had ever discovered what happened to those villagers.

“Wow. But your land will be ok, right? Everyone always says that humans from the North are all crazy strong and bloodthirsty.” Cassandra said the last part a bit hopefully, and Felix got the impression that she was a bit disappointed that he wasn’t covered in the blood of his enemies.

“Yeah. They’ll be ok. Our army is the best in the world, after all.” Disappointment unexpectedly welled up inside of Felix. This two-year engagement was going to directly interfere with his dream of joining the army, like the rest of his family. It bothered him that people were going to be dying while he sat here, looking at trees and thinking about nature. “Can I ask you something too? Bianca said that she’s been engaged to me since she can remember. Are you engaged to someone too?”

Shumai began to bark in irritation at being ignored. “Wan! Wan!”

“No. I don’t think that dad’s been able to find me a future husband yet. I’m sure he will soon though.” Cassandra sat down next to Felix, and began petting Shumai with both hands. Felix could see her slowly starting to smile, and could almost see the idea that was growing in her mind. “Hey, Felix. You looked like you were having fun with Olivia. Do you like her more than Bianca?” Her question was casual, but she didn’t even try to hide her mischievous grin. “If you don’t answer then you obviously like Olivia more and don’t want to say.”

Felix scowled. He had been hoping to actually be shown around the shrine.
No. 392901 ID: ed57e8

"she's more... approachable then bianca. but i haven't been here long enough to actually know much about them. besides, you're playing with me, does that mean you like me?" snear when you say the last bit.
No. 392904 ID: 252e1b


"You've very sharp. Well, there are two reasons I was more easy around Olivia. Bianca is the woman who I want to impress and prove myself to the most in the whole world. That's a lot of pressure. But Olivia I only need to impress as a good brother-in-law, same as you. The second reason, and the more important one, is that Olivia wants to see her sister happy, and that means she and I have the same goal. We're allies in making Bianca happy."
No. 392905 ID: 6e44d2

Too creepy.

"Bianca's just unfamiliar with me right now, is all, and I can understand why she would like the idea of me. I must seem like some kind of freakish, alien burden to her. She's never met me before, and she has to marry me! Not to mention that I'm from a completely different culture from her, as well as the fact that I'm human. I appreciate Olivia's friendliness, it's helping me settle in better. I'm sure Bianca and I will be on good terms once we get to know each other. I've only just arrived."
No. 392907 ID: e75a2f

Say something to the effect of "Well, she looks me in the eye when we talk at least..."

Then ask her if you can take a rain-check on that one.
No. 392912 ID: 87fa55

Explain that Olivia is upset with her husband and Bianca is upset with her husband, too. And some day Cassandra can be upset with her husband. Tell her that's how marriage works.

Ask her how you can show off doing cool manly viking shit. Also ask for a drink in the skull of a vanquished enemy.
No. 392914 ID: 049dfa


This is so legit.

I mean, Bianca might look at having to marry you as a burden, but she clearly hasn't taken even a minute to think about what you feel. You -have- to marry her the same way she -has- to marry you, and you haven't even had as many years as elves live to come to terms with it.

She also isn't getting shunted into a shrine away from her home from two years.

Olivia at least seemed willing to talk to you instead of just resigned to it, so that's definitely a plus right now. Also she went to the shrine with you instead of storming off in a huff. So she obviously likes you more than Bianca does right now.

But then, Cassandra went INTO the shrine with you, so obviously she likes you even more than Olivia.

How long DO elves live, anyway?
No. 392922 ID: 332134

Just say Olivia, matter of factly.
No. 392927 ID: 1854db

We spoke to Bianca for like 10 minutes. It would be unfair to state a preference this early.
No. 392934 ID: 252e1b


I beseech you all to consider that whatever we tell this child, she will repeat. Setting adults against each other using pointed questions and withheld information is obviously a game she likes to play.

Give her the truth, and in terms a child can't misunderstand. >>392904
No. 392963 ID: c6ec33

Explain that you like both of them, and you like her and Shumai, too. Ranking how much you like people is a little rude when you've only just met them.

Right now, you're glad you got the chance to speak with Olivia and get such a nice introduction to the place, but you're also hoping to see more of Bianca.

And, since she asked you, it's only fair you ask her - what does SHE think of her sisters?
No. 392979 ID: c71597

You could say that you haven't really had much of a chance to get to know Bianca that much yet, she more or less dumped you at her sister's feet the first chance she got to go off and do something else. So at the moment you simply know Olivia more than Bianca, since Olivia is the one you have spoken to who didn't dump you at the first chance she got. Although now thinking back on it she might have, she was just more tactful in doing so.
No. 392982 ID: cf49fc

Yes, and Tact is important, especially in Weird Elf Culture. I say we go with "I do not know Bianca as of yet", on account of having spoken eight minutes with her.
No. 393084 ID: 71c9cf


This seems a reasonable suggestion. Maybe just tell her that you prefer Bianca's spunky attitude too.
No. 393165 ID: 832169
File 133186657741.jpg - (136.25KB , 800x658 , 876289-AXZGQQ4.jpg )

Felix took a moment to think before answering, choosing his words carefully. “Well, Olivia’s been a lot more approachable, that’s for sure...”

Cassandra cut him off. “You mean Bianca’s been ignoring you as much as she can. I know about that.”

“...but I’d like to get to know Bianca more. She’s unfamiliar with me right now, after all. I mean, I’ve known her for all of ten minutes and only have a grasp on what she’s like. I appreciate Olivia’s friendship, but what I appreciate more is that she’d like to see her sister happy. So, we’re allies in that regard.” Felix watched as Cassandra mulled the answer over in silence, a strange lazy smile on her face. Once it was obvious she was waiting for him to speak, he began to look for something else to say. A question that had been playing around his mind came up. “What do you think of your sisters?”

Looking thoughtful, Cassandra took a moment to consider his question. Felix got the idea that she liked keeping him in suspense. When she spoke it was in the lofty tones of one imparting great knowledge. “Well, Bianca’s stuck up. What she likes more than anything is being liked. She goes to all those parties because she likes it when people talk about how beautiful her dress was, or how well she interpreted the meaning behind the latest popular poems.” Cassandra nearly spat the last words out, but fell back into her scholarly voice again. “But she’s dependable, and she’s really good at what she likes. Olivia doesn’t care about being liked so much, she cares more about her social status and keeping up appearances. She married that guy she’s with right now because of all that, after all. She’s always been kind though.”

Glad that they had steered away from their initial topic, Felix asked another question that had been on his mind. “Hey, how long do elves live anyhow? I’ve only heard rumors that you guys can live for over two hundred years.”

“Nah, not two hundred. The oldest elf ever was 213, and he was like a skeleton when he died. The book had drawings of him. We normally live 125 years or so.”

“Felix! Are you there, boy!?” The Baron’s voice boomed from down the path. As Felix and Cassandra stood up they could see him walking down towards the shrine. He stopped a few paces away and smiled at them. “Ah, there you are boy. And you must be Cassandra. Your father has told me about you. Pleased to meet you.” Cassandra seemed to go a bit shy again, and she mumbled a hello in return to her feet. The Baron addressed Felix directly. “We’ve got to go and pay our respects to the king along with Lord D’Amuri. It’d be rude of us not to. There will be a coach out front in just a moment.” He looked to Cassandra and nodded. “By your leave madam, of course.”

Cassandra smiled at that, and waved magnanimously. “Of course, sir.”
No. 393166 ID: 832169
File 133186662622.jpg - (73.93KB , 800x700 , 876290-EUKOSTG.jpg )

As the Baron strode off, Felix turned to Cassandra before following. “Thanks for showing me around the shrine. I’ll talk with you later.”

Leaning in, Cassandra got that mischievous look back on her face. “By the way, you didn’t answer my question earlier, you just tried to avoid it. It’s obvious you like Olivia more. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone, but you owe me a favor.” She tapped him on the nose, grinned wide, and began to skip away with her dog running after her.

“Wan! Wan!” Barked Shumai excitedly.

Felix was pretty annoyed now. She reminded him of his own younger sister.
No. 393178 ID: 049dfa

Well now that you have a moment, it's probably about time to ask The Baron what the hell was up with not even bothering to tell you that he was stuffing you in some pagan shrine for 2 years before marrying you off. It would probably be a bit easier to deal with everything if you'd had any amount of time to prepare for it.
No. 393181 ID: ed57e8

at least she wont tell unless really pressed. kids love favors.
No. 393184 ID: ad4c7f

Aww, that is adorable. Let the kid have her imagined intrigue. Heck, let her have her favor too.

Also, this whole shrine thing is not THAT bad. Remember you were outright told that this is basically a tradition that is kept in name only.
That is, people live in the shrine but don't really do much, instead going off to do things outside the shrine. As long as you sleep there you are fine. And you can train with local weapon-masters during the day in preparation for your military service. But lets not try to be overly flippant about it, I suggest doing a little more then the average elf.

Oh, we should find out what other family members are around. Other siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

Am I the only one who noticed the youngest sister is a different color? If this works the same way as humans then they should have different mothers
No. 393187 ID: c71597

That brat could probably very annoying if she tries it. Hopefully you can stay on her good side.

It's also time to ask your dad a few questions about this marriage. Mainly about why and how. I mean I can sort of see the advantages of marrying into an elven noble family, but seeing the advantages for them is a bit more tricky.
No. 393213 ID: 332134

Don't be angry with your dad or anything when you ask for an explanation. Remember, you are staying in your own tiny house next to some attractive ladies. It's not the worst deal ever.
No. 393385 ID: 1444d5

If you're going to be cooped up with not much to do for two years, I'm sure you can locate some Elven combat tutors to pass the time.
No. 393387 ID: c4a1fc

Impregnate her.
And she could honestly just have inherited different genes than her sisters. It's not exactly likely, but impossible.
No. 393400 ID: 049dfa


Maybe she just has a tan from playing outside instead of going to balls and interpreting poetry.
No. 393437 ID: 88e5ad

being stuck in a garden for two years with these people kinda sucks. what are your thoughts on rebelling against your father?
No. 393522 ID: 801747

As inconvenient as it may be to spend two years living out of a shrine next to a bunch of weirdo hippies, there's a significant chance that the consequences of backing out will be even more trouble. Many noble children have been disowned for less significant transgressions.
No. 393725 ID: 7d7f79

I think I've figured it out: Your father specifically waited until you were here to tell you because if you wanted to run away to avoid this you're shit out of luck.
Consider: You do not know the local countryside, you don't have your personal mount, servants and possessions close at hand, you don't have any of the local currency, you don't know anybody around here that could help you leave, you probably couldn't even manage to survive camping out with enough supplies because you don't know the local hazards, wildlife, weather, and such.

We are stuck here until someone rescues us or we learn how to live like an elf.
No. 393732 ID: 832169
File 133204601040.jpg - (80.66KB , 704x652 , 878513-2SIS04A.jpg )

By the time Felix caught up with his father, he was already climbing into their waiting coach. His face must have expressed his desire to speak more than he intended, because as soon as Felix sat down in the coach and closed the door the Baron began to speak. “I have no doubt you have a slew of questions. I think it’s best I just say my reasoning and let you ask questions after.” He waited a moment for an interruption before continuing. “First, the reason I didn’t tell you of this engagement earlier was because it could only have served as a distraction for you. I know that doesn’t sound fair, but nonetheless your mother and I decided that would be the best course of action. What practical good would it have done you to worry over an engagement? You have been excelling at your training because this has not been a concern for you until it had to be.”

The answer was not quite good enough for Felix, who felt his anger rise a bit. “Are you saying I would have ignored my exercises, gone lazy with wistful longings over a girl I never met? Maybe I would have been a little better prepared to come and live here, did you ever think about that?”

“All you’ve been doing these last ten years IS train to come live here!” he boomed back, slamming his hand down sharply on the seat next to him. “I honestly thought you would have guessed with the ballroom dancing.”

“Ballroom dancing...?” Felix asked, completely confused.

“Did it not ever strike you as odd how we hired a tutor from the south to teach you? How we never forced your brothers to go through the same training? Then there’s the classes you took on etiquette and the amount of reading we made you do. Did you ever wonder why we had so insisted you take those classes when your brothers did not?”

The Baron was giving Felix such a serious, hard look that it made him consider his words carefully before responding. Now that his father mentioned it, those things had seemed strange as a child. Felix had suspected that it was because his mother’s favorite. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing, mostly because the constant stream of tutors and books to read was a miserable undertaking while growing up. By the time his sister had been old enough to walk, the constant stream of tutors had lessened to a handful, and so he just assumed that his hunch had been correct. After all, his sister was by far their mother’s favorite now. “So I’ve been training for this my whole life.” He paused for a moment to think properly before responding. “What do the D’Amuris get out of this? I can clearly see what we get. We’re at war, we gain political allies. Why do they need us?”

The Baron took a moment to marshal his response as he let out a long breath. “Good, you’re thinking. You’ve always been insightful, that’s how I know I can trust you implicitly. First, I’ll assume you’ve heard of the Three Families. They consist of three noble elf families that sort of... speak for the common people of the kingdom here. When a king here gets crowned, he is only done so after the heads of the houses have approved of it. The D’Amuri family has been in charge of the kingdom’s armies and defense for at least six generations. However, in the last 30 years Estronel has been subject to quite a few attacks and one war. However, thanks in a large part to Lord D’Amuri’s brilliant mind for strategy, life has not changed much here in their capital city. Many of his political opponents have begun to question his competency as a leader, however. What he gains out of this alliance is security. I doubt anyone would actually try moving against him directly, but this strengthens his position within the royal court. As for us... well, I think that elves and humans have been at a political impasse for too long, and Lord D’Amuri is one of the few noblemen of their kind who feels as I do.”

There was more Felix wanted to discuss, but with a sudden jerk the coach came to a halt. The Baron opened the door and stepped out without missing a beat, forcing Felix to scramble after him. Felix marveled that his father didn’t even seem to have slowed down since they got here.
No. 393733 ID: 832169
File 133204604287.jpg - (179.20KB , 800x700 , 878545-2FNUK7J.jpg )

Felix was only granted a moment to marvel at the front of the palace before armed escorts came out to meet the two of them. With hardly a hello, they were bustled off at once towards a pair of ornate golden doors that opened up into what must have been the throne room. Lord D’Amuri was standing at the edge of the throne, speaking earnestly with the king. The king was seated on a resplendent throne, and as soon as he saw them enter he smiled widely. “Welcome, Baron Northgate! This is indeed a magnificent occasion. Tell me, how is your wife? The last I heard of her she had given you a daughter at last, eh?” The king beamed, and descended the throne to shake the Baron firmly by the hand.

Thinking he was meant to go join his father, Felix began to step forward before one of the armed escorts put a hand on his shoulder and stopped him fast without a word. As the two began to discus more and more mundane topics, Felix could feel his attention starting to wander almost against his will. The king’s attitude wasn’t exactly what he had been expecting, but the rest of the assembled court certainly was. He could see disapproving faces muttering all about, and the rest looked generally disinterested.

A few minutes later, the Baron suddenly turned and motioned towards Felix, who stood up straight. “Of course the real reason I’ve come is to bring my son, Felix, to meet his fiancee. If you allow it, he’ll be staying with Lord D’Amuri and preparing himself for their wedding.”

The king seemed delighted to meet him. “Of course! I would be glad to have you stay in our kingdom, Felix. We’ll be having the harvest festival in a month’s time. I’ll have to make sure that you receive an invitation to the ball.”

“Thank you, your majesty” was all Felix could say. The king laughed encouragingly, turned towards the Baron and the two continued chatting as if nothing had happened. After a moment, it became clear his part in this meeting was done. He stood to attention, trying to ignore the stares that the rest of the court was directing at him.
No. 393735 ID: 832169
File 133204608419.jpg - (115.99KB , 647x646 , 878667-EODZLUK.jpg )

It was nearly an hour later when they finally left the throne room. Felix finally felt like he could breathe again. “I’m glad that’s over.”

“That makes the both of us” said the Baron, taking a deep breath and mopping his brow.

Lord D’Amuri seemed pleased with the results. “It went better than I expected. There was a chance that someone could have spoken against your stay, but we seemed to have avoided such public outcry for the time.”

“Baron Northgate, this is a distinct honor.” An elf with an ostentatious mantle had slid smoothly in between Felix and his father, and was eagerly shaking his hand. “Lord Deluca. We met that last time you graced our city. I have to admit, I was disappointed that our family was not informed of your arrival. We could have had you over for dinner! Our vineyards have yielded some excellent bottles this year.” The Baron responded brightly as the two descended into small talk, but Felix could see that his father was starting to get tired of all this.

As Felix backed away to regain his personal space, the two women situated themselves between Lord Deluca and Felix, as if sizing him up. They were in whispered conversation, and seemed to be talking about something that amused them. When one of the elves caught his eye, she calmly drew a gentle line across her throat with a fingernail.

Without warning, Lord Deluca was turning upon Felix and grinning widely. “And is this your son? How splended.” Felix was a bit disturbed to see the elf’s grin and eyes open even wider. He looked a bit deranged. “Hello! Pleased. To. Meet. You!” Lord Deluca pronounced each word slowly and deliberately, and gestured widely with his hands.

For a split second Felix thought the elf actually was insane. Mad nobles was not an altogether strange prospect. It was the barely contained laughter of the elf’s two guards that made him realize he was being made fun of.
No. 393748 ID: f730a1


My antagonist alarms are going off. Unless this guy is eccentric enough, no one goes around with a ninja and berserker as bodyguards.
No. 393749 ID: ed57e8

you have some ways to deal with this, turn to D’Amuri and say "so nobility takes all types huh?" and gesture to Deluca. or don't break composure and return the greeting. also can speak slowly and gesturing madly as well "NICE. TO. MEET. YOU. TOO"

i suggest the third one.
No. 393751 ID: f730a1


Separate every syllable as you speak also.

No. 393753 ID: 88e5ad

say "likewise", but don't bother preventing your facial expression from showing that that's really not the case at all.

when he's not looking your way, give the bitch who made that throat-slitting gesture at you the worst stinkeye you can.

remind yourself to ask your father for a sword during your stay.
No. 393754 ID: 6e44d2

Hm... Alright. Show him all the appropriate courtesy and etiquette for which you've trained. Also, I think we should slip him a very subtle barb, if we can think of one. Like, maybe... "Ah! Deluca! I hear the king respects your counsel most highly!"
No. 393756 ID: 6e44d2

Oh, and make sure to summon the widest, shit-eatingest grin you can.
No. 393757 ID: e3f578

I didn't realize that you have a reputation of being stupid. Do you have a reputation of being stupid, any that you can think of, even back in your homelands that could have been spread here? If not, what exactly is your reputation there?

Welp, do the expected polite thing and say the greeting back, without the joke of course.

It has just now occurred to me that, since these elves have vineyards, that these are not the standard tree hugging faggot elves. They use and respect nature, but still actually use it instead of using magic techniques to make wooden furniture.
No. 393758 ID: d09277

Clearly no one would make such a concentrated effort to look like an untrustworthy, backstabbing snake if they actually were one. You must make best friends with this man at once and tell him all your most devastating secrets.
No. 393761 ID: e75a2f

He clearly likes jokes. Pardon yourself, move toward him, and point at his outfit with an inquisitive look. Bring to his attention that there is something on his garment.

When he looks down, flick him on the nose.Walk on like nothing happened.
No. 393762 ID: 7d7f79

I think that either he's trying to trick us into doing something that will get us in trouble (like picking a fight) or he's checking to see if we have a brain or a sense of humour.

"I wasn't aware that it is the fashion to speak to people you meet here as though talking to an idiot, I'll give it my best try though:
No. 393784 ID: 88e5ad


get out of my internets >:u
No. 393785 ID: c6ec33

Don't feed the troll. Act polite, act according to your station, and show all the proper etiquette you can. Act as if nothing happened.

He'll either continue to think of you poorly, or respect your ability to be unphased. Better than trying to pick a fight, verbal or otherwise, when you have very little leverage or fame.
No. 393799 ID: a375cf

This. You're representing your father as well as yourself. Dealing with bullshit is a part of that. You'll have plenty of time to get a read on these people in the future--for now act the part of the young Lord Northgate. Return his mockery without humor. Offer your hand and great him.
No. 393812 ID: c71597

Not the right moment to get into a pissing match with an elven lord. Be courteous to him, don't lower yourself to his level. Remember the etiquette leassons and be on the best possible behaviour. That's how you get back at him, it makes him look like a total ass while you look calm and in control.
No. 393823 ID: c4a1fc

This. Wear a slightly superior smirk, though.
No. 393841 ID: c6ec33

Changing my suggestion. New suggestion is to use dialogue similar to this (Compliment sandwich!):

"Greetings, honored Lord. It is indeed a pleasure to meet someone so wise and powerful. Unfortunately, someone seems to have misinformed you as to my ability to discourse. I assure you that there is no need to lower yourself to the level of a simpleton here. I would hate to embarrass you by allowing this to continue, as others might pick up on the failings of your informants, or worse, think that you were suffering from a temporary bout of insanity. In addition, it would be a shame to allow myself to be misrepresented, and thereby miss the opportunity to discuss matters of import with you and gain the boon of your experience."
No. 393851 ID: 332134

Greet him kindly, and tell him that you shouldn't keep him from his obviously important duties of lurking outside the throneroom any longer than necessary.
No. 393910 ID: 3947e9

It is oh so tempting to retaliate in kind...
But you should do the wise thing.

As much as I would love >>393841 it is only appropriate if we have important audience.
Since right now its us, father, him, and his 2 ninja then nothing would be gained from it except to focus more of his enmity on us and to ensure he is aware of our cunning and makes whatever political landmine he sends our way more crafty.
No. 394223 ID: 832169
File 133221030245.jpg - (96.73KB , 647x523 , 881113-BRG1GT5.jpg )

Though he felt his anger rise, Felix didn’t let it show. He knew that humans from the North had a reputation for being slow. For many, learning to read was a luxury. War had always been the primary concern of their nation. He bowed low in return. “A pleasure to meet you as well, Lord Deluca. However, I assure you that I’m no simpleton. You don’t need to talk down for my sake.” Felix considered saying more, maybe add a snide comment, but he decided that it’d be best to just be polite and brief. There would be nothing gained in being rude.

Lord Deluca looked a bit disappointed. “I see, my apologies. Well, I’ll be sure to call upon you during your stay in our city.” Seeming to have lost all interest in Felix, he bade the Baron and Lord D’Amuri farewell before wandering off to speak with another ambling nobleman.

Lord D’Amuri clapped Felix on the shoulder. “Well said. That won’t be the last time a situation like this will occur, I’m afraid. There are some within our culture who prefer to remember the time when humans were less intellectually driven.”

“You mean they liked it better when we hardly knew what reading and etiquette were.” The Baron was looking after Lord Deluca with a scowl.

“More or less.” Agreed Lord D’Amuri as he led the way back to the entrance, stopping occasionally to exchange pleasantries with a steady trickle of fancinly dressed elves.
No. 394224 ID: 832169
File 133221034487.jpg - (86.47KB , 800x641 , 881116-35K3MJD.jpg )

Felix was once again left to follow behind in silence as the two men fell at once into serious discussion once free of the palace. He had somehow been expecting to be included in the conversation, but from the snippets of information he picked up they had started talking over the recent war activity in Northgate. Their conversation continued into the coach, and through the drive back to Lord D’Amuri’s home. It was only when they entered through the front doors of the house that the Baron stopped and turned to Felix. “I think we’re going to be skipping a formal meal. The two of us have much to discuss.”

Lord D’Amuri nodded. “There is a servant who will prepare food for you when asked inside the shrine, and if you’d like to find a book to pass the time there’s a library on the second floor, double doors at the top of the stairs. Fine job at court may I add.”

The Baron held Felix’s gaze for a moment before speaking. “I’ll talk to you more tomorrow. You made me proud with the way you handled this.” The Baron afforded his son a rare smile before turning to Lord D’Amuri. The two stood there, quietly discussing a new point of interest.

For the first time since coming to the manor house, Felix had nobody actively paying attention to him. It felt a bit relaxing.
No. 394229 ID: ed57e8

just explore about randomly then. don't open any closed doors without knocking.
No. 394233 ID: 6e44d2

Time to get some grub! I'm hungry.
No. 394243 ID: 332134

Go to the library! While you're upstairs look for Olivia.
No. 394261 ID: 17b77f

Let's just go to the shrine. We probably have all our stuff there now.
No. 394264 ID: d09277

So I guess it would be good to start getting into Bianca's interests. The first thing she said she liked was reading, and her sisters had words about her poetry interpretation. Library seems like a safe bet. If she's there, ask her for some recommendations. If she's not and there's a librarian of some sort, ask if they know what books she likes.
No. 394279 ID: 88e5ad

read a book in the library. pray to the gods you find a scarred, sociophobic girl in there.
No. 394291 ID: c71597

Get something to eat and then head over to the library. Should be something interesting to read there.
No. 394366 ID: 332134

Changing my vote to the shrine. Go get some food.
No. 394415 ID: 832169
File 133226664628.jpg - (108.74KB , 800x700 , 881869-HEUIY99.jpg )

Felix decided that he should probably go to the shrine. He was getting pretty hungry, and the idea that there would be someone to make him a meal while he got situated lifted his spirits. Making his way to a back door that Bianca had pointed out earlier, Felix hoped that someone had brought his things into whatever room he had. Now that Felix stopped to think, he wasn’t sure if he did have a room at all. Maybe he was just expected to sleep on the floor.

As he continued up the path towards the shrine, Felix noticed a smell in the air, like earth and sweat. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was powerful. As he entered the main open room of the shrine, Felix could see a cloaked figure kneeling as if in prayer. It didn’t move or speak as Felix stopped to consider it. Breathing in slowly, he was sure that the cloaked figure was the source of the smell. Felix considered his next move, unsure about what to do or say.
No. 394416 ID: 7ccd62

Honestly? I say just leave him (her? it?) alone for now. And if you do want to try talking to them, just step inside and try waiting for them to finish... Meditating, praying, whatever they're doing. It would be rude to interrupt.
No. 394417 ID: ed57e8

approach calmly. do not sneak. do not start talking to them, just sit down next to them and wait for them to acknowledge you.
No. 394418 ID: 88e5ad

if he doesn't wanna talk, leave him. examine the shrine instead for a glimpse into the elven culture. and I probably don't have to tell you to maintain an attitude of painfully intense respect around here.
No. 394424 ID: 049dfa


Might as well go and say hi. You don't actually know anything about the religious customs involved with this shrine, and if you want to make a good impression you should probably know what they are in case people come to visit you here.

This person is as likely to be able to help you with that as any.
No. 394448 ID: e3f578

Earth and Sweat?
It's a druid that loves the shit out of that all natural smell, or a working class dwarf miner.
No. 394449 ID: cf49fc

It's a Druid. They're probably praying. You should probably wait for him to finish or quietly look elsewhere.
No. 394450 ID: ed57e8

we are assuming it's a dude. wait until you see the face before deciding the gender.
No. 394486 ID: ff0e9f

Greet him and ask for his name once he finishes.
No. 394487 ID: 673411

This. Do not interrupt the person, and wait for them to finish.
No. 394551 ID: 832169
File 133229823881.jpg - (136.19KB , 800x615 , 882210-QD8CW0S.jpg )

As he approached the figure, Felix was unsure if he should say anything before the prayer was finished. Before he could decide, the figure stood up to face Felix in one fluid motion and spoke. “You must be Felix Northgate.” The figure made no gesture of greeting, and didn’t seem about ready to give his name.

“I am. May I ask who you are?”

“My name is Deacon. You can call me a friend, for now. My message to you is brief. I believe that it’s within your best interest to leave this kingdom.” Deacon must have seen and understood the look that crossed Felix’s face, because he raised his hands in the air, exposing his bare chest. “I meant nothing threatening by that, and I have no weapons. I haven’t come to threaten you. Please, just hear me out.”

Felix tended not to trust people if they said things like ‘I have no weapons’. However, hearing what he had to say couldn’t hurt. “Alright, I’m listening.”

Deacon spoke quickly now, as if trying to hurry things up. “I don’t think you or your father quite understand what you’re getting into here, is all. What do you know of elven politics? Right now you are going to be nothing but a thorn in the side of a lot of powerful people. I fear that your life would be in danger more than you’d think. I wanted to offer you a way out.”

“And what of my family? What would I tell them?”

The answer was flat and uncaring. “Whatever you want. Just say you didn’t want to go through with it, or that she was ugly. I don’t really care.” He put a hand on Felix’s shoulder and spoke clearly, making sure he understood. “Now listen. Down the path leading to this house, there is a bridge spanning a brook. If you follow the water up towards the northern mountains for about a half mile, you will find a clearing. Go there around midnight tomorrow and there will be a fully packed steed waiting for you. There should be some food, and enough gold for a man to live comfortably for a year or so. Go south. You can do what you wish. I must take my leave. Please, consider the offer. Good day.” Letting Felix’s shoulder go from his surprisingly tough grip, Deacon walked off without another word, leaving Felix to his own devices.
No. 394552 ID: c4a1fc

Ooh, idea. Tell Cassandra about the steed, get her to run away, and claim that Deacon kidnapped her.
No. 394553 ID: c4a1fc

Draw attention to the fact that she seems to be a bastard. Now, troublemakers often act out to gain attention. I'd guess she's not as favored as her sisters. After you learn a bit more about her and what elf kids look like, use these to convince her to run away and implicate Deacon. What shall the ransom be?
No. 394554 ID: ed57e8

>thorn in the side of a lot of powerful people.
be on the lookout for Lord Deluca's sexy ninja assassin.

the druid's offer is rather generous but he is basically saying to abandon everyone and save your own skin. throw away every last drop of honer you have. i don't think you are that kind of person.
No. 394555 ID: ed57e8

what? what would that do? get the druid thrown out? why?
No. 394556 ID: c4a1fc

Cause a lot of trouble to get the plot moving. Also, lulz.
No. 394557 ID: 46c430

...How about we DON'T try and hair-brained schemes, yes? Anyway, yeah... For better or worse, I don't think we can really do this. It might well be risky, yes, but our father, as stern and unbending and perhaps even manipulative as he is, is depending on us. And we do have a responsibility, and we are doing our part to help. So, like it or not, we need to stay.
No. 394560 ID: c4a1fc

But hare-brained schemes are the meat and drink of any decent court, elfish or not! Intrigue and backstabbing are as oxygen and lifeblood to any courtier. Time to start fitting in.
No. 394561 ID: bcd55f

Go on a "honeymoon" with the packhorse and supplies, in an attempt to make some potentially connections for the powerful people who might otherwise have us murdered.
No. 394564 ID: 332134

Find the servant that is gonna make you dinner. Fuck that guy's offer.
No. 394568 ID: 049dfa

Yeah, no. Not going there at all. You're probably a lot safer in this shrine than you would be running off and doing something completely useless and retarded like >>394552 or >>394553 or >>394560 or >>394561.

If nothing else, fucking this up by turning tale and running is going to leave Baron Northgate without his ally against the Gentry. So that just isn't acceptable.

Perhaps it's time to go ask the D'Amuris what safeguards are in place here? There was already someone waiting for you in the shrine when you got back. Perhaps, if nothing else, you could be permitted to carry a sword for your own self-defense?

And while you're back at the manor, try talking to Bianca again. Even if you aren't going to swap over to elvish religious conventions, showing interest in how you are supposed to be 'purifying' yourself would at least be a step toward getting her over her own apprehensions.
No. 394569 ID: c4a1fc

I take offense to that. My idea involves getting someone ELSE to run off, not running off ourselves.
No. 394578 ID: e3f578

This person has much to gain from you leaving or else he wouldn't stick his neck out for you just for your safety. It's obvious you're in danger. You're insulting traditions.

I suggest talking through this with your father or the Lord. You know, because attacks are pretty likely. And you weren't trained for self-defense your entire life, you were trained to be an elven husband. Seeing as you have military ambitions, and will be in need of an actual career to support your family after this marriage business is done, seek out alternatives. Perhaps you can grow to be a valuable soldier in the elven army to develop these defense skills, it might as well be the same as joining your homelands army, as your allies now. It's just your fellows are elves now. And they look to enjoy good drink and culture, shouldn't be too hard to enjoy life here. Speak with the Lord or your father later to better understand your career opportunities here and what you can learn. Your house is merely the shrine, it's not your prison.

Serve your country soldier, you got a hesitant elf chick to swoon and marry, and have to do your best to defend it! This hasn't changed nothing! Be the best patriot you can be, and get to bang an exotic elven chick if you guys do warm up to each other. Rarely does serving your country involve banging a hot chick. And it's a fine challenge! Imagine your nation's anthem playing in the background of your mind while your inner thoughts convince you to do patriotic acts!

Make Love and Make War.
No. 394586 ID: 7d7f79

Look, we don't know who is supposedly after us, we don't know why they are after us, we don't even know if this dude was telling the truth. Why are you folks assuming that the guy threatening us is a paragon of honesty with only our best interests at heart? The simplest interpretation of what he's up to is trying to send us into an ambush, somewhere near a good body stashing place. He's also sending us off into the woods in the middle of the night on a long enough walk that we'd likely trip over a root and break our skull along the way. Apparently a lot of elves think we're stupid, that is a stupid but effective ploy if we are as stupid as they think we are.

We don't know enough about the local politics to make anything about this threat and supposed offer other than to say some guy we don't know tried to send us into the woods at night. The smart thing is to go find our dad if he's still here and Lord d'Amuri if he isn't, then tell them what happened. Mention that it's really annoying to have to defend yourself against threats you don't know about without any weapons, warning or knowledge of your attackers. Don't shut up about that until he tells us everything we want to know about who's threatning us and how we stop them, mystery will kill us. If I had to guess this guy "Deacon" works for one of d'Amuri's enemies but we don't even know if he's not just a bigot on d'Amuri's staff trying to prevent a marriage between his lord's daughter and some disgusting savage.

Also, we want these enemies to not underestimate us, because inept assassination attempts are cheaper and easier to make and repeat. We want our shadowy adversaries to have to take out a third mortgage to make a play for us, and decide it's out of their budget.
No. 394595 ID: 602cbb

Some random guy shows up and tells you to betray your father, leave your wife to be and doom your nation in one fell swoop.
totally trustworthy.

Seriously, don't do it.
You would need a lot more information before you make such a decision you don't even know who this man is or what his allegiances are.
No. 394598 ID: a5d129

Dirtbag's suggestion sums it up for me. Also, grab some quick food before going to the library.
No. 394610 ID: d09277

Just thank the guy discreetly, get some food from your shrine servant person, and go tell your father and lord d'amuri about it whenever it's convenient.

"Hey, just wanted to let you guys know that there was some smelly guy in the shrine. He told me that I was in danger, claims to have set up an escape vehicle for me. He said it'd be in a clearing about a half mile up the creek towards the mountains, and it'd have lots of gold in it. Crazy story right? Would it be possible to make it less easy for random crazy people to wander into the place I'll be living for the next two years?"
No. 394616 ID: b073a7

Hire a beggar to scrub up nice and take a good long trip on a nice gift pony with a buttload of goods. Wait and see what happens.
No. 394617 ID: 517631

Tell the druid guy the truth, you gain even less by running away. If your father went through the trouble of raising you for this task, hurt as he may be he will most likely kill you for being a traitor to your own kingdom.
No. 394626 ID: 7d7f79


"Deacon walked off without another word, leaving Felix to his own devices."
No. 394641 ID: 1444d5

Definitely inform D'Amuri of Deacon's presence and message. If he can slip in and out unnoticed then a assassin could too, or if he is known and allowed to pass unheeded then his advice is likely considered to be of value. Either way, security needs beefing up.
No. 394649 ID: ed57e8

a druid going to the shrine is basically the least sus thing he could do. but ask if anyone dressed up like a druid would have free access.
No. 394674 ID: 88e5ad

dammit, this is a very, very tough call. if you leave, you'd be safe and you'd have your freedom and you'd probably be able to live contently, since you're a more than capable young man.

on the other hand, you have an opportunity here to stay, risk your life, relinquish your freedom, become a tool but allow your kingdom to survive and craft an alliance between a very distant culture, potentially changing the history of both dynasties in a positive manner. plus the ladies around here are kinda good lookin'.

I dunno, I guess it all depends on your own sense of duty and altruism and independence and shit like that. though if it were me I'd leave.
No. 394682 ID: 95cda2

If you were considering staying here just for /yourself/ you would have been long gone.

But you are here to marry, solidifying an alliance for the good of Northgate. It's not what you may have wanted to do, but it's the price you pay for being noble.
No. 394685 ID: d09277

It's not the fact that he was at the shrine that was suspicious. It's the fact that he's a total stranger telling you to run away alone deep into the forest for the promise of treasure and freedom that he claims to be providing you for free seriously come on.
No. 394699 ID: 673411

He is warning you that people may be hostile against you, and has done nothing to confirm that he is not working for one of these hostile groups. It's a pretty basic tactic to gain someone's trust by warning them about danger. But even if he has the purest of intentions, you shouldn't do it, and here's why.

You were willing to risk your life fighting enemies to defend your homeland. If you leave now, you are abandoning everything. Your family, your homeland, pretty much everyone who has ever known you with the exception of this random guy, and all the people who dislike you, are hurt by you accepting this deal.

You were trained to handle life in the elf nation, and by staying you strengthen your homeland.

So the question is this, are you a traitor, who will abandon everyone who ever loved you in exchange for a chance at personal freedom, or are you a Man who can stand up against your enemies, and prove yourself to be better than them?

There is one thing to be thankful for about this. He has pointed out your biggest flaw. However, you have two years of ill defined "Personal study" time. Plan to use it. When you leave the shrine in two years, you should know the intricacies of elven politics at a level better than your peers. Take the time to make friends and connections. Become the noble your family needs.
No. 394702 ID: 97bd86

How about don't go running off on the word of a total stranger, eh?
No. 394703 ID: c71597

He seems a little bit too intent on making you leave. I wouldn't trust him, hell, you should tell your father. This all seems like it could be a trap of some sort. It's quite unlikely that some stranger would go to such lengths to save you out of kindness of his heart, he has something to gain from it removing you, possibly something really big.
No. 394707 ID: 3947e9

So basically, he is certain you will face assassins (remember the ninja girl's threat?) and offers a way out.
I doubt he intends to assassinate you if you take him up on the offer, since you have to get yourself disinherited before you even try.

Well, you are loyal to your family and you wanted to serve in the army. This is just like it. Stay.
Consult with your father and father in law. With the death threat from that ninja and this warning you are at 2 death threats in under 2 hours, you shold:
1. Have a body guard, preferably out of uniform and disguised as a "guide to elven city and culture".
2. Be armed at all times (except perhaps when having an audience with the king), if need be invent some religious/ceremonial reason and "decorate" your shrine room with wall mounted arms.
3. Make sure to keep up with your combat training.
4. Be careful what you eat, ask father in law if they have safeties against poison.
5. Get involved in elven politics via father in law.
No. 394723 ID: 832169
File 133235548453.jpg - (111.86KB , 742x700 , 882869-6A1X0PJ.jpg )

Though the offer intrigued him, Felix didn’t seriously consider it. Even if he did go and there actually was a horse laden with gold, there was still the matter of his family honor. Then there was the possibility that there would be no horse laden with gold, but instead armed thugs who would beat him to death a half mile in the middle of the woods. It was a fun diversion to think about running away from all his worldly responsibilities with a sackful of cash though. However, Felix could see that this was nothing he should ignore. Right after he finished what he was doing here, he would go and try to find his father and Lord D’Amuri at once. At the very least, he was going to find out if people were just allowed to wander in and out of the shrine whenever they wished.

An ache in Felix’s stomach reminded him that he hadn’t eaten since breakfast. With a renewed sense of purpose, he set out to search the shrine for the servant Lord D’Amuri mentioned. The only doors in the place seemed to be made of thin sliding paper and wood, and with no distinguishing marks, so Felix merely chose the largest door first. Hesitantly, Felix knocked and called out before sliding it aside.

The first thing he noticed was the woman, staring blankly back at him. It only took him a moment to realize that there was something wrong with her, and by then she was already bowing. Her joints creaked gently as she bent down low, paused, and rose again with the same noise. Felix was expecting her to say something, until he noticed that her mouth was merely painted on. Tearing his gaze away, the second thing Felix noticed were his things, all placed neatly around the room. Against the far wall leaned his bow, quiver and daggers, as well as his sword. Felix hadn’t felt so glad to see them in quite some time.

Looking back up, Felix was a bit unnerved to see the doll’s head jerking up as well. The painted eyes were following his own. “Excuse me, but are you the servant here at the shrine?” he asked, mostly for something to fill the silence.

The wooden head bobbed an affirmative.

Encouraged now that it at least seemed to understand him, Felix continued. “I was hoping to get something to eat is all. Something quick, if it’s not too much trouble.” With another nod, the doll walked past Felix and was out of the room, closing the door softly behind her. Moving over to his weapons, Felix took a moment to inspect each one before leaning them back against the wall, satisfied that each hadn’t been damaged in the move. For a moment, he thought about carrying his sword when he went into the house, but quickly dismissed the idea. He was going up to the manor house, and didn’t want to be seen as paranoid. Because Felix wasn’t a fool however, he took the smaller dagger and sheathed it neatly into a slip of leather sewn in his boot.

The door slid open only a few minutes later, and the doll approached with a small cloth covered box. She presented it with her head bowed, and Felix hesitantly took it with an uneasy smile. “Thank you.”

The doll bowed again. Felix was beginning to get embarrassed at all this deferential attitude. “I am honored to serve.” The voice made Felix jump in surprise. It seemed to come from the doll, but nothing on the face had moved. It stayed perfectly still as he made his way to the door, and back towards the house.
No. 394725 ID: 832169
File 133235552561.jpg - (165.87KB , 800x478 , 882949-FG0R6VF.jpg )

The food, rice balls with a bit of fish in the middle, were a bit cold but filling. Felix ate them all before he had even reached the house. Entering through the front door, he saw his father and Lord D’Amuri speaking casually on the second floor landing and ran up to join them.

The two men stopped when they noticed him approach. “Something concerning you, son?” The Baron asked, his face setting into a frown. Felix got the impression that his father thought he was going to complain needlessly about something again.

Felix kept his voice calm and even. “Actually, yes. I just had a man in the shrine offer me a horse and a saddlebag full of gold if I leave the country and don’t look back. I was hoping I could speak briefly with you two.” He was glad to see that the Baron’s face changed at once to one of concern.

“Of course. I believe the library is empty at the moment, it may be best that we talk there.” Lord D’Amuri lead the few short steps to the library doors, opened one of the double doors and held it for the others before closing it smoothly behind them. “Please, continue. Did you get a good look at this man?”

Deciding to stand, Felix crossed his arms behind his back. “Not really. But he did say his name was Deacon. He had a hood on, a skull necklace, and kinda stank though.”

Lord D’Amuri nodded gravely. “Yes, I’m not surprised. Deacon is a druid, but he’s been shunned by the other druids in the city for his more radical beliefs. One thing he firmly believes in is that elves and humans have no business together. He’s certainly one of the more outspoken people on the issue in fact. I believe he has been banned from approaching the palace for the time being. I... had been hoping that his last meeting with Bianca would dissuade him from coming here again.” Seeing Felix’s confused expression, Lord D’Amuri continued. “Deacon has tried unsuccessfully to court my daughter for a few years now. She has made it clear that she feels nothing for him a number of times, but that hasn’t done much to stop him I’m afraid. I will make sure there are more guards posted near the perimeter of your shrine, but my men are not druids. A talented druid can move like a shadow when he needs to, and Deacon is quite a good druid. However, he is not a killer. He is an honorable man, but I fear his jealousy may drive him to do something foolish.”

Glad he had the blade in his boot, Felix considered his next question. “Is there a problem with me carrying my sword with me? With these potential dangers, it seems ridiculous not to do so. “

The Baron spoke this time. “It is your right as a noble to carry a blade with you. I’d recommend it in fact. Except at balls and the like, of course.” Motioning to Felix’s foot, he smiled. “I see you wasted no time equipping yourself. Well done. I could barely tell.”

Smiling faintly back, Felix felt his wander back to the image of Deacon, standing a full head taller than him. Felix certainly was going to bring a sword with him.
No. 394730 ID: b96d36

I guess the best thing now would be to go find bianca. Try showing some interest in her culture, and maybe see of you can't figure out what her expectations of you are. Maybe even find something out about how this whole purifying shrine thing works. If it smooths out your relationship even a little bit its worthwhile.
No. 394734 ID: 332134

Bring up the idea of a bodyguard with your dad. Then go and try to find Bianca.
No. 394736 ID: 88e5ad

yeah yeah don't get overconfident kiddo.
No. 394738 ID: ed57e8

the golem probably helps keep us safe in our sleep. and since you are here ask what kind of books bianca likes to read and take one. maybe she has similar interest in reading material as you.
No. 394744 ID: 46c430

Ask about the servant-doll, too.
No. 394755 ID: 5f7989

Asking her dad for a book reccomendation seems a good idea.
No. 394764 ID: fa9f7e

Also, ask about the golem. It might have defensive capabilities of some kind.
No. 394766 ID: e3f578

Dude, remember about career opportunities here? ask about them.
also if you're allowed to leave the shrine at all during your "Looking inside you" 2 year period for social visits or these career opportunities.
No. 394819 ID: 832169
File 133238735612.jpg - (157.99KB , 800x536 , 883740-CDLCTNA.jpg )

There was still more that Felix wanted to know. "I was thinking about a bodyguard" he began before his father cut him off.

"Don't worry. I have that covered." The Baron's manner was clipped and severe again, a sure sign that he wished to get back to the meeting.

Felix ignored the tone of voice. He had a couple more things he needed answered. “Lord D’Amuri. What are my prospects likely to be if I try joining the Estronel royal army?” It had been a notion playing around his mind for a bit. He was hoping to sharpen his skills during his stay here after all, and this seemed an efficient way to accomplish that goal. Felix saw the Baron sit up straight at the question.

The elf shook his head. “I’m sorry, that’s out of the question for the time being. The issue has actually been brought up before, and the decision was that you would have to finish the ceremony before you could even be considered.”

Wanting to know more, Felix pressed for details. “Tell me then, what are the restrictions behind my stay here at the shrine? What am I allowed to do? Can I leave to go on a social trip?”

Settling down in a chair, Lord D’Amuri was perfectly calm as he spoke. “Your restriction is simple. You must be sleeping in a shrine every night. There will be times when we will leave the manor due to diplomatic or recreational activities, but in those instances we will always be staying somewhere with a shrine for you to reflect at. Other than that there isn’t anything pressing that I can think of. I think the druids would like it if you prayed to the shrine, but that technically isn’t required for elves as well, so you can do what you want in that regard.” He looked relaxed, and eager to answer Felix’s questions.

“The doll-servant. I’d like to know a little more about it if I’m going to live in the shrine with it.” Felix remembered the still face and frowned. There was something off-putting about it.

“Her name is actually Matsuri. She’s lived in the shrine for at least fifty years. She’s what we call a golem. Her purpose is to clean and cook for the current inhabitant of the shrine, whoever they may be. If necessary, she will try to defend the shrine and you from harm as well. Many of the wealthier nobles around here tend to own a few golems for chores.”

While Lord D’Amuri looked like he wouldn’t mind talking all night, Felix could see the Baron was growing impatient as he strummed his fingers on the table. Deciding it would be best if he wrapped this up, Felix asked one last question. “One last thing, please. I was wondering... do you think that you could recommend me a book that Bianca enjoys?”

With a small smile, Lord D’Amuri got up and strode across the room. He pulled a volume off the shelf and walked back, offering it to Felix. “I believe that this is the last book she was reading extensively. She did seem to rather enjoy it.” Gratefully, Felix took the book and read the title. A frown slowly crossed his face. “Some of the more modern examples of elvish poetry from the last fifty years or so.”

Poetry. Felix absolutely despised poetry. While he had disliked ballroom dancing, even as a child he had seen a point to it. People liked music and dancing, so it was only natural that you learn to do it right. To his mind though, poetry had no real value. It was like a much shorter and more confusing story. He let none of this show on his face. If he had to read poetry then he guessed he’d just do it and get it over with. He said his thanks, and sensing that the two men wanted to continue, left the library with the book under one arm.

Once out of the room, Felix began to search absentmindedly for Bianca. He hadn’t seen her since she stormed off that morning, and was expecting for her to be upset with him when they met because of it. It didn’t take long for Felix to find her once he actually searched, however.

She was in a room on the first floor that she had pointed out during the tour, a small study with a few comfortable-looking seats. She didn’t even look up to see him at first, waiting until she turned the page in her book before looking up to him and speaking. “Hello, Felix. How was your visit with the king?”

Felix nodded. “Great! He talked a lot but he gave me permission to stay with no problem.”

“That’s good.” Bianca fell silent. Felix could see her eyes move to meet the book in his arm before moving back to his face, but she didn’t say anything else. She seemed to be waiting for Felix to speak next.
No. 394823 ID: ed57e8

"i see you noticed the book, i asked your father what you liked to read, figured it would help me understand your point of view better."
No. 394826 ID: e3f578

I liked this until you said "It'd help me understand your point of view better"
Shit, let's make her feel like an alien
Where's that Northgate charm?

Say that, sans the implied alien point of view comment, and mention that you kinda hope that elven poetry is a bit more enjoyable than human poetry. This is honest and shows you're willing to make a try. You were kinda hoping to maybe get a little bit of help understanding though, you admit, you're a thickheaded human when it comes to this deep intellectual stuff, so you're not sure where's the best place to start. You grew up with adventure serials for books instead. So you thought that learning from the professional elven poetry connoisseur and buff around these parts would be a good idea, which is her.
No. 394828 ID: 95cda2

Ask if she minds if you read in here with her. (After all, you haven't even read the book yet, you can't exactly chat about its contents)
No. 394839 ID: 332134

Ask Bianca for some more book recommendations.
No. 394842 ID: 049dfa

Explain that you know that she likes poetry, but that you never really got it. Ask if she could explain it to you. Olivia already told you that she likes showing off how much she knows about poetry, so it gives her the chance to open up with something she is already familiar with AND lets her feel happy about showing off. Plus maybe you'll get to see her actually enthusiastic about something and get past her little shell for at least a bit.

And maybe she'll also let you put it in her butt, but probably not.
No. 394844 ID: ed57e8

ohhh, yes! have her show of her superiourity in something. she would like that. and maybe you will learn something.
No. 394854 ID: e440a4

Our reasons for asking that are a little transparent, but okay.
No. 394862 ID: 88e5ad


dude, she totally is an alien. look at those eyes, man.

I don't think you have anything to tell her.
No. 394898 ID: 7d7f79

"I asked your father what you like to read, he pulled this down off the shelf for me.
"Honestly, the instruction in poetry I got as a child mostly didn't interest me. Maybe I just wasn't ready for it or maybe I didn't have the right teachers or pieces to work with. Either way, apparently this is something you enjoy and which is important in elven society, so I figured that I would at least try and dive right in.
"Do you have any advice about it?"
No. 394902 ID: 7d7f79

By the way, an awful lot of poetry is actually porn that they write in a really obscure way. They do that because that way they can talk about how clever it is instead of talking about how hot it is.
No. 394926 ID: c6ec33

"I heard you enjoyed this collection. I've never had the pleasure of reading any of these before, and I was hoping you could show me your favorites. I might also need your help, if I come across any vocabulary or concepts particular to Elvish culture with which I'm not familiar."
No. 394988 ID: 832169
File 133245529680.jpg - (158.53KB , 800x536 , 884620-KLBWGG3.jpg )

"Do you mind if I join you?" Felix asked, gesturing at an empty seat across the room.

"Not at all" Bianca replied as she put a marker in between the pages of her book and turned her full attention on him.

Putting the book down next to him as he sat, Felix gestured at it casually. “I asked your father what you liked to read and he recommended this. I have to admit, I’ve never much gotten on with poetry in the past, but I know it’s something you enjoy. I’d like to at least give give it a try.”

Reaching over, Bianca picked the book up and opened it, scanning through the contents briefly before speaking. “Well, the first problem is that a lot of modern literature like this is going to reference older influential works. There’s a few books I’d suggest you read before you start on these poems. First would have to be Sojourn of the Soul.” The name rang a bell for Felix, but Bianca went on before he could speak, picking up another book from the ground next to her and handing it to him. “It’s one of the fundamental stories you’ll have to study to understand about elven literature. A lot of what these poets describe are reactions to the ideas presented here, and reflections on the tragic outcome. The story is about three generations of elves...”

“...who serve the kingdom loyally until they all die. In their sacrifice however, the kingdom continues and so their spirits rest easy” Felix finished as he opened the book, and skimmed through the pages. “Yeah, I’ve read this. I liked it a lot, actually.” He remembered back to when he had first read the book. His mother had given it to him with the explicit instruction to be done with it in five days, but he had finished it in only three. It had everything that a young boy could want in a story, as over half the book was about the various members of the family riding out to do war against giants, orcs and occasionally other elves. There had also been a lot of talking and romance, but young Felix had been willing to sit through it all for the dramatic payoff. It was a lot more exciting than the stuff he was normally made to read, after all. When Felix finally broke out of his reverie and looked back up at Bianca, he could see that she looked quite surprised. “I’m sorry, did I say something wrong?”

“No, not at all. I’m just shocked that you’ve already read it is all.” Bianca accepted the book back from Felix and pondered for a moment. “Have you read Braschi’s Desconstruction of Poetry?”

A frown crossed Felix’s face. “I hated that book. He spent way too long talking about meter. I didn’t know any living thing could discuss meter for over eighty pages until that book.”

Bianca looked amazed. “You really did read it.” As if to test him, she suddenly asked, “What does Braschi say about the visual presentation of a written poem?”

“That it’s as important to the poem as diction is to the poem spoken aloud, if not more so” Felix replied promptly. What he really remembered was that the man had devoted over 50 pages to the idea of how a poem should look on a piece of paper.

Nodding, Bianca actually smiled at Felix for a brief moment. “Well, at least you’ll be able to keep up at the next reading that we go to.” Regaining her serious look, Bianca seemed to be coming to a decision. Then, she took the book of poems and turned it thoughtfully until she reached a page full of long poetry near the beginning of the book. “If you’d like, I could help deconstruct a poem or two?”

To Felix, that honestly sounded as boring as could be. On the other hand, this was the first time Bianca had actually wanted to do anything with him. He sat down and tried to look enthused as he put his feet up. “Sure, that’d be great.”

The next hour and a half was spent listening to Bianca discuss poetry. It was true that she hardly looked at him, but she described in a clear and concise manner how this particular poem had been put together, and where each of the pieces came from. It was all incredibly dull, the poems both being based around a particular mountain, but Felix tried his best to stay interested as long as he could.

Noticing it was starting to get late out of the window, Bianca stopped after their second poem. “Well, I think that’s enough for today. I’m going to start preparing for bed.” Handing the book back to Felix, she looked thoughtful and took out a piece of parchment. Taking a quill from the drawer, she began to write. “Here, why don’t I make you a list of books? There’s no rush to get anything read of course, but these are some of the books and philosophical texts that have been relevant in elven culture in the last decade. I don’t know what you’ve read and what you haven’t, so I figure I’ll just let you spend some time in the library with some recommendations.”

Nodding, Felix watched her sketch out a further increasing list of book titles. “Thanks, I’d like that.” Realizing he’d probably have to go back to the shrine soon, he waited for Bianca to finish her list.
No. 394994 ID: e3f578

ask for a guilty pleasure "Are any of these books adventure serials? Like Sojourn of the Soul, well, that's what I thought that was at first. Cool characters in dramatic and dire situations and all that?"
No. 395009 ID: 88e5ad

do read them now and then, but not too much. literature reflects an important part of the culture it comes from, but you'll learn many more things by going out and living in that cultural environment.

...um, I'm assuming you actually give a rat's ass about any of that.
No. 395011 ID: ed57e8

read them before you sleep or something. don't try to do it really fast.
No. 395014 ID: ed57e8

and don't turn into a little boy like that out of nowhere.
No. 395022 ID: 801747

I think it's perfectly acceptable if he isn't quite so blatant about it. For example, something like:
"While I'm reading up on modern poetry, I should probably get more familiar with the classic epics as well. Are there any other titles like Sojourn of the Soul that could give me more background?"

That basically asks for the same thing without sounding quite so childish. Mind you, there might be some stories that come up with that are less action-oriented, but Felix is older now and can probably appreciate those better than he could as a kid.

And it's not like she isn't picking up on the fact that he's not really that interested in poetry. Letting it slip that you'd prefer something with a few more swords in it really isn't the end of the world. She'll probably just be pleased that you're genuinely interested in Elvish literature.
No. 395027 ID: e3f578

I thought the childish thing would be a little endearing. It seems a bit honest and shows a little bit of personality and intimacy that isn't "GRUFF GRUFF CAN I HAVE POEMS ABOUT SWORDS AND EPICS I AM MANLY HUMAN I AM MANLY HUMAN WHO REALLY ONLY ENJOYS SWORDS", which is far, far from what you all suggested, most certainly, but she can blow it out of proportion in her head thanks to Felix's involuntary subtle cues, unless he has good understanding of them and has a good poker face.

With a childish, admitted guilty pleasure approach, you look sensitive, honest, and not trying to play up your testosterone by being straight up blunt, and it shows weakness to make her comfortable, an endearing flaw easily fixed. It could blow up negatively in a different direction, but one more in line with the cultured elves, at least in my opinion.
No. 395040 ID: c71597

You can probably get a few other books from the library as well, like stuff history stuff on wars, strategy and tactics. The elves must have some of that as well, and you should be able to find it without having to ask her.

Anyway, it's good that you showed her that you're smart and know stuff about things she likes as well. It seems like your parents did do a rather good job of preparing you.
No. 395053 ID: 7130a7

Thank her, bid her goodnight. Go get you some hard earned rest.
No. 395060 ID: ed57e8

oh oh, if you can give her a kiss, on the cheek, goodnight that would be a nice end of the day.
No. 395095 ID: 049dfa


>I thought the childish thing would be a little endearing.

No, it will not be endearing. It will piss her off, because she is really upset about being forced to marry a stupid barbarian.

It is basically the worst possible thing to do unless you WANT Bianca and Felix to have a shitty, cold relationship.
No. 395104 ID: 7d7f79

There's also such a thing as being a spineless creep pretending to be what other people want so much that they have no individuality or personality of their own. Dating sims are training in how to be a psychopathic creep, not a lover.

I am going to suggest that we ask for a range, including things that may explain Elven myth, legends and religion better or differently than we already know.
Mention that at least two Elves have threatened your life today. Because of this anything that could help explain the Elven motivations, capabilities and tactics of violence would be practical study we should also get started on sooner than later.
No. 395110 ID: 049dfa


>There's also such a thing as being a spineless creep pretending to be what other people want so much that they have no individuality or personality of their own.

Non sequitur much?
No. 395116 ID: 7d7f79

Hardly; you were suggesting we pretend to have no other interests besides learning about the poetry she's interested in. That's a lie; that's a stupid, transparent and creepy lie. Faceless politicians tell lies like that and that's no way to live.

I will agree however that acting childish is stupid, because we're in far too dangerous a life to afford immaturity.
No. 395122 ID: 95cda2

I say we ask her about military histories--come to think of it, judging by the atmosphere around here, one on courtly politics might be nearly the same thing, and far more applicable here~
No. 395132 ID: 049dfa


>Hardly; you were suggesting we pretend to have no other interests besides learning about the poetry she's interested in.

No, I was saying that acting childish to try to be endearing was fucking stupid. Where in the hell are you reading 'oh man I am super interested in everything you like and have no desires of my own!' from that?

I never made any pretenses, the goal here was specifically to establish a line of communication and to get Bianca to stop thinking that Felix is just an uncultured barbarian. It isn't about engaging her on false pretenses, it is about engaging her on a level above that which she FEARS she will be stuck with.

Also, learning about the interests of another person with whom you are involved in a relationship with isn't 'a stupid, transparent, and creepy lie,' nor is it being a 'faceless politician.' It is, in fact, fairly important to actually understand another person in order to have any sort of meaningful relationship with them -- even relationships other than romantic ones!
No. 395135 ID: e3f578

Well, I would like to say that I didn't think it too childish, or overtly anyway, maybe just a little bit. Go "Hey, I'm willing to learn, but admittedly I'm a little immature. I feel like showing you that side of me, because I think that would be important. I'm big into epics and adventures since they're easier to read and enjoy for me."
Felix is immature on top of being capable of making mature decisions and understanding a mature outlook. His thoughts on poetry do prove immaturity, and my initial post sort of thought we'd admit that part without directly admitting it, out of sincerity. I didn't have the foresight to understand how exactly childish my response would end up being, and still don't understand how that's incredibly childish, but I felt I should maybe defend it from that point of view because it would be filled with sincerity to the utmost output.
No. 395154 ID: 7d7f79

It seems I misread you, we agree that immaturity doesn't suit us. I thought you were suggesting we pretend to be interested in Bianca's interests and little else: Trying to be interested in her and her interests is good, but we should stop short of brown-nosing or acting spineless.

"According to The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman, the Christian Church of the Middle Ages considered the age of accountability, when a person could be tried and even executed as an adult, to be age 7."
We're four years more than twice that old. People don't go lying to their kids about Santa Claus in this kind of world, and we didn't have to get a talk from our parents about the birds and the bees in our teenage years because we learned about it from taking care of and hunting animals before we were ten.
Immaturity would be alarming in someone as old as eighteen in this setting, indicating that we're a moron or idiot.
No. 395179 ID: 332134

Only go for a kiss if it looks like she's waiting for it. Otherwise, just thank her for what she's done and head back to the shrine.
No. 395209 ID: 832169
File 133252546736.jpg - (119.78KB , 800x631 , 885573-1D8RCPF.jpg )

Accepting the list from Bianca, Felix scanned the titles. A lot of them sounded tremendously boring. “So, are any of these classic epics?” He asked hopefully.

Bianca pointed to one of the books on the list as she got up. “This is the only other one I have written down. There’s plenty more however. Our library’s quite extensive. We even have a fair amount of human literature. I’m sure you can find books on nearly anything you’d like. Perhaps you should ask Olivia. She reads more than I do, after all.”

Nodding, Felix got out of the chair and stood there next to her. “Well, thanks for your help.” He considered doing something like leaning forward to kiss her on the cheek, but she turned and left the room before he could do anything but blurt out a slightly awkward “good night.”

Disappointed that Bianca still seemed to be keeping her distance, Felix put Bianca’s list inside of the poetry book for safekeeping and made his way back to the shrine. Smiling to himself, Felix figured that at least he had made some kind of progress with her. She had smiled at him and been impressed for a moment with his knowledge of literature. It was a step in the right direction, at least.

Almost immediately after he entered the shrine, Felix heard the noise of tiny feet scurrying towards him, and Shumai came running excitedly into sight. “Wan! Wan!”

Petting the dog with both hands, Felix looked up, expecting to see Cassandra not far behind. However the shrine seemed rather quiet apart from Shumai dancing back and forth, making little clacking noises on the floor with her claws. With a final pat on the head, he left the dog behind and began walking off towards his room. Shumai trailed after him, her tongue lolling about.

Even though he was ready for it this time, the sight of Matsuri was enough to make Felix jump again. She was standing much closer to the door than last time. With a bow, she stepped past him and took his hand gently, leading him down the hall and away from his room. She seemed strangely insistent, so Felix let her guide him to whatever she wanted to show him. He marveled at the feel of her hands, like soft lacquered wood.

Opening a door, Matsuri lead Felix into a bathing room, a hot bath already drawn. She stood there as he nodded approvingly, and closed the sliding door behind them. “Excellent, it’s been days since I had a bath. Thank you.” Matsuri nodded in response, but said nothing and did not move. There was a long moment of silence as Felix realized Matsuri was not going to leave the room on her own. With a sigh, he turned his back on the doll before starting to take his clothes off. “...You can go now.”

As Matsuri quietly left the room, leaving a towel and sliding the door shut behind her, Felix finished undressing and lowered himself into the water with a sigh of relief. The warm water seemed to actively drain the tension from his muscles, and already he could feel himself relaxing,

There was a noise like claws on wood, and then slowly Shumai nudged the door open with her nose. Trotting in, she hopped up to a position in which she could watch Felix easier and started wagging her tail excitedly. Felix ignored her, not caring if she stayed as long as she was quiet.

As he lay there in the bath, Felix let the day’s events replay in his head. Arriving at the D’Amuri manor, meeting Bianca and her sisters, and an audience with the king. He hadn’t really felt even a bit tired up until now, but the quiet and the warm water were already making his eyes droop.

Finishing his bath, Felix dried off and made his way back to his own room, grateful that Matsuri wasn’t waiting there for him this time. After putting something on and doing a quick stretching exercise, he was well ready for bed. Shumai, who had followed silently behind, curled up on the foot of the bed as Felix laid down and eventually drifted off to sleep.
No. 395211 ID: ed57e8

have sexy dreams about bianca
No. 395214 ID: e3f578

Dog's creeping me out. Cassandra says she doesn't take kindly to people petting her and I doubt animals just auto-love you off the bat regularly. Let alone enough to want to get a nice eyeful of your crotch in the bathroom.
Shumai is a shapeshifter. Obviously.
Question the dog this before you go to sleep.
No. 395225 ID: 7d7f79

Huh... shit, you could be right. Going to bed armed sucks but even without a possibly not-dog watching it's still a necessary precaution until proved otherwise.
No. 395238 ID: 30c02a

Yea I was wondering about the shapeshifter thing as well. She might not answer if that's the case but ask anyway.

Keep your sword close to the bead.
No. 395240 ID: cf49fc

Sounds like a shapeshifter to me. And the golem seems clingy, though robots typically are. If we question the dog on being a shapeshifter, it will realize we are on to it. Ergo, we must act as sexy as possible as though uncaring of a mere dog, while monitoring it's reactions. If it continues to be enthralled by our manly attachment, abruptly spin around and point at it while shouting, "AHAH!"

This will throw it off guard long enough for us to have Matsuri come and boot that shapeshifting little voyeur Cassandra out. Or maybe it's that druid, and he has a taste for dudes. Whichever it is, confirm it's nature then eject it from the premises.
No. 395249 ID: 95cda2

Just go with it for now. If it's just a dog then you have a cute dog buddy.

If it's a shapeshifter then we don't really have any real suspects, or suspected motives. Feel free to keep an eye out for those!

I believe the best plan is to continue to not behave suspiciously or weirdly "sexy", and to simply enjoy this adorable foot-warmer tonight.
No. 395254 ID: c71597

Have a dagger under the pillow, sheated of course. Would be a stupid mistake to stab yourself in your sleep.

Anyway, you did good. Things will probably work out ok in the end.
No. 395255 ID: 88e5ad

as long as she doesn't start sniffing our butt, I'm fine with the dog.

have sexy dreams about Matsuri.
No. 395259 ID: 7d7f79

Long range goal: Enough scrying power to find out stuff ourselves while meditating. For example, it'd be nice to know if everybody in the manor is where they're supposed to be, so that we could by process of elimination figure out if this is actually the doggy, someone from the D'Amuri family and staff, or someone/something else.
This doggy is acting very unlike a doggy in my opinion but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a threat. For all we know that could just be someone from the D'Amuri family and/or staff giving us extra protection in an easily underestimated way. Could even be the lord himself, he said he'd take care of our security problems without saying what he'd do.
No. 395318 ID: 332134

I guess the dog does seem weird, but it seems cool for now. Just check it out tomorrow. When you wake up, check about getting a trainer for your swordsmanship.
No. 396175 ID: 832169
File 133278411375.jpg - (97.36KB , 742x700 , 889425-XE2O0R1.jpg )

Felix awoke the next morning, blinking in the sunlight, and then gratefully closed his eyes again. He was a bit surprised that he hadn’t been woken up. There had hardly been a day he could remember that didn’t begin with someone throwing open his curtains, shaking him vigorously, or splashing him in the face with cold water. He felt he could get used to the idea of waking on his own.

A glance at the foot of the bed reminded Felix of Shumai, who was still curled up and sleeping. There had been something Felix wanted to ask her, but that was driven out of his mind as he felt the sudden cold passing up and through his body.

There, floating in there air, was a figure that nearly froze his blood. It was just staring at him, though Felix couldn’t be positive, as he couldn’t clear make out the eyes through the thick black hair. What he was sure of was that it was female, and it was a ghost. He had never seen a real ghost in his life, but there could be little doubt in his mind as it glided closer to him. Felix could see a vivid cut across her transparent throat, from which blood had poured down and covered her front. She looked him up and down, a slight frown spreading across her pale face. “What are you doing in my shrine, human? You’re going to stink up the place.” She leaned her head even closer to his, so that he could clearly make out the gash on her throat. “Get out of here, you uncultured shithead. I don’t want to see you here ever again.”
No. 396176 ID: ed57e8

"my apologies but the druids have assigned the shrine as where i must sleep. if you have problems with that, you need to take it up with them"
No. 396177 ID: 210977


"take a number, ghost lady."
No. 396180 ID: 88e5ad


pshaw. she doesn't get to call you uncultured if she's the one spewing obscenities on what elves consider holy ground.
No. 396181 ID: 210977


No. 396182 ID: e3f578

"I wouldn't mind leaving, but you're going to have to discuss this with the priests that told me I have to live here for two years. I don't really have a say in it."
No. 396183 ID: c71597

Try to calmly explain to her that it's necessary for you to stay in the shrine in order to fulfil your obligations and marry your fiancee. Ask if there is any way to reach an accomodation with her.

There is something to consider though. This may in fact not be a real ghost, Bianca mentioned that she has studied magic, and that it was rather common for noble elves to do so. This could be an illusion cast by someone who wishes to frighten you or make a fool out of you. That even seems like a likely explination given that someone would probably have told you about a known ghost in the shrine. Can't really be certain though, so it's best to not take any chances and then inquire with your hosts when you have the chance.
No. 396185 ID: b85f8c

Yeah, basically that.

Also uh ask why she's sitting on you in such a position. It's a bit suggestive.
No. 396187 ID: d09277

Be respectful and hope you don't have morning wood with her sitting on you like that.
"Thank you for the advice, but I am obligated to stay. Surely that's something you understand."
No. 396188 ID: 332134


This, but add something like "I apologize for inconveniencing a beautiful woman like yourself, this must suck for you"
No. 396189 ID: cf49fc

Yeah, take that you vengeful undead soul!

Also, politely request that she take it up with the druids who thought it would be funny to make you live with a vengeful spirit for two years. This must be the elven equivalent of sitcoms.

Oh, and finally, show no fear or anger, merely politeness and respect.
No. 396191 ID: 95cda2

"My apologies, I did not realize there was another resident here, or I would have introduced myself sooner. I am Felix of Northgate. May I know your name?"
No. 396193 ID: 23dbf6

my first thought here is
"Are you alright"
but since she is a ghost this probably won't come off a well so
"What happened to you?"

That will satisfy a bunch of criteria as well as throwing her off guard methinks.
No. 396216 ID: 7d7f79

-She didn't introduce herself or ask our name.
-She has told us to go away, and nothing else.
-She is assuming we are impolite, ignorant and have bad hygiene.

She probably isn't interested in a long and drawn out introduction or our life story, but I don't know how better to tell her that we're not the person she should be complaining to.

"Greetings, my name is Felix of Northgate, pleased to make your acquaintance and thank you for sharing your name with me as is only polite.
"I understand you may have cause to be upset with me staying here, but this was decided on by Lord D'Amuri, the King and the druids. Please speak to them about changing that, I am following commands from them and my father, Baron Northgate, to do this."
No. 396219 ID: fa9f7e

"Ah. While spewing obscenities and assuming a sexual position, you call me uncultured. Excellent. I'd happily leave you in peace, but the druids have decreed I must stay here for two years, so I shall. Well, except Deacon. Oh, and look in a mirror. You have a throat problem."
No. 396231 ID: e440a4

She is an angry ghost. She is not going to respond well to accusations of hypocrisy. Don't assume you can be reasonable with her. But do be polite, vaguely-eastern supernatural things dig politeness.
No. 396234 ID: 3947e9

Ghost? Be polite as if she is just another girl.

I wonder who killed her btw... but it would be rude to ask.

Excellent conversational skills, use that. With the exception:
1. Actually get her name between lines 1 and 2.
2. Blame just the druids. (the king had nothing to do with it. And your father and Lord D'Amuri are forced to do so by the druids)
3. Try not to be snippy about it. "if you have a problem take it up with them" sounds passive-aggressive.
No. 396240 ID: 8f5961

Be polite to her, explain yourself. Maybe throw in a compliment if she continues to be unreasonable.
No. 396294 ID: 832169
File 133282647086.jpg - (127.45KB , 742x700 , 890102-CVBH1FA.jpg )

Thinking the situation through logically, Felix begins by trying to reason with the ghost. “Apologies, I would have introduced myself sooner had I known you lived here as well. I’m afraid that I’ve being told to stay here while I prepare for my marriage, as decided by the archdruids. If you have a problem with me staying here, it might be best that you take it up with the priests of your religion or maybe the king.”

“I’m taking it up with you. I want you out of here! If you don’t leave I’ll haunt you the whole time you’re here. I don’t have to sleep, or eat.” She didn’t seemed moved at all at the reason for his stay.

Taking a deep breath, Felix tried to think calmly and not get angry. If she could force him out, she probably would have done so. “I really am sorry, but my honor puts an obligation upon me. I can’t just leave. Please understand, there are people who are counting on me.” Seeing that his words seemed to be having no effect, Felix decided to change tactics a little. “If you truly wish me to leave, I’m sure we can come to an understanding. The last thing I wanted to do was inconvenience a lovely young lady like yourself.” Felix is sure that he saw her face flush a transparent red, as if she was blushing. Seeing that she wasn’t angry for the first time since she showed up, Felix grinned. “Can you... uh... get up off me please? You’re sitting right on top of me.”

The ghost’s face seemed to turn even more red as she stood up suddenly. She seemed to be at a loss for words as Felix got up himself, glad that he wasn’t being straddled anymore. There was a long moment of silence as Felix realized that the ghost wasn’t going to speak first. “My name is Felix Northgate. Please to make your acquaintance. May I ask your name? If it’s not too forward, what happened to you?”

“My name is Camilla. Nice to meet you.” She seemed much more approachable than a moment ago, and Felix could see her smiling faintly. “It’s no problem at all. I’m the ghost of the last druid employed at this shrine. I’ve been bound in servitude to the D’Amuri family for at least fifty years since my mortal death, delivering messages or doing other odd jobs. If you’re asking about my neck, I did this to myself. It was the last thing I did when I was alive.” Camilla didn’t seem to be bothered by talk of her own death, rather just glad that someone wanted to hear about it. She smiled wistfully. “What’s my most beautiful feature?”

Shumai, who had woken up once people began moving about, looked back and forth from Felix to the ghost. “Wan! Wan!” she barked excitedly at the ghost with a sudden burst of energy.

There was only a moment’s hesitation before Felix answered, the hesitation masked by the dog’s timely bark. “Your hair.”

Camilla giggled like a child, clearly overjoyed. “What else?” she asked, excitement evident in her voice.

Felix felt his gaze drift towards the door. He needed to get out of here and find his father.
No. 396298 ID: ed57e8

"that mole gives your face a certain charm" and can say
"you lips are certainly a lovely shade"
and finally
"was your skin always like that or did it become such a lovely shade when you became a ghost?"
No. 396312 ID: d09277

Your assertiveness.
No. 396328 ID: 95cda2

"Sorry to be rude, Miss Camilla, but this is starting to feel like a rather grisly ghost story--er, well. Yeah, that's exactly what I meant, actually."

Be certain it's ok to set foot outside the shrine at this hour--don't want to mess things up on a technicality.
No. 396329 ID: ed57e8

the sun is out. think it counts.
No. 396330 ID: c6ec33

"Your strength. You almost frightened me with your desire for me to leave, and had I been any other human, I probably would have cried out in terror.

Speaking of that, why did you wish me gone so soon? I hope that my manners and presence have not offended you."
No. 396346 ID: 33783d

she has a wide mouth. compare her to Anne Hathaway.
No. 396350 ID: c71597

That mole is also pretty good, guess she could also have nice ears. And nice hands I guess.

You really should try to get away from her after delivering all of those compliments. Point out that you will need something to eat, and that she will be able to keep talking to you later, since you're not going to go anywhere.

Once you're out there you should find Lord D'Amuri and ask what's up with the ghost in the shrine, and why nobody mentioned it, since that seems like something that might have been important. Don't freak out and start screaming to him about it though.
No. 396365 ID: 332134

I think that Felix is looking for an excuse to get away from this ghost. Just tell her a random compliment and tell her that you need to go to the manor for official business.
No. 396367 ID: ed57e8

send mind waves to the dog to make it scratch at the door thus giving you the excuse of letting it out.
No. 396383 ID: cf49fc

Compliment her lovely even complexion.
No. 396390 ID: 3947e9

Please don't insult her or joke about it.
I am thinking we go with face (with nose as a followup if it comes up), and then try to smoothly transition to another topic before she can fish for more compliments. We could probably get out of the room with her if we ask if she could show us around.
What I really want to know is about the whole "bound to serve as a ghost". Is this a common practice? When she says bound, does she mean magically with a spell or bound by custom and tradition?
No. 396449 ID: 872f71

Tell her that you can talk more later in the evening when you're not so busy. Then, find the Baron so that you can get a trainer set up.
No. 396581 ID: 801747

Rather than "strength," I'd go for "pride." It's more proper and dignified, as well as a more accurate description of what you've seen of her. Then, move as quickly as possible to get out of here... in particular, you should speak with Lord D'Amuri about Camilla.

Making it obvious that you're leaving to learn more about her should keep her mood amicable, which is definitely important if you'll be living together. Though on the same note, avoid giving her too many physical compliments. You are here because you're engaged, so as much as she seems to enjoy the attention (understandably... as a blood-stained ghost haunting a religious site she probably doesn't get much of it) you don't want her to get the wrong idea. Given her mood swings so far, that pride could very easily turn vengeful if she feels jilted.
No. 396803 ID: 7d7f79

Pride is always ugly, don't mention it.
Although, if we're going to talk about intangibles,
"Your judgment, which allows us to have a peaceful conversation and try and sort out this situation that neither of us expected. I always find someone smart enough to think before they speak and someone wise enough to learn enough before they make an opinion to be far more pleasant than the alternative."
No. 397123 ID: 832169
File 133312817761.gif - (508.10KB , 742x700 , 894642-FXHII82.gif )


“That mole gives your face a certain charm” Felix complemented, grabbing his pants off the ground. As Camilla continued to giggle to herself, overjoyed, Felix took the opportunity to pull his pants on and fastened his belt. “Can I ask you a question? You said you were bound in servitude to this family. What does that mean exactly?”

While she seemed a bit miffed that they were moving away from the subject of her looks, Camilla was once again all too willing to talk about herself. “Well, it wasn’t my choice to come and work for them if that’s what you mean. You have to understand though, I wasn’t exactly easy or pleasant to deal with before I was bound. It’s harder for you to control your emotions when you’re just a soul after all. But, the ritual that sealed my essence also let me think clearly for the first time since my death. I don’t mind the occasional work for that reason, really. That and they mostly just let live here and be left alone.”

“Wan! Wan!” Shumai barked, wanting to be part of the conversation too.

Felix, who had been using the distraction to pull his boots on and make sure he had his sword handy, nodded. “I suppose that sounds like a good trade-off then. Listen, Camilla, I have to go. My father’s probably waiting for me, and I’ve got a lot of things I need to get done.” Pausing a moment to consider, Felix decided to take a bit of a gamble. “I’m sure we can probably find another shrine for me to stay in of course, since you don’t approve of me staying here. The next time I come to the house I’ll see you though, ok?” he asked, smiling disarmingly.

There was a notable pause before Camilla responded. Felix could almost hear her thoughts racing. “Well... maybe I was being a bit hasty. I suppose you could stay here in the shrine for now. You’ve already moved your things here, after all. And you are quite respectful.”

Giving Camilla a dashing grin, Felix began strapping his sword on. “Thank you, Camilla! That’s very kind of you.”

As Felix was nearly out of the room, he heard Camilla call his name. When he turned around, she had glided up close to him again with a dreamy look. “One last time. What else do you like about me?”

There was a notable pause this time as Felix thought quickly. “Your... strength of character. You’ve lost nothing of your noble bearing from life.” Mentally, Felix kicked himself. That came out a bit more flowery than he had intended. He edged closer to the door.

Erupting back into a torrent giggles, Camilla put both hands to her mouth and floated in the air with a delighted expression. Once she got herself back under control, she straightened up in midair and smiled down at him. “Then, until the next time we meet, Felix Northgate.”

As Felix left the room, with Shumai running out of the open door and out of sight, he could see Camilla flop down onto his bed. Her body didn’t disrupt the sheets at all, but Felix could see her spread out as if she was enjoying a nap, and closing her eyes with a smile.
No. 397124 ID: 832169
File 133312823341.jpg - (136.94KB , 800x658 , 894713-3IWLAB6.jpg )

As he made his way out of the shrine, Felix was just starting to think about what to do for some breakfast when he saw a figure leaning casually on a post near the entrance.

“Hey, look who’s finally awake.” Felix recognized her as one of the soldiers that had come out here with his father, one of the bug people he had hired for their strength of arms. Though she wore black, Felix noticed the colored favor shown proudly on her belt that marked her as a mercenary of Northgate. She took a swig of of a large clay jug before speaking again, fishing out a letter with her free hand. “Your father said that you’d come looking for him as soon as you woke up. He left you this.”

With a flick of the wrist, she sent the scrap of paper zipping towards Felix, who caught it deftly. Sure enough, the wax seal had been imprinted with the signet ring of the Baron. “Is my father off doing business with Lord D’Amuri?” he asked, breaking the seal with a finger.

Her answer was even, and almost uncaring. “No, he left a few hours before sunrise. One of the scouting parties from Northgate has gone missing. I’m afraid it’s just me and you now.” Seeing his expression, she gestured at the letter. “I’d read the letter first. It may answer your questions, I dunno.”

Setting aside his irritation for the time, Felix unfolded the letter to read his father’s parting words.


Before anything else, I first want to apologize for the manner of my departure. I had fully intended to stay here for at least another three days to conduct business, but events have transpired that force my departure. I have left Myrin here with you as a bodyguard and trainer for your stay in Estronel. Her skill is exceptional; I have rarely seen someone as dedicated to the art of swordplay as she. Believe me when I say that she has my complete confidence in this task, though I grant she can be a bit abrasive at times.

I know that this engagement has been a shock, and I beg your forgiveness. However, when I told you yesterday that I trust you implicitly, know that it is the truth. You have always exceeded any expectations we held for you without complaint, and I know that this will be no different. The next two years will almost certainly be a strain upon you. That much is undeniable. But, both your mother and I agree that while your physical strength is notable, your strength of heart has always been exceptional. You have always been kind, loyal, brave and humble. I do not think you will succeed, I depend upon it as a certainty. Make your country and family proud.

-Baron Jasper Northgate

Putting the letter away in a pocket, Felix sighed. The letter was touching, but he wished his father would have just woken him up before leaving. Of course, he knew his father hated long goodbyes, so maybe this had just been a convenient way to leave. “So, you must be Myrin” he told the waiting bug.

Nodding, she took another long drink at the jug before answering properly. “My full name is Allomyrina Dichotama. My friends call me Myrin. Now that we’re friends, I’m going to have a nickname for you too of course.” She smiled at Felix as she considered. “So, what’s the plan for today Blondie?”
No. 397125 ID: b766d0

Smirk off the nickname confidently and say "Well, if you're going to be my bodyguard we're going to have to get to know each other. Come join me for breakfast, we can talk, and then afterwards maybe we can spar, if you're as good as your say I could probably learn a thing or two and make your job a bit easier."

Give her a bit before coming up with a nickname for her in turn, we need to make it at least somewhat clever or teasing after all, and we don't know enough about her yet to do that.
No. 397127 ID: c2c011

Well first of all there is breakfast, then there is finding someone to ask about the ghost. After that I guess you could see if they have an armstrainer here that you could get some lessons of, would be good to widen your knowledge of fighting and stuff.

Once that's all done I guess you could try to find Cassandra and see if she knows of any cool places on the family grounds that you haven't been shown yet.
No. 397129 ID: b766d0

Why do we need an armstrainer when we have a bodyguard who is skilled at this?
No. 397133 ID: ed57e8

indeed. only way someone else would be better would be a specialist in an exotic weapon.
No. 397137 ID: c2c011

To pick up the local style so we can better exploit it if we get into a fight. If we know how they fight and what the rules of conduct here is then we will know how to exploit it. That and it's a chance to get to know someone in the household and get more local allies. A social network is important to have, and servants can also see and hear stuff or come with useful knowledge.

That and we might want to pick up some exotic local stuff if they have it. Not a bad thing to have more than one trainer.
No. 397139 ID: ed57e8

well we should get our basics ready.
No. 397142 ID: d09277

Harem size +2
Give her a good chuckle and pat on the back and go get some information on your new ghost friend. I'm not sure this is something you need to bother d'amuri himself with, though.
Oh, and as for breakfast, wouldn't we just get our golem girl to make us some?
No. 397143 ID: ed57e8

she's good for snacks, but a real breakfast with others we need to go inside to get.
No. 397147 ID: 77b5a0

it's your first day here. after eating, ask your fiancee about the shrine-praying mannerisms. y'know, try to impress the people around here by adhering to their customs from the first day onwards, as opposed to treating your stay here like a vacation.
No. 397150 ID: b37cb7

Fuck that bug
No. 397162 ID: c6beb3

Agreed, this must be our long term goal. Every action should bring us one step closer to bugwife.

Short term: see her naked somehow. But that can wait for later. On to breakfast!
No. 397183 ID: e440a4

Bugwife? Thinking too small. We will have bugwife, ghostwife, golemwife, no fewer than three elfwives, and dogwife.
No. 397185 ID: c4a1fc

You forgot shrinewife. We'll be getting to known her quite well when we spend two years inside her.
No. 397192 ID: e3f578

I'm surprised no one's joked about Ghost Blowjobs Woo Woo yet.

think maybe we should start traning a little bit, in a secluded place.
No. 397214 ID: e75a2f

That is a rather cliche and unoriginal nickname. Try to help her come up with a more creative one.
No. 397224 ID: d09277

Tell her there are more interesting parts of your anatomy than your hair to name you after. Before she has time to process that, challenge her to a sparring match.
No. 397229 ID: 832169
File 133315615033.jpg - (144.03KB , 785x597 , 895081-2GZQ6SB.jpg )

“Well, breakfast first” Felix stated emphatically as he headed towards the manor. He was famished. “I was figuring that afterwards we could have a sparring match, maybe discuss a better nickname for me.”

Myrin had a good, long laugh before answering as they entered the house and made their way for the dining room. “I don’t think so, on both counts. Not quite yet, anyhow. How about this, I’ll make you a deal. If you can pass a little test I’ve got, we can have a duel. Then we’ll talk about Blondie, Blondie. For now, let’s get some food!” With a slap on the back, Myrin sped up a bit, leaving Felix to hurry behind her.

While he had more he wanted to say to her, he didn’t have another chance before they reached the dining room. Felix had been hoping to meet Bianca, but he was a bit disappointed to see Cassandra sitting alone, a few plates being taken away by a maid. She perked up considerably when she saw Felix and Myrin. “Hey Felix! Are you hungry? Who’s your friend?”

Nodding, Felix took a seat as Myrin plopped down in the chair across from. “I’m famished, thank you.” He looked to Myrin to see if she was going to introduce herself, but she merely put her feet up on the table and took a long drink from her clay jug. “This is Myrin, my bodyguard.”

“Wow, you need a bodyguard?” Cassandra looked impressed as she turned and flagged down a passing maid, who was frowning at Myrin’s propped-up feet. “I thought you weren’t very important at all.”

Ignoring the comment, Felix told the maid what he’d like to eat for breakfast before speaking to Cassandra again. “So, where’s Bianca this morning anyhow?”

“She left pretty early to meet up with her friends. They’ve been planning a retreat to the royal library for a while, to discuss some literature and stuff with some scholars. She should be back in a few days.” Cassandra turned her attention to Shumai, who had suddenly begun to whine for attention.

Felix tried to mask his surprise, and felt his face redden when Myrin started snickering under her breath. He tried to ignore her and change the subject. “I see. Well, maybe you can tell me about the ghost that lives in the shrine then. I had a very rude awakening this morning.”

Cassandra was so casual in her response, not even diverting her attention away from Shumai or batting an eye as she spoke. “Oh, you met Camilla! I guess I’m not that surprised. Bianca ordered her to stay away from you for a few days to let you get comfortable. But it’s hard to stop Camilla when it comes to things going on in the shrine. It’s where she committed suicide, after all, so she’s strongest there. She can really only bleed on you, and even then it’s not real blood. It fades away in just a few minutes. Don’t worry, just tell dad if she becomes a bother.”

“I hope that’s not going to be necessary, but thank you. It was just a shock, that’s all.” Felix tried to look casual as well, as if he too was used to blood-spurting ghosts.

Snorting derisively, Myrin took another drink and gave Cassandra an incredulous look. “So, we have a ghost living in our home? And you just kind of let it roam around, doing what it pleases? What sort of shit deal is that, you little twerp? Why not just make it get the hell out?”

Still not even bothering to look up from the dog, Cassandra responded in a bored voice. “It’s hard for ghosts to leave the place where they’re bound. That’s just basic paranormal knowledge, after all. She can leave for a bit, but it kinda drains her and makes her weaker the longer she’s out. Plus, we like to have her nearby if we need a message delivered.”

Shrugging, Felix didn’t let the idea of living with a ghost get him down. At least she was slightly reasonable now. “Alright then. Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll learn to live with her. So, Cassandra, do you know any places around your family grounds I haven’t seen yet? I’d like to see the rest of the property sometime.”

There was a long moment of silence as Cassandra considered, stroking her chin thoughtfully. “Not really. Maybe the koi pond if you haven’t been yet. There’s some neat things in the woods surrounding the house, but most of them are quite a walk away.” Still thinking, Cassandra’s gaze wandered away from the dog and focused on Felix. “Have you prayed to the shrine yet, by the way?”

“Wan! Wan!” Barked Shumai happily.

“No, I haven’t. Why do you ask?” Felix was a bit bewildered by the sudden change of subject. He remembered Olivia telling him that he didn’t have to offer any prayer to the shrine at all.

Shaking her head, Cassandra seemed to want to change the subject. “No reason. Maybe you should, is all. If only once. I mean, it couldn’t hurt.”

“Yeah, maybe this time praying will actually do something.” Myrin responded sarcastically.

As Cassandra frowned at his bodyguard, Felix considered what the girl had said. He hadn’t ever seriously considered praying to the shrine.
No. 397232 ID: ed57e8

well, it's not like it could HURT anything. maybe they have some kind of protection spell or something that keeps prayers safe or something? but she can't talk about it?
No. 397236 ID: 252e1b


"Is there a ritual for the prayer?"
No. 397237 ID: 95cda2

Ask if she would kindly walk you through it. You may have learned elven prayer rituals in your studies, depending on the range of topics they covered, but individual shrines might have customs you don't know about, for example.
No. 397239 ID: a2fa74

Ask what she knows about golems. Are those spirits bound to a form or something?
No. 397260 ID: 332134

I say just eat breakfast and then go train with the bug. You can pray later.
No. 397281 ID: c6beb3

Yeah, go train with the bug, don't go to the shrine.
No. 397316 ID: b85f8c

Our bodyguard is extremely rude. That's disappointing.

I think we should actually pray to the shrine, but after the sparring match. It wouldn't be right to back out on our previous engagement.
No. 397349 ID: c2c011

Guess we should give the praying at the shrine thing a try, might be she has some sort of prank planned though.

And your bodyguard might have to work some on her manners if you're going to let her guard you at formal occassions.
No. 397355 ID: cf49fc

Get the proper rituals. Prepare for lesser deities to burst out of the walls and start throwing themselves at you.
No. 397360 ID: 049dfa

You should probably find out how exactly you're SUPPOSED to pray to the shrine before doing so.

You've got all day though, so you should probably take care of your bugtraining first. Then find out what manner of religious traditions you're expected to follow while praying there.
No. 397394 ID: c6beb3

Psh, no, she's the best of the bunch so far.
No. 397404 ID: 2ebbe5

Ask Cassandra where Olivia and Lord D'Amuri are. So it doesn't seem like you're just asking where Olivia is.
No. 397428 ID: 7d7f79

How does prayer ritual work here, and what is it supposed to do anyway? I imagine you're not supposed to just say, "Hi shrine, how ya doin' ol' buddy, ol' pal o' mine!"
No. 397467 ID: 6e44d2

We're probably going to have to do something about our bodyguard's rudeness, though I suspect she won't take us seriously until we can beat some sort of challenge of strength or swordplay or something.
No. 397473 ID: ed57e8

yeah, asking now would just get a derisive sort.
No. 397479 ID: 832169
File 133325455445.jpg - (146.89KB , 785x597 , 896385-M0BPIIC.jpg )

Deciding it would be best if he found out how prayers went in this land, Felix asked Cassandra for some more information. “So, is there some sort of ritual I need to perform? I don’t really know how the prayers around here go.”

Cassandra gave a dismissive wave as she went back to petting Shumai. “Nah, just do whatever you want. There’s no real official prayers or anything for that sort of thing. As long as you give some sort of prayer and really focus on it, you should be fine. It’s not hard or anything. Personally I hate having to go to the shrine to pray or something stupid.”

Seeing her frown, Felix could tell that Cassandra really didn’t want to talk about it anymore. He changed the subject. “The doll in the shrine. Do you know anything about it? We don’t have anything like that back home. Is there a soul in it?”

Shaking her head, Cassandra smiled, back to her old self. “No, don’t be silly. Just a little bit of magic to make them work and all. I guess it’s sort of like a soul, kinda, because they can remember things, but they can’t feel feelings or anything.”

“So, where’s your father this morning? And Olivia?”

A knowing grin spread across Cassandra’s face. “I think father left to go meet with some people in the army. Olivia is with her husband this morning, having breakfast with some of his army friends. I’ll bet they’re having a really fun time.”

The sarcasm in Cassandra’s last sentence was so thick that Felix felt a little embarrassed for Olivia. Having such an obviously unhappy marriage must have been awful. That, in turn, made Felix think of how Bianca left without even telling him. Thankfully, the maid showed up with a cart, and served both Felix and Myrin their requested meals. The maid hovered near Myrin for a moment after dropping off her food, as if deciding whether or not to say something about her feet on the table. She gave up however, delivered a cup of tea and a small plate of cookies to Cassandra, and left.

As the three began eating, Shumai wandered up to Felix and sat down, staring up at him for a scrap of food. “Wan! Wan!” she barked when Felix tried to ignore her, and began licking his hand. Irritably, he dropped her a slice of venison.

Finishing her cookies with relish, Cassandra began to sip at her tea. “Well, I think I’ve got to get going soon. I have my philosophy tutor coming by today. I hate philosophy. I was supposed to read this book and I haven’t even opened it yet, so I might just go find someplace to hide until he gives up. What are you guys doing today?”

“Starting Blondie here with his training” Myrin cut in suddenly. She had finished her meal in nearly record time, and was even now tapping her fingers on her chair, as if for something to do. “Are you about ready, by the way?”

Felix finished off the last couple bites of his meal hurriedly. “Yeah, I’m ready.” As Myrin stood up and started to leave, Felix looked to Cassandra, who was watching Myrin go with a slightly annoyed look on her face. “Thanks. I’m just glad I got to see someone at breakfast.”

“No problem. Most days are probably going to be boring for you around here. Everyone’s usually off doing things, so you’ll have to find ways of entertaining yourself.” Finishing off her tea, Cassandra waved goodbye to Felix. “Good luck.”
No. 397480 ID: 832169
File 133325458508.jpg - (127.65KB , 800x900 , 896386-HZA7BQT.jpg )

When Felix finally caught up to Myrin, she was nearly out of the manor. He was a bit concerned at her attitude towards Cassandra, but for the time being decided to ignore it. He had a feeling she wouldn’t care much for his opinion at the moment. “So, what’s this test I have to perform anyhow?” he asked as they wandered past the shrine.

Myrin reached down and picked up a strange-looking club that was laying against the wall of the shrine and continued towards the woods, swinging it lazily in one hand. “I’m sure you know what a Vassal is, don’t you?”

A frown crossed Felix’s face. “They’re the foot soldiers of the Gentry, yes.” He had just remembered the first time he saw a Vassal, dragged back to Northgate a month ago by a scouting party. It had been quite dead, but the cold grey skin and white staring eyes had haunted his dreams for quite a while.

Stopping with a smirk, Myrin turned to face Felix and brandished the club she held out easily. “Good. Well, then you should also know that the skin of a Vassal is like stone. Blades don’t pass easily pierce their flesh, and their bones resist crushing blows with surprising ease. You see Blondie, to get you to the point where you can actually do something to them, we’re going to need to work up those little chicken arms of yours.”

Feeling his face flush red, Felix was about to respond when Myrin casually threw the club to him. He caught it, but nearly dropped it as his whole body sagged. He could hardly hold it up with two hands, let alone one. “Wh... what the hell? Is this thing made of lead or something?”

Rolling her eyes, Myrin snorted. “Who cares? Look, the point is that it’s heavy. My test is simple. When you can wield that mallet one-handed, maybe perform some fancy sword maneuvers or whatever with it, then we can start dueling.” Taking a seat on a nearby flat rock, she took a long drink from her bottle and waved at Felix dismissively. “Alright. Go. Start.”

Straining with the mallet, Felix weighed it in one hand. He could hold it, but the idea of wielding it was quite daunting. Reaching down to his sword with his other hand, Felix intended to set it off to the side before he really began.

A loud, disapproving noise from Myrin stopped Felix. “Leave it.” Obviously considering her job done for the time being, she lay back and closed her eyes, sliding her hands under her head. “Wake me when you’re exhausted” she said sleepily.
No. 397482 ID: c6beb3

Do as she says, but be incredibly stubborn about it.

As in work yourself well past where you feel tired, past where you feel exhausted, and past where you feel ready to drop, because A) this is a matter of pride, B) this is training, and you need to be the best you can be if you want to survive a real fight, and C) you want to impress her.

So be a really stubborn dude, right now, and keep training with that club no matter what happens, even if you can't even feel your arm anymore.
No. 397483 ID: ed57e8

switch them up. otherwise you will become off balance as one arm gets stronger then the other. just keep working until YOU pass out.
No. 397493 ID: 8d1e60

Don't actually do anything with it, but put it on the ground, and just sit around for a while, maybe watch the clouds for a while. When Myrin wakes up, tell her you did actually train with it.
No. 397495 ID: ed57e8

i am willing to bet she will have a way to test us for lies
No. 397500 ID: 3947e9

>be incredibly stubborn about it.
That would be childish, you are above such childish behavior.
Besides, this isn't some boring poetry, this is combat training, the stuff you enjoy the most.
No. 397501 ID: b85f8c

Do as the lady says. Nothing more nothing less.
No. 397517 ID: e3f578

Lift it like a lop sided bell weight, or use it's weight against itself by swinging it around. Use momentum to carry it for you.
No. 397539 ID: 7d7f79

Economy of motion: A small twitch of the foot, a tiny pivot of the hip, a twist of the shoulders, and so on to add up to enough force to do something. Request a target that's adequately durable or disposable as well since you have to be ready for those blows that connect as well as the ones that go sailing through air and miss. Remember to take breaks to read.
No. 397564 ID: c2c011

Time to start building those muscles! Oh, and remember to stretch properly afterwards, don't want to get all stiff and stuff.

Also ask her for a full body training regimen later, don't want to just have freakishly large arms or something like that.
No. 397609 ID: 59322b

Just train until you're exhausted. Then go back to the shrine and pray for a bit.

Consider going to find Olivia after the prayer. Maybe we can have another garden walk with her.
No. 397890 ID: 332134

When you're done training, ask Myrin why she seems to be so critical of religion. Maybe you can find out more about her.
No. 397931 ID: 3947e9

Oh, and WHAT is she? (don't ask her that, tell us)
I was thinking she is wearing weird armor but her eyes say differently.
No. 398118 ID: 801747

There's a point at which exercise stops being helpful and starts just causing injury. I'd try to stop before that rather than after.

And on that note, exercising without something else to concentrate on can get really boring. If we're just trying to work out our right arm, we can use our left hand to read. Two birds with one stone, am I right?
No. 398123 ID: 673411

do you mean beyond this?

>Felix recognized her as one of the soldiers that had come out here with his father, one of the bug people he had hired for their strength of arms. Though she wore black, Felix noticed the colored favor shown proudly on her belt that marked her as a mercenary of Northgate

On topic, I vote to train until you can't keep your arms up.
No. 398153 ID: 332134


I'd also like to know more about Myrin's people than this. Is there more that Felix knows about the bugs?
No. 398574 ID: 832169
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Deciding it would be best it he just got to it, Felix began the slow and clumsy process of wielding the club. At first he felt like he was making no progress; his swings almost always threw him off balance and the sword at his side was doing nothing but getting in the way. After taking a quick break to stretch and think however, Felix began again with renewed purpose. Using the momentum of the hammer to his advantage, he gave up trying to think of the club as a sword and started getting used to the weight itself. Every now and then he switched hands, bringing the club through a series of slow, deliberate movements. Within the first half hour he could already feel his muscles aching a bit, but he pressed on, determined to not seem weak again in front of Myrin.

The thought of his bodyguard made him look over his shoulder at her prone form. Her eyes were closed, but Felix was somehow sure that she was wide awake, listening to everything that went on. It occurred to him that he didn’t know much about the origins of Myrin’s people. His father, when Myrin’s people had showed up in Northgate as refugees, called them bugs. Felix remembered asking if they thought that was racist or offensive, but the Baron had just shrugged and said that was what they told humans to call their species. Felix knew that the bugs were excellent warriors, and that they were generally a bit stronger than humans, but now that he really thought about it he knew little else. He wasn’t even sure the exact reasons they had fled their own native country, just hearing that there had been a political upheaval in their land.

It was nearly two hours later that Myrin finally got up again. Sitting up and stretching languidly, she smiled to herself for a moment before speaking. “Wow, it feels great out here. Best napping conditions I’ve ever felt.” She looked Felix over as he continued to go through his motions, sweat trickling down his face. He got the feeling she was judging his progress. “You can stop now. You might hurt yourself if you go on too long.”

Gratefully, Felix dropped the club to the ground with a thud. Putting his hands on his knees, he took some slow and deep breaths. His arms felt like they were on fire. “So... we continue doing this tomorrow?” Felix asked, trying not to sound tired.

The smile that Myrin gave back was the most genuine he’d seen so far, though she still had that lightly mocking edge to her voice. “That’s the plan. Tomorrow you’re gonna carry that with you as we take a little jog through the woods. It’d be kind of silly if we made you do the exact same thing every day.” Slapping him on the shoulder hard enough to make Felix wince, Myrin laughed heartily. “Don’t worry, you did fine for your first day. Honestly Blondie, I was expecting to hear nothing but whining from you, being a spoiled noble and all. But, I guess your father has faith in you for a reason.”

Not sure if he should be offended or not, Felix nodded. “Thank you. I take all of my training seriously” he responded simply.

Seeming satisfied with his answer, Myrin led the way back to the shrine, leaving Felix to heft the club and follow behind her. “So, are you really going to pray?” Myrin asked suddenly, a touch of incredulous disbelief in her voice. “To the shrine, that is.”

“Yeah. For a little while, at least. I mean, I guess I am technically here for a religious experience after all.” Felix was surprised to see Myrin snort and look away, a frown of disappointment crossing her face. “Is there something wrong with that?”

“I guess I just don’t see much of a point to praying.” She considered further for a moment, as if deciding how to phrase her concerns properly. “I don’t like the idea that I have to beg someone more powerful than me to get things done.”

Deciding to leave it at that, Felix shrugged, and nearly groaned at how sore his muscles were now that they had a moment to rest. “I can understand that. I’ve never given religion much thought in the past myself. I prefer to make things happen.”

“Yes, your father mentioned that about you once.” There was a noticeable touch of approval in Myrin’s voice that surprised Felix. It was possibly more than she intended, because she quickly scowled as she continued. “Of course, he also mentioned how you were a little too clever for your own good. Let me tell you Blondie, I hate clever people.”

“Then I’ll just never be clever.” Felix said, in a voice he hope sounded sincere.

Myrin actually stopped and narrowed her eyes at Felix for a minute over her shoulder, but seeing his blank and innocent expression, continued walking inside the shrine. “Well, while you’re praying, I’ll be setting up my room in the shrine. And drinking. Just yell if someone tries to stick a knife in you.” With a casual wave, she broke away from Felix and walked off down the hallways towards the shrine’s other bedroom.
No. 398575 ID: 832169
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Approaching the statue in the main area of the shrine, Felix gratefully flopped down, finally giving his legs a chance to rest. There was a few minutes as he just sat there, staring forward and giving his body and mind time to wind down. It was only then that he realized he didn’t know how exactly he was going to pray. Whenever he’d be forced to go to religious services in the past, he had mostly just recited the prayers by memory while his mind wandered. There had been one time where he had prayed sincerely, but that had been near the end of his first week of survival training, when he’d been so hungry he could hardly think. Even then he had just prayed for food and to stop being cold for a few minutes, he had never really prayed for guidance or anything like that. Religion was just something that he never consciously thought of.

Nearly a quarter of an hour passed as Felix remained motionless, looking up at the statue in front of him with a blank expression as he thought about how best to proceed. Cassandra had said just making a prayer and focusing on it was all there was to it, but Felix was just conflicted on what to pray for in the first place.
No. 398581 ID: c4a1fc

Pray for shrinewife.
No. 398583 ID: c6beb3

Just kinda think it for a bit, more meditate than give into this hokey shrine nonsense, Myrin's right, and in a sense, you're right too, it's better to make things happen yourself than beg a higher power to do it.

Sure, you're here for a religious experience, but when people say that, they really mean enlightenment. You're here to discover who you really are, and if you're heart's not in this in the first place? Maybe praying at the shrine is not for you.

So yeah, meditate, spend enough time to where you won't appear rude, and then head on out. Little too soon to check back on Myrin though, don't want to be a creepy stalker.
No. 398584 ID: 96e0ea

You don't have to pray. You can mediate or use the time for a half hour sitting nap.
No. 398592 ID: 332134

If you're going to pray for anything, just ask for guidance. Besides that, just quiet your mind and meditate.
No. 398594 ID: bdb3f8

Praying is easy. You don't even have to ask for stuff if there's nothing you want. Most higher powers don't like it when people treat them as magical wish granters anyway, whether they are gods, kings, judges, or teachers. Praying is just like talking to someone you can't see.

Here's what you do. Greet whatever spirits or deities might be listening. Thank them for allowing you to stay there. Ask for wisdom. It is low impact, general purpose, and you can never have too much.
No. 398600 ID: b85f8c

Pray for a happy marriage.
No. 398602 ID: 3ce5b2

Well, we seem the patriotic and honorable sort. Pray for the wisdom to best help our country in this position of ours. Or just, "wisdom" in general, maybe.
No. 398644 ID: ed57e8

pry for help getting bianca in the sack.
No. 398653 ID: c2c011

Pray for the wisdom to live uo to your families expectations and to be able to do your duty. Pray for their saftey back home. You know, regular stuff.
No. 398669 ID: 16da88

praying is a form of meditation. just clear your mind. get your thoughts in order.

...maybe pray for your harem to get even bigger.
No. 398678 ID: 832169
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It was some minutes before Felix did anything at all. To clear his mind at times like this, Felix would always think of snow. Just as snow would cover the countryside, leaving the world a blank canvas, he imagined that same white powder slowly covering his thoughts. Soon his mind was unhampered, and even the pain in his arms seemed to fade as he gave himself over to the contemplation of nothing.

After about a half hour of this peaceful quiet, Felix finally opened his eyes and allowed thoughts to flow back into his mind. Feeling a bit more clear-headed, Felix reconsidered the prayer he would give to the shrine. There was a moment where he considered praying aloud, but he would feel quite embarrassed if someone happened to walk in on him.

Clasping his hands together, Felix began by greeting any spirits or gods that were around. He wondered if he should also pray to nature, but then decided that was stupid. It would be like praying to gravity, he couldn’t see the point. He thanked whoever was listening for letting him stay in this shrine, and asked for guidance and wisdom to deal with his upcoming ordeals. Remembering Bianca and how cold she’d been towards him since he got here, he also wryly prayed for help with his marriage and Bianca.

Not sure if there was much else he had to do, Felix hesitated once his makeshift prayer had finished. He felt a bit better now that he’d been able to think about things. Maybe that was why Cassandra had recommended he do this, because it was good to give the mind time to unwind. Before he could contemplate further, a strange blue light finally caught his attention. Before his eyes, a suggestion of flickering blue flames started to appear slowly out of thin air, reminding him of Camilla from earlier. These flames became more and more solid until they made a circle on the ground, and a tongue of blue flame rose up like a snake from the center, slowly taking form. Felix was tempted to back away from the flames, but felt no real danger from these curious flames. Indeed when he hesitantly reached out and touched them, they felt strangely cool, like freshly dug earth. There was also a sudden pervasive smell in the room, like tobacco smoke mixed in with a bit of mud.

All at once the tongue of blue flame disappeared, leaving a huge and smiling creature behind. It had what looked like a human torso, albeit about twice as big, but in place of legs there was an enormous tail that reminded Felix at first of a snake. On closer inspection however, he could see that she had no scales. The fleshy texture reminded Felix of a huge worm or eel, though she didn’t seem to be slimy, and he felt the urge to touch her and see what she felt like. It also occurred to Felix that she was staring right at him, expectantly. He cleared his throat. “Hello. I am Felix Northgate. May I ask your name?”

Taking a long, easy puff of her pipe before speaking, this woman seemed amused with what he had said. “Well, that’s a much nicer welcome than I was expecting. I guess humans aren’t so easily spooked, huh?”

Felix shook his head, and felt himself saying the truth almost against his will. “Oh, I’m a bit spooked right now, don’t worry.”

Rather than being offended, the woman chuckled to herself in obvious amusement. “It’s to be expected. You’re taking it much better than many who have seen me for the first time, if it’s any comfort. By the way, my name is Anne. I am the spirit of this shrine, and of the lands around the manor. I’m pleased to meet you, Felix.” Settling herself down a bit, so that Felix didn’t have to crane his neck up quite so much, she took another long drag from her pipe. “So, you wanted some wisdom and guidance. That’s a service I can offer in abundance. I like to talk after all, and you look like you need someone to talk with. We could even discuss the problems you’re having with your little lady if you’d like. Don’t worry, whatever we talk about will be our little secret.”

Felix felt his face redden. While he was very grateful for the offer of someone to talk to, suddenly he felt at a bit of a disadvantage. Anne was looking at him with a gentle smile on her face, as if saying she’d listen to whatever he had to say.
No. 398689 ID: c6beb3

Talk to her about Myrin, if she has any advice for how to approach her. Tell her you like Myrin, but she somewhat worries you, as she seems to keep to herself a lot and seems to have quite the drinking problem. Tell her you don't want to just barge in and tell her to stop drinking or otherwise try to "Fix" her or anything immediately, or even at all, just talk about how she thinks you should deal with her.

Tell her you're dead set on her being a friend though, and maybe more than a friend if it's possible.
No. 398690 ID: ed57e8

being able to appear like that speaks of power. and if she has been around here for a long time she would know a lot of things.
if you aren,t sure just talk about something less important then your marriage, like how to deal with people like Deluca, who want to make you a fool.
No. 398694 ID: c2c011

Guess we could start by asking stuff about elven marriages and how they usually turn out, see if she has any pointers. As well as how to tackle druids and possible assassins sent by courtiers or stuff like that.

Oh, and it would probably be considered rude to stare at her breasts in the hope of getting a peek through that very open robe. Yeah lets not do that.
No. 398702 ID: 3ce5b2

Oh lawdy.

Ask her how to get the harem ending I actually can't think of anything to ask that wasn't covered here, so seconding that.
No. 398707 ID: f46964

Ask her more about herself. Are spirits like her common here?
No. 398709 ID: b85f8c

Ask if mistresses/consorts are a thing that happens around here. It would be awfully convenient for most arranged marriages... and it would mean we wouldn't have to worry so much about Bianca's happiness, or ours.
No. 398717 ID: 16da88

I bet she's really wise. because she smokes a pipe. you pretty much have to be super old and wise to smoke a pipe.

I'm thinking ask about her. what is Anne? I thought we were praying to gods, not skimpily-clad mammalian blue flame nagas.
No. 398718 ID: 6e44d2

Ask about how to become a better warrior as well, and what skills make a leader.
No. 398733 ID: 049dfa

Ask if you can touch her.

I bet she is squishy.
No. 398735 ID: b0d466

Ask for help with connecting with Bianca. You aren't really sure, well, how to act around her, frankly.
No. 398741 ID: ef8860


This but stare at her tits when she's not looking
No. 398745 ID: 252e1b


"Since I have your confidence, I will ask about Bianca. I understand it will take time for her to warm to me. I accept that. The two years I'm to spend meditating here will give us time to get used to each other. But what I worry about most is that I'll accidentally do something she finds unforgivably stupid or insensitive or offensive, and that I'll accidentally poison things to the point that the entire relationship is forever soured."

"So what I am asking, I suppose, is for advice on what not to do. What is too taboo to bring up ever? What are the social and cultural pitfalls that, as an outsider, I may not recognize?"
No. 398831 ID: 332134

Asking about Bianca is a good idea. Anne probably knows a lot about her. Also, compliment Anne on her beautiful skin and looks.
No. 398839 ID: c6ec33

If you feel like you're at a disadvantage, you should figure out by how much. Ask some basic questions about HER first:
- Does she know everything about the people in the area, including you, or will you have to explain things in detail? Or does she find things out on her own over time?
- Since you've never been a very religious person, kindly ask about what exactly she is, as a spirit. You've already met a ghost, but those seem totally different. Did she used to be alive, or was she always this way? How common are spirits, and especially those who would aid human? Is there a special thing you should do to summon her? Are there time limits on how long you can talk?
- Thank her for being willing to help you, and ask if there are any restrictions on when she'd like to be summoned. Ask her if she only gives advice, or if she would enjoy just chatting from time to time. Point out that you would *enjoy* simply chatting with her sometimes, as you think it would be rude to only talk to her when you needed help.
- Ask her all of your other important questions about Bianca/Shumai/Camilla/Myrin/the Gentry/etc.
- Finish it up by thanking her again, and commenting that while you were originally a little spooked, you feel a lot better now, and appreciated the help.
- If you feel extra brave, complement her on her aesthetically pleasing shape~
No. 399157 ID: 7d7f79

Very basics:
"To be honest I'm totally unprepared for this. I've never previously had anything I'd consider a serious religious experience and I'm at a loss for protocol. If I may I'd like to know what your purpose is, and what is fair return for your information and favours. I'd like to have a friendly relationship where we're both glad to see the other but I don't know much about what you like or don't, or what our common ground is... besides apparently that you also respect courage and politeness.
"As far as information and advice I know I could use goes, that's actually a pretty long list. I am certainly curious about you, and I know I could use a great deal of information and advice about the D'Amuri family, elven society in general, my current and future enemies, and how I can best make use of my time here. I'm also sure there are things I need to know that I'm unaware of as well."
No. 400054 ID: b09357

This was expected.

Along with the other stuff, ask if all shrines around here have spirits.
No. 401888 ID: 832169
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“Actually, I’d like to ask you a few questions about yourself first, if that’s alright. I’ve never met a spirit before, for one. Maybe you can tell me a little more about what exactly you are?” Reviewing the last few words in his head, he added a bit sheepishly, “I’m sorry if my questions come out sounding rude. There’s no malice meant.”

Seeming not to be bothered in the least, Anne let out a slow trail of smoke rings into the air before responding. “I won’t be offended if you intend no offense, I promise. I’m quite good at sensing people’s motives. To best answer your question, I would say that I am an elemental. An anthropomorphic personification of the surrounding landscape’s soul. There are certain places in the world where my kind occur naturally, like in volcanoes or far up north, but they’re usually not very concerned with the rest of the world at all. Spirits such as myself are formed at shrines like this all over Estronel through the use of powerful druidic rituals, usually so the locals can offer prayers and sacrifices directly to the land. We accept the prayers and give boons unto the populace.”

Finding the idea fascinating, Felix probed for more details. “So, before this ritual you weren’t alive? How does that work?”

With a smile, Anne began to uncoil herself a bit, and Felix got the impression that she was making herself comfortable. “Of course I was alive. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I wasn’t sentient before the ritual. Everything on this planet has a soul, though the soul of a human, animal and plant are all vastly different. Even the earth itself is a living thing, and as such has a soul too. What the ritual basically did was take a portion of the planet’s soul and build a body for it to live in and reshape.”

Leaning back on his hands, Felix’s mulled over this strange information about spirits. It would be like if, in church, the priest just brought out an angel and let the congregation ask it questions. Of course this was different, there being no actual divine being above Anne, but it was still true that there was a physical apparition here that represented what the people prayed to. It would probably be a great comfort to have that kind of certainty in one’s religion. “Are all spirits as friendly towards humans as you are?”

“It depends. We vary widely in form and attitude, so it’d be no surprise to me if there’s some that hate humans. I think that most who hate humans probably hate elves as well though. I’ll wager that most local spirits like myself will respond well as long as you offer them a sincere prayer however.” Anne leaned forward while she spoke, leaning her elbow against her sprawling tail and her hand against her face. “Well? Do you want to ask me about Bianca yet?”

Figuring that it might be nice to talk with someone about his relationship issues, Felix relented under Anne’s persistent gaze. There was such an understanding look in her eyes that he found himself speaking before he could stop himself. “Sure. I’d like that a lot. Well, I suppose you know about our engagement.” Seeing her nod as she drew in deeply on her pipe, he went on, “I just don’t really know how to connect with her. I seem to be getting along just fine with Olivia and Cassandra, but I can’t make any headway with Bianca at all. I don’t really know what to do around her.”

“Well I’ll tell you one thing, be prepared to not make any headway with that girl for a while. Bianca’s so like her father sometimes. She’s always been a bit too headstrong. Politics and the reconstruction of the D’Amuri name are what most concern her. Even if you were an elf, I assure you that she would be acting the same way. There have been a number of young men coming to call for Bianca’s affection in the past, and every time she has rebuked them. She is a true classical elven noblewoman, not much concerned with certain earthly desires. Therefore, my advice to you is to be patient. Continue to prove your mettle and worth to her. She is practical if nothing else, and I am sure if you continue to prove yourself that she will warm to you over time.” Anne gave Felix a sympathetic look as she finished, as if apologizing for delivering the bad news.

Thinking back to the list of terribly boring sounding books, Felix nodded glumly. “I see. I guess it’s good I’m here two years, isn’t it?”

“Well, a couple not quite getting along at first isn’t all that uncommon. That’s one of the reasons that the fiancee lives with his potential bride a year before an arranged marriage around here, to get better acquainted with one another. It’s like you just have twice the amount of time to try working with Bianca, if you think about it.”

Letting out a long sigh, Felix took a long minute to think before asking his next question. “What is elven society’s stance on... consorts? If I can’t make her happy... maybe that’s a route we should consider.” He really didn’t want to think about such things, but if the worst happened it might help to make their marriage more bearable.

Anne laughed out loud, probably at the expression on Felix’s face. “Yes, elven society does have consorts. A married couple can agree to take on a consort, though there’s a whole series of rules for that as well. Somehow, I don’t think Bianca would want one.”
No. 401889 ID: 832169
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Deciding it would be best to change the subject, Felix was about to bring up Myrin when he caught a glimpse of Anne’s tail. He stared at it as it undulated slowly, and once again he found himself wanting to touch it and feel the texture.

“You can touch it if you want.” Anne said with a smile, extending the end of her tail slowly towards Felix. “You don’t have to be so shy around me, Felix. We’re friends. You just have to ask.”

There was a moment where Felix was going to turn down her offer, but his curiosity got the better of him as he reached out and touched her gently. He was surprised that her skin felt like cool freshly dug earth, but also slightly spongy like real flesh. After a few pokes he ran his hand down the side of her tail, still intrigued at the texture. She was so smooth, like a worn stone in a river.

“I take it you approve” Anne commented lazily, smiling down at Felix.

Without even thinking, he responded. “Yeah. You’re quite lovely.” After another long stroke, he seemed to realize what he said and dropped his hands into his lap. “Well, what I meant was...”

With a long shushing noise, Anne silenced Felix. “Felix. A lady never dislikes a compliment like that. Thank you.” He could see that she looked genuinely pleased.
No. 401891 ID: 832169
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Once again Felix found himself changing the subject. “Well, if I want to speak with you in the future, is there anything I should do to summon you quicker? It took awhile for you to appear this time.”

“Next time, just think of me and say a little prayer. I’ll be able to come right away. My advice has always been highly prized.”

“What if I just wanted to summon you and talk? Would you have any problem with that?” Felix asked hopefully. He found that he enjoyed talking with Anne.

The question seemed to both entertain and slightly confuse Anne. “Of course. I’d like that. Nobody really ever stops by just to speak with me anymore.”

“Well as long as I’m staying here, we should probably get to know each other better. It makes sense to me.” Felix grinned and tried to push himself onto his feet. When his hands touched the ground however, Felix winced as pain throbbed through his arms.

A hand came out and gently gripped Felix’s right cheek. Anne slowly turned his face up to meet hers, and for just a moment Felix thought she was going to kiss him. “You’ve helped me today. It’s only fair I help you too” Anne stated, and before he could argue she drew in a huge lungful of smoke and blew it directly in his face.

Tensing, Felix was sure he was going to cough up a storm. He had never liked tobacco smoke at all. He was quite confused, therefore, when he didn’t even feel a slight twinge in his lungs. Instead, there was a sweet scent that made Felix eagerly breathe in until his lungs were full. As he held the breath in, the pain in his muscles seemed to just melt away, and when he finally breathed out he felt like he just woke up from a long rest. While his muscles were still sore, it was the ache that came after a night of rest. Already it was much easier to move his arms. “Wow... that’s amazing! Thank you, Anne!”

She seemed pleased to see him happy. “Of course.” Felix could notice that Anne’s eyelids were starting to droop a bit, and she yawned loudly. “Like I said, you helped me and I helped you. It was nothing more.”
No. 401903 ID: bdb3f8

"...yes, you did say that, but I am a little confused. What did I do to help you?"
No. 401907 ID: b0d466

Ask Anne if she's tired, we don't want to overstay our welcome.

If she's NOT tired...!
>I don't see how I've helped! Mind explaining?
>Tell us about the surrounding lands!
No. 401912 ID: 35b553


Ok, thank her for her time and promise you will chat with her again soon.
No. 401916 ID: ed57e8

we helped her by giving her someone to talk to. to just talk.
No. 401918 ID: 6e44d2

Yeah, let her get her rest. The questions can wait until next we speak.
No. 401940 ID: 70591e

I'm really glad I'm not something like Anne. she must be really, really lonely.
No. 401942 ID: c3ec0a


Why does Anne have short hair. Aren't spirits supposed to let it grow?
No. 401958 ID: 5bf190

I think you helped by cheering up the ghost lady. Anne probably has to put up with her a lot and is happy to have her in bearable mood.

Let her have her rest and bow out respectfully.
No. 401959 ID: ed57e8

it's probably representative of something.
No. 401966 ID: 332134


This. Also, go up to the house so you can try to find Olivia.
No. 402020 ID: 7d7f79

"You've already given me a fair bit to think about. I suppose I'll have to ask you what other help you need or want next time. Thank you again, I'll speak to you later."
No. 402074 ID: b4f77d

I think this is the case. Maybe this would be a time to go the library, or maybe meet up with Olivia.
No. 402075 ID: ed57e8

don't actually look for anyone, just wander until someone come to you.
No. 415811 ID: 046f13
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Unsure what Anne meant with her remark, Felix inquires about it. “Not that I’m complaining, but how did I help you anyhow? I haven’t done anything but speak with you.”

Stifling another yawn, Anne smiled at Felix. “That’s what you did that I’m thanking you for. Like I said, I don’t get many who just want to come and have a conversation with me. Trust me, it’s a fair exchange.” Closing her eyes, Anne took one last drag on her pipe before laying back and fading away into blue flame. “Until next time.”

Felix took a few moments to think about Anne before doing anything else. There was something sad about her situation here, living in a haunted shrine with nobody to come and talk to her. He supposed that was probably the job of the resident druid back in the day, before Camilla’s untimely death. Finally standing up, he decided to leave the shrine for a bit and head towards the house. Perhaps he’d see Olivia and they could have another talk, or maybe even Bianca if he was lucky.
No. 415812 ID: 046f13
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Entering the house, Felix began to search the first floor for a familiar face. Finding nobody but a few servants going about their chores, he decided to move up to the second floor and see if anyone was in the library. It was when he got to the second floor landing that his plan abruptly changed. There was a faint scream of anger from down one of the halls, which had obviously come from Olivia. Against his better judgement, he walked down the hall a bit and towards her voice. Down the hall Felix could make out her door, cracked open and allowing a slight view into the room.

“I just don’t see why you continue to lie to my face. Haven’t I been shamed enough?!” Olivia’s voice yelled, and Felix was sure she was close to tears. “Just put me in a different room! I don’t care at this point!”

An elf who Felix could only assume was Olivia’s husband spoke smoothly and with a touch of guilt. “Please, I assure you that the manor is in no fit state for a lady, let alone my own wife. Be patient a bit longer, my dove. We will not let this continue any longer than we have to.”

Laughing derisively, Olivia stood up and started to pace the room by the sound of it. “Oh yes, I’ve heard that before. If that were in the least bit true then I would be living there now, Antony. I’m starting to wonder if you just have a perverse pleasure of coming here and telling me it’ll be ‘just a bit longer’.”

A third voice, also male, joined in. It was drawling, and obviously held little respect for Olivia. “Trust me, there is no pleasure to our coming here. Maybe if you would have bothered to clean yourself up a bit for your husband...”

“And WHY is he here? Or even present for this discussion?!” Olivia’s fury sounded near breaking point, and Felix was shocked that this was even the same woman he had been walking with yesterday.

Antony spoke sharply to the unseen third voice. “Please, calm yourself. My wife is correct, if you cannot keep a civil tongue I will ask you to leave.”

Felix stood rooted to the spot. He could somewhat see Olivia’s face through the crack, and he couldn’t tell if she was going to scream more or cry.

Apologies for the long hiatus. Updates should resume at a semi-reasonable rate
No. 415817 ID: 132b99

you can ether stay out the way or burst in and angle yourself so only she can see one of your eyes and say like "olivia your father wants to see you" and wink. will give her a reason to leave.
No. 415821 ID: cf49fc

Be on your guard for any signs of a physical altercation. At the occurrence of such, burst through the bloody wall like the Koolaid Man. Elsewise, remain outside, ready to assist her. Even if she's married to a despicable bastard who deserves to be fed to the Gentry, we cannot interfere in another man's marriage at such a politically fragile time. All we can do at this time is offer her our friendship and protection in private.

If he actually hurts her, on the other hand, we can challenge the fucker to a duel.
No. 415827 ID: e3f578

I say we back off before we're accused of rudely eavesdropping
No. 415828 ID: 885ee8

I am glad your finals are over and you are feeling better.
Not your business not your business not your business. You don't want to be caught eavesdropping, especially when this third guy sounds like he's about to leave the room. Keep walking.
No. 415841 ID: 2eb483

I think Olivia would appreciate a way out. The library is also on this floor, so why not go there, open and close the door loudly so they hear it, and then walk over to ask Olivia about books or where Bianca is. In other words, make it seem like you just got through doing some book work of some kind and just happened to stop by and see how Olivia was doing.
No. 415953 ID: a13968


Both of these guys have decent ideas. Do something loud, then tell Olivia that her father wanted to see her earlier.
No. 415955 ID: 801747

I don't think he should lie about her father wanting to see her... there are too many ways that could fall through. We don't know for certain if he's actually here, for example.

Coming by to ask a question might work, as long as you're appropriately polite about interrupting. However, even then I'd worry about it looking bad for Felix or the D'Amuri family when he comes bumbling in.
No. 415964 ID: 699da6

stay outside. wait for her to leave, then ask her if she's okay as if you'd just arrived.
No. 416139 ID: d9e53d

This seems a good idea, but just say that you couldn't find anyone else in the house.
No. 416179 ID: 1444d5

Don't interrupt, and above all don't be seen by Olivia's husband/other guy. In the world of court politics, he would likely assume you would use any information you may have gained as blackmail material, and that this was your intention all along. The elven nobility is already divided about your presence, having a family with a grudge against you would not be a good thing. Better to err on the side of caution and back off until Olivia has left. Then explain to her what you overheard.
No. 416289 ID: 5c94e7

Don't bother them, don't go in, don't be a target, don't be connected.
Look for a good spot to listen in from. Are there any other doors in the hallway next door that room, or maybe some plain doorways that probably represent broom closets? The walls are thin, and you could probably be a good bit further down the hall and still hear them clearly.
If at all possible, you need to not be seen at all by anyone in that room once they leave. If that means quietly running for it, so be it.

Look around for ninja, and remember to check the ceiling.

Are those sliding doors? They look like it.
No. 416292 ID: 71d68e

Agreed that getting involved right now'd be a bad idea. Too easy to make the situation worse.
No. 416662 ID: c6ec33

Sounds like a conspiracy! Stay stealthy, and listen from more of a distance.~
No. 473450 ID: 28ea8b
File 135351536941.jpg - (170.24KB , 800x478 , 1259897-QUSV1HP.jpg )

After a brief moment of consideration, Felix quietly stepped back from the door and made his way back towards the stairs. While he felt a pang of guilt for leaving Olivia in such a displeased state, their quarrel had nothing to do with him. Stepping in with no knowledge of the situation could not only make himself look foolish, but also change Olivia’s apparently positive opinion of him as well. Antony had obviously upset her in some way, but Felix didn’t get the impression that the elf was going to get violent.

Deciding that he might use this time to get some light reading out of the way, Felix turned at the last minute and swung open the surprisingly quiet door to the library. He let out a sigh of relief as he saw that the room was blissfully empty and silent, and took his time perusing the shelves before selecting a book about the history of the elven royal lineage. Felix had only ever been told the very basics of information regarding the elven kingdom, like the fact that it was older than the human empire by at least five hundred years or so. Figuring it was time he knew a bit more than that, he sat down and began to read.

Though the book was certainly engaging at first, the subject quickly grew tiring. Political intrigue was obviously much less common amongst elves. Every ruler over the past four hundred years had given the crown over to his or her first born, and there was apparently never an issue with the line of succession. While good for the kingdom, this made for a very dull piece of literature.
No. 473451 ID: 28ea8b
File 135351540337.jpg - (89.50KB , 800x658 , 1259898-SYFWYBE.jpg )

Putting the book back on top of the pile and standing up, Felix stretched wide and groaned as his back cracked. Moving to the door, he opened it to find a much darker corridor waiting for him. Thankfully, Olivia’s door was shut and he could hear nobody else in the house moving about or speaking. Nothing even seemed to make much of a noise as Felix left the house, sighing as a cool breeze hit his face.

The simple joy of that moment didn’t last long. As Felix approached the shrine, a huge figure came suddenly out of the darkness to his right. There was absolutely no warning; he seemed to appear out of thin air, moving as quiet as a ghost. Felix was able to identify his assailant as Deacon, but before he could cry out or even run the larger elf had seized him by the throat. He drove Felix backwards and pinned him against a tree with his elbow, giving Felix just enough slack to breathe.

With his free hand, Deacon drew a knife from his belt. “I told you to leave yesterday. I thought I was quite cordial, but obviously you humans need to have things explained physically. You are not wanted in this land.”

Hey I guess I pretty much told a complete lie at the end of the last post. Sorry.
No. 473454 ID: bf54a8

"i told him what you told me if i'm not here you will be the first suspect"
No. 473488 ID: cf49fc

We love you too much to be upset

Hmmmm. Kick this asshole in the nads. Literally every other sentient being (aside from your blushing bride) in the local region has informed you that they like you and enjoy your company in one way or another. If there's a problem here, it's with this guy and his unkicked nads.

If that doesn't work, try praying to Anne. See a nazi druid try to talk his way out of strangling an elemental spirit's friend.
No. 473502 ID: deaff4

inform him of the amount of shits you give about that statement. zero. then apply liberal amounts of force on his person until he backs the fuck off.
No. 473503 ID: e3f578

Ask him if he thinks this is really within his power. The elves recognize the threat your enemies pose between the two races, why the fuck doesn't he realize that? This is the only way for the elves and humans to work together for the war that's coming. This is bigger than his little broken heart. This is your fucking duty.
Your sorry that you and your fiance don't get to find the one's they want to be with forever but that's how the world works sometimes. He can't fucking change it. Would he rather his crush die to the Gentry in an assault? Because you sure don't, and this is the only way to protect everyone we can think of.

Point is, unless he's a brilliant tactician the likes of which no one has ever seen, killing you will likely kill everyone he knows and loves. You and your fiance are the only tethers that can hold this alliance together this easily.
No. 473520 ID: 2f4b71

Stay silent. If he was just going to kill you with no warning, he would have stabbed you already. He sounds like the 'needs a reason' type, and if you say nothing all he can do is talk himself out of it.
No. 473522 ID: c33f8f

Remember what Lord D’Amuri said, Deacon is a man of honor so you should ask him is it common among druids to sneak up on other people like a thief or a murderer?

Whatever you do don't make any hostile moves against the man who has a knife ready to gut us.
No. 473612 ID: 1e9d01

I agree with this line of thinking. Use what we learned about him against him, and don't make a move against someone who got the drop on you. Not unless you're a huge badass, and honestly I think you've shown that you aren't one.
No. 474440 ID: 30b249

Go ahead and talk for now. As soon as he puts that knife away get him.
No. 475053 ID: 87d89c

Call for Myrin! She's your bodyguard!
No. 475595 ID: 3fcc04

Seriously, this guy keeps coming back to haunt us, but he's a druid and that implies things about him. I have an idea, someone else please troubleshoot it and check my wording for problems:

"The king himself gave me permission to be in this land so either you're mistaken about me not being welcome in this land or at least one of you two is lying.
"If you were to tell me that it is the king who lied then this possibility needs to be investigated, because politicians are generally more known for such duplicity than druids.
"If, on the other hand, it is you who are telling the lie about me not being welcome here then you should reconsider your actions. Sneaking up on someone with a knife is a very dishonourable action and even if you succeeded in murdering me like an assassin this would stain your honour. I also don't imagine that the murder of a foreign dignitary that was welcomed as a guest by the king would be good for you either; it would be cause for a war that neither of our peoples can afford in the face of the Gentry.
"However, my grasp of the full subtleties and complexities of elven law and tradition is not perfect. It could be that this analysis of our situation here is mistaken or lacking something important, and even if it isn't this is still a serious and difficult problem for both of us. So I have an idea for how to deal with it that you, as a druid, may appreciate. I propose we take this matter to the spirit at the shrine so that perhaps we can figure out who is lying and what should be done about it."
No. 475608 ID: 524925

Man he'd probably stick him through halfway into that monologue. Mans an extremist, so don't test him.
No. 476029 ID: f9efe5

so basically, shorten it to
"you harm me, you become a Fugitive. you kill me, there's a good chance you start a war."
No. 476052 ID: 2f4b71

>You are not wanted in this land.
"The King of this land, the Lord of this manor, and every one of it's inhabitants, have all personally welcomed me. Why do you claim I am not wanted?".
No. 480226 ID: 28ea8b
File 135615892929.jpg - (90.06KB , 800x658 , 1303588-Z0TL45V.jpg )

Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Felix took a moment to gather his thoughts. He was surprised when his voice came out calm and even. "What are you doing, Deacon? What do you think this is going to solve? Lord D'Amuri told me that you were honorable, you have to understand why I can't leave."

"All this talk of an alliance I assume" Deacon shot back with a sneer. "We don't need you humans. We have been a proud nation far longer than your people have. We have weathered worse in the past, and we do not need you in the future. The Gentry haven't even declared war upon us yet, only you humans. Why should anything to do with you concern us?!"

The sheer self-importance of that statement made Felix scowl back. "Are you at all qualified to make that decision for your nation? Lord D'Amuri tells me that you're not even allowed near the palace. Furthermore, I'm pretty damn sure you're not going to kill me. If my father didn't personally kill you himself, from what I understand your nation would if only to stop open conflict." Deacon's eyes widened, but he didn't seem to have a response for the outburst. Feeling the grip on his neck slacken slightly, Felix felt a strange sense of pity for the larger elf. He looked lost, and Felix got the very distinct impression that he hadn't thought this encounter through very well. "Look, I'm sorry about all this. I sometimes wish that things were different too, but we have to play the hand the fate has dealt us. I'm sure that Bianca..."

Sudden pressure on his throat cut off Felix from talking further. "This has nothing to do with her" Deacon replied suddenly, his eyes burning with anger again. "If you don't leave this land..."

Managing to pry the arm away from his throat with one heave, Felix shouted back. "Well, I'm not going to leave! I'm going to stay and marry into this family. You had better just gut me right now if that's going to be an issue." With his eyes firmly locked onto Deacon's, Felix stood silent. He could very distinctly feel the point of the knife against his stomach, but tried to ignore the sensation.

There was a long pause. Finally, with a sigh, Deacon lowered the knife and stepped back. "Very well. I will..."
No. 480227 ID: 28ea8b
File 135615895027.jpg - (90.21KB , 800x658 , 1303589-CRSQQG5.jpg )

Felix caught Deacon completely off guard. Stepping forward swiftly, Felix grabbed the larger elf by each shoulder and drove a knee into his groin. While Deacon stumbled back, groaning in intense pain, Felix reached down into his boot and pulled out the dagger within. "And do not touch me again."

It took a good ten seconds or so for Deacon to respond. Finally, he took a deep breath and looked Felix in the eye. "All things considered, I suppose this is fair. I will depart, even though everything within me is telling me to do otherwise." Lifting the knife, Deacon let Felix inspect the fine craftsmanship before tossing it casually into the soil between them, blade-first. "I won't come back here to harass you again. In fact, I will stay away from their land entirely. You can feel free to wander these woods without fear of attack. I wouldn't want Lord D'Amuri to get too concerned. As long as you continue doing what your honor commands of you I shall not interfere. If you step out of line however you will answer to me. You may keep the dagger. I have many more."

Felix stooped down and picked the blade up. It had a very reassuring weight to it, and felt quite natural in his hands. He didn't know what to say, so he said the first thing on his mind to fill the awkward silence. "Thank you."

"Do not thank me. We are not, nor will ever be friends." Deacon turned and wandered off into the night air. The air around him seemed to blur as he quickly faded from sight. "If given the opportunity I will oppose this union and your presence in our land. By force if necessary."
No. 480228 ID: 28ea8b
File 135615898405.jpg - (104.32KB , 800x658 , 1303590-W707JKS.jpg )

Letting out a long sigh, Felix slid his own knife into his boot and inspected the one Deacon had just given him. The craftsmanship was quite good, and so for the moment he decided to keep it handy.

As Felix was standing around musing, a hail from the darkness brought him back to the present. An elf that looked about as old as Felix's father came within visible range. "Lord Northgate. My apologies, but I heard raised voices. Is everything alright?"
No. 480252 ID: d4ad1a

"Yes, my good man, I do believe everything is just fine."

Head back in, I guess. You tired yet, Felix?
No. 480278 ID: f0a931

So now this guard conveniently shows up as soon as the threat upon our life leaves? Awfully convenient. We know that a large amount of elves support your presence, at least publicly, but Deacon has also made it clear that there exist elves that don't... though no-one else has been quite so explicit about it.

So though there's no reason to expect any elf you meet to stab you in the back, recent events have definitely let you know that if your back is being stabbed, you need to be able to take care of yourself.

So for the guard, for now, a non-committal response should be fine. Though you ought to bring it up to Lord D'Amuri when it's convenient, for now the problem has been handled. And keep in mind, there's a reasonable chance there are those among D'Amuri's guard who also would rather not have you around. Druids may move like shadows, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the guards were intentionally looking the other way.
No. 480300 ID: 1f3ded


go meditate until you're sleepy.
No. 480323 ID: bf54a8

yes, for now you have no proof any guards are in cahoots, so just say "yeah, discussion got a little heated but we sorted it out"
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