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File 134258329601.jpg - (154.47KB , 800x600 , page2-1.jpg )
434071 No. 434071 ID: e1359e

We walked all night. It was tiring, but there is a certain hour when you stop being tired.

The sun rose, and the rain did not stop. We sang to take our minds off of the horror. It is not so bad with the three of us out here.
Expand all images
No. 434072 ID: e1359e
Audio moonlute.mp3 - (655.55KB )

If the clouds have come to hide
the sky from you-ou
Then the stars shall lie up-on
the grass

Your heart lies with the stars
upon the grass.

>"You are off-key, you idiot!" says Shan-ha.

"Can you, maybe, not raise your voice, Shan-ha...?" Shai-shai asks.

>"'Can you maybe not raise your voooiice Shan-ha?'" Shan-ha's tone is mocking of Shai-shai's. "It is all your fault that we are even out here. We could be back in our... warm beds."
No. 434073 ID: e1359e
File 134258338327.jpg - (121.33KB , 800x600 , page2-2.jpg )

There is a place ahead, alongside the tracks. It looks like there is someone there.
No. 434075 ID: 4a328b

Do not engage. Do not sing. Quietly evade the border guard.
No. 434081 ID: b94125

Walk in back of the building maybe he wont notice you, or maybe there is something useful you can take barrow.
No. 434083 ID: b33427

Clam up. Do not make noise or speak. Can you get off the tracks and walk around the building? In fact, is there a road nearby? It is slightly suspicious your group is walking on the tracks and not the road. You may even be trespassing walking here.
No. 434095 ID: e1359e
File 134258560120.jpg - (42.16KB , 800x600 , page2-3.jpg )

We quickly sneak around the back of the small place.
No. 434096 ID: e1359e
File 134258564582.jpg - (70.31KB , 800x600 , page2-4.jpg )

It is an open yard. Where we are, we can see a length of rope, a few things that look like hooks, and a rectangle thing with wheels on the bottom
No. 434097 ID: 99090a

...Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?
No. 434098 ID: 886a4d

Yup, we'd just have to be careful about actual trains. Loot everything.
No. 434099 ID: 9718f3

Murder the guard using the hooks and become railway bandits?

No? Okay.
No. 434100 ID: b33427

...No. Please, do tell. Though, if it's riding the rails on that thing, it certainly isn't the right size, or has the right wheels, for that.
No. 434108 ID: 4a328b

No. 434276 ID: f72f26

I support wagon plan.
No. 434431 ID: 493ead

Wagon Plan is Best Plan!
No. 434465 ID: b2112e

Use rope to tie a harness around Shan-ha, attach it to the cart with the hooks, and make her pull you around.

Or just grab the rope and hooks. Rope is always useful, and you can scare off hostiles by wielding the hooks as weapons. They wouldn't be very effective, but the thought of what you might do with them will creep people out.
No. 435026 ID: e1359e
File 134284456141.jpg - (96.06KB , 800x600 , page2-5.jpg )


This plan is dumb! The object is not very big!
No. 435043 ID: 6e44d2

Okay, yeah, just take the rope and hooks.
No. 435131 ID: 58a693

Yeah, that's all stuff for hauling ice. Taking rope and hooks is a good idea though.

Can you see in any of the windows around the back of the structure? Are there more guards/people? You are going to have to find shelter eventually, although I think this is probably too close a place to stop.
No. 435598 ID: e1359e
File 134310286333.jpg - (165.87KB , 800x600 , page2-6.jpg )

>"This stuff is trash!"

"Quiet Shan-ha. Would you just be quiet?"

We take a rope and a couple of the hooks. Shai-shai looks at the rope for a while.
No. 435599 ID: e1359e
File 134310294282.jpg - (63.53KB , 800x600 , page2-7.jpg )

We look over toward the guard's station. It is right alongside the track that we were following.

There is one window in the back of the house, but it is too dark to see inside from here. The guard is still sitting there.
No. 435601 ID: e2b9de

How far are we away from Peephouse in terms of distance? An all night walk could be of any length.

It's an incredible risk, but it might be a smart move to start socializing with people, in particular this guard. They only have a light amount of provisions, no shelter, no currency and no survival skills like hunting or fishing. They've also been walking nonstop. They need to start using their social skills and relying on the kindness of strangers.
No. 435636 ID: b2112e

We do not have any immediate needs, and still need to get as far away as possible before attracting attention. Sneak past.
No. 435653 ID: 4a328b

The longer you stick around, the more likely you are to be caught. Keep walkin' down the tracks, gals.
No. 435986 ID: e1359e
File 134318369210.jpg - (91.92KB , 800x600 , page2-8.jpg )

We are able to sneak past the guard easily. Is he asleep...?

We follow the tracks for another twenty minutes or so, drinking some of our water and eating some of our food.

There is something odd ahead.
No. 435990 ID: 4a328b

Go check it out!
No. 435999 ID: e1359e
File 134318570257.jpg - (158.79KB , 800x600 , page2-9.jpg )

It looks like one of those big boxes, but it is tipped on its side next to the tracks.
No. 436000 ID: 4a328b

What sort of goodies could this metal pinata hold?
No. 436001 ID: bf54a8

and it's open! free shelter!
No. 436002 ID: 299ed3

Check the stacked boxes behind the container and look at what is inside the container.
No. 436006 ID: 886a4d

Looks like a hobo waystation. Probably not going to be much loot but it is a place to rest.
No. 436009 ID: e1359e
File 134318674927.jpg - (105.41KB , 800x600 , page2-10.jpg )

Shai-shai, Shan-ha and I start to look through the stack behind the box. They are not boxes stacked, but bundles of paper.

I open one up. There is a chunk of stuff inside. It looks like some kind of candy.

It smells like... incense.
No. 436011 ID: 4a328b

I /would/ say "Bah, garbage, throw it away" but the title of this thread leads me to believe it's important.

No. 436012 ID: bf54a8

what could POSSIBLY need that much incense?
No. 436015 ID: f793db

Multiple people. What makes you think this would be going to just one person?
No. 436016 ID: e1359e
File 134318762941.jpg - (109.98KB , 800x600 , page2-11.jpg )

Well, it is ALL over the place. In the stack, which is on top of some more of those wheely things, and strewn about on the ground.

There are about two more bundles inside of the big box. THe three of us could easily sleep in there, but it is still morning!
No. 436018 ID: 4a328b

Does incense have any special properties, to your knowledge?
No. 436019 ID: 99090a

Take some. You're on the run anyway, so it's okay to steal.
No. 436020 ID: bf54a8

how hard is it to push the full set on the wheelybob? if it's easy then push it down the road. so you can sell it for mad dosh.
No. 436024 ID: e1359e
File 134318857093.jpg - (91.94KB , 800x600 , page2-12.jpg )

Well, it smells good.

The three of us can move the big stack if we push, but we figure out that that would not be practical for a long distance!

I just take one bundle and drop it into Shai-shai's bag!
No. 436025 ID: 4a328b

Say, is the incense covering something else in those BIG bundles? Try knocking the stacks over to see!
No. 436026 ID: bf54a8

yeah sure, rip open a big bundle and see if it's the same all the way through.
No. 436029 ID: e1359e
File 134318946142.jpg - (139.89KB , 800x600 , page2-13.jpg )

Shai-shai and I tear through most of the parcels. Shan-ha refuses to help. What a bitch!

They all contain the incense stuff. The entire area smells like incense now!
No. 436030 ID: bf54a8

oh well. her loss, let's move on.
No. 436035 ID: 4a328b

toss one at Shan Ha and then run away down the tracks again~
No. 436040 ID: 886a4d

Maybe they should sleep here before continuing on. It has been a rather long walk and they haven't exactly been encouraged to be fit.
No. 436044 ID: 299ed3

ask Shan-ha if she knows what it is.
No. 436045 ID: 0385fe

make her eat some and see if she starts tripping balls, that might be drugs.
No. 436083 ID: 8a3061

this stuff is either opium or hash
No. 436086 ID: 6e44d2

Note how the art style changes as they get high from the "incense." Better leave now, girlies.
No. 436087 ID: b33427

Well, you got a chunk of the incense for the road. Better bail before whoever owns this shows up and gets pissed 'cause you unwrapped everything.
No. 436312 ID: e1359e
File 134327599548.jpg - (122.49KB , 800x600 , page2-14.jpg )

It is a HUGE MESS, and it is raining!

Wow, it will really suck for whoever has to clean up all of this soggy paper and incense!
No. 436314 ID: e1359e
File 134327606858.jpg - (67.60KB , 800x600 , page2-15.jpg )

"S-s-someone is coming!"

I can hear some voices, and footsteps in the gravel.
No. 436318 ID: 4a328b


No. 436328 ID: bf54a8

No. 436335 ID: e1359e
File 134327801977.jpg - (115.10KB , 800x600 , page2-16.jpg )

We quickly scramble behind a second stack of bundles on the opposite side of the Big Box. It is a tight squeeze - particularly for Shai-shai.

>"Aren't you afraid of the Lilies?"
"What, are you?"
>"No, I'm just-"
"If you're afraid, maybe I ought to just kill you right now. Eh?"

There is a pause, and even the footsteps stop.

>"Don't joke around about that stuff, Su."
"Well, somebody was busy here. Fuckin' beautiful. Look at this goddamned mess!"
>"What if they're still here?"
"One way to find out."
No. 436338 ID: e1359e
File 134327815840.jpg - (106.85KB , 800x600 , page2-17.jpg )



It is the loudest noise that any of us have ever heard. It is louder than thunder, and more violent.

We hear the footsteps coming around the big box.
No. 436340 ID: 4a328b

Stay quiet and hope for the best! D:
No. 436346 ID: 886a4d

Ready that knife. The instant they start to look in your direction... lunge. If they don't look at you stay still and be quiet.
No. 436358 ID: e1359e
File 134327943595.jpg - (34.32KB , 800x600 , page2-18.jpg )

>"This is a loooooooot of candy, Su."
"Yeah, no shit. Just keep your mouth shut."
>"I don't think anyone's here..."
"Didn't you hear what I just said? You must be some kind of dumbass! They're not gonna just come out."

The footsteps get closer. We can see them now. The voices are male, but deeper than Rin's.

I take out my book-sheathed knife and pass it to Shan-ha. She is the closest to the end. It looks like she knows what to do.

"You remember why we came out here, right?"
>"Yeah, you wanted to get some palm wine with me. You know, like best friends are supposed to do?"
"Grow a pair, would you? You're like a woman. I need to you to put a value on all this crud. I need to know what to make as an offer to the buyer in Ponyin."
>"Oh, I can do that. No problem, Su! You wanna get that palm wine after?"
"Yeah, sure, whatever."

They are standing there now. The higher-voiced man walks over to the dissembled pile and begins to count to himself.
No. 436360 ID: 4a328b

No. 436370 ID: b33427

Ready the hooks as well. Stay low and quiet. If they discover you, jump and dogpile the big loud one.
No. 436377 ID: e1359e
File 134328138115.jpg - (125.55KB , 800x600 , page2-19.jpg )

>"Looks like about twenty-thousand seven-hundred parang. You can probably go a little higher..."
"You sure?"
>"Yeah, at the going rate. That's a fresh rate, and it's been up on the daily with the railway bandits showin' up."
"You don't say! You've been a good pal to me, Sen. I owe you one, you know that?"
>"Heh, well, if I had a pa for every time you've said that, I'd be paid back already!"

The two men share a laugh.
No. 436378 ID: e1359e
File 134328144012.jpg - (36.03KB , 800x600 , page2-20.jpg )


We all jump from the noise. One of the men falls over.
No. 436379 ID: e1359e
File 134328147725.jpg - (20.50KB , 800x600 , page2-21.jpg )

Footsteps again. Sounds like he's walking arou-
No. 436380 ID: e1359e
File 134328149879.jpg - (62.99KB , 800x600 , page2-22.jpg )

No. 436381 ID: 9ff5ee

Oh shit! Oh shit!

Drop your weapons, hold up hands and demand not to be shot.
No. 436383 ID: 886a4d

Hes not pointing the gun at you yet. Its up to Shan-Ha now.
No. 436384 ID: bf54a8

No. 436386 ID: b33427

...Oh, crap; He just shot the other guy dead, and you three are now witnesses. He's not going to let you leave here alive. You'll have to at least disarm him to get away.

He made the mistake of getting within stabbing range of Shan-ha. Yell to grab and stab, then climb over the top of the pallet to lunge at him.

He just shot a man in cold blood 'cause he owed him money, and they're witnesses. Surrendering is suicide, don't do it.
No. 436400 ID: 4a328b

No. 436411 ID: e1359e
File 134328410106.jpg - (126.35KB , 800x600 , page2-23.jpg )

Shan-ha pushes herself with her right leg, nearly tripping on her way up. She smacks her hand against the big box for support, now with her back to the bundle.

She does not completely stab the man, but the blade hits him sideways in a slapping motion. It appears to have pierced his face with its tip, though, and the blood is gruesome.
No. 436412 ID: 886a4d

Dogpile him. You go for that gunarm. Someone else go for the legs. Shanha should stab the body.
No. 436416 ID: b33427

Both you and Shai-shai get on your feet. Get behind and support Shan-ha so she doesn't fall back behind the package pile. Keep pushing out, push him to the ground, and dogpile him. Knock his weapon away.
No. 436419 ID: bf54a8

get dat gun
No. 436427 ID: 415425

Once he's down and you've got his weapon, kill him. He'll probably alert others to your presence if you don't.

Then, take his bags and search him. Do the same to the other man that he shot earlier, be sure to grab more incense since it's pretty valuable. Then book it out of there.
No. 436436 ID: 6e44d2

He won't let you live now, if you spare him. Better not spare him.
No. 437625 ID: e1359e
File 134370259419.gif - (61.75KB , 400x300 , page2-24.gif )

Shai-shai and I spring forward to push the man to the ground. He screams in pain as Shan-ha falls on top of him.

She stab's the man's lurching body in the chest and neck until he stops making noise or movements.
No. 437626 ID: e1359e
File 134370266709.jpg - (154.55KB , 800x600 , page2-25.jpg )

We all stand up.

>"Dread..." Shan-ha mutters.

In slow horror, Shai-shai and I look at her.

>"My new dress is ruined."
No. 437627 ID: d696db

Shan-ha is promoted to leader, she gets to hold the gun.

Also, search the other bodies for weapons/money. If those things they are wearing are uniforms, wear those instead of what you've got on.
No. 437628 ID: bf54a8

"we'll get a new one, that guy said this stuff is worth a lot.
No. 437634 ID: 4a328b

Shan-ha gets her choice of weapon--ask if she prefers the knife or the gun. Loot the bodies for anything valuable, and see if you can fashion Shan-ha some non-blood-spattered clothing from theirs.
No. 437644 ID: e1359e
File 134370656547.jpg - (92.92KB , 800x600 , page2-28.jpg )

>"As if there was any question of who would hold it."

Shan-ha is a year older than Shai-shai, and two years older than me. Still, I hope that this does not go to her head any more than absolutely everything else does.
No. 437645 ID: e1359e
File 134370662315.jpg - (59.65KB , 800x600 , page2-29.jpg )

I decide to give Shan-ha my back-up outfit.She is not very happy about it, but she obliges.

>"At least I wear it better than you do."
No. 437649 ID: e1359e
File 134370696734.jpg - (63.86KB , 800x600 , page2-27.jpg )

We look over the bodies. They do not appear to be wearing uniforms.

We find:

- 1 parang, 14 pa between the two of them
- A metal canteen, about half-full of apparently water
- A pair of pliers
- A roll of bandages, and a bottle of clear liquid, maybe more water.

We can go NORTH, farther up the tracks, WEST toward where we saw the city, SOUTH to the freight yard and the guard station, or EAST into the wilderness.
No. 437657 ID: 4a328b

No. 437733 ID: 8a3061

sniff the liquid with extreme care
No. 437777 ID: 24aae6

The nearby city's likely one of the first places they'll look for you. Randomly striking out into the wilderness really isn't a good idea, too easy to get lost and you girls have zero survival skills. Let's continue to follow the track NORTH until you find another landmark.
No. 437879 ID: b33427

Yes, continue along the tracks to the NORTH.

Take the pack off the big guy and take it with you, if it isn't obviously bloodied all over.
No. 437894 ID: 886a4d

Yes get the pack and grab as much incense as possible. That stuff is going to buy yourselves a bit of freedon once you find a person to sell it to who won`t kill you for it.
No. 437900 ID: 63f8eb

Grab lots of incense, yes, but be sure you don't reek of the stuff.
And we might want to keep an eye out for just how many other females there are. If this is a society where women don't have much freedom, you might have to pose as males for a while.

And keep an eye on Shan-ha. She's a little too cold blooded for me...
No. 438226 ID: e1359e
File 134386849592.jpg - (369.21KB , 800x600 , page2-30.jpg )

I just realized a minor error. 1 parang, 14 pa should be 2 parang, 4 pa. 10 pa = 1 parang.

Forty minutes later

The tracks are barren in this area. We have not seen another soul since the incense box. Shan-ha is walking WAY ahead, and doing that thing again where she just stares blankly. She won't say two words to us. Whatever.

Wow, we are really tired. We have eaten all of our food. I thought that it would last longer! We still have water left, but we have not slept in two days.

We took two more incense blocks for a total of three. Those things are very heavy. We can see nothing but wilderness around us now, and the tracks proceed NORTH endlessly.

I guess all we can do is talk, now. Some food would be nice, though. There is no food left - I think I already thought that like two minutes ago
No. 438227 ID: bf54a8

wait what? 2 days? i thought it was early morning.
No. 438229 ID: 4a328b

How far away was that guard post and incense, anyway?!

Head directly east, look for water + something edible. Ask Shan-ha if she knows anything about what's edible
No. 438246 ID: e1359e
File 134387123550.jpg - (86.97KB , 800x600 , page2-31.jpg )

"Aren't you hungry or thirsty?"
"There isn't any food left, Shan-ha. Shai-shai and I are tired, too. We didn't sleep at all last night, and we barely slept the day before because of that stupid 'Coming-out' thing..."
>"Why do you whine so much? Do you ever wonder why everyone treats you two like children? It is because you whine."

Her voice is completely flat. Her words have their usual sting, but they lack the emotional intensity and acidic tone that they generally carry.

"We need food and water."
>"Good luck."
No. 438263 ID: b85f8c

She killed someone and it's getting to her. Ask her if she wants to talk about what happened back there.
No. 438264 ID: 4a328b

Pull her over to the side of the road and snooze on top of her so she doesn't go anywhere without'cha.
No. 438265 ID: 886a4d

Don't bother asking about it, she'll just shrug it off. Don't hug her either. Tell her your sorry you handed her that knife. You never really expected her to have to use it.
No. 438279 ID: bbee3d

Continuing to walk in the hot sun is probably not doing any of you any good at this point. How far away are those trees? There might be food or water under them - or, failing that, at least some shade where you can rest for a while.

And talk, if possible.
No. 438318 ID: bb1a16

Shade does sound nice.
No. 438439 ID: e1359e
File 134394814504.jpg - (45.27KB , 800x600 , page2-32.jpg )

It is not sunny right now. It is overcast and raining whenever I remember to draw the raindrops

Still, it's muggy and humid. I am hungry and thirsty, and some food and water would be nice. I would kind of like to talk to Shan-ha, too. As much as I really hate talking to her, we did grow up together. She is like a sister.
No. 438440 ID: e1359e
File 134394825943.jpg - (105.25KB , 800x600 , page2-33.jpg )

"Shai-shai, we don't want to lose our things in the woods. Can you stay here and guard them? We'll be back with water and food."

To be honest, I am just really hungry, and Shai-shai is a slow walker.
No. 438442 ID: e1359e
File 134394838878.jpg - (61.46KB , 800x600 , page2-34.jpg )

Oh, I am alone now I guess...

I'm not afraid to be alone, though. I want them to think that I'm useful, so I want to keep everything safe!

Ok, uh, hnnn, they left me the knife 'just in case'. Uh, hm, hnnn, where do I start? I don't want to screw up!

No. 438445 ID: 14a1d0

Start by being such a useless fatty, you fatty fat fat fat. So fat and useless.
No. 438448 ID: 4a328b

Ok, sit down next to the stuff. And stay awake.
No. 438449 ID: bf54a8

scan the horizon
No. 438454 ID: d94e2c

What do you see?

Also how were you carrying the water, Skins or canteens or thermoses? Try to get some of the rainwater in your Cups or whatever using one of the shirts or some cloth or something. Stretch it over the opening so the water gathers on the fabrics and drips down into the hole.

Try to wrap the Booksheath up in something so the book doesn't get all mushy from the wet wet rain.

And for the love of god, Don't leave ANYTHING lying on tracks. What if a train came bye and ran over something?
No. 438465 ID: e1359e
File 134395081679.jpg - (64.56KB , 800x600 , page2-35.jpg )

Sitting, ok

Here goes, concentrate, hnnnn
No. 438467 ID: e1359e
File 134395085523.jpg - (84.86KB , 800x600 , page2-36.jpg )

No. 438468 ID: e1359e
File 134395091003.jpg - (95.41KB , 800x600 , page2-37.jpg )

Ok, ok, off to a rocky start, hnnn, it's ok

The water's in a canteen, but the girls took it with them to find water. I'll just put the knife in the my bag with my things...
No. 438472 ID: 32e092

Probably a bad idea; it might damage your equipment or get blunted. If you aren't comfortable holding it, place it carefully on the ground and stay within arm's reach of it.
No. 438484 ID: e1359e
File 134395239949.jpg - (74.16KB , 800x600 , page2-38.jpg )

oh god, oh god!

I stabbed my favorite skirt! Why am I so stupid?!
No. 438486 ID: 1f8505


Just put the knife on the ground and leave it there.
No. 438487 ID: 32e092

Because you are badly stressed and sleep-deprived.
No. 438499 ID: b85f8c

Meh. Stitch it up. You can sew, right?
No. 438511 ID: 4a328b

No. 438605 ID: 32e092

Not in this condition she can't. Best to avoid sharp objects in general.
No. 440310 ID: e1359e
File 134439394771.jpg - (88.31KB , 800x600 , page2-39.jpg )

M-maybe I shouldn't sew, ok. Alright, I mean I don't want to cut myself like I did on that skirt.

I know what will cheer me up AND keep me awake. I'll talk to my friends!
No. 440312 ID: e1359e
File 134439408533.jpg - (84.77KB , 800x600 , page2-40.jpg )

Yes, they're all here! They came with me from the Peephouse.

Kwan, Lilao, and Shurquai!

>"Hello Shai-shai! How are you doin' girl?" asks Lilao in a voice that sounds NOTHING like mine.
No. 440313 ID: 4a328b

ok be less crazy

or uh

Tell her how you're doin'
No. 440333 ID: c00932

Glance around. Last thing you want is people to know your secret. If it is a secret.

Then reply, "Better than you! I'm not sleeping in a bag!"
No. 440337 ID: e1359e
File 134439724410.jpg - (48.30KB , 800x600 , page2-42.jpg )

"Better than you, Lilao. I'm not the one sleeping in the bag!"
No. 440340 ID: e1359e
File 134439749114.gif - (63.96KB , 550x400 , page2-41.gif )

>HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, wow Shai-shai you are so funny! Will you come have dinner and tea with us sometime? We can do your hair and gossip and then you can play us a song!

I gasp, "I would love to! That would be so much fun! I'm so glad we're such good friends!"

Chenhua... is the only one who ever talks to me. She is my best friend.

They told me to make more friends, so I did... I guess. I can't tell anyone. Chenhua would never talk to me again, and she would make fun of me and think I am dumb and fat!

What if they are talking about me right now?!
No. 440345 ID: bf54a8

why would they? they must be really busy.
No. 440346 ID: c00932

I doubt it. Shan-ha likes to talk about herself and Chenhua your friend. The possibility is extremely low.
No. 440347 ID: 4a328b

Shai Shai Chen Hua would be fine with your friends

It's SHAN HA who might be making fun of you for them
No. 440374 ID: bbee3d

Shai-Shai, you stole Chenhua's entire wardrobe not too long ago, and she forgave you for that and is still your best friend. I don't think this would be much of a problem in comparison.

On a completely different subject... How long has it been since you last slept?
No. 441648 ID: e1359e
File 134466044882.jpg - (117.57KB , 800x600 , page2-43.jpg )

>how long has it been since you have slepped


Just ask Kwan - she knows me the best because she spends the most time with me even when Chenhua isn't there.

Kwan is a beautiful dancer that is thin and everyone loves her, but she secretly wishes that she was a cook.

Uh, hnnng, maybe I should close my eyes for a minute just to rest them?
No. 441649 ID: 4a328b

Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeah get away from the tracks a bit first though. In the direction ShanHa and Chenhua went.
No. 441650 ID: bf54a8

don't forget the stuff.
No. 441676 ID: 1f8505


No. 441678 ID: 7f2d33

Get some rest you poor crazy bird.
No. 443248 ID: e1359e
File 134499409924.jpg - (97.89KB , 800x600 , page2-44.jpg )

I think that a bit of rest could be a good idea. I take all of our supplies that were left with me, and find a place near the edge of the soggy jungle.

Hnnnn, I cannot keep my eyes open
No. 443250 ID: e1359e
File 134499413077.jpg - (21.83KB , 800x600 , sleep.jpg )

just a little while to rest my eyes...
No. 443252 ID: e1359e
File 134499417339.jpg - (121.86KB , 800x600 , page2-45.jpg )


Hnn, I don't want to get up. It's too early...
No. 443253 ID: 4a328b

go back to sleeeep
No. 443255 ID: bf54a8

oh god where are you?
No. 443272 ID: e1359e
File 134499569073.jpg - (148.84KB , 800x600 , page2-46.jpg )

I'm in The Dorm. Wow, it is so early...

>"The hostage gypsy"
>"Shades of ebon"
>"My babies... for nothing"
>"Fear, fear, fear. The lily, listen to this, fear."
>"Love is not always a warm feeling"
>"Fear, and protect yourself"
>"My babies, fear and terror"

She is talking so fast!
No. 443274 ID: 4a328b

I think she wants you to be afraid.
No. 443277 ID: bf54a8

No. 443282 ID: 1f8505


You might be dreaming.

Try pinching yourself.
No. 443291 ID: e1359e
File 134499705340.jpg - (29.53KB , 800x600 , page2-47.jpg )

Afraid of what?!


She quickly leaves the room without saying anything else. She goes into the Boudoir.
No. 443292 ID: 4a328b

No. 443294 ID: bbee3d

Follow her!
No. 443324 ID: e1359e
File 134500017645.jpg - (146.91KB , 800x600 , page2-48.jpg )

I follow her out into the Boudoir.

Oh my! Everyone is gathered around the table!

>"One! One! That's one fallen!" Zayyima says with excitement.

Everyone bursts into giggles.

>"Where's Shai-shai?" asks Chenhua.

>"She's still in bed..." says Jorta.

>"Lazy fat crane!" says Zayyima, and everyone bursts into giggles.

>"Shhhh! Shhhh!"
No. 443328 ID: 4a328b

Is this a game or something? WHAT'RE THEY DOING GRRL?
No. 443331 ID: bf54a8

... okay yeah you are dreaming, odd that you can feel pain.
No. 443337 ID: 9cc68c

What is going on? What is the significance of that flower?
No. 443354 ID: 10039d

Remind them that you're right there... and awake.
No. 444999 ID: e1359e
File 134534198104.jpg - (89.23KB , 800x600 , page2-49.jpg )

>"She's right there! Shhh!"

There is some silence, and people peek at me through the corners of their eyes.

Today is Chenhua's sixteenth birthday. She is the youngest of the new girls. Now that she is sixteen, we can being counting down to the Coming-Out! Oh wow, this is exciting.

It's a birthday tradition at the Peephouse. We watch a dying lily for an hour, and then count the petals on the water. That is how many wishes the birthday girl gets!

I want to say something...
No. 445003 ID: 4a328b

SCREECH "HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHENHUA" and hope your voice knocks some more petals down
No. 445077 ID: 4a328b

Steal her wishes!
No. 445078 ID: 99090a

Ask Chenhua what she's going to wish for!
No. 452425 ID: e1359e
File 134703729561.jpg - (77.49KB , 800x600 , page2-50.jpg )

I ask what Chenhua is going to wish for. Everyone laughs.

"I can only tell one person, or it won't work!"
No. 452426 ID: e1359e
File 134703736980.jpg - (108.75KB , 800x600 , page2-52.jpg )

>"This is child's play."

Shan-ha always knows how to ruin things that don't involve her being the center of attention.
No. 452427 ID: e1359e
File 134703747604.jpg - (81.27KB , 800x600 , page2-51.jpg )

I have feelings of anger and deep resentment. Should I do something? Chances are, I'll make a fool of myself. Should I keep quiet?

Chenhua is sad and crying. Everyone is laughing like it is nothing. Maybe she'll still get her wish.
No. 452428 ID: 4a328b

Tell Chenhua she'll probably still get her wish, and give her a hug.
No. 452429 ID: bf54a8

"but look, all the petals are in the water now"
No. 452434 ID: e1359e
File 134703951479.jpg - (85.16KB , 800x600 , page2-53.jpg )

"Well, n-now all the petals are in the water. Maybe... she'll get all her wishes...
No. 452435 ID: e1359e
File 134703983787.jpg - (642.19KB , 800x600 , page2-54.jpg )


No. 452436 ID: bf54a8

oh fuck bad trip BAD TRIP!
No. 452446 ID: 4a328b


No. 452455 ID: bf54a8

No. 452467 ID: f5832c

No. 453319 ID: e1359e
File 134730322011.jpg - (142.25KB , 800x600 , page2-55.jpg )



"Be... be quiet," I rage. Shan-ha probably did not hear me.

>wake up

Madame Zo nudges my shoulder. "Wake up!"

No. 453320 ID: e1359e
File 134730325689.jpg - (142.28KB , 800x600 , page2-56.jpg )

>"Hey, wake up. WAKE UP!"
No. 453321 ID: e1359e
File 134730352441.jpg - (43.47KB , 800x600 , page2-57.jpg )

I look up in a start with the anxious realization that I am legitimately terrified of Shan-ha.

It's not Madame Zo standing over me.
No. 453323 ID: bf54a8

No. 453327 ID: 1f8505

No. 453378 ID: 4a328b

No. 453456 ID: e85039

Yell for your friends. Even if its a friendly face, they'll want to know what's going on.
No. 453517 ID: b33427

Whoever this is, they didn't rob you, kidnap you, or kill you in your sleep, so that's enough reason to not attack them, yet.

Blearily look up at whoever this is, until you can make out their details, and ask who they are.
No. 453520 ID: 085efe

All the person did is wake you up. Don't over react until you have a reason to. Get up while you let your eyes adjust to the light
No. 453521 ID: 6cc859

Then apologise, explaining that you were frightened by his freakishly wide face.
No. 453531 ID: e1359e
File 134734564780.jpg - (113.58KB , 800x600 , page2-58.jpg )

I get up, frightened by his silhouette, but not threatened. It was a bad way to wake up from that dream, though...

It's not raining anymore, but I'm soaking wet.

>"I'm not going to hurt you."


>"I have some questions for you. I am investigating a double-homicide just north of Platform One out of Narang. What are you doing out here?"
No. 453534 ID: 4a328b


Where's Narang?
No. 453557 ID: bf54a8

"what's a homicide?"
No. 453567 ID: 34ce04

Just say you're traveling with your friends to the city and that you haven't met up with anyone else. Don't mention the incense or the gun or knife or those guys.
Also, ask what a homicide is.
No. 453604 ID: fc5d95

"Double homicide? There's a murderer on the loose? protect me!"

Time to play the lost and helpless dame bit to the hilt.
No. 453612 ID: 61e7f9


Time to play airhead to the max.
No. 453613 ID: e1359e
File 134738608308.jpg - (91.41KB , 800x600 , page2-59.jpg )

Uh, yes... p-play.

"I was tra-"

>"Where did your friends go?"

"I don't have any friends!" I blurt. I now realize that I should have said 'I don't have any friends WITH ME'.

>"Well, that's very sad, ma'am. There were two sets of tracks with yours. If you're alone, you're very stupid to travel here."

"Will you be here...? For a while, I mean. Uh, to..."

>"I can stand guard here, but eventually I need to return to the Platform. You are welcome to come along."

>He notices the bag at my feet, along with my lute. "What's in the bag?" he asks.
No. 453615 ID: 4a328b

It's just like clothes and stuff. nuttin' special.
No. 453617 ID: e1359e
File 134738784478.jpg - (101.82KB , 800x600 , page2-60.jpg )

"J-just clothes..."

>"Planning a long trip?"

"Uh, no."

>"I'd like to have a look in the bag, ma'am."
No. 453618 ID: 4a328b

Uh do you know anything about law? I mean, do you HAVE to show him your bag? Does he need a warrant or something?

If you don't know just say something like "I don't want you taking my things :I"
No. 453623 ID: e1359e
File 134739075643.jpg - (61.83KB , 800x600 , page2-61.jpg )

I don't know anything about the law! Nnnnggggg, hnng

"I don't want you to steal my things..."

>"Have you come across people trying to steal from you?"

"Well, no, but-"

"Did you notice an overturned boxcar on your way? It must have been hard to miss. Your tracks go right by it."


>"Someone had rifled through its contents. I can't help but feel like that was related to the killings. Tell me what you know. If there is a killer on the loose, I need to stop them."

His voice is very deep. It's not like the girls at the Peephouse. I can't just interrupt him when he talks!

Actual contents of the bag:

-Kwan, Lilao, and Shurquai
-The three chunks of incense
-The Death Row Sermons of The Prophet Jerem with the knife closed in the pages
-My clothing, including my torn skirt
No. 453625 ID: bf54a8

start crying, "he.. he had a gun.. he.. was going to shoot us! my friend stopped him, used a knife, but he killed the other man, said they were friends then shot him, i knew he would shoot us too!" and don't let up the waterworks.
No. 453626 ID: 4a328b

There is no such thing as excessive waterworks!
No. 453629 ID: e1359e
File 134739238644.jpg - (101.89KB , 800x600 , page2-62.jpg )

I have kind of been trying not to cry this whole time anyway!

"They said they were friends, and and and"


"The men! He shot that guy, and then, and then my friend k-k-killed him!"

>"What? Calm down. Is there any reason that you did not tell me this before?"
No. 453630 ID: bf54a8

"because, because i don't want my friend taken from me!"
No. 453632 ID: 4a328b

Well we sure don't want to go back that way ever and you're kind of scary
No. 453633 ID: 4a328b

Also be sure to emphasize that he was gonna shoot you too--it wasn't like Shan-ha up and stabbed'em unprovoked
No. 453654 ID: 254090

Well, yeah. You were taught not to trust men. Heck, this guy's the first you've held a conversation with.

Say you're all orphans looking for a city to make lives in and that the guy was pointing a gun at you and your other friend. Shan-ha killed him to save you.
No. 453773 ID: 6cc859

He is oh so very scary!
No. 453781 ID: e1359e
File 134742151634.jpg - (96.32KB , 800x600 , page2-63.jpg )


"My friend st-sta-stabbed the man because he was going to sh-sh-sh..."

>"Shoot you? Listen, I will take your word for one reason. I found a ledger of opium sales on the man who had been shot. Those two were not up to any good."

I nod. I don't really want to tell him that he is scary, even though he is really scary! It just seems rude.

>"I need to decide what to do with all of that opium. If I burn it, the Lilies will be after my hide. If I let them retrieve it..."


>"I don't like what it is doing to this land."

"Opium?" I ask.

>"It doesn't concern you. You and your friends should return home. You'll be killed out here. What are you thinking?"


"We are orphans," I mutter. He doesn't hear me, so I repeat it louder.

>"I don't think I can help you. I have my hands tied simply watching over this stretch of tracks. I work for the Royal Guard, but I haven't heard from my superiors in two years. I've all but lost faith in the Khan."

"Uh, uh..."

>"Don't get yourself killed. Just wise up. Don't be an 'adventurer'. You're just a kid, and you'll end up full of holes in the rain if you keep going on out here. Find somewhere safe to be."
No. 453783 ID: 4a328b

that went surprisingly well

"Um, ok."
No. 453784 ID: bf54a8

give him the 'incense' you looted. and say it looked like incense
No. 453786 ID: 4f8b8e

Thank the man and have him direct you to the nearest city.
No. 453795 ID: 4a328b

The nearest city that is not the one you just came from, that is.
No. 453847 ID: 6cc859

I don't see any reason to do this. He isn't likely to search your bag at this point and we can dispose of it ourselves if need be. Only possible issue is if he decides to return it and the Lilies blame him for the missing amount.
No. 453923 ID: e1359e
File 134747704442.jpg - (90.22KB , 800x600 , page2-64.jpg )

>"Ponyin is about four day's walk north. Maybe five or six at your pace. The tracks go through the mountains, and the lowland passes are home to banditry. Ponyin was the marine capital of the old empire. I haven't been there in almost a year, and what I saw even then was not pretty."

I nod. It all sounds very scary. I have never walked this far in my life, let alone seen so much outdoors.

>"Why did you leave Narang, anyway? It is not paradise, but it's safer than Ponyin."
No. 453924 ID: bf54a8

"it was something to do with my friend set to be taken by a man to his master. and the madame got real scared, even though she is normally always angry."
No. 453929 ID: 75aada

ask if there is a less bad city around, if not go for the city he suggested
No. 453935 ID: e1359e
File 134748239093.jpg - (121.93KB , 800x600 , page2-65.jpg )

I explain the entire situation. He doesn't appear to know what I am talking about.

>"Calm down. You're not helping anyone by panicking."


I ask him if there is anywhere else that he knows of.

>"There aren't any other cities within walking distance. You could go out east onto the plains, but the Toglaat raiders own that land. Looks like your friends headed in that direction. Just hope they don't go beyond the woods."


>"I am Toglaati, but I'm not one of them. Is that what you are thinking?" He seems slightly annoyed, but just shakes his head. "It's your choice. I can't babysit you for long."
No. 453943 ID: bf54a8

"i understand. we'll go to ponyin. hopefully we meet someone else as kind as you."
No. 454271 ID: 4a328b

Ponyin, but try and evade the bandit mountains.
No. 454279 ID: a7f4bd

You can't leave without Chenhua and Shan-ha. They told you to stay here, but it might be better to go and find them; ask Toglaati if he has the time to accompany you.
No. 454282 ID: eab6cd

No. 454372 ID: 9c8e90

We are clearly bothering this man with our naivete. Even if he did have time enough, I doubt he would want to go so far out of his way to help some emotionally fragile girl he just met. Thank him for the advice, and apologize for inconveniencing him/being all blustery.
No. 454420 ID: e1359e
File 134759214698.jpg - (92.52KB , 800x600 , page2-66.jpg )

"I understand. We'll go to P-Ponyin. Hopefully we meet someone else as kind as you."

>"Don't count on it." He tips his head back, and I can see his face for the first time. He's brown and speckled, like Jorta. Toglaati are not very colorful. I think I saw him smile, but I'm not sure.

Just to be safe, I laugh. "HahahHAHA! Aha"

>He clears his throat. "Like I said, I can't leave my post for long - that doesn't mean I want to find you and your friends dead on the road to Ponyin. Girls like you don't last long."

"G-girls like me?" I am almost offended, but I'm too scared to make him mad! To my surprise, he looks caught off guards.

>"Eh... pretty ones." He coughs. "They attract the attention... of bandits. Just don't be stupid. Watch out for yourselves. I'll be at Platform One if you need help, but you and your friends can't stay for more than a night. I don't have that much food."

I nod. He turns to leave. I guess he can't stay to help. "What's your name?"


That's a weird name!


Wait until my dolls hear about this!

A while after Kwiwude is gone, I can hear Shan-ha and Chenhua returning. I can hear Shan-ha from a mile away. She's never quiet.

Should I tell them about what happened?
No. 454422 ID: bf54a8


anyway, start with you don't think the stuff you got was incense.
No. 454449 ID: 140647

Probably be best to inform them of everything that has happened, while.. "embellishing" on some of the facts.
No. 454457 ID: 6a1ec2

You've never heard of Opium? It's basically the worst drug. Only give it to people who are dying. It makes you feel good and puts an end to pain, and in exchange it kills your ability to feel good without it, and you're in pain all the time without it. Then it stops working to help even that, and you just die of pain.
No. 454528 ID: e1359e
File 134764868034.jpg - (122.97KB , 800x600 , page2-67.jpg )

"Hello, Shai-shai!"

>"Idiot. I should've known you wouldn't do anything while we were gone. Were you sleeping?"

Shai-shai looks excited. She even ignores what Shan-ha said to start talking.

"The next city is a four-day walk! It's really dangerous, because of bandits."

There is an uncomfortable silence.

>"Ok. Congratulations. Want a sweetroll? Better make that three."

"How do you know, Shai-shai?"

"Nnnn. Hhhh- I was out here... looking around, and a guy came and tol-told me. His name was like... Kw- koo- Kwiwude. That was it."

>Shan-ha rolls her eyes.

"Oh! He... he also said that the stuff we found wasn't incense. It's something called 'open 'em'."

Shai-shai sure is acting weird. Maybe it was a ghost she saw. Or a dream. As much as I hate to consider it, Shan-ha was probably right. Shai-shai was more tired than any of us.

Anyway, we found some wild carrots, cabbage, eno berries, and pyunzin mushrooms. There was also a small stream where we filled up our water.
No. 454541 ID: 4a328b

Bandits are a good thing to concern yourselves about, though. Maybe think of ways to look not as pretty?
No. 454701 ID: b33427

While you're not too sure about how real what Shai-shai said is, there is still the risk of bandits spotting you three out in the open. Best move out of sight, just inside the forest, and stop to eat and drink. Eat whatever would spoil the soonest. Ask Shai-shai to share more on this guy she saw, to try and figure out if he's real or imagined.
No. 456981 ID: 07a50b
File 134836334390.jpg - (135.21KB , 800x600 , page2-68.jpg )

"He was really tall. As tall as me, at least. I don't know, he was wearing a big hat. He had a deep voice LIKE THIS."

Shai-shai lowers her voice, which makes me laugh. She proceeds to describe his appearance, and the things that he said. I don't really have a reason not to believe her. I'm glad she is ok!

>"Are you idiots done?" Shan-ha shouts. She'd been sitting there with her back to us for a while. "How can you laugh? We are lost, and probably days away from death. Why don't you take yourselves a little more seriously and grow up for once?"
No. 456982 ID: 4a328b

Psh we are not lost there is a city four days or so that way, gosh. We just have to get there without getting killed ok.
No. 456985 ID: 6a1ec2

Oh yeah? Why don't you not murder bloody... thing yourself?
No. 457050 ID: 3f6487

Someone should tell her with that attitude, they will die.
No. 457102 ID: 629257

Exactly, the most appropriate time to enjoy yourself is when death comes near.
No. 457176 ID: 6e44d2

These are our lives, Shan-Ha. If we don't enjoy them now, when will we?
No. 457260 ID: 07a50b
File 134841902598.jpg - (80.90KB , 800x600 , page2-69.jpg )


Shan-ha walks up to me and smacks my face with the back of her hand.

>"Who is the oldest here?"

"You are..."

>"Who is the undisputed leader of this group?"

I don't say anything.

>"Just as I thought. Haha! Grow up and find your head. This isn't The Boudoir."
No. 581205 ID: bac58f
File 140376234776.png - (9.83KB , 800x600 , 70.png )

[It has been nearly two years since I have updated this quest, and I am initiating a quick reboot. Because of this, I recommend that everyone brush up on the quest from the beginning. It is not long so far.]

Previous thread:

Shai-shai, seemingly shaken by Shan-ha's sudden aggression, chimes in. "Uh, g-girls, well... that guy that talked to me said that it would be safer to go back where we came from," she says.

"Oh, like hell we are going back to that place," says Shan-ha.

A) Listen to Shan-ha. Keep going north to Ponyin. The journey is very long, and the road is quite dangerous.
B) Listen to Shai-shai and the possibly-not-real man she was talking about. Return south to Narang. This is the home of where we fled from originally.
No. 581209 ID: 9dd1ee

stick with Shan-ha, she is a strong and powerful leader.

also your home town was the pits, never look back
No. 581247 ID: e31ca1


Seconding, same reasons.
No. 581262 ID: befc95


Narang is a shitheap nowadays. The Khanate has gone to shit and lets criminals control everything in the capital. You already know how awful it is in Narang, and people might even be looking for you there; maybe Ponyin and its mariners are a little better. Shan-ha is a bitch, but she's right in keeping to Ponyin.
No. 581363 ID: bac58f
File 140382797425.png - (12.67KB , 800x600 , 73.png )

"I'm sorry Shai-shai, but I have to agree with Shan-ha. If we go bath there, they'll probably catch us and put us back into the Boudoir."

"Next time you think about trying to argue with me, why don't you close your mouth instead?" Shan-ha says, leering at Shai-shai. She then turns to me and says, "The same goes for you, Frumpy Queen."

The signs leading north branch into two separate paths.

A) Pedestrian path - this is a narrow, paved walking path that leads to a high trail through the bamboo forest.
B) Trade road - This is a wide dirt path that loosely follows the train tracks.
No. 581376 ID: 9dd1ee

Trade road seems a more likely mark for bandits, pedestrian path seems the safe route
as a plus it'll probably keep your shoes cleaner too
No. 581509 ID: befc95

Pedestrian seems safest, aye. If it's the road less traveled, there's probably more food, too.
No. 581522 ID: d6e000

just walk the train tracks. It's more direct, eventualy you might be able to jump a train.
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