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File 163519765057.png - (137.30KB , 406x700 , 14-1.png )
1013588 No. 1013588 ID: de852d

Chapter 14
+18 Adult content

First thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/860238.html
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Moot_Point
Previous chapter: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/990619.html#990619
438 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1031351 ID: e5709d

Wait for him to declare his motivations, in plain view of witnesses, then reveal everything and claim this is entrapment.
>>
No. 1031363 ID: 815672

Stay your hand. There has been a misunderstanding. You are about to punish an innocent.
>>
No. 1031382 ID: ce39da

"First, you must release him before anything else happens. While he did give you a book matching your description, that was indeed once part of our library, he did not steal it. He was given it so that he may give it to you, confirming your identity and guilt of conspiracy to commit theft. Your premise for punishing him on a count of theft, therefore, holds no water, while you are still very much in trouble."
>>
No. 1031731 ID: 9272af
File 165215202413.png - (156.35KB , 700x500 , 14-115.png )
1031731

Ometra growls at the Binder, “You’re one of them; one of her students, aren’t you?”

“You mean Tuvara-Malli? I’m a Binder, yes.” Casey nods slightly. The dullahan flinches at the sound of the first Guardian’s name and she continues, “Is that what this is all about? The old teacher?”

“The apostate!” Ometra accuses, “That magic is not for your kind. Mortals are wild and lawless: there is magic within those pages too dangerous for this world.”

“Oh really?” Casey’s head cocks with interest. “You talk a lot about law, but from where I’m standing you’re about to brand an innocent man.”

The dullahan scoffs, “I have the evidence right here! Stolen from the mortal ‘academy’.” They produce the altered tome, waving it like a beacon of justice.

“Are you sure about that?” Clio asks in an offhanded way.
>>
No. 1031732 ID: 9272af
File 165215203179.png - (198.07KB , 700x500 , 14-116.png )
1031732

Omerta pauses, flipping open the cover to see the title page: Professor Pendergast’s Ointments and Salves Vol IV. in its original printing of the Triad Seas dialect.

The Justicar pivots as if mounted on a swivel, slowly facing Nemo, who waves meekly. Their words thunk into the thief’s mind like knives being thrown, “This is not what we agreed on.”
>>
No. 1031736 ID: e5709d

Checkmate.
>>
No. 1031738 ID: e7848c

Actually we're pretty sure this exactly matches the description you gave. A book currently in the sender academy being translated, written by an "original teacher". Nemo has fulfilled his end of the bargain, as stated.
>>
No. 1031765 ID: 96c896

It's not stolen, by the way.
>>
No. 1031767 ID: 30b9f6

Nemo: You followed the specifications of the request to the letter. What were you supposed to acquire then? It's an educational institution - there's plenty of old teachers and several books under translation! Whose book were you supposed to acquire?

(Dare them to say the name.)

Casey: The Fae have left well enough alone, by and large, for ages, and the mortals have not gotten up to that much wildness on their own - there's simply not enough magic these days, yeah? You pronounce their reasoning flawed - or a veil. Why would they get involved in mortal affairs in this day and age even if an old text of an old teacher was revealed? What are they truly worried might come to light here?

(Dare them to reveal their true motivations - goodness knows you need a hint for translating that book!)

Clio: If the Dullahan gets violent, pop the blade and hold it up for them to see as the ultimate distraction. Grin and say mortals can pass judgement too, it is known. Are they so ready to face the music?

(Dare them to try anything.)
>>
No. 1031848 ID: ce39da

"The book matches the specifications you gave Nemo here exactly - an old teacher's book from the sender school's possession that was in the process of being translated. More fool you for not specifying how old the teacher was, or their name, or the book's title. It isn't stolen, either - we graciously gave it to him to use here; and now we have you where we want you."
>>
No. 1031954 ID: 9272af
File 165232191259.png - (123.93KB , 700x500 , 14-117.png )
1031954

“Actually, its exactly what you asked for. A book written by an old teacher, currently being translated.” Casey grins and continues, “And Nemo didn’t steal it: we gave it to him. Under Fae law, he’s done nothing wrong.”

“Do not presume to tell me what the law says!” Ometra snarls. “I am the voice of the law!”

“Well, the law should format its contracts better. You could have forced our cooperation if you’d had the courage to specify Tuvara-mal-“

Silence!” Ometra’s free hand whips another iron brand from their litchfire furnace. The justicar points it at Casey.
>>
No. 1031955 ID: 9272af
File 165232191794.png - (131.38KB , 500x700 , 14-118.png )
1031955

The mouse barely has time to react before a ring of pale green fire wraps itself around her neck and lifts her off the ground. She instinctively grabs for it, trying to support herself as she dangles, momentarily dropping her own binding spell.

“Casey!” Clio gasps as the mouse is pulled into the air
>>
No. 1031957 ID: c7eead

Oh shit! Can Clio cut her loose? Maybe break that tool with a gate or her knife?
>>
No. 1031958 ID: e7848c

>>1031955
You're going to need to be quick but you're going to want to put a portal under her feet connecting to the ground so she can stand on her own.
>>
No. 1031962 ID: 96c896

>>1031958
Can't do that, it'd cut her feet. Portals are dangerous, remember?

>>1031955
I wonder if cutting the brand would break the bind? Alternatively, you could ask for help from the staff here. Surely they have some means to kick out unruly patrons?
>>
No. 1031969 ID: e5709d

Quick, use your portal knife!
>>
No. 1031982 ID: 30b9f6

>>1031955
Casey, stabilize yourself with your wings and offer a hand/leg for Clio to scamper up you and carefully sever your bond with you-know-what. Don't let Ometra get a good look at it.

Both: Give Ometra raised eyebrows. And then, maybe something like...

"Y'know, I wonder if he isn't sacred of us saying Tuvara-Malli."

"I think so too. Though why would he be worried about Tuvara-Malli?"

"Yeah, looks like he should be more worried about people who aren't Tuvara-Malli presently, but what do we know? Just a bunch of wild, lawless mortals here, after all."

"Yup. Tuvara-Malli."

"Tuvara-Malli, indeed."
>>
No. 1031989 ID: de3d9f

This is no Justicar. They twist the law to suit themselves. This is a vigilante.
>>
No. 1032002 ID: c28082

>>1031955

Seems he's nothing but a blackguard vigilante with delusions of grandeur that freely attacks any with whom he so much as disagrees, and is too weak-willed to even acknowledge his own shortcomings.

Pitiful, really.
>>
No. 1032049 ID: b5f44b

>>1031955
Cut his ass. We haven't actually seen a gate cut yet, or anything cut by Clio's spell either. If there's a time to put that into action, it's now.
>>
No. 1032081 ID: 4ef6e2

>>1032049
If we cut anything, the iron he's brandishing is a better choice.
>>
No. 1032446 ID: 235693

The barista and other customers are cool with all of this? Surely they have noticed what's going on.

Gate-cut the brand is a good idea.
>>
No. 1032506 ID: 9272af
File 165274859220.png - (112.11KB , 700x500 , 14-119.png )
1032506

Casey’s wings flutter to life, giving her enough of a lift to croak out, “Touched a nerve?”
>>
No. 1032507 ID: 9272af
File 165274861971.png - (151.38KB , 500x800 , 14-120.png )
1032507

“You would do well not to invoke that name, mortal. You might have a pale shadow of our magic, but you have no idea-“ The justicar’s monologue stops as they clutch their arm in shock. The glowing brand falls in two perfectly cut halves and the litchfire shackle holding Nemo to the table vanishes; a moment later he does too. “Rrrrrroot and Stone! What was that?”

Clio lands on the ground and holds up her arm protectively as Casey flutters down beside her. Held in her fist is a hole in space, burning like the inside of a star.

“You…” Ometra steps back, seemingly terrified, “You shattered my binding… how did you?”

“What kind of law lets you treat people like that?” Clio hisses, “I’ve seen some nasty enforcers before, but you’re the worst.”
>>
No. 1032514 ID: 96c896

Tell the fae it would be best for them to surrender, and face true justice.
>>
No. 1032588 ID: ce39da

"You should be thanking us; if we allowed you to follow through with a verdict you knew was based on outright falsehoods at that point, it would have been grounds to brand you a devil, with all other fey present as our witnesses."

Perhaps here, it should dawn on him that everyone in this place is in on this setup. The proprietress, the other customers - everyone. This assumes that fey liches aren't any less super-illegal than ex-mortal ones, of course.
>>
No. 1032595 ID: 1c6255

You can also add that there's a reason you refer to her by name: Tuvara-Malli doesn't do titles. She founded a school that doesn't do ranks.

BTW, why did you switch from "lichfire" to "litchfire"?
>>
No. 1032599 ID: c7eead

They wanted T-M's book, and that's not going to happen because we need the book to accomplish our own goals.

They wanted to punish Nemo for wiggling out of their trap, but that's not going to happen because it's a shitty thing to do and legally dubious enough to get them in serious trouble.

This '"justicar" should ask themselves: Do they want to keep (acting like a jackass) escalating this conflict, or can we start looking for a less violent and backstabby solution?

If we can manage to de-escalate, we should try to find out if this guy or the people he works for know anything about what happened to Lord Hekal.
>>
No. 1032763 ID: 9272af
File 165293015916.png - (145.73KB , 700x596 , 14-121.png )
1032763

Clio stands and points the tip of the Claiomh-solais at the fey. “You better surrender; don’t make me use this thing on you. You've probably broken a bunch of laws at this point, so don’t make it worse."

"She's right," Casey coughs and continues, "You could get branded a devil for what you've done. I can't imagine your Court would be too happy about that, especially since it would compel you to only tell the truth."

“No, no.” Ometra says to themself, “I've heard of that blade. That magic is too dangerous: it already unmade everything once before. It must be stopped.”

They reach for one of their remaining branding irons, only to find it missing.
>>
No. 1032764 ID: 9272af
File 165293017568.png - (233.09KB , 700x700 , 14-122.png )
1032764

The headless figure seems to look around in confusion and, without warning, jumps and roars: one massive hand clutching their backside. They turn to find Nemo, holding a branding iron with a startled look on his face.

“Uh- Hi?-“ Nemo gulps.

The litchfire furnace seethes, “You. What have you done?!”
>>
No. 1032768 ID: e5709d

"Good question.
CLIO PORTAL OMERTA SOMEWHERE NOT HERE!"
>>
No. 1032770 ID: 96c896

Wait, those brands, is that how they brand devils? Well, we saw the one used to brand thieves, which presumably imprisons them somehow, or forces them into servitude. The second one was a binding brand... the third one is probably the devil brand.

So I guess the justicar's sentence has been preemptively carried out. Tell them they really have no choice now. Their clan won't want them anymore. Surrender and there may still be a life for them in mortal lands.
>>
No. 1032771 ID: 96c896

Wait, didn't they have four? One went missing when the binding brand was cut.
>>
No. 1032784 ID: c7eead

Wait, what exactly did he mean by "Unmade everything?" Does he actually know how that sword works?

Also, nice one Nemo! Get his ass!
>>
No. 1032815 ID: ecac66

I suggest we experiment on what exactly each brand does, we have a perfectly good test subject here after all.
>>
No. 1032817 ID: f52a42

>>1032784
Technically, he already did! Nemo, I would keep that brand out of his reach.
>>
No. 1032818 ID: 30b9f6

>Wot u done???
Stuck you in the rear with a judicious amount of karmic energy and/or possibly poetic justice. Or wait, do you have to do a poem for it to be poetic? Uhh...

"Ometra the Dullahan,
Came to a mortal town.

For justice, tried to trick a thief,
(But trust us, all they got was grief)
With heavy coins and magics light,
To filch a journal in the night.

But the Spirit Guardians saw through,
Knew thieves, and thievery so too.
They caught and spoke so that thief knew,
Unwise promises with fey he'd rue.

And so it came to this here day,
When Guardians and thief joined fray,
And turned the trick right back on them,
Who'd entrap the unchained and condemn.

The deal fulfilled, to letter's end,
No law thief broke, one must append.
Ometra righteously chained thief's hand,
But found the journal was not as planned.

Oh brands were raised and bindings cast,
But a blade was raised, the fey aghast,
Their butt got singed, their law cleave'd twain,
Whose bright idea had this been, again?

Oh what fools these Justicars be,
Who don't really get what it means to be free!"

>>
No. 1032957 ID: 5900c4

>>1032764
He just burned your ass! That's what he's done!
>>
No. 1032959 ID: f98a7b

Ah. Those last words are fey for "get the fuck away from here really fast"
>>
No. 1033031 ID: 9272af
File 165309983961.png - (144.04KB , 700x500 , 14-123.png )
1033031

“He branded you an oath-breaker: which, as the unjustly accused, he has every right to!” Casey laughs.

“I did?” Nemo looks down at the glowing sigil etched onto the justicar’s ass. “I j-just meant to be a distraction. I didn’t realize…”

“And we have a witness, right?”

The barista, who had been watching with a look of enraptured glee, waves. “Oh, everyone is going to hear about this! We can have songs and poems and nightly performances!” Her thin, dagger-like pupils stray towards the ceiling as she starts composing lyrics in her head.
>>
No. 1033032 ID: 9272af
File 165309984666.png - (147.43KB , 500x700 , 14-124.png )
1033032

Ometra shakes with fury, their headless form erupting like an emerald volcano. Their fists clench as they loom over Nemo, but something seems to be holding them back from attacking. “You have made a very powerful enemy this day!” They declare.
>>
No. 1033042 ID: c7eead

As have you
>>
No. 1033052 ID: 96c896

Don't let them run.
>>
No. 1033053 ID: 36784c

>>1033032
>something seems to be holding them back from attacking.
I think this means that brand prevents Ometra from attacking Nemo, since he’s the one that branded them.
>>
No. 1033059 ID: bb78f2

>>1033032
You are you're own enemy. Take on that one before making more.
>>
No. 1033073 ID: 2de4fd

Hold up a sec. You still haven't learned why he wanted this book. It's FAR to specific to be just a random sting operation.

Bind him, he's not getting away. Surely he's violated rules of hospitality in here enough for that, right?
>>
No. 1033139 ID: ecac66

Grab someone that can open a pocket dimension and imprison the Dullahan until it talks.
>>
No. 1033154 ID: 7f44fa

"I dunno dude, you were already treating me like an enemy. I'm not sure we're gonna notice the difference."
>>
No. 1033164 ID: 9a2966

"At least my ass doesn't glow in the dark. Or worse. Here."

Nemo: Toss him back his brand - it's not yours, after all, and it's done its job.

"What did you actually have in mind to do with me, Ometra? Before that doublecross you could've just walked away scot free, if tricked by your own open request. If you wanna blame anyone, why not whoever told you to get that book in the first place?"

C'mon... get them to blab about who wants the book in their rage. Or at least told them it'd been found and should be retrieved because mortals dangerous blah blah blah.
>>
No. 1033213 ID: 9d5d17

...and that enemy is?
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