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1064862 No. 1064862 ID: 18001e

I am Lady Serah Kensington, Heir Countess of Kensington, and I sincerely hope our search leads us to something good.

Lazy Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/Lazy_Fairy

Begins one month after the conclusion of POV 6: https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/1035326.html#1035326
394 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1077081 ID: f2cf5a

...Okay, so please listen to the QM asking 'ARE YOU SURE?' That's literally never a good sign, and don't presume this is some stupid double-bluff.

No, don't tell her.
No. 1077083 ID: b6ec4d

So this is the moment in the quest where we do a strong about face and change our minds. We have told the dungeon master what we want to do, and he made a face. He has leaned in and asked "Are you sure?", and the answer to that question should not be an affirmative. Nevermind those silly thoughts from before. Let's not say a word about this plan to Petra actually.
No. 1077084 ID: e51896

Alright, lets not. I was banking on hoping being honest will get on Usiel's good side, and help us, since we managed to confess and show we mean no harm, but it's probably not in the cards. If the church of the censors decide to break their relationships with our house in the future, we can always try to promote Priscilla church and religion for their support for peace instead, and build relationships with them
No. 1077085 ID: dd3fe0

Leave a letter
No. 1077086 ID: 8f9bc4

Petra has already had to deal with the Censors keeping her from seeing Pierre, since he's their latest guinea pig. She'd be glad to have a letter knowing that he's made it out. It would also give her warning in case they target another of her children, without risking the Censors learning that Petra has been warned.

I am of the opinion that Usiel is very scary and we should avoid saying anything that might incur her wrath, displeasure, slight contempt, or mild disapproval.
No. 1077087 ID: a7a180

Usiel does not have a good side. Remember that. She has one side she's on and that's the Church's.
A letter will let you be more direct in your words while being indirect in delivery.
No. 1077088 ID: f1ce95

All angels are evil, irredeemable and should not be trusted. Do not directly tell Petra.
No. 1077100 ID: b57fea

I'm sold, lets just write a letter to be delivered at a later date; its the best of both worlds
No. 1077104 ID: 273c18

Leave her the letter.
No. 1077128 ID: 3ea497

Err....I retract my previous suggestion.
No. 1077378 ID: 3c2dff
File 170010558775.png - (7.88KB , 500x330 , LF7 67.png )

Telling an angel of the Veiled Goddess about a plot we’re in the middle of completing against the Church of Censorship seems like a very bad idea. Writing a letter explaining why we did it, that will be delivered after Petra’s son is safely away, is far, far less risky. Anything I do to keep Pierre’s escape as uneventful as possible is probably something Petra will understand. After all, Dotti’s my fox daughter and I’d understand if someone did something rude to avoid Dotti Disaster.

Maybe I should avoid thinking like that.

I set Dotti on the ground and get Landi to give me some of her parchment and a quill, then I speed-write a letter to Petra. I’ll address it to her and give it to a carrier at the market, where the earliest it’ll show up is later today; more likely it’ll show up tomorrow or the day after. Plenty of time for Pierre and us to make our escape.

“Are you ready, Dotti?” I ask.

Dotti nods. She’s practicing her hungry-fox-spirit act by bristling her fur and putting on a hangry attitude. She points at the spirit communication boards, and Rae grabs them for what might be her last in-person communication to Petra for a long while.

We meet up with right-side-up-Rae and make our way to Petra’s house’s den, finding Pastor Pryce talking with Mother Mabel. They hush as we approach.

“Is everything well?” Pastor Pryce asks.

“I think Dotti’s getting hungry,” I say. “Either that, or the seal on her is beginning to chafe.”

Dotti snorfs and glares at Pastor Pryce.

“I’m sorry,” Pastor Pryce says, “But there’s very little I can do about that. We can’t risk her connecting to the spiritual realm inside Giornico.”

“I thought as much,” I say. “In that case, me and mine will take our leave. I know Kayk will be disappointed, but I’d rather not risk Dotti’s well-being. We can always come back later.”

“I’d rather not make a habit of dragons coming and going from Giornico,” Pastor Pryce says. “You understand that we want to keep Petra’s condition a secret, among other things.”

“I do,” I say.

Dotti hops from my arms and gestures for Rae to put the boards on the ground. For those words that aren’t on the quick-reference board, she has to spell out on the second.


“There are mailboxes at the mayor’s office, as well as at the market,” Mother Mabel says. “Yes, of course you can write letters to Petra.”

I suspect the Church will be reading them, but that’s a price we’ll have to pay. I open my mouth to finish asking to take our leave, but I’m interrupted by that dreadful sensation of Usiel’s presence as Petra enters the den.

“Are you leaving so soon, little one?” Petra asks. Dotti whips around and her angry expression disappears, replaced with longing and utter sadness.


“I’m so sorry about all this,” Petra sighs. “Pastor, surely we can arrange something in the future to solve these issues. I don’t want to starve Dotti just so she isn’t caught up in our arrangements.

“We’ll figure something out,” Pryce says, though he doesn’t sound certain of it. “For now, letters will suffice, I think.”

“I hope to see you again soon, Dotti,” Petra smiles. “I will always welcome you here. Please, don’t forget that no matter where you are, you are loved.”


Dotti scampers over to Petra and whines softly, accepting the last pets she’ll get from her for a long while.

No one says anything for a moment.

Too soon, Pastor Pryce clears his throat. “Well. If you’re leaving, Mother Mabel and I will accompany you to the guardpost at the edge of town. We can remove Dotti’s seal there.”

“Thank you for the kind offer,” I say, “But there’s no need for that. We can remove Dotti’s seal ourselves, and we’d like to stop by the Market before we leave. Landi and I have letters to send, and this mailpost is closer to their destination than Minga. It’s quite convenient.”

“We’d like to see you out,” Pastor Pryce says. “With me along, you don’t have to wait the twenty-four hours before removing Dotti’s seal.”

“Isn’t it safer to wait the twenty-four hours before we do that ourselves, as far from Giornico as possible?” I point out.

“I would have thought Dotti would want the seal off as soon as possible,” Pastor Pryce says. “Why wait?”

Why indeed…

I need a good excuse to give Pastor Pryce to dispel his suspicion that also lets us visit the market and grab Pierre without him coming along. Think, Serah, think!

Everything the spirits say to Serah will be overheard by Usiel.
No. 1077382 ID: de5cb4

We need to pick up that cow we bought for Kayk. Serah, Dotti and Rae plus a cow will be quite a weight, even for a dragon. It would simply be too much to bring any extra passengers. We should get something nice at the market for Dotti to make up for it. An accessory to match her bow, perhaps?
No. 1077385 ID: eb0a9c

Serah, don't hold back. Express how 'fatigued' you are.

"Pastor, I appreciate every step of sacred hospitality you've shown us, but... We. Are. 'Peopled. Out'. I have gone too long without resting my social muscles, as have my party in their... special... ways. To put it simply, there's going to be a combination of vulgarity and impulsivity radiating from us, and in the interests of censoring all this detoxification from good and innocent eyes... and ears... and other senses... we don't want to contact anyone else on our way out for any reason whatsoever. It's taking all of my willpower not to order Kayk to transform right here and zip out now."
No. 1077388 ID: a7a180

We want the practice of lifting it ourselves in a contingency, we'll return to the clergy if we run into an issue. Suggest that he performs a ceremonial inspection of the household's wards as an official Church gesture of their commitment to Petra's wellbeing.

And since you're listening, screw you Usiel. Your actions do your order more harm than good.
No. 1077390 ID: b6ec4d

They probably just want to make sure you all leave town, as you intend to. You do still want some time away from the holy folk, so why not propose a compromise? Like meeting them at the church before you go? You could bring up wanting to see Pierre again before you leave, reminding them that they haven't checked in on him while they've been attending to you here. Given how they reacted the first time you met him, that might be a good distraction.

If you must force the point, you can just be honest and say that you need a moment with just your party. You appreciate the hospitality, but you'd like to keep sensitive topics to as few ears as possible. It's strictly a family matter, and while you appreciate the hospitality, you'd rather not share Kensington affairs with the church.
No. 1077391 ID: 273c18

Tell him her safety is more important than her comfort.
No. 1077415 ID: 273c18

>Your actions do your order more harm than good.
I don't agree with that. Usiel is doing a good job of protecting Petra, after all she let the bacon through despite the clergy's disapproval.
No. 1077416 ID: f2cf5a

All I'm gonna say is this.

None of y'all know how to just shut the fuck up and let things be, and that's the problem here.

At any rate, do as you will.
No. 1077417 ID: f2cf5a

And I'm not talking about the Angel and church and whatnot when I say that.
No. 1077540 ID: 273c18

Oh I'm an idiot. He isn't interested in YOUR reasons to go outside town before releasing Dotti. He's interested in HER reasons. So just go over and have Dotti tell him she doesn't want his help. Because he's a jerk. You won't have to avoid saying that to his face! Let Dotti be the rude on here.
No. 1077551 ID: 932a49

Well, we didn't want to reveal this, but... isn't the truth that House Kensington has an emergency we need to be responding to?

Ahem... one that necessitates our immediate departure, stopping only at the marketplace to pick up some supplies before quickly departing? One that, unfortunately, means the Pastor can't come along because he would be privy to the politically-sensitive strategy session that will take place as soon as the party is out of earshot? One that, unfortunately, means the comfort of removing Dotti's seal immediately will have to take a back seat to the expedience of beginning the next leg of the journey?
No. 1077564 ID: 3c2dff
File 170034064061.png - (44.60KB , 500x500 , LF7 68.png )

What do I argue? The practical? The political? What does the Pastor suspect of me? What will let me pull this off? Everything is riding on how well I do here. I can handle this! I know it! Can’t I? I don’t want to say the word ‘Pierre’ and clue him in I’m even thinking of that. Agh!

I decide to go practical.

“I’m not sure Kayk can carry the cow we bought for her at the market as well as everyone else,” I say. “What if she tires herself out before we’ve even left?”

“We could ask her if it’s too much,” Pastor Pryce says. “She’s carried plenty of weight before, while you were at the market. It’s just a quick flight to market and the garrison.”

He’s questioning my explanation. He’s willing to push back- I can’t back down, that’ll be evidence I’m deceitful. I can’t backtrack and go political now.

Or can I?

“She may have the energy to make the trip,” I say, “But… I’d ask for some privacy. I’d like to discuss some matters with my honor guard now that she’s awake, as well as with Dotti and Kayk. You surely understand that some matters must remain private within my House.”

It’s a weak argument, especially since I can just discuss them with my party after we leave Giornico. Pastor Pryce looks up and assesses me carefully. He whispers something, and motions with his arms over his chest and shoulders. Is he seriously casting a spell right in front of me? The nerve.







Pastor Pryce looks up at me again, assessing.

“I would very much appreciate being brought to the market with you,” he says. “I have some errands to run, myself. Without the cow, Kayk should have no difficulty in carrying us. It will be a short trip, so I am sure you can speak in confidence when I am gone.”

Damn it! I have to convince him that… that…
No. 1077565 ID: 3c2dff
File 170034066575.png - (10.36KB , 500x500 , LF7 69.png )

There’s no way I’m getting out of this. He’s suspicious of me, and there’s nothing I can say that will talk him out of that.

Dotti jumps from Petra’ toward Pastor Pryce and gekkers at him. Loudly.

“What on earth?” Petra asks. “Dotti, what’s wrong?”

Dotti slams her paw on the ground, and Landi flits over to Petra’s feet as fast as she can and drags the Dotti Communication Board over.


“Dotti!” I gasp. “Pastor, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what’s gotten into her.”

“Pastor,” Petra says, her voice stern, “Perhaps you should reconsider whether you ought to go with Dotti.”

Pastor Pryce looks to Petra, then Dotti, then to me, and something appears to click for him. He nods.

“Very well,” he says. “I’m sorry your visit went so poorly, Dorothea. Please understand that it was for your safety.”

“We’ll talk about this later, Pastor,” Petra says firmly. “Dotti, please don’t let him rain on your parade. I’ll write you letters, and you can write back. You’ve done so many incredible things and I want to hear all about them.”

Dotti wags her tail and whines. She fumbles with her board for a moment, trying to find the right word, but gives up and rushes toward Petra for one final hug.

I try hard not to cry. I take a moment to compose myself next to Rae, who thankfully has enough composure for all of us.

We all mount Kayk, waving Petra’s family goodbye for what might be a long, long time.

The ride is in silence, except for the wind blowing around Kayk’s neck.
No. 1077566 ID: 3c2dff
File 170034086076.png - (38.70KB , 400x500 , LF7 70.png )

We arrive in the Market with minor spectacle, and thankfully there’s no Censors to be found. Kayk lands next to the water mill and Pierre sneaks out of it, climbing aboard Kayk under the cover of her wing. I offer him the spot on Kayk’s back behind me so he has the biggest person to hold on to- he’s the least experienced dragon rider. He seems uncertain where to put his arms, so I wrap them around my waist.

Just like that, we’re airborne. We go up, up, and up, then glide away from the valley. There are clouds on the horizon- there’s a storm coming, but there are no pursuers.

I pinch myself twice to make sure I’m not dreaming.

We’re free.

“Which direction?” Kayk asks. “Minga?”

I have two options. There are no Churches of Censorship in Minga city limits, but they could send riders out from nearby parishes and be there in a week or less. Kensington Keep is the safest for Pierre; Daddy has mercenaries and can shut the gates on the Church if we have to. Technically, the Church doesn’t know I offered Pierre asylum until Petra gives over the letter, and I’d need to be next to Pierre to confirm that yes, indeed, he is under my protection.

Should I:

1. Head to Minga, where I have my personal network of allies, alchemical supplies, and adventurers to call on, but far, far less political, monetary and military assets than Daddy can call on; or
2. Head to Kensington Keep, where Pierre will be safest from both physical and political subterfuge, but I will have my personal autonomy limited, as Daddy will have superior authority to me and be able to force me to attend meetings and social events; or
3. Seek shelter from the storm in a cave or very small village nearby (about 90 minutes’ flight from Giornico). This will allow any pursuers time to catch up once they discover Pierre is gone. Maybe Hunny or Gecko could have flown above the storm, but not Kayk.

No. 1077567 ID: 8f9bc4

Well this is a historic first. The fox spirit is the only one being honest with the Censors. Uriel must be very, very confused.
No. 1077568 ID: a7a180

3, and head for Minga afterward. Blowout soon, a fellow stalker.
No. 1077575 ID: e51896

2. We'll finally get to meet Serah's father this way.
No. 1077576 ID: 1f1b8f

Also, ask Pierre how things went, i want to know how helpful the lucky panties were for him.
No. 1077580 ID: 273c18

Oh god. The storm is the djinn coming for the panties. Maybe she can detect when it's being worn by a male? Landi needs to swap them back off of Pierre as the first priority. After that, Landi needs to figure out how to negotiate their return without too much backlash.

3. trying to go anywhere else will result in us being intercepted by the storm and forced to land out in the open, meaning we'd be much more vulnerable to wind magics. I dunno how strong Pierre is but he's probably not strong enough to protect everyone at once.
No. 1077588 ID: 8f9bc4


That's not lucky! That's not lucky at all! D:
No. 1077591 ID: b6ec4d

1 or 3. Minga's the ultimate goal, but if we're genuinely worried about the storm (or potentially a wind djinn coming back for her panties), then we could rest up and complete the trek later.
No. 1077593 ID: e51896

changing my vote and showing support to 1 because I really don't think we should be risking the censors catching up with us. just because theres a storm doesn't mean it'll be the wind djinn.
No. 1077606 ID: de5cb4

1. Lets keep this low key for now, try to keep Pierre hidden and maybe this will all blow over. No need to involve dad yet.
No. 1077633 ID: eb0a9c

1) You promised him freedom, and your father won't give that.
Don't stop until you reach a safe zone that can't be wiped off the map by the censors' inquisitors!
No. 1077641 ID: 932a49

2. We just risked your family's entire political position (and tanked its reputation with the Church) for whatever advantage Pierre might provide. Your father needs to be made aware of that, and this allows him to find out why you did it directly from you rather than via second- or third-hand reports. This also allows you to make sure that you don't lose Pierre; losing him now would mean you sacrificed something for nothing.

Pierre's freedom to explore can wait until the granting of asylum is more common knowledge. Unless your father has a better idea, Pierre can join the adventuring party once he's less of a magnet for Church agents (mercenaries, angels, or whatever they use). Your own freedom will unfortunately be limited as well, but only for a little while - hopefully the party can get back to Minga soon enough.
No. 1077642 ID: dd3fe0


2. This. Politics has to happen, plans have to be made, fallout has to be managed, advantage has to be gained. Family matters.
No. 1077669 ID: b57fea

mm, Minga I say, with an eye towards evacuating to the stronghold if need be. We can always change our mind from minga to the stronghold, but not the other way around.
No. 1077672 ID: f2cf5a

1. While having the massive network of allies and dad's connections are good, you can use this opportunity to strengthen your own unique resources if you play your cards well, while still keeping out of everyone else's hands. You can still keep your pops as a fallback, but for the time being, I'd say go it yourself for now, and work to build up not the Kensington Network, but the SERAH Network.
No. 1077674 ID: 2d933a

I think one of the first things Serah should do when she returns is start a strong relationship between her network, and the Church of Eirene. Its likely the censors are going to cut ties from us after they find out what we did, so having a new religious ties with a church that could support us when the censors drop their support could be beneficial.
No. 1077676 ID: 273c18

Alright fine 2.
No. 1077917 ID: 3c2dff
File 170086072304.png - (3.97KB , 350x300 , LF7 71.png )

The storm before us, the Church behind.

Taking shelter will keep my party safe from the elements, but give the Church time to catch up. I don’t want to test my strength against theirs. Even with a dragon, fox spirit and elven ranger on my side, any fight I engage in against them will be used in a smear campaign against me. Heavens forbid Kayk accidentally kill a Censor with her dragonfire; at that point, she’d be seen not as a mere conspirator, but a full perpetrator. Even with her mother’s influence, that’s not something easily forgiven.

I can’t hesitate. I’ve committed myself and my House to providing Pierre asylum, and I need to get him as far away from Giornico as possible, even if it means flying through some nasty weather. The destination, though… where would Pierre be safe?

Kensington Keep is the dutiful, safe choice. My House needs to be aware of what I’ve just done, and Daddy can’t be caught flat-footed by this. He needs to take time to prepare for the ramifications of what I’ve just done: ruined our standing with the Church of Censorship and endangered centuries of careful balancing our loyalties between two monarchs. We’ve always had one foot in each camp, but those days may be coming to an end. This could turn bloody if mercenaries get involved. I’ve avoided family politics for now, but this situation is far more than I could ever be expected to handle independently. I think I need Daddy’s help.

At the same time, if I head to Kensington Keep, I’d be putting myself under my father’s thumb once again. It’s the reason I left in the first place: to build my own network, my own reputation, my own wealth and skills. I wanted to ride back into Kensington Keep with my own accomplishments, to stand tall in front of Daddy and make my own choices. I know the first thing he’ll do is assume I’ve planned to enter into a political marriage with Pierre, and the worst part is that it might actually work.

“Serah?” Kayk asks again. “Where are we going?”

“Keep flying!” I tell her.

“But… which direction?”

“Just keep flying, please!”

Pierre grips me tighter, sensing my nervousness. Between riding a dragon for the first time, making his escape, and wearing ladies’ underwear, he’s not doing well. While I’d have liked to have Pierre remove Dotti’s seal during the flight, he’s just not in a position to do it, either physically or mentally. I don’t want to consider what might happen if he loses control of his abilities when removing Dotti’s seal.

My stomach bottoms out. I’m a terrible leader, letting him hear my indecisiveness and not putting up a strong front. I’m a…

No, Serah. You are a good leader. You just haven’t found the right course of action yet. Don’t blame yourself for struggling with a difficult problem. Just think harder! You can do it!

I have to prioritize Pierre’s welfare. That will be my north star. If I’ve risked everything but failed in my quest, then that is the true worst-case scenario. He’ll be safest at Kensington Keep.

If I head to Kensington Keep, Pierre will be safest, but I’ll be making a spectacle of Kayk landing directly in my family’s compound. Ignoring the ramifications of that, it would place my House into a position of needing to take immediate action. Daddy would have no political flexibility; he would have to take my side immediately and take Pierre into my House’s network, and place me under his control to ensure I don’t tip his delicately balanced scales.

My alternative is to fly to Minga, where Kayk’s bakery is based, and remove her from the situation as best I can. That would leave Pierre to be guarded by an entire guild of adventurers. I would hold nothing back: I’d hire everyone available, draining my gold and platinum reserves if I have to. I will need to make more wealth in a few weeks or be as broke as when I first arrived in Minga, but spending it all on an adventurer honor guard will buy me precious time. The question then becomes: will it jeopardize my House’s standing if Daddy doesn’t learn about this right away?

I consider.


It might actually be better if I didn’t make a show of bringing Pierre to my House’s seat of power.

Bringing Pierre to Minga would allow Daddy to have plausible deniability that he knows nothing of this- because he really doesn’t. Any Church messengers would have to deal with his insistence that he communicate with me via Archibeard (the only truly trustworthy messenger between the two of us, even more so than a religious Order’s instant messaging service). That would buy him a great deal of time. If there’s one thing every politician knows, it’s how to buy time.

Daddy is smart enough to intuit that I’ve found something that can alter the continental balance of power. I trust him to preserve our House. I don’t trust him to preserve my individual agency.

“Kayk!” I shout over the wind. “Fly directly to Minga!”

Kayk adjusts her course easterly.

Ālea iacta est.
No. 1077919 ID: 3c2dff
File 170086182059.png - (4.01KB , 300x300 , LF7 72.png )

The storm grows in intensity. Winds howl, buffeting Kayk’s wings and forcing her to work to stay stable. Pierre almost slips from his seat for a moment, but luckily grabs ahold of me just tight enough to stay firmly in place.

“Serah!” Landi yells in my ear. “Serah, this isn’t a normal storm! I know the these winds, they’re Ventura’s! The Spirit of Western Winds!”

“Is she a spirit?”

“No, she’s a Djinn and she’s probably REALLY angry at me ‘cause I took her lucky panties at a party!”

I groan. I should have known this would come back to bite me for not dealing with Landi’s issues sooner. “Will she leave us alone if we drop her panties?”

“Maybe?” Landi says. “I could godmother them off Pierre and throw them off the edge, but then Pierre would be really unlucky for a while!”

“Pierre,” I call back, “Can you neutralize a bad luck effect on yourself?”

“Maybe?” Pierre asks. “I’d need to focus!”

The wind howls. Kayk is tiring. We need to land soon to rest. Focusing doesn’t sound like something that would be easy to do while flying on Kayk’s back in the middle of a storm.

“Will the Spirit of Western Winds try and make us crash?” I ask.

“Maybe? I don’t think so. She’s trying to wear Kayk out right now. I can feel it.”

“Get ready to Godmother my armor on,” I tell her. “We could be in for a fight,” I warn Pierre. “Try and stay under cover, no matter what.”

There are lots of moving parts for what might be an upcoming battle. Pierre can only focus on one thing at a time.

Kayk is tired and needs to land. I have several choices I need to make in the few moments I have before the Spirit of Western Winds, Ventura, appears. What preparations do I take?

1. Pierre’s Focus: CAN ONLY PICK ONE
- A: Neutralizing the Bad Luck effect of removing the Lucky Panties
- B: Neutralizing the magical forces guiding the wind around Kayk, allowing her to recover and land without too much trouble
- C: Remove Dotti’s seal. Could cause severe pain to Dotti (or worse) if Pierre is unlucky or distracted during the removal.

2. Landi: Lucky Panties
- A: Leave them on Pierre.
- B: Have Landi godmother them off and keep them in her inventory.
- C: Have Landi godmother them off and throw them overboard.

3. Landi: My Armor
- A: Have Landi Godmother it on right now. Pierre might lose his grip on me if he’s not lucky.
- B: Have Landi Godmother it on when we land. If we crash, I might get hurt badly.
- C: Don’t Godmother it on at all. Maybe Ventura is just here to negotiate?

4. Raelynn and Taranis
- A: Play Defensive and guard Pierre
- B: Play Defensive and guard Dotti
- C: Go on the Offensive and try to ambush Ventura with Samhain and Taranis’s magic when she manifests

5. Kayk
- A: Rest on landing; no combat
- B: Ask her to be ready to use her dragonfire; her posture will indicate to Ventura that Kayk is a combatant
No. 1077922 ID: a7a180

Panties: keep them on.
Armor: godmother it on.
Rae/Taranis: Play defensive, guard Dotti.
Kayk: Rest.

As for Pierre's focus...
>merge with Dotti
Have him try this, but fuse with Landi. Together, they can channel her powers, control her impulses and confront the wind spirit. If Ventura wants the panties back? She can negotiate their return.
No. 1077924 ID: c7ef3c

1. Pierre’s Focus:
C: Remove Dotti’s seal.. it will help keep Dotti still too

2. Landi: Lucky Panties
- A: Leave them on Pierre. Keeps him from hurting dotti on accident

3. Landi: My Armor
- C: Don’t Godmother it on at all. Need to show we are not agressive

4. Raelynn and Taranis
- A: Play Defensive and guard Pierre (if Pierre is focused on Dotti, in a way, shes also protected)

5. Kayk
- A: Rest on landing; no combat. Dont want to threaten if we can negotiate.
No. 1077929 ID: 273c18

Yeah, called it.

This seems fine. Honestly, the Djinn could've killed all of us aside from Kayk by blowing everyone off.
No. 1077933 ID: b6ec4d


Polt summarized my thoughts entirely. Support.
No. 1077941 ID: eb0a9c

Remove Dotti's seal.
Panties stay on.
Don't godmother it on. Yet. Right now, your biggest threat is fall damage, which extra armor will increase rather than mitigate.
Raelynn, defend Pierre. Taranis, defend Dotti.
Kayk, stay noncombatant.
No. 1077947 ID: 3c2dff
File 170093916793.png - (27.57KB , 700x700 , LF7 73.png )

“Pierre, as soon as you can focus, try and get Dotti’s seal off,” I say. “I don’t want to find out what happens if she’s hurt while it’s on.”

“Yes, my Lady!” Pierre confirms.

Dotti, nestled between Pierre and Raelynn, lets out a war gekker.

I instruct Kayk to comes in for a landing as safely as she can. The longer we fly against these winds, the weaker she’ll be in a fight. If worst comes to worst, I want Kayk as strong as she can be. Rae and Taranis are to guard Pierre.

“Want me to Godmother your armor on right now?” Landi asks. “And, uh, maybe be ready to ‘help’ Pierre?”

“No to both,” I tell her. “If Ventura wanted to kill us… she could have. Sweet Savior, I never considered a wind Djinn trying to blow us off Kayk. I need combat-grade harnesses. The slowfall spells in my jewelry won’t save me from being dashed on the rocks by a determined Djinn.

“I could have dusted you up to slow you down even more,” Landi says, but we both know that would only realistically worked on me. Dotti, Rae and Pierre would be too far for Landi to catch up. Once knocked off Kayk, even with their slowfall bracelets they’d be at the mercy a Djinn completely in her element.

The moment we’re on the ground, the winds fall silent. There’s a soft crackle of electricity, a rush of air forms a vortex in front of us, then a whirlwind of blue coalesces into the form of a smirking woman. Pierre does his best to ignore it as he focuses on Dotti, who remains dutifully seated on the ground.

“He-llo again, Landi dearest!” the Djinn booms. Her voice is a thunderclap of grandiosity and excitement fused together. “It has been far too long. I haven’t had the chance to catch up with you someplace private. All those times you’ve been using my panties have been so busy. A dragon’s lair, a Marquess’s ball? Ah, but now we can talk! How have you been? Quite well, I imagine, with the company you’re keeping these days. A wealthy Lady, a lovely baker, a fluffy fox bed? You’d want for nothing with them at your side.”

“Ventura? You’re… not angry at me?” Landi asks, uncertain.

“Anger is such a horrid emotion. It dulls the senses, narrows the sight. No, I am not angry with you,” Ventura says, her eyes wild, teeth glimmering. “It would be so ill-mannered of me to be upset over your little prank. It was a tad unsporting of me to wear buff spells to a strip poker game, wasn’t it? Well, I merely expected you to return my lucky panties in due time. Here I am to collect!”

There’s a clacking of beads behind me and a relieved sigh from Dotti. Pierre immediately steps back from her and shrinks behind Raelynn, trying to be as small as possible. Dotti, released from her shackles, is bristling with energy so strong even I can feel it pressing against me. Behind her physical tail, I think I even see the faint outline of two ethereal tails. Or is it three?

“Uh, Serah?” Landi asks. “We can give Ventura her panties back, right?”

I nod. “Give their, ah, wielder a moment to try and focus on preparing for the bad luck, and get some more distance from Dotti. Then you can godmother them off.”

“You’re aware of the bad-luck hangover, I see,” Ventura giggles. “Very nasty, isn’t it, Lady Kensington?”

“Quite,” I say. “Ah, forgive me, but you appear to have me at a disadvantage. You appear to know my title, but I am not as familiar with yours.”

“Landi doesn’t talk of me? For shame!” Ventura tut-tuts. “I am Ventura, Spirit of Western Winds, bringer of wealth and good fortune. My gifts sail ships, water crops, and turn seasons. I must apologize for delaying you, but those panties are quite helpful at parties. Even the best of us need a little help getting lucky with the men. They can be so obtuse when we flirt, yes?”

“I suppose,” I say. “If this is all you needed, then why not send a messenger?”

“I did,” Ventura says. “You stomped on him.”

“You did?” I blink. “Oh! Oh, dear! I’m so sorry!”

“Don’t be,” Ventura laughs. “You cannot hurt the wind. It merely changes its direction for a brief time. Clearly, this matter needed to be dealt with personally. I would have come sooner, but you, Lady Kensington, intrigued me. I decided to wait and see if my hunch about you was correct.”

“Your hunch?” I ask.

“I suspected you were destined for good fortune,” she says. “You attract the most interesting people to your side. The first socialized fox spirit? A dragon? A member of the warring druidic circles, and one of Odin’s flock? Quite the entourage. And your enemies are shaping up to be very intriguing as well. I sense no fewer than seven celestial griffons carrying Censors toward us from two different directions.”

“Thank you for the compliment, and the warning,” I say. “Ah. We should be going, then.”

“Now, now give your panty-wearing companion a chance to gird himself for the hangover. No, no, don’t stand next to the trees, they might fall on you if you’re not careful,” Ventura giggles. “I can help you take them off if you want.”

Pierre lets out a small meep.

“Landi will assist,” I say, nodding to her.

“Hm. Are you sure that’s wise?” Ventura asks. “She is somewhat… volatile. Do you trust her to keep him safe? For that matter, do you trust her to keep you safe?”

“I trust her,” I say, matter-of-factly. “We are adventuring companions, and have seen each other through thick and thin.”

“You have done quite well with Landi,” Ventura says. “It’s quite impressive. But what could you accomplish with someone more worthy by your side?”

“Hey!” Landi flits next to me. “Serah and I are happy just the way we are!”

“Are you?” Ventura says. “Lady Kensington, you have impressed me. I will make an offer not seen in centuries: I will give you my aid for one full year. I will be your best friend, even. I will manifest at your convenience, and aid your House with favorable trade winds. I will protect you and aid you in your adventures, and be by your side. There will be no need for an Oath. You would have my full attention and devotion.”

“That’s very generous,” I say, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“Indeed,” Ventura says. “I think we both have much to learn from each other. However… I would not want to work alongside Landi. It would just not do. If you accept my offer, I would condition it upon you not seeing, speaking, writing, or communicating with Landi in any way for that full year. After that, we may both reconsider.”

“Wha…” Landi sputters. “V-Ventura, what the fuck?!”

“I’m sorry,” Ventura smiles, clearly not sorry at all. “I just don’t see us working well together. Don’t worry, Lady Kensington, your fairy knows how to undo your adventuring contract with minimal fuss, if you both agree.”

“Serah, you can’t do this!” Landi says. “Don’t take the offer! I have Big Sodium as a patron Djinn, she’s just as powerful as Ventura! She likes me!”

“Do not be so confident,” Ventura says. “You say Salt likes you, yes? Has she been giving you ‘performance reviews’?”

“Yeah! And I’ve changed lots of stuff she likes!”

“Those aren’t reviews of your deeds,” Ventura says, expression droll. “They’re reviews of you, Landi. Salt is evaluating how much you have changed. She won’t favor you forever. How much have you changed, truly? Or are you still the same indolent party-goer I remember?”

Landi goes silent.

“And if I don’t take the deal?” I ask Ventura. “If I continue on with Landi as my adventuring companion? Do you try and make us crash into the mountainside?”

“Why in the sky would I do that?” Ventura asks. “You would be making a foolish decision, but it would be yours to make. No, I would simply take my panties and depart. The storm I rode here would remain, of course, and your dragon would likely be exhausted trying to fly through it. I will not deprive these lands of the water they so need simply because you wish it, Lady Kensington. If you wish to travel through the storm unhindered, you will need my help. But rejecting it is your choice.”

I want to reject the deal, but… this is everything I ever wanted, honestly. Ventura seems impressed with what I’ve accomplished, and seems like she genuinely wants to partner with me. Compared with Landi, who’s humiliated me more times than I’d prefer to remember, who’s volatile and with subpar adventuring skills… I have an obligation to do right by my House and my people. At minimum, I would get favorable trade winds for a year, and even have a Djinn who could escort me back to Minga and avoid the Censors’ summoned griffons that are chasing me from two different directions.

All I have to do is break up with a certain lazy fairy. It wouldn’t even be forever: just a year.

I should take the deal. In fact, my duties almost demand it.

It's everything I ever wanted. Power and wealth, enough to stand up to the Church and protect Pierre. Enough to even... stand up to Daddy.

Do I accept?
No. 1077952 ID: a7a180

The literal definition of a fairweather friend. Pass!
No. 1077954 ID: d98cb8

Putting aside everything else, all the pros and cons, this is a decision about who you are.

It's everything you ever wanted.

In return you just have to turn your back on a friend, even temporarily.

Are you someone who would?

You're more loyal than that.

Turn her down gracefully, stick with Landi. You'll make it through.
No. 1077957 ID: e51896

Power of friendship triumphs over wealth, and strength. You didn't accomplish all these on your own, you accomplished them all with your friends, including Landi. Plus, what would your friends think of you if you just abandoned Landi for power? Landi helped Rae get her out of her depression with Taranis, and even helped save Dotti's life from the giant Mai terrorscale, and would probably leave a bad impression on Dotti if she see's us abandon a friend for power. plus, she might not realize it and acts like Landi is a bad person to her, but Dotti does has some feelings for Landi. And if it weren't for Landi, you wouldn't be out adventuring in the first place.

Also consider this: if you can stand up together with your friends to a giant dragon, the marquess, and a wind djinn, you can definitely stand up to this storm, the censors and your daddy.

No need to be graceful. be stern and let her know that theres no deal. Make it a point that they weren't just your accomplishments, but your adventuring party's accomplishments. If it weren't for them, you wouldn't have achieved so much, and without them, you won't be able to make new accomplishes. She can take her panties and shove off.

Now with Dotti's seal broken, maybe she can use her fire power to negate the storm in some way with her stronger fire power if she is gaining new tails? if anything, she can probably keep everyone warm in the storm, including Kayk. Maybe enough to evaporate the rain water around us.
No. 1077958 ID: b57fea

As a spirit I tell you only to be true to your nature. At the end of the day what do you want to be, the noble who did the right moves to get the best outcome or the adventurer who did the right thing?

There isn't a wrong answer in the eyes of the world, only a wrong answer in regards to who you are.
No. 1077959 ID: a25322

“Anger is such a horrid emotion. It dulls the senses, narrows the sight. No, I am not angry with you,”

Two seconds later:

"Hey Serah, wouldn't it be neat if you kicked Landi out of your party and left her to fend for herself? Just imagine how hard it would be for her to pay back the Marquess without a job. Hilarious!"

I think she might be mad.

This one's a no-brainer, you're sticking by Landi. This isn't even a compelling case for a trade, because you sure as hell don't want to deal with Ventura for a year, regardless of what benefits she may offer. She's a petty bitch. Landi may be irresponsible, but when the chips are down you know that she's a trustworthy companion who will try to help however she can. And she HAS been helpful many times past and present.

Besides, you've got plenty of power and wealth of your own. Your party, your adventuring connections, and your skills are all yours. If you just wanted power, you could have stayed home and played politics. Standing up to daddy was important to you because more than anything, you craved independence.

Ventura can offer you power, but if it it's only through her terms, have you really kept your independence? You didn't want daddy forcing you to get married, but you'll let this authority have a say in your relationships? At that point, haven't you just traded staying under one thumb for another?

Yeah, no shot. It's a shitty thing for Ventura to offer in the first place, it's shittier of her to try and force your hand with the storm and your current pursuit, and frankly she just seems like a bitch. Frankly, the less of her you have to see, the better.
No. 1077960 ID: f2cf5a

You'll get what you wanted...but you'll lose what you had.

Is it really worth it? I'm not so sure.
No. 1077961 ID: 07c99e

We would NEVER betray a friend!

So yeah, we accept the trade.
No. 1077962 ID: 12b116

Is there anything we can do for a minor favor? Like maybe helping us get through the storm while leaving it there to stall the Censors?
No. 1077963 ID: eb0a9c

Okay, notice how Ventura didn't mention "and to top it off, a spiri-tit-ually-sociopathic spy scion? Oooh, that's [i]double[/s] the 'S'!"
She doesn't know. Forget loyalty or power, you have a trade secret that can forge empires and making this contract would spill it!
Of course, the bad luck side-effect comes into play as well. Worst-case scenario, Ventura finds out and manages a legal means of kidnapping Pierre right in front of you. The moment the panties come off, casually put yourself in harm's way. Quite unlucky for a man of the cloth to endure such... debauchery.
No. 1077965 ID: 8f9bc4

It was terribly foolish of you to accept that contract with Landi, in ignorance of her careless, lazy and manipulative nature, just because you were in trouble at the time. She's been a lot of trouble, and you're incredibly lucky that she was genuinely trying to help you, not malicious or exploitive. You've slowly gained her trust and respect, and she yours, as she fought alongside you and saved your life more than once. Landi might not be the most powerful, but she's given everything she has to protect her friends, and that means something. It was a mistake to contract with her without knowing anything about her, and it probably hasn't been worth it to fight your way through the difficult relationship and reach some sort of mutually beneficial accord, but you did. It's done.

And you don't intend to make that mistake again.
No. 1077967 ID: 273c18

This isn't a decision you can make yourself. Party vote time.
No. 1077968 ID: de5cb4

Ventura seems very manipulative, like she would be constantly pushing you to make decisions for her interests, or amusement. Having her around you would need to be always on guard, while Landi, for all her faults, is trustworthy. Usually.
No. 1077983 ID: a7a180

Yes it is. That's a leader's job.
No. 1077985 ID: 3c2dff
File 170095822728.png - (17.92KB , 500x481 , LF7 74.png )

Ventura’s offer is everything I want, but what do I have to give up to get it?


I’d lose Landi’s loyalty, both mine to her and hers to me. It’s obvious, but it’s important. Landi doesn’t sound even close to receptive of the idea; Ventura’s no-contact condition is especially cruel when targeted at a girl so upset over losing contact with her sorority sisters.

I might even lose what hard-earned loyalty I’ve won from Raelynn. She says she’s in this for the money, but she’s risked far more than a normal adventurer would. Finally, there’s Dotti, too. I don’t want to plant seeds of doubt in her mind that might sprout later, with terrible consequences for humanity in general. As a leader, I cannot let anyone question the bonds with my party members. That means this is a decision I must make myself.

Ventura doesn’t seem like she’s being entirely honest with me, or even with herself. She says she’s not angry, but the entire reason she’s doing this is (I suspect) to take revenge on Landi. Then of course there’s her promise that I would have her full attention for the year. Has she really not bestowed long-term patronage on anyone? If not, then she’s a flighty, whimsical, untethered djinn without care for long-term commitments. Maybe this deal isn’t as good as it seems at first glance…. or maybe I’m just the first girl that’s caught her eye to try something like this. She is a wind Djinn. It wouldn’t be out of character for her to bestow her favor for fun and whimsy until now.

Ultimately, I have to turn her down. Landi isn’t the best, but she’s trying to be better. She’s trustworthy within her own limits, and we’re both getting an idea of what those limits are. I can’t say the same for Ventura.

“I thank you for your offer,” I say to Ventura, “and hope that we can work together in the future. However, I will not abandon any of my companions, least not the first one to join me when I set out as an adventurer.”

“Are you serious?” Ventura asks, befuddled. “You’d really pick her over me?”

“Yes,” I say. “So long as you demand I break the bonds of fellowship with one sworn to me, I cannot accept your offer.”

Dotti lets out a tiny fox snorf behind me. “I bet that blue lady doesn’t know how to be a Dotti interpreter,” she says, using her magically conjured voice. “It’s a very rare but very handy skill to have. Oh, and thank you, Pierre!”

Pierre looks at Dotti as if she’s grown a second head. Oh. I suppose he would think it quite odd to hear a teenaged version of his mother’s voice coming from a fox. I wonder how that’ll work going forward.

“Fine. Have it your way,” Ventura huffs. “See how you avoid those celestial griffons without me. You’ll be sorry!”

“Thank you for the reminder,” I say to Ventura. I turn to Landi. “Landi, could you please keep giving Kayk health potions from your inventory until she feels battle-ready? It might take most or all of them, but we’ll need to push hard.”

“Inventory magic.” Ventura narrows her eyes at Landi. “That’s how she got out of the party with my panties, you know. She’s nothing but trouble.”

“I’ll return your panties as soon as we’re ready to bear the brunt of the bad luck,” I say. “My robed companion has worn them for about four hours, so we expect approximately four hours of bad luck. We’ll need to be ready.” Of course, I don’t feel like telling Ventura we can avoid the brunt of it as long as Pierre is focused on neutralizing the effect.

“You’re going to fly into a storm, being chased by seven summon steeds and their riders, all battle-ready Church of Censorship clergy, on a dragon that’s as aerodynamic as a barn with wings?” Ventura shakes her head. “I feel lucky you turned down my offer. I’d have hated to be bound to assist someone with such poor judgment.”

“It is regretful that I do not have a guide through the storm,” I say. “Why, with the knowledge of which two directions the griffons are coming from, I could simply choose a course to avoid them.”

“You refused my offer,” Ventura says, “And I won’t work with Landi. I refuse to do anything that benefits her in the slightest, even indirectly. She is undeserving.”

Hmm. I decide not to call her out on her ‘I’m not angry’ childish attitude, not when I’m making progress. This is an opening. She’s clearly put out that Landi is being more helpful than a great Djinn of ‘good fortune.’

I sense an opening to let Ventura find an excuse to flatter herself by favoring me, but only if it has no benefit to Landi whatsoever. What do I propose? I need to be very clever about how I phrase it, too.
No. 1077986 ID: 273c18

Something that doesn't benefit Landi... Oh, you could split up? Landi should be able to get back to town on her own, or with Taranis' help, and the Clergy won't notice that you've split up-- they're following Kayk and Landi is smol. If Taranis is carrying her, she could further reduce visibility by quenching her glow. ...is it even possible for Taranis to fly in these winds? He does have some wind control...
No. 1077987 ID: 9b38ba

Why, let us remind her of how our chubby dragon lizard friend's mom turned Landi into a dust dispencer when she decided to be impudent to her face. It would geniunely be a pity if Maia heard that her daughter got hurt because of she had to fight nuns riding bird-cats in the middle of a storm.
Let us not forget Landi's mess at the high born party, that was funny as well, or the time she drank mutagens just to see what happened, among other things.

Yes, Landi is a mess, but there is so much room to see her step on her own foot again and again while she is along.
And we can always change our mind later and have Dotti eat her, lol.
No. 1077989 ID: e51896

can Ventura use Landi's fairy dust in some way to give her some kind of boost in power?

and by Landi's fairy dust, I mean ALL of her fairy dust for today. A dustless fairy is like being naked to them, and letting Ventura get some kind of boost in magic with all of Landi's dust at Landi's expense might work out for her since she'll be stronger, while putting Landi in a humiliating position too.

continue to flatter her by saying "It's a shame too. It would have been great to see the great wind djinn working beyond her max power with all of Landi's fairy dust buffing her against any enemies that come our way, like using Godmother’s Blessing to not get distracted by any attempts to attack her and see her at her full power... But since you're not interested, I guess on the bright side it would would mean Landi won't have to use all her fairy dust and lose her dignity from being dustbusted after all.
No. 1077990 ID: eb0a9c

Serah: "Oh come on, aren't you curious just how badly Landi could have screwed up-"
Landi: "HEY!"
Serah: "To get an entire army of secretive monks raging for her ass? Even I'm not sure, because she has a drinking problem! You'll have to get the full scoop from them if you want to post the scandal all over the magical super-connected information network that you fairies are always talking about."
No. 1077992 ID: de5cb4

Is she really going to let Landi off with just returning the panties? Wouldn't she rather get a heartfelt apology in exacting detail on just how wrong and dumb Landi is? In front of the whole town and adventure guild and not alone out here in the woods?
No. 1077997 ID: 8f9bc4

Huh. How do two different groups of Censors know your exact location right now? They lost visual range long before they realized Pierre was gone. There must be some sort of tracking device on you, because it's not like anyone here would just lead your enemies to you purely out of spite, pretending she was offering you aid while secretly stabbing you in the back to force you to accept her contract.

That would be somewhat... legally questionable.
No. 1077998 ID: eb0a9c

Okay I got it
Party A: Serah, Raelynn, Taranis, Pierre
Party B: Landi, Dotti, Kayk
Optional Guest Character: Ventura
Pierre can use his Antimagic talent to block the scrying on his party to take the slow path, while the other party composed of magical immortals darts straight to Minga with as many self-imposed magical buffs as they can muster, speeding at rates that would break the necks of even magically-augmented mortals, and acts as a general decoy.
Ventura can also help if she wants to.
No. 1077999 ID: a7a180

Instead of splitting up to leave Landi behind with Raelynn, you could instead give fair winds and fleet foot to other allies to meet you here? Like an envoy of your father, or even the man himself.
No. 1078001 ID: 273c18

That could work, maybe? Raelynn would have her work cut out for her keeping the side party hidden from fliers though.

Here's a counter-proposal: Pierre, Kayk, Serah in one party. Raelynn, Dotti, Landi, Taranis in the other. Dotti can use her illusions to hide Landi and Taranis, while Raelynn can be her usual stealthy self during the trip.

So long as Kayk manages to get through the storm without being spotted directly by the fliers, or the Djinn agrees to help the group that doesn't contain Landi, we'll be golden.
No. 1078002 ID: 8f9bc4


Uh, why would Serah want to hide Landi and Taranis? The only thing she needs to hide is Pierre.
No. 1078003 ID: 8f9bc4


I like this plan because it puts Landi in danger as she has to brave the storm, and the two Censor pursuit parties of celestial gryphons homing in on their location, not realizing Pierre secretly split off to take a slower route. It puts her in awesome danger that involves riding a fire breathing dragon at breakneck speeds through a terrifying storm, so Landi would be cool with it. And whether she helps or not, Ventura would have to admit this plan is not in any way advantageous to Landi. (it's just fucking awesome)

It's also a great way for Landi and Dotti to bond. I'm sure Kayk would be a very considerate mediator.
No. 1078005 ID: b6ec4d


That's not a terrible idea, but it's a bit risky. I don't know that I can support it.

For starters, Ventura isn't going to help Landi at all, so their group will be flying into the full weight of the storm. Heck, with Landi making up a larger fraction of the group, Ventura would likely slow them down intentionally. That could give the church time to catch up and see that Pierre isn't with them. This causes issues for Serah and Pierre, who even with Rae don't have the strength to fight against a full church army without their magic users. If they get caught, Pierre will be taken back.

That said, I'm not entirely sure what to go with myself. I'll think on it some more.
No. 1078006 ID: 273c18

Because they're co-conspirators?
No. 1078040 ID: f2cf5a

I strongly think that splitting the party is a horrible idea. Whatever we do, we need to do as a united front. No one here by themselves or even with only one or two people has the power to resist the Censors.
No. 1078089 ID: 273c18

Without splitting the party then I suppose we'll have to find some other leverage. A favor in the future, perhaps? Landi could make it up to her, as well? Surely there's something she can do to be deserving of indirect assistance.
No. 1078139 ID: b6ec4d

Why don't you offer Ventura Landi's cut of profits for this mission in exchange for her services? Landi's main incentive to be here is profit after all (she certainly won't ADMIT that she cares about Dotti and wants to ensure she's safe), so coming home with an empty wallet is theoretically the worst possible outcome for Landi. It would mean all the time and effort she put in had been a waste. Not only would Landi not benefit, Ventura accepting this job would directly harm Landi.

Emphasize that you will not have Landi see a cent of profit for this job in exchange for the djinn's aid. There won't be any shenanigans of taking pay from others, this mission WILL be a net loss for Landi.

Now, if you give Landi small missions for a higher rate than usual afterwards, that is a completely separate matter, and not one Ventura should concern herself with. Landi simply has every right to negotiate a higher fee for her services, given the recent unreliability of your paying her.
No. 1078164 ID: 609d1f

Support. I dont like splitting the party.
No. 1078446 ID: 3c2dff
File 170150352093.png - (43.32KB , 555x526 , LF7 75.png )

The Censors have access to plenty of mid-tier divine magic, and from what Pierre hinted at regarding Father Forthill, potentially some high-tier spells as well. If he is, he’ll be flying directly from Giornico on a faster-than-normal summoned mount, though he may want to stay grouped with his other Censors. Ventura said we were only being chased by celestial griffons and not anything scarier or faster, so perhaps the Father isn’t joining the chase personally. Regardless, any extended buff spells he blessed the Giornico Censors with will still be in effect.

I can’t waste time. Every moment I spend on the ground is time for the Giornico censors to catch up. The other group of Censors that Ventura told us about is coming from an unknown direction, and I’m not sure if they’ll intercept us if we go straight to Minga, or if they assumed I’d go to Kensington Keep. Either way, they have divination spells that can hone in on me, Landi, and Kayk. They might assume Dotti is still sealed, and Rae has previously told me that it would be exceptionally difficult to scry on her, if it’s even possible without a having a lock of her hair. The Church doesn’t even know Taranis is with us, and he’s got divine magic of his own, or so I hear.

The most likely way to tempt Ventura into helping me is to send Landi and Dotti forward, riding on Kayk, and using Dotti’s illusory magic to make it seem like Pierre, Raelynn and I are still riding. Pierre could then extend an anti-magic bubble around me and him, hopefully while counteracting the bad luck buff from removing Ventura’s lucky panties. The Censors would probably assume that any lack of a hit on their divination from me and Rae would be from riding so close to Pierre, and would likely fall for our deception. The problem would be that Landi, Dotti and Kayk would be facing the Censors alone. Kayk could rush for Minga, but from here it’s an hour and a half at full speed, worse if Ventura messes with them.

I refuse to leave Landi, Dotti and Kayk to fight the Censors alone. Even with Landi’s summons and Dotti’s full might with four tails, the Censors have had time to prepare for this fight. They’ll be armed and buffed to the teeth, and without me to provide Landi the benefits of our contract, she might be seriously hurt. Not to mention how little the Censors will hold back assuming that they’re facing a full party… even Kayk might be in danger.

I’ll have to try another tactic if I want Ventura’s help. It’s a long shot, but it’s all I’ve got.

“Great Ventura,” I say, “By offering me your aid, you would be harming Landi, not helping.”

“Really,” Ventura says, pursing her lips. “Do go on.”

“I offer you Landi’s pay for this mission. All her efforts spent in aiding me would be wasted, and to arrive back at Minga would leave her with nothing to repay the Marquess, with a new payment due soon. I will not circumvent this deal by allowing her to receive renumeration from other sources; she will have no money when she arrives and her repayment is due. Her share would be given to you.”

“Hey!” Landi says. “Serah, I worked hard here!”

“So focused on money,” Ventura sighs. “So transactional. Serah Kensington, I do what I do out of altruism and goodwill. A good deed done is its own reward, and I would not accept payment.”

“There are other ways to help us without payment that would solely harm Landi,” I say. “You could allow her to use up all her Dust and-“

“You don’t get it, do you, blondie?” Ventura sighs a great gust of wind. “I won’t help Landi by gifting her favorable winds or hindering those chasing her. She accepted these risks and consequences by joining you, and I will not mitigate them, even if you think removing her compensation balances the scales. A deed is a deed, and two actions do not somehow cancel each other out. They are separate.”

I don’t have time to continue arguing, and the one path that might have success- separating Landi from us- is something I won’t do. We ride together or not at all.

“Very well,” I say to Ventura. “As you say, Landi accepted the risks upon setting out. So do I. If you will not aid Landi, then regretfully, we must part ways.”

“Fine! I’ll just take my panties and go. You’re making a mistake,” Ventura warns. “You’ll be sorry! You’ll all rue the day you scorned me!”

“We mean you no disrespect,” I say. “I am bound to aid my companions, Ventura. Perhaps someday you will see the value in commitments. Perhaps not.”
No. 1078448 ID: 3c2dff
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Ventura dissipates into a whirlwind and swirls around Pierre’s legs. He lets out a yelp and covers his crotch. The winds die down for a moment but then resurge, twice as strong as before, then a howling, shrieking wind whips the untied Lucky Panties down Pierre’s legs and they fly away into the sky, never to be seen again.

Pierre isn’t looking very good.

“Bad luck!” I remind him gently. He nods, then closes his eyes and focuses inward before he his back luck has time to catch up with him.

I look over to Landi and Kayk. They’re about halfway through my potion stock, and Kayk is looking replenished. I could tell Landi to keep going and supercharge Kayk’s vitaility to allow her to push as hard as she can to go full-speed toward Minga. It would put us ahead of the super-buffed Censors from Giornico, but we wouldn’t have many health potions for a fight with the other group.

A cold, icy hand grips my insides. This could be a very nasty fight, and even if we win, I’ll have fought against the Chruch’s agents. Their healing magic is strong, but if I kill one of them by accident, or if something goes wrong otherwise, the consequences could be much worse than if I could simply escape with Pierre. A fight would be difficult, and I’d want to maximize the odds in my favor. Whether that’s making sure I have extra health potions, or if I get Taranis to somehow contact the adventurers’ guild with his Tweet spell even with its limited range… maybe there’s a religious priest he can reach out to that would hear him from a longer range?

Rae sees me thinking and takes me aside.

“Serah,” Rae says softly. “We’re headed to straight to Minga, but we don’t have to. There’s a place I know. It’s… in my people’s territory. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s unoccupied.”

“Is it safe for us? For Kayk, Pierre and Dotti?”

“I don’t know,” Rae says, looking downcast. “If I’m with you, my people will give you the benefit of the doubt. We could get taken prisoner. Kayk… if she transforms into her lizardfolk form to hide from the Censors, I could get us into a safe shelter. My people would be far less likely to ambush her if they know she’s not as big of a threat as she is in her true form.”

“And the Censors?”

“They know better,” Rae says simply, and her dead-eyed expression tells me all I need to know.

What path do I choose?

1. Rush to Minga. Spend almost all of my health potions to allow Kayk to race to Minga and outpace the Giornico Censors. Taranis might be able to get a message to the Guild if he’s on good terms with a priest or priestess, and we might be able to meet some adventurers halfway to reinforce us.

2. Prepare for Battle. Save the remaining half of our potions and prepare ourselves for a fight. Kayk will take three hours to reach Minga, and we will have plenty of time to buff up and prepare as best we can.

3. Head to Raelynn’s Druidic Shelter. Will avoid a conflict with the Church, but poses other risks.
No. 1078449 ID: eb0a9c

I think the answer is obvious.
These @#$%s were going to breed an entire army of superpowered spies so they could alter the contents of every piece of scripture they could get their paws on, burying the truths of the world so they could take over. A world at peace... but a world drenched in madness and misinformation.
We. Will. Not. @#$%ing. Accept. This.

Goad the Church. Let them think they've overtaken you. And then weaponize Pierre's bad luck;
Start a war between Elves and Censors. Let his suffering catalyze your victory.
No. 1078450 ID: c572c5

3. It's time for a thread for Rae's character development. Plus, from the sound of things, it looks like she is ready to face her past. This might mean more to her than just escaping the censors.
No. 1078454 ID: a25322

1 or 3 seem like the best answers. I'm leaning 3, as it gives us a natural lead-in to Rae's quest, finally lets us see elven society from the inside, and will keep our party and Minga friends from potential death.
No. 1078456 ID: 273c18

3. Rae has other motives for doing this, ones we should support.
No. 1078478 ID: 7e41cf

No no no don’t let her brother have Pierre
Rush Minga! You’ll be closer to reinforcements and have a shorter battle overall. If escape is your priority, then focus on that!
No. 1078495 ID: de5cb4

3 seems the best way to avoid combat, and combat would be the worst case scenario.
No. 1078504 ID: a7a180

1. Minga is friendly to you, the druids are not. They can keep Pierre and Rae and kick the rest of you out and there's not much you can do about it.
No. 1078523 ID: 3c2dff
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If I follow Raelynn’s guidance to the druidic shelter, I’ll be trading one set of foes for another. My first instinct is to trade the Church of Censorship (a politically connected entity that knows Pierre’s abilities and is aiming for him specifically) for Raelynn’s Circle (a military society with no political connections to Daddy that is also unaware of Pierre’s powers, but is hostile to all outsiders).

With Raelynn’s Circle, I wouldn’t have to worry about impacting my family’s political position, and it would avoid a fight with the Church, but I wouldn’t have any political influence over events. In fact, I’d have less than zero political power, since human nobility were the ones primarily responsible for causing elven society on the continent to collapse after the great war almost five hundred years ago. I’m not sure I’d be able to have much of a say in events. I might even become a hostage, if Raelynn’s circle needs gold or other resources.

“If your Circle does find us using the shelter and take us prisoner,” I say to Rae, “There might be very little I could do to stop them from separating us. I don’t like that prospect. I could be a hostage. So could Kayk. Would they try to banish Dotti?”

Rae stays silent.

“Are there any outcomes where us getting taken prisoner ends well?” I ask softly.

Rae thinks for a long moment.

“Yes,” she says, hand resting on her shortsword hilt. “A few. As long as none of you try to break free.”

“You’ll need to tell us more details,” I say, “Once we arrive at your shelter.”

Rae nods.

It’s decided.

“Landi!” I call out. “Change of plans. Stop giving Kayk the health potions. We’re following Raelynn’s directions. Kayk, you’ll need to transform as soon as we hit the ground in order to fit inside a safehouse. The Church won’t follow us inside.”

“A safehouse?” Pierre says, relieved. “I didn’t realize you were so well-prepared to have contingencies all the way from Minga.”

“It’s not mine,” I say. “It’s Raelynn’s.”

“Raelynn has safe house?” Dotti asks.

“Don’t get excited,” Raelynn says. “It’s a well-hidden hole in the ground with food, medical supplies, and shielded from scrying.”

Dotti squeals, getting very excited. “You’re so smart, Rae! You found a foxhole big enough for everyone!”

“I’m gonna be stuck in a hole with her when she’s like this, aren’t I?” Landi groans.

“Try to suffer through it,” I say. “If all goes well, we’ll wait out the storm and rely on Raelynn and Taranis to tell us when it’s safe to leave the shelter. If things don’t go well… Landi, I’ll discuss contingencies with you on the way.”

We mount up on Kayk’s warm back. The wind howls and the rain begins to come down in a thick, heavy torrents. Raelynn thankfully is able to guide Kayk to the safehouse twenty-five minutes away, and we don’t see any griffons as we touch down. The shelter is a nearly imperceptible bunker formed into a hillside, and Raelynn makes us all turn around as she casts a spell to open the door. Kayk transforms into her lizardfolk form to fit inside, and Raelynn shapes the earth behind us to close the entryway securely. Taranis remains outside.

Darkness takes us for a moment, then glowing plants begin to light up the shelter.

And now we wait.
No. 1078524 ID: 3c2dff
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Who Will be the Primary POV of Thread 8?

There may be brief periods when the Spirits can refocus their attention.

A. Moonshine, a.k.a. Landi, a Fairy
B. Lady Serah Kensington, Heir Countess of Kensington, a Human Alchemist
C. Dorothea, a.k.a. Dotti, a.k.a. Foxie, a Fox Spirit, Slayer of Soul-Eaters and Waitress of La Pâtisserie de Minga
D. Ráichéalín, a Wood Elf Ranger, former Warseer of Druidic Circle Uí Liatháin
E. Taranis, a Stormcrow of Odin, Probably Penitent Panty Purloiner
F. The Magnificent Kayk Terrorscale, a Half-dragon Baker
G. Pierre, former Brother of the Church of Censorship, a Human Monk

Thread will remain open for one week to count votes.
No. 1078525 ID: e51896

D or E

D because I feel whatever action Rae will do will heavily influence how the story will go, and we should help her make the right decisions. This does feel like it will be a heavily rae focused thread.

E because he's Rae's animal partner. He'll have a pretty strong role in this too because of this.
No. 1078527 ID: a7a180

Don't go yet, stick with Serah! Unless this is the last thread, then Landi.
No. 1078528 ID: a25322

I'll set some votes on Taranis and Kayk. Taranis because he's close to Rae, and Kayk because I think approaching elven society from the perspective of a dragon has some interesting potential to explore. Humans fear what elves are capable of a group, but dragons are used to being on top of the food chain. That, and I feel that Kayk has the least involvement with upcoming developments, and so I'm trolling Donut by picking the least fitting character for the upcoming thread.

Rae will be having heart to hearts about her quest and lack of desire to kill her brother, and Kayk willbe sitting there thinking of ways to get elves to start coming to her bakery (they like healthy meals, so perhaps if she started selling protein bars... no, the general public wouldn't accept them without some sweetness in them. Alright, but what if she let you order them "elf style", to have all sweeteners substituted with healthy alternatives such as dried fruit? Ooh, that has potential! She should run it by Rae and- oh right, she's still crying about her brother. Maybe later...)
No. 1078530 ID: eb0a9c

I vote we guide Dotti. If we're going to deal with the Soul-Eaters, we want to micromanage the one Action Survivor who has relevant combat experience and even kills.
No. 1078531 ID: f2cf5a

A. This story hasn't actually been about a Lazy Fairy for ages. Maybe we should return to that?
No. 1078533 ID: b57fea

A, been forever since we were in Landi land
No. 1078566 ID: 12b116

Let's go with Rae, she's the most important character now
No. 1078578 ID: 932a49

Good choice, Lady Kensington. This is a better set of enemies for political reasons.

As for next thread, I vote D. Rae is the one who knows what's going on and who will have the biggest chance of getting everyone else out alright. She's also the one who will probably need the most emotional support/help if things go sideways.
No. 1078597 ID: de5cb4

D makes the most sense, although G is a poor sheltered soul who desperately needs our lewd useful advice.
No. 1078642 ID: c75e0b

I was going to say Landi but..yeah, not every story needs to end cyclically.

Let's go with Archibeard! A hyper competente, emotionally detached straight man is what we need in a time of crisis like this.

If not, Raelynn is my second pick.
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