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File 153722139454.png - (102.70KB , 500x400 , ADQ000.png )
902109 No. 902109 ID: 11f77a

Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Arthocob_Date_Quest
Discussion: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/106192.html
Takes place in the Team Port Echo universe so... may or may not be canon-ish. Prequel maybe?
Expand all images
>>
No. 902110 ID: 11f77a
File 153722142603.png - (169.17KB , 700x500 , ADQ001.png )
902110

Well, today is finally it! Not counting those other few days I’ve attempted to woo only the most attractive Arthocob I’ve ever laid eyes upon!
>>
No. 902111 ID: 11f77a
File 153722144887.png - (180.98KB , 700x500 , ADQ002.png )
902111

No matter what: I’m going to ask Eudora on a date and she’s going to say yes this time; or my name isn’t Ganymede!
>>
No. 902122 ID: eeb7d9

I got a funny feeling that your name won't be Ganymede for too long. What did you saw in this particular girl of yours anyway?
>>
No. 902124 ID: deec6e

Better start writing that love poem.
>>
No. 902125 ID: 2a7417

Did you make reservations somewhere fancy in advance?
>>
No. 902151 ID: 0e2ebe

She looks like she'd hate both fancy places and love poems. Maybe something low-key?
>>
No. 902169 ID: caf1de

ofer to eat her out
>>
No. 902170 ID: ee2d6e

Take her to a shooting range or something.
>>
No. 902179 ID: ab52c1

Remember all those other things you tried and don't do any of that.
>>
No. 902184 ID: 91ee5f

You know what she likes, right? She likes things that involve fighting! Maybe you can go see an action movie or something?
>>
No. 902208 ID: 864e49

You know she's a rough and tumble gal so get her something related to her interests: training equipment or martial arts books.
>>
No. 902213 ID: 11f77a
File 153730739801.png - (134.52KB , 700x500 , ADQ003.png )
902213

>Reservations?
>Love poems?
>Low-key?
Hmgh, I haven’t thought of those recently. But if it counts—I’ve known her for almost my entire life. I’ve sure to have written quite a few love notes and offered a place to eat. And my love has been fluttering ever since!

>What do you see in her?
There’s something about her that surpasses the scowl she always has. Being with her, I feel... happy. Ever since she walked in the orphanage she’s been alone and quiet, and she deserves to have someone to be with—if not me or the Great Flying Rod herself.

If I could do anything to make her smile, that would be enough. Sigh~ I can still remember the first day we met ♥.
>>
No. 902214 ID: 11f77a
File 153730742538.png - (116.90KB , 481x500 , ADQ004.png )
902214

Teacher: Now, now, Eudora. If you’re going to live here, you best behave and start paying attention in class.

Teacher: We want smart children under the house of Bhothogoshol here. You agreed. I’ll show your bedroom after your first lesson.
>>
No. 902215 ID: 11f77a
File 153730744288.png - (115.07KB , 615x433 , ADQ005.png )
902215

>>
No. 902216 ID: 11f77a
File 153730746042.png - (135.60KB , 621x433 , ADQ006.png )
902216

Ganymede: Wow! So you’re Eudora, right? I’m Ganymede!

Ganymede: Boy! You sure are pretty!
>>
No. 902217 ID: 11f77a
File 153730747356.png - (125.61KB , 621x433 , ADQ007.png )
902217

>>
No. 902218 ID: 11f77a
File 153730750505.png - (252.81KB , 700x500 , ADQ008.png )
902218

Well... we’ve gotten a bit better over the years.

>Shooting range
>Fighting
Oh my, the church forbids any of that, least on the school grounds! And she does like to throw punches... But a movie, hmm—I don’t think I’ve tried that before. This village isn’t very modern compared to other planets; we usually go for theater plays. I guess you’d describe this place as ‘primitive’ or ‘medieval’ although some technology hangs around for record-keeping and medical care.

>Rough and tumble gal
Heh, yeah. She seems to put her fists to use. I don’t know why she bothers with violence.

I just woke and freshened up in my room. It’s a typical weekend here at the Rhoth-Zogg Orphanage of Bhothogoshol. Normally I’d see Eudora in class—but if I know her well she’s probably going to be in her room all day. Luckily her room is right next to mine, so I can visit her any time I want! She ought to be doing something productive to keep her mind occupied.

A) Visit Eudora’s room
B) Do some praying first
C) Go to the market for a gift, perhaps to find martial arts stuff there.
D) Tend a garden, or something therapeutic to start the day
>>
No. 902219 ID: 0e2ebe

C. Even if you don't understand, trying to get involved with things she's interested in is a good way to get closer to her.
>>
No. 902220 ID: ee2d6e

B. Pray to not get punched in the face. And to not get knocked the fuck out next time she clocks you, because let's be realistic here.
>>
No. 902221 ID: 91ee5f

>>902218
C

But maybe also pray for success. With a girl like Eudora, you’re gonna need all the help you can get!
>>
No. 902283 ID: eeb7d9

C sounds good to start.
>>
No. 902304 ID: 2f83e5

>>902218
C is a good start.
>>
No. 902350 ID: 5bad2e

Are you sure smiling is physically possible for her?
D: pick some medicinal herbs for later use in a numbing salve.
>>
No. 902430 ID: 3062f7

C
>>
No. 902501 ID: 11f77a
File 153746545317.png - (102.31KB , 412x500 , ADQ009.png )
902501

>>902219
>Pray a bit, then go to the market
I might as well not bother her this morning, then. Best to surprise her with a gift! While the church has taught me fighting isn’t a favorable sport—it seems that such an activity could be my ticket to her heart.

So I first make a quick prayer to the Allmother.

Oh, blessed Bhothogoshol, The Great Flying Rod who sheds life from its husk. This Arthocob’s love is at your mercy. Truly, if it was not meant to be, then the desire would cease—would it not? I implore for a chance to reach her, and let her know that she doesn’t have to be alone in all of the Voxxus. Grant me strength through the craquelure of space, where you live beyond. S’dhaquacama.
>>
No. 902503 ID: 11f77a
File 153746604584.png - (233.28KB , 632x500 , ADQ010.png )
902503

Often times the church can give you a small amount of change for food. I collected 17 yogguths to spend in the market. It’s a short walk from the church, but students can purchase food and small stuff here. I’ll take a gander at some of the vendors.

A) Browse the comic store, perhaps for something action-y
B) Look at the mall ninja martial weapons vendor
C) Shop for food
D) Visit the jewelry/clothing vendor
E) Something else to catch my eye?
>>
No. 902504 ID: 2e0f31

A. Perhaps between the pages of hippy-punching action you will see how to get past the tough, spiky shell of an action hero!
Failing that, they usually have wild advertisements in the back for some really weird stuff.
>>
No. 902506 ID: eeb7d9

>>902504
I agree.
>>
No. 902551 ID: 2f83e5

>>902503
Is 17 yogguths enough to buy clothes? You should visit the clothing vendor if so.
>>
No. 902558 ID: 0e2ebe

I guess A. Maybe she's into fiction more than actual martial arts.
>>
No. 902919 ID: 91ee5f

>>902503
I’m pretty sure she’d like an actual weapon, but you’re probably not allowed to have those and she’d get in trouble if someone found it in her room.

So the next best thing would be A and hope that you can find something that she’ll enjoy!
>>
No. 904952 ID: 11f77a
File 153869194225.png - (97.73KB , 452x500 , ADQ011.png )
904952

>>902504
>Maybe she’s into fiction more than martial arts
There isn’t a restriction on books and magazines in my church, so a comic book would definitely be nice. There’s a lot to browse through, but a few kind of catch my eye.

Let's see what they have in store!
>>
No. 904953 ID: 11f77a
File 153869199053.png - (102.27KB , 408x500 , COMIC 1.png )
904953

A) Holster, Legend of Huron: Issue #64. Gunplay! Gun-toting merc, known as the fabled Holster, utilizes his powersuit to enter the 4th dimension for quick access to an unending arsenal. His latest mission: to infiltrate a Tripodic cruiser and halt the illegal harvesting of gas giants. cost: $3yg
>>
No. 904954 ID: 11f77a
File 153869203064.png - (122.69KB , 408x500 , COMIC 2.png )
904954

B) Ulilli: Issue #52. Deity Superhero. Blessed as the new servitor of Relik, Ybra brandishes the role of Ulilli, demigod and guardian of Rac-Naquaghu, who vows to vanquish all evil sent by the Mi-yok! cost: $3yg
>>
No. 904956 ID: 11f77a
File 153869207938.png - (67.33KB , 408x500 , COMIC 3.png )
904956

C) The Cambrian Explosion #01. Horror fiction. Execution by exile! Experience terror with a wrongfully convicted Mal’Or Huntoon survivor as he fights for his survival in Zhuogg-Ndepthteph, the planet where only criminals are sent to die by the hostile nature of its fauna and flora! cost: $5yg
>>
No. 904957 ID: 11f77a
File 153869214755.png - (159.20KB , 408x500 , COMIC 4.png )
904957

D) Vulgar Rush: Issue #21. Apocalyptic/Adventure/Western. Crawford and Ichabod have come upon the key to a lost, ancient civilization. They are pursued by an army controlled by the frenzied Enriq Yeager and his accomplice Radcliffe. The rush to mine ancient technology leaves a path of blood, grit, madness, and destruction. cost: $3yg

E) Leave, nothing really exciting and keep shopping for something else.
>>
No. 904961 ID: 2e0f31

Ulilli uses a sword? Laaame! You know Eudora's more of an unarmed combat monster. Get the Cambrian Explosion.
>>
No. 905009 ID: eeb7d9

Hmmm if there was a good fighting comic, with punches and kicks, that would have been nice... Do you know of a store that sells magazines about fighting or boxing or something?
>>
No. 905011 ID: 2f83e5

>>904956
The cambrian looks interesting, does Eudora likes horror? If you think so maybe you should buy it and look the other stores.
>>
No. 905020 ID: 11f77a
File 153870974637.png - (149.74KB , 658x405 , ADQ012.png )
905020

>Comic with punches and kicks
I skimmed through the pages and... the majority of them are action comics so—I don't know why an action comic WOULDN'T include kicks, punches, shootings, swordplay. Cause, you know, heroes don't talk things out with their villains?

In fact, the Cambrian Explosion is the only one without fighting at all.

A) Holster, Legend of Huron (Gunplay. Action. Superhero. Fights happen.) $3yg
B) Ulilli (Diety Superhero, like Thor. Action. Fights happen. Swords. Medieval. Gods.) $3yg
C) The Cambrian Explosion (Psychological Horror. Survival. Terror. The Unknown. More like a Journal.) $5yg
D) Vulgar Rush (Mad Max Action. Indiana Jones Adventure. Wasteland Apocalypse. Guns. Explosions. People fight.) $3yg
E) Just buy one of each. $14yg
F) Leave it. Browse elsewhere. >>902503
>>
No. 905024 ID: b1b4f3

>>904957
D. She's probably got Ulilli already.
>>
No. 905043 ID: 91ee5f

>>905020
Give her the D!
>>
No. 905086 ID: ee2d6e

D sounds like the most interesting one, yeah.
>>
No. 905115 ID: 2e0f31

No violence? Mediocre!
D it is.
>>
No. 905223 ID: 2f83e5

>>905020
Yeah D).
>>
No. 906802 ID: 11f77a
File 153949073743.png - (210.69KB , 700x500 , ADQ013.png )
906802

>Option D
Then I shall buy Vulgar Rush; it seems like it would be a fun read! There’re lots of characters and it looks quite adventurous. I have about 14 yogguths left to spend.

A) Browse the Martial Weapons Vendor.
B) Buy some Food, perhaps even candies to share or gift.
C) Visit the Jewelry and Clothing tent.
D) Anything else that may come to mind.
E) Head back to the Church.
>>
No. 906803 ID: 91ee5f

>>906802
Go for B!
>>
No. 906804 ID: 2e0f31

B indeed. Perhaps you can go to C together later to see what she likes.
>>
No. 906805 ID: eeb7d9

B. Can you think of anything that she may like? You were friends with her right? There must be something she might prefer that you know of.
>>
No. 906806 ID: ad51b8

B my friend.
>>
No. 906933 ID: 2f83e5

Go for B, a romantic dinner would be nice.
>>
No. 910428 ID: 11f77a
File 154205318190.png - (229.37KB , 700x500 , ADQ014.png )
910428

>Option B; romantic option
Right! Food! I can look at what they have in store for a romantic dinner once she says YES this time! Now lessee—there’s plenty of cultural delights to go around. I wonder if I should go with Baolith steaks or Zaugoki—
>>
No. 910429 ID: 11f77a
File 154205322104.png - (138.81KB , 552x395 , ADQ015.png )
910429

GASP! By the holiness of Bhothogoshol...
>>
No. 910430 ID: 11f77a
File 154205385992.png - (163.34KB , 700x498 , ADQ016.png )
910430

Lunar Pearlwater~! The only drink that legally allows a sweet dose and blend of rich Saturn Amber and savory Ansel Grey! Where lunar pearls grind up heavy fragrant spices to leave the taste of divine honey on your proboscis for days~

That would prove Eudora that I’m the one for her!
>>
No. 910435 ID: b1b4f3

Ok but how expensive is it?
>>
No. 910437 ID: 91ee5f

>>910430
Slow down lover boy, reality is about to slap you in the face.

Check the price tag and see just how much money you don’t have to buy the really expensive thing.
>>
No. 910452 ID: 2a7417

When legal channels fail, you could always distill a bit of moonshine.
>>
No. 910453 ID: 2f83e5

>>910430
Ok, let's see how much cost.
>>
No. 910454 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, another thing to worry about is that this will definitely come across as coming on too strong. Even if you can afford it, don't.
>>
No. 911591 ID: 11f77a
File 154304000154.png - (150.95KB , 700x498 , ADQ017.png )
911591

>Coming on too strong
Well, I’ll figure out how to segue this in. Perhaps I can surprise her during a picnic! Candlelight, food, and then I’ll come in with a few glasses of Pearlwater. Then we can talk about our holy Arthocobic Gods and read comic books.

Ganymede: “Sir! I must know how much the Pearlwater is!”

Clerk: “...”

Clerk: “One second...”

Well it can’t be that expensive. I don’t think 14 yuggoths may cover it but it can’t be more than, like, 50 right? It’s only one job’s pay away if I do some decent work around the village. And I sure love helping others.

Oh goodie, the nice man behind the counter has brought me a price tag! Only—
>>
No. 911592 ID: 11f77a
File 154304003920.png - (86.13KB , 700x498 , ADQ018.png )
911592

THREE-HUNDRED-FIFTY YUGGOTHS?!
>>
No. 911594 ID: 11f77a
File 154304035766.png - (151.02KB , 700x498 , ADQ019.png )
911594

So y-yes. A couple jobs would be g-good. I-I-I suppose I’ll settle for some... cheaper alternatives... that may get the job done. L-let’s keep our options open for n-now.

Current Wallet: 14 yogguths
MEATS
Baolith Steaks $3yg
Yuugoth Filet $2yg
Qua-quibb Flanks $3yg
Zaugoki Bowl $5yg

FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Toffel Bulbs$1yg
Larhsaana $1yg
Hakkyagga $1yg

DRINKS
Gorm Milk $1yg
Rose Amber Punch (Juice) $1yg
Zephcynth Ale-Lark (Beer) $2yg
Sarcothus Torq (Beer) $2yg
Divine Relik (Beer) $2yg
Lunar Pearlwater (Wine) $350yg
>>
No. 911596 ID: 080aaf

Beer! More beer, Sarco!
>>
No. 911605 ID: 91ee5f

>>911594
How about some Qua-quibb Flanks and Sarcothus Torq (Beer)?

Don’t forget to also check for candies!
>>
No. 911636 ID: a9af05

>>911605
All of this!
>>
No. 911644 ID: 2f83e5

>>911594
What is a Baolith Steaks? Sounds good. Any beer is good or is Eudora fond of a certain brand? Also don't freak out always act confident but not full of yourelf I bet she'd like that.
>>
No. 916383 ID: 11f77a
File 154673541158.png - (74.94KB , 459x416 , ADQ020.png )
916383

>>911596
>>911605
>>911636
>Sarcothus Torq & Qua-quibb Flanks
Sarcothus Torq. It’s a normal brand of beer—founded in Cnidari Vaalbaran wasteland colonies where the Vzierian raiders now occupy. But it’s a beer nonetheless that Eudora will probably enjoy!

Qua-quibbs are local farm animals here, mollusk-like, and their flank steaks are tasty! Huge creatures, but docile! (I make sure to grab a handful of candy too; sweets are always a good way to a girl’s heart!) Which the total is six yuggoths.

Current Wallet: 8 yuggoths
>>
No. 916385 ID: 11f77a
File 154673549831.png - (78.12KB , 459x416 , ADQ021.png )
916385

So I have a good amount bought for Eudora. But I realize I ought to make a checklist of sorts, or goal list in order to impress and convince Eudora to go out with me. Something to keep in mind and strive for.

[ ] Go on a date with Eudora
[ ] Purchase Pearlwater (350ygs)
--[ ] Get a job for money
[ ] Gift the comic book to Eudora
[ ] Find a martial weapon (to gift Eudora).

I wonder if there’s anything else I’m missing. Of course, I could add or remove certain goals—say if buying the Pearlwater is too pretentious of me.

> What should I do next?
>>
No. 916402 ID: 556568

go buy nunchucks at the flea market
>>
No. 916413 ID: 2f83e5

>>916385
>Getting a Job
What are you good for?
Hey, maybe we should ask the owner of the food store if he has any jobs, maybe you could get your hands on the Lunar Pearlwater this way.
>>
No. 916457 ID: 080aaf

>>916385
If you have to ask, it's probably too pretentious.
Go about getting a job, it has all sorts of benefits, like getting paid, and testing your commitment to this quest.
>>
No. 916466 ID: 91ee5f

>>916385
There’s no way you can afford the Pearlwater anytime soon, so you may want to wait to buy it on the 3rd or 4th date with Eudora, when you’ve hopefully got money saved up by then.

Because I doubt you’re going to find a job that’ll pay you 350ygs so you can buy it for your 1st date.

>What do?
Go check the prices of martial weapons, so that you can get an idea of how much money you need to save to buy one.
>>
No. 916511 ID: 11f77a
File 154680966010.png - (131.08KB , 577x523 , ADQ022.png )
916511

>What are you good for?
I’m pretty good at gardening, quite peaceful and a skillful chore. I also help the church farm with herding and milking Gorms. Usually good deeds around the House allow some small bonuses for market stuff.

>Affording Pearlwater anytime soon/3rd or 4th date
True, it may be a long while before I can afford something real special like that. I like the optimism that she’ll definitely go on more than one date with me too!
>>
No. 916514 ID: 11f77a
File 154680974018.png - (184.97KB , 684x488 , ADQ023.png )
916514

>Go buy nunchucks at the flea market
To the ninja shop, then! Exciting things to browse there. I make my way to look at the weapons by the counter. Interesting stuff--maces, ffffifty different swords with stylized hilts, some throwing stars, lots of knives to collect, and there are nunchucks!

Ffffloop. I should’ve expected it to be more then what I have. I manage to find one made of plain wood. Other types of weapons have pincers and chitin scales and looks to be some collector’s item.

>___
Current Wallet: 8 yuggoths
>>
No. 916519 ID: e3a778

is it considered rude around here to haggle? maybe you can try to get the brass knuckles for 8.
>>
No. 916521 ID: ad51b8

...well you're in a market area, maybe you'll get lucky and find a few spare yuggoths laying on the ground to get the brass knuckles.
>>
No. 916525 ID: 91ee5f

>>916514
You know, Eudora seems like the kind of person that likes to punch things, so those brass knuckles would be perfect for her!

Unfortunately, you’re 2 yuggoths short.
>>
No. 916534 ID: 2f83e5

>>916514
Try to haggle for the brass knuckles
>>
No. 916915 ID: 080aaf

Eudora's the type to craft her own weapons anyway, from spit & chitin. There are some goals here, but- hey, maybe you can do a side job for the shopkeep and get one of those weapons, like the throwing knives, at a discount.
>>
No. 917134 ID: 11f77a
File 154718456292.png - (119.50KB , 595x493 , ADQ024.png )
917134

>>916519
>>916521
>>916525
>>916534
The brass knuckles seem promising. But you’re right that I’m only two yuggoths short. I never haggled before, but I’ll try. It’s easy right? Make the offer and act like you’re in charge!

Yeah, that’s right! The seller depends on me to make business! It only matters what the customer thinks those weapons are worth! I give the Zephcynth seller my offer to pay everything I have left in my pocket. A full eight yuggoths! Making eight is better than making zero anyway! You gotta make what you can!

>Side job for the weapons seller?
Also are you hiring?
>>
No. 917136 ID: 11f77a
File 154718470575.png - (100.89KB , 443x493 , ADQ025.png )
917136

The Zephcynth tells me my haggling was mediocre and not to waste my breath negotiating on purchases less than 20 yuggoths. Children have a better chance to haggle for the sharper weapons if they fake a tear. He takes a good look at me and politely declines my offer to work behind the counter.

Before I leave to start digging for coins he realizes an opportunity. He thinks I look confident enough to at least carry out a special delivery for him. There’s a neighboring village about a day’s trek away where some guy had ordered a novelty. His previous errand boy was sent but never returned--believing he just ran off with his wares.

He asks if I may be interested in that instead.

>___
>>
No. 917141 ID: b1b4f3

Do you have time to do this mission?
>>
No. 917145 ID: 8848bd

whats in it for you, specifically?
>>
No. 917196 ID: 080aaf

This sounds like a job for Ganymede!
>>
No. 917214 ID: 11f77a
File 154723995733.png - (55.86KB , 451x400 , ADQ026.png )
917214

>>917145
>>917196
I like that confidence! I can deliver stuff! Of course, I ask what’s in it for me. He seems pleased to have my attention and pulls out an interesting weapon wrapped in heavy silk. A collector in Village Corbon has requested these Relicynth daggers. It’s a bit hush-hush but understandably these mall-ninja types don’t want their parents finding out how they spend their money. You could persuade for a generous tip to keep your jowls sealed. Law of the land usually requires the couriers to be tipped--so you could make an extra 10yg. He’ll start me off earning 4% of what was commissioned after each completed delivery--flexible depending on distance and how hazardous the land may be. But you’re basically going next door. Anything cheaper than 300yg the customers will might as well visit the store themselves. So you'll make 12yg for the deed at the least (not including tips).

All the traditional stuff is there too: have the client sign a document. Boss supplies yuggoths for a stay at any village inn. A badge stating you’re a delivery boy and granted passage into cities and towns.

If I choose to accept, I can start the delivery early tomorrow morning and reach Corbon by evening.

>___
>>
No. 917253 ID: b1b4f3

Uh... yeah, okay.
>>
No. 917261 ID: 2f83e5

>>917214
Sounds good to me, accept.
>>
No. 917263 ID: 080aaf

Great news! Eudora will be pleased to hear you're going steady at your date tonight.
>>
No. 917528 ID: 11f77a
File 154736033929.png - (99.10KB , 509x455 , ADQ027.png )
917528

>>917253
>>917261
>>917263
I accept the job. The merchant seems pleased and looks forward to seeing me at his tent tomorrow morning. The earlier the better. We can call him Menz. He tells me to skedaddle and make way for the other customers.

Well that was easy to find a job! That one trip will be enough to buy some brass knuckles once I return. I put a checkmark in the book and make sure to write inside my planner.

Now I can find Eudora and cook up some Baoli--
>>
No. 917529 ID: 11f77a
File 154736037852.png - (73.63KB , 509x333 , ADQ028.png )
917529

HOOF--!
>>
No. 917530 ID: 11f77a
File 154736048377.png - (95.64KB , 480x485 , ADQ029.png )
917530

I hear some guffawing, and one with a peculiar but recognizable snort in the middle of their hee-haw. It could be none other than Kyzil, Mok, and Torval behind me. These guys have been bullying me for years, but I’ve been perfecting the art of being the bigger man. I’ve wanted to test a new strategy. I'll just... silently get up, try extremely hard not to cry, teach them that it’s not polite to do these things, calmly collect my stuff, and possibly run.
>>
No. 917531 ID: 11f77a
File 154736057525.png - (93.08KB , 480x485 , ADQ030.png )
917531

Kyzil: “How’s the mud, squirt?”

“You’re not gonna try to be the bigger man again, are ya? Heh-heh-heh...

>___
>>
No. 917542 ID: d887c0

You ARE the bigger man. You have a job and you're going to have a lovely dinner with someone special to you. These three are just speed bumps. They can push you around, demean you, ridicule you, and even beat you up. But they can't take away what you've achieved. Remember that.
>>
No. 917548 ID: b1b4f3

Grab your things, shrug, then run away.
>>
No. 917588 ID: 1a6f80

what new strategy and what with the crazy sadist look on Kyzil
>>
No. 917603 ID: 91ee5f

>>917531
The most important thing to do is grab the things you were going to give to Eudora! Do that before you say anything to them!
>>
No. 917623 ID: 2f83e5

>>917531
Be careful, maybe they'll try to stleal your stuff.
>>
No. 917968 ID: 11f77a
File 154766959444.png - (169.29KB , 577x452 , ADQ031.png )
917968

>>917542
Good words to live by. Day in, day out these guys pick on me--but I’m fairly used to it now. If they were sent by the Almighty Bhothogoshol herself then it definitely isn’t as bad as, like, meteors raining down on a village or a plague. I can take this torment.

>>917548
>>917603
>>917623
You’re right--I should just collect my gifts for Eudora as fast as possible and split. I’m not going to spend a word on these guys. They’ve caused enough trouble my whole life and I don’t quite have anything left to say. I try to save the food first and scoop it into the grocery bag (calmly and not too hurried). I’ll clean off the dirt and mud later.

Kyzil: “Oooooh, the silence is new~! Hey buddy, why aren’t you sayin’ anything?”

Kyzil: “Tch, Is that a comic book? Nerd.”

Mok snatches the magazine before I do. I’ve played that game too many times to know what happens when I try to reach it. Kyzil hops off the fence. Whatever she says the other two chortle with their mandibles.

Kyzil: “Vulgar Rush? What is that, some kind of porn mag?”

Kyzil: “Hmm, all I see are a bunch of burly dudes--is that what gets you going, Gany?”

>___
>>
No. 917969 ID: e3a778

You know, you can’t go wrong with a guy who’s fit, competent, and heroic — which is why I’ve never paid much attention to you guys.
>>
No. 918007 ID: 2f83e5

>>917968
Tell her that your eyes are upon a fine and lovey lady already.
>>
No. 918018 ID: d887c0

Maybe. What? Are they a bunch of homophobes, too? That's discrimination. They could get in trouble for that.
>>
No. 918044 ID: 1a6f80

we not gay
>>
No. 918114 ID: 0c3c2c

>>917968
You're really not gay. Actually, it sounds like they're projecting. By the way, does your society have any guards or a police system?

Also, start telling them platitudes from Church. Specifically all the brutally violent ones. Inform them of how your faith is strong, and martyrdom is considered a promotion.
>>
No. 918117 ID: a9af05

>>917968
Are these guys afraid of Eudora? Do they know who she is?

Because if they know who she is and they're afraid of her, you can tell them that Eudora is gonna hurt them if she finds out they're messing with her comic book!
>>
No. 918235 ID: 11f77a
File 154786175206.png - (111.50KB , 591x490 , ADQ032.png )
918235

>>918117
These guys are orphans at the school, just like me. And they do know Eudora. While they are rivals--they’ve learned not to anger the punch buggy. I think I remember a childhood incident where Eudora tried to ‘fix’ Kyzil’s eye.

They surround me, even when I back off to make space. Although I can’t just let them take Eudora’s comic book! I don’t really want to reveal that it’s my gift for her. They’d rip it to shreds!

>>918114
>Guards/Police
There are town guards, probably not as tight as other planets. This is a village unlike an off-world city. But if someone spots us they’ll just tell us to scram.

>Platitudes/Violent anecdotes
The Book of the Voxxus Neb is full of neat little anecdotes and lessons! I’m not really keen on the violent stuff--Bhothogoshol shows us that the world doesn’t need brutality and barbarism to get your point across.

I recite a verse when the great warrior Bogn denied to kill his rival: “I cannot steal Meegir when the tempt is absent. Any more, I cannot eradicate just as I cannot spare.

Torval: “That doesn’t even make sense, dork.”

I explain that Bogn became indifferent to violence; his enemies couldn’t strike him down no matter how hard they tried. Bogn saw his enemy like one would view the smallest, insignificant mite in the soil. With a new enlightenment, he could enter the amber City.

In other words, bullying me won’t get you anywhere in life.
>>
No. 918236 ID: 11f77a
File 154786185379.png - (108.83KB , 545x452 , ADQ033.png )
918236

>>917969
>>918018
Somehow I don’t think it’s a good idea to give any implication that fit, competent, and heroic dudes catch my interest. They’ll just start spreading rumors around the orphanage. I dunno if they’re homophobes but I don’t want to be associated with something I am NOT.

>>918007
I brush what I can off my robe. I make it clear that my eyes are upon a fine and lovely lady already, mind you. Kyzil acts flattered, surprised, and jests with her hands on her cheeks with that sadistic smile in her gaze.

Kyzil: “Ooh~ Ganymede! I never thought you had the hots for me.”

Kyzil: “Suddenly everything about you makes sense~!”

Kyzil: “Please, go on.”

Those jerks are laughing. She knows very well I didn't mean her! >:C I mean, she is a well-complimented Arthocob on campus. But that’s beside the point!

>___
>>
No. 918241 ID: b1b4f3

>>918236
Tell her she is pretty but you meant Eudora.
>>
No. 918275 ID: 2f83e5

>>918236
Sorry, altough you are a fine woman, my heart was stolen by Eudora.
>>
No. 918278 ID: 91ee5f

>>918236
Try telling her, “Oh, please, we both know you’re outta my league! Mok and Torval have a better chance at getting a date with you than I do!”

Hopefully, one or both of the guys will realize that they do feel something for Kyzil and will end up fighting each other to try and get a date with her. Which will have all of them focus on that instead of you!

.....or you could pray really hard right now and ask your god to please send Eudora to save you right now.
>>
No. 918282 ID: 40df11

Just act confused at the idea she's someone anyone would be interested in.
>>
No. 918488 ID: 0c3c2c

>>918236
"Your chitin is a lovely shade, but I'm already spoken for by Eudora."

Explain you've been smitten with her ever since you first met. Sadly, you've never gotten further than the getting-your-ass-kicked stage.
>>
No. 918596 ID: 11f77a
File 154814440924.png - (225.68KB , 696x577 , ADQ034.png )
918596

>>918241
>>918275
>>918278
>>918448
I stammer a bit. Kyzil is way out of my league, and I make it known that she may look like a pretty, fine lady, but my heart still belongs to Eudora as I’ve been smitten with her since I first laid eyes on her. And besides... these two goons have a better chance going out with Kyzil than me. I mean why haven’t they dated her yet?

Torval and Mok both look at her; Kyzil drops the façade and scoffs. She seems to be quite... revolted at my rejection.

Kyzil: “Don’t tell me you’re still after that... boring husk! I thought a smart nerd like you would’ve given that up long ago.”

Kyzil: “Tsk, at least you guys would have a better chance going out with me.”

Torval: “Oh sweet, really?”

Kyzil: “Shut up, snot!”

She pushes me, and I back up against Mok’s chest. His hands don’t even need to grip my shoulders to keep me still; and just lays his palms down. Kyzil slaps a hand against my grocery bag and rips a strap.

Kyzil: “Like, are you trying to offend me? Eudora? Come on...”

Kyzil: “You know what? I’m starting to believe you just have a kink of getting bullied, rejected, and punched around, haven’t you Gany?”

Now I’m starting to worry; this may be the part where I get a black eye! In my mind I am praying to The Great Flying Rod to make the punches a little more bearable than last time--or to send me an angel to help. I await my untimely fate!
>>
No. 918597 ID: 11f77a
File 154814445592.png - (228.62KB , 696x577 , ADQ035.png )
918597

‘—HEY!!!
>>
No. 918598 ID: 11f77a
File 154814453480.png - (42.74KB , 696x577 , ADQ036.png )
918598

...



“Leave the dweeb alone...”

>___
>>
No. 918599 ID: 080aaf

Greet her casually. What brings her round here today?
>>
No. 918600 ID: 91ee5f

>>918598
Congratulations, your prayers for an angel to help have been answered! And the angel also happens to be your angel, Eudora!

.....so what now? Do you just stand there and wait to be saved? Or do you take this opportunity to grab your things and run towards Eudora while the others are distracted?

Because I think you should grab your things and run towards Eudora.
>>
No. 918604 ID: b1b4f3

>>918598
Hi Eudora I got you presents!
>>
No. 918631 ID: a9af05

>>918598
Your rescuer has arrived!
>>
No. 918645 ID: 2f83e5

Can you move? If so, then run towards Eudora, if you can't then greet her whit the most lovable smile you can make.
>>
No. 918646 ID: 1be376

>I’m starting to believe you just have a kink of getting bullied, rejected, and punched around, haven’t you Gany?
Wow, Kyzil clearly has a weird thing for you. Has she ever actually dated anybody or does she just spend all her time tormenting you?
>>
No. 918966 ID: 11f77a
File 154840582384.png - (125.70KB , 700x484 , ADQ037.png )
918966

>>918646
She... hangs out with a lot of popular students. You know... that center-of-attention type. She’s always had a boyfriend-of-the-month growing up in the orphanage. She must be single again, could be why she has extra time to torment me. All the losers wanna be with her too.

>>918645
>>918600
I could try to grab my things and run—but Mok nudges me back if I move an inch. The comic book is in Kyzil’s hands now. So I smile at Eudora, with a gentle wave. Perhaps she can read my face that I’m in need of some rescuing too.

Kyzil: “Hrmph, well if it isn’t your girlfriend~ Eudora! Come to whisk you off your feet, huh dweeb?”

Eudora: “I’m not. His girlfriend. Kyzil.”

Kyzil: “Awe, do you hear that? You’re gonna break his heart. He was just talking about you too. How smitten he is.”

Eudora: “Tough. Let him go.”

Kyzil: “Feh. Tell ya what. I’ll let him go: but only after you confess your loooove for him~”

She drapes her arms around me so cutely. I feel uncomfortable and look at Eudora trying to force a light smile that I’ll be okay.

Kyzil: “In fact, the both of you should just confess your feelings right now! Tell Gany that you’re in need of a companion in this lonely, cold Voxxus. Just two bugs in a rug perfectly matched by Bhothogoshol herself! ♥”

>___
>>
No. 918967 ID: 080aaf

Confess that you're feeling how clingy Kyzil is right now, no wonder her boyfriends never stick around long.
>>
No. 918987 ID: b1b4f3

>>918966
Tell them you've got a witness to their theft, assault, and harassment. You will go to the police if they do not give you back your things and go.
>>
No. 918995 ID: 0c3c2c

>>918966
Confess that Kyzil is INCREDIBLY mad that you might have feelings for Eudora.
>>
No. 918997 ID: 91ee5f

>>918966
If only you could’ve gotten those brass knuckles. Then you could’ve handed them to Eudora right now and she could test them out on these guys! Oh, well.

>Confess your love to each other.
Go ahead and confess to her!

And make sure you phrase it so that you tell her that even if she never loves you back, you’ll always love her!
>>
No. 919005 ID: a9af05

>>918997
This.
>>
No. 919010 ID: a9af05

>>919005
Also maybe say that you enjoy the way she punches things or something like that? You've gotta show an interest in something she likes if you want some way to establish a relationship over coming grounds.
>>
No. 922712 ID: 11f77a
File 155081119005.png - (130.09KB , 569x552 , ADQ038.png )
922712

>>918967
>>918995
Maybe she is jealous of me. But perhaps she hates Eudora more. Kyzil is only using me as a tool to get to her.

Eudora: “Don’t answer. We’re not playing this stupid game.”

>>918997
>>919005
I’m anxious to confess. Yet, I’ve let my feelings known so many times before. Not to mention these bullies know I don’t hang out with many people but her.

Ganymede: “Eudora, you know I’m in love with you. I’m not ashamed of it.”

Ganymede: “I like the way you... punch. And kick stuff. You’re a very cool dude.”

Eudora: “Ganymede, you dolt.” She sighs with a roll of her eyes, “You know I don’t feel the same. Sorry.”

I expected that. It still lets me down--it’s never as bad as the first. But I kept trying over the years. Of course, my bullies poke fun of this event with sarcastic pity. Kyzil seems to loosen her grip on me.

Kyzil: “Awe, you’re no fun at all, Eudora. You’ve hurt his feelings! Hnnk~
>>
No. 922714 ID: 11f77a
File 155081127283.png - (88.19KB , 535x483 , ADQ039.png )
922714

Ganymede: “But you know what, Eudora? That’s fine if you don’t love me. I can’t shake off the same feeling I had when I first laid eyes on you.”

Kyzil: “Wait. Are you kidding me right now?

Ganymede: “And I’m still happy to be your friend--”

Kyzil: “Oh, come on Gany. You can’t still be attracted to this... sad, depressing, and apathetic locust! She’s rejected you and every other guy’s advances with a punch to the face!”

Kyzil: “She can’t feel love or treat anyone right but herself! You know that? You’d go to Ndepthteph’s Maw and back and she still wouldn’t notice you exist!”
>>
No. 922715 ID: 11f77a
File 155081139595.png - (91.81KB , 697x364 , ADQ040.png )
922715

Kyzil puts a hand against my cheek and turns my head to look eye-to-eye.

Kyzil: “Wouldn’t you rather go out with a lady like me~? Despite all that I’ve put you through; that even I find your innocence your best quality--perhaps I just never knew how to express myself near you.”

Kyzil: “I can show you a wonderful night--even if it doesn’t work out between us in the end! I can turn this around and make you feel wanted. Something Eudora can never give.”

Kyzil: “Just say the word, Gany. Perhaps you’ll take the chance with me~ It’s certainly a better chance than with her!”

Kyzil: "Don't be a fool for once!"

>___
>>
No. 922717 ID: 080aaf

Apathetic? She's shown she cares more about me than you do. And maybe it's just an ordinary amount of caring for people's general well being but boy does that say more about you than it does her.
>>
No. 922723 ID: 91ee5f

>>922715
Is she serious right now? After how much she’s tormented you over the years, she thinks you’ll choose her over Eudora? That’s not going to happen.

“If loving Eudora makes me a fool, then I’ll continue to be a fool. However, I’d have to be an idiot to choose you over Eudora! Sure, Eudora may never love me back, but at least she doesn’t beat me up for fun like you’re always doing!”

Who knows? Maybe Eudora will like you more if you actually stand up for yourself instead of just letting yourself get beat up like you always do?
>>
No. 922724 ID: c1212a

She's always been a bitch to you, don't let her play with your heartstrings as well.
>>
No. 922727 ID: 3ed3c3

>>922715
That's a load of bullshit.
Besides, it's better to have a good friend than a bad romance. Eudora may not return your feelings, but she's still your friend, and that's something Kyzil can't reproduce.
>>
No. 922728 ID: a97c49

>Kyzil is only using me as a tool to get to her.
Man that makes no sense. Eudora doesn't care who you're dating.

Persistance won't change Eudora's mind. It'll just make her hate you.

On the flip side, Kyzil is creepily obsessed. Maybe give her a try? She might stop bullying you at least.
>>
No. 922729 ID: b1b4f3

>>922715
Maybe if you give me back my stuff.

But also didn't she just try this same act not two minutes ago? What's with the repeat performance?
>>
No. 922735 ID: 0c3c2c

>>922715
Point out that Kyzil regularly mocks, bullies and abuses you while Eudora actually tries to protect and help you.

Also, grabbing your arm like that was not a friendly thing to do. Ask her why she's acting so damn intense.
>>
No. 922806 ID: a9af05

>>922715
Don't let her pull at your heartstrings! She's just trying to manipulate you!

She's probably going to just ditch you as soon as she's finished toying with you! All because she's a manipulative [insert Arthocob swear word here]!
>>
No. 926152 ID: 11f77a
File 155285537973.png - (143.78KB , 700x483 , ADQ041.png )
926152

>>922724
>>922728
>>922806
>Give her a try?
>Heartstrings
Hmm. Although it’d be a weird turnaround to date Kyzil--I feel like there’s not a lot of truth to her offer. And she’s merely toying with me again. What would Eudora think of me, after all this time loving her, if I finally give up and date her rival?

Cth Kyzil gog uuahriik thosc*. I can’t see myself having fun on a romantic night with her now.

Ganymede: “Well, if loving Eudora makes me a fool, then I’d be a bigger idiot to hang out with you. She’s not apathetic at all. I still consider her a friend; something not even you can reproduce. You’ve done nothing but mock and bully me all my life, Kyzil.”

“Sorry but I’ll have to pass.”

* Yet Kyzil is quite a [expletive].
>>
No. 926153 ID: 11f77a
File 155285542158.png - (142.83KB , 700x483 , ADQ042.png )
926153

>>
No. 926154 ID: 11f77a
File 155285553939.png - (137.49KB , 700x483 , ADQ043.png )
926154

Kyzil: “Tch. Your loss!”

Kyzil: “You could’ve been a lucky guy tonight. Jus’ sayin’. Ya let it woosh by!”
>>
No. 926156 ID: 11f77a
File 155285572408.png - (161.39KB , 877x597 , ADQ044.png )
926156

Kyzil: “This is getting boring anyway."

Kyzil: "Guys! Let’s go find some food to eat.”

Kyzil: “S’dhaquacama*, dork! Bhothogoshol is laughing down at ya!”

She tosses my comic book and trots off. I guess that's the last of her for a while. Hopefully I won't run into her or her goons at the church.

>___
* S’dhaquacama: A general greeting/goodbye. Or an ‘Amen’.
>>
No. 926157 ID: c7f906

Catch the book, catch the book!
>>
No. 926158 ID: 3ed3c3

>>926156
Good on ya, Little G. Don't let that bitch and her goons get you down.
>>
No. 926174 ID: 91ee5f

>>926156
Get the comic book and give it to Eudora like you planned!
>>
No. 926188 ID: 080aaf

Thank Eudora. And Bhothogoshol.
>>
No. 926190 ID: b1b4f3

Thank Eudora for helping get rid of them.
>>
No. 926215 ID: a9af05

>>926156
Now that Eudora is here, go ahead and give her the things you bought for her.
>>
No. 926225 ID: 4f51b2

Say S’dhaquacama too, catch the book and give it to Eudora.
>>
No. 926699 ID: 1ed92d

>>926156
Grab the book and thank your friend!
>>
No. 930600 ID: 11f77a
File 155582559968.png - (139.36KB , 516x745 , ADQ045.png )
930600

Yeah, S’dhaquacama...’ I respond once Kyzil is far enough away with her goons. For a moment I do wonder if she really meant what she said—that I could’ve enjoyed her company. Or that my love for Eudora will just be in vain. Hrmm...

I pick up the comic book and dust it off. A ripped corner here and there but it’s readable. Eudora’s voice murmurs behind me. “You good?” She frowns, like always, and her eyes merely glance up and down to see mud splotches on my robe. ‘Yeah, I’m good.’ I reply.

Thank Bhothogoshol you showed up! O-oh! And you most importantly, of course.
>>
No. 930602 ID: 11f77a
File 155582570498.png - (161.81KB , 516x721 , ADQ046.png )
930602

Uh-huh” she mumbles while I clutch the magazine. “Well watch out for those jerks. I’m just gonna head over--

>Give Eudora the book
--Before you go I... was in the market today. I know it’s not an appropriate time after... what just happened. But I thought you might like this comic book! Y-you like punching things so I thought maybe you’re up f-for a little action.

I mean, not with me! I didn’t mean it that way. I mean, something to read--It’s an action comic!’ I’m always a bit nervous when I gift things to her. Usually it’s pretty things. A rock or a flower. I don’t know how she’ll react!

She looks over the cover. “Vulgar Rush?” Eudora thinks. She flips a page, “Uh, thanks. I guess. I’ll... read it later then?” She shifts the issue into her robe-pocket.

Are you gonna be okay?
>___
>>
No. 930606 ID: b1b4f3

>>930602
Tell her if she wants to be sure she can walk you home every day...

Also tell her about that job you got. Does she wanna come with? You'll split the pay?
>>
No. 930612 ID: 91ee5f

>>930606
All of this.
>>
No. 930726 ID: 0fae41

Sure you are! (She'd like a strong, independent guy, don't you think?)
>>
No. 930755 ID: f2320a

>>930602
Tell her if she wants to be sure she can walk you home every day...

Also tell her about that job you got. Does she wanna come with? You'll split the pay?
>>
No. 930762 ID: a9af05

>>930606
Tell her this.
>>
No. 930837 ID: 1ed92d

>>930762
Sounds fun!
>>
No. 932911 ID: 11f77a
File 155794460396.png - (66.01KB , 531x514 , ADQ047.png )
932911

Ganymede: Yeah, I think I’ll be fine~

I brush more dirt off my robe trying to put on my best ‘fine’ face. She merely twitches an antenna.

Ganymede: BUT!

Eudora: ?

Ganymede: If you want to be sure, you can walk me home every day.

Eudora: ...I’ll see if I can...

Eudora: I mean, I was just going back to the orphanage now.

Ganymede: Oh, hey, me too! I got food if you want some. Qua-quibb flanks, mmm~

Eudora: ...

Ganymede: And beer.

Eudora: Uh-huh.

Eudora: Well, I don’t think I can stop you, so be my guest to tag along.
>>
No. 932912 ID: 11f77a
File 155794464155.png - (156.74KB , 740x514 , ADQ048.png )
932912

We’re walking through the markets; it’s a straight path back to the orphanage. I feel much safer with her already. The students I recognize seem to avoid her with a subtle side-step. I try not to talk so much so I often split up my conversations on the way.

Ganymede: ...And another thing, Eudora!

Ganymede: I got a job!

Eudora: More charitable work? Is the Gorm farm short on staff?

Ganymede: No I mean a real job. I’m a delivery boy! Starting tomorrow.

Eudora: This is news.

--speaks through me! Listen to me now! Listen good! I am here to save you!

Ganymede: It’s nothing! I have to deliver some weapons to the next village over; in Corbon! Something about a few daggers a collector has ordered. Should take a day to get there on foot, a day to walk back.

--blasphemers will step through His gate, unto His roost! Devoured as you’re so deserved! But you still can embrace--

Ganymede: You know, I wouldn’t mind if you tagged along. Just a suggestion. Could make an eeeasy six yuggoths! I promise I won’t talk so much.

Eudora: Eh, you can probably make the trip alone. I’ve got some--

--remember I give you all a chance to be free! This village has no refuge when the Voxxus collapse! Shy away now and you may serve beside--

Eudora: Some, uh, detention work--

--Don't you walk away! Listen to me! Look at me. Look at me when I speak to you! You. Are. Doomed!--
>>
No. 932913 ID: 11f77a
File 155794486839.png - (268.10KB , 800x514 , ADQ049.png )
932913

Preacher: Each and every one of you will be first to ruination! You will suffer just as you suffer now through your ignorant lives, oblivious to his call! No, no you choose to ignore his word because he speaks the truth! His maw inevitable! You lost your way, children, but I can save you! I hold out my hand for you! Every night before I sleep, I feel guilt. Guilt that I haven’t saved enough! If I could just save one more, I say! If I could save one more! It’s not too late for the children, they can be saved!

Her teachings are trickery, they are false, and a means to distract from the inevitable! Pests, the lot of you! Why choose to be blind? I hold the Voxxus Neb* and preach only the undeniable truths. It says here: On the back of the great cosmic centipede, Voxxus** was but a floating puddle of slag! It was the embodiment of anti-life, the deep dark at the beginning as it should be forever! Ndepthteph the first born! The favorite child of Relik! But nay, the wretched grub plagued Voxxus with Bhothogoshol through the craquelure of space...!


>__

*Voxxus Neb: Basically their bible.
**Voxxus: ‘The Universe’ which rests on the back of the cosmic centipede, Relik. Which the stars act as his eyes.
>>
No. 932914 ID: b1b4f3

>>932913
What's this about? Who's "He" and "She"?
>>
No. 932917 ID: 91ee5f

>>932912
>Eh, you can probably make the trip alone.
If she thinks you’ll be fine on your own, then you should be fine tomorrow.

>>932913
Wonder what that’s all about? Oh, well, it’s none of your business, so let’s keep walking.

Unless they’re standing in front of where you guys are going, then you’ll have to get past them.
>>
No. 932918 ID: a9af05

>>932912
>Detention work
Ask her if it's anything you can help her with before you have to leave for that delivery job tomorrow?
>>
No. 932922 ID: 1ed92d

>>932913
Peacefully engage the Doomsayer in dialogue. Do not provoke them with insults or direct statements. Instead, try to find the source of their fears that the faith is untrue.

There may be a hidden kernel of wisdom amidst their proclamations of apocalypse. That, and it would be good if a member of the faith could soothe their obvious and intense fears in some way.
>>
No. 932971 ID: 4f51b2

Ask her if she needs help. Does the preacher is bothering her?
>>
No. 933023 ID: 11f77a
File 155804444129.png - (123.48KB , 584x514 , ADQ050.png )
933023

>>932914
‘She and He’? Must be referencing our Gods Bhothogoshol and Ndepthteph again. Well, not the same guy, but occasionally we have other fanatics who spout their beliefs when they stop by this village. It’s been pretty common lately, in fact.

>>932917
>>932918
We’re only passing through the street. Our orphanage should be close. Eudora is staring at the loudmouth so I try to distract her and walk on.

Ganymede: So, detention, huh? Got caught beating up one of the annoying bachelors who tried to sweet-talk their way into sharing a cocoon?

Ganymede: You know, I have the rest of the day to myself. I can help ya and get you out of detention faster--
>>
No. 933024 ID: 11f77a
File 155804446762.png - (85.60KB , 584x514 , ADQ051.png )
933024

Ganymede: Eudora?
>>
No. 933025 ID: 11f77a
File 155804452933.png - (105.27KB , 500x500 , ADQ052.png )
933025

Preacher: --And you, girl! That symbol you wear is a pox! Burn that robe, rod-follower, before you infect anyone with its pathetic idealism! Heed my warning; this village is heading to ruin! Bogn will sound the terrible bugle and signal the end days. Mi-Yok will scavenge the land, their hunger never satiated!

>__
>>
No. 933029 ID: 891b91

Preach back at him! Two can play at this game!
>>
No. 933046 ID: a9af05

>>933029
This.

It's time for a Death Preaching Battle!
>>
No. 933059 ID: b1b4f3

>>933025
Ask her what's up. Is this guy gonna get punched?
>>
No. 933529 ID: 4f51b2

>>933025
Try to calm her down, it looks like she's gonna punch him.
>>
No. 933799 ID: 1ed92d

>>933025
You must lift the Doomsayer's hand and tell them that that's a good way to get it snapped off. Seriously.
>>
No. 934900 ID: 11f77a
File 155976060209.png - (183.42KB , 557x496 , ADQ053.png )
934900

The preacher keeps yelling the word of Ndepthteph into her face, blatant and seething through his teeth. Pincers? In any case... She only stares at him—and her scowl hasn’t changed since first noticing him.

Preacher: Let Ndepthteph liberate you from your mortal coil, child! I understand your hesitation, how you were cultured to this life. But your elders lied to you, when they themselves were fed lies from the Flying Rod herself!

Preacher: Ndepthteph can teach you meaning, purpose! You must attend a seminar. Let His patrons convince you. It’s not too late—

Eudora: You don’t belong here...

Eudora: Leave.
>>
No. 934901 ID: 11f77a
File 155976062463.png - (216.39KB , 557x496 , ADQ054.png )
934901

Preacher: ...

Preacher: ...Leave?
>>
No. 934903 ID: 11f77a
File 155976069864.png - (274.13KB , 557x496 , ADQ055.png )
934903

Preacher: LEAVE?!

Preacher: Who do you think you are, girl, to tell a messenger of Ndepthteph to just leave?!

Preacher: Every one of you will be raped, pillaged! This town decimated when hungry shades run loose!

Preacher: I’m here with a purpose unlike you!

Preacher: You’re one of those orphans from that pitiful school aren’t you?

Preacher: Explains how your elders never paid attention or taught you any manners!

Preacher: Some life Bhothogoshol ‘blesses’ when you’re brought into this world and promptly tossed aside! You’re just someone else’s problem now and forever!
>>
No. 934905 ID: 11f77a
File 155976083621.png - (157.99KB , 557x496 , ADQ056.png )
934905

Preacher: And good riddance to them!

Preacher: They deserve to be devoured, ground up in Ndepthteph’s maw for leaving a mindless brat like you believing in blasphemous literature and fairy tales!

Preacher: Why do you look at me like a stupid girl?! Don’t just look at me like an empty shell!

Preacher: Find something else to cover yourself with and quit parading like a whore!
>>
No. 934906 ID: 11f77a
File 155976109194.png - (278.08KB , 557x496 , ADQ057.png )
934906

>Try to calm her down
>Preach back at him/time for a Preaching Battle
I nudge Eudora aside; I felt I had to do something! Her fists were shaking and ready to sock him a new one!

Ganymede: Listen bub! You’re preaching on the wrong turf! Bhothogoshol has so much to give if you open up to her--!

What the hell am I doing? I’m not good in front of crowds! I should just scoot Eudora away before I get hurt! Oh jeez. What do I even say?

Bhothogoshol was never a blasphemous god! She is the sole life-bringer of the Voxxus. This abrupt slandering of Her has been picking up lately, especially further out into the more populated villages (or so I hear). Because a mountain range cuts through the vast plains, our small home and surrounding settlements are pretty reclusive from nearby Hives* where most extra-terrestrial visitors go for trade.

Great Flying Rod, what do I even talk about?
A) Attack his own beliefs; state the faults in Ndepthteph’s teachings. Our Gods are not so perfect.
B) Defend Bhothogoshol; counter with my own wisdom and anecdotes. I've been beside Her my entire life.
C) Beat Eudora to sucker punching his stupid face first. That’ll teach him. Could impress her too. MY fist is starting to shake!
D) It’s no use, he’s not going to change his mind. I should take Eudora's hand and leave.
E) >___

*Hives; or just a rough translation what you call ‘a city’. It’s interchangeable. Bug terminology, yay.
>>
No. 934919 ID: 891b91

Hmm. I think attacking this guy's beliefs probably won't be effective -- it'll just make him angrier. On top of that, you'd be acting a bit too much like him, which would probably cause Eudora to lose respect for you.

Getting Eudora to walk away is an option, but it probably won't impress her; it's clear that she has very deep feelings for Bhothogoshol, or perhaps for her worshippers who gave you and Eudora a home, so just ignoring this guy probably won't make her feel any better about the situation.

Sucker punching him seems like a bad idea. Let's face it, fighting probably isn't your strong suit; besides, it was you who said (or thought, rather), "I'm not really keen on the violent stuff--Bhothogoshol shows us that the world doesn't need brutality and barbarism to get your point across", so it's against your scruples anyway. Aside from that, I get the impression that despite her use of it, Eudora doesn't have much respect for violence. I think she uses it because she believes she has to, and that she'd be perfectly content with never having to use it again. She might think less of you if you were to sock this guy in the mandible, even if she was getting ready to do it herself.

No, the best option is clearly B: Defend Bhothogoshol. You seem to be very devout in your beliefs, so no doubt you've got the knowledge to hold your own in a debate with this guy; and speaking in defense of your own beliefs is nobler than attacking the beliefs of others. If I'm right that Eudora is offended on behalf of either Bhothogoshol or her worshippers, then she's going to see your actions as having the right motivation behind them. The best outcome here is to convince this guy to change his ways, obviously, but even if that proves impossible Eudora will probably think more highly of you for having the courage to stand up for what is right.
>>
No. 934922 ID: a9af05

>>934906
B
>>
No. 934924 ID: 0fae41

A. Go on the offensive, put the preacher on the other foot. There's no depthdepth to Ndepthdepth's bile! He's just jealous of what the other gods create! All he does is destroy! Spending the present times ranting about the hopelessness of the end times is a self fulfilling prophecy!
>>
No. 934926 ID: b1b4f3

>>934906
A. This guy won't be swayed but if you can shame him enough he'll leave. You have to go on the offensive to do that.
>>
No. 934936 ID: 4f51b2

>>934906
B) Defend your faith boy.
>>
No. 935410 ID: 11f77a
File 156022133388.png - (208.43KB , 557x496 , ADQ058.png )
935410

>...I think [Eudora] uses [violence] because she believes she has to. And that she’d be perfectly content with never using it again...
Interesting thought! I never considered that from her. Makes sense I wouldn’t know her motives to fight because Eudora is very withdrawn. Yet punching is usually her answer to... well, everything!

>Defend your faith boy; defend Bhothogoshol
Y-yeah! I should go on the defensive! I was almost carried away to hurt the crazy zealot. I’ve made my stance, and I gotta go through with it. No walking off now!

Ganymede: I’ve been an orphan of Bhothogoshol my entire life, and never were her teachings blasphemous.

Ganymede: After her creation, the Voxxus finally had reason to exist! For millennia the Gods complimented each other to balance the Voxxus.

Ganymede: Like the Voxxus Neb says; She molded the first Arthocobs, and they were perpetual.

Ganymede: But she did realize her mistake. Not in the way you address.

Ganymede: Perpetuation meant Death couldn’t be a threat to them, thus Life was taken for granted. The Gods’ graces would be ignored.

Ganymede: The err was reversed so life became much more rewarding, and death more deserving! Now there was purpose!

Ganymede: You may spout hatred of The Great Flying Rod all you want, but know this: She is unashamed of her creation!

Ganymede: And if She is unashamed of you, then I’ll stand by her and forgive your spectacle.

Ganymede: This village has heard enough, preacher. You’ve made your case.
>>
No. 935411 ID: 11f77a
File 156022141034.png - (218.26KB , 557x496 , ADQ059.png )
935411

Preacher: I’m saddened...

Preacher: Saddened my word isn’t enough, Rod-follower.

Preacher: I can only assume you represent this village and speak for that wench and the entire accursed town.

Preacher: Leaving me with no choice...

Preacher: You’re far lost in Her teachings.

Preacher: So I must act accordingly!
>>
No. 935413 ID: 11f77a
File 156022230218.png - (201.25KB , 445x586 , ADQ060.png )
935413

Preacher: This place will be marked; I shall signal the beginning of its cleanse!

He’s lifting a dagger high into the air!
A) I must act fast and suppress this madman! Tackle him… or something!
B) Oh God, Eudora help he’s got a knife! I have enough time to hide behind her!
C) No matter what—I should stand my ground and stick up for my beliefs, may he strike me.
D) I believe I see authorities. I should yell to get their attention!
E) >___
>>
No. 935417 ID: b1b4f3

>>935413
E, just get away from him. He's probably going to stab himself, or something. Leave room for Eudora in case violence is needed, you've done your part.
If he points that knife at anyone else, then you can call the authorities.
>>
No. 935429 ID: a9af05

>>935417
This.
>>
No. 935442 ID: caf1de

stand back and just motion for Eudora to do her thing
>>
No. 935444 ID: 277bef

Get back and B this fucker’s brandishing a knife in public for crying out loud let’s not risk anything.
>>
No. 935446 ID: 91ee5f

>>935413
B

Once he’s been subdued, tell him that if he has to resort to murder when his words can’t convince anyone to listen, then he’s doomed to always fail.
>>
No. 935489 ID: 4f51b2

>>935413
This is difficult, you probably will get stabed if you try to tackle him, push him as fat as you can with all your might, make sure he falls and then step on the knife. You can't depend on Eudora to this kind of things all the time, you have to show her you can be a man of action too.
>>
No. 936093 ID: 11f77a
File 156074494792.png - (282.99KB , 557x496 , ADQ061.png )
936093

He raises the knife with a trembling arm like he’s preparing to commit his first murder! I hesitated as the blade’s edge sparked light.

>just get away from him
>stand back…let Eudora do her thing
>let’s not risk anything
>Get back and [hide behind her]
I don’t think I’m cut out for disarming lunatics, anyhoo! I dart behind Eudora as fast as I can. She raises her fists ready to knock him out once he makes his first swing.

Ganymede: Eudora, do something!
>>
No. 936094 ID: 11f77a
File 156074503595.png - (246.41KB , 557x496 , ADQ062.png )
936094

The mad preacher drops to one knee. He stabs into the dirt like planting a railroad spike. He makes several lines digging along the coarse road while rambling.

Preacher: I mark this tainted ground!

Preacher: Ndepthteph has given me a premonition!

Preacher: I see lost spirits from the husks of treacherous creatures—they stand before your accursed house demanding blood!

Preacher: And before them; an amber warrior of the Death Worm leads the sect!

Preacher: Abandon this place and leave your faith behind, children!

Preacher: You will regret passing this last warning!
>>
No. 936095 ID: 11f77a
File 156074509448.png - (418.99KB , 715x592 , ADQ063.png )
936095

The preacher leaves his dagger into the ground after a final stab. His lone rioting has ushered most of the villagers off. Only Eudora and I stand closest to him. Well, that and a few guards heading our way.

Guard 1: Alright. What’s the commotion here?

Guard 1: Another one of these doomsayers, huh?

Preacher: It. Is delivered. It begins…

Preacher: The pieces are falling to place.

Guard 2: Alright, funny guy. It’s time you set off out of here. Come with us and we’ll take you home.

Preacher: Home will be the front steps of Rac* when this world turns over!

Preacher: Till my death, I wander the land to warn true believers.

Guard 1: Wander over with us, then.

*Rac-Naquaghu: City of golden amber where immortals and true dreamers can visit and live in eternal euphoria.
>>
No. 936096 ID: 11f77a
File 156074533424.png - (208.47KB , 557x496 , ADQ064.png )
936096

The first guard motions the other with a subtle wave and steps beside the preacher. There’s no struggle as the preacher simply complies, picking up his sign to be escorted away. He's done what he wanted. The other guard approaches us. He makes a quick glance which assures him that we’re fine or… not in peril.

Guard 2: Alright, show’s over. You kids go run off now.

Guard 2: Stay outta’ trouble, and just ignore this kind of stuff in the future ya hear?

Guard 2: Can't let your brains rot with epiphanies of a mad man or... whatever.

He turns and begins to leave.
A) We should inspect the markings.
>1 I don’t know why, but I want to take the knife. The guard must’ve not noticed it in the ground with the helmet in the way. Can’t let a weapon stick out in the open like that.
>2 I should let the guards know the preacher had a weapon drawn. One day he could go too far and really hurt somebody.
>3 Leave everything be, and just have a glance at what that madman drew.
B) Eudora and I should continue on home instead.
>1) We can talk and wonder what that preacher has been babbling about.
>2) Shrug it off, talk about her detention and helping her.
>3) Talk about anything else, I wonder what’s on her mind right now.
C) >___
>>
No. 936097 ID: 891b91

A1: Examine the markings and take the knife. Madman or not, there may be some hidden truth to his ramblings -- Ndepthteph is as real as Bhothogoshol, correct? While he is wrong about the Great Flying Rod, his premonition may be real, and analzying the markings and his dagger may be essential to defending the town! Maybe there's someone, like a priest or something, whom you could talk to about this?
>>
No. 936142 ID: 9aaeef

>>936096
A1, inspect the mark and ask Eudora what does she think about it.
>>
No. 936143 ID: 91ee5f

>>936096
A1
>>
No. 936266 ID: 0fae41

A1. Hey, free weapon. You were shopping for those earlier, remember?
>>
No. 936325 ID: 4f51b2

>>936142
This
>>
No. 936328 ID: a9af05

>>936096
A1
>>
No. 936347 ID: 11f77a
File 156091858440.png - (224.73KB , 705x496 , ADQ065.png )
936347

>examine the marking [and take the knife]; there may be truth to his ramblings
No one notices me when I pluck the dagger planted in the middle of this sigil. It’s a strange blade, like a ceremonial knife or for making rituals. I find a pocket to slip it in, although the scabbard was still on the preacher.

The drawing is interesting. I haven’t seen anything like it before, and I’ve read the Voxxus Neb front to back. I make sure to sketch what I see in my journal.

>maybe there’s [a priest] whom you could talk to about this
Yeah, perhaps! I can stop by one of the offices and see what I can find. There’s also a library in the orphanage. Perhaps more information is found there.
>>
No. 936348 ID: 11f77a
File 156091868578.png - (182.03KB , 557x496 , ADQ066.png )
936348

>Hey, free weapon. You were shopping for those earlier, remember?
Well, yes I was but… I don’t know if it would be a good idea to gift Eudora a knife under the circumstances that a madman just used it to defile the… ground. On its handle it’s the sign for Ndepthteph so… not really an ideal gift at all.

>What does Eudora think about [the symbol]?
Yeah, she hasn’t said anything yet. I wonder—

Huh she’s already walking off without me…
A) I’ll just catch up with her.
>1) Show her the drawing, we got to get to the bottom of this!
>2) Maybe go back to what we were talking about. Something about detention?
>3) I wonder if she’s alright. That preacher may have upset her. I’m a good listener.
B) Let her be…
>1) I need to research this symbol a little more! Ganymede's on the case!
>2) I could surprise Eudora with some food later. She may like that.
>3) Kyzil… the Preacher… she’s had enough this morning. I’ll find something else to do. [open for ideas?]
C) >___
>>
No. 936349 ID: 0fae41

A3.
>>
No. 936351 ID: b1b4f3

A3, A2.
>>
No. 936354 ID: 91ee5f

>>936348
A3
>>
No. 936358 ID: 891b91

>>936348
B1. Give her some space, you don't want to annoy her by being clingy, and her walking off like that is probably a solid sign that she'd prefer to be alone for now. Instead, let's pass some time trying to find some info about the sigil.
>>
No. 937370 ID: 11f77a
File 156161261929.png - (246.40KB , 557x496 , ADQ067.png )
937370

>>936349
>>936351
>>936354
Vs.
>Give her some space, don’t want to be clingy. / A sign she wants to be alone for now.
Although I should just let Eudora be—I still want to stick around. I won’t try and bother her; I’ll be careful with what I say. Even if she won’t like any company… no one should be alone after being yelled at like that.

I catch up choosing my words carefully. She notices me but we’re heading off in the same direction anyway.

Ganymede: So... that was... weird, huh?

Eudora: hrrf

Eudora: That guy deserves a fist right in his stupid jaw.

Eudora: Him and his premonition crap. I hope he...

Eudora: —falls off a cliff or something.

Eudora: I’d show him an empty shell...

Ganymede: Yeah...

Eudora: Those kinds of lunatics can’t be reasoned with, Ganymede. A good sock in the face will scare them off like roaches in bright light.

Eudora: I’ve heard villages get ruined when those Worm-Followers move in. They show up out of nowhere—

Eudora: —Just be smart around those guys. Alright?

I nod. Something in her voice tells me she’s a lot more… serious. Yeah, there’s that grumble but she’s concerned. I mean—she’s defended me before when I’m bullied by the other orphans growing up. Ah it could be my imagination though.

I don’t say much else during our walk.
>>
No. 937371 ID: 11f77a
File 156161282223.png - (248.47KB , 557x496 , ADQ068.png )
937371

We finally reach the old Rhoth Orphanage together. We climb the front steps before I drop a new question.

Ganymede: So what did you get in trouble for anyway?

Eudora: Huh?

Eudora: Oh. Mother Umbari caught me punching Bruk in his dumb face. But that old zipper didn’t catch him starting it first.

Eudora: Now I gotta help paint a mural in the main hall for punishment.

Eudora: Idiot gets off no problem.

Eudora: I might as well get the thing over with so... I have to go straight to her for brushes and a paint can.

Eudora: Join if ya want, I guess. I think I’m just gonna hang in my room once it gets late in the day.

She splits off and I’m left alone. I sneak a peek at the dagger like wondering if I still have a wallet on me. Eudora doesn’t know about it.

The sun is still rising over me; could be past lunchtime now. I should think how I ought to spend my time before dinner comes.
>>
No. 937375 ID: 0fae41

Painting with Eudora sounds pretty nice actually, if you're prepared for your courier job.
>>
No. 937378 ID: 891b91

>>937375
Seconded. I don't think she'd suggest (in her own way) that you join her if she wanted to be alone, so it looks like I was wrong on that front. At the very least she might appreciate the help.
>>
No. 937448 ID: 4f51b2

>>937371
I concure, go and help her.
>>
No. 937484 ID: 91ee5f

>>937371
Might as well go help her paint.
>>
No. 937605 ID: b3bffe

I’m guessing those worm cultists are the reason she is an orphan
>>
No. 937636 ID: 11f77a
File 156183897950.png - (215.77KB , 557x496 , ADQ069.png )
937636

Mother Umbari: Glad you could finally arrive...

Umbari: Some of you are serving your detention here, but I see we have a few volunteers as well.

Umbari: The more the better, I suppose...

Umbari: The Art Club has traced the lines and numbered where you need to paint. So try not to use the wrong color.

Umbari: This month we’ll be painting Ichneuman 14:8-22

Umbari: Bhothogoshol’s descent to gift The Herald his amber instrument.

Ganymede: Hey, that’s a nice chapter!

Umbari: Yes, yes...

Umbari: I’d like this mural to be finished by the end of the week. So no rush jobs. Everyone good?
>>
No. 937637 ID: 11f77a
File 156183902309.png - (328.64KB , 557x496 , ADQ070.png )
937637

Everyone: Yes, Mother Umbari.

Umbari: When you’re finished with your spot I’d like each of you to paint a nice motivational quote. It doesn’t have to be today.

Umbari: It can be from a book or film. Maybe a quote of your own as long as you run it by me first.

Umbari: Now start brushing until dinnertime. You can take five-minute breaks per hour.

Umbari: Don’t worry about trying to reach higher up the wall. Do what you can. I’ll be in my office if there’s anything you need.

Everyone: Yes, Mother.

She parts.
>>
No. 937638 ID: 11f77a
File 156183920428.png - (304.79KB , 557x496 , ADQ071.png )
937638

Everything’s fine the first hour or so. It’s just me, Eudora, and two others. She’s taking care of a section further down so I’ve been next to Nennekee the whole time. Her sister is a guard and old enough to move in a small house in the village. But it’s better if Nennekee stays in the dormitories.

The other orphan is Gemlik. Normal guy like me. He’s cautious of Eudora and keeps his distance while he paints. I guess we chat sometimes if we happen to be in the same room and need to pass the time.

Nennekee: Hey.

Ganymede: Oh! Hey Nennekee. What’s up?

Nennekee: Oh, not a lot really...

Nennekee: You're doing pretty nice on your end.

Nennekee: So what are you gonna put in for a quote?
>>
No. 937736 ID: b7abf4

“Faith makes all things possible... Love makes all things worthwhile.“

Paraphrased from the Preacher Xoodys' correspondence with the distant planet of Sweden
>>
No. 937737 ID: 2202fb

>>937638
Just a heads up, they are probably going to steal our quote so we should probably come up with a backup.
>>
No. 937803 ID: 891b91

"Bhothogoshol brought us here to kick ass foster peace, love, and harmony throughout the universe and chew bubble gum, and we're all out of gum!"
>>
No. 937820 ID: 0fae41

"Try You're Best"
>>
No. 937870 ID: 60790c

“Only the Cheeki may know peace from this Breeki.”
>>
No. 938306 ID: 11f77a
File 156234674289.png - (304.17KB , 557x496 , ADQ072.png )
938306

Ganymede: Hmm, I’ve been thinking about—

Ganymede: “Bhothogoshol brought us here to foster peace, love, and harmony throughout the universe and chew bubble gum.”

Ganymede: “And we’re all out of gum!”

She snorts with a stifled laugh, didn’t think she’d actually find that funny.

Nennekee: Now who said that? You’re screwing with me.

Nennekee: I never knew you had a sense of humor, Ganymede.

Ganymede: Alright, alright. Maybe not that. But it’s a candidate for sure!

Nennekee: Yeah suuuure.

Ganymede: How about “Try You’re Best?”

Nennekee: Huh, not very inspirational but I guess it gets the job done.

Ganymede: I mean, the “you’re” is the wrong word. Like the misspelling was still an attempt to make a correct sentence.

Nennekee: Oh, I can see the humor in that, I guess…
>>
No. 938307 ID: 11f77a
File 156234681606.png - (306.54KB , 557x496 , ADQ073.png )
938307

>They’re probably going to steal our quote. / Should come up with a backup.
Hmm, good call. I’m not sure if Nennekee would do that. Maybe Gemlik. I see him snooping over there... I make sure to be a little quieter at least. I can think of many better quotes along the week.

Ganymede: Well I was really thinking of something like...

Ganymede: ‘Faith makes all things possible. Love makes all things worthwhile.’

Nennekee: Ooh, that’s really touching.

Nennekee: That works very well with the picture.

Nennekee: I might just… end up with a quote from the Voxxus Neb.

Nennekee: Or something from my sister.

Nennekee: Maybe she’s heard of some good advice when patrolling the roads.
>>
No. 938309 ID: 0fae41

Hopefully nobody ends up with the same quote, twice, right? Haha, wouldn't that be awkward.
Follow that up with some awkward silence.
>>
No. 938379 ID: 183136

Its clear her sister means a lot to her

Maybe instead of quoting her sister she'd like to write something about her sister?

"Dedicated to my sister and best friend in the world [NAME HERE]"
>>
No. 938389 ID: a9af05

Just remember that no matter what you think of, you have to run it by Mother Umbari first.
>>
No. 938395 ID: f2320a

>>938307
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves!

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
>>
No. 938408 ID: b1b4f3

Ask Eudora what quote she's gonna use.
>>
No. 938483 ID: 1ed92d

>>938307
What's this particular mural symbolic of anyway?
>>
No. 938524 ID: 11f77a
File 156255440625.png - (264.42KB , 557x496 , ADQ074.png )
938524

>What’s this particular mural symbolic of anyway?
Oh! I love sharing Arthocob history! It tells the ancient story of a great warrior!

Long before we knew life was beyond Relik’s eyes, when Ralligoraugh* was dangerous land and many kingdoms were at each other's throats, there was Bogn. He was only a serf when Bhothogoshol spoke to him in a vision—and put him on a quest to Rac-Naquagha. Bogn went on a long journey, learning to fight and survive on his own. He’s made many allies, and enemies. Just before crossing into forbidden land—soil scourged by Mi-yok—Bhothogoshol appeared before him to deliver an instrument of golden amber to help him pass.

Some records say it was a trumpet given to him. Other stories describe it as a weapon. Whatever he was gifted, his foes couldn’t strike him down! Have faith in Bhothogoshol and good things will come!

>>938395
Those sound like some nice alternatives. I’ll hoard them for now—perhaps I’ll wait for the very last day to write my message.

>Ask Eudora what quote she’s gonna use
I’ll keep that in mind! I’ll talk about it during the next break or if I paint next to her.

*Ralligoraugh: Home planet of the Arthocobs
>>
No. 938525 ID: 11f77a
File 156255450743.png - (209.50KB , 557x496 , ADQ075.png )
938525

>Her sister means a lot to her / [she should] write something about her.
Ganymede: The both of you are pretty close, huh?

Nennekee: Oh, absolutely. We’re all we have left… after what happened so long ago.

Nennekee: Even though she lives in the village, I miss her in the dorms.

Nennekee: She sleeps in the barracks so… I can’t really stay with her.

Nennekee: I could try and visit—I’ll see her on patrol at least.

Ganymede: You could write something about her. Or a dedication.

Nennekee: Maybe. Even for our troops.

Nennekee: I’ve been thinking of joining the Guard, too.

Nennekee: Someday we won’t live here anymore, you know? I’d hate to move from this village. I don't know where I'd go after this.

Nennekee: It's a little scary out there.

Nennekee: I guess I can be a teacher too—at least it’d be safer.

Nennekee: I guess I’m making excuses to talk to someone, sorry…
>>
No. 938530 ID: b1b4f3

>>938525
Tell her it's fine, you don't mind talking.
Ask her what subject she'd teach.

Also Ganymede since Eudora doesn't have feelings for you, have you considered other girls? Are there any others you find attractive that aren't huge jerks? Maybe Nennekee?

Also don't forget to keep working while you talk.
>>
No. 938536 ID: 91ee5f

>>938525
Make sure you keep working while you talk. You’re allowed to multitask.

>>938530
>other girls?
After all the stuff we had Ganymede say about always having feelings for her even if she doesn’t have any for him, it feels kinda wrong to consider other girls.
>>
No. 938537 ID: b1b4f3

>>938536
I disagree. You can have feelings for more than one person at a time, and Ganymede should know better than to ignore other opportunities for love.
>>
No. 938558 ID: a9af05

>>938536
I agree, it does feel kinda wrong. But that doesn't mean that we're going to immediately ditch Eudora. We'll keep trying to win her over, but that doesn't mean that we should keep chasing after her forever.

I think she's just afraid of opening up because she doesn't want someone to hurt her feelings. Or she doesn't want to hurt someone else's feelings.

There's many possibilities on why Eudora doesn't want to open up. We'll get her to open up eventually, either by winning her heart or by finding someone else for her.
>>
No. 938800 ID: 11f77a
File 156281668436.png - (274.15KB , 557x496 , ADQ076.png )
938800

>Don’t forget to keep working while you talk / multitask
Back to painting I go.

>Tell her it’s fine [talking].
Ganymede: It’s fine, Nennekee. I don’t mind talking to you.

Ganymede: I’m a great listener, even if I don’t know what to reply with! Just know that.

Ganymede: What subject would you teach, by-the-way?

Nennekee: Oh! Right, right. I’m… thinking on the spot really.

Nennekee: Maybe if I complete more classes I could teach a universal language.

Nennekee: Hmm, but so many languages out there hurt my throat. We sound terrible.

Ganymede: They’re just louder, that’s all.

Ganymede: Learn a language you always find funny. Instead of one that just about anybody takes only to pass the school year.

Ganymede: I never cared much for Paligrijan*. I was thinking of trying Gortian since it’s popular for space travel and off-worlders. And they sound funny when angry.

Ganymede: But who knows if I’ll ever leave this place too. I really like it here.

*Paligrijan: Language of the Zephcynths, Icynths, and Relicynths. An interesting cross between a mammal and insect from a neighboring star. Their planet is a little more barren. They generally work with the Arthocobs for trade.
>>
No. 938801 ID: 11f77a
File 156281685285.png - (208.87KB , 557x496 , ADQ077.png )
938801

>Have you considered other girls? Are there any others you find attractive that aren’t huge jerks? Maybe Nennekee?
Oh my, Nennekee? Do you think she’d like me? In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever thought—

>It feels kind of wrong to consider other girls
>It does feel kind of wrong—but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to immediately ditch Eudora. We’ll keep trying to win her over, but that doesn’t mean that we should keep chasing her forever.
>Should know better than to ignore other opportunities for love
I… don’t know. Thinking about it—my whole life I’ve only had sights on Eudora. Blinded by a love since childhood. Have I really ignored opportunities and signs that other girls may like me? I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather date. I barely know someone like Nennekee even when I’ve lived here for so long. Do you think Nennekee would like a guy like me? Oh Bhothogoshol, why do you pluck my heartstrings?

I agree it doesn’t feel right in my stomach. To let go. To suddenly… give up and find someone new. Yet some of you make a point. I can’t miss opportunities to be happy with others. But what if it’s too late?

Maybe Kyzil was right... when she said Eudora can’t feel love. Would she really not notice me if I went to Ndepthteph’s Maw and back? God, Kyzil’s such a bully but she knows how to spit daggers.

>I think [Eudora]’s afraid of opening up because she doesn’t want someone to hurt her feelings. Or she doesn’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings. […] We’ll get her to open up eventually, either by winning her heart or by finding someone else for her.
That’s the thing. There’s something; something she’s suppressing and—being the only person in the village who knows more about her than anyone else—I know she’s not mean out of spite. Eudora… she’s alone too. Anyone who thinks they know her just avoids her.

Perhaps… it could be time to reach out to others. Not necessarily ditch Eudora, like you said. But I’ll find a way to her heart someday.

It’s just about time for our five-minute break again. I notice I’ve been a little quiet thinking about this.
>>
No. 938802 ID: 0fae41

I don't see a reason you need to deprive yourself of friends to pursue Eudora romantically, nor a reason to give up on her without ever asking how she feels.
"It's nice here, but I think a little bit of travel to get new perspectives can also be... nice."
Go sit with Eudora for the break and ask how she's doing.
>>
No. 938872 ID: 4f51b2

>>938801
Yes you can have friends too, if a girl wants you in a romantic way you can consider it if you wan too. But I don't think Eudora is out of your reach at all, we just need to discover the way to her hearth.
Go seek Eudora.
>>
No. 939417 ID: 11f77a
File 156333508193.png - (232.59KB , 557x496 , ADQ078.png )
939417

>[no reason to] deprive yourself of friends to pursue Eudora romantically / you can have friends too.
Well, it’s not that I deliberately avoid people. I guess I never had anyone openly want to hang out with me. I dunno’. I’ve been a quiet kid and kind of solitary. Maybe it hasn’t bothered me until now.

>If a girl wants you in a romantic way you can consider it if you want.
Of course. I don’t think I have any secret admirers asking me out yet (except Kyzil who… is probably most definitely lying). Eudora can still be on my sights for now.

>I don’t think Eudora’s out of your reach at all. We just need to discover the way to her heart.
Exactly. I just need oooone good clue! And it’ll be an easy road from there!

I continue before Nennekee notices anything.

Ganymede: While it’s sure nice staying here where it’s safe, a bit of travel to get new perspectives can also be… nice!

Nennekee: Well… I suppose that could be right.

Nennekee: I only hope I’ll have it figured out when I graduate from here…

She doesn’t say much else—kind of trailing off as she focuses back on painting. A moment later I place my brush down and start my break.
>>
No. 939418 ID: 11f77a
File 156333534075.png - (249.80KB , 557x496 , ADQ079.png )
939418

>Go seek Eudora / and ask how she’s doing.
Eudora’s sitting on the staircase bored to death. She’s watching people walk in and out of the main entrance of the orphanage. It’s close to dinnertime so everyone should be back from work or from hanging out outside. I don’t know what’s going through her head but I’d stare out into space too, I guess. I have some sweets from the market to share; I place it on a step.

Ganymede: Painting’s aint bad of a punishment, huh?

Ganymede: So, how’re you doing?

Eudora: Alive, I suppose.

Ganymede: It’s looking nice on your end.

Eudora: I'm not much of a painter but… at least it’s just the sky and some trees.

Eudora: I don’t care much for art anyway.

>>938408
Ganymede: So, what quote are you thinking of using?

Ganymede: I have a few good ones in my head in case you're stuck. I was brainstorming with Nennekee.
>>
No. 939419 ID: 11f77a
File 156333552246.png - (224.30KB , 557x496 , ADQ080.png )
939419

Eudora: Man, I don’t know!

Eudora: You can make one for me. But I’m just gonna leave it blank.

Eudora: Never liked those gushy motivational messages.

Eudora: That stuff just sounds fake.

Eudora: I mean, whoever said those quotes meant well, I’m sure, but—

Eudora: —slapping happy words on a sign or poster…

Eudora: It’s dumb.

She just stuffs a bite of candy in her mouth—not saying much after that.
>>
No. 939420 ID: 0fae41

It doesn't have to be happy words. Spite is a powerful motivator. What's some lesson you would tell your younger self?
>>
No. 939424 ID: b1b4f3

>>939419
Actions speak louder than words, right? She can just take a quote that matches that mindset.
Did something happen to her arm?
>>
No. 939428 ID: 5cee1b

So you’re saying you’d rather do something meaningful then just say empty words?
>>
No. 939432 ID: 7fb87a

>>939419
Then write what feels most real to you. You know kindness isn't the only form of motivation.
>>
No. 939436 ID: 91ee5f

>>939419
>That stuff just sounds fake.
“No, Eudora, you misunderstand. When I asked what you were going to write, I didn’t want to know what you’d write because you were told to write it. I want to know what you would write.”

“Maybe this will help. What motivates you? What would you tell yourself to keep you motivated? That’s what you should write!”

If she ends up saying something that wouldn’t be approved by Mother Umbari, then help her change the wording so that it has the same meaning and will be approved by Mother Umbari.
>>
No. 939447 ID: a9af05

>>939432
>Then write what feels most real to you.
This.
>>
No. 939465 ID: 1ed92d

>>939419
Shrug and suggest writing something that makes her feel something.
>>
No. 939703 ID: 11f77a
File 156358215188.png - (250.97KB , 557x496 , ADQ081.png )
939703

I notice her bandaged arm. I mention it first…

Eudora: It’s nothing. A bit of chitin must’ve cracked when I punched Bruk yesterday. Doctor says it’s healing quickly, though.

Eudora: My arm, not his face. I don’t know how that creep's doing.

Ganymede: So anyhoo, you’d rather do something meaningful than say empty words, huh?

Eudora: I don’t feel compelled to have to do anything, Ganymede.

Eudora: I guess it’s like having to smile in a picture. You’re asked to, but you’re just waiting for a flash. And if you wait long enough your face feels unnatural.

Eudora: Kind of lying to yourself…
>>
No. 939704 ID: 11f77a
File 156358220868.png - (252.47KB , 557x496 , ADQ082.png )
939704

>>939432, >>939447
>What motivates you?
>Suggest writing something that makes her feel something
Ganymede: Well—your quote doesn’t have to be happy and goofy! You ought to write what feels most real to you.

Ganymede: Kindness isn’t the only form of motivation. Maybe persistence is a good topic! Or how you like… uh… fighting back jerks! You’ll have to dance around the words so Mother Umbari can accept it.

Eudora: Uh. Huh…

>>939424
>What would you tell yourself to keep you motivated?
Ganymede: I mean, think of this as a good exercise—

Ganymede: What lesson would you tell your younger self?
>>
No. 939705 ID: 11f77a
File 156358222432.png - (255.74KB , 557x496 , ADQ083.png )
939705

>>
No. 939706 ID: 11f77a
File 156358230741.png - (270.15KB , 557x496 , ADQ084.png )
939706

Eudora: To hit harder next time…

I may be wrong but she didn’t seem to answer nicely. She leaves her spot and walks past me—stalking out of the scene. She still wears her apron so… maybe she’ll be back to continue painting.

I hope she’ll be okay.
A) Was it something I said? I ought to catch her and ask what’s wrong.
B) Well I’ll enjoy chatting with the others here till she gets back. I’ll speak to Gemlik and Nennekee some more. (About what?)
C) Fast Forward after dinnertime. (What should I do before the day is late?)
>>
No. 939707 ID: 0fae41

You could probably wrangle that into something she'd let you put on the mural! As long as she thinks the hitting is metaphorical.
B. Talk about Eudora.
>>
No. 939709 ID: b1b4f3

>>939706
Shouldn't you know by now? She doesn't like thinking about the past. Didn't something horrible happen to her village?

Hmm... A.
>>
No. 939781 ID: a9af05

>>939709
This!
>>
No. 939862 ID: 4f51b2

>>939709
Good answer, maybe we should apologize.
>>
No. 940062 ID: 11f77a
File 156385222995.png - (221.00KB , 557x496 , ADQ085.png )
940062

>Shouldn’t you know by now? She doesn’t like thinking about the past. Didn’t something horrible happen to her village?
It was an accident; I didn’t mean to bring it up like that! I don’t really know what happened to her—or how she became an orphan or if her village was destroyed—! She rarely shares anything about where she comes from. Hmm. The only person who may know for sure is Father Aephis—the one who brought her in!

>Maybe we should apologize.
Ganymede: Eudora, wait!

I hurry up—reaching out but… I don’t dare touch her shoulder. I don’t know how much I’ve upset her.

Ganymede: I didn’t mean to—

Ganymede: I wasn’t thinking when I said that!

She half-turns and glares at me.

Ganymede: I’m sorry.

Ganymede: Will you… be alright?

There’s that brief, uneasy pause as she stares me down. And with a grumble she practically exhales.

Eudora: Yeh…

And she walks away again. Good job, me... I do hope she'll be back!
>>
No. 940069 ID: 3ed3c3

She needs space. She knows you're her friend and that you meant no harm, but she still needs room to sort out her emotions.
>>
No. 940098 ID: 0fae41

Go back to painting with Gem and Nen.
>>
No. 940144 ID: 9aaeef

>>940062
Maybe we should later ask Father Aephis about Eudora past? Go back to painting and then let’s dinner. Maybe take a bath before the dinner.
>>
No. 940153 ID: 91ee5f

>>940069
>>940144
I agree with these.
>>
No. 941342 ID: 11f77a
File 156495597996.png - (281.47KB , 557x496 , ADQ086.png )
941342

>Go back to painting with Gem and Nen
>She needs space. She knows you’re her friend and that you meant no harm, but she still needs room to sort out her emotions.
I’ll let it be, then. I could use some time to myself reading the Voxxus Neb or be ready for work tomorrow morning. The three of us paint a good amount—

Eudora eventually returns to paint without saying a word. I wonder what she did. I don’t think she went anywhere to cry. Man, her crying? I can’t imagine a thing like that.

Our hours finish up and she seems content to keep on painting before I leave for something to eat.
>>
No. 941343 ID: 11f77a
File 156495600851.png - (347.98KB , 557x496 , ADQ087.png )
941343

>Maybe take a bath before [dinner]—
Gotta scrub off any paint on my chitin!
>>
No. 941344 ID: 11f77a
File 156495609911.png - (252.72KB , 557x496 , ADQ088.png )
941344

>Maybe we should later ask Father Aephis about Eudora’s past?
Well it’s worth a shot. I haven’t spoken to him in a while. I usually talk to him for advice since he always knows what to say!

I have asked Eudora about it once or twice, but we all know how that goes. She just kind of… showed up! I mean—I guess that’s how most of everyone ends up here. Abrupt. But when you live here long enough, people will open up to you. I heard from Nennekee’s sister that their home burned down. Mok was given up due to postpartum depression. Bruk claims his parents are fugitives or mercenaries from a secret organization—but he’s always making up stuff up.

As for me, I was left on the front steps of this orphanage! I never knew my real parents. Perhaps it was for the best, ya know…?
>>
No. 941345 ID: 11f77a
File 156495612777.png - (85.84KB , 557x496 , ADQ089.png )
941345

Father Aephis: Well Ganymede, I understand how much you like that special girl.

Aephis: Quite a rebel then as she is now.

Aephis: Very adamant, I tell you.
>>
No. 941346 ID: 11f77a
File 156495614975.png - (312.99KB , 557x496 , ADQ090.png )
941346

Aephis: You two look… nice together. I’m glad Eudora has had someone to talk to over the years despite her… er, behavior.

Aephis: I’m afraid my answer might not give you what you’re looking for. There isn’t much to say after I’ve found her.
>>
No. 941347 ID: 11f77a
File 156495630907.png - (397.53KB , 557x496 , ADQ091.png )
941347

Aephis: It was during my visit to Teph-Habbor; it’s predominantly a city for offworlders many, many miles from here. I was attending charity for the penniless before winter rolls in.

Aephis: Normally rascals would run at the sight of any adult or authority. It was a poor neighborhood with many lost children. A dangerous life as a juvenile. There was contempt in the eyes of all children there. Gangs full of them, too. Fights between clans. You could be kidnapped and sold for labor, even shipped to another planet.

Aephis: And one night walking down a broken street she approached me alone. I could tell she had survived homeless for a long time. And inside she knew it was the right thing.

Aephis: At first she was reluctant—the poor girl would’ve frozen to death if she never approached me that night. It seems she knew this was her only chance to escape the cold.

Aephis: We always post flyers and notices around villages about missing children and… nobody has recognized her. So here she remains.

Aephis: I hope that helps. Is there anything else you’d like to talk about, my son?
>>
No. 941348 ID: b1b4f3

>>941347
Ask about the dagger you uhhh recovered.
>>
No. 941397 ID: 4f51b2

>>941347
>>941348
Yeah, talk about the lunatic Eudora and you encountered. Remember we have a job to do so go sleep soon.
>>
No. 941401 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, it's possible Eudora reacted to the fanatic like that because of prior history- ask if there was any activity from that group near Teph-Habbor back then?
>>
No. 941664 ID: 11f77a
File 156514715042.png - (342.26KB , 557x496 , ADQ092.png )
941664

>Talk about the lunatic you and Eudora encountered.
Ganymede: There is, Father Aephis…

Ganymede: Eudora and I, well, we were just walking home when there was one of those loony zealots yelling at us.

Ganymede: Long story short he yelled about some premonition, cursed our village, and drew something in the dirt with a knife.

Ganymede: I-I’ve tried to draw it. Here!

He delicately takes the scrap of paper and slowly rotates the image to try and figure what it’s all about. I also recite the lunatic’s ramblings as memory serves me.

Aephis: Hmm. Nothing like I’ve seen before. Or can’t recall out of the Voxxus Neb.

Aephis: An amber warrior of the Death Worm you say…?

Aephis: A leader of Mi-Yok…*

Aephis: Perhaps this could be the warrior’s symbol, but this is only a guess. I can’t assume much else. You could start from that hypothesis in our library. If I have some free time I could look it up myself, but no promises.

>possible Eudora reacted to the fanatic like that because of prior history – ask if there was any activity from that group near Teph-Habbor?
Aephis: Teph-Habbor is a trade city. It isn’t exclusive to one belief—hence it’s a gathering for offworlders. Those from around the Voxxus. Gullusks, Chupians, Gards, natives of Paligrij, Gortians… And they bring their own religion.

Aephis: I’ve heard nothing unusual or significant involving Ndepthteph’s people from there.

*Mi-Yok: Spirits made from the perished bodies of treacherous and murderous Arthocobs. Representing their primitive ancestors like hungry locusts.
>>
No. 941665 ID: 11f77a
File 156514880119.png - (284.51KB , 557x496 , ADQ093.png )
941665

>Ask about the dagger you uhhh recovered.
Oh, that’s in my room right now—I haven’t really carried it around since I came back from the market. I’d hate to be caught with it in the hallway. I’m unsure whether to talk about it but—Aephis probably wouldn’t punish me like Mother Umbari would. I trust him all my life!

Still, I describe it. Maybe draw it down again. It has a wavy blade with the symbol of Ndepthteph engraved in some amber. He merely shrugs like it’s not such a big deal.

Aephis: It’s… possibly ceremonial. The wave gives it away immediately as a cultural aesthetic. Most religions use the blade for almost anything. For status. Heirlooms. Less often a weapon than it is a decoration.

Aephis: Still, I would advise turning it in as soon as possible, Ganymede. You know the rules under this house.

Ganymede: Yes, Father…

Aephis: You're a good son, Ganymede. I know you kids are curious about the rise of this recent movement. And it may seem a little overwhelming...

Aephis: But all beliefs, right or wrong, fluctuate at one time or another. This is only... a sect of Ndepthteph. The loudest only make their listeners deaf.

Aephis: You've handled the preacher well. And I'm happy for you.
>>
No. 941675 ID: b1b4f3

Give thanks for the compliment.

Alright, how much time is left? You could go turn over the dagger, and do some research.
>>
No. 941677 ID: 4f51b2

>>941665
You can investigate later, thank him and rest for the job tommorrow.
>>
No. 941899 ID: 11f77a
File 156532367990.png - (211.95KB , 557x496 , ADQ094.png )
941899

>You can investigate later—rest for the job tomorrow
Yeah it’s a little late; I’ll just write in my journal and browse through the Voxxus Neb. ‘See if I can sleep after a nice passage like every night! And prepare myself for the job tomorrow!

I’ve thanked Father Aephis and returned to my room. It should be pretty quiet in the halls right now. Everyone’s in their rooms or finishing up chores.

Ya know, I never ventured far from this cozy village! I wonder if I'll even sleep from excitement! Sure, Village Corbon is only next door, but I feel like I’m really turning into an adult! It’ll be really fun going on a trek outside. Maybe I can be a successful courier when I graduate here!
>>
No. 941901 ID: 11f77a
File 156532382515.png - (204.64KB , 557x496 , ADQ095.png )
941901

Huh.

Does… does anyone else hear crying? Sounds faint but—like it’s… next door.

But that’s Eudora’s room…
>>
No. 941902 ID: 0fae41

Investigate! Curfews be damned!
>>
No. 941903 ID: 2df440

Carefully investigate! If she’s putting up a tough front to bury the pain she feels, you’ll need to be gentle.
>>
No. 941905 ID: b1b4f3

Go over and check on her(but knock first). Maybe just ask if she wants to talk a bit before bedtime.
>>
No. 941906 ID: 91ee5f

>>941901
Go check on her.
>>
No. 942025 ID: 4f51b2

>>941901
Invastigate but silently.
>>
No. 942500 ID: 11f77a
File 156574601355.png - (201.92KB , 557x496 , ADQ096.png )
942500

>Investigate! Curfews be damned!
>Maybe ask if [Eudora] wants to talk a bit before bedtime.
>If she’s putting up a tough front to bury the pain she feels, you’ll need to be gentle.
It’ll be quick, then! Since she’s next door to mine, I could easily sneak to her room.

Hmm, it must be pretty late if all the lights are out in the hall! I guess I read a bit too much before bed. Heh, whoops!

Still, I can see well enough with a simple candle.
>>
No. 942501 ID: 11f77a
File 156574608369.png - (182.71KB , 557x496 , ADQ097.png )
942501

>But knock first
I make the smallest knock in hopes she hears over her crying and—

Hold on… I can hear whoever’s sobbing further down the hall now...
>>
No. 942503 ID: 0fae41

Spooky. Press your ear-analogue to the door and make sure your directional hearing isn't on the fritz!
>>
No. 942505 ID: b1b4f3

>>942501
Oh, must be real loud then. First wait a moment to make sure you don't ding-dong ditch Eudora; if she answers the door tell her you were gonna ask if she wanted to talk before bedtime but that sobbing is worrying you and you'd like to go check on whoever it is first.
>>
No. 942620 ID: 11f77a
File 156583497256.png - (230.62KB , 557x496 , ADQ098.png )
942620

>First wait a moment you don’t ding-dong ditch Eudora.
>Spooky. Press your ear-analogue to the door and make sure your directional hearing isn’t on the fritz.
I do feel a bit spooked by it. Still--I stay put in front of her door and keep my, uh, antenna close.

I still hear sobbing coming from down the hall though. And Eudora hasn’t answered after a minute.
>>
No. 942621 ID: 11f77a
File 156583507740.png - (190.06KB , 557x496 , ADQ099.png )
942621

>But that sobbing is worrying you and you’d like to go check on whoever it is first.
The longer I walk through the halls the sobbing is farther than expected. I’m starting to feel chills up my chitinous spine! I hope it’s not a ghost roaming the place! I haven’t heard of any urban legends of orphans dying here!

The orphanage feels like a maze in this darkness—and despite knowing every detail of this place I have to take a moment to reorient myself.

At last I see a door slightly ajar. I think the crying is coming from there. It could be someone’s dormitory—but I don’t see a name or plaque.

I wonder whose room that is.
>>
No. 942622 ID: 2df440

Carefully open the door and look inside
>>
No. 942624 ID: 0fae41

It's polite to knock before entering. Even if it is just a storage closet.
>>
No. 942629 ID: b1b4f3

>>942621
>who could it be?
uhhh I don't think we met anyone that would have a blank nameplate. Do you know of anyone that's staying in the dorms on a temporary basis? They might not have a nameplate in that case.
If not... shit's spooky.

Careful, don't get grabbed by a ghost through the partially open door.
Go over and knock politely, ask if they're alright.
>>
No. 942649 ID: 11f77a
File 156584896073.png - (71.75KB , 557x496 , ADQ100.png )
942649

>Do you know of anyone that’s staying in the dorms on a temporary basis? They might not have a nameplate in that case.
No one I know so far—while we have guests time to time they normally wouldn’t share a room here with the other orphans. There’s sort-of a place that’s nicer and better furnished for visitors and adults.

Not saying our dorms are cruddy—but orphan bedrooms have the bare bones of basic needs: their cocoon, desk, and drawers. Perhaps...

Maybe it’s someone new...

Awe gosh. Poor thing.

>Knock before entering. Even if it’s just a storage closet.
>Carefully open the door and look inside.
I do just that. I manage to take a peek inside since the door’s creaked open already.
>>
No. 942650 ID: 11f77a
File 156584897629.png - (125.32KB , 557x496 , ADQ101.png )
942650

>>
No. 942651 ID: 4ce75d

"You need any help?" Also there's clearly no furniture in here, see if you can at least sort that out.
>>
No. 942652 ID: 2df440

That’s not Eudora, is it? Go and see if they’re okay.
>>
No. 942653 ID: b1b4f3

>>942650
Go say hello.
>>
No. 942656 ID: b58f04

Is that Nennekee?
>>
No. 942658 ID: a9af05

>>942650
That might actually be Eudora and she's just hiding in this unmarked room so that she can cry in privacy. I'm not sure if it is her, but it might be her.

Whether it is her or someone else, we should check and see if this person is alright.
>>
No. 942701 ID: 4f51b2

>>942650
Are ya alraight?
>>
No. 942706 ID: 0fae41

"Can you cry quieter please, it's after lights out"
>>
No. 942810 ID: 11f77a
File 156601309484.png - (187.73KB , 557x496 , ADQ102.png )
942810

>That’s not Eudora, is it? / Is that Nennekee?
>We should check and see if this person is alright. / Go say hello.
I think it is Nen. But this isn’t even her room. She only lives a few doors down from me. What’s she doing here?

I guess there’s only one way to know.

Ganymede: Nennekee?

Nennekee: H-huh?

Nennekee: snurk Ganymede? Is that you?

Nennekee: O-oh, sorry. Was… I snuff really that loud?

Nennekee: I guess I was pretty loud, huh?

Nennekee: sniff Oh, I must look ridiculous. I’ll… try to be quieter.
>>
No. 942811 ID: 11f77a
File 156601320609.png - (193.87KB , 557x496 , ADQ103.png )
942811

Ganymede: Don’t worry, I wasn’t even asleep yet. But it sounds like you may need some help.

She wipes some tears off.

Nennekee: Oh no, I’m… I’m good. It’s nothing. snuck I just need a moment.

I slowly scan the barren room. There are some marks in the wall where furniture used to be. And it takes me a minute to realize—but I think I can connect some dots.

Ganymede: Wasn’t this your sister’s room, Nen?

Nennekee: W-well…

Nennekee: Yes…

Nennekee: I would come here some nights when I had trouble sleeping. And it would be just me and Shana talking about… anything, really.

Nennekee: I don’t know why I bothered coming here anyway. Now that she’s no longer here I realize I can’t take care of myself very well when I'm alone.

Nennekee: Y-you should go before someone catches you. I just need another minute and I’ll head back.

A) “There’s something else you’re not telling me…”
B) I think letting her talk about her sister would help calm her down.
C) I should instead distract her with a different topic. But what?
D) >___
>>
No. 942812 ID: 0fae41

B.
>>
No. 942817 ID: e7c7d3

A.) She can't take care of herself? What's going on with her?
>>
No. 942900 ID: 4f51b2

>>942811
a)
>>
No. 943114 ID: 2df440

B

we shouldn't try to delve deep into trauma until we're better friends, but a little discussion might help
>>
No. 943135 ID: b1b4f3

I'll agree with B.
>>
No. 943136 ID: 91ee5f

>>942811
B
>>
No. 943421 ID: 11f77a
File 156658761566.png - (171.36KB , 557x496 , ADQ104.png )
943421

>A little discussion might help. B
I don’t think I’ll leave her like this. I softly walk over to sit next to her. The candle is set so she could be in the light.

Ganymede: Hey, I don’t think that’s true. And I don’t think Shana would agree either.

Ganymede: I can talk if you want. I don’t really know much about either of you. You said Shana’s working as a guard right?

Ganymede: I may have seen her in the market this morning. Some ol’ coot was waving a sign and annoying villagers. He was arrested by some patrolmen.

Nennekee: Y-yeah. It possible one of them could’ve been her. She was always the brave one.

Nennekee: I don’t know how she kept herself together since…

Nennekee: Well…

Nennekee: You know how we… ended up here, right?

Nennekee: Shana and I were the only ones who escaped the fire. And yet, after the accident Shana seemed to act just fine on her own.

Nennekee: I admired her for how quickly she deals with things.

Nennekee: And I have always looked up to her on how to feel and play pretend. Now I have to grow up on my own and I have no idea...
>>
No. 943422 ID: 11f77a
File 156658799756.png - (180.95KB , 557x496 , ADQ105.png )
943422

Nennekee: Maybe I was exaggerating when I said I couldn’t take care of myself—but without Shana I feel cut in half. Something is absent inside me.

Nennekee: Like… starving for comfort? There's a knot in my stomach. I can’t describe it well.

There’s a pause. I don't speak to be sure there's more room for her to talk. But when she does, her tone has shifted. Thankfully not focused on crying anymore. Yet there's some... urgency in her voice.

Nennekee: Ganymede…

Nennekee: I have to warn you before it’s too late. Something troubles me, far more than anything.

Nennekee: I… watch over this orphanage, I look at the faces of its residents and everything seems… off. I’ve came to believe no one here is prepared for the world outside this holy sanctuary.

Nennekee: Something dark is tormenting Bhothogoshol’s children. And if they don't break free then they'll be lost. It’s a terrifying vision.

Ganymede: Nennekee, I don’t understand—

Nennekee: I may need your help more than ever...
>>
No. 943423 ID: b1b4f3

>>943422
Alright. If something's wrong, you'll do your best to help set things right.

...is there someone at the door?
>>
No. 943425 ID: e7c7d3

Hmm, she''s starting to sound a bit like that preacher guy. Either she's dealing with some personal demons or she's questioning her beliefs. Nothing stopping it from being both.

Still, support her. She clearly needs it.
>>
No. 943426 ID: a9af05

>>943422
"If you're having a vision, then you might want to speak with Mother Umbari or Father Aephis about it. But I'll help you however I can."

>Shadow at the door
I wonder who that is? Could that be Eudora?
>>
No. 943427 ID: b1b4f3

The shadow doesn't match Eudora. I don't think it's anyone we've met, actually.
>>
No. 943448 ID: 197bc6

Invite the shadow to join in, that should catch them off guard.
>>
No. 943450 ID: 91ee5f

>>943426
>Could that be Eudora?
If it is, then I really hope she’s mature enough to not do the “I caught you with another girl so now I hate you and won’t give you a chance to explain yourself” cliché.
>>
No. 943529 ID: 0fae41

It's Kyzil. Throw her for a loop by inviting her in.
>>
No. 943530 ID: b1b4f3

>>943529
I thought the head and torso shape were wrong, but the arm spines match up... Yeah it's probably her. Party's over.
>>
No. 943556 ID: 11f77a
File 156671029408.png - (185.29KB , 557x496 , ADQ106.png )
943556

>>943423
>>943425
>>943426
Ganymede: Don’t worry, Nenn. I know that you’ll do your best to set things right.

Ganymede: And I’ll help you in any way I can.

Ganymede: I’ve been hearing some people getting visions, premonitions…

Ganymede: If you’re having visions, you should speak with Father Aephis and—!
>>
No. 943557 ID: 11f77a
File 156671036187.png - (226.79KB , 557x496 , ADQ107.png )
943557

Kyzil: Soooo! This is where all the boo-hooing is comin’ from—

Kyzil: Oh?

Kyzil: Oooooooooh~ well if it isn’t Ganymede breaking some more hearts, huh?

Ganymede: Wha—no!

Kyzil: Or maybeeeee…

Ganymede: It’s not… ugh.

Kyzil: You finally had the nerve to accept that Eudora can’t be swooned.

Kyzil: I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed you haven’t considered me right after.

Kyzil: But Nennekee! Ah~ she’s so alone. Perfect to swipe up. I didn’t think you were that calculated.

Kyzil: Whoops~ Sorry did I accidentally ruin your groove? Shucks, I should’ve waited…
>>
No. 943558 ID: 11f77a
File 156671042752.png - (200.76KB , 557x496 , ADQ108.png )
943558

She leans closer, trotting in the room pleased of this false discovery.

Kyzil: I didn’t think you were the type to chase after… ya know… the crazies.

Nennekee chokes a bit, unsure what to believe from Kyzil’s taunting.

Nennekee: Ganymede, t-that’s not true, is it?

Ganymede: No! Of course not. I wouldn’t do that!

Ganymede: And you’re not crazy!

Kyzil: Are ya kidding?

Nennekee: Shut up and go away, Kyzil! I’m not in the mood! Everyone get out!

Kyzil: Oooh, Gany doesn’t know?

Kyzil: Well I’ll spare him the dramatic pause.
>>
No. 943559 ID: 11f77a
File 156671050295.png - (238.10KB , 557x496 , ADQ109.png )
943559

Kyzil: Nennekee burned her house down and her parents with it.

Kyzil: You got yourself an arsonist, Gany~
>>
No. 943560 ID: e7c7d3

Uhhh.. What's going on with Nennekee's carapace?

You promised to help her, so you're going to help her. You may be a fool, but you've beyond proven that you have conviction.
>>
No. 943561 ID: b1b4f3

>>943559
Of all the lies she's told that one's the worst.
Just roll your eyes at Kyzil, and say "unbelievable" then check on what's going on with Nennekee's carapace. Take her to the nurse if it's serious. If Kyzil doesn't back off, punch her in her stupid face.
>>
No. 943562 ID: 2df440

Punchin time?
>>
No. 943565 ID: 91ee5f

>>943559
Firstly, I still haven’t given up on Eudora.

Secondly, I’m not taking advantage of Nennekee and you know it.

Finally, I don’t believe a word you’re saying, since I know you’d make up anything because you think it’s funny.

After all that, let’s go take Nennekee to someone to have a look at her carapace.

>>943561
>>943562
>punch Kyzil
I thought we agreed that punching was Eudora’s thing? But yeah, I agree with this.

How do you know you’ve pissed someone off? When the guy that never throws punches finally snaps and punches you in the face.
>>
No. 943572 ID: 0fae41

What's happening to Nennekee's carapace?
Kyzil, you need to leave. Escort her out, and have a talk with Aephis about her in the morning.
Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence.
>>
No. 943594 ID: 3ed3c3

>>943559
"If that were true - which I highly doubt - then what does that say about you, Kyzil, that I still prefer her presence to yours?"
>>
No. 943746 ID: 11f77a
File 156702721283.png - (221.30KB , 557x496 , ADQ110.png )
943746

I haven’t felt so much… anger before. My fist curls and I feel the knuckles pop out. I can’t help but stare into the stupid face Kyzil’s making—and it gets the better of me. I swing my fist and clock her right in the cheek without another thought. She yelps and cringes, covering her face and backing off.

Ganymede: Unbelieveable, Kyzil.

Ganymede: Do you really expect me to believe that? I know you’d make up anything because you think you’re being funny!

Ganymede: I’m not taking advantage of Nennekee and you know it!

Ganymede: What does that say about you that I still prefer her presence to yours?

I feel a little bad it came to this but, there’s some relief letting off steam. Years of bottling anger. Would Kyzil cry to the principal and risk letting everyone know that the loser Ganymede beat her up?
>>
No. 943747 ID: 11f77a
File 156702731199.png - (191.27KB , 557x496 , ADQ111.png )
943747

>Something’s wrong with Nennekee’s carapace.
Yeah, I just noticed that too. Couldn’t have happened at the mural. I hope there’s someone up late at the nurse’s office to examine it. Unless there was a great fall or severe blunt force ones carapace is usually sturdy.

But I hear something… unsettling. Kyzil’s sniveling is mixing back and forth into a cackle. Half stumbling, she snorts while her wrist nudges across her nose.

Kyzil: huuue— Ooooh Gany~ So unlike you…

Kyzil: Out of everything I could say to lie to yoooou—snuck!—that couldn’t be farther from the truth… snork!

Kyzil: But whatever. Why not ask her yourself?

I’ve had enough.

Ganymede: Come on, Nennekee. Let’s get you to a doctor.

Ganymede: I’m through with listening to you, Kyzil. Now step aside—
>>
No. 943749 ID: 11f77a
File 156702747446.png - (270.08KB , 557x496 , ADQ112.png )
943749

Kyzil: WAIT!

Kyzil: You can’t just… leave me like this. I’m not done with you!

Kyzil: Get real, Gany. He-hehhehrrr… None of those girls you chase will lead you anywhere! Give my offer some more thought!

Kyzil: Enough playing the long con! You have to grab what you can!

Kyzil: You’re an adventurous guy! I know you like taking chances.

Kyzil: You could teach me something new! A side I've never seen before!

Kyzil: I mean you already know the ending to our future date. So what’s to be disappointed about? huh-huuuh… Get a little careless and be someone different!

Kyzil: Come on, both of us can get what we want!!
>>
No. 943750 ID: 2df440

Oh god the punch has backfired! Uh uh grab Nennekee and flee!
>>
No. 943751 ID: 422cea

>>943749
Oh god she liked that.

DON'T STICK YOUR SHRIMP IN THAT CRAZY, GANYMEDE. RUN.
>>
No. 943752 ID: 291204

>>943749
Oh sweet lord in heaven above it’s just like those horror movies! Free yourself and get out while you still can.
>>
No. 943753 ID: b1b4f3

>>943749
UHHHH
Either you're hallucinating/having visions, or you're dreaming. You did not hit her hard enough to cause that wound, and her eyes look dead. I suspect the wound on Nennekee isn't real either.
Either way, this is not a good omen.

Also obviously the fire was accidental, otherwise Nennekee would be in jail, so it's more like "oh no she's a firebug" rather than "oh no she burned her parents to death", and she talks about her sister like they were close so it doesn't sound like she blamed her.

So anyway. What you should do is first freak the fuck out about Kyzil looking like a corpse, try to wake up, and if that doesn't work, tell them you're having a vision and they both look severely wounded.
If you're able to, tell Kyzil that you're looking for a relationship, not a fling, and wouldn't want either with her.
>>
No. 943754 ID: e7c7d3

yeah... I think you're seeing things.

Look at Nennekee, if she's even more changed then you need to try to wake yourself up.
>>
No. 943755 ID: 0fae41

She's right, let's skip to the inevitable breakup! Run back to your room.
>>
No. 943757 ID: 3ed3c3

>>943749
BEGONE, THOT!
>>
No. 943762 ID: 91ee5f

>>943753
This!
>>
No. 943776 ID: 3acd0e

>>943749
You aren't that strong and you know it. Those wounds are not physical. Go to the priest immediately.
>>
No. 944258 ID: 11f77a
File 156757409695.png - (270.43KB , 557x496 , ADQ113.png )
944258

>Either you’re having visions or you’re dreaming. This is not a good omen.
>Oh sweet Bhothogoshol of the Voxxus it’s just like those horror movies! Free yourself and get out while you can.
>Grab Nennekee and flee!
Yeh, this is not normal, not normal at all! I have to wake up somehow or… shake off this vision. For now I just want to get out! I keep pushing Kyzil back, trying to check up on Nenn.

Ganymede: Uh, uhm, hey! Look. I… I’m only looking for a relationship! Not a fling! Could you get off me?!

Kyzil: It doesn’t have to be a fling, Gany! I can stay as long as you’d like! Just a while longer even!

Ganymede: It’s pretty late! Let’s just return to our rooms a-and we can talk about—!

Kyzil: We have all night! Come on. Don’t be ridiculous! Don’t you like talking to girls? Pretty girls? Like me?!

Kyzil: I know you understand that hollow feeling inside you when you’re alone! Like… guts twisting!

Kyzil: You can help me fix that! I mean—I can help you fix that! I’ve got just the thing!

Nennekee: Let him go, Kyzil! He said he doesn’t want you!

Kyzil: Pipe down, squirt! EVERYONE wants me!

Kyzil: Go play with some matches and burn the whole orphanage down!
>>
No. 944259 ID: 11f77a
File 156757416255.png - (293.79KB , 557x496 , ADQ114.png )
944259

I turn to see Nennekee’s carapace suddenly charred and burning a spontaneous fire like a broken chimney. She doesn’t react from the flames as it rises up the walls of Shana’s room. Her voice echoes alongside sobbing.

Nennekee: Kyzil, you wretch!!!

Nennekee: I-it wasn’t my fault! It’s not my fault! I wouldn’t have known! I’m telling the truth—why won’t you believe me?!

Kyzil: Your fate is sealed, firebug! You’re hopping into the Maw no matter what! No matter how much you cry to the Flying Rod!

Kyzil: The rest of us got a chance at least!

Nennekee: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!!!

She screeches and it stings my ears. Or antennae…

Kyzil: Awe don’t be upset, Nenn. Heheheee… You might be lucky enough to see mmm-mommy and daddy’s charred husks used as toothpicks for the Death Worm’s prongs!

Nennekee: SHUT. THE FUCK. UP!!

Kyzil: Whatcha gonna do? Heh-haa! Look at me funny?

Kyzil: My mother looks at me like that too!
>>
No. 944260 ID: 11f77a
File 156757423947.png - (238.71KB , 557x496 , ADQ115.png )
944260

Nennekee: I SAID—

Nennekee: —ENOUGH!

Ganymede: You know what? You’re right. Let’s skip to the inevitable break up…

Their bickering has distracted Kyzil enough for me to shove and make a break for the door. There’s a roaring fire that nearly blasts me out of the room. Kyzil’s jittery laugh is still on a loop as I scramble down the hall.

Kyzil: Heeeh-hahahaaaa! Haaaaack-! cough

Kyzil: Gany~ kak~! N-now look what you did, Nenn!
>>
No. 944261 ID: 11f77a
File 156757430663.png - (204.83KB , 557x496 , ADQ116.png )
944261

There are other orphans roaming the hall now!

Everyone here, they’re all shambling. Moaning or weeping. Cracked, torn and empty. They don’t even notice one another unless they get too close… And they get violent to push and slap each other away.
>>
No. 944262 ID: 2df440

Oh shit! Try to find eudora and then keep going!
>>
No. 944263 ID: b1b4f3

>>944261
Well, if this is a useful vision at all, you should make your way carefully through the halls, trying to gather some information on the other students as you go, by their behavior and mumblings.
Try to reach Eudora's room, but also yours. That knife should be exceptionally significant during whatever this is.

I'm tempted to say to approach Kyzil when she's alone tomorrow to see if she's really suffering, but I honestly just expect more abuse from her. If she does talk to you like a reasonable person, then maybe you can try to listen to her problems? Is there a therapist at the orphanage that should be doing this?
>>
No. 944265 ID: 891b91

>>944263
Seconding this. Eudora is priority one, followed by the knife. Then the two of you need to book it to Father Aephis, or someone else who is a spiritual authority here.

Now may also be a good time to make a quick prayer to Bhothogoshol, assuming you can do so while running.
>>
No. 944268 ID: b1b4f3

By "carefully" I mean try to keep your distance from the other orphans so they don't notice you. If necessary you can probably just dash past someone though, since they'll only "see" you briefly.
>>
No. 944302 ID: 4f51b2

>>944261
Go to see Eudora. What the hell is happening?
>>
No. 944755 ID: 11f77a
File 156814990498.png - (250.41KB , 557x496 , ADQ117.png )
944755

>Now may be a good time to make a quick prayer to Bhothogoshol
Ganymede: Oh great Bhothogoshol hear my prayer and guide me safely through this hellish nightmare! I’ll promise to pray twice as hard by the time this is all over!

>Try to find Eudora and then keep going!
>Go see Eudora. What in Ndepthteph’s Roost is happening?
>Eudora is priority one, followed by the knife.
>That knife should be exceptionally significant during whatever this is.
I have to find Eudora! I hope she’s not one of these… things! First her, then the knife! I mean, I hope the knife has some significance in all this! But most importantly I need to find Eudora!

Oh no! What if I have to stab Eudora with the knife?!

>Keep your distance from the other orphans so they don’t notice you. If necessary you can probably just dash past someone though, since they’ll only “see” you briefly.
Some of them don’t notice me—like they want to be left alone to dwell in sorrow. Others gaze at me and start reaching out. Some manage to tug on my robe but I’m able to yank away.

I d-don’t belong… I don’t belong! Get me out!

Ganymede: Uhh, sorry I— can’t help you at the moment!

Why don’t they want me? What did I do wrong?!

Ganymede: I’ll try to figure that out. Just…

Brother? Brother wait! What have you done?! You had so much! Why?!

You! Back off! This one’s mine! COME BACK HERE, YOU PEST!

It huuuuurts. It’ssss coooold!
>>
No. 944757 ID: 11f77a
File 156815010244.png - (106.27KB , 557x496 , ADQ118.png )
944757

Alright, I'm starting to remember where I am in this place. I avoided a few dead ends but I'm fairly certain Kyzil or Nenn aren't following—

——HOOF! Oow... that smarts...
>>
No. 944759 ID: 11f77a
File 156815029113.png - (255.35KB , 557x496 , ADQ119.png )
944759

Ganymede: O-oh. Oh my…

Rhrr-rrulggh!
>>
No. 944762 ID: e7c7d3

Oooh dear. That is a brute of a creature. Seems to be infected my some sort of fungus too. I sincerely hope that's not Father Aephis.

Duck between it's legs. It seems top heavy so even if it tries to grab at you that should keep it unbalanced enough for you to escape by.
>>
No. 944764 ID: 2df440

Shriek

Piddle self

Run like hell
>>
No. 944768 ID: b1b4f3

>>944759
Do you recognize whoever this is? Try to get away from them, then see how they react. Are they aggressive, or do they need help? Looks like a male...
...it kindof looks like that's a coffin on his back. If Nenneke is any indication, I'd say everyone's insecurities and emotional baggage are manifesting somehow, so he's carrying the weight of someone who died.

Also a mushroom theme going on, do you recognize what kind of mushroom that is?
>>
No. 944779 ID: 4f51b2

>>944759
Get away from him, he doesn't seem very fast.
>>
No. 944782 ID: 891b91

>>944762
I disagree, this puts Ganymede at risk of an overhead attack. I think rolling out of the way and running past it is the safer option.
>>
No. 944783 ID: ce39da

>>944764
Do not scream. Whatever you do, stay as quiet as possible. There's a chance he can't use his eyes.

On a more general note, there's a good chance this isn't real; remember, our senses were already playing tricks on us before we even got to the empty room. Most likely a vision rather than a dream; it's too TMI to be a simple nightmare. Also, it'd be weird for the daily life aspect of the quest to be interrupted with something that won't resolve itself within the night. It would explain why we aren't affected, as we're the one having the vision. (This is a further reason why you shouldn't make noise and wake up all of the actual orphans.)
>>
No. 944859 ID: 32b5ec

>>944759
Be quiet. Silent. No noise.
Maintain eye contact while slowly backing away, then hold your ground. Wait for it to make a move. If it takes a swing at you, use the opportunity to get around it.
>>
No. 945025 ID: 11f77a
File 156843876898.png - (188.21KB , 557x496 , ADQ120.png )
945025

>Shriek
>Do not scream. (There’s a chance he can’t use his eyes)
I utter the quietest, wheeziest screech conflicted by the need to make noise.

>Seems to be infected by some sort of fungus.
>Do you recognize what kind of mushroom that is?
No idea!

>There’s a good chance this isn’t real; remember, our senses were already playing tricks on us before we got into the empty room.
I wonder which part of it is real. Am I, in reality, sitting on the floor frightened by nothing? Or is everything fabricated? If I was hurt, would the pain have a real-world effect on me? Despite realizing the nightmare, everything’s still happening! Maybe I’ve got to see this through—and understand what this vision is trying to tell me.

Rulggh-rllgrr!!

Or just run for my life and save who I can!
>>
No. 945026 ID: 11f77a
File 156843884523.png - (229.99KB , 557x496 , ADQ121.png )
945026

>I’d say everyone’s insecurities and emotional baggage are manifesting somehow.
>It kind of looks like that’s a coffin on his back—carrying the weight of someone who died?
Is this what Nennekee was trying to tell me earlier? Everyone does seem to relate to a different problem. Some clear, like Nennekee and the fire. I don’t know what Kyzil’s deal may be—or this guy! If I wasn’t in such danger I’d try and figure out this dude’s problem.

>Duck between its legs
>Roll out of the way and run past
It’s a tricky maneuver to try and crawl under him, given that I’ve been knocked on my ass. I try rolling out of the way instead. Maybe I’m just lucky enough that he’s slow with all that weight and I can shimmy on by—narrowly dodging a swipe of his mangled claw.
>>
No. 945027 ID: 11f77a
File 156843890074.png - (192.95KB , 557x496 , ADQ122.png )
945027

Another minute of dodging these zombified orphans and I recognize the hallway my room’s in. Immediately I start pounding on Eudora’s door first.

BUMP BUMP BUMP!

Ganymede: Eudoraaaa! Are you in there? Open up! Hurry!

Ganymede: I need you to start kicking butt! The building is overrun by uh… zombies?! Something!

BAM BAMP!

There’s no response so far. The door is locked and my constant banging could've attracted a few stragglers.
>>
No. 945030 ID: e7c7d3

Shoot, for once we can't depend of Eudora. Go get the knife. It may end up not being significant, but at least it'll be something to defend yourself with.
>>
No. 945033 ID: b1b4f3

>>945027
Welp. Eudora's got her own baggage anyway, she probably would've been hostile.
I say talk to the two bugs there. Approach as reassuringly as possible. Find out what their deal is, try helping them if they'll listen. As a last resort you can retreat into your room and see if anything's changed with the dagger.

I would caution strongly against using it like a weapon. It should be inspected to see if there's anything unusual about it, and possibly used to engrave Bhothogoshol's symbol on the floor or something.
Speaking of that symbol... nobody you've run into has been wearing their robes. Maybe that's why you're still sane? Do you know where you can get more robes? Maybe if you got them to wear some...
>>
No. 945039 ID: ce39da

>>945033
Pretty sure there’s nothing magical about the robe habits, and I don’t think the symbol itself is that powerful to make a difference on its own. It’s likely the reason we aren’t affected by whatever’s going on is because we’re the audience to a play only we can see. If it was real and physically happening, I have no doubt we would be among the afflicted; we’ve been contemplating our own doubts and insecurities to ourselves just today.

As for what we should be doing; heading into our room would probably be wise at this point. If the pair in the hall start trying to get in, pound on the wall of Eudora’s room a few times just in case, then turn around and actually address the assailants with their problems; they’re acting erratically, yes, but I don’t think they’re literal mindless zombies to be solely avoided or dealt with using violence.
>>
No. 945041 ID: 891b91

Yell to Eudora that you're heading to your room and warn her again that everyone is possessed by something that is making them hostile. Then let's head to your room to get that knife.

Be careful when entering your room -- there's a chance that someone or something got in there while you were out. It's also possible Eudora could have gone in there looking for you; assuming she's unaffected by whatever's going on here, I think she probably would have tried to rescue you from it. Then again, if she is possessed, then she could have gone in there looking for you anyway. It's hard to say, so exercise extreme caution.
>>
No. 945094 ID: 32b5ec

>>945027
Get to our room, get something we can use to defend ourselves.
Can you check on Eudora's room by looking out from the window in your room into hers?

If there's no way to get to her room, I think we ought to simply GTFO. Holing up is a bad idea when you have no clue what's going on.
>>
No. 945162 ID: 1ed92d

>>945027
Okay so if everyone else is completely blinded by their insecurities, maybe YOUR insecurity is the fear that Eudora doesn't love you back and isn't there for you in spite of your own affection.

Therefore, she won't appear to rescue you from this vision, as even if she were present, you wouldn't be able to see her. Try and calm down and head for the knife. Then see about finding a place to hide until sunrise. Hopefully the dawn will provide some clues as to what is happening.

Either that or everyone's been turned into magical zombies except you and that just seems strangely unlikely.
>>
No. 945246 ID: bef60d

One way to wake yourself up might be to find something to create a loud noise. if you ARE in a nightmare, that might just snap you awake. Just be careful not to attract attention doing so.
>>
No. 945300 ID: 11f77a
File 156878105950.png - (343.21KB , 730x496 , ADQ123.png )
945300

>Speaking of [Bhothogoshol’s] symbol […] Nobody you’ve run into has been wearing their robes.
>…I don’t think the symbol itself is that powerful to make a difference on its own.
Interesting thought. But it seems my robes weren’t enough to keep the orphans from trying to grab me. There are symbols of Bhothogoshol all throughout this orphanage and this is a very holy place. It may take a little more than Bhothogoshol’s sigil to keep the monsters at bay.

>Talk to the two bugs there. […] Find out what their deal is, try helping them if they’ll listen.
>Address the assailants with their problems […] I don’t think they’re literal mindless zombies.
I have a feeling that a lot of the victims here are too delirious to really have a coherent conversation. Their woes and cries are on a loop.

>Yell to Eudora that you’re heading to your room.
>Warn her again that everyone is possessed by something that is making them hostile.
>Heading into our room would probably be wise at this point.
>Be careful when entering your room. […] It’s also possible Eudora could have gone in there looking for you. […] Exercise extreme caution.
Ganymede: H-hold tight, Eudora! I’ll be right back! Just be careful of the other orphans, okay?!

Before those orphans get too close I peek inside my room—ready to slam the door for the worst. But it’s as empty as I’ve left it. I was sort of hoping Eudora was in here looking for me.

Of course I lock the door after walking inside.
>>
No. 945301 ID: 11f77a
File 156878110902.png - (152.03KB , 557x496 , ADQ124.png )
945301

>Then let’s head to your room to get that knife.
>Go get the knife. It may end up not being significant, but at least it’ll be something to defend yourself with.
>Get to our room, get something we can use to defend ourselves.
>It should be inspected to see if there’s anything unusual about it.
>See if anything’s changed with the dagger.
I’m able to retrieve the knife; it was stashed behind some sacred texts. It looks the same as always—wavy blade with the symbol of Ndepthteph etched on an amber handle. I don’t feel anything strange from holding it. But I’ve yet to see if it does anything significant if I must use it on an orphan.
>>
No. 945302 ID: 11f77a
File 156878147046.png - (251.75KB , 557x496 , ADQ125.png )
945302

>Maybe YOUR insecurity is the fear that Eudora doesn’t love you back and isn’t there for you in spite of your own affection.
I don’t necessarily fear that—because Eudora admitted herself she doesn’t love me back when I was bullied by Kyzil and her gang in the village. As heartbreaking as that was to hear I still know she cares for me, right? I mean... I hope.

>Can you check on Eudora’s room by looking out from the window in your room into hers?
I look outside to try and peer into her window. She’s adjacent to me, so it’s hard to see even when I lean out. The village outside looks spooky tonight—and I get the feeling I’m no longer in Hab-Zoraat* anymore.

Relik’s eyes** are misaligned. No crickets chirp. No torches are lit in the village. Everyone is absent like it’s been abandoned for years.

There’s a bit of scratching and knocking on my door. The doorknob is shaking with crying behind it.

(male voice): "Oooh, please let me out again! I won't make a noise when it hurts! Promise!"

(male voice): "Don't you love me? Is that why I'm in here?"

A) Continue searching for Eudora. I must know she’s alright!
B) Stay in my room and wait for all this to blow over.
C) Well who could that be at the door?
D) >___

*Hab-Zoraat: The village Ganymede and the orphanage resides.
**The stars
>>
No. 945304 ID: 2df440

D
You seem to have entered silent hill somehow; climb out the window and aisle over to Eudora’s if you can.
>>
No. 945305 ID: 2df440

Oh shit, also: wrap that knife up in cloth. It might be adversely effecting your mental state.
>>
No. 945306 ID: e7c7d3

A

Staying in your room will just make you a target for more of these... shadows of the other orphans. Best be on the move.
>>
No. 945307 ID: b1b4f3

>>945302
C. May as well see who it is.
Do you have more than one robe? If you let him in, then close the door behind him so nobody interrupts you, maybe you can get him in a robe to see if anything happens.

I wonder if Ndepthteph's symbol is of any use here?
>>
No. 945320 ID: 891b91

>>945304
>>945305
Seconding both of these. I'd love to see who it is at the door, but I think it's likely that nothing good will come of that, so getting out into the open where you're more maneuverable (if harder to hide) seems like the best plan. It doesn't look like this is something that will just blow over, either, so be prepared for the possibility that you may have to find a way to fix all of this.

Assuming it isn't all just a nightmare, anyway.
>>
No. 945326 ID: 473826

>>945304
Yep, we're in insectoid Silent Hill. Fun times.
Make sure you don't vomit up the fetus of your dead wife because your dad killed god in an alternate dimension created by a trucker's abusive childhood while freezing to death in jail.
Referenced every single mainline Silent Hill game in one sentence, nice

>>945302
D, what's that horrible flesh thing in your room? Cut it open.
If that somehow doesn't cause something to happen:
A, if you can sidle over to Eudora's window.
C, if there's nothing there.
If that doesn't get you anywhere/they start trying to break in, and you're only a floor or two above ground, you might want to chance it and climb/jump down. Head to the village, see if there're any clues.
>>
No. 945330 ID: 8aa96e

These hallucinations might be the result of gas, wear something over your mouth and get outside to clearer air. Cloth isn’t ideal but it’s probably better than nothing. If it continues then we can probably rule out gas.
>>
No. 945338 ID: ce39da

>>945326
That's his sleeping cocoon, remember?

I vote B, at least as long as it's viable.
>>
No. 945344 ID: 91ee5f

>>945302
>The village outside looks spooky tonight—and I get the feeling I’m no longer in Hab-Zoraat anymore.
>Relik’s eyes are misaligned. No crickets chirp. No torches are lit in the village. Everyone is absent like it’s been abandoned for years.
I still believe that this is all a dream.

But if this is real, then could this be what that crazy preacher was talking about? Is it possible he somehow caused all of this to happen?

>What do?
D Try climbing over to Eudora’s window.

The guys banging on your door are blocking that as an exit. So if you go out the window and into a different room, they won’t be blocking the door to that room, which will let you get past them.

As a bonus, climbing over to Eudora’s room will also let you check on her.
>>
No. 945361 ID: 473826

>>945338
Oh, sorry. I have stupid.
>>
No. 945415 ID: a9af05

>>945344
This
>>
No. 945426 ID: 11f77a
File 156894116735.png - (309.36KB , 557x496 , ADQ126.png )
945426

>What’s that horrible flesh thing in your room?
What, you mean my bed? Don’t you guys sleep in cocoons?

>Staying in your room will just make you a target […] Best be on the move.
>Climb out the window and aisle over to Eudora’s if you can.
>[Continue looking for her], if you can slide over to Eudora’s window.
>As a bonus, climbing over to Eudora’s room will also let you check on her.
I’ll have to be careful when it’s a two or three story drop. It takes a minute but I manage to build up enough courage to slink my way through the window. The height isn’t so bad—maybe I can hit the bushes if I fall. But since it’s only one window away I think I’ll manage.

Oooh boy. Okay. Deeeeep breaths.

>If this is real, then could this be what that crazy preacher was talking about?
Lost spirits from the husks of treacherous creatures demanding blood.’ Is that who the students are? Or will become?
>>
No. 945427 ID: 11f77a
File 156894125246.png - (282.07KB , 730x496 , ADQ127.png )
945427

The window isn’t locked and I manage to sneak in. I tap on the glass first to be sure I don’t freak her out but it looks like she isn’t present. There’s her cocoon—you may not have any idea on how it works but I can tell no one’s using it at the moment.

Wow, I rarely get to see her room. Feels kinda weird without her around.

A) Now’s my chance to escape before the orphans notice!
B) I guess I could… take a peek around.
C) >___
>>
No. 945428 ID: b1b4f3

>>945427
A. Respect her privacy.
>>
No. 945429 ID: a9af05

>>945427
A

Keep searching for Eudora and anyone else that hasn't gone crazy yet.

Make sure you work your way down each floor until you get to the ground floor. If you haven't found anyone by then, there might be a basement or attic you haven't searched yet.
>>
No. 945430 ID: e7c7d3

B. Don't snoop, but perhaps a quick glance at her bookshelf. Did she keep the comic you gave her?
>>
No. 945434 ID: 0fae41

B. Either no one will notice in the chaos, or you're never coming back here anyway.
>>
No. 945447 ID: bef60d

>>945427
B. Might be a good idea to look for a clue as to her whereabouts before searching for her.
>>
No. 945451 ID: 5f2c24

A
>>
No. 945481 ID: 7fb87a

>>945427
c: you must remain virtuous. There is only one place she could be, if she is in the room: her bed. That is where you must go.

Be prepared to pay a penance for this act, regardless: She gonna kick your ass.
>>
No. 945491 ID: 91ee5f

>>945427
A

Do you know of a place where Eudora would go when she wants to be by herself? Anywhere that isn’t her room?

>>945481
We were already told that no one is in the bed.
>>
No. 945516 ID: 58b4f3

>>945427
A. Respect her privacy or else you'll have to respect her decision to kick your ass!
>>
No. 945517 ID: 32b5ec

>>945427
B
Check her bed.

We'll need to find a way out of this building, regardless.
>>
No. 945523 ID: 1ed92d

>>945427
A.

Respect Eudora's privacy, even in an arcane dream world.
>>
No. 945635 ID: 11f77a
File 156921864945.png - (325.72KB , 557x496 , ADQ128.png )
945635

>Check her bed / That is where you must go
So the thing about Arthocobs, we don’t normally sleep on mattresses. If we’re home we can sleep in our cocoons. It’s where we can heal and, over some months, change little by little to adapt in a new environment. I can shake her ‘bed’ but nothing’s coming out.

>A
>Keep searching for Eudora and anyone else that hasn’t gone crazy yet.
>Respect her privacy or else you’ll have to respect her decision to kick your ass!
>Do you know of a place where Eudora would go when she wants to be by herself?
Usually her room is the only place she would isolate herself. She could be looking for survivors if she hasn’t turned yet. I remember when I was in love with her the first time trying to figure out her schedule. I mean, it’s creepy now but I was just a kid.

I may just have to wing it. As long as I don’t run into any more of those big zombies then dodging these orphans won’t be a problem.

I dash out of her room, able to surprise whoever’s at my door before they can try and grab at me.

(male voice): Y-you! Wait! Don’t go!

(male voice): N-no no! I can be patient! I know you’ll come back! Right?

Not listening!
>>
No. 945636 ID: 11f77a
File 156921872930.png - (306.00KB , 557x496 , ADQ129.png )
945636

It’s been five minutes and I’ve been running around the same floor—mostly the dormitories and checking who’s not turned. Man, this orphanage seems to go on forever. I recognize where I am most of the time but the hallways seem contorted... somehow!

I suppose it’s time to check the main floor. I can glance inside the classrooms—
>>
No. 945637 ID: 11f77a
File 156921877546.png - (219.18KB , 557x496 , ADQ130.png )
945637

—!
>>
No. 945638 ID: b1b4f3

>>945637
You found her!
Ah, first, step back so Eudora doesn't punch you, then quietly say hello. See who else she's got with her, ask how long she's been in here, if she's seen any of the adults.
Also put that knife away, sheesh.
>>
No. 945640 ID: 91ee5f

>>945637
“Eudoraaahhh!!! Don’t hit me!” Make sure you drop to the floor so that if she swings at you, you’ll already be out of the way.

Once she recognizes you, get in the room with her and ask if she has any idea what’s going on?!
>>
No. 945646 ID: c0e130

>>945637
"Oh, Eudora! I'd recognize that scowl anywhere. Please don't hit me! Unless I'm insane, in which case you might want to hit me because I don't want to accidentally hurt anyone!"
Put away the knife ASAP.
>>
No. 945647 ID: ebc74c

>>945646
Sounds like the right wrong thing to say.
>>
No. 945652 ID: ce39da

For the love of goddess, lower that knife.
>>
No. 945655 ID: ad51b8

DROP TO THE FLOOR TO AVOID THE PUNCH!

you know like stop, drop, and don't get punched in the face. maybe don't stop, just fall and try not to land on the knife.
>>
No. 945671 ID: a9af05

>>945636
>I recognize where I am most of the time but the hallways seem contorted...somehow!
Sounds like something is affecting how you see things.

>>945637
Drop to the ground while telling Eudora that you're normal and begging her to not punch you!
>>
No. 945684 ID: bef60d

>>945637
Now's a good time to duck, amigo.
>>
No. 945738 ID: c26c83

>>945637
If she hits you laugh, and say “it’s just like when we first met”
>>
No. 945741 ID: b1b4f3

It occurs to me that weapons are forbidden in the orphanage, which means we can't get Eudora those knuckles. A better gift would be barbells or other strength training equipment. She didn't have any in her room that I saw. I guess there could've been something in a drawer though.
>>
No. 945744 ID: 91ee5f

>>945741
We had no problem sneaking the knife into the orphanage, so I don’t see how that would stop Eudora from sneaking in those knuckles.
>>
No. 945758 ID: 1ed92d

>>945637
Hi Eudora!
>>
No. 945978 ID: 891b91

I'd recognize that glare anywhere -- it's Eudora! Do be sure to contain your glee at finding her long enough to duck out of the way of her fist. And then do whatever you can to make it absolutely clear that you aren't, uh, turned.

I wonder who that is behind her there.
>>
No. 946507 ID: 11f77a
File 157024547290.png - (309.07KB , 557x496 , ADQ131.png )
946507

I slip and fall backwards in effort to dodge a punch, almost onto my knife when I see her. I hope she hasn’t turned into some brawling undead monster. I roll on the floor a bit—it gives me time to put the knife away while looking stupid.

Ganymede: Eudora! Ack! Don’t hit me! I’m normal!

Ganymede: Unless I’m insane, in which case you might want to hit me because I don’t want to accidentally hurt anyone!

Ganymede: Or you’ve turned too! I dunno!

She is capable of holding her fist back and glares down to me while my eyes adjust in the darkness. With a lunge her hand seizes the collar of my robe and I’m flung into the room.

Eudora: Ugh, it’s you…

Eudora: Well I’m not surprised. I figure I’d run into you eventually. Get in quick and keep your mouth shut!
>>
No. 946508 ID: 11f77a
File 157024580134.png - (333.27KB , 557x496 , ADQ132.png )
946508

I recognize the other two orphans behind her: it’s Gemlik and Naerro. They speak under their breath as Eudora continues looking outside the classroom.

Gemlik: Hey Ganymede.

Ganymede: O-oh, hey. How long have you guys been in here? I’ve been running around looking for other, uh, normal people.

Gemlik: Not long, we just found Naerro hiding here. I only ran into Eudora earlier.

Naerro: W-what’s happening? Why is everyone like this? Where’s Father Aephis?

Gemlik: They’re dopplegangers, Naerro! They look like us but… they’re imperfect. Slowly replacing us. Or something!

Eudora: Ssh!

Gemlik: It’s just all the students so far. I don’t think there’s any one left but us!

After a long pause Eudora ducks her head back in the room, closing the door.

Eudora: I dunno what they are. But we’re getting out of here before it gets worse. We should find sanctuary in the guardhouse in town.

Eudora: Everyone is crawling out of the dormitories. It’s only a matter of time before they spread and completely take over the building. I’m thinking of busting out through the atrium.

Gemlik: No way! We should sneak out back and grab some tools from the garden first! We’ll need to defend ourselves at least! The whole town could be roaming with undead!

A) I’m with Eudora. She can protect us through the atrium! We can see everyone approach us.
B) We should exit out the back through the gardens. We won't be out in the open!
C) >___
Optional: Mention the dagger you’re carrying
>>
No. 946510 ID: e7c7d3

A.) Whatever these things are, they are easy to dodge so arming ourselves shouldn't be necessary.

Keep dagger secret.
>>
No. 946511 ID: 9d5dd2

A and C! Eudora is the strongest, the zombie things seem pretty strong, and we don’t know how to use weapons anyways.

Mention the knife because we trust Eudora, and if worse comes to worse, she can make use of it.
>>
No. 946512 ID: b1b4f3

>>946508
A.
Also, honestly these probably ARE the students, just driven mad and physically transformed by their own traumas. Only those who can overcome their past are safe. I mean, have they seen any copies of themselves? Well that or it's a shared dream or vision or something.
Thus, we should not seriously harm them. ...though uh, kyzil might have some burns already due to what happened back there.

Mention the knife but also that you don't want to use it.
>>
No. 946515 ID: 7fb87a

>>946508
A) An open space has some risk of being surrounded, but also room to flee.
There's no telling if this is permanent, so we shouldn't do anything permanent to them. They're the closest we have to family, right now.

Dragging around a gardening tool and pretending its a weapon will only encourage us into situations where someone's going to get hurt.
>>
No. 946517 ID: c0e130

>>946508
A
Mention dagger, ask if Eudora wants it, or if she's good enough with her fists for you to use it to defend yourself.
>>
No. 946532 ID: 0fae41

A. This happened so suddenly, I can't be sure it could end suddenly as well. No pitchforking the zeds!
>>
No. 946538 ID: 891b91

A. I'm with Eudora on this; I feel like she has good instincts about these sorts of situations. There's no telling that the garden itself isn't overrun, so the best plan for now is to focus on getting away as quickly as possible. If you can get to the guardhouse, then you can probably get real weapons there rather than a bunch of garden tools.

Mention the knife. That's important and shouldn't be kept secret from her. (Also mention that you showed it to Father Aephis, just in case Eudora decides this is all your fault -- if it played a role in causing all of this and even an elder didn't see the danger in it, then you can't really be blamed for it.)
>>
No. 946820 ID: 91ee5f

>>946508
A

>Optional: Mention the dagger you’re carrying
Tell them about the dagger.

Tell Eudora that the crazy preacher guy you guys ran into earlier was talking about how something was going to happen, but you’re not sure if he’s responsible for causing what’s happening right now. You’ve got the dagger he had and brought it with you in case there’s something we could do with it.

You should also explain what you’ve noticed so far. How everyone that’s been affected has a physical manifestation of a past trauma on them.

For example: Nennekee has literal fire shooting out of her body, most likely from when her parents died in a fire. There’s also a really big guy, which may or may not be Father Aephis, with what looked like a coffin on his back, which might mean he’s carrying the weight of someone who died.

You don’t know why this group are the only people that aren’t affected.
>>
No. 946827 ID: 11f77a
File 157065801322.png - (259.29KB , 557x496 , ADQ133.png )
946827

>No pitchforking the zeds!
>We don’t know how to use weapons anyways.
>They are easy to dodge so arming ourselves won’t be necessary.
>Dragging around a gardening tool and pretending it’s a weapon will only encourage us into situations where someone’s going to get hurt.
Ganymede: NO! We can’t hurt them! These orphans are as real as we are. I don’t know if you’ve listened to them—but they seem to be physically transformed by their own traumas.

Naerro: How are you so sure? What does that even mean?

Ganymede: I—don’t know! I mean I might know! All of us are here because of something horrible or unfortunate. It makes sense their past is manifesting into a real condition. But we don’t need to fight them!

Ganymede: I don’t know why we aren’t affected. I grew up here without knowing much about where I came from. Maybe we’re fortunate to avoid a terrible past or one that doesn't haunt us.

Ganymede: Let’s just go to the atrium like Eudora says. We’ll have room to maneuver and escape if they start surrounding us.

Gemlik: Ugh, fine but… if I turn into one of them I’m eating you first.

Eudora: Deal. Now let’s ready to shut up and move, dweebs.
>>
No. 946828 ID: 11f77a
File 157065817491.png - (282.67KB , 557x496 , ADQ134.png )
946828

>Mention dagger
>Also mention you showed it to Father Aephis […]
>Because we trust Eudora, and if worse comes to worse, she can make use of it.
While Gemlik talks to Naerro I approach Eudora by the door—she looks out to be sure the route is clear.

Ganymede: Eudora?

Eudora: Ugh, what is it now?

Ganymede: I have to get something off my chest first. Remember when that guy stuck a dagger in the ground in our village? I feel it would be better to let you know that I took it without anyone noticing.

Eudora: You… took it?

Eudora: What for?

Ganymede: I’m not sure! I just felt that maybe it would be important. Whatever that preacher guy was about, I feel like what he said could be...

Ganymede: …true.

Ganymede: Look, you can take it away if you want. I hope it wasn’t the reason everything’s so... scary. I don’t want to use it against our family. I talked to Father Aephis about it and he didn’t see any significance in the dagger. Said it was ceremonial, not like a weapon.

I take the blade out. There’s silence as she looks at it in her hands with a frown.

Eudora: …

Eudora: No. You keep it. Maybe you’re right. I don’t know. I don’t always believe in this hoodoo crap but look where we are. We can talk about it later. Right now we must go.

Eudora: Come on! Keep together and let’s start moving!
>>
No. 946829 ID: 11f77a
File 157065827067.png - (196.04KB , 557x496 , ADQ135.png )
946829

There are certainly fewer orphans on the bottom floor since they're just aimlessly finding their way through the building. We move quickly and silently. Despite turning a few heads in our direction it seems none of the orphans pursue us.

At last we reach the atrium and the front doors are in sight. It’s quite a big chamber and there are balconies with lost souls shuffling about. This was the place where we painted the mural by the main steps.

Naerro: W-we’re almost out! I can see the exit! Quick!
>>
No. 946830 ID: 2df440

What was that, Naerro? Time for a boss fight, you say?
>>
No. 946831 ID: b1b4f3

>>946829
Shh, stay quiet and stick together, don't jump the gun.
Careful, there's some on the rafters. I hope we don't inspire them to try to drop down on us.
>>
No. 946832 ID: 0fae41

You know Naerro, the second mouse gets the cheese.
>>
No. 946835 ID: e7c7d3

Yeah, try not to attract the attention of those above

I they're just transformed or actual zombies, still a bad idea.
>>
No. 946836 ID: ad51b8

put a hand over his mouth before he lets everyone in the building know where you're hiding. No way all of you would be able to make it to the doors with all those people in front of it. We either need to find a side door that isn't nearly as guarded or find a way to draw those already there away.
>>
No. 946863 ID: 891b91

>Quick!
No, not quick. We're going to do this quietly and carefully. Everyone sticks together in a cluster, pausing at any cover you can find along the way. (Assuming there's any cover at all.) Keep an eye on any blind spots -- corners, furniture, anything a zombie could pop out from behind. Stay especially quiet when passing under that walkway.

There's also the problem of the doors; we don't have a good view of what could be on the other side, and there's no reason to expect that there couldn't be more zombies outside.
>>
No. 946880 ID: 32b5ec

Keep quiet. Don't attract attention.

Huddle somewhat close together as you run through the room. Too spread out makes you each an easy target. Make sure you keep your eyes looking above you just as much as they are in front of you in case one of the monsters decides it'd be a fun time to practice acrobatics.

Have Eudora lead the charge, as she's likely the most physically strong of the group. You lead up the rear, as you're the only one with a weapon.

With the plan decided, RUN.
>>
No. 946908 ID: ce39da

"I'd rather not inspire our turned friends up there to try their hand at sky-diving, if only for their safety."
>>
No. 947382 ID: 11f77a
File 157145208260.png - (354.21KB , 557x496 , ADQ136.png )
947382

>Keep quiet. Don’t attract attention.
>We’re going to do this quietly and carefully.
>Have Eudora lead the charge, as she’s likely the most physically strong of the group. You lead up the rear, as you’re the only one with a weapon.
>Everyone sticks together in a cluster. Keep an eye on any blind spots – corners, furniture, anything a zombie could pop out from.
Ganymede: Wait, Naerro. We should still take it slow. I’d rather not inspire our turned friends up there to try their hand at sky-diving.

Ganymede: I don’t know if you’ve seen the outside but—we can’t expect there won’t be more of them.

We discuss our method of reaching the front door. Squishies in the middle, Eudora up front, and me in the back. I hold my dagger out—Gemlik and Naerro notice it but are too afraid to make a sound as we shuffle across the atrium. We’re avoiding the orphans pretty well so far. And we’ll make it out the door by the time they shuffle towards us.

It could’ve been different… I could’ve done something. Why…?

…The Flying Rod hath not given us forbearance and goodness, but spirit of idleness. Oh Ndepthteph shalt dispel frailty…

>There’s some on the rafters. I hope we don’t inspire them to try and drop down on us.
I’m looking up nervously and I feel they are watching us maneuver to the door—but they don’t attempt to jump at least. It’s like they’re too weak to want to do anything with effort. Maybe they know not to jump from a high place.

Ganymede: Eudora, are we there yet?

Eudora: Hold on. I’m trying to open it…

Eudora: But the damn thing... it’s stuck!
>>
No. 947383 ID: 11f77a
File 157145210610.png - (320.66KB , 557x496 , ADQ137.png )
947383

Ganymede: Oh Bhothogoshol…

Gemlik: Well kick it open! Use your martial arts to break the lock or something!

Eudora: It’s not locked though. It’s… gunked! Something’s blocking the other side! Sap is leaking through and it’s not breaking off!

Naerro: Oh no! We’re doomed, aren’t we?!

Eudora: Shuddup. Maybe if—
>>
No. 947384 ID: 11f77a
File 157145214222.png - (320.70KB , 557x496 , ADQ138.png )
947384

Kyzil: Ooooah! Oh oh! Is that yooooou, Eudora? Are you trying to sneak out?!

Kyzil: Whaaat, none of you like it here? K-k-k-k-ke.

Kyzil: Well there’s only one way out Haaack! and you’ll have to come with us to find it!
>>
No. 947386 ID: 11f77a
File 157145224060.png - (365.21KB , 557x496 , ADQ139.png )
947386

Torval: Hehe-HAAAA-hehehehe yeah! Huehuehue…huuuh… God it hurts. B-but it should hurt, yes?

Kyzil snatches Torval’s antennae.

Kyzil: Have your parents taught you to shut up before you were taken away, idiot?!

Kyzil: I swear, Ndepthteph can’t chew and spit us out any faster!

Torval: OooowwwaahhaHAHA! huuuuue—I like you tooooo… Is that okay?

Ganymede: Kyzil!

Kyzil: Hi, sweetie! Whatcha doin’?

Kyzil: Eh, don’t answer. I’ll tell ya what you’ll be doin’~

Kyzil: Huuuueh We’re gonna dance down the Death Worm’s tongue like a red carpet~

Kyzil: Come on, everyone! Party in the atrium!
>>
No. 947387 ID: 11f77a
File 157145239635.png - (379.31KB , 557x496 , ADQ140.png )
947387

Out of the dark a huge wave of orphans stumble towards us. I honestly can’t recognize half of them! Their features are sunken and some shadowy aura hides them. Some of them could be adults too! All Arthocobs, I think. We’re seeing less and less ways to get out of this mob.

Gemlik: I just need to get this off my chest before I die.

Gemlik: I have a huge crush on Sister Neetha…

Gemlik: And I regret dropping my papers on the floor for her to bend over and—

Eudora: Back off, creeps! You don’t want to be fist magnets!

Her threats can’t make them hesitate for long…
>>
No. 947388 ID: 0fae41

Eudora may have to rough up a few people to get you back to that door. Apply knife to sap.
>>
No. 947389 ID: e7c7d3

This is probably the wrong answer, but what about carving the same symbol that the mad man made into the floor with the knife? Or like, maybe an opposite sort of symbol? Something that would be considered holy maybe
>>
No. 947390 ID: 2df440

>>947388
yeah, try this first. if it doesn't go fast enough though, then try:
>>947389
maybe this'll do something? what do you know about holy symbols and the pantheon, ganymede?
>>
No. 947391 ID: 2df440

also ganymede, try pinching yourself. maybe your in an elaborate dream?
>>
No. 947392 ID: b1b4f3

Cut the sap.
Also tell Kyzil you'll be her friend if she calls off the shamblers. And you mean it. You will help her become a better person, and feel wanted for once, instead of just superior to whoever she's beating up at the moment.
Alternatively, just tell Torval love isn't supposed to hurt. He sought you out before- why? Did he want to be your friend too?
>>
No. 947396 ID: 91ee5f

>>947386
>Ndepthteph
So this does have something to do with that crazy preacher guy we ran into earlier! Eudora even said, “I’ve heard villages get ruined when those Worm-Followers move in.” Perhaps this is what the rumors Eudora heard about were referring to?

But I’m still confused on how that preacher guy started all of this!
>>
No. 947399 ID: ad51b8

find where the hoard is thinnest and punch through that spot with everything you have and hope to brake through and run like hell?
>>
No. 947412 ID: a9af05

>>947387
If the doors don't work, then there's only one thing left to do. Does everyone see those windows next to the doors >>946829 ? Smash through one of them and escape that way!
>>
No. 947415 ID: af1a4b

Try to tell the zombies to stop for a moment, look around and think about what is happening.
If that fails then be ready to use the knife to protect everyone.
>>
No. 947426 ID: 91ee5f

>>947412
>Smash through windows to escape!
Do this!
>>
No. 947447 ID: bbe90c

Options, in order of "try this":
1. Break windows. Bonus: Shards of glass are better than no weapon for the unarmed lads.
2. Cut through the sap with knife.
3. Carve the weird symbol into floor.
4. RUN UP, STAB INSECT THOT

Keep them talking while doing any of these, although 4 may present difficulties for doing so. Play on their insecurities. Try and convince them you can help them/give them what they want.

I feel as if carving the symbol won't do much; if anything, that's part of what caused this whole frackus, but we're low on options.
>>
No. 947481 ID: feecd8

>>947387
Go out the windows!
>>
No. 947928 ID: 11f77a
File 157220148690.png - (393.63KB , 557x496 , ADQ141.png )
947928

>I’m still confused on how that preacher guy started all of this!
>What about carving the same symbol […] or like, maybe an opposite sort of symbol?
I don’t know many symbols or runes—let alone one that can counter the symbol. I don’t even know for certain what it represents! Damn, I wish I checked out the library first…

>Try pinching yourself.
Ouch! Nope, still here. Does pinching ever really work, honestly? It’s hard to pinch chitin.

>Play with their insecurities
>Tell Kyzil you’ll be her friend if she calls off the shamblers. And you mean it.
>Try to tell the zombies to stop for a moment, look around and think about what is happening.
Ganymede: WAIT!

Ganymede: Kyzil, I’ve come to a decision! I know you look for my attention, and you want to be my friend. So I should’ve given you that chance back at the market. I apologize!

Ganymede: I don’t want anybody to be hurt. Call off your friends and I can help fix everything! I really mean it! Can’t you all look at yourselves and see the state you’re in? You’re letting your insecurities control you in an endless cycle of torment and sadness!

Ganymede: It’ll be a slow process, but all of you can learn to accept your flaws and move on as better people!

Kyzil: Oh Gany Gany~! I don't think you understand! tzzz

Kyzil: We’re all born lost and afraid—and Bhothogoshol is only a fairy tale to distract us.

Kyzil: I’ve seen the truth~ We all have! And I couldn’t reject!

Kyzil: You’ll see! I can make you see! We’ll all travel together to his nest hand-in-hand!

I don’t think I’ll take up on her offer. The orphans continue their slow creeping.
>>
No. 947929 ID: 11f77a
File 157220165016.png - (353.87KB , 557x496 , ADQ142.png )
947929

>Cut the sap
>Apply knife to sap
>Eudora may have to rough up a few people to get you back to that door.
Eudora’s shoving them away. They don’t put up much of a fight—but there are tons of them and she needs to protect Naerro and Gemlik at the same time. If she’s not careful one may grab her from behind.

Ganymede: Alright, new plan. Keep them busy, guys! I just need a minute! I'll cut right through!

Ugh, the sap is less getting cut and more getting stuck to my blade. I can break a few strings but there are definitely chunks with some resistance. I just need a little more time!
>>
No. 947930 ID: 11f77a
File 157220172110.png - (307.75KB , 557x496 , ADQ143.png )
947930

Naerro: Nonononono GASP!

Naerro: Did you see—?! It can’t… be. It can’t!

Naerro: Not now! Not again!
>>
No. 947931 ID: 11f77a
File 157220174452.png - (404.19KB , 557x496 , ADQ144.png )
947931

Naerro: He’s… he’s found me! I can’t believe he’s found me!
>>
No. 947932 ID: 11f77a
File 157220180151.png - (384.71KB , 557x496 , ADQ145.png )
947932

Naerro: I have to go! I’ve got to get out of here!!!

Gemlik: Wait! Who?

Eudora: Naerro, get back here you idiot!!

Naerro: I can’t be here! It’s too late!!
>>
No. 947935 ID: e7c7d3

Okay, I think she was looking outside the window when she turned, so the trigger might be outside. And seeing how the stars were sort of leading to a certain spot in the sky when Gany looked out before, the cause might be there.

Don't have a clue as to WHAT though! perhaps some sort of stellar phenomenon that causes mass hysteria in this species?

Anyways, present time. Since they're not being violent with you, perhaps with Eudora's help you can push through to another exit?
>>
No. 947936 ID: b1b4f3

>>947931
There's a tall one in the back. Who is that? Maybe that's the source of all this.
We may need to move around the crowd. Don't try to push through the middle.
>>
No. 947937 ID: d91ef0

>>947932
rip Naerro
>>
No. 948000 ID: a9af05

Pretty sure it's time to give up on going out the door and time to try and break through the windows!
>>
No. 948154 ID: b1b4f3

Tell Naerro not to give in, he's turning.
>>
No. 948322 ID: c0e130

>>947932
WINDOWS IT IS, LADS
BE GLAD YOU'VE GOT CHITIN, NOT SKIN!
>>
No. 949286 ID: 11f77a
File 157351968315.png - (372.59KB , 557x496 , ADQ146.png )
949286

>Tell Naerro not to give in, [she’s] turning.
>There’s a tall one in the back. Who is that?
I try to calm her down and let her know what she sees isn’t real! But she’s already lost in the crowd. I could see her fade in the gray. Her panic is now a faint whimper. I survey the mob to find the source of fear—yet the shadows beyond shifts in obscurity and lost souls keep coming in to the erratic tune of Kyzil’s delirious hum.

Gemlik: Naerroooo!

Gemlik: Ganymede we lost Naerro!

>WINDOWS IT IS, LADS
>Pretty sure it’s time to give up on going out the door and time to try and break through the windows!
Ganymede: Come on, Gemlik! Help me break the windows! It’s our only way out now!!

I stab. I shove. He joins and makes a running start only to bounce off the glass. Gemlik and I don’t have much else to break the thick crystal, but our fists pound against it. Our yells synchronize for help in terror. I jab the blunt handle into the window and I can see a little crack forming. But it’ll take a lot of effort.

Eudora gets a bit more aggressive—injuring the orphans with gut punches. They collapse moaning and crying. Some grab her antenna or arm but she whips around to sock them in the mouth.

Eudora: I’m warning you! I’m not playing nice anymore!

Kyzil: Ooooh Eudoraaaa~ What to do with you…
>>
No. 949287 ID: 11f77a
File 157351976103.png - (364.66KB , 557x496 , ADQ147.png )
949287

Kyzil: Why must you resist? Why must you be so angry with the world? It doesn’t owe us anything!

Eudora: Kik gorgk uuar yst thosc*

Kyzil: Bhothogoshol promises so many things! Love. Happiness. It’s all with a price! These are luxuries that could be taken in an instant! —hehek— You can’t have anything good unless you risk torment to follow…

Kyzil: And when everything good is used up, when you’re back to square one, you still feel worse off in a deeper hole!

Kyzil: Dread. Sadness. It envelops the true Arthocobs. It envelops us.

Kyzil: You gotta take what you can in the moment! Hekeke Follow your instinct. Your id! Like the old Arthocobs! HACK—hekk

Eudora: Your belief. Not mine.

Kyzil: Is that why you refuse to love Gany? GASP! Have you been hurt before? The Eudora? The straight face? The boxing bug? Who was the lucky guy?! Tell me! Tell me! Who was the one to break your heart?

Kyzil: Hmm. What has Bhothogoshol promised you here?

*Translation: Save your breath, thot.
>>
No. 949288 ID: 11f77a
File 157352000641.png - (312.65KB , 557x496 , ADQ148.png )
949288

Kyzil: Whatever it is--you won’t find it. None of you will.

Kyzil: And even if you think you have… when it’s there in your hands to hold and give it a death grip—!

Kyzil: Well… it doesn't last. it seeps through the fingers...
>>
No. 949291 ID: 11f77a
File 157352007857.png - (339.11KB , 557x496 , ADQ149.png )
949291

Kyzil: It’ll hit you like a brick wall!

Gemlik: Ganymede!
>>
No. 949293 ID: 11f77a
File 157352018623.png - (338.32KB , 557x496 , ADQ150.png )
949293

That creature just about knocked the spit out of me. I can’t stop wheezing after I’ve been thrown against the mural; that was some distance. I don’t think my carapace is cracked though.

I don’t want this to be the end. But what do I have to fear here? I can't turn into one of them--can I? What do I have that brings me down? I’m not depressed.

I know nothing of my parents.

No troubled past.

No difficult upbringing.

Just because Eudora rejects me, I keep trying. I’ve been alone my entire life, but I’ve never felt alone.

Why am I here then? What did Nennekee mean before this all happened?
>>
No. 949294 ID: 11f77a
File 157352024118.png - (332.68KB , 557x496 , ADQ151.png )
949294

No time to wallow in it. I have to help Eudora. Just——

Just when—

The room. It’s shaking. Something is wrong. The front doors crack. Chewing up. Eudora and the rest are trying to stay on their feet while this tremor happens. Kyzil is overly excited however.

Kyzil: Oooooah~ Do you feel that? It’s happening. I can’t believe it’s finally happening!
>>
No. 949296 ID: 11f77a
File 157352028034.png - (392.69KB , 557x496 , ADQ152.png )
949296

Kyzil: Yes! Oh I could just cry~ It's time!
>>
No. 949298 ID: b1b4f3

>>949293
A glimmer of hope. There is light behind the mural!

>>949296
Call the others here, you found another way out! Start chipping away at the wall with the dagger.
>>
No. 949299 ID: bef60d

>>949296
Whatever that thing is, don't look at it. It probably will mess with your mind.
>>
No. 949301 ID: 7715cd

>>949296
LIGHT BEHIND MURAL
SMASH-SMASHY
>>
No. 949305 ID: af5b55

Hey, that's what all the cool kids were talking about. You should totally join them!

Or, ya know, stick by Eudora and try to escape behind the mural.
>>
No. 949311 ID: 829e85

what the fuck

Stick with Eudora!
>>
No. 949322 ID: 4f51b2

>>949296
Help Eudora, that thing looks like is going to eat her.
>>
No. 949345 ID: 1ed92d

>>949296
It is the avatar of Bhothogoshol! Drag Eudora back to the mural, your only hope is in the light that seeps through!
>>
No. 949642 ID: 11f77a
File 157393985193.png - (333.60KB , 557x496 , ADQ153.png )
949642

Kyzil: Come oOoOoOoOoOon, guys~! Together now~!

Several orphans stare down the infinite maw of this tunnel to Hell. The bloom of hellfire is mesmerizing—and the orphans cease to attack. Eudora doesn’t run either, and tries to understand this monstrosity. There’s an eerie melody of people howling in its throat as it lures the orphans to take a step forward. Words crescendo which I can’t make out.

Kyzil: Eudora, Eudora.

Kyzil: You don’t…

Kyzil: …actually think you would have a chance to be ‘saved’, do you?

Kyzil: Do you use such fierceness because you believe you have to?

Kyzil: Do you fight to suck up to the Great Rod?

Kyzil: To pay back for a horrible, horrible regret in life?
>>
No. 949643 ID: 11f77a
File 157393989395.png - (464.77KB , 557x496 , ADQ154.png )
949643

Paled they be before the horrors of the maw they’ve the temptation to listen than to run. Under an obedient incantation whether it influences their anxiety—their curiosity—or sense of obligation—or auto-hypnotism—they shamble towards the grim channel of sprawling teeth.——

Kyzil: What do you know about the true followers anyway?

Kyzil: Because they liberated your village?

Kyzil: Punished those most deserving close to you, the liars?
>>
No. 949644 ID: 11f77a
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949644

——The fragile bodies shudder with clenching jaws. Thrill muddies their effort to weep coherently. They savor their last breath teetering down Ndepthteph’s hungry chasm. I can hear familiar melodic notes I conceptualized as a child: a chime attuned to me unexpectedly as a haunting interpretation by an unknown siren.——
——The Path of Bogn

Kyzil: You think you’ve escaped your mistake all those years ago?

Kyzil: This isn’t Hell, Eudora. It’s relief. Join your family.

Kyzil: I can’t wait until we all melt into one!
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No. 949645 ID: 11f77a
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>A glimmer of hope. There is light behind the mural!
>Stick by Eudora and try to escape behind the mural.
>Your only hope is the light that seeps through!
>Call the others here.
The light? The light!!

A light through the craquelure! I can see right into it! Right through is a bright mote!

Ganymede: Guys! Get over here quick! I think I may’ve found a way out!

Ganymede: Eudora! Gemlik! Hurry!

Ganymede: Guys?!
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No. 949646 ID: 11f77a
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Eudora isn’t moving. She glares at the howling glow far in the gullet of the Death Worm’s yawn. Kyzil and the others start to disappear as an infinite crowd hobbles along.

Ganymede: Eudora don’t look into it! Look at me! Take my hand.

Eudora: …
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No. 949648 ID: 11f77a
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949648

Eudora: No, Ganymede.

Eudora: …

Eudora: I…

Eudora: …can’t go with you.

Eudora: Not now.

Eudora: I… just have to deal with something first.

Eudora: Or try...

Eudora: You have to leave while you can. Before She loses you too.
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No. 949649 ID: 9155b0

... yeah, I think it’s time to go. Sorry, Eudora.
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No. 949650 ID: e7c7d3

Well Gany, it's time to ask yourself:

Are you willing to go to hell to save your love?

Get in there and save Eudora, even if it means a chance of oblivion.
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No. 949651 ID: b1b4f3

>>949648
If she has to deal with something, that's fine. Going in there though, that's not dealing with anything. It's giving up. Giving in to pain and suffering, losing the will to fight.
Tell her she can still be saved. You can save her, if she lets you. All wounds can be healed in time, with the proper care.

If she has no plans to enter the maw, I guess you can go.
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No. 949667 ID: bef60d

>>949648
This is the part where you REALLY gotta talk some sense into her. see if you can get her to resist, before she's gone.
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No. 949676 ID: 91ee5f

>>949648
Grab her and pull her away from the giant mouth full of teeth! You are not giving up on her!
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No. 949707 ID: a9af05

>>949648
Don't let Eudora go in there! If you let her leave, then you'll lose her forever!
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No. 949709 ID: feecd8

>>949648
Alright lover boy it's time to be a hero! Pull out the most powerful scripture or prayer you've got and speak it to Eudora!

Make sure you also hold onto her as tight as you possibly can and never let her go!
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No. 949710 ID: 015bf2

>>949646
Oh good, she looked away and still seems like she can comprehend you. You have a shot. Remember when you talked to Nennekee and kind of made her feel better? In a soulfelt one-to-one? Kyzil interrupted and needled out her wrath and her worst fears. Well, Kyzil's gone now. Bye Kyzil! You were a bad influence.

So! Even if it's just one at a time, you can get through to someone in this place.

>You fulfill me.
"Eudora! I'm a little too studious to batter open this mural any time soon! Can't you help?"

>I like you, unconditionally.
"At least, before you go I just want to say... it's fine, even if you reject me. I'll still keep trying to appeal to you unless it really bothers you, in which case please say so and I'll stop, but I hope we can still be friends," because... I think you're worth it."

>You're stronger than the sum of your fears.
"Because you're strong and brave, and showed me that persistence can be a virtue even without those traits. It's why I think you've got so much to give, even... even if it might not be to me."

>You're kind. You care.
"Something got to you, though. Something about your past. Don't go down that god-awful gully along with everyone's most awful fears and feelings, at least not just because you have to 'deal with' some past mistake that you did, what, when you were still a kid? If you feel something like that, then who does that really help? You? Me? Them? What will going resolve? That's the hook, isn't it? That doing this is 'right', because you need to make up for something. But will it, really?"

>I trust you. I owe you.
"I don't know. I don't know your pain, your fears, your history, all the things that influence you - I wish I knew more - but what I can say is that I've known you a long time still, and you don't belong in there. It's the only case I can make... and it hurts to leave you, but if it's what you want, I will get out of here. And and... thank you. For being you, being there, in front of me. For protecting me from bullies like Kyzil."

>You helped me stand up for myself - and others.
"Haha, I even punched Kyzil earlier myself, at long last. She was needling Nennekee, like she focused on you. It must've been her... thing. To lash out. To make others hurt, from mistakes made or imagined. So she wouldn't be alone with her own hurt. If anything she said got through to you, then they were the most twisted, hurtful lie one could make of true-seeming statements."

>So if you go... give them hell.
>And if you can... please come back.
"But if you can't let this go... I can only believe in you. That you can make it. That if anyone could claw their way out of hell it'd be you, Eudora. Not for me. Not for love. But because I've never ever seen you give up that easily. Bhothogoshol bless our efforts. S’dhaquacama."

Finish the weirdest speech/internal prayer you've ever made, give Eudora your bravest face, then turn back to the mural. You want to let her see you be strong for her for once. Glance at the ritual knife, then toss it aside. If it's to serve a ceremonial purpose, let it be the discarding of a madman's tool. Then batter at the mural crack. Pray with your knuckles. Pray hard.


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