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952248 No. 952248 ID: 85836d

I frequently have these strange dreams now, ever since I moved to my new home. No matter how long I try to stay awake, they come to haunt me sooner or later.
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No. 952249 ID: 85836d
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Appearing out of nowhere as if from dust, is a beast that's somehow like a man. In the dream, he always approaches the shores of the mainland.

It doesn't matter how he does it. Setting the land ablaze, tearing it to shreds with his fearsome strength, forcing the mountain ranges to collapse in on themselves. Every time, he rips through the four states like a spiral-like disaster and makes his way to the capital in the center.
No. 952250 ID: 85836d
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But the ending is always the same. In the end, he walks into the tiger's den and is caught by the imperial palace, executed for his crimes. And the flames at the stake... swaying with the wind... always seem to laugh and scream along with him, as though wherever he stands is a step closer to hell.

It's not as though I would, or even could speak of these illogical dreams to anyone. Never to a single soul. Why on earth would I commit myself to the fate of a lunatic?
No. 952251 ID: 85836d
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I'm a simple servant girl. I don't dare dream of more, or less, especially not a world where I'm exiled to the wildlands for being hysteric. At once, a small voice breaks me out of my remembrance of today's morning.

"Lan'er! Aren't those marbles so pretty? Can't we get them? Please?"

Looking down at First Miss's face as she tugs on my sleeve, I feel around in my pockets. They're no longer heavy, from hours of errands - at best I only have a couple dozen coins, likely not enough for a bag of marbles after everything. The merchant gives my miss and I a contemptuous, nervy look as she greedily eyes the shiny marbles she's pointing towards with her tiny finger.

I contemplate. Had it been something cheaper, it would be fine, but we still need to go and borrow charcoal for Mistress Yue. And even in this cold weather, Madam Ren's residence doesn't hesitate any less to be a bunch of uncharitable misers towards our gardens.

But even though that's the reality of the situation, the little miss's pleading look is difficult to bear. And it's no secret that life in the manor has been hard on her as of late.

A sharp voice makes me open my eyes again. "Well? Are you going to buy something?" the merchant hollers at us, protectively leaning over the marbles like they're his children. "These marbles are antiques! Fifteen coins for the bag." A tough guy to be sure, feeling intimidated by a concubine's daughter and her maidservant. Whether to leave it or haggle, I need to decide soon.
No. 952259 ID: e7c7d3


Antiques? You're just trying to pawn off your old junk! 5 coins.
No. 952270 ID: d5a6bc

No. 952273 ID: 977456

No haggling. 4 or bust. If they can't go that far, then fine, the kid can play with the coins instead. Maybe teach them to tip coins across the backs of their knuckles one-handed. Or roll them so that they come back to her. Or flip and catch them for impressive coin tosses. Marbles would be great, but there are alternatives and you ain't going a cent above what you are comfortable with.
No. 952277 ID: 528d9b

Do you fear that man like beast or do you bask in the destruction of the world you know? Is his execution a relief or a lament for what could be?

No. 952279 ID: 9e44f8

Leave it. But see if you might find some other toy for her during your errands today.
No. 952282 ID: 094652

Leave it alone. You don't know the market price of marbles and you don't need them. Paying exorbitant amounts of money for trinkets just lures in arbitrage seekers.
No. 952558 ID: ce39da

Leave it, but make sure you tell the First Miss like it is: "We have less coin on-hand than that price, and we have yet to finish our errands besides. Perhaps another time, {INSERT GIRL'S NAME}." She may still resent the decision, but we will not let her think we're unreasonable.
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