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File 161543224630.png - (84.45KB , 437x700 , 13-1.png )
990619 No. 990619 ID: 07b0f1

Chapter 13
+18 Adult content

First thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/860238.html
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Moot_Point
Previous chapter https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/978484.html
262 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1002487 ID: 96c896

Oh dear. So it's the other guy who's excited about the book. Which means... something happens to him, and Gabe takes up his mantle? Or do they both go to school together and Gabe winds up being the better student? Or they went to different schools and lost contact. Or maybe this isn't a real memory and the other guy is some kind of representation of Gabe's ambition. Someone he wishes he was like?

Oh well, go see if the plan worked and they were intercepted.
>>
No. 1002985 ID: 07b0f1
File 162328872303.png - (151.42KB , 700x500 , 13-81.png )
1002985

“They’re running away!” Delilah shouts, following Gabe and Hammond in long, powerful strides. She drops out of the second story loft, landing heavily in a pile of straw bales unharmed, but a little inconvenienced.

Delilah shrugs off the weight and sprints after the boys, easily outstripping them in a flat run.

Litany swoops down in front of them and spreads their arms wide to bar their way.

The teens are shocked by the angel’s arrival but, sensing the fey’s uncertainty, fork around them and run past.
>>
No. 1002986 ID: 07b0f1
File 162328873070.png - (147.99KB , 700x600 , 13-82.png )
1002986

“Gabe, wait!” Delilah shouts, now close enough to address the teen.

He turns to look at her with confusion etched across his face. “Who’re you? Wha’dya want?” He squints and cocks his head suspiciously.
>>
No. 1002987 ID: e7848c

>>1002986
His help, actually
>>
No. 1003014 ID: f8fa51

We're looking for something, and hope that maybe you've seen it.
>>
No. 1003053 ID: c81c09

>>1002986
Fey shenanigans are afoot, a muse's inspiration has been lost and we have divined your future self will the one to help us find it
>>
No. 1003057 ID: 91d9db

A few suggestions I can think of.

1. We are less rational when dreaming, and our memory and perception can easily mix things up. Even if it's Gabe's young self here, it's still himself in his own head, so it could still make sense to him if we remind him that he already knows us. His mind could go: "I can't tell exactly but they ARE my friends..."

Alternatively
2. People can become aware of they are dreaming (I had a few lucid dreams). Maybe we can try to remind him that directly? If successful, that would make things much easier.

Or
3. If we are in a sandbox where Gabe stucks in this "younger version", then... tell him we are time travlers from your future?

Though
how come he's grey, but his brother is Pink? Is that a hint?
>>
No. 1003143 ID: ab33cc

Telling him outright that we’re inside his brainspace may cause this dream/memory to crash. Who knows what sort of fun things could happen to us then.

I wonder if this is fully Gabe’s memory or the fae scroll making him part of a sort of story or play.
>>
No. 1003397 ID: 07b0f1
File 162380728418.png - (121.69KB , 700x500 , 13-83.png )
1003397

“Its me, Delilah. Remember?” The healer holds her hands up in an attempt to seem non-threatening. “We’re here looking for the song, right?”

“Song? I...” Gabe blinks and thinks hard, like he’s trying to piece together a broken vase in his mind. “This... why’s this so familiar?”
>>
No. 1003398 ID: 07b0f1
File 162380732121.png - (171.56KB , 500x700 , 13-84.png )
1003398

“What’re you doing? Come on!” His friend tugs at his shoulder and they dive towards the hedgeline, slipping through a hole just big enough for an adolescent.
>>
No. 1003399 ID: 094652

Quick give his tail a boob job
>>
No. 1003402 ID: 96c896

>>1003398
Well, I guess you could follow by making the hole bigger.
>>
No. 1003403 ID: e7c7d3

>>1003399
This is perfect, even if it doesn't help us
>>
No. 1003407 ID: 96c896

>>1003399
>>1003403
Petty sure that version of Gabe is underage, guys...
>>
No. 1003410 ID: a49cfd

Jump over the hedge.
>>
No. 1003440 ID: c48caa

>>1003398
Healing magic boosted sprint into a powerslide through the hole!
>>
No. 1003473 ID: ab33cc

How many entrances are there through the hedges? Might have to split up as they could have gone in any direction.

Also might have to explain things with Gabe’s friend and let him know we’re not just a bunch of weirdos butting in on their business.
>>
No. 1003490 ID: f8fa51

Actually, change to tutoring for Noodle. This is really a last chance for her, while we can still meditate later.
>>
No. 1003574 ID: 07b0f1
File 162398140735.png - (148.22KB , 500x700 , 13-85.png )
1003574

Delilah sticks an arm in after them and grabs around desperately, “Gabe! Come on! I just want to talk to you!” A pair of boyish giggles doppler away into the distance as she huffs in frustration.

She stands and finds the two fey catching up.

“How’d it go?” Vivian asks.

Delilah shrugs, “They ran off, scurried down this hole.”

“We need to follow then.” Vivian kneels down to look inside.

Delilah brushes dust off her arm and shakes her head, “Won’t do any good, unless you have some way of fitting through there.”

“You’d be amazed...” The kitsune hooks a graceful finger through the top of the hole and yanks it upwards, expanding the size several times over.

Peering into the gap, Delilah sees darkness. “Shouldn’t this open up to the other side?”

Vivian shrugs. “It’s wherever Gabe went. Somewhere else in his memory, if I had to guess.”
>>
No. 1003575 ID: 07b0f1
File 162398141877.png - (181.59KB , 800x444 , 13-86.png )
1003575

The darkness within the hole pulls at them, and they take each other’s hands just before they’re dragged through.

The three of them stumble back into the orchard. The light is low and trees bare as the icy grasp of winter claws at them. Their feet disappear into snowdrifts as they shuffle around, getting their bearings.

Gone is the seasons harvest, leaving behind the brittle skeleton of an orchard. Trees lay bare and dormant, crackling gently as ice works its fingers under their bark.
>>
No. 1003576 ID: 96c896

>>1003575
Alright, any sign of life nearby?
>>
No. 1003578 ID: acb77d

>>1003575
Stay close, I have the feeling the cold here can really get to us.
>>
No. 1003579 ID: ab33cc

>>1003575
Looks like you skipped forward through time in this memory, you should have a second shot to work things out if you meet them again.
>>
No. 1003614 ID: 094652

Make sure you take notes, the scroll may be reframing Gabe's mind in terms of the play. Harsh seasons for instance. Litany, what were the major stanzas and the general theme?
>>
No. 1003688 ID: 028f23

It very much seems as though we're following the course of a particular series of events that were important to Gabe. Perhaps even the events that prompted him to leave home and become a Sender in the first place. Obviously, it's not an exact memory, it's a dreamscape with our heroes here traipsing about in it, but it's doubtless based on actual memories.

It's a shame neither Casey nor Kol are here. They've known him the longest, and they might have been familiar with Hammond, heard Gabe talk about him once. Maybe even told them the story of this exact memory.
>>
No. 1003941 ID: 07b0f1
File 162441200997.png - (196.87KB , 638x700 , 13-87.png )
1003941

“Gaaaabe!” Delilah calls. The snow seems to muffle all sound, taking her words and tumbling them in the wind.

Vivian curls her tails around her legs and mutters, “Maybe we should have brought Cauldera. Let’s find somewhere warm, shall we?”

Delilah nods. Despite running a fairly hot core temperature, she feels the cold bite at her and she shuffles towards the farmhouse. “Litany, aren’t you chilly?” She asks.
>>
No. 1003942 ID: 07b0f1
File 162441202197.png - (134.43KB , 500x700 , 13-88.png )
1003942

The fey blinks and appears to consider this, “Should I be? My travels take me places much colder than this.”
>>
No. 1003949 ID: c48caa

Is it an angel thing that they're so detached from their own body? In a metaphysical sense I guess. Wasn't bothered by the loss of his eye either.
>>
No. 1003959 ID: 96c896

>>1003942
Weather resistant messenger I suppose.
Find something that's not a tree or snow.
>>
No. 1003981 ID: 6c5f9b

>>1003949
Considering that they were flying through a thunderstorm for their job, I get the impression that their resistance to extreme conditions was formed the hard way.
>>
No. 1004088 ID: 07b0f1
File 162458724611.png - (148.19KB , 700x500 , 13-89.png )
1004088

Delilah pauses and turns this over in her mind, “You really don’t feel cold?”

Litany looks down as snow. Due to some odd fae quirk, or possibly magic, they stand fully supported on the crust of ice. “Not really. My codex determines whether or not I can experience that.” Their hand spreads against the lines of ink on parchment, still singed here and there by the stray lightning bolt. “I do not feel tired, or hungry, or frightened, or angry.” There’s an uncertainty to the angel’s voice, as though some unseen itch was just out of reach.

“Wait, really?” Delilah stops, aghast at the prospect over such loss of autonomy.

“There’s a reason only a few courts use angels anymore.” Vivian nods, “Tradition dies hard among the fey, even when its something like.... this.” She sighs, “No offense, darling.”

The healer eyes Litany thoughtfully, “There’s something different about you though, isn’t there?”

“Uh-“ The angel’s gaze flickers this way and that, as their uncertainty spikes. “I-I-I, uh... maybe? How would I know?”
>>
No. 1004090 ID: 96c896

Oh, that's not resistant, that's insensate.
Try to keep the angel from getting frostbite.

Is the codex literally written on the parchment? The parchment that was damaged by lightning? That would mean their codex is damaged, and possibly malfunctioning. Very worrying.
>>
No. 1004091 ID: e7848c

>>1004088
What if we were to take the codex off?
>>
No. 1004103 ID: ab33cc

Taking it off might give them a heart attack for all we know, best to mess with that in a controlled environment.
>>
No. 1004104 ID: acb321

Yeah, now's not the time for experimenting.
>>
No. 1004111 ID: 6c85e8

...What <i>is</i> on the codex? What is she allowed to feel?

...Is there anything about it that seems wrong?
>>
No. 1004113 ID: 094652

The potential for abuse is troubling. Ask about his injuries and past incidents with the nobility.
>>
No. 1004304 ID: bc62ad

Encourage them to seek emotional freedom. I worry about possible consequences, but it's worth a try. Would it be possible to make a deal with their court after we're done here?
>>
No. 1004305 ID: 86aaf2

Are they still, however, harmed by things that would tend to cause others to feel tired, cold, hot, hungry, thirsty, etc.?
>>
No. 1004434 ID: 07b0f1
File 162493001653.png - (157.38KB , 700x500 , 13-90.png )
1004434

“Are you feeling things? Having thoughts you normally wouldn’t?” Delilah steps closer. “You can tell us, Litany.”

“P-possibly.” The fey concedes and looks down, ashamed, “Seeing these memories... I think it makes me want to know... more?”

Vivian leans in, the kistune’s teeth gleaming in the snowy dark. “Really? A curious angel? Innnnteresting.”

“What are you thinking, Viv?” Delilah murmurs.

The singer purrs, “Same thing you’re thinking, my dear.”

“You mean, the codex?”

“Mmm-hmm. Perhaps there’s a way to open our friend here up to some new experiences.”

Delilah pauses, “Is that a good idea? Wouldn’t that get them in trouble?”

Vivian chuckles, her voice dark and rich like strawberries in chocolate. “The fey are very particular about rules, which makes us experts on loopholes. If something should happen to their codex, purely by accident, Litany should remain blameless.” She adds, “Just as long as they don’t know about it.”

Delilah nods back wordlessly, and continues pushing through the snow towards the farmhouse.
>>
No. 1004435 ID: e7848c

They're not to come to any more harm. They already lost an eye.
>>
No. 1004444 ID: cdabe3

I mean, as long as you don’t tempt the angel into falling or whatever
>>
No. 1004509 ID: b83858

Take the cue of a lecherous fey. Prepare for mischief.
>>
No. 1004510 ID: 094652

Litany was either wounded during his job, or was forced to take on a job despite being wounded. The courier system needs a serious audit, and Vivian may as well be the inspector.

If he becomes promiscuous, she can add another mark to her tally.
>>
No. 1004603 ID: 07b0f1
File 162510623961.png - (143.35KB , 500x700 , 13-92.png )
1004603

“Are you sure?” Delilah asks. “They’ve already been through a lot today. They lost an eye and fell out of the sky. I don’t want to see them hurt more.”

Vivian nods back, “True. But if they’re curious, I think we should indulge them. It’s important to give them the opportunity to choose their future, because they may not get another chance.” The wind picks up and she wraps her tails tighter against her body. “Once they return to their court, their codex will be repaired, and they’ll return to serving their role for the rest of their days.”

The kitsune glances over at the angel, who walks ahead unhindered by snow, oblivious to their conversation. “I was like them once: chosen to serve a sacred role, perpetuating the old cycles and rigid castes. Breaking free and forging my own path was the only way to become who I really was.”
>>
No. 1004604 ID: 07b0f1
File 162510625418.png - (210.85KB , 700x662 , 13-91.png )
1004604

They arrive at the front door just as someone emerges. The screen door squeals on its hinges and slaps against the wall as Hammond barges out in a fury.
>>
No. 1004605 ID: e7848c

Brace, this might not be pretty. Arguments never are.
>>
No. 1004606 ID: 36784c

>>1004604
I’m guessing Hammond brought that book over again so that he and Gabe could attempt to do magic.

But from the looks of things, I’m gonna guess that he’s jealous that Gabe is picking up on the magic and he isn’t getting it at all.
>>
No. 1004729 ID: 07b0f1
File 162527828338.png - (140.62KB , 700x500 , 13-93.png )
1004729

“Hammy, wait!” Gabe comes running through after him. Maybe a year older than the last memory, the lanky marionette of a mouse is graceless and awkward, his knees and elbows flailing wildly.

Breath flashes into steam as the neighbor unleashes his anger, “Don't ‘Hammy’ me! How could you? You-you cheat!” Hammond brandishes the tome of magic as evidence of Gabe’s misdeeds.

Gabe’s hands curl into a pleading cradle, “I’m not a cheat! It-its not that hard. Its mostly just math! I can teach you! I’m actually pretty good at numbers!”

“As if an idiot bumpkin like you could teach me anything! How dare you take this from me!”

“Whut?” Gabe deflates, his ears sagging. “I’m not! I thought we could both be magic users!”
>>
No. 1004730 ID: 07b0f1
File 162527828956.png - (87.73KB , 700x500 , 13-94.png )
1004730

“You’re not a magic user! You’re a magic thief! Father was right about you people! Nothing but thieves and liars!” Hammond turns to storm away but stops as Gabe grabs his wrist in one last plea for understanding.
>>
No. 1004733 ID: 094652

Ah.

... I'm willing to bet Hammy doesn't get magic because it means accepting that everything his noble parents told him were self-serving discriminatory lies.
>>
No. 1004735 ID: 3ed3c3

What an ugly memory.
Let's interrupt it.
>>
No. 1004736 ID: f8fa51

Yeah, Gabe doesn't have to relive this one. It doesn't really matter what you say, as long as you interrupt.
>>
No. 1004738 ID: c48caa

Poor Gabe..
There's really no way to lighten this memory up?
>>
No. 1004765 ID: 028f23

Yeesh.
Not much more unpleasant to be third wheel to than relationships poisoned by jealousy and insecurity. Especially what appears to be class-based insecurities.
As much as I agree that interrupting might keep Gabe from continuing on what appears to be a negative spiral of bad memories, I have no idea what we could do to interrupt in a constructive manner. How do we pull Gabe out of this progression without further complicating affairs?
>>
No. 1004768 ID: 716941

Gabe is proud of who he's become, so these memories might be something he's already made peace with. The desire to prove Hammond wrong might be part of what inspired him to join the academy.
So, I don't think they need to interrupt exactly. They can remind him of who he grows up to be, and that they're proud of him.
>>
No. 1004803 ID: b83bb8

>>1004768
I like this. Interference isn't necessary right now. Talk to him afterwards.

...Though could it be that watching Gabe's memories is more useful in finding the inspiration than interacting with him directly? He is probably clueless himself. Maybe we shouldn't interfere at all.


...On second thought, if we decide to and successfully break Litany's codex, wouldn't that mean he may choose not to return, so we don't need to get the scroll back at all?
>>
No. 1004850 ID: 6c85e8

Comfort him... but there's probably no sense interrupting. This is his memories, it already happened. Can't change that.
>>
No. 1004973 ID: 07b0f1
File 162562439748.png - (104.03KB , 700x500 , 13-95.png )
1004973

“Get off me!”

“Hammy, come on!

“No! Let GO!”

The two tangle in the snow until Gabe pulls himself in close. In a frantic, desperate move, the mouse plants his lips on his friend in the only expression of his feelings left.
>>
No. 1004974 ID: 07b0f1
File 162562440962.png - (144.74KB , 700x500 , 13-96.png )
1004974

With his eyes closed, Gabe is unprepared when the weight of the magical tome connects with the side of his head, knocking him ass-backwards into the snow. He looks up at his friend, who glares back in shocked fury.

The book hits Gabe square in the chest and he feels something shatter inside. He watches as Hammond turns on his heel and storms back to his family’s manor without a word; disappearing in the snow.
>>
No. 1004975 ID: 07b0f1
File 162562442287.png - (129.39KB , 500x700 , 13-97.png )
1004975

“Gabe...” Delilah reaches out to comfort the boy.

He looks at her with eyes full of hurt and embarrassment and scrambles backwards. The mouse makes a few frantic motions with his hands and red light flickers across his fingers. The smell of ozone is caught up in the snow as he tears a hole in space and dives through.

The hole closes with a thunder-crack, leaving only the cold silence of the farmyard. A moment later, Fletcher comes peeking out of the house to investigate the noise.
>>
No. 1004976 ID: 96c896

Ask Fletcher where he's likely to have gone.
>>
No. 1004978 ID: e7848c

A portal is not a place that we can follow Gabe through. If Fletcher has no idea where he might have gone, I think we need to somehow find our way to the sender's academy
>>
No. 1005022 ID: 094652

Huh, I thought he accidentally sliced off Hammy's hand.

Follow Hammy and slice his brain open (this is a memory, not time travel). See if you can discover things Gabe's lack of intuition didn't pick up on.
>>
No. 1005050 ID: 9a2966

Poor boy - but he'll live. And find his own - he clearly did, even if some hurt remains.

So how's all this gonna help us figure out the song, and extract it?

(And how is the angel reacting to this tale of youthful romantic jealousy and woe?)
>>
No. 1005234 ID: 07b0f1
File 162587968490.png - (135.31KB , 500x700 , 13-98.png )
1005234

“Gabe? You alright out here?” He blinks, astonished at the presence of Delilah, Vivian and Litany. “You again? What happened? What was that sound?”

“That was gate magic. Gabe’s been learning from the neighbor’s boy, Hammond.” Vivian explains, “They had a fight and he jumped through a gate leading somewhere.”

“Fletcher, do you know where he could have gone?” Delilah asks, as she shakes ice out of her hair.

The farm boy thinks, “There’s a swimming hole they’d visit together out in the woods. They liked to pretend no one knew, but mostly we just wanted to give ‘em time to themselves. Maybe he’s out there?”

“We should get moving, otherwise we’ll freeze our butts off.”
>>
No. 1005235 ID: 07b0f1
File 162587970840.png - (135.27KB , 500x700 , 13-99.png )
1005235

Fletcher nods and grabs a few coats from inside the house, throwing them to the strange visitors.

Litany puts on their coat, the down-stuffed leather looking absurd on their spindly frame. “Oh. This is nice.” They run their fingers through the sleeves, feeling the fluffy inner lining. “Why did Gabe flee?”

“Uh, how much do you know about romance? Jealousy? Embarrassment?” Delilah asks.

“I’m familiar with many works of romance, however I’ve never seen such a display.”

Delilah sighs and looks off into the forest, “He was just a kid when this happened. That first heartbreak is hard to deal with when you’re so young. Its no wonder he ran off to be alone.”

“Is that normal? To want solitude?”

“Sometimes.” Delilah nods, “When you’re feeling ashamed and betrayed, sometimes you just want to hide away.” Her mind drifts to a cave where, in days past, she hid away from heartbreak and later rekindled love.
>>
No. 1005238 ID: 094652

Ask if Litany's stunted emotional development is so he doesn't accidentally absorb the Scroll.
>>
No. 1005243 ID: 96c896

Alright I guess let's get going.
Vivian: tempt the angel by telling them about other nice things to touch.
>>
No. 1005369 ID: c48caa

How do we get there from here?
>>
No. 1005409 ID: a0e9bd

It's really nice to get to "corrupt" an angel in the best way we can.

The Socratic method should work best with Litany. Ask some questions as we go on, and lean into their curiosity. The important thing is that they're thinking and exploring.

Del to Viv: >>1005238 as an aside. Let's get some understanding into the practice, if only to guide how we undo it.


We have our next destination. Head out for the swimmin' hole. Gotta see things through, maybe offer a hand.

(Fletcher, why must you tease us so...)
>>
No. 1005454 ID: 07b0f1
File 162613512775.png - (257.78KB , 980x700 , 13-100.png )
1005454

“Lets get moving before it starts getting dark.” Fletcher advises.

They follow Gabe’s brother through the orchard to the edge of the woods. Unlike the neat rows of apple trees, the forest is dense and dark. Branches hang low, weighed down by snowdrifts and ice, forcing them to duck and weave between the trees. Hardy, scrubby bushes rake at their legs as they go past.
>>
No. 1005455 ID: 07b0f1
File 162613514191.png - (134.52KB , 500x700 , 13-101.png )
1005455

There’s a sound of paper tearing and Litany looks down. Several lines of rules are split as a branch tugs at their codex.
>>
No. 1005456 ID: e7848c

Del, Viv? Can your magic warm him up? It might ease the loss of more of his codex.
>>
No. 1005467 ID: 96c896

>>1005455
Interesting, the Codex is vulnerable to damage in general? I figured the lightning was a special case.
Oh well, Litany saw it happen, so they can no longer claim ignorance. Guess the best you can do is help them avoid tearing it further, in this particular instance.

Ask what rules were just torn.
>>
No. 1005468 ID: 79739e

I still wonder if Fletcher‘ particular colouration carry any meaning. Perhaps he's more than a piece of memory, but a mental projection that represents some parts of Gabe's personality/subconscious/emotion/etc. Maybe an inspiration to be more physically fit now that he's with Delilah?

Or he could be Gabe's reasonable/responsible side that actively tries to assist us complete the mission.

I think we should talk to him. If Delilah wants to know anything about Gabe, ask away.
>>
No. 1005516 ID: 6c85e8

Better check which rules you're losing.

Depending on what they are, I think litany might look better in a shorter skirt. After all, getting the melody is more important than the codex, right?
>>
No. 1005524 ID: 41789b

Does this count as a strip tease?
>>
No. 1005551 ID: 9c1ef3

>>1005524
>>1005516
Or maybe just, I dunno, bundle it up very carefully. No ulterior motives here. No sir.
>>
No. 1005577 ID: 07b0f1
File 162631701465.png - (149.17KB , 500x700 , 13-102.png )
1005577

The angel gasps, new sensations flaring through their body. Their vision blurs as something wells up within them and something wet pours down their face.

“Litany!” Delilah rushes to their side, “Are you okay? What’s wrong?”

“I- I’m not sure. My codex tore. I- don’t know what this is.”

Vivian scoops up the edge of the paper and pieces together the damaged words. “Judging from this, I think you’re feeling sadness. Is this your first time with it?” She asks.

“Its... quite overwhelming. Its more than I ever imagined.” Litany cradles their head in their hands as emotion washes through them.

Delilah places a hand on their shoulder, “Do we need to stop? Should we take a break?”

The angel places a hand on hers and says with an unexpected intensity, “No, no. I need to keep going...”
>>
No. 1005578 ID: 96c896

>>1005577
We have time, though. Don't we?
>>
No. 1005579 ID: e7848c

Okay, but they would be wise not to shut out these new emotions. It's important to let them flow as they come.
>>
No. 1005587 ID: 094652

We should experiment.

Take notes of every remaining sigil and record what happens when they are broken.

And if Litany has what I think he has, find the people who committed crimes against their fellow Fae and ruin them.
>>
No. 1005589 ID: 6c85e8

We can keep going... but slowly, sadness for the first time is a pretty big deal. Keep following gabe's bro, but put a hand on them. Help them feel comfortable. Sadness sometimes feels good when you have friends there for you.
>>
No. 1005720 ID: 07b0f1
File 162648862931.png - (195.09KB , 554x700 , 13-103.png )
1005720

“We’ll keep moving, but we’ll be more careful.” Delilah says. “Let us know if we need to stop.”

“Very well.” Litany blinks their weeping eye at the healer as she puts an arm around them. “What are you doing?”

“Just lending a hand: physical closeness can help deal with sadness.”

“Oh.” Litany remarks, “I suppose it is working.” They instinctively snuggle up closer to Delilah as the tears begin to fade.
>>
No. 1005721 ID: 07b0f1
File 162648864688.png - (151.77KB , 700x500 , 13-104.png )
1005721

“Is your friend there gonna be okay?” Fletcher asks.

Vivian grins back, “I think so. They’re just going through some growing pains.”

“Well, alright.” The mouse shrugs, not pretending to understand the matters of the fey, but doing his best to respect them. “So you say Gabe’s been learning magic? You sure? Never struck me as the, uh, magically inclined to be honest.”
>>
No. 1005722 ID: 2de4fd

Yeah, seems like that assumption's been causing trouble for him lately. He's pretty great at it though. ...How's his friendships like? Got a lot? Just a few? How're they doing?
>>
No. 1005728 ID: 628bbf

I’m concerned about how lightly Vivian is handling Litany’s situation right now. She treated Litany with disdain before and clearly has a dislike of heaven or whatever it is, and was clearly willing to nudge Litany into this path before it happened naturally. This feels manipulative and disrespectful to whatever decisions Litany might’ve made before, especially since heaven may banish them just for this and Vivian didn’t bother to get Litany‘s consent.
>>
No. 1005735 ID: c48caa

Keep them close. Positive feelings only.

>>1005728
They're from a fay court, not explicitly from heaven. Free will is kinda new concept for them.
>>
No. 1005748 ID: 1ba450

>>1005728
I see where you're coming from. But the issue is, litany can't really properly consent to anything with that codex on. They wouldn't know if they'd have liked or preferred where they are or could be, or what they're doing our could be doing, because the codex prevents opinion or perception on anything but the task they've been entrusted to do. I stand wholey against this thought control and think they should be able to finally form their own thoughts, hopes, and dreams.
>>
No. 1005919 ID: 2de4fd

>>1005728
"before it happened naturally"

I'm getting the very strong impression that if they hadn't fallen like that it'd NEVER have happened. People don't leave cults because everyone respectfully waits until they're ready.
>>
No. 1006067 ID: 07b0f1
File 162684070590.png - (110.67KB , 500x700 , 13-105.png )
1006067

“Oh he’s quite the natural.” Vivian remarks, “I’ve even taught him a bit myself. But it seems he mostly picked it up from that boy, Hammond.”

Fletcher shakes his head, “Always knew that kid was gonna be trouble. His family’s owned that estate for generations and they’ve always treated the people around here like bugs. Plenty of stories from folks that have worked for them of mistreatment, stiffin’ them out of fair pay.”

“So why were Gabe and Hammond friends, then?”

“Just aren’t many families around with kids his age, to be honest. I think Hammy just wanted someone to follow him around and tell ‘im how great he is.” Fletcher sighs, his breath crystallizing instantly, “I get the feeling he don’t get a lot of that at home.”
>>
No. 1006068 ID: 07b0f1
File 162684071534.png - (164.33KB , 500x700 , 13-106.png )
1006068

Snow crunches as they manuver through the forest. The overgrown path reaches out with tiny frozen claws and thorns, pulling at their legs as they pass. Litany gasps and clutches at Delilah as the rules governing their life start to come apart at the seams. New sensations flood across their nerves with each broken line of text.

They suddenly stumble, sinking into the snow as gravity takes hold of them with renewed force. “Ah! Wh-what is this?” The angel lifts themself out of the ice and stares at their hands.
>>
No. 1006070 ID: e7848c

Weight. The measure of gravity pulling down on you. Take a moment to familiarize yourself to it.
>>
No. 1006071 ID: 36784c

>>1006067
>magic
Tell Fletcher how good Gabe is with numbers. Then explain that the magic he managed to learn was pretty much just a bunch of math, so he picked it up real easy.

Hammond must not be very good at math and got upset that Gabe was learning the magic and he wasn’t.

>>1006068
Hold Litany up and try to help them keep their balance.
>>
No. 1006078 ID: de76f1

You will have to try and be more specific. The weight of gravity, the feeling of the cold snow, or the general sensation of feeling anything at all?

I just realized that once litany's allowed to feel it, they're likely going to be in throbbing, excruciating pain.
>>
No. 1006098 ID: 6af97b

>>1006067

For the level of agency his brother, Fletcher, demonstrates, I wonder if this is truly a dream, or whether we're viewing subconscious thoughts and old ruminations in Gabe's mind, given a more familiar form.

It would make sense, admittedly, if what we're seeing is not so much what was, as a construct of Gabe's recollections made manifest.

If so, then the loss of Hammond was a significant wound in those days. It's a wonder the situation has not tainted his approach to gating magics, nor his studies.

>>1006068

Ah, seems they're finally beginning to feel the cold. We might wish to hurry before our angel comes to harm.
>>
No. 1006100 ID: 8830b3

Someone should talk to Litany about whatever that is. If it's gravity, it's what keeps you connected to the ground and let's you interact easily with everyone closeby.
>>
No. 1006101 ID: 8830b3

Also it sounds like hammond is kind of messed up and can't deal with friendships that aren't going the way he expects them to.
>>
No. 1006130 ID: 028f23

>>1006068

Holy shit, I thought him being gracefully weightless was just a conscious fae magic thing. They really did fuck this poor kid up with unnecessary magic, didn't they?

No wonder he's so maladapted.
He's not just a born and bred indentured servant, he's so far removed from reality by his bindings he probably doesn't have any frame of reference whatsoever beyond his servitude. Jesus. Fucking royalty, man.
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