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File 155175753610.png - (341.07KB , 700x600 , 1.png )
924496 No. 924496 ID: c1eaac

Chapter One: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/897839.html
Disthread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/124957.html
335 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 967152 ID: 9f39fb

left on account of it's okay to break the law
>>
No. 967158 ID: ce39da

"There's no 'right' direction in particular. The key is just to pick one and stick to it. I don't see any clues here, so I'll let you decide the initial direction, and unless it becomes apparent that the maze is shifting somehow, that will be the direction we turn at every junction."
>>
No. 967177 ID: 242298

left because why not!
>>
No. 967199 ID: b1b4f3

Follow the right hand wall. Try to compose a mental map.
>>
No. 967253 ID: c1eaac
File 158999641193.png - (265.50KB , 700x600 , 98.png )
967253

"I'm pretty sure the trick to mazes is to just pick one direction and stick to it," you tell Arty. Then again, you can't remember the last time you actually took a walk through a hedge maze. You must have been very young. Hopefully your sense of direction hasn't suffered since then.

You decide to make only right turns, but it isn't long before you hit your first dead-end. There are two demons here, drinking and chatting with each other. They give you and Arty a sidelong glance as you approach - you assume they were intending on having alone time.

"Oh, it's you," the dark-haired one says. You remember suddenly where you know her from - you ran into her and her companion while you were looking for Eae and Jasper, at court. Maybe they're friends with Jasper? "Looking for an angel again?"
>>
No. 967254 ID: c1eaac
File 158999642786.png - (180.97KB , 700x600 , 99.png )
967254

"He's already got an angel," her companion points out. "Maybe they're looking for somewhere to be alone."

"Well, this spot's taken," she says, and sniffs.

"Actually, we're looking for a different angel," Arty says smoothly. "Maybe you know 'em. They're kind of the boss around here, from what I've heard."

"Suriel," you add.

"Oh, Jasper's head servant?" the blond demon asks. "I just saw them around here a little while ago. They were walking and talking to someone. Dunno who it was, they passed by too quickly."

Huh. Not exactly comforting information, but at least you know Suriel's still in the maze somewhere - or they were still here very recently. That means you're not just wandering around in the maze for no reason.
>>
No. 967255 ID: c1eaac
File 158999648937.png - (12.88KB , 700x600 , 100.png )
967255

You go over your mental map of the maze, tracing the path you've been down already. You know this one ends in a dead end, so maybe it's time to backtrack? You could also stay here and ask these two some more questions, but they might get annoyed if you overstay your welcome.

> Go back to the start.
> Ask more questions.
> Something else?
>>
No. 967256 ID: 242298

these lesbians seem interesting, you never know what secrets they could be hiding. i say ask them more questions!
>>
No. 967268 ID: 70df1e

go back and go left! clearly these two want to be alone to kiss and thats respectable
>>
No. 967381 ID: ce39da

"You saw them near here, or just heard them?" If the former, that's rather suspicious since this whole branch is one big dead end. Check the hedge wall on your way out for weak spots. You don't need to, of course, if it's the latter. (Either way, we now know that Suriel passed close by to this spot. Therefore, so will we if we want to find them.)
>>
No. 967517 ID: c1eaac
File 159018034035.png - (146.41KB , 700x600 , 101.png )
967517

"Did you actually see Suriel? Or just hear them?" you ask, just to be sure.

"Saw them. Kind of," the blond demon says. "They turned around the corner and then realized it was a dead end, I guess. Or that we were already here. So they turned around and left."

Interesting. You'd expect Suriel to know the maze a little better, considering how close they apparently are to Jasper, but maybe they don't come out here much. It's not hard to get turned around in the maze. Maybe they and their companion were even looking for somewhere to be alone, or someone in particular.

"How long ago was that?" you ask. You don't want to push your luck with too many questions, but you'd rather be informed before you start down the other branch of the maze.

"Probably...fifteen minutes?" The blond demon shrugs. "Not too long ago."
>>
No. 967518 ID: c1eaac
File 159018036136.png - (168.80KB , 700x600 , 102.png )
967518

"Well, thanks for the help," Arty says brightly, perhaps sensing (as you have) that the two of you are outstaying your welcome. "You two have names? I'm Arty, by the way."

"I'm Fen. Marquis Fen, to be formal about it. That's Lady Rima." the blond demon says, then pauses, and looks strangely between you and her companion. "You two don't know each other?"

Rima looks back at her, baffled. "Why would we?"

"You're both Hethsons," Fen says bluntly.

There's an awkward silence as you and Rima regard each other, both of you - you're sure - trying to figure out if you've ever met before in your lives. The fact that she doesn't seem to know makes you feel a little better about it, all things considered. She doesn't look that much older than you, but it's probable that she was raised in a completely different part of your mother's estate, or with her other parent. Still, always weird to meet a new half-sibling.

"Well, there are hundreds of us by now," Rima says finally, with a little huff. "You can't expect us to recognize each other on sight. We don't all have Marax's reputation."
>>
No. 967519 ID: c1eaac
File 159018037432.png - (12.72KB , 700x600 , 103.png )
967519

"It's nice to meet you, anyway," you manage, backing up into a hedge as you start to head back the way you came. You'd like to find Suriel and be out of here by nightfall, if possible, which isn't that many hours away.

"Charmed, I'm sure," Rima says, wryly. It's the last you hear from either her or Fen before you turn a corner and they vanish from sight.

You and Arty make your way back to the maze entrance you came through, which really isn't so far from the dead end where you just were, and continue past it. The left path very quickly splits again, and you're left with the choice to keep going straight, or to make a right hand turn.

> Keep straight.
> Go right.
>>
No. 967523 ID: 70df1e

make a right! it didnt work out for us the first time but u never know! right turns only and im sticking to it
>>
No. 967524 ID: b1b4f3

There's no reason to abandon the right hand wall rule.
>>
No. 967533 ID: 2af340

i doubt there's a straight person in this thread
turn right
>>
No. 967539 ID: 242298

let's go right!
>>
No. 967550 ID: ce39da

Yeah, sticking to one direction will land you in as many dead ends as picking at random would; the difference is that sticking to one direction is guaranteed to find your destination eventually. Turn right.
>>
No. 967606 ID: dbd72b

>>967533
You gotta be horny to keep up with this quest, and concern over gender is time that could be better spent on horny.

Rightwards!
>>
No. 967635 ID: c1eaac
File 159026184971.png - (13.08KB , 700x600 , 104.png )
967635

You and Arty continue through the maze, keeping to the right-hand rule until you can't anymore. You find yourselves stuck at another dead end - and you can hear Rima and Fen's voices close by, so you must not have gotten very far from where you started. At the very least, you've pretty much mapped out an entire corner of the maze, so you have a few branching paths you could go down when you start to backtrack.

Feel free to draw on the map if it's an easier way for you to describe where the boys should go next!
>>
No. 967639 ID: 70df1e

back down the path and take the first right we see! (the one above rima i think? but ant unexplored right will do)
>>
No. 967673 ID: 242298

^^ seconded, backtrack and take that right above where rima and fen are!
>>
No. 967731 ID: ce39da

Stick. To. The plan. Keep hugging that right wall.

(I am starting to realize that this strategy is only useful when you don't have a perfect mental map of the maze thus far and can actually lose track of where you've been, unlike here. But it's good to be thorough when searching for someone!)
>>
No. 967873 ID: c1eaac
File 159044131643.png - (177.74KB , 700x600 , 105.png )
967873

You turn around and get ready to backtrack again with a sigh, tugging Arty with you by the hand.

"I'm already tired of this," you say, glancing up at him. "I feel like we're not making any progress. We keep having to go back to the beginning."

"We're making progress!" he says, encouragingly. "It just doesn't feel that way right now, but we'll find the right path eventually. We already know pretty much anything in this corner of the maze is a no-go, right?" He pauses, thoughtfully. "If I leave the maze and get a runnin' start, I could do a fly-over, and -"

"No," you say, shaking your head. You're already at a party where people are intending to eat angel meat, and you don't need Arty attracting that kind of attention. "Someone might see you. Suriel will know we're looking for them, or someone will try to shoot you out of the sky, and -"

"Alright, alright, point taken," he says, holding his hands up in surrender.
>>
No. 967874 ID: c1eaac
File 159044132729.png - (18.74KB , 700x600 , 106.png )
967874

Once again, you head back the way you came, taking the first right available to you. You follow the path down a ways until you come upon a curious fork - two paths that would technically both be right turns. You can't see or hear anything down the one directly ahead of you, but down the other one (to your left), you hear two people having what sounds like an extremely heated argument.
>>
No. 967876 ID: 70df1e

eavesdrop on the argument a little to see if suriel is involved. if so, follow the voices! if not, keep right!
>>
No. 967886 ID: 242298

that might be suriel arguing! we gotta check it out!
>>
No. 967888 ID: 2af340

>>967876
+1
>>
No. 967925 ID: b1b4f3

Go towards the arguing.
>>
No. 967957 ID: 9f39fb

listen to the argument and see if suriel's part of it. even if not, listen in anyway. you might learn something useful about the other stuff going on around here!
>>
No. 967976 ID: c1eaac
File 159046869711.png - (98.09KB , 700x600 , 107.png )
967976

"I'm not usually one to condone eavesdropping, but..." you trail off, nodding in the direction that the arguing voices are coming from.

Arty seems to get the jist, and nods, tugging you farther down that particular path. As you weave around the hedges, the voices get louder. It's hard to tell where, exactly, they're coming from - they sound close, but the hedge walls don't muffle very much noise, so they could be farther away than you think.

" - can't believe you would embarrass me like that," one of the voices is snapping at the other. You're pretty sure there's only two people in the argument - and didn't Fen say Suriel was with someone else? Food for thought.

"You're right, you usually embarrass yourself enough without my help," the other voice says, just as acerbic. You hear the sound of what might be a scuffle happening.

"You know, you're lucky I don't have you thrown out of here. Jasper would -"

"Jasper would what? Ban me from his house? Oh, please, by all means, I'd love to see you convince him -"

" - don't need to convince anyone that you're an absolute prick who -"

Just as you're getting a little caught up in the argument yourself (and realizing that you don't even know what Suriel's voice sounds like, anyway), you and Arty round a corner straight into the two people you've been listening to.
>>
No. 967977 ID: c1eaac
File 159046870762.png - (159.97KB , 700x600 , 108.png )
967977

>>
No. 967978 ID: c1eaac
File 159046873493.png - (162.77KB , 700x600 , 109.png )
967978

"GO AWAY," Murmur says.
>>
No. 967985 ID: 70df1e

TURN AROUND ABORT MISSION
>>
No. 967986 ID: 242298

OKAY YEAH LET’S TURN AROUND
>>
No. 967990 ID: 65bb29

YEAH. RUN. TURN AROUND AND TAKE THE PATH AT THE FORK. This is NOT worth getting involved in.
>>
No. 967996 ID: 2af340

turn around and leave
we Never Saw This
>>
No. 968000 ID: 8ed69f

Awkward thumbs up and leave.
>>
No. 968006 ID: 9f39fb

OH. oh. okay. bye
>>
No. 968212 ID: c1eaac
File 159062496176.png - (166.88KB , 700x600 , 110.png )
968212

You and Arty backpedal wordlessly away, very nearly tripping over yourselves in an effort to make it back to the fork you were at just a moment ago. You find it, and rush past it, losing yourself in a completely unfamiliar new area of the maze just as Arty starts to wheeze in bursts of laughter.

"Holy shit," he manages between laughs, letting go of your hand to double over and clutch at his stomach. "Was that -"

"Murmur and Marax," you supply for him.

"I thought they were -"

"They are." A tiny smile tugs at the corner of your lips, both because Arty's laughter is so contagious and because this situation is so fucking ridiculous. "I mean, I thought they were. They both came here with different dates."

"I hate to be the one t'tell you," Arty says, as gravely as he can manage. "But I think that was foreplay for them."

A bark of laughter bubbles up unexpectedly from your throat, so sudden that you clasp your hands over your mouth, afraid Murmur might hear. But you're definitely out of earshot, now, so you uncover your mouth and let yourself laugh. It feels good, like you can forget about your stress for a second, forget about Suriel and Jasper and who knows what else. Like you can just exist here, with Arty.
>>
No. 968213 ID: c1eaac
File 159062497582.png - (20.88KB , 700x600 , 111.png )
968213

Unfortunately, you do still have to find Suriel. And you've found yourself at a weird, three-pronged crossroads.
>>
No. 968217 ID: ce39da

First right again~
>>
No. 968218 ID: 2af340

right makes right!
also, we can't not fuck arty
>>
No. 968219 ID: 70df1e

we go right!! onwards!!
>>
No. 968232 ID: 242298

right once again! and maybe pay arty a compliment as you go because he's very cute
>>
No. 968234 ID: 6b5668

good job adapting the maze to this medium, marn! really creative!
>>
No. 969220 ID: c1eaac
File 159163982268.png - (21.31KB , 700x600 , 112.png )
969220

You and Arty keep moving, and quickly find out that the first right at the crossroads leads to a dead end. You backtrack to take the next right, and have much more luck, losing yourself in a lengthy section of the maze that you haven't encountered before. It isn't long before you hear voices again - and definitely not Murmur and Marax's. They're close, too - they sound like they might be just around the corner, though still too hushed and conspiratorial to hear what they're actually saying.
>>
No. 969221 ID: c1eaac
File 159163985806.png - (132.27KB , 700x600 , 113.png )
969221

You peer around the corner of a hedge at the long corridor ahead of you, and your heart races as you recognize Suriel. They're talking to a demon you don't recognize. You're trying to get a better read on him, to figure out if he's a party guest or what, when his gaze flicks towards you. You're met with an arresting pair of eyes - slit pupils, a venomous shade of bright green.

Arty lets out a soft hiss and tugs you roughly back by the collar of your cloak.

"What -" you begin, but he shushes you. There's a look of recognition in his face that you don't like, one that says plainly that he knows what you just saw, and he's afraid of it.
>>
No. 969222 ID: c1eaac
File 159163987982.png - (129.94KB , 700x600 , 114.png )
969222

"I don't know what he's doing here, but it ain't good," Arty says in a whisper, nodding his head towards the corridor where Suriel and the demon are talking. "If I were you, I'd ditch this party right now."

"What?" you ask again, blinking. "Who is he?"

"My brother," Arty says, grimly.

"I thought -"

"Not Reuben," Arty cuts you off. "My other brother, the one I was actually born with. Apollyon. He's the one who took out my eye."
>>
No. 969225 ID: c1eaac

END CHAPTER 2
CONTINUE TO INTERMISSION: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/969223.html
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