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20256 No. 20256
[Cards (E-Card)]
[To Remilia: "Aside from playing pranks on fairies and an apparent library, how else might a guest occupy himself?"]

Playing a game with Miss Remilia? Granted, it’s all for fun, but you’re pretty nervous about challenging the mistress herself at anything. You think you’d feel the most comfortable with a card game: a good blend of skill and luck, not to mention trying to read your opponent’s intentions. But which game to play? You dwell on some common choices like Five-Card Draw or Euchre, and even consider a local game you played a few times called Chems. However, in the end you simply can’t decide, and opt to just let Remilia pick a game. Maybe she’ll see you as non-committal, or maybe as generous, but in either case, she’ll probably have more fun with a game she’s comfortable with. And in the end, isn’t her satisfaction what you’re trying to achieve here?

“I feel quite at home with a fan of cards in my hand, Miss Scarlet,” you answer, “but I’m afraid I simply cannot decide on the type of cards to play. Please, you choose a card game for us. Something with less luck and more mind, perhaps. I’m sure it will be most enjoyable.”

She smirks quizzically. “My choice? Oh, how kind you are. And I believe I have just the game for us! You mightn’t have played it before, but the rules are quite simple. I just know you’ll take a shine to it at once.”

“May I ask the name of this game?”

“E-Card,” she replies ominously. “I’ll say no more; wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise, now would we? Patience is a virtue…”

Nathaniel picks up where she left off. “Catch it if you can…”

She looks at him now, smiling. “Seldom found in woman…”

He returns the smile. “Never found in man.”

Even Patchouli emits a momentary smile at that unusual exchange. It was so well scripted that you can only assume they’ve done it before, though you wonder what the terms of the last one were…

You finish the last few morsels of your Duck a L’Orange, and once again Sakuya whisks away the empty plates and forks. She unveils the last polished dome and begins to serve the dessert plates to all the diners. It is a fluffy square confection, with alternating cream and chocolate layers amidst other enhancements, and sprinkled with fine chocolate dust. Two strawberries alight either side of the dessert, more for color than substance. You don’t even bother asking the name of the delicacy this time; in your experience, every dessert tastes good no matter what it’s called.

“So, umm, I was wondering,” Meiling says in your general direction, poking her dessert like it’s going to jump up and bite her, “What are you planning on doing while you’re here? I mean, Nathaniel’s got his watch and things like that…how about you?”

The question, initially so stupid-sounding as it reaches your ears, suddenly makes you wonder a great deal about you current situation. So much so that you open your mouth to speak, sit dumbfounded for a few seconds, and then sit back in your chair, hmmm-ing to yourself.

What are you doing here? You haven’t really thought about it since you woke up this morning. All you wanted from this place was some food and water, maybe directions to the nearest town and a safe place to sleep for a night. But now? Now you’re an honored guest at the largest, grandest, most elegant place you’ve ever laid eyes on. There are servants at your beck and call (beautiful female servants at that!), an entire mansion nearly to yourself, no worries, and no obligations. Though you do kind of want to get back to exploring the world…

But then again, what kind of world are you exploring? Somehow England is nowhere to be found; you’re in “Gensokyo” now. And you know even less about this land than you did about the English countryside. Every person you’ve met here so far has seemed…odd, at the very least. Who’s to say that your adventuring won’t run you into people who are downright hostile? You know for a fact that you couldn’t even hope to stand up against someone like Cirno, and she doesn’t even seem like the top of the food chain around here. At least if you stay inside the mansion you’ll be secure, and you might learn enough about where you are to get a long-term plan going.

Finally you respond to her question. “Truth be told, Miss Meiling, I haven’t really given it much thought. I’ve been thrown into a situation that I really know nothing about.” You continue talking, but address the whole table, particularly Remilia. “Aside from playing pranks on fairies and the apparent library, how else might a guest occupy himself in this mansion?”

(Read on, dear friend…)

>> No. 20257
(…read on…)

“Oh, many ways, many ways indeed,” Miss Scarlet responds haughtily. “There’s nothing like casual conversation between two people to pass the time, not to mention the various activities they could partake in together. If you desire a more masculine pastime, we’ve a billiards parlor that I believe you may find interesting. There’s the observatory at nighttime, of course; I’ve spent weeks just looking at the stars every night, you’ll never find a better view of the night sky in your life. I believe, though, that if it is adventure you seek, nothing could be better for a young man like you than to simply look around the mansion and see what you can see. There’s more rooms in here than I care to count, and I’m sure you can find something in one of them to your liking.”

You nod, but politely inquire further. “These all sound quite interesting, Miss Scarlet, but I’m afraid I’ve strolled the mansion already, and sadly I found none of the interesting things you spoke of.”

“No?” She pouts and crosses her arms, then looks at her maid. “What am I going to do with you, Sakuya? I thought I told you to give him the key.”

The head maid bows respectfully. “Forgive me, Mistress, but I was under the impression that guests were not allowed-“

Are you the Mistress of this manor, Miss Izayoi?” Remilia definitely looks perturbed now, even angry. A tiny fire begins to burn behind her scarlet eyes.

“No, my Lady.”

“Who is?”

“You are, my Lady.”

“And who are you?”

“I am your servant, mistress.”

Her ego stroked, the little mistress takes the opportunity to enact her power. “Give him the key,” she commands forcefully.

Sakuya pulls from her apron a shining silver key, intricately crafted, with teeth that you swear change shape slightly even as you look at them. She presents it to you, and you take it from her hand. It’s surprisingly light, and a scarlet ribbon is tied around the ring.

“This is one of the mansion’s master keys,” Remilia explains. “It will open most any door you wish within these walls. With it, the house is yours to enjoy.”

“Th-thank you, Miss Scarlet, thank you very much,” you stammer, nearly unable to comprehend what is just taking place. “I am honored beyond words to have this gift. Thank you.”

She doesn’t respond in any way you can catch, but merely pushes away her creamy dessert, barely even touched, and stands up. “It’s no use, I have far too much energy to be sitting around eating. I expect to see you,” she points a slim finger at your chest, “in the center lounge within fifteen minutes. The rest of you are invited to join us as well. Sakuya, if you would…”

Sakuya nods and takes care of Remilia’s place at the table, then follows her out of the dining hall. The atmosphere seems almost tangibly changed; more free and fresh, but grey and muted at the same time. You got the same feeling when you walked outside your house on a cloudy October morning, the warmth and smells of breakfast still tingling your senses. Patchouli is cemented to her methodical dining regime as before, while Meiling and Nathaniel seem much more as ease than they did previously.

[ ] Stay here; finish eating and chat with the others (write-in a question or two)
[ ] Leave the room; go straight to the center lounge
[ ] Leave the room; return to your own quarters for a spell
[ ] Leave the room; try out that new key you just received
[ ] Leave the room; go somewhere else? (input destination)
>> No. 20259
[X] Leave the room; try out that new key you just received. Open one random door and see what's inside, then get to the lounge.
>> No. 20260
[♰] Ask Miss Izayoi to alert you in five minutes time, as you'll want to go to your room and compose yourself before you play.
[♰] Have another glass or two of champagne. Try to affect your emotions as much as possible in the time you remain in front of Miss Scarlet, since there is little doubt she'll be trying to read you.
[♰] Excuse yourself from the room and return to your own quarters when Sakuya alerts you.
[♰] Inventory

We might try drinking some more as it will reduce stress reactions (e.g., tremor, quickening of pulse, raise in blood pressure) as well as mask others into uselessness (e.g., sweating), as well as giving us an excuse to go to the bathroom.

Then time to steel yourself. Examine yourself in the mirror and try to determine your tells.
>> No. 20265
[x] Ask Miss Izayoi to alert you in five minutes time, as you'll want to go to your room and compose yourself before you play.
[x] Have another glass or two of champagne. Try to affect your emotions as much as possible in the time you remain in front of Miss Scarlet, since there is little doubt she'll be trying to read you.
[x] Excuse yourself from the room and return to your own quarters when Sakuya alerts you.
[x] Inventory

bandwagon, HOOOOO
>> No. 20283
[x] Ask Miss Izayoi to alert you in five minutes time, as you'll want to go to your room and compose yourself before you play.
[x] Have another glass or two of champagne. Try to affect your emotions as much as possible in the time you remain in front of Miss Scarlet, since there is little doubt she'll be trying to read you.
[x] Excuse yourself from the room and return to your own quarters when Sakuya alerts you.
[x] Inventory

~ZAWA ~ZAWA
>> No. 20285
Although Sakuya is not currently in the same room as you (she followed Miss Scarlet out of the dining hall), I believe I understand your intensions, and will try to convey them despite the absence of the head maid.

====================

[Ask Miss Izayoi to alert you in five minutes time, as you'll want to go to your room and compose yourself before you play.]
[Have another glass or two of champagne. Try to affect your emotions as much as possible in the time you remain in front of Miss Scarlet, since there is little doubt she'll be trying to read you.]
[Excuse yourself from the room and return to your own quarters when Sakuya alerts you.]
[Inventory]

Fifteen minutes isn’t really enough time to do much of anything, so you decide to stay where you are and finish your dessert and wine. You pull out your watch and set it on the table so you can be certain how much time you have left to spend, then return to your confection.

“So, Nathaniel, you know anything about this ‘E-Card’ game?” you ask idly, refilling your glass.

“Indeed I do. I played it after my first dinner here, just as you will shortly. Similarly, I received no additional information about the game, thus I feel it only fair that neither should you.”

You frown slightly, and return to your champagne, taking another long drink. At this point, idle questions are only a cover-up for your true plan. You done it plenty of times in the past, and this situation shouldn’t be any different. It’s a simple strategy, really: drink your fill of intoxicating spirits, act loose and drunk to throw your opponent off his (or her) guard, and all the while you remain level-headed after years of drinking practice, taking them by surprise. Over time some people might catch on, but first-timers never expect a completely “hammered” opponent to still be able to plan strategy, and plan it well at that. You just hope your earlier comment about holding you liquor doesn’t tip Remilia off.

Nathaniel finishes his glass of wine and sets his fork on the table. “So, Miss Knowledge, shall we finish off game number thirty-three?”

Patchouli finishes savoring her last piece of the creamy cake, then grabs her book from under the seat where she left it before. Looking at her game partner, she replies dully, “Castle to E-7, double check and mate.”

Nathaniel thinks for a moment, tracing out patterns on the tablecloth in the semblance of a chessboard, then emits a dejected laugh. “I suppose that would do it. A well-played game, as always. Thirty-four in the center lounge, then?”

“As you wish,” she sighs. The two stand up and Nathaniel walks over to the other side of the table, thanking you for your company for the night. He then exits the room with the librarian, courteously tempering his longer stride to match Patchouli’s slow plodding, and even holds the door open for her. Meiling looks at them longingly.

“What do you think? They make a nice couple?” she asks you out of the blue.

“Oh, wha?” You didn’t expect such a question at all. “I dunno, maybe. They certainly seem like they get along well enough; at least he can get more words out of her than I can.”

“You can say that again.” She sighs remorsefully. “I just hope he’s not getting his hopes up or anything. Patchouli’s not the sort of girl than can commit to people very well. Too many years of books must do that to a person.”

“I’ve been wondering,” you inquire, “this might sound stupid, but just how old is Miss Patchouli? I just can’t imagine a girl looking that young to be this book-reading genius you all portray her as.”

“Oh, looks don’t mean much in Gensokyo as far as age goes, you’d have found that out sooner or later. Patchouli, mmm, I can’t really remember, but she must be close to a hundred years by now.”

A hundred?! You expected a number ten years or so above her appearance, but a hundred? This magic land certainly has it’s perks if age has no detriments to your looks. Then again, perhaps your body still breaks down at the same rate; Patchouli sure didn’t look very healthy to you.

“Almost a hundred?” you reply, sounding amazed. “That’s…wow, I didn’t realize. Well, how old are you then? A thousand?”

She crosses her arms and seems extremely offended at the remark. “Ugh! Even a farmer should have some common manners! You should never ask a lady her age!”

You’re definitely confused at her response. “But, didn’t you just tell me Miss Patchouli’s age after I asked?”

She quickly shifts from anger to embarrassment and her face begins to turn pink. “Well…that’s different!”

You don’t press the subject, remembering that you’ve already put Meiling in enough awkward situations tonight. Glancing at your watch, you realize you’ve only got six minutes left before you’re supposed to meet Remilia. You drain the rest of your champagne, then look at the bottle, still containing a considerable amount of spirits.

“Umm, can I take this with me?” you ask her, pointing at the wine bottle.

She’s still distracted by your previous statement, but manages to utter a quick, “Sure, I guess, it was yours for dinner.” You thank her, then grab the bottle and walk out of the hall, picking up your discarded suit jacket as you go.

(A text of some length…)
>> No. 20286
(…is often torn into parts.)

You make it to your room and check your watch again. 4:48 before game time. Just out of curiosity you check the items in the room, making sure they’re still there.

In your pack you have:
+A compass. It’s crudely made, but very trustworthy.
+A coin pouch. Contains all the money you own…which isn’t much.
+A fountain pen. Discovered earlier in a pare of spare pants. Writes with a deep red ink.

On your person you have:
+A disheveled black suit. Not so crisp now after your dining room antics
+A ring holding three keys. What secrets might they unlock?
+A strange gleaming key. It’s the master key to the mansion!
+A small silver pocket-watch. Tick tick tick. It reads 10:40
+A comb. Smooth and polished, good for looking like a gentleman.
+A half-full bottle of champagne. Bubbly and sweet, and potent to boot.

Hidden in the room you have:
+A thick diary. Already it’s pages begin to fill with adventures (Hidden in the mattress).
+A letter. “For when thy need arises” (Hidden in the diary).
+A letter opener. Long and thin, almost like a knife (hidden in a desk drawer).
+A pair of broken spectacles. The frames are bent, one lens is missing, and the other is cracked (hidden in a shirt pocket).

You mull over the letter in the diary. “For when thy need arises…” How are you supposed to know when “thy need” comes? You think about opening it, but whatever’s inside will probably take more than four minutes to understand. You decide instead to start carrying some of your possessions with you. A fountain pen shouldn’t arouse any suspicion, and it’s always good to have something to write with. The compass you leave, since you know the way around the mansion well enough already…at least the main parts of it. You grab the coin pouch on the off-chance Remilia wants to play some kind of gambling game. The spectacles are still an oddity to you. The single lens is cracked, but cracked very fine, and the glass doesn’t seem to be weakened by its presence. With a little twisting you bend the wire frames back into place. They don’t seem to look so worthless now.

As you look at them, the lens suddenly grows blurry and unfocused, like smoked glass. The frames feel cold in your hands, as icy as winter-chilled metal. The entire trinket itself is emanating a barely distinguishable aura of…something. Light? Sound? Magic? Your hands feel colder still, the chill definitely increasing steadily. Amazingly, there’s no pain; it’s as if the part of your hands that say, “These cold spectacles really hurt!” is simply turned off. There’s something definitely strange going on here, and you’re holding it in your unprotected hands.

[ ] Drop the spectacles immediately
[ ] Keep holding on, but let go if anything weird starts happening
[ ] Hold on no matter what
[ ] Try and look through the lens
[ ] Re-bend the frames and put them back where you found them
[ ] Destroy the spectacles
>> No. 20287
[ ] Drop the spectacles immediately
[ ] Look around for a certain fair, maybe she's messing with you again
>> No. 20288
[ ] Drop the spectacles immediately
[ ] Look around for a certain fairy, maybe she's messing with you again
>> No. 20289
[Q] Keep holding on, but let go if anything weird starts happening
[Q] Look around for a certain fairy, maybe she's messing with you again
>> No. 20290
[ ]Place the spectacles on the drawer immediately.
[ ] Look around for a certain fairy, maybe she's messing with you again
>> No. 20295
[X] Throw the spectacles onto the bed.
>> No. 20297
[+] Keep holding on, but let go if anything weird starts happening
[+] Look around for a certain fairy, maybe she's messing with you again
>> No. 20298
[x] Keep holding on, but let go if anything weird starts happening
[x] Look around for a certain fairy, maybe she's messing with you again
>> No. 20299
[x] Drop the spectacles immediately (by tossing them onto the bed)
[x] Look around for a certain fairy, maybe she's messing with you again

Fairy pranks are not always safe.
>> No. 20300
[x] Drop the spectacles immediately (by tossing them onto the bed)
[x] Look around for a certain fairy, maybe she's messing with you again

I must say, I am enjoying this story immensely. My commendations to you U. N. Owen.
>> No. 20301
[x] Keep holding on, but let go if anything weird starts happening.
[x] Look around for a certain fairy, maybe she's messing with you again.

Even if they don't do anything, donning the spectacles during the match could be amazingly effective as a psych-out technique, given the almost certain unsavory end of their previous owner.
>> No. 20303
>>20300
I am honored once again to receive such compliments. With every additional remark, I am reminded once again that my work is not in vain.

The setup for the impending E-Card match is at hand, but I feel I need a bit more time to decide how best to set the mood. This is not alleviated by the necessity of homework and lab reports, which I must partake in tomorrow. Do not expect a new segment until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest, as real-world troubles must unfortunately take precedence over personal hobbies, enticing though they may be.
>> No. 20304
>>20303
Gah! GM made me buy egg cook books, Desu has me playing Persona 3, Patchwork makes me hunt for Wriggle pictures, Norseman has me pouring over Norse mythology, and now you've got me watching Kaiji.

I shouldn't let these boards control me like this, but it's so fun!
>> No. 20315
[Drop the spectacles immediately & toss them away]

You instinctually get the glasses out of your hands as fast as possible, tossing them onto the bed. Hopefully from this distance you can observe them without your hand getting frozen off, or whatever else might happen. The lens continues to fog up until it’s pure white, then suddenly reverts back to translucent as if nothing even happened. You wait for a few seconds to see if anything else will happen, but the spectacles just sit there, unchanging. You experimentally touch them for a moment; a perfectly normal temperature, not even a little bit cold.

Wait a minute, cold? If cold is involved, you’ve got a suspicion that Cirno might not be far behind. Sneaking up to the window quietly, you pull back the curtains just a little. Nothing from this angle, though it’s hard to tell since it’s as black as pitch out there. You hold your breath and calm your anxious nerves. Feeling a little braver, you dart out your hand, grab a hold of the window’s catch, and fling the portals wide open.

Nothing. No sound of a quickly-retreating fairy, no “thunk!” as the glass hits an unsuspecting prankster’s head, no childish chuckling, nothing at all. You look all around the outside, from every angle, looking for a crevice or cranny Cirno might be able to hide in, but there’s only flat walls and darkness. Odd.

You’ve got no time to worry about what just happened. Remilia expects you down in the lounge within who knows how short a time, and the last thing you want is her suspecting you of foul play. You grab up the champagne bottle with your left hand, then glance at the glasses again; perfectly normal, boring, broken spectacles. You wonder if it’s even safe to keep them in your pocket. What are supposed to do with them?

~~~~~~~~~~

“Perfect! Right on time, as expected!”

You burst through the doors of the lounge with barely a second to spare, nearly having to sprint all the way due to that little stunt with the glasses. Your jacket is slightly stained with a splash of wine from your hurried approach.

“Sorry, miss, for being s’ sudden,” you reply, trying to catch your breath. “Perhaps th’ champagne ‘as tampered with my mental compass more than I ‘xpected.” You speech is being to sound a little slurred, partially because of your exhaustion, and partially because now you’ve really got to act up your “intoxication” in front of Remilia. Not too much, of course-you don’t want to appear handicapped-just enough to make her think she’s got an edge.

“Not to worry, happens to the best of us,” she replies kindly. “Come, sit down right here.”

As you walk towards her, you take a look at the lounge. The walls are painted red intertwined with green, most tastefully done despite them being normally contrasting shades. A few bookshelves rest in the corners, and large, red leather chairs line the walls. There are several glass tables of differing heights around the room, the largest of which Remilia is already seated at, Sakuya behind her holding a wooden box. Nathaniel and Patchouli sit off to the side, their chess match already underway. Meiling is close to the center table, half reading a book and half watching Remilia. You approach her and sit down, clunking the wine bottle on the table next to you.

“I ‘ope you don’t mind ‘f I took the bottle with,” you state. “Quite good stuff, this.”

She rolls her eyes playfully, and you think she might have mouthed the word, “Men” to herself. Sakuya places the box on the table and opens it, withdrawing a stack of cards.

“This, dear sir, is E-Card,” she explains. “A game of my own design, and I must say a very interesting one at that.” She has Sakuya spread the cards out on the table and begin to arrange them. You notice two things wrong with them: first, they’re not playing cards at all, but intricately drawn portraits of men in different color motifs, most of them blue. And second, there’s only ten cards on the table. How can you play a card game of skill with only ten cards?

Once Sakuya is finished, the cards are arranged into two sets of five. Four of the five on both sides are the blue-themed cards depicting working men in normal dress, with the words “Citizen” below them. On one side of the table there is an elegant gold card showing a rich king on his throne holding a scepter, captioned “Emperor”, and on the other side a blood red card with a gruesome portrayal of a skeletal creature breaking under the weight of an enormous load, a ball-and-chain clamped to his ankle. This card reads “Slave”.

Remilia looks extremely contented seeing the cards on the table, and talks to you in a sing-songish voice. “I hope you don’t mind if I explain a little of the history behind these cards while I go over the rules; it makes the game so much more interesting to think about.”

“The full name of this game is ‘Empire Card’, or more specifically ‘Emperor Card’. With just ten little cards and a few rules, it can tell the story of an entire nation. Each side holds five cards, one of them unique. We each take it in turns to play one card face down, then reveal them both. All cards have a strength…and a weakness.” She begins to overly one card over another as she explains this next critical set of rules.

“The Emperor governs his people and makes the commands. He holds the power to change the lives of the commoner for better or for worse. He could lend them money, offer them shelter, even promote their status. Or, with a word, he could execute them, send them to war, or make their lives worthless. The common man knows this, and thus abides by the law of the land; for if he wants to become great, he must first obey his king. Thus, the Emperor card defeats the Citizen.

“The Citizen, while by no means powerful or rich, is a free man. He may do whatever he wishes as long as he does not interfere with the law of his king. He can make his life better or worse as he wishes, through hard work or sloth. He has the rights and powers of any other man beside him in the streets; all are equal in the eyes of the emperor. Thus, a Citizen card will draw against another Citizen without result.

“While a citizen is not all powerful, he has far more strength than the indebted worker chained to his fate. He can own them, buy and sell them like cattle as he wishes. He may work them hard or soft as his whims tell him. He is the master over the weak man who has no freedom. Thus, the Citizen card defeats the Slave.”

“The Slave, who has nothing, has nothing to lose. His life is a living hell, only doomed to get worse, and eventually death takes him away. One day his emotions well up inside him and he revolts against his captors. They say nothing in the world is stronger than a creature with nothing to lose, and even great nations topple against the rebellion of mindless peasants waving sticks. Thus, the Slave…can destroy the Emperor.”

(A fool and his story…)
>> No. 20316
(…are soon parted.)

“You see now, don’t you?” she asks, more rhetorically that anything else. “It’s just like Rock-Paper-Scissors, except in this case there are eight scissors, and only one side has a paper or a rock. The rules really couldn’t be more simple. E-Card isn’t about complex strategy or blind luck; you have to read your opponent’s moves, predict which card they will play next. Do you understand?”

You understand, all right. You understand that this has to be some kind of trick. Rock-Paper-Scissors with cards? Not to mention that the player with the Slave has a four out of five chance of losing? If she is really the one who created this game, there must be something she knows that you don’t. But you dug your own grave: you let her pick the game she wanted to play. And anyways, this is all just for entertainment…right?

Despite all the uncertainties running through your head, you nod. “Yeah, it’s pretty clea’. Pretty simpl’. Though I musht say the Slave side looks stacked ‘gainst.”

She giggles. “That’s what makes it interesting! You have to try and discover when the Emperor will appear, and counter with the Slave immediately. Of course, we won’t be playing without a little…incentive.” She snaps a finger at Sakuya, who then pulls from the box a stack of gambling chips. They must be made out of pure ivory, painted with alternating leaves of red and gold foil. Sakuya counts out thirty chips to each of you and arranges them in three stacks of ten.

“As you can see, we each have thirty tokens. Since you are the challenger here, you may choose how many you wish to bet on a round. If you win, I give you that many chips; if you lose, you give me yours. However…” She picks up the Slave card and holds it up to eye level, artfully replacing her crimson eye with the crimson card. “As the Slave has an obvious disadvantage, it also comes with a bonus. If you win with the Slave, I will give you five times as many tokens as you bet. And even if you lose, you only forfeit your bet, not five times that.” She returns the Slave to the table and continues explaining. For such a “simple” game, she’s sure saying a lot about it.

“A round ends as soon as the Slave or the Emperor appears. The first player alternates each round. After every three rounds, we will switch sides and use each other’s cards. The game ends after twelve rounds. If we both still have tokens after the twelfth, the game is a draw; otherwise, whoever runs out of tokens first loses.”

She finally finishes her “simple” explanation of the game, and lets you think for a while. Thirty chips, twelve matches…that means you could play it safe and bet two each time, and still draw if you never won once. But at the same time…the game could be over in just one match if you bet high and win with the Slave. And on top of all that, you can always play big at first, then drop back if things go bad. But does Remilia expect you to win, lose, or draw? And what does she want you to do? This “simple” game has suddenly become extremely complex. Seems that the only way to get a good strategy going is to start playing the game.

“All righ’, Miss Remilia. I’m ready. Letsh start this.”

“A quick study, are you? Well I certainly hope you make this an enjoyable game for us all. Now, since you were so very kind to let me choose the game, I will let you set the terms. You may choose your side and whether you wish to play first or second. And, oh yes, one more small thing…” She curls her right hand around her lips again, giving you that feeling she’s plotting something. “Would you rather play for fun…or for real?”

[ ] Start with the Slave side
[ ] Start with the Emperor side

And…
[ ] Play first
[ ] Play second

And…
[ ] Play for “fun”
[ ] Play for “real”

Also, what did you do earlier?
[ ] Took the spectacles with you
[ ] Left the spectacles there

====================

Apologies if this segment seemed rather wordy, but the intricate nuances of E-Card must be explained to this adventurer, as well as to those of you who are ignorant of E-Card’s origins.

While I am here, I wish to ask you an out-of-story question, one that is most pertinent to the next several segments. How exactly do you wish to play E-Card? Would you like to specifically choose your actions for each independent round, or would you rather give me an umbrella-like strategy for the game as a whole, with periodic card choices here and there? Or perhaps, would you prefer I write shorter segments so that you may more accurately choose your game style? I ask this because any game contains a multitude of choices that must be taken into account, and I am not the one playing E-Card here; you are.

>>20304
The boards do not control you, my friend. You control yourself. The boards merely offer suggestions, which you accept or reject by your own free will. You are not a “Slave”…you are a “Citizen”.
>> No. 20317
[X] Play for “real”
[X] Took the spectacles with you

Since I have not seen Kaiji I leave the detailed decisions to those familiar with the game, until I have seen a round or two of it. Playing for "real" though will certainly be interesting, especially if we do not aim for a draw.
Taking the spectacles is just my curiosity and guessing, that it may be of importance, whether it being now or later.

I will also state my opinion to your out-of-story question:
I say shorter segments and a choice for each independant round for Anonymus, while you try your best to play as Remilia wihout taking our choices into consideration. This should make things interesting.

>>You are not a “Slave”…you are a “Citizen”.

Not 20304, but who is the emperor then...?
>> No. 20318
I dunno, but I would be amused if he 'wins' by playing the 'Invader' card - outside of the rules, the out-of-context scenario from elsewhere that wipes aside all the petty struggles that went before.
>> No. 20319
Hmm.... maybe I should start using my name and tripcodes? Almost feels like I'm spamming when I'm doing it like this.

In an addition to my response above (>>20318), the real interesting part comes in if you can remember the Creator/User/Destroyer spiel Nathaniel gave eariler.
>> No. 20320
[x] Start with the Slave side: "It think it more 'propriate to play the Slave."
[x] Play second: "But I think it more dramatic fer th' Emperor side to go first; 'til he makes his move th' Slave must respect decorum 'nd precedence."
[x] Play for “real”: "I'll stack th' odds 'gainst myself tonight, Remilia Scarlet; let's see if th' Slave truly can defeat th' Emperor."
[x] Took the spectacles with you.

>Would you like to specifically choose your actions for each independent round, or would you rather give me an umbrella-like strategy for the game as a whole, with periodic card choices here and there? Or perhaps, would you prefer I write shorter segments so that you may more accurately choose your game style?

Most important is the dialogue and emotional interplay as we observe the opponent and are observed, choosing what to say and what front we put on. So, I would have the first hand of every round be played card-by-card. The second and third can be glossed over, decided randomly, or if one side had gained some insight during the choice hand, played in that side's favor.
>> No. 20322
I fully expect mindfuck if Remi starts losing; Sakuya stopping time and exchanging the card we meant to play with another from our hand.

U.N. Owen, never forget that Remilia has the power to manipulate Fate; whether this a conscious or unconscious power is left up to you, but if Remilia becomes somehow convinced that we should win, it's probable we will. And vice-versa of course.
>> No. 20323
>>20320
Seconded. Everything.
>> No. 20324
>>20318

Turning over your card to find to everyone's surprise that it's a trump might be something Yukari would find amusing--a good way to end the game if it comes to a draw.
>> No. 20326
>>20318
Sounds like neither player wins in that scenario.

>>20320
The problem is that you take turns being the first one to place a card, so the other player can react to anything you've revealed while playing it. This game is all about "tells", not in the poker sense of revealing what you have, but in the strategic sense of revealing what you're going to do. The first play in a round usually isn't the most important one.


For anyone who hasn't seen Kaiji, episodes 16-22 cover the game of E-Card. Fukumoto invents a couple gambling games for the series that seem simplistic, but have incredible potential for psychological strategies and mind games. He then crafts the plot out of a great number of possible strategies, used both by Kaiji and his opponents and explained in depth.

Anyone who's voting should watch it (although there are some big spoilers if you skip ahead). Of course, the matches in this story may not become as complex and intense. And the penalty for losing might be less severe than having your eardrum drilled out...but then again, given our opponent, there's a good chance we'll end up betting our blood like in Akagi vs. Washizu.
>> No. 20327
>Sounds like neither player wins in that scenario.

/Exactly/. Farm-anon is drunk and playing a game against a 500-year old vamp who made up the rules. Thus, in an effort in 'win', he makes an omnious joke without realizing it.

Maybe call it the 'Barbarian' card instead though.
>> No. 20331
>>20327

>>Farm-anon is drunk

He only plays drunk. We were said, that he can handle his liqor well enough to not be significantly handicapped by it, but rather plays drunk so that Remi lets her guard down/goes Easy Mode on us.
>> No. 20333
[x] Start with the Slave side: "It think it more 'propriate to play the Slave."
[x] Play second: "But I think it more dramatic fer th' Emperor side to go first; 'til he makes his move th' Slave must respect decorum 'nd precedence."
[x] Play for “real”: "I'll stack th' odds 'gainst myself tonight, Remilia Scarlet; let's see if th' Slave truly can defeat th' Emperor."
[x] Took the spectacles with you.

Hmmm...
>> No. 20334
{X} Start with the Slave side: "It think it more 'propriate to play the Slave."
{X} Play second: "But I think it more dramatic fer th' Emperor side to go first; 'til he makes his move th' Slave must respect decorum 'nd precedence."
{X} Play for “real”: "I'll stack th' odds 'gainst myself tonight, Remilia Scarlet; let's see if th' Slave truly can defeat th' Emperor."
{X} Took the spectacles with you.

I like this~
>> No. 20338
[x] Start with the Slave side: "It think it more 'propriate to play the Slave."
[x] Play second: "But I think it more dramatic fer th' Emperor side to go first; 'til he makes his move th' Slave must respect decorum 'nd precedence."
[x] Play for “real”: "I'll stack th' odds 'gainst myself tonight, Remilia Scarlet; let's see if th' Slave truly can defeat th' Emperor."
[x] Took the spectacles with you.

Looks good.
>> No. 20339
Seeing as I have no particular experience with Emperor Card, and it looks like other anon are far more knowledgeable, I shall join the bandwagon in favor of a speedier resolution.

[x] Start with the Slave side: "It think it more 'propriate to play the Slave."
[x] Play second: "But I think it more dramatic fer th' Emperor side to go first; 'til he makes his move th' Slave must respect decorum 'nd precedence."
[x] Play for “real”: "I'll stack th' odds 'gainst myself tonight, Remilia Scarlet; let's see if th' Slave truly can defeat th' Emperor."
[x] Took the spectacles with you.

This looks like fun.
>> No. 20344
[x] Start with the Slave side
[x] Play second
[x] Play for “real”
[x] Took the spectacles with you
>> No. 20351
[Start with the Slave side: "Ah think ‘tis more 'propriate for me to play the Slave."]
[Play second: "But I think it more dramatic fer th' Emperor side to go first; 'til he makes his move th' Slave must respect decorum 'nd precedence."]
[Play for “real”: "I'll stack th' odds 'gainst myself tonight, Remilia Scarlet; let's see if th' Slave truly can defeat th' Emperor."]
[You took the spectacles with you.]

In an action-reaction game such as this, it’s definitely the best choice to go second the first round, just to get a feel for the game. Playing Slave or Emperor is a tough choice, but you decide to start with the Slave side; best to start off at the hardest point and get easier. Now, as for her foreboding comment about “for fun or for real”…what does it really mean? You can only assume that “for real” means you’ll be gambling with more than just chips in the end, though exactly what is pretty fuzzy. It could be money, it could be service…it could be your life for all you know! And yet…Remilia wants to “match wits” with you. She wants to see how good you are at cards, to see you at your best. And the only way you can play your absolute best is when you put something important to the stake, something “real”.

“Well miss,” you finally reply, “I think ‘tis more 'propriate for me to play the Slave firs’. Isn’t much’a fun to start wit’ the good odds, you know? But atta same time, I think it more dramatic fer th' Emperor side to go first; 'til he makes his move th' Slave must respect decorum 'nd precedence. As for this ‘reality’ business you talk about…let’s play for real. I'll stack the odds ‘gainst myself tonight, Lady Remilia Tepes-Scarlet; let's see if th' Slave truly can defeat th' Emperor.”

Though your insights are garbled with drunken stammers, Remilia is definitely impressed with your choices, though she says nothing. She scoops up the Emperor-side cards, and you do the same with the Slave.

“Sir, how much do you wish to wager on your first match?” Sakuya asks you courteously, acting as the impartial judge and scorekeeper.

“Jus’ two chips to start, Miss Maid. Nothin’ big on meh’ first try, ‘specially with the Slave.”

She picks up two chips from your pile and ten from Remilia’s, stacking them all in between the two groups. Remilia thumbs through her cards for a few seconds, looking at them and you playfully. She seemingly picks a card at random and places it on the table, face down.

This is it, your first choice. You stare down the card already played, analyzing it’s back for no real reason. Would she try and catch you off your guard by playing the Emperor the very first time? She’s staring at you, smirking, betraying nothing. It’s only two chips…dare you take her bait and play the Slave? But no, surely she wouldn’t play her trump card when you have a chance to read her face before choosing yourself? She’d play it safe, use a Citizen, force you to second-guess yourself, right? Unless your drunken rouse is already in effect, and she expects you in your “drunken” confusion to start safe with a Citizen. She wouldn’t notice that soon, would she? Or can she already see through you?

No. You bet two chips because you want to start safe, get a feel for the game. No sense to start off gambling like a fool. You decide to lay down a Citizen. She places her hand on her card, and you do the same, waiting…anticipating.

“Cards set!” Sakuya announces. “Open!”

You both reveal the cards at the same time. Citizen vs. Citizen. So, she played it safe too, did she?

The cards are moved to the side, and Remilia stares at you intently. “”What to play, what to play…I wonder…” Her words sound innocent enough, but in this sort of game they can really get on a person’s nerves. You both sit silently for minutes on end.

“You know,” Remilia comments, “It can’t be this hard to choose so early in the game with all your chips intact. You could choose almost anything and it’d be a safe play, you know?”

“I will play wha’ I shall…after you play your’n,” you reply.

Her faces turns down a little and she shakes her head. “No no, it’s your play next. Did I forget to tell you? The first player alternates every turn as well as every game. Otherwise it would be too predictable. You choose first on the second and fourth plays of this round.”

The heck is this? Did she actually forget, or is she just adding in new rules to mess with you? You wipe the sweat off your brow and look at your cards. She gets to read your face this turn then…can you hold in your anxiety well enough to play the Slave? Maybe she expects you to use the Slave now as an act of rebellion for “forgetting” to tell you the rules. “You can choose almost anything and it’d be a safe play…” Did she just give you a hint that she’s playing a Citizen this turn? She wouldn’t really be that open…would she?

[ ] Play the Slave
[ ] Play a Citizen

*If you win, you will have 40 chips to Remilia’s 20.
*If you lose, you will have 28 chips to Remilia’s 32.

====================

Taking the spectacles with you shall be duly noted, though if they become important later…who can say?

Also, I/Remilia neglected to mention that the “first player” alternates with every play, not just every round, as she belatedly stated during the story. Hopefully I have not forgotten any more of the rules to E-Card; my personal computing device is weak, and cannot easily play the Kaiji episodes I would wish to watch. If I do forget, please alert me, and Remilia will…”adjust” the rules accordingly.

I have opted for shorter segments with more voter involvement during the E-Card match. Barring this first round, of course, I will always give you the opportunity to set whatever bet you wish before the next round starts. To keep the story moving, I will temporarily reduce the winning vote number from five to three. Card choices may not always be regular, but I will give you at bare minimum three card picks per set of three rounds. I also encourage you to discuss any and all game strategies you may think of with each other, where I can read them as well. I will need all the user input I can get to make this battle of wits “for real”.

>>20322
>I fully expect mindfuck if Remi starts losing; Sakuya stopping time and exchanging the card we meant to play with another from our hand.
It is a worthwhile option to consider. However, what would she gain by doing so? Only your suspicion of her foul play, and I doubt she wants that. She can just as easily tug at the strings of your brain with conventional tactics. Remember, in Kaiji, Tonegawa didn’t need to be an “esper” to make the hero cry, and cry buckets at that.

>U.N. Owen, never forget that Remilia has the power to manipulate Fate; whether this a conscious or unconscious power is left up to you, but if Remilia becomes somehow convinced that we should win, it's probable we will. And vice-versa of course.
Ohoho, sleep well, my friend. The tangled web of Fate touches more than you can imagine…
>> No. 20352
>>20351
[X] Play a Citizen

I flipped a coin.
>> No. 20354
I think there's another rule missing. You can't play a card without having looked at it, so blindly choosing at random won't work.

[x] Play the Slave
Remi will likely play the Emperor either now or on the fourth turn. Somehow I don't think she'll carefully hold back in the first round, when she has an advantage.

Of course, since we don't have any experience playing E-Card yet, she might be willing to play the Emperor on the third turn, even though we can observe her after having played her card then.

Us not having experience also makes it less likely that she keeps the Emperor until the fifth turn, because we might be too careful and keep our Slave till then.
>> No. 20355
>“You can choose almost anything and it’d be a safe play…”

We're on the slave side. That means we have to lead her, even if it means throwing away some of our hands.

[x] Dally on this choice. Let your anxieties bleed through: Remember that you have no way of getting home and no way of sustaining yourself if you leave (if they will even allow you to); you are entirely at the mercy of the creature sitting in front of you.
[x] Play the Slave.
[x] Fake a tell: Drum your fingernails on the table as you wait for her play.
>> No. 20356
You're doing a great job with this by the way.
>> No. 20357
[x] Play the Slave

You, my friend, who I now dislike greatly, YOU have caused me to go through 18 episodes of Kaiji in ONE sitting just so that I may know the psychological wonder of this E-card business.

While I input this vote, I shall continue to watch Kaiji while listening to the drill echo throughout my eardrum, with all due thanks to my headphones.

Disregard my previous comment on disliking you, you are a wonderful author.
>> No. 20359
>>20351
>If I do forget, please alert me, and Remilia will…”adjust” the rules accordingly.
I'm afraid I see several problems, one of them serious:

1. Emperor side always plays first, due to the natural disadvantage of the Slave side. This one is difficult, as she already gave us the option to play first. Fortunately for continuity's sake, she ended up going first anyway. It might be easier for you to just declare a retcon on this.

2. The player must look at the card they choose before playing it, to discourage random play. You could just have Remi mention this after the hand is over.

3. Kaiji was given two handicaps:
* He decides the bet for every hand
* He doesn't bet 5 times as much when playing the Emperor side (the bet is even)
It seems like Remi is giving us the same handicaps, but the second wasn't explicitly stated. You need to clarify this by the time we start playing the Emperor side.

4. Tonegawa set a 5 minute time limit on choosing a card, but this was implied to be optional. Just mentioning it in case you forgot.
>> No. 20361
[x] Dally on this choice. Let your anxieties bleed through: Remember that you have no way of getting home and no way of sustaining yourself if you leave (if they will even allow you to); you are entirely at the mercy of the creature sitting in front of you.
[x] Play the Slave.
[x] Fake a tell: Drum your fingernails on the table as you wait for her play.

do this, lose(or hell, win maybe but probably not), then on emperor round bet 5 and play emperor first and remain calm. If we win second round like this it'll give her the feeling that we're easy to read and when we have the advantage we become bold and confident like a true drunk should.
>> No. 20363
>>20361
>then on emperor round bet 5 and play emperor first and remain calm. If we win second round like this
We switch slave/emperor side every 3 rounds. Also, I can hardly figure out what your plan here is.
>> No. 20368
>>20361
>do this, lose(or hell, win maybe but probably not), then on emperor round bet 5 and play emperor first and remain calm. If we win second round like this it'll give her the feeling that we're easy to read and when we have the advantage we become bold and confident like a true drunk should.

It should follow from your post, but a strategy like this will only work once and has to be followed through in its entirety. We'll continue losing for the same reasons, until our last round as the Slave. That is when we'll make our move, betting all our coins in apparent desperation.

Remilia plays not to just win, but to dominate. If we play our part well, she'll think by then to have us completely understood: "The Citizen will pass. She won't play the Emperor first. It should be alright." Believing this weak-willed hope has moved us (and boredom already setting in from our poor performance), she will not be able to restrain herself from "killing" us right then and there in the most dramatic fashion.
>> No. 20372
[Dally on this choice. Let your anxieties bleed through: Remember that you have no way of getting home and no way of sustaining yourself if you leave (if they will even allow you to); you are entirely at the mercy of the creature sitting in front of you.]
[Play the Slave.]
[Fake a tell: Drum your fingernails on the table as you wait for her play.]

====================

You’ve got it. It’s as brilliant an idea as the tipsy charade you’re playing right now. Boosting Remilia’s ego from the start might make her judge you too quickly, and that’s just what you want. You can play the Slave now, then lead her into thinking exactly what she should think, making her play a Citizen for the win. You’ll lose two chips, but you’ll gain a mental advantage. But you’ve got to make it convincing…got to worry over it…

You flutter your fingers over the Slave nervously, flicking your eyes from the cards to the table to Miss Scarlet. Your hostess…your opponent…your lifeline? Yes, yes, your lifeline. How else can you describe her? She’s housing you, giving you food, giving you clothes, “protecting” you from the dangers of this Gensokyo…she has everything that you need right now. Why did you suddenly become so dependant upon another person? What were you thinking, surrendering to a complete stranger? Locked doors, locked doors…will she even let you leave if you want to? Grabbing a hold of the corner, you slide your card cautiously into the center. Your fingers tap on the table, waiting for her next move. Her luscious red eyes sweep over you, taking in every detail. Your fingers drum on the glass even faster. No, what are you doing? You grab the champagne bottle and take a drink, averting your eyes from the game just a moment.

“Watch yourself, dear,” she comments to you casually. “I wouldn’t want you losing your mind to alcohol just when you need it the most.” She still hasn’t picked a card yet. Is she fishing for a response from you?

“No worries, m’lady. This game ‘ure can leave a man parched, but I’ham in control, not th’ bottle.”

Whether or not she discovered anything from the exchange, you can’t tell. In either case, her card is shortly set confidently onto the playing field. “The bottle doesn’t know you’re playing a high-stakes game, though, does it?” she inquires, expecting no response from you.

“Cards set! Open!”

Your fingers grow tight on the card as you slowly revolve it upright. The Slave’s cavernous stare is free for all the world to see; it feels so…vulnerable. Your eyes pan over to Remilia’s card, wondering what…

Citizen.

She’s smiling with interest at the cards. “How interesting…how dangerous…you risk much on your first exchange.” No more than she risks by assuming too much, though.

“Two chip’ isn’t much righ’ now,” you answer, remaining composed. “Might a’ well get th’ bad plays done and o’er.”

She watches you pick up your cards intently. Did you do it? Does she think you made an honest mistake? Were your “tells” too obvious? But then again, if they were…why did she play Citizen? If she knew your plan, wouldn’t she have “beat” you at your own game by playing the Emperor? Or are ten chips too much to gamble with for her? E-Card sure makes you ask yourself a lot of questions.

Sakuya stacks the pool of chips back onto Remilia’s pile. “The score is now 32-28, Scarlet’s favor. Your next wager, sir?”

[ ] Place your bet

=====================

>>20359
I thank you for your insight. #1 can be alleviated considering Remilia herself let you choose the terms you wanted in the spirit of “kindness” over the actual rules of the game (challenger starts with Emperor and plays first). I receive a vibe from Remilia that she may be the kind of person who bends rules just enough to make a situation more interesting for her. She wants what she wants, and she wants to get what she wants. If you wished to handicap yourself by going first on the Slave side, who is she to stop you? #2 is a valid point, and Remilia will likely mention it at the most inopportune time as a power play, considering it is a small enough rule to be “conveniently” forgotten during setup. #3 is also valid; I shall make sure to re-specify the terms when the time comes. As for #4…the comedic devil on my shoulder says that Remilia would rather whine maliciously about sloth and indecision than to set a fast turn limit, but I will take it under consideration. Thank you again.

>>20356
>>20357
Exuberance!
>> No. 20374
[x] 1 chip
>> No. 20377
[x] 2 chips
>> No. 20379
[x] 1 chip
[x] You're playing on a glass table, which is a little odd. Stretch and yawn, and while doing so look around to see if you can spot any reflective surfaces that could show Remilia your hand or the cards placed down on the table.

Play it safe on the Slave hands right now and work on maintaining your "tells".
>> No. 20384
Oh yes, this'll be awesome.

[X] 2 chips.

Since we'll still have 26 after this hand, at the very least.
>> No. 20385
>>20377
>>20384
"That extra 1 is the fat, the excess flesh of your soul, Kaiji-kun."
>> No. 20390
>>20385
But we're not Kaiji.
>> No. 20391
>>20390

I see nothing gets past this guy.
>> No. 20394
In any case, we are still lacking at least one vote.
>> No. 20395
[x] 1 chip

Now Remilia will mock our failing bravery. Just as planned.
>> No. 20396
>>20391
^^;
>> No. 20397
[1 Chip]

Considering your first round was nothing more than a gambit, perhaps you should really try and win a hand with the Slave side. However, you’re still learning, so it’s best to lay low for a while longer. You’ll get your chance to bet big, but now’s not the time yet.

“Mhmmm, jus’ one chip this time ah think. Don’t wanna waste everythin’ right off the bat with the Slave.”

“Down from two to one?” Remilia jives. “With an attitude like that we’ll draw out with time to spare. Draws are so boring.”

You ignore her and watch Sakuya move one chip from your pile and five from Miss Scarlet’s. It’s your first move, now. Hmm, how to plan this…You’ve got to play first now, the third, and the final play. Three do-or-die chances for Remilia to read you.

So, Remilia hates draws, does she? It could be a clue that she won’t hold her power card for the last play. And you’d rather not expose yourself with the Slave at the beginning; too high a risk. You place a Citizen down on the table; it’ll be the center plays which determine this hand.

As Remilia ponders her play, you look around at the table. It’s made of glass…wait, a glass gambling table? Whose idea was that? You weave you head around as you fake a yawn, seeing if you can catch any sort of reflection. Nothing at first, but then you realize the uncanny cleanliness of the table. It’s clear…too clear. In fact, there’s no glare on it whatsoever. It’s definitely glass-sounds like it, feels like it-but for all intents and purposes you might as well be playing on a sheet of solid air. Then again, perhaps you could find a reflective surface on the ground and reflect it underneath the face-down cards? Except such a ploy would be as clear as day to anyone who looked down, not difficult considering all the focus on the table. Seems the table is almost made to laugh at your attempts at cheating.

“Cards set! Open!”

You didn’t even realize that Remilia had chosen. The cards flip over: Citizen vs. Citizen.

“Oh dear, now what? Should I play my little Emperor now? Could you read it in my eyes?” She twirls the Emperor card in her fingers for you to see, then adds a Citizen to the mix, still deftly spinning both of them. “Maybe I should just let fate decide, hmm?” With a lightning fast flourish she sweeps all her cards into a single stack on the table and spins the top card towards the table’s center. She makes a little mock pout and holds her hand to her head in “distress”. “Oh no! I forgot which card I played down! How will I ever hope to win now?” She gives a slight devilish cackle disguised as a cough, and looks at you sternly. “Random chance isn’t something I’ll allow in this game. No random guessing, no random picking of cards, no random betting of tokens. Both players must be fully aware of what they do at all times. This is minds at war…not chance at war”

Great, another rule to add to the list. Not to mention that whole card-spinning trick. How can actions so frivolous be so…aggravating? No; can’t let the anger get to you. Stay focused, stay in the game. You can do it, you can read her face, you can see the card in her eyes. It’s only logical that the Slave side would play it’s trump when it has the advantage of turn order. Remilia knows it, and she must know you know as well. She expects the Slave…no, she wants the Slave! What is a Citizen to her? At worst it’s a draw, at best a win. She could play them all night, mess with your mind, break you, and then she could play the Emperor face-up and it wouldn’t matter!

Although…you played the Slave second last game, lost, and reduced your bet. She saw you become more cautious. Cautious people wait for odds to be in their favor; they wait until the best moment. If you were “cautious” you’d play the Slave fourth. A cautious person wouldn’t make the same mistake twice, wouldn’t do the exactly same thing twice. In which case, she must have played the Emperor down now; the card flourish was completely meaningless.

[ ] Play the Slave
[ ] Play a Citizen
>> No. 20398
>>20396

ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 20399
[x] Remember your despairing situation; look away from Remilia's face, at the table, and drum your fingernails as you make your decision.
[x] Play the Slave

It's what she wants isn't it? Let's show her that we're a slow learner.

And if we do win, then this will only serve to reify our tell.
>> No. 20400
[X] Play a Citizen

Create a trend.
>> No. 20402
Very well then. I propose devising a betting strategy, which will ensure our survival and might even bring us a grand victory.

This is all assuming that Remi gives as the same two handicaps Kaiji was given.

Foremost, the obvious:
1) Keep betting a single chip on slave matches.
2) Never bet more then ourChips - (turnsLeft + 1) chips, so we have a way to safely end the match in a draw. Keep at least 13, 12, 11, ..., 1 chips.

Since we are betting chips, which can be replenished, as opposed to the centimeters Kaiji was betting, we can make up for our lost rounds.

Now, let's assume a worst case scenario in which we lose all our slave matches, we will be left with 23 chips vs Remi's 37 chips. If we actually do win one or more slave matches, that's cool and allows for more flexibility down the line. With a single won slave match, we might even be able to win with only 3 won emperor matches.

What's left to ponder are our 6 emperor matches. We will probably lose one or two of these. If we lose three or more, it is safe to say that we were not fated to win this game, so let's simply not consider this case beyond our obvious draw strategy.

There are some different approaches to betting on the emperor matches:

(A bet marked X is assumed a lost round.)


Distributed
===========

Try to evenly distribute our bets. If Remi wins, we increase our future bets to compensate. Pretty safe, unless Remi wins the last round. This weakness can be rectified by aiming higher, again possibly ending the match before the last round.

a) 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 OR 7X, 9, 9, 9, 9, 8 OR 7, 6X, 9, 9, 9, 9 OR 7, 6X, 9, 9X, 18, 18 ...: This is the basic method. If we lose two rounds in a row, we can't safely win either.
b) 9, 9, 9, 10X, 15, 15 OR 9X, 11, 12, 12, 12, 0 OR 9X, 11, 12X, 13, 17, 17 ...: Since the game might end before the last rounds, this one is more resilient against late wins by Remi. We still can't lose two times in a row.

With this strategy, the last rounds are the most dangerous.


Risky Start
===========

Try to end the game by depleting Remi's chip reservoir before the game is over by betting higher in the first matches. All of these strategies start by betting the maximum possible at that point, which is 17 and winning the first round, which means it is 43:17 for us before the first emperor round, and 40:20 before the fourth round. Let's have a look:

c) 17, 17X, 17, 20X, 20, 20: We can win before having played three rounds as emperor. If we lose the first round, there is no way to recover and we have to go for a draw. Afterwards, we win as long as we don't lose two times in a row.
d) 17, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4 OR 17, 4X, 6, 6, 6, 6 OR 17, 4X, 6X, 10, 10, 10 ...: Depending on when we lose. Here we start high, go low and increase the later bets to compensate for lost rounds. This combines the high risk from the first bet, with the risk of Remi winning later rounds, preventing us from compensating. Of course, this can be converted into a).
e) 17, 7, 7, 6 OR 17, 7X, 6, 7, 7, 7 OR 17, 7X, 6, 7X, 14, 14 OR 17, 7X, 6X, 7, 13, 14 ...: This is a combination of b) with d). The first round is still risky, but it's the only variant where we may lose two rounds in a row.

With this strategy, the game might be decided after Round 4. Unless we tempt our luck and leave the safe betting area.


So far I'm most inclined towards Distributed b). Risky Start e) might be ok too. It starts nice, and flashy, but if we lose the first emperor round the rest of the game will be boring. If anybody has different suggestions, I would be most pleased to hear them.
>> No. 20403
[x] Remember your despairing situation; look away from Remilia's face, at the table, and drum your fingernails as you make your decision.
[x] Play the Slave
>> No. 20409
>>20402
I am struck by awe at this intricate and developed system you have created. It is difficult for me to understand it, but I can see that it has great potential, and I laud you for your analysis. But do you expect to win this game by the power of statistics alone?

Once again it is my unfortunate duty to remind you that my Wednesday schedule is packed to the brim. I have but the briefest of windows from 1:30 to 2:00 P.M. Eastern American Time, during which I will attempt to regale you with this round's conclusion if three votes has in fact been reached. Otherwise, you must tarry until the evening without me.
>> No. 20412
> But do you expect to win this game by the power of statistics alone?
E-Card is a game of psychology and statistics. The former is hard to predict at this point in time, but we seem to be doing decently at it. But even with well thought out ways to win the individual rounds, an unwise bet, and bad prediction can still send our game into shambles. It's better to plan ahead where you can.

Still, if we do well on our slave matches, we might win without giving as much thought to the statistical part.
>> No. 20414
I rewatched ep 16 and wrote down all the rules to E-Card:
http://pastebin.com/f3bed041
Let me know if there's anything wrong/missing.


It should be pointed out that there are two very important differences between our situation and Kaiji's:
1. Kaiji would either recieve money after winning a hand, or have the drill get closer after losing. These results were unconnected; there was no way to lose this money or have the drill move back. However, we are betting with chips, and exchanging them after each hand. Rather than an game of endurance to see how much money can be won before the losses become too great, we are playing a game of balance, of give and take. We can lose our winnings and win back our losses.
2. We are (apparently) not aiming to win any specific amount. Rather than desperately reaching for a great enough victory, we can settle for coming out ahead, if not just breaking even.
>> No. 20415
This is quite right, although simply coming out ahead still won't be anything but a draw.

> The game ends after twelve rounds. If we both still have tokens after the twelfth, the game is a draw; otherwise, whoever runs out of tokens first loses.
>> No. 20417
We still need some votes.
>> No. 20418
A most unfortunate circumstance, that I cannot continue the story during my small window of peace due to voting shortage. I shall return six hours hence, and hope that my tale may continue from there.

For now, farewell.
>> No. 20419
[x] Remember your despairing situation; look away from Remilia's face, at the table, and drum your fingernails as you make your decision.
[x] Play the Slave
>> No. 20420
[x] Remember your despairing situation; look away from Remilia's face, at the table, and drum your fingernails as you make your decision.
[x] Play the Slave

It's now or never.
>> No. 20421
[Remember your despairing situation; look away from Remilia's face, at the table, and drum your fingernails as you make your decision.]
[Play the Slave]

You avert your face from the playing area for a while, unable to cope with Miss Remilia’s piercing stares any longer. Slave, Citizen, Slave, Citizen…what did she play? What would you play? What wouldn’t you play? The word “play” dances through your mind, mocking you. This isn’t “play”, you yourself rebuked that hope. No, something big is at stake here, and without knowing what it is, your only solid shot is to bluff your way through the Slave matches while faking Remilia out with your “tells”, then turn the tables with some big bets on the Emperor side. You vibrate the fingernails of your first two fingers on the glass, freeing the excess energy from your body one iota at a time. You can still feel her eyes on you, observing your every move.

Slave. You’ll play the Slave now. You have to. By the fourth turn it’ll be too late; it has to be now. It’s only one chip, right? What’s one chip amongst twenty-eight? You fix your composure back into a solid state, then place the Slave down onto the glass.

“Cards set! Open!”

There’s you little Slave again, still plodding along on his hopeless quest. But on the other side…Emperor?! Remilia played the Emperor?! It’s impossible to not crack a smile at your luck.

“Hmm hmm,” she sighs, looking at the cards, “Same play twice? What a risky move for a weak Slave. Do you really think you can do that all game?”

You can’t resist returning her little jive with one of your own. “Whe’er I can or not, miss, these tokens ‘r mine now.” You pull the six shiny coins back to your side of the table, then return your cards to your hand, shuffling them around a little for good measure.

Sakuya announces the tally yet again. “The score is now 33-27, Guest’s favor. Your next wager?”

You think about this for a moment. Winning on the Slave side has suddenly opened your mind to an intriguing new possibility. By betting only 6 chips here and now, you could win this game immediately. Sure, it’s a one-in-five long shot, but perhaps it’s worth it before Remilia really starts to use some serious mind-games on you. Then again, two matches may not be enough for Remilia to be fooled by your false antics just yet, especially not on the Slave side. Maybe you should just wait for your Emperor rounds to start bringing the heat.

[ ] Place your bet
>> No. 20422
[x] 1 chip

Let's keep going.
>> No. 20424
[X]3 chips
>> No. 20425
[x] 1 chip

This hand we go first; we want to convince Remilia that we are cautious during Slave rounds.
>> No. 20428
[X] 1 chip.

This seems to me the safer route, and so I take it. Besides, I do not think Remilia would fall for such a trick, not this soon. Or maybe she is thinking this and intends to make an advantage out of reverse psychology?
>> No. 20430
>>20425
Don't we go second now? Since we're taking turns on that, apparently.
>> No. 20432
[X] 6 chips

Remilia wants us to make her life interesting. Kick reason to the curb.
>> No. 20438
>>20437
If I may so ask, what is the purpose in betting more than 6 anyway? Excuse my lack of earlier attention to detail, but do we have to obey the 5 times wager when we are on the emperor side? If not, then this is explained.
>> No. 20439
I pondered the betting strategies some more. Considering our recent slave win, I have come to the conclusion that, with a maximum of two lost emperor rounds, strategy b) is indeed the best way.

Summary:
- Bet 1 on every slave match.
- Bet according to the following list on emperor matches:

8 8 8 7
8 8 8 7X 14
8 8 8 7X 14X 28
8 8 8X 12 11
8 8 8X 12 11X 22
8 8 8X 12X 18 17
8 8X 11 10 10
8 8X 11 10 10X 20
8 8X 11 10X 15 15
8 8X 11X 14 14 14
8X 10 10 10 9
8X 10 10 10 9X 18
8X 10 10 10X 15 14
8X 10 10X 13 13 13
8X 10X 7 14 14 14

As in >>20402, an X means a lost hand. For the first match, you bet according to the line with no X. You continue using that line (8 8 8 7) until you lose a hand. Then you switch over to the corresponding line.

Example: You bet 8 according to the first line and lose the first match. Now you look for the line with a single X at the first match (8X 10 10 10 9) and bet 10. You lose again, so you look for the line with an X for both of the first matches (8X 10X 7 14 14 14) and bet 7, then 14, then 14, and 14 again.

Of course, if you feel like kicking reason to the curb, or consider this--uh--gamebreaking, feel free to disregard my post.

Now, enough with the minimax babbling. I shall go back to silently enjoying this wonderful story.
>> No. 20440
Please excuse the post deletion, I had to change the tables a bit more.

>>20438
We most probably will not have to bet five times the amount as emperor. At least assuming we get the same handicaps as Kaiji.
>> No. 20441
>>20439

Nice Martingale you got there. Too bad those don't work.
>> No. 20443
This is not a Martingale. It will work, as long as we do not lose more than two matches as emperor. Feel free to simulate at your leisure.
>> No. 20449
[x] 1 chip
>> No. 20455
[1 chip]

As tempting as an instant win may be, you feel that it’s simply not the right time to try such a stunt. Best to just wait out your last Slave match with a single-chip bet again. You’ll get the Emperor side next turn anyways, and you can tell that those matches are going to determine the game. A card player you may be, but an all-or-nothing gambler you are not.

You take another drink from your wine bottle, then reply. “1 chip again, if ya’ don’t mind.”

You can hear Remilia making little tisk-tisk noises at you. “Really, this again? I’m starting to wonder whether I should make you play by the old rules or not…”

Old rules? That’s it, you can’t take this anymore. She may have created this game, thought it out piece by piece until she knew everything, but there’s no fairness in changing the game every time things don’t go her way. What kind of spoiled aristocrat is she, if she thinks she can get away with blatantly adding rules like this?

You stand up, reinforcing the words you are about to say, though you sway a little while doing so. “Missh Scarlet, while I am a simple man that don’ like confrontation much, I at leasht know to play fair. I agreed on th’ rules you set ‘fore we started, but I din’ say nothing about adding new ‘uns. Either stick to wha’ you told me first all th’ way though, or find yourself ‘nother opponent.”

She looks at you with intrigue for a few moments, then reluctantly nods and motions you back down. “Fine, fine, of course you are right. It’s selfish of me to act like that. Very well, no more new rules, no more changing of old ones. You don’t need to make the game any more interesting that you want to.” You return to your seat, and she snuggles back into hers, suddenly looking rather content. “Actually,” she adds, peering into her hand, “this game is as interesting as you want to make it. You could treat it like any old game of cards if you want, choosing your plays without devotion or meaning. But if you really play the game, everything you want is right there. Smiles and sadness, courage and caution, pain and pride…nothing’s quite so fun as the fun you make for yourself. Don’t you agree?” She doesn’t wait for your response to place her card upon the table, smiling as she does.

You reply with a congenial affirmation, but are more concentrated on other things. You need to start really observing Remilia, watch her mannerisms, looking for any possible tells. Once the Emperor rounds come up, you’ll need every possible scrap of information you can get to win as fast as possible. However, she seems to have the worst poker face in the world, now that you think about it. She’s always grinning and chuckling to herself, flicking her finger back and forth between her cards, every now and then whispering something to herself. It’s like a game to her; she’s not taking it seriously at all.

The words you think to yourself suddenly sound so stupid. She thinks it’s a game? Of course she does, it is a game! But that’s just it: this is nothing but a game to her. “Nothing’s quite so fun as the fun you make for yourself,” she said. She’s not hardening her face and being serious, because that’s probably not “fun” for her. That’s also probably why she’s so annoyed at your low bets: playing it safe and easy isn’t “fun” either. You wonder if her losing a massive amount of chips would be “fun” or not.

You try and keep your eye on her, searching for something, anything that might assist you. It doesn’t take long before you realize that it’s no good. Not because she betrays nothing, but because she seems to betray even more than she possibly could. Twirling a lock of her wavy hair, playing with the chips on her pile, gnawing a manicured fingernail with her pearly-white teeth…she’s got more tells than you can count. But they’re all meaningless. She could have one real tell masked behind five others, or they could all be fake. Even if you knew how to read her, what would you be reading? Is she antsy because she played her Emperor, or is she antsy because she wondering when she should? Or is she simply “making her own fun” by faking you out, and all these tells are merely her twiddling her thumbs in impatience?

[ ] Play the Slave
[ ] Play a Citizen

*If you win, you will have 38 chips to Remilia’s 22.
*If you lose, you will have 32 chips to Remilia’s 28.
>> No. 20456
[x] Play a Citizen
[x] Study Remilia's face carefully as you play the Citizen; show no hesitation.

This is the least safe time for her to play Emperor, given that we've been playing Slave early so far and that she went first. While we want to be able to play Slave so we can reinforce our "Slave" tell, we also need to start holding it until later in the hand and work on our "Citizen" tells as well.
>> No. 20457
[ ] Play a Citizen
[ ] Study Remilia's face carefully as you play the Citizen; show no hesitation

I wonder if she's trying to see if we're playing seriously
>> No. 20458
[x] Play a Citizen
[x] Study Remilia's face carefully as you play the Citizen; show no hesitation.
>> No. 20459
>>20456
On the other hand, what are the chances that we'd play the Slave three times in a row? If I were her, I'd play the Emperor now.

Hmm, what to do, what to do?
>> No. 20463
>>20459
This is the first play of this hand. We always played the slave during the second.
>> No. 20465
...Did anyone think to consider Remilia is well aware that we're faking it, and by using our tactic right back at us, simultaneously mocking us while letting us know that she knows what we're doing?
>> No. 20466
>>20465

Nice try, Anonymous, but it is actually I who is behind you!
>> No. 20467
>>20465
>...Did anyone think to consider Remilia is well aware that we're faking it

Of course we have, but we're trying to impress her here. Even if we lose, we show her we possess cunning as well as the balls to use it. Even a complete rout is going to end up better for us than a draw as far as Remilia's interest in us is concerned.

>and by using our tactic right back at us

But she isn't. She's giving us too much information to process regardless of whether it's genuine or not, while we're attempting to show her only small amounts of sham information. Basically we're trying to lead her, rather than read her.
>> No. 20469
[x] Play the Slave

I get the feeling Remilia played the Emperor.
>> No. 20472
So that other anon feel more free to vote thus:

[X] Play the slave.

She could go either way.
>> No. 20473
[♱] Play a Citizen
[♱] Study Remilia's face carefully as you play the Citizen; show no hesitation.

>>20472
>So that other anon feel more free to vote

But you're a namefag, so yeah!
>> No. 20475
[Play a Citizen]
[Study Remilia's face carefully as you play the Citizen; show no hesitation.]

The Citizen leaves your hands slowly, but confidently. She knows you’ve been playing the Slave early so far, and if you’ve got a chance to read her now (whether or not she actually is readable), you doubt she’ll try the Emperor so early. The second or third play, maybe, but not now. As you cement your Citizen onto the table, you look at your opponent’s face, your own extremely serious. Still no luck; her visage is all smiles, completely relaxed. If she’s not going to treat this game seriously, then there’s nothing for her to be worried about, and hence, nothing for you to read.

“Cards set! Open!”

You quickly flip over your own card, but Remilia hesitates with hers until after you’ve revealed the Citizen. She winks at you mischievously. “I have to hand it to you, you’re a risky man to start with the Slave side and play it so early; twice in a row, even. Just…not risky enough.”

She bends her card around to reveal…the golden Emperor. Wha? What was she thinking? It must have been a “fun” gamble on her part; she can’t predict you that well yet, can she? Although…if she knows your drunken rouse is fake, as well as your finger tapping, could all that fiddling she did last round be her message to you that she knows? But even then, why would she play the Emperor if you didn’t reveal anything this time? She’s either very good, or just very lucky, but you don’t know enough about the game yet to determine which.

You toss your cards onto the table and let Remilia pick them up as she passes you hers. The Emperor feels good in your hands. Power…probability…security…you’ve got a true trump card now. This is where you start to show Remilia just how “fun” you can be…

“Now remember,” Remlia chides, “You won’t be getting your little five-to-one bonus anymore. It’s strictly one for one now. Are you finally going to start betting like a man now, or am I going to have to give up and send you to bed early like a little child?”

[ ] Place your bet

[ ] Also, optional choice: return Miss Scarlet’s comment twofold with one of your own! Please write-in your response, and the emotion you wish to convey.

====================

>>20466
Nice try, Remilia, but it is actually I who is behind you!
>> No. 20477
[x] 8 chips
>> No. 20479
[x] 5 chips
>> No. 20482
>>[X] Bet it all
Not really, but... heh... nevermind.

I'll leave this decision to those that find this situation... as entertaining as I think I can imagine.
>> No. 20483
[x] 5 chips
[x] "I 'ssure Miss Scarlet that it is already well pas' my bed-time. Farmhands have ta' wake with the rooster, you know." Try to hide your annoyance.

She's baiting us heavily; is she trying to goad us into playing Emperor early?
>> No. 20484
[x] 5 chips
[x] "I 'ssure Miss Scarlet that it is already well pas' my bed-time. Farmhands have ta' wake with the rooster, you know." Try to hide your annoyance.

This man is Idea Man.
>> No. 20494
[x] 8 chips
>> No. 20499
Your blow-by-blow account is everything I ever loved about E-Card.

[x] 5 chips
[x] "I 'ssure you Miss Scarlet that it is already well pas' my bed-time. Farmhands have ta' wake with the rooster, you know." Try to hide your annoyance.

Let our anger show through, so that she will think we are driven by it.
>> No. 20500
>>20477 here, I also vote:

[x] "I 'ssure you Miss Scarlet that it is already well pas' my bed-time. Farmhands have ta' wake with the rooster, you know." Try to hide your annoyance.

And why 5?
>> No. 20501
[5 chips]
["I 'ssure Miss Scarlet that it is already well pas' my bed-time. Farmhands have ta' wake with the rooster, you know." Try to hide your annoyance.]

You can’t let her get to you. You’re smarter that this; her words mean nothing. If you give in, then she won’t even have to read you; she’ll be writing you. You say nothing at first, letting your actions speak for themselves. You grab five chips from you stack and place them defiantly into the center of the table, trying not to slam them down as an indicator of your inwards frustration.

“Ooo, a whole five chips?” she mocks, obviously not impressed with your wager. “Why with that kind of amazing gambling, it’ll only take you…what, six wins in a row? Honestly, I should have Sakuya start tucking you in right now.”

You look her in the eye and respond, showing just enough sarcasm to drive your point home. "I 'ssure you, Miss Scarlet, tha’its already well past my ‘bed-time’. Farmhands have ta' wake with the rooster, you know. Where I come from, w’ don’t send the kiddies to bed as pun’shment; we make ‘em get up before sunrise and have ‘em work in th’ dark.”

She stares back at you, but says nothing, moving her chips into center as well. Does that mean you “won” this argument? Whether you did or not, you’ll take whatever you can get in this game. And speaking of “taking the game”…you observe your hand carefully. You promised yourself that the Emperor matches were what was going to win you the game, so you’d better start winning. The five-chip bet this time was just a precaution. If Remilia is truly onto you, you don’t want to lose too much, not now that your quintuple safety net has been cut down. But then again…perhaps she’ll only try and squash you flat if you bet high. Solid, periodic bets might just be enough to achieve victory. “Slow and steady wins the race,” as the old saying goes. Still, if you were to bet high-say ten or fifteen-and win just one round, your entire game plan could change for the better instantly.

However, your gambling is neither here nor there right now. Right now, you’ve got to pick a card, and you need to pick it well. That gold-clad king sitting in your hand gives you all sorts of options, but which one to pick? Play it early for a quick assault? Hold onto it and try to get Remilia to burn herself out by playing the Slave? You’ve gotten so used to losing rounds on purpose, it’s a little tricky to remember how you’re supposed to win them. Good thing you’ve got a four out of five chance to succeed right now.

[ ] Play the Emperor
[ ] Play a Citizen

[ ] Optional, but useful: plan out your Emperor strategy(ies)

====================

Apologies for the writing delay, but I am only human, prone to the procrastination of many things. Today I was prone to the procrastination of classwork, and was completing my near-due assignments with every waking hour I had. I blame myself, and there is only myself to blame.

>>20499
In a game that is little better than Rock-Paper-Scissors with cards, detailed descriptions of character actions and feelings are truthfully the only way to make it interesting, and it is this I try to do. The Kaiji anime accomplished this to great effect, to the point where one is surprised at how slow the show is actually moving. I can only fathom how poorly it would have fared without the interior monologues and the overly-dramatic narrator. In all honesty now…high stakes balance beam walking?
>> No. 20502
[x] Play a Citizen
[x] Stick with 5 chip bets. Hold emperor until later in the hand--turn 3, 4, or 5. Get yourself and Remilia in the habit of holding onto the Emperor and Slave. Don't let her taunting or flippancy change your strategy; you want to get her react to you, not the other way around.
>> No. 20503
[x] Play a Citizen

The real game hasn't even started yet. We'll continue playing it safe until we can frustrate Remi enough that she uses her ace, whether it be her powers or some other trick. No matter the strategy, Fate will conspire to bring our pile down to zero inexorably. This was sealed when we called ourself the Slave; it will be only when we have nothing left to lose that we can defeat the Emperor.
>> No. 20505
>>20501
The soundtrack also plays a huge part in the feeling of intensity in Kaiji. It may not be so memorable, but grab ahold of the OST, and give it a listen.

The first disc is absolutely awesome.

And then the second disc sounds like it's the Yume Nikki soundtrack for the first half, then zawa-zawa remixes of Disc 1 for the second half.
>> No. 20506
[x] Play a Citizen
>> No. 20507
>>20473 meh, whatever.

[X] 5 chips.

This seems solid.
>> No. 20508
5?!

Well, fine, but let's wager 15 next time and play the citizen again.

[x] Play the Citizen
>> No. 20510
>>20505
>The soundtrack also plays a huge part in the feeling of intensity in Kaiji. It may not be so memorable, but grab ahold of the OST, and give it a listen.

As far as being memorable, I remember its release was commemorated by a thousand post sticky in old /a/.

Anything will sound awesome with track 21 "Beginning" playing in the background.
>> No. 20518
>>20510
Wow, that good?

I meant memorable in the sense of "I could only remember actually hearing maybe 5-7 tracks on the OST specifically during the show."
>> No. 20524
File 12225007074.jpg - (356.17KB , 792x936 , Kaiji OST.jpg ) [iqdb]
20524
>>20510
Although 90% of those posts were after 9100000 GET happened. In the sticky. With an image of Tsukasa. Right after the catastrophic fail of "True MOE" 9000000 GET.

God I loved that thread.

But yeah, as far as the OST, moonlander !luv/Rukiak ripped and uploaded the tracks himself. The word "tripfriend" was invented. It's a good OST.
>> No. 20534
[Play the Citizen]

You ponder your decision for just a while longer before choosing the Citizen. If you’ve got the Emperor in your hands, there’s no reason to try risky strategies, such as playing it first turn with you going first to boot. You’ll hold out, wait for turn 3 or 4, and see if you can bait Remilia or not. Now’s the time to see if your “tells” actually had an effect.

You pick up your champagne bottle again and take another sip, tapping your fingers against the dark glass as you do. You try to catch second-long glances at Remilia’s face while you are occupied, but unfortunately for you, Remilia has slumped down in her chair, and with the angle she’s holding her cards at you can’t see a thing. She slides a card onto the table, still hiding her face, saying nothing. Is she trying to blatantly make it hard for you to read her? It might not help much anyways, with all the success you’ve had studying her, but at least you’d like to give it a shot every now and then; that’s what the game is all about, right?

“Cards Set! Open!”

Both of your reveal your cards in a very lackluster fashion. Citizen vs. Citizen. Nothing surprising there. Remilia continues to bury her face in her cards, not even paying attention to you. After all the playful chatter that transpired in the previous rounds, this silence is rather jarring. All you can hear is the occasional tap of the chess pieces from Nathaniel and Patchouli’s game, punctuated by a few hushed words. You attempt to break the stillness yourself.

“Nothin’ to say, Missh Scarlet? I though’ friendly banter was wha’ made ‘is game fun?” No response, no movement.

“Come on’ow,” you continue. “If it’s my bet’s have you turn’d down, don’ you worry; this game’ll be plenty interesting before it’s oer’, I promise.” No response, no movement.

This isn’t like her. You’ve barely known Remilia Scarlet as a person for two hours, but even in that short time you got a good feel for what she’s like. Childish, extravagant, snooty, sarcastic…your typical “better than thou” aristocrat, except that she takes advantage of it in front of others. But what’s gotten her so sullen? You almost feel like openly insulting her, just to get a response; maybe even walking over to her and waving your hand in front of her face. As crazy as those actions sound in your head, they might be worth it just to snap Remilia out of whatever funk she’s in. She finally chooses a card and sets it on the table. Her shield of cards grows smaller, but she fans them out wide and keeps her features in the shadows.

You’ve got the coveted second play, now, but with all Remiila’s been given you it might as well be worthless. It doesn’t really matter, though; you’ve already planned this move out. All the matches so far have ended early. You want to draw this one out, get Remilia to second-guess herself, make her play the Slave as you fall further and further away from the hot-blooded, quick-playing role you held on the Slave side. Interesting, really, that only now with the Emperor’s safety harness in place do you decide to take it easy.

You study your cards for a while longer, milking every second of false consideration you can out of your choice. The Citizen card moves out onto the table, perfectly safe against anything Remilia can play against it.

“Cards set! Open!”

Yet another tie between Citizens graces the table. She’s holding back, seeking shelter, waiting for the game itself to break her opponent down with doubt. But she’s picked the wrong time to do it. The Emperor fills your soul with confidence and strength. With it, you will turn your 38 chips into 40…45…50…55…you can win. You will win! You must win!

It’s your first play again, and now you’ve really got to think. As the opening dealer, logic would state that you shouldn’t play the Emperor now. But you’re no fool. You know that logic is only a small part of gambling, merely the framework for the house. The trick to winning relies not on the logical play, but on realizing that your opponent know logic just as well as you. Do you second-guess your opponent’s thought patterns? Do you think two moves ahead? Three moves ahead?

You have decided. Emperor. If Remilia is trying to make herself unreadable, it’s one less reason for you to risk opening with the Emperor. Betting five chips on your first Emperor match proves you’re still cautions, still testing the waters. The expected move is, of course, the expected move, and to win, you need to do the unexpected. You slide the card out confidently, showing no fear that the round will be over after this reveal.

What follows is perhaps the longest wait you’ve ever experienced in a card game. Remilia sits motionless, her makeshift fan as steady as a rock. From this perspective, she might as well be a life-sized doll. You almost comment on the time, but think better of it. If you want to get under her skin, the best way to do it is to show her that you don’t need to sink to her level to get the same result. Time marches on. Even Sakuya looks a little anxious.

And suddenly, there it is again. Your chest grows cold, like there’s a cube of ice directly on your skin. You subconsciously feel your jacket pocket. There they are, those ruddy spectacles, resting oh-so-innocently against your person. How can they feel this cold if you’re not even touching them? They just had to pick this time to act up again, didn’t they? Once again, they don’t hurt a bit, and you could probably ignore them if you wanted to. But who’s to say this is the time they won't do something different?

[ ] What will you do? Write-in only!
>> No. 20537
A warning, perhaps?

[X] Pick the Emperor back up. Play a Citizen.
>> No. 20538
[x] Pull them out and put them one.
>> No. 20540
>>20537
>Pick the Emperor back up.
Pretty sure that's an illegal move.
>> No. 20541
>>20540
>Pick the Emperor back up.
>Pretty sure that's an illegal move.
It would indeed be an illegal move. Standard rules in most games state that once your hand is off the object in question, you cannot take it back. This game is no exception.

Also, I must point out an egregious error on my part. I incorrectly stated that the guest has thirty-eight chips, forgetting momentarily that he lost his third match. He should really have only thirty-two.
>> No. 20542
[x] Pull them out and put them on with a cough. Try to suppress your smile and to continue looking as bored as she is.

We're trying to shock Remilia into action here. Her long pauses can't mean anything good, and if the glasses are reacting to something, it can only mean she's using her powers.
>> No. 20551
>[x] Pull them out and put them on with a cough. Try to suppress your smile and to continue looking as bored as she is.

I like the idea here, but I think it's too forceful a play to make right now. Rather, we should use Remilia's indecision as an excuse to use the bathroom, taking our cards with us and trying on trying on the glasses in private first, so we're not blindsided by the effects (if any).

And I'd rather we go without trying to use the watch's reflection, since not only might it be obvious to Remilia that we're trying to cheat, she might be able to spot our card in the reflection. You make a good point about the watch, though; it's odd that she would lend out such an expensive thing, given that the servants kept us on schedule well enough on their own. Maybe it's a scrying focus or enchanted with a tracking spell.

[x] Tell Remilia she can take all the time she needs; you however, need to use the bathroom.
[x] Take your cards with you.
>> No. 20555
>>20551
You make a good argument. I'll support this bandwagon.

>>20547 here. Vote deleted.
[x] Tell Remilia she can take all the time she needs; you however, need to use the bathroom.
[x] Take your cards with you.
>> No. 20557
E-Cards = Namek?
>> No. 20558
[x] Tell Remilia she can take all the time she needs; you however, need to use the bathroom.
[x] Take your cards with you.
bandwagon
>> No. 20559
>>20557

Washizu's Remilia's mansion is Namek.
>> No. 20560
An interesting change of heart, I must say. Very well: leaving to go to the washroom shall be declared the winner. I will attempt an update tomorrow morning, though most likely later rather than earlier. Truth be told, I had already penned the response to "Put the spectacles on" before this sudden shift of opinion, so I must say I am rather caught off my guard. However, these interesting shifts are what make a story intriguing to follow...and intriguing to write.
>> No. 20561
>Truth be told, I had already penned the response to "Put the spectacles on" before this sudden shift of opinion, so I must say I am rather caught off my guard. However, these interesting shifts are what make a story intriguing to follow...and intriguing to write.

We're possibly going to do that anyway when we come back, so your writing may not have been in vain.
>> No. 20567
[Tell Remilia she can take all the time she needs; you however, need to use the bathroom.]
[Take your cards with you.]

If something is going to happen with those glasses, you certainly don’t want it to happen out in the open. Perhaps you might ask to use the restroom for a while; a plausible suggestion considering your intake of champagne. Besides, there’s more around you than just those spectacles you’d like to take a look at.

You rub your eyes and stand up, the cold inside your pocket still growing. You speak directly, but courteously. “By al’ means, Miss Remilia, ta’e all the time you wish. I’ve no object’ns. However, I’d like to use th’ washroom for a moment, if I may.” You move to leave, but Sakuya stops you.

“I am sorry, sir, but you have already placed you card on the table. For the sake of fairness, I’m afraid you cannot leave until the round is over.”

You try to think of a good excuse, but nothing comes to mind quick enough to sound plausible. At the risk of looking suspicious, you begrudgingly sit back down. It doesn’t really matter anyways; with the Emperor already on the table, you’ll get to leave as soon as Remilia decides to stop being petrified. She sits there for another good minute or two before silently slipping a card onto the table. Even with only two cards in her hand, you still can’t get a good look at her face. What is she hiding?

“Cards set! Open!”

Despite your bathroom plan being foiled, you manage to hide your anxieties well enough as you turn over your card, then look at Remilia’s.

Emperor…against Slave.

She finally removes the mask of cards from her face. Displayed finally for you to see is the most satisfied, most confident, most positively devilish smile you’ve ever seen in your life. The way her mouth curves from cheek to cheek tells you exactly why she hid her face for as long at she did, and as perfectly as she did. Her lips part as she makes her long-delayed rebuttal, words stabbing you like knives.

“Do you know what makes this game ‘fun’, dear boy? The fact that I didn’t even need to see you to know what to play. But whether I can or not, sir…these tokens are mine, now.”

You can’t understand it. How could she know? No, she couldn’t have…how did she guess? Without any information, without any idea, she blindly played the Slave just when you happened to play your Emperor? It’s impossible! No…not impossible. A twenty percent chance. One out of five. Whether she guessed or not (and she said there was none of that in this game), the amount of strategy and second-guessing of the opponent makes each play just as likely as the next one. But still, to hit it right on the head on the first match with new cards? Could she be cheating? Are the cards marked in a way you can’t see? Luck. That’s all it was this time, luck. She gambled with what she’s learned from you, and took a chance. Luck makes everything happen. And if luck made you lose this round, luck could just as easily make you win the next. No sense getting afraid just yet. You’re still sitting safe at 27 chips; this loss was nothing for you. You can come back from this. You can win!

Sakuya announces the score once again. “The standings rest at 32-27, Remilia’s favor. You may now use the washroom, if you wish, sir.”

You’re trying to hide your doubts as best as possible while responding. “Thank ye’, Miss Sak’ya. Might I take my cards with? I don’ mean t’ be rude, but I wouldn’t want you markin’ them up while I’m gon’.”

Remiia answers almost immediately, her words still carrying lingering traces of her recent victory. “But of course; all in the spirit of fairness. Just be sure we don’t catch you cheating as well…I’m sure I wouldn’t take very kindly to that.”

You nod half-heartedly and grab the Emperor-side cards, along with your champagne bottle for good measure. It isn’t a long walk to the nearest bathroom, but it seems like ages with all the uncertainties flooding your mind at the moment. Your coat pocket has returned to it’s normal temperature; with your luck the spectacles won’t do anything interesting if you put them on now.

You slump down onto the marble countertop of the washroom and begin emptying your pockets of all you have on you. The watch…the pen…the spectacles…the cards…the coin pouch…the keys…the comb…the bottle…you pad yourself over, making sure you didn’t forget anything. There is a lingering feeling in the back of your mind, which has never really gone away since your first morning here: there are secrets within these bits and pieces, strange secrets. Somewhere within this spread of odd ends is an answer…you just have to find it.

First thing first, the spectacles. You scrutinize them, look for any oddity at all, look through the lens from every possible angle, all to no avail. You finally decide to put them on, expecting your brain to freeze instantly when you do, but nothing of the sort happens. At this moment in time they are nothing more than a harmless pair of broken reading glasses. If only you had put them back on when they were still cold…but no. There’s no telling what mischief these things are capable of, if they’re capable of anything. Magic is not something you want to take chances with, no matter how many opportunities you miss because of it.

The watch comes next. It was given to you by Sakuya, along with your suit. What could it possibly do? You look at the watch face as well as the polished silver back, searching for hidden switches or even magical shimmers that don’t belong. You wind it up, stop it with the clicker, reset the time, but nothing odd happens. On a whim you even decide to look at it through the spectacle lens; perhaps the secret lies in combinations of objects? Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can find that distinguishes it from anything other than a nice looking pocket-watch. Another dead end.

The last immediate concern of yours are the cards. You look at both the back and front of them in detail, tracing a fingernail over the intricate loops on the obverse side. If there’s a mark, it would have to be well hidden; an obvious mark could be used against the marker in a flash. You suspect there’s just one little weave in the loopy card back that doesn’t belong, something that only the maker would see. Out of curiosity you look at them through the spectacles, then look at their reflection in both the mirror and the watch back, hoping that different perspectives will reveal its hidden treasure. But from start to finish, you are met with nothing but failure. No marks, no tricks, no secrets…nothing out of the ordinary.

You try and shake yourself back to normal. This is crazy; you’re becoming as paranoid as a madman! Looking for secrets in every little trinket you happen to pick up, how foolish is that? But for all your rationalizing, you can’t stop yourself from these trivial actions. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in this mansion, something definitely is. Maybe it concerns you, maybe it doesn’t, or maybe you are the very person it involves the most. If you don’t try and keep your eyes sharp, there’s no telling what strange things might befall you. Eventually you’ll stumble across something; even a blind mouse finds cheese if it just follows it’s nose, right?

(And now for something…)
>> No. 20568
(…completely different.)

“Where is justice?”

You freeze. A voice just spoke within this room. It’s definitely not yours, and there wasn’t anyone else in here when you entered. You turn around slowly, only to see Nathaniel standing in front of you. But this is quite a different Nathaniel. It’s not the tired, disheveled Nathaniel you saw at breakfast, nor is it the proper, polite Nathaniel that was at dinner. It’s not even the friendly, casual Nathaniel you talked to in the second-floor washroom only a few hours ago. This Nathaniel is tense and full of cold fury. He breathes heavily with controlled rage, glaring at you with a thickly furrowed brow, face chiseled out of stone. Except…all that is nothing but chaff right now. Because right now his arm is outstretched, tight like a wound spring, and in his hand…is the ivory-clad razor you forgot to take with you after your shave.

He repeats his ominous question again, spacing the words with a mixture of desire and anger. “Where, is, justice?”

Where is justice? You’ve got no idea why he would spring such a philosophical question to you, and certainly not when he’s threatening you with a razor blade. You remain silent, trying to look confused and innocent, because you’re definitely feeling both right now.

“I stay in this house for over a week,” he continues, never once taking his eyes off you, his volume slowly increasing. “I work hard, I act polite, I don’t piss anybody off. Do you know what I’ve gotten so far? Do you? Nothing but lip service. And then you trip in here. You’re here for one day, ONE, DAY! You nearly get yourself killed by your own stupidity, make out with the person who almost killed you, ask nothing but pointless questions all dinner long, and get yourself drunk the first night here! And they give you the key to the mansion?! They decide to let you waltz around like you own the place?! A vagabond farmboy over someone like me?! WHERE…IS…JUSTICE?!?!”

[ ] Remain silent
[ ] Apologize, fall on the ground, offer him service, anything to get that razor out of your face
[ ] Try and reason with him, get him to calm down. Ask him what this is all about
[ ] Give him an answer (Write in your response)
[ ] Toss something from the counter at him as a distraction; get that razor out of his hands now
[ ] Toss something from the counter at him as a distraction; run out of the room
[ ] Try something else; after all, your life is at stake! (Write in your action)
>> No. 20573
[X] Where is justice? certainly not in my treatment compared to yours, and I sincerely apologize if I have slighted you; I have never meant any harm. But think about this.
[X] What are you? Would you throw away all you've accomplished, all you've done, *your life*, to release your anger upon me and lose reason? You are a Creator, as you have said. Do not destroy yourself.
[X] Something's wrong here. Didn't Remilia say she enjoyed different types of company? What if she's playing you, doing this just to provoke you? Don't let her win!
[X] It's obvious that something bigger's going on here. Magic, fairies, little girls with wings, I'm sure someone who lives in a land full of these things, all of which could kill someone without a thought, doesn't invite others on a whim, who might threaten them. Remilia is letting us stay here for a reason, but we've got to find this out...together.

and, if all else fails, but only as an absolute last resort:
[X] break your bottle on the counter, prepare for a fight.

We can't lose Nathaniel as a potential ally, and we most certainly don't want to kill a guest in our host's house. Things just got quite a bit more complicated.
>> No. 20574
[X] "There are three kinds of people in the world, Mr. Nathaniel. Those who believe in justice, those who believe in fate - and those who control. On behalf of the Mistress, allow me to welcome you to the Scarlet Devil Mansion. It is good to see you have arrived."
>> No. 20580
>>20574
This sounds badass and tosses his previous categorizations in his face.

[X] "Catch." Toss him the key to the mansion.
[X] Enunciate your words carefully, without slurring. "Mr. Nathaniel, since it wasn't entirely clear before, I'll tell you that the only thing I plan on getting drunk on tonight is victory."
[X] Grin at his reaction. "You said before that there are three kinds of people in the world, creators, users, and destroyers. I frame it differently: In my world the three kinds of people are those who believe in justice, those who believe in fate - and those who control them both. On behalf of the Mistress, allow me to welcome you to the Scarlet Devil Mansion. It is good to see you have arrived."
[X] Straighten yourself up in the mirror. "Oh, besides the key, here." Hand him all the other items on the sink besides the cards and the glasses. "For when the need arises. Leave them inside the pockets of the clothes in my room's wardrobe when you're done with any of them; for right now I need to make sure there's nothing on my person that might give me away."
[x] "Ah, how goes your game with Miss Patchouli?"

befriendan gaems
>> No. 20586
[X]"It's in the Constitution and in the juducial system."
[X] "In here, it's probably in the Mistress's will."
>> No. 20587
>>20580
Unless you can justify giving him the key, I am calling shenanigans. I don't know where people are getting the impression that Nathaniel is a potential ally or friend. What this little tirade says to me is that there is something in the SDM he wants and fixing his pocket watch is the excuse he's using to stay in the mansion. Whether he has a good reason or not, he's been lying, deceptive, and now physically hostile. We should probably treat him with the same kind of caution we know we should approach the other residents of the mansion with.

But seriously, where does this dick come from that he thinks he can threaten us and act all superior. Fuck that, I am righteously indignant at his behavior and this situation.

[X] "Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice' it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing a watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn you it."
Failing that
[X] Toss something from the counter (bottle) at him as a distraction; get that razor out of his hands now.

>>"Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts."
Aristotle paraphrasing gaems.
>> No. 20589
>>20587

Yeah, well you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

>Unless you can justify giving him the key, I am calling shenanigans. I don't know where people are getting the impression that Nathaniel is a potential ally or friend.

The message on the mirror. The items that mysteriously appeared in your possession. That even as he held a razor to your throat he prophesied that despite your apparent incompetence you might be the one to save all of us.

There is no other person in the mansion that we could even expect to keep our confidence, and if you think getting into a scuffle with this man is the wisest decision, then I'd say that your rage is blinding you. Attacking an irate man with a razor blade when you could more easily disarm the situation and reverse it to your advantage? Really now, that's as sound a choice as getting impaled by Cirno's danmaku was.
>> No. 20590
>>20589

And giving him the keys is the way to "save" him? I don't think so.


[X] "Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice' it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing a watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn you it."
[X]"Byt the way, Justice is in the Constitution and in the juducial system."
[X] "In here, it's probably in the Mistress's will."

The Constitution is a good thing and you should respect it.
>> No. 20591
>[X]"Byt the way, Justice is in the Constitution and in the juducial system."

We're from England, you idiot.
>> No. 20592
>>20591
Aren't we also from 15th century england?
>> No. 20593
>>20589

Didn't some of those items appear in our room/pockets while we were locked in our rooms? If he was able to sneak in, I don't think we'd be having this discussion right now. I'm going to have to go back and check if there is anything linking our mysterious benefactor(?) with Nathaniel. The only one that makes sense is the "CAUTION" on the window. By my immediate recollection, there's been no real evidence as to who it may be so far. Actually, a quick perusal:
>>19901
>>“Oh, didn’t Sakuya tell you?” he replies, looking over his shoulder at you. “Maybe not. I am in possession of an antique pocket-watch that was most badly damaged. Hearing that this mansion has such a tremendous library, I sought it out to find a book or two on watch repair. I’ve taken advantage of the other books in Miss Patchouli’s collection as well, and find time for other side projects when the watch doesn’t warrant my full attention.”
My wager is the key is vital to one of these "side projects," and that it's the real reason he sought out the SDM.

So yeah, I think he's here for a reason beyond the one he states, aside from some information about the residents of the SDM he hasn't been overly friendly to us, and he's threatening us with a razor. I don't feel any particular compulsion to cordial towards him.

Wait a tic, we should probably ask if he has requested a key, no? Adding

[X] "If it's so important have you asked for a key yourself?"

Disagreements aside, this is a wonderful way to wait out the shitstorm in /a/
>> No. 20594
[X] "If it's so important have you asked for a key yourself?"
>> No. 20596
>>20591

What about it?
>> No. 20598
[X] "Catch." Toss him the key to the mansion.
[X] Enunciate your words carefully, without slurring. "Mr. Nathaniel, since it wasn't entirely clear before, I'll tell you that the only thing I plan on getting drunk on tonight is victory."
[X] Grin at his reaction. "You said before that there are three kinds of people in the world, creators, users, and destroyers. I frame it differently: In my world the three kinds of people are those who believe in justice, those who believe in fate - and those who control them both. On behalf of the Mistress, allow me to welcome you to the Scarlet Devil Mansion. It is good to see you have arrived."
>> No. 20599
[X] "Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice' it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing a watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn you it."
[X] "If it's so important have you asked for a key yourself?"

Giving the keys is simply stupid.
>> No. 20600
[X] "Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice' it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing a watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn you it."
[X] "If it's so important have you asked for a key yourself?"

Right back at'cha, Mr.Nathaniel.
>> No. 20604
I do wonder, are we *trying* to piss him off even more? Certainly we must defend ourselves, but jumping straight to the violent solution won't end well, I think.
And even if you disregard that warning of mine, heed this one: Think of the bottle as a weapon, a club. Use it like one, don't throw it away!
>> No. 20605
[X] "If it'sh sho important have ya ashked fer a key yershelf?"
>> No. 20606
>>20599

Agreed.

[X] "Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice' it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing a watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn you it."
[X] "If it's so important have you asked for a key yourself? I'm sure you are in goo terms with the Mistress she would be willing to ive you if you asked. And in last case, you can ask me to unlock some doors for you."

Adapted it a bit due to >>20604
>> No. 20607
[X] "Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice' it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing a watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn you it."
[X] "If it's so important have you asked for a key yourself? I'm sure you are in goo terms with the Mistress she would be willing to ive you if you asked. And in last case, you can ask me to unlock some doors for you."

This seems like a good choice.
>> No. 20610
Changing my vote; it didn't get any support anyway.

[X] "Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice' it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing a watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn you it."
[X] "If it's so important have you asked for a key yourself? I'm sure you are in good terms with the Mistress she would be willing to ive you if you asked. And in last case, you can ask me to unlock some doors for you."
>> No. 20611
This bandwagon is so poorly written that I can't join it in good conscience.
>> No. 20612
>>20611 Agreed, needs revision. Vote stands, but now is refined:

[X] "Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice', it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing your watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn it for you."
[X] "If it's so important, have you asked for a key yourself? I'm sure that if you are in good terms with the Mistress she would be willing to give you a key if you asked. And in the last case, you can ask me to unlock some doors for you."

That's better.
>> No. 20615
["Where I'm from, we know that what goes around, comes around. So if I have this key and your 'justice', it's because I've done something to earn it. You've been here a week fixing your watch, trying to get this key. Ask yourself what you've done that wouldn't earn it for you."]
["If it's so important, have you asked for a key yourself? I'm sure that if you are in good terms with the Mistress she would be willing to give you a key if you asked. And in the last case, you can ask me to unlock some doors for you."]

That razor definitely seems pretty sharp from this distance. And even though you’d prefer some method of negotiation that would get him to lower it…you can’t simply bend over at his shouts. If Nathaniel’s such a smart person, couldn’t he figure out for himself why justice isn’t being served? Granted, the world isn’t always a just place, but if he doesn’t feel that he’s being treated properly…there has to be a reason. And your guess is that he would know what it is better than you. You lean against the counter, submissively but confidently, and answer his vague question with a less-than-vague answer.

“There’s an old saying where I come from, Mr. Nathaniel. All the folks back home know it, and I’m sure you do to. ‘What goes around, comes around.’ Now I sure don’t know where your ‘justice’ is, but there’s a reason for everything in this world.” You hold the glimmering mansion key in your palm, the ribbon wrapped around your first two fingers. “If I’ve been given this key here, I must’ve done something to earn it. And if you haven’t been given one, there must be a reason for that, too. You’ve been here for a week, fixing your watch and trying to get this key here, right? Ask yourself then, what have you done that wouldn’t earn you it?”

Nathaniel doesn’t shift either the blade or his gaze. Your words either had no effect, or are working silently in his mind. Suddenly, he moves his arm like a gust of wind, smooth and rapid. The razor just barely brushes your outstretched fingers, snatches a hold of the ribbon, and yanks it from your grasp. The sheer speed of the motion is enough to sever the scarlet band as soon the key is airborne, and it spirals across the tiled floor, clattering to a stop. A red dot slowly grows on your pinky finger; looks like it was more than just a brush.

Your head snaps over to the key, then back to Nathaniel. His razor is back where it used to be, as if it had never moved. He makes no motions to pick up the key at all, and you don’t dare to try.

“That key…” he says finally, voice now cold and serious. “That key…you know it’s worth, do you not? You know what it means to hold it, do you not? It is a map for the lost traveler, a coin purse for the starving street urchin. It is…important.”

“If it’s so important, why haven’t you just asked for a key yourself? I'm sure that if you are in good terms with the Mistress she would be willing to give you a key if you asked. And in either case, you could just ask me to unlock some doors for you." It sounds like a legitimate statement to you, but he just closes his eyes and turns his head downwards, almost as if he’s disgusted with you.

“You understand nothing…do you?” He stares at you again, his eyes more full of sadness than rage now. “I have no use for that key. It is not important to me. But to you...” He trails off, words lost in his own thoughts, then continues. “She gives you the key to the house, but not me. Can you not think why?” Finally, he flips the razor back into it’s holder and pockets the weapon, putting you definitely more at ease, if not still completely confused. He inches closer to you, still talking, not giving you any time to think.

“I know full well that the world is not fair. Creators and Users are killed every day, and their work goes unrewarded, while Destroyers reap the profits of tyranny. I know that everything happens for a reason. And I know why…do you? I can see it in your eyes that you do not. It is to be expected. Such understanding takes time. Time I have spent, and you have not. Unfortunately, time is something I cannot give you. You must understand for yourself…”

He’s right in front of you now, and he puts his hand on your shoulder. His next words to you rekindle some of the angry fire he had not but a minute ago. They are not a suggestion. They are a command.

“Justice lies hidden within these walls, lad…and you are going to find it for me! You will search to the point where your mind is in shambles and the fires of Hell burn your body! You will face death, and you will find truth! But you will walk up to me! You will place Justice in my hands! And only then…will you truly understand.”

He lets go of you and walks to the door. As his hand clutches the doorknob, he utters one last phrase:

“Until that day comes…this conversation never happened. Keep your chin up, keep your nose to the grindstone, and if you break any of my things I swear to God that you’ll die for it.” The door swings shut ominously, leaving you alone with your life, a bleeding finger, your scattered knick-knacks, and mysteries that wrap around your brain like a blindfold.

[ ] Run after Nathaniel quickly; ask him what that was all about
[ ] Too many questions! Have a mental breakdown
[ ] Compose yourself, then return to the lounge (specify your next E-Card wager if you do)
[ ] Continue analyzing your items for clues, then return to the lounge (specify your next E-Card wager if you do)
[ ] Leave the washroom, but go somewhere else (specify destination)
>> No. 20616
Our friend is just a bit high-strung is all.

[x] Take care of the nick on your finger if it needs attention; if need be, tie the ribbon around it as a makeshift bandage.
[x] Remember to pick up the key.
[x] Continue analyzing your items for clues, then return to the lounge.
[x] Ten chips.

You'll make a larger wager this time to avoid answering any embarrassing or dangerous questions.

Careful not to bleed on the cards now--Remilia would notice.
>> No. 20618
[x] Take care of the nick on your finger if it needs attention; if need be, tie the ribbon around it as a makeshift bandage. We don't want blood on our cards.
[x] Remember to pick up the key.
[x] Continue analyzing your items for clues, then return to the lounge.
[x] 16 chips.
>> No. 20619
>>20615
FUCK. I want to respond, but the only viable options involve E-Cards, and that shit is driving me up the goddamn wall. Bet-fag and Dunefag, win (or lose) us this as soon as possible!
>> No. 20621
>>20619
Bet 16 chips, then.
>> No. 20623
>>20616
This makes me wonder what blood type this adventureanon is? Remilia likes B best, in my understanding.
Out-of-place commentary and soliloquy aside, here is my vote.

[x] Take care of the nick on your finger if it needs attention; if need be, tie the ribbon around it as a makeshift bandage.
[x] Remember to pick up the key.
[X] Compose yourself, then return to the lounge.
[x] Ten chips.

Good choices, I think, yet we've already been away for what may have been a suspicious amount of time, and they definately are going to notice the ribbon. Hence our haste.
>> No. 20624
[x] Make a Barbarian Card using your own blood as the ink.
[x] Win or Lose, Proclaim you're playing the Barbarian, making it attack the other cards while you make noises with your mouth. "PEW PEW PEW SLASH SLASH MUHAHA"
>> No. 20626
>>20619
Your future does not rest within the confines of the choices I give to you. You are the master of your own destiny; my options merely suggestions. It is fully within your power to stop the game and do whatever you wish, if you have the wits to discover how to do so.

However, it does seem that the E-Card game may not be sitting well with all parties concerned. I wish to make this tale enjoyable for all, but in reality this cannot be so, and compromise must be made. I will not lie to you: I may have let my emotions cloud my better judgment by inflating the E-Card match to something larger than it needed to be. Therefore, I offer you an option: if the vast majority votes to draw the E-Card game to a close, I shall auto-pilot it to a conclusion within the span of one or two more segments, rather than six or seven.
>> No. 20629
[x] Autopilot

if we start losing:

[x] Make a Barbarian Card using your own blood as the ink.
[x] Win or Lose, Proclaim you're playing the Barbarian, making it attack the other cards while you make noises with your mouth. "PEW PEW PEW SLASH SLASH MUHAHA"
>> No. 20630
>>20624
Nano-age guardians and prehistoric clubmen don't mix.
>>20619
I glow just a little, when my name is said.
>> No. 20631
GEE IS IT SURE IS LOL RANDOM IN HERE

[x] Take care of the nick on your finger if it needs attention; if need be, tie the ribbon around it as a makeshift bandage. We don't want blood on our cards.
[x] Remember to pick up the key.
[x] Continue analyzing your items for clues, then return to the lounge.
[x] 16 chips.

If you want that shit, bug Saguya for updates. Fags.
>> No. 20632
[X] Compose yourself, then return to the lounge.
[X] Bet high, and do your best to unnerve Remilia. It probably won't work, of course, but it'll be fun.

Also voting for autopilot. E-card is fun and all but not six or seven more updates fun.
>> No. 20633
>>20615
After all that, I should probably be more sympathetic towards Nathaniel. But to me, he comes across like a pretentious douchebag. This paragraph simply kills my sentiment towards him:

>>“I know full well that the world is not fair. Creators and Users are killed every day, and their work goes unrewarded, while Destroyers reap the profits of tyranny. I know that everything happens for a reason. And I know why…do you? I can see it in your eyes that you do not. It is to be expected. Such understanding takes time. Time I have spent, and you have not. Unfortunately, time is something I cannot give you. You must understand for yourself…”

The smug superiority reflected in that statement just pisses me off to no end. To me it reads "You're really dumb, but you'll see it my way eventually." It's the same infuriating sentiment I see reflected by dictators and despots alike: Poor citizen... you have no idea what is in your best interests. It is a shame you are so incompetent, but that can't be helped. Let me tell you what you should do, it is for the best.

Really? Without taking my personal understanding of reality, the actual workings of the world, justice, due process, facts, misunderstandings, and personal abilities... you're going to tell what is absolutely right? How presumptuous can you possibly be?!

People like this always strike me as the absolute worst kind of villain; the ones that come across by saying "It is in everyone's best interest (because I say so)." These are the villains that have me boiling over in rage: Joker in ROD the TV, or the grandfather in Cannon God Exxaxion. People with genuinely good intentions (that also tend to attract good people with genuine beliefs that are then manipulated) that trample over free will and truthfulness.

If Nathaniel were so confident in what was the correct path in our situation, he wouldn't have had to tell us. The conclusion would be drawn naturally with minimal (if any) interferences on his part due to how true or self evident it would be. Instead, he is blatantly suggesting that his perception is correct, and he has given us zero reason to believe him.

tl;dr - Nathaniel is a dick, shine on you crazy diamond.
>> No. 20634
[x] No autopilot.
>> No. 20637
>>20635
Ha ha, actually... yeah. Upon reflection, that sounds about right. But I'll be damned if I'm about to adopt a "Man this guy is an enormous dick! He's probably right!" mentality. Gendou Ikari was an asshole through and through and he was still wrong I'd rather be proven wrong as opposed to agreeing with a jerk-face until the bitter end.

Personally speaking, of course. Anon is fully capable of believing whatever rationality passes pseudo-muster.
>> No. 20639
>>20638
>Plus, even if some guy's got all the knowledge in the world, he can still get things wrong. There's application and all kinds of stuff.

I'll have to take your word for it. You've obviously put a lot of thought into this.
>> No. 20642
I'm thinking Justice is a cute kitty and Nathaniel just needs some Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw.
>> No. 20662
Once again, the votes are quite close and not a hundred percent definitive, but I would rather write now that I have the time to do so. The variations of “return to the lounge” won, so I shall split the difference between them as best I can.

====================

[Take care of the nick on your finger if it needs attention; if need be, tie the ribbon around it as a makeshift bandage.]
[Remember to pick up the key.]
[Quickly analyze your items for clues, then return to the lounge.]
[Bet 13 chips]

You suck on your pinky finger for a while, as much to clear the blood off as to give your brain something to do while you think about what just happened in here. Nathaniel…what is he trying to do? Who is he, and what does he want? You had hoped that being fellow guests in this mansion you’d hit it off pretty well, but now it seems like he holds just as many secrets as the manor itself. And that attitude...that kind of “you’ll understand where you’re older” attitude that parents always tell their kids…it just doesn’t set well. Maybe he was trying to tell you something important, or maybe he just wanted to get under your skin, but in either case, his outburst hasn’t won him any points with you. And he still kept going on about “justice” even at the very end, like it was some tangible object that could be discovered and carried. Nathaniel just doesn’t add up.

You look at your pinky. The bleeding’s already stopped; guess it was a close a shave after all. You walk over to the other side of the room and pocket the mansion key before you forget it. Your immediate concerns taken care of, you return your attention to the objects strewn across the counter. You suspect there’s not much time left before your absence starts getting suspicious, so you’ll have to make your inspection quick, though you hate to do so.

The comb is easy to inspect, easy in the fact that it’s so simple. Made of some hard polished material, it has not a seam to be found across it’s rounded edges, and tugging at the teeth merit no secret compartments. The pen is more of a problem than you’d like. You really want to open it up and check inside, but you’re not quite sure how fountain pens really work, and with your luck you’d spill the ink everywhere if you tried. Putting it aside for the moment, you check your coin pouch next. Spilling the coins onto the table, you arrange them in stacks by denomination. There’s not very much there; a few pounds, a moderate pile of shillings, and a group of pennies that’s more of a pile than a stack. Money was never really your strong suit, and you’ve always had trouble saving large amounts before finding something to spend it on.

However, there’s a single coin that doesn’t fit in with any of the rest. You’re certain it’s not yours, because you’ve never owned a gold coin in your life, and you’ve never even held one this big or heavy. The front shows the profile of a woman with a crown or tiara of some kind, with stars around the edge, and the date “1901” on the bottom. The reverse shows two eagles next to a striped shield. The text around the edge and center reads, in no particular order, “United States of America, Twenty Dollars, In God We Trust.”

Upon reading the whole of the coin, you instantly drop it and stagger back in disbelief, even terror. A Yankee coin in your pocket? But the worst part isn’t even the country; it’s the date. 1901…hasn’t even happened yet. It won’t for years to come! It must be a forgery…it has to be! You’ll accept traveling to a different world when you trip on ice forming out of nowhere, you’ll even accept magical creatures right in front of your eyes, sitting at the same dinner table as you. But traveling through time?! No one here has heard of England, so they can’t have heard of the United States either, and they certainly couldn’t have a Yank coin on them! But if not, then how, in name of all that is holy in this world, did that coin get into your pocket?!

In fear you quickly shove all the coins back into the pouch and draw the string tight enough to choke a man. You don’t want to think about it; it’s a dream, a trick, an illusion of the eyes. Maybe the wine is hitting you more than you thought. You scoop all your possessions back into the various pockets of your suit, grab the champagne bottle, and hustle back to the lounge, whispering to yourself as you do. “Has to be fake…must be fake…time can’t desert me too…bloody Yanks…America’s not my problem…not my coin…not my problem…has to be fake…has to be a trick…has to be…”

~~~~~~~~~~

“13 chips.”

While your words don’t sweep Remilia off her feet, they do make her raise an eyebrow. They’re the first words out of your mouth since returning to the lounge, visibly troubled to anyone who would care to look at you for more than three seconds.

“Oh?” Remilia coos pleasantly. “Are you finally taking chances now? Did your alone time bring you to a new realization of yourself? Did you see the error of your ways?”

“13 chips,” you say again through grated teeth. E-Card, which was once so important and demanding, has now taken a back seat to the sea of new mysteries you’ve just found yourself drowning in. Just your luck that events would take place at just this time to screw with your head. Thirteen chips just seems so symbolic right now, you couldn’t pass it up. But there’s still plenty of matches left...and you need a real strategy now. Not one that entails faking out the opponent turn by turn, but something solid, something that you can sit down upon and say, “This is what I’m doing, no matter what!”

The E-Card Vote of Truth! Choose the fate of your cards!
[ ] Continue playing game by game, slowly, basing your moves upon Remilia’s
[ ] Come up with a long-term idea that you’ll see through no matter what
[ ] Get it over with: go all in on every game for here on out!
[ ] Give up: just bet one chip per match for a guaranteed draw
[ ] Something more intricate? (Write in your plan)

====================

The vote given here will determine the rest of the card game. The first option will have the game continue as normal, with me describing nearly every round. The second will have me glaze over most of the matches, determining the outcomes based on your overall plan. The third will make the game go mush faster, yet not quite as fast as the second choice. The fourth will end the entire game in a single post without a dramatic conclusion. And, of course, feel free to state your opinions in a write-in if you wish.

I had not the time to proofread this, therefore grammatical errors may exist. Apologies.
>> No. 20664
Meant to mention this before:
>Sakuya announces the score once again. “The standings rest at 32-27, Remilia’s favor. You may now use the washroom, if you wish, sir.”
Should be 33-27. That's where we're at now, before the 13 chip bet.

>[ ] Give up: just bet one chip per match for a guaranteed draw
How is that guaranteed?
>> No. 20665
[x] Continue playing game by game, slowly, basing your moves upon Remilia’s
[x] Play a Citizen.

Might as well play in the same pace before the washroom break.
>> No. 20666
[x] Continue playing game by game, slowly, basing your moves upon Remilia’s.

I like the pacing so far and our interactions with Remilia.
>> No. 20667
[x] Continue playing game by game, slowly, basing your moves upon Remilia’s.
>> No. 20668
>>20664
We have 27 chips. If we bet a single chip for the next 8 games, we still have 19 left. The game is a draw as long as either player has one or more chips.
>> No. 20671
Considering that this current choice is an important decision as far as how the story will be written for the next couple of segments, I wish to give everyone as much time as needed to cast their votes and make their voice heard. Tomorrow is shaping out to be a fairly undesirable day for me in terms of the free time I will have, so my ability to write will be limited until later in the evening. Think hard, and make your choices well.
>> No. 20694
I'm fine with either of these:

[♱] Continue playing game by game, slowly, basing your moves upon Remilia’s.
[♱] Get it over with: go all in on every game for here on out!

Expedience is nice, but not at the cost of drama.
>> No. 20697
[X] Get it over with: go all in on every game for here on out! (edit: if you win most of the chips, only bet enough to win afterwards.)

Why shouldn't we make this more fun for Remilia?
>> No. 20702
[Continue playing game by game, slowly, basing your moves upon Remilia’s]

You can’t let this veil of confusion get to you. If you can’t even conquer your own mind, how can you possibly hope to conquer the mind of another? You’ve got to pull it back together and play smart; base your strategy on the ebb and flow of the cards, becoming as flexible as water. You can only hope that you’ll be able to drown Remilia without drowning yourself in the process.

Match 5. That means Remilia plays first, and she does so quickly, with a smug expression on her face. Good; she’s emoting herself in front of you again. Even if it’s a ploy, something is more than nothing, and every little something in this game can add up. She knows you’re addled by something; hopefully she assumes the pressure of impending doom is getting to you. If she knew you were being threatened by Nathaniel…but that’s not important right now. No time to think about that. Only E-Card.

You think for a good thirty or forty seconds before playing a Citizen. Thirteen chips is a hefty price to pay, and you’re not making any hasty actions now. If you were truly troubled about the game, you’d save the Emperor and wait defensively. But Miss Scarlet must know that, and plan accordingly. Playing the Emperor here would be likely; it’s quick and has the second-player advantage. But if you can think of such a strategy, so can she. Playing a Citizen accomplishes a dual purpose here; it makes you seem defensive when you’re really not, and yet is still a practical, defensive play in case something goes wrong.

“Cards Set! Open”

A pair of Citizens meet each other in the center of the glass. You kick yourself mentally for your defensive actions. You second-guessed yourself so much that you missed out on a great opportunity to gain the chip advantage in a big way. It’s your play now, and you can’t afford to second-guess yourself into oblivion this time. You need this match if you want to win the game solidly. What’s the most logical move here? What’s the most expected move? The most unexpected?

[ ] Play the Emperor
[ ] Play a Citizen

====================

Ach, one dark day is done, but another approaches rapidly. My spirits are not as high as I would hope them to be at this moment. I could manage only a small segment tonight, and the same will most likely be true of tomorrow as well. It is a fortuitous thing indeed that E-Card updates may be written briefly without much damage. Not so fortuitous will I be when the game is over, though.

>>20664
I am glad that there are those of you who will catch my mistakes when they pass me by unnoticed. Please do not hesitate to beat be over the head with my own flaws, for if a mortal does not know that what he does is wrong, how might he ever hope to change his erroneous ways?
>> No. 20703
>>20702
[X] Play a Citizen

I play by threes, so it's either now or the last round.

Regardless, you need to weigh in on >>>/th/60589
>> No. 20705
[x] You survived a brush with death just now—stared down a madman armed with a razor blade. What left is there to fear?
[x] Consider your chosen card carefully and whisper an invocation to steel yourself: "You'll only survive if you die."
[x] Play a Citizen

Thank Nathaniel for killing you; this girl has no power over you now.

Draw this out, count on the glasses to react again. Cool as a cucumber, farmboy.
>> No. 20707
[x] You survived a brush with death just now—stared down a madman armed with a razor blade. What left is there to fear?
[x] Consider your chosen card carefully and whisper an invocation to steel yourself: "You'll only survive if you die."
[x] Play a Citizen
>> No. 20709
[x] You survived a brush with death just now—stared down a madman armed with a razor blade. What left is there to fear?
[x] Consider your chosen card carefully and whisper an invocation to steel yourself: "You'll only survive if you die."
[x] Play a Citizen

The sands of hell are magic sands.
>> No. 20716
>>20703
I have submitted my views on the matter. However, I am ignorant of how to link a post from another board, so you will have to seek it out for yourselves.
>> No. 20718
>>20716

For your future reference, I shall provide a hypothetical example of cross-board linking. if one wishes to link to the forty-second post on the board "/underground/", one only needs to type the following:

>>/underground/42
>> No. 20719
[♠] You survived a brush with death just now—stared down a madman armed with a razor blade. What left is there to fear?
[♡] Consider your chosen card carefully and whisper an invocation to steel yourself: "You'll only survive if you die."
[♣] Play a Citizen
[♢] "You're a retard, Remilia-san."
>> No. 20720
File 122287670032.jpg - (398.77KB , 1307x900 , 1079608.jpg ) [iqdb]
20720
>>20718
Actually, the secret is in the triple >.
3>/boardabbreviation/post#
>>>/th/60829
Speaking of which, thanks for your input U.N. Owen. Couple writers I'm waiting to hear from (do people ever leave /eientei/?), but that thread was a success.

Already voted; awaiting result.
>> No. 20721
File 122287883385.jpg - (11.58KB , 224x320 , Glasses of Urza.jpg ) [iqdb]
20721
>Draw this out, count on the glasses to react again.

Waiting for the next untap phase are we?
>> No. 20725
[x] You survived a brush with death just now—stared down a madman armed with a razor blade. What left is there to fear?
[x] Consider your chosen card carefully and whisper an invocation to steel yourself: "You'll only survive if you die."
[x] Play a Citizen
>> No. 20778
>>20720

>do people ever leave /eientei/?

We do, just anonymously.