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24104 No. 24104
[Accept her offer, but ask her to stay in the room. She still shouldn’t be alone.]

She’s right; you both need to keep up appearances in here. Sakuya expects you to be taking a bath, and not doing so would be little better than an outright lie to her face, considering the cover story Cirno gave before leaving the dining room. And, let’s face it, you are pretty filthy. There’s just one little problem…

“Well, since you’re offering, I might as well,” you reply, bending over to unlace your shoes. “But, umm…Could you, stay in the room with me?”

It’s times like this that you’re grateful that she only has the mind of a child. You’d expect that any other woman in a suspicious situation would instantly say no to such a compromising request, but Cirno merely looks as you quizzically for a while before asking, “Well, uhh, that’s kinda, weird I guess. Why?”

“I just…I don’t want you to be alone, and I don’t really want to be alone either. If we don’t keep our eyes on each other, who’s to say something bad won’t happen while we’re separated?”

She makes a weird face at you. “I guess, but, does that mean I have to…watch you take a bath?”

“Wha-No! No, no no no, no, not like that!” You shake your head and wave your hands vigorously in denial. “You can wait over in the corner or something, you don’t have to be near the bath at all! I just want the comfort of knowing we’re in the same room; that’s all. It’s not like what you think.”

“Well, okay, but…what was I supposed to be thinking?” she asks, scratching her head in confusion.

“You…Never mind, it’s nothing.” As you place your socks and shoes over next to the tub and grab a towel and washcloth or two from the closet, you realize that maybe no one has ever explained “the birds and the bees” to Cirno, if she mostly keeps to herself and probably had no elders or schooling to tell her these things (do fairies even have parents?). Ahh, the naïve pleasures of youth, to not have your mind burdened with such mature things.

“Here; you can keep my coat safe while you wait,” you tell Cirno, handing her your leather jacket, almost as big as she is. “It’s got all my secret stuff in it; wouldn’t want it getting lost.”

For a moment she tries to wear the coat, but her wings make it impossible, and instead amuses herself by hiding under it like a tent. You take this opportunity to quickly undress and slip into the bathwater, which you are surprised to find it just the right temperature. Cirno must’ve just gotten lucky this time.

You submerge yourself into the water and rub your hands through your hair, dusting out all the soot and wood shrapnel you’ve accumulated today. You feel like a simple cake of soap will never quite be enough for you to get yourself “truly” clean after all that happened today, but at least your exterior can look a little better. You can hear Cirno rummaging through your coat pockets just around the corner of the alcove the tub it set into, well out of sight. You can hear the clinking and clicking of hard objects knocking against each other.

“Hey, Mr. Stupid, we were wrong!” she exclaims. “That gun thing? Yeah, there’s still a bullet left in it! It’s stuck in the middle part. See?” She inches across the wall to you, and you see her hand stick out, holding the gun. Sure enough, as you look at it, there’s definitely one round still left in the chamber.

“Good job, Cirno. Guess it’s not completely useless after all,” you comment. Only one bullet…worthless in a firefight, but as a secret weapon it might make all the difference in the world. Magic or no, you’re pretty sure that good, solid lead could still ruin something’s day. Though, since neither of you can aim a gun with any accuracy, you still doubt its usefulness.

You really don’t want to waste any more time than you need to getting clean, and you certainly don’t have enough to spare to loll about and enjoy the water, so once you deem yourself sufficiently clean, you move to get out of the water.

“Umm, Cirno? I’m getting out now, so, I dunno, look away or something,” you warn. She “mhmm”s in affirmation, and you slip out of the water and start drying yourself off with the towel. You lament at the fact that you’ll once again be wearing filthy clothes on your clean body, but you could always change again once you get back to your room. You signal to Cirno that it’s all right to look now, and she walk over to you with her torso buried in your coat, holding it out for you to take.

“Thank you very much, Miss Cirno,” you compliment, draping the coat back over your shoulders and checking the time. Hmm, 8:02…Time sure flies when you’re not paying attention. Nathaniel said he wanted you in the library tomorrow at, what was it, nine A.M.? You’d rather not be late for such an important appointment, but you don’t quite feel that tired right now. Perhaps you’ve got time for a few more things before you turn in.

[ ] Return to your room. Change, write in your diary, collect your possessions, etc., before turning in for the night.
[ ] Return to your room and go right to bed. Need to be up bright and early tomorrow!
[ ] Go someplace else? (specify destination)
[ ] You should know how writing-in works

Also, what should Cirno be doing right now?
[ ] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[ ] Send her on an errand (specify what)
[ ] Have her keep following you
[ ] Write-in, etc. etc.

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

This short, boring segment is both short and boring, in the vein of the commonly-used sentence structure of “ (Adjective) (Verb) is (Same adjective)”, popularized by a photograph of a humorously long domesticated feline. I am tired today, so that will have to do.

>>24096
Continuing with the aforementioned sentence structure, this insightful insight is insightful. A fine job, I must say.

>> No. 24108
[ ] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[ ] Stay with her, you hypocritical dolt

It would kinda ruin the previous logic if we just left her alone when we *just* said that we shouldn't separate. And of course, Cirno needs to take a bath otherwise Sakuya is likely to cause troubles.

... plus, do want scene of washing Cirno's hair. It would be like "[x] ruffle hair" times a hundred. Who is with me?

UnOwen: Well, at least we got something useful out of it, and the thought of Cirno using our coat as a tent made me dawww.
>> No. 24111
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24111
>“Here; you can keep my coat safe while you wait,” you tell Cirno, handing her your leather jacket, almost as big as she is. “It’s got all my secret stuff in it; wouldn’t want it getting lost.”
>For a moment she tries to wear the coat, but her wings make it impossible, and instead amuses herself by hiding under it like a tent.

>short, boring segment
You lost me.
>> No. 24113
[ ] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[ ] Stay with her, you hypocritical dolt.
>> No. 24117
[x] Return to your room. Change, write in your diary, collect your possessions, etc., before turning in for the night.
[x] Have her keep following you

Cirno bathing won't have much impact on Sakuya's feelings unless we get her clothes clean anyways. So for the sake of making sure our MC doesn't get tempted in doing something to poor vulnerable Cirno, let's avoid that (and because I wonder if U.N Owen is getting uncomfortable with these choices)...

Still, we need to keep Cirno around. So let's let her help us with sorting out our crap collection.

Now about sleeping in the same room as her or letting her go back to the maids quarters (if she has a room there?)...I really don't know. Maybe this whole staying with Cirno constantly thing isn't such a great idea after all...it might not be entirely possible particularly if Sakuya decides that Cirno should help with kitchen duty or something when it's time for dinner again.
>> No. 24118
[X] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[X] Stay with her, you HYPOCRITICAL dolt.

Maj'd for great justice.
>> No. 24119
[x] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[x] Stay with her, you hypocritical dolt.

feels good man
>> No. 24125
[X] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[X] Stay with her, you HYPOCRITICAL dolt.

I'd do it =P ~ ⑨ <3
>> No. 24127
>Only one bullet…

[x] Go to Remilia.
[x] Play Russian Roulette.
>> No. 24128
>>24125
>I'd do it =P ~ ⑨ <3

ಠ_ಠ
>> No. 24132
>>24127
It's not a revolver
>> No. 24136
>>24128

P - 9 < 3 if P < 12
>> No. 24138
[X] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[X] Stay with her, you hypocritical dolt.
[X] Don't peek, you hypocritical dolt.
[X] Afterwards, both she and you should get to bed. Change, write in your diary, collect your possessions, etc., before turning in for the night.
>> No. 24139
[x] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[x] Stay with her, you hypocritical dolt.

Cirno all the way?
>> No. 24143
>>24104
[X] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
[X] Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?
Maids = clean... The End
[X] Stay with her, you HYPOCRITICAL dolt.
>>derp
[X] Try to clean her uniform while she bathes
Emphasis on try
>> No. 24150
I want to wash Cirno's hair and wear soap bubble moustaches, and after that comb the knots out of her hair and tie a ribbon into it (that maid's headdress really doesn't suit her).
>> No. 24160
[Let her take a bath now; Sakuya shouldn’t mind. A maid needs to stay clean for her master, right?]
[Stay with her, you hypocritical dolt.]

Looking at Cirno standing there, timidly like that, tugs at your heartstrings. However, you can’t help but notice that her hair is still filthy. It’d be rude of you clean yourself up in the bath and not let her do the same. After all, a maid should stay nice and clean to keep up appearances, right?

“You know, Cirno,” you suggest, “since we’re here, how about you take a bath too? You probably need one just as much as I did.”

She doesn’t look too keen on the idea. “I dunno…won’t Sakuya get mad? I’m supposed to be doing stuff for you, not sitting around doing nothing.”

“Don’t worry about it; I’m sure she’ll understand. And after all, it’s not like she knows everything that goes on around here, right?”

“I guess so,” she admits. “But…but don’t peek! I didn’t peek at you, after all!”

You smirk and promise not to look, sitting down in the same corner Cirno did while your roles were reversed. You hear the rustling of wet clothes as she takes off her uniform, and the splashing of water as she slips into the bathtub. This is fine; it’s not bad at all. You’re sitting here, clean and calm, Cirno seems to be cooling down from her recent scare, and soon you’ll be able to drift off to bed, putting your mind at ease for a little while. Perhaps after a few days you might reach some level of normality, and things may finally start clicking for you.

Subconsciously you find your eyes wandering towards the bath—No! None of that fool thinking! Perhaps just one quick—Idiot! Stop it, you promised! It’s not like she’d ever—What is wrong with you?! She’s like nine years old! Well, technically fairies can probably live for decades without aging, so—Arrgh, stop, stop, stop! Get these thoughts out of your head! It’d just be a glance, not like—Pervert! Lecher! How can you have survived the advances of Meiling, Koakuma, and perhaps even Remilia without incident, and yet still find yourself struggling to keep away from Cirno, easily the least physically-appealing female in this mansion (well, okay, aside from Flandre…maybe). Got to think of something else, get your mind off things, keep your eyes from wandering…Eyes?

Well, there’s no time like the present to practice scrying for a while, and you’ve still got your ears to warn you of the events happening in the bathroom. How about checking up on Nathaniel for a while? Maybe see what he’s working on for tomorrow. You close your eyes and picture him in your mind. Dirty blonde hair, five-o-clock shadow, eyes that are always looking too strongly at things. Probably hunched over a workbench, oblivious to the world around him. Focus now. Remember how you did it with Cirno…

There. You’ve got it; you’re looking through the eyes of the eccentric Nathaniel now. Sure enough, you see a worktable laden with tools, looks like a lot of chisels and knives, some hammers too. The large red block you saw with him before rests in the center of your vision, but it’s much different up-close. It doesn’t look like metal now; probably more like thick crystal, but too bright to be a ruby. Nathaniel’s hands frantically clutch a hammer and chisel before your (his?) eyes, tapping away carefully, yet quickly, at the progressing piece of crystal. You still can’t tell what in the world he’s making at this point; it just looks like a blob to you. You study his movements for a minute or two before deciding that he won’t be doing anything else for quite a while.

You feel fairly confident in your progress thus far, and continue on with your practice, focusing on Meiling this time. Odd green garb, official hat with the gold star, red braids…You try to avoid thinking too hard about the appetizing body that rests under those clothes. Gotta stay on target here; the whole point of this was so that you could get your mind off of impure thoughts. However, you appear to have no luck, or at least nothing you can make out; your view is completely black and unchanging. So much for the gate guard.

You continue to make slow progress, each person you “scry” becoming easier and easier to find. Patchouli is, of course, reading some book in a foreign language, and that in and of itself makes your eyes hurt, without the added weirdness of scrying itself. You can’t get a result from Koakuma at all, not even blackness; perhaps it’s because you don’t know which “Koakuma” to focus on? Flandre and Adam you decide to steer clear of; you don’t even want to think about how an insane vampire would view the world. Cirno—No, let’s not start that again. Remilia’s vision is black like Meiling’s. You wonder…Perhaps it’s because they’re sleeping?

Such a thought starts you thinking about just how far your scrying power might go. Patchouli’s explanation of Cirno’s ability was complicated for you, but you can at least make out that a single statement of magical power can encompass a very large amount. Perhaps, with enough training, could you be able to hear through people’s ears as well? See their dreams? Look through the eyes of two people at once? Maybe even reverse it: have someone else look through your eyes? You should probably pick up those books on scrying Patchouli mentioned if you’re going to be thinking this far into things.

Hmm, only one left to check up on is Sakuya. Without the spectacles, will you still be able to see her while time is stopped? And just what would happen if you did have them, anyways? Might as well give it a shot, anyways. Silver hair, royal blue outfit, knives…Focusing on Sakuya like this has made you realize just how much you’ve seen her, yet how little you actually know. She’s always busy being a maid, doing what Remilia asks. Perhaps, now that the mistress is asleep, you’ll be able to see a different side of her?

The world of Miss Izayoi comes into focus. You see a large wooden table with a long rack of food utensils and common dining spices on it. Around it are simple wooden chairs, much different than the elegant ones in any of the lounges or dining rooms. Sakuya’s eyes swivel around the area, and you recognize a very kitchen-like environment. Countertops of burnished steel and white marble, cupboards labeled and stocked with cooking pots, a glass case of herbs and spices, several large sinks…You never really got a good look at the kitchen on your first day here, but this definitely seems to be the same room, though much different now. The kitchen is bare and sparkling clean, not a single spoon of cutting board out of place. The room looks almost like a doctor’s operating room it’s so meticulous.

The view shifts back to the table, where Sakuya has extracted a piece of paper from somewhere out of sight. The writing appears to be in the same hand as the notes you keep finding around the house, instructing you on where and when to go. You begin to read it starting from the top, your curiosity piqued, as Sakuya adds more to the bottom:

(Red light…)
>> No. 24161
(…green light.)

Maid of Fate – Queen

Nathaniel, Clockwork Engineer – Bishop? 9 full days plus previous. No sign of control. One wish. No sign of escape. Suspicions intolerable. Threat level: Extreme.
Action: Continue plot undermine. Increase assault on fail-safes. Direct confrontation an option.

Unknown, Mystic Farmer – Pawn/Knight? 2 full days. Slight sign of control. Three wishes. No sign of escape. Suspicions manageable. Threat level: Low.
Action: Unchanged.

Cirno, Fool of Fools – Pawn. Half-day plus previous. Moderate signs of control. Wish-null. No sign of escape. Suspicions budding. Threat level: Low.
Action: Unchanged.

Luna Dial theory confirmed red herring.

Rounds: Lead, silver, and explosive confirmed. Two unconfirmed.

Deterioration confirmed. Level unconfirmed.

Speculation: Cannot continue on as before. Situation drawing to a close. Uncertain for first time in three years. Could end poorly. Remilia growing suspicious? The twins are talkative; unlike them. Attachment to the new guests, perhaps. Shame, really. Other situations manageable, but---


You never get to finish the rest of the note, or even the new section Sakuya wrote. You feel hands shaking you, and Cirno shouting at you, asking, “Hey, Mr. Stupid, are you in there? Wake up! Wake up, you’re scaring me!” You shake your head and Sakuya’s eyes fade from yours, replaced by a concerned Cirno looking at you, much cleaner than before, wearing a fluffy light-blue bathrobe that is far too big for her.

“Uhh, what? What happened?” you asked dizzily.

“What happened? You’re eyes were all weirdy-like and you were just sitting there like a lump! It’s like you couldn’t see me or somethin’!”

You hold your forehead and stand up. “Oh, sorry, I was just practicing my scrying is all, so yeah, I couldn’t see you. Sorry, I should’ve said something.”

She folds the floppy arms of her bathrobe in front of her and frowns at you very childishly. “Well, next time you’d better! Come on, we should find some new clothes, probably.”

You nod, but your thoughts are focused on that piece of paper Sakuya had. It was a list, with the names of you, Cirno, and Nathaniel on it. A guest list? But everything on it was decidedly spooky. Chess pieces, wishes, control, “Luna Dial”, speculations, suspicions…what does it all mean?

[ ] Write-in only.

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

Apologies, but I had no time to either proofread this or make a list of voting options; my time was short, and I wanted to get this update out in the open before I left for a house dinner. Hopefully the detriments will not be too great.
>> No. 24163
>
Subconsciously you find your eyes wandering towards the bath—No! None of that fool thinking! Perhaps just one quick—Idiot! Stop it, you promised! It’s not like she’d ever—What is wrong with you?! She’s like nine years old! Well, technically fairies can probably live for decades without aging, so—Arrgh, stop, stop, stop! Get these thoughts out of your head! It’d just be a glance, not like—Pervert! Lecher! How can you have survived the advances of Meiling, Koakuma, and perhaps even Remilia without incident, and yet still find yourself struggling to keep away from Cirno, easily the least physically-appealing female in this mansion (well, okay, aside from Flandre…maybe). Got to think of something else, get your mind off things, keep your eyes from wandering…

Delicious. Simply delicious. This guy is on his way to become my favorite protagonist.

Now I need to read the rest of the update.
>> No. 24164
>Nathaniel, Clockwork Engineer – Bishop? 9 full days plus previous. No sign of control. One wish. No sign of escape. Suspicions intolerable. Threat level: Extreme.
>Action: Continue plot undermine. Increase assault on fail-safes. Direct confrontation an option.

Need to warn Nathaniel that Sakuya is probably trying to kill him, and he needs to be prepared for the confrontation. But of course, we need to find those damned spectables first.

Maybe she stole Equitas?
>Unknown, Mystic Farmer – Pawn/Knight? 2 full days.

Uh, yeah, how can someone be a guest for 2 days without anyone asking his name? Anyway, 3 wishes, 3 cards. Makes me wonder if Nathaniel's wishes were cards or the favors Patchouli owned him.
>Speculation: Cannot continue on as before. Situation drawing to a close.

This is the most important and worriesome fact. ASSM coming to an end? Unthinkable!
> Remilia growing suspicious? The twins are talkative; unlike them. Attachment to the new guests, perhaps. Shame, really. Other situations manageable, but---

So, Sakuya has been pulling the strings behind the scenes? Or someone above her that's not Remilia? And wow, she marked us to die.

>Apologies, but I had no time to either proofread this or make a list of voting options; my time was short, and I wanted to get this update out in the open before I left for a house dinner. Hopefully the detriments will not be too great.

Dude, take your time. No need to rush things, if you want to update before doing something, but you think something is not right, then wait until you have spare time.


[X]Wait for someone to come up with a good write-in.

You have my swrod, U.N.Owen.
>> No. 24165
>Meiling... You wonder…Perhaps it’s because they’re sleeping?
Lazy gate guard is lazy~
>> No. 24166
By rounds she presumably means those for the pistol we stole (that it was packed along with a case of her throwing knives suggested it was hers to begin with). I wonder if she knows we have it? Obviously this must be important for her to note it, presumably a manner of disposing of someone (and not for self-defense, else she would be carrying it with her), but who? I would suggest unchambering the round left in the gun and asking if Nathaniel can guess to as its composition.

The note reads as if there's quite a bit she is uncertain of. Maybe she lost some of her memory? That she only lists herself and the guests might suggest some commonality between them, or it may be that the list is simply an incomplete account. My guess is that her assessment of the "chessboard", like Nathaniel's "game", indicates that she is not the mastermind, but rather someone who became caught up in something dire and is trying desperately to make sense of her circumstances. With three years as the lower bound of her stay, it is no surprise she would have developed quite a story, considering Nathaniel has already made his own set of rules in his mere nine days here.

And in a way, are we not doing the same? Everything that had seemed to go according to the plan of the man-behind-the-curtain is progressively revealed as little other than the result of people driven to extremes by fear. In my opinion, I would hesitate to follow the same path as these others, of obsessing and acting out of paranoia. I don't mean you should attempt to convince them that they're wrong or even mentioning it--people who have become vested strongly in their illusions may fight to the death to maintain them--but maybe instead attempt to falsify this idea of an outside control. Something like getting the Mistress' permission to take a trip outside, to have Cirno show you around Gensokyo maybe? At the very least, the source of resistance will show who exactly is enforcing the rules of this "game".

tl;dr: Don't dwell on it. You have too many real threats to your safety to go about chasing what may just be specters.

[x] Follow Cirno's lead; fetch yourselves a change of clothes.
>> No. 24167
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

Nathaniel was right about THE GAME after all!

>>24164
I also think our Anon really need a name, like NAO.

Hey U.N. Owen, what about Charle Francis Xavier? You know, the whole <<Get out of my head Charle!>> thing seem somewhat fitting, no?
>> No. 24169
[x] Follow Cirno's lead; fetch yourselves a change of clothes.

Since I can't think of anything else to do.

[x] Detour at the Library to pick up those books on scrying Patchouli told you about...subtlely ask for a book on fairies as well to add to your scrying books, maybe find out for yourself what might be happening to Cirno.

I'd be tempted to ask for the info to Patchouli herself, but after what she said last time infront of Cirno, it'd probably be best to keep conversation to a minimum when both are around for a while.
>> No. 24170
>>24164
>Makes me wonder if Nathaniel's wishes were cards or the favors Patchouli owned him.
Latter makes almost perfect sense. "Only 2 left" implies that there were more, as was previously stated, and now there's one left.

>So, Sakuya has been pulling the strings behind the scenes?
The mastermind wouldn't refer to herself as "Queen". The queen is a piece, just like the knight, bishop, and pawn. Although just from (overextending) her chess metaphor, I'd assume she was planning on attacking "the enemy" and not her "fellow chesspieces". It does seem that she's the one who gave us those cards, and it'd be strange to help an enemy.

I think that Patchouli is assisting Nathaniel, Sakuya is assisting us, and we're all on the same side; the "wishes" are their offer of help and a way to prove that we aren't useless - squandering them is failure, getting good use means we have value. The problem with that is that is would imply that Sakuya (and Patchouli) need us for something that they cannot do themselves, but are still powerful enough to assist us, which just seems strange.

>>24166
>By rounds she presumably means those for the pistol we stole
>Rounds: Lead, silver, and explosive confirmed. Two unconfirmed.
>explosive
Ring a bell? She's talking about Nathaniel's pistol. The "Two unconfirmed" should completely remove any suspicion that it's our gun, since we only have one bullet, and if it was her gun (which would make sense), she should know what kind of bullets it uses.

Trying to scry again would probably be fruitless.
[x] Follow Cirno's lead; fetch yourselves a change of clothes.
>> No. 24171
>>24166
>By rounds she presumably means those for the pistol we stole
It seems more likely to me that she’s talking about Nathaniel’s bullets. We only have one bullet, and she refers to at least five types.

>>24167
He doesn't need a name, and even if he did that would be an extremely bad one to use.
>> No. 24172
Very interesting indeed. I'm beginning to get an idea of where this is going, and am torn between continuing alongside the bishop or diving in headfirst with the queen.

[X] Return to your room. Change, write in your diary, collect your possessions, etc., before turning in for the night.
>> No. 24174
>>24167
>I also think our Anon really need a name.

I don't know, I kind of like the sound of "Mystic Farmer". It makes you sound at once both ethereal and decidedly down to earth, as if you're the platonic ideal of a farmer, a walking almanac who can tell the direction and speed of the wind by licking his thumb, and gauge the air pressure by the "feeling in his bones".

It makes me want to go outside to stare at the sky on a clear day, and say with all seriousness, "Yup, looks like rain." See if she takes the linens inside.
>> No. 24175
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24175
>>24171 ~Your name is the extremely bad one~

On a serious note...

[x] Follow Cirno's lead; fetch yourselves a change of clothes.
>> No. 24176
Strangely enough, I'm reminded slightly of the Hyperion Cantos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_Cantos) when hearing our character may be a Knight, considering that's what the Shrike (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shrike) was compared to. (There are far more powerful/mobile/valuable things, but there are situations that it's odd rules/movement make it able to pull off that the others can't.)
>> No. 24177
The only difference between chess pieces, aside from the King (check, castling, etc.) and starting amount, is their freedom of movement.

The Bishop can move as far as he wants, but can only reach half the spaces on the board. The Knight has more restricted movement, but can sneak past obstacles and eventually reach any space. Now, who has keys to most of the rooms in the mansion, and who is unable to get ahold of these keys and is thereby restricted from moving into any locked rooms?
>> No. 24178
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24178
>>24171
I'm in agreement; I think that part of the note regarding rounds was in reference to his Seraphim. We saw the explosive round in action, and the second barrel could be for exceptionally special circumstances.

That Sakuya is pulling strings is unsurprising. It's her time/space hax that controls the interior of the mansion. If something were influencing the mansion, she'd know about it. Seems like she is working with "it" to eliminate threats. Certainly explains Nathaniel's extremely agitated response to learning tha Sakuya found us in the basement with Flandre, Adam, and Equitas.

This is both understandable and odd. On the one hand, Sakuya pulling strings to maintain a balance and easy life for Remilia is entirely feasible. But on the other hand, that is a very small step from the behavior displayed in SDM:LA's Sakuya, and U.N. Owen is admittedly loathe to retread old ground. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Wondering what happened after we were ushered out of Flandre's room for Sakuya to comment that Flandre and Adam were fond of us

The parts most baffling me are the "wishes" and "Luna Dial theory." I went back to when Remilia confronted us about what we wanted, but we expressed far more desires that what could be counted as "three." Unless I missed something, in character we have no idea what a Luna Dial is. Was she considering using it to disrupt something, or that using it had caused something to occur? I want those glasses back now more than ever.

>>24177
>>The Bishop can move as far as he wants, but can only reach half the spaces on the board. The Knight has more restricted movement, but can sneak past obstacles and eventually reach any space.
That's awesome, and you're awesome for making that observation. Also:
>>"The pawns are the soul of chess"
>>François-André Danican Philidor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/François-André_Danican_Philidor#Chess_career)
Cirno is, in fact, the strongest

Not voting; too much rum; can't think straight; have some Sakuya; gonna grind in Valkyria Chronicles.
>> No. 24179
[X] Follow Cirno's lead; fetch yourselves a change of clothes.

[X] Detour at the Library to pick up those books on scrying Patchouli told you about...subtlely ask for a book on fairies as well to add to your scrying books, maybe find out for yourself what might be happening to Cirno.

>>Rounds: Lead, silver, and explosive confirmed. Two unconfirmed.
>>Action: Continue plot undermine. Increase assault on fail-safes. Direct confrontation an option.

I get the feeling that if we still had those glasses, we'd have noticed them reacting more than just when Sakuya left that note about dinner.

This does raise a problem, however. If Sakuya might directly confront Nathaniel, what happens to us if we're with him when she does?

Also, I'm somewhat worried by what these "signs of control" are, and particularly how Cirno's level is higher than ours or Nathaniel's.

As for Remilia growing suspicious, I wonder if this might have something to do with why Sakuya planted the idea that the basement was a good place to go.

>>Unless I missed something, in character we have no idea what a Luna Dial is.

Ah, but are we entirely certain as to what the Luna Dial is, ourselves, here? Or, perhaps the question is, are we certain as to who possess it?

Consider it was listed just before the entry about what is most likely Seraphim. And then consider what the third item of Nathaniel's is, other than the sword and the gun, the one he has neither told us the name nor the function of...

As for all these chess references, I'm wondering just who is supposed to be the King in all of this.
>> No. 24180
I'm assuming the Luna Dial theory has something to do with the pocket atch Nathan has been tinkering with, as he did not give us its name yet. Perhaps she was led to believe that Nathan's pocketwatch has power over time as well. To test, she drops a beam over Nathan's head and instead of ZA WARUDOing out of the way he blows it up. Confirms that she was mislead, thus the red herring comment. Of course we are throwing out the fact that Nathan is tryin to fix his watch so he probably couldn't activate it if he wanted to.

If we continue with the chess and freedom analogy, and Sakuya (Maid of Fate) is the Queen, who has the most freedom when nothing is in her way, who plays the king? My first thought of course Remilia, as she is an important figure in the mansion. Is her movement somehow restricted though? The strange dynamic between Adam and Flandre also comes to mind as when I think of restricted movement. The Rook and King. It is a possibility if you consider Remilia the Player instead of King. Also of note is the possibility of Patchouli as the Bishop as well and her relationship with Nathan. I'm probably reading too deep into all this, just like when we were discussing E-card. Remilia probably isn't in on the game if we consider the last bit that Sakuya was writing. Perhaps she is though but Sakuya has other plans for that participants.

On the issue of control, its probably Sakuya measuring her level of influence over us. She has a certain degree of control over Cirno, Mystic Farmer is a guest so he is entitled to freedoms but his curiousity threatens to pry open some secret, and Nathan... well he may well be a lunatic given his behavior. The form control could take is that of fate. Nathan refuses to yield to it, Mystic Farmer's fate is in our hands, and Cirno seems rather accepting of whats going on considering the outrageousness of the situation around her (besides the whole possible mortality thing).

Too many what-ifs. Staying up late in the /sdm/ must draw out the paranoid in me.
>> No. 24182
>>24179

Could Cirno be a traitor!?

Maybe Sakuya pulled some strings too many and got Cirno to act as her pawn...
>> No. 24183
>>24180
>To test, she drops a beam over Nathan's head and instead of ZA WARUDOing out of the way he blows it up.
That's not much of a test, really.

>who plays the king? My first thought of course Remilia, as she is an important figure in the mansion. Is her movement somehow restricted though?
Isn't the proper way to think of the king's short movements as "Too important to move faster", and not "Slow old bastard"?
Also, the "restricted" comment was in regards to Nathaniel being the bishop. Bishops can move any number of squares, but can only ever access half the board. Nathaniel doesn't have a key, thus can only access "half" the mansion.

>As for all these chess references, I'm wondering just who is supposed to be the King in all of this.
I'm more curious about who the player(s) are. The king is still a piece that is part of the game.
>> No. 24193
I wonder if anyone's considered the possibility that Sakuya has been driven to literal madness by the paranoia this place engenders, but has since embraced that madness, and done everything in her power to continue to foster that kind of environment, so as to make anyone else there just as insane as her.
>> No. 24200
>Is her movement somehow restricted though?
Daylight.
>Cirno is, in fact, the strongest.
Not yet. She needs to reach the other side of the board. Patchy is making this easier for her.
>> No. 24201
And then, Anon became the Chess World Champion.
>> No. 24202
File 122877075111.jpg - (141.05KB , 539x539 , 11890.jpg ) [iqdb]
24202
>>24182
I think the "control" status is how much influence Sakuya has over that person. She got Cirno to act like a maid for the better part of the day, so even though Cirno doesn't like Sakuya or her role, she has moderate control. While we've been doing our own thing for the most part, she's been able to keep us in line. Nathaniel has likely been a pain in her ass since day 1.

Well, at least we have something in common with her.

>>24193
That would be bad on an untold number of levels. I don't get any insane vibes from her though. Angry and manipulative, yes. Bonkers, not so much. Every moment with her from here on out is going to be under a microscope, that's for sure.

I wonder what the red thing Nathaniel is working on. I was thinking it might be a part for Equitas, but the description doesn't really lend itself to the idea that the sword is complete. Maybe he's crafting a part for his watch?

>>24180
I like this read on the Luna Dial Theory.

Also, chess.
>> No. 24203
>>24200
She has a parasol, ya know. Haven't you seen the Reimu EoSD endings? Plus, the board is likely the entire mansion and not the outside. And even if it was, and even if she was completely vulnerable to sunlight, she could at least go out and night, while we can't.
>> No. 24204
>>I wonder what the red thing Nathaniel is working on. I was thinking it might be a part for Equitas, but the description doesn't really lend itself to the idea that the sword is complete. Maybe he's crafting a part for his watch?

I think I have an idea of what it is, or at least what it's for.
He wants to get the sword back. The sword is currently in the possession of two vampire children who happen to like it for the dragon on it. Needless to say, they won't be inclined to just give it up, and since attempting to steal it back from them would probably not be the wisest thing to do, the best thing to do would be to convince them to return it somehow, and a good way to do that might be to offer them something in exchange.
>> No. 24206
>>24202
>Maybe he's crafting a part for his watch?

It was red but didn't look like a ruby, so I was assuming rose quartz, for the construction of a quartz (and not mechanical) watch.
>> No. 24210
>>24206
Possible, aren't the crystals for such watches supposed to be rather small? Nathaniel's block is pretty big, which seems a tad wasteful if that's what he's using it for.
Of course, that's not even taking into account the fact that quartz clocks are electrical, and he'd need some way to power the thing.

Besides, rose quartz is usually pink, not red.
>> No. 24211
[Follow Cirno's lead; fetch yourselves a change of clothes.]

That little demon in your head, which you had once hoped was either asleep or even dead, is now back with a vengeance, wreaking havoc on your thoughts with suspicion after suspicion. A single half-page of incoherent text, viewed for less than a minute, has suddenly opened up a plethora of new questions you ask yourself at lightning speed. And here you thought you were doing so well, too…

All these chess metaphors…could Nathaniel be truly right? Could this entire mansion just be part of one giant game? Maid of Fate, the Queen…does that mean Sakuya is the cause behind everything, or is she merely a powerful playing piece, with the chessmaster pulling the strings from somewhere else? “Sign of control,” what could that mean? And why would Cirno be ahead of both you and Nathaniel, with Nathaniel having none? In your mind you’d think that control would be based on a length of time, in which case Nathaniel should be the highest. Unless “plus previous” means something important, and you’ve got a feeling that all the stuff on this sheet is. Three wishes; could they be referring to those strange First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」cards you found in that envelope? And if they are…does that mean Nathaniel has them, too? Or could it be referring to his “solids” that he has with Patchouli, perhaps? Or, who knows, it could all mean something completely different.

“Direct confrontation an option”…Now there’s something disconcerting. You’ve had barely anything that could be called “direct confrontation” in this mansion so far; it’s all been shady dealings under-the-table. And if Nathaniel’s threat level is extreme…No, is Sakuya planning on killing Nathaniel?! Please, please be wrong! That can’t be right at all; she must be talking about a one-on-one talk or something, right? Why would the head maid kill an honored guest? It makes no sense…Nothing on this note makes any bloody sense! “Luna Dial theory confirmed red herring,” that’s barely even a complete sentence, and what the heck’s Luna Dial supposed to be?! “Rounds: explosive” might refer to Nathaniel’s Seraphim gun—something that at least makes relative sense, finally—but that last bit you got to read almost seems like complete stream of consciousness. There’s too much information here, too many questions that are either incomplete or nonsensical, not to mention completely unanswered.

Stop it. This note really doesn’t change anything, does it? All it really tells you is that something strange is going on in this house, Sakuya is a part of it, and you should watch your step. You could have told yourself that when you woke up this morning for crying out loud! You’ll definitely be being more careful around Sakuya now (probably impossible with her ability to do whatever she wants with time), but other than that, what else can you do? Acting on unknown information could be just as bad as not acting on it, and maybe even worse since you don’t have a clue what the big picture is, or if there even is one! Stay focused. Stay sharp. Don’t do anything rash. Think first, do later. It’s gotten you this far, hasn’t it?

“Hey!” Cirno pokes you in the ribs painfully. “Are you paying attention to me, Mr. Stupid?”

You hang your head in playful shame. “Oh, sorry, I did it again? My mistake, I was just…I saw some weird things, and I was just thinking about them, that’s all.”

“Weird things? Ooo, like what weird things?”

You tell yourself that it’s not worth it to burden Cirno with your spotty observations. If you don’t even understand, how could she? “I don’t even know, Cirno,” you reply. “None of it made much sense to me. I don’t want to think about it right now. How about we stop over by the library and pick up those books Miss Patchouli was talking about?”

Her face turns down at this idea instantly. Too soon? Maybe it’d be best to just wait on this one. “Actually, you know what? It’s late, and we’ve gotta be up early tomorrow for Mr. Nathaniel, remember? How about we just head back to my room, and maybe we can get you a new uniform while we’re at it. Sound good?”

She smiles and nods, though the silence remains. Note to self: Do not bring up Patchouli around Cirno right now. You make sure you haven’t left anything behind, then start walking to your room, Cirno leading. From this view you notice something you find both funny and intriguing at the same time. You hadn’t thought about it before, but it seems like Cirno tied the bathrobe onto herself backwards so that her wings can poke out of the would-be neckline. It looks hilarious, but you realize how clever the idea actually is. That’s Cirno for you: creating intelligence through sheer random luck and effort.

Your room is a welcoming sight after the weirdness and uncertainty of the rest of the mansion. At least in here you know where things are and what they do (well, mostly). Unfortunately, several objects on the bed work well in bringing you back to the reality of your situation. There’s a crisp new maid uniform for Cirno along with a more casual set of clothes for her that look like pajamas. A scrap of paper on top of them reads:

One should always look one’s best on the job. You may leave your used garments near the door, and they shall be taken care of.

(Dressed…)
>> No. 24212
(…for success.)

Izayoi…did she overhear your conversation in the bathroom and head you off or something? Where are those spectacles when you need them? Cirno is quite happy with the turn of events, and quickly shoos you out of the room so she can change into her eveningwear. You are allowed to do the same several minutes later, and soon you are both in comfortable cotton pants and shirts: Cirno’s a simple light grey without ornament, yours pine green and white. You carefully remove the items from your jacket and deposit them in safe places, then lump your soot-stained, blood-stained clothes by the door for the real maids to pick up.

“So, now what?” Cirno asks, sitting on your bed with her legs folded under her.

“Journal,” you reply, picking the book up from your bag, right where you left it. “I think I’ll write in my journal for a while; I haven’t updated it in like forever.”

“Okay then, Mr. Boring, be that way.”

“I thought I was stupid?”

“You are. You’re both. Mr. Boring Stupid. Where am I going to sleep? There’s only one bed, you know.”

The sudden change in topic makes you accidentally dot an “I” twice sloppily. You hadn’t really thought about the sleeping arrangements until now. It’d be pretty weird, not to mention compromising, to sleep in the same room as Cirno. But at the same time, the two of you sleeping in a different room is just asking for trouble to happen to one of you, perhaps both. And this chair isn’t that uncomfortable…

“You can take the bed; I’ll be up for a while writing this.” You motion to the diary, and she nods, though she challenges your question after a few seconds of thought.

“You sure? I mean, I’m supposed to be making you feel nice, not the other way around.”

You sigh. “I thought we went over this already. We’re looking out for each other; there’s no one-way stuff any more. Even if you’re my maid, or whatever, I should be able to treat you however I want, and if I want to treat you like a friend, why should Sakuya get angry?” Your mind flashes back to last night, and you shiver when you realize that you seem to be having almost the exact same conversation you had with Meiling. Your hand surreptitiously moves to the golden flower in your coat pocket and you stroke it’s petals, remembering how delicate even the strongest of people can be on the inside.

The two of you go back and forth on the little details of maidhood—or lack thereof—for quite some time, until Cirno finally abates and slips under the covers of your bed, angling in a funny way to compensate for her icy wings. You alter between focusing on your diary and focusing on her, chuckling as you view her antics of pretending to be asleep despite failing horribly.

The time passes without measure as you flip the pages of the diary, red paragraph after red paragraph detailing everything you’ve done…everything you should have done…everything you want to do. You start wondering why in the world you’re even writing this. Probably no one will ever read it but you, it’s not full of any happy memories and contains plenty of bad ones, and yet here you are, diligently scribbling your mind away. The ink looks like blood…maybe it is blood...Stop thinking about stupid things like that, focus…Your eyes grow hazy and unfocused with exhaustion from reading the tiny letters. Perhaps, yes, just a little rest on the eyes; a minute or two, that’ll recharge you enough. You can keep writing after that…You won’t, won’t…fallll…assleepp…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The End Of The Third Day
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


[ ] The crimson cross. One who will dream.
[ ] The red phoenix. One who will watch.
[ ] The golden dragon. One who will help.
[ ] The green hero. One who will lose.
[ ] The blue angel. One who will strive.
[ ] The violet word. One who will rot.
[ ] The grey blade. One who will fight.
[ ] The black sea. One who will humble.
[ ] The colorless chaos. One who will heal.

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

Excellent conversations and discussions, as always; I salute you once more. How fun it is for me to see what my readers are pondering right outside the walls of the story! So many theories…I wonder which of them are right, mmm?

>>24167
>I also think our Anon really need a name, like NAO.
I have always been torn upon this idea of naming/not naming a protagonist. Naming them seems to give them a bit too much “definition”, and I’d like to avoid that. If you wish to give the character a nickname to use out of story, by all means do so, but I doubt I’ll be giving him a defined name any time soon.

I realize that the phrase in the note is odd, but I couldn’t think of a way around it at the time, considering I was pressed for it.

>>24180
>Staying up late in the /sdm/ must draw out the paranoid in me.
I have been led to believe that staying in /sdm/ at all will draw out the “paranoid” in a person. Which is not always a bad thing considering the oft-used mood of the mansion in many stories here.

>>24202
I am enjoyed that this picture exists.
>> No. 24214
>Excellent conversations and discussions, as always; I salute you once more. How fun it is for me to see what my readers are pondering right outside the walls of the story! So many theories…I wonder which of them are right, mmm?

Obviously, it's the one in which our hero is actually a spikey time-manipulating/traveling monstrousity that impales it's victims on a backwards-time-traveling tree to suffer? Oh, and he's also made out of love or some weird thing like that.
>> No. 24215
>[ ] The crimson cross. One who will dream.
Remilia

>[ ] The red phoenix. One who will watch.
Flandre

>[ ] The golden dragon. One who will help.
Adam

>[ ] The green hero. One who will lose.
Mystic Farmer?

>[ ] The blue angel. One who will strive.
Cirno

>[ ] The violet word. One who will rot.
Patchouli?

>[ ] The grey blade. One who will fight.
Sakuya

>[ ] The black sea. One who will humble.
EX-Rumia?

>[ ] The colorless chaos. One who will heal.
Yukari?

[x] The black sea. One who will humble.

This is the one I'm least certain of.

>>24210
>Possible, aren't the crystals for such watches supposed to be rather small? Nathaniel's block is pretty big, which seems a tad wasteful if that's what he's using it for.

This is a man who mined his own ore to forge the perfect sword. The concept of "waste" has probably never entered his mind.

>Of course, that's not even taking into account the fact that quartz clocks are electrical, and he'd need some way to power the thing.

Who is to say he doesn't have a battery? Hell, maybe one of those self-charging watches, or even magical? A perfectionist like Nathaniel doesn't seem like the kind of person to build a watch that would lose a second every few weeks.

>Besides, rose quartz is usually pink, not red.

Yes, but there are very red quartz crystals, going by google image search.
>> No. 24216
>[ ] The green hero. One who will lose.
> Mystic Farmer?

Meiling, I'd think, if we accept the rest of those. Which I am not at all sure about.

[X] The black sea. One who will humble.

This does however interest me the most.
>> No. 24217
[X] The red phoenix. One who will watch.

Gah. Too many appealing choices.

>>Yes, but there are very red quartz crystals, going by google image search.

Oh, I know quartz itself can be red, I'm just saying it probably isn't "rose quartz" on account of the color. I blame my parents for dragging me to one too many rock and gem shows as a child.
>> No. 24219
[X] The colorless chaos. One who will heal.

Either this is about what we'll dream, or who we'll be observing in our dreams. As i've yet to meet anyone around here who's a healer, this seems like the most prudent choice.
And quoting Paul Barnett: "Because it's Chaos!"

Also, the King can be thought of as the player, since losing the King means losing the game.

Then again, it might just be sakuyas way of categorizing new people and their place in the mansion in regards to her own. You'll notice that sakuya was the only person on that list who actually lives there.
>> No. 24221
[x] The grey blade. One who will fight.

I'm curious about this one, that and I really like Sakuya.
>> No. 24222
[X] The blue angel. One who will strive.


>> No. 24223
[x] The grey blade. One who will fight.
>>24215
Seems to influence what people will vote for. But i for once think One who will fight is a good choice. Fighting means not giving up and fight to win a game.
>> No. 24224
File 122880593062.jpg - (380.65KB , 1425x975 , 670739.jpg ) [iqdb]
24224
>>24212
>>Excellent conversations and discussions, as always; I salute you once more. How fun it is for me to see what my readers are pondering right outside the walls of the story! So many theories…I wonder which of them are right, mmm?

I make it a point of always posting something analyzing an update. I'm hard pressed to think of any other writer that goes out of their way to reward genuine analysis and discussion, even if it doesn't reach a specific conclusion. Positive reinforcement works on anon. That, and it's fun as hell to sling conspiracy theories around.

>>and quickly shoos you out of the room so she can change into her eveningwear
>>Where am I going to sleep? There’s only one bed, you know.
Huh, no notion of the "birds and the bees" but has enough... modesty?.. to know there should be some privacy and separation between little boys and girls? Good indication of where Cirno is mentally.

>>That’s Cirno for you: creating intelligence through sheer random luck and effort.
ಠ_ಠ
No.
Different; not random. Yes, I am lecturing a write-fag on his own characterization. What of it?

Anyway...
[X] The blue angel. One who will strive.
Regrets = 0
Occurs to me how awesome it would be if we were the cornerstone in acheiving Cirno's Advent state. Pie in the sky level ambition, but fun to consider.
>> No. 24225
File 12288066366.jpg - (212.70KB , 427x640 , cirno1.jpg ) [iqdb]
24225
[X] The blue angel. One who will strive.

Would love to support Advent Cirno Movement ;)
>> No. 24227
[X] The red phoenix. One who will watch.
>> No. 24230
File 122881539151.jpg - (917.39KB , 3667x800 , cirno evolution.jpg ) [iqdb]
24230
>>24224
Well, according to Sakuya Cirno is a pawn. And with enough effort, the humble pawn can be promoted into a mighty queen.

I wonder what would happen if Cirno proved Patchy wrong and unlocked her potential... DO WANT EX-Cirno!
>> No. 24231
[x] The blue angel. One who will strive.
Eh why not.
>> No. 24233
[x] The blue angel. One who will strive.
>> No. 24235
[X] The colorless chaos. One who will heal.

Seems prudent to identify these.
>> No. 24236
[X] The red phoenix. One who will watch.

Because recently, i've simply developed a special liking for Flandre(hopefully this is actually related to her in some way). Do want to see EX-Cirno, though.

On another note, i've been pondering as to the potential uses of our scrying powers, specifically a perhaps hax extension. If scrying already has granted us a view through others' eyes, and potentially other senses as well, what if it could be trained or tuned to see through another's point of view, and specifically how they think of things they percieve? What if we could look through another's mind's eye? I think this could be useful, to say the least.

Another note. If we are going to push for EX-Cirno, then consider the times at which the pawn can actually promote itself; usually near endgame, and with already a large number of opposing pieces(and likely, allied pieces) removed from play. What this could bode, I am not wholly sure, but a bad end undoubtedly awaits if multiple characters in the story start dying off.

Final note, because it would have been useful in this post: how do I format text on this site, again? I have forgotten, and in experimentation i've had no success.
>> No. 24237
[X] The golden dragon. One who will help.

Adam is the one who will help huh?
>> No. 24238
[x] The blue angel. One who will strive.

:D
>> No. 24240
>>24215
>This is a man who mined his own ore to forge the perfect sword. The concept of "waste" has probably never entered his mind.
No no no. Engineering is about efficiency: being able to do more with less. Wasting raw material isn’t going to aid an engineer at all, especially if the material is in short supply. One might mine the raw ore simply so that, from start to finish, he knows exactly what’s going into his product.

>>24224
>I make it a point of always posting something analyzing an update. I'm hard pressed to think of any other writer that goes out of their way to reward genuine analysis and discussion, even if it doesn't reach a specific conclusion. Positive reinforcement works on anon. That, and it's fun as hell to sling conspiracy theories around.
I wouldn’t say I exactly “go out of my way” to reward analysis most of the time, but when I’m able to see how my readers are thinking, it allows me to write future updates in accordance with, or perhaps even in spite of, the ongoing discussion. As I’ve stated before, the main character is supposed to be you, more or less. When you think about things out of the story, I get a better understanding of the character’s mind, and can write him better, so it’s really a win-win.

Though, yes, showing me that you have a brain does win you points from me, and I’ve been going just a little easier on you because of it. I had once toyed with the idea of being very rough on you and forcing you to do multiple run-throughs to get what we might call a “True End”, but since that would take far too long, and since you’re showing me that you have capability to go for True right here and now, I have since discarded the idea.

And conspiracy theories makes everyone happy! Or at least, it make me happy to see you running around chasing possible red herrings, and they say a happy writer is a happy reader, so there you go.

>No. Different; not random. Yes, I am lecturing a write-fag on his own characterization. What of it?
Please realize that this statement was not made by either me or a narrator: it was made by the protagonist. His perception may be flawed, as he is certainly not omnipotent.

>>24230
This picture. It is a triumph! Thank you for posting it, very much.

>>24236
>...how do I format text on this site, again?
I will share what I know, though I believe I am missing a few things:
Underlining: [“u”] Text [“/u”]
Italics: [“i”] Text [“/i”]
Bold: [“b”] Text [“/b”]
Strikethrough: [“s”] Text [“/s”]
Spoiler Tags: [“spoiler”] Text [“/spoiler”]
Quoting: “>”Text
Post Linking: “>>”Post Number
Simply remove the quotation marks for the real thing.

And as for discussion of Advent Cirno / EX-Cirno…You’ll get a taste of something similar if I can ever finish that Post #100 gift story. I’m currently sitting at about 5000 words, and schoolwork has stalled me pretty bad on that front. I’d rather not post anything until I have it all written, so apologies, but you’ll have to wait some more.

Most likely there will be no update for me until later tonight, and it may or may not be a shorter one.
>> No. 24242
>>24171 >>24212
>I have always been torn upon this idea of naming/not naming a protagonist. Naming them seems to give them a bit too much “definition”, and I’d like to avoid that. If you wish to give the character a nickname to use out of story, by all means do so, but I doubt I’ll be giving him a defined name any time soon.

When I first brought that up, it wasn't necessarily because I wanted the protagonis to be named. I just thought it to be wierd that after three days, the hosts still don't know their guest's name.

And what's the problem with giving him a name? t's not like the protagonist's personality will change drastically, it most probably won't change even in the slighest. Of course, there is still the question of what to name him, and Anon isn't very creative...
>> No. 24243
>>24242

7/10. Too many spelling errors, but goddamn if you aren't persistent.
>> No. 24244
Our hero, Mystical farmer can see through other peoples eyes, but can he see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
>> No. 24245
>How can you have survived the advances of Meiling, Koakuma, and perhaps even Remilia without incident, and yet still find yourself struggling to keep away from Cirno, easily the least physically-appealing female in this mansion (well, okay, aside from Flandre…maybe).

I've thought about it and deem that our hero simply isn't attracted to the color red and all color tones near it. Like a bee really...
>> No. 24246
>>24245
Subconsciously avoiding individuals emitting harsh and dangerous tones while clinging to someone who radiates cool and soothing colors? Deep.

>>24244
I lol'd
>> No. 24248
>>24243

Using a laptop for the first time, it's hard getting used to it's shitty keyboard. And I wasn't trolling, but it's not like you care, right?
>> No. 24252
[x] The Blue Angel. One who will strive.
Watch as this turns out to be, I dunno, Keine or something.

>>24200
>>Cirno is, in fact, the strongest.
>Not yet. She needs to reach the other side of the board. Patchy is making this easier for her.
See, everyone thinks Cirno is just a pawn that can turn into a queen.
Ha ha. No.
See, while everyone's busy playing the deadly intricate chess game, Cirno is playing Checkers, which is far less complicated, and requires much less thinking about to gain a nasty amount of power. And by the time she gets Kinged, she'll be too strong to bother figuring out how to play by those other complicated rules, and that this game is a lot more fun.

>>24211
>That’s Cirno for you: creating intelligence through sheer random luck and effort.

All of this, and especially the Thinks-Different post in >>24096 (last post in Thread 9) are convincing me that this is in fact, just how Cirno rolls. Explain something carefully to her, and it'll go nowhere fast. Just explain what you'd like the end result to be, and maybe a suggestion on how to reach it, or a poke in the right direction.

Maybe if we explain thermodynamics in terms of "make this colder, but don't let this one get colder," and "put cold into this," and "make this more not-cold," she'll be able to start pulling off astonishingly inventive shit.

>>24211
>That little demon in your head,
>>24212
>The blue angel. One who will strive.
You are now imagining mini-Koakuma and mini maid-Cirno standing on opposite shoulders as his bad and good consciences, respectively.
>> No. 24253
File 122885846332.png - (10.81KB , 256x143 , 655.png ) [iqdb]
24253
>>24214
>Obviously, it's the one in which our hero is actually a spikey time-manipulating/traveling monstrousity
...
>> No. 24255
[ ] The blue angel. One who will strive.

Your dream is a dream of chaos. Unnamed things reach out to you with unnamed appendages, defiling you, penetrating you, seeping into you and eating you from the inside out. You scream, but your voice dies before the sound is even born. You reach out, but your limbs are non-existent and do not respond. You listen, but hear nothing except a constant din of insanity. You see…

…and view something completely different.

The air is thick with the darkness of midnight, barely illuminated by a weak half-moon and a few pitiful stars. Around you is a grey beach receding into a black sea, the waves lapping against the shore, bothering no one. Your vision bobs up and down hurriedly, like you’re running from something, or perhaps someone. Sand suddenly explodes all around you as an object impacts into the ground before your eyes, knocking your feet out from off the ground. You expect your eyes to rattle with the force of your back impacting upon the ground, but they never do. You view glides backwards sharply, as if you’re flying.

A dark humanoid shape rushes at you from the sandy crater, it’s features impossible to determine in the poor light. Before it gets more than five meters, it trips and flies forwards into the sand, it’s legs completely encased in ice. Ice? Wait, did you do that?

Rather than face-planting into the ground, the shape uses its momentum to tuck into a roll, breaks the ice around it like tissue paper, and rockets towards you with a powerful kick. You dodge out of the way, a miniature hailstorm emanating from your hands—no, they can’t possibly be your hands!—and blinding your foe. You suddenly find yourself…standing on water? This can’t be, no, it isn’t you! But then who is it?

A giant boulder of ice rises out of the sea around you and hurtles towards the shape on the shore. It doesn’t shatter, and two seconds later you find the same chunk being thrown right back at you! It stops mid-flight mere centimeters before your eyes and dissolves into powdery snow…just in time for you to be blown backwards by an unforeseen punch from your adversary. The world becomes a swirl of black sky and black water as you pirouette lamely through the air. Somehow you find your feet and stand up, resting on a flat bed of ice that wasn’t in the water a second ago. A hand goes to your mouth against your will and brings back blood.

You speak, in a voice not your own. It’s male, full of confidence, happiness, and ego, three things you know you lack generous amounts of right now. The voice speaks to himself, or perhaps to you, or perhaps even to someone else, but you hear it all the same.

“Hold on, Cirno…I’m coming for you.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Dawn of the Fourth Day
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



You flicker back into reality as the memories of your strange dream fade from your mind. Your pen and journal lie carelessly on the floor; they must have slipped out of your hands while you were asleep. At least the ink didn’t stain the pages. Fumbling around in the dim light of the morning, you find your watch and check the time. 8:38?! Nathaniel wanted you down in the library by nine! You’re much more awake now, too busy getting dressed and getting your possessions together to think about that strange dream. Your good jacket hangs back in the armoire, perfectly clean. Sakuya again, most likely. You throw on some comfortable clothes and load your pockets up with pretty much all of your odds and ends, minus the books Remilia gave you. Nathaniel said to be prepared for anything, so prepared you shall be.

You now carry with you:
+A compass. It’s crudely made, but very trustworthy.
+A coin pouch. Contains all the money you own…plus a strange Yankee coin.
+A fountain pen. Discovered earlier in a pare of spare pants. Writes with a deep red ink.
+A blank page from your diary. You’ve sketched a map of the basement on this.
+A ring holding three keys. They unlock several secrets in the basement.
+A silvery gleaming key. It’s the master key to the mansion!
+A small silver pocket-watch. Tick tick tick. It reads 8:47.
+Three mystical cards. Perhaps they hold some hidden power.
+A letter opener. Long and thin, almost like a knife.
+A comb. Smooth and polished, good for looking like a gentleman.
+A thick diary. Already it’s pages begin to fill with adventures.
+A vial of pearly liquid. “Batch 3, 698-072441-H, 50 mL. Yagokoro, Eirin.”
+A compact lockpick set. Too bad you don’t know how to use them…
+A shiny automatic lighter. Lights the way in darkness.
+A stick of dynamite. Easy to use: light fuse, run away.
+A throwing knife. The blade shines with a silver hue.
+A strange angular pistol. There’s a single bullet in the chamber.
+Three danmaku spell cards:
1) Wood Sign, 「Sprout’s Awakening」
2) Moon Sign, 「Silver Sickle」
3) Harvest Sign, 「First Harvest」

You gaze over at Cirno on the bed and smile. She’s still sound asleep, the covers all bunched up around her wings, and a little satisfied grin on her face. You watch her for just a minute or so, her simple innocence soothing to your troubled soul. Realizing that you’re going to be late if you stay too much longer, you rub her shoulder, trying to wake her up. She moans quietly, but does not rouse. You wonder if fairies might require more sleep than humans, or something to that effect.

You ponder your situation carefully. You and Nathaniel are about to descend into the proverbial lion’s den, face two mentally-unstable “monsters”, attempt to bargain with them of all things, and come out none the worse for wear. Any one of those four things could be an adventure in itself, and you wonder if perhaps Cirno should even be involved with it. She made it through the night just fine, and if you’re lucky this shouldn’t take very long at all...though at the same time, would she feel slighted if you left without her?

[ ] Wake her up more forcibly, then tell her the both of you need to get down to the library fast.
[ ] Wake her up more forcibly, but tell her you’d rather she sit this one out.
[ ] Don’t wake her; go down to the library alone. This is your mission, not hers.
[ ] Don’t wake her, but remain here and let her wake up by herself. She’s more important than Nathaniel.
[ ] A different idea? (Write-in)

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

I seem to have caught a most troublesome seasonal cold, and copious amounts of bodily fluids leak out of my skull like water, not to mention a quite annoying headache. Hopefully this will not affect my writing in the least, but as the illness has made my mind fuzzy right now, I am a poor judge of such a fact.

>>24245
Well now you’re just reaching for things that aren’t there.

>>24252
>Watch as this turns out to be, I dunno, Keine or something.
At least you kept an open mind. Points for that.

>See, while everyone's busy playing the deadly intricate chess game, Cirno is playing Checkers…
I approve of this way of thinking. This is how people create good write-ins: by going beyond the impossible and kicking reason to the curb.

>You are now imagining mini-Koakuma and mini maid-Cirno standing on opposite shoulders as his bad and good consciences, respectively.
This image stated here! I cannot remove this image from my mind!
>> No. 24256
File 122887046832.jpg - (57.69KB , 500x500 , 160605.jpg ) [iqdb]
24256
>>24255
The implications of that dream are awesome... or maybe I'm interpreting it wrong.
Combat doesn't usually make sense for me when it's written down; get confused something awful. That bit made sense, though. Very well written section.

I'm still pondering what to do with Cirno. Keeping her close means we can try to take care of her. But with a potential conflict with Flandre, Adam, and/or Nathaniel, keeping her away from the area would be the safest. But I don't like the prospect of her wandering the mansion by herself. I've got half a mind to wake her abruptly, throw her out our window, and tell her to never come back. But meh, don't want to lose our friend right now.

Trying to think of a constructive way to separate Cirno from ourselves for a while. Musing has resulted in maybe trying to explain our notions about Cirno to Patchu to see if she has some curiculum ideas, or ferrying the scrying books to our room, but no solid ideas...
>> No. 24257
[x] Stroke her Wings to wake her up.
>> No. 24258
[x] Stroke her Wings to wake her up.

Must know.
>> No. 24259
[x] Stroke her Wings to wake her up.
>> No. 24260
If you don't tell her, she's going to become worried and will go looking for you, with potentially disastrous results. If you tell her not to come, she will attempt to follow you anyway, with (again) potentially disastrous results.

You and the fairy are bound by the red string of fate; if you meet your end, she will certainly share in it, and vice versa. There is no reason whatsoever to separate unless doing so increases the survival chances of you both.

[x] Stroke her wings to wake her up.
[x] If that doesn't work, wake her up more forcibly.
[x] Tell her the both of you need to get down to the library fast.
>> No. 24261
[x] Stroke her wings to wake her up.
[x] If that doesn't work, wake her up more forcibly.
[x] Tell her the both of you need to get down to the library fast.

yes
>> No. 24262
[x] Stroke her wings to wake her up.
[x] If that doesn't work, wake her up more forcibly.
[x] Tell her the both of you need to get down to the library fast.
>> No. 24263
[x] Stroke her wings to wake her up.
[x] If that doesn't work, wake her up more forcibly. Chew on her ear and write down observations Pinch her buttcheek.
[x] Tell her the both of you need to get down to the library fast.
>> No. 24264
[x] Stroke her wings to wake her up.
[x] If that doesn't work, wake her up more forcibly.
[x] Tell her the both of you need to get down to the library fast.
>> No. 24265
[x] Stroke her wings to wake her up.
[x] If that doesn't work, wake her up more forcibly.
[x] Tell her the both of you need to get down to the library fast
>> No. 24268
[x] Stroke her wings to wake her up.
[x] If that doesn't work, wake her up more forcibly.
[x] Tell her the both of you need to get down to the library fast.

You quickly reconsider. This isn’t just about you, and what you need to do. This is about you, Cirno, Nathaniel…It’s about everyone in this mansion, game or no game, who goes to bed worrying about something, something that you have the power to change. You want to protect Cirno, yes, but you don’t want to keep her out of “the loop” either. And most likely, if she wakes up and finds you gone, she’ll get into even more of a mess by wandering around the mansion looking for you. No, she needs to come with you on this one. Now just how to wake her up…

You sit down on the bed next to the sleeping fairy. You consider whispering in her ear, but the glittering of her wings catches you eye. You wonder…would she feel it if you touched them? They don’t look organic in the least, but they don’t look like they’re made of ice, either. And if she can flutter them around, why couldn’t she feel with them as well? You experimentally rest a hand on one of the six crystalline wings. Smooth and polished, it is cool to the touch, but not bitter cold like you expected. You run your hand across it, stroking the wings like you’d stroke a pet, softly and with care. They glide over your hands like water, causing no pain despite the sharp edges which should be cutting you at a moment’s notice. Cirno’s eyes wiggle underneath her eyelids, and she begins to mutter something.

“Mmm…that, that tickles…feels good…”

You continue to caress her wings, watching her squirm under the covers with each stroke you make across their polished surface. It doesn’t take long before she opens her eyes and looks at you.

“Morning,” you say.

“Morning, stupid,” she replies thickly, the aftereffects of sleep not even close to wearing off yet. “I haffa get up now?”

“Yeah, and you’d better hurry; we’re almost late for meeting Nathaniel. Get dressed quick, we’ve only got like five minutes!”

Groggily she falls out of bed and shuffles over to the desk, where you moved her uniform to, attempting in vain to put a spring in her step. Before you have time to react she starts slipping off her pajamas right in front of you, and you quickly turn away out of modesty before you see too much. This doesn’t make that much sense to you; didn’t she shoo you out of the room last night when she wanted to change? Then why is she not caring now? Forgetfulness, maybe, but seriously one of these days someone needs to explain loud and clear for her the difference between little boys and little girls…and the difference between kids and adults, too.

You walk out the door to avoid a wayward eye, and Cirno follows you not long after, her uniform not quite as perfect as yesterday (did Sakya help her yesterday, then?), but it’ll do for now. The two of you half-walk, half jog down to the library; or really, you walk/jog and Cirno follows your lead, trying to keep up. Once you’re inside the halls of knowledge once again, you don’t waste time having Cirno chart a course for you, and follow the map quickly to the central chamber, not having time to care about the Koakuma or two you notice returning books to their shelves.

Nathaniel waits for you by his watchmaking table, fiddling with this and that on his broken timepiece to pass the time. The watch appears to be coming along quite well, and there’s hardly any spare pieces left on the black cloth; could he be almost finished? You notice a large box sitting on the table adjacent, wrapped with a silver ribbon and shiny paper that carries an intricate design of red, green, and gold dragons. The dragons appear to be exactly the right shape so that they fit together perfectly, without wasting space. You remember that there was some kind of math term for it, but the name escapes you for now.

“Sorry I’m late, overslept,” you remark hurriedly. “What’s the box for?”

“It’s a present for Flandre,” Nathaniel replies. “At first I was thinking of a straight-up trade, but it dawned on me that maybe she’d react better to pure kindness.”

“Mmm, maybe so,” you muse.

Cirno has taken to the air in order to get a better view of the box, and she looks pretty interested in it. “Ooo, that looks the prettiest! What’s in it, what’s in it?”

Nathaniel smirks and undoes the ribbon. “See for yourselves. The box isn’t fully wrapped; figured the little sister might like a dragon-print box, you know, for whatever. Might as well make the presentation as grand as possible, right?”

He opens the box lid, and takes out…Wow, did he make that in a single night? The red block of crystal he was working last night has transformed itself into the form of a carved dragon. It’s curled up into a crescent, its wings slightly arched off its back, but not fully extended. In its right claw it grasps a sword, and as you look closely you see that it’s a miniature crystallized version of the Equitas. The craftsmanship isn’t what you would exactly call “masterwork”, far from it actually, but for someone to carve this out in a single night is an impressive feat by itself. You wonder when this man even finds time to sleep.

“You made that in a single night?!” you exclaim, in awe of his combination of speed and accuracy.

“Well, yesterday evening and half of a night; I got in a few hours of sleep somewhere in there, but, yeah. Do you think Flandre will like it?”

“As long as she doesn’t break it on accident, then yeah, she’ll probably love it. I hope it’s not too fragile?”

He says something, but his words become lost on you as you observe what he does right as he hears the word “fragile”. Nonchalantly he simply lets go of his grip on the carving, and says something to the tune of, “No, not at all,” before the red figurine impacts upon the floor and shatters into a hundred misshapen pieces. You stand there, eyes unblinking, unable to even utter so much as a “What?!”

And then, magic happens. Even as the red shards explode outwards, they seem to change direction mid-trip, hovering in the air for a few seconds. As you watch them closely, they slowly move back to the impact site, and within the span of maybe ten seconds the dragon has been reassembled, just like new, without a crack on it.

And now you utter your, “What?!”

(No use crying over…)
>> No. 24269
(…un-spilt milk.)

Nathaniel smiles as he picks up the carving and returns it to the box. “Like it? I thought it was a pretty good idea myself.”

Your words stick in your throat as you try and make sense of what happened. It broke…but it didn’t? You stutter out an unsure question. “How…H-how did, how did you do that? It, it fixed itself!”

“Rationality,” he replies, placing his glasses on the bridge of his nose, as if to illustrate the forthcoming intellectual explanation. “I’m not sure if you know this, but Flandre Scarlet has a most dangerous magical power: the ability to destroy anything. All she has to do is focus on something, anything at all, and pop! It’s destroyed. This is only second-handed information from Patchouli, mind, but from what she’s told me, there is no countermeasure. You can’t defend against it, you can’t make it weaker, you can’t do a thing to prevent the impending total destruction. So I thought…what can you do? And then it hit me. The object is destroyed…but who’s to say you can’t fix it afterwards? Patchouli helped me a lot on this one; she set some kind of auto-repair, memory spell on the figurine or something, she knows the details. If it takes any damage, any at all, it will instantly return itself to the state it was at when the spell was cast. It’s a toy that can’t break; think it will do for the child who breaks everything?”

You’re stunned. The Risk board…so that’s what happened. She destroys things by merely thinking about them…and she’s insane. What kind of sick, twisted world is this, that creates a child like that?! You’ve got to admit, though, Nathaniel’s plan sounds like a good one. Your only fear is that Flandre’s power will be too strong to let Patchouli’s spell repair it, and then where will you be? But it’s your only shot, and it’s still a pretty good one.

“It’s our only hope; it’d better,” you answer.

He finishes tying the ribbon back onto the box, then sighs. “Well, I would say we should be going, but about an hour or two ago I realized that we don’t even know if she’s awake yet, and I don’t think waking her up would be worth the risk. We might have to delay our little trip for a while; just long enough to where she should reasonably be awake by then. Sound good?”

“Sounds…okay, I guess. You sure we should wait, though? I mean, who’s to say she won’t accidentally ‘focus’ on your sword if we wait too long?”

His face grows grim and serious; his eyes developing a steely shine. “Believe me, I’ve been worrying about that ever since you told me she had it. But unless you’ve got a better idea for knowing when she’s awake besides random chance, I’m not going to risk waking her up before she wants to get up. Insane people aren’t quite…rational, when sleepy.”

As much as you don’t like waiting, he’s right. Flandre’s fuse is a complete mystery, and a lot rides on this one meeting. When you’re playing the odds against an insane child vampire (two insane child vampires), you want to be as safe as possible. Looks like you’ll have to find some way of passing the time between then and now.

[ ] Talk with Nathaniel while you wait. About? (specify topics)
[ ] Talk with Cirno while you wait. About? (specify topics)
[ ] Look around for Koa…no, one of the Koakumas.
[ ] Find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?
[ ] There must be something you can do… (Write-in)

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

>>24256
>Combat doesn't usually make sense for me when it's written down; get confused something awful. That bit made sense, though. Very well written section.
Thank you kindly. Combat is tough to write, no doubts there, but I find it quite fun to create. It really stimulates my mind’s eye to think about a heated battle, and I just try to write what I see. Apparently it worked.
>> No. 24271
[x] Find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?

This should do, also let's add that fairy book thing.

[x] Subtlely ask Patchouli for books on fairies.
>> No. 24272
[X] Find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?
[X] Try to use your scrying to see if Flandre is awake.

Might as well, hope it won't fry our brains too badly, but this is still the only sure way next to just plain asking sakuya if they're awake... and we probably want to avoid her for the time being.
>> No. 24274
[X] Find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?
[X] Try to use your scrying to see if Flandre is awake.
>> No. 24275
[x] Whisper to Nathaniel to be careful of the head maid; you saw something last night that suggests she too is playing his "game" and may be an adverse party.
[x] Try to use your scrying to see if Flandre is awake.
[x] If not, find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?

What you saw is probably too dangerous to tell in detail, but probably not enlightening enough to suggest he use his last "solid" on it, though that's really his decision.
>> No. 24277
>>24268
>The dragons appear to be exactly the right shape so that they fit together perfectly, without wasting space. You remember that there was some kind of math term for it, but the name escapes you for now.
...Radial symmetry? Damn, now this is bothering me.

Also, a sudden theory:
Has anyone thought that Equitas might have some kind of calming or stabilizing power on Adam, in a manner that's a faint echo of the power of the effect the silver spectacles had on Flandre, but that lasts longer?

I don't know (assuming I based this theory on an accurate recollection of events), though, if this effect would be something from the sword itself, or that one thing someone suggested a few threads back: Adam is a dragon, and dragons like to hoard treasure.
>> No. 24278
>>24269
Damn, Nathaniel. That's some good thinkin' you done made.

Depending on how Ryougi-like Flandre's Destruct-O-Crush ability is, she might be able to destroy the concept of the repair spell, and then the statue... but she'd have to be feeling pretty darned unpleasant to do that. Or maybe just destructively curious.

I really hope she doesn't, though.
>> No. 24279
>>24277
>...Radial symmetry? Damn, now this is bothering me.

I was thinking more along the lines of a tessellation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tessellation

If you google image search you can find some more intricate ones..
>> No. 24281
File 122893778580.jpg - (63.79KB , 350x202 , Color.jpg ) [iqdb]
24281
>>24279
Huh, learned something new today.

I don't really know how I feel about giving a child who is used to destroying anything a self-fixing toy. It's either the best idea ever, or you've turned her world on end by giving her something she can't make go away.
>> No. 24282
X] Find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?
[X] Try to use your scrying to see if Flandre is awake.

Looking through the eyes of an insane Vampire Child. Sounds like fun, maybe we get to see her abuse Adam.
>> No. 24285
>>24282
Your desires are stupid and you should feel stupid.
>> No. 24286
>>24161
There are some interesting things I'm now noting about Sakuya's shit-list.

>Nathaniel, Clockwork Engineer -- Bishop? 9 full days plus previous.
So... this is not his first time visiting this place? I don't believe he's ever said anything about that...

>No sign of control. One wish. No sign of escape.
>>23404
>“Then this may concern her as well. Patchouli, I’m calling in a solid you owe me.”
>The librarian, who has just finished moving the wood chips…somewhere, at least you can’t see them anymore, looks at him oddly. “You only have two left. I trust you are aware of this.”
2-1 = 1
This one is probably reaching, but who knows. I'm more a fan of the E-Card round equivalents for this one, even, but I thought it was worth noting. Although... why does Patchy owe Nathaniel anything at all?

>suspicion
I wonder if her entries on "suspicions" are meant to note the amount of suspicion the person themselves has about the nature of the weird crap/plotting/secrets in the SDM, rather than Sakuya's suspicions regarding them. It seems it would fit, at least.

>Luna Dial theory confirmed red herring.
...I know we've heard about Equitas from Nathaniel, and we've seen Seraphim in action, but we still know absolutely nothing about that watch.
>>23512
>“And yes, they are more than mere metal and crystal,” he adds adamantly, really getting into his words now. “Magic flows in them of the kind I doubt many could replicate, and certainly not easily.
Maybe we should ask a little about it. Going by the theme seen so far, it too, presumably has some special name as well, and no doubt even more special properties or abilities.
I'm with >>24180 in considering it to possibly be possibly another timestopping device that is Not Yet Fully Operational.
Also, how the hell would Nathaniel work magic into his creations? That's a bit beyond what an engineer does, I think. Not to mention what he's said about the battles he's fought and whatnot, and WHY he would need such a sword.
tl;dr, knowing more about his true profession and occupation would help, as well as anything at all about that watch... which I think he's been evading talking about.

>Deterioration confirmed. Level unconfirmed.
>Speculation: Cannot continue on as before. Situation drawing to a close. Uncertain for first time in three years. Could end poorly.
tl;dr, Serious shit is about to go down. We will need to be informed, and ready.

>Remilia growing suspicious?
That's just bad news to see.

>The twins are talkative; unlike them.
One, Flandre and Adam are hardly "twins," are they? I'm not so sure this refers to those two anymore.
Two, "unlike them."?
...Who's this "them," then? We've run out of vampires... right? Unless Sakuya is distinguishing between the many personalities of Flandre and Adam and regarding each as a seperate entity. Wouldn't explain who the hell "the twins" are, though.
I did have an odd theory that it referred to the Koakumas (Koakumae?), oddly enough. Maybe there are two that look alike?

>Attachment to the new guests, perhaps. Shame, really.
Well now that's just all kinds of unsettling right there.

>>24269
Wait, did I miss something?

All we told Nathaniel was that Flandre can point at things and blow them up. Prior to that, as near as I can tell, he only said Patchouli had informed him of the existence of her and Adam.
That would contradict this:
>I mean, who’s to say she won’t accidentally ‘focus’ on your sword if we wait too long?”
>His face grows grim and serious; his eyes developing a steely shine. “Believe me, I’ve been worrying about that ever since you told me she had it.

Never mind, I think I was wrong on this particular tangent. But if anyone else finds something odd about it, please do investigate. It's just that something struck me a little odd as to the timing of when he was told things and what he could have known.
>> No. 24287
>>24286
>Two, "unlike them."?
"Flandre and Adam are acting suspicious, unlike Flandre and Adam". That makes perfect sense and does not imply the existence of another.

>One, Flandre and Adam are hardly "twins," are they? I'm not so sure this refers to those two anymore.
Adam seems to be a dragon that is infused with vampiric blood. Given Flandre's attachment to him, maybe it's her blood. She also had a chipped tooth, right? Calling Adam her 'twin' wouldn't be too much of a stretch if that is the case.

>2-1 = 1
Slowpoke.
>> No. 24288
[X] Talk with Nathaniel while you wait. About?
- Flandre's crystals, and the ones to be wary of when lit
[X] Find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?
[X] Try to use your scrying to see if Flandre is awake.

Nathaniel would probably appreciate knowing about Flan's built-in Early Warning System, if he doesn't already.

>>One, Flandre and Adam are hardly "twins," are they?

I don't know about that. After all, just how many of us thought Adam was Flandre when we first met him, when all we had to go by was the hair color, red eye, likely possibility of wings, and the rather clear case of insanity?
Throw in their clear closeness as siblings, and calling them "twins" doesn't seem so far-fetched, even if the label isn't technically accurate.
>> No. 24289
[X] Talk with Nathaniel while you wait. About?
- Flandre's crystals, and the ones to be wary of when lit
[X] Find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?
[X] Try to use your scrying to see if Flandre is awake.
>> No. 24291
[Find Patchouli. She should have your scrying books ready by now, right?]
[Try to use your scrying to see if Flandre is awake.]

“Hey, is Patchouli around here somewhere?” you ask Nathaniel. “She said she had some books for me to pick up.”

“Actually using a library to check out books?” Nathaniel chuckles. “That’s an original idea. But actually, no, I think she’s still in bed; don’t ask me where it is, because all I know is that it’s somewhere in the library.”

“Mmm, well…Do you know where her ‘main desk’ might be? Maybe she left the books there.”

He shrugs his shoulders. “Beats me. She’s got so many desks and tables around here, I didn’t even know she considered one of them to be her main. You’re welcome to look around though; most likely it’s in the central hex somewhere.”

“Well, thanks anyways,” you finish, walking away and turning to Cirno. “Hey, Cirno, see if you can find an important-looking desk with books on scrying on it, okay?”

“What’s scrying? Howd’ya spell it?” Cirno asks, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

That’s actually a good question. How do you spell it? S-K-R…no, that can’t be right, a “K” there looks wrong. S-C-R-I-E-I-N…Gah, no, that can’t be right either. You hold your hands up to Cirno in defeat.

“I, uh, I don’t really know either. Probably starts with ‘S-C-R’, let’s start there. You take that half of the area, I’ll take this half, okay?”

“Yes sir!” She salutes you and zooms off overhead, bobbing up and down like a frantic blue housefly. You meander quickly through the piles of books and chairs, looking for any desk that might be bigger than the ones around it, reading the spines of books you find on the off-chance Patchouli set them somewhere else. There’s plenty of desks and tables around here, and of all materials and designs, too. Wood, stone, metal, glass; you’re amazed at the collection Patchouli’s got going in just furniture alone. Unfortunately, there’s no grand desk or pile of scrying text to be found, and though you haven’t quite covered all the ground in the central hex yet, your spirits are low.

Suddenly, an idea strikes you. No one knows if Flandre is awake or not yet, but that’s wrong. She knows if she’s awake or not. And all it should take would be a quick scry through her eyes for you to know as well. But…you remember why you didn’t try before, and the prospect of looking through her eyes is still frightening. Thus far you’ve noticed no adverse affects on either party from scrying through their eyes, but Flandre’s mental state could be different. Still, one peak is all you would need, right?

You find a chair to rest in and relax. The golden-blonde hair…the rainbow-crystaled wings…those crazy crimson eyes…that strange twisted wand…Flandre Scarlet walks through your mind’s eye without a care in the world, perfectly safe compared to the real flesh and blood one. Gritting your teeth, you crack open one eye just the slightest bit.

It’s not blackness which fills your eyes, but black-and-whiteness. From your cautious vantage point you can see a sheet of music resting above a row of piano keys, dainty fingers drumming on the ivory board rapidly. You almost wish you could hear through Flandre’s ears, to see if she can actually play the piano, or if she’s just belting out nonsensical chaos. No, don’t get too involved, pull out!

You return back to the library none the worse for wear. You make sure your brain is still fine, that some part of you doesn’t suddenly have the urge to destroy something, and find nothing to complain about. Seems that scrying is still safe, still secretive. Still too much like spying, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, and it’s not like you’re actually trying to do anything wrong, right?

Shouldn’t waste any more time, though. You hustle back to Nathaniel, who seems to be putting the finishing touches on his watch, though the face still isn’t attached. Cirno seems to have given up her search for your books, and sits on the floor, peeking her nose up over the table to get a different perspective on the watchmaker’s work.

“Almost finished, then?” you ask optimistically.

He twists in a few screws before replying. “As finished as I can be right now. I’m still missing the last cog, but that comes later. Find anything?”

“Yeah. Flandre’s awake; she’s playing the piano right now. We can go down.”

He looks at you skeptically. “And you’re sure of this…how?”

Oh, that’s right. You never told him about your power. Is it…No. It’s not worth it to lie, or even say nothing. He should know; might come in handy sometime. “It’s because…well, it seems that coming to Gensokyo unlocked some magical power in me or something. In any case, I can see through the eyes of whoever I focus on, so I looked through Flandre’s eyes to see if she was awake, and she was.”

He frowns, but his eyes show no anger. “Prove it. Turn around.”

“Wha?”

“Turn around, just do it.”

You spin around and wait. “How many fingers am I holding up?”

“Three!” Cirno yells happily.

Nathaniel groans. “No, Cirno, I’m asking him not you. How many fingers am I holding up now?”

You see where this is going: he wants you to look through his eyes. Well, you’ll play around, why not? You saw him mere seconds ago, so it doesn’t take long before you focus in on his presence and view the world through his eyes, which currently shows five fingers.

“Five,” you respond confidently. He switches to two fingers.

“How many now?”

“Two”

He brings up his second hand. Ten fingers. “Now?”

“Ten”

“Now?”

“Six”

“Now?”

“Three again.”

“Now?”

“That’s not a finger. That’s your Seraphim. Stop pointing it at my head. Okay, now stop pointing it at Cirno’s head. There’s…eighteen bullets in it? Dang, what kind of gun is that?!”

After Nathaniel’s little trick of overtly threatening your life, he opened up the revolving chamber to reveal a sight you’ve never even dreamed of. The chamber appears to be double-layered, with two rings of bullets in it rather than one: six on the inside, twelve on the outside. How could that possibly work?

Satisfied with your display of magic, he begins to explain. “I told you, I made Seraphim myself. Where I come from, it seems like everyone uses automatic pistols. They’re fast, they’re slick, and they can easily hold more than the standard six rounds a revolver carries. But the thing is, revolvers don’t jam—at least not as much as automatics—and I personally enjoy the charm of the ol’ six-shooters. That’s why I re-engineered the idea and made it mine. Seraphim, as you’ve seen, has two barrels, and holds two revolutions of bullets. The hammer is mobile, so I can adjust it to fire from either barrel with the flick of a switch. She’s got great stopping power, and eighteen bullets puts the ammunition advantage back into my hands. Not to mention the custom ammo, but that’s just gravy, really.”

The oddity of the pistol’s mechanisms kicks you out of Nathaniel’s eyes as you lose your focus, too busy thinking about what he said. Two barrels, adjustable hammer, custom rounds…and what was that about “automatic” pistols, anyways? This brings back to your mind another question you need to ask him one of these days: what kind of “engineer” carries a pistol with eighteen shots and a sword which magically smites down injustice?

(An awesome engineer…)
>> No. 24292
(…that’s what.)

“Well, you’ve convinced me far enough; let’s roll out.” Nathaniel picks up Flandre’s gift and instructs you to lead the way over to Flandre’s room. As the three of you mosey on over to the basement door and down the steps, Nathaniel continues talking, his voice quite serious.

“We’re going to need to work together on this one, okay? I’m no good at talking with people—heh, well, you probably already know that—but I can follow a plan like no other. Your social skills are better than mine, right?”

You don’t need to think very long on this one. Hmm, someone who speaks in vague riddles, threatens people with a razor, and blows up his impending doom with a custom-made revolver, versus someone who’s managed to befriend a fairy in one day, gotten several complete paragraphs from the world’s most anti-social librarian, and walked away from an afternoon with miniature vampires? “Yes, my social skills are better than yours.”

“Figured. Well, since you’ve met Flandre before, I’m going to let you plan out what we need to do. How we should act, what we should say, when and who should give her the gift, all of it. Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. If the worst should happen, don’t be a hero; keep yourself and Cirno safe. I’m the one that should be risking my life here, not you two.”

“If the worst should happen, I think we’re all dead regardless,” you comment coldly.

“Yes, well, there’s that too. But, just in case, you know?”

In no time at all the three of you stare into the short hallway which marks Flandre’s room, the door at the end looming before you like the door of an execution chamber. You shiver a little at what you’re about to do, and about how many things could go wrong. Cirno stands in front of Nathaniel and you like a guard with her hands folded proudly, ready for anything. Nate looks at you one last time.

“It’s all you now, friend. Get me through this, and I’ll answer every question you’ve got until you lose your voice. Oh, and one more thing…”

He holds his hand out to you, a faint smile on his face. “I just…I just want to thank for this. You really have no idea how much this means to me. I want you to know that. No matter what happens, no matter if you’re a spy or not, thank you.”

[ ] Shake his hand
[ ] Do not shake his hand

The Great Flandre Caper:
[ ] Outline your plan for getting the Equitas from Flandre to Nathaniel, and leaving alive, using whatever means available. You may be as vague or as specific as you wish. This is more than a straight-up vote: stating the rationale and logic behind your plan will help others judge it as viable or not, and will also help me write the plan better if it is chosen. Also keep in mind that complex plans have a higher chance of being de-railed halfway through by unforeseen events, while shallow plans may not carry the needed conviction to convince Flandre to relinquish her hold. Think hard, and put your brain to the test!

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

I will probably let this vote ride for longer than usual, unless a clear winner emerges rather quickly.

>>24288 & >>24289
This would have been good material to stick in as an honorable mention, as I like to do on occasion, but I already finished this segment before I saw your posts. I shall remember to insert it into the next segment instead.
>> No. 24293
>>24287
>"Flandre and Adam are acting suspicious, unlike Flandre and Adam". That makes perfect sense and does not imply the existence of another.
I was assuming here that you were that being sarcastic, as your statement was worded weirdly and in an unhelpful manner. Then when I scrolled back up to look at the original context, I forgot all about whatever you were going on about, as I saw suddenly how Sakuya meant it.

Think of it like she was dictating rapid verbal notes into a microtape recorder-- the semicolon there most likely means it's a commentary on what she just said.

So, the meaning of:
>The twins are talkative; unlike them.
...is, more accurately:
>The twins are talkative... it's not like them to be that way.

Now it makes a hell of a lot more sense.
>> No. 24297
>That’s not a finger. That’s your Seraphim. Stop pointing it at my head. Okay, now stop pointing it at Cirno’s head.

Okay, Nathaniel may be better humored than I gave him credit for.

[x] Shake his hand, smile back.
[x] Nathaniel is to be warned about the meaning of Flandre's wings as well as Adam's lisp.
[x] Your pretense is to come back to "play" as Sakuya had said you would yesterday, and to introduce your new friends Adam and Flandre to your other friend, Mr. Nathaniel.
[x] Nathaniel should present the dragon to the both of them at the outset as both a gift of greeting and as a way of thanking the Scarlet family for their hospitality.
[x] Attempt to do your dealings through the more reasonable Adam if at all possible, and be frank in your intentions with him.
[x] Adam likes cerebral games (chess and cards), while Flandre likes more active games. So do Nathaniel and Cirno respectively. If needed, you can use this to separate the vampires, so Adam and Nathaniel (and you possibly) can negotiate terms.
[x] Play on Adam's ability to empathize with Nathaniel's situation. He is trapped somewhere he does not want to be, and has been so desperate to escape that he had taken to hurting the very persons who could help him.
[x] Even if Nathaniel will leave after he retrieves his item, make it clear to Adam that you will remain here indefinitely. Show him the flower for emphasis.
>> No. 24298
>>24297
>>24296
>>24295

Holy christ, you're lagging.
>> No. 24300
>>24292
Ha ha. I started writing a plan but it turned into a goddamn wall before I even got around to asking Flandre for Equitas.
>>complex plans have a higher chance of being de-railed halfway through by unforeseen events
It would be a train wreck halfway through. Too enthusiastic about this right now, will try again later.

>>24297
I like some of your points, but do you think Adam is in the position to be giving Equitas out? I thought Flandre got it from her sister. Entirely agree that dealing with Adam would be safer and more reasonable, but does he have the authority?

Also, fact check from U.N. Owen: did Sakuya remove the golden flower from mystic farmer's coat or not?
>> No. 24301
>>24300

>>24300
>I like some of your points, but do you think Adam is in the position to be giving Equitas out? I thought Flandre got it from her sister. Entirely agree that dealing with Adam would be safer and more reasonable, but does he have the authority?

Remember how she called you and Cirno her "new toys" when she first met you? The thing is with Flan and ownership is not that she isn't the owner the sword, it's that she's the owner of everything. The concept of authority outside the context of her interactions with her sister she is likely to be totally alien to her, and the prospect of Nathaniel pontificating to her that he is the rightful owner of the sword (or anything else) is downright terrifying. She might listen to Remilia, but we don't know if she even wants us down here.

More important is that she seemed to care about the sword because Adam does, given how she only retrieved it yesterday for him to hold onto. Adam claims to be the only one who understands Flandre (and in fact seemed quite possessive about the matter) so any dealings with Flandre are going to have to be through him. As far as whether we can get him on board or not, I'll believe what the then-lucid Flandre said about being able to trust him.

>Also, fact check from U.N. Owen: did Sakuya remove the golden flower from mystic farmer's coat or not?

Seconding. It was in our pocket last night, but doesn't seem to be among the items listed now in our inventory. (I'm also interested in if Nathaniel will react to it.)
>> No. 24302
>Also, fact check from U.N. Owen: did Sakuya remove the golden flower from mystic farmer's coat or not?

That was my fault. Apologies. No, no one removed the flower from your coat. You definitely still have it. Use it or do not as you see fit.
>> No. 24304
[x] Kiss Sakuya
Gosh this sure doesn't seem like a familiar choice.

I can't help but wonder if someone's spying on us, and that our handshake will screw us over, as the perceived implication is that we and Nathaniel are co-conspirators.

...well, we kind of are, but not to the extent it'll seem.
>> No. 24306
File 122897773442.png - (294.51KB , 600x800 , 1228977482004.png ) [iqdb]
24306
I really want a Cirno Route even if this is /sdm/
She needs to get loved tenderly
>> No. 24311
File 122899019139.jpg - (104.50KB , 400x580 , 1212647169272.jpg ) [iqdb]
24311
>>24306
seconded.
>> No. 24313
>>24306
Technically speaking Cirno is part of the /sdm/ crew, but yes, I agree with you that a Cirno Route is needed.

Anyway,
Going with write in from >>24297
>> No. 24316
Thirding >>24297.

Can't be damned to copy and paste right now.
>> No. 24317
>>24297

Much of this sounds workable. The last point, staying indefinitely, should probably be worded better. "Staying as long as it takes to help/save Big Sis" has better implications than an indefinite stay. Other things of note is that Flandre plays piano! So does ol' fancy fingers Nathaniel! Although we don't know for sure how well she plays, wasn't she playing while reading sheet music? While we going over the wings and the lisp, why not go all the way and just give him all the advice Adam gave us? Don't agree to anything you don't fully understand and whatnot. When going over Flandre's crystal wings, we should also point out that it isn't the most reliable warning sensor... Flandre can be destructive in a state of extreme happiness/excitement. The awesomeness of Nathan's present may be more than Flan can handle. I'd also like to ask for Cirno's input on this plan. We are dealing with people who think differently than we do. Even if she can't explain it very well, walking ass-backwards towards the goal is better than running in circles. Just take note of her insights. Also, resist temptation to play checkers with her. Shift for focus and all that.

Things outside the plan to consider: besides answering our questions, have we given any thought as to what Nate will do once he has his Justice? He probably used up his last wish for his gift to Flan. With Justice and Seraphim in hand, all that will be left is to finish fixing his watch (Luna Dial?) and attempt to GTFO.
>> No. 24321
>>24317
>Much of this sounds workable. The last point, staying indefinitely, should probably be worded better. "Staying as long as it takes to help/save Big Sis" has better implications than an indefinite stay.

We have to remember that we made a point of not promising Adam that we were his salvation, and that is because we did not want to lie to him. The reasons why we continue to stay here are probably not certain even to ourselves, and so we'd do better to let him fill in the blanks. He's already made a show of trusting in our word, and we should be loath to make promises that might betray this.

>Much of this sounds workable. The last point, staying indefinitely, should probably be worded better. "Staying as long as it takes to help/save Big Sis" has better implications than an indefinite stay.
>Other things of note is that Flandre plays piano! So does ol' fancy fingers Nathaniel! Although we don't know for sure how well she plays, wasn't she playing while reading sheet music?
>While we going over the wings and the lisp, why not go all the way and just give him all the advice Adam gave us? Don't agree to anything you don't fully understand and whatnot.

These are all good points, and I forgot that Adam had given us yet more specific advice regarding Flandre. Ironically, that we are telling him this as we walk down the hall is a reversal of when he gave us frank advice on how to interact with Remilia.

>>24297 here; amending:
[x] Flandre enjoys the piano, and Nathaniel may be able to make a good impression on her by demonstrating his own abilities.
[x] Recite Adam's advice regarding Flandre to Nathaniel in its entirety:
- [x] Never, ever say yes to her unless you know exactly what she’s asking for.
- [x] Never, ever say no to her unless she's happy.
- [x] Never, ever break a promise to her no matter what.
[x] Ask Cirno if she has any ideas.

>With Justice and Seraphim in hand, all that will be left is to finish fixing his watch (Luna Dial?) and attempt to GTFO.

Anything we can do to expedite his departure is at the very least good karma for us, and at best will put us in the good graces of both he and Sakuya, and though it may mean the loss of an useful ally, if he continues to become any more agitated he could become a threat to our own safety.
>> No. 24322
[x] Wing it

Ahahahahahaha!!!

But we'd be so dead though.
>> No. 24327
You know, it really couldn't hurt to think up some contingency plans/optimal reactions.
--if Sakuya comes by in the middle of this
--if Remilia comes by in the middle of this
--if Flandre goes suddenly apeshit
--if Adam goes suddenly apeshit
--if Flandre outright refuses/denies us

There are probably a few others, but these 5 are probably the biggest problems we could potentially face. It wouldn't hurt to have at least a small idea of how to react should one of those occur.
>> No. 24328
File 12290210898.jpg - (305.12KB , 714x500 , 212139.jpg ) [iqdb]
24328
Hmm, reading back on it, it seems Flandre's interested because Adam likes it so much so that makes sense. But operating behind Flandre's back is a disappointing and disconcerting prospect: I don't want to deceive her, and doing so could bite us later on. So, some suggestions to put Nathaniel and Flandre on better terms:
Tell Nathaniel to wait on the gift, there'll be a time for it. Ask Nathaniel if he knows any other tunes on the piano off-hand, preferably simple compositions, impressive sounding movements, festive pieces, and ones he knows exceptionall well. Furthermore, how good he is at sight reading? Introduce Nathaniel as a new friend, and since he's the new comer, he should prove he's someone worth playing with. Have Nathaniel play the piano for a bit, and then have Nathaniel present his gift as "something else for my adoring fans"/"something to keep from ending on a sour note." Use the statue to turn the conversation on how great dragons are, and try to stear towards talking about Equitas. At this point we kill the mood by letting Nathaniel talk about how he made and lost Equitas. It might actually be fun if he could tell some stories about how he mined the ore and where he found the ruby; make it into story time. From this pretty much says (without actually explicitly saying) that Nathaniel wants Equitas back, and then we get right back to
>[x] Attempt to do your dealings through the more reasonable Adam if at all possible, and be frank in your intentions with him
>And so on from 24297
We'll play with Cirno and Flandre, those two can do what we hope they do. At the end of play time, hopefully there'll be an agreement and Adam can help convince Flandre to give Equitas back to Nathaniel.

As for what to play, I propose we use Cirno's icy abilities to good effect. Maybe teach some thermodynamics 101 in the name of a game? Will put more thought into that. If we need to help convince Adam, we can take a game break.
>> No. 24333
>I don't want to deceive her, and doing so could bite us later on.

Your scruples are unwarranted, for a number of reasons:

1) Adam isn't going to let us do anything that would hurt her, nor is he going to let us do anything that would hurt ourselves. As he so strongly put it, only he understands her, which is why we're running everything by him first.
2) She isn't the rightful owner of the sword, and hence we would not be wronging her if we needed to use trickery in order to retrieve it.
3) Nathaniel will stop at nothing to take back what is his. Deceiving Flandre is far preferable to having him attempt to take it back by force, at the cost of his own life and possibly that of others.
4) In the words of the person who knows her best, Flandre is an insane child. Sometimes it is more compassionate and to the point to lie to a child than to expound on a hurtful truth that he or she cannot understand anyway.
>> No. 24334
>>24327

But, what if Adam and Flandre go suddenly apeshit?
>> No. 24335
>>24327
>You know, it really couldn't hurt to think up some contingency plans/optimal reactions.

Right, let's make a laundry list.

>--if Sakuya comes by in the middle of this

We're possibly fucked.

>--if Remilia comes by in the middle of this

We might be fucked.

>--if Flandre goes suddenly apeshit

We're definitely fucked.

>--if Adam goes suddenly apeshit

We're proper fucked.

>--if Flandre outright refuses/denies us

We're probably fucked.

Now unless anyone has pertinent advice on how one would go about unfucking oneself when caught between a volatile, obsessive madman with a gun and as many as three vampires and their time-stopping maid, I suggest we focus our mental energy on preventing ourselves from getting fucked in the first place.

The first thing that comes to mind in order to minimize the chances of Sakuya or Remilia interrupting is to scry their whereabouts at regular intervals. The second would be to minimize the window in which they threaten our negotiations by being frank and to the point with Adam. The third would be to coach Nathaniel that the negotiations may be interrupted and to develop a signal for this. The fourth would be to tell Nathaniel about the glasses and attempt to retrieve them ASAP.

[x] Tell Nathaniel about your glasses, and ask Flandre for your glasses back as soon as you've made introductions.
[x] Attempt to scry Remilia and her maid's whereabouts every five or ten minutes (use your pocket watch), and attempt to facilitate a situation where you are free to do this.
- [x] Stay near Nathaniel if at all possible while he's negotiating with Adam, even if this splits you off from Cirno; e.g., if he's playing chess with Adam, you're observing.
- [x] If you scry the maid or Remilia making their way towards the basement or if your glasses react (assuming you have them), use a signal decided on beforehand to indicate to Nathaniel that you're about to be interrupted.
>> No. 24340
File 122903500410.jpg - (264.24KB , 500x708 , 332639.jpg ) [iqdb]
24340
>>24333
>1) Adam isn't going to let us do anything that would hurt her, nor is he going to let us do anything that would hurt ourselves. As he so strongly put it, only he understands her, which is why we're running everything by him first.
Not disagreeing with that, it's definitely the most clever part of the current plan.
>2) She isn't the rightful owner of the sword, and hence we would not be wronging her if we needed to use trickery in order to retrieve it.
Well, that's what you'll tell yourself, but is Flandre going to understand that when she can't find Equitas? Said it yourself, she's an insane child. Absent another lucid moment I don't know how she's going to respond to being "stolen" from, regardless of how justified.
>3) Nathaniel will stop at nothing to take back what is his. Deceiving Flandre is far preferable to having him attempt to take it back by force, at the cost of his own life and possibly that of others.
I'm not getting the line of thought that makes telling Flandre about Equitas and successfuly getting the sword back mutually exclusive.
>4) In the words of the person who knows her best, Flandre is an insane child. Sometimes it is more compassionate and to the point to lie to a child than to expound on a hurtful truth that he or she cannot understand anyway.
Not seeing any hurtful truth that we need to protect her from. Like your first point, if the person that knows her the best and won't let her come to harm agrees, how is letting her know Adam thinks it's a good idea to give Equitas back to Nathaniel bad?

I agree with the sentiment though, but I don't think that applies here. I'm uncreative at the moment, what are some of the truths you had in mind?
>> No. 24342
>>24340
I guess I'll add the caveat that if Adam thinks it's a good idea to keep this on the DL, I'm all in favor of staying quiet about it all.
>> No. 24343
>I guess I'll add the caveat that if Adam thinks it's a good idea to keep this on the DL, I'm all in favor of staying quiet about it all.

Then it would seem we have nothing to argue over. None of the write-ins assume that we're going to act in an underhanded manner, it will depend on what Adam feels is the best method.

I was merely iterating reasons why constraining our methods at the outset, based on the (hopefully misplaced) presentiment that we're going to be hurting someone, meant hamstringing ourselves, perhaps fatally.
>> No. 24344
[X] >>24297
Let's go with this...

As a sidenote, it does seem to have been a bad idea to have Flandre awake if we want to first ask Adams opinion about everything. We could have bargained with Adam first if Flandre was asleep, and finish the deal in a way he saw proper.

...oh well, might as well hope this turns out fine. As for Sakuya appearing, as long as we don't tell Nathaniel (suddenly i can imagine one of the kids dubbing him Nat-chan) about that paper sakuya was looking at yesterday, there shouldn't be any particular difficulties with her showing up.
As long as she doesn't try to evict us again, which might be somewhat hazardous, considering Nathaniels volatile temper... To be denied his sword when he's finally so close to gaining it would probably be enough to push him into hasty actions.
>> No. 24345
>>24340
>I'm not getting the line of thought that makes telling Flandre about Equitas and successfuly getting the sword back mutually exclusive.

Flan is a child with very possessive tendencies. While she may in truth care very little about the sword itself, merely telling her that you want it (or that it's "yours") could lead to her digging her heels in the ground just to be contrary, dashing any hope of getting it from her willingly.

>Like your first point, if the person that knows her the best and won't let her come to harm agrees, how is letting her know Adam thinks it's a good idea to give Equitas back to Nathaniel bad?

Because Flan is a child, and an insane one at that, she will not always be acting in the best interests of herself and that of others. This is why Adam gave us a detailed instructions on how to interact with her, and why we now won't be bringing the matter to her attention without the OK of her brother beforehand.

>I agree with the sentiment though, but I don't think that applies here. I'm uncreative at the moment, what are some of the truths you had in mind?

That she may have to give up something that she considered one of her own possessions. That she cannot do whatever she wants with others' possessions. That people aren't objects that she can simply break or ignore. That some people (like Nathaniel) are dead serious even when she is just playing around. You know, the kind of stuff that made her older sister lock her in a basement for a few hundred years.
>> No. 24346
>As a sidenote, it does seem to have been a bad idea to have Flandre awake if we want to first ask Adams opinion about everything. We could have bargained with Adam first if Flandre was asleep, and finish the deal in a way he saw proper.

If she's busy playing piano, we may yet be able to speak to Adam first. He may be wandering the halls, waiting for us to show up like he was yesterday.
>> No. 24349
>>24345
>merely telling her that you want it (or that it's "yours") could lead to her digging her heels in the ground just to be contrary
Good thing I'm not suggesting that then. I think Nathaniel talking about Equitas would be kinda interesting: Nathaniel has a flare for the dramatic and you know there's got to be an Indiana Jones type adventure behind that ruby. What I'd probably stop him and us of saying is "...and with that, we'll be taking it back now" because
>we now won't be bringing the matter to her attention without the OK of her brother beforehand.
Exactly. I think the part we disagree upon is what should be the default; I want to tell Flandre we're taking Equitas unless Adam thinks that's a bad idea. I yield ultimate decision making to Adam in this respect, but I'd prefer to let Flandre know.

>You know, the kind of stuff that made her older sister lock her in a basement for a few hundred years.
To be fair, we don't know why Remilia locked Flandre in the basement in this story yet.
>> No. 24352
...what if Adam is sleeping?

Or being insane?
>> No. 24353
Hmm... Just reread the part where we lost our glasses. Flan got interested in em and yanked them off our face. Nathan should keep any valuables the he doesnt want getting handled (the watch, the gun) hidden. If she gets interested in something you have, she will probably take it from you. Probably the first thing she will do is inquire about the box. We won't have much of a say on that front.
>> No. 24359
[Shake his hand, smile back.]
[Nathaniel is to be warned about the meaning of Flandre's wings as well as Adam's lisp.]
[Your pretense is to come back to "play" as Sakuya had said you would yesterday, and to introduce your new friends Adam and Flandre to your other friend, Mr. Nathaniel. Nathaniel should present the dragon to the both of them at the outset as both a gift of greeting and as a way of thanking the Scarlet family for their hospitality.]
[Attempt to do your dealings through the more reasonable Adam if at all possible, and be frank in your intentions with him. Adam likes cerebral games (chess and cards), while Flandre likes more active games. So do Nathaniel and Cirno respectively. If needed, you can use this to separate the vampires, so Adam and Nathaniel (and you possibly) can negotiate terms. Play on Adam's ability to empathize with Nathaniel's situation. He is trapped somewhere he does not want to be, and has been so desperate to escape that he had taken to hurting the very persons who could help him.]
[Even if Nathaniel will leave after he retrieves his item, make it clear to Adam that you will remain here indefinitely. Show him the flower for emphasis.]

Your grasp his hand warmly and the two of you shake, trying to share each other’s confidence. “You’re welcome,” you reply, smiling back at him. “Now, let’s get this over with.

“First things first: how to deal with the two kids in there. Adam Scarlet is Flandre’s younger brother, but he’s more normal than she is, and I think he knows how to reason with her. Important thing to remember is his lisp. When he grows a lisp, you can trust him; he’s supposedly more sane during those times. If he’s got no lisp, though, I wouldn’t take any risky business with him. He likes to go off into his own world every now and again, and I don’t think it’d be a good idea to bring up his draconic or vampiric nature, all right?

“Flandre is the real head case. She seems bubbly as far as I can tell, but you can just tell she’s a lit fuse waiting to explode. What’ll tip you off are her wings: they change color to indicate her mood, or something like that; I wouldn’t trust them too much if I were you, she’s extremely schizophrenic. All I know about them is that when her wings turn blue, she’s more dangerous, so look out for that. I’ll tell you what Adam told me: never agree to or deny anything she says outright, in case she misinterprets your words. But along with that, never break a promise you’ve made to her after you make it. Avoid doing anything that might make her angry or sad. She seems to be fairly impulsive, so we’ll have to try and roll with the punches in case something unexpected happens. Are we fairly clear on how to deal with them?”

Nathaniel nods, but asks a question on the side. “With you so far, though can I ask? What does the lisp sound like; there’s a lot of different kinds.”

You try and remember Adam’s odd way of speaking, fix it in your mind, then respond. “It seems like he pronounces all his ess-sounds like a thh-sound instead. Kind of cute in a messed up way, I guess,”

“Heh, interesting. Had a friend not too far back who used to talk like that. Small world, eh?”

“Depends on what world you’re in, I guess,” you answer skeptically. “Okay, now listen in; Cirno, you too. I think I’ve got an idea for how we can make this work…”

You outline your basic plan to your two “partners-in-crime”. Basically, Nathaniel presents his gift to Flandre after the introductions to get her spirits up, then you all break the ice together with some suitable games. During that time, you’ll try and get to Flandre through the more reasonable Adam, explaining the situation to him and hoping he’ll understand. If it works, he’ll intercede for you with Flandre, and all should be well. It might not be the perfect plan, but you doubt any plan will be perfect when you’re dealing with insanity.

“Ready?” you announce. Nathaniel raises an eyebrow.

“No, but let’s go for it anyways.”

You all approach the door and ready yourselves for whatever might happen. Deciding to take the initiative first, you reach out and knock on the large door, softly at first. You wait about ten seconds without a response, then knock again, a little harder, and with an added message.

“Flandre? It’s the little kitty you met yesterday; can I come in?”

It seems stupid, trying to talk through such a thick door as this, but at least you’re trying. You wait a little longer and move in to knock a third time, but suddenly there’s no need. Because there’s no door. And you’re all covered in sawdust. Again.

Once the immense shock of the exploding door dies down in your ears, you can hear a thick plunking on the keyboard from inside the room, probably from Flandre. She sounds pretty bad. You dust off your face, or try to, and peek inside. Flandre sits at the piano bench playing away, dressed in the same outfit as yesterday, and speaks to you playfully without looking away from the keys. Her yellow crystals twinkle a little.

“Kitty come in now! Door is opened!”

(Well…)
>> No. 24360
(it is open.)

You cautiously step inside the room, but motion Nathaniel and Cirno to hold back for now; you should probably introduce them yourself. She’s still dedicated to drumming on the black and white keys, despite her inability to make any cohesive melody whatsoever.

“Umm, I brought my friends with me; can they come in too?” you ask meekly.

“Ooo, new friends new toys? Friendly friends?” She runs her hand down the keyboard in a quick chromatic scale before spinning around and looking at the door. “Kitty’s friends come in too! Not-sister Cirno came back…Ooo, someone new for Flandre to play with! Hello new!”

Nathaniel nods his head in the vampire’s direction, holding the present behind his back for the time being. “A pleasure to meet you, Flandre. I’m Nathaniel.”

Flandre pops up out of her seat and spends just a hair too long in the air for gravity to allow before resting both feet on the ground. She frowns at the engineer; not a good sign. “That’s a weird name; I don’t like it. It’s too long. I’ma gonna call you Nat! Nat rhymes with cat, like little kitty! Cat in the hat! Ooo, Nat in the hat! You need a hat!”

She runs over to her closet and “accidentally” rips the door right off its hinges, sending the broken slab sliding down onto the ground several meters away. Looks like she’s in just a little too playful of a mood today; smells like trouble. You whisper to Nathaniel while you have the room to yourself.

“Well?” you ask, wondering what he thinks of Flandre so far.

“Not as bad as I expected,” he replies, interestingly enough. “Full of energy, though. And those wings…you didn’t mention those crystals.”

“Didn’t I? Shoot, musta missed—“

You quickly clam up as Flandre returns with an armload of hats. She stuffs a tall stovepipe tophat onto Nathaniel’s head, a wide-brimmed straw hat on yours, and a silver tiara over Cirno’s maid bonnet, then claps her hands together.

“Yay, now we all have hats! Ooo, ooo! Come on, come on over here, I wanna show you my masterpiece! I’ve been practicing it for forever!”

She grabs Nathaniel’s and your hand and drags you over, quite forcibly, to the piano and throws you down onto the ground in a sitting position. “Listen! Listen!” She cracks her knuckles together and begins to play, strangely enough, “Septette in F: Queen’s Elegy.” At least, that’s the sheet music on the piano stand. What she plays is a horrible blur of notes that makes no sense whatsoever, and she plays it so loud and forcibly that it hurts your ears. You’re glad that she can’t see you wincing, because you’re doing plenty of that right now.

“Isn’t it good?” she asks you, looking over her shoulder.

“Yeah, it’s, it’s really something else, Flandre!” you reply, working hard to not lie outright.

She continues the mindless din of notes, moving from random keys to horribly loud crunch chords, before somehow attempting to play “Chopsticks” and failing miserably. You wish she wasn’t so completely out of her mind, otherwise you’d have the heart to tell her she should really find a proper tutor. Well, at least now she’s playing softer; that’s a slight improvement, even if the notes…aren’t…right?

The transition is so subtle that you hardly even realize it takes place. Flandre’s teal crystals suddenly flicker to life and slowly grow in brightness along with the green ones, while at the same time her piano playing starts to improve. You can finally hear the actual melody of the piece now. The supporting chords soon follow it. And now even the little flourishes of the hand are worked in as Flandre arches her back and sinks her head closer and closer to the keyboard, her focus growing exponentially. By the time she’s reached the final movement of the piece, her skill has well-surpassed what you remember Nathaniel’s being, doing what seems to be the work of four hands using only two. Her fingers can no longer be seen as she dances them across the ivory with the speed and elegance of a figure skater.

And then, just when she’s reached the last page of the music, her every note more than perfect, disaster strikes. The blue crystals flare up, her movements become erratic, and from then on every key she strikes explodes as she depresses it, creating a sickly sound from the piano. If you had to describe it, it sounds like the piano is screaming, being tortured…dying. By the end of it half the keys on the piano lie scattered as powder on the ground, but at least the instrument itself is still intact, which is not much consolation in your eyes.

“Oh,” she says regretfully, her crystals dimming. “I bwoke it again.”

To the left of you you hear a clap-clap-clapping, and turn to see Nathaniel emotionally applauding her. “That was…that was amazing, Flandre. I’ve worked on that piece every day, and what you just did…I’ll never be as good as you. Bravo, young girl, bravo. You deserve a reward.” He brings the present out from behind his back and offers it to her. “A gift from me to you, as a token of my appreciation.”

She eyes the dragon-wrapped box hungrily and snatches it out of Nathaniel’s hands. “Eeee! Dragon box! Gimme!” She rips the ribbon off like a wet rag and throws back the lid. As she peers inside, her yellow and purple gems show the faintest signs of energy as the expression on her face changes from anticipation to admiration, her scarlet eyes sparkling like the crystal of the dragon you know she’s looking at.

“It’s…it’s so prettiful. It looks just like a dragon. This is…ooooo.”

She jerks her new figurine out of the box and holds it aloft, right as her blue crystals light up. Oh shoot, blue not good, blue not good! What’s she going to do, break it? Break Nathaniel? Break you?

“I gotta show this to brother right away! He’ll love it!” Her wings flutter in excitement, but then quickly droop down as her voice does the same. “Oh, wait…I can’t now. Little brother is still sleeping; he was up too late last night, and he needs his sleep-sleep. But, but I wanna…”

Wait, Adam’s asleep?! No. No no no no no no NO! Terror. Dread. Despair. Untempered fear. All your plans, all your hopes, all your negotiations…shattered. Adam was the key, the cornerstone, the light of reason to Flandre. But with him gone…no. He’s not gone yet. He is everything to this plan; you need him with you!

[ ] Adam is everything to the plan. Ask Flandre to wake him up.
[ ] Try and proceed with the plan without Adam.
[ ] No Adam?! Shoot, you’d better think of something new fast! (Write-in)
[ ] The infamous “anemia option”

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

Apologies if I didn’t fit in everything that was discussed about; this vote was pretty tricky to count, what with all the heated debate about the fineries of your plan. If you want something to happen, make sure you don’t just discuss it, but vote for it, in case I don’t have time to read every post in-depth.

>>24352
Either you’re a sharp thinker, you’re just lucky, or you’re spying on me. I can’t tell which.
>> No. 24361
Works fine man, just waiting for a good write in
>> No. 24362
File 122906495626.jpg - (558.65KB , 820x1200 , 388144.jpg ) [iqdb]
24362
>>24360
I've got half a mind to accuse you that for whatever plan we came up with, you would have removed a key element or two. Which, honestly, is fucking awesome. Even if I'm wrong, the critical thinking skills I've developed because of this story are paying enormous dividends during exams this year.

>Heh, interesting. Had a friend not too far back who used to talk like that. Small world, eh?
No; I refuse this is coincidence. Implications are too awesome to ignore.

>I don’t like it. It’s too long
Agreed Flandre. Agreed.

>She stuffs a tall stovepipe tophat onto Nathaniel’s head
PEFECT
>a wide-brimmed straw hat on yours
Pic related

[X] No Adam?! Shoot, you’d better think of something new fast! Ask about what Flandre thinks of the statue
[X] Talk about how cool dragons are with Flandre and Nat.
[X] Mention Equitas; ask if she can bring it out to show us again
[X] Nathaniel's Adventure Time Corner about how Equitas was made
[X] Quick jab in the ribs if he brings up how he wants it back.

Still like the idea mentioned from before. I want to see how Flandre reacts before making any further advances on the retrieval front (inb4 Nathaniel flips shit when/if he sees Equitas). Good way to ply information from Nat about Equitas too.

I think waking Adam would probably result in a Flandre conrolled and lisp-less Adam that would be impossible to negotiate properly with. I think she'd simply exert her will (?) on him to force him awake and marvel at the statue with her, and then we have have what amounts to two Flandres to deal with.
>> No. 24363
I think i'll be waiting for a write in as well, the situation is a bit volatile.
Anyway, i'm rather certain that more than just you three noticed the door-in-the-face trick flandre pulled. Unless the door to Adams bedroom is very soundproof, i'd say he's awake now...
...than again, if he can sleep through Flandres explosive piano playing, he might just be able to sleep through exploding doors as well.
Also, i'd vager we'll be getting a visit from sakuya, anytime now.

But yeah, what to do?
- Playing a game would most likely be the most easily accepted option for Flandre, but i seem to recall her profile saying "whenever she tries to catch a human, she gets too exited and just blows them up", so we'd be risking quite a lot, considering her enthusiastic proposal for "Freeze tag".

- We could change the subject to our glasses, and wether they are still around, or if sakuya took them.

- We might also want to mention that Nathaniel made the sword they're so attached to. A bit of admiration towards the man wouldn't hurt, if we want the damn thing back. Though i suspect that we'll need more than just the crystal dragon figurine to bargain for the sword. As Flandre now has TWO dragon things in her possession, she'll think she needs to have something in return for the sword... Childish insanity is a hard thing to bargain with...

- We could always just talk about something, as hazardous as it is. Here's a few subjects that might be of interest: What kind of stories does she like? (Nathaniel seems like a natural storyteller, let's see him read the Hobbit to flandre) ; Asking about the other residents of SDM (just to see if we can uncover anything) ; About Adam (His draconic nature, etc)

And that's just to name a few...
...oh well, i'll see if anyone can think up a particularily reasonable (or perhaps insane would be more appropriate for the situation) write in.
>> No. 24364
[X] No Adam?! Shoot, you’d better think of something new fast! Ask about what Flandre thinks of the statue.
[X] Talk about how cool dragons are with Flandre and Nat.
[X] Mention Equitas; ask if she can bring it out to show us again
[X] Nathaniel's Adventure Time Corner about how Equitas was made.
[X] Quick jab in the ribs if he brings up how he wants it back.
[X] Tell her other stories about dragons and try to stall for time hoping Adam wakes up.

I agree with the write-in. I think for now we should try to make a good impression and get Flan to like and admire 'Nat'. Plus, if we entertain her for a while maybe Adam will wake up on his own (I don't think waking up a crazy kid is a good idea).

If in the end Adam doesn't come I think we should give up for now. Then we should visit again, this time making sure Adam is awake, and try to convince him to give Equitas back to Nathaniel.

tl;dr: even if we lose this battle we still haven't lost the war.
>> No. 24365
You know, I had wondered about the possibility of scrying Adam, but much like my thought about warning Nathaniel about Flan's wings it probably would have been a bit too late to make a difference.

Still, after that little drama with Cirno, I would have thought we'd have learned to be very wary of basing write-ins on assumptions. If you want to ask a question about someone, don't assume they won't be there to take offense. If you have a plan the hinges greatly on a certain person being present, don't assume they will be. Just be glad Adam is apparently just sleeping, and isn't chained up and and mumbling to himself in Room 101 again.
Not that any plan would have survived contact with Flandre, anyway, but still. It's more interesting when things go wrong, anyway.

As for what to do now, I'm also going to wait for a good-sounding write-in, but that doesn't mean I won't still consider options.

Needless to say, we've pretty much stepped up to the All-You-Can-Eat Instant Bad End Buffet, and as such need to be very, VERY delicate in how we handle things.

We can't count on Adam being awake just from the destruction of the door and the piano playing. As casually as Flan is about making things go BOOM, her brother is probably quite capable of tuning it out. If we're not going to have Flandre wake him up for us, our only other options are to either press on without him and try our luck with the little sister, or we have to find some way to keep Flandre occupied long enough for Adam to wake up on his own.

It might be interesting to see what happens if we tell Flandre about her gift's special feature, although I'm not sure if that's a good or bad sort of "interesting". After all, it would mean basically encouraging the little walking apocalypse to INTENTIONALLY break something. I figure that would go one of two ways. Either she becomes so fascinated by the way it instantly repairs itself that she is effectively distracted by it until she gets bored with it, or she'll get a little too excited and the next thing we know we either have some random piece of shrapnel from whatever else she blows up lodged in our skull or we're reduced to a smudge on the floor.

I also wonder what might happen if we inform Flan that Nat in a Hat has a fondness for dragons as well, and/or that he is the one who made her gift. If we could get them to relate on some level, it might help, but between Flandre's insanity and Nathaniel's social skills (or rather, lack thereof) that might just cause more harm than good.
Then again, his applauding her performance and giving her the gift when began to appear unhappy about breaking the piano makes me wonder if there's really THAT much to worry about. At the very least, I can't help but get the feeling that were it not for Flandre's insanity making dealing with her like walking a minefield, she and Nathaniel might really hit it off.

I think that part of the trick in dealing with Flandre is in trying to keep her interested and focused, but not TOO much. We're not going to accomplish much if her thoughts and actions keep bouncing around like they are, but if she gets too focused something else is likely to go the way of those piano keys.

Are there any games good for five players, I wonder?
>> No. 24368
She wants to wake him up. You should be able to solve this.

[x] Adam is everything to the plan. Ask Flandre to wake him up.
>> No. 24369
Just one little problem with waking up Adam, I'm afraid. Remember why we were originally going to wait a while before going down?

>>I’m not going to risk waking her up before she wants to get up. Insane people aren’t quite…rational, when sleepy.

Don't forget, we don't just need Adam present, we need him in a state of mind that will actually help us.
>> No. 24370
>>24240
>I had once toyed with the idea of being very rough on you and forcing you to do multiple run-throughs to get what we might call a “True End”, but since that would take far too long, and since you’re showing me that you have capability to go for True right here and now, I have since discarded the idea.

I, for one, like the idea of multiple runs for the TRUE END. Kinda like Ever17, which is a great game and you should play/read it, you will like it, I promise. Also, why the spoilers

>>24360
>Either you’re a sharp thinker, you’re just lucky, or you’re spying on me. I can’t tell which.

Actually that was just a major flaw I saw on the thinking and planning. Can't believe nobody thought of that. Ok, I haven't read ALL of the posts, but with all of them depending so much on Adam was clearly a sign of bad planning and huge failure.

[X] No Adam?! Shoot, you’d better think of something new fast! Ask about what Flandre thinks of the statue.
[X] Talk about how cool dragons are with Flandre and Nat.
[X] Mention Equitas; ask if she can bring it out to show us again
[X] Nathaniel's Adventure Time Corner about how Equitas was made.
[X] Quick jab in the ribs if he brings up how he wants it back.
[X] Tell her other stories about dragons and try to stall for time hoping Adam wakes up.

I agree with this write-in, and am wondering if Nathaniel could make a physical copy of Equitas to trade for the real one. Another sword that looks like Equitas, yet is just a common sword. We could use that, but when should we ask him? Now or after the little visit?
>> No. 24372
>>24370
>Actually that was just a major flaw I saw on the thinking and planning.

That's just because we didn't know we needed Adam awake as well, back when we scryed for Flandre.

And then it kinda got forgotten. Generally though, it's just about different people making these write ins, so sometimes things get overlooked.
>> No. 24373
>Actually that was just a major flaw I saw on the thinking and planning. Can't believe nobody thought of that. Ok, I haven't read ALL of the posts, but with all of them depending so much on Adam was clearly a sign of bad planning and huge failure.

I wish Anon wouldn't beat himself up so much over not being able to predict the future. You do a disservice to the writer to attribute every plot twist to the incompetence on your own end rather than to the creativity on his.
>> No. 24374
[X] No Adam?! Shoot, you’d better think of something new fast! Ask about what Flandre thinks of the statue.
[X] Talk about how cool dragons are with Flandre and Nat.
[X] Mention Equitas; ask if she can bring it out to show us again
[X] Nathaniel's Adventure Time Corner about how Equitas was made.
[X] Quick jab in the ribs if he brings up how he wants it back.
[X] Tell her other stories about dragons and try to stall for time hoping Adam wakes up.

Let the sleeping dragon...well...sleep!
>> No. 24375
[X] No Adam?! Shoot, you’d better think of something new fast! Ask about what Flandre thinks of the statue.
[X] Talk about how cool dragons are with Flandre and Nat.
[X] Tell her stories about dragons and try to stall for time hoping Adam wakes up.

I'm against going straight for Equitas just yet... You can lead into the dragon stories with the statue... Telling her that shes in possession of some wonderous sword will probably make it more difficult to part with. Also, no dragonslaying tales. Are the any tales with the dragon as the hero? Where he doesn't burninate the countryside?

My other/scrapped idea (was too late) involved adlibbing a little play with Nathan as the hero on a quest for a legendary sword to free a dragon. It might put the sword in Nathan's hands but it does not get Flandre to actually relinquish ownership of the sword. And Flan is critical mass excitable today. I don't think anyone would want to play the villian in that play. Maybe sitting down with Flandre to write a storybook? Bust out the crayons. If any anon would like to polish this idea, please do!
>> No. 24376
Welcome to story time with U. N. Owen! In today’s story, Mr. Owen will spoiler-tag everything he says to avoid the leaking of information while increasing conspiracy theories at the same time!

>>24362
>I've got half a mind to accuse you that for whatever plan we came up with, you would have removed a key element or two.
Amazingly enough, that didn’t happen here. I had been planning on having Adam asleep ever since I knew the story would eventually come down to Nathaniel and you retrieving the Equitas. There is quite a legitimate reason why I’m trying to make him not present for this scene, but you’ll have to bear with me on it; you won’t know why until the final pages of the story.

Comment:
>…the critical thinking skills I've developed because of this story are paying enormous dividends during exams this year.

Response:
I’m most glad for your mental payoff. If only my classes would be as conductive of such analysis…alas, they are not.


>>24370
Comment:
I, for one, like the idea of multiple runs for the TRUE END…Also, why the spoilers?

Response:
I used spoilers because my statement contained information regarding how the story might pan out in the future, and some people might wish to remain in suspense as to when/if there will be multiple run-throughs. Also, I enjoy the idea of making the voters work for their “True End” as far as ideas go, but, well…

The truth is, I would really like A Scarlet-Stained Memoir to come to an end. The longer I drag it out, the more of a chance there is that I’ll get distracted and never finish. If I try to do multiple journeys through the same story, I’m sure to lose my motivation, most likely in the same way that Hungry Youkai lost his when writing the second run of Expectation of Sanguine Disorder. It’s quite sad when a good story is left hanging, and I don’t want that to happen here.

Since I’m here in the safe blackness of spoiler tags, I might as well talk about my vague plan for a pseudo-second run, if it ever happens. Basically, while progressing along the plot of the story, there will be several important linchpins that when put together will decide if you are locked out of a True End (perhaps you have even passed some of them already!). Failing any one linchpin will not instantly lock the door for you, but failing several will. If you do not end up with a True End by the end of this first run, then (depending on my mood), you will have the option to return to the exact point where you failed that last crucial, dooming linchpin, and try again from there, rather than from the very beginning. Consider them “save points” if you wish.

However, that may not happen if I feel you deserve the True End round one.
>> No. 24384
> I also wonder what might happen if we inform Flan that Nat in a Hat has a fondness for dragons as well, and/or that he is the one who made her gift.
Best case, she considers him worthy of being given Equitas as a gift. Worst case, kyuu. Now we just need the probabilities of the different outcomes.
>> No. 24385
File 122913344899.png - (484.65KB , 740x680 , 2341364.png ) [iqdb]
24385
Summary of Flandre's crystals, the occasions they've flared up, and we've been told:

>teal, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and blue, from top to bottom

>Before you have time to even contemplate uttering a word, you see a small spark. There’s a small violet glow off to your right side, which crackles with miniature lightning inside an invisible sphere.
>“Keep what you’ve found. Keep it safe. And please, leave me alone for now.”
>Whoever spoke those words didn’t sound at all like Remilia. The voice was still female, and still childlike, but softer and much more humble. It carried an understanding, a depth of meaning that you’ve never heard Remilia exhibit.

>As Flandre looks at you, the blue and green crystals on both wings begin to glow and crackle with energy, and her eyes focus on you with an unnatural greed. An unhealthy greed. An insane greed.
>The green glowing subsides in her wings, followed shortly by the blue. Flandre picks up her little dragon and strokes it’s head affectionately. “Mmm, guess you’re right. You’re always so smart, Adam, I’m glad you’re my brother! So, what are the new toy’s names?”

>That’s why I love him sooooo much!” She jumps up behind him and gives him a giant embrace, his large wings looking like a dark cloak around her as they snuggle together. Her yellow crystals pulse on and off like the heartbeat of a miniature electrical storm, the webs of lighting slightly crackling out of the gem.

>As you watch the heartfelt brotherly/sisterly love, Flandre opens her eyes just a crack so you can see them. They’re not the same eyes as they were before; too deep, too vast, too old. You notice the pink section of her wings glow slightly as she hums a little song into Adam’s ears

>“And, uhh,” he blushes slightly and turns his head from her. “Could you…Could you let, umm, let me be me for a while?”
>She frowns as one of her blue crystals sends off a momentary ping of light, followed by another ping from her purple one, but she’s back to her rosy disposition in no time. “I forgot again? We need to work on our communication skills, brother.”

>“The blue crythtal,” he continues. “If the blue crythtal thtarth glowing, you gotta be careful. Thhee can go crathy real eathy when it’th blue.

>“Equitas. It’s Latin. It means equity, equality, fairness, or justice.”
>You turn to head to her in confusion. Wait, did she just say that? You just catch the light in her green crystals go out as you look at her

>Yay! Now we all get to play a game together! Fun fun! I vote freeze tag! Not it!” Flandre shoots her hand up into the air as if doing so signifies that her vote is cast. The teal crystal on the top of her left wing begins to crackle with energy

>There’s no explanation for the following five seconds. One instant Flandre’s pointing at the board, and you notice her teal crystals twinkling a little. The next, wooden pieces are flying through the air, and you find yourself covered in paper shavings and ash, as is everyone else.

>She stops in mid-sentence. The room becomes dead silent, and the glasses slowly fall from her face, landing softly in her lap. Her eyes are vacant and unfocused, registering nothing. Adam is holding on to Cirno carefully, preventing her from talking or moving right now. All fourteen pieces of the crystal rainbow on Flandre’s back begin to flicker uncontrollably, like the scattering of raindrops on a dark pond. She doesn’t move, doesn’t talk, doesn’t even breathe.

>“I found them, just lying about in my room. I’ve no idea where they came from,” you answer simply, unable to look away. The wings…they’ve chosen a color, now, but more than one. Every single crystal save the blue ones are glowing as bright as a flame.

>The transition is so subtle that you hardly even realize it takes place. Flandre’s teal crystals suddenly flicker to life and slowly grow in brightness along with the green ones, while at the same time her piano playing starts to improve.

Only pic of Flandre I've been able to find that is close to how here wings were described in this story.
>> No. 24389
>>24384
>Worst case, kyuu.
>kyuu
Wait, worst case, she turns Nathaniel into Cirno?

>>24385
http://chibitami.net/works/flash/fla2flan/fla2flan.swf
>> No. 24390
[No Adam?! Shoot, you’d better think of something new fast!]
[Ask about what Flandre thinks of the statue, then talk about how cool dragons are with Flandre and Nat.
[Mention Equitas; ask if she can bring it out to show us again. Segue into “Nathaniel's Adventure Time Corner” about how Equitas was made. Tell her other stories about dragons and try to stall for time hoping Adam wakes up.
[Quick jab in the ribs if Nathaniel brings up how he wants it back.]

Stay calm, stay calm…this isn’t the end of the world. You let your emotions get too out of had; Adam isn’t “everything” here. Flandre’s the one really pulling the strings, and who’s to say Adam won’t just be her pawn without his “sanity lisp” if he wakes up anyways? But all your planning isn’t worth beans now; gotta think up of something new. What to do, what to say…how can you buy some time? Dragons, yeah; you can talk about dragons, that should keep Flandre happy, right? Except, you don’t know a lot about dragons. Nathaniel, time to show your stuff…

“So, I guess you like the present, huh?” you ask.

She nods her head vigorously, smiling. “Mhm mhm mhm! Dragons are the bestest, how did you know?”

You point a thumb at Nathaniel. “Hey, don’t look at me; Nat’s the one who made it for you.”

“Aww, you did?” She runs over and gives Nathaniel a big hug, accidentally knocking the hat off his head in the process. “Thankyou thankyou, Nat in the hat! You’re the best!”

Nathaniel doesn’t really know how to react, and probably couldn’t even if her wanted to considering Flandre has pinned his arms to his side in a way that looks quite painful. You can see his face wince with the tight embrace, but his response doesn’t show it. “Happy to please a fellow dragon-enthusiast, my little lady.”

While the spectacle is very touching, you know that you don’t have time to fill your mind with emotion right now. You came here for Equitas, and with Adam probably out of the picture, you need to focus. Talking about dragons first, that should buy you some time while slowly changing the subject to your goal. Hopefully, if Nathaniel know what he’s doing, he might be able to segue the conversation into talking about Equitas, and from there you might be able to ever so slowly make your request known to her. If only there was more time to talk with him right now…But there’s no use crying over spilt milk. All you can do right now is steer the conversation towards more relevant topics.

“I don’t get it,” you comment. “I mean, sure, dragons are pretty cool and all—they’re not on the bottom of my most liked animals list, that’s for sure—but why would you spend so much time thinking about them? I mean, they’re just imaginary, right?”

Flandre lets go of Nat immediately and glares at you, her blue crystals beginning to sparkle. Looks like you might have worded that poorly. Nathaniel catches the danger and does one of the last things you’d expect: he walks over to you and slaps you lightly on the cheek (but heavy enough so that it stings). His glare matches Flandre’s, though there’s much less insanity in it.

“I’d prefer it if you don’t insult the majesty of dragons with your ignorance again,” he instructs coldly. You can’t tell if he’s just acting, or something more serious. He turns to Flandre and kneels down to eye level with her. “I’m sorry about that, miss. He doesn’t know.”

A few small tears begin to form in Flandre’s eyes, and her face becomes a mixture of pitiable hurt and offense. “W-Why…w-w-why would he say that?” she whines sadly. “Dragons are…they’re not fake at all! WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU BIG MEANIE?!” She stomps over to you and, in a childish rage, shoves you backwards angrily…Into the air…Against the wall…Where you stop unceremoniously as your body makes an indentation in the surface behind you. Pain…ow, pain pain painpainpain. You cough and gasp for breath, her “little” push completely knocking the wind out of you. You think you can taste blood in your mouth, but amazingly enough you broke no bones…that you can feel. Cirno emits a surprised squeak, but seems too afraid to move.

“I’ll show you to be mean to dragons you big meanie kitty!” Flandre zips over to the piano and grabs her twisted metal wand, the aura around it rippling with a bit more ferocity than before. She’s ready to point it at you and unleash who knows what horrors upon your body and soul. And things seemed to be going so well for you, too.

“No.”

(I say unto you…)
>> No. 24391
(…nay.)

Everyone stops. You all look over at Nathaniel…who is holding up a restrictive hand directly into Flandre’s view. Idiot…Idiot! What did you tell him?! Never say no unless she’s in a good mood! He’s going to get you all killed!

“Miss Flandre, please…let me teach him.” Well, at least you know that he’s not just acting any more. It takes some serious conviction of personality to talk like that against the pure insanity of destruction. His voice is cold, but pleading with her. “He doesn’t know what he said was wrong; he doesn’t understand anything about dragons, not like you or me. He needs to really be taught, so he can know why he’s wrong, and never ever do it again. Please, Miss Flandre; I want to instruct him in the truth.”

She looks at him with unblinking eyes, the blue crystals still crackling on and off. Her grip on the wand remains iron-clad, and her yellow crystal begins to shine as well, now. And then, suddenly, her purple crystals begin to glow as the others wink out. She offers him the wand, and when she speaks, her voice is only barely her own, enhanced by that incalculable “depth” you’ve her from her before. “Very well; open his eyes to the truth. Please, use my Lævateinn. Let him feel the pain of his insolence.”

He looks at her eyes of ice and fire, down to the wicked wand, and then back to her. And then…he refuses her outright again. “No, my lady; I cannot accept. This weapon is yours, and I would not dirty it with my unclean hands. There is only one weapon which I can use to administer justice to wrongdoers, and alas, my Equitas has vanished from my sight.”

She lowers the “Lævateinn” and then smirks. That grin…it’s like the grin of Satan himself. Cruelty, hatred, temptation, desire, all this and more, held within a small action of raised lips and a single sharp fang. Flandre disappears from sight for only a second or two, and when she returns, she holds Nathaniel’s sword itself in her hands.

“Justice is never far away, young Nathaniel,” she whispers, presenting the sword to him.

This scene…you’ll be hard pressed to ever forget this scene in your life, even if you tried. Nathaniel’s eyes focus on the sword with tears of joy, and his hands move anxiously, yet with reservation, towards the outstretched weapon, as if his body won’t believe it’s sitting there before him. He strokes the sheath with care, caressing the dragon guard as if it were real. Delicately, and with a steadfast purpose, he lifts the sword from her hands and holds it tight in his, tears running down his face. With a quick movement of the hands he latches the scabbard to his belt and fondles the pommel of the weapon with love, then in a fluid motion like the smoothest river, he unsheathes the Equitas, holding its white shining blade high in the air for all to see.

He lowers the weapon and kneels to the vampire, kissing the back of her hand in reverence. “Lady Flandre, my gratitude cannot be measured by any scale which mortals live by. You have completed my arm, and thus have completed me. Thank you…from now until the end of the world, thank you. But now…I must administer justice.”

He turns to face you and stalks forwards in your direction, the Equitas sweeping behind him threateningly. He wasn’t lying; the way he grips the hilt of the sword, the way his fingers intertwine with the tail of the dragon, it really looks like it’s an extension of his arm. He looms over you, a fire in his eyes which you remember seeing before: the night he confronted you in the bathroom. To think that it would end like this…that you would be killed here not by Flandre, but by Nathaniel, and with the very sword you promised you’d retrieve for him. Justice…heh, where is it now, Nathaniel? It’s obviously in his hands, because as sure as Hell exists it’s not in your life right now.

“Mr. Farmer,” he says authoritatively. “You have, though your loose ignorance, offended the race of dragons, and thus have offended both Flandre and me. Therefore, I will show you why you are sorely mistaken. Stand up, if you are a man asking for repentance. Remain there, if you are a dog who cannot think.”

You scramble to your feet, more afraid of Nathaniel right now than of Flandre. This man…can you ever hope to understand this man? He begins to circle you every now and again, sometimes pointing a finger at you, sometimes pointing the sword instead, and once or twice he actually draws blood intentionally to drive home a point.

“Dragons are the pinnacle of living creatures, Mr. Farmer. Their majesty and elegance have put them upon a mountain which no other creature can dare attempt to claim. Every culture of the world has their own legend about dragons, dear sir. To some, they are magical creatures who breathe fire and soar through the sky. To others, they are bloodthirsty beasts who’s ferocity in combat cannot be matched by any other. Countries even worship dragons as deities, and believe that they control the elements of the Earth itself! Now I ask you, how can every culture on Earth acknowledge the legends of dragons, and yet you cannot believe that they actually exist?

“Legend will always have a basis in fact, Mr. Farmer. Perhaps much, perhaps little, but behind every legacy of greatness there is a true story behind it. The legacy of dragons spans millennia, and every continent of the world, taking many forms and many names. And never are dragons treated lightly. They are never tossed aside with the rabble of the dog and the ox and the sheep, nor even with the mighty killers like the lion or the tiger or the wolf. No, they stand above other things of the world. They are the strongest creatures, the most terrifying adversaries, perhaps even the most invincible forces of nature itself. I ask you again, if history has given dragons such a place above the other legends of the world, why can you not believe them to be a creature worthy of your admiration, or even of your belief?

“There is a chapter in the Bible, Mr. Farmer; a section of the holy word of God itself, devoted only to one creature: The leviathan, greatest of all of God’s creations. For you, who knows so very little, I shall read to you the passage.” Still gripping the Equitas tightly, he looks through his pocket and pulls out a small black book with a section marked off by a ribbon. He reads it to everyone in the room with immense passion, but you first of all.

(This is…)
>> No. 24392
(…the Word of the Lord.)

“Job 41. And God said:

Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?
Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words?
Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life?
Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls?
Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?
Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears?
If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering.
No one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me?
Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.
I will not fail to speak of his limbs, his strength and his graceful form.
Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle?
Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?
His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.
Strength resides in his neck; dismay goes before him.
The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable.
His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing.
The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.
Arrows do not make him flee; slingstones are like chaff to him.
A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance.
His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.
Nothing on earth is his equal— a creature without fear.
He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud.”


Snapping the book shut, he returns his fierce gaze to you. “The word of God itself gives proof, Mr. Farmer. The leviathan is a dragon; the king of all dragons, the king of all creatures in existence. Know that when God speaks, he does not lie. Dragons exist, Mr. Farmer, and if you choose to deny it again, I fear that there may be no hope for you.”

He rests Equitas tip-first against the ground, folding both of his hands together across the pommel, awaiting your response. You think for a long time about his words. Not about the dragons within his words—that was merely a topic—but the words themselves. This is the first thing he did after finally being reunited with his long-long Equitas. He did not flee the mansion, he did not smite you or Flandre down in a blind fury, and he did not curl onto the ground in euphoria. No, he spoke to you about dragons, at Flandre’s approval, and he spoke it with the passion of a man who did not just believe things, he believed them. He is a very religious man as well; going so far as to prove the existence of dragons with the Bible itself. What can you say to a man like this? In the end, you find the words to speak.

“My name is not Farmer, sir, nor was it ever,” you say through closed eyes and clenched teeth. “I left my old name and old life behind when I left my village, and I have not looked back since. Call me what you wish, but do not assume who I am now is who I was before. I don’t know what new life I’ll find in this land of Gensokyo, but I do know that it’ll be different than the life I had before. And as for your dragons, all I can say is, to each his own. I do not deny that you make a good argument, but let people believe what they wish to believe, rather than forcing it down other’s throats.”

Nathaniel makes no sound or movement, merely stands there at attention, pondering your words. It is Flandre who speaks next, her purple crystal still glowing, and now joined by the green. “Why did you come here? I am not so naïve now to assume this visit was meaningless. Your gift, Nathaniel, though well-received and well-intentioned, was a gift made to placate me. So tell me, why did you come here?”

Nathaniel turns to her and bows his head. “I will not lie. I came here to retrieve this sword Equitas, which was stolen from me upon my arrival in this manor by persons unknown. Knowing you had it, I sought to negotiate with you to retrieve it. It is precious to me, as I’m sure other things you own are precious to you. But I will not leave here if you are not satisfied. You have given me a great gift, and justice serves that I should give you one in return. What is it that your servant may do for you?”

Her eyes sparkle, as do the lit crystals on her wings. “A game,” she replies slyly; not just to Nathaniel, but to Cirno and you as well. “All of you. You will play my game with me. A true game that will test your body, mind, and soul. There is no game like it in the world, and those who play always learn something important about themselves by the end. Yes…you will play my game, won’t you?”

[ ] Accept
[ ] Decline
[ ] Say nothing
[ ] Write-in

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

I might not have followed the votes perfectly this time, but when inspiration strikes me, as it did today, I have no choice but to run with it. And thus, this marks the longest update of A Scarlet-Stained Memoir so far, at an immense 3,041 words, and the very first forced triple-post update as well. Let those who have ears, let them hear.
>> No. 24394
[X] Accept

JENGA
>> No. 24396
[x] Accept

What a WALL you have created for us. Accept should be enough this time, time to beat her playing her own game.
>> No. 24397
[x] Accept

Considering the company, I really don't think we're in any position but to do anything but accept.
>> No. 24398
[X] Accept

Okay, scratch what I said. They get along swimmingly even with Flan's insanity in the equation.

I have to say, though, it seems strange that someone would dismiss anything as imaginary, let alone dragons, when they've already personally encountered vampires, devils, fairies, and all sorts of other non-human beings. More than that, but living with some of them. You would think they'd at the very least be wary of saying something like that, lest they insult someone by suggesting that their brother or something isn't real.
...which is, I suppose, sort of what we basically did. Smooth, farm boy. Real smooth.
>> No. 24399
If there is ever a time for write-ins, it is now. Seeing nothing else, however, I do vote thus:
[X] Accept.
How could we not? It still does carry dangerously ominous overtones, however.
A time perhaps, to consider our own "wishes"?

> First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」. Underneath it is an inscription:

“The magic of ages gone by, torn out of time and given as a gift. The soul wishes to return to days of old, happier times under better circumstances. Present this card to the heavens with a purpose, and the magic shall flow upon you. Fate, which was once set in stone, shall unravel behind you, giving what all desire, but few receive: a second chance. Worry not about when you will return, for this has been preordained by the fate you make for yourself. Worry instead about how you will act when you do.”

>Second Wish, 「Fate of the Future」. It, however, bears no inscription.

>The third card is completely blank.

Opportunity awaits.
>> No. 24400
File 122919373785.jpg - (306.93KB , 700x800 , 1555081.jpg ) [iqdb]
24400
>>24392
[X] Anemia option
Was genuinely considering it.

It's nice that Flandre and Nathaniel get along so well, though I wish it hinged on something a bit more benign than abusing us, dragon fanaticism, and insanity.

>>24398
I don't really begrudge the mystic farmer's statement. It was a ultimately a question about whether dragon's were real or not. We know Flandre loves them, so there was (in my mind at least) an equal part chance of childlike enthusiasm telling us "Of course they're real, let me shows you them" and flying off the handle that we would question their existence. Granted, we didn't vote per se to phrase it like that, but ultimately we got justice into Nat's hands, acheiving one of our two primary goals. A little worse for wear and more than slightly incredulous over the entire affair, but I'll take it.

Anyway, we know she's asking us to play a game, but we don't know what kind of game it is. Should we ask what the game is, what happens if we win or lose, of if it's possible to win or lose? I don't think so: goal number two is to fulfill our promise to play today. Promise > details. Time to man up, play the game, and hope we live long enough to kick Nathaniel (hard) in the shins after all is said and done.
[X] Accept

>>24399
> First Wish, 「Fate of the Past」. Underneath it is an inscription:
The description makes me think of the Omega 13 from Galaxy Quest.
>> No. 24401
>>24400
I think we found ourselves a slight conflict here.
On one hand, we had sorta kinda promised to come back to play (although, technically it was Sakuya who said it) and breaking even a perceived promise would be a big no-no, I'm sure. On the other hand, in keeping that promise we're going to agree to a game without knowing exactly what it entails, which is also not a very good idea. But, we can't just refuse, either, as it seems like she wants us to play.

We may as well consider ourselves as good as dead either way as long as we're down here, so better that we face it head-on.

I would say that we could take some comfort in the fact that whatever state of mind Flandre's purple crystal glows for is the one where she seems least inclined to harm us, and so we probably don't have TOO much to worry about from whatever "game" she has in mind, but then again she was also in that state when she offered Nathaniel to use her Lævateinn on us. There's a chance she knew either he wouldn't hurt us too badly with it, or he wouldn't use it at all, I suppose. It certainly wouldn't make sense to help someone and then turn around and do something that could hurt or even kill them. Unless, of course, you're insane.
>> No. 24402
[x] Say nothing

>never agree to or deny anything she says outright
>> No. 24406
[x] Say nothing
>> No. 24407
>>24394

Changing my vote to

[x] Say nothing
>> No. 24408
[x] Say nothing
>> No. 24410
>"Never, ever say yes to her unless you know exactly what thhee’th athking for."

We don't.

>"Never, ever thay no to her unleth thhee’th happy."

She is.

>“…T-trus-st hi-im…”

We should.

[x] Decline
>> No. 24412
[x] Accept

Now's not the time to back down! Let's go!
>> No. 24413
[x] Ask her to describe the game. You'd like to know what you're agreeing to.
[x] If she won't explain and demands an answer, accept.

or something like that
>> No. 24414
>>24402
This reasoning seems sound.

[x] Say nothing
>> No. 24415
>Now's not the time to back down! Let's go!

Considering we just stonewalled a madman with a sword who was clearly willing to chop us into pieces, I find it pretty funny that you consider now meekly laying our life and that that of our companion (did you forget about Cirno?) before the explosive whims of a little girl--against all advice, even her own--to be "not backing down".
>> No. 24417
>>24402
>never agree to or deny anything she says outright
That was our summary to Nathaniel
>>22920
>“Never, ever thay yeth to her unleth you know exactly what thhee’th athking for. Never, ever thay no to her unleth thhee’th happy. Never, ever break a promith you make to her, no matter what!
That was the advice given by Adam. They're similar, but definitely different.

Purely a matter of personal interpretation on this vote: is knowing it's a game or not enough to make a decision? Was there a promise to come back and play? Which interpretation of Adam's advice is the best?

Just a matter of what notion is more popular/who will take the time to spam their vote.
>> No. 24418
>>24410 here. Changing vote because this seems to have a chance of winning:

[x] Say nothing.
>> No. 24419
>>24417

But is this Flandre even the one Adam was talking about?

Or did all those rules apply to each Flandre...?

Including the kind one?
>> No. 24420
>>24419
>But is this Flandre even the one Adam was talking about?

Adam was as floored as we were. It's obvious that she doesn't enter these states often, and her rapidly expressed apologies to him would seem to confirm this. Moreso we can tell which Flandre he was talking about by comparing his advice to his description of her as "insane" and "just a little girl"--the Flandre we saw then was perfectly lucid, and the way she spoke made it quite clear that she was not a little girl.
>> No. 24421
>>24419
>>24420
Actually... yeah. How good is Adam's advice if we're dealing with something else entirely? All bets are off? Maybe. It sounds appealing enough, but we've seen them together once. I think the lucid moment was definitely a shocker, but I can only speculate as to whether Adam has experienced these 2 color combination versions of Flandre before or not.
>> No. 24424
>>24421
>How good is Adam's advice if we're dealing with something else entirely?

But we're clearly not. We're dealing with the insane, capricious, violent little girl whose crystals react to her mood that Adam was talking about. If you're going to doubt the reliability of Adam's advice that much, and hence the advice of the sane Flandre who told you trust in him, then why in blazes are you willing to trust in the goodwill of the girl who just threw you into a wall? I just cannot wrap my head around it.
>> No. 24425
The votes are tied at six apiece; however, “Accept” was the first to reach five. Thus, I write…

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

[Accept]

You’re torn. The Flandre who is speaking to you right now isn’t the same Flandre that was speaking ten minutes ago. She’s eloquent, calm, and intelligent, not a child at all. Whenever you’ve seen those purple crystals glow, she becomes like this, and she’s always been civil to you. The first time, back in the darkness, she let you leave the room unmolested with the strange items you basically stole from her. The second time, with Cirno and Adam, she gave everyone some important, if cryptic, information. And now she’s done what you were afraid she’d be too irrational to allow: she gave Nathaniel back his Equitas. It wasn’t your fault that you just happened to use the wrong words at the wrong time, but now it’s all worked out for the better. Except…now she wants you to play some game with her?

“Never ever say yes to her unless you know exactly what she’s asking for.” You still remember what Adam told you, and the words weight upon you heavily right now. Sane or no, Flandre is asking for your acceptance on something that could potentially be much bigger than it seems. You should say no; this more rational Flandre would understand, right? Or maybe you should just remain silent, perhaps let Nathaniel think of something better to say. Yes, you don’t need to rush into this; silence will give Flandre time to reconsider, or perhaps even explain things to you a little better.

But, for all this positive thinking, you can’t bring yourself to refuse her. She might be more rational right now, but does that really mean she’s any less insane? Rejection might still invoke hostility from her. And she didn’t just offer you a chance to play; no, she said, “You will play my game with me.” This is her compensation for Equitas, her price to pay. And there’s another thing still tickling the back of your mind, too. Sakuya said that “you’d play tomorrow” with Flandre, and she was well within earshot at the time. Would she have taken that statement as a promise for you to return and play with her? There’s too many uncertainties either way. There’s only two things you’re certain of right now: you know too little, and Flandre is still dangerous. No matter what you do, there’s a chance you’ll be blown to ash because of it. But if you play by Flandre’s rules, perhaps there’s still a chance you can make it out of here safely.

Nathaniel answers her first. “It would be an honor to participate in your game, miss; it’s the least I can do. I accept.”

You quickly follow him. “I’ll play as well, Miss Flandre. Nothing wrong with a simple game, is there?”

Cirno, whom you expected to be shivering with impending doom, has once again proven that you worry about things too much. She agrees enthusiastically, adding, “I’m gonna get you back for stealing my Icyland, you!”

Flandre closes her eyes and nods to herself. “I am glad,” she muses. “It’s been so long since I’ve had so many toys to play with. I think we’ll be having a lot of fun.”

“What’s the game called?” Cirno blurts out in curiosity.

Flandre opens her eyes…and you manage to catch of glimpse of pure chaos itself before a sickening thud makes you lose consciousness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why can’t you hear anything?

Where are you?

Why can’t you see anything?

What time is it?

Why can’t you move?

All you can tell is that you’re sitting down, strapped to a chair that is deathly cold and angular, most likely made of metal. Your hands and feet are numb from a lack of blood flow, due to the vice-like leather straps which bind your arms, legs, and chest to the chair. You struggle against your bonds, but it’s no good; you are completely trapped.

You remember nothing, because there is nothing to remember. You were talking to Flandre, and then…you were here. Where is here? Wherever it is, it’s cold and smells like damp earth, and as silent as the grave. You voice appears to be still working, so you begin speaking, softly at first, then louder as panic grips you tighter, trying to get someone’s attention, anyone’s attention. Who did this? Why did they do it? Just what in God’s name is going on?

…Just what in Satan’s name is going on?

You must have been sitting there for a good ten minutes before something happens. You can hear footsteps in the distance, slowly coming closer. Relieved for company of any kind, you shout out again, signaling whoever it is of your presence. There is no response, but the footsteps come closer still, and increase in speed. Just a little farther…a little longer…help is coming…you’re saved.

You see lights. Seven lights, to be exact. Two violet, two green, one pink, and two red eyes. And then you hear a voice: Flandre’s voice, but cold and indifferent, like a soul who has long since ceased to care about others.

“I bet you’re scared now.”

She lights a candle and sets it on the ground, casting ghostly shadows on her pale face, letting you see for the first time where you are. It’s a tiny room, probably only two meters on a side, and roughly carved out of stone with a low, jagged ceiling. Flandre stands in front of you, unemotionally, her hat missing and her right hand covered in dripping red blood. Between you and her rests some contraption attached to the chair, a cruel metal frame with wire threads running from it to your bonds, and a sharp spike that rests eye level with your right eye, barely a centimeter away.

“W-wha…What is this? Flandre, what’s happening?”

She smiles, but there is no happiness in it. “I said I wanted to play a game. We’re playing it right now. This is where you start.” She points to the contraption in front of you. “The rules are simple. All you have to do is get out. I’ll even tell you how. This pin here,” she motions now to a metal pin very close to you which the threads are attached to, “If you pull this pin towards you, all your bonds will be released. You’ll have to use your teeth, though. And, of course, this spike here…” she trails off as she rolls her fingers over the sharp point, smearing blood all over it’s cruel tip. “Well, you’ll have to stick your eye into it if you want to escape, won’t you? That’s all there is to it.”

(Hello, Anon…)
>> No. 24426
(…I want to play a little game.)

This…this can’t…be…happening! She wants, she wants you to sacrifice one of your eyes to get out of the chair. Your eye! A drop of blood falls from the spike onto the leg of your pants, soaking into the fabric like a parasite. You look back at Flandre. No, don’t look at the spike, don’t look at the spike…look at Flandre.

“Nathaniel…Cirno…where are they? Where are they?” you ask, then plead.

“Oh, they’re playing too,” she replies, setting the candle onto a small alcove in the wall now. “Their rules are different than yours, though; it makes the game more fun. Maybe if you just sit here and wait long enough, they’ll come and rescue you. Then again…” she adds, looking at her bloody hand ominously, “…maybe they won’t.”

You want to shake your head in disbelief, but that spike makes you think twice about moving your head even a hair. “Why?” you wonder out loud. “Why…why are you doing this to us? What kind of mad game is this?!”

She sucks her scarlet-stained thumb as she thinks, looking down at the ground. Her green crystals have long-since been extinguished when she answers, though the two purples and single pink still remain. “I…I can’t understand things very well,” she replies pitiably. “I don’t know what life is…what death is…love…pain…fear…trust. I can read them in books, but I don’t know what they really mean. I can’t go outside and ask people; Sister Remilia won’t let me. So I stay inside. I stay down here. I ask the people who come and visit me. And sometimes, when they play with me, I understand a little better. You’ll help me understand, won’t you? You’ll help me learn?”

This is sickening. Submitting people to “games” like this…forcing them to hurt themselves…torturing them...driving them as mad as her…all in the name of the pursuit of knowledge? This can’t be happening!

“Flandre…this isn’t right,” you tell her, trying to reason in futility with her once again. “What’s you’re doing, this game…it’s wrong. You can’t treat people like this. They have lives, too. They have feelings. Please…just let me go. You don’t have to do this.”

As she looks at you, you call see it in her eyes that she just doesn’t understand. “Right…and wrong? I don’t know what any of that means. Maybe if you win the game, you can help me learn about them.” She turns away from you and begins to walk out the “door” of the room, down a dark hallway.

“Flandre!” you shout after her, your voice a mixture of hopelessness, pity, and anger. “You can’t do this! You don’t want to do this! Please!”

She stops, but does not face you. Her shoulders droop with weariness and her head sags downwards. You think you might just see the smallest flicker of life in her orange crystals as she answers.

“No. No, I, I don’t want to. I don’t. But I…I just don’t understand.” There is a long pause of utter silence, and then she says just one more thing to you. “If you’re going to do something, you should do it fast; that candle won’t last long.” With that, she disappears into the darkness, leaving you, once again, alone.

You struggle with your bonds again hopelessly, looking for a flaw that simply doesn’t exist. Flandre…that child…that vampire…that, that devil. She’s mad in ways you never expected. And this time, she’s sane enough to give you no alternatives, no loopholes, no other options. The only way you’re getting out of here is to play her game…and win.

[ ] Wait here for Nathaniel or Cirno. Shout, scream, cry out…they must be coming for you!
[ ] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[ ] It’s inevitable; get it over with.
[ ] No…no! There’s always other options! (Write-in)

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

This week marks the inevitable time of semester final exams. I must take five exams, none will be simple, and it is critical that I study for them all. Thus, updates may be sporadic this week. I will attempt to outline my plan for the near future (remember that I am on Eastern American Time, which is GMT minus 5 Hours):

Monday: 2 exams, both in the evening. No updates this day.
Tuesday: 1 exam, in the afternoon. A definite update in the evening.
Wednesday: 1 exam, in the evening; two shifts of work, in the morning and evening. An unlikely, but possible, update in the early afternoon.
Thursday: No exams. Easily one update this day, possibly even two.
Friday: 1 exam, in the morning. A definite update later in the day.
Saturday: Car ride back home, which takes all day. An unlikely, but possible, update in the late night.
>> No. 24427
I am going to wait for a write in for this, it is a crucial time now.
>> No. 24428
[X] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[X] Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!
[X] If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.

The best out of basic things I can think of in a simple moment. I don't imagine that things will be this easy, but just maybe, they will. Additionally, we *must* help Flandre after this. For someone to be so lost, it is inhuman, terrible! To never know happiness is the worst curse. And so I provide my next vote.

[X] Flandre... She, just like you and all other humans, simply seeks her own slice of happiness, and perhaps the eternity of love. Help her. Show her forgiveness.

Flandre, she is no beast or scourge to keep chained up, but a child. Let us create a new future, a new fate.
>> No. 24429
I wonder if we can reverse-scry and transmit our pain straight into Flandre's head. Sacrifice an eye and get the others out.

There's also the wishes. Hm.
>> No. 24430
You know, what with the guy named Adam chained to a wall in a dilapidated room, and a clearly-insane person asking us to play a "game" where people learn something about themselves by the end of it (whatever the "end" may be) we REALLY should have seen this one coming.

Knowing how these things turn out, if you're going to play the game, the only way out is to abide by the rules and hope you don't bleed to death in the process.

Of course, if this is supposed to test something else, like our trust, then we could wait for Nathaniel in the hopes that he will come to our rescue.

Or not.
>> No. 24431
[x] It’s inevitable; get it over with.

It's only an eye, we have another. Plus, we have to assume Cirno is in a similar position, and given her new mortality we need to get to her quickly.
>> No. 24433
This is only more speculation, but what if we took either our wish of the past or wish of the future, and used them to completely change Flandre's fate? To where she either was never chained up and locked away at all (likely too hax) or using the force of a changed fate to help her into a better future? Worth consideration at least, I think.

Furthermore, if we do choose to sacrifice our eye in order to rescue the others as quickly as possible, it might be possible for Patchouli to stabilize the wound while they get something from Eintei again to help us recover and get our eye back. 'tis very risky, but the accelerated action granted to us by this may be valuable.

I thought up a rant on how we must show Flandre compassion after this, and think we should, but consideration on that can be held in reserve for awhile. I also started sounding like Nathaniel. hm.
>> No. 24434
File 122928469127.jpg - (235.41KB , 614x800 , 322014.jpg ) [iqdb]
24434
We were looking at the wrong part of Adam's little talk it seems
>“Never, ever thay yeth to her unleth you know exactly what thhee’th athking for. Never, ever thay no to her unleth thhee’th happy. Never, ever break a promith you make to her, no matter what! ‘Cauth if you’re too careleth, thhee’ll do thomething horrible to you, even if thhee thinkth it’th jutht a game
That probably should have sent up some alarms. Still, no regrets (yet).

>>24428
Holy crap Dunefag, you brain-waved me there with those first two votes. My notion of scrying was to understand the nature of the game by seeing what Nathaniel and Cirno have been challenged with. Is this really just about pain, fear, and sacrifice? There has to be more.
Danmaku never occurred to me, good job. I doubt it will have a physical effect on the device, but it lessens the anxiety felt by having a time limit on illumination due to the candle. Could even use it to explore more parts of the room.
I also wonder why we were the last ones approached about the game. Fucking bloody hand, man. Actually...

>>24431
You know, I'm wondering about the blood she smeared on the needle. Especially when the blood dropped onto our pants
>A drop of blood falls from the spike onto the leg of your pants, soaking into the fabric like a parasite.
"Parasite" is an odd word choice. Parasite: an organism that obtains nourishment from the another organism. Given the context, what does that sound like to you? Don't vampires have remarkable regenerative abilities?

Insane over analysis and baseless assumptions regarding vampiric blood, yes. But man, that's a mind-fuck right there: "Oh god oh god oh god oh god I have to do this I have to do this I have to OH MY FUCKING GOD IT FUCKING HURTS AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Oh wait. Now I'm fine."

Anyway...
[X] Deep breaths, calm down. Panicking solves nothing. Inhale 4 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, exhale 6 seconds, hold it for 2. Repeat until reasonably calm.
[X] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[X] Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!
[X] If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.

Deep breathing vote added to calm the nerves. Won't be doing much danmaku if we don't calm down. Also, it's a useful hint for exam takers. It's works miracles during studies and exams. I like that last vote DF, but I can wait on it for now.
>> No. 24435
[X] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[X] Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!
[X] If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.

We can do this. We have to be able to do this.
>> No. 24436
File 122928504654.jpg - (131.66KB , 643x715 , 254535.jpg ) [iqdb]
24436
>>24434
>the another organism
God dammit, that sounded retarded. Oh well, might as well post another pic of Flandre~
>> No. 24437
[X] Deep breaths, calm down. Panicking solves nothing. Inhale 4 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, exhale 6 seconds, hold it for 2. Repeat until reasonably calm.
[X] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[X] Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!
[X] If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.
>> No. 24439
File 122928552674.jpg - (278.79KB , 1235x1800 , Touhou_270.jpg ) [iqdb]
24439
[X] Deep breaths, calm down. Panicking solves nothing. Inhale 4 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, exhale 6 seconds, hold it for 2. Repeat until reasonably calm.
[X] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[X] Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!
[X] If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.

Bravo, Bravo.

I greatly commend your skills of writing here U.N. Owen, the tone and imagery used here is brilliant, and the integration of Job here is peerless. This passage inspires me greatly, and your general method of writing sets you apart from most writers here in general. Keep up the good work.
>> No. 24440
>[X] Deep breaths, calm down. Panicking solves nothing. Inhale 4 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, exhale 6 seconds, hold it for 2. Repeat until reasonably calm.

I'm not sure if we have this kind of time to be wasting. We aren't the only ones playing this game, and it'll be bad if Cirno walks in missing an arm or something because we spent a few minutes chilling out.
>> No. 24441
>>24434
Despite the awkward way you worded it, you may have have something here. The loss of an eye is a pittance compared to what we suffered at the hands of Cirno and clearly within the abilities of Patchouli to mend. She said she wanted to learn something from us, but that she stipulated "if we won" and that she didn't stay to watch indicates she's not interested in the process but the end result.

Now, it may well be a red herring, but that she smeared the needle with blood may not merely be incidental or to illuminate her point. Recall that only one of Adam's eyes was the red of a vampire. Now if it was her own blood on the needle, and we stabbed our eye with it, wouldn't this mix our blood with hers and therefore vampirize us? That she said we might teach her the meaning of emotions if we won is no longer a non sequitur if we now become forcibly enthralled like Adam is. With this in mind, the idea that she wanted Cirno to be her "new sister" becomes somewhat sickening.

I like the idea if only because it draws a more sympathetic picture of her, motivated by loneliness rather than mere sadism.

[x] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[x] Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!
[x] If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.
>> No. 24442
[X] Deep breaths, calm down. Panicking solves nothing. Inhale 4 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, exhale 6 seconds, hold it for 2. Repeat until reasonably calm.
[X] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[X] Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!
[X] If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.

We won't be much help to Cirno either if we're missing an eye and bleeding out while we scramble around looking for her...

And if her device is worse, that extra eye could really be useful.
>> No. 24446
[x] Search for a flaw in the device. There must be a way to get at that pin without touching the spike.
[x] Wait...maybe Cirno or Nathaniel have found one if you haven't? Scry them!
[x] If all else fails, try using Danmaku to push the release pin without moving, and thus, without impaling your eye.
>> No. 24450
Maybe now is the time to use those cards we were given...
>> No. 24463
>>24450
If we have to waste one on Flandre, I'm going to be pissed.