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File 154174696683.png - (170.93KB , 800x525 , title2.png )
910050 No. 910050 ID: 270774

This quest is R18.
chapter one: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/897413.html
disthread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/124805.html
785 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 924915 ID: 7e9c89

ok first off: jesus fucking christ. second off: nnnot worth negotiating with minmin. we need info but not badly enough to risk pascal's trust and happiness. thank kel, because even if this is horrible, we know more than we did. umm ... let minmin kno we won't need that info i guess since it was a potential business transaction? and, next time we're about to sleep, u can tell pascal u downloaded snapchat and see if he gets happy!
>>
No. 924917 ID: 9fcd43

Yeah tell minmin we're not doing that but thanks anyway.

Also holy shit, no wonder pascal only ever had nightmares when sleeping with his sire, fuck that guy
>>
No. 924918 ID: b3e1e9

well this isnt helping the boner situation, is it...

also, politely tell minmin thanks for the offer, but no.
>>
No. 924919 ID: b3e1e9

>>924918
oh and thank kel for the info and tell pascal what she said.
>>
No. 924926 ID: 57f319

Yeah, make sure Pascal knows what's up, and thank Kel of course. Also tell her what your affinity is!

And tell Minmin that you aren't betraying your sire.
>>
No. 924927 ID: 4328b4

I think we should tell Pascal what minmin was offering to trade and let him decide. Minmin said it had to be something he didn't want him to know, not that it had to be without his consent.

Seconding tell Pascal what kel said. Try not to think about the antics which might help him chill before bed. But actually do talk about that with him because you're stuck dreaming together for the next couple of days while you're on the road. Would having sex right before sleep (no cuddling, even though cuddling would be nice) help at all?

If you get flustered/the undead boner meter gets higher gruffly mention that you're thinking about how nice he felt under your hands as you ate his ass.
>>
No. 924933 ID: beedfd

tell minmin thanks but not today!
holy shit, kel... thank her, tell pascal what she said
contemplate how pascal wants to go back to his sire, who was doing terrible things to him. maybe nows not the best time to talk about it but uhhhh
no??? absolutely not????? "pascal. kel said our dreams ARE clairvoyant, so if you go back to him, the ... future, part of the dream will happen. its not a good idea ..."
god and you know he is so, so devoted, that it won't matter to him. god, christ. how do you un-stockholm a vampire send tweet
>>
No. 924949 ID: b54723

okay i guess if that's how minmin operates i guess we're NOT going to be relying on him. tell him no thanks.

thank kel because kel is cool and is actually decent.
>>
No. 924956 ID: aedfd9

Thank Kel. And now Snapchat Pascal a picture of your penis.
>>
No. 924960 ID: b54723

>>924956
how about we ask pascal first? it's nice to be polite, after all.
>>
No. 924961 ID: b463f2

I think letting Pascal know about Minmin's 'offer' - with phrasing something like, "he was only willing to bargain for information I wouldn't give him" - and if Pascal asks, clarify it would be something about him, and only send it if he willingly gives something up and says you should send it - be clear that you don't want to take that path, but also don't Decide for him, if that makes sense?

presuming that you're not going to do the trade, text Minmin something like "thanks, but no thanks. not worth it."

Thank Kel for the tips! and hey........ this means.... bedtime routine.......... talk with Pascal about what helps him feel calm and secure, to form a routine out of, and.... does Ricardo know any lullabies or comforting songs to hum as they fall asleep? maybe something his mother sang to him, from Brazil?

(fooling around can, of course, be a part of that some nights, but I don't think having it part of the Established Routine would be that good - don't want you or Pascal to feel like it's Required at Certain Times or anything like that! So a routine based purely on, okay, time to be moving along to sleep in a cozy way, is really important, I think.)
>>
No. 924963 ID: dd1d54

>>924912
Thank Kel from the info, very good to know.

(this is such a fanfic tactic but also makes a lot of sense and i love it so fucking much)
>>
No. 924964 ID: dd1d54

>>924911
Also highkey Pascal is too trusting of his sire, and that these vamps won't hurt y'all, definitely keep that bias in mind
>>
No. 925005 ID: bb78f2

>>924912
Thanks Kel, it means a lot. I'll relay the advice to Pascal.
>>
No. 925008 ID: 70df1e

thank kel a lot and share the information with pascal. also share the info you got from bunji with kel, maybe? i'm sure kel would keep an eye out for rex and jonquil if we asked her to, she seems extremely cool and also not scared of the cradle (i am 100% sure she could take the whole cradle in a fight)
>>
No. 925085 ID: fde9cb

Kel has a point - these dreams DO give us an edge. and we've already blocked off the most invasive stuff about Pascal's past. i don't want to intentionally stress Pascal out, but we've got scary black-ops vampire goons bearing down on us - i'm *already* stressed. although come to think of it we just had sex and still had the dreams, so Pascal's probably gonna keep having them until he's, like, comfortable enough to cuddle. i'm overcomplicating this. i'm sure fucking will not compromise our tactical advantage.

thank Kel, send her the pics Minmin sent us and ask if she knows anything about them. decline Minmin's offer but don't bother being too polite about it.

as long as we're on a long stretch of road with no immediate needs, ask Pascal about how Babenburg operates, what he wants and why he's allying himself with Constantin.
>>
No. 925279 ID: a95063

Ricardo has been doing a lot. He needs a sexy break.
>>
No. 925433 ID: 270774
File 155237102986.png - (109.71KB , 800x525 , 374.png )
925433

“Hey,” Ricardo says. “Minmin’s being a piece of shit.”

“Is it in a way that is new and exciting, Ricardo, or are you just telling me things that I have already known?”

“He says he knows where Rex and Jonquil were last spotted. As recent as last night.”

Pascal squints a little. “Who?”

“The Babenberg wards.”

“Oh, yes, of course.”

“But he only wants to trade it for information I wasn’t going to give him,” Ricardo continues.

“Ah, what information? See, already you are being more clever about him! Good job, Ricardo!”

“Uh.” Ricardo fiddles with his phone a little. “He wants me to tell him something you don’t want him to know.”

“Oh!” Pascal scoffs, tossing his hair out of his face. “It is the same as the five thousand dollars!” Ricardo looks up up at him, and he keeps going. “He is trying to find what kind of man you are. Before, he wants to see if you are easily pressured. Now, he wants to see if you are easily bought.”

“Well, I’m not,” Ricardo replies heatedly.

“Of course! But do you want him to think you are?” Pascal executes an awkward half-shrug, complicated by his grip on the wheel. “It can be useful for him to think so.”

Ricardo only thinks about it for about two seconds. “You know what, no,” he says, pulling his messages back up. “No, I don’t want him to think that.”

TO: MINORU Thanks but no thanks

“Woooow, Ricardo, how cool.” Pascal’s tone is light and sarcastic, but when Ricardo looks back up at him, he’s smiling out at the windshield. “A good choice, I think. After all, the more I turn it over in my mind, it must be true we are not in real danger yet, yes? If those two were anywhere near to us already, wouldn’t it mean everything Minmin had done is useless? I may not like him, but I do not think that could be true. If there is one thing I trust, I think he has done well in buying us time.”
>>
No. 925434 ID: 270774
File 155237105136.png - (103.01KB , 800x525 , 375.png )
925434

The next message he sends is to Kel, wrapping up loose ends. He ends up attaching the two photos Minmin sent, to follow on the lead Kel had already given them two nights ago.

TO: KEL Thanks. I’ll pass that info on to Pascal

TO: KEL Also. Aren’t these two the ones you described talking to the other night. Minoru says they’re Babenbergs. Does that mean anything to you

FROM: KEL YEAH, THAT’S THEM. MAKES SENSE. BABENBERG’S DEFINITELY BEEN BALLS DEEP IN BATHORY LAST I HEARD. AT LEAST THAT MEANS THEY WON’T KILL YOU ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

TO: KEL That’s what Pascal said too. I thought he was being overly trusting.

FROM: KEL WELL. HE MIGHT BE THINKING OF IT DIFFERENT. BUT BATHORY IS GOING TO WANT YOU TWO DELIVERED IN ONE PIECE. MOSTLY PASCAL ACTUALLY. HE PROBABLY DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU. BUT PASCAL. HE’S GOING TO WANT TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH PASCAL HIMSELF. IF BABENBERG IS SENDING WARDS OUT TO APPEASE BATHORY, AND I’M GUESSING HE IS, BECAUSE WHY THE HELL ELSE WOULD HE CARE, THEY’RE PROBABLY UNDER ORDERS DELIVER YOU ALIVE ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

TO: KEL Thanks, that’s horrifying. Do you know anything else about Babenberg and his wards that I should know

FROM: KEL I MEAN WHAT IS THERE TO KNOW. GUY’S A HACK. I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT NOBILITY OR BLOODLINES BUT I KNOW OTHER CRADLE HOUSES LOOK DOWN THEIR NOSE AT HIM. NO BACKGROUND OR SOMETHING. ONLY ACTUAL NOBLE IN HIS HOUSE. HE’S BEEN CLAWING HIS WAY UP THE LADDER THOUGH SO THEY CAN’T KEEP SNUBBING HIM AS MUCH AS THEY WANT TO. PLUS HE’S SIRING WARDS LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW. PRACTICALLY CHURNING THEM OUT LIKE A FACTORY. ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

FROM: KEL BABENBERG WARDS DON’T DO THE “UNDYING LOYALTY” THING THAT BATHORYS AND OTHER CRADLE COVENS DO. THEY DO “MY SIRE PAYS ME MORE MONEY THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD WOULD SO I GUESS THIS IS MY JOB NOW, UNLESS YOU HAVE A BETTER OFFER” ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

FROM: KEL YOU ARE NOT GONNA HAVE A BETTER OFFER. MONEY CAN BE A STRONGER BOND THAN FEAR FOR SOME PEOPLE. DON’T UNDERSTAND IT MYSELF BUT I’VE SEEN IT IN ACTION ENOUGH TO KNOW IT’S REAL ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

FROM: KEL THOSE WARDS ARE PRODUCED UNDER SUBPAR CONDITIONS, AND I DON’T KNOW HOW WELL THEY’RE ACTUALLY TRAINED, BUT YOU BETTER NOT UNDERESTIMATE THEM. CRADLE SPAWN IS CRADLE SPAWN, NO MATTER WHERE THEY’RE ACTUALLY FROM ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

TO: KEL Okay. Well. All of this is awful. Thanks, Kel

He pauses for a second, looking down at his phone.

TO: KEL I thought you didn’t care about Cradle politics. Why are you up to date on who Constantin Bathory is allied with

FROM: KEL MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS YOU SNOTFACED LITTLE SHIT ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

Well. Alright.
>>
No. 925435 ID: 270774
File 155237108360.png - (121.69KB , 800x525 , 376.png )
925435

Ricardo leans back against the seat, exhaling. Pascal glances over at him. “Good news?”

“Uh. Well. Some of it, I guess. The rest of it is that we’re as thoroughly fucked as we already assumed,” Ricardo admits.

“Well, I don’t care about that part!” Pascal laughs. “Give me the good news!”

“Kel says you could learn to control whether you share dreams with me. With practice. She kind of made it sound like it would take a long time, but it’s possible, at least.” Ricardo runs his hand through his hair, shoving his phone back into his pocket as best as he can. “But in the meantime, the dreams will be worse if you’re stressed or upset when you go to bed. So we just have to make sure you’re in a good mood when you fall asleep. Really relaxed, and not worried about stuff.”

“Oh, a bedtime routine?” Pascal snorts, and even though Ricardo doesn’t look over he knows an eyeroll when he hears it. “Yes, let’s make sure I am tucked in cozy, and not afraid of monsters! Will you sing me a lullaby, Ricardo?”

Ricardo suddenly wishes he hadn’t put his phone away, so he’d have something to look at. Something to do with his hands. He shrugs. “I could.” Pascal makes an odd, startled little noise in the back of his throat, and Ricardo shrugs again, aimlessly. “I know a couple.”

“I —” Pascal shifts his weight in the seat, restlessly. “That’s silly.”

Ricardo has to admit — there’s a little bit of satisfaction in Pascal being the one who seems sort of at a loss for once. A little humor creeps into his voice. “I’m not an awful singer.”

“I know you aren’t,” Pascal replies, sounding vaguely agitated.

Okay, he’s had his fun. “Or we could fuck,” Ricardo adds mercifully.

Even out of Ricardo’s peripheral vision, Pascal seems to visibly deflate with relief. “Yes! Or we could simply fuck. Until I am exhausted. That would be fine.”
>>
No. 925436 ID: 270774
File 155237110874.png - (122.76KB , 800x525 , 377.png )
925436

There are a few minutes without words, pulled thin and taut. The radio is tinny and distant under the blanket of silence.

“Can I send you a picture of my dick?” Ricardo asks.

“Ricardo,” says Pascal, “I am driving.”

“Yeah.” More silence. Pascal reaches over to turn the radio up, then changes his mind before he’s even released the dial. He shifts, again. Ricardo clears his throat. “Do you want to —”

“I am pulling over,” Pascal says.

“Yeah. Just. Right up there, you could —”

“I am pulling over already, Ricardo.”

“Yeah. Could you use your turn signal, or —”

“What is ‘turn signal?’”

“Jesus —”
>>
No. 925437 ID: 270774
File 155237113095.png - (138.25KB , 800x525 , 378.png )
925437

To say that a dam had broken, or floodgates had opened, now that the two of them had already had sex once — well, those are both clichés, and the imagery is also a little on the nose for Ricardo’s taste.
>>
No. 925438 ID: 270774
File 155237115262.gif - (77.32KB , 800x525 , 379.gif )
925438

animated

But sometimes that’s how it is.
>>
No. 925439 ID: 270774
File 155237119133.png - (130.49KB , 800x525 , 380.png )
925439

A little while later, when Kel asks for a sitrep, Ricardo has to tell her they’re running a little behind.
>>
No. 925440 ID: 270774
File 155237121039.png - (124.98KB , 800x525 , 381.png )
925440

It’s not by much, though, and by the time the sun is starting to rise they’ve still made pretty good progress, and they’re still more or less on track.

They find a truck stop with showers, and it’s nice to be able to pull into an actual parking lot for the day rather than just being on the side of the highway. Once they’ve gotten back to the van, blacked out the windows, and settled in, Ricardo pulls up his phone to show Pascal the progress they’ve made (the closest city to show him is Topeka, and he spends about ten minutes laughing at the name).

He looks good when he laughs. Ricardo doesn’t know what he himself looks like when he’s laughing, can’t quite imagine his face in that arrangement of shapes, and hopes it at least isn’t bad — especially since Pascal is having less and less difficulty making him laugh, too. Or maybe he’s just having less difficulty laughing. It’s stupid.

He kisses him to shut him up, and that’s stupid too, and then — well. They follow Kel’s advice.
>>
No. 925441 ID: 270774
File 155237122023.png - (2.39KB , 800x525 , 382.png )
925441

When they finally get to sleep, Pascal doesn’t dream.
>>
No. 925442 ID: 270774
File 155237124744.png - (159.65KB , 800x525 , 383.png )
925442

Ricardo wakes up before Pascal, for once, and it takes a while to coax him sleepily into the passenger seat. The rest of the trip is easier, with no pressing gossip to attend to or information to negotiate, and nothing they can do about any of their circumstances until they reach Vegas — and this second half is the one where everything looks the same, everything out their windows an endless flat expanse, all dyed blue in the night.

They end up easily distracted.

Pascal is still adamant that Ricardo’s first time receiving shouldn’t happen in the back of a van, even when Ricardo mildly points out that the amount of combined time they’ve wasted on sex so far would have at been enough to at least try. Pascal won’t budge, though, and he has a point, so Ricardo drops it without pushing — besides, it’s not like he’s dissatisfied with the compromises.

On the third night, there are no dreams, either, and Ricardo isn’t surprised, given that he’d practically fallen asleep on top of Pascal.

They’re nearing the end of the fourth day when Pascal, sitting on his thighs, shoves his hand into the condom box and then makes a face.

“What.” Ricardo is sinking his fingers into the soft swell of Pascal’s ass, nosing up the line of his throat. “Hurry up.”

“Ricardo, we are out,” Pascal says. “No more condoms.”

Ricardo stops in his tracks, then snorts. “Sorry, what was that? Sorry? Who was making fun of me —”

“Oh, be quiet.”

“Who was making fun of me,” Ricardo continues, pulling Pascal closer on his lap, “for buying a twelve pack, as if that was a fucking ridiculous number, sorry, can you refresh my memory on who was mocking me about that —”

“Be quiet! Ricardo, sometimes you are so annoying! I thought you would be a boring man, when we first met, but instead you are annoying which is almost as bad — stop it, stop it,” Pascal hisses, swatting at him, because he’s started to grab at Pascal’s sides to try to make him laugh. “No sex without condoms!”

“I know, I know.” Ricardo relaxes and lets his hands fall to Pascal’s legs. “Til I get vampire tested. By a vampire doctor. For vampire STDs.”

“They are normal diseases, Ricardo, it is just you have them in a vampire way.”

“Do you listen to yourself, when you talk,” Ricardo asks, mildly. “I’m not saying you’re not right. I’m just wondering if you ever listen to how batshit all of this sounds.”

“Batshit, haha, you are a comedian,” Pascal deadpans. He stretches, arms straight above his head, and Ricardo admires the curve of his torso for a moment. “Ah, well. We are only a little while from Las Vegas now, yes? It’s just as well.”

“Yeah, we’ll be there soon.”

Pascal slips off his lap and clambers back into the front, and Ricardo follows him. “Are you ready? Kel will not be easy on you. Probably she will be wanting to start as soon as we arrive.”

Speaking of Kel, Ricardo decides to check his phone — and sure enough, he has a message.

FROM: KEL SILVER CROWN. ON THE STRIP. ALREADY GOT YOU A ROOM. YOU CAN’T MISS IT. ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

“Yeah,” Ricardo mutters, as he clicks his seatbelt. “You’re right.”
>>
No. 925450 ID: c8452a

>>925442
Okay, time to think on everything you know about fighting, get used to the idea that she might not be impressed by your cool fog trick, and forget everything that movies have taught you. You'll probably be laughed at anyway.

And a kiss for good luck.
>>
No. 925458 ID: 7e9c89

a kiss for luck PLEASE. this update is so good, it feels so satisfying... u can brace urself thinking of how you and pascal are maybe like - friends now, ricardo!! how do you.. classify intense emotional intimacy and fucking lol
>>
No. 925459 ID: 10c408

>>925450
Seconding this, she's probably going to traon you sumo style.

That is to say, beating the crap out of you until you've learned true humility, no matter ow long it takes
>>
No. 925464 ID: 5b93d3

>>925442
As soon as you pull into the Silver Crown's parking lot, you are Kel food. Prepare your butthole You're going to get jumped right away.
>>
No. 925483 ID: 8e2500

>>925442
Vegas arc!!
Definitely be prepared for anything once you enter the city, Kel will be trying to catch you off guard to see your skills I think.

also room means bed and bed means... ;)
>>
No. 925490 ID: 26262d

Go to Philadelphia instead
>>
No. 925491 ID: 36cd08

Alrighty, just pull in there. Let's go and fuck in the room. Maybe not now but we gotta fuck in it somehow.
>>
No. 925492 ID: 6f764d

Yeah, even if you manage to dodge a blow by turning to fog, don't for a moment act smug about it. Ain't no bitch like a Gallowsglass bitch.
>>
No. 925493 ID: 0f15ab

Should we ask kel what name the hotel rooms under?? It probably isnt just our names if everyones looking for us
>>
No. 925501 ID: c1be4a

1. Check into Hotel
2. Avoid Kel, get vampire tested
3. See Kel, get ass kicked / Train
4. Bone Pascal within an inch of his undead life
>>
No. 925522 ID: c1212a

Stay on the lookout for weird vans with vanity plates that followed you all the way from where you started
>>
No. 925536 ID: 7c1ffe

>>925501
This but get boned by pascal within an inch of your undead life instead
>>
No. 925537 ID: b463f2

love to see all these smiles and laughter! and that awesome heated passion of, "oh, hello, we are two totally touchstarved people who have super good chemistry and are Into each other"

Get ready to train!!! it's your Training Arc Ricardo, now that you've learned to Relax a bit!

I'm so excited for the girls girls girls~~~
>>
No. 925933 ID: 141045

>>925501
This but get TIED UP and boned within an inch of your undead life by Pascal.
>>
No. 925953 ID: 270774
File 155272141067.png - (143.09KB , 800x525 , 384.png )
925953

Ricardo feels himself growing more and more tense as they approach the city. He’s scanning every car around them, suddenly wondering if they could have been followed — but nothing’s familiar or notable. To take his mind off of it, he gets Pascal’s attention. “Hey. Can you text Kel and ask her what name our hotel room is under? She said we’re staying at the Silver Crown.”

“Silver Crown,” Pascal mumbles, as he pulls his phone out. “Silver Crown… why does that sound familiar to me? Silver Crown… ah, look, she replies so quickly. She says — here, pretend I am yelling, because she writes in all capital letters — she says, ‘Under fake names.I would’ve put them under my name, but I’m not texting you ‘Please, enter room 723’ every time you need to go back to your room. With fake names the room doesn’t belong to anyone, so you don’t need an invitation to enter.’ Oh, how practical, Kel!”

Ricardo’s about to open his mouth to reply, but he’s cut off by an excited shriek from Pascal. He looks up, and —
>>
No. 925954 ID: 270774
File 155272143454.png - (185.94KB , 800x525 , 385.png )
925954

There’s the sign, bright and buzzing. It’s shorter than Ricardo imagined it would be, not truly that far from the ground, and they’re past it in a flash; a little like dying, he thinks, with the kind of morbid sensibility inextricable from undeath. Built up, and built up — and then smaller and simpler than you expected, and over before you have a chance to really process it.

And then sometimes, after you’ve passed it, you’re a vampire in Las Vegas.
>>
No. 925955 ID: 270774
File 155272145904.png - (119.20KB , 800x525 , 386.png )
925955

The palm trees stretch up towards a starless sky, every speck of light blotted out by the irresistible brightness below. Ricardo hears the whirr of the passenger side window and feels warm wind on his face, and when he glances over, Pascal has shoved himself nearly entirely out into the open air, still in the car from only the waist down.

“Oh,” he breathes.

“Would you — Pascal. Sit back down.”

“Oh, Ricardo,” Pascal says, ignoring him entirely. “This is different.”

Ricardo gives up and lowers his own window, enjoying the heavy burst of current. At a glance through the sunroof, he can see Pascal’s hair whipping around his face.

“Ricardo, this is so different than the last time I was here,” Pascal says again. He doesn’t have to shout to be heard above the wind, given Ricardo’s sharp hearing. He sounds breathless; they pass the pyramid of the Luxor, with its beam of light a clear blue streak against the night sky, and Pascal gasps, craning his neck to look at it for as long as possible as they whizz by. “Ricardo! Ricardo, did you see that? Ricardo, what was that? Ricardo —”

“Yeah, yeah.” Ricardo pulls one of his hands off the wheel, masking his smile by pulling his palm down over his mouth. He lets the hand rest there. “Come on, eyes forward. Plenty more to look at.” The MGM Grand comes up next, and Pascal’s head snaps around to the other side of the strip. “They’ve made some changes since the thirties, huh.”
>>
No. 925956 ID: 270774
File 155272148956.png - (124.96KB , 800x525 , 387.png )
925956

Pascal has taken to gasping and yelping and chirping Ricardo’s name with every building they pass. He’s particularly impressed by Caesar’s Palace; he loses his shit when they stop at a light by the Flamingo, banging excitedly on the roof of the car, and Ricardo has to struggle through snorting laughter to order him to stop.

“Pascal. Come on. You’re gonna fall out of the car.”

“But I love it!” Pascal yells. “I love it! I want to look at it!”

The light turns green, they pull away, and Pascal swivels to wistfully watch as the Flamingo is obscured by layers of other neon signs. “I wish we could stay there instead…”

“Pink your favorite color?”

“One of them — oh! Ricardo! It’s here!”
>>
No. 925957 ID: 270774
File 155272152358.png - (268.12KB , 800x525 , 388.png )
925957

The Mirage, the Palazzo, and the Venetian have all been passed, and that’s when Ricardo catches sight of another hotel breaking the skyline, all lit up in blue and white. The shimmering archways, lit from below, are the first thing that draws his eye; after that, the neon sign, in crisp art deco lettering, that sits below the center tower.

“Do you recognize it?” Ricardo asks. “You said the name was familiar.”

“No… but none of the buildings were as large as any of this, when I was here.” Pascal has finally slipped back inside the van, settling in his seat. “It seems everything has been, euuuh… built up, again and again. Renovated. Maybe I have just heard it talked about...”

The line of cars moving up to the porte-cochére is smooth and steady, and Ricardo checks his phone again. Sure enough, there are further instructions from Kel.

FROM: KEL TELL THE VALETS YOU’RE WITH THE GENERAL. LEAVE YOUR LUGGAGE. THIRD FLOOR BALLROOM. ANYONE ASKS YOU WHERE YOU’RE GOING, YOU’RE WITH THE GENERAL. ANYONE GIVES YOU A HARD TIME, YOU’RE WITH THE GENERAL. ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

Okay, that explains… just about nothing. But sure enough, when they stop at the center of the porte-cochére, the valet that approaches the van is dead.

Ricardo leans across the center console, speaking through Pascal’s open window. “We’re, uh. With the general?”

“Of course! We’ve been expecting you. If you’ll allow us to park your vehicle, your luggage will be taken to your room.” The valet helps Pascal out of the van, and another has already started taking their luggage out of the back and lining it up on the sidewalk. “Please enjoy your stay.”
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No. 925958 ID: 270774
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925958

When they enter the hotel lobby, the smell of iron hits Ricardo like a burst of wind. As he looks across at the others milling around, dwarfed in the yawning plain of the foyer, it becomes clear: almost all of the guests are vampires. The few that are alive stick out like beacons of scent and warmth, though they don’t seem to realize it; Ricardo is immediately aware of the way these outliers are followed around the room by many sets of undead eyes. No one pays much attention to their entry.

“We should move fast,” Ricardo murmurs to Pascal. “Kel must think it’s fine for us to walk around in here, but I don’t want to draw any attention.”

Pascal nods in agreement, and they move towards the sweeping staircase. As they walk, snippets of the conversations taking place around the lobby float to him, muffled and echoed by the vastness of the space.

“Well, I told him, you know, that my answer was no a hundred years ago, and it was still no now, and that when he asks again a hundred years from now I’ll —”

“But didn’t you hear? It was actually her wife’s sire who said that, and she was actually the only one who thought it, and they made it sound like it was some kind of popular opinion...”

“No, no, darling, I’m drunk. Ahaha. We’ll play tomorrow —”


Ricardo feels something brush his hand as they reach the first landing and startles, but when he looks down, it’s just the tips of Pascal’s fingers. Pascal’s not looking at him, instead looking around with detached interest at the decorative flourishes of the walls.

Ricardo wonders what he’s nervous about. He squeezes his hand, once, and then drops it again.

More snippets of conversation overlap and rise and fall as they climb the staircase.

“It’s so rude of him. I told him, Cesare, I came here just to see you, and still he gave me the line about being too busy — I mean, the nerve of him, when you consider his circumstances —”

“Well, I feel sorry for her. It’s not like there was anything else she could do.”

“Let’s hunt at the Aria. It’s too crowded here!”

“And that’s what I said, last time I was in New York, I said Jim, you have to let these things go, because otherwise —”

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No. 925959 ID: 270774
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925959

The third floor landing is a mezzanine that overlooks the lobby, with vast hallways extending into the three opposing wings of the hotel. Silver placards posted to the walls guide them to the ballroom, and before long, they’re standing before a set of ornate double doors. Another sign, hung from one of the handles, reads “CLOSED FOR PRIVATE EVENT.”

Ricardo can hear voices, faintly, on the other side; then laughter. He glances down at Pascal.

“Hey.” He shifts towards him, just slightly, and touches his hand again. “Kiss for luck?”

Pascal’s smile is immediate and indulgent. The words were barely out of Ricardo’s mouth before he lifted up onto tip-toe, both hands reaching for Ricardo’s jaw. “Any time you like, Ricardo.”

It’s a little more lingering than he intended it to be. Maybe he’s stalling. Pascal is the one who pulls away, eyes still closed. “There. Are you feeling lucky, now?”

“Lucky enough,” Ricardo mutters, and he pushes the doors open.
>>
No. 925960 ID: 270774

END OF CHAPTER TWO
>>
No. 925971 ID: 270774

CHAPTER THREE: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/925961.html
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