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File 155272171750.png - (206.30KB , 800x525 , title3.png )
925961 No. 925961 ID: 270774

VIVA LAS VEGAS!

This quest is R18.
chapter one: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/897413.html
chapter two: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/910050.html
disthread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/124805.html
patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iraprince
398 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 929528 ID: 270774
File 155510348171.png - (104.84KB , 800x525 , 446.png )
929528

Ricardo presses his lips together. “Great. Good to hear.”

“Ricardo.”

“No, it’s good. I’m glad.” Ricardo picks at a thread on the voluminous white comforter, just for a split second before giving up on it. “Shame that this is what it took, but —”

“Ricardo,” his mother says again, her voice quiet but stern. Ricardo shuts up. “He is your father. He’s been as devastated by this as anyone.”

“Cool,” says Ricardo.

“Attitude,” his mother snaps, and there’s something about that little burst of tension in the middle of everything that’s — comforting, somehow, in its normalcy. He shuts up again and she relaxes. “He would want to know,” she tells him.

Ricardo pulls the phone away from his ear for a second, to inhale and roll his neck back and glare at the wall, before returning to the conversation. “Do you think he could keep his mouth shut about it?”

He hears Andy sucking her teeth. “No,” she admits, finally.

“Then no. It’s not safe.” He can sense her gearing up to argue, and he cuts in. “I’m not saying that out of — spite, or resentment, or anything like that. I mean it. You’re the only person I can tell, and even that is — listen, the reason I’m not coming home is I don’t want any of this following me to you.”

“But what would follow you — no, I know. You probably can’t tell me.”

“I can’t,” Ricardo confirms. “It’s — listen, I can say this. It’s… you could call it an accident, I guess, you could call it — me getting hurt, and I’m okay now, but I got — I got so caught up in fixing it that I lost sight of stuff. I thought getting to the bottom of this whole thing was the only thing I could do, and — that’s why I never contacted you, while I was trying, and I’m sorry.” He takes a second to push his hair off his forehead, trying to think of how else to put this, without making it sound… well. Alarming. “I’m finishing something I started.”

Andy considers that for a long moment. “No more, no less,” she says, softly.

“Yeah. Yeah.” Ricardo leans forward, elbow on his knee. “And then I’ll walk away.”
>>
No. 929529 ID: 270774
File 155510349863.png - (84.60KB , 800x525 , 447.png )
929529

“Until then I need you to lay low,” Ricardo says. “Stay in L.A., don’t talk to anybody suspicious. I don’t want you doing anything out of the ordinary.”

“Ricardo,” says his mother, and her voice is low and stern. “Do you have any idea how impossible it is to ask that of me?”

“I know, mãe—”

“You don’t,” she interrupts. “You don’t understand. Until you have children of your own, you won’t.”

Right. Children, which he is definitely going to have. “It’s important,” he says, instead of touching that with a ten foot pole.

She sighs and deliberates. “Ricardo. I’ll agree to that, but only if you agree to keep calling me.”

“I don’t know how frequently I can—”

“It doesn’t have to be every day, Ricardo. I’m not asking for much. But I just have to know how you’re doing, in some way.” Her voice, which had been strengthening, is tumbling back into a kind of weakness that doesn’t suit her. “It was the uncertainty that was killing me. I can’t take that again. I have to know. Even if you can’t really tell me anything — and even if you can only tell me bad news. Even if you can only tell me that things are getting harder.”

Ricardo thinks. His number is private, and so is his mother’s; beyond that, if tracking his phone activity was an issue, Kel’s number is not, and he feels he can safely assume that if following him to who he calls was something that their pursuers were doing, it would have come to a nasty head by now. Infrequent calls, from this number only, are probably about as safe as it gets.

“Yeah,” he says, finally. “Yeah, I can do that. I don’t know how often, but. I will, I promise. I want to talk to you more, too.”

“Thank you.” He hears rustling, again — maybe she’s clutching the phone to her face. “That’s all I need.”
>>
No. 929530 ID: 270774
File 155510351409.png - (86.31KB , 800x525 , 448.png )
929530

“I probably have to go, mãe.” Ricardo stands up from the bed. “I have — the people I mentioned earlier, who are helping me, they’re waiting on me. We’re, uh. We’re getting stuff figured out.”

“Alright,” says his mother, though she’s clearly reluctant. A pause, and then her voice is a little sharper. “You know, that somebody you met.”

“Mainha,” Ricardo groans.

“I don’t ask much here either. I’m glad you aren’t alone, Ricardo, but I’ve always told you—”

“Mãe, I already said it’s not—”

“I don’t ask much! I have never asked for much. A nice man from a good family with a good job, is that unreasonable? Is that so much to ask, Ricardo?”
>>
No. 929531 ID: 270774
File 155510352908.png - (160.22KB , 800x525 , 449.png )
929531

“Ggghgh,” says Ricardo.
>>
No. 929532 ID: 270774
File 155510354264.png - (90.45KB , 800x525 , 450.png )
929532

“Listen,” he says, to deflect, and he can’t help laughing a little, as uncomfortable as he is. “You just found out I’m alive. Are we really having this conversation again, right now.”

There’s a beat. “I’m just glad that we can,” Andy says, and her voice breaks, suddenly. “I’m just so happy to nag you again, Ricardo.”

Shit. Shit. Ricardo feels himself welling up again, and he really, really does not have time for that. “I have to go, mãe,” he reminds her, gently. “I’ll call you again. I promise. But I gotta go.”

“Alright. Alright.” He hears her taking a deep breath, collecting herself. “Just — you’re eating well, right, Ricardo?”

Ricardo stares down at the geometric pattern of the rug until his eyes stop making sense of it. “Yeah. When I can.”

“I love you. So much.”

“I love you too.”
>>
No. 929533 ID: 270774
File 155510355955.png - (79.20KB , 800x525 , 451.png )
929533

When Ricardo hangs up he takes a long, long moment to get his head back in order. The relief he’s feeling is overwhelming, there’s no arguing that — there’s not a cell in his body that regrets making that call. There’s a peace, too, in knowing his mother is feeling that same relief, the same dissolution of long-held pain. But the sadness that comes with it is heavy and it drags his shoulders down so forcefully that he sits back down on the bed again, as if pushed, and he’s not sure how long it takes him to stand up again.

He does, eventually, and he wanders over to the desk. The paper Pascal was looking at is a letter, or a flyer of some kind — Ricardo picks it up and realizes it’s handwritten, in a script so immaculate it looks like a typeface. It’s heavy, expensive-feeling stationary, cream-colored, with a gold foil border around the edge. The bottom is weighted with a red wax seal pressed next to the closing signature of the letter, with the small, detailed design of a prancing bull.

Welcome to the Silver Crown Resort and Casino!

To our valued undead guests,
On the behalf of Ms. Donata Luciano, boss of the Las Vegas den and keeper of all related territories, please accept our warm welcome. We could not be more thrilled to provide your accommodations and entertainment during your stay in beautiful Las Vegas.

If you have not already negotiated the courtesy levy for your stay, please contact a member of hotel staff to be afforded an appointment with one of Ms. Luciano’s aides. Please be advised that, unfortunately, failure to negotiate and fulfill a courtesy levy will necessitate your removal from den territory by any means necessary. Attempts to fraudulently evade payment of a courtesy levy will unfortunately necessitate disciplinary action up to and including your final death.

In the meantime, for the comfort and safety of all guests, please be advised of these ground rules that all vampires on premises must follow, regardless of whether your stay has yet been officially negotiated:

I. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. It is our most dearly held hope that all who enjoy the hospitality of the Las Vegas den may do so in peace and privacy. Information on any undead who have confirmed their stay on den territory, and any actions they take while protected by our hospitality, must never be distributed without that person’s consent. Failure to comply will unfortunately necessitate disciplinary action up to and including your final death.

II. Everything in moderation. Human prey of the utmost health and quality is of course regularly booked into the hotel for your enjoyment, but our stringent standards mean that supply is limited. Please be courteous to other guests and limit your consumption to one human meal per week per guest in your party, and please feed discreetly so as not to alarm remaining prey. Feeding rooms are provided for your convenience, so it is not necessary to lure all prey back to your private rooms; these rooms are marked with “Staff Only” signage to dissuade human prey from entering, but additionally marked with a small red gem to differentiate from rooms that are truly off limits to guests. Failure to comply with moderation and discretion requests will unfortunately necessitate your removal from den territory, with no refund of paid courtesy levies.

III. Decorum and class. Please enjoy the company of your fellow guests. If you are incapable of doing so, hotel policy forbids murder, dismemberment, and the infliction of other serious injuries outside the context of formal duels. Please do not engage in formal duels in front of human prey, and when engaged in a duel, please engage in every effort to avoid damage to hotel property. Excessive damages may be added to your levy. If you murder a fellow guest within the parameters of a duel, please inform hotel staff as quickly as possible so that we may proceed with necessary cleanup. And please remember: rule I applies at all times. Failure to comply will unfortunately necessitate your removal from den territory, with no refund of paid courtesy levies, or in cases of extreme mayhem, disciplinary action up to and including your final death.

IV. Fair play only. To steal from the Silver Crown’s casino is to steal from Ms. Luciano, which would be ill-advised. While we have taken all reasonable anti-cheating measures, we know the ingenuity of our valued guests is vast; still, we ask you to play all games against the house without interference. Failure to comply will unfortunately necessitate disciplinary action up to and including your final death.

We thank you for abiding by these policies, and are eager to accommodate your every need. May your stay be one of endless enjoyment.

Ever at your service,
C.B., Secretary of Entertainment and Enforcement

>>
No. 929534 ID: 34f5bd

Aww that was good!!! Good job bud!! Call your mom at least once a week, maybe a new phone each time? I'm not sure how exactly phone tracking works and what would be more suspicious....

BUT HELL YEAH VEGAS RULES BAYBEEEE, this looks right up our alley. Snitches not welcome.

We should ask Kel and Pascal to make sure our rooms are paid for though. Wouldn't want to be caught trying to dodge our bill.
>>
No. 929535 ID: 7e9c89

that went rly well.. take another minute to settle down, and then we’d better go see kel huh. i don’t think any of those rules tell us anything important? except that maybe if we’re pursued and attacked they’d be on our side if we can trick our pursuers into breaking a rule.
>>
No. 929537 ID: 26262d

Fuck all these rules including the words "final death" they're annoying, (especially the first one)we already died once that shit won't happen again
>>
No. 929539 ID: ef1933

>>929533
oof, feeding once a week might be tough with the training regiment in mind. I'm sure Kel has thay in mind though.

Wait can vamps drink blood from outside a body? Can we swipe some capri-bluds from one of vegas's many reputable blood banks? That would be useful if we need to hone our shifting.
>>
No. 929540 ID: c1eaac

>>929537

i mean like it or not we're staying here and if we want to train with kel we gotta follow the rules. better to follow em then get perma-killed

anyway let's take a breather and go see kel
>>
No. 929563 ID: 7011e0

oh man no wonder kel wanted to train here. nobody can say we're here lmfao. keep the luciano name in mind and we'll have to talk to pascal and kel about that courtesy levy? kel may have dealt with it for us but i don't wanna assume and have it bite us in the ass later. also we should look into a burner phone for Mom Calls
>>
No. 929566 ID: b1b4f3

>>929533
Alright tell Pascal you're done.
The feeding frequency limit is important here. It means you can't go overboard during training. The girls may even see how much/long you can endure without feeding, which strikes me as important too.

Also it sounds like you're safe here even if you get found, so long as they can't formally duel you.
>>
No. 929583 ID: b463f2

ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, Ricardo. oh Ricardo.... oh Andy......

>“I’m finishing something I started.”

>Andy considers that for a long moment. “No more, no less,” she says, softly.

>“Yeah. Yeah.” Ricardo leans forward, elbow on his knee. “And then I’ll walk away.”

t h i s p a r t . . . just. so emotional. what a good bond. and such a good tie in to Ricardo's flashback during the duel with Rack. and Ricardo.... yr dislike of dad is Very Relatable. I'm excited to hear more about your dad so I can dislike him more fervently.

the, "good man, good family, good job" panel just, absolutely killed me. Andy's gonna HATE Pascal, I can't wait to see how they interact when they meet.....

I think we need some clarification about rule II - is that feeding in just the hotel, or in vegas in general? Because the way it begins, it sounds to me like it's just within the hotel - but, definitely something to ask Kel about, along with those monetary dues.

also.... I want to know who wrote the sheet. I want to see their writing implements, and their desk.
>>
No. 929584 ID: 9dd4cf

I feel like these rules are a bit "if you're not smart enough to work with/around/break and not get caught these you're not smart enough to live" in tone.

talk to pascal about them asap though, who knows what he could be unknowingly getting up to.

anyway that was hard and emotional. once pascal is found: initiate banging. break in the hotel room.
>>
No. 929587 ID: 14e641

Hmmm, i bet Pascal would have fun in the casino...
Anyways! That went very well! We should avoid regularity with our home calls. Don't want a pattern to arise. Maybe wait a week, then a few days, then a couple of weeks, nothing that could he tracked. We can't use hotel phones, or phone boxes...we also don't want to call from our current base. Maybe we should get one of those ping things that show us elsewhere.
>>
No. 929594 ID: 9fcd43

First things first, find Pascal and go see Kel. Ask what the levy's about and whether you need to take care of it - sounds like the kind of thing she would pay along with your room, but we don't want to assume. And I agree that we should ask for more info about feeding - it does sound like that just means once a week from the hotel supply, so I would assume hunting in the rest of Vegas is fine, but couldn't hurt to make sure.

Also noted that if we want to get Pascal to psychically hustle some games we're going to have to go to a different casino
>>
No. 929595 ID: 2791fd

definitely keep the feeding limit in mind. the girls will probably try to push you harder than you can take to see if you know your limits. you can't let them, or it'll be bad lol.

and get in touch about the levy, just to be safe
>>
No. 929599 ID: bd6360

>>929528
this made me emotional ugh

definitely check with kel that our room is taken care of, and we shouldn't keep her waiting much longer
>>
No. 929607 ID: c8452a

Oh boy, that call. Went better than I feared.

Okay, let's get moving. We need to find out about this levy. Also, it might be useful to clarify what the "one meal a week" means exactly. I got the impression it meant one meal inside the hotel a week, so maybe we can hit the streets for extra meals if necessary.
>>
No. 929612 ID: 094652

>A nice man from a good family with a good job, is that unreasonable?
... Okay seriously, is your dad a mercenary or something? At this point, my best guess is your mother is still in denial on some level.

>To our valued undead guests, generic superficial greetings, pay us a tip or we'll stab you until you leave, don't squeal on your blogs, one murder a week maximum, roughhousing inside is limited to Street Fighter rules, and only we get to cheat, love, CB.
Vegas. You can't win. You come there to lose things; your obedience, your rigidity, your constant self-loathing. And hopefully not something important like your life.

And now, there's like twenty families on vacation whose husbands and wives went missing. How do they get away with this again, and do I really want to know?

>What do
Important question: does Lamb seem like platonic life partner potential? Go talk to her.
>>
No. 929639 ID: b54723

Hey what if we asked about the witches (if there are any) and werewolves in the area. It would be nice to know so that when we inevitably hit the streets for a snack so we don't accidentally bite one of them.
>>
No. 929831 ID: 270774
File 155529758931.png - (89.60KB , 800x525 , 452.png )
929831

Ricardo folds the letter up and tucks it into the pocket of his sweatpants, then retrieves his phone.

TO: PASCAL Hey. You read the letter on the table right? The rules

Pascal, at least, seems to be getting the hang of the phone; his response times are getting faster, though his texts are no shorter.

FROM: PASCAL Dearest Ricardo, Yes, and I find them very much to our favor! If they can be enforced they are very ideal for us, I think. No-one can gossip that we are here, so we do not need to hide ourselves, and no-one can attack us outside of a duel, and we need not accept any duel terms if we think we will lose, and you cannot force someone to duel with you. But, Ricardo, I am still being careful, for many reasons! My first reason is that I am thinking the wording of these rules means the benefits are only for if you have paid your courtesy levies. Otherwise you are not a “guest” to them yet, and they can care less if you are protected by their hospitality! So still we should be careful. I do not know if Kel has paid our dues for us or not. My second reason is that the seal on this letter I recognize. This family is not of the Cradle, but their interests sometimes align with the House of Medici, who are of the Cradle, and right now I have been away from proper society too long, and I cannot tell you if their alliance is there now, because it used to be changing like the wind. The Medicis are not fond of my sire, but this is still risky. We must still be careful until we are sure, because if this family is currently aligned with the Medicis and thus the Cradle, perhaps they will ignore all these rules in loyalty to the order that I be returned. At any rate, these are my concerns, and I think that maybe this could be very good for us, but also we could perhaps very easily be ruined, which I suppose is what life is like at all times. Also I need to put my cosmetics again and so when you leave to see Kel I will take the room back! I saw a handsome man by the slot machines and I had to hide behind a plant so he will not see me as I am, looking terrible after a ride in a car and with my clothing wrinkled. We will have to fight for our privacy with Kel smashing us both into a single room like this as if we are PAUPERS so please make sure I will always have time to attend to my appearance! Your sire, Pascal Cosovei

Ricardo snorts softly as he reaches the bottom of the text, and replies quickly.

TO: PASCAL You can’t complain about the room when Kel set it up for us. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a nice room. I’ll ask Kel about the levy, I’m about to go see her anyway

TO: PASCAL So I’ll be out of the room and you can do whatever

FROM: PASCAL Dearest Ricardo, Well, thank goodness! I really look awful. You should have tell me this instead of letting me wander around without fixing myself. That’s your responsibility, you know, while we are traveling together. Your sire, Pascal Cosovei
>>
No. 929832 ID: 270774
File 155529760736.png - (72.71KB , 800x525 , 453.png )
929832

Ricardo tabs over to his text conversation with Kel as he leaves the room, keycard in hand, and shoots off a message.

TO: KEL What are courtesy levies and did you pay ours or are they still outstanding

The response is immediate, and as loud as ever.

FROM: KEL THAT’S ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS GOING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT. WHAT DID YOU THINK WE WERE GOING TO DISCUSS, DIPSHIT, THE WEATHER? SPEAKING OF WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU. I TOLD YOU TO TAKE A SHOWER NOT A SABBATICAL ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

Ricardo sighs and starts walking a little faster, jabbing the elevator button with unnecessary violence when he reaches it.

TO: KEL Sorry. On my way. I had some things to deal with

FROM: KEL I’M THE THING YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH BITCH ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

FROM: KEL DO YOU THINK THIS SHIT RUNS ON YOUR SCHEDULE. DO YOU THINK IT’S COMMON FOR ME TO STOOP TO TRAIN SOMEONE I HAVEN’T HAND SELECTED. DON’T START THINKING YOU’RE HOT SHIT BECAUSE YOU WON ONE BOUT ---------- ~+*MOST VALUABLE RAIDER 804 AD - 1021 AD*+~ ..:: AINT NO BITCH LIKE A GALLOWGLASS BIIIITCH ::..

Jesus.

TO: KEL Yeah sorry I said I’m on my way
>>
No. 929833 ID: 270774
File 155529762616.png - (130.50KB , 800x525 , 454.png )
929833

Kel’s set up an office in a hallway just around the corner from the training ballroom, and when Ricardo enters she’s seated at a broad mahogany desk. There’s a huge, worn book open in the center, looking like some kind of ledger or roster, but she closes it before he can get a better look. Mignon is standing at her shoulder, and she cranes her neck back to address her before looking at Ricardo.

“Thanks again, Basilia. You can leave. I’m sure the girls are getting into trouble by now.”

“I’m sure,” Mignon echoes. “Strip was already picking a fight with Rack over her loss.”

“Well, go calm ‘em down. They just need to blow off some steam, that’s all.” Kel waves her off, and she inclines her head once before leaving the room and closing the door softly behind her. Kel rests one arm on the polished surface of the desk, and she doesn’t bother hiding the irritation in her glance when she looks Ricardo up and down. “Ribeye. Sit.”

Ricardo does. Kel’s got a glass of some kind of golden liquid on her desk, with an empty glass beside it, and she drinks from it without offering Ricardo any. “Levies, Luciano, we can talk about all that in a second. First, I gotta give you the same once-over I give anyone.”

The glass is set down. “There’s this concept that the only humans who know about us are the ones who get clued in — the ones who are chosen to be turned, or the ones who are kept like pets. It’s not true.” She leans backward again. “If there’s one truth about humans, it’s that any source of power that exists, they’ll try to find and take for themselves. Nothing else in the world is more consistent than that.”

Kel taps the table, twice, softly. “I only turn women who hunt me down and ask for it. If they can’t learn that this is an option, if they can’t track me down, they won’t be of any use to me. I’ve got a caliber.”

Ricardo feels very confident that if he hadn’t been eaten in an alley he would have lived out his entire life without ever considering the existence of vampires. He’s not sure this bodes well.

“And when they find me,” Kel continues, “I ask them: what are you gonna do with it? Why do you want it? If I give you immortality, if I give you the kind of power humanity’s been dreaming of since its birth, what’s the point? What’s it going to be for, in your hands?” She reaches for the glass again, and this time drains it. “But I can’t ask you that, can I? You never asked to be turned. There’s no ‘Why do you want to be a vampire, Ribeye?’ Because your answer is that you don’t.”

Ricardo doesn’t say anything. She isn’t wrong.

“So instead I’m gonna ask you this.” Kel bends down for a moment, and when she straightens up again she’s refilling her drink from a heavy glass jug. “Now that you’re a vampire, what are you gonna do about it? You’re immortal, you’ve got the kind of power people have killed and died for for all time, and you don’t even want it. What’s the point of you sticking around, if you didn’t want things to end like this?” Her eyes flick up again, glowing crimson. “Why don’t you just die, huh?”
>>
No. 929834 ID: 270774
File 155529763834.png - (116.16KB , 800x525 , 455.png )
929834

Great. This again.

Unlike in his conversation with Pascal, Ricardo has a feeling “I don’t know” isn’t an answer that will go over well. Nor “I just want to take a bath,” for that matter.

He swallows, dryly, and tries to muster some ambition.
>>
No. 929836 ID: 02e2dc

be gay do crimes

serious answer: uh... i don't think ricardo has any real ambitions to become a super powerful vampire, but we probably want to live without cradle weirdoes breathing down our necks 24/7. so.. maybe our goal is to destabilize count whats-his-name?
>>
No. 929838 ID: 7e9c89

you want to be strong enough to protect yourself and not live on the run, i’d think?
>>
No. 929839 ID: c1eaac

i mean, staying alive out of spite and sheer will has worked this far, and luckily ricardo now has a Lot of spite against the cradle. let's say...we want to destabilize the cradle so pascal can get a chance at a happy life, and so ricardo might get to live that happy life with him.
>>
No. 929841 ID: 7011e0

hmm! well right now our current goal is to tell the cradle to go fuck themselves but kel knows about that, i guess. i suppose we just want to be left alone. we don't want to start any big shit, don't want to be some warlord or whatever, we just wanna make a space for ourselves. or something like that, it's not very cool or hardcore i guess
>>
No. 929842 ID: 9fcd43

Revenge has kept us driven this long, and it's still ostensibly what we're going for. First it was for our sire, and now it's against the whole fucked up institution that led to all this happening in the first place. Constantin Bathory needs to die.
(I would say we need to take down the whole Cradle but we promised our mãe we wouldn't take it farther than we needed to)
>>
No. 929843 ID: 14e641

Fuck it, lets go off the deep end and take this shit like the one true hero.
"I will rip the cradle from it's roots and watch it burn."
>>
No. 929844 ID: b54723

Because this is our life now, and frankly we have to roll with the punches to thrive in life. We're not going to just die, are we? We wouldn't be able to fuck in whatever place is waiting for us at the end, possibly, so we might as well just keep living.

Death is not an option because, well, we just don't want to die. In other words, we survive to fuck and fuck to survive.

Surviving to achieve a goal is good, but we shouldn't survive JUST to achieve a goal, because say we do achieve it. What will we do afterwards? Die? No, we're gonna keep living because life has a lot to offer.
>>
No. 929845 ID: 8a7c27

even if they're not human, the vampires i've met are still people. and it seems like everywhere i go there are people i want to protect. so the answer is nothing's changed but the people around me, and those hunting them - now i just have more power to keep them alive
>>
No. 929848 ID: fde9cb

"You could of said all of this to me before I was turned. My life then was pretty similar to my life now, in some ways. My point is, if I was going to kill myself I would have done it long ago. I don't know exactly why I'm still alive, but I'd like to stay that way long enough to figure it out. And right now, that means being able to stand up to Bathory, Babenburg, Medici and whoever else."
>>
No. 929849 ID: bb78f2

>>929834
I gotta finish my fight with the Cradle, no more, no less. Whether that means killing Pascal sire one day, I don't really know, but that would be a great perk. I need to be strong to do that though, or whatever is required of me to finish this fight I was killed into. Cradle wants to start a fight with me? Fine, I'll end it.
>>
No. 929850 ID: b1b4f3

>>929834
Remember what you told your mother. You started something, you're gonna finish it. Want an ambition? You're gonna kill Pascal's sire. After that, you can die.

It's tempting to go further than that, and think of becoming an enforcer to take down other vampires that habitually abuse their wards. Would that be fitting of "No more, no less"?
>>
No. 929853 ID: 70df1e

youve got shit to live for now like getting pascal out of his cradle mess and maybe a goal of winning a fight against kel someday. you cant die yet whether or not you think it would be better because you got shit to do!! if living forever becomes terrible later there are ways around that. the cradle for one would be thrilled to fix this problem for you and thats another reason to live: spite. fuck those guys. exist and be mad about it like the rest of us immortality changes a lot but not that
>>
No. 929854 ID: 47b90b

isnt this a little bit like a fresh start to life(?) the situation may suck and yeah youre technically dead but you seem to have more solid connections with people dead than when you were alive.

and also youve got to finish what youve started with pascal at the vey least. youre here to get strong enough to kill the shit out of pascal’s sire. once thats done wether youre good to continue your undead life or not can wait till then tbh
>>
No. 929855 ID: 47b90b

(dont say this but your mom just found out youre alive and dying would fucking suck dude. like once this cradle shit is over or once its safer to do so you may be able to see her again)
>>
No. 929856 ID: 5da03e

>>929848
"The crisis I'm in now won't last forever, either I'll survive it or I'll fuck up and die. But there'll always be someone else out there looking to prey on the predators, and being able to stand up to future adversaries means being more than just strong, or clever, or good at talking others into doing what I want, or being a good lay, or whatever. It means pursuing a knife-edge of excellence, constantly, forever in competition with whoever or whatever else may want to see me and my allies come to a bad end. And I can't predict everything, there'll be black swans; the only thing I can do is keep getting better so I'll have a chance against the unimaginable. Because this isn't just today or tomorrow, but all the tomorrows until I fuck up and die the final death."
>>
No. 929857 ID: 328640

the obvious answer is "get used to it" considering you hardly lived like a vampire until mere days / weeks ago. then there's taking care of the apparent threat to both yourself and pascal. through whatever means that'll get them to fuck off and never subject anybody to what pascal and countless others have had to endure ever again -- which is very likely just ending them outright. they're the seekers of power that kel forewarns of.

but that's a lot to be thinking about. a lot of heroism that you aren't prone to; then again you were chasing the thought of retribution for five years.

how does "adjust, kick ass, and live quietly" sound?
>>
No. 929858 ID: 911f5f

"I've never been one to run from life. I do what must be done, and then I walk away, but that doesn't mean I give up easily. This is whats happening now, so I'll keep fighting to survive, whether or not I chose this."

asking ricardo why doesnt he die isnt too different from asking a human why they dont die. because they choose to survive.
>>
No. 929859 ID: 7c42cc

Five minute plan: get a drink and pay your dues.
Five day plan: get ripped.
Five month plan: rip apart the cradle.
Five year plan: see what's fun and what's worth living for since you didn't do a lot of that before your first death. If you live through the whole cradle destroying business, that is.
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No. 929864 ID: 23dc9d

The idea of "if you didn't want it to be like this then what is the point" is quite extreme considering thats just how being alive and living is. Sure we wanna rip out the Cradle and kill Constantine no doubt about that, but when it comes to US (and by us I mean Ricardo of course) really its about taking things as they come with no real need for some huge passionate ambition. I mean if we just went and died, we wouldn't have had ever met Pascal, or ever successfully fucked. Really good positive things for Ricardo that probably aren't fitting for him to tell Kel but are good for him to think about perhaps.
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No. 929865 ID: 5da03e

>>929859
Where's the fifty year plan? The five hundred year plan? Gonna need those too.
>>
No. 929866 ID: 1906ee

Spite in general seems to have been your general driving force. Spite towards the vampire who turned and ditched you, and now spite against the giant cabal who doesn't want you to be turned.
>>
No. 929867 ID: aedfd9

Listen. Clearly shit is fucked up with the cradle and all that, and we don't know exactly what happened with Teddy and whoever else but. Lots of stuff seems fucked up. And we don't want to be all cocky weight of the world magic destiny nonsense, but it sounds like the Cradle is picking a fight with us so our goal should be to fuck their shit up as much as we can. At the very least, we'll go down swinging; at best, we'll prove they're fallible. That there's hope in the world.

And after that... settle down. Find a man. Live a quiet life. Take care of friends.
>>
No. 929868 ID: 7c1ffe

I wanna protect my mom. And also Pasc- people. Some people. And also kill Dracula or whoever the fuck. Also maybe raise ducks that don't get scared of vampires.
>>
No. 929869 ID: c1212a

Unfinished business with the cradle. I understand that could take a century and still be a short term plan, but I don't think I'll really understand what long-term is going to mean for me until it happens. I'm really not one for thinking over big questions of purpose in life. Un-life. See, still getting used to it.
>>
No. 929871 ID: 10c408

"Honestly? I haven't really come up with a long term plan because I've gone from obsessively chasing revenge to realizing that not only am I just a tiny minnow in a VERY large pond, there's a snapping turtle at the bottom who hates me."
>>
No. 929878 ID: 9dd4cf

>>929865
figured that the requirement for passing the 5 month one was pretty ambitious as it was but...

50 year plan: take care of your mother
500 year plan: 450 years to become really really good at sex
5k plan: make a cat like you
>>
No. 929884 ID: 2e6ab6

Short term plan: Become skilled enough to keep people important to me safe.
Long term plan: Fucking... Pick up the violin again? Learn to paint? I got forever, might as well make the most of it.
>>
No. 929887 ID: c8452a

You're getting your 80 year minimum guaranteed, for your mom as well. You'll have time to think about the long term before then. In the short term, getting strong enough to survive and strong enough to end the problem of the Bathorys trying to capture you and Pascal. However that turns out.

Still, finding people to care about is definitely an important factor of any plans for immortality.

I'd confront her about her berating you for taking your time, but she doesn't actually seem to be holding it against you.
>>
No. 929894 ID: 7b57f2

>>929845
ayyyyyyyy

good boy energy
>>
No. 929897 ID: 8b6b39

vampires always think they can fuck with whatever they feel like, huh? i need to justify not wanting to die, now? just because some bloodsucking asslick couldn't finish his meal and now constantin's got his panties in a twist? i'll die when i'm good and goddamn ready to. pascal doesn't have the right to decide when i'm finished. cradle's creeps don't. and you don't. i'll kill anyone who tries to fuck with me or what's mine again

god, ricardo, you've spent a lot of your life getting into fights with bullies, haven't you
>>
No. 929983 ID: 655987

People have hit on this already, but I will reiterate that Kel's question is actually not the same as Pascal's, and is actually pretty different.

>"What’s the point of you sticking around, if you didn’t want things to end like this?” Her eyes flick up again, glowing crimson. “Why don’t you just die, huh?"

The point of sticking around is because *we don't want things to end like this.* We don't just die because there is shit that we are just not cool with leaving be.

There have always been things we are just not cool with, and we just don't let that go. We evidently never have. We have never been cool with clocking out when there's still a shithead whose ass is asking to be kicked. Maybe we didn't go out of our way to find such shitheads, but right now at least there are several who we are not going to turn down.

At least, that's my best attempt at guessing the literal reasons at future opportunities to, not just kill ourselves, but even to bow out of the fight in some other way. We're not going to, and I think this is why.
>>
No. 930015 ID: 337b3c

>>929834
Ditto to finishing what we started, and we don't want it to end like this. Maybe we don't have a long term plan yet, but we know we're not satisfied with how things currently are, hence why we haven't just died.
>>
No. 930016 ID: 094652

>any source of power that exists, they’ll try to find and take for themselves.
>Why don’t you just die, huh?
"Agreed. We were born weak. We end up believing that makes us incomplete, and we'll do anything to fix ourselves. 'Power' and 'immortality', and I still get my ass kicked by a centuries-old romance hipster, and a faux-cute bull. @#$%ing 'course it's not enough. I won't stop until I find out what I'm too stupid to realize is missing."
>>
No. 930098 ID: 270774
File 155547560138.png - (86.83KB , 800x525 , 456.png )
930098

Ricardo finally centers himself, and he makes eye contact when he speaks. “Because even as a vampire, I want — there are people I want to protect. My mother. And—”

“Oh, shut up,” says Kel.

Ricardo blinks. Kel’s refilling her glass, again. “I want to protect my loved ones, I want to keep the people important to me safe, and on and on. So does everyone, little fool. Do you think anyone’s motivating force is ‘I want to be too weak to do anything about it when danger threatens my family?’”

“Are any of you people satisfied by anything?” Ricardo asks, flatly.

“No,” says Kel, “which is why most of us are bigger and stronger than you and we get to push you around.” She taps the table once more. “Try again.”

“Alright.” Ricardo crosses his arms and glares across the desk. “Alright. How about this, then. It is about the fact that I didn’t want this. I don’t want to be a warlord like you. I don’t care about power, I don’t care about politics. But I have unfinished business, and I don’t clock out until it’s done, and nobody gets to tell me when it’s done. Not Pascal, not the Cradle, and not you.”

“Mm.” When Kel drains her glass again, this time she fills the second one along with it, nudging it across the table. “Unfinished business, hm? With Pascal? Listen, I love the little bastard, but good luck getting an apology out of that piece of shit—”

“Unfinished business with the Cradle,” Ricardo interrupts. “I’m going to kill Constantin Bathory.”

Kel chokes on her mead.
>>
No. 930099 ID: 270774
File 155547561569.png - (167.74KB , 800x525 , 457.png )
930099

“Constantin Bathory,” she finally rasps. She slams her glass down — Ricardo still hasn’t touched his. “Who’s going to kill Constantin Bathory? You are, little meat? Little morsel?” She slaps the surface of the desk, hard enough that the whole thing creaks. “Let me tell you something about Constantin Bathory.”
>>
No. 930100 ID: 270774
File 155547563024.png - (350.19KB , 800x525 , 458.png )
930100

“I only train my own now, but it wasn’t always that way. A good two centuries ago, I was contracted by the House of Bathory to train their duelists. I went to Transylvania, with a small entourage, met the Marquess, started my work.”

“And anyone knows this, even you, but there’s something wrong in that castle. There’s something wrong with those wards.”

>>
No. 930101 ID: 270774
File 155547564317.png - (275.87KB , 800x525 , 459.png )
930101

“I don’t raise my wards with a soft hand, Ribeye. You’ve seen that yourself.”


“But I was barely in that place a month before I threw down my sword, told that fucking viper that I wasn’t taking his money, and left.”

“I left because after I saw what happens there, after I peered into the fucking tar pit of that man’s heart, I knew if I didn’t pull myself away, I was going to tear his throat out myself. And I could have done it, no doubt about that — but he’s Vlad Dracula’s little pet, allied with every other house in the Cradle, and it would’ve brought a war that my forces weren’t prepared for. So I left before I could start it.”

>>
No. 930102 ID: 270774
File 155547565633.png - (345.00KB , 800x525 , 460.png )
930102

“That’s a debt I owe your sire. I met him then, after all. And I should have razed that fucking place to the ground behind me, or at least pulled him out when I went — a gift of freedom he would have spat back in my face, but it would have been something.”
>>
No. 930103 ID: 270774
File 155547566735.png - (212.21KB , 800x525 , 461.png )
930103

Kel picks her teeth with the end of one long claw. “So I, with all my forces and my power, with hundreds under me willing to fight and die, with every damn good reason — I stayed my blade. But you? You’re going to charge in there, Ribeye? Are you the hero in a storybook? Are you the dashing lead of a romance novel, huh? You’re going to defeat the nasty mean man?” Unkind laughter bubbles up in Kel’s throat, filtered through her teeth into a snarl. “And for what? Because he wronged you? Because he’s wicked?” She plants both hands on the desk, leaning forward, teeth bared. “Because a pretty boy is sad?”

Another laugh, ragged around the edges. “There are no storybook heroes, Ribeye, and good men make shitty vampires. And there’s no glory or valor in starting fights you can’t win. I know that. All you get for it is the people who believe in you die, and they die ugly, meaningless deaths, and no matter how you try to twist it the only purpose those deaths will ever serve is to remind you that you weren’t ready. And there’s not even anyone who believes in you here, Ribeye. There’s not anybody who’s gonna die for you to begin with. And you’re gonna pick a fight with Constantin Bathory?” She leans forward further, jaws parting, teeth glinting huge and white. “You and what army, child?”
>>
No. 930104 ID: 8a7c27

i took you for a woman of her word, kel, but apparently all that chant about war and meat for the machine is just talk if you only take battles you know you can win.
>>
No. 930105 ID: fc32c1

uh. cry
>>
No. 930106 ID: 70df1e

one person can do what an army cant. assassins can kill kings when squadrons and squadrons of soldiers cant reach them. a single thief can rob someone of everything that they and their family value. a single arsonist can raze a city to the ground. we don't need an army to do this, and we don't want one. we don't want people to die for this. we get in, we kill him, and we get out, and the consequences of that are on our head and our head alone.

and i guess technically pascal's head, but his whole big plan is to go back so constantin can kill him, so like, one way or another one of us is going to be happy about this
>>
No. 930109 ID: 9707e7

“yours.”

kel is an ally and she might be willing to help us if we convince her we’re worth helping? she obviously hates constantine, so maybe we can. appeal to that?
>>
No. 930110 ID: 0f15ab

Uuuh lets try not to make kel any madder considering she’s sticking her neck out for us and training us as a favor? I think being honest and saying we don’t know how we’re going to do anything (since right now we’re focused on not dying) but that its a long term goal. Like yeah we can’t do anything now but years from now we probably can?
>>
No. 930111 ID: 2e6ab6

I mean. Yeah, that went about where I figured that train of thought would go. Taking on the whole Cradle is a task we're... Probably not cut out for. Hell, killing Constantine is a task we're probably not cut out for. We're just some punk whelp.
Last I checked, we just kind of want to live in peace. But we can't do that with Constantine on our ass. So we need to solve it somehow. But we can't go to war with the Cradle...
Then again...
We don't have to.
We don't need allies.
We don't need an army.
We don't need anyone willing to die for us.
All we need is ourself.
All we need is to get within striking distance.
It'd probably be the last thing we ever did, but we could kill a single vampire.
But is that what we really want? Kel made a good point. What do *we* want? For ourselves? We don't like fighting. And settling this score will just make more problems for the people we care about...
I don't actually have an answer here...
>>
No. 930112 ID: c1eaac

"you asked me for a long term goal, were you expecting me to have a plan already drawn up and ready to go?"

maybe you don't know how yet, but yeah, your long-term goal is to kill constantin. and a goal like that is something you work towards and plan for, not something you see the path to right away. so maybe you don't have an army right now. maybe you'll have time to gather one. hell, maybe you'll duel kel and win and use hers. or maybe your plan will call to go in alone, and you won't know that until farther down the line.
>>
No. 930113 ID: 23dc9d

No one is gonna die for us thats true, and no one believes in us. And therefore there is no one for the Cradle to start a war with over an assassination of Constantin unlike being in Kel's position. We are just considered a mistake in other vampires' eyes so anything we get to do will die with us (and Pascal I guess, or any strays that choose to fight with us for some reason, but that choice is theirs). Kel says she could have torn him apart? Thats all we need to know. We can get there and thats what matters.
>>
No. 930116 ID: 51d10f

One thing you have on bathory that an army wouldn't is that, technically you're of the house of bathory yourself. No matter whether you or bathory would want it to be the case, by the cradle's own rules you are a bathory. But unfortunately for them, they didn't get to brainwash you. You were alone, without any indoctrination, and so you're completely free from having any ounce of loyalty towards the house hammered into you. At the very least, your situation must be exceptionally uncommon for the house. That's gotta count for something. What other abandoned-technically-bathory-ward is there?
So you don't have enough information to have a detailed strategy yet, so what. Of course you don't have that yet. That's why you're training. You know you need a lot more information and practice before you could do anything like that. That doesn't mean you can't know that what you're training towards long-term is to ultimately make that guy dead.
>>
No. 930117 ID: c8452a

Then it's simple isn't it? If he has Dracula's favor, what we actually need to do is ruin that, and we'll be free to do whatever we want to Constantin. Then all Kel needs to do is keep her promise and get Ricardo fighting fit, and hook him up with the connections he needs.
>>
No. 930118 ID: 14e641

Yeah, becaise he's a horrible guy who's done horrible things and thats a better reason to fight than 90 of historic battles.
No army.
No one else needs to die.
Ricardo is just a small guy without any connections. No ome has to choose a side or blame another house because there is no other house.
>>
No. 930119 ID: 8a7c27

kel's old and she's seen a lot of friends die. i don't think she wants any more of that. sure, getting strong and protecting pascal is our short-term goal, like she asked of us - but the cradle won't sit on their haunches forever. as grim as it is, if she's not preparing and gathering power, they'll crush all of us someday, and no amount of individual strength will protect us then.
>>
No. 930120 ID: 094652

"Give me five minutes with craigslist and I could assemble a suicide squad by next week. Give me a decade and I'll have a suicidal cult village like every other seasoned millennial vamp. The twenty-first century is an overcrowded lotus-eater machine filled with junkies, bite-sized dictatorships, and conspiracy-ass-kissing media whores. I point my disposable plastic barrier at castle transylvania and wait for my loss in battle to cash out as a lawsuit and a scandal for Bathy.

Or I could just throw a nuke at him and claim he had sex with a broken arrow."
>>
No. 930121 ID: 3a4ee3

>>930103
"I don't need an army. I just need to get close enough to tear his heart and smash his skull. I'm the scrapped ward of a dissowned mam. Who will they go after? Cradle vamps don't give a shit about humans and I can never go back to me mae anyways. You have an army to look after. I just have Pascal, and he will never be free as long as Bathory lives."
>>
No. 930122 ID: c1212a

Are you asking about long-term plans or not? You think I don't know what happens if I try marching to the front gates on my lonesome the minute I leave Nevada? I might be young, but I'm not so stupid I don't know what 'long-term' means for vampires.
>>
No. 930123 ID: b1b4f3

>>930103
One man can kill one man. It could even be a duel. With the right wager, there would be no war.
>>
No. 930124 ID: 8b6b39

what? am i going to live forever?

i don't have an army and i don't have a good reason. nor do i need one. what i do have is time. and i finish what i start. even if it takes thousands of years.
>>
No. 930125 ID: 3ed3c3

>>930103
No armies. Obviously, they don't work. Kel is proof of that.
Ricardo said, “I’M going to kill Constantin Bathory.”
Ricardo is going to kill Constantin Bathory.
Not Kel.
Not Pascal.
Nobody else.
Just Ricardo.
How? Don't know yet.
Figured he'd kill some people.
Eat some people.
See where that takes him.
>>
No. 930126 ID: 10c408

"Kel. How LONG do you think Pascal and I are gonna be able to keep running? Sooner or later, we're gonna make a mistake, be a little slow just once. And that's that. Just another sad pathetic note for constantin bathory to mull over with a glass of liquer.

Orrr, and I thought we were talking long term plans here, putting the bastard down.

or at least trying for it instead of getting hunted down.
>>
No. 930127 ID: 5e673e

hah. i dont have anyone to fight for me. which means i dont have anyone to die for me, to die if i fuck up.
and, more importantly im a bathory, arent i? unlike if you and your wards and your house killed him, the cradle would have no one to blame if i took down the head bathory. it would be, really, family infighting. and sure, they might kill me, in fact its likely theyll succeed - but really, they're already trying to kill me, so what the fuck is the difference? you yourself said immortality was forced on me. but if i get strong enough to take down constantin, and succeed? they might have to acknowledge me as the next in line.
>>
No. 930128 ID: d9bac8

"What part of 'nobody gets to tell me when it's done' was hard to understand?"
>>
No. 930129 ID: 5b93d3

"What army? I'm not going to fight him like a vampire, I'm going to murder him like a human. No duels, no wars, no fancy swordfights, no names and backstories."
>>
No. 930143 ID: 0e732c

"what, like that's hard??
>>
No. 930147 ID: 9fcd43

I think she's not taking into account just how much less we have to lose than her. She's got this giant army, however many divisions of wards to take care of and train and lead. We've got Pascal and Andy and that's about it, and we know vampires don't really think of going after living relatives.
>>
No. 930148 ID: 10c408

>>930147
The way I see it she started talking less about Ricardo and more about her dead wife at the end there.

Not that we should bring this up because she'll totally fucking kill us.
>>
No. 930170 ID: b54723

Kel, you're right on that, we don't have a plan and we haven't given serious thought on it. Because uhhh [thinks about the nonstop fuck trip] things. Yes, things.

However, we will think of a plan soon enough, and she may give suggestions on it and even help but if she thinks she's going to deter us from staking a motherfucker? No way.
>>
No. 930177 ID: 7011e0

we're not stupid. we can't do this by ourselves. but the entire point of us being here is to get stronger! and we're going to do that. then we're going to make allies, see who else is tired of the bathory family, because i'm sure there's a lot even if some of those people will just want the power they'll leave behind. the cradle seems indestructible but that's because they say so and act like it, they must have weaknesses even if you don't think they do, kel. we're going to do this.

we would super appreciate your help, though. you're already putting yourself out there training us and you obviously don't owe us anything but you would be an amazing ally in this because you know them so well
>>
No. 930191 ID: cd6e45

"I didn't say I was gonna kill him tomorrow, or even next year or the year after. Just, eventually. It's a long term goal."
>>
No. 930192 ID: bb78f2

>>930103
Just me, no army, maybe through a duel, if I can get him to accept somehow, it's a long shot.

I don't want to be a hero. I want petty vengeance that's satisfying. I want to kill him for me, just myself. Because the reality is that I need a fight to fight. Ever since I turned, I needed a fight. Bathory is the only foe that makes sense in my head. I need to fight him. For me.

I have a lust to kill him.
>>
No. 930195 ID: 7c1ffe

We're a Bathory bastard pretty much. Bastard children taking over in a coup was common for humans. Why not vampires?

But we have a fight and we finish it, no matter how long it takes. We're doing this for ourselves, and if we end up powerful and rich that's only a side benefit.
>>
No. 930251 ID: fcd356

For full badass points, just say "forever gives me a long time to finish what I start"
>>
No. 930275 ID: e0d756

Point out she's not saying it's impossible. If you need an army, you'll get an army, but you're your mother's son and she taught you to finish what you start and the cradle are after you anyway so why the fuck not see how far you can get.
>>
No. 930328 ID: aedfd9

This may not be intended to be a test, but we have to push back - just like when Minoru tried to get us to sell out. Be firm! Maybe even yell! You understand her priorities were different, but you Constantin Bathory is the reason you exist. If it takes an army to kill him, you'll spend eternity raising that army. Maybe her forces weren't prepared but you and anyone with you will be.
>>
No. 930683 ID: b463f2

>"Are you the hero in a storybook? Are you the dashing lead of a romance novel, huh? You’re going to defeat the nasty mean man? ... Because he wronged you? Because he’s wicked? ... Because a pretty boy is sad?”

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and finally, yes.
>>
No. 930995 ID: 1351c0

The love in Ricardo's heart and blood in his undead boner is more powerful than any undead vampire army.
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