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File 152048236585.png - (146.47KB , 700x397 , moot point.png )
872282 No. 872282 ID: a30024

Chapter 4
First thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/860238.html
Previous thread:https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/863633.html
447 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
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No. 882432 ID: 7816e7
File 152540274750.png - (164.40KB , 538x700 , 4-91.png )
882432

They peek out of the stairwell again and find the Guardians staring at them, clearly having heard some amount of hushed conversation.

“Oh... Hi...” Gabe waves.

“Hello.” Kol's uncle nods curtly, “Sorry to intrude; but my colleagues and I were curious as to whether you have seen a lich?”

Casey clears her throat and steps onto the deck, “Um, yes actually. We just finished Sending him.”

The deer blinks back incredulousness and cocks his head, “Not banished? You sent him?” There's a murmur of mixed impressions, “You’re just Guides, right?” Casey nods, her eyes flicking sideways to her partners.

“Well don’t just stand there!” The older Bardo exclaims, “Get up here so we can get a look at you! Excellent work!” As the party files up onto the deck he bows arthritically, “Allow us to introduce ourselves, Sifr Bardo, Medium.”

Master Medium.” The cardinal reminds him.

“Our Sender, Mariana Rue-Larrey...“ The cardinal bundles up some of her robe and bows. “And Cervantes Heulwen, our Binder.” The deer’s head dips and for a moment the antlers float in place, framing him with a bone halo.

“Honored to make your acquaintance. I’m Casey Leander. This is Gabe Wikk and Kol-“
>>
No. 882433 ID: 7816e7
File 152540275212.png - (114.20KB , 700x500 , 4-92.png )
882433

“Kol! You’re Finn’s boy aren’t you?” Sifr closes the distance with starting speed and claps his relative on the back. “I heard you’d joined the Guides. Sounds like you’re making a name for yourself! Good lad!” 
>>
No. 882435 ID: 2baeb6

Relax, Kol. Tell him you have some big shoes to fill.
>>
No. 882436 ID: b1b4f3

>>882433
Ahaha... well, you're probably not going to be sending any more Liches. This was a unique situation.
>>
No. 882437 ID: eeb7d9

Well, he did had someone to look up to. I mean, fighting more than one vampire?
All of them at once?
Hard not to.
>>
No. 882438 ID: e80ece

Well, luckily this lich was entirely non-hostile and was Sent easily. Just had to help with a minor issue before he was ready.
>>
No. 882442 ID: d887c0

>>882433
It's been a busy time. Helped Miki hire an elemental, sent a ghost, had some dealings with the fae, and now this little adventure. Been great for publicity.
>>
No. 882451 ID: 4af093

Inform him that you just let a very nice Lich take control of your body without precautions and then took it up the ass from a selkie. It'll be a good bonding experience and will make a good funny story later on, then invite them to you house that has a kelpie living in it with you.
Your life has gone ways you never expected hasn't it?
>>
No. 882454 ID: 91ee5f

>>882433
Just explain that you were all investigating rumors of a ghost ship and that lead you here. When you came aboard, the lich, who’s name was Adrian, was actually very nice and explained that he couldn’t move on because he couldn’t remember where he had left his husband’s skin, which is this big selkie guy named Caleb.

After searching the ship, we eventually found the skin, Adrian and Caleb shared one last tearful goodbye, and then Adrian let us Send him to the Ghost-Zone.

>>882451
Let’s not say all that.

The Guardians won’t respect any of the Guides if they tell them all of that.
>>
No. 882455 ID: 91ee5f

>>882454
>who’s name was Adrian
That’s supposed to say, “whose name was Adrian”.
>>
No. 882460 ID: caf1de

deal with this situation the way we deal with all situations
sex
also who keeps the boat
>>
No. 882463 ID: 2007b6

>>882454
>The Guardians won’t respect any of the Guides if they tell them all of that.
A certain amount of humility seems appropriate, if only to make sure they don't try to point you at something even more out of your league, or delay their response to some future incident when you really need it.

Keep the sexy details vague, though, yeah. Something along the lines of "We were being reckless this time, and got lucky. This wasn't really a normal lich, anyway, only fed on fish."
>>
No. 882464 ID: dbf422

>>882463
They don't have that kind of authority over the guides, I don't think. And the goal of avoiding tougher challenges is almost certain to be mocked at best.
>>
No. 882491 ID: 8a2fbb

The situation was complicated, but suffice to say, the lich didn't actually want to hurt people. You helped with his unfinished business so he was able to move on peacefully.
>>
No. 882624 ID: 7816e7
File 152549324640.png - (147.96KB , 700x500 , 4-93.png )
882624

“It was nothing really; we were just investigating reports of a ghost ship.”

“Ahh, and yet you saw lichfire and stood your ground? Remarkable..” Sifr nods approvingly.

“Well, we could see he had no interest in hurting us. All he wanted was help finding his husband’s skin.” Kol admits.

Caleb nods and grumbles. The elder Medium sizes him up with an eyebrow raised in intrigue. “A selkie? My, you do meet some interesting people in this line of work. I take it you’re the master of this vessel, Mr....”

”Caleb. Yeah. Adrian and I; this was our home for all our years together. I’m... glad they were able to help him...” There’s still a tinge of sadness to his voice, but a genuine gratitude as well.

“Indeed,” Sifr nods solemnly, “It sounds like he was a good man. I’m sorry for your loss, Caleb, but it brings me peace knowing you were able to help him move on.” He sighs, “When you get to be a Guardian, there get to be certain... expectations. People expect the axe when an open palm is all that is needed. We need more Guides who can tell the difference.”

Kol steps aside, “To be honest, Miki was the one who figured out where it was hidden. I don’t think we could have done it without her.”

The starstruck baker squeaks as the master Medium drops to a knee and takes her hand. “Madam, we thank you for your service.” He plants a chivalrous kiss across the back of her hand, “You have my undying gratitude.”

Behind him Mariana rolls her eyes and shakes her head, “Alight you fossil, if you laid it on any thicker you'd need a trowel." She sighs, "Look, you guys need us for anything?"
>>
No. 882627 ID: 6bcf97

Well, that depends on if Caleb is able/willing to bring this ship back to port on his own. If not some help with that would be nice. Oh, and Casey took a tumble getting onto the ship, Gabe brought her back. She's probably perfectly ok, but if somehow she wasn't some assurance of a little assistance in that regard would be nice?
>>
No. 882628 ID: d887c0

>>882624
Nah. We're good. Unless you wanna hang out or something?
>>
No. 882631 ID: b1b4f3

>>882624
Well our sender is very very tired. A ride back home would be nice.
>>
No. 882633 ID: e1c8f7

Yeah let's check in with Caleb and see if there's anything we can help him with. What does he want to do with the ship? Continue sailing until she can run no more?
>>
No. 882634 ID: dbf422

>>882631
Right, that's a good point. Especially since they're offering.
>>
No. 882635 ID: dbf422

>>882631
Right, that's a good point. Especially since they're offering.
>>
No. 882644 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm maybe Kol can check with Sifr about any possible side-effects of letting a lich co-habitate your body.
>>
No. 882650 ID: a363ac

>>882624
a ride home our sender is pretty pooped. Guess that Bardo charm runs in hte family eh Kol~
>>
No. 882653 ID: 1e23d4

>>882644
>>882633
>>882631
We'd invite you back to our place but Nixie might try to play with you.
>>
No. 882671 ID: a363ac

>>882653
thats half the fun lets invite them in. Who knows maybe she will jump the old Bardo's bones
>>
No. 882683 ID: 3abd97

>>882624
Haha, I really like the way Miki's inadvertently becoming the team's fourth ranger.
>>
No. 882713 ID: eeb7d9

>>882631
Yeah, no kidding. He made portals all day. He did not miss them once. And he carries a lot of people too, so the portals were fairly big. So we kind of need a ride.
>>
No. 882846 ID: 72c1dc

Does sending work like scrying, where you can't open a portal anywhere you haven't seen? Mariana might not be able to take us home.
Why not have dinner in town instead? Caleb could join too if he wants!
>>
No. 882848 ID: 91ee5f

>>882846
If that were true, then wouldn’t that mean that Gabe shouldn’t be able to open portals to the Ghost-Zone?
>>
No. 882852 ID: c914a9

>>882846
From what I remember, Gabe has put beacons all over the city and that's what allows him to make the portals, he cannot make a portal to a place he hasn't put a beacon on before. like, the portals need to be linked to a beacon, I'd think. And I think the Ghost Zone is just an exception to that rule...? Like, it's a rather special place so it makes sense for him to not need a beacon to open the portal to it.

That being said, perhaps Mariana has a beacon at least NEAR their house or something? I mean, assuming she has put beacons all over the city too and such.
>>
No. 882856 ID: b7a158

>>882852
I think this only applies to less experienced people like Gabe, because it seems the guardians portal'd straight here
>>
No. 882888 ID: 9d4af9

We could use a lift, if it's not too much to ask.
>>
No. 883350 ID: 7816e7
File 152583965807.png - (104.12KB , 588x700 , 4-94.png )
883350

“Its kinda weird asking this,” Gabe admits, a weary lilt to his voice, “- but could you give us a lift? I’m kinda spent...”

“No problem!”
Mariana stretches a hand out and spins her arm in a horizontal circle, dipping low and ending at her feet. A glow pours out from under the ship and everyone instinctively grabs for a hand hold as they feel the world slide away beneath them.

There’s a roar of water as the Sea Scar lands in the middle of the harbor. A circular wave spreads out that rocks the moored boats against the jetty and prompts a cascade of salty complaints from their occupants.
>>
No. 883351 ID: 7816e7
File 152583966435.png - (140.18KB , 700x612 , 4-95.png )
883351

Their anger is somewhat muted when Cervantes steps to the bow and extends his aura; wrapping it around the mast and coiling around the end of the dock. He clenches his hands, pulling the bindings tight and drags the ship up to the pier. A rope is thrown down, the ship is safely moored and Caleb drops a gangplank down with one clawed fist, allowing the crew to disembark.
>>
No. 883352 ID: 7816e7
File 152583967114.png - (102.90KB , 500x700 , 4-96.png )
883352

“I’m still curious as to how the spirit was able to grow so powerful...” The deer muses out loud as he steps onto the dock.

“Oh, I’m sure it was just some natural mana source he tapped into, the sea is full of such things.” Sifr winks.

Kol sidles up to the elder Medium, “Uh, Uncle Bardo, can I ask something?”

“Why certainly! I can’t promise an answer, but I am, as it were, all ears...”

“Have you ever allowed a lich to possess your body? Is... are there any lingering effects?”

He thinks for a moment and scratches his beard, “I’ve done a great many things in my time: and one thing I can say is that every spirit that I have lent myself to, great or small, has left an imprint on these old bones. I daresay there are days where, when I close my eyes, I can see what they saw and remember things they left behind. There may not be a physical impact, but they stay with you for a lifetime...”
>>
No. 883353 ID: 7816e7
File 152583967641.png - (119.45KB , 700x421 , 4-97.png )
883353

Kol stops at the base of the gangplank and turns back to the ship, “Caleb, do you want to come have dinner with us? I have a feeling we’ll be getting something other than trench fish...”

The selkie starts to decline, but as he looks at Kol a change trickles through. He closes his eyes, drawing his form back into something more terrestrial. A short oiled leather cape pulls away from his shoulder and he fastens it around his waist like a kilt. “Y-yeah. I think I could use some company.”

He joins Kol on the dock and together they head for the quayside, where a number of curious onlookers have started to gather.

Sifr matches pace with them as they pass, “Did I hear you mention dinner?” He rubs his hands together in a shuffle of callouses and knuckles, “Sounds like an excellent chance to catch up with my favorite nephew! Did your dad ever tell you about how I tangled with a pair of vampires? Well I say ‘tangle’ because I only fought one of them...”

End of Chapter 4!

Kol learned the ability: Shared Spirit, allowing him to remain in his body while possessed, but drains mana much quicker.

Gabe learned the ability: Spirit Cut (sort of), using the edge of a portal to sever any solid object. Always practice gate safety!

Miki learned the ability: Warming Aura, radiating a warm and calming glow, she can help combat the effects of cold and exposure to life draining effects.
>>
No. 883370 ID: d887c0

YES! SCORE! Great ending!
>>
No. 883372 ID: e1c8f7

>>883353
MISHON COMPRET
>>
No. 883397 ID: dbf422

Hey, it worked out!
>>
No. 883404 ID: eeb7d9

Can we make Miki a baker-guide?
>>
No. 883405 ID: 91ee5f

>>883353
>Gabe learned the ability: Spirit Cut (sort of), using the edge of a portal to sever any solid object. Always practice gate safety!
Oh no! He’s going to try and suggest that he be allowed to attempt gate-cutting that abyssal reaper we bought earlier!

Gabe, don’t you remember what happened last time you tried gate-cutting?!
>>
No. 883547 ID: 7816e7
File 152591732414.png - (168.33KB , 700x500 , 4-98.png )
883547

Epilogue:

"Hey Miki! How was your day off?" Raithe looks up from the ceramic hearth where he rests. Heat pours off of him in the gentle waves of a banked fire. "Everyone was talking about the lichfire! Was that you guys?"

The baker sheds her clothes and climbs up next to him, "Yeah! I had so much fun! We went to the market and followed a lead! Then we met a lich and helped him and his husband! I kinda helped out Kol a bit myself, if you catch my drift." She giggles. "Oh and we met some Guardians! They were amazing!"

"Aww, I wish I could have been there! "Raithe chuckles and slithers up next to her, "I'm glad you're alright.'

"Me too. Thanks for watching the shop today." She stretches out: comfortable despite the hard surface, owing to her natural full body fluffiness. "Everything go alright?"

"I kept singeing the bank notes, so I had to use the honor system with the register. But everyone was very nice!"

"That’s cause you're so sweet." a quick peck is exchanged, which flares off his lips in a spit of flame. "We'll have to get them to take you along some time…"

"Aw, I hope so. I'd miss the shop though." A tired sigh slips out. "You wanna read some?"

"Sure!" Miki reaches for a lightly scorched book on a stool. Illuminated by his glow, she lays back and reads for her boyfriend.
>>
No. 883550 ID: 91ee5f

>>883547
Woah! Was Raithe always that big or has he gotten bigger?
>>
No. 883553 ID: eeb7d9

>>883550
Adolescence!
>>
No. 883558 ID: 56e50f

>>883547
N'awh how sweet ♥️
>>
No. 883565 ID: b1b4f3

>>883550
Apparently elementals can change their size somewhat.
>>
No. 883577 ID: 05ff2f

Oh, gods, these two are adorable together. Hey, Miki, gift idea for your hot boyfriend: Fireproof gloves.
>>
No. 883609 ID: d887c0

>>883547
Such a cute couple.
>>
No. 883694 ID: a363ac

>>883547
hot boi with cuddly hot gurl~
>>
No. 883759 ID: 7816e7

Next chapter!: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/883755.html
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