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883456 No. 883456 ID: ca0e20

Time to leave this Desert.

Part 1: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/701048.html
Part 2: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/716306.html
Part 3: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/780088.html
Disthread: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/99036.html
Wiki: http://tgchan.org/wiki/2_Frames_Quest
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jiggydino
Expand all images
>>
No. 883458 ID: ca0e20
File 152589033410.gif - (55.29KB , 800x600 , 001.gif )
883458

After the hug, Emerald walked over to a wall next to the stairs that led to her lab and started moving the sand there. making her way to the actual wall. Rufa waits impatiently after her and Lucy stays close to Rufa. Most of the bees tasked themselves with gathering everyone's things, article of clothing or weapons, that were dropped during everything.
>>
No. 883459 ID: ca0e20
File 152589035297.gif - (70.43KB , 800x600 , 002.gif )
883459

>see whats up with Basant and Ophi.
>Hmm, out of everyone... Basant was the only one to actually get injured in the fight against the purple beast. Maybe you should check on him. Inspect the area where he was scratched.
>See to the big guy, too.
>Yeah check on Basant, we might not know him that well but he was kinda the deciding factor in that big fight.

I go and check on Basant. Ophi seems to be using magic on him, I'm guessing magic by the looks of it. Something looks very unnatural with Basant's arm. Ophi finishes casting something on it.

Ophi: "It's not going away..."
>>
No. 883461 ID: b1b4f3

>>883459
I guess you're gonna have to try your song on it.
>>
No. 883462 ID: dcc125

>>883459
"this is going to sound messed up, but I'm very willing to bet we want to cut that off him. that can't be good hoodoo, and if the comics I read as a kid got anything consistently it's that black corrupting goo like that means demon corruption that will either give him superpowers, a crippling demon possession, or both."
>>
No. 883469 ID: 87353e

>>883459
>Ophi & Basant Diagnosis time!
Ask her what she has observed about the wound so far. Has the afflicted area shown any signs of spreading at all? Has she been able to determine from Basant how debilitating it is; is it very painful or is there no feeling, does he have any trouble moving his arm? ect. What types of spells she has tried on it so far? Does she know anything about metaphysical afflictions like spiritual wounds or curses?

>Options for what do
The least you can do is see if your song can help at all, even if its just alleviating some pain. Ask Ophi if she can try to analyze your song and its effects while you preform it. Mention that the Portal Entity/Nightmare said there were other songs like this one, even if this one doesn't help much there might be one that will if you can discover it.

The cleansing light magic might be effective on it also, to at least help diminish or contain it. You can also try applying some of the Pure Water from under the mountain, it looked kinda magical.
>>
No. 883473 ID: ba56e6

>>883459
Try her singing in conjunction with your song.

If that doesn't work, we may have to cut out the affected tissue and heal it over. Being crippled is better than being dead or corrupted.
>>
No. 883560 ID: 56e50f

Before we do anything drastic, let's try going for a song and seeing the effects
>>
No. 883561 ID: 240938

>>883459
Did you try washing it off?
>>
No. 883814 ID: ca0e20
File 152605102797.gif - (76.86KB , 800x600 , 003.gif )
883814

>Dialogue

Raven: "What have you observed about the wound so far?"

Ophi: "... It's dense and hard and the fur is gone. He says it hurts, especially when he tries to move his arm. My healing magic isn't great, but I'm not seeing any difference when I use it."

Raven: "Is it spreading?"

Ophi: "No, not that I noticed. The shape looks the same ever since I found him like this."

Raven: "What kind of spell have you tried on it so far?"

She looks to me a moment a bit puzzled.

Ophi: "H-healing. You think something else would work?"

Raven: "Maybe. Last question, do you know anything about metaphysical afflictions, like spiritual wounds or curses?"

Ophi: "... no, I'm not well versed in that. I would have to do some research about it."

>I guess you're gonna have to try your song on it.
>The least you can do is see if your song can help at all, even if its just alleviating some pain. Ask Ophi if she can try to analyze your song and its effects while you preform it. Mention that the Portal Entity/Nightmare said there were other songs like this one, even if this one doesn't help much there might be one that will if you can discover it.
>Before we do anything drastic, let's try going for a song and seeing the effects

Raven: "Alright. Well to cover all all our basis, I'm gonna try my song."

Ophi: "Your song?"

Raven: "Yeah, it might not do much, but I might as well try. But also, could you maybe try to see if you can figure out anything about it?"

Ophi: "... Don't you know about your own song?"

Raven: "It's a song that was taught to me when I was young. I didn't think too much about it since it mostly made me feel good, but it did helpful things when everything was purple. Like dampening pain and exhaustion."

Ophi: "...Huh."

Raven: "also, the entity we faced seemed to know about it? Seems like there might be other songs like this. If this one doesn't help, maybe we could find another that will."

Ophi: "Oh!"

Raven: "Anyway, I'll start now."

Ophi: "Yes! I'll listen!"

I start my song. While I sing, Ophi looks to me and Basant to see how things are going. During the song, I feel some of my pain lessen and I'm a bit woken up, as expected. Ophi starts to mostly look at me as she start showing a lot of confusion on her face. This doesn't look great. I finish the song.

Ophi: "... Is that it?"

Raven: "Yeah. It's kinda short."

Ophi looks over Basant. The area afflicted looks pretty much the same.

Ophi: "Basant... How are you feeling?"

Basant: "Mrphh... Pain is gone."

Basant's voice is deep and gentle.

Ophi: "It is!? Can you move your arm?!"

Basant tries to move his arm but immediatly flinches.

Basant: "Mgraah!"

Ophi: "Ok ok! Don't move your arm!" She turns to me. "... You learned this when you were young? Who taught it to you?!"

Raven: "I don't remember... sorry. I was hoping you'd know something about it."

Ophi: "I don't. But I bet someone would know at the Phoenix's Alcove. I'd have to go back and do a lot of research, ask colleagues, try and figure out what is wrong with Basant and what your song is."

!

>The cleansing light magic might be effective on it also, to at least help diminish or contain it. You can also try applying some of the Pure Water from under the mountain, it looked kinda magical.

Raven: "Oh, also, do you know cleansing light magic? I think that would be worth a try on Basant's arm!"

Ophi: "Oh! Uhh... That's an uncommon spell. Let me think... I think it's..."

Ophi bring her hands together like she's holding a sphere. Her hands starts glowing in an bluish white, but slowly turns whiter as Ophi concentrates a bit.

Ophi: "There, I think this is how we did it!"

She moves the white light over the purple on Basant's arm. Basant starts to react negatively. At first it seems to just make him uncomfortable, but Ophi keeps the magic on his arm until it ends with Basant letting out another involuntary cry of pain. Ophi immediately stops.

Ophi: "Ahh! Basant! Did I make it worse?!"

Basant doesn't really respond. But... I look to the spot Ophi was treating. the purple around it is considerably of a lighter purple than it used to be.

Raven: "Ophi! Look! It changed!"

Ophi: "Ah! Basant! How does it feel now?"

She feels the new spot.

Basant: "Numb."

Ophi: "It's soft again too... Maybe I can treat all of it! But it'll hurt..."

Basant: "Do it."

Ophi: "... Are you sure?!"

Basant give a firm nod. Ophi thinks about it for a moment, then continues to try and treat Basant. I decide to try and assist by singing while she does. Basant still seems to be in incredible pain, but anytime I finish my song, he calms down. Then I start over.

After what felt like a long time, an eternity for Basant I'm sure, Ophi finished treating the entire area affected. I finish my current song, and Basant let out a sigh of relief. He tentatively starts moving his arm and... it seems like he's not in pain! He sits up, and start moving his arm in a manner like his arm was asleep.

Basant: "No feelings. It's numb and stiff. No pain."

Ophi lets out a big sigh.

Ophi: "Good. I was worried about some of our options. At least now we should be able to move you out of here along with your arm." They both stand up and she looks at me. "Thank you, for helping. We'll be waiting for Ava at this tower over there."

Her disposition towards me seems different. Sure I just helped her and Basant, but... I hear crumbling of rocks where Emerald is signifying that she opened up a path. Do I ask Ophi some questions, or do I join up with the others now?
>>
No. 883815 ID: d7e1fb

>>883814
No problem. We'll talk later about that whole Phoenix's Alcove thing. Let's see how the others are doing for now.
>>
No. 883822 ID: 87353e

>>883814
You're welcome, glad to have helped. We all might have been much worse off if not for Basant's assist in the fight.

If they are going into the tower, tell them there is a larder/kitchen on the second floor. You were thinking of making a warm meal for everyone, if they don't mind getting started on the prep work while they wait it would be helpful.
You could also ask Ophi to fix your stab wound if she's not exhausted her self. Or you could just wait it out and have Emerald see to it, which would also give you two some time to talk.

Head over to the others and make sure to grab Rip and/or Calla to come along for the Ava retrieval expedition. You're gonna need some help if Rufa has one of her outbursts while Lucy has her hands full carrying Ava.
>>
No. 883831 ID: b1b4f3

>>883814
Ask her if she feels like she's thinking more clearly now that the entity has been defeated. It's possible it was controlling her, even at a distance.
>>
No. 883841 ID: 56e50f

>>883814
Say thank you for letting you help.
>>
No. 884045 ID: 15a025

Join up with the others.
>>
No. 884879 ID: ca0e20
File 152666684165.gif - (37.31KB , 800x600 , 004.gif )
884879

>You could also ask Ophi to fix your stab wound if she's not exhausted her self. Or you could just wait it out and have Emerald see to it, which would also give you two some time to talk.

Yeah, I could wait for Emerald to do so, hopefully. I'm a bit tired still, even after my songs but hopefully things have calmed down now.

>If they are going into the tower, tell them there is a larder/kitchen on the second floor. You were thinking of making a warm meal for everyone, if they don't mind getting started on the prep work while they wait it would be helpful.
>No problem. We'll talk later about that whole Phoenix's Alcove thing. Let's see how the others are doing for now.
>You're welcome, glad to have helped. We all might have been much worse off if not for Basant's assist in the fight.
>Say thank you for letting you help.
>Join up with the others.

At any rate I think of what more I could ask her, but decide that I probably should move on now. So at the very least I decide to settle on quick parting words for now.

Raven: "You're welcome, and thank you for letting me help. It's the least I can do considering how valuable Basant's assistance was in the fight back there... Since you are going to the tower, one of the floor has a cauldron and food around. I was planning on preparing food for everyone. If you want you can start preparing things over there while the rest gathers there."

Ophi: "Ah, well that will give us something to occupy us."

Raven: "We'll talk more later."

>Head over to the others and make sure to grab Rip and/or Calla to come along for the Ava retrieval expedition. You're gonna need some help if Rufa has one of her outbursts while Lucy has her hands full carrying Ava.

I start heading to the newly made hole in the wall Emerald made. Seems like Rufa already gone in and Lucy is thorn between chasing after her and waiting for me. Emerald just kind of waits. I wave at Calla to approach and she unloads whatever she's holding, except for 2 bee swords, onto the hands of some of her nearby sisters. Rip is also nowhere to be found.

Raven: "Rip, if you can hear me, I'd like you to follow me!"

If I'm lucky, he's within earshot. Calla reaches me.

Raven: "I might need backup, we're gonna find Ava and Rufa is there, she went ahead."

Calla: "Yeah, let's go."

As I reach the hole, Lucy is inside looking down hallways, but Emerald is still standing next to it.

Raven: "Emerald, come on, we have to find Ava!"

Emerald: "Yeah, ok."
>>
No. 884880 ID: ca0e20
File 152666684511.gif - (32.05KB , 800x600 , 005.gif )
884880

Entering, the hallways are reminiscent of hallways above, where we could reach the flower room. Though instead of green, everything is made of a blueish rock. Everything is also very dilapidated. the hallway we end up forces us left considering that our right is filled with sand. I tell Emerald that she's gonna have to lead and she does without a word. As we make our way through the halls, we find Rufa trying to find paths in the debris of rocks but spotting us, she demand to know where Ava is as if Emerald tricked her. I let her know that we're being led there and the group continues onward. Some second later Rufa catches up with the head of the group, determined to be one of the first of us to spot Ava.

The next part is a bit odd. Emerald leads us to a door in the wall that isn't similar to the halls above. It leads to tight stairs that leads up and turn on itself to leads us above the previous door. There, another door shape indent is present, but looks to be sealed. However, Emerald ignores it and instead heads to a corridor next to the stairs. There's so little room here that we have to walk one in front of the other. I notice Lucy particularly struggles through, being the biggest one here. I slow down as to not leave her behind. After a left turn, we end up in a small room with only a desk as remnant of it's past. Going through the door present, we enter a room just like the one the base was set in! Again, Emerald just ignore everything and reaches the door to our left. This door leads to yet another hallway, but keeping with the blue stones from before.

Emerald: "I don't really know which, but she might be in one of these rooms."

Rufa hurriedly started to look before Emerald finished her last word. I gesture to Lucy to follow me and I try to stick as close as I can to Rufa. Rufa bust open a door and looks through the other destroyed door to no avail. But the next set of door, she dashes inside the room to our right.

Rufa: "Ava!"
>>
No. 884881 ID: ca0e20
File 152666685101.gif - (36.78KB , 800x600 , 006.gif )
884881

I quickly get to the door to prevent Rufa from doing anything too quickly, but am not only surprised to see Ava standing next to the bed in the familiar looking room, but the first thing Rufa does is use her forward momentum to punch Ava in the guts as hard as she can. I now know how Ava look when she breaks her stern composed demeanor for a surprised and pained expression, while the air inside of her is forced out. For more confusion, Rufa is now bypassing Ava's height advantage while she's bent over and recovering from the hit to hug Ava while calling her a stupid idiot. Ava flashes a small smile.

Oh ok.

While Ava returns the hug, I make a note of the shredded bed sheet and purple hat. Otherwise, I don't spot anything different from our base. Even the bed seems to be placed in the same spot it was before it was placed on top of Ava.
>>
No. 884901 ID: b1b4f3

>>884881
Hmm. Crazy birds of a fucked-up feather flock together I guess. Ask them to please refrain from further violence today. Considering everyone helped you fight the demon in the end you'd agree to a ceasefire.

We need to talk about what happens next... but let's save most of that for during the meal, where everyone's gathered together. Get some healing out of the way first though. Ask Emerald for a hand with your stab wound.
>>
No. 884929 ID: 56e50f

>>884881
Ask if she's alright. Bring her up to speed if she doesn't know what happened.
>>
No. 884957 ID: ba56e6

>>884881
Step aside and get Emerald's help with your wound in one of the other bedrooms. She seems like she needs some talking to.

Ask Calla to let you know if the two weirdos try anything.
>>
No. 885150 ID: 15a025

Let Ava know that Ophi's preparing food up in the tower and ask if she'd like to join you all?
>>
No. 885538 ID: ca0e20
File 152701195547.gif - (36.60KB , 800x600 , 007.gif )
885538

>Ask them to please refrain from further violence today. Considering everyone helped you fight the demon in the end you'd agree to a ceasefire.
>Ask if she's alright. Bring her up to speed if she doesn't know what happened.

Raven: "Considering what happened with the demon, can I assume it would make sense that there are no further violence between everyone here?"

Ava stands up a bit more straight as Rufa loosen her arm around Ava and turns to us, still leaving her arms around her. Ava takes a short moment before answering.

Ava: "... Yes, Raven. Things have... changed now, and it would be best for all current parties if we facilitate our leave."

Raven: "Good. In that case, how are you feeling? Are you alright?"

Ava: "Heh. You really are a caring individual, aren't you? I'm fine."

>We need to talk about what happens next... but let's save most of that for during the meal, where everyone's gathered together.
>Let Ava know that Ophi's preparing food up in the tower and ask if she'd like to join you all?

Raven: "Also good! I recommend you go to the tower then. Ophi is there already preparing food. We can talk more about what happened while we eat too."

Ava: "... Food, huh? Sounds good."

With them establishing they won't fight, I step out of the way to let both of them go. I think to get Emerald aside, but notice I don't see her, so I follow Ava and Rufa to see where she is. At that moment, I hear rocks crumbling at the end of the hallway from where we came from. I see Emerald is making a path through a wall that was sealed earlier. She steps through, looks both way and then wait for whoever comes back.

Ava and Rufa reaches her first. Emerald takes a moment to look them over, indicate with a movement of the head that they should go right.

Emerald: "If you go that way, you'll reach the green hallways. I'm sure you can find your way from there."

Ava: "Thanks."

As they make their way in that direction, I approach Emerald. Standing in this hallway, I feel a bit turned around for a moment. Once my brain makes the connection, I recognize this hallway as being the one Lucy used to sneak in Emerald's lab, the one we used with Marigold. I look to Lucy and we exchange an uncomfortable glance, considering Emerald being here.

>Get some healing out of the way first though. Ask Emerald for a hand with your stab wound.
>Step aside and get Emerald's help with your wound in one of the other bedrooms. She seems like she needs some talking to. Ask Calla to let you know if the two weirdos try anything.

Raven: "Umm, Emerald, I have this wound. You could take care of it right?"

Emerald: "Probably."

She raises her hand waiting for me to tell her where. I guess my patched up spot isn't good enough for her. Though that's good for me right now.

Raven: "Actually, could we go to another room? Preferably one with a bed, so I can at least sit?"

Emerald: "Oh. Sure."

Calla: "If you guys do that here, I'll go on ahead. I trust my sisters, but I still would prefer not to leave Ava alone with them."

Calla do so and we start to go back in the Base Room, since it's familiar and empty anyway.

Lucy: "It's fine if I'm there?"

I think it would be? I didn't think of a reason for this to only be between me and Emerald. Maybe Emerald would open up less with Lucy around? At any rate, Emerald's state probably concerns Lucy too. I'd go as far as saying it concerns her more than me, considering she's been around Emerald for years and I only know them both for about 2 days... Doesn't feel like just 2 days.

Raven: "Yeah, it's fine."
>>
No. 885539 ID: ca0e20
File 152701195906.gif - (53.96KB , 800x600 , 008.gif )
885539

At the base room I sit on the bed and start undoing the fabric holding the patch in place. I can talk to Emerald while she heals me.
>>
No. 885542 ID: d9999b

>>885539
So Emerald, are you okay? Cause you're acting not yourself and look like, REALLY not okay.
>>
No. 885544 ID: e1c8f7

>>885539
Ask Emerald how she's feeling. She still looks to be in shock.
>>
No. 885550 ID: b1b4f3

>>885539
Lucy please close the door.

Emerald, do you want to talk about what happened? You were wrapped up in the demon's cocoon...
>>
No. 885553 ID: 5fa661

"Emerald, I know it must seem like your life, your whole world, has just fallen apart. Try to see it as a new beginning. You're free now, there's nothing tying you down."
>>
No. 885594 ID: ba56e6

>>885539
Ask if you can take a look at her face while she works. The streaks on her face look like the damage done to Basant's arm. Ask her if it hurts or feels strange at all.
>>
No. 885709 ID: ca0e20
File 152709636465.gif - (20.74KB , 800x600 , 009.gif )
885709

>Lucy please close the door.

I ask her to do so and she does.

>Ask if you can take a look at her face while she works. The streaks on her face look like the damage done to Basant's arm. Ask her if it hurts or feels strange at all.

With the bandage off, I ask Emerald if this is enough for her to heal it. She nods and starts healing it. I then ask her if I can look at the streaks on her face.

Emerald: "Yeah, sure. I didn't know I had anything on my face."

Raven: "Let me know if it hurts though."

I try and take a closer look. Just by looking at it, I don't see a whole lot of difference on her. The thin fur on her face looks like it was dyed purple and I notice that the patch of natural harden skin is also tinted. If anything, it looks like how Basant's arm looked after he was healed. Thinking back, Emerald was mostly crying purple tears, as opposed to being damaged like Basant was. Maybe it just made her cheeks messy.

I lick my thumb and try to rub the edge of a streak on her left cheek. Emerald doesn't react much, not even annoyance or surprised is shown on her face. I re-shift focus on the streak as a continue to rub the same spot... Nothing happens. Her thin fur is just a bit more wet. I try to spread the fur to get a good look at her skin underneath which is easy enough. Her skin is also purple. I lick my thumb again and this time try rubbing one of the hard skin area, since I assume it would be easier to clean. Same result. At this point, I think it might be the type of stain that needs to be washed multiple time before it starts to go away slowly?

>So Emerald, are you okay? Cause you're acting not yourself and look like, REALLY not okay.
>Ask Emerald how she's feeling. She still looks to be in shock.
>Emerald, do you want to talk about what happened? You were wrapped up in the demon's cocoon...

With that check done, I sit up straighter as I observe Emerald finishing the healing. Once she's done I don't really feel anything where my wound use to be. I prod at it and can feel it, though it does not hurt. I must have gotten used to the pain that now that it's gone, it has this weird illusion that it's numb by comparison. I look up at Emerald.

Raven: "Thank you Emerald. Feels loads better."

I give her a smile as warm as I can.

Emerald: "It's fine."

For the first time since the portal closed, I see the slightest twinge of a forced smile flash in the corner of her mouth as she looks to her right.

Raven: "Emerald, how are you feeling? Do you want to talk about what happened?"

She doesn't respond, but it does look like she's a bit pensive about it.

Raven: "You were wrap up in that demon cocoon..."

Emerald: "Really? I don't remember that. When did that happen?"

Raven: "Before the portal deactivated. You did seem out of it at the time."

She takes a moment to think about it.

Emerald: "...I don't ... get... what happened."

Raven: "Things did get confusing at the end there. I often felt a bit lost in the haze-"

Emerald: "-In the last 5 years."

Raven: "... What?"

Emerald: "I remember what happened... but I don't understand..."

I spot a bit of tremor across her body as she says this.

>Dialogue

I think on it for some seconds. I assume she feels lost right now...

Raven: "Emerald, I know it must seem like your life, your whole world, has just fallen apart. Try to see it as a new beginning. You're free now, there's nothing tying you down."

Emerald: "I should just... forget everything?"
>>
No. 885710 ID: ba56e6

>>885709
The grudges, the obsession, the people who were cruel to you, it's a poison to hold onto that. And it can only hurt you until you let it go.
Just let it go.
>>
No. 885711 ID: b1b4f3

>>885709
"Well don't forget me, hehe!"
Tell her you think the demon was influencing her mind. Maybe only a little at first, but... in the end it may have been driving her insane. She told you that she did horrible things. Maybe some would be best forgotten. I bet she did less morally objectionable research though, right? That could be worth remembering.

...did she ever really want to use the portal to take over the world? Or was that entirely the demon's influence?
>>
No. 885724 ID: ecf44d

>>885709
I don't think you should forget it...

But I do think that you should try to just... make peace with it. You do have FRIENDS now, Emerald. Really. I can understand if it might be tough...but like it or not we're going to try to help you, even if it might not be in ways you get immediately.
>>
No. 885737 ID: d9999b

>>885709
It is completely possible that she was so wrapped up in the cocoon as a sort of show as to do how much of a grip the demon had on her, how much it coerced and warped her personality into its grand design.
Its totally possible that the reason anyone ended up here, even you, is through subtle subconscious pushing in its direction.
She may have just reverted to how she used to be and is looking back on everything shes done and is just shaken and confused at the decisions shes made and the things shes done.
She should of course remember what shes done here, it was an entire five years of her life. She just shouldn't worry to much about what shes done because i doubt shed actually have done it.
>>
No. 885744 ID: 56e50f

>>885709
No. Take it and learn from it. Try and become a better person from it.
>>
No. 885844 ID: 824ac6

>>885709
huh. I wonder if she was fully in control of herself here.

"Of course not. But you can grow from it, learn how to cope."

>consider hugging friend at first opportune moment
>>
No. 885862 ID: d152c2

>>885709
The past is the past, we can only learn from it. Forgetting it will only cause it to happen again.

At this point however you have friends. Emerald also shouldn't feel that bad about what she's done, I'm going to go into some thoughts here. I do feel like Emerald has been subtly controlled over the last few years, and I feel like Ava was too when they arrived. Almost like the portal reached out to those that were lonely. We've seen Emeralds past, but Ava also pointed out how the reason they were on the run is that someone close to them betrayed their organization. Emerald being in the cocoon just shows how much she had been affected compared to the others.

Emerald loneliness may have caused this but she doesn't deserve blame. Having a demon(or something) touch your mind and change you doesn't make your actions your fault.

P.S find a chance to hold her hand and assure her that your there if she wants you to be.
>>
No. 885893 ID: ba56e6

>>885862
I don't think we should tell her not to feel bad. Feeling bad means she learned something from the whole experience, demon or no. The key is knowing how to turn that bad feeling into something good before it turns toxic instead.
>>
No. 885895 ID: ecf44d

>>885893
>>885844
Basically. I said 'try to make peace with it', but these are a lot closer to what I mean.
>>
No. 886337 ID: 15a025

I wouldn't say forget everything. Tell her she should use those memories to help build herself back up. She's got chance at a new life with people that support her. It'll be tough winding, road, but she can do it.
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No. 888110 ID: ca0e20
File 152839893739.gif - (31.10KB , 800x600 , 010.gif )
888110

>Tell her you think the demon was influencing her mind. Maybe only a little at first, but... in the end it may have been driving her insane. [...] I bet she did less morally objectionable research though, right? That could be worth remembering.
>You do have FRIENDS now, Emerald. Really. I can understand if it might be tough...but like it or not we're going to try to help you, even if it might not be in ways you get immediately.
>Take it and learn from it. Try and become a better person from it.
>Dialogue
>Tell her she should use those memories to help build herself back up. She's got chance at a new life with people that support her. It'll be tough winding, road, but she can do it.

I stand up so I'm more at eye level with her.

Raven: "Of course not. But you can grow from it, learn how to cope. I think the demon was affecting you, but you can still use what happened to become a better person. I bet some of the research you made could be used for good, right? The less morally objectionable ones?"

Emerald just stays pensive.

Raven: "You have friends now. Like it or not, we'll try to help you. It'll be tough but you can do it."

>consider hugging friend at first opportune moment
>assure her that your there if she wants you to be.

I gently approach her into another hug for good measure. This time she limply hug back.

I look over at Lucy who's been there the whole time. Her expression looks stern.
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No. 888111 ID: ca0e20
File 152839894113.gif - (58.82KB , 800x600 , 011.gif )
888111

>Ask Lucy to help you dig around in the mound. See if there's anything left over.
>We can also poke around the portal mound

After we're done, I take what was left of the bandages with me just in case and pocket it. I will need to clean the blood off of it if I want to use it... I use the wrap used to hold the bandage in place as a belt of sort. I just kinda like how it looks and how it hold my clothes down from the waist.

On the way to the tower, I have Lucy accompany me to check the mound where the portal used to be. As far as either of us could figure, all there is left is purple sand. We don't look for too long before needing to get out of the sun again, to avoid digging in this hot purple sand.

>Gather everyone up and check up the people who got possessed to see if they are feeling alright.
>Ask her if she[Ophi] feels like she's thinking more clearly now that the entity has been defeated. It's possible it was controlling her, even at a distance.

Now, everyone is at the tower. The room is big enough to house everyone, though Basant is too big to get upstairs. So him and Ophi stays on the first floor, Poppy and Marigold keeping them company. Everyone has their share of soup, in bowls that Lucy procured. Apparently, Emerald chose to use magic to make bowls even though she had plenty of regular bowl made of clay. Lucy even found some metal spoons for those who'd rather eat a soup instead of drinking it. Anyone that needed healing have also been healed. And any lost clothing or weapons were returned to their owner. Even Rufa's claws which Ava believes won't be a problem.

Rip finally made himself present. I'm guessing he was hanging out with Azalea considering they've been sitting next to each other. They sometimes talk to each other in a very hushed tone, with Azalea sometimes giggling. Rip has a subtle expression of content, despite what I would imagine he's been trough.

On the other side of the same coin, Ava and Rufa are also together, but generally seems to just enjoys each other's presence wordlessly. Though Ava seems to be on another plane of thoughts. Calla chose to keep close to them, no doubt to keep an eye on them, much to Rufa's annoyance. But nothing goes beyond occasional glances toward Calla filled with daggers. Aster plopped lazily on the floor next to Calla.

In our own group, silence is also generally dominant. Emerald still as lost in thoughts as Ava is, looking at her untouched soup, while Lucy quietly eats her soup. I sometimes catch Lucy looking at me, but she reacts by looking away as if she wasn't... She seems to be making an effort to keep her robe closed too?

Thinking back, while the soup was being prepared, I went around to ask those who were possessed how they felt. Emerald, Ava, Ophi, Basant and Poppy. All seems to think they felt physically fine, even Basant since his arm was treated, though most felt spooked to varying degrees. Poppy being the one that took everything relatively well, with Emerald being the worst of the bunch.
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No. 888112 ID: ca0e20
File 152839894596.gif - (50.09KB , 800x600 , 012.gif )
888112

I look at my bowl and judge that I ate enough to make it easy not to spill. I tell my friends that I'll be back, then head downstairs. I remember wanting to ask something to Ophi earlier, though couldn't since I was pressed for time. As I descend the stairs, I hear that Poppy and Ophi are probably the most talkative of the bunch. It sounds more serious than casual.

Poppy: "- were here that you both seem to have lost it. But still... "

Ophi: "I'm terribly sorry, Poppy. I can't explain it better than that. I know what I did was severe and I have no excuse, but I can barely grasp my recent actions. For what it's worth-"

Everyone looks up over to my approach, except for Basant who continues drinking from the cauldron. Seems like his arm has enough strength to do decent lifting. Half here seems to have settled on sitting on the floor. Poppy is kneeling directly in front of Ophi, her soup set on the floor next to her. Marigold is the only one standing close to them.

Ophi: "-Uuh! Raven! Need anything?!"

Ophi looks pretty uncomfortable. If Poppy wasn't there, I'd assume she could be more comfortable if she'd sat on one of the boxes instead of the floor. As I continue down the stairs, Poppy returns her gaze to Ophi with a very disapproving expression. Marigold seems nervous and worried about the conversation that was being held.

Raven: "Sorry for the interuption. I can wait for you two to finish?"

Ophi looks at Poppy with a worried look. The bee still has the same intense look.

Poppy: "... It's fine."

She picks up her soup, gets up and find a spot on the stairs to sit and eat her soup. Marigold keeps at her side.

Raven: "Um... I wanted to ask. Are you thinking more clearly now?"

Already, Poppy breaks disinterest, seemingly interested my inquiry. Ophi seems a bit disappointed.

Ophi: "Ahh... Yes, you could say that. As I was just telling Poppy, I can't really explain what happened. I know what I did and, thinking back, it felt like I wanted to do so. But in retrospect, I have no desire to do anything with that blasted portal."

I can ask something or tell things to anyone in the tower while we all eat.
>>
No. 888115 ID: bcc21e

>>888112
"pretty sure it's the same for our wizard friend. it's a demon portal, I wouldn't doubt some mental corruption. always the way when otherworldly evils are involved, innit?"
>>
No. 888116 ID: b1b4f3

>>888112
Hey, that journal you found... you have time to read the whole thing now. It may prove that the demon had some sort of mind control power.
For now though, it's just a theory with good evidence behind it. You should tell Poppy and the rest that this is what you believe happened. Emerald was the first to be drawn in, but when you managed to stop her the demon started influencing Ava and Ophi to get them to finish the witch's work. Or maybe it wormed its way into their minds even earlier than that, as a backup plan?

This doesn't excuse all of their actions, however. Rufa was not influenced at all, as far as we can tell, and is merely a sadist who happens to be enamored with Ava.
...what did Ava want before coming here? Ask Ophi for a bit more backstory. Where did they come from, what happened to them?
>>
No. 888128 ID: ba56e6

>>888112
The portal seems to have been affecting the minds of some of us. Some more strongly than others - the mages, specifically. You and Emerald have mentioned some confusion about your actions. Not sure if it has to do with magic or just preying on ambitions and desires.
>>
No. 888231 ID: b38f01

>>888112
It's very likely that some sort of presence near the portal twist the minds of those around it. Convinces them opening it is what they want. It's just a theory though.
>>
No. 888398 ID: 15a025

Change to a lighter topic. Have a seat and ask what Ophi's plans are now?
>>
No. 888921 ID: 3bf842

>>888112
Ask Ophi about the Phoenix's alcove that she mentioned earlier. Maybe we should go there next if we want to learn more about our song.

Also ask if Ophi could teach you some magic. It would be nice to have anofder trick up our sleeve in case we get trapped in a cell in the middle of a desert or something.
>>
No. 889398 ID: 40197f
File 152943525895.gif - (24.76KB , 800x600 , 013.gif )
889398

>Hey, that journal you found... you have time to read the whole thing now. It may prove that the demon had some sort of mind control power.

Reading through it will take some time. I can do that if I'd prefer, instead of talking to the people here.

>Dialogue
>...what did Ava want before coming here? Ask Ophi for a bit more backstory. Where did they come from, what happened to them?
>The portal seems to have been affecting the minds of some of us. Some more strongly than others - the mages, specifically. You and Emerald have mentioned some confusion about your actions. Not sure if it has to do with magic or just preying on ambitions and desires.
>It's very likely that some sort of presence near the portal twist the minds of those around it. Convinces them opening it is what they want. It's just a theory though.


Raven: "Pretty sure it's the same for our wizard friend. It's a demon portal, I wouldn't doubt some mental corruption. Always the way when otherworldly evils are involved, isn't it?"

Ophi: "Well not always, but yes. This is my theory too, but I've only heard of it in studies. Having it happen to me is surreal and I have a hard time coming to term with the potential reality of it. My mind can't really comprehend it."

Raven: "... Do you mind telling me what Ava wanted before coming here? Where did your group come from?"

Ophi: "Oh, I don't know if Ava would want me to tell you about anything specific, but in term of this place specifically, we were just running away."

Ophi: "We were staying near the outskirt of the desert when our enemies moved to make a strong attempt to take us out, Ava specifically. As we ran away, we came across the desert mounts at a nearby stable. Ava had the unorthodox idea to use them to cross the desert to lose our pursuers, though that's not far off from what she normally do. We stole most of the mounts headed into the desert, leaving our assailants with no real way to continue following us. Although now, we had to keep moving forward, since anywhere on the same side of the desert would surely be guarded."

Ophi: "I'll admit I wasn't sure about the plan after some time. I tried to ask Ava while we rode if she was sure we should keep moving forward, but she didn't really answer me. However, after over a day, we finally saw the tower we're in now. No one said anything at first, I think we were all thinking it wasn't real. It's Marigold that broke our silence to confirm we were all seeing right. It felt like a beacon at the time, especially with the sandstorm behind us."

Ophi: "Once we reached the tower, most of the bees were instructed to bring the mounts to the cave while the rest of us investigated the tower. We determined it was lived in, but no one was around. Azalea then found the trapdoor here" She taps the peeking trap door under the box next to her. "To our surprise, Poppy and Aster found us down there not long after we descended the ladder. That's when I split up with Ava, when you and I eventually cross paths. Once we returned, Ava was pretty adamant about me studying the portal. Telling me it would fix what happened in the recent days..."
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No. 889399 ID: 40197f
File 152943526206.gif - (39.99KB , 800x600 , 014.gif )
889399

Raven: "... Is that all?"

Ophi: "That's where things get a bit hazy. I didn't want anything to do with that damn thing, I felt it the first time I entered the room... But after examining it, I was very much dedicated to it. The ancient lettering on it. I remembered them from my studies and needed time to study them properly, but I wanted to solve it and discover it... I also remember, while we waited for Ava with the lizard, making Basant... touch the portal."

Raven: "... You think that would be it?"

Ophi: "It might be. I don't see why I would have ordered it as some sort of tactic otherwise. I ordered both him and Rufa to do so. Rufa refused which didn't sit well with me at the time."

>Ask Ophi about the Phoenix's alcove that she mentioned earlier. Maybe we should go there next if we want to learn more about our song.

Raven: "What is the Phoenix Alcove you mentioned before?"

Ophi: "It's a pretty big repository of knowledge. The best and oldest in fact! It has a library, which is the main chamber that Soleil gathered everything in, labs to help researchers discover more helpful things and there's even a college nearby for magic users! The Phoenix Alcove might be the best place on this land! If I can find anything about all that happened here, it would be there!"

Raven: "Even my song?"

Ophi: "I'd wage that if we can't find info on your song, you'll never learn anything about it! Ahh... I mean. Sorry, I got excited. I'm sure we'll find something there, but if somehow we don't, y-you shouldn't give up?"

Going there next seems like a safe bet.

>Also ask if Ophi could teach you some magic. It would be nice to have anofder trick up our sleeve in case we get trapped in a cell in the middle of a desert or something.

Raven: "Can you teach me some magic?"

Ophi: "Oh! Uhh... I'm not sure. Can you do magic?"

Raven: "I don't know. But if I can do magic with this song, maybe I can?"

Ophi: "That might be true... I never taught anyone else to do magic before... I should know enough to attempt it though. It might take some time to do so. What spell do you want to learn?"

I should decide if I want Ophi to attempt to teach me a spell. I don't know how long it will take. It might be between that, the journal or talking to more people. Once we're done eating, I think most will make preparations to leave.
>>
No. 889401 ID: b1b4f3

>>889399
>Rufa never touched the portal, strong implication that you need to touch the portal to get possessed
Yep, like I thought, her behavior was not due to the demons. She's just nuts. This is backed up by the bees being afraid of her due to her past actions.
Ask if they'll be able to control Rufa from here on, and ask Poppy if she thinks her group will be able to forgive Ava and Ophi with this new information.
Ava may need to apologize anyway.

>learn a spell?
Well, that's tempting, but you can do that later with Emerald's help and access to the library. Maybe something VERY simple like the ability to summon a speck of light or something.

>read journal or talk to people
Well you can read the journal while traveling probably, but it would help to flip through it for more evidence on how people get their minds taken over by the demon, and if there's a treatment for the after-effects.
I think we need to inform Ava of the demonic influence thing so she breaks out of her funk a bit, and then ask everyone what they plan to do next. Will their group stick together? Will Rip travel with anyone?
>>
No. 889415 ID: 4c4e9f

Get owl to sing owl song.
>>
No. 889448 ID: 56e50f

Let's cement our social connections first. Just make a quick round to double check on everybody and see if they're doing alright or need anything... Now would be a perfect time to collect on your fuzzy abs quota from Lucy.
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No. 889462 ID: ba56e6

>>889399
We'll have time on the road, if we travel together to this library. It would probably be good to learn some healing magic, even if it's just really basic. Can't have too many healers.

>>889448
Yeah, we should talk to Lucy. Rip too, but he's with Azalea at the moment. Wouldn't want to throw off his game.
>>
No. 889506 ID: 87353e

>>889399
>Try to learn magic
If magic was easy then most people wouldn't have to spend a good portion of their lives learning it at a mage college!
Now that's not to say it would hurt to try, but think of it as like how you learned to sing and play music starting from a young age, its probably similar with aspiring magic users. So unless you are a magical savant, like a sorcerer, then at the most you will be spending what free time you have at the moment taking what amounts to a magic aptitude test. Maybe keep it as a long term goal, a way to spend time bonding with Emerald and maybe cheer her up.
Right now your time is probably better spent talking to everyone and learning more from/about them while you have the chance. This might be our last time seeing some of them for a long while unless our yet to be decided travel route out of the desert happens to coincide with any of the others.

>Ophi info
Instead of trying to learn a spell from Ophi, maybe we could chat with her a bit more about some subjects that she might be able to impart some wisdom on as a scholar/mage before we move on to the others.
- The Phoenix's Alcove: Specifically where its located and how to get there. Is Soleil a person/historical figure or a place? Could she draft you a letter of introduction just in case you aren't able to travel there together?
- Mage colleges: Are there many mage colleges on the continent? Has Ophi ever heard about a Worm named Sigourney, a Head Mage who might have gone missing a long time ago? Or know of a mage who matches the description of the Shade that tormented Emerald, it claimed to be of a prominent family name if that helps. Mention that Emerald has some personal trauma associated with mage academia and even if it's not the same institution, visiting a similar place might poorly affect her metal health in her current condition before she has built up the resolve to confront it.
- Songs and Stories: Does she have a favorite song or tale that she could teach you that you might not have heard before? Just for the fun of it, to learn new things and expand your bardic knowledge. Also somewhat related, do you or Ophi know any stories or legends about demons that the both of you could compare? Specifically about the figures or factions that appear in the roles that oppose the demons. Like folk heroes or supernatural forces like helpful spirits & deities. This might give you some clues about what you might want to focus on looking up at the library if or when you go.

>Poppy, Basant & Ophi
Before you go back up, have you talked to the others that you rescued from the place inside the portal about how much they can remember about it? Emerald who was unconscious has no recollection of it. Do they remember everything clearly from after you released them or anything at all before you did or is it all hazy?

>Talk to the others
Lets go check up on the others, especially Lucy since she seemed to be acting pretty self conscious when we left to go down stairs. Lucy had mentioned before that social interactions are tough on her and we kinda left her to her own devices, whoops!
We also might be able to help with any mediation between Ava and Calla if they haven't already come to amenable terms.
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No. 892407 ID: 40197f
File 153143844913.gif - (27.29KB , 800x600 , 015.gif )
892407

>Well, that's tempting, but you can do that later with Emerald's help and access to the library.
>We'll have time on the road, if we travel together to this library.
>If magic was easy then most people wouldn't have to spend a good portion of their lives learning it at a mage college!

Raven: "Mmm, maybe later actually. I bet it's tough to learn magic, considering how long you have to practice it."

Ophi: "Maybe, but you'd be surprised. There's a couple of simple things you can get someone to do just to determine if they have any amount of magic in them. For example, telekinesis can be tested by having the student move a small marble. No need for lifting, and low resistance to roll as oppose to slide. Though it can take some time just to teach someone to channel magic within them and that varies from person to person."

Raven: "Oh? I was thinking it might be more complicated since I had to learn my song growing up. Inflection and key and all that had to be exactly right. I now know that it's because it had an actual effect to it."

Ophi: "Well mastering spells definitely takes time. Think of it like a muscle, but one that takes a longer time to become strong. Anyone can start out by lifting a cup of water, but you need to exercise to start lifting heavy objects with ease. But your song is also pretty peculiar..."

Raven: "Ah, well at any rate, there's a chance I'll be joining you to the Phoenix Alcove."

Ophi: "Oh! You won't regret it! It's such a great place, especially for magic! It's hard to go there and not come out at least knowing the basics of magic use! If you can do magic, it's the best place to cultivate your skill in magic!"

She seems to not realize how often she used the word magic.

>Ask if they'll be able to control Rufa from here on, and ask Poppy if she thinks her group will be able to forgive Ava and Ophi with this new information.

I lower my voice a bit.

Raven: "Do you know if Rufa... Is she... Can Ava control her? I mean, what happened with Azalea and all..."

Ophi's expression heavily indicates she gets where I'm going.

Ophi: "Oooh, I wouldn't worry too much about her. What she did was a bit extreme, but we were all under a lot of stress. Rufa is usually pretty good at listening to Ava. Ava sometimes express that she'd prefer if Rufa let herself be more "free", but I think we're all aware that a pacified Rufa is better for everyone... Most of what she usually do was also usually aimed at our enemies anyway."

Raven: "... So she is crazy? "

Ophi pauses as she looks down to her soup in an uncomfortable manner.

Ophi: "I didn't say it."

I look around to make sure Rufa didn't sneak behind me, but the coast is clear.
>>
No. 892408 ID: 40197f
File 153143845501.gif - (24.85KB , 800x600 , 016.gif )
892408

>The Phoenix's Alcove: Specifically where its located and how to get there. Is Soleil a person/historical figure or a place? Could she draft you a letter of introduction just in case you aren't able to travel there together?

I ask her for the location of the Phoenix Alcove and she tells me. It is a bit South South West of here in the city of Khane. I also ask her if she can gives me a letter of introduction.

Ophi: "Ah, well here, give me your hand."

I do so and she takes it in one hand, with the other she starts to conjure some magic. I get a bit nervous out of uncertainty, but once she makes contact with my hand, it does not feel like anything, so I think it's safe?

Ophi: "Ophi sent me."

The spell completes and she lets go of my hand. I look at it and some kind of mark lights up blue in my hand, but fades away.

Ophi: "There you go! You just have to say "Ophi sent me" and show your hand to someone there and if they know me, they'll help you! If the mark does not work, ask them to charge your hand with magic first."

As she says the phrase, the icon in my hand glows again.

Raven: "Huh! Thanks! By the way, who is Soleil?"

Ophi: "Soleil was the Giant Phoenix that started gathering the knowledge in the first place! At first he wanted to just have a collection to keep secure and protect, but he was a wise one, and knew that knowledge should be shared. After taking some measures to make sure his collection could be accessed, but not tampered with, he opened his collection to all the great minds of the land... Even the bad ones. Though he never said no one wouldn't be monitored, heh. Anyway, Soleil was slain a long time ago. A shame, what I wouldn't do to be able to talk to him. The idea of a perpetually immortal being being taken away from us twists the dagger so, ohh... Now the archives are kept by the Sun Mages. You should be able to spot them with the fancy orange robes. Most of them are Avian too!"

>Sigourney the Worm and Emerald's Shade

I give a description of both characters I encountered in the purple haze.

Ophi: "Mmmh, I'm sorry. Neither rings any bell for me, though I was never strong in the people side of magic. But I do know someone at the Phoenix's Alcove that will know. If not, they can find out. Their name is Bolin."

Raven: "Ah, thanks for the tip."

>Before you go back up, have you talked to the others that you rescued from the place inside the portal about how much they can remember about it?

I did talk to some already while the food was being prepared. On that topic, everyone except Emerald seems to remember the event within the portal from the point I removed the tendrils around their head. Though they described it as remembering it like it was a dream or a nightmare. I seem to be the one that remembers the event the most vividly. well as vivid as I it can with all the haze.

Raven: "Well, thanks for the talk. Enjoy your soup."

Ophi: "I will."

I walk over to the Bees at the stairs, though I stop for a second.
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No. 892409 ID: 40197f
File 153143846028.gif - (31.59KB , 800x600 , 017.gif )
892409

>ask Poppy if she thinks her group will be able to forgive Ava and Ophi with this new information.

Raven: "Do you think you and your sisters can forgive Ava and Ophi?"

Poppy looks over to Ophi and scans the Impala and the Mammoth, then to me.

Poppy: "That's really up to Calla."

Ophi looks down, showing an air or disappointment. Poppy shows disinterest as she looks at her own soup.

Poppy: "But... I understand." Ophi looks back up in genuine surprise. "I mean, I was there with you guys, in all that purple and the shields around us. I'd have to be in pretty strong denial to assume nothing was up. It just feels.. weird, is all."

She takes a gulp of soup, as Ophi show a glimpse of a relieved smile. Marigold looks like she's trying to stop herself from hugging everyone present. I continue up the stairs.
>>
No. 892410 ID: 40197f
File 153143846541.gif - (38.08KB , 800x600 , 018.gif )
892410

>Well you can read the journal while traveling probably, but it would help to flip through it for more evidence on how people get their minds taken over by the demon

I walk over to this green table thing and set my soup down. It's almost empty so I should finish it. With this little soup left, it'll go cold faster than a full bowl. I take out the journal and try to scan the last couple of pages quickly, which is challenging since the page feels fragile. Unfortunately, this journal is very light on actual research detail. And the last couple of pages were made before... something happened. Merchel, the writer, didn't really come back to update this journal after whatever happened. So any info about the aftermath isn't found in this.

I pocket the journal again and finish my bowl of soup.

>Let's cement our social connections first. Just make a quick round to double check on everybody and see if they're doing alright or need anything...
>I think we need to inform Ava of the demonic influence thing so she breaks out of her funk a bit, and then ask everyone what they plan to do next. Will their group stick together? Will Rip travel with anyone?
>Lets go check up on the others, especially Lucy since she seemed to be acting pretty self conscious when we left to go down stairs.

I start with Ava and Rufa.

Raven: "Hey, Ava." She slowly looks up to me. I mean she's tall even sitting on this box so she's still looking down at me, but... anyway. "Feeling fine? You seem lost in thoughts."

Rufa: "What are you trying to do?"

I look to Rufa and back to Ava, a bit taken by surprise.

Ava: "It's ok Rufa, we're leaving soon, just hold on 'til then." Rufa seems a bit annoyed but chooses not to follow up. Ava turns her head back to me. "... Things have been a bit... uncertain, lately."

Raven: "I could maybe help make sense of it. I've been talking to Ophi and we've determined that the Demon of the Portal did indeed have an influence to some of the people around it. Particularly, those who come into contact with the portal. Ophi describes it as that period of time being nonsensical to her."

Ava looks at me for a moment.

Ava: "That... does indeed make sense to some of it. I was suspecting it, but I wasn't sure. Though if that's what Ophi says, I know I can trust that assessment."

Raven: "That's good! While we're at it, can I ask you what your plans are now?"

Ava squints at me.

Ava: "I'm sorry Raven, but I'd rather not divulge that. Rufa and I are leaving once we're done eating and I'm leaving it at that."

Ah, so much for that. I move to Calla and Aster.
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No. 892411 ID: 40197f
File 153143847071.gif - (35.45KB , 800x600 , 019.gif )
892411

Raven: "Hey, how are you two going?"

Aster shrugs and make the most faint sound. I'll assume it was an "I'm ok" kind of sound.

Calla: "Shook from everything that happened, but hopefully nothing we can't handle."

Raven: "Hopefully, yeah. What are you and your sisters planning to do now?"

Calla, makes a small glance over her shoulder then lowers her voice.

Calla: "I currently don't have our recent payment on me, what we saved when working with Ava. It's stashed somewhere, so I need to get it." Her voice gradually raises back in volume. "It should be enough to turn in to Guardian Bee headquarters and basically allow us to effectively retire from hired work. So it's up to anyone and what they want to do. I was thinking sticking close to our kingdom and continue work as a guard, maybe. I think occupying myself with combat work would be good enough... Though I might end up getting mostly lazy as a guard. I don't know exactly what I'll do I guess."

We both look to Aster. There a pause as she figures out we're expecting her to contribute.

Aster: "Oh, I dunno. If I can find something light and relaxing to do, I guess that's what I'll do."

Calla: "I just mentioned how lazy being a guard can be. Sounds like something you'd enjoy more."

Aster: "Ugh, no. Then you also have to act all disciplined to some angry gal on power trips. Not worth it."

Calla: "Aster, you really shouldn't succumb to laziness like that. You have to do something."

Aster: "We'll see."

Raven: "So that's where you'll all go at first?"

Calla: "No, I think it's safe enough that I can go collect alone."

If I was serious before about recruiting one of the bees for our party, then I guess they are free right now. Well, every bees except for Calla. I thank them both and move to Rip and Azalea. I'm sure his "game" can withstand outside interference. What kind of "game" would it be otherwise?!
>>
No. 892412 ID: 40197f
File 153143847461.gif - (42.11KB , 800x600 , 020.gif )
892412

Raven: "Hey, how are you both doing?"

Azalea: "Oh, hi Raven! I think we're doing fine?"

Rip: "Yes. I feel I missed something. Gap in memory. But it's fine."

Raven: "Yeah it did look like you were out of it for most of it. But Azalea, things are really fine? After what happened?"

Azalea: "Oh! Don't worry! It was bumpy ride but I'm just mostly glad it's all over."

Raven: "Yeah, me too, heh. So what are you two going to do now? Calla said you can do what you want now?"

Azalea: "Ah yeah! I'll be honest, I thought about returning home and maybe work at a flower shop, but I guess I have options."

She looks over to Rip.

Rip: "Not sure what I'll do."

Raven: "You mentioned going someplace before right? Is that still on?"

Rip: "Ah, yes. Smoothcrest."

Azalea: "Oh! I heard of that! Sounds like a pretty good place to go after all that happened!"

Raven: "Our group was gonna go to the Phoenix Alcove for some answers about what has happened... So I take it that you wouldn't travel with us after all, huh?"

Rip doesn't respond right away. Azalea stays silent.

Rip: "... I... 'm not sure."

Azalea: "You need more time to think about it?"

Rip doesn't respond.
>>
No. 892420 ID: b1b4f3

>>892412
Encourage Rip to make some long term friends.

>>892411
>recruit a bee
I'm all for it, but won't they expect you to pay them? Well, maybe you can just group up to travel to the library, and they can find their retirement plan there. Though I guess you'd continue adventuring after this, so if any are interested in that sort of lifestyle they could get their pay via their share of the loot.
Hmm, didn't one of them flirt with you a bit, earlier on?
>>
No. 892487 ID: 4f84b7

>>892420
Don't think so. Marigold was friendly, but that was it. Aster seems like she's hanging it up entirely, Calla needs to go get paid, Azalea is likely sticking with Rip...Marigold is probably our best option. Already friends with most of us. Poppy is also an option, but might chafe with Ophi.

I'd say ask Marigold. Aside from that...

Not much left here for us. We finish eating, and it's time for us to hit that old dusty (sandy) trail.
>>
No. 892489 ID: b38f01

Well, Smoothcrest isn't going anywhere, Rip. Maybe you could learn something at the library? At the very least, you could show off to the bees if they come with~
>>
No. 892491 ID: ba56e6

>>892420
>I'm all for it, but won't they expect you to pay them?
I think Calla said their pay from this job frees them up from whatever their contract was.

>Hmm, didn't one of them flirt with you a bit, earlier on?
I think that was Aster, the lazy one.

>>892412
Recommend that Rip shouldn't be afraid of letting people get close. As long as they're the right people, of course. With a not-so-subtle nod and wink towards Azalea.


I think if we're gonna recruit a bee...

Marigold is super nice, but I think she's too nice for adventuring and fighting. I think she'd be happier (and safer) doing more peaceful work.

Aster sounds like she's had more excitement than she bargained for already. Coaxing her to come along might not be hard, but I'm not sure how reliable she is.

Azalea should be going with Rip, of course.

Calla has business elsewhere, but maybe we can meet up with her later if she wants.

I'd recommend asking Poppy. She's a fiery one, but not terribly unreasonable, and seems loyal to boot. Good company to have on the road into the unknown.
>>
No. 892500 ID: ff0134

It’s fine if he doesn’t come, but if we ever find ourselves in the area then we need to meet up and hang out for a bit..
That being said i would still like it if he joined our merry adventure crew.
>>
No. 892521 ID: b1b4f3

>>892491
Hmm nope it was Azalea. Who just seems to be flirty in general, not especially attached to Raven, if what she's doing with Rip is any indication.
>>
No. 892921 ID: 15a025

You could always go to Smoothcrest afterwards.

I wouldn't exactly blame Rip for not wanting to come with though. Emerald did just try and kill him to summon demons after all.
>>
No. 895496 ID: a363ac

>>892412
let them know there is a bed upstairs if they want to go sleep on it... together... alone.
>>
No. 896312 ID: 40197f
File 153367315284.gif - (44.08KB , 800x600 , 021.gif )
896312

>Marigold is probably our best option. Already friends with most of us. Poppy is also an option, but might chafe with Ophi. I'd say ask Marigold.
>I'd recommend asking Poppy. She's a fiery one, but not terribly unreasonable, and seems loyal to boot. Good company to have on the road into the unknown. [+ rundown of each bees]

Any bee would be a good option to ask, though they all have their ups and down. Seemingly, Marigold and Poppy might be the best ones to ask. Though I wonder how Marigold would fare. She seems to be a big pacifist, but I also know that she is trained, just liked all the others. She just chooses not to hurt others. We could always get her equipped with something that don't slice foes. Maybe something that can knock them unconscious?

Poppy seems to be the best option if I want someone to be very useful. I can also assume that Azalea will tag along with Rip, meaning that convincing Rip to tag along would result in 2 bees travelling with us! I can still think on it a bit more...


>Encourage Rip to make some long term friends.
>Well, Smoothcrest isn't going anywhere, Rip. Maybe you could learn something at the library? At the very least, you could show off to the bees if they come with~
>Recommend that Rip shouldn't be afraid of letting people get close. As long as they're the right people, of course. With a not-so-subtle nod and wink towards Azalea.
>It’s fine if he doesn’t come, but if we ever find ourselves in the area then we need to meet up and hang out for a bit... That being said i would still like it if he joined our merry adventure crew.
>You could always go to Smoothcrest afterwards. I wouldn't exactly blame Rip for not wanting to come with though. Emerald did just try and kill him to summon demons after all.

I lower my voice a bit.

Raven: "...I can understand if you'd want to avoid Emerald for some time..."

Rip: "Oddly, not that."

I move closer to Rip, now standing in front of both of them, but my attention is mainly on Rip.

Raven: "Well... I think you should try being more open to make long term friends then. Especially if they are the right people, isn't that right Azalea? Don't be afraid to let people get close to you."

She responds gently.

Azalea: "Yeah!... It's good to talk to and be around others. We just met but... we do want to be friends with you, Rip."

Rip: "Mmh. Not used to this, I guess." He shrugs. "I think about it."

Raven: "Seriously though. It's up to you where you want to go, but I would really like it if you'd join us. We like you around! And we can always go to Smoothcrest afterward? Though if you go there first, I do want us to meet again."

Rip: "Perhaps. I do want to go soon. Long time since last time..."

Azalea gets up.

Azalea: "Yeah, think on it! But you better make the right decision!"

She winks at Rip as he give her a small smile. Azalea then head to talk to Calla and Aster.
>>
No. 896313 ID: 40197f
File 153367315609.gif - (18.44KB , 800x600 , 022.gif )
896313

>Now would be a perfect time to collect on your fuzzy abs quota from Lucy.
>Yeah, we should talk to Lucy.

With the stairs cleared, I turn to Lucy.

Raven: "Now! Lucy! I'd like to talk to you. Can you come with me upstairs?"

Lucy: "Wh-? Oh! Uhhh, yeah."

She puts her bowl on the floor next to her and then makes her way to me. Emerald does not react much, but do glance at the bowl. We walk passed a pensive Rip as we make our way to the floor above.

Once there, I lead Lucy deeper into the room, away from the stairs. Lucy seems to slow her pace as she move forward until she's next to Emerald's bed. She analyses it with a stern expression. Eventually, she looks to me.

Lucy: "So, what is it you want to talk about?"

Raven: "Well. I couldn't help but notice your stomach!" She tenses as her eyes widen. "You wouldn't mind if I take a look-see?"

She takes a moment with her same... shocked? expression. At this second I wonder if I might have ask for something out of line, but I remember her saying that she found her close stuffy. Surely she'd have no problem showing me her stomach? Or is there some kind of Minotaur etiquette I messed with somehow?! My mind just thinks of anything I could have done wrong, until she sighs.

Lucy: "Ah, so you noticed?"

Whu-? O-of course? There's a hint of hesitance in her movement.

Lucy: "I guess you had to know sooner or later..."

She slowly opens her cloak and move her axe out of the way and...
>>
No. 896314 ID: 40197f
File 153367316032.gif - (20.74KB , 800x600 , 023.gif )
896314

A purple mark is dyed across her stomach.

It looks similar to the marks Rufa is covered in. At least it's not as bad as Basant's arm... Lucy mouths like she keeps wanting to start saying something and giving up, like she did something wrong and can't talk her way out of it.
>>
No. 896316 ID: a363ac

>>896314
do you mind if I sing a song to your glorious abs?
>>
No. 896324 ID: b1b4f3

>>896314
Honestly that looks as good as it's going to get, based on what Basant's wound looks like after treatment. The song isn't healing magic IIRC, it just invigorates and dulls pain.
Ask if it hurts.
>>
No. 896333 ID: e7848c

Mhm. That's a shame, but we won't let this stop quota collection. Ask how it feels. Does it hurt if you touch it?
>>
No. 896341 ID: 91ee5f

>>896314
“That’s.....not what I was talking about. I never noticed that, I just wanted to look at your abs of steel!”

“So, do you want to talk about it? Or at least tell me how that happened?”
>>
No. 896353 ID: ba56e6

>>896314
Ask if it's stiff or in pain. Raven and Ophi were able to do a bit for Basant - and we're planning on going somewhere called Phoenix Alcove. If there's magic to clear up this gunk it may be there.
>>
No. 896419 ID: 87353e

>>896314
Hmm, I suspected she was acting nervous because she might be hiding a wound or some kinda mark.

Tell Lucy that its ok for her to talk to you about things like this she might be worried about or anything really. Even if she feels ashamed about it or is worried about you fussing over her, its fine.
You are friends, friends look out for and take care of each other no matter what, that's just what good friends do and you will hear her out any time.

Does it hurt or feel funny? Regardless, Tell her she did well to come out of it with just that, Rufa is pretty strong and she is covered in them, (even if its probably because she fights like a frothing berserker.)
If she's worried about that fact she got hit in the stomach, then maybe treat it as a learning experience rather then be ashamed. Maybe she could get a big ol' battle belt to guard her vitals the next time you visit a town with merchants?
>>
No. 896835 ID: 15a025

Fill her in on Phoenix Alcove and mention you'd like to have her come along.
>>
No. 898904 ID: 40197f
File 153516130157.gif - (24.06KB , 800x600 , 024.gif )
898904

>Ask if it hurts.
>Mhm. That's a shame, but we won't let this stop quota collection. Ask how it feels. Does it hurt if you touch it?
>“So, do you want to talk about it? Or at least tell me how that happened?”
>Ask if it's stiff or in pain. Raven and Ophi were able to do a bit for Basant - and we're planning on going somewhere called Phoenix Alcove. If there's magic to clear up this gunk it may be there.

I take a step in her direction to inspect this mark, but pause to ask.

Raven: "Oh, Lucy... Do you mind if I take a look at it?"

Lucy: "Y-you can."

I approach her as she puts her axe on Emerald's bed. I raise my hand up in the direction of this mark.

Raven: "Does it hurt?"

Lucy: "No. Not now."

Slowly I let my hand come into contact with her stomach, over the mark. I hate that my mind is split with the thoughts of Lucy's abs and analyzing this mark. I should focus on her well being... but her shape feels nice under my palm... I snap out of it and run my hand slowly across the mark.

Raven: "No pain?"

Lucy: "Still no. There's less feeling on that spot, if I run my finger across." She demonstrates so. "The area around it feels normal, but the purple spot feels... less. It used to have no feeling to it, but it changed since."

I look to her.

Raven: "Do you want to talk about what happened? How did it happen?"

Lucy: "I don't remember it clearly... Have you ever been so sick that, even awake, your memory of those days are just a haze? After we woke up, I couldn't remember what happened once you broke the portal with the sword. But once I saw this... I remembered... The wasp thing got to me. But it doesn't feel real. I can barely remember a full second of it happening." She looks down to her stomach. "I don't know what this means."

Raven: "Don't worry Lucy. After talking to Ophi, we've determined that the best course of action now is to go to the Phoenix's Alcove. There's a chance we can learn more about what happened here there. And I'm sure we can find something to help you with!"

Lucy smiles at me. I sure hope we'll find something, because I'd hate to fail her hopeful smile.

Lucy: "So uhhh... A fan of muscles? You're still feeling me up."

Huh? Oh yeah, look at that, my hand is still on her stomach and I realize I started to uh, grasps more... I quickly retreat my hand.
>>
No. 898905 ID: 40197f
File 153516130586.gif - (37.48KB , 800x600 , 025.gif )
898905

>do you mind if I sing a song to your glorious abs?
>Honestly that looks as good as it's going to get, based on what Basant's wound looks like after treatment. The song isn't healing magic IIRC, it just invigorates and dulls pain.
>“That’s.....not what I was talking about. I never noticed that, I just wanted to look at your abs of steel!”

Raven: "H-hey, are you implying that muscles are not a good thing?! I didn't even notice you had a mark before you showed it to me just now! I just wanted a look at your abs of s-steel!"

Whoops, I might be flubbing it.

Lucy: "Wh- you just wanted to see my stomach?"

She blushes a bit. I feel my face warm up too.

Raven: "Yeah, well that's the part that is easy to notice."

I give her a devious smile and try to wink at her, but it feels awkward. I never really understood how people make a good wink, maybe I should have moved my head more? I kinda turn away from her trying to think of a way to recover.
>>
No. 898906 ID: 40197f
File 153516130833.gif - (33.02KB , 800x600 , 026.gif )
898906

But after some seconds, I feels Strong Arms wrap around me and bringing me closer to the rest of Lucy's fluffy muscles.

Lucy: "Thank you... Thank you for caring. Not just this mark on my stomach, but what you've done since you've been here."

I hug her back. Usually I initiate hugs. But there's something nice about receiving a hug too. Probably helped with her words, there's a weird tension inside me the releases. I now realise that today has been an extremely straining day. I mean, I did get stabbed and all. It's healed, but still!

Raven: "Hey, no probleh..."

This is comfortable...
>>
No. 898907 ID: 40197f
File 153516131106.gif - (14.81KB , 800x600 , 027.gif )
898907

...
>>
No. 898908 ID: 40197f
File 153516131423.gif - (15.69KB , 800x600 , 028.gif )
898908

...

Huh. Where am I?
>>
No. 898909 ID: 40197f
File 153516131854.gif - (42.75KB , 800x600 , 029.gif )
898909

... Oh. I guess I fell asleep. I'm in Lucy's bed in the mountain?

I note that most of my clothes are off and seems to be folded at the side of the bed. Looking around, I see that some of the others are here. Lucy, Rip and Emerald. I guess the prison hole has no use for all it's sheets and pillows and can be used by all the new people in this area. The mounts also seems to be gone?

I can wait here for someone to wake up or get dressed and go somewhere. Maybe I can wake someone up?
>>
No. 898912 ID: a363ac

>>898909
hug Emerald and wait for everyone to wake up
>>
No. 898936 ID: 18016a

>>898912
Seconded
>>
No. 898937 ID: 18016a

>>898936
Maybe sing that song quietly as well.
>>
No. 898938 ID: b1b4f3

People are gonna get sick of that song if we sing it too much.

Emerald does seem to be having a bad dream, you can go gently wake her.
>>
No. 898959 ID: ba56e6

>>898909
Sit next to Emerald and sing a quiet lullaby, but try not to wake anybody. Looks like her dreams are being bad to her.
>>
No. 898971 ID: b38f01

How about you snuggle right up to Lucy and finish what you started.
>>
No. 899063 ID: 15a025

Emerald seems a little distraught. Wake her up and see if everything's alright?
>>
No. 899611 ID: 40197f
File 153565164097.gif - (21.86KB , 800x600 , 030.gif )
899611

>How about you snuggle right up to Lucy and finish what you started.

Mmmh... Whoops, just caught myself staring at Lucy... I...

Emerald: "Hnnng..."
>>
No. 899612 ID: 40197f
File 153565164457.gif - (24.59KB , 800x600 , 031.gif )
899612

>hug Emerald and wait for everyone to wake up
>Seconded. Maybe sing that song quietly as well.
>Emerald does seem to be having a bad dream, you can go gently wake her.
>Sit next to Emerald and sing a quiet lullaby, but try not to wake anybody. Looks like her dreams are being bad to her.
>Emerald seems a little distraught. Wake her up and see if everything's alright?

I look over the Emerald. Seems like she's not sleeping too well. I quietly make my way over to her. I think about singing the song again, but a combination of not wanting to wake the others and feeling like I'm singing too often, I decide to hum it. It might not have any tangible effects, but...

I'm not sure if I should try to comfort her or wake her up, so I approach with the intent of giving her a hug before I try to wake her. I put my hand gently on her shoulder and-
>>
No. 899613 ID: 40197f
File 153565165060.gif - (47.21KB , 800x600 , 032.gif )
899613

Emerald: "nnNNO! GO AWAY!!!"

*FWOOSH*

Aaaaugh! Emerald lets out some flurries of flames out, which burns me a little! She falls on the floor on the other side and tries to run away on all four.
>>
No. 899614 ID: 9c0ed3

Musta been some dream.

Don't pursue unless she tries leaving the cave. Perhaps say her name and that it was just a nightmare.
>>
No. 899615 ID: ba56e6

>>899613
Whoa there, it's just me, Raven! You were having a nightmare.
>>
No. 899639 ID: 87353e

>>899613
Oh nooo, it must have been some nightmare for her to immediately flee in a panic. She's probably still half awake, try to get her attention and calm her down with some soothing words of reassurance that it was just a bad dream and she's safe, its alright.

If Emerald calms down you can ask her to sit with you and see if she wants to talk about her dream, she might feel better if she talks about it.

It also looks like your singed spot is still smoking a bit, you might wanna lick you fingers and snuff it out. Maybe also collect Emerald's bedding and put it back on the bed for her so its not on the ground.
>>
No. 899646 ID: 8762bb

>>899613
Em, it's okay! Don't persue. She's got adrenaline in her veins. Tend to your burns.
>>
No. 899650 ID: 91ee5f

>>899613
I’m pretty sure that woke up everyone that was still sleeping.

Call out to Emerald and let her know that she’s ok. Only chase after her if she attempts to leave the room, so that you can stop her from hurting herself!
>>
No. 899712 ID: a363ac

>>899613
ok now sing the song is calming and I am pretty sure everyone just woke up. don't chase her down till she calms down let her remember where she is first
>>
No. 900006 ID: 15a025

Get Lucy up and have her help you calm down Emerald.
>>
No. 901208 ID: 40197f
File 153660237883.gif - (18.72KB , 800x600 , 033.gif )
901208

>Don't pursue unless she tries leaving the cave. Perhaps say her name and that it was just a nightmare.
>Whoa there, it's just me, Raven! You were having a nightmare.
>try to get her attention and calm her down with some soothing words of reassurance that it was just a bad dream and she's safe, its alright.
>Em, it's okay! Don't persue. She's got adrenaline in her veins.
>Call out to Emerald and let her know that she’s ok. Only chase after her if she attempts to leave the room, so that you can stop her from hurting herself!
>don't chase her down till she calms down let her remember where she is first

I stay in place for now.

Lucy: "Wuh-what's going on?"

Raven: "Em, it's okay!"

Lucy starts to get up in a confused and sleepy manner. Rip seems to already be up and ready sword drawn but relax his stance when pretty quickly once he sees nothing is happening around him.

Emerald continues her escape as she brings herself up on two feet, and I realise she's heading for the exit of the cave. I decide to start following her, but at a brisk pace, rather than a run.

Raven: "Emerald! Wait!"

Luckily she seems to freeze in place, but she still seems spooked as she peers down the cave hall that leads outside. After seconds she collapse back to the floor in the direction of the nearby wall and puts her back to it. She stares at me as I stand some meters away from her, trying to make my stance seem the least threatening as possible. Finally, her expression seems to indicate that she's realizing where she is, she looks around as she starts breathing again.

Raven: "It's okay, Emerald. It's just me, Raven! You were having a nightmare."

She lets out a sigh as she looks to the side, ashamed.

Emerald: "...whatever."
>>
No. 901209 ID: 40197f
File 153660238120.gif - (31.92KB , 800x600 , 034.gif )
901209

>If Emerald calms down you can ask her to sit with you and see if she wants to talk about her dream, she might feel better if she talks about it.

I approach her slowly.

Raven: "Do you want to talk about it? We can go sit and you ca-"

Emerald: "No! It was just dumb!"

She gets back up and goes to her bed, wiping her face. She grabs her pillow and sheet and goes back to bed, purposely facing away from anyone in the room...
>>
No. 901210 ID: 40197f
File 153660238480.gif - (28.16KB , 800x600 , 035.gif )
901210

>It also looks like your singed spot is still smoking a bit, you might wanna lick you fingers and snuff it out.
>Tend to your burns.

I'll admit I'm a bit taken aback. I lick my hand and press it against the burnt spot on my cheek. There's a light tsss sound. Agh, it also stings a bit. Lucy hurries to me and Rip seems unsure of what to do as he stands there holding his sheathed sword in one hand.

Lucy: "Are you ok?! Your face!"

Raven: "Yeah, don't worry. Emerald was having a nightmare but she doesn't want to tell me about it."

Lucy looks over to Emerald. I'm not sure what expression she has. A mix of worry and... disapproval? She yawns.

Lucy: "Well, if everything is ok... Slept well?"

Raven: "Oh, uhh, yeah. Sorry about falling asleep like that."

I look away a bit shy.

Lucy: "It's fine, everything that happen, it's good you got to sleep. Though I'd thought to let you know, Ava and Rufa are gone."

Raven: "They are?!"

Lucy: "Yes, I hope you don't mind, but Ava asked for her sword, so I looked through your things and found a sword hilt that she seemed to recognize. But dismissed it and made her way out. They took one of the mount and left while you were asleep."

She tilt her head slightly toward the exit, I look over and see that the mounts that previously occupied Lucy's room were moved into the hallway that leads outside. They are currently blocking the way. I'm guessing there one missing now.

Raven: "What about the rest?"

Lucy: "Some that claimed could handle the cold slept bellow, I gave them extra cover,though. The others slept in the prison. I set the ladder and left the door open so anyone can move in and out when they want." She looks past the mounts, at the light peeking through. "It should be morning now..."

I'm a bit groggy from just waking up, but I think the only thing left to do is ask Marigold or Poppy to join our group, prepare for the trip...then leave? Oh and ask Rip what his decision was.
>>
No. 901220 ID: b1a303

>>901210
Sounds about it. Let's wrap this up and get movin'.
>>
No. 901223 ID: b38f01

Thank Lucky for looking out for you. Maybe a quick hug. Try and scrounge up some breakfast and supplies for the trip. You probably won't be coming back here anytime soon.
>>
No. 901226 ID: b67388

I'd put my vote for Poppy.
>>
No. 901236 ID: a363ac

>>901210
open party invite to travel with you, everyone here is interesting and "good" people. its safer to travel in a group anyway.
>>
No. 901247 ID: 0b713f

>>901223
Did you mean Lucy?
>>
No. 901253 ID: 40197f

>>901247
Lucky Lucy. =P
>>
No. 901342 ID: b67388

>>901236
While this would definitely be in character tons and tons of party members would make it harder on Jiggy for multiple reasons.
>>
No. 902793 ID: 40197f
File 153764188746.gif - (24.44KB , 800x600 , 036.gif )
902793

>Thank Lucy for looking out for you. Maybe a quick hug.

I hug her and she hugs back.

Raven: "Thank you for looking out for me."

Lucy: "It was no problem."

We let go and she's softly smiling.

>I'd put my vote for Poppy.
>open party invite to travel with you, everyone here is interesting and "good" people. its safer to travel in a group anyway.

Mmmh. I guess I could do that. I feel like Poppy is the best option, but maybe it's better if I just ask all the bees if they want to come with. Travelling as a group would be safer.

Raven: "Have everyone slept enough? I'd want to ask them something."

Lucy: "I would think so, but it might be better if we let them wake up on their own anyway."

>Sounds about it. Let's wrap this up and get movin'.
>Try and scrounge up some breakfast and supplies for the trip. You probably won't be coming back here anytime soon.

Raven: "Yeah, you're right. We could always prepare for the trip through the desert while we wait."

Lucy: "Oh, sure! I was doing so yesterday before we got interrupted."
>>
No. 902794 ID: 40197f
File 153764189254.gif - (33.71KB , 800x600 , 037.gif )
902794

Lucy leads me to Emeralds lab again... where we find out that I took all the garden food during the jumble. So I lead her to where we found Ava after the jumble since it was the Base room during. We gather all the food necessary and bring it to Lucy's room. The others have started to wake up when we arrive. We also fill all the bottles we have with water from the source under Lucy's room. Making my own bottle full again. We then load up the mounts with all the supplies. Using whatever fabric that are around, I make pouches and even mount sheathes for the bees to put their sword in while riding. It's not ideal for weapons, but should hold for the trip.
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No. 902795 ID: 40197f
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Once everything is set up and everyone is awake, I tell them about them joining me.

Raven: "... It's an open invitation for anyone of you who wants to travel with us! The more people we have to travel with, the safer it'll be!"

Calla: "Well, I already said why I can't really join. But who knows, if we cross path afterward, maybe it would be nice to occupy myself with travels. We'll see."

Marigold: "I don't mind! Travelling is fun!"

Aster: "I think I'll pass. Sounds like more work than I want to deal with."

Marigold: "Aww, Aster! This isn't work! You might be less sour if you travel with leisure!"

Aster: "I doubt it. And don't call me sour."

Marigold: "Come on, Aster..."

Calla: "I agree with Marigold, Aster. Travels might be more suited for you. If you go home, you can't just loaf around. You'll need to busy yourself with work."

Aster: "You know, if you imply that going home requires me to work, maybe travelling with this group is the better option. Alright, I'll go too."

Marigold: "Yay! We stay together!"

Aster can't help herself to show a smile in the face of a cheerful Marigold. She attempt to hide her smile by looking away, but with minimal result.

Azalea: "I'm already travelling with Rip. I'm all set." Her and Rip exchange pleasant smiles at each other. Though Azalea's expression is more pronounced as usual.

Raven: "Speaking of which, Rip... Did you decide what you're doing?"

Rip: "... Can travel with you. But like you said, Smoothcrest after would be nice."

Raven: "Great!"
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I turn to Poppy, which I just remembered because that is many similar looking bees to keep track of.

Raven: "What about you?"

Poppy seems a bit surprised.

Poppy: "You want me to come with you...?" Her expression becomes more stern. "I have to admit, I assume there was friction between us. How we met and all that."

Raven: "Did you forget the part where you helped kick butt? I was kinda hoping you'd join since you'd be very helpful if anything happens."

She fights a proud smile.

Poppy: "Oh well, if you mean it, I guess I don't mind offering my expertise further."

Calla: "Don't let it go to your head now."

Wow, I recruited all the bees. Well, except Calla. Hopefully a big group is a good thing!

>>901342
I'm probably crazy, lol.
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No. 902797 ID: 40197f
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With one mount gone, I learn that there is 6 mount available. But also a cart? Apparently Ava rode it with Basant pulling it. It survived the sand storm and now Basant will be pulling Ophi this time. Some of us will have to ride with another. Calla gets her own mount since she's heading in a different way. Both Emerald and Poppy rides alone, though Marigold, riding with Aster, says it'll be no problem for her to jump from mount to mount to keep lonesome riders company, mostly Poppy when Emerald shows disinterest in the idea. Rip and Azalea will obviously ride together. Leaving the last mount for me and Lucy. Not sure which option is better though. Holding onto Lucy or have her hold me... Anyway, snapping out of it!

As everyone gets mounted up, I approach Calla.

Raven: "Hey."

Calla: "I think you mean farewell, or something similar."

Raven: "Heh. I just wanted to properly say bye, but also thank you for helping with everything. But! Also, sorry again for hurting some of your sisters."

Calla: "It's all fine, Raven. I know things got out of hands and you probably had to trust your guts. Couldn't have been easy on you either."

I feel warm inside. I go for a hug and she brings me in.

Calla: "Don't worry about it."

We let go and she addresses her sisters.

Calla: "You all behave yourselves, alright?!"

Their responses is to start making their way to Calla. I feel her grab one of my hand and bring me closer.

Calla: "... Look after them ok? Keep them safe."

I give her a firm nod and a confident smile.

Raven: "As if there was any other option."
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The other bees reaches us as Calla let go of my hand and I take a step back. The sisters group hug Calla as they all say their farewell to each other. Telling each other that they have to get together as soon as possible, how they'll miss each other.
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No. 902799 ID: 40197f
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Once plentiful hugs were had, they allow Calla to climb on top of the big reptile. She waves one last time and then have her mount start the trip, heading South. Marigold and Azalea continues the farewell as Calla splits from her sisters.
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No. 902800 ID: 40197f
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Everyone returns to their own mount. As I reach Lucy, she's already aboard our mount. She extends a hand to help me up. When I take it, she gives me a confident smile...
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No. 902801 ID: 40197f
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She then pulls me up effortlessly in front of her. With her arms around me, she holds the reins. Ok, let sit this way. This is nice.
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No. 902802 ID: 40197f
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902802

Lucy speaks in a tone that is both filled with catharsis and a tiny hint of pain.

Lucy: "Let's get the hell out of here."

She then makes the mount move forward, as we lead the pack North East.

---

Portal Chapter End

Thank you for reading! =D

https://tgchan.org/wiki/2_Frames_Quest
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No. 902804 ID: b1b4f3

>>902802
Yay!
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No. 902823 ID: 91ee5f

>>902801
If you want to lean back during the ride, there are 2 conveniently located “pillows” behind your head for you to lean on!

>>902802
Here we go!
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No. 902837 ID: 15a025

A wonderful journey!
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No. 902943 ID: 87353e

>>902802
Hooray! Onward to new adventures with new friends!


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