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 No.715158[View All]

Last time on PirateQuest…

After leaving behind the wreckage of the Lilliput, the party continued onward on their journey to Agyl Island, passing a journey of four days in relatively peaceful weather. That is, until they reached the waters just outside the island's perimeter. There, circling the island, they beheld a colossal storm, with dark and tumultuous clouds that surged high into the sky. As the party attempted to reach the island, they were beset by a cohort of Squall-beasts, monsters made of clouds that resembled creatures like seagulls, tigers, elephants and dragons.

The party braved the assault as their two ships flew onward to Agyl, but the beasts proved powerful, causing severe damage to all the crew with even just a scrap of the lightning that sparked and flew off their bodies. All seemed to be going well, until the final push to make it to the eye of the storm, the patch of clear sky above Agyl Island, into which no Squall-beast dared to fly. A tidal wave rose up, spurred on by the Squall-beasts' charge, and propelled the ships forward, nearly knocking them stern over bow. Most held on to the ratlines and railings, but Cloud was launched from the deck, and collided head-on with the foremast. With a sickening crunch, he flew head-first into one of the crossbeams, which drove a loose nail partway into his eye. By a miracle, the wound was not fatal, but despite Alder's best efforts to restore his severely shattered skull, his eye was beyond saving.

Neither Alder, Godot nor Sickly Sweet had the equipment to restore Cloud's vision. So now, as the party docks into Agyl Island, the crews are in a rush to find a doctor who might be able to fix his annihilated eye.
1000 posts and 2 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.

 No.720345

>>720343
Cloud chuckles weakly as the cops joke about booking a shrimp. He takes his bag, opening it up and seeing the hefty amount of bits.
"Well there's a nice start for my eye."
He says, despite 90 of them vanishing off because of his genie deal. He tucks the coins away, waiting for the cops to take hte shrimp so he can get his jar back.

 No.720346

>>720344
"A meal sounds pretty good about now. Maybe something light though."

 No.720347

>>720343
She doesn't look impressed. "You have proven yourself a manipulative weasel. Why would we ever make an ally of you?"

She takes the bits with a nod of thanks. "What will you do with him?" she asks casually, ignoring Shrimp's desperation.

 No.720348

>>720343
"Why didn't you plan out what would happen if you got caught? Did it just never cross your mind?" he asks, taking the gold bag with a confused look
"I-I didn't do much, though."

 No.720349

>>720344
"Sorry, I already tried getting her a career as a singer," Chiu says to Shrimp.
"Damn! I'll have to hire someone else to compose my Edda," Shrimp mutters.

>>720348
"…Admittedly, I was so confident in my abilities and charisma that I really didn't think it'd be a possibility. In hindsight, perhaps that was not the best move."

>>720347
Shrimp squirms a little, but as you push him, his determination hardens. "You think everyone on this ocean doesn't have their price? If there's anything I've ever seen proven one time or another, there's no such thing as an absolute loyalty, an absolute trust, an absolute bond. Everything has its breaking point. Everyone will trade away an ally for the right cause. At least with me, you know what you're getting up front. Would you prefer that, or having the ground pulled out underneath you by someone you came to trust who had been pushed past their breaking point!?

"We'll keep him here in the Gaol until we can schedule him for a trial," the Ant Cop says. "You might not know this, since you're from elsewhere, but it's the victims, or their next of kin, who get to determine the punishment in most cases. They could even forgive him if they wanted. But I doubt that'll be the case," he says as he looks back at the remains of Shrimp's army. Various medics come out from the barracks' many halls, escorting them into the halls, presumably to a medical wing. "Could be a year, could be a decade, could even be death. They even get to determine the method, in the latter case."

"Y-y-you'll regret this…" Shrimp mutters. A faint hum of a metallic sheen starts to flicker across him weakly.

>>720344
>>720345
>>720347
"Agreed, we've earned it," Squatz says. "We eating on the ship or trying something local?"
"Bee Holder usually likes to take supper as a crew," Cane says. "But, we'd be remiss to avoid the local cuisine."
"We should stop by the ship first for anyone who wants to drop off their stuff," Chiu says. "And Cloud will be eating on the ship. Maybe chained to the mizzenmast."

 No.720350

>>720346
"Go big or go home, I always say," she says with a big grin.

>>720349
"Oh man, don't give so many suggestions! Now I'm not gonna know what to have!" At this dilemma, her stomach growls louder.

 No.720351

>>720350
"Heh, can't really argue with that, can I?"

>>720349
"I'm fine either way, as long as we get something good."
Cloud says, not caring.

"I've been on that mast more than enough today. Rather be chained to a bed so I can sleep after all these beatings I've taken."
He comments to Chiu.

 No.720352

>>720349
"P-Perhaps, yes. I would say consider it next time, but… e-ehm, I do not know if that will happen."

 No.720353

>>720349
She rolls her eyes. "Spare me your speeches. We could never be allies. You would join forces with us, then turn on us at the first chance you get. And besides. You talk too much."

"A fitting punishment," she nods. She plucks Shrimp out of the bottle and plops him on the bench unceremoniously. "Do with him what you will. He is out of our hair, and that is all that matters to me." She looks down at him. "Let me guess. We'll pay for this as well? I would rather say we got paid for this. If we ever meet again, it will be too soon." With that, she turns tail to leave the barracks with her companions.

>>720349
>>720350
"I must aver I am rather peckish myself. I would like to try something local, but I have a feeling the cuisine here is far from appetizing."

 No.720354

>>720353
>>720351
>>720352
Shrimp shivers profusely as a result of hearing that his fate will be in the hands of those whom he tried to turn into his personal army. But, after Alder speaks, he looks up at you, a glint of something in his eye… a look of vague, scheming hope. "Next time…? Y-yes, for next time. I suspect there will be plenty of those to look forward to in the future… and plenty of notes to take before then. Plenty of plans to hat–"

After Thessaly dumps him out, the first Cop scoops him up, and then Rodriguez, another Ant Cop, comes out with a small aquarium carried on his back. The first Cop dumps Shrimp into the aquarium, then seals the case. "Alright, if there's nothing else you folks need help with, hit the bricks. We're busy guys here."

He flags down a passing assistant, holding out his nectar mug. "Refill this."

>>720351
Chiu clears her throat loudly and looks off to the side, failing to pretend to have completely missed your comment about being chained to the bed.

>>720350
>>720351
>>720352
>>720353
"From what I've eaten so far, It's very spicy, and it's hard to find anything to drink that isn't alcoholic," Cane Shuga says. "But there's plenty of food carts rolling around here. Grills, seafood, sushi, barbecue, stir fry, boiled…"
"The trouble is that most if it's meat," Squatz says. "Most of the pony stuff is pretty limited, but I did see a place that had some killer seaweed wraps."
"Why don't we go see what the other crew wants?" Granny offers. "Surely Cutlass is done with whatever she was doin' earlier, no?"

 No.720355

Most of the pony-friendly stuff*

 No.720356

>>720354
"Glad that's over with."
Cloud comments as they hand the shrimp over and move on to food. As they bring up it's mostly spice and meat, Cloud sticks out his tongue in disgust.
"You'd think an island of bugs would have more fruit or something. Let's look around for something we can stomach."
He suggests.

>>720353
"Can I have my jar?"
Cloud asks Thessaly after she dumps the shrimp out ungracefully.

 No.720357

>>720354
Alder shakes his head a little and shrugs, before following the others out and cocking his head to the side "Going to see the others would be a good idea, I think. It sounded like everyone had wrapped up."

 No.720358

>>720353
"Oh no. I got the sushi here! The fish look odd, but they're super super tasty!"

>>720354
Cerulean nods happily and awaits everyone else's decision as well.

 No.720359

>>720354
She curls her lip a little as Shrimp keeps scheming even as he's being imprisoned. "We will be gone, then," she nods. "Thank you for your time."

-

"I have no particular aversion to meat," she states, "but I understand that others do. Let us see what the rest of the crew would like first."

>>720356
"No," she answers as she passes Cloud the jar.

 No.720360

>>720356
"While I was snooping around, I even heard there was a problem with cannibalism that they only recently got stamped out," Squatz says.

>>720357
>>720358
>>720356
>>720359
Deciding to seek out Cutlass and company, you return to the docks with your small group. Strangely, though, as you cross town and navigate the streets toward the docks, there seem to be fewer people about, but you don't see any members of the Hidden Dagger around. Not even the mooks and new recruits she picked up from Kaco Island, nor even any members of the Gates of Justice.

In short order, when you get back to the two spaces on the docks where you arrived this morning, you see that the Hidden Dagger is completely gone. The Beesting sits in the dock, just where it was earlier. "Oh… that's… a little odd," Squatz says.
"She say anything about where she was going?" Sweet says.
"Not a word, she just left in a hurry, something about dealing with something as Captain," Chiu adds.
Granny purses her lips.
"Well, what do you want to do?" Cane Shuga asks you. "I say we just get our dinner, forget her."

 No.720361

>>720359
"Thanks," Cloud says as Thessaly hands over the jar, "If you ever need to send something somewhere, I'll let ya use it again."


>>720360
"Really? …I'm really glad I kept my eye from that doctor."

>>720360
Cloud stands in silence as they reach the dock.
"…Okay, I'm missing an eye, but I'm not blind. Did Cutlass just ditch us?"
He asks.
"Guess I'm free of that debt then. Let's go eat."

 No.720362

>>720360
She frowns. "She just… abandoned us? Without so much as a hint? This bodes ill."

She looks over to Shuga, clearly concerned about the development. "Just one moment. I feel like we ought to get to the bottom of this." She boards the Beesting and asks around to see if anyone knows what the hell happened.
[1d10] if needed

Roll #1 3 = 3

 No.720363

>>720361
"I'm sure she's fine. I mean, she went away from us before and reunited, so she's done it before. I'm sure she's doing just fine." She boards the Beesting to get ready for a massive dinner.

 No.720364

>>720360
>>720361
>>720362
"That is rather peculiar- Miss Thessaly, you were crew on her ship, yes? I suppose whatever it was, it must have been important… a-anywho. We should get some food, yes?"

 No.720365

>>720361
>>720362
>>720363
>>720364
As Thessaly starts to look around for various other members of the Beesting, you all see that various crewmembers are actually all starting to gather toward the ship. Almost all of them are carrying some kind of tray of food, some people even carrying multiple. It looks like they're preparing a potluck from what they bought at the local restaurants. If you prefer, you could eat aboard there, or go to a sit-down place somewhere inland. With the great diversity of dishes being brought here, it looks like either option is viable as far as food choice is concerned: There's various grilled fish and fowl, sauteed crab, enchiladas, taco bowls, menudo, vegetable chile, and barbecue with every color of salsa imaginable. The vegetarian options appear a bit limited, but there are fried vegetable platters and lots of peculiar seaweed soups as well.

Thessaly flags down a few mooks from the Beesting and questions them, but they haven't seen hide or hair of Cutlass in a good while. Paraiba, who passes by and overhears a snippet of the conversation, shrugs. "Why don't you just call her on the Conch?"
"When was the last time you saw her?" Sweet asks Paraiba.
"Oh, hard to say… a few hours ago, maybe. That was the last time I saw their ship at the dock. If they left, I must've missed them. Ships have been coming in and out of port ever since that storm subsided."

>If you'd like to eat with an NPC, you may do so as long as they do not belong to Cutlass' crew; every one of them is mysteriously absent. Consider this free time to relax and unwind after the day's events. It may last however long you wish.

 No.720366

>>720365
"Guess it's her loss then."
Cloud comments as Paraiba mentions Cutlass left a while ago.

As the Beesting crew gathers with food, Cloud let's Chiu choose a place for them to sit outside to eat, while he grabs food for them. A fried veggie platter, some vegetarian chili, and then some taco bowls, but the shells and the vegetables, using the chili to substitute the meat.

 No.720367

>>720365
>>720366
And a nice rainbow of salsa options.

 No.720368

>>720365
Thessaly seems thoroughly vexed by Cutlass' disappearance, stepping away from the bustle of the ship and trying to call her up.

 No.720369

>>720365
>Splendid, if she's around! They could stick down in the mess hall, or go up somewhere a little more open!

"At the least, she's sure to show back up."

 No.720370

>>720365
Cerulean grabs a bit of everything. Even the vegetarian options! She must be especially hungry to be grabbing those. She takes a seat with Squatz.
"Well, not quite the monster hunt we were expecting, but was still pretty neat, huh?"

 No.720371

>>720368
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r86SoFC-0ZE

You attempt to call Cutlass up on the Conch, but there is no response, only the quiet sound of waves that one normally hears through the Conch when not in a call. Any and all attempts at reaching other members of the Hidden Dagger, even Miss Sunshine, Ossie, Sparkler, Colobok, Droplet – Hell, even Make Believe or any of the mooks, not a single one of them picks up.

Just as you exhaust the last call, and are about to hang up, suddenly, someone picks up. "Hellooo~?" asks a high, posh voice, though certainly male, and with a slow reverberation that gives it a certain gravity.

>>720366
>>720369
>>720370
After grabbing food to your hearts' content, Splendid meets up with Alder, carrying a whole box of beer bottles on one shoulder, and she reaches out to take Alder with her other arm, but at the last second, awkwardly stops, then punches him on the shoulder, as if they were old chums. But, the punch is a bit too painful, leaving him with a dead arm. She's clearly drunk.

In any case, she, Chiu and Squatz end up sitting in a semi-circle with you three, passing out their food, drinks and dip in a kind of a communal sharing method. Chiu noticably avoids the drinks, sticking to her own canteen.

>>720370
"I was looking forward to turning a profit on that bird on the Black Market, but the rest of my takings for today should do," Squatz says, patting his pockets. "Monster hunting really is fun, once in a while. Maybe I'll go clean…"

>>720369
"Who's sure to show back up?" Splendid asks, scratching her head as she opens a bottle on her beak.

 No.720372

>>720371
She grows visibly more distressed as no one answers the phone, shifting in place uncomfortably, her eyes darting around as if to catch someone playing a prank on her. She goes to hang up, but then hears the unfamiliar voice. She doesn't reply at first, taking a moment to steady herself. "…..Who is this?" she demands. "Where is the Hidden Dagger?"

 No.720373

>>720371
Cloud sits down, sidling up next to Chiu as the food goes around. He pours a good amount of salsa into his makeshift veggie taco bowl, giving it a taste bite.
"Man, today was exhausting."
He says in relief as they relax and chow down. He looks over the drinks, but with his headache, he opts for some water to not push his body any worse.

 No.720374

>>720371
Alder lets out a startled squawk as the larger griffon socks him on the shoulder, and he jumps a little before turning to look at her. "O-Oh! Hello, Splendid! I see you found a way to occupy your time, then. It seems like our friend Cutlass has disappeared, but we aren't sure where to… a-anywho. Have you eaten any?"

 No.720375

>>720372
"Oh, my name is Philip the Gentlecolt," the voice answers after a slow, languid pause. "As for this Hidden Dagger, they're… occupied. May I ask who's calling?"

Even over the line, the voice exudes a kind of real presence, as if the speaker were sitting somewhere near you.

 No.720376

>>720371
Seeing the drinks passed around, Cerulean takes one happily as she lets her stomach splurge.
"Oh, maybe another time. I mean, not every monster is gonna be mind controlled by some crazed guy transformed into a shrimp." She eats a good amount before talking again.
"So don't go clean yet. We juuust might be able to do something more piratey next time."

 No.720377

>>720373
Even though Chiu's tucking in to a bowl of potato and vegetable menudo, she's rather quiet, and forlorn-looking. She sips her water and avoids your gaze, playing a little with some wayward avocados that happen to roll her way.

>>720374
Splendid's wearing her nice blue dress, though one of the straps is dangerously close to slipping off her shoulder. She opens another bottle with her beak, then slides it over your way. "Y-yeah cunt, I've been eating, though it's had to be in li'l portions. Eating it all at once has been kinda rough on me. Not used to all this abundance, y'know? Made a tidy profit off them barrels we all fished up, though! What's been takin' up all your time, then?"

>>720376
Squatz noticably casts admiring gazes your way. "It's actually a change of pace for me to be on a pirate crew," he comments. "Killing, pillaging, blowing things up, that's all fun, but not my style. Not much point to a fight if I can just swipe whatever it is I want. Still… I'm surprised we let that guy go. I really wasn't joking when I was talking all that ish about dipping sauce!"

 No.720378

>>720375
She ignores the question. "What do you want with them? Who do you work for? The Aristar Families? The Crimson King? Gates of Justice?" She sits down, her mind racing with possibilities of what may have happened.

 No.720379

>>720377
Cloud sets down his taco, giving Chiu a nudge in the shoulder as he tries to lean around to catch her eyes.
"Ok, what's wrong?"
He asks her, wondering what's going on.

 No.720380

>>720378
"Now, now, there's no need to get worked up," Philip says. As he speaks, something in your body seems to calm down, at least partly. You begin to feel that he's right, that there really is no need for all this anxiety – but something inside you seems skeptical of this still.

"It is simply an interest of mine to keep track of pirate crew affiliations in these waters," Philip continues. "Unaffiliated pirate crews mean untrackable pirate activity. Untrackable pirates means raids, attacks, pillagings, the deaths of innocent citizens, the destruction of many important cultural landmarks and economic and political centers. That's all quite bad for the smooth operation of civilized society, would you not agree? Such chaos is not sustainable."

 No.720381

>>720377
Alder offers a soft nod and takes his drink, before correcting the griffon's strap a little. "I understand. Going from not enough to plenty can be rather… shocking on the body, so to speak. I did not expect you o be this heavy a drinker, though- I suppose it is more common than I'd imagine."

"Oh, you managed to sell the barrels? Good! I'm glad that was worth it at least, as bizarre as it was. As for me, I spent most of today training a pair of pickpockets. It's something I am plenty accustomed to myself, so it ended up being a lot of fun. They were a good pair of kids… albeit, with some family issues. I think I helped them move past it, so that is the real takeaway." he says, smiling a little. "The rest of the day was patching up the crew. They took on a shrimp controlling a qurupeco."

Tjhe griffon takes a sip of his drink, and lets out a relieved sigh.

 No.720382

>>720380
Even as she feels a little more at ease, she can't help but feel hostility towards the voice on the line. "Spare me the niceties," she answers coldly. "What did you do to them?"

 No.720383

>>720377
"Eh, we would've needed at least five more to be filling. And even then, I bet he'd do something crazy like claw up and mess with our brains or something. But you are right: this is a nice change. Things were getting too peaceful back home and all, ya know?"

 No.720384

>>720379
Chiu frowns, and jabs her fork into a rogue potato. "It's not easy for me to look at your eyepatch," she begins. "And all along the way back here, I've been thinking about that attack from that burrowing wyrm, how bad everyone's injuries were… and how we were there because I couldn't say 'no' to you."

>>720381
Splendid blushes as your fingers brush against her shoulder-feathers. "Nah yeah, I'm havin' to restrain meself quite a lot 'ere, but havin' you lot 'round me is makin' it go down a lot better than before!"

She then laughs, and claps you on the shoulder, though in a more masculine and hearty way than anything else. "Why'm I not surprised you're good with kids? Ain't been 'ere long but I knew you'd have that good energy ya need for it. But pickpockets? I trust you're not being a bad influence for them, were you? You teachin' em to stray from the straight and narrow?"

The brief mention of Professor Shrimp causes her to blink in drunken confusion, then shrugs it off. "Somedays that's how it goes, innit?"

>>720383
"I only had one complaint, and it was that I really didn't get to do much," Squatz says. "You guys handled that fight so well, I was just kind of… there. Ever since we finished the raid on the Bee Queens' circus, I've been itching for something good, something I can sink my sword into. Beating up Zerk just isn't as fun for me anymore, not now that I've gotten a taste for fighting Aura users."

Taking a few nearby bottles, he begins to mix a rudimentary drink out of rum and whiskey, the classics of a pirate's diet.

>>720382
"Having impatience in a conversation is a very bestial quality," Philip says. "Akin to excessive cursing or saying a whole lot of words, but not stating anything of value. You have nothing to get worked up over, besides. I'm not the one who targeted them, but rather they, your Captain, who went off in pursuit of one of my underlings. This aggression is exactly what I'm talking about."

You hear the clattering of some porcelain game pieces before him, and the exchange of what sound like casino chips and coins. "Random attacks, violent outbursts have no place in a well-functioning, well-adjusted society. Such tendencies need to be ironed out, and antisocial individuals tending toward those impulses need to be socialized properly."

 No.720385

>>720384
Cloud frowns as well, not liking seeing her sad. He flips up his eyepatch, now that the light isn't as strong out.
"Is this any better?"
He says, then putting his hoof on Chiu's.
"Hey, we were there because I went along when I shouldn't have. I should've stayed behind while you went off to have fun. Though, I wasn't expecting some mad scientist lab or that wyrm attack. And things worked out cause that dagger I picked up was able to stop that shrimp before things got worse."
He rattles on, then lifting his hoof up and putting it around Chiu, pulling her in close.
"And after that whole thing with those Bee Queens, we wouldn't go down to some little bug anyways."

 No.720386

>>720384
"Yeah, sorry about that. I guess we brought a little too much manpower along," she says with a scratch of her head. She tilts her head at what he said.
"Fighting aura users is a thrill? Hmm…I guess I could see why. Its sorta like food with a bit of fight to them."

Cerulean watches what he mixes together and, feeling curious, tries the same.

 No.720387

>>720384
"I am glad I can help. You certainly look like you're better off now!" he chirps.
Good with kids? I-I do not really know about that… I had just been where they had before, so I knew what it felt like… s-sort of. Thank you for the compliment, regardless." the griffon says, smiling sheepishly. "As for helping them pickpocket, I-I mean… s-sort of? It was a guild putting out advertisements, so it isn't like it was off-the-street. The guild is all above the table, I believe."

 No.720388

[1d10]

Roll #1 8 = 8

 No.720389

>>720385
After a moment more of looking away, Chiu turns and forces herself to look at your eye, wincing with a squint. She looks down at your hoof, clutching it firmly as if trying to ensure you can't get away. "That's what's bothering me. Ever since we took down the Queens and outwitted the Aristar Mafia, I've really felt like we were much bigger shots than we were. Then, seeing you crash facefirst into the foremast, seeing you in the operating room, seeing you bruised and battered when the wyrm attacked… it's like the world keeps slamming things down on top of me as a punishment for ever thinking that way."

>>720387
Splendid hiccups, then leans against you. In the process she nearly bowls you over to the left. With a laugh and a drunken candor, she begins to recite some kind of singsong rhyme.

"You better mind your p's and q's
Else it'll the brand for you

Good boys and girls don't steal or lie
Or to the light they say goodbye

Witchcraft, mischief; evil, don't choose
Walk only the path of Virtues."

>>720388
>>720386
"For someone who can't use Aura like me, it's really a thrill," Squatz explains. "Can't see it, can't sense it, can't even feel it, except when it hits me. It's something that outmatches me just by existing! It's not fair at all, and that's what I find so appealing about coming up against me. I never know what I'm going to get!"

Following his example, you start to mix a rather potent combination of various exotic alcohols that Splendid had in her box, mixing in a few spare fruits – blue spiky orbs and diamond-colored pear-shaped things with sweet smelling juices – until you've got a drink whose very smell threatens to get you tipsy. Paraiba and Zerk, who are sitting nearby, recoil with awe at the mere sight of the concoction. "You're not gonna DRINK that are you?" Paraiba asks.

 No.720390

>>720389
Alder wobbles a little and leans back in to the larger griffon, trying to support her as best he can manage. The warmth and fluffiness is nice, so he doesn't object too much.

"I-Is that a children's rhyme from here, or something? I would say it is somewhat harsh, but many seem to be."

 No.720391

>>720389
Cloud looks into Chiu's eyes at her explanation, and then pulls her into a hug.
"I'm used to stuff going like that. Maybe not quite as violent, but things not always going great. Nothing's punishing us, and you shouldn't ever think you're not the greatest mare in the world. We're still getting used to this place. Once we've adjusted to the craziness here, there won't be anything more to worry about."
He says, not letting her go.

 No.720392

>>720389
"Huh, when you put it like that…yeah, that does sound rather exciting. Considering all the new things I've been fighting and eating, that makes a lot of sense."

Cerulean stops a moment just as she was raising it up.
"Well…yeah. I dunno what I made, but might as well try it at least once, right?" Cerulean then raises it up and proceeds to take big swigs of the drink.

 No.720393

>Tough
[1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.720394

>>720390
Splendid blinks a few times in confusion, looking at you as if she is confused by the very fact that you're asking it. She then blinks, sobering up a bit. "Oooooohhhhhhh. Nah, nah, I completely forgot you're not from here. It's a rhyme that I was taught when I was growin' up, yeah? You talking about those kids you helped out today brought it to mind for some reason. The Virtues were in charge of education where I… uh…"

She pauses, then has another long quaff of her drink. She pulls back a bit to keep from squishing you, but still leans on you pleasantly. "'Nuff said about them, then. All in the past, innit?"

>>720391
Chiu reciprocates the hug, but it seems to do little for her anxiety. "What does it mean to adjust, though? I don't think it just means preparing ourselves mentally to run into something bizarre and Aura-filled every other week. If we don't want either of us to come home with all kinds of eyepatches and prosthetics and whatnot, we need to prepare ourselves physically."

She pokes your stomach in a soft, ticklish spot. "And that means hardening ourselves up."

>>720392
Squatz raises his own mug to yours, toasting you. "To many MORE fights! I hope I never learn Aura!" he declares, before knocking back his drink.

You knock back yours, noting at first the crisp, tangy flavor of the blue fruit, mixed with the refreshing clarity in the diamond-colored pear, and then–

A sudden wave of floatiness washes over you, sublimating your senses in a dreamy sense of both weight and lightness, like being carried by the waves while half-asleep. Very quickly, your whole body relaxes, from snout to tail, awash in a pleasant totality of languid luxury. The last thing that you hear clearly is Paraiba telling Zerk to write your last will and testament and naming Paraiba as the sole inheritor of all your possessions and property.

>Paused


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