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File: 1563142218669.jpg (161.01 KB, 1000x1300, 1552779255425.jpg)

 No.721253[View All]

Last time on HolyQuest…

Trapped in Regina's realm of illusions, housed within the infinite Library of the Sacrosanct, the party had no choice but to play along with her malevolent games. Her primary method of testing and provoking the party consisted of trapping them within various stories recorded on scrolls. She abducted their allies under their very noses, replacing some with Replicas made in their image, and forced them to participate as actors within each story. Volkama played the role of Hodgson, a mad warlock attempting to unearth an ancient power, the Earthvein, for his own use. Rus Tea was transformed into a savage, mindless lamia, and made to endure the trials of a snake temple built among the branches of ancient, towering trees in the Onuma Swamp of the Starchart Plains.

After freeing Rus Tea from Regina's mind-altering magic, they were about halfway through the story of Cobraskin. In order to advance, they would need to complete the tale or else find some way of sufficiently disrupting the story, as in Earthvein.

Meanwhile, Flow and KP, exiled temporarily from Lilane after Flow's episode of Magatsuhi Overxposure, had to return to Fantasia. The city, once crushed under Orcus' maniacal, mechanical subjugation, had become a respectable fortress under the guidance of Easy Doesit. The city-state was sealed off by a high wall of stone and metal, armed by many guards: Ecclesians, Zha Arlakanians, Fairies, and refugees still able and willing to fight. There were still difficulties with farming and other food production, the threats of overpopulation and the mind-corrupted refugees that had been dumped there by the Treibheanna, but things seemed to be turning around, for now.

Flow and KP retired to one of many inns, populated with day laborers retiring from the heat of the late afternoon sun, and got some food, finding that they were quite hungry after all they'd done that day. Though Flow had gotten back his memories and sense of self, Renee still wanted to conduct a thorough examination of his mental and physical faculties to see if any side effects of the Overexposure still lingered.
635 posts and 7 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.

 No.722720

>>722718
>>722719
>>722717
>>722716
>"We've got too many people to keep track of," Wireframe gripes. "No more makin' friends!"
>Box is aghast. "I LIKE making friends though! More friends means more greed. More greed means more things for me to carry! Like this gun!"
>Your allies curse and duck for cover as Box shows off his gun to everyone, pointing it all around the area with his tongue still on the trigger.

>>722719
>"That's easy! The Hoarder, one of the demons still in charge of the Tower of Traitors when I tried and failed to break in on Shei's behalf," Wireframe says. "Now do you believe me?"

>>722719
>>722718
>Volkama looks extremely disappointed, but shrugs. "Just as well. There was no way we'd be allowed to keep it."
>"Now, I think we just have to leave this story, huh?" Wireframe suggests. "I was supposed to steal that, but with it gone, the job's basically over."

>>722717
You get the feeling that your self-correction helped you narrowly avoid disaster.

 No.722721

>>722719
The two wave back at you all as you depart the store. You exit to the street, seeing most people heading back to their homes, and the mothers, children and infants heading north to the secure family shelters. Guards start changing as the stars come out, with more guards, and much heavier-armed guards, taking over for the late afternoon shift.

 No.722722

>>722719

"Yeah, I told her that she'd have better luck getting friends to cooperate if she was more… friendly," Amy nods in agreement. "Still, you're just playing games! She just wanted to learn about you!"

>>722720

"Ooooh," Amy admires the gun like a child with a new toy. "What does THIS do!? Can I try it!?"

>>722718
>>722716

Amy smiles at Shei's assessment of Regina. "I'm so glad you agree. I learned a lot about myself from them! Apparently, I'm a witch! Something about being born under some star or something silly. I don't get it, but apparently that's why my parents abandoned me. It's also why I've been able to survive being possessed for so long."

Amy explains these serious things like parental abandonment and demonic possession like they are idle gossip.

"A-anyway…" After I got hurt, I had some dreams. "I remember a lot more of Ego's life now… My life. She-I opened Tartarus thousands of years ago. I don't really get what I saw, though. It was like I was there…"

Amy shakes her head. "I mean, it was like AMY-me was there. My memories… they were from Ego's point of view, but I was there with her. I don't get it," Amy rubs her head. "Something just feels wrong. I've felt wrong for a while now. I-I need to finish this tattoo," she points to her face.

"There's a god living with Regina who can finish them for me. But…"

Amy tears up a little bit. She closes her eyes and lets out a deep breath. "I'm scared… I don't know what's going to happen to me once this is done. I… won't be me anymore. I… I'm just scared. I need you both there. Otherwise, I don't think I can go through with it."

 No.722723

>>722717
"You got to see us? How long have you been watching, just this story or did you see the one before it too? Where did you go, I thought we would have to find you in one of these stories as a character! Which…. we kinda did but, we didn't need to use magic to free you."

She squints, "Wait, you met Regina? And she's *nice*!? The lady who kidnapped all our friends and made them characters in her stupid stories?"

>>722719
Flaming sighs. "It's just… I know they're all just replicas but, what he did? It was wrong. Really, REALLY wrong, he just killed them. I don't know if he even deserves a chance."

>>722720
"B-box! Be careful where you put that thing!"

She barks at him, before looking around the others. "Wait, so, if we unlocked the chest, does that mean this story is done? Just the way it was when we used the key in the last story? What about the Heart and teh Pilgrims?"

 No.722724

>>722722
Flaming looks attentively to Amy as she describes the tale, her eyes opening wide in amazement at the revelation. "You're a witch? You mean, like Mudi?"

She frowns, her head almost ready to explode with all this new information. "Okay, so, you saw Ego escaping from Tartarus, before she found you, but you were somehow there with her, BEFORE she found you? I don't really get it either… but, at least you got to learn something about her. You. Both of you."

"What feels wrong exactly? Are you not sure which part of you is which anymore, between Amy and Ego?"

 No.722725

>>722720
Pryce sighs in relief.
"Good, it is you then. I'm sorry for not trusting, but I don't want to deal with any more trickery today."

"The last stories we just exited out through a door once we were done. So, I imagine the main gate will be our way back to the temple."
Pryce answers Wireframe.

As Box swings his gun around, Pryce's horn glow cautiously.
"Let's get out of here and be done with this already."
He says to the group.

>>722723
"I know. But… everypony deserves a second chance."

>>722722
"We're only playing these games because she stole everypony from us! If she wanted to learn more she could've done with kidnapping and threatening our lives!"
Pryce continues, his opinion on her only growing worse at hearing Amy excuse her.



>>722721
>"Alright, let's see what this can do!"
KP finds a bench so they can all sit together, and flips open his grimoire to start reading on Beast-Mastery.
Though, he does pause for a moment as most ponies head off to the shelters and the sun starting to lower.
>"I wonder where River is…"

 No.722726

>>722722
"Uhh wow, That is a little much to take in Amy -constellation of the crone.. Your soul must be as vast as an ocean." Shei is a little puzzled but delighted to see Amy so excited and having a jolly gay time.

Except, when she begins to tear. The feeling was bitter in Shei. Shei-Sher takes Amy closer for a hug. "Amy -Amy -Amy. It will be fine. People are always changing with the passage of time. You're simply skipping ahead, so you can be who you really are. Follow your great will with greater loyalty. And no matter what happens. You will never get rid of me."

 No.722727

>>722722
>"It destroys things!" Box says eagerly, swiveling around to you. He points the gun at Edoba, who is laying on the cold stone ground, still held in the chains of Pryce's kusarigama. Edoba's eyes widen as the gun points toward him, but he scowls. "Do it. I am already defeated."

>>722723
>"As I just said," Rus repeats, "Vortigern's Replica didn't hand over the treasure until we exposed her for a fake. In other words, we could have completed the story without getting the treasure. Thus, it was optional. It seems to me that there may be another treasure around here that we won't get unless we snoop around to find it."

>>722725
>>722723
>>722722
>>722726
>"Pryce just destroyed the Heart," Volkama answers Flaming.
>Pilgrims dead, Vortigern bluntly adds.
>"So, yeah, we can probably just get out the same way we came in," Rus says. "That is, unless we want to deal with Edoba."
>"Or poke around for more treasure," Wireframe says. "But I'm more hungry than greedy right now. "Was that ninjutsu I used earlier? Using a power I normally can't really took a lot out of me. Hey, if this Regina lady is really as nice as you say, think she'll teach me, Amy?"

 No.722728

>>722725
"Should we go look for her and Mocha and Flow?" Spitshine asks. "It IS getting pretty late. We could get lost in the city at night, and I doubt the guards would let a bunch of kids walk around past sundown, knowing how vicious demons get at this hour."

 No.722729

>>722727
>>722722
Pryce pulls his kusarigama off of Edoba, letting him free in his defeated state.
"We had to use one of those keys for Amy. The replica Vortigern said those four were meant for the treasures Regina was giving, so unless Amy has something else with her, or there's something left in Box, then we have all we came in here for."


>>722728
>"Hmm, yea. We should go look for River at least. We did kinda run off without telling her where we were going."
KP admits, feeling a bit guilty at that. He hops off the bench and heads back towards the cafe, the best first spot to look for her.

 No.722730

>>722724

"It's like the opposite," Amy shakes her head and rubs her temples. "The idea of us not being the same… hurts. Even my memories are all wrong. I mean, there's no way Amy was in Tartarus!"

"But… I have to no. Some strange part of me feels like there's more. Like somehow I was there! Like… even before I was born, I was always with Ego."

Amy starts tearing up again.

>>722726

Amy squeezes Shei tighter and lets out another long breath. But, this time her breath is not nearly as steady. She tries a few more times, and eventually calms. "Thank you, please don't leave me until it's done."

>>722727

Amy turns to the defeated Edoba. "You know, Edoba… I've been watching you for a while, and I just don't get you. Why do you follow these rules when they're not what you want? What you REALLY want. No one wants to die. They just want the bad things to stop. But, you can make that happen without dying."

[1d10+2] Mantra of Equality with compassion

>>722727

"Wouldn't you say she kinda already did?" Amy answers Wireframe.

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11

 No.722731

>>722727
"You know, in this region of the world the people are famous for their raw fish cuisine. I hear it's called sushi. I did not get to savor any my last visit to Jibyan." Shei-Sher says, off the cuff suggesting the party go get sushi before leaving the illusion.

 No.722732

>>722727
Flaming frowns a bit as Vortigern mentions all the pilgrims being dead, the failure weighing upon her even as she nods her head in agreement.

"Well, we shouldn't come out of this without having anything to show for it. I say we look around for some other treasure, assuming the Heart wasn't meant to be it… think it would still be in the ruins of the pagoda or would it have been destroyed?"

>>722730
Flaming frowns as Amy starts to tear up, moving over to nuzzle her cheek gently against Amy's side. "H-hey, don't cry, please? I don't know if I get it, really… i-it all sounds so confusing to me too, about how you could be there in Tartarus even BEFORE you were born somehow, it makes no sense."

"But I understand wanting to at least know the truth. And I'll do whatever I can to help you through that, I promise."

 No.722733

>>722732

"Thank you," Amy says with a hug to Flaming.

 No.722734

>>722732
>>722729
>>722731
>"Works for me, but what about the herbivores?" Rus asks.
>"Do they sell love there?" Wireframe asks.
>"If there's going to be anything nearby, it would be in the monastery," Volkama says. "Judging by our introduction into the story, we – rather, our characters – were journeying for weeks before we got here. Not exactly a walk down from the local sushi bar."

>>722730
>>722729
"I know what I am," Edoba says. "What I REALLY am. But I do not wish to betray my purpose here by backing down from the role given to me. Kill me or spare me, you are the true actors on this stage. But I shall not break character – even speaking in such metafictional terms in this moment is to betray the fiction, betray the illusion. I find that very boring and annoying. Everyone knows a story is fiction when he reads it or sees it on the stage, but to call it fiction, and to suggest that that means it doesn't matter – everyone hates that.

"I prefer to spend what little remains of my existence playing out this role, giving the story a satisfying end. To deliver justice unto the traitorous monk who sold out his pilgrims and soul for health and comfort? Or to have godly mercy upon a defeated foe? Pick either one! But do not attempt to take my role here away from me."

>>722732
>"Nah, probably the monastery," Rus says. "I'm not going back into a burning building, and we didn't explore the monastery at all. That's where I'd put it if I were Regina."

>Paused, reply for next time

 No.722735

>>722732
>>722729

"Oh yeah, Regina mentioned that she was trying to use all sorts of relics and weapons to motivate you guys to play the game more. But, apparently you guys were too focused on other stuff to notice them. Isn't that funny?" Amy says, totally oblivious to the frustration such a thing would bring to one who plays games.

 No.722736

>>722729
You, Spitshine and Sugar make your way back northward, winding through the streets that you have now become accustomed to in your many times exploring Fantasia. It is no great trouble to get back to the laborer's pub, where you see Mocha skittering around all in a panic. As you get closer, she spins around, and sees you. Darting toward you, she sets a hoof on Spitshine and Sugar. "THERE you three are! Running off without us! The nerve! Come with me while I get River, she was the most worried!"

>Paused, reply for next time

 No.722737

>>722734

Amy frowns in disappointment at Edoba's answer. "So, you don't understand any better than I do," Amy shakes her head and looks up at the sky.

"I wish I could have talked to the real Edoba. I wish I could have understood him. I wish I had a chance to change his mind. It's too bad that I can't do that with you. But, no. I see no reason to kill you. Killing is for stopping. You won't even exist soon enough. You're as stopped as you'll ever be."

"I doubt that's the answer you wanted to hear, Regina. But, that's kind of the problem with illusions. They aren't real. The choices we make CAN'T be the same."

"I'd like to go talk to that god now…"

 No.722738

>>722734
"If it's in the monastery, then it won't hurt us to do one last pass throughout it looking for any remaining treasure. If we can't find any, then we'll move on, but after all of this… I think we deserve to find *something* else to take out of this."

As Edoba states his true purpose, Flaming frowns, her earlier anger with him being replaced with something more resembling pity. "I know you're not exactly given much choice, with Regina being in charge… but are you HAPPY doing that? Even if this is all pretend, she made you do horrible things."

>>722735
"Well to be fair, the first story we went into did NOT go over that well, and the second one we *did* get something out of it. But ever since we lost everyone in the first story we've all been so focused on finding our friends before we even thought about treasure. I was really worried Regina was going to do something horrible to you all, and using our friends like… like *toys* to use for whatever she wants, erasing their memories? That doesn't exactly help things."

 No.722739

>>722738

"Just so you know, she can hear you right now. But, I already told it to her face," Amy adds with a laugh. "She definitely needs to learn to be a little friendlier. I'd like to get a chance to give her those lessons."

 No.722740

>>722739
"Oh, I KNOW she can hear me right now. And I don't care: taking our friends away and forcing them to be something they're not was a jerk move, and I'll say it to her face too when I get the chance!"

Flaming grunts, shaking her head, "But, you said you talked to her already and told her that? Did she say anything about changing? She hasn't mentioned anything like that to us."

 No.722741

>>722740

"I mean, it doesn't happen often that people just DECIDE to change. But, I think I have her convinced that there are benefits to being nicer to people. She agreed with me that it would at least make you guys more cooperative."

"I mean, the way I see it, these games looked super fun! If she just gave you guys a choice instead of holding you hostage, she'd have probably gotten us to play anyway!"

"…And then I wouldn't have freaked out the way I did… Sorry about that, by the way. I really don't respond well to being trapped. I think it's because of the time I spent in Tartarus… And being trapped in my own head."

 No.722742

>>722734
>>722731
"We're not going to waste time eating here in a story."
Pryce says to the idea of hunting down sushi.

Pryce glances down at Edoba. He remembers how Repligern acted, and steps over to the deer. He stares down at the beaten monk, and extends a hoof.
"Stand, Edoba. Your temple, and your follies have been cleansed so you can atone for what you've done. Rebuild, and treat those left that seek shelter from the plague with true hospitality and care, and not with false hopes."

>>722735
"If she wanted to use those she should've just said so, instead of kidnapping our friends the moment we stepped into the library!"



>>722736
>"Hey Mocha!"
KP shouts over to Mocha as they spot a friendly face.
>"Yea, sorry about that… But look at all the cool stuff we got!"
He says, showing off their new supplies.

 No.722743

>>722742

"If you're referring to Zeta, I'm still pretty sure she was never in the library to begin with."

"But, yeah. Like I said, learning the benefits of friendship doesn't happen immediately. It took me three years! So, she's ahead of the learning curve as far as I'm concerned!"

 No.722744

>>722743
"I meant Rus and Volkama."
Pryce corrects.

"This doesn't fall into the benefits of friendship! This is basic decency, common knowledge! You don't do these sorts of things to ponies!"

 No.722745

>>722744

"I…" Amy looks down and kicks at the ground awkwardly. "I also took three years to learn those things…"

 No.722746

>>722745
"You didn't kidnap ponies or use them as if they were your personal toys though, did you?"

 No.722747

>>722746

"No, that was too indirect for me. I usually just ate them or…"

Amy stops and puts a hoof to her chin. "Okay… define 'use as personal toys'?"

 No.722748

>>722747
"Hrm, well, I understand you were rather wild, so there is some excuse there. Unlike Regina who did have a town of witches she lived with before leading them here."
Pryce adds after a pause on rehearing how Amy ate ponies.

"…Like how Regina is using us for her stories? What other way would it be defined?"
He responds to the pointless question.

 No.722749

>>722748

"I mean…" Amy says slowly and awkwardly. "I definitely used ponies for my own pleasure. I guess that's how you use a toy. So… yeah I guess I did. But… it's kinda different. Actually, I'd say what I did was worse."

 No.722750

>>722749
Pryce tilts his head, not following along.
"I… don't understand. You did what Regina is doing, but worse? How?"

 No.722751

>>722750

"I-I can't talk about this, Pryce. You know me. You know I haven't hidden anything else that I've done. I'm not proud of any of it, but denying that it happened doesn't help anyone."

"But… this one thing that I did a few times I just… I can't talk about it. I can't believe I did it. Especially since I knew how bad it was. I knew what it does to ponies. I'd like to say that I killed and ate ponies because I didn't understand what it was like. I was never eaten or killed so I had nothing to base it on. But… that thing I did proves me wrong. I knew what I was doing. I just… didn't care…"

Amy shakes her head. "I'm sorry… I'm being depressing. L-let's stop."

 No.722752

>>722751
Pryce listens on in silence.
"I'm sorry for making you bring it up again. But you were aware at least, and that's better than Regina."
He nods his head.
"Right. Let's worry about our current situation."

 No.722830

>Flow
Your strike rings true, cutting into his chest, but it doesn't slow him down at all. But something strange happens next. The sword passes through you harmlessly, but it knocks Der Schlangenschwert, the wakizashi, and the Inheritance right out of your body. It doesn't do any apparent damage to them, but scatters them across the ground. Trapper vanishes the moment the stone memento leaves your goo, and The End drops to the ground.

Clutching his chest, Estuary slithers back, smirking as he perches the sword on his shoulder. He then darts forward again, holding up one hoof as if in a sign of prayer.

"Boiling Cauldron."

[1d10+4: 6+4 = 10]

 No.722868

>>722830
“Tch… quite the sword, son.”
He gives his a smirk, and charges forwards without weapons, but eyes them as Estuary uses whatever ability he is preparing.
>chargan
‘1d10+2’

 No.722870

>>722868
[1d10+2]

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

 No.722873

>>722868
"Detachment," Estuary says, sheathing the sword. With his tail, he removes it from his side, tossing it to Renee as she comes back with the filled waterskins. "It cuts only what I want it to cut, and spares what I want it to spare."

Renee grumbles something about how warriors always have to talk about how cool their swords are.

Now unarmed as you are, Estuary sweeps forward, his whole body igniting into a molten puddle, bubbling and steaming. You and he trade blows, punching, grappling, and dodging, but each time you make contact with him, the boiling goo burns you severely, causing you to boil too!

>Flow loses 4 Hits, currently burning (boiling) for 2 turns until extinguished (quenched)


Estuary's Memory dives away, holding up a hoof as he slithers and zips around the training yard. "Body of Water," he prays, and the boiling goo starts to cool, no longer popping and simmering. He makes a beeline for his weapons again, reaching out for the sixth sword among the pile, a red-sheathed wakizashi.

 No.722878

>>722873
Flow grumbles too as he sees Estuary seamlessly manipulate the temperature of his goo.
“Hmph…,” he silenty realizes something, and instead of going for another weapon, he focuses on himself.
>VoG
[1d10]
>IDoS
[1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4 / Roll #2 4 = 4

 No.722880

>>722878
Drawing the wakizashi, Estuary's Memory slithers toward you. Your skills falter as he puts the wakizashi back to his side. "So tell me… what's this group of yours getting up to now? The way I hear it, the time you people have on the surface is coming to an end."

 No.722882

>>722880
Flow nearly buckles as his abilities falter, and he grins at Estuary.
“Aye lad, demons roam freely now. An’ me crew is going down to fix our mistakes.”
His gaze meets the ground.
“…an’ maybe, fix what might’ve been the biggest mistake of our lives.”
Flow’s defense drops completely as he loses himself in thought, his gaze fixed firmly on the ground.

 No.722885

>>722882
Still gripping the wakizashi, Estuary's Memory doesn't relax, eyeing you with a warrior's keen suspicion. He slithers around in a semicircle, slowly weaving around you as he looks for an opening. "I must have missed that part. Biggest mistake, being…?"

 No.722954

>>722885
Flow looks at Estuary with a thousand yard stare. For a mere instant, Flow remains stuck in place as the memories come flooding back.
He shakes his head and takes a very rough stance, with both front hooves raised.
“Bein’ a naive fool,” he answers with a bit of anger, although it’s not ment to mock Estuary.
Flow bounds towards Estuary and tries wrestling him to the ground, hoping to distract him from his wiggling shadow.
>Tackle
[1d10+2]
>You Are (Not) Alone

Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3

 No.722955


 No.722961

>>722954
Estuary's Memory shifts stances unexpectedly, drawing back his weapon-hoof and catching you into his off-hoof. With a single push he knocks you back, and the dirt from the training-yard puts out the last of the bubbling goo from his earlier attack.

>Flow 0/2


Estuary's Memory pauses, gesturing for Renee to step in. Without hesitation, she slithers toward you and passes you a waterskin. She looks back toward him, offering another one, and he politely declines with a gesture.

"Tell me some more," he says, pausing to stretch, which really just consists of balancing on one hoof in various ways. "You call yourself a fool, but keep pressing onward. Why is that? Surely the best cure for foolish behavior is to stop in your tracks."

 No.722966

>>722961
“Not just me lad, we were all fools for doing what we did,” he says with some strain as he starts forming himself back again.
“An’ this’ll be our last chance to make a bit o’difference in this godsforsaken land… we didn’t know when to stop in our tracks before the Rapture. I can scarcely remember why we thought what we were doing was even acceptable,” he doesn’t explicitly state what went wrong.
Flow doesn’t struggle to get back up, but holds back, taking the waterskin from Renee.
“Thanks, love.”

 No.722971

>>722966
"That's the curse of this world," Estuary's Memory says, halting his stretches. He eases himself down into a sitting position, examining the wakizashi. "Naive people set themselves on a course they think is right for the world. 'It's for the common good,' 'If only I can change things, then people will see I am correct,' 'The people don't know what's best for them, it's up to me to take things into my own hands.'"

He scoffs. "God, demon or mortal – those who try to change the world in grand sweeping arcs,always neglect to mention the chaos and despair that always follows a world-changing event. Doesn't really fit into their self-aggrandizing mythos.

"I take it that was your first apocalypse, then. What part did you have in all of it?"

>you regain 1 wound and full Hits

 No.723000

Last time, on my Quest…

After the Saviors subdued and put an end to Edoba, the treacherous monk who sacrificed pilgrims to keep himself and his monks safe from the Plague that brought Jibayin to its knees, they escaped the burning pagoda. Pryce sent the Saint's Pure Heart into the flames so that it may never again be abused by those who would be tempted by such a miraculous artifact. Afterward, Amy Thest rejoined them, dressed rather modestly as a hime from the period in which the story took place.

 No.723001

>>722737
Edoba's expression flattens, and then he frowns. "I know I just said I don't like to break immersion, but allow me to just say this, not as Regina, not as anyone else, but solely as myself – and I indeed have a self: If you believe that just because something is 'fiction' that it is not real, that just because something is fiction, that it cannot be 'true,' then you have no business being in my Mistress' plan. You should not even raise your head around the Queen-Mother, nor deign to meet her gaze. If the story affects at least one person, if it inspires them or moves them or weakens them or strengthens them, it is no less real or true than any other event in this world. If you don't want to take my word for it, then you will understand in the events to come. Many will fight, and many will die in the name of another kind of fiction – the fiction they are telling themselves about the expedition."

You have made your point; let us continue.

Edoba scoffs. "As for the idea that I will no longer exist soon, you have a lot to learn about Replicas. We're more stubborn than you think. Now, enough talk."

>>722738
"I exist for a far more grand purpose than just my happiness, as you will see," Edoba says. "I scorn your sympathy."

>>722742
Now re-immersed in the fiction, Edoba bows his head. "If that is the term of defeat you hand down upon me, I have no choice but to accept, Pryce-dono. As you have commanded, I shall bow my head and relent. And if I should falter, even for one moment, I shall surrender my head and die."

>>722737
>>722738
>>722742
As you proceed toward the monastery, your nerves spike with alarm as, from the corners of your peripherals, four shadows, flurries of blade and feathers, leap down from the rooftops. They are, you reason, the four shinobi from the Imperial Capital, come to guard the monastery against the likes of the Kunoichi and her allies. There is a pony, a griffon, a young serpentine dragon and a deer among them, covered with a ghille-like garb made of raven and owl feathers. Daggers, hooks, poles and chains seem to be their equipment, lining their belts, as are a number of bombs, potions and other satchels strapped along their waists and chests.
>Rus Tea and Volkama stand guard protectively before Box, Vortigern and Wireframe, and the latter three prepare themselves for another fight, drawing their weapons…
…But the shinobi just turn and gesture to the eastern room of the monastery. The griffon makes a chopping motion with one hand. "Sushi's in here," he says before turning to enter the monastery through the central hallway.
>"…You know, I would just hate to turn down an offer," Rus Tea says.
>"It WOULD be terribly rude," Box adds.

 No.723002

Last time on HolyQuest…

KP shopped a bit at Sansebas' store, picking up some supplies so that he and Hopper could begin the process of learning Beast-Mastery magic. Because Hopper originally joined Pryce during a summoning mishap in Vadahara's capital, Samudra, he met the primary condition for being a candidate for KP's and Pryce's designated Beast – that is, a long relationship. Hopper got a tiny staff that produced a water bubble for him to float around in, as well as a wizard's hat. KP got a grimoire and a memory bestiary, a manual of monsters that added more entries when the user saw or heard about beasts on his journey.

Meanwhile, the duel between Flow and the Memory of Sir Estuary hit a brief pause. The young remnant of Estuary consoled Flow somewhat on the events of the Rapture, observing that the party's role in the end of the world was not borne out of malice, but goodwill and belief in their causes. That was, of course, the curse of the world. It was brought to ruin because of that very goodwill.

 No.723003

>Flow
"That's the curse of this world," Estuary's Memory says, halting his stretches. He eases himself down into a sitting position, examining the wakizashi. "Naive people set themselves on a course they think is right for the world. 'It's for the common good,' 'If only I can change things, then people will see I am correct,' 'The people don't know what's best for them, it's up to me to take things into my own hands.'"

He scoffs. "God, demon or mortal – those who try to change the world in grand sweeping arcs,always neglect to mention the chaos and despair that always follows a world-changing event. Doesn't really fit into their self-aggrandizing mythos.

"I take it that was your first apocalypse, then. What part did you have in all of it?"

>KP

Mocha gets distracted easily by the books, and Hopper raises his staff like an old sagely wizard greeting someone on the road. Taking both Hopper and the grimoire, Mocha starts to flip through its pages. "What's a kid like you messing around with some high-level sorceries like these?"
"Is he really a kid, though?" Sugar asks.
"Yeah, are any of us, after what we've done?" Spitshine asks.
"Yep. Still kids," Mocha says.


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