Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 2345 LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 81

Thread: [Quest] Seventh Heaven

  1. #61
    祖 Ancestor Dragolord09's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,579
    Blog Entries
    1
    1 and 1.

  2. #62
    Menodora Strauss
    Location: Garden of the Queen Mother
    Date: 78 days until the Destruction of Shuto
    Time: ??

    Party Status
    Spoiler:
    Menodora
    Health:Satisfactory
    Hunger:Peckish
    Energy:Tiring
    Mental State: “Stable(Panic Suppressed)

    Touka
    Health: Superb
    Hunger:Hungry
    Energy:Well-Rested
    Mental State: Stable

    Akagane
    ???

    7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7


    “....why one must take good care of their body. Though it may be temporary as dust upon a windowsill, it cannot be so callously used and abused, for such disgrace of the form often reflects disgrace of the soul. Even monks, who fast in caves, keep themselves clean and healthy through the power of their faith. The phrase, “the body is a temple” is not only that. Even immortals, perhaps especially immortals, must keep watch over themselves for our forms are fluid, susceptible to change, intentional or otherwise. If we wish to maintain who we are, to achieve a stability in existence, then we must focus inward and care for ourselves. That is why I maintain a diet that is both high in fiber and low in protein.”

    “Oh! I think I get it. That’s how you keep your shell shiny.”

    “Indeed.”

    “Cool!”

    Is it? Is it really?

    “Oh! I’ve got another one!”

    I’m this close to strangling him. This| |close.

    Touka and the tortoise had been playing a game of 20 Thousand Questions for what felt like forever. His questions were pretty basic: what’s your name? Where are you from? How old are you? Occasionally, that fox would ‘chime in’, yipping from Touka’s arm, which he then ‘translated.’ Kid is nuts.

    I was over this immediately. The tortoise, however, was more than willing to answer to play along and answer all of Touka’s questions. Or at least, I think he was answering them.

    _

    Q: Where are you from?

    A: Where one comes from is a difficult question to answer. First, we must determine what it means to ‘be from’ at all. Is it a matter of time? A matter of location? I could say that I am from the second that has just passed. I could say that I am from a single step behind me. If the two ideas are combined, then the answer becomes “I am from where I have already been.” But then -

    Q: How old are you?

    A: Older than I ought to be but young still. To be young is a state of mind rather than one of being. Time is nothing but a stream, not unlike the one we walk by now, whose length and width is determined by-

    Q: What’s your name?

    A: What is a name? A title given to us upon our birth, a strand of color woven into our tapestry to mark us as unique from other living beings. Yet names can be shared and changed so easily, so are they truly-

    _

    I never got further than a few sentences before tuning out again.

    The only useful information the kid got from the tortoise was his name:
    霊亀
    Reigi
    .
    Not that it helps anything. After that came more pointless, Dating Game style questions that made this long walk even longer.

    I need a smoke.

    “What can you tell us about this place?” Touka asked, “We just got dumped here, so we don’t really know anything about it. It’s pretty cool, but pretty weird too. Not something you see every day, ya know?”

    Oh wow. An actual good question that could provide relevant information to our currently unknown goal. I might be a bit frustrated right now.


    I surreptitiously listened in, peeking out from around Touka’s side to glance sideways at the tortoise.


    Ugh. His skin was so dry and loose.


    Focus.


    Figuring out where the hell we were and who this Queen Mother was were the top priorities. That title plus ‘Kun Lun’ was ringing something in my mind, something from a long time ago on a trip to China with Elle. One of our Siscations, or as I prefered to call them, Sisnappings.


    The tortoise hummed, smacking his lips (?) together. “Ah, that.” Yes that, you senile monstrosity. “This is the Garden of the Queen Mother.”








    The fox sneezed.


    “AND?!” I meant to think that, but the thought was so loud, it became a yell.


    I couldn’t help it. After having his long winded, philosophical, Riddle-Me-This bullshit droning for who knows how long, he gives a concise answer like that!?


    “Oho? What is this? I did not believe you would be so curious, little one.” He said, coughing as his lips (?) twisted upwards. Really coughing. For a long time.


    Oh. He was laughing at me.


    Asshole.


    “Well?” Spill your secrets, you tricentenarian malformed hermit terrapin. TMHT, for short.


    “Huhuhu~” He chuckled. “An impatient creature, you are, but I shall not fault you for eagerness in seeking knowledge. Without knowledge, a man is no different than a tree, living only to live, observing, never acting, less than human. To seek more is to be alive.” He must have noticed me glaring at him since he cut the waxing there. “To address your outburst, I can only repeat what has been said previously with only slightly more detail. This location where we find ourselves is the Garden of the Queen Mother Xiwangmu, a subsection of the High Mountain at the World Center, also known as Kun Lun.”


    Xiwangmu.


    The name was the key to memories I had buried a while ago. I was only ten at the time when my sister had convinced Mother to let me go with her to China. I don’t remember it well. It was mostly me playing on my Gameboy while she poked around ruins and temples, but I remember the stories Elle would tell me on the long car rides around the country. Stories about gods and spirits and demons.


    I never forget her stories.


    The Queen Mother of the West, Xiwangmu. The wife of the Jade Emperor. They say she lives atop a mountain, the center of the world, growing and hoarding the Peaches of Immortality; a fruit that would grant a mortal everlasting life. But she never gave them to humans, only gods who already ascended. Typical, no?


    “Mennonee, you know who that is?”


    Huh? What is he-


    “My, I had not been expecting you to already be knowledgeable of the Queen Mother. I apologize for my assumption.”


    Oh. I said that out loud. I hope that doesn’t become a problem.


    We had stopped walking at some point. Touka and the tortoise were looking at me, the former with surprise, the latter with what I can only guess at being curiosity. Such pointed gazes after thinking out loud, again, made my blush despite myself.


    “I-It’s not me. I just remember what my sister told me. She knows a lot about this kind of stuff and talks about it all the time, so it sort of rubs off on me.” My brain was just a dumping ground for her research. Not like it was being used for anything else.


    “What you mean is that you learned from one more knowledgeable than you, no differently than even the greatest of sages. Do not apologize for knowing, even a little. A raindrop in a desert can still save a drying man.” What the hell does that mean?


    The tortoise continued. “You are indeed correct about the Queen Mother, though I would not word it so reprehensibly, and it is rather opportune that you mention her banquet since-”


    The tortoise cut himself off, craning his neck towards the sky to squint at the horizon. Touka and I followed his gaze upwards, and a chill ran down my spine as a shadow moved over us.


    The best way to describe it would be like a wipe transition out of Star Wars. Where there was once the clear blue sky of day, the crisp darkness of night came sweeping in. The night hit the bright noon sun and transformed it into a glowing crescent. In no time, the jungle had been plunged into night with only the moon providing a dim glow.


    “I see,” the tortoise croaked. He scratched his claws over his neck, making a noise that made my teeth itch. “The Queen Mother must have been tired of the day and laying down for rest.”


    “Wait, what?” Touka asked. “You mean she did that?!”


    The tortoise hummed and nodded. “Normally, she has Authority over the transition of night to day. Here in Kun Lun, her Domain, she can control the flow freely. Should she decide that night ought to come, then it shall heed her call.”


    Touka whistled, staring up at the moon in awe. “Being a goddess has its perks, huh? Instant “day’s-over-go-to-sleep” power. What I wouldn’t give for that?”


    He looked at me. “Would you wanna be able to do something like tha-huh? Menonee, are you okay? Menonee? Menodora?!” His hand swiped frantically in front of my eyes. “Why is she not blinking?!”


    “I believe your friend is experiencing shock.”


    “Ah, damn it, again?”


    “It is not surprising. Witnessing the power of a Divine Being is supposed to be rapturous. Revealing the inner workings of the universe and allowing one to understand their true position in the Greater Structure, which is most regularly insignificant, is a heavy load to place on the mortal mind. If anything, one would say your reaction, or lack thereof, is the stranger of the two.”


    “Eh. Weird things don’t really bug me. I’m a ‘go with the flow’ kind of person. The past two days have been crazy, but I don’t bother worrying about it too much. If I did, I’d end up like her, ya know?”


    “Huhu~ I see~”


    Menodora.exe rebooting. Processing…Processing...


    Yeah, I really need that smoke.


    The sun was gone and so was my energy. In a snap, my muscles lost all tension and I crumpled to the ground like a paper doll. Only Touka’s quick catch kept me from smashing my head on the riverside.


    “Menodora! Are you okay?”

    The fox barked at me, jumping around in a circle.


    Oh god, it was trying to lick me!


    If I could...just...move….my arms...ugh!


    How long have we been walking? I was trying to keep time by the Sun, but it never seemed to move. Guess that makes sense now.


    This place is fucked. My life is fucked. I want to go home.


    “I’m...fine. Just tired.”


    “The day has indeed been long and you have journeyed far,” the tortoise said. “Resting for the night may do you some good.”


    Under the light of the moon, I saw the monk knock his staff against the ground, once, twice, three times and a small flame burst to life cradled between the two ends, lighting the area around us in auburn light. Touka lifted me up into his arms, watching with me as the tortoise scooped up a handful of dirt. He pressed his lips together and whistled.


    The dirt blew away in ribbons twisting through the air, picking up more dirt as they formed shimmering twisters. It was like that scene from Cinderella with the Fairy Godmother, except instead of pumpkins into carriages, it was turning dirt into a campsite. Two knapsacks, a tent, and a fire with a pot bubbling over it.


    “It may lack in luxury by modern standards but I feel this shall do for the night, don’t you agree?” The tortoise hummed as he shuffled over to the campsite he magic’d up. Or magecrafted up. Elle always liked to remind me that Magic and Magecraft are two different things. As if it made any difference to me.


    Touka carried me to the campsite, laying me on the knapsack closest to the fire. He perked up and started sniffing the air. The fox at his feet copied him, both lolling out their tongues as they found the source bubbling over the fire.


    “Come now, there is no need to go hungry, eat as you wish.” The turtle ladled some stew into a bowl and handed it to Touka. Didn’t take half a minute before he was holding the bowl out for seconds. He tore through six more bowls while the tortoise made one for the fox, who happily jumped around before mimicking her best friend.


    “I will assume that you would prefer to use a utensil.” Finally, he came to me with a steaming bowl and wooden spoon. I took it from him, nodding.


    “Yes. Thank you.” The soup was an even dark brown color. Every inch was back with assorted vegetables; potatoes, peas, broccoli, lentils, and small chunks of cubed meat. High-fiber, low protein. All made with the flick of a wrist.


    One spoonful, and I was overwhelmed by the mind-melting flavors and the burning jealousy in my stomach. Or maybe the stew was still too hot.


    The tortoise hummed and hobbled to a stump, sitting down with his staff across his lap.


    “Now that we have settled in for a meal, I will continue on as I was saying before.” The fire reflected off his black pupiless eyes, making them appear to be glowing. “I said earlier that it was opportune that you mentioned the Feast of Peaches. By that, I meant that you had stated the exact reason I have come here: the hexamillennial celebration of immortality begins in six ‘days’.”


    “For real?!” Touka said.


    “Indeed. Once the day and night have changed five more times, this land will be brimming with divine beings of all types eager to feast upon the
    仙桃
    Peaches of Immortality
    . Gods, spirits, demons, and beasts who all share that heavenly trait of unending life.”



    “The revelry that takes place will be unlike any other, all done in honor of the Queen Mother of West’s birth millenia ago. Gifts of resplendent jewels, fine silks, and precious metals will be exchanged; poetry read and songs sung and art shared; parades of gods will flow like rivers through the mountain tops and
    xians
    spirits
    will dance among the clouds, displaying their bodies in reverence.”



    “Huh. That sounds pretty cool.” Touka said as if he’d been told about a video that was getting good reviews. “And you’re going to be a part of all that? That means you’re one of those, right? A divine spirit?”


    It was hard to tell by firelight, but I think Touka smirked as he said that, the kind of smirk that comes when you are close to getting something you want. Had Touka been interrogating him this whole time, plying the tortoise with inane questions to get to strike at something useful?


    Couldn’t he have done that a little faster? Good job, though.


    “Huhu~ Yes, indeed, my boy, I am. You did well to notice that, though perhaps it was obvious as well.”


    “Well, you are a ‘mysterious turtle’ after all. Bound to be someone special.” The tortoise’s lips spread wide into a smile.


    Sweet christmas, why does he have teeth?!!


    “Oh, so you picked up on that as well. I suppose a cultured boy of your age and nation would notice. Praise to you.” Touka preened.


    Don’t immediately make me regret praising you, jackass. Focus.


    The tortoise settled back onto his ‘chair’, laying his staff across his lap. “Then I shall be honest: Reigi is not my real name. It is a pseudonym, an alias assumed for the festivities to come. You see, the Queen Mother has given a decree alongside the announcement of the banquet: ‘none are to come as they are.’ Be they mask, dresses, disguises, names, or forms, the divine spirits are to appear before the Queen Mother as something they are not. To put it simply: this Banquet of Peaches is to be a masquerade. A game of Guess Who? for gods and immortals, if that helps.”


    “Guess what?” Touka asked, shoveling more food into his bowl.


    Why does the tortoise monk know what Guess Who? And Touka doesn’t? Idiot.


    “It’s a guessing game, like the name implies,” I said. “Which means no one at that banquet will be who they say they are.” Which means finding out who the god we’re looking for is a thousand times harder than before. Though…


    I turned to the turtle, to ‘Reigi’. He was being pretty helpful and turned out less suspicious than I had feared, so I tried not to be repulsed at his appearance. At the very least, I didn’t flinch looking at him this time.


    “Do you know any goddesses coming to the banquet with green eyes and white skin and hair?” It was a longshot but it was all I had to work with. The gate showed me that woman for a reason, so she had to be important somehow, right?


    Reigi pondered the question for a moment before shaking his long neck. “I cannot say I know of any goddesses or feminine spirits with that exact appearance. Apologies.”


    Damn it. Of course he doesn’t know. Because nothing is convenient like that.


    I mumbled some thanks and went back into my stew, slurping it down while we sat in comfortable silence next to the crackling fire and the still jungle.


    Eventually, I held out my bowl for seconds. Touka took it and went to scoop up more stew only to get a scraping sound. I shot him a dirty look. Reigi chuckled before he twiddled his fingers, refilling the bowl, much to Touka’s delight. No wonder that boy was so big.


    “Mm!” Touka hummed as he guzzled down his sixteenth bowl of stew while I started my second. “This savory flavor is perfect! The meat is so tender, the vegetables are cooked to perfection, and I could drink the brother all day! Compliments to the chef!” Reigi bowed his head. “All it needs now is a sweet side dish like a cake!”


    “A cake with stew? Isn’t that kind of a clash of flavors and aesthetic?”


    Touka nodded. “A little but that’s the good part. Things like that, opposites, usually go best together, ya know?”


    “I guess. I don’t really cook.”


    “Neither do I. I just picked it up from my-” Touka cut off as the fox rose to her feet, barked twice, and dashed off into the bathroom. “Okay.” He muttered.


    “What was that about?


    He shrugged. “Bathroom. Nature calls, ya know?”


    I rolled my eyes and found them very heavy, eager to close. Even with food in my stomach, the rest of my body felt drained. I yawned.


    Status Update
    Status Update
    Hunger: Peckish -> Full


    “Sleepy, huh?” Touka set down his bowl. “You should lay down, Menonee. We can keep walking in the morning, er, whenever that is.” He looked to Reigi who made a noncommittal noise. He turned back to me, deep blue concern in his eyes. “You look wiped out.”


    I shook my head. “I’m fine, I’m fine. Just not used to doing that kind of exercise. Not all of us can be built like you.” I tried to joke but my voice petered into a whisper by the end. Even my mouth was feeling weary.


    “Young one, you should rest. This area may cause you discomfort but I can assure you that now harm will come to you in this Garden.”


    “No, seriously, I’m-”


    “Menodora.” Touka’s voice switched, frozen into a dagger. Just like at the gate. Serious Touka mode. “Go to sleep.”

    I chewed the inside of my cheek. Reigi had hit the nail on the head; sleeping soundly next to a forest of people-shaped trees wasn’t something I could do.


    I had slept with a nightlight until I was ten years old and fell asleep on accident most nights. Was it embarrassing to be twenty and scared of the dark? Yes. Did that make me less scared? No. The night is dark and full of terrors. I learned that at a young age. This jungle was unlikely to be an exception to that.


    But even if I wanted to protest more, my body had already given up the fight, sinking into the knapsack with heavy eyes and more yawning. Traitor.


    Touka took advantage of my treacherous body and tucked me into the sack, zipping me into my chin. That stupid smile hung over me as my vision began to blur.


    “Sweet dreams, Menonee~”



    7 7 7 7 7 7 7
    (BGM)

    Drifting
    Softly
    A lullaby
    Humming
    Fading
    Further
    Farther
    Drifting
    Floating
    Away
    Down
    Down
    Down
    Cool
    Wet
    Cold
    Alone
    Cry
    Cry
    Floating
    Drifting
    Down
    Down
    Down
    Lullaby
    A whisper
    A lullaby
    Drifting
    From
    Down
    Down
    Down

    7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7


    Status Update
    Status Update
    Energy: Tiring -> Rested



    My eyes open. That dream….was gone. I knew there was a dream, there was something about it I wanted to remember, to think about, but it disappeared, sinking down into the depths of my mind.


    “Menonee? You awake?” I turned to him.


    I blinked. The fire was out, so the only light was the moon again, but it was enough to see Touka balancing on his hand, munching on something in the other with his fox perched atop his feet.


    “What the hell?”


    Touka fell. I flinched, but, with perfect gymnast skills, he caught himself and tumbled into a ball. The fox hopped off her perch before it came under her, rolling into a matching ball in the air, only unfurling as Touka stopped in front of me, catching the fox in his arms. The way they stood and the smile on his face invited applause and awe.


    I stared at him.


    “How long were you practicing that?”


    He frowned, cheeks puffing out like a petulant child. “Three hours.” He mumbled.


    “I’ve been asleep for three hours?”


    He shook his head. “No, more like ten.”


    “What?!” I was asleep for ten hours?! I hadn’t slept that much since I was a baby. Being what my sister called a NEET, spending late nights playing video games or working on figures was a regular occurence, so I was proud of my ability to operate on the minimal amounts of sleep. Needing ten hours and still feeling a bit weary…


    “You should probably work out more. You may be small but you’re crazy weak.” I was ready to snap at him, but his expression gave me pause. He wasn’t teasing me.


    I scoffed, “Whatever. Where’s the tortoise?” There was no sign of the terrapin monk.


    “Went for a walk a while ago.” He nodded towards the treeline not far from us. “He went in and I haven’t heard or seen anything from him since, but he’s probably fine.”


    That was concerning and the idea to go looking for him bubbled to the surface before popping against sharp fear of those twisted silhouettes. Touka was right, he’d be fine. He could do magic after all.


    “Peach?” Touka held out his snack to me. It was a fairly normally looking peach if not slightly fuzzier than average; the only feature that made it stand out in my mind was its dimensions, or rather, the lacking of one dimension. The peach was flat as if it were pressed on from both sides.


    “....Touka, where’d you get that?”


    “Akagane.” The fox perked up at her name. “Turns out she actually went out to get me a snack, sweet little thing,” Touka cooed, scratching the fox behind her ears, much to her visible delight.


    I was less delighted.


    “Touka...do you know where she got that from?”


    “Huh? Uh, no. Aka, where’d you get these?” The fox froze. Her auburn eyes slide nervously away from mine and Touka’s gaze, her teeth clenched in a pained grimace. I never knew foxes could look guilty.


    “Aka.” Touka’s voice grew sharper and the fox started squirming, trying to escape, but he gave her no room for that. Whimpering, the fox gave up, letting out a few soft yips. Touka’s eyes widened. “Oh shit…”


    He dropped the peach on the ground like it burned him, stepping back.


    “Touka,” I asked, slowly standing, “what’s wrong?”


    “That peach...is from the Queen Mother’s orchard. It’s one of her Peaches of Immortality.”





    “Oh.” That was….bad? Good? This was hard to break down. Touka may or may not be immortal now, which wasn’t bad probably, but the Queen Mother probably wouldn’t be super jazzed about having one of her peaches stolen and eaten. “Should you...can you throw it up?


    “I don’t think it works like that.” Touka looked at his hand, examining it for any sudden changes. “I have been feeling more energetic. I almost passed out when she came back, but I thought I just got a second wind….holy shit, am I immortal?!”


    “I don’t think there’s a good way for us to test that.”


    “True. Not sure being immortal really helps me either. Not really-Menodora, get down!”


    There was no point in warning me since he decided to kick me out of the way as well. All the air left my lungs and my eyes blurred, but I was still able to hear the whistling of something flying through where my head had been. I fell to the ground, wheezing, while trying to regain my bearings. There wasn’t time for that, though. Touka lifted me up by my waist and rolled us out of the way as more objects came whistling by.



    I thought they were arrows, fired at us from the bushes, but my returning sight showed me something much worse. Birds. Dozens of them hovering in the air, wings beating faster than the eye could see making it seem like they were floating. Their blue-green feathers shimmered in the moonlight. They were beautiful. They were coming right at us.

    “Dodge!” Touka was really having fun throwing me around right now, nearly tossing me into a bush as the birds swooped down beak first like a flock of sentient arrows. The flock hovered between the two of us, my back to the forest, his back to the river. The fox was nowhere to be seen.

    Half of the flock turned its attention to me. Their beady red eyes were like laser sights honing in on my body, picking out where they’d run me through, where they’d stab and tear me to shreds. Without Touka, I wouldn’t have dodged them the first two times; I was as sure as dead now. I wouldn’t even have time to scream.

    I’ll die as I lived: helpless.

    Wonderful

    Status Update
    Status Update:
    Panic Suppression Count: 0 Remaining
    Panic State has been induced.
    Reason has been lost.
    All choices will be removed.

    Everything that came next was a blur. Everything moved in slow motion. A slow blur.


    The birds were coming. They knew which one of us was weaker and went for the east target, dozens of them zoning in to kill me.

    There was a scream and a crescent of light flashed through the air.

    The birds fell into bloody chunks.

    Touka stood in front of me. There was a sword in his hands, dripping with blood. A katana. A sword he hadn’t had before.

    He was saying something. I couldn’t hear it. My heart was too loud. My limbs were numb but I stood.

    He looked back at me. He was confused. He kept yelling but I couldn’t hear him. The birds were gathering again. They were coming again.

    He turned to them, gripping the sword with both hands. He was going to fight them. He was going to kill them again. Relief bloomed in my chest. All of it burned away in an instant when Touka spat up blood and crumpled to the ground.

    I stood there, staring at his collapsed body, watching the struggling rise and fall of his chest, watching him pathetically try to stand up again. My eyes rose to the birds. More had come. They were a storm of blue and green with dots of red, ready to kill, wanting to kill.

    My heart screamed at me. Run away. Run away.

    Choice

    1. Stay and help Touka
    2. Grab Touka and Run
    3. Run away


    I don’t want to die again.

    I ran away, fleeing into the jungle, leaving Touka behind.

    I’m sorry.

    Mechanic Update!
    The Panic System

    Menodora is a fragile young woman despite her insistence otherwise. Unused to the stresses presented by the Trial of the Seven, she is susceptible to mental stress and panic attacks. When the state of Panic is induced the first time, there are two options: allow the panic to run its course or repress the emotion.

    Repress panic will not get rid of it but shift it to another time. Players can choose to trigger repressed panic at any time they feel appropriate. Otherwise, there will be a Repression Counter. Any time Menodora is met with a stressful or frightening experience, the counter will tick down until it hits zero. From there, she will fall into an immediate Panic, rendering the players incapable of making choices for this turn.
    Last edited by Wizard_of_0z; March 9th, 2020 at 09:39 AM.

  3. #63
    The Great and Powerful Wizard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Age
    24
    Posts
    121
    Blog Entries
    1

    Cat's Tongue

    Menodora Strauss
    Location: Garden of the Queen Mother
    Date: 77 days until the Destruction of Shuto
    Time: ???

    Party Status

    Spoiler:
    Menodora
    Health: Satisfactory
    Hunger:Full
    Energy: Rested
    Mental State: Panicked

    Touka
    ???

    Akagane
    ???

    7 7 7 7 7 7 7

    Menodora ran.

    Menodora Strauss ran.

    Without thinking, fueled only by the primal fear of death, she fled, leaving behind the body of her comrade, in absolute terror of the hellish birds that swarmed them. Such fear was great enough that she fled into the jungle she had been so disturbed by before.

    She leapt over roots, scrambled through the brush, squeezed between the twisted trees, clambered over hulking stones, yet she could not escape them and the droning hum of their wings. Behind her, the flock followed her with murderous determination, spearing through leaves and branches, cutting away swatches of brush, unrelenting in their pursuit.

    It wouldn’t last much longer. Menodora Strauss was not built for running for her life. A more deprecating opinion might say that she was not built to survive at all. A pitiful creature of no ability and worth, clinging to a life of equal value with embarrassing effort.

    As a sprinkle of salt in the wound, Menodora caught her foot on a root and fell through a bush sitting on the crest of a hill. Head over heels, she tumbled down the slope, helpless to stop herself.

    She came to a stop against a large tree, slamming into it with a sorrowful mewl. It was a small miracle she didn’t break anything, only bruising her ribs. As she lay there in pay, the flock hover above, taking sight of their target before descending upon her like a hail of arrows.

    Looking up, Menodora saw what would surely be her death. Unable or unwilling to keep running, Menodora closed her eyes and accepted fate.

    I’m sorry.

    And then the world was consumed by roaring wind. A twister appeared from nowhere in the silent night, catching the flock in its grasp and throwing them around. The twister rose from the ground and collected into a ball of swirling dirt, leaves, and feathers before shooting off into the distance.

    Menodora was speechless.

    Pests. The garden is peaceful, she said. You’ll like it, she said, It’ll be quiet. Bah! Can’t even enjoy a nap without someone bothering me. No doubt our Queen got bored and decided to play one of her ridiculous games. Father above, how can anyone stand that woman?”

    The white tiger standing in the tree was not.

    The beast threw itself from the canopy and landed with surprising grace for its unnatural size. It was at least twice the size of any tiger Menodora had seen before. Even stranger was the way its body shifted between solid and transparent, the edges of its tail almost invisible.

    The transparent tiger sighed and shook its head. “She’ll probably change the garden soon. Very well, I guess I can head back to the-”

    Menodora stared at the tiger. The tiger stared back.

    Tiger


    “You’re a human.” The tiger’s mouth was still, but the words were clear as if he were speaking in her ear. She nodded numbly. “Then you must’ve been what they were chasing. A mortal intruder on Mount Kun Lun.” The tiger crept closer, ignoring the flinching girl. He sniffed her for a moment before recoiling.

    Peaches?! No, that’s impossible!” He rushed forward and sniffed her again, letting a rumble through his chest.

    “You didn’t eat one?” He asked but received no answer. The girl was clearly still shellshocked. The tiger sucked his teeth. “How annoying, a thief and a mute. Well then, if you are a thief, I should probably just go ahead and execute you.”

    Menodora’s heart stopped.

    But that would be troublesome for me. Cleaning up human remains is messy business and you are hardly a delectable species. No, you can be that woman’s problem.” The tiger prowled forward and lifted Menodora by her collar with his teeth. “I'm sure she'd enjoy executing you.”

    And he leapt into the sky as the girl in his teeth sank into her terror, fading to black unconsciousness.

    7 7 7 7 7 7 7
    ….
    Well.
    That was certainly something.
    Are you feeling better now?
    You were watching?
    I am always watching.
    It is my purpose after all.

    You are upset.
    No shit, Sherlock.
    I do not believe he was invited.
    Quite a buzzkill when it comes to these types of things.
    And I mean to ask you why you are upset.
    Though not for my sake.
    I hate this.
    I hate being here.
    I hate being afraid.
    I hate Touka.
    I hate that I left him behind.
    I hate that damn fox and that fucking turtle.
    I hate those idiots for summoning me and calling me their hero
    I hate how fucking useless this is.
    My my.
    That is quite a lot of hate for one so small.
    Perhaps it is good you are letting it out here.
    Elsewise, you might explode.
    Why are you even here?
    You didn’t show up last time I slept.
    Because you are closer to your goal now.
    The Jade Palace.
    Home to the Queen Mother.
    The axis mundi.
    And the stage for climax.
    Now that the prologue has faded.
    The stage for climax?
    What does that even mean?
    Why can’t you make sense?
    Aren’t you supposed to help me?
    Yes.
    But I can only do so much.
    The only person you can truly help you, moon child.
    Is you.
    Wow, thanks, guidance counselor!
    Want to tell me how to bring up my grades next?
    I enjoy talking to you.
    I don’t.
    All you have to say is cryptic shit like that stuff when I first got here.
    “Face the immortal god.”
    “Overcome!”
    The hell does that even mean?!
    Hm.
    Perhaps I was not clear.
    Very well, I shall grant you another boon.
    A hint, if you will.
    Wow, thanks.
    Hm.
    Listen carefully:
    In white faces hide black tongues.
    And gold brings naught but sorrow.
    Fear the red star that rises with rebellion.
    For it seeks to steal tomorrow.
    How is that?
    Vague and awful.
    Such is fate.
    We do not always get what we want.
    But keep those words in mind.
    Stars only shine at night.
    You’re just doing it on purpose now.
    Huhu~
    Time to wake up, moon child.
    7 7 7 7 7 7 7
    Status Update
    Status Update
    Energy: RestedWell-Rested
    Mental State: PanickedUnstable


    It says something about my life that waking up hanging from the jaws of a transparent tiger arguing with a birdman dressed like a Las Vegas scumbag in front of a giant gate didn’t send me straight back to unconsciousness.

    “I am not putting on some ridiculous costume just to go inside! It will only be for a few moments!”

    “Listen, Bai, I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them.” The birdman loomed over us, floating in the air with his wings spread wide. I was hanging from the jaws of the tiger currently arguing with him with his mouth closed. “She was fine with letting you arrive like that, but she’s probably not gonna be as welcoming now that we’re closer to the banquet. Seriously, it’s not that bad, I don’t get what the big deal is. I mean, look at me.”

    Birdman

    “You look ridiculous.” The tiger said blandly.

    “What?! Pssh! What do you know about fashion, you don’t even wear pants.” The birdman smirked, pushing up his sunglasses and sticking his nose in the air. “Besides, my Lady said I look handsome~”

    I couldn’t see the tiger roll his eyes, but I felt it. “And that’s supposed to be a disguise?” He muttered.

    “By the way, your little catch-of-the-day is awake.” Ah shit.

    The tiger's golden eyes snapped down to meet my glance upwards. “So, you're not dead. Good. I would’ve looked ridiculous bringing in a corpse. Last thing I need is to give that wo-the Queen another reason to yell at me.” He corrected his tone quickly, glancing at Birdman.

    “Ho? And where’d you pick up this ugly little thing?” He floated down to my level, smirking and poking his finger into my cheek. He was microseconds from getting bitten when the tiger moved him out of the way. “Doesn’t look like anyone I know. What’s the disguise, a dwarf?”

    “No, as far as I am aware, it is not a dwarf or any one we know disguised as one. Much worse: it’s a mortal. An intruder I found getting chased by those three legged pigeons.” He paused dramatically. “She had the smell of the peaches on her.”

    “What?!!” The birdman’s expression darkened.

    Dark Eyes



    His wings flared outwards as those murderous eyes turned down to me. A vicious smile snapped onto his face, letting me see the fangs hiding behind his lips.

    “So she was in the Grove, eh? A thief trying to snatch up one of the Queen’s peaches?” He laughed mirthlessly. “You’re a cheeky little shit. The Queen doesn’t like cheeky shits and she sure as shit doesn’t like cheeky shits sneaking past her guards and taking her shit!” His voice squeaked on the word guard, eyes flashing to the palace before hitting me with a glare.

    I know what he was trying to do. He wanted to scare me, to show that I was afraid and remorseful for my crimes (that I didn’t commit) before the Queen Mother executed me. Unfortunately for him, I wasn’t.

    Not out of braverythat was for stupid peoplebut because I was already afraid. I’d been afraid since I got here and had just hit the fever pitch of fear a few hours ago. I simply wasn’t capable of being anymore afraid.

    “Did she have it on her?”

    The tiger shook his head (and me). “No and she doesn’t show any signs of eating it. It wouldn't have been ripe.”

    Birdman sucked his teeth. “Damn it. Gonna have to send someone to find that later.” He paused for a moment, stroking his chin. “Why did you bring her back here? Why not just kill her? Not like anyone would’ve complained.”

    “I considered it but assumed that the Queen would prefer to deal with this herself. If she went into her Grove and noticed a peach missing without context before the Banquet, there would have been hell to pay for us all.”

    Just what I love listening too: people discussing why they decided to bring me for execution rather than just murdering me in the woods. Isn’t being a hero so much fun?!

    Birdman sucked his teeth again. “Makes sense. Still, I-”

    “I’ll make sure to try and direct the Queen Mother from thinking about the security breath. We wouldn’t want your Lady to scold you for embarrassing her, now would we?” Birdman flushed. “I’m sure her anger at this one will be more than enough.”

    “Right.” Birdman nodded, and after shooting me another glare, floated up to the top of the gate and yelled. “KIKI! OPEN THE DOOR!”

    “You didn’t have to yell.”

    “No, but it annoys her.” The gate drew open, swinging out its red-and-gold doors to reveal the glassy lake behind it. The surface was perfectly smooth, the color of turquoise, and shining under the dull light of the morning sun. Across the water was this gate’s twin. Beyond that was the palace I had seen before from a distance. Massive, Chinese in style, with green being the most prominent color. The Jade Palace, Home of Xiwangmu.

    “Let me get the bridge for you.” The birdman floated down to the edge of the water. He pursed his lips together like he was going to whistle, but rather than breath out, he sucked in, and a bridge appeared.

    Or rather, a bridge had always been there, just below the water. Fish flopped on the surface and water dripped from the railing. It sat just below the water level with waves cresting on either side that refused to fall. Very Moses and the Red Sea.

    The birdman turned back to us, cheeks blown out like a chipmunk, and gave us a thumbs up. Rivulets of water leaked from his lips. He was….holding all that water in his cheeks? What the hell?

    The tiger wasn’t bothered by any of this and leapt onto the bridge with me in tow.

    He galloped across the bridge, paws pounding against the water-soaked boards. The morning sun shone through the looming waves, bathing us in sapphire sunlight. From an outside perspective, this was probably a majestic image worthy of a pull out shot and swelling music, like something out of those Gilby films.

    From the front seat (aka the tiger’s mouth), it was a fucking nightmare. Every step had me bouncing all around, swinging wildly from his fangs, bumping against his heaving chest and legs with only my sweater keeping me from falling and being trampled. It was worse than a damn rollercoaster! I had to swallow my vomit twice before we were even close to the other side.

    As we approached the gate, I saw a figure standing atop that one. A girl in a sailor suit and….were those fins on her ears?

    Fish-earred Girl


    She waved at us. She looked like the friendly type, but I was also seeing four of her right now, so my visual judgement is hard to trust.

    The tiger leapt off the bridge onto the island, landing with unnatural grace. She leapt down from the gate and walked over to us, smiling.

    “Hello, Sh-ah, that’s not your name right now, is it?” She shook her head and made some quick hand movements. “Kikazaru? Well, that’s certainly more clever than ‘Clint’.” The tiger huffed. “Where did he even get a name like that?”

    The girl covered her mouth like she was giggling, though no sound came out. She turned towards the open gate and made another sign, both hands coming together and chopping down.

    BLAAAAAARGH!” A horrendous noise echoed from the other side of the lake. The bridge had been submerged once more.

    Note to self: never drink from that lake. Just in case the opportunity ever came up, though those chances were looking slim to none.

    The gate began to close while the girl threw up more hand signs. It wasn’t ASL, so I had no idea what she was saying but the tiger picked it up just fine.

    “Hmp! Nosey as ever. That’d be a bad habit if it were anyone but you.” She gave a wide smile that made the tiger chortle. “Thank you and apologies for bothering you. I’ll keep my promise to Clint and make sure nothing bad comes your way. Having your LAdy mad at you wouldn’t be good, now would it?”

    Fish-ear girl blushed. Great, I’m getting all the juicy office drama of the gods. IF I weren’t about to be atomized by their CEo, I could write a book about it.
    “Now, to take this thing to the court. Would you mind calling them together?”

    “No need for that.” A woman spoke out. She stood at the gate to the palace, arms folded in front of her.

    Anxi


    And she was as beautiful as the rest of the scene. She strode across the courtyard with grace, as if she were floating rather than walking. She stopped and bowed in front of the tiger.

    “Welcome, Lord Baihu. I am glad to see you return.”

    Anxi.” The tiger bowed back. “You are looking….lovely today. The court is already gathered?”

    “Yes~” She said in her breezy voice. Like cold water rushing over you on a hot day. “The court gathers every morning for the Queen’s decree on the days’ activities. Almost all of the current guests have gathered there as well.” The beautiful woman cringed slightly, “The only one missing is…”



    7 7 7 7 7 7 7

    Location: The Jade Palace, Throne Room
    Date: 77 days until the Destruction of Shuto
    Time: ???

    The Queen Mother was missing. Her entire court was gathered in her gaudy ass throne room and had been for the past thirty minutes (I made sure to keep count) but she wasn’t here. Queen Mother my sweet ass! More like …..late….mother….

    I need a smoke. And some breakfast. And to just not be here.

    Such is fate.

    The throne room was very Chinese throne roomy. High ceilings decorated with stars molded from gold that shone from down like ceiling lights. Green and gold pillars lining the walkway towards the throne, that sat upon a high dias with carved steps. As far as throne rooms went, it was pretty nice.

    The hundreds of people standing around, staring at me was much less nice. That was less nice.

    Most of them were women dressed in traditional Chinese royal fashion with brightly colored silk robes, though many of them had strange or unnatural hair colors and features that were definitely not traditionally Chinese.

    Anxi stood at the foot of the throne, looking perfectly serene save for her foot tapping incessantly against the hardwood floor.

    Back to the crowd of people, there seemed to be a separation between the mass of women and the first row that stood in line with us. Most of them were normal looking human beings. Others were...less so.

    Frog
    Pelican


    A frog lady and a giant fucking pelican. A straight up frog lady. No shirt, no shoes, all slime. A pelican, big mouth, covered in feathers, picking under its wings. The frog lady was squatting there, staring into the middle distance. No one else seemed even slightly bothered by their presences. Hell, one guy in a modern business suit was messing with his phone as if this was a boring staff meeting.

    Wait, a phone?


    Business Man


    Where did this guy get a phone? Did phones work here? Was it a magic phone? Why the hell did he have a magic phone? Where the hell did he get that chair from?!

    “GODS AND GODDESSES, LADIES AND LORDS, THE QUEEN MOTHER!” The announcement boomed from the corner of the throne, Anxi’s voice enhanced to top volume. My attention went back to the throne and found it miraculously filled by yet another beautiful woman. A lot of those around here.


    Queen Mother of the West, Xiwangmu


    Her eyes, bright and sharp like a cat’s, scanned over the crowd who bowed in reverence. I couldn’t bow, but I nodded my head towards her. She noticed, snapping her gaze onto me. A strange intrusion pressed against my very being as if someone was running an x-ray of my soul, judging it for all its flaws. Her body radiated authority. She was the center of this world without a doubt, pulling everything else in with her gravity. With a snap of her fingers, I could be turned to dust. This was a goddess.

    The Queen Mother held her gaze for a moment longer before her stone face melted into one of all too recognizable boredom and weariness. She groaned and slumped back into her throne, resting her head on her hand like a bored math student. I could see Anxi frowning out of the corner of my eye.

    “Baihu.” Her voice was full and regal, but the effect was dulled by her mumbling the words into her palm.

    “Queen Mother.” The tiger bowed, almost letting my feet touch the ground. I resisted the urge to kick towards it.

    She stared blankly at him before turning her attention to her nails as though they were much more interesting. They were a nice shade of green. “You are not in costume. I thought I made myself very clear the last time we spoke.”

    “I can explain my behavior, Queen Mother, but first, there are more important matters that must be-”

    “More important matters?” She dropped her hand to look at him. “What matters do you have that are more important than a decree from me, your queen? And I did not ask if there was an explanation of your disobedience. I alerted you of your error and expect for it to be corrected immediately.”

    Ah. So she’s that kind of mother.

    “Ah.” The tiger said, shifting uncomfortably. “I-I apologize, Queen Mother. I will change-”

    “Not right now.” She said calmly, sliding back even further into the throne. She was almost laying down. “There is no point to the game if you show who you are from the start. I doubt you will come up with anything clever enough to fool me but I would at least enjoy the illusion of it.”

    “Yes, Queen Mother.” Starting to understand why he talked about her the way he did before.

    “Tell me, why have you come into my palace, my throne room, carrying that raggedy, sun dried dwarf in your mouth? Typically, you are supposed to bring gifts to a queen, not trash.”

    Bitch.

    “Queen Mother, this...it is not a dwarf. It is a mortal, a human who has intruded upon your garden. I found it earlier this morning running from the qingniao. I sent them away and detained it myself to bring to you for proper judgement. Queen Mother, it had the smell of peaches on it.” The Queen shot up, eyebrows reaching her hair line. Whispers broke out through the room.

    “Outrageous!”

    “No mortal would dare to sneak into the Queen’s Grove.”

    “Impudence worse than that damned Monkey!”

    Silence.”

    A whispered word from the Queen laid the room silent. I felt the Queen Mother’s eyes on me before I saw them, burning with deadly intensity. She spoke then, as if there were no one else in the room beside me and her.

    “A thief. Come to steal my peaches before my banquet even begins. Hm. How quaint.” It didn't sound quaint when she said it. “To think a mortal would have the audacity to step foot in my realm at such a time. A second coming of that wretched Monkey.”

    “Tell me, thief, do you know what those peaches are? Do you know what they represent? I doubt it. You are just another mortal, seeking what they have done nothing to earn. I despise that quality in you, that greed and laziness, more than anything. So few overcome it. Those are the only humans worthy of walking these halls, of standing before me.” She snapped her fingers.

    I dropped from the tiger’s mouth to the floor, crumpled onto my knees. I didn’t try to stand, but my eyes were drawn back to the Queen Mother.

    “That is why the punishment, mortal, shall fit the crime. For your attempt to take infinity, I shall consign you to oblivion. But, I shall allow you final words. The last words of criminals are often amusing. It shall be the price you pay for making me destroy you. Go on now. Speak.”

    Speak? She wants me to speak? Just for her own damn amusement.

    What the hell did she even want me to say? Did she want me to beg for my life? To try and talk my way out of this? What the hell was I supposed to say in the face of a second death?
    Choice


    1. Say nothing. It doesn’t matter.
    2. Beg for your life. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
    3. Explain what really happened. You won’t die for something you didn’t do.
    4. [Write-in.]

    Last edited by Wizard; March 30th, 2020 at 06:05 PM.

  4. #64
    夜属 Nightkin Faux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    A Vineyard by the Sea
    Age
    24
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    108
    US Friend Code
    688,011,841
    3 We die with arrogance
    False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

  5. #65
    Evil of Humanity Half-Blood Master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Argentina
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    175
    3
    Who does this lady think she is, huh? Some goddess she is, if she can't tell what happens in her own fucking lawn. No wonder Shuto is about to be destroyed if they worship such incompetent and ignorant deities.
    Quote Originally Posted by Faux, July 20th 2019
    We gave HBM, of all people, access to a morals loosening field
    Quote Originally Posted by Faux, December 25th 2019
    Senta deserves the right to a life where she gets to choose if she's actually a Nazi
    True Rider
    A wise and beautiful woman who exudes an aura of grace. She is a sly, cunning, manipulative person who always gets what she wants, whether through trickery or ruthlessness. Her own fighting abilities are low, but she should not be trifled with. What does she ride? Men, of course!

  6. #66
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    872
    Blog Entries
    1
    3


  7. #67
    祖 Ancestor Dragolord09's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,579
    Blog Entries
    1
    3

  8. #68
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    ...I forgot.
    Age
    23
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,335
    Blog Entries
    1
    3
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  9. #69
    3.
    I know choices already made but I want to show my support to this quest while I still can.

  10. #70
    The Great and Powerful Wizard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Age
    24
    Posts
    121
    Blog Entries
    1

    Now Hiring

    Menodora Strauss
    Location: The Jade Palace of the West
    Date: 77 days until the Destruction of Shuto
    5 days until the Banquet of Immortal Peaches

    Time: ???

    Party Status
    Menodora
    Health: Satisfactory
    Hunger: Full
    Energy: Well-Rested
    Mental State: Unstable


    7 7 7 7 7 7 7



    “Well? I told you to speak, mortal, and I shall not ask again. If you speak, perhaps I shall make your death less painful. That is, if your words are sufficiently entertaining,” she giggled.

    This was a joke to her. I was about to be executed, killed for the second time this week, and she was laughing, treating me like a toy. Something hot burned in my chest.

    These past days have been the most stressful of my life. I had been killed, burdened with the lives of thousands of people, teleported to two different world against my will, chased by demonic birds through that damned jungle, kidnapped by a giant fucking tiger, all so that bitch up there could laugh at me!

    Fine. She wants me to speak, I’ll speak.

    “I didn’t steal your damn peaches.”

    “Hoho! The dwarf does speak! Though, it seems that it only knows how to speak vulgarly and lie. Do you truly expect me to believe that, dwarf? You mortals only come to this plane for one reason and one reason alone. Even the Great Archer himself only came to my court seeking immortality. Are you saying you have nobler intentions than he?”

    “I’m not here to steal anything,” I said through clenched teeth. “I don’t know why I’m here.”

    “Psh! I had hoped you would be entertaining. Crying, groveling, perhaps even a spot of begging, but if all you can spout are nonsense falsehoods then there is nothing to be gained from you,” She frowned slightly. “How disappointing.”

    “I didn’t steal anything!”

    “Enough! Anxi, have this thing removed from my palace and disposed of. It has ruined my fun. Have it beheaded and burned.”

    “But, My Lady, that is-”

    “I didn’t steal anything, you uppity bitch!” Everything stopped. No one moved, no one blinked, no one breathed. All eyes were on me, standing there, burning. “You wanted me to speak, so I told you the fucking truth! I didn’t steal your damn peaches, I didn’t trespass on your fucking land, I didn’t do anything! All I’m trying to do is tell the truth and your head is too far up your own ass to hear it! If you can’t see that, then what kind of shitty goddess are you?!!”

    I wanted to stop what I was saying. Close my mouth, rip out my tongue and choke on my blood, anything to stop the vitriolic flood spewing from my mouth, but I was helpless against my own pent up frustration and anger. I kept going, and when it was done, my body felt hollow, emptied of the weight holding it down. That emptiness did not last long, soon replaced by bone-shuddering fear and a terrible realization.

    I fucked up.

    “I-I-”

    “Take her away.” The Queen’s voice was cold, devoid of the sadistic mirth she had before. Her face was a harsh mask, barely keeping her anger hidden away. But….something in her eyes….

    From nowhere, two figures covered from head to toe in armor grabbed me by the arms, lifting me into the air. I couldn’t bring myself to struggle. The white tiger moved out of the way as the faceless guards carried me down the aisle, passing the eyes of hundreds of observers. Barely able to lift my own head, I glanced at them, expecting nothing but disdainful faces of unknowns.

    Instead, I saw the smile of the lost turtle monk, Koto, smiling at me from beside the door, waving as the guards carried me away to imprisonment.


    7 7 7 7 7 7 7

    Some Time Later


    Jail in Heaven is a lot like jail on Earth; dull, grey, and boring as hell. Not that I had ever been to jail, but I watched enough crime dramas and documentaries to get the feel for it.

    One thing that Heaven jails had over Earth jails was mood lighting. The cells were underground, so the only light were the candles on the wall sconces. With wrought iron bars, cobblestone walls, and a wooden bench, I was definitely feeling the Middle Ages aesthetic. I’d probably get to feel the aesthetic for a while. Without the sun (as useless as it apparently was) there was no way to tell how long I’d been down here already. Minutes, hours, who knows; everything seemed to blur as I was trapped in here with nothing but my thoughts. Not a great situation to be in.

    What was I thinking about? Oh, just how my big mouth probably just got me sentenced to one thousand years dungeon or being boiled in oil or some other horrific form of execution, one that was slower than whatever the Queen Mother originally planned to do. How I had likely doomed whatever ludicrous mission I had been sent here to complete and now thousands would die because of incompetence, as expected. How cold this bench was.

    God, why did I call her a bitch? I mean, she was, in fact, a massive bitch, but so were a lot of people and I didn’t go telling them off, and they weren’t even gods! If I just kept my big mouth shut….Well, I’d be dead.

    It's been a lot lately, hasn’t it? Too much happening one after the other, pushing me this way and that until all that stuff came flooding out of me at the worst time.

    “Way to go, Mennie. You got where you wanted to go and immediately pissed off the one person who might’ve been able to help you figure out what the hell was going on. Truly, the greatest hero to ever live.”

    It was all that damn fox’s fault. And Touka’s fault for taking that thing with us. If I saw him again, I was going to kick his shins till he fell to the ground and stomp on that stupid pretty boy face of his.

    If I saw him again.

    For all I know, he’s dead in the jungle. Apparently, peaches of immortality didn’t agree with him. Why had that happened? One second he was dicing up those birds like fresh tomatoes, and the next he’s collapsed in a pool of his own blood. Were those not the real peaches? Were they poisoned?

    Probably a mystery I’d never solve.

    “If I stayed….”

    If. Pointless word for people like me. If it implies possibility, it implies regret and missed opportunity, things that do not apply to me. Staying wouldn't have saved him. Leaving didn’t save him. There was nothing I could do.

    Title of my memoir, right there.

    “You’re a mopey little thing, huh? Like a grumpy little dog.”



    I didn’t say that.

    “Not a bad nickname, actually...”

    I wasn’t alone in jail anymore. Outside my cell, a young woman was poking her nose through the bars, face screwed up in concentration as she mumbled to herself. She appeared human, but her body gave off a faint glow and she had an ethereal beauty similar to that Anxi woman.

    Spoiler:


    “Grumpy little puppy? Pouty little puppy? Just Puppy?”

    She mumbled to herself, gripping the bars, swaying from side to side while nonsense spilled through her lips. Well, not nonsense, she was speaking Chinese, but she wasn’t making any sense.

    “Um, who are-”

    “Oh, hey!” She popped up, “You done pouting in there?”

    “Wha-”


    “Good! It looks cute on you, but pouting like that can be bad for your face, ya know. Give you all kinds of wrinkles and facial twitches!”

    “Who the-”

    “Though, I don’t really have to worry about ‘em, being immortal and all. Go, immortality, ya know! Guess that’s why you tried to steal the peaches, huh?” She asked, opening the door to the cell without a key. Had that been unlocked this whole time?!

    “What are you-” She cut me off, pinching my cheeks.

    “Ya shouldn’t worry too much about wrinkles or gettin’ old and stuff, ya know. Sure, you’ll get all grey and wrinkly and gross, and then die one day, but you’ve got this cute little face right now! Live in the moment, ya know!”

    “Hey, shtop tha-”

    “Boy, your skin is super soft. You feel like a baby! Smoosh smoosh! Haha!” Her eyes sparkled. Not figuratively either, there were actual sparkles of light in her eyes as she started rubbing my face with both hands; rubbing it and pinching it and pulling it and-

    “Smoosh smoosh!”

    Yeah, no.

    “STOP IT!” I smacked her hands away. Her sparkles disappeared. “Stop touching my damn face an-”

    “Oops, sorry! I didn’t mean to-”

    “-AND STOP CUTTING ME OFF! It wasn’t funny the first time!”

    Jeez, what an annoying-Oh. The girl fell to her knees, head hanging down. Her lips were trembling and tears were gathering in the corners of her eyes. Was she about to cry? Just because I yelled at her?!

    “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to upset ya or anything, I just got distracted and all! I was really excited to be the one meetin’ you first and you were so cute and soft, I forgot my manners!” She bowed, slamming her head into the ground with a loud crack. “Please forgive me!”

    “Holy shit, yes!” Was that her skull?!

    “YES!” She shoryukened the air. All the tears were gone and she was smiling again. There wasn’t even a scratch on her forehead. The same could not be said for the now-cracked stone floor. What the hell? “Alright, back to business!”

    What business? What the fuck is going on?

    “Hey, ya shouldn’t use language like that, ya know. That’s what got ya in here.” Oh, I said that out loud.

    “Uh, sorry, I’m just a bit confused. Who are you and why are you here?” Because if she was here to torture me, she was making a damn good start. Death by weird annoyance. That would be a new one. I could already feel a headache forming. Or was that already there?

    “Oh, yeah, forgot to introduce myself. I’m Daiyu! I’m one of the Jade Maidens. I was told to get you and bring you to Sis, er, I mean, Anxi for ‘the beginning of your service.’ At least, that’s what she said.”

    Service? There were a lot of things that could mean and none of them were particularly desirable. I was going to ask Daiwhatever to be more specific, but she cut me off before I started talking this time by picking me up, tossing me over her shoulder like a sack.

    “But first, I gotta get you bathed and dressed. Can’t have you runnin’ around leave dirt everywhere, ya know.” She giggled and left the cell with me in tow.

    “What? Bath? Hey, put me down! Hey!”
    7 7 7 7 7 7 7

    Some More Time Later


    That was...not as bad as I thought.



    Don’t get me wrong, being forcibly bathed and then dressed was not exactly a fun experience, but it wasn’t bad either. The bath was nice and warm, done in a large bathhouse similar to the one at the temple, and Daiyu had managed to shut up for the majority of it, focused on cleaning me.

    The dress was pretty good. The fabric was unbelievably soft and smooth, and made me feel like I was constantly wrapped in a warm blanket. The color and design were pleasing to the eye. Almost too pleasing, as if it had been designed with me in mind. Which was odd but par for the course.

    New Clothes

    Item Acquired
    Well-Made Dress
    Made from heavenly silks, the dress fits perfectly and compliments Menodroa's natural looks. It is also very comfortable and easy to move around in.
    Effects: Adds + to AGI and LCK

    I hid my clover hair clip in the folds of the dress after wiping off the muck from the jungle.

    After getting dressed, Daiyu picked me up (because why not) and took us to a large palace on the other side of the island across a river. We passed by a number of people, most of them beautiful young women, who bowed to Daiyu when she walked by.

    Daiyu eventually put me down, after we had entered the palace and came into a room with two other women.

    One was that beautiful lady, Anxi, sitting on a pillow in front of a low desk, sipping from a cup. The other sat off to the side on a floating throne, watching a quill write on the scroll by itself, muttering to herself.


    Spoiler:



    “Anxi! I brought the little thief!”

    “Daiyu, please do not refer to the human as a ‘thief’. She had been downgraded to a suspect only.” The floating girl chirped. She had a rigid look about her, reminding me of an office worker who took her job very seriously.

    “Ah, right. I brought the little suspected thief!” The floating girl rolled her eyes and went back to her work.

    Anxi daintily laid her cup on a saucer and spoke, “Thank you, Daiyu. You’re as dependable as always.” The hyperactive girl made a squeaking noise. “Please, feel free to get a treat from the kitchen. I am certain that our chef already has something waiting for you.”

    “Yes,” she pumped her fist and turned on her heels out of the room. On her way out, she yelled, “Good luck, little puppy! And welcome aboard!”

    I’m not even gonna bother asking what that means. I’m sure I’ll find out and hate it.

    “I fear that I have an apology to make.” My attention went back to Anxi. Her radiant, sunshine smile was gone now, replaced by a smaller, gloomy one. “I fear that our Queen Mother has not made the best impression upon meeting you.”

    Unfair? You call threatening to execute me for a crime I didn’t commit unfair?

    “It may not be right for me to do so, but I shall apologize on her behalf. The Queen is….this time is always stressful for her, so she is much harsher than normal.” A snort came from the corner. Anxi glanced at the floating girl but she didn’t look up from her scroll.

    Anxi continued, “That is especially so when her treasures are threatened in such a manner. It has been a very very long time since a mortal has come to Kun Lun and very few have come without ill intention. So please do forgive her behavior. She is not usually like this.”

    “A common phrase these days,” the floating girl mumbled.

    Anxi snapped at her. “Wenjun, if you are going to speak like that, then you are welcome to leave.”

    The floating girl finally looked up from her scroll, giving Anxi a lazy glare. “I will excuse the welcome and remain. It is my job to keep a record of events such as this, after all.”

    “I had not realized that recordkeeping also included commentary.”

    “You do not seem to realize many things as of late.”

    Ho. Lee. Shit, what did I get brought into the middle of? Those two went off at the drop of a hat. Was this my punishment; uncomfortable arguments? The Queen was a sadistic mastermind.

    “Enough!” Anxi said, managing to make a smile look stern. “We will continue this discussion later.”

    There was no room for arguing and the floating girl picked up on that. With a huff, she went back to her scroll, which had stopped writing while they argued. Anxi sighed through her nose and turned back to me, back on soft and welcoming mode.

    “As I was saying, due to the Queen’s behavior, I hope to make your stay here as comfortable as possible.”

    “Stay? You mean, like, as a guest?”

    Anxi smile-winced at that. “Well, not exactly. You see, the Queen has ordered an investigation into the theft of the peaches, thus granting you a stay of execution until the investigation’s conclusion. For the time being, you are now only to be considered only a suspect in the crime rather than the singular culprit. Until such a time when the investigation is concluded with profound evidence either confirming or denying your involvement, you will remain here in the Jade Palace.”

    “Rather than leaving you in a cell to rot, the Queen has seen fit that you should perform community service in order to atone for the crime of trespassing, of which she has declared you indisputably guilty.”

    Couldn’t really deny that one, even if it was unwillingly done.

    Thusly, until you have completed the sentence of your community service or are found guilty of the theft, you will be working as a servant of the Jade Maidens.”

    I took a moment to process that onslaught of information. So, good news, I wasn’t being executed and whatever investigation was being done would hopefully exonerate me of any wrong doings. Bad news, I was now the servant of the-

    “Jade Maidens?”

    “Us.” Floating girl, Wenjun, answered this time. She didn't look away from the scroll. “We are the handmaidens of Lady Xiwangmu. We keep the court running as efficiently as possible so that she is able to attend to her heavenly duties without worry.”

    Anxi nodded, “And I am the Head Maiden. Wenjun and Daiyu, the girl who brought you here, are both Lead Maidens, who work directly under me along with five others.” She didn’t notice Wenjun frown at that, or at least ignored it.

    “So, if I’m the servant of the Jade Maidens, that means that I’m the servant of servants?”

    Wenjun smirked, “Basically.”

    “You would be assisting us in doing our duties, yes, but you would not be treated as less than us,” Anxi quickly said.

    “And….and how long is my community service?”

    “....when the Queen decides it’s over.”

    Oh, wonderful. The woman who thought I was a thief, that I called a bitch in front of her entire court, would be the one to decide when I went home. So, I was right. She was torturing me, except instead of chains and whips, she was going to make me work for her, work until I begged and pleaded. Then she might let me go.

    I’m starting to hate gods. And my headache is getting worse. Fuck, I need a smoke.

    Status Update
    Health
    SatisfactorySatisfactory (Withdrawal)
    Effect: Withdrawal is a long-lasting health-based status effect that slowly worsens over time. It limits actions, especially physical ones, and can take a toll on overall health if left untreated for a long time.


    “If it is any comfort, the Queen is certain to be in better moods after the banquet.”

    It wasn’t. In fact, it made me feel even worse because now I remember the banquet, which reminded me of Koto, which reminded me of Touka, which made me sad, which reminded me of my supposed mission, which I still didn’t understand!!!!

    I slumped over, tears burning behind my eyes.

    “Anxi, I think you made the suspect cry.”

    “Ah! Oh, I apologize! Um, I-I’ll let you pick your chores! Yes! As consolation for the Queen’s erratic behavior, you can pick and choose what you wish to do. Ah, but you cannot choose to do nothing.” She paused, “Is that better?”

    No, of course not, I’m trapped in heaven being dragged around and tossed about at the whim of people and gods. But what does it matter? All I can do is what I can do. Nothing.

    “....What are my options?”
    7 7 7 7 7 7 7

    Choice
    Choose three of the five

    1. Cleaning
    2. Laundry
    3. Kitchen Duty
    4. Guest Services
    5. Petkeeping




    Skill Revealed
    Addiction (Cigarettes): E
    Despite only legally being allowed to smoke (in the United States) for two years, Menodora is horribly addicted to cigarettes, specifically Lucky Strikes, the favored brand of her father and the bane of her mother’s existence. Going without at least half a pack a day leaves her irritable. Going longer than two days causes her headaches, cramps, anxiety, and other fun side effects. Remember kids: smoking is for losers.


    Inventory
    Four-Leaf Clover Hair Clip:
    A good luck charm from her mother. Given to her on her first day of high school. Feels very ironic right now.
    Effect: +1 to LCK.
    Status: Active

    Well-Made Dress
    Made from heavenly silks, the dress fits perfectly and compliments Menodora's natural looks. It is also very comfortable and easy to move around in.
    Effects: Adds + to AGI and LCK
    Status:Active


    Parameters
    Strength: F+
    Endurance: F
    Agility: F
    Mana: N/A
    Luck: F+
    Last edited by Wizard; May 13th, 2020 at 02:45 PM.

  11. #71
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    872
    Blog Entries
    1
    1, 4, 5


  12. #72
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    ...I forgot.
    Age
    23
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    1,335
    Blog Entries
    1
    1, 3, 4
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  13. #73
    3, 4, 5

  14. #74
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle Ayr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Age
    26
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    438
    JP Friend Code
    141208538
    2, 3, 5.

  15. #75
    夜属 Nightkin Faux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    A Vineyard by the Sea
    Age
    24
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    108
    US Friend Code
    688,011,841
    1, 3, 4
    False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

  16. #76
    The Great and Powerful Wizard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Age
    24
    Posts
    121
    Blog Entries
    1
    Voting closes in 24 hours

  17. #77

  18. #78
    祖 Ancestor Dragolord09's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,579
    Blog Entries
    1
    1, 3, 4.

  19. #79
    Evil of Humanity Half-Blood Master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Argentina
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    175
    1, 3, 4
    Quote Originally Posted by Faux, July 20th 2019
    We gave HBM, of all people, access to a morals loosening field
    Quote Originally Posted by Faux, December 25th 2019
    Senta deserves the right to a life where she gets to choose if she's actually a Nazi
    True Rider
    A wise and beautiful woman who exudes an aura of grace. She is a sly, cunning, manipulative person who always gets what she wants, whether through trickery or ruthlessness. Her own fighting abilities are low, but she should not be trifled with. What does she ride? Men, of course!

  20. #80
    The Great and Powerful Wizard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Age
    24
    Posts
    121
    Blog Entries
    1

    Cancelled (For Now)

    After some thinking, I have decided to cancel Seventh Heaven, at least as it is now. Writing this has been a stressful learning experience for me and it has taught me that I have made some mistakes that cannot be properly retconned out. So, I'm giving up for the time being, but I'll definitely be back! I don't know when it'll come back or if it'll come back as a Quest, but it will come back. Sorry for dragging this out for almost a year and thank you very much for reading this now prototype version of a story I hope you'll come back to. There are no words that can really express how happy your support has made me.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •