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Thread: A Chain of Debt (A Matou Shinji AU Quest)

  1. #21
    Hand of Glory - 100 Galleons
    The Gambler's Lure - 100 Galleons
    Pouch of Vanishing - 50 Galleons

  2. #22
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    "The cards sound...useful," Shinji mused aloud. Certainly for someone in his situation, having a means of making money was quite important. He'd just have to be sure he ah...didn't push his luck, like the past owners undoubtedly had. And then there were the pouches, which seemed overpriced for something that couldn't be used to store items, but then, if it was made to make things disappear without say, accidentally vanishing his fingers, well, that could be good as well. "I'll take them, and one of the pouches."

    Hesitated for a moment as his eyes fell on the withered hand. The best friend of thieves and plunderers everywhere huh.

    'I don't fancy myself a thief but...'

    Would it really be so bad to be a gentleman thief like the great Arsene Lupin, or say, Robin of Loxley? To steal from the unjust and uncaring for the benefit of those who needed it?

    'And really, who needs money more than I do...?'

    After all, he was a foreigner in a strange land, with a massive debt hanging over his head.

    "And the Hand of Glory," he added, almost as an afterthought.

    "So, the Gambler's Lure, a Hand of Glory, and one of the pouches?" the shopkeeper echoed. "That comes to 250 Galleons." He paused. "Can you afford that, young man?"

    "...I can," the boy stated, taking out his pouch of coins and placing them on the counter. "There are 258 Galleons in there, but that's all I have."

    "...and you have chosen to spend almost all of it at my establishment?" the man inquired, with a considering hm. "Well, I suppose it is not a terrible thing to see the youth of today interested in the relics of the past. Since I am a generous man, how about I give you a bit of a discount, hm?"

    "A discount?"

    "Yes. Say, instead of 250, I charge you only...218 Galleons, since you are obviously new to this country, hm?"

    "Yes, I'll-I'll take it."

    "Splendid," the man noted. "A pleasure doing business with you, Mister..."

    "Tohsaka," the boy replied, not wanting to give his true name to someone who operated a shop that seemed more than a bit shady. "Rin Tohsaka."

    "I look forward to your patronage in the future."

    With the hand wrapped up in a nondescript package, and the cards and pouch slipped into one of his pockets, the boy left the establishment, turning back to Diagon Alley, his wallet much lighter.

    [Gained: Hand of Glory ]
    [Gained: The Gambler's Lure ]
    [Gained: Pouch of Vanishing ]

    Remaining Balance: 40 Galleons

    Once he returned, he noticed his Diricrawl blink into existence next to him, a book in its beak.

    "Huh?" he asked. "What's this?"

    [Gained: The Magic of Numbers: From Crafting Spells to Counting Cards]

    The book was apparently an introduction to the use of mathematics for things like divination, calculating probabilities, creating spells, and yes, even counting cards, though the boy didn't know what good the last would be, at least for now.

    "Huh? Where'd you get this?"

    But the diricrawl didn't respond, except with a pleased Kweh.

    Well, free was free, the boy thought. He'd go pick up the chest and other items he'd bought earlier, and...huh, the train to Hogwarts didn't leave until tomorrow at 11, did it? That was the issue with timezones, he supposed.

    He supposed he had a couple options:

    [ ] Stay the night at the Leaky Cauldron (5 Galleons, meal included, innkeeper will Side-Along apparate you over to Kings Cross tomorrow)
    [ ] Go to the Kings Cross, Platform 9 3/4, and find a corner to rough it for the night
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  3. #23
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
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    [x] Stay the night at the Leaky Cauldron (5 Galleons, meal included, innkeeper will Side-Along apparate you over to Kings Cross tomorrow)

    Unexpected assist from the Diricrawl. Good girl.

  4. #24
    [X] Stay the night at the Leaky Cauldron (5 Galleons, meal included, innkeeper will Side-Along apparate you over to Kings Cross tomorrow)

    This will lead to a better more rested, and in a better mood Shinji than if we sleep at the station. While I am very curious who we might met if we stay the night at the station cause of being there before anyone arrives, its likely for the best to just kiss the 5 galleons goodbye.

  5. #25
    [ ] Stay the night at the Leaky Cauldron (5 Galleons, meal included, innkeeper will Side-Along apparate you over to Kings Cross tomorrow)

  6. #26
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    [x]Stay the night at the Leaky Cauldron (5 Galleons, meal included, innkeeper will Side-Along apparate you over to Kings Cross tomorrow)

  7. #27
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Stay the night at the Leaky Cauldron (5 Galleons, meal included, innkeeper will Side-Along apparate you over to Kings Cross tomorrow)




    By which, the boy meant he only really had one choice: to find a good inn and stay the night, since to stay out on the street was something a beggar might do, and he was no beggar. He had money after all. Not a great deal of money, but he still had some, and while he was loath to spend more than he had to, he wasn't going to spend less than was necessary to keep up his health and image.

    (That, and it would be a poor thing for an aspiring gentleman thief to be robbed of his possessions, which could easily happen if he slept outside. Compared to the utter shame that would bring upon him, 5 Galleons for a room at the Leaky Cauldron was a small price to pay. It even included a solid dinner, which was...rather remarkable in terms of value).

    Now, as he sat picking at a rather hearty Game Pie, apparently a specialty of the place, marveling at the size and...meatiness of it.

    This particular pie was shaped in the form of a goose trussed for the spit, with a deboned goose inside the pasty form, a succulent deboned duck inside that, a deboned fowl inside of that, a deboned partridge within the fowl; and a boned pigeon within the partridge. The whole having been properly seasoned, the interstices were filled with rich gravy, sweet herbs and savoury balls of oat and cheese, with a pitcher of butterbeer on the side.

    As he ate, he surveyed the pub in which he sat, noting that it was dark and shabby, with a bar and a number of tables in the shadows of the corners, quite a contrast to the rooms upstairs, which could be reached by way of a handsome wooden staircase. These rooms - well worth the 5 Galleon price - contained comfortable beds, highly polished oak furniture, a crackling fire which was always burning in the grate to welcome the visitor to their lodgings, and even a talking mirror which had given him some fashion advice - namely, that he should straighten out his hair and wear something less somber than his cassock.

    As he looked around, he noted that the pub was mostly filled with the usual vagrants and human trash that could be found in most bars, with the rabble drowning themselves in alcohol, no doubt in an attempt to forget what disappointments they were to everyone who knew them, much like the useless man who he'd once called father.

    There were a few others though, who were notable because they weren't trying to drink themselves into oblivion - and because they simply didn't look like the usual clientele of this place.

    On one side of the room, somewhat away from the hubub of the drunkards, a young girl was seated on a plush red sofa, strumming an instrument that could have been a guitar, with something like a rabbit next to her, and an old man who could have been her grandfather across from her. The man was obviously very much out of place here, like an aristocrat used to refined surroundings who had stepped into a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    On a table in the corner, a rather thin man with a turban on his head, of all things, seemed to be having an argument with someone, only there was no one seated across from him. There was a rather large tome open in front of him, but he didn't seem to be reading from it, interestingly enough.

    And at a great common table, what could only be a giant was playing cards with others. Apparently, a round had just ended, as the giant was pulling a not inconsiderable pile of Galleons on the table towards him, as those around him groaned with disgust, or demanded another round.

    'Hmm...I see.'

    After his meal, Shinji would...

    [ ] Retire to his room to do some reading and enjoy a night of sleep without Tohsaka badgering him for coffee in the morning
    [ ] Go say hello to the girl playing an instrument and her grandfather, as oddities should be investigated
    [ ] Perhaps see what was going on with the man arguing with...himself?
    [ ] Join the table where people were playing cards. After all, he had just acquired a new deck of cards...why not put it to good use?
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; August 10th, 2019 at 07:44 PM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  8. #28
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    [x]Go say hello to the girl playing an instrument and her grandfather, as oddities should be investigated

    Not going to talk with man arguing with himself or try new cards that was just bought. Talking to someone your own age seems easier then trying to scam people out of their money. Would they even let underage kid join in the gambling.

  9. #29
    [X] Join the table where people were playing cards. After all, he had just acquired a new deck of cards...why not put it to good use?

  10. #30
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
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    [x] Join the table where people were playing cards. After all, he had just acquired a new deck of cards...why not put it to good use?

  11. #31
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x] Join the table where people were playing cards. After all, he had just acquired a new deck of cards...why not put it to good use?




    The choice was obvious. After all, if these people wanted to get drunk and just throw away their money on a game of chance, why shouldn't they lose it to someone more deserving? Someone like him. So, once he finished dinner, he made his way over to the table, where a disgruntled gambler had decided to cut his losses by spilling his drink all over the cards and storming out.

    The rest of the gamblers looked on the scene with mutters of disgust, but Shinji was undaunted.

    "Room for one more?" he asked, trying to sound suave and sophisticated, withdrawing a pack of cards from his pocket. "I have a set of cards."

    "Get lost kid, this is a little too rich for your blood," some forgettable drunk jeered at him. "Go back to the little boys table."

    "How much?" Shinji demanded.

    "20 Galleons a hand, kid, now beat it."

    Shinji's response was to take the pouch of coins from his pocket and toss it on the table, where it landed with a solid thunk.

    "There's 35. Deal me in."

    "Are you sure you want to be spending Mummy's money on--"

    But the gambler shut up, paling as he found the tip of a wand pointing right between his eyes.

    "My mother is dead," Matou Shinji said, unmistakable fury writ all over his face, "and unless you want to be very shortly, I suggest you, deal. me. in."

    The man proceeded to do so, using Shinji's own cards, while the boy placed his wand on the table, so as not to seem threatening. A bit surprised, even a little intrigued by the disruption to their usual, the rest of the table ante up for the next round.

    "Yer sure you--" the giant spoke gruffly, only for Shinji to cut him off with an upraised hand.

    "Quiet you. I can't hear myself think over the sound of your breathing."

    The giant seemed rather affronted at this, but only shook his head as he anted up.

    Over the course of the next few hours, Shinji's fortunes were mixed. At first, people seemed cautious about the curse-happy kid who'd walked up to the table, all but threatening them to let him play. They bet small, calling rather than raising, willing to take small losses to test the waters, so it were. After a while though, they began to get aggressive when they saw he wasn't anything that special, with one of his missteps costing him a hundred galleons - most of what he had won over the course of first hour.

    He cursed, becoming more focused on getting it back, and for a while, things seemed to be going his way, with the boy getting decent hands, his opponent folding at the obvious smugness radiating from him, with the pile in front of him growing larger and larger.

    But then disaster struck.

    After thinking he was going to win for sure with a full house of Queens over Jacks, and betting very heavily, it turned out that the giant...well, he had four of a kind.

    'No...no...I can't lose here. I have to keep going.'
    Perhaps it would have been a smarter move to bow out. After all, he still had 150 Galleons, which wasn't bad, considering he'd bought in with 35, but something told him to keep going. Pride, perhaps, or indignation that a stupid-looking oaf had managed to outplay him.

    Which was why it hurt so much to lose a second time, when his straight was beaten by a flush in the hands of the man he had threatened.

    'No...I'm down to 70...but I can still win this. I can still turn this around,'
    he thought desperately, going All-In with a Full House, 8 over 7s, only for the giant to have 9s over 7s.

    "Yer done, boy?" the giant asked gruffly, a touch of pity on his face. "I think you've had enough. Eh...if yer want, I can--"

    "No. No, we're not finished yet!" Shinji cried hysterically. How...how could he have lost everything. "I can still play. I can still play!"

    "...look, do you have enough for the next buy-in?" one of the gamblers asked, almost patonizingly.

    "I...I..."

    "If not, then get out, kid," another of the gamblers said to him, shooting him an evil eye. "This tables for grownups, not kids who can't take losing. You're done."

    "No, I..."

    "You're not kidding anyone, boy. You're out of money, aren't you?"

    "I..." The boy lowered his head. So this was it then, after everything. This was all he was good--

    And then he heard a thunk on the table in front of him, with the boy looking up to see a small pouch.

    "The buy-in was 20 Galleons, I think?" a voice as a clear as a bell cut through the din, with Matou Shinji not quite understanding. "I'll cover it."

    "Huh?" the boy asked intelligently, as he turned his head to see the girl who had been playing the guitar.

    "Well, go on, don't just sit there," she said, a small smirk on her lips. "Clean them out."

    "Clean them..." he repeated.

    "You heard me the first time," the girl noted. "Clean them out."

    "I but--"

    "I don't want to hear it," she cut him off, before turning to one of the men at the table. "Deal him in."

    "I...why...?" the boy asked. "I...I can't."

    "Because if you quit now, you'll end up thinking you're doomed to lose forever, and not a good look for anyone. Just make sure to give me my share of the winnings after, hm?"

    "I...right. I will."

    "Good."

    For a while, the rest of the world fell away, as Matou Shinji played as he'd never played before. By now, he thought he had a handle on how everyone played. How the gambler with the strange deerstalker cap liked to raise at the slightest provocation. How the giant was always self-assured, and played small bets, until he actually had a large hand. How one of the others loved to bluff - and sometimes got away with it. He played, and he lost, and he played and he won, until there were only two players left in the game.

    Him.

    And the giant, who had rather a larger amount in front of him than he did, who was raising, putting in more than Shinji had left.

    "Can yer match it?" The large man asked gruffly. "If er not, this is it."

    "I'll see your bet, and I'll go all-in."

    But the giant shook his head.

    "That's nae enough. If you can't--"

    "A Hand of Glory," Shinji cut in.

    "Eh?"

    "I'll throw in a Hand of Glory," he stated. "That will cover the difference, won't it?"

    "...are yeh sure yeh."

    "All-in. Match it or fold."

    "...as yer wish," the giant noted, shaking his head. "Straight flush, mate. Queen high. You lose." The giant sighed, shaking his head. "Should have just folded when you had the chance."
    "...not so fast, there," the boy stated, flipping over his cards, to reveal--

    "....wha...how...?" The giant voice was strangled, his face a ruddy hue Shinji had never quite seen before.

    "I believe ace high beats queen, yes?" Shinji inquired, with the other gamblers looking on disbelievingly. A straight flush - ace high. In other words, a royal flush.

    "Wha...who the hell are yeh?!" the giant cried out, his jaw falling open in disbelieve.

    "The name," the boy said as he pulls every galleon to his side of the table. "Is Shinji. Matou Shinji. And don't you forget it."

    "...oh, I won't...I'll remember this."

    The giant seemed lost, despondent, and honestly, Shinji couldn't blame him. He was still in utter disbelief that somehow, he'd won.

    "Congratulations," came a voice from behind him, with the boy noticing that the girl from before was there.

    "Oh, it's you," the boy noted, blinking. Why was she... "Oh right, come for your share of the winnings?"

    "If you wouldn't mind."

    "I...what would your share be anyway?" the boy asked, realizing he'd never discussed that with the girl.

    "Well, I leave that to you to figure out. You're the one who risked it all, so you tell me what that 20 was worth."

    Shinji shook his head at that, counting out 300 galleons (12 stacks at 25 per stack) for himself, before pushing the rest to the girl.

    "Oh? So much for only 20 galleons?"

    "If I'd lost there...I'd have nothing. So all I'm going to take the 300 I had before everything went south. All the rest? Yours, Miss...?"

    "Spencer. Ana Spencer, Mister Matou," she said, as she slid the many, many galleons into her purse, which seemed not to budge at all with the extra mass. "See you at Hogwarts."

    "Ho--until then."

    And then she was gone, with Shinji thinking that after all the commotion he had caused, it was time for him to retire to his room for the evening.

    Current balance: 300 Galleons




    The next day, the boy rose bright and early to head to Platform 9 3/4, still finding it almost impossible to believe that he'd acquired something like 1000 Galleons in a single night - even if 700 of it had gone to someone else. That deck...the Gambler's Lure - he'd have to be careful not to push his luck, given that it didn't make his luck any better, only worsening the luck of his opponents.

    'I wonder if that giant had some kind of resistance to the effect...' he mused. That would explain why the other gamblers had begun to do quite poorly, with the giant raking up quite a pile of treasure. Ugh...to think he'd almost lost because of that...had lost, until someone had given him enough funds to win back everything that had slipped through his fingers and more. 'I have a lot to learn. I can't be too reckless, or I'll just end up hurting myself.'

    So he thought to himself as he went about his morning routine. Today would be a new day, the start of a new adventure, and he - Matou Shinji - was ready. To symbolize that, he'd changed into what he thought would best represent him...[ ] The cassock
    [ ] Hogwarts Robes
    [ ] Suit and tie
    [ ] A hooded black robe
    [ ] A yukata he found in his luggage

    Once at the Platform of course (and don't get him started on how unpleasant apparition had been), the boy found himself in a vast crowd of people. Not tens, not dozens - hundreds of people in all different shapes and sizes.

    Here, there were a gaggle of redheads gathered around an overfull baggage cart.

    There, one could see a set of siblings with...were those swords?! Right...honest to goodness at their waists, dressed in striking outfits of red cloth and leather, complete with feathered caps, looking almost like adventurers who had stepped out of the pages of a book.

    On the train, one could see a dusky skinned girl with long purple hair, something he didn't think was quite natural. She seemed almost...aristocratic, as she looked out upon the crowd.

    He even saw a couple of Japanese people, a raven-haired beauty and a chestnut-haired hair on the other end of the platform.

    With that in mind he...

    [ ] Boarded the train - there will be time to socialize later
    [ ] Approach one of the groups he noted
    [ ] Wait for a while, there's still time to peoplewatch
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  12. #32
    [X] Suit and tie

    I can understand people wanting to fit into wizard world but...

    Shinji is not really study them yet so I think the most professional look he can give to people is a Suit and Tie. Something that says I am serious, and somewhat wealthy. And while he could double down on his Japanese, I am not sure that is the answer for this Shinji. And the hell I am going to go in looking like mini-kotomine. So might as well give the Magus answer here. Suit and Tie.

    [X] Boarded the train - there will be time to socialize later

  13. #33
    Onirique Daiki's Avatar
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    [x] A hooded black robe

    Get in that hood, Diricrawl we're going on an adventure.

    [x] Boarded the train - there will be time to socialize later.

  14. #34
    [x] A hooded black robe

    [x] Boarded the train - there will be time to socialize later.

  15. #35
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x] Hooded Black Robe
    [x] Boarded the train - there will be time to socialize later.




    Shaking his head at all the hubub around him, the boy decided that it would be best to simply board the train, as he really wasn't up for socializing with a large throng of people, babbling in their strange tongue. One or two at a time were tolerable, but he wasn't the sort who enjoyed hearing the mewling of ignorant children, with no idea of the dangers of the moonlit world.

    'Not that this is the moonlit world, exactly,' he reminded himself as he stalked the corridors of the train, his hooded black robe fluttering behind himand his Diricrawl following, blinking in and out of visibility as it moved around with him. 'But what are the differences?'

    Those would be important to know, he reasoned, given that it was what he didn't know that would ruin him.

    For example - did giants have some kind of spell resistance? Now that he thought about, he'd been a bit hasty in using his newly acquired item to train and earn a good bit of money. After all, its previous owners had probably lost the item by pushing their luck, believing that that a single enchanted object guaranteed them victory in a game of chance, when really, nothing did. One could come close to a guarantee, but there were always - always - factors beyond one's direct control.

    'And if it wasn't for one of those, I would be just about destitute again, worth nothing in the eyes of the world.'

    That girl, Ana, she'd said her name was, she's saved him, helping him without the expectation of reward - well, any real reward. Which was why he'd been so generous to her after all was said and done, because only two people had ever really there for him when he needed help. One of them was Tohsaka, with her "help" saddling him with a monstrous debt to pay off in a few years. The other, of course, was the girl who had helped him last night, just putting down a easy 20 Galleons when he'd been about to lose everything.

    This might not seem a lot, but for a boy who had just about reached rock bottom, any lifeline at all - especially one which wasn't poisoned with the intent to trap him in servitude - was a treasure beyond words. He couldn't take it for granted though, couldn't take anyone for granted, which was why he'd given her most of his winnings, aside from what he'd lost before he'd begun to push his luck.

    And now he was alone.

    [ ] Read one of his books
    [ ] Try to practice some spellcasting
    [ ] Look out the window at the mob of students
    [ ] Send the dodo around the train to find interesting things
    [ ] Play a game of solitaire - he needed to get better at cards
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  16. #36
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    [x]Read one of his books

  17. #37
    [ ] Read one of his books

  18. #38
    [x] Read one of his books

    Invisibility, here we come. Time to see how far can we reach in stealth - before snapping and going back to usual grandeur.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Malorius View Post

    Invisibility, here we come. Time to see how far can we reach in stealth - before snapping and going back to usual grandeur.
    You mean burning down half of the Ministry is not consider Stealth? I am sure this Shinji will be better in stealth than other Shinji. It is hard to be worse.

    I just have to Focus...my one weakness.

    [X] Play a game of solitaire - he needed to get better at cards

    MUST gain money to pay back Rin...
    Read a book is also good.
    Last edited by Skull Leader; August 11th, 2019 at 11:38 AM.

  20. #40
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    I mean, sure, there's an argument that a run where no one is alive to see you or report you is also a "Stealth" run, but...

    [x] Read one of his books




    The question is, which book? While Shinji's first choice would have been the invisible book, the tome remained frustratingly...invisible, and the boy couldn't think of any way to make it appear. He'd tried Finite - the General Counterspell in his Charms textbook - a few times, but to no avail. He'd tried cutting himself and putting a drop of blood on it, only for the blood to disappear once it soaked into the item. He'd even tried poking the item with his Black Key, though that didn't seem to result in anything happening, so he put the blade aside on the seat next to him - just in case he needed it again.

    Of his other choices, he had his Charms book, which he was already reading from, the Living with Legilimens Book, which apparently involved the basics of shielding one's mind and reaching into that of another, and his Magic of Numbers Book, among others.

    Which book?

    [ ] Charms
    [ ] Living with Legilimens
    [ ] Magic of Numbers
    [ ] A Thousand and One Herbs and Fungi
    [ ] Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    [ ] The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

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