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

  1. #41
    [X] Magic of Numbers

  2. #42
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    [x]Magic of Numbers

  3. #43
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    [x]Magic of Numbers

  4. #44
    [x] Magic of Numbers

  5. #45
    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...
    It works in Skyrim. That's a definite proof this method is great.

    [x] Living with Legilimens

    Yeah, obviously we are not reading that book anytime soon. Unless someone takes pity on us unexpectedly. Time to try the other shiny of our build.

    Generic Charms are generic.

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    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Magic of Numbers




    'Numbers then,' the boy thought, reasoning that there would be time enough to learn about the contents of his textbooks while he was at Hogwarts, and that, just maybe, reading a book about how to get into people's minds while his compartment wasn't exactly secured was not the best idea. He wasn't sure, but after how he'd won all that money last night - well, making himself a target because someone from the night before recognized him and thought he acquired a fortune by cheating wasn't high on his list of priorities.

    Which made it all the more ironic that his choice of reading material advertised (on the cover! in bold letters!) that it covered how to count cards, but then Matou Shinji, not being a veteran gambler or nearly as worldly as he believed himself to be, didn't realize that counting cards was not a form of divination.

    In any case, the text, by some man named Daryl Gabbiani, was quite well-written, explaining in very clear - very witty - language some of what a good grasp of mathematics could be used for, as well how it was quite a shame that most practitioners of the magical arts ignored it, given the sizable advantages that could be gained in casting speed or spell power from even a few tweaks. Admittedly, such tweaking could also lead to disaster if one wasn't quite skilled enough, but then, nothing worth doing was without its risks.

    Which was why Gabbani had written this book, because if everything in life was a gamble, there was no reason not to stack the odds in one's favor - a mindset that Matou Shinji agreed with quite well, for he knew well the dangers of the moonlit world, and so understood that not stacking the odds was utter folly.

    So engrossed was he in his reading that he didn't notice someone - or two someones - had come into the compartment and settled in the seats across from him, despite how their clothing might be seen as flamboyant by some. At least, until one of them reached across the aisle towards the Black Key on the chair next to him, at which point, the boy whipped out his wand and pointed it at the offender.



    "That's not yours," Shinji snapped, annoyed at having been interrupted from his studies by -- huh, it was the two adventurers he'd seen before, with the male being the one caught red handed in trying to...actually, he didn't know what the boy was trying to do. Both had very fine, almost delicate features, with grey eyes and coppery hair, and were wearing elaborate red coats and hats, coupled with rather sturdy looking leather gloves and thigh-high boots.

    "Look, I didn't mean anything--" the unknown male began--

    "Phelan," the girl interrupted, her voice exasperated but refined, reminding him of his benefactor from the night before, though rather more properly British. "How many times have I told you, you have ask a man before you touch his sword like that. Otherwise, as seems the case here, you might offend someone."



    "Who are you?" Shinji asked suspiciously, the tip of his wand shifting away from the forehead of the boy called 'Phelan'. "And what do you want?"

    "Amber Noel," the girl replied, tipping her hat to him. "The only daughter of Anthony Baptist Noel, 6th Earl of Gainsborough. And we were simply looking for somewhere to sit away from the commotion elsewhere on the train."

    Wait...this girl...she was...of the nobility? Well, he supposed the rich clothes and weapons gave it away, but given that they had rank in this land and he was not only a stranger but had been disowned, perhaps it was best he wasn't quite so confrontational. No matter if they were interrupting his study time.

    "...the commotion?" he asked instead, thinking that this needed a bit of of an explanation.

    "Yes," Amber noted. "Someone's pet Niffler is apparently is loose on the train, leaving a trail of chaos in its wake."

    "Chaos, you say?" the boy echoed, narrowing his eyes. "What kind of?"

    "Well, I hear there have even been a few duels over people mistakenly thinking others had stolen their property."

    Shinji blinked.

    "How...ah, the Niffler, huh," the boy muttered, suddenly glad he had not decided to get one of those exotic pets. By comparison, his pet Diricrawl was far less trouble, even if it, too, seemed to be a bit of a kleptomaniac. "How...troublesome."

    "Indeed, which is why I warned my brother against touching first and begging forgiveness later, as people who didn't know about the Niffler might get the wrong idea."

    "Sorry about that," the girl's brother muttered. "Didn't mean any harm by it, really."

    "Phelan, was it?" Shinji asked, his gaze sliding over to his chest and bag, which thankfully seemed untouched, taking a moment to reach into the bag and make sure the invisible book was still there and still invisible, briefly noting that the door was closed - which it hadn't been before, meaning these two must have closed it - before moving over to the other boy. "Who are you then, Phelan? The son of an earl, and your brother's sister, yes, but..."

    "Phelan Noel, at your service," the youth said gallantly, sweeping his hat off his head and half bowing to Shinji. "A knight-aspirant, descendant of knights, and a connoisseur of swords, if I may be so bold." He glanced down at the blade next to Shinji. "Speaking of which, I've never seen a blade quite like that. From the look of it, it would be ill-suited for a fight, being too long for a dagger, and not properly thick enough to have much power behind it." Then his eyebrows rose. "Unless...it isn't meant to be thrown, is it? But...then why not a knife? Surely that would be simpler to conceal, and in numbers..."

    "You'll have to pardon my brother," Amber cut in. "As you can tell, he has a bit of a fascination with all things bladed. Not that I can blame him - I am a fencer myself and not a terrible one, if I may say so, but...he was ever the one to lose his head at the sight of a pretty girl, or an unusual blade, be it pretty or not."

    "My sister's loving remarks aside," Phelan interjected tersely, "it is more that I couldn't really figure out what your sword is, or what it is for. That's why I wanted to touch it, to check the balance."

    "The...balance?" Shinji asked, blinking in confusion. "What does that--"

    "Everything," Phelan interrupted. "A blade meant to be wielded has a balance point just above the hilt, allowing for fluid movements in both attack and defence. If the weight is too far forward, you could strike quite a heavy blow, but bringing the blade up for defense, or to counter...not so much. If the weight is fully in the hilt, then you won't be able to drive your opponent back in a confrontation. You will be constantly on the defensive - though granted, you would be able to defend more quickly."

    "...and if it's not meant for wielding?"

    "If it's meant for throwing, then the centre of balance should be in the centre of the blade, so it doesn't wobble or undulate," the boy replied, frowning. "Unless you're not planning on having the blade spin, and are just throwing it like a spear, but then why not just use a bloody spear?"

    "Phelan."

    "Ah, oh, right...yes, my apologies," the earl's son said with a chuckle. "I do get carried away about my hobbies sometimes, though usually Amber is around to restrain my more...problematic impulses."

    "Funny how they only seem to happen when I'm around."

    "What I mean to say is..." the boy took a deep breath. "I've been a bit rude, eh? Sorry about trying to touch your blade like that. I of all people should know to respect the special relationship between a man and his sword."

    "Phelan."

    "Right, well, I've talked a bit too much it seems, without giving you the chance to speak, noble sir," the earl's son spoke. "Who might you be then, as you now know our names, but we know not yours?"

    How does Shinji describe himself, aside from just telling them his name?

    [ ] As no one of Importance
    [ ] As a scion of the House of Matou
    [ ] As a scholar, curious about the mysteries of magic
    [ ] As a bit of a gambler, if they will indulge him in a game of cards
    [ ] (write-in)
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  7. #47
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    [ ] As no one of Importance

  8. #48
    [X] As a bit of a gambler, if they will indulge him in a game of cards

  9. #49
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    [x]As a bit of a gambler, if they will indulge him in a game of cards

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    Change my vote.

    [X] As a bit of a gambler, if they will indulge him in a game of cards

  11. #51
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x]As a bit of a gambler, if they will indulge him in a game of cards




    "The name is Shinji," the boy replied simply. "Matou Shinji, of the fallen house of Makiri." He smiled, a thin, somewhat strained expression. "I am a foreigner to these lands, and perhaps not the best user of swords, as I've been in but one life-and-death battle, but I do consider myself a...a bit of a gambler."

    "Oh?" Amber inquired, her interest piqued. "In terms of combat or..."

    "My hobbies, though everything is a bit of a risk, isn't it?" Shinji noted. "In any case, would you care to indulge me in a game of cards?"

    "A game?" the girl echoed. "What sort? If it is a game of chance you seek, it would better with three, not simply two. Otherwise..."

    "Otherwise...?"

    "I suppose I could read your fortune in the cards," she quipped.

    "Reading my fortune?" Shinji asked, somewhat intrigued.

    "While my brother prefers blades, and take a particularly crass approach to combat, based on overpowering a foe with main force--" "Hey!" "--I enjoy the more subtle arts, reading the patterns of fate and striking at the precise moment to ensure victory."

    "...and can you do that outside a fight?"

    "Yes. I'm quite proficient at tarot reading, if you would like see your fortune...?"

    How does Shinji respond?


    [ ] Yes, why not?
    [ ] No, he has no need of another to tell his fortune. His fortune is his alone to make
    [ ] No, he would rather just play a game of chance
    [ ] Ask about any other methods she has to determine the future
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; August 11th, 2019 at 03:20 PM.
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  12. #52
    [X] Yes, why not?

  13. #53
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    [ ] No, he has no need of another to tell his fortune. His fortune is his alone to make
    [ ] No, he would rather just play a game of chance

  14. #54
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    [x]No, he would rather just play a game of chance

  15. #55
    [x] Ask about any other methods she has to determine the future.

    Tea divination.

  16. #56
    [x]No, he would rather just play a game of chance

    No Fate above us. If Matou Shinji had allowed Fate to decide for himself, his destiny would have been a pathetic trail of ruin and despair.

    To hell with that. Let's twist the chances to our favor.

  17. #57
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [x]No, he would rather just play a game of chance




    "If its all the same, I'd rather not," Shinji said, declining the offer. "All I'm up for is a simple game of chance for the moment. I don't think my heart would be ready to learn what might happen to little old me, after the adventure I had just getting to Britain in the first place."

    From the look on his face, Phelan very, very obviously wanted to ask about these adventures, but a pointed look from Amber convinced him to behave, lest he risk annoying her even further than he already had.

    "Any preference in games?"

    "Well, I'm always up for a game of poker," Shinji related, to which Phelan shook his head.

    "Sorry, if that's the game, I'm not playing if my sister is. She'll clean me out. Again."

    Now it was Shinji who wanted to ask about this 'again' and just how many times Amber had done this, but he held his tongue, figuring that such a query would be...a bit impolite, since he didn't know these two very well, or just how much he could ask.

    "Well, I don't think a two person game will be very entertaining, but I'll be happy to take your offer another time, if we have the opportunity," Amber replied, seeing her brother's decision. "For now, we should let you go back to your reading, since I think my brother has some to do himself. Something about a guide on how to take care of his new pet, hm?"

    "...yes, sister," Phelan grumbled. "Of course, sister. Whatever you say, sister." He sighed, explosively. "But...yes, you're right." The boy pinched his nose, as he shook his head. "Never had a pet before. Probably shouldn't embarrass myself by letting it die after I won it from that lottery thing."

    That seemed to be it for the moment, with the boy leaning back in his seat and taking a slim volume and a tube-like carrying case out of his bag, in which was stored a black rat, and Amber withdrawing a copy of The Magic of Numbers: From Crafting Spells to Counting Cards from hers, much to Shinji's surprise.

    "That book..." he began, startled to see someone else with a copy.

    "Yes?" Amber asked. "Oh, you're reading it too, are you? Good choice. I don't understand all of the theory yet, admittedly, but I'm looking forward to putting what I learn in action."

    "Indeed," was all Shinji said, given he hadn't read enough to have much of an opinion on the contents besides that.

    Time passed, with Shinji and the Noels Twins reading in silence (or in Phelan's case, a very good attempt at silence) until it was time to change into Hogwarts robes and disembark, a process the Noels found a bit more troublesome than others, given their elaborate gear, and the need to stow their swords. Honestly, seeing them out of their red outfits was...a bit of a shock, really, though the two still had a undeniable sense of presence even in typical school robes, even if Phelan seemed a bit...fidgety without his weapon.

    Changing was a much simpler process for Shinji, who slipped out of one black robe into another, though this one didn't hide his identity quite as well as the other had. For a moment, he wondered if he should have bought one of those voice changing masks after all, but shook his head, as they didn't seem quite worth the rather hefty price.

    Does he...

    [ ] Stick with the Noels as he gets off the train?
    [ ] Part company with them, seek out someone else - maybe Ana, if she's around
    [ ] Part company with them, seek out someone else - the purple-haired girl, perhaps
    [ ] Part company with them, seek out someone else - the Japanese girls, perhaps
    [ ] Part company with them, seek out someone else - just walk alone

    Before he goes too far though, the boy sees a very recognizable figure stroll into the clearing - the giant he'd bested at cards last night. Considering how big the pot had been, and how tense the betting, perhaps he shouldn't go around making a ruckus. On the other hand...

    What should he do?

    [ ] Try to hide in the crowd
    [ ] Play it cool, don't acknowledge his presence as unusual
    [ ] Go up to him and congratulate him on being a worthy opponent
    [ ] Catch the man's attention to see what his reaction will be
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  18. #58
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    [x]Stick with the Noels as he gets off the train
    [x]Play it cool, don't acknowledge his presence as unusual

  19. #59
    [x] Part company with them, seek out someone else - the Japanese girls, perhaps
    [x] Play it cool, don't acknowledge his presence as unusual

  20. #60
    [X] Stick with the Noels as he gets off the train
    [X] Play it cool, don't acknowledge his presence as unusual

    The idea here is to stay with the Noels and then go over to Ana. The two girls would get along.
    Last edited by Skull Leader; August 11th, 2019 at 05:38 PM.

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