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Thread: [Quest] Lostbelt Raising Project

  1. #41
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  2. #42
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Silence hangs delicately in the air as Yingying and I both sit on different corners of the bed, looking away from each other. Neither of us say anything and merely struggle with the ever-growing tension.

    After our initial surprise meeting at the castle and a light ceremonial exchange, we ended up coming back to my house without saying much to each other. Then, Assassin quickly dismissed herself and ran away saying such nonsense as ‘I’ll leave you two lovebirds some time alone’. I need to remember to punch her one of these days…

    Ahhhhhhhhh! What am I supposed to do? I’ve been told so many different things that I don’t know how to act anymore. What even is marriage? Is it edible? I don’t even know anymore.


    For some reason, Yingying is staying quiet as well… I did get the impression before that she was secretly a shy girl. Could it be that she’s waiting for me to take the lead? Do I have to be a man? Is it time for me to step up?

    No, I don’t want to step up! I didn’t even want to get married, so why have do I have to go through this? Legendary mythical test, my ass; the Emperor must be doing this to troll me.

    No, calm down! This isn’t the time to panic. I already know what I have to do.

    Remember what Assassin said.

    ‘Basically, what I’m saying is that ya gotta go and spike a baby up in there, k?’

    No, not that one. That one’s stupid. Remember the actually good advice.

    The household is just a microcosm of the country. You must maintain harmony. You must work with others without losing sight of your mission. You must love and be loved. What she was trying to tell me, the meaning of those words is…

    Honest communication!

    There’s no need to treat marriage like it’s anything special. It’s just another relationship like friendship or work. I just have to be honest to both her and myself. Putting on airs, trying to be overly nice, trying to distance myself, those methods are no good. If I keep things casual and just wing it, then the only outcome that can happen is the natural one that was meant to be.

    I reaffirm my resolve and find the courage to move forward.

    “Hey, Yingying.” I break the silence at last and address the girl by my bedside.

    “Y-yes. What is it, dear?” She promptly responds. At the same time though, I pick up on her stutter and hesitation.

    Gauging her feelings… she does seem to have a calm and composed expression. It’s the same blank expression that I see on the people in the crowd. But considering her stutter, perhaps she’s actually tense. I guess it’s only natural since she’s in the room and on the bed of a man she only just met. I should say something to help her calm down and let her know I don’t plan to hurt her.

    “Relax. I’ll be gentle.” I state robotically. Oh god, wait, that sounds really pervy.

    Yingying doesn’t respond and merely nods. Ugh, I get the feeling she has the wrong idea about me.

    “L-listen. I’m gonna be honest with you…” I say, calling upon the last courage within my cowardly heart. I search deep inside for what I want to say to her.

    My true feelings… how I truly feel about Yingying… that is…

    “I don’t want to marry you!” I proclaim with absolute conviction.

    “Eh!?” Naturally, Yingying exclaims in shock. Her expression is as if the rug beneath her feet was suddenly pulled away or like if a bride was suddenly divorced during her honeymoon.

    “Let me explain.” I quickly say, trying to mend any misunderstandings, before properly explaining my situation. “I’m not annulling our engagement or anything. But the thing is… I’m not really interested in this kind of relationship right now. There is something I need to do, something I want to do. And to do that, I needed your father’s help and the only way to obtain it was to marry you.”

    I speak clearly and frankly, pouring my true feelings into my words.

    “I’m not saying I don’t think you’re not a good wife or anything. I mean you are really pretty and you seem nice and I think any guy would be lucky to have you, but… to be honest, I don’t think I can really treat someone I just met as my wife. Marriage or not. Rather than being your husband… I think I want to be your friend first. Even ever since I first met you, I wanted to get to know you better. So, I’d like it if we could push this whole marriage thing aside and just keep things casual. If that’s okay with you.”

    I finish my speech and try to gauge Yingying’s reaction. She doesn’t say anything immediately and seems to be processing the information. I can’t really blame her for being at a loss of words.

    After a short moment, though, I think she manages to compose herself.

    “I see. I think I understand.” She says gently with a smile. “If that’s what you want, then I have no reason to refuse. I’m happy to oblige.”

    “Really? That’s great!” I let my excitement show.

    “Hmm, I don’t think I’m too happy with how eager you seem to be about this.” She comments lightly with a complicated expression.

    “Haha, sorry, sorry. Don’t mind it too much.” I laugh it off.

    Well, it seems that my plea got through to her and we were able to establish a more casual, friendly relationship. Was this the right choice? Is this the answer to the test? I can’t be sure but, at the very least, I think this is what I truly wanted.

    “And uh…” I bring up with a regretful expression. “I’m sorry I kind of dragged you into this. You kind of ended up in the middle of this matter between your father and I.”

    “Oh, no. Not at all.” She brushes my apology off. “I’m the princess after all. I always knew I would be married for something like this. It is my duty.”

    Her expression and voice show no sign of regret or melancholy. She truly sees nothing wrong with this arrangement.

    “Even if it wasn’t today, I’m sure I would’ve married another man in the near future.” She speaks casually. Yet she still looks up at me and smiles with rosy cheeks. “In that sense… I guess I’m happy I became your wife.”

    Doki doki…

    Huh? Did my heart just skip a beat? That’s weird.

    … I’m just gonna pretend like that never happened.

    Wise-up! Yingying's Status
    Affection up!
    You are now friends with Yingying.
    You are now conscious of Yingying romantically.

    Anyways, the eternal night marches on. Feeling more comfortable with each other, Yingying and I just spend the time sitting on the bed and chatting freely like proper friends. We get to know each other and laugh lightly at unfunny jokes. It’s hardly the most magnificent meeting with a princess, but it’s nice. I like it.

    “By the way,” I bring up while we’re chatting. “I was really surprised to find out that you were a princess. If I may be frank, I didn’t get that sense from you when we first met.”

    “R-really? Do I not have any majesty?” She asks curiously. Oh, did I perhaps hit a weak spot for her?

    “No, no, that’s not it. It’s just that you were… really approachable. I guess I just imagined a princess to be more distant, you know?” I explain while trying to recall my original impression of her. Unfortunately, whenever I try to do so, I can’t help but remember the embarrassing way we first met.

    “Oh, I see. That’s good. I was afraid I don’t seem very princess-like.” She laughed in relief. “I only became a princess recently, so I worry I’m not very good at it.”

    “Oh, is that so? Well, you could’ve fooled me; you seem like a natural.” I nod along with some superficial praise…

    Hold on, what did she just say? Something wasn’t right about that.

    “Wait… you just became a princess recently?” I voice my confusion.

    “Yes. I’m only 18, so I’ve only been a princess for about 2 years.” She explains casually as if it were obvious.

    “Wait, wait… you’ve only been a princess for 2 years? You mean, you weren’t born a princess? But you’re the Emperor’s daughter, aren’t you?” I try to grasp hold of the strange new information.

    “Hm? No, of course not…” She responds quickly before seeming to catch onto my confusion. “Oh. Could it be that’s not how it works in your world?”

    “No...” I shake my head with trepidation.

    “Well, you see, Father and I aren’t related by blood. I’m his daughter in name and title. After I took the Imperial Examination, I was chosen for the title of “Princess” and adopted into the Imperial Family.” She explains with a cheerful tone, as if remembering a fond memory. “The role of the princess is to be a prize for exceptional officials who earn the Emperor’s praise; if they accomplish a great feat, they get the honor and reward of marrying one of the most esteemed women in the country. Princesses are hand-picked for their beauty, demeanor, and intelligence about once every few years so it’s a really big deal. I was originally from Level 4, so it was a huge honor to be brought up to the surface and live under the Emperor’s roof. Everyone from my village called me their pride and treasure.”

    I don’t know how to respond. I feel as if a bucket of ice water had just been poured over my head.

    “Wait, hold on. Then, what about the Emperor’s actual children?” I spit out the first question in my mind.

    “Hm? The Emperor doesn’t have any children.” Yingying looks confused by my own confusion. She says without any doubt. “He is an immortal Sage after all. His blood is too pure to be passed on.”

    I grasp my head. There are so many things I want to ask about.

    “I’m sorry for asking so many questions, but… could you tell me more about the Imperial Examination?” I implore her earnestly.

    “Oh, no, don’t be sorry. I understand that everything here must seem foreign to you.” She once again gently brushes off my apology before shifting back into lecture mode.

    “Well, the Imperial Examination is the large exam that determines your destiny. When you’re 16 years old, you take the annual exam with everyone else your age. The exam tests everything about your ability and potential, from your physical attributes to your knowledge to your personality type. Then, the Emperor personally chooses the perfect occupation for you based on your results. Thus, everyone is able to contribute to society in the way most befitting their true potential. For example, one of my old friends from my village wasn’t very strong or clever, but she had a really good memory and lots of patience, so the Emperor chose for her to be a record keeper. And as I mentioned before, I was chosen to be princess for my qualities as a ‘wife’.”

    Her voice is filled with a strong sense of pride, as if she were talking about something she herself created. I notice a large warm smile on her face just from talking about it.

    “See? Isn’t the Imperial Examination great? Everyone can follow their perfect destiny.”

    A feeling of unease flows over me as I hear her explanation and see her wide grin. I think back to the written exam I took yesterday. That must have just been a lite-version of the exam just to test my general abilities as an advisor. If what she says is true, then the real thing is a huge test that calculates your abilities in everything.

    … a test that quantifies your entire value to society, even down to your personality traits. A government that chooses, no- forces an occupation on each citizen that was determined to be ideal for them. A crowd of people who walk through the street in perfect order with blank expressions, as if it were a factory assembly line. A princess whose entire purpose in life is to be a trophy to encourage the citizens to work harder…

    Is it truly the dream system that Yingying makes it sound like? Is this the way of the world I want to save?

    “Is something wrong, dear? You’re making a heavy expression.” Yingying asks with a voice of worry.

    “Oh, no. It’s nothing.” I respond swiftly to make it seem like I’m acting natural. I try my best to strain a smile.

    For now, I don’t need to air my grievances to Yingying. There’s no point in making her worry about the doubts that even I’m uncertain about right now. So, I try my best to act normal.

    “Thanks for explaining everything to me. I feel like I better understand this world now.” I thank her sincerely, despite my heavy heart.

    After that revelation, though, I’m not really in the mood for more pleasant conversation, so I get up.

    “Well, we’ve been talking for a while, so let’s call it a night and go to bed.” I state, lightly stretching my limbs after sitting down for a long time.

    “Oh, okay…” She nods lightly.

    “Hm? Is something wrong?” I ask, sensing some hesitation in her voice.

    Oh, could it be that she wanted to chat a bit more? Well, I was enjoying our conversation a lot too, so I understand that, but I’m just not really in the mood right now. There’ll be plenty of time to get to know her later, so let’s just call it a night.

    “Well, that is…” She mumbles her words as if embarrassed. “You said that you wanted to keep your relationship casual, but we’re still husband and wife so I wasn’t sure…”

    She quickly looks away, but not before I notice her cheeks flush.

    “Will we still be consummating our marriage tonight?”


    An arrow pierces my heart, breaking the stone wall built around it. I feel as if I might cough up a lung.

    Th-this is… is this it? Is this the event flag I’ve been dreading all this time?

    “Well, you know…” She mutters still restlessly looking away. “I was already prepared to offer you my virginity tonight, so…”

    Every sense in my body is thrown for a loop as I struggle to stay sane.

    This… this must be another test! My measure as a man is being tested right now. My answer here… my decision shall determine who I am!

    I take another good look at Yingying. She is still wearing the red silk dress from earlier. Unlike her armor, the tight-fitting dress accentuates the subtle curves of her slender body. The scarlet red of the dress complements the whiteness of her skin. I catch a glimpse of her slim, delicate-looking nape juxtaposed by her flowing black hair…

    I search deep within my heart for my true feelings towards the woman before me. What is it that I truly desire right now? What is the correct answer to the trial given to me? I look within and gather my resolve.

    My decision is…

  3. #43
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    “I’m disappointed in you, Master.” Assassin declares.

    “Shut up. I’m angry at you right now, so just shut up.” I grumble, clutching my sore body.

    It was the day after and the two of us were now in the house’s tea room, having a strategy meeting after last night. In really though, it was just Assassin badgering me for the juicy details and quickly getting disappointed.

    The answer I gave Yingying last night was “Not today.”

    What does that mean? I don’t know. I said it and I don’t even know anymore. God, just kill me.

    And after that… well, I ran away. I disgracefully made my exit and went to crash in the side bedroom, only to discover that Assassin had pre-emptively barred the door so I couldn’t get in, anticipating my reaction. With no choice left, I decided to just sleep on the floor, so now my body feels super stiff and I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, so I’m cranky.

    “I can’t believe it. I gave you all that sage advice yesterday and you didn’t act on it.” She complained in a chastising tone.

    “What sage advice? All you’ve done is corrupt me.” I glare at her. Yeah, that’s right. It’s probably her fault I’m having such doubts. If it weren’t for her, I’m sure I would’ve been able to maintain my composure and properly decline Yingying like a proper gentleman and scholar.

    “What do you mean? I only speak with your best intentions in mind.” She shakes her head at me as if she were in the right. “I told you before that this is a test of your responsibility. Consummation of marriage is an important ritual for tying the knot between lovers. The very name of the act shows that a marriage is not complete until it is consummated. In some legal systems, a refusal to consummate is grounds for an annulment of the marriage, which is the last thing you want, right? By not doing so, you’ve abandoned your responsibility to your family, thereby failing the test. It’s the equivalent of getting hired for a job, but not signing the contract!”

    She brings up all sorts of logical arguments, as if I actually did something wrong.

    “Do you get it? If you understand, then show some responsibility and make up for your mistake. Screw the time of day. She’s still in the bedroom sleeping defenselessly, right? Just go over there right now, pull down your pants, and make yourself a man.”

    “I will not!” I yell out, blasting away her dumb logic with my will.

    I have made my decision and stand by it till the end, no matter what Assassin says. That is my resolve.

    Anyways, after a bit more badgering, Assassin finally lets the matter go, apparently deciding by herself that I’ll just have to try again tonight. With the stupid stuff out of the way, we finally get back to actual strategy planning.

    “I’ll be honest. I don’t know if we can trust the Emperor.” I state, while taking little sips from my cup of tea. I did make sure to tell Assassin everything I learned from Yingying last night. There’s something off about this world, and there’s a good chance it is due to that man’s design. This might just be instinct, but I think he’s hiding something, not just from me but from this whole world.

    “Hmm… I suppose you’re right.” She nods along. At least when it comes to stuff like this, she’s quick to understand my point of view. If only it was the same for the lewd stuff too…

    “The good thing about not becoming his subordinate is that we don’t have to do what he says, right now. We can do whatever and go wherever we want.” I proclaim boldly.

    “Go wherever…? Are you planning on leaving the capital, Master?” Assassin asks with concern.

    “It’s an option.” I affirm. “I mentioned before that I want to find other Servants, right? But, if possible, I want to get to them first before the Emperor can get to them. We need a way to even the playing field. Besides that, we might learn more about the world if we actually explore it.”

    “But what about the princess? She’s your wife now, so you can’t just go off on your own.” Assassin brings up a good point.

    “Hmm…” I consider my options carefully.

    On one hand, I can stay in the capital for now and work together with the Emperor. I’d have access to his wisdom and resources, likely allowing me more immediate influence over the direction of the Lostbelt’s growth. The problem is that I don’t know if I can trust the Emperor, especially when considering the large gulf in our fighting power. If he wanted to force me to do something, I wouldn’t be able to stop him. Also, another bonus is that I can spend more time with Yingying.

    On the other hand, I can go on an adventure to explore this vast empire. If I go to different places in person, I may gain a deeper understanding of the world outside of just this single city. Also, I’d have a better chance of finding any independent Servants roaming about and getting to them before the Emperor does. If I can even the playing field, I’ll be able to better pressure the Emperor’s decisions later on. The problem is that I’d be leaving the capital and separating myself from the Emperor’s resources. Also, I’ll have to consider whether I bring Yingying with us or leave her behind.

    Hmmm… honestly, neither option seems perfect. But those are the only ones I can think of.

    So, what should I do?

    Knock knock


    Before I can decide, there is a sudden knock on the door of the house. That’s strange. I wasn’t expecting anyone to visit us right now. Could it be the Emperor needs me for something?

    Th… this couldn’t be about last night could it? Is he angry I didn’t do the deed? No… no that can’t be it. Right?

    Curious and afraid, I quickly get up from my seat and open it, surprised to see the person standing there.

    “Good day, Lord Bengshan.”

    There in the doorway is a handsome blonde knight in steel armor. His western medieval aesthetic contrasts hard with the eastern decorations of this Lostbelt. Despite his strange appearance, though, I am familiar with him. If my memory serves me right, he’s the Servant of one of the other Crypters.

    “Saber, was it?” I ask to confirm. If I’m right, he’s Bianca’s Servant.

    “Yes. I have come on the orders of my Master to deliver this to you.” He states in a professional and gentlemanly voice. At that moment, he holds up what seems to be a large picture frame.

    “This is my master’s latest work. She wished to share it with you.” He says and gives me a clear view of the frame.

    On it is a hand-made painting of a verdant landscape. A brilliant sunset falling upon a forest waterfall fills my view. And in the middle is the figure of a nymph-like maiden with golden hair and pointy ears playing in the water. It must be a painting of some of the scenery in Bianca’s Lostbelt. It’s… pretty, I guess? I dunno. I’ve never had an eye for art.

    “Um, thanks, Saber. I’ll leisurely appreciate it when I have the time.” I state, taking the painting out of his hands.

    “Understood. Before I go back, is there any item you would like to give to my Master or any of the other Crypters?” He asks.

    “Uhh… no, not really. Just tell Bianca thanks. And good luck, I guess.” I say, scratching my head for something clever to say, but coming up short. “Man, Bianca’s really using you as a pack mule, isn’t she? Must be tough.”

    “Not at all. Such duties are of no matter to me.” He suddenly states with an earnest expression. “It is the honor and pleasure of any knight to be in the service of as fine a lady as Miss Bianca.”

    “I- I see…” I’m thrown off a little by how sincere his loyalty is. “Then, that’s good for you.”

    “Yes.” He nods with a sense of pride. “Well, then I shall be taking my leave.”

    “Uh, wait.” I suddenly stop him, before fumbling for the words. “Uh well, you see…”

    He stops in his tracks and waits for me to compose myself.

    “Uhh… look. Don’t tell her I said this, but please take care of Bianca, okay? She’s a little too nice for her own good and it’s worrying. I wouldn’t want her getting hurt, so please look after her. I leave her in your hands.” I implore of him.

    “… yes, I understand. I swear upon my pride as a knight to do my utmost in protecting her. And I'm sure milady would be flattered to know of your concern as well.” He states before immediately vanishing from my view.

    I watch him go with amazement. It wasn’t him turning to spirit form, but probably the effect of his Noble Phantasm that even lets him instantly travel between Lostbelts. How convenient. I kind of feel a little envious of Bianca, having such a useful Servant. Strong, disciplined, loyal…

    “Man, I wish I summoned Saber, instead.” I muse to myself out loud.

    “Oi, Master. I can still hear you.” Assassin complains from afar.

    Anyways, I ignore the weakling in the tea room and refocus on my own situation. It seems like all the other Crypters are working hard, so I can’t slouch either. I need to take the next step forward.

    What should I do moving ahead?

    You have learned more about the Lostbelt and see two options before you. Stay in the capital and work closely with the Emperor or go off on your own to gain your independence.

    1. Stay in the capital.
    2. Go on an adventure.

    1. Bring Yingying with you
    2. Have Yingying stay here and wait for you

    3. It’s too early to decide. Let’s wait and see for now.

    Wise-up! Saber's Status
    Class: Saber
    True Name: ???
    Gender: Male
    Region: Britain
    Origin: ???

    STR: D
    END: D
    AGI: B
    MGI: C
    LCK: D
    NP: A++

  4. #44
    夜属 Nightkin Faux's Avatar
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    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    2.1 I don't think there is any better option

  6. #46
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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  7. #47
    Evil of Humanity Half-Blood Master's Avatar
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    It is most appropriate for the wife to be present to evaluate any potential new subordinates
    Last edited by Half-Blood Master; November 12th, 2019 at 06:33 AM.
    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
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    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!

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    Ought to take a look around, and a proper guide would be nice.

  9. #49
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Sometimes I dream of my childhood…

    I don’t really mean to or want to, but somehow my mind ends up wandering back to those halcyon days.

    I had a very happy youth.

    I was born the first and only son of a relatively young magus lineage. My father was a magus and my mentor. My mother had been a normal human before their marriage. I never asked how the two met.

    Dad was a serious and strict man, befitting a magus. He didn’t talk much and never showed warmth. That’s probably why I was so intent on winning his approval. I thought that if I studied hard and became a good magus, he’d praise me just once.

    Mom, on the other hand, was the perfect mother. She was warm and loving and caring. Whenever I did well at school, she would praise me without restraint; whenever I felt bad, she would hug me tight and comfort me. Every night, she would tuck me into bed and read me a story. Every day after school, she’d bake me a batch of her signature chocolate chip cookies, the best in the country if I do say so myself. So, of course, I loved my mother more than anyone in the world.

    Though I was a magus, I still went to a normal school during my youth. I’d go to school normally in the day and practice magecraft with my father at night. Well, our family was too low-level for the elite Clock Tower anyways, but I liked this arrangement; it felt like the best of both worlds.

    I didn’t have a lot of friends at school, but I wasn’t lonely.

    There was a girl in my class I remember liking. She was really cute, smart as heck, and nice to everyone. All the boys in my class probably liked her too. But she liked me back.

    Like a couple of dumb brats playing house, we started ‘dating’ once we got closer. Well, all we really did was just play together a lot during recess or on the weekends and stuff, but I was innocent back then. Although, occasionally, she would kiss me on the cheek in public, just to show off in front of the rest of the class. I felt like a king at times like that.

    When I told them about our relationship, my dad told me not to allow myself to get distracted or get too close to normal people, but my mom was fully supportive.

    Overall, I was a very loved child. My mother, my childhood girlfriend, and many other people who I can’t even begin to list all adored me and pampered me like I was a prince.

    It was a child’s paradise. Everything was perfect.

    And that’s why I really don’t like thinking too much about it.

    Sometimes I remember my childhood…

    When my father realized what I had been doing, he punched me. Without holding anything back, he slugged his ten-year old son with all his force. I was thrown across the room by the blow and collapsed onto the ground immediately. Twitching and battered, I looked up at my father with hazy eyes. I expected him to be absolutely furious, but instead, his expression was one of absolute disgust. I still vividly remember what he said at that moment. With a voice shaking with fear and regret, he plainly came to a realization:

    “I have birthed a monster.”

    A few months later, he and mom got divorced. Over the years, I’ve often tried to visit him, but he’s never once opened his door to me.

    All this time, I’ve been holding onto the hope that if I become a proper magus, he might talk to me again. But I know deep down that he never will.

    And I can’t really blame him.

    Because he was right.

    About who I am. About what I am.

    I am a
    Unfit Existence

    I am a murderer.

    Ever since I was born, these two things had always been true.

    I have killed many, many people. Without even thinking about it, I casually slaughtered dozens, perhaps even hundreds of people as a mere child.

    The idyllic paradise that I called a childhood was built on a mountain of corpses.

    It has been many years since then. I have grown and realized the folly of my sins. But, no matter how much I wash them with the stream of time, the blood on my hands will never disappear.

    Now, whenever I feel happy or proud of myself, I merely have to remember that fact and I ‘m able to shatter those conceited emotions.

    Someone like me doesn’t deserve to be happy. Someone like me doesn’t deserve to be conceited. Someone like me doesn’t deserve to be loved ever again.

    Well, if there’s any solace to this, it’s that I’m sure that last one will never happen.

    After all, who could possibly even tolerate a piece of shit scum like me? Even if they did feel any sort of affection, it’d only be towards the fake mask I put on. Once they see the real me, I’m sure they would make the same face father did back then.

    I sometimes wonder why, on that day long ago, my father didn’t kill me. He would’ve been doing the world a huge favor by getting rid of me.

    I have always thought so. I don’t deserve to live. The world would be better if I died.

    The only reason I haven’t killed myself already was because I was too scared… no, I was simply too selfish to sacrifice myself.

    But it finally happened a few years back. After I joined Chaldea, I was properly killed at last. I died in that explosion and the world was surely better off without me.

    So why…

    Why was a monster like me brought back to life?

    Year: 2018
    Location: Country Road, Level 2

    “Man, Peking city sure was pretty!” Assassin exclaims happily with a relaxed grin on her face. It seems that no matter where we go, she’ll always be carefree and juvenile.

    It has been about a week since the three of us, Assassin, Yingying and I, left the capital city to journey around the Lostbelt. Since we were bringing Yingying with us, we couldn’t just bail and hit the road without telling the Emperor. But that ended up helping in the end as he approved of our trip and even gave us a lot of money for travelling expenses. The excuse I gave him for the journey was to ‘examine the leylines’. I don’t know if he actually bought my excuse, but he didn’t stop us either way.

    With the money we got, we purchased a horse-drawn carriage and were now comfortably going from city to city to look for Servants and gather intel. Since both Assassin and I were unathletic couch potatoes with no coordination, Yingying volunteered to be our driver, leaving us humble idiots chilling in the back with the luggage. Over the past few days, we’ve been dutifully grinding the pavement and hopping from town to town. We completed a quick tour of some key places on the surface level and had now descended to Level 2.

    According to Yingying, the Emperor’s influence lessens the further down you go. The cities on the first two levels tend to be very neat, organized, and lawful, but starting from level 3, things get a bit less secure. Of course, they’re still proper parts of the Empire and everyone’s all unified in stuff like taking the Imperial Examination, but the rules are a bit looser down there. We were also warned about the presence of Demonic Beasts. Apparently, monsters aren’t uncommon the further down you go, and one should be careful travelling alone; stuff like that reminds me we really are in another world. We haven’t seen any yet, but we’ll have to take precautions once we get to Level 3 or 4. Speaking of which, didn’t Yingying say she was from level 4? I’m surprised she was raised so well and so nicely, if it’s supposed to be more uncivilized down there.

    “Hm, hm, the architecture back there sure was nice.” Assassin mumbles, still reminiscing on the last city we visited. “Especially the central tower. I don’t think I’ve seen something quite like it. Don’t you think so, Master?”

    “Huh? Ah, yeah, I guess it was pretty.” I nod, still having no sense for art.

    “Hey, I know! If we have time, let’s visit it again on our way back.” Assassin suggests giddily.

    “Oi, you do know we’re not here to fool around, right? We’re on a mission.” I scold her as always. This time, however, she smirks cockily.

    “Oh, is that so, Master?” She slyly chuckles. “Y’know, I couldn’t help but notice you eyeing the red-light district back there.”

    “W-what?” I gasp. My cheeks probably flushed a little at the same time. “Don’t be ridiculous. I was just gathering intel and data.”

    “Oh, I’m sure there was plenty of data there you wanted to personally examine.” She smiles suggestively.

    Dammit, is it just me or has she been getting more of a tease lately? Is it because she’s still angry at me for not having consummated my marriage with Yingying yet?

    By the way, to be honest, I was curious how prostitution worked in this world given the Imperial Examination system. It seems that the test even assigns those jobs to people and forces them to work as such. Their official title is apparently "Public Health Worker" and they contribute to society in their own way. Just after a few minutes near that place, I got so disgusted I ended up running away.

    “Is everything okay back there?” Yingying’s concerned voice comes from the front of the carriage.

    “Oh, we’re just talking about how Master was interested in the brothel—” Assassin begins talking, but I quickly cover her mouth with my hand.

    “Nothing!” I yell out, while holding down the struggling Assassin. “We’re just analyzing the data we got from the last city. Hahaha.”

    I make a half-hearted laugh to make it seem like nothing’s going on, while struggling with Assassin’s head in my arms.

    “Okay, then.” Yingying accepts what I say without any doubt as always. Well, it’s not like I don’t like that gullible side of her. “We’ll be entering a tunnel soon, so sit tight. We should make it to the next city within a few more hours.”

    “Got it! I’ll leave it to you.” I nod though she can’t see me.

    By the way, a lot of the big roads on level 2 are actually long tunnels, since it’s underground. They’re not very well-lit, so it’s a little scary going through them if you’re afraid of the dark. To avoid collisions, most carriages have a lantern at the front of the car to alert other travelers of their presence.

    Anyways, once she stops struggling, I let go Assassin.

    “Geez, you didn’t need to go that far.” The first thing she does is complain.

    “I won’t just sit back and let you slander my name.” I calmly reply, sitting back down.

    “Oho? Don’t want your wife to know about you eyeing other women?” She asks, still as sly as ever.

    “Nothing of the sort.” I fold my arms and make a show of being aloof. “More importantly, let’s go over the data we collected back in Peking. You’re certain we’re headed to the right place?”

    “Mmhmm.” She confirms. “The locals there said that they saw a woman in strange clothes with a domineering presence. She was also holding a strange tool or weapon they had never seen before. The last person to see her said they saw her go in the direction of the town we’re currently headed to. That was also about a week ago.”

    “Hmm…” I put my fingers to my chin as I ponder the info.

    A strange woman with a powerful presence. There’s a good chance that that might be a Servant. If so, we have to meet her and try to convince her to join our side. If she’s travelling as well, too, then we’ll have to ask around in the next town if they’ve seen her. All we can really do is just follow her trail and hope we catch up with her in time.

    We continue talking about our plans and fooling around in the carriage as we enter the tunnel road. After about an hour in, we near the exit when suddenly—

    Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding


    A chorus of high-pitch ringing like a hundred bells abruptly catches our attention. The carriage quickly comes to a halt, perhaps because the horses were startled by the sound. I also soon hear a bunch of noises from outside the carriage but can’t make out what they’re saying. Concerned, I move back up to see what’s going on and…

    “Don’t move!” A rough, manly sounding voice calls out to us. “We’ve got you surrounded!”

    “Eh?” Surprise leaks out of my mouth.

    I look outside to see a couple of people on both sides of the wagon. They’re all disheveled men of various builds with a red handkerchief tied around their necks or heads and a sash of bells on their bodies. But most of all, in their hands are a variety of weapons. I take a quick glance at Yingying at the front of the carriage and see an absolutely terrified expression.

    “No way! Bandits!? But we’re still on Level 2.” She exclaims in disbelief. Clearly, this isn’t a normal occurrence she ever expected.

    Shit. Sweat beings pouring down my back. I also didn’t see this coming. I thought the first two levels were supposed to be all lawful and orderly, so I didn’t make any preparations. How careless of me.

    “Listen here. Step out of the carriage slowly with your hands above your head. No funny business. We’ll kill you if you don’t resist.” The man in front, a long-haired tough looking punk with a scar on his eye, yells out, while brandishing the broadsword in his hand.

    “Hey, dude.” I hear another guy beside him softly speak. “I think you said it wrong. Shouldn’t it be ‘we’ll kill you if you do resist?’.”

    “Eh? What did I say?” The first man looks at his compatriot in embarrassment. “S-sorry, I’m still not used to this.”

    “Big Sis said we should use graphic examples of violence to intimidate people.” Another man, big and bald, chimes in. “Oh, and we should try sexually harassing the women.”

    “Ooh, ooh, she also said that licking your sword looks cool.” A fourth guy adds energetically.

    “Okay, okay, I think I got it this time.” The first guy nods, takes a deep breath, and turns back to us.

    “Alright, ya bastards! Surrender peacefully or we’ll be cutting your legs off and making you eat them. A-and, we’ll be having our way with your pretty lady friend there. The boys back home will be happy to have some company tonight. Muahahaha!” He roars before wildly licking his sword like it’s a popsicle.

    I don’t know whether to be scared or laugh. Clearly these guys aren’t very experienced in highway robbery.

    Incompetence aside, though, this isn’t a threat to take lightly, if only due to their numbers alone. Just within my vision are about 8 men and more hiding in the darkness. I’d estimate their total numbers to be about… 20 guys.

    Taking a quick glance back into the carriage, I noticed that Assassin has disappeared. Quick thinking as always! She must’ve gone into Spirit Form the moment she sensed trouble.

    Even so, she’s weaker than I am, so I don’t know if she’ll be of much help. Furthermore, I'm sensing some magical presence from these guys, which means they might be able to actually hurt Assassin with mundane weapons. So that leaves Yingying and I vs. 20 bandits…

    Dammit. I don’t think we can win.

    Can we escape? I think I might be able to if I was alone, but not while I’m protecting Yingying.

    This is bad. This is really bad. For the first time since coming to this Lostbelt, I encounter true danger.

    What the hell can I do?

    During your travels, you have been ambushed by a gang of bandits. They don’t seem competent, but there are too many of them. What do you do?

    1. Surrender without resistance
    2. Try to defeat them all.
    3. Try to escape.
    4. Beg for mercy.

  10. #50
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    changed, surrender seems more fun
    Last edited by Spartacus; November 14th, 2019 at 11:16 AM.

  11. #51
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    While escaping seems feasible, the Brigands have a homefield advantage and would likely know their way around the tunnels better than us. Since one of the main purposes for this trip was to locate the other Servants, escorted to the "Boss Lady" would be a good start.
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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  12. #52
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  13. #53
    夜属 Nightkin cooldownnow's Avatar
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    I really want to know more about the incompetent bandits and their big sis. Essentially put me down for any possible option that involves getting to know them. Also is Bianca's servant Arthegall from the Fairie Queene? If he is I am mad at myself for not finding this quest sooner as I love the world of the Fairie Queene and would have voted for fairy land.

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  14. #54
    I think it is a small assumption that they will be taking us to their leader, are bandits, could very well just be planning to make off with our stuff.

  15. #55
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Location: Underground Tunnel, Level 2

    “Alright, we understand. We surrender!” I yell out while putting my hands up.

    I notice the bandits silently breathe sighs of relief or clench their fists in celebration, diffusing the tension of the situation. It seems I was just in time too as I notice Yingying’s hand was on the hilt of her sword.

    “Eh?” Yingying looks up at me in mild disbelief. I guess she’s surprised I’m acting so cowardly, but unfortunately, I’ve always been a scaredy-cat. I won’t put on airs at a time like this.

    I shoot Yingying a serious look to try and convey the weight of the situation. As much as I hate it and want to punch these guys in their teeth, we have to do what these incompetent brigands say. I hold back my anger and handle this calmly.

    “A-alright then. You two get out of the carriage and you’ll get to live another day.” The scar-faced bandit in the front commands. I nod along and jump off. Yingying reluctantly follows.

    “Good, good. I like obedient people.” The bandit nods in approval at our submission. “Then this carriage is now the property of the “Red Scarf Pirates”! We’ll be on our way now, so be glad you still have your lives.”


    A resounding cheer comes from the crowd of bandits around us.

    A few of the bandits immediately start getting onto the carriage while others keep watch on us. Watching the sight, Yingying seems distressed and turns to face me.

    “Is this really okay, dear? All of our belongings and money is in the carriage. If we give it up to these low-lifes, we won’t be able to continue our journey…”

    “Idiot.” I interrupt and scold her with a light chop to the head. “That stuff doesn’t matter to me. Your life is way more important.”

    To be honest, I hate this situation. I hate letting other people tell me what to do. Normally, I’d be rebellious for the sake of it alone and go rampaging right about now, only to die for my needless pride, but it’s different now. I was the one who decided to bring Yingying along on this journey, even though I knew it could be dangerous. Thus, I can not let her get hurt. If there’s even a fraction of a chance of her dying, then I have to be the coward.

    “Dear…” She gasps in surprise and makes a warm, but hard-to-decipher expression. Well, at least it seems like she gets what I’m saying.

    Wise-up! Yingying's status
    Affection Up!
    You are now greatly concerned about Yingying’s well-being.

    “Awww, that’s sweet.” I hear one of the bandits in front of us say with a slack-jawed grin. Shit, were they listening?

    “Thinking about his companion’s safety first and foremost… that’s the mark of a good man.” Another idiot chimes in, nodding his head.

    “You’re a lucky girl, missy. Treasure your husband.” Scar-face comments, giving us a thumbs up from the front of the carriage.

    I really don’t know how to feel about being complimented by a bunch of bandits…

    “Oh, gosh…” Yingying blushes lightly from all the praise.

    Oi. You’re really gonna accept that from these guys?

    “Anyways, we’ll be on our way now. Have a good day.” Scar-face announces happily, taking hold of the horses’ reins and preparing to depart.

    “Yeah, got it.” I nod, ready to see them go. It’s definitely a blow to lose our luggage here, but it’s not a horrible loss. We can still come back from this.

    All the bandits prepare to depart; the ones that had been keeping watch on us, finally put their swords away and get ready to leave as well. It seems that the incident is finally over, when suddenly—

    “Eh? Wait, are you the princess?” A random bandit that was hidden before suddenly remarks, getting his first close look at Yingying.

    Perhaps because I was paying attention to the other departing, I’m slow to process the question and react to slowly. Before I can say anything, Yingying responds innocently.

    “Ah, yes, I am.”

    If my hands weren’t up in the air, I would’ve facepalmed.

    There is an abrupt pause in everyone’s movements as they gradually process what they just heard. And then suddenly, a burst of chaos.


    A resounding shout echoes through the enclosed tunnels.

    “Wait, wait, wait, what!?”

    “Did she just say she was the princess? Like, the Emperor’s daughter?”

    “W-what should we do? She’s a total VIP.”

    “Isn’t this bad? Won’t the Emperor get really pissed that we mugged his daughter?”

    Chaos quickly breaks out amongst the crowd of bandits, as they scramble over themselves to process the new revelation. Ugh… I might need to talk to Yingying later about being so honest.

    “Hold on, guys. Didn’t Big Sis say that, if we find any high-ranking officials, we should bring them back to camp?” The big, bald bandit from earlier brings up, breaking down the chaos.

    “D-does the princess count as a high-ranking official?”

    “Uhhh… just in case, we should bring them back. We’ll let Big Sis decide what we do with them.”

    The bandits seem to come to a conclusion, and unanimously turn to look at us.

    Well, I somehow feel like I should’ve known that this would happen.

    Year: 2018
    Location: Bandit Camp, Level 2

    “Oi, we’re here. Get out.”

    At last, we arrive at the bandit’s hideout. After they decided what to do with us, Yingying and I were restrained with rope and blindfolded before being loaded onto another carriage, not our own. Since we were blindfolded, I had no idea which way they started taking us, but we must’ve travelled about 40 or so minutes before we came to a stop.

    “Yingying, are you okay?” I ask loudly, after being shoved out of the carriage.

    “Yes, dear. I’m right here.” I hear her voice come from a few meters. She doesn’t seem hurt, so that’s good.

    “Oi, can it, lover boy.” I feel someone smack me on the back of the head. It isn’t done very well though, more like a mean slap than an actual attack. “Your wife will be fine, so just come with us.”

    The bandit behind me speaks roughly, but I can’t help but feel that he’s kind of trying to assuage my worries. Either way, I decide to shut up and go along with them.

    Pushed from behind, I’m forced to walk blindfolded, not knowing where we’re going next. Over the course of a few minutes, I start to hear more ruckus around me, as if we’re entering a place with a lot of people, but I can’t make out what they’re saying. And through the blindfold, I can sort sense more lights in the area we’re entering. After a while, we stop at last and—

    “Well, well, what have you brought me, boys?”

    I suddenly hear a new voice, astronomically different from the rough bumbling of the incompetent bandits. Husky, deep, whimsical, it belongs to a woman. I don’t even need to be told that she’s probably the “Big Sis” person that the bandits were talking about.

    “Big Sis! We found some important people, so we brought them back as you ordered!” One of the bandits yells out in a respectful tone. “This here is the Imperial Princess Yingying.”

    “Oh my~ What a valued guest.” The woman responds with a flighty tone. “And who is this gentleman?”

    “We believe him to be her husband!” The bandit replies loudly. Oi, do you have to shout every time you talk to her?

    “I see, I see. This is indeed quite the loot, you’ve brought back.” The woman praises them. “You’ve done very well following my instructions. I’ll make sure to reward you all very nicely~”

    “““Yes, Big Sis!”””

    A resounding cheer of celebrations erupts behind me. They seem genuinely happy just getting praised by the woman. What simpletons.

    “Now then, I’d like to talk to our guests. Could you remove their blindfolds? Oh, but don’t untie them yet. And have them sit too. They must be tired from walking all the way here.” She instructs carefully. I can only assume she’s being meticulous to compensate for the bandit’s incompetence.

    “Of course.” A voice replies energetically. I’m quickly made to kneel before my blindfold is taken off. At last, I get a good look at the woman leading these amateurs.

    It is a dangerously beautiful woman with dark brown hair. With slim, red tsurime-style eyes, she gives off a sharp yet dainty expression of sly innocence. Her skin isn’t as delicately white as Yingying, but her figure is even more curvaceous than Assassin. Her large breasts were of note, but what catches my eyes are her wide child-bearing hips accompanied by finely toned thighs and—

    What the hell is she wearing!

    On the mysterious beauty is a bright red cheongsam tightly wrapped around her voluptuous body. Yet, for some reason, the back of her dress is completely cut out and the side-leg cut is too high, showing an absolutely shameful amount of side boob, thigh, and nape. I thought I was finally getting used to Assassin, and then this bombshell sets off. She’s just as bad. Dammit. Are all Chinese Servants like this? Instead of cheongsams, why couldn’t this damn country have invented decency instead?

    “Oh my~ Too scared to look at me?” The woman asks with a laugh, as I purposefully turn my head to avoid seeing her. I instead glare at some of the ugly-looking bandits to cleanse my eyes. Ah, such disgusting bastards… so healing…

    Anyways, her vulgarness aside, this confirms my suspicion. I can tell just from her presence. This woman is a Servant.

    It seems I’ve accomplished my first goal of this journey, finding an independent Servant. Now, the real trouble is convincing her to join my side. And it doesn’t help that I’m not exactly in the position to be making demands…

    Wise-up! Enemy Rider
    Class: Rider
    True Name: ??
    Gender: Female
    Region: China
    Origin: ??
    Alignment: Chaotic Evil

    STR: D
    END: E
    AGI: D
    MGI: D
    LCK: B
    NP: ??

    I take a quick look around the surrounding area. From the look of things, we’re in some sort of tent, lit by several torches. There’s nothing much in this tent besides the Servant lady, twenty or so bandits, and a shoddy low-quality throne made from wood. I assume there are probably other tents, but they’re probably all about the same if not less standard as this one. It seems that the low quality of the bandits does not portray the quality of their camp. Truly, the woman alone seems out of place in this run-down shack of a hideout.

    I also notice an interesting item in the tent. Leaning on the wooden chair is a weapon that doesn’t match this world: a rifle. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about guns to identify what kind it is, but it doesn’t seem too modern. Still, it’d suck to get shot by that thing so I should be careful.

    Assassin, who ran away in spirit form, is likely nearby somewhere using Presence Concealment, but I can’t rely on her alone. Right now, I don’t know enough about this woman or what she’s doing with these incompetent bandits. I need to gauge the waters here carefully…

    “W-what are you going to do with us?” I ask the woman timidly. I can’t tell how much of that is an act to seem harmless and how much is my genuine fear. Unlike the amateur brigands, I take this Servant very seriously.

    “Oh, don’t worry about that. We won’t hurt you, if you be good.” She says while looking down at the kneeling me. “You’re very important guests after all. The princess here is quite the treasure indeed. I’m sure she’s worth quite a lot to the Emperor.”

    “Eh?” Yingying gasps as the woman’s attention turns to her. The Servant approaches the princess with light steps and runs her fingers down Yingying’s pretty face. Yingying struggles against the kind of creepy motion but is unable to resist much with her arms bound. Seeing her toy with Yingying like that makes me unsettled.

    “So what? You want to ransom Yingying?” I ask harshly, glaring at the vulgar woman in front of me.

    “Hm? Who knows~” She dodges the question slyly, before suddenly leaving Yingying alone to waltz back towards her poor throne.

    “Don’t worry about such complicated things. We’ll just be keeping you here for a while. It’s not the most luxurious hotel but do enjoy your stay~” She sits down and smiles.

    I know that smile. I know that look. It’s something I’m very familiar with. It is the expression of a child before her dolls. We are nothing more than chess pieces for this woman; she has zero regard for our well-being as humans. That is the sense I’m getting from the Servant in front of me.

    How should I approach this situation? How can I convince her to join us? Or… do I even want such a person on our side? Just as I’m pondering such matters…


    Yingying’s voice suddenly interrupts my thoughts. It’s quiet and trembling, yet I feel a strong desperation welling up from within. She raises her head with tears in her eyes and suddenly cries out.

    “Why are you doing this!? How could you all be stooping so low as to attack travelers and kidnap innocent people? Is there no goodness in your hearts?”

    Her cry bursts through the entire tent, ringing in the ears of everyone present. I can tell that these are the genuine words she has bottling up since we were first attacked, now breaking the surface.

    “Are we all not proud citizens of this empire? Were we not taught the justice of society in school? Such criminal activity is bad! This could not be the destiny that the Emperor chose for you. Instead of contributing, you are only hurting society. Surely, you already know. So please, stop this!”

    There is no dishonesty in her words. These are the beliefs she has always held. This is the pride which she carries and the love she holds. They are words that would touch any heart if they are heard.

    But such an innocent plea falls on deaf ears.

    “…what the hell are you talking about?” Quietly, a bandit from the back of the tent mumbles quietly. It is the scar-faced man from earlier, now grinding his teeth. Even at his low volume, I can hear the anger building within.

    “You don’t know anything about us, princess! We’re hurting society? We're proud citizens? This isn’t the destiny given to us? Bullshit! We’re doing this, because we don’t want the destiny forced on us!” He explodes, pointing his sword at her in fury.

    The other bandits look surprised at the man’s fury, before all nodding in unison and joining in.

    “Yeah, that’s right. We just want to be free and do what we want.”

    “Yeah, yeah. Why should we have to contribute to a society that doesn’t care about us?”

    “We should be able to choose whatever job we want. Not listen to some stupid Emperor.”

    “I always wanted to be a baker, but they made me a construction worker. I can’t stand it.”

    “I don’t want to work in the sewers anymore!”

    All the bandits chime in, yelling out their own grievances. In time, their chants become more and more bold as they feel energized by their comrades. Is this the power of mob mentality?

    “No way…” Yingying gasps with her mouth and eyes wide open. It seems she can’t believe what she’s hearing.

    “B-but… those are your destinies. You can’t go against them.” She states with an unsteady voice, but even I can tell that her conviction seems to be fading from her tone.

    “Fuck destiny! We want to be free! That’s why we became pirates.” Scar-face yells out in response before turning towards the Servant lady. “Right, Big Sis? Being a pirate means being free, right?”

    “Yes, that’s right. Pirates don’t let any government tell them what to do. They only follow the rules of the sea. And you boys will make excellent pirates.” The woman responds with a gentle smile.

    A cheer resounds amongst the crowd from the lady’s praise.

    “Woo~ Big Sis, we love you!”

    “Yeah, it’s all thanks to Big Sis. She taught us what it meant to be free and took us under her wing!”

    “I’ll follow you for life, Big Sis!!”

    Big, idiotic grins are plastered all over the bandit’s ugly faces. I see… I now understand why they’re all following her.

    “So that’s how it is…” I glare directly at the woman and speak while the bandits are busy cheering. “You’re manipulating these men into being your underlings by appealing towards their grievances against this world’s system.”

    When I met Yingying, I thought that maybe everyone in this world was as naïve and patriotic as she was, but it turns out not even this world is iron-clad in its beliefs. There were some who held hidden hatred towards the jobs forced on them. Seeing that opportunity, this woman revealed to them the concept of freedom and so tempted them with the idea of an unrestrained life.

    “Oh, it sounds mean when you say it like that. I just introduced them to a different way of living~” She laughs with an undisturbed smile.

    There’s no doubt about it. This woman is dangerous. Not just to me right now, but to this whole world. The values she represents are probably incompatible with the values of this Lostbelt. So then, the question is…

    What should I do? How do I recruit her to fight for this Lostbelt? Do I want to? Is it really okay to let this woman and all of her potential dangers be loose in the world?


    At that moment, a dangerous and evil thought entered my brain.

    This situation. This obstacle. This enemy.

    All the conditions are set.

    I can do it.

    Right now, right here, if I wanted to…

    I can use my ability.

    My esper power, the psychic ability I’ve had since birth, if I use it right now, can’t I instantly solve this predicament?

    But if I did so… I will kill the enemy Servant. She will die instantly, by my hands, without even being able to resist.

    Can I really do that?

    Can I really live with that decision?


    You have been captured by the Red Scarf Pirates. They are led by a mysterious and beautiful Servant. She is a great danger to both you and the world. What should you do?

    1. Try to recruit her to your team
    • a) Try to strike an economic deal with them, promising great riches in return for working with you
    • b) Try to strike a deal with them, promising sovereign independence from the Emperor in return for working for you
    • c) Threaten and intimidate her with the threat of the Emperor’s military might
    • d) Flirt?
    • e) Write-In

    2. Find a way to escape safely
    3. Wait for Assassin to come and save you
    4. Swear to join them instead
    5. Take no chances. Use your ability and take the enemy Servant out now [Decreases Sanity]
    6. Write-in
    Bonus Question!
    What is Servant Rider’s True Name?

    Note: I like True Name guessing, so consider this a bonus mini-game. If someone miraculously manages to guess correctly, there will likely be some sort of reward or bonus to your choices. If no one guesses correctly, there won’t be any punishment, so don’t worry. It’s just for fun.

    Enemy Rider - NSFW
    Last edited by zikari8; November 17th, 2019 at 10:25 PM.

  16. #56
    wwwww Spartacus's Avatar
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    If she is Ching Shih then 1a.

  17. #57
    夜属 Nightkin cooldownnow's Avatar
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    Agree with Spartacus in that it is probably Ching Shin. The use of Pirate seems to diliberate especially since the narration was using bandit. Also voting for 1a. We don't have the power to promise sovereignty, she definitely won't feel threatened, I have no faith in our flirting, and as much as I want to join them we are the bad guy and these guys seem like they would be on the right side of history.Also I really don't want to attack because Rider's tend to have magic resistance and ESP still comes from mystic eyes and mystery if I remember correctly. Although if I am wrong then I might change my vote.

    My Servant Compendium

    Ever wonder what a Holy Grail War set in Texas would be like? Well wonder no longer because here is:
    Fate Texas Night
    Become Naunet the next leader of the Atlas Institute and fight your way to the top of a deadly war.

  18. #58
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    Knowing how Ching Shih lived the rest of her life (Immunity + wealth), ​1a it is.
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  19. #59
    Going with Lai Choi San for Rider. Not sure on what to vote for so will get to in a bit.

    Yeah, probably a bad choice, but want to see what it does. 5.
    Last edited by Cain12; November 18th, 2019 at 02:16 AM.

  20. #60
    後継者 Successor zikari8's Avatar
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    Location: Bandit Camp, Level 2

    No, I can’t do it…

    With my strength of will, I resist the temptation of instantly solving the situation. I can’t allow myself to be swayed by my own weakness, even in the face of danger. I’ll have to get out of this situation through my own capabilities.

    I already swore to never use that power again.

    “Now then, boys. Could you escort our guests to their rooms?” Rider hummed, waving us off, before suddenly clarifying. “… that means bring them to the holding cell, by the way.”

    ““Yes, Big Sis!””

    Shit, I don’t have time. I need to figure something out right now. Some way out of this situation.

    Think. What is Rider’s True Name? If I can figure out her true name, then I may be able to find some insight into what she truly wants, and I might be able to convince her to let us go.

    Let’s see…

    A Chinese female leader.

    The Red Scarf Pirates.

    Dressed skimpily… like a former prostitute?

    Could it be… no, it has to be. Such attributes point in only one direction.

    Rider’s True Name must be Ching Shih!

    “Wait. Hold on!” I shout out, just before the bandits take me away. “I want to make a deal!”

    “Oya? Begging for your life? That’s fine, too.” Rider pleasantly muses at my outburst and raises her hand to stop the bandits momentarily.

    This is my only chance to recruit her. I have to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

    If Rider really is the legendary Pirate Queen of China, then there’s only one thing she could want. If I recall her legend, the most successful pirate of all time was satisfied by one thing alone: Money

    If so, then I have to leverage that fact to convince her.

    “Well… y’know, Miss, I was just thinking… this place is awfully lousy for such a fancy lady like yourself.” I start with a strained smirk on my face. At this point, even I can’t tell if my bravado is false or not anymore. “I can’t imagine you guys must be making a lot from this banditry business. Else, I’m sure Big Sis’s tent would look a lot fancier. Must be a real step down from what you’re used to, Big Sis.”

    “Hey! We worked really hard on this tent.” One of the bandits complains, but I ignore him.

    “Oh~ You make it sound like you know who I am.” Rider bemusedly nods along to my speech. At the very least, she seems interested in what I have to say.

    “Let’s… just say that I have a hunch about what kind of person you are.” I bluff, trying not to reveal how much I really know just yet.

    “Oh~ Then what are you suggesting, Mr. Hunch? A remodeling plan? Are you an interior designer too?” She laughs back, but I’m not one to back down now.

    “Work for me!” I declare firmly.

    A short silence follows. The bandits stand there shocked at the sheer boldness of my decree, while Rider looks on in curiosity. Now’s my chance!

    “Right now, I’m on a grand venture that will change the very world. There will be plentiful chances to make money and power along the way. And I could use some help. Join me, and I’ll pay all of you handsomely. It won’t even compare to the low-level highway robberies you guys are currently doing. Forget denying the job chosen for you; you’ll be so rich you won’t have to work a day of your life ever again.” I claim brashly.

    The bandits immediately gasp at the prospect. The very thought of such high promises seems to excite them, so now they’re looking back and forth anxiously between their leader and me. Rider, however, doesn’t seem fazed.

    “Oh~ Those are some rather grand claims. But how can we be sure that you’re someone of that caliber.” She asked calmly, not one to fall solely for grand declarations alone.

    “Hah. I’m sure you can tell that I’m actually someone important. The princess is my wife after all. The level of my position in this world is at the peak. I have plenty of capital to offer.” I bluff. Of course, I don’t actually have any money to my name, but they don’t have to know that…

    “Well, supposing that’s true,” She continues on, waving off the previous matter. I can’t tell if she fell for my bluff or not. “What exactly is this job you need us for?”

    “Protection.” I reply quickly, not letting my uneasiness show on my face. “You guys aren’t the only bandits and brigands around, right? I’ll be travelling further down to lower levels, and I wouldn’t want to get mugged or captured again. Consider it mercenary work.”

    Well, that’s all I got. Now, while watching Rider’s reaction, all I can do is pray that was convincing enough.

    But if my read-on Rider is correct, then it should be good. After all, such a run-down camp can’t possibly satisfy the legendary Pirate Queen. Surely, she must have greater ambitions than this. And that’s the hook!

    “Hmm~” Rider stays quiet and seems to ponder my offer for a short moment. Both the bandits and I wait with bated breath before she speaks up. “Could it be? Are you not from this world?”

    She asks an unexpected question. But I suppose such a thing is not out of my expectations. If we’re to work together, it’s not something I can hide anyways, so I’ll have to be forward here.

    “Yes, I am.” I confirm to the shocked gasps of the bandits around me. “May I ask how you knew?”

    “Oh~ Well, it just seemed like you knew me pretty well.” She giggled a little. I’m forced to admit that her laugh was rather charming. “I don’t suppose you already know who I am~”

    Thank god. She seems to be in a good mood at having found someone from our original world. I might be able to use that connection, so I decide to be straight-forward.

    “Ah, yes.” I nod. “You’re the legendary Pirate Queen, Ching Shih, right?”

    “Hahaha~ Oh gosh, I guess that’s too obvious an answer.” She chuckles more. Thank god, it looks like I was correct. I’m sure figuring that out helped me out a lot.

    “So, then you’ll…” I ask with anticipation.

    “Well~ I can’t deny that it’s a very promising offer.” She smiles as she answers. “It’s true that I’d like to make more than a few carriages worth of robberies. And I can tell that you’re a man of caliber. Even if you were lying about being rich, I don’t doubt that a clever boy like you can find ways to make us plenty of cash. Working for you isn’t a bad idea from an economic standpoint.”

    As expected, she saw through my bluffs, but it seems that she’s still fine with the idea.

    “Eh? Are you serious about this, Big Sis?” The bandits ask, seemingly surprised at their leader’s answer. Yet, I can tell they’re getting giddy at the prospect of great riches.

    I too can’t quite contain my excitement and let it show.

    “T-then that means you’ll take the job!?” I ask excitedly.

    “Haha. Well~” She giggles happily and seems to nod to herself.

    In the end, it looks like everything turned out ok. My words have convinced Rider to work for me, at least for now. It’ll be hard work scrounging up the money to retain their services, but it’ll be worth it if it means getting such a renowned Servant on my side…

    With warmth and acceptance, Rider makes the biggest, most gracious smile, able to outshine the sun—

    And picks up her rifle.

    “No, sorry but I’ll be refusing.”

    She declares and points her gun at me.

    “Eh?” My mind freezes.

    What… did she just say?

    She… refused?

    “What? But why? You said it was a good deal.” I implore her earnestly confused.

    “Oh~ I did, and it is.” She replies calmly and cocks the chamber of the gun. “Economically that is. But that isn’t my concern. Money is not my goal.”


    Wise-up! Enemy Rider's Status
    Golden Rule: B
    The ability to acquire wealth. In life, Rider was incredibly rich from a life of piracy, so rich that her wealth was said to be beyond comprehension.
    But such riches are not her goal. No amount of money can ever satisfy her. For the woman who has everything, her heart’s desire lies far beyond the seas of gold...
    I am absolutely stunned. Heck, it seems even the bandits are frozen as well, by the sudden change in their boss’s attitude.

    Money… isn’t her goal? How could that be? Isn’t she the legendary money-grubber of the high seas? Did I read her character wrong? Did I make a mistake in interpreting her legend? Then, what is her true goal?

    “Oh~ By the way, I’m not Ching Shih. Sorry for disappointing you~” She cheerfully remarks.

    What!? The revelations just keep coming. I’m unable to believe it. I guessed the wrong Heroic Spirit… Dammit, I messed up!

    I grab and shake my own head in frustration at my mistake. I’m so angry at myself, I yell at myself internally, not even thinking about the gun pointed at me.

    Idiot, how could you make such a mistake? Jumping to conclusions and feeling assured that she’s Ching Shih just because she’s a Chinese female pirate. There have to be other ones, so why didn’t I think harder or ask more questions to figure out who she is?

    Then who is Rider? Another Chinese female pirate? Is there another one? The only one I can think of is ol’ Ching.

    No, that’s not even the real problem. The important thing is what her goal is. She doesn’t want money? How could that be? Don’t all pirates love money? Isn’t that the whole point of the piracy business? Where in the world could you find a pirate who doesn’t want wealth!?

    … wait, a minute.

    Isn’t there one such person?

    “Well~ if you were able to guess that far, then you’re a little too dangerous. I can’t let such an irregularity live. It’s not worth the ransom. So, I’ll be getting rid of you now.”

    Rider says something, but I’m not listening. The people around me, the bandits and Yingying, are making a chaotic ruckus, but I’m not paying attention. There’s a gun pointed at me, but I don’t care.

    All I’m thinking about is the mystery in front of me.

    Wasn’t there such a person? In a story I read once coincidentally, wasn’t there such a character?

    It was a story about a female Chinese pirate said to be Ching Shih’s equal. But such a tale wasn’t as popular or renowned as the later’s. It was a no-name legend that I’m sure most people have never heard of. I only remember it because a certain part resonated with me…

    A woman who had more riches than one could ever need… and yet was still unsatisfied? Someone whose heart could not be filled by gold?

    Doesn’t that fit perfectly? If so…what is it that this pirate queen wanted?

    What that woman had truly wished for was…

    “Well, then~ Good bye, Mr. Hunch~”

    Rider gives a final smile and pulls her finger towards the trigger. It is a shot aimed perfectly at my heart; the moment her finger locked in place, I would be instantly dead. The bandits are backing away to not get hit by the mysterious weapon. Yingying is crying and screaming something, only restrained by the bandits holding onto her. It is a dramatic execution scene worthy of being in a B-list movie.

    And at that moment, I—

    “… then, is your actual goal finding true love?”


    … a pause.

    Though it was but a moment, it felt like an eternity.

    Rider’s expression does not change. She doesn’t even flinch. But!

    I am still alive. The gun does not fire. And that alone is proof that I was correct.

    I remember now. The story of the Queen of Pirates and what she truly wished for. Because, while skimming through her story, there was a single passage that caught my attention. Something that actually made me remember such a no-name figure…

    It struck me that I should get her ideas on the eternal question of Love, a Chinese woman pirate's view of it.

    This time Moon did not giggle or try to evade the question. He was keenly interested himself. But Madame would not answer. She gave a long, searching look first at Moon and then at me, realizing that I was the originator of the question. And then, for the first time, I read sadness in her eyes.

    She did not answer my question.
    Those were the words that stuck out to me. A Chinese woman pirate who held unknown sadness towards the eternal question of Love…

    Such a person could only be…

    “Servant Rider… Your true name is Lai Choi San, right?”

    This time, even I notice her flinching. Which means… I’ve hit the jackpot.

    If so, then… I think I know what I need to say.

    “I’m correct, aren’t I? You’re China’s infamous Queen of Pirates.” I press forward dauntlessly.

    “Hm~” She still acts unfazed, having seemingly recovered from the initial shock. “Suppose I am. What does that matter?”

    “If so, then I understand. You said that your goal isn’t money, right? And I’m sure it’s not something like fame or power, either. What you’re seeking is love, right? I can help you.” I proclaim.

    “Heh. Hahaha~” She laughs at my declaration, not moving her gun. “Love? What are you talking about? Why would I want something silly like that?”

    “Silly… huh? I suppose you’re right…” I nod dejectedly.

    I can’t help but agree with her assessment. Trivial matters like love are dumb. I’ve always thought so. I’ve always held myself to that discipline. Only focus on what matters. That is the path of a magus that my father taught me. But even so…

    “But it’s because it’s silly that you want it right? Because you obtained everything else in life. Wealth, power, fame… you had it all. But at the end of your path, what you truly wanted was not material. It was a dream to live for… a simple, everyday love, right?” I state, calling upon my memories of her story.

    “…” Rider does not respond, merely listening to my tirade with a blank expression.

    “I know, Rider. I read your story, so I know what kind of life you lived. You were the most feared woman in the South China sea. You were cruel, ruthless, and heartless. It was something innate, passed down to you from your father along with his fleet which you inherited. The right of might is simply in your blood. Something simple like falling in love… that possibility was shut out for you the moment you were born. That’s why even the thought of it is silly to you.” I explain, clutching my chest to squeeze out the contents of my heart.

    A woman who stood alone at the top of the world. That was the image I saw when I read the words of her tale. Bathed in blood, atop a pile of gold, and yet… there was no one by her side. When I saw that vision, even I felt…

    “But deep down… you never actually wanted that life, right? You wanted to get married and settle down and have a happy family life with your children. You just couldn’t admit it to yourself. Aren’t I right, Lai Choi San!?”

    “Shut up.”


    Rider pulls the trigger.

    A deafening sound suddenly silences the room.

    I am thrown back by the bullet and fall to the ground.

    Blood immediately starts gushing from my wound.

    Indescribable pain assails me, incomparable to any wound I’d ever suffered before.

    If her goal was shutting me up, she certainly did a poor job as I start screaming in agony.

    But… I’m still alive.

    Whether by purpose or luck, the fatal bullet hits my arm rather than any of my vitals. I clutch the gaping bullet hole and try to bear it. This isn’t the time to pass out from pain. Not yet…

    “Hmph. You sure do babble a lot. I was curious what you would say, but I’m appalled, boy.” Rider mocks my collapsed figure.

    However, I notice a change in her attitude. Her hyper-feminine voice has changed to a more masculine, commanding tone. It is the voice of one who truly led many fearsome rogues aboard the treacherous sea. So, that’s her true voice, huh?

    “Are you denying my assessment?” I say, gritting my teeth hard to stay focused.

    “Hah, of course. I don’t know what you’ve read, but it’s obvious you’re just pulling stuff out of your ass. Don’t think you can understand me just because of one interview.” She declares, while calmly reloading her rifle. Even with a bullet in me, I can’t care less about her preparing another shot. Instead, something boils up within me.

    “But I do! I do understand. Because… because…” I yell out, before quickly simmering down. With all my strength, I struggle to get back on my knees and look down.

    Perhaps it’s because I have my life on the line, but I find myself looking deep within. The feelings I’ve held for so long… the reason this conversation got me so heated up…

    “Because I feel the same way. That’s why I understand you.”

    “Huh?” Rider looks down at me in disbelief.

    “I… I know what it feels like.” I struggle to find the words to express the emotions within me. “You can’t even fathom the idea of love. You can’t imagine settling down and having a normal family life. Because your hands are stained in blood. You’ve killed so many people. Your entire life has been one of horror and cruelty. So, you think to yourself… ‘I don’t deserve such warm happiness’. Right?”

    That must be why that insignificant story stuck in my head, despite being about such a no-name pirate. It resonated with me. When I read that passage of the female pirate and the question of love, didn’t I feel like I could tell what she was thinking? Didn’t I feel like I understood her completely?

    “But even so… even though you can’t imagine it, you still can’t help but dream about it. When things are going well and you indulge in pleasantry… when you’re alone at night and staring at the ceiling above your bed… when you go outside and see all the happy families walking around town… you let your guard down and accidently start thinking what if. What if I was born to a different family? What if I hadn’t killed all those people? What if I was just a little weaker, a little kinder… Could I be happy, too? And after all that, the answer you always come to is monolithic. No, I can’t. I don’t deserve that…”

    I don’t know what’s come over me. Even with a large audience, I pour out my heart to the woman in front of me. I reveal the feelings I’ve held within for a long time.

    The woman in question does not speak of move. Only her ever-widening eyes show her response.

    “But ya know, Rider. Our world is dead. Everyone and everything from back then is gone. So… does the life we had even matter anymore?” I let out the evil, selfish, and tempting thoughts plaguing my mind. “It’s a new world. Nobody else knows the things we’ve done. We’ve already died once, so… can’t we be reborn as something new? Can’t we become something different? Can’t we get the happiness that we never thought was possible?”

    Empty hope fills my words. They are not ideas that I truly approve of. Even if I were to transverse a thousand worlds and die a thousand times, I know that my sins cannot be erased that easily.

    But, even if they are hypocritical, these words are not lies. Although my mind may deny them, my heart cannot help but hold hope in those words.

    If even a monster like me can be brought back to life and given a second chance… why shouldn’t Rider?

    “Please, Rider. I need your help. I want to save this world. This world that in which we’ve been reborn… I think it deserves to be protected. Not just for the people here, not just for some greater alien overlord… but also for our own selfish, horrible selves. This is your second chance, Rider…” I face her directly and plead with everything I have. I give to her the words that I always wanted to hear.

    “You can be happy!”

    That’s… everything I have. Those are the limits of our connection. If this isn’t enough to convince her, I’m definitely dead.

    “…” Rider still hasn’t said anything. She merely stands there, holding her gun threateningly and contemplating something.

    A strange tension blankets the atmosphere of the tent. No one dares break it, lest they anger the pondering Rider. Or so I thought, but…


    A sudden voice breaks the mood.

    Everyone immediately turns to look at the offender and finds the scar-faced bandit, still holding Yingying up.

    “Umm…” Looking somewhat embarrassed to have the floor, Scar-Face stumbles his words. “Well, y’know. Truth is I don’t really know what you two are talking about. You’re using really weird phrases like Rider and new world and stuff… but, the thing is… I just wanted to say that, if possible, I would like Big Sis to be happy.”

    “Eh?” Rider gasps at the bandit’s surprising confession.

    “Well, y’know, I don’t really know what this is about but… Big Sis really helped us out. She showed me the meaning of freedom. Before I just did my job while hating it, but she gave me a new life. So, if there’s a chance for her to also get a happy life… then I’d like that.” He admits with a disgusting blush on his face.

    “… y-yeah! Me too. I want Big Sis to be happy too!” Another bandit suddenly joins in.

    “Yea! That’s right! Big Sis deserves anything she wants.” Yet another chimes in. And one by one, the faces of the bandits light up as they begin to cheer once more.

    “Big Sis, you’re the best! If there’s anything you want us to do, we’ll do it!”

    “Big Sis! Whatever you decide to do, we’re onboard!”

    “Just being with you makes us happy, so please try and find your own happiness too!”

    “We’ll follow you for life! No matter what!”

    A resounding chorus of support echoes across the tent. Every bandit- no, pirate is cheering on their hesitating leader.

    “You boys…” Rider looks across her crowd of followers with her widened gaze and disbelief.

    “… see, Rider? You don’t have to be alone.” I speak to her, looking out at the rugged fanclub of hers. “Even if you were just manipulating them, these people are following you, not out of fear or for money, but because… they love you for who you are.”

    “!” She jerks at the revelation.

    “A pirate means being free, right? Then, don’t let your old life bind you. You can do whatever you want in this new world. There are several million people here. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with one of them if you try. So please… help me protect it.” I make my final plea.

    At that moment, Rider shakes. As if the very foundation beneath her is broken apart, she reevaluates herself, her desires, and her goals. Within that storm of indecision, she faces forward towards the future.


    Quietly, she makes her decision. I almost miss it, but in the end the words reach my ears. The answer has been reached.

    With a newfound look at life, the Servant Rider smiles warmly at me and—


    —shoots me again.


    I scream out loud as my other arm is shot and fall back to the ground.

    “What the hell!?” I manage to yell out in between my screams of agony.

    “Ufufu~ That was just a little revenge for airing my dirty laundry out in public.” Rider giggles softly. It seems that she’s returned to her girly voice.

    “Well~ After thinking about it, I’ve decided to let myself pretend to be convinced and join you~” She adds whimsically as if she were merely deciding what she wants for dinner.

    “U-ugh… really?” I ask, slowly recovering from gunshot #2.

    “Well~ I do have some conditions for working with you.” She mentions nonchalantly.

    “… and they are?” I question with trepidation.

    “First of all~ I want to make it clear I’m not your Servant, Mr. Master. I’ll be giving you the honor of working for me, instead.” She begins haughtily.

    “As equals and partners.” I interject swiftly.

    “Fine. But then, I still expect to be paid for my services. I’m not running a charity here.” She shoots back. Tch, I can’t tell if that was her original go but go along with it.

    “Alright, deal.” I nod.

    “Good~ Then, second, I want a guarantee that my boys will not be forced back to their old jobs and can continue being my fleet.”

    “B-big Sis…” A heartfelt response comes from the crowd.

    “I’ll talk to the Emperor. I think… it should be fine.” I agree to that too.

    “Ufufu~ Then finally… I expect you to help me find a husband. I don’t plan to offer my love to any plebian loser, so I expect some effort on your part to find me a suitable mate.” She declares. “And if you don’t find anyone… well, I suppose I’ll make you take responsibility for your words~”

    Responsibility? I tilt my head at her phrasing.

    Ah, does that mean she’s gonna kill me if I can’t find her a husband. Damn, what a crafty woman. Well, it can’t be helped, I guess. I am the one who brought up the idea.

    “Alright. I’ll take responsibility! I swear on my honor!” I declare proudly.

    “Ehh?” Softly, I pick up a surprised squeak from Yingying in the crowd. Ah, she must be surprised that I’m risking my life on this. Well, as a man, I have to take responsibility after all.

    “D-does this mean, he’s now our Big Bro…?” I also hear some whispering from the crowd of bandits, but decide to ignore the peanut gallery.

    “Is that all? Do we have a deal?” I ask once and for all.

    “Hm~ Well, for now. I look forward to working with you, Mr. Hunch.”

    And so, our high-pressure negotiations come to a close.

    It was a terrifying battle in many different ways, but it seems I’ve managed to achieve my goal.

    With this crafty woman by my side now, who knows what the future lays ahead?

    Servant Rider, Lai Choi San, has joined your party!!!

    Congratulations to Cain12 for correctly guessing the identity of Rider, Lai Choi San. Thanks to his contributions, Ben was able to decipher her true motives and avoid a dead end.

    The next choice will be out shortly so please wait warmly~

    Last edited by zikari8; November 23rd, 2019 at 08:31 PM.

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