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File: Old Mountain Dragon.png (205 KB, 512x351)
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Your name is Gunlance Vance, but others call you 'Freelancer'.

You have just assisted in the defeat of the massive Shen Gaoren, but the cost of victory here was great, for both you and The Fort.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Character Sheet: https://pastebin.com/tEiVJgb1
Mechanics: https://pastebin.com/x9qu33KM
Quests: https://pastebin.com/hSf9iAep
Urgent Quests: https://pastebin.com/8H13PEXs

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=monster%2C+hunter%2C+drawquest

Previous Thread: >>4180544
>>
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The super heated magma core explosive in your hand swelled as you held it tightly with a firm grip, despite the burning sensation it made you feel, reaching through your glove and gauntlet to your skin and what was under.

Your legs had almost given out more than once after you received a blow from Shen Gaoren. The giant was strong, very strong, nearly so as the late Yama Tsukami. But this was the end of the battle, you couldn't lag behind because of your shaking legs again.

What last you remember, you had called your last ounces of strength up. You used it to get started in a sprint towards Shen Gaoren as the one-shot binder held it in place, and when you neared the boundary of the giant, you shot up with your Clutch Claw and locked onto it's chest plate.

The claws of the thing slammed the sand underneath your feet, sending you up higher and taking feeling out of your legs, but it was too late to stop you entirely as you grabbed onto the chitin plates of it's head, holding onto it's antenna with your left hand. The Clutch Claw had released, but you didn't falter in holding on as the giant broke loose of the binder.

With your scorched right hand, you did the only thing you thought practical now. You shoved the magma core bomb into Shen Gaoren's mouth hole. The giant swallowed the thing in the middle of it's angry shrieking and then after bellowed pained cries, and you held it's mouth shut so it wouldn't spit the fiery object up.

The giant moved fast on it's bleeding legs, but it was useless now.

The bomb exploded inside the giant, splashing it to the air. You went flying off...
>>
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You didn't feel it when you fell into the sand below after the explosion, and you didn't see it either. The flash of the explosion so close up blinded you for now, and took the sense of hearing out of you as well. You only heard a ringing.

Some time passes of you laying there, giving out hints of movement.

Then you are able to hear again as you come back to reality.

"Frrrreeelancerrr, wake up! Wake up!"
>>
Your eyes fixed themselves gradually, vision slowly returning. You saw the pudgy appearance of the Troverian Colonel knelt down next to your broken form.

"Can you see again?" He asks, waving his hand over your face.

"Ye-Argh... Cahgh!" You coughed.

"Mrrrmmnn.... You arrrren't in a good shape, Frrrreelancerrr."

"N... No, I'm... fine." You say, trying to ignore the aching all over.

The Colonel rubbed his temple. "I don't believe you."

You looked up as best you could.

The Carapaceon horde that followed Shen Gaoren was on the retreat, going back to the sea as the remaining Defenders mopped the rest of them up. The Fort was heavily damaged and lots of valuable resources were lost, such as that marvelous Siege Engine. Quite the number of men here were also injured, but none as bad as you.

Your hand seemed to be suffering from severe burns, and your legs may have been broken. Your chest was giving you pains from breathing alone.

"Well... you did it. Shen Gaorrrrren won't be botherrring us again." The Colonel says, taking a look at his Fort in shambles. "This is going to take much time to rrrremedy. But, it can be done."

"Sorry Colonel... I tried to stop it from wrecking the place."

He shakes his head. "It couldn't be helped."

He raises his finger. "Ah, but this battle will go down in history. I can't believe you actually got the Admirrrral himself to help! Hah hah hah! He just came down frrrrrom the sky and starrrted punching those crrrrabs! That'll go good in the books!"
>>
You cracked a small smile at that too. It was pretty exciting to see the Admiral do what he did.

"Aahh.... Well then. Everrrryone did theirrrr best. I'll have mighty stacks of paperrrworrrk to do after this, got to send people theirrr dues."

The Colonel stands and whistles over for two of the Defenders before looking down at you.

"Alrrright Frrreelancerrr, let's get you up. You need to see the Doctorrrr, kid."

>Yeah... I agree. I need to go home after all this. (Return to Astera to recoup.)
>No, let me stay here at The Fort. Ahtal-Ka might try something if I'm away. (Stay to protect The Fort)
>>
>>4209024
>Yeah... I agree. I need to go home after all this. (Return to Astera to recoup.)
I don't want to get kidnapped by Ahtal like the other guy.
>>
Maybe everyone else will show up soon...
>>
>>4209024
>Yeah... I agree. I need to go home after all this. (Return to Astera to recoup.)
We won't be able to protect anything with the state we're in.
>>
>>4209024
>Yeah... I agree. I need to go home after all this. (Return to Astera to recoup.)
Suggest he get some Veterans to hold down the fort.
>>
You looked at your right hand. It was black as the pitch, charred almost from holding the Magma Core bomb.

You attempt to move your legs in any meaningful way you could, but it wouldn't give.

You sighed, submitting to your injuries.

"Yeah, you're right..."

"Of courrrse I am, I'm the Colonel."

The Defenders approached and helped you up, being easy as they handled you by your arms.

"Take him to the pad, send for my airrrrship to pick him up. I've got to deal with this mess...." The Colonel told them as he strode off to meet with the Admiral on the beachhead.

The Defenders silently acknowledged him and heaved you up, carrying you along back to The Fort, passing by myriad of workers coming out of the woodwork as they entered the main atrium and guided you up to the roof.

You were sat down there on a chair for a while, getting a good look over everything as the men picked apart the ruined fortifications and siege weapons. You saw the beach in it's entirety, as well as the distant oil field that was off from the shore. They looked like ants from here, working to repair their mound. You wondered if The Fort would ever come under attack from something like Shen again?

You worried slightly about how they would deal with Ahtal-Ka if she ever made a move again. You passed along the suggestion to invite some veterans to one of the Defenders, telling them to give it to the Colonel. They swear to do as much.

You are relieved to hear that as the airship arrived on the scene to pick you up, having been called there by a blue flare launched to the sky.
>>
The trip back to Astera did not take long. The Colonel's airship was quite the courser, flying through the air at top speeds that exceeded most airships you've seen in your life.

You were helped along by two off-duty Fourths the Defenders exchanged you off to. They were partly psyched to meet you, let alone touch you, raving about how it was to bask in the presence of the 'Killer of Ukanlos and Amygdala'.

You tell them you'd offer an autograph, but you didn't have a quill or a pen. Though, you joked at your own expense that you could use your burnt hand's fingers instead. They laugh, but not endearingly at the joke, given how morbid it was.

Once you reached the Doctor, he saw you immediately. His deduction of your injuries is made with haste.

He tells you both of your femurs are fractured, almost out of shape completely. You have some squished organs behind your ribcage suffering internal bleeding he can't gauge the severity of, and your hand is burnt to the third degree. Your injuries are grim, worse than the ones you received from Ahtal-Ka, and Ukanlos.

He holds nothing back in telling you this may put you out of Hunting for a few months as well...

You inquire with him about treatment, bringing up how fast he treated Brigg and Senzo as apart of your questioning to why he can't do the same with you.

He tells you it's because their injuries were mostly related to the Dragon Element they were hit with, and thus they were treated easier because he was prepared for that. Yours are physically oriented, and can't be helped by medicines made with berries and other things harvested from the Earth. He makes a point to tell you Herbal potions don't repair bones, only flesh.

Nonetheless, you will be put onto some trauma medicine he has to null the pain, and some herbal based extracts to mend the bleeding.

You didn't like it, but that was how it was...
>>
What would you do until then? How could you pass the time?

You enjoyed the more fundamental qualities of life, no mistake, but there was nothing quite like Hunting to you. More importantly though, there were still many threats out there you need to deal with, such as Akantor, Zuhramon... Nakarkos... and you can't like this.

Ahh, and here you are now, sitting in a wheelchair.

You were back home in your private room. The Doctor gave you things to take at his office and said he would send his nurse by tomorrow to give you more.

You were sitting next to your bed, facing the rest of the room. Shara was laying there staring at you with concern, and Vivi was just standing near her chest, sharpening her Palico rapier.

You were told to get some rest, but damn it you didn't want to sleep! You didn't want any of this! But... this was the price to pay for taking a hit from such a strong giant as Shen Gaoren...

At least you killed it in the end.

...

Could Atricia be back by now in her room mayhaps? What about Brigg, how is he doing?

You supposed it wouldn't hurt to... wheel yourself around.

It was getting close to seven by now. You should go to sleep, but you don't have to.

What will you do now?
>>
>>4209235
Informing Shara of the infantile Chameleos before we go to bed might be good for now.
>>
Tell him about our day in general, while we're at it.
>>
>>4209235
Lets go to bed.
>>
>>4209265
>>4209273
These sound good, more Shara time is always nice.
>>
"So, I met a new Elder Dragon a while ago." You say, adjusting one of your wheels to face Shara more properly.

"Really now? They just keep coming out in light of all that's happened, and is happening."

"We call it Chameleos. He can turn invisible."

"Humm... I may have an idea of who it is you speak of. Purple Dragons that cloak themselves with mist, no?"

"I assume you've been to the Guiding Lands before?"

"A land of juxtaposition, many differing terrains all on the same mass? With deserts and tundras here and lush green forests and dead valleys there? Yes, I have been there before in my long, long life. I knew a pair of these such Mist Dragons that lived there, but I had never interacted. They always eluded my sight, whether out of distrust or fear."

"So you knew a Chameleos couple lived there? I think this one I've found is their kid, but he said he never knew his parents. He was being manipulated to steal by Ahtal-Ka. She's a dangerous Neopteron, very intellignet... and I found out..."

You paused for a moment and looked down.

"I found out that in turn, she's being helped... by Zuhramon."

"The Ancient is using this creature to his advantage?"

"He told me he uses her to help keep the Guild off his trail, specifically because of this guy that came, calls himself the 'Warden'. He's the one in charge of everything. Zuhramon said he's apart of a circle that seeks out Ancient things I believe."

"It wouldn't surprise me. For all his power, Zuhramon would be foiled easily by everything coming against him. The Ancient is set on succeeding in his plans.... But what of the child you found?"

"The Chameleos? Well, I don't think he is a child, he just seems to be... not that developed. I was supposed to slay him, but I told him I would help. I sent him off to the forest not far from here. I'm worried about his whereabouts now though..."

"Hmm.... I could him help."

"Oh, I know you can, I ju-"

"You are much too worn out for that. Are you ready to sleep now?" Shara asks, standing up suddenly.

"H-Huh...?"

"Are you ready to sleep now?" Shara asks again, taking a step forward.

>Answer.
>>
>>4209408
Yes?
>>
>>4209408
Yes.
Uhh... is Shara coming onto us or something?
>>
>>4209408
yes.

>>4209487
I think he is just trying to make Vance to take a nap but since Vance is Vance he might not nap even if he needs it so he might need a more forceful approach.
>>
>>4209408
yes

dream trip go
>>
"Yes...?"

"Good. I'll be back before you should arise next."

"What do you..."

"Hush, and hear my harmony."

Before you could even move your lip again, Shara brought the tips of his left wing forward as he stepped over. The wingtips touched your scalp and emitted a vibration.

You were lost in the frequencies of the vibrations ringing through your head like a soothing tune. Shara's song worked it's way over you, and you felt dreary.

Like you could... like you could almost...

....Fall.... Asleep.....

...........
>>
File: Shara and Vivi.png (90 KB, 512x351)
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.........

Vance was now asleep.

The Everwyrm took it's attention off of him and bit the blanket over his bed, pulling it aside. Then, with surprising strength, Shara Ishvalda carefully lifts up his human friend from the chair contraption using his wings. The snoring Vance is placed into the mattress, and then covered.

Vivianne is experiencing a mix of emotions witnessing this, from confusion, to surprise and shock, to being freaked out.

With the Hunter resting as he should, the Everwyrm turns his attention to the Felyne and steps forward in a stoic yet harmless manner.

Vivianne doesn't know what to say, or to do.
>>
File: SELECT YOUR CHARACTER.png (267 KB, 512x351)
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>
>>
>>4209587
>Vivianne
>>
>>4209587
Play as buddha dragon
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>4209587

I will let the dice decide.

1 = Fuck goddamn why won't your headplate drop dragon
2 = cat
>>
+========+

You are now Shara Ishvalda, the Old Everwyrm.

+========+
>>
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You have been treated with much kindness over your time here in this settlement by the Human Vance. He is a most humbled man indeed, willing to hear you out to the end, no matter how crazed it must sound when you tell him the truth of things.

Now, knowing the inner workings of this place, and what else you do about this continent you've lived at for long, you think it is time to repay him in kind yourself.

Nature is fate, and it is a fickle and demanding force. Though it has laid out everything to flow as intended, those apart of fate's direction and game must play their part to ensure it flows the way it should.

So long as Human Vance is debilitated by his mortal wounds like this, he cannot act his part out, nor can he stand up to the threats that loom in this New World. You will pay him back for all he has done by helping him recover.

Before you set out, you must first decide whether or not you shall allow this Felyne to help. Her name was... Vivi, as the Humans called her. She was staring at you nervously.

As a Felyne, she shouldn't be hard to reach. A lot of these Lynians already could learn how to speak to things such as animals, or 'Monsters'. Perhaps you could convey meaning to her using sign language, or even try to grant her your Connection.

Or alternatively... you could at least make her understand you want her to stay here and watch over Vance while you are gone. You are sure she will understand.

>Try to recruit Vivianne?

>Yes. Though she is small, she is capable. She can help me.
>No. She must remain here to watch over Human Vance.
>>
>>4209749
>>Yes. Though she is small, she is capable. She can help me.

I don't think anyone gonna try something on Vance just be sure to lock him and give the key to the doc or someone trustworthy.
>>
>>4209752
Support
>>
>>4209749
>Yes. Though she is small, she is capable. She can help me.
>>
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Who could possibly bother Human Vance while he rests? Word will no doubt travel to these other Men and Women of his endeavor, and how it rendered him to this state. Everyone will know to stay clear of him.

So being as that is, there is no trouble in bringing his Felyne companion with as well. She was plenty capable given that he carried her along for his 'hunts'. But first you would need to be able to communicate.

You stroll over to Human Vance's cupboard and find an empty bowl. You gurgle the substance you could produce inside your throat and release it down into the bowl until it is full. Your Holy Soup will work to grant her the connection much faster than a Human after consumption, mostly due to the lack of Humanity in her.

Turning around, you approach Vivi and offer her the juice.

She looks horrified, covering her mouth to prevent herself from vomiting.

She raises her hands and declines it. Must not be her gusto...

"I... am certainly neowt gonna drink that!"

But she has to! Otherwise you cannot talk to her. You needed to get it inside her somehow...

>Beg for her to drink it, look sad at her denial.
>Try to get your point across by barking and pointing at Vance.
>If she'll be stubborn, you're left with no choice. Force feed it to her!
>If she doesn't consent, then we'll have to work something else out, like sign language.
>Hmm... Maybe I could sleep her, and then administer it before waking her again.
>Write in.
>>
>>4209847
>Try to get your point across by barking and pointing at Vance.
Plan A: Diplomacy.
>>
>>4209847
>If she'll be stubborn, you're left with no choice. Force feed it to her!
DRINK THE YUMMY LIQUID VIVI
>>
>>4209847
>Try to get your point across by barking and pointing at Vance.
>>
>>4209847
>Try to get your point across by barking and pointing at Vance.
>>
>>4209847
>>Beg for her to drink it, look sad at her denial.
You guys wasting a chance for puppy eyes Shara.
>>
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Roll 1d100 for persuasion.
>>
Rolled 11 (1d100)

>>4209901
>>
Rolled 24 (1d100)

>>4209901
COMIN DOWN LIKE PRECIPITATION
>>
Rolled 91 (1d100)

>>4209901
>>
>>4209909
Nice
>>
>>4209909
WE'RE SAVED.
>>
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"Houuueewwghr!" You mouthed with a light roar that sounded just out of childhood.

Using your wings, you motion at the Holy Soup and then point back to Vance. Vivianne is slow to catch your point still.

You tip the bowl slightly and hold it near your mouth, tapping in Human Vance's direction, never taking your eyes away from hers.

"Mew... mew'r saying Meowster... drank this too...?"

You nod your head rapidly.

Vivianne gulps and reaches forward, taking the bowl from you shakily.

"W-Well... if mew... insist..." She whimpers.

Raising it to her face, she smells the secretion, and then dips her tongue in as if she was drinking milk.

Her expression changes to curiousness as she realizes it's tastelessness. Then, she raises it to her mouth and quickly swallows the soup down.
>>
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"Huff... huff... huff..." She breathed, having drank it down fast.

"Meowright mew, there better be a good reason mew made me do this, or so help me Gog..."
>>
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"Help is precisely what I need about now." You say, reaching out to her mind.

....

CrAcK!

She drops the bowl in utter shock. Human Vance stirs in his slumber.

You quickly shoot forward with a wingtip, covering her mouth before she can make more loud noise.

Vivianne seems to calm down a bit, but her eyes are still full of bewilderment as she looks back into your own eyes.

"M... Mew just.... mew just talked...!"

You nod.

"B... But how?!"

You have to tell her something, otherwise she'll think she's hallucinating. How many details you share is solely up to you. Though you're sure she'll settle for minimum information, and that you need her help with something.

What will you say?
>>
>>4209947
How long would a quick rundown on the Connection be?
>>
>>4209947
Yes, you're not hallucinating and while I would gladly explain how and what I did to make this possible time is of essence I need your help in making sure Vance recover as fast as possible.
>>
>>4209969
It all works on dragon element doesn't it? Should be fairly simple, but we should really tell on the way to wherever we're going.

>>4209971
Support.
>>
>>4209979
>it's Dragon magic I ain't gotta explain shit
>>
>>4209901
>>4209901
What a cutie.
>>
>>4209947
Why do you think Vance has been acting so weird lately?

I require your assistance to treat his injuries in a timely manner.
>>
"It is too much to explain at the moment, Lynian."

"O.. ouh?"

"You are not seeing things, my voice is real. I gladly will explain this to you, this 'connection' that allows you and me to talk, but not now. Time is of the essence, I require your assistance."

"My... assistance?"

"Indeed." You nod your head.

"Human Vance is in a state that is no good, don't you agree? Thankfully, I know a way we could help him, but you'll have to trust me. You trust me, don't you?"

Vivianne slowly nods her head.

"Very good. Together, the two of us can bring him back to health as fast as possible."

"But.. how? How can mew help Meowster get back into shape so quick? Don't mew see how he is? He pawt up a good fight, but he could barely handle it!"

"I know of a very special thing that he only needs to ingest, a sap. It is a natural restorative from Gaea itself, not something to be found everywhere. It can heal his every wound."

"Really...? Something like that exists?"

"Yes. Now, get your things ready, we will leave soon, and quietly too."

Vivi looked unsure, but she didn't think she was under a hallucination.

She was very inquisitive about this situation she found herself in, but she seems to accept it is happening and gains some resolve doing so. Somewhere in her looks, you see belief in yourself, she did like the idea of Human Vance coming back to full health sooner than later and seemed keen on helping you make that so if what you spoke of was true, and you weren't a liar.

She readies herself like you asked, donning her Rathian gear and Rapier, packing along her vigor canteen and Sleeper Gadget.

She takes along a spare key to the house with herself, saying she'll manage the items for both of you. When you ask about how responsible it would be to just leave Human Vance here all alone like this, she reveals a 'Do Not Disturb' sign that she'll place on the door.

You leave it at that.

And so with both of you ready, you sneak out of the private room, leaving Human Vance in peace as the both of you crept out to the beach...
>>
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Getting out unseen was easier than you thought it would be. Outside the door was a straight shot down a dock to the beach after locking it all up. You crawled down some rocks and tall grass there until your feet was touching the sand and dirt.

"How are mwe supposed to go anywhere neow, rocky? If we leave the beach, we'll be spawtted!"

You went silent as you positioned yourself in front of her, not willing to tell her what you were about to do in fear that she might change her mind about tagging along.

"Well...?" She mewled.

You stood up over her and wrapped your arms around her then.

"Uof! Hey hey! I like you to but now is neowt the time for hugs, rocky!"

You planted your wingtips into the sand then, and conjured vibrations.

"H-Huh?! W... What are mew...?"

And then you dive under to tunnel, taking her along with you....

She was instantly spooked and tried to struggle, but you kept a firm grip on her along the way, swimming through the Earth like it an Ocean Dragon traveling the seas.

You ran yourself through various different fields of materials under the Earth as you tunneled down through. You sent yourself sprawling through waves of gravel, limestone, dense dirt and most importantly, rocks. Your body coated itself in a sticky secretion from your pores as you did, and you took care not to touch Vivi with it as she clenched her eyes shut and just curled up, waiting for it all to be over.

When you finally went up and rose from the Earth, you surfaced with her sitting upon the back of your now armored form, you had snaked her there with your wings along the end of the trip.

"Don't mew meowver do that to me again without asking! You scared me meowt of my fur!" She hissed, tapping the rocks on the top of your head.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry, really! It's just the way I work, I can only travel fast by surfing through Gaea."

"Surfing? Meown, mew're really strange!" She sighed. "I can't stay mad at mew, because at least mew didn't dirty me up." She says, sitting up on your back and looking around.

"This is the Ancient Pawrest. What are we doing here?"

"Ah." You creaked, your voice made more gravelly by the armor. "We are seeking out..."

>The benevolent First Wyverians. It has been a while, and they are always helpful.
>The divine bamboo meadow. It is a hidden sanctuary that should have what I need.
>Some more help. I know a high place where I can make a call for someone I know.
>The Ancient. An enemy of mine... but I know him, and he is always open to bargaining...
>Write in.
>>
>>4210077
>The benevolent First Wyverians. It has been a while, and they are always helpful.
>>
>>4210077
>The divine bamboo meadow. It is a hidden sanctuary that should have what I need.
Shara said it was a sap. Inagamis place had that tree with the sap that healed Tabitabi. Shara nor Vivi are human so Inagami won't have a problem with them, even if he is an asshole.
>>
>>4210077
Switching to
>The divine bamboo meadow. It is a hidden sanctuary that should have what I need.
>>
>>4210077
>>The divine bamboo meadow. It is a hidden sanctuary that should have what I need.
>>
>>4210077
>>4210077
>The benevolent First Wyverians. It has been a while, and they are always helpful.

I trust inuguy not a bit.

Bit curious about asking the ancient admitedly.
>>
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"...The Divine Bamboo Meadow." You say cheerily, walking along through the length of the Ancient Forest.

You should have been close by from where you surfaced at.

"Divine... Bamboo Meowdow?"

"Yes. It is a primeval place in the middle of a hidden bamboo forest here in this greater forest. Not many know of it's existence."

"Mew're telling me. This just keeps getting more and meowr pur-zarre by the minute."

"What makes this paw-lace so special anymeow?"

"It is a concentration point of the lifeblood of the whole of Gaea, but moreover the New World in question. It is a place where the energy of the Everstream is felt best above ground. This energy is the root of all things we consider phenomenal, and it resides in the Earth, in people like Human Vance and you, and Dragons like me."

"Mew're talking about that 'Bioenergy' stuff the eggheads like to chit-cat about."

"You catch on quick."

"What makes that stuff so impawtent here?"

"The energy flowing through the concentration point sprouts things from Gaea that work in ways you might say are miraculous. There is a sakura tree there, one of a kind. This cherry blossom I know of is full of life and the energy of Gaea. It's sap has become a healing font so powerful, you can only describe it as 'divine'. Hence the name of the meadow."

"The place is beautiful, with many green and tall bamboo trees lumbering here and there..."

You pass underneath the waterfall entrance with Vivi.

"Warm and bright sand and blue waters like crystal. The smell is fresh, and the life is bountiful here. It is a sanctuary, a true para... dise...."

You stop. You stood in the sanctuary. Vivi was at a loss for words, just as much as you were.

This place... was a paradise no longer...

It was.... dead.

The trees didn't stir, the water was polluted with... blood. The sand was dark and the cherry blossom was....

Oh no, this can't be, this isn't how you remember it. This... this place was supposed to...

"Hahhh.... Inagami.... forgive me... I have failed..."

You looked over and saw the collapsed form of a Hunter, their chest rises slowly with strained breathes. Vivi quickly jumped off of you and ran over to the unconscious Hunter.

You approached the sakura tree...
>>
>>4210113
Oh boy, I guess the Lenshen decide to stop fucking around.
>>
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The blossom was without life, without energy. There was no sap to be found, no leaves. Nothing.

And then you felt something from below. Your vision trailed down and you saw the battered form of the Javon Dragon, Inagami. He was the protector of this once paradisiacal place, and the healer of the woods, the one who would help regrow and revive all of the forest in times it was needed.

You met him once in the distant past, and you tried to impart your guidance then, but he rejected it, and forbade you from coming to his home ever again for daring to suggest he forgive Humans.

With what strength he has left, he blows up mist from the pools at you to share his feelings, as he could never master the Connection.

He thinks it is a fancy to see you here, at the end of his life.

"Inagami... what happened?"

He blows mist. You feel what he knows.

Something did this, a terrible spirit, the Leshy. It has attacked more than once before...

He feels regret.

"Why Inagami? Why do you feel... contrition? What bothers you?"

He huffs and blows back mist.

He feels foolish, and blind. He lets you know through the mist that this is all his fault. He makes you feel that he once met a Human who helped him, and that human told him his grudge was best let go of.

He became angry with that human for trying to lecture him, because he thought he was so much higher, and so when the time again came for the Leshy to return, he disallowed his other faithful and willing servant from summoning that human he met to his aid again.

This time, the Leshy overcame them both.

Through the mist, Inagami relays more of his regret. He makes you feel that he is sorrowful for ever rejecting you, and for rejecting that wise human. He feels so ignorant for letting his arrogance get the best of him.

Now Inagami will die, and there is nothing that can be done about it.

"Inagami... I forgive you." You tell him, unwilling to damn him.

He blows the mist again. Through it, he tells you the Leshy has the sap, for it has drained this place in a bid to increase it's own power. It is hungry, and will continue to expand it's control over the woods.

Lastly, he thanks you for your forgiveness, even after this long since he banished you.

Inagami has no more to say. He only lays there and shuts his eye, waiting for his fading to be done with as the last of his blood drains off into the pools from wounds the Leshy dealt.

You raised a hand towards Inagami, but you retract it, not knowing what you could do for him.

You looked out over and saw Vivianne doing her best to help that other one, the unconscious Hunter, patching up her wounds with the measly amount of wrappings she carried.

This place was no good anymore. There was no more Divine Sap.

....

What will you do now?
>>
>>4210129
>>The benevolent First Wyverians. It has been a while, and they are always helpful.
Let's talk with the wyverians, maybe the can guide us in what we can do, hell maybe they even give some tips on Lenshen endgame.


>>Some more help. I know a high place where I can make a call for someone I know.
Then get a team together, since there is no telling if we end up needing to fight against Lenshen to help Vance.
>>
>>4210129
F for Inagami
>>
>>4210129
Have Vivi divulge the specifics of the enemy from the Hunteress while we go call Velhana.
>>
>>4210129
I didn't think I could feel sad for this bastard but yet here I am. Good job level.

As for what we'll do, we try to learn what we can from the swift huntress and then drop her off at a camp to be found. Then lets see the Wyverians and maybe call Velk.

Should we take Chameleos along for the ride too? Shara did say he'd help him.
>>
>>4210143
>while
then
>>
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Vivianne helped the Huntress over, dragging her against a rock near the pools. You stepped down and shook your head at the Felyne. She frowned, knowing well what you meant as she looked at the dead sakura.

You brought your armored wing down and dipped it into the water of the pond, taking care not to touch any of the bloody water as you splashed some over the face of the Swift Huntress. She coughed, coming back to consciousness with a bleak look about her face.

"Ina... gami..."

She looked up at you and Vivianne, recognizing both of you, yet wondering why both of you were here.

"Old Everwyrm... Palico of the Freelancer? Ahh... I know you well." She said, trying to stand up, only to fall back down from the wound running across her leg.

"Woah! Take it easy there, lady!" Vivi said, settling the Huntress back down. "What hapawned here?"

"The Leshen attacked... we couldn't... defeat it... the dark spirit was too powerful..."

"Dark... spurrit?"

"Yes... a dark spirit of the woods..." The Swift Huntress said. "It only wants to... control the woods and all the fauna within... and to that end... it needed more power, so it absorbed the energy of the spring... killing the sanctuary..."

"Vivi, ask her where it is now."

"Hang in there, lady! Ev-pur-ything will be alright! Tell us where the 'Leshen' is neow!"

"It... is out there, seeking out more powerful Monsters to enslave... with the energy of the meadow, who knows what it can... control now...?"

"Inagami and I... did our best... but now he is dead..."

"Vivi, tell her we're taking her to safety." You say, outstretching your wings to carry her.

"Come on lady, let's get mew up, we're gonna help ya'!" Vivianne tells her, offering to pull her up.

"N.. No... it is.. alright..." She holds out her hand, declining the help. "I will be able to make it... I just need some time to rest, then I will go back to camp... please, leave me, I will be of no use."

"You must do something... the Leshen has to be... stopped..." She gets out, falling back into unconsciousness against the rock.

She stayed there peacefully, resting to get her strength back up. You would honor her wish if that was what she wanted.

Motioning Vivianne back onto your neck, you take off galloping away, going back out into the woods and leaving the meadow...
>>
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You sprinted out there through the brush until you came out to a familiar grove in the woods.

"First Wyverians! First Wyverians! I need your help!" You called out, looking up at a branch above.

The shapes of two things blending in with the surroundings shuffle on the tree, flexing themselves upwards before turning around and looking down at you.

"...It has been a while.... Everwyrm..." The leaf cloaked First Wyverian greets you.

"....URGENT IS YOUR MISSION... YOUR CHOSEN HUMAN IS CRITICAL..." The beetle armored First Wyverian says.

"I seek the Divine Sap, but there is no more to be found in Inagami's meadow! I must know where I can find some!"

"....Inagami is dead... yes? ...A true shame... his grudge destroyed him, though he meant well...."

"...THE SAP IS IN THE BODY OF A CRUEL SPIRIT... THE LESHEN! FROM OUT OF OUR WORLD!"

"...The Leshen is exceedingly powerful... you would need much help slaying it... it wanders, but we know where it is..."

"BUT WE WILL NOT TELL YOU... FOR THAT MAY BE SUICIDE... UNLESS YOU TRULY WISH TO PURSUE IT...."

"There are alternatives.... but how much time you spend gaining them... there is no telling..."

"OFF FROM HERE.... OFF FROM THE MAINLAND... THERE ARE MORE CONCENTRATIONS... MORE SOURCES OF SAP TO BE FOUND..."

"In the ancestral lands of the fiery mountain dragon's body... in the cold reach of the Hinterlands... in the deep temple of Tilokpia... and in the deadlands shrouded by dread fog..."

"...IT IS YOUR CHOICE WHAT PATH YOU MAY TAKE... BUT KNOW THIS, EVERWYRM... ALL HAVE THEIR OWN DANGERS..."

"... I'm confused..." Vivi states.

>I will pursue the Leshen and slay it for the Divine Sap it stole.
>I will go through the Guiding Lands for the source there.
>I will travel to find the Hinterlands' source.
>I will go to Tilokpia and delve into the deep dungeon for Sap.
>I will traverse the Deadlands of twilight for Sap.
>Write in.
>>
>>4211306
>I will pursue the Leshen and slay it for the Divine Sap it stole.
What Inagami told us would imply that we cannot allow it to retreat for long.
>>
>>4211306
>I will travel to find the Hinterlands' source.
Seems most practical. Velk would have a home advantage there if she comes along.
>>
>>4211329
Support we could also recruit her to Leshen slaying, maybe more if we're lucky.
>>
>>4211306
>I will travel to find the Hinterlands' source.
>>
QM, did Velkhana go back to the Hinterlands or is she in the Recess?
>>
>>4211420
Velk is in the reach right now yes.
>>
"I know the Hinterlands well. If there is sap there, I will surely find it."

"...Not without our help..."

"...YOU WOULD SURELY BE LOST THERE WITHOUT A CLUE..."

"My benefactors please, tell me then, Human Vance needs it!"

The First Wyverians tap their staves.

"....The Divine Sap you seek..."

"....LIES FROZEN IN WAIT...."

"...An ancient tree sprout teeters on the edge of the world..."

"...THE ABSOLUTE END, WHERE THE AXIS DOES BEGIN..."

"....Far, far north you must go, to a desolate place beyond the snow..."

"...THE SOUTH POLE!"

"...The top of the world..."

"...AND NOT WITHOUT THE ICE DRAGON WILL YOU GO..."

"...Dangers lurk there, powerful and determined..."

"A GIANT!"

"...And a Demon..."

The First Wyverians tap their staves again.

You nod.

"I understand, most gracious First Wyverians."

"If it is to the South Pole I must go, then I shall, to help Human Vance."

"Orhhh.... I don't know about this, rocky... the South Pawl?"

"Trust in me, I will protect you Vivi. We must go there, it is for Human Vance."

Vivianne sighs, not having much of a will to object.

"Come, we must summon my student." You say, beginning to walk off.

"....Old Everwyrm, I implore you, wait for a moment more..." One of the First Wyverians speaks up.

You stop and look back at the two.
>>
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"Your benevolence? What seems to be the matter?"

The First Wyverians both glance at other. They were internally debating on something it seemed. You see them make gestures to each other with their hands in their debate, speaking privately away from your senses.

The beetle armored First Wyverian looks like he was trying to make some kind of point, but the leaf cloaked First Wyverian passes whatever his argument is off with a wave of his head. The beetle armored First Wyverian shakes his shell as the leaf cloaked one looks down at you again.

"....We have received a guest. It was sent by the chosen Human from the ancestral lands."

Your rocks creak as you tilt your head. "A guest?"

The leaf cloaked First Wyverian shifts with his gaze around the grove until he taps his staff and points down at the grass.

"....Chamo, please show yourself, you have nothing to be scared of."

.....

"Oh! Okay!"

Slowly, out of some light mist nearby, you see a larger figure blend into sight. One of the Mist Dragons, the one Human Vance must have spoken of.

He clumsily walks up and looks down at you and Vivianne curiously. Then, he does his best impression of a smile and hangs his tongue out of his mouth.

"Hello! I Chamo! That what nice Human friend name me! Me like meet you!"

"Greetings? It is my pleasure as well." You say back.

You look up at the First Wyverians expectantly.

"...The Mist Dragon was sent to us by the chosen Human. For all of our wisdom, we could not think to help him."

"...FOR THE RECORD... I SUGGESTED WE SEND HIM AWA-"

The leaf cloaked First Wyverian slugs the beetle armored one.

"...Old Everwyrm, your experience with your own kind is superior to ours. A Dragon must be accompanied by one of his own.... For this reason, I would request you take the orphaned being with you. We can do nothing for him."

"...Wouldst you do this for us?"

Well? Will you be taking Chamo with you or denying this request?
>>
>>4211597
Yes. Our party is getting bigger.
>>
>>4211597
No, he isn't good at fighting and I don't want him to get hurt.
>>
>>4211597
>Yes, hes great at non fighting stuff and hes our responsibility.
>>
>>4211597
Also.

Vivi learning a crazy amount about what Vance has been up to lately.
>>
>>4211643
If that means we can take her more times with us then I am all for it.
>>
>>4211613
He could do some scouting. He managed to evade Shara’s notice, as well as many hunters in a profession where tracking is a daily fact of life.
>>
>>4211597
We can always tell him to run if things get too dangerous.
>>
"...Yes. I shall take the boy along."

The First Wyverians both nod.

"...We thank you, Everwyrm."

With that, the First Wyverians both tapped their rods and turned around, going back to meditating in their strange position on the branch.

The Mist Dragon, or 'Chamo' as it calls itself, looks pleased to see you'll accept his company.

"Oh! Thank you thank you thank you! Was getting boring sitting around here! We will be friends in not long time!"

"Quite." You say, getting along the way.

You began to leave the area, going out to find a cliff you knew of.

"...Meowster knows mew all, don't he?" Vivianne asked, lazing on your back.

"Yes. Human Vance is involved in a great deal many of things that not everyone knows of."

"Meown, he really went pawlaces since he arrived here, it's mind boggling!"

"I'm sure it will all make sense soon enough. For now, let's focus on the objective at hand."
>>
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When you arrived at the cliff you knew about, you thought to call for your student then, to get a ride to the Hinterlands from her. Instead, 'Chamo' insists you let him do it.

He didn't appear as sturdy as student was, and he looked quite frail and smaller to be honest. You tried to give him a hint, but he wouldn't take it.

"Me Chamo carry you!"

You aren't able to object as he takes Vivi off your back with his tongue, throwing her onto his. His arms and legs, and his wide tail wrapped around your form, his fingers sticking to you like an adhesive.

"N-No! I said it's quite alright! You don't need to strain yourself carrying someone as heavy as..."

But you found yourself at a loss for words. He was doing quite well carrying you and Vivianne as he flapped his wings, flying forward off from the coast, down to the Hinterlands as you planned. He knew of the place, but he hasn't been yet, most because of how cold it was, and he didn't like the cold so well.

The dusk sun sets as he takes you along.

And by the Ancestor, did he talk!

"Have you ever eaten Gajalaka before? I have!"

"You ever try flying to sun before?"

"One time, I have battle of screams with yellow blue thing!"

"Have you ever eaten Human before? I have!"

"One time, I call old master 'mommy', she slice me in face for it!"

"What inside rock creature? Rock creature have blood... yes?"

"Why tiny cat have pick? Tiny cats not Humans!"

"I no like big scary black creatures, especially not horned ones!"

"Ohh, but fire breathing scary black thing I only ever see once."

"Old master once tell me icky girls just want take all your things... that true?"

Ooohhhhhh!

You didn't want to sound rude, but you were barely able to tolerate this unending surge of questions from 'Chamo'. You didn't mind discussion, but this was stepping over the line. You couldn't see Vivianne, but you heard her groan, she didn't like it anymore than you.

>Just ignore it, don't feed it... the ride will be over soon...
>Politely calm him down a tad, change the subject and ask him something different.
>Write in.
>>
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>>4211882
>"Have you ever eaten Human before? I have!"
Chamo... you got something you wanna tell us mate?
>>
>>4211882
>Just ignore it, don't feed it... the ride will be over soon...
Lets just go with this for now.
>>
>>4211882
>>Write in.
Since he like talking so much, let's use it on our favor, ask him stuff about Athal-ka. What are her plans, her relationship to Z-Man, etc.
>>
>>4211882
>Just ignore it, don't feed it... the ride will be over soon...
>>
I felt bad slaying Kulve...
>>
But, he wasn't that developed, just as Human Vance said. You didn't want to get him down, or hurt his feelings. You stayed quiet and let him talk as he wanted while on the trip.

He talked a long while, much to the dismay of you and Vivi, but eventually he finished another sentence you weren't paying much attention to, and then stayed quiet the rest of the way from then on.

You took the liberty to point him to where he needed to fly then as the Hinterlands came closer in the distance. He swooped down, gliding over the last stretches of the sea as he came over the Hoarfrost Reach, flying out to the iceberg littered coast at your direction, landing soon after.

"BrrrrRRRrrrr.... So... cold here..." He whined.

"...Myeah! M-M-Mew said it!" Vivi concurs.

Now there was yet another problem to deal with, their warmth in this place. You guess you should have seen that coming, given that Vivi was not wearing anything suited for this region. Chamo quickly found a way to get by consuming nearby Hot Peppers however, and he didn't share many with Vivianne, frustrating her, though she stays quiet about it...
>>
>>4212030
Well shouldn't let her get off-screened by Akantor.
>>
>>4212053
Oh I'm not about to do that. Her new MR quest did give me an idea though.
>>
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"...Hm? Teacher?"

"Student. Greetings!" You addressed the Ice Dragon as you strode into her maze with the others.

Both of them were taken back by your exchange with the Velkhana. She was a very powerful Elder Dragon, and that surprised them, Vivi especially.

"Whatever brings you to my home, and alone like this on top of it? Whom are these guests that follow you?"

"They are more companions assisting me. But I need your help as well, Student. We are out to find Divine Sap." You tell her.

"Goodness!" She came, raising her claw to her mouth. "Divine Sap? For what purpose?"

"My chosen Human has been put into a condition that renders him unable to act entirely. I must ensure his recovery is quick, and so I seek the Divine Sap."

"I see..." She says, standing up with her armor glistening in the dim light from above. "The Human has helped us before, I see no reason I should not answer your request for help. But wherever will we find the heavenly Sap?"

"The First Wyverians have granted me knowledge of where to start. There is some to be found at the southern pole. Have you ever been there, Student?"

Velkhana seems disappointed in the answer she has as she shakes her neck.

"No, Teacher, I have never been. That area is harsh, much too difficult to traverse, even for me."
>>
Damnation! That certainly wasn't you answer you'd thought to hear.

The South Pole much too harsh? Even for dear Student to tread through? She was born in this place, her kind made for it by the Ancestor. How tremendously dangerous was the South Pole that even she steers clear of it? The First Wyverians said there would be danger, but you didn't think it above anything a Dragon could handle.

But all paths they offered were dangerous as well, so is there really any choice in turning back now? You and the others were so close here. The South Pole should be only miles off, it cannot be that taxing to reach on foot.

Nonetheless in spite of the hinted at intensity of the place, she swears to join you and the others. You thank her for that. She may not know the place, but she knew the way to get on the trail there, which was useful to everyone right about now.

Additionally, she does warn you that the Brute was back in the area. The spine covered black fiend with horns much too large for it's own head. Yes, you knew the Brute very well... talking about it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You and the others would need to avoid it.

"I am ready when you are, Teacher." Says Student, standing tall and proud over you and the others.

Chamo seemed to be more attuned now with the peppers he consumed. He does his best to try and stand taller than Velkhana, to no avail.

Vivianne was still shivering. She says there could be winter gear fit for her at a camp back closer to the Reach proper itself, but trying to go get any runs the risk of encountering a Human, or more particularly a Hunter. That could spell a lot of trouble in different ways.

When you are ready, Student will lead the way at your behest.

What will you do?
>>
>>4212101
Let's get Vivi geared up, go underground and get closer to the camp, when you feel you are at a safe distance let vivi out through a felyne sized hole to gear herself, when she is done go back to Chameleo and Velkhana and depart.
>>
>>4212101
Vivis rathian stuff has gotta offer better protection than a winter coat. We just need to make Chamo share his peppers and she'll be fine. Lets go ahead and depart.
>>
>>4212101
We should be able to forage everything we need for hot drinks. Or just lounge in the hot springs for a while. Maybe grab some hot rocks for our self.
>>
>>4212101
Or steal some thawpuffs. Carefully.

Perhaps vivian can use them as a gadget?
>>
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You were ready.

Asking Student to lead the way, the four of you all set off into the Reach, fortified against what was to come because of each other's company. The four of you were like a troop in arms, all ready to work towards a specific end.

While it was true the cold was a problem for Chamo and Vivi, this problem was solved by nearby devices that were of the land. Thermal springs, hot pepper plants and Thawpuffs provided just the solution they needed.

Of course, Chamo would again talk everyone's heads off, but this time he was speaking in a manner of questioning, asking you about this journey. You were much happier to indulge him this time, and he seemed to know when to stop now. In fact, most of his speech was in discussion of things with Student who would begin talking first. This was much better.

Now, after a while of walking, the four of you came to a stop at an edge. This edge was where the territory of the South Pole began, and it was marked by a fierce wind carrying excessive snowy particles with it, obscuring all ahead.

The conditions here were torrential, but the four of you would have to march on even if it were. None of you were about to let anything stop your journey.

Passing by the initial range of the strong winds, the four of you get on your way south, going to find the Pole...

>Roll 2d100 for encounters and events along the way.
>Minus 20 modifier is active this turn, taking 20 off from every roll.
>The lower the roll, the worse things will get.
>>
Rolled 96, 70 = 166 (2d100)

>>4212175
Lets see...

Kushala Daora?

Though theyd let everyone but Velk pass on principle likely.
>>
Rolled 18, 84 = 102 (2d100)

>>4212175
Que brodyquest music
>>
Rolled 48, 33 = 81 (2d100)

>>4212175
>>
Rolled 7, 4 = 11 (2d100)

>>4212191
Well I guess things will go a little bit smooth, but let's see if the dice give us a easier ride.
>>
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I really need to stop getting so distracted watching Toho films...

For the most part, the travel is going swimmingly as your group traverses the fierce wind of the south.

What was going on that caused it to be like this? One would think it is a strong storm with how hard this wind blew. Everyone's movement was more sluggish and slower than it was before entering the wind. Vivianne was forced to take cover near you and Chamo, less she possibly be dragged along.

Could one of the Wind Dragons be out here? Only they were known to generate such forces and...

Ah... Huh? The wind, it suddenly began to calm down...

It seems that the south pole had some sort of outer wind layer surroundings it for miles. You couldn't make out the bands, the rings of the weather, but it was not as fierce now and you could see better ahead.

You saw something short like Vivianne as you took lead. It was a wooden object, a sign, made from planks and nails. It had wording etched on and coated by black paint. It was very old as far as you could tell. You did not comprehend many forms of language among Humans, Wyverians and Lynians, and you could not recognize this script either.

"Weow! That's a kind of Lynian language!" Vivi piped up, approaching the sign without fear of the wind.

"What does the sign say, Vivi?" You asked.

Vivi brought her paw up, brushing frost off of the wooden.

"Hmmpurrr... Pawl these words are dated, this is even older than my Great Grammeow. I can read a pawful of them though."

"It says....'Turn back as soon as mew can'..."

"...'Holy Buds are guarded by giants'..."

"...'Mew can't beat a giant, its too pawerful'..."

"...'This meowthed leads to certain doom'..."

Vivi looks back at you and the others. No one seemed fazed by the warning, and neither did you. Vivi shows some sign of worry however, being a Lynian herself. You reassure her by tapping her shoulder with your wing.

Everyone continues along...

Up ahead, you spot three paths to take.

>A massive 'road' ahead.
>A spiraling turn down left.
>A ravine full of walks to the right.
>>
>>4212222
Nice Digits Level
>>A massive 'road' ahead.
>>
>>4212222
>A massive 'road' ahead.

ancient golems I hope not.
>>
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And of the three, you decided to go along a straight shot ahead.

The area you choose to walk into is a clearing, wide and spacious. It seemed like a road, leading forward with rims guarded by high standing buildups of hardened and frozen snow. You might think it was intrinsic looking at it, like someone intentionally paved it all out.

Other than how smooth the path was, it was rather uninteresting.

What was interesting however was the shape you saw coming into view near the end of the path, which stopped in iced over rocks.

It was a steep rise of some sort, covered in crystals of ice and lined with layers of frost. It wasn't short, but it wasn't tall enough to call impressive. A quick fly up there would allow everyone to pass it easily.

But you couldn't.

"Teacher, up there! Look with your eyes!"

Because at the top of that rise, as you looked up the length of it, was exactly what you had came here for with the others.

It was... a cherry blossom. One of the special trees, stocked chock-full of the holy bud, the Divine Sap. It was tall, and alive, wearing a brilliant cover of sakura leaves, growing out of the top of the rise.

And strangely enough, not frozen in the slightest. That might have seemed strange, but these trees were full of Gaea's energy, perhaps it has some effect that keeps it warm and alive?

Nevermind that, you should get it, as soon as you can! Then everyone can go home!

>Student, fly Vivi up there and collect sap for me!
>But... we're not even close to the pole yet...
>Chamo, fly up there and check that out for me.
>Write in.
>>
>>4212264
>>But... we're not even close to the pole yet...
>>
>>4212264
>But... we're not even close to the pole yet...
>>
>>4212264
>Look with your geokinetic sense. This is probably a trap.
>>
>>4212291
supporting this too.
>>
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You planted your wingtips into the snow and dug them down to the ground, touching Gaea below and feeling it with your heightened sense. You peered far out, at that rise to detect anything you might find.

And you jolted, feeling something. A pull, from under the rise.

You held your wings aloft, holding the others back.

"Something is not right. We are not at the Pole. The First Wyverians told me the Divine Sap we seek is at the Pole."

Everyone stared at the tree, making no more to go forward, heeding your warning. But this waiting around caused indecisiveness.

"How do you know they meant the Pole itself? You could very well interpret that as meaning it is near the Pole, rather than in the dead, exact center." Student suddenly spoke up.

She took some steps forward.

"No, Student! I could never mistake or misunderstand the First Wyverians! You must not!"

Velkhana's pride got the best of her.

"Come now, it is only a tree atop a rock, there is no danger."


Oh how wrong she was...


SPIURSHT!

"Ah!"

The tree vanished from sight, dissipating into pure Bioenergy. An illusion! The rock rise underneath it began to collapse, shattering to pieces as the ground beneath it sank under, caving into Gaea!

Everyone paced backwards rapidly as more and more of the road was consumed by the sink hole forming just then. Eventually, it stopped, and where there once stood a rise with a fake tree atop it, there was now a collection of spires.

These spires were pure ice... and they were insidious, teeming with a dark energy and a power flowing through it. It radiated malice...

It was unspeakably cold. So cold... so very cold... much more so than anything else here at the pole region...

Even Student was...

"It is... cold... even to... me..." Velkhana remarked, giving a slight shiver that traveled down her neck...

You looked around at everyone, they were uneasy.

"What is the meaning of this...?" You said aloud.

"I am the meaning of this." A voice answered.

A voice you felt animosity towards...
>>
"Ancient!" You called to the air.

"Wh-Whats happening...?" Vivi asks.

A blinding flash of red light shines out from the air in front of everyone, conjured from nothing. The flash produced reveals the spectral image of your enemy, the Ancient Human Zuhramon.

"Everwyrm! Surprised to see me?"

"The Ancient...?!" Velkhana says.

"S-Scary man! Scary man!" Chamo said, ducking behind Vivianne.

"How did you know I was coming here?!" You questioned.

"From the eyes of which man can I look through? You thought I wouldn't find out about what you're out to do? I saw you put him to sleep so you could come congregate with more of your misbegotten sort."

"Why does this matter to you? You claim to love Humans, so don't tell me you've come to interfere when my intentions are pure for a Human!"

"The Human Vance is ever more corrupted by your lies. You are turning him into what I have no love for, a traitor to Mankind. By feeding him your dogma, you are damning him, Dragon."

"The past must remain buried!"

"I'm much more privy to digging it up myself actually."

The projection of Zuhramon looks back at the insidious ice. He laughs.

"I'll make you a simple offer, Everwyrm. If you do something for me, I won't sic what rests inside of this onto you."

"...Hrn... What do you mean?"

"Heh heh heh... Let us just leave it at this... Recently, I have awoken a pet of mine in preparation of what is to come, and I sent it here to nurture itself back to it's prime by intake of the coldest temperatures the world can give. My demonic little friend resting inside this spire is at full power again, and he could crush all of you with impunity..."

"Yae, there is no chance for you to stand, not all of you, even together... but I will not release him..."

Your rock hide flexes with your expression as you raise a brow. "If...?"

Zuhramon turns back and raises his hands.

"If you obey this simple command I have; Abandon the Human Vance and never again come near him, or any of the Human settlements here in the New World. Stick to your own life and cease your devil influence over him. That is my command."

"Will you obey, so that I have a chance still to save him from treachery, or will you force my hand? Get everyone here to die with you in this place?"

What will you say?
>>
>>4212337
No.
>>
>>4212337
>acquiesce
Vance can't get the sap if we're dead and Z-man doesn't seem too keen on healing him himself.
>>
>>4212337
"You already know the answer to that Zuhramon. You are destined to fail in the end, so bring out all you can because it wont make a difference."
>>
Guys, please. If there's one thing that Zuhramon doesn't welsh on, it's threats. Remember that we not only have ourselves to worry about but Vance and Vivi as well.
>>
>>4212365
This.
>>4212500
Vance wouldn't just give up if our situations were reversed, we will not fail him.
>>
Whats inside the ice though?
>>
>>4212939
Probably one of those aberrations of Ancient hands.
>>
Think something like an Equal Dragon Weapon.
>>
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"You know already the only answer I have for you, Ancient."

Zuhramon cocked his head.

"You are destined to fail. You will never win in the end. So I tell you, call upon all the arms of your arsenal, bring all the weapons you have to bear down, it cannot stop us, it won't make a difference."

"You are the last of your people, you hold knowledge lost to time, and yet you use it for malevolent purpose! You should abandon these plots of grandeur and turn to something else, there are many ways more you could help the world!" Student reinforced you.

"Ough? Hrrr.... Yeah! Scary man go home! Scary man not frighten us!" Chamo said with fresh bravery, coming out from behind Vivianne.

Vivianne said nothing, still confused about everything going on at this moment in time.

...

"Hmph."

"You have chosen your demise."

Zuhramon raises his hand and snaps his fingers.

The snap elicited strong rumbles from the earth below, shaking the ground. The insidious ice began to hum with an aura of aggression, cracks slowly forming along the spire's many points.

"My pet does love a good game. I will admit, he will not kill you right away... he prefers to drag the chase out... it makes it all the more fun for him..."

"You could have prevented this, saved everyone here, but you remain steadfast in denying me. So be it then, you will have your due."

"You can run, but you cannot hide from him, nor do you have any hope of fighting him. He will exterminate you all!"

"You cannot survive... Duremudira!"
>>
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Your heart sank hearing that as Zuhramon's projection vanished.

The poisonous spire of ice slung a dark mist with traces of the poison in it outwards to the air. You backed away as the crystals began to sink back down into the earth, shattering as a bright light worked it's way up through the largest crystal of the spire. It was almost free...

So that was what Zuhramon sent here... Duremudira, the artificial Dragon, created by the wicked sciences of the Ancient Civilization to act as stalwart guardians and enforcers...

What Zuhramon said was true then, none of you really could fight it. You knew the Duremudira well, they were mighty enough to fight evenly against even the warrior Black Dragons, the Alatreon.

Maybe if you were an adult... and back in your prime, then you could do something here, but you can't. Neither can Student.

"You're wasting your head start standing around. He will come after you relentlessly. Best run while you still can. Heh heh hah hah hah hah!"

This once, you think you'll take the Ancient's advice.

"Everyone! Away!" You shouted, turning back in a sprint.

You grabbed Vivi up onto your back as you ran. Student and Chamo were right beside you along the way as you went back down the road.

There were only two paths ahead to take!

>Go right to the spiraling turns!
>Go left to the ravine!
>No, lets get out of entirely, go back to the Reach and leave the pole region!
>>
Now you guys have done it.

>>4213404
>Go left to the ravine!
>>
>>4213404
I thought it might be the screen freezer

>No, lets get out of entirely, go back to the Reach and leave the pole region!

If it follows us there, we might be able to lead it into a brawl with Nerg. Other than that? Yeah I'd rather we go back home and kill the Leshen.
>>
>>4213404
>>No, lets get out of entirely, go back to the Reach and leave the pole region!

>>4213444
You're thinking small anon, if it follow us to the reach, we should keep moving and make it follow us to the rotting vale, we let it fight against the Nakarkos and with any luck we can get rid of two problems at once.
>>
>>4213444
>choosing to run out of the place after poking the bear
We should try to get the sapling, at least.
>>
>>4213575
Yeah changing my vote for >>4213409
, it's gonna follow us anyway we might as well not come out empty-handed.
>>
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Strafing left, you elected to carry your partners down the expanse of the ravine you saw. The deep gnash in the earth was black in it's bottom, but the ledges it sported were quite large, enough so that everyone could climb about them without difficulty.

You jumped down onto a path and ran without pause, the others followed behind as you lead them. Admirable distance was gained from the spire where Duremudira was cocooning through the ravine.

That was until the paths split unexpectedly, and Vivianne was thrown off of your back as you jumped up a bump, causing her to fall down onto Chamo. Chamo and Vivianne went down one of the other diverging paths, ending up below the one you and Student took above to higher ground.

"Ah! So rushed! So many paths!"

"Hang in there! We will all be okay! We just have to follow the ravine to the end and meet back up!" You shouted to reassure Chamo.

His eyes traveled up at you and he nodded as he sped ahead.

"THI-S I-S CRA-AA-ZY!" Vivi complained, holding onto Chamo's head as he suddenly entered a cave his path lead into. With some luck, that lead back out ahead.

"Student, can you fly?" You called back to Velkhana.

"No! The wind pressure is getting even rougher than what we felt entering this place! We can only run!" She called back through the snowy wind.

And then came a crash. Overhead, a dark object comes down from the air, landing on the other side of the ravine's mouth. The ice sheets rumbled under the force of that dark thing, and some began to collapse.

Student was caught by the ice under her feet suddenly giving out as well. You stopped and plunged your wingtips into the ice, using what little pull you had over it to slow the fall so she could get back up.

"Damn! This is bad!" You said, looking over the distance at the dark object.
>>
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The dark object's poisonous mist flowed away, blowing off as it dispersed. And from it, you heard a pernicious tone through your Connection.

"Haaahhhhh.... Haaarrrrgggghhhhhh!"

"Destroy you all... DESTROY YOU ALL!"

"IIIIIIII will devour you... mind.. body and soul... all!"
>>
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"I SEE YOU! YOU WILL NEVER ESCAPE ME!"
>>
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CnWAIi80ZE

"I AM FEAR... I AM DEATH! I AM DUREMUDIRA!"

"RHGEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!"

The razor wings of the artificial monstrosity expand, throwing aside all of the shrouding mist around itself. It's body was adorned by ice as tight as the hardest metals known in the world, and it's body was overrun with it's own secretion, a poison more potent than anything natural one could scrounge up.

This was a beast made with only one purpose; To kill. To kill Dragons.

It was strong, much stronger than Student. It could fly successfully even in these conditions, it's body and heart were colder than all the ice you could see for miles. This thing will never give up...

You could only run...

"Ah!" Student cried in fear at the ghastly appearance of Duremudira.

"Teacher," She said, pulling herself up. "We must flee! NOW!"

"I couldn't agree more! GO!" You yelled, bolting.

>2d100 to flee from Duremudira.
>Minus 50 dice modifier.
>>
Rolled 74, 68 = 142 (2d100)

>>4213774
>>2d100 to flee from Duremudira.
>>
Rolled 7, 31 = 38 (2d100)

>>4213774
-50
Jesus...
>>
We could use a third guy.
>>
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Rolled 55, 17 = 72 (2d100)

>>4213774
We gotta scoot quick or we'll turn into pic related
>>
Rolled 63, 98 = 161 (2d100)

>>4213774
>>
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You and the others were by now keeping pace with the wind. Everyone was fast on their feet, but Duremudira was too.

The artificial killing machine takes off on it's wings, speeding through the air like a missile on the other side of the ravine. As well, it catches you off guard when it flies far ahead of your group. It was so much faster!

A trail of it's dark and poisonous aura leaked off into the air as it stopped a ways up and hovered.

It crackled with power, gathering it's stored energy up. You were too busy running to try and figure what it was trying to do, and you didn't need to. You saw clearly it's intention.

The thing howled like a predator before it unleashed a massive arc of Bioenergy from it's mouth, firing the large beam into the shelves ahead and splitting them. A huge gap was made as the beam blew away everything in it's path.

Once it ceased fire, Duremudira cackled. You heard the thing laugh with delight at this all. It really did want to drag things out, to make you and the others suffer.

You couldn't fall back, and you couldn't halt! You had to get that sap for Human Vance!
>>
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Student crossed the gap easily as she jumped ahead, but she looked back at you as you jumped.

"Teacher!"

You were far too heavy to do things like this! But you had to!

You had to... make it!

>2d2000.
>Failure will result in you falling to a chasm where Duremudira will personally target you.
>>
Rolled 1770, 234 = 2004 (2d2000)

>>4213900
JAMPU
>>
That second roll is disconcerting.
>>
>>4213900
>>
>>4213931
2000 was enough
I usually use 2d2000 to trip up players because that die seems to garner really low rolls from what I've seen.
>>
Rolled 273, 1091 = 1364 (2d2000)

>>4213936
Let's try again.
>>
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...And you did!

By some merit of luck, or a miracle, you got over the boundary and safely landed on the other side of the gap, galloping up to meet with Velkhana as she stopped near a tall ice formation that stood up like a tower.

The wind was split and the sound barrier was distorted as Duremudira shot across the ravine, landing with such force that you trembled on your feet.

The dauntless pursuer shrieked your way before taking off. He was fast, and would reach you in mere seconds.

But Student had a plan!

"Stand back, allow me!"

With her ice armored wing, she gave a stroke, bashing and pushing right through the base of the tall ice formation nearby. The thing crumbled immediately, but Duremudira did not halt in it's tracks.
>>
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The thing came down overhead! Falling right at Duremudira!

"REND YOU! REND YOOOOUUUUU-"

CRASH!
>>
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It looked like that crushed him completely...

Did it... stop him?
>>
>>4213997
Im sure it slowed him down a little.
>>
>>4213997
We're a millennia-old Elder Dragon, surely we're not that dumb.
>>
....

A few minutes go by with no response from the pillar. It seems Duremudira has been stopped, for now... who knows how long it will be that you have this peace...

"H-Hey! Over here!"

You and Student looked ahead and saw Chamo and Vivi surface from a hole in the ground of one of the ice shelves. They found a way out of their cave. The ravine didn't have much longer to go ahead until you and the others were out of it.

You and Velkhana regrouped with Chamo and Vivianne before moving on.

There lied two ways to go from here at the end of the ravine.

There were three tall slopes you saw that looked to be mountainous, but in truth these things were really just enormous build ups of snow that has grown mountainous in size.

And down from that, there was a lake, but not an ordinary one, it was an entire lake of thermal water seeping out of Gaea.

On one claw, the slopes looked deserted, there wouldn't be any life there, but crossing it would be much more difficult.

On the other, the thermal lakes would be easier to pass through, but where there were thermal hotspots in frozen tundras, there was life as well. Going there meant you surely might encounter other hostile beings besides Duremudira...

Which way will you lead everyone through?

>The slopes.
>The lake.
>>
>>4214014
>The lake.

Follow the flow of the earths life.
>>
>>4214014
Also explain who the ancient human is to our companions.

Also that Vance has been our proxy against him while we grow.
>>
>>4214014
>The slopes.
Lets go sledding
>>
>>4214014
>>The lake.
>>
The best choice here was clearly the lake. Nobody would have to worry about the cold there, as the warmth of the thermal lake would thin the wind. Heading that way, the others follow you.

Vivianne looks shaken after having witnessed all of that earlier, she hasn't spoken since, until now.

"Shara..."

You glance over your shoulder at her.

"....What... what is happawning?! Who was that guy back there? Why are mwe being chased...?"

"Like I told you before, Human Vance is involved in a great deal many things. You may think he came here of his own volition, but in truth, it was nature that branched this path out for him, like it does all."

"The Human is our ally, he has helped us out of the kindness of his own heart, and so we are prepared to help him as well." Student says to the Felyne.

"That man you saw is a terrible person. His name is Zuhramon, he comes from the old Human civilization."

"Mew... mew mean those meowyths? The tales of the Ancients? But... those are just stories."

"They are not mere stories, their status as myth is only a forced narrative among today's Human society. The Ancients were very real, I would know. This terrible man Zuhramon is the last of them, and he plans to bring about a terrible dark future. That is why he must be stopped, by us, and by Human Vance one day."

"You would be right to trust my Teacher, he has lived to see the Ancients with his own eyes, and witness their fall as well."

Vivianne rubs her head.

"This is... a lot to take in, rocky..."

"You don't even know half, Vivi. I will gladly tell you more, but at another time. Let us get what we've come for first."

"Right..."
>>
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Continuing down, you led the others to the thermal lake, where you stopped and stood over a ledge to look out over it all.

You got a good enough view o the place, there were shallow ends with sparkly rocks about and deeper ends that sank down into unknown crevices in the earth.

There were plenty of smaller lifeforms about thriving near this lake as it acted as an oasis for them in the bleak region here. But that was not all.

"Hey, look meover there." Vivi says, standing up on Chamo's head.

Over to the left, you see a herd of Brute Wyverns resting in the lake. There were dozens of them, big and strong animals. And with this many of them here, they even posed somewhat of a threat to you and the others.

"The Humans call these creatures 'Banbaro'." Student says.

You couldn't see a clear way around the Banbaro. The steam rising from the thermal lake clouded the area and cloaked the distances ahead. You don't know what you might walk into going around them.

Though they looked comfy and docile, they could easily be encouraged into charging together if they felt under threat.

>Let us get lower down and appear as harmless as we can and then attempt to pass by them peacefully.
>Send Chamo to cloak and sneak up past them to scout out what was further ahead.
>Let us chance it and walk through the steam around the herd to get by.
>Send Vivianne to provide a distraction so everyone can find a way by.
>Write in.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>4214107
>>Send Chamo to cloak and sneak up past them to scout out what was further ahead.
>>Let us chance it and walk through the steam around the herd to get by.

Both options sound good. I let the dice decide. 1 for chamo and 2 for steam.
>>
>>4214107
Go chamo!

This is a stealth milk run.
>>
All eyes fall on Chamo. He looks around at everyone with his bulbous independent eyes, looking behind himself before he realizes it.

"Me?"

"Yes. Chamo, you are stealthy. You can sneak around the Banbaro for us, and see what is beyond them all."

Chamo looks back at the herd of about forty Banbaro in total before nodding.

"Yessss! I do it! Not let new friends down! I be back fast! Won't even think me gone!"

Chamo sprays his mist, mixing it with the steam and amplifying his invisibility before he slithers down and enters the lake.

>1d500 to measure his success.
>Best of three.
>>
Rolled 121 (1d500)

>>4214119
>>
Rolled 407 (1d500)

>>4214119
Go go chamo!
>>
Rolled 372 (1d500)

>>4214119
>>
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...
>>
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Splash!
>>
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His effort was great, but in the end Chamo ended up catching the attention of one of the Banbaro. It was none other than the biggest one there to make things worse.

"Uhhhh....." He mouthed at the patriarch, who looked down at his partially visible form.

"Don't hurt me I child...?"
>>
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"....."

"......"

.....
>>
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"HEAAAAAOOOONNNNGK!" ("AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!")

"HEEEONGK! HEAAONGK HEAAONGK!" ("A new cute child to pamper!")

"AH!"
>>
Well, it seemed that wasn't a patriarch after all, it was the matriarch of the Banbaro herd! And now she was right on top of Chamo! He was powerless to move under her larger form grappling his squirming self!

While he was able to sneak past the Banbaro, he ended up making one slip anyway, he can't get past her if she's trying to hug him to death like this!

You've got to do something to help, but what?

"Any... ideas?"

"...Maybe we could throw something." Student suggested.

"Can't mew dig over there and do... something?" Vivi asks.

Hmm... What will you do now?
>>
>>4214167
Time for Shara to sacrifice one precious thing: His pride.

Tell everyone to sneak past the banbaros meanwhile Shara pretends he is a lost child who lost his parents in the storm, and while the banbaros is busy with him tell Chamo to slip away as fast as possible and join with the others.
>>
>>4214199
One important thing tell Chamo only what we're ploting to do, the last thing we need is him ruining our desguise.
>>
>>4214202
>...tell Chamo only
Tell Chamo and him alone.
>>
>>4214167
Aw hell no, we aren't letting some dirty moose hag get her hands on our boy
>tunnel down under the shallow parts of the lake and try to collapse the ground underneath the banbaro
>>
>>4214167
>>4214199
Is shara cute enough? Lets find out!

Go lies!
>>
>>4214199
I don't think Shara understands what she meant in HEEEONGK speak anon
>>
>>4214218
Anon I think it's worth a shot, if Velhana can understand Ukanlos which was said gone feral, I think Shara can understand her well enough, Hell Vance was able to understand Tabitabi and she is full feral and unlike those two the matriach sound smarter.
>>
>>4214225
Ukanlos is an advanced kind of monster though, and Tabitabi seems like she got smarter too. The thing is, when Velk and Vance heard them, it was clearly their thoughts, not a roar. If Shara was hearing the matriachs thoughts it would have been in bold connection speak.

I think we should just sink the tree swinging bitch and let Chamo move on so we can as well. We can't really waste time because theres an angry demon dragon after us too.
>>
>>4214230
But Anon, she literally understood what Chamo mind talked to her, he was a child, that's why she is acting like this, as long as we're discrete we can pull this off, and when Chamo is outta sight we can just burry ourselves and tunnel away to meet up with the others.
>>
>>4214230
Its a terrible plan, but it should make for some good commedy either way.
>>
"Student..."

"Yes, Teacher?"

"Take Vivi through the steam. Leave things here to me..."

Velkhana was surprised by that, but obeys, allowing the Felyne to ride on her neck as she walked off into the steam.

You sighed and shook your head.

You knew clearly what that matriarch was doing to Chamo, you understood her perfectly. If she wants a child to pamper and treat like her own, then perhaps you can use that to your advantage.

Using your earthen powers, you dig yourself down into the shallow ground beneath the lake and swim through over to the matriarch...
>>
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Popping out of the ground in front of her, the large and imposing matriarch of the herd looks down at you, holding Chamo tightly in her arms.

"Heongk?" ("Hum?")

"Ahem..."

"Helo!" You say, trying your best to make your projected voice sound younger.

"Heongk? Heaong heang?" ("Oh? Who are you?")

"I am... also child!"

"Hea?!" ("Huh?!")

"I lost parents in bad storm, I am so very scar-red!"

You send Chamo a glare of notice.

"I not know how to, hegh, GET OUT of here!"

He seems to understand your point well.

"Heaongk! Heaong heaaong heongk!" ("Oh dear! That's just terrible!")

"Heaangk! Heangk heeeaongk heeaongk heangk honngk." ("Today must be my lucky day though, not one but two new children to pamper.")

"Heangk heaongk honghk heaongk! Heaongk heaaongk!" ("Don't worry little one, I will be your new mother too! You can call me that, can't you? Go on, try!")

Oh no! Now she's just crossing the line with her urge to adopt orphans. Subjecting yourself to childish treatment is one thing, but calling a woman your 'mother' is another thing!

This would mean great disrespect to your actual birth mother, it is Draconic culture! You can't stress how much you don't want to do this, even as pragmatic as you were!

But.. if you don't, she might become saddened, and this will go on way longer than it needs to...

Will you really call this Banbaro your... eigh! ...your 'mother'...?
>>
>>4214362
Patience Shara, do it call her momma.
>>
>>4214381
Also ask your new mamma, if you can play a game of hide and seek with your new brother, you seek him after.
>>
>>4214362
>>4214362
This shit was pretty funny. Especially keeping in mind that adult Shara has a smile that could spoil milk.

Pray to your mothers spirit for forgiveness.
>>
>>4214381
supporting
… the things we do for love, id suppose
>>
Yeah call her mom, get it over with.

Also, I can't help but wonder, why exactly does this Banbaro want to just adopt a random kid she found immediately? Like shes right off the bat with it.
>>
Gog help us when Banbaro become sapient.

>>4214362
Mother forgive us for what we must do.
>call her your mother
>>
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"Egnnn..... hhgffnnnnnn.... aefnnnngnkgn....."

"Mother, forgive me..." You whisper to yourself.

"Mo... Momma!"

The Banbaro matriarch looks thrilled, full of happiness. She sets Chamo aside gently under the impression he'll stay before she stands up to full height over you.

Ancestor above, she really was huge! Easily as large as your average Dragon... no, maybe larger in fact!

"Heongk hongk!" ("Let me give you some loving!")

Chamo takes that moment to cloak and slither off, but you are left alone now as the Banbaro matriarch looms over you, coming over to give you a hug...
>>
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>>
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SLAM!
>>
In the distance now, you heard the cries of the Banbaro matriarch as you surfaced up. You took that moment when she was coming down to embrace you to quickly dive under the ground below, tunneling out and away from that part of the lake.

You regrouped with Chamo farther down the way of the lake, away from the herd and through the steam. He seems somewhat traumatized after having been handled the way he was.

"Teacher!" Came Student as she approached with the Felyne atop her crown. "Are you quite alright? I thought you might have been crushed as I watched from a safe distance!"

Vivianne was hysterical after having witnessed that.

"Any longer and she mwould've tried feeding mew her milk! Ho ho ho ho ho!"

"I don't want to.... talk about it." You say, glancing back at the herd.

"Lets... go."

You continue ahead, running past the others to one of the three routes you could take now. Each had their own obstacles.

>There is a gaseous cave leading further south this way. We'll seek passage through it.
>There is a point where the lake turns into a river flowing south, we'll follow it there.
>There is an ice field leading around in a curve southward, we'll move through there.
>>
>>4215334
>There is a point where the lake turns into a river flowing south, we'll follow it there.
Doubt it leads us the the Pole but it's better than a confined space and open field.
>>
>>4215334
>There is a gaseous cave leading further south this way. We'll seek passage through it.
If its like the gas in safis lair, we might be able to explode it if Dure comes back after us.
>>
Might want to flip a coin, QM.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>4215408
>>4215494
>>
From here on, you chose to lead the others down into a subterranean system that would take you all further south, closer to the pole.

The cavern was gaseous, full of a vapor that was brimming with energy. The gas down here was powerful indeed, maybe even unstable. One wrong move could cause a detonation in pockets where the gas was more abundant.

The cavern was complex, wide enough for Student to move through, but the amount of natural rock walls and columns here was staggering. You had to lead everyone through carefully.

You are sure this way will take you out to your destination, but not without trouble along the way of course...

From above, you hear an echo resounding. It was like something was tearing through the firmament, ripping it's way down into the cavern! You knew who that was...
>>
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"HRREEEEAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHH!"

Duremudira had finally caught up. The artificial dragon bursts from the ceiling, dropping down into the cavern and making it's presence known. This crazed abomination had just pulverized it's way through dozens of meters of bedrock to find you, and it seemed to have done that using only it's head as well. It wouldn't let up.

"EVERWYRRRM! YOU ARE GOING NOWHERE!"

The gas swarmed around, being attracted to the hole Duremudira just made. You ran with the others deeper into the cave, fleeing farther underground as Duremudira stalked your group behind slowly.

Each of you had came out to a large subterranean room when the artificial dragon flew into the ceiling again, tearing it's way through more chunks of rock to drop down ahead of your group. The ways you came through collapse from Duramudira's digging, trapping you and the others in this system with the ferocious demon!

"I will kill you all! I will KILL YOU ALL!" It swore.

"You are mine to tear apart! I will disfigure you all! Come out where I can see you!"
>>
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Your group is scattered. This room is large, and Duremudira remains stationary in front of the way you need to go.

Vivianne does not approach them, but she has discovered Boaboa tribesmen down from her. They have their spears, but they also carry bombs on their person as well.

There are hazards, falling icicles and tall rocks that can be pushed over to block out a path....

+=======+

Duremudira's vision is marked with red shade. Anything entering his line of sight will be viciously mauled.

Hazards you can trigger are white. Walls and places to hide behind are darker on the map. They can be knocked down by Chamo's poison spit, Velkhana's ice shards or Vivianne's throwing attack.

There is a single pocket of dense plasma gas build up to the north that can be detonated by simply throwing something onto it. It will be able to stop Duremudira temporarily should he be caught in it's explosion.

+=======+

What is your call?
>>
>>4215692
Ok here is an idea, first make Chamo drop the ice cube close to him, then make him leave his position and regroup with Velkha, meanwhile we go underground close to the plasma gas and we try to draw his attention, when he comes after us we go underground and let him crash in the gas cloud.
>>
This situation was chilling, but you had to act fast if you were to save everyone and get them out alive. Being gridlocked in here with Duremudira for even a minute would spell fatality for any of you, or even all of you at once.

You moved quietly, stepping lightly across the rock floor to meet your companions and tell them what to do. You relayed instructions to both, telling them what to do as you set your plan into motion. And then you spoke with Vivianne, looking across the gap of one of the paths Duremudira was watching. You spoke softly so he wouldn't receive your voice.

Everyone was ready, and so acted.

Chamo was the first to move, using his shoulder to overturn one of the tall rocks and block a path. He cloaked and got a move on opposite of that way, going with Student as she moved through the dark as well.

Duremudira shot down and pounced on the fallen rock instantly, shattering it to millions of pieces with one swipe. Chamo and Velkhana went through where Duremudira previously was quick, Vivianne jumping behind to gain on them as you burrowed into the ground. The scared Boaboa trbesmen followed Vivianne as well, not knowing what else to do in the midst of all of this.

You surfaced just in front of the gas pocket, putting yourself into Duremudira's sight.

"Everwyrrrrmmm... MmmmmmMMMMMMMMMNNNNNGH!"

"Come and get me, animal!"

"RGHAEGGGHHH!" It snarled.

The artificial dragon did exactly that, leaping forward with terrifying speed!

You dug under again, and narrowly do you avoid his icy talon as it scrapes the top of your armor, sending bits flying as he goes over you.

You retreated as Duremudira fell into the gas pocket, causing it to detonate...

The entire cavern room there came crashing down as the explosion rocketed it all!
>>
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You escaped just in time to meet up with the others deeper underground as that chamber was destroyed.

"Did that stop him?" Student asks, understandably concerned seeing how the pillar she dropped before did halt him for a while.

"No, that won't even scratch the monster, we still have to get a move on."

There was shifting heard behind the rocks.

"I see..." She says.

The ways ahead were illuminated by the glowing gas that swirled around.

"And we have to go fast, the surface has been cut off, leaving this explosive gas with no way to vent. It will collect up and form more pockets down here. Who knows how big these tunnels are? Who knows how big the explosion could be if all the gas was to detonate..."

"Could that kill the demeown?" Vivianne questioned.

"I honestly don't know. But... it would be worth a try to find out." You say.

Maybe along the way you could find some way to escape while also leaving this system to explode with Duremudira inside of it. You stroll ahead.

"Heh heh heh..." Chamo giggled.

"Hm? Mwat is it?" Vivi says, looking back at him.

Chamo tapped the wall with his tail. "It CAVED in on demon'ssss head! Hah hah ha-HAAAAH!"

"DRAGOOOONS!"

"AAAAAAH! HELP ME! HELP HELP HEEELP!" Chamo screamed.

Duremudira's arm suddenly punched through the rubble, taking hold of Chamo's tail! He lost all feeling at the demon's touch, he couldn't escape it's grasp!

Something has to be done!

>We have no choice, his tail must be amputated to free him!
>Student, drive your tail into that claw! Try and reach an artery to force Duremudira to let go!
>Rush forward and bash the wall to make an opening, find Duremudira's face and let Vivianne use her gadget!
>Write in.
>>
>>4215950
Jesus fuck this guy is insane
>Rush forward and bash the wall to make an opening, find Duremudira's face and let Vivianne use her gadget!
>>
>>4215950
Gadget, then boom. gives us extra dps.
>>
Three rolls of 1d100 please.
>>
Rolled 43 (1d100)

>>4216003
>>
Rolled 81 (1d100)

>>4216003
>>
Rolled 6 (1d100)

>>4216003
>>
Lunging forward, you bashed the rubble with both of your wings right away, cracking and breaking away the stone as Duremudira's talons tightened over Chamo's tail.

"Please! Hurry! Hurry!" He cried, bawling in fear and pain.

You delivered another blow to the rubble, revealing Duremudira's hideous visage glaring daggers back at you. He snaps with his jaw as he can back.

"Leave this me-ow! I'll purrt him to sleep!" Vivi declared, jumping up on your back and hopping to your wing as you held it close enough, in a safe distance.

She used her Sleeper Gadget, squeezing it's handle hurriedly, sending out the sum of all the sleeper agent she had into Duremudira's mouth. The artificial Dragon inhales it all in on purpose, as if testing you all. It's grip loosens and it slows down, but it wasn't put to sleep yet!
>>
Now it was pressing the tips of the icy talons into Chamo's tail, drawing blood that froze over as it leaked out from his cold touch.

"It wasn't enough!" You say, backing off.

"Please...! PLEASE!" Chamo pleaded.

Student stepped up then, bringing her tail around, the sword-like tip reflecting light from the gas.

"Leave this to me!" Velkhana says, preparing to impale Duremudira's arm.

>Three more 1d100s.
>Failure will result in Chamo's tail being severed.
>>
Rolled 60 (1d100)

>>4216096
>>
Rolled 36 (1d100)

>>4216096
CAM ON VELK
>>
I don't think 60 is enough.
>>
Rolled 88 (1d100)

>>4216096
>>
Rolled 54 (1d100)

>>4216096
>>
Striking forth, Velkhana drove her barb into the arm of the Ancient made Dragon, making it roar in fury. She had struck a vital point in the physiology of the demon, puncturing blood vessels and an artery in it's arm.

A thick charcoal lubricant leaked from the spot she impaled, as there was no natural blood in the body of this heinous organism, only poisonous materials. And after she dealt the wound, it froze over immediately, even freezing the ice on Velkhana's tail more solid than she could. She pulls back with much force, freezing her tail from the arm.

Chamo was relieved as the icy talons unhanded his tail, but he dragged it across the ground, having no feeling in it all the way to the base. He scurried ahead shakily, having been affected somewhat by the Corrupted Poison of Duremudira, but not in a way that would reduce his health severely in the long term. He was resistant to poison, but Duremudira's flavor of it had a secondary effect.

Now, only when you and the others are finally on the move again does a stark realization come over you.

It was true what the Ancient said about Duremudira's playing of a game. That beast had multiple opportunities now to kill any of you if it wished. It didn't take them, and it should have been able to effortlessly break it's way out of that rubble.

It was waiting before pursuing again back there.

What a twisted creation. This thing has a sick enjoyment of this game, and making everyone else suffer. How long will it be until Duremudira has had enough and decides to end this...?
>>
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You and the others stopped upon reaching another chamber in this labyrinthal subterranean system.

The ceiling above shook, dust falling off as a crunching approached. And then from a spot nearby your position, the ceiling exploded as Duremudira smashed his way through. The spot he lands at weakens the ground below, creating a wide crack over the surface.

Was the ground here hollow...? That crack could very well give away under his weight again.

Hmm... the artificial Dragon slide down a ramp and stops in front of the way out of this chamber, focusing his view entirely on it. His demonic aura flared, he was going to use more of his tricks now. His feet touching the ground alone sent frost growth across every conceivable surface, even over the walls to where you hid.

There were several pillars to collapse and block ways with, as well as another pocket of built up and bubbling gas ready to blow.

You saw a hole in the wall as well. A tunnel perhaps? You didn't know where it led, but Vivi or one of those Boaboa following you might fit in.

There are plenty of stones you can chuck here. In fact, there is even Crystalburst.

Knowing all that... what is your call now?
>>
>>4216270
>You saw a hole in the wall as well. A tunnel perhaps?
Have Vivi investigate this, depending of what she finds we could tunnel everyone to surface. Meanwhile everyone who is not felyne sized keep yourself hidden.
>>
Looking over the tunnel, you motion Vivianne over with a flick of your wing and point her down into it, asking her to investigate for you. She takes a moment to mull it over before giving you a readied nod and crawling inside. You heard the creek of her feet scraping against the inner walls as she pulled herself up. She traveled above, going into the ceiling for a time, causing particles to fall down from the ceiling over your head where she walked. The ceiling must have been as hollowed out as the floor.

You had to be really deep underground now for things to be like this.

Just as soon as she went up, Vivi came back down then, landing with a thud in front of you.

"Mew won't purr-lieve it! Mew won't!" She said impetuously.

"What did you find?"

"The meowle ceiling is full of cat expawloding gas! Mwe can bring it pawl down in a jiffy here with a stone or something!"

Incredible, but also demoralizing. This whole place was a dormant bomb...

You had few choices. You could try luring Duremudira into that pocket nearby in the chamber, or tricking him into falling through his own crack. You could have Vivi begin disrupting the hidden ceiling pockets before bailing, using the tall rocks to slow Duremudira down as you escape and he gets buried, or you could have Vivi do that and then get everyone to charge out at once, surely Duremudira wouldn't be able to keep up with everyone.

Maybe someone can do distraction work...

Knowing what you do now, what is your call?
>>
>>4216423
Hmm...

have Vivi begin disrupting the hidden ceiling pockets before bailing, using the tall rocks to slow Duremudira down

This sounds good.
>>
>>4216431
Well we can try, to do it, after that if dure is down let's dig our team out this stinking hole.
>>
Well, that someone will be you. You thought, if Human Vance were here right now, he'd most likely throw himself to the grinder to save every other one. You just really felt that was so.

You instructed Vivianne to detonate the ceiling, sliding a cluster of Crystalburst shards over to her with your wing. She saluted, grabbing the things and running up to climb the shaft.

"You three." You say, turning over to the Boaboa. They all perked up, seeming to understand you. "If you want to live, then you better run out out of here, now."

They nod... and then take off running around the perimeter, going to leave as fast as they can. You look over to Chamo, who was staring your way and signal him to do the same, and bring Student with. He climbs up the wall and slithers off to her fast.

Your plan is coming into motion...

"Hmmm...? Little creatures...?" Duremudira murmurs, seeing the Boaboa run by. He didn't care, because they were not his target.

But what he did care about as Student suddenly sideswiping him as his attention was caught conveniently by the tribesmen. Her tail poked his naked eye, and although it was not crushed, he winced as he was blinded in it, allowing her to ram him with her shoulder.

Duremudira fell to one arm as Chamo and her galloped by and out of the chamber.

"INSOLENT DREGS! YOU CANNOT...!"

"Demon!"

Duremudira's neck snapped to you as you stood out of cover.

"It is me you want!"

"....."

"HGREEEEAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!"
>>
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Duremudira lunged instantly, not even needing to re-position. He came like lightning, far faster than any Dragon you've ever known.

You had no time at all to react as his clenched claw impacted the bottom of your torso, sending you into the wall hard. You rolled to the side, avoiding his same claw smashing down in that spot, freezing over the surfaces with pointed bits of his poisonous ice growing all over it.

"You are a fool... you played a good game... but the game is over now..."

Duremudira headbutts you, throwing you into the wall yet again and rupturing your earthen armor. The armor itself did little to help protect you, you felt your purple blood leak from your nose and mouth. Your limbs stung with a searing pain that touched your spine as well. Pebbles and rocks fell off progressively as you rose to stare at the demon.

He was holding back, definitely. He wanted to enjoy killing you slowly, as was his sadist nature. This was life for a killing machine.

His splits glowed with his frost, and his indigo scales generated the crackle of his corrupted power.

"Now.. you DI-"

The wall explodes near him with a gas implosion, staggering him on his feet.

The walls and ceiling and ground all begin breaking apart. You shoot off the opposite way, Duremudira giving chase behind.

Your wing came smashing into tall rocks, making them fall over, but they did little to stop Duremudira, as he simply rams through with his head. What really helped to stop him was the ceiling falling on top of him, more implosions coming out right under his feet.

And then Vivianne fell down onto your head as the ceiling above gave away with green gaseous fire seeping through.

"THESE CA-A-AVERNS WON'T LAST MEOWCH LONGER!"

"Then we must get out, fast! Go on!" You say, picking her up and chucking her ahead of you to the way out. She picked up the trail from there and ran.

You strafed left to dodge one of Duremudira's arcs! But doing so lands hits on you anyway. Black pikes of ice he slung pierce through your shoulder and stick into your back. You ignore the pain, soldiering on as you ran!
>>
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Behind you, the entire chamber was consumed by green light as the whole thing was reduced to rubble by the myriad explosions.

You limped ahead from here, and you were amazed by your surroundings now. This had to be perhaps the deepest point of the subterranean system. You were walking on a structure much like a bridge now, and it was suspended way above a stream below of the largest gas pocket.

The stream below was gargantuan, it had to be at least several miles worth of gas down there. This was the sum of it all, all this gas that Gaea made. This stream exploding would... dear Ancestor... it would be as powerful as an Earthquake, like one you could make in your maturity.

But it is no real danger, mayhaps. If it were closer to the surface at least it would be deadly. Yes, this is just above the layers that tectonic plates were under. An explosion here would only destroy the entire subterranean system, and create a crater on the surface that would be rather impressive.

"It is... beautiful, in it's own way." Student said, looking down at the gas flowing like a river.

"Yes, indeed... Ergh!" You coughed, finally having rejoined the others.

"But how will we get out now, I wonder?"

"Meowbe we could ride an expawlosion up." Vivi suggested.

"What?! That's preposterous!"

"Not quite! Not quite!" She says, pointing up.

On the ceiling lingered many large openings, big enough for everyone to fit in. They led up to the softer layer on the surface. It was well within the ability of someone like Student or even Chamo to breach with physique alone.

"Velkhana couldn't fly outside because of the conditions, rocky! But in here she can! And if she uses the pawer of an expawlosion, she can propawl herself up even faster! Think about it!"

"Hmm.... I'll be frank, you've got me there." You say.

Chamo licked his lips nervously and gritted his teeth.

"Uhhh! Me not want sssssound like little baby... but... but Demon dead... yessss?"

....
>>
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbbdu5b5Sp0

"ᴴᴿᴿᴿᴱᴱᴱᴱᴱᴱᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴳᴳᴳᴳᴴᴴᴴᴴᴴᴷᴷᴷᴷᵎ"

Duremudira punched his way back out of the rubble again, flying up to the bridge covered in green flames that stuck to his body.

The artificial Dragon shakes the fire off, lowering his temperatures to beyond absolute zero, boiling with Corrupted Poison coating his body. His terrible aura followed as he slowly stalked closer.

"EVERWYRM..."

He snarls, slinging his head wildly!

"RAGH! KHREAGH! HYREAAAGH! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!"

"AAAAH! WE ALL GOING DIIIEEE!" Chamo squealed.

"Teacher?!" Student called, stricken with fear as well.

"Sh... Shara?"

The bridge led to a dead end ultimately...

Only one choice could save you now....

>Collapse the bridge with your earthen powers.
>Get Student to back everyone up and fire her ice beam all around.
>Ask the Boaboa to deploy their bombs!
>Write in.
>>
>>4216494
>>Ask the Boaboa to deploy their bombs!
>>Collapse the bridge with your earthen powers.

Deploy the bombs on him to buy us some time and collapse the bridge under him, then proceed to breach from this place as fast as possible.
>>
>>4216494
>Ask the Boaboa to deploy their bombs!

he can fly.

Set that gas off.
>>
>>4216494
>Get Student to back everyone up and fire her ice beam all around.
I don't know why, I just feel like this is somehow the right choice.
>>
>>4216536
Support, we'll never stop Mister X, I mean, Duremudira, with conventional attacks alone. Gotta get that big environmental damage in first.
>>
>>4217144
This guy seems more like our Nemesis.
>>
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>>4217387
excuse my shit atempt to comedy
>>
>>4217808
D.R.A.G.O.N.S....
>>
"Everyone, do you trust me?"

You got no vocal answer from around, but the others did affirm their trust in you with slight nods.

"Then trust me on this..." You say, planting your wingtips into the girth of the bridge.

The sides of the stone archway snapped, sending bits flying out as a vibration traveled down past Duremudira's legs. The demon did not notice as it began to stalk closer with increased speed. But it realized what you were doing then as the bridge rumbled, shaking everyone on it.

As everyone braced themselves to steady their feet, the bridge finally went under as the base shattered. Duremudira craned his neck back to look at the bridge falling behind himself.

"Neergghh... EVERWYRRRRM!" He screamed, leaping forward to stay on the bridge as it began to collapse much faster now.

The stone underfoot gave away, faster than Duremudira could keep up with as it turned to debris from your powers working over it all. Then you released the bridge and let it crumble the rest of the way on it's own.

"You three!" You said, looking to the Boaboa, "Throw your bombs! Now!"

They didn't hesitate to jump forward onto your back with their round vase-made bombs. They chucked the explosives right at Duremudira as the artificial dragon leaped off another collapsing segment. The grenades caught his face in the air, making him lose focus, turning down to crash into the segment you and the others stood on.

Student grabbed a hold over you as she flapped her wings. You threw the Boaboa off to catch Chamo as Vivianne mounted his neck.

The gas stream below increased in instability as the bridge triggered it falling in.

You got one last look at Duremudira's screeching visage as the demon Dragon was sent plummeting down below into the gas explosion.

Student and Chamo struggled to fly into the hole above, but when the force of the explosion came, they truly made progress, being propelled up there at the hastiest speed you've ever seen...
>>
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"EVERWYRM!" Duremudira howled out as the green flames of the explosion consumed him fully, even melting his ice down to nothing...

"EEEVVVEEERRRRWWWYYYYRRRRRRMMMMMM-"
>>
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>>4218055
....did we....did we just accidentally obliterate an entire part of the ecosystem to kill one guy?
>>
>>4218083
He would have done much worse in the penultimate conflict, from a pragmatic standpoint.
>>
>>4218095
I think melting the ice caps is alot worse than one blue boi who makes ice anon.

Also, how do we know that killed him? And are the Banbaro okay?
>>
>>4218083
well, it was this or have that monstrosity skulking about, i mena, think about it, shara and the gang are 3 elder dragons even if not at full power, and we where running away like little girls, that thing gets astera or seliana and we be a millenia cleaning guts and body chunks
>>
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"....."
>>
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"ᴿᴿᴿᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴬᴳᴳᴳᴳᴴᴴᴴᴴᴴᴴ"

....

"Teacher... the Demon still lives..."

You looked back as best as you could. It was... improbable... Duremudira survived even that explosion! That explosion so great that Gaea trembled from it!

"We must... we must press on! There is no time to linger on it! We are nearly there to the South Pole! We will finally get the Sap!"

"....Teacher...." Velkhana started, "The Demon will not toy with us any longer. If it should continue it's pursuit, we will not make it."

"The Demon must be destroyed, Teacher..."

You shrank inside your armor, knowing well what Student was thinking about doing.

"Student... no... no! Please! Don't do it! You cannot defeat it!"

Velkhana looks down at you. She seemed worried about the success of this whole mission should Duremudira remain active. She knows that you don't want her to go, but if she doesn't, you won't make it.

She gives you a warm smile.

"I'm sorry Teacher... but I must do this. You taught me well, I will be alright."

"Student...."

"Go without me. I will see you again."

"STUDENT!"

She drops you and stops in the air.

You looked back up at her with despair as she turned back to fly at the ground zero of the explosion. Chamo maneuvered over, grabbing you with his hands and tongue, guiding you down to the ground level gently as he landed.

You screamed Student's name to the air.
>>
+======+
STORY CHOICE
+======+

>Follow Shara as he makes his way to the pole, facing off against the fabled Giant to retrieve the Divine Sap.

>Follow Velkhana as she sets aside her fear and confronts the demon made of Humanity's evil hands.
>>
>>4218307
>Follow Velkhana as she sets aside her fear and confronts the demon made of Humanity's evil hands.
>>
>>4218307
>Follow Velkhana as she sets aside her fear and confronts the demon made of Humanity's evil hands.
Shara is smart enough to outwit the giant, and get the sap safely, I think Velkhana might need our help more than him.
>>
>>4218307
>Follow Shara as he makes his way to the pole, facing off against the fabled Giant to retrieve the Divine Sap.
I'm more interested in seeing what this giant is desu
Velk fought Ukanlos, she can take care of herself
>>
>>4218320
Velk almost died to Ukanlos anon, a healthy one was bitch slapping her silly and a seriously wounded one was kicking her ass were not for Vance she would be dead, and now we're dealing with something as cold if not cooler than her, has a special kind of poison, is tough enough to survive a nuclear meltdown and absolutely hates dragons so she can't simple fly away and lick her wounds
>>
>>4218307
>Follow Velkhana as she sets aside her fear and confronts the demon made of Humanity's evil hands.
Objective: Survive
>>
>>4218307
>Follow Velkhana as she sets aside her fear and confronts the demon made of Humanity's evil hands.
If only we had a railgun, this would be much simpler.
>>
>>4218339
To be fair, Ukanlos was in a whole different weight class compared to Velk, and I'm pretty sure he is stronger physically than Dure. Dure seems to rely on his bullshit poison and frontier lasers, he's about the same size as Velk.
>>
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"...."

"You will never grasp..."

"Huh...?"

"You will never grasp my hatred..."

"We live in a small galaxy in a universe of potentially unending size... in this galaxy, astronomers have deduced that there are billions of stars and other worlds out there we've yet to ever reach..."

"Each of those stars, different in their forms, are magnificent burning cores of the centrifugal light that brightens all of creation. Yet for all their beauty, they come with a terror at the end of their lives; Supernovae! The most powerful explosions known to men of science..."

"If you were to set off a chain reaction that would result in the detonation of each and every single star comprising our entire galaxy, sending them all into raging inferno of supernovae, and then taking that and multiplying the power and energy released by it all by one million million times...."

"...It still WOULD NOT MATCH THE FIERY... BURNING HATRED I FEEL FOR DRAGONS... FOR YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU SO MUCH! YOU CANNOT GRASP MY PASSION!"

You were taken aback by the outburst from the Demon as it sits there in the fire scalding it.

>"Why must you hate? Is there no other point to your existence than carnage?"
>"You only live for destruction, beast, not anything of creation. Therefor you live for nothing. You should save me some time and take yourself out."
>"Enough of your words! I do not fear you! I will destroy you, evil thing!"
>Write in.
>>
>>4218445
>"But for what reason? Is it even that of your own?"
>>
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>>4218445
>"Why must you hate? Is there no other point to your existence than carnage?"
>>
>>4218445
>Frankly my dear I don't give a damn.
>>
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"For what reason? Why do you hate? Is it even that of your own? Is there no purpose to your existence than to hate? To destroy and murder?"

You heard the vile thing stomp forward, revealing it's face from the fire. You saw that his body was damaged, partially broken after sustaining a hit from the gas deposit exploding.

"The greatest day of my life... was birth. I was created inside the machines of Man. I incubated in their fold..."

"I am the perfection of past attempts, the Equal Dragon Weapon was only the beginning. I was crafted, engineered using parts from both Man and Dragon. Only so many of my type were made, but because of the immense power we wielded."

"I have no will... because I AM a will.. the will of the Ancient Civilization... the Emperor! Homobis! The ruler of Mankind! We were made using his cells! We are his hated for Dragons given material form! Our flesh, our scales and all..."

You took a cautious step back.

"You... you're a Monster... not an animal... a real Monster."

"My functions are so unique... destroying what I hate elicits injection of chemicals into my brain. An automatic function of my being. Your fear and struggle to cling to life is my happiness. Killing your kind is joyous to me!"

"I only want what Man does. The eradication of Dragonkind! When all Dragons are finally gone, then I too may expire. You say you are without fear... you lie! How dare you!? You call me a Demon... no... I am a God of Destruction! I exist to kill you. Are you ready to die?"

Duremudira begins charging it's power, preparing to attack the moment you finish another sentence in reply...

>Get on guard, taunt him and then counterattack.
>Wait and evade his next move at you.
>Shoot the gas near him to detonate it.
>Write in.
>>
>>4218573
>Wait and evade his next move at you.
The emperor sounds like a real homo then
>>
>>4218573
>Wait and evade his next move at you.
>>
A cursed existence; barely more sapient than a Tigrex. Killing it would be a mercy.
>>
>>4218626
Tardrex is a genius next to this guy. He literally gets his dophamine kicks breaking shit. The ancients were fucked weren't they?
>>
>>4218573
>Wait and evade his next move at you.

mmm.

Well. Like I said. he don matter.
>>
"...."

"...Have you no answer? Then I will assume the answer is 'yes' by default."

"Your kind is an infectious microbe spread over Gaea..."

Duremudira unhinges his jaw, surging poisonous energy lighting his throat up.

"I AM THE WHITE BLOOD CELL THAT DISSOLVES YOU TO NOTHING! DIIEEEE!"

You swung to the side, hopping over your own wings to flip out of the way as Duremudira unleashed his massive arc of energy at you, blowing away the crater wall behind you.

Immediately after firing his beam, the demon charged like a wild animal. You flapped your wings quickly, rising up with two strokes to allow the beast to run wildly into the charred dirt.

He used his wings as well, shooting up high above you easily. You took notice of something about his wings, they were also coursing with his energy, his flight wasn't natural. In fact, if he lost the membranes, he might not even be able to fly...

You kept that in mind as you flapped backwards, avoiding the Monster as he dove down at you like a torpedo. He was careless, crashing into the ground headfirst and then shattering it with his jaw. His skill in flight was speed, not maneuverability. You weren't as fast as him, but you were a better flier, no doubt.

"RHAAAGH!" He hissed, pulling his head from the dirt.

You swooped down, aiming to deal a blow to the Demon!

His head had parts of his armor broken off, and spilling out from his head was a flaming current of his leaking energy. You could see his eye in it, but not what was behind. Potentially his brain was hiding in there somewhere? You don't know how hard it will be to pierce his skull with your barb.

You could try freezing it as well...

>Fire your ice beam into his flaming head.
>Pierce his flaming head, aim for the eye.
>Try and strike his brain successfully.
>Pierce his neck, aim for the slight in his scales.
>Try to tear his wings apart.
>Write in.
>>
>>4218776
>Pierce his flaming head, aim for the eye.
A death by a thousand cuts.
>>
>>4218776
>Pierce his flaming head, aim for the eye.
>>
You opted to take out his vision.

You aimed carefully as you flew down at Duremudira. The demon glared your way just before you swung with your wings outspread, bringing your tail forward.

The thing screamed in anger as your barb came like a needle, striking it in the eye. Like the last time, his eye was not seriously damaged by your tail, but the result was different in how much more painful it was.

You saw your tail loosen the eye from whatever stalk still held it up in his wounded head. The eye pushed back, losing it's place and twisting slightly.

"Ghguuurrrr.... HREAGH!"

He jumped up then, and you felt his claws latch onto your throat. He hurled you into the ground, and you barely had time to roll just before his same claw smashed the spot where your head just was.

You tried to shoulder block him again, but he doesn't even shift as you slam into him. He swings his head like a weapon, battering your neck before he struck you with his palm, sending you tumbling back.

His strength was great... more than likely greater than even the brute Ukanlos. He winded you with a single strike...

And you didn't notice it until now, but his flaming energy leaking from his skull had melted some of the ice near your tail. You focus on your power over ice, freezing your body over again to regenerate lost bits of your armor.
>>
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You noticed he was remaining stationery then, working on something... you saw what. He was secreting Corrupted Poison from his body like a flood!

The poison smothered the ground under his feet and bubbled, spitting up like spikes. And then he breathes, letting out his chilly breath as he jabbed his claws into the ground underneath himself, freezing it all over. The poison and his ice mixed, solidifying into spires of poisonous ice, just like what you saw when you first arrived following Teacher.

He goes around in a circle, digging his finger into the ground...

"What is the meaning of this, demon?!"

"KILL YOU."

He slams the ground with his tail! A large chunk of it comes up, having been cut out by the outlines from his claw.

He jumps back into the center of it and digs his limbs in, flapping his wings to lift it up. It looked like a meteorite now the higher he took it up, carrying all his corrupted ice with him.

Then he threw it up, flying around and catching it from the bottom, all the insidious poisonous ice spikes centered on you!

He makes a descent, flying with it towards you!

>2d2000 to dodge Duremudira's homemade meteor.
>>
Rolled 1725, 726 = 2451 (2d2000)

>>4218836
Just Dragoon Jump, sis.
>>
Rolled 1499, 1335 = 2834 (2d2000)

>>4218836
>>
No one deserves to die this way but I assume that I was correct in my assumption.
>>
"Hgn!"

You zoomed in a straight line upwards and then stopped, spraying the ground underneath your feet with your ice beam until a wall of ice was standing below.

The poisonous object Duremudira guided came closer, and before it could collide with you, you used your powerful hind legs and the wall to propel yourself up, shattering the ice as you sprang upwards, letting your wings carry you from the force in the air that Duremudira generated pushing the object down that fast.

The thing exploded into a spurt of poisonous ice shards as it's creator slid across the charred ground, twisting around on his feet.

You dove at him again, aiming to pierce with your barb, but he avoids it by jumping up similarly to you.

Next thing you knew, his hands and feet all grabbed onto the arms of your wings and the base of your legs. He went around in a twirl, throwing you to the ground hard before coming down again.

His arms went over yours as he laid on top of you, pinning you down.

"Be still.... dear..." He cackled vulgarly.

"YOU SICK...!"

"AAAAAAGGGGHH!" You screamed.

His teeth were digging into your skin as he bit deep into your right shoulder. His teeth were all like daggers, and he made a point to munch down, only worsening the pain! The bastard!

You felt a horrible wrenching in the pit of your stomach. He didn't even mind the ice armor over your shoulders, he chomped right through. Worse yet, you felt him injecting his Corrupted Poison in with his bite!

You needed to make a decision, quick!

>Reach around yourself and try to bite into his neck.
>Throw your head back and jab the point of your crown armor into his flaming gouge.
>Try to flex your tail and stab him 'there'.
>Write in.
>>
>>4218884
>Throw your head back and jab the point of your crown armor into his flaming gouge.
He's a war machine, he isn't made to reproduce.
>>
>>4218884
Switching to
>Try to flex your tail and stab him 'there'.
The surprise might get him off, even if he has no genitals.
>>
>>4218884
>Throw your head back and jab the point of your crown armor into his flaming gouge.
>>
>>4218924
Nevermind, switch back to the headbutt.
>>
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You tried to push back against his force, but he was firmly planted over you, you couldn't move him...

...Or could you? It was a figure of weight, of course!

You lowered your front end then, causing him to shift forward. He had to readjust his claws then to prevent himself tripping over you, and to prevent you throwing him up from the back using your legs.

In that short blip of time you have that he moves his arms, you acted, throwing back with all of your strength. He buckled as you expected.

"You... FIEND!"

You threw your neck back, and let your head be driven into his.

The tall crown of ice armoring your head slid right into his gouge, and he screamed in fury.

The flaming current excelled from his gouge, pouring out even faster! It quickly melted your armor, but you had already done your job by then. You see his eyeball fall out, cut loose from the jagged end of your crown cutting it's stem!

Duremudira fell back, his underside exposed. He flailed, trying to get up.

Now was your chance!

>Attack his wings!
>Attack his tail!
>Maul his face!
>Try to tear his neck away!
>Write in.
>>
>>4219032
>>Attack his wings!
Attack as hard as you can, try to make sure he can't fly anymore.
>>
>>4219032
>Attack his wings!
Tear him apart, one weak point at a time!
>>
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Meanwhile on Shara's end...
>>
Now, roll me 1d100
>>
Rolled 80 (1d100)

>>4219078
Oh so the giant was a Gammoth, I though it was another Ukanlos, I mean it's bad but not that bad, unless it's a deviant.
>>
You pounced him then, letting your predatory instinct take over as you bore your claws down on his wings.

The appendages stung with his energy flowing through the membrane, but under your lust for his blood now, you didn't care as you bit and tore the things anyway. Your claws and teeth worked well enough to shred the artificial organic material, and you worked with your toe claws to reach the other wings, kicking back and scraping the membrane to ribbons.

Duremudira shrieked, and you roared back yourself as you relentlessly swiped at him. The attack you gave was deadly, as one of his wings is torn off by the forearm completely, lubricant spraying out.

Though you did well pressing the attack on him, he had enough.

His foot kicks up, batting your torso and swatting you off with ease. You went to your arms and lunged forward again as he regained his balance, anticipating that you would deal him another knockdown. However, things do not go as you wish. Duremudira's claw shoots forward, grabbing you by the throat and stopping you completely.

Duremudira raised himself to full height, standing on his two back legs as his hand squeezed your neck, cutting off your breath. You lost that animal sense of ferocity you had, and the pain kicked in. You felt it in your hands, feet, your mouth and your spine. Burns from the energy and inflammation from where he kicked you. It ached terribly....
>>
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"Haaaahhhh...."

Duremudira just held you there.

"Haaahhhhh....."

Then his grip tightened.

"I hate you."

And tightened....

"I hate you!"

You felt your neck crunch under his iron grasp. You couldn't breath...

"I HATE YOU..."

His other claw slams into your gut as a fist. You tried to spew, but you didn't have the breath or air to.

Duremudira shook you, like a madman mishandling a babe. He made sure to vibrate you to such an extent that your vision became blurred. He pressed his thumb in deeper, and you felt your blood run down your neck from that spot.

His body became luminous, energy he generated releasing.... in the form of a shockwave!

"I HATE YOU!"

His body released a tidal wave, a blast of his poisonous power. It threatened to blow you away like sand, but he kept you in the middle of it with his hand. His shockwave felt like hundreds of his punches hitting your every inch...

"I... HAAAAATE.... YOOUUUUUU!"

He pulled back, dragging you before his arm sprung out, slinging you to the air as he released another wide shockwave, covering the area and striking you with it.

You went flying backwards into the ground roughly, all of the ice armor over your body shattering instantly. You gasped for air, finding it harder to breath now that he squeezed your throat so tight that your trachea shrunk. You were sore... no, much worse than that. You felt like anything else he had to throw at you would kill you.

He was already coming on with another attack, and you could barely move an inch. You were helpless on the ground....
>>
Sup, an average VA Anon here

Duremudira's hate tirade kinda inspired me to act it out, I was even gonna edit it too, but I was both inexperienced and sorta didn't know what to do with it

I tried some multiple voice stuff, screams and all that, but it never really went anywhere sadly

So, I'mma give the unedited main part of it to y'all anyways!

Just wanted to show some love to the quest via my own brand of OC

Prolly ain't the best I can do, but my voice is starting to hurt and stuff so I decided on the better take

https://voca.ro/kKMupDt8jH5

Boom, hope shit goes good for y'all, cuz I gotta rest after all that
>>
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>>4219200
Woah! Of all the things you could have done as OC for this quest, that was the last thing I expected to see tonight, actual voice acting holy crap.

Good work anon, props to you, that was really pleasant to see.
>>
>>4219200
nicu
>>
Wait, so an 80 wasn't enough?
>>
>>4219208
Oh, it was a success. Duremudira's wings have been destroyed.
>>
>>4219200
Hoho, would you look at that we got voice acting now, this quest keeps delivering the good stuff.
>>
>>4219214
So it was a matter of breaking the wrong part.
>>
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Duremudira approached fast, practically skipping forward frantically as he charged another arc of his in his throat. He was going to blast you with it, and you didn't know if you had it in you to survive.

You heard him grunting, like he was laughing as he raised his head and let you stare into the corona of his corrupted power.

In that moment, you did the only thing you thought you could do. As you inhaled and gained some breath back, you fired out your own beam first, shooting him in the face with a concentration of ice. You let your head fall to the ground, accepting your fate as he stopped and prepared to fire....

But it never came... and then Duremudira gave out a whelp.

You looked up quickly, seeing the light recede back into his mouth as his head had a spasm. You had struck the flaming gouge with your beam, and while you thought it did nothing you noticed something.... more of more of his face was flaking off there.

That was it! The energy pouring out unstably like that reacted to your ice, flaring up to try and burn it away, in the process harming Duremudira as well! His own power out of his focus could be used against him!

You blast that spot again with another torrent quickly! More of his jaw and head flake off, burned by his own flaming gouge!

He turns away, hiding the gouge from you to protect himself!

"Curse you... curse you! Kill you!"

Duremudira raised his tail, and the spikes on it became imbued with frost. You didn't know what he was going to do with that, but it couldn't be anything good! At this rate, he could simply turn as he pleased to hide his gouge...

>Fly away and see if he'll follow.
>Try to aerial assault him from above.
>Blow some wind with your wings and freeze it above him.
>Lunge and attempt to lodge his arm to the ground by piercing it.
>Engage him in a contest of roars.
>Write in.
>>
>>4219226
I'm assuming our wings are okay?
>Blow some wind with your wings and freeze it above him.
Any attempt to melee him would end poorly.
>>
>>4219226
>>Try to aerial assault him from above.
>>
>>4219257
We don't want to let it move its tail if those spines are projectile. I wanna encumber Duremidura by freezing it over.
>>
Like Narga.
>>
>>4219226
>Engage him in a contest of roars.
I'm curious.
>>
>>4219205
>>4219206
>>4219218
I'm glad y'all enjoyed my take on what Duremudira would sound like!

I kinda thought I did bad but, you all seemed to enjoy it

Just in case y'all are wondering, my Id is probably going to be different than the other one, 4chan is kind of a dick and ip blocks my actual internet, So I tend to phonepost with data and shit

Had a feeling someone would notice that, so ye

Again I gotta say, super glad y'all enjoyed my work!
>>
>>4219288
Can you break the tie?
>>
>>4219293
Sure man

Supporting >>4219257
>>
>>4218297
>ready to throw her life on the line for her friends
>refuses to hate or harm humans even after all they've done
>even affter they killed her brother
>is smug and acts tsundere, but shows a tender side as well underneath it all
>wide hips and thick tail
>gives warm head hugs
>rules the objective best region in the new world
>skilled in a fight, adapting quickly to the conditions
>more beautiful than Kulve and Lunastra
Velkhana is decidedly best girl and I encourage you all to heavily reconsider going down boring old Atricia's route on the inane observation that she can't be competed against by other girls when she has already been surpassed.
>>
>>4219288
You did do pretty well anon. You should keep on that voice acting, I'm sure you'll improve even better than now if you try.
>>
We're probably going to get grounded.
>>
>>4219301

I may be completely down to clown with Velk.....

But I am a man of honor

We've already made the first leap towards Atricia, and we can't just stop now and break the poor girls heart on the onset!

Tell ya what, if things end up going badly with her, I'll be one of the first to vote for the Velkhana route

>>4219306

Thanks man, lower voices are sadly outta my comfort zone, so I'm glad that I'm not all that bad at it!

I have been doing this for a long time on my own, so it's always good to have someone other than myself give me that all too helpful criticism
>>
>>4219301
I never voted for her because I knew 4 chan protagonists are sluts.
>>
>>4219439
She doesn't seem like a slut, she's just a very boring and plain human
>>
>>4220154
I think he's talking about PCs and how promiscuous they always end up being.
>>
>>4220170
Well I don't rhink any of them are sluts either
>>
You needed to have a shot at that wound, as it was your key to winning here. If you could just deliver more strikes upon that flaming weakness, you'd surely vanquish the Demon in little time. An approach from above could be useful here.

So you got a start running up before turning that into a leap as you guided yourself with your wings. You flew to the air overlooking Duremudira and then made a hasty descent towards the Demon as he backed off.

Yet just as you could were about to get a shot at Duremudira, he raised his tail and the spikes on it let loose an array of beams at you in the air. You were struck in the shoulder and the arm where he bit you at, and when you came under the touch of the beams, you were encased in ice! His absolute zero power froze your arm and wings, felling you from the air.

Thankfully, none of the ice he disabled you with was corrupted with his poison, but you were once again helpless as he approached you. You shot your ice beam his way, aiming for the flames, but he dodges it, quicker on his feet.

His hand pushes your head down to the ground, preventing you from opening your jaw as he took hold of your frozen arm with his other claw.

"Suffer... SUFFER!"

He started to bend back your frozen arm, using the solid ice around it to contort it out of shape. It was painful, and when he articulated it all the way he could, he began to push harder on it!

You felt your bones inside grind in ways they weren't meant to as he gargled another cackle.

And then.... it snapped like a twig.

You screamed to the air as he let you go and stepped off....
>>
You pecked at the ice covering your broken right arm. As it shattered, your arm fell down limp, useless in this state now.

You looked quickly to the guffawing Duremudira and fired your ice beam again, hitting his flaming gouge. The Demon lumbered back.

"AEOGUH! EEEERRRRAAAGHHH!"

He opened his jaw to fire his beam at you again, but this time, only a puff of poison came out, and his head sparked with electricity from his energy. He couldn't seem to work it up to fire anymore. The Demon looked surprised at that himself. At that moment, he takes off, running away from you and the battlefield here.

You saw him bash his way through rocks and boulders as he made his way off. He uses the shredded wings of his to weakly hover in the air, getting away slowly. He wasn't going the direction in which you came from thankfully, as that would lead to Shara and the others.

It seems he was running off to lick his wounds, or perhaps retreat to somewhere else far away from the pole region.

"Aaahhh.. aaah! Ahhhnnn..." You gasped, standing up on only three of your limbs.

You were badly hurt from your skirmish with Duremudira. You likely owe your survival to the gas explosion that drastically weakened the Demon.

Now... would it be wise to continue your pursuit of him?

>No, we must find the others. Forget the Demon, let it flee. (Returns to Shara's POV)
>Yes, we must ensure it's destruction! We will wipe the evil from this world!
>>
I am completely unsurprised at this result.

>>4220565
>No, we must find the others. Forget the Demon, let it flee. (Returns to Shara's POV)
The obvious answer is no, just like it was to stop that tail.
>>
>>4220565
>No, we must find the others. Forget the Demon, let it flee. (Returns to Shara's POV)
We need reinforcements before I'm confident we can kill that.
>>
No, that would not be wise. You were tired out, and you are sure Duremudira never tires, being the merciless killing machine it is. You had to get back now, back to Teacher. Hopefully he has found the Divine Sap by now. He can heal everyone with it.

You hold up your ruined right arm as you flap your wings, taking off from the desolate circle here in the crater. You flew as fast as you could back to the South Pole....

+======+

Velkhana sidestory end.

Duremudira will return one day...

+======+
>>
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+======+

You are now the Old Everwyrm, Shara Ishvalda, once again...

+======+
>>
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....

"Ghn!"

"FFRRRPPPOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH!"

"HaaaaAAARRHHH!"

You pushed with all the earthen power at your wingtips, collapsing the ground under the foot of the giant standing guard at the sanctuary of the south pole's sakura!
>>
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You had outsmarted the giant, luring it to the edge of a wide shelf that dropped down into the arctic sea there.

The giant was helpless as everything went down underneath it. It couldn't hold on.
>>
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You sighed, exhausted as the impressive creature dangled before falling with the chunk you split off the shelf. The giant fell a ways straight down to the arctic sea, where it's doom was impending.

You looked around in a daze after finishing the colossus off. Vivianne and Chamo were not in sight. What last you saw of them, they were bashed away, swatted like flies by the giant, which left you alone like this to handle it by yourself. You thought they may have fled this polar field to gain some safety for now. Surely they were okay.... but if they weren't....

But... the Sakura! It was so close, just within your reach. You should go collect the sap, there will be more than enough for everyone, surely!

What will you do?
>>
>>4220756
It would be in poor taste to leave them without checking. Try to find them.
>>
>>4220740
Nice try, zman

>>4220756
Get the sap. We're not sure if anything else fuckey might happen the moment we look away.
>>
>>4220740
I do what I want, XBoy
>>
>>4220756
Look for then.
>>
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Panicked, you scanned left to right, looking around hysterically as you tried your best to locate Vivianne and Chamo.

You searched up near the entrance to the grounds of the sakura, next to a massive snow gate that the giant burst from to surprise you. The pieces were crumbled like many large tablets scattered about, and you found no trace of them here. Nor did you find any trace near the way you came into this polar field from, nor the wrapping walls.

You were beginning to lose hope, thinking they might have fell into the freezing abyss that was the sea below this level. That was when you decided to look over for closure.

They were down there after all, but not in the way you feared. You saw both of them on the top of a small iceberge that must have broken off the shelf when you used your powers to send the giant down there. They were afloat safely, but Chamo was unconscious. Vivianne was desperately trying to wake him...

You thought they would be safe for now there, at least until Student.... at least until Student returned. You held out hope for them all.

You looked around, finding a capsule Vivianne brought with her along the trip, standard equipment for her kind. It would suffice to carry the Divine Sap. You gently take it into your wingtips...
>>
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You walked up the slope that lead to the peak of this massive crux where the Sakura was located. You approached the very point, the southern pole of the world as you climbed up the snow.

Then you stopped, looking far ahead.

There it was at last. One of the great trees made of the world's concentration points. You felt amazing energy from the ground in this hallowed place. The tree itself, marking the exact spot where the pole was hummed with Gaea's energy.

The sap would be plentiful when you peeled back the bark to claim your due.

You went to take yet another step further, but you halted at the sound of a voice ringing out across the air, like a whisper from a ghost.

"Halt! Come no closer until ye read my instruction clear, old one."

"The holy medium is not for sharing in excess. Ye take only what ye need. Take more than what thou has earned and incur the wrath of Gaea. Let this be mine only warning to thyself."

Ah... so that was how it was....

From a logical standpoint, all you needed was enough to cure Human Vance...

....But... but the others... they lied in agony as well. Getting sap for them was not something you needed, but something that you wanted? Because that was not the intention of this journey?

The voice must be the guardian of the tree. Inagami was one such guardian. You did not know who this guardian was, but their warning stood. They may reveal themselves to attack if you take more...

Human Vance needed it... but your other companions did too...

....

>Take only what you need, for Human Vance.
>Take as much as you want. To hell with moderation!
>>
>>4220982
>Take only what you need, for Human Vance.
We expensed a lot to deal with the Gammoth.
>>
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>>4220982
>Take as much as you want. To hell with moderation!
We did not just come all this way, nearly getting everyone killed for a small amount of the maple syrup. Fuck the guardian, we got to heal everyone else.
>>
>>4220982
It's not wise to piss off anything else on this journey

Let's play it by the rules and take what we need
>>
>>4220982
>Take only what you need, for Human Vance.
I don't like it, but they'll recover faster than Vance will without the sap.
>>
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....

You were not one quick to deviance, or greed. If the guardian deemed you would take only what you need, then so you would.

Carefully grasping the capsule, you stepped forward to claim your prize. At least in the end, Human Vance would be healed of h- HhhgWHAT?!

https://vocaroo.com/d4bcuqoHCqR
>>
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https://vocaroo.com/4VWBS46GHRi
>>
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"Ah... ah.... gah... ah... ahh... ah... aah... ahh... ahh...!"

You dropped the capsule.

"N... NO! NO! WHAT... WHAT IS...."
>>
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"Your journey ends here Everwyrm. You made your last mistake the moment you decided to embark on this mission, and then continuing on it even knowing that I was aware."

"...You set your Demon upon us... why would you come here yourself...?"

"Ahhh... I can rely on Duremudira to a point. He has unfortunately failed in his assignment. In fact, he retreats now, having been warded off by your Student, the Ice Dragon."

"And even if he hadn't been defeated, he wasn't going to kill you. I got on my way here the moment I saw you put the Human to sleep. Finishing you is my glory only."

"Did you honestly think, even for a moment, that I would just let this chance you yourself have given me slip by? I would be a fool."

"You still are... you are so blind..."

"It doesn't matter now, save your rhetoric. I'll not be offering you another way out... but what I will offer you is your own choosing of how you will die. You at least get to choose how you'll go out, Everwyrm."

"What say you? How would you like me to end you?"

>Answer.
>>
>>4221090
>"Human Vance will never join you if you slay me. Killing me will seal your own doom, he will defeat you."
>>
>>4221098
+1
>>
>>4221090
Rolls eyes*

>>4221117
>>4221098
yall are a buncha quitters

>Fake him out by pretending to see Velkhana came back and gtfo
>>
>>4221148
Calling for a fake out

If anyone has a better idea I'll switch to it, cuz I'm honestly stumped
>>
>>4221148
Do the fake out.
>>
"If you kill me, your chances are completely sealed."

"And why is that?"

"Fate already ordains your fall. Human Vance would never even speak to you again if you slew me. He would never join you."

"I've given up on that. He won't be convinced by me regardless, you've already poisoned him too much with your lies. He is a traitor to his own kind, much like you."

"...."

"He will defeat you."

Zuhramon steps closer through the veil of the snow...
>>
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With one gesture of his hand, the veil is blown asunder. The snow disperses, and you see Zuhramon in his entirety. He has discarded the robe he wore to mask the mechanical horror that was his body...

He faces you down...
>>
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"I will not be defeated, Everwyrm. My power bridges on infinity. I am an Ancient! I am Human! I am above God!"

"Our hands shape the world, and they crush all that would stand against us. I am only one Key Core away from activating our greatest invention. When I do, I will be able to kill the Ancestor, I will control all the power in the world!"

"You always speak such quaint trite of fate and destiny and the flow of history... It is rubbish! Look upon my glorious form! My eternal flesh preserved by metal! My brilliant aura of Bioenergy!"

"DESTINY AND FATE HAVE A MASTER, WYRM! IT IS ME!"

"...."

You look up at the sky past Zuhramon.

"...."

He glances back briefly...
>>
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"What are you looking at?! It is interrupting my righteous words!"

"There in the sky! It is my Student, don't you see?"

"I see nothing."

You take that chance you're granted to immediately dive under the snow, using the vibrations of your wingtips to surf under the ground!

You sped through, aiming to get away!

You can't believe that actually worked, the fool fell for your trick!
>>
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"ᴵ ᵗʰᶦnᵏ nᵒᵗ."

.....!!!!
>>
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Like pulling a weed from the ground, Zuhramon uprooted you. His arm took firm hold over your jaw just a second before he ripped you out of the dirt, throwing you down in front of him in irritation.

You stood up, hoping you could try to go deeper again, but he restrained you with a flick of his wrist. Bioenergy was summoned from the air, pouring invisibly from his core. The ethereal power surrounded your wings, stretching them to the air so you couldn't touch Gaea again. His energy wrapped around your neck like a noose, and you were like an animal backed into a corner that could not fight back.

"Tell me, you didn't actually think that would work, did you? Ahh, you and your tricks.... Well, your days of playing with wit are over. I said this was the end of the line for you. My word rings true."

Zuhramon raises his finger then. A sphere of Bioenergy forms at it. He was going to kill you messily, judging by how much power he was generating... you could feel his energy.

"You won't.... succeed..."

"Hmmm.... You know, before you perish... I wanted to know something actually, Everwyrm..."

"What would you even do?"

"....What do you mean...?"

"If you survive, and I am defeated in the future like you say... what would you even do then? Your purpose in life would be over. Would you try to rally the rest of Dragonkind as you can under your leadership? Or did you have something else entirely in mind...?"

As you stared at Zuhramon, you couldn't help but notice a tall ice column behind him, one that looked weak at the bottom. He didn't have his guard up, no shielding.... maybe you could collapse that onto him if you just...

>"Let us find out, Ancient."
>Answer differently.
>Write in.
>>
>>4221237
I think Shara should lay down on Z-Man, like that guy really thinks he is hotshit and were the big bad dragon who brainwash man well let's tell how things stand then drop the ice on this dumb nigga.

>"In my long life I have been witness of the worst of both man and dragon, however I have also been witness of the good each is able to accomplish, and most recently a certain human has shown time and time again man and dragon are able to work and live together, said human unlike you doesn't seek more pointless strife or more blood split. Even your life is something he does not desire to take Ancient, he wishes only you see past your grudge and move with your life. You asked what I am going to do, I will continue as a teacher, I will teach man and dragon alike so the errors of the past never repeat and a future were someone like human Vance and me can continue to live in peace. But you, you aren't so different from the Ancestor, living in grudge, your hatred, unable to see beyond you own delusions, you both are relics of a horrible past, and if both of you are unable to move on then for the future of this world and those who live on it both of you must go"
>>
>>4221237
>"I would help do my best to repair the bond between man and dragon that you and your people did everything to deteriorate."
>"Now get out of my way."
>>
>>4221237
>"I would merely teach and work in the best interest of the man and dragon of today."
>>
>>4221255
This one doesn't really make sense, because the relationship between man and dragon was tenuous at best.
>>
>>4221281
It wasn't so bad until the foremost showed up. Worst I can think of is how it was mentioned a few dragons coerced tribal humans into worshiping them, but thats it.
>>
>>4221237
Alright guys. I likes ya. And I respects ya.

But your forgetting Sharas mission. To look forward and protect the NEW age.

>Ill Kill the Ancestor dragon.

Shara said himself for there to be peace both Zommer man and the moon monster have to GO.

Peace is Vances dream. And I think both of these jaded cynical flinty fucks would agree its a hell of a dream. But not one their gonna risk it all on just yet.
>>
>>4221254
Also. This is 100% Vance talking not Shara.
>>
>>4221905
How's this, then?:
>"Find a way to put a permanent end to the Ancestor, you are both haunts that must be put to rest. After that? Continue teaching and working for the betterment of the man and dragon of today."
>>
>>4221940
Support
>>
>>4221940
Ill approve that.

Adding that Zoomer mans own plans being parroted back at him will be hilarious.
>>
"...."

"I'll tell you what I would do."

"I'm listening." Zuhramon shrugged.

"I would find a way to put a permanent end to the Ancestor. You and him are both haunts that must be put sleep. And after that? I will continue teaching, and laboring for the betterment of Man and Dragon today."

"Hah hah hah! Idiot! Only I can kill the Ancestor. Nothing else in this world but Throne Tower possesses enough might to finally kill it for good. If you kill him, you will be a vessel for his rebirth, just like anything else. This world will either belong to Man or Dragon in the end, there is no in between."

"You think this world has only enough space for the strong, and that the weak must die. You think Dragons are weak because your people were winning the war. Our kind held against Humanity eons, and without Dragons your civilization wouldn't have existed in the first place, your kind would have never discovered the power of Bioenergy. Your hubris is laughable Ancient, as is the irony behind your devil civilization."

"Look at what you've become. Most of your body has been replaced with metal. The war took a toll on the mentality of Humans in that time. You are more machine than you are Man. You don't even have arms and legs anymore, all that is left of you is a brain, lungs and few other parts. You are nothing more than death, for innocents, and for your own species."

"SILENCE!"

"Your limited Dragon mind cannot even conceive of our science, and so your only reaction is to irrationally shun it! We are immortal and perfect! The Pharaohs looked to us for guidance! There is no irony, no hubris! You try to reach for points and create them, ignoring the inherent superiority of our kind! You are just a detractor!"

"You couldn't even win the war without your precious God doing all the work when your kind was at it's last limb!"

"You Foremost needed to influence and brainwash masses using your technology to keep your Empire together. You claim it is in Human nature to destroy non-Humans. That is not true. You are scared, Ancient. You are scared of the truth in my words. Dragon and Man can coexist."

"No! That is not true! IT IS NOT!"

"Remember your early days, Man of Old. Before you were an Ancient, your tribe lived with Dragons. I know as much from my father before me. Don't deny it! It is not too late to turn away from your dark path!"

"Enough! You will die like your parents did! And their parents before them! Be dust!" Zuhramon shouted, raising his finger.

"No Ancient, my time is not come yet!"
>>
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With the way you were positioned, held tight in the air by Zuhramon's Bioenergy, you had a clear shot.

You charged and focused all of the vibration power you had into the one wingtip aimed that way. The rock armor around it exploded off as the vibration shot forward in a stream of pure force. The Bioenergy surrounding your wings did little to halt the vibration as well, being disrupted against this much focused power.

Zuhramon halted, nearly having unleashed his own attack. He stared off, following that stream in surprise.
>>
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"What is..."

https://vocaroo.com/azn0AKEqP58

"Huh?!"
>>
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"GRAGH! NOO!
>>
You were unhinged then, released by the Ancient's hold as the tall ice tower fell onto him. For posterity, you came over curiously, looking at the zone now covered with broken chunks of heavy ice and thousands of prickly splinters from it.

You climbed on top of the remains of the spire, looking through as best as you could to see if you could find the Ancient. It takes a moment of looking, but you eventually spot the now broken bits of his helmet sticking out from some snow.

You dig it off, revealing his head. His helmet's visor only had a single eye lit up.

"You bastard..." He coughed a slew. "You've knocked my core out of shape... I can't control my power!"

"Pride cometh before a fall." You sneered.

"When my machina is operational again, and I am out of this, I will make you SUFFER worse than any hell can! Damn you! Damn you and your tricks!" He thrashed, stuck under the weight of the ice.

He was vulnerable. You aren't confident you can harm his exoskeleton, but at the least like this... you could sell his internal parts some physical trauma.

You could beat his head at your leisure, or just leave him.

What will you do?
>>
>>4223089
Would there be a difference if we shook him up a bit?
>>
>>4223089
BEAT 'IS 'EAD IN
KNOCK EM OUT
No seriously knock him out, the longer he stays down the better.
>>
>>4223116
This is fine, too.
>>
>>4223089
Hey.

Nighty night~

Loot him then beat him like a kettle drum. Maybe he has something that can help human Vance.
>>
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Hmmm... No. The Ancient is not deserving of mercy.

Raising your wings, you harden the stone, reinforcing it with vibrations as Zuhramon stares up at you in shock.

"What are you...?!"

You strike his head, a clanking reverberating off his metal.

"You little pest!"

You strike him again.

"Dah! Do what you will! Now is your only chance!"

You strike his eye, sending it out and blinding him.

"I will kill you when I am free... I will destroy everything you love and know!"

You let loose, pounding on the Ancient's head repeatedly. You were merciless in your beating of his cranium, bashing the hardened Dreamcore his armor was made off as you pleased.

You were hard, strong and fast as you attacked him. His brain and innards must be jumbling, juggled around in there from their holders as you attack with much brutality.

Then, when you struck with both of your wings in one powerful smash, you send Zuhramon's mask flying off to land in the snow....
>>
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"Haahh..... aaaahhhh... ergh! Haghk!"

He spat at you, coughing up his diluted blood on your armor. Having struck off his mask, the face plating of his inner frame was exposed.

The layer of armor there was thick like the outside. You saw some holes in it meant for fanning and breathing. His eyes were gone, at least the real ones, having been replaced by receptors that were directly hardwired to his encased brain. His antediluvian flesh and muscle sat underneath, reddened and lifeless, only there so he can still feel Human...

Such wicked devil machinery...

This is... atrocity. To think he would encourage more Humans to mutilate themselves as he has... for such fleeting and vain things as 'immortality'....

His voice was garbled, he had to use his real mouth to speak.

"Yoú sa̷y ͟I ͜a͢m ̴s̀c͘are͟d of͞ ̵b̀ònd͞ ̕b̀ȩt̢we͡en ̶Man ̵an̛d Drago̵ǹ...͟"

"..͝..S̴cared̷ ̴of ̨m̨y ͠c̡ul͘t͢ur̸ȩ being bu̢r̨i̴e͠d...̧ f̀or̢ǵo͘t̢t͠en͞.͞..."

"B̛uţ ̢y̛ou ͠c͝a̕rr͘y͘ m̡or̴e fea͟r̢ ̢t̷han mé,͟ Shara͞ Is̸h͡va̴l̨da͜.̶.͝."

You look down at the Ancient, cocking your neck.

"Yo̶u feár a̸bove̵ all e͡lse͘... ̢Huma̢ni͟ty ̴re̡mȩm͘b̢er͢in̢g̛..̛. ́b̷ecause͡ ýou ̸kno͠w ̶the ͠mo̸me̡nt t̕h̕ey ̷d̡o...̵. ̷Dr̡a̕g̸o̷nk̕ind w̧ill̴ be e͘x̛tin̷gu̵i̷s̴he̛d̨ i̕n n͡ig̨hts...͡"

"....̛Y̸ơu̸ a̶rę ͠sc̛ar̴ed͝ of m̧e..͝. be͟c͡ausè ̢yơu k̷now̨ I ͜can m͝a̢k̨e͠ ͝t̛h́e͜ḿ ŕe͝m͞emb̷er... ͠an̴d I ̢wi̴l̴l..͝.."

You raise your wing...

"Enj̨o͞y..̨.̡ wha͟t tįm͝e you h̛ąve ͢le̴ft.̢.̶.. ̵I ͝am in̡e͢vit͜ab̸l͢e͞..̛.̢ ͠W̨E A̵R̵E ̨INEVI̶T͠A̡B̕L̀E... F͟O͝REM̛OST͘.̷.̧.̀ ͡A͘RE ͞FO͟R͡EV̀ER! OU̶R M̕EM̀OR͜Y ĮS̸ ̛ET̶E͜RN̸A̡L!́ HO̴MOBI̧S͝' ͡DRE̢AM ̧WIĻL CO̧ME ̕TRU-"

You bash him once more, finally succeeding in knocking him out. Zuhramon is unconscious now.

You step away, leaving slowly...
>>
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"....."

".......Mm.....?"

"Wait. Don't go just yet."

You turn around, seeing the approaching silhouette of a figure in the snow.
>>
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The figure was a Phantom beast. They were carrying something in their mouth.

When they approached you close enough where you could make them out, they lowered their head, setting the object on the snow. Their hoof comes and pushes it closer.

It is a half of a large conch shell, full of Divine Sap...
>>
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"Please, forgive my negligence. I was unaware the one approaching my tree was in fact the Great Teacher himself. I have heard much from the First of you, though I never leave my region here."

"I am an Oroshi, I stand... I stood as guardian of the special tree before it's destruction." He says.

"...Why give all of this to me, Guardian? Was your warning not against greed?"

"Yes, to some who know of the medium. As a devout listener of the First, I am in no place to tell you how much of the medium you may partake of. The test was merely to help some discover goodwill in themselves to obey the law of nature. But you are not just someone. I know you are not greedy, and full of goodwill."

"But... how do you have this? The tree was destroyed, it will take... tens of thousands of years before another should appear in it's place!"

The Guardian sniffed. "I have always kept a personal stash handy, though I technically should not as a guardian chosen by the First Wyverians, but they never minded. My duty is over here, and my life will be soon too. Take what I can offer, please."

"Very well, I will.... Wait, did you say your life would be over too?"

"Indeed. I know the danger this Foremost presents. I burgeon you, go on your way with the Sap, heal your close and do what you must. I will wait here for when the Primeval Man should awaken next. I will do all I can to hold him here and keep him at bay so he stays off your trail for just that much longer."

"Please, I beg of you. It would be my honor to assist in the flow that fate has set out this way. I go willingly, knowing that I will die."

>Accept the offering of Sap and thank the Guardian, leaving him to his will.
>Attempt to persuade the Guardian not to sacrifice himself and instead live.
>Write in.
>>
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>>4223400
Looks like hes out of Nier now

>>4223425
>Attempt to persuade the Guardian not to sacrifice himself and instead live.
Z man will probably be out a while, no need for this guy to die.

also have some low effort oc I made
>>
>>4223425
>Attempt to persuade the Guardian not to sacrifice himself and instead live.
While his sacrifice would buy us time, I'd rather he survive so we can have him help destroy Zurahmon later, when we're all together and healthy.
>>
>>4223477
I appreciate your attempt.
>>
You didn't see the point in him uselessly throwing away his life like this. You were receptive to how willing he was to assist, but you are sure he can yet do it in other capacities than suicide.

You speak to the Guardian Oroshi, making an attempt to convince him not to do this...

>roll 2d2000 to persuade the Oroshi Kirin.
>Number to beat: 4900
>>
Rolled 949, 392 = 1341 (2d2000)

>>4223499
What is that wheel and why do I dislike it even though I've never seen it before.
>>
>>4223501
Well my friend that is the persuasion mechanic from Oblivion, which was made by the greatest game developer of all time
>>
Rolled 885, 1561 = 2446 (2d2000)

>>4223490
Thanks senpai

>>4223500
>>
>3787
I will allow only one more roll. This I command.
>>
Rolled 1306, 464 = 1770 (2d2000)

>>4223500
dice gods don't fail me now.
>>
>>4223530
Bless you anon, you've done it.
>>
You explained thoroughly how much more useful he could be in the stream of fate's river remaining alive. You say that while you were thankful that he was this humble, you did not wish to see him die. The Ancient would be catatonic for a while, and so there was plenty of time to leave undisturbed. You tell him that for the final battle that was to come one day against the Ancient and the Ancestor, everyone would be needed.

At first, he seemed stone in his intention to sacrifice himself, but as he listened, he was gradually moved by your words until he was outright convinced. He agrees to leave this behind and resign from his duty, instead joining you as you decided to leave this place. You told him that he would be alright staying with Student, and that she could even help impart some of your teachings down to him. He had a certain desire to know more than what he did.
>>
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Away from the crux where the tree was, you come back down to the flat space where you faced off against the Gammoth at. There, you see your companions all waiting for you. Vivianne, Chamo, and Student are all here.

They are all worn, and Student's arm is broken. She whimpered about it. You looked down at your Divine Sap, and then to the Oroshi Phantom. The former Guardian nods, again reminding you that he has no say. You take that, and it is all you need.

You happily administer the Sap around to each of them, giving a sizable portion to Vivi, to Chamo and to Student. The three of them readily accept the gift, lapping it up like a special treat.

All across their bodies, their injuries heal, vanishing completely. The energy of the sap closed wounds, sealed scars, realigned out of shape bones and grew into blood in their systems. Within little time, everyone is healthy again, and Student's arm is no longer broken.

As you consume your own dosage of the sap to heal the wounds you received from Duremudira and the Gammoth, you realize there is just the right amount left for Human Vance to make a full recovery with, and so you pass it down to Vivianne for safekeeping. She gathers the rest into her capsule which you return, and the conch shell is discarded.

From the looks of things, the array of violent storms plaguing the pole region have calmed as well. Could it be possible that Zuhramon or Duremudira were the root cause in the first place? Maybe, or maybe it is just nature's mysterious work.

With everyone able to fly again, you and the others make off to the air, flying to leave this place now. On the ground, the Oroshi kept pace, galloping over huge distances, hence why his kind were named Phantoms....
>>
Safely and peacefully, you and your group made it back to Velkhana's maze in the farthest reach of the Hinterlands, stopping to rest in thermal baths along the way, warming Vivianne and Chamo up for the trip appropriately.

The Oroshi settled in nicely, finding Velkhana's lair to be suiting to his preference. He thinks it is a refreshing new experience after so long of living in plain blank snow, venturing away from the Sakura only nominally.

You were set and accomplished in your goal, Human Vance would be just alright after tonight. You just had to get Chamo to fly you and Vivianne back now, and then you could put this journey to rest.

Was there anything else you wanted to do before returning home?

>Our deed is nigh finished. Let us go back.
>Talk with someone.
>Write in.
>>
>>4223611
Have we already exchange info about what happened when we split? If not we should do that before we left otherwise just go away, oh yeah also warn Velkhana and the others about the ancestor alliance with the Athal-ka.
>>
>>4223611
Commend everyones courage and will certainly.

Velkhana single handidly held her own against a being made to kill entire swathes of dragon kind.

Amd the bravery showed by Chamo and Vivian during this quest and our collective battle with IT is impressive as hell. They should be proud.
>>
I gotta go now. I'll try to be earlier than I was today.
>>
>>4223611
Ask the Oroshi Kirin about his duty and involvement with the first wyverians.
>>
>>4223667
Well I tried.
>>
For now, you sat and chatted a while with the others, talking a fair piece of what went on during the split.

You went over the events with them. Velkhana told about her fight with the demon, Duremudira, and you talked of your clash with the giant Gammoth. You did have to chide her however, lightly scolding her about what she got herself into against your wish, but you get over it. She apologizes, but again states that she had to, otherwise everyone else could have been endangered.

You have to agree in the end. If Duremudira had shown up at the same time Zuhramon did? Nobody would have left this place alive, and you wouldn't have been able to outsmart any of them.

And for what else it was worth, you felt like telling them about the Ancient's dealings you got wind of from Human Vance, how he was using the intelligent monster Ahtal-Ka to his advantage. It is troubling news to them all. Zuhramon certainly had an arsenal, being backed up by Nefu Garumudo, Duremudira and Ahtal-Ka...

Now, most importantly here, you commended everyone. The courage they showed even in the face of death was inspiring to you. There was nothing wrong with the fear they felt, it was only a natural reaction and one that experiencing it has made them all the more ready to face it again.

You clapped your rock armored wings, telling them how proud you were. They received it well. Velkhana looked satisfied hearing it, and relieved. Chamo was exhilarated to be shown such appreciation, and Vivi just laid back, pouting out breaths of relief herself after having survived everything today.
>>
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As everyone was ready to part ways then, you decided to converse with the Oroshi you met. You admit that for as long lived as you were, you did not know much about the role he was given as a guardian, and you did not know he was chosen by the First Wyverians either until he said as much.

Approaching the stoic figure, you look up at his red eyes.

"Everwyrm. Some part of me is glad actually that you've convinced me to live. I see your logic."

"I am glad to have been a help in that regard, Oroshi. But tell me, for I am curious. What is your duty? Your involvement with the First Wyverians?"

"My duty as a guardian? When I was? It is a simple thing, I stood as sentry over the special tree, and tested those who would approach it. That is it."

"My involvement with the First is a different story however. They raised me from birth actually."

"You were raised by the benefactors?"

"Indeed. The First seek out eggs to care for, whether by trading for them with willing parents or scavenging them from places they were left abandoned at. Usually, they try to find Dragons, whom they will raise and guide to adulthood."

"I was one such of these beings, much like the others out there they've raised. We are all taught that they have bestowed up an important role in safeguarding nature, and that we are not forced into this either. If any of us wanted to leave, we could and the First would simply seek another egg. We guard these trees willingly from the greedy who would exploit them."

"Is it because of how Man once plundered them?"

"Yes. We are taught of how the Ancients abused these trees. There were once far more across every surface of the world, but because of how many were harvested, they are nearly extinct. The Ancients used them to create what Humans today call 'Ancient Potions'. We guardians have to protect nature in the ways that Wyverians and Humans today cannot."

"That makes sense. Thank you, Oroshi."

"No, thank you for allowing me into your fold. It is an honor, truly."
>>
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You gave your goodbyes to them, nodding to the Guardian, nuzzling Student against the snout with your head. She swore she would be safe here, and that the Oroshi would be well too.

You trusted her word, and so left to depart with Vivianne riding your back and Chamo following behind closely. You would have him fly you both back like before.

As you approached the iceberg dominated coastline near Velkhana's maze, you felt Chamo nudge you in the back then and turned to face him.

"Hm? Yes Chamo? Did you need something?"

"I... Me just want know. Where you gonna put me Chamo at?"

You went to talk, but you couldn't find any words to say. He had a point you've not addressed yet properly.

When the First Wyverians gave him over to you back in the Ancient Forest, they said they did not know how to help him. They weren't capable. You agreed with their notion that Dragons should stick together, and so you took him.

But despite it all, you did not know what to do with him. You have to return to the Human settlement of Astera to treat Human Vance. You cannot take him along with you, and you cannot send him back to the First Wyverians, they won't be able to do anything.

"You... you not gonna leave me in forest... are you new friend?"

Well...? What can you do with him when you're back on the mainland...?
>>
>>4225208
I'm honestly not sure what we can do. Chamo still has the brain of a child, which would require constant supervision. We could try to have Vivi send for the Commander after giving Vance the sap, try to make a case for him to stay in Astera, but I'm not sure how good of an idea that is what with Chamo admitting to having eaten a human before. I don't think that he could stay with Student without adapting, and that's more of a generational thing. Leaving him alone in the forest doesn't that good of an idea either.
>>
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Why don't we just let him crash at Inagami' place and if the Swift Huntress is still there we can ask her to watch over him.
>>
>>4225352
In such close proximity to the soon-to-be-powered-up Leshen?
>>
>>4225289
I think we're going to have to tell the commander that Vance can communicate with elder dragons. As for right now, maybe we can send Vivi back to give Vance the sap and stay out in the forest with Chamo. Vivi will tell Vance about everything that happened, and we can go from there, I guess. As for chamo having eaten human before, it probably won't be much of an issue. Nature is harsh.
>>
>>4225355
Leshen already fucked it up and ate the tree there, Leshen is already powered up on the B I O E N E R G Y trademark symbol. It left and went somewhere else so he'll be safe there. Besides, we're healing Vance so he'll clean house soon enough.
>>
>>4225366
>putting so much faith into Vance(sin espada de la luna)
We barely drove it off WITH the sword and we can't spew power waves anymore.
>>
>>4225377
I think after Vance has fought Shen Gaoren and fucking Amygdala that he doesn't have much to worry about concerning that tree drinking earth stuff through the straw. He finds a way.
>>
We need to come to a decision here...
>>
If we tell anyone, it should be the representative guy who z man said knows about ancient stuff, he's more important than the commander here and I'm sure he could offer much better help.
>>
>>4225497
>opting for seeking the help of one of (((them)))
If there's one thing Z-man is right about, it's about the Wyverian Question.
>>
>>4225522
You know if we tell the Commander hes just going to tell the Warden anyway dude. He literally stated the Warden is the big overboss who runs this show, not even the Admiral has a say against him. Lets just cut out the middle man if we're going to tell someone.
>>
>>4225535
I don't trust anybody who is a stickler even relative to the Commander to be receptive towards helping Chamo in any capacity.
>>
How about this, we get Chamo to wait around in the forest and after we heal Vance we'll get Vance to "capture" him so he stays safe like Tabi did?
>>
>>4225575
I don't see why he wouldn't help us if we relayed to him that we can talk to dragons. At worse he'd probably want to order Vance around or enlist him. Zuhramon seems real afraid of this guy and he wants to talk to Vance eventually anyway.
>>
>>4225208
Out ask the first wyverian first things first.

On the other hand I would say just sneak on in with us. Human vance may have some Ideas.
>>
>>4225583
Zuhramon was also concerned for our safety around them, back we were his "ally", as well.
>>
>>4225535
I trust the commander more than this rando.

Flexing your authority over people... look at what happened to the grim biologist.

He has a certain amount of trust. Burning through that will result in the warden having to awnser some pointed and unhappy questions.

We need to bring everyone on board anyway. Theres just too many fucking Elder dragons running around for vance to handle solo.
>>
>>4225587
Zuhramon comes from a society that used big giant machines to brainwash millions. He absolutely does not truly care about Vance and has only ever seen him as a potential tool even when they first met.

>>4225590
The grim biologist was a psycho who only wanted to create weapons and things to kill with, of course he snapped under rules denying him the freedom to do that.

This representative is actively hunting ancient things and could offer massuve amounts of help, hes up there with His Immenseness as they said. I think I know which of these two sounds more trustworthy. We haven't even talked with the dude or given him a real chance yet.
>>
>>4225597
I know Z-man only saw us as a tool but he took enough care to keep us from informing the Guild out of fear of a Wyverian shadow government controlling Ancient technology, which is something to be worried about even outside of his box. Think about it geopolitically.
>>
>>4225607
I don't like the glowniggers anymore than you but for now we'll have to stick with it.

>>4225584
I'm gonna support this at the moment so we can move on.
>>
>>4225607
The guild both posses and is studying an equals dragon weapon.

I dont like or trust the warden, but I agree him knowing is likely inevitable.
>>
>>4225289
>>4225359
Two votes for sending Vivi to do most of the work.

>>4225584
>>4225611
Two votes for having Chamo lay low at Astera.

Anyone else wanna vote or support or should I roll dice?
>>
>>4225640
I vote for Astera, we can have Vance do the work when he gets better.
>>
>>4225640
Ill switch to sending Vivi. She can heal Vance, and then we can work on things from his perspective.

Her staying in the woods kinda makes not a lot of sense though. All aside. Its fucking dangerous.
>>
>>4225640

Fuck it. Switch back to astera
Damn ninjas.
>>
>>4225644
It is decided
>>
I feel I should clarify my idea. Vivi goes to Astera, gives Vance the sap, tells him what happened, and stays there. Shara stays with Chamo in the forest or lagoon or something. Vance tells the commander or the warden, maybe both, that he can talk to elder dragons.
>>
>>4225673
>>4225669
I should have updated before posting. Whoops.
>>
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"No, Chamo, I have a better idea. I will find you somewhere to sit and lay low at nearby where Human Vance lives, that way he can help and reach you faster."

"Really...? You will?"

"Quite." You say, reaching up and patting his head with your wing. "Now let us not dally any longer. We must get on home."

"Okay! Me believe you! We go home now!" Chamo said, clapping his hands before taking you up with his claws. Vivianne climbed his arms and sat on his head as you were uplifted by him getting starting flapping his wings.

He draws high up into the air, getting on his way off to the mainland. The rising moon is there to greet you and the others in the starry night sky.

Then you felt a rock drop on top of your armored head, one that Vivi picked off.

"So, mwe got pawlenty of time before mwe all get home. I think mew owe me that ex-purr-nation now, rocky." Vivi said, crossing her arms.

"Aye, that I do, especially after all you've been subject to tonight."

"What's the deal here rocky? Since when could Meowster talk to Elder Dragons? And who was that metal man we paw?"

"That was Zuhramon, he is a horrid person, downright rotten to his core. Like I told you already, he is an Ancient, from the same culture you think are myths."

"As for Human Vance being able to talk to us, that is my doing. And as for why I am here now? Well, I will get to that, but first let me tell you it in brief..."

"Ohh! This be good! Me love story time!" Chamo said.

"It started very long ago... there was a war that broke out..." You begin...
>>
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+============+

You are now Vance, Gunlance Vance, once again....

ASTERA. 2:34 AM....

+============+

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFSBxJMfYzA
>>
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"ᶜᵒᵐᵉ ᵐᵉᵒʷnᵎ ᵂᵃᵏᵉ ᵘᵖ ˢˡᵉᵉᵖʸʰᵉᵃᵈᵎ ᴼʰᵎ ʸᵒᵘ'ʳᵉ ˢᵒ ᵐᵘᶜʰ ᵗʳᵒᵘᵇˡᵉ..."

Punt.

Hmm...?

"ᶜᵒᵐᵉ ᵒnᵎ ᴿᶦˢᵉ ᵃnᵈ ˢʰᶦn... ᵂᵉˡˡ, ᶦᵗ'ˢ ˢᵗᶦˡˡ nᶦᵍʰᵗ... ᶜᵒᵐᵉ ᵒnᵎ ᴿᶦˢᵉ ᵐᵉᵒʷᵘᵖ ᵖᵃʷʳᵉᵃᵈʸᵎ"

Slowly, you awaken, finding yourself warmly put under the sheet of your bed. You open your lids up to a dimmed room.
>>
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"Huh...? Vivi...?"

"Finally!" She sighs. "Neow befurr mew say anything else... tell me, how're ya' feeling?"

You didn't notice right away, but you didn't feel... a thing. You were arched up in a way that previously brought you much pain, you raise your arms without much difficulty, contrasting how it was to move them in the wheelchair. It was like you weren't even injured.

"Vivi?! What happened?! What is going here...?"

She yawns.

"Well, mew see... Lets just say, Shara and I went on a little trip, and mwe got mew better with some of that sap stuff."

"Like... from Inagami's place?" You ask off handed.

Vivianne nods with a grin and tired eyes.

"I see."

Then it hits you.

"W-Wait, how do you even know about that place?!"

"Shara told me everything, he gave me his juice and neow him and me understand each other."

"He did?"

"Yep!"

You looked around, not seeing Shara anywhere. You hold off from panicking as you swallow and stand up out of the bed.

"Where is he now?"

"He's someowhere outside of Astera's limit. You can find him if you leave via the beach. He's staying with Chamo in a pawlace he found for him to hide at close by."

"So he did..."

"Mmm." Vivi yawns again. "Anymway, I'm beat! We ran into meowall sorts of dangers, and that old guy with the green eyes! I'm gonna take a cat nap."

Vivi walks over and hops onto her hammock. "Oh, by the mway, mew might want to get some sleep soon too, I heard they're gonna have a council in the meowrning early."
>>
You were quite mixed in how you felt about everything you just heard.

Shara took Vivianne and the two of them went off alone somewhere with Chamo, to find sap to heal you with. Vivianne must have fed it to you while you were asleep, as you spot an empty capsule of hers on your nightstand.

You are incredibly worried, they could have gotten hurt, though Vivianne didn't seem to be in any worse for wear condition. She looked just the way you remember her looking last you saw her before Shara somehow... put you to sleep.

A lot of things were going through your mind right now. Mainly Shara and Chamo being this close to Astera, a council in schedule for this morning coming, and whether or not Atricia was back and well from her Seething Bazelgeuse hunt.

You were in the same casual clothes you had on before. It was very late at night from what you could tell looking out of your blinds.

If Shara was outside the limit hiding with Chamo, then he should be alright for the whole night. You really should get some sleep, you felt drowsy right about now.

>Give Vivianne a hug and thank her.
>Go next door to see of Atricia's whereabouts.
>Venture out and see if you can find Shara.
>Sleep in and rise early in the morning.
>Write in.
>>
>>4225731
>Give Vivianne a hug and thank her.
>Sleep in and rise early in the morning.
Hugs and then sleep sounds very cozy.
>>
>>4225731
>Give Vivianne a hug and thank her.
>Venture out and see if you can find Shara.

I think springing the whole Elder dragons thing on the commander at the council meeting would be... unwise. We can, and probably should wake him up for this.
>>
>>4225739
We could just wait for the meeting to be over before talking to him. In private, ideally.
>>
>>4225737
Support
>>
>>4225737
support.
>>
>>4225744
He would need to have ANOTHER meeting after we talk to him because of all the elder dragons we've been keeping from him.
>>
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You decide to get some rest tonight, banking on Shara being alright overnight. You would rise as early as you could to make sure everything is sorted out.

Until then...

"Prrrr.... prrrrr.... pr... Hm?" Vivi opens one eye at you as you step up to her hammock.

She leans up with a yawn and looks up at you.

"Meowster?"

You say nothing, but you just smile and hold out your hands. A smile pops across her tired face as well as she stands up.

"Hah, okay, just one mew." She says, crawling up into your arms and resting her head on your shoulder.

You both hug each other tight, clinging as if it was the last hug you'd both ever share, but that was every time. You pat her back and scratch her head, to which she purred happily.

"Vivianne? Thanks. I never asked you and Shara to go endanger yourselves like that but... thanks. I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Aaahhh.... I love mew too, best bud." She says, patting your shoulder with her paw as you set her fuzzy little form down.

"Now catch some sleep Meowster! Tomorrow will be a big day!"

"Goodnight, Vivianne."

"G'night...."

You return to your own bed and crawl back onto it, breathing in deeply as you set about to sleep...
>>
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You woke up to a warm feeling running across your face. When your eyelids flutter open you see it is because the blinds were wide, you must have forgotten to shut them last night.

You press up, stretching with a light yawn as you look across the room. Vivianne is still fast asleep in her hammock, so you decide to get ready in quiet as she continues to snore. You do everything she usually did as well, such as preparing coffee for yourself as you walk over to the blinds and adjust them so it wasn't so blaring and bright in.

When you checked the inbox on your door, you found a note addressed to you in specific. It was a notice regarding the Warden. Now what could he want with you? As you read it, taking an occasional sip of coffee, you see it is a request for you to meet him at his Astera based office after the Council meeting as soon as you can. You'll keep that in mind.

You open the door to your abode and peep out, seeing Astera as normal. You see Atricia's room was occupied right now as well if the 'do not disturb' sign hanging on it was of any indication. You sigh a breath of relief, glad to see she was back.

You walk down to the end o the housing railing and look over to two Hunters talking near the stairs.

"Hey, fellows." You get their attention. "When will Council be held?"

"Oh, hey Freelancer. Council should be up by the next hour at the least. They're gonna do operation wide instructions first in about thirty minutes, but that's just where they tell us lower ranks what to expect. You'll just want to wait around until they blow the horn, no doubt they'll call for you."

"Thanks." You wave, turning back to your suite.

You wondered if you might be able to get your meeting with the Warden done before Council? That would depend on how long he wants to talk.

Shara was still out where Vivianne said she was, and you saw the blinds on Atricia's window flutter, telling of her being awake. Breakfast should still be getting served right about now.

What will you do?
>>
>>4225784
Look for Shara and CHamo, then go check with Atricia how Bazel slyaing went. Also Level what is our HR?
>>
>>4225769
That image makes me feel real funny and I don't know why

>>4225792
Support
>>
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>>4225837
Whatever you're feeling surely can't be pure, I'll tell you that much.
>>
>>4225849
Well level the more deeply I think about it the more I look at it this way.
If things go south with Atricia, and then if things went south with Velk after that, then a cat is fine too. Thats all I'm saying.
>>
>>4225877
Hey anon, that's pretty degenarate, Shara vouchs for peace between the species but not like this, also are you implying things between Vance and Atricia gonna go south? She have a crush on our boy for a long time.
>>
>>4225883
I do not think she has ever displayed any such attitude, Vance is the one who made the first move. Besides, how can that be degenerate if its the next logical step in interspecies relationship? I mean I'm pretty sure that theres already plenty of people in monhun going out with their cats if you really think about it. No doubt humans and wyverians also intertwine, and why would they be different from the felynes? They're half wyvern and not fully human at all.
>>
>>4225784
shara tricia, dont forget to go to the meeting.
>>
We can make armor out of Zuhramon's parts after we kill him right?
>>
So what was the reason that we didn't get up, see Shara and ask the Commander to come with us asap?

>>4225964
>wanting to wear what amounts to walking life support that was attached to living offal
No thanks.
>>
>>4225964
that be dumb, as strong it could be, i have next to no doutb that if its not cursed, its the next less worse thing, like what happened with the star's father, fatalis bullshit non-standing
>>
>>4226379
We should melt him down into a solid block, and have the Argosy drop it overboard halfway between the old and new world.
>>
>>4225994
Can't we make him into fancy layered armor at least?

>>4226379
Why would it be cursed? Z man's armor is just the device he uses to manipulate bioenergy, Fatalis is actual haunted spiritual bullshit. One of these things is not like the other.
>>
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>>4225877
>>4225895
Woah there pal, hold up. I'm an enlightened xenophile too but come on, there has to be a point where you draw the lines and Felynes are that point. Palico bros and broettes are for hugs, not fugs.
>>
You decide you will use the time you have before Council to assess the situation with Chamo and Shara, and you wanted to visit Atricia as well, see how she was doing after the hunt she went on.

You use what you had on hand nearby in the cupboards to whip up a snack for Vivi to find so she'd be tided over when she woke. You set the spare key aside on your desk and locked the door behind yourself as you stepped out. Shara was down past the beach, so you thought you'd see Atricia first since she was just next door.

Stepping over, you rap on her door gently and stand awaiting a response. After a few minutes passes of shuffling inside, her door unlocks and opens, showing her there in a dress that looked hastily donned, some Dundorman attire most likely.

"Hey..." She greets you, smiling even though she was sore.

"Hey. Glad to see you're back from hunting Bazelgeuse. You look better than I thought you would." You say.

"Eh, there's a lot more of these wraps under this robe." She shrugs. "It was... the hardest Hunt I've ever been on yet."

"How long did it take? How well did it go?"

"Seems like it took forever.... I'm still exhausted. I was thrown around a lot more than I would have liked, but that's just what you get going around something that can make that many explosions. I don't think even ten Brachydios could do the same, and not to mention what it does when it's near death. It lit the whole Recess on fire!"

"And you wouldn't believe how I finished off! It tried to give me a slip so it could fly away, but I caught it's tail and had to climb it's back slowly as it went up."

"How did you survive that...?"

"I had to hold on really tight, it started to fall quick after I landed a hit on it's lobe. The Felynes drug me in on a cart after we landed. The landing was not pretty, all the blast scales detonated when it hit the dirt."

"Sounds like you had a hand full to take care of."

Atricia brushes her scalp off and sighs. "That's an understatement...."

"I'm glad you're okay though."

"Yeah, you too."

Atricia then purses her lip as she looks you down head to toe.

"How are you so well? I heard you got put in a chair by a Shen Gaoren."

You rub the back of your helmet. "I guess it just wasn't as bad as the Doc thought it was, heh heh."

"I don't know Vance, seems like you got a whole stash of four leaf clovers you're keeping secret. I'm onto you Vancy boy." She playfully pokes you.
>>
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"Say... didn't you want to..."

"Hm?" You look perplexed for a second. "Oh! Yeah. Yeah I did."

"I haven't forgotten. It's been two days hasn't it?"

Atricia looks herself over and sighs.

"I'll look thrown away going out like this! I haven't even fixed my hair, I don't even know what to wear...."

"Atricia. Why do you have wrapping over your eye? Did something happen there?"

Atricia breathes in. "I... I got a black eye there." She admits.

"Oh Vance, I still want to go if you want to take me, but I'm not sure I'd look good..."

You wave your hand. "Hey, I don't care about that. I think you look great even beaten up."

"...."

Atricia stares at you blankly. Then, she laughs. "Now that's something you don't get told everyday! Hah hah hah... You serious?"

You nod with a smile. "Dead serious."

Atricia smiles back and nods herself. "Thanks."

"So, did you want to go tonight or...?"

"Vance, can I tell you something first?"

"Sure."

"Okay." Atricia says, placing a hand on your shoulder.

"I'll be honest here for a minute, I've never really been interested in dating and stuff, I've always been so much more distracted with Hunting and going out there, you know? If you don't think you're good at this 'romance' stuff then don't think I am for a moment either, I'm probably way worse than you. It would have taken me forever to think about asking someone else out, and I was surprised when you asked me first, Vance."

"So what I'm saying is... is that I want you to be happy if you really want to take me out, even like this, knowing what I just told you."

"So I'll leave it at this... If you're not satisfied with how things might go, then we can leave it there and at that. I wouldn't stop being your friend just because we didn't work out together on a date, you get what I'm saying?"

You nod. "Of course."

Atricia sighs with relief. "Thanks. I had to think that one out." She says, tapping her head.

"I got a lot to do before then, but I might be able to put some things off for now.... Did you still want to go tonight? Or did you want to wait another time?"

>Press on with the original plan.
>Reschedule the date with her.
>Call the date off, you've changed your mind.
>Write in.
>>
>>4227031
Romance doesn't necessarily mean a bunch of work.

>Press on with the original plan. Just do something casual though. Dinner and drinks is a classic for a reason.
>>
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>>4227031
>Call the date off, you've changed your mind.
>>
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Wait, I haven't been a social person since highschool. Is this what being let down easy is like?
>>
>>4227126
No. This is not that.

>>4227092
I know you think your being subversive. But not having to watch anons fuck up a romance sub plot again would be a relief to me.
>>
>>4227134
Okay okay I'll be serious.

>>4227031
>Press on with the original plan.
>>
>>4227142
We can end my suffering another day.
>>
>>4227031
>Press on with the original plan.
Be with monsters or the ladies, Gunlance Vance is always ready. Also we should inquire with the elders were that sap thief piece of shit Lenshen is so we can get some to Atricia.
>>
"We can still go today, or tonight. You remember the plan?"

"Yeah, you wanted to take me out to the Forest for a picnic." She remembered.

"We'll stick with that." You say.

"Okay, sounds great. I'll see you soon." She affirms with a smile.

"Mm. See you." You say, raising your hand to wave as you stepped away.

Atricia waved back before closing her door shut and settling back in.

Depending on what you would do today, you would either see her around evening, or later. For now you headed down to the beach to meet up with Shara and Chamo and see what they were up to...
>>
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You sneaked away down the short stairs to the beach line under the decks of the tradeyard, creeping along past the area underneath the Commander's space as inconspicuously as you could.

You pushed your way past some tall patches of grass and stepped over sandy dunes just before coming to a point where you had to carefully navigate over thin walking space along rocks. You hugged the wall and shimmied across, very close to the reach of the water just before you reached the next empty beach over, right outside the limit of Astera.

You walked along for a while until you spotted an opening in the rocks and the sand, leading you up to a grassy little spot where you saw Chamo resting near an alcove just large enough for him to fit inside, along with Shara Ishvalda.

"Human Vance!" Shara sprung up.

"Human friend!" Chamo said with excitement, almost like a Poogie.

"Hey guys." You said, coming up and greeting them with open arms, pulling Shara's rocky form and Chamo's head in for a hug. "Thanks, both of you, for what you did."

"It was only my due for what you've done already for me." Shara says.

"Yesss! Adventure was really fun! And also scary! But more fun!" Chamo rung his neck.

"You guys are alright after what you through? Where did you even go?"

"To the south pole. We sought out a healing sap you may already be familiar with. I have already given everyone else some."

"You went all the way to the south pole...? Wow... That's... definitely the last place I thought I would have heard."

"Again, thanks guys."

"Chamo would do lots for Human friend!"

"Do not mention it."
>>
"So Shara, you found this spot for Chamo to stay at? You sure this is the best place you could take him? This close to Astera?"

"It is the best place I could find in short notice that would be sufficiently far enough away that I do not think he will ever worry about running into your fellow Hunters, unless he himself did so intentionally. Though I trust he wouldn't, right?"

Chamo wags his head 'no' speedily. "Nuh uh! Me not go around Hunter people! They hit me if I do!"

"Yes. Well, I stayed here so he would not be alone for the night, he complained to me about being scared."

"Do you like it, Chamo?"

"Do me like it? O-Oh... well...."

Chamo thinks reeeeaaallll hard about that one, bobbing his head around as he scratched it. "Mmmmmm......"

"Yeah! Me likes it, me not have to run far get water like old home! There plenty of things eat here too! Like coconut! Conch things, bugs and humans! I not worry about big stone things or blue cat here either!"

"Okay, good. But if you like it, then why would you be scared? You aren't scared of a place you like, are you?"

"This new place! Me need time get used to, even if like!"

"Ah?"

"I hate to tell you this, but he might become restless if he doesn't have someone with him at night. He can't seem to catch sleep like he used to here, as he said he'll need some time to get used to it."

"You don't mean to say..."

"New buddies sleepover!" Chamo said joyfully.

"Oh no..." You pinch your temples.

This was a problem. If Chamo doesn't have someone to keep him company, he won't get any sleep, he might get scared and who knows what. On the other hand, you had things to do and Shara being away will draw suspicion if he isn't seen after a long while...

Maybe Vivianne could? But you don't know if she would want do, she seems to like it better indoors...

Maybe you could talk some sense into Chamo, or try to convince him not to be scared of loneliness...

You also should be getting back, you had things to do.

"You can always find him somewhere else I guess." Shara says.

What will you do?
>>
>>4227292
We alternate with Vivi, we just Need to properly explain to her, it's until he settles down, maybe consider give him a "teddy" made with something with our smell.
>>
>>4227292
First of all, eating humans is a big no-no. Second of all, we can't exactly keep this a secret forever; we WILL have to tell the Commander about this eventually.
>>
>>4227292
No eating Felynes wyverians or the poogie either.
>>
>>4227292
>People are not food Chamo.

>Get Chamo a stuffed animal but split duty between everyone currently in the know (yourself, shara, vivi)

>We WILL have to tell the commander about this this is totally beyond Sharas issues.
>Tell Chamo he might not be able to stay here either. Though you will keep trying to find somewhere he can stay.
>This isn't our place, or Sharas place. We just live here. Shara's also only living here temporarily.
>>
I just realized something. Vivi doesn't have the hex on her. She can relay all Shara's info on Zurahmon in our stead and warn the commander and warden about his plans!
>>
>>4227353
>>4227353
Undone by those they considered beneath them once more.
>>
>>4227353
>>4227375
This also makes her a priority target that we wouldn't be able to defend if Zuhra showed up to hex her.
>>
>>4227398
A fair point, but I seriously doubt Z-man would get anywhere near Astera. With how many people are there, he'd be spotted for sure, and he clearly wants to maintain secrecy. Regardless, we should still move quickly and get our info to the higher-ups asap after the meeting.
>>
>>4227398
Or kill her. Since ya know. Racist.
>>
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>>4227403
Don't you dare jinx it.
>>
Boy I sure do love random storms knocking my internet out for hours and hours on end.
>>
While Chameleos' childish tendency did present a problem, it wasn't a particularly big one, couldn't be. You simply needed to solve it by setting up a shift in which you or someone you can trust will stay with Chamo to keep him at ease.

You also thought it could be useful to find him something, like a stuffed toy to appeal to his mindset until hopefully one day he can get matured by Shara or the like helping him. You didn't know how much luck you might have doing that here in the New World however, but you'll look. If you can't produce any result off hand, you'd just try to make one.

Chamo would be fine like this for now, until nightfall of course. Shara was coming back with you. Chamo would probably spend some time finding food and you would leave him to it. But before you left, you wanted to make one thing abundantly clear.

"Chamo." You say, tapping your foot to assert yourself like a nagging parent.

"Ouh?"

"People are NOT your food Chamo. You cannot eat Humans, or Felynes, or anyone who's especially sapient. You are to eat animals only, understand?"

"But Humans tasty!"

You pop his snout to get your point across, drilling into his sight with your finger. He recoils like a misbehaving child being shown their father's belt or mother's shoe.

"No! Humans are people, you do not eat people Chamo."

"Indeed, I was going to tell you the same thing. It is not right to hunt and eat intelligent lifeforms Chamo, they have higher processes just like you."

"O-Oh...?"

"You wouldn't want someone to try and kill you so they could eat you, would you Chamo?"

"No! I wouldn't!"

"Then that's all you need to know. You can eat the bugs and crabs and coconuts and fruit, but don't eat people."

Chamo nods fast. "Me understand! Me won't eat people anymore!"

"Oka- Anymore?"

"I think we should be moving on now." Shara says.

You nearly speak again, but you hear something in the distance. It is the Council horn signaling the sessions is to start soon. Huh, they were doing it earlier than you expected.

"Be careful out here Chamo, we'll be back another time." You say, going to leave with Shara.

"Okay! I play nice!"
>>
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Returning to Astera, you scurried back into the limit, guiding Shara to your home where you sent him in to stay with the now awoken Vivianne, leaving them together as you walked down to the Commander's deck when the horn rang out once more.

The crowd of Hunters there for the orientation disperses as the chiefs and officers gather around, some Veterans present. Weirdly, the Star was not present, but his Handler was to receive what was for him.

The Commander sighed as he stared at his end of the table, which was absolutely packed with a mountainous pile of paperwork.

"I've got a lot on my plate ever since the damages at The Fort, and the arrival of the Warden..."

"Well, seems everyone we'd like to see today is gathered. Let this Council begin."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN-1tIqwPiA&pbjreload=10

"Let us start with a word about our greater investigation." The Commander says. "It is no secret already, there is a massive spike out there, a giant reading of Bioenergy that is acting as the attracting force for all the Elder Dragon's we've experienced as of late. Yama Tsukami, Amatsu, Nakarkos... and they just keep coming. We had different sides of the theory at first, but this is what we've settled on."

"The Seeker has furthermore given me a startling find that I think you all will be quite interested in. He says that the massive reading 'jumps'."

"Jumps? What do you mean 'jumps'?" The Handler is the first to ask.

"His meaning was that he felt the reading suddenly vanish in one direction last night, and then reappear in another. Originally, he found that the reading is somewhere in the already elusive Guiding Lands region, and has since returned there, but was in the Hinterlands last night."

Everyone around the table reacts with shock.

"The Hinterlands...?"
"How could it just..."
"Are we dealing with... a teleporting Monster?!"

"That is one guess, but we'll need more proof. Problem is, we don't know what attracts the great attractor here. There's going to be a lot of trouble pin pointing it down and discovering the source of the signal. Its on the move constantly through the Guiding Lands. The Seeker will continue his searches, and he hopes to catch it at least soon."

"But besides that, we've gotten new word of different subspecies emerging as well, also spurned out of hiding like the Elder Dragons coming to the signal. I'll be handing out plenty of assignments to address the problem of these subspecies." The Commander finishes.

"Now then, Analytics Director, I'll pass the floor to you. Tell us about the Bay disturbances."
>>
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"Thank you Commander."

The Analytics Director motions everyone's attention to a board he had stood up, he goes over some things displayed on it's paper with his pen.

"These growth charts were recorded by Researchers in the Lambent Bay region we discovered. They sat in high and low places and scrawled down what they could tell as best they could."

"These disturbances are occurrences of severe seismic activity in the deep sea. You actually cannot feel it so well on land, it would at most appear to be a light rumble, as if someone had just slammed their Hammer nearby. Yet when you venture out to sea, you can truly feel it, and it is disastrous. Only a small ship would be safe to take there."

"This is important because our very own diver scientist discovered that the rim of the landlines are being reduced by this activity. Sand is sinking further down and crucial supports for the coastlines are crumbling slowly. As it stands now, the rate is manageable, but if left alone for long enough untended, we may soon feel earthquakes across the mainland, even up to here." The Analytics Director finishes his explanation.

"I see..." The Commander says. "Have the Bay researchers thought of what it might be? Or how to deal with it?"

"It is up in the air at the moment, but our worse fear is that a Ceadeus is lurking in the depths. Ceadeus is a majestic yet terrifying Elder Dragon with the capability to sink islands. They slowly grow blind as they grow old, and this causes them to rut their horns against sea walls to try and find relief, which in turn can create earthquakes."

"We'll need some time to truly confirm that, but if it should turn out to be a Ceadeus, I'd like to ask the native Moganer's help in dealing with the Sea Dragon." The Analytics Director says, looking to you.

You raise your fist and nod. "You can count on me, sir."

"Very good." The Commander says.

Everyone turns to the Chief Ecologist, buried behind his large book as usual. This guy was practically married to them.
>>
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The Commander coughs. The Chief Ecologist peeks from his book.

"Oh, was it my turn now?"

"Yes. You said you wanted to tell us something about the Nakarkos in the Vale?"

"Indeed. I'll be brief as well." He says, flipping through the pages.

"Studying the Nakarkos carefully and from a distance, some Hunters have told me that the thing has worked up quite an arsenal through scavenging. The Nakarkos has been sighted using Brachydios pounders, an Uragaan's jaw, a Nargacuga tail and Rathian tale, Lagiacrus shock thorns, a Nightshade Paolumu's sac and it seems that most horrifyingly, it has salvaged the hide of Vaal Hazak, gaining use of the Effluvium!"

"You've got to be kidding me..." Crazy Charon, who was present murmured.

"No joke at all. It seems that while it did not kill Vaal Hazak, the Nakarkos has dominated and driven it off, claiming its hide for it's own. We've lost track of Vaal Hazak in fact."

"Nakarkos has been reportedly gathering insane amounts of bones to decorate it's chosen lair with as well. The death count is not yet known. I would advise you Commander, lift the prohibition over the Vale. Slaying Nakarkos must be one of our objectives."

The Commander nods. "Very well, I'll see to it the Vale is made accessible again, but only for those taking the Urgent I'll put up today for Nakarkos."

"Now, we've almost got everything. Seeker, did you have anything new to share?"
>>
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"Certainly, though I'm not sure how this will pass by."

From behind the Commander and next to the staunch Huntsman sitting in his second chair, the Seeker steps up to the table and brushes aside some of the paperwork to set down his charted map of the Twilight Acreage.

"In my time exploring the new shrouded lands hiding in the shadow of the Coral Highlands, I discovered something... interesting, while along with the Admiral, and I'm sure it relates to the massive Bioenergy source out there."

"Everyone, we've located Alatreon."

Gasps come from nearly everyone.

"Alatreon? The same one from the secluded valley...? I had thought the Star killed it... right after Safi'Jiiva..." The Chief Ecologist said, actually looking up from his book.

"I believed the same myself, but we were all wrong. Alatreon is alive, and healthy. I witnessed the creature inhabiting the Acreage, near the volcano where we found the slumbering Dalamadur."

"But besides that, we found another Elder Dragon in the endzone, when we were leaving the Highlands. We assisted two rookies in finishing the trail they had going."

"What Elder Dragon could it be?" The Handler chimed in.

"A true speed demon. We discovered a Valstrax."

"The red comet has shown up too? Hmmm...." The Commander thinks, glancing your way for a moment.

"That is all I had, besides this completed rendition of the new Acreage map I made in cohesion with the Admiral. I hope to see it put to good use. For now, I must return to the Guiding Lands, that source won't find itself." The Seeker dismissed himself, walking away from the table quietly.
>>
"Did anyone else have anything they'd like to present? Hm? No? Very well then, with everything brought to light, this will conclude this morning's Council."

"Tech Chief, Fleet Masters, Director, Chief Ecologist, continue on with your current workloads. Veterans, I'll be expecting you all to pitch on the Urgents when I have them done soon. As for you Hanlder, you can help out by finding the Star right about now, we'll definitely be needing him."

"You got it!"
"Aye!"
"My pleasure."
"Jolly cooperation."
"You can count on me sir!"

"Excellent. Dismissed." The Commander says.

Everyone begins to leave the table then. The Huntsman stands, going on his way to pursue an Urgent today. The Commander and Field Team Leader both work together to carry the giant pile of paperwork elsewhere. The Veterans step away and begin to discuss the new Monsters with much adrenaline pumping through their veins.

The Star's Handler scrambled away, going off to the Canteen while the chiefs departed back to their stations. You were left to watch as the Commander and Field Team Leader move away carrying their things. You hear the Commander mention going to see the Colonel.

Now that Council was adjourned, you should probably get to seeing the Warden like he requested, but maybe you could talk with the Veterans or the Star's Handler to get that shiny golden hero's whereabouts or learn more about this 'Valstrax', which they seemed to be gushing over.

What will you do now?
>>
>>4227491
See the warden, let's get this out the way.
>>
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>Valstrax
>>
>>4227491
And yeah, go see warden
>>
>>4227491
Can we talk to the commander first? The warden gives me evil vibes.

Either way. Bring Vivi so she can actually explain things.
>>
>>4227525
im with that, i think the commander will be somewhat more understanding
>>
>>4227525
Probably a good idea, just as a precaution. I don't think the warden is ACTUALLY evil, but being safe is never a bad idea.
>>
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You felt right now presented an opportunity to share the important information you had with the Commander, a very good opportunity. For you realized... Vivianne knew... and she wasn't under the same Hex of Zuhramon like you!

You could hardly contain your excitement as you rushed away from the Commander's platform in a hurry, marching fast past the stairs and making your way back up to the housing, where you entered your room in a sudden entry, catching Shara and Vivianne off guard as the two played a little Hunter's Game.

"Human? Is there something wrong?"

"Shara! I just had the best dawning revelation!" You say, getting closer up. "Vivi doesn't have the hex!"

Shara drops his cards and looks up at you in surprise, and concern.

"She can tell them everything Shara! We'll be able to expose Zuhramon easily!"

"Human..."

"We can get the officer's on board, they can get everyone working to foil his plans"

"Myeah! Meowster is right! We can pawt this whole thing to rest easy peasy if the Guild gets in on it!" Vivianne concurred.

"No Human, you don't understand..." Shara said as you stepped closer to Vivianne.

You were just about to pick Vivianne up. "Yeah, I know he can see through my eyes when he wants, but it's not like he'll do anything about it, will he?"

"Human you don't understand, the Hex, it can..."

Your body suddenly contracted.

"EARGH!"

Your chest became a facet for a dark and green mist to exit, flowing out at Vivianne, who stepped back in fear. Shara acted quickly, grabbing your torso with his wings and pulling back as hard as he could to keep you away from Vivianne.

"The Hex can work on it's own! It can rub off... on others! Spread at Zuhramon's will! Push Human! We must not let Vivi fall under it!"

"M-Meowster! D-Do something!' Vivi said, choking on the mist, which she did her best to repel as it wrapped around her neck and arms like tentacles, trying to enter her mouth and nose.

You pulled and pushed back yourself, trying to gain distance to stop the Hex from infecting Vivianne, and trying to disperse it from your body.

>Roll 2d5000 to get away and save Vivianne from falling under the Hex!
>>
Rolled 3526, 1963 = 5489 (2d5000)

>>4228615
C'mon Vance don't fuck it up to our companion.
>>
Rolled 4170, 758 = 4928 (2d5000)

>>4228615
>>4228615
>>
Rolled 524, 4408 = 4932 (2d5000)

>>4228615
The fuck? I thought the plan was just to tell the Commander about Chamo.
>>
>>4227353
Oh.
>>
Rolled 1580, 2331 = 3911 (2d5000)

>>4228615
NOT TODAY ZMAN
>>
Rolled 4717, 3756 = 8473 (2d5000)

>>4228615
>>
>>4228735
Haha, we're saved. Take that Zoomerman.
>>
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You pushed hard with all your strength, and Shara heaved greatly to pull you back. Vivi fought the essence of the Hex, reaching for her rapier to swipe at it with as you managed to back off.

As if a rope holding you broke, you fell back suddenly as the black and green mist dispersed, too far away to reach Vivianne now. Shara caught you, standing you back up as you stared at Vivi, distraught over what just happened.

"Shara... why didn't you tell me this could happen before?!"

"I never thought to! I did not anticipate anyone else but you and me here knowing. I tried to tell you, but you did not listen."

You sighed. "Alright, I will bull-headed there. Is there anything we can do about this?"

"There is nothing you can do. Your life is under my control."

You look to the corner of the your room, seeing a projection of Zuhramon appear. Here, in Astera...

"Be you careful..."

You were deeply troubled by his unsettling appearance. His helmet was changed, and you saw his flesh. He was missing his right pauldron, and his cloak was torn and tattered there. He looked like... a zombie or a ghost.

"Be you careful who you tell. How many people more you share the truth with... is how many people more you will endanger."

"You won't hurt your fellow men." You shoot back.

Zuhramon clenches his fists. "Reflect on my word of traitors. Don't tempt me, after what that... creature there behind you did to me..."

"I will do whatever is necessary."

Zuhramon's nebulous projection fades from sight.
>>
You took Zuhramon's warning into heavy consideration. If he considered you a traitor for knowing about him and his goal, and not supporting it, then anybody who knows will be a traitor in his eyes. You didn't want to push your luck here.

But you still wanted to tell the Commander, you trusted him and the Admiral more than the shady likes of the Warden whom you know is for a fact apart of the Guild's hidden government.

You realized that Zuhramon was only bold enough to attempt to Hex Vivi through you out of sight. If you went with her out where anyone in Astera could see, then he may not act out of fear of exposing himself, because while anyone else wouldn't know right away, the Warden surely might if he found out.

Beckoning Vivianne, you step towards the door, ready to leave. Shara gives you an unsure look, but he doesn't object as Vivianne timidly comes closer, following you slowly, and maintaining a short distance.

You supposed what truly mattered is how much you tell to anyone exactly. You had three important things to talk about, your ability to communicate with non-feral Elders, the existence of Zuhramon, and the presence of the Black Dragons. Talking about the Ancient or the Black Dragons was more likely to incite concern, or serious panic however...

You aren't going to stop just because of Zuhramon confronting you indirectly with his shade. You intend to talk with the Commander.

How much will you tell? That is the question...
>>
>>4228882
Oh dear, arguing time boys.
>>
>>4228882
Lets just start slow. Introduce Chamo and show that we can speak with him, that shouldn't be too much for Zman to get pissy about.

Keep BDs to ourself for now, we dont want Astera to meltdown in panic over the world enders being nearby.
>>
>>4228891
>Start out introducing chamo. The cannibalistic sociopaths child with no bona-fides.

Oh god no. please. Fuck. Thats the exact opposite of starting out slow.

>>4228882
I think this should be "what do you want to keep secret" because I imagine he will have follow up questions.
>>
>>4228882
Well if we must, I say we must tell only we can talk with non feral Dragons. First because having a Chameleos so close to Astera will end up very bad, second we keep meeting more and more sentient dragons, we might end up meeting one and next day boom, it has become a new set of armor, at least we would be able to act as an ambassador of sorts for dragons and humans. Now for who we can talk.... I have 5 people in mind Atricia, The Star and his Handler, The Admiral and the Seeker, those in my opinion are the ones I think won't simple dismiss what we talk as crazy talk and might keep a secret depending how well Vance could convince them.
>>
>>4228897
Chamo pretty much acts like a dog, and he didn't know what he was doing until we explained general wrongs and rights to him. They already know Shara and for that reason they might just think he memorized commands if we give him an order to try and showcase his understanding. Chamo has never been seen before and his listening to us will do way better to prove our point.
>>
>>4228891
>>4228909
No anon, don't start with Chamo, look an unknown Chameleos so close to Astera 2ill cause mass panic, we might even get punished if they discover we knew he was there and didn't said anything. Let's start small start with Shara, let's prove to someone we trust than Shara is sentient and we do understand dragons, then we can introduce Chamo to more people who now know we can talk with dragons and some dragons are sentient and not just wild killing machines.
>>
>>4228923
Whoever we start with, all I know is that the researchers wil want to probe them.

If you guys insist on Shara then fine lets use Shara.
>>
>>4228882
*deep inhale*
109876543210
*deep exhale*

Tell him everything. From the get go, onward to Chamo.

We got roped into this by the first wyverians initially, and then by Shara Ishvalda and Zuhramon. Present an unbiased account of what you learned about current events and the wyvern war from BOTH of them.

Move onto the experiences youve had. Monsters have been bitter enemies and allies, as have humans.

Explain magic spit drink and becoming telepathic. Explain having full on conversations with elder dragons, words with animals, ect...

Explain what Shara has told you about elder dragons seeking lost and forgotten corners of the world. Explain madness. Explain Inagami choosing to enslave a hunter to fight their battles.

Explain fighting Ukanlos with the help of the sister of the Velkhana the star slew.

Explain Sharas role as a guide to other elder dragons.

Explain the Alatreon. Explain pain and hatred and madness and a stubborn will to cling to life as long as possible.

Explain Zuhramons plan, explain towers, explain the ghosts of humanitys past.

Explain the horrors awoken and directed against man by Zuhramon.

Explain Ahtal Kha intelligence and cunning being beyond anything you would have expected.

Then. Finally. Explain chamo.
>>
I think I've got a plan here. We tell the commander about our ability to communicate with non-verbal elder dragons. Don't let anyone know about the black dragons yet. We'll have to deal with them eventually, but right now we should be okay. After that, we go meet with the warden, and if Zurahmon can't spy on our telepathic communication, have Vivi talk to him afterwards to let him know about everything Z-man has been doing.
>>4228961
Then again, this could work too.
>>
>>4228953
Ok but I still think we should try with my initial list. I think Atricia might be the easiest to convince since she is close to us, vivi and Shara, the star will give us a huge boon on the others, the handler could help us to convince the star more easily, both the Admiral and the Seeker might keep a close lid from the warden, the problem would be to find them though. Any other suggestions?
>>
>>4228961
No. I am against this. Remember ZMan is paranoid enough to make an enemy of EVERYONE who could stop him and we ourselves are on thin ice with him, if start to talk he might start his magic seizure thing again on us and start to seize his entourage of allies on Astera, getting gangbanged by Duremediura, Athal-ka, furfag Dragon and whatever other pet it might hold it's not cool. Let's start small and stuck to dragons to someone we trust.
>>
>>4228882
Let's talk about talking with Elder Dragons.
>>
>>4228975
And when they all die, without even having had a CHANCE to defend themselves. Because that is his plan.

What then?

What do we stand to gain by jerking all of our ACTUAL ALLIES around for so long?
>>
>>4228882
Eh, sure. Explaining talking to elder dragons is topical and relevant.

Sharas with us right? Hm. Maybe we can teach him sign language.
>>
>>4228998
Im on my phone btw, thats why my ID changed.
>>
>>4228989
Not starting the apocalypse far too early than we need to. Remember the more we share the more things can and WILL get out of hand, they will become targets to be taken down because they know too much and don't forget about the warden who might be part of the secret wyverian conspiracy thing, there is simple too much unknown factors and too much risk involved, if ZMan don't turn us into a vegetable we might get more innocent people on his shortlist and until we know what the warden wants with us it's just too much reckless to divulge all that info.
>>
A Turing test might help prove Shara's sapience, but I don't think that exists in this world.
>>
>>4229009
Can't we just do something simple like, ask someone to tell something to Shara, than have Shara us what that person said through the connection while pretending its talking normally to us, so we can say back to that person what it said to Shara
>>
>>4229018
Gonna heavily support this
>>
>>4229018
Honestly pointing to the first wyverians would help quite a bit. Its well known that they have sources of information that are... less than usual.
>>
>>4229007
>Not starting the apocalypse far too early than we need to.

To the best of my knowledge zoomerman needs to get all of his keys before he sets off death tower. As for the black dragons... they likely don't give a shit about us.

>Remember the more we share the more things can and WILL get out of hand

Eh. Narrative causality is usually a pretty weak argument, but this is 4chan.

>they will become targets to be taken down because they know too much

Thats not how hostages work, everyone vance cares about is already a target because they give leverage, or because killing them will just hurt him. Ignorance is no shield to them. Not when people already have all the reason in the world to target them.

>forget about the warden who might be part of the secret wyverian conspiracy thing

If he decides to be a lil bitch I will 100% throw my weight behind decking him and going awol. Or maybe doing something less extreme like ignoring him or telling the commander hes shady.

>there is simple too much unknown factors and too much risk involved

The longer we wait the more likely it is that the decision is taken from us. Do you think Zman or a Fatalis will make a better decision than Vance?

>if ZMan don't turn us into a vegetable

That would be teeth pulling rage inducing from an OOC perspective, and I am not sure he can do that? (look at me using narrative causality)

>we might get more innocent people on his shortlist

Zman wants to mindscrew all of humanity. Hes also shown no qualms about killing loads of people just to make a point.
>>
Alright, we're settled on showcasing Shara's sentience to the Commander it seems.
>>
>>4229073
Can we switch to another person? I still think showing to the commander while the Warden still here will bring us a lot of trouble.
>>
>>4229083
Mmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Sure, I guess. But only if you can get everyone else on board with it, because the majority support I see says tell Commander. And do it kind of quick cause I want to update.
Who did you have in mind?
>>
>>4229086
Nevermind then, let's get with the update. With any luck we might convince him to keep it a secret. At least I hope so.
>>
I have devised a new and demeaning nickname for Zuhramon

Yboy

Y, is before the letter Z, and Boy is obviously lesser than a man

It's a smol way to basically call him a lesser being, a true hit to his ego, I'd say
>>
...But you stop as you reach the door and then tell Vivi to hold off. You had a much better idea pop into your mind then, and it would be much easier to give away than most of the information you had, and to your belief the least likely to cause an outright scare across Astera.

You instead asked Shara to come with you. The Everwyrm is bemused by your change in mind and comes near. The only thing you take with you is a bowl as you ask Vivianne to stay put. Shara seems skeptical as he sees what you take. He knew well what you had in mind, but went along regardless.

You took him with you out back into Astera, moving along to the office of the Commander at the top of the housing complex you lived in. The senior chief was busy with what he had to do, filling out a mountain of paperwork and writing new Urgent assignments, but he was able to make some time with you as you enter his small office, opposite from his room.

When the Commander asked what you wanted to inquire about, you tell him it is important, and had to do with Shara Ishvalda. You tell him that Shara can understand you, intelligently.

At first, he seems to believe you are bluffing, and snickers, saying he needed a good joke. He tries to compare it to Tabitabi, adding that Monsters have been domesticated before in the past by certain individuals, namely scientists. He also recalls of a time he heard about a village outside of Guild territory that trained Monsters like loyal pets. He doesn't see Shara as anything but a clever animal that can obey instructions.

You break him out of his belief by asking Shara to fetch you a drink of tea from the nearby table you saw with a pottery set on it. He does do so, much to the surprise of the Commander as he fills you a cup using his armored wings carefully. The Commander raises a high eyebrow, internally questioning everything he just saw unfold in his office.

You take the tea cup and down it quickly, looking to Shara as he sat on his hinds beside you.

"So Shara, the Commander thinks you're an animal. Do you like that."

Shara takes a moment, but he eventually responds after pondering the situation by shaking his head.

The Commander lifts the monocule he had on to assist in reading, setting down his paper and pen as he rolls back in his chair, standing up and stepping over from behind his desk.

He passes a look down at Shara, and then faces you.

"....Freelancer...."

"Yes sir?"

"....Meet me down at the table, on the double..."

You salute.

"Aye sir."
>>
+============+

Astera. Commander's table. 8:56AM...

+============+

You were gathered at the Commander's table once again. You stood next to the senior officer, and a small host of Researchers who were gathered by him hastily. They all looked curious, and ready to take notes. Shara was sat on the table in front of you and the others, sitting down while his eyes scanned back and forth.

"....So, Freelancer." The Commander starts. "You want me to believe... that you and Shara Ishvalda can... communicate?"

"Yes, that's right." You say.

The Researchers behind you whispered, some chuckling. Doubt was in the air.

"...Can you perhaps demonstrate then your ability to communicate with Shara Ishvalda?"

"Right away." You say, stepping closer to the table.

The Researchers all prepared their clipboards, choosing to remain open minded and ready even though they doubted you.

"We should start with something... simple. Shara, point East."

Shara turns and holds his way to the air behind himself. The Researchers freeze, just as the Commander did. They all look on, shocked. That was exactly right, East was that way, and it took their doubts away immediately.

"Shara, which direction does the Sun set in?"

Shara goes opposite, pointing towards the West, where the Sun set at.

The Researchers were scribbling furiously on their tiny notes.

"Commander, that... everything the Elder Dragon answered with was right!"

The Commander falls silent at the words of one of the Researchers.

"Is that proof enough for you, sir?" You asked, trying not to sound a bit smug.

"...If you can understand him.... how can he understand you?" The Commander asked.
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"Well sir, it isn't easy to explain, and even I don't know for sure myself yet. All I know is what Shara told me about how it works, which is to say, little."

"Shara Ishvalda talks to me... through our minds." You say, tapping the top of Shara's armored head. He nods to the crowd.

"......."

"......."

"That is absurd!" One of the Researchers says.

"I'm telling the truth. I can prove it too." You say, pointing at each of the Researchers. "One of you can tell him something in a whisper where nobody else can here. I'll cover my ears too. After you do, Shara will tell me exactly what you said."

"Any volunteers then? I'm interested to see him prove it as well.... very interested..." The Commander says.

It seemed for the moment nobody among the Researchers was willing, until a voice comes from behind the whole crowd.

"I'll do it!"

They all step aside, revealing the one the voice belonged to.

It was the Smart Biologist....

"...Oh great..." The Commander mouthed.

The Smart Biologist steps up, inviting himself in as the others look on nervously. But none were as nervous as Shara himself, he wanted to leave the table, and began shaking.

You didn't like it, but you had to keep true to your word. You step farther back from Shara and raise your hands, plugging your ears with your fingers for everyone to clearly see.

The Smart Biologist leans in, and Shara recoils. You see him begin whispering to Shara...

>What does the Smart Biologist tell him...?
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>>4229155
The Paratoad Hops over the moon at 2AM
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>>4229155
"I hope you're ready for round two."
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Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>4229159
>>4229161
....
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I have been battling the captcha for a whole goddamn hour to try and update, but because it especially hates me I cannot solve it, I give up. I'll update another time. If this post goes through, then it's a miracle.
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>>4229305
Oh, look, it did finally go through. What are the chances?
I'm gonna go relax. Hey, you guys make me some more memes sometimes, it really brightens my day to see player made content.
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>>4229305
THE CURSE
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>>4229306
have a dumb meme, then
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"......"

You lean in and listen to Shara after the Smart Biologist gets done whispering to him. Everyone looked on expectantly.

"Shara says... the Smart Biologist told him 'The Paratoad hops over the moon at two AM'."

Everyone turns their attention to the Smart Biologist, who has dropped his usual eccentric behavior.

"....That is correct. I did in fact whisper that to... Shara... who can talk and... understands like us" He confirmed. Though, you knew his surprise didn't stem from knowing Shara could communicate. He seemed to shrink as Shara glared daggers at him.

The Commander didn't seem wholly convinced yet, nor did the other Researchers. It could still have been a fluke to them. He decides to step up himself and whisper something to Shara, backing off and gesturing you to Shara.

"What did he say?"

"He thought of a number, sixty six."

"Shara tells me you thought of the number sixty six." You say to the Commander, who now receives stares from the Researchers taking notes now faster than ever.

The Commander blinked, dazzled to hear that.

"I suppose then... that will be all the proof I need..." The Commander says.

He stepped up and put his hand on your shoulder.

"Freelancer, I do hope you know what this means..."

"Even more research will be needed?"

"That's an understatement. I don't think you know-"

Punt.

One of the Researchers fell out, nauseated from this learning experience.

"....I don't think you know just how... extraordinary this is. A talking Elder Dragon..."

He takes his hand away from your shoulder and crosses his arms.

"The amount of researching and tests that will be done is staggering... he may even have to go overseas for the best of the best experts to study him. I'll have to notify everyone this concerns, the Chief Biologist, the Admiral, the Warden..."

"...For now, I think we may have to take Shara Ishvalda off of your hands, Freelancer. If anyone can make true sense of this, it's the Chief Biologist. Give them a... week or three at the least."

"In the meantime, I think you had an appointment with the Warden as well. I'll be the one to tell him about this, you just have to answer some questions."

>Agree and leave to see the Warden.
>Try to get them to hold off on turning Shara over to the Researchers right away.
>Write in.
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Oh thank fuck. I don't know what gets it to be so fuckey but sometimes the captcha just won't let me through no matter what.
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>>4230239
>Write in.
Talk with Shara ask his thoughts about this.
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>>4230239
Supporting >>4230268; they're not exactly taking Shara's feelings into consideration, especially since he seniors everybody here.
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>>4230239
>I think your failing to grasp the implications of this commander. Shara isnt the only elder dragon who can talk.
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>>4230275
More than that, one thing we need to make them understand is Shara is not an smart animal he is a fully sentient being. The can't just send him to a cold lab and let him rot there forever.
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>>4230356
>>4230239
Well that explains if he knew about this beforehand or not...

>Nor am I the only one capable of communicating with them. Elder dragons have an entire society that goes back to before the guild existed. Presumably falling into and out of contact with human civilization throughout the ages.

Dont say this, but could somebody workshop this idea maybe? I think I know how to make chamo work...

(Something something, hey you could study this orphan chameleos? Since hes actually a baby instead of an immortal reincarnating psuedo-diety on a mission to save the world *mumble* *mumble*)
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>>4230371
Well he thinks hes a baby too.
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>>4230371
I think the term you're looking for is "sapient".
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>>4230375
We could try with a few restrictions, like no creepy ass niggas like that guy who probed Shara and the grim biologist. Also treat him like a real sentient person not as a lab rat or a circus animal.
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>>4230391
>>4230389
That doesn't solve the issue of them locking him up to use as a research subject for long time though.
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>>4230389
No, it's sentient.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sentient
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>>4230239
I think it will be fine so long as they keep him where we can see him, and also forbid Smart Biologist from being able to even look at Shara.
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Actually wait, we could send him to the Research Base and let the third fleet master handle him, couldn't we? She is trustworthy.
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>>4230375
>Something something, hey you could study this orphan chameleos?
>wanting to send someone who's mentally retarded to be experimented on and not expecting him to freak out
You want to reenact Of Mice and Men? Cuz that's how you reenact Of Mice and Men.

>>4230396
Oh.
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>>4230434
By all means please post your better plan. Cause your kind of just stringing things along at the moment.
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>>4230516
How about using the same reason you cited to at least keep him in the New World, reminding them that the First Wyverians tasked us with caring for him?
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Well one issue at time. For now rather than throw Chamo to the lions we should focus on how to save Shara. I think we should bring up he is a person rather than a wild animal, and he should not be treated like such, maybe bring up the fact
one of the biologists here probebed him because he though he was just a wild animal. Meanwhile have a mental talk with Shara for any ideas of how to getaway from this situation.
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"Commander sir, I don't think you're taking how Shara feels into consideration. I know for a fact he is the oldest thing here in Astera right now, and he is much more intelligent than we thought. What I'm saying is... he is a person too."

"..."

"You want us to expand the definition of who is and who isn't a 'person' to an Elder Dragon...?" One of the Researchers says.

"Gentlemen, please! Did you all not just witness that? The Elder Dragon understood what the Biologist and Commander said clearly! The Freelancer demonstrably could not hear them himself, and yet he was able to be... told... somehow by the Dragon! He just proved a sort of... telepathic communication!" Another Researcher says.

"But how does it work? Does this method use the Dragon Element? I don't see how! Dragon Element harms the mind and nerves!" A shorter Researcher says.

"I must agree, I also don't see how there could be a means of telepathy at play here, Dragon Element has never been known to work that way! I sense we're being subject to a cleverly played out fluke here!"

"Furthermore, Elder Dragons, while intelligent, are not, and have never been recorded displaying feats of intelligence that put them above even a toddler! I do not think we should treat the Dragon like a person!" The first Researcher says.

"I mean no disrespect, but open your eyes! View it's mannerisms! The declination it displays by body language, shaking it's head!"

"Anyone can teach an Odogaron to mean 'yes' or 'no', why should the Dragon be any different?"

The Researchers devolve into heavy debate and argument over what you said, it is like watching a table conversation's intensity increase as they verbally fight out their points with each other.

"That's enough." The Commander raises his voice slightly, calming and quieting the Researchers down.

"It is clear that Shara Ishvalda is far more intelligent than we previously thought, and perhaps like you say, on a Human or Wyverian level. After what you've just shown, I am willing to believe that. I would assume the Old Everwyrm is appreciative to hear this as well?"

Shara nodded the way of the Commander.

"Good..."

"I understand where you're coming from here. You don't want us to treat Shara like a lab Konchu. It is well within my authority to make sure he receives treatment proper to his intellect as well.... so I say we should set a pair of conditions, guidelines if you will, because I think you and Shara will be spending much more time apart now from this point on."

"First, Shara will not be contained in the arena storage, or any sort of cage. Second, Shara will not be prodded, explored or handled anywhere he doesn't want to be. Third, Shara will remain in the safe keeping of the Chief Ecologist and Third Fleet Master at the Research Base in some periods, with only the most qualified of our science staff to see him."

"What are your thoughts?"
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>....?

>Agree to those conditions unconditionally.
>Try to add another or adjust them.
>Write in.
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>>4230633
Those terms are great, I can't think of much to add, but we should ask him if he can extend those terms to a "friend" of ours, we should grab him with us and show him Chamo, explain than unlike Shara he is an actual child but a very good one, we can even say he even gave us some info on Athal-ka just to show how much of a good boy he is.
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>>4230633
Well progress I guess?
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>>4230633
So how does this help you guys deal with Chamo?

Also kek

>I think you and Shara will be spending much more time apart now from this point on."
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>>4230705
Good point, we should ask to add as a term if we can have free permission to visit Shara, he is our little buddy after all.
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>>4230717
Free permission to visit Shara anytime, I meant to say.
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"Will I at least be able to visit Shara when I like?"

"Of course, I see no reason why not, given that he's taken to you already. He'll also come to visit here sometimes at the discretion of the Third Feet master." The Commander reassures.

"Commander sir, if I may, we will need the expertise of a Researcher to have the patience to remain with the Elder Dragon at all times." The Smart Biologist speaks up. "I volu-"

"Yes, that is right, which is why I've already thought of somebody to assign to Shara Ishvalda." The Commander interrupted the perverted Wyverian.

"You." He says, pointing to one of the Researchers at the back of the crowd.

"O-Oh! Me?" That person says, stepping out. It was the same cadet that was assigned to Tabitabi before.

"You and the Freelancer have already became acquainted, you'll also get the chance to further yourself in the field of studying at the Research Base. Do you accept?"

"Huh...? ...Yes! I'll do it, sir!" The Cadet says

"Mm."

The Commander looks back at you.

"I'm fine with that." You nod.

"I agree to those terms, I've got nothing more to add."

"Alright, then it's settled. I'll see to it personally that Shara gets safely transported to the Research Base then. You should go ahead on to the Warden's office, and trust me, he isn't a man to keep waiting."

"Aye sir." You say, stepping off.

"Shara, you'll be good for the Commander, right?"

"I won't create a fuss. I just hope you're sure this was the right thing to do..."

"I'm positive, we just have to take things slowly."

"As you say."

You leave off, the Commander would personally oversee Shara as he sends the Researchers away.

You couldn't stall any longer, so you made your way up to the Gathering Hub, where the Warden reserved his office at...
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The office of the Warden was held in the aft of the ship that made the Gathering Hub here in Astera, equivalent to a Guild Hall back home in the Old World. Standing guard at the door to the office was a tall man wearing the armor of a Guardian from Dundorma, the set which the Defense Corps based all of it's Defender Armor off of. It wasn't hard to see the Defense Corps' rendition of the iconic set paled in comparison to the original. Those ultramarine scales sure inspired a sight more than the garnet ones of Defenders did.

He had a Charge Blade, an exquisite Grandstar Axe, symbolic of his might and authority even among the Guardian organization.

"State your purpose." He says, nimble to the point.

"I'm here to see the Guild Representative. My name is Vance, I got a notice he wanted to see me."

"One moment."

The tall Guardian knocks on the door of the office. There is a noise from within, but you cannot match it to anything you've ever heard before.

"Please relinquish your weapon." The Guardian asks.

You comply, handing over your Usurper's Roar, which he sets up onto a rack.

"Enter." The Guardian says, opening the door for you.

Stepping inside, you enter the office of the Warden. The room was vague in how dim it was, having very few candles on a single chandelier to light the place up. You could make out a tall clock in the back that ticked with an arm, counting each passing second, as well as other commodities you'd consider to be 'baroque'. The windows, save for one, were covered with purple curtains.

You see the Warden sitting in a large chair, looking out of the only uncovered window pane on the starboard side that gave him a good view of the New World. He slides back in the chair, over to his desk and swivels around to face you.

"Greetings. I am glad you've come. Please, take a seat." He gestures you.

You came over, sitting down in one of the two chairs in front of his desk.

He leans forward, his red shades florid in the darkly room.

"I assume you remember my name?"

"Yes sir. You said your name was Damen?"

"True. I am Damen Fosticus, I am a principle authority in the Hunter's Guild. Do you know why you are here?"

"No sir. May I ask why?"

"You may." He says, motioning you to an artist's sketch on his desk, one that showed off the entrance to the Temple of Tilokpia.

"This is where the Research Commission slew an Elder Dragon, a Yamatsukami. I heard you were apart of the operation despite not arriving with any fleet, you even helped land the killing blow with the Second Fleet's 'super' ballista invention. Though, that isn't why I called you here. I know that you apparently... "fell" into the depths of Tilokpia during your time there. Tell me how that happened."

"Well sir, I was just walking along to the middle of the main room, I think I might have thought the floor looked a bit funny there, and then next thing I know, I fell right down into... some kind of tomb or something." You answer honestly.

"...Hmm, yes... so you did."
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