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Eclipsed Moon Quest Episode 161
Sheets and Info: pastebin.com/u/phantomcrossing
Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/Artemis_QM
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Eclipsed+moon

Quest Intro

You are Mikage Chiba, a second year high school student, fifteen years old. You used to be the third woman to be the magical guardian of love & justice Sailor Moon, after your mother and older sister. A year and a half ago you had a traumatic experience fighting the corpse of your best friend’s dad, the struggle leaving you thinking you had killed the man you had set out to save and prompting you to abandon everything. More than that, the related emotional collapse lead you to abandoning yourself. Hiding the events as best you could then developing disguises and personas to inhabit and do the things you would not let yourself do, to live while you let yourself wither.

Now you know the truth and have been taking measures to put yourself back together, reconnect with family you shunned, old friends, and new ones. More than that, you've been doing your best to support your younger sister, Sailor New Moon.

Quest Start


You sleep perhaps a bit exhausted from a trying day and fall into your dreams. Though doing so with attempted lucidity you drift and turn to and fro. Last time you went to the dream of Elysium it was because Usa took you there and a way had been kept open by her practice and your shared intentions.

There is much to understand about your psychometric powers, and the abilities of an elevated and open consciousness...but actively it is a different matter. Where you start tonight is a familiar place you don’t think you’ve really seen before. A row of vanities.

There is a space for you in the center, piled high with the things you’ve held and the things you’ve taken, the lights shining bright around its mirror. The mirrors on either side are dark, their spaces bare. The mirrors furthest from the center remain lit, one sports a beret and wig on a mount, the other is piled thick with manga almost blocking the mirror. Set next to the stacks of books is a vanity where a jacket is thrown messily on the chair and all that sits on it is a holding pomade and keys to an imagined vehicle you want. Far and away from this row is another vanity, it normally twinkles with silver and pink light…now that light is golden.

An imagined space. Where all of you wait. Are they here? Or can they not exist when you walk here in dreams…a difficult question.

Still, you came here with purpose.

>you came here for a reason, leave and seek Elysion
>you don’t sense your connection to Usa, investigate?
>Inspect your vanity, crowded now it may be
>Inspect one of the empty vanities, which?
>Inspect one of the remaining vanities, which?
>Why is THAT space now golden? Investigate.
>write in
>>
>>4912599
>>Why is THAT space now golden? Investigate.
>>
>>4912599
EMQ hell yeah! I was worried something had happened when you didn't run yesterday, Artemis.

Also, if the anon who was trying to figure out what's with the Primroses is here, speak up, because I figured it out and want to reveal it to everyone at once.

>you don’t sense your connection to Usa, investigate?
Maybe just because she's not in this timeline, but let's check in case it's not.
>>
>>4912613
Has my clever deception finally been revealed?
>>
>>4912619
It has. And the number of layers you went on it is quite impressive. Everything from names to backstories. Also, you have good taste.
>>
>>4912599

>Why is THAT space now golden? Investigate.
>>
>>4912599
>>Why is THAT space now golden? Investigate.

Yay! Finally back after a good... *checks archive** near 7 months. Well, better than the 2 plus years when it was on indefinite hiatus.
>>
>>4912698
Ah, yes. The Dark Times.
>>
Just FYI, this will be a slow thread
>>
>>4912599
>>you came here for a reason, leave and seek Elysion
Yay EMQ!
>>
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It’s too distracting, and though it goes against your intentions to travel and explore the memory of Elysion...maybe this wouldn’t hurt to look at first. Afterall it was the memory of Elysion is where Helios kept guardianship over the Golden Crystal, which you now possess. That distant vanity, that distant mirror, you know what you’ve projected there.

You know why it likely glows gold.

And the darkness between the close collection of vanities and this distant and singular one extends into a yawning corridor rather than the plane it first appeared as. Each step causes an uncertainty in duration and measure of depth.

The path is clear and it looms largely ahead of you, but the perspective is entirely superfluous. After what feels like far too long, you are aware of how close you are to it, and the shadows of night push away from you in it’s golden light.

There are simple things here upon the surface of the vanity. A memory of your flute case. The memory of the broach you turned away from. What’s new, beyond the golden color emanating from the surface of the mirror drowning out the colors this space once held, is the broach you wear now in the waking world.

Set at the center of the vanity table.

Glancing into the shining gold of the mirror is a silhouette in light, its features imperceptible but absolute and familiar to you all the same. Her position beyond the plane does not match your own, for she cups the crystal you’ve assembled and restored in palms held closely together.

Though, here that stone is different. Unfolded and in bloom..

>Does the Crystal know the way to Elysion?
>This isn’t what you came here for, you need to find your way to Elysion
>Examine the old broach
>Examine the new broach
>Examine the flute case
>Examine the crystal in the mirror
>Examine the you in the mirror
>write in
>>
>>4913010
>Glancing into the shining gold of the mirror is a silhouette in light, its features imperceptible but absolute and familiar to you all the same. Her position beyond the plane does not match your own, for she cups the crystal you’ve assembled and restored in palms held closely together.
Interesting.

>Does the Crystal know the way to Elysion?
>>
>>4913010
>>Does the Crystal know the way to Elysion?
In some ways it is the most solid piece of it left. The rest rest is shades and souls.
And whatever relics Chou's people have been digging up.

>>Examine the you in the mirror
>>write in
Just makes me think back to the last time we "saw" the old us. A memory that stood against the shadow intrusion in our dreams until we were able to hug it out with ourselves, our pain and our past, and really go into this new life of ours. We made our own choice before that to put ourselves out there again, but that night gave us a measure of peace with ourself and what we thought we had done.

(I just had a massive hit of reminiscing about how things started, thought I'd share the mental stroll.)
>>
>>4913010
>>Does the Crystal know the way to Elysion?
>>
>>4913010
>>4913068
Also can back this write in too.
>>
>>4913010
>Does the Crystal know the way to Elysion?
>Examine the you in the mirror
>>
>>4913010
>>Examine the crystal in the mirror
>>
>>4913010
>Does the Crystal know the way to Elysion?
>>
>>4913068
It's been a long, crazy journey, and it's not over yet.
>>
Well, this is gonna be a gestalt.
>>
Seeing as how it's been more than 24 hours since I posted >>4912613, I am going to just come out and reveal what is up with the Primroses.

They are directly based on the Mane 6 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
>>
>>4914043
Our character is known for her mental fortitude, I’m sure she’ll be fine. Jokes aside, we did embrace our darkness at the beginning of the quest, I think we can manage some light now. Especially because I think it’s light of our own making. Looking forward to the next post. Oh, and it’s good to see you Artemis!
>>
Rolled 7 (1d20)

Good to be seen. Good to be seen.
>>
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You take a moment to slowly examine the “you” that exists beyond the mirror’s edge; what should be the memory of the hero you used to be, driven and justified in pink and white in a Sailor Suit. Briefly you reminisce of the last time you saw her; when you summoned her to fight the Shadow infection before accepting it into yourself.

Well, you accepted that part of yourself.

What lies beyond the mirror isn’t a persona. It isn’t some invading force amplifying your worst fears about yourself or what you are capable of.

That figure on the other side of the mirror looking out at you, is you. Clad in the shape of a memory and the light of a future you’ve chosen to assemble. The same ephemeral dream logic that once allowed you and your friend Midori to cross the barriers between nearby dreamscapes seemed applicable here, and you hold the Golden Crystal, the external manifestation of Earth’s Star Seed, in your hand. Though now on this side of the mirror it is different. It is still faceted and closed.

Beyond the pane before you, the room of vanities is empty save for the lights. You are the silhouette, though the shape of the memory has changed. It is still clad in the vague notion of a Sailor Suit, but it is no longer the height and shape you took then.

Your hair. Your height. Your shape. It is the you of now, clad in a possibility you were both reticent to acknowledge and still feared as something inevitable.

When your mother gave you the broach to contain the fragments of the Golden Crystal, you had eventually asked her if it was a transformation broach, and if that again was expected of you.

She had left that to you. And here you are in a position to deny that possibility, mold it, or accept it.

The garb of possibility sits incomplete around you shining in the dark. The pane of the mirror looks back into your dreamscape, but the Sailor Guardian you were resided in the edges of memory, long pressed down, deep and away from the conscious mind and near the broad sea of dreams.

Holding the crystal up, in a voice made up of the shining light around you, you ask the crystal if it knows the way to Elysion. If it remembers.

Raising your cupped hands, the faceted orb pulses and spins; exerting a gravity and inertia all its own to pull you in its wake. It is much like when you and Usa-nee soared together toward this distant goal.

This place feels...lighter. You feel lighter...and warm. It is not an unpleasant warmth.

Through clouds and swirling nebula of impossible stars you break through the endless distant twinkling portals into the dreams of the sleeping and again behold from far above the memory of Elysion.
>>
>>4914461

As you touch down amid marble and presently twilight gardens, pulled along but still in a way guiding the Golden Crystal, you see there roam countless indistinct shapes. Drifting through the halls of this place hidden in the collected unconscious of humanity.

A facsimile of the moon as it appeared in that era hangs far above. These shades, decidedly not the shadows you’ve seen in the past, linger here. They move, look upon the great works of the memory, or stare up at the moon.

Are they normal humans, now dreaming of Elysion? For the impassioned outreach of the enemy, and your own revelations refuting them?

When your feet fall flat unto this land, secured for generations in the dreams of humanity, the crystal pulses. Both in the dream, and as you feel the briefest flutter of your real eyelids does the broach rattle on your chest. Here, where it spent countless eons in the care of Helios it is on the cusp of being full and truly whole and awakened in your care.

The Crystal...this form…
>Hold it as is, a golden mystery
>Let it bloom as it wishes to
>Dim this light, for now you’d just rather be you
>Give it shape, for when you’re ready for it
>write in

In Elysion
>Investigate these shades, these dreamers?
>Try to seek out Tigers Eye.
>Try to seek out Hawks Eye.
>Try to seek out Fish Eye
>Investigate the memory of Elysion
>write in
>>
>>4914462
Oof. Really not sure what to vote for. Not even sure I get the first one.
>>
>>4914462
>The Crystal...this form…
>>Let it bloom as it wishes to
>>Give it shape, for when you’re ready for it
>>write in
Let it bloom and be the rose it should be. Hallmark of Endymion, his masks, Eclipse, and our Earth magic.
(At this point if the royal crest doesn't involve a rose already, we should make sure ours does.)

>In Elysion
>>Investigate the memory of Elysion
>>write in
It is our first true visit here, only seen through the dreams of another and during a mission to dispel Helios' shadow previously, feel like that is the bulk of our focus.
Though curious about these shades as well, maybe see what they are up to in the context of looking at Elysion in general.

Wouldn't mind waving down Fish Eye should she turn up, we had good interaction before. Not sure how we'd track her down though.
>>
>>4914503
>>
>>4914504
>>
>>4914462
>Let it bloom as it wishes to
>Investigate these shades, these dreamers?
>>
>>4914462
>>Give it shape, for when you’re ready for it
>Try to seek out Tigers Eye.
>Try to seek out Hawks Eye.
>Try to seek out Fish Eye

Or barring that >>4914503 has some good stuff.

We haven't seen them since the fight after all.
>>
>>4914462
>>Let it bloom as it wishes to
>>Investigate these shades, these dreamers?
>>
>>4914462
>Give it shape, for when you’re ready for it
Might as well seize our destiny with our own two hands.
>Investigate the memory of Elysion
>>
Alright. I’ll try and sort this vote and get an update out tonight.

How is everyone doing these days? Also yes, the secret of my greatest trolling has been revealed. Conceptually I like the show but hadn’t watched more than a few scant episodes; some of the fandom turned me a bit, and then time became a factor you know? But through memes and cultural osmosis I repurposed them for a girl gang I had expected to get beaten up by our protagonist but dice and story fell where they did.

I hope you’ve enjoyed them.
>>
>>4916595
>How is everyone doing these days?
Alright Artemis, yourself?

> Also yes, the secret of my greatest trolling has been revealed. Conceptually I like the show but hadn’t watched more than a few scant episodes; some of the fandom turned me a bit, and then time became a factor you know? But through memes and cultural osmosis I repurposed them for a girl gang I had expected to get beaten up by our protagonist but dice and story fell where they did.
Huh. I'd have figured you for a much bigger fan given how much you worked in, reference-wise.

> I hope you’ve enjoyed them.
Oh, certainly. I liked them before, and like them more now.
>>
>>4916613
Cultural Osmosis is one of my superpowers
>>
>>4916695
I believe it. "Gammu?"
>>
>>4916793
Her monster form, as a giant gator thing, was based on her inspiration’s pet gator, Gummy.
>>
>>4916821
Yeah, I meant I found it impressive.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>
Rolled 1 (1d3)

>>
So, in your grasp the golden crystal unfolds. Beautiful if sharp flower petals shining up from the palm of your hand as a rose; taking root between your fingers and spreading through and across you. The silhouette of your shape shining brighter but developing cracks and breaches across the surface. This growth is not entirely natural, it is guided.

You nudge it along and guide it, raising your hands overhead and arching your back. Delineating the paths of magic as though your indistinct form dances slowly through motions you know will one day come much faster.

The fibrous tendrils weave around and through you; ever bringing the surface tension of this form to the brink as they form what it will become for you, reaching into your core and your starseed.

The Golden Crystal is your heart. The rose is your birthright. And by the will of your imagination and the great pains and emotional growths and healing you have undertaken...it is you.

Far away, you feel the pull upon your neck, your real neck, where the broach hangs. Unbeknownst to you it levitates, shines against the matte of your window curtains and peels beneath the crack in your door.

Where magic and technology meet, at least of the schools of thought behind the tools of the Silver Millenium, there is a certain programmed or inherent mutability.

The broach adapts to the shape within it now. Lines of magical circuitry and the aesthetics shift to match the crystal’s current form; a reflection of yourself. A claim of heritage.

In the waking world it ceases suddenly, and it drops upon your wear you sleep. Physically heavier; yet somehow lighter.

Amid the colonnades and twilight memories of Elysion the golden silhouette breaks like a shell; returning you to form and shape...though not the one that you’ve let take hold of your future.

Somewhere inside, you feel it. Waiting beneath the surface. The power to draw upon the Golden Crystal and yourself in tandem...you’ve only done as your father has. Borrowing the power of a starseed without accessing its potential.

And now...you are the Earth.

And you stand dressed in the pajamas you went to bed in. The form given to the intersection of the Golden Crystal and your own heart will remain a mystery a bit longer…

Until you are absolutely ready and resolved to say it. Perhaps in a moment of great need or reveal. That thought curls a smile to your lips, let the enemy wrap their heads around you then, and all your existence would imply.

And Elysion is yours to explore and experience.

You idly wonder about perhaps seeking out the Trio, especially Fish Eye for the rapport you had before. Briefly you wonder about the shades of dreamers drawn to this place for what knowledge had been unleashed about it’s memory to the world at large.
>>
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>>4917687

For now. You wander and investigate the memory on your own. There is something intrinsically familiar about the place, beyond from your prior visit amid corruption, but related and tied to the experiences of...having Usa-nee’s dreams and believing them to be yours.

It's...beautiful here. The fountains, the fields, and the shifting memories of the palace. As your course through the place, you pause amid a hall of sculpted reliefs. There is the image of your father, at least of his past life, surrounded by his retainers.

Kunzite. Zoisite. Nephrite. Jadeite.

The Four Heavenly Kings, attending the side of their prince. Before the fall, for even though Earth was one kingdom...there was reason for conflict? You aren’t wholly sure...but even before Metallia’s rise Youma still existed. There were wicked men and women who challenged peace. There were wilds to the world that was.

You’ll have to ask him about that later.

“I thought someone was here,” a voice sounds behind you in the hall, and you turn to face it and see the familiar padded bodysuit of Fish Eye, “Hmm, not Lady Usa, but a dead ringer...Mikage Chiba I presume,”

Their declaration is made with a snap of the finger and a smile. When last you were here, as Eclipse, you did not disclose your identity to any of the Amazon Trio...despite Fish Eye seeing through the gendered lens of your disguise.

How do you react to Fish Eye
>Greet them like it's the first time you’ve met
>Reveal the Regalia of Eclipse, tell him this isn’t the first time you’ve met
>write in

What are your intentions with interacting with Fish Eye
>Get a guided tour of the memory of Elysion [lore]
>Get caught up on what he and the Trio have been up to
>Ask about the mechanics of dreams and learn more about [lucidity]
>Catch him up on the goings on in the waking world, especially of his lord helios
>write in
>>
>>4917688
>Greet them like it's the first time you’ve met
I don't really think it's their business, but I'd also say not to deny it if they bring it up.
While I'd really like a lore dump or find out what shenanigans they've been up to, I'd they're unaware of recent events I'm going for
>Catch him up on the goings on in the waking world, especially of his lord helios
>>
>>4917688
>>4917719

I can back this. While the trio may be allies, they aren't really actively involved in the waking world anymore, and we do have evidence that, even if unwilling, they can be turned. If he pointedly asks we can answer truthfully but no need to volunteer.
>>
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>>4917688
>How do you react to Fish Eye
>>write in
Middle road on the greeting. Not directly stating we've been before, but not acting like a stranger.
"Correct. A pleasure to finally properly meet you, Fish Eye." acting all formal with a bow, but break into a friendly grin and being more casual afterward.

>What are your intentions with interacting with Fish Eye
>>write in
Walk and talk.
Lead with concern that the enemy that came here before might return, but also wanting to learn more of Elysion, both in terms of the lay of the land to help defend it and on a personal level wanting to learn more.
While presumably moving from one point of interest to the next, ask if they've heard from Helios since, and how the Trio is doing, fill in as needed.
>>
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>>4917719
>>4917758
I think we will need to open up to them at some point, particularly if we're to work together here. The Trio would already know enough about us and our family, and they might be perfectly up to date on the waking world.
But am not above playing coy on this meeting, mostly I'm curious how quickly Fish Eye sees through us again.
>>
>>4917688
>Reveal the Regalia of Eclipse, tell him this isn’t the first time you’ve met
>Catch him up on the goings on in the waking world, especially of his lord helios
>Get caught up on what he and the Trio have been up to
>>
>>4917688
>>Reveal the Regalia of Eclipse, tell him this isn’t the first time you’ve met

>>Get a guided tour of the memory of Elysion [lore]
>>Get caught up on what he and the Trio have been up to
>>
>>4917688
>>4917765
>>4917778
+1
>>
Homeward and madness bound.
>>
>>4918726
I'm guessing Artemis forgot his trip?
>>
>>4918874
Mayhaps
>>
All right, got some important personal stuff done and did some testing for voice over and now I'll just tally these votes.

...

Its good the council reconvenes. Okay, I have some ideas but they'll be written at some point tomorrow or over the weekend. Along with a short interlude to come about the reunion of Jailbreak Friends

ugh, I do not like new captcha
>>
>>4919273
>ugh, I do not like new captcha
Tell me about it.
>>
Having a ranty day from external influences.
>>
>>4919703
>ranty day
Is that like a rainy day, only instead of water it’s salt?
>>
>>4920319
From the sounds of it, yes.
>>
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Been awhile since I've done quest-inspired cooking. Admittedly not getting too complex here.
>>
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>>4922729
Behold, magical bunny and unicorn mac & cheese (with extra cheese).
>>
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>>4922747
Needed to be made more magical, at the risk of becoming a food misdemeanor.
>>
>>4922747
Needs a appropriate drink. Unicorn Frappuccino?
>>
This takes me back to early quest. With cobblers and cookies and cakes and crescent moons.

This gives me calm and life. Update hopefully in the late evening then wish me luck for a remote job interview in the morning.

And my lip is only but bruised two days on from an overexcited pittie going from licking me to biting me in the face. Could have been so much worse than it was
>>
>>4922840
Good luck with the interview.

I saw that on your Twitter. I'd have commented there but I don't have one. It definitely could have been worse though. I have personal experience there, although at least it wasn't a bite.
>>
>>4922766
Rottie Red, raspberry wine in this case.
Which is relatively festive.
>>
>>4922938
If you say so. I don't drink, myself.
>>
>>4923135
Basically fancy raspberry juice with a Rottweiler on the bottle.
>>
Was dead when I git home. Got up early and put myself together and was stood up by a volume of 40 minutes for what was supposed to be a twenty minute interview. I’m getting myself back together, getting out of the house, typing on mobile, and going through a litany of errands today while thoroughly annoyed at that bout of disrespect.

Someone is getting MANY free magazine trial subscriptions in the near future.
>>
>>4923706
It's fine, dude. You do you.
>>
Offering a shallow bow, more a half curtsey if anything, for sake of the royal trappings of your own heritage and surroundings in which you stand you regard Fish Eye with a warm smile.

“Correct, a pleasure to properly meet you,” you lift your head to meet his eyes, “Fish Eye,”

The figure in blue nods with grace and self assured charms before approaching before the carved relief.

“Well, I figured you would come to this place eventually, though color me surprised to see you here among the rest of the dreamers,”

“I’ve my reasons and curiosities,” you explain turning your attention back toward the carving upon the wall, “And I bring news from the waking world,”

“Of Lord Helios?” Fish Eye inquires and stands beside you to look upon the relief, doubtless not his first time seeing it.

“Among other things...besides, I’m worried about what’s going on; and that the enemy might come back to this place,” you admit, “say, can we walk and talk about it?”

“Certainly, let me show you the gardens, now, about Lord Helios?”

“He’s in the waking world, not hiding in Dream Mirrors, and to my knowledge hasn’t made the return to Elysion for fear our foes, survivors of the ancient kingdom corrupted and directed by a silver of Chaos, would track him again,”

“Thinking of our safety again,” he frowns, “He’s given us already more than we deserved. Is he reunited with Lady Usa?”

“They were for a short time, though she had to go back to her timeline to restabilize,” you explain without excessive detail, “He’s doing well, and has been officially relieved of his guardianship duty of the Crystal,”

He hums to himself; and in doing so gives you an appraising look, settling on the imagined image of the broach hanging from your neck.

“Has the enemy made further pushes into this place?” you hazard with concern.

“As of yet, no. Without Helios of the physical presence of the Golden Crystal...I think this place is harder to reach by the means they had before...and before this surge of dreamers it was slowly drifting into the fog and haze of forgotten things,”

“So the crystal was an anchor for this place?” you question.

“In a way, though I’m no expert on that,” he hums and strides down the hall and turns a corner as you stray after.

“What of the three of you, without Helios are you unmoored as well?”

“No, though I imagine given enough time we’ll finally allow ourselves to drift into the reincarnation cycle,” Fish Eye considers and shrugs, “Though I’m quite excited for the opportunity to live a human life without pretense,”

“I’d heard about that when I was younger...that all three of you had died betraying the Dead Moon Circus for my mother’s sake…”
>>
>>4924240

“And gaining our human souls in the process. Oh, don’t be so gloomy about it. We’re happy here and we’ll be happy to have what comes next...hmmm. You know while we may not know all of Lord Helios’s or Elysion’s secrets, we do absolutely know what it means for his duty to guard the Crystal to have been discharged; that the Guardian of Earth, it’s Heir, has been selected,” they move a loose strand of blue hair over one of their pointed ears before ending the request in a pointed observation, “Princess,”

“I’m not really a princess, not officially,” you downplay the praise and accusation just a little bit, “No kingdom,”

Ever the showman, once in the garden Fish Eye flourishes. Pillars of Water rise and disperse into mist, and in the imagined light of the dream a rainbow forms casting scintillating colors across the forgotten glade; casting it from overgrown to well manicured with roses and ancient plants forgotten to at least two fossil records.

“And yet here we stand in your kingdom. Known and being remembered anew by the living dreamers that yet walk in living memory,” he swoons, “It feels like the trappings of a modern fairy tale,”

“Hey! We still have to deal with mysterious enemy knights, monsters, and their lea-” you pause and frown, “Dammit it is a fairy tale,”

Talking more with Fish Eye yields not much more but a friendly atmosphere, and soon you find yourself drifting back to the waking world. It settles your heart to know that the Dream of Elysion is safe, perhaps bulwarked by the awareness to it both you and the enemy have given it...though whether or not that will be to their or your favor remains unknown.

Well, something you soon intend to do should tip that balance...once you’re embedded among them.

As normal, you wake up early and before your Alarm. When routine takes hold you inspect the broach and momentarily marvel at the rose patterns and inlays across the at a glance cheap plastic item that is in reality a powerful talisman of advanced magical technology. Cleaning yourself up and starting your morning run.

Amid your rounds; you know you’re coming to pass by what you’ve come to know to be Saori Umeki’s family home and considering what happened with the girl the other day…

>Go check in on Saori Umeki
>Go check in on Saori Umeki, bring snacks
>Continue on the run
>Write in
>>
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>>4924242
>>Go check in on Saori Umeki, bring snacks
Fun times ahead.

Also
>before this surge of dreamers it was slowly drifting into the fog and haze of forgotten things
Elysion stands!
>>
>>4924242
>>Go check in on Saori Umeki, bring snacks
>>
>>4924242
>Dammit it is a fairy tale
Mikage only just realized? KEK.

>Go check in on Saori Umeki, bring snacks
>>
>>4924242
>“I’m not really a princess, not officially,” you downplay the praise and accusation just a little bit, “No kingdom,”
I mean…
>And now...you are the Earth.

>Go check in on Saori Umeki, bring snacks
>>
>>4924242
>Go check in on Saori Umeki, bring snacks

>>4924436
>Mikage only just realized? KEK.

She should have remembered when she compared Usa to a fairytale.
>>
>>4924642
More than that, all the way back when we were explaining stuff to Aiha, she thought that the Silver Millennium stuff had been her and Koyomi's bedtime stories. And she's been right in the middle of this for what, 2 months now in-universe?
>>
>>4924689
>she thought that the Silver Millennium stuff had been her and Koyomi's bedtime stories
Mikage also mentioned that when we recruited Saori.
>>
>>4924642
>>4924689
>>4924734
Self awareness is a hell of a pill that not everyone is ready to swallow even when it should be obvious.
>>
Taking a slight detour during your morning run; you pop into a convenience store and purchase a few chips, dried crisps, and bottled teas out of interest to your intentions. When you had texted Saori about matters she had indicated to you that she was doing a media binge to keep herself grounded and requested that you bring her snacks if you wanted to drop by.

Your spymaster was an odd one, but one whose outlook and demeanor you at least understood. So you capitulate to the request. Given the girl’s natural propensity for deep and all consuming shadows beneath her eyes, you imagine that when she says she’s binging that she hasn’t slept a wink since last you saw her. And so with the snacks...and the last minute addition of a few small bags of candy and a canned coffee, you resume course intent on calling upon the Umeki Household.

Though, as you approach you find that you aren’t the only person who seeks out Saori Umeki at this early morning hour.

A taxicab is pulling away from the front of the house, before the hedge fenced walkway into the Umeki Family Home as a girl in the private school unicorn of the Zodiac Academy for Girls stands with a certain aura of dignity, anger, and concern whilst trying to straighten herself out from the car ride. You know her, as luxuriant and well bodied hair shines in the early morning light along with the sparkling of a well bedazzled hair ornament.

Yukiko Akiyama, fashion designer prodigy and one time leader of a fake girl gang that existed to garner the attention of one of your former altered egos.

She seems certain of her actions, and then momentarily uncertain and anxious.

Considering why she’s here; Saori deciding to drop everything to do a media binge probably included bailing on some appointment with Akiyama. From your own contact with the girl through your fashion circle and solving the mystery of her missing and unremembered friends...you know she is tenacious when she wants something...or is concerned for the absence of someone she considers a friend.

>Engage with Akiyama, go check on Saori together
>Engage with Akiyama, be friendly and convince her that she can head to school as you’re checking on Saori and its fine
>Engage with Akiyama, be heavy handed and imply you’ve got things covered
>Mess with Akiyama, do something spooky to try and make her leave
>Wait out here and approach the Umeki house after Akiyama leaves
>Sneak in behind Akiyama and confirm what she’s here for
>Write in
>>
>>4924760
>Sneak in behind Akiyama, engage with her, and assure her that that she can head to school as you’re checking on Saori
Sudden Mikage from nowhere.
>>
>>4924740
We might need to schedule Mikage for a similar wave of awareness as Umeki had.

>>4924760
>>Write-in
>>Sneak in behind Akiyama and-
>>Engage with Akiyama, go check on Saori together
>>And encourage Akiyama to join the binge watch
One of us, one of us, one of us..
>>
>>4924760
>>Engage with Akiyama, go check on Saori together
>>
>>4924740
Yeah, but even if it's understandable, it's still hilarious.

>>4924760
I want to chat with Not!Rarity, but not sure which o-
>>4924804
Actually, let's go with this. And we're working on mental stuff. Self-awareness should be increased with that too, right?
>>
>>4924760
>>4924804

I back this write-in.
>>
Rolled 7, 2, 20 = 29 (3d20)

Modifier +11
>>
Rolled 5, 7 = 12 (2d20)

Perceptions
>>
Rolled 14, 11, 12 = 37 (3d20)

Modifier 10. Persuasion
>>
>>4926187
>20
We are the night. Even if it’s day.
>>
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Well, time to have a little fun.

A sly smile spreads across your face as you quietly offer a single laugh to yourself. Closing the distance between the two of you, you hold out the convenience store bag carefully and break in a wide arc as your feet fall as quietly as you can make them upon approach. The swing of those snacks will make less noise than them brushing against your legs, after all.

Quietly you fall in behind the girl, who hasn’t noticed your approach in broad daylight. She had but to turn her head but you lucked out and made it into her blindspot. Not immediately behind her, of course, else your shadow would fall into her line of sight.

You could easily have just made a small abuse of your magical abilities to become invisible...but there is just something so much more satisfying in what you’ve accomplished and intend here.

“Right, I’m just going to confirm she’s okay with my own eyes and then demand she pull herself out of whatever this is,” she declares to herself under her breath, “A talent like her’s cannot languish, and she has to learn that other people are relying on her,”

Finished steeling herself she strides forward, with you falling in matching steps behind her. At the door she brushes aside a few stray strands of dark violet hair and goes to sedately knock.

After a few moments, in which the otherwise poised girl radiates some small anxiety, the door opens to reveal a woman who by stature and complexion is doubtlessly Saori Umeki’s mother.

“Yes?” she looks at Akiyama with uncertainty, as you position yourself to remain unseen behind the broad volume of the fashion designer’s hair.

“Good morning, my name is Yukiko Akiyama, pleased to meet you,” she offers a short and sudden bow and you crouch and turn your torso behind her to keep out of sight from Saori’s mother, “I’m a friend of your daughter, Saori, and I was just wanted to check up on her after she failed to show up for a meeting yesterday,”

She stares at Akiyama as if looking at a ghost.

“You, you’re real?” the motherly Umeki queries in slight disbelief, “I wasn’t entirely sure if Saori-chan was making it up about all the new friends she had been making or the project she was doing with you!”

From behind her, as you again rise, you cannot see Akiyama’s expression but somehow you imagine it is incredibly flat.

“I’m flattered you’d think me a grandiose figment,” she explains, “but, is she in and is everything alright?”

She frowns.

“My daughter has locked herself in her room. She does this from time to time and I don’t know what set her off...she isn’t opening for me but you’re welcome to try,” she smiles and gestures in welcome for the girl to follow her in.
>>
>>4926260

Yukiko nods and follows into the home, sliding off her shoes and following Umeki-san up the stairs. Ducking in behind her and flattening against before she can turn to close the door, you wait to add your shoes to the row as well before following them up.

“Saori-chan,” her mother calls from in front of a very plain door, “Your friend came to check up on you,”

Beyond is the sound of stumbling and a thud against the door, after it shakes a moment you hear a somewhat hoarse voice call from beyond.

“Did she bring snacks?”

“I most certainly did not!” responds Akiyama as she squares up against the door, “I wanted to see if you were okay and what madness has you locking yourself away!”

There is silence for a moment, something clicks, and then is clicked back.

“Akiyama-san? I was expecting Chiba-san,” Saori’s voice says through the muffle of the door before it sounds with disappointment, “...and snacks,”

“I’ll just leave the two of you to talk,” Saori’s mother says with a sigh and a smile before turning to face you where you stand literally beside them on her way back to the stairs.

She pauses to look at you, you wave at her with a smile and point to the bag and mouth ‘snacks’. She is dubious for a moment and then...

“Three of you,” she corrects herself and passes you by.

“Expected or not you owe me more of an explanation than your excuse after the fact,” the Zodiac student growls and frowns, “I was worried something happened to you and then to learn you blew me off to play videogames, I felt insulted and concerned that you’d do something like...how long have you been in there?”

Saori doesn’t respond, but the door shifts as though she was no longer putting her weight against it.

Yukiko Akiyama’s frown deepens, it is decidedly one of concern and disappointment.

“Yeah, I was worried about her too,” you explain and startle the girl so off balance she almost falls over reacting to your presence and proximity before offering to deescalate her mood with a disarming cadence she doubtlessly finds familiar as you raise the bag of snacks, “Like, hi. I brought the key to admission if you want to more directly check on her together?”

Straightening herself out she regards you, searching a bit for familiarity.

“Chiba-san I presume?” she ventures while her eyes scrutinize first you, before you notice she is taken instead by your casual workout clothes.

“Mikage Chiba,” you smile and can’t help yourself; you may as well let Yukiko know she knows you if you’re going to go into what you hope is a friendly shenanigan at full power...and of the two options you have for that you’d prefer she know you in sunshine rather than darkness, “It's totally cool to see you again Akiyama-san,”
>>
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>>4926263

Recognition takes her in full, and fully recomposed she nods; stepping out of the way to allow you access to the door. She doesn’t verbally acknowledge the connection you suspect she’s made, but it's been made obvious all the same as she ascents to your methodology.

“Saori-chan, I brought snacks,” you explain.

Muffled sounds, things being knocked over, a thud against the door and a hastey series of clicks occur before the door shoots open into a darkened space save for the light from a burning screen. You drag Akiyama behind you in her sudden protest as the door snaps shut again.

For her part Saori has hardly noticed the extra entrant as you hand off the snack bag to her and she hurriedly burrows into it.

“Yes yes yes, thank you Mikage-chan. You are an absolute life saver,” your eyes need no time to adjust as somehow your friend looks more raggedy, and greasier than she did when she was literally turned into a monster.

At least she isn’t pale, actually she looks rather flushed. The room is thick with a mountain breeze sort of air freshener scent.

“Whoa,” you just take all of that in with a mild shock.

Akiyama is busy adjusting to the space, and slowly takes in both Saori’s state and the general mess and state of her room; not that she can clearly see titles and book covers as the TV sits in a pause of some risque fan servicey fight show or another.

Clothes strewn about messily. General disarray. And Saori’s state gives Yukiko Akiyama a brief shudder.

“I didn’t know what I was expecting, but not this,” she says with awe and worry and picks up a tipped over dried out half eaten cup of instant ramen, “Umeki-san, what are you doing to yourself?”

The girl in question finally notices that it wasn’t just you who crossed the threshold.

“Uh...playing otome games and watching anime until I pass out?” she says like it’s the most natural thing in the world before squaring her shoulders and speaking with diction and conviction, “I have need to recalibrate myself...I’ve been getting too normal,”

“Well, Chiba-san, it seems we’ve arrived just in time. Umeki-san we need to get you cleaned up and out of this dark cavern,” she exclaims and looks to you for allyship in what she has decided to be in Saori’s best interest.

“Not to rain on the parade, Akiyama-san, but I came here unsure if I was just dropping off snacks or playing hooky and joining her for the day,” you explain calmly and sit down sharply on the floor as Saori-chan opens one of the bottles of oolong tea and begins just chugging it.

The fashionable girl stares at the two of you, at a loss for words.

“Do you want to join us, so you can get a better idea about what makes Saori-chan tick, and maybe broaden your horizons for future inspiration?” you offer the girl with a sinister intent.
>>
>>4926265

She is quiet for a moment, before muttering about how the others would chide her for not being willing to expand her horizons, before sighing.

“Very well, I’m calling out of classes for the day as it relates to my work study,” she declares and takes out her phone...and a brush, “but if I’m going to be part of this midday sleep over I’m at least fixing what she’s done to her hair,”

“Seems fair,” you reason.

Saori Umeki pulls the empty tea bottle away from her face with a satisfied gasp before looking between Akiyama and yourself.

“What’s done to what now?” she questions nervously.

“Akiyama-san has agreed to let us expose her to the great culture she’s been missing out on,” you explain, “but she also wants to brush your hair,”

The former invisible girl is uncertain for but a moment, a similar dubious expression on her features that her mother wore briefly for you, before she relaxes and to her shock burps from the impressive amount of tea she managed to one shot.

“Ugh, excuse me...uh, sure, brush away,” she reasons and hurriedly clears a pile of books and other items, some of which you are thankful Akiyama can’t clearly perceive in the poor light of the room as of yet, from the edge of her bed and sits at the foot so Akiyama can sit there and brush her hair, “I’m just gonna start a new game of something so we can all watch together then...hmmm or watch something?”

Her eyes meet yours conspiratorially, and even the returned bags under her eyes can not dampen the sudden sparkle they hold.

You’ve a captive audience...how do you want to play this?

How traumatic are you about to make this for Akiyama?
>You aren’t trying to traumatize her, go mainstream appeal
>You want her a little uncomfortable perhaps, but still engaged
>You want to expose her to something questionable off the bat
>Something slow burn to acclimate her to what extremes you and Saori can easily tank
>...throw her into the deep end and see if she can swim
>>
>>4926266
>You aren’t trying to traumatize her, go mainstream appeal
Saori has a new friend, let’s not drive her off.
>>
>>4926266
>>Something slow burn to acclimate her to what extremes you and Saori can easily tank

Don't want to drive her off, and expanding Saori's friendship with Akiyama beyond just clothes seems like a good thing.
>>
Bet Akiyama will surprise them with being more aware of this stuff than they might guess.
Popular fashion designer, and branching into ganguro and related scenes for inspiration? She's probably seen some wild stuff just trying to do research.
>>
>>4926266
>>You want her a little uncomfortable perhaps, but still engaged
>>
>>4926266
>You want her a little uncomfortable perhaps, but still engaged
>>
>>4926266
>>Something slow burn to acclimate her to what extremes you and Saori can easily tank
Utena maybe? I dunno, I'm not an anime expert, but I hear it gets pretty damn weird. And she'd probably like the aesthetics...or hate them. Artists.
>>
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>>4926728
Perhaps.
Though sharing Kunihiko Ikuhara between them might be too close to home.
>>
>>4927570
>>
>>4927574
>>
>>4927576
>>
>>4927577
>>
Well, whatever we decide to watch it needs to be something with distinctive and fetching outfits. That would be the way to corrupt our little fashionista.
>>
>>4927581
I'm half-expecting her to already be corrupted.
>>
Saori scrambles about the room and collects a number of disc cases both in clear plastic and collectors steel boxes and spreads them between the two of you, brow furrowed in concentration. With a nod between the two of you you begin debating the merits of each.

“No, that is the absolute deep end,” you consider about a direct to video release project Saori presents that you vaguely want to express an interest in later...though perhaps a different part of you.

“Fair, if that’s too far then what about the opposite end of the spectrum?” she questions sliding the disc away and presenting perhaps the tamest and most wholesome Otome style game to exist in the world, that is granted a few years old and has probably been in her collection since she was a kid.

“Oh, I remember playing that when I was little,” Akiyama observes and plucks it up out of Saori’s hands, “Wow, this is still in such good condition, and the booklet insert isn’t frayed or faded,”

“Yeah...too mainstream for our purposes,” you muse to yourself.

“Of course not...okay so you’ve played a game in the style,” she considers and pushes a few shows out of the way and to the side.

Saori Umeki is concentrated for a moment, seeking a balance between the two. Something that might hold Yukiko Akiyama’s attention and, as decided in a quiet telepathic back and forth between the two of you, would be slow burn toward more risque and extreme concepts on the back end.

“Okay, this one is about Demon Hunters and Huntresses during the Meiji Restoration amid international intrigue and a heavy handed narrative of both the benefit and the cost of the influx of foreign ideas and ideals into a society trying to be seen as a peer to the western powers,” Saori unfolds on of the steel collectors sets, “It’s got a hybrid otome rpg or the main route anime adaptation,”

There is a pause as she presents it to Akiyama.

“Hmmm, I quite like these costume designs. But if this is set during the restoration era, that outfit’s base is more 1700’s French,” she considers.

“She’s a vampire,” Saori blurts out, “WAIT! That’s a spoiler! Forget I said that!”

“...she has fangs and pointed ears,” Akiyama sighs and hands the box back to Saori and then takes a position behind where she sits on the floor but on the bed with the brush in hand, “Play the game, if its a relationship sim then we can all participate in the choices, right?”

“Sounds like a plan!” you declare and open some of the other snacks, before shooting a few choice texts out to make sure no one panics at your absence and decide to again go rogue with your day.

Yesterday was hard, you’re sure everyone will be understanding.
>>
>>4931635
Amid the opening cinematic as Saori pulls the controller into her hands, Yukiko Akiyama begins brushing her hair.

Time rolls on. Decisions are made. Characters are emotionally invested in. A mid boss fight is flubbed twice in a row. And, as relationship scores hit certain apexes and the game begins its slow turn into something steamy. You wait for the shocked reaction very bemused.

Only, it doesn’t quite come whence the cusp of supertext explicit action turns.

“Hmmm...this is a tough decision, do we egg on their monstrous transformation and see what they do to us, appeal to their remaining sense of humanity, or just pounce them in the throws of this between state?” the fashion prodigy considers in an earnest if analytical way.

By this point the three of you have burned through most of the snacks, and it is a little past lunch time.

“That’s really the question. Be attacked. Be romantic. Or take initiative and agency,” Saori nods sagely, “This choice will change the entire tone of the route...though with outcomes based on previous choices...shit did we already give them a taste of our blood?!”

“Yes we did...you know classic romantic and horror literature has always made a big deal of marking vampires and their act of consumption as a metaphor for the taboos of sexuality in their time so I think if we panic and it eggs them into attacking us it might not be an end flag,” Akiyama finishes braiding some of Saori’s hair.

Saori snickers at the girl’s assessment, or the logic she explained behind it, and glances at you before performing a more modern cinematic vampire hiss in your direction before, in a quite relaxed and self amused manner laughing hysterically to herself. Perhaps you’re grousing at that before she stops; the outburst in its entirety leaves Aki a touch confusedi.

“Sorry, inside joke. You had to be there,” she sheepishly offers to her before turning back to you, “...sorry,”

“Whatever,” you sigh before moving in to settle your curiosity, “Akiyama-san I’m surprised. I would have thought this kind of scenario would have been more scandalizing to you,”

“I aspire for the fashion industry and go to an all girls school, Chiba-san,” she scoffs haughtily and flips her hair, “for those and for other circumstances I’ve seen my fair share of both terrible and beautiful things,”

That hangs in the air for a moment.

“Besides, I’ve come to know Umeki-san’s odd predilections and assumptions,” she explains, “I was honestly braced for much worse,”

“I mean, we can totally do worse,” Saori offers, hoovering her fingers above the game buttons while casting her eyes under the skirt of her bed.

“Well, I’m both glad I was right but lament the end of my ignorance,” the driven creative rolls her eyes after glancing down to the bed on which she sits.

“It is the risk we both took,” you sigh, “Though we do seem to have you hooked on this one at least,”
>>
>>4931637
“Oh, entirely. I’ll admit a fascination and curiosity about some of the other routes, the conflict between Dragons was particularly dashing,” she muses to herself, “Though if I’m to do a delve on my own it’ll need to be after my upcoming shows,”

What to do
>Be frustrated that you’re almost out of snacks
>needle Saori about what she meant by that laughter
>Back to this game full force, you’re invested and want to see where it goes
>Broach the topic of your fashion circle leader’s troubles to Akiyama
>j’accuse them both of being monsterfuckers and pack it in, you’ve much to do
>Steal a peak beneath Saori’s bed, turn about for when she took a look at your stash
>write in
>>
>>4931639
>Broach the topic of your fashion circle leader’s troubles to Akiyama
Though avoid bringing her real name in without permission.
>Steal a peak beneath Saori’s bed, turn about for when she took a look at your stash
Ninja peek for future reference, don't have to derail conversation.

>write-in
Put out feelers via text, see if we can pull more friends in to surprise Umeki's mother with being real, and to deliver more snacks.
>>
>>4931639
>>Back to this game full force, you’re invested and want to see where it goes
>>Steal a peak beneath Saori’s bed, turn about for when she took a look at your stash

plus this >>4931698 write-in
>>
>>4931639
>Broach the topic of your fashion circle leader’s troubles to Akiyama
>Back to this game full force, you’re invested and want to see where it goes
>>
>>4931639
Yay, update!

Anyone recognize the game, or is it something made up?

>>4931698
Let's go with this. Maybe go with a joking accusation of them being monsterfuckers too.
>>
We still playig or is the tread dead?
>>
>>4943208
That's up to Artemis I guess. Just keep it open in a tab and check it every once in a while, that's what I do. Or follow him on Twitter.
>>
>>4943208
Artemis has a tendency do ignore his quest threads for significant time without notice while posting non quest related stuff on his dedicated quest twitter account despite having a another twitter account for non quest stuff
>>
Rolled 7, 9, 16 = 32 (3d20)