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You are Nakashiri Koharu, co-Lieutenant of the 5th Division, but also the descendant of the Tamaki line, from which you’ve inherited the sealed souls of Celaris and Zilya. As if there’s not enough conspiracies already, another one has popped up with the death of Kameko as she had refused to set you up for the Tenjiso. A joint operation with the Western Temple almost ended up in disaster, but with some mind alteration its chief priest (and your great-x-grandfather) has become an ally, although an unreliable one.

Now you’re on your way to the Southern Temple lead by the gūji Usami Fusakage. On the official records you are visiting to talk about further joint operations and to build up trust between the Gotei 13 and the Tenjiso temples. Unofficially, you are looking for further leads to figure out who is out to get you. Usami-gūji had lead the investigation into the Wailing Forest incident before your arrancars had settled there and the one to give Nijo-gūji the reiatsu samples.

Perhaps he is the one behind Kameko’s death; perhaps not. You’re going there to find out. This time, there should not be any liabilities around.

South Rukongai isn’t that different from the other districts, but the deeper you go, some differences start appearing. For one, the terrain gets more rugged and mountains dot the landscape. You don’t go further than the 48th District, where the Tenjiso Temple is located, but you see on the horizon even more mountains.

The Southern Temple, Natentera, is very much like its western counterpart in style, but instead of a single building rising in height towards the center, it’s in an L shape with three pagoda-like towers and a large courtyard. Behind it, a steep mountain rises up.

“Welcome, Nakashiri-fukutaichō.” A group of priests bow at your arrival, with the one at the center speaking. “We hope your journey has been without problems.”

“It has been pleasant indeed, Usami-gūji. I hope I did not make you wait.”

>1/2
>>
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Despite the formalities and pleasant words, Usami Fusakage looks like his expression is constantly sour. His glasses hide some edges of his eyes, but dear Reiō he doesn’t know how to smile. His dark hair is bound behind his back into a narrow ponytail, yet some hairs dangle in front of his vision.

A feast is held in honor of your visit and you get a good look at the priests. Unlike the fresh, well-kept, and soft-skinned priests of the Western temple, these guys look like they’ve seen a lot of action. Scars and bruises are common occurrences on their faces, and there’s a fair share of amputees as well. Even their uniforms are more practical, featuring less moving fabric that could get in their way.

“Our priests are no strangers to battle,” Usami says, noticing your observation, despite your subtlety. “They may look ugly, but they know how to handle themselves.”

“I can very much see that. I understand that unlike the other temples, you’ve developed offensive techniques as well?”

“Yes. Defensive barriers will only get you that far, and it’s completely infeasible to erect barriers in every corner of the Rukongai.” His glasses look like they’re about to fall off. You don’t know why it bothers you so much that he isn’t fixing them back up. “So, Nakshiri-fukutaichō, you said in your letter you’d like to investigate future collaboration possibilities?”

You nod. “I think it would be beneficial for both parties. Especially since South Rukongai is the only one without a Gotei 13 fort.”

“And? Did you perhaps already have some ideas in mind?”

>2/2

>”I believe joint operations to heavily cull hollow activity once in a while will work.”
>”I think building up a constant shinigami presence nearby will achieve the best results in the long run.”
>”Actually, no. That’s why I’m here. To figure out realistic possibilities.”
>Other?
>>
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Welcome to a new thread of Advent Soul Quest!

>What is this?
A quest based on the setting of Bleach. Deviation from canon depends on the MC’s influence, and some other additions are to be expected as well.
>Who are we?
Nakashiri Koharu, a former high school trap, now a 3rd seat officer in the 5th Division, a pawn of the two masterminds Aizen and Urahara, host of two ancient spirits, new queen of one’s realm in Hueco Mundo.
>When are we?
Currently it is Summer 1989, ~11 years prior to the events of canon.
>Dice? Challenge?
Prompted after deciding on an action. Usually 3d10, best of 3 (Bo3), against a set DC and sometimes a crit-DC. Write-ins may affect the DC as well. If a character stat (in the char sheet) is directly related to the action, it will substitute the lowest die in rolls if it is higher (will be always explained when prompted to roll).
>Updates?
Daily updates, with long voting period times. I will strive to update in my evening, leave voting on for overnight, and prompt rolls in the morning. Sometimes if I have the proper time, I may do an extra update in the morning. My timezone is UTC+2 (winter time).
>I have questions!
Ask away and I’ll do my best to answer! You can also address questions to characters, which I’ll answer in-character!
>What do?
Have fun, vote on what feels the best, roll some dice and chill.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QmTrippy
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=advent+soul+quest
Char Sheets: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DQUOuJbOgzrjIKQLjMFxdmsQh3WIKMMFJQ8fO5-biYM/edit?usp=sharing
Social Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HXWo1bA7rplcTIJSkE850qzEE55b-W36tuL_qtT0b00/edit?usp=sharing
Character Questions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S1RrQ6icjeWSV2MIb6EUwuZjzGx0QvuFjoxB1bN_tlU/edit?usp=sharing
>>
shitty anime quest with overpowered 11 year old protagonist with 5 wives
>>
>Thread was supposed to start today, may as well see if it’s up.
>First post was 12 seconds ago.
I have never been this early before! Not that it mattered since I chewed on the prompts…

>>5219151
>”I believe joint operations to heavily cull hollow activity once in a while will work.”
>”I’m amenable to both larger and smaller ideas.”
Mostly A as a starting point, little bit of C. I assume if B were feasible, it’d already be done since that would mirror the forts we have elsewhere.

We can say we had a good experience with the Western Temple and wanted to build on that. The Southern Temple makes the most sense to cooperate with though, they’re the most active in fighting hollows and that’s a more direct use of shinigami skills. That said, there’s no doubt “reasons” for why this isn’t already happening on both sides, so may as well hear out smaller or bolder ideas that stand a better chance of shaking the status quo.

Spitballing some other ideas:
>Embed shinigami/Tenjiso teachers into units for training in different styles/arts.
>Set up a training camp for shinigami in the area, focusing on healers. Practical experience is harder to get at school.
>Have Tenjiso accompany shinigami into the real world during the regular rotations. Can be a safer post than defending here, better for people who need recovery time and can strengthen existing barriers in the living realm.

Not sure what we should be shooting for here, though his response on the last one could be informative. His response may let us change how likely he was involved with Kameko’s incident (fingers point to North Temple so far though).
>>
>>5219166
I support this
>>
>>5219151
>”Actually, no. That’s why I’m here. To figure out realistic possibilities.”
Though we have ideas, like A and B, but they might be ineffectual depending on the circumstances.
Ideally we would ask around as to what they deal with usually, if it's light sustained hollow appearances, then a constant Shinigami presence would be better, but if they appear in larger groups at regular intervals, joint operation might make more sense. Just generally prod at their inner structure to find out as much as we can.
Maybe throw in a question of whether or not other temples help them when they need assistance, see who they have ties with?
>>
>>5219151
>”I believe joint operations to heavily cull hollow activity once in a while will work.”
>”Though I am open for o other suggestions”
It’s odd that this is the only part of Rukongai without Shinigami around, wouldn’t be surprised if it was due to it not having much resources to offer the upper crust. No wonder Usami seems pissed that someone finally showed up
>>
>>5219293
That'd make sense. Supposedly the Tenjiso and nobility are fairly close, so if the Southern Temple didn't have much use (or were uncooperative) then Central would withhold shinigami from their sector.
>>
>>5219151
I’ll support >>5219166
>>
>>5219153
So true!
>>5219166
+1
>>
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>>5219166
>>5219167
>>5219220
>>5219293
>>5219510
>>5219756
So leaning on culling but open to other options. Good answer
>Writing
>>
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“I have some ideas, yes, but my current understanding of the situation here is limited. Based on the recent success with the Western Temple, I believe joint operations to heavily cull hollow activity once in a while could work, but I’m amenable to both larger and smaller ideas.”

Usami raises his eyebrow slightly, only missing a surprise whistle. “Not a bad answer. Not bad at all. At least you’re not as ignorant and idealistic as the last shinigami we had.”

“The last shinigami?”

“Yeah. You’re not the first one to approach our temple. Though, that was many years ago.”

“And, if I may ask, what was his proposal?”

“Make a shinigami fort.”

The whole hall goes silent for a moment, and laughter erupts. You remain unfazed, save for a light raise of an eyebrow.

“I know a bit of Tenjiso history, but it’s that bad, huh?”

“Ask the 7th Division about that next time you see them. But sure, I can tell you some more. But first-” The conversation halts as feeding time is over, and the priests all use hot water and a sponge-like fruit to thoroughly clean their bowls and eat those. Nothing goes to waste, not a single bit. You do your best to follow their example. After that, he takes you outside to the courtyard, from where you take a small path that’s leading to behind the temple. When you inquire where you’re going, he points up.

“Up that mountain. We’ll talk on the way there.”

“Right, that should be sim-”

“No spiritual abilities allowed, by the way. Including shunpo.”

“W-What?”

“You heard me right, fukutaichō-dono. Surely a small physical exercise is of no problem to you? Every priest climbs up there once a day.”

Shit. Maybe you should've done some more physical exercise beforehand..

>Roll 3d10, Bo3, DC 19, crit 25, Physical (4) may replace lowest die
>>
Rolled 6, 9, 9 = 24 (3d10)

>>5220129
Finally Koharu gets to do a conventional exercise
>>
Rolled 6, 8, 6 = 20 (3d10)

>>5220129
>>
Rolled 10, 3, 1 = 14 (3d10)

>>5220129
>>
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>>5220133
>24
>>5220136
>20
>>5220208
>14(17)
Koharu actually manages to climb the mountain. Whaddoyaknow
>Writing
>Update will arrive tomorrow

Also
>1 off crit
>>
>>5220219
We do still have the +1, don’t we? Not sure if it should be used here or not, stakes aren’t exactly high.
>>
>>5220222
Yeah I’d rather save the +1 for something more dangerous
>>
You start making the ascent. At first you struggle, since you’ve grown to rely so much on the Zankensoki quaternity, but with time and steady breathing, you adjust to the increasing pace of Usami. He looks both surprised but pleased. You on the other hand are baffled by how he can do this barefoot.

On the way you talk mostly about small things: the priests' routines, which more and more resemble that of monks; the rough terrain of the South Rukongai, and especially the caves that the mountains house.

“It’s no surprise that hollows prefer them, especially those higher up and hard to get to.”

“Which is why you climb this mountain every day?”

“Correct. How is Nijo-san by the way?”

“He’s quite fine. Content since the training went so well.” You stay vague with the story, but throw in some convenient details here and there to make it believable. “Very serious when it comes to faith.”

“Yes, well, he’s quite diligent, always has been.”

“The temple and the tenjiso here feel more calm and lenient on faith duties, if you forgive me for comparing. You feel more like Buddhist monks.”

“You’re not wrong,” he laughs. “Do you think faith can be practiced if you’re dead?”

“N-No?”

“Yeah, I think so too. That’s why our priority is dealing with hollows. Taking care of the shrines and giving offerings comes after we’ve fed our priests and made sure the districts don’t die of starvation.”

You manage to get to the top fortunately, despite the sweating and heavy breathing. You’ll definitely need to wash your uniform, but thankfully you don’t smell bad.

“Here we are. The glorious South Rukongai.”

>1/2
>>
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You start making the ascent. At first you struggle, since you’ve grown to rely so much on the Zankensoki quaternity, but with time and steady breathing, you adjust to the increasing pace of Usami. He looks both surprised but pleased. You on the other hand are baffled by how he can do this barefoot.

On the way you talk mostly about small things: the priests' routines, which more and more resemble that of monks; the rough terrain of the South Rukongai, and especially the caves that the mountains house.

“It’s no surprise that hollows prefer them, especially those higher up and hard to get to.”

“Which is why you climb this mountain every day?”

“Correct. How is Nijo-san by the way?”

“He’s quite fine. Content since the training went so well.” You stay vague with the story, but throw in some convenient details here and there to make it believable. “Very serious when it comes to faith.”

“Yes, well, he’s quite diligent, always has been.”

“The temple and the tenjiso here feel more calm and lenient on faith duties, if you forgive me for comparing. You feel more like Buddhist monks.”

“You’re not wrong,” he laughs. “Do you think faith can be practiced if you’re dead?”

“N-No?”

“Yeah, I think so too. That’s why our priority is dealing with hollows. Taking care of the shrines and giving offerings comes after we’ve fed our priests and made sure the districts don’t die of starvation.”

You manage to get to the top fortunately, despite the sweating and heavy breathing. You’ll definitely need to wash your uniform, but thankfully you don’t smell bad.

“Here we are. The glorious South Rukongai.”

>1/2
>>
You walk beside Usami, and watch the horizon. If you’ve learned anything of geography, it’s that mountains usually form in ranges, seldom in solitary peaks. Yet what you see before you is exactly the inverse. Individual, steep mountains fill the horizon and very little water is anywhere to be seen. For that matter, the absence of farmland stands out clearly even though you saw them in the lower numbered districts.

“I see, this does explain things. I had my suspicions based on your diet choice, but thought it was perhaps a religious thing.”

“Hooh?”

“Might I also presume that you do not have the best relations with the noble families?”

Usami crosses his arms and turns to face you. “You’re quite peculiar for a noble retainer. But then again, your roots are elsewhere.”

“You know of me?” Of course he does, but it never hurts to ask.

“Of course. Your appearance in Soul Society shook us quite a bit.”

“Where else would I go after dying?” You raise an eyebrow, turning your body to face him as well now.

“What I meant is that your death was quite sudden.”

>2/2

>”Then how do you feel about the death of my caretaker, Kameko-miko, which too, was quite sudden?”
>”Then you know about the two spirits within me. Well? Will you grant me your honest thoughts?”
>”Let’s focus on the business at hand. How have you been dealing with hollows so far?”
>Other?
>>
>>5221244
>>”Let’s focus on the business at hand. How have you been dealing with hollows so far?”
Ah shit this bitch been paying attention
>>
>>5221297
He was the one who tipped off Yasutake about us after the first Wailing Forest incident. He’s def paying attention.
>>5221244
Eh, l like being unpredictable.
>What do you think I want? In general, beyond this visit.
Should inform us of what he thinks about our spirit situation, and lets us directly respond to his thoughts with our own. Assuming he’s blunt enough that we trust his honesty.

If he returns the question after we respond, I’d say something along the lines of
>Security
since he was going to have us ganked when we let Zilya train Lahela. Much as I don’t like that, I can’t entirely fault him for it.

Best way to understand whether someone is a threat or not is to understand what they’re driving for. Cuts both ways here.
>>
>>5221367
Supporting
>>
>>5221244
>”Let’s focus on the business at hand. How have you been dealing with hollows so far?”
>>
>>5221244
>Then you know about the two spirits within me. Well? Will you grant me your honest thoughts?”
>”Let’s focus on the business at hand. How have you been dealing with hollows so far?”
>>
Weeb shit not reading kys
>>
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>>5221297
>>5221367
>>5221420
>>5221422
>>5221790
Hmm, two votes for one and two for another, and one for kinda both. I'll work how I can with this
>Writing

I got kitchen duty today at student organization evening today, but hopefully I'll get home in a decent time to finish writing the update
>>
Okay I just got home and I don't think I have it in me to write now, so tomorrow it'll have to be. Apologies!
>>
>>5222219
apology thirst trap pic
>>
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“I assure you it was not my intention to die either. Yet, here I am.”

“Yet here you are.”

“And?”

“And what?”

“What do you think I want? Beyond the visit.” You keep your eyes locked to his, refusing to blink.

“Hooh?” He raises an eyebrow. “Now whatever else could you want, fukutaichō-dono, other than cooperation between our two dear factions? Surely a shinigami only wants what the Gotei 13 requires of them?”

“Can you say the same about all tenjiso?”

He lets out a single chuckle. “You have a point there. Life and afterlife aren’t that easy to navigate unfortunately. Yes, I know you’re looking for information, but so am I. There are still too many unknowns… including you.”

You swallow and break off your gaze towards the mountain-decorated horizon. “...Let’s focus on the business at hand then first. How have you been dealing with hollows so far?”

“Methodically. They hide in the caves and appear at night. We have a method of tracking them, but it’s inefficient. I hate to admit it but the hollows have become smarter. They notice when we approach and flee to different caves. We don’t have enough fast tenjiso to cover all of their hiding holes, and by night we’re spread thin to protect what districts we can. Especially those that are able to produce food.”

“Hmm, if that’s the case, periodic culling may indeed be the best choice. I don’t know about the others, but my Captain surely won’t object to this idea. We have enough idlers as it is,” you say as your brow twitches. The less time you give those morons at NKFC to concoct stupidities, the better. “How are you fighting them?”

“Martial arts for the most part, not too dissimilar to your hakuda. If we have enough tenjiso at hand, contracting barriers are our weapon of choice.”

“Contracting.. barriers?”

He nods. “Very effective if there are many hollows close to each other. But… we’ve also been developing a newer technique, based on my analysis of a certain forest incident. Perhaps you’d like to see?”

Your heart sinks, but you refuse to feed his smug expression.

“Perhaps I do.”

>1/3
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The way down is even more treacherous than when going up. Rockslides are common if you get your footing wrong by a centimeter, but thankfully if you do fall you have your fail-saves.

At the courtyard you get to see the training routine of these tenjiso in the martial art that Usami had mentioned. Their hand motions look like they use them to cut instead of crush. Clearly, unlike hakuda, this style mimics swordsmanship but for hands, and defense as if using tonfa.

“This way,” Usami says and motions you to enter the temple. Leaving your footwear behind, you descend into floors below the ground.

“Wow, I didn’t realize this place is so vast downwards.”

“A relic from the past when the temple was partially destroyed.”

Finally, you arrive in front of large, metallic doors, something that feels very out of place at a temple like this. Two tenjiso stand in front of it and bow as the two of you approach. There’s an ominous feel to this, fueled by the fact that you can’t sense what’s behind those doors at all due to a barrier.

“This is where we develop and test our techniques.”

“That means..”

“Yes, we have hollows contained in there. Our barriers happen to block their access to the Garganta, so catching one and transporting it isn’t that hard.”

He nods to the priests, who proceed to split the barrier and activate the door opening mechanism. The ground rumbles a bit, and now you can feel the thick hollow reiatsu wash over you. The distressing part though is that it’s not just their presence that you sense, but also distress. What’s happening inside is torture for the hollows.

>2/3
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He leads you inside. This place is lit by an eye-straining blue light that seems to penetrate every corner of this vast chamber. Dozens of hollows lie in metallic cages wrapped in yellow barriers. You can’t say you’ve seen such unmoving hollows before where you’re not sure if they’re even conscious. There are tenjiso here that are both trying out new techniques, and teaching them too less experienced priests.

“Welcome to our research department. I’m sure you must be impressed.”

The image of those hollows you saw with Aizen in China flashes in your mind, as do images from the Wailing Forest, Azulwald, and Lazuta Yami. You know there is a human mind in each hollow in here. Yet your role as a shinigami forbids you from acknowledging that, and you bet Usami knows this very well too.

“It must’ve taken a lot of trial and error to make this work,” you say, hiding your mixed feelings.

“Yeah. We’ve had accidents, but barriers are our specialty. Now then…”

Usami leads you to one cage, where there is a large hollow. It hisses as it sees you approach.

“Come… to play… again?”

“That I did. You’re our best specimen so far, how can I not return when you give me such good results?”

“Tsch…” You see him turn to look at you, despite not seeing his eyes behind that mask. “Finally… bring me… food?”

“No, I wouldn’t dream of disrupting your fasting.”

“What is the meaning of this?” you ask.

“You mean this thing? Nothing more than a hollow. Once he’s out of use he’ll be disposed of and purified. Well then, you wanted to see our technique.” Usami raises his hand slightly, palm pointing upwards, and begins chanting.

“Undying faith, heed the call of justice. Shackle the sins of the glutton and unleash thy fury! Tendō: Shinreika!”

>3/3

>Roll 3d10, Bo3, DC 24, crit 28, Mental (8) may replace lowest die
>>
Rolled 1, 4, 2 = 7 (3d10)

>>5222904
>>
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>>5222312
There. Happy?
>>
Rolled 6, 9, 1 = 16 (3d10)

>>5222904
>>
Rolled 4, 6, 1 = 11 (3d10)

>>5222904
Unless this is the roll that saves us, we'll need that bonus
>>
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>>5222910
>7(14)
>>5222938
>16(23)
>>5222946
>11(18)
Well, it looks like a fail, unless you want to use that +1. I'll let you guys think about it overnight and call it tomorrow then. Won't spoil you what this will affect, muhahaha
>>
>>5223117
I'll vote for using the +1.

He mentioned that this was devised after the "forest incident". It has to somehow be based on what Zilya did out there, and that doesn't conjure good images in my brain.
>>
>>5223117
I vote for using the +1 as well
>>
>>5223117
I'll vote for using the +1 as well
>>
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>>5223117
These anons >>5223188 >>5223233 >>5223240 wish to see my +1 hung by its entrails and its corpse paraded through the city, but ultimately the terms of its execution is up to me.
>>
>>5223449
Do it drawfag, don’t be a fag and be a fren
>>
It seems like you wanna use it and sketchanon isn't clear on yay or nay, so we'll go with using it to pass that roll.
Good thing you did, that could've been a pretty big mishap if you hadn't
>Writing
>>
>>5223790
Yeah it's fine, although I'm not sure what the roll is even for since it appears we're just watching a demonstration lmao.
>>
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“W-What the hell- I’m… I’m starting to feel REAL good!”

A sharp pain pierces your head as you hear Zilya’s voice. The hollow’s screams hide your own wince, before you push yourself to remain calm. This technique, it’s almost like hanran, except all it does is drive the target with intense mental torment. Worst of it all, it affects Zilya too, who is losing her rationality and starting to rampage within your mindscape.

“Zil, you okay?! Snap out of it!” you say inside your mind.

“I’ll keep her under control, Koharu. Focus on the present.”

“Thanks Cel, I owe you one.”

Despite the fog in your brain, you continue to watch as Usami focuses the technique on the hollow, who is clawing at his head, going as far as damaging his mask. You don’t know how he was able to create such a technique from his analysis of the Wailing Forest incident, but you know that this is incredibly dangerous. Primarily to you, since it can affect you like this, but also the fact that if Hanran can be extended to non-hollows, what’s to say this technique isn’t the same? Granted, this is very effective against hollows, but what’s happening right now is far from humane.

“I see,” you say after a slight cough and some blinking. “This is… revolutionary.”

Finally, he stops the technique. The hollow slumps onto the ground, unmoving, just like those hollows you saw in other cages who presumably faced this same treatment. The pain in your head subsides, but the daze still remains.

“It is still a prototype,” he says as he turns to face you. “An incomplete technique. But useful enough to me taught to the other priests.”

“Y-Yeah.”

“Hmm? Are you feeling unwell, fukutaichō-dono?”

“Well, this is a lot to take in, and I think my journey coupled with mountain climbing has me tired.”

“Well then, I’ll have you escorted to your room then,” Usami says and smiles. “Please rest well. We shall continue tomorrow.”
>>
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And that's it for this part. Regarding the previous use of +1, I realized that I should've written more in the update to point at what exactly the roll is for. So since this was a mistake on my part, sketchanon gets to keep that +1 in reserve. Lesson learned for me

Next update will have to wait for at least a week though. I need to get some university stuff done and wrapped up before my work begins so I have everything I need to graduate minus my thesis. Tried doing it last week but failed miserably. If I get things done, then we'll continue on the monday after next one. I'll keep you guys posted!

Any questions, comments, etc I'll address as always, and if I get a nice moment of quiet and inspiration I'll write something to compensate for this wait. Hope y'all enjoyed this all
>>
>>5224098
Seems like Usami is disappointed the spell didn't seem to affect us
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>>5224104
Hope your graduation stuff goes well. BTL?
>>5225018
Yeah I’m assuming a fail (if this wasn’t a fail) would have been us succumbing to their bootleg hanran. Though Zilya’s reaction is worth noting, as it seemed to maybe power her up but makes her go wild.
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>>5226236
Thanks, I hope so too. This is mostly getting everything in order for my degree so that when I do my thesis, I can graduate the moment I finish it.
>BTL
7. If you'd have failed that one, Zilya's rampage would've partially taken you over and you'd have ended up rampaging a bit too. Enough to show things that shouldn't be shown, setting you up for blackmail too. Fortunately that fate was avoided
>>
>>5224104
I’m actually okay with the occasional “oh shit, surprise roll out of nowhere” happening. It should be used sparingly, no one likes it if they don’t take something seriously and find out they should have.

But life is like that too, so I figure it’s just one of those realism vs. enjoyment things you have to balance.
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OMAKE: The Egg Hunt

For anyone serving in the Gotei 13, they know that their duties as shinigami are incredibly important and tough. Most however, will agree that about 99% of the time, it is rather dull. Especially if you are not on assignment.

Such is the case in the 5th Division as well, and its Captain knows well that without enough stimulation, soldiers become restless and start causing trouble. Countermeasures for such things exist however, and being the genius he is, one of them in particular is a preemptive one: mandatory monthly recreational activities.

Organised by none other than yours truly, the Lieutenant of the 5th Division. Unfortunately, that also includes you on top of Momo-chan now.

“Koharu-chan! I’m so excited!”

“Y-Yeah?” You scratch your cheek as you feel a bit lost.

“Oh don’t be so nervous, it’s just a bit of fun! I’m sure this will go suuuuper well even if it’s your first time!”

“Well, if you say so..” Well, perhaps this isn’t that bad. You can always try to think like Akane. She always came up with fun things to do after school.

“Sword-fighting competition… no, we had that last month. Oh I know, bucket carrying!”

You listen to a bunch of… frankly, quite boring ideas. It’s like everything is focused on training despite needing to be an off-work activity. You look up at the ceiling of Momo’s room and think. Wait, wasn’t there once this foreign tradition that kind of made its way to Japan? Something about bunnies, chocolate eggs, hiding them and then looking?

“How about an egg hunt?”

Momo listens to your idea. Her confusion turns into a childish glee as she practically jumps up and down in excitement. “Yes, yes! And-and-and… we could be the bunnies! Not only they search for the eggs, but they will try to catch us!”

“W-Wait a min-”

“And-and-and… I know! Anyone who catches us gets a personal wish from us!”

“M-Momo-chan, I don't think-”

“Yes, this will be the most wonderful mandatory monthly recreational activity EVER!”

>1/5
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You don’t know how it came to this.

Perhaps it’s something about that child inside Momo that you couldn’t bear to upset, but here you are. With a bunny ears accessory on your head, a large bunny fluffy tail attached to the back of your uniform, and a basket filled with chocolate eggs.

For some reason, the gathered shinigami look a lot happier than during the other monthly activities from before. Or perhaps you’re just imagining it.

“Dear shinigami of the 5th Division! Please, welcome to the Egg Hunt!”

The two of you explain. The seated officers will be tasked with hiding chocolate eggs across the division grounds. Finders, keepers; losers weepers. On top of that, anyone who manages to grab a bunny’s tail (that is, Momo’s or yours), is entitled to a personal request from said bunny, on top of getting chocolate eggs from the basket. It doesn’t help that those tails act as reiatsu beacons so even the shinigami who suck at sensing can pinpoint your general direction.

Shivers run up and down your spine as the crowd of shinigami goes quiet and stares at you. Their expressions tell you everything you need to know.

This is all a huge mistake.

“Ready? Set! GO!”

A firework is set off, and you start running. Fortunately your shunpo is far superior than any of the pursuing non-seated shinigami. For the first hour or so, there’s no problem, and you begin to think that you were worried for no reason. You have well enough time to hide some eggs too.

However, after that initial hour, there’s a shinigami in every corner of the Division, and you can’t escape beyond the Division’s boundaries. Not only that, but they’ve actually assumed a tactic: They’re surrounding you. From all sides.

>2/5
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“H-Hey, this should be an individual competition!” you scold them as you dodge the shinigami throwing themselves at you from what is now a sphere of shinigami around you. This wouldn’t be a predicament if you weren’t forbidden from attacking and hurting them.

“Please, understand us, Nakashiri-fukutaichō! We do this out of love!” one of them cries out as you narrowly dodge about ten of these idiots.

“This is our only chance!”

“Yes, alone we cannot achieve our dream!”

“But this way, the lucky ones shall fulfill everyone’s dreams!”

“I refuse!” you shout back. Perhaps you can’t do anything to them, but you sure as hell can use barriers. You create a square type barrier that normally faces upwards, but this time is directed directly in front of you. As you cast it, it pushes a hole open in this thick dome of shinigami, giving you a chance to escape.

“Better luck next time~!” With a wink, you don’t spare a second to shunpo out of there.

You take a deep breath as you lean against a wall. The constant use of shunpo and even kidō now is slowly tiring you out. But fortunately there shouldn’t be that long left..

“Yo.”

You jump up. How the hell did you not sense him approach?

“W-What are you doing here Hisashi-san?”

“I heard the 5th Division was having fun, so me and Junichi-kun came to look. Nice getup.”

“S-Shut up. Momo-chan is to blame.”

>3/5
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“Well?”

“Well what?”

“Aren’t you gonna run?” He grins, taking a step forward.

“H-Hey now, you’re not part of the 5th Division! You’re not eligible for the rewards!”

“Hooh? Is that a lack of confidence I hear? Or should I be flattered, that you think I will easily catch you?”

“Son of a- Ugh! Fine. But the same rules will not apply, I will use deadly force!”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way!” Hisashi cracks his knuckles. “Besides, this way those knuckleheads won’t dare come near us.”

“Ugh. Do I need to worry about Asato-san as well then? Where is he?”

“Oh don’t worry. He’s out entertaining Momo-chan.” He gives you a wink. And just like that, he flash steps behind you and extends his hands towards your backside.

“Y-You cheating bas-” you shout and roundhouse kick him in the face. An intense aerial chase and battle ensues throughout the division grounds, and thankfully the others dare not approach. Well, except one.

“TAKE MY LOVE FUKUTAICHŌ-SAM-” His speech is abruptly stopped as Hisashi plants a kick in his face.

“W-What are you doing?!”

“Well, you can’t hit them, but surely a competition means that the contestants may sabotage each other?”

You facepalm. “Ugh. Just don’t scar my dear subordinates please?”

>4/5
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It’s finally over.

The egg hunt has been concluded and you slump down on the floor, completely spent.

“Awawa my everything hurts..”

Momo-chan giggles. “Looks like you had a lot of fun!”

“H-How come you’re not tired? Did Asato-san go easy on you?”

“Asato-san? Oh, he just accompanied me and we talked. Gave him a chocolate egg too!”

Asato gives her a thumbs up from nearby. Meanwhile, you just slump your head down.

“It’s not fair..”

“Hey, cheer up Koharu-san, you did well!” Hisashi pats your head. “I did give it my absolute everything.”

“Again, it’s not fair! You cheated!”

“Nonsense, I won fair and square. Even if you did accidentally slip.”

You bang your fists and feet on the floor. “IT’S NOT FAIR!”

“Well, then, I believe I get a ‘request from the bunny’ right?” He grins from ear to ear.

You roll over on your back and stare disapprovingly at him. “Ugh. Fine. But I retain the right to refuse if you come up with something idiotic. Well? Think carefully.”

Hisashi ponders and ponders, and a shit-eating grin grows on his face. Okay, whatever it is, you will totally refuse.

“This means you technically owe me then, right? In that case, I’ll hold onto this ‘wish’ until the time is right, my little bunny.”

You get up, your face and body turning red, fumes coming out of your ears. “You. Reiō damn. Bastard!”

“H-HEY WHAT ARE YOU-”

You chase after him with your other sandal in hand. “GET BACK HERE! AND NEVER CALL ME THAT AGAIN!”

Momo and Asato meanwhile just laugh.

Ah, what fun these mandatory monthly recreational activities are. Even if they keep ending up this way.

>5/5
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Happy Easter everyone, or happy Spring Equinox for those of you that don't celebrate it. Hope you enjoy this little impromptu omake.

I'm the bearer of bad news however, as I won't be able to get back to questing the coming week. I still need to finish uni stuff before work begins, and going to the dentist has set me back a bit due to a persistent headache. Had one of my wisdom tooth drilled and filled. But fortunately it went all good

Have a good one y'all!
>>
>>5232185
Good luck with the uni stuff and hopefully the headache won't last too long
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>>5232185
Happy Easter Trippy, this was very cute.
It's no problem, take care of yourself.
The mere mention of dentists make me break out in cold sweat.
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You are Nakashiri Koharu, and the headache is keeping you awake. Not that you were going to sleep anyway, instead slipping into Jinzen to check up on your inner world.

The familiar visage of an island with an octagonal shrine on it greets you, although there are some chips here and there. Meanwhile, looking to the left, you see Zilya bound by chains to the torii gate rising from the water.

“Things are under control,” Celaris says as he puts a hand on your shoulder from behind.

“You actually bested her?”

He shakes his head. “In fact, I was going to lose. The burst of energy she got would’ve been enough to overwhelm me if she had been able to focus. However, once that influence went away, she became weak like that. Perhaps that influence merely squeezed her power instead of feeding it. Regardless, I took the liberty to restrain her.”

You raise an eyebrow as the two of you walk on top of the water, closer to Zil. “This is your chance to get rid of her, you know.”

“Surely you jest.” Celaris smirks. “We both know full well that you have the willpower now to keep us at bay. Why discard an asset?”

“How thoughtful.” You look at Cel, and then back at the hanging Zilya, sighing and frowning. “However, it appears she’s become a liability. I could’ve never imagined that others, let alone a tenjiso, could reproduce her technique. Much less that it’d affect her.”

“We were caught off-guard. I assure you, next time we’ll be prepared.”

“Can you be sure Zilya won’t use it to her advantage?”

Celaris grows silent. “I admit, there is no guarantee. However, it’s my duty. So please, leave it to me.”

“You yourself said she would have bested you if she had focused.”

He just smiles. “Trust me. The same trick won’t work twice on me.”

“There’s just one problem. This will still affect us all as a whole, and if I understand this right, we could be facing more than one user of his technique.”

The two of you watch Zilya, the wind lightly swinging her back and forth.

“I won’t deny that there won’t be difficulties, Koharu. But at the very least, their first attempt didn’t cause more trouble than this.” Celaris crosses his arms. “Now we know what to expect.”

“Can you figure out a counter?”

“Perhaps. Unfortunately there will be only one way to find out.”

“Right.” You exhale. “What a headache. Literally.”

“So what do you think?”

“About?”

“Was this an accident, or intentional?”

“Best to assume the latter until proven otherwise. Who knows what other ‘fun’ techniques they may be developing. Somebody’s aiming at me, and it could very well be Usami.”

Despite your reservations and anxiety, you fall asleep.

>1/2
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You are Nakashiri Koharu, and the headache is keeping you awake. Not that you were going to sleep anyway, instead slipping into Jinzen to check up on your inner world.

The familiar visage of an island with an octagonal shrine on it greets you, although there are some chips here and there. Meanwhile, looking to the left, you see Zilya bound by chains to the torii gate rising from the water.

“Things are under control,” Celaris says as he puts a hand on your shoulder from behind.

“You actually bested her?”

He shakes his head. “In fact, I was going to lose. The burst of energy she got would’ve been enough to overwhelm me if she had been able to focus. However, once that influence went away, she became weak like that. Perhaps that influence merely squeezed her power instead of feeding it. Regardless, I took the liberty to restrain her.”

You raise an eyebrow as the two of you walk on top of the water, closer to Zil. “This is your chance to get rid of her, you know.”

“Surely you jest.” Celaris smirks. “We both know full well that you have the willpower now to keep us at bay. Why discard an asset?”

“How thoughtful.” You look at Cel, and then back at the hanging Zilya, sighing and frowning. “However, it appears she’s become a liability. I could’ve never imagined that others, let alone a tenjiso, could reproduce her technique. Much less that it’d affect her.”

“We were caught off-guard. I assure you, next time we’ll be prepared.”

“Can you be sure Zilya won’t use it to her advantage?”

Celaris grows silent. “I admit, there is no guarantee. However, it’s my duty. So please, leave it to me.”

“You yourself said she would have bested you if she had focused.”

He just smiles. “Trust me. The same trick won’t work twice on me.”

“There’s just one problem. This will still affect us all as a whole, and if I understand this right, we could be facing more than one user of his technique.”

The two of you watch Zilya, the wind lightly swinging her back and forth.

“I won’t deny that there won’t be difficulties, Koharu. But at the very least, their first attempt didn’t cause more trouble than this.” Celaris crosses his arms. “Now we know what to expect.”

“Can you figure out a counter?”

“Perhaps. Unfortunately there will be only one way to find out.”

“Right.” You exhale. “What a headache. Literally.”

“So what do you think?”

“About?”

“Was this an accident, or intentional?”

“Best to assume the latter until proven otherwise. Who knows what other ‘fun’ techniques they may be developing. Somebody’s aiming at me, and it could very well be Usami.”

Despite your reservations and anxiety, you fall asleep.

>1/2
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The next day proceeds well, however you end up following the same strict routine as the rest of the monk-like tenjiso. It’s physically demanding and you’d rather not do any of this, but there’s a chance it’ll improve your chances at getting their respect. It might not really serve any direct goals, but anything that improves your chances at dispelling any fears they might have, the better.

Then, at dinner, you get to talk business. It’s mostly the formalization of the periodic joint operation on paper, with all the bureaucracy. With his stamp, all you need now is your Captain’s approval and guidance. You have a faint suspicion that you’ll also need the approval of Central 46. Now that’s going to be a real headache.

“In addition, before giving you this document, I want you to accompany us once on a hollow hunt.”

“Excuse me?”

“That way you’ll get a proper idea of what we’re dealing with. We’d rather get professional shinigami. Rookies will only get in our way,” he says, rolling the paper up and putting it inside his modified shōzoku. “On top of that, we just happen to have a hollow problem at our hands. As I understand it, you’re quite adept and sensing? Surely it won’t be much trouble for you.”

Well, it’s not a big deal for sure. But at the same time you’re worried that they’ll use that technique you got to experience yesterday. While you’d like to trust in Celaris, is it wise to put yourself in a vulnerable position?

>2/2

>”Sure, no problem.” (go)
>”Actually, that’s beyond what I’m allowed to do.” (refuse)
>Other?
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Okay, phew. I got most of my studies related stuff done. The rest is just minor fixes after my professor looks at the report. Now I can get back to questing!

Originally I was going to start tomorrow, but I'll be the whole day out. First day of work followed by kitchen duty in the evening, so I won't have the time to updoot then. Tuesday however we should be able to resume as normal

So since you have an extra day to vote, I recommend thinking through possible scenarios and make any plans
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>>5241664
>I recommend thinking through possible scenarios and make any plans
That's ominous.

>”Sure, no problem.” (go)
I admit to being somewhat reckless about Koharu's personal health and safety though.

Celaris is right in that he'll be better prepared. So will Zilya for that matter. Having tenjiso take her techniques, reverse engineer them, and use them successfully on her *as a side-effect* is going to burn. Also, the weakness afterward means even if she does overpower us or Celaris she's not going to get very far. So we should all be on the same page of "fuck this shit", which is rare for our team.

Scenarios? I don[t think they'll kidnap us or anything, so it's probably as basic as normal excursion -> excursion with this technique used -> excursion with a lot of this technique used -> excursion with a lot of this technique used and a more advanced form that only Usami uses. He did mention this was useful enough to be taught, and that implies there's things they *haven't* taught everyone.

To better protect against the latter stuff, we could see if Zilya can be better sealed, even if it means choking off her power temporarily. I remember way back before we unlocked our secondary releases we discovered Zilya and Celaris could go into our zanpakuto, but wouldn't get called until we said the right words. If we kept Zilya in there but didn't activate our secondary release, would it provide an additional layer of defense in exchange for sticking with our regular shikai?

Barring that, maybe we can have Celaris and Zilya agree to mutual disarmament for a while and pump power into the fountain or something. Weaken them both for a while so we can put up a better facade. Only Zilya needs to do it, but I'm guessing pride won't let her do it while Celaris skates on by.

Though if we really, *really* wanted to be completely reckless, we could see if Zilya and Celaris can use the fountain as a bridge to connect to each other. It should work, our shiakai's ability to mediate is just an extension of it after all. I'm sure Celaris could grant Zilya the clarity to turn her own power against herself and override what the tenjiso are doing.

I want to laugh at that last one, but mostly because it seems... inevitable? Like, we haven't gotten to use our Bankai much but we're terrifying just with Zilya's raw power and Celaris' seeking abilities and we haven't even tried cracking people's minds open with a Celaris-boosted Hanran. And with Aizen as our mentor, the idea of us turning into a bigger, well-intentioned monster isn't entirely farfetched. Probably better they get to figuring out how they can kill us sooner rather than later.
>>
>>5241661
Ask more about the hollow problem, it would suck to find out too late that for some reason they want to clear the Wailing Forest as well.

Talk to Celaris and Zilya about the stuff >>5242325 mentioned but also try to see if they have any ideas on how to block that technique.

Try and invite Shinigami you get along with as back up
>>
>>5241661
>>Other?
I'd like more info honestly. They say they have a Hollow problem but where is this problem that a full temple can't easily deal with it? Could there be another Vasto Lorde near by? Or is it somewhere in the human world or Huecomundo where they could isolate us?
>>
>>5242642
This could be answered by his earlier statements about their temple not having the manpower to cover the territory as needed. They’d either have to spread out to protect everything they can but be unable to keep hollows from retreating, or bunch up to actually encircle and destroy hollows that run away and let them roam free elsewhere.

Though that’s not to say that powerful hollows can’t be on the plate. If he is testing us, he’s more likely to go after them since it gives a convenient excuse to have more tenjiso doing the insanity kido.

May as well preempt him and tell him we’ll help hunt down the strongest hollows if he wants, just tell us where and what to expect. Hopefully the bluntness makes him less cagey with details so we get quicker answers to these questions.

I’m now worried they’re trying to catch strong hollows to do actual mind control (if probably short-term) and send them back to Hueco Mundo to thin out the herd before coming back so they can be reused later. It’d be nice right? Send the drone in to clean things up and spare the “real” people the danger involved. Stronger hollows can clear out stronger hollows on the other side so they don’t jump over here. Nevermind what happens when one inevitably escapes because they’ll never capture more than they could handle in a scenario where they free each other, right?…

>>5242411
If it involves the Wailing Forest, at least we can give the excuse that we were already there with West Temple and we’d rather help locally. Probably outside their area anyway.

Backing the additional detail discussion with Celaris and Zilya. If there are things they have in mind but aren’t vocalizing because it won’t work as well then they need better plans. We could be subjected to this stuff multiple times and any failsafes that rely on surprise or have a short-term consequences are things we all need to plan around.

Maybe we also talk through how to reverse-engineer their kido. I don’t know how this stuff behaves with Vizards and Arrancars, but training for our friends is in order.
>>
>>5241661
I'm in support of conversing with C&Z for planning around dealing with bootleg Hanran again and working as one to avoid getting ganked. As for the offer, I'm up for helping them.
>>
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Alrighty, finally, back in business

>>5242325
>>5242411
>>5242642
>>5242780
>>5243926
Seems like the consensus is to ask for more details, with an inclination to going along with the offer to help. And also figuring out countermeasures with your mind-buddies
>Writing
>>
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“Sure.” You watch his reaction for a moment. Did you actually catch him a bit off guard there? “But I’d like more information. I’m done with half-assed operations like that of Nijo-dono.”

“It was that bad?” Usami smirks.

“Don’t even get me started…”

“It’s a run-of-the-mill operation. This particular batch of hollows has been annoying though. There’s probably a hollow with sensing abilities… Tsch.”

You raise an eyebrow.

“By the time we manage to locate them and start heading towards them, they slip away. We don’t have tenjiso both agile and good at sensing here. So that’s where you come in.”

“I find them, keep them occupied, and wait for the cavalry?”

“Yes. Once my team arrives, they’re done for. We’ll use the technique you saw earlier.”

He says it just like that, in front of your face…

“Then everything is clear.” You give him a polite smile. “When?”

“Nightfall. Please rest until then.”

You leave, cursing silently. Now you really do need to figure out some countermeasures.

“Arghh, my head hurts, what the fuck happened?”

“Ah, you’re finally awake Zil?”

“My, don’t tell me you lost your memory?” You can practically hear Cel’s smug face.

“Piss off, she-stag. I want to save my rage towards that asshole who DARES to create a poor imitation of MY technique.”

“Can’t be poor if it affected you..”

“Celaris, don’t prov-”

“GRRRRRR, I’LL SKIN HIM ALIVE!”

You sit on a stone, leaning your head onto your hand as you enjoy Zilya’s uninterruptible, furious rant, as well as vivid descriptions of the atrocities she wants to perform.

“You done?” you groan.

“No, but fine. Just promise we kill that guy.”

“Can’t promise that. Yet.”

>1/2
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“So what can we do to avoid a repeat incident?” You unsheathe your zanpakutō, eyeing the flat side of the blade. “Has anyone resisted your power before?”

Oh boy, she does NOT like you asking that.

“Grrr… cyкин cын, блять… there’s been… a few. The Tyrant for one, he breathes rage and fear. Pray you never meet him. But the other one is Abathos.”

“Wait, really? But why is he..”

“Because he is still a product of the spider parasite we developed. That thing does not feel fear. Or anger. Or anything. Fortunately he will always listen to commands willingly.”

You sigh. “So either you embrace those emotions, or snuff them out completely. Yeah, no way you’re able to do either of those.”

Celaris snickers. Jeez, he’s laughing more than in a year combined.

“SHUT YOUR MOUTH SHE-STAG!”

But, another idea comes to mind.

“What happens when either of you enter Naimen no Daiza?”

“You release one of us, duh.”

“I believe Koharu is asking specifics, spider-prostitute. We momentarily meld with Naimen no Daiza and exist beside you when released.”

You perk up on the stone, sheathing your blade and putting it on your lap. “Wait. Does all that happen in an instant?”

“No. Until you call my release, I’m stuck in that blade. No way I’m allowing you my release ever again if you do that crap.”

“Well, it’s risky, but hear me out: We know the spells incantation. Will it affect you, if you’ve melded with Naimen no Daiza?”

There’s a silence.

“I think it’s worth a shot,” Celaris says. “Our perception of the outside world goes dark whenever we enter the sword. I will do my part to shield Naimen no Daiza from that influence while she’s in it.”

“Oi, are you serious?”

“Then it’s settled. It’s our best shot, so Zilya, please be a good spider and comply…”

>2/2
>>
I wanted to write more, but I'm falling asleep. Early wakeups are fucking with me. Second half will arrive tomorrow. I shouldn't have as long of a work day ahead of me