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[LP CYOA] 傳

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    11,319
    Codex 2012
    Cao’er and Miecao

    The main quarters of the sect is easy to find; a brick and wood two-storey structure that lies near the center of the compound. From what Yao has said, Cao’er should be held on the second floor. You notice that only one room is still lit. A loud, exaggerated yawn and the sound of chatter comes from your side – there is a patrol coming. Wasting no time, you step onto the vertical pillars, using them as a foothold to reach the ledge of the second floor. You pull yourself up with ease. Holding onto the edges, you quickly move over to the window of the lit room. Staying close to the wall, you crane your neck and peer inside.

    There is a girl lying belly-down on the floor, apparently reading a book. You quietly pull the window open and clamber in. As your feet touch the floor, she springs up suddenly to face your intrusion, her hand blurred in a throwing movement. You feel a sharp sting – looking down, you see two needles embedded near your pressure points. At those locations, it would cause swift paralysis… if you still had pressure points. You pluck out the needles, pulling down the cloth mask that covers your lower face as you do so.

    “Your throwing has improved, Cao’er.” you wince. You hear a strange, choking noise in her throat.

    She’s grown rapidly in the year and a half since you last saw her. You didn’t expect that short, stubby girl to grow into a lanky lass only half a head shorter than you are. Her rags, which once swaddled her almost entirely, now barely cover her knees and elbows. She appears to have added new clothes to that confusing collection of torn cloth, however, showing as islands of colour in a sea of faded tones. Her hair, however, still serves as a curtain that hides as much of her face as possible, though it appears slightly less messy and more silky nowadays.

    “Cao’er?” you ask again, as she stands there frozen, as still as a statue. Her breathing intensifies quickly as her knees give way and she sinks to the floor. You rush to her side. “Are you okay?” you ask, checking her pulse. She looks at you and nods wordlessly, making a gesture that indicates she needs some time to calm down.

    After some time, she manages to speak. The first word out of her mouth is your name. “Jing! Why are you…” Her croaking has grown slightly deeper and changed in tone, giving it a more husky effect that is not as unpleasant to the ear.

    “I’m here to get you out,” you say simply.

    “…what about the master? He’s in the prison… are we going to get him out?” She seems to have improved at speaking, thankfully.

    “Not to worry, I’ve spoken with him. I’m to take you away first. That’s an order.”

    “…ok. We’ll go… just, I was worried.” Cao’er stumbles over the words in a slight panic. You clap her shoulder twice, reassuringly. You need to flee now before your luck runs out. “So, how good are you at running nowadays?” you ask with a grin. She shakes her head, looking down at the floor. “…not sure.”

    You sigh. “Luckily, I can run for the both of us. Is there anything you need to take from this room?”

    She shakes her head again. Well, it’s time to begin, then.

    You scoop her up in your arms – she’s only slightly heavier than she once was. She makes a startled look for just a second before she quickly puts her arms around your neck and clings on tightly. Stepping out onto the ledge, you look around. There are no patrols in the vicinity. You leap off the second floor. Cao’er’s extra weight causes your landing to make more sound than you would have liked, but no one appears to notice.

    You make your run to the edge of the compound.

    Suddenly, a patrol appears in front of you. Without stopping you change your direction, dashing behind a nearby building. You catch your breath, backing up against the wall. You can feel Cao’er’s warm breath tickling your neck, and you shift slightly so that it won’t disrupt your concentration.

    “Did you guys see anything? I thought there was something ahead of us,” says one of the disciples. You move slowly towards the other side of the building.

    “Must’ve been some cat or monkey.”

    “Looked kinda big, though, like a human.”

    “Maybe it’s the Shadow Wolf. I hear he’s been spotted in the region.”

    “All the way out west, here? I heard he was last seen in Yangzhou.”

    As the disciples gossip, you circle around the building, finding yourself a clear path to the wall. You’re almost at the finish line. When you reach the wall, you give Cao’er a boost. You use your hands as a foothold, pushing her up so that her jump reaches the top of the wall. After she has made it across, you back up a bit. Taking a running start, you manage three steps up before you leap, barely grabbing the edge of the wall with the tips of your fingers. You pull yourself up and over, landing on the other side where Cao’er is waiting for you. The night sky is turning light as the day slowly begins its encroachment. Grabbing her hand, you make your way down the mountain, to safety.

    ***

    You find a place near the outskirts of Qingcheng where you can hide out with Cao’er. Exhausted from your exertions throughout the night, you fall asleep almost as soon as you hit the bed. When you awaken, it is already night time again. You find Cao’er looking down at you, stroking the white streaks in your hair. “…you’re slightly different now,” she murmurs. “...but it’s okay. Jing is still Jing.”

    “I’m awake, you know,” you say, laughing. Her hand jerks back suddenly as she apologizes.

    “Nothing to apologize for.” You pat her head. It’s a nostalgic feeling, and this time around her hair isn’t nearly anywhere as greasy as it was before.

    There are things for you to do – Master Yao had said that he would be fine, but you are not so sure. He had said that the Emei nuns would come for him. You are not certain about leaving Cao’er alone, but she tells you that if you have things to do, she can take care of herself. You head down to Chengdu.

    There, you find that Yifang is no longer around; she may have returned to Emei. You do not fancy walking up to them by yourself; if you get captured for any reason they can think of, that would be bad.

    There are a few dozen Qingcheng disciples in the city, wandering about asking if any of them have seen a messy girl in rags. You walk into one of them, bumping your shoulder into his. “I’m sorry!” you say.

    “Be more careful next time,” scowls the disciple as he massages his bruised shoulder.

    “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It won’t happen the next time. By the way, sir, why are you looking for a girl?”

    “Are you new in town? She is an apprentice of the Killer Physician, who murdered our old master. She somehow escaped last night.”

    “I see, I see. What will you do with her when you catch her? Will she be put to death?”

    “That’s up to the mistress,” snorts the disciple. “Her master will be executed for his crimes in two days, though. You can come up to the public square in Qingcheng if you want to watch.” You bow to him respectfully. “Of course, sir. I will be there, sir.”

    As you make your way back to the hut, you begin thinking up plans to break out Yao should you get no news of his escape. You could strike tomorrow night, or perhaps plan something on the day of the execution itself…

    ***

    The next day, you decide to begin preparations for your next move. When you leave the hut, however, you see a very strange sight.

    Master Yao stands in front of you, his head shaved. He is dressed in the orange robes of a monk.

    “…Master Yao?”

    “My name is no longer Yao Shunshi. Call me by my Buddhist name, Fayi, kind sir,” he intones.

    “Are you serious?”

    Yao frowns and snaps at you. “Of course not. But I’ll have to be this way until things settle down with Qingcheng or I die of old age, whichever comes first.”

    “That is not the way a monk should be speaking, Shunshi.” A stern voice calls out. Looking behind Master Yao, you see an old nun carrying herself with dignity and grace. She is tall and thin, almost as tall as Yao himself – from her features, she would have been quite the looker back in the day.

    “Spare me the lectures, Lihua,” Yao grumbles.

    “My name is Miecao now. And sooner or later, I will be calling you Fayi. Do get used to it; after all, you promised to do so in order to be rescued,” says the nun as she approaches you.

    “You are Xu Jing, apprentice to this old fool and disciple of the Southern Maniac, are you not?”

    “Yes, I am. Sister Miecao… Abbess Miecao of Emei? It is an honour that you have come all the way out here to my humble shack.” You give the leader of Emei Sect the respect that a person of her standing deserves, bowing with your hands placed together in salute.

    She nods approvingly. “At least you have learnt manners. Although I have heard from Miaozhu that your manners are merely a way for you to catch people off guard.”

    “Her praise is too kind. I do not think I have ever caught her truly off guard,” you say. A hint of a smile rises at the Abbess’s lips. “It is good that you know some restraint, and did not commit any foolish deeds at the behest of that silly old man. It could have complicated matters tremendously. Well, I suppose there are things you wish to ask me. I have some questions on my own too. Let us talk further inside the hut.”

    As the three of you walk into the hut, Cao’er gives a nervous greeting. Abbess Miecao looks over the girl, and just for a brief instance the harsh look in her eyes soften. After all of you have taken your seats, she speaks.

    “Let us first start with what will happen to Yao from now on. I have freed him from the prison without the knowledge of Qingcheng’s Miss Song, against my better judgement. To be fair, he has taken a life and should have paid for it. Still, since I made my way there, and did not find what I was looking for..." She pauses in embarrassment as Yao sniggers. It seems that he has managed to get one over the Abbess, and negotiated his own rescue. "Well, though it is not the right thing for me to do, by all rights Miss Song should have handed Yao over to the collective judgement of the Eight Sects, and not act on her own whim. For now, Yao will join a nearby monastery, Shizu Temple, and live as a monk to repent for his countless sins over the years.”

    Yao snorts loudly. “Just because you chose to do that…” The Abbess glares at him until he looks away.

    “When the time is right and emotions do not run as high, I will request that the elders of the Eight Sects convene to pass judgement on this matter. At that time I may request the both of you to attend as witnesses.”

    You give her a quick nod. “We’ll be there if we can.”

    “Very good. Now, we need to discuss the matter of Cao’er. I will take her in. She will learn the ways of the Buddha and the teachings of Emei. There, she will be safe.”

    You feel Cao’er draw closer to you, clinging onto your sleeve just like she always did. She seems reluctant. Yao laughs loudly. “See? I told you, Lihua! She will not go with you. Being cooped up on a mountain with you nuns will just stifle her potential. She is meant to travel and learn about the world. That is the only way she can blossom.”

    Miecao grits her teeth. “Shunshi, I agreed to split up the girls because you told me that you would keep her safe. And what did you do? You got her dragged into your own mess!” As she argues with Yao, her speech grows coarser.

    “Yes, that’s my mistake,” grumbles Yao, “but there’s no need to drag her off to the mountain because of this. Besides, you already have one to take care of.”

    “That is not the point, you horrible man,” grimaces the Abbess. Suddenly she turns to you. “That does remind me,” she says bitterly, “I do need to thank you for escorting Yifang to Chengdu safely. That girl is a real handful. She could have contacted Miaozhu after they got separated and told them to come for her, but instead she sends a message telling them she’s with you and attempting to save you from the cycle of karma, and that she would meet them at Chengdu. I will punish that girl for her recklessness. And Miaozhu’s team, for being too lenient on her.” The old nun pauses for a while, before glaring at you suspiciously. “You did not do anything ungentlemanly towards her, did you?”

    Raising your hands, you back away. “Of course not! Perish the thought, Abbess! Defiling a nun would be the last thing on my mind!” Besides you, you hear Cao’er murmur quietly, slightly sulkily, “…Jing is a lecher… but it’s okay. I don’t mind being second… or third.” You suddenly remember that you have never corrected her misconception of you as a womanizer before getting dragged off by Master Zhang.

    Yao’s loud laughter interrupts your thoughts.

    “Lihua, the boy is too confused to take this all in. Perhaps you should explain it to them.”

    She squints at the Killer Physician. “Can we trust him?”

    “I’d trust him with my life.”

    The Abbess clears her throat. “Cao’er, I have something to tell you. You are our granddaughter. Mine and Shunshi’s.”

    You eye the window. Suddenly, jumping out of it looks like a very appealing option. You have read about these plots in two-penny novels bought on the street, but you had never imagined you would encounter such a generic twist in real life.

    “You also have a twin sister,” says Yao. “She’s a nun at Emei, by the name of Yifang.”

    “Well, I think it might be better if I allowed you three a happy family reunion,” you say suddenly with an awkward laugh as you stand up. This is too much for you to take in all at once. “I will be outside if you need me.

    “Oh, you are as good as family, Jing,” grins Yao slyly. You do not like that grin. “I was going to betroth Cao’er to you after all.” The girl in question makes a strangled noise and turns entirely red, like a cat hacking up a furball.

    “I was not told about this, Shunshi,” says Miecao menacingly.

    “Well, it’s up to the young ones anyway. I’m just making a suggestion,” he cackles.

    “Xu Jing, it is rude to leave after we have agreed to confide in you. Sit down,” says the Abbess coldly. You do so dutifully. She may not be one of the Five Great Pugilists, but her reputation is mentioned in the same breath. You can tell that she has the power to back up her leadership of one of the most powerful of the Eight Major Sects. With a great sigh, you resign yourself to their exposition, though it is told more for Cao’er’s benefit than yours.

    It is a simple story.

    When the Abbess was young, she was a powerful bandit queen and an adventuress. One day, her gang turned on her, betraying her as such scum are wont to do when they sense weakness. A young Yao, fresh from his studies, found her injured in the woods. He nursed her to health, and they inevitably fell in love.

    At this part you had to stop them and beg politely that they skip the courting scenes.

    Soon afterwards, the Abbess, then known as Lihua, became pregnant. They had a child, a daughter. However, Lihua’s past sins caught up to her. With the authorities and her enemies suddenly after her, they decided they had no choice but to send the child away for fostering. After an argument in which swords were drawn, Lihua became a nun to repent for her misdeeds, taking on the Buddhist name of Miecao. A bitter Yao, on the other hand, went on to cultivate his reputation as the Killer Physician.

    They continued to keep a careful watch over their daughter whenever they could, however. She grew up, fell in love with a man of her own, a pugilist from a long family of pugilists, and eventually married him.

    “Alright, could we stop?” you ask wearily. Yao snorts. “What, have you no patience?”

    “No,” you sigh. “I just know where this is going. Your daughter gives birth to two girls, Cao’er and Yifang. Something happens to her and her husband; presumably killed or otherwise indisposed. Then, master, you picked up the girls and brought them to the Abbess. You decided to share guardianship of the children. Master, you recognized Cao’er’s potential, and took her with you. And so now here we are. Am I right?”

    “The boy is smart,” murmurs Yao, impressed.

    “No, I’ve just read many books with a similar storyline before,” you groan, rubbing your temples. “I just can’t believe… look, am I being messed with?”

    “Are you saying our life experiences are a joke to you?” says the Abbess. Her eyes are sharp enough to dig a hole in your heart. You shake your head quickly. “No, of course not. Please continue.”

    “There is not much left to say.” Miecao looks at Cao’er. “I just want her to know, so that she will come with her grandmother to Emei where I will keep her safe. Her useless grandfather here will be kept in a monastery for a while, so there is nowhere else for her to go anyway.”

    “There’s no need for that,” says Yao quickly. “Jing can keep her safe, can’t you?”

    “You cannot expect me to trust Zhang Jue’s disciple-“

    “She just isn’t suited for life in a convent-“

    As the two old people begin to argue, you look at Cao’er. She seems to be considering everything they have just said and revealed. Her face is furrowed, deep in thought; you cannot tell what she is thinking. “Well? Jing, what do you say?” asks Yao suddenly. "I think Cao'er will be more likely to listen to you."

    You look at the Killer Physician and the Abbess of Emei.

    ***

    A. Cao’er should go to Emei. She will be safer there than she is with you on the road; this is the only consideration you should think of.

    B. Cao’er should come with you. You will look out for each other, and you cannot see her being comfortable with the nuns, to be honest.

    C. You let Cao’er decide. It’s her life after all – what you should do is support her decision the best you can.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
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  2. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    C for now. Likely to change.
     
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  3. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    I guess it all worked out. Whelp, I don't really want us to marry Cao'er, we're already promised to the Ashina tribe girl.

    C
     
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  4. Grimgravy Cipher Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    C
    Self determination. Cao'er deserves that.
     
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  5. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
    Joined:
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    C.

    But before she decides tell her we must return to the Maniac within a year and when that happens she will have to remain somewhere safe (possibly the Emei) for an unknown period of time. The last thing I want is to have here anywhere near that asshole. Who knows how he would react to that - he might kill her just for travelling with us.
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    The leap from "may have killed an unspecified number of people of unknown culpability due to backstory" to "definitely murdered a guiltless person in their sleep by a conscious player choice" is a pretty big one to make.

    Why would he kill the perfect training dummies? Why would he care about them, personally, one bit?
    I don't judge him by his cover - he pretty much confirmed his willingness to murder Yao, Cao'er, the nuns that he allegedly cares so much about, and then us, if we didn't submit to him.

    Ah, about that...
    He made us a killing machine all right, and our sanity is rapidly waning. Look at the votes, we would have totally done the deed if we just had more time until dawn. Because massa Zhang gave us a task, and we have to oblige at first possible opportunity. Did you think it was even conceivable before? Look no further than Songfeng duel! Face it, the change in the psyche have already happened.

    Right, the update.
    It was a long time since I was equally satisfied with all options. We may lend Cao'er in the caring hands of Emei, allow for her rare talent to blossom and make her an unparalleled fighter and their best disciple, then murder her as a part of our mission. Or we may take her with us and have her spike people's drinks so we could gut them alive while they are asleep. The choices, the choices.

    :butthurt:

    I think I'll go with B. Flopped to A.
     
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  7. Ifeex Scholar

    Ifeex
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    189
  8. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
    Joined:
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    Oh boy. Our harem is growing every update.

    And you faggots didn't want to go for thrown weapons. Fuck you.

    C. But we really should tell her first about our situation.
     
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  9. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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    557
  10. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    2,979
    Location:
    Vicksburg
  11. Grimgravy Cipher Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    For better or worse, our perception has never been good enough to pull that off. I'm not saying that the ability to harpoon people with broken bar stools wouldn't kick all kinds of ass.
     
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  12. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Yet another reason to develop Furniture-Fu as a martial art form.
     
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  13. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    Harem building. :hero:

    B

    C
     
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  14. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    * saved Yifang
    * saved Cao'er
    * Abbess of the sect is the lover of former Master
    Looks at the character sheet

    Assholes.
     
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  15. XenomorphII Prophet

    XenomorphII
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  16. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    I vote B>C

    Time to join the harem, she's even ready for it.

    I say we complete the set and get TWO sisters, just to troll the Abess AND Yao :troll:
     
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  17. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    A.
    :lol: Actually dude, we had a -40 rep with them before this. It just went up, so I guess we came out ahead. I am extremely glad we picked B3 in the end, it all worked out.
    You... haven't been reading these debates long enough, have you? The votes are that way because the 'Dex is a bunch of bi-polar motherfuckers that can't make their mind up about anything. In any event, our sanity isn't as bad as you make it out to be.
    Suffice to say, I'm convinced there's more to this story with Zhang than meets the eye (was he perhaps Yao's Son-in-Law who married his daughter?), he didn't just up and go crazy one day, something must have happened with him, probably with his qi. Considering our situation, I want toknow what that was.
     
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  18. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    treave, what does Jing think of Cao'er? Sister, friend, any romantic feelings?
    Say, I really do like our new nickname. The Ashina would certainly approve.
    :greatjob:
     
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  19. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    Are we the Shadow Wolf that they were talking about?
     
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  20. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    We've never been in Yangzhou.
     
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  21. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I certainly hope so, otherwise this will get messy.
     
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  22. Stygian Lurker Liturgist

    Stygian Lurker
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    C
    But first we must explain her our situation
     
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  23. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    treave, it's not stated directly, but Yao was a Shaolin monk as a young man, correct? I think it's very interesting, the different paths in life that the Abbess and Master Yao took. In her youth, the Abbess was a rough, unorthodox type, but Yao was part of an orthodox sect. But over the course of events, they ended up on opposite sides of the martial arts continuum. Jing might be in his rebellious teen years, but who knows where he'll end up as an older man?

    This doesn't surprise me. Okay, we did a good turn for the nuns and maybe they'll call off the Castration Nuns for a little while if we're lucky, but the fact of the matter is that we still have their sect treasure and have no intention of giving it back. Yeah, fuck 'em, but I can see why that doesn't mean they're completely cool with us taking a powerful sword that has symbolic value to them. Still, we're somewhat cool with them and this should get them off our backs for a little while.

    As for the choice itself, I gotta dissent with everyone here. If we vote for C and give her a free choice, she'll of course choose to join us because she's in love with Jing, and I can't possibly see that as safer for her in the long-run. Okay, she's useful to us, but if you're really concerned about her long-term safety, you gotta let her stay with the nuns. We'll be running around and making a few enemies in our quest to prove ourselves as the best young martial artist in China, and it's not fair that Cao'er get caught up in it. If she gets captured by bandits or used against us in some way by Zhang to keep us under his tutelage, then it would be very bad. We travel a dangerous road as the disciple of the Southern Maniac, and I just can't let her be part of it.

    For the record, I am not a member of the "Zhang haters club". I think the guy is fucking awesome and we should learn from him as much as possible. But we can't form close attachments with other people while we're his apprentice. The man has made it his duty to transform us into the most dangerous pugilist in the world, and he'll do whatever the fuck it takes to achieve it. The man will put us through hell and force us to do anything if it means that we come out on the other end even more deadly than before. But what if he sees Cao'er as an obstacle to that goal? The man is a lunatic who has isolated himself on an island, I don't think that he sees the idea of making a few friends as a positive here.

    I don't think that C is a "free" choice at all. Cao'er was told just five minutes ago that she was Miecao's granddaughter, and going to the convent would take her away from the only life she's ever known. On the other hand, she knows Jing and loves him. Of course she's going to come with us, and I suspect everyone voting here knows that she will come with us. But it isn't what's best for her. What's best for her is having her grandmother look after her, we aren't up to that sort of responsibility.

    However... I do think that we can gain a few other favours from the Abbess. In fact, I have just the thing in mind:

    We're on a mission from Zhang Jue, and we are missing some sword techniques that could really help us. Sure, we're not giving them the sword, but we gave them a promising young disciple, protected Sister Yifeng, and did it all without causing any problems with the Qingcheng. I'd say that's worth something.

    Anyways, I just don't think we can in good conscience let her come with us. She'll be much happier with the Emei in the long run:

    A
     
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  24. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,979
    Location:
    Vicksburg
    Why do you think she'd come with us? Yes, there's love there, but she might also not want to get in the way or be a distraction and decide to leave.

    hm

    I think treave will just pick the opposite response to what most people here indicate. :troll:
     
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  25. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    9,892
    I agree. I'm not a fan of this Baltikan belief that everything with boobs and a vagina is a vessel for our bulging penis, which, by the way, should make all of our decisions for us. Besides which, she's a kind of dirty, weird, freaky girl. Not exactly the best we can do.

    What's most important for Jing is (1) the long-term safety of Cao'er that he loves like a younger sister, (2) his own mission for Shun, and what that secondarily entails for him - i.e. apprenticeship to Zhang Jue, his mission to defeat the eight, his eventual entry into Yuhua Hall. Both dictate that A is the responsible answer and the correct one.

    Certainly, having Cao'er around could help us in various ways, but given our loss of meridians she really does not have a clearly defined role, unless we want to go around healing people we just defeated or something. And finally, Cao'er may turn out to terribly hate being with the Emei - surely, she won't want to go for now - but we can't really be sure of that. What we do know is that it will mean Yao i sable to indirectly keep an eye on how she is doing.

    A for now.
     
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