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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:
    Jul 6, 2008
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    Codex 2012
    Duel on the Water

    “Well, if you want to play, I am always up for it,” you say, spreading your arms wide as you take a few steps back.

    “We will put your control to the test, Man Tiger Pig. Perhaps we will give you a little scar on your head to remember this by, if you slip up.” Drawing their swords confidently, they take up a formation stance that you do not recognize. You just smile at them. Nie Shuixian acts first, darting towards you with a speedy lunge. The point of her sword races towards you in a deceptive manner, winking in and out of your vision dangerously, and you immediately understand that the twins aren’t exactly opponents you can beat with a branch.

    You match her speed on the draw, unsheathing your wodao with your right hand. Without moving your feet a single inch, you parry her jab with a pinpoint slash, using your superior strength to knock her off-balance. Before you can capitalize on the opening, her sister has already leapt forward to assist. Nie Mudan swoops down from above with a powerful attack, the pull of the earth aiding her strike. Drawing a circle with your wodao, you unhurriedly slide your blade along hers until you hit her guard, and with a gentle twist, bring her down to the ground, dispersing the force of her attack with your circular movements.

    Nie Mudan manages to land on her feet, and both sisters retreat briefly. “Was that move… Wudang’s Taiji?” asks Nie Shuixian, surprised.

    “You’re the orthodox pugilist, you tell me,” you shrug, waving your sword in their faces. “Have I passed your test? That was rather quick.”

    “Of course not!” The twins go on the attack again with precise, flowing movements as they dance around you and begin performing a series of elegant slashes and jabs. Their control over their technique is quite remarkable; you are not sure if you would be able to manage the same. The softness of their attacks gives you trouble; you are unable to execute your Taiji Sword to maximum effectiveness – at your current level of understanding, you find a furious, forceful assault easier to deal with than a gentle but constantly changing pattern of attack. Switching things up, you give your arm over to instinct to defend against the twins’ relentless pressure; as if sensing the flow of their swordplay, you often find yourself already moving your wodao into position a split-second before they begin their strike. Without missing a beat, you parry each and every one of their attacks, using hard strength to counter their soft movements. Your blade flashes brilliantly, slashing out a sphere of protection around you that breaks up their formation entirely and repels them from your vicinity.

    You blow out the breath that you had been holding in as you relax your stance; you have still not budged from your spot even slightly. “Well, that should be-“

    After just the briefest of pauses, the twins set upon you again, determination set upon their faces.

    “Stubborn little-“ Your right arm twinges, sending a sharp pain shooting up the limb when you attempt to bring your sword back into position. It looks like you are stressing it a bit much at the moment. Deciding not to force the issue, you snap the wodao back into its sheath instead and make a nimble hop backwards, retreating from the sisters just as their swords pierce the dirt where you had been standing. “What do I have to do to pass this test?” you call out, trying to lure them into conversation. “For that matter, why are you so intent on thinking that I am a threat to your father?”

    “Your glib tongue may fool the other sects, but we are not so easily taken in!” Nie Mudan rushes in to take advantage of what she sees as an opportunity. You are pressed back, towards the river, narrowly dodging each of her moves by a hair.

    “Something strange is going on in the pugilistic world, and it’s not hard to figure out that you might have something to do with it.” Nie Shuixian comes in low from your right, attempting to blindside you with the hilt of her sword. Seeing no way out, you leap towards the river. As you skim across the water, they pursue you back towards the boats. “Besides, our fathersaid that he suspected you of being after the legendary manuals so that you could bring bloodshed and terror to the jianghu,” she says, continuing her attack. “If you are hiding any evil skills from those manuals, we will force you to reveal it.”

    “Well, why don’t you ask your Bai-shixiong his opinion about this matter?”

    “Of course he thinks that you are a vile, evil pervert!” comes the reply in perfect synchronicity.

    “Oh, now he says that? Well, I suppose he knows me quite intimately…” you sigh.

    This appears to anger them. “Stop your slanderous lies!” shouts Nie Mudan, charging forward. Her guard is off. With a quick, subtle move, you dart forward, your toes splashing water, and slide your hand in to grab her sleeve. She cries out in alarm at your sudden proximity. “No, not again!” Her sister hurries forth to help, but now their concentration is broken and their movements messy. A quick flurry of moves results in both of them losing their focus and dropping into the water. You leap onto a nearby reed, balancing on top of it as you wait.

    They do not seem to be coming up.

    Muttering a short curse, you dive into the water a few seconds later. You find them quickly; it looks like their nice, expensive clothes have gotten water-logged and are weighing them down. Taking out your dagger, you cut open their outer garments as the two sisters cling onto you in a panic. Then, kicking out strongly, you swim towards the surface. You manage to reach the deck of your boat safely, carrying the wet, protesting twins in your arms,. You’ll return them in a short while, after they’ve calmed down and you have had the chance to talk to them. They still seem to be in a bit of a shock after that near-drowning.

    Yunzi pokes her head out of the tent flap and frowns. “What is this?”

    “Hm, just a little-“

    “Just what are you doing to my daughters!?”

    A loud roar startles you. Whirling around, you see Nie Wuxing charging from his boat towards yours, his beard bristling with his unrestrained fury. He throws a palm towards you; you are forced to drop one of the twins to defend yourself. Quickly stretching out a foot to support Shuixian’s body, you meet Nie Wuxing’s palm with your own. Immediately, you wince; his internal strength is deep enough to surpass Bai Jiutian’s, and definitely more than a match for your own. He does not seem to be striking to kill, however, and you manage to hold your own.

    “What is the meaning of this, Xu Jing?” he growls. Behind you, Qilin, Yunzi and Armaiti have sprung out onto the deck, ready for a fight.

    “We were just having a friendly sparring session,” you explain. Nie Wuxing doesn’t seem to buy it, and the pressure from his palm increases. You try to hold it back. “If you don’t believe me, perhaps we can let the maidens down first and then ask them about it.”

    With a frown, Nie pulls back, taking his daughters with him. He swiftly begins asking them questions.

    Did Xu Jing touch you anywhere inappropriate?

    Where are your clothes?

    Did he try to strip you again?

    And so on, and so forth.

    Luckily, to their credit, the twins do not lie, or play up the story. They admit to being the ones who started the fight. Nie Wuxing grudgingly accepts their tale and turns to you. “I see. I may have jumped to conclusions. My… apologies, Xu Jing,” he says, bowing his head slightly in forced contrition. “I will have to lecture my daughters on the value of knowing the appropriate time and place for everything.”

    “No apologies needed,” you grin, “But…” You make your request.

    The scowl returns to Nie Wuxing’s face. As he leaves, Nie Shuixian turns back and mumbles a word of thanks, although her soggy sister only sticks her tongue out at you.

    ***

    The orthodox pugilists agreed to escort Pang Xiaohu and his bandits to Xiangyang. The soldiers seemed to be rather grateful for the offer, and rode on ahead to let the prefect know of Nie Wuxing’s imminent arrival with his entourage. Pang Xiaohu and his friends would sit with the Wudang contingent, the Sword Saint and his disciple, as ordered by Nie Wuxing.

    When you visit later that night, Pang gives you a sorry sigh. “Brother, if you wanted to help me, you could have just let the soldiers take me. It would have been easier for me to escape from them than from these stuck up bastards.”

    The Wudang disciples do not react to his taunts. Guo Fu nods, the only person there who is taller and larger than Pang Xiaohu. “Yes, it is harder to escape from us.”

    “I was not- oh, forget it,” grumbles the Little Tiger, not in a good mood. “So, why are you here, Xu Jing?”

    You explain that you are here to ask him about how he ended up here. He gives you a good, long laugh.

    “That is a funny story. You remember that constable in Youxia? The fella who went nuts at the trial?”

    Fu Xia. Yes, you remember him.

    Pang continues calmly, “We were attacked by hundreds of crazy fighters like him. It was a mercenary army hired by the Zhang clan, apparently in a bid to show that they are loyal to the Emperor and are willing to wipe out his enemies for him.” Upon further questioning, Pang appears to be reticent to reveal anything more that he knows; you suspect that he knows the origin of those fighters, but he is not telling you anything more for now. Perhaps you will have the opportunity to find out more once you reach Xiangyang.

    ***

    “What of it?”

    When you approach Xuezi about her dalliances with Madam Nie, she remains belligerent about the whole matter, even when you reveal that the Nies might be hiding the Jiuyin manual.

    “Of course I knew,” she says. “That woman told me herself. Why do you think I am trying to infiltrate them?”

    “You didn’t tell me,” you say.

    “And? What would you do if I told you? Would you be willing to help me steal it? If not, leave me alone. I know what I’m doing here,” she says, sulking.

    ***

    A. You attempt to steal the Jiuyin manual for Xuezi. Even though neither of you have any clear idea where it might be, since you are on the river it must be somewhere on their boat. Perhaps you can ask to look the fake Xuanyuan Sword, or subtly investigate their belongings if that does not pan out.

    B. It is too risky to make such a move at this moment. You attempt to convince Xuezi that she should stop approaching Madam Nie by herself – she wants a promise from you in return that you will do one single thing that she asks for in the future, with no conditions. If you grant her that promise, she’ll listen to you.

    C. You let Xuezi be for now and merely attempt to keep an eye on her: she seems like she know what she is doing. If she runs into trouble you will help her out, but if her plan works out it may turn out to be better for the both of you.
     
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  2. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Hmm, are we stealthy enough for A, I wonder. Must think this over, bouncing between A and B at the moment. Don't want our little sister around Madam Nie, that woman is poison.
     
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  3. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    We are stealthy, but stealth might not be exactly what it takes to get it. Since Nie family is tasked with the protection of the sword, it might not be such a good idea to be seen tampering with it or asking about it in case someone notices the theft. We are naturally the primary suspect. Well, we or Yunzi, which is not much better.

    Loathe as I am to give out promises I have no idea I will be able to keep, I am strongly considering B. It comes down to what you believe Xuezi might request from you. Hrrrm. The imagination sparked by her previous history with jianghu draws some unpleasant pictures. Still, I think our influence is rubbing off on her, and she mellowed a bit since then.

    Ah, dammit. In lolis we trust. B.
     
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  4. Ifeex Scholar

    Ifeex
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  5. Akkudakku Arbiter

    Akkudakku
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    I'm willing to go for the 'safe' option of B - it's safe only short term though. But still we don't want any incidents. Yet.


    Also great update treave, my Wuxia hunger is satiated for a while now :bro:
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Xiangyang is shaping to be one busy stop for us.

    A confrontation between Qi Liuwu and Former Chief You. Kid hostages. Pang's execution and the crazy fighters. And I bet there would be an opportunity to search for the manual, too.

    And we will probably have to choose one. :negative:
     
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  7. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    A> B
     
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  8. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    C
     
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  9. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
  10. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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  11. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    C

    I can't say I am thrilled to give our word to the terrifying loli if we are going to have to break it later. Hopefully she is crafty enough to deal with Qilin's mom.
     
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  12. Akkudakku Arbiter

    Akkudakku
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    In before the loli is swayed to the dark side.
     
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  13. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I dunno, I really don't want to risk it. Xuezi is already more irritable than usual and I think it stems from a feeling of being powerless/useless to us (like Qilin). If at all possible, I'd like to keep her away from Madam Nie (inb4 she was possessed by an Immortal).
     
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  14. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Maybe but I don't really buy the whole 'little sister' act. I don't think that her world revolves around Jing in the same way that Qilin's seems to. What I think is bothering her is her lack of power and I think she is quite likely to return to her old ways if she does get her power back. I just do not like the whole deal, an unspecified favour in exchange for cooperating. She could ask us to do anything and we are likely to break our word if we do not like what she asks us to do so I would rather avoid the situation.

    Essentially I like her, I just don't trust her at all.
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    The problem is, we can't offer her anything. Madam Nie can. She has no reason to stick to us - she is only traveling with us because it gave her a chance to meet the manual owner. And well, she just did. That might very well be the place where our roads will diverge.

    Hell if I know what is worse - to owe a promise of unknown nature to a kid that can own an immortal, or to have the said kid strike a deal with one of our enemies.
     
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  16. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    That's where we differ in opinion. I believe that her 'exile,' de-power and the time spent with Jing changed her as a person for the better. Essentially, I do trust her enough to know she won't ask us some dumb stuff like 'overthrow the Emperor' or 'kill your wives, I am the only one who can have you, Big Brother!'

    And if she really is that power-hungry, then letting her anywhere near Madam Nie is just begging for a catastrophe. That woman lives for it.
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    The very fact that we have a choice (a shitty one, but a choice nonetheless) to make her listen to us when we have nothing to offer her except for a promise, and our enemy can offer her everything she ever wanted, makes me feel hopeful that our time with her was not spent in vain, and that she would not ask us for some outrageous stuff.
     
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  18. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    B
     
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  19. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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  20. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    What has she said or done in particular that makes us think she's changed? I don't want to see her ally with Madam Nie, but neither do I want to owe her a favour. Either way she's dangerous to keep and dangerous to give away.

    That actually inclines me towards A, dangerous as it is, it is the only way to keep Xuezi along with us without the strings attached.
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Can't quite point you out to what would indicate such a change, because we have no idea what she was like before she lost her powers, except for a pair of obscure references.

    But we have these quotes:
    She does behave more civilized than when we first met her, too.
     
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  22. Akkudakku Arbiter

    Akkudakku
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    Maybe she just wants to ask us we 'do her' later :p sick I know...
     
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  23. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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  24. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    C>A
     
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