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[LP CYOA] 傳

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

  1. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Meh, I'd rather we find our Masters and reach the top by our own wits.
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Yes, beggar fans will get something to make up for this mess in the future, since this is my fuck-up. :( B it is then.
     
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  3. LWC1996 Learned

    LWC1996
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    LOL Once again Jing's rotten luck spills into real life LOL
     
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  4. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Get your lolling out of my Codex, unwashed one. :rpgcodex:
     
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  5. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Songfeng Sword School

    Master Yao accepts your request to go to Songfeng with a shrug and a slight chuckle. “If you wish. I believe Cao’er will be up to the task of curing the man. I will go to Kaifeng. At the very least, going there means I’ll get to share a drink with Liuwu again. The man knows his wine for being such a dirty beggar.” Stroking his beard, he remarks approvingly, “That makes up for the tedious task of examining the corpse.”

    At dawn, just as you are preparing to set off he gives you a dagger, which you strap to the inside of your boot. Leaning closely to you, the old man whispers, “Should anything happen, do not allow Cao’er to kill. She can never kill. If you have to, kill in her stead.” You understand what he means. Cao’er turns… different, when she hurts a living thing, accidentally or otherwise. “Do you expect trouble at Songfeng, master?” you ask quietly.

    Yao snorts and slaps you on the back hard. “I expect trouble everywhere. Now off with you!”

    ***

    The journey to takes you the better part of the day - by the time you finally reach your destination, the sun is setting. Despite her small stature, Cao’er has borne the trek without a single noise of complaint.

    As you walked, you had asked around Tuzhonglin about the school that you are heading to, finding out a bit of its background. Rong Muben is the master and founder of the school. He had once been a senior disciple on Huashan, reputed for his light swordsmanship. After creating a reputation for himself, he had married and settled down in the forest near Tuzhonglin twenty years ago. There, he had built his Songfeng Sword School. The school is relatively reputable but not large - there are at most thirty or forty students. Apparently Rong Muben has combined his honour with an utter lack of ambition, lacking the will to expand his school. He has not challenged any other schools in ten years, preferring to spend his time cultivating himself in meditation. Times have been hard recently, and the son has just returned a few months ago from a year’s stay at Huashan Sect, where his father had trained.

    The two disciples at the gate to the compound stare at you with an unfriendly eye.

    “Report your name!” challenges one of the disciples.

    You make a courteous bow and introduce yourself and Cao’er. “We are apprentices of the Master Physician Yao Shunshi. I believe we are expected?”

    The two look at each other, whispering.

    “No, we didn’t-” begins one of the disciples, before a woman’s voice is heard from the courtyard, its owner approaching the gate swiftly. “Are the physician’s apprentices there?” A matronly woman of about forty steps out of the gate, respectably dressed. She looks flustered and worried, deep lines having etched into her brow, but finds it in herself to give you a gentle, welcoming smile.

    “Ah, the two of you must be Master Yao’s apprentices! I am Madam Rong, the wife of our house’s master, Songfeng School Master Rong Muben. Master Yao sent a message saying that he was busy and he would send two representatives in his stead. He did not mention that they were children, however… no matter! Master Yao’s reputation is unimpeachable! Even his apprentice will be better than any doctor.”

    She looks at you with hope, showing such faith in you that you can’t help but feel embarrassed. “Oh, no, I’m not the one who will be doing the healing. My senior here is the real expert. I’m Xu Jing, and she’s Cao’er,” you say humbly. Cao’er gives a yelp of panic as you direct the attention over to her.

    “Such a cute young girl is your senior? That is impressive, Cao’er! I’m sure you’ll do just fine,” says the woman enthusiastically, patting the girl’s head bravely - it takes some courage to touch that mess of hair. You can tell that Madam Rong is trying to stay calm and put Cao’er at ease despite her own worries. The motherly instincts of a grown woman, perhaps? “Please, please do come in.”

    As she leads the both of you into the courtyard, her footsteps quicken. You gesture at Cao’er to hurry up. The school’s master may be in very poor condition.

    ***

    Rong Muben’s face is pale, his eyes dark and his cheeks sunken. Cao’er swiftly goes by his side and takes his pulse. After a while, she looks up at you and begins to recite the materials that she will need. In such situations, she does not hesitate to speak, though her voice is still as hoarse as ever. “Five ke of caomu, two and a half ke of zhongliang…”

    You hurriedly open up your bags and open up the packed herbs. After measuring the proper amount, you place the herbal mixture in a wooden bowl, passing it to Cao’er. “Madam Rong, could you please show my senior to the kitchen?” She obliges quickly, placing two hands on Cao’er’s shoulders and steering her out of the room. In the meantime, you go over to the sickly Master Rong.

    You recognize the mixture that Cao’er had asked for - Master Rong has been poisoned. Looking at the dazed patient more closely, you can see the tell-tale signs of dark spots under his jaw. As you are about to try and speak to him, you hear a quiet cough from the doorway. Turning your head, you see a young man of perhaps twenty in the robes of a Songfeng disciple, except slightly more ornate in its embroidery.

    “What are you doing with my father?” he asks. You give him a polite bow, making sure not to establish eye contact. You can smell his arrogance even from a distance - it’s not the first time you’ve met such a man. You know his sort; he is the type of man who would have been a bully as a boy. “I’m an apprentice sent by Master Yao. We are here to heal him.”

    “Really?” he frowns. “Better do a good job, then. Mother has been fervently praying for Father to be healed.”

    “How long has he been sickly?” you ask politely.

    “Does that matter?”

    “It does. The longer a sickness breeds, the harder it is to banish,” you speak, taking on the cultured tones of medicinal tomes that you have read. It is comfortable, as if slipping back into the palace lingo that you once used.

    “Perhaps a week, then. Father fell off a horse and has never been the same since,” replies the young man absent-mindedly, his brow creasing.

    “I see. That is important information. Thank you… young master?”

    “Rong Zhiyu, heir of the Songfeng Sword School. It has been a pleasure to make your acquaintance, apprentice physician. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have matters of the school to see to so that things will be running smoothly when Father recovers.” Placing his hands together, he bows and departs.

    Soon after, Cao’er returns with Madam Rong. The potion is ready - it stinks, as it always does. Madam Rong gently cradles her husband’s head and raises it, while Cao’er pours the nasty concoction down his throat. Then, she stabs at his pressure points with her finger, swiftly and precisely, without hesitation. Within minutes, the colour returns to Master Rong’s face. His eyes slip closed and a gentle snore begins to emit from his lips.

    The three of you exit the room quietly, allowing the man to rest. Madam Rong gives Cao’er a tight hug - truly, she is a brave woman not afraid of filth. “Thank you! You are truly the followers of the wondrous physician.” She smiles tearfully. “I… I expect that I will have to pay the price now?”

    “...not cured yet. I’m not as good as my Master,” croaks Cao’er in response. “I need one more session with him tomorrow to remove the p… illness…” It looks like she’s a bit more tactful than her master in this regard. Cao’er then shakes her head, continuing, “Also, no killing either. We’ll be paid normally...”

    You haven’t said anything about the price for saving a life on the way here, thinking that you would raise it when the treatment is complete - she’s decided on this herself.

    The look on Madam Rong’s face is one of utter surprise and joy, as if Buddha himself had come down to bless her. She embraces Cao’er in a hug so tight that you can hear her breath squeaking out. “Thank you! Thank you! I won’t forget this. You can be sure that I will let everyone know that Master Yao has some very fine apprentices to follow in his footsteps. The both of you will always be welcome here at Songfeng!”

    ***

    The grateful Madam Rong escorts you personally to your room. Cao’er had refused to sleep in a separate one, and with the clucking of a disapproving mother hen Madam Rong had grudgingly allowed it. Very grudgingly, as she continues knocking on the door every ten minutes to find out if you need anything. You spot her shadow hovering through the paper walls, listening in. It seems that she’s guarding Cao’er’s chastity as fervently as she would her own daughter’s.

    After sometime Madam Rong stops poking her head in, seemingly called away for other things. You heave a sigh of relief. Once the two of you are truly alone, you can’t resist patting her on the head; she’s just like a cute little animal. “Good job. I’m really proud of you.” Cao’er blushes and smiles shyly, staring at the floor again. She has done well - if everything goes smoothly, tomorrow you will leave with a proper reward, without taking Madam Rong’s life. If.

    This is a clear case of poisoning, and you already have your suspect. Madam Rong seems oblivious, and Cao’er was tactful enough to refrain from mentioning the poison - she is leaving the decision to you.

    “How do the others not see it,” you mutter. Then again, a mother will always think the world of her son, and he may have gained the support of the rest of the disciples.

    There is yet another knock at the door, and a voice speaks. It is not Madam Rong this time.

    “This is Rong Zhiyu. May I come in, apprentices?”

    You know he will come in whether you allow it or not. “Please do, Young Master Rong,” you call out.

    Rong Zhiyu walks in, grinning thinly. Falsely. In his left hand he is carrying a sword, in the other, a book. Another sword is tucked in at his waist. You tense up, shifting your body instinctively so that Cao’er is behind you. Even so, you force your face into a smile. It is probably more natural than his on account of your constant practice.

    “I’m just here to tell you the good news. Father is fully recovered now, and won’t be needing your assistance tomorrow.”

    There is no need to even think about it - he is lying. Cao’er will not be wrong about the amount of treatment required.

    “I am unsure what reward you would want - Mother said that you did not demand the Killing Physician’s fee, and I am grateful for that. Unfortunately, as you know we are not a very rich school. I thought of giving these to you,” says Rong Zhiyu, as he tosses the sword and book at you.

    “That sword has been passed down through the ages in the Rong family, and the book instructs you in the Songfeng Swordplay. These are our prized heirlooms.”

    You look at the sword, drawing it partially from the scabbard. The design is old - perhaps more than a hundred years old - and when you wield it there is something off about its balance, though you cannot tell what exactly. You have had experience with swords in the palace, and this sword just feels wrong in your hand. Perhaps it is just badly made.

    Then, you look at the book. There is only one page within - the first step of the Songfeng Swordplay.

    “The rest of the steps are school secrets - if you want them, you will have to join and pay a fee,” smiles the young master. The 'gifts' are clearly meant as insults. You can feel Cao’er grabbing your sleeve.

    “These are marvellous treasures, Young Master Rong. Are you sure we can have them?” you say, chuckling with feigned pleasure.

    “Of course. They are really more than you deserve, but I would say it is fitting payment for curing my dear father.”

    “Thank you, Young Master Rong,” you bow politely. “That must not be the only reason you are here, right?”

    His eyes narrow. “Since your business here is done, perhaps you can be on your way, apprentices.”

    “I would, but the road is dark at night, Young Master. Where would you have us go? We have walked a long way today,” you reply.

    “I have arranged for an inn’s room at Tuzhonglin, just ten minutes away. I will have four of our school’s disciples escort you there,” he says, staring at you. It looks like his mind is set and he will not be swayed. You are not wanted here.

    You are also not new to the jianghu any more. Grinning at Rong Zhiyu, you know that there is a chance that those disciples will attempt to cut you and Cao’er down in the dark, once you’re safely away from the school. Of course, in the woods you could always try to lose them, but if you walk away now, you are certain that Master Rong will die. You would be betraying Madam Rong’s trust, and your master’s own reputation.

    On the other hand… Cao’er’s grip on your sleeve tightens, as she is starting to get nervous at the situation.

    ***

    A. You agree to leave with the old sword and the single-page book as payment. If they attempt to attack you, you will try to slip away. If necessary you will kill them. You cannot let Cao’er get wrapped up in this. It is unfortunate for Master and Madam Rong, but you cannot help them, not against the viper in their own blanket.

    B. You agree to leave, but once you are in the woods you will attempt to give the disciples the slip. You will put Cao’er some place safe and ask her to show you how to heal Master Rong. Picking up what you can, you will then sneak back into the school alone - bringing Cao’er along will be too difficult for your skills - and attempt to cure him yourself.

    C. You refuse Rong Zhiyu to his face. He is a bully of the worst sort - he would never have tried this with Master Yao. He can do his best if he dares, but you bet that he will be too cowardly to face you in a fight. Even though he is five years older than you and trained properly in the sword, a swordsman is nothing if you can prevent him from drawing his blade. You have your legs.

    D. You offer to help him. What is wrong with poisoning? You will ask Cao'er to hold back and only pretend to heal, while you give more poison to Rong Muben yourself. Rong Zhiyu may be dislikeable, but his father won't live forever anyway and it'll be good to have him as an ally by helping him now.

    E. You pretend to offer to help him. You tell him Cao'er can use more lethal poisons to ensure that his father dies. Of course, that will be a trick, and Cao'er will be doing her best to heal him instead. Hopefully he will fall for this proposal. You will try to expose him afterwards; there is no point healing him and not dealing with the son if he's just going to try the same thing again after you leave.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
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  6. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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    C I dont care about anything else right now but giving this arrogant ass a beating and getting the job done right and no cursed swords or secret techniques are going to change that
     
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  7. 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
    B or C, I guess...
    Also-
    Looks like we found family.



    I'd go for C, but let's not involve Cao'er just yet, for better or for worse.
    Then again, B might be time consuming...

    Not voting yet.
     
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  8. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Added D and E, just for kicks.
     
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  9. 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
    Hmmm, Going E.
     
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  10. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Well, what about that. Let's try and be sneaky and steal some glory, shall we? With our luck, it wont work, but it'll be amusing.

    B

    Also, this will be a ... stealth mission!

    :yeah:
     
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  11. LWC1996 Learned

    LWC1996
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    A

    We came here in hopes of obtaining a decent sword and a book of manual, and by George, I am leaving with what I came here for. Cao'er's safety is paramount. A brother's gotta think of the sister's safety.

    Old Rong is cured - somewhat. Mission accomplished.
     
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  12. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Oh? It sounds like we witnessed at least one of these episodes. Do tell.
    Quite a pickle we're in here. Of course, I'm going for full case resolution out of principle and that automatically excludes A and D.
    That leaves:
    B- we can definitely sneak back in with our AGI and Shadow Wolf. Question is, do we have enough skills to actually cure him by ourselves? Jing recognized that this is a poison and he definitely knows his herbs. But is that enough? And then there is the matter of Cao'er and killing, I'm pretty sure that if we leave her alone, someone will eventually find her and either capture her or force her hand.
    C- most straightforward option, and I'm pretty sure we can take him on and win, even if by just a slight margin. Good luck explaining this away, though.
    E- 'kunnin plan option. Jing can definitely fool this dude, we already have him convinced we're a regular country bumpkin.
    Must be those years of practice with the stuck up nobility in the palace The only concern here is Cao'er not catching on to our bluff and starting to yell "No, I won't kill him!" Convincing the family will most likely be difficult, unless his father already suspects something. Why would they listen to us as opposed to him?
    In before this is all a huge misunderstanding.
    :troll:
    What's the story with these guys?
    Edit:
    :rpgcodex:
    We don't half-ass our shit here.
     
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  13. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Ok, A and D are out of the question for me. Fuck this bulling asshole. Plus there is no guarantee that he wouldn't try to kill us anyway. Escort my ass. The problem is the rest are very risky indeed.

    B would have us evade his men (so, he has the support of at least these four behind him, though probably not the many of the others - otherwise he wouldn't have resorted to poisoning) in the dark (with Cao'er - risky), and then sneak in and heal the man ourselves (if we can) - again, risky with just one point in stealth and our technique.

    C is a direct confrontation with him and probably those four that could be waiting just behind him. He probably send others away before he came to us, but if we could get to somebody else, we could put an end to this. But this also puts Cao'er at most risk...

    As for E, well it could work - we do have some speech skill and charisma. But I also could see it failing as well. He might be too suspicious of us. He might make sure that his men are with us when we administer the antidote, resulting in a even harder fight. And even if we cure the old man, then what? Is he going to be in any state to help us against Rong Zhiyu?

    Even so, I think I will go with E > C for now, simply because even if he refuses we can just move to B or C, pretend to leave or confront him immediately. If he doesn't refuse, we'll just have to play it through. We need to get to Madam Rong - she will know which men are most likely to be loyal to the old man and rally them.
     
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  14. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Oh, she just gave this laugh, "Uhihihihihihihihihi" and her eyes turned really creepy with a sinister smile while holding that kitchen knife she accidentally cut the live chicken with. Master Yao instantly killed the chicken with a flick of his finger before she could, and she returned to normal. Somewhat normal.

    The bandits who tossed you off a cliff. You don't know much else about them.
     
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  15. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I don't think we can count on her, she loves her son and will most likely consider us a liar. We need to cure the old man. Will he be ready for a fight as soon as he wakes up? Probably not, so we can't count on him.
    Man, it would suck if Jing is misinterpreting the situation here: "Dude, it's okay. I got you, give me a day and the old man will be dead."
    "Wha- How dare you! We send for a healer and they send a murderer! Guards, remove this trash from the premises!"
    Edit:
    -1 for the harem.
     
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  16. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    That's what C is for. You refuse to leave and explain that the healing is not complete.

    You have no taste.
     
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  17. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Although, if he walks away he may just send someone to off us at night or tell some bullshit to mother dearest. It's probably me being paranoid and Jing is probably right, but still.
    Dude, I'm not sending our boy into one bed with Gallardo's less hygenic female reincarnation. Tsundere princesses, I can deal with. Psycho ninja chicks, sure. MILFs, no problem. Tentacle babes from outer space, hell yeah.
    Just...no.
     
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  18. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Yeah, I don't think we misinterpreted anything here - it all points to this asshole. Good point about the wife being torn between loyalty to her husband and son. But I think we could still talk her into action - she must have noticed something before, and her loyalty to her husband was such that she was prepared to give her life for him. And true, the old man might not be in any state to help us in a fight, but he still might rally his men and kick the bastards out. But yeah, I might flop to say, B (subtlety!) or C (fuck subtlety!) options.

    Oh, come on. If you are going to be that picky just because she likes killing (a lot) too much...
     
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  19. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Pfft. Just have to prevent her from killing anything and she'll be nice and shy. Or is that too big of a challenge for Tigerbro? Not man enough I see. He will fail to walk the Way with this type of attitude.

    The Way of the Harem King does not discriminate. All women are as One when your goal is that of the Boundless Harem, without limits. Your love encompasses the universe!
     
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  20. 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
    Except we're giving her the sibling treatment.
     
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  21. XenomorphII Prophet

    XenomorphII
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  22. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Good thing I never wanted that harem in the first place. :smug:
    With our protagonists' track record, we should start off with one success for now. And by success I mean not having her turn into:
    A) A sword.
    B) Grey goo.
    C) Some other king's wife.
    D) All of the above.
    And we are pretty much engaged already.
    Edit:
    there's that too.
     
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  23. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Ah, about that...

    ...

    :troll:
     
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  24. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I actually saw that one coming, this just means we'll have to enter a contest of skill with her suitors and beat the ever living shit out of them.

    Which means we'd better get some experience in that department. The tsundere will not be denied!
     
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  25. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    What suitors? She's going to be married to your best buddy the prince. *checks timeline* Probably already has been.

    ...


    :troll:
     
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