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[LP CYOA] 傳

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

  1. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I had a feeling she intended to talk about her sister, so that point is probably moot now.

    We have an unfinished business with Bai Juitian and Mao Sanjiao, and we never found the All-Seeing Astrologer Hua Jin that Lady Ji talked about.

    Suddenly one year seems so small.
     
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  2. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Exactly, which is why we must focus on essential things (Yunzi, the Empire and training) and let the rest come as it will. Anti-slavery crusades aren't essential, Shun and his constables can handle that (if they haven't already), and Hua Jin isn't a guy you look for.
     
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  3. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I don't give a rat's ass about the Empire. There are competent people running it now, and they'll have to manage without us. If they need help, they can find us. It's not like we are hiding.

    For now I would like to concentrate on personal matters.
     
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  4. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Tournament Delay

    The best time for you to enter the palace is while everyone is occupied with the pre-tournament feast. It no longer surprised you to discover that Qilin spoke enough Tibetan to bribe the location of Yunzi’s chambers from a palace maid – that girl seems to know just a little bit of everything. The corridors of the palace are watched, but with the amount of guards they have on hand, they might as well be deserted to you. Quietly and unseen, you take advantage of the shadows to slink from pillar to pillar, leaving no trace of your passing behind. It does not take you long to reach the room.

    When you enter it, a faint fragrance catches your attention. It is familiar to you, though the memory of it is so vague that you cannot recall when you last caught its scent. You look around the room. The center of the room was dominated by a large, ornate bed. There were a few polished mirrors and dressing tables placed by the walls, and a row of folding screens. Glancing down at the floor, you raise your eyebrows in surprise: it seems that the noble and pure Holy Maiden does not have the habit of tidying up after herself. Her undergarments are scattered carelessly on the floor – the maids must not have gotten around to cleaning up the room yet.

    “Perhaps I should do her a favour and clean up,” you mutter jokingly to yourself as you prod the thin fabric with your toe. You hear loud cheers coming from the courtyard; the celebration may be ending soon. There are no rafters for you to hide in the room, and you opt to go behind the folding screen, where more of Yunzi’s garments are hung. Then, you empty your mind, amidst the calming, pleasant fragrance, and wait, as silent and as unmoving as a block of wood.

    After a while, you hear footsteps approaching. There are three sets.

    “-can’t believe he did that!”

    “Please calm down, Holy Maiden.”

    “Oh, I’ll be calm. Here are my calm orders. I want no one to disturb me tonight. Not even the prince. Make sure he never gets within sight of my door… yes, I know it’s his palace. I don’t care.”

    As the complaint continues, you hear the door open and slam shut a moment later. The footsteps shuffle towards the bed, and you hear a muffled scream of rage, as if someone is shouting into the sheets. “This is so irritating. I’m so tired. I just want to escape everything. Asena, should I run?” You hear Yunzi’s weary, pleading whisper from your hiding spot behind the screen, and she begins muttering a prayer in the Tujue language. A sudden thought comes into your mind, and you grin.

    “Priestess of the Ashina,” you croak, lowering your voice and attempting to throw it around the room as you massage your throat with your fingers: Qilin had taught you a bit of it and you could not even come close to her proficiency, but it was still something you could manage in a pinch, in the right conditions. “What ails you so?”

    “Who’s there?” Yunzi’s reply is sharp and quick: you can feel it being directed towards the folding screen you are behind. It looks like your skills are still insufficient… but if she has not recognized you yet, you are going to play this out until you are satisfied. “I am an emissary of the mother wolf, holy priestess,” you continue, your tone somber and stoic. “Child, I am here to share your burdens. Come, allow me to help you.”

    “Why is an emissary of Asena speaking in Han?” asks the girl suspiciously.

    “It is the language you desire to hear at this moment, though you may not know it,” you reply smoothly. “The wolf is mother to all, and these are her ways. Trust in her. Do not question.”

    “If you are really a wolf spirit, tell me.” Yunzi takes a slightly challenging tone. “Tell me what is in my future. Can you do that?”

    “Of course, sacred one. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm~” You begin humming deeply, modulating your tone up and down in a way you think rather mysterious and suitable. Then, you say, “You will meet a tall, good-looking and extremely charming boy with an eye-patch-“

    The folding screen crumples inwards as a palm bursts through the thin paper, interrupting your prophecy. You dodge backwards, the edge of her hand just brushing past the tip of your nose. Then, the folding screen begins smouldering, and bursts into flames shortly after. Clicking your tongue in slight surprise, you dash away from the burning screen.

    “I knew it was you, you impudent dog,” says Yunzi triumphantly as she leaps to the attack. “Brilliant deduction, Holy Maiden. Hey, aren’t you worried about that fire you just started?” you respond. Blocking her blows, you attempt to retaliate but she slips quickly out of your sight, always remaining just vaguely in your peripheral vision. “Don’t worry, even if I burn down the room, it is fine if you are burnt to ashes along with it. You’ll pay for all your sins tonight,” Stopping in her tracks suddenly, she sends both her palms towards you with a powerful thrust. You whip your arm up and meet it with a claw strike, countering her force directly with your own. A small gust of wind swirls around the room as your hand meets hers, blowing out the flames from the folding screen. Resisting the burning qi with no small amount of pain, you begin pushing Yunzi back with your superior strength, but she suddenly kicks out at you. You leap, evading her kick. She takes the opportunity to twist at your arm while you are in the air, attempting to wrench you painfully to the ground by using your own momentum against you. You spin, pulling at her. You’re not going down without a fight.

    As the both of you struggle to gain the upper hand over the other, whirling about the room in a strange, violent dance, you trip over the smouldering remains of the screen and crash onto the bed, taking her down with you. She stares at you, breathing heavily. Her skin is flushed, a bead of sweat dripping down her brow. Her sweat, mixed with the fragrance – now you recall where you had encountered it: it was during your first fight with her, back on the steppes. The two of you are so close that your noses are almost touching. Her mouth parts slightly.

    There is a knock at the door.

    “Holy Maiden, are you all right?” It is a female’s voice.

    After a brief, awkward moment, she pulls her eyes away from yours, sitting up straight. “Y-yes! I am fine. I was practicing our Temple’s skills. I do not want to be disturbed for the rest of the night, so leave me to my training,” she calls out.

    “I see. I thought I sensed some other person in there. Unfortunately, the prince just sent a message that he would like to meet you in the garden for a moonlit walk, Holy Maiden. He is waiting for you in the grounds.”

    “I am tired and uninterested,” replies Yunzi with a firm tone. “Turn him down.”

    “I understand and obey, Holy Maiden,” says the voice dutifully.

    After you are certain that her attendant has gone, you ask, “Is that woman one of your Amesha Spenta?”

    “Yes, she is. A new one, ascended to the position just a few months ago. Not all of them made it back from Heihu Valley alive,” comes the reply.

    “Sounds interesting,” you say, earning yourself a venomous stare from the Holy Maiden.

    “So, why are you here?” The question seems accusing, as if she thinks you are here to do mischief.

    “Didn’t you invite me?”

    “To the temple, yes. Two years ago.”

    “Better late than never.”

    “Spoken like a boy who has never known responsibility.”

    “I wasn’t aware that I was responsible to you in any way.”

    Yunzi falls silent, apparently yearning to say something. She shakes her head slightly, however, and changes the topic. “Did you sign up for the tournament?”

    “Well…”

    “I knew it. I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist,” she exclaims, half-amused and half-frustrated. “What is it with you and your habit of fighting for the right to marry princesses?”

    “Habit? I only did it-“ You pause, remembering that you had challenged Yunzi for her hand in marriage once before, though you had not known what it meant then. Perhaps it would be wiser for you not to argue this point. “Princess Rinchen is a nice girl,” says Yunzi seriously. “If you are not going to treat her with the respect she deserves, drop out.”

    “You are assuming that I am going to win. Thank you for your confidence,” you say jokingly. Your teasing seems to disarm her slightly. “I-I have seen the other competitors just now, at the feast. As an impartial judge, I must say that those that I have seen don’t really stand a chance against you.”

    “Judge, eh? Why did Prince Tenzin ask you to preside over the tournament anyway? It seems strange, I must say, asking the Fire Temple’s Holy Maiden to be his guest of honour.”

    Yunzi is suddenly flustered, colour rising into her cheeks. She closes her eyes and says, “He just proposed to me publicly at the feast just now, after he won his exhibition match. It seems that he wants to make me his wife at the same time that his sister marries the champion for double festivities. Inviting me here was merely a setup for the plan.”

    “How… romantic. You must be flattered,” you say.

    “Bothersome is what it is,” replies Yunzi quickly. “I didn’t expect he would make his move so openly.”

    “Reject him then.”

    “I… I don’t know. We will see. I need to consult with Vahista and Vairya first.”

    “Because of the Fire Temple? Is he going to hold them hostage if you don’t comply?”

    “No, don't be silly. Prince Tenzin is not that sort of person.”

    “You seem to be rather familiar with what sort of person he is,” you laugh, but Yunzi does not seem to find it funny. Her eyes flash angrily, but she bites back whatever she was going to throw at you. You shake your head. “If you are tired, just leave.”

    “The Temple saved my life,” she says flatly.

    “So did I, and I did it even earlier,” you say wryly. “If that is all it takes…” What you say next surprises even yourself. The words are out of your mouth before they even begin to register in your mind. “Come with me.”

    Yunzi stares at you, a strange expression on her face.

    There is another knock at the door.

    “Holy Maiden, I am afraid I do sense someone in the room after all. There could be an intruder.”

    “Wait, Armaiti! Let me get dressed, then you can check the room with me, together,” replies Yunzi loudly. Turning to you, she hisses, “Go!”

    You nod. Yunzi gets off of you, allowing you to roll off the bed. You move towards the window, casting one last glance at the irritated Holy Maiden and grinning, before jumping out.

    ***

    “Esteemed masters, we have an unexpected problem,” says the chief administrator of the tournament apologetically. He gives you a nervous look. “It seems that most of our participants have dropped out this morning.” Indeed, your participation had become public knowledge rather soon, and there was little doubt left once you appeared in the entrance hall. Apparently many of the pugilists have weighed their chances of survival against the rewards of Princess Rinchen’s hand in marriage, and found the odds wanting: your reputation has spread to such an extent that it seems even the foreign pugilistic community is aware of some made-up rumours about your bloodthirst, though you think it is likely that Zhang Jue's own reputation and travels have played a big part in creating that effect.

    The exodus was swift.

    “We had planned for a preliminary elimination competition, but now that we are down to only nine participants, it seems that we must convene with Prince Tenzin to decide how we proceed next,” continues the chief administrator haltingly. “The start of the competition will be postponed to the afternoon.”

    That is why you find yourself enjoying a meal in the finest inn in Dukezong, compliments of the tournament organization committee. “I was surprised when you came back so early,” says Qilin. “…yes… I thought you would have stayed the night with Number Three…” agrees Cao’er. “There’s nothing like that between me and that girl,” you say, looking around the inn. A few of the other participants are also here.

    One of them, a young Tibetan man, is being scolded by a pretty teenage girl as he looks into his bowl of wine sullenly. After a while, she walks out of the inn, exasperated, though as she passes by you her eyes seem to light up with some sort of interest.

    “I caught what they said,” says Qilin quietly. “I can’t imagine it is a secret to the locals at this rate. Does the Tibetan look familiar to you?” You shake your head, and she grins. “Of course not, but your path has crossed his once before, two years ago. His name is Jixuan Wuni.” You vaguely recall such a name making it to the bracketed elimination match, though you had not faced the man in combat.

    She continues. “And that girl… Cao’er and I snuck into the feast last night, while you were busy rolling around with your precious Holy Maiden. That’s the younger sister of Princess Pema Rinchen. I didn’t manage to catch her name, but I definitely saw her there.”

    “Was it a lover’s spat?” you ask.

    “Close. She’s telling him that it is better for him to run off with Princess Rinchen than to participate in the bloodsport her brother organized.”

    “Ah, I got it,” you say, understanding the situation instantly. “Knew you’d get it, darling,” smiles Qilin. “If you entered the feast last night, do you see any other faces I would do well to remember?”

    Qilin glances around, and then frowns. “Ah, there’s one. Cao’er, do you remember him?”

    Cao’er’s expression darkens scarily. “Him.”

    You turn to look at the person that they are displeased about. It appears to be a handsome, rich Han man in his twenties, accompanied by a bevy of the usual sycophants you would expect to see. He is drinking happily with his gang, roaring in laughter.

    “I do not have much details on him, but his name is Zhang Manxing,” mutters Qilin. “He tried to drug me and Cao’er last night. Luckily, we were adept enough to slip away.” Just as she says that, Zhang Manxing looks over. His eyes widen with glee. “Oh, it is the two fair beauties! What a coincidence!” He walks over to your table, a wide grin on his face. “Is this your brother?”

    Qilin arches her eyebrow, telling you to handle it. It looks like even she does not have the patience to deal with this man. You look up at him and smile politely. “No, I am not.”

    “I see,” he says, slightly annoyed at the brevity of your answer. “Well, you must be one of the participants in the tournament. It looks like you have not dropped out from some silly fear of this Southern Maniac’s disciple they say is taking part.”

    “Of course not,” you say. “I have nothing to fear.”

    “Good show!” he shouts, slapping you on the back hard, laughing. “It is a pity that a man as brave as you entered the competition when I am here. The Tufan Princess will be mine without a doubt!”

    “Thank you for the compliment, but who might you be?”

    An aggrieved shout rises from Zhang Manxing’s table. “You call yourself Han and yet you do not know our Young Master? He is Zhang Manxing, younger brother of Chief Secretary Zhang Manlou, whose godfather is Grand Eunuch Wang! He is here with the personal blessings of our great Emperor Xuande!”

    “A very impressive background, Young Master Zhang,” you say, wondering if he actually did receive Shun’s personal permission to participate. “You must have had the best training in martial arts.”

    “Of course I have,” he grins proudly. “I received instructions from masters of all the Great Eight Sects. The leader of the pugilistic world, and the most powerful martial artist living, Master Nie Wuxing of Huashan, is my personal teacher. When it comes to martial arts, I dare say I am the equal of Bai Jiutian.”

    “Oh, that will be something to look forward to. Please go easy on me,” you murmur, looking down as if you are frightened. He does not look that strong to you, though you cannot rule out that he is hiding his true strength for the tournament. Still, his family interests you more than his supposed skill: you recall that Zhang Manlou was the man who set Liu Chanfeng down on a self-destructive path, inciting her hatred of all things male.

    “Well, no-name, it is good that you know who I am,” sneers Zhang Manxing, pleased that you appear intimidated. He looks at Qilin and Cao’er with unbridled lust, “I’ll be seeing you around. You and your two beautiful female friends.” He wanders back to his table as you sigh. You cast your eyes around the inn again, matching faces to some names and stories that you have heard on your way here…

    Three other people catch your attention:

    Pang Xiaohu, the son of the self-proclaimed Bandit King, Pang Hu.

    Xuxian, a young local monk who has just returned from a stay in Shaolin, and is rumoured to be the disciple of a mysterious, powerful and reclusive Tibetan lama.

    Jiu Mou, a young member of the Beggars’ Sect.

    You wonder if you should approach any of them before the tournament begins.

    ***

    A. You approach Jixuan Wuni. Though you had not spoken to the man before this, you are interested in hearing more about his story with Princess Rinchen, even though you know what it probably is all about. If true love is involved, you can't not support it.

    B. You approach Zhang Manxing. His appearance here could be a matter of politics. It could do you well to try and ingratiate yourself with him for now; this might be part of Shun’s plan, and you don’t want to mess it up.

    C. You approach Pang Xiaohu, the Little Tiger of the Bandit Kingdom. If he has come here, it probably means that the Bandit Kingdom is seeking to further expand its influence. Perhaps you could find out more about their motives and actions.

    D. You approach Xuxian, the Tibetan monk from Shaolin. You might be mistaken, but your instinct tells you that he is the most powerful fighter here: you feel that he has a powerful inner strength.

    E. You approach Jiu Mou. A beggar from the Sect willingly participating in such a tournament seems rather rare, though he also holds himself differently from the other beggars you have seen. You wonder just why he is here.

    F. You do not approach anyone. You are here to fight, not to listen to their stories.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
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  5. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    "The Little Tiger?" That's so adorable.
    :love:
    I'm torn between A and D. On the one hand, I really like the sound of helping Princess Rinchen and her real lover*, but the student of a Dalai Llama is pretty intriguing as well.

    *Yunzi will probably approve of this, and since that Tenjin dude just proposed to our woman, relationship points count now more than ever.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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  7. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    E>A>D>C for now.

    Is Qillin the Rogue, or is this beggar, I wonder.
     
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I actually think BJ is the rogue.
     
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  9. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Drabbit Rogue
     
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  10. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    If we have princess elope with Jixuan Wuni, it helps these two; we can demand another reward for our trouble; the prince will not be able to go with his initial plan of double marriage, and we keep Yunzi single - for now - while getting massive points for not messing up the princess' life further. It's all good.
     
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  11. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    :what:
    The Tsundrabbit yet lives! I knew treave wouldn't discard the idea so easily!
     
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  12. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    OMGOMGOMG. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!!
     
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  13. Bloodshifter Educated

    Bloodshifter
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    Somewhere with dead bears
  14. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    A.
    Fighting for the oppressed lovers.
    Although i consider D and E very intriguing choices.
     
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  15. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    A

    True love eh?

    Well we could not ask for a more noble cause than that!

    Show Spoiler
     
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  16. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    This. A.
     
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  17. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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  18. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    This asshole is a marketing genius. In the two years that we've been gone, he's managed to get his cronies to crown him as the most powerful martial artist alive despite the fact that he's beaten nobody of any note. Oh well, I guess since he managed to get people to believe that he helped the Sword Saint fight Ahura, he's probably managed to convince people of even more outrageous shit since then.

    All of the choices here are very tempting. Since we're here for love to begin with, it would only be appropriate to help Jixuan Wuni win Princess Rinchen's heart. He's a brave man; he was beaten in the opening round of the Young Tigers Tournament, and despite seeing what the Southern Maniac's disciple is capable of and possibly facing us here, he's stuck around to win this thing, despite the odds. If that's not true love, I don't know what is. I hope we can clear out the other competitors to make his victory more sure.

    That being said, Zhang Mangxing interests me. I wonder what he's doing here on behalf of Shun Emperor Xuande, though if I had to guess, he's probably a pawn in one of Shun's plans. Our friend doesn't exactly trust the Eunuchs, though unlike Li, Wang could very well be aligned with the Prince. I'd rather not kill him without knowing what his business here is, but it would be nice to add another Huashan kill to our tally since Rong Zhiyu was such a long time ago.

    And of course the Tibetan monk is interesting and he's a good preview of a lot of Shaolin skills that we didn't get a chance to face before. And I also think Smashing Axe is on to something with the Beggar. A dashing rogue come to claim the Princess' hand? Seems like it fits the bill of the Rogue.

    Still, voting A, though I hope that we get a chance to talk to either Xuxian or Jiu Mou again, seems like they could be BRO material.
     
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  19. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    The :decline: has hit me..

    A>E
     
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  20. Anabanana Augur

    Anabanana
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    A, because I don't think we can get an in on the elopement plan otherwise, but yes, D and E are both very intriguing.
     
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  21. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    Great update! I'll vote D, I want to hear more about their martial arts if possible.
     
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  22. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Fine, no Dalai Lama for us. A.
     
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  23. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Split between helping a man obtain love and becoming bros with Alkeides.
     
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  24. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Helping him obtain his love with the Princess will likely help us obtain love with Yunzi. Which is the only reason I'm voting for A.
     
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  25. XenomorphII Prophet

    XenomorphII
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