[a / b / c / d / e / f / g / gif / h / hr / k / m / o / p / r / s / t / u / v / vg / vm / vmg / vr / vrpg / vst / w / wg] [i / ic] [r9k / s4s / vip / qa] [cm / hm / lgbt / y] [3 / aco / adv / an / bant / biz / cgl / ck / co / diy / fa / fit / gd / hc / his / int / jp / lit / mlp / mu / n / news / out / po / pol / pw / qst / sci / soc / sp / tg / toy / trv / tv / vp / vt / wsg / wsr / x / xs] [Settings] [Search] [Mobile] [Home]
Board
Settings Mobile Home
/qst/ - Quests

Name
Spoiler?[]
Options
Comment
Verification
4chan Pass users can bypass this verification. [Learn More] [Login]
File[]
Draw Size ×
  • Please read the Rules and FAQ before posting.
  • Additional supported file types are: PDF
  • Roll dice with "dice+numberdfaces" in the options field (without quotes).

08/21/20New boards added: /vrpg/, /vmg/, /vst/ and /vm/
05/04/17New trial board added: /bant/ - International/Random
10/04/16New board for 4chan Pass users: /vip/ - Very Important Posts
[Hide] [Show All]


[Advertise on 4chan]


File: CC4.png (1.23 MB, 1104x864)
1.23 MB
1.23 MB PNG
You managed to build a happy family far away from most of the magical happenings that could hurt you and your children's. Nowhere is truly safe, even in your newfound home in Russia, but you think the worst is finally over.

You decided to go on a vacation into your old nameless town, both as a way to unwind and to help find out more about your magic's memories. Unfortunately, Etsy's rightful fear of the U.S agency did make the travel pretty costly, but what's the point of money if you aren't spending it after all.

Your old house has all but been ransacked after you left. You did manage to sell it, but the buyer turned out to be part of the agency, and you presume they tried to find anything that you or Etsy would've left behind they could use. As far as you know they didn't find anything, so it's not really your problem. You end up staying at a pretty expensive hotel, it used to belong to Mona, but the town didn't have any place to stay that didn't belong to her, and since she's dead, her magic is all but gone from it. Your old apartment is also of course not an option, as it was wiped out long ago by the Sword of Dusk in order to spite the U.S agency.

Your kids are pretty happy that they get to stay in a luxurious place like this, although Anastasia does complain a lot about how she'd rather have stayed home. Etsy is still a little paranoid, constantly looking out the curtains of your room as if a man in black was going to suddenly attack you.

You are a little worried yourself, but your kids have all been given a tag that tracks where they are, so even if something happens to them, K.I.S.A will be able to rush to them in an instant-- A literal instant, borderline teleportation level speed, you're not sure how it works, but apparently tri-matter has some very funky applications when it's stretched over long distances. Etsy tried to explain to you how it works, but you didn't understand a word she said, you don't think even she knows how it works herself.

Anyway, with safety out of the way, you can finally relax. What should you do during your vacation?

(You can vote for two options. You will search for Arachne's remaining memories, in addition to the two most popular votes.)

>Look into Mia's dissapearence
>Visit your old house
>Go to a theme park with the kids
>Wander the town to see how much changed
>Let one of your kid pick an activity (specify which one)
>Write in
>>
>>5980900
>Go to a theme park with the kids
And after that, to be nostalgic...
>Go on a date with Etsy (preferably in places we went with her when we were young and dating)
>>
>>5980900
Archive: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Curse+Carrier

Random info: https://rentry.org/mdo67afk
>>
>>5980900
First thing
>Call Sawyer and ask her to join us
THEN
>Visit your old house
>Wander the town to see how much changed

>>5980909
Welcome back OP
>>
>>5980900
>Look into Mia's dissapearence
>Go to a theme park with the kids
Glad to see you back, OP
>>
>>5980900
>>5980907
+1
Good to see you back DM.
>>
>>5980907
>>5980918
>>5980933
>>5980952

You've actually never been to the town's theme park. It has a lot of attractions, from rollercoasters to bumper rides. You'd think a town like this wouldn't have enough tourism to make something like this profitable, but everything here is cheap enough that people don't care about the nasty rumors surrounding this town, the housing's also relatively affordable.

You decide that now's a good time to try the theme park out. You also call Sawyer to hang out, since you know she likes kids and her power isn't an issue anymore.

Etsy checks the tags one last time on your kids before you leave the hotel. "A-Are you sure it's s-safe? W-What if a ride breaks, or-"

You tell her you'll make sure nothing happens. As far as you can tell, the rides have never once malfunctioned in all the years they've been active, which is pretty impressive considering this town has a tendency of blowing random buildings up on a whim.

"Mom, we came here in a plane," Sophia says. "There are more deaths in planes than in theme parks, stop worrying so much."

"I-I personally checked that plane, i-it's not the same!"

"I-I still think anywhere else would be better. W-Why did you pick a theme park anyway?"

You tell her you considered bringing her to the theme park instead of the anime convention at the end of your first year together, and you think it's a good opportunity to do so now.

"T-That was a long time ago. I-I remember the cosplay, actually i-isn't that what...?" Her eyes rest on Sophia for an uncomfortable amount of time.

"What?" Sophia cocks her head to the side.

"N-Nothing, just happy I picked the r-right clothes back then." She ruffles Sophia's hair.

"Grn- what does that even-"

You ruffle her hair too, if you give your daughter time to think she might realize what Etsy is implying. Once the unwarranted bullying is over, you finally leave for the theme park. Sawyer is waiting for you at the entrance of the Hotel.

"Aww! Your kids are so cute! They're a little different from what I imagined since, well, a future past is now a past future know what I mean?"

You tell her you don't.

"Haha, yeah! Anyway kids, I'm Sawyer! I knew your dad waaay back in the day. About uhm... 5 years...no, that's not right err- help me out here, Weavy!"

"T-Twenty years ago," Etsy answers.

"Oh. Uhm, sorry. Way longer than I thought, anyway, I'm kind of like your aunt!"

Mikhail raises his hand. "Hi Auntie!"

The other kids don't join in, Sawyer is a complete stranger to them, after all.

Sawyer forces a smile and turns back to you, "ah, that reminds me. You've realized by now, right? About the thing."

You tell her you don't know what she's talking about.

"It's over. Someone won, someone you know, I'm sure you already figured out who that is. A big change is going to happen, but it should be fine! So yeah, congrats. You also 'won' in a way, so have I! Happy ending for...nearly everyone."
>>
>>5981422

Sophia asks what she's talking about, but you tell her it's nothing important. This just makes her even more curious, but Sawyer deflects by saying you two were talking about some old games you two used to play. It's not technically wrong, but Sawyer is phrasing it as if this was just some kind of inside joke.

You make it up to the theme park, it doesn't have a lot of people, but that only means you don't have to wait too long to try out most of the attractions. Aleksander's a little too young to do any of the more 'fun' rides, and Sawyer volunteers to watch him while you have fun. Arachne stays attached to him just in case, but it's not like you expect Sawyer to do anything to him -- you wouldn't have invited Sawyer otherwise.

Mikhail and Sophia have a lot of fun, but Ana, not so much. She keeps complaining that she'd rather be home right now, and that the rides are making her sick. She's a little bit of party-pooper, but Sawyer manages to calm her down by buying her ice cream. To your surprise, Ana even says that Sawyers is 'okay', which is as high a compliment as it gets with her.

Soon, the day is over, and it's time to go home.

"We don't have a theme park in Vladivostok," Sophia says. "This town isn't that bad, why did you move out?"

You tell her Etsy had a business opportunity overseas.

"Is that true?"

You nod.

"Doesn't add up. I looked up this place online, did you know that there's basically nothing on this town's history? How it was built, who the mayor is. I expected a ghost town, but it's just a regular city? Feels weird."

Etsy takes notice of the conversation and nudges you with the shoulder.

"M-Maybe we should tell her," she whispers to you. "S-She's an adult now, a-and it's better than her finding out by herself."

You're not sure it's a good idea. Telling her about it gives the risk of her 'digging too deep' and finding things she shouldn't, but keeping it a secret also means she won't be prepared if she does encounter the supernatural on accident.

Should you tell her?

>Tell her, she's already starting to figure things out anyway. You'll need to tell the other kids when they come of age too.
>Don't tell her, it's too dangerous.
>>
>>5981424
>Tell her, she's already starting to figure things out anyway. You'll need to tell the other kids when they come of age too.
It feels right

>>5981422
>Someone won, someone you know, I'm sure you already figured out who that is
Congrats Leah. Go make anime real.
>Happy ending for...nearly everyone
We can't save them all. That's how it is
>>
>>5981424
>>Tell her, she's already starting to figure things out anyway. You'll need to tell the other kids when they come of age too.
>>
>>5981424
>Tell her, but not right now
I mean, the game's over right? So there's no more battle royale. But we shouldn't ruin the vacation for her with this crazy-ass revelation. Just tell her we'll explain it later.
>>
>>5981474
I personally want Weaver to show off without any danger for once
>>
>>5981424
>Tell her, she's already starting to figure things out anyway. You'll need to tell the other kids when they come of age too.
she's a big girl
>>
>>5981579
for you
>>
>>5981639
I was going to post that too but I held back. Thank you for doing this for us
>>
>>5981424
>Tell her, she's already starting to figure things out anyway. You'll need to tell the other kids when they come of age too.
>>
>>5981424
>Tell her, she's already starting to figure things out anyway. You'll need to tell the other kids when they come of age too.
And ask Sawyer who won! I suspect it's Leah but not 100% sure. She'd have had to steamroll the Dusk for that, eh?
Also welcome back, OP!
>>
>>5982151
Speaking of Leah, I wonder if she and Infinite Reflection guy were still a couple by the end? He was a thrall to Mona before, but what did he do after Mona died and he was freed? Did he break up with her, or did he decide to stay?
>>
>>5981944
>>5981579
>>5981474
>>5981433

You tell her you need to discuss something with her in private. Sophia nods with a worried look on her face. Once back at the hotel, you wait for the rest of the kids to go to sleep and tell her nearly everything. About your past, about the U.S agency, about the reason you moved out and what you've been up to. It's a lot, and it doesn't always make you look good, but if you're going to tell her the truth, you might as well go all the way.

At first she, of course, thinks you're just messing with her, but once you start showing your own magic, she realizes that this might be a little too real to be a prank. Etsy is also here to explain what her involvement was, although she lets you do most of the talking.

"Geez dad that's- I don't know. Am I in danger? Is this why mom's so scared all the time?"

"N-Not scared, just cautious. B-But you should be safe now, t-the agency hasn't b-bothered us in years, and our other enemies are g-gone. S-Sorry we didn't tell you earlier, i-it was to keep you safe."

Sophia lays down on your bed, and stares at the ceiling. "I get it. Okay, I don't really get it, but it adds up. It explains a lot, in fact. Wait, can I use magic too? Is it genetics?"

You tell her that as far as you know, it isn't genetics, but that nothing good would come out of her actively trying to awaken her magic in the first place.

"Easy for you to say! I don't- I don't have anything special like you or mom. I at least thought you were a little normal dad, but turns out you're a wizard or something!"

You tell her she's special in her own way, but she doesn't take it well.

"Don't patronize me, dad! I'm not 'special' at anything! Aleksander's good at art, Ana's a chemistry wiz, and everyone likes Mikhail. Me? I barely have any friends, my games suck, the guy I like is with someone else, and I don't know what else. Maybe I'd be a good magic user? Maybe that's my talent?"

You tell her you can't stop her from looking into these things, but a lot of the people that have ended up dead. Just because the game's over doesn't mean that it's an entirely safe thing to do.

"I just- Sorry dad. I know it's not your fault. Not your fault either mom, I know I turned out wrong but-"

"C-Can you stop with that!?" Etsy suddenly raises her voice. "D-Do you think we care how 'talented' y-you are? You turned out r-right! You care about o-others, you work hard, and you've never been a b-burden to us, so stop...stop putting yourself d-down like this...please. You're more than your grades, or what you m-make. You don't n-need magic to be special."
>>
>>5982177

An uncomfortable silence follows. Sophia grabs a pillow and hides her face in it. She says 'sorry' over and over, the apologies muffled by the pillow. After a few minutes of this, she excuses herself and leaves for her hotel room. She needs some time alone, and forcing things won't help.

"D-Do you think we did the r-right thing? I didn't want to sh-shout, I hope she's not mad."

You tell her it's for the best, and that she handled it well. If anything, you're actually proud of her. You also ask her if she wants to spend some time alone tomorrow. You figure Sophia can look over the kids for a day, and it's not like they usually cause trouble anyway.

"A d-date? Do you have any place in m-mind?"

You're thinking of a place that reminds you of not so simpler times. A few locations come to mind...

>The park you passed by on your 'first' day together.
>Sawyer's old store, now long abandonned.
>The old house you used to live in, it hasn't been used after you left ever since it was bought by the agency.
>Write in
>>
>>5982156
(It's mentioned that Leah's fight with Mona actually caused a bunch of her thralls to be freed from her influence, which did include the Infinite Reflection, and is how Leah's relationship started with him. You're not wrong to say Mona still had some influence on him, but she died before she could use it.)
>>
By old house do you mean the apartment we met her in?
>>
>>5982196
specifically your old 'house' that you bought and lived in. Your appartment kind of got nuked by the sword of Dusk a long time ago, and it got replaced by something else. You could always visit what they built over it though.
>>
>>5982182
>The park you passed by on your 'first' day together.
Seems nice, right? We went a long way since then.
>>
>>5982182
>The park you passed by on your 'first' day together.
Ah, nostalgia...

>>5982184
Cool, I wonder how he's dealing with the fact his gf succeeded in becoming god
>>
>>5982182
>The park you passed by on your 'first' day together.
>>
>>5982182
>The park you passed by on your 'first' day together.
Really glad Etsy told Sophia all of this. I think it hurt her in its own way, but at least she has no intention of becoming like our parents were.
>>
>>5982182
>>The old house you used to live in, it hasn't been used after you left ever since it was bought by the agency.
Trips down memory lane are always fun.
>>
>>5982182
>The park you passed by on your 'first' day together.
>>
File: memories.png (340 KB, 731x638)
340 KB
340 KB PNG
>>5982522
>>5982377
>>5982300
>>5982246
>>5982204
>>5982203

The next day, you bring Etsy to the park. It's one you only passed by as you were talking with her. It was so long ago, yet you still remember the conversation you had. Talking about the apartment's weird history, how she tried to show you something on her phone, how you were awkwardly trying to find a conversation topic she'd like.

"T-That brings back memories. I-I remember when you knocked at m-my door, my first thought was, uhm- 'why is he here?' And when you said you just wanted to get to know me, I-I just wanted to close the door and leave you t-there but..." She locks eyes with you, and kisses you out of nowhere, her arms wrapping around you as if she were afraid you'd fall if she ever let go. "...s-sorry, sometimes I r-remember the life I used t-to live. I-I knew that talking with you b-back then was dangerous. C-Could be an agent, could be d-dangerous, but I wanted to at least try to k-know someone for once. I r-remember when you helped me clean my room. I-I hated you for it, felt p-patronizing, but I liked that y-you cared, I liked that y-you were willing to fight me a little. I-I don't know, that doesn't make sense, sorry for rambling-"

You tell her she's cute when she rambles.

"Y-Yeah, well you're cuter when you, uhm..." She kisses you again, light and sweet. "I don't know! S-Shut up! We're getting to our f-forties, and you're s-still saying that stuff. Y-You haven't changed at all."

You tell you've changed a lot, but your love for her hasn't budged.

"Y-You're just trying to get a r-reaction out of me now."

You are, and you keep trying to for the rest of the date. It doesn't quite hit you yet, that it's all over. The game, the hardship, the danger. Sure, you were 'safe' all the way back here, but now that there's an actual winner, you feel like you can finally breath a sigh of relief. In a way, you did manage to shape the future, if you didn't come to stop the agency from abducting Leah, who knows what would've happened?

Back in that fateful day, you also wondered about a lot of what ifs, what if you stayed in school, or what if you talked to more people, but this time, you can’t say you really regret any of it. Even if you managed to save more people, there’s no telling if it could’ve made things worse in other ways.

You lament the fact that the walls of your room aren’t soundproof when you come back to the hotel, and you may have to hold back until you’re home. You do still have some unfinished business, or at least Arachne does.
>>
>>5983068


You decide to focus on Mona’s memories first, which proves to be a little bit harder than you thought. Mona has been around the world, and seemingly only settled down in the nameless town recently. Well, 40 years ago recently, but she’s been alive for centuries. Most of the place she stayed in have been ransacked and destroyed, probably in an attempt by the agency to make absolutely sure her influence was gone for good. The hotel you’re in is one of the few places that was left alone for some reason.

This only leaves the cemetery as a place of importance. You remember going to it once as a kid for some distant relative’s death, and you always found the place weird. A lot of the graves are nameless, and the place doesn’t have any staff you know of, with the burials often being done by third parties that don’t actually work here.

Even so, the place doesn’t look cursed as far as you can tell from MPR, and you find the one grave that matters the most here, that of an old acquaintance of Mona. The grave’s name is grayed out, but Arachne recognizes it. You let her take control for a short moment, and she puts her hand on the top of the grave.


“I wonder what kind of person he truly was. I hold nothing but spite towards him, but I don’t know if he really deserved it. He said things that Mona took personally, and she held unto these feelings and left them to fester because that was all she had. She only kept the grave so she could revive him when she reached godhood, not because she wanted to see him live, but because she wanted to go ‘I told you so’. What a stupid reason, and yet...”

The robotic arm starts to glow, heats dissipate from its mechanical pores. A flash of light, a burst of heat, and a crater where the dead used to be.

“...and yet I can sympathize with it, but I’m not Mona. Her story is over, and so is his, agonizing over the past is pointless, and that’s not the type of person I want to be. Only two more to go.”

You leave the cemetery without more interference, you almost expected some kind of security to show up, but this place really was empty and unguarded.

You feel like there’s more to Mona, but it’s not like it’d be a good idea to bug Arachne about it, pun intended. This leaves the queen and Oliver. You’re not sure you have enough time to find out everything about the two of them, but you can speed up the process if you only focus on a specific part of their history.

>Focus on their relationship (Location: The old hive)
>Focus on their childhood (Location: your old school)
>Focus on the aftermath (Location: Old Arthis Village & parents)
>>
>>5983069
>Focus on their childhood (Location: your old school)
"Your"? It clearly means OUR, because it is where so many important people began
>>
>>5983069
>>Focus on their childhood (Location: your old school)
>>
>>5983069
>Focus on their childhood (Location: your old school)
>>
>>5983069
>Focus on their childhood (Location: your old school)
Smells like a hornet's nest. OK, I'm in! Let's get ambushed.
>>
>>5983114
imagine if it was somebody else who also went to the same school, haha
>>
>>5983069
>Focus on their relationship (Location: The old hive)
>>
>>5983072
>>5983075
>>5983079
>>5983114
>>5983497

There is a high-school that the two of them shared. You unfortunately dropped out pretty fast, and you never interacted with your classmates much, so it didn't register you actually shared a school with them. You remember they used electronic tags to enter it, it's been a long time since you were here, but you're sure they still use it. Etsy hacks into the system easily enough, and at that point it's just a matter of breaking in. You don't even need to wait for the night to come as no one works here during the holidays apart from a few janitors and technicians, which hopefully won't realize you don't belong here.

You're searching for two things, the paper documents of Oliver and the queen (since all digital school records of them have seemingly been wiped out by the agency) and maybe taking a trip down memory lane with Etsy. She's not physically there with you, but she is on the radio. You did go to the same high school after all, even if she dropped out of it even faster than you did.

You highly doubt they kept file from kids that were there more than twenty years ago, but you know the basement has a lot of file cabinets, so you start searching there. Of course, you could've just looked up the queen and Oliver's dossier, but that's not as fun as digging through old dusty papers, is it?

The basement is actually locked with a regular, rusty lock, one you disrupt and open easily enough. You wonder how often they even go there if they can't even be bothered to replace some old lock.

Whatever the case, you find yourself into a corridor filled with metal cabinet ranged in alphabetical order, which makes searching for Oliver more convenient. As for the queen, her name is actually Isla. You actually remember her, she was this tall, creepy girl that everyone found weird. It didn't really hit you it was the same person as back then, Etsy says she remembers her too. Eventually you find their school dossier, this includes their grades, teacher comments, and even some medical records.
>>
>>5984169

[Oliver:

- Nice kid, his grades could be better, but I believe that is something he can get over with hard work. (History teacher)

- Terrible grades, even though he does his best to pay attention. Talks a lot in class, honestly kind of a troublemaker. (Math teacher)

- Even though he reads the books he is asked to, his media literacy is lacking. Grammar is good, but his essays are terribly constructed. (Literary teacher)

- I believe Oliver may suffer from some undiagnosed form of autism. He is incapable of understanding social cues or when he steps out of line, and this causes him to accidentally anger his classmates and teachers. He is well-meaning, please be patient with him. (School counselor)

- Negligible risk, naive and gullible. Would make a great asset if awakened. Keep an eye on this one.]

[Isla:

- I'm not sure what to do with this one. She is interested in history for sure, but she is incapable of remembering dates or anything not related to war. it does not look like she cares about her grades at all, often throwing away the exam result the moment I give it to her. (History teacher)

- Good grades, although her methods strange. She never writes down the formula she uses to come up with her answers. I thought she was cheating at first, but it looks like she is simply unnaturally gifted when it comes to mental calculus. (Math teacher)

- Obsesses over random details in the books she reads. I appreciate the passion that comes into her writing, but she is very bad at expressing her thoughts on paper. Grammar is awful too.(Literary teacher)

- Isla has been bullied for a while, and it honestly baffles me this issue has not been addressed. Her dad, the only legal guardian she has, does not take care of her in the slightest, and her lack of friends means she has no one to confide in. We need to figure out something soon, or I fear she may do something she will regret in the near future. (School counselor)

- Highly dangerous. Terminate her without attracting attention if possible. Could even result in a class A scenario if left unchecked. (Unknown)]

Huh, what's up with those last comments? Doesn't look like teacher's comment at all. Is the agency involved somehow? That's...not your problem, not anymore. But this does confirm that raising your kids in this town would've been a terrible idea. You try to find your document, but turns out that's kind of hard when you don't have a name. You do find Etsy's though, there isn't much since she quit so soon. But the comment of unknown origin just says 'keep her isolated, then assimilate'.

You hear Etsy sigh from the radio. Her paranoia really only gets more justified the further into the rabbit hole you go. You ask Arachne what she thinks, since she is the reason you're even here.

"I don't know. I don't feel that much closure. I almost want to say I feel worse. I...maybe it's better if we leave, sorry, it's not your fault, but this place makes me feel sick."
>>
>>5984171

You nod to her, and leave the school before attracting more attention. You doubt the agency will start targeting you for your little incursion, but it's better to not take any risks, and once back at the hotel, you tell the kids you're coming back home early. No one complains, since they were getting tired of the hotel room anyway.

You don't think Arachne's fully satisfied with the way things went, but she says that she just needs some time to process it all. Sophia has also been pretty quiet, and she makes more online research on magic in her free time, but she quickly gives up when she sees most of the info she finds is bogus.

She's also 18 now, making her a proper adult, but she says she'd rather live here until she can make her own money. She's unsure what college she'd like to go to, but she says it's a choice she wants to make for herself, so you trust her to make the right choice.

---
14.39M
+
2M (Investments)
-
360K (Yearly costs)
-
500K (Holidays costs)
=
15.503M
---
Sophia: 18 years old.
Mikhail: 12 years old.
Anastasia: 9 years old.
Aleksander: 7 years old.
Etsy & Weaver: 38 years old
---

You've got more money than you need at this point, so you'd rather not spend more time looking at graphs than needed. This gives you more time to take care of your kids, among other things.
>Focus on one of your kids.
>Try to get into contact with the new god. Might be good to have a literal deity as a contact.
>Keep tabs on the U.S agency, they might have noticed you during your school trip.
>>
>>5984172
>I don't feel that much closure. I almost want to say I feel worse. I...maybe it's better if we leave, sorry, it's not your fault, but this place makes me feel sick.
>You don't think Arachne's fully satisfied with the way things went
Look, I know the "correct" choice might have been parents and the village for the real closure, but you can't blame me for the school thing! That curiosity got the better of me! Can't we go solo back there again?
>Try to get into contact with the new god. Might be good to have a literal deity as a contact.
How do we contact reflection man?
>>
>>5984172
>Try to get into contact with the new god. Might be good to have a literal deity as a contact.
Kinda wanna mock Leah, if that's indeed her. I don't think anyone confirmed it.
>>5984187
>How do we contact reflection man?
Look into a mirror and insult his sunglasses
>>
>>5984172
>>Keep tabs on the U.S agency, they might have noticed you during your school trip.
>>
>>5984172
>Focus on one of your kids (Mikhail)
Hmm, guess we didn't show some love to Etsy after getting back after all. We haven't done anything with Mikhail in a long time, so we really should.
>>
>>5984220
>+1
>>
File: oliver.png (569 KB, 923x866)
569 KB
569 KB PNG
sorry, not feeling like an update today, have this though. I couldn't ever nail the dynamic pose, but I remember wanting to draw Oliver's stance and weapon during the fight. He should actually be in a chitinous armor but couldn't be bothered so it just looks like a green shirt, it's kind of a useless fact, but the spear (although it's actually more of naginata) was basically made using Arthis uniquely grown to produce claws capable of withstanding his pushing speed, the weapon itself isn't even that sharp, but it is incredibly sturdy, which is why he can parry bullets with it.
>>
>>5984998
That's ok this is still cool. Take care OP
>>
>>5984998
Nice. Thank your QM.
>>
>>5984998
handsome chap, a shame we had to off him
>>
>>5984998
Hang in there lad
>>
File: himb.png (65 KB, 816x686)
65 KB
65 KB PNG
>>5984187
>>5984194
>>5984212
>>5984220
>>5984294

You decide to focus on Mikhail, since he's reaching puberty, which can be a troublesome time in a boy's life. You don't quite remember what you did at his age, but you know it wasn't a great time. You wonder what young you would think of what you've become? You're sure he'd think you're pretty cool, that thought makes you pretty happy.

You knock on Mikhail's bedroom door, and after he tells you to come in, you enter to find him finishing the last of his homework. His secondary school is actually easier than his primary school, so he's actually at the top of his class. While you wouldn't consider him a natural genius, he's a hard worker and that's probably more than enough to succeed in life. He asks you a few questions about schoolwork, but you feel like he's doing it more to make you feel useful than because he actually needs the help.

Once he's done, he pulls up the collar of his sweater, slightly hiding the bottom of his face, he only does that when he's about to ask something he's ashamed about, which means...

"Uh, dad. How did you meet mom, anyway?"

You tell him you technically first met her when you were kids, but you only really got to know each other as neighbors. You tell him that one thing led to another, and you ended up falling in love. You're letting out a few key details, but he doesn't need to know them right now.

"How did you know she liked you?" He pulls the collar further up, half his face is under his sweater now.

That's a loaded question. Looking back on it, your relationship went fast with all the danger you faced. It was a mix of adrenaline and being dependent on each other that forged a bond that you doubt a casual friendship could've replicated. You didn't even know for sure if what you felt for her was real for the first few weeks, even today you'd struggle to say when exactly you fell for her. Maybe it was more gradual? Maybe-

"Dad?"

Right, the question. You tell him you ended up kissing after an argument, you wonder how many details you can leave out before he starts noticing inconsistencies.

"So if you argue with a girl a lot, that means she likes you?"

You tell him that not every girl acts the same, but that some show affection in very peculiar ways.

"...sis said my friend liked me, but I'm not sure if it's true. I asked her about it, but she starts talking about something else whenever I do."

Okay, so he asked her about it, and she didn't say no, she just evaded the question. You haven't talked to his friend that much, but she doesn't look like the type to string a guy along with her charms, which means the only reason she'd have to not answer is because she's afraid of what would happen if she said the truth. Sophia's probably right about this, and you'd say she's be pretty good at recognizing girls with unrequited feelings.
>>
>>5986735

You ask him how he feels about her.

"I don't know, I just haven't thought about it much. She just feels like a friend to me? Dad, what's the difference between a friend and a girlfriend? I know there's kissing and stuff, but that can't be just that, right?"

You don't bring lust into it considering he's 12 and that it would be a very awkward conversation, instead you tell him that it's a complicated feeling and that if he feels the need to be very close to her -- physically and emotionally -- then it might be love.

"Okay. uh, thanks dad, I guess."

You leave his room, and let out a breath you didn't know you were holding. You hope he'll figure it out, but for now, there's something else you have to take care of.

You want to get into contact with the new god, which after a little bit of research, is basically confirmed to be Leah. Now the question becomes as to how you'll even talk to her. Actually, assuming you even manage to contact her, should you even ask her for anything? She owes you that much after you saved her life.

Contact her:
>Call her phone, maybe someone she knows will pick up.
>A prayer should work, she's a god after all.
>Maybe you should look for her sister, she did dissapear after all.

Ask for anything?:
>You'd rather not have a monkey's paw situation, ask for nothing.
>The safety of your kids.
>Immortality for you and Etsy.
>Give Arachne a body of her own.
>Write in.
>>
>>5986737
Hmm, well, let's see. Immortality is right out of the way, that shit gets bad soon. I don't want to have to outlive our children. Giving arachne a body of her own seems nice enough, but it's nothing 'cool'

Any ideas?
>>
>>5986746
"Make anime real"
>>
>>5986746
"De-age us by like 10 years so we can have a threesome with Sawyer"
>>
>>5986791
But we'd need Etsy and Sawyer de-aged too
>>
>>5986794
That's what I mean by us
>>
>>5986795
I like the sound of that then. Let's do it.
>>
>>5986796
I mean as much as i want to it's not very in-character, sad as that may be.
>>
>>5986737
>A prayer should work, she's a god after all.
>Give Arachne a body of her own.
>>
>>5986737
>Maybe you should look for her sister, she did disappear after all.
I want to see the old edgy chuuni teacher again.
>Write in.
"Make anime real."
>>
>>5986737
>Call her phone, maybe someone she knows will pick up.

>Give Arachne a body of her own.
>>5986791
glad to see you back, anon
>>
>>5986859
That's not the guy who wanted the threesome. Because that's ME.
>>
>>5986737
>Call her phone, maybe someone she knows will pick up.
>You'd rather not have a monkey's paw situation, ask for nothing.
>>
>>5986737
>Call her phone, maybe someone she knows will pick up.
Best shot here
Ask for anything?
>Keep an eye on my ankle-biters for me when I'm gone. No need to cover them in blessings, but just a little favoritism to ensure they don't have a shitty life
>>
File: WelcomeBack.png (527 KB, 666x672)
527 KB
527 KB PNG
>>5986999
>>5987485
>>5986859
>>5986823

You decide to call her, it's unlikely she'll pick up, but maybe someone she knows will. No one answers the phone at first, but since it doesn't say the number doesn't exist, you keep calling every day until you get some sort of answer. You know you're being annoying, but it gets result, as someone eventually answers, not her though, but her boyfriend, the Infinite Reflection.

"Mochi Mochi~ Sorry for not answering earlier, had to look up who you are. Unfortunately, Leah is a little bit occupied at the moment, so you have to go by me first."

Isn't mochi food? Anyway, you tell her you're someone that helped her a long time ago, and that you were wondering if you could talk to her directly.

"I'll ask her, should get an answer in a few business days. Ah, almost forgot! I know you're not too buddy buddy with the agency, but they won't be much of a problem anymore. They're still here, but let's just say that they'll be kept in check from now on."

It's nice to know that Mona hasn't messed him up too much, you ask him what Leah's like now.

"Hard question. She's different now, for sure, but I still love her, it's just a little harder now! If you do get to talk to her, you'll see what I mean. Oops~ I overcooked my lasagna, see you later friendo!"

And just like that, he hangs up. It takes a few days to get your answer, but instead of getting it from the phone, you instead get it from a more private place: your dreams.

There is no room, or space, only you and her. Leah looks different from how you remembered her, she's a little slimmer, although you wouldn't call her skinny. She looks pretty normal for a god, but a part of you can't help but feel like this isn't what she actually looks like, there's just something that doesn't feel real about her.

"Been a while, hasn't it? I didn't know you were trying to contact me, since I get like ten thousand prayers a second. Let's cut to the chase, you're here for a favour, and I do owe you that much. I won't grant anything, consequences are a bitch and a half, but I'll try my best to make things happen within reasons."

She speaks more casually than you expected. It's only hitting you now that you're talking to a god right now, you wonder how your parents would react if they knew that.

You ask her if she can give Arachne a body.

"You're wishing for someone else's desire, fuck man, you haven't changed at all, have you? I'm glad I didn't give myself omniscience, being surprised is one of the few pleasures I have left. Alright, done. Your tulpa will find a body in about a year. I'm a god, but doing things too fast fucks things up. Think about it like coding a game, you can change the code at any point, but doing that can create bugs, and then you have to clean up your mess or people start getting mad."
>>
>>5988026


You tell her you thought gods lost their sense of self when they ascended.

"They'd be right. I've only ascended very recently, but it's just- fuck, you're only seeing a part of me right now, you know? My real self, it's different. Your intrusive thoughts happen, always. 'hey, wouldn't it be fucked up if I turned this guy's life into a god damn nightmare', and then it happens, and you can't set it right because that intrusive thought gained a mind of its own actively fighting against your own power. I can't listen to everyone and help everyone, because the more stuff I do, the stronger my presence will be, and the stronger my presence, the harder it is to control those intrusive thoughts. Am I making sense? I don't know, I don't know what I'll be like in 50 years, I could know if I tried, but as I said, being surprised is one of the few pleasures I have left. At least I'll never lose my empathy, as it's the very thing keeping my power going."

You ask her if she's planning to do anything else with the world.

"I'll do a big god decree, I need to for reasons that would take too long to explain. It'll be a mess at first, but people will adapt fast enough, and it should be a net good in the long term. I know you've got more dumb questions, and even though I already know what they are, some of them are embarrassing enough that I'll give you the opportunity of picking the best ones. Actually, screw that, there are too many questions, I'll let you pick three, otherwise I'll never hear the end of it."

You do have questions, and unlike Sawyer, there shouldn't be any limitations in what she can answer.

(The three most popular questions will be picked, in the case of a perfect tie, the first votes will take priority.)

>Ask 3 questions (Write in)
>>
>>5988028
Hmm...this is pretty hard....i can't think of a lot. Let's see. For something simple to start with,
>Any advice for the kids?
I mean we got a pretty good life, right? We're happy with Etsy and that's enough. But some of our kids like Sophia and Anastasia seem like they need some help.
>>
>>5988028
>some of them are embarrassing enough
HEY, WANTING TO KNOCK UP OUR CHILDHOOD ACQUAINTANCE AS "PUNISHMENT" FOR TAKING THE FIRST KID AWAY (even though he'd be a problem as Sawyer said) IS PERFECTLY FINE. It's also a bonus that she wanted kids all along because her power cucked her out of it for so long.
>>
>>5988028
>"Have you considered creating a whole immortal copy of yourself but with no magic power possible? This way even if you end up losing your sense of self, you'll have a reminder of who you were and where you came from."
She probably already thought of ways to account for her future, while she's still the Leah we know.

In fact, FUCK THIS QUESTION I WROTE UP THERE. I'M GOING FOR IT
>"Is there a timeline where me and Etsy... do that one thing with Sawyer after I change her powers and cure her addiction? You know... THAT? It just puts itself into my head a couple times every year, out of nowhere. Anyway, how does that end up?"
NOW OR NEVER, FAGGOTS. THIS IS MY VOTE
>>
>>5988063
It wouldn't really be a copy of herself if she was immortal though would it?

>NOW OR NEVER, FAGGOTS. THIS IS MY VOTE
If you're gonna ask that, then you should just ask about a timeline where *that* happened in general, not specifically when we cured her. We were already like nearly 40.
>>
>>5988028
>Any advice for the kids?
>How did the game to become god start?
>Is there anything that happens in the future that I should be worried about?
Sounds reasonable enough to ask.

>>5988063
It's over anon.
>>
>>5988066
You're right, but I meant more a copy of how she was before she became god but without any magic at all. This way she has a reminder for herself. This does make things weird with infinite reflection bro now having two of his gf, but I don't know.
>ask about a timeline where *that* happened in general
GOOD IDEA, THOUGH I MEANT "WHAT IF WE CURED HER SOME TIME BEFORE DITCHING TO RUSSIA BUT AFTER WE GOT UNRELIABLE EXISTENCE, SO STILL EARLY 20S

>>5988028
WHAT >>5988066 SAID

>>5988069
YES I KNOW BUT LET ME HAVE SOME FUN AND CLOSURE AT THE SAME TIME
I'm still happy with how things went this quest so far. Quite a good run we had.
>>
>>5988028
>some of them are embarrassing enough that I'll give you the opportunity of picking the best ones.
3some anon won, congrats

>How did the game to become god start?
seems like a good one, coupling with advice for the kids and >>5988063
>>
>>5988028
>"They'd be right. I've only ascended very recently, but it's just- fuck, you're only seeing a part of me right now, you know? My real self, it's different. Your intrusive thoughts happen, always. 'hey, wouldn't it be fucked up if I turned this guy's life into a god damn nightmare', and then it happens, and you can't set it right because that intrusiv
How did Sawyer nuke the Deep Arbiter?
What happened to the Sword of Dusk?
That one question to make coomer threesome anon happy
>>
>>5988028
>>5988069
+1
>>
>>5988425
>3some anon won
Did I now?
>How did the game to become god start?
This is a good question too, especially since there's parts of the fucking skeleton in the ocean right outside Weaver's house in Russia

>>5988461
>How did Sawyer nuke the Deep Arbiter?
We can ask Sawyer this directly, can't we?
>What happened to the Sword of Dusk?
He got rekt offscreen by somebody, clearly, but we don't know who
>That one question to make coomer threesome anon happy
Awww
>>
>>5988028
>The three most popular questions
Curse you QM for limiting our autism so! We have good questions on top of us limiting ourselves already
>>
>>5988522
Hm yeah, we could. I was curious about the first two, so I wanted to ask them, mostly. I feel this is the point of this interaction, "hey, if there are unclear points, I'll clear them up", you know?
As for the last one, I was dreadfully uninspired, and even if I found that anon to be a bit of a pain at some point, I don't mind getting on board with it a little.
If my questions aren't the best, then it's OK to use other ones I suppose. I'm not a very imaginative person
>>
>>5988547
>I found that anon to be a bit of a pain
Thanks for being honest with me, you faggot. And yeah this is still interesting stuff. Whatever we ask, I get the feeling the answers we'll be given are good no matter what
>>
>>5988549
My pleasure, you coomer.
Oh shit, you actually made me think of a good one I wanna know, but Weaver doesn't.
What the FUCK is the deal with the other girl (Mary if memory serves?). SHE's the one I'd have wanted the fuck scenes with (Etsy as a bonus).
But that one's a definite no-go. We're a good husband and father.
>>
>>5988573
No way man. I read all those hints the QM put in the narration. The more Weaver knows about Mary and that timeline, the more that version corrupts him here in this one somehow. Death of personality is some real existential horror I do NOT want our protagonist to go through, especially knowing how it'll fuck with Etsy and his kids and this life he's made for himself.
>>
>>5988028
>Any advice for the kids?
>How did the game to become god start?
>"Is there a timeline where me and Etsy... do that one thing with Sawyer after I change her powers and cure her addiction? You know... THAT? It just puts itself into my head a couple times every year, out of nowhere. Anyway, how does that end up?"
(I gotta try lol)

And, if I'm reading right, she should already know all the questions we were going to ask, so wouldn't giving her advice in a question would be pointless?
>>
>>5988868
Good point. All of these questions are good
>>
OP ?
>>
File: attempt.png (1.02 MB, 896x739)
1.02 MB
1.02 MB PNG
Sorry, been a little down lately for a variety of reasons. Will make the update in a couple of hours, thank you for your patience.
>>
>>5990887
Take care!
>>
>>5990887
rest well, OP. also nice punished etsy
>>
>>5988868
>>5988549
>>5988523
>>5988522
>>5988462
>>5988425
>>5988075
>>5988066
>>5988063
>>5988056
>>5988041

advice for the kid 3
'that' thing 3
god game start 3

You think. Then you think harder. Is that really the question you want to ask? You've always been a little curious, and you don't think someone like Leah gets to judge you, you've seen her search history.

You ask her if there's a future where you do that thing with Sawyer. You don't elaborate, but turns out you don't need to as Leah knows exactly what you mean.

"I'll be honest, I didn't think you were actually going to ask. I mean, I get it, it's kinda hot, but not sure your wife would like knowing about it, so keep it under wrap, will ya? Anyway, in THIS future? not happening, you went 'I can fix her', and you did. In another timeline? It...sorta happens, maybe not in a way you'd like. You caught Etsy at a pivotal moment in her life, she would've taken a very wrong turn if you weren't here. In one of those very wrong turn, she would've abused her power to do whatever she wanted to people, which did include your weird fantasy. I'm not saying your wife has some repressed desires like this now, by the way, so I wouldn't try suggesting the idea to her."

Damn, I mean, it's good that there's a future where it does happen but... well, it's a bad future, so you shouldn't wish for it, but some primal instinct tells you it would still be kind of hot even in those circumstances. Maybe it's good to keep it as a fantasy for now.

Next, you ask her how the god game started.
>>
>>5990983

"Well, that one's sorta obvious. God 'died', there was a power vacuum, and everyone wanted to fill it. The truth is you could always absorb other people's magic, this isn't a byproduct of the game, killing was always part of the equation, but the old god was obsessed with 'karma', so if you killed solely for power's sake, you'd get smited. This made most magic users very hesitant on trying to gain power that way, as no one quite knew what kill would be 'bad karma'. As for how gods even started, I dunno, however gods do serve a pretty important purpose, and if this world went without one for a few more centuries, this timeline would just snap. I think Sawyer described time like soup, it's a retarded sounding analogy, but it's not wrong, personally, I see it more like a big pond full of fish. Each timeline is a fish in that pond, and every slightly different action someone can take creates a timeline, but here's the thing, the pond isn't infinite in size, so what happens when the pond can't hold more fish? As far as I know, four things can happen,

the first is that it gets kicked out of the pond, no one knows what happens here, maybe the fish dies, maybe it floats into the void, but no one can get into contact with it once that happens.

Second, is that two fish start merging into one by being smushed up together, the result depends, sometimes it goes well, sometimes it's hell. Did you know Isekai actually happens? Sometimes timelines brush up against each other for a split second and snag a few people from other timelines, except instead of being sent to a fantasy world it's a world where 9/11 never happened or something.

Anyway, third possibility is that a fish willingly kills another in an attempt to survive, this is where gods come into play, and if you see that you're about to get kicked out of the pond, you can start killing a godless timeline to free up space. It happens all the time, and by 'all the time', I mean once very few millennia, I haven't gotten my hands dirty yet, I'm not looking forward to it.

The fourth one is just the timeline dying by itself, maybe the god has had enough and nuked their own timeline, maybe some wizard used a forbidden spell that deleted everything, this is actually the main way the pond frees up spaces, with a near infinite amount of fish, there's bound to be a lot of fish not quite fit for survival.

Anyway, that's a long winded explanation of something you never asked. God game's here because we need gods, even shitty ones like myself. It's that or being kicked out of the pond."
>>
>>5990985

You still don't get how time work, you're tempted to ask her for a more in depth explanation, but she gives you a look that says 'no, I don't know how time travel actually works fuck off', so you decide to instead ask her for advice about your kids.

"Easy one, tell Sophia to work on getting information to the players. Her tutorials fucking suck and her mechanics are unintuitive, but it's unique and interesting, and the moment she can refine her formula, she'll truly make something special. Mikhail is going to do just fine, I can't think of a lot of things that would bring him down emotionally, it's like he has the opposite of depression. Anastasia is... urgh, where do I begin. She's obsessed with her brother, but it isn't incestuous or anything, it's more that she has no real friend, and he's the only person that accept her for who she is. Even though she isn't interested in him in that way, I can't say with utter confidence she won't get a little fucked in the head if things keep going that way. My advice? Use her superiority complex against her, dare her to bring a friend home or something, she's thankfully not smart enough just yet to make mind control juice, so she'll be forced to actually be nice to someone else for once. As for Aleksander, he's a little weird, but don't assume that because he thinks a little differently that he's unhappy. Probably won't have any friends or talk much, but if something bothers him, he'll tell you."

You want to ask her something else, but she shakes her head.

"Nuh-uh, blame yourself for asking about your fetish question first. Let's end that session, we might talk again when you're dead, I just made an exception now because I owed you."

You wake up in a cold sweat, and Etsy flinches and almost drops the laptop she was using on the bed. Looks like she was working late at night.

"D-Did you have a bad dream? You muttered s-something about fish..."

Thank Leah you didn't mutter something else in your sleep. You tell Etsy you just met God in your sleep, since you don't feel like keeping things secrets from her, you just don't omit the first question, both out of shame and because you don't think Etsy's confidence would increase from knowing she would become a terrible person in another timeline.

"D-Damnit, if I knew you g-got questions out of it, I would've p-put suggestions." She closes down the laptop and puts it away. "A-Anyway, you're up, and the kids are asleep, sooo..."

She reaches down under the blanket, and the night becomes longer still.
>>
>>5990986

The rest of the year has nothing noteworthy, You do tell Sophia the advice Leah gave you, but she takes it weirdly personally and thinks you're just telling her to dumb the game down so it has wider appeal. You might need to spend more time with her to get through to her. You can't seem to get through Anastasia either, you'll have to think of a way to bait her into making friends later. Etsy also more or less retired from her job, she says she'll make more designs if you need the money again, but with your investments you've got a pretty steady source of income, so it shouldn't be an issue.

---
15.503M
+
3M (Investments)
-
360K (Yearly costs)
=
18.137M
---
Sophia: 19 years old.
Mikhail: 13 years old.
Anastasia: 10 years old.
Aleksander: 8 years old.
Etsy & Weaver: 38 years old
---

>Focus on one of your kids (Write in which one. Can pick two if going FT)
>Keep tabs on the U.S agency, they might have noticed you during your school trip.
>Write in.
>>
>>5990988
>Focus on one of your kids (Write in which one. Can pick two if going FT)
>Anastasia
>Aleksander
Yeah that fetish question was as useful as I felt it would be. I hope that doesn't become a thing for the rest of the quest.
>>
>>5990990
+1
>I hope that doesn't become a thing for the rest of the quest.
I'm content. I will now move on from this
>>
>>5990988
I'm certain that if we tried hard enough we could have found a way to do that in a non-shit timeline, but what a shame.
>Focus on one of your kids (Sophia, Anastasia)
>>
>>5990983
And again OP thanks for finally humoring me. You are a good QM.
>you don't think someone like Leah gets to judge you, you've seen her search history.
You should take a look at your own, by the way
>>
(also I just realized I kept the vote counts in the first post when I usually delete those, I did count all the votes, just deleted those that lost in the tally.)
>>
>>5990990
There was enough support for it that I felt I might as well include it, and it's not *too* far fetched to have it as some kind of repressed fantasy Weaver may have had. It's still a little out of character in that Weaver probably would've asked a more useful question, and I do try to avoid doing actions that are a little too far fetched for him to take, but since it's just a relatively harmless question, I thought I'd allow it this time.

I'm still not even sure if I'd consider it a 'canon' fetish Weaver has, it's more like an intrusive thought at best, I wouldn't see him actually go through with something like this if the opportunity presented itself
>>
>>5991004
Thank you for explaining it OP. I hope I wasn't too much of a pest through the quest with it. Now you can be sure I won't be any further.
>>
>>5991006
Well it's not like there was really any real attempt at doing it.

Personally, I just liked the idea of saving both Sawyer and Etsy.
>>
>>5991009
There was no real attempt at it because we constantly had to deal with something or other, just surviving month to month at that point. I'm glad we saved both in this timeline, with the downside it took us 10 years to do it for Sawyer. Could have have done it before we left to Russia? Most likely yes. Did we have so much shit to deal with and things were escalating so much with Mona and other factions that we willingly decided to hunker down and wait the contract out? Yeah. I think we did well overall in this quest.
>>
>>5991015
Well by save I meant more that she never got to achieve that Dream of having a Kid. We were already like 40 when we met her again.
>>
>>5991022
Ah. Yeah that sucks, but there's nothing to be done now. She'll have to be content with being the aunt to Weaver's kids this timeline
>>
>>5990986
>You want to ask her something else, but she shakes her head.
>"Nuh-uh, blame yourself for asking about your fetish question first.
Kinda glad Leah called us out on that, but shit, lady, have you seen your search history? Guess becoming a god makes you forgetful, eh?
>>5990988
Spend time with Anastasia and Sophia. The other ones are apparently fine, even if lil' Sasha could use seeing his father sometimes too
>>
>>5990988
Changing vote from >>5990991 to
>Sophia
>Anastasia
>>
>>5990990
>+1
OP was a real one for it
>>
>>5991066
>>5991062
>>5990990
>>5990991
>>5990992
>>5991062

In order to convince Sophia to make her games a little more accessible, you'll have to do something you haven't done in a while, play video games. Well, It's not like you never did before, but you'd usually stick to the same games you'd play with Etsy, and you can't remember the last time you've played a single player game, it just wasn't your thing.

You have to do a little bit of research on how the gaming market changed over the years, and... not much has changed, honestly. Triple A games still hyper focus on graphics with very little innovation, while indie games are thriving in their respective niche. This means Sophia has a lot of competition, and she refuses to pay for advertisement, since she feels like it'd be cheating, maybe she doesn't want to be the kind of person that people think only succeeds because their parents are rich.

You do try a few titles that Sophia recommends to catch up on your gaming knowledge, she didn't think you were actually going to play them, as the games she tells you to play are rather obscure and a little much for someone that doesn't play a lot.

And she'd be right, the games are really unintuitive, but your magic makes it much easier to get the hang of them, she even gets a little mad that you figured out those games so much faster than she did. You tell her your magic does most of the work, but she thinks you're just saying that to make her feel better.

Even so, it helps you understand the type of game she likes and what makes them appealing. It's what some call 'immersive sims', the type of game where a lot of underlying mechanics in the game can be used to find a solution to a problem, and it encourages player freedom and experimentation. The particular brand of immersive sim she told you to play have very little player feedback and expect you to slam your head against the wall until you figure out how the game actually work. Still, the games feel more intuitive in how they teach their mechanics than Sophia's, even though they share a lot in common at a glance. If you had to describe it, the issue is that her game isn't consistent with itself, the rules shift constantly as you progress, and it makes it feel like you never gain full mastery over anything.

You tell her how you feel about this, but you get the same old tirade.
>>
>>5991582

"Dad, you don't get it, the inconsistency is the point. If I let the players adapt, the game will become too easy, and if they can learn everything from the first few levels, what's even the point? By changing the rules, it gives it a bigger air of mystery, like some uncontrollable force of nature you can only survive but never thrive in. It also makes every player's experience truly unique, no one can really win the same way, you know?"

Sure, it sounds nice, but in practice it's just really annoying to play. It doesn't look like she can see the game from the point of view of someone who doesn't already know all the ins and out like her.

You come to a compromise, you tell her to make the mechanics needed to win more obvious and telegraphed, but still keep the more esoteric stuff as optional content. That way, she can garner some attention from people that enjoy the base game, and she'll eventually get more people that can appreciate the weirder part of the gameplay. She's not a huge fan of the idea, but she says she'll try just to show you that it doesn't work.

She still isn't in college, so she has a lot of time to dedicate to remaking the game. It takes a while, but with some feedback, she eventually manages to make the game more accessible without sacrificing too much of her original vision. Her game eventually gains a proper following. Most people only beat the game normally, but a few were very interested in the hidden stuff, and this started theories and discussion which kept the game relevant in public discourse. Sophia even got some help from Etsy to make the game nigh impossible to datamine, which further amped up its appeal, as the only way to find the game's secret was to play it or look up what other players found out online.

Since her game is free, it had a lot of downloads, and even though it's nowhere close to mainstream, it's still pretty popular in certain circles. People asked for a sequel, but she said she disliked the idea of making 'the same thing but better', and would rather add expansions to the original when she felt like it.

She still doesn't admit you were right, and you're not so petty as to bring it up now. She asks if she can see where her game dev career leads instead of going to college, and you tell her that as long as she can make enough money from her games, you don't mind her not going to college.

You wonder if Leah plays your daughter's games, that would be a bragging right, 'this game is approved by god', would look great on the game's cover.
>>
>>5991584

You think Sophia doesn't need your feedback anymore, so you decide to focus on Anastasia now. As usual, you knock, and she tells you to leave her room, even though you didn't even enter yet. Unfortunately, your usual rule of 'don't enter if your kids won't let you' still holds true, and Ana knows that. Still, nothing stops you from talking to her from behind the door. You tell her she should make some friends, but she gets really defensive about it.

"I don't need friends. They're all dumb. Just leave me alone. Why are you here anyway? Just go spend time with sis or something."

Yup, going as well as you expected. Leah did say to use her superiority complex against her, but you're not sure how.

>"Your sister already had friends at your age, you know?"
>"Is it that you don't need friends or that you cannot make friends?"
>"Surely it wouldn't be that hard for someone as smart as you to make friends, right?"
>"Mikhail said he wished you made some friends, you don't want to dissapoint him, do you?"
>Write in
>>
>>5991587
Well, let's see. Using mikhail wouldn't really count as using 'her superiority complex'. Something like the second option would work, but it feels a bit too direct. How about something like...
>"If you're having a hard time making friends that's okay, Ana. I'm sure your sister would help you if you asked her."

This, in theory, would make her want to do it because *not* doing it would be proving her father right that she can't do it without help.

Also, did Arachne get her body?
>>
>>5991592
She hasn't yet, but soon
>>
>>5991587
>"Surely it wouldn't be that hard for someone as smart as you to make friends, right?"
Smells like the best way to "use her superiority complex", but it feels too much like an obvious "right answer"
>>
>>5991592
+1

>>5991608
Yeah, I'd rather back a nice write-in for this
>>
>>5991592
>+1
interesting.
>>5991595
got it
>>
>>5991587
>"Surely it wouldn't be that hard for someone as smart as you to make friends, right?"
>>
>>5991735
>>5991718
>>5991611
>>5991608
>>5991592

You tell her that it's okay if she has a hard time making friends, and that you're sure her sister would be happy to help her if she just asked.

You hear a loud slamming sound from behind the door, followed by high pitched, muffled screaming. "SHUT UP, SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP. I don't NEED her help, or anyone. LEAVE ME ALONE!"

You leave at her request. You wonder if you should be harsher considering how she talked back to you, but you have the feeling that would only make things worse.

---POV change---

Idiot. Who does he think he is? Why is it that everyone treats you like a kid? You've never needed friends, it's not like you can't, you're sure you could if you tried, but you don't want to.

Even though you keep telling yourself that, you can't get what dad said out of your head. If you don't make a friend it'll be proving him right, he might even come back to rub it in. What if he tells sis? No. Nononono. You know you're being manipulated, but you can't help it. One friend, that's all you need, right? Doesn't even need to be a real friend, just someone that tolerates you enough to pass as one. Maybe you could pay another kid for it? No, if they found out you did that you'd die.

This is the weekend, you know where a few kids your age hang. This is good, you can't make any friends from those that are in your school, too bad of a reputation, but someone that doesn't know you? Should be easy. You tell mom you're going outside, she's surprised since you don't do that often, but she lets you anyway. You have to wear this stupid tag, but it's fine.

By the time you reach the park, you already wish you were back home. You hate the sun, you hate the air, you hate the sounds, you just want to be done with all of this. Most of the kids here are with friends already, looks like they're having fun, you wish you could say the same. You need an easy target, someone that's alone, a little pathetic, and that doesn't know you.

You notice a girl with a messy haircut and torn clothes poke the dirt with a stick. No one is playing with her, probably poor, and she doesn't look happy.

Perfect.

You approach her, trying your best to hide the visible discomfort on your face that comes with interacting with others. You can do this, you're smart, your parents are rich, and you're confident, in cartoons girls like this are always super popular, aren't they? They're also often the villain, but you try to not think about that.

"Hey," you start with a brillant opening line, casual, open, mysterious. Yup, you got this.

"...hey?" She looks up, her eyes devoid of joy. "You don't look great."

"Kill yo-" You miraculously rearrange the next word into an acceptable sentence. "-your sadness away."

What was that. Okay, no, it's fine, you can still salvage this. "It's from a poem I read," you add.
>>
>>5992261

"...okay?" She goes back to poking the dirt with her stick.

"Do you want to be friends?" You ask.

"I don't know," she responds with that same annoying monotone voice.

She didn't say no, which means you're doing something right. You just need to do some kind of activity with her, form a bond, you can't have her say something like 'I don't know' if your dad asks if you two are friends. You can't bring her back home just yet, but maybe...

>Hang out with her in the forest
>Hang out with her near the beach
>Ask if you can see her home
>Keep hanging out in the park, some of the kids you know might see you and ruin everything though.
>>
>>5992262
>Keep hanging out in the park, some of the kids you know might see you and ruin everything though.
Eh...sure, who cares about them.
>>
>>5992261
>By the time you reach the park, you already wish you were back home. You hate the sun, you hate the air, you hate the sounds, you just want to be done with all of this.
>"Kill yo-" You miraculously rearrange the next word into an acceptable sentence. "-your sadness away."
I somehow find myself relating to Ana a whole lot
>Hang out with her near the beach
Kraken. Nope.
>Hang out with her in the forest
Necrophage. Nope.
>Ask if you can see her home
Russians. Nope.
>Keep hanging out in the park, some of the kids you know might see you and ruin everything though.
Guess this is it. Worst case scenario she gets bullied and starts swinging around the 13% sentence and N-word. I love this kid.
>>
>>5992261
>"Kill yo-" You miraculously rearrange the next word into an acceptable sentence. "-your sadness away."
damn, she's a schizo
>>5992262
>Hang out with her near the beach
let's swim a little
>>
>>5992326
>let's swim a little
Did you forget there's a cursed kraken at the bottom of the sea?

Unless he was removed or something during that whole 'change' thing Leah was going to do...
>>
>>5992262
>Hang out with her near the beach
Do not neglect cool childhood experiences
>>
>>5992261
>Hang out with her near the beach
Time for the beach episode.
>>
File: thething.png (632 KB, 807x711)
632 KB
632 KB PNG
>>5992813
>>5992338
>>5992326
>>5992324
>>5992304

Yes, the beach. There are a lot of nasty rumors about the sea, but that only makes you sound cooler for proposing it. Mom and dad would get mad if you went there, but it's not like you're going for a swim anyway.

"Want to hang out near the beach?" You ask.

She looks at you with a confused look. "...sure, I guess."

You thought she was going to refuse at first, but it looks like she doesn't mind. Reaching the beach only takes an hour of walking or so. It probably took longer since you insisted on leading the way, even though you don't actually know the town that well since you rarely go out. You think she snickered to herself every time you got a little lost. It's taking a lot of self control on your part to not snap at her.

The beach itself isn't great. It's not one of those tourist spots people like to sunbathe in, it's more of an 'algae and seashells everywhere' type of deal. It's gross, you already regret picking this spot, but it's too late to go back now.

"My parents died during a sea trip," she says. "Said they found something that would've made us rich, then never came back."

Does this mean that the beach is bringing bad memories? This really was a terrible spot to pick.

"Why do so many people work in the water if it's that dangerous anyway?" You ask. Maybe you shouldn't ask this, but you really are curious. What's the point of working near the sea when the death rate is so high?

"Some people find stuff that makes them a fortune. Old stuff, weird fish, buried treasures. My parents didn't have any money, so I guess they just wanted to get lucky. So much for that."

"Your parents sucked." You answer. You realize a little too late that this may be slightly insulting, but to your surprise, she takes it well.

"Yeah, they did. It's-" She stiffens up. "Don't move."

You're about to ask why, but you're interrupted by a rumbling sound. The grains of sand littering the beach are jumping up and down, as if something was moving underneath it. An earthquake? Is there such a thing around here?

The vibration intensify, and you notice they're not coming from underneath--it's coming from the water. The waves part ways as something gargantuan emerge from the water. You don't move, not because you were told to, but because you feel like you can't.

A black mass made of both bright and dark colors makes an inhuman sound as it traverses the side of the beach, the giant waves created in its wake just weak enough to not reach you.

And after a minute that felt like hours, the beast is gone, and you let go of a breath you didn't know you were holding.
>>
>>5994185

"That's a new one, methinks," she says. "Looks like its peaceful, judging by how it looked at us. You okay?"

"What was that," you ask, unsure if you actually want an answer.

"I dunno, pretty cool though. Wait, you're aware about the things in the sea right? I mean, you're the one who proposed to go there, so I assumed you-"

"WHY WOULD I PROPOSE TO GO THERE IF I KNEW THERE WAS THIS FUCKING THING!?"

Dad told you not to swear but you think now is a pretty good time to do just that. Seriously, why, how, this thing isn't an animal, a blue whale isn't that big, so what is it? And why does she act like it's no big deal?

"...huh, I dunno what to tell you. There's weird things in the sea. Sometimes they show up, but usually they're not that bad unless you go for a swim."

"How. I- isn't this a big deal? Undocumented massive fish! This is in no book I ever read!"

She shrugs. "People took photos, but everyone assumed it's fake, and anyone that wanted to get 'real' evidence didn't last long. Just don't worry about it, unless you wanna become a seawoman, then worry about it a lot."

"I'll... I'm going home," you mutter.

"'Kay. Still wanna be friends? You're funny."

"SURE, WHY NOT," you shout as you stomp away from the beach.

"My name's Yulia, by the way."

"My name's Anastasia." You grit your teeth and try your best to say something nice in return. "it.was.fun. See.you.again." You enunciate each word which makes it sound very weird, and she laughs.

You hate to admit it, but this was more exciting than staying home.
---

"H-Huh, honey?" Etsy shakes your shoulder as you're reading the local newspaper. "U-Uh, Ana was near the beach and- s-she may have seen something she shouldn't h-have."

What? What was she even doing near the beach, you specifically told her not to- god damnit. You ask what she saw.

"She s-saw a big sea thing, it d-didn't hurt her, so I didn't h-have to send K.I.S.A, but she'll n-need some explanations."

You sigh, and throw the newspaper away. You can't get too mad at Ana, when you told her to avoid the sea, she probably thought you meant she shouldn't swim here, how could she know there were those things lurking in the water?

You have to sit Ana down, and explain to her a few of the mysteries of the town. You don't tell her about the whole world being supernatural, just that some places here are dangerous and she should avoid for a reason. She gets mad that you didn't tell her before, but she believes you without you needing to show some tricks like with Sophia since Ana experienced the supernatural firsthand.

You hope she won't get too curious now that she knows about this, and it's a shame she learned about it so early, but there's nothing you can do about it now.
>>
>>5994188

In other news, you heard that Arachne's body is wandering somewhere in the forest. Your only hint being that a strange woman with empty eyes has been saying 'Arachne' over and over, and it is, as far as the Russian agency can tell, soulless and magicless. It's not particularly hard to find the body, as she basically went right to you the moment you entered the forest.

The woman doesn't look great, but you suppose being soulless doesn't help. Unfortunately your magic friend can't quite enter that body just yet, she says it doesn't exactly fit, but if she attaches to it for long enough she might be able to make it work. Weirdly enough, she doesn't look super happy about it, you think it's because deep down she's afraid of having false hopes and that it won't work at the last moment.

The year is coming to an end, you've been keeping an eye on Ana just in case, but it seems her curiosity about the supernatural is mostly satiated by talking about it with a new friend she made. She's also a little bit more amicable now and slightly less obsessed with her brother, that should set her on the right track at least.

As for Arachne, the body meshing isn't going too well, she did manage to move a few fingers, but it looks like you'll have to use unreliable existence to speed the process up, which could take a while.

Another worrying rumor is that of a woman that has been asking around for you. It's worrying mostly due to the fact that she hasn't contacted you directly, meaning she might try to gather info on you for not so friendly purposes. Thankfully, your reputation is good enough here that no one gave her any info, and since she's apparently a foreigner, you expect it to take a while for her to learn anything substantial. She's described as having a sword and a top hat. Kind of eccentric, and it reminds you of someone else that dressed like this.

---
18.137M
+
1M (Investments)
-
360K (Yearly costs)
=
18.77M
---
Sophia: 20 years old.
Mikhail: 14 years old.
Anastasia: 11 years old.
Aleksander: 9 years old.
Etsy & Weaver: 39 years old
---

>Focus on one of your kids (Can pick two if FT)
>Might want to take a look at that swordswoman.
>Speed up Arachne's body mixing.
>Write in.
>>
>>5994192
>Speed up Arachne's body mixing.
>>
>>5994192
>Might want to take a look at that swordswoman.
We should do this BEFORE Arachne gets her new body, who knows if we'll be even able to use magic after that.
>Focus on one of your kids (Alexander)
>>
>>5994192
>Might want to take a look at that swordswoman.
Yeah, we want Arachne around for that
Also I TOLD you retards that the beach was a nope-nope-nope, but you fuckers wouldn't listen. Now Ana is traumatised and she won't tell kids to kill themselves anymore. That's a fucking shame now innit?
>>
>>5994192
>Might want to take a look at that swordswoman
Duskbro? Are you a girl now?

>>5994209
>>5994210
>>5994278
When will we spill everything to the kids? Sophia's 20 and she got told after all this time. The others are 14 11 and 9

>>5994278
She still can, relax
>>
>>5994278
>>5994350
We still have an extra action, taking a look at the swordsman is not FT
>>
>>5994350
>She still can, relax
I really want to avoid involving the kids in all that magic bullshit as much as possible.
>>5994357
>We still have an extra action, taking a look at the swordsman is not FT
In that case, either spend time with little Sasha, or
>Write in
Pray.
>>
>>5994192
>She's described as having a sword and a top hat. Kind of eccentric, and it reminds you of someone else that dressed like this.
Welcome back, sword of dusk. inb4 it's his daughter.
>>5994192
>Focus on one of your kids (Aleksander)
haven't talked to him in a while
>Might want to take a look at that swordswoman.
>>
>>5994192
>Might want to take a look at that swordswoman
>Focus on one of your kids (Aleksander)

>>5994357
Good call

>>5994461
I meant she can still tell other kids to kill themselves
>avoid involving the kids in all that magic bullshit
I want to tell them when they come of age
>>
>>5994497
>>5994466
>>5994461
>>5994278
>>5994210
>>5994209

You decide to put off Arachne's body mixing off for now. She complains, but you're not a huge fan of your magic being separated from you when someone may or may not be after you. You can't say Dusk was ever a proper enemy, but he wasn't an ally either, you don't think he'd have any reason to go after you now that the game is over but...

well, that's assuming it's him in the first place, the similarities might be simply coincidences, it's just that you can't think of anyone else that you know that fits that description. Sure, he wasn't a woman, but maybe he used shadow magic to transition or something. Or was he always a girl and just never bothered correcting anyone? It's not like his body was human enough to tell.

Not like it really matters, you ask around where this woman might be, and you learn that she's hiding in the forest. You thought of doing an ambush, but maybe it's not a great idea to make another enemy when she hasn't done anything aggressive thus far. She had plenty of opportunity to attack your kids, and she didn't, so you'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

You decide to go to the forest 'by yourself' and reattach Arachne to you. Of course, K.I.S.A is scuttling close behind just in case, you're not THAT trusting.

Finding her isn't hard, it's more accurate to say that she found you. She's...a woman, alright. She has a simple dirty blue shirt with black plants that is tight enough to show how thin her legs are. It's a simple getup, and one different enough from the sword of dusk that makes you think it's probably not the same person standing before you.

"So you came. Saves me the trouble," she says, and point the blade directly at you. "...it's too late to go back now, of course. No more preparation, no more training, the last stretch. I'm ready."

You tell her you have no idea what she's talking about.

"Of course you don't. It was two decades ago, probably a footnote in your life's story. I thought about it. About making you suffer, but that's not final, people can recover from tragedy, I need you to end you right now, that's the finality I need."

Oh, so she IS here to kill you. That's...not good. Damnit, you should've gone for that ambush after all, but it's not like you could've predicted that she wants to kill you because uhm... mhh, you're not sure? She looks relatively young, maybe in her mid twenties, she said that it's something you did two decades ago, so she must have been, what, 10 at that time?

You think harder, what's something you did that would cause a 10-year-old to want you dead? She's not related to the bringer kid, he was an only child, maybe she's related to Oliver or the queen?

Arachne notices your thought, and shakes her spectral head, nope, not that either. Could it be...

You ask her if she was related to the criminal gang you wiped out.
>>
>>5997019

"So you do remember. Ha. Yeah. Killed my parents that worked here, not much left of them. Looking into who did it, 'twas a revelation, let me tell you. Not the fact that the supernatural exist, the fact that I was excluded from it. Nearly everyone's got magic, but I'm one of the unlucky ones that didn't have a lick of magic potential."

...you get how she feels, you suppose. From her point of view, you killed her parents for no real reason, the actual reason wasn't great, either it was incentivized by profit and your hatred of those kinds of people. Even so, you wouldn't say you regret what you did, you consider those people scum.

Even so, looking at her, a girl that lost her parents because of you, it does tug at your heartstrings a little, especially now that you're a father.

You want to apologize, but it would only anger her further, you think, and if her goal is to kill you, then talking could easily result in your death, you'll have to disable her first-

A blade swing, fast, precise, and strong enough to cut the very air before you. Arachne pulls you back instinctually, it's been a while since you had to actually use your magic to dodge, and you're very thankful you had the presence of mind to not speed up Arachne's body mixing before engaging this woman.

"You're fast, of course you are, I hoped you would've gotten rusty after all these years."

Arachne tells you that the blade is the one that Dusk used, but the blade itself was always a separate entity from its wielder. Dusk was capable of manipulating shadows, but did the blade have any abilities unique to itself?

From what you can tell, she isn't using any shadow techniques, but there's definitely some magic the blade is using. You need to figure that out, you order K.I.S.A to cover for you and...

It doesn't show up?

Oh no. You tell Arachne to quickly check your surroundings, and it's as you expected, you're trapped here. Similar to Sarah's ability, it seems you're cut off from the outside world. But K.I.S.A could come in from outside Sarah's ability, surely the same can happen here, right?

You don't have much time to think, she goes for another slash, her attacks are faster now, and you come to a terrible realization.

Her first attack was just to test your reaction time, and she's now going faster and faster. You end up having to block with your silver arm more than once, and every time you try to fire at her, she uses that opportunity to strike, which disrupts your aim.

Her speed is inhuman, and her lack of magic potential just means that she had to strengthen her soul to make up for it. You're pretty sure she didn't go through the same training you did, though. Whatever the case, unreliable existence is going to be a pain to use on her, but maybe if you were to affect the sword instead...
>>
>>5997020

Apart from that, you notice that she grimace after every strike, is she getting angry she can't kill you in one hit? That can't be it.

(As usual, you can choose one offensive and defensive strategy, which will be used simultaneously)
-Offensive strategy:
>Disrupted invisible bullets, good old reliable
>Devil's gamble bullets on the sword? If she has to parry them, then...
>Unreliable existence on the blade, maybe you can turn it off?
>No sense attacking, she'll get tired on her own.
>Write in

-Defensive strategy:
>MPR on the blade, will slightly decrease your dodge as it requires some concentration.
>Disrupt the blade, should be enough to make her miss at the very least.
>Fully focus your magic on dodging.
>MPR on her, she's not magic, but you can still study her attacks. dodge is also slightly reduced.
>Write in.
>>
>>5997022
Wait a moment, wasn't the entire benefit of Arachne that we'd be able to use magic *without* needing to concentrate by having her do it and allowing us to focus on the actual combat?
>>
>>5997051
(It's specified that the new faster version of MPR requires concentration, and part of your dodging style depends on both you and Arachne using your magic in tandem to dodge. You'll still be able to dodge, just not at peak efficiency as one of you will need to concentrate)
>>
>>5997052
In that case, my idea was,
>Disrupted invisible bullets, good old reliable
BUT, for the defensive
>Use reversal to mess up her attacks.
It worked against oliver.
>>
>>5997055
+1
Can we make the sword slip out of her grip? Or make her trip on the ground as we kite her?
>>
>>5997022
>Disrupted invisible bullets, good old reliable

>Disrupt the blade, should be enough to make her miss at the very least.
Her grunting makes me think she has to exert herself either to reach those speeds or the sword consumes her lifeforce or something.
>>
>>5997022
Changing my vote from >>5997105 to >>5997161. I am on mobile, apologies
>>
>>5997020
>>5997022
>Her speed is inhuman, and her lack of magic potential just means that she had to strengthen her soul to make up for it.
IT'S FUCKING TOJI
>>5997022
>Unreliable existence on the blade, maybe you can turn it off?
>>Fully focus your magic on dodging.
>>5997161
I mean, you have to exert yourself to fight in general.
>>
>>5997163
Isn’t what we did on Oliver the same thing as now ?
>>
>>5997166
Sure, but grunting right of the bat ?
>>
>>5997169
Shit, I grunt when I stand up and it's no herculean task. Some people are more vocal about movement than others.
>>
>>5997172
You’re missing the point. It’s only highlighted for tiredness.
>>
>>5997022
It's like a trash mob from level 1 comes back to bite us in the arse at the end of the game.
>Disrupted invisible bullets, good old reliable
Never failed us
>Use reversal to mess up her attacks.
>>5997055 is right, and that's a safer strategy. All the ones that reduce our capacity to dodge will end up with us having Etsy make us another silver arm.
>>
>>5997019
>Whileyouwerebusyhavingsex.png
At least Weaver and Etsy are still happy together
>>
>>5997285
>>5997166
>>5997161
>>5997105
>>5997055

Strong as she is, she's still human, and her lack of magic means she has no good way of locating invisible bullets, especially those with unpredictable trajectories like yours. You load a bullet and quickly disrupt it, at your level, this barely takes any concentration, and you can use the rest of your focus on reversing her attacks.

You fire the bullet, and as the bullet flies it gets...revealed? She parries the bullets with ease, as your reversal seems to have very little effect on her. It makes sense, if she strengthened her soul, then she would be much harder to affect with magic.

You decide to reverse the blade instead. Sure, it's a powerful magic weapon, but its soul? Incredibly weak, or at least really weak compared to its wielder, which makes it much easier to deviate her slashes. You're still not sure how she's revealing your bullets, but you suppose it doesn't matter, as it still keeps her in check.

Or at least that's what you thought would happen, but it looks like her attacks are only getting faster. The good news is that she seems to have all but given up on revealing the bullets, the bad news is that it's because she keeps striking every time you fire. Sure, it doesn't take that much concentration to disrupt bullet patterns, but it still takes some concentration, and that's focus you could've used on dodging. Thankfully the blade's impact is lessened by the reversal, but at this rate you might just run out of magic before you can-

The blade slices your neck. Grazing. Barely touching.

You might actually die here.

You didn't really even consider that a possibility, you survived much worse, so why is this woman giving you this much trouble? Is it because... oh, of course. It's because she's the one that's prepared for once. She surely has some device to reveal your bullets, she surely trained so she could use the blade even with your disruptions, there's no telling how much research she has done on you, you ARE her final boss from her point of view, after all.

Well, you're not the only one struggling at least. She's getting faster, but her body can't keep up. You don't think you've seen her take a breath since you started fighting, and you can tell the blade is siphoning something from her. You don't think it's taking away her stamina, but it's taking SOMETHING in exchange for whatever power she's getting, surely she can't keep this up forever.
>>
>>5998715

But it's a little late to fully go on the defensive, now.

Another slash, a jab, you don't have time to dodge, so you put your silver arm between you and the blade. Even with the reversal, it gets pierced, and goes straight to your lung.

You can feel something flowing through you, the spike of pain is suddenly replaced by another, arguably just as uncomfortable, numb feeling. It comes from your arm.

She smiles. It's an empty smile, a scared smile, you wonder what's going through her mind right now. Maybe she realized her mistake when you didn't faint right away, a mistake even you would've made, in her position.

Yes, the silver arm is still functional, and in this position, she cannot dodge, she cannot parry, and some of your fake skin slides away to reveal the end of a barrel aimed straight at her head.

Bang. Just like that, she falls. The blade moves with her, and the pain overrides whatever chemical was injected into your veins. The blade slowly slides out. It hurts. You don't move. You can hear K.I.S.A come, maybe a little too late. Etsy's worried voice you can hear from the radio. The woman's corpse is snatched away by something you cannot see, swallowed by the earth.

The rest of the day was a blur, but it looks like your lung was pretty badly damaged, and Etsy had to replace it with an artificial one. It's probably for the best, who knows what kind of magic infection the blade did to the original lung anyway. Speaking of, the sword isn't in the forest anymore. Maybe that's for the best.

Etsy says she almost unleashed Last Resort when she couldn't get K.I.S.A to help you, it's a good thing you ended the fight when you did, Last Resort would attract a little bit too much attention.

You tell Etsy how it went, and she frowns. "I-Is that so? Y-You don't have to feel bad. I-I probably killed m-more people than you did here. A-Are you okay?"

You're not sure. You almost died, what if you did? What if you left your kids and your wife behind? All because you were so confident it would be fine? You tell Etsy about how you feel, but she tells you that next time she'll make sure to prepare even more. She's right, you should've been more prepared. Although you doubt more people like her are coming after you, it doesn't hurt to have more contingency plans.

You wonder what this woman even was like. How long did she train to kill you? What was the deal with that sword? Does it even matter?

No, it does not. It's not your problem, not anymore. You'll tackle problems as they come, as you always did, no reason making new ones.
>>
>>5998718


With how hectic things have been, you decide to spend time with your most quiet kid, Aleksander. He doesn't talk much, but that just means there's more going through his mind. He's writing a paper about what he wants to be when he grows up for school, but he can't think of anything.

"Dad. Can I lie? I don't... I don't know what I want," he asks, repeatedly pressing his pen against the paper.

Even though he doesn't speak up a lot, when he does, he tends to be pretty blunt. Now, normally you wouldn't tell your kid to lie on a test, but if he really doesn't know what he wants to be, then it really doesn't matter.

"What did you want to be, dad?"

You open your mouth, then close it.

What did you want to be when you grew up, anyway? You don't think you ever had some kind of grand dream, but surely as a kid you must have had at least one thing you wanted to be, right? Surely you weren't this cynical back then, right? The kid probably looks up to you, so whatever you say might shape how he sees you or the world around him. Like he said, you could always lie

You tell him you wanted to be...

>A super hero
>A wizard
>A lawyer
>A doctor
>you don't remember
>Write in
>>
>>5998720
Hmmm...did we say anything of the sort back then during the flashback? I'm a bit partial towards saying something like 'superhero', though. Any thoughts?
>>
>>5998718
Now I’m curious, did we have better choices than we took or the fight would be like this anyway since she came prepared for us ?
>>5998720
>Wizard
>>
>>5999046
There were better choices, the best ones would've been to fully focus on dodging, or to use MPR to notice her attack pattern to make her attacks more dodgable. Using unreliable existence on the blade was also viable to make K.I.S.A able to come in by disrupting the magic separating you. It was mostly hinted at by her having strenghtened her soul (which clearly made her more resistant to magic) and her grimacing after only a few strikes, implying she wouldn't be able to survive a long fight.

There were also much worse choice, speeding up arachne's body mixing would've made the fight much harder, devil's gamble on the sword would've basically been useless, and disrupting the blade would've more or less done the same thing as reversal, albeit with slightly better results.

Worst cases would have caused Last Resort to show up, with best cases getting rid of her without a fuss and maybe even storing the sword somewhere.

Invisible bullets weren't the worse offensive choice even though she was prepared for it, as it did force her to parry them which tired her out faster, and her speeding up at the end was realizing that whatever device she used to reveal the bullets was running out of juice.
>>
>>5999217
I see, so the ones who wrote-in reversal of instead of picking the disruption option nerfed us a little. Gotta be honest, I see the reason behind mpr being better but what we picked for the blade still sounds better than fully dodging, at least on paper. Was our concentration debuff on it that big ?
>>
>>5999245
The concentration wasn't that much of an issue, the difference between reversal and disruption isn't big, but because disruption is a 'lower' magic level, it's a lot simpler to use than reversal, not just that, but reversal is also a lot more predictable in general. Something can only be reversed in the direction it had gone in before or the opposite of what it's currently doing, while disruption can be a lot more unpredictable. Someone that doesn't know about your magic would still be taken by surprise, but someone that knows your tricks would be a lot better at adjusting their attacks, especially since the only thing you could reliably reverse was the blade itself.

Even so, disruption might have led to your silver arm being destroyed before the fight's end, which would've cost a little to replace instead of your lung (not like you're using the money for much anyway).

The fight had very little info on her, which was kind of on purpose, it was very much supposed to be a turntable situation where someone prepared themselves to kill you more than you did them. I probably wouldn't have been cruel enough to actually kill you there so close to the epilogue, I just thought it'd be interesting to show the passage of time by bringing a character who had about 20 years to gather hatred for something you never thought that much about.
>>
>>5998720
>wizard
But Weaver is one now, complete with age and wisdom and weird magic bullshit
>>
>>5999217
So MPR and be completely defensive until MPR completes, then proceed to curbstomp. Got it. On the bright side the artificial lung must be insanely efficient knowing how Etsy is like
>>
>>5999301
>someone prepared themselves to kill you more than you did them
A real "you took EVERYTHING from me!" "I don't even know who you are" moment. Very rare for a player character in any quest to be the final boss to somebody else
>show the passage of time by bringing a character who had about 20 years to gather hatred for something you never thought that much about.
She did almost get us, so credit to her prep and skills and accumulated seething edge. Too bad there isn't much counter to when a character uses being impaled to pull the attacker in, or end them while they are still in melee range. The instinct is to hold the weapon and NEVER let go, after all
>>
>>5999301
If concentration wasn’t that much of an issue, why committing to only dodge was better ?
>>
>>5999301
Also, it indeed was an interesting situation.
>>
>>5999217
You baited us good with this one. Naturaly she'd expect our "ol' reliable" if she came prepared. Didn't even cross ym head. I guess we "are" Weaver after all, in such a way that we make as players the mistakes the supposed person would make. Pretty fun though. What was the sword's deal, now, I wonder. If it disappeared, Dusk might still be around...
>>5998720
>Write in
Astronaut
I'll be ok with Wizard too but I'd rather not push one of our kids towards someone that'll try to take Leah's seat some day and possibly get owned in the process (or worse, insulted on the internet)
>>
>>5999456
concentration wasn't the issue as much as the reverse you used on her could've been used on yourself to dodge much more efficiently (which is how the backstreet demon taught you how to dodge, use your own ability on yourself)

It is entirely possible to use the reverse both on the blade and yourself at once, but multi-targetting is kind of a pain and usually not as efficient as fully focusing your magic on one thing (in this case reversing her blade swings)
>>
>>5999526
Oh, Since you didn’t put that there I thought it’d just be just the physical.
>>
Waiting warmly
>>
File: SarahSketch.png (106 KB, 447x634)
106 KB
106 KB PNG
>>6000926
Sorry, will update this afternoon, have this in the meantime

(It actually ended up looking more like Mona than i'd like, also fun fact, the green streak at the end of Sarah's hair is a coloring error that I decided to keep, and the fact she's yellow blonde kind of goes against the 'white is blonde' thing established earlier, so she's just a coloring anomaly in general.)
>>
>>6001135
While booba is provided, I do not mind waiting
>>
>>5999511
>>5999340
>>5999046

You tell him you wanted to be a wizard when you were a kid. You don't know if that's true, because you barely remember what you were like as a kid.

"Wizards? But magic's not real?" He's phrasing this as a question more than an affirmation.

You tell him that you're not allowed to answer this question, you phrase this in a joking manner, but it will allow you to say 'hey, I didn't actually lie to you back then' when the time will come to reveal the truth to him.

Maybe you shouldn't feel so proud of outsmarting a 9-year-old with semantics. With the way he's looking at you, you're not even sure if you even lied to him successfully or if he just doesn't care.

"I can't put wizard on it. It needs to be a real job."

Hey, being a wizard is a real job. Very profitable, not great for your mental health and safety, but good upward mobility. Not that you'd say that to your son, even as a joke. Instead, you tell him if there's anything he enjoys doing.

"I like drawing."

You tell him he could put 'artist' on there.

"Sophia said that artist don't make a lot of money."

God damnit, what did she tell her very impressionable brother, now? You say that tons of artist make a decent living in animation and comics, and that if he ever needs help money wise you'll support him. He nods, looks like a weight was lifted off his chest, and he puts 'artist' on the page.

"Hey dad, why did you want to be a wizard."

You say it's because you...wanted to be special? That sounds like something young you would say, anyway.

"Not because you liked magic?"

You don't answer. Etsy says she needs your help, and you use that opportunity to leave. You don't know why that question made you uncomfortable. You can't say you were ever passionate about magic, it was more of a necessity. Do you...do you even have a passion right now? Sure, you love your family, but that's hardly a hobby. It's not like you're sad or bored, so does it really matter?

You decide to help Etsy with the garden, although most of it is unsurprisingly automated, and you barely have to do anything. You're actually surprised at how much of her machinery you understand, she's a genius, but you had to work closely with her when it came to selling her design documents, so you actually have a pretty good surface level understanding of electronics now.

Still, that's not a passion. Something that makes your heart burn and gives you the strength to keep going, you're sure you had one of those at one point, you must have, right? Maybe you'll look into it later.

You'll need to spend some time stabilizing Arachne's body mix, since the fight did use up a lot of magic.
>>
>>6001177
---
Child update:
-Mikhail has confessed to his best friend. Ana threw a tamper tantrum about it, but she got over it after a few weeks.

-Sophia's game has grown more popular, and she's almost done finishing the sequel. She's thinking of moving out now that she's seeing proper returns.

-Aleksander's grades have dropped, barely passing. It looks like he's working hard, he's just not very good at some subjects.

-Anastasia gets seashells and other bits of sealife from her friend that goes to the beach. She hasn't experimented on anything magical yet, but it's only a matter of time at this rate.
---
18.77M
+
2M (Investments)
+
-
360K (Yearly costs)
-
500K (Cybernetic lung)
-
100K (Silver arm repair)
=
19.81M
---
Sophia: 21 years old.
Mikhail: 15 years old.
Anastasia: 12 years old.
Aleksander: 10 years old.
Etsy & Weaver: 40 years old
---
You'll need to spend some time stabilizing Arachne's body mix since the fight did use up a lot of magic. (Only one action available this year as one will be used for Arachne's body mixing)

>Focus on one of your kids
>Find a personal hobby

Additionally, Anastasia is at the age for higher secondary school. Anastasia picked Vershina for herself. It looks like she wants to prove she's better than her sister by going through the school she failed at, that and because her superiority complex makes it impossible for her to choose anything but the hardest school.

You might as well consider Aleksander's school while you're at it, he should get there in a couple of years. (https://rentry.org/h2wba9f3 for reference)

>Pick a secondary school for Aleksander.
>>
>>6001178
>Focus on one of your kids (Anastasia)
While I wish we could find a hobby of our own, Anastasia is almost finding out about magic, right? We need to make sure she's safe.
>Raskolot
Seems like the best fit, right?
>>
>>6001179
By 'safe' BTW I mean talking about Magic. The last thing we need is her trying to find it out by herself and running into a sea monster or rogue magic user.
>>
>>6001179
>Focus on one of your kids
Alexander
>Raskolot
His grades dropping is bothering me, is he OK?
>>
>>6001209
I feel like ensuring Ana doesn't end up risking her life is a bit more time sensitive.
>>
>>6001213
Ugh fiiiiine

>>6001178
>Anastasia
>Raskolot
There

>>6001177
>You can't say you were ever passionate about magic, it was more of a necessity.
We have cool powers but Weaver only ever used them to fight and stay alive. Kind of defeats the purpose of having them, doesn't it?
>Something that makes your heart burn and gives you the strength to keep going
Yeah it's Etsy. Did we forget how things were 20 years ago? And now the kids too on top of that. Pretty interesting Weaver is thinking this now, when he's hit 40. I think calling Sarah and Sawyer and Infinite Reflection might be good, because everybody's in their late 30s and early 40s now so we might as well keep in touch even into middle age
>>
>>6001231
>Pretty interesting Weaver is thinking this now, when he's hit 40
Well, he has been pretty much spending all his time solely for the sake of his family for the past 20 years. With the games over, our children growing up and etsy past the age where it's healthy to have children we're going to have increasingly bigger amounts of free time on our hands.
>>
>>6001178
>Find a personal hobby

>Raskolot
>>
>>6001178
>>Focus on one of your kids
>Alexander
>>Raskolot
I'm a bit worried about him desu. While I agree with >>6001213, I don't think it's that urgent in the sense that it couldn't wait until next year, right?
>>
File: Aracute.png (148 KB, 543x677)
148 KB
148 KB PNG
>>6002055
>>6001606
>>6001231
>>6001209
>>6001179

You're finishing the final touches on Arachne's body. It's a slow process that requires a lot of concentration, but if you mess up you don't know if Leah will just give you a replacement body, so you'd rather make sure nothing goes wrong.

Pull, push and then weave. Pull push and then weave. Repeat the pattern, one by one, until it encompasses the entire body. It gets harder and harder to do, as you can feel Arachne being separated from you and your magic gets weaker and weaker. You pay no mind to it, pull, push, weave-

SNAP

You fall backward, as if a string that was keeping you upright suddenly broke. You feel lightheaded and dizzy, the world is spinning and it takes a few minutes for you to come back to your senses. You fear for the worse when you look back to Arachne but...

She's right there, standing up, looking at the palm of her hand like it's a work of art.

"Ha?" She snorts. "Ha. Haha?" It's like a machine trying to emulate human laughter, it's uncanny. Eventually, the laugh becomes more natural, the voice less stuck up, the expression more...her. "I can...? Forever? Ah, wait, I can think and..." she closes her mouth, then looks back to you. "What am I thinking?" She asks.

You shrug.

"Free! I can think without you knowing about it! I can move! SPIN SPIN SPIIIIN!" She starts to spin until she gets as dizzy as you were, and fall into your arms. You do let go of her pretty quick because she's actually not wearing much, she doesn't even have a bra, and the last thing you want is Etsy getting the wrong idea.

After you let go, she starts to roll around on her side, not unlike Sophia before she learned how to walk. She quickly stops once she realizes her breasts get in the way though. "Ow- Ow- Ow. I forgot what pain felt like. It's no longer just mental pain anymore! I can hurt myself in other ways! WOOOOO- Ow- okay that's enough of that."

She gets back up, and gives you a hug. It doesn't last very long, probably because she knows Etsy as well as you do by now.

"I- I need to take a walk, or a run! Or- Or- oh, I can talk to people now! I can talk to Etsy, or the kids, or anyone! I can play video games, uh, I can..." She keeps listing off random mundane things as the fire in her eyes burns ever brighter. You can't remember the last time you've seen her this happy.

Well, if you have to introduce her to your kids, you could always say she's some kind of sister? You'll let Arachne introduce tell the truth about who she is to the kids if she wants, but you think she wants to be treated like a normal person by others for now.

It does feel a little weird to not have her linked to you anymore, but Arachne has been nothing but helpful, you think she deserves to be happy and free.

The introduction to your kids goes pretty smoothly, Sophia rightfully raises an eyebrow, with Ana and Aleksander seemingly not caring that much while Mikhail is more than happy to see another 'family' member.
>>
>>6002565

Arachne's very...jovial? You don't remember her acting like that at all before, and you're unsure if it's Mona's soul finally kicking in, the freedom she always yearned for, or both that's making her this hyper. She does occasionally go back to her professional persona, but it's usually short-lived.

Once she's past the high of actually having a body, she starts thinking about long term plans. She wants to live her own life, but right now she's kind of an illegal immigrant with no ID and past, so she's unsure how to start integrating into society.

You realize she's asking not so subtly for you to give her enough money to start a new life.

You give her one million, probably more than she actually needs, but since she partly helped you with your investments, you'd say she earned at least that much.

Another hug from her. "Don't worry, I'll come visit often! I want to say thank you again, I really don't know if I can ever make it up to you, but if you need anything, anything at all? You call me. Even if I have to risk my life, I don't care!" She grabs your hands. "I'm- I'm..." She lets go of your hands. "...noooot used to having chemicals in my brain. I'll just leave, experience the world a little, and then come back to you. Okay? Okay, yup, see ya!"

She leaves without waiting for an answer, you could've sworn she was blushing. Well, you suppose she's not used to have skin contact with anyone, so maybe you shouldn't jump to conclusions.

[Magic potential reduced to high. Unreliable Existence no longer available. General magic use requires a lot more concentration now.]
---
(I believe there's a tie between hobby finding and Ana, so I'll wait for the next vote as a tiebreaker for now.)
>>
>>6002568
[Spoiler]Arachne Threesome???[/spoiler]
I joke, I joke.
>>
>>6002568
Cute Arachne, thanks for the update, QM!
Still, oompf, that's a pretty rough nerf. We could climb that ladder again but do we really need to?
>>
>>6002573
Oh, I messed that up. I deserve the shame. Still, she's nice.
>>
>>6002573
I dunno man... Do you think Etsy would be OK with that?
Ctrl+S, fellow retard

>>6002568
>[Magic potential reduced to high. Unreliable Existence no longer available. General magic use requires a lot more concentration now.]
Small price to pay

>>6002574
I wouldn't mind trying to go back to Colossal just to have it again
>>
>>6002576
> Do you think Etsy would be OK with that
Obviously not, but still, I have to hope that there's some path where a threesome with Etsy and one of the other girls wouldn't have been in a horrible path.
>>
>>6002579
What's this? Did all my threesome talk get to somebody else? The fuck?
>>
>>6002594
The gooner plague spreads
>>
>>6002603
The fire rises
>>
>>6002568
I'll vote for Anna, if I haven't voted already.
>>
>>6002565
oh yes, she's very cute
>>6002568
a small price to pay to have our friend freed
also, are you sure the vote is tied ?
>>6002573
kek
>>6002576
why ctrl+s ?
>>
>>6002610
Because Ctrl+S is how you can spoiler tag without fucking up and making typos. Try it
>>
>>6002610
Huh, you may be right, I don't know why I saw two hobby votes. Vote locked in for Ana then.
>>
>>6002620
I asked that 'coz ctrl+s is the command to save the page, then I tried doing it with the reply window open. thanks for the tip, anon.
>>
>>6002892
You're welcome, now you're less of a newfag.
>>
>>6002573
>>6002574
>>6002576
>>6002603
>>6002608
>>6002610
>>6002622

It was a day like any other. You woke up, took a sip of the last energy drink in the fridge, and went for a jog outside.

Everyone is asleep at that hour, and you like the calm and quiet. Now that your magic is weaker, you can also think a little bit more clearly. It's hard to explain, it was like a weight, an urge, a sense that you were always a little bit incomplete. It wasn't a strong feeling, especially with Arachne essentially halving the effect at the time, but it was still there, like an itch that you could never scratch.

You feel a little weak, but maybe that's okay, you're past your prime anyway. You think you're getting the hang of this anyway.

[A BLOODY HEART OPEN FOR ALL TO SEE.]

Huh?

[A COLD HAND REACHES FOR YOU. GRASP IT, AND FEEL ITS PAIN.]

[A NEW DIVINE DECREE IS IN ORDER.]

It's not really a voice. It's not really words spoken in a language you can repeat, it's more like the meaning of the words are being blasted into you, and your brain tries its best to translate it into something you can understand.

Even though you know the words are not harmful, you still panic and rush back home. The house is in lockdown, but thankfully you're still allowed inside as the door recognizes your DNA. You weren't the only one that heard the voice, Etsy did too, everyone did.

You can feel her fear, and by instinct, you pull her into a hug. She squirms a little, still tapping a few button on a device in her hand even as you're holding her tight.

It's hard to explain, but it's as if you can tell what they're feeling by just looking at them. It's kind of like your old body read ability, but instead of reading their body language it's like you're reading their...soul language? Yeah, you think that's it. The worrying part is that even your kid and your wife can apparently tell what the others are feeling too, even some as socially inept as Ana can.

Eventually, you manage to calm down Etsy and she lets the lockdown go. It doesn't take long for you to learn that the effect is global. Everyone now has the ability to feel what the others are feeling, no matter how good they are at hiding it. It's not as potent as your body read ability, for one it doesn't seem to work online, and you can't tell what someone is thinking outright, but it makes it really easy to tell when someone is lying or what their intentions are.

As expected, chaos ensues.

Popular politicians quickly fall out of favor as even the most fanatic followers can tell they're being lied to, couples and friendship break, nearly all stocks are going down for a variety of reasons, employers now can tell when a candidate isn't actually motivated by the job offer.

Yeah, turns out people severely underestimated how much of our lives are supported by white and not so white lies, now it's coming back to bite them in the ass at full force.
>>
>>6004688

Surprisingly enough, your family is affected pretty positively by this. Mikhail is a sweetheart and his good nature only shines brighter with this new change, , Sophia interacts with people online most of the time, and Aleksander speak so little that he had very few opportunities to lie about anything. Ana on the other hand did end up hiding in her room for a while, not because she was afraid people would find out something bad about her (it seems her public opinion is already at rock bottom anyway), but because she doesn't want people to take pity on her. Thankfully, this is summer, and she doesn't have to go to school right now, but you'll have to drag her out when the time comes.

Also, Etsy feels a lot less insecure now that she can tell what people think of her, which turns out is mostly envy or respect. The fact she can tell with perfect accuracy when something turns you on or not is something she has also weaponized incredibly fast.

Eventually, the dust settles, and society learns to adapt to this new sudden change. It now becomes required in many countries for job interviews to pass online if the person applying requests it, and it becomes illegal to fire someone simply because of what they were feeling at the time.

People do manage to hide how they feel a little bit better. While it's essentially impossible to hide strong emotions like love and hate, other weaker feelings can be subdued to be harder to see. There is also a special form of sharing that can only happen when very personal fears are being shared to someone you really trust, one you apparently already had with Etsy, that makes it possible to tell what the other is feeling even from far away.

It's a lot, and right now, it really looks like this change caused more bad than good, as some people even killed themselves as their lives were ruined by others seeing them for who they truly were. Even so, you'll have to see what the long term change are later, maybe it'll force people to be more honest with each other at the very least.

As for what people think is the source of this, most religious people think it's god's doing, and scientist are still doing their own research. E.N.D didn't even try to cover up any of this, as it's kind of a hard thing to do when everyone in the world has been affected.

You decide to spend time with the kid that you think has been the most affected by all of this, Ana. Sure, she speaks her mind a lot, but that doesn't mean she enjoys everyone seeing her emotions like this.

You enter her room to see how she's doing, and she's hiding under a blanket. You can actually still tell how she feels right now even without the blanket hiding her.

"You didn't KNOCK dad! You always knock!"

You apologize, you did forget to knock. You ask her if she's doing okay.

"I'M FINE, dad. If I needed your help I'd just ask!"

Her emotions says 'I don't want to ask for your help because it'd make me look weak, and it'd make you look right.'
>>
>>6004691

You ask her what she's been doing recently to drive the subject away from her insecurities.

"N-Nothing! I'm.doing.stuff. Like school."

She's probably trying to sidestep the lie thing by making a vague statement like 'I'm doing stuff' that would encompass whatever weird thing she's been up without her needing to specify.

It does remind you that now your kids can tell when you're lying, which means you'll probably have to explain to them the supernatural sooner or later.

"Leaaaave dad! I don't want you heeeere," she whines. She gesticulates under the blanket, making her look like a very angry ghost.

You tell her you know she's been doing some weird experiments with stuff her friends found on the beach. Might as well be direct at this point.

"How do you know- Are you spying on me?"

You tell her that she's never been that good at keeping secrets, but she can tell you're evading the question. Still, she doesn't press the issue, and actually opens up a little.

"Yeah, but Yulia says the stuff on the beach isn't dangerous, I just want to know what it does, okay! If I find something, it could be huge! I could be huge!"

You're not sure how much of this is driven by her love of chemistry and how much is from her desire to be loved. From what you're seeing, it might be 50/50.

>"You're already the smartest in your class already, you don't need to go that far."
>"If you're going to experiment, at least ask your mom to make you a proper lab."
>"Fine, you can keep experimenting, but every single ingredient has to pass by me first to tell if it's really safe."
>"You can do whatever you want, but I just want you to let us know first, that's all."
>>
>>6004693
>"If you're going to experiment, at least ask your mom to make you a proper lab."
Huh, so that's the decree she was talking about. A curious choice, i guess.
>>
>>6004697
+1
It's just an altered universe-wide extension of her power. She could transfer her feelings about things to others
>>
>>6004693
>"If you're going to experiment, at least ask your mom to make you a proper lab."
>>
>>6004693
>>"If you're going to experiment, at least ask your mom to make you a proper lab."
>>
>>6004693
>"If you're going to experiment, at least ask your mom to make you a proper lab."
I'm hesitating with "run them by me first".
Fucking Leah shat the pooch again, now everybody will know about my porn stashes. Yes plural.
On the other hand, good thing someone with a more wacky power (Sawyer?) didn't win.
>>
>>6005963
Why do you think someone with a wacky power would be worse ? It’s not like it’d be that much of a difference since they’d be nigh omnipotent anyway.
>>
>>6005963
>Fucking Leah shat the pooch again
Nah this sounds like a much better world from it
>now everybody will know about my porn stashes
Can't if you don't talk about it in-person
>>
>>6006697
>Can't if you don't talk about it in-person
People would immediately feel it in person, though.

I must admit, maybe this has some positives, but this would be a really fucking awkward world. Imagine you were thinking of a cute girl and your parents - fuck, anyone around you, were immediately able to tell it. You'd have to basically learn to control your own thoughts and never allow them to roam free alone. Sounds pretty shitty to me. It's a world where privacy doesn't exist unless you isolate yourself like a hermit.
>>
>>6006702
Or think and feel freely and be who you are without holding back. And don't forget it goes both ways. Nobody else is able to hide their true thoughts and feelings from you in turn
>>
>>6006730
>Or think and feel freely and be who you are without holding back
Again, privacy, anon. Do you actually think a world without prviacy is good? They're *my* thoughts.
>>
>>6006483
>Why do you think someone with a wacky power would be worse ?
Worse if they pass a "divine decree" that's tied to their power. In the case of Sawyer, imagine anyone being able to easily fathom a few possible futures for each action? The resulting chaos would be greater.
>>6006732
>Again, privacy, anon. Do you actually think a world without prviacy is good? They're *my* thoughts.
Usually a world of mind-readers is a nice thing for the first few weeks, but becomes hell really fast, and people stop seeing each other to avoid reading each other's thoughts. So it sucks.
>>
>>6007172
>n the case of Sawyer, imagine anyone being able to easily fathom a few possible futures for each action?
That's not the worst case scenario, the worst case scenario is that Sawyer's timeline would literally turn into "heaven" from Stone Ocean

Of course, i don't think that's actually how it works. After all, Leah's power was to make other people feel different. What she gave was basically a lite version of *our* ability. The one we got when we were cursed by Mona.
>>
>>6007178
Hmm, how I got it was that she gave everyone a lite, full-duplex version of *her* ability, as everyone can do it.
>>
>>6004697
>>6005394
>>6005758
>>6005963

(Sorry for the delay, failed a job interview and not doing super well financially, so I was kind of down)


You tell her that if she's going to experiment, she might as well ask her mom to make a lab for her.

"I don't need her help! I can do it by myself!" She said in a tone so defensive you can smell the insecurity from here.

You answer that her mom is the one that paid most of the expenses here.

"But-"

You also say that she's the reason she can even go to school.

"It's not-"

You also note that she's still getting help from her friend to get things, so she's not even doing it 'by herself'.

"OKAY! FINE! But YOU ask mom, I'm not doing it!"

You can feel a sudden burst of rage, and then a slight sense of regret. Even though she's loud and rude, it looks like she still doesn't enjoy being mean to you that much. She probably know she's in the wrong, but she's too proud to admit it.

"Fine! I'll do it myself, mrgnhgn" She kicks the blanket directly on you and storms out. You wonder if it's because she also knew you were taking pity on her because of that new emotion reading thing. It's not as accurate as body read, you can't exactly tell what people 'think', just what the general feeling is.

Of course, if it's a feeling you're intimately familiar with, it becomes easier to guess what's going on in their head, but that's still a guess in the end. Even the lie thing isn't entirely reliable from what you've heard, and people have already found ways to circumvent it.

Etsy agrees to build her a lab, and she's actually very excited by the idea. Etsy was already building weird things at Ana's age, so she doesn't see the problem with her kid interacting with dangerous substances as long as she can keep an eye over it. Ana still doesn't like how often her mom checks up on her now, since the lab and the workshop are right next to each other, but it's not like she wasn't constantly being spied on anyway.

Her experiments don't go anywhere, it really looks like most of them are harmless, but you suspect it's only a matter of time until she finds something dangerous. It's fine, it's better for her to do her chemistry here than in secret. At least here, you can make sure nothing goes wrong.
>>
>>6008089

Once you make sure every kid is asleep, you go back to your bed and slip under the blanket next to Etsy who's typing something on her laptop as usual. For some reason, she's wearing a jacket even in the warm summer. You ask her why.

"O-Oh, uhm... habit? S-Sorry, I'll just-" She slowly unzips the jacket and... she stops, then zips it back up. "Heh."

She smirks, unzipping it even slower this time, aaaand back up. "This is f-fun, I can just tell how m-mad you get whenever I-"

You disrupt the zipper, and it basically bursts open as it can no longer contain what's under there. The shirt is under there, and while you could reach under it, it's a lot more fun to rip it off. It might take some effort with a regular arm, but with the silver arm it's child's play. She's still smiling smugly, she really always gets what she wants in the end, doesn't she?

A strange sense of deja vu washes over you, but it's quickly pushed away by the renewed vigor this woman brings you. For some reason, the only thought present in your mind tonight was to never let go of her. You didn't.

---
Child update:

-Sophia's game sequel turned out a decent profit, enough for her to move out. She's thinking of moving out soon, maybe outside of town.

-Aleksander's grades have stopped declining, but he's still not doing well. He might not get past this school year if you don't help him.
---
18.77M
-
3M (Investments have been changed due to world events.)
-
360K (Yearly costs)
-
30 (Etsy's shirt)
=
15.41M
---
Sophia: 22 years old.
Mikhail: 16 years old.
Anastasia: 13 years old.
Aleksander: 11 years old.
Etsy & Weaver: 41 years old
---
(2 actions are now available as Arachne's body mixing is done)

>Focus on one of your kids
>Find a personal hobby
>>
>>6008095
Wait, actually, actually, Sophia is going to move out. This is our last chance to spend some real time with her.
>Focus on one of your kids (Aleksander)
>Focus on one of your kids (Sophia)
>>
>>6008089
>failed a job interview
Look up guides and how to answer interview questions. I watched this guy and it helped a lot I think
https://youtube.com/@ALifeAfterLayoff
And a bit of this one
https://youtube.com/@DonGeorgevich
Try googling stuff too. I hope these help you

>>6008093
As for my vote
Backing >>6008096
>>
>>6008101
Thanks, I unironically got asked 'what super power would you want to have' during a job interview and answered something like time travel because I just wasn't prepared for something this wacky. I'm kind of used to shorter interviews so wasn't really prepared for being asked a ton of questions.
>>
>>6008103
>Thanks, I unironically got asked 'what super power would you want to have'
I think you dodged a bullet, the kind of company that would use such a ridiculously retarded question would probably be utter shit. It's a meaningless drivel question made when HR has too much power.
>>
>>6008103
>unironically got asked 'what super power would you want to have' during a job interview
It's the wacky nonsense stuff, I hate those too. If I ever get one I'll probably go equally wacky and nonsense at them.
>shorter interviews
Some sources say if an interview is shorter than 30 minutes, it went bad. But you're also supposed to be concise and follow KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), and remember the interviewers also have places to be. So far, I think as long as the interview goes well without you fucking up and with you being able to satisfy the interviewers, it's good no matter the length.
>ton of questions
You can't prep for absolutely everything, and raw memorization is not good either. I can post some notes I can safely do so, once I get home later
>>
>>6008096
+1

>>6008103
I have to agree with the anons here, that sort of question probably means the company is bad in some way.
>>
>>6008096
>+1
we can look for a hobby next time
>>
>>6008096
>>6008160
>>6008393

You decide to check up on Sophia. She's been a little more withdrawn recently, and you can't remember the last time she went outside. Looks like she's been hyperfocusing on fixing bugs on her new game and as such has had very little time for anything else.

You find her in her room, typing something away on her computer, going from tab to tab reading some kind of design document. Her ability to multi-task is pretty impressive, and she doesn't stop working even as you start the conversation.

"Hi dad. Can you get me coffee? Forgot to get it. I also found a nice place to live in, still in Russia, but out of town, so you don't need to help me with that," she says in a rapid fire tone. It's like she's trying to relay information as fast as possible as if she was on a timer.

You ask her if she slept tonight.

"No, yes, sort of, I don't know? A few hours I think. It's fine, I'll just sleep longer tonight. Love you dad!" She says the last part like she was reading off a script. Reading her emotion, it's probably a shortened version of 'I know you care about me and I appreciate that, but I'm fine'. Of course, if she's actually fine is another matter entirely.

You bring her her coffee, and she sips it without taking her eyes away from the screen. You remember the days when she couldn't motivate herself to do anything, and you're not sure if what she's doing is much better. Sure, it's good to be productive, but you don't want her to go through a burnout. You ask her if she can leave the computer for a moment as you need to talk to her.

"Just let me finish something, I should be done in half an hour, I don't know."

You nod, and she comes back to you in the living room after the promised 30 minutes. "What did you want, dad? It's not for what I said to Aleks, right? I didn't think he'd take that thing about artists so seriously, I was just rambling."

You shake your head, you doubt your son's problem comes from a random conversation she had with her. You'll get to him later. No, you just wanted to spend more time with her, as she'll leave the house and you don't know how many opportunities you'll get to talk with her when she's gone.

"I'm not going to die, dad. I just want to live by myself, that's all. It feels a little constraining in a way I can't explain, you know?"

Yeah, you get it. Although your family life wasn't great, so maybe living alone was just a better alternative than living with people you hated. Etsy occasionally calls her parents, not very often, like once every 6 months, but that's infinitely more than you ever did yourself. You don't think they'd have anything nice to say anyway. You ask if she wants to take a walk, since she hasn't gone outside in a while. She clearly doesn’t like the idea, but still goes along with it.
>>
>>6010211

You walk side by side quietly, stopping to sit at a bench in the park. Once you're settled, you ask her how she's feeling.

"That's a loaded question, dad. I don't know. I'm fine? I don't want to die or anything, but it still doesn't feel right. I thought that if I made a game people liked I'd be able to go 'ha! I made it!' and that'd be that but.."

She sighs, pulls out a piece of candy from her pocket and starts to chew. "I'm scared that I'm not good enough, but I don't even know what good enough is anymore. I used to do it to impress a guy I liked, or to feel like I fit into that family, but maybe that was just an excuse, maybe I'll always feel like this, unsatisfied. Now I feel like I just need to do something, anything all the time, because if I don't, I start to think, and thinking just makes me miserable."

You tell her that it's still not a great idea to drown herself in work, and staying cooped up inside at all times isn't good for her health.

"I knooow, dad. I'm not five! I can't say I feel like an adult though. Can't believe I'm 22, I already feel so old."

You tell her that if she's old then you're ancient and that can't be right.

"Dad, you're prehistoric. Can’t believe mom’s staying with an old man like you- ow- I’m joking, you still look good!”

After a few light taps on the head, you ask her if she still speaks to that guy she liked.

"Not really. It's hard to get over a guy when you talk to him all the time, right? I think he broke up with someone recently but I'm not going to go after him now, I'm not a vulture. Did you have some childhood crushes, dad?"

You say you technically knew Etsy as a child, but never actually spent enough time with your classmates to develop any feelings. You may have had a slight crush on Mia now that you think about it? It was more of a 'I'm not used to talk to girls' kind of deal, and since she already had a boyfriend at the time, you quickly accepted you had no chance and she just became a good friend. You hope she's doing well, and you hope the guy that cheated on her died in a ditch somewhere. You sill wouldn't count her as a 'childhood crush', since you only met her when you were about 17 and started working in that damn fast food restaurant. You still name Mia as your childhood crush anyway.

"Wow, dad lore. Feels like you did so much at my age, how did you even deal with it? My worries feel pretty weak by comparison."
>>
>>6010212

You tell her you didn't have much time to think about it, you just did things and hoped they worked. You were also pretty insecure yourself, you're not sure how far you would've come without Etsy's support.

"Guess insecurity runs in the family, then. Or maybe that's just a human thing, I don't know. I... thanks, dad. I feel a little bit better, I guess? I'm not sure if I can solve how I feel, but just being able to talk about it without being judged, it helps, I think. I don't get to do that often."

You keep chatting about nothing and everything. You have to admit it's also nice to talk about your worries too, she feels less like a daughter and more like a friend right now. You wonder if that's a weird thought to have? Maybe that's how family is supposed to be, and you just never experienced it yourself. Despite yourself, a single tear rolls down your cheek.

"Dad? H-Hey, are you okay?"

You wipe it off. You're just proud of the woman she became, and proud of yourself for raising her as well as you could. Maybe you're a little sad to let her go, but you know it's the right thing to do.

You both come back home after an awkward hug. You weren't out for long, but it looks like even this little bit of fresh air helped Sophia. You'll remind yourself to drag her outside more often, maybe bring Ana along too.

Now, here comes the issue of Aleksander. His grades haven’t been doing great, and you can tell he hasn’t been super happy with himself recently. Just like Sophia, you find him very busy in his room. He’s old enough to have his own Etsy made laptop, but he almost never uses it, he always preferred pen and paper, not that you’re complaining.

He’s doing his homework, he’s always doing homework, and if it weren’t for the cameras in the house, you’d assume he just pulls up his homework when he hears you come in to appear busy.

That’s not the case though, he’s really trying, and that’s really the worrying part.

You sit next to him, glancing at what he needs to do, it’s some kind of history lesson. Even though his school is on the more practical side of things, there are things it still has to teach anyway.

It looks like he needs to write an essay about some king’s accomplishment, but his grammar and the structure of it isn’t great. You can see a lot of discarded papers that contains what you assume are failed drafts.

You ask him if he needs help, and he nods. You manage to fix most of the issues with it, and you’ve done enough research on Russia’s history that you can add a lot of relevant insight. Unfortunately, it does mean you end up doing most of his work for him, which he doesn’t look too happy about.

“Thanks dad.”

You ask him if he’s okay.

“Does it matter,” he answers. he doesn't phrase it as a question, but more as a statement.

You answer that it matters to you.
>>
>>6010214

“Dad. I don’t like school, but I need to go to school,” you can see the pen he’s holding in his handshake a little. “I don’t like the homework I get, but I need to finish it. It doesn’t matter that I don’t like it, because I need to do it.”

You tell him that if it’s really that much trouble, you can always home school him.

He shakes his head. “No. I just need to last a little longer, it’s fine.”

He’s clearly not fine, he reminds you of Sophia when she was in Ana’s school. Even so, isn’t his school easier? He clearly works hard, you don’t get why he struggles so much with it.

You try to change the subject, and ask him if he’s been doing other things. He shakes his head.

“No, don’t have time. Because now, when the teacher asks me if I really tried my best for a test, I can only say yes if I spent all my free time studying. They can tell when I’m lying, and I can’t stand them being right.”

Even though Aleksander is generally a pretty quiet kid, you can feel the spite and anger he holds for them even from here.

There are a lot of complicated emotions going through him right now, and you’re not sure how to handle them. You doubt just doing all his homework will fix the root of the problem, and it’s not like you can help him cheat his tests when anyone can tell lies now.

>Homeschool him anyway.
>Schedule a psychatrist, maybe his brain functions just a little differently.
>Help him study yourself.
>Maybe the stress makes his performance worse, force him to go to an art club to unwind.
>Write in.
>>
>>6010217
Hmm..i'm not sure. I feel like homeschooling him would work...but Lea told us that if he had an issue, he'd tell us.
>>
>>6008103
Nigger what. Who even asks that question.
Anyhow.
>>6010217
Oh shit, lil' Sasha's not in a great place...
I don't like the homeschooling idea, and >>6010220 is right about what Leah said.
I feel like we can OFFER him to book a psychiatrist's appointment, and if he declines, then OFFER to help him study. If that doesn't work, send Etsy or Sophia. Does that sound good? Kinda looks like a write-in
>>
>>6010292
+1
>>
>>6010292
+1
>>
>>6010217
>>6010292
+1
>>
>>6010292
>+1
>>
OP ?
>>
File: frog2.png (983 KB, 1200x2400)
983 KB
983 KB PNG
>>6013030
Still alive, will update this afternoon, just going through a lot, job search is a bitch.
>>
>>6013065
Hang in there OP
I hope the stuff in >>6008101 can help you
>>
>>6013065
alright, take care. cute pic btw, new character ?
>>
>>6010293
>>6010298
>>6010404

You ask him if he wants you to book a psychiatrist, but he shakes his head, you then ask if he wants you to help him study instead. He hesitates, and just shrugs with a 'sure'.

You end up helping him with his studying for the year, which actually takes a big chunk of your time, as you have to continuously review your teaching methods and see what works and what doesn't on him. Aleksander doesn't have a great memory, that's his main issue, even though he can understand the principle behind some math problems or why history is the way it is, he's awful at remembering formulas and specific dates. You don't think forcing him to remember things by just repeating it over and over is going to work, it's like hammering a nail with a screwdriver.

Eventually, you settle on some form of visual learning. He's not good at remembering formulas, but when applied to something more practical like a painting or even a basic shape, he becomes a lot better at applying his knowledge. As for history, there isn't a lot you can do on that front except making him learn the names of famous painting depicting historical events, which at the very least tend to help him remember the names of famous figures.

Even so, it's not perfect, and despite your best effort, Aleksander doesn't pass. You expect him to cry, or to at the very least be bummed out, but he seems oddly relieved. Maybe he can tell you aren't disappointed in him, or maybe he's happy that the year will be easier now that he has to take it again.

You know how it feels to have so much pressure put on you, and you can't expect all your kids to sail through school, besides, he's talented in other ways, so you're sure he'll make it just fine, you just need to make sure he makes it past high school.

You also have to say goodbye to Sophia, and after a heartfelt hug from everyone, she leaves to live on her own. Of course, Etsy still spies on her, but you have to admit you were a little paranoid yourself. It's something to have your kid be away for school, it's another to have them live somewhere else. Hopefully your fears are unfounded.

You'll still check up on her in person occasionally, you don't want her to lock herself in her room to make games all day, that and Mikhail misses her a lot, and you feel like he'll keep bugging you if you don't bring her here sometimes, in that way, she's not really gone, just a little bit further away than usual.
>>
>>6013368

Speaking of Mikhail, he's almost an adult now, and he's still with that one girl. You have to admit, you were expecting his relationship to end sooner considering childhood crush rarely last that long, but maybe these two truly have something special after all. After all, if their love survived being able to basically read each other's thoughts, there's not much else that can break them up.

You just hope Ana's taking it well.
---
15.41M
-
200K (Investments)
-
360K (Yearly costs)
=
15.25M
---
Sophia: 23 years old.
Mikhail: 17 years old.
Anastasia: 14 years old.
Aleksander: 12 years old.
Etsy & Weaver: 42 years old
---
(You can still visit Sophia if you want)
>Focus on one of your kids
>Find a personal hobby
>>
File: Frog_Mascot_Victory.png (38 KB, 512x512)
38 KB
38 KB PNG
>>6013284

I was kind of in an art burnout so I drew some of the mascots from the game super auto pets as an excuse to draw more full bodies. The designs are cute, but also simplified enough it still gives me some artistic freedom. Still you can tell I'm still struggling to draw full bodies but it is what it is.
>>
>>6013369
>Find a personal hobby
At last, the time has cole for us to do something of our own.
>Focus on one of your kids (Anastasia)
How are her experiments going?
>>
>>6013374
+1
>>
>>6013374
>+1
>>
>>6013371
I see, keep going OP.
>>
>>6013374
+1 though...
>Find a personal hobby
Get into gunpla? It's not like we're not autistic already
>>
File: Anagaming.png (165 KB, 781x742)
165 KB
165 KB PNG
>>6013509
>>6013455
>>6013382

First and foremost, you decide to check on Ana, just because nothing bad has happened yet doesn't mean you shouldn't keep an eye on her.

You enter the laboratory, which is full of vials, microscopes and other machines you cannot pronounce the name of. Ana is currently looking intently at a few vials of different colors, not paying any mind to you.

You say hi, and she almost jumps in surprise. "FUCK! Don't do that dad! I could've broken something here! Damnit, where was I? Uhm..." She lifts one of the vial, and shakes it. "...argh, forgot to label that one, do I just throw it away? Could be important though, I'll just put it with the rest. What do you want, dad?"

You tell her you're here to check on how she's doing.

"Doing great, not socially, but I might be able to fix that. Not that I care if people don't like me, I'm happy being alone. Actually, while you're here, can I ask you a weird question? Was mom always like uh... you know," she puts her hand on her non-existent chest and puts her hands further apart.

You tell her that it's probably something she should ask her mom and not you.

"Pfrrt, yeah, 'hey mom, are your tits natural or did Sophia take all the good genes?' That conversation is too awkward even for me."

You're not sure how that makes asking you any less weird, but you still give her an answer, that answer being that her body hasn't changed much since the time you knew her. You can't say you've paid particular attention to her when you were still in school, but you think she was...more regular sized back then.

Even so, if they were artificial, your magic would've figured something was wrong pretty fast, so you're pretty sure it's natural.

"Maybe I'm just a late bloomer then, tch."

You ask her why she even cares. You're pretty sure she's not trying to interest some guy, and judging by her haircut, she's not one to care about her looks in general.

"...a friend made fun of it, and it's getting kind of annoying. Whatever, maybe my growth spurt has yet to come."

You do find it cute how she says 'a' friend as if she has more than one. You ask her what kind of experiments she's doing.

She sighs. "I dunno, kind of just testing things. The things in the sea, they're weird, like biologically speaking they make no sense. There's simply not enough nutrition to sustain something this big, it feels like they eat something I can't see. I've been messing with a few ideas in my head, and I came to a very interesting conclusion, and it's that whatever makes us able to see other people's emotion is fueled by the same thing that they eat."

Huh, is it? You were never quite sure if that new feeling thing was actually magic or something else entirely. Then again, if it was made by a god, maybe it's magic so advanced even your MPR can't quite figure out how it works. Then again, isn't everyone able to use this feeling thing? Even people who don't have magic at all? So it can't be fueled by magic, right?
>>
>>6014549

"Now, the interesting part is that the eating is done so more passively, so just bits of skins can absorb...whatever this is, even if the host is dead. It's like the weird metal mom uses, but it's a lot more selective in how it absorbs it. Might be... just might be possible to change people permanently. It's a stretch, but if done right, I could make people capable of masking their emotions entirely, or more? I'm sure that would sell for a lot."

Huh, that would be huge, being able to mask something like this would sell for a lot, and there's no telling what the side effects of this new decree may be, so it might be worth looking into. Even so, in order for the experiments to be successful it would need to be tested on people, and you don't want your daughter to ingest something weird.

>Tell her she should maybe look into another experiment.
>Let her test on you, what's the worse that could happen?
>Maybe she should keep experimenting on rats for now.
>Write in.
>>
>>6014550
Uh, well, I don't know how exactly to phrase it, but we should really just tell her that she shouldn't try human tests when she doesn't know what the side effects are. Especially not on herself.
>>
>>6014583
Also, I should also point out that while masking their emotions might be fine, having some kind of drug that can fake emotions would be really, really risky and almost immediately used for nefarious means.
>>
>>6014550
>Write in
Tell her approximately what >>6014583 said: no human experiments unless she knows the side effects, and that developing something to fake emotions is a surefire way to get us all into trouble.
And that if she's really hell-bent on human experiments, we can "figure something out for her" (i.e. talk to Etsy first and test on us if she doesn't freak out too much)
>>
>>6014550
>Maybe she should keep experimenting on rats for now. Human experimentation is risky.
>>
>>6014550
>Maybe she should keep experimenting on rats for now.
Tell her about magic too. She's about to find out about it through the power of SCIENCE anyway, so we ought to get ahead of oncoming drama, sit down with her and Etsy, and explain everything.
>>
>>6014640
>>6014603
+1
>>
>>6014640
>>6014607
>>6014912
>>6014603

You tell her that experimenting on humans is probably a bad idea, as there's no telling what that could result in, and that she should stay satisfied with rats for now.

"Huh? Why not? If I just put a very small dosage inside someone, it shouldn't do anything bad. And people get tested on all the time! Why can't I do it!"

You explain to her that the people that are being tested on usually suffer a lot, and that what she's messing with is more than regular chemical, it's magic.

"Magic? What are you talking about, dad? Just because it's something that I can't explain doesn't mean it's just magic. Didn't take you for the superstitious type."

You decide that now may be a good time to explain to her the whole truth. It's hard to fit everything you've done thus far, and Ana doesn't actually seem that interested in your exploit, as much as she is interested in the way magic works. She asks you to show your magic multiple times, and even prods you with a devil's gamble rod to see what happens, it's pretty annoying.

"Well, I still wouldn't say it's magic, it's just something I don't get yet. Actually, if I could awaken, I would be able to see it too, right? Which means... the possibilities..." She mumbles to herself, but you straight up tell her she has no magic potential and can't awaken in the first place.

You're not really lying, but you do know it's possible for people to gain magic potential before they reach adulthood, a fact you omit as to not give her false hopes. Not that telling her the truth discouraged her in her endeavors, in fact, she's now experimenting harder than she ever did before. She is sticking to rats for now at least, not that it stops your worry, nothing really stops her from drugging a classmate she doesn't like, after all.

You suppose the best you can do is tell Etsy to spy on her extra hard, the last thing you want is a dead kid on your conscience.

To take your mind off of this, you decide to find a hobby for yourself.
>>
File: poker.png (330 KB, 1053x857)
330 KB
330 KB PNG
>>6016342

Problem: you have no idea where to begin.

Solution: try a bunch of stuff and see what sticks.

You've played video games before, but not a lot of them caught your attention for very long. They're fun to play with Etsy and the kids, but solo games often make you feel like you could be doing something better with your time. Reading? You've done a lot of reading for your research, and you're not sure if you'd be able to enjoy books with how obsessed you are with reading between the lines. No, sports maybe? But what kind?

You place down a playing card as you try to organize your thoughts. You like to have something to do when you think, and solitaire is a good time waster. Actually...

You look at the card, for some reason it evokes a weird feeling, the same kind of feeling you have when trying to think of a new hobby. This feeling that it's something that you should enjoy, but don't for some reason. You didn't mind books before, you didn't mind games, so what happened? Are you just old?

Or was the person that liked those someone else entirely?

If someone asked you what you liked beyond your family, what would you answer?

A foreign memory answers for you.

---

Mary puts down a royal flush, again and you sigh as you push a few dozen chips towards her. This would've been multiple months worth of work in your old job, and even though money's no longer a problem, it still makes you squirm a little.

"Pa-chink!" She stacks the chips ever higher, and winks at you. "Gee, you know what happens when you run out, right? You're not doing it on purpose, are you?"

"The best kind of victory is the one you get against insurmountable odds," you answer as you put more chips on the table. "Did you erase a few cards?"

"Nope! Try again!"

Damnit. You're both cheating, of course, but her power is so much harder to figure out than yours. It's bullshit, the entire shtick of MPR is that it can figure out people's magic, sure, you specialized in mirror match and not in analysis, but even the base version should be good enough right?

Wait.

"Did you erase the odds?" You ask. It's such a far-fetched idea, but her magic is absurdly flexible to allow something like that.

"Bweh? I- Well, not exactly, but it's close enough. Alright, keeping my word." She slides your chips back to you, a fake frown on her face. "Anyway, did you hear about that a Z.E.U.S plant got claimed by someone? It's uh... lady of something."

"Lady of circuits?"

"Yeah! That one! Apparently she just turned against D.I.Y and stole a bunch of their stuff, and now she's just... I don't know, raiding other corps for parts? Who knows what she's cooking, but there's been a loooot of casualties."

"It's weird, her dossier says she isn't magic."

"Mhh, so she's just killing for no reason then. Hey, she's kinda hot too, isn't she?" She wiggles her eyebrows suggestively.
>>
>>6016347

"I'm not doing that, don't assume everyone's got your fetish." You count your cards, if your guess is right, you should win this round.

"Psh, she's committing atrocities, it's more like correcting her? Reformative justice! Revenge? Call it whatever, I think it's morally okay to do." She nods to herself vigorously as she puts another fucking royal flush.

Mary has always been weird, she does enjoy being dominated, but only if she lost after trying her absolute best, the issue being that her absolute best is really hard to top, and she doesn't mind turning the table when she wins.

"We also killed a lot of people, I don't think we can take the moral high ground here. Besides, I sort of knew her when I was a kid, she didn't look like a bad person."

She frowns, a real frown this time. "...are you worried about her?"

You shrug. "I didn't know her that well, but sometimes I guess I wish I still reached out."

"You care about others too much, what about you? What's the point of power if you're not using it for yourself sometimes? Do you even do anything on your own?"

"Yeah? You just never asked. I really like-"

---

You puke all over the playing cards, you feel sick, it's as if something else was right where you were. You quickly clean up your mess before anyone can find out.

Sports. You didn't do sports before, not in this life and not in another. It's a safe hobby to pick, one that won't remind you of anything.

>Fishing.
>Soccer.
>Swimming.
>Archery.
>Write in.
>>
(I didn't proofread this one so I only noticed a few typos and mistakes later sorry)
>>
File: file.png (1.09 MB, 955x1320)
1.09 MB
1.09 MB PNG
>>6016350
I kinda wanna pick fishing solely for the memes, but that might be a little bit boring.
>>
>>6016350
>Archery
That fucking vision went from me smiling to me being sad. Mary is right that our Weaver still never really used his powers for himself, except to survive.
>>
>>6016382
Weaver hasn't lived for himself at all in the past 30 years. It's always just been for Etsy and our children. This is like the first time in the entire quest we do something because we want to and not because we wanted to protect etsy, bang etsy, or raise our children.
>>
>>6016411
Is fucking Etsy not for Weaver himself? Did he not put 4 kids in her for himself? Also yeah you're right. I only picked Archery because he can flex his magic with it and actually use the powers he's had for almost 20 years for his own fun
>>
>>6016416
Well sure, but it was still for *Etsy*. It wasn't just for him. He loved Etsy, so he banged her. That's still not living for himself.
>>
>>6016350
>Soccer.
I love how burgers call football soccer.
>>
>>6016462
(I actually call it football in my country, but Weaver's American, so it felt more appropriate.)
>>
>>6016531
GB?
>>
>>6016539
Worse, french.
>>
>>6016565
I have heard stories about France lately from a guy I knew from many years ago. I hope things go well for you over there, and suddenly your woes about employment are in a darker light than before...
>>
>>6016350
Should have known that was a Mary booby trap.
Damn it. I wanna know more, and top her hard ofc.
>Archery.
Or fishing for the memes.
>>6016565
Ton anglais est pas dégueu pour une grenouille.
>>
>>6016347
>"Mhh, so she's just killing for no reason then. Hey, she's kinda hot too, isn't she?" She wiggles her eyebrows suggestively.
3some anons really became a staple of the quest, kek
>>6016350
>Soccer.
I'm biased
>>
>>6016783
>3some anons really became a staple of the quest, kek
Yet always doomed to cursed timelines.
>>
>>6016421
Damn, our boy is still a fucking shell after 20 years of not being a loser fighting for his life. He deserves more than what he's got so far

>>6016719
>top her hard
Not with our current powerset and not in this timeline
>fishing
I'd be up for that winning too

>>6016783
>3some anons
That's ME you nigger! And then that other guy that also started talking about it before

>>6016786
Ain't that the truth, brother
>>
>>6016791
>Not with our current powerset and not in this timeline
I mean who knows, she might be weak here too
Maybe we can get you that 3some in a way that isn't just the QM poking fun at you. Given the kind of person Mary is, I'd be on board for that now.
>>
>>6016863
>I mean who knows, she might be weak here too
Naw, we've already been told by Leah that it isn't happening in this timeline.

Also, we're way too old for it to be actually hot, pretty sure Etsy is past menopause given she hasn't gotten pregnant since Aleksander.
>>
>>6016866
Fuckin' gay earth. Can't have shit here.
But fair. That only makes me want a NG+ version more. We'd go the Sawyer route, cure her (with dick), and rule the world, the two of us, while murdering or dicking down any who oppose us.
I'll see myself out.



[Advertise on 4chan]

Delete Post: [File Only] Style:
[Disable Mobile View / Use Desktop Site]

[Enable Mobile View / Use Mobile Site]

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.