The Vault of Stars

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Reinholdt
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

There's nothing wrong with a little hand holding among friends!

"Like this is an alien religious commune? Maybe..." Reina speculates, deciding to hang back from entering the room. Even if she's dreadfully curious about what's on those papers and would love to see if those diamonds are real or imitations, the gold dust on the floor has her wary. Besides, watching the hall for unexpected surprises can be invaluable.
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Ironsmith
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Ironsmith »

And with three different examinations comes three different perspectives.


Violet's scan turns up huge amounts of magic potential in the gold dust. Not actual magic; it doesn't appear as though, in its current state at least, the dust actually does anything. But subjected to the right processes and channeled in the right way, it seems to be capable of mystical feats of cosmic proportions.

What those processes and channeling techniques might be, Violet won't be able to tell; it's very unlikely to be in its data banks anywhere. The good news is that the gold dust also appears to be very stable; there's no chance that an errant spell could cause it to "go off" somehow and blow the hapless adventurers to kindgom come.




The artist could, in generous terms, be described as untalented but enthusiastic. The color choice of the paintings is very disparate, symptomatic of someone who is inexperienced with mixing paint for more nuanced shades and tints. The scale of the objects in the painting is also wildly off; one of the landscapes depicts a close-up view of a tree that must be at least the size of a hill, while another shows a misshapen attempt at a study of an ant's anatomy. The composition is, likewise, terrible; none of the artist's subjects are centered and most of their work is rather sparse in features.

But there are still many paintings, implying a certain commitment to refining their craft. Or perhaps just exercising it. The paintings lack any form of signature or identifying mark, so the identity of the artist will remain a mystery... but the style is consistent, so they likely all come from the same person.




There won't be much to see in the hallways. Nobody's really wandering around, nor do any new features just appear while Reina's looking around.

With one notable exception; looking back at the door they came through shows that it is, rather predictably, now in the closed position. The process made no noise; there wasn't any grinding of parts against one another or any electrical-adjacent sounds that might accompany magical conjuration. It's just shut now, much like it wasn't before.

...Make that two notable exceptions. Further up the hallway, the sounds of soft, slow jazz start wafting out of one of the doorways. There isn't any indication from here of what might have prompted it. Strangely, the music only seems to be audible from the hallway, or perhaps only to Reina personally... Asami amd Dena won't hear a thing.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

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Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Dena just don't want to be dragged, even if she does appreciate Reina's initiative in the necessity of it.

Dena gives Asami a perplexed look. She had to be joking. "Whoever lives or lived here has probably indirectly or directly killed at least a dozen people judging by all the magical items outside so no. Not more than this person should be at least." The gorgon shrugs and then gestures upwards with her thumb.

"The least we can do is turn off the murder machine on top of this thing so we're probably looking for some kind of console or a tome." With magic you never knew what to expect.

Then she will try to catch up with Reina in the hallway to update her on her findings. "So the gold dust seems like some sort of magic fuel. Stable magic fuel, which makes it useful. Might be a good idea to load up on it once we're done here." When dealing with unknown loot like this Dena preferred to explore the dungeon fully before using any of it as the context usually told it's own story. Plus, you didn't have to carry it around through the dungeon.

Violet is then sent ahead through the hallway to try to detect traps or other hidden spaces within the hallway.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Seeing the paintings elicts feelings of both relief and guilt in Asami, in that she'd assume whoever made them had an understandable psyche and said artist wouldn't take too well to having their quarters be intruded.

Thus, she went back to the hallway, closing the door behind her. She hadn't gotten a chance to get a good look at the pair standing amidst her; she takes a glance at Reina before quickly averting her gaze, puffing out her cheeks as her eyes subtly widen.

After the awkward moment passes, the little girl takes a look forward, walking towards the crossroads in the center. She doesn't look back or say a word, taking advantage of the fact that children are expected to be rude, as always. While in the middle of the corridor, she turns to her right, looking down the other paths.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Does Violet have a vacuum feature? It couldn't hurt to take some with us in case this place uses it somehow to power things on and off," Reina suggests. Still strange it's on the floor though. Did someone drop a jar?

Reina watches Asami watching her quizzically, her gray-blue furred tail twitching. She tilts her head slightly, about to ask something but Asami runs off. Did Asami have Reina pegged and knows her sordid past or was it something else?

Still... "You two can't possibly have finished checking out the room already," Reina says, baffled as she reopens the door. There were at least three more things of-

Reina's cat ear twitches and her head tilts. Someone playing music? "A-at the very least go through the desk and papers for information. I'm going to check something real quick, but I think our exit has been blocked so don't run that way if you have to," Reina says, tiptoeing towards the source of the music and putting her ear to the door.
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Ironsmith
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Ironsmith »

And again, three perspectives unfold:


Yukiko, my dear, my darling:

Loosen up. We came down here to enjoy ourselves, remember? What exactly is the point in taking on a mortal form if all you're going to do with it is talk and talk and talk like a silly boring person?

Maybe you've forgotten how to relax. If that's the case, my door is open to you. The mortals have some fascinating techniques for that purpose, and I would be more than willing to pass them on to you. If that doesn't appeal, or you have doubts as to my motives (I would be a perfect gentleman), I could always bring you a cup of my favorite tea instead.

Wishing you well (ha!)
Haruki
Madame Yukiko,

I received your petition on [INCOMPATIBLE DATE SYSTEM], and while I understand entirely your emphasis on urgency, I must advise that we approach the matter with due consideration.

I have what may well be a compatible contract in my office, an order from the Empress concerning the restitution of plague victims from a recent epidemic that swept through the greater Zenith region. I am still waiting to hear about the finalized version, but if you have the time I would be more than willing to go over the current terms with you.

In the meantime, I would advise you to continue refining your craft. You're coming along excellently and I believe you will have found your time spent here quite productive upon your return.

Wishing you well,
Shiroboz Sato, Head Vaultkeeper



Asami and Violet's probings into the hallways don't reveal much at first; the halls remain just as nondescript as before.

However, upon actually entering the intersection, Asami will find herself suddenly surrounded by a ring of runes, floating just above eye level, rotating slowly around her. After a moment, it quickly becomes apparent they're a series of sequential numbers; a "21" floats directly in front of Asami's vision, with the numbers escalating to her left and declining to her right.

Violet's presence triggers no such effect, but it will pick up a surge of magic as the runes appear.




As soon as Reina approaches the room from which the jazz can be heard, the door to it opens, precluding any need to guess at its contents.

The basic features are remarkably similar to the bedroom she just left, with a curtain-covered bed, heavy oak nightstand, and a desk that is likewise covered in papers. However, there's no paintings in here. Instead, the far wall is host to a gridlike series of shelves, containing a number of scrolls. In one corner of the room, the source of the music can be seen quite clearly; it's an antique gramophone, or at least something remarkably similar to one, as it's lacking the usual vinyl record but somehow still producing sound.

On the nightstand, there's a metal bucket holding an unopened wine bottle, next to which sit a pair of immaculate crystal glasses and a heart-shaped box tied with a silk ribbon. And then there's the bed itself, covered in a light coating of rose petals and golden dust, with a scroll laying along the pillow, rolled to a point about a quarter of the way through its contents.

Much like the first room, this room's occupant (if there is one) is nowhere to be seen.

Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami was taken aback by the sudden appearence of the numbers, taking a deep breath and clearing her mind. First, before she actually does anything, she'd examine the numbers to see if there's any significance to their positions. Looking through the sequence from bottom to top, she'd make note of the positions of certain numbers; namely, 1, the last number in the sequence and 7. She'd also make note of what number was at the lowest and which one was highest. All in all, she'd spend a good few minutes doing this.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Unfortunately, no. She's pretty optimized y'know? If I'd stuff more equipment on her, in addition to a bag to store everything she'd suck up, she'd do her actual job a lot worse." Dena replies as the catgirl is commenting on the dust.
"And I didn't bring anything to suck it up with either so we'd just have to do it the old-fashioned way." She pauses, looking back at the room they came from as Reina questions if they were already done there. "It's less that I'm done and more that I'm worried that our extra is going to run straight into a trap or something worse." A beat as Dena looks in the direction Asami ran off to. "And if she's gonna do that I want to at least witness it."

As she notices that Asami is no longer in sight, the gorgon let's out a small sigh. "But I'll look over those letters. Just don't be like her and go too far ahead."

Then Dena returns to the room to quickly look over those letters.
Well, there was nothing useful in here at a glance. But apparently who lived here might not be 'mortal'? Though that in itself could mean any number of things. From what she gathered, these were probably on the upper levels of their society though. Who else would use deadly force to keep people from even getting close to their home? Some things seemed to be the same no matter what society or race you belonged to it seemed.

She made notes of all the names mentioned in the letters and then put them back before taking a quick look around the room again in case they had missed something else.

Meanwhile, Violet stops to try to analyze what had just happened. What kind of magic had just been triggered and what had triggered it? Was there any obvious sources to it?
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"That makes sense. I could always sweep some up later if needed I guess. Who designed Violet anyways?" Reina asks. It was quite the piece of tech. And so far seemed immune to getting targeted for heat laser murder, so big plus there.

"I understand," Reina replies quietly. "But still, we can't let her set the pace or we'll miss all the good hidden stuff and get ourselves into trouble too." Reina may be a little less cautious than Dena, but the Treasure Hunter Extraordinaire enjoys being thorough.

Reina slowly steps into the Jazz Room, continuing to talk to Dena through the Cat Com. "You know, I'm starting to think this place is haunted. Or at least occupied by beings on a slightly off-tangible dimension from ours." Reina pauses for a second before continuing. "Or turned to dust. At the very least, they seem to have excellent taste..."

Reina confirms this by stepping immediately towards the wine bottle to take it, instinctively reaching to open it before remembering she can't right now with a dejected sigh.
...
She thinks she may just keep the bottle anyways.

Reina will also check the bucket the wine was in to see if it has ice, water, or neither in a gamble to guesstimate a timeline. But her focus will fall upon checking the scroll upon the bed, reading the visible parts to see if it looks arcane or mundane in nature and only unfurl it to examine the full contents in the event of the latter.
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Ironsmith
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Another look around the room, for Dena, turns up nothing she might have missed the first time; the paintings are still there and unchanged, the golden dust on the floor is slightly disturbed by their movements but otherwise also unchanged, the bed with the diamond-studded curtains is the same, and the letters she just finished reading are, likewise, the same.

There might not be much more to discover in here. Or if there is, it's not going to be uncovered with random looks around the room.



The numbers continue sequentially in either direction, eventually plumetting down to 1 to Asami's right and going as high as 40 on her left, before looping such that it forms a continuous ring of numbers if viewed from the opposite direction. The ring slowly shifts to re-center itself in Asami's view as she turns, gradually gliding back to a position where the 21 is in front of her again.

Violet's scans show that the runes themselves are little more than illusions, projections of things thst aren't really there. However, there's a series of triggers tied to the ring that runs into a set of spatial-displacement spells, each centered on the floor Asami is standing on.



The bucket is filled about three-quarters of the way full with lukewarm water, and Reina will be able to see... something growing along the waterline, which might indicate the wine is unsafe to drink. Or not. Her mother's not present.

The scroll on the bed does appear to be mundane in nature; the symbols on it quickly translate into readable prose, in a vaguely-metered format. Unfurling the scroll any farther reveals that it's illustrated, depicting in the nearest scene a pair of lovers in a suggestive pose and ruffled clothing; Reina might be reminded of a dimestore bodice-ripper, if the cover artist chose to work in watercolor and showed some small amount of restraint. The prose seems to strike a similar tone, albeit with considerably more flowery language than is typical for a work of this sort.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Violet? No idea. Some lady I imagine as I found her in an ruined workshop waaay back in my world. In that ancient city I mentioned to you earlier in fact which is part of why it's my favorite dungeon, see?" Dena explains as Reina inquires about the drones origins.

"But don't worry though, we can always double check everything on our way out of here. I'd would have missed Violet if I hadn't insisted on checking every building that looked even half-way decent back in the city." She adds before the catgirl leaves.

As they continue to talk over the radio, Reina's speculations makes the gorgon pause. "Maybe..." She takes a moment to think. "I wonder if you're onto something there. See, those letters I read were talking about a 'mortal form' so I was thinking... that laser, or whatever it was, I'm not sure if its purpose was actually defensive. This might sound a bit out there but maybe it might be used to transfer the people here between whatever state they're in and a physical state? Meaning the people that live here are like ghosts or something akin to that like you said. It could still be lethal to regular people of course but, y'know, not actually its purpose."

Meanwhile, Violet then continues through the hallway to see if she can spot anything else of note. Just storing the information on the runes for later use.
Last edited by Shadowcaller on Aug 02, 2023 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"21... 21," Asami muses, "What could be the significance of that? Lets see... I'm thinking this is some weird elevator. If this is some default floor, must be that there are 20 floors 'up' and 20 floors 'down'. So, the tower is built with 'si-me-tree' in mind, deshō?" She takes a step towards the 21, warily focusing on it. Gracefully reaching out, she makes a swiping gesture on the 21, aiming to move it to the right and hopefully rotate the whole of the numbers. Her intent was to make it so the 20 would be in front of her instead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

... Maybe Reina should leave the wine.
... That's a waste of good wine. She could probably salvage it.
... Or leave it here, it's gross.
... The more ages it though...
...
Reina finally reluctantly leaves the bottle of wine behind. "This place is almost certainly going to self-destruct or implode after we pick up some load bearing treasure further in. I can tell." Won't be much time to double back then!

"Well whoever they were, they've been gone long enough for the mold and algae to start to set in. I do think they spontaneously disappeared too. No signs of a struggle and this place is clearly set up for a date and left untouched." Reina shakes her head a little. "But I'm pretty sure the laser outside is still a defense mechanism. It would only target us each time we mentioned approaching or tried going in the tower. If it were a fancy transportation device or matter changer, then the tower wouldn't have so many doors like it does I would imagine. You wouldn't need them."

Reina turns her attention to the desk, looking at the papers on top, but making sure to rifle in any of the drawers as well, her practiced fingers feeling along the edges for secret buttons or hidden compartments. "That's not to say that nothing went wrong with the systems here. Maybe they turned on the inhabitants. Need to find more evidence of it though and I'm reluctant to say it with certainty because I haven't seen anything like a specialized system within these rooms as of yet. But we know something's still working given the laser, the regeneration, and the door closing behind us."
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Violet's scans of the hallways don't turn up much in the way of magic, but if it goes down to explore the other branches, it might notice that one of the doors remains closed even as it approaches, unlike the others. Said door is covered in paper notes, most of which read some variation of "DANGER: DO NOT OPEN".

At the same time, its passive scans for magic, if it has any, will register another surge as Asami disappears rather abruptly, with little more than a light pup of air rushing to fill the space she previously occupied.




The ring of numbers slides smoothly under Asami's touch, and she is able to successfully move it without issue. When she does, she'll feel a sudden, light pressure all over her body, but the feeling soon passes.

However, it doesn't appear at first as though this has actually done anything. The hallways appear identical to before. But, if she cares to look around, she'll note two small but significant changes.

The first is that Violet is nowhere to be seen, which probably isn't surprising, as it would be easy to lose track of the drone while messing with the runes.

The second change is the sudden appearance of a massive creature in the hallway to Asami's left. It appears to be either an animated suit of lacquered metal armor or so thoroughly covered by it as to obscure the physical traits of the wearer. It carries a long, thin club in in its hand, which it holds at the ready at its side.

The armored creature tilts its head in her direction quizically. "...Beg your pardon, miss Asami." It begins, its voice reverberating inside its helmet. "But I'm afraid I must insist you return to your room. We are in a state of emergency. It would be best if you were not in anybody's way."


To the degenerate we call Haruki,

Have you no shame? Do you think me ignorant of the concept of a euphemism? That I can't look at the endless stream of pretty girls going in and out of your room and figure out for myself exactly what this "book club" of yours entails?

Disgraceful. We are emissaries to the stars. Mortals look upon us with awe and a sense of mystique. We took on physical bodies to experience the wonders of the mortal world; I would not have you abuse the fact for such a base form of pleasure.

And for god's sake, must you run that infernal device of yours all day? I can hardly hear myself think. If I have to listen to that caterwaul you call "music" for much longer, I'm going to murder someone.

Yukiko
Master Haruki,

While I can understand your desire to be moved back in the queue, I'm afraid I must insist on the position you hold. I understand you're having "a good time in pleasant company" and do not wish it to cease; however, the same is true for many of your fellows and it would not be fair to them to prolong your stay in my vault at their expense.

To that end, I have in my office a contract which you may find to hold acceptable terms for your departure; an order from the Empress, concerning the prestige of professions related to your tenure here. I expect you will approach the matter with your usual degree of enthusiasm.

Wishing you well,
Shiroboz Sato, Head Vaultkeeper
Haruki,

I don't know where you come up with these ideas, but keep them coming; I haven't had such a satisfying commission since the Empire's founding. A music player that only sounds for people its owner finds attractive may sound like a simple prospect, but the number of moving parts that must be accounted for to achieve the full effect simply boggles the mind.

As much as I would like to claim full credit, however, I must insist that half of our agreed-upon payment go to miss Ayaka; it is thanks to her efforts that your companions are not serenaded by my mediocre attempts at wrangling a shamisen. I'm sure you of all people see the merit of ensuring an artist is recognized for her work.

Our usual agreement in the event that the device breaks in some fashion, however, will remain unaltered. As always, the first time is free, no questions asked. Do not hesitate to call me if and when that occurs.

Pleasure doing business with you,
Tokeiya
Reina's search for hidden compartments turns up no results; the desks are fairly simple in their construction, if somewhat elegantly designed; there simply isn't room for hidden drawers of any sort. In fact, there doesn't seem to be room for any drawers at all.

Last edited by Ironsmith on Aug 03, 2023 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Seems like poor design choice for a building made for living in." Dena remarks as Reina voices her suspicions it potentially self-destroying. "But they also strapped a magic death-laser onto it so what do I know?" Magic bullshit was what it was. "Certainly can't rule out that possibility."

Dena stops as she spots the gold powder on the floor in front of her again. "Well, I dunno." She replies as Reina brings up her own theories regarding the laser. "My theory doesn't quite fit but there's definitively something strange going on here." She pauses a moment. "How much do you want to bet that this golden powder which I keep finding is all that remains of the inhabitants, eh? Since in the letter there was a mention of some plague epidemic. Doubt it has anything to do with the state of this place but one better be careful. Just don't touch anything that looks weird, alright? Especially if it's organic."
She carefully steps past the powder as to indulge in one of her paranoid fits. Then she steps out into the hallway intending to wait for Reina to join her again. She's given up on keeping track of Asami, that girl (woman?) wasn't her responsibility.

Meanwhile, Violet abruptly turns around as Asami disappears.
She notes the disappearance, scans the last location Asami was seen at, then turns her attention back to the rooms that have been closed. Was it possible to scan for magic or other energy signatures that was beyond those doors? She certainly wouldn't be opening any of them.
Violet wasn't all that good at opening doors nor would any of the memories it had access to allow for such a blunder with signs like those.
If nothing else, was there any difference between the readings of the normal rooms and the closed ones?
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami smiles shyly at the armored creature. "I'm sorry," she responds in confusion, "I don't remember ever being here before. Can you show me to my room please?" She bows her head politely, prepared to stick close to the creature and follow any instructions given to her, as if responding to a school's fire alarm.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

Wow, this Yukiko person was really wound up, huh? Going after the music of all things! It was good music too. Soft jazz that really sets the mood for- oh. Ohhh... Reina blushes a fair bit as she keeps reading, though her tail still twitches with gentle enthusiasm. Should she take the music player with her? No... no it'd be far too telling if she's trying to play hard to get and suddenly her magic romance records started playing.

Reina will move over to the scroll wall and search through them real quick, but she expects she already knows what's on them. She'll look just until she finds one particularly appealing to her sensibilities and tucks it away in her tight clothes for later... research.

"The idea about the gold dust had crossed my mind admittedly..." Reina says, unwilling to stake a bet on it. "Plague is certainly an option. But... I dunno, it'd have to be unusually virulent and fast acting. I've found evidence suggesting these are some sort of star people. Emissaries they called themselves. And that their time here was temporary. They might have been recalled for some sort of emergency and the dust is just... leftover dandruff from them leaving in a hurry. I think... I think it's Stardust actually. Like the kind you wish upon or something."

Reina steps back into the hallway to rejoin Dena, a smile playing upon her lips and a bit more pep in her step than before. "We should probably look for the Head Vaultkeeper's room."
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Ironsmith »



Reina will find that she and Haruki apparently think a lot alike; the scrolls provide a surprisingly comprehensive, nuanced, and detailed selection for her to choose from. It shouldn't be hard to find a few she finds particularly appealing among those assembled.

Violet's scans on the floor turn up trace magic signatures indicating one of the contingency spells had been triggered, but it won't be readily obvious which; without the rune ring (which disappeared when Asami did), there's no visible connection to examine.

Her scans of the door indicate that it does seem to be slightly different from the others; those papers aren't just notes, they're talismans of a sort, providing a series of focal points for a spell keeping the door shut. Removing them from this side should be comparable to peeling off a sticky note... but from the other side, quite impossible, short of breaking down the door entirely.

The implications of this will have to wait, however. Because this is the exact moment the air suddenly erupts with an ear-piercing, synthetic shriek; a high-pitched "REE REE REE" that stabs at Dena and Reina's ears like a set of knives driven into their skulls.

At the same time, there suddenly appears a pair of armored figures in the area between the halls, armed with long iron clubs they brandish menacingly. "STOP RIGHT THERE!" One of them commands, pointing at Reina.




The massive armored creature takes Asami's hand gently but firmly; with all the force needed to establish there would be no further negotiation and not one iota more. As it does, the ring of runes appears again, which Asami's escort swipes, moving it such that the 6 is the number in front of them. That light pressure returns again, and Asami might note that the air suddenly seems quite stale, and smells vaguely... off.

The armored creature escorts Asami to a door at the end of one of the halls, stopping as it opens to admit here. "Here you are, miss Asami. Please remain here until the state of emergency is lifted. Thank you."

The armored creature gives her a little nudge inside, before returning back the way it came.

The room is, again, quite similar to the one Asami already visited, only with two differences. The first is that the paintings on the far wall have been replaced with a large-screened TV, which is currently displaying a first-person view of a modern warzone, rendered in not-quite-convincing 3D models.

The second is the presence of a leather couch in the middle of the room, on which sits a teenaged girl holding a controller, wearing a stained, disheveled kimono and with messy black hair. Making out more than that is difficult, as she's sitting with her back to Asami.

"About time." The girl groans, holding her hand behind her. "Soda me, bitch."
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Shadowcaller »

"Oh great, so these people even shit gold." Or 'shed' it, but this sounded funnier. "Sounds like your classic kind of 'superior beings' coming down to save us 'mortals'." Dena had heard this story before and didn't think much of it.
Which was why she immediately switched the subject. "But what's with the spring in your step, hm? You-" Unfortunately that's when she's interrupted by a sonic assault and has to cover her ears.

The next thing she hears is someone asking them to stop, which was weird as they hadn't even been moving.
But if there was anything Dena knew it was trusting people that threw around the term "mortals" and installed giant death lasers on their rooftops.
Though in her dazed state all she can do is suddenly... disappear as her armors camouflage mode activates. Then Dena quickly does the opposite of what the two had told them and starts moving away from them.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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"Sorry to disappoint you, but," Asami replies, awkwardly smiling, "I am a knight templar from the holy order of Mountain Dew. I've come to punish you for your soda crimes."

She sighs, raising an eyebrow at the girl. Rather than attempt to explain herself, she passively stands by the nearby wall and crosses her arms, waiting for the girl's response.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

"I don't think they came to save us," Reina starts. "I think they were here to try and understand us." Fortunately before Reina has to explain her good mood, they're both interrupted.

Unfortunately, Reina is particularly susceptible to sonic attacks and she very clearly winces as she grabs her ears and tries to cover them. It hurts it hurts it hurts so much, make it stop...

"I think I found a shortcut to the Head Vaultkeeper..." Reina mutters into her coms, louder than the whisper she thinks she's doing. The catgirl then realizes Dena's missing as her eyes squint open. "O-oh no! Dena's been dusted!" The tragedy. The lack of dust suggests otherwise though, so Reina's not too serious about that. She imagines Dena just ducked around the corner to hide or something while Reina was- is- thoroughly distracted.

For instance, there's two armored goons to keep Reina company, yelling... something... something... oh Stop. She recognizes that through the ringing. "OK!! ALL STOPPED!! TURN OFF THE ALARM NOW PLEASE!" Reina says in her normal inside voice.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Ironsmith »



Fortunately for Dena, it looks as though her camouflage either fools the senses of the guards, or else they simply don't care enough about her to bother pursuing.

Less fortunately, that means Reina is stuck dealing with them herself. Though turning back around to fortune, they appear to be the sort to try to resolve this peacefully when Reina shows she's willing to cooperate.

"TURN OUT YOUR POCKETS." The one closer to her rumbles, as the alarm switches off.

"...YOU ARE NOT RECOGNIZED." The other points out, hefting its club.

"INTRUDERS IN THE VAULT OF STARS ARE TO BE DETAINED IN THE SECOND FLOOR PENITENTIARY UNTIL ADDRESSED BY VAULTKEEPER SATO." The first affirms.

"IN ADDITION TO THE PENALTY FOR THEFT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY." The second adds, wringing its club with its wrists.

"...MISS, YOU ARE IN A LOT OF TROUBLE."





The action on the screen comes to a grinding halt, the characters on the screen freezing in place.

The teenager turns to look at Asami, a look of vague bemusement on her face. "...You got caught again, didn't you?" The girl groans, brushing her hair out of her face and fixing Asami with a piercing blue-eyed gaze. "After spending a while dorking around, it looks like. What's with the getup, kid? Get one of our neighbors to make it for you?" The girl sighs and gestures toward the bed. "Whatever. If you need a change of clothes, we've got one under the bed. Don't thank me or anything."

The girl lets out an annoyed sigh and plops back around on the couch, staring at the screen. After a moment of this, she turns back to Asami with a raised eyebrow, holding up a second controller in her hand. "Hey. You coming or what?"

Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Shadowcaller »

Dena's has hardly ducked around anything as her movement could be compared to the slowest of zombies. That sound nearly hurting her as much as it was hurting Reina. Indeed, she hadn't even been the one to activate the camouflage. The armor had done that on its own.

It was just her reaction that had been quick.
Y'know, for someone that had just nearly burst both eardrums.

So if the guards really did pursue her they would have no trouble catching her.

But as it looked like they weren't going to she will eventually reach that legendary corner to get behind. After that she's just going to take a couple of moments attempting to recall if she had something that could help her against that noise and if she did, which pocket she had it in.

Meanwhile, Violet is moving ahead. Still ignorant of what was happening in the hallway behind her. Unless of course the noise Dena & Reina was hearing had reached the drone as well.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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Asami looks uncertain, glancing about the room nervous. "Ah, actually," she says, "I don't really remember ever knowing you. Think I have amnesia or something?" She geniunely considered that, the alternative explanations being time/dimension travel relates. In which case, she makes a mental note to explain to the girl that Asami will appear at this moment wearing these strange clothes and not remembering ever meeting should they ever meet in the past.

The unremembered girl's gesture towards the bed, however, does earn Asami's interest. While she was used to being told her choice of clothing was weird in Japan, she began to appreciate the practicality of occassionally changing into clean clothes at this age, considering how few clothes she owned herself (she didn't own any t-shirts without Sonic on them).

When called out to, Asami responds with a warm smile and walks forth, accepting the controller and sitting a comfortable distance away from the girl. "This strange piece of furniture is for sitting on, desu ne?" This sentence probably wouldn't be out of place for the girl, as this wasn't the first time Asami had a strange unfamilarity with common items; she also had a tendacy to code-switch, her filler words typically being the ones she's most used to using, regardless of language.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

"I'm not an intruder," Reina replies calmly as she struggles with her stupid tiny pockets of her shortest shorts. They're a pain to use and even more of a pain to pull inside out, tightening the already too tight fabric.

"Haruki invited me here to peruse his library. He has this one technique I'm supposed to practice for him. It looks difficult, but Flexibility and Endurance are two of my best features..." Reina says, her voice like a fluttering butterfly promising much but look don't touch. Her pockets are understandably empty. She wasn't going to put something so personally incriminating in an easily searched place. Dena might see it by accident when Reina was pocketing something else and that would've been embarrassing.

"Can't we just chalk this up to a misunderstanding?" Reina asks, batting her eyelashes and leaning forward a little... a little too far maybe. The guards will be able to find the scroll if they aren't respectfully looking at her eyes.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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If Violet didn't hear what was going on, the only explanation would be that she can't hear anything at all. It's not as though these hallways are particularly distracting.

Dena won't have to worry about the alarm any more, at least. Maybe with it turned off she can think clearly enough to cook up a plan.

"...THAT DOES SOUND LIKE HARUKI." One of the guards notes.

"YEAH IT DOES~♡" The other trills with a little shiver.

"...BUT THIS WOMAN DOES NOT APPEAR IN OUR STAFFING FILES ANYWHERE. I ALSO DO NOT SEE ANY DOCUMENTATION INDICATING A SCHEDULED CONJUGAL VISIT."

"NOR AMONG THE ASTERIANS THEMSELVES."

"INDEED." The guard steps forward and attempts to put a hand on Reina's shoulder. "I'M AFRAID I MUST INSIST YOU COME WITH US, MISS. I'M CERTAIN VAULTKEEPER SATO CAN STRAIGHTEN THIS ALL OUT."





"Hai." The teenager agrees, looking down at the couch they're sitting on. "What possessed a mortal to make a chair this wide? Had they eaten too much? Was their arse just that big?"

Mystery of mysteries.

"...Ah, whatever." The girl shrugs, giving Asami time to change into the silk kimono tucked away in the box under her bed, if she so chose. "You're really out of it, aren't you? Did you hit your head or something?" Her eyes narrow. "...Or did something hit your head?"

Somebody's probably in for a serious tongue-lashing after that.

"...All right, from the top." The teenager gestures at Asami, then herself. "Asami, Yorumi. Baby brat sister, cool and awesome sister. That about catch you up to speed? Because I'm already getting bored if not."
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
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Damn few,
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Re: The Vault of Stars

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As the ringing in her ears die down Dena takes a peek around the corner to spot Reina attempting to sweet-talk the two guards. She had made out some of their conversation but it was really Reina's body language that did the heavy lifting here.

It wasn't everyday she encountered guards that could be talked to but Reina had clearly learned to do the most with that condition of hers. Dena was honestly impressed.

But she couldn't waste any more time watching the catgirl work her charms on the guards. She had to assess the situation. They were going to take her to some big-tool and- right, Violet.

Dena looks in the direction the drone left in and sure enough, it was coming down the hallway right this second. Meaning she didn't have a moment to lose. With a mental command Violet stops and turns around to find a hiding spot. Dena could recall the drone but it required activating another item which meant no camouflage.

Turning back to Reina and the guards she figured it would be a good idea to find out where they were taking her. Their tone, language and Reina's resourcefulness made her pretty confident that the catgirl wasn't in that big trouble. Regardless what the guard might claim.
Still, she would need to follow them for now. Get some more information before making any other moves. Hopefully they hadn't been able to detect her through the camouflage but in case they were gonna try the same trick again she did just find that "cursed" necklace in one of her pockets... perfect.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by [brackets lover] »

Asami responds to the girl's theory, rubbing her scalp, "It's possible, idk."

While she would've had reservations about changing in the presense of a only slightly older girl normally, knowing they were family eased her concerns. Thus, she'd change into the silk kimono with little trouble.

Asami smiles brightly at Yorumi, rhetorically asking, "I have a sister?" She didn't protest at all, instead looking content with the information as she returns to her seat.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Reinholdt »

"Fine fine, I'll FOLLOW you and FOLLOW your instructions and stuff. But you'd better contact Haruki right away and let him know the beautiful, amazing, voluptuous catgirl is here like he requested. Not my fault he didn't do the paperwork..." Reina mutters this last part, submitting to whichever direction they want her to start walking in and letting them lead her to Cosmic Star Jail.
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Re: The Vault of Stars

Post by Ironsmith »


"RIGHT THIS WAY, MISS."

The guards shuffle and start leading Reina back up the hall, completely oblivious to Dena or Violet's presence. It seems that, between their concealment and Reina's... ample distractions, she's managed to escape being confronted with a direct threat.

In the intersection of the hallways, Reina will find herself suddenly surrounded by a ring of glowing blue runes, floating at about eye level, detailing a sequence of numbers; 21 sits right in front of her, before one of the guards reaches up and rolls the ring all the way down to 2.

There's a light pressing sensation on Reina's skin as she and the guards disappear from Dena's view.



But from Reina's perspective, the hallways have barely changed... at least not visibly. Something else occurs that may present a minor problem, though; the air in the room is quite stale, barely breathable and likely in a very limited amount.

The guards nudge Reina down the hall, and should she cooperate, she'll find herself staring at a room not unlike the one she just left... except without what was previously a luxurious bed is now a steel cot and tattered blanket.

"VAULTKEEPER SATO WILL BE WITH YOU SHORTLY." The guard reassures her, before closing and locking the crystalline door behind her.



"A-doy." Yorumi quips, rolling her eyes. "Only for the past four and a half eons. There's 'slow on the uptake', sis, and then there's you."

The teenage girl sighs and leans back in her seat, stretching and audibly popping her joints. "Hmph. Stupid mortal body." She mutters. "...So, what'd you get up to down there when you were supposed to be getting me a grape soda? I figure you owe me that much of an explanation, at least."
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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