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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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>> No.46117653 [View]

I still don't trust him.
I trust him so little that it's hard to even put into words.

I need some help with this. If there's something nasty with the card; I would have no way of knowing what to look for.

"Mom." I cautiously back away from Asai and approach my mother. "You have a look at this, you know his tricks better than I do."

She gently takes the card from me and starts examining it.

Her hand reaches into her pocket, and she holsters the card she had previously been holding. Another one emerges from her blouse.
This one, she runs over the exterior of the card. It glows warmly before she pushes it back into her pocket.

"I have no idea." She sighs, clearly disappointed.

"Okay, well, let's try something else!"

I then take the card, and hand it to the clown.
"..What do you want me to do with this?"

"Look over it, make sure Asai didn't plant something nasty in it."
"You want me to-" She picks the card up.

Her eyes focus into the distance, and the card starts to glow with a more solemn hue than when Mom uses a card.

"To tell you truth I don't even know what I'm looking for." The clown sighs, "But I guess it's okay. I didn't explode or anything."

"Well?" Asai hums, "Anyone else you want to vet it with? I can assure you that there is nothing altered with that card since the day he made it."

>"I'm still not convinced."
>"Okay, let's give it a try then."
>"What are you getting out of this?"
>Have Mom do it instead
>Have the Clown do it instead
>Find someone else to vet the card.
>Other?

>> No.45976444 [View]

"Mom!" I try to snap her back into reality. "Concentrate!"

"Okay! okay. So. We know this monster is at least talking to you, right?"
"Yup!" I beam, "He's talking, he's cooperating. He's way more helpful and fun than Asai."

"Good to hear." She pats my head. "Maybe there is still some hope."

"Some hope of what?"

She leads me along toward the stairs, she appears to be heading toward the monster's room.
"Some hope of saving Asai."

--

"So that's the problem?" Mom kneels down next to the monstrosity; much to my concern. I told her not to get within arms reach of it just in case Asai was telling the truth.

"Mmh."

"You just want to be free of Asai and you'll do anything to do it?"

"Mmh."

"Can you tell me how he got this way? I don't remember Asai always being this...-"

Mom tries to think of a word to describe Asai. I can think of one, but it's not appropriate to say right now.

"I can't tell you the exact moment." He looks at his gauntlet for a hand. "I just know that it happened when master took over. Asai never liked him. Asai held no loyalty to him or even wanted him anywhere near our siblings. He was punished, very harshly."

"Punished? How?"

"The 'Chairman' as he calls him, split him into two people. One being Asai, the other being me. That's how this Fortune business started in the first place."

Mom seems, almost a little offended?
"Why didn't anyone tell me that?! I wouldn't have agreed to work there if I knew!"
"We, decided it was best to keep you in the dark about it Empress." The building growls, "We didn't want to concern you. It was out of your control."

>Try to break this up and get it back on track before it becomes a real problem!
>Let him keep talking. This is interesting.
>I should have thrown that guy off the roof when I had the chance!
>I should have thrown Asai off the roof when I had the chance!
>Wait does this mean that whole, fight, on the rooftop was planned? By Asai?
>Or.. by you. The door wouldn't open for him, after all
>Other?

>> No.45822180 [View]

"So you're saying, Asai is two people?"
"No, he's two parts of the same person."

I'm not sure I understand.

"So, why does he have a person-shaped part of him?"

"He explained it to me like it was the, good part of him. And the building is the evil part."

This is making even less and less sense.

"Why does he even HAVE an evil side?! And you're telling me the 'Asai' I know is his GOOD side?"
That's terrifying!
"Like, is that the best he could do?!"

"I don't get it either, to be honest. I was just the person who went out and did his bidding. Now I live in a box full of garbage."

I can't tell if she's being facetious or not or if she seriously doesn't see any problem with that.

"So, is the person-shaped part of him human? I saw him bleed, once."
She ponders. "Well, I don't know how it could be. This magic thing is mysterious to me. Can you just, create humans like that?"

"I don't know how humans are made." I answer with utmost truth.

Then I turn to Mom.
"How are humans made?"

She blushes, and then laughs nervously.
"I-I'll tell you some other time. Let's talk about Asai some more."

>"No, I want to know how humans are made."
>"So what do we do? Go in there and ask him if he's human?"
>"Clown, come with us. You have insider knowledge."
>"Let's instead think of a way to manipulate the card he's in."
>"Or let's just go home and forget about him in the card."
>"We'll worry about it later, after a good night's sleep."
>Other?

>> No.43759121 [View]

We continue sitting in silence. The possibilities flow through my head.

Maybe Asai isn't a monster? Maybe he has a body double? Maybe he's an Alien? What if he's an Alien, and is pretending to be a monster, but also has a body double?

Wait, where am I going with this?
He mentioned my card, the one I have that creates a shadow-copy of me. I've used it several times to appear in the real world AND in the other-world. It's very good at breaking down magic barriers, and the other 'me' can mimic my actions while away from me.

That said, Asai's copies of himself were very, very different. He could have upwards of SEVEN copies of himself. Plus, he was able to control all of them individually. All the while able to speak, talk, and even taunt with each one.

It's mind-boggling. I couldn't imagine what it would be like controlling six other Masamis. I get a headache just thinking about it.

"Mom." I don't know how to ask this question, either way it's going to sound weird. "Do you know where Asai's real body was?"
"His real body." She repeats to herself.

We sit in silence for a few minutes as she contemplates that question.

"It was one of those things we were fighting, right?" She says, head leaning back on the couch.
"I don't know. I was hoping you would know that."

The silence is deafening.
Maybe I should ask another question.

"Mom, where did Fortune HQ go?"
"I'm guessing he's using parts of it to make that monster. What I don't understand, is that the building is smaller than that monster. So I really don't know where all of it went. Maybe it hasn't assembled itself all the way, yet?"

"Is that good?"
"Maybe, it may mean we still have some time."

>If we have some more time, can we go back and start examining that monster?
>It can't hurt us if it's assembling, right?
>Let's go blow up that monster.
>No, wait, Julie and Haruko. Let's go find them and try searching for Asai once more.
>I don't know.
>Other?

>> No.42469330 [View]

"Kaori!" I pout, "Look at this!"

She moves away from the device that Maeda and Ryouta and fawning over, and instead glances at your phone.
"..Really Mom?"
"I know, right!?" I cross my arms, "She can't really think that we're going to follow this, can she?"

"Maybe that's her plan. I read about something called 'reverse psychology'."
"What is it?"
"It's.. something like this."

"Well hold on! I'm going to call her right now and try to figure out what the big idea is!"
"Put it on speaker! I want to know too!"

I tap the tile on my phone for her number. The rest of the table realizes that we're placing a call and politely quiet down.

Ring.
Ring.
"Masami?"
"Mom! What's the big idea?! Don't go to Fortune today? But we got Cirrus back!"

"I know, but." Mom pauses on the other side of the line.
Which is honestly kinda freaky.

"-but something doesn't seem right. I don't like it at all. I want Asai to make the first move, not us."
"Why!? We can totally take him down! What about your bracelet?"
"I- I rather not risk fighting him. Do you realize since yesterday he has somehow got a whole bunch of new monsters?"

A whole bunch?
"Define a 'whole bunch'."
"Lots, Masami. More than I think any one of us can fight. He's definitely thinking of something, but I don't think it's what we think it is."

"That's all the more reason to take the fight to him!"
"Is Kaori there?"

"I'm right here!"
"Make sure Masami doesn't go to Fortune today."
"But-"

"Now now, let's get Cirrus home and we can argue about it. She's shaken up."
"How is she?"
"She's not very happy, and she's been sobbing nonstop. She keeps talking about the fire in the sky."

Oh right.

"I'll talk to you when we get home, okay?"
"..Okay." I pout, but I don't think she can hear that.

The phone clicks and everyone stands in silence.

>Well, I guess I should get home.
>No! Wait! That's not like me at all!
>I'm going to Fortune!
>I'm going with you to test this new thing out.
>Other?

>> No.40390317 [View]

I wave my hands around in the air.
"STOOOP! Everyone! Just stop! I don't get any of this at all!"

The adults turn to look at me, and then they notice that the other kids are just as confused as I am about everything.
"I think we need to sit down and talk about this some more." I cross my arms. The middle of the street when the police are coming is probably not the best time to be talking about this anyway."
The adults are suddenly aware that there aARE cop cars, and the sirens ARE getting closer the longer we stand out here. We all agree to meet someplace a bit further way and more secluded.
--
I tap the screen of my phone once more, scrolling through all the news stories that have popped up.
Some of them report the Fortune building remaining perfectly in place, with police investigating reports of a break-in.
Others report strange occurances happening around the building, and ask that residents stay in their homes until further notice.
I look up once more, toward the structure. It's still now, but could spring back to life at any minute. It's almost like the building is pretending to be immobile instead of actually being a regular building again.
Two days, that's how long I have to figure out a way to topple Fortune.

The sun is starting to wane on the horizon as the streetlights spring to life. We decided to reconvene in a nearby park which is not very populous right now.
Julie and Haruko agreed to take the younger kids home, they didn't need to be a part of this. Really I just did it so they would stop arguing and give me some space.
"First thing I want to ask, how is it Asai can do that with Fortune HQ? Could he always do that?"
"There's... a kind of secret I've been hiding, but I don't think it really matters now." Mom looks guilty.

>If it's a secret, then that's okay.
>I want to hear it, he has no secrets anymore.
>Let's talk about Aiko first
>Or the past, let's talk about that.
>Other?

>> No.40242872 [View]

Something seems really wrong with this!
"That ring was supposed to PREVENT that from happening!? Why would he want that!?"
After all, now they can hug and be hugged, why would he wants monsters over that!?

She ruffles my hair, "There were already a lot of monsters made by the time he received the ring. The chairman probably didn't want to have to deal with a bunch of kids, he never liked kids, and the monsters were grown-up enough to fend for themselves and follow his orders."
That's an awful reason!
"Don't worry about it, though. Isn't this a great thing?" She's beaming.
"Mom, is that how I was made? And Kaori? And you?"

She gently squeezes my shoulder. "I was definitely made that way. I'm not sure about Kaori. But you were made a little differently. I'll tell you about it when we have a little more time.
That's understandable.
"Julie, can you bring that girl over here?"

"Mom, how many kids were you wanting to adopt, anyway?"
"I'll take in anyone who needs a home. I know how it's like not having one."
"Well." I stand up and wrap my arms around Julie. "She needs one, and so does this girl! I know a boy and a girl who need one, too! "
"Um." Mom thinks about it for a minute. "I still mean it, even if I'll need a bigger house."
Mom grabs Julie's hand, "What is your name?"
"Julie, I'm Masami's best friend!"
What?
"Mom" I try to change the subject, "This is the same Julie that was one of my cards!"
"Oh, so it happened to you too." Mom seems oddly unsurprised.
"It's true!" Julie crosses her arms.
"She's not the only one who has transformed, I had an invisible card too, and-"
I suddenly remember.
"HARUKO! She went missing!"
"Oh? where?"
"Near the mansion! We gotta-"
"We should get out of here, first." Julie corrects me.

What should I do?
>Complain to Mom about Haruko anyway
>She's right, find a way out.
>No no, another question! This is important!
>>Like: How do we beat Asai?
>>Or: Do we just leave Fortune and never look back?
>Other?

>> No.40145093 [View]

"Mom." I shake her. She groans and grabs onto my shoulder.
"Mom!" I try hugging her this time. She very weakly returns it.

"Masami, give her a minute." Julie is still tending to the secretary.
I don't want to, though!

I sit in Mom's lap and tightly squeeze her. This whole thing has been upsetting, and sitting here with her is probably the happiest I've been all day.
I can let it out now. It's okay to cry now that Mom is back with me.

Mom's arm lightly returns the hug.
"Julie." she turns to face me. "Thank you for all your help. I don't know how I can ever thank you."
"Masami, you know I would have helped you no matter where you went." She smiles.
"It's just-!" I think about the words I want to say. "You've been with me for so long, and you even said yourself that you didn't think I deserved all of this a long time ago. What made you change your mind?"

She sits next to the secretary and contemplates what I just asked her.
"That's a good question." She says, "Let me have some time to give you an answer."

"Oh! And-" I turn to the secretary. "Thank you, I'm not sure why you helped me, but I'm really happy that you did."
"Urgh." She responds.

I can feel Mom's grip getting stronger. Her breathing is starting to feel normal again. I stand up and try getting her attention once more.
"Mom.. Mom can you hear me?"
"mmm." Her head lifts up and meets my eyes. "Hey Sweetie. How are-"
That's when she notices the destroyed lobby, and remembers where she is.

"Oh my-!"
"Mom! It's fine. Just relax. I'm going to get us out of here. Then all of us can go home."

I take out Belle and approach the front door. It seems like something is blocking it from the outside, maybe concrete?
I swing my sword as hard as I can at it, but it uselessly clinks off.
"Ow.."

>Cont.

>> No.39433481 [View]

"I-" I try to think of the words to convey how I feel about it. I find myself oddly speechless. "I LIKE my normal life."

"Only because you've had nothing else."
"THAT'S NOT TRUE!" I immediately retort. "I felt what it was like before, and it sucked!"
"And that!" He smiles, "Is because we were forced to serve, Empress. You haven't ever lived free until now."

"I-"
I'm trying to think about how life would be like.
"I really don't care!" I huff, "I really don't care myself, but I can see why someone would!"

Why did I join Fortune? I could have pretended to be an ordinary young woman almost anywhere else. Well, except for that one thing.
"I really only joined Fortune because I wanted Masami, Asai!" I sigh, "Nothing more! I don't care about serving anyone or making a place for myself, I just wanted to have a daughter!"

Asai stops, "Was that the only reason? Was that why you WANTED a replacement?"
"It is!" I've been hiding things from him, too.
"I'm sorry I never told you, but I really only started drafting cards so I could have Masami."

I stand up and bow, "I'm going home."
Well, I say that, but I can't even see where I'm going.

"Hmm." He strokes his chin, "But don't you want a world where she can live free as she wants? She, like us, is something special too."

"I just want her to live the normal life I couldn't have."
"Please understand Empress, We weren't build to live human lives!"

Huh.
"Built?"

>"By who?"
>"How? I thought.. Well."
>"But it's MY human life and I want it!"
>"Don't you DARE bring Masami into this stupid thing you're planning!"
>"I'm going home."

>> No.38708626 [View]

>>38708157
"MOM!"

There she is, passed out on the desk. There's a card on the table, and she appears to be trying to refine it.
I have no idea how long she's been there, and her cheeks are already flush red.

Oh no!

"MOM! MOM!" I shake and shake her, but nothing happens.

Kaori points to another chair in the room, cutely trying to move it but failing.
I grab it and pull it up next to her. Kaori suddenly looks very nervous as she sits down. She appears to be doing something, but I can't tell what without her telling me.

>"I'm going in right now!" (Go to the other side and save Mom)
>"Wait! I think Kaori should come with me!" (Try to get her to come along somehow)
>Wait for Kaori to finish whatever she's doing before acting.
>Try waking Mom up again
>Call the monster quickly and tell him what happened and if there's something I can do from here.
>Other?

>> No.37763994 [View]

"Thanks for the help!"
I leap forward and hug him, but I don't think he really understand what that means. He swiftly dodges and crosses his arms like I just tried to assault him or something.
"-But seriously, thank you so much for helping." I smile at him, I'm not sure he understands what that means either.

"As you wish, Empress. I'm glad to be of help."
"Oh don't be that way." I pat him on the shoulder, "You're always a great help!"
"I.. certainly hope I am."
"And you are! Anyway. I'm going back to my office. Let me know if anything changes."

I smile and walk away, it isn't his fault that he can't understand the gratitude of others. He's not like Masami or I.

Speaking of which, I should report in to Asai today. I don't want him thinking that I'm skipping work or something. It's bad enough everyone is already looking at me because of Masami.

I just have to keep reminding myself that, I'm doing all of this for Masami.

I knock on Asai's door, and as usual it seems to open on its own.
How does he do that?

"Welcome Empress! I'm glad you decided to show up to work today, unlike some other people." He smiles, leaning back in his chair.

Eregh, it's that feeling again. He always seems so controlling, it makes me freeze where I stand. How does he do that?

>"Y-you too.."
>"T-thanks. "
>"Y-yeah, I'm here. S-so, um, I'll be back in my office goodbye."
>"S-say, what happened yesterday? A-and where's the chairman?"
>Other?



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