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26 Mar 2022
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Solis: What exactly does she mean? Ask her to elaborate.

Oh, jeez, that escalated reaaaaaally quickly!
You suppose it makes sense for this to be something she can't just tell to anyone.

But... where's all this talk coming from?

Kotori: Explain all that you can. The Prince may be safer with Solis knowing.

  • Solis: Uh... then, with that info in mind...
  • Solis: Do you somehow know who this assassin is?
  • Kotori: ...Not really. I only know that it's a single human.
  • Solis: Huh...
  • Solis: And, you said that you don't have any tangible proof to believe such an assassination attempt might happen?
  • Solis: ...As well as that it would succeed, to boot?
  • Kotori: Unfortunately...
  • Kotori: I can't show you anything that would prove my hunch.
  • Kotori: But I still trust it a lot, no matter what.
  • Kotori: If asking you to trust in something so unreasonable is too much, then...
  • Solis: ...No, it's okay.
  • Solis: Kotori, let's assume that this will indeed happen.
  • Solis: Since it's something you were keeping to yourself, I'm curious...
  • Solis: What exactly... will you do to stop it?
  • Kotori: ...Nothing.
  • Kotori: I don't mean to say that I don't want to stop it,
  • Kotori: It's just that there's nothing I can do about it anymore.
  • Kotori: Not only is it an unbelievable problem, it's also one that I haven't found the right solution for.
  • Solis: Is that why you didn't want to tell anyone?
  • Kotori: Yeah...
  • Kotori: See, I have nothing to offer besides hopeless answers.
  • Kotori: First, I dare to present you this unrealistic issue, and then, all I can tell you is to give up.
  • Kotori: So... I'm sorry.
  • Solis: ...

It's true that an unfounded concern like this would be easy to dismiss.

No one would believe that the human military would initiate an attack, nor dare to attempt something as direct as an assassination attempt.
After all, they are incapable of breaching the barrier on demand. That is an unreplicated power reserved by an unparalleled winged on monsterkind's side.

And unlike Prince Suvillan, Prince Ruit's strategies are never that risky.

If Kotori had brought up something this serious yet unsubstantiated to someone in a position of power, it's likely that her worries wouldn't be heard out.
After all, even you can't bring yourself to fully believe this talk right now.

Still, this is his highness she's talking about.

To you, nothing is more important than his safety, so why in the world did she hesitate this much to share it with you? Even if you can't believe it, you do not want to risk any harm to the prince, no matter how unlikely.

  • Solis: ...Well, I wasn't expecting to hear such a thing tonight, but...
  • Solis: If this really was going to happen...
  • Solis: Then you'd be the only person who has been aware of it.
  • Solis: Which seems like a lot of responsibility for just one person.
  • Solis: And also...
  • Solis: Keeping it to yourself must've felt pretty lonely.
  • Kotori: ...
  • Solis: But... now, I know this too, so...
  • Solis: Let's not give up on everything just yet, huh?
  • Kotori: ...
  • Solis: Uhm, I apologize if those assumptions were wrong.
  • Solis: You're awfully quiet...
  • Kotori: ...Sorry. It's not your fault.
  • Kotori: It's just that every response that I could think of sounded hopeless.
  • Solis: Come on, there's no reason to be that way.
  • Solis: I mean, what's the worst damage that one human could even cause?
  • Solis: There's still something we can do ourselves, too.
  • Solis: For instance...

Solis: Sounds like a reason to attend those festivities to try to prevent it from happening.

  • Solis: Should we both be at the celebration site for more protection, then?
  • Solis: If we're with his highness, then surely...
  • Kotori: No. That will not prevent it.
  • Kotori: Neither of us know the assassin's capabilities.
  • Solis: Oh.
  • Solis: Uh, then...
  • Kotori: And warning the prince won't do any good, if you're thinking of that.
  • Solis: ...
  • Solis: Wait, why wouldn't it do any good?
  • Kotori: Uh..
  • Kotori: Because...
  • Kotori: It... it just doesn't end well to do that.
  • Solis: ...And why not?
  • Kotori: Um! I'm not sure...!
  • Kotori: I think it's because I don't know how the assassin will be sneaking in...
  • Kotori: So letting the prince know of their arrival alone doesn't help.
  • Kotori: Sorry, really. I don't know the right solution.
  • Kotori: I just know one thing...

  • Kotori: That waiting by the prince's side doesn't work.
  • Kotori: At that point, the assassin would've already infiltrated so deeply in...
  • Kotori: And it would be too late for anyone to detect their presence.
  • Solis: ...Even with the level of protection surrounding his highness?
  • Kotori: Yeah...
  • Solis: Well, it could always be higher, then.
  • Solis: If it's to protect his highness, no number of soldiers is overkill.
  • Kotori: No, that's not going to work either.
  • Kotori: In fact... trying to increase security will only backfire.
  • Solis: Why is that...?
  • Kotori: I think that the more soldiers you try to guard the prince with...
  • Kotori: The easier it makes this attempt for the assassin.
  • Kotori: I'm not sure why...
  • Kotori: Maybe it becomes easier to blend in with a crowd?
  • Solis: Still... wouldn't it make the assassin hesitate if there's plenty of capable, armed soldiers around?

  • Solis: Not to mention that plenty of powerful, high-ranking monsters are already present there by his highness' side.
  • Solis: The regional lords, the royal guards...
  • Solis: And let's not forget Corona herself.
  • Kotori: I know that, but...
  • Solis: Kotori, his highness is always surrounded by the best of the best from every region. There's no way any of them would allow the prince to be harmed.
  • Solis: Many of them are far more capable in combat than either of us are.
  • Kotori: I know! I don't doubt their strengthes...
  • Kotori: But you're thinking from the perspective of someone who wants to live.
  • Kotori: I believe this assassin doesn't actually care what happens to them,
  • Kotori: As long as their target is dealt with.
  • Kotori: So it doesn't matter if they're placing themselves at risk.
  • Kotori: Even if they were to face the four regional lords and their numerous guards, none of that would deter them.
  • Solis: ...Huh...
  • Solis: I suppose... that would remove a lot of hesitation from their part.
  • Solis: It does complicate things more than I initially thought...
  • Kotori: Yeah... see how it is?
  • Kotori: I really don't know what's the right thing to do.
  • Kotori: If I did, I wouldn't be so hopeless right now.
  • Kotori: I only know... about the options that don't end well.
  • Kotori: So...
  • Kotori: Forget about telling his highness, or letting him handle this himself.
  • Kotori: The prince won't always have the best judgement on how to deal with a given issue. And... I know for a fact that it won't end well to tell him.
  • Kotori: It's the one time where I dare to say that I know better than his highness does, for sure.

Kotori: Question.

  • Kotori: Besides...
  • Kotori: Will his highness really trust us if we told him all of this, Solis?
  • Solis: What are you talking about?
  • Solis: Of course, he...
  • Solis: ...He would...
  • Kotori: You don't sound so sure.

Solis: Answer.

  • Solis: It... is a direct threat to his life.
  • Solis: So at least, I think he'd take that part seriously.
  • Kotori: Sure... just that much, though.
  • Kotori: But if we tried to guide the prince on how to treat it, he'd reject us.
  • Kotori: I don't think his highness would trust me to that degree, Solis.
  • Kotori: ...And that's okay.
  • Kotori: If I can do the right thing, and protect him, then...
  • Kotori: I'll happily do it in my own way.
  • Kotori: And if I get scolded for acting on my own afterwards, that's fine,
  • Kotori: Since it means that his highness survived well enough to scold me!
  • Solis: ...
  • Kotori: And what about you, Solis?
  • Solis: I... have an obligation to never deceive his highness.
  • Solis: Regardless of my standing, regardless of his trust in me...
  • Solis: I can't just act without his approval.
  • Kotori: Ah, that's not what I'm asking about.

  • Kotori: Solis...
  • Kotori: Do you trust his highness more than you trust yourself?
  • Kotori: I think you underestimate your own judgement sometimes...
  • Solis: That's not it, it's just...
  • Solis: How could I dare to think my word matters more than the prince's?
  • Kotori: Well, how could you dare to make your word appear so insignificant?
  • Kotori: To me, your choices do matter on their own.
  • Kotori: Correct me if I'm wrong, but... I don't think it's his highness who told you to come here today and lend me an ear, right.
  • Kotori: That was all... Solis' choice.
  • Solis: ...
  • Kotori: So, just for this once...
  • Kotori: I want you to judge for yourself, and help protect the prince in your own way,
  • Kotori: Just as I intend to do here.
  • Kotori: Because, if you ask his highness on what to do,
  • Kotori: It won't be as good as what we choose.
  • Kotori: I am certain of this fact.
  • Solis: ...Tell me, then.
  • Solis: Given what you know, what do you intend to do here?

  • Kotori: Well, when it comes to the assassin...
  • Kotori: I'm lead to think that I shouldn't lie in wait where I expect to see them.
  • Kotori: Instead, I should go after them, to find them where they don't expect.
  • Kotori: That's the only solution right now.
  • Solis: ...So, in other words...
  • Solis: You plan to detect them before they get too far into our world.
  • Kotori: Oh... yeah!
  • Kotori: You get it now!
  • Solis: Let me consider your input first.
  • Solis: Even though you say you've already given up on many ideas...
  • Solis: I want to hear what you've given up on.
  • Solis: You must've thought about this at least a fair amount before coming to the state of "nothing besides hopeless answers", right?
  • Kotori: ...Right.
  • Kotori: I thought about it a lot!
  • Kotori: Every day, for a long, long time.
  • Kotori: For this case, I do have some ideas...
  • Kotori: You see, I'm sure I'll find the assassin if I stand guard near their potential entry points. The further they are from the royal tower and site of celebration, the easier it will be to detect them.
  • Kotori: And, the more time I'll have to try and stop them.
  • Solis: So, you'd try to keep watch somewhere near by the barrier?
  • Kotori: Yeah...
  • Kotori: This is something I must do myself,
  • Kotori: But once again... I feel that I won't succeed.
  • Kotori: I'm really powerless... and I'm full of failures.
  • Solis: ...So you say. Alright then.
  • Solis: Kotori, think as if you have me on your side now.
  • Solis: What do you think the two of us could do here to find this assassin?
  • Kotori: If I had your help...? Well...
  • Kotori: I may have one last chance to do something here.
  • Kotori: But then, you'd be at risk, Solis.
  • Kotori: So, really... it's not a good choice.
  • Kotori: Everything I think of always feels so hopeless like this.
  • Kotori: ...I'm sorry.
  • Solis: ...

  • Solis: Kotori, just how long have you been thinking about all of this?
  • Kotori: What do you mean?
  • Solis: I mean, you're talking as if you're aware of an inevitability here.
  • Solis: So, for how long was this the case...?
  • Kotori: Oh... that's a tough question.
  • Kotori: I can't really gauge.
  • Solis: Then, how long have you been trying to do something about it, at least?
  • Kotori: ...One year.
  • Solis: ...So, all this time...
  • Solis: Really, could you not even trust me with it...?
  • Kotori: O-oh, uh... I'm sorry.
  • Solis: Dammit, Kotori.
  • Solis: You worry too much about troubling others, don't you.
  • Solis: Why didn't I realize that sooner.
  • Kotori: Sorry, Solis...
  • Solis: Stop apologizing.
  • Solis: Look, I get it. There are some problems we can just deal with on our own.
  • Solis: Some things are too petty to make a big deal out of... but not this.
  • Solis: These are the sort of things you don't have to keep to yourself.
  • Solis: This... this is what friends are for, Kotori.
  • Solis: Instead of pushing us away...
  • Solis: You should have just told me everything the moment you started fretting about this possibility, regardless of its feasibility.
  • Kotori: But, if I had done that, then...
  • Kotori: ...
  • Solis: You think I would've turned a blind eye, since you have no proof?
  • Solis: As long as it's something about his highness...
  • Solis: Then neither me or Corona would've ignored your plight. Don't underestimate how seriously we take his safety.
  • Solis: Or... did you hesitate because you thought you'd trouble me?
  • Solis: Kotori, I'm sure it would've been goddamn nothing compared to keeping everything to yourself for this long.
  • Kotori: Are you... upset with me?
  • Solis: ...Yes. And you should be upset, too.
  • Solis: Be mad that you were so unfair to yourself by not thinking to seek anyone's advice or help, even if just to get this off of your chest,
  • Solis: When it clearly was more than what one person could handle.
  • Kotori: ...
  • Solis: But... I'm even more mad at myself.
  • Solis: Really, I'm the one who should be apologizing.
  • Solis: I can't believe that I was such a shitty excuse for a friend, that you didn't even want to rely on me for something like this.
  • Kotori: No, no, Solis!
  • Kotori: Don't... don't say that.

  • Kotori: You're... you were a good friend.
  • Kotori: You always were.
  • Kotori: The reason I didn't tell you, or anyone else...
  • Kotori: It's not because of troubling others, or my lack of proof, no.
  • Solis: Then why?
  • Kotori: Solis...
  • Kotori: Didn't I say that I only know about the options that don't end well?
  • Kotori: Well, it would not have ended well if I told you about this before now.
  • Solis: What...?
  • Solis: Why would that be the case?
  • Kotori: Because, in the past, I couldn't have really trusted you with any of it.
  • Solis: Then... tell me why you can't trust me.
  • Solis: So I can change that part about myself, and ease your worries.
  • Kotori: It's not you who I couldn't trust.
  • Kotori: But it's because you, Solis, don't trust yourself when I expect it.
  • Kotori: You're always like that. You ask to be relied on, but...
  • Kotori: You think only of seeking his highness first and foremost.
  • Kotori: So if you tell me to rely on you, then...
  • Kotori: Let me really rely on you, and on you alone.
  • Kotori: Not on your reliance on his highness.
  • Kotori: Otherwise... it really is going to end badly with this reaching the prince.

  • Solis: Hold on, Kotori...
  • Solis: This is just some hunch, isn't it?
  • Solis: You can't know the outcome for sure unless you give it a try first.

  • Solis: So how can you be sure that...
  • Solis: ...

Solis: Dial it back a little.

Man, what an idiot you are for making this about yourself.
It's not that Kotori didn't trust you, but she couldn't allow herself to.

You never gave her the room to do it, right.

  • Solis: ...Ugh.
  • Kotori: Solis?
  • Kotori: What's wrong?
  • Solis: ...
  • Solis: It's nothing.
  • Solis: Sorry, I said that I would listen,
  • Solis: But here I am, trying to talk back against your concerns.
You sort of get her deal a bit better now, though.
She knows what not to do, and currently, she doesn't want to be questioned about it.

She wants to be heard.

Whenever things start moving in a direction she deems wrong, she freezes up like that...
Like she's about to give up and break down in tears.

But since you have a say about it, you'll never allow a crying Kotori to ever exist.

She seems to think that things will always end badly, no matter what. Surely, you appearing overly reliant on his highness earlier didn't help her worries at all.

Well, to hell with it, then.

Solis: You're gonna prove yourself here.

Kotori chose you, after all. She could've kept to herself indefinitely, or she could've gone to someone else, but she accepted your help. she deemed opening up to you at this very moment as a choice not among the list of "options that go badly".

So she needs to see that you're not unreliable.

  • Solis: Uh, man.
  • Solis: I'll be honest here.
  • Solis: Hopeless this, hopeless that...
  • Solis: This kind of talk sounds like a whole load of nonsense to me.
  • Solis: Let's see. If the most critical opportunity is during the celebrations, then that means there's two days to go for the assassin to make their move.
  • Solis: Afterwards, things return to normal, with every guard back into position... no more distractions from safeguarding every area.
  • Solis: There is still time left on our hands until then, and yet...
  • Solis: Kotori, you really were thinking about giving up already?
  • Solis: Even though, it would be so easy for us to prevent such a thing.
  • Kotori: H-huh... what!?

  • Kotori: Really, Solis!?
Oh, for cryin' out loud. This dumb girl.

What hopelessness? Just look at that face.
Those eyes are full of hope.

It feels like she's desperate for someone to push her to keep trying.

Somehow, she knows bad outcomes, but not how to pursue the good ones.
Perhaps, all this time, she was in need of guidance, but didn't know where to find it.

Solis: Make a judgement.


What a strange situation, a strange topic, and an even stranger person.

  • Solis: If telling others will only end badly...
  • Solis: Then we can just do something on our own.
  • Solis: You said you had one last thing you could do if I'm on your side, didn't you?
  • Solis: And I'm plenty capable, you know.
  • Solis: So don't give up just yet.
  • Kotori: Wait, first of all...
  • Kotori: You don't think it's stupid that I'm worried?
  • Kotori: About a possibility that I can't even prove to you?
  • Solis: Not really, it's not stupid.
  • Solis: The more I think about it, the more I feel you might actually have a point.
  • Solis: A celebration is sort of like a huge distraction, isn't it...
  • Solis: People are already distracted, actually. They'll be that way for a while.
  • Solis: That'd certainly make things easier for a particularly crafty assassin.
  • Solis: So, let's think of what to do about it together.
  • Kotori: Are... are you just humoring me?
  • Solis: No.
  • Solis: ...Okay, well... I don't want to lie.
  • Solis: So, is half-and-half an acceptable answer?
  • Solis: The circumstances do seem inviting for something to happen, at least.
  • Solis: Perhaps not of a magnitude as terrible an assassination, but still, something criminal in nature.
  • Solis: So I'm taking you up on that bit, at least.
  • Kotori: Well, gee...
  • Kotori: That's still really, really good.
  • Kotori: Oh, I'm not saying that to dissuade you!
  • Kotori: I'm just...
  • Kotori: ...Really glad I found someone who can believe me, I guess.
  • Kotori: But...

---->

  • Solis: ...Kotori, listen.
  • Solis: This time, please rely on me.
  • Solis: Others might dismiss what you're saying because of your status, or lack of proof, but... I won't.
  • Solis: You're worried that I won't allow myself to judge soundly, right?
  • Solis: Well, don't be. I'll take your warnings to heart.
  • Solis: Even if I'm someone who doesn't usually act on unfounded ideas...
  • Solis: We can agree that his highness' safety is important to the both of us.
  • Solis: So I won't belittle the importance of your concerns.
  • Kotori: ...
  • Kotori: You're right... I've gotten used to giving up too easily.
  • Kotori: Thanks for the encouragement.
  • Solis: If we're friends, then... let's work together here.
  • Solis: You're not alone.
  • Kotori: Okay...
  • Kotori: How funny, this reminds me of an old friend.
  • Kotori: I've always been too quick to give up, but my friend would tell me...
  • Kotori: As long as I'm alive, I should keep trying.
  • Kotori: And with that, a way forward is bound to show itself.
  • Solis: That's a nice thing to say.
  • Solis: Although, it sounds rather unfounded, honestly...
  • Kotori: Yeah, right! I bet they feel like empty words to you!
  • Kotori: It feels like you're the type of person who wants to give reasoning behind everything... even encouragements!
  • Solis: Shit, I guess I can't deny that...
  • Kotori: That's okay too, though.
  • Kotori: It makes you reliable, after all.
  • Kotori: Well... I've got an idea.
  • Kotori: If you'll help, would you hear me out?
  • Solis: Of course.
  • Solis: I promised to listen to your worries all the way through, didn't I.
Mei: Something seems off with Nino.
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Mysteriousmaverick
Guest
8 months ago

Nino: Focus on making peace with everyone new to your party, attempt to regain your memories of Aria, check status move new party members etc, and choose whether to inform everyone of Meimona’s possible angle or not. If you vaguely hint at it, maybe Reed will understand, after all, he seems to be the least sheltered of the 4 of you. Why do you believe in this winged stuff anyways, didn’t you believe yourself above superstitions? Consider what this info on concepts of luck and guidance will mean for the rest of the world you know so little about.

Crew of Evildoers: Talk to each other and get to know each other.

Aria: Make peace with everyone and tell Mei the grump’s real name and explain your situation to everyone, because no one seems to know.

Meimona: Be cool, comment on how Nino seems different now than in the past, and chalk it up to Aria’s naivety, comment on Nino’s hidden abandoned familial past.

Reed: Just listen to and deal with these guys, noting info as you go.

Anonymous
Guest
8 months ago

Kotori & Solis: Make, discuss, and execute the one plan you can have. Count the amount of time you have until the endpoint, 2~ days, but be quick, because that might not be the time you really have. Start. Anything specific about this assassin that they’ll have, are, or can do? Weapons, traits, maybe a way to bypass their (likely illusory) method of disguise? Do you know where and when exactly they’ll attack? How do you even know…feel any of this?

Taki
Guest
Taki
8 months ago

Solis, if I were you I'd be asking how Kotori even learned about the whole blood thing by now. Of course, I'd probably try and suggest a command for that if it weren't for the fact that this page ended with
"Kotori: If you'll help, would you hear me out?
Solis: Of course.
Solis: I promised to listen to your worries all the way through, didn't I."
And 1) it'd be a weird thing for Solis to decide to not listen and interrupt Kotori. 2) Even if Solis did, Solis would probably not get an answer because authors love not giving away things easily and like making things vague. 3) According to Nights, Nino is going to be apart of the next update so something tells me that this webcomic is going to not show this entire conversation and cut back to it in like 10 pages to leave the audience in suspense for 2~ months.

Blarg777
Guest
Blarg777
8 months ago
Reply to  Nights

I agree that withholding a certain level of info makes the story more intriuging and encourages the readers to theorize and really think, therefore get immersed, on what will or might happen next.

Also, I find it *REALLY* cool that even though you're the author and it's possible that you know what will happen next, you still take these 'commands' from the commenters and work off that, building it into whatever pre-existing stuff you've got planned. That takes a respectable and admirable amount of talent.

VB.Rainer
Guest
VB.Rainer
8 months ago

Nino: You should tell your party what Kaji told you about your amnesia. They might have some ideas for how to help you. After that though, go to the hotel and get some sleep, it's been a very long day.

Aria: You might want to tell Five the truth about Nino forgetting you two. She'll be heartbroken either way, but it'd be 10 times worse if Nino directly admitted to her he doesn't remember her. There won't be a good time, but now, at the very least, isn't the worst time.

Five: You should go see Nino! You've waited long enough!

Also Aria: Make a mental note to bake muffins for everyone first chance you get. Considering it was literally the only thing Nino ate in the monster world, it may be enough to jog his memory of you and Five. Speaking of which, where's Five?

Reed: I apologize in advance, but can we get a Reed on your plan from here on out?

Mei: Something seems a little off with Nino. Maybe you should inquire about it?

Ludwig: Be a good boi.

Pun Lord
Guest
8 months ago
Reply to  VB.Rainer

I approve.

Marc
Guest
Marc
8 months ago

Reed: Check to see if your phones been blowing up nonstop ever since crossing back over. You're sure a certain someone must be dying to get an update.

Anon
Guest
Anon
8 months ago

Nino: Momentarily consider planning an assasination on the monster Prince, for no reason whatsoever.
Nino: What a silly thought. There's no way you would ever go back to the monster world.

The One Guy
Guest
The One Guy
8 months ago

I have a bad feeling Nino's the assassin, whether he knows it or not.

kaji (now without the pyxis)
Guest
kaji (now without the pyxis)
8 months ago

Nino:Attempt to overdose on alcoholic substances in order to jog your memory.

ApocalipseTrader
Guest
7 months ago

Reed: check in on your messages, and see about getting a ship to take you home
Aria: see of you can get a cool human phone, like the one Reed has!
Five: say hi to nino!

(for everyone else look at the other comments lol, also, thanks for making this amazing story yall its one of my favorites of all time :)

Kirbo1117
Guest
3 months ago

man I wish I could tell who it would be (the assassin I mean) I mean, Meimona would be a good candidate due to being more dangerous the more you think she is but she's a winged, and the assassin is alone so she can't even help. I know Nino is the cop out but I dunno

Lunk
Guest
Lunk
2 months ago

In the panel with the silhouettes of Solis and Kotori, the white clouds look like two sets of wings and the moon looks like a halo, making Kotori look similar to the Queen.

^