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08 Jul 2023
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Nino: Ask about the other "Ninos" in your dream.

  • Nino: ...Right.
  • Nino: Among what little memories I have, there is an odd one.
  • Nino: I can't say anything about it, besides the fact that it merely exists,
  • Nino: Buried somewhere deep beneath the surface.

Nino: No, it must be asked. What were all of the other slaughtered "Ninos" in the flock? Why were they impaled by their own blades, and resting within their own blood? Why did they vary so much in appearance?

  • Nino: Ah, don't get me wrong.
  • Nino: I'm saying that it's in your memories.
  • Nino: Memories that can be revisited, mind you.
  • Nino: Even though you have no explanation or understanding of it, just like me...
  • Nino: It remains ignored in here, sleeping in the depths.
  • Nino: But now that you're more willing to confront all sorts of uncomfortable things, it would be a good time as any to give it a closer look, right?
  • Nino: Go on. Call that memory forth and examine it again if you want to.
  • Nino: ...I can do that?
  • Nino: Sure. You've always been able to, as long as you were willing.

Looking below, you notice faint ripples by your feet.
Yes, in this place... you stand atop an incredibly deep ocean.

Then, the memory he's talking about rests inside these murky waters.

Nino: Reach in...

Maybe... there is some truth to his words.

After all, it was unsettling to see the mirage in the cave.

You shut it from your mind right away, and didn't want to think about the implications it carried. It can't be helped, since you had more important things to care about at the time, right? It's fine...

Nino: ...And bring them out yourself.

But right now, you need to wake up.

In order to do that...
You have to find the holes in his argument by any means necessary.

It's a tall task, but you'll manage...
One by one, many hands grip yours. Ever so slowly, they ascend.

And with your help, they finally emerge.

Nino: Examine the image.

  • Nino: ...There it is again...
  • Nino: Haha. It's... interesting, to say the least.

  • Nino: But there is no explanation for it in my mind at all.
  • Nino: And yet, even with such mysteries sleeping in here,
  • Nino: You think I have time to worry about other people's issues at all?
  • Nino: Look, I'm just begging you to never forget your priorities again.
  • Nino: Understanding myself comes first.
In total, you are met with four distinct images.
You sense that you're all the same, but also somewhat different.

Each images feels like its own person, in a way you can't exactly put your finger on... but just by looking at them, you do sense some of your individual differences.

Nino: Carefully look at them, one by one.

The first one approaches you with a warm expression. He has an air of tranquility about him, which feels like something you totally lack. Yeah, considering everything that's been happening, you really cannot imagine yourself ever being this composed...

Nino: The second one... is it a girl?

Next, to address what is perhaps the most major difference of all, this is indeed a girl - and for some reason, you know for a fact that she is also the most mature here!

It's not like you're a clueless child, but...

You sense disparity between your mind and hers, even though you also somehow know that she's the same in age as the rest here. In those eyes lies something you lack. It is the mellow outlook of a grown up, telling you that you still have much to experience before your growth is deemed complete.

Is this a maturity that was robbed from you, or one that you have yet to develop?
Unfortunately... it's not a question either of you can answer.

Nino: What about the remaining two?

The third one's face is full of frustration, reflecting a certain rage dwelling in his heart... but the fourth one's mind is full of regret, and his heart is heavy for reasons you do not know. It's a stark contrast from the levelheadedness of the other two.

And yet, despite various disparities, even the major biological one...

It feels like you are all the same at the end.

Nino: And even after noting down all of your observations...

You still have utterly no clue what the meaning of this sight is. In fact, the more you think about it, the more confusing it gets.

Was it a useless point to bring up, after all?
Even thought it's something he has no explanation for, either...

It's something that you had seen in the cavern first.

That means he's totally correct about it being an image that resided in your mind all along, which means you could've never used it as proof of anything...

Dammit, his expression says he's got it all figured out already.
Then, it would be a fruitless endeavor to continue thinking about this.

But, but then... what else is there?
How else can you call his bluff, deny him, and silence him right now?

There must be something else, anything... come on...

Nino: Illusions are able to draw ideas from a target's mind to shape themselves. The Phantom could simply be an elaborate spirit's illusion. In general, mind readers, such as spirits, are perfectly capable of doing all that without needing to actually be you.

  • Nino: Hm? What? You... you're now saying...
  • Nino: That I'm one of those spirit things Aria mentioned?
  • Nino: Hah, did you become an expert about something you've never faced overnight?

  • Nino: So let me get this straight. A spirit could've accompanied you undetected throughout everything up until now? What a funny story.
  • Nino: In order for your claim to be true, I guess everyone around you must've gone blind, then. Especially Aria and the ever-so-careful Reed, right?
  • Nino: The two who are the source of anything you know about this enemy...
  • Nino: Who were overfamiliar with the methods of detecting and disposing of it?
  • Nino: Seriously. Get real.

Nino: All of this can be considered Celestial influence.

  • Nino: ...What? A celestial!?
  • Nino: You mean like the queen Kaji talked about?
  • Nino: Why would that kind of person even bother with me?
  • Nino: You can't be seriously saying that now...

  • Nino: She had a history with Kaji,
  • Nino: But what in the world do you have to do with any of it?
  • Nino: Or... do you just want to attribute everything here as someone else's doing?
  • Nino: Ah, yeah, you know what? For a coward like you, that makes total sense.
  • Nino: Now knowing so little about who you're choosing as a perpetrator suddenly seems awfully convenient for your new argument too, doesn't it.
  • Nino: Come on. You were doing much better before this.

Nino: That is all info any entity within your mind would possess. It's not you, and it doesn't have to be.

  • Nino: So you... are you at your wits' end? It sure feels like it.
  • Nino: Admitting defeat would be easier at this point.
  • Nino: Then, to sum it up...
  • Nino: Basically, you're saying in various ways that I'm someone, or something, that invaded your mind at one point - whether by my own will, or the will of another - and my motivation is to simply mess with you over and over. Is that it?

  • Nino: After all of this, do you still deny me?
  • Nino: Well, hey, I'll let your draw whatever conclusion you want!
  • Nino: But for your own sake, let me warn you first.
  • Nino: Words here have consequences, so think about it carefully.
  • Nino: Now... is that really your answer?
...Of course it is.

You may have sensed something from those four, but you'll never accept this phantom's existence. No matter how much he talks, you will never be swayed by his words.

You are you, and you know you well enough to say that this can't represent you.

With those words, you'll force this dream to finally end.

Nino: Nothing he has said proves that he is the same as you.
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CertifiedSeleneHater
CertifiedSeleneHater
7 months ago

DZ was right this IS the ninoverse

VBrainer
VBrainer
7 months ago

Nino: Remember Kaji's advice.

pikarai
pikarai
7 months ago

Nino: It doesnt matter what you are. Your ideals dont serve me anymore.

eel
eel
7 months ago

Nino: You go against my better nature. It doesn't matter if you're part of me; you may as well be for all I care. I refuse to live by your principals.

MildTrash
MildTrash
7 months ago

Nino: He is you. Or rather, an extension of you. Everyone has that little voice in their head that nags at them all the time. The part of them that represents their most selfish wishes and desires. That doesn't mean that he's wrong, you just have to temper his words with compassion and reason. Just because he's you doesn't mean you doesn't mean you have to listen to him. If anything, you're the same person, he should be listening to you. He may act like a know-it-all, but if everything he's said is true, he's no better than you.

Though, then again... Didn't he originally emerge from those waters as well? Maybe he's another dead Nino, a you that could be, but isn't. Much like how all those other Ninos are you, but aren't at the same time.

Ashenchromatic
Ashenchromatic
7 months ago

Nino: When factoring in the existence of both Nina and the dead ninos, there isn't really any satisfying explanation that makes sense, so looking into your past more *is* a priority. That being said, it doesn't take a hero to do the morally right thing, so Five should still be the highest priority for now. Plus, it's awesome to see him get tilted every time you bring her up.

Taki
Taki
7 months ago

I think it is pretty obvious by this point that conjecture isn't going to be satisfactory, and when trying to make an argument we should keep as close to information we know is true as possible. Nor does small inconsistencies that could be explained away in a relatively plausible and simple way. For instance, everything I came up with in the discussion on page 222.

Egglegg
Egglegg
7 months ago

Nino: call on the lessons you learned from your friends. This Phantom only relies on himself, he can't be beat in a one on one. Turn his words against him and "stop arguing with yourself". Use your memories of others to aid your arguments as he has been doing.

Recall the Guidance Kaji offered you, and the aid of the party you have formed.

Slid
Slid
7 months ago

This Nino claims that you are the same person. I wouldn't trust him. But there is some truth in his words, I'm sure. Maybe this is the second half of the real Nino. Neither the one who woke up in the forest, without memory, nor the one who came to this forest, and the one that consists of both halves. But what to do with the remaining four Nino, I have no idea. Maybe it's Nino, but in different time periods? Or are they parts of the character of the original Nino.

Kat
Kat
7 months ago

Merge together and become the ultimate nino okko style

yanagi
yanagi
7 months ago

Finally got caught up with the comic--
Man I missed this
Oceanfalls is like my little escape world
But now I'm going to have to wait for updates all over...
Man, Homestuck was so easy because I read most of it years after it ended
But when I really think about it
This comic has been consistently updated for so many years
I don't even know how somebody can keep that motivation

^