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11 Dec 2021
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[I] Lune: Conclude tonight's business.


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Prince Ruit: Elaborate.


Lune: Try to understand...?

Such is the unique existence of someone who embodies an entire world.
You suppose it's futile to try understanding it.

To put all this in simpler terms...
Princes and princesses are aware of all their people, and all parts of their world as a whole, at all times. That means they're also aware to some degree when certain anomalies happen somewhere inside their world.

For instance, when someone enters or leaves it.

This tale of "tides" is the way his highness came to describe his experience.

Such a feeling must be something impossible to even imagine for a regular person, much less for a ruler to live with. Some days, it makes his highness pretty cranky, complaining about all the noise in his head.

And so, if this very embodiment of a world is harmed, or worse, then... the world itself suffers, too. Well... it's better not to think about such possibilities.

Honestly, you just don't like seeing his highness feeling this unique sort of burden that you cannot share for once. How shameful is it that you cannot even do the bare minimum of understanding it, even.

Lune: Give up on understanding, for now.
(Scroll!)
  • Lune: If the current feeling is "intrusive", then...
  • Lune: You mean to say that someone might have crossed the barrier from the other side?
  • Ruit: Indeed.
  • Ruit: But this feeling is, in one part...
  • Ruit: As if something which was lost from my world has now returned to its place.
  • Ruit: But in another part, it is as if something unwelcome has made its way in.
  • Ruit: ...Sorry, that is very abstract, I know. It is just how I feel.
  • Ruit: And I want to reiterate that I am not certain how seriously I should treat this.
  • Ruit: It was...
  • Ruit: ...Sorta, kinda...
  • Ruit: Oscillating around both ways in my head all night?
  • Lune: Ah, that's why the paperwork piled up...
  • Ruit: Err... indeed. My bad!
  • Ruit: I did not want to talk about it when I am this uncertain.
  • Ruit: And although false-positives may or may not be possible...
  • Ruit: There has not been a case where my feeling turned out to be wrong yet.
  • Ruit: Then again... it is a rare feeling in the first place.
  • Lune: I suppose that makes sense, since crossings are so rare.
  • Ruit: You see how annoying this is, Lune?
  • Ruit: I cannot tell what's going on so easily, ugh.
  • Lune: Then...
  • Lune: What's your call, your highness?
  • Lune: I can always have the military ready to take action. Just say the word.
  • Ruit: Well... I do not think it is that serious.
  • Ruit: You have confirmed Kaji's wellbeing, as well as Icicle Bay's.
  • Ruit: Since the location of interest is in good conditions...
  • Ruit: Let us avoid unnecessarily alarming people when the memorial is so close.
Ruit and Lune: Recall.

  • Lune: ...
  • Lune: Your highness.
  • Lune: Do you remember what we faced three years ago?
  • Ruit: ...Of course I do.
  • Lune: The same day is just around the corner.
  • Ruit: Haha... bad things always seem to happen on that day, right?
  • Ruit: But it is only coincidences.
  • Lune: ...
  • Ruit: Lune...
  • Ruit: We are not as unequipped as before.
  • Lune: ...I know.
  • Lune: Still, I don't want to let this go so easily, your highness.

  • Lune: I must ensure that we'll never be taken by surprise again if anything happens.
  • Ruit: No, they would not try again so soon.
  • Ruit: It has not been long enough for monsterkind's forces to recover since the breach.
  • Lune: Any intruders must be dealt with, your highness.
  • Lune: I don't... think this should be a light matter.
  • Ruit: Of course not.
  • Ruit: But, Lune...

  • Ruit: You should not get agitated when nothing has happened yet, and may never do.
  • Ruit: We...
  • Ruit: No, I am not in immediate danger.
  • Ruit: So you can be calm right now.
  • Lune: The prince of monsters is not a foe to be taken lightly.
  • Ruit: Of course not.
  • Ruit: Lune, I know that better than anyone else.
  • Lune: Then how could you judge monsterkind's preparedness,
  • Lune: When we're not privy to their circumstances?
  • Lune: In the breach, your highness suffered worse, and yet...
  • Lune: We were back in even better shape in a remarkably short amount of time.
  • Ruit: We are different. Monsters are not as resourceful.
  • Ruit: And, Prince Suvillan does not have as much room as I do to take risks.
  • Ruit: If I were in his position, I would think acting again this soon is a suicidal move for myself... for my world.
  • Ruit: As much as I hate to imagine myself in that ruffian's shoes,
  • Ruit: Every ruler places the wellbeing of what's important to them first and foremost.
  • Lune: ...
  • Lune: No.

  • Lune: I don't want to risk anything.
  • Lune: I won't repeat my past mistakes.
  • Ruit: You did not do anything wrong.
  • Lune: You were irreversibly hurt because of me.
  • Ruit: It was not your fault.
  • Lune: I... won't let it happen again, regardless.
  • Ruit: Then, I could say the same to you!
  • Ruit: I really thought that I...
  • Ruit: ...We... all thought that we would really lose you in the breach war.
  • Ruit: So do not push yourself.
  • Ruit: Please let us never experience that sort of fear ever again.
Lune: Calm down. You'd better not worry his highness.

  • Ruit: Think about it like this, instead...
  • Ruit: Is it not fortunate that we can be on guard ahead of time?
  • Ruit: This time, we can be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Ruit: So Lune, you may do with yourself and your soldiers as you like...
  • Ruit: As long as we ultimately remain on a defensive front.
  • Ruit: Staying undercover means less risk for us.
  • Lune: ...I understand.
  • Ruit: Now that I have granted you that much authority...
  • Ruit: Will it help set your worries to rest?
  • Lune: ...
  • Lune: Yes, your highness.
  • Lune: Thank you. I will give it my utmost.
  • Ruit: ...But, Lune, just for my own sake...
  • Ruit: Promise that you will not be reckless if anything does happen.
  • Lune: ...How many times have I made such promises by now?
  • Ruit: Knowing you, even a thousand is not enough!
  • Lune: At this rate, I'll be more afraid of what happens if I break that mountain of promises than of monsterkind.
  • Ruit: Yeah, right! I would never let you off the hook, heh!
  • Ruit: Since... we have already lost so much.
  • Ruit: I do not want to add to it.
  • Lune: ...
You cannot blame the prince for feeling this way.

Six years ago, the peace treaty between humankind and monsterkind was betrayed.
On the war which broke out that day, his highness lost everything.

The prince's parents, family, friends, and teachers - people who've built the foundation of this world, such significant losses for humanity - all gone in a single night.

Some were killed, others went missing, and a certain friend became an enemy whom you inevitably faced later, when monsterkind managed to breach the barrier. It makes sense. You're a human, and he's a monster. Any efforts to join the two forces never succeeded. Such an idea is, and has always been unfathomable, since the very start.

Many of those lost were dear to you as well, however, you'd never dare think of your losses as anything greater than his highness'.

But...

What an unleaderlike concern he has.

The life of just one soldier is nothing compared to the greater good.

The day they all died, you were the only one left behind.
You were instructed to leave the battlefield, and deliver the grim news of their passing to his highness. Accepting such a duty was fine by you.

You made for the perfect death messenger.

As the sole survivor, you must do your best to protect the world they left behind, to make their sacrifices worth it all. The role of leading the royal guards, and personally protecting this prince, were entrusted to you by Lady Oshen and the late princess.

But as a result of your survival, you stand as a reminder of what was lost.

It is as if death's shadow always hangs at the edges of the prince's vision whenever he looks at you. That is fine as well. It is only what makes sense, after all. Yet, it makes the prince far too kind to someone like you.

He values your life more than its worth.

So be it, then.

So be it, your highness. You will not contest this painful kindness.

Because, in the end, he will end up accepting what comes to pass if he must.
It's not like you desire death more than living, but if protecting Prince Ruit may come at the cost of your own life someday, then so be it. You've sworn to be a blade that wards death, even if it inevitably breaks in the process.

Let him grieve if he must. What matters is that he and his world stay alive and well.

For what use is a pawn that survives on a board with a dead king?
You are not that kind of piece.

Lune: Depart.

Hopefully, his highness can forgive you later if you take a few liberties being "on guard", in your own way. You'll only be at peace if you deal with anyone who dares intrude onto this world, through...

A more active approach than the prince desires.

[I]ntermission 2: end.
Try to be Kaji again.

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D13Zomb13TakiHikLightWights_end Recent comment authors
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Wights_end
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Wights_end

Damn, the survivors guilt is palpable.

HikLight
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HikLight

oo things are getting serious

Taki
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Taki

I like the visual contrast/parallels/whatever (I'm not an artist, far from it, I don't know the terms for this stuff) in "Lune: Give up on understanding, for now." and the scroll image in the first intermission. I like the background to. I like how while the image of a Human is broken in the Monster's area, the image of a Monster doesn't seem to have been ruined in a Human's area. I like how the prince of Humans and prince of Monsters both describe their kind of odd senses in different ways. Also, that illustration of the prince of Monsters… Read more »

D13Zomb13
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D13Zomb13

Yo he said, he said the thing-

^