Forum of the Elder Gods (Grave;Cross)


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The kitsune chuckled, one hand raised to hide her smile, even though her cheeks gave away that grin. "Was she hostile towards you? Perhaps, or perhaps not. She was hostile to someone though, but I think they are dead. So you were not who she was hostile to, by rational deduction." she declared with a simple grin as she sat cross legged on a pillow before the crystal ball before her that shimmered with a chaos of weaves he couldn't begin to comprehend. "You came here, and you wish to leave. She wishes to leave too, and sees you as an ally and asset to accomplish this. But your purpose here is far greater than just escaping. The Hatter brought you here into her soul to teach you something. What that is, as you'd expect, is unclear. But the trials that lay before you are meant to guide you on your way. Surely, once you overcome this trial, you will be ready for the world from which you came." she explained, using her orb for this divinity.

Then, she looked up. "There is a song that I heard some time after you arrived. It was from the world beyond. But, for some reason, I have forgotten this song. I will give you this piece of the Jabberwocky that I have found. In return, please consider helping me remember this song. I believe it is important to both of us. I don't know how you will do it, but my crystal ball says that it is only you that can help me." she declared, reaching under one of her pillows to produce a fleshy looking purple wing to match the purple horn, as she handed it to Grave. "But, where are my manners? I know you but not the other way round. I am Kaga, the Moonlit Fox of the carnival. Please consider my request."

[Grave got a piece of the Jabberwocky]
[Grave learned that Kaga needs to remember an important song]

"If you are ever lost and need guidance, please return to me. I think we can help each other."
 
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"Well, if not hostile then I'll call her mildly antagonistic, I suppose?" Grave shrugged. Truth be told, this particular detail didn't matter that much, so he was fine with letting the kitsune have her point and ending the debate there. The fortune-teller's information and advice was far more important. For the most part, she just confirmed some suspicions of his, though it was always nice to be certain. He had to admit, he felt reassured by her words, at least a bit. Though... This realm was the Hatter's soul? Just how powerful was she, to be able to contain this whole place within herself? He shook his head. The thought was honestly terrifying to comprehend.

"Well, it's good to know this'll help, at least." Grave sighed, leaning back in the chair. "I'd rather not just leave only to end up having someone comment 'died by angry dragon' about me moments later." Honestly, he needed all the teaching her could get. He was so unprepared for everything that happened to him so far it was not even funny. Taking the wing of Jabberwocky and stashing it away together with the horn, the half-blood frowned as he pondered Kaga's request. "A song, you say... Do you recall any details about it? Perhaps the circumstances that allowed you to hear it? Anything that stands out?" Internally, he tried to remember any songs that stood out to him in the past. If it was important to them both, then there was some chance it was related to him. "And just to make sure, do you have any ideas where the third piece might be?"
 

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The fox woman hummed, focusing on her ball. "I cannot recall much but a faint hum. A sad song, sung by someone who lost someone dear. A blond girl in front of a grave dug poorly and without ceremony, a savage's tombstone dedicated to someone killed before their time. That's the most I can guess from the faint images I can recall. A powerful magic blocks me from seeing further out from The Hatter's world. She herself stops me, choosing what she wants to see. Whether she will reveal this to you in the future, I do not know." she declared.

When he asked about the third piece, she nodded. "I have seen it clearly. Your final destination before you venture to the Jabberwocky's lair will be the frog princess who lives by the water aquaduct that runs through town. Give a swim from upstream, and you might find where she has taken refuge. Then, you will take all three pieces to the West, to the Ocean Forest and to her throne, where you will combine them with her corpse to restore her form. There... She will give you the first tool you need to succeed."

[Grave has learned how to find the Frog Princess]
 
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Grave frowned. A hastily dug resting place... His first instinct was to think of his old man, but the other details didn't add up. Unless the kitsune meant "killed by disease", the cause didn't match up. And he couldn't recall any blond girls who would visit the two of them... Could he? He tried to recall whatever memories he had about his or the old man's acquaintances - those that didn't hate their guts at least, which was a depressingly low number. Still, if the Hatter wanted to withold this knowledge from him for the time being, there would be little he could do about it except playing this mad game to it's conclusion.

At the very least, the location of the third piece was clear to him. The lair of the frog princess, hidden somewhere in the waters of the aqueduct. He even got relatively clear directions and an idea what to expect later. At least he was a decent swimmer. "I see. Thank you for the help, miss Kaga." Cynder bowed politely, feeling genuinely thankful. "I'll make sure to return once I've uncovered the song and share it with you. Hopefully it won't take too long." He stood up. "I guess I should get going. From the looks of it, I have much to do and not much time to get it done." If getting the Jabberwocky's pieces back to her throne was merely the first step, then it was safe to assume the rest would be more complicated.

After saying his goodbyes, Grave left the fortune teller to her own devices. He'd start with following the trail of the Frog Princess first. He needed to locate the aqueduct and find a place from which he could swim upstream to find her hideout. Still, he'd keep an eye out for any signs, objects, people or locations that looked like they could be related to the vision of the singing girl. He had little doubt there'd be more clues out there for him to discover, or so he assumed. It'd pay to keep his eyes open.
 

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Grave wouldn't be able to recall any memory about what she described. It wasn't apart of his known history as he'd ever recall. She'd return the bow he'd give upon wanting to leave. "Indeed. They say a Red Storm is coming. Some people are evacuating just in case, though when I look into my ball, all I see is darkness. It could be just a great storm... Or something worse. Make sure you're not caught up in that terrible storm, or you will suffer a terrible fate." she warned him, before he departed to go find the aquaduct, and then the frog princess... Heading out from the carnival to the water supply to this Labyrinth City.

His path took him along the watersource that ran straight through the city, and all the way to the end at long last, near the city wall... Where it seemed to be a laundry area with clothes hanging up above the water and various cleaning tools present including a bucket of water and the sound of frogs singing in both deep and high croaks.


As the clothes hung to dry, Grave heard the sound of rain despite the skies being mostly clear of the discolored clouds. Looking ahead, he'd see the aquaduct lead into a sprinkler system for the garden near the laundry area. And within that rain, which was absorbed and felt great against his mushroom hat, was a strange looking woman with a frog upon her head. Upon seeing Grave, she gave no reaction, only seemingly enjoying the rain against her hand and what seemed to be a job well done, as despite her title, she seemed to have been cleaning the town's laundry. In addition, from the aquaduct, bubbles seemed to form from the little frogs jumping around in the water as the frogs seemed to lift the pockets of air from the waters below and throw them into the sky. As they floated up, Grave seemed to see faint scenes play within them. None of them coherent or showing anything more than odd scenes that didn't seem to mean anything. Like bubbles of memories lifted from the current.

One in particular floated up, floating in front of Grave's face... Beholding his human visage standing in the snow with his cohorts Envy and Club along side him, before it floated into the sky. The frog girl didn't seem to pay it any mind. To her, it was just another random memory floating by.
 
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Grave nodded solemnly, memorizing the kitsune's warning. A Red Storm... A storm of blood, perchance? There was one person who came to mind that seemed like she could cause massive mayhem. Suddenly that three-day deadline looked a lot more ominous. The half-blood quickened his pace as he made his way towards the aqueduct. At least this time he had a clear trail to follow, even if it lead him as far as the walls surrounding the city. Though what he saw out there was not what he had been expecting.

After taking a moment to absorb the pleasant feeling of water dripping onto his hat, Grave finally reached the place where the frog princess was located. Considering her title, he had expected a powerful, perhaps wicked figure not unlike Atea or Ryu. What he saw instead was a somewhat odd, but not unpleasant girl doing laundry. The odd sight made him blink in suprise, but ultimately he just shrugged and carried on. It was not his business what she chose to do and she seemed content with her task. Plus, he could tell she wasn't some common girl anyway. Granted, the sight of memories being carried through the air in bubbles was probably not what he had envisioned as a sign of her status, but that's how things seemed to work here.

Cynder paused as he saw the memory of himself, Club and Ziah standing in the snow. He didn't recall such a thing. They never found themselves in a snowy area, right? He reached out towards the bubble, delicately, trying not to break the bubble. It was probably futile, as bubbles were a fragile thing and he did his best to avoid ruining it, so his careful motions would likely be too slow to catch anything, but he was compelled to try anyway. Suddenly, a thought occured to him: what if it wasn't just his memories? Perhaps the scene the seer had mentioned was among them too! Turning his head towards the frog princess, the half-blood decided to approach, bowing politely. "Excuse me? May we speak for a bit?"
 

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The bubble was hardly fragile. It felt like a glass orb that he could hold in his hand, as it played the memory of seemingly constant march through snowy lands.

Approaching the frog girl, she turned her unusual visage towards him. "All forgotten memories end up here." She declared upon seeing him with the bubble in hand. "That one is one you lost? Actually, it was someone else's memory. The man in this memory can be seen, and never does a memory see its owner. And that man looks like you. At least, somewhat. Those along side him also look familiar. You will see their faces again, soon. I've little doubt." she declared. "All who find this world are changed in some way. And all who come here stay, even if they leave and never return. They remain. Perhaps those who are here are visitors, or perhaps they are memories formed from these bubbles? I know for certain, that I was born here. So if you see a familiar face, they may, or may not, be someone you knew." she explained.

"Have we spoken for a bit? I have spoken more than you have." She admitted.
 
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Grave idly palmed the bubble, glancing down at it once or twice when the frog girl spoke. Forgotten memory? If it was something he had forgotten then perhaps it made sense for it to be here. But... Someone else's memory? Whose? Not Club's and not Ziah's. And the only time the three of them encountered snow together was in Ryu's garden. Vision of the future, or was this how Atea percieved him? He had no idea. At least it seemed that he could count on a reunion with his companions.

The explanation also shed some light on the nature of this place. A world formed from memory, it seemed, at least in part. Did this mean that those who appear here as visitors are brought here not physically, but rather have their minds pulled in? Given that the Hatter's nature was madness, a thing of the mind, it seemed plausible enough. Though how that would affect him in the normal world was something beyond his ability to tell.

As the frog princess finished, Grave couldn't help but chuckle a bit. She was an oddball, sure, but an endearing one in some ways. "True, true. But that is nothing to be worried about." He shrugged. "I suppose I might introduce myself at this point. I am called the Mushroom Man, it seems, and I'm looking for a few things. One, a missing piece of the Jabberwocky." The half-blood explained. "Two... Miss Kaga, our friendly fox-eared seer from the Carnival, seems to have misplaced a memory. A song sung by a blonde girl in front of a shabby grave. Perhaps you've seen that memory somewhere?"
 

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The frog princess seemed to shake her head slightly. "Memories come and go. I'm afraid that if such a memory exists, it belongs to the one who owns it. If Kaga cannot recall the memory of this song, she would need something that prevents the loss of memories. Though I do not know where you would find such a thing. However... I do have something I might be able to give you. If you can acquire the memory of that song, I can use my river of memories to show it to you and allow you to relive that memory. Sometimes, heartfelt songs can prevent disaster." she said, before turning, and looking to the sky. In the far distance, it seemed like an oblivion was approaching. Skies of black air and red clouds, as if a great wall of darkness was encroaching on the land.

Then, she glanced back at Grave. "Though, despite how you seem to be a key player in the hatter's latest game... I feel you do not have enough time to stop it. Nor do you have anywhere to go. As with the decay of all beings, worlds will die. As we inside another will pass one day, you have been chosen to pass along with us. But... If you are truly here for a reason, wouldn't that be redundant? So, do not despair in the darkest hour. There may be hope. Even in the face of what that represents." she pointed to the red clouds. "That, I have seen it before. It is the Aura of Death. A goddess far beyond anything these lands has ever known. For reasons unknown, she has been summoned here. And so, we tell the population that it is just bad whether, and that it too will pass." she revealed.

"But, you came here not for doom, but for the jabberwocky. Here." She looked to the waters, as a light was seemingly captured into one of the bubbles and rose into her hands which she clung to her bosom, before stepping over to hand it to Grave. "This is the memory of her soul. If you bring this and the other parts together, she will be able to remake herself. Given that this is a memory, she will not recall certain events before her death. Please keep that in mind."

[Last piece of Jabberwocky acquired.]
 
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"Something that prevents loss... You mean a memento?" Grave asked, raising an eyebrow. It was the most obvious choice, logically speaking. One could not fully prevent the loss of a memory, that's not how a mind worked. But a memory could be sustained if one had something that'd remind them of the event, it'd keep refreshing itself. By consistently recalling the memory, one would engrave it deeper and more firmly. He'd have to make finding such a thing his priority. He got this really strong feeling that some of the things those people kept telling him were very important, especially the warnings and cryptic advice.

Still, much of what the frog princess said was far from good news. From what he could gather, events like these had repeated themselves before, and likely didn't end well. Like Hell he was going to die here, though. If he had little time, then it simply meant he'd have to either find a way to make more or haul ass like mad. Even if he had found his resolve only recently, Cynder was determined to make it out of here, not get killed by Ryu and find a way to make his goals a reality. He'd have to make haste. Perhaps whatever Jabberwocky could give him would prove helpful in finding other pieces of the puzzle.

"Thank you. I'll make sure not to forget that detail." Grave said, accepting the memory of Jabberwocky, stashing it away with the rest of the pieces. "One last thing. What routes are available from here to Jabberwocky's lair? I'd like to get there as quickly as possible, seeing as I am on the clock, so to speak." The half-blood inquired. The sooner he got to the Jabberwocky, the better. He'd have to keep an eye out for anything that looked like it could be related to the memory Kaga spoke of. Suspicious graves, strange blonde girls, or less obvious signs that looked like they might be related. Perhaps reminders left behind by the dead? Come to think of it... "Oh, and is there a graveyard around this city?"
 

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Time: 12:00 PM - 1st Day.

The Frog Princess nodded. "A Forget-Me-Not, to be specific." she clarified.

[Grave learned that he must acquire a Forget-Me-Not. Somehow.]

"Unfortunately, that's something of unknown origin and unknown belonging. In this land of madness, things get misplaced in the strangest of places, or even gambled away." she gestured to the flashy red and gold building down the street, decorated with archways and golden tophat logos.

[Grave has learned of The Casino.]

She gave a modest bow at his thanks. "Head west, until the land turns to ocean, and keep walking. Deep within the Ocean Forest is her lair. There, no one swims in the water, but a mushroom man should be fine if he's submerged in water, I assume? I doubt you will drown. But, good luck either way. You will see nothing but plains, then sand, and then shimmering water. Within that deep, is her throne. Assemble all the pieces there with her corpse and she shall revive and terrorize the land once more, thanks to you." she said calmly, as if what she said wasn't outrageous.

"There is only one Graveyard. To the South is the Forgotten Canyons where not a soul dwells. It is an empty and somber place where only Mushrooms go to Die. I do not suggest you linger there. Though if you choose to stay there during our final moments, They will truly be your last." her words carried a weight that made Grave's body feel heavy.

"I'm certain you have better things to do than to die like the rest."

 
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Grave sighed. Looks like his idea of trying to reach the truth by association wasn't going to work. On the other hand, at least there was some kind of convenient item that'd solve his problem for him as long as he managed to locate and deliver it. And it was likely no coincidence that the Casino was the location he had pointed out to him by the Frog Princess. It was quite likely he'd find it here, given the "logic" of this place. Or should he say insanity? Sometimes, there was a method even to things like madness. Oh well, if he searched around he'd find it sooner or later.

Of course, sooner would be preferable seeing as he used up a lot of his time to get only this far. Cynder bit down a curse as he heard the bell chime, glancing around to take a look at the tower and see how much time had passed. He couldn't afford to waste any more of it. "Thank you for your help, and your advice." He bowed politely to the Frog Princess, conveying his gratitude. "I'm afraid I'll have to leave. Hopefully when we see each other again, I won't be in such a rush." It was time to leave. So much remained to be done.

Grave found himself pondering his next move. He really wanted the Jabberwocky resurrected swiftly so he could get what he needed from her, but he wasn't certain how much time he'd need to reach her lair. Plus, there was the matter of her being something of a terror, apparently. Hmm... A song could avert a disaster? Perhaps a visit to the Casino was in order. He didn't have much he could bet with, but who knows how that place worked in this land of insanity. At the very least, he could perhaps confirm whether a Forget-Me-Not was indeed available there.
 

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Time: 12:30 PM - 1st Day.

Grave would approach the casino to find that it had a line for admission. Apparently, the casino was a very popular past time for the goers of this wonderland. After walking inside, he'd find himself waiting for a bit... Before the doors to the casino would open to behold what appeared to be demons dressed as bunny girls tossing out a lamia, kappa, and cat girl without ceremony before welcoming in Grave and the other patrons waiting to enter...

(Music Used, Casino 7)

... To eventually behold the rather brasen voice of a girl shouting at the top of her lungs. "Who wants to test their luck!?" exclaimed a demon with white hair. Grave would behold the sight of the casino, an absolutely wild and wacky place full of but a few slot machines, and lots of other wild and unusual games, and there also seemed to be a roller coaster soaring through the building interior, the likes of which Grave had never seen as to him, it would look like a very dangerous and unusual train with small open beds that people sat in, screaming with joy and some fear as they were but one spectacle. Amidst their screams was a dwarf arguing with a harpy at a game booth. The object of the game was to seemingly win the argument against a rather obtuse bird and win ten times the amount you gambled. The harpy looked rather daft yet firm in her beliefs. "All ya have to do is not fly into the windows!" The dwarf would claim. "But I can't see them!" The harpy would reply, eventually making the dwarf run out of time and have to fork over more cash to try and beat the harpy. Across from that, at the center desk, a monster cat girl who seemed to retain more monster than girl was in the middle of handing out lottery tickets. She also seemed to be the reception desk.

She would spot Grave as he stepped inside. Unlike the other patrons, his eyes darting about caught her attention. "Young man." She called out. "You seem lost. This is an unusual place for someone unsure to be." She stated. "Though, perhaps that means you're in search of our latest grand prize?" she inquired, and likely would note enthusiasm on his part. Then, without a word, she'd point directly up to the obscene face-like statue, and the large strange orb filled with white fluid underneath it. "We've recently come across an unusual fluid that helps aid someone with returning their memories. The locals call it the Forget-Me-Not." she announced. "We've perfected and have been able to reproduce the formula. That might help with your confusion." she offered. "To get a bottle, all you have to do is purchase a lottery ticket and if your numbers are right, you'll win the prize!" she declared.

"The drawing happens at three in the morning. Most don't stay up that late, but since you're a mushroom man, we'll be sure to expect you~ Would you like to buy a ticket? If you don't have money, don't fret. One of those golden buttons on your vest shall do~ And since you have three, you'll be able to gamble for a total of 3 drawings!" She cheered for him. "Just pick five numbers between one and ten, and if your pattern matches the drawing, you win the prize!" she declared. And the odds of winning sounded abysmal with only 3 tries.
 
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Grave tapped his foot impatiently as he waited, not wanting to waste time on this. Still, he couldn't force his way in and he had to know if Forget-Me-Not was here. Thus he waited until the door finally opened to admit him and the others in line. He cast a glance at the trio that got tossed out, wondering if it was because they were out of money or due to causing trouble. Either way, the half-blood strode in only to stop as he got past the entrance. The sights inside were incredible: some kind of contraption that looked like the world's least safe vehicle, countless people riding it on a track that seemed utterly insane. Yet, they seemed to... Enjoy it? Shuddering, he decided to pay it no heed. Probably just another kind of local insanity. Still, even among less batshit attractions there were many games that simply escaped his understanding. Or just plain weird.

Sighing to himself, Grave began to move further in, briefly stopping to shake his head at the dwarf and her futile attempts to argue with the harpy. He couldn't help but chuckle a little to himself as he wondered who was the bigger fool: the simpleton, or the one who was paying for the opportunity to bash her head against the impenetrable wall of stupidity. As he kept looking around, a peculiar sight caught his eye: a mamono who seemed to be far closer to her monstrous side than others, standing out among all the women he had met like a sore thumb. And she was quick to notice him in turn, recognizing that he was in need of guidance. As she called out to him, Cynder approached her, listening to her words. And as soon as she revealed to him that the liquid he sought was indeed the grand prize, he did brighten up just as she expected him to. At last, something he sorely needed was close to where he needed it.

Unfortunately, it quickly turned out that getting the prize would be far more difficult than he had predicted. The half-blood attempted to run a quick calculation in his head, trying to determine how many possible results were available in this lottery. Only to frown, then grimace as he realized just how utterly insignificant his chances of victory were. Even with three tries, there was no way in Hell he'd be able to get the Forget-Me-Not. Unless the good look that had been nowhere to be seen in his childhood decided to make a comeback, and even with that Cynder seriously doubted he'd have anything approaching even halfway decent odds. He'd need to find another way of obtaining the precious liquid... Or a way to guarantee his victory. Still, how to predict a five-digit number like this? Actually, would that even be a number? She mentioned patterns and drawings. What could that mean?

"If I may... I'd like to ask a few questions about this game." Grave began, politely tipping his hat to the feline. "You've said that I need to choose five digits, so one would assume at this point that it's about drawing the winning number... Yet you speak of a drawing. When it comes to numbers, they're usually written, not drawn." He pointed out. "And you called it a pattern rather than a number. Given the nature of this land, I thus have to ask: is it really just about guessing the number, or might it be that even shapes made up of numbers are permitted? I apologize if this sounds rude, but I feel like relying on common sense too much around here might be one's downfall." He smiled apologetically. "And out of curiosity: has there ever been a person who won one of your lotteries? It seems like the chances are rather small if one were to simply try to guess."
 

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The feline chuckled at him. "I can see that you're the kind of boy that thinks too much. I can only wonder how much trouble that's gotten you into~" She cooed. "But, are you sure that you're thinking about common sense correctly? From what I can see, our sense is common, but you're the outlier. Perhaps you should indeed rely on common sense." she declared. "Actually, yes. A young girl that seemed to share your sense that you have in common. She won our latest prize this morning. The Vorpal Blade. Unfortunately that is no longer a prize, as there's only one. The legend behind the blade is that it's the only thing capable of killing the Jabberwocky. And wouldn't you know it, she's dead~" She chuckled. "Doesn't seem like anyone else has died though, so nothing to worry about it would seem. I presume she just wanted to test it. Though, you smell of Jabberwocky." Her little nose twitched. "A good Samaritan? What a nice boy, I'm sure she'd appreciate you putting her body back together. In her own way~" She cooed once more. "But to answer your question proper, I decide what numbers are drawn based on how we're feeling that day on a rating from one to ten. The first number is how I feel, the second is how Demonica, the girl at the front feels." She pointed to the girl he saw at the front. "The third is how the roulette bunny feels, the fourth is how the harpy feels, and the fifth is how our manager feels~ Of course, if you want a more predictable way to win, why not try to make us all a ten, boy~?" she cooed.
 
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"Please don't ask..." Grave groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose. What was he supposed to do but overthink? He didn't really understand people. Trying to guess at what they were thinking usually led him to imagining the worst case due to his own issues. He was too much of an asocial recluse to get them right most of the time. Honestly, the ones he probably understood the most - Club and Ziah - were both twisted in their own ways. It was kind of ironic: the more adjusted a person was, the harder it was for him to get in their head. And fitting in a society was a task he was ill prepared for. At best he figured he could just keep going and try to figure out enough to function well enough to do what he needed to. Not counting cases like his current predicament, of course, which was making him wonder how many deities he somehow managed to piss off.

Still, he was getting off track. The cat was gracious enough to tell him exactly how this little lottery worked, though the knowledge hardly made him feel any better. In fact, Grave found himself having to hide just how much he was screaming in his head behind a poker face. Five girls... The numbers depended on the moods of five different girls. There was no way he'd manage to please all of them, his luck with the fairer sex was just that. Luck. Sure, occasionally he did something right, but he stumbled around even more and were it not for both Club and Ziah clinging to him for their own reasons, he doubted he'd have been so successful. "I don't suppose simply asking what your mood is like is going to cut it?" The half-blood half-joked. No way it'd be that easy. "Also, who's the managed if you don't mind me asking? I don't think I've encountered her."

Though this was hardly the only thing that caught Cynder's interest. The mention of a knife-wielding, murderous girl that killed the mad dragon certainly got his attention. "I'm sorry, but are we talking about the same girl? Calls herself Alice, really creepy?" He described her briefly. "I've found her gutting a certain rabbit, so I think we can bump the number of victims to at least two." The young man pointed out. "And how did she even win this? I mean, I'm probably the last person to talk, but she doesn't strike me as the type that can raise someone's mood to ten all that readily." Grave said, sounding doubtful. Either he underestimated her, or she found some other method of winning this lottery. "...She didn't threaten the manager or something, did she?" Perhaps it was an unfair assumption to make. She still made him feel like he'd lose his life if he tried hanging around her, so he figured it was a valid question.
 
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The fluffy cat pawed at her face for a moment at his interest with the manager. "Why, Who is the manager? Who indeed.~" She said with a smile, before outright saying nothing more. Completely ignoring the topic.

When Grave inquired as to how Alice won the lottery, the cat girl replied simply, with a frown. "That girl is the avatar of misery and suffering. Through her acts, she made us all miserable. We all wrote 1. Who Ever was able to tolerate that; I'd salute them if I saw them. So, we just let her go with the Vorpal Blade. Alas-"

She tapped a paw on the counter. "Business, boy! Business! Gamble your gold, please~" She requested.
 
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Grave groaned. He honestly felt like bashing his head against the wall. It'd be slightly more productive that the figurative bashing he was engaging in now, considering it'd at least put him unconscious and grant him some reprieve. "What the Hell is up with everybody's love of enigma? Can't toss a stone without hitting some kind of secret these days." With the amount of shit people didn't mention to him despite the fact it was quite goddamn important and would be nice to know, he was rapidly getting fed up. At the very least the cat answered some of his questions. Alice's method of winning was more or less what he had expected of her. Where the Hatter managed to find someone this bad was beyond him.

As the girl urged him to start gambling, Cynder hesitated. He really needed the potion, but he honestly doubted his chances of winning the lottery. That kind of requirement... Gah. He was so bad at dealing with people, much less pleasing them. It just never quite clicked for him, understanding others that is. Still... He was just wasting time, standing here thinking about that. Time, time, time, so little of it and so much to do. At the very least, he ought to try something. "Well... Since you've said I'd need to figure out other's mood... Would the buttons work as a wager for that game, too?" The half-blood asked, pointing with his thumb to where the harpy was likely still ruining the dwarf. It seemed like a decent starting point. And he could call up Cheshire on his way there and ask her for advice if the other cat replied affirmatively.
 
Jan 1, 2009
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Cait laughed at his frustration, jovially. "Well, you certainly aren't meant for this place. Or just maybe, your madness means you very well are? Either way... Miss Ever is upstairs~" She said with a wide smile. About the buttons and the harpy. "For a button? It's too much. But too much is sufficient~"

Before he could even call her, the Cheshire Cat was appearing atop a youthful boy's head, her ass resting on his skull as he seemed blissfully unaware that she was sitting on him, left leg folded over her right and hands in her lap. "You thought?" She cooed with inquiry, almost sounding like she meant if 'you called', but seemingly enjoying the alternative.
 
Feb 6, 2009
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"This place is certainly driving me mad... Thanks for the info, though." Grave sighed, pinching the bride of his nose. So frustrating... He was completely out of his depth here. "I don't suppose there is an exchange of some kind available here?" He asked Caith. In the past, he had very little money and the idea of spending more than necessary to play did not sit well with him. Perhaps he was a bit of a miser, but it was a habit born of necessity.

As Cheshire showed up, Grave briefly debated the merits of pointing out that she was sitting on top of someone before deciding that there aren't any. It was shameless, sure, but shame seemed to be a wasted emotion on that particular crowd. Might as well just skip to the point. "Well, yes. I did." The half-blood said, approaching the Cat. "I feel I could use some advice here. I need that Forget-Me-Not, but I do not know any of the girls who decide the outcome of the game. And while getting to know them all and bringing their mood to a certain level seems to be the obvious solution, given my track record I can't help but doubt my chances. Got any advice worth sharing, about them or ways to win?"
 

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