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File: 1624843049463.jpg (63.31 KB, 850x499, Beatrice-guide.jpg) ImgOps Google iqdb

f603d No.93297[Last 50 Posts]

The last thread reached the bump limit unexpectedly quick. It falls to me to make a new thread for Impregnator Kings.

If you are only now catching up to the story, the last thread ended with Edward being poisoned and needing to enter a six month sleep in order to recover, maintained by Beatrice's magic. While dreaming, he has strange visions which may or may not be guided by a mysterious feminine voice.

**Please read the notes under this line. I often have to remind people and while I don't mind doing so, it does take up a comment or two in the post count.**

Please only vote once in each poll. Posting your reasons and persuasive arguments for why you made a choice and why it is the best choice is encouraged. It helps me understand more about reader expectations and what the audience wants to read. However, please do not post side-discussions or emotional reactions in the thread. For those, please use the latest chat thread, located here: https://pregchan.com/c/res/10693.html This will help keep down on the posts that count toward the post limit (and when I will have to make a new thread). It will also keep the atmosphere of the thread genial. I want every reader to be comfortable voting however they like.

For clarity, please write your vote: "Option 1/2/3" or "Write in:". Please make this the first line, and then write whatever commentary you would like. This is for my sake and makes it much easier to tabulate and calculate which option has won. Of course, I will still count every vote regardless, but it makes it a little easier for me.

Please also write out your full vote. Do not reply to another vote and say "I agree with this reply and vote for what they voted for." Please don't do this because there have been issues where a person will hate made a mistake in which reply they meant to click. Please be unambiguous with your vote.

For the record, write-ins are encouraged. If they are impossible because of a conflict of some character motivation or established facts about the world, I will note this and explain why it's impossible to the best of my ability and give the reader a chance to select a new option.

One last thing to note is no non-consensual sex scenes will be depicted in the story. It was decided to exclude these to maintain a positive tone throughout the story and will not be violated. For that matter, every character depicted in a sex scene is "of age." This means over 18.

Previous threads can be read on the web archive:

Thread #1: https://web.archive.org/web/20170619163636/http://pregchan.com/d/res/12251.html
Thread #2: https://web.archive.org/web/20170619123902/http://pregchan.com/d/res/14131.html
Thread #3: https://web.archive.org/web/20170619104842/http://pregchan.com/d/res/15553.html
Thread #4: (warning, it was on bbw-chan and the link has a defunct connection to some pop-up ad. Just refresh and it should go away.) http://web.archive.org/web/20160412094726/http://bbw-chan.net/elite/res/536.html
Thread #5: https://web.archive.org/web/20170619134833/http://pregchan.com/d/res/16909.html
Thread #6: https://web.archive.org/web/20180307043453/https://pregchan.com/d/res/24119.html
Thread #7: https://web.archive.org/web/20180930122947/https://pregchan.com/d/res/33943.html
Thread #8: http://web.archive.org/web/20190601012420/https://pregchan.com/d/res/48104.html
Thread #9: https://web.archive.org/web/20201013192858/https://pregchan.com/d/res/57807.html
Thread #10: https://web.archive.org/web/20210303103506/https://pregchan.com/d/res/79111.html
Thread #11: https://web.archive.org/web/20210517073757/https://pregchan.com/d/res/86445.html
Thread #12: https://web.archive.org/web/20210628010408/https://pregchan.com/d/res/90879.html (Or here until it 404s https://pregchan.com/d/res/90879.html)

You may also consider it interesting to read Witch of Fecundity, or as it was previous called, Impregnated Princess, located here: https://pregchan.com/d/res/92907.html Please note this story can probably be enjoyed by itself, but it was written with the assumption the reader has already read much of Impregnator Kings and is engaging with it knowing some setting details. Exactly what King Vlad's crusade was, for example, which is summarized quickly in Impregnated Princess rather than how it was revealed to Edward in Impregnator Kings.

On that note, the last post ended with a poll:

>3 votes for option one, let the fat aristocrats know their hypocrisy in no uncertain terms.

>6 votes for option two, reconcile, hug your father, and apologize.

Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.93299

… You're so very tired. What's the point of this fight? To scream more? To be shut out? Shut down? Will it get you more food to take to the peasants? You feel utterly helpless. Moreover… the sight of all three of your family members there bears down on you. Even the maid must simply be hoping this will be over.



You slowly spread your arms and accept the hug. Your father pulls you in, tight. You can hear your mother let out a sob of relief, and your brother a sigh.

"That's my good girl," says your father. "We love you, Mania. We promise you that we'll help you."

… W-Will they really? The peasants are suffering so much. They spend all their time working. They barely have leisure to do a simple thing as bathe–

Your father cuts you off. "I promise, Mania. But you must settle down, for now. Let us bring you some real food, let yourself bathe, and rest. You won't go out again, will you?"

…No, you won't. They don't need to do anything to shut you in anymore. You promise you won't.

"Good girl. You really must bathe. Your hair is a fright. As is the rest of you." He separates from you, laughing. He turns back to spare a glance at the maid. "See to it my daughter is bathed."

His tone to her rubs you the wrong way, but you stay silent. If… if these idiots want you to help the poor the 'right' way, you'll do that. It's all you can hope for.



You fucking hate all of them. Of course it was all bullshit. You feel filthier than you ever did sleeping with the peasants. Your hair has regained its shimmer, your body has regained its strength, and you're dressed as pretty as a young woman of your 'stature' can be made. And you hate it. Of course. Of course!! You had more pride and integrity when you were running through the mud.

Promising to help you give more charity meant you got to drop an extra coin in the Church's offering box.

You missed your chance. You've lost the burning outrage you had before. You let yourself be cowed by talk of 'God's plan' and idiot sentimentality for a family you didn't ask to be born to. But… that's okay. There's a way out.

You shut the door to the confession behind you.

"Tell me what sins you carry, my child," says the fucking tool.

…God has spoken to you, you say.

The priest jolts as if struck with a knife at your words. He turns and stares at you right through the tiny little grate separating the boxes.

"God did not speak to you. Child, God does not directly speak to anyone. Not even to His Holiness. To say such a thing… that's blasphemy."

You roll your eyes. You're not speaking the man's language. Okay, okay… you urge yourself to try a little harder.

Apologies, Father, you say. You did not mean to say that God literally spoke to you.

He lets out an audible sigh of relief.

…But, you continue to say: you have felt especially called to serve God. You want to dedicate your life in service to Him and in praise of Him. You want to become a nun.

He makes a little uncomfortable grunt. "That's not something one hears every day, but if you are genuine… let us discuss this afterward, with your parents."

Ah. You understand. A 'dowry,' for your marriage to God. Of course. You thank the Father. You want only to be heard, and tested, to show you are sincere.



Your parents were not happy, but you were prepared. You insisted and insisted and insisted. You made a show of being pious. You brought up the subject again and again. They couldn't stop taking you to visit the local chapel for the service. You had to the opportunity to continue to press the priest as well. Finally they gave in. You think you reached a tipping point where they decided it's better to just be rid of you than hope you'll calm down. Of course the Church demands a dowry. They're not happy that they have to give you up, in the form of being their tool for their political considerations, but that's not your problem.

It's not as easy as them shipping you off somewhere either. You have to genuinely enter study of the Church's teachings. It's… difficult. It almost makes you give up and tell them you made a mistake. But, you remind yourself: this is the only way.

The day comes when you are no longer a novice. You say your vows, and suddenly you are a real, full nun.

You're told by your elder nun that you will be sent to live on a convent in a very peaceful part of the countryside.You'll be expected to do embroidery and sewing of the clergy's robes and other apparel. Very easy, leisurely work, in deference to your upbringing and former status as an aristocrat.

… No. No, no, no, no, no.

You look the elder Sister right in the eyes.

Is there a part of the country, or even a part of the world, that's full of hungry, sick, and suffering people, you ask? You want to go there. You've heard the call, and it's calling you to help the most vulnerable of God's children.

She stares at you as if you're insane, but only for a moment. "As you wish, Sister Mania. Your dedication to charity is… a model to us all," she says

You smile, without teeth, keeping your lips tight. You thank her for the kind words.

… You're sent to a convent near a community that's full of sick and hungry people. It's in the mountains and the air is thin, the land is hard. They're dying and hungry because the nobles need their food. Naturally. You're the first one awake in the morning and the last one asleep. Your fellow Sisters look at you like you're crazy for how much work you do. You enter houses of disease to tend to the dying without hesitating, cleaning up all manner of humors. You gather excess food the convent makes and bring it to distribute to the community. The Sisters can't dare stop you, though it doesn't make you popular.

…Except with the peasants.

They treat your visits with awe and cries that Sister Mania has come. They openly weep when you appear. Not always in happiness, though. The older folk especially… they know a visit from you means they are dying. You smile for them and do your best to calm them, saving your tears for them until you're back at the convent.

One day a little boy with a broken leg you're tending to confesses.

The people in the village call you an angel.

…An angel?

You give a little chuckle, straining your face not to break out into tears.

You're no angel. You're nothing like an angel.

You tell the boy that's a beautiful sentiment, but you are merely a Sister who has dedicated her life to God. You tell him you'll be praying for his recovery, but God guided his children to follow the realities of Earth, as well. Try not to walk or lie on his leg. Don't test his strength. You'll visit again.

He smiles at you with all of his face, baring the gap on his gums where his baby teeth have fallen out.

…Hahaha…

An angel… was that something 'outside the order,' like your parents had told you so long ago? You have no idea.

At least, rumination won't get your work done. And you have much more of that to do. You apologize for needing to leave, and then carry the bloody rags you changed with you out of the peasant's hovel. You'll need to cover your hands in dust to hide the blood before you make your visit to the next needy person.

>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.

f603d No.93306

Well, that's… It's both a happy ending and horribly tragic.

Mania gets to personally integrate herself into a community. She has the resources of the Church, or at least her convent, to help her. And much like her as a witch, there's mixed feelings about her presence as well. She brings food, clothing, and care for the poor, but is also a reminder that they are poor. Even if they love her enough to think of her as an angel.

…Actually, there is one discrepancy that makes the entire affair bitter. This Mania is a complete and utter cynic. She doesn't believe in anything. She gives the Church only as much lip service as it needs to let her work how she chooses. She's still… so very lonely. She just doesn't have time to think about it. She's a far cry from the witch absolutely devoted to her Goddess. Who spends so much work and effort casting spells, creating sigils, and creating charms to appease the spirits.

"Does she trigger your preference for nuns in that form?"

Knowing her real feelings, no. You're more attracted to nuns for the innocent devotion and the 'forbidden fruit' quality. And also that you are showing a woman a gift of a child that she otherwise would never experience. You suppose this Mania would never become pregnant either, but it would be more for the sake of maintaining appearances than out of devotion of being 'married to God.' Not to mention seeing her do real dirty work of handling the peasants injuries and disease leaves you a bit squeamish. It hurts the 'purity' quality you cherish and adore.

…Should you ask how this guide knows about your obsession with nuns, of all things?

"I'm in a form where I can know many things. As I said before, I don't know futures that would happen based on pasts that did not occur. This entire conjuration is fantasy. It did not happen."

Who is she? You want a name, at least. The Witch of Time, or Space, or something? Or will she deny even being a witch?

"I can see that will weigh on your thoughts if I keep evading the question. I don't want that. I want you to simply observe what's there and share in this fun we're experiencing."

There is a long moment where you're simply alone with the abyss. Nothing surrounds you. There's nothing there. Then, her answer comes:

"I'm in a state of existence where I paradoxically no longer exist. You are somewhat similar at the moment. Don't worry, this isn't the afterlife. I'm not here to confirm or deny any existence of that. The difference is that I'm aware you will wake up and return to your life. I will not, and cannot. Ever."

Your experience with witches has helped you accept the otherworldly. It's in that state of mind that you easily follow and keep up with what she's saying.

She's dead, but not really 'dead'. She no longer exists. But part of her in this 'place' of wherever it is, continues to be able to… observe, for lack of a better word.

"That is correct. You're good at this. May I call you Edward, or would you prefer King?"

–You'd prefer King Edward.

"Very well, King Edward. In exchange, I'll tell you how I'd like you to call me."

"You may call me the name I had in my previous state of existence."

"Bernkastel."



You feel your mind go very tense. There's no body of yours to gasp or choke, but the calmness of your mental state has evaporated.

Bern…kastel? The Witch of Miracles?

"That is correct."

… The witch who caused the series of events that created the Pax Bernkastel. Who Beatrice personally killed, as well as her friend and rival Witch of Certainty, Lambdadelta. The former making the latter necessary because of how enraged and dangerous it made her. And you've been talking to her… that's been your partner? …Why? No, you'd rather not think.

Why is she keeping you here?

"I am not keeping you here. I am keeping you company."

What does she hope to show you with these… fantasies?

"It's not my particular interest to show or teach you anything. It is simply fun, that I hoped you would enjoy with me. Do you see any connection though? These have been choices either of them could have made. Yet, it would take a miracle for them to happen, because their pasts, backgrounds, mental states, physical condition, and any other factor you could choose to name had already irreversibly set them on the true course. And the life they could have possibly led is not real. They do not exist. It is a fantasy. In other words… the choice that would lead them away from what they've already done? That miracle will never happen. That is why I chose the mantle of Miracles."

Ah. So, that's Bernkastel's thinking. You can see the similarities to Erika and Truth. You can. You also remember Beatrice's description that Bernkastel was nothing compared to Erika, in terms of cruelty.

"An attribution some would find true, some would dispute, and some would disregard. You've heard Beatrice's assertion. You are free to make your own conclusion."

…All right.

Bernkastel isn't a threat to you?

"I am not. I have no interest in that. Even in the sense of torturing you with dark visions. If you think I'm trying to drive you insane with these revelations, you are wrong. The mind is not that fragile. I merely find these experiments fun."

Right. As far back as the Matchmaker's first interaction with you, all witches have been obsessed with 'fun'… why should that change? You also know how much Beatrice yearns to do her own… experiments.

"On that note, would you like to see what actually happened?"

With Mania?

"Yes."

–Is it a happy outcome? You don't want to see her pained.

"If I were to offer my opinion, it would be that she has a positive experience. In terms of her emotional state, certainly. –Though you may be surprised by details you were not told, or which were altered by memory over time."

Does this include her vision of her 'Goddess'?

You don't want to know that she was delirious and hallucinated. Perhaps from eating a bad mushroom, or just plain exhaustion.

"I didn't intend to show you that. Some realities are better as mysteries. Especially regarding whether any particular God, Goddess, or anything else may or may not exist. I'll repeat: you will not see that  You will see the confrontation with her family, her flight, and then where her travels take her as a new witch."

"…Hahahaha…"

Despite the fact you're so very alone and surrounded by nothing, that both of you lack cohesive form, there is definitely a… laugh. Merriment. Not a scathing laugh as Beatrice would make, but one of true amusement. It lasts for but a second before her voice reassumes that deep feminine timbre you've grown to recognize.

"Apologies. I find it amusing when an unascended adopts the title of witch."

…It's all right. You won't take offense on behalf of Mania.

You doubt this will be the last vision. Do you want to see what really happened to Mania? That's what you ask yourself.

Choice time:
>All right. You'll see it. Consent to Bernkastel showing you the reality of Mania's confrontation with her family.
>You'll pass on this one.

7c6d1 No.93307

>>93306
Option one. Last thing we want to do is offend Bernkastel. Let's let her have her fun.

e308a No.93309

>>93306
Option one.

Edward has fallen in love with Mania. Time we understand her better.

fae27 No.93310

Option 1.

91d6e No.93311

>>93306

Option one.

192d0 No.93313

Option 1.

d424b No.93322

Option 1.

f603d No.93327

>6 votes for option one, see the reality of Mania's life.

Let Bernkastel show you the next vision of Mania.

Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.93345

File: 1624966098077.jpg (163.74 KB, 900x1239, Mania-phases.jpg) ImgOps Google iqdb

Understand? Understand?!?

You advance toward your Father, not to hug him, but shove him. Hard. You actually knock him off-balance. Your guts are churning with anger and you can feel it flow through your entire body. You're going to rip apart every stupid illusion they cling to.

Are they all idiots?! Actually intellectually inept?! Do they enjoy telling themselves fables at night, or are they deluded enough to believe the shit that oozes out of their mouths??

How the fuck can he claim he's a grown man with eyes in his head when he can't see the servants aren't happy to be slaves, they're stark terrified?! How can he talk about the peasants happy to have the life literally stolen out of their bodies when their food is taken from them? Would he be happy to have leeches attached to his body, existing only to suck suck and suck away?? And calling it all 'God's will' is the stupidest fucking thing you've ever heard. If that's God's Will then God is a cruel fuck who wanted us all to suffer! Hell would exist, and this would be it!

Your mother hides her face and muffles her mewling. Your Father stares at you like he's torn between hitting you and merely clamping his hand over your mouth. Your Brother simply shakes his head and rolls his eyes.

And the maid… she knows you speak the truth. She's backing away, afraid of your words. And you know why. Because they're the truth. No one wants to know how powerless they are. Not even you.

…Aga!

You shout out the maid's name as you suddenly have an epiphany.

Aga, there's three aristocrats here, and how many dozens of servants, and surely dozens if not hundreds of peasants??

Go get everyone all together and tell them a simple truth! There's a lot more of them than there are aristocrats living here!

You all outnumber them! You can stop all the craziness!

Just get together, storm the house, and kill them!

Tear them apart, limb from limb!

They're guilty of enslaving you, stealing your food, and worse, calling it the natural order!

Your Father yells something and outright tries to tackle you, but at the last moment you snag a chair and place it between you and him.

No amount of weapons will hold back all of them! –Better yet, capture them alive, but make them work the fields!!

Your Father knows the chair is furniture, which is precious to him and his worthless existence, so he does not try to break it or throw it aside, but your words are becoming more dangerous than the loss of a chair.

Go, go now, Aga!

The entire room erupts into a shouting match as your father breaks through the chair with a kick and takes you with it, making you fall down to the floor on the carpet.

His hands come to seize you but your attention is only on Aga.



Of course, she only stands there. She's scooted back as far as she can to rest against the opposite wall.

–That's fine… Even with all the work you've done the last month, you'd have a hard time putting that plan into action too. Maybe someone will hear her talk about it and think it's a good idea…

There's hands on your neck as you lose consciousness.

… You wake in your bed. Your throat pains you.

Aga… is sitting there tending to you. She's placing cold rags on your neck, rotating them when they get warm. She realizes you're awake and gestures to a plate of bread and jug of water next to you.

"You went berserk, dear Mania," she says. Voice sad.

…Nah. You weren't in a frenzy. You simply got pissed off enough to start to think of viable goals for the shit situation they're all in.

You sit up and drink, but not eat. You're going for a walk, you say. She's free to eat your share.

She makes no resistance to you as you stand and then lurch toward the door.

… You discover you can't leave. The door is locked.

Moreover, there's voices behind it.

"…she's not herself… she's possessed… possessed by evil…"

Huh. You recognize that voice. You place your ear against the door and try to listen.

"…very ill… but she trusts Agitha."

"Why not…"

Sobbing.

"Is that really all we can do?"

"It won't work. Her soul… isn't suited."

"She's giving us no choice… don't cry darling… burn her…"

You recoil from the door, in horror.

You… you need to leave.

You go back to Aga and tell her you need to go. Will she truly not eat the bread?

"–It'll be taken from me and I'll be called a thief, dear Mania."

You rub your head in impotent anger. You will need some strength, you suppose.

If they ask, you flew away while your back was turned for one moment. You cursed her. You did whatever dirty underhanded thing she could think of to make her turn her back for one second.

You tear through bites of bread like you're a carnivore who's mistaken it for meat. You wash it down with water. Then… you go to the window.

Idiots. They put you back in your room, and you know how to fall. You wait for Aga to get in a position where she can claim she couldn't stop you, and then… you throw open the window, turn yourself around, and let yourself fall down into the dirt and mud below.

You'll be happier there.



You find a strange part of the forest. There's many stumps. Old, but cleanly cut. It's the work of a human. A mark of society.

Hehehe.

You're fortunate enough to have much to offer.

You follow them, soon finding the source. A cabin built from cut logs. It's small… solitary. You feel a kinship to whoever must be inside. Yes. Whoever you meet her is part of your destiny.

You stare at the building. You mustn't enter unless invited. The settlements you've been to before have told you so. Why should it be different for a solitary shack?

You stand there and wait. And you wait. And you wait. Your legs are burning. You're still staring directly at the cabin when the door opens. From the inside springs a grey-bearded man.

"Confound it, hag! Won't you move on?? I've been waiting for you to go away for the better part of two hours!!"

He brandishes an axe in his hand. You turn your head to look. Ah. It is no weapon meant for cutting people. It contains a spirit of craftsmanship. Your life is under no threat.

You introduce yourself to the man. You are a mere witch who wants to give him simple blessings. It is… destiny. The Goddess wills it.

He scoffs and yells at you. "Goddess? Where I live we honor one God and no other. Make yourself scarce, witch," he barks. He barks. He barks at you. You understand why he barks. He is alone. If he had even a dog, the dog would bark for him. But he has not even that, so he must do the barking for himself. The man needs your blessing. Even if it is refused.

You offer your blessings in the form of things that will make his time on this Earth easier, until, like all things, we become one with it.

You sling your best caught fish. Two pike, and a mighty salmon.

"…" The man simply stares at you as you take out your bounty. "You carry it around raw, witch? That's more than a man could eat before it will rot. What about yourself?"

Hehehe… he need not worry. You will subsist on perches. Breams. You thank only that the Goddess saw fit to deliver you to him so that you could bless him. You carry berries with you as well that he may take.

Indeed… You'll offer all you'll carry and more, if he'd take it.

You'll gladly have him cut your body if it would mean a well-oiled axe for him to use with the blood. That he roast your body over an open flame if no other meat could be found during a harsh winter.

"…"

You watch his eyes soften. He lowers his axe.

"You are crazy, and you are ignorant. One of which can be undone."

He lets his door swing open.

"Come in."

…Ehehe.

Yes. You found a one. You found a good man worthy of many blessings.

In exchange, he offers blessings to you.

He strokes a fire so you may warm your cold hands after you worked so hard fishing. He lets you sleep under the roof on his floorboards while he climbs upon his straw mattress.

Together, you cut firewood. A lot of firewood. And wood for carving.

The winter is coming, he's willing to let you stay.

The cold stings terribly. He bids you to go outside and expose your hands to the cold, then come inside to take it to the fire and reverse it properly so as not to cause lasting damage. You learn the careful balance needed.

The woodsman has a large store of dried and smoked meat, which he shares.

There is nothing else to do but do what the woodsman does, which is carve. He teaches you.

Neither of you have a name. He is 'sir,' you are 'hag'. How it should be. He never talks, except about how much he enjoys solitude. You repay the kindness and talk about the blessings you have received from him.

When the land thaws, that's when it's time for you to go.

Your knife and axe you may keep. It's been used by you so long, the spirits recognize it's yours.

He warns you to be safe and offer 'bargains' before blessings. Sadly… no.

That would be a human's action in society. Not an other's action outside of it.

You tell him instead the spirits will guide your hand, as well as his lesson.

He shakes his head, sighing.

"There's no cure for what you got. You'd best go before your incessant Goddess talk swindles my soul. Understand, hag? It's time for you to move on. And not the way you came… that-a-way."

He points a certain direction. He won't let you leave until you follow it.

Ah, a path for you…

Surely, this must be destiny.

>No choice yet, further update coming soon.

f603d No.93346

She didn't mention that. Supposing life would be better if her family was killed. If the peasants would revolt. And their words behind the door… surely you did hear them talk about her being possessed. Surely you did hear talk about her being ill. Surely you did hear the word 'burn'. But, it wasn't as Mania presented it to you, was it?

"No. They were discussing that they would send her to a nunnery as she was unfit for marriage. Her father suggested to his wife that they would 'burn her memory with the daughter they all loved into their minds'. The brother simply talked about how unsuitable she'd be for a nunnery with her disgust of the 'soul' as a concept."

You almost wish you hadn't seen it. It's not confirmation at all about Mania's Goddess, but it is confirmation that… her family, in their own way, was trying to do what they saw was best for her. Perhaps they were arrogant and dismissive, but they weren't going so far as to suggest she needed to be killed and burned at the stake. Or anything else.

"Does it alter your feelings for her?" she asks.

…No. For the same reason it didn't for Tharja. You didn't fall in love with the human Mania. You fell in love with the witch Mania.

"….Hahahaha!…"

She laughs yet again, before calming herself.

"Apologies. As I said. Unascended and the title of 'witch'."

Yes, you understand.

You let the nothing flow between you both.

…So, what's next, you ask?

"Anxious for it? I can become imaginative if you're feeling suggestive."

You wonder…

You recall your wife's words. Her ambiguous feelings about her father. Her wish that she could show him that witchcraft and witches weren't all bad. The King Vlad that slayed Promises Kept and his own father likely would never have been convinced. But the King Vlad who knelt eventually arranged whole deals with her. Accepted her witchcraft as part of his life.

What about an image where you do a startling thing: you stay with Daniella's original terms she made before accepting Beatrice's offer. A life with King Vlad still alive, preparing you to inherit. A life with Daniella and… the children you would have had with her. And whatever method you would have both used to make sure Tharja's witchcraft stayed hidden.

There's a long pause and you're not sure you're outright being ignored.

"I refuse, and I'll tell you why. I am interested in miracles, King Edward. Choices that were not choices. That could never have happened. In other words, you had the capacity to side with that witch-hunter that day. If you had done so, it would not be called a miracle, but simply you choosing the other side that appeared reasonable. For that reason, I will not concoct that image."

…You honestly ponder her words.

You've spent so many weeks living with Beatrice, learning about her and witchcraft, and getting to know Tharja's own feelings about magic, as well as the revelation that Erika exists… it's hard to say you were capable of embracing the witch-hunters looking back. But, you know she's right. You were honestly weighing both sides. You knew siding with Beatrice meant committing a murder: a line you had to cross. Not like a just execution. You hesitated. You decided in the end that you would cross it. That you would be able to embrace the burden of being King. –Though in retrospect, the politics of Ruhemania has proven to be difficult to navigate.

"If you'd like, I can show you another, different vision of something that could have happened that day."

Oh? She's thought of something?

"Indeed. …But I don't think you'll like it."

What is it, then?

"It'd spoil the fun to tell you. I'll simply warn you that you won't like it."

Not exactly fair, but you understand. Bernkastel isn't forcing you to see things.

Choice time:
>You're both bored, aren't you? Show it, whatever it is.
>Fine, leave the sleeping dog to lie.

f7ece No.93347

>>93346
Option one. First time we've had a chance to see something in our own life here. It's just a vision of what could have been. Call me morbidly curious, though I imagine it has more to do with Patchouli than Daniella.

d3056 No.93348

>>93346

Option one, another possibility to explore. This has been great so far.

fae27 No.93349

Option 1

08948 No.93350

Option 1

d424b No.93352

Option 1. A good king should never flinch away from the dark possibilities, even if the reality was something far different.

f603d No.93359

>5 votes for option one, just have her show it.

Have Bernkastel show the next vision.

Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.93360

It must be something about Beatrice just kicking you out or perhaps if you had confronted the matchmaker in the wrong way. Very well, you'll see it, you tell her.

"Try to keep yourself oriented."





Her advice turns out to be sound. You're aware of feeling dizzy, of moving in a way that makes you feel like you've been gutted like a pig. Indeed, you can hear something crying in the background. You feel the weight of carrying something in your hand, and then that weight is taken from you.

"Nooo!!"

The sound, feminine and frightened, strikes you to your core, but you don't turn toward it. Instead you look at who is directly in front of you.

… A woman.

A woman with a bloody, big machete.

"You've made a wide decision, Prince."

'Prince'…

–Oh no.

You look down and realize you've just handed Tharja's book to her.

Daniella's hand goes to her belt. She picks up a vial and splashes liquid on it, then drops it, both book and vial, to the floor. She spares Tharja a disgusted look.

"Burn."

You want to shove her. Stop her. She's threatening the love of your life. The innocent Tharja who you fell in love with. But you don't. Your arms are glued to your sides. Your feet rooted to the spot.

"Please, Edward, please!!"

Daniella takes up the torch from the side of the door, and only then can you move. But not toward Daniella. You can only turn back and look at Tharja.

Her anguished, uncomprehending face she's showing you after what you've done. It chills your bones and rips at your heart.

She doesn't beg or plead anything else, at least not vocally.

But her eyes scream with the pain and sadness of your betrayal.

Then, you hear kindling burning. You feel the heat of the book being lit. Taste the smoke.

–You saw this in King Vlad's memory. You don't want to see it again. Not to your wife!

But, you do.

You're terrified and fundamentally unnerved as Tharja, bled out and helpless… screams.

You move your hands up to muffle the cry, clasp them over your ears, but it doesn't stop you from seeing her body lie completely still.

… You become aware of Daniella breathing behind you, she pulls you out of the way of the burning smoke.

"I… misjudged you, Prince. You are no thrall, and never were." Her voice sounds relieved.

You would give anything to punch her. Make her feel pain. Make her scream, worse than you heard Tharja.

"I need to conceal the body. Please, proceed to the tower and wait. I will accompany you up to King Vlad's chambers. He will be very interested in what you observed."

Beatrice? Beatrice? Please come down and kill her. And then, you, as well. Please?

You turn your head up to the part of the library Beatrice was standing when this scene first played out. But, there is nothing there. She must have escaped when she realized you were going to hand over Tharja's book to Daniella.

"Prince?"

–It's nothing, you say. Actually, why don't you help her conceal the body? It will bring less suspicion on them both, you offer.

Daniella ponders this, then nods. "We will simply move it to her quarters, for now."

You watch Daniella move over to Tharja's body and start violating her body as she searches her clothes until she finds the key to the room. She shows no compassion. No consideration. Tharja may as well be a dead animal carcass.

And you act much the same as you take hold of her feet and help Daniella lift it, until you're able to get it into Tharja's room. You don't even respectfully leave it on the bed as if she were sleeping; you dump her body face down on the floor.

"Let us go together. The guards will give us no trouble."

…Yes. You wouldn't expect them to.

>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.

f603d No.93376

You expect the vision to end.

No.

You go with Daniella, stopping only to take a lit candle and clean yourself free from the blood, Tharja's blood.

You go to King Vlad's tower. At first, the guards move to stop you, even as they step aside for Daniella, but she rebukes them.

"The Prince is with me."

They step aside without a word. Daniella didn't even glance at them. You're reminded just how much subtle power Daniella had.

Your legs are heavy as you climb the tower steps. Couldn't you fall? This could be a vision where you fall. You don't.

You reach King Vlad's door, hearing Daniella tell the guards to stand aside.

You're inside King Vlad's personal chambers, which became your own room. Daniella lights a candle with her own.

You see King Vlad's sleeping visage. Your hopes that he may have passed on are dashed as Daniella gently rouses him.

He sits up, taking but a few moments to become oriented.

"Your Majesty. I have found a witch. She has been killed. Her book destroyed. I have yet to burn every trace, but it is a situation I will soon rectify."

"…" King Vlad, for the briefest of moments, takes a melancholy look. Though it may simply be that he's been awoken so suddenly before sunrise. "Tell me more."

Daniella does so.

Tharja was a witch. She had a book. She died when the book was burned. There is no room for doubt or other need for any consideration. Furthermore, she has a witness:

You.

"Is what Daniella says true, Prince Edward?" he asks.

…Yes. You only knew since last night. You weren't aware of the full implications until Daniella attacked the witch.

"…" He nods. Then looks to Daniella. "And Prince Edward is not a thrall?" he asks.

Daniella hesitates before replying. "I had my doubts at first, Your Majesty. However, the Prince was instrumental to the destruction of the witch. He is no thrall. He deserves praise, and if I may be so bold, a reward."

You want to vomit. Please don't let yourself be rewarded for this. Not for this. Not for the despicable awfulness of enabling Tharja's death.

King Vlad nods. "Leave me with the Prince, Daniella. See to it that all of the witch's things are burned. Leave no trace. Spread the word that Tharja's name is never to be mentioned, ever again."

You turn back and look at Daniella. You see a smug, satisfied smirk on her face.

It does not flatter her features.

"With pleasure," she says, darkly. Then, she turns and exits the room. You're left alone with King Vlad and your deadening horror.

King Vlad looks at you as the candlelight dances across the room. "…I must give you my personal thanks, Sir Edward," he says.

…Oh.

Yes. Yes, you understand.

He nods. "Good. I'm glad I don't need to explain that I can't keep you as my heir."

… Yes. As went Tharja, so went your hope to inherit Ruhemania. There will be no saving it from King Vlad's rule.

"I will offer you more than my thanks, however, Sir Edward. You will have your choice of reward."

He's too kind, Your Majesty, you say. You barely understood what you were doing. At least that is true.

"Regardless, you've impressed Daniella. That is a noteworthy achievement. If she believed you were a thrall, I would have no choice but to sentence you to the stake."



"As it is, I will grant you a boon, if you would take it. It is something unprecedented. That I have never done before." He sighs. "I will grant you a duchy, and all counties therein. You'll be landed nobility. You will have me as your liege, and later my heir. You may also have your pick of which duchy specifically you would have, excepting Transylvia. Ricardo will give you all details necessary to make your choice. I will also see to it you are trained to properly bear the responsibility."

…That's very generous, you say. What if you would rather not accept, you ask?

"I will see with all due haste that you are returned to your native Virilia. I'm sure a man with your pedigree will have no problem finding a new bride, in a new land."

You thank him for the note of confidence.

Meanwhile, guilt stirs in your gut at the implication. If it weren't for Tharja you would still be sterile. You only just remedied that. It was only right after that Daniella chose to strike.

…You tell King Vlad your heart does yearn for Virilia, but the journey to Ruhemania was… perilous.

He nods. "Understood. I will not have you escorted by mercenaries this time. You will have a comfortable passage through a series of commissioned carriages. Your journey will be hastened and much more comfortable."

Hahahaha. There it is. There's the confirmation for what Robin told you. The mercenaries were completely unnecessary.

"Those are the two choices I will offer you, Sir Edward. Which will you decide?"

Well.

King Vlad's offering you a boon.

You'd better take it!

Choice time:
>Accept the duchy.
>You want to go home. Go back to Virilia.
>You want a new wife. Is Daniella available?

8d1ce No.93377

>>93376
Option two. A Ruhemania without Tharja isn't a Ruhemania I want to stay in.

69021 No.93378

Option two. Rule under Vlad would be a reminder of what we did, and we would have limited control to boot.

d3056 No.93379

>>93376

Assuming how relatively short these side visions last, I’d like to see the worst possible outcome as we may never see a dark possibility like this - the first witch hunter baby after so many years.

I’d like to see Daniella and the world of witch hunters. Their heritage, history, and existence with Ruhenmania. Daniella mentioned wanting a heir before, so let’s explore that before we move onto another alternate route.

Option 3

26840 No.93381

>>93376
I want to see what Witch-Hunter Edward looks like. Option 3.

76ea4 No.93382

option 3 as well

9ba34 No.93386

To blatantly attempt to sway votes here, let's think about what option 3 represents. One, it abandons part of what Edward set out to do from the very beginning- be a ruler. We're suggesting swearing fealty to Vlad and becoming his weapon by marrying Daniella- a commoner servant who just murdered our wife, who we loved. But BD, you say, it's just a vision, just to see that darkest possible path. Let's think about what that might say to Bernkastel. "Oh, so in this impossible scenario you were okay with turning your back on witches who just helped you regain something absurdly precious to you? That's how King Edward repays favors owed?" Even if she has absolutely no power over us outside of these visions, if she's our only companion for this six month coma I don't think I want her ill with us.

4c239 No.93387

Option 2. To stay in Ruhemania without Tharja is pointless to Edward's goals. Also wasn't it discovered that Daniella's husband was dead after she was defeated by Edward, Tharja, and Beatrice? Until then he was either considered on a mission or MIA.

c5645 No.93390

Option 2

0ab1c No.93392

>>93376
Option 2

92765 No.93394

Option 1.

Very hard decision between Option 1 and 2. If I understood Vlad correctly Edward would become King upon Vlad's death as he is the only other landed nobility. Plus I find something about the tragedy of not moving on to be oddly appealing; something I fear may be possible if he returns home.

f603d No.93395

>>93394
Edward will not become King on Vlad's death in this situation. He will become a vassal to whoever Vlad's heir is. Vlad has not told Edward who that will be, but Edward as himself knows it will (probably) be Ricardo.

Vlad specifically said Edward will no longer be his heir. Edward could perhaps be a vassal under Vlad and still be his heir, but since he specifically said he won't be his heir, Edward in context of the vision knows he won't be.

As for being the only landed nobility, Edward might think this could lead to a succession crisis where he could make a power grab, but King Vlad is basically the authority and could theoretically just designate whoever he likes as his heir. Edward no longer has any claim to the throne through his marriage to Tharja.

Please continue to vote.

92765 No.93397

>>93395
Thank you for the clarification, I see now where I misread. I'll keep my vote for only the 2nd reason then.

0f423 No.93398

>>93376
Option three.

b08d3 No.93399

>>93360
Option 3
This vision of Edward, is not our Edward. Bernkastel has even said that these visions are not meant to show or teach anything. It's just for the fun of it. It is a vision of an event that has never happened and will never happen. Just only what could have happened. I don't believe that she will hold any ill will towards us for a decision that we never made. thus, I see no harm in indulging the extreme choice and seeing a future that will never be.

cc44f No.93401

>>93376
Option one. First the power, then the bitches.

0cfa2 No.93402

option three

f603d No.93404

>2 votes for option one, accept the duchy, become King Vlad's vassal.
>5 votes for option two, leave Virilia behind.
>6 votes for option three, ask for Daniella's hand.

Ask King Vlad if you may marry Daniella.

Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.93410

File: 1625053414202.jpeg (365.32 KB, 500x1000, Daniella-vulnerable.jpeg) ImgOps Google iqdb

If you're stranded and walking through the winter snow dying of the cold, you may as well jump in the river.

You tell King Vlad you have a different idea in mind. Daniella… you've grown very fond of her. You want her hand in marriage.

"…"

He turns to look at you, like you've gone crazy. You're certain you have. You're not sure how much of you is influencing the vision or is the vision.

"Sir Edward, Daniella is a commoner. Furthermore, she is a witch-hunter. Do you know what that means…?"

No, but given her actions tonight, you don't think you need it formally explained.

You saw the witch but were too paralyzed to do anything. You thought something called 'love' would conquer any obstacle. You've been wrong. Daniella has shown you through her decisive actions that you were wrong. You don't care that she's a commoner. She's… she's special.

"…" King Vlad looks at you shrewdly. As if he is deciding whether you are crazy, or have some ulterior motive. "It is really for her to decide. But she will not be interested in marrying someone who is not a witch-hunter. Can you understand that, Sir Edward? Are you willing to throw away everything you know for the sake of killing women like my daughter?"

…Actually. You know of at least two more witches who exist, you say.

King Vlad's eyes widen in shock.

"What did you say?!" he practically shouts the words for how even and controlled he normally talks.

There are two witches who still exist. At least.

One is named Beatrice. She lives within walking distance of the castle. The other, you don't know where she lives, but likely outside Ruhemania.

All the fierce emotion leaves King Vlad's face. Replaced by… fear. You think you've revealed the one thing that could possibly unnerve the man.

But it is a mere split-second before he regains his composure.

"How can I believe what you say?? Did you tell Daniella?"

–You admit, in the pandemonium that was Tharja's death, you didn't. But Beatrice was in the castle.

King Vlad stares at you with balled fists and gritted teeth. At least what teeth he has.

"What you say is impossible! Where?!"

Through a swamp. Uninhabitable. She does not bother humans or know anything about 'mortal' affairs. She's isolated herself completely. If you weren't sure of where to go, you never would have gone there. She lives in a great mansion. She had Goat-Butlers as pets. She told you of something called the Pax Bernkastel which keeps witches apart.

King Vlad raises his hand.

"Stop. You will remain here, Edward. Daniella will bring me my breakfast when she is done. You will be present. You will discuss absolutely everything!"



Daniella does rejoin you both after some time. You reveal every secret you can. Not just about Beatrice, but about the matchmaker as well. You even confess to having your balls cursed with sterility and having that curse lifted. How The Witch of Knowledge had another woman in a maid costume spirit her away. How Beatrice must have slinked away when Daniella and your attention was divided.

"I see… so that is why you cooperated with my daughter. To save your manhood. Had you even proof?"

Yes, you did cooperate because of that. You thought it all too plausible. Your suspicions were right. At the very least, it is reversed. You'll be happy to prove it, in time.

He looks you up and down, then turns to his maid.

"Daniella, your thoughts?" he asks.

Daniella looks you right in the eye.

"…I still say he is not a thrall. He did not ally himself with witches, he merely was caught up with them. He's a victim, not a betrayer."

King Vlad looks at you, then nods.

"This changes everything. A witch knowing about the castle. Seeing Daniella…"

"If she is so isolated, she may not realize her friends have been killed. Or that you have the resources to pursue her, Your Majesty."

Daniella explains to you the true history of Ruhemania. How every witch is dead. How King Vlad's unification war was meant to save Ruhemania from their scourge. Since then, they'd only passively maintained the present order. It has been assumed all of the previously existing witches from before that time were killed… until now.

Meanwhile, King Vlad spends the time Daniella explains the history to you thinking… then nods. "We can still attack. Attack actively. But we will need to prepare for years. And I may be dead by then."

A map has been prepared for you. You narrow down where Beatrice must live.

"If the witch is clever, she will be working nonstop to set up defenses. She will never allow anyone to simply walk through the door again."

Witches are capable of terrible traps and all sorts of magical abominations. Attacking with one person will always fail. Daniella therefore is forbidden to attack. A team will be needed. The problem is that one doesn't exist.

"But in perhaps as few as two decades, it can. Daniella. It's time to sacrifice your body."

Daniella will abandon her role as castle maid. She will become castle nanny, in charge of the nursery.

The communal nursery, which you will fill.

King Vlad will replace every maid with young women of age. Attractive women. Attract female soldiers as well. As many fertile women can be hired for every suitable position that can be filled.

Assuming your curse is truly gone, you will impregnate all of them. Including Daniella.

Daniella will mother all of them and raise them to be witch-hunters.

As for your official role, at the castle…

"You will remain my heir. I will teach you personally, not just to manage the castle and politics, but how to manage the pursuit of witches. I will find a suitable noble for you to wed. You will become King, Edward. If I truly judge you worthy and ready, I will even abdicate."

That's… a very great honor, you tell him. But may you interject with your first request? You want Daniella's hand.

"…" Having heard that question from your lips for the first time, Daniella turns to you, shocked. "Prince, I'm married," she reveals.

"No, she isn't." King Vlad sighs. "Simon has passed on, Daniella. I've tried to allow you hope, but we know now a witch exists and is a threat. We must abandon sentimentality."

There's a faint twist at the edges of her lips. "It's as you say, Your Majesty."

"… But Edward, be reasonable. You cannot be my heir, and eventual King, and have Daniella as your wife. Even if I were to falsify some document that 'proved' she was an aristocrat, she will need to raise the children in the 'art' of witch-hunting."

–Yet it's something like out of a fable, is it not? A King and commoner, divided by class… She can fulfill those duties in secret. A ruse that she loves children so much she wants to be a mother to all of Ruhemania, or some such thing. Is it even a falsity? If it's for the sake of pursuing the witch…

Daniella continues to stare at you. "Prince, are you really that infatuated? With me?"

…You reach your hand down to hers, take it, and lift it to your lips as you bend down toward her. You plant a gentle kiss to the back of her hand, then her knuckles. Her hands are a bit dusty, but you pay no attention to that.

You are, you say. You didn't know how to approach her. You didn't know what you'd done that'd soured her to you. What had given her such a bad first impression. You just knew you wanted to make up for it, whatever it was. Perhaps that's why you gave her Tharja's book, then.

"…" Daniella begins to blush. "I… I admit, I judged you far too quickly. I simply didn't see how a man like you could replace His Majesty."

It's all right. Nothing and no one can ever replace His Majesty. Neither did you want to outright replace him. You wanted to learn from him. Earn his trust. –Through devotion to Tharja. You see now that was an effort misplaced.

Daniella emits a small gasp. You can see her pupils dilating.

You're still holding her hand. Her heart is beating faster as well.

King Vlad, meanwhile, emits a soft sigh.

"Edward… are you truly insisting on outright marriage to Daniella? She killed your wife with that hand you hold. My daughter."

–Yes, she did. But you understand why she did. She had no choice. Tharja was already damned. Before you even stepped foot inside Ruhemania. That's why you can't hold it against her.

You lift and guide Daniella's hand to touch your face.

You'll admit it. You're enamored with her. You want to restart your relationship with her. As equals who understand the danger of witchcraft. You know you cannot lower yourself to be a commoner… which is why you'd rather raise her up. She's… precious.

"…" Daniella stares at your face and right into your eyes. Your charm is clearly working its magic. You're not sure if anyone has ever talked to her like this before. –No, you're sure they haven't. Even her husband, if he was also a witch-hunter.

King Vlad shakes his head again.

"Sweet words, but answer my straightforward question, Edward. Are you insisting on a royal marriage to Daniella? You absolutely won't be satisfied with her as your mistress?"

Daniella looks at you with vulnerable eyes. You can tell she wants to speak, but can't work up the nerve.

You'll have to speak for her.

Choice time:
>Yes. Daniella must be your wife, with you as Prince and heir to the Ruhemanian throne. She can still be in charge of the castle 'nursery' and guide the future witch-hunters in her role as princess and later, perhaps, Queen.
>…If King Vlad denies you this privilege, you must carry on.

94399 No.93411

>>93410
Option 2.
Figured Vlad would say something like that. Gotta say, you're writing this particular vision exceedingly effectively, Aristo, because seeing them talk about Tharja like that hurts.

61d45 No.93413

>>93410
Option two.

Knocking up Daniella is enough for me. Marriage isn't necessary.

fae27 No.93414

Option 2.

Or whatever ends this nightmare as quickly as possible.

I go to sleep and y'all decide to marry this bitch? You're better than this.

d3056 No.93415

>>93410

It makes sense, having Daniella on paper is dentrimental to Edward’s existing position despite how he feels about her, as she is a commoner. Putting her on the spotlight as an official noblewoman of Ruhenmania will also make her an open target to other witches.

She also works much better in the shadows anyways, helping breed our ‘army’ of witch hunters.

As poetic irony, Edward will show his affection to Daniella by doing the exact opposite of how he treats current Tharja’s relationship in actual history - secret love.

Option two

ac8ab No.93430

>>93410
Option 2

5b0a9 No.93435

>>93410
Can I offer a write in? Ask Daniella what SHE wants. If she wants to be nobility, then insist. If not, let her continue from the shadows, as the premiere mistress of our harem.

d3056 No.93436

>>93435

If this write in is accepted, I’m switching to this.

f603d No.93437

>>93435
This is pretty much covered, so I'm counting it as option two.

>6 votes for option two, don't insist on a wedding.


Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.93439

…If it's King Vlad's wish, you understand. You must put the situation before anything else.

King Vlad nods. "Good, you understand. It will take time to find a suitable woman–"

Daniella, with your hand still on her cheek, suddenly breaks into tears.

You've never seen her do that. Even King Vlad is shocked and stops talking.

"…" Daniella turns her head, trying to muffle her sobs, but it clearly pains her heart, her chest rising and falling with sobs. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry!"

She wipes her face clean, then raises her hand to take yours.

"Edward, you did nothing wrong. I'm the one who gave you the terrible first impression."

"I knew Tharja was a witch. I knew it in my bones. I couldn't think of anything else."

"And knowing the true history of Ruhemania, I saw you… I saw a future you that would be her thrall."

"I was wrong. I was completely and utterly wrong about you! You… you're a true nobleman, as a noble should be. I didn't care if you hated me. In fact, I thought it better you did. I needed… I needed my heart to be hard as steel. Cold as ice. At least until the witch was dead."

Her breathing becomes rapid as she inhales and exhales. Getting so many emotions out at once.

"And… I do want children. I've wanted a happy family life…"

…You understand, you say. You stroke Daniella's hands with your fingers. She's a witch-hunter. It's how she was raised. It's how she was trained. But she's also a woman.

"…" She gives a soft little nod.

You can't help but feel your own eyes misting. It was true. Daniella caused you… frustration. More than once. You just didn't know why. Now that you do… it's as if those feelings have evaporated.

… She spoke of you as a true gentleman. Are you the type of man she would like as a husband?

Daniella takes a deep breath, holds it, then meets your eyes with your own. She nods, again. Even now, she can't help but try to bottle down her excess emotions.

King Vlad meanwhile is watching your mutual exchange with some amount of resignation. After Daniella nods, he gives a faint sigh.

"There have been times in the past where witches have targeted my family. Do you both understand?"

Doesn't this make perfect sense, then? Daniella is a witch-hunter. She won't be targeted. Your children together… they will be ready.

He turns to Daniella next.

"Daniella, consider your feelings. I am keeping Edward here to be a stud. The price is the Kingdom. The castle will be full of women with swollen bellies containing his bastards. You are satisfied with this?"

Daniella can't take her eyes off of yours, she smiles.

"If I'm one of them… one of the mothers of his children… that's all I need."

"…" Finally King Vlad makes a groan and an exasperated 'pah'. "I will need to get Ricardo at work falsifying documents. I will need to prepare to greet the local priest with enough promises to 'grease the wheels,' so to speak. But… it will be done."

Daniella will be the distant scion of some noble family with claims to the neighboring duchy. You will both be wed. She'll be both your vassal and wife. Your children together will not be witch-hunters, but taught to inherit the full Kingdom. Daniella will train the children you sire with all the maids, and female soldiers, to be witch-hunters. They will be assigned to pursue the witch Beatrice. They may not come back. In fact, you need to be emotionally prepared for the fact that only some or none at all will come back, and ready to send yet more until they finally report the witch is dead.

…You understand. You're pained at the thought, but you understand.

"All right. Then we have a deal. I will make arrangements for a lavish marriage ceremony for you both. Daniella will need to be re-introduced as being of noble blood."

–Hahahaha.

"Until then, Edward, you're married. I will order you to please consummate your marriage, immediately."

You look at Daniella's blushing, embarrassed face. How she looks down, shyly.

Choice time:
>With pleasure. Take Daniella back to your room and impregnate her.
>Enough, Bernkastel! Stop this vision already!

8d1ce No.93440

>>93439
Option two.
I'm sorry, I know there are people looking forward to this, but this vision is too much for me. I don't like this, I don't want to see any more of it.

d3056 No.93442

>>93439

Option one, I intend to see this through and how this will end. Backing down now means we might never see the final outcome of where this dark road will end.

db2bd No.93443

Option two
>>93440 I agree with you, BD. Again, I liken this to Undertale Genocide. Even if this is only a dream-ish state, I feel as if we've betrayed Tharja and all that happened afterwards. I've seen more than enough.

9a8db No.93446

Option one, please.

26840 No.93454

>>93439
Option 1. We've gotten this far, I want to see the end of this tale.

fae27 No.93460

I hate everything about this, but I'm not going to take this away from the other readers that are really looking forward to this.

Option 1.

Return the favor for some of us in the future, yeah?

88a54 No.93461

Option 1.

All of this was quite unexpected but at this point I want to see it through as well.

9b2f1 No.93462

>>93439
option 1.
I don't believe people will ever ask for anything Daniella related ever again after this.

f91be No.93466

>>93439
Option one.

>>93460
Remind me, when some choice is particularly important to you.

f603d No.93493

>7 votes for option one, take Daniella and impregnate her.
>2 votes for option two, wake up.

Take Daniella to your room and impregnate her.

Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.93548

…You reach out with your hand. You touch Daniella's face and gently guide her to look at you.

If Daniella wishes it, you'll gladly do so. But if and only if.

"…"

She exhales, then, trembling, moves to hug you. Gently reaching out to you. She's… dusty.

You take her in your arms and gentle embrace.

"I… I would rather bathe first, Edward. But, yes. I'll head there quickly."

You nod. It may be for the best that you freshen up as well.

You both turn to take your leave of King Vlad, you kneel to the ground, Daniella gives him a short bow.

"…Edward, remain a minute," says King Vlad, right before you were to part. Daniella tilts her head, but then leaves the room without questioning it.

The doors shut and you are trapped alone with King Vlad, and a bowl of soup.

"I have another job for you, Edward. One you will likely not complete in my lifetime."

King Vlad did not sire a witch. Something made her that way. Find it.

You report that she mentioned a ritual and a book… but that's all you know.

"…" He nods. "You may become the best sort of heir I could have hoped for, Edward.  Never did I think my heir would need to know about witches." He takes in a breath and heaves out a sigh. "And never did I think witches would find a way to steal the last of my family."

… For perhaps the first time, your heart truly aches for King Vlad's plight.

Losing all of his previous family, then his son and heir to an accident… and his daughter.

…You can't help but voice a question.

Has it been worth it, you ask?

He closes his eyes.

"Everything I've done, I've done for my Kingdom. For stability. For the peasantry… for decency and rejection of evil. There has simply been no other way. And when it is your Kingdom, you will find it must become your way, as well. There are dangers that go beyond witches… but at least they end. They pass. Like a season to another season. A witch is eternal and will be a blight forever unless removed." He trails off. "But there is time for talk of that later. Go. And be soft with her. Daniella has very little experience with sentimentality, and her new role as wife and eventual mother will demand it."

… You nod. You thank His Majesty for the insight. But, you'd rather die than hurt Daniella.

You excuse yourself and depart the tower. You'll wash at least your face arms, legs, and crotch.

>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.

f603d No.93599

You're not surprised to find that you're the first to reach your room. You wonder if you should wait inside or outside. You finally decide on outside. It's more a symbolic step to cross over the threshold together.

You wait… and wait…

Finally you see her approach. You can't help but feel an eerie sense of premonition at the sight: the bride marching down the path to the altar.

She does indeed look very nice. You lean closer and note she also smells nicer. Did she take her time, you ask?

"I needed to settle accounts, Edward."

She's made it clear to the maids that you are going to be having 'dalliances'. If that makes life difficult, too bad. If she suspects or hears a maid is being punished because she slept with you, she will take disciplinary action.

…Oh. Elizabeth.

Daniella nods. "Yes, she will have no more trouble. But don't let her shirk too many duties. Her sister is competent, and very aware of what her sister is doing."

…Hahaha.

You feel like crying. It was true after all. One word from Daniella and Elizabeth was safe. At least until the entire affair is made irrelevant and King Vlad has the maids replaced.

You hold Daniella's hand and tell her she has a kind heart, to do that for her.

"…" She nods. "She was not in the best situation, Edward. But, it's over."

Well.

You push open your door and, symbolically, both step over into the room together. You'll save carrying her for the ceremony.

You start to put your things aside. Your swords, your belt…

…That's odd. Your swords have both broken in two.

"Edward… come here with me," Daniella begs, voice vulnerable.

You turn back, tilting your head. What is it, you ask? You look and see she has something in her hand. It's… a bottle?

"…" She holds it up for your inspection. A small glass jar with a cork plug. Inside is… something. You squint trying to make it out.

"This was a keepsake, from my husband. A tuft of his hair, to hold to my heart and remember him," she explains. Her breathing is slow. "I…" She sniffs, holding in sobs, her eyes glossy. "It's time for me to let him go."

… Your eyes meet hers, full of emotion. You almost want to tell her she doesn't have to. You have no jealousy for her husband who's left her a widow. But in the end, you say nothing. This is her choice.

–Would she like you to turn away, you ask?

"…" She shakes her head no. "I want you to see it, that moment. When I can fully dedicate my heart to yours."

Aha…

You smile, but it's bittersweet. You tell her you'll stand back for it. She nods.

The window is just tall enough to be a bit awkward to reach. She borrows the chair, takes off her shoes, and then stands on the wood, until she's able to reach her hands to the edge.

You hear the sound of the cork being pulled out.

You watch Daniella's deft fingers reach and snag the tuft of long blonde hair. and then…

"…Goodbye, Simon. My love…"

Then, she unfurls the string holding it together and the strands fall away. Impossible to find again.

… Your heart burns. You've had to experience the same this terrible morning. But you know you can both rekindle your love, with each other.

Daniella flexes her fingers, inspecting them as if to see that every last strand has left her body, then climbs down.

Your arms find her and you hold her. The sudden display of intimacy from you is enough to squeeze tears from her eyes and she holds you back as her thin body heaves with soft sobs.

Until finally, she stops, with a soft sigh.

"Ah… taking off my clothes is a ritual, Edward… You can watch or turn away."

You'll watch. Whatever she's planning on doing next, you don't want to hide anything from each other anymore.

>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.

f603d No.93643

Daniella takes off her jacket. Her vest. Her apron. The ties around her neck. Her necklace.

Each part reveals more of her.

The decorative parts of her clothes are actually stiff and lined with leather and metal and even chain. The necklace is longer than it appears, and can be stretched into a long garrote wire used for strangulation. Her apron hides tools that could all be weapons. Throwing, stabbing, cutting, snipping, gouging.

But…

The true reveal is her body.

Her lithe body has a hard definition all around. Any idea she was a waif beneath that uniform is utterly dispelled. You could honestly never tell because practically every bit of skin except her hands and her face had always been covered. Her shoulders padded so the uniform stayed tight without hugging her skin. You stare, fascinated. Except for her breasts, which are small and modest, she doesn't have one bit of fat on her. Still, her body is lean, not bulky. Her arms have visible veins. Her abdomen has a real definition of its muscles.

Daniella sees your look and turns her face away.

"Does my real form disgust you?"

…No, it's not that. You just… had no idea. Is this a result of preparing for a confrontation with a witch?

Her attention perked by your mention of her hated enemy, she nods. "Yes. All of this is to give me just the slightest bit of a better advantage if I were ever to fight a witch."

…Somehow it strikes you as tragic. You step closer and reach up to brush… her hair.

Is it all worth it, you ask?

"…" She speaks with a soft, distant voice. "Witchcraft is an abomination in the eyes of God. Witches are a plague. They deserve nothing, but death and oblivion."

Ah… you see. This is the sort of person a witch-hunter must let themselves become to pursue witches. To, as King Vlad said, reject evil.

You reach your hands down around her waist and hug her, touching her back. –It's hard.

For now, you want her not as a witch-hunter, but as your wife. Is that all right?

"…"

Daniella goes tense in your arms. She shudders in fear.

"But… if a witch were to come…"

It won't. Not now. Just relax. Breathe. She's not the only one who can fight a witch, is she? She carries too much weight.

…You continue to hold her until her fear dissipates. You can feel Daniella start to calm down, then finally sigh. "All right. Thank you, Edward." She lays her face on your chest.

For the next few minutes you just stand there, sharing body heat as you confirm your affection toward each other.

Mm… you haven't been able to see her closely down there, yet. Will Daniella show you?

She lets out a nervous sort of stuttering laugh and then nods. She turns around and climbs up onto your bed, on her hands and knees. It gives you a good glimpse of her thighs and ass, which have a little more fat to them now that you can see. Yes. There's definitely room for Daniella's figure to expand and let it be shaped by pregnancy. Especially now that she'll be an aristocrat and not a servant. You start shrugging yourself out of your own clothes, starting with your cape.

You watch Daniella turn and lie herself on her rump, she faces you leaning back with her elbows propped against the bed. You stop what you're doing to watch in expectation.

She laughs. "It's a little hard to do it when you stare at me," she says, but she's smiling. "Promise you won't think it's strange?"

You almost burst out laughing, but you hold it in. Daniella, you say, you're no stranger to a woman's body. You hate to be crude, but there's nothing down there that will… startle you.

"…" She gives you an unsure little look, then nods.

She squirms her body against the mattress, then slowly parts her legs.

>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.

f603d No.93707

What you see doesn't startle you, per se. But it does make you gasp: Daniella has her pubic hair shaved clean off.

She sees your reaction and turns her head again. "It chafes and gets in the way when wearing my uniform, that's all." She huddles her thighs together, taking your view away.

You don't say anything, you just quietly remove the last of your own clothes and then tell her to look at you. She looks at you from the corner of her eyes, then lets her gaze drop to your manhood.

She gasps much more audibly as she sees you share the same… styling, so to speak.

See? There's no need to be embarrassed, you tell her.

…Inwardly, your heart experiences a pang of guilt. She can never know it was Tharja's idea. That it will have to become a special thing you share with Daniella instead of Tharja.

"…" Daniella, meanwhile, stares at your manhood intensely, as if scrutinizing it.

Is it her first time seeing one, you ask?

She licks her bottom lip, not taking her eyes off of it. As if it may jump up and bite her.

"Yes. My relationship with Simon never went beyond a hug."

…Oh boy. You suspected that might be the case.

Not even a kiss, you ask?

"…" She breaks her gaze with your penis to look up into your eyes, mournful, then shakes her head.

That's not right. She should be given all the passion and romance a marriage demands. You'll show her, you offer.

You move to join her on the bed.

Daniella's lip quivers as she takes a breath. "If I'm worthy enough, Edward," she says to you.

She is. If she doesn't believe it… you'll show her that you believe it.

Choice time:
>Kiss her, play with her. Devote your attention to exploring Daniella's body.
>Kneel between her legs and worship her pussy. Show her how good sex can feel.
>Kiss for a while, then invite her to touch you until she's no longer intimidated by you.

75fda No.93709

>>93707

option one

24ea3 No.93719

>>93707
Option two.

6e4d1 No.93721

>>93707
Option 3

26840 No.93731

>>93707
Option 1.

66ba9 No.93737

>>93707
Option 1.

f603d No.93752

>3 votes for option one, kiss her, play with her, and explore her body as foreplay.
>1 vote for option two, kneel between her legs and worship her pussy.
>1 vote for option three, kiss for a while, then invite her to touch you.

Explore Daniella's body.

Poll closed. Update soon

f603d No.93756

You reach over and gently take her hand, guiding you to turn toward you. Your other hand comes up to brush her exotic curled hair from her face. It's… funny what a few hours can do to change a person's perspective. You feel as if you crossed another set of obstacles to lead you to Daniella. As much as the journey to Ruhemania in the first place.

You lean closer, closing your eyes and pressing your lips to hers. Soft, gentle. Letting her have room to acclimate. You kiss… then kiss… by the third time, she kisses back.Her lips are soft, but dry. But that's all right for now. You draw your face back and beckon her to sit in your lap.

"…" Daniella hesitates for the briefest moment, then nods. She stands up, walks around in front of you, and approaches your lap with all the hesitation of a woman learning how to ride. You simply pat the top of your thighs and wait. It doesn't take too long. She nods again, creeping both legs around you until you sit face to face. She draws her hands up to wrap around the back of your neck. Her thighs feel strong around yours.

"Touch… me…"

It's not a command. It's begging. You give her your own nod and start to explore her body. Your hands trailing down the sides of her torso, making her shiver. You settle them on her hips and then reach around to see if she's comfortable with being touched from behind. It makes her arch her back in surprise. She was clearly expecting you to touch her chest first. But… it's the reaction you were expecting. The arching gives you a lovely view of Daniella's chest. Not ample like… some women's… but smooth and free of any blemishes. Her skin is a healthy light color.

Does she eat healthily, you ask?

"…" She nods. "I have access to everything in the kitchen, and I know how to cook."

You can tell, you say. She's not thin like a normal servant would be.

She lets out a gasp as you bring your other hand to caress the other half of her rump, gently massaging the cheeks. She pants and moans in your touch.

Is this where she's weak, you ask?

"I… I don't know," she confesses. "But it's… nice."

You nod. There's good fat here, as well as muscle, you say. She'll adapt well to child-bearing… and birthing.

Your compliments provoke another deep moan from her. Her earlier claim of wanting children was more than genuine, but you didn't need confirmation for that.

You decide to test the rest of her body. You slide your hands up her abdomen. Slowly. Letting your masculine fingertips play over the soft over hard muscle. Her abs are impressive… you can't help but let out a little sigh as you touch them.

"…Do you like them?" she asks.

They're… unique. You think you may have encountered some widows who took up their husband's craft who approached this sort of physique Daniella has. She could truly be worth ten maids if that was the only work she did.

"…" Daniella sighs. "I worry… I worry I won't be able to bear you the children you need…"

Oh no, no no no. No talk like that.

You reach a hand up to tile her chin upward to guide her face to look at you.

If there's one thing you've learned it's that nature wants women to be pregnant. It will happen. You will help her. You'll visit her every night like this, and mornings too.

Your words bring a smile to her lips. You can see tears in the corners of her eyes.

You rub your hand against her neck, soothing her, until she's sighing in relaxation again. Arching her neck and rolling her head back. That's a good sign.

You let your owth hand trail up the side of her body until you place it on the edge of her breast. Your inner wrist rubbing her skin to let her know you're going to put your hands on her. She lets out a small, appreciative groan, and you take it as permission.

You hold your hand over Daniella's breast, her right one. You don't squeeze, but trail gentle touches around the flesh. You gently rub in circular motions until your other hand moves down and touches her other tit. Your hands grow bolder, letting your fingers press into her until you leave indents. You gently stroke, bringing your fingers to caress her erect nipples.

"Ah…"

You can feel Daniella start to rock her body against you. Roll her hips on tip of your thighs. Your hot erect manhood between you as she starts to really enjoy your attention. You continue to play with her sensitive spots until she gets the idea to pull you closer, her lips seeking yours out for another kiss.

Mm…

She's daring to be a bit more aggressive. Her lips spreading in desire. You take the opportunity to lead by puckering your lips right back, meeting her kisses and extending your tongue in invitation. To lick. She doesn't need a lot of coaxing. Soon she's opening your mouth and making a muffle little moan as you slide your velvet muscle inside her. Slipping past her hot, wet lips and poking to touch her tongue. The feeling is… intense. Part of you still can't believe you're kissing Daniella like this. But you are.

And she's kissing back. Your tongues duel each other. You pursue hers, and she pursues yours. It leaves you both trying to find room to sneak in breaths. Meanwhile her lithe body pressed against you, your member against the top of her pubic area is… hot. The intensity of the moment is unbearable and you both squeeze each other more and more. It's perhaps the most erotic foreplay you've had. She holds back nothing as her strong arms hug you. You moan into each others mouth with increasing intensity before you lose track of your breathing.

Still holding your arms around her, you both arch your backs again until you have the space to pull your faces away. Just barely. Your tongues still extended as you let them rest after that workout. A soft trail of saliva holds, then separates into druel down each of your mutual chins.

…You need to be inside her, you whisper. She moans in reply, her eyes heavy with lust.

"Make love to me, please," she says, voice trailing off into another begging moan. Her 'please' sounding like a call for help.

Mn. You smack your lips. Gladly.

>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.

f603d No.93773

It's too much to get up and turn around. You want to enjoy her just like this. You bid her to lift her hips up, until she can get her pussy angled over your member.

"Like this…?"

She raises her crotch up, making your member slide down her shaved pubic region. It's an interesting sensation that sends chills down your back. Just like that, you urge her onward. She spreads herself bowlegged, then uses a hand to get you positioned with her slick entrance. You can feel the heat of her wet pussy lips against you cock and you let out a strained sigh.

"…" Daniella looks down at you, eyes full of emotion. "Edward… I'm sorry."

–It's all right. There's been enough time for that.

You want to move forward, with no regrets.

She nods, eyes still cloudy with tears, and then starts to angle her hips just enough…

She slides on top of you in one motion, the bottom of her rump hitting the top of your thighs as the momentum she sat down with force her to take you all the way.

The sudden penetration makes you gasp and arch your back against her. She's doing the same against you. Her eyes rolled back and lips quivering in a mixture of pain and pleasure.

W-Why, you ask? There was no need to be so violent. It would've been all right to go slow, you tell her.

"I… needed it…" she clenches her teeth, sucking in a breath. "I needed the pain… to tell myself it's all real."

… You lean forward and press another kiss, this time to her cheek. This is all real, you say. Your love, your sex, and soon…

You curve your hand down to stroke her hard belly with its muscle.

Soon, the baby you put in her belly will be real as well.

Her breathing starts to calm down. She takes in a breathy gulp of air. "Oh, Edward…"

She drapes her arms around the back of your neck. Turning her face until your lips find each other.

"I love you…"

She arches her back to give you more body-to-body contact. Her soft breasts and hard nipples rub against your body as she starts to hump you. It's… well, to compare it to Elizabeth, it's much more purposeful. Much less hesitant. Daniella's in a position of power and she takes the lead in setting the pace.

It's… hard. Fast. Her tight walls squeeze you, as if she intends to coax your orgasm from you whether you want to or not.

You wraps your hands around her back and lead your tongue into Daniella's mouth. Your hands paw for skin-to-skin contact as you both rut against each other like animals. You begin to understand Daniella and why she wants it this way. She wants your sperm inside her and knocking her up immediately.

You both moan, grunt, and groan into each other's mouths. The pace and Daniella's virgin pussy are too much for your cock to take.

Gonna… cum…

"Cum for me," she moans as your lips separate for the briefest of seconds before you both claim each other again.

Your hands go to the small of her back and you hug her hard as you can feel your groin muscles tensing and you spurt inside of her. Emptying your balls until they're completely drained and filling her pussy with your seed. You can feel her shaking too. Her folds clenching around you, as if her womb knows it has to suck your semen deeper inside, and does so greedily.

It's… bliss. Never has a woman ridden you so fast. Or certainly not a virgin, which Daniella definitely was, even if you didn't feel a hymen.

You don't separate your kiss because you choose too, but simply because you're both so weak you can't hold yourselves upright. You lean against each other and hold on to dear life with your limp arms.

That was… amazing.

"You felt so good, Edward." She smacks her lips. "I… I want to do this every day with you."

Heh. Only once a day?

"…I want you to claim my body as you like. Whenever you get the urge. Until I'm pregnant and you have more women to impregnate, please keep your cock inside of me as much as you can."

You can't see her face, but her tone is needy and desperate. Those may be the hottest words you've ever heard uttered to you in your life. Your groin can't help but ache as you reflexively try to force more cream into her pussy, but you've already blown your load.

…Yeah. That's good. Daniella has run of the castle. You can both go anywhere and just fuck. And then when she's a noblewoman… you can do the same with other maids and reserve your best seed for your lovely wife.

You're going to inherit a great life in Ruhemania.



Daniella and you have so much sex it goes beyond routine. You're practically following her around all day. Everyone gives you a wide berth. It also allows Daniella to loosen her mood and show you more of a playful side as she becomes more and more comfortable with being around you. She never turns down your seed.

About a month passes and she is 'discovered' to be an aristocrat. She's already showing signs she's pregnant, so King Vlad orders your wedding ceremony and announcement that you will still be his heir with all haste.

He warns you that the lesser nobles are greedy. They are not those who resisted his rule. They, or their parents, bent the knee. King Vlad has rewarded them with nothing except his law and his taxes, which has made them disgruntled, if isolated. You're at most risk if they're brought together.

You'll be painted as an usurper if you are just announced as his heir. They will even try to speculate you've murdered him and are merely maintaining a facade that he is still alive. He will dispel such notions.

"Each aristocrat will greet me individually, in my tower, and I will see to it they remember their place. No one will dare say a word."

Indeed, at the feast after the actual wedding, no one says anything except words of praise to the new Crown Prince and his lovely wife Daniella, the Duchess.

…But you can't forget the actual ceremony and exchange of vows you had yourself. You're so used to sex with Daniella whenever you see her that you had to fight against getting an erection right there with all eyes on you. You both pledged your love, and were united in holy matrimony.



Several more months pass.

Daniella's body is heavy. You know from experience she is having twins. She's already big, and she's going to be even bigger by the time her due date comes. Despite this, Daniella doesn't complain. Adjustment to being nobility hasn't changed her… work ethic, so to speak. Her athleticism helps her manage the strain on her body, even as the pregnancy fills it out. Her breasts get much fuller…

Several months later, when Daniella is set to give birth any day, and more and more fertile maids are being brought to Castle Valachia, King Vlad calls you to his room, alone.

Once Daniella gives birth, and it's confirmed one is a boy, he will abdicate.

The throne will be yours.

Of course, you haven't been idle. You've learned as much about economics, war, scholarly subjects, and diplomacy as you can.

…As well as what he knows about witchcraft and how to fight a witch.

King Vlad will retain the rest of his titles as Duke, Count, and Baron, but you will be King. You will be King Vlad's liege. When he dies, all other titles will pass to you.

"You've shown me the utmost loyalty and demonstrated both aptitude and courage, Edward. There is no other man I can trust with my legacy. –My legacy both known, and not known."

You understand.

You tell him not to worry.

You will fight on and create and dispense more witch-hunters until Beatrice is dead. If one witch was missed, and she was so close to the castle, who knows where else they may be hiding?

His crusade will never end.

Never.

Never.

Never.

Never…



Wait, yes it will.

You feel the vision fade at last and then once more remember who you are. You're… King Edward. Being entertained by Bernkastel. Or perhaps the other way around.

"I believe we've milked all the fun that is to be had from that vision," she says.

…Yes. You lost track. Things happened that felt like 'you' but then you completely fell sway to what 'you' were doing.

"Interesting. Likely because you know it's 'you,' and that 'you' should not be doing what you're doing. In terms of where you took that vision, you gave it at least one more miracle inside that miracle. Perhaps two. Then you got overwhelmed with how much of a disassociation it is from who 'you' are that you could no longer think in terms of what 'you' were doing anymore."

Meaning, you didn't just take a situation that couldn't have happened, you ran with it and took it somewhere it… really couldn't have happened? And it piled so high that if it were a tower, it did the metaphysical equivalent of falling on you.

"That is correct."

You stay silent and try to process that.

Well… none of it is worth dwelling on. None.

It didn't happen. It would never have happened.

"Are you sure?"

… Her words chill your thoughts. You should say 'no.' You should bark it immediately at the very thought. And yet… you did just feel such emotion when with Daniella.

"Imagine an Edward who is only annoyed with this new wife he has. She makes strange comments. She puts him on the spot when he's vulnerable and interrogates him about his past. He puts a sexual chain on him and won't let him sleep with any woman if she could possibly catch him in the act."

S-Stop. That's not what happened.

"Of course not. It's not real. But imagine a wife who discovers his curse, but rather than truly being interesting in curing him to help him, merely wants to use it as a pretext to have him escort her to another witch who she can meet."

That's not what happened.

"Of course not. It's not real. But imagine this wife, this irritating, controlling, unloving, uncaring wife, lying on the floor, a witch-hunter coming in and announcing she will end the witch… does this Edward honestly consider handing her book to her?"

Stop.

"Does he do the deed himself?"

No, he does not! Enough already. Bernkastel… she's not telling it like it happened. That's not how any of that happened! Tharja was lonely and needed you. You were enamored and honestly charmed by her. Tharja wanted to know she could trust you, and accepted your past. She… gave her heart to you, and you gave yours back.

That's what happened.

"Of course that's what happened. That's reality."

…All right.

Affirming that helps you orient yourself again. You know what's vision and what's truth. At least… you think you do.

God, Daniella as your wife and acting as she did… best not to think about it. Now that you're outside of the vision, you can't really feel arousal the way you normally would.

"Shall we move on?"

The next one isn't about you, is it?

"No, I think your miracles have entertained me enough."

Well, then… if it's for the sake of keeping each other entertained and not becoming bored.

"Don't think too hard about this next one. Accept it."

>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.

f603d No.93800

You're ragged. Worn out. Your feet are bleeding. Your hands are bleeding. You feel as emotionally wretched as you are physically.

At least… at least it will all be over soon.

"Shannon… you must stand on your own two feet."

You whimper. Your feet are cut and dripping blood with every step. It didn't matter. You needed it. You needed to smash the mirror that was in the Master's room. It was that or look at your disgusting visage. You take deep breaths and remind yourself that if everything is right… if she keeps her promise… then you'll never need to go through that again. Ever again.

You rise to a knee, wincing terribly as you force yourself to balance up on one foot, then the other. You stand in the middle of the star she drew. Each item you collected at the point. You wobble and sway as you hold up the two items in your hand. The book, and… the knife.

"Do not touch your own blood by mistake, Shannon, and don't allow the blood on the blade to dry."

…You understand. You feel as if you could collapse, but it's now or never. You won't have another Master. Even if she lied, you will never have another Master.

"Repeat after me, until I tell you to close the book, then touch a clean finger to the blood, and touch it to the back of the book."

You nod. You can barely keep your head up. Please, you bid her, do not delay anymore. You're… ready.

She nods.

"Surrounded by the elements of the world…"

Surrounded by the elements of the world.

"You cut yourself free of their control…"

You cut yourself free of their control.

…You recite, enunciating as well as you can.

"…join you in your sisterhood."

You repeat her words, knowing it must soon be over.

"You offer up the sacrificed blood of your own line as proof of your dedication to this goal and no other."



Wait.

You blink, hesitating. What was that…? Your own line?

This is… the Master's blood. The blood of the powerful, hated figure the witch told you that you must acquire to complete the spell.

Why have the words changed the meaning?

You look to her, your face begging for answers. You don't dare speak for fear you'll upset the incantation.

"…You must repeat the words exactly, Shannon."

But…

There's a twist in your gut. Suddenly this feels wrong. So very wrong. But what should you do??

Choice time:
>'You offer up the sacrificed blood of your own line as proof of your dedication to this goal and no other.' Repeat the words, and forsake anything else.
>No… no! You want answers! You need answers!

eabd7 No.93801

>>93800

Option one

8d1ce No.93803

>>93800
Option one, with the hope that Bernkastel will let us see the other option later.

Hypothesis time: Shannon is a witch we've either met or heard of. Top contenders are Beatrice and Erika, but Patchouli, Maria, LambdaDelta, and Bernkastel herself are also possible.

fae27 No.93809

Option 1.

5c74b No.93816

Option 1.

74db2 No.93818

>>93800
Option one.

>>93803
Beatrice at least has told and shown Edward a little bit about how she became a witch and what I remember of that does not match what we're being shown here.
My guess is that Shannon isn't a witch. What we're being shown is the impossible alternative to reality in which she become a witch.

f603d No.93824

File: 1625781149751.jpg (620.66 KB, 850x850, birthofanew-witch.jpg) ImgOps Google iqdb

>5 votes for option one, obey the witch.

Follow the rest of the incantation.


You offer up the sacrificed blood of your own line as proof of your dedication to this goal and no other.

The witch nods.

"Forever and ever more."

…Forever and ever more.

The witch tells you to close the book, then cleanly touch the blood from the blade that is your Master's to the book, with a clean finger. It's still wet. You're able to do so.

… Nothing happens.

You're still a distraught, thin, ugly girl with a hideous face who exists only to scrub the floors until she collapses, then rises to do it again the next morning. Your eyes burn and your muscles ache. You want to cry, but you don't even have the energy to do that. You're… so tired.

You can feel your knees buckle, you're falling to the floor.



Wait.

You grasp the book for dear life.

Your mind, hazy and exhausted, starts to burn with fire. You look at the book. You open it.

…You can read it. You can actually read it. You've never been taught to read even one word, but suddenly it's all so simple. You flip through more and more. Beyond reading, you feel… power. The things here will let you do things beyond your imagination. You have power. The power the witch promised you.

…ahahaha…

Ahahaha!

You arch your back, tilting your chin up and… laugh. Suddenly nothing hurts. Not your feet, not your mind, not the emotions which plagued your gut. Your cackling must surely be echoing throughout the manor, but you don't care.

You feel wonderful!! You feel powerful! This is the best feeling you've ever had in your life. The euphoria washes over you, strengthening you, reminding you of what you can do with your new book.

… When it vanishes, you want it back.

You want to do more.

The witch simply smiles, enigmaticly.

"And what would you like to do most, my new apprentice?"

…Burn this place.

Reduce it to ash.

Crumple the stone, then crumple those stones, until absolutely nothing remains. You want it all gone!!

You can't help but scream the words. Never would you have dared to even raise your voice before. Before… now.

"Then, let me see you enact your will on the world."

…Yes.

You're breathing starkly as you rise again. You teeter, but it's purely from needing strength. Your mind is much more focused now.

Burn it all. Smash it all. You want to destroy everything and start anew. Nothing will be left.

Especially the useless girl named 'Shannon'.



What's this? You don't know this person.

"Do you mean to mock me, King Edward?"

…No. You just don't think it resembles anyone you know.

"You're not that ignorant, King Edward."

… It doesn't resemble anyone you know.

It doesn't remind you of anything you've been told by anyone. It must be a memory of someone you've never met.

Bernkastel stops, as if she's letting the void eat at your words and lap at your consciousness.

"She really fooled you, didn't she?"

… You do your best to think of nothing at all. But Bernkastel's presence is there to stop you from achieving too much of that.

"Ready for the alternative, King Edward?"

Choice time:
>No, just stop.
>…Very well.

7c069 No.93827

Option 2.

9ba34 No.93828

>>93824
Option 2.

Caaaaaalled iiiiiit.

fae27 No.93829

Option 2.

76933 No.93831

>>93824

Option two

db2bd No.93833

Option two. I didn't think "we" were that dense.

5c0c0 No.93842

>>93824
Option 2

f603d No.93878

>6 votes for option two, see the other path.

See Shannon's alternate fate.


It's not going to be good. It's not going to be happy. It's going to be a terrible decision for… Shannon… to reject becoming a witch after what she already did. But at least there's some refuge in knowing she didn't, and a version where she did would never have existed. It would have taken 'a miracle' for her to actually reject it.

You'll see the vision, you tell Bernkastel.

Her 'talk' echoes with an amused chuckle.

"You're thorough, King Edward. I like that."



But you don't have a line, you say. Your hands are shaking from needing to hold up the book and knife. Why do you have a line?

"Shannon!" A sharp rebuke, and then a sigh. "We must start over."

No. You start to step out of the circle and toward the witch. She said blood of your own line. What does that mean?

"Shannon–"

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??

You scream so much you feel a rush in your head and an ache in your throat. You'll easily throw your voice out if you scream like that again.

The witch visibly recoils. You haven't spoken to her like this. You've never spoken to anyone like this. "Shannon… it's as it's obvious."

… No.

"Your Master was your father."

No, no, no, no, no.

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

You drop your knees, the book and knife smacking onto the stone.

"Shannon, be careful with the blade! I cannot say whether it will work if we need to go back and get more blood!"

Her words barely reach you. Your entire world has been flipped upside down.

You had no line. You were no one. You spawned off the floor from the dirt and filth. And as thanks, you needed to scrub the floors and make them clean every day. Master was cruel. Master was unkind. Master never called you by name. Mistress was worse. Mistress was present more and watched you closer. Does that mean the Mistress was your mother??

The witch frowns. "She was not."

… Aha…. ahahahaha!

You laugh so hard you can feel your voice cracking until you sputter, cough, and wheeze.

"Shannon, stand up. We'll make another try," the witch urges you.

… She lied to you. She never told you that you were killing your father. You stare up at her with tears. Why did she lie?

"I didn't lie," she says in a soft calming voice. "I never once told you a lie. Surely it must make no difference, Shannon. He was cruel and heartless to you either way."



You're tainted. You're the spawn of cruelty. Dirt and filth as your spawning ground would be preferable. You'll visit only pain and cruelty upon the world if you let yourself live. Your death will be your repentance for the sin of being related to him.

Your hands go to the blade you dropped.

"–Shannon?"

The ritual's ruined now, you say. You need more blood. All you need to do is sacrifice another of your line. Then, you don't have to worry about the blood drying, or anything else.

You raise your chin up high and turn the blade up toward it.



Your arms can't move. Your head can't move.

But you can hear the witch sighing.

"Shannon… I had high hopes for you. I see I was wrong."

The sound of her feet tap in front of you.

"I won't let you kill yourself. Call it a gift or a cruelty as you like."

You suddenly feel the air is becoming thick. Sweet.

"You'll wake up in one of the closets when the city guards find the scene. I will take your voice so that you cannot ever tell them. This is my gift to you, Shannon."

N-No…

You blink your eyes once, twice, then lose consciousness.



Guards find you. They free you from your bindings.

You hear them talk about how the Master went insane. Killed his wife, children, all of the servants, except you, who he apparently intended to save for last. There's evidence of bizarre rituals he was performing. Viscera in his teeth suggests they were beyond obscene. The 'poor servant' that is you is lucky to be alive when he finally succumbed to his own wounds.

Your body is healed, except for the stark scars that trail across your hands, and feet. There's another cut on your neck that will never heal. True to her word the witch has stolen your voice box.

You're sent to another family.

They're cruel, but somewhat less cruel. You are not specifically targeted, at least. You're an ideal servant. You don't 'talk back.'

Your days whittle away until there is nothing left of you. Nothing except memories you can never voice. Memories which die with you, as the witch intended.



…God.

It may have been more of a generosity to let her die.

You would rather have not have seen that. Either of that. You feel like you're ripped away her dignity to see her like that.

…You won't tell her. Maybe it's better you don't tell her about any of this. Hell, you're not sure you will remember any of it.

"You will remember all of what you see here, King Edward."

…She was really seeming affable up until now. She threw it away by trying to cajole you into acknowledging who it was.

"Pardon. She betrayed me. I feel animosity toward her."

You've heard Beatrice's side of the story. Is the next vision about her and the struggle that eventually ended with her death and the creation of the Pax Bernkastel?

"No."

… You pause, expecting her to say more, but she doesn't.

Why not? It might be amusing and pass the time.

"Because it would mean nothing to you, King Edward. You've met none of those witches. You have no stake in their fate, nor mine. You have no stake in your relationship with me. When this is over, you will wake up alive, and I will continue to exist in this state. Alone."

…You suppose she has a point. Does she get lonely?

"Witches live a very long time. Boredom is a constant struggle. It's normal to spend years or centuries preparing to cast a spell that takes but a few moments if it means displaying your own power and what you're capable of."

You suppose she's not lonely, then. So, does that mean other witches visit her? Perhaps those who have… passed on, to this state of existence?

"Your presumption is wrong. This is not the afterlife. Witches do not go to an afterlife. They simply cease to be. –As far as I know."

…Then, why is she here?

"Why indeed? This is the state of existence I've found myself in. More, I cannot say. I only know you will wake up and return to your life in the world. I will not and can not. Ever."

Oh.

That leaves a lot more questions than it answers, but you suppose Bernkastel herself doesn't know. Perhaps it's because her specialty for magic was these sort of 'miracle visions'? That she can still observe even if her… prior existence… has stopped.

"Perhaps, but I cannot say for sure. –Speaking of visions, are you ready for the next one?"

Whoo boy.

Who's it going to be?

"Would you like a choice?"

Would she fulfill it?

"If it was amusing. Why don't I make it like a game? I'll give you a choice. Choice number one. Or, choice number two."

–Just the numbers?

"Correct."

Isn't one as good as the other, then?

"Correct."

… You'd rather make a request, you think.

Choice time:
>Two can play at this. Ask for Erika. See if she likes showing how her apprentice ascended.
>…Margaret, perhaps? That could give you information.
>Regardless of what it is, you want to see Tharja. Not with her bleeding out and looking at you in betrayal this time.

51b82 No.93881

>>93878
Option 1

I don’t foresee any happy or useful knowledge for Edward to gain from miracle versions of Margaret or Tharja, but more information about Eirika could certainly be useful.

eb0ed No.93882

>>93878

Option one

fae27 No.93883

Option 2.

9ba34 No.93884

>>93878
Option 2.

Much as I want to see Tharja, I cannot imagine what good could come of asking for her.

76ea4 No.93886

Option 1 please

db2bd No.93889

Option 2

d424b No.93894

Option 1. Seeing Tharja is tempting, but I think Erika would be more so.

f603d No.93900

>4 votes for option one, show Erika.
>3 votes for option two, show Margaret.

Ask for Erika's own ascension.

Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.93924

File: 1626001515718.jpg (24.42 KB, 850x340, Erika_hardwork.jpg) ImgOps Google iqdb

You'll save her the trouble. You request Erika's ascension.

"Then you shall have it."



Blood covers you from head to toe, enough that your socks make 'squish' sounds as you step along the halls. Yet, you only feel power. A true rush. None of them saw it coming. None of them stopped you. It was glorious. Payback. And the only consequence so far was your dress was stained with blood. Who cared about that when it already happened once a month, anyway?

The true fun can now begin.

You go back to the dressing room and stand in front of the meeting place. The full length mirror that rests against the side. You can barely take in your reflection as you rap three times in a little sequence, leaving bloodstains on the mirror.

At that, she appears.

Your Master.

You stare at her in adoration. You raise your arms in praise. Well?? Does she not see what you've done for her? More than she asked for!

"Indeed, you have. You are a very hard worker, Archduchess Erika."

You simply giggle. Never before have you found a task worth doing well.

"As we agreed, I will give you your book."

Her hands hold it. A dark tome of forbidden knowledge that she teased you with mere hours ago. She outreaches it to you from her reflection, and then her arms pass from the inside of the mirror to your side, beckoning you to take it.

You decide to be polite and curtsy, saying you'll make very good use of it. When it's in your hands you can't help letting forth a manic laugh of complete and utter glee. It's here, it's here, it's here…!! You feel as if you were promised some treat and finally got your hands on it. Though this was worth a lot more than some trinket.

You open it up and…



You have to gather more things?

"It should be no problem for a girl of your intense dedication, Archduchess Erika. Though your enthusiasm has made one of them a problem. Look at the last item."

You hide your distaste, but whatever. If raiding the servants' cupboard for random items was what you needed to do, so be it.

–Blood of a dead relative. That's the last item.

Okay, you've got plenty of that. What's the problem?

"Blood of a freshly dead relative. And only a relative. Any attempt to complete the ritual as you are now would likely become tainted."

–Oh, come on!

All that effort and you've ruined it because some stupid commoner's blood got mixed in??

"Yes. I'm sure a family as noble as yours would assert similar lessons to you."

Who the hell cares about that?? If you cared anything about your family you wouldn't have just killed them all!

You rant, you rave, bite your lips and stomp your feet. Your Master only grows more and more amused, so you do it more and let it turn into a full-blown tantrum. Flinging clothes from the shelves, and anything that isn't nailed down. Uncaring if you break anything other than the mirror.

Her mirth fades as you run out of strength.

"Is there not a solution? You have other family, do you not?"

…Well.

Yeah. You do.

But they're in other parts of the Empire! You can't just walk there!

"You choose to surrender, then? After coming so far?"

… The suggestion is completely anathema.

Hell. No.

"…Hahahaha…"

Master smiles and laughs without moving. A sinister amused snicker.

"Congratulations, then, Archduchess Erika. You've a new goal for yourself. I expect you to work hard."

Master's tails and ears twitch.

"To the hard worker goes the appropriate award: more hard work. Call me when you've completed your ascension, and not before."

The mirror's surface ripples, shimmers, then bursts with light and Master's image disappears. Replaced by your own bloody visage.



You look down at the book.

Call her when you've ascended…

Choice time:
>Get a map, request a carriage, and get yourself to your nearest Uncle's residence for a nice family meeting. Master will be pleased!
>You suddenly have something much bigger and grander in mind.

d424b No.93926

Option 2. Go big or go home, as they say, and it's not like Erika was ever known for her restraint.

9c8ac No.93927

Option 2.

d904d No.93928

>>93924

Option two

9ba34 No.93929

>>93924
Option two.

Shouldn't surprise me that Erika was always… Erika.

db2bd No.93968

Option two

4c27b No.93982

Option 2

f603d No.94001

>6 votes for option two, you have a grander scheme in mind.



…Hm.

She gave you the means to ascend. To become a witch. To achieve your goal and crush anything that came between you and what you thought was 'fun'.

But, 'call me when you've ascended, and not before'? There were possibilities to that.

Your Master gave you a "don't summon me until you do something," order.

She did not give you a "you only have a certain amount of time to summon me," order.

You can hold on to this and hold on to her for whenever!

It gives you an idea.



You pay a visit to your Uncle. It's a very brief, pointed visit.

Soon, you're a witch.

Then, you call a conference for your entire family. You tell them it involves their inheritance. They're practically in a race to get to the capital.

It's a very heated affair. A lot of excitement is raised. Fortunately, your relatives all agree that you are the most capable to lead the family.

They agree to it because they have no choice. Because they are dead.

You kill all of them.

Stories are already circulating about the mad Archduchess, but who the hell cares?

You're an Empress now!



You're in your dressing room, tying a sash on over your robe.

You long decided that dress codes are much too strict. The Empress is the most powerful person, isn't she? She can wear whatever the fuck she wants.

You're disturbed by a knock, which immediately irritates you. The servants know not to come unless called.

"Archduchess Erika."

Oh! It's Master.

You turn and offer a gentle curtsy to the mirror. What a surprise, you remark! You thought she was waiting for your call.

"What are you doing?"

Isn't it obvious? No one said you couldn't use magic to make yourself Empress of the World, for life.

"It's true. No one said that."

Exactly! All it took was murdering your entire family. Then the neighboring royal families. Then a few Popes until they got the idea that they'd better mind their fucking business.

Everyone worships you. Everyone is ruled by you. You are the great Savior of the world.

–Well, there are a few places left. Does she know there's some strange people who live in the desert below the seas? You're going to go conquer them next, just for the sake of it.

"…"

Master just stares at you while you rave about all your plans. About how easy it is. About how assassins don't matter. Poisoning doesn't matter. Open revolt and rebellion just doesn't fucking matter. You can destroy all of it with witchcraft.

"Yes, but openly using magic is not something usually done."

Who cares? No one said you couldn't. The Church eventually rationalized it as miracles on Earth. –After you killed a few Popes.

"Yes, you already said."

You nod.

See?

Her apprentice has everything under control. Don't worry! You'll call on her when needed.

"No, I am rescinding that offer. You seem to have adapted to life as a witch, therefore there is no need for an apprenticeship."

Oh! Well, if Master says so, you will accept.

"Don't call me Master anymore. If we meet again, it will be as equals."

Your lips pull into a dark grin and you prepare to give her another flowery pleasantry, but the mirror ripples and returns to normal before you get a chance, leaving you only to stare at your own visage.

… Okay then. No need to worry about Master, apparently. You thought she'd be a little more impressed with you, at least.

You have a world to conquer. An entire world. You're more than halfway there. No, you're more than three-quarters of the way there. Your name is spoken of in hushed tones and your word is synonymous with power. Every threat, internal and external, is extinguished immediately without much more than a thought. Your Empire is basically run in complete anarchy. Threat of your appearance makes everyone work, but you're just as likely to destroy those who serve you loyalty as reward them, no matter how much they bootlick, just to give someone else the chance. A request for material help may bring them a boon with magic as you fulfill their very desires, or a harsh punishment that ends their existence. Some call you Saint. Some call you Devil. The number of the latter far outweighs the former. But… it doesn't matter.

You're having fun.

And no one told you that you couldn't do it.

The 'council' of suckers you've set up is awaiting your arrival. You can't wait to see how they twitch when you enter the room.

The one and only Empress Erika, Gifter and Destroyer, Defender of the Faith, Protector of God's Earth, and manifestation of His will made into flesh.

Long may she reign.

Forever…!!



Uh. That… couldn't really happen, could it?

"It didn't happen."

But, in general, a witch couldn't just decide to declare herself 'Queen of Everything,' could she?

"There is nothing stopping a witch from pursuing the goal she wants to achieve with her witchcraft."

What about witch-hunters, or other witches who don't want to share their territory? What about the needed study time to perfect her spells?

"I have no idea."

… Was that some sort of advanced summoning magic, with the mirror there?

"I decline to explain my magic to you, King Edward."

–Fair enough.

Though to think of it, Erika did talk about the Church and having to kill a few Popes… her ascension must have been relatively recently. Was there an Empire where Erika was an Archduchess?

You're not sure if you should research it at all. If Erika killed her entire immediate family and her Uncle, it was surely due for hard times. At least it'd be a reality preferable to Erika declaring herself Empress of the World.

It's interesting that the 'miracle' isn't Erika not deciding to become a witch. It's just her not being reined in by Bernkastel… apparently.

If the vision taught you anything else, it's that Beatrice and Erika have completely opposite origins. In terms of social standing, at least. Bea– No, Shannon, she was a servant. Erika was an Archduchess. You're not even sure is an actual title anymore. The empire she belonged to must surely have long since fell.

"I'll let you see the real result."

…One last thing.

That was definitely her, Bernkastel, in the mirror, correct?

"Correct. That was my form in my previous existence."

… You decide not to say anything else.

A witch who takes the form of a little girl, with real cat ears and cat tail, yet talks like a deep-voiced matron… if you met her in reality, you'd be unnerved by the contradiction.

>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.

f603d No.94034

Simple!

You hire a carriage to drive you to your Uncle's. Then another when that one's horse gets tired. Both for the sake of completing the ritual as fast as possible and outrunning the revelation of your immediate family's untimely death. You have to sleep in the compartment, but no one dares question the Archduchess.

Once at his residence, you introduce him to a friend of yours. A friend with a very sharp personality.

One ritual later, you're a witch and using the nearest mirror to call your Master.

"Archduchess Erika– No, Witch Erika. You have done very well."

You giggle. Was there any doubt?

"There was not. Come with me. You shall be my apprentice. I will guide you in the ways of being a witch."



That's it?

You expected more.

"I do not wish to reveal more about our relationship."

–Fair enough. You suppose she extended the same courtesy to Beatrice.

Still, 'Erika stabs the nearest relative she can get her hands on and ascends to become a witch' is a bit of an anticlimax.

"My apprentice is a rarity. Never before had I met a woman worth taking as an apprentice."

You muse on that. Is that why there's no outcome where Erika doesn't receive a book from Bernkastel? Or otherwise fails at becoming a witch?

"That is correct. There is no miracle where I did not notice Erika. There is no miracle where I did not offer her a path to ascension. There is no miracle where she did not succeed. The only miracle would be if she neglected our bond as apprentice and mentor in favor of something else."

Hm. So for that miracle to happen as Erika… it would overlap with a Miracle that would need to happen on Berkastel's part… or something like that.

"…"

She doesn't answer. You're not sure if she 'heard' you anyway.

And next?

"Next?"

…The next vision.

"I don't believe any more miracles are possible."

–Wait, really?

What about Tharja?

"Tharja's life had been meticulously planned for her. The only real possible change that could happen in her life would be if she had left her future spellbook on her brother's body rather than taking it with her. And that was an honest choice she considered. It would not be a miracle for her to lose her opportunity to ascend and become a witch."

–You can understand that explanation.

What about Margaret?

"There is no miracle in her life."

… You give a sigh.

Another witch? One of the Chrisania siblings? Another girl from the Faire? Someone you made pregnant in Virilia? Yourself choosing a different bride? Albert?? Anyone else you may have missed?

"None that I would share. None. None connected to you. So far back as to be irrelevant. Would likely be amusing for you, but less for me. There is, but it's uninteresting and very brief. And… no."

…What's the one with Albert?

"It will just upset you."

That's vague, isn't it? You don't know if that means Albert really was the persecuted one or if he secretly had been plotting against you the whole time.

… Ugh, you're falling back into paranoia.

Fine, fine. You don't need Bernkastel to unravel your entire life. If Bernkastel can only show you visions where there's a miracle, then there's no helping it.

"I can show visions of any time, but I prefer miracles."

–Oh?

"Indeed."



A dangerous idea fills your mind.

"Yes, including that."

–Oh, God.

She… can?

"If you wish to remember your mother, I can give you a vision of her. –If you'll consent to a deal."

…What sort of deal?

Bernkastel hasn't made any inclination that she wants anything. What could she want while in this void?

You'll hear about her proposed deal.

"I will give you all the memories you have of her, since you were cognitive enough to hold them. You won't be able to say anything different or do anything different, but you'll be looking through your own eyes. You'll hear through your own ears. These memories will absolutely be your own. The true reality of what happened, exactly as it happened. You will retain your adult consciousness even as your body acts out its child actions. You will be able to recall every detail. This is not a trick, scheme, gimmick, or anything else. But, it will only be a vision. And it will only be memories regarding your mother. You may lose context as they play out."

… You have no eyes to cry with, which is terrible for your emotions. You wish you could write this off as a fake offer, but… you can't help but believe.

And what does Bernkastel want in return?

"You must meet my former apprentice, Witch Erika, and you must tell her that you met me."

–That's all?

"Yes. She need not stay at your castle, but you must tell her. In person. If she disbelieves, describe the vision I revealed to you. The phrase 'to the hard worker goes the appropriate award: more hard work,' will likely be enough. No one but her and I know those details."

"A message will not do. You must be face-to-face."

You weren't sure if you'd tell anyone about this experience. It would likely unnerve Beatrice. Tharja would probably not understand. But, to tell Erika directly… you would need to invite her to the castle or go meet her in the mansion you gave her.  But if you invited her to the castle, she need not stay?

"Correct. You choosing to have Erika stay at your castle is your own decision."

… You understand.

There has to be more to this deal than appears.

What's her motive? That she wants Erika to know her Master is still alive?

"I am not alive. I am now in a state of an existence where I no longer exist."

Can Erika… reverse it?

"… I decline to state anything else. I will not accept a counter-offer or explain more. You may take this deal or not."

There's a short pause, before she adds:

"If you wish to repeat your vision, or only certain parts of it, I'll agree to that as well. You can have the rest of your time here reliving those memories."

… That would make it a little easier to wait for Beatrice to finish reviving you.

What if you refuse?

"If you refuse, we simply wait here together until you can return to your previous state of existence. Do you know how to play twenty questions?"

This feels like a bigger decision than it appears. But being able to see your Mother, and remember her, and experience what you experienced… it would bring you closure. At the same time, the thought of spending a lot of time with nothing to do but play mental games with Bernkastel is… daunting. Besides, if you did bring Erika to the castle, wouldn't it make some sense to tell Erika that Bernkastel 'exists?' Her dedication to her Master seemed very genuine, if a little unnerving. It'd probably make her happy.

Bernkastel's reluctance to explain more worries you, though.

You rule out taking the deal and reneging. If you take Bernkastel's deal, you have to follow through. It'd become a question of honor.

Do you take Bernkastel's deal?

Choice time:
>Agree. You'll tell Erika about Bernkastel, and make sure Erika knows enough to accept your words as true. In person. In exchange, you'll relive your true memories of your mother.
>Pass. It feels like there's consequences you can't foresee.

32a41 No.94036

>>94034
Option 1
Regardless of what will eventually happen with Erika, I am curious to see Edward's mom. Also helps to be on Bernkastel's good side.

0a820 No.94038

>>94034

A hard choice to make considering we already have Beatrice. The possibility of having Erika back in the castle without even knowing the nature of what Edward’s return will be is too much of a risk for Edward to commit. Even though I’d also like to foster his relationship with Erika, we cannot compromise. Perhaps under different circumstances.

Option two.

d14dd No.94039

>>94034
Option two.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss. And this deal feels shady.

f603d No.94040

>>94038
To be sure, accepting Bernkastel's deal doesn't necessarily mean bringing Erika to the castle to stay indefinitely. He only needs to deliver the message. He can summon her there, tell her, then immediately send her away. He could also go to her, though that would have its own problems. Bernkastel is also not imposing a time limit.

Sorry if you understood that and I'm repeating myself.

Please continue to vote.

9ba34 No.94041

>>94034
Option two

I would love to see visions of Edward's mother, and so would Ed. But a deal that seems so simple and easy rarely is. There's something more to all this and it will definitely have unforeseen consequences. As much as it pains me to give up such a vision, it must be done. …by the way, since we do have memories of our mother, what was her name? I was thinking that if Tharja has daughters, it'd be nice to name them in honor/memory of our mothers.

d424b No.94046

Option 1.

Edward's just dealt with a brush against his own demise, and could use a dash of Truth right now.

fae27 No.94048

Option 2.

I don't trust Bernkastel.

cb684 No.94050

>>94034
Option 2. To quote "Strange Days", memories fade. They're built that way for a reason.

60487 No.94051

>>94034
Option 2

Given the hints we’ve seen of what happened between Beatrice and Bern, I’m extremely hesitant to take actions that would inform Erika Bern still has some sort of existence without consulting with Beatrice. She’s doing Ed a great service here and that there’s a chance this would betray her sits ill.
(It could also be nothing, or could have different outcomes, or even be something Beatrice would want herself, but we don’t *know* and that makes me loath to have Edward give his word.)

9fa82 No.94052

I'm going to go with Option 1. While there might be repercussions of the deal we may not fully be aware of, this does feel like a chance for Edward to get to know his mother again (for better or worse). Also it's going to be a long, boring wait otherwise…

588f5 No.94053

Option 1

We'd be the only way for bernkastel to get anything out into the living world I'd take her deal as a kindness

78a1e No.94054

Option 1.

0ab1c No.94057

>>94034
Option 2

416b9 No.94058

Option 1

f603d No.94069

>6 votes for option one, take Bernkastel's deal and relive the memories of your mother.
>7 votes for option two, refuse.

Turn down Bernkastel's deal.

Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.94070

It's… tempting. It's so very tempting. It's something priceless. No amount of gold could buy what Bernkastel is offering you. No magic from Beatrice could replace what Bernkastel is offering you.

… No.

"Your answer is final?"

If she won't clearly explain her motives, then that's right. You have to refuse.

"…I see. I'm disappointed, but that's your decision."



There's a very long pause between your exchange.

"Should you go first, or should I?"

…Go first?

"Twenty questions. Let's limit it to material things."

… She can go first.

"All right. I have made my selection. Ask your first question."

–Let's see.

Choice time:
>Is it a person?
>Is it alive?
>Is it bigger than a loaf of bread?
>Can you consume it?
>Could you purchase it with gold?

2fbd3 No.94071

>>94070
Option 2

f603d No.94072

Is it alive?

"It is not."

Choice time:
>Is it dead?
>Is it bigger than a loaf of bread?
>Can you consume it?
>Could you purchase it with gold?
>Is it 'in a state of existence where it doesn't exist?'

428b0 No.94073

>>94070
Option 2.

f603d No.94075

Is it bigger than a loaf of bread?

"It is."

Choice time:
>Is it dead?
>Is it something you could touch?
>Can you consume it?
>Could you purchase it with gold?
>Is it 'in a state of existence where it doesn't exist?'

2fbd3 No.94076

>>94075
Option 4

f603d No.94080

Could you purchase it with gold?

"An interesting question. In this case, I will say no."

Choice time:
>Is it dead?
>Is it something you could touch?
>Can you consume it?
>Is it 'in a state of existence where it doesn't exist?
>Is it a part of the Earth?

e263f No.94081

>>94080

Option 2

f603d No.94083

Is it something you could touch?

"Yes."

Choice time:
>Is it dead?
>Can you consume it?
>Is it a part of the Earth?
>Is it one-of-a-kind?

9ba34 No.94084

>>94083
Option 4

f603d No.94085

Is it one of a kind?

"It is not. Fifteen questions left."

Yes, thank you.

Choice time:
>Is it dead?
>Can you consume it?
>Is it a part of the Earth?

e263f No.94086

>>94085

Option two

fae27 No.94087

Sure. Option 2.

f603d No.94094

Can you consume it?

"You cannot."

It's probably not dead, then.

Choice time:
>Is it a part of the Earth?
>Is it its own singular object?
>Is it in the sky?

e263f No.94095

>>94094

Option 1.

f603d No.94098

Is it a part of the Earth?

"It is."

Okay, and it's not one of a kind. So it isn't a specific place.

You can't consume it, so it isn't a body of water. –Maybe the ocean.

It must be a certain type of land.

Choice time:
>Does it rise high into the sky?
>Does it split the Earth and create cliffs?
>Is it the ocean?
>Is it steady ground, or does it sift under the feet?

e263f No.94100

>>94098
Option two

f603d No.94101

Does it split the Earth and create cliffs? Like a ravine.

"It does not."

Choice time:
>Does it rise high into the sky?
>Is it the ocean?
>Is it steady ground, or does it sift under the feet?

e263f No.94102

>>94101

Option one.

d424b No.94106

Option 1

29b9b No.94108

>>94101
Option one.

As a note, if/when we ask the third one there, we'll need to rephrase it- as written it's not a yes-or-no.

f603d No.94130

Does it rise high into the sky?

"It does."

There's only a few things left.

Choice time:
>Is it a mountain?
>Is it a hill?
>Is it a dead-tree forest?

fae27 No.94131

Option 2.

Because it reminds me of Hills Like White Elephants, Hemingway's euphemism for his pregnant lover's body.

f603d No.94132

Is it a hill?

"It is not. Ten questions left."

Choice time:
>Is it a mountain?
>Is it a dead-tree forest?
>…Is it a field of stakes?

fae27 No.94133

Option 1.

f603d No.94134

Is it a mountain?

"It is. You win."

… That's good. You really thought the answer might be a field of stakes, for a moment. Though that doesn't rise 'high into the sky,' you suppose.

"If I had hands I would clap at your victory. But, I do not. I'll ask you to imagine me clapping instead."

–Yes, you understand.

"Your turn, King Edward. Choose and I will begin my questioning."

Oh. Right.

You don't know how much you should think about it, but the only limit is the answer must be a material thing.

Hm…

Choice time:
>A bird.
>A pregnant woman.
>A man's erect penis.
>Witch Lambdadelta.
>Witch Beatrice.
>Witch Erika.
>A castle.
>A forest.
>A single individual tree.
>A boat.
>A nun.
>A piece of ice.
>A maid.
>A tower.
>Ruhemanian onions.
>Salted fish.
>A horse.

Note: this will not be a choice where I take the first vote that replies without waiting for more. Write-ins are acceptable.

8a785 No.94135

>>94134

Write in option: Mania? She’s a little bit of everything without being a complete giveaway.

af2a1 No.94136

>>94134
Option 14
A Tower

a9583 No.94139

Option 2

It may be a bit forward but who knows, it may lead to an amusing reaction.

e47e1 No.94140

Option 2

53d4e No.94149

>>94134
Option 12, a piece of ice. I think this is the least personally related option to Edward, and thus would be the hardest for her to guess.

3fbbc No.94150

Option 4: Witch Lambdadelta.

I'm a perverse bastard.

bc88f No.94152

>>94135
Agreeing with this option,
Mania

fae27 No.94156

Yeah, I'll go with the write-in.

Mania.

cc44f No.94165

>>94134
Option two

db2bd No.94196

Witch Lambdadelta

f603d No.94220

>3 votes for option two, a pregnant woman.
>2 votes for option four, Witch Lambdadelta.
>1 vote for option twelve, a piece of ice.
>1 vote for option fourteen, a tower.
>3 votes for write-in, Mania.

We have a tie.

I will come back later, and if there is still a tie, I will flip a coin to decide the vote.

Please do not feel any pressure to change your vote. Changing your vote will not make the update come faster.

b0a2b No.94232

>>94136
I will change my vote to option 4

1c7e6 No.94262

>>94220

I vote for Mania

f603d No.94294

>Write-in, Mania.


All right, you have one. She may start questioning.

"Is it a person?"

Yes, you reply.

"Is it someone who has been the focus of a vision I've shown you?"

…Yes.

"Is it the killer of witches, King Vlad?"

No.

"Is it the would-be revolutionary turned witch, Mania?"

–Well, it is Mania, but what does she mean by 'revolutionary'?

"Hm? Did you not consider Agitha may have had her own miracle?"

…What?

"Imagine an Agitha who flees from the room in panic while her family is left to take care of their daughter. The daughter, seeing her flight, fights on with all of her strength, making it necessary for all three to keep her under control. Meanwhile, her idea spreads. Agitha appeals to other servants. Who appeal to other servants. Who appeal to servants who interact with the peasants, who are persuaded to go to the peasants, who all know and trust Mania… and at the very least don't want her harmed."

…Would that have really been possible?

"It did not happen. You may judge for yourself if she's capable of that. Or of anything that comes after."

… Hm.

A Mania who integrates with the peasants and sees they're suffering from aristocrats who turn a blind eye to their problems. Enough that she inspires them to action and the peasants don't just revolt, but come after you and all the other aristocrats personally…

You're not sure you can see it. Mania is content with her talk of the Goddess and would likely use charms and sigils. You don't know if she could really ever do… that. Sister Mania took it upon herself to single-handedly address the needs of the entire village she served. You'd like to think her work would be recognized. Even a cynical Mania could be a saint.

–At any rate, that won't happen. You care about the peasants. Mania and you… share a special bond.

"It was merely an experiment in thought. It did not happen."

Right.

…Anyway, it's Bernkastel's turn.

"They were fresh on your mind, weren't they?"

Yes, you admit.

Choice time:
>Play 20 questions honestly.
>Start to cheat.
>After the fifth time she guesses your subject correctly so quickly, accuse Bernkastel of cheating.
>Suggest they raise the stakes. –Figuratively speaking.

fae27 No.94296

Option 1.

db2bd No.94298

Option 4. Let's make things interesting.
(Also because I missed the vote to accept her request.)

d09ff No.94304

>>94294

Option one, though the last one intrigues me.

89edf No.94310

>>94294
Option 4, let's have fun

74d50 No.94311

Option 4.

Between 1 and 4 I think it'd be more interesting.

b0a2b No.94314

>>94294
Option 4

e3a6c No.94315

>>94294

Option 4

f603d No.94324

>2 votes for option one, play 20 questions honestly.
>5 votes for option four, suggest they raise the stakes.

Raise the stakes of winning 20 questions.


You're getting incredibly bored of twenty questions. You think you'd rather never play the game ever again. Even as you solve Bernkastel's latest riddle.

"You win. Tell me when you have your next choice of item."

–Hold on.

This is surely a way that they can pass the time. But what if they made it interesting?

"How would we make it interesting?"

Make the game actually worth winning or losing. She could promise something. You could promise something… the winner would get that thing.

"… If you're going to suggest something like that, I would rather you have taken my deal."

Well.

Maybe you will?

You don't know. Is there anything, literally anything, that Bernkastel could want, besides you telling Erika what she asked?

"Your machinations in the existence you return to will be irrelevant to me once you wake up, save for that."

…No other messages? To Beatrice or anyone else.

"Nothing I would have you tell her."

And she won't decide to show you your vision of your mother, out of boredom?

"Never. It was my only leverage."

…True enough.

What if the stakes were Bernkastel explaining her motives?

"…"

She seems to understand much about you. She's shown you all of these visions. You know very little about her, save her brief appearance in Erika's history. Information about Bernkastel herself may be worth knowing. Or at least entertaining.

"…I suppose it will make the game more entertaining. Let us discuss terms."

You discuss things with Bernkastel.

Each time you win against Bernkastel, she will reveal something about herself.

The first will be about the time in which she was alive.

The second will be about the Bernkastel and Lambdadelta conflict.

The third will be her motive for asking you for her deal.

You do not get to choose the order. If you want to know the secret of the deal, you must win three times.

If you lose…

"The moment you fail to guess my choice is the moment you accept my deal. As a show of good faith, I will even show you your mother, as promised. To make things fair, I will make it so you must lose three times before accepting my deal."

'Losing' means failing to guess the other person's item?

"Yes."

…You'll probably win three times by pure attrition. The real question is if you can hold Bernkastel off long enough first.

"You may go first."

All right.

Bernkastel's first question is always 'is it a person?'

Is there a choice you can make that could mislead her? She seems to know every person, or type of person, you could choose.

Choice time:
>Choose another sort of person.
>Choose Bernkastel herself.
>Choose some other material thing.
>Choose some material thing that's incredibly specific.

2a8bc No.94328

>>94324

Option one - the first pregnant character we met at the start of this CYOA - the young heavily pregnant maid. Considering Edward’s long list of pregnant women, it would be quite a challenge for her.

fae27 No.94329

Write-in:

Someone she knows we would like to think about the least.

I'm thinking either Albert or Patchouli.

e3a6c No.94339

>>94329
+1 for write in, patchouli

f603d No.94340

>>94329
I have to ask for a specific person.

89edf No.94343

I don't think a witch is a good idea. She's gonna get there quickly. I suggest something specific, something material: Tharja's wedding ring.

a9163 No.94347

>>94343
I vote for this write-in, Tharja's wedding ring.
I agree with your line of thinking, good idea.

78d86 No.94350

Option four, one incredibly specific thing. I also agree with Tharja's wedding ring.

f0b5e No.94352

>>94347
I believe I made a mistake calling this a write in, sorry for any confusion.

db2bd No.94353

Option 4. I'm fine with the wedding ring, though I won't be surprised if she guesses it. I'm terrible at guessing games (either way).

a85e1 No.94358

For a specific person, I'm going to say Elizabeth. Though I don't know if anon will still be on board for that.

f603d No.94400

Okay this vote was hard to tabulate but the result was:

>Tharja's wedding ring.


Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.94401

…You'll try creating something incredibly specific. It's not cheating as long as you don't alter the thing.

You have an answer chosen, you say. She may begin asking questions.

"Is it a person?"

No.

"Is it smaller than a loaf of bread?"

Yes.

"Is it unique?"

…Yes.

She's getting there already.

"Could it be carried around?"

Yes.

"Is it an animal?"

No.

"Is it something a human would touch?"

Yes.

"Is it a book of any kind?"

No.

"Is it a weapon?"

No.

"Is it something that can be worn?"

Shit, she's going to get it.

Yes.

"Is it something that would be worn on the head?"

No.

"Is it something that would be worn on the feet?"

No.

"Is it something that would be worn on the hands?"

Yes.

"Is it gloves?"

No.

"Is it made of metal?"

Yes.

"Is it meant to protect the person wearing it from anything?"

No.

"Is it jewelry?"

Yes.

"Is it a ring?"

Yes.

"… Ah, it's a unique ring, I see."



"Is it a ring you have ever worn?"

No.

"Is it a ring worn by someone with a close connection with you?"

Yes.

"Is it your wife's wedding ring?"

… That's it. Her twentieth question answered your riddle.

It occurs to you, out of all the people you know, your Father still wears his wedding ring. Surely your mother would have too, while she was alive.

You definitely thought of Tharja's ring. She solved it.

–But maybe you could alter it and say it was a ring worn by your mother or father? It's… cheating… and distasteful, but you want to know her motives.

Choice time:
>Bernkastel chose correctly. Admit she solved your riddle.
>No, the answer was your father's wedding ring.
>No, the answer was your mother's wedding ring.

ebb7e No.94403

Option 1, because I wouldn't dare trick a witch.

4d62c No.94404

>>94401

A hard fought game, but a bargain’s a bargain.

Option one.

9ff09 No.94405

>>94401
Option one. Frustrating that she got it on her final question, but a win is a win. No sense in lying.

fae27 No.94406

Option 1.

A deal is a deal.

9b8c0 No.94409

Option 1. An honest king is a king with fewer plots against him in the long run.

dedff No.94412

Option 1

db2bd No.94429

Option one. We play fair.

f603d No.94447

>Play fair.


Yes, she's correct. The item was your wife's wedding ring.

"I see. That was an interesting choice. It produced a spirited game as well. Yes. For providing such an intriguing game, I'll count it as if I had lost and give you the first third of the reward."

–Really?

You smell a trap.

She doesn't have to do that, you say.

"Correct. But I will do it anyway."

Well, okay. You may as well not argue with Bernkastel.

"I ascended when I was very young. I kept that form as my style to signify how my mortal life ended that day. I added cat features because cats intrigue me."

–Oh, God. That means she murdered someone when she was…

Your mind is reeling because you have no body to feel revulsion with.

"Judge me as you like, I will provide you with no more details."

… She didn't regret it or hesitate?

"You cannot understand, King Edward. Ascension enables comprehension, acuteness, and maturity. You glimpsed it briefly with Beatrice."

–Yes, she's said something about how even an illiterate woman can ascend if she's instructed. That the mind never ages nor grows slow.

"Correct. At any rate, I felt only power. I wanted more of that power."

You listen to her talk.

From what you can glean, she's a witch so old she definitely predates the Church. Or even the concept of 'Kings' as you know it, at least. You're not sure exactly what that means, but you take Bernkastel's word for it.

But her interpretation of power was different.

"I wanted the power to affect other witches. I developed magic to find 'miracles' that would never happen. I would use this knowledge to manipulate circumstances beyond which the witch could prepare."

In other words, Bernkastel had a subtle sort of power. Rather than constantly wear a suit of armor around for fear of assassin, she would determine the specific time she had to be wearing armor. The result where 'Bernkastel is killed by an assassin' would therefore become a miracle that would never happen.

"It was efficient and near effortless. I was unparalleled. Until I met… her."

Lambdadelta. The Witch of Certainty.

"My concept is to determine when miracles won't happen. Lambdadelta's concept was to determine what would happen. Absolutely. With no room for doubt. We were at once intrigued, disgusted, and obsessed with each other."

The distinction is hard to explain, she concedes.

Bernkastel found a miracle in King Vlad, Mania, and the rest. Things that would never happen.

Whereas Lambdadelta would find 'certainty': things that must happen.

In other words, Bernkastel was manipulating events with magic that let her look into the past, Lambdadelta was manipulating events with magic that let her see the future.

The effect was they became very frustrated. They both could see themselves in the other, and wanted to destroy each other.

"…As concepts. The death of Lambdadelta as an individual was never my intention nor my want. She was rather fun."

It's… difficult to understand, exactly.

But it does remind you of Nara and her fortune telling. Predicting the future is 'evil' because it gives you no choice. Fortune telling where you still have the ability to act on what you know is true freedom and empowerment. If that's true… it would make Bernkastel and Lambdadelta very evil, by those standards.

"That is all I'll reveal. You must win if you want to know more. It is now my turn, King Edward." There's a short pause. "I have made my decision. Begin your questioning."

All right…

You technically didn't win even if she gave it to you anyway, so you had better stay ahead of Bernkastel.

Choice time:
>Lead with finding out if it's alive, then a person, then animal.
>Lead with finding out if it's a thing, then unique, then has an use.
>Lead with finding out if it's a place or landmark.

4d62c No.94450

>>94447

Option one

fae27 No.94452

Option 1.

She stated her love of cats. Seems the right place to start.

2c4b1 No.94479

>>94452
That's bait. She'd absolutely expect us to follow that road.

Option 2.

db2bd No.94480

Option 2.

8d1ce No.94488

>>94447
Option 2.

9b436 No.94490

Option 2

We'll see if it's bait at the start. If it's not a (material) thing we will know very quickly and will have only burned a single question. Though we must be careful indeed.

f603d No.94493

>2 votes for option one, try to determine if it's alive, person, or animal.
>4 votes for option two, try to determine if it's a thing, unique, and has a use.

Lead with determining if it's an object.

Poll closed. Update soon.

f603d No.94495

You lead with whether it's an object.

It is, but your next questions leave you no closer to guessing.

It's not unique. It has a use. It's larger than a loaf of bread. It's not metal…

You ask more questions trying to narrow it down until she confirms it's made of solid rock.

It's not a man-made structure. It's not a place you can visit. It's a large object.

What kind of object with a use is made of solid rock??

You reach your last question and make your best guess: it's a rock for a catapult. It's either that or a rock for a trap, but you'll go with catapult.

"You are incorrect. The correct answer is the moon."

–What??

The moon is both unique, and has no use!

"Wrong in both aspects. Planets exist like this Earth that have moons. And the moon may not have a personal use to you, but it is used. Would you deny sailors would navigate with the moon as a guide?"

…Looks like you'll have to accept you've lost.

Two more misses and you must accept Bernkastel's deal.

"Your turn, King Edward."

Don't rush me.

"As you say."

… You think it over.

You need a good choice. Bernkastel had an idea that just took you somewhere you didn't anticipate by choosing the moon. And it is a material thing. You need something that can distract, potentially.

She'll probably start with 'Is it a person?'

Choice time:
>The Pope.
>Whatever was in the hookah Mara offered you.
>Simon's whip.
>Elizabeth's collar.
>Something else.

fae27 No.94498

Option 3.

I was intrigued when it came up in the chat thread.

eca19 No.94499

>>94495

Option 3

9b436 No.94501

Option 3

9ba34 No.94503

>>94495
Option 3, of course. Wouldn't do to not vote for my own suggestion.

db2bd No.94532

Option 3

f603d No.94541

>Simon's whip.


You have one. Go ahead, you say.

Simon's whip. You're not sure she knows about that, though if she's shown you an impossible situation where you hand Tharja's book over to her… she just might.

"Is it a person?" she asks.

It's not.

"Is it unique?"

Yes.

"Is it larger than a loaf of bread?"

…You pause, but decide yes.

"Does it have a use?"

Yes.

"Is it a weapon?"

…Hm. Maybe you should've foreseen she'd go back to asking about weapons.

Yes, it's a weapon.

"Is it a weapon you have personally used?"

No.

"Is it a weapon you have personally seen?"

…Yes.

"Is it made of metal?"

No.

"Is it used by a witch?"

No.

"Is it used by a witch-hunter?"

Fuck, she has it.

Yes.

"Was it used by Daniella?"

No.

"Was it used by Simon?"

Yes.

"Is it something that was thrown into the oubliette with his body?"

Yes.

"Is it his whip?"

It is. She solved it.

"King Edward, may I make a request?"

What is it?

"Please refrain from selecting items related to persons or scenes I may not know about. In this case, I did know about your confrontation with Daniella in the dungeon, but if I hadn't, then it's a little unfair, isn't it? Choosing an item that belongs to a random person on this Earth who you just might happen to remember meeting at some brief moment. Or, not at all."

–Oh.

Sorry, you thought she knew everything.

"I do not see or know everything. I will say no more."

Hm. She doesn't want to explain her limits.

What about a trade? You won't choose answers that are specific to a random person Bernkastel has never met or could know about… and Bernkastel treats this game as a loss for her and explains the Bernkastel and Lambdadelta conflict.

"Agreed."



You were half making an attempt at humor, but she's actually going to do it? She must be confident. That or she was always intending to show you. At any rate, you don't have time to question it. You'll just hear her story, then concentrate on solving her puzzle.

>No choice yet, further update coming soon.

f603d No.94573

There's a long pause where you don't 'hear' Bernkastel say anything.

So…

"Allow me a moment to compose my thoughts."

All right.

"…" Another pause. "The so-called conflict… it really wasn't that bad. Lambdadelta and I couldn't compete in direct terms with each other."

You've heard they would play games like 'who has the cutest organs.'

"Of course. The answer was both of us. But our powers nullified each other on a metaphysical level. I don't mean that they were dynamically opposed. It wasn't as if she was a witch who only cast fire magic and I were a witch who only cast ice magic. We were both doing the same thing and the exact opposite thing at the same time. I would find miracles that couldn't happen and Lambdadelta would find events that must happen. –You've heard of the three-chair rule? That was never an actual rule. At any rate, it wouldn't have mattered. There was no way for any other witch to put their metaphorical toe on the scale and tilt it one way or the other: the scale didn't exist. We both simply were."

You think it's a bit vague. Can she explain more?

"It would be as if I created a twenty questions answer that Lambdadelta could never guess. At the same time, Lambdadelta would create a twenty questions answer that she could never lose. The game's over already."

But that's just… a contradiction. Unless there's cheating going on or…

"It's not something that can be explained so simply as a contradiction. It isn't as if I carried an unbreakable shield and she carried an unbreakable spear. The use of our magic would be a conceptual fight over what 'unbreakable' means."

…It really sounds difficult to comprehend.

"It's all right. You can think of it this way. You are a powerful King. Your neighbor is also a powerful King. You both have claim to a bit of land. Who gets it first? The person with the bigger army?"

You suppose.

"But your army is perfect. As is the other King's. You can't fight each other. So what you do instead is you get lesser, weaker Kings involved."

Parties Bernkastel and Lambdadelta were invited to turned into situations like that. Neither could affect the other, so they dragged other witches into the fray.

"All in the name of fun. Many enjoyed it. Why else would we be further invited to bigger and bigger parties? Why would the conflict not involve all of the guests? Why would it not continue after the party was over? Lambdadelta made more 'friends' with her magic, but I had a dedicated array of followers who knew I simply could not lose. –Witch Erika included."

You're not sure how to feel about that, but it's nothing new when you consider Erika's personality.

"Then… I was betrayed."

A group of her own supporters attacked and killed Lambdadelta.

"Do you know how hard it is for a witch to destroy another witch's book, King Edward? It's disgusting on a visceral level. It requires intense concentration. You have to be trying to do it. There were too many things that were repulsive about that act. One, that it happened. A witch killed another witch. Two, that it happened for a stupid reason: they were tired of the so-called conflict. Three, that they expected me to simply accept the results when it was done. That they were somehow stronger than both myself and Lambdadelta. I would never accept that. She was, in many ways, my other half. Knowing she was dead… made my own existence lesser."

… You can understand, on some level. You feel that way about Tharja.

"I made a simple pronouncement: I would take care of all of those who had allied with me. Those friends of Lambdadelta did nothing wrong. I would simply punish the betrayal."

That's not how Beatrice described it. She made you imagine Bernkastel going on some murderous berserk rampage, lashing out at witches everywhere.

"Both correct, and false. Some of those had friends who were with Lambdadelta, and they swore they wouldn't let that happen. That put me in a bit of a bind. But, not all of them. The witch most responsible, the most weak, and the one with the least allies… Beatrice. She would be the first."

–Then why did she go after Maria?

"Ah. Witch Maria. She was a motivation. There was no miracle where Beatrice would run away from me if Maria died. So… Maria needed to die. In a way that made it a spectacle. I took no joy in myself killing a witch. But Beatrice needed to feel fear. To a lesser extent, the other betrayers as well."

"I got what I wanted. Beatrice and I fought. Beatrice won. I am now in this state of existence."

–Did she do anything to Bernkastel, to put her in this state of existence?

"I will say no more. Win your next game and you may hear the answer."

Okay…

You don't understand. Is Beatrice keeping Bernkastel 'alive' with her magic somehow? Just like she's doing with you? Is that why you can both meet? Bernkastel isn't saying. And… your mind feels worn down after you tried to keep track of how exactly Lambdadelta and Bernkastel 'opposed' each other.

…You only have to win once more.

"I will no longer award you an equivalent of a win even if I correctly guess your answer. You must honestly win. And honor your promise."

Yes, you will. Bernkastel has been… fair.

"I have chosen an answer. Begin your questions."

Okay.

… Your mind is blank. You're really worn out after her story. Was that her plan?

You honestly feel like if you choose something too general and work your way logically to the answer you're going to get bogged down and ultimately lose. Maybe you should try something very specific and see if it somehow hits.

Choice time:
>Does it walk on four legs?
>Can you eat it in one bite?
>Did it exist a thousand years ago?
>Is it made of crystal?
>Is it slimy?

db951 No.94574

>>94573

Option two

fae27 No.94575

Option 2.

It seems like the question that would give us the most information. The others are a bit too specific.

8d1ce No.94583

>>94573
Option one, though I'd probably have led with "does it walk" first. Everything she's used so far has been big and old, so I'm thinking it'll be something alive this time. My big concern with one and two is that they're asking two questions in one, and if she says 'no', then we're right back where we started.

bb5f2 No.94592

Option 2

9b436 No.94595

Option 3
BD raised a good point, both times it's been something large and old. In a way it matches her age. She could pick anything, but I'm more inclined to think she'll stick with her current trend.
I'm also inclined to think if the answer to option 3 is "yes" then we have narrowed it down to something astral or geological. Or Bernkastel herself.

9ba34 No.94601

>>94595
Fair point. Changing my vote to Option 3

db2bd No.94602

Option 3


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