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Rhialto

Rhialto's Marvelous Writings

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Neta Xemutre Ends an Activity

 

 

Notes:

 

 

The player must have the ability “Walk and Talk with Neta Xemutre”; this event is meant to automatically trigger once the PC gains Affection with a female NPC not Neta Xemutre. It cannot trigger if the Player has already experienced this event.

 

Text

 

 

[If PC has Affection with Zoe Melis]

 

 

[If PC has memory Zoe spurned for Gates]

 

 

One of the wonderful things, you think, about having a dear friend, is that tedious, common, and seemingly meaningless activities become wonderful when their experiencer is absorbed by thoughts about the dear friend.

So it is that you, walking through the Academagia’s hallways on your way to bring to one professor another professor’s notes – even though you are taught by neither professor and the requesting professor did not even offer your college any merit for your completing the task – is made at least somewhat enjoyable as you think about Zoe Melis. She is, you now realize, more than a convenient but sickly source of knowledge who sometimes sighs or mutters in Eluminian which you are unfamiliar with. Zoe – whom you, under her instruction, can think of as Cimoneis duena hilea – is, in addition, a wonderful source of support whom you are glad to support in turn as you and she go through your time at the Academagia together. Zoe, moreover, is making subtle signs that she would not be averse to becoming more – especially next year.

As you think these and other pleasant thoughts about Zoe – which serve to ward from your thoughts any sorrows about your not having continued your study of Gates Magic – you are interrupted by a soft voice, calling behind you, “Hey. [PCFirstName].”

Turning around, you see Neta Xemutre, looking at you with slightly worried eyes. When she sees that she has your attention, she says, as if reciting from a memorized script, “Zoe and I were talking about her…deep friendship…with you, and Zoe wants you to know that she does not mind your continuing to meet with me.” Then, sighing in obvious relief, Neta says, “Please do not talk to me about this. I am Zoe’s messenger; she can explain more...if she wants to.”

And then, before you can say anything in response, Neta turns away and rushes off.

 

[If PC has memory Zoe rejected for Gates]

 

 

One of the wonderful things, you think, about having a dear friend, is that tedious, common, and seemingly meaningless activities become wonderful when their experiencer is absorbed by thoughts about the dear friend.

So it is that you, walking through the Academagia’s hallways on your way to bring to one professor another professor’s notes – even though you are taught by neither professor and the requesting professor did not even offer your college any merit for your completing the task – is made at least somewhat enjoyable as you think about Zoe Melis. She is, you now realize, more than a convenient but sickly source of knowledge who sometimes sighs or mutters in Eluminian which you are unfamiliar with. Zoe – whom you, under her instruction, can think of as Cimoneis duena hilea – is, in addition, a wonderful source of support whom you are glad to support in turn as you and she go through your time at the Academagia together. Zoe, moreover, is making subtle signs that she would not be averse to becoming more – especially next year.

As you think these and other pleasant thoughts about Zoe – which serve to ward from your thoughts any concerns about how you will handle your relationship with Zoe and your continued study of Gates Magic – you are interrupted by a soft voice, calling behind you, “Hey. [PCFirstName].”

Turning around, you see Neta Xemutre, looking at you with slightly worried eyes. When she sees that she has your attention, she says, as if reciting from a memorized script, “Zoe and I were talking about her…deep friendship…with you, and Zoe wants you to know that she does not mind your continuing to meet with me.” Then, sighing in obvious relief, Neta says, “Please do not talk to me about this. I am Zoe’s messenger; she can explain more...if she wants to.”

And then, before you can say anything in response, Neta turns away and rushes off.

 

[If PC has neither memory Zoe rejected for Gates nor memory Zoe spurned for Gates]

 

 

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

 

 

One of the wonderful things, you think, about having a dear friend, is that tedious, common, and seemingly meaningless activities become wonderful when their experiencer is absorbed by thoughts about the dear friend.

So it is that you, walking through the Academagia’s hallways on your way to bring to one professor another professor’s notes – even though you are taught by neither professor and the requesting professor did not even offer your college any merit for your completing the task – is made at least somewhat enjoyable as you think about Zoe Melis. She is, you now realize, more than a convenient but sickly source of knowledge who sometimes sighs or mutters in Eluminian which you are unfamiliar with. Zoe – whom you, under her instruction, can think of as Cimoneis duena hilea – is, in addition, a wonderful source of support whom you are glad to support in turn as you and she go through your time at the Academagia together. Zoe, moreover, is making subtle signs that she would not be averse to becoming more – especially next year.

As you think these and other pleasant thoughts about Zoe – which serve to ward from your thoughts any concerns about whether she or you may get in trouble for her efforts as the Homework Helper Heroine last year – you are interrupted by a soft voice, calling behind you, “Hey. [PCFirstName].”

Turning around, you see Neta Xemutre, looking at you with slightly worried eyes. When she sees that she has your attention, she says, as if reciting from a memorized script, “Zoe and I were talking about her…deep friendship…with you, and Zoe wants you to know that she does not mind your continuing to meet with me.” Then, sighing in obvious relief, Neta says, “Please do not talk to me about this. I am Zoe’s messenger; she can explain more...if she wants to.”

And then, before you can say anything in response, Neta turns away and rushes off.

 

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

 

 

One of the wonderful things, you think, about having a dear friend, is that tedious, common, and seemingly meaningless activities become wonderful when their experiencer is absorbed by thoughts about the dear friend.

So it is that you, walking through the Academagia’s hallways on your way to bring to one professor another professor’s notes – even though you are taught by neither professor and the requesting professor did not even offer your college any merit for your completing the task – is made at least somewhat enjoyable as you think about Zoe Melis. She is, you now realize, more than a convenient but sickly source of knowledge who sometimes sighs or mutters in Eluminian which you are unfamiliar with. Zoe – whom you, under her instruction, can think of as Cimoneis duena hilea – is, in addition, a wonderful source of support whom you are glad to support in turn as you and she go through your time at the Academagia together. Zoe, moreover, is making subtle signs that she would not be averse to becoming more – especially next year.

As you think these and other pleasant thoughts about Zoe – which serve to ward from your thoughts any concerns about her strong need for money and great loneliness – you are interrupted by a soft voice, calling behind you, “Hey. [PCFirstName].”

Turning around, you see Neta Xemutre, looking at you with slightly worried eyes. When she sees that she has your attention, she says, as if reciting from a memorized script, “Zoe and I were talking about her…deep friendship…with you, and Zoe wanted me to tell you that she does not mind your continuing to meet with me – and wishes that she could be as friendly with me as you are.” Then, sighing in obvious relief, Neta says, “Please do not talk to me about this. I am Zoe’s messenger; she can explain more...if she wants to.”

And then, before you can say anything in response, Neta turns away and rushes off.

 

 

 

[If PC has Affection with Miya Hikari]

 

 

One of the wonderful things, you think, about having a dear friend, is that tedious, common, and seemingly meaningless activities become wonderful when their experiencer is absorbed by thoughts about the dear friend.

So it is that you, walking through the Academagia’s hallways on your way to bring to one professor another professor’s notes – even though you are taught by neither professor and the requesting professor did not even offer your college any merit for your completing the task – is made at least somewhat enjoyable as you think about Miya Hikari. She is, you now realize, more than an eccentric alleged noble who sometimes sighs or mutters in a language which you are unfamiliar with. Miya is, in addition, a wonderful source of support whom you are glad to support in turn as you and she go through your time at the Academagia together.

As you think these and other pleasant thoughts about Miya, you are interrupted by a soft voice, calling behind you, “Hey. [PCFirstName].”

Turning around, you see Neta Xemutre, looking at you with slightly worried eyes. When she sees that she has your attention, she says, “Miya told me, with some harshness, that she wants to be the only way that you can become an unkaku – which apparently means a dweller among the clouds in whatever language she uses. Not that such an explanation helped me – even when she told be that she would be glad to make her hands dwell among my cloudlike hairs, depending upon how things go with you.” Then, sighing, Neta says, “l know that Miya is never easy to understand – I was not sure whether she was flirting with me, threatening me, or knowingly making a remark which could be interpreted either way – but I do not want to get involved between Miya and you. So, we cannot walk and talk together any more.” In a softer voice, on the verge of tears, Neta says, “Such things are common for me. At least Miya did not obviously insult my ancestry.”

And then, before you can say anything in response, Neta turns away and rushes off.

 

[If PC has Affection with a female NPC not Miya Hikari nor Zoe Melis]

 

 

One of the wonderful things, you think, about having a dear friend, is that tedious, common, and seemingly meaningless activities become wonderful when their experiencer is absorbed by thoughts about the dear friend.

So it is that you, walking through the Academagia’s hallways on your way to bring to one professor another professor’s notes – even though you are taught by neither professor and the requesting professor did not even offer your college any merit for your completing the task – is made at least somewhat enjoyable as you think about [FemaleStudentWithWhomPCHasAffectionFullName]. She is, you now realize, more than a fellow student or acquaintance in studies at the Academagia. [FemaleStudentWithWhomPCHasAffectionFirstName] is, in addition, a wonderful source of support whom you are glad to support in turn as you and she go through your time at the Academagia together.

As you think these and other pleasant thoughts about Miya, you are interrupted by a soft voice, calling behind you, “Hey. [PCFirstName].”

Turning around, you see Neta Xemutre, looking at you with slightly worried eyes. When she sees that she has your attention, she says, “[FemaleStudentWithWhomPCHasAffectionFirstName] told me, with some harshness, that she does not trust me with you, given my...” Neta’s voice trails off, and she winces. Then, sighing, Neta says, “I do not want to get involved between [FemaleStudentWithWhomPCHasAffectionFirstName] and you. So, we cannot walk and talk together any more.” In a softer voice, on the verge of tears, Neta says, “Such things are common for me.”

And then, before you can say anything in response, Neta turns away and rushes off.

 

 

Choice

 

 

Watch Neta leave.

 

 

[If PC has Affection with Zoe Melis]

 

 

[If PC has memory Zoe spurned for Gates]

 

 

As you numbly watch Neta rush away from you, your thoughts wander, against your will, to wondering whether Zoe Melis, despite her clear eagerness to maintain a strong relationship with you, would try to rush away so rapidly if she were to learn that you studied Gates Magic. Or would learning that you gave such studies up in order to get closer to her make her willing to overlook such crimes? Suddenly, the drudgery associated with helping two random professors does not seem nearly as oppressive – but thoughts about Zoe’s interest in you are no longer as comforting. [+ 2 stress, + 1 skill level Character Study, end event]

 

[If PC has memory Zoe rejected for Gates]

 

 

As you numbly watch Neta rush away from you, your thoughts wander, against your will, to wondering whether Zoe Melis, despite her clear eagerness to maintain a strong relationship with you, would try to rush away so rapidly if she were to learn that you are studying Gates Magic. Suddenly, the drudgery associated with helping two random professors does not seem nearly as oppressive – but thoughts about Zoe’s interest in you are no longer as comforting. [+ 2 stress, + 1 skill level Character Study, add memory Zoe and Neta, end event]

 

[If PC has neither memory Zoe rejected for Gates nor memory Zoe spurned for Gates]

 

 

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

 

 

As you numbly watch Neta rush away from you, your thoughts wander, against your will, to wondering whether Zoe Melis, despite her clear eagerness to maintain a strong relationship with you, would be so accommodating if she were healthier and hence more obviously attractive to other males your age. Suddenly, the drudgery associated with helping two random professors does not seem nearly as oppressive – you feel glad that you are able to walk such long distances without even gasping for breath. [+ 1 skill level Character Study, add memory Zoe and Neta, end event]

 

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

 

 

As you numbly watch Neta rush away from you, your thoughts wander, against your will, to wondering whether Zoe Melis, despite her clear eagerness to maintain a strong relationship with you, would be so accommodating if she were healthier and more socially adept – and hence more obviously attractive to other males your age. Suddenly, the drudgery associated with helping two random professors does not seem nearly as oppressive – you feel glad that you are able to walk such long distances without even gasping for breath. [+ 1 skill level Character Study, add memory Zoe and Neta, end event]

 

 

 

[If PC has Affection with Miya Hikari]

 

 

As you numbly watch Neta rush away from you, your thoughts focus upon Miya. One of many reasons why you like her is because she keeps making interesting – and possibly true – statements about her homeland and her role among its people which themselves suggest many questions whose answers you want. What are dwellers among the clouds, how common are they, and why would Miya think that she could make you a dweller among the clouds? Of course, Miya would be unlikely to want to give you a straight answer even if she were capable of it, but if you were unwilling to tolerate such vagueness from Miya, then you would not be such a close friend to her. [+ 1 skill level Worldliness, end event]

 

[If PC has Affection with a female NPC not Miya Hikari nor Zoe Melis]

 

 

As you numbly watch Neta rush away from you, you think about [FemaleStudentWithWhomPCHasAffectionFirstName]. [FemaleStudentWithWhomPCHasAffectionFirstName]’s deep friendship with you might be undermined, you realize, if Neta were to be known to be walking and talking with you, given Neta’s strange qualities and reputation – despite the innocence of your interactions with Neta. So, you are glad that Neta took the step of ending such activity with you – but you vaguely suppose that Neta’s frequently having to do similar things must place stress upon her friendships. [+ 1 skill level Dating, end event]

 

 

 

 

Edited by Rhialto
I added the memory Zoe and Neta to the adventure.

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@Legate of Mineta: I have just edit my adventure "Neta Xemutre Ends an Activity" in order to incorporate the memory Zoe and Neta. Can this change be incorporated into the in-game version? The memory Zoe and Neta is planned to play a role in my next adventure - in order to make it more responsive to events in the game.

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Zoe Melis’s Paranoia

Notes:

The prerequisites for this brief adventure are somewhat complex. The PC must have Love or better with Zoe Melis, and must have either or both of completion of the adventure Zoe’s Concerns or the memory Neta and Zoe.

Text:

[If PC completed the adventure Zoe’s Concerns]

[If PC has the memory Neta and Zoe]

[If PC is not a student at the Schohanwicht School]

Between Zoe’s fears about your relationship with Sima Venesico – which, in fairness, even you cannot easily understand or explain even if you were free to be honest with Zoe – and Neta’s words to you about Zoe’s alleged words to her, you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many people, you think, do not like being accused of paranoia – which is what your topics may suggest to her.

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Sima, right? And Neta?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning them?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached you about Sima’s…being special to you and why I approached Neta about her strolls with you? About those things?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did in those situations because I know what I am, all right?”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best.

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht School]

[If PC has the memory Zoe Spurned for Gates]

Between Zoe’s fears about your relationship with Sima Venesico – which, in fairness, even you cannot easily understand or explain even if you were free to be honest with Zoe – and Neta’s words to you about Zoe’s alleged words to her, you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many people, you think, do not like being accused of paranoia – which is what your topics may suggest to her.

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Sima, right? And Neta?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning them?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached you about Sima’s…being special to you and why I approached Neta about her strolls with you? About those things?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did in those situations because I know what I am, all right? And I could just as easily be the one asking you the questions, after how we parted after the end of last year – but because of what I am, I accept it and I hope that you will be better towards me.”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you were – and hope never to be again, for Zoe’s sake – you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

[If PC has the memory Zoe Rejected for Gates]

Between Zoe’s fears about your relationship with Sima Venesico – which, in fairness, even you cannot easily understand or explain even if you were free to be honest with Zoe – and Neta’s words to you about Zoe’s alleged words to her, you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many people, you think, do not like being accused of paranoia – which is what your topics may suggest to her.

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Sima, right? And Neta?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning them?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached you about Sima’s…being special to you and why I approached Neta about her strolls with you? About those things?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did in those situations because I know what I am, all right? And I could just as easily be the one asking you the questions, after how we parted after the end of last year – but because of what I am, I accept it and I hope that you will be better towards me.”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you are, you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

[If PC has neither memory Zoe Rejected for Gates nor Zoe Spurned for Gates]

Between Zoe’s fears about your relationship with Sima Venesico – which, in fairness, even you cannot easily understand or explain even if you were free to be honest with Zoe – and Neta’s words to you about Zoe’s alleged words to her, you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many people, you think, do not like being accused of paranoia – which is what your topics may suggest to her.

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Sima, right? And Neta?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning them?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached you about Sima’s…being special to you and why I approached Neta about her strolls with you? About those things?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did in those situations because I know what I am, all right?”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you are, you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

[If PC has no memory Neta and Zoe]

[If PC is not a student at the Schohanwicht School]

With Zoe’s fears about your relationship with Sima Venesico – which, in fairness, even you cannot easily understand or explain even if you were free to be honest with Zoe – you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many people, you think, do not like being accused of paranoia – which is what your topics may suggest to her.

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Sima, right?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning that?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached you about Sima’s…being special to you? About that?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did in that situation because I know what I am, all right?”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best.

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht School]

[If PC has the memory Zoe Spurned for Gates]

With Zoe’s fears about your relationship with Sima Venesico – which, in fairness, even you cannot easily understand or explain even if you were free to be honest with Zoe – you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many people, you think, do not like being accused of paranoia – which is what your topics may suggest to her.

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Sima, right?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning that?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached you about Sima’s…being special to you? About that?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did in that situation because I know what I am, all right? And I could just as easily be the one asking you the questions, after how we parted after the end of last year – but because of what I am, I accept it and I hope that you will be better towards me.”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you were – and hope never to be again, for Zoe’s sake – you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

[If PC has the memory Zoe Rejected for Gates]

With Zoe’s fears about your relationship with Sima Venesico – which, in fairness, even you cannot easily understand or explain even if you were free to be honest with Zoe – you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many people, you think, do not like being accused of paranoia – which is what your topics may suggest to her.

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Sima, right?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning that?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached you about Sima’s…being special to you? About that?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did in that situation because I know what I am, all right? And I could just as easily be the one asking you the questions, after how we parted after the end of last year – but because of what I am, I accept it and I hope that you will be better towards me.”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you are, you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

[If PC has neither memory Zoe Rejected for Gates nor Zoe Spurned for Gates]

With Zoe’s fears about your relationship with Sima Venesico – which, in fairness, even you cannot easily understand or explain even if you were free to be honest with Zoe – you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many people, you think, do not like being accused of paranoia – which is what your topics may suggest to her.

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Sima, right?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning that?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached you about Sima’s…being special to you? About that?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did in that situation because I know what I am, all right?”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you are, you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

[If PC did not complete the adventure Zoe’s Concerns]

[If PC is not a student at the Schohanwicht School]

With Neta’s recent words to you about Zoe’s alleged words to her echoing in your memory, you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many girls at the Academagia, you think, do not like being compared to Neta Xemutre – especially not by boys whom they probably would be dating but for the school’s rules – but such a topic is what you wanted to talk to Zoe about. Maybe you were wrong to raise such a topic…

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Neta, right?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning that girl?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached Neta about her strolls with you? About that?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did with Neta because I know what I am, all right?”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best.

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht School]

[If PC has the memory Zoe Spurned for Gates]

With Neta’s recent words to you about Zoe’s alleged words to her echoing in your memory, you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many girls at the Academagia, you think, do not like being compared to Neta Xemutre – especially not by boys whom they probably would be dating but for the school’s rules – but such a topic is what you wanted to talk to Zoe about. Maybe you were wrong to raise such a topic…

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Neta, right?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning that girl?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached Neta about her strolls with you? About that?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did with Neta because I know what I am, all right? And I could just as easily be the one asking you the questions, after how we parted after the end of last year – but because of what I am, I accept it and I hope that you will be better towards me.”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you were – and hope never to be again, for Zoe’s sake – you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

[If PC has the memory Zoe Rejected for Gates]

With Neta’s recent words to you about Zoe’s alleged words to her echoing in your memory, you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many girls at the Academagia, you think, do not like being compared to Neta Xemutre – especially not by boys whom they probably would be dating but for the school’s rules – but such a topic is what you wanted to talk to Zoe about. Maybe you were wrong to raise such a topic…

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Neta, right?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning that girl?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached Neta about her strolls with you? About that?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did with Neta because I know what I am, all right? And I could just as easily be the one asking you the questions, after how we parted after the end of last year – but because of what I am, I accept it and I hope that you will be better towards me.”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you are, you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

[If PC has neither memory Zoe Rejected for Gates nor Zoe Spurned for Gates]

With Neta’s recent words to you about Zoe’s alleged words to her echoing in your memory, you think that you need to talk to Zoe in order to try to understand her thoughts. That, you recognize, may allow you to either help her – or to avoid unpleasantness if she were to reveal herself to you to be a smaller and more discreet version of Joana Lio y Rossollo.

With these thoughts, you had asked Zoe to meet with you at a time and place most convenient to her, and she told you that she could met with you outside Professor Sido’s office right around now. To your surprise, though, Zoe comes from within Professor Sido’s office, exclaiming “Vale!” in a cheerful voice. You are relieved, though, that her face does not lose its cheerfulness when it turns towards you.

“[PCFirstName], I have not forgotten about our meeting,” Zoe says. “I was just doing some work with Professor Sido.”

“Was my puzzlement so obvious?” you reply.

“In fairness, many reasons can be found for going to Professor Sido,” Zoe says lightly as she closes the professor’s door, “and he is paying me to tell him about Cimone’s Eluminian dialect among the youngest generation. So, if anyone gets suspicious about our meeting here, you can tell them that you are also interested in Eluminian.”

“Callida es,” you reply. Zoe has taught you at least that much Eluminian.

“But you are not here to state the obvious,” Zoe says. “At least I hope not. Between you and Sido, I would be done with such nugacity for the day.”

“No, Zoe,” you reply. “I really wanted to ask about you – and your concerns about…”

But then you do not know what you should say and your voice trails off. Many girls at the Academagia, you think, do not like being compared to Neta Xemutre – especially not by boys whom they probably would be dating but for the school’s rules – but such a topic is what you wanted to talk to Zoe about. Maybe you were wrong to raise such a topic…

Zoe, however, saves you from further efforts when she says, “This is about Neta, right?”

“Yeah,” you mumble.

“What do you want ask me about concerning that girl?” All traces of her earlier cheerfulness have vanished from her face and voice, and Zoe now radiates intense fear.

“Nothing major,” you say, with what you hope is a soothing voice. “I just want to know why.”

“Why what? Why I approached Neta about her strolls with you? About that?” Despite her words, Zoe’s voice is soft and flat.

“Yeah,” you repeat.

“Sometimes words are failures where a word succeeds,” Zoe muses, as if quoting something. Then, she looks at you with intense eyes.

Emotion returns to Zoe’s voice as she says, “I did what I did with Neta because I know what I am, all right?”

Zoe trembles with emotion and seems to be on the verge of tears. You realize that you have to reply – although you are not sure which reply springing to your mind is best. But you are inwardly thrilling with a mixture of terror and excitement. Given what you are, you recognize that Zoe’s statement need not be a reference to her obvious negative qualities.

Choices:

“Are you talking about your…condition?”

Zoe’s expression conveys a fascinating mixture of surprise and scorn as she says, “Yes.”

“Why do you think that, Zoe? I knew from the beginning that you are different, but we got closer regardless.”

“You do not know my full condition,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. And I know that so many girls in Hedi are better than I am in that way. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language - hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting. [+ 1 Luck for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 1 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

“What do you mean?”

Zoe’s expression conveys a fascinating mixture of surprise and scorn as she says, “I am very sickly. Other girls are less sickly – and some from Hedi are very alluring.”

“Zoe, I knew from the beginning that you are different, but we got closer regardless.”

“You do not know my full condition,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language - hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting. [+ 1 Luck for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 1 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

“Zoe, I know about you enough to not care about what you are – because you are wonderful to me.”

“You do not know my full condition,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. And I know that so many girls in Hedi are better than I am in that way. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language - hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting. [+ 1 Luck for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 1 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

“Zoe, between your vagueness now and…why we are meeting, I cannot do this.”

[If PC is not a student at the Schohanwicht]

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

“Do what?” Zoe’s squeak would be cute, you think, if not for the sorrowful fear flooding across her face.

“Be a…dear friend to you. Dear friends should be able to resolve their differences clearly, not…like you are.”

You are, perhaps to your relief, spared from having to explain more about Zoe’s defects in friendship when Zoe breaks down in loud sobs in front of you.

The ensuing events, however, see you enduring most of the suffering. Professor Sido rushes out from his office, his face distorted in a mixture of anger and concern. After a rapid exchange of what you presume is Eluminian with Zoe, he turns to you and says, “[PCLastName], detention! And be glad that I am not reporting you for trying to date Miss Melis.”

After the horror of a session in detention, you are surprised to be greeted by Zoe Melis, who, still looking tearful, tells you that she simply must apologize and explain. Not wanting to get into more trouble over Zoe, you agree.

“I am aware, see, that I am not very likely to be successful in dating because I am sickly and poor and erudite – all traits that are alarming when isolated and frightening when together.” Zoe says. “I also know that Hedi College has beautiful and healthy girls who are already attracting male attention. So, I fear that one of them will attract you away – perhaps even before the year is over. But I also know that people do not like paranoia from dear friends. It was as difficult for me to figure out how to address my fears as it was for me to explain my fears to you.”

Zoe then looks at you with tears in her eyes. “I can trust you – and I fear that no other male with your qualities will be interested in me next year or later. So, I beg you, [PCFirstName], say that you will forgive me – and mean it.”

Faced with Zoe’s obvious low opinion about her attractiveness, you shudder. Then, as Zoe gives a dismayed gasp, you say “I am shocked to think that others could hold you to be so unattractive, Zoe. I forgive you, of course – you meant to avoid strife and accidently were vaguer than I could understand – but you have given me so much to think about.”

Zoe’s disappointed frown as she leaves you haunts your memory for hours afterwards. You suppose that if you had wanted a healthy, socially adept almost-girlfriend, then you would not have been attracted to Zoe Melis. But you are not sure whether you still are attracted to her anymore. Her concerns, self-pity, and difficulty dealing with those issues make her seem less attractive to you. [Detention for the PC, + 1 skill level famous prose for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step dating for the PC, + 2 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, relationship between the PC and Zoe Melis set to 10, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

“Do what?” Zoe’s squeak would be cute, you think, if not for the sorrowful fear flooding across her face.

“Be a…dear friend to you. Dear friends should be able to resolve their differences clearly, not…like you are.”

You are, perhaps to your relief, spared from having to explain more about Zoe’s defects in friendship when Zoe breaks down in loud sobs in front of you.

The ensuing events, however, see you enduring most of the suffering. Professor Sido rushes out from his office, his face distorted in a mixture of anger and concern. After a rapid exchange of what you presume is Eluminian with Zoe, he turns to you and says, “[PCLastName], detention! And be glad that I am not reporting you for trying to date Miss Melis, despite your reputation.”

After the horror of a session in detention, you are surprised to be greeted by Zoe Melis, who, still looking tearful, tells you that she simply must apologize and explain. Not wanting to get into more trouble over Zoe, you agree.

“I am aware, see, that I am not very likely to be successful in dating because I am sickly and poor and erudite – all traits that are alarming when isolated and frightening when together.” Zoe says. “I also know that Hedi College has beautiful and healthy girls who are already attracting male attention. So, I fear that one of them will attract you away – perhaps even before the year is over. But I also know that people do not like paranoia from dear friends. It was as difficult for me to figure out how to address my fears as it was for me to explain my fears to you.”

Zoe then looks at you with tears in her eyes. “I can trust you – and I fear that no other male with your qualities will be interested in me next year or later. So, I beg you, [PCFirstName], say that you will forgive me – and mean it.”

Faced with Zoe’s obvious low opinion about her attractiveness, you shudder. Then, as Zoe gives a dismayed gasp, you say “I am shocked to think that others could hold you to be so unattractive, Zoe. I forgive you, of course – you meant to avoid strife and accidently were vaguer than I could understand – but you have given me so much to think about.”

Zoe’s disappointed frown as she leaves you haunts your memory for hours afterwards. You suppose that if you had wanted a healthy, socially adept almost-girlfriend, then you would not have been attracted to Zoe Melis. But you are not sure whether you still are attracted to her anymore. Her concerns, self-pity, and difficulty dealing with those issues make her seem less attractive to you. [Detention for the PC, + 1 skill level famous prose for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step dating for the PC, + 2 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, relationship between the PC and Zoe Melis set to 10, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC has the memory Zoe Rejected for Gates]

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

“Do what?” Zoe’s squeak would be cute, you think, if not for the sorrowful fear flooding across her face.

“Be a…dear friend to you. Dear friends should be able to resolve their differences clearly, not…like you are.”

You are, perhaps to your relief, spared from having to explain more about Zoe’s defects in friendship when Zoe breaks down in loud sobs in front of you.

The ensuing events, however, see you enduring most of the suffering. Professor Sido rushes out from his office, his face distorted in a mixture of anger and concern. After a rapid exchange of what you presume is Eluminian with Zoe, he turns to you and says, “[PCLastName], detention! And be glad that I am not reporting you for trying to date Miss Melis.”

After the horror of a session in detention, you are surprised to be greeted by Zoe Melis, who, still looking tearful, tells you that she simply must apologize and explain. Not wanting to get into more trouble over Zoe, you agree.

“I am aware, see, that I am not very likely to be successful in dating because I am sickly and poor and erudite – all traits that are alarming when isolated and frightening when together.” Zoe says. “I also know that Hedi College has beautiful and healthy girls who are already attracting male attention. So, I fear that one of them will attract you away – perhaps even before the year is over. But I also know that people do not like paranoia from dear friends. It was as difficult for me to figure out how to address my fears as it was for me to explain my fears to you.”

Zoe then looks at you with tears in her eyes. “I can trust you despite what happened between us during my leaving the Academagia last year – and I fear that no other male with your qualities will be interested in me next year or later. So, I beg you, [PCFirstName], say that you will forgive me – and mean it.”

Faced with Zoe’s obvious low opinion about her attractiveness, you shudder. Then, as Zoe gives a dismayed gasp, you say “I am shocked to think that others could hold you to be so unattractive, Zoe. I forgive you, of course – you meant to avoid strife and accidently were vaguer than I could understand – but you have given me so much to think about.”

Zoe’s disappointed frown as she leaves you haunts you. You suppose that if you had wanted a healthy, socially adept almost-girlfriend, then you would not have been attracted to Zoe Melis. But you are not sure whether you still are attracted to her anymore. Her concerns, self-pity, and difficulty dealing with those issues make her seem less attractive to you.

But then you think about your life, and you become even sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that one of your qualities is that you are secretly studying Gates magic? Perhaps it is best that your relationship with Zoe is cooler now – you will have less stress worrying how she would react if she were to know the truth about you. [Detention for the PC, + 1 skill level famous prose for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step dating for the PC, + 2 stress for Zoe Melis, + 3 stress for the PC, relationship between the PC and Zoe Melis set to 10, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

“Do what?” Zoe’s squeak would be cute, you think, if not for the sorrowful fear flooding across her face.

“Be a…dear friend to you. Dear friends should be able to resolve their differences clearly, not…like you are.”

You are, perhaps to your relief, spared from having to explain more about Zoe’s defects in friendship when Zoe breaks down in loud sobs in front of you.

The ensuing events, however, see you enduring most of the suffering. Professor Sido rushes out from his office, his face distorted in a mixture of anger and concern. After a rapid exchange of what you presume is Eluminian with Zoe, he turns to you and says, “[PCLastName], detention! And be glad that I am not reporting you for trying to date Miss Melis, despite your reputation.”

After the horror of a session in detention, you are surprised to be greeted by Zoe Melis, who, still looking tearful, tells you that she simply must apologize and explain. Not wanting to get into more trouble over Zoe, you agree.

“I am aware, see, that I am not very likely to be successful in dating because I am sickly and poor and erudite – all traits that are alarming when isolated and frightening when together.” Zoe says. “I also know that Hedi College has beautiful and healthy girls who are already attracting male attention. So, I fear that one of them will attract you away – perhaps even before the year is over. But I also know that people do not like paranoia from dear friends. It was as difficult for me to figure out how to address my fears as it was for me to explain my fears to you.”

Zoe then looks at you with tears in her eyes. “I can trust you despite what happened between us during my leaving the Academagia last year – and I fear that no other male with your qualities will be interested in me next year or later. So, I beg you, [PCFirstName], say that you will forgive me – and mean it.”

Faced with Zoe’s obvious low opinion about her attractiveness, you shudder. Then, as Zoe gives a dismayed gasp, you say “I am shocked to think that others could hold you to be so unattractive, Zoe. I forgive you, of course – you meant to avoid strife and accidently were vaguer than I could understand – but you have given me so much to think about.”

Zoe’s disappointed frown as she leaves you haunts you. You suppose that if you had wanted a healthy, socially adept almost-girlfriend, then you would not have been attracted to Zoe Melis. But you are not sure whether you still are attracted to her anymore. Her concerns, self-pity, and difficulty dealing with those issues make her seem less attractive to you.

But then you think about your life, and you become even sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that one of your qualities is that you are secretly studying Gates magic? Perhaps it is best that your relationship with Zoe is cooler now – you will have less stress worrying how she would react if she were to know the truth about you. [Detention for the PC, + 1 skill level famous prose for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step dating for the PC, + 2 stress for Zoe Melis, + 3 stress for the PC, relationship between the PC and Zoe Melis set to 10, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC has the memory Zoe Spurned for Gates]

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

“Do what?” Zoe’s squeak would be cute, you think, if not for the sorrowful fear flooding across her face.

“Be a…dear friend to you. Dear friends should be able to resolve their differences clearly, not…like you are.”

You are, perhaps to your relief, spared from having to explain more about Zoe’s defects in friendship when Zoe breaks down in loud sobs in front of you.

The ensuing events, however, see you enduring most of the suffering. Professor Sido rushes out from his office, his face distorted in a mixture of anger and concern. After a rapid exchange of what you presume is Eluminian with Zoe, he turns to you and says, “[PCLastName], detention! And be glad that I am not reporting you for trying to date Miss Melis.”

After the horror of a session in detention, you are surprised to be greeted by Zoe Melis, who, still looking tearful, tells you that she simply must apologize and explain. Not wanting to get into more trouble over Zoe, you agree.

“I am aware, see, that I am not very likely to be successful in dating because I am sickly and poor and erudite – all traits that are alarming when isolated and frightening when together.” Zoe says. “I also know that Hedi College has beautiful and healthy girls who are already attracting male attention. So, I fear that one of them will attract you away – perhaps even before the year is over. But I also know that people do not like paranoia from dear friends. It was as difficult for me to figure out how to address my fears as it was for me to explain my fears to you.”

Zoe then looks at you with tears in her eyes. “I can trust you despite what happened between us during my leaving the Academagia last year – and I fear that no other male with your qualities will be interested in me next year or later. So, I beg you, [PCFirstName], say that you will forgive me – and mean it.”

Faced with Zoe’s obvious low opinion about her attractiveness, you shudder. Then, as Zoe gives a dismayed gasp, you say “I am shocked to think that others could hold you to be so unattractive, Zoe. I forgive you, of course – you meant to avoid strife and accidently were vaguer than I could understand – but you have given me so much to think about.”

Zoe’s disappointed frown as she leaves you haunts you. You suppose that if you had wanted a healthy, socially adept almost-girlfriend, then you would not have been attracted to Zoe Melis. But you are not sure whether you still are attracted to her anymore. Her concerns, self-pity, and difficulty dealing with those issues make her seem less attractive to you.

But then you think about your life, and you become even sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that one of your qualities is that you studied Gates magic? Perhaps it is best that your relationship with Zoe is cooler now – you will have less stress worrying how she would react if she were to know the truth about you and whether the fact that you gave up your studies for the sake of your relationship with her would mean anything positive to her. [Detention for the PC, + 1 skill level famous prose for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step dating for the PC, + 2 stress for Zoe Melis, + 3 stress for the PC, relationship between the PC and Zoe Melis set to 10, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

“Do what?” Zoe’s squeak would be cute, you think, if not for the sorrowful fear flooding across her face.

“Be a…dear friend to you. Dear friends should be able to resolve their differences clearly, not…like you are.”

You are, perhaps to your relief, spared from having to explain more about Zoe’s defects in friendship when Zoe breaks down in loud sobs in front of you.

The ensuing events, however, see you enduring most of the suffering. Professor Sido rushes out from his office, his face distorted in a mixture of anger and concern. After a rapid exchange of what you presume is Eluminian with Zoe, he turns to you and says, “[PCLastName], detention! And be glad that I am not reporting you for trying to date Miss Melis, despite your reputation.”

After the horror of a session in detention, you are surprised to be greeted by Zoe Melis, who, still looking tearful, tells you that she simply must apologize and explain. Not wanting to get into more trouble over Zoe, you agree.

“I am aware, see, that I am not very likely to be successful in dating because I am sickly and poor and erudite – all traits that are alarming when isolated and frightening when together.” Zoe says. “I also know that Hedi College has beautiful and healthy girls who are already attracting male attention. So, I fear that one of them will attract you away – perhaps even before the year is over. But I also know that people do not like paranoia from dear friends. It was as difficult for me to figure out how to address my fears as it was for me to explain my fears to you.”

Zoe then looks at you with tears in her eyes. “I can trust you despite what happened between us during my leaving the Academagia last year – and I fear that no other male with your qualities will be interested in me next year or later. So, I beg you, [PCFirstName], say that you will forgive me – and mean it.”

Faced with Zoe’s obvious low opinion about her attractiveness, you shudder. Then, as Zoe gives a dismayed gasp, you say “I am shocked to think that others could hold you to be so unattractive, Zoe. I forgive you, of course – you meant to avoid strife and accidently were vaguer than I could understand – but you have given me so much to think about.”

Zoe’s disappointed frown as she leaves you haunts you. You suppose that if you had wanted a healthy, socially adept almost-girlfriend, then you would not have been attracted to Zoe Melis. But you are not sure whether you still are attracted to her anymore. Her concerns, self-pity, and difficulty dealing with those issues make her seem less attractive to you.

But then you think about your life, and you become even sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that one of your qualities is that you studied Gates magic? Perhaps it is best that your relationship with Zoe is cooler now – you will have less stress worrying how she would react if she were to know the truth about you and whether the fact that you gave up your studies for the sake of your relationship with her would mean anything positive to her. [Detention for the PC, + 1 skill level famous prose for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step dating for the PC, + 2 stress for Zoe Melis, + 3 stress for the PC, relationship between the PC and Zoe Melis set to 10, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht but lacks the memories Zoe Rejected for Gates and Zoe Spurned for Gates]

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

“Do what?” Zoe’s squeak would be cute, you think, if not for the sorrowful fear flooding across her face.

“Be a…dear friend to you. Dear friends should be able to resolve their differences clearly, not…like you are.”

You are, perhaps to your relief, spared from having to explain more about Zoe’s defects in friendship when Zoe breaks down in loud sobs in front of you.

The ensuing events, however, see you enduring most of the suffering. Professor Sido rushes out from his office, his face distorted in a mixture of anger and concern. After a rapid exchange of what you presume is Eluminian with Zoe, he turns to you and says, “[PCLastName], detention! And be glad that I am not reporting you for trying to date Miss Melis.”

After the horror of a session in detention, you are surprised to be greeted by Zoe Melis, who, still looking tearful, tells you that she simply must apologize and explain. Not wanting to get into more trouble over Zoe, you agree.

“I am aware, see, that I am not very likely to be successful in dating because I am sickly and poor and erudite – all traits that are alarming when isolated and frightening when together.” Zoe says. “I also know that Hedi College has beautiful and healthy girls who are already attracting male attention. So, I fear that one of them will attract you away – perhaps even before the year is over. But I also know that people do not like paranoia from dear friends. It was as difficult for me to figure out how to address my fears as it was for me to explain my fears to you.”

Zoe then looks at you with tears in her eyes. “I can trust you – and I fear that no other male with your qualities will be interested in me next year or later. So, I beg you, [PCFirstName], say that you will forgive me – and mean it.”

Faced with Zoe’s obvious low opinion about her attractiveness, you shudder. Then, as Zoe gives a dismayed gasp, you say “I am shocked to think that others could hold you to be so unattractive, Zoe. I forgive you, of course – you meant to avoid strife and accidently were vaguer than I could understand – but you have given me so much to think about.”

Zoe’s disappointed frown as she leaves you haunts you. You suppose that if you had wanted a healthy, socially adept almost-girlfriend, then you would not have been attracted to Zoe Melis. But you are not sure whether you still are attracted to her anymore. Her concerns, self-pity, and difficulty dealing with those issues make her seem less attractive to you.

But then you think about your life, and you become even sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that one of your qualities is that you are secretly studying Gates magic? Perhaps it is best that your relationship with Zoe is cooler now – you will have less stress worrying how she would react if she were to know the truth about you. [Detention for the PC, + 1 skill level famous prose for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step dating for the PC, + 2 stress for Zoe Melis, + 3 stress for the PC, relationship between the PC and Zoe Melis set to 10, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

“Do what?” Zoe’s squeak would be cute, you think, if not for the sorrowful fear flooding across her face.

“Be a…dear friend to you. Dear friends should be able to resolve their differences clearly, not…like you are.”

You are, perhaps to your relief, spared from having to explain more about Zoe’s defects in friendship when Zoe breaks down in loud sobs in front of you.

The ensuing events, however, see you enduring most of the suffering. Professor Sido rushes out from his office, his face distorted in a mixture of anger and concern. After a rapid exchange of what you presume is Eluminian with Zoe, he turns to you and says, “[PCLastName], detention! And be glad that I am not reporting you for trying to date Miss Melis, despite your reputation.”

After the horror of a session in detention, you are surprised to be greeted by Zoe Melis, who, still looking tearful, tells you that she simply must apologize and explain. Not wanting to get into more trouble over Zoe, you agree.

“I am aware, see, that I am not very likely to be successful in dating because I am sickly and poor and erudite – all traits that are alarming when isolated and frightening when together.” Zoe says. “I also know that Hedi College has beautiful and healthy girls who are already attracting male attention. So, I fear that one of them will attract you away – perhaps even before the year is over. But I also know that people do not like paranoia from dear friends. It was as difficult for me to figure out how to address my fears as it was for me to explain my fears to you.”

Zoe then looks at you with tears in her eyes. “I can trust you – and I fear that no other male with your qualities will be interested in me next year or later. So, I beg you, [PCFirstName], say that you will forgive me – and mean it.”

Faced with Zoe’s obvious low opinion about her attractiveness, you shudder. Then, as Zoe gives a dismayed gasp, you say “I am shocked to think that others could hold you to be so unattractive, Zoe. I forgive you, of course – you meant to avoid strife and accidently were vaguer than I could understand – but you have given me so much to think about.”

Zoe’s disappointed frown as she leaves you haunts you. You suppose that if you had wanted a healthy, socially adept almost-girlfriend, then you would not have been attracted to Zoe Melis. But you are not sure whether you still are attracted to her anymore. Her concerns, self-pity, and difficulty dealing with those issues make her seem less attractive to you.

But then you think about your life, and you become even sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that one of your qualities is that you are secretly studying Gates magic? Perhaps it is best that your relationship with Zoe is cooler now – you will have less stress worrying how she would react if she were to know the truth about you. [Detention for the PC, + 1 skill level famous prose for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step dating for the PC, + 2 stress for Zoe Melis, + 3 stress for the PC, relationship between the PC and Zoe Melis set to 10, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht but lacks the memories Zoe Rejected for Gates and Zoe Spurned for Gates] “Zoe, what are you talking about? I have my own secret, so I do not want to assume that you are talking about your…condition.”

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe laughs ruefully. “You would not be the only student here with a secret. Within my college alone, I know about Sima’s strange interest in dream magic and hypnotism, Neta’s inhumanness, and how Reitz von Lutersee may not be a noble’s son – but I researched his title only because he is so smug and unlikable. So,” Zoe sighs, “I will not presume to know what your secret is – although given last year’s interest in the Homework Helper Heroine, I guess that maybe you are secretly part of an upstart guild of street-magicians trying to succeed in Mineta.”

But then Zoe’s face becomes serious. “I was referring to my...medical condition, which you do not know everything about,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. And I know that so many girls in Hedi are better than I am in that way. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language - hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting.

But then you think about your life, and you become sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that your secret is that you are studying Gates magic? Could she use the same research skills which she used against Reitz in order to uncover your study of Gates magic? You are glad that you did not have to address the stressful morass that your studies of Gates magic are at the same time as you were addressing Zoe’s strange attitude towards you for less serious reasons. [+ 1 Charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 2 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe laughs ruefully. “You would not be the only student here with a secret. Within my college alone, I know about Sima’s strange interest in dream magic and hypnotism, Neta’s inhumanness, and how Reitz von Lutersee may not be a noble’s son – but I researched his title only because he is so smug and unlikable. So,” Zoe sighs, “I will not presume to know what your secret is.”

But then Zoe’s face becomes serious. “I was referring to my...medical condition, which you do not know everything about,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. And I know that so many girls in Hedi are better than I am in that way. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language - hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting.

But then you think about your life, and you become sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that your secret is that you are studying Gates magic? Could she use the same research skills which she used against Reitz in order to uncover your study of Gates magic? You are glad that you did not have to address the stressful morass that your studies of Gates magic are at the same time as you were addressing Zoe’s strange attitude towards you for less serious reasons. [+ 1 Charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 2 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC has the memory Zoe Rejected for Gates] “Life would be simpler for both of us if we were average students at the Academagia, Zoe, would it not? But your efforts to be more average are a continued source of inspiration for me as I deal with my secret – while trying to support you. But what are you referring to?”

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe laughs ruefully. “You would not be the only student here with a secret. Within my college alone, I know about Sima’s strange interest in dream magic and hypnotism, Neta’s inhumanness, and how Reitz von Lutersee may not be a noble’s son – but I researched his title only because he is so smug and unlikable. So,” Zoe sighs, “I will not presume to know what your secret is – although given last year’s interest in the Homework Helper Heroine, I guess that maybe you are secretly part of an upstart guild of street-magicians trying to succeed in Mineta. But since we had so much…fun last year, I am glad that I am an inspiration to you.”

But then Zoe’s face becomes serious. “I was referring to my...medical condition, which you do not know everything about,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. And I know that so many girls in Hedi are better than I am in that way. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language - hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting.

But then you think about your life, and you become sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that your secret is that you are studying Gates magic? Could she use the same research skills which she used against Reitz in order to uncover your study of Gates magic? You are glad that you did not have to address the stressful morass that your studies of Gates magic are at the same time as you were addressing Zoe’s strange attitude towards you for less serious reasons. [+ 1 Charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 2 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe laughs ruefully. “You would not be the only student here with a secret. Within my college alone, I know about Sima’s strange interest in dream magic and hypnotism, Neta’s inhumanness, and how Reitz von Lutersee may not be a noble’s son – but I researched his title only because he is so smug and unlikable. So,” Zoe sighs, “I will not presume to know what your secret is.”

But then Zoe’s face becomes serious. “I was referring to my...medical condition, which you do not know everything about,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. And I know that so many girls in Hedi are better than I am in that way. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language – hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting.

But then you think about your life, and you become sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that your secret is that you are studying Gates magic? Could she use the same research skills which she used against Reitz in order to uncover your study of Gates magic? You are glad that you did not have to address the stressful morass that your studies of Gates magic are at the same time as you were addressing Zoe’s strange attitude towards you for less serious reasons. [+ 1 Charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 2 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC has the memory Zoe Spurned for Gates] “Life would be simpler for both of us if we were average students at the Academagia, Zoe, would it not? But your efforts to be more average inspired me to do likewise with my secret – while trying to support you. But what are you referring to?”

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe laughs ruefully. “You would not be the only student here with a secret. Within my college alone, I know about Sima’s strange interest in dream magic and hypnotism, Neta’s inhumanness, and how Reitz von Lutersee may not be a noble’s son – but I researched his title only because he is so smug and unlikable. So,” Zoe sighs, “I will not presume to know what your secret is – although given last year’s interest in the Homework Helper Heroine, I guess that maybe you are secretly part of an upstart guild of street-magicians trying to succeed in Mineta. But since we had so much…fun last year, I am glad that I am an inspiration to you.”

But then Zoe’s face becomes serious. “I was referring to my...medical condition, which you do not know everything about,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. And I know that so many girls in Hedi are better than I am in that way. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language - hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting.

But then you think about your life, and you become sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that your secret is that you studied Gates magic? Could she use the same research skills which she used against Reitz in order to uncover your study of Gates magic? Would she care that you gave up your studies for the sake of your relationship with her? You are glad that you did not have to address the stressful morass that your studies of Gates magic are at the same time as you were addressing Zoe’s strange attitude towards you for less serious reasons. [+ 1 Charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 2 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe laughs ruefully. “You would not be the only student here with a secret. Within my college alone, I know about Sima’s strange interest in dream magic and hypnotism, Neta’s inhumanness, and how Reitz von Lutersee may not be a noble’s son – but I researched his title only because he is so smug and unlikable. So,” Zoe sighs, “I will not presume to know what your secret is.”

But then Zoe’s face becomes serious. “I was referring to my...medical condition, which you do not know everything about,” Zoe hisses. Then, with a little sob, she says, “I lack such knowledge myself. And the consequences to my life if my condition develops in certain ways in the future terrify me and may terrify you…I read such twisted things in my books…”

“But the present’s Zoe is whom I like,” you say.

“What is present was future – and I worry that you will want another girl – healthier, with less need to go to hospitals and less medical uncertainty surrounding her. And I know that so many girls in Hedi are better than I am in that way. So I fear – but I fear to fear, you know?”

“What?”

Zoe wipes a tear from her eye. “Sorry. I meant that…” Her voice trails off in a sigh, and she says, “So, I read books. They help me to experience so much that I cannot do. They also give advice – including about love.”

“Not all books can be trusted, Zoe. But what do your books about love say?”

“O, I know that much of what they say is false even when it is not fiction – if even one tenth of what they say were true, then there would be no need for marriage brokers, chaperones, or mastery magic. But I have read a novel – Tiro’s “Menandros and Gagana” – in which two parts of the plot seem reasonable. Gagana twice fears that her lover Menandros is secretly involved with another. The first time, she is incorrect but so disgusts him with her paranoia that he leaves her for the next several chapters. The second time, she is correct – but only because he has been seduced by another woman with bad intentions.”

“Wow. What things you have read when not even old enough to date.”

“Well, there are more things that interest me than scholarly subjects.” Zoe is smiling at you now with what you think may be flirtatious eyes. “Plus, learning from books can help in so many ways. Can you imagine how much worse my health would be if I were to try to use Sima’s methods – or the hulking girl from Morvidus – with the sincere belief that no other method exists?”

You laugh aloud and say, “Zoe, the way you are doing things worked for me – after all, I decided to talk things over with you rather than jumping to conclusions about whether I should be so close with you.”

“Such would only be fair given my not assuming anything,” Zoe drawls. “But my books and my experience agree that males and females are often different. As is my language – hence Professor Sido’s interest. I am so glad, though, to be appreciated from my differences by a peer – whose relationship with me I hope will become very interesting next year.”

Having resolved to your satisfaction Zoe’s behaviour with you, you spend a pleasant time talking with Zoe about other topics – including books which she wants to read – before she, sighing, tells you that she has to go in order to study for a major test coming up.

“And my test is so important that I think that I would not have agreed to meet with you now if it had not been for my going out of my way around this time in order to sell knowledge to Professor Sido. In any case, our meeting was wonderful. Be strong!”

As Zoe walks away, you are not sure whether Zoe was joking when she claimed that she only met with you because Professor Sido was paying her to be involved in research with him rather than studying. You suppose that some people would be offended if such a thing were true. But then you shrug. If you were not willing to look beyond Zoe’s scholastic urges and need for money in order to find and be impressed by Zoe’s better qualities, then you would not have tried to clarify your relationship with her when confronted with her strange behaviour. But you made the effort because you are very fond of Zoe – and you are glad that you and she benefitted from this meeting.

But then you think about your life, and you become sadder. Would Zoe still be so interested in dating you next year if she were knowing that your secret is that you studied Gates magic? Could she use the same research skills which she used against Reitz in order to uncover your study of Gates magic? Would she care that you gave up your studies for the sake of your relationship with her? You are glad that you did not have to address the stressful morass that your studies of Gates magic are at the same time as you were addressing Zoe’s strange attitude towards you for less serious reasons. [+ 1 Charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step flirtation for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill step strategy for the PC, + 2 stress for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, end adventure]

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A Birthday Gift from Uliva:

 

 

This event has exacting requirements. The PC must have, at minimum, Love with Uliva Valaresso, the trait Initiate into the Aklo Script, and a birthday during the school year. The event will trigger automatically on the PC’s birthday. Ideally, it should be the first event of the day, if possible.

 

Text:

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

[If PC is Student in Morvidus College]

 

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Morvidus College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand.

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Vernin College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your joy at having transferred from Vernin College. Given your reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room in Vernin College would have believed that she was not trying to occupy your attention in certain pleasant ways in celebration of your birthday – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in other College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your joy at having transferred from Vernin College. Given your reputation, you can only barely believe that any [PC’sY1College] students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room in [PC’sY1College] College would have believed that she was not trying to occupy your attention in certain pleasant ways in celebration of your birthday – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

 

[If PC is Student in Vernin College]

 

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Morvidus College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your pang of regret at having transferred into Vernin College. Given your reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin students who might catch Uliva during her secret trip to your room would believe that she was not trying to occupy your attention in certain pleasant ways in celebration of your birthday – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Vernin College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your pang of regret at remaining a student in Vernin College. Given your reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin students who might catch Uliva during her secret trip to your room would believe that she was not trying to occupy your attention in certain pleasant ways in celebration of your birthday – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in other College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as do your pangs of regret for having transferred into Vernin College from [PC’sY1College]. Given your reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin College students who might catch Uliva during her secret trip to your room would believe that she was not trying to occupy your attention in certain pleasant ways in celebration of your birthday – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

 

[If PC is Student in other College]

 

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Morvidus College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your pang of regret at having transferred into [PC’sCurrentCollege] from Morvidus College. Given your reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin students who might catch Uliva during her secret trip to your room would believe that she was not trying to occupy your attention in certain pleasant ways in celebration of your birthday – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Vernin College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as do your pangs of regret for not having transferred into Morvidus College from Vernin College. Given your reputation, you can only barely believe that any [PC’sCurrentCollege] College students who might catch Uliva during her secret trip to your room would believe that she was not trying to occupy your attention in certain pleasant ways in celebration of your birthday – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you! At least you left Vernin – that college’s students would have made your experience even worse – to say nothing of Uliva’s – if any of them had caught her.

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in other College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as do your pangs of regret for not having transferred into [PC’sCurrentCollege] from [PC’sY1College]. Given your reputation, you can only barely believe that any [PC’sCurrentCollege] College students who might catch Uliva during her secret trip to your room would believe that she was not trying to occupy your attention in certain pleasant ways in celebration of your birthday – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you – who probably knows that you hope to date her next year, given your reputation – but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

 

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

[If PC is Student in Morvidus College]

 

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Morvidus College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand.

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Vernin College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your joy at having transferred from Vernin College. Given Uliva’s reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room in Vernin College would have believed that she was not trying to do something disgusting involving snakes – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in other College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your joy at having transferred from Vernin College. Given Uliva’s reputation, you can only barely believe that any [PC’sY1College] students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room in [PC’sY1College] College would have believed that she was not trying to do something disgusting involving snakes – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

 

[If PC is Student in Vernin College]

 

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Morvidus College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your pang of regret at having transferred into Vernin College from Morvidus College. Given Uliva’s reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room in Vernin College would have believed that she was not trying to do something disgusting involving snakes – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Vernin College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your pang of regret at remaining a student in Vernin College. Given Uliva’s reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room in Vernin College would have believed that she was not trying to do something disgusting involving snakes – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in other College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as do your pangs of regret for having transferred from [PC’SY1College] into Vernin College. Given Uliva’s reputation, you cannot believe that any Vernin students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room in Vernin College would have believed that she was not trying to do something disgusting involving snakes – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

 

[If PC is Student in other College]

 

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Morvidus College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as does your pang of regret at having transferred into [PC’sCurrentCollege] from Morvidus College. Given Uliva’s reputation, you can only barely believe that any [PC’sCurrentCollege] College students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room would have believed that she was not trying to do something disgusting involving snakes – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in Vernin College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as do your pangs of regret for not having transferred into Morvidus College. Given Uliva’s reputation, you can only barely believe that any [PC’sCurrentCollege] College students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room would have believed that she was not trying to do something disgusting involving snakes – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you! At least you left Vernin – that college’s students would have made your experience even worse – to say nothing of Uliva’s – if any of them had caught her.

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

[If PC was Student during Y1 in other College]

 

 

Your sound sleep is interrupted by a knocking at your door, but your eyes confirm to you that it is still nighttime. Hoping that you are not in trouble – or the victim of some type of prank – you fumble your way out of bed, stumble towards the door, and open it. Your upsettedness at being awakened during the night, however, is dispelled as easily as if you were the target of a well-executed negation spell when you see Uliva, smiling shyly at you as she brushes the front of her dark clothing with one hand. Not for the first time since you have become so close to Uliva, your appreciation for Morvidus College grows – as do your pangs of regret for not having transferred into Morvidus College. Given Uliva’s reputation, you can only barely believe that any [PC’sCurrentCollege] College students who might have caught Uliva if she had made her secret trip to your room would have believed that she was not trying to do something disgusting involving snakes – making her being caught a dreadful situation for both of you!

“Happy Birthday, [PCFirstName]. I brought you this.”

Uliva’s hand, which had previously been rubbing her clothing, produces for your eyes a dusty package.

You are aware that Uliva is a very dear friend to you, but you know that what Uliva thinks to be a good gift may be distinctly unpopular – if not outright illegal.

 

 

 

Choices:

 

 

“Uliva, I would prefer answers from you.”

 

 

[If PC is Student in Morvidus College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva’s smile turns into a frown, and she hisses softly before whispering, “Want some thing else? Not from me!”

Then, turning, Uliva stalks away. You are left torn between sorrow at having offended Uliva whom you hope to date next year and relief that she did not give to you what you fear may have been highly dangerous. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 1 skill level Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, Uliva Valaresso receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, relationship between PC and Uliva Valaresso set to 10, end event]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva’s smile turns into a frown, and she hisses softly before whispering, “Want some thing else? Not from me!”

Then, turning, Uliva stalks away. You are left torn between sorrow at having offended Uliva and relief that she did not give to you what you fear may have been highly dangerous. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 1 skill level Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, Uliva Valaresso receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, relationship between PC and Uliva Valaresso set to 10, end event]

 

 

[If PC is Student in Vernin College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva’s smile turns into a frown, and she hisses softly before whispering, “Want some thing else? Not from me!”

Then, turning, Uliva stalks away. You are left torn between sorrow at having offended Uliva whom you hope to date next year and relief that she did not give to you what you fear may have been highly dangerous. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 3 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, Uliva Valaresso receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, relationship between PC and Uliva Valaresso set to 10, end event]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva’s smile turns into a frown, and she hisses softly before whispering, “Want some thing else? Not from me!”

Then, turning, Uliva stalks away. You are left torn between sorrow at having offended Uliva and relief that she did not give to you what you fear may have been highly dangerous. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 3 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, Uliva Valaresso receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, relationship between PC and Uliva Valaresso set to 10, end event]

 

 

[If PC is Student in other College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva’s smile turns into a frown, and she hisses softly before whispering, “Want some thing else? Not from me!”

Then, turning, Uliva stalks away. You are left torn between sorrow at having offended Uliva whom you hope to date next year and relief that she did not give to you what you fear may have been highly dangerous. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 2 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, relationship between PC and Uliva Valaresso set to 10, Uliva Valaresso receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, end event]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva’s smile turns into a frown, and she hisses softly before whispering, “Want some thing else? Not from me!”

Then, turning, Uliva stalks away. You are left torn between sorrow at having offended Uliva and relief that she did not give to you what you fear may have been highly dangerous. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 2 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, relationship between PC and Uliva Valaresso set to 10, Uliva Valaresso receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, end event]

 

 

 

“Uliva, I want answers from you.”

 

 

[If PC is Student in Morvidus College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva grins at you. “I want the same. I would love to know what you do when you leave the Academagia for a few hours. No other student seems to know. I have thought that the quiet girl may have an answer, but she may creep me out. People seek to know about me, see, and the quiet girl serves all who seek help from her.”

Then, with a little shudder, Uliva says, “Not that I think you to be uninterested in me – in many ways –” and here Uliva gives what she may think is a flirtatious smile – “but at least you accept me as what I am without, for example, stroking my scalp and acting surprised when you feel no scales, or wondering whether I would not prefer to be so interested in dogs.”

Your gasp of despair – life would be so much simpler for you if you were a dog-breeder – causes Uliva to sigh gently.

“Ah, but we cannot tell our secrets to each other – not yet. But this gift is not bad or banned.” [+ 1 stress for PC, + 1 skill level Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level listening for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, choose other option]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva grins at you. “I want the same. I would love to know what you do when you leave the Academagia for a few hours. No other student seems to know. I have thought that the quiet girl may have an answer, but she may creep me out. People seek to know about me, see, and the quiet girl serves all who seek help from her.”

Then, with a little shudder, Uliva says, “At least you accept me as what I am without, for example, jerking away from my breath and muttering about venom, or wondering whether I would not prefer to be so interested in dogs.”

Your gasp of despair – life would be so much simpler for you if you were a dog-breeder – causes Uliva to sigh gently.

“Ah, but we cannot tell our secrets to each other – not yet. But this gift is not bad or banned.” [+ 1 stress for PC, + 1 skill level Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level listening for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, choose other option]

 

 

[If PC is Student in Vernin College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva grins at you. “I want the same. I would love to know what you do when you leave the Academagia for a few hours. No other student seems to know. I have thought that the quiet girl may have an answer, but she may creep me out. People seek to know about me, see, and the quiet girl serves all who seek help from her.”

Then, with a little shudder, Uliva says, “Not that I think you to be uninterested in me – in many ways –” and here Uliva gives what she may think is a flirtatious smile – “but at least you accept me as what I am without, for example, stroking my scalp and acting surprised when you feel no scales, or wondering whether I would not prefer to be so interested in dogs.”

Your gasp of despair – life would be so much simpler for you if you were a dog-breeder – causes Uliva to sigh gently.

“Ah, but we cannot tell our secrets to each other – not yet. But this gift is not bad or banned.” [+ 1 stress for PC, + 3 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level listening for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, choose other option]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva grins at you. “I want the same. I would love to know what you do when you leave the Academagia for a few hours. No other student seems to know. I have thought that the quiet girl may have an answer, but she may creep me out. People seek to know about me, see, and the quiet girl serves all who seek help from her.”

Then, with a little shudder, Uliva says, “At least you accept me as what I am without, for example, jerking away from my breath and muttering about venom, or wondering whether I would not prefer to be so interested in dogs.”

Your gasp of despair – life would be so much simpler for you if you were a dog-breeder – causes Uliva to sigh gently.

“Ah, but we cannot tell our secrets to each other – not yet. But this gift is not bad or banned.” [+ 1 stress for PC, + 3 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level listening for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, choose other option]

 

 

[If PC is Student in other College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva grins at you. “I want the same. I would love to know what you do when you leave the Academagia for a few hours. No other student seems to know. I have thought that the quiet girl may have an answer, but she may creep me out. People seek to know about me, see, and the quiet girl serves all who seek help from her.”

Then, with a little shudder, Uliva says, “Not that I think you to be uninterested in me – in many ways –” and here Uliva gives what she may think is a flirtatious smile – “but at least you accept me as what I am without, for example, stroking my scalp and acting surprised when you feel no scales, or wondering whether I would not prefer to be so interested in dogs.”

Your gasp of despair – life would be so much simpler for you if you were a dog-breeder – causes Uliva to sigh gently.

“Ah, but we cannot tell our secrets to each other – not yet. But this gift is not bad or banned.” [+ 1 stress for PC, + 2 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level listening for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, choose other option]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva grins at you. “I want the same. I would love to know what you do when you leave the Academagia for a few hours. No other student seems to know. I have thought that the quiet girl may have an answer, but she may creep me out. People seek to know about me, see, and the quiet girl serves all who seek help from her.”

Then, with a little shudder, Uliva says, “At least you accept me as what I am without, for example, jerking away from my breath and muttering about venom, or wondering whether I would not prefer to be so interested in dogs.”

Your gasp of despair – life would be so much simpler for you if you were a dog-breeder – causes Uliva to sigh gently.

“Ah, but we cannot tell our secrets to each other – not yet. But this gift is not bad or banned.” [+ 1 stress for PC, + 2 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level listening for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, choose other option]

 

 

Accept Uliva’s gift.

 

 

[If PC is Student in Morvidus College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva gently rips the dust paper in her hand away, revealing beneath it a non-descript leatherbound book with no text or design upon it.

“This book is for you,” Uliva says. “It uses the Aklo script for writing Renaglian. And no, I will not say where I found it. But once one learns a skill, one keeps the skill by using it.”

“What is the book about?” you gasp. Between Uliva and you, you know that you and she could easily desire an entirely library of forbidden zoological texts.

“Nothing major,” Uliva says. “But it is, I hope, of interest to both of us despite this lack.”

“The thought counts, Uliva – and not just our thoughts about dating next year!”

With a chuckle, Uliva gives to you the book and slips away. You return to your bedroom and wonder whether you and Uliva will be able to be open with each other about secrets. Well, as you grow older, maybe you will become wiser in dealing with her and with Gates magic. But for now, you just want to return to your bed and sleep until the rest of the school wakes up - which to you will seem even earlier than normal today. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 1 skill level Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level wit for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, the PC receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, end event]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva gently rips the dust paper in her hand away, revealing beneath it a non-descript leatherbound book with no text or design upon it.

“This book is for you,” Uliva says. “It uses the Aklo script for writing Renaglian. And no, I will not say where I found it. But once one learns a skill, one keeps the skill by using it.”

“What is the book about?” you gasp. Between Uliva and you, you know that you and she could easily desire an entirely library of forbidden zoological texts.

“Nothing major,” Uliva says. “But it is, I hope, of interest to both of us despite this lack.”

“The thought counts, Uliva – and not when arguing about missing homework!”

With a chuckle, Uliva gives to you the book and slips away. You return to your bedroom and wonder whether you and Uliva will be able to be open with each other about secrets. Well, as you grow older, maybe you will become wiser in dealing with your studies of Gates magic. But for now, you just want to return to your bed and sleep until the rest of the school wakes up - which to you will seem even earlier than normal today. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 1 skill level Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level wit for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, the PC receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, end event]

 

 

[If PC is Student in Vernin College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva gently rips the dust paper in her hand away, revealing beneath it a non-descript leatherbound book with no text or design upon it.

“This book is for you,” Uliva says. “It uses the Aklo script for writing Renaglian. And no, I will not say where I found it. But once one learns a skill, one keeps the skill by using it.”

“What is the book about?” you gasp. Between Uliva and you, you know that you and she could easily desire an entirely library of forbidden zoological texts.

“Nothing major,” Uliva says. “But it is, I hope, of interest to both of us despite this lack.”

“The thought counts, Uliva – and not just our thoughts about dating next year!”

With a chuckle, Uliva gives to you the book and slips away. You return to your bedroom and wonder whether you and Uliva will be able to be open with each other about secrets. Well, as you grow older, maybe you will become wiser in dealing with her and with Gates magic. But for now, you just want to return to your bed and sleep until the rest of the school wakes up - which to you will seem even earlier than normal today. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 3 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level wit for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, the PC receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, end event]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva gently rips the dust paper in her hand away, revealing beneath it a non-descript leatherbound book with no text or design upon it.

“This book is for you,” Uliva says. “It uses the Aklo script for writing Renaglian. And no, I will not say where I found it. But once one learns a skill, one keeps the skill by using it.”

“What is the book about?” you gasp. Between Uliva and you, you know that you and she could easily desire an entirely library of forbidden zoological texts.

“Nothing major,” Uliva says. “But it is, I hope, of interest to both of us despite this lack.”

“The thought counts, Uliva – and not when arguing about missing homework!”

With a chuckle, Uliva gives to you the book and slips away. You return to your bedroom and wonder whether you and Uliva will be able to be open with each other about secrets. Well, as you grow older, maybe you will become wiser in dealing with your studies of Gates magic. But for now, you just want to return to your bed and sleep until the rest of the school wakes up - which to you will seem even earlier than normal today. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 3 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level wit for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, the PC receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, end event]

 

 

[If PC is Student in other College]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva gently rips the dust paper in her hand away, revealing beneath it a non-descript leatherbound book with no text or design upon it.

“This book is for you,” Uliva says. “It uses the Aklo script for writing Renaglian. And no, I will not say where I found it. But once one learns a skill, one keeps the skill by using it.”

“What is the book about?” you gasp. Between Uliva and you, you know that you and she could easily desire an entirely library of forbidden zoological texts.

“Nothing major,” Uliva says. “But it is, I hope, of interest to both of us despite this lack.”

“The thought counts, Uliva – and not just our thoughts about dating next year!”

With a chuckle, Uliva gives to you the book and slips away. You return to your bedroom and wonder whether you and Uliva will be able to be open with each other about secrets. Well, as you grow older, maybe you will become wiser in dealing with her and with Gates magic. But for now, you just want to return to your bed and sleep until the rest of the school wakes up - which to you will seem even earlier than normal today. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 2 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level wit for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, the PC receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, end event]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Uliva gently rips the dust paper in her hand away, revealing beneath it a non-descript leatherbound book with no text or design upon it.

“This book is for you,” Uliva says. “It uses the Aklo script for writing Renaglian. And no, I will not say where I found it. But once one learns a skill, one keeps the skill by using it.”

“What is the book about?” you gasp. Between Uliva and you, you know that you and she could easily desire an entirely library of forbidden zoological texts.

“Nothing major,” Uliva says. “But it is, I hope, of interest to both of us despite this lack.”

“The thought counts, Uliva – and not when arguing about missing homework!”

With a chuckle, Uliva gives to you the book and slips away. You return to your bedroom and wonder whether you and Uliva will be able to be open with each other about secrets. Well, as you grow older, maybe you will become wiser in dealing with your studies of Gates magic. But for now, you just want to return to your bed and sleep until the rest of the school wakes up - which to you will seem even earlier than normal today. [+ 1 stress for PC, + 2 skill levels Move Silently for Uliva Valaresso, + 1 skill level wit for the PC and Uliva Valaresso, the PC receives item The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae, end event]

 

 

 

 

 

Reward:

 

 

Name:

 

 

The Girl with a Love for Serpents – Especially Cylindrophiidae

 

Description:

 

 

This book, written using the Aklo script to record Renaglian, is not what you had hoped that Uliva might give to you – an explanation of why she has such keen but condemned interests and strange knowledge – but it is what you imagine other people think Uliva to enjoy reading – an account of a snake-loving girl’s researches into snakes and efforts to acquire live snakes from hunters, despite varying levels of disapproval from other people in her life. You only wish that you could know whether the book was written, as its title’s page claims, by “A person who knew and loved her”.

 

In-Game Benefits:

 

 

Action: Read about a snake-loving girl

 

Description:

 

 

Reading about the deeds and thoughts of a girl who loves snakes is a surprisingly effective way to learn about certain things.

 

Benefits:

 

 

+ 1 skill step negotiation, + 1 skill step passion, + 1 skill step move silently

 

In-Game Features:

 

 

This item must be equipped in order to be used. It fits into the book slot.

 

 

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@Legate of Mineta: In my adventure "Sima's Gift", I made the following change: replaced "you realize that that are not decreasing" with "you realize that they are not decreasing".

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Tabin’s Trip 00:

 

 

Notes:

 

 

Prerequisites: The PC must have completed all three triplets’ Y1 adventures, the PC must have completed the triplets’ Y1 main adventure, and the PC must have relationship > 3 with all of the triplets.

 

Text:

 

 

[if PC is male]

 

 

[if PC has memory Sima suspects]

 

 

[if PC has affection with Sima Venesico]

 

 

[if PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits. Then, thinking about Sima, you blush.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “Not that I know that personally. But I know a girl who was condemned as suitable for slavery because a cousin was offended by her vague words of invitation to watch games. Of course, Hedi was a dragon’s slave – as the cousin learned from the girl’s retort.”

“Such a girl will make a worthy lady,” you say softly, thinking that saying anything more casual would be inappropriate given what is clearly a story about your very dear friend Sima Venesico. You are well aware that the Triplets are reticent about their origins, so you treasure Tabin’s words as a glimpse of the Sima whose bravery and fierce wit you love.

“On related matters,” Tabin says, looking at you significantly, “I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. Because you may have certain knowledge that would be useful when investigating the act, I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“What knowledge?” you ask, feeling apprehensive. “If you want me to get involved in another confrontation with street magicians…”

“Nothing like that,” Tabin says softly. “But you and a girl in a strange alley had – well, a certain understanding…”

You wince, thinking about how Sima now apparently thinks (correctly) that you are a gates mage but that you cannot confirm such a thing. For once, you are glad that your reputation, which for you is well-deserved, can burden you with other people’s simplistic interpretations of your behaviour. Better to be condemned for precociousness, you think, grimacing, then to be condemned for a crime which would see you swinging from life into death if you were to be convicted of it.

You suppose, though, that the Triplets are familiar with such forms of magic – although you fear more the idea of Sima’s hurting herself through a botched summoning than her being caught. She is so skillfully – and enticingly – mysterious.

Sighing, you look into Tabin’s eyes and say, “I understand what you mean. But…”

“Such knowledge may not be necessary,” Tabin smoothly responds to your dangling, barely formed question. “But if it is necessary, well – you are better than alternatives.”

Then, shuddering, Tabin says, “Do you have any questions not related to your knowledge, or have you made up your mind already?”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

[if PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “Not that I know that personally. But I know a girl who was condemned as suitable for slavery because a cousin was offended by her vague words of invitation to watch games. Of course, Hedi was a dragon’s slave – as the cousin learned from the girl’s retort.”

“Such a girl will make a worthy lady,” you say softly, thinking that saying anything more casual would be inappropriate given what is clearly a story about your very dear friend Sima Venesico. You are well aware that the Triplets are reticent about their origins, so you treasure Tabin’s words as a glimpse of the Sima whose bravery and fierce wit you love.

“On related matters,” Tabin says, looking at you significantly, “I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. Because you may have certain knowledge that would be useful when investigating the act, I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“What knowledge?” you ask, feeling apprehensive. “If you want me to get involved in another confrontation with street magicians…”

“Nothing like that,” Tabin says softly. “But you and a girl in a strange alley had – well, a certain understanding…”

You wince, thinking about how Sima now apparently thinks (correctly) that you are a gates mage but that you cannot confirm such a thing. But then you blush and sigh. Better to be incorrectly thought precocious, you think, grimacing, then to be correctly thought to be engaging in a crime for which you would be forced to swing from life into death.

You suppose, though, that the Triplets are familiar with such forms of magic – although you fear more the idea of Sima’s hurting herself through a botched summoning than her being caught. She is so skillfully – and enticingly – mysterious.

Sighing again, you look into Tabin’s eyes and say, “I understand what you mean. But…”

“Such knowledge may not be necessary,” Tabin smoothly responds to your dangling, barely formed question. “But if it is necessary, well – you are better than alternatives.”

Then, shuddering, Tabin says, “Do you have any questions not related to your knowledge, or have you made up your mind already?”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

 

[if PC has no affection with Sima Venesico]

 

 

[if PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits. Then, thinking about Sima, you blush.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “In related news, I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. Because you may have certain knowledge that would be useful when investigating the act, I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“What knowledge?” you ask, feeling apprehensive. “If you want me to get involved in another confrontation with street magicians…”

“Nothing like that,” Tabin says softly. “But you and a girl in a strange alley had – well, a certain understanding…”

You wince, thinking about how Sima now apparently thinks (correctly) that you are a gates mage but that you cannot confirm such a thing. For once, you are glad that your reputation, which for you is well-deserved, can burden you with other people’s simplistic interpretations of your behaviour. Better to be condemned for precociousness, you think, grimacing, then to be condemned for a crime which would see you swinging from life into death if you were to be convicted of it.

You suppose, though, that the Triplets are familiar with such forms of magic.

Sighing, you look into Tabin’s eyes and say, “I understand what you mean. But…”

“Such knowledge may not be necessary,” Tabin smoothly responds to your dangling, barely formed question. “But if it is necessary, well – you are better than alternatives.”

Then, shuddering, Tabin says, “Do you have any questions not related to your knowledge, or have you made up your mind already?”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

[if PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits. Then, thinking about Sima, you blush.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “In related news, I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. Because you may have certain knowledge that would be useful when investigating the act, I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“What knowledge?” you ask, feeling apprehensive. “If you want me to get involved in another confrontation with street magicians…”

“Nothing like that,” Tabin says softly. “But you and a girl in a strange alley had – well, a certain understanding…”

You wince, thinking about how Sima now apparently thinks (correctly) that you are a gates mage but that you cannot confirm such a thing. But then you blush and sigh. Better to be incorrectly thought precocious, you think, grimacing, then to be correctly thought to be engaging in a crime for which you would be forced to swing from life into death.

You suppose, though, that the Triplets are familiar with such forms of magic.

Sighing again, you look into Tabin’s eyes and say, “I understand what you mean. But…”

“Such knowledge may not be necessary,” Tabin smoothly responds to your dangling, barely formed question. “But if it is necessary, well – you are better than alternatives.”

Then, shuddering, Tabin says, “Do you have any questions not related to your knowledge, or have you made up your mind already?”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

 

 

[if PC has no memory Sima suspects]

 

 

[if PC has affection with Sima Venesico]

 

 

[if PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits. Then, thinking about Sima, you blush.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “Not that I know that personally. But I know a girl who was condemned as suitable for slavery because a cousin was offended by her vague words of invitation to watch games. Of course, Hedi was a dragon’s slave – as the cousin learned from the girl’s retort.”

“Such a girl will make a worthy lady,” you say softly, thinking that saying anything more casual would be inappropriate given what is clearly a story about your very dear friend Sima Venesico. You are well aware that the Triplets are reticent about their origins, so you treasure Tabin’s words as a glimpse of the Sima whose bravery and fierce wit you love.

“On related matters,” Tabin says, looking at you significantly, “I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

[if PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “Not that I know that personally. But I know a girl who was condemned as suitable for slavery because a cousin was offended by her vague words of invitation to watch games. Of course, Hedi was a dragon’s slave – as the cousin learned from the girl’s retort.”

“Such a girl will make a worthy lady,” you say softly, thinking that saying anything more casual would be inappropriate given what is clearly a story about your very dear friend Sima Venesico. You are well aware that the Triplets are reticent about their origins, so you treasure Tabin’s words as a glimpse of the Sima whose bravery and fierce wit you love.

“On related matters,” Tabin says, looking at you significantly, “I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

 

[if PC has no affection with Sima Venesico]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “in related news, I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

 

 

[if PC is female]

 

 

[if PC has no memory Sima suspects]

 

 

[if PC has affection with Tabin Furenzti]

 

 

[if PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was your dear friend Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced, and smile more broadly. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits. Then, thinking about Tabin, you blush.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “Not that I know that personally. But when communicating plans, especially to people who are not fluent in the language which you communicate in, precision is helpful.”

“Precision is a worthy goal – but pleasant politeness can be useful also,” you say softly, thinking that saying anything more casual would be inappropriate given what is possibly a story about Tabin’s life – certainly, his origins are mysterious enough that his native language may have such features. You are well aware that the Triplets are reticent about their origins, so you treasure Tabin’s words as a glimpse of the Tabin whose careful reserve and clever strategies you love.

“On related matters,” Tabin says, looking at you significantly, “I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

[if PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was your dear friend Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “Not that I know that personally. But when communicating plans, especially to people who are not fluent in the language which you communicate in, precision is helpful.”

“Precision is a worthy goal – but pleasant politeness can be useful also,” you say softly, thinking that saying anything more casual would be inappropriate given what is possibly a story about Tabin’s life – certainly, his origins are mysterious enough that his native language may have such features. You are well aware that the Triplets are reticent about their origins, so you treasure Tabin’s words as a glimpse of the Tabin whose careful reserve and clever strategies you love.

“On related matters,” Tabin says, looking at you significantly, “I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

 

[if PC has no affection with Tabin Furenzti]

 

 

[if PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was your friend Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced, and smile more broadly. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “In related matters, I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

[if PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was your friend Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “In related matters, I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

 

 

[if PC has memory Sima suspects]

 

 

[if PC has affection with Tabin Furenzti]

 

 

[if PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was your dear friend Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced, and smile more broadly. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits. Then, thinking about Tabin, you blush.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “Not that I know that personally. But when communicating plans, especially to people who are not fluent in the language which you communicate in, precision is helpful.”

“Precision is a worthy goal – but pleasant politeness can be useful also,” you say softly, thinking that saying anything more casual would be inappropriate given what is possibly a story about Tabin’s life – certainly, his origins are mysterious enough that his native language may have such features. You are well aware that the Triplets are reticent about their origins, so you treasure Tabin’s words as a glimpse of the Tabin whose careful reserve and clever strategies you love.

“On related matters,” Tabin says, looking at you significantly, “I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. Because you may have certain knowledge that would be useful when investigating the act, I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“What knowledge?” you ask, feeling apprehensive. “If you want me to get involved in another confrontation with street magicians…”

“Nothing like that,” Tabin says softly. “But you and a girl in a strange alley had – well, a certain understanding…”

You wince, thinking about how Sima now apparently thinks (correctly) that you are a gates mage but that you cannot confirm such a thing. For once, you are glad that your reputation, which for you is well-deserved, can burden you with other people’s simplistic interpretations of your behaviour. Better to be condemned for precociousness – and perhaps for going through what some may think to be a phase – you think, grimacing, then to be condemned for a crime which would see you swinging from life into death if you were to be convicted of it.

You suppose, though, that the Triplets are familiar with such forms of magic – although you fear more the idea of Sima’s hurting herself through a botched summoning than her being caught.

Sighing, you look into Tabin’s beautiful eyes and say, “I understand what you mean. But…”

“Such knowledge may not be necessary,” Tabin smoothly responds to your dangling, barely formed question with the type of intelligent words which you love from him. “But if it is necessary, well – you are better than alternatives.”

Then, shuddering, Tabin says, “Do you have any questions not related to your knowledge, or have you made up your mind already?”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

[if PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was your dear friend Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced, and smile more broadly. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “Not that I know that personally. But when communicating plans, especially to people who are not fluent in the language which you communicate in, precision is helpful.”

“Precision is a worthy goal – but pleasant politeness can be useful also,” you say softly, thinking that saying anything more casual would be inappropriate given what is possibly a story about Tabin’s life – certainly, his origins are mysterious enough that his native language may have such features. You are well aware that the Triplets are reticent about their origins, so you treasure Tabin’s words as a glimpse of the Tabin whose careful reserve and clever strategies you love.

“On related matters,” Tabin says, looking at you significantly, “I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. Because you may have certain knowledge that would be useful when investigating the act, I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“What knowledge?” you ask, feeling apprehensive. “If you want me to get involved in another confrontation with street magicians…”

“Nothing like that,” Tabin says softly. “But you and a girl in a strange alley had – well, a certain understanding…”

You wince, thinking about how Sima now apparently thinks (correctly) that you are a gates mage but that you cannot confirm such a thing. For once, you are glad that a reputation, which for you is ill-deserved, may burden you with other people’s simplistic interpretations of your behaviour. Better to be incorrectly thought precocious – and perhaps for going through what some may think to be a phase – you think, grimacing, then to be correctly thought to be engaging in a crime for which you would be forced to swing from life into death.

You suppose, though, that the Triplets are familiar with such forms of magic – although you fear more the idea of Sima’s hurting herself through a botched summoning than her being caught.

Sighing, you look into Tabin’s beautiful eyes and say, “I understand what you mean. But…”

“Such knowledge may not be necessary,” Tabin smoothly responds to your dangling, barely formed question with the type of intelligent words which you love from him. “But if it is necessary, well – you are better than alternatives.”

Then, shuddering, Tabin says, “Do you have any questions not related to your knowledge, or have you made up your mind already?”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

 

[if PC has no affection with Tabin Furenzti]

 

 

[if PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was your friend Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “In related matters, I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. Because you may have certain knowledge that would be useful when investigating the act, I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“What knowledge?” you ask, feeling apprehensive. “If you want me to get involved in another confrontation with street magicians…”

“Nothing like that,” Tabin says softly. “But you and a girl in a strange alley had – well, a certain understanding…”

You wince, thinking about how Sima now apparently thinks (correctly) that you are a gates mage but that you cannot confirm such a thing. For once, you are glad that your reputation, which for you is well-deserved, can burden you with other people’s simplistic interpretations of your behaviour. Better to be condemned for precociousness – and perhaps for going through what some may think to be a phase – you think, grimacing, then to be condemned for a crime which would see you swinging from life into death if you were to be convicted of it.

You suppose, though, that the Triplets are familiar with such forms of magic – although you fear more the idea of Sima’s hurting herself through a botched summoning than her being caught.

Sighing, you look into Tabin’s eyes and say, “I understand what you mean. But…”

“Such knowledge may not be necessary,” Tabin smoothly responds to your dangling, barely formed question. “But if it is necessary, well – you are better than alternatives.”

Then, shuddering, Tabin says, “Do you have any questions not related to your knowledge, or have you made up your mind already?”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

[if PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

You are struggling to decide which homework assignment from which class would be least painfully boring for you to deal with when you hear a knocking on your door.

Eager for this excuse to abandon for the moment considerations about sigh-inducing work, you answer the door with a slight smile on your face.

When you see that the knocker was your dear friend Tabin Furenzti, you are pleased to realize that your smile was not misplaced, and smile more broadly. Tabin, for his part, faintly smiles as he bows his head towards you.

“Is this about…um, our…” You really are not sure what you should say to Tabin, given that eavesdroppers are probably a risk and Tabin is the Triplet whom you regard as being most competent – and most inclined towards secrecy. Still, some openness has its benefits.

“Exclusive plural pronouns would be useful,” Tabin says, chuckling. “In related matters, I want your help with investigating an act at a certain travelling carnival newly come to Mineta. The act has attracted some fame, and I am curious about it. Because you may have certain knowledge that would be useful when investigating the act, I was wondering whether you would like to join me in watching and investigating the act.”

“What knowledge?” you ask, feeling apprehensive. “If you want me to get involved in another confrontation with street magicians…”

“Nothing like that,” Tabin says softly. “But you and a girl in a strange alley had – well, a certain understanding…”

You wince, thinking about how Sima now apparently thinks (correctly) that you are a gates mage but that you cannot confirm such a thing. For once, you are glad that a reputation, which for you is ill-deserved, can burden you with other people’s simplistic interpretations of your behaviour. Better to be incorrectly thought precocious – and perhaps for going through what some may think to be a phase – you think, grimacing, then to be correctly thought to be engaging in a crime for which you would be forced to swing from life into death.

You suppose, though, that the Triplets are familiar with such forms of magic – although you fear more the idea of Sima’s hurting herself through a botched summoning than her being caught.

Sighing, you look into Tabin’s eyes and say, “I understand what you mean. But…”

“Such knowledge may not be necessary,” Tabin smoothly responds to your dangling, barely formed question. “But if it is necessary, well – you are better than alternatives.”

Then, shuddering, Tabin says, “Do you have any questions not related to your knowledge, or have you made up your mind already?”

“Would you hold it against me if I were to do anything besides agreeing with you?” you ask. Sima, you know, is rather impulsive.

“Not every good plan is secret, you know,” Tabin says. “And some plans have been ruined because not enough people knew what they should have known. I mean, if you were thinking that this will be a stealthy or – hmm, disruptive – investigation, then you will be disappointed – and I want no unnecessary...insertion of such things.”

Then, grinning, Tabin says, “In other words, feel free to ask me for more details.”

 

 

 

 

 

Choices:

 

 

[If PC has memory Sima suspects] “Why do you think that my knowledge may be useful?”

 

 

[If PC has Familiar: Platypus]

 

 

Tabin laughs, and then says, “Well, you have a familiar who seems to be an aquatic mammal unknown to Minata’s learned, right?”

“Um, yes,” you say, hoping that Tabin will not ask you to try to create new life. You sigh aloud. If Tabin were not a member of the Triplets, you know that you would not even be thinking about such a possibility. But the Triplets are just strange enough that you think that they might add together the general suspicion that [PC’SPlatypusFamiliar’sName] was created with Gates magic and their suspicion that you practice Gates magic in order to conclude that you can help them by creating life.

Tabin, as if realizing what he has implied, says soothingly, “I just thought that your familiar might allow you to better understand strange aquatic mammals. I want to investigate a dolphin, you see.”

Right. Investigating a dolphin. At a travelling carnival. The incongruity of what you are hearing fills you with relief. The beast will probably be fake, but even wasting your time on that would be better than trying to create life and adding another reason for your life to end. [+ 1 skill step relaxation, hide options “I don’t like the idea of getting involved in this, Tabin. I know so little about it.” and “Sure, Tabin. I can help you.”, reveal options “Thanks for telling me more about what this is about, Tabin. I will help you.” and “Tabin, maybe another person could help you. I mean, dolphins are so rare. I would not want to do anything wrong in such circumstances.”]

 

[If PC has no Familiar: Platypus]

 

 

[If PC has affection with Tabin Furenzti]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Tabin faintly frowns, before whispering, “I think that we should not discuss such things. Not here, and not now. Not when I want to investigate a dolphin.”

You smile in what you hope is a cheerfully flirtatious way and whisper back, “What about in another place and time?”

Tabin smiles sadly and says, “I will not risk learning things about you that could be used against you, [PCFirstName] – not even at the Roses of Coventia while playing sittuyin or xiangqi or caturaṅga or chess. A certain person is bold, but if you were knowing about the claims about this person’s family’s situation, then you would better understand this boldness, which you should not imitate.”

You sigh and look at Tabin with sympathy. Such secretiveness is common for the Triplets and for Gates mages – so you, as a Gates mage helping the Triplets, are needing to be extremely secretive. Innuendo can only get you and Tabin so far. [+ 1 skill step innuendo, + 1 stress for the PC and Tabin Furenzti, hide options “I don’t like the idea of getting involved in this, Tabin. I know so little about it.” and “Sure, Tabin. I can help you.”, reveal options “Thanks for telling me more about what this is about, Tabin. I will help you.” and “Tabin, maybe another person could help you. I mean, dolphins are so rare. I would not want to do anything wrong in such circumstances.”]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Tabin faintly frowns, before whispering, “I think that we should not discuss such things. Not here, and not now. Not when I want to investigate a dolphin.”

You smile in what you hope is a cheerful way and whisper back, “What about in another place and time?”

Tabin smiles sadly and says, “I will not risk learning things about you that could be used against you, [PCFirstName]. A certain person is bold, but if you were knowing about the claims about this person’s family’s situation, then you would better understand this boldness, which you should not imitate.”

You sigh and look at Tabin with sympathy. Such secretiveness is common for the Triplets and for Gates mages – so you, as a Gates mage helping the Triplets, are needing to be extremely secretive. Innuendo can only get you and Tabin so far. [+ 1 skill step innuendo, + 1 stress for the PC and Tabin Furenzti, hide options “I don’t like the idea of getting involved in this, Tabin. I know so little about it.” and “Sure, Tabin. I can help you.”, reveal options “Thanks for telling me more about what this is about, Tabin. I will help you.” and “Tabin, maybe another person could help you. I mean, dolphins are so rare. I would not want to do anything wrong in such circumstances.”]

 

 

[If PC has no affection with Tabin Furenzti]

 

 

Tabin faintly frowns, before whispering, “I think that we should not discuss such things. Not here, and not now. Not when I want to investigate a dolphin.”

You sigh and look at Tabin with sympathy. Such secretiveness is common for the Triplets and for Gates mages – so you, as a Gates mage helping the Triplets, are needing to be extremely secretive. Innuendo can only get you and Tabin so far. [+ 1 skill step innuendo, + 1 stress for the PC and Tabin Furenzti, hide options “I don’t like the idea of getting involved in this, Tabin. I know so little about it.” and “Sure, Tabin. I can help you.”, reveal options “Thanks for telling me more about what this is about, Tabin. I will help you.” and “Tabin, maybe another person could help you. I mean, dolphins are so rare. I would not want to do anything wrong in such circumstances.”]

 

 

 

“What is so noteworthy about this act?”

 

 

“Perhaps nothing at all, and it is just a hoax,” Tabin says.

“But even a hoax can be noteworthy,” you reply. “Otherwise, why would a travelling carnival use it?”

“My point was simply that we should not assume that we will be dealing with the genuinely mysterious,” Tabin says. “I have considered how a skilled revisionist – or even a Glamour mage – could create what seems to be a dolphin.”

“But what role does the dolphin have in the travelling carnival? I can think of many ways in which a travelling carnival could use a fake dolphin, but some of them would require considerably more skill to fake than others.”

Tabin smiles. “Well, if nothing else, we will find watching the travelling carnival’s use of the dolphin to be interesting. It is no mere dead prop in a mage’s stall or melodramatic skit. It is alive, people say, and it moves in response to a trainer’s commands, leaping from a tank and tapping upon boards with a stick that it holds in its mouth in order to communicate with audiences.”

“Impressive, if true,” you drawl, as you think about what types of magical and mundane trickery could explain it. “Have you considered certain…other options?” You dare not mention the words openly, but you strongly suspect that Tabin has at least some knowledge about various illegal magics.

“Certainly, especially given what the dolphin’s handler apparently claims during his shows,” Tabin says. “He claims that the dolphin comes from the far west and from the far east – from lands beyond the Empire of Man’s scholars’ direct knowledge – and communicates in a language that no person in the travelling carnival could understand. Now, though, the dolphin supposedly has been taught a strange form of Renaglian.” [+ 1 skill step creativity, hide options “I don’t like the idea of getting involved in this, Tabin. I know so little about it.” and “Sure, Tabin. I can help you.”, reveal options “Thanks for telling me more about what this is about, Tabin. I will help you.” and “Tabin, maybe another person could help you. I mean, dolphins are so rare. I would not want to do anything wrong in such circumstances.”]

 

“What are we supposed to find out?”

 

 

“A certain travelling carnival in Mineta has a dolphin – or alleged dolphin – in its repertoire. I want to learn whether the dolphin is real and how the travelling carnival acquired the dolphin.”

“Anything else?” Knowing Tabin and the other Triplets, you would not be surprised if he might not want to steal a portion of a dolphin.

Tabin chuckles and says, “No. I think that risking problems from Durand College is enough for me – Morvidus College and the authorities would be too much for me to risk getting too little. It is not as if one could easily sell some dolphin’s parts without attracting attention.” [+ 1 skill step transportation, hide options “I don’t like the idea of getting involved in this, Tabin. I know so little about it.” and “Sure, Tabin. I can help you.”, reveal options “Thanks for telling me more about what this is about, Tabin. I will help you.” and “Tabin, maybe another person could help you. I mean, dolphins are so rare. I would not want to do anything wrong in such circumstances.”]

“Sure, Tabin. I can help you.”

 

 

“Without even knowing anything more about what I want help with? Wow, I am impressed.” Tabin’s face suggests that he is sincere. “But you need to know more about my goal, and I will tell you. A travelling carnival has come to Mineta with what it claims is a live, intelligent, communicating, performing dolphin from distant lands, and I want to learn whether this claim is true. I also want to learn how the travelling carnival acquired the dolphin.”

“When do you want us to do this?”

“Not now. Such things require preparation.”

And with those words, which, coming from a Tabin whom you know to be a member of the Triplets, are ominous to you, Tabin leaves. The Triplets are excellent friends to you, you know, but they are so mysterious. [+ 1 relationship with Tabin Furenzti, + 1 skill-step planning, - 1 stress for Tabin Furenzti, allow access to Tabin’s Trip 01, end stage]

 

[If PC has is female and has Affection with Tabin Furenzti] “Are you not concerned that others may interpret our going to the travelling carnival together as a date?”

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Tabin smirks. “Well, they might not be mistaken, given your interests and your reputation. But we can both be glad, I suppose, that I will be focussing much upon the alleged dolphins, which will, I hope, protect us from the worst of such allegations."

Your heart swells with joy at the thought that Tabin may regard what you will do with him as a date. But then, knowing something about what he and the other Triplets do, you suppose that dating while only being in second year would be a minor thing for him. [+ 1 relationship with Tabin Furenzti, + 1 skill-step dating, - 1 stress for Tabin Furenzti and the PC, choose other option]

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

Tabin smirks. “Well, they might not be mistaken. But we can both be glad, I suppose, that I will be focussing much upon the alleged dolphins, which will, I hope, protect us from the worst of such allegations."

Your heart swells with joy at the thought that Tabin may regard what you will do with him as a date. But then, knowing something about what he and the other Triplets do, you suppose that dating while only being in second year would be a minor thing for him. [+ 1 relationship with Tabin Furenzti, + 1 skill-step dating, - 1 stress for Tabin Furenzti and the PC, choose other option]

 

 

[If female PC has no Affection with Tabin Furenzti] “Are you not concerned that people may interpret our going to the travelling carnival together in the wrong way?”

 

 

[If PC is in Avila College]

 

 

“Let them think what they want,” Tabin says with a grimace. “We will in all honesty be able to say that we have no relationship beyond being friends and were only going together in order to see the dolphin. Academagia is not sexually segregated – not since your College allowed male students to enter.” [+ 1 skill-step courage for the PC and Tabin Furenzti, choose other option]

 

[If PC is not in Avila College]

 

 

“Let them think what they want,” Tabin says with a grimace. “We will in all honesty be able to say that we have no relationship beyond being friends and were only going together in order to see the dolphin. Academagia is not sexually segregated – not since Avila College.” [+ 1 skill-step courage for the PC and Tabin Furenzti, choose other option]

 

 

[hidden, at first] “Thanks for telling me more about what this is about, Tabin. I will help you.”

 

 

“Your willingness to help is much appreciated.” Tabin’s face suggests that he is sincere.

“When do you want us to do this?”

“Not now. Such things require preparation.”

And with those words, which, coming from a Tabin whom you know to be a member of the Triplets, are ominous to you, Tabin leaves. The Triplets are excellent friends to you, you know, but they are so mysterious. [+ 1 relationship with Tabin Furenzti, + 1 skill-step planning, - 1 stress for Tabin Furenzti, allow access to Tabin’s Trip 01, end stage]

 

“I don’t like the idea of getting involved in this, Tabin. I know so little about it.”

 

 

“I guess that you will not help me, then,” Tabin snaps. Then, in a calmer tone, he says, “Ah, but given what I and certain others do, your caution is justified.”

So saying, Tabin walks away, leaving you to engage in what you find to be a surprisingly productive and enjoyable session of homework. It is amazing how much more enjoyable homework becomes when you realize that it is an alternative to whatever possibly dangerous things Tabin was planning on doing - and getting you involved with. [+ 1 skill-step study habits, - 1 stress, end adventure].

 

[hidden, at first] “Tabin, maybe another person could help you. I mean, dolphins are so rare. I would not want to do anything wrong in such circumstances.”

 

 

[If PC is in Morvidus College]

 

 

[If PC has affection with Sima Venesico]

 

 

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

[If PC has memory Sima suspects]

 

 

“True,” Tabin muses. “If it were a real dolphin, harming it could bring much trouble upon both of us. But you are in Morvidus College – have they not taught you how to avoid such mistakes?”

”Despite what Vernin’s rumours may claim, we do not learn how to be friends to all living non-draconic animals,” you say. “And besides, dolphins are perhaps mythical, so how could we learn how to deal properly with them?”

Tabin smiles and mutters, “And people say that we in Aranaz College have to deal with bad stereotypes.”

Then, in a stronger voice, he says, “Given what I and certain others do, your caution is justified.”

So saying, Tabin walks away, leaving you to engage in what you find to be a surprisingly productive and enjoyable session of homework. It is amazing how much more enjoyable homework becomes when you realize that it is an alternative to whatever possibly dangerous things Tabin was planning on doing - and getting you involved with. But you know, with a thrill of excitement, that you would be less wary in turning down a proposal from Sima. Hedi College’s stereotypes are supported by Sima – and you neither mind speaking quietly about riddles with her nor engaging in actions associated with such discussions. Others, you think, would dismiss such language from you as referring to flirtation of various sorts – but you and she know that she works with dangerous magics and she – correctly – suspects the same thing about you. [+ 1 skill-step study habits, + 1 skill-step romance, - 1 stress, + 1 skill-step strategy for Tabin Furenzti, end adventure].

 

[If PC has no memory Sima suspects]

 

 

“True,” Tabin muses. “If it were a real dolphin, harming it could bring much trouble upon both of us. But you are in Morvidus College – have they not taught you how to avoid such mistakes?”

”Despite what Vernin’s rumours may claim, we do not learn how to be friends to all living non-draconic animals,” you say. “And besides, dolphins are perhaps mythical, so how could we learn how to deal properly with them?”

Tabin smiles and mutters, “And people say that we in Aranaz College have to deal with bad stereotypes.”

Then, in a stronger voice, he says, “Given what I and certain others do, your caution is justified.”

So saying, Tabin walks away, leaving you to engage in what you find to be a surprisingly productive and enjoyable session of homework. It is amazing how much more enjoyable homework becomes when you realize that it is an alternative to whatever possibly dangerous things Tabin was planning on doing - and getting you involved with. But you know, with a thrill of excitement, that you would be less wary in turning down a proposal from Sima. Hedi College’s stereotypes are supported by Sima – and you neither mind speaking quietly about riddles with her nor engaging in actions associated with such discussions. Others, you think, would dismiss such language from you as referring to flirtation of various sorts – but you and she know that she works with dangerous magics. [+ 1 skill-step study habits, + 1 skill-step romance, - 1 stress, + 1 skill-step strategy for Tabin Furenzti, end adventure].

 

 

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

 

 

“True,” Tabin muses. “If it were a real dolphin, harming it could bring much trouble upon both of us. But you are in Morvidus College – have they not taught you how to avoid such mistakes?”

”Despite what Vernin’s rumours may claim, we do not learn how to be friends to all living non-draconic animals,” you say. “And besides, dolphins are perhaps mythical, so how could we learn how to deal properly with them?”

Tabin smiles and mutters, “And people say that we in Aranaz College have to deal with bad stereotypes.”

Then, in a stronger voice, he says, “Given what I and certain others do, your caution is justified.”

So saying, Tabin walks away, leaving you to engage in what you find to be a surprisingly productive and enjoyable session of homework. It is amazing how much more enjoyable homework becomes when you realize that it is an alternative to whatever possibly dangerous things Tabin was planning on doing - and getting you involved with. But you know, with a thrill of excitement, that you would be less wary in turning down a proposal from Sima. Hedi College’s stereotypes are supported by Sima – and you neither mind speaking quietly about riddles with her nor engaging in actions associated with such discussions. [+ 1 skill-step study habits, + 1 skill-step romance, - 1 stress, + 1 skill-step strategy for Tabin Furenzti, end adventure].

 

 

[If PC has no affection with Sima Venesico]

 

 

“True,” Tabin muses. “If it were a real dolphin, harming it could bring much trouble upon both of us. But you are in Morvidus College – have they not taught you how to avoid such mistakes?”

”Despite what Vernin’s rumours may claim, we do not learn how to be friends to all living non-draconic animals,” you say. “And besides, dolphins are perhaps mythical, so how could we learn how to deal properly with them?”

Tabin smiles and mutters, “And people say that we in Aranaz College have to deal with bad stereotypes.”

Then, in a stronger voice, he says, “Given what I and certain others do, your caution is justified.”

So saying, Tabin walks away, leaving you to engage in what you find to be a surprisingly productive and enjoyable session of homework. It is amazing how much more enjoyable homework becomes when you realize that it is an alternative to whatever possibly dangerous things Tabin was planning on doing - and getting you involved with. [+ 1 skill-step study habits, - 1 stress, + 1 skill-step strategy for Tabin Furenzti, end adventure].

 

 

[If PC is not in Morvidus College]

 

 

“True,” Tabin muses. “If it were a real dolphin, harming it could bring much trouble upon both of us.”

Then, in a stronger voice, he says, “And given what I and certain others do, your caution is justified.”

So saying, Tabin walks away, leaving you to engage in what you find to be a surprisingly productive and enjoyable session of homework. It is amazing how much more enjoyable homework becomes when you realize that it is an alternative to whatever possibly dangerous things Tabin was planning on doing - and getting you involved with. [+ 1 skill-step study habits, - 1 stress, + 1 skill-step strategy for Tabin Furenzti, end adventure].

 

 

 

Edited by Rhialto
Edited text to better take into account "On the Prowl".

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@Legate of Mineta: I have improved the writing in Tabin's Trip 00 in several ways, most notably by giving better guidance about what happens after the player chooses the option “What are we supposed to find out?”.

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@Legate of Mineta: This is my final revision of my adventure "Zoe's Concerns", which has revised the reference to ninja.

Zoe’s Concerns:

Notes:

This is a brief (one scene) adventure which can be triggered if the PC is male, has Love (or better, depending upon Y2’s scale of positive emotions) with Zoe Melis, and completed Sima Venesico’s adventure in Y1 and Y2, as well as the Triplets’ adventure in Y1 and Y2.

Text:

[If PC has memory Zoe Spurned for Gates]

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that during your first year at the Academagia, you studied Gates Magic – and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you and by memories of the money which she gained by working with you that year, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. Despite, or, perhaps, because of, your…reputation, you are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend and girls’ charms before settling on Zoe, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that during your first year at the Academagia, you studied Gates Magic – and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. Despite, or, perhaps, because of, your…reputation, you are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend and girls’ charms before settling on Zoe, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that during your first year at the Academagia, you studied Gates Magic – and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you and by memories of the money which she gained by working with you that year, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. You are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that during your first year at the Academagia, you studied Gates Magic – and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. You are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC has memory Zoe Rejected for Gates]

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that you are studying Gates Magic despite fears about how such secretive and illegal studies may conflict with your relationship with her–and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you and by memories of the money which she gained by working with you last year, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. Despite, or, perhaps, because of, your…reputation, you are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend and girls’ charms before settling on Zoe, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that you are studying Gates Magic despite fears about how such secretive and illegal studies may conflict with your relationship with her–and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. Despite, or, perhaps, because of, your…reputation, you are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend and girls’ charms before settling on Zoe, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that you are studying Gates Magic despite fears about how such secretive and illegal studies may conflict with your relationship with her–and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you and by memories of the money which she gained by working with you last year, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. You are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that you are studying Gates Magic despite fears about how such secretive and illegal studies may conflict with your relationship with her–and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. You are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC has neither of memories Zoe Rejected for Gates nor Zoe Spurned for Gates]

[If PC is Prodigy: On the Prowl]

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht School]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that you are studying Gates Magic–and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. Despite, or, perhaps, because of, your…reputation, you are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend and girls’ charms before settling on Zoe, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC is not a student at the Schohanwicht School]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. Despite, or, perhaps, because of, your…reputation, you are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend and girls’ charms before settling on Zoe, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC is not Prodigy: On the Prowl]

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht School]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns. You hope that she has not learned that you are studying Gates Magic–and further hope that she, driven by feelings for you, may seek only a bribe.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. You are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

[If PC is not a student at the Schohanwicht School]

You are not sure whether you are feeling as worried as Zoe appears to your eyes and mind when you meet with Zoe in an abandoned classroom in order to discuss…come to think of it, you realize that she, in arranging this meeting with you, made no mention of what exactly she wanted to talk about with you.

Judging by her face, she has major concerns.

Zoe, for her part, seems slightly relieved when she sees that you, rather than greeting her, are occupied with your worries, and when she speaks her voice is slow and hesitant.

“[PCFirstName], I have, I hope, prepared myself for the worst in this discussion, but…I would not be surprised – nor angry at you, I suppose. Sima is very…”

Zoe’s voice trails off, and you seek to mask your surprise – and relief – by saying, “Sima? Why has she gotten you so worried?” But then you realize that given Sima’s own interests and actions, she could make Zoe’s life very miserable in many ways – most of which you could not explain even if you were to explain to Zoe what you know about Sima.

“Well, I am in Hedi College with Sima Venesico, and she has a rather…interesting reputation in term of her…interactions with male students. Nothing definitive, though, unlike Neta Xemutre. And yes, I consulted the quiet girl – who was very forthcoming about Sima’s frequently beguiling male students into helping her, but little else about her.” Zoe looks at you, pleading with her eyes, and whispers, “Please do not take me wrong. Nor, if Sima hears of this, should she.”

Zoe’s words, in this context, are strangely comforting to you, since they reveal that, whatever else Zoe is worried about, it is not Gates Magic – you think. But then, given Sima, maybe it is.

“Still,” Zoe’s voice has returned to its normal volume, “Neta has revealed openly that some students work around the ban on dating until next year in many ways – and I noticed that both this year and last year Sima and you kept not appearing in any common places within the Academagia. And when Sima was visible to me again, often you were visible also. Sima also sometimes seemed much happier after such…interludes, and whenever she was happier, so were you at the same time. No one can deny that Sima and you are publicly not enemies. So…I was wondering – is Sima flirting with you? Successfully? Do you have a hidden relationship with her?”

Your jaw drops. Of all the ways in which you had worried that Zoe might be suspicious about your life’s secrets, this is perhaps the most harmless – but unlike too many surprises, this surprise is good.

Zoe, seeing your surprise, says to you gently, “Like I said, I am not angry at you. Many girls are less sickly and more attractive as dates, and Sima Venesico is certainly a girl with great beauty who knows this and…acts accordingly. But I thought, given your apparent feelings for me, that I should not conclude too hastily but should ask you. You are a very good friend to me, whom I would love to date next year. And I want this to not become a vendetta with you, or with Sima, or…anything like that. I just want to know where you and Sima are. I do not want to be a…cover for Sima and you – to be tossed aside, when…” Zoe’s voice trails off into a sob before she gasps out, “But maybe I am overreacting and over-interpreting things. I hope that I am – otherwise I would not have asked you.”

Although you wish that Sima could be with you in order to support you in whatever you say, you suppose that you must answer Zoe now. But surely you, who were brave enough to explore the wonders of being Sima’s friend, can answer Zoe reasonably enough.

Choices:

[If PC has memory Zoe Rejected for Gates] “Zoe, if you were knowing what Sima and I are actually doing, then any possible romance between me and Sima would be the least of your interests.”

Zoe looks at you with intense eyes, and you fear that maybe your answer, meant to spew forth some portion of the stress which you feel oppressed by due to your studying Gates magic even as your worry about Zoe’s discovering such a secret has at times led you to try to drive her away from you, may have aroused too much curiosity within Zoe.

Zoe, however, presumably noticing your fearful expression, laughs lightly and mutters, “Vale, amice mea.” Then, in Renaglian, she says, “You understand that, right? I mean, so many people have mocked me for my accent when pronouncing Eluminian – one even called me the ‘dwe girl’ – that I often forget how many people here are not fluent in Eluminian. But anyways, you need not fear. I am not the type of person to track down the secrets of my worst enemies – let alone those of such a dear friend as you are. Sima is also safe from me – although maybe both you and Sima should be wary of Tacito Viadana…not that I would encourage him to investigate Sima or you.”

Then, Zoe’s face becomes serious again and she says, “Honestly, as long as you and Sima are not secretly in love with each other, I care not what happens. Although it would be bad if your secrets were to get you in trouble, and good if your secrets were to be profitable to you and me. But you have not answered my concerns directly. So, are you in love with Sima and she with you? Is she…?”

“Sima may be in love with me – she is very mysterious – but I am only interested in you – and Sima and I are not doing anything dating-related.”

Zoe averts her eyes as she moans, and your heart leaps with fear, but then Zoe says, in a breathy voice, “To be interesting – to a young man like you! This is truly a city where wonders happen.”

Then, looking at you, Zoe says brightly, “Thanks for the answer. I am so relieved…and grateful. May we hug quickly before I get back to studying? That is not against the rules – I hope.”

You nod your head weakly, relieved that Zoe is not disbelieving you or trying to determine what your secret is. But as Zoe’s arms wrap around your torso and your hands stroke her shoulders, you wonder what Zoe might discover if she were to investigate Sima Venesico. The quiet girl, you think, is not as learned as Zoe is – and Zoe is not quiet when she, smiling like a typical Morvidus student at the zoo, leaves your arms, murmuring softly words which you suspect that Professor Sido would blush if asked to translate.

Yes, Sima is mysterious, you think, when Zoe leaves you after you say a brief “farewell” to her brief “vale!” – but Zoe is learned, much less complicated, and much better for you. But would she think the same about you if she were to know that you are a Gates mage? At least you do not need to know such a thing yet. [+ 1 stress, + 1 skill level romance for Zoe Melis and the PC, + 1 fitness for Zoe Melis and the PC, end adventure]

[If PC has memory Zoe Spurned for Gates] “Zoe, if you were knowing what Sima and I were and are actually doing, then any possible romance between me and Sima would be the least of your interests.”

Zoe looks at you with intense eyes, and you fear that maybe your answer, meant to spew forth some portion of the stress which you feel oppressed by due to your studying Gates magic – stress which, in combination with your complicated and stressful-due-to-Gates-magic relationship with Zoe, drove you to abandon such studies – may have aroused too much curiosity within Zoe.

Zoe, however, presumably noticing your fearful expression, laughs lightly and mutters, “Vale, amice mea.” Then, in Renaglian, she says, “You understand that, right? I mean, so many people have mocked me for my accent when pronouncing Eluminian – one even called me the ‘dwe girl’ – that I often forget how many people here are not fluent in Eluminian. But anyways, you need not fear. I am not the type of person to track down the secrets of my worst enemies – let alone those of such a dear friend as you are. Sima is also safe from me – although maybe both you and Sima should be wary of Tacito Viadana…not that I would encourage him to investigate Sima or you.”

Then, Zoe’s face becomes serious again and she says, “Honestly, as long as you and Sima are not secretly in love with each other, I care not what happens. Although it would be bad if your secrets were to get you in trouble, and good if your secrets were to be profitable to you and me. But you have not answered my concerns directly. So, are you in love with Sima and she with you? Is she…?”

“Sima may be in love with me – she is very mysterious – but I am only interested in you – and Sima and I are not doing anything dating-related.”

Zoe averts her eyes as she moans, and your heart leaps with fear, but then Zoe says, in a breathy voice, “To be interesting – to a young man like you! This is truly a city where wonders happen.”

Then, looking at you, Zoe says brightly, “Thanks for the answer. I am so relieved…and grateful. May we hug quickly before I get back to studying? That is not against the rules – I hope.”

You nod your head weakly, relieved that Zoe is not disbelieving you or trying to determine what your secret is. But as Zoe’s arms wrap around your torso and your hands stroke her shoulders, you wonder what Zoe might discover if she were to investigate Sima Venesico. The quiet girl, you think, is not as learned as Zoe is – and Zoe is not quiet when she, smiling like a typical Morvidus student at the zoo, leaves your arms, murmuring softly words which you suspect that Professor Sido would blush if asked to translate.

Yes, Sima is mysterious, you think, when Zoe leaves you after you say a brief “farewell” to her brief “vale!” – but Zoe is learned, much less complicated, and much better for you. But would she think the same about you if she were to know that you studied gates magic? At least you do not need to know such a thing yet. [+ 1 stress, + 1 skill level romance for Zoe Melis and the PC, + 1 fitness for Zoe Melis and the PC, end adventure]

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht School but has neither memory Zoe Rejected for Gates nor memory Zoe Spurned for Gates] “Zoe, Sima and I both have our secrets, but these secrets do not include secret flirtation between us or anything like that.”

Zoe looks at you with intense eyes, and you fear that maybe your answer, meant to spew forth some portion of the stress which you feel oppressed by due to your studying Gates magic, may have aroused too much curiosity within Zoe.

Zoe, however, presumably noticing your fearful expression, laughs lightly and mutters, “Vale, amice mea.” Then, in Renaglian, she says, “You understand that, right? I mean, so many people have mocked me for my accent when pronouncing Eluminian – one even called me the ‘dwe girl’ – that I often forget how many people here are not fluent in Eluminian. But anyways, you need not fear. I am not the type of person to track down the secrets of my worst enemies – let alone those of such a dear friend as you are. Sima is also safe from me – although maybe both you and Sima should be wary of Tacito Viadana…not that I would encourage him to investigate Sima or you.”

Then, Zoe’s face becomes serious again and she says, “Honestly, as long as you and Sima are not secretly in love with each other, I care not what happens. Although it would be bad if your secrets were to get you in trouble, and good if your secrets were to be profitable to you and me. But you have not answered my concerns directly. So, are you in love with Sima and she with you? Is she…?”

“Sima may be in love with me – she is very mysterious – but I am only interested in you – and Sima and I are not doing anything dating-related.”

Zoe averts her eyes as she moans, and your heart leaps with fear, but then Zoe says, in a breathy voice, “To be interesting – to a young man like you! This is truly a city where wonders happen.”

Then, looking at you, Zoe says brightly, “Thanks for the answer. I am so relieved…and grateful. May we hug quickly before I get back to studying? That is not against the rules – I hope.”

You nod your head weakly, relieved that Zoe is not disbelieving you or trying to determine what your secret is. But as Zoe’s arms wrap around your torso and your hands stroke her shoulders, you wonder what Zoe might discover if she were to investigate Sima Venesico. The quiet girl, you think, is not as learned as Zoe is – and Zoe is not quiet when she, smiling like a typical Morvidus student at the zoo, leaves your arms, murmuring softly words which you suspect that Professor Sido would blush if asked to translate.

Yes, Sima is mysterious, you think, when Zoe leaves you after you say a brief “farewell” to her brief “vale!” – but Zoe is learned, much less complicated, and much better for you. But would she think the same about you if she were to know that you are a Gates mage? At least you do not need to know such a thing yet. [+ 1 stress, + 1 skill level romance for Zoe Melis and the PC, + 1 fitness for Zoe Melis and the PC, end adventure]

“Sima has her secrets, Zoe, but they do not include secretly flirting with me or anything like that.”

Zoe looks at you with intense eyes, and you fear that maybe your answer may have aroused too much curiosity within Zoe.

Zoe, however, presumably noticing your fearful expression, laughs lightly and mutters, “Vale, amice mea.” Then, in Renaglian, she says, “You understand that, right? I mean, so many people have mocked me for my accent when pronouncing Eluminian – one even called me the ‘dwe girl’ – that I often forget how many people here are not fluent in Eluminian. But anyways, you need not fear. I am not the type of person to track down the secrets of my worst enemies – let alone those of Sima – although maybe Sima should be wary of Tacito Viadana…not that I would encourage him to investigate Sima.”

Then, Zoe’s face becomes serious again and she says, “Honestly, as long as you and Sima are not secretly in love with each other, I care not what happens. Although it would be bad if Sima’s secrets were to get you in trouble, and good if Sima’s secrets were to be profitable to you and me. But you have not answered my concerns directly. So, are you in love with Sima and she with you? Is she…?”

“Sima may be in love with me – she is very mysterious – but I am only interested in you – and Sima and I are not doing anything dating-related.”

Zoe averts her eyes as she moans, and your heart leaps with fear, but then Zoe says, in a breathy voice, “To be interesting – to a young man like you! This is truly a city where wonders happen.”

Then, looking at you, Zoe says brightly, “Thanks for the answer. I am so relieved…and grateful. May we hug quickly before I get back to studying? That is not against the rules – I hope.”

You nod your head, relieved that Zoe is not disbelieving you. But as Zoe’s arms wrap around your torso and your hands stroke her shoulders, you wonder what Zoe might discover if she were to investigate Sima Venesico. The quiet girl, you think, is not as learned as Zoe is – and Zoe is not quiet when she, smiling like a typical Morvidus student at the zoo, leaves your arms, murmuring softly words which you suspect that Professor Sido would blush if asked to translate.

Yes, Sima is mysterious, you think, when Zoe leaves you after you say a brief “farewell” to her brief “vale!” – but Zoe is learned, much less complicated, and much better for you. [+ 1 skill level romance for Zoe Melis and the PC, + 1 fitness for Zoe Melis and the PC, end adventure]

“Zoe, Sima uses me in the gem trade – nothing more.”

“Really?” Zoe seems to be so fascinated by your words that all traces of her earlier worry vanish. “What a fascinating thing. Is it profitable for her? I cannot think that anyone outside of Vernin College could succeed at that – unless maybe she has some familial connections. Does she?”

Feeling relieved that you chose to build upon Sima’s interest in gems – which is to you mysterious – rather than the more innocuous and public theater, you reply, with a twinge of guilt which you wonder if Sima is familiar with, “Ah, I could not dare to speak openly about such details. Gems are so expensive, you know, that any leak of information could…”

“All right. I understand. Still, I am impressed by what you and Sima are doing,” Zoe says, smiling. “So many people, I think, see you as just a student from [PC’sCollege] who likes to get into adventures and had a confrontation with street magicians last year. And Sima…well, she does not try to project any of her trade into her reputation at this school – which I suppose is good policy for her, given what the Marchants can do sometimes. Still,” and here Zoe laughs, “I know about her business now – and I must ask her about it. Maybe she would divulge to a fellow Hedi girl what you are unwilling to divulge. And maybe she can use a model or accountant!”

Blushing slightly, Zoe rushes away from you, leaving you wishing that you were knowing as much about Sima’s alleged client for jewelry as Zoe presumably assumes that you know. But your ruse, you later learn, was not in vain or taken in a bad way by Sima; a note in Sima’s handwriting appears outside your bedroom’s door the next day with the following words: “Zoe and I had a wonderful conversation about our ventures, in the course of which I remembered that I needed to pay you for your latest help. Thanks for being so discreet when talking to Zoe about your relationship with her.”

As you count and take the money, you analyze Sima’s words. They were, you think, not in any way flawed by divulging sensitive information – and to the contrary may deflect any spy’s attention towards you, for having a relationship with Zoe, and towards Zoe, for investigating Sima. Sima could, you realize, have not mentioned her ventures at all (and avoided paying you), but given that she was rather forced to conform your claims in order to avoid inciting Zoe’s suspicion, she had an excuse to act as she did which could allow her to avoid suspicion that her “gem-trading” is really something else. Then, sighing, you shake your head. The Triplets are wonderful friends to you, but they encourage such paranoia within you with their secretiveness and strange habits. [+ 200 pims to Zoe Melis and the PC, - 400 poms to Sima Venesico, + 1 skill level Jewelry for Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level innuendo for the PC, end adventure]

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure] “Well, since we came to know each other as business partners, we can continue as friends and partners without any expectation that we must date or anything like that.”

[If PC has no memory Zoe Rejected for Gates or Zoe spurned for Gates]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. You helped me very much last year, but…maybe that was not the type of foundation upon which good relationships are based – so thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then.”

With a sigh and a wave, Zoe walks off. You are glad that you were able to resolve Zoe’s concern so amicably – you do not doubt that other girls would have challenged you to a duel or sworn a vendetta against you. [+ 1 intelligence for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, end adventure]

[If PC has memory Zoe Rejected for Gates]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. You helped me very much last year, but…maybe that was not the type of foundation upon which good relationships are based – so thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. Certainly, you have changed towards me in the past.”

With a sigh and a wave, Zoe walks off. You are glad that you were able to resolve Zoe’s concern so amicably – you do not doubt that other girls would have challenged you to a duel or sworn a vendetta against you. But then you jerk in fear. Must your concerns about getting into a relationship with Zoe Melis include not only your ongoing study of Gates magic, but also…whatever it is that Sima and her brothers are involved with? No one has ever pretended that being a Gates mage is easy, you know, but Sima pretends to be an aloofly mysterious girl whose full depths such a façade does not hint at. [+ 1 intelligence for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 stress, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, end adventure]

[If PC has memory Zoe Spurned for Gates]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. You helped me very much last year, but…maybe that was not the type of foundation upon which good relationships are based – so thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. Certainly, you have changed towards me in the past.”

With a sigh and a wave, Zoe walks off. You are glad that you were able to resolve Zoe’s concern so amicably – you do not doubt that other girls would have challenged you to a duel or sworn a vendetta against you. But then you jerk in fear. Must your concerns about getting into a relationship with Zoe Melis include not only your past study of Gates magic, but also…whatever it is that Sima and her brothers are involved with? No one has ever pretended that being a Gates mage is easy, you know, but Sima pretends to be an aloofly mysterious girl whose full depths such a façade does not hint at. [+ 1 intelligence for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 stress, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure] “Honestly, if you are so concerned about my relationship with Sima, then maybe you and I would be better as friends only. I mean, I value Sima very much also.”

[If PC is not a student at the Schohanwicht School]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then.”

With a sigh and a wave, Zoe walks off. You are glad that you were able to resolve Zoe’s concern so amicably – you do not doubt that other girls would have challenged you to a duel or sworn a vendetta against you. [+ 1 intelligence for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, end adventure]

[If PC is a student at the Schohanwicht School]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then.”

With a sigh and a wave, Zoe walks off. You are glad that you were able to resolve Zoe’s concern so amicably – you do not doubt that other girls would have challenged you to a duel or sworn a vendetta against you. But then you jerk in fear. Must your concerns about getting into a relationship with Zoe Melis include not only your study of Gates magic, but also…whatever it is that Sima and her brothers are involved with? No one has ever pretended that being a Gates mage is easy, you know, but Sima pretends to be an aloofly mysterious girl whose full depths such a façade does not hint at. [+ 1 intelligence for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 stress, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, end adventure]

[If PC completed Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure and has relationship > 10 with Sima Venesico] “Well, since we came to know each other as business partners, we can continue as friends and partners without any expectation that we must date or anything like that. Sima has a special place in my heart which you have helped me to recognize.”

[If PC has Heritage: Oncestrian]

[If PC completed Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. You helped me very much last year, but…maybe that was not the type of foundation upon which good relationships are based – so thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian.

 

Are you liking petite clever girls who, despite short dark hair,

ooze adventure from their foreign lips with strange plans for swift gain?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden lair.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to thoughtful introspection by Sima’s seeming knowledge about Miya’s criminal activities. Princess or not, Miya could perhaps learn from Sima about discretion – although you realize that for all you know, the Triplets are so aware of events that even if Miya were as discreet in her...underhanded money-making as Zoe was with you, she might have still become known as a criminal to Sima. Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. You helped me very much last year, but…maybe that was not the type of foundation upon which good relationships are based – so thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian.

 

Are you liking petite clever girls who, despite short dark hair,

ooze adventure from their foreign lips with strange plans for swift gain?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden lair.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to wonder whether Sima has any inside knowledge that Miya Hikari is involved in crime. Whom else but Miya, you think, could Sima be referring to, with her short dark hair, foreignness even within Mineta, and love for talking about and imitating people engaging in stealthy and criminal activities – was it ninja whom Miya is often claiming to imitate? Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC has no Heritage: Oncestrian]

[If PC completed Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. You helped me very much last year, but…maybe that was not the type of foundation upon which good relationships are based – so thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian with an interlinear Renaglian translation.

 

Are you liking petite clever girls who, despite short dark hair,

ooze adventure from their foreign lips with strange plans for swift gain?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden lair.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to thoughtful introspection by Sima’s seeming knowledge about Miya’s criminal activities. Princess or not, Miya could perhaps learn from Sima about discretion – although you realize that for all you know, the Triplets are so aware of events that even if Miya were as discreet in her...underhanded money-making as Zoe was with you, she might have still become known as a criminal to Sima. Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level Oncestrian, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. You helped me very much last year, but…maybe that was not the type of foundation upon which good relationships are based – so thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian with an interlinear Renaglian translation.

 

Are you liking petite clever girls who, despite short dark hair,

ooze adventure from their foreign lips with strange plans for swift gain?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden lair.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to wonder whether Sima has any inside knowledge that Miya Hikari is involved in crime. Whom else but Miya, you think, could Sima be referring to, with her short dark hair, foreignness even within Mineta, and love for talking about and imitating people engaging in stealthy and criminal activities – was it ninja whom Miya is often claiming to imitate? Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Zoe Melis’s Y1 adventure and has relationship > 10 with Sima Venesico] “Honestly, if you are so concerned about my relationship with Sima, then maybe you and I would be better as friends only. I mean, Sima is a very dear friend to me also – for reasons which none understand except for me.”

[If PC has memory Sima suspects]

[If PC has Heritage: Oncestrian]

[If PC completed Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian.

 

Are you seeking a foreign girl whom you may appreciate,

while learning from her truths about realms whose ways seem insane?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden gate.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to thoughtful introspection by Sima’s seeming knowledge about Miya’s criminal activities. Princess or not, Miya could perhaps learn from Sima about discretion – although you realize that for all you know, the Triplets are so aware of events that even if Miya were discreet in her...underhanded money-making, she might have still become known as a criminal to Sima. Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you.

But then, as you think about Sima, your appreciation for her skill in subtly conveying dangerous messages increases. Her poem, with its references to “a forbidden gate”, learning about strange realm, and your role as a seeker, were clearly meant by her to be references to your role – as she correctly suspects – as a Gates mage, navigating in strange universes and seeking creatures for summoning – all while avoiding any explicit accusations and conveying a coherent message about…well, you must call it a deep friendship for now. Not for the last time, you marvel that Sima was able, through your startled reaction, to assume that you are a Gates mage – and you feel giddy with joy that she is your dear friend rather than a girl with unknown feelings towards you - or, worse yet, an enemy. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level innuendo, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian.

 

Are you seeking a foreign girl whom you may appreciate,

while learning from her truths about realms whose ways seem insane?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden gate.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to wonder whether Sima has any inside knowledge that Miya Hikari is involved in crime. Whom else but Miya, you think, could Sima be referring to, with her short dark hair, foreignness even within Mineta, and love for talking about and imitating people engaging in stealthy and criminal activities – was it ninja whom Miya is often claiming to imitate? Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you.

But then, as you think about Sima, your appreciation for her skill in subtly conveying dangerous messages increases. Her poem, with its references to “a forbidden gate”, learning about strange realm, and your role as a seeker, were clearly meant by her to be references to your role – as she correctly suspects – as a Gates mage, navigating in strange universes and seeking creatures for summoning – all while avoiding any explicit accusations and conveying a coherent message about…well, you must call it a deep friendship for now. Not for the last time, you marvel that Sima was able, through your startled reaction, to assume that you are a Gates mage – and you feel giddy with joy that she is your dear friend rather than a girl with unknown feelings towards you - or, worse yet, an enemy. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level innuendo, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC has no Heritage: Oncestrian]

[If PC completed Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian with an interlinear Renaglian translation.

 

Are you seeking a foreign girl whom you may appreciate,

while learning from her truths about realms whose ways seem insane?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden gate.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to thoughtful introspection by Sima’s seeming knowledge about Miya’s criminal activities. Princess or not, Miya could perhaps learn from Sima about discretion – although you realize that for all you know, the Triplets are so aware of events that even if Miya were discreet in her...underhanded money-making, she might have still become known as a criminal to Sima. Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you.

But then, as you think about Sima, your appreciation for her skill in subtly conveying dangerous messages increases. Her poem, with its references to “a forbidden gate”, learning about strange realm, and your role as a seeker, were clearly meant by her to be references to your role – as she correctly suspects – as a Gates mage, navigating in strange universes and seeking creatures for summoning – all while avoiding any explicit accusations and conveying a coherent message about…well, you must call it a deep friendship for now. Not for the last time, you marvel that Sima was able, through your startled reaction, to assume that you are a Gates mage – and you feel giddy with joy that she is your dear friend rather than a girl with unknown feelings towards you - or, worse yet, an enemy. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level innuendo, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian with an interlinear Renaglian translation.

 

Are you seeking a foreign girl whom you may appreciate,

while learning from her truths about realms whose ways seem insane?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden gate.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to wonder whether Sima has any inside knowledge that Miya Hikari is involved in crime. Whom else but Miya, you think, could Sima be referring to, with her short dark hair, foreignness even within Mineta, and love for talking about and imitating people engaging in stealthy and criminal activities – was it ninja whom Miya is often claiming to imitate? Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you.

But then, as you think about Sima, your appreciation for her skill in subtly conveying dangerous messages increases. Her poem, with its references to “a forbidden gate”, learning about strange realm, and your role as a seeker, were clearly meant by her to be references to your role – as she correctly suspects – as a Gates mage, navigating in strange universes and seeking creatures for summoning – all while avoiding any explicit accusations and conveying a coherent message about…well, you must call it a deep friendship for now. Not for the last time, you marvel that Sima was able, through your startled reaction, to assume that you are a Gates mage – and you feel giddy with joy that she is your dear friend rather than a girl with unknown feelings towards you - or, worse yet, an enemy. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level innuendo, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC has no memory Sima suspects]

[If PC has Heritage: Oncestrian]

[If PC completed Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian.

 

Are you liking petite clever girls who, despite short dark hair,

ooze adventure from their foreign lips with strange plans for swift gain?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden lair.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to thoughtful introspection by Sima’s seeming knowledge about Miya’s criminal activities. Princess or not, Miya could perhaps learn from Sima about discretion – although you realize that for all you know, the Triplets are so aware of events that even if Miya were discreet in her...underhanded efforts, she might have still become known as a criminal to Sima. Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian.

 

Are you liking petite clever girls who, despite short dark hair,

ooze adventure from their foreign lips with strange plans for swift gain?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden lair.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to wonder whether Sima has any inside knowledge that Miya Hikari is involved in crime. Whom else but Miya, you think, could Sima be referring to, with her short dark hair, foreignness even within Mineta, and love for talking about and imitating people engaging in stealthy and criminal activities – was it ninja whom Miya is often claiming to imitate? Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC has no Heritage: Oncestrian]

[If PC completed Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian with an interlinear Renaglian translation.

 

Are you liking petite clever girls who, despite short dark hair,

ooze adventure from their foreign lips with strange plans for swift gain?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden lair.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to thoughtful introspection by Sima’s seeming knowledge about Miya’s criminal activities. Princess or not, Miya could perhaps learn from Sima about discretion – although you realize that for all you know, the Triplets are so aware of events that even if Miya were discreet in her…underhanded efforts, she might have still become known as a criminal to Sima. Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level Oncestrian, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

[If PC did not complete Miya Hikari’s Y1 adventure]

Zoe’s face falls, and she lets out a choked, squeaking sob. But then she shudders and says, “Fair enough. Thanks for at least trying to preserve the friendship.”

Then, with a forced smile, Zoe says, “Besides, we cannot even date until next year – so maybe things will change by then. At least let me tell Sima about this. Please?”

In the face of Zoe’s obvious and barely concealed sorrow, you numbly accept. Zoe rushes off.

A few hours later, you get your response when a grimacing Zoe delivers into your hand a message. Opening it, you find, written in Sima Venesico’s handwriting, a poem written in Oncestrian with an interlinear Renaglian translation.

 

Are you liking petite clever girls who, despite short dark hair,

ooze adventure from their foreign lips with strange plans for swift gain?

I shall gladly take that role for you and can spare you from pain,

which a third girl may cause through entering a forbidden lair.

 

Even as your heart swells with pleasure at knowing that Sima Venesico – the strangely alluring, gem-seeking, incredibly brave Sima Venesico! – is reciprocating your interest in her, you are moved to wonder whether Sima has any inside knowledge that Miya Hikari is involved in crime. Whom else but Miya, you think, could Sima be referring to, with her short dark hair, foreignness even within Mineta, and love for talking about and imitating people engaging in stealthy and criminal activities – was it ninja whom Miya is often claiming to imitate? Still, you are so glad that Sima is willing to get closer to you that you cast such distracting thoughts from your head, instead focussing upon the pleasant emotions associated with Sima Venesico even as a softly weeping Zoe leaves you. [+ 1 charm for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level temperance for the PC and Zoe Melis, + 1 skill level Oncestrian, + 1 stress for Zoe Melis, + 5 pims for Zoe Melis, - 5 pims for Sima Venesico, set relationship between Zoe Melis and the PC to 9, set relationship between PC and Sima Venesico to 11 and grant Affection to PC and Sima Venesico, end adventure]

 

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