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No title.
(2013-01-24 - 2013-01-25)
No description.
Leida The expansive and elegantly designed grey brick building that takes up this part of Traverse Town is the city's one and only place for travelers to bunk up while visiting the area and thus has no other name to seperate it from the surroundings other than the large neon HOTEL sign on its outer wall.

Free from her usual duties around the Shard Seekers permanently dirty base of operations, Leida finds herself going somewhat stir crazy with nothing to occupy her hands. The interior of her room is immaculate, every piece of furniture dusted, wiped, and cleaned several times over since she arrived. Only a small bag sits in the corner to denote that this facility has been occupied, filled with a few extra shirts and undergarments and her travel money.

The massive greatbow that she has taken to using is also propped up against the wall along with a quiver of various arrows and a thick wooden sword. She doubted Percival or Angantyr would seek her out here but it never hurt to be prepared.

At the moment, with her cleaning urges temporarily satisified, the princess sits on the wide balcony attached to her room, peering up at the stars from a small wooden stool. The cool evening breeze here was wonderful, a fresh change from the eternal heat of the desert sun and she intended on soaking up every bit of it that she could while here. Eventually, she would have to head back and do her part to aid the clan. But for now, it was serene and relaxing.

A large elaborate comb is run through her incredibly long hair, carefully and methodically smoothing out the tangled length. She hums as she works, oblivious to her surroundings as usual when distracted by such a time consuming task.

The door to her room is slightly ajar, either on purpose to allow people to know she is here or the result of a forgetful mind. Either way, anyone wishing to enter can do so easily.
Pumpkinhead Legion is visitng the Hotel a bit today not because they live here or anything, but because they used to live here. And in a sense, it's an important place for Legion because this is where they met the TDA and their lives changed forever. They could even call this building, that is not especially impressive, to be something akin to sacred ground.

Two have come to visit (one of whom is, naturally, Imi--the other Emi)--and they would have just moved up on ahead when they noticed a room with its door open.


Emi is not the sort of person to just allow a door to remain open, there may be something going on after all. Heartless attack--or worse!--it could also be totally benign but either way, she sneaks up to the ajar door first and peers on through. She can't see Leida through it but she can hear the combing.

She quietly attempts to creek the door open the rest of the way.
Leida Naturally, the door is well oiled and glides open effortlessly and silently, allowing access to the princess' room without giving away the sleuth's presence. Leida is sitting with her back to the door, facing out into the city from her perch on the balcony. Honestly, it's like she tries to put herself in situations where she's easy to sneak up on.

From her vantage on the second floor, she has a good view of the city proper and even late in the evening their is a fair bit of activity going on below. The occasional refugee still wanders the streets though Hearts Intertwined has ensured that even those without a new permanent residence are properly clothed and fed. A few late shoppers make their way along the bright neon signs of the thoroughfare, arms laden with bags of assorted goods, though Traverse has a rather limited selection of traders to peruse.

Off in the distance, repairs to the third district in the aftermath of the explosion election are still underway and yellow tape cordons off several alleyways and paths leading to the plaza. The Heartless have been relatively quiet today judging by the lack of guards and adventurers on patrol.

Finishing with one side of her hair, Leida turns and scoops the other half over her shoulder, bringing it around to her front so she can get at it more easily. Her ever-present companions, the spirit flames, are no where to be seen at the moment, perhaps sleeping themselves or off elsewhere getting into mischief.
Pumpkinhead Oh, it's just Leida. Emi smiles. But she seems to be engaged in activity and she doesn't wish to be the one to trouble her out of her moment of rest. She's about to reach for the door and pull it back when Imi steps forward, grinning widely. Oh no, Emi thinks, really? Are we really going to bother her now? She seems so at peace and--

Imi rests a hand on Emi's shoulder and lightly guides her away from the entrance. She steps inside. She practically glides across the floor as she slinks towards Leida. Every time Imi thinks she might hang back and allow Leida to move at her own pace regarding their friendship, she is given such opportunity and can't resist herself.

Emi bites at her lip, must not warn her, muust not warn her, oh yellow tape.

If Imi can get close, she will--naturally, attempt to surprise ambush Leida with the mighty power of... TICKLING?!?!?!
Leida Still humming softly to herself, Leida gently sets about brushing her hair again, completely unaware of the danger that stalks ever closer. She goes through the motions with practiced ease, somehow managing to get long complete strokes from top to bottom without getting badly tangled up in the process. A good comb does wonders.

Apparently being the master of going for her friend's weak spots, Imi chooses just the right timing to apply her precision tickle strike which immediately causes the princess to seize up before collapsing into a fit of panicked laughter.

"Kya?! N-no, Imi-chaaanahahaha!" It only takes a few seconds to recognise the person behind this devious stealth assault and Leida begins rolling around on the floor, trying to defend herself with a combination of pleas and weak flailing.
Pumpkinhead "I can't stoooop..." Imi says. "This is as much your doing as mine!"

Emi sighs from behind the door. "...The Network suspects that you are being something of a fibber there." Imi does not stop tickling! At least not immediately, she keeps at it for several seconds before finally pulling off. "Heheh..." She laughs into her hand. "I'm sorry. Do you mind if we come in?, The Network wonders despite already having invited herself in."

Emi rubs a hand down her face and then looks over her shoulder one way, then the next.
Leida Leida collapses onto her back, breathing heavily from the sensory overload induced by the sudden tickle attack. Her eyes are vacant for a few moments as she tries to collect her wits but the faint smile on her face indicates that she was having a fair amount of fun herself. Finally, the girl lifts a hand to her forehead and wipes the last of the surprise from her face with a sigh.

"Ofcourse you can enter, Imi-chan." Her head tilts upwards to peer at the other Legion. Though she is upside-down, Emi's distinctive pigtails make her easy to recognize now that the clones have decided to provide such handy indentifiers. Though they could just as easily be playing a prank and switch them up.

"Good evening to you too, Emi-chan. Please... come in."
Pumpkinhead The two step inside. Emi would probabl not engage in tickle torture. It's not the sort of humor that is her style, and humor is perhaps not even the appropriate word for it even if it results in laughter. Emi tugs lightly on a pigtail and offers a hand up for Leida whether or not Imi finds this acceptable. She may pout a little.

But a moment after, she allows herself a smile and says, "Thank you." for some reason despite there not really being any reason for her to say that that is immediately identifiable. She adds, "We were going to talk before, right?"
Leida The hand is accepted and Leida scrambles back to her feet with only a slight loss of dignity in the exchange. A few moments of attention are given to her hair and clothes, smoothing them out with a few passes of her palms before she turns back to the two sisters and gives them each a welcoming bow.

"Ah... welcome to my room. I am sorry there is not much here but please feel free to have a seat wherever you like." The princess herself plops back down on the floor inside the room, shutting the balcony doors behind her. Heartless had an annoying habit of popping up in places you weren't expecting and the hotel was no different.

The discarded comb is reacquired from whence it fell and Leida begins to idly run it through her hair again, now that Imi has done a fantastic job of refrizzing most of her work on the carpet. But she doesn't seem to mind, this is a relaxing exercise. "Um... you mean about my past, right...?"
Pumpkinhead "Yes..." Imi says, keeping her voice at a soothing level, rather than showing typical exuberance, sitting down on the bed nearby. Emi bows as well but sits a bit further off, she doesn't want to harsh on Imi's territory. It's not that Imi is possessive, persay, well okay maybe a little--but Imi is closest to Leida and she doesn't want to discourage individual growth in one of her Sisters. Even if they aren't much for individuality.

"It isn't too much trouble, I hope. Well, I understand it might be some trouble, but...well, this one admits that while perhaps our decision to become your friend was a snap decision, this one is grateful all the same that you have stayed with us in spite of our eccentricies as we might understand it."

"In short," Emi tries to summarize. "This is an attempt to become closer as comrades and friends, The Network spoilers."
Leida The small girl merely smiles and shakes her head at this. "No, it is me who should thank you. After what I have done, I do not deserve to have such wonderful friends. You even considered letting me join your family, even though we have only just met."

Leida leans forward, lowering her body towards them in as deep a bow as she can manage from her seated position. "Thank you so very much." Sitting back up, she resumes brushing at her hair, though the happy smile fades into one of resignation and she sighs softly.

"If you wish to know my past... then I will indulge you... b-but..." She stares down at the floor, her hands pausing mid-brush for a moment. "I will warn you, it is not a happy story. You may not think of me the same when I am done..."
Pumpkinhead Emi admits, "That may be so, but it is a risk we have to take." The truth, for Emi, is not something to shy away from even if it can be rather painful. That's not her way. She is about to add more when Imi butts in.

"You are important to us, however, and we do not intend to let that change. Who you are now matters more to us than what you have done. We'll forgive you. Indeed, it is not as if you have ever done harm to us."

How empathic are they to the suffering of strangers? They don't know the answer to that themselves.
Leida Leida nods a final time as if sealing the deal by this action. "Very well." A deep breath is taken as if to prepare herself mentally for the retelling and she fidgets for a few moments, getting comfortable. "We will start at the beginning."


"I come from a place called Talosia, a beautiful world full of dense forests and open plains and dotted with mountains that reached up to the clouds. Nature was abundant and untamed, nothing like these... advanced worlds that are so common here. But despite these idyllic surroundings, war was our way of life."

A hand is held up and she points to a small section of her palm with one finger, indicating many locations one by one. "The land was divided up into regions, each ruled by a respected noble family." She points to the center of her hand. "My father owned the largest area of all and the most coveted for it was rich in fertile soil and precious metals. As such he was respected, feared, and hated by many."

"Our riches had not come naturally. My father was a born leader and an amazing warrior, perhaps the strongest of the age. He took much of his land from our neighbors and slaughtered their noble families completely so that seeds of future revenge could not be sown in the minds of their children."

Leida describes these events in a matter-of-fact tone as if it were nothing to be surprised about. She pauses here for a moment, glancing up to the sisters to see if they have any questions.
Pumpkinhead Talosia? That's strange. Leida uses Japanese terms in her language, perhaps there's some sort of connection between Talosia and Ja-pan. Multiversal situations can be complex. The nature of The Worlds is very confuzzling as is.

Either way Leida does not seem to be intent on painting light her father. Emi can understand having a creator that can be a bit of a mixed blessing. Being created is great after all, but of course it's the mess after creation that can be troublesome.

"Did he have a loyal military? The Network wonders how one so ruthless managed enemies. While destroying a family utterly may appear to cut off the possibilities of revenge, the simple act of being cruel, even if it is not personal, can encourage rebellion."

Still she has to wonder, if the lands are so plentiful...

"It seems like a very pretty place, why was there so much warring over the land? War takes great resource, does it not?" Imi asks.
Leida "Yes, the people of my father's realm were very proud to be his subjects. He was powerful and wise. You may call it cruel but for us it was a natural course of events. Rulers that have been defeated were clearly unfit as rulers and therefore have lost their honor. Only in death can they find redemption, fighting until their last breath. Atleast then they can stand before their ancestors and be proud to have tried their best."

Leida smiles faintly. "Yes, it was very pretty. The mountains especially, when the trees were in bloom... oh how I wish I could show you..." She clasps her hands together, eyes closing at the memory.

And then she sighs again. "War was how our culture defined itself. Only nobles were allowed to wield swords and were expected to be the defenders of the land. The rulers were always playing a grand game of strategy, each trying to outmanuever the other and become the greatest so that he might be named the regeant of the entire land."

"Do not mistake me, war was not an ever present occurance. Our warriors were also poets and scholars. Many composed ballads and wrote of love and life or painted amazing pictures. But the lords were always watching and waiting for the opportunities to advance themselves and their people."

A hand is placed on her chest as she continues. "And that brings us to my part of the story. Beyond war, politics were also an important part of noble advancement. Often times the children of lords or nobles would be married off to people they have never met in exchange for favorable trade negotations, land ownership, dowries, and peace negotiations. I was married off in one such exchange."
Pumpkinhead "Hmm..." Imi thinks this one over and then eventually nods, as if with understanding. She doesn't say how she understands, of course, in those words, but she's allowing that nod to indicate it all the same without words. Granted, this doesn't really seem like the sort of culture that would produce a Leida.

"We apologize if that came off as judgemental. We have little room to talk on such matters, after all." She smiles again and is about to say more when--

"You were married??" Imi's eyes widen, in shock, her hands placed over her mouth. This is more shock than the part about her being willingly possessed by a demon? Imi has her priorities straight, man, totally straight.
Leida Imi's blatant shock causes Leida to hunker down in embarrassment, her face coloring up a bright scarlet. "Ah... y-yes... I was married..." The girl worries her hands together for a moment in silence then clears her throat and continues.

"W-well, I was the tenth child of my family. All of my brothers and sisters before me were very strong and proud... not at all like me. I was not wanted or needed and because I am so clumsy I often made mistakes... my family was not very kind to me because of this." Understatement of the century.

The princess sighs again and looks away. "No matter what I tried to do to help, I was always just in the way. So when the chance came for my father to make use of me and get rid of me at the same time, he took it. There were no tears shed for my loss."

Oddly, the girl smiles now and looks back up at them. "Despite these circumstances, however, being sent away was the best thing that could have happened to me. At home I was just in the way but my new husband was very understanding and kind. He taught me how to act properly like a lady and how to survive on the lands and give proper praise to the spirits... he was... a very wonderful man."
Pumpkinhead Black sheep of the family. Though golly, Emi can't help but think, so many brothers and sisters. Almost as many as there've been Legions, in fact, though no--not that many. Imi is still stunned by the whole marriage thing, so she actually stays rather quiet as the story continues. So far, this hardly seems to be hte worst story that ends with blood that burns with evil which only makes this pause in the story where Leida actually was happy seem all the more unnerving.

"In other words, why she does not engage in casual molestation." Emi murmurs to Imi.

"I-it's just a way to have fun." Imi reddens.
Leida At this comment Leida blushes again with the accompanying awkward pause. "W-Well... I... I do not mind so much..." Her voice is very soft as she mumbles this but it is more for herself than their ears. Whether they hear it or not, she waves her hands defensively in the air a moment later.

"A-anyway...!" She coughs nervously and continues. "So I moved to the mountains and lived with my new husband there for two years. During that time, he rode at my father's side into battle several times, his assitance in the on-going campaigns a part of the treaty that had brought me and my dowry to his lands."

Her expression goes dark and meloncholy at this point, her gaze drifting down to the floor in solemn concentration. "Every time he came back his face was so grim. I cannot imagine the things that he saw. I... I always heard the tales of my father's... effectiveness but... my husband was not that ruthless. He..." She takes a deep breath, starting to lose control of her emotions slowly but surely.

"He started to plot against my father... with the other lords of nearby lands. They planned to lure him into a trap... and... and kill him." Leida looks up at Imi, her eyes shimmering with moisture. "I... my father never showed me much kindness but... but he was still my father. I did not want him to die."

The girl shakes her head, wiping at her eyes with the back of a sleeve. "For many nights this conflict tore me apart. I loved my husband but I was honor-bound to protect my family. So... so I warned them..."
Pumpkinhead Not so ruthless, but ruthless enough to kill their wife's father, Emi notes. Was it kindness, or just greed? Well even this culture likely is not super keen on murdering children for power so readily as that. Even the father likely justified it as a method to improving his own kingdom. Still, Emi reflects, she supposes this sort of behavior isn't so strange. At this point, Emi can sort of guess how things go, but she isn't about to assume.

Emi leans back, thinking about it. She taps her foot lightly and then flops back on the bed, staring up at the ceiling.

Eventually she says, "Did you regret that choice?, The Network inquires."

Imi clucks her tongue as if to say 'well obviously!'. "What happened then?" She asks. it doesn't take an empathic master to understand this is where shit's getting real, but they keep their cool composure otherwise.
Leida The princess, or would it technically be queen since she was married to a king, resumes staring at the floor. "Even now... I do not know... if I could go back and... and change things... I do not know if I would." Honor was a complicated thing that lead people to make very strange choices sometimes. This is no different though the stakes were far higher than most. Would she have been able to live with herself after sacrificing her honor to save the one she loved? It is difficult to determine these things in speculation.

"My father received my warning and my husband was none the wiser. When he went to close the trap, my father escaped back to our home and rallied an army to crush everyone who had tried to betray him. Word got out that my husband had been the mastermind behind this plot and everyone turned on him to preserve their honor."

Leida spits that final word out as if the taste of it were becoming bitter and unpleasant. "It took the better part of a year but the result was inescapable. My father's armies were vast and powerful and they pushed us back until only our mountain home remained."

Tears begin to fall finally as she comes to the part that hurt the most. "He... he sent me back to my father... made a personal request that I should be spared his fate... he... he never knew who was at fault for his failure..." The girl's hands go to her face, hiding the emotion and grief there away, not wanting her friends to see her like this. "I... my father made me watch... while the castle burned down..."
Pumpkinhead Emi says, "There is no honor in selling out someone who showed you nothing but kindness." Emi is not someone who is known for pulling punches. It could be said The Dennous have been saved through similar charity and spared from those that created them but had no love for them. They made a different choice, at the end of the day. "Nor is it to abandon your comrades. That is one of Reize's vows, of course." She looks away. So far, the demon? It hasn't even gotten to THAT part--but Emi has gotta admit, this does sound like a tale that could change someone's opinion of her. She looks towards Imi who is tapping her chin, considering what she has just learned.

"Your people are strange to us, this one admits." Imi murmurs. "Were it us we would have helped him plan. I suppose, however, if I were your father I would be quite dissapointed in your assistance since you had an opportunity to seize some power for yourself and instead threw it out on royalty--so I cannot expect that is a matter purely centered around one's culture."

Emi raises an eyebrow.

"Therefore, this one can only deduce you still desired your father's love. It is difficult to blame you for that, after all it must have seemed the perfect opportunity to get some."

She wraps an arm around Leida, hugging her close to her body. "You poor dear, reaching out only to be provided further cruelty."
Leida The soft sobs of a broken heart echo through the room for some time, the girl unable to speak again while the remorse she had thought buried and dealt with comes surging back like a tidal wave. Leida allows herself to be held without any resistance or timidness this time. She needs someone to hear this but getting through it alone is not something she wanted to do again, even in rememberance.

When the tears have expended themselves enough that she can talk again, Leida sniffles sharply and looks up, her demonic eyes tinged with puffy red outlines from the strain. "I... I just wanted to make him proud... I thought..." She trails off and shakes her head. "I does not matter what I thought. My father laughed at my foolishness and when I returned home so did my siblings. I had believed that they could not have treated me any more harshly and cold than they did before... but again, I was wrong."

Her head rests on Imi's shoulder for a moment as her story comes to the crux of the matter; her greatest mistake. "You would think after such a display of stupidity that I could make no further fool of myself..." She coughs out a dark laugh, the sound not at all something one would expect from the shy and demure girl. "But I managed it."

Sitting up, she rolls up the long sleeves of her shirt enough to expose the ragged scars running across each wrist. Though healed completely, the raised skin is impossible to mistake for anything else. "With nothing left but my worthless life, I sought to regain a tiny scrap of honor and remove the stain from my family's name." Her eyes linger on the welts for several seconds as if contemplating them. "So strange. You never think you are capable of doing such a thing until you have nothing left to lose."
Pumpkinhead Worse than before even! Sympathy! Sympathy fills Imi's heart. She squozes Leida tightly. Self hate, well, who can really blame her for that after what she's just heard? Her actions had seriously negative consequences. She could have had happiness...

...if she was a total sociopath! But unfortunately she wasn't. Sometimes it pays to be selfish, right? Of course! Though it usually pays to be smart about what you're selfish about.

"You mean..." Imi asks. "Killing yourself, The Network inquires and notes that it isn't strange to do that at all."

"We have managed it many times before, it could be said." Even if it would count as 'assisted', it's undoubtedly true that they knew the consequences--death--and went for it every time. Until recently.

So they were saved. But she wonders if Leida understands everything, or what she even knows about them. They've talked about it before, of course...
Leida Hearing and understanding are seperate things. While Leida has certainly heard much of the Network's past, her comprehension on exactly what transpired is sadly lacking. And in this regards their similar experiences are not quite the same in their intentions or motivations. Still, their declaration merely causes her to nod.

"Many people have done it before me. We are taught that death can be preferrable to life when one makes powerful mistakes. A life lived with shame is no life at all." She lowers her arms, letting the rumple sleeves drift back down to conceal the scars once more, again putting up no resistance when Imi holds her tightly.

"But even this final act of honor was tainted by my pathetic nature..." The princess chews on her lower lip, considering how to describe the sensations of loss and pain that had become her every waking moment. The depths of the hole that she had dug herself into by the time that blade had kissed her flesh, the only keepsake of her husband that she still owned. There are no words that can convey these feelings.

"As I felt my body growing cold and the flame of my life guttering out... a voice called out to me from the darkness. At first I was afraid for there were none within the room but myself. But it spoke to me in oily comforting words that slithered into the very depths of my soul. It soothed me and held me and told me everything would... be alright. I would never be alone again... I would never... never have to feel like I did right then."

Leida swallows, still hearing those haunting words of deception echo in her mind. "All I had to do... was let it out."
Pumpkinhead "Sometimes we even get better." Emi mulls aloud.

Though it seems that is also the case for Leida. Though it's strange, she was repaired--ahh, so that is why she cannot be entirely without the darkness, mayhaps, she would be dead without it. At this point, this story--which even by Legion levels of horror is pretty incredible--has stunned the whole of the Network. How does one forgive such mistakes, really? How can one look past them? They could understand giving into the demon, they could understand--and certainly have no room to judge--suicide. But the betrayal of that husband, really, is the biggest blow to their confidence.

So they are quiet. There is no response for some time. At this point the rest is pretty obvious. They let it out, the demon goes around killing lots of people. Well, there's still one thing they haven't precisely ascertained, right?

"Leida-Chan..." Imi is the first to speak up, trying to dry her tears with a finger. "You've certainly had a hard life. And you've certainly made many mistakes. But I think the biggest mistake was not letting that demon out. At that point, who wouldn't have? But the man who showed you nothing but kindness--that harder for us to abide. Of course, murdering your father may have simply given him the opportunity you had received, and I imagine he would have been worse with it, though granted you did not know of this entity before."

She takes in a low breath and adds, "But we think, perhaps, that really you should have ensured his slow and torturous death."

"You mean you think." Emi points out, not wanting to be a party to agreeing to slow and torturous deaths.

"Mm...well, I suppose I feel a bit practically about such things." Imi admits. "I admit, perhaps, that how I act is often not who I am, because who am I? This one isn't so sure, usually. Mmm...of course, one could say the biggest question is not anything about a dead world but how desperate you are to have this sort of appreciation that encouraged such behavior?"

"Mm... Perhaps it is a bit esoteric there..." Emi admits. "But your culture is very strange yet very familiar. It is not our culture, of course, but we were made to die. To feed, it could be said."
Leida The princess is equally quiet and a pregnant pause lingers in the air until Imi speaks up, causing Leida to turn her head to peer pitifully at her friend through the hazy blur of tears that seem to have started flowing again. She imagines it must look very strange to see a demon cry.

For that is what she is, isn't it? Even without the poisoned blood flowing through her veins, the corrupted eyes of blood and bile, the river of devours souls churning within. Imi was right; she was a horrible person long before the creature of shadow came into the picture.

"Yes... you are right, Imi-chan. My husband was the best thing that ever happened to me. And I... I was the worst curse that could have ever been inflicted upon him. I wonder if my father knew... what kind of a monster I was even then."

She covers her face again but does not sob, merely sniffles and shakes her head. "B-But... no matter how horrible he was I... could not wish him harm! Not... not like that..."
Pumpkinhead Imi says, "Is blood that important to you?" Emi is concerned that Imi's words here are, while perhaps honest, not that very helpful, but what can she do? She doesn't know what to tell Leida herself, after all because while you can hardly fault Leida for being clumsy, betrayal is such a serious offense that Dante made it the lowest level of Hell at all. "Or are you just unwilling to harm anyone like that at all?"

"But everyone makes mistakes, especially those under systemic abuse, This one imagines." Imi continues.

"We have buried many of our sisters." Emi murmurs. "We could have left at any time had we truly desired. We went along with the experiment, just like Cronus."

"Mm, yes, that is true." Imi nods. "But what is that saying you like to spout off a lot?"

"A detective helps those that can't be helped by anybody else."

"And the other one." Imi adds.

"...You don't need a reason to help someone?"

"Bingo!" Imi smiles faintly. "Truth be told, when I met Leida-Chan, I thought 'That person seems like someone who needs a friend, so she will be useful'." Emi pinches the bridge of her nose. Imi is...such a crazy person sometimes.

"But of course I found later--was that her mistakes felt very familiar, and that maybe she was not useful at all! No..." Imi frowns. "That's not quite right. She was very useful. She was my first friend, of course, so that is something of great use--but what I mean is, she was not an item for us, mm? Or a bargaining chip? What do we wish for Leida-Chan. We cannot absolve her guilt and, indeed, we can even say it was earned. That pain is important for her, this one thinks, and even though this one wishes we could tell her she was not to blame, it would be a disservice to Leida-Chan. So this one isn't sure what to say at all. So this one is trying to be as honest as possible, hoping she will stumble onto something."

Emi nods slowly, cupping her chin. There is some silent mental communication between the two of them.

"What do we want for Leida-Chan...and what do we desire from Leida-Chan..." Imi murmurs. "What we want for Leida-Chan...When we met, this one thought...there are a lot of sad memories. So--" Imi smiles. "This one does not wish to get rid of your sad memories or your mistakes. This one wishes to give you so many happy memories that when you think back to your mistakes, you do not think 'I am a monster', but rather--you think 'I have grown so much since then'."

"And as such, hearing this, this one reaffirms this desire. is best to make them while young, mm?"

"And what is it we desire from Leida-Chan then," Emi says.

"Mm." Imi says. "Likely what we desire is for her to understand us. And perhaps some other things."
Leida "I..." Leida looks up at her friends, one at a time, lingering on Imi the longest before she rests her hands in her lap with a contemplative look. What blood important? Ofcourse it was. When you have lost everything else, you still have family. But what happens when even that is taken away? Respect for her elders and her family was one of the core tenents of culture and society. One does not simply cast aside their ties and relations - they might as well be throwing away their identity.

However, in this particular case she finds it difficult to make that arguement. Infact, considering how her family had behaved, perhaps mentally distancing herself sooner would have avoided this entire issue. But looking into the past was a pointless exercise, nothing could be changed, merely learned from and maybe that was all Imi was asking for.

"I am not sure what to say either. When Imi-chan approached me for the first time, I was too afraid to object. Afraid I would hurt another person. But now... I have never had a real friend until now. Someone who makes me very happy," the princess looks up and manages a smile, though her eyes are still watery. "And someone who is willing to accept all of me, the bad and the good."

"I... I have made many horrible mistakes but... when I am around you I feel like I have a reason to be happy again." Slowly, she holds her arms out and peers over at Imi, making the universal motion to offer a hug, her first time to take initiative on something like this.

%t"Please... Imi-chan, Emi-chan, all of you... help me make new memories that I can smile about."
Pumpkinhead Leida... IS OFFERING A HUG?! This is pretty wild news here, but maybe the time in that alternate fear carnival mirror dimension has encouraged Imi to be a little more open about her true feelings, say some stuff that isn't just sugar coated nonsense....and then of course use that to help produce more sugar coated nonsense. But maybe with some honesty it is not so nonsensical.

Imi is already plenty huggy. When Leida actually offers one, Imi brightens sharply. She can't resist. But she doesn't do any of that silly pretending to be a member of the ouran high host club stuff she's been doing every so often.

It's just a huge back that she provides, eyes closing. Emi observes this for a few moments before turning her head away a touch, she nods once and then, "We will." she says before sliding out the door. Even for a hive mind this seems a bit personal. Just a normal hug.

This scene contained 30 poses. The players who were present were: Pumpkinhead, Leida