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Let's Play Cinders


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Cinders: Tobias is not going anywhere, and I'm starving. Sorry friend, but this girl has her priorities straight.

[According to the notes I kept from my previous playthroughs, if we hadn't visited the tavern earlier, that conversation would have happened here instead.]

Shady character: Cheers! The drinks are -- I don't have enough dough, so they're not on me mates, so sorry. But this toast goes to you all. May you live long and prospr... proprs... pross--

Shady character: Not you again!

Cinders: You do get around, don't you? The forest, my own home, and now here. I am beginning to expect to see you wherever I go!

Then again, are you following me?

Shady character: Following you? You must be out of your right mind, lass. I certainly don't do nothing wrong!

Cinders: Oh, but I am so glad to see you. I need to ask you a couple of questions and here you are, ready and willing to answer to the fullest extent.

You are willing to answer, aren't you?

Cinders: Two days ago you came to our home to talk with Carmosa -- I want to know what it was about.

Shady character: Oh, it was jus' some-- some gossip I've heard. Nothin' of importance really.

Cinders: I know about the Ball. So you can quit pretending.

Shady character: Precisely. The Ball, as you know already, love. Everybody knows. So you don't need me for information, now do ya?

Cinders: Not so fast. What did Carmosa pay for? Certainly not only for information about the Ball. She is many things, but never gullible or generous.

And how do you know Carmosa at all? How did you know what she would be interested in? Well?!

Shady character: Hey! I don't need to talk to you at all, you do realize that, missy? Just watch me get up and leave all fast and discreet, like the King's favourite wench when the Queen--

Shady character: Good--good evenin', Captain! I was just tryin' to explain to this pretty bird--

Perrault: The truth, as usual, I'm sure. Don't disturb yourself then, we're all ears!

Shady character: Of course, of course! I have told this young lady everything and now I just want to leave peacefully--

Perrault: I have heard your conversation and it did not seem the lady was quite satisfied with your answers. So be a gentleman and reveal what she wants to know. NOW.

Cinders: Thank you, Captain.

Perrault: It is my duty, Cinders. And a pleasure to help. I know this man is usually up to no good. I am going to keep my eye on him, and he better not hide and information from you. Or else.

Cinders: So, what piece of information did you sell to Carmosa? Or would you rather end up in prison?

Perrault: Stop rambling and answer the lady. Please.

Shady character: Fine. Fine, love, I will tell you what you want to know. Happy now? But not in front of someone playing for the powers that be. If you want to know what happened, follow me.

Perrault: I don't think that is a good idea.

Shady character: And I don't think speaking to you both is a good idea. I am glad we agree, good bye--

Cinders: Where do you think you're going? Captain, I'll be fine. I just need to hear what this curious man has to say. Don't worry, he's not stupid enough to hurt me -- is he?

Perrault: I'm sure he isn't. Especially now that he knows that if he causes any harm to you -- or even a frown on your face -- he will suffer as no one has ever suffered before!

Shady character: *gulp*

Cinders: Shall we go talk outside?

Shady character: S-s-sure, birdy. And you do not have to worry, mate. I will guard her as if she was a treasure!

Not the ones I stole and sold, of course, but a different one. One to be guarded. As I would guard my own treasure if I had one!

Shady character: Not exactly a hiding place, middle of the town, eh love? Sure could use some more privacy.

Cinders: I'm not going to give you a chance to escape now. And don't try anything stupid, the Captain's right on the other side of the street. Remember that.

Shady character: Fine, you little devil! I'll tell you what I know. Just don't yell if I can't remember all the details. I've short memory.

Cinders: You've heard my question already -- what was the message you brought to Carmosa? A dashing young gentleman like yourself should have no trouble recalling the last few days?

Shady character: Blazing hell, lassie, you and your adder's tongue. Aye, I remember. So I was out in the woods, resting me head on the ground.

Cinders: Don't digress.

Shady character: --of the city. Sleeping like a brat, I was.

Cinders: Do you often sleep outdoors? Why were you sleeping by the lake?

Shady character: Now that's a mighty good question, innit love? Can't say I know the answer though, I just woke up there.

Ol' and magical place, the pond in the wood, me auntie used to tell me stories of--

Cinders: Get back to the topic, will you?

Shady character: But they were no wisps.

Cinders: And? What happened then?

Shady character: I hid. What else? This head's still upon this neck 'cause it knows when it's time to jump into the bushes.

Cinders: You know what I mean. Who were those people?

Shady character: Ah! An excellent question, birdy! Me gut tells me you'll love this.

'Twas the noble Captain Perrault and he was talking to... The Prince!

Cinders: The Prince was talking with Perrault in the wood? It seems a bit strange, doesn't it? What were they talking about?

Shady character: Oh some posh 'problems' of the rich folk. Too much free time's bad for the head.

Our future His Royal Highness kept on whining about wenches, of all things. How they're all empty-headed or boring to talk to.

Cinders: The Prince was discussing women?

Cinders: Yes, wonderful. Now back to the subject please. What did they speak of?

Shady character: The Captain said something about 'rules,' but I didn't hear that part with my head still spinning and the water shimmering so loud.

Don't know what they meant but the Prince was mighty happy and said something about the Ball. The Grand Ball.

He got some idea in that royally-empty head of his. I heard it's 'cause of them crowns -- very bad for the head. Anyway, there was a new idea that he liked.

Cinders: The Grand Royal Ball where the future Queen is to be chosen by the Prince. Yes, I know of it. Just tell me about the Prince and his idea. Why was he so happy about it?

Shady character: "Twas about masks. Making all the lassies wear them.

Cinders: You mean a masked ball, a masquerade?

Shady character: Aye. Didn't know the rich birds are so horrid.

Cinders: I don't think it's because of that. Did he say why the masks are so important to him?

Shady character: Too much competition's bad for business and tempers.

Cinders: So he's trying to dodge accusations of being biased. Clever.

Shady character: ...Aye, I knew that. Don't know what's wrong with seeing a nice face though.

And what if the bird's got a pimple right 'tween her eyes? Won't notice nothing with masks and such. Unless he wants to ogle their curves!

Ooh, bit on the nasty side, nobles. Me auntie told me stories, gossip really about the shenanigans going on 'tween them nobles in the Palace. Stuff that'd make a confessor blush!

Cinders: Alright, I get the picture! A masked ball, you say. It makes a lot of sense actually.

Cinders: Who knows, maybe he isn't really pretending -- perhaps having a choice is what he really wants?

Shady character: Devilishly clever, love. Glad you got the smarts to see through all that. Saved me time having to explain all that t'ya.

Ball for the noble birds an' they all have a chance, no matter how pimply or horrid. Made me think of Carmosa and her pretty lassies.

Cinders: ...

Shady character: No, not you! The other wenches. I mean 'sisters,' your lovely sisters.

Figured the ol' lady would pay with kingly coin for rumour like that.

S'all there's to it. You satisfied, love?

Cinders: My dear friend, this isn't even half of the story I wanted to hear. You better get to the more juicy stuff right away.



Protocol and Translation
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Focus on connection with Carmosa. He's not moral, and we're already threatening him.


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Cinders: But what puzzles me even more is how come you knew it'd be interesting for her in the first place? You would have to know her pretty well to figure that.

This has something to do with your past, doesn't it? You've been working for her for quite some time, haven't you?

Cinders: Really, nothing?

Shady character: I knew this rumour would be worth a lot for the lady, you know? I know her and know what she's like.

Cinders: So you did work for her before. What did you do?

Shady character: I might have given her a hand earlier -- with the Ball, love. So she could get in.

Cinders: How?

Shady character: The goose and her ducklings weren't exactly invited. The lady asked me to help them.

Cinders: Help them how?!

Shady character: Oh, let's just say it required a bit of quality craftmanship.

Shady character: Me? Sure I didn't! Me talent's knowing folks with talents of their own. Got them invitations from a friend.

Reckoned the ol' lady's bit dim, if she thought nobody'd notice she got in with fake papers. But hey, who is me humble person to doubt a noble lady and her ways of spending money?

Cinders: And that's how you learned how important the Ball was for her... So when you heard about the masquerade you told her about that as well.

As you said, she could get in with fake papers but she would risk getting recognized. Not so much if it's a masked ball and that's why this information was worth so much to her!

Shady character: Aye. See? It's only a wee job, a nil. Only natural this bloke forgot all about it, eh?

Cinders: So this means that she could actually be in deep trouble. Incredible. Carmosa ordered a forgery. This could be my chance--

Shady character: Oi! Lassie? You even listening? Can I go now? A man can handle only so many stressful events in one day, you realize?

Cinders: --this could be my leverage. What? Oh, yes. You can do what you wish. You already helped me a lot.

Oh, Carmosa. Your secrets really are your greatest weakness.

Perrault: So he managed to procure forged invitations of good enough a quality to fool the guards at the Royal Castle? This is surprising.

Cinders: Is it? I've assumed he simply knows the right people, like he said.

Perrault: Oh, of that I am sure, especially now. But he never gave me any reason to think about him as anything more than just a vagabond. A crook. And an altogether shady character.

Perhaps there is more to him than just that ridiculous hat? I'll tell my men to look into that.

Cinders: Shouldn't you be looking into Carmosa's case, instead? She is involved in forgery, after all, and her motives remain unclear.

And as for the man's hat, I think it looks adorable, all things considered.

Perrault: It would seem that when it comes to policing the town -- and hats -- we don't see eye to eye.

I cannot start an inquiry targeting a noble family on the basis of hearsay. For all we know, we can't trust that man's testimony.

Cinders: And if it is true? What then?

Perrault: Then you'd need to follow the letter of the law and file an official accusation -- which would include proof of some sort.

Since you're of noble blood yourself, your word would weigh enough against hers. It would be regarded as a noble's dispute and given a priority in the court.

Cinders: Swift justice only for the high-born. Would she be imprisoned?

Perrault: Forgery is not a very serious offence and -- again -- she is of noble blood, so it would be considered of even less significance.

However, depending on the strength of the proof, she would be arrested and put into prison for some time, yes.

Cinders: Destroy her reputation.

Perrault: Indeed. Hypocrisy is a value among the old houses, if there is something they value more than their freedom to misbehave-- It is the freedom to punish one of their own for doing it badly.

Lady Carmosa's reputation would die during her first night behind bars. And it would probably never recover.

Cinders: I see... And what of the house and my sisters? What would happen to them with their Lady gone?

Perrault: I'd reckon that one of the sisters would have to take her place and become the head of the house. Although Carmosa's infamy would surely cast a shadow over that girl as well...

Cinders, listen to me. I think I know where this is going. You're obviously thinking of using this against your stepmother.

Cinders: Do you think it's a bad idea?

Perrault: If you're asking the Captain of the Royal Guards then no, I don't -- as the Prince's subject you should report information like this to someone like me. Such is the letter of the law.

However, law isn't everything, and you should also use your own reason to make your own decision. For example, consider the fact that your man might be lying.

And also consider this: no matter what the crime, an accusation of a noble is always serious and can have serious consequences. Are you sure you want this for Carmosa?

Cinders: I know, it does sound serious. Her whole life would be basically ruined by this...

I do need to think this over. Maybe I'll have a walk, it usually helps me to see things with clearer mind.

Anyway, thank you for listening to me. And thanks for your advice.

Cinders: If I'm going to miss the freedom to do something, then above all else it's going to be the freedom to wander about whenever I please.

When I walk with no specific goal, no destination, I can just switch off and observe my thoughts jumping into their little drawers with each step.

And strolling through the market has its moments too. I saw the most gorgeous shoes! Not that I can ever afford them. They were crazily expensive!

I get that they were imported from the Eastern Lands but at that price they should be made of diamonds and dragon skin! Who buys something like that?

I mean, I know I would if I could. But that's beside the point, right?

Ah, forget about it. No reason to dwell on such things. I still haven't decided what to do with my newly gained knowledge.

Everything about this business screams that I should use it as leverage but I don't know how. Not yet.

At least it gives me some space, some secure distance from Carmosa, knowing that I know about one of her precious secrets.

It's getting late, I should be heading back home. Time to say goodbye to freedom.

Perrault: I did not expect to see you around the Town at this time. You are still wondering about what that man said, do you? [sic]

Cinders: Yes. I took a long walk, and while it helped clear my head, I'm still not sure what to do.

Perrault: I can't say I know exactly how you feel, but my experience tells me you shouldn't push it. These things take time.

Cinders: I'm beginning to think the same. And what are you doing here, Captain?

Perrault: I was just about to begin my evening patrol.

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