Night of Universal Hallucinations #2

📍 Astral Express Parlor Car

Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Hmm... something seems off. Pom-Pom already selected a route...
Options
Is something wrong?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
We've seemingly gone off course... Strange, Pom-Pom's navigation is always precise.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Stay vigilant! There might be a magnetic field nearby interfering with the Express' navigation system. {NICKNAME}, let's take a look in the control room.

🎬
video

March 7th
March 7th
What's happening? {NICKNAME}, did you see that huge shadow!?
March 7th
March 7th
Everything outside is... red. What's going on?
Options
Have we fallen into... the red dimension!?
We've been attacked by a giant space beast!
It's a space traffic jam.
March 7th
March 7th
You really expect me to know the answer to that?
March 7th
March 7th
Then where did it go? And why is it so quiet all of a sudden?
March 7th
March 7th
...Ugh, this is serious, y'know.
March 7th
March 7th
*sigh* Even Mr. Yang looks surprised — that's not something you see every day.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
{NICKNAME}, March, the Express encountered an obstruction. The disturbance triggered a chain reaction.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
...The Express was struck from behind by another vessel.
March 7th
March 7th
*sigh* How do you crash into someone in space...
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Another vessel in our vicinity encountered the same obstruction and was unable to control its velocity. After the collision, two individuals found their way onto the Express.
Options
Are they trying to extract compensation?
We have guests?
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
It doesn't seem like it.
March 7th
March 7th
Compensation? They hit US!
March 7th
March 7th
Guests? I don't think they're here for tea...
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
They appear to be friendly.
March 7th
March 7th
Hmph, if they're here to stir up trouble, I'll teach them a lesson! {NICKNAME}, let's go check it out.

Feel out the mysterious guests

A spaceship... has somehow rear-ended the Astral Express!? And a couple of mysterious visitors seem to be approaching the cabin!
Send out some feelers to figure out what kind of people these visitors are...
🏃‍♂️
Move
🎬
video
Argenti
Argenti
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Argenti — I belong to the Knights of Beauty. May I know your names?
Options
(Cautious silence)
I'm Galactic Baseballer.
Did you crash into the train?
March 7th
March 7th
Cat got your tongue? It's fine, he seems like a good guy. Hi, Argenti! I'm March 7th.
March 7th
March 7th
...Please don't do this. He seems like a good guy! Hi, Argenti! I'm March 7th.
Argenti
Argenti
Indeed, and I extend my deepest apologies for doing so. I wish to remedy the situation, hence my arrival on the Astral Express.
March 7th
March 7th
Now we know he didn't do it on purpose... Hi, Argenti! I'm March 7th.
Argenti
Argenti
An honor! I was just explaining the significance of "beauty" to this foliage.
Argenti
Argenti
Pardon my abruptness, but I have a habit of asking questions. As fellow beings of this universe, are you acquainted with Idrila the Beauty?
Options
Idrila?
Wait, aren't you here to help?
Are you saying we're also beautiful?
(Cautious silence)
Argenti
Argenti
The Knights of Beauty travel from planet to planet, spreading the Beauty's glorious reputation across the universe so that every being may know of THEIR existence. We strictly adhere to the commandments of our faith, tempering our physical forms and upholding our honor.
Argenti
Argenti
Yes, though not exclusively. Just as I extol the "beauty" in this foliage, what I anticipate is an encounter — a collision and exchange of minds and philosophies.
Argenti
Argenti
Do you doubt such an assertion? You need not, {NICKNAME}!
Options
...I am kinda good-looking.
You did just compliment a plant...
Argenti
Argenti
Both my words and actions come from the bottom of my heart. You are indeed beautiful — like flowers blooming in the morning sun!
Argenti
Argenti
{NICKNAME}, now that you know something of the Beauty, I wonder — can you resonate with this philosophy and place your trust in Idrila?
Options
Sure...
No...
Argenti
Argenti
You sound confused.
Argenti
Argenti
{NICKNAME}, with all due respect, I fear you may be still be grappling with this philosophy, yet agreed with me out of kindness... An act of pure beauty in itself!
Argenti
Argenti
I understand... {NICKNAME}, with all due respect, I believe you refuse to acknowledge the Beauty simply because you lack knowledge on the subject.
Argenti
Argenti
I cherish different ideas, {NICKNAME}, but judging from this situation...
Argenti
Argenti
Since you do not understand the Beauty, I will have to show you in a way that only a knight can.
Argenti
Argenti
I earnestly request a chivalrous contest with you. Should I be fortunate enough to triumph, I ask you to acknowledge Idrila, the Beauty, as the most peerless beauty of all!
Options
Do I have to?
Have you ever seen Idrila in person?
Argenti
Argenti
No, you do not have to. This is merely an unspoken rule for battles between knights. I apologize. We, the Knights of Beauty, hope to convince people through battle, not poetry...
Argenti
Argenti
To my lasting sadness, no...
Argenti
Argenti
It is an unspoken rule of the Knights of Beauty that the commandment is uttered before a battle between knights. I apologize.
Argenti
Argenti
Forgive me for my lack of eloquence!
⚔️
Combat

Welt
Welt
Sorry to interrupt... whatever's happening here.
Welt
Welt
Forgive the interruption, but I just spoke with Himeko. The situation is more urgent than we imagined.
Options
Thanks for tagging me out, Mr. Yang...
I have to teach him a lesson!
Welt
Welt
You're welcome, {NICKNAME}. Just doing my job.
Welt
Welt
Take it easy. {NICKNAME}, There'll be plenty of time to fight later.
Argenti
Argenti
My deepest apologies, Mr. Yang, my concentration has been solely centered on my conversation with {NICKNAME}. Now, it is only fitting to disclose the main reason for my presence here: To work jointly in resolving the crisis before us.
Argenti
Argenti
I was piloting the "One and Only" through the galaxy when I discovered Velite, an IPC worker who accidentally fell into a huge cave, from which I saved him.
Argenti
Argenti
Upon saving Velite, I altered my flight course to accompany him to his original location. Consequently, I inadvertently ended up on the Express's navigational trajectory.
Options
Who's Velite?
Argenti
Argenti
According to him, he is an IPC worker. I believe he's currently resting in the carriage — he is still in a state of shock.
Argenti
Argenti
He swore to follow Idrila, the Goddess, after being impressed by what he saw during our adventure.
Options
Why did you rear-end the Express?
Follow Idrila, the Goddess!
Argenti
Argenti
There was a sudden jolt not long after we had departed — I was sure we must have collided with some unknown celestial object. When I looked outside, everything was different. That was when we collided with the Express...
Argenti
Argenti
...and that is why I boarded the Express with Velite. I am hoping to solve this crisis with you.
Welt
Welt
Thank you for coming. It'll be a first for the Express to work alongside the Knights of Beauty.
Options
What do we do now?
Argenti
Argenti
Enjoy the present moment.
Options
Huh? And then?
Argenti
Argenti
Continue to enjoy the present moment.
Options
That's all you could come up with?
Looks like you're really here to make friends...
Argenti
Argenti
You misunderstand. I must first wholeheartedly enjoy the red night of the universe before I can discover an inharmonious pitch. These two things are correlated. Once I discover the cause, I shall destroy it.
Welt
Welt
...Well, try not to take too long. Things could deteriorate at any moment.
Welt
Welt
{NICKNAME}, could you please go check on Velite? He looks uneasy. He is a guest of ours, after all.

Comfort the Knights of Beauty's "sidekick"

A spaceship... has somehow rear-ended the Astral Express!?
You decide to go and encourage the IPC staff member whose attitude is wildly different from the Knight of Beauty and who looks just like another minor character... These two don't seem like they'd get along! Why are they appearing together?
Velite
Velite
What is it? Here to cheer me up? Save your breath! Your intentions might as well be written on your forehead.
Velite
Velite
I'm just a small-time IPC worker — that Argenti rescued me. I don't know anything... and I can't help you guys.
Velite
Velite
*sigh* I want to go home and have dinner... once we're out of this jam...
Options
I heard you became a follower of Aeon of Beauty. Is that true?
Velite
Velite
Did Argenti tell you that?
Velite
Velite
That guy is unbelievable. Before he rescued me, he said something like: "You must pledge to acknowledge Idrila, the Beauty, as the most peerless beauty of all!"
Velite
Velite
I told him I'd marry her if he liked, as long as he got me out of that stinking cave first... And he refused! I couldn't believe it!
Velite
Velite
My life was on the line, so I just repeated after him: Adrila the Beauty, et cetera... You get the picture.
Velite
Velite
Then, he corrected me, "It's Idrila, not Adrila."
Velite
Velite
Who came up with such an awkward-sounding name? I'm a pencil pusher, what the heck do I know about the Aeon of Beauty?
Velite
Velite
But, of course, I repeated it again in order to survive.
Velite
Velite
"Idrila, the Beauty, is the most peerless beauty of them all!"
Velite
Velite
Just like that.
Options
Can't you be more positive?
Velite
Velite
Tsk, do you think I like being negative? My friend, this is what's known as falling prey to the grim reality of life, understand?
Velite
Velite
When I was young, I assumed my life would be like a novel. I wanted to be a pilot, flying through outer space, exploring the universe in a grand spaceship. But then my parents told me I'd have to work for the IPC and make a bunch of money to fulfill my dreams.
Options
Did you manage to make a bunch of money in the end?
Does working for the IPC stop you from pursuing your dreams?
Velite
Velite
What do you think? Do rich people make forced vows in caves?
Velite
Velite
Enough! This is a painful topic...
Velite
Velite
I gave up my unrealistic dream of becoming a pilot and worked for the IPC instead. I guess I'm living the life of a supporting character now.
Velite
Velite
But after running into Argenti, I had an idea... Perhaps I could make some money with him and turn my life around!
Velite
Velite
He's a tall, handsome, and a knight! Packaged and marketed the right way, I'm sure he'll pique a lot of interest!
Velite
Velite
I told him about my idea — that he could advocate for "the Beauty" while also incorporating currency as a notion of beauty. That would allow him to preach more efficiently. He was very impressed.
Velite
Velite
I'm planning to contact the Marketing Development Department as soon as I'm off the Express — he'll make a great IPC product spokesperson! And I can be his agent! Now, the question remains — will this guy shine brighter as an image-focused idol, or should we showcase his formidable talents and mold him into a powerful star?
Options
An idol.
A powerful star.
What are you talking about?
Velite
Velite
You're right. It'd be a shame to waste such a handsome face. He just screams "idol!"
Velite
Velite
You're right. I don't know what his rank among the knights is, but he is quite powerful.
Velite
Velite
Hmph, it's called facing reality, embracing it, and then conquering it!
Velite
Velite
So, when can I get off the Express? I need you guys to solve this traffic jam problem ASAP!
Options
That's enough of your weird ideas. Come help us.
Come help us... Pretty please?
Velite
Velite
Were you even listening to me?
Velite
Velite
Don't use that tone! You're trying to guilt-trip me, aren't you?
Velite
Velite
*sigh* Alright, I have nowhere else to be. Let's go.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Ahhhh!
Velite
Velite
Huh? What was that sound? Did someone scream?

Talk to Pom-Pom

A spaceship... has somehow rear-ended the Astral Express!? And there are mysterious visitors approaching the cabin!
Looks like you'll have to figure out this latest Express "crisis" together...
🏃‍♂️
Move
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Th—There was a strange sound — it was terrifying! Did you hear it?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom knows the Express inside and out — it definitely wasn't the train!
Himeko
Himeko
Is it possible that the jolt just now damaged the Express? ...Did something manage to sneak in?
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Do we know where the sound came from?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
It sounded like it came from the passenger cabins... or the conductor's cabin!
March 7th
March 7th
...But those are in opposite directions! How about... we go check our own rooms?
Options
I've got a bad feeling about this...
Remember to check under the bed.
March 7th
March 7th
Hey! D—Don't scare me! I'm sure there's a scientific explanation for this, right?
March 7th
March 7th
Ugh, read the room! Enough with the mean jokes!
March 7th
March 7th
Now's a time for action, I'm gonna go check my room. If there's a problem, I'll let you know...
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
March has a point. Pom-Pom will go check the conductor's cabin!
Himeko
Himeko
What happened?
March 7th
March 7th
Wh—What was that... Did something happen to Pom-Pom!?

📍 Astral Express Passenger Cabin

Unknown

Himeko
Himeko
March... March? Please reply. Have you left the room?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
D—Did something happen to March...?
Himeko
Himeko
...Not good. {NICKNAME}, I need you and Dan Heng to check on March.
Argenti
Argenti
I'll accompany you. Velite, you too.
Velite
Velite
Wh—What!? Alright, if things get dangerous, I'll hide behind you.

Support March 7th

🏃‍♂️
Move
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
It's... an "insect"?
Argenti
Argenti
Ugliness... The inharmonious pitch has surfaced.
Argenti
Argenti
{NICKNAME}, honor compels us to vanquish this dissonance.
⚔️
Combat

March 7th
March 7th
Th—That was so scary! It was like a long-lost twin sister had suddenly... appeared out of nowhere! I can't believe it was only a bug!
Argenti
Argenti
I did not envision seeing True Stings again.
March 7th
March 7th
Huh?
Velite
Velite
Ugh... There was a whole bunch of those bugs chasing me when Argenti found me in the cave.
Argenti
Argenti
I was under the impression that I had successfully routed all of them. However, it appears that the Stings continue to pursue us.
Argenti
Argenti
Could it be...? Velite, perhaps you still bear Sting pheromones on your body.
Velite
Velite
Huh? Phero-who? What is that? Is it bad?
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Yes, I've read about True Stings in the data bank. They emit fibrous particles from their wings during flight — the inhalation of which can induce perceptual distortions and hallucinations.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
I'm afraid March may have inhaled some of these particles. That's why she saw another version of herself in the room.
March 7th
March 7th
So that was just a hallucination? Huh, why do I feel kinda disappointed...
March 7th
March 7th
Wait. I thought hallucinations were supposed to be completely random? Why did I see an identical me?
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Did it do anything strange?
March 7th
March 7th
It said it knew about my past... and then it stopped talking.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
...I'm afraid that's not enough information for us to draw a conclusion.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
My concern is that numerous Stings may have already infested the Express. Their elusive nature helps them to stay in the shadows, but they may also be roaming freely. We have to prevent them from propagating. If not...
March 7th
March 7th
Ugh... I don't wanna see a bunch of Marches roaming around the Express! One of me is enough!
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
...We're on the same page.

Go back to the Parlor Car

Has the Express somehow... been swallowed up by a Giant Sting!?
Parlor Car

Talk strategy with Welt

📍 Astral Express Parlor Car

March 7th
March 7th
It's so quiet... Someone say something.
Argenti
Argenti
After meeting all of you, I, Argenti, can die without regrets.
March 7th
March 7th
...Never mind. I'm fine with silence.
Welt
Welt
How's it going? Has there been any progress?
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Let me explain the situation.
System
System
Dan Heng tells Welt that he thinks the Express is being swallowed by the Giant Sting.
Welt
Welt
I see. If the Express has been swallowed...
Welt
Welt
...then perhaps we could try pushing the Express's engine into a temporary state of overload... and use the momentum to burst out of the Giant Sting's body.
Options
Why don't we just warp out of this place?
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Warp jumping requires a lot of preparation, and it might alert the Swarm.
Welt
Welt
It would be risky — the engine might overheat and burst into flames... Still, I don't have any better ideas.
Argenti
Argenti
I am not fond of this idea.
March 7th
March 7th
C—Could it fail?
Welt
Welt
In a word... yes.
Welt
Welt
The outer components of the Express... may well be melting in gastric acid as we speak.
Argenti
Argenti
It would seem our enormous, hideous enemy... is right outside!
March 7th
March 7th
No... So my teddy bears and bunnies are gonna be liquefied by stomach acid? I've had them for ages... I need to find a way to save them.
Welt
Welt
Let's stay calm — I need some time to check the engine with Himeko. For now, just try and take your minds off the situation.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
It's alright. We're in this together.
Argenti
Argenti
{NICKNAME}, have you noticed?
Argenti
Argenti
Morale on the Express is low.

Comfort everyone's negative mood

March 7th
March 7th
The Express is... melting?
Velite
Velite
How is this even possible!? I've been swallowed by a "cave" twice now. Is this my destiny?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
We need to get out of the Sting's stomach as soon as possible! Pom-Pom doesn't want the Express to sustain damage...
March 7th
March 7th
Everyone, just calm down...
Argenti
Argenti
Calm yourselves, all of you.
Argenti
Argenti
I am bidding farewell to this flora. After having made friends with all the beings on the Express, and having discussed "the Beauty" with each of you, I can now depart this mortal coil without regret!
March 7th
March 7th
Ugh, can you and the fern get a room already? How can anyone establish a bond with a houseplant? ...Although I guess you could say the same about me and my teddy bears...
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
The Express is home to all of us — no matter what happens, we're in this together! Woo-hoo, you're back! Although I guess that doesn't change our odds...
Velite
Velite
Who knew our first meeting would be our last... *sigh* It's hopeless. I'll just spend the rest of my short life listening to your ramblings about the Express, I suppose...
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Nonsense. This won't be our last meeting! But I'm happy the Express has started to grow on you. Now... where should Pom-Pom start the story?
Velite
Velite
Gah! Are you really about to tell a story? Look, it's been nice meeting you all and I'd love to shoot the breeze, but are you people really just gonna give up!?
Argenti
Argenti
Velite, I will escort you to your destination. A knight always keeps his word.
Velite
Velite
*sniff* Don't assume you can reassure me that easily. I've got a heart of stone, you hear?
March 7th
March 7th
Okay, that's enough! In times like this, we should be trying to give each other hope!
Options
You're worried about the Express, just like everyone else, right?
March 7th
March 7th
N—No! The Express is strong — I'm sure we can think of something!

Talk to Himeko and Dan Heng

Dan Heng
Dan Heng
It's rare to see March genuinely worried... but given the circumstances. {NICKNAME}, maybe you could try reassuring some of the crew.
Himeko
Himeko
The Express has faced all kinds of obstacles on its journey — today is just another one. It's no reason to stop trailblazing.
Himeko
Himeko
Such is the very essence of trailblazing. It is through these trials that we find wisdom and maturity.

Velite
Velite
Desires? I don't have any desires!
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
It's alright. We're in this together.

Talk the clues over with Himeko

A spaceship... has somehow rear-ended the Astral Express!?
Things are starting to become trickier than you thought...
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
This isn't good. Evidence of a Swarm is apparent, and it looks like several eggs are on the verge of hatching...
Himeko
Himeko
They're embryos for now, but their transformation into larvae could be imminent... and their growth may exceed our initial estimates.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
This is a race against the clock.

System
System
You realize that the eggs here have started humming, creating a symphony of sorts, and it captivates you...
System
System
You invariably notice that for some people, what they say sounds better than what they actually do.
System
System
Driven by your sense of justice, you eradicated the eggs.

System
System
You observe that Pom-Pom's tail is impeccably groomed: Clean, fluffy, and smelling nice, with no signs of anything out of the ordinary.
System
System
You fight off the impulse to reach over and feel it.

System
System
All appears to be in order. Except for a small bunch of what is likely highlighted hair — although you can't be completely sure — there's nothing amiss with Mr. Yang's hair.
Welt
Welt
...What are you up to, {NICKNAME}?
System
System
You're pretty convinced that the Welt standing in front of you is real... Best to back away before he gets grumpy; there are zero eggs here.

System
System
You discover an egg.
System
System
You find yourself wishing once in a while for this world to have less bewildering things.
System
System
But the moment you discovered there was a real chance of them being eaten, your sense of justice prompted you to take down the enemy.
System
System
All things considered, even if you have no use for it, you can't let it benefit another party.

Take photos with the camera and find some clues

{NICKNAME}
{NICKNAME}
(Check around the Express...)
March 7th
March 7th
Why... Why did I see another me?

Find a faster way to search

A spaceship... has somehow rear-ended the Astral Express!?
Pom-Pom has a portable train cleaning kit. Who knew it'd come in handy at a time like this...
Velite
Velite
Aghh! More eggs! The Stings propagated on the Express! *gasp* Are there eggs in my shoes?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
*sigh* The clock is ticking. We need to find a more efficient method, and quickly! Let Pom-Pom think... Every one of us should be involved! Velite!
Velite
Velite
Ah! What? What am I doing?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Use your brain and think of something!
Velite
Velite
Uhh, well, a—as a conductor, don't you have any emergency procedures in place!?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Oh... Now that you mention it, Pom-Pom does have a backup measure.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
We'll need... Hmm, this mobile Express cleaner should come in handy! I was planning to use it to sweep the Express's ceiling during spring-cleaning!
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
It's got a nifty wide-angle lens on it. Once we zip it up into the air, we'll have eyes on the whole scene. Not a single nook or cranny will be able to hide from us!
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
I mean, I know this isn't what it's meant for... but we have no other choice.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
{NICKNAME}, if you think you can do this, I'll start piloting. Watch carefully — I'll be cleaning out the nooks and crannies as we go. Alright! Let's do this. Where do you want to check first?
Options
The car seats.
Under the car seats.
The plant in the corridor.
System
System
Nothing's wrong with the seats' red leather.
System
System
You feel the urge to trace your finger along the edge of the seats' depression. No one ever appreciates the weight these seats have to uphold.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Stay alert, {NICKNAME}. Now's not the time for relaxing! Let's check somewhere else.
System
System
You stare at the dark shadow cast by the car seat, imagining an eye staring back.
System
System
You start to panic and want to get away.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Hmm... nothing out of place here!
System
System
You feel disheartened, until you remember your duty to seek out the Swarm. Time to search in another area.
System
System
Argenti insists it's a potted plant with the ability to think, prompting you to question —does it really have intellectual capabilities?
System
System
You struggled to persuade yourself that this is nothing more than a typical potted plant, lacking any unusual traits that set it apart from regular flora...
System
System
...Yet you can't shake the idea that the soil in the potted plant might actually be scrumptious chocolate powder. Worth sampling the next time around.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
{NICKNAME}, what are you doing?
Options
The car seats.
Under the car seats.
The plant in the corridor.
System
System
Nothing's wrong with the seats' red leather.
System
System
You feel the urge to trace your finger along the edge of the seats' depression. No one ever appreciates the weight these seats have to uphold.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Stay alert, {NICKNAME}. Now's not the time for relaxing! Let's check somewhere else.
System
System
You stare at the dark shadow cast by the car seat, imagining an eye staring back.
System
System
You start to panic and want to get away.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Hmm... nothing out of place here!
System
System
You feel disheartened, until you remember your duty to seek out the Swarm. Time to search in another area.
System
System
Argenti insists it's a potted plant with the ability to think, prompting you to question —does it really have intellectual capabilities?
System
System
You struggled to persuade yourself that this is nothing more than a typical potted plant, lacking any unusual traits that set it apart from regular flora...
System
System
...Yet you can't shake the idea that the soil in the potted plant might actually be scrumptious chocolate powder. Worth sampling the next time around.
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
{NICKNAME}, what are you doing?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Nothing out of the ordinary here. Maybe we should check the far-away cars, what do you think?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Stay focused! {NICKNAME}, you need to check every corner.
Velite
Velite
Mind if I take it for a spin? This little gadget could be the next big thing in spaceship cleanliness. Even Argenti could put his name to it. I'll jot that down. Let's carry on...
Options
March 7th's Room.
Dan Heng's Room.
System
System
March's room is pink and bright. Nothing's out of ordinary.
System
System
You find yourself counting her fluffy animals...
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
You still awake...?
System
System
A knight and his bug knight. Nothing to see here.
System
System
Hold on...
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Nothing out of the ordinary here. Maybe we should check the far-away cars, what do you think?
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
Stay focused! {NICKNAME}, you need to check every corner.
Velite
Velite
Mind if I take it for a spin? This little gadget could be the next big thing in spaceship cleanliness. Even Argenti could put his name to it. I'll jot that down. Let's carry on...
Options
March 7th's Room.
Dan Heng's Room.
System
System
March's room is pink and bright. Nothing's out of ordinary.
System
System
You find yourself counting her fluffy animals...
Pom-Pom
Pom-Pom
You still awake...?
System
System
A knight and his bug knight. Nothing to see here.
System
System
Hold on...

📍 Astral Express Passenger Cabin

Unknown

Go support Argenti in the illusion

A spaceship... has somehow rear-ended the Astral Express!?
Each and every move this Knight of Beauty makes is more unpredictable than the last...
🏃‍♂️
Move
Argenti
Argenti
Beautiful beings, are you disciples?
March 7th
March 7th
He looks beyond saving.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
He could be in considerable danger. Let's proceed.
⚔️
Combat

Argenti
Argenti
I must apologize... I cannot believe that such a beautiful creature was merely a hallucination. Its deceptive and threatening nature is much uglier than its appearance would suggest.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
You mentioned the Sting transformed into an object of beauty, something that {NICKNAME} once spoke of, but that you never personally encountered.
Argenti
Argenti
Yes, it was something {NICKNAME} mentioned that I wanted to see in person.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
I see... This, together with the fact that March's hallucination claimed to know her past, suggests that these visions feed on people's subjective experiences and long-term sentiments... in order to take the form of what they personally desire.
March 7th
March 7th
So, in Argenti's eyes, Wubbaboos are a thing of beauty...
March 7th
March 7th
But... my past isn't something I'm constantly thinking about. I have plenty of other dreams...
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
That's not how it works. The desire to know your past embodies purity itself — a thing of immense value.
Argenti
Argenti
I wonder if the dying words of those ugly menaces can be trusted. As the saying goes: "Even an insect speaks kind words when death is near."
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Are you implying that the insect imparted you with a message prior to its demise?
Argenti
Argenti
Correct. Its final words were: "Celebrate this superficial victory, for you will never be able to acknowledge the existence of the overlord!"
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Let's ignore the fact that you understand insect-speak for now. That sentence...
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
...Wait, I think I understand.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
When reading through the Chronicles of Interdimensional Insects in the data bank, I came across a species that had only been described in records. Due to the lack of research samples, the author gave it a tentative name: Giant Sting.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
This species can reach tremendous proportions and is big enough to swallow an entire starnought.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
I believe the "overlord" Argenti mentioned could be referring to this colossal being, and we're...
Argenti
Argenti
I think I understand. We are in the belly of the beast.
Options
It's swallowed the entire Express?
Please spare me. I'm not even tasty!
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Yes, that's my theory.
March 7th
March 7th
M—Me neither!
March 7th
March 7th
Although, if what Dan Heng said is true, I doubt something that could swallow the Express would be a picky eater...
Argenti
Argenti
I see. That would explain what Velite and I experienced earlier.
March 7th
March 7th
...What do you mean?
Argenti
Argenti
Did Velite mention that he was trapped in a dark and enormous cave when we first met?
Argenti
Argenti
Now that I think on it, we did hear sounds akin to swallowing and other movements from the "cave..."
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Yes, and your flight path happened to intersect with the Express's star rail, meaning we might have encountered the very same Giant Sting. Now, we need to see if we can prove the theory correct...
March 7th
March 7th
Ahhhh! Wh—What is that!?
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
...It looks like our theory has already been confirmed.
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
Let's talk to Mr. Yang.

📍 Astral Express Parlor Car

Welt
Welt
I've completed the engine inspection. Though the warp device isn't immediately operational, I believe we can still manage brief spurts of acceleration. Unless there are any major objections, I'll begin preparations.
Argenti
Argenti
Mr. Yang, one moment, please.
Argenti
Argenti
I've suddenly happened upon an idea that might just help resolve our crisis. While the Express is being prepared, I would like to speak with {NICKNAME} in private.
March 7th
March 7th
Seriously? Can't you just tell all of us?
Argenti
Argenti
Were I to air such a proposition among you, verily, it would be dismissed in an instant. Yet as a knight, it is my duty to aid the Express in resolving this issue.
March 7th
March 7th
Oh? So you're a mind reader now, too...?
Welt
Welt
At this stage, any plan is a plan worth hearing. March — hang fire. Let's see where this leads us.
Argenti
Argenti
Thank you.

Chat alone with Argenti

The long, scarlet night of hallucinations forges endlessly on.
Argenti invites you to a "1-on-1 discussion." His behavior is truly impossible for normal people to parse...
Welt
Welt
This is really a curveball... you couldn't make it up.
March 7th
March 7th
So... the train has been swallowed by a giant bug? And we're inside its stomach?
Dan Heng
Dan Heng
It's alright. We're in this together.
Himeko
Himeko
The outer wall of the Express is probably melting in gastric acid. I can't even imagine what it must look like.
Unknown
Options
By yourself?
I knew it...
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Options
Who is "THEM?"
Idrila?
Unknown
Options
Are they an "Aeon"?
Are they a "hallucination"?
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Options
Are you fighting to protect "beauty?"
Are you fighting to see "THEM?"
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Options
What are your plans after that?
Can I do anything to help?
Why did you want to talk to me alone?
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Options
I support you.
I'm still against it.
Unknown
Unknown
Options
I don't want you to put your life in danger.
You're just consoling yourself with those "hallucinations".
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
⚔️
Combat

Argenti
Argenti
{NICKNAME}... Your demeanor, strength, and the etiquette of your combat... I admit, you have won me over.
Argenti
Argenti
Extraordinary and enjoyable in equal measure! Encountering an opponent of your caliber proves the existence of "the Beauty."
Argenti
Argenti
The end of our battle signifies my departure... the moment has finally arrived for me to bid farewell to the Express.
Options
You're confident you can get out alive?
Will we meet again?
I'm ready to say goodbye.
Argenti
Argenti
{NICKNAME}, I assure you, I am not a reckless person. I will ready myself for the opportunity to escape.
Argenti
Argenti
I came to the Express to help you find a solution to this crisis. When my mission is complete, I shall venture back into the cosmos... but the cosmos is boundless — we may yet have another encounter.
Argenti
Argenti
Excellent, {NICKNAME}. After completing my mission here, I shall find somewhere else that requires my protection.
Argenti
Argenti
Worry not. As a knight, I bear the resolve and honor of assured victory — my body, tempered by countless battles, will not easily be broken.
Argenti
Argenti
Such a brief, fortuitous encounter... It has been an honor knowing each and every one of you on the Express.

Tell Welt

The long, scarlet night of hallucinations forges endlessly on.
Despite blooming into the most majestic of merit awards, it's nothing more than an ode from the universe that will soon disappear back into nothingness.
{NICKNAME}
{NICKNAME}
*sigh*
{NICKNAME}
{NICKNAME}
Let's go talk with the others.
Welt
Welt
So, how did your talk with Argenti go, {NICKNAME}?
Options
He wants to fight the Giant Sting by himself.
Welt
Welt
I see... Based on our dealings with him so far, I can't say I'm overly surprised. Sounds like the kind of plan a younger me might have come up with... but that doesn't mean I approve of it. How do you see things, {NICKNAME}?
Options
I agree with Argenti.
I don't understand Argenti.
Welt
Welt
...I suppose it all depends on how you see his understanding of and devotion to the Beauty.
Welt
Welt
{NICKNAME}, if you're certain, I trust your judgment.
Welt
Welt
...I suppose it all depends on whether you support his understanding of and devotion to the Beauty.
Welt
Welt
{NICKNAME}, we can't change what other people long for.
Velite
Velite
*yawn* I took a nap just now and dreamt there was another me piloting Argenti's One and Only...
Velite
Velite
What's wrong with me? I never dream. After stealing Argenti's spaceship, I said to myself: "Go find Argenti."
Velite
Velite
I—I'm not the type to start caring about people I've only just met, but the dream made me feel a little uneasy... So, what on earth is Argenti up to, anyway?
Options
He wants to fight the Giant Sting by himself.
Velite
Velite
Ha!? Wh—What!? He wants to fight that huge bug on his own?
Velite
Velite
So all that talk of "departing the mortal coil" and "bidding farewell to a plant" — that was all serious!? You refused him, right?
Options
He insisted.
Are you worried about him?
Velite
Velite
That's a suicide mission! And for what? D—Don't get me wrong, I don't really care... But if he dies, how am I going to turn my life around? ...Alright, fine, I care about him.
Velite
Velite
Nonsense. Me? Care about him? Impossible. But if he dies, how am I going to turn my life around? I don't understand why he'd choose to die when he could live. Why is he so stubborn? ...Alright, fine, I care about him.
Velite
Velite
Why is he so difficult!? Are his beliefs more important than his life? No way, I've got to talk some sense into him!

Help Velite stop Argenti

The long, scarlet night of hallucinations forges endlessly on.
It seems like even the minor characters harbor their own intentions. Velite, the self-proclaimed "extra," will have ideas of his own...
Argenti
Argenti
After jumping from the Express, I shall pierce the wall of the Giant Sting's stomach. It should then violently convulse so the Express can escape the confines of its body.
Argenti
Argenti
Velite, have you something to say?
Velite
Velite
...I—It's reckless to put yourself in danger! Do you really have to fulfill your knightly duty? Isn't there another way? I just don't get it.
Argenti
Argenti
You, too, are worried for my safety? You may not have realized, but you have a unique and noble soul. I hope I can keep my promise to escort you to your destination.
Velite
Velite
You...
Velite
Velite
Wh—What the heck. Fine, I can be brave too y'know. If you insist on doing this, then... I'm coming with you!
Velite
Velite
If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be alive right now. I may not be as strong as you, but I'll do whatever I can.
Argenti
Argenti
I appreciate that, but it would be best for you to remain on the Express.
Velite
Velite
I... You... Hmph... You're impossible. Fine...
Velite
Velite
It suddenly struck me that if it weren't for this accident, we would never have met, let alone become friends. My life is a third-rate fiction next to your heroic saga, but at least they coincided...
Velite
Velite
So you still want to do it? Are we going to say goodbye here? Then...
Velite
Velite
Don't die! I'll be waiting for you! After we fix this mess, you've got some spokesperson duties at my company to attend to! Just make sure you come back in one piece...

Unknown

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