WOTF #2 Voting and Discussion

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Mar 6, 2011
ENtry #1

In the lore of old, there was once a bright meadow, brimming with flowers. People lived there, and throughout the days they interacted with each other, laughing, arguing, discussing about serious issues. Each of them held a muffin in their hands, a sign of their eternal devotion to their land, the land of Manga Treat.

Manga Treat was full of odd little surprises. Down by the river, there was a large bar, the most patronized in the land, where people gathered to just waste their time away and chat randomly. And in this bar, a most unusual conversation was happening.

"So, what's been happening?" a petite girl asked, starting off the conversation. She wore a frilly green maid uniform, and her pink hair swayed from side to side.

"Nothing much, Amu-chan," the hamster replied, staring up at the girl.

Suddenly, the whole room shook, as a goddess, with flowing white hair and piercingly red eyes, descended upon the crowd.

"Morning folks~

So, what'cha wanna do today for fun?~"

"I'm reading recipes. I want to cook new stuff...." another girl replied unenthusiastically. She had long red hair and a large black ribbon.

"Good morning, Emmie!" a young man greeted the goddess, pushing up his spectacles smartly while he played with his tie. Answering her question, he said, chuckling, "Let's leave that to your imagination."

The red-haired girl spotted a chance, and she immediately interjected, "What Chido really means is that he wants to be your chewtoy for today."

Chido sighed in exasperation while Kyouko giggled to herself.

"A new masochist?" A new voice sounded, as a pink-haired girl entered the bar. She looked disgusted. "I think I'm going to throw up!"

"Why, Madoka, Chido's already a masochist!" Kyouko replied, still chuckling rather sinisterly.

"I didn't say, 'Oh, please torture me!' or something," Chido argued tiredly. "Anyway, I despise that kind of S&M shit."

"Chido loves it, according to Aker," a small teapot sitting on the shelf said, whistling in glee.

"And Aker is the Oracle, yah?" Chido replied sarcastically.

"Chido! I thought you were okay as a person!" Madoka said concernedly. "Looks like I was misled again..."

"Also, the new Noblesse, Claymore, Naruto and Bleach chapters are out. How interesting," Emeralda spoke out loud, absorbed in her own business.

"This is a rather slow day," the hamster remarked from his stool.

"Well, I like to start my day reading about superheroes who go crazy, turn into murderous anti-heroes, and then kill all their frends and co-workers," a muscular man sitting in the corner said. He held up a picture, showing a superhero glowing orange with fire, the words "MINE!" superimposed haphazardly.

"There aren't enough emotions and love in those stories, Crom," Madoka voiced her disapproval.

Meanwhile, some of the others had moved to the other end of the bar and were lamenting about the relative lack of activity.

"What a slow say we have here," Kyouko said, and sighed.

"Well, it is a Thursday," Chido replied.

"O... Okay..." Emeralda replied to the rather unusual comments provided by Crom and Madoka. "I think I'm going to pay a visit to the Grand Library."

With that, she lifted off into the air and floated lightly to the largest landmark in MangaTreat: An enormous library, housing the works of old. Unfortunately, it was still empty. Beside it, a small tavern stood, where designers gathered to discuss about their latest works, and about designing in general.

"Hmm... could someone review this signature I produced?" A young man with blond hair asked. He held up three sheets of paper in his hand, all with the same picture but with slight differences. "Which one is better?"

"Aker," a grown woman advised. "Since the original image was rather dark, shouldn't you have put some lighting around the man in the picture so we could see him clearly?"

"You should try to pick a better stock next time," Another young man wearing a white beanie added. "The purely black one is hard to work with unless you convert it into a render. You did a pretty solid job with it, but I think you should try to re-work the text. The idea you had behind it is good, but it takes up so much space on the opposite side of the tag, it draws a lot away from your focal."

The young blonde-haired man looked down dejectedly. "Don't worry", the other young man reassured. "Just look at some tutorials, or ask Emeralda for help, and you should be fine!"

"Did someone call?" Emeralda said, walking up to the group.

Suddenly, their conversation was interrupted by an uproar from nearby. Not far off, another tavern was in chaos.

"Hadriel, your joke is over. My investigation succeeded and I've been told what I needed to know. The infomration about my suspicion was true," the wolf accused his opponent dangerously. He flashed a small letter addressed to him. Inside was a single line: "Nevertheless, Hadriel is Keima."

Cold sweat ran down Hadriel's forehead. His allies weren't there to protect him, so all he could do was to fight back.

"Oh wow," he remarked cooly. "It's not like anyone can just fake a PM or anything. Where's your concrete proof? Because, honestly, anyone can just fake a letter and throw it out here."

The young man with the white beanie entered the tavern quickly, having been attracted by the noise. He analyzed the situation quickly, and a smug look flashed on his face. "Wouldn't surprise me at all, considering that we have suspected him since Crestham's death," he commented.

"Honestly, Shadowwolf, why are you targetting me out of all people?" Hadriel went on.

"Why?" Shadowwolf replied. "I target you because you are in fact Katsuragi Keima."

"Your arguments are baseless and empty. Stop lying. I know you are, and that's immediate cause for suspicion."

Shadowwolf smirked. His opponent's argument was unravelling so easily it was almost funny.

"I object!" he cried out. "Why are you so defensive? If my argument really is empty, then why don't you just prove me wrong? You feel as if I'm attacking you even though you believe my arguments are meaningless."

"Overruled!" Hadriel shouted back. "Yes, I feel as if you're attacking me because you ARE attacking me. It's baseless, but the negative intention is there."

Shadowwolf growled in frustration. "Look here, Hadriel. I am not going to argue with you anymore. This is taking us nowhere. I have no personal interests in this and I gain nothing by attacking you. I've never considered you an enemy outside of this game, but this IS a game and my investigation leads me to this conclusion. We even gave you the oportunity to keep going, and focused on inactives, and yet you are so defensive now. Why?"

"Of course. What we do in this tavern is completely non-indicative of what we do outside. Beyond this, we're still friends," Hadriel said warmly, but his face became cold again. "Back to business: You gave me the opportunity to keep going? How is voicing your suspicion of me for all to hear giving me an opportunity to keep going? At best, you're keeping my name in every player's subconscious. At worst, everyone is trying to kill me every day. How is that giving any opportunity for me to contribute constructively to the conversation?

I am not talking about your personal interests in accusing me of being an assassin. I'm talking about your need, as an assassin yourself, to push the blame on someone else before it shifts to you, and that is what I'm trying to ascertain right now."

A cuckoo clock on the wall sounded loudly, and Hadriel glanced at it. It was time he took his leave. "Unfortunately, it is late, and I must make a move," he explained. "Therefore, I humbly request that we pause this conversation until I return. Thank you."

With that, he grabbed his cloak and left the tavern quickly, but not before leaving behind an atrocity of a monster. It morphed every split second, first resembling a cat, then a disembodied head, and so on. The wolf and the young man looked at it curiously.

"Where do you think it came from, Viva?" Shadowwolf asked.

"I have no idea. Probably one of the gimmicks Emmie's been pulling off."

The tavern was silent as the two sat there, contemplating.

"What shall we do now?" VivaLaDementia asked.

"I don't know, actually."

"Hmm... I think I'll pay the a visit to the bar by the river."

With that, VivaLaDementia walked out of the game tavern. He glanced at the sun shining down on the bright field, fixed in its midday position, and he began walking through the meadow. The flowers waved about in the wind, and as he left the tavern further and further behind, his spirits began to lift. He saw the large bar in the distance, brimming with activity, and he grinned. He ran down the hill to the door, threw it open, and saw the familiar friendly faces. He walked in slowly, surveying the area.

"So, what's been happening?" he asked.
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