The Loop (Games)
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Story: Hacking his way out of the bamboo forest, the white hair man is obviously nothing friendly. With Nikki's friends as a bargaining chip, he asks Nikki to return to the Nine-Day War and win Rose Chests for him...
- Momo: Uh... Hi, Sir! Thank you for opening the path for us... Do you know how to get out of here?
- Xiao Zong: Get out? You can ask my sword.
- (The ambiance in the bamboo forest gets increasingly tense in the silence. Xiao Zong raises his sword and the wind dies out completely.)
- (Nikki stares at him, stunned. She opens her mouth but eventually says nothing.)
- Momo: Nikki, this is not right! Don't stand like a trunk, run!
- (Thanks to Momo's urging, Nikki finally comes to her senses. She takes in a deep breath and runs away with Momo.)
- (However, several sharp edges almost brush against her ears and within a blink, find their way into the earth ahead of Nikki.)
- (Severed strands of hair slowly fall to the ground.)
- Momo: Nikki! You alright?!
- Nikki: I... I'm fine...
- (The bamboo shoots around, as if energized by some magic, grow instantly and block the way out.)
- Momo: Nikki, I guess... running is not an option anymore.
- (The man behind them slowly puts the sword back to the sheath and unties the wine gourd at the waist.)
- Xiao Zong: Be a nice girl, or it won't be a few strands of hair next time.
- Nikki: ...What do you want?
- Xiao Zong: Even if I tell you, you think you'll have a choice?
- Nikki: ...
- Xiao Zong: Go back to the Nine-Day War and win the Rose Chests for me. I will spare you and your friends from the illusion. And the elf will be cured.
- Momo: ...Go back to the Nine-Day War?! How?
- Xiao Zong: That's not what you have to worry about.
- Nikki: But... Why do you want King Sayet's relics?
- (Xiao Zong says nothing but quaffs again from the wine gourd.)
- Nikki: I don't know who you are, but please be aware that the relics of King Sayet... are not only several beautiful clothes! Do you have any idea of the suffering they brought to people?
- Nikki: Fighting for it ruined the peace, the peace that everyone in Miraland obtained with the cost of blood! Is it worth it?!
- Xiao Zong: Is it not?
- (Xiao Zong's nonchalant reply falls into Nikki's heart like a heavy stone, making her feel hard to breathe.)
- (I can't get through to him. Nikki realizes.)
- (Or maybe this is exactly why some people want to disrupt the peace even if it means they will be cursed. They are different.)
- Nikki: ...Why me?
- Xiao Zong: Because only you can do it.
- (Since the clouds and mist dispersed, the moon hasn't changed its angle. Nikki's shadow looks rather short on the ground. Every movement is pretty noticeable in this quiet space.)
- (Since the wind stopped, the bamboo leaves haven't made any sound. Nikki can even hear her own breathing and heartbeats, which sound oddly clear when she makes a decision.)
- Nikki: I refuse.
- (Her voice is trembling but firm without hesitation.)
- Nikki: The relics of King Sayet have taken away many people's precious memory, even making them forget who they are, break up with friends, and give up their dream.
- Nikki: The lost relic in the Rose Chest... If it appears again, another war will be started! Then, more will suffer the pain of war and amnesia.
- Nikki: I don't know what brought me to this land, what's the connection between me and the land, and what will I have to face in the future.
- Nikki: But to everyone in Miraland, people I met or have yet to meet, memory and dream are very important things in their life. They are too important to be lost!
- Nikki: Throw everyone on this land into the abyss to satiate one's own benefit and desire. I can never do such things!
- Nikki: Maybe it will be very difficult, maybe a great cost will be paid, maybe I'll regret... but I refuse!
- (Eyes filled with tears, but she still speaks firmly.)
- Nikki: I've been a passive person, and it's my friends who helped me grow up and gave me so many happy memories. Now it's my turn to do something for them.
- Nikki: I'll save my friends. I'll try to find a way to help Prince Chloris. My friends have lost many precious things for the relics of King Sayet. I won't let such things happen again!
- Nikki: I'll return memory and dream to the people in this land... I promised her... I will, I have to do this!
- (Like a powerful cry, like a whisper to herself.)
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