• Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

VotO Book 2 Chapter 7: Trapped Souls

Ray of Meep

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"Are you sure about that?" Luo Meng pressed the Zhuli. "Any nation-state can claim their society is prepared for war. Shen Zhou has boldly claimed that they're ready to make the cold war go hot for decades now, and they have the fortifications, and soldiers and assets, the culture, nominally, to show for it. But they never actually got punched in the face before, have they? And neither have you, not in a total war."

"I believe we're done here." Luo Meng took an extra second to stand up from her seat under the extra weight. The guards flanked the Empress, ready to put her back in stasis. "Admittedly, I felt like I was playing song to a bull. A very, arrogant bull. Initially, I thought I could get some insight into the Daqin mindset, but you act all too similar to the propaganda depictions." There was some frustration in the politician's voice, but mostly genuine disappointment. "I'm surrounded by war hawk morons who are all too eager to play with their metal bottle toys. Any final words, Empress?"


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"Hm," Zhuli frowned at Meng, her constant, almost unnatural smile taking pause. "You seem to be distraught. Let me think for a moment." Leaning back into her chair and crossing her legs, the fourth of all her kind did just that as translucent gold flicked across her eyes. But just as quickly as her nictitating membranes slid closed, they opened again. "Well, I must be frank. Though you are attempting to behave in a more productive and intelligent manner, you fall back to old habits very quickly," she gestured at the guards for emphasis. "Though we were talking over beer and rice, it appeared that you would very quickly change the topic once you heard something that you did not like, rather than probe further," the Mother-Empress noted. "If I had to guess, you Were looking for Something, but did not ask for this or these outright. Instead, you 'beat about the bush' as the Westerners would say, and did not like what you found."

The pretense of joy and smiles faded away entirely as Zhuli's mood darkened. Leaning forward, she made it very clear for Meng.

"You are not asking the right questions."