The first things we noticed upon stepping foot into the streets of the town was how differently the people dressed.
Everyone was dressed differently but yet they still seem to belong to the same kind of world. It was like the entire town existed in a different realm of its own.
People were walking around sporting a multitude of different hair colours that made Cai Hong's hair look normal.
The clothes they were wearing also look entirely different from each other and yet no one was batting an eye at each other.
There could be someone dressed in an overcoat with some kind of traditional robes underneath, walking alongside another person wearing nothing but some straps and a pair of underwear on his head and no one would comment.
Aside from the people, there were various decorations that we've only seen exist here.
All around the walls of the buildings were posters of various colorful characters, none of which I have ever seen before.
I also realised that some of the clothes that the townspeople dressed themselves in were similar to the ones the characters were wearing.
To put it simply, it was an extremely bizarre place.
I wouldn't have thought anything was weird about this town at the entrance since the guards that inspected us at the town gates looked completely normal.
So Is anyone else kind of weirded out about the people in this town or is it just me? [Bait]
It is this one's humble opinion that everything here is weird. [Denna]
Still For Master's little sister to bring about such a change, it really is quite impressive. [Eris]
Hey, hey, hey. My eyes aren't playing tricks on me right? Look at that guy in the corner there! [Bait]
Is that An old man wearing some sort of dress? No It's a dress with a short skirt? [Eris]
He's wearing heels too! Ahahaha! What a riot! [Bait]
"Is this your town's way of celebrating the new year? How quaint," Manami commented.
The knight sighed, "If only that was the case. This is, as unfortunate as it sounds, the norm around here. Most visitors are quite Well... Disturbed by it"
"Lively" I murmured.
Fred raised an eyebrow, "That's one way to see it I suppose but--"
The knight was interrupted when a young man had ran towards us from an alley, his body crouched low and his arms flailing about behind him.
We prepared ourselves for an ambush but the man had just leapt over our heads, somersaulting in the air before landing perfectly on his feet on the other side of us.
He then sprinted off to another alley screeching, "Reeeeeeee~~"
It took a full minute for us to recover from our befuddlement.
"What was that?" Lian Li asked.
Cai Hong tilted her head, "Muuu Squealing pig?"
More like a running joke if you ask me, ahahaha! [Bait]
Groan [Eris, Denna, Laverna]
Oh come on, I think that was rather good myself! [Bait]
"He's known as one of the 'ninjas' I believe" Fred sighed, dragging his palm down his face. "There are quite a number of groups within the town and he's among the more normal ones"
Diao Chan raised an eyebrow, "That's considered normal?"
"As badly as I want to deny it, but yes."
The sado-masochist girl licked her lips, "Are there perchance Anyone around here who has a liking towards getting punished or hurt?"
Fred looked at her with a weird face, "You might be surprised, but yes, there is such a group."
I raised my hand slightly, "A place for swordswomen?"
"There's a group for both the swordswomen and the people who have an unhealthy liking towards them. I uh recommend you to go to the Adventurer's Guild for the first one."
Lian Li turned her head towards the knight, "Then is there a group for people who likes being sat on?"
"Unfortunately... That group has quite an unbelievable amount of people"
"And I suppose that person belongs to a group of people who likes foxes?" Manami asked, pointing to a fox-eared girl.
"Oh, no. That girl's one of our resident fox youkai. She's part of what we call an 'idol group' that has their own fan club actually."
Cai Hong looked up at the knight while she sucked on her finger, "Muu'Loly kon'?"
Hearing that question, Fred suddenly collapsed on to his knees, burying his face into his hands.
"Yes There is such a group And I am ashamed to say my own son has fallen prey to them" He sobbed.
Yes, it seems like the entire town is separated according to their interest. But why? [Eris]
This one humbly thinks it might be a form of town management of sorts, perhaps? [Denna]
Eh? Seems like a real chore to manage though? And it feels like they would compete amongst each other. Like rival gangs, you know? [Bait]
I wonder if there is a system in place to prevent exactly such things from happening? [Eris]
"Wouldn't the different groups promote conflict between them?" Lian Li inquired.
Fred wiped away the tears on his face and stood up, taking a moment to compose himself.
"Normally people would think that, yes. But all of these groups had stemmed out from the young miss herself, meaning she is the leader of all these groups and she has the power to disband and expel any of them she sees fit."
Manami frowned, "And everyone is fine with her having so much power?"
"Everyone in the town relies on her for work and entertainment. This might sound too far-fetched but she basically has everyone here wrapped around her finger, even the local lord here is not spared. A single word from her and everyone will move."
She has talent. [Eris]
Really, really good talent. Ya think she'd be willing to join us? [Bait]
Not sure what her stance is on Master though. It seems like most of the family has something against Master right now. [Eris]
This one suggest a round of preaching might help. [Denna]
Family Difficult [Laverna]
Uh-huh. I gotta agree with her on this one. If Master finds out and isn't happy about us involving his family, I ain't gonna know how 'ta explain. [Bait]
Perhaps we're getting a little ahead of ourselves, I would suggest that we learn about the rest of the town's views on Master first. [Eris]
What about this old one? [Denna]
Meh, ya heard what the old man said to him before we left right? He's just gonna be a bother. [Bait]
Yes, they seem to be quite bias towards Master anyway. He will just be a hindrance to our information collection. [Eris]
Guess we shoulda talk to the others yeah? [Bait]
Go ahead. [Eris]
"Heya, whadda you guys think about looking around the town ourselves?" I suggested.
The other girls looked at me, getting the hidden meaning behind my words with my subtle wink.
"Good idea, there shouldn't be any problems right, Fred?" Lian Li glance at the knight.
The knight took a second to look around the street, his gaze sweeping past a guy that was dressed in some kind of monster suit without pause.
"You should know by now this place is vastly different from the places you've been to" Fred started, turning his sight back to us. "I would prefer that we return to the mansion now, in fact."
Yeah, that's not gonna happen. [Bait]
Dispose Immediate... [Laverna]
Cai Hong pulled at the knight's hand, "Uncle?"
Fred crouched down, "What is it little one?"
The loli dragon chopped at his unprotected neck without warning, rendering him unconscious.
Diao Chan and Manami caught him before his body hit the ground, hanging his limp body between them to dump at a secluded corner later.
"Would this be a problem?" Diao Chan asked.
Manami giggled, "Ufufufu~ Nothing a little bit of illusion can't solve. He will wake up thinking he passed out from the afternoon heat."
"In that case, let's split up and look around town for information about Master's family," Lian Li suggested. "Since the Xi used to do business here, I'll go look into their former connections."
"I'll take the Adventurer's Guild then," I volunteered.
"I'll see how my brethren are doing," Manami decided.
"'Loly kon' group!" Cai Hong said cheerily.
"Then I shall look for the other like-minded people of mine, I might be able to get something out of them~" Diao Chan giggled.
The five of us split up, seeking out our respective targets.