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May 21, 2022 3:54 PM
Vanda Nosseo meets Ars Doloris
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"Well, that'll be fun for the inventory people. Might take a while to get together a good selection."

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"We'll definitely be very motivated to get trade relationships with aliens, if nothing else. I bet we can trade art for art pretty well."

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"Usually the shops selling things for stories is a transitional measure, but I'm sure we can tell the Dwarves to come speculate on your currency and have an exchange going soon. - Dwarves aren't literally all of the Vanda Nossëo finance sector nor are all of them finance people but it's not far off and they don't tend to consider it an objectionable stereotype."

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"Trading for stories is probably going to get inefficient since someone will try to recite their ten million word epic at you, but short stories and poems might work better. Unless stories in like, an existing durable medium work fine, then you'll just have a lot of books and flashdrives."

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"Books and flashdrives are fine," Nelen assures her.

"Is all this art-happiness downstream of the art gods? Is there a god of ten million word epics?" wonders Natsuko.

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" - Honestly the love of art just feels like, normal? Like it's just part of sapience. And long stories aren't the only kind of very enthusiastic art people get up to, it just struck me as the most time consuming type to receive."

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"It's normal to like art!" Nelen assures her. "Especially in conditions of material abundance and safety, which you have more than a lot of planets we meet. But you do seem especially focused on it; most places are more interested in practical gadgets at least at first and trade us descriptions of what they had for breakfast half the time. Which is fine, 'what sort of thing do people eat for breakfast before Vanda Nossëo shows up' is of interest to anthropologists. Anyway, worry not, there's trillions of people out there, they can produce plenty of art even if there's a per capita asymmetry."

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"Probably anyone has data already that your anthropologists could look at? I know we track art history a lot, and there's like a good amount of interest in other history so people are kinda aware that's something future anthropologists will wanna know about..."

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"Then our anthropologists will be delighted and we can get a currency exchange going at around the same time as the shops."

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"Cool."

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"Then I suppose our next task is to figure out the logistics of tests on whether it's safe for people here to travel."

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Shouldn't take too much, though some of the steps might be a little time consuming even with her Church assisting...

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Meanwhile...

 

He's heard something about other universes, and something about magic possibly breaking, and Suffering isn't letting him spy on her conversation with Lace and that team, but, well. 

There's more than one team, and no one informed all of them to not mention certain facts to the Art of Battle.

So, very shortly after he gets a map of the multiverse - 

 

The Art of Battle appears in Aurum, exactly two hops away from his home universe. 

(He doesn't instantly disintegrate or anything, at least. That would be a very boring way to go out. He can still distantly feel his sparks, too, at least that they're alive, though he doesn't care to test whether he can reach across the intervening distance yet.)

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This interrupts Golden's meeting with her department of agriculture about the blood-berries. "...can I help you?" she inquires of the new arrival.

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"Possibly!" he says, with absolutely zero awkwardness or even apparent awareness that he's possibly being rude. "One of your Vanda Nossëo teams landed on my world, I overheard about the multiverse thing, and I want to see if going more than a hop away breaks my powers - I'm a god of combat who's axiomatically incapable of losing fights, and this is very boring. This world is far enough away from mine, and it sounded like it might contain interestingly challenging powers, if you can point me at a tournament or suchlike."

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"The superpowered Olympics is in two months." She waves away the meeting people, murmuring that they can have conference room six and carry on without her. "Fight to the - what endpoint? Are you from that new world with the weirdly popular goddess of suffering?"

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"Hm, until someone can't keep going is most fun, but I don't know the norms here - and yes, I am."

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"What's your plan if nobody's willing to be turned into a pile of rubble here?"

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"Keep hopping around until someone can't resist the urge to punch me in the face. That's usually pretty easy to find."

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"Usually? Is this not your first time outside your own world?"

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...Hum. "It is, though I'm probably not that much less annoying outside of my universe."

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"I will ask my brother in law if he wants to attempt to beat you up. Should I assume that even if your powers are not working as expected in this world he should not go easy on you?" She taps on her computer while she says this.

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"He should absolutely go hard on me either way."

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"If he manages to kill you are we going to have a diplomatic incident? Did you leave a note?"

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"Nope, even if he somehow kills me - I'd be very impressed - everyone knows what I'm like. And absent very exotic and far-reaching magic I'd reform anyways - possibly tragically minus some memories if the distance messes with re-coherence, but eh, you can tell me what happened if I show up a second time with no memory of this conversation."

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